Tag Archives: Issues

Uchek app tests urine for medical issues

By Jane Wakefield, Technology reporter

A smartphone app that uses a phone’s camera to analyse urine and check for a range of medical conditions has been shown off at the TED (Technology, Education and Design) conference in Los Angeles.

Uchek tests for 25 different health issues and could help diagnose and treat diseases in the developing world.

Increasingly mobile health is being talked up as a lifesaver in such areas.

The app is the brainchild of TED fellow Myshkin Ingawale.

“I wanted to get medical health checks into users’ hands,” he told the BBC.

Urine can be tested for the presence of 10 elements – including glucose, proteins and nitrites.

These can be used to pinpoint a range of conditions including diabetes, urinary tract infects, cancers, liver problems as well as being used to keep track of general health.

Users need to collect their urine and dip a standard test strip into it. ….

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21586082

Afghan parliament votes to dismiss security ministers over ‘Pakistan shelling’

By AFP

KABUL: The Afghan parliament Saturday voted to dismiss two powerful ministers for failing to act over cross-border shelling blamed on neighbouring Pakistan and over other security issues.

The move obliges President Hamid Karzai to sack Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, who has strong support among Afghanistan’s Western allies, and Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, a key Karzai ally.

The men are expected to continue serving in an acting capacity until the president introduces replacements.

General Abdul Rahim Wardak will continue serving in the ministry as the acting defence minister until a new minister is introduced by the president,” defence ministry spokesman General Zaher Azimi told AFP. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/417503/afghan-parliament-votes-to-dismiss-defence-interior-ministers-over-pakistan-shelling/

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUES WARNING TO AVOID TRAVEL TO PAKISTAN

PAKISTAN – Travel Warning, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Bureau of Consular Affairs

February 02, 2012 – The State Department warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Pakistan. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Pakistan dated August 8, 2011, to update information on security incidents and remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan. …..

Read more » U.S. Department of State

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5661.html

Negligent dereliction of duty – By: Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur.

Excerpt;

….. All the misdeeds and misdemeanours of the army here have gone unchallenged and mostly misreported or under-reported. One cannot expect bumbling civilian prime ministers who regularly eat crow after blurting out against the army to hold them to account. The judiciary dilly-dallies on missing persons and kill and dump issues because it has never been people-friendly. Atrocities and injustices are possible because people have become too docile and too obedient and have abdicated their right to protest.

Howard Zinn rightly said, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves…(and) the grand thieves are running the country. That is our problem.”

As long as the people continue to accept injustices and atrocities being perpetrated against them or others, the ‘grand thieves’ will remain in power everywhere and atrocities will not cease. The plea of ‘negligent dereliction of duty’ will always come in handy to the perpetrators if those judging them are of their ilk. Only when people will give up their docility and obsequiousness will justice be done and be seen to be done. And therein lies the solution to the injustices and atrocities anywhere in the world.

To read compete article » Daily Times

Sindh and Balochistan’s Issues are not the same as in the Islamic Republic of Punjab

Interview of Naseer Memon was conducted by “DUNYA” TV in the aftermath of a large gathering addressed by President Asif Zardari.

Translation by Khalid Hashmani

Excerpt of Interview;

The interview was conducted by “DUNYA” News Tv in the aftermath of a large gathering [Benazir’s aniversary rally in Garahi Khuda Buksh made PTI-Imran’s tsunami seen like a wall of jelly] addressed by President Asif Zardari in Garahi Yasin, near Larkano in Sindh. The interviewer wanted to know whether or not other political parties are making any headway into the minds and hearts of Sindhis. Naseer Memon sahib, as you can see in the video explains that people should not be misled by the number of people attending political gatherings. As the previous elections have shown that in Sindh and the rest of the Pakistan, the size of vote banks is not the same as the size of crowd attending a political rally. Often people attend the rallies of one political party but do not vote for them. Also, Sindhis may criticize PPP on not delivering on some of its commitments, it does not mean that they will not vote for it.

Memon sahib says that things that excite people in Punjab like Nuclear bombs and religious supremacy are not the main concerns of Sindhis. He adds that most Sindhis think that it is the expenses associated with nuclear bombs and military that are keeping people of Pakistan under poverty. He challenged the interviewer to find even one writing by a Sindhi intellectual that would praise ZAB’s words that “Pakistanis will eat grass but will make a nuclear bomb” even though otherwise he is considered one of their greatest hero. Naseer also points that most Sindhis want a secular form of government as the large minorities of Hindus, Christian and others live peacefully in Sindh. They are least excited by slogans of Islamic  state.

Commenting on the performance of PPP in Sindh, he said people are quite angry because of the decaying of infrastructure (roads, bridges, transportation, etc.) and education and health services outside of Karachi. They abhor increasing corruption of PPP officials and want a quick end to it. He also criticized poor response of the government to recent floods in Sindh. He concluded that people are asking these questions from PPP. He warns PPP that they should not take Sindhi people’s grievances lightly lest they may be left with no Sindh card.

Courtesy: Duniya News TV with Javed Iqbal » YouTube

Memogate: PM Gilani issues ominous warning

ISLAMABAD: Rocked by recurring controversies and scandals, the incumbent government has sent out a loud and clear message to both the opposition and the powerful security establishment. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

The dream of a new start in Pakistan

By Omar Ali

The rise of Imran Khan and memogate have enthused those who dream of a “reformed” democracy under the guiding hand of the army.

A few days ago, I was planning to write about Imran Khan. Pakistan’s most successful cricket captain and philanthropist had been trying to add “successful politician” to his resume since 1996, but after many years in the political wilderness he finally seemed to make a breakthrough with his large public meeting in Lahore. Pakistan’s educated youth, in particular, appeared to be very excited about a politician for the first time in their young lives. But they were not alone; even the ageing British Marxist, Tariq Ali, threw caution to the winds and announced that Mr. Khan’s gathering was a sign that the “Arab Spring” had finally made it to Pakistan and was even larger than the huge rallies of Benazir Bhutto and her father in days gone by. Comrade Tariq seemed to have forgotten that the Arab Spring had come to Pakistan many decades before it belatedly reached the Arab world and never mind the size of the rally, which bore no comparison to Benazir’s historic 1986 rally. But, Tariq Ali’s flights of fancy notwithstanding, the rally was clearly large and the arrival of Mr. Khan as a politician with crowd support was a major event.

But then President Asif Ali Zardari called his U.S. ambassador Hussain Haqqani to return to Pakistan to explain his role in “memogate,” the still mysterious affair in which he apparently gave international fixer Mansoor Ijaz a memo that was passed on to Admiral Mullen. It is not yet clear who was behind the memo and what he hoped to accomplish; did the Zardari regime really fear a coup at a time when the army was on the back-foot and faced real public humiliation in Pakistan in May 2011? And if it did, why pick this circuitous route to look for American help? And how would a regime that is unable to control the army and fears a coup be able to turn around and completely defang the same army with U.S. help a few days later? Is there more to the story? We don’t know, and may never know, but the story is not over yet.

Both stories may even be related; there are suggestions that Mr. Khan’s sudden rise is not just spontaneous combustion but involves some help from “the agencies.” Circumstantial evidence in favour of this suspicion includes the obvious sympathy he is receiving from pro-military websites and the fact that his extremely “liberal” and reasonable interview with Karan Thapar has not ignited any firestorm of protest in the “Paknationalist” community — a community generally quick to jump on anyone who talks of improved relations with India or admits that we do have militants and that they do need to be eliminated. Memogate is even more obviously a story about the civilian-military divide in Pakistan and it is no secret that it is the army that is asking for his removal. Is this then the proverbial perfect storm that will sweep away the current civilian dispensation and replace it with that old favourite of the army and the middle class: a “caretaker government” that will rid us of “corrupt politicians” and “unpatriotic elements” and make Pakistan the China of South Asia?

I have no way of knowing if the time is nigh, but the dream of a new start is not a figment of my imagination. The military and its favourite intellectuals (and large sections of the middle class) seem to be in a permanent state of anticipation of the day when the military will sweep away this sorry scheme of things and then we will have order and progress. If pressed about the nature of the system that will replace the current system, the naïve foot soldiers may think of the late lamented (and mostly imaginary) caliphate if they are on the Islamist side of the fence; or of “reformed” and real democracy, the kind that does not elect Altaf Hussains and Asif Zardaris, if they are on the smaller westernised liberal side of the fence. But the army’s own house intellectuals are more likely to point to China. That the history of China and the ruling communist party has no resemblance to GHQ’s own history of inept and retrograde interference in Pakistani politics is something that is never brought up; apparently this time, the GHQ will start where the Chinese are today, having conveniently skipped an intervening century of mass movements, civil wars and revolutions, not to speak of 4000 years of civilisation and culture.

Of course, the system as it exists is unnatural. Either the army has to be brought to heel under an elected civilian regime or civilians have to be pushed aside for a more efficient form of military rule (even if it is in the garb of a civilian “caretaker regime”). The current “neither fish nor fowl” system will have to evolve in one direction or the other, or crises like memogate will continue to erupt. Since most people think the army has the upper hand, the second outcome appears more likely to them. It could be that Mr. Khan offers them the chance to have their cake and eat it too; he is genuinely popular and if his party wins the elections and comes to power, the army may have the regime it wants in a more legitimate manner. But this middle-class dream outcome also seems unlikely. It is hard to see how the PTI can win a majority in a genuine election. And with no plan beyond simplistic patriotic slogans, any such regime will soon face the same problems as the one it replaces.

That brings us to the second prediction: the current atmosphere of crisis will continue unabated no matter what arrangements are made by the army. The really critical problem in Pakistan is not “corrupt politicians.” In that respect, we are little different from India, Indonesia or many other countries not thought to be in terminal existential crisis. The real problem is that an overpopulated third world postcolonial state has not yet settled even the most fundamental issues about the nature of the state and its institutions. The “hard” version of the two-nation theory and its associated Islamism have helped to create a constituency for millenarian Islamist fantasies. And 20 years of training militants for “asymmetric warfare” against India has created an armed force and a safe haven for that force. These two streams have mingled to the point where the state faces civil war against its own creations. It is also a war for which the deep state lacks an adequate narrative, having spent decades nurturing a virulent anti-Indian and Islamist ideology that glorifies the very people they are now forced to fight. But fight them it must because its own interests lie with globalised capitalism, not militants. They may imagine they can again direct the war outwards to Afghanistan and Kashmir, but the militants have other ideas, and will not go quietly into the night. Even if they did, the legitimacy of the 1973 constitution and its institutions within the elite remains low and so the crisis of governance would continue.

So, after this doom and gloom, a faint “positive” prediction: There are better than even chances that eventually the deep state will be compelled to claw its way past all these problems to defeat the militants, make peace with India and establish a straightforward near-secular democratic system to run the country. All of that may look less than the paradise many Pakistanis are waiting for, but it’s what the world has to offer at this point in history and it is unlikely that the intellectual resources of GHQ will somehow produce an alternative that the rest of the world has not yet found. It will not be pretty, but it will be done.

Or they will fail, with unpredictable dire consequences for their own people and the region. Either way, India would do well to help positive trends and resist negative ones without losing sight of the big picture. I think Manmohan Singh realises that, I hope others do too.

Continue reading The dream of a new start in Pakistan

Issues with MQM pinching PPP for 2 years: WikiLeaks

By Amir Wasim

ISLAMABAD: Former Sindh minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza burst against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement last month but the issues had been pinching the ruling party hardliners for almost two years, reveals WikiLeaks.

A secret cable sent by then US consul general Stephen G. Fakan in Karachi to Washington through its Islamabad Embassy on February 9, 2010, shows that both the Pakistan People’s Party and the MQM had constantly been discussing the contentious issues of the local government system in Sindh and the law and order situation in Karachi with the Americans for two years.

According to the cable titled “MQM and PPP spar over law and order, local governance”, the members of the two parties have been blaming each other for the continued violence in Karachi during their separate conversations with the US diplomats. …

Read more → DAWN.COM

Zulfiqar Mirza’s statement and resignation could be genuine

by Khalid Hashmani

Mr. Zulfiqar Mirza’s statement and resignation could be genuine or it could be simply a drama to convince Sindhis that at least some leaders of PPP are opposing MQM’s designs of hegemony over the matters of Karachi, Sindh. I am of the view that we should welcome all voices — be it from nationalist parties, PPP, or any other party that oppose violent means of MQM.

I believe that nationalist parties are neither strong enough nor unified enough to successfully oppose MQM’s armed cadres and a support from Urdu-speaking Mohajir population. They are no match to MQM’s 10,000 to 30,000 armed cadre who are ready to wedge terror in any part of Karachi, Sindh and harass any community in Karachi including their own Urdu speaking Mohajir population. Only PPP, having been in power for almost three years, has enough resources to credibly face MQM violence. The way I see the current situation, Pakistan’s military forces will not interfere in any matter that will burn their fingers with one or other section of populations. The rangers and police are largely afraid to pick on MQM. The only way to pressure MQM to shun the violence is if a unified force of all other communities oppose them. I hope you would recall that some nationalists criticized Mr. Zulfiqar Mirza when he gave very strong statements against MQM few months ago saying that PPP was dividing dividing Sindhi- and Urdu-speaking populations because they want to divide Sindh. Soon thereafter they turned around next to criticize PPP for not opposing MQM enough.

I am quite certain that once MQM realizes that they are facing a formidable and unified front supported by all other sections of populations in Sindh and particularly in Karachi, they might give up on violent methods and start acting in a civilized and democratic manner for resolution of issues.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 28 August, 2011.

Pakistan Aid Withdrawl

After the US suspension of over $800 million in military aid to Pakistan, the Pakistani military has said that the action will not interfere with their ability to fight terrorism, but it still seems like a big move on the part of the Obama administration.

The Newsy video analyzes the story by comparing reports from different media outlets side-by-side. It’s a lot of information compacted into a brief video that gives viewers quick, diverse perspectives on global issues.

To watch video news analysis of the story → newsy.com

One day, either people of Pakistan will turn the system the other way around or the federating units will walk away from this so-called security state.

A sad story of Pakistan’s military, bureaucratic, judicial, political, and religious leadership has been nothing but a sorry account of power abuse, corruption, conspiracies, hatred, and betrayals. Faisla Aap Ka is a socio-political show hosted by Asma Shirazi which aims to highlight issues faced by the common people. The program is designed as an outdoor based talk show which emphasizes and showcases issues and concerns of people. The anchor seeks street opinion and comments of the public. … The language of the program is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: → SAMAA TV News (Faisla Aap ka with Asma Shirazi – 9th July 2011)

via → ZemTV → YouTube Part 1, 2

Pakistan: The narratives come home to roost

by Omar Ali
Most countries that exist above the banana-republic level of existence have an identifiable (even if always contested and malleable) national narrative that most (though not all) members of the ruling elite share and to which they contribute.  Pakistan is clearly not a banana-republic; it is a populous country with a deep (if not very competent) administration, a very lively political scene, a very large army, the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal and a very significant, even if underdeveloped, economy.  But when it comes to the national narrative, Pakistan is sui-generis.  The “deep state” has promoted a narrative of Muslim separatism, India-hatred and Islamic revival that has gradually grown into such a dangerous concoction that even BFFs China and Saudi Arabia are quietly suggesting that we take another look at things.

The official “story of Pakistan” may not appear to be more superficial or contradictory than the propaganda narratives of many other nations, but a unique element is the fact that it is not a superficial distillation of a more nuanced and deeper narrative, it is ONLY superficial ; when you look behind the school textbook level, there is no there there. What you see is what you get. The two-nation theory and the creation of Pakistan in 712 AD by the Arab invader Mohammed Bin Qasim and its completion by the intrepid team of Allama Iqbal and Mohammed Ali Jinnah in the face of British and Hindu connivance is the story in middle school textbooks and it turns out that it is also the story in universities and think tanks (this is not imply that no serious work is done in universities; of course it is, but the story of Pakistan does not seem to have a logical relationship with this serious work).

Continue reading Pakistan: The narratives come home to roost

Osama Bin Laden fiasco: the buck stops with the military —Dr Mohammad Taqi

– OBL fiasco: the buck stops with the military

The key issue is that the security establishment has shown no signs of course correction so far. From the bluster about a befitting response to a future Abbottabad-style attack to the attempted outing of the CIA’s Islamabad station chief, everything points towards a top brass set in its ways and unwilling to let go of its jihadist proxies.

The events of the last ten days have been as much amusing as they have been distressing. The Pakistani establishment has been running like a chicken with its head cut off. From an initial reaction that mixed denial with a desire to claim some credit for the death of the US’s enemy number one, the response has morphed into a wrangling within the ruling classes as well as posturing and digging in vis-à-vis the US.

While the establishment, and now the political government, has determined that there, ostensibly, is enough blame to go around the whole world and the intelligence agencies therein, the primary finger pointing continues between the military and the political elite. It reminds me of the game called ‘hot potato’ in which the kids pass around the hot potato — usually a ball — to the fast pace of music. The person holding the hot potato when the music stops, is out of the game. Apparently, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has been ‘volunteered’ to hold the hot potato of the Osama bin Laden (OBL) fiasco for now.

In a complete about-turn from his statements of less than a month ago, the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has suddenly discovered the importance of the civilians leading the charge on security issues. Asking the civvies to lead in the national security and foreign policy matters — really? Something is not right with this picture. This never happens unless the top brass is in thick soup. The 1965 Operation Gibraltar, the 1971 Dacca debacle, 1989 Jalalabad misadventure, and the 1999 Kargil disaster: as Yogi Berra would have said, it’s like déjà vu all over again!

In several addresses, including the one last month on the Martyrs’ Day (Yawm-e-Shuhada), General Kayani had made no mention whatsoever of the civilian government. And he was not just talking past them. He had been talking of a bond directly between the people and the army, with the political forces conveniently left out of the equation. Is it not interesting then that the army chief now “believes that the people of Pakistan need to be taken into confidence through their honorable elected representatives”? He has further “requested that strength of democracy must be put into effect to develop a consensus on important security issues, including war on terror. Articulation of a national response through parliament, under the circumstances, is the most effective way to let the world know the historic achievements of Pakistan against al Qaeda and its terror affiliates.” And in the vintage Pakistani Army style, the millstone will be finally put around parliament’s neck, as the general has also requested the “honorable prime minister, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, to kindly consider convening of a joint session of parliament for briefing on security issues as related to Abbottabad incident”.

In February 1989, the security establishment through the then ISI director, General Hamid Gul, gave an in-camera briefing to parliament. The nascent Benazir Bhutto government had been under severe pressure to steer clear of any interference in the foreign policy agenda set out by the establishment. The domestic pressure brought to bear on BB through a hostile provincial government in Punjab was intensified to get her to comply. The closed-doors briefing informed parliament that the ISI was about to unleash the Afghan mujahideen mercenaries on Jalalabad in March 1989 — a battle that ended in the rout of the jihadists. One of BB’s close lieutenants and perhaps her most powerful minister then, told me: “We decided to step aside and let the khakis have their way … to get them off our backs.” Unfortunately for the Pakistan People’s Party, neither could it shake the khakis off its back then, nor would it be able to do it now. And Pakistan continues to reap the whirlwind for the wind that Hamid Gul et al sowed in Afghanistan.

The civilian government is being blamed now for not taking interest in national security matters. The public memory may be short but we have not yet gone into collective amnesia to not remember the ruckus raised by the establishment and its media stooges to successfully block the placement of the ISI under civilian control in 2008. Similarly, the civilian government and Ambassador Hussain Haqqani were much maligned for ‘engineering’ the clauses in the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, which called for civilian oversight of the US funding to the military. And lest we forget, the ambassador neither invited nor granted visas to OBL, Ayman al-Zawahri, Mullah Omar, Tahir Yuldeshev, the Haqqani network and thousands of jihadists roaming in Pakistan.

The question however is not just whether the civilian leadership should extend a lifeline to a junta on the ropes for reasons over which the politicians never had any control. The key issue is that the security establishment has shown no signs of course correction so far. From the bluster about a befitting response to a future Abbottabad-style attack to the attempted outing of the CIA’s Islamabad station chief, everything points towards a top brass set in its ways and unwilling to let go of its jihadist proxies. The embarrassment does not appear to be about lying but about getting caught lying. All indications are that the wiggle room left by the world powers is being squandered through misplaced swagger.

At minimum, the public deserves to know that there has been an undeclared policy of pursuing foreign policy objectives through the jihadist proxies. If the people of Pakistan agree to this adventurism, then at least everyone will be on the same page and brace for whatever consequences it entails. If the PPP and its coalition partners wish to be a party to a jingoistic consensus, more power to them. But such public consensus can never be developed through in-camera briefings and passing on the buck.

While the politicians are rightly accused of dodging accountability, the security establishment has not done any better. In fact, the opposite has been true in many cases. Professor Hassan Abbas records in his book Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism that in Operation Gibraltar, the highly competent General Akhtar Malik was replaced mid-battle with the inept General Yahya Khan, resulting in disaster, but Yahya was never held accountable. But it is better late than never to begin. If OBL indeed moved into his Abbottabad hideout five or six years ago, that implies that General Kayani himself was in charge of the ISI at the time. The buck therefore stops at his desk, not parliament.

The writer can be reached at mazdaki@me.com

Courtesy: Daily Times

Asma Shirazi Exposes Imran Khan

“Faisla Aap Ka” is a socio-political show hosted by Asma Shirazi which aims to highlight issues faced by the common man. The program is designed as an outdoor based talk show which emphasizes and showcases issues and concerns of people from different regions. Asma Shirazi genuinely  exposed him in her program Faisla Aap Ka – 16th April 2011.

Some excerpt from the program:

– Imran Khan aka Taliban Khan was brought by his mentor  Hameed Gul. – His (Imran Khan’s) 5,000 sq ft. palace (farm house) can be seen from Islamabad on long distance. – He has No team at all, one man show. – He is supporter of Taliban. – His kids are living outside.

When the anchor of the program, Asma Shirazi asked him to openly say that you are against Taliban in this crowed. He diverted her question to discuss some other issue. He was unable to answer properly any single question of Ms. Asma Sherazi. He is indeed a confused man.

Courtesy: SAMAA TV (Faisla Aap Ka with Asma Sherazi, 16th April 2011)

via – Siasat.pkYou Tube

Revolution in Pakistan? Is it possible?

by Aziz Narejo, TX

On the contrary, it is highly likely that if the longstanding ‘national question’ is not solved to the satisfaction of the constituents and the provinces are not accorded the rights as promised in the famous 1940 Lahore Resolution which came to be called ‘Pakistan Resolution’, then there is a real time possibility that the country may soon face disintegration.

One hears about a call for revolution in Pakistan every now and then. Recent uprising in the Middle East and Northern Africa has given an impetus to such sentiments in Pakistan. But is a revolution really possible in a country like Pakistan, which is home to divergent and dissimilar cultures and where people are constantly at loggerheads on different issues?

The question can also be appropriately answered if one knows ‘what’ kind of revolution its proponents want.

It is not easy to call for and build a consensus for a revolution in the countries which are not ‘nation states’ or homogeneous. One should be realistic and very clear on this subject. For all practical purposes, Pakistan is a multi-national country. It is home to different people who have distinct cultures with their own languages and history. Their interests are in conflict with each other and they even have their own heroes. Heroes of some are villains for others. How can such a divergent country stand united to fight for a revolution?

Pakistan received a major setback when at the initial stages, the indigenous people and their languages & cultures were completely ignored and outside culture and language were imposed on the country. Resentment to such move was natural. The undemocratic moves to overthrow provincial governments in the initial days in East Bengal, NWFP (now PK), Sindh and Punjab at the whim of the Central government & forcible annexation of Balochistan were harbingers of what was in store for Pakistan. …

Read more : Indus Herald

Karachi, Sindh : the shadows of violence & target killings

Sindh: People of Karachi join Asima Choudhry to discuss who is responsible of violence & target killings in Karachi? The language of the program is urdu (Hindi).

Watch other parts of program – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Courtesy: Dunya TV (Program “In Session” with Asma Choudhry, 22 January, 2011)

via→ ZemTVYou Tube Link

War between Judiciary & Executive in Pakistan

Call for end to bickering among institutions
HYDERABAD, Oct 20: Judiciary and Executive are two important pillars of a democratic society and the present split between the two is apt to creating disastrous situation for the state, if not checked early.
This and other similar concerns were expressed by the Sindh Democratic Forum over boiling political state of affairs ruling the country. The SDF, in a statement, criticized the national institutions of not resolving the basic issues of general public like growing inflation, increasing poverty, lawlessness, daily killings, unemployment, electricity problem and other allied issues instead were busy in bickering with each other over petty matters.
People had endured enough and now they want peace for which cooperation among national institutions was a prerequisite, it further stated.
Commenting over the midnight drama between the judiciary and the executive, it stated that perhaps it was for the first time in contemporary judicial history that a full bench was called on a rumour which has damaged the sanctity of justice.
The democratic-minded people feel the elected parliament a supreme body and because the 18th Amendment was passed by the representative of 16 parliamentary parties, therefore there appears no supra body which can challenge parliament’s decisions, said the SDF.
The coverage of court proceedings, judges’ statements, conservative comments by media and support of right wing political parties is portraying as if judiciary was being influenced by armed forces and they were trying to disband the present democratic setup, it further said.
The SDF appealed to superior judiciary to protect the cause of justice and avoid creating the impression as if it were against the elected parliament and democracy.
Judiciary being an important pillar of state and custodian of justice should give a shut up call to irresponsible statements of media, besides taking suo-motu notice against such utterances, it said.
Read more : DAWN

Meet with Dr. Karim Rajpar and Fayaz Naich of SindhTV in Washington

Washington : Dr. Karim Rajpar and Fayaz Naich of SindhTV are currently visiting USA. Washington Sindhis would like to take an advantage of their presence to hear from them the real-time take on political situation in Sindh and Pakistan.

Washington Sindhis look forward to a very serious discourse on most pressing issues confronted by our kith and kin. SindhTV has consistently taken moral stand on vital social and political issues of our times from its inception.

Washington Sindhis will meet at 3:00 PM on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 1910 Holly Ridge Drive, # T2 in McLean, Virginia.

Nawaz Sharif on Pakistan’s foreign policy, India, Afghanistan, democracy and other issues

Former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif with Najam Sethi on Pakistan’s foreign policy, India, Afghanistan,  democracy and other issues. The language of interview is Urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Dunya TV-Tonight With Najam Sethi-05-07-2010-11 >> ZemTV

Developing a proper method of accountability- Watchdogs on the judiciary, parliament, executive, police, or for that matter

Issues to consider

–  Aqil Sajjad

I’m listing down some political issues that we should consider taking up now that the deposed judges have been restored. Each one of these issues is very important, and we need someone to take it up.

1. Judiciary and police reforms:

..Developing a proper method of accountability for the judges because the existing SJC structure is flawed. – Reforming the lower judiciary. – Police reforms

2. Devolution:

This is very important because devolution has the potential to open up opportunities for ordinary citizens to enter electoral politics. Union councils are small, and you can contest elections even if you are not filthy rich. Once you have been a union councilor, you can gradually go on to contest elections for bigger constituencies and move up in politics.

Things to do: convince the media to have more constructive discussions on devolution, and promote the idea to the people at large, so that it becomes increasingly difficult for any government to roll it back.

3. Intra-party democracy:

This requires engaging with the media and political party workers at the grass roots to highlight this issue.

4. Demanding live debates on local radio:

Due to the wider reach of radio, and considering the fact that TV channels can generally only talk about national issues, there is a real need for local city/district radio stations to come up and hold live debates on local issues. During elections, the election commission should even arrange for regular structured debates at the local level for all constituencies.

We need to highlight this issue and press the govt to remove unnecessary restrictions and giving live debates proper air time on govt-owned local radio stations.

5. Corruption:

Highlighting the need for a constitutionally independent NAB, which can investigate and prosecute corruption cases against anyone including those in power without political interference.

6. Provincial autonomy:

A first step should be to make an attempt to understand what people outside Isb, Lhr and Khi think and want…

7. Constitution revue:

Understanding our constitution, and then determining whether it really serves our needs even if it’s restored to the original 1973 form. Then figuring out the kind of amendments that are needed for the genuine empowerment of the people. Some of the earlier points related to judiciary reforms, devolution, NAB and provincial autonomy would automatically be a part of such an effort, but here the goal would be to have a comprehensive review of the constitution rather than a single issue focus.

8. A political party Watchdog:

Looking at things like

a. The extent of intra-party democracy. This should include how party tickets are awarded.

b. Whether the parties have proper think-tanks for policy formulation.

c. Whether the parties have competent people and intra-party mechanisms for bringing such people forward.

d. whether there are any intra-party mechanisms for accountability, how many members of the parties have criminal or corruption cases etc.

e. How many of the MNAs and MPAs elected on party tickets are lotas with a history of switching loyalties.

9. Media watch:

This can include things like

a. keeping an eye on the political connections of newspaper and TV channel owners, and making knowledge of such connections well known to the public;

b. keeping track of whether journalists are consistent in applying the same principle. Example: if someone said that Iftikhar Ch should be restored when he was first removed by Musharraf, then did they continue to propagate the same position when the PPP came into power or did they suddenly do a ‘lota’ on this?

c. rating various talk-shows on the diversity of guests they invite, so that our national discourse does not remain monopolized by a very small group of people.

d. Pointing out instances of yellow journalism.

10. Other watchdogs:

Watchdogs on the judiciary, parliament, executive, police, NAB, or for that matter, any regulatory authority, like PEMRA or SECP.

March 28, 2009