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Posts tagged with: USA

Rendezvous with Farah Pandith, US Special Rep for Muslim Communities

Last week a few “new media” journalists were invited by the US Consulate to an exclusive meeting with Farah Pandith, who has been recently appointed as the U.S Special Representative for Muslim Communities. The usual bloggeratti excitement was held at bay since the invitation card had a blazing “No-Camera” policy, which had most of us worried concerned about this concerning hush-hush meeting but on the contrary, when we reached the destination we were told it was only a deterrent to avoid the TV &/or Press media fan-fare as the consulate preferred to have a close face-to-face uninterrupted one-on-one discussion, else the meeting was blogable, tweetable and pictures were definitely welcome, immediately putting the anxious team of bloggers at ease and right in their own comfort zone, out came the iPhones, up came the blackberries, twitter clients were fired up and we were ready raring to go.

The guest list had some 10-odd new media journalists, a few from Dawn, of which I had the honor to finally meet Huma Yousuf, the list of bloggers, (or blAAgers [sic]) was the usual fun bunch, ranging from Faisal Kapadia of Deadpanthoughts, Ammar Yasir of Ronin and Tea Break fame, Sana Saleem of Mystified Justice & Dawn Blog, Sabeen Mehmud from T2F, our very own Zaheer Sb from BiTs Online and Windmills of the Mind and last but not the least our celebrity blogger Naveen Naqvi was also in the house, who we now have laid claim to be more of a blogger then a TV personality. The star-studded bloggeratti guest list almost guaranteed an exciting rendezvous with the US Representative for Muslim Communities.
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Laidback Show Episode 8 – Imanae Malik

Cross posted from The Laidback Show | Show notes after the jump
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K-L Bill – Yes or No?

Kerry Lugar Bill‘Do you know why these suicide attacks are suddenly one the rise again?’ asked my friend. ‘No, but I guess you have a reason to justify them’ I replied in a cold manner, wondering when did the attacks actually slowed down.

‘Yes I know it is because of the Kerry Lugar bill. You know, these people (read: agents) are attacking our institutions and people to prove that we are in such poor condition that we cannot survive without aid’.

No doubt this Kerry-Lugar bill aka Killer-bill has become quite the talk of the town and people are now blaming the bill for our basic problems such as the electricity issue without realizing what the bill actually aims at.

On Sept 24, the US Senate unanimously passed the revised version of the Kerry-Lugar Bill, titled the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act 2009.

On Oct. 15th President Barack Obama signed the bill into law which will triple non-military US aid to Pakistan to $7.5 billion over the next five years and hence leaving no choice for Pakistan government to request for any amendments in the bill.
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Pakistani media’s corporate interests > Abdullah Saad

Abdullah Saad talks about Pakistani media’s corporate interests and our threat perceptions, discussing how the media reacted to Saad Khan’s tragic death, Annie Pattersons secret (but leaked) letter to Rehman Malik and more importantly (for me) the hot topic ie Blackwater-Xe. Abdullah Saad: LINK


La Demos Kratos

I was thinking about the process of selection of Secretary General of UN, and why America, Russia, China, France and UK hold the power to veto any selection? I was thinking about the process through which the Pope, who holds the post important position in the Christian world, gets elected? I was also thinking about the process of selecting judges for top positions in judiciary? Also about the process followed to select a Head of Department or CEO in the corporate world? About the selection of leading positions in executive bodies, or Military around the world … etc

One thing was disturbingly common in all! … The individuals which are expected to hold key positions, liable to make decisions effecting a group of people ranging from a few hundred to many millions, are not elected by a process of voting. Instead of electing the figure most popular, democratically, the most qualified and talented individual, having relevant and required experience, with proven track record of performance and character is considered most suitable for the position purely on merit basis. Same is the case with process of making critical decisions, they are made by heavy weights in any department, organizational or state, not by the masses voting to select from a set of decisions.

Now the million dollar question … If selection of key positions in every state department or in organization of international importance like UN or IMF, doesn’t imply a democratic process then why the top hotshot of a country is selected through it?

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People’s Republic of United States

The United States comprises approximately 4.5% of the world’s population and consumes 25% of the world resources. According to the US department of Commerce, the 2008 deficit on international trade in goods and services was $677.1 billion. This is down from $700.3 billion in 2007 but still 4.7 percent of GDP. In order to cover the deficit of past years US has borrowed $ 11.338 Trillion from international sources. According to IMF report US Per Capita income for 2008 was estimated to be $ 47,000 compared to Congo with $328.

In an ideal world, with 4.5% of world’s population US should be consuming same amount or at the most 5% of world resources. Higher consumption of world’s resources was justified because of higher GDP and Per Capita income. In fact it was not the real wealth which pushed the US Per Capita income and GDP. It was result of manipulation by creating money which does not involve production of goods or provision of services and still adds up the GDP and Per Capita figures. The very basis of a capitalist economy!
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A Global issue of Terrorism – Stop Criticizing Pakistan

Pakistan has been in massive fluctuations since the Pakistani government started operation in Swat and the other heaven like valleys in Northern Areas against Taliban. Some of the parties are criticizing the Government owing to operation. All the International countries like US, European etc are also in the favor of operation against the militants. Before this operation, Pakistan had to face overwhelming criticism on Nizam-e-Adal agreement with Taliban. American criticism reached a plateau as soon as President Zardari signed the agreement. But instead of clean-up the mess in their own country, they always point fingers on Pakistan. Let’s illuminate some of the American demons and their management errors.

The Aryan Brotherhood (notorious prison gang) was established to provide protection for White individuals from Black and Hispanic groups, most specifically the Mexican Mafia. For those who don’t know about Aryan Brotherhood. “The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as the AB or The Brand, is a White prison gang numbering about 15,000 members in and out of prison. In March 2006, four leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood were indicted for numerous crimes, including murder, conspiracy, drug trafficking, racketeering and dog fighting. According to the FBI, although the gang makes up less than 1% of the prison population, it is responsible for up to 18% of murders in the federal prison system.

Guantanamo Bay is also one of the American’s bitter lollypops. They sentenced cruel and unethical punishments to the prisoners. Recent reports and pictures disclose the truth and caused great awkwardness for the Americans. Certainly, there were some (so called) terrorists in the prison but there isn’t any law which allows them to treat prisoners ruthlessly. Some of the devils crossed the limit and carried out profane acts especially against Islam. US soldiers comprising the NATO forces are still killing thousands of innocents in Afghanistan and Pakistan through Drone attacks. They aren’t even differentiating the militants and the local inhabitants. NATO forces have accustomed of slaughtering innocent children and women.
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Dorab Patel on Judicial Aloofness – CJP’s meeting Richard Holbrooke

Mr Shakil Jafri editor of The Financial Daily asked me to reproduce as an article what I had written on CJ meeting Richard Holbrooke. With the intention to expand on these few paragraphs I chanced upon some reflections of a past judge which I added to my statement and am reproducing it below.

Members of the Judiciary are supposed to stay aloof from social and political contacts. In this context let me quote from a speech delivered by Justice Dorab Patel at the Cornelius Society in Lahore in 1995. Justice Patel was a dissenting judge in the Bhutto case and had refused to take oath on General Zia’s PCO. He states that the judiciary in Pakistan inherited from the long line of judges, British and Indian, traditions of service, of learning and scholarship, of integrity, financial and intellectual, and of social aloofness.
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CJP Iftikhar meets Holbrooke?

There is a news item which may go unnoticed that the Chief Justice of Pakistan had a meeting with Mr Richard Holbrooke in his chambers on Friday.

We as members of the civil society have struggled long and hard for his restoration and we continue to respect the Supreme Court, but for matters of dignity and norms the Chief Justice should not have met a political official of the US Government, which has been responsible for kidnappings and ‘externments’ from Pakistan to say the least. A large number of cases were heard by the Chief Justice himself before and are still pending in which the US government has clearly been accused and implicated. Even the issue of encroachment of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and drone attacks in violation of the same and of our basic rights, can come up for hearing at the Supreme Court.

A statement made out by the Registrar is a clumsy effort to cover up the issue when he said that ‘Matters relating to judicial reforms as per national judicial policy and the whole judicial structure of Pakistan were discussed‘.
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Survey shows 52% people NOT favoring Army incursion in NWFP | 72% supported Peace Deal

iri-logoInternational Republican Institue which has since 2006 been conducting some valuable opinion polling in Pakistan has just recently released their tenth survey

You can download the charts and graphs using this link [PDF] | While the descriptive review can be read here [PDF]

The poll was conducted March 4-30, 2009 comprised of a randomly selected sample of 3,500 adult men and women from 216 rural and 134 urban locations in 51 districts in all four provinces of Pakistan. The margin of error for the national sample will not exceed + 1.66 percent

The 54 slide presentation is also worth a quick glance to understand the political undercurrents that have shaped up over the last three months, PPP and Asif Zardari on a popularity decline to 9% and Nawaz Sharif leads by a massive margin at 55%.

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More drones and more suicide attacks – Where are we going?

Guest Post by Insouciant

orakzaiagencyAs the new Afghan-Pakistan policy of Obama is unfolding it is now evident that the drones attack will be an essential part of it. Another drone attack in Orakzai agency was carried out yesterday that left nearly 14 dead and several injured. The victims included foreign militants, locals, women and children. Yes, it was collateral. The thing that strikes me immediately is that Orakzai agency is the only agency among the seven of FATA that does not border Afghanistan.

Wait a minute – Had our bosses in the Washington not said that there will be drones only in the borderly areas? Or, if it should not be a concern as long as our Prime Minister is confident that the drones will not enter in Swat and Balochistan, after all this is from where the Pakistani governance starts these days on the map. Gillani looked really ugly when he announced with a sense of accomplishment that “they had taken up the issue of drone attacks with America and that there would be no drone attacks in Swat and Balochistan”.
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Musharraf honored as “Big Speaker” at Stanford

Musharraf CryMusharraf has been asked to speak as the “Big Speaker” at Stanford University when millions of us Pakistanis want him to be tried for his crimes.

Please take time to contact the Office of the President of Stanford University, condemning the invitation and asking Stanford to cancel the event. Please refer to the specific crimes of Musharraf, especially the treason of 3rd Nov, the unconstitutional NRO, the missing people, the high-level corruption and illegal allotment of lands, the destruction of institutions and absolute misuse of power.

In an email to her US Spokesman Mark Seigel, Benazir had put the blame on Musharraf for her assassination if that ever happened
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Why We Must Unite Against the US-Led War on Terror in Pakistan

Ever since Musharraf launched the first incursions into Waziristan in 2002, the military offensives have been controversial, heavy-handed, and extralegal. The recent operations in Bajaur and Swat raise new concerns. Instead of risking loss of ground troops, the top military brass has shifted focus to aerial bombing. Entire villages have been uprooted, creating the largest IDP crisis in our history. As our State bombs Pukhtunwa to a pulp, it relies on our unwillingness to object–to stay silent as our leaders exploit our fear of “Talibanization” to legitimize an illegal and cruel war.
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Will Aafia Siddiqui be released on December 17?

Credit About Aafia Blog

Looking at how this trial has been conducted so far, there is very little hope that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui will be released even on December 17.

To begin with, she was remanded on an accusation which wouldn’t have been taken seriously by any self-respecting court of law. That whole story of her picking up an M4 rifle and firing two rounds at random was illogical. Yet, it was theonly charge brought against her. On such an implausible charge she was remanded without bail!

A pattern has become obvious by now: whatever could be the farthest from justice and common sense has been happening at every turn. Since it is rational and would make sense that having been announced mentally unfit a month ago, Aafia should be released on December 17, therefore it should be the least expected.

Instead, anything “unexpected” can happen – any violation of decency, justice and common sense (after all, this is a case regarding which the US envoy to Pakistan didn’t flinch from making a very misleading public statement)!

Follow the entire Choronolgy of events 


Anti-Corruption Day, Blagojevich and Zardari

zardari-color-sketchWhen Barack Obama was elected president, Governor Blagojevich of Illinois saw opportunity in the vacancy created in the U.S. Senate U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago has the governor’s recorded conversations demanding $500,000 to a million dollars to sell the senate seat.  Blagojevich now stands to face an investigation, conversly

It seems that corrupt politicians such as Pakistan’s President Zardari, widely known as Mr. Ten Percent, instead get rewarded with high offices, with the assistance of amnesties arranged by the United States. It is what President Bush often describes as “soft bigotry of low expectations” when the West pushes for the pardon of corrupt politicians in countries such as Pakistan, in clear violation of the UN Conventions against Corruption. What is worse, such policies of condoning corruption are pursued in the name of promoting democracy in the third world.  Read More at Haq’s Musings Blog


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