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Wishing Hillary Clinton
in the White House

Columnist Dr S M RAHMAN makes a case for Hillary Clinton to be in the
While House and gives his reasons.

It is a great paradox of the US electoral system that despite very expensive and long drawn system of canvassing by the two rival parties – the Republicans and the Democrats – often an odd independent candidate also runs in the Presidential race, the final contenders emerge through a very complex process of primaries, besides series of debates on electronic media, the ones who gets into the White House are not often the good choices made by the US citizens. Sometimes home issues like inflation and economics assume relatively greater salience over security or otherwise. Bill Clinton won a decisive victory over his rival by his powerful verbal punch: “It’s the economy stupid”. He promised and delivered and never did his credibility diminish, despite the conspiracy to tarnish his personal image during his second tenure through the planting of a young female internee in the White House.......more

Predestination: The Misperceived Doctrine
Columnist Brig (Retd) AFTAB AHMAD KHAN says that the world works on the principle of 'cause and effect' - no one knows his own destiny. Complete knowledge is with Allah alone.

“It is not possible for anyone to believe except by the permission of Allah, and He lays the loathsome evil (of disbelief) upon those who will not use their reason.”
(Qura’n 10:100)

Predestination is the most misconstrued doctrine of theology; the misunderstanding has been catastrophic for people and even nations: “That is because Allah has never changed the grace which He has bestowed on any people until they themselves first changed the condition of their inner selves; verily Allah is Hearer, Knower” (Qur’an 8:53). Predestination has been defined in different ways, according to the Oxford Dictionary, “‘Predestination’, is a doctrine teaching, the action by which God is held to have immutably determined all (or some particular) events by an eternal decree or purpose, specially the preordained salvation of God’s elect. The Destiny is the predetermined course of events; that which is destined to happen; the fate of a particular person, country, etc the ultimate condition; a person’s lot in life........more

Freedoms just another word
for nothing left to lose

Columnist FAZAL HABIB CURMALLY dwells on the politics of Dynasties, Sardars and Nawabs, and hopes that a new group of thinking Pakistani politicians will emerge to serve this country, instead of themselves.

“Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose, nothings good if it ain’t free
– Lines from “Me and Bobby McGee.”

This month, I want to continue where I left off last month and this article is meant to serve as a mirror for all the things we Pakistanis are in the main and there are exceptions. I sincerely hope the National Elections bring about a generational change as far as our political leaders and members to the assemblies go. We need a new way of thinking. My generation has been the bridge for my children and grandchildren. I want them to love this country. I don’t want them to cultivate our bad habits, especially the one of bad mouthing Pakistan. And this will be the subject I am writing on........more

Supporting the World's
Largest Democracy

Dr QADAR BAKHSH BALOCH and M. ZULFIQAR KHAN NIAZI analyze India's Space and Missile technology and conclude that it is not an indigenous effort but the outcome of a number of helpers.

US-India bilateral cooperation in the areas in the areas of civilian space activities, civilian nuclear programs, and high-technology trade and to expand discussions on missile defense is the corner stone of the New Step in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) launched in January 2004. Indian quest to acquire ICBM capability is spanned over more than four decades and is largely based on space launched technology acquired through foreign sources. Though the United States has taken different steps over the last several decades to restrict missile proliferation, but in case of India, the sincerity and inconsistent application of nonproliferation policies have always been criticized at all levels. The ongoing US-Israel space cooperation with India indirectly aims to strengthen and improve its ICBM capabilities-a step necessary for transforming India a global power and tilt the balance of nuclear power in the region.........more

The other side of Benazir Bhutto
Columnist ADNAN ADIL analyzes the politics of Benazir Bhutto and contends that as a politician, she showed little regard for principles.

We have a culture of mourning; and we are very good at it. When someone dies, we dry-clean the person and start showering praise on him ignoring his flip side. So is happening with Ms Benazir Bhutto. It reminds one of a death in a family where all the near and far relatives flock to the funeral and start wailing.
There is a barrage of essays in newspapers shedding tears on her assassination and projecting a larger than life image of her. In a display of hypocrisy, as the commodity abounds in this land of pure, even those journalists who were instrumental in bringing down her two governments and maligning her as an extremely corrupt ruler are now admiring her.

Anatomy of the energy
crisis in Pakistan

Columnist Muhammad Asif looks into the energy crisis in Pakistan that, he says, has not appeared overnight but has developed gradually over the years.

The New Year, 2008, dawns upon Pakistan as it embraces the worst energy crisis of its history.
It happens at a time when energy is considered to be the backbone of human activities and also a vital commodity for the survival of modern economies. The crisis is at its early stages yet it has come down very hard. There is a gap of nearly 4500MW of electricity in the demand and supply equation. Considering the size of the national electricity market, it is a massive shortfall. Typical figures during the first week of January (as declared by Pakistan WAPDA in its daily report) indicate a supply of 7,237MW against a demand of 11,509MW. It indicates a shortage of 40%. The situation with gas supply is not enviable either. The highlights of the underperformance on part of the two sources are load shedding, brown shedding, and lengthy and frequent disruption in their supply. Severity of power shortage can be understood from the fact that even the provincial capitals and major cities are facing power disruption of up to 10 hours. In many cases there is 1-2 hour of power disruption after every 30 minutes. While this is the treatment with cities, the miserable state of the remote areas and smaller towns and villages can well be imagined.
The energy crisis has driven the whole country in a chaotic situation. Any sector in the country one can think about; household, industry, health, agriculture, education, transportation, business, trade and commerce, none is able to get along with routine functions.

Iran Crisis and the
Ummatic Paradigms

Columnist HUMAIRA MASIHUDDIN believes that the Muslim world now has
no choice but to get up and revitalize the Ummatic Paradigm.

About two years ago some lawyers of the Islamabad Bar Association requisitioned a general body meeting to discuss the undue pressure exerted by the IAEA on Iran regarding its nuclear programme. At the end of the debate a resolution was adopted unanimously by the Islamabad Bar declaring that “An attack on Iran will be considered by us to be an attack on Pakistan”. Contrast that with the way the Middle Eastern leaders received the diatribe that Bush launched against Iran, recently.
At the time of the Islamabad Bar resolution Iran was facing a threat which had yet to take shape and direction. That threat has now taken a serious turn. The same rhetorical nonsense that preceded the attack on Iraq has now started poring out of Washington, the capital which has sponsored a record number of terrorist attacks across the globe. Watching Bush’s tour of the Middle East and his engagement with the Arab leaders, it seemed that the concept of the Muslim World had never existed but had been a figment of our collective imagination.........more

Myth of the Loose Nukes
Columnist SALMA MALIK calls upon NCA/SPD for more engagement with opinion makers/audiences to dispel misconceptions about Pakistan's nuclear programme.

It was pretty heartening to watch on the television screen, one of the top men of our national command authority sitting across the table chatting about the Pakistani nukes very nonchalantly, for not only was this the first time ever that an official from this very important institution made a public appearance, but also that hopefully now onwards the work function of NCA or its secretariat - the SPD will no longer remain a sacred cow i.e. by way of providing more transparency. This recent TV appearance was necessitated in response to the many questions and speculations circulating in the foreign press about the security of the Pakistani nuclear assets, which invariably get duplicated by our own media. As the discussion went ahead, various speculative scenarios were brought up, amongst them as to who has the ultimate finger on the button of the Pakistani nukes. One couldn’t help but recall television coverage several years back of the Russian President Yelstin attending Jordanian King Hussain’s funeral with his close aide holding a brief case “chained” to the wrist. For a good five to ten minutes, the entire course of international media coverage was focused on that factor, as Alexander Lebed’s famous briefcase nukes were the most talked about issue at that time........more

India terminates IGMDP
Columnist Gp Capt (Retd) SM HALI gives an insight into India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.

“Dreams float on an
impatient wind,
A wind that wants to create
a new order,
An order of strength and
thundering of fire.”

The lines above are from a poem penned by former Indian President (Dr.) Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, and father of India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. According to Bharat-Rakshak.com, the consortium of Indian Military and Defense websites, “It was the brilliant Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who breathed life into ballistic missiles like the Agni and Prithvi, which put China and Pakistan well under India’s missile range.” Before dwelling upon Dr. Kalam, a brief introduction of IGMDP is in order......more

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