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Pakistan

There is consistency in the name of change. There’s the rediscovery of an old self that takes so much pride in trying the errant chroniclers. The suppressed predator among the politicians returns — above and beyond the development of all these bridges and underpasses signifying movement and progress. 

 
The media in Pakistan and outside was abuzz for some 48 hours over a story published by the English newspaper Dawn, regarding a meeting between heads of the civil government and the military.  
 
The profiles had been created as early as 2015; her picture had been used and in at least one case included lewd and immoral content. The arrest was made under Section 21 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, and the suspect will remain in police custody for 14 days until a remand hearing and, eventually, a trial date is set for him.  
 
The sentiment’s supposed to be an old one: in certain Ottoman lands, the killer would sprinkle his victim’s blood on his clothes and parade through the streets, thus ‘increasing his honour.’ It would be courting arrest, unless the blood was a sister’s or daughter’s.  
 

Being a republic, Pakistan is a sovereign state with a form of government in which people elect their rulers. The question is how best to elect people who are committed to serving the state and citizens.

 

In these past few weeks, the state has obsessed over surgical strikes, national security, and sovereignty. It’s something we’ve done for most of our history. The truth is that the far greater violation of millions of households caught in economic stagnation takes place everyday across the country. And it is this violation that will continue repeatedly until the state introduces social mobility and equitable development as the actual pillars of its social contract.

 

A Pakistani media report suggesting a showdown between the civilian regime and the army over the latter’s patronage of terror groups has to it a familiar ring. Something similar had happened in the aftermath of the US Navy seals’ 2011 operation that took out Osama Bin Laden.

 

Both provinces have made large development allocations to education and health in their respective budgets for 2016-17. The actual performance will, in part, depend on the past record. A comparison between the trends in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Punjab in the first nine months of 2015-16 is extremely revealing.

 

CPEC is an important set of projects undoubtedly. But the costs have to be watched carefully if it doesn’t leave us in a Sri Lanka type of situation, where the government signed on to large Chinese projects since 2010, then landed up at the doorstep of the IMF this summer, at least partially in order to meet the repayment obligations connected with these same projects.

 
How do leaders detoxify the narrative on each other once they have brainwashed their people into hating the other country? Remember what Naseeruddin Shah told Bollywood Hungama last year? He said “Indians are being brainwashed into believing Pakistan to be the enemy country without being aware of the historical. Indians need to look beyond the political animosity. What can we possibly gain from this form of ragging that we practise against Pakistan? It is a bully’s way of asserting himself”.  
 


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