The men on horseback – Dr Manzur Ejaz

… Neither Altaf Hussain is going to change nor the Military

We can appreciate the military’s flood relief work but if this disaster is partly man-made, the military has to take responsibility because it has been ruling the country most of the time

The Pakistani military’s help during these devastating floods is appropriate but not outstanding because people have complained about its delayed response. The military’s flood relief work is not exceptional because no other institution in any country has such a large and organised force that it can take care of a disaster of the scale where one-fifth of the population is affected. Even the US had to bring in army engineers during Hurricane Katrina. The only difference is that in democratic countries, the civilian chief executive orders the military to help, but in Pakistan the military’s work is projected as the performance of an opposition party doing a better job than the civilians.

Continue reading The men on horseback – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Rural Sindh is the most backward area in all of Asia

A New Deal in Pakistan – By William Dalrymple

The province of Sindh in southern Pakistan is a rural region of dusty mudbrick villages, of white-domed blue-tiled Sufi shrines, and of salty desert scrublands broken, quite suddenly, by flood plains of wonderful fecundity. These thin, fertile belts of green—cotton fields, rice paddies, cane breaks, and miles of checkerboard mango orchards—snake along the banks of the Indus River as it meanders its sluggish, silted, café-au-lait way through the plains of Pakistan down to the shores of the Arabian Sea.

Read more >> The New York Review of Books

Advocate General for Sindh calls for scrapping of Objectives Resolution

Sindh AG calls for scrapping of Objectives Resolution

“I would request the apex court to be very cautious for the sake of the future generation while deciding these petitions,” said Sindh’s Advocate General Yousuf Leghari to the Supreme Court.

ISLAMABAD: Sindh’s Advocate General Yousuf Leghari surprised the Supreme Court bench hearing challenges to the 18th Amendment in the Constitution on Monday when he said he was against the inclusion of the Objectives Resolution in the 1973 Constitution because it had been made the preamble to the constitution by rightists during the period of a military dictator.

The Objectives Resolution (OR) was passed by the First Constituent Assembly in March 12, 1949, after it was proposed by then prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan.

It envisages that the constitution of Pakistan will be democratic and based on the fundamental laws of Islam.

The resolution was inserted as the substantive part of the constitution through the Eighth Amendment when Gen Ziaul Haq was in power.

In a brief but bold stance taken before the court, the AG Sindh called for deleting the Objectives Resolutions from the constitution, saying it had been included in the constitution in a dubious manner because it was very difficult to maintain the alleged hegemony of a particular province, especially in the presence of the then East Pakistan which was in majority at that time.

He severely criticised the basic structure theory and said that the petitioners who had challenged the 18th Amendment and relied on the theory were trying for the revival of the law of necessity under which the Supreme Court had always validated unconstitutional steps taken by military dictators. “Federalism is the only basic structure of the constitution,” he emphasised. He alleged that the Supreme Court had constituted the 17-judge bench only to hand down a law which would be very difficult to be overruled in future.

“Therefore I would request the apex court to be very cautious for the sake of the future generation while deciding these petitions,” Mr Leghari said.

He was of the view that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain these challenges under its jurisdiction on the enforcement of the fundamental rights because not a mala fide act by the parliament to amend the Constitution and adopt the 18th Amendment.

Read more >> DAWN

‘Pakistan—Marvelous people, dangerous confusions’ – By Shiraz Paracha

… While waiting for my turn, I heard the people around me talking about threats to Islam and how bad the Pakistani rulers were. Most people in the waiting area of the hospital had common opinions. They saw the world in black and white.

For the last 10 years, I visit Pakistan every few months. During each visit, I see that more and more of my friends and relatives have grown beards in a race to become ‘good Muslims’. Children are named after Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The number of mosques and visits to mosques has increased tremendously in the past two decades. Young people are joining preaching tours of the Tabligi Jamat. There is a fear that Islam is in danger. Most ordinary people believe in a past that is glorified in school textbooks as well as in the media. People dream of an ideal Islamic society where all their problems will be resolved. Nevertheless, everyone appears to have his or her own interpretation of such Islamic society.

Religious zeal has been rising in Pakistan since the 1980s when the country was under a US-backed military dictatorship …

To read full article >> criticalppp

Devastating Pakistan floods finally heading to sea

By ASHRAF KHAN, Associated Press Writer

KARACHI, Pakistan – Floodwaters that have devastated Pakistan for five weeks headed to the Arabian Sea on Tuesday after swallowing two final towns, but the challenges of delivering emergency aid to 8 million people remained.

The floods have moved down from the mountainous northwest, submerging or affecting almost one-fifth of the country at their peak. Waters have begun to recede in the north and in the eastern province of Punjab, but they have been submerging towns in southern Sindh province close to the Indus River over the last 10 days.

The scale of the disaster has raised concerns about the stability of nuclear-armed Pakistan, which is already reeling from al-Qaida and Taliban violence and massive economic woes.

Read more >> YahooNews