Daily Archives: September 27, 2010

In Quest Of The Missing Leader

By D. Asghar

Hats off to the Nation for completing 63 years of patience and perseverance. You have heard countless promises and utopian speeches about this great nation from various political and non political mouth pieces and sucked it all in like sponges. It is commendable that you have been stripped from your right of determination of your destiny for decades by usurpers, who derailed and fooled you by the phony “doctrine of necessity” excuse. You put up with the so called “guardians of the gates of heaven”, who are only worried about “your salvation.” So much so that these noble and righteous often tend to disregard their own final chapter. You give heed to people continents away, call them your “Brothers” and let them dictate the terms of your daily issues and problems.

You are “independent”, yet you are so dependent on so many around the globe. If independence means getting rid of the “gora sahib” and taking it from “the brown sahib”, then you have been doing a phenomenal job. Ironically, the brown sahib takes the curbing and often violating of your personal freedoms for granted. Unfortunately there is no dearth of such brown sahibs, who tend to creep up any and everywhere you look in the gifted land. They tend to think that independence really meant getting rid of the white skin, and now they can easily replace the firangi by creating their own little kingdom. Continue reading

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Deviating from the democratic path

By Yasser Latif Hamdani (Published in the Daily Times on 27 September 2010)
The pictures that have emerged from the Athletes Village at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi have conclusively rubbished the India shining myth. This would not come as a surprise to those Pakistanis who have visited India or have interacted with Indians visiting Pakistan. Most Indians visiting Pakistan comment on how much more developed Pakistan is, how clean Pakistan’s cities are, how much better Pakistani roads are than India’s and how they find fewer beggars on Pakistani roads than on Indian roads. It will, however, certainly shock those who have been brought to believe that India is the land of milk and honey. Continue reading

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Collapsing local governance

By Raza Rumi

Recent floods have exposed the capacity of the state to govern, especially at the local level. The disintegration of local state is not a recent phenomenon. The continued experimentation with and frequent strangulation of local governance arrangements have led to a situation that Pakistan’s burgeoning population is now without a representative, accountable local state.

Erosion of state writ: Three historical trends are noticeable for their impact on the overall governance and the writ of the state. First, centralisation is a tendency that is most attractive to those who govern Pakistan at the federal and provincial levels. The post-colonial Pakistani state has retained the official obsession of controlling power and patronage at the top and denuding the local space for democratic development and sound mechanisms of accountability. Secondly, granting local autonomy has, by and large, been a smokescreen for powerful military governments to bypass provincial politics and control the levers of state and society from above. Thus, we have an established pattern: local government experiments flourish under authoritarian regimes and get undermined whenever democracy, a la Pakistani variety, returns. Finally, the constant denial of a responsive state at the local level has led to erosion of state legitimacy and the void has been filled in by mafias, politico-criminal gangs and militant non-state actors.
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