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Humayun Gauhar

Indian elephant, Chinese tiger

What a silly storm in a small Indian teacup. We should be looking at the Chinese teacup. Obama goes to India to get something, flatters to sell by saying what the Indians wish to hear and the sated go ape. The wretched of the earth could not give a fig. They want food. Flattery is marketing, my dear compatriots, it’s all marketing. Those who fall for it soon come a cropper. There’s no gainsaying that the Indians fell for such crass K&F – kowtowing and flattery.
Obama went to

Spooks in the court

How does one read the Supreme Court’s notices to the chiefs of the intelligence agencies in what is, after all, a missing persons case? The court stepping up to the plate? Most certainly. The spooks should most certainly be taken to task. The notices are in a case related to prisoners who had gone missing from the Adiala Jail. Some reports in the press allege that the prisoners were picked up by the intelligence agencies. The Chief Justice also did well to refuse to hear the

A new dispute in Balochistan

Some of the recent statements by the Chief Minister Balochistan implying that the center was unresponsive and was acting arbitrarily had created doubts about the way the recently expanded provincial autonomy was being implemented in the province. The charge by Balochistan Assembly Speaker Aslam Bhootani that the federal government intends to sell 70 thousand hectares of land in Lasbela to some gulf princes for hunting despite opposition by the provincial government would further

Tax-drone attack

The government is proposing the following taxes in the Reformed General Sale Tax (RGST): a10 percent increase in the income tax whose income is more then Rs 300,000 per year, increase in special excise duty form 1 to 2 percent, 10 percent surcharges on tax payable on every imported consignment, 10 percent surcharge on withholding tax on commercial electricity consumers as well as 10 percent surcharges on all withholding tax transactions.
Majority of the people are already under

Air Force bombing

As result of bombing by the Air Force jets, 19 extremists were killed and 20 wounded in the Aurakzai Agency in Fata (news report on Nov 11). As many as five houses of extremists were also destroyed during the mission.
Our ‘Shaheens’ are doing a neat job of making mince meat of the extremists. But isn’t the fight out of proportion, as the extremists are only equipped with light arms. The basic question is how the Air Force selects its targets and how it avoids killing women,

Karachi blast

Another massive explosion ripped through the head office of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), located at a busy street in the commercial capital of Pakistan, Karachi. 18 people have been killed and more than 120 injured in this terrorist attack.
Majority of the citizens are of the opinion that this is a reaction to the arrest of six militants in Karachi earlier this week. The terrorist organizations are not limited to just the tribal areas but they have widened their

Thus we are governed

It is the unfortunate fate of Pakistan that a country created by icons like Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal and other men of integrity, commitment and principles is being ruled by despots and men accused of financial scams with no stakes in Pakistan. The problem with Pakistan and its elite, some of whom are pseudo intellectuals with an insatiable greed for fame and wealth, is that they live in a state of denial.
If people have allowed themselves to be duped to vote for this regime,

Blasphemy laws

A 45-year old woman, Asia Bibi in Nankana district, Punjab was sentenced to death following an allegation under the blasphemy laws. Her only crime was that she was going to fill a pot of water when other women in the field said she could not touch the pot and filed a complaint against her.
The blasphemy law is inhumane and so far has been used to indict people from other religions. This is also a tool of personal enmity. Human rights groups are lobbying and advocating for the

Countering terrorism

The sudden increase of recent acts of terrorism, with particular reference to the 11/11 attack in Karachi, highlights the importance of preventive measures to curb the menace of terrorism as it is causing severe losses to life, property and reputation of the country.
Nowadays, the entire Pakistani nation is fighting a battle of life and death against terrorism. Obviously, the terrorists are fighting on behalf of their masters who have plans to either dismember Pakistan or at

What if!

What if the most corrupt of our politicians are given a chance to suck at each other’s money, what if the arrogant army officials are asked to present arms to the common man, what if the judges are asked to sit on real benches, what if the bureaucrats are asked to push the carts and work on road building, what if the teachers of Pakistani universities are asked to sit an exam, what if the doctors are asked to donate their own organs, what if the bankers are asked to declare their own

What a disgrace

There is a long list of corruption and myriad scams related to the Indian Army. Even the former Army Chief’s right-hand man was involved in land grabbing scandal.
The recent Adarsh Cooperation Housing Society (ACHS) case is the one which has really jolted the minds of everyone with a conscience. The ACHS was planned for the families of the soldiers killed in Kargil. But the flats were allotted to influential politicians, bureaucrats and other people related with defence


Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

A sugary mess

Once again, the man in the street is in the grip of a sugar crisis. What is more, he finds himself in a helpless condition. This time the courts did not interfere as the fixing of the sugar price by the Lahore High Court last year had led to the commodity disappearing from the market altogether. There have been no raids on those holding back stocks either for similar reasons. After threats from PSMA last year to close down industry if coercive methods were used to lower the price,


Raoof Hasan

Not just a pound of flesh…

On trial for sedition in 1922, Mahatama Gandhi told a court in Ahmadabad, Gujrat: “I have no desire whatsoever to conceal from this court that to preach sedition towards the existing system of government has become a passion with me.” Sedition “in law is a deliberate crime”, he admitted, but “it appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen”.
Under the circumstances that prevail in Pakistan today, nothing could be more appropriate. We have a government that has lost all legal


White Lies

Mian Sahib, we think, has become a visionary and with that has come a sea change in how he views the media. One proactive, two-track journalists’ association, whose members rankled with him in his “heavy mandate” days, is now the apple of his eyes. NS recently played host to the group at least twice in quick succession, once at his Raiwind residence and again on a recent visit to Islamabad. Apparently the admiration is mutual. NS has picked up the agenda of democracy and peace with


Arif Nizami

The reluctant radical

Both for his supporters and detractors, PML(N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif’s present politics are an enigma. On one side he has started espousing radical views, anathema to the rank and file of the party he heads. While on the other, he seems quite unsure of how to play his role as the leading opposition figure.
He has written to President Zardari to end corruption and cronyism, urging him to present a consensus accountability bill in the current session of the parliament. He has

Blasphemy

Blasphemy is a crime; no one should be allowed to slander the good name of our Prophet (PBUH). But our blasphemy laws border close to the blasphemous themselves when the love for the Prophet is allowed to be used for ulterior motives and, perhaps, xenophobia. Our blasphemy laws should protect the good name of our Saviour, not be confusing enough for anyone to take advantage of. The recent death sentence of a Christian woman highlights this. She should be provided ample protection

Accountability

Was it at a gathering of the old boys club that the Minster of Interior, a former veteran of the FIA, declare that the FIA is now going to be given more powers to crackdown on corrupt officials? On the face of it, the steps, including a rumoured granting of police powers to the agency, seem like solid action. But to what end? There is a need, granted, for accountability but why not through more transparent channels? There needs to be a consensus on the accountability bill. This is one

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