Wajahat Latif

  • TIslamabad is like a 'non-family duty station'. Diplomats posted here are well paid but live in constant fear. Several embassies run on skeleton staff, however, some shut down because of the threats received. In addition to a walled diplomatic enclave, the premises occupied by them in other parts of ...

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  • TThe three members UN Commission of enquiry into Ms Bhutto's assassination on December 27, 2007, is presently in the country. In addition to visiting the Liaquat Garden where she had addressed a rally shortly before being killed, they have met a number of officials from the police and the ...

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  • TSecurity issues and the War on Terror have metamorphosed Islamabad into a barricaded city. Gun-toting policemen and security officials are everywhere. Highways and byways are blocked with heavy concrete barriers for police checks and no journey is uninterrupted. The bottlenecks are particularly ...

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  • TThis Independence fortnight has been gossipy and scandal-ridden in Islamabad. The weather has been particularly humid and hot, atypical of this city where a few hot summer days are followed by rain when it cools off. But it has not been so this year. This year, we seem to have had a taste of ...

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  • TSince July 31 when the Supreme Court gave a judgement declaring General Musharraf's action of November 3, 2007 unconstitutional and illegal, we can confidently expect that we have a free and independent judiciary in place. All stakeholders in Pakistani politics should recognise the change and move ...

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  • TThree weeks ago I tried to draw a political balance sheet of Pakistan. I thought then, and still do, that the lawyers' movement backed by the civil society and mainstream political parties was a great development. Indeed, army interventions were regressive, pulling the country down. But CJ Iftikhar ...

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  • TWhen the US and the UK forces invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, their declared objective was to dismantle Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), regime change and "free" the Iraqi people. They believed their troops would be welcomed with flowers and therefore expected the operation to be ...

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  • TThe political balance sheet of Pakistan since 1947 when it came into being, thanks to army take-overs and rigged election has been in deficit, the biggest setback coming in 1971 when half the country was lost. That Bangladesh is today a struggling but happily independent country is another matter. ...

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  • TLee Iacocca, a legendary corporate executive, is well known for turning the fate of Chrysler Corporation in 1980s when it was in "death throes". An American born of Italian immigrants, Lee Iacocca had a distinguished educational career, graduating from Princeton on a prestigious fellowship. ...

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  • TAccording to one estimate, nearly 75 percent of the people of this country live on less than $2 a day. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening as the prices go up. Utilities like gas and electricity are becoming unaffordable even for the shrinking middle class. The Supreme Court(SC) has ...

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  • TWhen we lived in England in the 80s, Britain had problems with racial harmony but it was not obvious. Tensions existed but they remained below the surface; daily life went on without social eruptions. There were racial prejudices but the social form was maintained at a civilised level. Discussion ...

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  • TThe beautiful thing about democracy in Switzerland is that the government is unobtrusive: you don't see it and you don't feel it. Unless, that is, you break the law when it acts swiftly and definitely, full chance being given to you to defend yourself. We arrived at Geneva this week from ...

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  • TWho is fighting whom in Swat, Dir, Buner or Waziristan? Apparently, the Taliban-i-Tehrik Pakistan (TTP) is fighting the army. They seemed to have taken over the administration of these districts in the last year or so and enforced the Shariah there, a law not unknown in the area until the fifties ...

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  • TIslamabad to Doha is not a long haul, but the direct flight from Doha to Washington is 14 hours. That is a long flight Hard as the airline staff may try to keep you in good humor, you do feel a kind of travel anxiety. I do not mind long train journeys as the train rolls on its tracks on the ground ...

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  • TSoon after I wrote my article titled Loaded Envelope (published on May 29), I received two emails from a colleague in Washington. In some measure, the emails added to my knowledge and I share it with my readers in the same hope. But more than that, it reflects the complexity of the politics of ...

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  • TThe figures going round for aid to Pakistan in the US Congress are high. The Berman bill in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee moved by its Chairman Howard L. Berman proposes yearly $1.5 billion for five years in non-military aid to Pakistan. It would also authorize $600 million ...

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  • TWashington DC, the capital of the USA, founded 1785 and designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfant with inspiration from Versailles, is a beautiful city. The seat of the US government, major think tanks and multinationals, it is here that much of the fate of the world is decided. However the present ...

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  • TI went to Swat for the first time in 1969 when the princely state was being merged in Pakistan. General Yahya Khan was the President of Pakistan and Miangul Jehanzeb was the Wali of Swat. I was in Swat for over two weeks and stayed in a small rest house by the river in Kabul, a few miles out of ...

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  • TI first went to Switzerland in 1978. Before that, I had only read about it in European history or seen it through the literature available on tourism. But subsequently, I have travelled in all parts of this beautiful country through the lakes, mountains and valleys in spring, summer, autumn and ...

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  • TSome one has at last had the courage to take a bold step towards police reform. Police is responsible for law enforcement in society, giving it a sense of discipline. The state holds them responsible for the protection of person and property. Law enforcement is not an easy thing to do in a ...

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  • TIn any civilised country, the infrastructure related services are easily available. If you apply for an electric connection, for example, you are bound to get it if you complete all the laid down formalities. There may be some charges involved, but no hanky panky. The service is available to you if ...

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  • TChief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has taken suo motu notice of the video that had apparently been taking the rounds on the Internet for sometime, but was recently reported in the media, private channels running the now notorious flogging of a young girl ostensibly by the Taliban in Swat. ...

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  • TThe president's address to the Parliament last Saturday was a strange show. The address had been preceded by his visit to Balochistan, one of the two issues on which his spin-doctors had built up a hype in the media. The other issue was his address to the Parliament. The Balochistan visit was a ...

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  • TA few months ago, Mr. Asif Zardari (with reference to Mian Nawaz Sharif who was backing the reinstatement of the Supreme Court judges) used to say that some people were still learning politics. As he said this, he had already gone back on solemn, written agreements to reinstate the judges after ...

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  • TThe flight to London was long and at some stage the young Arab next to me started a conversation. He had already done three years of mechanical engineering from Australia, but abandoned the programme when he was selected for pilot training with Emirate Airline. Passionate about flying, he had a ...

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  • TMr Asif Ali Zardari has committed the same mistake in imposing the Governor's Rule in Punjab as General Musharraf did two years ago when he tried to remove the Chief Justice of Pakistan. With a complete hold on all instruments of power, he survived for eight years; but in the end made a costly ...

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  • TFebruary 25 when, following a highly controversial order of disqualification of Mian Shahbaz Sharif by the Supreme Court, President Zardari imposed the Governor's Rule in Punjab. This caused a serious political crisis in the largest province of the country which, from all accounts, was running very ...

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  • TNewspapers report that the NWFP government has decided to issue 30,000 rifles to especially chosen civilians in order to help the police. Law and order a shamble in the province, the responsibility for maintaining it is indeed a provincial subject. The federal government has always found it ...

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  • TGeneral (retd) Pervez Musharraf once again appeared on almost all television channels after a long time, all arrogance that he radiated when in power gone. He is the one single person who did maximum damage to this country's sense of sovereignty way back in 2001 when he agreed to the US demands for ...

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  • TDesperate as its people might be for a change, Pakistan seems immune to it. Political corruption and religious extremism is dehumanising society. There was a long awaited general election in February last year that resulted in a coalition government of moderate, progressive parties. Exercising good ...

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