"In 1919 after WW1, the UK and its allies started redrawing the geographical boundaries of all existing Muslim majority countries" The Friday Times, Plot No 52-53, N-Block, Main Guru Mangat Road, Gulberg II, Lahore, Pakistan. 042.35779186; Fax: 042.35779186, ...


Ending terrorism


For the modern state to govern effectively with complete jurisdiction over its territory, it was established through the process of political evolution that the state alone shall organize, finance and arm a disciplined army in service of the state, appointed in accordance with rules and trained to function strictly in accordance with the rules of discipline and in line with the constitution and the law of land.

After the bitter US Civil War, where private militias raised by warring states clashed and fought a bloody conflict, the country adopted a constitution banning all private militias. This same principle has been adopted by every country, whether functioning as parliamentary democracy or with a presidential system of governance, irrespective of which ideology or faith they follow. The wheel has been invented, and any country that allows private militias to be raised and funded by religious or political parties or groups, with an agenda to fight a war, or as vigilante groups, has always ended up seeing these militias turning against their mentors whenever there has been a conflict of interest.

Pakistan today faces biggest threat from within, by militias allowed to be formed and housed within its territory by the Zia junta, who allowed individual mercenaries to brainwash and recruit young men, training them to wage a war in neighboring country, finance by a superpower eager to avenge its defeat in Vietnam. After the US had achieved its objective, these young men trained only to use weapons, were left stranded, without any financial security or plans for relocation, becoming easy recruits to fight any agenda funded by enemies of Pakistan and few fundamentalist outfits, for whom peace was unacceptable since their funding and nuisance depended on continued state of warfare.

Zia promoted the growth of sectarian, ethnic and regional nationalist groups in order to prevent a unified federal political opposition to challenge his illegitimate rule. The lure of billions of rupees in criminal earnings of some of these private militias in Karachi attracted the Taliban to claim a share in this huge tax-free pie in the financial hub of Pakistan.

Unless and until the Pakistan state, with all its fire power and resources, cracks down on all private militias, terrorism can not be eliminated.




FATA industrialisation


We are living the in modern era with advances having been made in all areas of human activity. It has also been an age of discovery and globalization. By the grace of God, Pakistan is a democratic state which has seen a significant development in the fields of science, arts, sports, politics and warfare. Moreover, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are the most impoverished part of the nation. The region does not have a university nor does it have any system of banks. The area is a major centre for opium trafficking, as well as the smuggling of other contraband. It has also been the hub of militancy, but the Pakistan Army has successfully carried out military operations in the area. There is a dire need to develop and improve infrastructure in the area and provide all kinds of modern facilities to the masses immediately.

The government has a plan to introduce reforms for FATA’s inclusion in Pakistan. The process of industrialisation through a policy of public/private partnership would not only provide employment opportunities and economic benefits, but also assist in bringing the youth of the tribal areas on par with those of developed cities in the rest of the country.

Mansoor Ahmed,




This is in reference to the indictment of the Pakistani elite by former director of the UN Development for Pakistan, Marc Andre, in an interview on the completion of his tenure. He said, “You cannot have an elite that takes advantage of very cheap and uneducated labor when it comes to making money, and when it is time to party it is found in London, and when it’s time to buy property, it invests in Dubai or Europe or New York. The elite needs to decide do they want a country or not.”

His scathing criticism should have awakened their conscience and honor, when he stated that they refuse to pay taxes in Pakistan, but have no shame in seeking investment from UN agencies for water, sanitation, education etc. Very scathing but bitter reality of what ails this country, driving it to financial bankruptcy, creating loopholes to facilitate transfer of wealth, a rising debt which if not curtailed may lead to compromising our sovereignty and national security. Instead of welfare for deprived millions, or investing in development of human resources, the elite with their insatiable greed are involved in welfare of paid civil and khaki bureaucracy and political elite through tax amnesty schemes and allotment of prime real estate for commercial profiteering.

Compare Marc Andre’s comments with the mindset of Senator Yaqoob Khan and his party when he stated that “poor are born to serve the rich” or attitude of senior paid civil bureaucrats and khaki elite while dealing with citizens, whose taxes fund the national exchequer that pays their salaries. An honest survey of individuals owning properties in Dubai, London, Canada, USA etc will reveal that their sole declared sources of earning were in Pakistan. Yet these individuals hold important public offices, while their children holding foreign passports get blue collared jobs and loyalists holding singular Pakistan passport sweat it out to earn a living.

In a country where the documented economy dwarfs when compared to the black economy, the state gives relief to a Rs7 trillion real investment business, which yielded taxes of merely Rs 4 billion, which after increase yields a meager Rs 40 or Rs 70 billion which comes to 0.0057 to 0.01%, with no taxes on profits from plots retained for more than 3 years.

Ali Malik,



Tourism and terrorism


Tourism is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world. It is an important source of income generation, job creation, poverty reduction, foreign exchange earnings and promotion of cross-cultural understanding.

Without any doubt, Pakistan is one of the most naturally beautiful and amazing regions in the world, with attractions like the Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Taxila, Himalayan hills and mountains, Chitral and Hunza valleys, impressive domes of mosques in Lahore and Multan, beautiful lakes and so much more. Pakistan has a lot to offer to the curious eyes of a tourist. After the economic and security crises, tourism decreased greatly as visitors reported the land to be unsafe.

The greatest obstacle to the growth of tourism is the law and order problem. Pakistan has been subject to religious violence in which a number of foreigners have been targeted. There are also many cases where tourists have been physically attacked, robbed and sexually harassed.

The security of foreign tourists should be a major concern for the government. They come here with foreign currency and help Pakistan’s economy. Once they are issued visas, there should not be any extra hurdles in their way to visit places they have come to see. We need to facilitate them and provide them invisible security so that they could enjoy their holidays without any fear and worry. On the other hand, we must also pay serious attention to facilitate our own domestic tourists.

Pakistan has one of the most attractive physical environments in the world but its social environment is not tourism friendly. Foreigners look for an environment in which they can enjoy themselves to the full. This is possible only if all the ingredients of enjoyment are present with the least damage of privacy. This does not mean that we should completely forget our cultural values. We can provide a balance between our values and the demand of the international travelers.

Pakistan does not have a good international image. Image building is a matter of both perception and reality. The reality in Pakistan is not as bad as the perception of it. Therefore, besides improving the tourism environment, we have to erase the negative perception about the country.

Bad roads, flight cancellation and delays, lack of connectivity to various locations, and communication facilities are among the factors that discourage tourists.

What we need here is a good tourism policy and full government support. One of the priorities of new government should be tourism as a leading sector of Pakistan’s economy and help it to bring the tourism industry back on its feet. We can easily defeat terrorism with tourism by creating income and employment opportunities for the people. If the tourism industry grows, other businesses such as hotels, restaurants, transport, handicrafts, shopping centers, and other related businesses will benefit at the same time.

Arslan Nadeem,


Nose dive


The enemy always looks for an opportunity to find a weak area to attack. They carry out thorough reconnaissance to find out the loopholes in the security system before they actually go for action. About three years back, we had a similar attack on Mehran base in Karachi because of similar loopholes and laxity in our security arrangements of the base.

It is our tragedy that we announce red alert on all sensitive sites immediately after an incident and with passage of time we lower our guards.

On such occasions some heads must roll otherwise such intrusions would keep on happening. We should not show any complacency in taking stern action against those who were responsible for the security lapse.

Azhar Khwaja,





The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for polio has stated in its latest report that Pakistan has ‘broken a promise made to its children’. It says four out of five children suffering from polio right now are from Pakistan. Pakistan’s fight against polio is lagging far behind other countries, the report emphatically states.  It has termed the Prime Minister’s Polio Cell a “shadow boxing entity” and recommended establishment of a body to eradicate the crippling disease from the country on the patterns of efforts to cope with a natural disaster.

The IMB, which meets twice a year and consists of nine members who are international experts, reports that the situation in Pakistan is ‘dire’. It holds Pakistan responsible for significantly slowing down the global march towards eradicating polio. “Pakistan’s polio virus has spread to Syria, causing a major outbreak amidst the country’s civil war. Pakistan’s polio virus has also spread to Israel, West Bank and Gaza and Iraq,” the report states, saying “each outbreak overstretched the global program’s resources and credibility”.

The picture depicted by IMB is indeed alarming. All efforts made by successive governments, and all the resources, both national and international, invested for decades to eradicate polio in Pakistan seem to have been rendered ineffective due to a lack of effective implementation of the polio eradication program in the country. Pakistan’s failure to completely eradicate the menacing disease has now acquired global dimensions. Lately, the World Health Organization (WHO) slapped international travel restrictions on Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria over the countries’ failure to control the spread of the deadly virus.

According to WHO rules, it will be mandatory for all residents and long-term visitors (over 4 weeks) from Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria to receive a dose of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) or Inactivated Polio-virus Vaccine (IPV) between 4 weeks and 12 months prior to international travel. Recommendations for the travel restrictions were put forward by a 21-member International Health Regulations Emergency Committee which was formed on the directive of WHO board members in Geneva.

The Government of Pakistan will have to get its act together to quickly and effectively address this issue of vital national and international concern.

M Fazal Elahi,



State failure


The Pakistani state, its political elite and institutions have failed to discharge their constitutional obligations to protect and guard its territorial integrity, defeat nefarious designs of foreign governments for destabilizing it from within with the aid of abettors and facilitators. In 1919 after WW1, the UK and its allies embarked upon the process of redrawing geographical boundaries of all existing Muslim majority countries and are now in a similar exercise to achieve their global strategic objectives.

The fact that the UK government has not taken any action against their national Altaf Hussain, who resides in London, for his hate speech, inciting violence in Pakistan which resulted in the death of one innocent Pakistani in Karachi and injuries to scores of others leaves no doubt that all this is being done with their blessing. His telephonic speech inciting violence and spitting venom and hate against a sovereign country, while addressing his loyalists in America, has also gone unnoticed.

There are numerous security council resolutions and laws within the UK and USA etc where such incitement to violence is a crime. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s political ruling elite and members of powerful establishment and civil bureaucracy of this country are slave to their conflicts of interest, because either their children hold foreign nationalities of these two countries or their properties acquired non- transparent means are located there, making them susceptible to foreign pressures.

The political opposition and few anchors in electronic media asking for extradition of Altaf Hussain or charging him under Article 6, knowing that he is a British citizen, are either playing politics or are incompetent. America which is a super power has not been able to extradite Julian Assange, an Australian citizen involved in WikiLeaks who has sought refuge in the Ecuador embassy in London, is common knowledge. Pakistan as a sovereign country can legislate laws immediately through Presidential Ordinance banning any individual who holds a foreign passport or has sought political asylum, or any other permanent residential status, except on official duty, to head any political party, group or NGO involved in politics of any sort, nor should he be allowed to hold any public office, either paid or elected in Pakistan nor represent this country at any forum.  The question is why this is not being done, and why opposition is not demanding this?