Comment

Plotting for plots

According to a press report the government has allotted more than one plots to judges of the Supreme Court. The last government allotted plots to 450 bureaucrats in the most expensive sectors in Islamabad.
The plots are also given to the defence personnel. The army generals are given commercial and residential plot at nominal cost in the Defence Housing Authorities in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Some of these commercial plots were given at the meagre amount of Rs two million

Move fast, move right

Asma Jahangir has been elected as the first female president of the Supreme Court bar Association. Many congratulations to her.
Her election has also brought forward an interesting point: that the lawyers’ community is no more following the bigwigs only, it is following and supporting the persons that stand for human rights and that represent the persecuted segments of the society – in this case the women.
I hope she plays a much better role for the judicial system and does


Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Peace with India

Pakistan continues to lag behind in the race for social development because it fails to cut down its defence budget. To be able to improve its economy and come up to the expectations of its citizens, outstanding issues with India have to be resolved not through war but diplomacy. The problem is that those who continue to formulate policies on India and Kashmir are not trained in peaceful resolution of conflicts and tend to resolve every issue through recourse to arms.
Over two


Raoof Hasan

The moral factor

“We have two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practice, and another which we practice but seldom preach”.- Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays (1928)
World history is replete with instances that when a leadership is driven by motives shorn of the moral component, it begins to lose credibility that, in turn, contributes to hastening its exit. In contemporary times, there is a growing awareness that morality is being accorded the lowest priority, if any


White Lies

We hear that Imran Khan has hit upon a novel idea. He plans to raise money for the flood affected, motivate children and revisit past glory in cricket, if not in politics, all in one go. A story has it that The Khan is launching a campaign to sell booklets at Rs. 15,000 a piece, recruiting school children as his salesmen. The fund raiser will end with a mother-of-all cricket match in a Lahore Stadium where all 20,000 spectators will be children. However the real attraction will be the


Arif Nizami

Politics of expediency

Confusion worst confounded! It all started with PML(Q) Chief Ch. Shujaat Hussain in a surprise move visiting Kingri House, the abode of octogenarian Pir of Pagara in Karachi and announcing the merger of his party with PML(F). Later on, this enthusiasm for ‘unifying the Leagues’ somewhat waned when the Pir cut a separate deal with the PML (Likeminded), a breakaway faction of the PML(Q).
Ch. Shujaat, through his emissary, made it plain to the Pir that the Likeminded were part of

Desperate times

The good earth gives. Its bounty is plentiful. It is men that are not as kind. Specially the sort with large tracts of land. News reports of the government’s scuttling of the plans of its tax committee to figure out ways to tax agriculture are saddening. That, too, at a time when the world community in general is pushing for the government to take steps to increase the country’s tax revenue, in particular at a time when it needs all the money it can get in the face of the recent

Unrealistic expectations

President Obama’s Indian visit is causing a stir in India and Pakistan, altogether of a different type. The Indians are generally jubilant while many in Pakistan who thought the country deserved democracy dividend are unhappy over Obama’s decision to ignore Pakistan during his visit to the region. Earlier resentment was expressed when Secretary of State Clinton had acted similarly when she made her maiden visit to India in her new official capacity in July 2009. Anticipating the


Kuldip Nayar

The other Punjab

A Punjabi is known for living beyond his means. He may beg, borrow or steal, but he wants his reputation, however exaggerated, to stay. When it comes to the government in the two Punjabs, east and west, they are profligate. They spend less on substance and more on sustenance of prestige. That both the societies are losing their culture – and their mother tongue, Punjabi – does not bother them because they sincerely believe that what comes from elsewhere, especially phoren, is worth

Dengue in Pakistan

The government is unable to control the rising threat of dengue fever as around 2500 infected people were brought to hospitals across Pakistan by Tuesday.
All the hospitals in Karachi have been put on alert, with careful screening of all incoming patients. The number of dengue patients in Punjab has reached 890. 18 teams are working in Lahore to control this epidemic. The role of the government comes into sharp focus in this situation. It must play its due role in eliminating

It’s never too late

The world is now familiar with the tragic story beginning in July 2010, relentless monsoon downpours caused severe flooding in the history of Pakistan, a country already crippled with crises. The freak deluge displaced millions, washed away entire villages, broke the spines of bridges and devastated crops. The images of the recent floods in Pakistan, described by UN as the worst disaster in human history, have been harrowing.
Whereas estimated loss of life and property are

No mistakes or no nukes

Recent news has revealed that US lost the communication with some fifty missiles for about 45 minutes, which made it very difficult to launch these missiles or to send the military to determine the cause of incident.
The incident was significant enough that President Barack Obama was briefed on it this week. A defense official said a power failure disrupted communication between a control center and the missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.
A few days ago, the

State Bank report

The State Bank of Pakistan annual report for the last fiscal year (2009-2010) highlights the inflation at 14.5 percent against the target of 9.5 percent set by the government. The report has blamed this on government’s failure to broaden the tax base and budget deficit.
The SBP has rightly criticized the government’s mismanagement and failure to reform the tax system and control inflation of food items. On a second note, the SBP should also put its own house in order. Why did it

Good governance?

The PML(N) leader Nawaz Sharif has been preaching good governance to the prime minister. He has been asking him to take independent decisions in the interest of the country.
I would like to ask him why he is not advising the same to his younger brother who is Chief Minster of Punjab. The previous government left a surplus amount of Rs 85 billion in the Punjab government accounts. At present, the government of Punjab have borrowed Rs 200 billion form banks. This loan is not for

First female SCBA President

I would like to congratulate Asma Jahangir for her historic victory in the election president, Supreme Court Bar Association. Every thoughtful Pakistani knows that Asma Jahangir is a renowned lawyer, human rights activist and supporter of genders equality.
She now has the honour of becoming the first female president of the SCBA. She was supported by senior liberal lawyers for this crucial election. The victory of Asma Jahangir is likely to inspire female lawyers and may open the

Another decor

Another medal for the present government: Pakistan has slipped up to 34th position, from 42nd a year ago, in the Transparency International’s list of the most corrupt nations. The Amnesty International has also hit us hard on our record for human rights violations in Balochistan and illegal disappearances.
The government says the reports do not represent the current situation. True, if they had, Pakistan would have topped the list. From Hillary Clinton to Angelina Jolie, everyone


Ejaz Haider

Sock it to ’em

Noted lawyer and human rights activist, Asma Jehangir, has won the Supreme Court Bar Association election with a narrow margin of 38 votes, becoming, in the process, the first-ever woman president of SCBA. Congratulations! In the larger scheme of things, however, this win is more than just a celebration of any feminist victory against entrenched patriarchy. It has to be seen in the backdrop of hardnosed politics.
The Pakistan Peoples Party government’s fight against its

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