The Great Game

The ongoing Great Game Part II continues in the region amidst deceptions, double dealings and fierce fighting. This time the protagonists have changed with the US replacing Britain and the Al-Qaeda-cum-Taliban taking over the part played earlier by czarist Russia. Byzantine moves made for maximum gains have led to mind boggling twists and turns. The talks being held with the Taliban were earlier opposed by the US but then suddenly Karzai was given a go ahead and Gen Petraeus claimed

White Lies

Style, they say, is the man or woman himself. Is it, as the PM Gilani family interprets it, running around to beauticians in motorcades, indulging in retail therapy with underpaid security personnel escorting bulging shopping bags to official cars and babysitting them all the way to the PM House? Can style be interpreted as building a Rs. two crore security wall around the Gilani haveli in Multan, billing it to an emaciated exchequer and then expecting the nation to be charmed by

So what next?

“Army that rules cannot fight” was the theme of my research article I wrote when I was attending Australian Staff Course in 1973. My sponsoring DS (Directing Staff) called me and asked me how I could dare write on such a subject knowing the environment in Pakistan. I said I was entitled to my views, and jokingly remarked that I was too far away from home and wont’ be reported. I went to the Pakistan Military Academy in 1959 and had seen how Ayub Khan usurped power and how he misused

Pay up

According to the Judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan the Ministry of Finance issued letter No.F.1(2)Reg 6/91-XVI dated: 03-01-2006 stating that the benefit of Special Additional Pension equal to the then amount of orderly Allowance of Rs. 800 per month would also be admissible w.e.f. 19-02-1991.
This was to be given to those officers who were not in receipt of the Orderly Allowance but were entitled to the privilege of Residence orderly before retirement.The Special

The return of Khan

Pakistani cricket has been a constant source of heartbreak and frustration for the cricket fans.But the fans of cricket were recently given some heartening news.
The bigwigs of the cirkcet administration and the players were reasonable enough to put their egos and hold and bring back Younus Khan for the betterment of the Pakistani team. The Pakistani cricket team has long been suffering from factionalism and lobbying.
The powerful players have no regard for the

The bigger issue

It looks like that for the last 3 years the whole administration of this country and institutions are fighting for their own survival. The high ups are bothered about the 18th amendment and Article 175. The majority of this country, the poor and deprived citizens have no interest in amendments. They want two squares of meals with respect and dignity. It is very clearly visible that nothing has done for the general public. People are living in miseries. Government has no control on

Tragedy of Errors

What can be a bigger tragedy for a nation, than the shocking realization, that their lives and properties are the least of priorities of their elected government. For five days, Karachi and its citizens were being butchered as if they were living in Rwanda facing brutality of the Hutu tribe, while their federal and provincial government was debating what to do.
No action was taken, not a single criminal was arrested, or killed by police or rangers, who stood by and watched,

Atop my soapbox

Only in Pakistan, the proceedings of the apex court are more intriguing and tortuous than a daytime soap opera. There are more twists and turns than one expects, but are there? I personally feel that the media coverage of the event is one that paints it in such a light.
The “analysts” and anchors discuss the ongoing events with breathless school-girl excitement whereas offering little in terms of substantive evaluation and critical analysis. While the electronic media boom in

The general abroad

The recently launched APML by the retired general in London is posing as the self-styled only option left for Pakistan. I do not see how and why Pervez Musharraf thinks that he can save Pakistan by being safely lodged in London. His pomp and show was restricted to the one drawing room in London where he held the launch of his party. While there is no bar on him entering politics, it remains to be seen how he can amass political capital while being AWOL from the country. His

Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Colonising our own people

The alienation in Balochistan has gone full circle. Every institution of the state, civil society organization and the entire mainstream media are increasingly losing credibility in the eyes of the Balochi people. There is no one in the province, not even the chief minister, governor or cabinet members, willing to defend the federation openly. A number of nationalist leaders have bidden good bye to parliament and the few who are left are on the defensive when inside Balochistan. The

Raoof Hasan

Landmark judgement

Except for a few specks of display of integrity, the history of the judiciary in Pakistan through its first 60 years leaves a woefully lot to be desired. Generally perceived to be captive of the so-called ‘Doctrine of Necessity’, the judiciary invariably capitulated before the dictates of the every despot who barged in clamouring to put the country right. All that changed when one Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry displayed the gumption to stand up to the incumbent dictator and refused to

Arif Nizami

On the media

Thanks to our 24/7 electronic media and the perennial punditry of it anchors, there is rarely a dull moment in Pakistani politics. An unconfirmed report on a Karachi based channel the other day about the intention of the government to sack the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, forced the Prime Minister to address the nation, in order to clear the air.
The very next day, judges of the apex court disposed of the case without a whimper despite the fact that the government had

Karachi Operation?

Official huffing-and-puffing when it comes to the Karachi killings aren’t taken seriously by anyone. After all, by now, the public knows the sequence of events by heart: target killings, all parties complain, MQM threatens to quit, Rehman Malik is called in for some firefighting, the fire doesn’t stop and burns itself out. Till next time. So what’s different this time? The O-word. The prospect of that-which-shall-not-be-named has not only riled up the city’s major political force

Tough love

It was by no means out of the ordinary for President Obama to drop in when a key meeting was in progress between National Security Advisor designate Tom Donilon and a core group of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, COAS, Finance Minister and ambassador. It is highly significant however that he reportedly stayed there for nearly an hour. He is reported to have expressed support for Pakistan’s democracy and also delivered a tough message regarding action against terrorists. Though he

Free for all

It’s no small change, 47 billion rupees. That’s the amount of loans that the central bank told the Supreme Court were written off in the past 12 years. This is not, of course, the complete list, which is said to be much larger. The list includes quite a number of who’s who amongst the country’s captains of commerce and industry.
Under the patron-pillage model of Pakistani politics, all governments are charitable towards their coteries (it does begin at home, after all). This can

Back to parliament

Those waiting for a spectacular confrontation between the Parliament and Supreme Court must have been disappointed by the apex court’s verdict on Thursday. The decision has been hailed by some and criticised by others. The Prime Minister says it has maintained the parliament’s prestige. Senior lawyers have commended the court for sending Article 175-A back for reconsideration to parliament instead of striking it down, thus averting a serious crisis. The critics maintain that the

Ejaz Haider

Toasting wisdom

The Supreme Court’s Oct 21 decision to return Article 175-A to parliament for review is good news. The article amended the procedure for appointing superior court judges.
But while the Chief Justice of Pakistan said in his remarks that the article “harmed judiciary’s freedom”, the SC chose not to strike it down. This speaks of a mature approach and must be lauded, given the fraught relations between the executive and the judiciary. Just days ago the two sides came close to the