So called “Free media” of Pakistan!

by Iqbal Tareen

So called “Free media” in Pakistan is still in its infancy. Members and owners of the Pakistani media carry huge burden of predisposed opinions and ideas about various political issues and political parties. High percentage of owners and journalists alike seem to muscle their power to pursue personal, political and business objectives.

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The limited options of President Zardari – By Shaheen Sehbai

Courtesy: The News

WASHINGTON: If the past is any guide, as we now know that all previous political upheavals were carried out according to the secret scripts written by key players of our omnipotent establishment, the latest political developments tell us that the noose is tightening around our president and he has to decide quickly which option he has to exercise so that he can survive politically, financially and probably even physically.

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Gilgit Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA) Leaders Detained before Election in Gilgit

GBDA Leaders Detained before Election in Gilgit

Brussels : 31st Oct. 2009 – Detention of hundred GBDA Leaders and workers exposed fraud Elections of Pakistan. The so-called election after announcement of a fraud package has been exposed. Top leaders of Gilgit Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA) have been detained by regime in Gilgit today. Wajahat Hassan Khan Chairman APNA and Engineer Amanullah Khan Chairman GBDA along with all the 3 candidates of Gilgit constituency have been arrested by Police on the direction of Pakistan security forces today on 31st. Oct. at the occasion when they announced public gathering tomorrow on 1st. Nov against the illegal occupation.

The Gilgit Police have arrested Engeer Amanullah Khan Chairman GBDA, Burhanullah General Secretary, Shahid Hussain GBDA candidate for LA 1 Gilgit 1 constituency, Adv. Mohammad Farooq. GBDA candidate for LA2 Gilgit 2 Constituency, Afsar Jan GBDA candidate for LA 3 Gilgit 3 constituency, Adv. Ehsan Ali former President of Gilgit Baltistan Bar Council, Wajahat Hassan Khan Ex Member of Gilgit Baltistan Council and Col. (Retired) Nadir Hassan, Mohammad Javed former member of District Council and Akbar. Dozens of Balawaristan National Students Organization (BNSO) and Karakorum Students Organization (KSO) members havealso been detained by Gilgit Police when they start to organize public gathering.

This is the only indigenous nationalist Political Alliance (mainly consists BNF and KNM) of this disputed region which is under Pakistan occupation, has been barred in taking part in election process, by giving all the facilities with huge funds to the Pakistani parties, who are taking part in the coming elections on 12 Nov. 2009. Though according to UNCIP Pakistan has to withdraw its forces and civilians, but in practice forces and its intelligence agencies have been suppressing the whole indigenous population of Gilgit, Baltistan. The 2 million indigenous people are not allowed to raise their voices by political process and they don’t have access to Justice, Education and economical progress instead of huge natural resources. The regime does not allow GBDA to hold election rallies and public gatherings, which is the clear indication of unfair and partial elections in the coming days, where GBDA is contesting Elections instead of not endorsing elections under occupation.

We condemn of this act of occupying regime and we are going to tell the international community that government and its behind hidden and actual government (Security Forces) has decided to elect all the Pakistani backed candidates including PPP ; PML, JUI, JI and MQM. The MQM has been sent to this disputed region by primer spy agency first time with huge funds and other facilities, while the government is backing PPP. In such situation we don’t have trust in the elections.

Abdul Hamid Khan

Chairman, Balawaristan National Front (BNF)

November 02, 2009

Haider Nizamani traces history of Pakistan’s compromised sovereignty dating back to the country’s first prime minister

Haider Nizamani

Life before Kerry-Lugar —Haider Nizamani

Courtesy: Daily Times, November 2, 2009

Popular sentiment has always been wary of American influence in Pakistan. Successive governments while framing their relations with the US have tried to placate public mood by invoking notions such as ‘augmenting national defence’ to accepting the ground realities of power politics.

Why are TV pundits and commentators in the print media so worked up about President Asif Zardari allegedly throwing the country in America’s lap? President Zardari stands accused in this media trial of selling out to the United States and compromising national security by accepting the $1.5 billion a year US aid package popularly known as the Kerry-Lugar Bill. Before judging President Zardari, let us look at the last sixty years and see if he is any different from earlier rulers of Pakistan.

Zardari and his team have much in common with their predecessors when it comes to leaning on American crutches instead of hanging on to the notion of national sovereignty. In fact, this behaviour dates all way the back to Liaquat Ali Khan, the country’s first prime minister.

Ayesha Jalal, in her meticulously researched book The State of Martial Rule, writes that Pakistan requested a $2 billion loan from the US in October 1947, and Pakistani officials “admitted that the new state’s internal political situation depended upon its ties with Britain and the US.” It was the Americans who turned down Pakistan’s request.

“If your country will guarantee our territorial integrity, I will not keep my army at all.” These are not words of Asif Zardari but of Liaquat Ali Khan, speaking in response to an American journalist’s question in Washington DC in 1950. Pakistan was so far down on the priority list of the Americans that they didn’t seriously entertain our first prime minister’s offer to disband the military.

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PAKISTAN: Reconstruct or perish

by Dr. Mubashir Hasan, former finance minister of Pakistan

Courtesy: Daily Times

Reconstruct or perish, the choice before the ruling elites of Pakistan is clear. They have worked the country into a state of turmoil; call it an incipient civil war or a general uprising. The forces against what is left of the governing capacity are lawless, destructive, cruel and unorganised, yet they are powerful and aggressive, much too strong to be resisted by the present set up of the state which is decayed and predatory, with links abroad, and not truly national.

The administrative structure, the mainstay of the state, has fallen apart. The police, normally, the protector of life and property of citizens is itself in dire need of protection. The higher judiciary with its newly acquired independence also cannot give its best without an effective administrative machine. The top echelons of the political government have little credibility. The armed forces, the protectors of internal and external security, are under attack from within.

The breakdown of public services such as electricity, water supplies and railways, and the non-availability of essential goods has undermined the authority of the state. The looters and grabbers among the government and the people are having a field day. Money and guns are the principal currencies of social intercourse. The social contract is in tatters. The religious and national antagonisms, the hatred for the United States as a patron of the state, and the conflict between haves and have-nots, feed the turmoil.

While there is no dearth of concerned citizens, the ruling elites of Pakistan, a combine of civil and military services and their feudal, industrial and trading associates, held tightly in the clutches of a self-serving network of laws and rules, are in a state of shock and paralysis. The newspapers and TV talk shows are full of peripheral narratives and debates. Little guidance is available from intellectuals and historians.

Should large-scale anarchy break out, its duration cannot be predicted. Too many variables — tangible and intangible — are involved; however, the result is certain. The present system of governance along with its ruling elite are sure to be swept away to be replaced by a dispensation more oppressive and cruel, with the potential of set the entire region on fire.

The state of Pakistan needs to be reconstructed.

Now, a state is nothing but an instrument of coercion, an organisation of armed men of police and military along with magistrates, prisons, tax collectors and secret service. In order to be strong and durable, the state has to have full support of its citizens and that is exactly what the state of Pakistan has increasingly lacked during the last sixty-two years to reach is present perilous condition.

The irony of the current foreboding situation is that Pakistan is not a poor country; the rulers are rich and predatory, only the state is poor. For decades the country has been a net exporter of capital worth billions of dollars annually. Pakistan is not a weak country. With the support of its people it can hold its own against mighty military powers. Pakistan is not a small country. More than 160 million people with exceptionally large agricultural and pastoral areas are assets few countries possess. But the alarm bells are ringing loud and clear.

The choice before the ruling elite is stark: hand over power to a genuine democratic system of governance. Simply stated: hand over power to the people on the pattern of developed democratic countries, such as the United States, Canada and others.

In a new dispensation, the citizens must exercise power over themselves and for themselves. Big government should give way to small government. What the people collectively can decide and implement at a smaller level should not be decided and implemented by the body of an area of larger population.

The provinces should be enabled to decide what powers and authority they would like to cede to a new federal authority. In order to be truly sovereign Pakistan must be transformed into a state of all the peoples and all the nations.

There should be three levels of government — citizens’, provincial and federal — made up of councils and assemblies elected by the people at each of these levels to exercise political, social and economic power as agreed to in a revised constitutional compact.

The citizens’ government at the level of the village or cluster of villages or tribes should have the jurisdiction and authority for the protection of persons and property, the management of local policing and the setting up of citizen courts with juries for enforcing criminal law.

The citizens’ government at the level of tehsil and taluka should have its own administration to maintain land records and should adjudicate on questions such as those presently dealt with by the revenue officials of tehsils and talukas. It will also have its own civil courts. The citizens’ governments at the district and city level should perform both tax-levying and internal executive functions on matters prescribed in the constitution.

The expenditure of the citizens’ governments should be met from the revenues collected by the provincial tax-collecting apparatus and directly credited to the account of each district, tehsil, taluka, village and cluster of villages. The revenues of the poorest councils may receive a subsidy from the provincial government. The provinces should exercise power over all matters not specified in the jurisdiction of the citizens’ and federal governments. The government of the province should conduct inter-provincial relations and relations with the federal government.

The guarantee for the emergence of a sovereign Pakistan also lies in erasing the perception of being a client state of foreign powers. The US, because of its military involvement in Afghanistan needs Pakistan’s help and cooperation as never before. However, the bulk of Pakistanis are far from enamoured by the US. In order to be friendly and win cooperation of the people of Pakistan, a radical change of course is required on the part of the United States.

Pakistan should establish healthy relations with the countries of south and southwest Asia. There exists a massive commonality in the economic and strategic interests of Pakistan and the countries of the region, including Turkey, which can form the basis of very close cooperation.

Pakistan: What to do about religious fundamentalism?

By Farooq Tariq, Lahore

Courtesy: Links Internatioal

Let’s deal with the ISI and the Pakistan military and let’s go recruit these mujahideen. Here is a very strong argument which is… it wasn’t a bad investment to end the Soviet Union but let’s be careful with what we sow… because we will harvest.” – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 23, 2009.

October 28, 2009 — Once again Pakistan has become the focus of world attention. Every day there is news of the latest suicide attack or military operation, with killings, injuries and the displacing of communities. Recently schools were ordered closed for more than a week. Even children talk about death and suicide attacks.

With more than 125 police checkpoints in Islamabad, it has become a fortress city. Lahore and other large cities are suffering the same fate: there are police road blockades everywhere. After each terrorist attack authorities issue another security high alert and set up additional barriers. How ironic that, until recently, officials and the media described these “terrorists” as Mujahideen fighting for an Islamic world.

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The limitless exodus of people in Sindh is creating problems for natives

KARACHI – Sindh : Impact of migration on Sindh discussed

Courtesy: Daily Dawn, Sunday, 01 Nov, 2009

KARACHI, Oct 31: Mass migration in Sindh has led to a negative impact on its culture and language. This was the consensus reached at an interactive seminar on the “Impact of influx on Sindh”, organised by the Save Sindh Committee on Friday.

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By Kalavanti Raja

Sindh has been blessed with many saints and mystics. One of the most popular saints, in recent times, was Bhagat Kanwer Ram, born in a small village in upper Sindh in 1885 in a grocer’s family. Even as a child, he showed great talent for singing and his father put him up with a prominent holy man in the area – Saeen Satramdas. From this Guru, he imbibed spiritual teachings, a sense of genuine humility and love for a simple life.


Kashmir Conflict and Prospects of Peace in South Asia

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

An Analysis of the Geo Political Situation and Way Forward To a Permanent Solution and Lasting Peace in South Asia

By: Nayyar N Khan

Background and controversial claims:

The long awaiting Kashmir conflict is a mixture of theoretical and hypothetical assumptions miss communicated, supported and propagated by both Indian and Pakistani ruling elites since six decades. Pakistani ruling elites, feudal lords, establishment, civil and military bureaucracy has been propagating to own the entire State of Jammu Kashmir on the basis of so called TWO NATIONS theory due to the fact that majority of population of the State of Jammu Kashmir is the follower of Islam.

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