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Archive for June, 2013

WHITHER PAKISTAN CRICKET?

Just when England had a firm grip in the 16th of the stipulated 20 overs in the International Cricket Champions (ICC) 50 overs One Day International (ODI) Trophy rain-reduced thriller at Edgbaston, they collapsed. Clearly the best team in the tournament, India deserved to win. Pakistan was quite embarrassingly eliminated in the knock-out stage.

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Treason Trial

Given the multiple crises that the government is challenged with, on both domestic and external fronts and the desperate need to address them, Mian Nawaz Sharif’s decision to prosecute Musharraf for treason may reinforce the perception of a revenge motive.

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Keep PIA Flying!

Facing multiple crisis simultaneously, most of them man-made, Pakistan’s workforce and institutions remain amazingly resilient. In many ways PIA is symbolic of the nation it is the national flag carrier of. Beset by extraordinary interference over the years, both during military and civilian rule, thanks to the competency of its core staff PIA is still operating. For this miracle one must give credit to PIA’s pilots, cabin crew and ground engineers, and most of its management and ground staff.
Rs 32 billion loss during 2012 (overall Rs 100 billion during the PPP regime) and US$ 2 billion accumulated debt puts the govt into a potential no-win situation. PM Mian Nawaz Sharif constituted a four-member committee to restructure and reform PIA. Separating Aviation Division from the Ministry of Defence (why was it there in the first place?), he tasked them with examining the challenges being faced and recommend remedial measures and proposals thereof. Federal Secretary Defence Lt Gen (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik successfully contained further erosion during his short tenure as ex-officio Chairman PIA, his observations would be helpful.

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NOT A HYPOCRITE!

Addressing Parliament for the 6th time, President Zardari spoke of everything under the sun but the two major problems that have brought Pakistan economically, politically and morally to its knees, nepotism and corruption. We are certainly not a failed state but Zardari and party put us well on our way to becoming a criminal one. Aesop (620 BC – 520 BC), a Greek slave of possibly Ethiopian origin to whom many fables through the centuries are credited, observed 2500 years ago in 550 BC, “we hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office”. Persecuted and/or sidelined, precedents were set for public officials to not only wholeheartedly condone but expedite siphoning of public money. Money is not the only motivation for derailing evidence and prosecution thereof, fear of retribution can be. Chicago’s Al Capone was guilty many times over for publicly committing murder, witnesses would never testify against him out of fear for their lives, he would laugh at them in court.

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