PMW: Serious problems with Misused Funds Report

August 16, 2010

This blog post appeared in Pakistan Media Watch on August 15, 2010

Saturday’s edition of The Nation included an article that claims that
President Zardari has been misusing foreign aid from the 2005
Earthquake. The story has now been picked up by Express Tribune, Dawn,
and others. But where did this story come from, and is it reliable?

The story originated with Dean Nelson, the Telegraph’s South Asia
Editor based in New Delhi, when he wrote for the British newspaper on
Friday that Zardari ‘misused’ over £300 million in foreign aid for
victims of the 2005 earthquake. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/
worldnews/asia/pakistan/7944792/300m-earthquake-aid-misused-by-

Zardari.html)

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Pak Media Watch: How Media Missed Jihadi orchestration of London protest

August 11, 2010

This article appeared in Pakistan Media Watch on August 11, 2010

Outside Zardari’s appearance at the PPP rally in Birmingham, England,
a crowd of protesters gathered to express their opposition to the
president and his message. Inside, crowds chanted their support for
the president. But there was another story that was missed by the
press altogether.

This is a perfect example of how even reputable foreign and Pakistani
news services can misreport stories about Pakistan when they do not
receive the facts from the Pakistani media. Also, it shows how all
media sometimes miss important facts when reporting a story.

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Aniq Zafar: Punjab and anti-US sentiment

August 2, 2010

This article appeared in The News on August 1, 2010

The latest PEW research institute’s survey on the attitudes in Pakistan has brought out some very interesting facts that reflect the difference of world view that the support base of PML-N voters has with the rest of the country.

The survey has found out that while there is till a very high number of Pakistanis that see US as an enemy, anti-US feelings are strongest in Punjab and among PML-N supporters.

About six-in-ten Pakistanis (59%) see the US as an enemy of their country that has been down from 64% in 2009. Only 11% now consider the US as a partner and 16% say it is neither a partner nor an enemy.

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Irfan Hussain: What the Taliban Want

January 24, 2010

This article appeared in Dawn on January 24, 2010

Often, I am asked by readers or friends abroad what the Taliban want. Why, they ask, are they slaughtering hundreds of innocent people wherever they can? What is their purpose? What is their agenda?

The short answer is power. Other excuses for their murderous excesses are a fig-leaf: demands for the Sharia and the expulsion of foreign forces from the region are no more than window-dressing.

These terrorists realise that they cannot achieve power through peaceful, democratic means as they have no support. Even relatively moderate Islamic parties have been repeatedly trounced at the polls in Pakistan. So extremists reject democracy as it does not give them access to power.

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Ayaz Amir:Conscience of the Constitution

January 22, 2010

This article appeared in The News on January 22, 2010

The National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was a dead duck the moment the National Assembly refused to have anything to do with it. If it still needed another shot in the head, a division bench of the Supreme Court (SC) could have done the needful, no extraordinary issue of constitutional theory being involved in the outcome.

But we have not been that lucky, all 17 of their SC lordships hearing the NRO case whose detailed judgment — written by My Lord the Chief Justice — is now out, and about which the shrillest comments are coming from the already committed or the already biased.

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Ayaz Amir: The Road to Hell

January 1, 2010

This article appeared in The News on January 1, 2010

We have a developed talent, honed over the years, for counting the trees and missing the larger picture. We see things in one dimension and forget that there may be other sides to reality. This leads to false conclusions and the begetting of great tragedies.

Let us for argument’s sake accept that Asif Ali Zardari, the luckless president of a luckless country, is the author of a thousand villainies, the darkest thing to have happened to the Islamic Republic. But let us at least weigh his real or presumed infamy in the scales of history before coming to a judgment about what he deserves.
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IA Rehman: Pause, sirs, and ponder

December 25, 2009

 This article appeared in Dawn on December 24, 2009

The fact that in its response to the Supreme Court judgment of Dec 16 the nation is divided cannot be denied, and prudence demands that the causes of this division should not be brushed aside without careful scrutiny.

A large section of society believes that Pakistan has become a corruption-free entity and a judicially controlled democracy while a none-too-small section feels deeply hurt. Much can be said for and against both sides.

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Teresita Schaffer:US-Pakistan partnership: Make it work for both sides

December 22, 2009

This article appeared in Christian Science Monitor on December 22, 2009

President Obama’s Dec. 1 address to the nation correctly listed a partnership with Pakistan as a crucial foundation of policy toward Afghanistan. Sustaining that partnership may be his most formidable challenge.

The Achilles’ heel of our past alliances with Pakistan has been both countries’ unwillingness to confront the discrepancies in their goals. This time, we need to be clear on where our goals do and don’t coincide, and what we are prepared to do about them.

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Ahmad Faruqui – Demonizing America

December 21, 2009

This article appeared in Dawn on December 21, 2009

It was in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran that America was labelled The Great Satan. Judging from current trends, the day is not too far off when America will be given the same moniker in Pakistan. Ever since the US resorted to carrying out drone attacks against terrorist suspects inside Pakistan, vocal condemnations of America have been widespread. The furore over the Kerry-Lugar foreign aid bill brought matters to a head.

 At issue, the corps commanders explained, was the affront to national sovereignty. The nation’s honour had been attacked became the rallying cry. So what if the challenger was the globe’s only superpower? And so what if it was simply trying to strengthen Pakistan’s civil institutions? Their crumbling at the hands of the military had been of great concern to civil society.

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Pervez Musharraf: The Afghan-Pakistan Solution

December 3, 2009

By Pervez Musharraf
This article appeared in The Wall Street Journal on December 1, 2009

My recent trip to the United States has been an enriching experience, during which I had a very healthy discourse with the American public and an opportunity to understand their concerns about the war in Afghanistan. One question I was asked almost everywhere I went was, “How can we stop losing?”

The answer is a political surge, in conjunction with the additional troops requested by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Quitting is not an option.

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