Polio count jumps to 158

Pakistan’s polio crisis has pushed the country to a point of no return. From 145 cases on September 12, the national case count on Tuesday jumped to 158 when the Polio Virology Laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed 13 more wild type-1 polio cases in a single day.

With a meeting of the International Monitoring Board (IMB) on Polio Eradication scheduled for September 30, Pakistan’s reprehensible performance is bound to elicit a strong international outcry.Ever since the imposition of the May 5, 2014 travel restrictions on countries that were seen as “posing the greatest risk of further wild poliovirus exportations in 2014,” Cameroon and Syria have neither reported a single polio case nor have they exported the virus beyond their respective geographical frontiers.  Continue reading Polio count jumps to 158

BJP suffers a blow in by-polls

It may sound premature, but it has to be said: the Modi wave has ebbed. Sure, bypolls are not general elections, nor are they a vote of confidence on the incumbent Prime Minister. But these elections across ten states in 33 assembly and three Lok Sabha seats are a clear indication of the mood of the people in those constituencies. After 100 days of the Modi government at the Centre, when public discourse is still dominated by just one man and his promises, the people in most of these constituencies seem at best indifferent towards Narendra Modi and his party.

The results are not officially out yet, but Samajwadi Party seems to have made a clean sweep in seven out of 11 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. All these were sitting BJP seats and a vote against BJP in their own assembly seats, that too when BSP was not even contesting the bypolls, is nothing short of a big slap on BJP’s face. And this is far worse than the Bihar bypoll results because in Bihar, even the combined might of Lalu Yadav, Nitish Kumar and Congress could not stop BJP from winning four out of ten seats and emerging as the single biggest party in the state’s bypolls.

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PMLN MNA’s sons accused of sexually assaulting a girl, blackmail her into silence

The girl sexually assaulted by the three sons of a PMLN MNA and five other suspects in Faisalabad has decided to drop the case. The victim changed her original statement on Friday from being raped, to exchanging ‘harsh words’ with the accused. The sudden retraction blatantly points to manipulation on part of the sons of Mian Farooq; Muazzam, Saad and Qasim Farooq got to her before justice could run its course. The police have dropped investigations after refusal on part of the victim to give her blood sample and sanction DNA tests.

The accused and their father, MNA Mian Farooq, have said that this was an attempt to malign their reputation. Vehemently denying the accusations and calling the victim a liar is beyond abominable, but not unexpected. The victim’s decision to retract the FIR does not prove their innocence. When it comes to blackmail, the person being blackmailed is the one that strives to divert public attention away from the entire episode. Common sense dictates that the girl is the one who is being blackmailed, while it is in the interest of Mian Farooq and his sons to keep this under wraps. Continue reading PMLN MNA’s sons accused of sexually assaulting a girl, blackmail her into silence

More democracy, less dictatorship

The writer is a freelance columnist.ALMOST like clockwork, the ‘fake democracy’ crowd is back. Those claiming that the era of dictatorships and coup-mongering was over utterly failed to take into account the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the well-heeled and the well-fed of this country.

Apart from the usual Twitter warriors and Facebook philosophers, a group of supremely talentless yuppies have even come out with a song denouncing Pakistan’s procedural democracy and its accompanying rhetoric. Continue reading More democracy, less dictatorship

Qaid-e-Azam’s 66th death anniversary observed

Quad-e-AzamThe 66th death anniversary of the founder of Pakistan‚ Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was observed throughout the country today with reverence and honor.

Different sittings of Quran Khawani were held on this occasion countrywide including the one at the mausoleum of the Quaid in Karachi. Political personalities, armed forces, officials, and citizens visited the mausoleum of the great leader to pay tributes to him for his services to the cause of Muslims of the Sub continent.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also visited the Mazar of the Quaid, laid floral wreaths and offered Fateha.
Continue reading Qaid-e-Azam’s 66th death anniversary observed

Asian Games begin, Pakistan sends hockey and football teams

pakistan-Hockey_0Pakistan hockey team along with officials and head coach/manager Olympian Shahnaz Shiekh left for Korea on Thursday afternoon.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) finally managed to arrange early departure of the team after failing to provide a single international tour for the last 11 month or so. Head coach had time and again emphasized on the need of playing competitive hockey and had filed detailed future tour programme with the federation which failed to provide any relief to the team.

Talking to The Nation, Shahnaz admitted that the team was well short of international exposure, but it would be covered with the passion and practice, the boys did in the last four months. “Asian Games will also show how much boys have taken advantage from what we have taught them. We will take each and every opponent very seriously.”
Continue reading Asian Games begin, Pakistan sends hockey and football teams

COAS invites college & university students to get to know the army better

a-day-out-with-army A group of over 100 students from Kinnaird College visited various military units and formations at Lahore Garrison on Thursday.

The programme, ‘A Day Out with Army’ has been specifically introduced throughout the Army on instructions of Chief of Army Staff to acquaint students from different colleges and universities on routine functioning of Pakistan Army and its operational preparedness.

The objective is also to instil even greater sense of patriotism, confidence and dedication towards the country in our youth. Earlier, a group of students from F.C College Lahore spent a day with troops.
Continue reading COAS invites college & university students to get to know the army better

Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan and more

plitics-Quaid-e-Azam(By Dr. TT Sreekumar) Jinnah’s image as an adamant fighter for a separate Muslim Homeland and hence as someone responsible for the division of India is often reinforced by Pakistan’s own constructions of his persona as father of the nation. An unkind fashioning of his politics as inherently sectarian obliterates the nuances of the strategic political positions held by Jinnah, his multiple subjectivities; the subtleties of the subaltern/minority politics he upheld and his visions of regional peace, cooperation and security.

The whirl of events in Pakistan causes concern in an historical sense. Pakistan’s political transformation has unfortunately negated a legacy, the legacy of Jinnah, inheriting which would have allowed better mediations for peace and democracy in the region. The ideals cherished by Jinnah who believed that Pakistan will progress only if they “work together in a spirit that everyone, no matter what is his color, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations” has been completely undermined both in India and Pakistan. Continue reading Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan and more

Are Indian Muslims different

ON SEPTEMBER 3RD Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s chief, released a video message in which he promised to “raise the flag of jihad” across South Asia. Many analysts responded with little more than a shrug. The extremist group looks increasingly desperate. Since Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, al-Qaeda’s impact has been limited. It is overshadowed by the brutal Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, which draws volunteer fighters from a wide range of countries and has said that Afghanistan and Pakistan will be brought under its yoke too. Yet the biggest reason for scepticism about al-Qaeda’s threat is that neither it, nor the IS, are likely to get support from more than a tiny handful of Muslims in India. Continue reading Are Indian Muslims different

President Bush’s 2007 predictions about Iraq’s current crisis

A prophetic warning from then-President George W. Bush before he left office about what would happen if the U.S. withdrew troops from Iraq too soon is getting new attention in light of the Islamic State’s gains, as each of his predictions appears to be coming true.

Bush, as discussed on “The Kelly File,” made the remarks in the White House briefing room on July 12, 2007, as he argued against those who sought an immediate troop withdrawal.

“To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States,” Bush cautioned.

He then ticked off a string of predictions about what would happen if the U.S. left too early.

Continue reading President Bush’s 2007 predictions about Iraq’s current crisis