May 2009

Pakistan Politics: Dissenters and ‘lotas’

By A.G. Noorani

How can the law punish defectors without penalising dissent?

THE ideal of democracy is firmly rooted in the psyche and aspirations of the people of South Asia. But its practice falls far short of what the founding fathers of the states of South Asia envisaged.

 

Alone in the entire democratic world India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka stand out as countries whose constitutions are disfigured by laws to combat the vice of defection by their legislators. They are called lotas in Pakistan and aya rams, gaya rams in India. Mass defections first erupted in India in 1967 when the Congress party lost its control over the states in North India. Read More »Pakistan Politics: Dissenters and ‘lotas’

ISLAMABAD: ISI, MI to probe killing of commandos

These four SSG commandoes from Kahuta, Mandi Bahauddin and Karor (Layyah), however, produced a new tale of heroism and bravery when before being gunned down and beheaded, they broke the necks of eight Taliban, once they came close to them to record their beheading scenes on camera to frighten their uniformed colleagues by sending the videos to them.

 Read More »ISLAMABAD: ISI, MI to probe killing of commandos

The Wali of Swat

Sunday Times quotes Wali of Swat as saying Taliban aiming for whole country
* Says government should have sought his advice


Miangul Aurangzeb would be the ruler of Swat had it not been brought under Pakistan rule in 1969. The family retained the title and a few palaces. Today, he sits in exile. Read More »The Wali of Swat

Plastic bottles release harmful chemical into liquids

Plastic drinking and baby bottles can pose serious health risks, as a recent study has revealed that the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) — used to make plastics and linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes — often releases into the liquid contained in such containers. This is the first time any study has conclusively shown that drinking from polycarbonate bottles increases the level of urinary BPA, and that drinking containers made with BPA release the chemical into the liquid in sufficient amounts to endanger health, the BBC has reported.Read More »Plastic bottles release harmful chemical into liquids

I will deal with allegations against me, Musharraf says

Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf said in an interview aired on Saturday that he would have to deal with the allegations being levelled against him in Pakistan.

Talking to Dunya News, he said the allegations were baseless and concocted, and that he did not deem it necessary to respond to them.

He denied he had been asked to vacate the Army House, and added that he had moved because the construction of his own house at Chak Shahzad had been completed.
Read More »I will deal with allegations against me, Musharraf says

Split on the Taliban —Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi

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Militancy and terrorism are so deeply entrenched in Pakistan that the government and the military will need to deal with it on different fronts over a long period of time

The May 18 All-Parties Conference on Swat approved a ‘compromise’ resolution to accommodate the sensitivities of some political parties. The unanimous resolution condemned violent challenges to the state of Pakistan and its constitution. It emphasised the need for preservation and protection of the constitution and state structures, and also called upon everybody to work for the safety and well being of the refugees from the conflict zones.Read More »Split on the Taliban —Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi

Between Bagram and Guantanamo —Rafia Zakaria

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The task of returning to the values enshrined in the US Constitution and regaining lost moral authority necessitates the recognition that the rule of law and the requirements of justice transcend territoriality

On his third day in office, President Barack Obama signed three executive orders. These executive orders, which required the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and an end to coercive interrogation techniques in the name of fighting terror marked a substantial break from the policies of the Bush administration.
Read More »Between Bagram and Guantanamo —Rafia Zakaria

Redeeming Pakistan’s madrassas —Saleem H Ali

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Although some of the radical madrassas will still need to be weeded out, embracing Islamic education with an integrated reform strategy is more likely to reduce militancy, rather than lamenting madrassas as arcane institutions

As policy-makers and the media abroad agonise over the situation in Pakistan’s Swat valley, madrassas are back on the front page in papers such as The New York Times. The linkage between extremism and education should be fairly obvious but it seems to still elude most analysts. Indeed the word “Taliban” means “students” in Pashto, suggesting an inherent connection of these militants with some form of “learning”.Read More »Redeeming Pakistan’s madrassas —Saleem H Ali

Nawaz Sharif: date with destiny?

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Dr Farooq Hassan
It is clear from the Western media reports one gets the clear feeling that PML-N Quaid Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s entry into power is about to occur. His stature seems so assured that hardly a day passes without someone important from abroad seeking time from him for an audience. This is quite different from his position back in February 2008 when I had travelled to Pakistan simultaneously with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just before the then scheduled general elections of February 18, 2008. Read More »Nawaz Sharif: date with destiny?

Pakistan Macroeconomic Framework for the 2009-10

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Petroleum group to dominate $9.365bn import bill for 2009-10

$19.9 billion exports target set for fiscal year 2009-10

By Sajid Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD: Petroleum group would continue to dominate country’s imports with projected oil import bill at $9.365 billion during next fiscal year 2009-10 as compared with latest estimated bill of $9.858 billion in ongoing fiscal year 2008-09. The oil import bill was targeted to be $13.669 billion in ongoing fiscal year 2008-09, however, with the decline in oil price in international market, it is projected to be $9.858 billion in ongoing fiscal.

Read More »Pakistan Macroeconomic Framework for the 2009-10