US envoy visits flood-hit areas

By: Amar Guriro
KARACHI: The newly appointed US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter visited the flood-hit areas of Sindh along with his wife, Marilyn Wyatt, on Saturday.
They were accompanied by US Consul General William Martin in Karachi, and a group of journalists. A plane carrying the ambassador and the rest departed from Karachi and reached Pano Akil Cantonment. Munter also visited a small village near the town, which is still surrounded by floodwater and distributed relief goods among the survivors. …
Read more : PakistanToday

Bridging The Communication Gap With PPP!

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

With time, disconnect with the Pakistan Peoples Party is widening. The more one listens to news and reads newspapers, the more one is convinced of the distending communication gap between the PPP and non-PPP camps. It seems both of them are talking to themselves only. Watching talk shows on TV channels, where representatives from both camps talk face to face, is an experience these days as they appear to be an exercise in monologic dialogue, without communicating a bit! …

Read more : asinstitute

Politics of land reform —Haider Nizamani

The agenda of redistribution of wealth and imposing ceilings on movable and immovable property would only appear credible when it includes all propertied classes. Failing that, the demand for selective redistribution would be hardly different from initiatives of selective accountability carried out by various regimes where the coercive arm of the law became a convenient way of political victimisation….

Read more : Daily Tiems

Poorest of Poor

Drowning humanitarian aid – by Christopher Stokes
Barely hidden beneath the surface of Pakistan’s worst flooding in living memory were the geopolitical stakes shaping both the justifications for official Western assistance and how aid was delivered to victims of the disaster. The perverse result may be a further restricting of the ability of humanitarian aid workers to assist the Pakistani population in the most volatile areas of the country.  ….
…..  The people I saw in the camps in the flood-devastated region of Sindh last week are the poorest of the poor. They had very little and lost everything. Their children are now filling our malnutrition treatment centers. They deserve to be helped ….
To read full article : ForeignPolicy

Khwaja Asif on Pakistan Army

Khwaja Asif shows Ainay Ka Doosra Rukh!

Khawaja Asif of PML-N revolts against Army Feudalism in a fascinating budget 2006/7 speech in National Assembly. Legislators shall respect such leaders so others can follow the EXAMPLE. The language of speech is urdu (Hindi).

YouTube Link- Link1, Link2

Going down: India more corrupt than year before

Iraq and Afghanistan today came near the top of a closely watched global list of countries perceived to be the most corrupt. India slipped from 84th position to 87th. Nearly three-quarters of the 178 countries in Transparency International’s annual survey scored on the sleazier end of the scale which ranges from zero (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (thought to have little corruption). India scored 3.3 in the corruption perception index, which ranks countries on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt).

Pakistan climbed up the corruption index from 42nd position in 2009 to 34th this year.  China was at 78th position indicating it’s less corrupt than India.

“The results indicate a serious corruption problem,” the Berlin-based non-governmental organisation said.

“Allowing corruption to continue is unacceptable; too many poor and vulnerable people continue to suffer its consequences around the world,” said TI’s president Huguette Labelle in a statement. …

Read more : Hindustantimes

Afzal Bangash: the Marxist maverick

By Dr Mohammad Taqi
“I count myself in nothing else so happy, As in a soul remembering my good friends” — Shakespeare in Richard II

Reminiscing about some of the stars of the secular galaxy of Pakistan and especially Pakhtunkhwa is needed not just due to a family association or personal, feel-good nostalgia. It is a must because the current generations – being fed a steady diet of Wahabiism – ought to get acquainted with the history of this land.
Where first the state-controlled, and now the state-indoctrinated media persons have systematically relegated both our saints and secularists to oblivion while projecting larger-than-life images of the obscurantist characters from Pakistan Studies and Islamic Studies textbooks, such recollections become an obligation. One such distinguished progressive was the leader of the Mazdoor Kissan Party (MKP), Muhammad Afzal Bangash who died on this day (October 28) in 1986. ….
Read more : Daily Times

Playing to the gallery – George Fulton

Nor is Talat alone in suffering from this forked tongue affliction. The Quilliam Foundation, a UK anti-extremist think tank, recently held a function in Islamabad. The event gathered together some of Pakistan’s media elite, youth activists, reformed terrorists and foreign journalists. One of the speakers at the event was Hamid Mir. I have it on good authority that Mr Mir was the voice of rational moderation that day. He talked unequivocally of his disgust with the intelligence agencies, he explicitly condemned the Taliban as anti-Islam forces and passionately argued — in English — that the only future for Pakistan was democracy and that it should be protected at all costs. Yes, I am talking about Hamid Mir, host of “Capital Talk”. Version 2.0 of Hamid Mir had transformed, becoming the personification of enlightened moderation. But then he was speaking in English and not to his usual Geo constituents.

Of course the reason that the Hamid Mirs and Talat Hussains of this world can get away with this duplicity is due to the linguistic Berlin Wall that the establishment likes to retain. Project an urbane, liberal image to the West with your (mostly) rational, logical and relatively free English media, and feed the wider public bile, conspiracy theories and irrational, simplistic nonsense in Urdu, thus ensuring that a suitably malleable, impressionable public can be whipped up when said establishment is fed up with the present government.

Do you remember when AQ Khan was forced to apologise to the nation for giving away nuclear secrets for personal gain? In what language did the disgraced scientist speak to his countrymen? English, of course. The establishment didn’t want the father of the bomb discredited as a money-grubbing chancer in the eyes of the public. Change the language and you change the audience. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Kashmir: Of Azadi, Geelani, and ‘beti’ Arundhati

by S. Arshad
Irrespective of whether they are booked for treason or sedition or not at the moment, the Kashmiri separatists achieved one thing. They succeeded in taking their ‘war for azadi’ out of Kashmir and roping in the support of other disgruntled sections like the Naxals and of course, of beti Arundhati as called fondly by the ‘Qaide Inquilab’ Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

How this ‘unholy’ alliance is going to benefit the Kashmiri separatists and the Naxals is anybody’s guess .Political analysts are baffled by the bizarre bonhomie between the two movements that do not recognise the state of India. While the Naxals believe in bringing about a violent coup to establish the rule of the proletariat based on Marxist-Leninist ideology that believes that religion is the opium of the masses, the Kashmiri separatists want to get independence from India to establish Nizam-e-Mustafa (Islamic system) in Kashmir.

Another disturbing report says that the ISI has advised some Kashmiri separatist leaders to make inroads into Naxal ranks. Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s conference in Delhi clearly seems to be a concerted effort by Geelani and his ilk along the ISI directives. And he seems to have achieved some success in it. If this is true then the government should take this development very seriously and nip this unholy alliance in the bud ….

Read more : newageislam

Blast at Dargah Shah Ghazi: When will Muslims come out of denial?

It has become the norm in the South Asian Muslim society to act in denial of our own wrongdoing and blame all the evil deeds of terrorists on the US or India. The Taliban and other militant outfits have totally radicalised the Muslim society in Pakistan, so much so that religious intolerance to them has become synonymous with Islam and righteousness. Sectarian violence has become the order of the day in this so-called Islamic society. Taliban, influenced by Wahabism has made dargahs their target. Dargahs of Data Ganjbakhsh, Abdullah Shah Gazi and now Baba Farid Ganjshakar have been targeted by the Taliban but the middle class intelligentsia and the media in Pakistan loves to live in denial.  This will not help extract the Pakistani society from the morass it has thrown itself in. The Urdu article is published here with its English translation as a prime example. ….Read more : newagaislam

London Review of Books – Can you give my son a job?

– Slavoj Žižek

The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers by Richard McGregor ….
Khrushchev’s speech in 1956 denouncing Stalin’s crimes was a political act from which, as his biographer William Taubman put it, ‘the Soviet regime never fully recovered, and neither did he.’ Although it was plainly opportunistic, there was just as plainly more to it than that, a kind of reckless excess that cannot be accounted for in terms of political strategy. The speech so undermined the dogma of infallible leadership that the entire nomenklatura sank into temporary paralysis. A dozen or so delegates collapsed during the speech, and had to be carried out and given medical help; one of them, Boleslaw Bierut, the hardline general secretary of the Polish Communist Party, died of a heart attack. The model Stalinist writer Alexander Fadeyev actually shot himself a few days later. The point is not that they were ‘honest Communists’: most of them were brutal manipulators without any illusions about the Soviet regime. What broke down was their ‘objective’ illusion, the figure of the ‘big Other’ as a background against which they could exert their ruthlessness and drive for power. They had displaced their belief onto this Other, which, as it were, believed on their behalf. Now their proxy had disintegrated. ….
Read more : London Review of Books

Support for Ms Asma Jahangir in SCBA elections

SCBA election down to the wire – By Cyril Almeida
LAHORE: A day before the Supreme Court Bar Association polls, the result of a closely fought election for the presidency of the association appears balanced on a knife edge.
The contest is effectively a straight fight between Asma Jahangir, the legendary human-rights activist, and Ahmed Awais, a candidate of the Hamid Khan-led ‘Professional Group’ which, according to legal circles, often courts right-wing support among the bar. …
Read more : DAWN