No Reason for Pakistan’s ‘Bigwigs’ to Go ‘Gung-Ho’

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Secretary

of State Clinton enjoy an extraordinarily light moment during a

press conference on Wednesday. The two announced a new

three-tier U.S.-Pakistan strategic partnership. The Frontier Post, Pakistan

No Reason for Pakistan’s ‘Bigwigs’ to Go ‘Gung-Ho’

"Americans, without remorse, have no inhibitions about ditching Pakistan the instant they’ve finished with it, even after exuberantly extolling it as their ‘most cherished ally in Asia.’"

EDITORIAL

March 26, 2010

Pakistan – The Nation – Original Article (English)

Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani believes there has been a ‘major paradigm shift’ in Pakistan-U.S. relations. But it would appear that the ‘Pakistan street’ has yet to be convinced.

BBC NEWS VIDEO: India’s Home Minister has told the BBC that Pakistan is not doing enough to combat terrorism, Mar. 25, 00:01:40RealVideo

Official America and official Pakistan may have their own manifold reasons to be euphoric and whip up a noisy hype about their conclave in Washington, but this country’s elite have nothing to go gung-ho over.

America’s current prattle about a new chapter, a new start, a strategic dialogue or strategic partnership is nothing new. This is an all-too-familiar idiom for them. Pakistanis have heard it many times before. And we haven’t forgotten how horrendously things turned out every time before. Americans, without remorse, have no inhibitions about ditching Pakistan the instant they’ve finished with it, even after exuberantly extolling it as their “most cherished ally in Asia.” So it was when the Cold War was at its peak in the 1960s and they stood in need of Pakistan; and again in the 1980s when they badly needed it to fight their proxy war against the Soviet invaders of Afghanistan – and they eulogized Pakistan as a frontline state.

So bitter is our experience of persistent American betrayal, that it’s difficult to assuage us with the lilting sweet talk coming out of Washington. One wouldn’t want to recall that doleful past here, or it could leave a bad taste in the mouths of people like Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who came out crowing about what a satisfied man he was after the first round of the much-touted strategic dialogue. Qureshi may be satisfied, but Pakistan’s people certainly are not. American officialdom may have held this show of dialogue with much fanfare; they may have seated American and Pakistani delegates side by side; but such ostentation could hardly impress Pakistan’s hard-bitten people.

After all, wasn’t the dictator Pervez Musharraf a frequent houseguest at the Texas ranch of President George Bush? What came of it? The CIA colluded with India’s RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] and Afghanistan’s NDS [National Directorate of Security] and played a double game against Pakistan, cloning monstrosities like Nek Muhammad Wazir, Baitullah Mehsud and Maulana Fazlullah for the U.S. military to fight with. And yet, instead of confessing to these sins, even the people in the Obama Administration parade the bunk that a turnaround has taken place in the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] and the Pakistan military, whereas that is a shoe which fits squarely America’s foot.

If there has been a turnaround at all, it’s been on the American side and more specifically the CIA and its dirty shenanigans in Pakistan. In any case, what really matters to the people of Pakistan is substance – not symbolism. And in this regard, there is precious little about this dialogue to sing and dance over. American pledges are almost all in the future tense – without benefit of concrete plans or actions.

If the fate of the plan to establish reconstruction opportunity zones in our tribal areas announced by Bush in 2005 is any indicator, that future may take ages to become real. Five years later, the plan still gathers dust in some official Washington corridor, lacking even the required Congressional approval. Neither can anything definitive be said as to when the much-hyped U.S. aid under the Kerry-Lugar law will begin to flow to Pakistan. The $125 million that the Obama Administration has agreed to shell out for Pakistani energy development doesn’t even account for a fraction of the $39 billion in losses that Pakistan has suffered due to America’s spurious war on terror. That is to say nothing of the reimbursement of some $2 billion that Pakistan has spent from its own treasury to fight this war that remains unpaid, which is said to be stuck in the contrivance of U.S. "clearance."

On another level, the Obama Administration has also demonstrated that it’s not forthcoming on a nuclear deal for Pakistan similar to India’s, or of playing a critical role in resolving core issues between India and Pakistan, such as Kashmir. Even on the vital issue of water, the U.S. is unlikely to persuade India not to steal or cheat Pakistan out of its requisite river water. Indeed, the Obama Administration has yet to deliver anything that would justify such squawking by Islamabad’s bigwigs.

 

The charm offensive that Washington’s current crowd has unleashed against Islamabad is arguably motivated to enlist Pakistan’s full and unstinted military cooperation so that the U.S. and its NATO allies can quickly pull out of Afghanistan and declare victory. If common sense is any guide, only after America’s November mid-term elections will it be known with certainty whether the Obama Administration really stands for a long-term strategic partnership – and means what it says about helping Pakistan with nation building and economic rejuvenation.

 

World Water Day

Consider our own situation in Pakistan!

March 22nd, is recognized by the United Nations Water Group as "World Water Day", this year’s theme being "Clean Water for a Healthy World". Although we live on a water-covered planet, only 1% of the world’s water is available for human use, the rest locked away in oceans, ice, and the atmosphere. The National Geographic Society feels so strongly about the issues around fresh water that they are distributing an interactive version of their April, 2010 magazine for download – free until April 2nd – and will be exhibiting images from the series at the Annenberg Space for photography. National Geographic was also kind enough to share 15 of their images below, in a collection with other photos from news agencies and NASA – all of water, here at home – Earth. (43 photos total)

The Maya believed natural wells, such as the Xkeken cenote in Mexico’s Yucatan, led to the underworld. (John Stanmeyer, VII, © National Geographic)

2

A cross hewn for Epiphany in the ice of Maine’s Kennebec River by parishioners of St. Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Church commemorates the baptism of Christ. The water from the carving will bless the church. (John Stanmeyer, VII, © National Geographic) #

3

India’s holiest river, the Ganges, is scribbled with light from floating oil lamps during the Ganga Dussehra festival in Haridwar. Hindus near death often bathe in the river; some are later cremated beside it and have their ashes scattered on its waters. (John Stanmeyer, VII, © National Geographic) #

4

Jared Otieno, a worker with the Kenyan Ministry of environment and mineral resources, sprinkles water cupped in his hand as he and other workers who helped clean two-and-a-half miles of the Nairobi river basin in Nairobi greet foreign United Nations visitors to the river basin site on March 21, 2010. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images) #

5

A photograph of sunlight reflected by waterways across the central United States, as seen from the International Space Station in November of 2003. The scene looks southwest from above Lake Michigan across the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, towards Texas near the horizon. At least two of the smaller lakes at bottom, near the Illinois River, are cooling ponds for nuclear power stations. (NASA/JSC) #

6

Floating on dreams and whispers, girls from a West Bank village cool off in the salt-laden waters of the Dead Sea. With its main tributary, the Jordan, at less than a tenth of its former volume, the inland sea has dropped some 70 feet since 1978. (Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum © National Geographic) #

7

After six years of drought, measuring sticks are useless at the Ziglab Dam in Jordan, built to catch water flowing west into the Jordan River for irrigation. Its reservoir has shrunk to a fifth of capacity and hasn’t filled since 2003, forcing Jordan to ration water. (Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum © National Geographic) #

8

A man swims in a pool inside a condominium in Singapore March 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Nicky Loh) #

9

A boy swims in the murky waters of Manila Bay March 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo) #

10

Mount Everest’s East Rongbuk Glacier has lost some 350 vertical feet of ice between August 1921 and October 2008. (David Breashears, © National Geographic) #

11

In Iceland the bountiful Kolgrima River inscribes the earth on its seaward path. (Hans Strand, © National Geographic) #

12

A swan swims at Lake Toepper (Toeppersee) in the western German city of Duisburg on March 11, 2010. (Jens Schlueter/AFP/Getty Images) #

13

Balancing on a slippery makeshift ladder, women pass precious gallons hand to hand up a well nine people deep in the Marsabit region of northern Kenya. After the water reaches the surface, the women will compete for it with thirsty livestock. (Lynn Johnson, © National Geographic) #

14

Gabra women in northern Kenya spend up to five hours a day carrying heavy jerry cans filled with murky water. A lingering drought has pushed this already arid region to a water crisis. (Lynn Johnson, © National Geographic) #

15

Homes are surrounded by flood waters from the swollen Red River, Sunday, March 21, 2010, south of Fargo, North Dakota. The river crested at Fargo today at about 37 feet, nearly four feet short of last year’s record crest of nearly 41 feet. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) #

16

Flood water drains from a ditch along Interstate 29 March 21, 2010 south of Fargo, North Dakota. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

17

At up to six feet long, the Chinese giant salamander is the world’s largest. It secretes a slippery, foul-smelling mucus when harassed, but that doesn’t keep people from eating it and using it in folk medicines. (Joel Sartore, © National Geographic) #

18

Tracking the return of a native species to Tennessee’s Abrams Creek, snorkeling scientists search under flat rocks for the smoky madtom – a two-inch catfish. (Joel Sartore, © National Geographic) #

19

Upsala Glacier as seen from the International Space Station in February of 2010. Upsala is a large valley glacier in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. Google Map. (NASA/JSC) #

20

Villagers and donkeys near Marsabit, Kenya, lean into a trough at the top of a "singing well" – so called because the people who form bucket brigades to bring the water up from deep underground sing as they work. Each visitor is allowed to fill only one large jerry can a day – and the women usually have to wait until after the animals have drunk their fill. (Lynn Johnson © National Geographic) #

21

This photo released on February 26, 2010 from the Australian Antarctic Division shows the the Mertz Glacier Tongue, a 160-kilometer spit of floating ice protruding into the Southern Ocean from East Antarctica, in 2007. Researchers said on February 25, 2010 that the iceberg the size of Luxembourg – or some 2,550 square kilometres (985 square miles) in size – knocked loose from the Antarctic continent earlier this month and could disrupt the ocean currents driving weather patterns around the globe. (B. LEGRESY/AFP/Getty Images) #

22

Dry conditions produce cracked earth at a reservoir in Shilin county, Yunnan province, China, on Thursday, March 4, 2010. Yunnan is experiencing its worst drought in more than 60 years. (Ariana Lindquist/Bloomberg) #

23

Southern California draws much of its water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which was diked and divided into farms more than a century ago. Many of the aging levees are at risk of failure. (© Edward Burtynsky, National Geographic) #

24

Once the city’s main water source, the Los Angeles River is now a concrete channel fed by storm drains. City residents rely on water piped in from hundreds of miles away. (© Edward Burtynsky, National Geographic) #

25

A Chinese softball player hits a ball during a sandstorm in Beijing on March 20, 2010. Beijingers woke up to find the Chinese capital blanketed in yellow dust, as a sandstorm caused by a severe drought in the north and in Mongolia swept into the city. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

26

A man drinks from a pipe March 18, 2010 in the streets of quake-struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images) #

27

A dead fish is seen floating in a polluted river on the outskirts of Yingtan, Jiangxi province March 20, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

28

Norwood Airport in Norwood, Massachusetts showed the impact of recent flooding on March 16, 2010 as crews undertook cleanup operations across the state. (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff) #

29

A man delivers water from a water tank in shanty town Pamplona at Villa Maria Del Triunfo, near Peru’s capital Lima, March 20, 2010. Working toilets and clean drinking water are unattainable luxuries for a third of the Peru’s city dwellers and two-thirds of its rural population, one of the world’s highest levels for a middle-income country that boasts a fast-growing economy, huge investor interest and ample Andean water resources. (REUTERS/Mariana Bazo) #

30

A picture taken on February 10, 2010 shows the Churchill dam as it is 17 percent full in the Kareedouw region, West of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The green pitch at Port Elizabeth’s World Cup stadium has become an island in a sea of brown, exempt from restrictions imposed due to a drought that has scorched the land outside. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

31

Mahendra Kumar surfaces to catch his breath as he dives into a polluted section of the River Yamuna to scavenge for ornaments and coins left by Hindu rituals at the river bank, in New Delhi, India, Monday, March 22, 2010. Officials say factories are ignoring regulations and dumping untreated sewage and industrial pollution, turning toxic the river that gives the capital much of its drinking water. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan) #

32

A villager bathes under a hose pipe used for the irrigation of rice field, as his son, left, looks on, on the outskirts of Amritsar, India, Monday, March 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

33

A floating restaurant is stranded in a branch of the Yangtze River in Chongqing Municipality, March 21, 2010. A severe drought across a large swath of southwest China is now affecting more than 50 million people, and forecasters see no signs of it abating in the short term, state media said on Friday. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

34

Pere David’s deer, or milu, walk in water at the Yangtze River Swan Islet Pere David’s Deer Nature Reserve on April 22, 2008 in Shishou of Hubei Province, China. The nature reserve, a wetland covering an area of about 69 square kilometers, contains over 1,000 Pere David’s deer, the largest wild population of the animal in the world. (China Photos/Getty Images) #

35

4,000 baby bottles containing polluted water stand on the Bundesplatz in Bern, Switzerland, Monday, March 22. 2010. The action was organized by the Swiss association for International Cooperation Helvetas to highlight the UN’s World Water Day. (AP Photo/Keystone/Peter Klaunzer) #

36

A fisherman paddles his canoe through dead fish along Manaquiri River, a tributary of the Amazon, near the city of Manaquiri, November 28, 2009. The world’s biggest rainforest is suffering from seasonal drought, killing tons of fish. (REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker) #

37

A section of Lake Nasser in Egypt, a massive reservoir behind the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River, seen from the International Space Station in January of 2010. The lake is capable of storing some 157 cubic kilometers (37.5 cubic miles) of fresh water. Google Map. (NASA/JSC) #

38

Chinese villagers draw water from a 158-year-old well in Caojiazhuang village, on the outskirts of Guiyang, southwestern China’s Guizhou province on March 20, 2010. Millions of people face drinking water shortages in southwestern China because of a once-a-century drought that has dried up rivers and threatens vast farmlands in Guizhou, Yunnan, and Sichuan provinces, the Guangxi region, and the mega-city of Chongqing for months, with rainfall 60 percent below normal since September. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

39

Severed from the edge of Antarctica, this iceberg might float for years as it melts and releases its store of fresh water into the sea. The water molecules will eventually evaporate, condense, and recycle back to Earth as precipitation. (Camille Seaman, © National Geographic) #

40

Hoses used to supply residences with water are seen hanging across a street at the Penjaringan subdistrict in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 22, 2010. Residents in the area say that they have had to construct makeshift water supplies for their homes by attaching hoses to pumps bought with their own money, as the government has yet to repair the original water supply which was damaged. (REUTERS/Beawiharta) #

41

An Indian village boy runs through a parched field on World Water Day in Berhampur, Orissa state, India, Monday, March 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout) #

42

A Balinese couple kiss while the crowd pours water over them during the traditional kissing festival called "Omed-Omedan" in Denpasar on the resort island of Bali on March 17, 2010. The annual ritual is held one day after the Hindu New Year called "Nyepi" in Bali, also celebrated as the "Day of Silence" where local young men and women gather in groups on a main road after prayer at the temple. The men compete against each other to kiss the girl while other douse the couple with water while they embrace in a kiss. (SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images) #

43

A drop of water falls from a melting piece of ice on Argentina’s Perito Moreno glacier near the city of El Calafate, in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, December 16, 2009. (REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci)

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A Question for you!

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Guess

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“PAKISTAN” ……Of course!!!

A pledge to unite

— Ayesha Sohail, DAWN Young World

Saturday, 20 Mar, 2010

On the morning of March 23 — Pakistan Resolution Day — it’s important to think about who we are and what we want to be. We should think about the whole journey before March 23, 1940, and after that till August 14, 1947, during which our freedom fighters suffered a lot and gave many sacrifices to get a free homeland.

But today, March 23rd — the day when our brave fighters reached an important milestone in the journey of their struggle — is of no importance for the present day young generation. It is just another holiday for them. It is shameful to acknowledge that today we have lost our identity and culture — in fact we feel ashamed in accepting who we are — and we proudly follow other cultures and traditions. We, instead of following the footprints of our forefathers, are ruining the image of our homeland which was obtained after lots of sacrifices.

Pakistan Day reminds us of the fact that all Muslims are equal and they can’t be discriminated due to any factor such as race, colour and ethnicity. But today we are Sindhis, Punjabis, Balochis, Pathans, Muhajirs; today we are the elite class, middle and lower class; today we are Karachiites, Lahories and what not. We have lost that identity which was the founding stone for this country and have indulged in all sorts of discriminations.

God has made all of us equal and we are blessed with an independent homeland which, despite all internal and external threats, has been surviving for years so now is the time to get up and realise our responsibilities towards our country — let’s become united! Unity is the real strength and being united means being successful. If we remain divided on the basis of colour, language or socio-economic factors, we can never be a successful nation.

We have to become united for prosperity and a better future. We have to change the world we live in. As educated citizens of our country, we have to shape the future of Pakistan. Let us stop blaming each other and pledge that we will try to be better people by keeping aside our differences.

We have gained much — one of the best cricket teams in the world, one of the most profitable music industries in Asia and the strongest military power in the Muslim world. So on this 23rd March, be proud a Pakistani and discard all discriminating factors.

As Quaid-e-Azam said: “If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges, and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.”

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Pakistan Day special: Creative celebrations

By Saira Owais Adil
Saturday, 20 Mar, 2010 DAWN Young World

Monotonous, routine celebrations are held all over the country to mark the Pakistan Resolution Day on March 23. The schools, media and government organisations all follow strictly unchanged programmes. School children are dressed up in neat uniforms, polished shoes and appear tidy to perform on the same national songs as they have been doing for years.
March 23 is actually the day when the meaning of independence for the Muslims of the Subcontinent was clearly laid out to the world. Now after 70 years of the event, we, the young generation, today need our elders’ help in comprehending the ‘national’ thought that led to the whole process of independence! Children can only be expected to be ‘patriotic’ when they understand the meaning of ‘patriotism’.

Let’s make a different start this time and instead of performing at the school half-heartedly or bunking the functions altogether, try to give your school authorities some exciting suggestions. Ask your school head or teacher to organise different activities with the objective of creating a better understanding of the term “independence”.
Do something creative. Paint your own Pakistan – the way you think a perfect Pakistan would look like. Draw and paint what you like about your country and how you would like things to be. If you are better at words than the brush, write how you want things to be, portraying a ‘better Pakistan’ in your own way!
How about making a huge map of Pakistan for your class or to be displayed anywhere else in the school, and decorate it with smiles, colours and gestures of love – all that we are losing fast with each passing day.

And just mounting the national flag and placing the small flags on strings round the classroom is not enough. A flag drawing competition would be more exciting and full of fun. Rather than just painting and colouring the flag on a paper, you can try making it with different materials. Of course you can’t change its colour or design, just use various textures and materials, coloured green and white, to lend a beautiful touch to our national flag.

Instead of merely reciting the toughest of the national songs, request your teacher to make you understand what the poet is actually trying to say. In a casual set up, not that of the typical classroom teaching style, lectures given to make students become aware of the meaning of the different national songs, some information about the poet and the occasion when it was first written would go a long way in making everyone realise the significance of the words and remember it for a long time to come. By becoming aware of the true meaning of the words that are being sung, it will bring out feelings of national pride and patriotism and make any performance more powerful.

A competition of short poems and national songs can also be held where participants would have to write national songs or poems. This can also be done as a class exercise where everyone just pens down what is in their hearts about their beloved country.

Make posters, badges and cards in which you present your own idea of what being a citizen of a free nation means to you and share it with your friends and teachers. If you are going out somewhere with your friends or family to on this national holiday, order a combination of pistachio and vanilla flavours in ice cream. Now that’s a pretty patriotic combination!
This is our country and we all feel proud of it. So why not fuel up your passion and come up with imaginative ways to celebrate this day and pledge to do what we can to make it a better place to live.

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Promises! Promises!

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Mrs. Machiavelli & the Political Dam

by Khurshid Anwer

Nation, Mar 18, page 14: Speaking at a seminar on Water Issues, Ghulam Mustafa Khar has repeated most of what he had said in an interview to the Jang newspaper back in April 1997.

Prime minister Benazir Bhutto had expressed her willingness to construct Kalabagh dam and had directed all the chief ministers to build consensus for taking up the project.

The prime minister in the presence of the coalition partners had acknowledged the importance of Kalabagh dam, saying it was a ‘must’ for the progress of the country.

She used to get furious whenever I made statements in favour of Kalabagh dam, but later she gathered reports from other independent sources which convinced her that it was in the crucial interest of the country.

kalabagh_location

In the presence of all the chief ministers, including Abdullah Shah, Aftab Sherpao, Zulfikar Magsi, Arif Nikai, Naseer Ullah Babar and Hamid Nasir Chatha, she said that I was right in supporting to build the dam.

Naseer Ullah Babar said that she had herself directed them to opposes Kalabagh dam, so how could he now mould the opinion of the masses in favour of the dam.

She explained that she had asked them to oppose the dam when Zia-ul-Haq had raised the issue and she could not support the dictator who had killed her father. But now fresh reports about the project had convinced her and the chief ministers should start preparing the ground for it.

(revenge was more important to her than national interest)

When Naseer Ullah Babar still opposed it she said all those who would oppose the dam would be against the interest of the country”.

Ghulam Mustafa Khar concluded:

We have no other source of water and must utilize the water of Indus river by building Kalabagh dam otherwise there will be skeletons from Khyber to Karachi”.

Let me dispel the notion that Kalabagh dam was vital for Punjab only, it is equally beneficial for Sindh”.

pakistan-government-physical-model-of-kalabagh-dam

Kalabagh dam is more important than Kashmir or the nuclear bomb, we can use the bomb only if we are still alive.

Since 1997 I must have quoted Khar in my letters more than fifty times without getting any rebuttal from Benazir’s legal eagles. Now that khar has gone public again let the people named above confirm or deny what he has said.

Of course as soon as she was out of power she started opposing the dam again because then it became Nawaz’s dam.

The evil that people do lingers on, the good is often interred with their bones.

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