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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Baithak Desi Jun27: Ahmed Rashid, Problem #1?, Salman Rashid, Cartoons

There is no law and order in the country, justice is hard to come by for the ordinary citizens, frustrated citizens resort to law breaking (setting on fire thieves caught in the act), the prices of essentials are steadily getting beyond the reach of poor, suicides are becoming increasingly common, unemployment is a major issue, shortages of gasoline, budget deficit, economic mismanagement....and I have not even mentioned the Supreme Court...amidst the plethora of these issues facing the nation guess what is termed the Problem Number One by the Daily Times Editorial team?

There's no escaping our fate. We are not children of midnight. We are children of ineptitude, intellectual and moral bankrupts, incapable of managing our affairs, a circumstance proven yet again by the decision at the highest level to entrust the affairs of embattled FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) to the army chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. The Mayor of Islamabad?

Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist of the highest narrative and analytical gifts, is baffled by the West's almost demented indifference and folly towards Afghanistan and his own country. The stakes are huge. If either state fails, as is highly plausible, global stability will be rocked. The United Nations, Nato, the European Union and, of course, America will see their purposes and credibility set at naught. Yet, as Rashid writes: "The international community's lukewarm commitment to Afghanistan after 9/11 has been matched only by its incompetence, incoherence and conflicting strategies — all led by the United States." Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Washington's commitment, since 2001, to support President Pervez Musharraf's military dictatorship rather than to promote the interests of the Pakistani people, "has created immense hatred for the US army and America, hatred that penetrates all classes of society". The Sunday Times review by Max Hastings: where the West has gone wrong in the war in Central Asia

The secret of the hiding place of the diamond-studded idol of Gorecha or Prasanath thus went up with the smoke of Poonjajee's funeral pyre. The Talpurs tried every which way to discover where the priceless statue lay hidden, but to no avail

The village of Gori (the r is palatal and the name of the village has nothing to do with fairness of skin) lies to the north of the road that connects Islamkot in the southern Thar Desert with Nagarparkar. With its huts of conical wattle roofs, thorn hedges and the few neem and kundi trees, Gori is no different from any other Thari village; but for the chunky grey Jain temple that stands just east of the clump of houses. The lost idol of Gorecha —Salman Rashid

Hashmi, Shah Mahmood rivalry costs PPP seat
In Urdu - Kishwar Nahid
Also in Urdu - Nazi Naji

My apprehension is that some of the well meaning individuals and lawyers who are sweating on the streets to pursue the worthy cause of an independent judiciary have somewhere lost their direction and are failing to understand that Pakistan's democracy and federation can be saved by reconciliation, not confrontation. Farahnaz Ispahani PPP MNA and Mrs Hussain Haqqani


Maxim - Today's Cartoon
Maxim Cartoon

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