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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Ugly American in Isloo, Myths of the electronic media —Imran Kureshi, Heroine from Waziristan —Rafia Zakaria, Gideon Polya, Babar Sattar, Arif Niz

Myths of the electronic media —Imran Kureshi Political programmes on our television channels are probably the only political institution here noisier than the Assemblies. The fiction they present is better than the soap operas, leaving the viewer on the edge of his seat waiting for the next episode; the crises they cook up have more ingredients than the cookery shows; the superheroes and villains they create are more imaginative than the cartoons and like the advertisements, they are bent on ‘selling’ their political agendas. Following are some myths that our anchormen seem to project again and again:

Heroine from Waziristan —Rafia Zakaria - Maria Toor Pakay, Pakistan’s 19-year old emerging squash star challenged every stereotype regarding the potential of her fellow tribeswomen who languish in tents awaiting aid. Young, determined and undeterred by the unceasing pressures of patriarchy, Toor is beginning to compete in squash championships nationally and abroad

We Are Running Out Of Time To Save Humanity And The Biosphere - By Dr Gideon Polya Humanity and the Biosphere (the ecosystems and species of the Planet) are acutely threatened by man-made global warming. However ignorant or corporate-funded climate denialism, the effective climate denialism of insufficiently responsive First World politicians and the growing enormity of what needs to be done lead scientists to say that it is probably too late to stop a climate catastrophe

Read the following along with news reports [Mullah Omar now in Karachi: WT] that suggest ISI moved Mullah Omar to Karachi to save him from the drone attacks ~t

Babar Sattar - If our criminal justice system lacks the ability to punish terrorists, insurgents and criminals, are we not rendering the concept of rule of law meaningless? We have seen Maulvi Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid walk free despite public knowledge that under his supervision the mosque was turned into an armed fortress, and the Lal-Masjid brigade not only harassed residents and shopkeepers in the neighbourhood but also killed at least five soldiers. Similarly, we continue to hear the demand from India and the US to prosecute Hafiz Saeed, and while the government seems willing to do so, it is unable to bring any formal charges that stick. If Hafiz Saeed is mixed-up in terror plots, he must be prosecuted and convicted. If he is not, his name should be cleared and he should not repeatedly be put under preventive detention merely due to allegations and pressure by foreign countries.

Arif Nizami - Next November is the deadline not only for the US but for Pakistan as well. This is the time when General Kayani will retire. A few weeks before him the Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff, General Tariq Majeed will retire. Earlier in March the same year, ISI chief Lt General Shuja Pasha will also retire. General Kayani could be offered a one-year extension but, in all likelihood, he will be loath to accept it. How this will play on civilian military relations and the war on terror is not hard to guess.

The Ugly American in Isloo - A friend has said something that has made me sit up and take notice. He said: “When the security situation deteriorates in a country, embassies close their doors and evacuate their non-essential personnel. The exact opposite is the case with the American Embassy in Islamabad, as it is expanding like never before.” Unfortunately, it is truth. The embassy has taken hundreds of houses on rent for its staffers and the increasing number of security personnel. Besides this, the embassy has also purchased 18 acres of land for its expansion. In justification, they have been saying: “Look, we are going to give 1.5 billion dollars a year. We don’t want to hand over the amount to the Pakistani authorities because billions simply slip through their fingers. Our own men are going to keep tabs on the money, so we need lots of people.”

This is so believable - MURREE: Hundreds of villagers from different rural communities of Murree held a protest meeting against the natural gas pipeline to the bungalow of Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, MPA, at Donga Gali.

The proof will be in the pudding - ISLAMABAD: The emotional and unexpected outburst of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to resign in case it was established that his wife was one of the beneficiaries of the NRO, is said to have stained all those top guns of the PPP government, who are facing the looming threat of reopening of their cases after November 28.


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