timesofindiaInternationalization of the landmark Indo-Pak visa agreement will be delayed as India has asked Pakistan to postpone interior minister Rehman Malik's proposed visit here on November 22-23. "The dates proposed by the Pakistani side are not suitable to us, so the visit of Rehman Malik stands postponed. Fresh set of dates will be discussed later," home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here. During Malik's proposed visit, the two sides had planned to operationalise the new liberalised Indo-Pak visa pact replacing a 38-year-old restrictive visa agreement and paving the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people-to-people contact and trade. Though New Delhi has cited the coming winter session of Parliament as the reason for its inability to host Malik this week as Shinde would be busy being the leader of Lok Sabha, Islamabad's failure to punish those involved in 26/11 appears to be the key reason. Sources said since the fourth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack falls three days after the proposed visit of the Pakistani leader, home ministry officials seem to have advised against hosting Malik. Malik has been accused of failing to keep his promises on acting against perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack which claimed 166 lives. Trial against LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other accused of 26/11 case at a Rawalpindi court has been very slow and New Delhi's request for voice samples of handlers of the terrorists is yet to be acceded by Islamabad and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed continues to roam freely in Pakistan, they said. "Under such a situation, it is not prudent to host the Pakistani interior minister on the eve of the fourth anniversary of 26/11 attack," the sources said. The message was conveyed to Pakistan through diplomatic channels. India has not yet suggested new dates for Rehman's visit.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
by Tariq MahmudThe recurring violence in Karachi has raised some basic questions about the state and society of Pakistan. Like any burgeoning port city, Karachi has some distinct characteristics - a fast growing population and demographic diversity. It is because of this diversity that the problem of lawlessness is perceived to be ethnic. Irrespective of their ethnic origin, Karachiites have a distinct common identity like the people of any other region of Pakistan. A third generation Pashtun, Punjabi or Baloch has more in common with the people of his neighbourhood in the city than with his relatives living in Mardan, Gujranwala, or Khuzdar. Shahid Khan Afridi, for example, in essence is a brand of Karachi, rather than a manifest of Darra Adam Khel. His diction, mannerism, tastes and nuances have been nurtured by this city. There is seamless coexistence at the street and societal level. Even when ethnic communities are associated with distinct professions, they complement each other. When a thoughtless strike call brings a Pashtun's coaster to a halt, it denies an 'Urdu speaking' wage earner access to his workplace.So where lies the problem? There are thousands of acres of state land in and around Karachi that is neither measured nor mapped in accordance with the finer details of the 'land settlement manual'. These tracts are along the prime alignments of National Highway, Super Highway, towards the Northern bypass, Kemari and Hub. Survey numbers are attached to un-surveyed land which has not been properly classified and yet it is set out for the dole. This land is not delineated in accordance with the standard procedures. In the colony districts of Punjab, usable state land is diligently measured and subjected to precise 'Killabandi' mapped and made part of the permanent revenue record. It is effectively protected, manned and monitored through a multi-tiered revenue machinery. Records maintained by the Directorate of Land Survey in Karachi and the field Tapedar are at times different. Powerful groups, with the collusion of state functionaries and political patronage, have stolen some of this land over the years. Beds of Malir and Lyari rivers are no exception. Vast available tracts of land were a boon when there was a need to set up large projects like the Pakistan Steel Mill and Port Qasim, but are a bane after the increase in population. I have been closely associated with the ambitious Lyari Expressway project, an important component of which was land acquisition and resettlement. A significant area required for the project included mosques, madrassas and shops. These were well guarded, but had no clear title of ownership. This problem of uncertainty of title in different parts of the city is compounded by the 'Paggari System' in which property changes hands based on who has street power. The history of the Italian Mafia was similar. The surrender of vast tracts of land by the church and in turn its poor management and poor protection resulted in the growing influence of the Sicilian Mafia in the later part of the 19th century. When the authorities failed to enforce law, criminals and armed gangs began to rule these streets and began to get involved in drug trafficking, extortion and serial killings. The phenomenon assumed a transnational character when it spilled over to New York and Chicago through the Italian diaspora. Karachi's conundrum is also in many ways a failure of governance over a long period of time. Various tiers of the state machinery have quite often had different objectives. Political leaders have failed to see the bigger picture because of short term political gains. The administration and law-enforcement agencies have acquired a culture of appeasement. The only way to resolve the problems is a return to proper governance. A depoliticized police will have to comb the narrow streets and enforce their writ. A detailed mapping and manning of land must be initiated. A permanent mechanism must be put in place to protect and retrieve state land from not just the land grabbers but also state organizations, autonomous bodies and housing societies. Above all, there is a need for soul searching by the major political stakeholders of the city. They must adopt an inclusive approach and understand that Karachi is larger than their expediencies. The writer is a public policy analyst and a former federal secretary
By:Mahmood Elahi, OttawaTo bring hope to opressed women, Malala should be awarded Nobel Peace Prize. By risking her life for the love of education, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai has shown courage of conviction and she deserves the prize for her efforts.
A new British-based Islamist group
RADIO PAKISTANChairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
The Express TribuneIf you are not controversial, then you have not done anything substantial, said President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday. The president was addressing a youth conference held in the federal capital. Speaking about the burden of being a leader, the president said good leadership is a result of personal sacrifice. “This is the path my wife and I followed,” he said. He also said that leader is not one who thinks he is a leader, but one who is considered so by others. Speaking about the role of youth in nation building, the president said that as the people of Pakistan, we are fighting a negative state of mind and the youth of this country is a challenge to that mindset. Commending each and every Pakistani for being patriotic, Zardari said the country is faced with life threatening challenges. Ushering the conference to a Q&A session, Zardari told his young audience that he, as the president of Pakistan, wants to be questioned by the future leaders as he is always open to criticism. Responding to a question regarding repatriation of Aafia Siddiqui, the president said the government has asked the lawyer to continue arguing the case. “We don’t have any prisoners exchange treaty with the US and we cannot do anything in that regard but ask her lawyer to stick to her case,” he explained. On a question about people committing suicide because of poverty, Zardari said his government introduced the Benazir Income Support Program through which deserving Pakistanis get a monthly stipend.
http://www.pajhwok.comPakistan army chief, Gen. Pervez Kiyani, and his British counterpart Sir David Richard arrived in Kabul on Tuesday for talks with Afghan defence officials. A government official, who did not want to be named, confided to Pajhwok Afghan News the two sides would confer on the current security situation in Afghanistan and other issues of common interest. Earlier in the day, Ministry of Defence spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi told reporters the Pakistan British army chiefs were due in Kabul. However, he stopped short of giving the date or agenda.
Radi PakistanPresident Asif Ali Zardari has taken strong notice of recent reports about various emergency landings by PIA flights. He has directed the Chairman PIA and Civil Aviation Authority to conduct a thorough inquiry into these incidents and submit a comprehensive report within three days. He has also directed the concerned authorities to ensure that no such incident takes place in future. Spokesperson of the President Farhatullah Babar said that besides calling for a detailed report‚ the President has also called for a meeting to get a comprehensive briefing on the issue.