Will Sharif learn from his past mistakes

By Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi

Pakistan is in the grip of yet another internal political crisis. The right to rule by the PMLN has been challenged by a section of the opposition despite its much trumpeted electoral mandate. Two opposition parties — the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) led by Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri — want to knock out the federal government led by Nawaz Sharif. The PAT also wants to remove Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab, and institute criminal proceedings against both Sharif brothers for killing 14 of its workers and injuring more than 80 people outside its party headquarters in Lahore by the Punjab Police.

Continue reading Will Sharif learn from his past mistakes

Why are some against Gaza cease fire

netanyahuMurmurs of dissatisfaction rose from the political Left and Right Tuesday night, after Israel agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas.

Meanwhile, Eshkol Regional Council head Haim Yellin indicated that he does not trust the truce will last, saying residents of his constituency who evacuated should not return to their homes.

“It doesn’t interest me what the government or Hamas say. I will only call on residents to return when I feel like there’s a real ceasefire,” Yellin told Channel 10 News. Continue reading Why are some against Gaza cease fire

While PTI fights for Pakistan, hypocrisy rules the rest

By Ayaz Amir

Boys and girls dance in the PTI rallies in Constitution Avenue, fume the clerics of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam led by Pakistan’s leading political acrobat, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, with his uncanny ability to be part of every power setup no matter what its colour or stripes. What should the boys and girls do instead? Attend tutorials in suicide bombing? Study how to make the most of diesel permits, the word diesel forever associated with the Maulana’s name?

Continue reading While PTI fights for Pakistan, hypocrisy rules the rest

Happy Birthday to world’s oldest Wombat

wombat-pic(By Douglas Main) What is thought to be the world’s oldest wombat turned 29 this week. The animal, which looks a bit like a large gopher or a giant hamster, lives in a wildlife park in southeastern Australia.

The wombat, known at Patrick (or sometimes “Fat Pat from Ballarat”—Ballarat being the name of his home wildlife park) is also quite large, weighing in at about 40 kilograms (188 pounds), the maximum known weight for the animal—though most don’t get this big.

Pat the wombat is so big that Ballarat Wildlife Park curator Julia Leonard pushes the animal around in a wheelbarrow “to keep a check on what is going on,” according to the organization’s website. Continue reading Happy Birthday to world’s oldest Wombat

Sri-Lanka level series by 77 run win

Sri Lanka spinners Rangana Herath (2-38) and Seekkuge Prasanna 2-36) were joined by medium pacie Thisara Perera (3 for 19 in just three overs), in what can be called a death overs outburst, to turn the match in their favour and carried hosts to a series-levelling victory by 77 runs yesterday. Chasing 311 to win, Pakistan were bowled out for 233 in 43.5 overs. In their run chase, Pakistan were once comfortably placed at 114 for one in their 19th over. The 3rd and final One-dayer is to be played in Dambulla on Saturday (30).

article_imageSkipper Angelo Mathews scored 93 as Sri Lanka survived a three-wicket burst by Mohammad Hafeez to make 310-9 from 50 overs in the second one-dayer against Pakistan in Hambantota on Tuesday.

The hosts, needing a win to keep the three-match series alive after losing the opening game by four wickets on Saturday, stuttered to 62-3 after electing to take first strike.

Mahela Jayawardene and Mathews retrieved the situation by adding 122 for the fourth wicket, with both batsmen recording their second successive half-centuries.

But the dismissal of Jayawardene for 67 in the 34th over — the first of three wickets in as many overs by Hafeez— saw Sri Lanka collapse from a commanding 184-3 to 194-6.

Continue reading Sri-Lanka level series by 77 run win

Nawaz Sharif underestimated people power

As thousands of protesters blockaded Pakistan’s parliament last week, the spirits of the lawmakers inside were briefly lifted by a rare appearance from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

    But Sharif only listened in silence as legislator after legislator denounced the protesters seeking his government’s resignation. He then stood up, and left through a back door.

Toppled in a 1999 coup, jailed and then exiled, Sharif made a triumphant comeback as prime minister for a third time in last year’s general election. Continue reading Nawaz Sharif underestimated people power

Is “democracy” really in danger?

Talat-Masood(By Talat Masood) The country is once again in the grip of grave political crises which, if remain unresolved, could have serious consequences for its integrity and stability. Clearly, Imran Khan is playing high stakes poker, giving the message of ‘now or never’. His allegation that the entire election of 2013 was a fraud and a well-planned and executed conspiracy in which, judges, members of the election commission and the Punjab bureaucracy were deeply involved may have some element of truth in it. But to malign the entire election process and cast deep aspersions on the legitimacy of the parliament, judiciary and government without an impartial investigation are highly unfair. Imran’s continuous verbal assault on Nawaz Sharif and his main demand that he should resign, or at least take leave of absence as prime minster for a month, while electoral fraud is being investigated is an impossible proposition and has pushed him into a blind alley. Continue reading Is “democracy” really in danger?

Nasirul Mulk asked protesters to vacate route to court

Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk on Monday asked them to vacate the route to the court. He passed this order while hearing a petition against the extra-constitutional moves. 

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) of Imran Khan and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) of cleric Tahirul Qadri to clear the Constitution Avenue by Tuesday.

Both parties have staged ‘dharna’ (sit-in) on the avenue opposite the Parliament House and also blocked access to the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk on Monday asked them to vacate the route to the court. He passed this order while hearing a petition against the extra-constitutional moves.

Continue reading Nasirul Mulk asked protesters to vacate route to court

Thai’s new prime minister: Military leader sworn in

THAILAND’s junta leader, who seized power in a military coup three months ago, officially assumed his new post as prime minister yesterday following an endorsement from the monarch.

During a ceremony in Bangkok, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, 60, accepted a written royal command issued by King Bhumibol Adulyadej certifying his appointment as the country’s 29th premier. King Bhumibol, who is 86 and in poor health, was not present at the ceremony.

Thailand’s junta-appointed parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to name the army chief to the new post. He was the only candidate. Continue reading Thai’s new prime minister: Military leader sworn in

India’s growing dictates on NGOs is harming democracy and dissent in the country

india-interest (By KOMALA RAMACHANDRA) Over the last few months, scrutiny of foreign funding for non-governmental organisations in India has been increasing. Although this trend is widely acknowledged, few commentators have pointed out that growing suspicion of NGOs that receive such funding is part of an emerging global reaction to civil society. India has joined the likes of Russia, Egypt, Israel, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador in trying to silence groups that raise objections to human rights violations and environmental degradation. These governments allege that foreign-funded NGOs threaten national security, often conflating such security—which it is their duty to provide—with the economic interests of private corporations that stand to benefit from silencing democratic opposition. What these governments have not done, however, is address the substantive concerns such organisations raise about lapses in due process for those harmed by industrial projects, and about such projects’ long-term environmental impacts.

Continue reading India’s growing dictates on NGOs is harming democracy and dissent in the country