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Friday, November 20, 2009

Perils of policing, Harris Khalique, Multiple criteria agreed for NFC Award,

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) presented to the government on Thursday a list of 248 politicians and bureaucrats, who were alleged to have plundered hundreds of billions of rupees but were cleared by the NAB under the NRO. Check out all 248 names here

Ayesha Siddiqa - It is heartening to see lower-ranking police officials in Islamabad doing their duty in such tough times without the necessary wherewithal for their personal protection. These men don’t have bullet-proof jackets, sniffer-dogs, or explosive detection equipment. The police do not have equipment for communication intercepts, which is critical for tracking both criminals and terrorists and homing in on a potential suicide attacker. The ability to track mobile phone calls alone helps tremendously in tracking down criminal and terror networks. Given the level of communication and competition amongst various government agencies, the police remain uncertain of the cooperation provided by various intelligence agencies. The fact that terrorists manage to attack the capital, move around with large amounts of explosive material and even sneak inside GHQ and the adjoining areas indicates a breakdown of intelligence.

Harris Khalique - Sami Ahuja, the accomplished story-teller, takes us to a different Lahore in his latest collection of short stories, “Roonumai Mein Zam Honay Ka Mujrim.” He brings back the city that belongs not to the kings, princes, viceroys and governors, but the city that belongs to their subjects. In 14 stories, 12 about the residents who live by the 12 gates, one about Tibbi and one about Mori, Ahuja artfully renders the suffering of the working class, the poor and the oppressed, who were a majority in the past and who remain a majority now. Some of Ahuja’s earlier work is not only laced with historic metaphors but at times his language is not within the reach of an untrained reader of Urdu literature. The latest book is more accessible and confirms that Sami Ahuja loves real people of Lahore more than the ornate Sheesh Mahal. Recommended reading.

Multiple criteria agreed for NFC Award - Sindh’s representative to NFC Kaisar Bengali said for the first time, multiple criteria had been accepted in principle. And for the first time, revenue has been accepted as criteria for the NFC Award. He said the data for income tax, corporate tax and other taxes that was available at the Federal Board of Revenue would be collected for revenue criteria. He said how backwardness (demand of the NWFP) would be assessed would be decided in the Lahore’s meeting in the context of whether to look into “below the poverty line” or “human development index”.He said Sindh would be benefited both by revenue collection that was 60 per cent in Sindh and revenue generation that was 40 per cent. While at present, Sindh was being given only 23 per cent share. He said Sindh would also get benefits under the backwardness criteria as the province was backward.

Muslim women are still not taken seriously: Farida Khanam - By Yoginder Sikand - Farida Khanam is Associate Professor at the Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Daughter of the well-known Islamic scholar, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, she has translated more than sixty of her father’s books into English, besides being the author of several books on Islam. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand for, she reflects on issues related to Islam, Muslim women and patriarchy.


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