Police service

Equality before the law is one of the imperatives for a healthy democracy and a just and fair functioning of police is essential to achieve this goal.
Extreme poverty and illiteracy apart, feudal set ups in Pakistan allow police to lord over their subjects. Police in most of the poor and developing countries are not service oriented, leading to a total disconnect between the police and civil society.
It is imperative that the trust deficit between the people and citizen is

Flattering India

After Obama’s visit to India, everybody is raising concern that US is giving immense importance to India by strengthening its strategic and economic ties. Besides, the US also desires Indian membership at the UNSC and Obama has declared India a rising power. No doubt all this has bolstered India to puff its chest. Pakistan needs not worry about all this, the US is doing what it should do to boost up it’s weak economy and to counter the emerging power of China. The US is just buttering

Misleading reports

Recently a report has been published in the media referring to a study conducted by Maplecroft, a private firm dealing as a global risk adviser and provides services to whoever hires them. The report highlights 10 countries at extreme risk regarding terrorism. Pakistan is second on the list.
There are very important questions linked to such self researched reports. Who asked the firm to survey for the ‘extreme risk’ countries where terrorism is a threat? Who included Pakistan in

Why we fight

As the war on terrorism is approaching its first decade, with Pakistan on the frontline, it is extremely frustrating to observe that our country’s populace is still confused on what we are fighting for. While our leaders, policy makers and tacticians are continuously busy planning to root out terrorism, our public is still not able to grasp the objectives of this war among all the conspiracy theories, slip-ups by policy makers and continuous political and economic instability. This

VIP culture

While travelling on the road the other day in the DHA Lahore, I noticed that a car with green number plate was frantically hooting for the jam packed cars to get aside. Since there was no room for moving aside, a gunman who was running along the car was seen thumping on the side windows of cars to move them aside while there was no space to move. The VIP car tried to overtake from the left side. When the traffic signal turned green the VIP car was able to overtake wrongly from the

Balochistan – golden land

Strategically located between Afghanistan and the warm waters, Balochistan has always been a superpower’s paradise with a treasure-laden terrain containing an abundance of gold, copper, coal and other natural resources. It is Pakistan’s largest yet the most neglected province where there have been several insurgencies over the last six decades. Its worsening law and order situation today is playing havoc with the peace and stability of the country.
The ethnic cleansing regime,

Child soldiers

A disturbing fact has been emerging since the beginning of the war on terrorism, the use of child soldiers by the insurgents in their campaign. This issue has been mostly left unaddressed as the recruiting of these child soldiers still continues. It is obvious by the fact that many of the suicide bombers recently captured or killed are under the age of 18. These children are mostly runaways or are from families with difficult backgrounds and have little or no education. Some analysis

Company speaks

‘A man is known by the company he keeps’, is an old adage. A dacoit is most likely to be found in the company of other dacoits.
Similarly, a political party is known by the coalition partners it keeps. If one of the coalition partners is corrupt, no one can take exceptions. Let MQM not pose as saints in this regard. They are also chips of the same block and should resign en bloc after WikiLeaks.

Governmental efficiency

The apparent ambivalence of the government towards the security forces is not very difficult either to see or decipher for the public, but what remains an enigma is that it is being perpetuated since eternity, a trend no civilian established democracy had the slightest inclination of revising.
The Prime Minister just the other day was found publicly owning the Pakistani armed forces which is a good thing keeping the previous distrust between the civilian and military

Learning English or learning in English

Learning English is important in our times but learning in English is not as important and necessary to acquire a skill. It is a fact that the issue of primary language of instruction costs a huge loss in the creativity and clear thinking of the young generation. We are far behind the other nations because we are forcing our young generation to learn in English. Instead of focusing on ideas and thoughts, we are focusing on medium of communication. The nations like China, Japan and

Making both (fri)ends meet

The US has stated that it wants to work with both the civilian and military leaders of Pakistan. The statement, which negates an impression of preferring military rulers over civilians created by the WikiLeaks, is one of the best examples of diplomatic statements. Not only the civilian leaders of the country but also the military leaders would construe it as being in their favour.
The truth is that the statement merely puts forward what the US really wants to be done. It only

No, he can’t

Some weeks ago, the cover of Newsweek featured a giant portrait of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry along with the question, “Can Chaudhry save Pakistan?”
My view is no: no judge can save Pakistan, not even the current chief justice.
The only way the current chief justice could save Pakistan would be if the absence of a good chief justice was the reason why Pakistan is in its current dire straits. That is not true: Pakistan is in a mess despite the fact that it has a

Breakfast at Lahore

The way to a Lahori’s heart is through his stomach. It is a meandering path, with many clogged arteries. Ambassador Cameron Munter sure did earn his hazard allowance the other day, when he publicly had a desi breakfast, along with his Consul, Carmela Conroy. Also known as the heart-attack-on-a-plate, the typical Lahori breakfast invokes warm feelings in the hearts of the good citizens of the city like nothing else can. The venue was the sterile environment of cantonment because

Gilani in Turkey

After meeting President Karzai, Prime Minister Gilani is in Turkey on a four-day visit. Ankara has over the last few years assumed a special importance for Pakistan. Since 2007 Prime Minister Erdogan has hosted meetings between the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan in a bid to overcome their differences and promote cooperation against the extremist militants. Turkey also extended valuable help to Pakistan during the 2005 earthquake and recent floods.
While Pakistan, Turkey and

Imran Khan

Disparity in coverage

In an ideal world all lives should be valued equally, but when the reaction to the loss of a life varies with the ethnicity, nationality, colour or religion of the deceased, then for sure we have reached a less than ideal state of affairs. We Pakistanis are very quick to protest such behaviour, especially when it comes to the Western media’s response to issues involving the death of Muslims.
But it so happens that for us Pakistanis, showing indignation is limited to issues where

Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi

Intelligent plumbing

Curiosity is not a crime. At least, not when I went to school it wasn’t. My teachers always encouraged me to question, criticize and analyze. But then there are many who would call my professors heretics simply because they told us the truth.
The truth, you must understand, is not for public consumption. The masses are always on a need to know basis – and they usually don’t need to know anything. Like a baby with a rattle or a kitten with a ball of wool or even a dog chasing his

Education for all

Yesterday I came across a story about a very daring lady of Tehsil Matta in one of the esteemed dailies. It was about her efforts to run a school for girls in the area even though the militants were torching and bombing the school buildings particularly of girls.
Gul-e-Khandana is running a primary school, where she herself got the primary education. She explained that when the terrorist came to burn her school, I said burn me first and then my school. Lucky for her they went