MQM chief’s remarks

A decade ago, Gen Musharraf promised many of the same things generals invariably promise, but delivered on none. The MQM would know this better than most because it had a seat at the table of power under Gen Musharraf.

Viewed from any angle, the comments made on Sunday by MQM chief Altaf Hussain are deeply disturbing. Usually, the MQM never tires of pointing out its secular, democratic credentials at every turn, positioning itself as the last line of defence against religious extremists and at the vanguard of the fight against a landed aristocracy that exercises outsized influence over the national political set-up.

Read more >> Dawn Editorial

Israel has ‘eight days’ to hit Iran nuclear site

WASHINGTON: Israel has “eight days” to launch a military strike against Iran’s Bushehr nuclear facility and stop Tehran from acquiring a functioning atomic plant, a former US envoy to the UN has said.

Iran is to bring online its first nuclear power reactor, built with Russia’s help, on August 21, when a shipment of nuclear fuel will be loaded into the plant’s core.

At that point, John Bolton warned Monday, it will be too late for Israel to launch a military strike against the facility because any attack would spread radiation and affect Iranian civilians.

“Once that uranium, once those fuel rods are very close to the reactor, certainly once they’re in the reactor, attacking it means a release of radiation, no question about it,” Bolton told Fox Business Network.

“So if Israel is going to do anything against Bushehr it has to move in the next eight days.”

Read more >> DAWN

Pakistan – Curfew in Gilgit

Protester killed in Gilgit clash

One person has been killed and several injured in clashes between protesters and security forces on the outskirts of the northern Pakistani city of Gilgit.

An indefinite curfew in the city and in other parts of the country’s northern areas remains in force.

There was widespread violence in the town of Hunza when the authorities tried to stop Shia from demonstrating. …

Read more >> BBC News

Lack of common societal goals – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Sometimes it feels like Pakistan is beyond repair. Pakistan’s ruling elite is neither capable nor willing to take the Chinese or the western routes. But societies have a self-preservation instinct that can overwhelm present dysfunctional ideologies or identities. However, no one knows if Pakistan’s map will change or remain the same in this painful process.

Instead of being a melting pot, Pakistani society is more like a sieve through which unity and tolerance travel before reaching the people. India, despite having competent institutions, has struggled to become a melting pot as well. As Pakistan’s sieve filters out nationalism and unity, what reaches the public is a schizophrenic identity with various divisive paths — much like India.

Pakistan has not been a pot in which different ethnic, racial or caste groups submerged to give birth to a single national identity or collective societal consciousness. Instead, it has functioned as a sieve with several filtering holes of class, caste, ethnicity, linguistic grouping, tribal allegiances, etc. A poisonous mix of divisive identities comes out of the sieve. Then, another extra-fine filter of religion is put in, making the toxic mix into a lethal killer of collective societal thinking.

Continue reading Lack of common societal goals – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Promotion of Martial Law? Are they paid to do this or are they just stupid?

Promotion of Martial Law?

by Omar Ali

There is a well-coordinated campaign in Pakistan to get rid of “.. politicians” and bring back the holy army, with its power to “clean up society” once and for all. Never mind that they have tried it at least 4 times before, for up to 11 years at a time, and each time their sacred intervention has left the country MORE corrupt and more violent and its institutions more degenerate. I only have access to … TV channel, and all I see is shameless promotion of the army as if it is not an arm of the government, but an independent opposition party which is doing good work the govt wont do! This is beyond ridiculous, but its promoted non-stop by every newscast and anchor of that particular TV channel. One has to question: Are they paid to do this or are they just stupid?

And of course, the various ISI-friendly politicians have started coming out of the woodwork to prepare the ground for another round of military rule. Mushahid Hussain and Durrani and every other sorry piece of work is on TV, claiming to represent the will of the people as they beg for the army to come and clean house.

It is possible that at this time, they are not actually taking over, but they are just using this campaign as a convenient opportunity to further undermine civilian rule, so that the worthless prime minister can grovel even lower before the army chief and the army can collect credit for doing its job (like flood relief) while getting none of the blame.

Whatever the case, … TV channel’s shameless promotion of this “good army versus bad politicians” framework should be condemned.

Courtesy: — CRDP, August 24, 2010

Sindh – The floods have brought us together

Devastation in Sindh

Floods and relief efforts

by Dr Javaid Laghari

I would also like to credit MQM efforts in Karachi that they too have contributed a lot to collect goods and sent them to upper Sindh. The bunds at Hyderabad owe a lot to the efforts of over 1000 of their workers (of course in addition to the large sindhi population, which goes without saying) to strengthen them despite over 900,000 cusecs flowing since last 2 days.

The recent floods have been the worst natural catastrophe to hit Pakistan in recent history. It is estimated that over 1500 have lost their lives, with over 20 million directly affected by the floods. Millions of acres of agriculture land, livestock and cattle, roads, bridges, property, and personal goods have been lost or destroyed. The loss is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

Continue reading Sindh – The floods have brought us together