Archive for July, 2009

Enhancing national integration

July 29th, 2009

Communication infrastructure, domestic tourism, undiluted provincial autonomy and bonding through the workplace play a vital role in the integration of a nation. Pakistan’s national integration has suffered immensely because these factors have never been crucially important to our leadership. Pakistan’s communication infrastructure is primitive, domestic tourism is non-existent, provincial autonomy only receives lip-service and bonding through the workplace is totally missing except in the armed forces. Uniform development across the country over the past sixty years would have solidly integrated the Pakistani nation but that did not happen due to absolute incompetence, poor leadership and corruption at all levels. The price Pakistan is paying for its neglect is in the shape of an internally disjointed nation forced to suffer the present-day indignities in the shape of terrorism and insurgency.

The political and military establishment must now understand that the military potential of any country is multiplied manifolds when it is backed by a nation that is well-integrated. An integrated nation can cover up for military shortfalls but military strength cannot cover up for the shortfalls of a nation that lacks integration and cohesion. The Soviet Union’s break-up in 1991 is an example that amply illustrates this aspect. Pakistan must, therefore, accord top priority to uniform development throughout the country in order to have a nation that can back its enviable military potential in a solid manner; if not, then all will be lost.

Nawaz Sharif deserves the credit for initiating the modern communication infrastructure of Pakistan that is so essential for the integration of a nation that lives in a country as big as Pakistan. The launching of the Lahore-Islamabad motorway by Nawaz Sharif in the early 90s was a huge step in the right direction. If the process had been initiated decades ago Pakistan today would have been a very cohesively integrated nation. I am hundred per cent sure that if someone had built a motorway connecting Peshawar, Islamabad and Swat, we would not have been battling today to restore the writ of Pakistan over Swat.
» More: Enhancing national integration

The ballot revolution

July 22nd, 2009

We stand on the brink. For a timely return from the brink the lost confidence of the people of Pakistan has to be restored before the rage that is building within the chests of 180 million Pakistanis erupts.

The people of Pakistan will probably blame the politicians and the military rulers for all our adversities, without realising that they too are responsible for their own woes. Having suffered so much for the past sixty years it is time for the people of Pakistan to assert their presence and take charge of their own destiny. They can do so by making just one simple decision and that decision can change the destiny of the country. That decision, on the part of each Pakistani, is to take possession of his own vote and to resolve never ever to waste it for any temptation whatsoever.

To illustrate my point I shall narrate an incident from my own experience of the 2002 elections in which I contested for a National Assembly constituency—i.e., NA-15 (Karak, NWFP). Karak is a very conservative constituency and no one had ever contested for it on the PPP ticket. I stood second to a young man of 28 who contested on a religious party’s ticket. However, the reality was that the people preferred a man 28 years of age with no experience in government to my 52 years, in which the profile would speak of military service, civil service at the highest levels, some enviable achievements in life and a general reputation that was well respected by the electorate. Coming back to the point I want to make let me say that I did not pay a single rupee for anyone to vote for me. Lots of my polling agents and people within my own camp were secretly hand-in-glove with my opponents for monetary rewards. Many of them deserted their polling booths before the votes were even counted. Many of my polling agents influenced my voters to vote for the other side because money had passed into their pockets. On the campaign trail, three days before the actual polling I went to a remote village where the vote count was not much but I was still going there because of my own vow to reach out to the most neglected areas and people of my constituency. On the way to this village I had noticed that along the many deserted miles of the shingle road leading to that village there were many electric poles but the wire was mostly missing. On my asking I had been told that these poles had been there for nearly fifteen years but that people had stolen many poles and most of the wire because electricity was never actually provided.
» More: The ballot revolution

The new young leaders

July 22nd, 2009

Pakistan today needs its young ones to stand up and get counted. Pakistan’s future depends upon how quickly and effectively the new generation can take the political reins of the country. They should do so by taking charge of their vote for the next elections.

I have absolute relentless faith in the youth of Pakistan and am sure they will rise and be the flag bearers for Pakistan on a renewed journey to become a respectable nation amongst the world community. They must rise to make Pakistan the country of our dream; to attain what I call the PAKISTANI DREAM. This Dream envisages a Pakistan in which every Pakistani has access to justice and the State itself protects the poorest of the poor from exploitation, a Pakistan in which standard quality education is available to all throughout Pakistan’s length and breadth, a Pakistan in which there are equal business and job opportunities for all, a Pakistan in which the social services, health facilities and the communication infra structure all over the country is uniform.
» More: The new young leaders

Interview with Voice To America’s Anthony Louis July 19th 2009

July 19th, 2009

Interview with Voice To America’s Anthony Louis on Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to India and what it means to Pakistan.

There are countless applications available for smartphones and tablets which allow communication and socialization under different rules and pretexts

Exploitation must end

July 14th, 2009

In sixty two years of independence Pakistan’s rulers have, on one pretext or another, not allowed national institutions to grow, mature and become fearlessly functional in order to achieve national objectives. The military rulers, all of whom treated the Constitution of Pakistan with the worst form of contempt, made no sincere effort to utilize this unbridled illegal power for the betterment of Pakistan. These military rulers never made the positive difference that they always promised on usurping political power. After saying the right things for the first few days their actions did not match their words. Each military ruler would soon be captivated by the stinking opportunistic politicians, bureaucrats and other sycophants who would crawl into their dens on their knees and elbows eulogizing their most deplorable actions and making them feel as if they were indispensable for Pakistan. Whatever little ability, courage (both moral and physical) and will to make the difference that may have existed in them was killed by these ever green parasitic sycophants who are always in abundant supply. The politicians too have not made the difference that they should have strived to make in order to bring about a Pakistan that is at peace with itself and has enough to show itself as a developed country with a happy population.
» More: Exploitation must end

Strengthening Pakistan

July 7th, 2009

Over the years the cementing factors binding the people of Pakistan have been losing their adhesiveness. This has not been happening without reasons that are good enough to tear people apart. Poor governance, absence of political reforms, inequitable progress, absence of justice, oppression of the poor farmer and the worker by the feudal lords and the businessmen respectively, absence of merit, the non provision of equal opportunities to each Pakistani and, above all, the denial of quality education to a vast majority of Pakistanis are only some of the reasons that come to mind instantly as aspects responsible for the fractures that we see in our national structure.

At any given time there have been cries complaining of exploitation from one or another part of the country. If assessed dispassionately the cries have mostly been justified. Only seldom have they been manipulated cries meant to foment trouble of one kind or another. So what have we done, or are doing, to rid this great nation of reasons that bring about such cries of foul play. Nothing in concrete terms yet although it is past the high water mark to take this aspect seriously.

Since our last generation and the one that is now phasing out had lived under a colonial power they were used to being governed as slaves, or a little better than that. The change of the colour of the skin of the masters on 14 August, 1947, did not make much difference to that generation and they accepted the new local masters with the same slavish mentality. Just having an independent country and a flag that they could call their own was good enough to have the adrenaline going. Their unflinching loyalty and patriotism to Pakistan was admirable and enviable. It is not those generations but those of them that ruled the new country in their name that let Pakistan down and are responsible for the mess that we are in presently.
» More: Strengthening Pakistan

To Military: Empower The Middle Class To Save Pakistan

July 4th, 2009
Young Pakistanis

Young Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The revival process must now be generated in right earnest by those who have, on their shoulders, the political and military responsibility for bringing Pakistan back from the brink.

The process must start today. Tomorrow will be too late. The political and military leaders of today’s Pakistan have to bring about a team that is selflessly and uniquely dedicated to achieve one single objective – the Pakistani Dream.

This ought to be done before they are let down by the self-seeking sycophants they so mistakenly depend upon because the sycophants will, in any case, move on undeterred to the next bandwagon when the present one comes to a grinding halt. Haven’t we witnessed this phenomenon often enough in Pakistan? One cursory look around the political and bureaucratic bigwigs of the present political and bureaucratic hierarchy will show up many such faces which have Musharraf’s signatures deeply engraved on their foreheads.
» More: To Military: Empower The Middle Class To Save Pakistan

Preserving military potential

July 1st, 2009

Pakistan needs to be militarily strong in order to keep the country’s integrity intact. At the same time it cannot be disputed that elements aiming to destabilize Pakistan have to be neutralised. This is what the Army is trying its best to do. The Army must preserve itself through this ongoing and seemingly endless fight. The only way to do this is to ensure that the present situation is not allowed to spread out of the disturbed areas such as Swat. The Army must guard against overstretching itself.

Consolidation of the military gains would include a permanent military presence in Swat, restructuring and re-establishing the local government machinery, rehabilitation of the displaced people, revival of the judicial process and the ensuring of peace that would enable normal life. The next military move should be made only once this consolidation is achieved in places where the Army is already heavily engaged. Till then the military presence being maintained in other potentially threatened areas should just contain militant activity to those areas. The Army must never allow itself to be entirely engaged in counterinsurgency operations with no potential left to defend the country’s international borders. Such an eventually would have grave consequences for Pakistan.

We must learn from our own history, that if Pakistan has to continue to exist and move from strength to strength then Pakistan has to ensure its own military shield. Pakistan has to ensure that it maintains, at all times, the ability to counter any military move against it from any quarter. Building an army takes ages and we built the Pakistani Army with so much love, sacrifices, dedication and devotion. We must not allow it to be frittered away to a position of weakness so that when the threat begins to develop the threat becomes too big for the Army to handle – just like in 1971.
» More: Preserving military potential