Thursday, 26 September 2013

Benevolent governance personified

Courtesy:-  S Rahman

Like all the sane leaders and statesmen, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is of the firm belief that no nation on earth can survive without proper energy resources and without a sound economy.
For the PM, deadlines are more important than even the economic goals and targets. This is what is needed under the present circumstances as lot of rot had come our way that now needs surgery not only with precision but also with speed.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Education is our future


In a message to All-Pakistan
Educational Conference at Karachi on November 27, 1947,
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali
Jinnah said: ““There is no doubt that the future of our State will and must greatly depend upon the type of
education and the way in which we bring up our children as the future citizens of Pakistan. Education does not merely mean academic education, and even that appears to be of a very poor type. What we have to do is to mobilize our people and build up the character of our future generations.”
This was indeed a message of prophetic relevance to our nation’s future. The Quaid correctly emphasized the critical role education plays in the over-all health and well-being of a modern nation-state. Unfortunately, with misplaced priorities, we never focused on developing education as a pillar of our nation-building and as an asset for a modern, progressive and prosperous Pakistan.
Historically, as a public sector responsibility, education in Pakistan has remained a most neglected sector both in terms of budgetary allocation and systemic development. It has been among the lowest of our national priorities with scant attention paid to the need for systemic reform and redressal.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

PM speech to youth

Respected elders, brothers, sisters and committed youth!


 I do not intend to make any speech but want to briefly announce certain measures which we had promised in our manifesto and to which we repeatedly referred during the election campaign. Today, we embark upon the fulfilment of those promises. This is the first step in that direction and  with the passage of time the scope of these measures will not only be expanded but extra resources will also be diverted to this end which I consider as a sacred mission.
Your government is firmly committed to helping Pakistan surmount all its difficulties and elevating the country’s economy to that a level of strength as to render us independent of foreign assistance. We want to save on all the amount which is presently meeting the  losses of public sector enterprises. The resources so saved could be devoted to the welfare, education and training and the provision of employment opportunities to our youth. As I said, we spend Rs.500 billion each year to subsidize our loss making enterprises. Should this amount be available to the government, it could be  utilized for the benefit and welfare of the poor and on projects of youth development to usher in prosperity in their lives.
Despite limited resources, we are taking such initiatives in accordance with our manifesto as will open new vistas of opportunities for the less privileged and the youth. The basic object of these programmes is to make our youth self employed and independent. As you know that the government services are shrinking day by day, the world over. In Pakistan too, the opportunities of government employment are inversely related to population growth. One of the reasons for the loss of public sector enterprises is over employment in these organizations. Nepotism has undermined merit and now these enterprises have run into wreckage under the immense burden of over sizing. The PIA, Railways and Steel Mills are a few glaring examples. These enterprises eat Rs. 500 billion as subsidy. It is highly advisable in the public interest that wherever there is a strong private sector, the youth should be helped to stand on their own feet instead of letting them wander for jobs from door to door.
These are the promises that we made in the election campaign. We want to create such a conducive environment as to enable you earn your own living and also help others live in respect. Keeping these objects in view, the government wants to immediately imitate six programmes, which are briefly elaborated below:
1.      The first scheme envisages MICRO Interest free Loans which is dedicated to low income people. There is a provision of Rs. 3 billion for this scheme in the budget in the current financial year. About 150,000 young people will benefit from this interest free scheme.
2.      The second Small Business Loans Scheme aims at those educated unemployed youth who want to start their own business. 50 percent loans under this scheme are reserved for femle entrepreneurs. Under this scheme, loans of 0.5 to 2.0 million will be advanced to those skilled persons who would like to start their own workshop or an agri-business. There will be a concessional mark up of 8 percent on these loans and the difference will be paid by the government. Initially, these loans will be administered through the Nation al Bank and The First Women Bank for which Rs. 05 billion have been allocated.

3.         The third one is the Youth Tanning Scheme under which those young people will be selected for practical training whom would have completed 16 years education from a recognized institution. This will enable them find suitable jobs in or outside the country. I pray and wish that no one should look for job abroad but should find one at home. A stipend of Rs. 10 thousand will be given to the trainees during the on job training. There is an allocation of Rs.04 billion for this scheme which will benefit 50 thousand graduates.
Necessary skill and craft training will be given to trainees to enable them earn their living. Young boys and girls up to 25 years of age with middle level education will benefit from this scheme. The trainees will be given a scholarship of Rs. 05 thousand a month for six months. The fee of the training institutions will be paid by the government. An amount of Rs. 800 million has been earmarked for this purpose.

5.         The Fifth scheme is being initiated for Fee Reimbursement of the students belonging to less developed areas. The government is determined that no talented youth should remain uneducated because of financial constraints. Under this scheme, the tuition fee of the students studying at MA, MSc. or higher level will be borne by the government.  An amount of Rs. 1200 million has been budgeted for this scheme which will cover 30 thousand students at an average of Rs. 40 thousand per student per year.

6.         The sixth scheme is for the Provision of Laptops. In the present age of information technology, it is difficult to acquire quality education without the use of computer which is an effective source of access to the wealth of information and knowledge. In view of the importance of information technology, the Government of Punjab was the first one to distribute laptops. The federal government also intends to provide laptops to deserving students. Under this scheme, 100, 000 students will be receive free laptops for which an amount of Rs. 4 billion has been allocated.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

                        The federal cabinet has approved the concept of these schemes and arrangements for their implementation are ready. Nevertheless, to make these schemes more effective, transparent and merit based, I would like to benefit from your proposals. These schemes will be loaded on a special website- from 23 September 2013. You may give your proposals on this website, through SMS at a special mobile phone No.  80028 or in writing to PM Office ,Islamabad. Details of these schemes will also be published in news papers and telecast on TV. Suggestions will be received for ten days. I will not be satisfied till I receive your suggestions in the light of which these schemes will be finalized and given effect.

My dear youth,

            The government has allocated Rs.20 billion for these schemes in the current fiscal year. I know that this is not a large amount but as we are facing serious economic problems, we cannot afford more. We have to address the electricity problem and revive the economy, construct roads, motorways, hospitals and develop our industry for which we need large resources. As I already said, each year a huge sum of Rs.500 billion just go down the drain. However, the time is not far when this precious tax payers’ money will be spent on more productive undertakings. We have decided that in the coming years, we will allocate more resources to the schemes that aim at your welfare.

            My dear youth!

I would like to say that these schemes will be executed in all the four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. I ask you to come forward and make the best use of these opportunities. I am confident that with your talent and dedication we will elevate Pakistan to the ultimate pedestal of self respect, prosperity and sovereignty. Rise with complete faith in Allah to change your destiny. Surely, you will cause a prosperous future to dawn on the country’s horizon.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

PM has unveiled the government’s program for youth which consists of six especially formulated schemes:

     1.    MICRO Interest Free Loans

          2.    Small Business Loans Scheme

           3.     Youth Training Scheme 

4.            Youth Skills Development Scheme 

        5.    PM’s Scheme for Provision of Laptop 

      6.     PM’s Scheme for Reimbursement of Fee of Students from the Less Developed Areas 



PM has unveiled the government’s program for youth which consists of six especially formulated schemes:

1.     MICRO Interest Free Loans
2.     Small Business Loans Scheme
3.     Youth Training Scheme
4.     Youth Skills Development Scheme
5.     PM’s Scheme for Provision of Laptop
6.     PM’s Scheme for Reimbursement of Fee of Students from the Less Developed Areas

PM has desired that the people, especially youth should give suggestions & proposals which can be incorporated in these schemes to make them more effective, transparent & 100% on merit.
You are requested to give innovative but practical suggestions in view of the current national & global requirements & potential, strengths and aptitude of our youth. So give voice to your ideas & support the government in its initiatives for the youth. These proposals will be forwarded to the PM office for inclusion in the government’s program for youth. Please post/send your suggestions at:

Phone no: -    80028 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Democracy at work


It was indeed a rare and epoch making spectacle to watch the newly elected President taking oath of his office, flanked by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari, with two former Prime Ministers, political leaders and services chiefs in attendance. The event not only reflected a healthy transformation in the political culture of the country, made possible by smooth transfer of power through ballot but also represented a strong snub to the detractors of democracy and its virtues.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Public Verdict on Performance of Governance and Democracy in First 100 Days of National and Provincial Governments

September 15; On International Day of Democracy, PILDAT has released Public Verdict on Performance of Governance and Democracy in First 100 Days of National and Provincial Governments. The verdict is based on a nation-wide public opinion poll commissioned by PILDAT.[1]

Popular verdict on performance of the Federal Government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during its first 100 days is on the whole positive, as 62% of a national sample of men and women across the nation's 4 provinces give it a Good Rating, as opposed to 32% that give it a Poor Rating. The balance of the two or the NET PERFORMANCE RATING (NPR) [2] is thus 30.
This poll is a performance tracker regarding governance by the Federal Government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, 4 Provincial Governments and the Performance of Democracy in its various forms and expressions. The Poll was commissioned by PILDAT and comes nearly at the end of 100 days of the inauguration of Pakistan's newly-elected Federal Government that began with the Prime Minister's oath of office on June 05, 2013. [3]
Cautious approval is the Public Verdict on the performance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Government during First 100 Days
Nawaz Sharif’s policy of seeking harmony with the armed forces, provincial governments led by the parties which are in opposition at the federal level and opposition parties has received the highest rate of approval. His reaching out on key foreign policy issues is also approved.
However, there is a greater caution in the approval of performance on managing electricity shortage and addressing the problem of terrorism.
Public verdict about his performance about the choice of cabinet and resolving the malaise of corruption and nepotism is also rather reserved.
The NPR ranges from -5 on dealing with the issue of terrorism to over 20 on success in achieving harmonious relationship with the armed forces (26), political opposition (24) and provincial solidarity (24). The NPR Index on dealing with Foreign Affairs is also pretty high (19), but more modest on success in reducing the problem of electricity shortages (6); fighting corruption (13); fighting nepotism (-3). A relatively poor score on fighting nepotism indicates a rather strong perception among the public that the government is not following the policy of merit and rule of law and is rather patronising its favourites.
Provincial Pluralism
Punjab (56) gives very high NPR to Nawaz Sharif Government, followed by Balochistan (22), KP (-4) and Sindh (-12) in that order. This reflects the provincial competition and vote banks in the respective provinces.
Verdict is ‘Partisan’ in the Direction of Hope
The NPR is higher on Overall approval (30) than issue-specific NPR on load-shedding (6), fighting terrorism (-5), foreign policy (19).
When overall NPR approval exceeds issue-specific NPRs, it indicates that the citizens are more hopeful about the direction of change rather than the achievements in particular issues.
Cautious Optimism
With the change of Government after Election 2013, in general, Pakistani public opinion is 'cautiously optimistic' about the new Government’s ability and capacity to address the issues facing the country.
More people are optimistic (44%) about the Government’s ability to address Pakistan's current issues than people who are pessimistic (30 %). However, a significant number are also ambivalent (22 %) about it.
In addition to the Federal Government, the poll also sought public verdict on each of the 4 Provincial Governments.
Punjab Government gets the best rating out of the 4 Provincial Governments. Its NPR Index is 73, while the Sindh Government gets the poorest NPR, which is -2. The NPR for the KP Government stands at 26, and for Balochistan Government, it is 17.
We have chosen the following parameters to determine public views about performance of Federal Government during its first 100 days in office:
1- Overall Performance Rating
2- Addressing Electricity Shortage or Load-shedding
3- Fighting Terrorism
4- Addressing Key Foreign Policy Issues
5- Creating Inter-provincial Harmony
6- Creating Harmony with Political Opposition
7- Creating Harmony with Armed Forces
8- Competence of Cabinet Members
9- Fighting Corruption
10- Fighting Nepotism
Here are the results of the survey on each one of these parameters:
1- Overall Verdict on Governance at the Federal Level
According to the survey 62% gave Positive Rating to Governance by the Federal Government during the first approximately 100 days in Government; 32% gave it a Poor Rating.
The Net Rating (difference of Positive and Negative) is thus 30. We call it the NET PERFORMANCE RATING or NPR in the Report.
The NPR of Performance by the Federal Government is high in some and low in other Provinces. As one would expect, it is the highest in Punjab at 55, followed by Balochistan at 22. It is quite low in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and stands at -5. This means that those who gave Poor Performance Ratings (~51%) were 5% more than those who gave it a Good Ratings (~46%). In Sindh the NPR was even lower at -12.

2- Performance in dealing with the Issue of Electricity Shortage or Load-Shedding
According to the survey, 52% gave positive Rating, while 46% gave Negative Ratings. The NPR is thus only 6.
The NPR on this issue varies from province to province. It is the highest in the KP at 32 followed by Punjab at 17, Sindh at -26 and Balochistan at -47. It is interesting that the highest or most favourable NPR on this subject is in the KP where PML-N is not in the Government.
3- Performance on the Issue of dealing with Terrorism
According to the survey, 46% gave Good Performance Rating to the Government in dealing with the issue of Terrorism, 51% gave Poor Rating. The NPR is thus -5.
The NPR on the issue of Terrorism is the highest in Punjab at 8, followed by KP at 4. It is considerably lower in Sindh at -32, and even lower in Balochistan at -47.

4- Performance on addressing Key Foreign Policy Issues: Relations with USA, China and India
According to the survey, the Positive Ratings are 57%, while Negative Ratings are 38%. Thus the NPR is 19.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 32, followed by Balochistan at 28, Sindh at 02 and KP at -9.
5-Performance on Creating Inter-Provincial Harmony
According to the survey, the Positive Performance Ratings achieved by the Federal Government on the subject are 59% while Negative Ratings are 35%. Thus the NPR is 24.
The NPR on provincial harmony is the highest in Punjab at 43, followed by Balochistan at 35, KP at -3 and Sindh at -17.

6- Performance on Creating Harmony with Political Opposition
According to the survey, the Positive Ratings by the Federal Government in achieving Harmonious relations with political opposition in the Parliament is 59%, while the Negative Ratings are 35%. Thus the NPR is 24.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 46 followed by Balochistan at 20, KP at -1 and Sindh at -16.

7- Creating Harmony with the Armed Forces (Bringing State Institutions subservient to Rule of Law)
According to the survey, the Positive Ratings achieved by the Federal Government on this issue are 58%, while the Negative Ratings are 32%. Thus the NPR is 26.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 45, followed by Balochistan at 11, Sindh at -2 and KP at -3.
8- Performance on Choosing Competent Cabinet
According to the survey, 31% give Positive Rating on the subject. In other words they are satisfied with the quality or competence of the Federal Cabinet chosen by the Prime Minister. As opposed to this 18% give it a Poor Rating.
The remaining (12 %) are either un-informed or unable to give a specific view on the subject. Thus the NPR is 13.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 22, followed by Balochistan at 20, KP at 5 and Sindh at -5.
9- Performance on Fighting Corruption
According to the survey, 54% give Positive Performance Rating to the Federal Government in dealing with the problem of corruption, while 41% gave Negative Rating. Thus the NPR is 13.
The NPR is the highest in Punjab at 30 followed by KP at 18, Balochistan where it is Nil meaning that Positive and Negative Ratings are exactly equal. The NPR is the lowest in Sindh at -25.
10- Performance of Federal Government on the issue of eliminating Nepotism in Public Affairs
The Federal Government’s poorest rating was received on elimination of nepotism. According to the survey 45% give Positive Performance Ratings to the Federal Government on the subject, while 48% give Negative Ratings. Thus the NPR is -3.

Performance Ratings of Provincial Governments
The survey tried to elicit views from each province about performance of their respective Provincial Government on the issue of checking nepotism in public affairs.
Punjab Government gets the highest NPR at 9, followed by KP and Balochistan both of which score -4 each. The performance of Sindh Government is much poorer, since its NPR is -55.
Views on Performance of the Provincial Governments were elicited on matters of governance which mostly fall under provincial authority. These include subjects such as Education, Health, Street Cleaning, Providing Safe Drinking Water and Reducing Street Crime, etc.
Here are the findings. The responses, it must be noted, were elicited from residents of the respective province only.
Performance of Provincial Governments on Education
According to the survey the highest Performance Ratings were achieved by Punjab whose NPR-Index was 64, compared with KP whose score was only slightly behind at 62. In contract the NPR-Index of Sindh at -8 and Balochistan at -12 were much lower.

Performance of Provincial Governments on Healthcare
According to the survey, Punjab Government scores the highest NPR at 49, followed closely by KP at 45. The NPR for Sindh at -24 and Balochistan at -33 are much lower.
Performance of Provincial Governments on the Issue of Street Cleaning
According to the survey, Punjab scores the highest NPR at 32. On this issue, KP is considerably behind Punjab and stands at 5 only. Both Sindh and Balochsitan do much poorer as the score of Balochistan is -4 and that of Sindh is -47.
Performance of Provincial Governments on Safe Drinking Water
According to the survey, the NPR of KP is the highest at 25. On this issue Punjab is the runner up falling closely behind KP at 23. The score for Balochistan is 8, while the NPR for Sindh is extremely low at -46.

Performance of Provincial Governments on Reducing Street Crime
According to the survey, the NPR of Punjab is the highest at 19 followed by KP at 8, Balochsitan at -12 and Sindh at -46.

Popularity Contest of 4 Chief Ministers among All Pakistanis
According to the survey, Chief Minister Punjab is the clear winner in a popularity contest in which All Pakistanis voted irrespective of their province of residence. Survey findings show that 59% voted in favour of Mr. Shahbaz Sharif as the best performing Chief Minister, followed by Syed Qaim Ali Shah at 18%, Mr. Pervez Khattak at 9% and Dr. Abdul Malik at 4%. These ratings may have been partly influenced by the size of the sample size which is obviously the largest in Punjab followed by Sindh, KP and Balochistan corresponding with the population of each province.
In each province, their respective Chief Ministers enjoy most popularity, with the exception of Balochistan in which Chief Minister Punjab is the most popular. Other than Balochistan and Punjab, where Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is the most popular, in other two provinces, namely Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Minister Punjab is a close second choice of public.
In Punjab, Chief Minister Punjab has 76% approval ratings, followed by Syed Qaim Ali Shah, CM Sindh who is a distant number 2 in Punjab at 8%, followed by Chief Minister KP, Mr. Pervez Khattak, at 4% and Dr. Abdul Malik, Chief Minister Balochistan, with popularity rating of 1% in Punjab.
Popularity Ratings of 4 Chief Ministers in Punjab
Question: In your opinion, out of the country’s four Chief Ministers, which one has been the most successful? And it can be from your own province or from any other.

In Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah’s approval ratings are at 39%, followed very closely by CM Punjab, whose popularity ratings among Sindh’s population is 38%, followed by Chief Minister KP at 7% and Chief Minister Balochistan at 6%.
Popularity Ratings of Chief Ministers in Sindh
Question: In your opinion, out of the country’s four Chief Ministers, which one has been the most successful? And it can be from your own province or from any other.

In Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Mr. Pervez Khattak, CM KP, has approval ratings of 34%, followed by CM Punjab at 29%, followed by CM Sindh at 26% and CM Balochistan at 1%.
Popularity Ratings of 4 Chief Ministers in KP
Question: In your opinion, out of the country’s four Chief Ministers, which one has been the most successful? And it can be from your own province or from any other.

In Balochistan, Dr. Abdul Malik, Chief Minister Balochistan, is approved by 31% - as number 2 choice of people of Balochistan, while Chief Minister Punjab, Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif enjoys highest popularity ratings of 40%. Syed Qaim Ali Shah, CM Sindh, gets 17% approval ratings in Balochistan followed by CM KP, Mr. Pervez Khattak, at 8%.
Popularity Ratings of 4 Chief Ministers in Balochistan
Question: In your opinion, out of the country’s four Chief Ministers, which one has been the most successful? And it can be from your own province or from any other.

Factors Underlying High or Low Performance Ratings
The following 4 factors seem to be the key in determining the level of Performance Ratings.
1. Political Partisanship
It is quite understandable that those who voted for the party currently in power, in the Federation or in the Provinces, are more likely to give better Performance Rating to it compared to those who did not. This is why the NPR of Punjab Government is higher than the Federal Government, 73 as opposed to 48. After all, the PML-N won 46% of the votes in Punjab. But only 33% at the Federal level. But political partisanship is not the only explanation.
2. Outreach beyond Political Partisanship
The second most important factor in obtaining high performance ratings is the ability and success to win high ratings from political opponents or those who do not intend to vote for the ruling party. This second factor explains the high NPR achieved by Chief Minister Punjab. His NPR is 90 among the PML-N voters but also as high as 48 among all other who do not intend to vote for the PML-N. This latter figure is considerably lower for the Federal (30) as well as the other 3 Provincial Governments (Sindh -21, KP 26 and Balochistan 17).
The findings suggest that the Prime Minister and the respective Chief Ministers can raise their Performance Ratings if they are seen in their position of PM and CM to represent all voters rather than heads of their respective political parties.
Apparently, the performance of Chief Minister of Punjab enjoys a great deal of appreciation across political partisanship and provincial boundaries. When asked to name the best of the four Chief Ministers he scores quite high not only in his own but also other provinces.
3. National Mood to Seek Harmony
A third factor underlying high ratings seems to be whether government leaders are successful in seeking harmony. Apparently, the popular mood is weary of a long period of conflict and contentious politics across political groups and institutions. Thus, any policy or action which appears to enlist harmony is appreciated.
4. Issue Specific Differentiation and Pragmatism
A fourth factor underlying Performance Ratings seems to be the ability and inclination among Pakistanis to be quite pragmatic and issue specific in giving their positive or negative verdict. It is not a matter of all out ‘love’ or ‘hate’ based on emotional support or hostility. Thus, the Federal Government gets as high an NPR as 26 for its harmonious relationship with the armed forced and as low as -5 for its success in dealing with the problem of terrorism.[4] Similarly the Punjab Government gets as high an NPR as 64 on education but as low as 19 on reducing crime and only 9 on dealing with the problem of nepotism. This trend to give issue-specific pragmatic evaluation or verdict is visible in the case of all Provinces and the Federal Government.

Benchmark for Performance of Democratic Processes and Institutions in First 100 Days
Fairness of General Election 2013 got an NPR of -1 as 31% nationwide respondents caused aspersions on the fairness of General Election 2013 while 30% said 2013 General Election was more transparent and freer than the previous General Election (2008). 31% respondents believed there was no difference in the fairness of the 9th (2008) and 10th (2013) General Elections.
Trust in Political parties got NPR of 44 as nearly 69% respondents said they trust their political parties (A lot of trust: 32%; Trust to an Extent: 37%) while 16% showed little trust and 9% at very little trust.
According to the survey, the Net performance Score of 13 Democratic Institutions or processes is provided below. These scores can not be attributed to the successes or failures achieved by the new Governments during its first 100 days. However these Benchmark figures will be a useful guideline to gauge the performance of new Governments as they make progress during their 5 year term.
Net Performance Rating (NPR) on
Perceived Improvement Over Previous Government

1-Overall Quality of Democratic Functioning26
2-Hope that Democracy will deliver22
3-Effectiveness of Parliament19
4-Effectiveness of Cabinet10
5-Law-Observing Behavior of the Executive-2
6-Effectiveness of Democratic oversight on Military12
7-Fairness in Elections-1
8-Trust in Political Parties44
9-Effectiveness of Supreme Court3
10-Respect for Human Rights17
11-Independence of Media20
12-Safeguarding National Sovereignty7
Provincial Government's Role on the subject
13-Assertion of Provincial Autonomy:
  • Punjab
  • Sindh
  • KP
  • Balochistan
Complete PILDAT Report titled Public Verdict on Performance of Governance and Democracy in First 100 Days of National and Provincial Governments can be downloaded at PILDAT website: or by accessing this Link here.
[3]The respondents for this survey are 3568 men and women chosen through a statistical process from Rural and Urban areas from all 4 provinces of Pakistan. They represent a cross section of young and old, middle and high income; people with no education, modest education and high education. As a result composition of this group is quite similar to the notion of a Public Jury. This is the reason that the findings of this survey are also metaphorically described as the Public Verdict of a National Jury. The field work for the survey was done face to face in respondents’ homes during August 26 – September 02, 2013. The sample comprises a cross section of various age, income, education and language groups of the population. Error margin is estimated to be approximately ± 2-3 per cent at 95% confidence level.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Statesmanship a la Nawaz Sharif

Courtesy:- S.Rahman 

Charismatic leadership is a bygone phenomenon, but statesmanship is a permanent feature and blessed are those nations that have sagacious, good-natured and practical statesmen like Mian Nawaz Sharif.

It might appear to some as mere panegyric or praise for the sake of praise but in fact, it is not so. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rather symbolises all these qualities by way of their practical demonstration in his style of administration.

His is a blend of personal warm feelings and formal functions, a unique combination of good human qualities and efficient governance that adds up to what we can describe as graceful statesmanship.

Just the other day, the nation witnessed the glimpse of that graceful statesmanship when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held an honourable farewell in the honour of the outgoing President, Asif Ali Zardari.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The defender’s pride

Courtesy:-  Waheed Hamid

Defence Day (Youm-e-Difa) is celebrated in Pakistan as a national day on September 6 every year. The day reminds us of the supreme sacrifices Pakistan Army men rendered in 1965 when the nation went into war with India. On this day Pakistan Armed Forces successfully defended Lahore, Sialkot and other important sectors of the country from foreign aggression and repulsed a force which was 5 times bigger than Pakistan’s forces.

On September 6, 1965, Indian forces attacked Pakistan, but the defenders defended and left memories of selflessness and sacrifice for the Nation. M M Alam shot down 05 Hawker Hunter fighters of Indian Air Force, in air-to-air combat by shooting down five Indian aircraft in less than sixty seconds, and made a world record.

Pakistan recaptured Khem Karan, one of the world’s greatest battles of tanks was fought at Chawinda as India opened the Sialkot front with an armoured and three infantry divisions. Pakistan took the war to Indian soil and panic stricken Indian leaders rushed to the UNSC with a ceasefire request. Pakistan Navy’s success in Operation Dwarka left lessons for the students of world naval studies.

However, both sides returned to pre-war positions after Tashkent Declaration in Jan 1968. The Hallmark of the 1965 war was the united battle put up by Pakistan as a Nation in which everyone stood by their Armed forces.

The celebrations of September 6 each year remind us of Pakistan Armed forces which have excelled through its training, patriotism and morale. The examples left by the brave men and the love and aspirations of the Nation still keep the armed forces in high morale and they remain the best performers in the National and international tasks for United Nations whenever assigned to them. 

Pakistan armed forces have developed into an institution which train and produce a collective force to take on the challenges being faced by the nation not only in war but also in case of natural calamities.

The confidence level of the nation in its army is evident from the fact that even the ones who criticize army show confidence in them when it comes to responsibility and performance even in duties like election.

Like individuals no institution can be perfect or it would be angel but overwhelmingly armed forces enjoy the status of one of the top institutions of the country. Apart from collective achievements the standard of training in army can be gauged from the performance of its individuals, and their inputs for Pakistan after they retire at a young age and join the civil sector.

The soldiers who have laid their lives in line of duty and sacrificed their today for our tomorrow will always be remembered and discussed as a source of inspiration for the coming generation.

They have lived a candle’s life and burned themselves out to give us light of hope and freedom. The nation stands today with the army to build and defend the ideological and physical borders of Pakistan.