Meeting Obama

President Zardari’s one day visit to the US to attend the funeral of Richard Holbrooke is over. The 30-minute meeting with President Obama had not been scheduled earlier and the talks, as pointed out by the other side, were not a full bilateral meeting between the United States and Pakistan. The composition of the US team accompanying President Obama, however, was significant as besides Secretary Clinton it included National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Counter-terrorism Coordinator

Exception to the rule

The rule of law is meaningless verbiage and comes only next to discretion. That is precisely how Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah’s response to an adjournment motion regarding the allotment of a permanent official residence to former Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Kh Muhammad Sharif can be summed up. According to him, the Chief Minister had not violated the law but only exercised his discretionary powers to relax the existing rules.
The issue which figured in the Punjab

Humayun Gauhar

The civilised and the uncivilised

Populations are classified using different measures, like sex, rural-urban, income, education, age, profession, religious persuasion. The most misleading classification is ‘elite’. ‘Elite’ means cr

Murtaza Mohsin

The Right resurgent

Fascism is not just a convenient political label. It was a monstrous ideology that brought misery to untold millions. Sadly, there is scarcely a better term to describe some of the xenophobic parties that have crawled out of the woodwork into the mainstream of European politics.
The Far Right is on the march again in Europe and can no longer be dismissed as a fringe outcropping. Across Europe, extremist movements have become the new norm as centrist political parties have been

Hassaan Ghazali

Let us prey

As the shock of the Punjab Governor’s assassination gives way to awe for the dark side of Islam in Pakistan, society finally sees what it is up against. It is always difficult to find words that honour our martyrs but one would imagine that the free-thinking people of Pakistan would have acquired a thick skin after having witnessed so much bloodshed in the name of God and Country. Just when you could have said we have seen it all, the assassination of the Governor of the Punjab shows

Mansoor Alam

It’s a win-win

The idea of a no-war pact between India and Pakistan was first floated by former President of Pakistan Ayub Khan. However, the idea was rejected by India and later by Pakistan when the former made the proposal. Now, both countries are vehemently opposed to it.
Consequently, they have fought 3 full fledged wars, twice as conventional weapon states and once as nuclear weapon states and are constantly fighting on the frozen heights of Siachen, where general winter, to quote Mani

A leash on our cricketers

As the cricket World Cup is approaching, Pakistan cricket team’s options are getting fewer day by day. Now that the team has started performing well in the New Zealand, the ICC has in fact put an embargo on some of our key players, putting the chances of Pakistan cricket team at risk in the upcoming cricketing gala. The trio of Salman Butt, Muhamad Aamer and Muhammad Asif has been suspended till Feb 5th when a decision will be made on the case of match fixing and spot fixing.

Two sides, same coin

Both PML(N) and PPP are now two sides of the same coin. Both are without any political ideology. Two committees have been formed by PML(N) chief and Prime Minister to implement the 10-point national agenda given by PML(N) to government to solve the problems faced by the country.
One of the items of the agenda is about the corruption which has now reached record level. Ironically, the committee members are among those who are facing serious charges of committing irregularities or

PIA sale on instalments

According to some media reports the PIA has agreed to a deal with the Turkish Airline to hand over its profitable business routes to Turkish Airline while in response it will help PIA gain its regional routes. This arrangement would not only ruin the national carrier but also spoil the potential of best human resources of PIA while giving away its loyal Pakistani passengers to foreign airline.
This MoU states that the PIA would end its operations to the USA, Germany, Spain,

Biased West and biased media

US Congresswoman Ms Gabby Giffords was shot in the head while speaking at a public event in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011. About 19 people were shot in that incident. A Federal Judge Justice John M Roll was also killed. According to witnesses, the gunman who opened fire at Gabrielle Giffords and Judge John Roll was a white male in his early 20s named Jared Lee Loughner. But nobody in the western media mentioned his religion, nationality and race nor did anyone called him

Discrimination at work

Discrimination at work place can take many shapes. It can be in the form of a simple rejection of leave application or it can be delay of your promotion for a longer period of time. When due to the judgments of your peers or bosses, you miss out on opportunities, or feel uncomfortable or your work is affected, you are sure being discriminated. It can be in many forms like missing out on specific opportunities like transfers, promotions, not being paid the same as someone else doing

The SC steps in

After making Walters Power International return Rs 2 billion to the state exchequer, the Supreme Court has ordered power firm Techno Energy to refund Rs 780 million along with the mark up for failure to fulfill the terms of its contract with the government. The recovery is all the more welcome as it comes at a time when the country faces an unprecedented financial crunch. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also summoned a former federal minister and three retired generals in the Rs 50

Karachi burns

How does one deal with the problem that is Karachi? A debate that ensues every time the city is gripped by violence, as it is now, with more than 30 people dying within three days. It is usually a fruitless debate, with pundits espousing unworkable solutions on the one hand and hesitating to call a spade a spade on the other. A particular solution, too ugly to be articulated on public fora, is also doing the rounds. That only proportional violence from all sides will yield an end to

Arif Nizami

Quaid’s Pakistan

Events have moved so fast since the advent of the New Year that it is difficult to keep pace with them. Salmaan Taseer’s tragic assassination coincided with Nawaz Sharif’s ultimatum in the wake of the virtual falling apart of the ruling coalition. MQM is back in the folds again and now we are told by no less than Nawaz Sharif himself, that his ultimatum was not an ultimatum at all.
Governor Latif Khosa’s oath-taking ceremony was almost surreal in the sense that the PML(N) that

White Lies

Being a law minister and spokesman for the big man is a major honour but someone still pines for that glamorous colonial mansion on Lahore’s Mall Road. We hear that the Doctor had been trying his best to get there before and after the late Taseer’s appointment as Governor. After Taseer’s tragic murder, the opportunity presented itself once again. Sadly, this time too, he was beaten to it by another legal eagle with just as lively a record as our good doctor. Word has it that on

Another dimension

The appointment of Sardar Latif Khosa as the Governor of Punjab is the first serious blow to the purported rapprochement between the two principal political parties of the country based on the proposed charter of demands presented by the PML(N) Quaid. One of the demands concerned the removal of the tainted ministers and officials who are part of the incumbent administration and to undertake further concrete initiatives to eliminate corruption from the country.
Latif Khosa’s

Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

The writing on the wall

The state is in imminent danger of implosion. The killing of Governor Taseer is meant to send a clear message to the political leadership: Any politician not acceptable to the extremists could meet a similar fate. The incident, followed by rallies in support of the killer, indicates that extremist thinking is touching an all time high. It doesn’t matter whether the extremists are in a minority or that they cannot win the elections. What is significant is that they are already