Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Pashto Music - اې زما دلداره | لاجور سلیم | سردارعلي ټکر


A Lahore High Court division bench is to hear an intra court appeal seeking disqualification of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan for his biased anti-judiciary speeches.

Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen’s Deputy Secretary General Nasir Abbas Shirazi has challenged decision of a single bench, which had dismissed a petition against Sanaullah saying that it was not maintainable.
Shirazi submitted that the law minister issued derogatory remarks against a judge who conducted an inquiry into the 2014 Model Town incident. He said that Sanaullah attempted to malign and scandalise the judiciary. He said the law minister violated his oath by scandalising a state institution and requested the court to disqualify him as a member of the assembly. 

Justice Shahid Karim on October 5 had dismissed as not maintainable a petition seeking disqualification of Sanaullah for allegedly making speeches against the judiciary. The judge had held that the court would not disqualify anyone on the basis of mere allegations and press clippings. The judge had observed that the petitioner could approach the election commission under the relevant law for disqualification of a parliamentarian.

FATA: merger or new strategic dimension?

Talimand Khan
Compounding the confusion is a trait of ill politics and when wrapped into sentimentality through demagogy it turns really ugly and misleading. Currently, the hapless people of FATA are subjected to such cacophony in the name of their rights and getting justice for them.
Initially, the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) was devised for the North West to the South West frontier regions from which the provinces of British Balochistan and erstwhile NWFP were later niched out. However, FATA was retained by the British under the FCR for strategic purposes. Ironically, the state of Pakistan not only maintained the status quo after independence but further up scaled its strategic status due to the nature of relationship with Afghanistan and the then USSR. The British already had set a precedent of mainstreaming the above mentioned regions by not merging but creating separate administrative entities by abolishing the FCR to expedite the development of the areas.
No doubt the people of FATA suffered enough, particularly when the British turned their land into a strategic black hole. But the question is, why a single obscure option is presented as compensation and solution to the problems currently faced by the people of FATA for all the wrong done to them? But more questionable is the timing and nature of the reforms.
So far the proponents of merger could not explain the contours of the merger ie what would be the status of the region in the province? Apart from the draconian sections of the FCR that is a contravention to fundamental human rights, abysmal backwardness ranging from low human development index, poor or non-existence of infrastructure, health and education facilities and other services place the region on the lowest scale of development index would be developed.
But, keeping in mind the magnitude of backwardness and deprivation of FATA since ages, how can a province which already has its own black corners in terms of poor governance and backwardness e.g Tank, an adjacent district to South Waziristan, Indus Kohistan, Batagram and Chitral be developed?
The state of Swat was one of the most developed areas in terms of infrastructure, education and health but could not maintain any of those characteristics, even its environment after merger with the province as a district in 1969. While keeping in mind our track record and political culture, who can guarantee that special funds earmarked for FATA would not be syphoned to other areas of choice of the chief minister and other cabinet members?
Besides, many of our mainstream intelligentsia assume that FATA will turn into Peshawar, Mardan or Abbottabad after the merger. So far, the merger plan does not elaborate on the question of administrative and legal arrangements. The Rewaj Act in the FATA Reforms Committee’s report hinted that FATA would be placed under PATA, pushing it further into retrogression. That means, it would be a new form of FATA under the PATA.
Moreover, like the security and foreign policy, particularly with the neighbouring states, FATA also remained the exclusive domain of the security establishment and no such attempt is possible without their preference for a certain consideration fitting into their strategic puzzle. As mentioned, FATA and its people are suffering since ages but we never witnessed such push for change in the name of reforms in the past. Are the proposed reforms for the welfare of the FATA people or to change its strategic dimension due to the emerging new security and strategic environment? The reform agenda was initiated simultaneous to the Zarb-e-Azab which was a like full fledged war. Use of air force and heavy artillery forced the people of FATA, particularly of Waziristan, to run for their life. Resultantly a substantial population of FATA was displaced and forced to live in camps. This provides enough evidence that it was a top down approach with specific objectives.
The self-appointed saviours of FATA presenting themselves as its representatives further make the process dubious. An anchorperson on a private TV channel, whose forefathers migrated from FATA is one example. Unfortunately, he used the channel as a weapon against alternate voices. Two weeks ago he gave a one sided speech for 15 minutes regarding FATA, maligning those who were opposing the merger option as anti reforms and presenting opinions as facts. Ironically, currently some anchorpersons in the electronic media seem more powerful than political leaders and government, particularly when carrying out specific assignments.
One of his arguments was that currently the people of FATA are considered terrorists everywhere in the country. This is not a problem faced only by the people of FATA but people of Swat are also suspected everywhere. There are ubiquitous security check posts on entry into FATA where one can witness long queues of vehicles. Swat is a similar case.
Currently, ‘Action in Aid of Civilian Powers’ is enforced in FATA, which over rules FCR of FATA, as well as in Swat and Malakand Division of PATA. But the ace journalist never questioned why such extraordinary legal measures were not reversed, at least in Swat, after seven years of the military operation. Or should Swat be merged again somewhere for that matter?
Out of 17 members of parliament from FATA, only two MNAs are supporting the merger option. Why are the other 15 MPs silent? If anyone knows about internal situation and power dynamics, silence is not agreement but dissent in FATA. Anybody returning to his village in FATA will never participate in an event or express opinion that can go against the wishes of the powers to be.
Similarly, all the vocal voices in support of merger are those whose forefathers migrated from FATA or others holding only domiciles of FATA but not born or bred there. They were jokingly referred as ‘Coca Cola tribal’ in Peshawar because burger was not so common at that time. The term merger became a fashionable statement for them without knowing or understanding its contours or consequences.
Instead of putting the cart before the horse, it is necessary to resettle the displaced people, expedite the process of compensation for their destroyed properties and carry rehabilitation. It is also imperative to strike down the draconian sections of the FCR to create a conducive political environment to enable the people of FATA to express their view freely without fear of deciding their future in any manner they wish to.

Pakistan - Speak and Die - Stop Killing Journalists

By Iflah Farooq
The heralds of present time, by all means, are journalists. This profession is the fountain head of statistics, facts, prerequisite of a progressive and sophisticated society. Through free media, masses access information concerning any matter of vital importance, combine with the surety that their opinion and voices are being heard by higher authorities.
However exploring veiled realities of repressive and cruel regimes and governments is a hard-hitting and painful experience that these journalists encounter on daily basis. In wake of this struggle several lost their valuables lives. Most recent victim of freedom of speech is Maltese eminent journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia best known for her work on Panama Papers Leaks, killed in an apparent car blast for a 'crime of searching and speaking the truth.'

Journalists are vulnerable in every corner of the current world, especially in war-ravaged areas. Despairs and miseries of local people in war- torn counties seek limelight through the extensive work on part of reporters and journalists. In line of duty 30 journalists lost their lives in 2017 alone, the figure was 115 in 2016. According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Iraq is deadliest place for journalists followed by Syria, both battle-damaged countries.

In Pakistan, although history of violence against journalists is not new occurrence yet deadliest time period for journalists was 2007- 2014 during which nearly 65 journalists lost their lives for the sake of duty.
World as a whole proclaims freedom of speech as citizens' fundamental right and promotes journalists' safety through ample initiatives. Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU), UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), European Convention on Human Rights (Article 10), the American Convention on Human Rights (Clause 13), Asian Parliaments for Peace (AAPP) and UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (2016), all acknowledge and safeguard the freedom of speech and press. Likewise constitution of Pakistan safeguards freedom of speech and citizens' right to information under the Article 19 and 19(A). Furthermore in 2014 National Assembly approved the Bill for Protection of journalists.
But despite all laws and legislations, system is still ill-equipped. Violations are common observation; sometime under religious tag or under the banner of national security journalists are bound to withhold the truth. Whether it was Wali khan Babar of Pakistan, Marie Colvin of America, Kenji Goto of Japan killed in Syria, or Daphne Caruana Galizia of Malta, all got punished for exercising their constitutionally secured fundamental right which ultimately claimed their lives while covering either horrors of any conflict or speaking against grave realities of society.
It is the favour from journalist community that public is able to differentiate erroneous acts either on part of their government, military or by any international regime. Investigating and presenting truth, especially in a tyrannical setting is a tough job, still journalists are ready to continue. Therefore, the matter of urgency is to enrich the practical efforts for journalist safety. Additional legislation for filling the loopholes, accountability of government and execution of judiciary, governmental guardianship and insurances on behalf of media houses as well softening of asylum seeking rules must be focal points for straightening the odds for this profession.

The Pakistan Peoples Party congratulates President Xi on re-election as CPC’s General Secretary

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) congratulates Chinese President Xi Jinping on his re-election as the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) congress.
“The PPP extends its warmest good wishes and congratulations to President Xi on his well-deserved re-election. Under President Xi’s steadfast leadership during his first term, China has achieved remarkable economic and development milestones,” said Sherry Rehman.
The Vice-President of the PPPP added, “PPP and CPC have always maintained a special relationship. One which was forged by former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, cemented by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and championed by former President Asif Ali Zardari. Under the leadership of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari we seek to bring our mutual relationship into a brighter future for Pakistan. The PPP will continue to work closely with the CPC as China continues to establish a stronger presence in Pakistan”.
Rehman also commented on the landmark amendment to the Chinese Constitution made during the 19th CPC Congress, saying, “It is remarkable to know that the One Belt-One Road project is now going to be a part of the Chinese Constitution. This is a testament to China’s commitment to achieving regional cohesion and peace through long-term and meaningful economic partnerships. We in PPP could not be more proud to be a part of this landmark vision of President Xi and the CPC”.
“We look forward to further strengthening our ties through bilateral cooperation for our mutual long-term interests of shared prosperity and regional peace,” concluded Senator Rehman.