Joe Biden

He’s on a charm offensive. But charm is not US Vice President Joe Biden’s only utility. A keen Pakistan-observer, he helped draft much of his country’s aid policy towards Pakistan. The Kerry-Lugar Act was previously going to be the Biden-Kerry Bill, which Mr Biden had to jettison because of his elevation to the Vice President’s office.
American officials in general have always been puzzled by the Pakistani response to the aforementioned legislation. After all, they would reason,

Change of guard

Bringing speculations to an end, the president has appointed Sardar Latif Khosa as the 27th governor of Punjab. The selection of the governor for the country’s largest province where the PML(N) and PPP have had an uneasy partnership was considered to be indicative of the mood prevailing in the federal government. The choice of Khosa, a soft-spoken PPP loyalist, shows that the federal government is keen to maintain good relations with the PML(N). This was also reflected in the initial

Nazir Naji

More questions

I don’t know where to begin. How can one talk of justice in an environment where a large number of people have become the dispensers of rulings over and above the court and its due process? As far as I know (and I know very little), the concept of the institution of the judiciary is present within the Islamic system; a system where the Qazi comes to a decision after listening to every party’s viewpoint. If the wrongdoing is of a criminal nature, then government officials present the

The murder of a man

Salmaan Taseer is dead. Another mindless, inhumane assassination whose blood will further stain the already tarnished image of a country that has long been struggling vis-a-vis internal and external forces.
Brash businessman, pithy politician, flamboyant father are but mere labels to a personality whose life was larger than life itself. Taseer bravely opened his life for all to see via ‘Sunday’ – his newspaper’s popular art/fashion magazine – published every weekend. He

Dr Faisal Bari

The ad-hoc bloc

When the petrol prices went up just before the start of 2011, it was a sharp rise and a general hue and cry was raised; the federal government said they had nothing to do with price changes in petrol. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) was mandated to look at oil prices every 15 days and adjust them according to demand/supply conditions and international prices of crude oil. But lo and behold, as the pressure rose from other parties and the seat of the Prime Minister started

Shirin Sadeghi

Violence and humanity

It is impossible nowadays to catch a glimpse of the news – whether written or broadcast – and not be assaulted by the latest in world violence. An assassination here, a robbery there, a war everywhere – news of death and destruction is what constitutes news at all in the world today. And what with Twitter and Facebook and all the gadgets in hand that have made reporters of all and sundry, the bad news travels fast and it travels wide.
Is the world becoming more violent or is more

The olive branch

Jolted by the recent loss of majority in the National Assembly, the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has immediately offered the olive branch to Mr Nawaz Sharif, President PML(N), by accepting his 10-point agenda. Obviously, this move must have been the brainchild of President Zardari who is a master in making such calculated moves when the PPP led government is in serious doldrums. Nevertheless, since opportunism rather than sincerity dictates such overtures, the resulting

Violence on media

Violence on media is a highly controversial topic, and it’s difficult to define what the problem is and what its implications are. It results primarily from television programs, but it also happens from violent music videos, sports and other news stories.
The media contents to which children have access have grown rapidly in this generation. Children have got books, newspapers, magazines, films, radio, tapes, records, and broadcast television with dozens of TV channels, thousands

Pakistani nationalism

To make Pakistan a progressive, prosperous and modern state, the civilian government and establishment should cut down their expenditure and make available more funds for education and social justice. Educated citizens are the real assets of any civilised advanced country.
At present Pakistan is dominated by intolerance, violence and injustice. How long the country can survive with such pathetic conditions?
When fundamentalists, obscurantists, extremists and terrorists have

Blast in Charsadda

The bomb blast which occurred at a CDs market in Charsadda on Friday resulted in four people being injured and damage to the market. This is another mode for the Taliban to show their presence and authority in the area.
Their continuous undermining of the state authority and their indifference towards the laws clearly indicate their mischievous intentions. It should be our resolve that instead of giving in to the fear they represent, we should stand together and face them. By

Efforts for political stability

The political instability and turmoil have yet been survived again by the give and take policy of the present rulers. The ethics and accepted norms of one’s personality and conscious are severely lacking in the political field of my beloved homeland. It seems to me that Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is far more struggling to extend every opportunity for the present ruling class to complete their tenure. If the government of PML(Q) led by a dictator can feel the pride to first ever

Last nail in PIA’s coffin

Appointment of unqualified men with questionable integrity in the PIA seems to be the proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back. The national airline with an assured load factor of over 70% ethnic Pakistani travellers has been going in a loss, not because of lack of revenues, but due to excessive pilferages, kickbacks, commissions and sheer mismanagement. While the international aviation industry is enjoying the fruits of resurgence in revenues and profits, the PIA in spite of

Our national shame

The PCB has become a source of national shame and defamation for this unfortunate nation because of its failures and scandals.
It was PCB’s failure to enforce indiscipline by refusing to take concrete action against few players and officials accused of involvement in irregular activities and links with cricket betting mafia, which led to the ICC’s interference. Normally, it is the function of the respective national cricket boards to take disciplinary action against players or

An open letter

Through the columns of your esteemed newspaper, I would like to appeal to the constitutionally elected President of Pakistan, His Excellency, Asif Zardari to immediately order appointment of men of integrity, vision, qualifications and requisite experience to head national organisation like Pakistan Railways, NHA, PIA, PASSCO, CAA, TCP, FBR, CDA, etc. I fail to understand the tendency of elected executive to be seen defying logic, common sense, rules and norms of propriety while

China’s legislators

The prestigious American journal “Science” of 17-12-2010 has stated that the economic progress of China is directly related to 80 percent of its legislators and rulers being engineers and scientists that were the mainspring of its historic rise.
It may be mentioned here that Pakistan and China achieved freedom almost at the same time but Pakistan today is sad example of poor governance with many of its legislators having incomplete and doubtful educational qualifications

Security measures

The Pakistan Government has decided that no bearded cops will provide security to the VVIPs and bureaucrats of the country. A beard has become a sign of extremism nowadays. This was a sacred act that our Prophet (PBUH) taught us. However, religious extremism has shaken the pillars of Islam and the intentions behind keeping a beard have led to many suspicions.
The Inspector General (IG) Punjab has convinced that he will take concrete steps to wipe out the ‘thana culture’ from the

Education and extremism

Many educational institutes have been blown up by religious extremists. In the last two years there were more than 900 private schools that were shut down by the school administrators. This was due to the line of violent attacks that burnt down over 180 schools in the Swat Valley. The situation is the most critical in KP and Balochistan where the female literacy rate stands between three per cent and eight per cent. In addition to this the killing and kidnapping of female school