Monday, 28 January 2013

Change in line with the Constitution

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf


There are no two opinions about the fact that the people at large are weary of the prevalent political system in the country which has encouraged the culture of graft and entitlement and they want reforms that can make the system truly representative and responsive to the popular will. They desire the required changes through a constitutional and democratic process and not through the theatrics like the one enacted by Tahir Ul Qadri or the adventures of the self-styled saviours.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Pakistan, India and Kashmir


Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf


An out of the box solution is needed

The beauty of the truth is that it cannot be suppressed for ever and it ultimately emerges triumphant. The revelation by the Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde that SSS and BJP were running ‘terror training camps’ and spreading Saffron terrorism and that they were involved in the bombing of Samjhota Express, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon, is a confirmation of that universal truth. Both these organisations are avowed enemies of Pakistan and it is no wonder that they have been carrying out these acts of terrorism with the purpose of scuttling any initiative taken for normalisation of relations between Pakistan and India.

Monday, 21 January 2013

A face-saving exit


Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf


All stakeholders in the continuation of the democratic process must have heaved a sigh of relief at the drop scene of the Qadri show, which ostensibly was a planned attempt by Pakistan’s enemies to derail the system and plunge it into a situation of never-ending turmoil. Fortunately, the plan did not succeed due to the political sagacity of the PPP-led government and the solidarity shown by the opposition in sustaining the system.

While attempts to unmask the forces behind the plan will continue for some time, its contours are not difficult to understand. Its architects, probably, worked on the premise that the majority of the masses had lost faith in democracy and were waiting for some messiah for their deliverance. Also, that political parties had become irrelevant in the given circumstances and the situation was ripe for throwing the first stone and unfurling the deluge that will generate chaos of unmanageable proportions and provide enough justification for traditional saviours to act and wrap up the system.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Revolution or a damp squib


Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf



No compromise on democracy

The entry of Tahirul Qadri into the political arena like a paratrooper has created quite a stir that has all the trappings of a night raid rather than the revolution he is contemplating to bring in the political landscape of the country. He is a religious scholar and holds a law degree but I wonder if he really knows what a revolution is. A revolution is not organising an assembly of fifty thousand plus of your followers in a country of 180 million. Revolutions denote spontaneous uprising throughout the length and breadth of the country against the prevalent system.

Notwithstanding the repeated boastings by Dr Qadri about the crowd being in millions, the independent sources including the media outlets are unanimous in their estimates -- though very generous -- that the gathering at any given time was not beyond one hundred thousand. Another feature of a revolution is that it is brought about and triggered by a revolt of the proletariat. As we see both these elements are missing from the Qadri show, which instead of a revolution looks more like a damp squib that has crashed to the earth with a hissing sound before even being airborne. If that is what he calls a revolution, then it can be safely inferred that he and those for whom he is serving as an errand boy do not seem to have studied the French, Bolshevik and the Iranian revolutions.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Realistic perspective on Quetta tragedy



Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf


Pakistan is passing through a very critical phase of its history and the challenges confronting the country can only be tackled through impregnable national unity

In the wake of an act of
terrorism in Quetta that killed more than 90 people belonging to the Hazara community (Shias) and the resultant pressure mounted on the federal government by the Hazara community and leaders of religious and political organisations, the provincial government has been dismissed and Governor’s rule imposed in the province. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has done well by going to Quetta personally and responding to the demand for removal of the provincial government, which was imperative to console the bereaved families whose near and dear have fallen prey to the worst ever act of sectarian terrorism in the history of Pakistan. The entire nation shares the sorrow and grief of the Hazara community, which has been bearing the brunt of the burgeoning sectarianism.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Building a new democracy in Pakistan


Courtesy:-  Sherry Rehman


In 2008, the people of Pakistan were successful in their struggle for democracy, even though we lost our leader, Benazir Bhutto, in the campaign against terrorism and extremism, as she bravely led the way to representative government. As I fielded the rush of global messages condoling her death, I will never forget that the highest number came from the US Congress extolling her lifelong, courageous fight, remembering her as an iconic champion for democracy.

Change is inevitable


Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf 


The feudal character of our political system has encouraged and promoted the politics of graft and entitlement in the country. The unconstitutional interventions by the military dictators on the pretext of rectifying the maladies of the system actually reinforced this culture, besides creating a civil-military imbalance. The failure of political leaders to reform the system and policies pursued by dictators, arguably, is the root cause of all the major tragedies that Pakistan has waded through, including dismemberment of the country; emergence of religious extremism; culture of disdain for the rule of law and representative politics; threat to national security and honour; a transactional Pak-US relationship; dismal state of human rights and citizens security; scarcity of resources to provide for health, education and social welfare and rampant corruption that has almost assumed cancerous proportions in our society.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Qadri: his actions and intent


Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The actions and statements given by Dr Tahirul Qadri are unconstitutional by all cannons of law and smack of disruptive motives

As if the self-styled saviours were not enough to torment this hapless nation of 180 million, we now have another self-appointed reformer descending from nowhere claiming to winch the country out of the political quagmire and banish the well-entrenched culture of corruption from society. Ostensibly, there is nothing wrong with his declared objectives. In a democratic polity, people do have the right to hold and express their opinions on matters of national interest and vie for the aspired changes in the political and governance system of the country in conformity with the constitution. Our constitution, however, does not allow dual nationals to contest elections and become members of parliament. In the case of Dr Tahirul Qadri, a pertinent question is whether a dual national has a legal right to indulge in political activities and lead an agitation for change or not. This indeed is a million dollar question to be answered by the court. A petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court to stop Dr Qadri from going ahead with his proposed long march. A verdict on that petition needs to be delivered before the commencement of the march.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Fencing Sir Creek


Courtesy:- : S M Hali 


Sir Creek, a 96km narrow piece of water between India’s Gujarat state and Pakistan’s Sind province, is a contentious issue, which has plagued the two nations for decades. Historically, Pakistan considers it to be its sovereign territory because when a dispute arose between Sind and the Kutch Durbar, in 1914 a settlement was made on the basis of a compromise; the Sind government foregoing its claim on Kori Creek, further east of Sir Creek to gain ownership over the entire Sir Creek. After India’s partition in 1947, Sind became a part of Pakistan while Kutch remained with India, thus according to the International Law of uti possidetis juris, that decolonized sovereign states should have the same borders that their preceding dependent area had before independence, Pakistan deems to have inherited its right over Sir Creek.