Awaam Blog is a forum to discuss and rethink the issues and concepts concerning norms and values, which have crept into the body of religious, social and cultural corpus. These combined with ignorance and stagnant intellect have restricted and hindered the pursuit of human welfare & happiness. We aim to rethink every issue with free mind.
Despite hundreds of attacks and the deaths of thousands of Pakistanis, there is still a great deal of confusion about the number, nature and end goals of the militant organisations operating in Pakistan. For some, they remain figments of a fevered imagination. To others they are proxies of foreign powers.
This belief has not come out of the blue. It is part of an obscurantist narrative the state itself created and propagated. The problem with this narrative is that while it may have delegitimised some jihadi groups within public ranks, it is counter productive in the long run for a number of reasons. First of all, it fails to address the very ideology that promotes militancy and hence the state’s failure to present an effective counter-ideology. Secondly, the jihadi groups simply have to prove that the state-promoted narrative is a “baseless lie” to win recruits, as indicated by scores of interviews of jihadis. The fact is that these groups are very much in existence and the ones who carry out attacks against Pakistan’s civilians and armed forces have a clear and stated objective: to dominate and overthrow the Pakistani state.
Unfortunately, the state has also promoted a concept of “good” and “bad” militants. This narrative itself has been problematic. There are often strong links between the “good” and “bad” jihadis that also take the form of material, logistical, manpower and other support.
As Pakistan debates engaging the Islamist militants in the tribal areas and beyond, it is imperative that the policy-makers as well as the public understand the militant groups and their interrelations.
The following is an interactive of the militant landscape of Pakistan. Click on each group for more information:
یک طوطا اور مینا کا گزر ایک ویرانے سے ہوا، وہ دم لینے کے لئے ایک ٹنڈ منڈ درخت پر بیٹھ گئے- طوطے نے مینا سے کہا “اس علاقے کی ویرانی دیکھ کر لگتا ہے کہ الوؤں نے یہاں بسیرا کیا ہو گا”
ساتھ والی شاخ پر ایک الو بیٹھا تھا اس نے یہ سن کر اڈاری ماری اور ان کے برابر میں آ کر بیٹھ گیا- علیک سلیک کے بعد الو نے طوطا اور مینا کو مخاطب کیا اور کہا “آپ میرے علاقے میں آئے ہیں، میں ممنون ہوں گا اگر آپ آج رات کا کھانا میرے غریب کھانے پر تناول فرمائیں”-
اس جوڑے نے الو کی دعوت قبول کر لی- رات کا کھانا کھانے اور پھر آرام کرنے کے بعد جب وہ صبح واپس نکلنے لگے تو الو نے مینا کا ہاتھ پکڑ لیا اور طوطے کو مخاطب کر کے کہا ” اسے کہاں لے کر جا رہے ہو، یہ میری بیوی ہے”
یہ سن کر طوطا پریشان ہو گیا اور بولا ” یہ تمہاری بیوی کیسے ہو سکتی ہے، یہ مینا ہے اور تم الو ہو، تم زیادتی کر رہے ہو”
اس پر الو اپنے ایک وزیر با تدبیر کی طرح ٹھنڈے لہجے میں بولا “ہمیں جھگڑنے کی ضرورت نہیں، عدالتیں کھل گئی ہوں گی- ہم وہاں چلتے ہیں، وہ جو فیصلہ کریں گی، ہمیں منظور ہوگا”
طوطے کو مجبوراً اس کے ساتھ جانا پڑا- جج نے دونوں طرف کے دلائل بہت تفصیل سے سنے اور آخر میں فیصلہ دیا کہ مینا طوطے کی نہیں الو کی بیوی ہے- یہ سن کر طوطا روتا ہوا ایک طرف کو چل دیا- ابھی وہ تھوڑی ہی دور گیا تھا کہ الو نے اسے آواز دی “تنہا کہاں جا رہے ہو، اپنی بیوی تو لیتے جاؤ”- طوطے نے روتے ہوئے کہا “یہ میری بیوی کہاں ہے، عدالت کے فیصلے کے مطابق اب یہ تمہاری بیوی ہے”
اس پر الو نے شفقت سے طوطے کے کاندھے پر ہاتھ رکھا اور کہا “یہ میری نہیں، تمہاری ہی بیوی ہے، میں تو صرف یہ بتانا چاہتا تھا کہ بستیاں الوؤں کی وجہ سے ویران نہیں ہوتیں بلکہ اس وقت ویران ہوتی ہیں جب وہاں سے انصاف اٹھ جاتا ہے ۔”
Because of repeated direct or indirect authoritarian interventions during Pakistan’s history, its parliaments have either been absent, short-lived or rubber stamps for the military’s policies, their proceedings hollowed out and meaningless. Even under civilian rule, an overactive judiciary has repeatedly encroached on parliamentary prerogatives, while the executive branch has dominated the governance agenda; legislative advice and consent has been more a matter of form than substance. Five and a half years after the democratic transition began in February 2008, the legislature is still developing its institutional identity. The thirteenth National Assembly (2008-2013), led by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was far more assertive. Some of the most prominent committees exercised their authority to oversee the executive and to engage the public. But the political system will remain unstable so long as the legacy of military rule is kept alive. The current legislature must resume the unfinished work of democratic reform if it is to fully restore parliamentary sovereignty and stabilise a volatile polity. Continue reading →
Syria coverage in America’s newspapers is the latest example of purportedly neutral, “objective” press coverage that’s bursting with contestable assumptions, often without the reporters and editors involved quite realizing their biases. The core news: President Obama asked Congress to vote on intervening in Syria. The way it’s being framed in accounts billed as straight news? Continue reading →
Elizabeth M. Gilbert is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist, and memoirist best known for 2006 memoir “Eat, Pray, Love”. It is a sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery, as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote, and impression. Ironically, but understandably, she did not travel to Pakistan and instead preferred Italy, India, and the Indonesian Island of Bali and came up with this brilliant piece of writing. However, had she been crazy enough to travel to our ‘land of the pure’ and able to return in one piece back home, she certainly would have come up with a much more powerful book titled “Loot, Pray, Love”. Continue reading →
Hydropower is the cheapest way to generate electricity today and hydroelectric power provides almost one-fifth of the world’s electricity. Pakistan is, of course blessed with an abundance of renewable energy potential, but so far this remains unharnessed, except for a few large hydroelectric projects. After the construction of the Tarbela Dam, not a single big hydropower project has been carried out during the last 40 years, except Ghazi Barotha. According to the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan (WAPDA), two-thirds of the country’s electricity is today produced from fossil fuels, and just one-third from hydro. Continue reading →
One does not need to have Masters Degree to read the sign boards to find ways and get direction. For writing a simple letter or statement to communicate, one does not need to have a bachelor’s degree. And one can run a small shop of his own even if he does not possess a business degree.
But all what is needed to do that is ability to read and write and perform basic calculations.
And that’s what we, through the SLP, have aimed to start with… heading towards the goal of ‘education for every child’ in Pakistan. Continue reading →
Today is Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday, but forget the crocodile tears from the U.S. government about Mandela’s poor health. Imperialist diplomacy with all of its sugar-coated phrases is nothing more than a form of historical perjury. Continue reading →
By Ghazala Akbar: Hundreds of lives lost, homes destroyed and we are not even in the first quarter of the year. In other countries this would constitute a national emergency. Heads would roll, governments might fall but in Pakistan, it’s just another bad day at the office. We are as they say a very resilient people. Very. There is no other option. When you are down, the only way is up. That’s what an optimist like the late Parveen Rahman might have said. Parveen who? Exactly. In the recent tsunami of violence, it’s easy to forget. Coming hard on the heels of back to back bombings of Shia neighbourhoods in Karachi and Quetta plus the burning of homes belonging to Christian families in Lahore, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep count or remember names. Continue reading →
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani skiers clinched two top positions at a skiing competition called Dream Programme – 2013 held in Gangwon Province, the Republic of Korea, said a press release on Monday.
President Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) Air Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan congratulated Noor Muhammad and Shah Hussain of Naltar Ski School who won the gold and silver medals respectively at the event. He hoped that the success would significantly boost the SFP’s ventures in national and international ski events.The winning skiers also met with the Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Choong-joo Choi who appreciated the performances of the budding players.The Dream Programme was initiated by Gangwon Province in 2004 to promote winter sports in countries where winter sports facilities were not fully developed. Pakistan joined the programme in 2011.
This year, around 150 participants from 40 countries took part in the training after which athletes were divided into groups and competitions were held among them.
The great American torture debate has been rekindled by the nationwide release of “Zero Dark Thirty,” the hot new movie about the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden.The US military’s “Shock and Awe” campaign began by bombing targets in Baghdad, March, 2003. (Image: Corbis via BBC) But all the fussing over whether or not the movie condones, glorifies, and/or misrepresents torture is trivial, because the United States’ use of torture after 9/11 is trivial in the context of larger U.S. crimes.
Let me be clear: I don’t support torture. I think torture is immoral. I think government officials who ordered or condoned torture should be held accountable. Torture crosses a line that should not be crossed. Continue reading →