Nazir Naji

Outsourced immunity?

The more the Davis case gets entangled, the more seem clearer the ways of its eventual unraveling. The question of the moment: Does Davis have diplomatic immunity? The Americans insist he does and that he be handed over immediately. Pakistan, on the other hand, is plagued with the endless debate of whether he has the right to immunity or not. The government has adopted a clear stance: he shall be taken to court. But saying this is not enough to untangle this mess.
It is not

Imran Husain

A new chapter

The last weeks have seen history being made in the form of an unparalleled and spontaneous peaceful revolution. A revolution that refused to be provoked into violence; rendering all options to a cruelly despotic regime waste.
Statistics officially made available now reveal that 365 people died in the Tahrir Square uprising. A vast number, to say the least! We have seen bloody revolutions erupt after the death of only one person. The world must stand in salute to those who laid

Kuldip Nayar

Not-so-separate powers

Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry made an interesting point at the Commonwealth Law Conference at Hyderabad. He said that the democratic government, which replaced military rule in his country, did not make or nullify the acts and actions of the military rulers.
Justice Chaudhry suffered a lot at the hands of General Pervez Musharraf, then the sole wielder of power. The countrywide agitation by the Pakistan lawyers restored him to his office. In the process, the

Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi

Ceding space

The decision of the prime minister to replace the oversized federal cabinet with a relatively small cabinet is a welcome development. The provincial governments of Sindh and the Punjab are also taking measures to reduce administrative expenditure. However, these measures do not necessarily ensure good governance. This objective can be achieved if the federal and provincial governments muster enough determination to pursue this agenda and appoint competent and task-oriented people to

Mayank Austen Soofi

Come one, come all

On Sunday evening, Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was detained at Delhi airport as he was preparing to board his flight to Lahore. He was caught leaving the country with over $124,000. Indian laws allow up to $5,000 in cash to be taken abroad. A nephew of qawwal maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat had performed at a wedding in a south Delhi farmhouse. His detention is a sad reflection on the decline of the great house of Nusrat.
But I won’t depress your spirits further.

Hassaan Ghazali

Think forum, innit?

Earlier this week, one was delighted to receive an invite from the government of the Punjab to attend the Pakistan Urban Forum scheduled to be held soon in Lahore. It is indeed an ambitious statement we make by hosting a national event for such an important issue in our most celebrated city. For all the inherent audacity, one would assume that the built environment in the provincial headquarters of the Punjab has much to offer aspiring urban areas all across the nation. And perhaps

Dr Faisal Bari

Please, be generous!

A small village on the banks of a docile looking river, with mountains in the backdrop. The scene should by idyllic. But it was not. The village is still very much in ruins. A lot of houses have not been reconstructed, a lot of people are still in tents and/or makeshift arrangements, many fields that should be green with the beginnings of the wheat crop look like sandy wastelands. And there are children running around everywhere, in the sandy fields and in the partial ruins of houses.

Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi

Eloquence lost

For an assignment editor, the most annoying thing in the world is a reporter taking an off-day. While there’s nothing wrong with this simple act, and it is very unreasonable of the assignment editors to think this way, their dilemma is also a thought provoking one. You see, each reporter has a beat which they have to look out for and make sure that they don’t miss anything in their assigned beats. Beats are like cabinet portfolios, it can be a single department or a whole bunch of

Umair Javed

Devolving democracy

Taking liberty of my little corner in this newspaper, I’d like to thank the many dedicated internet pirates who make it possible for me to watch the latest episode of the American comedy TV show ‘Parks and Recreation’ just a day after its original broadcast in the US. First recommended to me by fellow blogger Kalakawa, to whom I remain eternally grateful, ‘Parks and Recreation’ is a mockumentary style show that covers life in the parks and recreation department of a local government

Humayun Gauhar

Being America’s ‘Roodle’

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is supposed to have said of Rafael Trujillo, the odious Dominican dictator: “I know he’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”
Many countries have dogs of pure breeds. France has the Poodle, Germany, the Rottweiler. Poodles come in three sizes: the smallest is the Toy Poodle, the largest a sheepdog. The Toy Poodle is a lap dog, a favourite of fat-rich ladies. The Rottweiler is a very powerful dog used for cattle herding; in Holland it

Sarmad Bashir

The old and the new

You cannot keep everybody happy all the time but then nothing stops you from being pleased with others. This is precisely how Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s parting words to his outgoing cabinet members can be summed up. He was effusive in his praise for the efforts they had made during their stint spanning a little less than three years to ensure good governance. This was Mr Gilani before he picked up a 23-member new cabinet striking a balance between new and old faces.<br

M J Akbar

The Kuch Nahi Sarkar

Which was the swivel moment when the Indian-born British citizen shook off his psychological shackles and came into his own? There will probably be as many answers as there are success stories. My personal favourite is the year in which an enterprising Sikh businessman bought out a distillery producing the most sustained, and possibly sustaining, export of the British peoples, Scotch whisky. The breakthrough was not in the financial transaction. Money is the easy part. The

Arif Nizami

Most bullied ally

Whatever credibility the US had amongst ordinary Pakistanis has been inexorably eroded by the Raymond Davis incident. The American, certainly not a diplomat in the traditional sense of the term, by his act of murdering two Pakistanis has unwittingly unleashed currents and cross-currents which have exposed the inherent weaknesses in Islamabad’s “strategic partnership” with Washington.
The manner in which the US has gone about seeking the release of its citizen and the refusal of


White Lies

This is about the Lady maliciously rumoured to be the First. As it turns out, that was far from the case. She is nothing but your standard jiyali and proud of it. The lady, who is active in the US wing of the Pakistan People’s Party, is always dressed in shalwar kameez of either the colours of the Pakistani flag or the PPP tricolour. At a recent party function stateside, she is said to have declined offers for an innocent cup of tea (ladies, there is no such thing!) from overzealous

Raoof Hasan

The Davis fiasco

The Raymond Davis fiasco is plastered all over. Every newspaper, every television channel, drawing room gossips, tea shop conversations, road-side predictions – all converge on the possible fate of Raymond Davis. More specifically, these interactions are about the manner in which he would ultimately be released because, discuss as one may, plead as one may, protest as one may, immunity or no immunity, it is evident that, at some stage in the future, the government would be left with

Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Sowing hate, reaping death

The suicide by Shumaila Kanwal, the widow of Muhammad Faheem, one of Raymond Davis’ two victims, carries an ominous message. Shumaila was a young girl in her teens, recently married, whose husband was suddenly taken away from her. All her dreams about her future were shattered. The pain was made all the more unbearable because she could do nothing about bringing the killer to justice. She understood like many others in this country that the man being an American functionary was beyond


New and improved?

An evaluation of the performance of the federal cabinet which resigned on Wednesday after being in office for nearly three years is in order. All the more so after Prime Minister Gilani’s claims regarding its successes. To many this would appear a one-sided narrative which needs to be corrected to keep the record straight.
Referring only to a surge in exports, increase in foreign exchange reserves and the Karachi Stock Exchange index and leaving out trends that nullify the