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Archive for November, 2011

When “Friends” Fall Out

By all accounts Hussain Haqqani and Mansoor Ijaz were good friends, the tone and tenor of the BlackBerry exchanges clearly show they made for a lethal combination. The May 10 Memo was meant to be a specially crafted “neutron bomb” to (1) change the present national security parameters in Pakistan and bring it into line with long-term US policy imperatives and (2) enable the present rulers to exercise absolute control of the military. An inquiry would identify and punish the officials responsible for “harboring bin Laden”, replacing them with a new Pakistani national security leadership that would “(1) bring transparency and “discipline” to Pakistan’s nuclear program (2) eliminate Section S of the ISI, which is “charged with maintaining relations to the Taliban, Haqqani network” and other rogue elements and (3) work with the Indian government to punish the perpetrators of the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai”.

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At the WEF’s ‘India Summit

Mumbai is a city of contrasts, which are never so apparent as when one comes in to land at the International Airport. High-rise developments are ubiquitous in shantytowns, ongoing construction of raised expressways snaking over slum areas to overcome the enormous traffic jams clogging the city. Dreams sometimes become reality in this sprawling metropolis, and […]

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Political Game-Changer

The size of the crowd that gathered at the Minar-i-Pakistan in Lahore on Oct 30 clearly rattled Imran Khan’s opponents. Four hours before the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (TI) leader even started speaking, nearly 45000 chairs arranged in neat rows were filled to capacity. Independent observers estimated the overflowing audience to range between 100000 to 200000. A stream of PML (N) leaders sneered at the “small” size, their petty snide remarks undercutting their credibility as political leaders, the blatant falsehood only underscoring that the significance of the huge turnout was not lost on them. After years in the political wilderness, Imran Khan’s time has finally come.

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The Helpless Tending the Hapless

After sacking politician Khawaja Nazimuddin as PM a year or so after they successfully conned him into vacating the Governor General’s chair for bureaucrat Ghulam Mohammad in 1951, the superior bureaucracy proceeded over the years to usurp the rights of all other services who were not in the Civil Services of Pakistan (CSP), ie customs, income tax, police, secretariat group, commerce and trade and railway officers, but mainly the Provincial Civil Services (PCS) officers etc. CSP cultivated good relations with the Army with the sop of 10 % quota in the successor District Management Group (DMG), police and Foreign Service, even bringing the C-in-C of the Army at one stage into the Federal Cabinet. The minority Federal bureaucrats imposed blatant discrimination on their majority Provincial “colleagues”, how can good governance be possible at the grassroots level? Sub-judice before the Supreme Court (SC), the DMG is successfully prevaricating by keeping “agreements” that gave them untold power as “state secrets”.

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