Daily Archives: August 16, 2010

The WORLD must mobilize to help Pakistan for its own sake


The world is on the threshold of a great tragedy. 

 All the gains in the war on terror are about to be lost, all thanks to sheer indifference that the international community is showing towards what shall rank as one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of the 21st century.    (Americans are a notable exception – as usual- but their efforts find no projection from the hostile and bigoted Pakistani media). Continue reading



Filed under Pakistan

Friends of flood devastated Pakistan should wake up

Far from perfect and with all its weaknesses, the democratic process is delivering. Pakistan cannot afford to give space to extremists and lose the war against extremism, … This is time for international community and liberal democratic Pakistanis to wake up

Ahmad Nadeem Gehla

Political leadership in Pakistan,  is generally considered to be corrupt and inefficient. Although, perception is not entirely baseless, same is widely fed to public by establishment friendly intellectuals in electronic and print media. With democratic collation government in Islamabad, we have witnessed a new trend in political culture. Since, terrorism has become an unwanted curse, we have to live with, Minister for Interior Rehman Malik and brave leader of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Mian Iftikhar made their presence felt, at incidents of terrorism and while facing media to gather popular support against extremists. Former Mayor of Karachi Mustafa Kamal and Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif have actively been approaching the effected families in terrorism incident and cases of natural calamities.

The critics of culture of  political activism, claim it to be an ‘eye wash’ and cover-up for government  inefficacy and lack of planning and same  can not be entirely brushed away. At the same time one must remember that government can not function effectively in absence of functional and efficient institutions. Thanks to dictatorships, institutions of state are broken, inefficient or even altogether absent . Political activism is becoming intense in presence of hostile media. For sake of adding ‘spice’, anchorpersons of TV talk show  would gather political opponents and make them accuse each other of being responsible for everything ranging from climate change to natural disasters. Although some groups sympathetic to extremists have been using same medium and approach to confuse public but has not been able to create a space for their violent ideology in masses.

War of words turned in to a competition between Minister for Law, Babar Awan and Present Chief Justice of Punjab Khawja Muhammad Sharif making visits of Bar Associations. Although some sections of media accused this activity as ‘trading’ of lawyers sympathies’, fact remains that many Bar Associations were first time able to get basic amenities like public wash-rooms. Even Mian Nawaz Sharif had to call the terrorism victims of Ahmadi community as ‘brother Pakistani’s’ inviting criticism of extremist groups in order to to counter the visits of Governor Taseer and Rehman Maliks. The current floods has turned this ‘political activism’  in to a positive competition. Mr Nawaz Sharif accused President of leaving the country at time of natural disaster while touring flood victims which fuelled the presence of  Prime Minister and his party leaders in effected areas.

On direction of their leadership, the members of Parliament, never accessible to their voters in past, are participating in rescue and relief efforts. President faced sharp criticism for his overseas visit while his daughter Bakhtawar Bhutto, was quick to launched a donation campaign, attracting a huge response from youth, collecting rupees five million in first hour of its launch. The major political parties are trying to reach more areas in order to earn a favourable public image.  It would be premature to judge their sincerity and effectiveness but at the same, this is a beginning of new culture which can only grow in democratic environment. Those doing photo sessions, would ultimately be eliminated in next polls and those making a sincere effort would be rewarded duly by people. Continue reading


Filed under disaster, Pakistan, Politics, public policy, south asia, Taliban, Terrorism

Drowning Today, Parched Tomorrow

Courtesty New York Times

This is one of the most informed articles on the water issue as well as the floods.  Time is of the essence.   Not just Pakistan but the entire world is at stake.-YLH

Published: August 15, 2010
  •  the images of the monsoon floods that are now devastating Pakistan, the country is actually on the verge of a critical shortage of fresh water. And water scarcity is not only a worry for Pakistan’s population — it is a threat to America’s national security as well.

Given the rapid melting of the Himalayan glaciers that feed the Indus River — a possible contributor to the current floods — and growing tensions with upriver archenemy India about use of the river’s tributaries, it’s unlikely that Pakistani food production will long keep pace with the growing population.

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Filed under disaster, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, USA, war

Direct Action Day

Courtesy Daily Times

VIEW: Direct Action Day: the tragedy — I —Yasser Latif Hamdani
Today is August 16th. Sixty-four years ago, the All India Muslim League bid farewell to its traditionally constitutional methods and resorted to civil disobedience all over India. The Direct Action Day, though peaceful in most of India, took an ugly turn in Calcutta. There are two reasons why we must revisit this painful period in our history.
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Filed under Pakistan

U.N. Chief: Pakistan Floods the Worst I’ve Seen

Courtesy CBS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Beseeches World to Donate More after Touring Country where 20 Million Affected

    • United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gives a press conference at Chaklala Airbase in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Aug. 15, 2010.United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gives a press conference at Chaklala Airbase in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Aug. 15, 2010.  (GETTY IMAGES)
    • Members of Pakistani flood affected family flee their homes due to flooding in Muzaffargarh in central Pakistan Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010.Members of Pakistani flood affected family flee their homes due to flooding in Muzaffargarh in central Pakistan Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010.  (AP Photo) Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan