20,000 Leagues under the sea

Certain things are necessities while others are luxuries. But there are some luxuries one can absolutely not do without. Like having one’s own car, house and one’s own faction of the Muslim League. But if you don’t have one of your own, you can simply join up the one’s that are already here. Coming in five new exciting flavours, the Leagues are, to state the obvious, in a league of their own.
These days, however, the fashion is passe, and there is an attempt to stitch them all

Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi

Stop, look… KABOOM!

Allow me to put things in context. We live in a country where it is possible to stop just about anything. Education, check. Industrial progress, check. Love marriages, check. Power supply, double check. Actually, the only thing apart from terrorists that we haven’t been able to stop is the rapidly multiplying population of rabbits that inhabit this country. I’m talking about the 17 crore-something (and counting) muhib-e-watan Pakistani mules that wake up every morning and go to work

Imran Khan

Killing Karachi

For the past few years, the good people of Karachi have been hunted down by the dozens and that too on a regular basis. The lines are mostly drawn on the basis of ethnicity; till July during this year the break up of the victims of these killings show that, 48% of them were Pashtuns, while 33% were Urdu-speakers. A joint investigative report of Sindh Police, Special Branch, IB, ISI, Rangers and the Interior Ministry, that came out in May this year, blames political parties for this

Averting a political precipice

The Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict last Thursday on one provision of the controversial 18th Amendment may have helped the government to return for the time being from the brink of the rock but not from the precipice of a larger politico-judicial crisis over the still unimplemented verdict of the apex court on the notorious NRO.
The 17-member full bench of the Supreme Court has referred Article 175-A back to the parliament for a review of the new procedure of appointing judges

Dengue again

Though no one can suffer the symptoms of the Dengue virus more than the hapless victims themselves, the Punjab government is beginning to feel the heat in the form of criticism of its inability to deal with the fever. Why specifically the Punjab government? Because the said mosquitoes have zeroed in on the province with more effervescence than the People’s Party. But it gets even worse. Generally accused of focusing all his energies onto the provincial capital rather than the rest of

Another shrine

The attack on the shrine of Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar, one of the most revered saints and poets of Punjab, could only have been conceived and carried out by terrorists having no sense of values, culture or history. The terrorists ascribe to an interpretation on Islam that is rejected by most Pakistanis. Their ideology is based on hatred while the teachings of the Sufi poets are imbued with love for man irrespective of his religion, race or ethnicity. This is what leads the extremists

Longing for cricket

I have pangs of pain in my heart as I see the Pakistan team departing for Abu Dhabi for a “home series” against South Africa. It may sound insensitive, but I think cricket has been one of the biggest casualties of the security situation in Pakistan.
Cricket is much more than a national passion for Pakistan. Its socio-cultural importance is huge. Pakistan was in the midst of despair when we won the T-20 World Cup and the impact on the national mood was amazing.
The fact

The pros vs the cons

I would like to write about the undomesticated behaviour of media. Especially the electronic media. Private channels have emerged like mushrooms in Pakistan.
Some of them are working without any rules and regulations. They have the policy to criticise every body in the country, without any norm, respect and values. They are violating the privacy of the people which is the fundamental right of every citizen.
The plea of media is that they telecast the facts of the life.

Letter to Mr. President

I am senior citizen and have been observing the working of political parties and would like to inform you that the people of Pakistan are not interested in political jugglery they demand eradication of corruption, poverty, unemployment, crime, nepotism, favoritism cronyism, extremism and terrorism.
The people of Pakistan demand rule of law, safety of their life’s and property, right man for the right job on merits, uniform standard of education for all children of Pakistan

Price of electricity

Even though there has been a letdown in the load-shedding, the price of electricity has climbed to an unprecedented level. The government should at least try to provide some relief to the public who are already suffering from inflation. This price hike may be related to the RPP schemes which are rumoured to make a lot of leeway for illegal kickbacks and personal gains. A lot of technical experts have been saying that Pakistan has a lot of sources to reign in for the efficient and

The Bangladesh Model

A lot of op-eds in the papers these days make a big deal of what they call the Bangladesh Model of development. The fact that a country that was ravaged by our inequitable treatment is now more developed and well-respected than us is a hard pill to swallow for some of these people. But what irks me more are prima facie comparisons between Pakistan and Bangladesh which ignore the fact that both countries exist in different historical contexts and the ground realities are different.

On unequal footing

We have been pushing the US on various forums to sign a nuclear deal with us along the patterns of the deal that it has signed with India. It could be a civilian deal with no military implications. Pakistan is facing one of the worst energy crises in the world right now. Alternate energy solution like nuclear power would go a long way in helping Pakistan solve its energy needs. Pakistan has done enough for the US to be treated with more respect. The US should cede to Pakistani demands

Local Government elections

One of the many problems that have plagued Pakistan since its inception is the lack of consistency in government policy. So, when a government changes, the new government generally throws the baby out with the bathwater i.e. they discontinue both the good and the bad policies of the previous government. The Local Bodies was a good idea of the Musharraf government for the devolution of power. It suffered from a lack of implementation and became a victim of the lackluster bureaucratic

From one hand to the next

US aid is never unconditional. The strings attached often outweigh the benefits of the package itself. I am saying this with reference to the news item that the US is now selling us F-16’s at an inflated price. What’s the use of giving us 2 billion dollars if those dollars will just shift hands internally in the US i.e. go from the government to the arms’ producers. Wouldn’t it be better that the US should just dispense off the pomp and show of giving us “aid” and just give us a

Waqqas Mir

Treading new ground

The Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan in a most historic ruling on 21st October, 2010 has sent the newly incorporated Article 175-A of the Constitution back to the Parliament to ‘proceed and re-examine the matter in terms of the observations’ in the Order. The reactions to this have been mixed; some are celebrating while the others are either relieved or scratching their heads. The Order ‘reads in’ certain bits and lists suggested amendments to this Article. The question being

Kamran Rehmat

The Jolie effect

Getting wobbly in the knees when meeting a beautiful woman may be some sort of a national vulnerability but acting funny before a global celebrity in the highest echelons of power, where the fare is ever so likely to find its way to a fifth column, betrays poor judgment, if anything.
Almost every time Tomb Raider flies into Pakistan, she makes pygmies out of Tarzans from the country’s political jungles…err offices, who bend over backwards to please her – for their gloss

Basharat Hussain Qizilbash

Traditions of tolerance

During the past few months, the Punjab has been projected as another region of religious militancy in Pakistan by the Western governments and their mainstream media. A number of terror attacks including the one on the shrine of Hazrat Ali Hajveri, commonly known as ‘Data Ganj Baksh’ – the most influential eleventh century sufi – is quoted as an example of this disturbing trend in the province. Moreover, the attacks on the shia religious procession in Lahore are also cited to reinforce