NAWAIWAQT GROUP
Letters
Wednesday, 23 July, 2014

Tahirul Qadri is a man of many words; unfortunately the words keep changing and that is why I am convinced he has just one real agenda. Last time, when he came to Pakistan, his agenda was to ensure that then President Zardari did not stay for another term. This time around, Mr Qadri’s agenda revolves around Imran Khan’s long march. It would seem he is trying to defuse the effect of Imran Khan’s march by saturating the media with his own party’s protests. After August, Mr. Qadri will invariably up and just leave. Mark my words.ENGR SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER, Peshawar, July ...

Pakistan has earned the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status in EU after much hard work. It will now be reaping its benefits for the next 10 years. But in order to keep this ‘GSP plus’ status Pakistan will have to ensure enforcements of all EU requirements. Thus the Government is planning to set up Treaty Implementation Cells (Tics) in all provinces to put in place a series of laws that will seek to protect minorities, women, children and laborers.The Prime Minister has ordered the provinces to set up TICs and ensure implementations of these laws. A committee headed by ...

It’s been almost four weeks since the operation Zarb-e Azab started and a million people have been displaced. These people are now living in different camps in KPK and other provinces. They need to be treated better; philanthropist organizations are working but not as well as they did on other occasions when Pakistan faced disasters. Many people do not agree with what is happening. But we must realize that these IDPs are collateral damage and did not choose to relocate! Media wants news that sells and at the moment the hot topics are Israel, Qadri and Imran Khan’s long march ...

Almost 80% of foreign remittances come from the Gulf, Middle East and the Far East from Pakistani expatriates to support their families. All expatriates working in the Gulf and the Middle East have a ‘Post Box Number’ as their postal address, which they use for opening a bank account, receive mail etc. Residential addresses, of these expatriates have no significance.All these expatriates open bank accounts where their salaries are deposited, mentioning only Employer Name and P O Box Number. It is unfortunate that the State Bank of Pakistan, whose top executive are men holding ...

This is in reference to an advertisement that appeared in some newspapers on July 20, 2014 by the Government of Sindh. It is not clear as to why the ‘ad’ threatened citizens if they failed to pay the motor vehicle tax? The ‘ad’ should have been edited by a semi-educated or at least a cultured person, before it was published. It is neither appropriate nor ethical to have your personal photograph included in an official advertisement that was paid for by the tax payers’ money. In a civilized country you would have been made to reimburse the amount to the state ...

Tuesday, 22 July, 2014

I received the following advisory from DHA Lahore, “Please conserve water; don’t use hose pipes to wash cars or car ramps. Use water from a bucket, as the water table is going down 3 to 4 feet every year.” The level of groundwater is receding at this unacceptable rate because the canals that provided the recharge are running on empty. How many years, before the tube wells also give up, and we are left high and dry? All because some misguided people won’t let a reservoir be built which can provide fresh water to the canals in Punjab and Sindh in equal measure, as well ...

PM Nawaz has been in power for almost 14 months, and other than announcements, nothing has been done. It has taken this government more than a year to appoint a High Commissioner to UK and there seems to be no intent to fulfill the electoral promises of providing qualified and highly competent specialists to head state corporations, financial and regulatory bodies. It is this lack of decision-making capacity which has lead to further accumulation of losses and inefficiency in white elephants like PSM, PIA, CAA, EOBI, Railways, Power Distribution sector, FBR, NHA etc.The fact that PML-N ...

Israel is using brutal military force against unarmed innocent Palestinians in Gaza with impunity. Unlike in the past, this time we don’t even hear “the collective voice of the Muslim World” on the OIC forum. After 1967 Arab-Israeli war, OIC was established primarily to contain Israel’s aggressive and expansionist policies in the Middle East. However, in the face of rising Arab Nationalism in Middle East, ‘Pan Islamism’ has been eclipsed by ‘Pan Arabism’, making the Arab League more vocal and active in the political and economic affairs of the ...

A wise man once said, “Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it”. The disaster is that our rulers are completely blinded by power and have forgotten history. On 19th June 1992, a cleanup operation was launched in Karachi. As per controversy, the alleged issue was that the MQM was planning to separate Karachi from Pakistan, to provide a separate state for the Urdu-speaking Mohajir community. More than 15,000 innocent workers were murdered.On 12th October 1999, the Chief of Army Staff was sacked while he was on a foreign tour. On 22nd June 2014, PAT founder Dr ...

With time, technology has revolutionized the world and now the most active form of electronic media is social networking sites. The younger generation uses social media as a platform to convey their message to the concerned parties. With this, older people are not lagging behind in any way and are utilizing the online platforms available to them. Social media does help voice or even promote ones point of view but the disadvantage is that there are many users who don’t have an ethical code. These days, Gaza has become a contentious point, people from all over the world are talking for it ...

Monday, 21 July, 2014

President Obama seems to have visions and insights other people don’t. Even before any inquiry into the disastrous fate of the Malaysian airlines jet, he claims he knows that the Ukrainian rebels downed the airliner, despite the fact that they hardly have the technical means to hit a plane at a height of 10 km. Indirectly, Obama is implicating Russia and President Putin despite the fact that Russia has insisted it is not interested in waging war in Ukraine and annexing Eastern Ukraine.It is a shame how the western world will join hands in the blame game against Russia, very much the ...

One of my professors of political science often used to quote, “Harming womenfolk means harming society.” Women suffer on all counts and in all manners, particularly, in our rural society. Like successive rulers in the past, the incumbent rulers have not honored their promises, and why should they? There is a tradition of not doing anything for the poor. When the PPP, which belongs to Sindh, did nothing for the poor people of Sindh, why should you or I expect the Sharif’s to make life easier for the poor people of Sindh and Pakistan?Women still walk miles to get drinking ...

The recently removed IG Sindh (Mr Iqbal Mahmood) was known to me as a very dashing young `Flight Cadet’ in the PAF College, Sargodha, and he was later my `Flight Commander’ in one of the fighter squadrons of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in the mid-eighties when the `Afghan War’ was just starting. Generally, a senior `Squadron Pilot’ is assigned such appointment (Flight Commander) but he was relatively young when he was assigned this job and he very scrupulously carried out his responsibility and was a source of inspiration to all of us.He was a very brave individual, ...

Syed AbuBakar in his column in the Nation has said that countries are investing more in renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, which is cost-effective in the long run. He says that this is the green revolution that the entire world must follow. No mention here of hydel power, which alone can give us the much needed water. He says, our neighbour India also faces electricity shortages and is investing heavily in solar and wind power. No mention again of the 4600 large and medium dams which India has already built so far which are sustaining India’s agriculture.The writer ...

For a democracy to flourish, it is imperative that a strong judiciary keeps a check on the arbitrary actions of the government and protects the fundamental rights of the citizens. After the 2009 judiciary movement things improved, however there is still need for some improvement. The new Chief Justice, Nasir-ul-Mulk is a competent judge and has an impeccable reputation. There is not much trust left in the judiciary also, it has shown clear signs of corruption on all levels therefore there need to be judicial reforms, which can resolve cases quickly and transparently.Building the confidence of ...

Sunday, 20 July, 2014

It has been reported that in order to promote the culture of tax, the government plans to honour and acknowledge the taxpayers. In this regard, the Prime Minister has announced the ‘Taxpayer Privilege and Honour Card Scheme’ which will offer privileges to 100 top taxpayers. These taxpayers will be chosen from the categories of companies, association of persons, salaried individuals and non-salaried individuals. The privileged taxpayers will be given special awards and incentives as an acknowledgement of their special contribution towards the national economy. Such schemes, to ...

Reports of sex trade, in connivance with black sheep in FIA, law enforcement agencies, and a corrupt lower judiciary with patrons in bureaucracy and a political establishment of Islamic Republic of Pakistan has shocked millions. The ordeal of thousands of innocent poor girls, duped to travel to Gulf and Middle East countries on false promises of providing lucrative jobs is appalling. They are then forced into sex trade which could not have taken place without the connivance of powerful and corrupt officers in our bureaucracy, especially the FIA.It was recently reported that prostitutes from ...

The economic opportunities in context to cultural and geographic links between Pak-India have never been highlighted. Perhaps, this is due to political tensions and mistrust that has mounted over the years. However, to ensure regional progress, trade diplomacy seems to be the only viable solution against this arms race. Our arguments are mostly based on the assumption that it would destroy the domestic industry of Pakistan. Pakistan Pharma has shown tremendous growth in comparison to India over the past few years and there has been a rising demand of Pakistani medicines in other ...

One wonders whether it was an admission, a revelation or a confession, when the PM disclosed that the government had to put in a Herculean effort to thwart the downward slide of the dollar in December 2013 and stop it at Rs. 98 from Rs. 111 as it could have gone down to Rs. 50 and 60. He said that it was done to protect the interest of the exporters who would have suffered a great loss. I would like to ask you Mr Prime Minister, to protect the interest of the exporters? How many exporters are there, a couple of thousands? Are they all related to you? What about the interest of the 18 crore ...

As Israel-Gaza conflict enters into the second week, an intense war of words is also being fought on social media. A number of pro-Israel enthusiasts are taking a firm stand, highlighting the recent rockets attacks from Gaza for the continued conflict, perhaps intentionally ignoring the root-cause of the discord, a decade old occupation of Palestinian land and siege of Gaza for last seven years. I questioned their claim on the land they have been occupying for last 70 years. I countered their argument by showing them demographic changes in Palestine and asked them to comment on the post ...

Saturday, 19 July, 2014

Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani had humiliated us all when he disclosed a deal with a military dictator. He was the Prime Minister of Pakistan at the time. He still thinks such a deal should be honoured, and the dictator facing a crime as serious as high treason should be spared instead of the law taking its course. Mr. Gillani, you don’t represent the aspirations of a civil society which believes in democracy and strengthening institutions under the constitution. I am ashamed of having you as an ex-Prime Minister of my country when you have displayed such undemocratic practices.MUHAMMAD ASIF, ...

This is in reference to PML (N) Government’s promises that load shedding will be reduced during Ramadan. The ugly reality still remains: 12 hours of daily power breakdowns even in DHA Lahore, where the electricity bill recovery is over 90%. My humble request to PM Nawaz Sharif is to wake up and stop over relying upon bureaucracy. You need to look beyond your present kitchen cabinet for saner advice within your own party, because courtiers that surround you will keep you in the dark. Remember Sir, it is the common man of Pakistan who voted for you, not just few thousand traders, ...

The long demanded operation by the US in North Waziristan Agency against the Haqqani network and Al Qaida-linked IMU including other foreign militants has finally started. It was anticipated for quite some time, but the attack at the Karachi airport was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The attack made a big impression internationally, even though the security forces dealt with it quite efficiently. While discussions were carried out in the government and the media about starting the operation, thousands of civilians along with their families were relocating across the border ...

Conflict and confrontation has marred the political landscape of our country. Demonstration of political sagacity is needed in the interest of the country and our political players. In the backdrop of ongoing precarious political and security situations, it is the responsibility of the ruling party to play fair and address the genuine concerns of both the public and the other political parties. The government has decided to hold a brief ceremony on Independence Day, at D-Chowk Islamabad, which would end well before PTI’s rally could reach there. To strengthen democracy, the government ...

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