Thousands are dead and injured and millions are displaced due to the floods. The national reaction to this calamitous situation has been that the president should have cancelled his visit to the UK. The president too has not been sagacious. But the debate is frivolous and sidetracks the real issue: our sheer lack of preparedness for natural disasters and emergency management.
Five years ago, a massive-earthquake rocked Pakistan. Later, several institutions such as the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) were set up to deal with natural calamities. While it would be unfair to critique the good work done by the NDMA, it is clear that centralised authorities and relief machinery are of little use in a populous, diverse country like Pakistan.
In the last five years, as the recent floods indicate, the state has done little to galvanise and decentralise disaster preparedness and management. Between 2005 and 2010, the magnitude of natural disasters was not large enough to expose the inherent weaknesses of the emergency infrastructure. As before, Pakistanis have come forward and an unprecedented civic activism and volunteerism can be seen in reaching out to victims of the floods across the country. Continue reading
Pakistan: Faisal Shahzad and the Pakistani Taliban
Published on May 10, 2010 | 2338 GMT
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said May 9 that the United States has evidence linking the Pakistani Taliban to Faisal Shahzad, the man who confessed to the failed bombing attempt at Times Square in New York City on May 1. Shahzad is a naturalized U.S. citizen who demonstrated a willingness to carry out an attack on U.S. soil. However, his status as a U.S. citizen would have been problematic for the Pakistani Taliban, who must remain wary of potential infiltration from U.S. intelligence. Furthermore, the attempted bombing showed little to no signs that Shahzad had help from an outside group.
What can I give to Pakistan as a present on its 62nd Birthday, What else than an article on its chequered history and identity. Bertrand Russell famously said,” There are three great civilisations in East i.e. India, China and Islam”. Pakistan is blessed to be located at the crossroads of all these great civilisations. In my humble opinion this is the biggest strength of Pakistani identity. Continue reading
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Note: The views expressed are author’s,PTH does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed.Some names have intentionally been omitted to protect privacy.
It was a long afternoon,with cricket T20 in the background, and the location was a Lebanese restaurant in St. John’s wood, in the shadow of Lords cricket ground in central London and we were enjoying a long outdoor meal.
My guest was a childhood friend (alumni of “Physics under Hoodbhoy” and Islami Jamiat Talba), now an analyst with an American Bible-Belt Neo-Con Think-Tank, visiting London for a seminar on “Preventing Islamist Extremism” in the disenfranchised Muslim youth of U.K. He also ran a blog called “Friends of Pakistan” before the name was artfully stolen by President Zardari’s team (Allegedly by Ambassador Haqqani, who is rumoured to ghost-write Zardari articles in NYT, WP and WSJ). Continue reading
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by Ibrahim Khalil
At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, let me quote a joke that was making the round couple of years ago.
After a meeting between Manmohan Singh and Pervez Musharraf, an announcement is made that Kashmir issue has been resolved. At the press conference, Manmohan Singh says that “Pakistan has agreed to give up its claim of holding a plebiscite in Kashmir. General Musharraf will inform you of the rest of the details”. General Musharraf comes on the microphone and says, “We have fought three wars with India over Kashmir. Continue reading
By James Cogan
The arrival of Obama administration special envoy Richard Holbrooke in Pakistan on Wednesday serves to underscore that the massive military operation taking place in the country’s north-west is a proxy war on behalf on US imperialism. As part of completing the transformation of Afghanistan into a client-state in Central Asia, Obama is demanding that the Pakistani government suppress the local Islamist movements that lend support to the Afghan resistance over the border. Continue reading
by Bilal Qureshi
The army did wonders in Swat and proved that few militants, even if they are determined to die, but inflict tremendous harm to others are no match for a disciplined army, thank God. At this point, it seems obvious that the situation in Swat is getting better in terms of the defeat of the Taliban. The government seems in control and sooner or later, the residents are going to start coming back to their villages, homes and towns.
And that is where the new problem begins! Continue reading