Tourism & its problems in Northern Areas of Pakistan!

Hi,

Copy of letter sent to PSO Customer Services.

for yr info. Make sure you carry a can of fuel with you!

PSO is in a monopoly position in the NAs. Time Caltex, Shell, Attock, etc, spread out in these areas. Please forward to them if possible.

Romano

Sir,

I am writing to complain about the serious issue we faced at Gorikot on the 22nd of this month. I, along with my two fellow travelers, as well as a German tourist, all on motorbikes, arrived at Gorikot PSO around 9 in the morning, intending to fuel up our motorbikes before proceeding to the Deosai Plains.

The pump attendant said they had NO petrol.

PSO Gorikot

While we were standing around wondering what to do next, a local of the Area drove up in his car, asked for petrol, and got it. The attendant then proceeded to fill our motorbikes too.

This kind of behaviour is unacceptable. Petrol is an essential commodity, and I am sure there are rules that govern its sale. Your staff is either discouraging tourism in the area, or is encouraging black marketing of fuel. We had earlier been told to buy it from local resellers in town (a common practice in the Northern Areas), and the going price is Rupees 80 per liter!

I am attaching a scanned copy of the receipt. My fellow travelers will be happy to confirm my story.

9119_141986739590_732579590_2484045_1332810_n

Incidentally, this is my third trip to the NAs 6 weeks. The PSO at Naran NEVER has petrol, yet the local shopkeepers seem to have a unending supply, all at Rupees 80 a liter.

Your comments?

K Yusuf

0333 510 3820

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I say dig him up and clone him!!

THIS IS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE……….


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Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year..

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale. (sic. Illinois )

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!
I say dig him up and clone him!!

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Shortages in Public Protection, Water and God Knows what else!

These days we are so bombarded by the Media about the shortages that we are facing, that we can no more react appropriately! Therein lies the salvation of the Government, as long as the public are so dazed by all the chaos eminating from the shortage drama, we the people can t recover and react to bring down the government and throw out the useless people who have failed to give us the stability we so desperately need!

The crimes against citizen’s lives has shot up! never before have we read, heard, and learnt of people being murdered as we do now! In short the agency paid to protect the public has failed! Police is too occupied providing protection to public servants and politicians, they have less or no time for us, the people of pakistan who pay their wage bills, ie their fancy bungalows, their latest cars their allowances, cell phones, and heaven knows what other perks they sneak off with !!!

The Sugar & Flour crisis has also been manipulated by the landed and industrial mafia who also sit in the halls of power, it is my submission, that all these so called shortages are attempts to buldoze their demands down the people and governments throat, where they already have support so the ones that end up getting hit the hardest are the lowest of the low who already barely survive! Manipulation is the name of the game! another one that raises its ugly head is the Petroleum Price! dont forget them!

While on the subject of shortages, the other day the PM got the opportunity to drop a couple of clangors! in a very nonchalant manner in passing! Yes I have already shared my concerns with you on the gravest crisis yet to shake up our Motherland, WATER . I dont just mean drinking water, I mean waters of our rivers that have already begun to run dry and  villages are cropping up on the alluvial soil of their beds!

Indus Basin Water Treaty1

For those of you who had yet to see the light of day back in 1962, the Indus Water basin Treaty will hold no significance except the comments that are made in passing; at the time, as public servant had the guts to question the then government about their plans to sign the treaty, he was subsequently threatened with his life, and told to stay silent, and to his dying day he spoke of the wrong that was perpetuated through its signing. He was none other than the renowned Masud Khaddarposh, the only public servant who spoke in the interest of the down-trodden and the harm to the Motherland, his notes of dissent on the Hari repost and the Indus water Treaty are on record for all to see.

Indus Basin Water Treaty2

The proof of that specific meeting on the treay are the two photographs recording the presence of Field Marshal M Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Foreign Minister of Pakistan in a meeting with Key Establishment officials at the Civil Services Academy, in 1962. In one shot Mr. Masud is seen questioning the aspects of the treaty that concerned him most.

Today we see and hear of the impending doom that is to hit this country, thanks to key people who were paid millions by the Indians to stop the Kalabagh dam from being built! Our salvation lies in that dam we must see the light! and we must build that dam!

Aviation History

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Six years ago an ad in the Sunday paper changed a young Pakistani woman’s life and made aviation history.

Seven Pakistani women are trained to fly the country's F-7 fighter jets -- though none have seen combat so far.

Seven Pakistani women are trained to fly the country’s F-7 fighter jets — though none have seen combat so far.

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The ad read: "Pakistan Air Force recruiting females cadets."

Back then Ambreen Gul was 20-years old and living in Karachi. Her mother wanted her to be a doctor. She remembers her reaction when she told her she wants to fly.

"She was like: ‘You’re a girl,’" says Gul. "How will you do it? How will you fly?"

The following day Gul took the first step in proving her mother wrong. She was among the first in line at the recruitment center.

For nearly six decades it was only men who had flown Pakistan’s fighter jets. Today Gul is one of seven women who are trained and ready to fly Pakistan’s F-7 supersonic fighter jets.

"This is a feeling that makes you proud and makes you humble also," says Gul.

Humility doesn’t mean lack of confidence.

"We can do everything better than the men," explains cadet Nida Tariq.

"We’re more hardworking, more consistent and more patient," adds cadet Anam Faiq.

To become a fighter pilot takes three years of training at the Air Force Academy in Risalpur, Pakistan, where the halls are lined with grainy black-and-white pictures of nearly six decades of male graduates who went on to fly for the Pakistan Air Force.

The training is often intensely physical. Here, equal opportunity means equal treatment.

If they are not good enough as per their male counterparts, we don’t let them fly," says commanding officer Tanvir Piracha.

Some of Pakistan’s female pilots wear hijabs. Others prefer to go without the Muslim headdress. Most say changing the misconception of Muslim women is just as important as serving their country.

"Islam gives equal opportunity to females. Whatever we want to do we can," says pilot Nadia Gul.

"To tell you the truth I’ve been given equal opportunity or I suppose more than men have been given," says Air Force cadet Sharista Beg.

Air Force officials say fighter pilots are playing a vital role in the fight against the Taliban. They’re training in counterinsurgency, collecting aerial intelligence and targeting militant strongholds in the treacherous mountains of Pakistan’s tribal region along the Afghan border. Ambreen Gul says her goal now is to fly in combat.

 

"I would give my life for my country," she says.

But women rarely fly in combat anywhere in the world and it’s never been done in Pakistan. It’s another barrier Gul plans to break.

Independence

Extracted by me from the Internet sites through Google Search: { please read and understand then evaluate our circumstances from the stand point of a supposedly Independent country:

  • Freedom from control or influence of another or others
  • Independence is the self-government of a nation, country, or state by its residents and population, or some portion thereof, generally exercising …
  • free from external control and constraint;
  • autonomous: (of political bodies) not controlled by outside forces; "an autonomous judiciary"; "a sovereign state”
  • The state or quality of being independent; freedom from dependence; exemption from reliance on, or control by, others; self-subsistence or maintenance; direction of one’s own affairs without interference.
  • independence freedom from control or influence of another or others

    independency

    freedom – the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints

    autonomy, liberty – immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence

    autarchy, autarky – economic independence as a national policy

    self-direction, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, autonomy – personal independence

    separateness – political independence;

Independence is the self-government of a nation, country, or state by its residents and population, or some portion thereof, generally exercising sovereignty.

The term independence is used in contrast to subjugation, which refers to a region as a "territory" —subject to the political and military control of an external government. The word is sometimes used in a weaker sense to contrast with hegemony, the indirect control of one nation by another, more powerful nation.

Independence can be the initial status of an emerging nation (often filling a political void), but is often an emancipation from some dominating power. It can be argued that independence is a negative definition: the state of not being controlled by another power through colonialism, expansionism or imperialism. Independence may be obtained by decolonization, or by separation or dissolution.

Although the last three can often coincide with it, they are not to be confused with revolution, which typically refers to the violent overthrow of a ruling authority. This sometimes only aims to redistribute power—with or without an element of emancipation, such as in democratizationwithin a state, which as such may remain unaltered. The Russian October Revolution, for example, was not intended to seek national independence; the United States Revolutionary War, however, was.

Autonomy (in slight contrast) refers to a kind of independence which has been granted by an overseeing authority that itself still retains ultimate authority over that territory (see Devolution). A protectorate refers to an autonomous region that depends upon a larger government for its protection as an autonomous region. The dates of established independence (or, to a lesser degree, the commencement of revolution), are typically celebrated as a national holiday known as an independence day.

Sometimes, a state wishing to achieve independence from a dominating power will issue a declaration of independence, the earliest surviving example being Scotland‘s Declaration of Arbroath, and the most recent example being Abkhazia‘s Act of State Independence. Another example is the U.S. Declaration of Independence issued in 1776.

Causes for a country or province wishing to seek independence are many. Disillusionment rising from the establishment is a cause widely used in separatist movements, but it is usually severe economic difficulties that trigger these groups into action. The means can extend from peaceful demonstrations, like in the case of the Indian independence movement, to a violent civil war.}

 

During our recent 14th August ceremonies and celebrations a thought struck me, what is it that we are actually celebrating?!

1947? what is it about? obtaining freedom from the Indian/British control and domination? what else did it really mean for us and for those who finally accepted and agreed to allowing us our freedom?

Because as far back as I can remember we have always been in chains, of one form or another; when, I ask you, have we ever been really free?! simply put, NEVER!

We have, from day one, been getting handouts with conditions and provisions, we never suffered in our existence because we believed that our fore-fathers did that for us, when they fought for the independence, of the Muslims; we have not suffered in the process of building this Motherland, not an iota!

We have not given, never given of ourselves, while we have stood on the sidelines and let others do what they deemed fit even though we knew that it was NOT in the Motherlands prime interest, but in an individual’s personal interest to do so. By our silence we have unwittingly led them to believe that we support them or at least, don’t disagree with what they do in the rape of the poor and down-trodden and the Motherland that is now ours to contend with.

Contend with it we must if we seek a future full of promise for ourselves and for the generations to follow, only you and I can through our single effort can unite each one together if we try!

It is not too late let us begin the silent revolution, not through bloodshed but through creating the awareness needed to unite!

There is no better time than right now!

Is it not time for reconciliation and change?

Everyday the papers and the TV are focused on just one aspect of our existence in the Motherland; is this hype about attracting viewership? I ask myself, or is it out of true concern for this land and its people? You be the judge.

I ask because is it not high time that we focused on the core issues plaguing our beloved Motherland, and discussed solutions to the challenges that face us all.  Is it because we are now an intellectually bankrupt lot of people, ore are we all too self-centered that we cannot see beyond our our immediate selves.

Out & About in Lahore ZH 001 (7)

WE are also busy making sure that the education that our future generations are getting is soold and out of date that the are not equipped to handle this country’s challenges. It is only when these younger Pakistanis get to go abroad that it dawns upon them how ill equipped and insufficient their years of hard work in School and college has been!

More importantly how different the method of delivery of their knowledge is abroad there is no parrot style ‘rattoe-ing’ of  material involved there. no crib-sheets to memorize or guess papers to cram. Its all in the way their methodology…..aur ithar hum maar kha jahtain hain!

Out & About in Lahore ZH 001 (13)

This must change, not just in the elite schools, colleges and universities but in every institution and I include the madrassas too!

Its time to call a spade, a spade, to end all that mud-slinging and take the turn required to begin the bulding into a unified country and a nation, because in it lies our salvation, not the begging bowls syndrome that comes second nature to us, but by the whole country tightening our belts even doing without what we enjoy most our our will that we impose on one another work only to creat the building blocks that we need to build the nation all over again.

Out & About in Lahore ZH 001 (45)

Now is the time for reconciliation and change!

NEWS BREAK: Anne Patterson Blocks Shireen Mazari

By AHMED QURAISHI

Wednesday, 2 September 2009.

US Ambassador In Pakistan Forces A Newspaper To Censor A Known US Critic

Finally, the Americans take their revenge.  Dr. Mazari single-handedly threw cold water on Washington’s plan last year to send a rabidly anti-Pakistani US army general as defense attaché to Islamabad.  The Pakistani government quietly accepted the appointment.  But Dr. Mazari broke the story and aborted the plan.  When the new pro-US elected government seized power, Mr. Zardari’s special assistant Husain Haqqani’s first order of business was to fire Dr. Mazari from her official post.  And now the US ambassador succeeds in blocking her column.  Welcome to the Banana Republic of Pakistan where soon US ambassadors will have the right appoint presidents and prime ministers.  Some say they already do.

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WWW.AHMEDQURAISHI.COM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—United States Ambassador Anne W. Patterson intervened with one of the largest newspaper groups in Pakistan to force it to block today a decade-old weekly column by a prominent academic and critic of US policies.

Dr. Shireen Mazari, the former director of the Islamabad Institute of Strategic Studies and a mordant critic of US blunders in Pakistan and the region, was stunned when her column failed to appear in today’s edition of the newspaper.  This happened after the US ambassador sent a ‘private’ letter to the management of The News International, one of the largest English-language dailies of Pakistan.

This is a new high for American influence inside Pakistan.. 

Never before did a US ambassador manage to force such a change in a newspaper’s policy.  For those who are new to Pakistan, this is equivalent to having Maureen Dowd or Tom Friedman’s column knocked off the pages of the New York Times because Dick Cheney does not like their criticism.

Unlike Ms. Patterson in Pakistan, her colleague in London, ambassador Louis Susman, could never dream of achieving a similar feat by, say, convincing The Times of London to block a column by David Aaronovitch.  Or the US ambassador in Moscow, John Beylre, Jr., who could never even think of forcing Komsomolskaya Pravda to do anything remotely similar.  They have Vladimir Putin in Russian who knows how to protect his country’s interest.

Only in Pakistan, where American meddling has reached alarming proportions and risks turning this second largest Muslim country and the world’s seventh declared nuclear-armed nation into another version of Latin America’s banana republics where Washington has been known to change governments at will.

The US achieved a feat last year when it forced the country’s military establishment under a weak and insecure Pervez Musharraf to strike a ‘deal’ to forgive the questionable illegal wealth and other criminal cases against several Pakistani political figures in order to help them come to power in exchange for supporting US policies in Pakistan.

Another major break for Washington is Pakistan’s acquiescence in the construction in Islamabad of what will soon become the largest US embassy in the world.  Recently, members of privately armed US militias have been spotted in Islamabad, in some cases roughing up Pakistani citizens, without the Pakistani government daring to take action.

But blocking Dr. Mazari’s column is a new high for American influence in Pakistani affairs.

She especially earned the ire of the Americans last year when she single handedly threw cold water on US plans to post a notoriously anti-Pakistan US army general to Islamabad.  It was March 2008 when the new pro-US government in Islamabad allowed Washington to post Major General Jay W. Hood as the Chief, Office of the Defence Representative in Islamabad. 

But Dr. Mazari broke the news of the appointment through her column, creating an uproar and forcing the Pakistani government to reject the appointment.

Dr. Mazari held a press conference today at the Islamabad head office of Pakistan Justice Movement, or PTI, a political party headed by cricket star Imran Khan where she is a senior official handling foreign policy issues.

Ambassador Anne Patterson is reported to have sent a letter to the management of the newspaper protesting at Dr. Mazari’s writings, especially on the question of the presence of Blackwater and other private American militias on Pakistani soil.  Interestingly, Ms. Patterson said she did not want to see her letter published in the newspaper and insisted it be kept private.  It is also not clear if Ms. Patterson actually threatened legal action or other form of protest or pressure if the newspaper continued to publish Dr. Mazari’s columns.

The newspaper editorial team is said to be ready to publish the blocked column later, possibly with some editing.  Frankly, no one can blame a newspaper for protecting its interest when the very government of Pakistan seems incapable of protecting the national interest.  Had Pakistan had a truly nationalistic government in Islamabad, one that inspired confidence, I can imagine that any newspaper would have politely deflected undue pressure from a foreign diplomat.

But the very fact that the column failed to run marks a victory for the US embassy and a fresh sign of the growing US influence and meddling in Pakistan’s internal matters.

It is not clear if Ms. Patterson sought the permission of the Pakistan Foreign Office before directly contacting a Pakistani newspaper to exert pressure.

This is the fourth attempt by the US Embassy to silence Dr. Mazari, whose incisive political commentary based on her close brush with power corridors in Islamabad over the years has given the Americans and the Brits a constant headache.  Her columns are fodder for those who advocate a more nationalistic and Pakistan-centric approach in dealing with Washington instead of the current approach where the United States is reaping strategic benefits at the expense of Pakistan’s interests and stability.

In 2006, the US ambassador at the time, Ryan Crocker, is reported to have warned Pakistan’s foreign secretary Mr. Riaz Khokar, that he will consider Dr. Mazari’s writings to be reflective of official Pakistani thinking because Dr. Mazari was heading a think tank financed by the Foreign Office.  The US diplomat demanded Dr. Mazari, according to her, be removed from office or told to stop criticizing US policies.

The foreign secretary resisted the pressure and Dr. Mazari continued her policy discourse.  The interesting thing is that the first order of business for the present pro-US government in Islamabad after seizing power last year was to fire Dr. Mazari. 

Her ousting was engineered by Mr. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington who is widely known in Pakistan as a staunch American apologist.  Many jokingly call him ‘America’s ambassador to the Pakistani embassy in Washington.’  So it was no surprise that Dr. Mazari was fired as soon Mr. Haqqani’s government came in power.

I personally faced a similar situation when a US diplomat telephoned me in November 2007 to accuse me of spreading anti-Americanism on the state-run PTV.  My crime was to start a series of talk shows discussing how our ally the US turned Afghanistan into a hub for anti-Pakistan forces in the region.  The lady US diplomat used a cheap trick to intimidate me when she asked, ‘Does Musharraf know what you’re doing?’

My answer was, ‘Does President Bush know when US media frequently runs anti-Pakistan articles?’

Dr. Mazari is not disheartened by this episode.  ‘They might have knocked me off this time,’ she told me today after her press conference, ‘but the last round will be mine. The Americans can’t gag me in my own country.’  And that is exactly what the newspaper, The News International, has assured her of.

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