Daily Archives: August 11, 2010

Floods’ management: A perfect script for a black comedy

Raza Rumi

As I write these lines, millions are stranded and vulnerable to disease in the wake of perhaps the greatest natural disaster of recent times. Communities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are stranded, Sindh is facing the wrath of gods and parts of Muzaffargarh and Kot Addu have been washed away. Citizens across the country are perturbed and doing whatever they can. But the power centres including the free media are busy in point-scoring and blowing their little trumpets as if the devastation was a playground for political mileage.

They say that individual and collective characters are exposed in times of crisis. Indeed the Pakistani ruling classes have exposed themselves for their historical myopia and lack of vision. Political parties are fighting over optics, media perceptions and wasting their energies. TV channels and wise anchors on the other hand are competing who got there first to show the mammoth destruction and who fired more salvos at Asif Zardari. Adding insult to injury, the media remained busy for hours as to the alleged shoe-throwing incident at the president as if that was the topmost priority of this country.

Yet again we are also hearing how the civilian administration failed (and what is new about that) and how the only organised institution, the Pakistan Army, is saving lives. This is propaganda since the army is not something separate from the state. We are proud to have such a disciplined army but the media spin-doctors need to inform the people that it functions through the public exchequer and is an institution under the civilian government. Continue reading

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Secular Pakistan Day

In deference to Mr. Jinnah’s famous 11th August pronouncement of separation of religion from the business of the state,  the PPP government has designated 11th August as “Minorities Day” (presumably because minorities refer to it more than the majority does).   We, however,  reject this contention here at  PTH on the basis that the word “minority” flies in the face of the vision given by Mr. Jinnah in the same speech.   Faith was to have nothing to do with the business of the state.    Instead we commemorate the Quaid’s speech by designating this as the “Secular Pakistan Day”.  It looks like a distant dream but we at PTH are fired up by this idealism.  We are all Pakistanis regardless of our faith as Jinnah unequivocally said.   He also said that faith was a personal matter for an individual and that the state should be completely impartial and unconcerned with faith.

You may read Jinnah’s speech in full here.

I reproduce here an article by Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed – who is otherwise a critic of Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement- written on the issue of the 11th August speech that we reproduced in the past as well: Continue reading

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