Arif Nizami

The fallout

Former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has thrown a spanner in the works by claiming that the detained American national Raymond Davis never enjoyed blanket diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention. Despite immense pressure on the government by the US, domestic constraints have made it virtually impossible for Islamabad to hand him over to the US at this stage.
The government is between a rock and a hard place on the issue. If it releases the private security

White Lies

The rule of thumb in Punjab’s killjoy administration is that if you enjoy it, it’s illegal. The incumbents have banned basant. They have banned smoking sheesha in Lahore. They have closed down Lahore’s tourist-magnet Food Street, though on political grounds, this time. They have banned any wedding ceremony that takes place after ten at night. Then there is banning sugar from government offices, the hapless babus being forced to bring the stuff from home.
What’s next? Ban of sugar

Raoof Hasan

No, yes, no, yes…

Not that there ever was any doubt about the duplicitous role of the clueless PPP-led coalition at the centre, but the Raymond Davis fiasco has further highlighted its inherent incompetence and corruption. The ‘here it shows, here it doesn’t’ affair has practically pushed Pakistan up a blind alley with no way out. For once, the one who bears the notoriety of preaching the politics of compromise was right when he said that the government was ‘caught between the devil and the deep sea’,

Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Revolution 101

The success of mass protests in Tunisia and Egypt has opened the floodgates in the Arab world which has been misgoverned for decades. On Friday, protests continued in Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Iraq. While demands vary from country to country, they can be classified into those connected to political reforms and to economic justice. There is a universal absence of fundamental rights in all these countries. Whatever media exists is under strict state control. The

A new crisis everyday

The sun rises everyday with a new crisis in my beloved country. Sometimes, I feel that the government engineers to camouflage its failures and most damaging policies be it economic, internal, external, educational or any other.
It appears vision-less, myopic and only interested to prolong its stay and reap unlimited wealth by hook or crook, no matter the nation goes to dogs and the poor starve to commit suicides. It must create new crisis to divert the attention regularly.<br

Raymond Davis

Our Interior Minister Mr Rahman Malik assured the people that appropriate legal action would be taken against alleged US national Raymond Davis stressing that the matter now lies with courts. He said that we all should wait for a report from the Punjab Government. He also said to the media that they should avoid blaming the government that they are lenient in seeking any action according to the law. But my question is; when?
We all don’t know the real situation. We can only

Anti-US sentiments

Recent incident of an American national Raymond Allen Davis involved in cold blooded murder of two Pakistanis in Lahore has given rise to many searching questions. The situation has become all the more shady and mysterious since his name and identity are fake and so was the car plate number in which he was traveling on the day of occurrence. He was carrying a prohibited bore pistol and prohibited bullets with which he shot the two motor cyclists. He was callous in using

A silent disaster

Volcanoes affect human life very badly. Volcanoes cause damage to property, land by explosive blasts, different gas release, lava flows and mud flows. All of these factors affect human life up to great extent. The volcanic eruption that normally causes more damage is from active volcanoes’ hot flows of lava, gas and ash. If volcanic eruption is not observed in time it could kill thousand of people and it affects the economy of the state as well. Pakistan’s Balochistan province is

Save the earth

As the population of this world is increasing, managing non-biodegradable waste is becoming a challenge for us. Such waste not only degrades land and water resources but also accumulates over years and poses a threat to the balance of the life-cycle. This in turn can be extremely harmful for all forms of life. An alternative to these products is to use eco friendly products and go green in our day-to-day life. Such products are not only bio degradable but also environment-friendly.<br

Samjhota findings

India has announced to share the findings of Samjhota Express bombing case and the relative information with Pakistan, in the backdrop of Swami Assemanand’s confessions. Swami is the influential member of the RSS, a Hindu extremist group and in Kuldip Nayar’s words “the confession of a terrorist” has been instrumental in exposing and stripping the Indian nationalism of its grotesque yet truly fascist ideology that had so far been concealed through a celebrated liberal front.

Conscience of ruling elite

It seems the conscience of our ruling political, civil or khaki elite has gone in hibernation waiting for their insatiable greed for ill-gotten quick bucks to be filled and then perhaps rebound back. Either this or they don’t have one. How else can those sitting in Islamabad, explain their silence, over the never ending scams that keep on surfacing almost every day.
Thousands of poor lower middle class citizens and expatriates have been duped into investing in what was supposed

At your own risk

The car parking in the parking lots around parks and other government buildings is free these days though a token is issued at the entrance which gives some sense of security. But, this lasts just for a while because as you approach the park a scary banner warns that parking is at your own risk. Thus, in case your car gets lifted, often under the very nose of the police, you can hold none responsible for negligence.
This system was replaced with the old system of paid parking by

Faiz and peace

The year 2011 is being celebrated in Pakistan and the world over as a Faiz Year, a great poet who gifted the world a new concept of peace and love. His message is unique in many respects.
Many events are planned for the year ahead. One such programme had people from India also joining us in paying tribute to the great poet, while watching and listening to Jawaid Akhtar and Shabana Azmi, advocating peace and love between the two neighbours. Poet Jawaid Akhtar narrated his first

Population scare

‘Go forth and multiply’ That’s what the human population has successfully been doing for thousands of years, expanding, exploring, migrating, conquering, utilising, evolving, civilising, industrialising and now destroying the very hand upon which we live.
Many of us have grown up learning and being told that six billion is too much and this ‘over population’ is primarily impacting the planet’s ability to cope. But is that really the case?
Sure, the planet is facing

Spanner in the works

Shah Mahmood Qureshi has thrown a spanner in the government’s works. That is, if it really wanted to give a certificate of total immunity to Raymond Davis. The Foreign Ministry has immediately dismissed what it called “media speculation”, which was in fact a story leaked out by an official, that it had already confirmed Raymond Davis’ right to total immunity. The Ministry is, however, at a loss over what stand to take now. With Qureshi stating categorically that officials of the FO,

A contest wide open

As the ICC World Cup 2011 gets underway, it is a travesty that Pakistan will be the only sub-continental nation from the recognised quartet to take part in the event as a guest. That when in early 2005, with Shehryar Khan as the PCB chairman, Pakistan’s endeavours were instrumental in winning the bid to host the global spectacle over a well-complemented effort of Australia and New Zealand. It indeed is a direct consequence of Ijaz Butt’s utter diplomatic failure and the board’s most

Ejaz Haider

More cloak and dagger stuff

The question of Raymond Davis’ immunity, now that former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has spelled out and spilled the position, should be a settled issue. Unfortunately, it won’t be, given the binary polarisation in this country. The centrists, a near-extinct species in Pakistan, fall through the crack between the two ideological camps that call each other names like “ghairat brigade” and “liberal extremists”. The problem is that states rise and fall on the back of whether