Lets close our eyes for our Army

Mubashir Lucman

That definitely has been a national policy for every person in this land of the Pure. It is an approach taken by every politician, citizen, and especially the media. I mean God forbid if someone can ever find a fault with the Army and especially when the army is in the government.

It is as though the army is the all almighty that can never be wrong or make a mistake, and that became pretty obvious in the media in the last few days. It seemed that everything that is happening in this country is the fault of the President of Pakistan, Asif Zardari. Now I am not at all a supporter of PPP or the President, but it seems as though he is being blamed for even the death of a stray dog. It is as though there is a mental block towards the acceptance of a democratic government.

Yesterday in his show, Mubashir Lucman showed a video of a convoy going on the streets of Islamabad, and although he didnt know who was in the convey the point however of showing that clip was simply to inform the naive people of Pakistan how this government is misusing its authority.

I think that he simply has forgotten about the 2-3 hour-long traffic jams and blocking of the streets that used to happen when the ex-president Musharraf used to come to the city, let that be any city and how the petrol pumps used to be closed fro hours. No Sire the army should never be blamed! It is one of the commandments after all of being a reporter in Pakistan, isn’t it?

And then there is one more anchor who it seems have taken an oath to always take side of the army. And that is none other than Kamran Khan of Geo, who so clearly mentioned that “the establishment, by which every one knows means the army, is not so happy with the President.”

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Myths and facts about Kerry-Lugar bill

WASHINGTON: US Senator John Kerry, one of the co-authors of the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, has issued a list of ‘myths and facts’ about the proposed legislation also known as the Kerry-Lugar bill.

This is how he explained the bill:

Myth: The $7.5 billion authorised by the bill comes with strings attached for the people of Pakistan.

Fact: There are no conditions on Pakistan attached to these funds. There are, however, strict measures of financial accountability on these funds that Congress is imposing on the US executive branch — not the Pakistani government, to make sure the money is being spent properly and for the purposes intended.

Such accountability measures have been welcomed by Pakistani commentators to ensure that funds meant for schools, roads and clinics actually reach the Pakistani people and are not wasted.

Myth: The bill impinges on Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Fact: Nothing in the bill threatens Pakistani sovereignty.

Myth: The bill places onerous conditions on US military aid to Pakistan that interfere in Pakistan’s internal affairs and imply that Pakistan supports terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

Fact: The conditions on military aid reinforce the stated policy of the government of Pakistan, major Pakistani opposition parties, and the Pakistani military and are the basis of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Pakistan.

Myth: The bill requires US oversight on promotions and other internal operations of the Pakistani military.

Fact: There is absolutely no such requirement or desire.

Myth: The bill expands the Predator programme of drone attacks on targets within Pakistan.

Fact: There is absolutely nothing in the bill related to drones.

Myth: The bill funds activities within Pakistan by private US security firms, such as Dyncorp and Blackwater/Xe.

Fact: The bill does not include any language on private US security firms. The issue of how private security firms operate in Pakistan has nothing to do with this bill. The laws governing such firms —which are employed by many US embassies and consulates throughout the world — are not affected by this bill in any way.

Myth: The bill aims for an expanded US military footprint in Pakistan.

Fact: The bill does not provide a single dollar for US military operations. All of the money authorised in this bill is for non-military, civilian purposes.

Myth: The United States is expanding its physical footprint in Pakistan, using the bill as a justification for why the US Embassy in Islamabad needs more space and security.

Fact: As the US Embassy in Islamabad works diligently over the next five years to properly distribute the $7.5 billion to the people of Pakistan, it will need to take into account its own personnel and security needs to make sure it has the right staff with the right expertise on hand. This is common sense.

(Originally published in Dawn Newspaper on Saturday 10th October 2009)

Pakistan and the last thread of Hope!

The condition of the country is getting to a point where everything is seen either with complete hope or with that hopeless last look before hell breaks lose. Everything in this country is now viewed at an extreme angle. Either it would save the country or simply be the end of it!

The recent examples of these would be the rains in the country. It was seen as the wrath of God from which no Mustafa Kamal with his many flyovers and underpasses would be able to save this God forsaken country which was to be banished to pre-technology eras… but then God must have had mercy on his tech-can’t-live-without-it creatures. The lights at the end of the tunnel was restored as Karachi Electric Supply Company, minutes before being burned down by the angry protesters, worked fruitlessly to give the city lights for a few hours before taking it back.

House flooding despite the preparations for the Monsoon Season.

House flooding despite the preparations for the Monsoon Season.

People walk in 4 feet deep water within the city centers.

People walk in 4 feet deep water within the city centers.

Sarcasm aside, the night of the rains and the ones that followed it were taken as the last straw. What people witnessed during that week was enough to convince them that now its time to run away.

My parents who have always been great patriots…don’t be fooled by the cursing to the people and the country which follows every night religiously when they get back home after being made miserable on the roads by every other person who literary thinks that it is his birth right to break the law and go wrong way and god forbid to drive in his own lane…

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Today in News…Sudan, Iran and Pakistan!

Well, today was a weird day.. and I am not saying that just from a personal point of view. There were certain items in news that got my attention and even shocked me.

The first one was about a Sudanese journalist woman who has been sentenced to be flogged as her clothes were “degrading”. The woman, Lubna Al-Hussein was wearing jeans which were considered not appropriate and now she has been sentenced to be flogged. There are voices that have condemned this and say that this is more of a government reaction towards her articles which do tend to criticize the government at times.
Apparently the government can always find a way to make those people suffer that only want the best for the country by saying what is right and true. Incidents of these sort have always been seen around the world.

The girl who became the symbol of the Iranian Protest against the rigged elections

The girl who became the symbol of the Iranian Protest against the rigged elections

Case in point is the post-election disaster that is still continuing in Iran. Today in Iran the 40 day mourning period would end for the family and friends of Neda Aga Soltan. Protests were arranged all around the country and the program was to gather at the graves of those who died during the protest.

The spirit of the people of Iran are still high, as they now say that this is no longer just about the Elections but about all of those innocents who have died and about those who are still in the detention center, and the government needs to answer for all those.

It feels like Iran and its government are following their own desires now and not those of the people. These are the same people who had supported the Iranian Revolution and now have spoken only when they found a fault with the system, which according to me should have been considered as a omen by the Iranian Government and they should have seen to it that where is it that they were at fault and corrected it. Continue reading

Another Iran protester dies in jail: report

An Iranian student arrested in protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election has died in jail, a newspaper said on Sunday, the second such death reported in recent days.

Amir Javadifar, “a student of industrial management in Qazvin (city) died in prison,” the reformist Etemad newspaper said, adding that his family has been asked to come for the body Sunday morning.

Etemad said Javadifar had been arrested in July 9 protests and had injuries in his arm and nose but it did not elaborate on the cause of death.

Newspapers reported on Saturday that Mohsen Ruholamini, 25, who had also been arrested on July 9 when thousands of protesters took to the streets on the anniversary of a bloody student uprising in 1999, also died in custody.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into Tehran streets after the disputed June 12 re-election of Ahmadinejad to protest their “stolen votes” before a crackdown by security forces.

Iranian official reports say at least 20 people died and more than 1,000 were arrested in the protests. Dozens of reformist leaders, journalists and human rights activists have also been jailed in the wake of the disputed election.

Iran’s opposition leaders have warned against mistreatment of the detainees and called for their unconditional release.

(This article is available at http://arabia.msn.com/News/MiddleEast/AFP/2009/July/881095.aspx?ref=rss)

ROTHSCHILD’S FEDERAL RESERVE MUST BE ABOLISHED

by ALLEN L ROLLAND

The history of the Federal Reserve is an ongoing battle between the Banking elite and the people and anyone who gets in the way is usually crushed. Bush and Obama’s top down Wall Street bank bailout, at the expense of Main Street, is a good example of why Rothschild’s Federal Reserve must be audited and eventually abolished: Allen L Roland

The Fed (which is not even a government agency, but rather a private corporation consisting of mostly foreign bankers and answers to no one) dictates America’s financial policies and is the obvious conduit for the banking elite to control the financial world and, in particular, the New World Order.

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Martin Luther King Jr.: An Interview with Playboy

Martin Luther King Jr

On December 5, 1955, to the amused annoyance of the white citizens of Montgomery, Alabama, an obscure young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., called a city-wide Negro boycott of its segregated bus system. To their consternation, however, it was almost 100 percent successful; it lasted for 381 days and nearly bankrupted the bus line. When King’s home was bombed during the siege, thousands of enraged Negroes were ready to riot, but the soft-spoken clergyman prevailed on them to channel their anger into nonviolent protest — and became world-renowned as a champion of Gandhi’s philosophy of passive resistance. Within a year the Supreme Court had ruled Jim Crow seating unlawful on Montgomery’s buses, and King found himself, at 27, on the front lines of a nonviolent Negro revolution against racial injustice.

Moving to Atlanta, he formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an alliance of church-affiliated civil rights organizations which joined such activist groups as CORE and SNCC in a widening campaign of sit-in demonstrations and freedom rides throughout the South. Dissatisfied with the slow pace of the protest movement, King decided to create a crisis in 1963 that would “dramatize the Negro plight and galvanize the national conscience.” He was abundantly successful, for his mass nonviolent demonstration in arch-segregationist Birmingham resulted in the arrest of more than 3300 Negroes, including King himself; and millions were outraged by front-page pictures of Negro demonstrators being brutalized by the billy sticks, police dogs and fire hoses of police chief Bull Connor.

In the months that followed, mass sit-ins and demonstrations erupted in 800 Southern cities; President Kennedy proposed a Civil Rights Bill aimed at the enforcement of voting rights, equal employment opportunities, and the desegregation of public facilities; and the now-famous march on Washington, 200,000 strong, was eloquently addressed by King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. By the end of that “long hot summer,” America’s Negroes had won more tangible gains than in any year since 1865 — and Martin Luther King had become their acknowledged leader and most respected spokesman.
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DAWN.COM | Front Page | Is there life after democracy?

While we’re still arguing about whether there’s life after death, can we add another question to the cart? Is there life after democracy? What sort of life will it be? By democracy I don’t mean democracy as an ideal or an aspiration. I mean the working model: Western liberal democracy, and its variants, such as they are. So, is there life after democracy?

Attempts to answer this question often turn into a comparison of different systems of governance, and end with a somewhat prickly, combative defence of democracy. It’s flawed, we say. It isn’t perfect, but it’s better than everything else that’s on offer. Inevitably, someone in the room will say: ‘Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia . . . is that what you would prefer?’

The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasised into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the Free Market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximising profit? Continue reading

Iran….Busy revisiting History!

Today while watching the news, a certain new item could not help but give me a sense of nostalgia. This nostalgia, for me also meant a sign of what I have been hoping for.. no reasons that I quite don’t understand myself yet.

Since the start of this dispute, I had followed the news on Iran almost religiously, and some how feeling that this is going to be the event that will bring the next revolution in Iran. And I didn’t want to miss a single moment of that. It seems some how that revolution comes naturally to Iran. From the revolutionary election result of 1951, to the overthrow of the Shah as a result of the Shia Revolution, it just seems that the land of Iran has yet to find stability in the arena of Politics atleast.

Today, it was the following news that made it for certain that Iran actually might be on the brink of revolution. The news on BBC read as follows:

UK fury as staff arrested in Iran

This headline to me bought back memories of an incident that happened at a similar revolutionary point in the history of Iran. The headline then read

Student Occupy Consulates

Does this actually is an indication that a change is about to come? Already the relationships between the UK and Iran have been pretty strained due to the constant accusations that the West has been meddling in its internal affairs. Will this be the final dent in the relationships between the West and the East? Is this going to be one more step in defining the future of Iran?

This sense of nostalgia was also shared by South Carolina Native William Belk, 79, who had been one of the hostages in the 1979 revolution. He instantly became an iconic figure when he appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine blindfolded.

Watching the recent events unfold on the streets of Tehran, he described them simply “It’s about time…My heart goes out to the people in the streets …..It’s horrendous when a country with the power (Iran) has, has to go through something like this….But I thought it was inevitable. People don’t like dictatorships, and that’s basically what they have there now.”

The entire world is sitting holding its breath to see what happens the next. And there are many who are on the side of Iran .. always repeating the same old line that it is all the doing of the Western Intelligence, but my answer to them has been that it is always the system itself that provides opportunity for a revolution.

It was true when the revolution knocked on the door of France, when the monarchy had completely forgotten about its people and indulged in its own whims. The same was true when the revolution came in Russia in the 1917, when people had grown tired of the Czars. It was true for Cuba, and the United States of America itself when they revolted against the British Empire in great episodes like the Boston Tea Party.

And the same is true for Iran today. It is when the system is no more in line with the wishes and demands of the people, when the system itself has gone very very wrong that the chance comes along to attack it and change it. These events might never have happened in Iran today if the system wasn’t failing, if the system hadn’t allowed for corruption to step into it. This system was accepted by the people 30 years ago because they had hope in it. But today the hope is gone, and maybe this is why the system should go too.

Iran Iran.. A new mess in the World Politics

As a Muslim nation, that has had some difficult relationships with the almighty USA, one thing that was always worth being proud about in the case of Iran was the seemingly peace and order that was within its own border. It seemed for 30 years to all of us that within the people were acceptable of the way things were being run and that the government had complete support of its own people.

But the recent elections have proved that it was in a fact a pressure cooker waiting to bust open!

With Iran having a population of almost 66,429,284, whee 70% of the population can read and right and almost 72.9% within the age bracket of 15 – 64, it was the vote of the youth that was predicted to determine the outcome, and maybe this is why it is no shock that almost one million people, stretching at almost 8 km, took to streets as Ahmedenijad was declared President for a second term.

With the unemployment rate almost as high as 12.5%, it is no shock that the slogans of “CHANGE” might have certainly inspired some hope for the youth of Iran, as they must have seen the same slogan giving America new chance.

The sermon on the Friday prayers was to be a historical one, as people across the globe listened with just as much hope that this might bring some change. But the regime is still supporting the result of the elections and standing besides Ahmedinijad as strongly as ever.

The sermon although not entirely being what was hoped for, had some good points nonetheless. It was utterly amazing the way the Supreme leader agreed with the fact that their system would no doubt is not corruption free, and that there is still room for improvement. But even then he was with the results of the election. But the similar pattern of bad mouthing the western media and the world was also very much there.But it was also no doubt wonderful to see that they have now diverted their hatred towards the USA foreign policy and not the entire nation.

I think that the irony of the present day Iran is that it has the majority of youth that has aspirations,like any other youth of the world in any other part of the world, and that is why it is not necessary that they find the same comfort in a revolution that doesn’t come up to the ideological believes of this generation. This is also something that was obvious during the rallies and the election campaign. The majority that could be seen in the rallies of Mir Hussein Mosavi were universities students .. this would explain the raid at university dormitories, arrest of university professors and teachers.

The youth of Iran supporting the reformist Leader, Mir Hussein Mosavi

The youth of Iran supporting the reformist Leader, Mir Hussein Mosavi

On the other hand, the people that you would find in the rallies of Ahmedinijad were mostly those that still have the same spirit of revolution in them that possessed the spirit of Iran 30 years ago. They not only continue to support the nuclear program in Iran, that would, in the minds of many of the youth, lead to trouble with the USA government. These people are anti- Western world and don’t even want to open up their minds to the  Western World, while the Mosavi campaign had the youth on its side, which is not only mild towards the Western World, but even welcomed the speech of President Barrack Obama.

The drama of the election still continues and it is far from being over, as the opposition took to the streets again today after the warning from the Supreme Leader. As people sit nervously in their seats, waiting either for the next big revolution, already nicknamed as the “Velvet Revolution”, or the biggest clash of ideologies, the Iranian Election drama is a long way from being done.

Lahore and Noshera Bomb Blast – 12th June 2009

Up till now almost 7 people have been dead and around 100 injured.. the number no doubts would be rising as the day passes on.

Today was Friday- or Jumma – and muslims this day gather to be able to perform their religious ritual. The Juma prayer has a great significance in the Muslim world, and it is this freedom that we fought for 60 years ago – the freedom to perform our religious task freely.

But not only have we proved that we fail as Muslims, we even fail as Humans.. and each day passes us by we fail ourselves more and more.

I remember reading in Karen Armstrong’s book “Breaking the Curfew” that Muslims have always felt that since they had the laws of God, they didnt need to abide to any lower form of human laws, that is why you would find so little respect for traffic laws, and the kind.

I think that the world that we live in today proves her point more and more every single day. We are not humans, we can never call our selves human, and maybe now even God won’t take us. We must have lost our respect in his eyes a long time ago. We are bodies roaming this earth, with no proper word to describe our barbarity.

The scholar killed in the Lahore Blast, Professor Sarfaraz Naeemi was one of those few voices that spoke out aloud against the barbarity of Talibans and openly declared them non-Muslims and maybe this is why it was very important to have these voices be silent.

It is shame, we bring shame onto ourselves everyday.. this world is hell, and we burn in the fire of hell everyday.

IReport CNN

This week ireport CNN did a report on the Tiananmen Square protest and how people were stopped or how the coverage was blocked. They criticized the strong censorship that the Chinese government has.. But the thing are we criticizing censorship or Chinese Government… cause if we are here to say that censorship i wrong and people should have the right to express their views openly and should have access to news openly.. then maybe even the USA should come under criticism as well…

During the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.. the Bush administration had censored the showing of the casualties and the return of the dead bodies and coffins from the war zone..

What we need to determine is that if censorship is wrong, then its wrong for all nations.. and you cant pick and choose who to criticize.. Or either ..ITS HIGH TIME THAT YOU LEAVE THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT ALONE…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/29/iraqandthemedia.usa

A MUST READ…