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Ejaz Haider

Strong army, fragile state

General-President Pervez Musharraf, now former on both counts, has set up a political party. If and when he comes to Pakistan to stake a claim on political space, it would be interesting to see how he would interact with the army, the institution he once headed and on whose strength he rose to power and exercised it for eight years. As a general he presented to Pakistan his theory of the army’s place in the system through an epigram: if you want to keep the army out, bring it in. Does


Feeling Chile

Finally, they’re all out. The Chilean miners, whose fate had the world waiting with baited breath, have been lifted out of their rocky underground prison in a truly gripping human drama. One that made for good press as well, as an estimated 1500 journalists were at the scene of this rescue of 33 miners. It is a time of celebration in Chile, as well as the end of a harrowing two-and-a-half months for the families of the trapped miners.
Amongst the nations glued to their screens

Lessons from Turkey

Turkish premier Tayyip Erdogan is in Pakistan where he has expressed full support for post-flood reconstruction. One wonders if Prime Minister Gilani ever asked his Turkish counterpart how his government managed to make some of the outstanding achievements in economy, controlled terrorism, balanced powerful institutions, and turned Turkey into a major player in the Middle East. Since 2003, when Erdogan became Turkey’s Prime Minister, GDP per capita has climbed by 150 percent leading

The XXL cabinet

In a statement yesterday, the PM announced that he had plans to reduce the size of the gargantuan cabinet that the executive arm of the state is labouring under. This upsized version of the cabinet contains an incredible 66 members! It is a tragedy of Greek proportions that we have a 66(!)-member strong cabinet, yet the governance is as bad as it could possibly be.
This cabinet is nothing but a drain on the ledger which Pakistan could not afford even before but can now afford

Cell phone companies

The cell phone companies in the country have been airing ads on TV channels suggesting that one is good while the other is not. They describe their rates as the lowest in the market and each of them claims to be the largest company in the country. I was wondering if each of them is the number one company in the country, then who the number two is. Their rates are not justifiable either. The PTA should bring them to the task immediately as they are fleecing the customers

Facebook, a marvel

Facebook has changed the way people live in the past five years. They have become addicted to Facebook. I don’t think I can name any other site which has boasted this much success in such a short time. It has become a phenomenon for some and a blessing for others. Yet some are using it as a lifestyle.
With a total user base of more than 500 million, almost three times more than our entire population, it has really turned into a digital marvel and wonder. Around 30 million users

Of parks and gardens

Lahore is known for many things. It is the cultural hub of Pakistan. Education, entertainment, film, theater, Mughal era buildings, museum and many other historical places have made the city worth visiting for everyone. One thing that makes it stand out is its parks and gardens but unfortunately, they seem to be neglected these days. There are heaps of dust and litter all around them, the lawns are not mowed and there are no facilities for children to enjoy in these parks.
These

Water crisis

Water is the most important ingredient of life. It helped create the life and it has sustained it so far successfully. There is no doubt that without water, we cannot survive for long. This resource is being wasted without any care in the whole world, particularly in Asia. The recent report claiming that clean water worth US $ 9 bn is being sent to the drain in Asian cities is a sign of alarm and should make this part of the world be more careful.
IFTIKHAR HABIB
Lahore

The Royal Palm fiasco

I am writing this with regard to the Royal Palm scandal that has been surfacing in the news these days. It is has been said by the Parliamentary Committee investigating the matter that the club was built by defrauding the government on Railways land, with the connivance of a few big names in the Army and Railway Dept back then. Shaukat Aziz and other such names were leading the lights. This sprawling course representing the decadence of the rich and careless in Pakistan epitomizes

Congratulations

Dear Editor,
It was a tremendous experience to read such a nice newspaper. It was like reading an international newspaper. I really appreciate your innovative approach towards Pakistani journalism. I went through the Pakistan Today’s Sunday edition and it was superb, more than my expectations. I liked it in the first sight. The paper quality impressed me a lot. ‘The Lounge’ is a beautiful and complete magazine. The first impression is great and I wish you and your team all the

Talent shows vs dance shows

The recent increase in the TV programmes that have started various dance compettiotons under the pretext of talent shows is not what Islam teaches us. Bringing to fore the young children of ripe age and asking them to pair up with the opposite sex and then dance to win an award is tantamount to inciting them to be immoral in their actions and thinking.
Islam clearly prohibits such actions and being an Islamc state, the government shold also put a ban on these shows.
SAAD

Elders in our age

It is a fact, as strange as it may sound, that we have lost the appeal and respect for elders in our society. The youth is busy in their education, sports activities, internet, and mobile phones. They like to sit in front of a PC or TV instead of talking to a real person who may even help them in the ways of the world. Their mind is more inquisitive and they are far more adventurous than our lot but nothing matches experience. Most of us feel being shunned out of our lively lives


Kuldip Nayar

Order in the House?

Indian legislatures have been a spectacle of hooliganism, members fighting on the floor of the house, forcibly removing the Speaker from his chair or raising slogans to drown the proceedings in the noise engineered. But never before did any assembly make a sham of no-confidence vote to save the government.
This happened a few days ago in the state of Karnataka, which is equal to Germany in area. The vote of no-confidence was against the ruling BJP. The government summoned the


Taimoor Ashraf

Delusions, realities

Deluding ourselves is our national past-time. The inability to separate wishes with facts which makes us make wrong diagnoses of the ills afflicting our society. This, in turn, exacerbates our daily lives by making us feel more helpless at our present state of affairs. The following are a couple of examples of the collective delusions that afflict us.
Delusion: Pakistan is a sovereign country.
Reality: Really, do you think so? And just what was it that you put down as


Nazir Naji

Black October

It’s been a string of them, Octobers filled with darkness. The first such October was witnessed by our nation in 1951 when Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in Rawalpindi. This set in motion a tradition such that Pindi became a monument to the martyrdom of elected Prime Ministers. It was the city of choice for the martyrdom of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his daughter Benazir. All three of them belonged to Sindh. This is, ofcourse, only to count the successful attempts, not all the other

False predictions

October 13th came and went. Yet another date has passed. The government did not fall. Some from the commentariat are seething with rage; others are pretending to be relieved. Some are embarrassed at having made yet another incorrect prediction, while a minority from within them have the sort of smirk only an I-told-you-so can bring about.
To paraphrase the great economist Milton Friedman, you don’t judge a model by the validity of its assumptions but by the accuracy of its

Land reforms

While the MQM has been accused by its opponents of using the issue of land reforms as a gimmick, it goes to its credit to have raised a highly relevant question that major political parties continue to ignore. In a way, it is easier for the MQM to take up cudgels in support of land reforms as it is an urban party not in need of support from the powerful landlord lobby. One wonders why the MQM which has been a part of almost every administration since 1988 took so long to raise an

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