Peace in Afghanistan

The grandly named High Peace Council which is due from Kabul today hasn’t really achieved much since it was formed last October. That is but understandable. What’s a year of attempts at peace in the face of a decade-long insurgency? But it does appear that the said council won’t be making much of a headway in the near future either.
Led as it might be by former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, the council simply isn’t empowered enough to make much headway. Some, however,

Dr Faisal Bari

What education reforms?

Hardly anyone in Pakistan would disagree that: a) getting education right to ensure quality education for all children in Pakistan is a very important goal for our national survival and future, b) education is currently in a mess and needs major reforms, and c) this should have priority for our government.
The current governments – federal and provincial – have been in power for almost three years. If these governments wanted to do something in education sector, before their

Umair Javed

A crisis of representation

‘At a certain point in their historical lives, social classes become detached from their traditional parties. In other words, the traditional parties in that particular organisational form, with the particular men who constitute, represent and lead them, are no longer recognised by that class (or fraction of a class) as its expression. When such crises occur, the immediate situation becomes delicate and congerous, because the field is open for violent solutions…’ (State and Civil

Imran Khan

Our unsung heroes

By claiming responsibility for lashings, public beheadings and suicide bombings, the Taliban have declared themselves villains of the caliber that cannot be found even in the goriest of movies. But like anywhere else, the emergence of these villains has also prompted the rise of heroes.
Take for instance the case of Liaqat Ali Khan, of the Dagai village of Matta in Swat. On October 17, 2008, Liaqat received an unexpected guest at his house; the guest was Zhang Guo a Chinese

Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi

Divorce & other adventures

As the PPP government took power after the February 2008 elections, the people of Pakistan were promised many things. Along with far-fetched notions such as cleaner schools, better-funded public toilets and tax cuts for alcoholics, the promises included an end to lota-cracy, horse-trading and parliamentary spot-fixing. But with the world and many Pakistani children watching, Messrs Rizvi and Sabzwari announced their unhappy divorce from BB ki hukoomat. As you can no doubt imagine, the

Increase in fuel prices

It is with reference to your editorial titled ‘Petrol Bomb’ and other unfair labels. Being reader of your esteemed paper I am badly jolted by your views expressed in your editorial supporting the government for its recent increase in petrol prices. If subsidies are not the proper way to control runaway inflation in the country, then the government cowering (using your terminology in your editorial titled ‘Blasphemy backtrack’) to impose agriculture income tax on rich feudals, income

Police attitude

Some of the people are not aware of their rights and thus face problems when a policeman or any other law enforcer tries to harass them.
Misbehaviour by police is intolerable. However, due to the feudal system that is still prevalent in most parts of the country, the police force has always remained under political influence. As a result they try to consider themselves as above the law. Being a public servant, you can tell a policeman that he should behave appropriately. In case

High moral values

Recently, there has been a news report that an ailing son of a militant has died in a jail at Peshawar. He was the son of Dawlat Shah, a member of Lashkar-e-Islam. It was further reported that the boy was of 16 years, had no charges of terrorism against him and was only being held in connection with his father. He was suffering from kidney disease and died due to non-availability of treatment facilities, even the request by his family to release him were rejected.
I want to

Hindus in Balochistan

There are a considerable number of Hindus living in Balochistan. They are not only living there for a century now but are totally incorporated in the tribal system. Apart from this fact, minorities create diversity in a society and help to ward off extremist forces by creating interfaith harmony.
However, the kidnappers and extortionists are also targeting Hindus along with other people. State law provides protection to the minorities in Pakistan but somehow the implementation is

Indian arms built-up

In Pakistan-India context, the equation rests at 100 to 150 nuclear warheads of mixed nature. Both are in state of stalemating each other as far as the use is concerned, thereby placing an extremely capable deterrence against each other. Grounds other than nuclear are not so equal playing fields.
India, with its huge defence budget and almost negligible operational liabilities as compared to Pakistan, is pursuing a massive modernisation and rearming programme with force

Threat of terrorism

The 31st National Games, which have been successfully held in Peshawar, has shown the improving law and order situation in the country and especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These games and many other sporting events have been previously cancelled or postponed due to the spike in terrorist activities in the country. Previously, the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore had greatly tainted Pakistan’s image. It is hoped that with the successful conclusion of the weeklong event, the

HRM in an organisation

Human resource management is the term or name of the function within an organisation charged with the overall responsibility for implementing strategies and policies relating to the management of individuals. When any organisation starts to visionize their business, their first priority is to hire competent work force, i.e., right person for the right job. After this, all other tangible and intangible resources are decided.
HR can improve the level of management, be helpful in

Sino-Pak boosting ties

Pakistan and China set a new swiftness of nurturing their mutually valuable six decades long relations by taking more concrete steps to put their economy, trade and strategic cooperation on a new traction to bring prosperity for both the countries. Boosting trade and investment remained the main focus of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit. The two inked several deals in energy and defence sectors worth billions of dollars. Wen said, “Strengthening and promoting strategic,

A dead end

With the MQM parting ways with the ruling majority party PPP, the government has sure been forced into a dead end. It has no other option but to trust its archrival PML(N) to stay quiet if it has to ride this tide of political instability. It is ironic to see them being so hapless nowadays. Only a day or two ago, the government responded that they were hapless in increasing the oil prices.

Waqqas Mir

Hope yet – Of kind strangers and new friends

‘You are asking for too many of those’, said yet another bearded maulvi to my good friend who is a criminal law practitioner; let us call him Mr. Crim Barrister. Taking another deep breath the maulvi said, ‘I want to help you but this stuff is in high demand close to New Year’s Eve. You might have to pay extra’. Mr. Crim Barrister is a fine gentleman of mostly Punjabi, except for some dubious but highly powerful Sindhi, family connections.
That day just before New Year’s Eve he

Kamran Rehmat

Person of the year – Naseem symbolises the brave Pakistani woman

Annointing the ‘person of the year’ is a ritual the media partakes with fanfare abroad. Little of it is done this side of the Indus, and even then a mundane pick from the political spectrum is the refrain. We could do with the pickings more often and it would be infinitely, better if a real opinion poll led the way. In the absence of such credible process, I reckon one will have to do with personal choice(s) – hopefully, not lacking in substance.
For Pakistan, the year just gone

Regional Press – In a bind

When the federal government had agreed to bring changes in the economic system on the asking of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), only then had the IMF had approved a loan of $ 11.30 billion, which was to be received by the federal government in different installments. The conditions of the IMF’s loan directly result in price hike of the services and utilities being provided by the government such as energy, fuel etc. besides the imported goods made available to the masses