Our cartoonist's viewpoint
Renowned journalist and author of a number of books on Pakistan and militancy, Ahmad Rashid, in an article, has sarcastically named “Anarchic Republic of Pakistan”...
Pakistan is the house of many languages. Yet, even at the ripe age of 65, the issue about its national language and Urdu’s affliction on the regional languages persists.
At the time of independence and partition in 1947, India took the secular route, enacted a constitution in November 1949 and embarked on its career as a republic.
|Wali Khan||NO COMMENTS|
After the Second World War, when the conditions settled the British revised their policy in the light of a new set of circumstances. When Germany attacked the USSR, it gained steady victory until it remained only a few kilometers from Moscow. The British, therefore, lost their constant fear of the USSR. Their attention was now centred upon Japan, which was steadily advancing upon all their colonies. When Japan attacked Burma, and the Calcutta bombing started, the British had a real cause for alarm. On a point of strategy they decided to realign themselves with Afghanistan. If they were to lose India, then instead of losing it all to Japan and Germany, they decided to disregard the 1893 Durand Line, which separated the Pakhtoon territory from Afghanistan, and allow it to revert to the latter.
|M. Husain Sadar||DEBATE|
After having read excellent piece by Amit Julka (Arabisation of Indian Muslim: Viewpoint Online, 102nd issue), I recalled my own experiences while visiting Pakistan and several Arab states. During one of my UN-sponsored visits to Pakistan, I too was advised by my local contact in Islamabad that one must say Allah Hafiz and not Khuda Hafiz while departing on separate ways. Since leaving Pakistan more than two decades ago, it was my first visit to my homeland. I was a bit nervous and quietly accepted his advice.
|Alex de Jong, Bertil Videt||SOLIDARITY SANS BORDERS|
After having agreed to numerous austerity attacks, Geert Wilders’ far right PVV suddenly withdrew its support to the right-wing coalition, and left the Netherlands without a government in April. The Socialist Party is doing remarkably well in polls and might become the biggest party after elections in September. In Netherlands, as elsewhere on the continent, traditional politics is being stirred by opposition to harsh austerity measures, which are being felt hard by ordinary people.
|Yousaf Ajab Baloch||PROBING HEADLINES|
Despite being rich in terms of its natural resources and significant due to its geostrategic location, Balochistan has remained the most backward of all Pakistani provinces. Balochistan also lags behind in terms of standard of journalism practiced here. The province does not get sufficient attention in the national media whereas there is a tremendous need for building journalists’ capacity. The poor quality of journalism in Balochistan also owes to a lack of proper training opportunities for the local journalists.
|Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham||COMMENT|
The original purpose of the World Bank (WB) was to arrange long term loans for the countries devastated by W.W II and in the early years it did some good. Now it does not consult the people in the countries it works in. It has expanded its role to provide 'project aid' for dams, cash crops and adjustment loans to countries to pay their debts and loan guarantees to corporations based in the first world.
On the 28th of May 2010, 95 Ahmadis were massacred simultaneously in two different worship places in Lahore while offering Friday prayers. This massacre and police operation was aired live and this possibly gave the attackers certain edge, as real-time information about police positioning, the gun-fight, and causalities poured in. The location and footage of one of the captured terrorists was also released. Eventually a militant attack managed to ‘rescue’ him. So far this chapter is closed. Now here is a video, showings...
|Dr. Qaisar Abbas||EXCLUSIVE|
Tactics of maintaining power and control have also been modernized in the modern-day nation state. Sometimes they do, but these tactics are no longer enforced entirely through constitutional modalities, legal systems, administrative structures and openly pronounced policies. On the contrary, constitutionally derived laws, rules and regulations are designed to give a false impression that the state overwhelmingly and sincerely subscribes to universally recognized norms of human rights, equality, justice, education and equal distribution of wealth.
|Sahar Saba||KABUL DIARY|
The NATO summit held at Chicago May 20-21, was preceded by a controversy generated by Amnesty International’s poster-campaign aimed at NATO-summit. “NATO: Keep the progress going” reads the Amnesty poster. When criticized, Amnesty USA issued a clarification (excerpt): “Some are asking, is Amnesty now a cheerleader for NATO? Does Amnesty support the war? What was Amnesty thinking?! The shadow summit — and the poster — is directed at NATO, not to praise it, but to remind the leaders...
Pakistan is neither a historical construct nor a nation. It is ahistorical for it defies the very idea and definition of a nation-state. It is an enforced birth. It has never taken pride in its own history, languages, cultures and civilization. So, it can safely be called, in anthropological terms, a shame-society for it might be the only country in the world where majority of the population does not like to be buried in its own land. People here instead pray for a death in the holy lands of ‘Mecca or Madina’.
Sheikh Jingle Bells has beaten Dr Fruitcake in the gasification project. The learned Sheikh has produced more gas for less dollars per cubic meters than the much advertised Thar Coal Project. With such patriotic innovators among our midst we will soon export gas to Qatar and energy to Saudi Arabia. It is important to diversify our exports and discover new markets as the American economy is on its last legs, threatening our traditional exports of car bombs, Al-Qaida operatives in orange suits and Aafia Siddiqi.
Last year the Greek ponzi scheme, whereby the extent of Greek national debt was hidden from its creditors (international finance capital) came to an end. This touched off a firestorm. International finance capital became increasingly unwilling to lend to Greece (buy Greek bonds), and the regime had to turn to the European Union for some sort of bail out. In exchange, the top EU states demanded austerity measures from the Greek regime. This was to cut the Greek state expenditures, thus supposedly reducing Greek debt.
Farooq Tariq is a leading left-wing activist. He is on the Executive Committee of the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) and is active in many working-class struggles. For his struggle against military dictatorship, he has spent years in exile and been jailed at least half-a-dozen times. In an interview with the Viewpoint, he comments on the political scene in the country.