Monday, 26 September 2011

A bad Love Story..Pakistan and US

Like all great lovers' tiffs, this one started with frustration. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, decided to make his feelings public.
In a nutshell, he accused Pakistan of state sponsored terrorism, alleging that its Inter-Services Intelligence backs the Haqqani network. The Haqqanis are a fearsome bunch of fighters whose lineage goes back to Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Back then, their leader, Jalaludin Haqqani, was seen as a hero, even sitting in the White House with the then President Ronald Reagan. But it wasn't just the US. The Pakistanis nurtured and encouraged him to go fight in Afghanistan, supplying him with weapons and safe havens.
That was 20 years ago and, like all bad marriages, things left unresolved often explode. And so Pakistan's affair with the Haqqani network has created a split in the US-Pakistani marriage.
The Pakistanis are furious and are on the offensive, at times saying the US is not helping; at other times saying the US is simply blaming Pakistan for its own failings in Afghanistan.
As ever, finding the truth is tricky business. Perhaps more difficult for both parties is figuring out what the real issue is.

That the US needs Pakistan, and vice-versa, is not in dispute. What is, is how you fix this broken relationship. Let us, for example, make certain assumptions that the US holds true:
Firstly, the Pakistani are indeed sponsoring the Haqqani network. Should the Pakistanis stop? On the surface at least it would go a long way to fixing things.
Secondly, Pakistan needs the Haqqani network. Once the US pulls out of Afghanistan, and it will sooner rather than later, Afghanistan, history has repeatedly shown us, is a cauldron of competing interests and bloodthirsty rivalry. Pakistan needs a dog in that fight. That's what ultimately drives Pakistani support for the Haqqani network.
But with the Haqqani network involved in a bitter and bloody fight with American forces in Afghanistan, the Americans simply want them gone.
So let's take a look at the Pakistani position. Officially it denies any support for the Haqqani network and therefore cannot stop supporting it. It also says the Americans are getting  defeated by the group and are looking for someone to blame. The world's most powerful army is effectively being routed by bearded men with light weapons and an unshakeable faith in God.
That simply does not play well in the 'good ole US of A', so there must be someone to blame - the Pakistanis in this case. 

Then the Pakistani army steps in. It says by playing up Pakistan's connection with Haqqani, the US is stomping all over the sacrifice Pakistani soldiers have made in the so called war on terror. Thousands of Pakistanis have died and terror attacks are an almost daily occurrence. In short the Pakistanis say they are the victims here, not the aggressor.
So things are at a stalemate. A solution is needed. Pakistan and the US are at loggerheads and at stake is billions of dollars worth of aid for Pakistan, and a decisive victory in Afghanistan for America.

One diplomat on the Pakistani side spoke to me candidly but refused to be identified. He said:  "Privately a deal should be offered by the US to back away from the Haqqani network, offer us a bigger role in post-occupation Afghanistan to temper the Indian influence. Limit India's role in our neighbour and we won't need any networks, Haqqani or other wise."
But angering India is not on the US agenda. It has a close working relationship with the country and sees its support for the US as key in the wider, global scheme of things. So that option is off the table.
Increasing drone strikes and firepower to go after the Haqqani network is another option. General Petraeus, the new head of the CIA, understands this. That's why many say he is in that job. A military general in charge of an intelligence-gathering organisation can only mean one thing: the CIA is now effectively a military wing in its own right, and one with drone strike capability. 

But a decade of war and death from the skies has not weakened any of the parties in Afghanistan. So, is there a diplomatic solution? Bring the Taliban and therefore the Haqqanis to the table for talks. It's been mooted and back channels are open, but many Afghans don't want the Taliban anywhere near power so those talks remain tentative and slow moving, shall we say.
Finally, then Pakistan and the US are living in the same house, but not sharing the same bed. What will ultimately split them up is not what happens in Afghanistan. The two countries' fate and that of Afghanistan are far too closely tied to each other.
What about a terror attack on US soil that can be tied back to Pakistan? To a group some in the US say Pakistan sponsors? Then all bets are off. That's the nightmare scenario. So Pakistan-US relations need to be strengthened and forged in steel to stop these two uneasy allies from having to face each other in that scenario.

China supporting Pakistan on important issues

chinaaaaaaaaaa55555555555.jpgPresident Asif Ali Zardari Sunday said the government and people of Pakistan deeply appreciate the consistent support of the government and people of China on issues of concern.The President was talking to Ambassador Luo Zhaohui, Director General Department of Asian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry who was accompanied by the Deputy Ambassador of China in Islamabad Huang Xilian.Pakistan’s Ambassador in China Masood Khan was also present in the meeting, which took place at the Presidency.
Bilateral issues were discussed during the meeting.The President also thanked the Chinese government for its assistance in the rescue and relief of flood victims in Sindh.
Until last year Ambassador Luo Zhaohui has been China’s Ambassador in Islamabad for nearly three years. 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

13 tips to avoid being robbed in traffic jams

13 tips to avoid being robbed in traffic jams

by: Pakistan Times News

The crime rate in our cities has steadily increased and after the rains, criminals have found yet another way to rob people. Thanks to the ineptitude of the police, thieves have found easy targets in motorists caught in traffic jams while they are stuck on the road due to knee deep water.
On September 6 it rained heavily in Karachi and numerous people were robbed while they were stuck in traffic jams, trying to return home from work. The situation swiftly got more dangerous when the street lights went off. Criminals have an in-depth understanding of the locations in cities where motorists will be at their weakest; they know the area patrolled by the police, and they know which areas will be susceptible to traffic jams due to water pooling on the roads. Sadly, despite so many robberies, the police has failed to provide adequate security.
It is a well known saying that prevention is better than cure. Thus, I have come up with a few preventative measures that may prove to be useful to people who might find themselves in a situation where they could get robbed.
1. On noticing the gathering of dark clouds, if you are out of your house, try to leave whatever you are doing and get home as soon as possible. This way, you could avoid getting stuck in a traffic jam caused by the rain.
2. Select a route where there are no known sites of water pooling on the road to avoid getting caught in a traffic jam.
3. Both men and women are advised to remove any jewellery they are wearing and to hide it somewhere in the car. Do not, however, hide jewellery in your purse, as robbers might ask you to hand this over too.
4. Before getting in to your car, make sure that your valuables, like your laptop, briefcase, cell phone, and so on are not visible to people outside your car. Hide them under the car seat or in the dashboard. It is a good idea to step outside your car just to make sure that they are indeed not visible.
5. After leaving a little amount of money in your wallet or purse, hide your money and all other items such as your NIC, credit card, ATM card etc, somewhere inside your car. Never keep any of these items in your pockets, as criminals sometimes make their victims empty their pockets too.
6. If you get stuck in a traffic jam then keep all the doors of your car locked and the windows rolled up. If you require fresh air, do not roll your window down more than two inches.
7. If someone knocks at your window, do not slide it down or open your door. If a criminal threatens you through the window, start honking the horn to attract peoples’ attention. Many criminals leave immediately for fear of being caught. If this fails, then remain calm, and slide your window down.
8. If a robber asks you to hand over your wallet and cell phone, do so without resistance.
9. Try to carry an old (discarded) cell phone in your car, and give this to the criminal rather than your own cell phone. Make sure to keep your cell phone on silent in the car under your seat. Criminals do not bother to check the condition of the cell phone as they are often in a hurry.
10. Try to carry duplicate keys of your car at all time as robbers sometimes take away the keys of your car.
11. Keep your FM radio on to find directions so you can adopt routes which are safe to drive during heavy rains.
12. If you have a licensed pistol or revolver then carry it concealed under your clothes for your protection and the protection of other occupants in your car. Under Section 96 and 97 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) you can defend yourself if attacked.
13. Always plan and be mentally prepared to stay at the house of your friend or relative if rains are severe and if your house is a great distance away. It is also a good idea to stay at a hotel if you are stranded till the rain subsides.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

ایم کیو ایم کے کارکنوں کے لئے مخلصانہ مشورہ

ایم کیو ایم کے کارکنوں کے لئے مخلصانہ مشورہ

جمعہ 9ستمبر کی شب کو کئی نجی چینلز پر ا یم کیو ایم کے قائد الطاف حسین کا کم و بیش ساڑھے تین گھنٹے طویل خطاب براہ راست نشر کیا گیا۔ یہ خطاب کسی سیاسی لیڈر کی پریس کانفرنس کے بجائے اسٹیج کے کسی مزاحیہ اداکار کا ون مین شو یا پھر کسی ذہنی مریض کی حواس باختگی کا کوئی نمونہ لگ رہا تھا۔اس لائیو شو میں انہوں نے سوائے بے ربط اور بے سروپا باتوں اور مخالفین پر الزامات لگانے کے سوا کچھ نہیں کیا تھا۔ ہاں اگر اس کے سوا کچھ تھا تو وہ قائد تحریک کی عمدہ اداکاری اور گلوکاری تھی۔اور معذرت کے ساتھ عرض کروں کہ عورتوں کی طرح لہک اور تھرک تھرک کے گاتے ہوئے وہ ایک عجیب مضحکہ خیز انسان نظر آرہے تھے۔

یہ پریس کانفرس محترم الطاف حسین کے ذہنی خلفشار اور پراگندگی کو ظاہر کررہی تھی،انہوں نے تلاوت سے اپنی گفتگو کا آغاز کیا،اس کے بعد اچانک چھلانگ لگا کر پاکستان کی تایخ کی جانب چلے گئے۔اس کے بعد ساری پریس کانفرسں میں ان کا یہی حال تھا کہ وہ کبھی کراچی کی بات کرتے تھے،کبھی قرآن کریم کی بات کرتے تھے،کبھی 12مئی کی اور کبھی کسی طرف نکل جاتے تھے۔اس پریس کانفرنس سے چند دن قبل مصطفیٰ کمال نے نائن زیرو پر ایک پریس کانفرنس کی تھی اور اس میں انہوں نے ذوالفقار مرزا کے لگائے گئے الزامات کے جواب دینے اور پارٹی کو پریشر سے نکالنے کی حتی الامکان کوشش کی،اس کوشش میں انہوں نے غلط بیانی بھی کی ۔میڈیا کو بھی تنقید کا نشانہ بنایا اور کافی تند و تیز لہجہ اختیار کیا۔ ان کی پریس کانفرنس کے بعد میڈیا اور عوام میں ایم کیو ایم کی گرتی ہوئی ساکھ کو سہارا ملا تھا اور ایم کیو ایم پر تنقید پر کچھ کمی واقع ہوئی تھی لیکن الطاف حسین صاحب کی پریس کانفرنس نے وہ سارا تاثر زائل کردیا ۔

ہمیں الطاف حسین سے زیادہ انکے پارٹی رہنماؤں اور لیڈرز پر ترس آتا ہے کہ وہ ایک ایسے منتشر زہن کے فرد کے پیچھے چل رہے ہیں جو کہ اپنے حواسوں میں ہی نہیں ہے۔اب جن لوگوں کا لیڈر اس کیفیت کا شکار ہو اس کے کارکنان اور پارٹی لیڈرز کی زہنی سطح کا اندازہ لگایا جاسکتا ہے۔اب لوگوں کو یہ بات سمجھ آگئی ہوگی کہ ایم کیو ایم کے لوگ اپنے اوپر تنقید کیوں برداشت نہیں کرتے؟ وجہ صاف ظاہر ہے کہ ان کی زہنی سطح ہی اتنی نہیں ہے کہ وہ اچھے برے میں تمیز کرسکیں،یا کسی اور جماعت کے لٹریچر،طریقہ کار اور طرزِ سیاست سے اپنی پارٹی کا موازنہ کرسکیں۔ان کی برین واشنگ کردی جاتی ہے اور اس کے بعد ان کو سوائے ایم کیو ایم اور اطاف حسین کے تمام سیاسی پارٹیاں ،تمام مخالف لیڈرز جھوٹے اور نا اہل نظر آتے ہیں۔

بہر حال محترم الطاف حسین کی حالیہ پریس کانفرنس ان کی زہنی کیفیت اور تناؤ کو ظاہر کرتی ہے اور ہمارا ایم کیو ایم کے کارکنوں اور لیڈرز کو یہ مخلصانہ مشورہ ہے کہ وہ اپنے قائد کا کسی اچھے نفسیاتی ہسپتال میں علاج کرائیں۔ اس
وقت انہیں علاج اور آرام کی سخت ضرورت ہے۔

آخر میں ایک لطیفہ پیش خدمت ہے

.....ایک خسرہ برقع پہن کر ایک آدمی کو پھانس رہا تھا
......آدمی جب اس کا برقع اٹھانے لگا تو خسرہ گنگنایا
....."برقعے میں رہنے دو برقع نہ اٹھاؤ "
......برقع جو اٹھ گیا تو بھید کھل جاے گا

:...آدمی چونک کر بولا


الطاف بھی آپ .......؟؟؟؟ 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Goodbye to IMF

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has taken the decision to say ‘goodbye’ to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the time being after the existing $11.3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) programme ends on September 30, a senior official told reporters on Friday.

The decision has been taken in view of the comfortable balance of payments position in accordance with the conservative estimates of the Ministry of Finance for the current fiscal, an official of Gilani’s cabinet confided to a select group of journalists. “We will have to get another loan programme from the IMF but our assessment shows that the external account will remain within a comfortable position, raising no need to seek fresh IMF money within the ongoing fiscal year ending on June 30, 2012,” the official said in a background briefing on Friday night.Top economic wizards were asked whether there was a possibility of plunging into loose fiscal policy in an election year that could pave the way of another severe crisis, and whether the timing of approaching the IMF might bring tough conditions then. The experts were of the view that they would definitely pursue key reforms in the next few months and the decision to seek a fresh loan programme would be taken much prior to any expected crisis-like situation.

The officials claimed that they would not let anyone stray from the path of pursuing key reforms in areas of the cash-bleeding power sector, mobilising revenues and curtailing expenditures in a bid to contain the fiscal deficit within the desired limit even at a time when Pakistan would be no more under the IMF programme. They said Pakistan could not come out of the IMF programme over the medium term, so they would continue engagement with the Fund during this stopgap arrangement.

Later, Minister for Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh told reporters that Pakistan would continue engagement with the IMF and it was agreed that the Fund mission would hold Article IV (4) consultation with Islamabad authorities next month.

When he was asked about the consequences of having no IMF programme on the prospects of obtaining funding from other multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, Dr Shaikh said that it would impact efforts to obtain loans from these multilateral institutions but their project aid would continue as witnessed in the last financial year.

However, in a background informal briefing, another top official of Gilani’s government told reporters economic wizards felt Pakistan’s current account deficit (CAD) would remain in the range of 1 to 2 percent of the GDP during the current financial year. The economic managers, the official said, took the decision to abandon the existing IMF programme by not asking the Fund to release the last two tranches worth $3.4 billion after learning that they remained unable to deliver on fiscal deficit, enforcing integrated Value Added Tax (VAT) and committed power sector reforms.

Highlighting 8-points necessary to bring the desired changes in the power sector, he said that there was a need to bring corporate governance, make required changes in the regulatory framework, ensure recovery of bills from the public and private sector (private sector non-recovery touched Rs155 billion), take measures to ensure capacity utilisation on a short-term basis, upgrade the existing system, and ensure gas availability and conservation plan as major ingredients to overcome this crisis on a permanent basis.

Pakistan or America?

United States Vice President Joe Biden told Cable News Network (CNN) in an interview on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that Pakistan had been an unreliable ally of the US in the war against Al-Qaeda and other extremist organisations. The price of Pakistan’s choices had been the “loss of life of American soldiers in Afghanistan”, the vice president said. He added that “Islamabad has been very helpful in other times, but it’s not sufficient. They have to get better. We need a relationship that is born out of mutual interest. And it’s in their interest that they be more cooperative with us.” In view of the deception, manipulation, betrayal and blackmailing Pakistan by American leadership, the crown of unreliability fits squarely America’s own head. For having failed to decimate Taliban in Afghanistan and establish the writ of Afghan government they are trying to make Pakistan a scapegoat by inventing a whole litany of charges of its collusion with Afghan Taliban. In a recent attack by the Taliban in Kabul, Leon Panetta and others say that militants of Haqqani network come from Pakistan. One should ask them what the hell they are doing on their side of the border. And why they do not stop them and kill them when trying to cross the border.

In fact, the CIA’s was responsible for all the mess in Afghanista when it cobbled together the conglomerate of Northern Alliance, primarily Tajiks, and imported Afghan expatriates, all animated with compulsive hostility against Pakistan. Former director of the CIA and present Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday warned Pakistan the US would do everything to defend US forces from Pakistan-based militants staging a dramatic attack in the Afghan capital. A day after a 19-hour assault staged near the US embassy and NATO headquarters, Panetta expressed frustration that the Pakistani government has so far failed to crack down on Haqqani network militants that Washington suspects carried out Tuesday’s attack. ”Time and again we’ve urged the Pakistanis to exercise their influence over these kinds of attacks from the Haqqanis and we’ve made very little progress in that area,” Panetta told reporters aboard his plane before landing in San Francisco. “I’m not going to talk about how we’re going to respond. I’ll just let you know that we’re not going to allow these kinds of attacks to go on,” he said.

The Americans may have put this outfit on their terrorist list, but the fact remains that the Iranians had arrested Rigi midair as he emerged from US Bagram military base in Afghanistan and boarded a Gulf flight. His Jundullah terrorists have at times been cited for involvement in Karachi bloodletting. Many books have been written on the CIA but the recent article by Brian Cloughley, a renowned defence analyst is revealing. Brian Cloughley has laid bare some of the facts about the CIA in his article captioned ‘A killing machine called CIA’. In the very first para he writes: “The CIA’s drone attacks in Pakistan have killed a lot more innocent people than it does in more mundane day-to-day butchery; but the plain fact is that it has always been in the business of killing, and always will be. The double murder in Lahore by the CIA employee Raymond Davis was bizarre and outrageous but only a minor indication of its embrace of criminality”. Brian, former deputy head of UN Mission in Kashmir 1980-82 had served as Australian defence attaché in Pakistan from 1988-1994. In his article, he also referred to the US declassified documents including a memo that revealed the then CIA director Allen Dulles having personally approved a plot to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro. Brian also mentioned about American support to the dictators in the Middle Eastern countries and elsewhere.

Anyhow, it has to be mentioned that after the Soviet Union was defeated in Afghan war and disintegrated, the US withdrew its support to Pakistan and left it to the CIA to ‘look after’ Afghanistan. When the Taliban taking advantage of the war between the mujahideen groups gained control of about 90 per cent of Afghanistan, the CIA strengthened the Northern Alliance to overthrow Taliban, but it was only after 9/11 that Pakistan was coerced into joining the war on terror, and the Taliban government was overthrown. Meanwhile, CIA-RAW-RAAM-Mossad-MI6 initiated a covert war against Pakistan. In this context, Karzai regime offered Afghan soil to anti-Pakistan intelligence agencies to indulge in cross-border terrorism inside Pakistan. The saboteurs, arms, ammunition, explosives and funds are being funneled into Pakistan from Afghanistan to aid anti-Pakistan forces in Balochistan and FATA. Armed attacks by foreign militants in Chitral from Kunar/ Nooristan provinces (Afghanistan) are the recent examples. Since former Director CIA, Leon Panata has taken over as us Secretary for Defence, relations between Pakistan and the US are likely to be strained, as it was during his tenure that 2nd May attack on Abbottabad compound was planned and executed. In fact, callous and indiscriminate use of drones by the CIA, Raymond Davis fiasco and US Navy Seals raid inside Pakistan’s territory have created an environment of suspicion and mistrust adversely impacting Pak – US relations. There is no denying that the US needs Pakistan, and the war on terror over time has become Pakistan’s war as well. Therefore both parties must realize the core requirement and remove mistrust by accommodating each others interests. Unfortunately US is giving too much space to India in Afghanistan which can impede the peace process in the region. It is not only Pakistan’s concern against Indian role in Afghanistan but the people of Afghanistan especially Pashtuns do not like to see India being given bigger role in Afghanistan.

We should not feel hesitate in saying that Pakistan has legitimate interest and stakes in Afghanistan and should be on board in shaping the outcome of Afghan conflict. The situation demands mutual trust and confidence among the stakeholders including US, Afghan Government, Taliban and Pakistan. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

No confirmation al Qaeda militant dead in Pakistan

Abu Hafs al Shahri, a Saudi national who had been serving as the senior figure in al Qaeda’s central command, was the target of the drone strike which occurred within the last few days, two US officials said on Thursday.

“We have no knowledge of that,” said Pakistan military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas.
Intelligence officials operating in the tribal regions near the Afghan border also had no information on al Shahri.
“We have neither heard of this man operating in this region, nor can we confirm his death,” said one.
While US officials declined to provide precise details, the only drone strike this month occurred on Sunday when a US drone targeted a militant compound near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan that killed at least three suspected militants.
If confirmed, Al Shahri would be the sixth senior al Qaeda figure killed by either US or Pakistani forces in Pakistan since May with the death of their chief Osama bin Laden in a secret US raid on a Pakistani garrison town.
Two Pakistani intelligence officials said two of the dead in that strike were Pakistani militants, but had no information about the third target. Another intelligence official said he was of Arab origin, but had no further details.
As al Qaeda’s Pakistan operations chief, one of the US officials said, al Shahri’s responsibilities included coordinating the activities of al Qaeda’s depleted central leadership with Pakistan’s principal network of Taliban militants, known as the TTP.
Another senior al Qaeda leader, Younis al Mauritani, was recently captured in Pakistan’s tribal areas in a joint operation staged by US and Pakistani security forces.
That operation was hailed by Washington and Islamabad as an example of strong counter-terrorism cooperation.

Pak, Zimbabwe set for T20

If ever there was the perfect time for Zimbabwe to play a couple of Twenty20s, surely it is now. What was clear in their heavy defeat in the one-day series was that third, fourth and fifth gears are all lacking in the batting department, while the bowling could do with a bit more innovation and invention.
As a team Zimbabwe have largely been doing the basics right, and in the process have shown that there's a good deal of talent to work with. However when they've been required to up the tempo in a run chase the necessary fluency just hasn't been there, and a flurry of wickets has generally been the result.
This may have helped Zimbabwe on their return to Test cricket, where most of the batsmen have displayed admirable technique, but they're lacking a dimension to their one-day strokeplay. One hopes that they will therefore approach these two Twenty20s without any fear, and simply look to play with freedom and adventure. The fear of collapse which held them back in the middle overs of the ODIs should not apply here.
Having won the Test and swept the one-day series, Pakistan will view the Twenty20 series as a chance to have a bit of fun. The tour has been a great success, particularly in the way the inexperienced fast bowlers have been blooded. The only member of the touring party not to play a match so far is Rameez Raja, so expect the 24-year-old to enjoy his first international showing in one or both of the matches. Having played a key role with the bat in the Karachi Dolphins' run to the final of their recent domestic Twenty20 competition, where they lost a one-over eliminator to the Rawalpindi Rams, Raja will be one to watch. Misbah-ul-Haq said that there would be two or three changes to the side that took the field in the third one-dayer as Pakistan look to find the right Twenty20 balance. One imagines they will look to field their strongest possible side in the first match, with Saeed Ajmal likely to return, before possibly giving a game to others in the second.


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