Tag Archives: stakeholders

Rent-a-PM

by Hakim Hazik

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Mending fences: PPP cabinet body off to a bad start

By: Jan Khaskheli

SINDH – Karachi :- A Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) federal cabinet committee, which was scheduled to meet politicians, writers, intellectuals, and civil society activists in Sindh to allay growing resentment against the party, faced a number of impediments during a recent trip to Hyderabad, The News has learnt.

Contrary to the rumours, the committee did not meet with Awami Tehreek (AT) President Ayaz Latif Palijo, the man considered one of the main stakeholders in the politics of  Sindh. Palijo told The News that he demanded the committee to show its terms of reference to prove how serious they were in alleviating the grievances of the people of Sindh.

“Their seriousness can be gauged by the fact that they preferred to discuss a very important issue with a handful of civil society representatives instead of political parties,” he regretted. The committee was also boycotted by a number of writers and civil society representatives, who questioned the authority of the body. When the committee met with members of the civil society, only a handful of academics and two representatives of nongovernmental organisations were present on the occasion.

The majority of participants remained silent during the meeting, while the rest largely raised irrelevant issues such as the falling educational standards and water shortage.Veteran scholar and writer Mohammed Ibrahim Joyo, who was supposed to represent writers and the civil society, plainly refused to participate in the meeting. Similarly, the Sindhi Adabi Sangat (SAS), a literary body that claims running about 120 branches with hundreds of writers and poets, also boycotted the meeting.

“We had a number of demands to put before the committee, but we refused to attend because the organisers prohibited us from raising any controversial topic during the meeting,” SAS Secretary Dr Mushtaq Phul told The News.

A number of civil society representatives rued that the police were cracking down on nationalists. They also claimed that those, who tried to express solidarity with the victims of the Mohabbat-e-Sindh rally, had been “whisked away” by the law-enforcement agencies.

Many PPP activists have also expressed their reservations over their party’s silence on the attack on the Mohabbat-e-Sindh rally that left 12 people dead.

The spokesman for the Sindh United Party said his party has announced an all parties’ conference in Karachi, Sindh on May 29 in which all parties have been invited – except for the PPP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. “They [the PPP and the MQM] are involved in the conspiracy to divide Sindh,” he maintained.

Although Sindh has traditionally been a PPP stronghold, the increasing political instability, the calls for the division of the province, the deteriorating law and order situation in the rural areas, the kidnapping and subsequent murder of political activists including Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz General Secretary Muzaffar Bhutto and the attack on the Mohabbat-e-Sindh rally have left much of Sindh disillusioned with the current leadership.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-111062-Mending-fences-PPP-cabinet-body-off-to-a-bad-start

Human Rights commission of Pakistan (HRCP): Proposed Local Government System in Sindh – Combining elements of 1979 & 2001 Ordinances/ Acts

Background

Democratic governance is among one of the major concerns of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. HRCP believes that an important aspect of democracy is governance at the local level. In Sindh, the issue of local government has caused deep divisions among the stakeholders, particularly in Karachi, Sindh,  and led to the hardening of positions. This issue also demands urgency of settlement as the current arrangement, put in place through an Ordinance, will end on November 11, 2011. HRCP’s recent fact-finding into the causes of violence in Karachi indicated that the primary reason is a war of turf over who controls the city.

Continue reading Human Rights commission of Pakistan (HRCP): Proposed Local Government System in Sindh – Combining elements of 1979 & 2001 Ordinances/ Acts

An era of misinformation – by Dr Manzur Ejaz

The combination of religious extremism and unbridled capitalism became very lethal in Pakistan. Every sector, including the media, produced a new class of rich people all spewing a demented worldview

Whenever something critical is written about religious extremism, jihadis, the Taliban or the Pakistan military, it is considered the magic of American dollars. Perhaps some confused misguided individuals genuinely believe that most of the $ 1.5 billion of US aid is being deposited in the bank accounts of a few liberal and enlightened columnists. The fact of the matter is that one or two English dailies that publish such material are always in financial trouble, unable to pay the wages and compensation to workers and writers. On the contrary, most of the media outlets are owned and run by the most conservative tycoons who generously compensate the pro-jihadi and pro-military columnists, talk-show hosts and their handlers.

It is very easy to find out who has benefitted from the explosion of the media as an industry. Count the number of shows and their hosts who are preachers of Islamisation, and who are always finding a Yahood-o-Hunood (Jewish and Hindu) conspiracy for everything that goes wrong in Pakistan. Most of the media men getting salaries in millions per month will fall into this category. The fortunes of these right-wing media persons are just like Hollywood-Bollywood top stars. The only difference is that the largest film industries’ rags to riches stories are related to an independent entertainment industry while said Pakistani media persons are pushing the corporate media’s fuzzy thinking and disinformation endorsed by the military, its agencies and mentally challenged emerging ruling classes.

Besides other things, Islamisation and jihad-preaching has become a huge industry involving millions of stakeholders. Writing jihad-preaching textbooks for millions of students for the government/privately-run educational system (from kindergarten to university level) to printing and publishing them is a mammoth industry. Unlike most other countries that prepare the students for improving the production of the economic sector, Pakistan’s education is geared towards producing jihadi producers and consumers. Once the jihad-fed generation of producers (media men) and consumers (readers and viewers) came of age, the stage was set for an unprecedented age of misinformation in Pakistan.

The overwhelming ethos of religious self-righteousness was accompanied by infinite greed, corruption, lack of work ethics and professionalism. In the British ‘pagan’ era, all such socio-economic ills were minimal. Unleashing of Darwinian capitalism on the international level by the Reagan-Thatcher era also confounded the problem. The combination of religious extremism and unbridled capitalism became very lethal in Pakistan. Every sector, including the media, produced a new class of rich people all spewing a demented worldview. Religious extremism, jihad, political anarchy, and the collapsing of different state institutions have immensely benefited the new rich: their simultaneous rise has to have some interlocking dynamics. One obvious link is the abandonment of any sense of equity, where the gains of economic development have been usurped by the top five or ten percent, including the media persons.

In Pakistan, jihadi Islam has been a big business after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Billions of dollars, pumped in by the US, Europe and the Middle Eastern monarchies have changed hands. Pakistan’s military and its agencies were the main channels to distribute jihadi money among the mullahs, politicians and media outlets. Further, since the state was run by the military and its agencies, they were the only ones who had key information that can make or break the media outlets, pen-pushers, and tongue-twisters.

No bigwig media warrior could survive or sustain without having deeper links in the ‘agencies’ because these military outfits were the only ones who had the know-how, manpower, finances and coercive authority to collect information about everyone, particularly the politicians and other state operators. The secret agencies were holding the purse and the information to create media jihadi warriors and eliminate the few who would try to deviate from the ‘path.’ Umar Cheema and Saleem Shahzad’s cases are the latest in a series of murders and disappearances of ‘wanderers of truth’, particularly if they happened to be from smaller nationalities or minority ethnic groups.

The parameters of media control have never changed even after the American departure from Afghanistan by the end of the 80s and re-entry after 2001. In the interval of the US’s absence, the Middle Eastern monarchies have been supplying the funds. Nonetheless, the funds coming in from all these channels have been disbursed by the same old agencies to the same old beneficiaries. A few poor liberal enlightened media men are not the ones upon whom dollars shine. The greenback is still blessing the same old jihadi crowd, nowadays called the ‘ghairat’ (honour) brigade.

With the expansion of the jihad market, the media has gained its own clout and the US is more interested in buying out the most anti-America media outlets, pen-pushers and tongue-twisters. Some were bought in broad daylight and many of us know about it. Now media tycoons have accumulated huge sums of profit and the US may not be the only source of outrageous (given Pakistani median income) compensation. Just read daily ‘khutbas’ (sermons) in the most popular newspapers and listen to the talk shows and decide yourself. Other than jihadi fuzzy-thinking, what else are these media groups selling to the market? Short answer: nothing!

Courtesy: → WICHAAR.COM

Af-Pak: a peace to end all peace —Dr Mohammad Taqi

Excerpt:

The continued aggressive posturing by the Pakistani establishment, albeit this time with a full civilian façade and on the pretext of seeking peace in Afghanistan, indicates that the already dysfunctional relationship between the US and Pakistan is literally on the rocks

“After the ‘war to end war’, they seem to have been pretty successful in Paris at making a ‘peace to end peace’” –Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell.

Lord Wavell, a commander of the British forces in the Middle East and later a Viceroy of India, had been commenting on the treaties bringing World War I to an end and the future shape of the post-Ottoman Middle East, but the mad dash towards ‘peace and reconciliation’ in the Pak-Afghan region over the last two weeks suggests that after a decade-long war, we too may be in for more turbulence, not tranquillity.

The very connotations of the terms truth, peace and reconciliation make it nearly impossible to say anything critical of — let alone contradicting — the process. But when the inimitable host of VOA’s Pashto service, Rahman Bunairee asked me last week to comment on President Asif Ali Zardari’s remarks in Turkey about opening up of a Taliban diplomatic office there, I found it difficult not to be cynical about the whole drama. “Since when does the president have such clout to determine Pakistan’s foreign policy, especially vis-à-vis Afghanistan,” I responded. Thinking of Wavell’s words, I added that what appears now to be a solution to a problem will likely be the mother of many larger problems to follow. President Zardari was speaking for the Pakistan Army and the so-called peace proposal — the diplomatic street address for the Taliban included — had been drafted in Rawalpindi. The civilians may have been acting it out, but the script is unmistakably Khaki. ….

…. In the Afghan memory, Pakistan, for three decades, has been part of the problem, not the solution. Each time that Pakistan has ‘sponsored peace’ there, rockets have rained on Kabul. Pakistan has miscalculated the Afghan and the US readiness to accept it as a partner in peace and the Gilani-Kayani-Pasha delegation to Kabul is being seen as a too-clever-by-half move to shoulder out the legitimate stakeholders. Unless Pakistan comes clean on the jihadist terrorists it harbours, any peace it sponsors will mean an end of all peace.

To read full article : Daily Times

Debate on HEC Devolution

by Dr Azhar A. Shah

In the context of present debate on the devolution of HEC when we present some facts and figures to support our arguments in favor of devolution; most of the opponents of the devolution have come up to negate these facts not by counter arguments and supporting evidence but by labeling it as a campaign for regionalism and provincialism. They issue directives to us to be Pakistani and stop this debate! To them, being Pakistani means surrendering the right to present our point of view on a matter which is directly related to the very field that we are an important stakeholders of!.

I think it is this attitude of opposing any argument/voice in favor of limited regional autonomy (decentralization, devolution, delegation, provinces’ rights ), which is guaranteed by the constitution of our country, that would further enhances the gaps between provinces and regions. We must learn to respect each other by considering all of us as equal citizens, as equal Pakistanis and providing every one a chance to participate in the debate with equal dignity without questioning her/his level of Pakistaniat! It seems a very mean thing to remind a person of his nationality (Pakistaniat) while she/he is debating a point in terms of academic discourse! Every one understands that not all the participants in the debate could be right. We could be wrong! But it doesn’t imply that we don’t think as Pakistanis!.

If I am showcasing the weaknesses, the faults, the troubles, the unfairness, the inequality of our system of our organizations, it is meant to be noted for correction, it is meant to be noted for improvement, it is meant to be noted for progress. We should get rid of that old feudo-military mindset that represses the ideas, that represses the creativity, and that considers every opponent ideas as enemy number one.

That said, I would present an example of how regional voice and concerns are being encouraged, supported and responded by the civilized societies of the world . Please respect the ancient civilization of our ingeniousness ancestors and refrain from further turning of our present society into militant society!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, April 14, 2011

Controversial Kalabagh Dam will hurt the interests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and Pakistan as well

A Case Against Kalabagh Dam: Aziz Narejo

Filling in the Dots: Why PILDAT is Reviving Kalabagh Debate: Introductory Note by Kamran Shafi

Kalabagh Dam is a very bad idea indeed. If ONLY for the reason that 3 out of 4 federating units of this blessed country have rejected it.

I am familiar enough with the Mardan-Nowshera-Charsadda area well enough to know that when without this monstrosity there is water standing along the roads just three feet below the level of the road there has to be a big problem of water-logging already.

I can only hope that sense prevails and that our already frayed federation is not damaged further.

We also must ask the question WHY an organisation whose goal is “to strengthen and sustain democracy and democratic institutions” in this poor country should re-raise a hugely contentious issue like the Kalabagh Dam? Which has been DEMOCRATICALLY rejected by three-fourths of the country.

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A case Against Kalabagh Dam – by Aziz Narejo

A recent seminar in Karachi organized by an NGO, PILDAT has again brought the issue of Kalabagh Dam to the fore. Especially an irrational and unscrupulous statement at the seminar by IRSA chairman (from Punjab) has flared up the emotions among the stakeholders.

Actually he is not alone in this. There is a certain lobby in Pakistan, which continues to insist on the construction of Kalabagh Dam on Indus River ignoring the fierce opposition from the provinces of Khyber- Pakhtoonkhwa and Sindh …

Read more : Indus Herald

Bhatta Mafia of Karachi – video.

Hal Kya Hai focuses on various genres of crime, corruption, bribery, mafia, kidnapping, hijacking, drug trafficking and other social evils that have become a part of social fabric of the society. After the story is introduced by exclusive and unique investigative footage that exposes the discrepancy hands on, a probe into the matter will be conducted by the anchor, Nida Sameer, who will connect with and question all stakeholders involved in the matter.

Courtesy: SAMAA TV ( Hal Kya Hai, 12 January, 2011)

You Tube Link

 

The Pressures of the End Game in Afghanistan and Leverages of US and Pakistan

The supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan, passing through Khyber Pass and border town of Torkham, remains closed. Two increasingly reluctant countries of the Afghan coalition and NATO, France and Germany, are on an alert for possible Mumbai style terror events. The attackers are reported to have trained in FATA. However, on October 6th came the word of Afghan peace talks, which are well underway, and the associated debate about the key positions of various stakeholders. This article looks at pressures of the end game in Afghanistan. The outcome of the present US and Pakistan showdown will determine who has the upper hand at this stage. …
Read more >> Politact