Tag Archives: positive

CNN sees some positive things happening in Pakistan

What’s working in Pakistan

By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst

(CNN) — Pakistan can’t get no respect.

In 2007, Newsweek published an influential cover story proclaiming it “the most dangerous country in the world.”

The bill of particulars for this indictment typically includes the inarguable facts that the Taliban is headquartered in Pakistan, as is what remains of al-Qaeda, as well as an alphabet soup of other jihadist terrorist groups.

And in 2011, it became embarrassingly clear that Pakistan had harbored Osama bin Laden for almost a decade, even if unwittingly, in a city not far from the capital, Islamabad.

Leading Pakistani liberals are routinely assassinated by militants. Two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed when she returned from exile in 2007.

Around three years later, the governor of Punjab was shot to death by one of his own bodyguards because he had the temerity to suggest, correctly, that Pakistan’s onerous blasphemy laws tend to penalize its tiny Christian minority. The governor’s assassin was feted as a hero by many Pakistanis.

Pakistani scientists have proliferated nuclear technology to the rogue state of North Korea. And Pakistan now has the fastest-growing nuclear weapons program in the world.

Pakistan is also routinely gripped by Sunni-Shia violence, has a serious secessionist movement in the vast gas-rich province of Baluchistan and its financial capital, Karachi, is one of the world’s most dangerous cities.

Add to this toxic brew the fact that Pakistan operates like a tea party paradise; only about 2% of the population pays income taxes, as a result of which the government doesn’t do much of anything for anybody.

Lengthy power cuts are hollowing out Pakistan’s already weak economy, which, at its present 3% growth rate, cannot possibly sustain Pakistan’s youth bulge.

But there is another side to Pakistan that suggests some underlying strengths that don’t make quite as good copy as the Taliban marching towards Islamabad, as they did in 2009.

Those strengths are Pakistan’s maturing institutions.

Pakistan has a largely ineffectual state, but it has a vibrant civil society that picks up at least some of the government’s slack. The private Edhi Foundation, for instance, runs a fleet of 1,800 ambulances and a slew of other welfare services for the poor across Pakistan.

As a result of this strong civil society, Pakistan had its version of the Arab Spring long before the wave of demands for accountable governments emerged in the Middle East. It was, after all, a movement of thousands of lawyers taking to the streets protesting the sacking of the Supreme Court chief justice by the military dictator Pervez Musharraf in 2007 that helped to dislodge Musharraf from power.

Pakistan has a vibrant media. A decade ago, there was only Pakistan TV, which featured leaden government propaganda. Now there are dozens of news channels: many of them conspiracist and anti-American, but many of them also anti-Taliban and pro-democracy.

In the past year, the Supreme Court has taken on the IsI, Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence agency, successfully demanding that the organization produce prisoners who had disappeared for years.

In November, Pakistan agreed to a pact with long-time rival India granting India “most favored nation” trading status; something that would have been unimaginable a few years back. This important development was sanctioned by Pakistan’s powerful army, which is a significant player in the country’s economy and understands that one way out of Pakistan’s economic mess is to hitch itself to India’s much larger economy.

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Cuba – A Regime’s Tight Grip on AIDS

By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.

HAVANA — Yudelsy García O’Connor, the first baby known to have been born with H.I.V. in Cuba, is not merely still alive. She is vibrant, funny and, at age 25, recently divorced but hoping to remarry and have children.

Her father died of AIDS when she was 10, her mother when she was 23. She was near death herself in her youth.

“I’m not afraid of death,” she said. “I know it could knock on my door. It comes for everyone. But I take my medicine.”

Ms. García is alive thanks partly to lucky genes, and partly to the intensity with which Cuba has attacked its AIDS epidemic. Whatever debate may linger about the government’s harsh early tactics — until 1993, everyone who tested positive for H.I.V. was forced into quarantine — there is no question that they succeeded.

Cuba now has one of the world’s smallest epidemics, a mere 14,038 cases. Its infection rate is 0.1 percent, on par with Finland, Singapore and Kazakhstan. That is one-sixth the rate of the United States, one-twentieth of nearby Haiti.

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Washington Sindhis Join in “Sindhi Culture Celebration Day” Festivities

It is not only Sindhi-speaking people who are participating but also Pashto-speaking Sindhis, Urdu-speaking Sindhis, and Punjabi-speaking Sindhis, who live in Sindh are demonstrating their love for Sindh.

By Khalid Hashmani

The Sindhis who live in and around the Washington DC area joined festivities of the annual “Sindhi Culture Celebration Day”. The event was organized by Mrs. Nasreen and Mr. Iqbal Tareen at their residence in McLean suburb on the night between Saturday, November 19 and November 20, 2011. Several local Sindhis joined Tareens in this event to make it a memorable celebration of Sindhi culture, language and identity.

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A place to call home: Canada helps me explore my true identity

A place to call home

Pakistani-born immigrant credits Canada for helping him explore his identity

by Tayyab Rashid

When I came to North America some 15 years ago, I thought that most of us are migratory beings, or some part of our constitution is. Living in Canada has changed or perhaps expanded my thinking — we are also sedentary souls. …

Read more : via – Siasat.pk –  Canadianimmigrant.ca

Pakistan : what should we do in this chaos?

by Munawar Ali

We have been in social cum political turmoil as far as I remember from childhood to now. We always hear and read unpleasant news again and again. We wait for these ruthless leaders to do miracles for us, which is never gonna happen unless we have totally new set of new ideas and faces which is not foreseeable in near future. This makes us only feel bad.

What we should do then? I think instead of wasting our time and getting gloomy after reading and hearing useless and hurting political news, we should concentrate on the uplifting of people especially youth. Help them get better education, guide them and help them get out of the negative mindset and work hard to achieve their goals. This will eventually help society come out of the century hold traditions and illiteracy and ignorance and hopefully enter into 21st century.

Only talking will not do good for us as it has not done any good for last 50 years of our useless political struggle. Which has only divided us and weekend us. Politics is important but if we do not have education and positive thinking, nothing will work. We have wasted time and our youth, please no more waste and empty slogans. Do social work and practically make difference.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, Sat, February 5, 2011

Peaceful thoughts & the positive energy Sindhis can contribute to the world

Sindhis would be glad to send peace delegations everywhere to sing songs of love and unite people of the world

By: Prof. Gul Agha

Sindhis are worried about water, food, environmental protection, wildlife protection, pollution, language erosion, cultural destruction, etc . They wish to .., everyone well (kafir momin jo bhalo). But now they have their own basic survival to worry about.

Last week at the University of Illinois, USA, we had a sufi ttolo of mangarnhaara who sang Shah Latif’s raarno, Hamalu fakiiru kaafii, played chungu, biinuun, Sindhi saraangii. The audience was black, white, Asian; Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Christian.. Everyone was relaxed and thought peaceful thoughts. This is the positive energy Sindhis can contribute. Sindhis would be glad to send peace delegations with sufi fakirs everywhere to sing songs of love and unite people. That is the best we can do.

What they call “public opinion” is what.. who control Pakistani media think, not what the poor haarii (peasant) in Sindh thinks. The elite minds are agitated by fasaadii jihadi mentality and show a total lack of concern for poverty, contempt for indigenous languages and cultures, and obsession with imperialist colonialist era of caliphs and kings. The less President Zardari pays attention to this, the more he can focus on real problems (not that he has much de facto control or power, otherwise we could say good-bye to the … and are destroying Sindhi language and culture by imposing foreign language .. and alien militant ideology).

October 08, 2010