Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi

The Messiah Complex

Pakistani generals are never out of the news. This includes both serving and retired ones. They draw attention, whether it is a security or terrorism policy issue or it is a purely civilian domestic political crisis. Three sets of factors help them to attract attention. The civilian political leaders have not been able to create a consensus-based viable civilian alternative. Pakistan’s political class is so polarized that they create the crisis of legitimacy for each other and they

Shirin Sadeghi

Up in a capsule

In the early hours of October 13, one by one the Chilean miners were rescued from their pit of despair. The world watched as a spectacular high-tech pod was lowered into the ground to lift these 33 men up to the life they thought they’d never see again.
It was bittersweet to see how innovative governments could be if they wish: sweet because of the effort organized to help innocent civilians, bitter because it is so rare.
And bitter because this particular copper and gold

Mayank Austen Soofi

Want Bihar?

There’s a saying in Hindi that everyone salutes a rising sun. Ugte sooraj ko sab salaam karte hain. Biharis are different. On the three-day-long Chhatt Puja, a Hindu festival that begins next month, Delhi’s Bihari community will gather on the banks of the polluted Yamuna, wade into the river and pray to the setting sun instead.
This week the eastern state of Bihar starts the election process for its legislative assembly. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a soft-spoken pro-BJP

Away with the ballot!

The ECP has decided to use an electronic balloting system in the next general elections of the country. This is good to hear on two counts. Firstly, the fact that these things are being considered means that we as a country are thinking seriously about democratic processes and want to undertake them regularly. Such signs are definite indicators of the fact that democracy is slowly, but surely, taking root in our country ravaged again and again by military rule. Secondly, transparency

Time for change

It is in reference to the editorial in your esteem paper Pakistan Today dated 14th October, 2010. Recent unprecedented flash flood inundated one-fifth of the area of Pakistan. Nearly 2000 people lost their precious lives and 20 million people were displaced. Standing crop, livestock and villages were wiped off. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have estimated the loss to the tune of 9.7 billion dollars. The political leadership overwhelmingly belonging to the feudal elitist

Auditing audacity

This refers to your editorial of 7-10-2010. The additional secretary, Ministry of Interior has concurred with the view of paramilitary organizations that their accounts cannot be audited by AGP. It now becomes the duty of Interior Secretary/Interior Minister to take steps for the conduct of these audits. Failure to do so would violate article 170(2) of the constitution, which is reproduced below.
“The audit of the accounts of the Federal and of the Provincial Governments and the

Attention, smokers

Almost everyone knows that smoking causes life-threatening diseases like cancer, emphysema and heart diseases and shortens lives by ten years or more, also that this habit can cost the smoker thousands of dollars each year then why are people still lighting up? The answer is addiction. Youngsters start smoking because they think it looks cool, others may smoke because they have seen their friends and relatives smoke. Statistics tell that 9 out of 10 tobacco users start before they are

Written word

The Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in his address to the nation has said that his spoken word denying the denotification of executive order of reinstatement of the Judges was not honoured by the Apex Court, which required a written and signed word. In the actual world, the verbal order has little value unless it is reduced to writing in black and white. What saved the skin of General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf in the Supreme Court was the absence of a written notification


I wish to extend my wholehearted congratulations to Mr Arif Nizami and his whole team on launching Pakistan Today. It’s really amazing.

The problems of Medical students

The Punjab government has taken many steps that effect people badly in one way or another. Obviously those steps were taken and the voices raised, were discarded like last year’s newspapers. Nobody cared enough to make even the smallest of amends with the unemployed, the effected in anyway. Now, however, things are taking a turn for the worst.
The Government has made many arbitrary changes to the MCAT exam this year which have badly affected the students. These include changing

Karachi killings

It saddens the heart when one hears of the violence in the country’s commercial capital. It saddens me further to know that the so-called dream coalition of the PPP, MQM and the ANP has been unable to solve the problem. These parties should show some political will and wrest the gateway of Pakistan away from the violence that plagues it.

Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi

Article 58 to be

Disclaimer: The views and ideas expressed herein contain no relevance to real life, and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Or is it…?
You can’t go around misusing judicial authority. It’s just one of those things that you don’t do. For example, telling your wife that she’s getting fatter just because you’re too cheap to take her out for a nice dinner just isn’t cricket. I mean, the power invested in man to judge the curvature of the female form

Debt and despair Let us think things through

Each Pakistani is over fifty thousand rupees in debt, more than half of it foreign. The debts that previous governments have incurred are the gift that keeps on taking. This pound of flesh basically renders us absolutely unable to get out of the vicious cycle that we are in. This is in no way to imply that our own house is in order. Our misplaced fiscal priorities serve only to exacerbate the problem: defence and debt servicing eat up the lion’s share of our resources, cutting off

End of a crisis? A time for restraint

After Prime Minister Gilani’s speech and the adjournment by the Supreme Court of the related suo motu case, the crisis caused by the standoff between the two sides is hopefully defused. The story about the dismissal of the Supreme Court judges, avowedly through an impending executive order, was bound to create a countrywide sensation leading to a standoff between the government and judiciary and adding to the sense of uncertainty which is as much harmful for the country’s economy as

Down the rabbit hole

The government and judiciary seem to be moving towards a loggerhead over the issue of NRO review case and revocation of executive order for judges’ restoration. It is a fundamental rule of democracy that each pillar of the government should function independently. But this seems to lose all its importance in our case.
Rather than working together and moving towards a better democratic set up, we seem to be heading down the rabbit hole with clearly no idea how and when to stop.

PCB needs a makeover

The Pakistan Cricket Board is a national institution which can’t be allowed to go into abyss due to non-professional attitude of its management. The ICC has given it a deadline of 30 days to mend their ways. The PCB under the current management is a sunken ship. It will be naive to expect any improvement in just 30 days. The only way to salvage PCB is to appoint a new chairman who is a professional. This will not only boost the image of the government, but will also regain the lost

Lights out, countrymen

The decision by the government to disband PEPCO and make the distribution companies independent is proving to be real bone crusher. Already hit with the deficit of almost 3500 MW, the country is not limping and bleeding in the economic sphere. Industry and business are hit hard and their production has halted to a zero while the consumers are forced to use other costly alternatives.
Cities, like Karachi, also known as the city of lights, and Lahore, the cultural heart of the