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Archive for August, 2014

HIGH NOON AT MIDNIGHT

The Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri show, or as my friend Ejaz Haider puts it, the “Lucky Irani Circus”, finally made it to where they wanted to be in the first place and where the Mian Nawaz Sharif regime did not want them at any time, at the “D Square” in front of Parliament. While it was a massive crowd, the numbers do not matter. The emotions of the men, women and children who braved both the artificial and natural odds to follow their leaders to their date with destiny did. Contrary to the govt-fed propaganda most of our more renowned TV anchors were parrotting ad nauseam, the PTI followers remained true and faithful. Not politically extensive nationwide as Imran Khan’s, Tahirul Qadri’s flock in Islamabad numbered far more. Their remarkable capacity to remain resolute and with resilience, all with remarkable discipline, belies political reckoning. Make no mistake, the Sharifs under-estimated Tahirul Qadri’s political nuisance value. Alongside Imran, he may well bring down their govt.

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DEMOCRACY & NATIONAL SECURITY

Developed together by the institutions of the Pakistani state (including the military), national security has to be based on a common understanding about what the national interest of Pakistan actually is and how the national interest can be separated from the disparate political, economic and military interests that might exist. A consistent national security strategy and a common understanding about what is Pakistan’s national interest can only be developed by a process of informed analysis and debate thereof between the major institutions of the state, with the people of Pakistan an integral part of the process, not only involved and taken into confidence about it but with vital interest in the outcome.

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A PAKISTANI QB VII?

Serving a defamation notice on the PTI Chairman, Imran Khan, for “levelling baseless allegations” against him and the judiciary, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry threatened civil and criminal proceedings “in accordance with the law, both inside and outside the jurisdiction of Pakistan, if unconditional apology is not tendered by you,” the notice claimed in damages, “a token sum of Rs 15 billion only; and another Rs 5 billion only as damages for mental agonies, torture, harassment, humiliation, etc., caused to me as well as my family.”

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