Tag Archives: US

Was Jinnah A Democrat?

A continuation from “Was Jinnah secular?” and “Did Jinnah want Pakistan?”.

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

There are many people who criticize Jinnah – quite incorrectly in my opinion- of having laid the foundations for subsequent periods of authoritarian military rule. They allege that Jinnah’s decision to become the Governor General was the first blow to parliamentary democracy in Pakistan. Unable to distinguish the argument of constitutional purists pleading the ceremonial and executive roles of president and prime minister i.e. head of state and head of government from that of democratic argument about the sovereignty of parliament, these authors etc make the fatal error of not making an effort in understanding both the constitution in place and the environment under which Jinnah exercised his constitutional authority. By confusing the two, they make a mockery not just of the latter issue, but history itself. In the process they end up abusing the one person in Pakistan’s history who can truly be called a liberal democrat in every sense of the word. Continue reading

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Generous and timely: US Response to Pakistan’s Disaster

Raza Rumi

Ironic that the United States has been perhaps the most pro-active and generous country in helping us with flood relief. Pakistanis, especially those were stranded for days are grateful for such a timely help. Contrary to the propaganda unleashed by several vested interests about how great friends China and the Muslim countries are, the US has proved to be our friend when we needed it the most.  Yet, there will be many among the skeptics who would term this as ‘strategic’ given the state of things in dear homeland and in its neighbourhood. It is time that we acknowledge what needs to be acknowledged with no ifs and buts. Here is a fact sheet sent to Pak Tea House through reliable sources on the assistance so far. About time the self-styled US haters (rather entrenched in the country) take notice of this. US may have its own interests in stabilizing Pakistan, their response has been (and remains) substantive.

To date, the United States is providing approximately $150 million to support relief efforts in Pakistan, including funding for the operations of the Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority, the UN’s emergency relief plan, and the many local and international organizations responding to this disaster. These funds are also being used to provide critical supplies to flood affected populations.

The U.S. also is providing millions of dollars of additional in-kind and technical assistance. We are expanding pre existing programs in flood-affected areas, providing temporary bridges, and mobilizing significant U.S. military and civilian resources to rescue victims of the disaster and deliver needed supplies. U.S. military and civilian aircraft continue to support flood relief operations.

Through August 22, these aircraft have evacuated 7,835 people and delivered more than 1,600,000 pounds of relief supplies.

Latest Developments: Continue reading

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Whatever happened to Kerry-Lugar?

Raza Rumi

Pakistan’s dire fiscal situation has resulted in the reduction of development spending by 40 per cent. This does not bode well for the citizens who have been tormented by an energy crisis, persistent food inflation and rampant unemployment. In these circumstances, the development assistance under the Kerry-Lugar Bill (KLB) is much needed. Pakistan’s civilian government braved a media onslaught and the ire of the security establishment for tacitly supporting the US legislation. Other than the rhetoric around the ‘conditions’ drafted in Washington, there was an unstated agreement that the development assistance was welcome.

Months have elapsed and Pakistanis have yet to witness the roll out of the KLB. Global recession and political uncertainty at home underlie the tough days for Pakistanis especially the poor. It was expected that given the urgency of the situation, USAID was going to kickstart the delivery of its interventions. Well, the progress so far has been disappointing.

First, there seems to be no public sign of a consensus within the US bureaucratic machine how the aid under KLB will be delivered. Unconfirmed media reports suggest that the political versus the bureaucratic channels are not on the same page. The ‘political’ administration is ostensibly managing USAID systems and processes. There may be strategic reasons for that but the net result is that things are delayed. Not long ago, Pakistani government’s procedures were thought to be a problem but the trajectory of US bureaucracy only proves that public sector ailments are common. Continue reading

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Filed under Kerry Lugar Bill, Pakistan, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror

The curious case of Faisal Shahzad

An excellent editorial from the Express-Tribune, Pakistan

Why is it that when it comes to terrorism, all roads – or most of them anyway – lead to Pakistan? As long as the link to the bombing attempt at New York’s Times Square had come through vitriolic messages conveyed by the Taliban over YouTube it had been possible to convince ourselves that these were fabricated.

The dramatic arrest on May 3 of Faisal Shahzad from an Emirates flight bound for Dubai from New York, however, makes such denial impossible. Of course, we still will have the naysayers who will say that Shahzad is an American (he only recently became one) and not a Pakistani (he certainly lived much of his life in Pakistan) and that how could someone from such an educated and ‘good’ family be involved in something like this (Osama bin Laden’s family in Saudi Arabia is among the wealthiest in the world while Ayman Al Zawahiri’s father was a professor and he is a trilingual qualified surgeon).

The investigation that will follow the arrest of a 30-year-old naturalised US national, from an affluent Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa family, may throw some light on his links and how he was lured into leaving a truck, loaded with enough material to make a crude but large bomb, in the middle of New York’s Times Square. So far Shahzad has said that he was acting alone but investigators are likely to discount that theory. Continue reading

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Filed under Al Qaeda, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence, War On Terror

President Obama Congratulates Pakistanis And Diaspora On National Day, Praises Founder Of Pakistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) – President Obama sent his congratulations to Pakistan on Monday, as it celebrates its national day.

Seventy years ago, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and those of the independence generation declared their dreams of self-determination and democracy. Today, the people of Pakistan are carrying on the great work of Quaid-e Azam.”

“Here in the United States, our country is enriched by the many Pakistani Americans who excel as doctors, small business owners, students, members of our armed forces and in many other fields. On this National Day, we give thanks for the contributions of these fellow Americans, and the United States pledges to remain a partner of all Pakistanis who seek to build a future of peace and prosperity.”

Pakistan celebrates the passing of the Lahore Resolution, which is commonly known as the Pakistan Resolution that called for greater Muslim autonomy in British India.

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Filed under Jinnah's Pakistan, Obama, Pakistan, People's Pakistan, USA

Charlie Wilson Rest In Peace

Author with Charlie Wilson

By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

Now is a good time for anyone and everyone to say, I knew Charlie Wilson, the Democrat Congressman credited with the launch and success of the Afghan war in the 70s. He was popular in an extraordinary way: a controversial yet a very effective politician who worked across party lines to galvanize a movement and get a military cause fulfilled in another continent. Continue reading

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Remembering Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn was a towering figure of our times.   For society to remain balanced,  there has to be a Howard Zinn blowing the whistle, calling spade a spade and keeping the mainstream discourse honest.   The geniuses of our times – the Zinns,  Eqbal Ahmeds, Saids, Chomskys and Barsamians have made a contribution and filled a gap at a crucial time in global history. – YLH

From Dawn

Americans have been taught that their nation is civilised and humane. But, too often, US actions have been uncivilised and inhumane.” That was the American historian Howard Zinn who taught a whole generation of Americans to view the history of their country through a lens quite different from the rose-tinted lenses of most of his fellow historians whose work takes care to do nothing to besmirch America’s reputation as “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Zinn stands out since much of modern historiography is crawling with feckless nationalism. Yes, the infusion of commonplace loyalties in a tract about the past is not always deliberately arrived at for it often flows from subtle conditioning. Just as you wouldn’t read Abul Fazal for a critical account of Emperor Akbar’s exploits, it would be a rare Indian or a Pakistani who questions tired axioms rooted in nationalist loyalties, and which pass for a glimpse of our past. Continue reading

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