A nation takes off
VoH Monitoring desk

Pakistani history can be charted through flights that have landed, crashed, been shot down, or hijacked on this nation’s tarmac. Urban theorist Michel de Certeau famously wrote that the only way to “see” New York City was from the 110th floor of the World Trade Center. At the city’s summit, lifted away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, traffic, and street corners, one can start to make sense of the city’s complexities, he argued. From a bird’s eye view, the city becomes readable, and the practices of those who inhabit it are laid bare for one to consider. This argument is even truer for one looking down on the world from a plane. As flights land, passengers look down on cities that suddenly seem orderly, expansive, and inevitable. Familiar places take on new identities, and their proximity or similarity to other landmarks is revealed. Coming in for a landing – suspended in that liminal space between here and there, leaving and arriving, past and future – one enjoys a fresh perspective on what has long been known. Perhaps for that reason it is apt to view the history of Pakistan from that same vantage point, from the cockpits of the innumerable flights that have landed – or crashed, or been diverted, hijacked, or shot down – on this nation’s tarmac.After all, planes, and those they have carried, have changed the course of Pakistan’s political history, shaped its national identity, enabled foreign policy, determined the outcome of wars, spurred immigration and exile, and even inspired art and fiction. Any mention of planes in Pakistan, and most people are transported to an open space on the outskirts of Bahawalpur, on August 17, 1988, where the scattered and smoking parts of a C-130 Hercules announce the death of everyone on board, including General Ziaul Haq, then American Ambassador Arnold Raphel, and General Akhtar Abdur Rehman, then chairman of the Pakistan Joint Chiefs of Staff. By going into a near-vertical dive, that plane ended 11 years of military rule, ushered in a tumultuous ‘decade of democracy,’ and chartered a new course for General Zia’s process of Islamisation. The plane crash also forever altered US-Pak relations, once robust, now tainted with suspicion and conspiracy theorising as many in Pakistan’s intelligence agencies believed that the CIA had masterminded the crash by spiking a crate of mangoes on board with VX gas. Others, who believed a secret 365-page report on the incident byPakistani investigators that pointed towards sabotage, blamed the KGB, Mossad, or the al-Zulfikar group led by Murtaza Bhutto. Accident or assassination? That question prompted Mohammed Hanif to write A Case of Exploding Mangoes, one of the most popular English-language novels from this country. It also enshrined cynicism, suspicion, and irony as the bases ofPakistani identity. The fact is, as a nation we learnt unforgettable lessons from the remains of that C-130: that obvious circumstances (such as a plane crash) have sinister origins; that there is no such thing as absolute truth in politics; that nothing is what it seems; and, finally, that those who fly high will eventually come crashing down. But the plane in which General Zia died is not the only one that has altered the course of Pakistani history – many aircraft that have crisscrossed these skies can take similar credit.

Sky warriors
Of course, the Pakistan Air Force planes that have taken off during wartime – and the pilots that manned them – have played an important role. Not unexpectedly, the PAF’s first real altercation involved the Indian Air Force (IAF) in April 1959, when an IAF Electric Canberra intruded intoPakistani airspace and was brought down over Rawat. This skirmish was to set the tone for most of the PAF’s outings in years to come. During the 1965 war, for example, the PAF fleet was outnumbered by its rival five to one, but the former lost only 19 aircraft during that conflict, while the latter lost at least 75. And it was in this war that Air Commodore M.M. Alam downed nine Indian fighters – five of them in less than a minute. That feat earned him a Sitara-e-Jurrat, and forever changed the iconography of Pakistan’s roads. Not only has a major artery in Lahore been named after Commodore M.M. Alam (and duly populated with a string of fancy restaurants), but hundreds of roundabouts across the country are adorned with the plane Alam piloted: F-86 Sabres, a hundred of which were received by the PAF under a US aid program in 1957. In 1971, Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas emerged as the PAF’s airborne hero (and prompted the naming of another road, this time in Karachi) when he crashed a T-33 plane rather than let it be hijacked and taken over to the Indian side. Minhas’s valour came to have particular significance as the PAF’s performance during the rest of the conflict left much to be desired. Outnumbered 10 to one in East Pakistan, the PAF decreased the number of its sorties, and eventually failed to support Pakistan Army ground forces during the Battle of Longewala, despite repeated requests. The defence of Karachi, too, was left to the Pakistan Navy when the Indian Navy staged a raid on the port city. In recent years, the PAF’s wartime activity has decreased. During the Kargil conflict in 1999, the PAF shot down an Indian MiG-21 fighter. One month later, over the Rann of Kutch, the IAF brought down a Pakistan Navy Breguet Atlantique patrol plane, with 16 people on board, sparking fears of yet another conflict between the long-time rivals. Despite its checkered history, the PAF has fired the imagination of three generations of schoolboys who are endlessly fascinated by its pilots’ heroics – and by its impressive fleet. Interestingly, the sense of national pride evoked by the air force has, at times, been matched by Pakistanis’ admiration for their national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

A nation takes off

its early days, PIA came to symbolise this young country’s aspirations on the world stage. In 1976, the airline’s green-white-gold logo was recognised as the most visible tail in the world (a record PIA holds to this day) and helped sealed Pakistan’s reputation as a proud country, eager to make it mark in the global arena. The savvy marketing decision to have French fashion sensation Pierre Cardin design uniforms for air hostesses raised the bar for in-flight style, and made the PIA pajama a fashion sensation across Europe. It seemed as if PIA were destined to take flight, metaphorically speaking, especially in light of Pakistan’s aerial colonial legacy (Karachi became the first airport in the British Empire in 1924). The national carrier flew its first service between Karachi and Dhaka in 1954, and went on to break many records before breaking the hearts of Pakistanis who had come to rely on their national airline and take pride in its reputation. In 1960, PIA became the first Asian airline to fly a Boeing 707-321 jet aircraft. Just two years later, the carrier broke a world record when Captain Abdullah Baig flew a new Boeing 720 from London to Karachi in 6 hours and 43 minutes during its delivery flight from Seattle. Many feats were to follow, as PIA was the first airline to show in-flight movies on international routes; operate a flight with an all-female crew both in the cockpit and cabin; and set up Pakistan’s first planetarium in Karachi. But declining standards over the years took their toll, and in a trajectory that echoed the failures of the Pakistani state, PIA came to stand for ‘Perhaps I Arrive’ by the late 1980s. In 2007, the airline experienced its darkest days when the European Commission banned all but eight planes of the PIA fleet from flying to Europe, citing safety concerns. Despite the ups and downs – or more appropriately, take-offs and landings – of both PIA and the PAF, flights launched in Pakistan came to impact global events in profound ways, and, in some instances, dictated this nation’s foreign policy.

Airborne diplomacy
Pakistani planes have bridged the distance between Islamabad and Beijing, cementing Sino-Pak relations since the 1960s. In April 1964, PIA offered a service to Shanghai (from Karachi, via Canton), making Pakistan the first non-communist country to fly to the People’s Republic of China. Indeed, PIA was also the first non-communist airline to fly between Europe and Asia, via Moscow.This airborne diplomacy continued into the 1970s, when President Yahya Khan arranged for then US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger to take a stealth flight from Islamabad to Beijing, a journey that began the process of normalising US-China relations.Of course, Richard Nixon was not the only American president to use Pakistan’s planes as a conduit for US foreign policy. Previously, in 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower had requested permission to fly U-2 ‘spy-in-the-sky’ planes over the USSR from Badaber, the airbase at Peshawar.Starting in 1981, as a testament to strong US-Pak relations in the context of the Cold War and anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan, the two governments also struck numerous deals for Pakistan to purchase F-16 fighter jets. It was a proud day for this country (one that is enshrined in artful painted numbers, letters, and images on almost every truck, minibus, or water tank in this country) when Pakistan’s first F-16 touched down at Sargodha airbase on January 15, 1983. But in 1990, Washington blocked the sale of F-16s to Pakistan as part of sanctions against the country’s nuclear weapons program, amidst fears that certain F-16s had been modified to carry and deliver Pakistani nukes. It was not until 2005, when the US-led war against terror was in full swing, that Washington reconsidered its policy and resumed sales of the fighter jets to the PAF. Although eight more F-16s are due to be delivered to Pakistan this summer, US-Pak relations can hardly be described as flourishing. Anti-Americanism amongst the Pakistani public is at an all-time high, owing, ironically enough, to the many flights taken by a different kind of plane: unmanned Predator drones. Used by the US to strike at terrorists in the country’s tribal region, drones have invoked the ire of Pakistanis for high civilian death tolls. In 2009 alone, there were 44 drone attacks in Fata that killed 708 people. Of these, five successfully hit terrorist targets, meaning that for each militant killed, 140 innocent civilians also had to die. These drone attacks are not the only examples in Pakistan’s history when planes and terrorism have come together – unfortunately, this country has also seen its fair share of hijackings.

Cabin captives
In 1981, the militant, leftist Al-Zulfiqar group hijacked a PIA flight en route to Peshawar from Karachi, and diverted it to Kabul, before finally touching down in Damascus. Demanding the release of 92 political prisoners, three hijackers kept more than 100 hostages on board for 13 days, and even shot dead Lieutenant Tariq Rahim. At the time, it was the longest hijacking incident on record. A few years later, on September 5, 1986, members of the Abu Nidal Organisation hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi. Four armed men boarded the Frankfurt-bound flight dressed in the uniforms of Karachi airport security staff, and went on to kill 20 of the passengers they were keeping hostage. The hijackers were captured and sentenced to death by Pakistan, but eventually released, much to the chagrin of the US and India. In an ironic case of coming full circle, a drone attack in mid-January 2010 is believed to have killed Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim, a Palestinian militant who was wanted by the FBI in connection with the Pan Am hijacking. More recently, the year 1999 saw two – completely different – hijackings. In December of that year, five Pakistanis affiliated with the terrorist Harkatul Mujahideen group hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 from Kathmandu to Delhi. Over seven days, the flight briefly landed in Amritsar, Lahore, and Dubai before setting down in Kandahar. To avoid being implicated in the act of terrorism, the Pakistani government shut down air traffic services and switched of all lights at Lahore Airport. However, when it seemed the plane might crash, it was permitted to land at Lahore for refueling. The saga concluded only when India agreed to the release of three militants: Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (who was later arrested for the murder of Daniel Pearl), and Maulana Masood Azhar (who later founded Jaish-e-Mohammed). In that way, this hijacking precipitated the Lal Masjid fiasco of 2007 and sparked Pakistan’s internal war against homegrown terrorists which now threatens to destabilise the country. Earlier in the year, another ‘hijacking’ of sorts had set the tone for a political tussle that also continues into the present. On October 12, 1999, then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif replaced General Pervez Musharraf with another chief of army staff. At that point, Musharraf was on a flight to Karachi from Colombo, and Sharif was later accused of attempting a ‘hijacking from the ground’ by ordering that the general’s flight be diverted to another country. But Musharraf landed in Karachi, overthrew Sharif’s government, and ushered Pakistan into another nine-year-long stretch of military rule. A decade later, Sharif was acquitted of hijacking charges and, in turn, began calling for General Musharraf to be tried on various counts.Courtesy: Breaking News

Time check: Ancient India: State affairs
Assessment of the Mauryan Empire

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By: Mubarak Ali

The Mauryan Empire nearly stretched to occupy most of ancient India. It was the first Indian Empire which united the country from Hindukush to Mesor. However, to rule over such a vast empire, the duties and responsibilities of a ruler increased. He had to maintain a balance among people belonging to different regions and faiths, as he was the protector of all his subjects.

It was impossible for a single person in the system of kingship to rule over such a vast empire, which is why rulers appointed efficient and intelligent ministers, governors, administrators and advisors to take their advice on how to run the state efficiently. The Mauryan rulers divided the empire into five provinces whose governors belonged to the royal family. The empire also required an army to maintain peace and crush any rebellion. There were four types of armies in the Mauryan empire. The first were kashtriyas — the warrior caste whose members were related to the royal family and scions of nobility. Second was the army, which was paid regularly. The third category of the army included solders recruited by the business communities for their own protection. The forth was the naval force whose duty was to guard and protect the coastal territory and check any invasion by sea. In the Mauryan empire, the raja directly communicated with his people and listened to their complaints and resolved their issues based on justice. However, there were judicial courts as well throughout the empire to settle the disputes. People had the right to appeal to the higher authority against a judgment. In case a person committed a crime and refused to accept his crime, he then had to go through fire or boiled water in order to prove his innocence.There were different kinds of laws, namely religious laws, customary practices and the ruler’s edicts which were implemented by the judges to resolve different cases.
The Mauryan society was divided into castes and classes. Ruling classes consisted of the members of royal family, government officials, feudal lords and courtiers. There were tribes and communities as well, but these were not included in the category of caste or class. Similarly the untouchables, slaves and foreigners were excluded from the caste system.Individuals were also identified by their profession such as traders, moneylenders, shopkeepers, goldsmiths, carpenters, physicians and priests. The tribes who lived in forests were independent but they were assigned by the army to provide timber and capture elephants to be used in the army. Dawn


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Voice of Voiceless

The blog aims to disseminate the accurate regional information without consideration of race, color, ethnicity, religion and ideology to the valuable readers across the globe. We promise to abide with the moral and professional ethics of citizen journalism through this medium of communication. The voiceless masses of this one of the most beautiful places on earth, situated in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan experience hard times due to continuous natural and man made disasters which have left them at surviving stage. Shortly speaking, in a short span of time, Hunza valley has embraces a steady socio-economic and ecological development making it self an authentic book to read about or take a model for rest of far flung valleys bordering Chines Sinkiang province in the extreme north of the country. The haphazard material development in this comparatively small area has also served to create various socio-economic and ethical problems which ultimately served to shake the fabrics of very roots and foundations of culture and civility among dwellers. On geo-political front, analysts find a very little say of a common man in the major decisions related to regional socio-economic development, violation of meritocracy by mafias in political parties, pressure groups which safe guard their own interests, a unbridled bureaucracy, corrupt regimes that patronizing nepotism or favoritism and who wield powers in Gilgit, the main hub and capital of Gilgit-Baltistan. Rapid increase in expenditures ranging from general commodity price hikes to transportation has left no option or time for people to think on other issues.
The so called Economic-Recession, unequal distribution of wealth, concentration of opportunities towards certain beings, lack of social responsiveness and transparency in government sector and no check and balance on private sector has brought its ugly implication in terms of high unemployment, depression among the youngsters, anxiety and hatred towards system of governance.
We vow to bring fore the issues of common man at grass root level, strive to highlight irregularities in government sector and flaws in public policy and finance in a democratic way. We shall continue to give our opinion on issues of importance and determine to prove a viable platform to have a positive role for public welfare, inter-communal harmony, integrity and social justice.
Amid such a situation when even the survival of country is on stake and is defamed due to continual terrorist incidents throughout the our county, we may pray for a peaceful and prosperous future of the nation. May Lord save the peaceful Gilgit-Baltistan region from the evil designs of devils in human form.

The blog has been developed and upgrading by the efforts of the following dedicated volunteers.

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Editor: Shamsuddin Muhammad

Co-editor: Inam Karim
Email: inamkarim02@gmail.com

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Karachi: Sartaj Karim
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Hunza: Naeem Hamoon
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Gilgit: Aslam Shah

Email: hunzaishah@gmail.com

Islamabad: Ikramullah Baig
Email: hunza_havenonearth@yahoo.com

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The blog is a venture with exclusive news updates, unbiased analysis and opinion on historical, cultural, ecological, socio-economic, geopolitical and administrative issues and events occurring in country in general and the region particular. It would serve as a portfolio of credible information retained first hand from own and secondary reliable electronic and print media sources and aspire to become a powerful voice for a common man. We are committed to adhere with the professional ethics of citizen journalism, a new trend to shackle the chains of excessive curb over dissemination of reality either for any cause in the name of so-called sensor, with maximum possible accuracy and least deviation while delivering information to show the real side of picture of events so that our valuable readers will have an alternative portal to know what developments are going on various levels, particularly backward areas like that of Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, Azad Jamu and Kahsmir, Tribal areas etc., across the country. One can easily discern a great social change in terms of attitudes, perceptions both in individual and society; values and reaction to the variables in daily life patterns among the dwellers of the comparatively backwards areas like Gilgit-Baltistan, a deprived region of its fundamental rights for more than six decades of its liberation from colonial yolk. In a quest to voice over issues of vital importance, keeping closer to circle of concern, Hunza, a name famous for its beauty and rich cultural heritage has been selected to represent as a case to further the cause and issues of the rest of the region. Virtually, the region especially Hunza-Nagar retained a rapid development with a short span of time after remaining isolated for centuries to out side world. The blog also aims focus largely to identify core areas from on bottom or grass root level to the top. Keeping due consideration of inter-religious harmony, tolerance, respecting pluralism, diversity, mutual respect, democracy, equal opportunity and other aspects of human rights and professional values of journalism, the blog will serve as a binding force and medium of voice of the voiceless people of the area with reference to Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The idea of creation of this blog came into my mind during a visit after spending few years of career at Karachi, capital of Southern province to the region. While traveling from south pole of the country to north, I experienced many new changes nearly in all aspects of life explicit in urban areas and implicit in rural belts: people have opted to modern technology, availed faster means of communication; task centered behavior, selfishness, following short-cuts, chase of wealth and more opportunities in their career and many more that made their lives much more easier but crazier than before. Nevertheless, the scene suddenly turned bit dim when I entered the region of Gilgit-Baltistan. I could not believe my eyes that this was the Gilgit I saw four years ago. Many things, except the faces were utterly unchanged formats primitive outlook. The Chinese bridge that linked Danyore and Gilgit and a main source of transportation was no more. Few people told me that few journalists have lost their lives in lethal road accident due to lack of arrangements on part of concerned authority to avoid the incident. Karakorum High Way (KKH), one of the highest truck able route and so-called eighth wonder in the world is under construction and many places portray nothing but a passage through a rough stony pasture. It took nearly twenty four hours from Rawalpindi to reach after an exhaustive journey to Hunza, my home town, compared to nineteen hours in past. The scenario seemed worse in Hunza, my home town which remained unchanged for last four years except a drastic decline in standard of living of more than fifty percent of the population. One may think that people have replaced muddy homes with cement ones but that are not the real yardstick of measurement of both mental and material development. Infrastructure, fixtures, telecommunication systems were largely depreciated to their estimated life coupled with inappropriate number of personnel required in educational, administrative and health institutions. The so-called economic meltdown that started from American giant Leman soon took the world into its tyrant claws, shaking many stable economies of the world including the rural areas of developing states- a big example of negligence and subjugation by the rulers of respective countries where people live not above the level of animals. Apart from the allegations on policy makers of industrialized nations having economic interest only, the poor, irrational, incompetent, self-centered and corrupt leadership in Pakistan like other third world countries where immature economies spends it larger portion of budget expenditure on defense could not resist the negative consequences of economic crisis in terms of high rate of unemployment, recession, right or down sizing, price hikes, violation of consumer rights and so on. Hunza-Nagar, like other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan was no exception. The smiling faces that greeted us once warmly few years ago turned unhappy for the crisis brought its ugly implication on the daily life pattern of an individual thus sucking down the unique attributes of population: courtesy, generosity and hospitality. Having a so-called high rate of literacy in the country unfortunately, the region is facing many problems ranging from health to drinking water and energy sector. To many, it was because of lack of geo-political awareness and excessive tendency towards NGO culture where people little bother to beg their rights from the states besides emphasis on duties. Historical chronicles vindicate that the region remained in isolation for many centuries due to a specific location and lack of access to out side world. Many dynasties ruled the area that hardly accepted change in a traditionally sophisticated feudal based society. The wheel of transition continued to move and finally the area got librated through a mutiny with the help of indigenous population from the clutches of Dogra subjugation. Later, the area was affiliated with Pakistan vide a secret treaty called Karachi Treatise as defacto part, unconditionally. Gilgit-Baltistan region got on real terms an impetus to grow from zero level with the visit of three icons of development: Aga Khan, President Ayub Khan and Z.A.Bhutto- a historic event of its nature with long standing implications on live of the people of the region.The area could hardly observed any impulse for more than half dozen years of affiliation with Pakistan when Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan (3rd) first time introduced Diamond Jubilee Schools network during mid fifties in the region. A real phase of development gain impetus when Shah Karim Alhusaini, Aga Khan (fourth) stepped in the region, a population with miserable conditions in 1960. He initiated many new projects in different aspect of life, strengthening the existing educational network under the umbrella of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for the betterment and uplift standard of living of masses lived under poverty line. Aga Khan Development Network in collaboration with donor agencies, with a view to bring social change from grass roots level, initiated rural support programme and other services for less-privileged societies in the region. In simple words, initial projects were stretched to new areas under AKDN umbrella ranging from self-entrepreneurship to planning and building services. These development programmes served a catalyst for a common man who, earlier was confine to a certain limit where facilities and perks were confined to a specific creed, definitely a big change in society led to process of decline of so-called nobility. By, 1974, Z.A.Bhutto, chief of Pakistan Peoples Party and his cabinet undertook a disintegrated country following the fall of Dhaka, albeit eliminating princely status of numerous states gave them democratic structures, initiated socio-economic, political and administrative reforms in civil services cadres under 1973 constitution of Pakistan. These reforms opened a path for further reforms in tribal and affiliated princely states, mostly in mountain regions. Elders assert, by 1976, when Bhutto abolished the princely status of the units and replaced the princely flag with that of the country declared region formally its de-fecto part. The new development allowed for the first time a limited right of franchise and representation in a parallel council governed from capital. He in collaboration with international donor agencies like UNICEF and World Food Programme helped ensure provision of basic necessities like food to indigenous population still in poor conditions. He gave word to poor and enables to build his destiny. The facility fell a prey of Zia-ul-Haq who abolished the programme to benefit his favorite breed. He altered such programmes to facilitate Mujahideen busy fighting Afghan war against Soviet invasion on behalf of American assistance. By, 1988, before the withdrawal of USSR, Zia regime played a dirty game: as an integral strategy to get parallel success, he supported a breed of militants to eliminate all those against his faith in Gilgit-Baltistan. Unfortunately, the indigenous people could not understand his nefarious designs under the veil of religion that had to sustain his regime using divide and rule tactic and nothing to do with public welfare fell a prey of communal discord. Thousands of innocent people were brutally killed without a reason from both sides and this in turn sowed the seeds of sectarianism thus introducing a Kalashnikov culture in this region. On country’s political front, frequent interventions of military in politics in the wake of undemocratic moves of leadership, double standard attitude of bureaucracy and excessive influence of establishment forces harmed political evolution during last sixty two years of country's history. A finest dictatorship is considered worse than a worse democracy for it largely overlook the opinion of masses. The undemocratic regimes since 1952 onwards in general and during dictators’ regimes left people with no option but to support immature, corrupt and unable leadership confined to their self interests coupled with narrow vision. On global front, with the withdrawal of USSR from Afghanistan, American administration started to shift its strategy of dependency and support for Pakistan especially that to check movement and expansion of communist philosophy, an anxiety among the then US policy planners. Political front once again passed through a new change in 1999 when military took over in October 1999. Numerous Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), both national and international rapport delivered remarkable work since 1990s to 2004 in many sectors like education, health, cultural preservation, design and building.

History repeated itself, but in a new form under different circumstances after cold war, when terrorists attacked twin towers of World Trade Centre, an icon of prestige and glory of America killing thousands of innocent people as a response to US policies inviting a fresh hostility between US and Islamist groups or in other words initiated an open conflict between two countering forces. To some, hidden forces worked behind the incident: Muslims thought it was a Judaist elements while to Europe and US a strike of Islamist elements; even the then Bush administration alleged Islamist groups behind this nefarious act to initiate an open armed struggle to defy its policies and interests. The September 11 incident served a cause to create sufferings for the Muslim communities residing in America and Europe. Being a sponsoring source of Jihadist elements, Pakistan was in real trouble as it was asked either ally the US or ready to go into stone age. Consequently, Pervez Musharraf took U-turn in state policy against billions of dollars as assistance. Once again, US dependency on Pakistan after Afghan war, in an endless war against an invisible enemy in terms of Osama started, leading farmer to think to gain control over natural resources in Afghanistan and Central Asian states. As a state, Pakistan endured many hardships, mostly from inside elements, Majority of our political leadership, for instance is largely nurtured under the aegis of military establishments and always ready to achieve their own interest lest it comes to compromise on national matters, evident from the successive overthrowing of representative regimes. They could not deliver any remarkable to uplift the standard of living of a common man except false promises. It was the Musharraf regime which can be given credit for many reasons: allowed a national government to complete its five year tenure, introduced local government systems for dicentralization of power though a move to by pass the then political and administrative forces like his predecessors military dictators to bolster one man show. Apart from few of blunders in terms of killing of Akbar Bugti, subjugation of judiciary, appointment of army on service and retired personnel in institutions offering higher education, other key positions in major public organiztions and using force as a decisive force instead of dialogue his regime can be recalled for many things during last eight years. He was the first who put hand on non-state actors, brought changes in status of deprived regions like Gilgit-Baltistan bringing reforms and took initiatives to improve education and health facilities. He gave us an International University, increased woman representation, empowered Northern Light Infantry, established N.A scouts and notified Hunza-Nagar district and many more. Yet, at the same time on mass level, despite many accomplishments, it failed to address the real issues of poor. Giant fishes got most and poor further got depressed as the regime greatly revolved around the interests of Chaurdhries and lords. December 2007, shall be remembered a black day when Benazir Bhutto, a female leader of international repute was assassinated at the same place where one of the most famous Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan as killed. Country fell into chaos and observed an extreme internal and internal threat to her existence second time after 1971. Good heaven, the situation soon normalized. With the dawn of democracy, based on Benazir Bhutto's sacrifice has brought a hope of change of image of the country in global economy. PPP led contemporary government has given a new Self Governance Reforms Package 2009 ahead of poles to empower the assembly to legislate on various subjects not allowed in past and choose their own Chief Minister unanimously with the consent of Prime Minister, the head of set up-a good initiative after Z.A Bhutto's compassions for the region. The package has opened a door for more autonomy resembles to that of Azad Kashmir. Though, there are many flaws in the package yet, it will serve to reduce feeling of deprivation among the masses.

There is another side of the picture that the poor performance in many of the departments in government sector during last two years has raised many questions in our mind regarding its capability to cope the challenges that the country faces internally and externally. Public welfare, security from internal and external aggressions and provision of basic necessities to the citizens is the fundamental responsibilities of modern states. Yet, more focus on external threats under security syndrome has left the country nothing but to expend on defense-thus neglecting other sectors like education, strategic personnel planning, health, trade and industry and exploitation of natural resources to strengthen our economy. As for as the private sector especially the NGOs are concerned, the are now confine to reporting to get funds, roam and measure the length of roads in their luxury vehicles. Now it depends on flow of events that will decide the future course of history.

Shamsuddin Muhammad,

Author and Editor,



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Hyderabad,, IslamicRepublic of Pakistan, Pakistan
I am social person with a tendency towards learning knowledge that will balance the material world and the hereafter, a legacy obtained from the family. I earned my MA (General History with specialization in Modern History) and M.A.S (Master of Administrative siences with speciliazation in HRM) both from University of Karachi in 2005 and 2007 respectively, am fond of social work and public welfare. The blog focuses on social change caused by socio- economic and geo-political impulse in the country in general and the region particular.