Tag Archives: Pakistan Army

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.

Continue reading

New Year, New Tasks

By: Agha Haider Raza

2011 has been a rather tumultuous year for Pakistan. There have been too many incidents to highlight and ponder over.  With the assassination of Salmaan Taseer in January to the deaths of Pakistani soldiers in November, the land of the pure has taken a lot of bruising. Despite suffering at the hands of homegrown and natural disasters, Pakistan continues to point fingers at the United States and other foreign intelligence agencies.  Now don’t get me wrong, the US has done its fair share to ruffle things up in the region, but I have to ask– how long can the country blame foreign powers for our own misery? Pakistan has failed to create a cohesive narrative at a time when it is most necessary.

Continue reading

Sick and Tired!

By: Agha Haider Raza

Over the past week Pakistan has read many different news items. From the passing of the 18th amendment to the bomb blast at the US Consulate, much is happening. Some may say the stories are for the betterment of our country while others may disagree. In my mind the successful visit of the Foreign Minister and his entourage to the United States gave Pakistan some much needed positive press. However, the current witch-hunt carried out by the Chief Justice and the ugly battle over the reopening of Zardari’s corruption cases has embarrassed many of those who fought for the independence of the judiciary. Now do not get me wrong, as much as I enjoyed protesting on the streets of Lahore for the reinstatement of the nation’s top judge, I can’t fathom Mr. Iftikhar’s current agenda of picking and choosing his enemies. When will we be able to see actual results from the “democratically” elected officials and the “independent” judiciary we as a nation have struggled to achieve for 62 years? When will stop pointing fingers and vilifying those whom we disagree with? Or have we gotten used to being stuck in this whirlpool of revengeful politics. Honestly, we Pakistanis have gotten sick and tired of the lies and broken promises. Continue reading

A new dawn

By: Agha Haider Raza

Over the past few days – out-of-public viewing – Pakistan has witnessed a welcoming shift in policy.  With the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdul Salam, the trust deficit between the United States and Pakistan or rather the ISI and CIA is slowly diminishing.  With a joint effort by these two premier intelligence agencies, a significant blow has been dealt to the top brass of the Taliban.  The capture of these Mullahs seems to have brought upon a new dawn upon the horizon. Continue reading

Zaid Hamid and the strategic depth

By: Farhat Taj

FATA continues to be used and abused as a strategic space by the security establishment of Pakistan in violent pursuit of strategic depth in Afghanistan. In short, strategic depth means Pakistan must have a pro-Pakistan government in Afghanistan by any and all means. People of FATA have suffered more than people in any other part of Pakistan due to this policy. They dread and hate ‘strategic depth’. Continue reading

Coming full circle

By: Cyril Almeida

A very interesting analysis presented by Almeida in regards to the role of the Pakistan Army.  Many seem to bypass the role this ‘institution’ has played. Don’t get me wrong, the Army has done a tremendous job for Pakistan on various fronts throughout the course of our history.  But it is high time, they share the brunt of our misery today rather than solely blaming the corrupt elite and politicians. Continue reading

Mesmerization of Pakistani politics

By: Agha Haider Raza

This article was published in The Daily Times.  It truly does sum up my sentiment towards politics in Pakistan. I have no doubt that my generation will carry us forward with a vibrant and dynamic economy, and a population that is free of corruption and has ample access to justice along with the freedom of religion to practice and preach.

Politics in Pakistan mesmerize me. Not only does one enjoy the daily dose of rhetoric that is spewed from the mouths of our beloved politicians, but the one track mind of those in and out of government baffles the mind. Politics in Pakistan, much like the political parties themselves seem to be more inclined towards a personality than an ideology.  Nawaz Sharif, Altaf Hussain and Asif Zardari seem to be controlling the present and future of 170 million Pakistanis. What is ironic of these three distinguished gentlemen is the immense power they control. Nawaz Sharif, already a two-time Prime Minister – failed miserably on both occasions, Altaf Hussain – a self exiled leader living in London and Asif Zardari – the current President of Pakistan seems to be holding on to his seat with every bit of strength his party can muster. But why has it lead to a power struggle amongst these political leaders when thousands of Pakistani civilians and soldiers have died over the last few years? Why are we still playing the dirty political games of the past, when history has taught us to do better?

Furthermore, none of the three main political players can advocate the issues I have outlined. One is uneducated, the other is too religious and the third is downright corrupt. They surely cannot practice what they preach, so how have they managed to fool a nation of 170 million people and gained the ability to even vie for the control of our government? It truly baffles the mind. But with the determination that has kept us alive for the past 62 years, surely we will be able to overcome our current difficulties. It is only fair and critical that we start exercising and demanding our civil rights. It is the only way we can hold our government accountable. We must fight for our right to education, our right to freedom of religion and our right to a corrupt-free society. Anything short of this would truly be a sell out on our behalf!

Continue reading

Does the military really need an increase?

It is highly unfortunate when a nuclear powered country is facing shortages in basic commodities, our political and military elite decide to increase the salaries of soldiers and officers.  I understand they have laid sacrifices for this country, but don’t forget that we have lost more civilians than soldiers in the war against the militants. Already the army has the highest portion of the federal budget and at an economically crucial time, cutbacks are necessary!

ISLAMABAD: The cabinet has decided to increase the salaries of the soldiers and officers of the armed forces, Federal Information Minister Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira told media while addressing press conference Wednesday.

The armed forces are playing an important role in war against terrorism and forces have given greater sacrifices for the people of the country in war against terrorism. They must be given initiatives. Therefore, federal cabinet has decided to raise the salaries of the soldiers by 20 percent while the salaries of the officers would be raised by 15 percent, he added.

The committee has been formed to review the case of the salaries of Balochistan policemen and to give the equal salaries as given to policemen in other provinces, he added.

Kaira said that the government would install the rental power projects in view to the audit report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the rental power projects and only those power projects would be installed which had been called as suitable by the ADB.

We are facing the shortage of sugar in the country. The cabinet has ordered Trading Corporation to import 0.5 million tons of sugar, he added.

The federal cabinet has also approved to install new power plant in Guddu, Sindh, he added.

Source: Samaa News

Fighting the wrong threat?

By:  Cyril Almeida

What’s holding up the constitutional amendment package? Raza Rabbani and his elves have been hard at work for months; the politicians swear they want it done sooner rather than later; heck, even the army is in favour of it. Surely, it isn’t that difficult. Continue reading

Watching Pakistan Teeter

By: Daniel Markey

The Zardari government is hanging by a thread. Daniel Markey on what happens if it falls—and the perils of the U.S. stepping in.

Judging from the breathless reporting out of Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari is only hanging onto power by the skin of his teeth. Zardari and many of his closest allies face serious political troubles because Pakistan’s supreme court recently overturned a Musharraf-era amnesty deal that had allowed him, his then-wife Benazir Bhutto, and a raft of other politicians to brush off unsettled cases of graft and corruption and return to government office.
Whatever the legal merits of Zardari’s case, this judicial action poured lighter fluid onto an anti-Zardari flame that had already been burning for many months. If left untended, this flame could again consume Pakistan in the sort of destabilizing political protests experienced at the end of the Musharraf regime. Continue reading