Archive for September, 2011
During my meeting with Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul last month I could never have imagined that this would be our last meeting. Just a few months ago he and I met during his visit to Islamabad. He then invited me to Kabul for a detailed discussion. So when I reached Kabul last month, I informed him of my availability and the very next day he invited me to the same house where, just a few days ago, he was targeted by a suicide bomber. Read the complete column »
Instead of coming down, the bitterness in Pak-US relations has escalated after the meetings of Gen Mike Mullen with Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and that of Hina Rabbani Khar with Hillary Clinton.
The way the war of words that has emerged after the poisonous statements of US officials against Pakistan and the tit for tat response of Hina Rabbani Khar that ‘you will lose an ally’, clearly shows as to how relations between the two countries have become so delicate. Read the complete column »
Many think that a number of factors leave no chance for military rule in Pakistan, including a free judiciary and media in Pakistan and an elected government. No doubt, the image of the Pakistan army has improved since the Musharraf era; however it has not been fully repaired. The efforts by Gen Kayani and his colleagues contributed a lot in image improvement but the May 2 incident somewhat disrupted these efforts. Read the complete column »
The emerging dynamics in the regional strategic situation seriously demands matching policy modifications in Pakistan. Eid Day messages by the Taliban and Hizab-e-Islami indicate a major shift in policies. Besides, Al-Qaeda threats for Pakistan and the current situation in the Middle East present new challenges and opportunities. The Eid Day message, having the status of an annual policy statement, is a surprising and major policy shift. Both Mullah Omer and Hekmatyar declared the presence of foreign forces and military bases on the soil of Afghanistan unacceptable. However, unlike in the past, Karzai government is not criticised in a harsh tone. Read the complete column »
In the president’s house and the prime minister’s house, both situated in the green Margalla Hills, everything seems greener. For the moment everything is in its ideal locus. Everyone is defeated and Zardari is the only winner. The US is happy with Zardari and angry with the army. The two powerful players are cross with each other and the symbol of Pakistani unity is enjoying the scene. The media is successfully divided and except for a few all lions are sitting at Zardari’s feet. The judiciary is now focused on its survival. Read the complete column »
Criminals are a segment of every society. However, Karachi is unique in the sense that criminals, dacoits and mafias are encouraged, developed and patronised by political parties. And what an irony that the patrons of mafias are expected to protect citizens from them! All three of Karachi’s major parties have killers, land grabbers, dacoits and bhatta mafias in their cadres. Read the complete column »