propecia pregnancy

Pakistan’s “Magna Carta”?

Nearly 800 years to the day and only a few miles from the exact spot in an island called Runnymede in the River Thames near London, two of Pakistan’s more potent political leaders signed a somewhat similar “Charter of Democracy” in London on May 14, 2006 as the much amended Magna Carta, to seek restoration of genuine democracy and the 1973 Constitution in Pakistan. The Magna Carta was an agreement between King John and his rebellious barons, in our case the “rebellious barons” have signed it but “King John” in the person of President Pervez Musharraf has shown no inclination to assent to it. According to Ms Benazir Bhutto, they would leave no stone unturned for ensuring better and brighter future of the country, ensuring stability and regional peace, Nawaz Sharif called the signing of the document ‘historic’, maintaining it to be a milestone for the people and the country. An amended version of the original Charter signed on June 15, 1215 was circulated in 1225 and was far more pragmatic. Pakistan’s politicians are far more ambitious steering clear of self-accountability but far less pragmatic seeking an “instant Magna Carta”.

Share

Geo-Political Security Meltdown?

All movements that start with religious connotations tend to end up far removed from their original aims and objectives. While religious activism is quite deep-rooted in religion, it can be manipulated by motivated interest. Through the ages charlatan-ism is endemic among the leadership cadre of such movements, pure unadulterated motives are easily overwhelmed by those who do not share the same altruism. Muslim protest, which started in sincere earnest against the publishing of the Danish outrage, now seems to be provoked by motivated interests to become an outrage by itself because of the violence it has given birth to. To add to this, the desecration of a most holy muslim shrine in Samarra in Iraq, has started another strife, this time sectarian between the Sunni and Shia communities. It has portents of spilling over the borders of Iraq to all the territories inhabited by the Muslim Ummah, crossing an already fragile fail-safe line that holds the balance between peace and strife.

Share

Presidential Options

The countdown to general elections has begun. In any third world country there will always be an element of rigging (in the first world also e.g. US Presidential Elections 2000 Florida), the mood of the electorate is unlike that of 2002, the public will not accept any process less than fully fair and transparent. Intelligence agencies that have a compulsive penchant for “s-electing” favorites will find their effectiveness vastly limited in the prevailing environment, mass manipulation on the scale witnessed earlier is not possible, even “judicious” injecting of funds will invite a very strong street reaction. Those who break the law in the conduct of fair polls should expect to be prosecuted under those laws. The ability of civil servants and the police to locally influence elections in their area of responsibility must be (but probably can’t be) curbed. Mandatory statutory punishments for those trying to desecrate the electoral process will act as a deterrent. To those given unlawful commands to rig the electoral process, there is only one advice, “Just Say No!”.

Share

Dusting The Cupboard

When Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry (CJP) launched his judicial activism soon after he took over as CJP, he could have never dreamed that this activism, with himself as a symbol of that activism, would one day catch the imagination of the streets of the country. Credit for his growing momentum must be given to the bunch of incompetent Presidential advisers who have outdone each other in creating the problems and then stoking them by repeated blunders. In fact they have managed an impossible feat, combining the lawyers community all over the country with the media in an anti-Musharraf front, and now because of their repeated faux pas, mobilizing the ultimate support, from the man in the street. The CJP has now become the focal point for the aspirations and the frustrations of a vast majority of the populace, diverse individuals and groups with vastly differing reasons have joined the campaign to oust the present government. The human sacrifice of Mohammad Ali Durrani to the mob rampaging will not do, this ultimate in sycophancy is not a good enough political morsel. While for some it is only a personal vendetta against Pervez Musharraf, the intelligentsia and masses have greater ambitions, they want a fulfillment of promises of the freedoms envisaged by our founding fathers on the birth of Pakistan.

Share

When Tigers Become Maneaters

Karachi became a battleground on Saturday May 12, 2007, for a few frightening hours the citizens got a bloody taste of Baghdad and Beirut becomes when perpetrators of senseless violence take over the streets of the city. Everyone is casting blame on each other, and they are not wrong, all of us are culpable in our own ways. The tragedy that ensued is a severe indictment of the government for abdicating its responsibilities in not deploying the forces of law and order, the political parties used the occasion callously to further their own political objectives even when anarchy was looming in their faces and finally the lawyers persisted with the CJ’s Karachi procession despite ominous signs that it would cost lives, and that too mostly of innocents. There was a moral obligation for all to heed independent warnings of imminent violence. The government lost considerable moral authority in not enforcing their writ for hours, the hands-off policy seemed deliberately designed to aggravate the situation for a single purpose, prevent the CJ’s cavalcade from riding into town.

Share

Accountability And Bangladesh

Within days of his Oct 12, 1999 takeover, Pervez Musharraf established the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Pakistan to ferret out the corrupt of the past and fight endemic corruption in the present. The culprits whoever they were would be held accountable, the money they had looted would be recovered. NAB mission statement has since been compromised, viz (1) partly because of political exigencies of the continuity of Musharraf’s rule but (2) mostly by the “plea bargaining” pretext used to let dozens of white-collar criminals walk free. This loophole in the regulations governing anti-corruption became a “highway” for corruption, with the accused and the accusers both comfortable in a corrupt embrace that undermined the whole concept of accountability as envisaged by Musharraf when launching NAB. The simple formula for those failing to reimbursing the govt exchequer with the looted money is to throw away the keys of the jail cell.

Share

A Nation In Crisis

Naeem Bokhari’s open letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan was appalling for several reasons. Firstly, it tarnished the image of a man for whom one has great respect, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, and secondly it came from the pen of another man for whom one has great respect. If the facts stated therein are true the letter needed to be written, it should not have been made public. “Excesses” as per Naeem’s letter are commonplace in Pakistan, bringing it to the public domain demeans an Office one should always hold sacred, as much as anything can be held sacred in Pakistan. Triggering an unfortunate sequence of events, which for a time spun out of control, the letter had a backlash of sorts. It enhanced the stature of the man which the letter sought to demean, and tarnished the image of the letter writer, bringing him down many rungs from the pedestal he rightly should be. Naeem Bokhari has class, he is no ordinary known being, the letter going public has made him look us ordinary mortals.

Share

Largesse At Public Expense

Public sector performance is often associated with indolence, inefficiency corruption, wastage etc, but the public sector still has a major role in the developing economies. Even the first world cannot do without it, in developed economies their public face is disguised better. If every utility or service was left to the mercy of market conditions, a vast mass of the population could not afford it. Because the public sector cannot be entirely eliminated, the pragmatic solution has been to staff entities with successful executives from the private sector, and/or recruit them directly from Business Schools. At times private entrepreneurs also take up management slots in the public sector in trying to turn the corporate entity into economic viability. This is true not only in Pakistan but is the same all over the world, the major examples being in UK and Europe.

Share

Crossfire

Senator Tariq Azeem has the credentials and the integrity to do a much better function for the Government of Pakistan (GOP) than the likes of Muhammad Ali Durrani. His present job description as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting seems limited to requesting the Minister of Information and Broadcasting to request the President to speak. At the Iftar/Dinner hosted for the media at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad on Wednesday Oct 11, 2006, Durrani’s courtier-like introduction of the President was positively embarrassing. He went overboard with his unadulterated flattery. A hard-bitten Pakistani media does not take kindly to such public displays of fawning and servility. This clouds the Pervez Musharraf-image of a blunt, no-nonsense soldier who speaks his mind and is not given to such public displays of adulation.

Share

Collateral Damage

Pakistan stands adjacent to the ground zero of terrorism, any book by Pervez Musharraf, written well or otherwise, would be an outstanding source for much of the facts since before 9/11, a hot selling item with or without publicity. With Humayun Gauhar, having about the best English among Pakistani columnists at this time, helping Musharraf write his autobiography, the book should not suffer for want of lucidity and/or expression. The stating of facts is a different proposition, there are always many sides to a story, once in print its credibility can be called into question depending upon the facts themselves and/or the motivation of the beholder. Given that those coming out second best in the best will have no love lost for him, the autography is bound to be extremely controversial.

Share