Category — Pak Media Comments
Lack of recreation engenders frustration, terrorism : by Mujtaba Haider Zaidi in The Frontier Post, June 18
Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been undergoing the gravest law and order state of affairs in all regions of the country predominantly for the last one and half decade; which has not only turned out to be vehemently hazardous for the already deteriorating economic situation of the country, but also, the same has resulted into a colossal increase in the crime rate and augmenting the level of frustration among the subjects in general.
Consequently, every citizen looks to be busy in exploring the opportunities to demonstrate his anger and displeasure even on petty matters at domestic scale on the one side, and outside home in public places and social areas on the other.
The same tendencies of displaying displeasure and discontent could also be viewed on roads and in traffic flows, where no one appears to be ready to let other move peacefully as a commuter, and aims to deny the rights of others on roads by creating noise and disturbance by excessive use of vehicle horn and headlights, making the journey to be an extremely painful activity. Hence, trends of intolerance and frustrations, observed by the Pakistan people in all areas of social life, appear to be devouring the peace and happiness of the entire society at large.
The frustration and despair exhibited by the Pakistan subjects in their collective life also lead to getting involved into criminal activities and terrorism subsequently, both these curses have already ruined the peace and stability of the country. One of the ugliest features of the startling rise in the surge of terrorism in Pakistan could undoubtedly be regarded to be the imperative fall in the recreational and amusement availabilities and opportunities for the masses all over the country without discrimination. It is partly because of the continuous price hike in power tariffs, fuel products, edibles and all other commodities of everyday use, which have deprived the people of small and trivial joys even. Since people have to make very hard efforts in order to keep the wolf from the door these days, they do not have sufficient time for getting involved into the recreational activities altogether.
In addition to this, unabated rise in the rates of fuel, power and other commodities has destroyed the social life of the Pakistan people. As a result, the trends of visiting relations, neighbours, friends and colleagues have witnessed a shameful and painful fall during the past few years. Since the social gathering has been in constant decline, due to hoarding, load-shedding and adverse law and order situation, people maintain very few chances of sharing their joys and sorrows with others by giving vent to their ideas in presence of relations and friends. Consequently, frustration is sure to haunt the minds of the hapless masses in a deteriorating manner.
Another imperative reason behind the people’s frustration witnessing an upward trend includes the torturous energy crises in the country. There was a time when people used to watch television in case of staying at home with family. Somehow, electricity disappearance for 14 to 22 hours a day has snatched the smiles from the faces by depriving the people of watching recreational programmes of their choice on TV even. Thus, the people are forced to get angry, and exhibit their anger and aggression because of the safe and sound exit of amusement and entertainment opportunities from Pakistan society.
Constant rise in fuel prices, and throbbing increase in taxes to be levied on hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, theatres and parks even have destroyed the hopes of the people to go outside homes for consuming some leisure hours in a qualitative way in the evenings and on weekends actually. Since fares of public transports as well as unaffordable prices of fuel already discourage the people to move outside their homes, inflicting heavy taxes on hotels and theatres adds fuel to the fire of frustration, disappointment and despair experienced by the general public of Pakistan at large. Consequently, they do not have any choice other than staying at homes in dark rooms without electricity and cursing the administration on the one side, and having no hope of visiting some recreational areas on the other. Hence, the level of frustration observes a dangerous acceleration, where everyone looks ready to challenge the other on roads and traffic zones actually.
Absence of recreational activities results in boosting the aggression and hatred, leading towards observing large scale corruption, committing heinous crimes and even joining hands with the terrorist networks in order to destroy the most sacred places including the mosques, worship edifices and even the adorable Ziarat Residency attributed to the Father of the Pakistan nation. The question here arises is this whether we can overcome such an intolerable crime of ruining the residence of the Quaid-e-Azam by just announcing severe punishments to the culprits, or we require a complete overhauling plan in order to bring the Pakistan nation out of severe state of depression, disappointment and dejection? On the one side, the Pakistan security and management personnel appear to be sacrificing their precious lives for the stability and survival of the country; and on the other side, the inefficient, narrow-sighted and self-centred opportunist political leaders are engaged into blowing their own trumpet by declaring the grave situation as in convalescence of the serious political, social, economic and cultural diseases.
However, their narrow-sightedness would not let them see above their mental level till the Pakistan nation would rise up to the occasion in order to treat them in the same manner as the rulers had been dealt with by the patriot rebels and radicals eventually; the history of French Revolution, the Red Revolution, Fall of the mighty Ottoman Empire, and the incidents of Al-Tehrir and Taksim Squares are the writings on the wall for the prudent, judicious and far-sighted individuals, though not for the selfish and opportunist administrators altogether. Hence, in order to save the people of Pakistan from further disappointments and collapses, there is an urgent need for revising the taxes imposed on them in the form of constant increase in power tariff, fuel prices and commodities of daily usage on the one side, and facilitating the nation by providing them with wide-scale and economical recreational opportunities on the other, so that crime rate, corruption and terrorism could be halted with an iron hand. www.thefrontierpost.com/article/20635/
June 18, 2013 No Comments
The writer is an intern at Daily Times
Nawaz Sharif seems to have the Midas touch, as 14 years after being shunned from the corridors of power he has become the prime minister (PM) for an unprecedented third time. The transition of power has been smooth as all political forces have acted maturely and accepted the mandate granted by the electorate. Mr Sharif has displayed magnanimity by letting Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) form the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He also played a masterstroke by building a general consensus in Balochistan and granting an opportunity to the National Party’s Dr Abdul Malik to become the unopposed Chief Minister of the volatile province, making him the first middle class Baloch representative to hold this office. This goodwill was reciprocated by all political parties when Mr Sharif was elected PM in an amicable environment, and later felicitated by parliamentary leaders of all major parties. While all may seem hunky dory right now for Mr Sharif, it is worth noting that he has his work cut out as the nation faces immense challenges.
The energy crisis was the bane of the Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP’s) government’s existence. People have now expressed their confidence in Mr Sharif to resolve the energy crisis. Pakistan will have to pay off its vicious circular debt to overcome this crisis, at least in the short run. Whether Mr Sharif does this by issuing government bonds or by printing currency notes can only be left to conjecture as no final decision has been made on this yet. However, the problem will not be solved by paying off the debt as it will start building up almost immediately. Structural changes need to be made in the energy sector to ensure efficiency in distribution, minimise line losses, ensure prompt payment of energy bills across the board and set tariffs according to the cost of production of electricity. Another measure that needs to be taken is to use cheaper fuels to generate energy. Pakistan uses imported furnace oil to produce electricity. A major reason why Pakistan’s trade deficit grew exponentially over the last few years is because of a spike in world oil prices. Although oil prices are forecast to fall in 2013-2014, there is no reason why Pakistan should be importing the most expensive fuel and not be using coal to produce energy like most developing countries. Mr Sharif has identified this, promised to extract coal from Thar, and convert existing power plants to coal. It remains to be seen how successfully he follows through with this. Hydel power needs to be further developed. Consensus should be reached upon controversial projects such as the Kalabagh Dam, which have been in the pipeline for many years. Pakistan faces grave water shortages, which are only going to get worse in the future. Unless Mr Sharif succeeds in reaching a consensus by taking all the provinces on board, Pakistan would not only be unable to produce sufficient energy but will also face grave water shortages.
An issue that needs to be addressed, and has not been by Mr Sharif, is the introduction of tax reforms. Pakistan has one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world. With our expenditures exceeding our revenues, serious tax reforms should be implemented to make sure that everybody pays direct taxes according to their incomes and the common man is not burdened by high indirect taxes. Furthermore, Mr Sharif should introduce tax on agriculture as well if he is serious in bringing about a ‘revolution’ that he so conveniently juxtaposed against Mr Khan’s ‘tsunami’. A majority of lawmakers in Pakistan are and have been landlords and big industrialists who have prevented imposition of taxes that may cause them to pay more. Considering the grave economic situation we are in, Mr Sharif will have to break the status quo and force the rich to pay taxes. If enough revenue is not generated from within, we will continue to rely on external debt to keep afloat.
Another great test for Mr Sharif would be how he handles the civil-military relationship. His previous bouts with the army must continually haunt him. Interestingly, a new army chief is to be appointed in a few months. Although General Pervez Kayani has done a great service to Pakistan by sidelining the military from politics and confining it to the barracks, it goes without saying that the military still holds great sway, especially in foreign policy and internal security issues. There does seem to be a growing rift between the military and the political leadership over what stance should be adopted towards the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). General Kayani recently professed that Pakistan should treat the war on terror as its own war as innocent Pakistanis are bearing the brunt of it. The army, however, needs political support to carry out major operations against militants. Mr Sharif and other political leaders, on the other hand, have stressed negotiating with the TTP to bring an end to the violence and bloodshed.
The role of the army and security agencies in Balochistan and the ‘missing persons’ phenomenon has been a recurring problem that Mr Sharif would need to address as well. The army will also have to be taken on board if Mr Sharif is to establish better relations with India. Moreover, he will have to convince the military to give up its pursuit of ‘strategic depth’ as this policy has only backfired, caused further turmoil in Afghanistan and fuelled terrorism in Pakistan. Mr Sharif will have his hands full in trying to reorient Pakistan from being a ‘security state’ to a state whose primary focus is rapid economic growth. It comes as no big surprise that Mr Sharif has assumed the responsibility of heading the foreign and defence ministries himself, showing that he understands how important his relationship with GHQ will be in coming years.
The relationship with the US will prove to be a thorn in Mr Sharif’s side due to President Barack Obama’s recent proclamation that the US would continue to use drones wherever required, albeit with more transparency, and the subsequent assassination of the TTP’s second-in-command, Waliur Rehman. The summoning of the top US diplomat by Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Mr Sharif’s instructions to lodge a ‘strong protest’ against the recent drone attack is an indication that Pakistan’s shaky relationship with the US might deteriorate in the future. The Iran gas pipeline, which is important for Pakistan’s energy requirements, is not looked upon favourably by the US and Pakistan may face international sanctions for trading with Iran if the incoming government follows through with this project. Mr Sharif during his election campaign boasted about how he never wilted under US pressure in his quest to make Pakistan a nuclear power. Well, if he is to stay true to his word and stop the US from carrying out drone strikes, he would have to show similar courage in dealing with Mr Obama’s administration.
The fact of the matter is that Pakistan faces enormous challenges, a few of which have been elaborated above, and the nation has huge expectations from Mr Sharif to deliver. Not many people get second chances but luck has been on his side recently. Only time will tell if he can prove to be a messiah and remove Pakistan from this quagmire.
June 18, 2013 No Comments
The writers are rule of law and criminal justice advisors to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.
When people discuss development, they often discuss economic indicators, social services like health and education, but they seldom discuss the justice system, the process in criminal courts, the condition of prisons, or the nature of law enforcement.
The criminal justice processes and development are intimately connected, and equitable and predictable forms of justice are an absolutely fundamental basis to building a society with a rule of law foundation upon which development and growth can rest.
Why is that the case? And, how do simple processes of justice work to promote economic development and human well-being more broadly? In most countries that experienced colonialism, as Pakistan did, justice systems were established as a form of control. This is a difficult foundation on which to build a more equitable framework for social and criminal justice. But it is a critical requirement for achieving long-term stability, progress and development success.
This year, the Human Development Report (HDR) 2013, published annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) emphasised the extraordinary potential of the Global South, which is positioned like never before to see true economic and social development gains.
Having just consolidated the first successful democratic transition and as one of the foremost multinational urban hubs in Asia, conducting international trade with more than 80 economies, all the indicators look positive for a stable and sustained upward trajectory for Pakistan’s development. However, human well-being and freedom, and their connection with fairness and justice in the world, cannot be reduced simply to the measurement of GDP and its growth rate.
The 2013 HDR identifies four specific areas of focus for ensuring sustained development momentum: enhancing equity, including on the gender dimension; enabling greater voice and participation of citizens, including youth; confronting environmental pressures; and managing demographic change.
Regrettably, Pakistan continues to face challenges on a majority of these. Lack of awareness and ignorance of basic human rights; lack of acceptance of equality; ineffective or corrupt governing institutions; weak systems and procedures within the justice sector; lack of capacity of public delivery mechanisms and lack of political will all hamper Pakistan’s ability to achieve a true, functioning democratic system predicated upon the rule of law, which is available equally to all its citizens.
One challenge that perennially presents itself, and not just in the case of Pakistan but globally amongst the development community, is the tendency to work in uncoordinated silos.
While the equitable and effective application of justice is a fundamental precursor for a modern, democratic society and rule of law, and is the basis on which sustainable economic development should rest, it is often the case that those concerned with governance, justice and social development work in isolation from one another, caught in institutional silos which echo national governance structures.
At a time when security, terrorism and law and order are universally ranked in the top three concerns of citizens across Pakistan, an increasing focus is required on issues of equality, justice, legal empowerment and rule of law. As it stands today, systems of criminal justice in Pakistan are diverse, ranging from informal dispute resolution to formal adjudication based on common law principles. Access to justice is fundamental to the stability of Pakistan by improving trust between citizens and state, yet for many it remains noticeably absent.
The entire justice system continuum, including policing, prosecutions and prisons, needs to operate in coordination, well-capacitated under a clear ethical and just framework. Constant violence and terrorism strains the capacity of weak law-enforcement and criminal justice institutions. Similarly, chronic corruption and marginalised local grievances are having a detrimental impact on Pakistan, with the country lagging behind many other middle-income countries, hampering its economic growth and development progress.
The basic point is that investment in the justice system – not only financially, but also through political will and leadership – is a crucial pre-requisite to long-term economic growth. A working justice system is a precondition for resolving disputes, guaranteeing the security of contracts and ensuring that people look to the state, not to outside interest groups for social, economic and political protection.
National and international experts, policymakers and practitioners need to engage in a dialogue to identify the development and rule of law nexus in order to build a more integrated response. This will require leadership by the government to align priorities between the justice and development actors as well as the international stakeholders.
It is time for Pakistan to establish peace and rule of law in order to achieve progress and prosperity.http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-184425-Investing-in-justice
June 18, 2013 No Comments
IN his first press conference after winning the elections last month, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak surprised hardly anyone with his comments regarding the stance of his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), on the Pakistani Taliban.
Khattak said: “We appeal to the Taliban that we are not at war with you, this province is yours … [and] we are ready to honour you.”
Call it lack of experience or a well-thought-out party line, but the remarks by Mr Khattak were alarming in their context, if not content.
For the last decade we have been watching people die in a war against religious militants. Now the PTI leadership in KP wants people to forget and forgive what has happened and invite the Taliban to usher in a new era of development. This points to a compromise where both sets of Taliban — “good” or “bad” — would be accepted wholeheartedly.
This confused mindset is the outcome of an ineffective counterterrorism strategy pursued by the state, which has caused militancy to flourish.
What justification can be offered to wipe from the history books the struggle of thousands of people who laid down their lives while fighting the forces of terror? Despite winning, do the PTI leaders have the moral authority to interpret their newfound mandate as the public’s acceptance of their stance on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)?
Understandably, people in KP are weary of violence and want an early end to the bloodshed. This reconciliatory mood, nevertheless, should not be translated into the kind of language the PTI leadership has used to woo the Taliban. Political over-enthusiasm of the sort is neither reflective of true public aspirations nor is it helpful in bringing an end to terrorism.
For the public, the TTP’s reign of terror is too horrible a tragedy to be forgotten and forgiven so easily. That was the message we got in 2008 when public reaction against the TTP’s terror attacks enabled the anti-Taliban Awami National Party (ANP) to win a landslide victory in KP. This success was meant to help politicians get rid of the terrorists.
However, the ANP during its rule in the province resorted merely to abstract rhetorical constructs, which did not deliver anything concrete to the public.
For example, the ANP won the 2008 elections by giving people the impression that the liberal and secular credentials of the party would not let any sign of conservatism gain a foothold in the province.
Therefore, the election slogans conveying messages such as ‘Kalashnikov na kalam’ (preference for pen and books over gun) helped win the party a maximum number of seats in the terror-hit areas, especially in Swat valley where the ANP won all seven provincial assembly seats.
Yet once in power, the ANP leadership paid no attention to the hundreds of schools destroyed in Swat, nor did the party complete any major development work. For example, the important Kanju Ayub bridge has not yet been completed while the 2010 floods destroyed the 35km-long Swat-Kalam road, which is the backbone of the tourist economy. The road is still in a shambles.
The same is true for the broken promises of restoring normal public life in the province. Instead, corruption charges against Azam Hoti, father of former ANP chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti, went viral.
On top of that, the ANP’s jingoistic nationalist slogans such as ‘watan ya kafan’ in the 2013 elections were seen as little more than political point-scoring. By offering old wine in a new bottle, the ANP high command intended to cash in on the Taliban’s targeted killing of their workers. But this could not convince the voters.
In the last leg of their election campaign, the ANP leadership started criticising the lack of security for its candidates and workers.
Though the loss of over 60 party workers in the last two months before the elections speaks volumes for the challenges the party faced in its campaign, such barriers do not mean that the party should have stopped searching for alternatives to fulfilling election promises and looking for ways to reach out to its voters.
Similarly, the PTI’s coming to power does not mean that the public mood on terrorism has swung from one extreme to another. It simply means that the ANP failed to fulfil election promises, which pushed voters into the swirling orbit of Imran Khan’s ‘tsunami’.
Therefore, this change does not introduce Imran Khan as a factor in the politics of KP, where the concept of a permanent vote bank hardly exists as it may appear to do so in Punjab or Sindh.
Concerning the Taliban, the PTI cannot afford its peace overtures to be casual and one-sided. Public aspirations and sensitivities should also be taken into consideration for two reasons. First, the TTP know that they are good in fighting only, which is why the more they achieve, the more they demand. Peace for the Taliban means a brief lull in fighting, which hardly makes them reliable partners.
Second, the PTI’s over-enthusiasm in embracing the TTP resembles the ANP’s over-smartness in confronting them. Public aspirations are sandwiched between these two extremes, which is going to damage the future prospects of both parties if not handled properly.http://dawn.com/news/1018921/perils-of-reaching-out
June 18, 2013 No Comments
The writer is editor The News, Karachi.
One can understand why Nawaz Sharif seldom smiles and mostly wears a sombre-look on his face during his official and public engagements ever since he has donned the cap of prime minister on June 5. Yes, the sheer realisation of the multitude of mega challenges the country confronts today should be enough to wipe a smile off from the face of any ‘lion-heart’ prime minister, expected to perform quick miracles by desperate masses and an impatient media.
A small taste of what awaits the newly-elected prime minister and his team in the days to come is reflected in the scepticism and criticism with which various interest groups, economic experts and the mainstream media received the proposed 2013-14 (July-June) budget.
Popular narrative, by and large, has given a thumbs down to the proposed budget through which the government aims to stabilise the country’s battered economy and attempts to trigger growth that has remained pegged at below three percent on an average during the last five years of the PPP-led rule.
The man on the street is worried and bitter about the inflationary impact of the one percent increase in the general sales tax, the slight tweaking of the tax slabs on the higher side and the absence of what opinion makers call any ‘relief’ for the masses. The economic czars and wizards are doubtful about the government’s capacity to achieve its proposed revenue collection target of Rs3,420 billion – 21 percent higher from the revised figures of Rs2,837 billion in the current financial year – and meeting the fiscal deficit target of 6.3 percent in 2013-14, given the government’s plans to allocate Rs712 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme and ‘other development expenditure’ in an attempt to trigger growth.
These are not the only concerns being hotly debated as the proposed budget is dissected and scrutinised by various interest groups and experts. Proposals such as the elimination of duty on hybrid vehicles up to 1200cc, soft loans for the youth and the controversial laptop scheme are also in the line of fire – along with issues the budget speech failed to address. According to some experts, top omissions include steps needed to expand direct taxation as the government continues to rely heavily on the current oppressive indirect taxes that hurt the lower and middle classes more than the higher-income group. The imposition of the much-desired tax on agricultural income has also been conveniently ignored because under the constitution only provinces are entitled to levy it. The energy sector’s tariff reforms also fail to figure on the radar of the policymakers despite the fact that it consumes the bulk of subsidies.
The aggressive and unkind criticism that greeted the proposed budget and its makers, at the very start of the PML-N government’s third innings in power, shows the mood of the moment, which remains ruthless in judgement. Welcome to the restless, troubled and teeming Pakistan of 2013 where there is no honeymoon period for the new government. The expectations of the people are as enormous as the challenges that make the task of economic revival a lot more difficult. This is a nightmarish situation for any government.
Agreed that it is a far from ideal budget, but given the limited space of financial manoeuvrability and the paucity of time in which the new government came up with these budget proposals, its economic team has done a fairly decent job.
The policymakers are attempting to achieve economic stability and growth in tandem, which is what the country requires. But some economic experts insist that with the balance of payment crisis staring Pakistan in its face because of its heavy foreign debt repayments and huge trade deficit, the government should first aim for economic stabilisation. But the idea is self-defeating since without boosting economic activity and growth achieving the goal of stability would remain elusive.
The private sector needs incentives, confidence and encouragement to play its role in this effort, which cannot be done until the government takes a lead by launching some big and medium-seized development and infrastructure projects. The calculated risk of boosting the PSDP and other development spending in the proposed budget remains vital to kick-start economic activity.
For resource mobilisation, the budget proposals do not contain any radical steps. Rather the government has, more or less, cautiously opted for the existing framework promising efficient and corruption-free revenue collection, increase in the general sales tax to 17 percent from 16 percent, a nominal increase in the taxes of the high-income salaried class, and imposition of various small taxes on select sectors – from hospitality services to builders.
For sceptics such steps won’t be sufficient to meet the government’s ambitious target of 21 percent higher revenue collection in the next financial year. However, any radical and bold steps for raising the revenues, including the imposition of value added tax (VAT) which has been vehemently opposed in the past by traders and shopkeepers – one of the key support base of the PML-N – would have certainly triggered a much stronger backlash. At this critical juncture, the government can hardly afford a new front. Therefore, the cautious approach seems sensible. However, the federal government should encourage and push provinces to go for taxing agriculture income – no matter how nominal in the first phase – to at least get the ball rolling in the right direction.
There are also concerns on whether the government will be able to meet its fiscal deficit target of 6.3 percent in the next financial year, given its planned higher spending and unprecedented revenue collection target of Rs3,420 billion. Will all the proposed austerity measures and cuts in the government’s running administrative expenditure really make an impact in the final calculations of keeping the fiscal deficit – described as the mother of all troubles for an economy – in the targeted range? The outcome of the government’s effort would obviously bank on how it performs on the resource mobilisation and spending fronts.
There are no quick fixes for Pakistan’s ailing economy, which requires much tougher measures and more difficult decisions to get back on the high growth trajectory. Sceptics and critics should give some time to the government and allow its plan to work before aiming and firing their guns at its economic team. It would be unfair to start shouting ‘success’ or ‘failure’ in the opening spell of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s third innings. The man on the street, opinion makers, the opposition and the ‘independent’ economic experts must allow his government to settle in and start the process of rebuilding.
There is some room for optimism. The first good news is that the Sharif government – whether we agree or disagree with its budget proposals – has an economic vision and a team that means business. This makes it different from the previous government that hardly had any agenda of its own and is remembered for its misrule and economic mismanagement. Second, one should expect efficient decision-making and a hands-on approach from the Sharif government in handling the country’s tricky economic affairs. Third, many businesspeople and foreign and local investors see this government as a sentiment-changer – also a good omen for the economy. It is often the sentiment that sets the course of economic growth and gives it momentum even before things really start happening on the ground.
It is time to wish good luck to Sharif and his team for them to rise to the challenge and prove that they are worthy of the task. Pakistan desperately needs a success story for a change.http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-184181-No-time-for-a-honeymoon
Reforming the police: op-ed byTariq Khosa and Mark Shaw in Dawn, June 17
The writers are advisers to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime on rule of law and criminal justice.
IN the wake of a successful democratic transition in Pakistan, the capacity of the new governments to ensure citizen security in the face of multiple national and international threats should be high on the agenda.
In the recently conducted social audit by the United Nations Development Programme, security, terrorism and law and order were universally ranked in the top three concerns of citizens across Pakistan. An overwhelming reliance on military institutions has diverted capacity, resources and public trust away from the police, which, in another public perceptions survey, was described by over 90pc of respondents as corrupt.
Civilian policing is an important institutional pillar in any modern democratic state, and it is an essential role of elected governments to ensure community safety, and to be held to account when it is compromised. Finding and supporting effective and fair ways to reduce crime and improve community safety is thus a top priority to building a culture predicated on the rule of law.
The burden of history weighs heavily on the police in Pakistan. Colonial policing aimed at control and coercion, and this legacy was maintained by both military and civilian governments alike. Therefore, reforming the police will be no small task. In the 65 years since the country’s independence, the police as an institution have been subject to consistent criticism, allegations of corruption and bias, and ad hoc reform.
As it stands today, the police services of Pakistan constitute a complex structure comprising 21 separate institutions, under six different reporting lines and a large number of law-enforcement personnel — an estimated 625,000 in total. Many of the country’s policing and law-enforcement institutions require strengthening: they are often poorly motivated, badly funded, under-equipped and trained; and operate within archaic and unclear legal frameworks.
There has been a steady increase in crime rates across Pakistan, and most notably a growth in serious and organised crime. This has emerged differently in different provinces — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have both been seriously affected by terrorism and insurgency.
In Sindh, the challenges of policing Karachi, and the associated problems of civil unrest and targeted killings have been defining features.
In Punjab there has been a steady increase in crimes against property and other forms of violent crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, as well as a growth in crimes related to technology and the internet. Across the nation, countering terrorism and violent extremism continue to pose a mortal threat.
Strengthening the capacity for civilian policing is urgently required. Surveys on police performance and community perceptions of policing show an organisation in crisis, one which has completely lost the trust of the citizens it is meant to serve.
The police are perceived as more corrupt than any other public service or professional institution in Pakistan; the police overwhelmingly provide preferential treatment to those with family, business or political influence.
Investments in reform and efforts to change this paradigm between the police and the people will be required if community perceptions are to change and public security is to improve.
The goal of any reform process is to create a policing system which is politically neutral, non-authoritarian, accountable and responsive to the community, professionally efficient and most importantly, a true instrument of the rule of law. With the passage of the 18th Amendment, the primary responsibility for public order and policing has shifted from the federal to the provincial level.
This is a critical juncture for police reforms in Pakistan. None of the past attempts which sought to change the fundamental conditions and legal framework within which policing is conducted, has ever gained real traction. Police services need to be operationally autonomous, highly accountable and service- oriented with a mechanism for enhancing professionalism.
They require the authority to lead and manage their day-to-day operations in accordance with due process and without interference. This includes the ability to conduct investigations without fear or favour. Emphasis on capacity building of police officers should not only focus on technical skills but also on building and inculcating an ethos of service delivery and community orientation.
Despite the clear importance and the level of need, there has been very little debate to reform the police from an institutional standpoint during the last five years. The recent elections clearly reflect the public demand for the rule of law and effective policing. Therefore, a policy dialogue on police reforms should set the stage for an informed debate and decisions to have apolitical, professional and accountable police services.
Many of the challenges presented in the current context in Pakistan have been considered elsewhere and there is a significant body of experience and lessons to be drawn from such international best practice. Forums which bring together engaged and committed national and international stakeholders can add significant value by promoting debate, informing key decision-makers, aligning priorities and catalysing an agenda for change.
June 17, 2013 No Comments
The writer is a freelance journalist
A scandal brews in the headless Foreign Office. A foreign minister is missing. But Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will have none of this.Who is the ‘former foreign office official’ spilling the beans about a wrangle for power between two newly appointed custodians of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
On day two, an English language newspaper continued with the story (splashed across page one) of a turf battle between Sartaj Aziz and Tariq Fatemi. Day one, the same paper broke the news of bad blood between the two gentlemen. Was it an inside job on the scoop or did the source come from outside? Say, a retired ambassador or someone of that stature in the know who aspired to landing a plum posting in the new government but was snubbed?
The spokesman at the Foreign Office dismissed the rumours as “baseless.” When asked further, he proffered the usual government gobbledygook praising both the men as highly capable and experienced. “They together with the foreign secretary are working as a formidable team to give well thought out policy options to the prime minister and to implement his directives in foreign policy,” he said, adding, “They are both working as a team in their respective positions.”
These platitudes belie the news report of the feuding men who have a history of hostility with each other. For proof, the unnamed source provides a full background of their rivalry. “Fatemi and Aziz were in the opposing camps on the crucial issue of signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the wake of the 1998 nuclear tests,” says the report. Sartaj Aziz was the foreign minister who wanted Nawaz Sharif to sign the treaty but Fatemi and his Foreign Office colleagues resisted it and eventually won.
Till today, Pakistan has neither ratified nor signed the CTBT.
Was it really wise of Nawaz Sharif to lump the two men together as a team to oversee Pakistan’s foreign policy? Surely he must know that the chemistry between the two is badly warped.
“Pakistan is facing enormous and complex foreign policy issues and this requires that the country should have a fulltime foreign minister,” Riaz Khokhar, former foreign secretary and an “influential voice in Islamabad” is quoted as saying in the report. As a former ambassador to Washington, New Delhi and Beijing, Khokhar was known as a ‘hawk’ who represented the view that Pakistan’s sovereignty can never be comprised at any cost. It must always form the cornerstone of Islamabad’s foreign policy.
Why then has Nawaz Sharif vacillated in naming a full-fledged foreign minister? Cutting up the most important portfolio to accommodate two of his party loyalists makes no sense. Worse still, is to corral the duo into a working relationship that reportedly has a history of ill feeling.
Either the prime minister can’t find a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy of foreign minister or he’s downgraded the post. Now that the news of Aziz/Fatemi has gone viral, swift damage control is in order. A statement by the Foreign Office spokesman is not the ideal Band-Aid that can stop the bleeding denting the reputation of our premier ministry.
“The prime minister’s responsibility is essentially to lay out a vision and ensure the implementation of his policies…the foreign minister has to do a lot of running around, and even in the context of protocol, it is not appropriate that the prime minister retain the portfolio of foreign minister,” Riaz Khokhar is quoted as telling the writer of the report.
Both brilliance and talent are plentiful in Pakistan. It’s a national tragedy that the chief executive, whether a civilian or a dictator, a man or a woman, has invariably failed to appoint people meriting high offices. Sadly, favouritism, nepotism and cronyism are so deeply grounded in our rulers’ psyche that to think beyond the three ‘isms’ and explore a world populated by patriotic, honest and hard working Pakistanis is foreign to them.
Nawaz Sharif, in his last two terms as the prime minister, chose some of the worst people to head embassies abroad and institutions at home. Fourteen years after wandering in the wilds without pelf and power, fate has given him another chance to prove his leadership qualities. Three strikes and you’re out is the rule in baseball. When leaders get the third strike – a rare occurrence – there’s no room for error.http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-184183-Bad-idea-Mr-Prime-Minister
June 17, 2013 No Comments
Like well-bred Pakistanis, most PPP leaders are putting up a brave face and blaming local and international conspiracies for their horrific defeat in the recent elections. They were wiped out from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Balochistan and Punjab. The two seats they managed to win in south Punjab were thanks to Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood, who crossed over only a few months back from the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional to PPP for the prized position of the Governor of Punjab.
The outcry about conspiracy is not without grounds. As I had stated in a column before the elections, this time the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad was made by the Taliban, who attacked the liberal parties and allowed the centre-right parties to carry out the election campaign in full blast. The PPP’s conspiracy theory is thus partially correct. But the entire blame cannot be placed on that. The PPP should take this defeat seriously and brainstorm on the real causes of the debacle. Introspection is in order.
In Sindh the PPP managed to retain more or less the 2008 position. The PPP leaders who claim that there was a major conspiracy against their party have no explanation why the ‘grand conspiracy’ did not work in Sindh. They are also shy to publicly admit that the margin of winning candidates shrank in 2013 as against the 2008 elections. Just a cursory look at the PPP National Assembly (NA) winners list shows that all those who won were big landlords except three: Ayaz Soomro, Khurshid Shah and Nauman Sheikh.
Now let’s look at the PPP elections statistics. In 2008, despite the strong sympathy wave stemming from Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, the PPP did not get a simple majority. It polled 10.66 million votes out of over 35 million total votes cast. This gave it 91 seats in the direct elections, and added with the reserved seats for women and minorities, it bagged 125 NA seats, which gave it a position to cobble a coalition government. In the 2013 elections, the PPP polled 6.91 million votes out of 46 million total votes cast. It lost 3.75 million votes compared to the 2008 polls. This slashed the PPP’s NA seats in the direct election from 91 to just 32 seats. Of the PPP’s total votes, 46 percent were polled in Sindh and 35 percent in Punjab.
On the other hand, the PML-N polled 14.87 million votes in 2013 as against just 6.8 million in 2008, scoring a massive increase of eight million votes. But over 76 percent of the PML-N votes belonged to Punjab. It was followed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), which bagged 7.67 million votes, out of which 64.54 percent belonged to Punjab and 13 percent to KP. The PTI polled 0.776 million votes more than the PPP but it bagged 28 NA seats.
Now keeping these statistics in mind, it seems that the general forecast before the elections that if the voters’ turnout would be higher, the PPP would lose its position was right. In this election, 46 million votes were cast, which were 11 million more than in the 2008 elections. The PPP strategists and many analysts, I must confess including myself, were of the view that the PTI would cut into the PML-N vote, but it seems the PTI was benefited by the higher voter turnout. The PPP failed to get a share of the increase in voters’ turnout and lost almost 35 percent of its vote bank. The PML-N and PTI were the major beneficiaries of the increase in registered votes to 86 million in 2013 from the last election’s 81 million. The loss of over three million voters should be a rude awakening for PPP strategists, if they have any. Why the debacle?
The PPP carried a heavy baggage of incumbency and was complacent. It believed till the last moment that its leader Asif Zardari would pull out some clever trick and they would sail out as winners in a triangular fight. Some even claimed that property tycoon Malik Riaz had contributed to Imran Khan hoping he would divide the PML-N votes. What the PPP ignored was that it was entering elections with the five-year record of poor governance and unbridled corruption. It had to bear the brunt of many external factors that were either inherited by it or were beyond its control.
The biggest shortcoming of the PPP, analysts believe, is that there was no leader to lead its election campaign. Zardari did not allow any credible PPP leader to emerge, relying heavily on his sister Faryal Talpur and the corrupt prime ministers he crowned. The charisma of Ms Bhutto was no more, and the sympathy vote that the party got after her assassination had dissipated. Most of the old guard are found saying, “It is no more Bhutto’s party, it is Zardari’s party.”
Much of the PPP government’s energy was consumed in the battle between the various institutions vying for supremacy over parliament. But the party could have gained more space if it had kept itself away from corruption and cronyism. All along the PPP stood on weak moral ground. True, other institutions that were destabilising its government also do not have shining records, but their image was not as stained as that of the PPP. This tussle for more power between the institutions of the state, i.e. the executive, judiciary and parliament, did not let the system that was in its infancy stabilise.
The PPP-led government inherited the dangerous geo-strategic policy set by Pakistan’s military rulers. This embroiled the country in regional disputes with devastating social, economic and political consequences. The coalition government’s attempt to build relations with India was sabotaged by the agencies and their jihadi outfits. Nawaz Sharif’s efforts were torpedoed by launching the Kargil operation. Zardari’s efforts were checkmated by the Mumbai massacre by the jihadis.
The country continued to suffer from the terrorist activities of the jihadi groups and the ruthless mismanagement of Balochistan’s nationalist movement by the agencies. This not only resulted in the killing of thousands of people, it seriously damaged Pakistan’s economic growth. The PPP government failed to take the national security policy and the Balochistan policy back from GHQ. But it was held responsible for its failure.
However, politically the PPP government claimed some big achievements. It helped the bloodless ouster of a military general by the politicians. A great leap forward was taken towards transfer of power and resources from the Centre to the provinces through the 18th Amendment and the NFC Award, something we could not do for 64 years. Arbitrary presidential powers to oust an elected government and dissolve the Assemblies were taken away. Press freedom, which some people use to show their disappointment with democracy, is an integral part of the same democracy. Parliament, whose basic function is to legislate, passed 134 laws and most of them with the consensus of the opposition. More women rights bills were passed during the PPP’s tenure than ever before. This was not a small feat, but the voters were not impressed. The PPP leadership failed to explain the benefits of these measures to them.
On the governance side the government proved inefficient. Major failures for which the PPP-led coalition government is criticised are: corruption, the energy crisis, increased unemployment, high inflation, low tax revenue collection, the public sector’s haemorrhaging impact on the economy, depreciation of the rupee against the dollar by 58 percent in five years, falling foreign direct investment, and low GDP growth. Painful prolonged load shedding of electricity and gas was at the top of most voters’ minds, particularly in Punjab. The PPP ministers failed miserably to resolve this problem, for which the voter punished them.
Low investment due to an unstable and insecure environment resulted in high unemployment and double digit inflation, which affected the PPP vote bank, as it had always claimed to be the party of the poor. Its leadership was banking on the BISP programme, which according to them helped 70 million poor families. They were expecting the recipients to vote for the PPP, but they did not.
The PPP leaders forget that many of its voters are disenchanted with the Zardari-style party management, and thus they did not come out to vote. The party was without a leader with mass appeal to motivate its voters. Their election strategy did not factor in the increase in voters and their age profile. Above all, the Bhutto-led PPP in 1970 had rallied the middle and lower middle classes in Punjab and the rural poor. Now the PML-N has the support of the small, medium and big businesses of Punjab, which continues to grow at a much faster pace than the national average. They changed the elections paradigm for an unorganised and leaderless PPP.http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\06\17\story_17-6-2013_pg3_5
June 17, 2013 No Comments
The writer is a former caretaker finance minister and served as vice-president at the World Bank
Most observers of the rapid evolution of Pakistan’s political order called the June 5 swearing-in of Mian Nawaz Sharif as prime minister a historical moment. It was historic not because Sharif took office for an unparalleled third term. What was most heartening was the fact that an elected government was able to complete its full five-year term in office. The elections held on May 11 set the stage for the peaceful transfer of power from a coalition administration dominated by the PPP to a government that will be run by the PML-N. The prime minister’s party had won enough seats in the national assembly to manage without the support of any other political group.
But there were other reasons why history was made on June 5. The transfer of power that took place was from an all-powerful president who had governed without constitutional authority to a prime minister who promised to be fully responsible to the elected parliament. There was considerable significance of this transfer for Pakistan’s political development. For most of Pakistan’s nearly 66-year history, the country was ruled by leaders who were predisposed towards authoritarianism. That was to be expected of the four military presidents who held power for a total of 32 years, a bit less than one-half of Pakistan’s history as an independent state. Even when the civilians ruled, they continued the practice of ‘strong-man’ rule, often exercising authority that went beyond that permitted by the Constitution. The man who set that tradition was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the author of the 1973 Constitution.
From some of the early signals that Prime Minister Sharif sent out, it appears that he is likely to seek cooperation not only from his cabinet but also from other parties, some of which have a significant presence in the provincial assembles. He showed statesmanship in letting Imran Khan’s PTI and the Baloch-dominated National Party to manage the administrations of the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan respectively. He could have made a play for power even in these provinces but chose to let the smaller parties rule with the help of broad coalitions.
With so much power concentrated in the hands of the president during the Zardari period, the economy was managed individualistically rather than collectively. Most important appointments were made by the president who chose his friends and cronies to manage important state-owned enterprises and regulatory agencies. This resulted in enormous amounts of corruption and mismanagement of public funds. The severe energy shortage that took a heavy toll on the economy was partly the result of rampant corruption that affected the entire electricity system. State-owned enterprises such as PIA, the Railways, and the Pakistan Steel Mills were driven towards bankruptcy. They were frequently bailed out by the government, increasing the burden on the already stretched budget. They were used as the ‘employers of first resort’ to provide jobs to relatives, friends and party workers. The country paid a heavy economic price for these misdeeds and eventually it cost the PPP the election. The promise of good governance and control on corruption was the main reason why almost 60 per cent of the electorate voted, 20 percentage points more than what was the norm for the country. The people were desperate for change and it appears that they will not be disappointed.
Nawaz Sharif is likely to run a relatively clean government and will also work to better the economy rather than seek personal gratification. To prepare his first major address to the nation, he appointed a number of working groups to suggest what he should say and do once he was sworn in as prime minister. In his speech to the National Assembly after having been elected the leader of the house, he said he could not promise to quickly resolve all the problems the country faced but he vowed to promote the culture of transparency. “My government will not tolerate any form of corruption” he told the newly elected legislators as they thumped their desks in approval.
Another reason why this was a historic moment for Pakistan’s political development was that the country will have to be run as a federation of four provinces rather than managed entirely from Islamabad. The credit for bringing the federal form of governance goes to President Asif Ali Zardari who allowed the passage of the sweeping Eighteenth Amendment. It not only cleansed the basic law of the many aberrations introduced by two military leaders — Generals Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf — there were two important changes made by the amendment. It shifted the location of power from the presidency to the office of the prime minister. This move, as already indicated, was thwarted by President Zardari by continuing to hold power in his hands. He did that by dominating the PPP and appointing weak prime ministers.
The amendment also transferred numerous functions from the central government to provincial administrations. Resources needed to carry out this devolved authority were provided by the National Finance Commission Award announced in late 2009, a few months ahead of the passage of the amendment. History, in other words, was made in many different ways, not just because of the peaceful transfer of power from one elected government to another. The new Pakistan will be run as a federation, by federal and provincial governments acting not on the whims of the leader but by being responsible to the elected assemblies, and by operating within legally established norms. If this comes about, history would indeed have been made.http://tribune.com.pk/story/564039/why-history-was-made-on-june-5/
June 17, 2013 No Comments
The writer is professor of International Relations at the University of Karachi.
THE new government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will face a daunting task in dealing with the critical issues of governance and the rule of law.
For years, Pakistani society has not just been facing the challenge of militancy and terrorism; the hard task which the PML-N government will have to tackle in the coming days is to introduce meaningful security sector reforms.
The focus of Nawaz Sharif during his election campaign was good governance, rule of law and a better quality of life. But without taking bold and courageous steps to establish a culture of accountability, efficiency and responsibility in areas which are supposed to provide basic security to the people, the situation on the ground may not change for the better.
The concept of security sector reforms aims to pursue a non-traditional approach in dealing with issues which augment a sense of insecurity in different segments of society. In February 2007, the UN Security Council came up with an innovative definition of security sector reforms when it stated that “security sector reforms are critical to the consolidation of peace and stability, promoting poverty reduction, rule of law, good governance, extending legitimate state authority and preventing countries from relapsing into conflict. The Security Council encourages states to formulate their security sector reform programmes in a holistic way that encompasses strategic planning, institutional structures, resource management, operational capacity, civilian oversight and good governance.”
Strategically speaking, security sector reforms cover both the military and civilian components of state and non-state institutions which are carried out in a democratic set-up with proper transparency, accountability and vision. Security sector reforms are badly needed in post-colonial and fragile states where dysfunctional state organs cause the threat of instability, chaos and disorder.
In order to prevent a conflict and its escalation, state actors in collaboration with civil society can formulate a strategy to use police, intelligence agencies and military and paramilitary forces in a planned manner so that the situation is controlled peacefully and without the loss of innocent lives.
Without reforming institutions which are responsible for maintaining law and order and ensuring good governance, the state cannot maintain peace, stability and provide basic security to its citizens.
In 2004, the British government issued a policy document on security sector reforms specifically dealing with conflict prevention, management and resolution. Following a comprehensive approach on security sector reforms, the policy document argued that the “main purpose of the security sector reforms’ strategy is to support governments of developing and transitional countries so that they can fulfil their legitimate security functions through reforms that will make the delivery of security more effective and democratic, thereby reducing the potential for both internal and external conflict.”
Human security is considered pivotal as far as security sector reforms are concerned because extremism, militancy, violence and terrorism deepen their roots if unemployment, illiteracy, poverty, and social and economic backwardness are not eradicated. It is the internal rather than external security dynamics of a state which are a cause of widespread popular discontent and instability.
By enhancing capacity building of educational, judicial and administrative institutions through security sector reforms, one can expect better management of conflicts and unresolved issues.
Why are security sector reforms needed in Pakistan and how can the PML-N government deal with the issues of human security, good governance and the rule of law? What are the major challenges in reforming security sector institutions which are either not performing properly or are reaching the stage of total collapse?
Although Pakistan cannot be termed a failed state, it certainly comes under the category of a fragile state. Failure of security agencies to prevent large-scale acts of terrorism and violence means there exists an absence of viable security architecture in the country.
According to a report entitled Election 2013: Violence against political parties, candidates and voters released by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies recently, “a total of 148 terrorist attacks were reported across Pakistan between January 1 and May 15 killing as many as 170 people [while] 743 [were] injured in these attacks.”
Furthermore, around 50,000 people, both civilian and in uniform, have been killed in Pakistan since 9/11 in terrorist and other violent acts. On Sept 6 last year, then federal interior minister Rehman Malik told the National Assembly that “a total of 1,363 people lost their lives at the hands of target killers in Karachi during the past five years.”
These facts reveal the failure of the state to protect its people despite spending billions of rupees on the law enforcement agencies.
Civilian and non-civilian security organisations have not performed because of large-scale corruption, nepotism and political interference. By inducting accountability, transparency, efficiency and depoliticising the police, intelligence agencies and bureaucracy, one can expect better results.
Likewise, by focusing on merit and best practices the new government can in a short span of time ensure basic security to common people. The first 100 days of Nawaz Sharif’s government must concentrate on dealing with issues which augment a sense of insecurity among people either because of terrorism, targeted killings, energy crisis and a fragile economy.
While the PML-N may have done its homework to put things in order and deal with serious challenges of governance, rule of law, economy and energy, it needs to improve the performance of those organs of the state which are responsible for protecting the lives and property of citizens.
Pakistan cannot afford to plunge into another phase of corruption, nepotism, violence, terrorism, economic collapse and severe energy crisis
June 13, 2013 No Comments
The writer is Web Editor of The Express Tribune
For a journalist, perhaps nothing is a greater violation of human rights than the denial of access to information. In the case of Pakistan versus YouTube, I think the nine-month ban on Google’s video-sharing website is really the limit of regressive and, in the eyes of any global citizen who accepts the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, unethical and illegal behaviour.
I hold out no hope from the new government in this case.
It is clear that in a country as fragmented along the lines of “haves” versus the “have-nots”, “extremists” versus “the rest”, the ban on YouTube and possibly all of Google, in the near future, is the pragmatic (read: easy) stance to take.
Placate dangerous, religion-intoxicated extremists like Mumtaz Qadri, who are able to act thanks to the high-level of extremism in the average Pakistani, and let the small number of middle class, upper-middle class and elite, who are blessed enough to have access to the internet, suffer. The latter is far less organised and far less likely to start gunning down people in the streets over internet censorship.
Appealing to the government is also a lost cause because those in power benefit greatly from a ban on the internet, which they perceive to be a (quite real) threat.
Additionally, our Constitution is flawed and utterly inadequate when it comes to discussing the web; our media men and judiciary are, by and large, too old, unaware of and/or outright alienated from the online space to truly understand the issue.
Instead, I think, the YouTube ban should be proactively dealt with by Google, which should listen to the plea of ordinary citizens of Pakistan who are its customers, take a principled stand and refuse to negotiate with the government until it stops trampling over the rights of its citizens. Or to coin a childish catchphrase that fits this ridiculous situation — Google should ban Pakistan.
If I’m going to lose my Google products one by one anyway, I’d rather have it done with Google openly refusing to participate in the denial of my basic right to access information on YouTube or through search, rather than have the government place new bans every few months, or worse, Google agreeing to allow me limited access to its products/services.
Facebook has already bowed down to such pressure in the past and my access to some pages and groups is blocked because I am a Pakistani browsing from within the country.
I consider this a sign that Facebook has a sadly regressive streak in its management. To agree to set up such censorship in order to avoid being banned in Pakistan is akin to siding with the extremism and backward thinking that has this nation in its grips. That is not a helpful decision aimed at enhancing democracy — it is an extension of mob rule and a violation of human rights.
Where is my unlike button?
Where is my “If you are a Pakistani citizen but wish to opt out of this blockage, click here” button?
So, stay strong Google. You will not have much support in Pakistan, but your stand will be the right one. As a citizen of this world first, Pakistan second, do not limit my access to YouTube to secure a short-term solution to the ban.Instead, ban Pakistan till the nation grows up. http://tribune.com.pk/story/562507/google-should-ban-pakistan/
June 13, 2013 No Comments