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
Posted in Contributors
Tagged Army, Change, Conspiracy, Crisis, Extremists, Foreign Policy, Future, Identity, Inter Services Intelligence, ISI, Journalism, Justice, Kerry-Lugar Bill, Militants, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Nationalism, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Government, US, War, Waziristan
By: Nadeem F. Paracha
The day after the terrible terrorist attack at Islamabad’s Islamic University that took the lives of eight innocent students, certain TV news channels ran a footage of a dozen or so angered students of the university pelting stones. The first question that popped up in my mind after watching the spectacle was, what on earth were these understandably enraged young men throwing their stones at?
So I waited for the TV cameras to pan towards the direction where the stones were landing. But that did not happen. It seemed as if the students were pelting stones just for the heck of it.
So I called a fellow journalist friend who was covering the story for a local TV channel and asked him about the protest. He told me the students were pelting stones at a handful of cops. Now, why in God’s good name would one throw stones at cops after being attacked by demented men who call themselves the Taliban?
The very next day another protest took place outside the attacked University in which the students, both male and female, were holding banners that said: ‘Kerry-Lugar Bill namanzoor!’ (Kerry-Lugar Bill Not Acceptable).
I could barely stop myself from bursting into a short sharp fit of manic laughter. It was unbelievable. Or was it, really? Continue reading
Posted in Contributors
Tagged Army, Change, Clinton, Conspiracy, Extremists, Foreign Policy, Future, Hillary Clinton, Journalism, Kerry-Lugar Bill, Nationalism, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Government, Protest, Suicide Bomb, Taliban, Terrorist, United States, United States of America, Urdu, US, War
By: Saleha Javaid
As if juicy tidbits about “Meera” aren’t bizarre enough already, staggering reports about Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s son, “Zain H. Qureshi” are a ‘special’ and hopefully ‘limited’ edition to tabloid journalism in the country. The intern who has been ripped to shreds for his internship at Senator John Kerry’s Office is alleged to have been complicit in drafting the controversial Kerry Lugar legislation in his capacity as “legislative fellow” during the period of his internship. So much for gaining pre-professional work experience prior to graduation! What is more amusing is the portrayal of this association between the FM’s son and the Senate Foreign Relations committee chair as being covert and classified, intensifying Pakistani suspicion about recently passed and highly controversial “Kerry Lugar Bill.” Continue reading
By Nadeem Piracha
As the country’s electronic media and drawing-rooms buzz with the ins and outs of the Kerry-Lugar Bill, yet another suicide terrorist attack ripped through the already devastated and blood-soaked streets of Peshawar.
Several serious political issues have taken over the media and garnered national attention over the past few weeks. These include President Zardari’s trip to the United States, the Punjab government requesting a delay in the by-poll elections the bomb blast at the World Food Program UN office in Islamabad and of course, the Kerry-Lugar Bill seems to be leading in the popular vote. The question is, with immense opposition brewing and the government allowing an open debate in the National Assembly, will we be able to find a viable solution?