April 2009

‘Lose Tribal Areas and you lose Pakistan’

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LAHORE: The ‘existential threat’ to Pakistan is overstated, Akbar S Ahmad, Pakistan’s former high commissioner to the UK, has said. A functioning political, civil and military structure exists in Pakistan, he said, and will prevent collapse of the state. The impulse for democracy, said Prof Ahmad, is deep. However, successive Pakistani leaders have failed to translate Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s spirit into reality and the structures he put in place have been weakened. Read More »‘Lose Tribal Areas and you lose Pakistan’


Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan


Global economy is passing through server recession and acute financial shortages. Economic protectionism is also a new phenomenon in international trade system which discourages the free and fair exchange of goods and services. In the doctrines of globalization, the advanced countries have always upper hand to explore and exploit the resources and reservoirs of the emerging and developing economies. Furthermore, the arena of dismissing growth rates and declining economic projections, also advise us to enhance our bilateral relations and ultimately achieve economic integration and high volumes of trade and commerce in the future

Trust worthy bilateral relations play very important and decisive role in the regional and international financial as well as power game. Strong bilateral relations provide ideal platform for better understanding and break each and every misperception between the two countries. It facilitates the easy and smooth exchange of goods and services. It brightens the chances of joint ventures and FDIs. It increases the volumes of bilateral trade between the two countries. So, a trustworthy bilateral relation is must for functional diplomacy, dialogue and development.

Pakistan and Uzbekistan has made encouraging progress in realizing the goal of establishing functional transport corridors and institutionalizing business linkages. Both the countries need to take full advantage of their geographic proximity to enhance cooperation. Shared heritage and history is reinforced by geography, culture and religion and that ensured a common destiny of Pakistan and Uzbekistan and the time had come to realize the true potential in their relationship.


Consequences of Swat —Shaukat Qadir

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Buner fell to the Taliban within hours, though local residents attempted to organise what resistance they could. The fact that the people resisted indicates their real aspirations, but they only succeeded in becoming fair game for the Taliban. Those who survived were promptly executed

On Monday, April 13, 2009, Asif Ali Zardari, our president, finally signed the Nizam-e Adl Regulation, handing Swat over to the Taliban and thus leaving an indelible mark on our history. President Zardari has found his legacy. If General Zia-ul Haq’s legacy was the initiation of religious extremism in Pakistan and Musharraf’s its flowering into the terrorism that we are plagued with today, Zardari will go down in history as the one who succumbed to terrorist threats. Though that ignominy is not his alone and has to be shared by the parliament that approved the Nizam-e Adl, legitimised the Taliban’s activities and handed over a part of our country to them.Read More »Consequences of Swat —Shaukat Qadir

Counting the miles to Islamabad —Rafia Zakaria

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Counting miles and expressing concern about the incursions of the Taliban may well sound the alarms bells in Washington but if the United States truly seeks a solution, it must make an effort to go beyond catchy phrases and monolithic perceptions that suggest that Pakistan is simply a territorial extension of Afghanistan

On April 22, 2009, the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan took over Buner, which is located approximately sixty-five miles from Islamabad. This distance has now become the focal point of the world’s attention. Nearly every story emerging from Western media sources paints the spatial proximity of Buner as an indicator that Islamabad is about to fall to the Taliban any day.
Read More »Counting the miles to Islamabad —Rafia Zakaria

Musharraf ready to ‘run’ Pakistan

Former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf has said he is prepared to return to office if the political and economic situation continues to deteriorate. Interviewed by Sir David Frost for the Al-Jazeera television channel, he said he would consider serving another term if he felt he could make a valuable contribution. Musharraf told Frost he had decided to resign because if he had remained in office he would have become “some kind of an impotent president. I’m not the kind of person who sits around uselessly. I can’t be a useless man”. But since stepping down, he said, he was “despondent” about what was happening particularly now that the Taliban have been allowed to introduce sharia law in Swat. Read More »Musharraf ready to ‘run’ Pakistan

Scientists invent germ-killing wall paint

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Someday soon, the paint on your wall may be able to kill disease-causing bacteria, as well as mold, fungi, viruses and other harmful organisms.

Scientists at the University of South Dakota have invented a new germ-killing molecule that can be added to commercial brands of paint to give the paint long-lasting antimicrobial properties.

The molecule includes a bleach-like substance called an N-halamine. N-halamines are already used widely, but the South Dakota researchers were able to develop a new type known as Cl-TMPM.

At room temperature, Cl-TMPM is colorless oil. When droplets of Cl-TMPM are suspended in a water-based latex emulsion, the emulsion can be mixed into the paint.Read More »Scientists invent germ-killing wall paint

Re-positioning for power projects in Pakistan!

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The current financial crunch and near meltdown, specially of the financial sector in the developed world, makes all serious viewers to ponder. That controlled economics like that of the ever-growing China have floundered is another reason to stop and think.

On the other hand, the bailout packages totalling above US $3.0 trillion in all, definitely makes us feel wobbly and look towards the probability that it all could not have been corrected at our end. It was also a moment of deep thought for us to see the corporate sector being nearly brought into the public or the governmental domain in the USA.

And more so to see the CEOs concerned being required to testify before the government before being benefited by US Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Programme (TARP). But as such a crunch can befall Pakistan, our earlier ways of doing business would have to be redone. The financial sector would need to be put on a tight leash, with the State Bank keeping a watchful eye.Read More »Re-positioning for power projects in Pakistan!


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Gun or the gunner, flood or the river, journey or the traveler, what is frightening the people of Pakistan? They are in a strange state of dilemma and confusion. When we see through the eyes of a common Pakistani we find a lot of dangers, eagerly gyrating above our heads like hungry and lusty vultures. So many fears and so many apprehensions; every mind pondering over the same question; what will be the tomorrow like? The Swat peace accord, the organized proceeding of the Taliban, the worsening law and order state of affairs in Baluchistan and an alarming situation regarding the Talibanization in the other parts of the country; so many Damocles’ swords hanging over the already crushed Pakistanis. Is there anyone who could take care of all this broth prepared by so many cooks? People of Pakistan are yet not in a position to decide whether the Taliban are an Islamic force or some one is playing in the hands of the anti-Islamic forces in guise of Taliban. Recently it was reported by some of the private TV channels, including Samaa and the Geo News that at Ring Road in Hazarkhawni, Peshawar on 12th April,2009,at least 12 trailers loaded with supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan were set on fire by Taliban, resulting in the killing of a driver and injuring two cleaners. In this incident one of the drivers told the Taliban that there was a Holy Quran in one of the trailers but the Taliban did not pay attention to it and set the trailer on fire. The copy of the Holy Quran was also burnt as a result. The TV channels displayed the burnt pages of this most sacred book. There was a severe protest against this un-Islamic act of the Taliban. Apparently the militants who did this shameful insult to the Holy Quran posed to be the Taliban but it is almost impossible for a common Muslim to accept that the people who introduce themselves as the representatives of Islam can perform such disgusting act.


Islamabad diary: Adrift and lost, Pakistan awaits a miracle

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Ayaz Amir

There was nothing lion-like about the supporters of the Swat accord: they looked sheepish from the start. But they assured us there was no other way out and that, reservations notwithstanding, it would buy peace for the stricken valley. Just as in an earlier time, and far removed from Swat, a British prime minister had assured his people that the Munich agreement with Hitler would ensure “peace in our time.”

On the roof of the National Assembly is affixed a huge disc on which, in beautiful calligraphy, are inscribed the 99 names of God. But on that afternoon when the Swat Sharia Regulation was placed before the National Assembly, hanging over that august body was less any reference to the Almighty than a pall of fear, almost visible to the eye and sensible to the touch, Taliban spokesmen not having minced their words in saying that anyone opposing the deal would take himself out of the pale of Islam. Since in Islam the punishment for apostasy is death, everyone knew what the warning implied. Read More »Islamabad diary: Adrift and lost, Pakistan awaits a miracle

Burned meat linked to pancreatic cancer

People who regularly eat burned or charred red meat, like that cooked on a grill, have a 60 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, US researchers reported.

The finding is one of the strongest yet linking very well-done meat, especially red meat, to cancer.

“Our findings in this study are further evidence that turning down the heat when grilling, frying, and barbecuing to avoid excess burning or charring of the meat may be a sensible way for some people to lower their risk for getting pancreatic cancer,” Kristin Anderson of the University of Minnesota, who led the study, said in a statement.

“I’ve focused my research on pancreatic cancer for some time to identify ways to prevent this cancer because treatments are very limited and the cancer is often rapidly fatal,” said Anderson, who presented her findings to meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research in Denver.

Charred meat contains several known cancer-causing chemicals, including heterocyclic amines. Many studies have linked these compounds with cancer risk, although they have mostly been based on people remembering what they ate in the past.Read More »Burned meat linked to pancreatic cancer