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Floods’ management: Perfect script for a black comedy

They say that individual and collective characters are exposed in times of crisis. Indeed the Pakistan ruling classes have exposed themselves for their historical myopia and lack of vision. Political parties are fighting over optics, media perceptions and wasting their energies. TV channels and wise anchors on the other hand are competing who got there first to show the mammoth destruction and who fired more salvos at Asif Zardari.

August 13th, 2010|governance, Published in the Express Tribune|3 Comments

Whither civilian governance?

My new piece published by The Friday Times

While the gurus of security and international affairs continue to unpack and make sense of the high-profile and much-hyped strategic dialogue , the people of Pakistan continue to ask questions about its direct relevance to their lives. If increased US investment in the energy sector and other poverty alleviation programmes would be outcomes of this exercise, perhaps there may be some hope for an ordinary Pakistani. However, it appears that the process of dialogue has harped on familiar tunes, adding to the sound and fury that defines Pak-US relations.

If anything, the re-emergence of the Pakistan Army’s ascendancy over national affairs has been a direct result of the much touted “strategic” dialogue. The Pakistan Army and its leadership have already taken over the foreign policy and recent developments suggest that their command and control over domestic policies of public interest remains as entrenched as ever. Whether this pertains to the meeting of top bureaucrats presided over by the Chief of the Army Staff, or the capitulation of the civilian government before the obsessively India-centric policy of our military-bureaucratic establishment, we are sure about who is calling the shots in the Land of the Pure. […]

Well done Priti Maithil – good luck with the IAS babus

Raza Rumi

News such as this one are truly heart-warming. Not that entry into the Rajesque,elitist IAS is a panacea for India’s grinding poverty and unemployment but it is good to know that opportunities are opening up for the poor and education is making that happen. My only wish is that this also happens in my country and Bangladesh – after all poverty and inequality are not Divine ordained conditions – they have been designed by evil men and their cabals…

Source: NDTV – Twenty-three-year-old Priti Maithil, the daughter of a daily wage labourer in Sehore in Madhya Pradesh has ranked 92nd in the UPSC examinations and it is no surprise that her family is bursting with pride. […]

May 7th, 2009|India, Personal|5 Comments

Amankaar Tehrik (peace movement) in Pakistan challenges the status quo

Courtesy Fouzia Saeed

DISSPELLING THE MYTHS ABOUT TALIBAN

Myth: The root cause of Terrorism is extreme poverty and lack of education
Reality: This is not true. There are many countries in the world that suffer from extreme poverty but do not have terrorist groups.  Within Pakistan many areas are more poor than Swat, but have not become violent. On the other hand people who have become terrorists are not doing anything to eradicate poverty or provide education. Terrorists merely use the resentment of the marginalized and those resentful of other state actions in the initial phase of their ideological campaign. Once in control, they tax the poor, destroy school buildings and stop girls from going to schools. Most of those who have been killed due to militant attacks are women, peasants and the poor. […]

May 4th, 2009|Personal|7 Comments