Random header image... Refresh for more!

APS follow through : edit in Daily Times, Feb 25, 2015

The arrest of a major terrorist planner who led the attack on the Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, Taj Muhammad, may bring some solace to the deeply tormented families of the victims. By now, the seeds of militancy planted in the tribal areas have sprouted into the ugliest form of terrorism. The terrorists have worked out their modus operandi. They are applying every possible terror technique to achieve their nefarious agenda. They are now attacking urban areas and vulnerable points including imambargahs, schools, mosques and security installations. Brainwashed suicide attackers are the most dangerous weapon they have against the state. Once launched, they are difficult to stop without suffering damage of varying magnitudes. There is only one way that can stop these human bombs: nip the evil in the bud by carving out a strategy to pre-empt the perpetrators before they are able to implement their devilish schemes. The elimination of terrorists and their underground cells calls for mor....... Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

Fast-forward governance: Editorial in The Express Tribune, Feb 25th, 2015.

What started as something of a kite-flying exercise by Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has overnight become flavour of the day for the prime minister. The PM has expressed himself in favour of the Imran Khan proposal for a constitutional amendment that would replace secret balloting for Senate seats with a simple show of hands. Opposition parties are not saying that this is a bad idea, but are rightly pointing out that the Senate polls are less than 10 days away and constitutional amendments are not things to make in haste. The PM, at a federal cabinet meeting, signalled that he was not averse to an amendment. The proposed amendment is aimed to eliminate, or minimise, vote-buying and political horse-trading, both of which are hallmarks of political life in Pakistan since Partition. Few would doubt that this would be a bad move, and anything that cleaned up the cesspit that is party politics in the country is to be welcomed.
The PM has expressed his conce....... Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

Senate elections: edit in Daily Times, Feb 25, 2015

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday pushed for a major procedural shift in the upcoming Senate elections at a meeting of the federal cabinet. The prime minister expressed concern over reports of alleged horse-trading, bribery and manipulation of members of the provincial Assemblies for Senate votes. He stated that it was time to take steps to make the Senate election process fair, transparent and in accordance with democratic norms. He also set up a committee consisting of the government’s top legal advisors to deliberate on the measures that could be taken to ensure that the elections are held completely above board. The committee later recommended that the polling of the upcoming Senate elections should be held via open show of hands rather than by secret ballot, as has been the norm till now. To carry out this change, the committee suggested that a 22nd constitutional amendment be put in place to alter Article 226 of the 1973 constitution, which states that “all elections unde....... Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

Why Nabil quit MQM: by Mazhar Abbas in The News, Feb 25, 2015

Whether Nabil Gabol resigned as MNA on Tuesday or submitted his resignation to the MQM chief Altaf Hussain about a week back is not the issue, but it would be really interesting to guess his next “party”. Will he rejoin the PPP after the exit of two of his main rivals — Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and Uzair Baloch — due to which he had left the party and joined the MQM.

The decision to quit the MQM came after he refused to sit at the Nine Zero as per party rules for all legislatures and also avoid visiting his constituency — Azizabad.

Nabil told this reporter about a week back that although he appreciated Altaf Hussain for his support particularly at a time when he was under serious security threat and also getting him elected from the MQM’s strongest constituency, it was very difficult for him to continue because of undue pressure on him to sit at the Nine Zero.

“I have no complaint against Altaf Hussain, but it’s very difficult for me to do what some MQM le....... Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

MQM removes two veterans: by Shamim Bano in The News, Feb 25, 2015

KARACHI: Barely 20 days after the last reshuffle, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement has removed two of its old guards, who were working as joint in-charges of the Rabita Committee. They have been directed to continue working simply as members of the party.

Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Amir Khan who were appointed joint in-charges along with Dr Nusrat by party chief Altaf Hussain in the first week of the current month were removed from the party post for ‘not sparing much time for the party’, which the source said had annoyed the MQM chief Altaf Hussain whose main focus is to dedicate time for the reorganisation of the party set-up.

Kaif-ul-Wara has been appointed temporary in-charge of the Rabita Committee, and will be heading this post for one week.For the past several months, the Rabita Committee has been undergoing changes. Earlier this month, the head of the Rabita Committee Qamar Mansoor too was given temporary charge and then removed from the party post.

Earlie....... Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

PPP’s ‘no’ throws cold water on govt move for 22nd Constitutional Amendment

By Ansar Abbasi in The News, Feb 25, 2015
ISLAMABAD: Within 24 hours of the government’s announcement to go for the 22nd Constitutional Amendment to prevent “loot sale” in the Senate election, the PPP poured cold water on the move by refusing to support it.

Without the support of the PPP, which has presently almost 40 members in the Upper House, no constitutional amendment can be made.As against the PPP, the PTI chief Imran Khan has endorsed the government’s decision to amend the Constitution to check corruption in the Senate election but practically Khan’s party is not in the National Assembly to support this move.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, when approached, told The News that the government would still try to persuade the PPP to agree to a solution where the worst kind of corruption in the Senate election could be checked. However, the government sources admit that nothing can be done without the PPP’s support.Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

No show of hands in Senate polls: Khursheed

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Tuesday did not agree to the government’s proposal of bringing about a constitutional amendment for voting through a show of hands in the Senate elections, saying that technically it was not possible.

“We are against horse-trading but casting of vote in the Senate elections through a show of hands is not possible technically and after the announcement of the election schedule, it is not proper to go for the constitutional amendment,” he said while talking to newsmen after chairing a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The opposition leader said if the government was sincere in bringing about the constitutional amendment, it should have come up for consultation on the issue before the announcement of the election schedule. “There remains no room for modification in the modus operandi for casting votes once the schedule for the Senate polls is announced,” he added........ Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

Imran lauds govt bid to end secret ballot : report in The Nation , Feb 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan Tuesday appreciated the government for its decision to bring constitutional amendment to replace secret balloting with show of hands in the Senate elections but at the same time warned that his party would not return to Parliament until formation of the proposed judicial commission.
“We will not go to the assemblies unless judicial commission is formed and by the grace of God, 2015 will be the election year,” he said before leaving for Dubai to attend an investment conference there. Khan said that they would again come on roads if the commission was not formed.
He said that the proposal for show of hands in Senate elections was good and should not be mere a political slogan but be implemented as early as possible. He added that his party would not go to the Parliament to vote for the constitutional amendment for the delay in the constitution judicial commission to probe the alleged rigging in last general....... Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

Senate polls by show of hands impracticable: by Mubashir Hassan in The Nation , February 25, 2015

LAHORE – As the political parties are considering holding the upcoming Senate polls through show of hand by amending the laws, the proposed method is simply impracticable due to the complex nature of voting procedure for the upper house, legal experts say.
The labyrinth of priority votes is the main hurdle. It is mind-boggling for those aware of the voting process, peculiar only to the Senate, that as to how the assembly members would cast their second, third, fourth (up to seven) priority votes to the candidates merely through show of hands.
In a Senate election, a voter while casting his/her vote to a particular candidate is also entitled to show his priorities for other candidates; and in case of a general seat, a voter may show his priorities for up to seven candidates.
Former secretary Election Commission of Pakistan Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad said that under the proposed scheme of things, a voter would be required to raise his/her hand in favour of a particul....... Read more

February 25, 2015   No Comments

Where else would the money go: by Ayaz Amir in The News, February 24, 2015

So Pakistanis have been buying property in Dubai and patriots at home are aghast that so much of the nation’s wealth should have fled abroad. Money-laundering, they thunder, and other things besides. Meanwhile the national press or at least the major newspapers have a field day, sporting full-page ads extolling the benefits of property-ownership in the Gulf.
Not having the kind of money to buy a villa in Dubai, or indeed a villa anywhere else, which is why I make a virtue of staying in Chakwal, I too get livid at this flight of capital – said to be about 450 billion rupees only last financial year. But it’s hard to escape the logic of this flight. For money is a bigger, and indeed quicker, mohajir (refugee) than people. When people become refugees or migrants they either think long or are thrown at the mercy of circumstances – like our own Partition refugees who, in most instances, had to leave behind all they possessed in their frenzied rush to safety. Money takes a quic....... Read more

February 24, 2015   No Comments