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Archive for February, 2013

Pakistan: New Elections New Principles

Posted by yourpakistan on February 28, 2013


PML-N & JUI 2013 Pakistan Election Alliance

Race is set for new political romances, bedfellows, greener pastures:

By MAK Lodhi – Opinion Maker

More surprises are in the winds than on the ground as the elected and ‘electable’ representatives of people, prospective and potential candidates make for greener pastures in Election 2013, giving a lurch to the coalition ship, which has already been perforated at more than one point.

Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman, the JUI-F leader of all weathers, has made a fine move by calling at the palatial residences of Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif at Raiwind Road, Lahore (renamed Jatti-Umra after their ancestral small house in East Punjab).

The PML-N, which happens to be the second biggest political party by its strength and numbers, has at long last come out of reclusive political isolation and launched an ‘open-door’ policy. Several elected representatives from the ruling party have already joined it.

More surprises are in the winds than on the ground as the elected and ‘electable’ representatives of people, prospective and potential candidates make for greener pastures in Election 2013, giving a lurch to the coalition ship, which has already been perforated at more than one point. – See more at: Read the rest of this entry »

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India ‘financed problems’ for Pakistan via Afghanistan: Chuck Hagel

Posted by yourpakistan on February 27, 2013


Chuck Hagel

While some in Pakistan have for long been crying hoarse over growing Indian subversive activities in Pakistan through Afghanistan, the latest confirmation of this came from US defence secretary nominee Senator Chuck Hagel who in a previously unreleased video suggested that India has over the years “financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.”

Hagel in a talk on Afghanistan at the Cameron University in Oklahoma in 2011 said that India has been using Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. “India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border, and you can carry that into many dimensions.” The 2011 video had not been released previously, and only came to light after it was uploaded on to video sharing website by Washington Free Beacon. Hagel was nominated by President Barack Obama in January to replace US defence secretary Leon Panetta. He is due to hear a verdict on on his confirmation by the US Senate on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Washington has decried Hagel’s statement. An Indian embassy spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon that Hagel’s statement was not grounded in “reality”. “Such comments attributed to Senator Hagel, who has been a long-standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-US relations, are contrary to the reality of India’s unbounded dedication to the welfare of the Afghan people,” the spokesperson said. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Magic Wand

Posted by yourpakistan on February 24, 2013


Pakistan Magic Wand

 By Humayun Gauhar

It was most uncharacteristic of former Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh to resign at the cusp of maybe elections. Speculation became rife. He is not the type to abandon ship about to reach port. His bosses like him. Conclusion: he must be the ruling party’s nominee for caretaker prime minister. For once, speculation is not off the mark.  But as the hackneyed adage goes, “There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.”

The best outcome would be for Hafeez Shaikh as consensus candidate, else it would go to a multi-party parliamentary committee. If no consensus is formed there, names from the leaders of the House and the opposition go to the Election Commission for final decision. The EC is likely to select Shaikh, but you never know.

Whoever the caretaker PM is, if he is there only for 90 days his task sounds simple: to hold clean elections. But herein lies the rub, for the task is not so simple, not in a country riven by turmoil. There is so much bloodletting in large swathes of Pakistan that peaceful elections seem a pipedream. Then, our demographic profile is outdated because a population census was not held in 2008. How can you hold elections when you don’t even know how many people you have, their ages and addresses, the gender balance etcetera? Without a census you cannot delimit constituencies and create new ones to accommodate a larger population. Without up-to-date representation elections would be partially invalid ab initio.

Given this problem accompanied by political and economic turmoil and the urgent need for a fresh IMF programme that won’t come without a stable and sensible government, speculation is also rife that the caretaker might get a judicial extension to first undertake fast track reforms. The task then becomes even less simple. In that case Hafeez Shaikh is the best of the names being bandied about. He is young, honest, God fearing, humble, highly educated, well regarded in the international financial and diplomatic communities, understands both types of government, a consensus builder and peacemaker who likes to take everyone along because he doesn’t have an out of control ego. Read the rest of this entry »

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America’s Global Torture Network

Posted by yourpakistan on February 21, 2013


America Terror Networks

By Robert Scheer

The title, “Globalizing Torture,” says it all. This meticulous accounting of the network of torture chambers that the United States has authorized in more than 54 nations is a damning indictment that should make all of us in this country cringe with shame.

The report is a product of the Open Society Foundations, funded by international financier and philanthropist George Soros, who, as a young Jew, suffered through the Nazi occupation of Hungary and emerged from that experience an uncompromising fighter for human rights. That his lifelong goal to “foster accountability for international crimes,” reflected in his organization’s mission statement, now includes our government is a condemnation as awful as it is deserved.

When it comes to torture in the post 9/11 era, the record of the United States is so appalling that one must question our claimed abhorrence of the barbarism of other nations. In fact, the essence of our rendition program has been to outsource torture to those countries most sadistic in their use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” That is flattery of a most twisted sort.

For example, Syria, now universally condemned for its contempt for human life, was chosen as the site to torture Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen detained by U.S. authorities at John F. Kennedy Airport. The apology and financial compensation he received from Canadian officials is only one of three instances of governments apologizing, and that list does not include the United States.

Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, known for its horrid interrogation tactics condemned in the Arab Spring uprising, was selected by the U.S. to interrogate Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who “under threat of torture at the hands of Egyptian officials, fabricated information relating to Iraq’s provision of chemical and biological weapons training to al-Qaida,” the report states. That is the very misinformation that Colin Powell relied on in his U.N. speech justifying the Iraq invasion. So much for the evil rationalization for torture as a source of reliable information, offered in the propaganda film “Zero Dark Thirty.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran to establish naval base near Gwadar

Posted by yourpakistan on February 20, 2013


Iran Naval Base Near Gawadar Pakistan

TEHRAN: The Iranian Navy is establishing a new naval base on its coast of the Gulf of Oman. The location is Pasabandar, near Iran’s border with Pakistan, reported Fars news agency. 

The move came as Pakistan prepared to sign an agreement with a Chinese firm to hand over the control of Gwadar Port. “The naval base which is under-construction is located in our country’s far east coasts in the Gwatr Gulf along the borders with Pakistan,” Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Sunday.

He said that the Navy has intensified its efforts to develop the Makran coasts, which stretches from Iran’s port city of Bandar Abbas to Makran (also known as Pasabandar). (Monitoring Desk)

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PAKISTAN’S STINKING BLACK HOLE

Posted by yourpakistan on February 12, 2013


Black Hole

By Brig Samson S Sharaf – Opinion Maker

By the time Pakistan’s present Parliament hangs its gloves, the economy will be in a tailspin. Barring untoward incidents that may cause a delay in the forthcoming election schedules, the presentation of the financial budget 2012-13 will be left to a new care taker government, in all probability an extension of the economic team already in place. Deprived of time and on-job expertise, it will be an uphill assignment to make major readjustments to an economy already melted and sunk.

The Debt Trap

The first challenge for the caretakers and the new government that comes to power after the elections will be the debt trap. Debt mismanagement by the present government during its tenure needs to be marked with five black stars. From 2008 to 2012, Pakistan’s total debt has jumped from Rs 6,037 billion to Rs. 12,002 Billion, a walloping 108% nearly doubling all that Pakistan borrowed in 61 years. This unprecedented borrowing was cleverly folded into the misleading term of Debt-GDP Ratio.

The government borrowed recklessly from external sources only to waste away into a completely mismanaged and corrupt system The benefits of this inflow could not be passed on to the people. External borrowing increased from Rs. 2,762 billion in the first 61 years to Rs. 4,364 billion in the past four years, an increase of 65%. As a departure from its Debt-GDP Ratio mantra adopted in the past, the government now appears to point realistically towards revenue generation capacity, forex reserves and export earnings. Given that Pakistani currency in the same period has shed 31 rupee against the dollar, this amount will continue to rise. As an option the government will borrow to pay loans. Another option would be to increase Pakistan’s exports and drastically cut out the import bills. In view of the recession, energy crisis, high cost of transportation and a big part of value added exports shifted to other countries, this is impossible unless the environments improve over successive years. Read the rest of this entry »

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UN Fails Humanity in Kashmir

Posted by yourpakistan on February 3, 2013


UNO Fails in Kashmir

PKKH Exclusive | By Mehwish Quraishi

Kashmir Solidarity Day is annually observed in Pakistan on February 5 to express solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It also honors the sacrifices made for Kashmir’s liberation.

It is a day dedicated to show Pakistan’s support and unity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir, their ongoing freedom struggle, and to pay homage to Kashmiri martyrs who lost their lives fighting for Kashmir’s freedom.

Pakistan has raked up the issue of Kashmir at the United Nations forum time and again but India has always been insisting that it is its internal matter. Indian brutalities against innocent Kashmiris who have been long denied their just right to self-determination still continue.

United Nations’ Human Right Council has the obligation to raise voice against the Human Rights Violations and has every power to order for commissions of inquiry/Action against Human Rights Violations in any country but it still hasn’t showed any interest to get the conflict resolved. Kashmir groans under Indian military repression while UN maintains its silence on the happenings in Kashmir.

Keeping in view the Poor role of United Nations and the fact that Kashmir Conflict is always over-looked, PKKH Team came up with the Trend:  #UNFailsHumanityinKashmir

Hundreds of Tweets with the hash-tag #UNFailsHumanityinKashmir were posted which, within hours, set it among the Top Trends of Pakistan. PKKH team members and those who participated in the Trend came up with fact-based tweets, Images and sketches.

Top Tweets:  Read the rest of this entry »

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