Friday, October 30, 2009

Foreign Diplomats!

Imagine two Pakistan embassy officials roaming around in a car (with fake number plates) near the Capital buildings in Washington DC are found with 2 Kalashnikov guns, 6 Grenades, and 6 Bullet proof jackets.

Or how about, a notorious weapons subcontractor of the Pakistani Embassy is found with unlicensed weapons in the tune of dozens.

Would they be
  1. Let go with a smile
  2. Taken off to Guantanamo
  3. Just disappear from the face of the earth
Without a doubt, its likely that option 2 or 3 would be the most likely result. However, as described in Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Option 1 was what actually happened.

All these examples were of foreign diplomats with diplomatic immunity. My question is, in times as precarious as we have right now, with bombs and terror attacks happening ever so often, and with plenty of doubt about the actions of foreigners being involved in these activities, whether we should allow diplomatic immunity to these embassies.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Poverty: Population or Inequality

When experts sit down and discuss the root cause of poverty (since poverty is cited as a major cause for so many evils including extremism), as they did in a recently televised program 50 minutes on Geo TV, they point to the rising population and lack of family planning by poorer households which lead to their own devastating demise. Creating awareness, education, birth control pills etc etc are identified as measures to solve the issue of poverty.

However, there is an alternative picture to eradicating poverty which we feel uncomfortable discussing essentially because it means change has to be brought to 'our lives' (the rich and ruling) and not theirs (the poor and downtrodden). That issue is the lack of equality amongst our people. I recently blogged about Income Inequality in the US, and we saw that the top 1% take a quarter of the country's wealth. I would be sure that this number is far higher in Pakistan where the Legharis, Zardaris, Saigols, Dawoods, Habibs, Adamjees, Bawany, Hashwani, Sharifs and Manshas rule the roost in all matter of income. I was surprised to learn that some studies have been carried out and as seen in this report even with the officially listed companies, the top few families own an incredible amount of wealth. Back in the early 90's, the disclosed wealth of these families was several billion dollars. I would not be surprised if each of these families is hitting the trillion dollar mark by now.

I would, in no way, doubt that encouraging families to ascertain their ability to raise their off springs before having children, supporting birth control measures etc are very much required in a country like Pakistan where women in rural areas commonly have 6 or more children and suffer tremendously as a result. But the significance of spreading the wealth more judiciously may well be enough to bring poverty levels in Pakistan down to manageable levels. How and when that may happen is not clear, but i can sense it will and hopefully within the life of my generation.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kerry Lugar Bill

A lot is being said about it, not a lot is really being understood about it. If you the actual bill

and some very well diagnosed issues within the bill which i found to be most pertinent in understanding what the bill is all about. I agree with whats in here.

i personally feel, the bill is just another little step in the actions that was started decades ago to sell this country, its sovereignty and its peoples for money and power. This time its on paper, in the news and hence clearer to all those who matter.
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