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152 soldiers sentenced to die for mutiny in Bangladesh
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 4: Opinion
6 18:51 swksvolFF [590] 
2 18:52 JosephMendiola [407] 
3 09:57 746 [373] 
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1 05:46 Ulusoth Shereter7931 [296]
Page 2: WoT Background
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2 10:16 Glenmore [235]
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3 04:05 Spereting Tingle4064 [272]
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7 15:46 Phaising Speaking for Boskone4311 [390]
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Page 6: Politix
10 20:57 USN, Ret. [674]
India-Pakistan
Death of rationality
[Dawn] WE get readily inflamed on being accused of being a failed state or failing society. But can we fathom the reasons or logic to explain even to a sympathetic observer our policies as a state or our priorities or reactions as a society?

There is no denying the feel-good value of platitudes. To be told that you have tremendous hidden potential as individuals and untapped resources as a state, or that things aren't as bad as they are made out to be can be uplifting. But are we not headed in a direction that is truly frightening?

This is no prophecy for doom. It is meant to consider what we would say to our kids 30 years from now when they ask us what we were thinking while merrily pursuing our suicide mission.

To love a country or society like you love your parents is one thing: unconditional love, gratitude for what they did for you, and lack of desire to change them. To love a country or society as you love your kids is another: unconditional love together with responsibility for the kind of people they become.

We were a country of 34 million in 1951. Currently, we are north of 180 million. If we actually begin to worry about producing incessantly, we'd probably be 270 m by 2050. If we keep thinking that more of us are God's gift to humankind, we could be around 330m by then. Either way we would be the fourth or fifth most populous country in three decades. To state the obvious, our land or resources are not multiplying along with our progeny.

We are one of the most illiterate people in the world and even in our region, notwithstanding our constitutional obligation to educate all kids between the ages of five and 16. There are over 25m children in this age group presently not enrolled in school. If we keep reproducing at the current pace and given that we are a young population (the average national age is under 25 years), we'll have over 60 m kids out of school in another three decades.

Imagine a country of 270 to 330m, a predominant majority of which is uneducated and consequently unskilled to meet their basic needs. Forget our miserable rural areas for a minute. Imagine cities twice their current size in 30 years with no urban planning and unmet housing, transportation and energy needs. Who will employ all these people? Where will they go to school? Where will they be treated when they fall sick?

We are being told now that we are almost out of water. Imagine a country of 270 to 330m without water. Are we building more water reservoirs to cater for our growing needs? No, we'd rather keep fighting about the poisoned Kalabagh dam. Are we writing laws to create catchment areas in rural and urban areas to harvest rainwater that we have in abundance, as devastating floods remind us each year? No, we'd rather unravel the conspiracy of the Indus Water Treaty first.

Whether the issue is creating a modern economy, preventing youth from engaging in crime or succumbing to violent and intolerant ideologies feeding terror, controlling population growth or enabling citizens to provide for themselves, the medium- to long-term solution to each challenge lies in education.

And what is our response? Our governments will not even commit enough funds to education to create the mirage that they are serious about upholding our children's fundamental right to education under Article 25A.

The burden of facilitating education is increasingly been borne by our private sector. If we are half serious about creating educational facilities for the 60m additional kids who will need to go to school over the next 30 years, we will need to attract enormous amounts of private investment. We need north of $50 billion (conservatively speaking) to establish facilities for everyone of schoolgoing age and the state will simply be unable to cough up this money. And how is the state going about attracting private investment for education?

The Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
High Court has ruled that private schools must provide education on buy-one-get-one-free basis: if one of your kids goes to a private school, the second will go for free. The ingenuity is breathtaking. Ever heard of killing two birds with one stone, education and population both?

Our cities have no allocated spaces for schools. So where should schools be located? Out of cities or in bazaars, say the government and the courts. We'll suffer beauty parlours and restaurants in residential areas but not the abominable commercial activity schools engage in.

The intolerance that has multiplied within our society and the bigoted mindset it has cultivated over the last three decades is suffocating. Killing Salmaan Taseer was fair game; how dare he stand up and claim that a poor Christian woman might not have committed blasphemy? What would have been Alvin Robert Cornelius's prospects of being allowed to wear the robes if he lived today? Not satisfied with the declaration of Ahmadis as non-Moslems or the digging up of their graves, our judges have caught up with the plan and resolved never to appoint them as fellow judges.

We've blocked YouTube indefinitely to prevent access to one ugly video created by bigots in a far-off land. The video is still out there and accessible from Pakistain using proxies. Everyone agrees that most of YouTube's content is legal and useful. There is only one reason to keep it shut: opening it will rile up our bigots.

And what is their logic? We must cut the nose to spite the face. It is the same people who dissect every word uttered by a 16-year-old kid, shot in the head by the beloved TTP, to establish what an evil she has become for this glorious country.

Let us recognise that an overpopulated, poor and illiterate society with a penchant for religious intolerance creates a toxic mix. It doesn't take too long for societies to degenerate. Kabul a few decades back was a place Paks went to for honeymoons. If we keep going the way we are, we're headed for a train wreck.
Posted by: Fred || 11/05/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [590 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  Pakiland is a dripping stink hole. Don't lie to yourself just because your toilet flushed this morning. Paki is a Moslem back door fook.

It IS going to get worse, there isn't a chance in the world you are going to make it.
Posted by: Spereting Tingle4064 || 11/05/2013 4:13 Comments || Top||

#2  In serious need of estrogen in the water.
Posted by: 3dc || 11/05/2013 8:20 Comments || Top||

#3  To be told that you have tremendous hidden potential as individuals and untapped resources as a state, or that things aren't as bad as they are made out to be can be uplifting.

To the UN, everyone is a winner.
Posted by: Pappy || 11/05/2013 11:05 Comments || Top||

#4  No need to worry about those top end population numbers. As the population becomes more dense, polio, typhus and smallpox will take care of the overage...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 11/05/2013 15:23 Comments || Top||

#5  Smallpox?
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 11/05/2013 18:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Better include leptospirosis.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 11/05/2013 18:51 Comments || Top||


Can't face the truth: After Hakeemullah
[Dawn] IN many ways, it is a replay of the fallout of the American raid that killed the late Osama bin Laden
... who was laid out deader than a mackerel, right next to the mackerel...
. The shrillest, loudest voices that have been heard since Hakeemullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike on Friday are those slamming the US for apparently fatally sabotaging dialogue with the TTP and those casting Mehsud as an honourable, if misunderstood, bully boy leader who really only wanted peace. Perhaps in a better, more rational world, the focus here would be on the monstrous legacy of Mehsud and a hardnosed assessment of whether his killing will in fact make it easier or more difficult to deal with the TTP, whether militarily or through dialogue. Unhappily, rational discourse has seemingly been abandoned nationally when it comes to talking about the TTP and the US.

Still, the furious criticism of the US and near-veneration of Mehsud does not mean there is not much that is troubling about Friday's strike. The bottom line is that Pakistain has to deal with the internal security threat posed by the TTP. To achieve that, the politicianship has decided that dialogue must be the first option. However remote the possibility of talks succeeding may be, that is a decision the politicianship of the country has collectively taken and must therefore be respected and adhered to, even if not fully agreed with. From the American perspective too, it ought to have made sense to let the dialogue phase play out with minimal interference. For now, if the dialogue option does collapse, the blame can easily be pinned on the already disliked US, leaving opponents of the military option against the TTP as vocal and energetic as ever -- and leaving the Pak state no closer to ending the principal internal security threat. How does it help overall American interests to fuel conspiracy theories in Pakistain, shift the focus from the threat the TTP poses, and leave the Pak state and society fumbling around as confusedly as ever? It does not. And yet an American drone killed Hakeemullah Mehsud on Friday, suggesting either myopia or a fierceness in American policy towards Pakistain that is deeply unsettling.

Of course, in the grossly awkward dance that has been the Pakistain-US security relationship for many years now, what the Americans can do, Pak officials can do one better and vice versa. The Sharif government is proving as adept at the self-defeating approach of the Musharraf era and the last PPP government: avoid speaking plainly about the bully boy threat and pretend the US understands the Pak position until facts on the ground manifest themselves and trigger angry Pak denunciations of the US. It's both tragic and scary: Pakistain is yet to find a leadership that speaks plainly and honestly and makes the necessary hard choices.
Posted by: Fred || 11/05/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [407 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  The Taliban ae more popular in Pakistan than Afghanistan says it all.
Posted by: Ulusoth Shereter7931 || 11/05/2013 5:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Come 2016, a Taliban, etal.-participated Pak Govt. [Coalition?] could Constitutionally, electorally, andor legally be in charge of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

As vee Syria + Iran + espec Rising China, America = Amerika is running out of both time + diplomatic options - NO TIME OR CIRCUMSTANCE FOR AMERIKA TO BE AFFECTED BY A LAID-BACK LAME-DUCK PRESIDENCY.

Have I said "ESPEC RISING CHINA"???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 11/05/2013 18:52 Comments || Top||


Mirror to the soul: Mob justice
[Dawn] IN societies where the law and order machinery is perceived to have broken down, where people live in crime-ridden cities seething with the frustrations of daily life, the result can be a tinderbox that needs little to set it alight. Pent-up rage can find an outlet in mob justice which, at least for a short while, dissipates a people's feeling of impotence by allowing them to play judge, jury and executioner. An incident in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
a few days ago is a recent example of such vigilantism. According to news reports, three robbers killed two people in a botched robbery attempt in the Landhi area, and were set upon by a crowd that had gathered at the scene of the crime. One of the robbers was rubbed out, another was thrashed by the mob, while the third managed to escape. The police themselves were not spared when they arrived at the scene and tried to rescue the injured robber from the enraged mob.

Mob justice has become distressingly frequent in this country. Often the trigger is an allegation of 'blasphemy', such as when a man accused of desecrating the Holy Koran was beaten and burned alive by a crowd in Dadu, Sindh late last year. Sometimes, as in the latest instance in Karachi, an allegation of ordinary criminality is the catalyst. In either case, mob violence offers a glimpse into the soul of a society and the demons that lurk within. Buffeted as we are by militancy and an increasingly strident public discourse, it is perhaps little wonder that this society has become so brutalised. It is all the more reason that those who participate in such attacks be punished. Taking the law into one's hands is never the answer.
Posted by: Fred || 11/05/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [373 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1 
Posted by: Spereting Tingle4064 || 11/05/2013 4:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Pak, Brazil, elsewhere, vigilantism arises when people perceive that there is no real expectation of justice. Go watch the beginning scene from the 'Godfather' as the mortician pleads for justice denied to the Don. Of course it's easier for those who have some power to go after the vigilantes than to reform their own corrupt system to give the people justice.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 11/05/2013 8:28 Comments || Top||

#3  To quote AC DC : The night of the long, long knives.
Posted by: 746 || 11/05/2013 9:57 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
19[untagged]
12Govt of Pakistan
11Arab Spring
3Govt of Syria
2Hezbollah
2Govt of Iran
1Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant
1Jamaat-e-Islami
1Lashkar e-Jhangvi
1al-Qaeda in Pakistan
1al-Shabaab
1Boko Haram
1Govt of Sudan
1Houthis

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Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2013-11-05
  152 soldiers sentenced to die for mutiny in Bangladesh
Mon 2013-11-04
  Blast inside Quetta seminary leaves two injured
Sun 2013-11-03
  Gunmen kill 30 in suspected Islamist attack on Nigerian wedding convoy
Sat 2013-11-02
  Egypt army arrests head of Sinai radical militant group, dozens others
Fri 2013-11-01
  Pakistani Taliban chief killed in drone strike: sources
Thu 2013-10-31
  Israeli warplanes strike shipment of Russian missiles at Syrian port: officials
Wed 2013-10-30
  Suicide blast in Tunisian resort of Sousse
Tue 2013-10-29
  Somalia's al-Shabab commanders 'killed' in strike
Mon 2013-10-28
  Bomb blast kills 18 wedding guests in Afghanistan
Sun 2013-10-27
  Bombings in Baghdad, Mosul kill at least 49
Sat 2013-10-26
  Nigeria says kills 74 'Boko Haram' Islamists in ground, air assault
Fri 2013-10-25
  Algerian troops find huge arms cache on Libyan border
Thu 2013-10-24
  Iraq PM warns of 'war of genocide' as attacks kill 48
Wed 2013-10-23
  Kenya police officers raid nabs 50 Somali aliens
Tue 2013-10-22
  IDF soldiers kill planner of Tel Aviv bus bombing in a raid

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