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Archive for January, 2013

March Madness in January

Considered the usual month for political madness in Pakistan, March came early this year, the turmoil complicated by election year factors. The obstacles of the Federal and Punjab Governments notwithstanding, the Tehreek-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) “Long March” came nowhere near the “million” mark claimed by Dr Qadri, People in small numbers kept joining those assembled in the kilometer plus D Square space in front of Parliament in Islamabad, by late afternoon Tuesday the calculation was closer to 100000 plus/minus.

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March Madness in January

Considered the usual month for political madness in Pakistan, March came early this year, the turmoil complicated by election year factors. The obstacles of the Federal and Punjab Governments notwithstanding, the Tehreek-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) “Long March” came nowhere near the “million” mark claimed by Dr Qadri, People in small numbers kept joining those assembled in the kilometer plus D Square space in front of Parliament in Islamabad, by late afternoon Tuesday the calculation was closer to 100000 plus/minus.

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Visiting Bangladesh

Shrugging off its traditional reliance for foreign exchange earnings on jute goods, tea etc, economically BD has made giant strides, home remittances and garment manufacturing giving momentum to a whole basket of non-traditional exports. A cursory visit is enough to dispel the general perception prevailing in Pakistan that Bangladesh (BD) is doing economically far better than Pakistan. Despite multiple crises compounded by rampant corruption and a terror-driven law and order situation, Pakistan’s economy is far more resilient and multi-faceted, notwithstanding the BD Taka performing better than the Pakistani Rupee. The pervasive mass poverty in Bangladesh far outstrips the comparable percentage in Pakistan. The focus of BD’s economy seems to be the city of Dhaka with high-rise buildings mushrooming on scarce land with greater value than almost any other capital city in the world, traffic jams are endemic. One thing in common to both our democracies, rampant nepotism and corruption put than increasingly under threat, force-multiplied by widening rich-poor gap and inflation triggering a mass upsurge.

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Visiting Bangladesh

Shrugging off its traditional reliance for foreign exchange earnings on jute goods, tea etc, economically BD has made giant strides, home remittances and garment manufacturing giving momentum to a whole basket of non-traditional exports. A cursory visit is enough to dispel the general perception prevailing in Pakistan that Bangladesh (BD) is doing economically far better than Pakistan. Despite multiple crises compounded by rampant corruption and a terror-driven law and order situation, Pakistan’s economy is far more resilient and multi-faceted, notwithstanding the BD Taka performing better than the Pakistani Rupee. The pervasive mass poverty in Bangladesh far outstrips the comparable percentage in Pakistan. The focus of BD’s economy seems to be the city of Dhaka with high-rise buildings mushrooming on scarce land with greater value than almost any other capital city in the world, traffic jams are endemic. One thing in common to both our democracies, rampant nepotism and corruption put than increasingly under threat, force-multiplied by widening rich-poor gap and inflation triggering a mass upsurge.

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State of the Nation

The mobs venting their anger on Ms Benazir Bhutto’s assassination let loose an orgy of riot and mayhem, many took to the business of violence not only for looting and pillaging to enrich themselves but to take out their frustrations on those perceived living a life better than theirs. Anarchy threatened to engulf the entire land. We were in a state of shock, the state was in dire peril.

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State of the Nation

The mobs venting their anger on Ms Benazir Bhutto’s assassination let loose an orgy of riot and mayhem, many took to the business of violence not only for looting and pillaging to enrich themselves but to take out their frustrations on those perceived living a life better than theirs. Anarchy threatened to engulf the entire land. We were in a state of shock, the state was in dire peril.

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