White Lies

It is no secret that President Zardari hops on a plane and heads for China (not necessarily Beijing) at the drop of a hat and quite often to seek some Chinese wisdom on business and commerce. However, these meetings may not be a one-way process as we have allowed ourselves to believe. We hear that at a recent meet AZ quizzed the Chinese president on the secret of such phenomenal economic progress. He was quite unprepared for his answer. It was, he said, a Pakistani working at the

Arif Nizami

Writing on the wall

Diplomatic cables released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks has all but exposed the tenuous nature of relations between the Pakistani military establishment and the civilian government. What was generally perceived to be true is now in black and white.
It is revealed that the politicians as well as the military leadership loved to cry on the matronly shoulders of former US ambassador Anne Patterson. Examples include General Kayani telling her in the midst of the judicial

Doing our part

As I scan the morning papers, I am sad and angry at what is going on in our country.
My heart is saddened because of the un-necessary loss of hundreds of lives from the terrorist attacks that have occurred in Pakistan since the beginning of this year.
Suicide bombing, target killings and planted bombs are no stranger to Pakistan anymore. Not a single day goes by when something new related to terrorism is not linked with our country.
One drop of water at a time raises

Waiting for change

The recent reports by WikiLeaks have caused mayhem among the political leaders of Pakistan but only one leader Imran Khan has escaped from this mess of secrets very safely which shows how good he can prove to be as leader for the people of Pakistan because of his clean character.
The report which reads “Imran Khan is the only leader out of American influence” shows his ability to work as the leader of Pakistan without accepting dictation from America and make Pakistan an

Apples and Oranges

This is appropos the article by Sadaf Arshad. She presents a very interesting case study of the current Indian media scandal and lessons Pakistani media can draw from it. While her observations about media ethics were accurate but I feel a comparative analysis between the Indian and Pakistani media is not valid because not only are the socio-economic contexts radically different but the two are at different stages of development. However, this comparative analysis is interesting in

Pakistani acquitted

Chilean prosecutors acquitted Pakistani national Saif-ur-Rehman of terrorism charges on the grounds that there was not enough evidence against him.
He was charged with possession of explosives, after he visited the US embassy on May 10, 2010 where traces of TNT were found on his cell phone, hands, baggage and cloths. This acquittal will certainly improve the image of Pakistanis residing or studying abroad. The authorities were actually trying to find a link of Saif with Faisal

Respect the police

The trend of humiliating the police and other law enforcement officials by high-ups in the government or others by influential people has become a norm in our country.
As a result, the police sometimes repeat the same with ordinary people. All of this can be attributed to the prevailing feudal culture that has existed for centuries in this region and was purposely strengthened in the British Raj. Our politics is also dominated by feudal lords who use the police force for their

Review required

In a seminar titled “The Blasphemy Laws, a call for review” arranged by Jinnah Institute, the speakers termed it discriminatory against minorities.
The articles 295, 295-A, B and C are part of this law that calls for arrest and sentencing of persons who defame the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
However, this law has been widely used by persons to settle their personal vendettas. This law came into the limelight when a Christian lady Asia Bibi was indicted by villagers in which she

The case of the disappearing money

During the disastrous floods, a number of NGOs, organisations, welfare trusts, welfare society’s foundations collected billion of rupees for the rehabilitation of the flood affected people.
It is now over three months and there is no information on where this money has been spent by those who collected huge amounts.
The people have the right to know where their donation has gone. Unfortunately the print and electronic media which was very active during the flood calamity

The dirty and the dangerous

It reads like the title of a torrid daytime soap opera but it is the title of the script of the Pakistani political saga and how world leaders view the principal protagonists of this tortuous theatrical play.
Our president has been labelled ‘dirty’ while the real opposition leader has been labelled ‘dangerous’. What other leaders think of Pakistani leaders matters very much so in the realm of international relations but these foreigners should not forget that whether dirty or

Hail to the Chief

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The current dispensation of power in the military has had more than its share of good press, both in the local and foreign media. This was a military leadership of professional soldiers, determined not to go the Musharraf way. Yes, tensions might exist, analysts would say, but only on account of institutional memory; otherwise the military leadership is clear on matters political: it will stay away. Well, some disgruntled

Provincial autonomy

On Wednesday, the first step was taken towards the extension of provincial autonomy by devolving five ministries to the provinces. This was in accordance with the letter and spirit of the 1973 Constitution which over the years had been beaten out of shape by successive military rulers who strongly believed in a strong centre and introduced constitutional amendments which deprived the basic law of its federal spirit. The exercise conducted by Musharraf in the name of devolution had

Ejaz Haider

WikiLeaks, some thoughts

Much as I love to have as much information as possible, that being part of the trade I ply, it is important to question the idea and use of document-dump: how much information should come out; should its supply be unadulterated; who should supply it, when, how, and to whom?
Attached to these questions are multiple concerns that deal not just with the wisdom of giving information at various levels on “need to know” basis but also about who can be trusted with information that

Hand me down

As the winter season is getting into full gear, so are the vendors in various markets of the city that are selling used woollies and second hand garments suitable for winter wear. These vendors reflect the unique feature of our economic disparity in the society as majority of the people are forced to buy these low price alternatives due to inflation and price hike.

Woes of girl students

The girl students of a Government Poly-technique Institute situated on Minara Road, Sukkur are suffering from a nuisance and may drop out without completing their courses. Owing to the emergence of a bus stop and an encroached mini market of second hand winter articles in front of their institute, it has become near impossible for girl students to walk on footpath make their way to the institute.
Besides denying the girls the right to enter their institute as people of every rank

Reinstatement Bill

The Senate in November passed The Sacked Employees Reinstatement Bill 2010 with majority. This Act aims to provide relief to victims who were dismissed, removed or terminated from service without any prior notice.
Like many others, I was terminated from my job without any valid reason in 1997 although my services had already been regularized. The mental trauma and expense I had to pay at that time is unquestionable and can never be recovered.
However, I would like to praise

Security in Muharram

Intelligence reports have revealed that TTP is planning attacks in the holy month of Muharram. This was decided in a secret meeting that took place in Mir Ali.
Muharram has a special significance for all the Muslims. Even before the dawn of Islam, this month was considered holy and bloodshed was not allowed. The TTP, who is faking a true image of Islam, are nowhere near the truth. On the contrary they are planning attacks on Imam Bargahs and processions. It is high time for those