An in-depth analysis on Karachi’s gang violence

A policeman on patrol in Agra Taj(By Matthieu Aikins) Meet the mobsters who run the show in one of the world’s deadliest cities.

This spring, the Rangers, Pakistan’s paramilitary security force, launched a series of raids into Karachi’s slums for what was described by the government as a crime-prevention campaign. Members of the force blocked off the streets surrounding the city’s poorest neighborhoods and exchanged fire with the locals. Over several days, the Rangers seized several caches of weapons and captured or killed dozens of alleged gang members. Continue reading An in-depth analysis on Karachi’s gang violence

A remarkable police officer – Remembering Safwat Ghayur

Sifwat-GhayurAugust 04 was the fifth death anniversary of Safwat Ghayur.  An army officer who met Safwat first time described him as “a  lean man, with loosely fitted clothes, a hint of pattas (a pushtu word for hair coming down over the neck) peeping out from behind his beret, with a swagger in his gait, a sultry smile and a twinkle in his eye. He was a good looking person radiating confidence and authority”.   This is the best description of a fine police officer and a gentleman who laid down his life to secure peace of his beloved city.  He was killed in an attack on his vehicle by a suicide bomber in Peshawar on August 04, 2010 and police lost one of its finest and bravest officers.

Continue reading A remarkable police officer – Remembering Safwat Ghayur

Doctors in a Fix

Initially, seven doctors mustered up the courage to speak up about certain unidentified people blackmailing them through stolen social media and mobile phone data. Now, more women doctors and medical students have come up with complaints about being blackmailed by some unidentified people.

Dr Salman Kazmi, a complainant in the case, says over 200 women were targeted and harassed. Of them, he says he told the police, 50 had either been deprived of money or blackmailed in other way.

Continue reading Doctors in a Fix

How the ECP has damaged the democracy in Pakistan

By Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has failed to discharge its constitutional mandate. Judicial Commission (JC) and Election Tribunals (ET) in their reports and verdicts have maintained that there were substantial irregularities in last general elections. There were also widespread allegations of irregularities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa local government elections. Because of these failures many political parties are asking for removal of provincial election commissioners either through voluntary resignations or a petition with Supreme Judicial Council. I support this demand but not for the above reasons. Let me try to explain.

Continue reading How the ECP has damaged the democracy in Pakistan

World News: Rioting in India

BY DAVID STERMAN

India

Modi calls of for calm after a night of rioting in Gujrat

Modi Calls for Calm After Rioting; Two NATO Members Killed in Insider Attack; Pakistan and Kazakhstan Agree to Expand Trade Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for calm after violence broke out at a rally being held by the Patel community, in Ahmedmabad, the capital of the western state of Gujrat, leaving at least three dead and dozens injured (BBC, Reuters, WP,PTI). The rally organized on Wednesday, turned violent after it’s fiery 22-year-old leader from the Patel community, Hardik Patel, was briefly detained in light of small clashes between the police and the protestors. After the detention, the violence escalated, with protesters pelting police with stones and torching numerous police vehicles – 70 according to police sources. A curfew was imposed in many parts of the state. In a televised speech, Modi said: “I appeal to the people of Gujarat to maintain peace. Violence will never achieve anything.”

Continue reading World News: Rioting in India

New York Times describes India like it really is – A shithole

Representational image. ReutersIn his 1960 exploration of eastern mysticism, The Lotus and the Robot, Arthur Koestler compared the smell of Bombay to that of “a wet smelly diaper” wrapped around his head. Four years later, VS Naipaul was so revulsed about the filth in India that he wrote in an Area of Darkness that “Indians defecate everywhere” – beside the railway tracks, on the beaches, on the hills, on the riverbanks and on the streets. “They never look for cover,” he said with absolute disgust.

India was smarter than Koestler and Naipaul — it promptly banned both the books.

Continue reading New York Times describes India like it really is – A shithole

Pakistan – India Talks: what happened?

nawaz-modiThe dust has settled over the non event that did not take place — the NSA (National Security Adviser) level talks between India and Pakistan. The talks were a non starter from the beginning. India wanted a one agenda meeting to focus on their main concern — terrorism. They did not want Kashmir on the agenda for domestic reasons that had to do with the hard line radical Hindu support base of the government. The Modi government is like a pyramid with a single decision maker on top and everything flowing in one direction — downwards so the input that would lead to rational considered decisions does not quite reach the decision maker. This is evident from the criticism from within India on the handling of not just the talks but the entire relationship with Pakistan. Diplomacy is obviously taking a back seat.

Continue reading Pakistan – India Talks: what happened?

Pakistan at war – From inside and outside

External and internal

All seemed fine on the counter-terrorism front till last Sunday. The dastardly assassination of Punjab home minister and anti terrorism czar Shuja Khanzada in his hometown was a rude wake-up call that we had merely scorched the snake not killed it.

Notwithstanding Shakespearean logic, a “zakhmi sanp” in our lexicon can be far more lethal and hence dangerous. With the taking out of the self-professed eliminator of the Shi’a, the most dangerous terrorist Malik Ishaq and his sons recently by the Punjab police, a blow back from the proscribed outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was imminent.

Continue reading Pakistan at war – From inside and outside

Modi incapable of developing a workable relationship with Pakistan

(By Sushil Aaron) What makes for good television is not always sound policy. Tackling a state with recidivist elements demands a complex response that goes beyond mere posturing. All that the current approach does is generate toxic effects in Indian society.

Islamabad learnt a bitter lesson in diplomacy during the dust-up over national security adviser talks with India —that once a side triumphs in the drafting of a text i.e., a joint statement, it can control the narrative about events. Continue reading Modi incapable of developing a workable relationship with Pakistan

Punjab might be the biggest challenge for Pakistan’s war against terrorism

History, we’re told, is a bunch of dates and dead people. But that’s not what Simon Sebag Montefiore, historian par excellence, thinks.

Mr Montefiore writes in his latest, Titans, “In the last half-century, many history teachers seem to enjoy making history as boring as possible, reducing it to the dreariness of mortality rates, tons of coal consumed per household and other economic statistics, but the study of any period in detail shows that the influence of character on events is paramount.” Continue reading Punjab might be the biggest challenge for Pakistan’s war against terrorism