Showing posts from September, 2011

In defence of Imran Khan

Imran Khan has always confronted the proverbial question ‘will he make it?’ in whatever he has set out to do. That was the question when his team was losing in the earlier stages of the World Cup of 1992, but he was the proud recipient of the coveted trophy at the concluding ceremony. The same was the haunting question when he launched “Imran’s Tigers” to build a cancer hospital in memory of his mother. He succeeded in building the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital — one of the most acclaimed institutions known for its professional expertise and its humanitarian consideration, as it treats more than 75 per cent of its patients free of cost. This question again haunted him when he announced plans to build a university in one of the most backward areas of the country. The university, an affiliate of the UK-based University of Bradford, is there for all to see in Mianwali, as it disseminates quality education in a variety of disciplines.
George Fulton, in his article of September 22 titl…

We Must Stop America Now!

On November 18, 1999, immediately after General Pervez Musharraf took over the helm of affairs in Pakistan, this columnist (Dr. Haider Mehdi) wrote a personal letter to him. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- By Dr. Haider Mehdi: -------------------------------------------------------------------

The following is an extract from that letter:
Consider the enormous accuracy of the predication of the political-military fallouts made over a decade ago.

“…Americans have been conducting their relations with Pakistan with specifically designed agendas. In the first phase, Pakistan fought American political battles of anti-communism… this was followed by Zia’s years, in engaging the Soviet Union in armed intervention; and now the likelihood is that the Americans would want Pakistan to assist them in destabilizing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. As we enter the next millennium, the American and Eur…

Imran Khan - Gujranwal Address and More

At GUJRANWALA, PTI chairman Imran Khan reiterated on Sunday that the country needed a brave leader, and the War on Terror was benefiting the government instead of the people.
Addressing a rally in Gujranwala, Khan said that the War on Terror had cost Pakistan $70 billion and resulted in the loss of over 35,000 lives. He said the US was blaming Pakistan for their own failure in Afghanistan. Referring to President Asif Ali Zardari, Khan said that the nation needed strong leadership unlike the present one that is not standing up to the US, despite all their allegations in recent times. Khan said the government should reject US aid. He said that if his party came into power, they would first reject US aid and fight this war on their terms. He added that it was this aid that was giving the miiltants the perception that we were fighting the US War on Terror and hence attacked us. Speaking on the floods, he said that the president went to flo…

Motives for America’s recent abusive Tirade against Pakistan

It isn’t really all a conspiracy theory but I don’t mind if we begin with this premise. What has befuddled analysts as well as non-analysts in recent times is the question that what has America gained by its adventure in Afghanistan, which has also cost it over a trillion dollars?
Let’s detail some of these gains: Al Qaeda has undoubtedly been weakened and is no longer a significant force in the AfPak contiguity. The flip side, however, is that al Qaeda now has its tentacles spread on newer shores: in Yemen, the Arabian peninsula, Southeast Asia, the Maghreb and also various cells reported to be presented in Europe.
It all began with George W Bush’s “smoke ‘em out” determination. Of course, no one will deny the need to commiserate with the Americans on the dastardly 9/11 tragedy, but the invasion of Afghanistan only seems to have ended up spreading al Qaeda to other regions of the world. Instead of containing it, it has been transformed into a geographically diverse movement, and one …

The Irony of Afghanistan And The Real Endgame

Afghanistan drifts towards a closure, on floating wafts of time, on which travel events outside the control of the most powerful; directionless. Sadly, after half the world has fished in its troubled waters, abandonment is on the cards. US President Barack Obama remains unclear which way he is going, both as the guide to American policy and as a president. He has lost his way in the Washington maze, and in the absence of the commander-in-chief, everyone else is suddenly sprung into action — Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA, the State Department, Brennan et al. No, it isn’t the routine Washington functioning where separate voices provide differing nuances, but a superpower in serious disarray. It is important to say this since the super-power drives the agenda, especially so in Afghanistan. All others are bit players swishing on the fringes, at best muddying the already murky. Continue reading >>>
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Pakistan - A Country in Search of a Leader

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan may have been one of the more resilient Asian countries in the wake of the global financial crisis, but since then the economy has been seriously weakened. The earthquake in 2005 did great damage to the country's infrastructure but the ruinous floods of 2010 have destroyed even more, with an estimated total economic impact of as much as US$43 billion.

The floods' aftermath has contributed further to public perception of inefficiency and to political unrest. The international community was slow to respond and the Pakistani government was blamed for sluggish and disorganized response to the floods. There were also allegations that local authorities and warlords conspired to divert funds. The wealthy, with better access to transportation and other facilities, suffered far less than the poor and the floods have exacerbated Pakistan's class divisions.

Overall, Pakistan has suffered for decades from internal policy disputes and low levels of fore…

Your Guide to Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is a major global health threat and a leading cause of mortality in the tropics and subtropics. It is caused by infection with any one of four serotypes of dengue virus transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito. This mosquito species breeds around habitations and feeds during the day. As many as 100 million people are infected annually, of which about 25,000 die of the disease.

<<< The Aedes mosquito and its infamous black and white stripes.

Presentation Once inoculated into the human body, dengue has an incubation period (during which the virus multiplies) of 3-14 days. Thereafter, in the typical form of the disease, a five- to seven-day acute fever ensues. Recovery is usually complete by 7-10 days. It is important to appreciate that about half of all dengue infections go completely unnoticed. Some patients have isolated fever while others may produce the typical symptom complex of classic dengue fever (DF). Fever may be as high as 106°F. The fever presents i…

USA want to break Pakistan? Debate

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Imran Khan - Next Elections, Future of PTI

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The Real Cost of 9/11

THE 10th anniversary of 9/11 was a sombre occasion for reflection on the meaningless suffering and violence caused by Al Qaeda and its franchises as well as the subsequent military reaction by states across the globe.

This decade will be remembered for its long periods of unnecessary war, violence, torture and death. If all the tears caused by such abundant sorrow could be collected in one place, they would constitute a tragic river of regret, broken hopes and hearts.

Having worked for more than 18 months in Swat with trauma patients who were victims of personal tragedies during the Taliban rule and the military response thereafter, one has witnessed the heartrending effect on ordinary people.

The worst sufferers have been women and children, and there are many households in Swat today with widows as head of the family. They have not only to cope with the strain of living but also of having to raise families without breadwinners. One cannot allow this catastrophe to pass without refl…

‘Altaf’s address waste of time’

All the political parties except the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) described Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief’s video address on Friday a non-event and a waste of time. Altaf Hussain, during almost four hours of address — the longest in Pakistan’s political history and shown live on all private channels — actually revealed nothing except for allegations without any proof that the Awami National Party (ANP) received money from the US to win general elections in 2008, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers were heavily armed and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) was running an underground armed group called ‘Thunder Squad’.

All three named parties, however, scoffed at the allegations saying the accusations coming from the MQM chief were meanningless when everyone knows who started extortion rackets, ran death squads, grabbed lands and killed own supporters in Karachi if they dared to speak against the party leader.
PML-N leader Ahsan…

The 9/11 Decade - Pakistan: a state adrift

The Clash of Civilizations? In 1998, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri declared war on the US, outlining a philosophy of the clash of civilizations which legitimised attacks on the West - both soldiers and civilians. In the US, a group of politicians, who were to become known as the Neocons, believed they too had a moral duty to change the world. Both groups found their opportunity in the attacks of 9/11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. But both were to see their dreams perish with the increasing human cost of these wars and the reality that ideologies without popular support cannot change the world.

Pakistan: a state adrift

A review of the 10 years since the September 11, 2001, attacks for a country that has weathered more crises than most. by Asad Hashim. The last 10 years have been something less than kind to Pakistan.
Since it was famously told that it either stood with the United States in its "War on Terror" or faced being bombed "back to the Stone Age"…