March 2011

“Do More”

By Qaisar Sultan

There is this pathetic duet, sung by the American administration and the Pakistani establishment, the male voice reverts over and over to “Do More” and the female crying out for “Give us more”. Both America and Pakistan are not comfortable with each other; and deduce some possible harm from the very basis of the state policies in dealing with the strategic guidelines adopted by both countries. The governments of both countries do not trust each other; people of both countries have contempt and immeasurable aversion for each other. While Americans insist upon the Pakistani government to do more, Pakistan turns around and asks for more money. Americans know it well that no matter how they insisted, Pakistan would not unconditionally comply with their wishes; but they tried anyway to get some cooperation. Pakistanis know the limits of American aid; but asking for more never hurts. The Americans need Pakistan for war against Taliban; and Pakistan needs money. While the Americans cannot figure out how to defeat Taliban; Pakistan cannot manage its economy. The Americans lay emphasis on approximately seven billion dollars given to Pakistan after September 11; and Pakistan draws attention to sixty billion cost of fighting the extremism and loss of thirty thousand lives- sixty billions seems to be exaggerated number. Exaggerated or not, Pakistan feels cheated that America spends almost seven billion a year in Afghanistan, and the Pakistani cut is not near that amount. The American objective to permanently defeat Taliban requires unconditional help from Pakistan that does not like Taliban to be defeated in the first place.  The Americans have been complaining about ISI covertly helping Haqani group that has been fighting American forces from Pakistani side. America cannot control Taliban as long as they have sanctuary in Pakistan; Taliban attack American forces and run back into Pakistan. The fact is that Taliban cannot be defeated by simply declaring and going to war against them; they can always lay dormant in the weak position and come back more violent when opportunities allow them.  Pakistan has the money problems that could not be solved by any amount of aid- More money Pakistan receives, more money goes to war against India and some is looted; people have to wait for their turn till Pakistan conquers Kashmir. With so much distrust, conflicting interests and antagonism, how two countries can expect long lasting relations?Read More »“Do More”

ISLAMABAD: 44% Pakistanis drinking unsafe water as world observes Water Day

By Mahtab Bashir

Access to safe water and sanitation is a daily battle for the people of rapidly growing cities, especially in slums. As many as 72 million Pakistanis out of a population of 180 million are deprived of having access to safe drinking water as the country is observing World Water Day today. Water experts urged the authorities to fill the fissures in the water management plan to cope with the growing number of population and meet the target of Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
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Future of Pakistan

Qaisar Sultan

There seems to be “Pakiphobia” in West, especially in USA. Two recent published articles have stabbing negativity of the present and future of Pakistan; and it is not amiable. First article was published in Wall Street journal, written by Sadanand Dhume; he is an Indian born journalists. Though he is levelheaded in his analysis in his article, “The Myth of Moderate Pakistan” shouts out Indian and Hindu bias that cannot set off without a cautious repudiation of detrimental intentions. There is no doubt that a small segment of our society has succumbed to a noxious view of religion; but we have a great number that refuse to support and vote for them. The problems our extremists have created come to haunt us at every step of the Pakistani reputation. The murder of Pearl, a Wall Street Journal journalist, turned the newspaper against the environment in a country that they felt encouraged killings. In turn they allowed and endorsed the probing into the crisis in an extremist state as they see it know or  pinpointing the extremism of a country that has tolerated and created a milieu of incidences of slitting throats, bombing and killing of innocent men, women and children, blowing up girl’s schools, market places, torture and mayhem. The second article is written by a supposedly friend of Pakistan, Stephen P. Cohen, a think-tank with Brooking Institute; he has also written a book, “The Idea of Pakistan”. In his article, Future of Pakistan, he seems to be very pessimistic about the future of Pakistan. Cohen writes, “Pakistan could be a major disruptive force in Southeast and Southwest and Central Asia, ruining India’s rise and destabilize Persian Gulf and Central Asian region”. He also pointed out that Pakistan has fallen deep into the abyss of ethnic and religious view of its political existence; and the possibility of a moderate, reasonably secular and competitive state is out of reach. He predicted, “Revival of insurgency will take place, given the absence of real economic growth and the weakness of political institutions”. The foreign policy reports have indicated that Pakistan has posed the greatest threat of terrorism to West. Most of the indicators in terms of human development, down to 141 at the bottom, the disliking level in the West for Pakistan are at number three; Iran and North Korea are the most disliked countries in West. The biggest concern is that Pakistan is a nuclear state; if religious groups take over the government, the world may face a real threat to the security of the region and the world. Pakistan is not a happy place to live; on happiness Index, Pakistan is at the bottom of all Southeast Asia countries, 112 in ranking; Bangladesh is 41. All these statics suggest as if we are reading the demise of a nation; that has been almost predicted by Stephen Cohen. Read More »Future of Pakistan

IDEX does not accelerate arms race in the region: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

BY Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that IDEX has gained prominence and wider acclaim among the world countries and companies producing weapons and defence equipments as the event provide them with a window, through which they look at the markets in the region. His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces were also presented.Read More »IDEX does not accelerate arms race in the region: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

IMAGES FROM BALOCHISTAN: A Tale of Promise, Prejudice & Potential

Bushra Zulfiqar

BALOCHISTAN is the most breathtakingly beautiful but equally bitter Province of Pakistan. Bleeding at the hands of a ruthless separatist struggle, ethnically targeted killings and with thousands of people gone missing, life in Balochistan is that of fear, violence and a blatant abuse of human rights. The Province which is larger than Germany and covers more than 44% of Pakistan, has huge deposits of gold, copper, coal, lead and other natural resources. It offers the most spectacular landscape of a tall, hazy brown mountain range, against gray skies with a peculiar chill. The social repression is further compounded by the stark levels of poverty, economic suffering and a consistent lack of opportunities to secure livelihoods. Contrary to the enriched mineral and natural resources that Balochistan has, its population seems completely denied of that wealth, doomed to go further down the drain. The Province has the highest prevalence of rural poverty in Pakistan (at 70%) and according to UN’s human development index, 10 out of the 20 lowest ranking Districts in Pakistan are from Balochistan. These are the places where 91% of the population lives. To add further to this depressing list of statistics, let me quote the World Food Programme, which has declared that 13 most under fed Districts of Pakistan are that of Balochistan. So ugly is the reality, which is a result of decades of political exploitation and injustices for the control of resources, economic deprivation and lack of a people centered approach to development.  Read More »IMAGES FROM BALOCHISTAN: A Tale of Promise, Prejudice & Potential

INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE EXHIBITION AND CONFERENCE IDEX 2011

MEHMOOD-UL-HASSAN KHAN

United Arab Emirates has been put on the armaments industry map by the successful holding of successive IDEX

It is one of the important lessons of all the splendid ancient dynasties and modern day wars for power pursuits that self defence is the best defence and relies on indigenous armaments industry always guarantees safety of the national strategic assets and protects the desired goals of foreign policy and socio-economic plans. It is also one of the key philosophies and curial factors of colonialism, communism, social democracy, imperialism or free market arena that weakness always tends to encourage aggression, subjugation, socio-economic embargos and above all political isolation. So a strong deterrence has become the symbol of survival in the hot pursuits of power, domination and possession in power struggle of today complicated world. Read More »INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE EXHIBITION AND CONFERENCE IDEX 2011

THE ENGINEERS OF TERRORISM IN PAKISTAN

ALI SUKHANVER

The huge explosion outside the office of a sensitive agency in Faisalabad on 8th of March took lives of more than 30 people leaving more than 100 injured. This explosion was not only another desperate attempt to destabilize Pakistan but also a futile effort to keep the law-enforcing agencies away from their devoted objective of fighting against terrorism. The people behind such type of heinous activities are living in a fool’s paradise; they think that they would succeed in frightening the nation and in convincing the people to follow and support terrorist designs. But the facts are absolutely otherwise. According to the authentic media reports since July 2007, some 4,000 people have been killed in bomb blasts, suicide and gun attacks which mostly targeted the security officials and the people from the law-enforcing agencies but after every blast and suicidal attack we find our security agencies working more forcefully than ever before. Terrorist attacks in Pakistan are out rightly condemned and openly rejected by all Read More »THE ENGINEERS OF TERRORISM IN PAKISTAN

CIA IN TROUBLE

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ALI SUKHANVER

 

Is it a logical bartering? Do General Pasha and Raymond Davis enjoy the same status? The Chief of an Intelligence agency on one hand and a killer on the other; is it a fair bargain? According to a recent report in media, the US authorities have linked the immunity of General Pasha, the ISI chief, to the demanded immunity to Raymond Davis. The report says, “The US has linked sovereign immunity for ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha in a lawsuit filed by relatives of victims of the Mumbai attacks in a Brooklyn court to the diplomatic immunity for an American arrested for the Lahore double murder. The US administration appears willing to claim sovereign immunity for the ISI chief in this case provided Pakistan also granted diplomatic immunity to Raymond Davis.” It seems that from President Obama to Senator John Kerry, the whole of the US machinery has concentrated all its force and ability simply on one point; the grant of immunity to Raymond Davis. This over consciousness and extra-caring of the US hi-ups for an ordinary CIA agent adds suspicions to the gravity of situation. Surely there must be something more serious and more sensitive behind the scene which has compelled the President of the world’s only super power to cry for an ordinary secret agent.Read More »CIA IN TROUBLE