Saturday, April 1, 2017

Music Video - Cyndi Lauper - She Bop

Video Report - 'Ivanka is NOT Qualified' CNN’s Amanda and Kayleigh Over Ivanka White House Role

Video report - CNN panel says Ivanka Trump appointment makes US look like a ‘monarchy’ ‘How is this not nepotism’

Video - Town hall crowd chants at Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)

Video - Graham booed over Gorsuch vote

#PPP - Kal Bhi Bhutto Zinda Tha,Ajj Bhi Bhutto Zinda Hai


Former Senator and renowned Shia cleric Allama Syed Abid Hussain al Hussaini has demanded that Colonel Umar must be dismissed from service for his inaction against the terrorists and for ordering firing on peaceful anti-terrorist protestors in Parachinar yesterday.

Media reports confirm that one of the injured protestors embraced martyrdom although Allama Hussaini claimed that three Shia Muslims were martyred, according to Geo News channel’s tickers last night.
Allama Hussaini said that State security agencies were directly responsible for the blast outside Imam Bargah in Parachinar because lack of adequate security arrangements paved way for the terrorist attacks.
He said that FC personnel opened fire upon the peaceful Shia protestors who were protesting after the blast and due to their firing many people were injured.
Colonel Umar said that aerial firing was conducted. He claimed no casualty but media report at least one such death.
Allama Abid Hussaini demanded punishment to the involved FC personnel and he also demanded removal of the political agent because he too failed to ensure security of innocent people.

Pakistan - “Honour the Baluch”

By Akbar Ahmed 

Baluchistan is both blessed and plagued by its geographic and demographic situation within the federation of Pakistan.

"A Baluch woman dressed in her wedding finery and wearing all her jewellery could walk alone from one end of Baluchistan to the other end without ever being molested." 
Baluch elders said this in response to a query on Baloch character while sitting with the-then Balochistan's Chief Minister, Jam Mir Qadir Khan of Las Bela. The image struck me as a metaphor; a literal sociological reflection on contemporary Pakistan. It has stayed with me ever since.
Three decades later, I asked Prince Ahmed Ali, Jam Sahib's grandson, to describe Baluch character. He noted, "Baluch identity revolves around hospitality, respect and honour, truthfulness, and the behaviour of a cultured man or woman."  The definition of being Baluch, thus, remained unaltered through time.
In my dealings with Baluch leaders, I often found them to possess great wisdom and be ever-ready to perform miracles if approached with honour. This held true even for those in opposition as I discovered during my stint as Makran Commissioner. During my early days, I had learned of a plan to attack the Zikri community, a minority sect living in the division. Religious leaders in Karachi and Lahore were promising a bloodbath in order to convert them to "proper" Islam.
In addition to taking the usual administrative measures, I also decided to seek the help of the former governor, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, then a left-leaning Baluch opposition leader. Widely revered by the Zikris, he was said to have landed in Makran to stir up trouble against the administration. Despite him being an avowed opponent of President Zia-ul-Haq, he accepted my dinner invitation at the Commissioner's house. He also promised me to request his followers to remain peaceful. Of course, nothing can be kept secret for long in Pakistan. The intelligence agencies soon reported this to the president who demanded an explanation from Balochistan Governor, General K.K. Afridi, as to why I had hosted such a dinner with an opposition leader.
Ultimately, by working together, peace was maintained in the region and the Zikri community was protected.
I often hear educated people in Islamabad and Karachi dismissing Baluchs as regressive and uneducated. This is an incorrect perception. One of the most sophisticated discussions I have ever had about Ibn Khaldun was with Nawab Akbar Bugti, a top Baluch tribal leader and the former provincial governor. Answering my question as to why Baluchs had stayed behind while Pukhtuns had left their homelands to settle and rule in India, Bugti emphasised on the importance given to their code of honour. If we had migrated to India to set up ruling dynasties like Pukhtuns, we would have slowly lost our language and our culture, he exclaimed.
Not only did Bugti show an understanding of Khaldun's theory of asabiyah (social cohesion) that kept a tribe united, he also took an intellectual leap and applied it to his own tribal group. I was deeply impressed by his vast knowledge of history and different cultures. It remains a grave tragedy that this Baluch leader was hunted like animals by missiles despite his loyalty to Pakistan in the face of immense opposition.
Baluchistan is both blessed and plagued by its geographic and demographic situation within the federation of Pakistan. Blessed because of its tiny population and vast resources while it remains plagued due to its size--covering almost half of Pakistan's territory--, its borders with Iran and Afghanistan, and its coastline spanning over hundreds of miles; all of which give the province great geopolitical strategic importance.
Of course, some of the criticism against the Baluch leaders stands valid. They do represent a system, which may not seem viable in the current times. Some cruel and tyrannical sardars taint the entire tribal hierarchy. However, the critics often overlook the fact that the tribal society, despite all its ills, still provides its members with continuity, stability, and identity in an ever-changing world. 
Pakistan's treatment of Baluchistan has, unfortunately, been erratic and unsatisfactory. The founding charter of the nation, which reflected the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam, was intended to be fully inclusive. Pakistanis should recall that the Quaid always had a soft spot for Baluchs. For a state that lost over half its population when its eastern wing broke away in 1971, Pakistan could be assumed to have had learned its lesson by now. The debate over an independent Baluchistan has once again reared its head, this time with some international support. Although the movement is tiny and sporadic, Pakistan should still vigorously reach out to Baluchs, both economically and culturally, to avert a graver crisis in the future. At the heart of its strategies, the state should emblazon all developmental plans with the much-talked-about motto, "Honour the Baluch."

#PakistanCensus - Politics of demography

By Afrasiab Khattak

The term census was originally coined by Romans to keep a count of the male population fit for military services.

 But during the socio-historical evolution of the world it mainly came to mean national population and housing censuses that provides a picture of levels of education, age, sex, social status and other characteristics of the people. By now it has become an important function of the modern state system for effectively fulfilling its national and international obligations. Using it in the aforementioned sense the United Nations defines census as “individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory, simultaneity and defined periodicity”. It is also on the recommendation of the UN that holding the census every ten years has come to be regarded as best international practice.
As we have seen, the process of national population and housing census is essentially the process of national demographic data collection and that is where it acquires serious political significance, ceasing to be merely an ordinary statistical information. The accuracy and rational use of national demographic data not only plays vital role in an all round socio-economic development of a given society but it also has its own significance in determining the quality of vertical and horizontal democracy. It’s crucial for shaping effective policies and priorities. For the same reasons inordinate delays in conducting the census can have negative consequences. Although state bureaucracies at times present ad hoc alternative arrangements to the actual census such as projections based on group sampling or estimates based on assumed population growth rates but these alternative methods have many limitations. It’s particularly so in a country like Pakistan where we still haven’t been able to register the entire population of the country and our birth and death registration is not dependable at all. The non-existence of local governments for a very long time has also hindered the state’s ability to keep track of its population record.
The surge of young people is the most important issue in many developing countries, including Pakistan, in today’s world. If handled properly the youth bulge is an asset that can ensure a prosperous future for the country. By channeling the enormous energy and vitality of our youth who are estimated to constitute the majority of our population we can accelerate the speed of economic development and provide socio-cultural space for our young people to work for wholesome human development. But the achievement of such objectives in an extreme form of a security state are unimaginable. For many decades around 80 percent of the country’s annual budget has been going to debt servicing, defense and administration. Nothing much is left for investment in the social sector and human development. Even in this day and age we haven’t been able allocate even 4 percent of our GDP to education, the minimum recommended by the UN. This obviously requires revisiting state’s priorities in resource allocation. Sadly the issue has yet to acquire the required level of prominence in national discourse.
Population explosion is another serious issue faced by Pakistan. It’s a situation where the size of population goes beyond the capacity of the local resources to sustain them. It also refers to the negative balance between human population and its natural environment. We all know that Pakistan is literally sleeping over the ticking bomb of population explosion. State sponsored religious extremism has made any rational debate on this issue impossible. Public discussion on family planning has become taboo. What future can Pakistan possibly have with the population explosion, which is one of the main factors behind disastrous environmental degradation?
There are some historically interesting and important aspects of demographic politics in Pakistan. In 1947, at the time of the country’s inception, East Bengal that became East Pakistan had a population larger than the total population of all the four provinces situated in the western part. East Pakistan was at least 56 percent of the total population of the then Pakistan (some Bangladeshi historians put the figure at 64 percent). This demographic reality gave the upper hand to Bengali elites who had played a pivotal role in creating Pakistan. Punjabi bureaucratic elite (both civil and military) known for siding with colonial maters during the freedom struggle was extremely reluctant to accept this reality. This proved to be a stumbling block in preparing a democratic constitution for the new state leading to serious delay in the process. In 1954 after launching a coup the Punjabi dominated bureaucracy dissolved the Constituent Assembly and arbitrarily imposed the 1956 Constitution based on the dubious scheme of One Unit and Parity. For countering the population weightage of the then East Pakistan all the four provinces in the western part of the country along with FATA were merged in one province called West Pakistan with Lahore as its capital. It was only a partial solution, as even then the Bengalis would have enjoyed majority in the National Assembly elected on the basis of adult franchise. So in the name of supreme national interest” Bengalis were forced to accept 50 percent representation in the National Assembly (equal to west Pakistan) disenfranchising a part of their population. This was called ‘Parity’ but it was actually a fraud based on colonial exploitation which led to the disintegration of Pakistan in 1971. It is also a matter of record that up till 1971, in united Pakistan, population wasn’t the main criteria for distribution of finances among the provinces as in that case Bengal would have gained more finances. Population became the basis for NFC award after the 1973 Constitution. Interestingly you wouldn’t find this part of history in our history books nor in the so-called Pakistan Studies courses. So our younger generations are blissfully ignorant of history and unable/unequipped to understand the exploitative strategies of the rulers.
FATA Pashtuns present another example of demographic politics used for colonial type disempowerment and exploitation. According to the bogus figures concocted by bureaucracy total population of the seven political agencies and six frontier regions of FATA is 4.5 (or 4.8 ) million. But shockingly enough, the number of registered IDPs from only some parts of North Waziristan during the recent military operation exceeded 1 million. Which means millions of FATA Pashtuns are not counted. They are still disenfranchised, deprived of their share in national finance distribution and services.
All this underlines the significance of transparent and accurate census and rational and correct handling of demographic issues.

PM Nawaz inciting provinces against each other, says Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday expressed that the premier Nawaz Sharif was inciting provinces against each other.
Bilawal expressed these views in the purview of Punjab’s lion’s share regarding multiple gas schemes given go ahead by the government recently.
‘Instead of adopting uniformed policies, Nawaz Sharif was trying to appease some specific circles in parts of Punjab. Approval of 97 gas provision projects worth Rs 37 billion in the particular areas amounts to axing the Federation and inciting provinces against each other,’ the PPP Chairman said in a statement.
Bilawal Zardari said that even the historic city Umerkot of Sindh province has not been provided gas despite the payment by provincial government to the gas company.
‘Nawaz Sharif government rejected several requests from the Sindh government for provision of domestic gas connections in its rural and urban areas but all such requests were turned down on the pretext of moratorium’ alleged Bilawal.
He said that PPP was the chain of the Federation and it would not allow Nawaz Sharif and his company to harm the Federation just for the sake of winning few seats through his cronies and beneficiaries.
The PPP Chairman said those who raised ethnic slogans for their political and personal mileage are out again to pose threats to the unity among provinces by violating the Constitution, which protects the provinces interests in clear terms.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari went on and said that it was Nawaz Sharif who threw away the key projects like Keti Bunder and Thar Coal in late nineties and terminated thousands of government employees from the smaller provinces recruited by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto-led government.
He endorsed the letter from Chief Minister, Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah to the Prime Minister about the unconstitutional and illegal new gas projects and warned Nawaz Sharif that any overt or covert threat to the Pakistani Federation won’t be tolerated by PPP and other democratic parties of the country.