Bloodshed and chaos

Suicide Bomber Hits Pakistani Police Station

By ISMAIL KHAN and SALMAN MASOOD

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into a police station in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing 19 people and injuring at least 46, according to officials and local news outlets. Among the dead were nine police officers, eight civilians and two children, local and provincial authorities said. …

Read more >> New York Times

Altaf Hussain: Out of touch, out of date

MQM cadres are having a tough time defending their leader’s rants, as they are in touch and engaged with the reality that Pakistan is moving towards democracy, not dictatorship. Altaf Hussain is out of touch and out of date and arguably overtaken by history.

EDITORIAL: Out of touch, out of date

Altaf Hussain needs a history lesson before he makes suspect calls for ‘revolution’ led by ‘patriotic’ military generals. It seems that there are ulterior motives disguised as the desire for cleansing corruption. History is replete with examples of revolutions, which by no means are a dinner party, as Mr Hussain is making it sound. Revolution is an act, usually violent, whereby an oppressed class or a set of classes overthrows an oppressive ruling class or a set of classes and a new order is established. In such conflicts, there is no mercy. The victors will ruthlessly crush the other side.

Revolutions of ancient times, the Middle Ages and the modern era were defined by their protagonists. These three epochs coincided roughly with slave-owning societies, feudalism and the emergence of capitalism. In ancient Rome, the slave revolt led by Spartacus, which nearly overthrew the Roman Empire, was a reflection of its time. The slaves rose against the so-called democracy of the rich and powerful, which Rome had acquired as a legacy from Greece, but which excluded slaves. It did not succeed and was brutally crushed.

In the Middle Ages, there were changes that paved the way for the Enlightenment and the Renaissance, which ushered in the modern era. Magna Carta, one of the earliest documents considered the mother of democracy in modern times, was in fact a very limited document, given the times in which it was authored. It reflected the conflict between the nobility and the monarchy. The nobility wanted to wrest absolute powers from the monarchy and transfer them to a representative body called parliament, thus circumscribing the monarch’s powers. It led the way for major changes later on, reflected in the English Revolution of the 17th century, which overthrew the monarchy. A constitutional monarchy was restored after the death of Cromwell, creating the space for parliamentary democracy to incrementally flourish and define the limitations, right and obligations of a constitutional monarchy.

The most prominent example of that era, and the one that Altaf Hussain used, is that of the French Revolution in the 18th century. It overthrew monarchy, crushed feudalism and redistributed land among the peasants. The citizen’s power became supreme, opening the way to a modern nation state and democracy. France’s subsequent tilt towards autocracy was overtaken by proletarian revolts throughout Europe in the mid-19th century. Although these revolts were suppressed, they left a deep imprint. From then on, in Europe at least, autocracy was in retreat and democracy was advancing incrementally, with the exception perhaps of Prussia and Russia. …

Read more >> Daily Times

Medical disorder or black magic?

By Amar Guriro

KARACHI: The doctors and professors of a medical institute in Karachi are struggling to understand the reasons behind a mysterious case in which seven members of a family, hailing from Tharparkar district, claim that metallic needles have penetrated their body parts for the last 14 years.

The ill-fated family members feel a sudden piercing feeling in certain organs, after which mysterious needles can be pushed out of the flesh. They have also brought with them hundreds of needles in matchboxes, while x-ray images have revealed that several needles were still lodged inside their bodies. …

Read more >> Daily Times

Punjab Govt. falsfully increased its losses by 331% in new report

Punjab’s losses increased 331pc in new FFC report

By Kalbe Ali

ISLAMABAD, Sept 5: A report of the Federal Flood Commission released on Sept 1 shows a surprising increase of 331 per cent in the number of flood-affected people in Punjab — rising to 8.20 million from 1.90 million mentioned in a report released in August.

Despite the big increase in the number of affected people, the number of affected villages and the acreage of affected area remain the same, 3,132 villages and 2.63 million acres.

The number of damaged houses is also the same in the August and September reports. Even the number of the injured and the dead is the same — 350 injured and 103 dead.

An official of the Ministry of Water and Power said the figures were compiled by the FFC after they had been released by the provinces.

A secondary survey undertaken in Punjab by the Board of Revenue is being directly monitored by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

According to sources in the BOR, reports suggest that the number of villages hit by the flood in Punjab is 2,100 compared to the initial estimate of 3,132.

The FFC’s estimates have been rejected by Sindh Minister for Culture Sassui Palejo, who is a member of flood monitoring committee formed by the Sindh chief minister.

She said concerns over FFC’s figures relating to Punjab had been highlighted at a meeting with Prime Minister Gilani and President Zaradari in Karachi on Sunday.

“We have rejected these estimates,” she said while talking to Dawn. “The situation is still very serious in Sindh as the receding water is posing threat to a number of areas.”

She said the number of displaced people in Thatta was increasing with each passing hour. …

Read more >> DAWN