Showing posts from 2009

Lahore after Predator (Drone) Attacks

As a result of cheap executive of Punjab's fascination with the cheap justice, Lahore looks like a city hit by multiple Predator strikes. Almost every road has sites of destruction and damaged buildings.

There could have been a saner way to penalize the violation of laws as happens in the civilized world. However, the "speedy justice brigade", obsessed with some middle-aged justice model knows no other way. For the rest, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Attack on Ashura Procession!

(Image Courtesy:

Taliban have once again struck at Pakistan. The attack this time has been on the Ashura procession and target was Shia community in the sourthern city of Karachi. Whatever my views be on religious zeal and religious rituals, the underlying reality remains that this was an attack on innocent unarmed civilians who gathered to be part of a spiritual gathering. It cannot get any barbaric than this.

Karachi has long been associated with Islamic Extremists. The roots of it date back to 1979 and the Jihad Inc. that emerged as a result. Unfortunately, even before that Karachi remained a strong hub of Islamist elements with strong vote bank for JI and JUP. Post 9/11 at one point, around 2004, it was dubbed as the city with most concentrated Al Qaeeda presences. Not only that but most Al Qaeeda activists in Pakistan have been captured from Karachi.

In a history of sect related attacks, in 2003, a bus of SUPARCO carrying Shia worshipers was attacked. Appox. 8 …

Ae Dost Zara Aur Kareeb-e-Rag-e-Jan Hu!

We are the agents of good. We identify problems and we devise solutions. If as a result of our solutions, more problems start emerging, among us people appear and fix them. And this goes on, through times.

And then come times, when the solutions devised by those among us, become too complicated the problems with time, for the vested interest in the dust of time manipulates them and turns them into sanctums. That's where the agents reemerge and cleanse the thought.

Agents come and they preach and they struggle. And they take the brunt of the hostile reality that surrounds. In grief and in death, they pay for the wrongs that the solutions of the agents did - for the mistakes of theirs or for others. For those who were agents were all beloved - and for why they did what they did was with purest of intentions.

It is battle for a better world, a battle for evolution of human spirit, a battle for progress and peace, a battle for a grave, and a battle to let humanity achieve what is divine…

Ankh ke taroon ki corruption - II

Nawaz Sharif Contd.:

In a story reported by all major newspapers in Pakistan on Nov. 12, 2009, it has come to public knowledge that one of the cases withdrawn by Pervez Musharraf under "Jeddah Deal" was a money laundering case.

Ironically, there exists a confessional statement of Ishaq Dar, a close associate and father-in-law of Nawaz Sharif's daughter, confessed before interrogating agencies that he helped Sharifs do money laundering of around US$ 15 million through Hudabiya Paper Mills accounts. It is also worth-noticing that Sharifs during there second term gave deadline for those owning black money to turn it legal.

Ironically, neither the money laundering of Sharifs, for which Ishaq Dar gave a confessional statement, nor the general amnesty given under Sharif's for money launderers has ever been taken up by the "azad adaliya". Neither did "azad adaliya" intervene to ask that under what law the investigation and case of money laundering against S…

Supreme Court ki ankh ke taroon ki corruption - I

In the hearing on NRO cases, NAB admitted that it had spent over PKR 2 billion on investigations against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. Despite spending this hefty amount, nothing could be proved against the two. In this series, I am trying to highlight the allegations on Right-wing politicians, bureaucrats, army officials and media personnel. For the sake of justice, I want these allegations to be thoroughly investigated with an equivalent inflation adjusted amount spent and brought to logical conclusion. In the spirit of investigation against BB and AZ, I would suggest that the fairness demands that the prosecution team for these allegations be chosen by PPP leadership to have a level playing field.

Nawaz Sharif:

Here is a list of allegations of corruption against Nawaz Sharif - in a five clip series.

Nawaz Sharif had two convictions against him, one is a case of hijacking and treason and the other of corruption in purchase of a helicopter. He had a number of corruption cases pe…

Understanding Militant Extremism

Unfortunately the definition of and discourse on militant extremism in Muslim world in general and Pakistan in particular is being defined by the same elements who are this extremism's biggest proponents. With Pakistan and the society facing the existential threat at the hands of militant extremism, understanding the true element of militant extremism is an exercise worthy.

The most popular conception is that extremism stems from poverty and injustice. However there has never been given any empirical evidence to prove either. For all the arguments around, the argument of injustice is the most bizarre. Never even once have we been shown that the suicide bomber who detonated himself was actually related to someone directly affected by war. Neither was any of the executioner of 9/11 or any later attack in the West a Palestinian, Afghan or Kashmiri. Saying that injustice causes those affected to seek revenge is biggest divergence for commoners to identify the root cause of extremism…

Need for a Charter of Security

Is anyone else also at loss with the recent assertion of PM Gillani that a rise in US troops will lead to increased militancy in Pakistan as a result of influx of Taliban from Afghanistan? Is it not that a few weeks ago, when Waziristan operation was launched our security apparatus showed its displeasure at lack of American troops on the other side of the border and the fact that this leads to Taliban fleeing into Afghanistan? And is it not that it is Pakistan who since 2005 is asking Americans to do more? Then why this sudden change of heart? Where is the consistency in country's security doctrine? Or is there a security doctrine in the first place?

The fundamental problem with Pakistan's security doctrine is that the security establishment in the country thinks critical to their strategic interests the elements (read Taliban and other extremists) and tactics (read blatant intervention) that have become extremely unpopular with the people of Pakistan. To defend them the establ…

An assessment of Pak-US Relationship!

Diagnosing Pakistan

By Kathy Kemper - 11/10/09 02:34 PM ET

Husain Haqqani offered a candid assessment of where Pakistan stands at my IFE / INFO Global Connections Public Policy Roundtable last Friday. In addition to being Pakistan’s youngest ambassador to the U.S., Haqqani was a strong advocate of the late Benazir Bhutto, who stood as a symbol of democracy in a country where dictatorship has long prevailed. 

Pakistanis, Haqqani noted, believe that the U.S. has long used their country, not engaged it. Hillary Clinton’s trip there was significant to the extent that they saw a different side of our country. In attending town halls and visiting colleges and universities, she tried to demonstrate that the U.S. is genuinely concerned with Pakistan’s welfare. Polls showed that Pakistani approval ratings of the U.S. went up by 7 percent after her visit. Unfortunately, though, one high-profile visit is unlikely to do much, because many of the country’s woes are historically rooted. Pakistanis…

Power Play in Pakistan - Analysis and Consequences

On recent political developments, I would not waste my time on dealing with the principled arguments, for post mid-night GHQ meeting, the Jeddah dealers (who happened to be convicts as well) had taken the highest moral ground in opposing NRO (a law for mere accused). Neither am I going to ponder on the dichotomy that the biggest beneficiary of NRO, MQM has become its principled opposition. For in power play, talk of principles is waste of time.
The realistic analysis thus should revolve around the following questions:
• Why Army wants Asif Ali Zardari out?
• In this battle of Army (Establishment) vs. PPP, will army succeed in ousting Asif Ali Zardari?
• What are the options that Army has, and how practical they are?
• What are the options of Asif Ali Zardari?
• What will be the consequences if establishment succeeds? What will be the consequences if it fails?
I think the reason to oust Zardari can be traced back to PPP’s confrontation with Army on issues like India policy, Kerry Lugar Bill, …

Sugar Crisis – Shouldn’t we be thinking free market?

On October 29th, in Supreme Court, during a suo motto notice on sugar prices, Federal Govt. and mill owners agreed to sell sugar at a price fixed by the Lahore High Court. This has averted a standoff for now. However this seems to be an ad hoc arrangement on the pricing and is unlikely to address the shortage issue. There remain issues that need to be debated for they are not only linked with the current sugar crisis but go way beyond the sugar crisis to our overall economy. Unfortunately, the whole sugar debate has been argued in the gambit of superficial of greed and oppression and the real reasons for these events are a little deeper than what appear on the surface.
Pakistan’s economy has always been a variant of a socialist economy. The state has been sitting on the most lucrative economic opportunities directly (i.e. through nationalization) and indirectly. This is the reason of a whole range of economic issues we face and by devising a price formula, a problem created by the sta…

Pakistan Army - A Need to Change the National Security Doctrine

We live in a world that sits on the brink of a world war. Never has there been more volatility in the world since early twentieth century. The volatility is of the magnitude that gave birth to two world wars and ended with the emergence of a new global order of post-colonial era.
Of a few possible flash points of this imminent conflict, the most serious are Af-Pak and Indo-Pak issues. Pakistan Army, marred by a series of internal and external changes on ground, has to take this factor into their calculation when they devise any strategy in their bid to hold on to the absolute power, they have enjoyed in Pakistan in last five decades.
Army in part created and in part allied with conservative fundamentalist elements who drew their strength from either religion or a perceived Ideology of Pakistan or a combination of both. It had done this historically against a strong liberal leftist movement, having special attraction among poor and among people of smaller provinces. In fact, Pakistan Ar…

Kerry Lugar Bill and Pakistan's internal power game

On Opposition to Kerry Lugar Bill and Other Emotional Exploitation in the name of Anti-Americanism

Below is complete text of Kerry Lugar Bill. The fuss about the bill has been that it's a sellout of national interest to US. I don't think anyone criticizing the bill has actually read this bill. So I invite the readers to read this bill before commenting on it.

First and foremost, the civilian aid has no strings attached to it. The only conditions are on military aid (which is not part of $ 1.5 billion/ yr). Even these strings are far from sellout that our right-wing fundo toddies are bound on telling us.

What are the conditions? In Section VI of the bill they are stated as:
(c) Certification- The certification required by this subsection is a certification to the appropriate congressional committees by the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, that the security forces of Pakistan-- (1) are making concerted efforts to prevent al Qaeda and associated terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-…