Tag Archives: Crisis

Pakistan Media Woes

By: Agha Haider Raza

During his near-decade of power, Pervez Musharraf introduced many different pieces of legislation.  The public at large admonished some laws, while few regulations were applauded.  However, one ordinance in particular, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), signed in to law by 2002 is (should be) praised by all.  The said ordinance not only capsized Musharraf’s regime, but has also brought a vibrant and dynamic media sector to Pakistan. The beauty of an independent media, free from the ownership of the state, provides room for an accountability mechanism in a democratic setup.  Unfortunately the power players in Pakistan have not been able to understand and utilize this powerful domain.

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Saving Pakistan’s Heartland

By: Ahmed Humayun

In recent weeks, Washington has sptrongly urged Islamabad to expand counterinsurgency in Pakistan’s tribal areas. This encouragement is vital: Despite some military gains, a wide range of militant groups continue to enjoy sanctuary in northwestern Pakistan. At the same time, however, a spate of bloody attacks in major cities — such as a recent assault on a Shiite religious procession in Karachi — has underscored the Taliban’s growing presence beyond the border regions. The United States should not underestimate the strategic importance of countering the Taliban advance into key urban centers. In particular, Washington should increase the attention paid to Islamabad’s civilian counterterrorism efforts in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh. Continue reading

We are Pakistan!

By: Agha Haider Raza

Yet again Pakistani’s find themselves, lined up, shoulder to shoulder offering prayers for the departed.  The brazen attack during Friday namaaz has clearly shown the audacity and ability of the militants present within Pakistan.  On the one side, the suicidal mission that was led out is a direct signal to the Pakistan Army (the attack was taken out in the officers residential colony in Parade Lane, Rawalpindi Saddar) for retreating its forces in the tribal region, while also visibly proving that these militants are not Muslims.  The issue for me however is, why have our top brass only been visible at the namaaz-e-jinaza when one of their own has lost their life?  Poor Peshawar has been witnessing non-stop death and bombs.  It surely has been a while since I saw or read the Prime Minister being in this troubled city of Peshawar, rubbing shoulders with us and praying for those who have lost their lives due to actions taken by the state. Continue reading

Learn from yesterday for a better tomorrow

By: Osama Bin Javaid

Afghanistan is a mess and a byproduct of the Cold War. It has reached its present state due to plundering, both intentional and unintentional, by vested interests of internal and external powers. As is well known by now, in the 1980s, the CIA-funded extremist literature and systematic brainwashing created monstrous killing machines, not just in numbers, but in generations. Meanwhile, the Pakistani intelligence agencies knowingly remained tools in the grander scheme because they could salvage two cents from the dollars being pumped in. Continue reading

Pakistan conspiracy theories stifle debate

By: Ahmed Rashid

Switch on any of the dozens of satellite news channels now available in Pakistan.

You will be bombarded with talk show hosts who are mostly obsessed with demonising the elected government, trying to convince viewers of global conspiracies against Pakistan led by India and the United States or insisting that the recent campaign of suicide bomb blasts around the country is being orchestrated by foreigners rather than local militants.

Viewers may well ask where is the passionate debate about the real issues that people face – the crumbling economy, joblessness, the rising cost of living, crime and the lack of investment in health and education or settling the long-running insurgency in Balochistan province.

The answer is nowhere. Continue reading

So what its just the NRO!

By: Agha Haider Raza

So the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) beneficiaries list comes out.  The media is happy that those persons who enjoyed taking advantage of the NRO have light casted upon them, while the government is trying to push forward the argument of how they have respected the Supreme Court’s judgment and have publicized the list.  It seems to be a win-win situation for all parties.  But is it really?  Calls for the resignation of ministries and portfolios have echoed from all corners.  How has this zero-sum game turned into a finger-pointing-name-calling battle? Continue reading

I Want Jinnah’s Pakistan

By: Tariq Ali

Suicide bombings, death, destruction and carnage on a monumental scale. Murder and mayhem across the length and breadth of the country with no sign of let up or relief. Senior army officers targeted in broad daylight in the heart of the federal capital.The audacity, vicious nature and cruelty of the onslaught increasing with each passing day. Is this the Muslim homeland envisaged by the founding fathers? Certainly not! Jinnah’s vision of his creation was negated and nullified with the adoption of the Objectives Resolution shortly after his death in 1949. Continue reading

Pakistan Rock Rails Against the West, Not the Taliban

By: Adam B. Ellick

While Pakistani journalists, playwrights and even moderate Islamic clerics have boldly condemned the Taliban, the nation’s pop music stars have yet to sing out against the group, which continues to claim responsibility for daily bombings.

The violence has no shortage of victims in addition to the dead: more than three million people have become refugees, and more than 200 schools for girls have been destroyed. And the musicians I spoke to have suffered as well, which makes it all the more surprising that they are reluctant to criticize the militants. Continue reading

Identity Crisis

By: Murtaza Razvi

1755Paki is a Paki no matter where and what. Those complaining of racism abroad should also look at the way they’re treated at home. Please get it right: it is not always your colour or, of late, religion that may be responsible for the way you’re treated by goras and Arabs alike; it is the Pakistani identity. Those who are known to have little respect at home can lay claim to even less while in foreign lands. Continue reading