Well done Ali Zafar for helping Pakistani Squash player

Noorena Shams could not believe the fact that it was her ‘real hero’ Ali Zafar who helped her out with sponsorship, so that she could take part in the Asian Squash Tournament.

Apparently, Ali Zafar is not only a versatile, talented artist of note but he also has a big heart and tends to help out people in their time of need.

Noorena Shams had given up on her dreams of performing at the Asian Squash Tournament as she had been unable to find a sponsor. The participation fees and other heavy expenses incurred in order to participate in an international squash event, makes it impossible for independent players to participate unless backed by government funding. Continue reading Well done Ali Zafar for helping Pakistani Squash player

Pakistan can be the next China – Morgan Stanley

Darst says Pakistan is one of nine nations that will add another China in 35 years. PHOTO: AFPPakistan is located in a region that will bring major changes in the world economy in coming decades primarily due to its demographics.

With over 100 million people below the age of 30 aspiring to change their lives, the rise of Pakistan is just a matter of time, Morgan Stanley Chief Investment Strategist David M Darst said on Tuesday. Darst, however, was speaking in his personal capacity and not representing Morgan Stanley at the lecture.

Continue reading Pakistan can be the next China – Morgan Stanley

Harsh sentence passed by Saudi Arabia on Zaid Hamid: A sign of fear?

Controversial analyst and commentator Zaid Hamid aka ‘Lal Topi Wala’ has been sentenced for eight years in jail and 1,000 lashes by a Saudi court under new stringent laws which had been promulgated last year by the Kingdom to broaden the definition of terrorism to include any act which is intended to insult the reputation of the state, harm public order or destabilise the security of the society.

Although, the Foreign Office circles in Islamabad have little information about the nature of the sentence handed down to Zaid Hamid, well-informed diplomatic circles say he has been convicted for his outburst against the Saudi government after being declared an enemy of the Kingdom. “As per the Saudi law, Zaid is set to be publicly lashed 50 times a week for 20 weeks”. Zaid was arrested from Makkah in June during a private visit to the Kingdom with his second wife. His arrest was confirmed by the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah at a press briefing in Islamabad on June 26, saying that the embassy was working with the local authorities to get consular access. He was nabbed after a Saudi citizen reported his controversial speeches with regard to the Saudi-Yemen conflict to the authorities. Zaid allegedly lambasted the Kingdom over the ongoing conflict with Yemen besides accusing the Saudi rulers of giving financial support to al-Qaeda and ISIS in the region. Continue reading Harsh sentence passed by Saudi Arabia on Zaid Hamid: A sign of fear?

India’s accusations and confrontational statements

The two subcontinent nuclear powers, Pakistan and India, have been recently involved in a war of words and words of war which has reopened the debate on South Asia’s nuclear and strategic stability. Predominantly, three official statements from India in a scorching ‘June’ have further inflamed the traditional tensions between the two nuclear neighbors. Pragmatically, beyond the strained relations, statements also advocate few confines of military threats, limited war and conventional deterrence posture in the South Asia region. Continue reading India’s accusations and confrontational statements

Islam has nothing to do with terrorism – Stop calling them IS, ISIS or ISIL

Amman, Jordan(By REHMAN CHISHTI) The shocking attack last week at a peaceful Tunisian tourist resorthas shown us once again that terror continues to be a threat. There is no question that the group behind this attack, which refers to itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) or as “Islamic State” is an evil terror organisation. But I believe that for too long we have allowed them to define themselves as something which they are not, and now we need to change how we label them. This is why I have started a campaign to get the government, the BBC, and other organisations to alter the title that they use.

In the wake of the horrific Tunisian attacks, our resolve to fight terrorism at home and abroad means we should not give credence to the propaganda which is being used to suck more vulnerable, disillusioned and some clearly dangerous individuals to their cause.
Continue reading Islam has nothing to do with terrorism – Stop calling them IS, ISIS or ISIL

The self created water problems

Dr Nasir Javed(BY DR NASIR JAVED) If the water management issue is not addressed on an urgent basis, the day is not far when water would be as scarce as electricity and gas are today in Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan had been warned of this crisis for decades, but in vain. Experts repeatedly state that Pakistan is a water scarce country and the situation is going from bad to worse. To be honest, my fear is not ‘scarcity’, but the overall mismanagement of this asset. As someone once said, “There is enough for every man’s need, but not for greed.” Continue reading The self created water problems

India should stay out of Afghanistan’s

(By Dr Subhash Kapila) Afghanistan in 2015 presents a complex strategic muddle for which India is neither politically, strategically, nor militarily equipped, to compete with the growing strategic convergence of Russia-China-Pakistan interests despite inherent self-contradictions among the three, and the unfolding Afghan-ISIS confrontation.

Admittedly, India has significant legitimate national security interests in the security and stability of Afghanistan, besides historical ties of shared strategic convergences on checkmating Pakistan’s unceasing ambitions for political and military control of Afghanistan. In 2015, the Afghanistan picture for India stands drastically changed with the ascendancy into power in Kabul of President Ashraf Ghani. Continue reading India should stay out of Afghanistan’s

Soft Power: Pakistan needs it!

By Dr Maqsudul Hasan Nuri

Some writers have questioned the need for soft power in Pakistan and advocated reliance on hard power only. What is less understood is the fact that non-traditional security has become more salient after the cold war.

Multiple existential issues such as stagnating economies, climate change, energy crises, repressive governments, cronyism and corruption, poor governance, cross-border interventions, refugees and internally displaced persons, drug and criminal mafias – all necessitate drastically revisiting the traditional security paradigm. In other words, the concept of the ‘security’ state has morphed into that of a ‘welfare state.’

Continue reading Soft Power: Pakistan needs it!

Pakistan’s NAP score?

20 Points to Pakistan? Pakistan instituted the twenty-point National Action Plan (NAP) on Dec. 24, 2014, as a comprehensive, consolidated list of steps needed to be taken by the state and law enforcement institutions to curb terrorism and extremism in the country. For Pakistan to finally take this step, it took a horrendous attack on schoolchildren at the Army Public School in Peshawar that left 141 dead, including 132 children.

The first of the 20 points in the NAP was the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty in Pakistan, which had been in effect since 2009. As of June 23, a total of 176 people — including two who may have been convicted as minors — have been executed in Pakistan since this decision, putting Pakistan on course to match the country with the most number of executions, Iran, which had 289 executions in 2014. (Experts believe thousands are executed in China every year, but since executions are considered a state-secret, no reliable data is available.) For comparison, the United States, which voted against the United Nations’ resolution for a global moratorium on death penalty, executed 17 people within the first six months of 2015. Continue reading Pakistan’s NAP score?

Pakistan’s politics needs fixing

 

Pakistan is a country of contradictions, but nowhere are these contradictions as sharp as in the attitude and policies of the civilian and military leaderships. The military has been fighting an existential battle against an internal threat, with a focus and determination not witnessed before. Hardly a day passes when the army and paramilitary forces do not shed their blood to regain lost territory to militant groups, or to weaken them as a whole. Already, the number of those martyred since 2003 is over 6,000, with thousands more having been injured and disabled. Yet, the military’s determination remains steadfast and unwavering. In addition, General Raheel Sharif is committed with a passion to cleansing Karachi and Sindh of drug mafias, land grabbers and militant groups of political parties. Rangers are targeting their hideouts and have made strides in neutralising these criminal elements and putting immense pressure on political parties. The military top brass is of the firm view that unless the nexus of corruption and terrorism is not broken, it would not be possible to establish the rule of law and bring back normalcy in the country.

Continue reading Pakistan’s politics needs fixing