Thursday, February 16, 2017

Country isolated due to flawed policies

Country isolated due to flawed policies

KARACHI: Two leading former Pakistani diplomats had an interesting interaction during a session on foreign policy and economy at the Karachi Literary Festival, disagreeing on a host of issues, including the nuclear policy and role of the security establishment, but agreed, along with the third panellist, that the country today stood isolated because of flawed policies.
From the very start of the discussion it was quite clear that there would be some serious disagreement, if not fireworks, on the way the country has been run by the ruling elite, particularly the military establishment.
Ambassadors Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and Zafar Hilali took very different positions on what ailed Pakistan, and its foreign and security policies. And to add a new dimension to the debate, scholar Dr Zia Mian added the nuclear factor, stating that the policy was not only dangerous, but was also one of the main reasons for slow progress in the country.
As was expected, Mr Hilali was quick to respond and strongly advocated that Pakistan should maintain its nuclear deterrence to offset India’s superiority in conventional weapons.
Mr Hilali sounded emotional when he said: “With [Narendra Damodardas] Modi [at the helm], look at the situation the Muslims in India are living in. They are creating another Pakistan within India. Only I’m not saying this, Christians are saying this; human rights people are saying this. I would rather be dead than live as a Muslim in Modi’s India. If you did not have nuclear weapons, India would have gobbled you up by now. India can wipe the floor within two weeks because of the strength they have.”
Giving the example of India, where after the Mumbai attacks and consequent talk of a looming nuclear war between the two neighbours, billions of dollars were withdrawn from the stock exchange there, the former diplomat acknowledged that no foreigner would invest in a country that could potentially be turned into a nuclear holocaust.
“But when India keeps pressure on us through terrorism financing in Balochistan, through the TTP; if they keep us destabilised, you have to strike back in some way. Operationalise your tactical weapons. Move them up if necessary. If you see their troops massing on border for an attack, don’t you honestly think you should not use your tactical weapons? Why not? What are they for? You use it, or you lose it.”
Nuclear physicist Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, a bitter opponent of nuclearisation who was sitting among the audience, took umbrage at the suggestion and when given the mike to speak, he argued against Pakistan having nuclear weapons. Disagreeing with the speaker over the situation in India, he said: “More Muslims are being killed in Pakistan than in India.”
Mr Qazi, a columnist and former ambassador to the United States and India, said he agreed with Mr Hilali that Pakistan should have at least the minimum nuclear deterrence, but what he disagreed with was the suggestion to use tactical weapons. Once such weapons were used, they would inevitably lead to a nuclear war. “India has already threatened that in response to the use of tactical weapons, it will use the weapon of its own choice.”
He also said: “We have to look at our challenges in much deeper and broader context rather than choose efficient bombs.”
He explained how Pakistan’s foreign policy, being part of national policy, was formulated in which besides the security and intelligence agencies, the bureaucracy also played a role.
He said there was no doubt that Pakistan had been a security state since its inception because of its geographical location and its policies had been driven by security concerns. He suggested that Pakistan should take measures to strengthen both its security and economy.
He said the government should invest enough in the health, education and social sectors.
Mr Hilali said that while keeping India at bay through nuclear deterrence, Pakistan could focus on its development.
He criticised the government’s economic and security policies. He assailed the prime minister for taking pride in a strong currency and remarked: “Where in the world does a country have a strong currency and a weak economy?”
Discussing India’s growing relations with countries such as the United States, Afghanistan and Iran, he claimed that even the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistanis had invested billions of dollars, had drifted to India’s side. “The UAE has even offered India its port to carry out ‘surgical strikes’ in Pakistan, though there has been no word on it from our government,” he said.
Ilhan Niaz, an author and teacher at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, was the moderator.
Published in Dawn

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ch Parvez Elahi Address at Enthusiastic PML Workers Convention 2017

Entire nation should offer collective prayer like for rain for ouster of the rulers, patients are told to come to hospital bringing cot, bed, medicine from home: Address at enthusiastic workers convention
Pakistan Muslim League (PML) senior central leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Ch Parvez Elahi has said the nation will get riddance of incompetent rulers if whole of opposition is united, for their ouster entire nation needs to arrange for offering collective “dua” like was done for rain. Ch Parvez Elahi Address at Enthusiastic PML Workers Convention 2017 Addressing a very big quite enthusiastic Workers Convention in Gujranwala today, he said that during our tenure even poor patient was taken to the hospital on ambulance where free medicines were provided to him even injecting costing up to Rs 10 thousand was also given free, but now the patient is told to come to the hospital along with cot, bed and medicines from home. He said that there are neither beds nor medicines in the hospitals now, patients are breathing last lying on cold floor, Shehbaz Sharif has not been able to start our established 1122 Service even after ruling the Punjab for 15 years, we had provided free education up to matric, undertaken unparalleled works for welfare and well-being of the people of all fields including farmers and workers and provided revolutionary facilities, our established Wazirabad Cardiology Hospital is not being allowed to become functional due to personal ego by Shehbaz Sharif due to which so far more than 8 thousand persons hailing from Gujranwala and adjoining areas have died due to heart attacks, Shehbaz Sharif “suffers from blood pressure on seeing plaques of my tenure, he should remove plaques of my name but should not block projects of peoples’ welfare because our plaque is in the heart of the people”, if overhead bridge was being constructed in Lahore instead of Gujranwala it would have been completed long ago, Punjab allocated budget is being spent on show off and dollars making projects in Lahore. Ch Parvez Elahi Says Shehbaz Sharif Has Not Been Able to Start Our Established 1122 Service Even After Ruling The Punjab for 15 years   Continuing, he said that N-League has the greatest enmity with the farmers, Kisan Package was announced in the name of Patwari Package, “I earnestly appeal to every Pakistan to stay away from N-League in the next election otherwise even future generations will not forgive them.” Ch Parvez Elahi asked the opposition to brush aside personal ego and go together unitedly and Almighty Allah will bless them with “barkat in their work”, N-League will run away and prestige of opposition will be enhanced. Ch Parvez Elahi Says Wazirabad Cardiology Hospital is Not Being Allowed to Become Functional Due to Personal Ego by Shehbaz Sharif He pointedly stated that whichever scheme was started during our tenure is still functional, we were providing job opportunities to ten lakhs people every year, Shehbaz Sharif had started 9 schemes all of which have failed, Nandipur power Project, Bahawalpur Solar Power Project and Sahiwal projects all have failed, what other cities of Punjab will get from Orange Line, people do not need show off projects like jangla bus, they need medicines in hospitals and education in schools, N-League people are involved in Panama Case, all those who were mentioned in this case had resigned but they are sticking to the chair for last six months. Ch Parvez Elahi said N-League Kisan Package was Announced in The Name of Patwari Package He said that we had started Sialkot-Lahore Motorway on which two foreign universities were also to be established which were shifted to India because of their incompetency, incompetent Chief Minister has put Punjab under heavy debt of Rs 2000 billion. Paying rich tributes to active colleagues, he said that our party needs workers like Zain Ali Bhatti. Ch Parvez Elahi was enthusiastically welcome by chanting of loud slogans and showering on flower petals. The Convention was also addressed by Tariq Bashir Cheema, Ch Zaheeruddin and Khawaja Waqarul Hassan while those seated on the stage on this occasion included Muhammad Basharat Raja, Zain Ali Bhatti, Bao Rizwan, Mian Imran Masood, Tanveer Azam Cheema, Col (R) Abbas, Hussain Elahi, Zubeida Ehsan, Irfan Ehsan, Ch Zulfiqar Pappan, Haji Shakir Mobeen, Ch Nasir Inayat Sira advocate, Engineer Shehzad Ali and other party leaders. Venue of the convention was packed to capacity and large number of women were also seated on nearby houses roofs Earlier on arrival at the venue Ch Parvez Elahi was enthusiastically welcome by chanting of loud slogans and showering on flower petals. Convention participants kept raising repeatedly slogans of Ch Shujat Hussain, Moonis Elahi, Pakistan Muslim League Zindabad and Go Nawaz Go. Venue of the convention was packed to capacity and large number of women were also seated on nearby houses roofs

Friday, January 13, 2017

Om Puri Tribute by Moonis Elahi, Meesha Shafi, Fahad Mustafa and Others

Om Puri, a veteran Bollywood actor passed away on 6th January 2017 after a massive heart attack which proved to be fatal for the 66 years old. His close friend and film maker Ashoke Pandit was the first to announce the sad news on Twitter. ashok
The new year 2017 proved to be a woeful start for the family and actors from both sides of the border mourned the great loss. The social media site Twitter was flooded with his admirers both Indians and Pakistani expressing grief over the news of the demise of the legendary actor. He was a versatile actor who had played many roles during his career and became liked by everyone who watched his movies. ompuri
According to Times of India, Om Puri has returned yesterday from a film shooting and in the morning, when he didn't answer the door bell, the driver became curious and raised the alarm. Puri's body was taken to Cooper Hospital where he was announced dead and a postmortem revealed the cause of his untimely death. According to his friends, his funeral will be held at 6 PM. shabana-azmi
His versatility knew no boundaries and he had worked with many Pakistani actors and actresses. The Actor In Law co-star Fahad Mustafa said — remembered him for his work and "humble and loving nature", it was a Pakistani film and OM Puri was a catalyst for its success. Others within the industry also poured in their love for the veteran saying he was a role model for spreading love and peace between the two countries. meesha-shafi
 Aside from his Bollywood activities, he is also known to have raised his voice against the ongoing brutalities in Kashmir at the hands of Indian Army. His statement in the favor of innocent Kashmiris and contradicting state policies left him in hot waters. It wasn't taken lightly and people from all walks of life started condemning him saying he had spoken ill against the Indian army. His brave move to speak up the truth landed him in a miserable condition. time-of-india
Moonis Elahi had appreciated his remarks and had said he had spoken for the unheard voices. He said the actor gave their media a frenzy and the Hindu extremists had a hay day over it. Nevertheless, a single person cannot fight against his nation and he had to apologize for it. The demise of the actor has caused grief on both sides of the border and people are paying tribute to the legend who not only did well in the movies, but also tried to be helpful to the helpless Kashmiris.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Moonis Elahi Condemns PIA Corruption Filled Airplane Purchases

Moonis Elahi Condemns PIA Corruption

The recent deal of Iran Air for the purchase of 100 passenger planes with Airbus has exposed the corruption within PIA. The deal clearly highlighted purchasing the new airplanes at half the cost of what the national flag carrier reported on the purchase of second hand air planes. Moonis Elahi condemned the corruption that has come to light in view of the deal with Iran's national flag carrier. Paying double the price of a new airplane to purchase second hand airplanes clearly exposes the level of corruption within the institution. The deal-makers should be apprehended and questioned for the waste of money.
PIA already suffers huge criticism on how it operates by the nation. The crash of PK661 has created an outrage by the public over the pathetic conditions of the planes being used. Moonis Elahi said PIA has thousands of staff who are being paid every month from the national exchequer but they aren't performing. Being hired on political affiliations has ruined the institution because there are not only more people appointed than is needed, they have formed unions within which do not let them work but indulge in politics. It is high time the government must take action against all those who do not meet the criteria and filter the black sheep within.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

what will happen to Junaid Jamshed's fashion empire After his death

When Junaid Jamshed passed away on December 7, he left behind an extensive legacy: a wealth of music, an exhaustive and controversial history as an evangelist and a divided set of fans.
Some have been reminiscing about his music, others recalling his sermons and amidst all these conflicting eulogies, there are the aficionados who frequent his J. stores.
By no length of the imagination can the J. – Junaid Jamshed – entourage of outlets be considered the savviest contenders in the local high-street. Although the brand has a hold over good quality fabric it has lately showed a predilection for a mish-mash of multi-colors that isn’t always aesthetically pleasing.

And yet, there’s no denying J.’s growing strength. The brand, at present, has a whopping 100 stores, stocking unstitched women’s fabric, prĂȘt for men, women and children, perfumes and a recently launched makeup range. According to the official website, 57 of these stores are scattered about the country while the rest are international standpoints, dotted about the U.S.A., the Middle East and even ‘down under’ in Melbourne, Australia.
In the clustered PR wars that perpetually rage through the high street, one often takes note of a Khaadi or a Sapphire spreading its wings, but in the meantime, J. has been expanding quietly and much more impressively than its competitors.
J, rings in Independence Day in one of their international stores

J, rings in Independence Day in one of their international stores

“Most other brands have franchises abroad,” points out J.’s CEO Sohail Hamid, “while we own all our stores.” That’s quite an achievement – one lauds local retailers for expanding but most of them merely strike deal with international franchisees. The fact that the brand owns all its stores is indicative of its retail strength.
It’s also indicative of how a lot of people love multi-colours.

There’s also no denying that a considerable segment of the label’s fan following are enamored by the late Mr Jamshed’s persona. He may have had switched focus from a musical career to a religious one but Junaid Jamshed continued to remain in the spotlight.
“The mike has stayed with me,” he was known to say. “Earlier, it would be used to sing songs and now, to relay religious messages.”
Amongst the usual milieu that frequents the high-street, one especially observes a strong religious contingent at the J. stores: women with veils and hijabs, bearded men, the avid audience of Junaid’s sermons who extend their love by buying from the man’s eponymously named store.
The brand itself has often made allusions towards religion. While all and sundry chose top models for their lawn shoots, J. billboards have been known to feature brilliantly coloured kites in lawn prints and more recently, the unfathomable images of cars festooned with lawn designs. This was also the brand that initiated the use of beheaded models on their billboards – since images of faces are ‘unreligious’ – eliciting wisecracks but also starting off a trend that was later followed by other brands like Tarzz.

But what will become of the burgeoning J. empire now that the brand’s representative and shareholder Junaid Jamshed has passed away?
“Over the past few years, Junaid Bhai wasn’t very involved in the day to day running of the business,” tells Hamid, who was Junaid’s partner in the business. “He was busy with his religious work that would involve a great deal of traveling. Nevertheless, he was a director and a shareholder and we were using his name for which he would be given a royalty."
"I do believe that our business has thrived because of his personality and the sacrifices he made in his life. People truly loved him and will continue to do so and it is obvious that he is one of the main reasons why customers have been drawn to our brand. They keep coming, though, because they like our product lines.”
“Now that he is no more, we will continue to use his name to represent our label and hope to grow from strength to strength.”
Following Junaid Jamshed’s death, the brand observed a three-day mourning period during which the stores remained closed. They are now up and running again. “We will persist with staying true to the values that have always defined our brand,” promised Hamid.

The J. store at Dolmen Mall, Karachi
The J. store at Dolmen Mall, Karachi
Overshadowed by Junaid Jamshed’s persona, the J. stores are a retail success story that have often been overlooked. Or perhaps it’s just the blinding effusion of multi-colours that they tend to use. Without Junaid Jamshed’s celebrity status to propel it forward, perhaps J. should now endeavor to hold on to its considerable market by focusing on better fashion; stronger aesthetics and more coherent colour schemes.
In our fluctuating economy, we can only boast a few bona fide success stories. J.’s story is inspirational and reflective of Pakistan’s growing predilection for the high-street – one would want to see it continue to grow and become more aesthetically sound.

Women safety app to be launched today 2016

Women safety app to be launched today 2016

LAHORE: The Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit, in collaboration with the Punjab Safe Cities Authority and the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), will launch the Women Safety Smart Phone Application on Wednesday (tomorrow).

The application will allow women to notify the Police Integrated Command, Control and Communication (PPIC3) officials regarding the kind of harassment they are subjected to along with their exact geographic location.

The law enforcement agencies will dispatch a team of first responders to immediately tackle the situation upon receiving the notification.
The application has been comprehensively designed to allow women to report any experiences that renders the public space unsafe for them.
Published in Dawn January

US initiates process for resolving Pakistan-India water dispute

US initiates process for resolving Pakistan-India water dispute

WASHINGTON: The US administration has initiated the process for peacefully resolving the current water dispute between India and Pakistan without waiting for an invitation to do so, official sources told Dawn.
The latest dispute concerns two hydroelectric power plants — Kishanganga and Ratle — that India is building on the Indus rivers system. Pakistan believes that the projects violate the design parameters of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), which provides specific criteria for such plants.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry called Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and discussed with him different options for an amicable settlement of the dispute. After the call, US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale also met Mr Dar in Islamabad at the finance ministry for further talks.
The initiative stems from the fear the US administration shares with the World Bank that the dispute, if dragged, may harm the treaty that has effectively resolved water disputes between India and Pakistan for more than half a century.
The IWT is a water-distribution agreement between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank and signed in Karachi on Sept 19, 1960. It recognises the bank as the main arbitrator and suggests appointing neutral experts and a court of arbitration for resolving disputes.
Pakistan has asked the World Bank to appoint chairman of the court of arbitration while India has demanded appointment of a neutral expert.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim wrote to the finance ministers of India and Pakistan, informing them that he has ‘paused’ the requested arbitration and asked them to decide by the end of January how they wanted to settle the dispute.
On Dec 23, Finance Minister Dar told the bank that Pakistan was not withdrawing its request and since the process had already been “inordinately delayed,” the bank should appoint chairman of the court of arbitration as soon as possible.
Two days later, Dr Kim called Mr Dar for further talks, followed by Secretary Kerry who called the finance minister during the Christmas holidays.
It is unusual for a US official to do so, particularly because the Obama administration completes its final tenure on Jan 20.
Usually, the outgoing administration leaves such issues for the incoming administration to tackle.
“But seriousness of this dispute, particularly the fear that it may harm the treaty, forced Mr. Kerry to make this call,” an official source told Dawn.
Diplomatic observers in Washington say that since the United States has facilitated the Indus Waters Treaty, it feels obliged to take a proactive role in this matter.
The treaty requires appointment of chairman of the court of arbitration and its three members within 60 days after a disputing party asks for arbitration.
If the two countries fail to appoint umpires, the two parties prepare a draw of lots and request a “person” mentioned in the treaty to select the umpire.
While the chairman can be selected by either the secretary general of the United Nations or president of the World Bank, technical members can be selected from a draw of lots by president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or rector of the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London.
The legal umpire can be selected from a draw of lots by either chief justice of the United States or lord chief justice of England.
Pakistan took its case to the World Bank in Sept 2016, urging the bank to prevent India from making illegal constructions on Neelum and Chenab rivers.
The differences on the designs of the two plants were discussed but could not be resolved in the 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th and 112th meetings of the Permanent Commission for Indus Waters, comprising one commissioner from each country, which is responsible for the implementation of the treaty.
Secretary-level talks followed but they also failed.
On Aug 19, Pakistan formally requested the government of India to refer the dispute to the court of arbitration, as provided in Article IX of the treaty.
The Indian media reported in September that New Delhi had decided to suspend water talks until “Pakistan-sponsored terror” in India ends.
And last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also threatened to choke the flow of water into Pakistan if it does not stop terrorists. This caused Islamabad to fear that India was determined to complete the two plants and was buying time to do so by dragging the talks.
Pakistan wants a court of arbitration, instead of a neutral expert, because only the court can take a decision that’s legally binding.
An expert can only give a technical opinion, giving India more time to complete the projects.
Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2017