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Archive for August, 2005

Money-Laundering

Pakistan is on top of the list of many counts, each of these could put the country in a special category considered “rogue” among the comity of nations. While in the present world environment eradicating terrorism is of the utmost priority, there are inter-linked problem areas that need to be simultaneously tackled. Among the most important is to curb, if not altogether eliminate, money-laundering.

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An Exercise In Democracy

Communities all over Pakistan start to renew their exercise of right of self-rule today, Aug 18, 2005. While the present Local Bodies system has a number of flaws, the very fact that it exists gives hope for the future, that the citizens will be able to use their vote to seat their favoured candidate in office for local governance is a matter of satisfaction. This is despite the fact that “pre-polls rigging” has taken place to such an extent that it will be a miracle to see those opposed to the present government get voted into any office. Looking for silver linings, since there are those who support the respective Provincial governments, at least a percentage of voters will see their rights exercised. There is a Hobson’s choice between having this “part” exercise in democracy and having no democracy at all. Something is better than nothing, we must keep struggling, someday we can better our situation than what we have presently.

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Coping With Terrorism

Today’s suicide bombers may be mostly of muslim origin, terrorism has no religion or nationality. During World War 2 Japanese pilots made their aircraft into flying bombs in “kamikaze” (divine wind) attacks against US warships in a desperate effort to break the stronghold of the US Navy over the Pacific. Today’s “divine” bombings are an aberration, warped logic and reaction thereof to the real and/or perceived failures and shortcomings of society in dispensing equitable justice and providing good governance. For many centuries Jews have been on the receiving end of Christian wrath, Muslims were similarly subjected to the brutal excesses of the crusades. Both Jews and Muslims together faced the tortures of the Inquisition. Over 6 million were killed by the murderous horror of the Nazi-era Holocaust, the sustained persecution of muslims for the past 50 years may be nowhere near matching that horrific scale in absolute murder, on a pro-rata basis more human beings are affected across the world.

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Security Imperatives

The recent London bombings, both the successful terrorist attack on July 7, 2005 (7/7) and the failed one on July 21 two weeks later, underscore the fact that public places are far more vulnerable to terrorist atrocities than family homes. Yet we are miserly in spending money for public places in contrast to what we spend to give adequate security to one’s family. This vulnerability of mass transit means is usually at grievous human cost to the “extended family” i.e. the community, as well as the costs of material replacement and the economic disruption caused.

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