Monthly Archives: March 2010

Media, Morality And Us

By YLH

This is a short blog to condemn Aaj TV and other such media outlets which play on our middle class’ confused morality for viewership. Switching channels, I came across a sick new TV show called “Target” by Aaj Tv.

It targets mini-cinemas, internet cafes and other places that lower middle class and piss poor pay 20 rupees for cheap entertainment. The anchor- a typical buffoon- is found running with no less than 2 dozen armed policemen chasing poor and hapless laborers and what not escaping some of these mini-cinemas.

I wonder why the poor always get targetted by such TV station. Well because these people can’t fight back. One can count half a dozen different fundamental rights that the anchor and the policemen who aid him violate in the process of this imbecilic show. These people are manhandled and slapped around and also shown on TV.

The police ought to be keeping law and order and that does not mean oppressing people and stopping them from having a good time. Pakistan’s law does not allow for arbitrary morality policing. Sanctity and privacy – believe it or not- are fundamental rights. Instead a warped interpretation and twist on “thou shall stop evil and enjoin good” has become prevalent in society. It feeds losers and third rate wannabes who then appear on TV and play on the middle class’ morality as well curiosity.

Don’t we have bigger problems? Terrorists are blowing up left right and center and we are concerned about whether people are watching porn or as the show refers to it “fahashi”? More than the stupid TV channel that is promoting this nonsense one wonders what our police and their superiors are thinking allowing such control freakery and waste of tax payer money. Did it occur to them that their time could be better spent protecting our life, liberty and property- something they are paid to do?

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The Enemy Within

Terrorism and the denial problem

By Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi              crosspost from Daily Times, 28 March, 2010

The most serious threat to Pakistan’s political stability and economic development is the growing terrorist attacks by the various Taliban groups and other militant Islamic groups that use violence to pursue their narrow-based religious and political agendas.

        Gen. Zia ul Haque

    Pakistan army soldiers carry a coffin of a colleague who lost his life during a fight against al-Qaida and Taliban

Pakistan’s societal harmony and political stability is threatened by the complex challenges of religious intolerance, Islamic-sectarian violence, militancy and jihadi culture against the backdrop of the regional and global environment that is not always helpful. These domestic ailments have compromised Pakistan’s capacity to cope with global pressures and improve its bargaining position in international diplomacy. Continue reading

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Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Democracy, Education, Islamism, Pakistan, Religion, state, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror

Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi?

In four years, standby to greet Prime Minister Narendra Modi

By Jawed Naqvi | Crosspost from Dawn, 29 Mar, 2010
 
A big race, probably the biggest that India is mandated to hold, was kicked off last week. It could usher Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi as prime minister in 2014 when elections are due, if not before. And since Modi has the unqualified support of major industrialists who know the art, shall we say, of financing parties, lobbying for MPs, and influencing key policies, there is little reason to doubt who the corporate media would be backing when push comes to shove.
 
Gandhi, with his limited experience of NGOs in Amethi and Rae Bareli might find himself as the back-up. He is untested. Modi, on the other hand, has shown his worth to those who run democracy in India.

Continue reading

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Filed under Democracy, India, Politics, secularism

Basic structure Theory And Our Constitutional Crisis

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

H M Seervai’s basic structure theory has come alive once again in Pakistan with the new deadlock on the judicial commission.

Lawyers opposing the move are of the view that the proposed commission is violative of the basic structure of Pakistan. Supreme Court in its infinite wisdom laid down that Pakistani constitution has a basic structure comprising the following: Continue reading

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Pakistan’s War of Choice

NYT, March 24, 2010
 
By MICHAEL E. O’HANLON
 
Peshawar, Pakistan: WHAT are Americans to make of all the good news coming out of Pakistan in recent weeks?
 
First, the Afghan Taliban’s military chief, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was arrested in a raid in February. Around the same time, several of the Taliban’s “shadow governors” who operate out of Pakistan were captured by Pakistani forces. Last week, the C.I.A. director, Leon Panetta, announced that thanks in large part to increased cooperation from Pakistan, drone strikes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border are “seriously disrupting Al Qaeda,” and one killed the terrorist suspected of planning an attack on an American base in December that caused the deaths of seven Americans. Meanwhile, Pakistan has mounted major operations against its own extremists in places ranging from the Swat Valley in the north of the country to Bajaur on the Afghan border to South Waziristan further south. Yes, extremists continue to do great damage, as at Lahore on March 14 when about 40 civilians were killed in bombings. But after traveling across the country in recent days as a guest of the Pakistani military, I was convinced that Pakistan has become much more committed to battling extremists over the last couple of years, as the country felt its own security directly threatened. Continue reading

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Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Pakistan, Taliban, War On Terror

Jinnah Was The Most Secular Statesman Produced By The Muslim World

Liaqat Ali Khan with Mahomed Ali Jinnah

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

It is amazing that given the confusion created about the word “secular” in Pakistan by both the right and the left has so thoroughly disoriented the thought process of our intelligentisia, especially that which is christened by the state,  that it has failed to capitalize on the fact that Pakistan’s founding father was not just unambiguously secular but was the most secular statesman in the history of the greater Muslim world,  even more so than the great Kemal Ataturk, who is justifiably hailed as the father of secularism in the Muslim world.   Even Kemal Ataturk through an amendment to the constitution of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 instituted Islam as the state religion [1], which remained in the constitution till 1928 when Ataturk had it removed.   Jinnah never instituted a state religion and blocked every resolution or move whether in the Pakistani Constituent Assembly or the All India Muslim League Central Working Committee [2].  Continue reading

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Filed under Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, secular Pakistan

Engaging Pakistan

Cross-post from Frontline, Feb 27 – Mar 12, 2010

By Praful Bidwai
 
India must open a broad-horizon dialogue with Pakistan on all issues including Afghanistan to achieve real progress in bilateral relations.
 
As New Delhi and Islamabad prepare to resume their bilateral dialogue, India’s policy towards its western neighbourhood faces an unprecedented challenge. How India crafts its response to the complex and rapidly changing situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan will influence to a major extent the fate of one of the most volatile regions of the world, indeed a part of the crucible in which global history is being made. Rising to the challenge demands a radical reorientat ion of some of the fundamental premises and priorities of India’s foreign policy. Consider Afghanistan first.
 
A major shift is taking place in the balance of forces in Afghanistan. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces led by the United States and troops of the Afghan National Army have launched Operation Mushtarak (“together” in Dari), one of the biggest assaults by Western troops since the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. The operation, with 15,000 troops, began with the storming of Marjah (population: 80,000) in the Southern Helmand province, a stronghold of the Taliban for many years. Unlike other military missions by the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Operation Mushtarak is meant to create a new model that goes beyond the clearing of the Taliban. It aims to re-establish Afghan sovereignty by installing a civilian government, which provides public services and can win popular support and legitimacy. Over the past eight years, most cities and towns cleared of the Taliban–Al Qaeda by ISAF troops have seen the militants return and re-establish themselves. This time around, the troops will bring in an Afghan government including the police and stay on to support them. As General Stanley McChrystal, the top American commander, put it: “We’ve got a government in a box, ready to roll in.” Continue reading

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Filed under Afghanistan, India, Pakistan