Government and Politics

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30 Jun, 2014
Hopeless In Pakistan

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

June 30, 2014

 That’s the story of the last 67 years. The story is going to be retold if the politicians do not take heart to challenge the actors be they state, i.e. security establishment, or non-state, i.e. Taliban and other violent groups. And if the ruling politicians let the security establishment do what it like, and do not subdue it to play its constitutional duty, they will once again betray the millions of teeming citizens who are living a hopeless life in Pakistan.


08 Apr, 2014
Media Release: New Book, "Pakistan's Democratic Impasse: Analysis and the Way Forward" Published

Lahore April 8, 2014: Alternate Solutions Institute released today Dr. Khalil Ahmad's new book, Pakistan’s Democratic Impasse – Analysis and the Way Forward. Already this in 2012 and this February, he has published three books, "Pakistan Mein Riyasti Ashrafiya Ka Urooj" (The Rise of State Aristocracy in Pakistan, February 2012), “Siyasi Partian Ya Siyasi Bandobast: Pakistani Siyasat Ke Pech-o-Khum Ka Falsafiyani Muhakma” (Political Parties Or Political Arrangements: A Philosophical Critique of the Intricacies of Pakistani Politics, July 2012), and, Pakistani Kashakash: Tehleel-O-Tadeel aur Aagay Barhany ka Rasta (Pakistani Armageddon: Analysis, Resolution and the Way Forward, February 2014).

22 Feb, 2014
Media Release: New Urdu Book, "پاکستانی کشاکش" Published

Lahore, February 22, 2014: Alternate Solutions Institute today released Dr. Khalil Ahmad’s latest Urdu book, Pakistani Kashakash: Tehlee-O-Taadeel aur Aagay Barhnay ka Raasta (Pakistani Armageddon: Analysis, Resolution and the Way Forward).

پاکستانی کشاکش: تحلیل و تعدیل اور آگے بڑھنے کا راستہ


10 Aug, 2012
Urdu Book "سیاسی پارٹیاں یا سیاسی بندوبست" (Siyasi Partian Ya Siyasi Bandobast) Published


Media Release:

Urdu Book "سیاسی پارٹیاں یا سیاسی بندوبست 
"(Siyasi Partian Ya Siyasi Bandobast) published

The book attempts a philosophical analysis of Pakistan’s political parties

The book smashes a number of political myths and cliches

Author dubs political parties as enemies of the citizens and focuses on how to make them friends of the citizens 

ahore August 10, 2012: Alternate Solutions Institute released today Dr. Khalil Ahmad's 2nd Urdu book, “Siyasi Partian Ya Siyasi Bandobast: Pakistani Siyasat Ke Pech-o-Khum Ka Falsafiyani Muhakma” (Political Parties Or Political Arrangements: Philosophical Analysis of the Intricacies of Pakistani Politics).His first book, "Pakistan Mein Riyasti Ashrafiya Ka Urooj" (The Rise of State Aristocracy in Pakistan) came out in February this year and has been acclaimed as path-breaking.


10 Feb, 2012
Democracy Or Rule Of Law

January 10, 2012

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

So the time has come whence the citizens of Pakistan need to decide what they want: democracy or rule of law.

The verdict of the Supreme Court (Jan 10) re the implementation of its own NRO judgment, in option 6 reads: 

07 Feb, 2012
Power Sector Reforms: Privatisation The Only Solution (FreePakistan Newsletter # 134)

[February, 2012] 


 0 Power sector reforms: Privatisation the only solution  
  Interview of Dr. Nadeem-ul-Haq
0 HumorWise
0Letters to FreePakistan
0 Issue of the month: Judging the PTI

04 Jan, 2012
Russias "Elections": On The Importance Of Listening

January 4, 2012

By Dmitriy Butrin 

United Russia has lost the right to be regarded as the country’s main political force. Its claims to express the will of the majority are untenable.  What is going on is not a temporary setback or an accidental loss that can be made up for later. It is the corollary of attempts to create a political system that they call “manageable” or “sovereign” democracy. The result of even this “election” shows that the course proposed to “unite” Russia does not sit well with most Russiansit was clearly not supported by a majority of votes. 

23 Nov, 2011
The Goon Squad (FreePakistan Newsletter # 131)


0 The goon squad
 By Iqbal Haider
0 HumorWise
0 Letters to FreePakistan
0 Issue of the month:Judging Karachi

Download the Complete NewsLetter # 131 in PDF

09 Oct, 2011
The Black Holes Of Pakistan (FreePakistan Newsletter # 130)


The black holes of Pakistan
   By Abid Hasan
0 HumorWise
0 Letters to FreePakistan
0 Issue of the month: Dusting the truth

Download the Complete NewsLetter # 130 in PDF


14 Sep, 2011
Karachi - Not A Political Problem!

September 15, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

“And it is our deep conviction that if the Ahrar had been treated as a pure question of law and order, without any political considerations, one District Magistrate and one Superintendent of Police could have dealt with them. Consequently, we are prompted by something that they call a human conscience to enquire whether, in our present state of political development, the administrative problem of law and order cannot be divorced from a democratic bed fellow called a Ministerial Government, which is so remorselessly haunted by political nightmares. But if democracy means the subordination of law and order to political ends – then Allah knoweth best and we end the report.” (Justice Munir Inquiry Report 1954, P. 387)

12 Sep, 2011
Media Consumption?

September 12, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

That is what is known as Public Consumption. Also, government has laws and rules such as official secret acts, or classified information; it goes beyond that and conceals its affairs from the citizens, and makes their leaking a crime. In addition to concealing its affairs, government lies as well as misleads the citizens. It contrives incomplete, incorrect and false information which they mean for “public consumption.” In this game, the media serves as a tool of the government. Otherwise, what else the Information Minister's 'for the media consumption' may amount to?

08 Sep, 2011
New FATA Reforms — Good But Insufficient (FreePakistan Newsletter # 129)


0 New FATA reforms — good but insufficient
 By Farhat Taj
0 HumorWise
0 Letters to FreePakistan
0 Issue of the month: What independence . . . what achievements?

Download the complete Newsletter # 129 in PDF

08 Aug, 2011
Change Direction In U.S. Policy Towards Counter Terrorism: Focus On Rule Of Law

May 15, 2011

By Wiktor Wojciechowski, Sergio Daga & Ali Salman

For the U.S. aid efforts to be effective, ineffective economic grants must be supplemented with aid directed towards the civil administration and a criminal justice system to enforce the rule of law. It is time for U.S. policy-makers, as well as U.S. tax payers, to build pressure on their administration to do the right thing. It is time to focus on rule of law.

21 Jun, 2011
Work Ethics In The Public Sector (FreePakistan Newsletter # 126)


Download the complete Newsletter # 126 in PDF



29 May, 2011
Parliaments Incompetence

May 29, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

So the real issue is complicity and overstepping the constitutional mandate! The information got out of the Parliament’s closed session tells a different story of sovereignty sentimentalism eclipsing all other issues, as is borne out by its outcome, the resolution. Probably none took up the issue of Pakistan Army’s grabbing of civilian powers of formulating defense and foreign policy. None dared ask the security leaders about their past and present interfering in the political affairs of the country, and intelligence agencies’ meddling in civilian affairs, and more than that intervening in public and private sphere of political and civil society leadership, and their penchant to control media. None found courage of challenging their complicity with the Taliban and other brands of extremists in Pakistan, and giving safe heaven to Osama in Abbottabad’s garrison area. In sum, making a defense and foreign policy of their own.

09 May, 2011
What About Internal Sovereignty?

May 10, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

Sure, the nationalists’ anti-American stance and dubbing the present government as US-backed validate their argument. Indeed, by way of inference also, most of these nationalists lean toward the Taliban who are openly attacking the sovereignty of Pakistan. But it seems they have no idea of internal sovereignty, but are concerned only about guarding the external sovereignty of Pakistan which is in no danger by the Drone attacks.

13 Feb, 2011
Next Elections Next Month

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

February 13, 2011

Then there was the Raymond Davis episode that proved to be a blessing in disguise to each and everyone fond of trying his / their hands at politicking. Both provincial and federal governments are making political hay while the Raymond Davis’ sun shines. This long queue also includes so many of those who are determined to fight and defeat US the Super Power in Lahore. What a great opportunity they have got to wage the 3rd World War against the last Super Power! (These politicos plan to be the next themselves!)

12 Jan, 2011
Anarchy Or Rule Of Law

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

January 13, 2011

There are anarchists in every society,it is for the state to control them through law and force!

03 Jan, 2011
Sense Of Direction

January 3, 2011

With JUI (F), MQM, and PML (Q) once again out to test their gamesmanship, and ANP, PML (N), the Army, and the political-religious parties outside waiting in the wings, it seems Pakistan is all set to brace for another bout of political crisis - leaving us the people bewildered what the hell is the direction they are all moving Pakistan into!

04 Dec, 2010
Wikileaking Clandestine Governments

December 4, 2010

Hence, if all the affairs of governments are open and transparent, most of the possibility of this or that type of armed revolts, and war will be reduced to the minimum. This proposition would never be welcomed by rulers and governments, and also by those who despite their being outside government are stuffed with a thinking of ruling other people. They are ‘rulers’ from inside, or by instinct. They can never concede to or tolerate that the matters of governments be brought in open before the ‘ordinary’ citizens.

17 Oct, 2010
Bridging The Communication Gap With PPP!

October 17, 2010

The latest Nawabshah speech (October 11) of President Asif Ali Zardari, replete with the same old rhetoric, and the adoption of the same hazy and symbolic rhetoric by the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani also, proves the same point that the disconnect or the communication gap is but a deliberate strategy to refuse to follow the norms, rules, laws, and constitutional provisions. Whatever its motives are, the PP leadership has taken refuge behind the populist parlance. In this vein, every piece of criticism of whatever nature is dumped under the carpet of conspiracy against the people of Pakistan, and their Party, i.e. the PPP.

23 Aug, 2010
Pakistans Crisis - Its Roots

August 23, 2010

Pakistan is in the grip of a deadly crisis. Whether it is political or economic domain, social or religious life, private or public sphere, the chaos is overriding. Watch for the utter disregard for social and moral values, and social norms on the one hand, and on the other for rules and laws, and the constitution, rampant at every level without any exception. That tells not only of the moral bankruptcy of Pakistani society but of the gravity of the deep moral crisis also. 

13 Aug, 2010
Pakistan - A Criminal State

August 14, 2010

It doesn’t matter which Independence Day it is – 64th or whatever; what matters is whether we are justified in celebrating the Independence or not!

In fact, and indeed, instead of celebrating, we need to indict ourselves. Nay, not ourselves, but those who are responsible of abusing this independence and turning this country into a criminal-elitist state.

This article is an indictment of the State and governments of Pakistan. On this day of August 14, 2010, I present it to the genius of the people of Pakistan!

May this article be able to awaken the conscience of the criminal elites of this country!

May this article be able to trigger a process of intense introspection among us!

May this article be able to grace us with the courage of admitting our crimes, and not declaring others responsible in our stead! [Khalil Ahmad]

02 Jun, 2010
Rules Must Rule Beliefs

June 2, 2010

Recall the Gojra killings of Christians and arson of their households! Did it result in anything that could stop the Lahore massacre? Instead, the government of Punjab appointed Ahmad Raza Tahir as the Lahore Capital City Police Officer whereas a Lahore High Court judge, Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman, after conducting judicial inquiry into the incident of Gojra, had recommended strict action against him as at the time he was the Regional Police Officer Faisalabad and failed to control the riots there. It was only due to the Court’s direct intervention that his appointment was made an issue of, however his appointment was not cancelled by the government, but the Court itself. Why the Court did not initiate the contempt of court proceedings against the persons responsible of appointing such as an officer is anybody’s guess!

11 Apr, 2010
Two Pakistans

April 12, 2010

Anyone can see that there is not one Pakistan. After more than 60 years the two Pakistans can clearly be demarcated. One is for the ordinary lot of the people, and the second one is for the elite classes. Pay a visit to the ordinary Pakistan, and experience the ordinary life there, have a taste of some basic social services available there, and you will realize how neglected is this ordinary Pakistan of the ordinary people of Pakistan. Likewise almost in every big city, there are two cities, one for the ordinary lot and one for the special elite. All other smaller cities including the vast rural expanse fall under the ordinary Pakistan.

07 Mar, 2010
Democracy That Delivers

March 08, 2010

Improving public confidence in a democracy is not just in the interest of any incumbent regime. It is in the interest of every party or individual who declares its belief in change through democratic means. The only remedy available is to focus on economics, and thus less politics.

14 Jan, 2010
The Curse Of Good Government
January 14, 2010
Yet I must admit that whenever I see government doing something that is outrageous or even wasteful or seemingly stupid, my "good government" ideals seem to kick in and I find myself thinking that the powers that be could learn how to do things correctly. At that point, it never occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, the mechanism of action we know as government cannot be operated in a "proper" way at all, because no intellectual device exists that permits us to properly determine just what is "good" or "bad" government. 

24 Dec, 2009
Populism On The Rampage

December 24, 2009

Populism by its very nature is inimical to principles of morality and dictates of law. Like a blind force it razes everything to ground the first of which are morality and law, endangering the whole edifice of the society. That is what the PPP is up to this moment. It has shut itself in a shell and is refusing any meaningful dialogue with the outside world. It has exalted itself to a yardstick to measure and judge whatever exists beyond its pale. In this spirit, it is repudiating both morality and law.

24 Dec, 2009
Mundane Minority Politics

December 21, 2009

Had the constitution of 1973 existed prior to 1973 and been enforced in its true spirit, we would have had no Bangladesh! And most probably there would have been no violent movements in any part of Pakistan!

02 Dec, 2009
The Taliban Mindset

November 20, 2009

Principally, the only point of a constitution is its ability to protect life and property and fundamental rights of individual citizens. Also, the State’s control of its individual citizens is a relic of the monarchical past where instead of law, the ruler was the law, and he acted like a father or mother taking care of his subjects. When law rules supreme, however, it means the laws and the State give equal protection to every citizen’s life, property and fundamental rights. That is why all the attacks on constitutions first require the suspension of these fundamental rights.

20 Nov, 2009
In Defense Of Kerry-Lugar Bill

October 21, 2009

The KLB is part of a new political paradigm and it needs a new pro-active and positive approach to be understood properly. It is people-oriented, and anti-elite. It is anti-Taliban who are intent upon rewinding the whole world back to a past of their own liking. Also, it is imperative that we give due weight to the new realities of the world which provide us with opportunities to change ourselves to co-exist peacefully and live a better life in harmony with other nations, peoples and countries. The KLB may help us take the next step in that direction!

18 Aug, 2009
Not An Elitist Media!

August 06, 2009

If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.
[Art Buchwald}

A momentous turn in the history of the media both electronic and print in Pakistan is the rule of law movement. No doubt, through the thick and thin of this movement it was proved that in the war against the elite classes, media especially electronic media can play a frontal role. It must be mentioned here that electronic and print media both reciprocate their influence on the formation of public opinion. Prior to that, media was considered an integral part of the elitist alliance. No doubt, it was so!

10 Aug, 2009
Religion And Rule Of Law In Pakistan

August 10, 2009

After military might, religion is the greatest alibi to defy the rule of law in Pakistan.

Probably the greatest tragedy that happened to Pakistan is that religious factor decisively succeeded in putting everything on defensive. How under such circumstances a value like rule of law could take root? Thus, what happened in Gojra is not un-expected.

25 Jul, 2009
Bulldozers Can't Stop Slums
July 25, 2009 
After treading the red carpet at the Oscars in Los Angeles in February, the child stars of Slumdog Millionaire are on the streets: Mumbai authorities have demolished their flimsy shelters only three months after promising them real houses. Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail and Rubina Ali Qureshi are just two of some 60 million slum-dwellers in India and their Garib Nagar and Barat are just two of about 52,000 slums. 

11 Jun, 2009
The Post-Restoration PML (N)

May 07, 2009

Let us leave behind what is behind the scene. We cannot decipher the exact meaning lost in the ambiguous language of the PML (N) leadership until and unless they state it clearly and meaningfully. However, we can judge on how dangerous its well-defined policy of vacillation towards Taliban is. We can see how its noncommittal position ultimately serves the interests of the Taliban and their allies, and how seriously damaging it is for the reputation and popularity of the PML (N). Last but not least, we can speak of what one of the Pakistan’s largest political parties should be doing now, amidst the Taliban’s terrorist onslaught, and how it is avoiding taking sides.

22 May, 2009
A S Institute releases its Charter of Liberty

The Charter of Liberty released by Alternate Solutions Institute today demands that the fundamental rights given in the 1973 Constitution be taken as core values and made inviolable.

17 Mar, 2009
Security Lapse Or Security Collapse

March 7, 2009

March 3 was the day when whole of Pakistan refused shelter to the visiting members of the Sri Lankan cricket team. Viewers watched live air-lifting of the guest cricketers by a Pakistan Army helicopter, and news was they would be flown back to their home country without delay. Was that so insecure in whole of Lahore? Or, throughout Pakistan?

06 Mar, 2009
PEMRA: Regulating the Taste of People

The institution of government was founded to protect the life, liberty and property of citizens from the usurpers be they individuals or conutries. Or, what purpose could or does it serve? Surely, people did not and do not need somebodies to rule them? But, with the passage of time, various ambitious individuals, elites, representatives of this or that class, and organized political/religious parties, monopolized it to rule the people, to regulate their lives according to their philosophies, ideologies, visions, wishes and tastes. Thus, the institution of government started losing its rai-sons d'e-tre.

04 Mar, 2009
The Kings Among Us

This article argues that judging rulers on the basis of their individual qualities or the circumstances of their lives is inconsistent with the norms of governance; what needs to be judged, in the first instance, is that whether they uphold the rule of law or not. Obviously, it is rule of law that is the greatest supporter of ordinary people and have-nots. Hence, one who plays with the rule of law, one who defies it, one who makes a travesty of it, never deserves any sympathy be he Saddam Hussein or someone else!

04 Mar, 2009
A State that Took over Society

During the 1970s, Pakistan went in for wholesale nationalization of its private enterprises, taking even educational institutions into the state’s hands. This was a move laden with far-reaching and unforeseeable consequences. Some are still being unveiled today. It changed not only the economic and political, but also the social, intellectual and moral landscape of the country for generations to come.

04 Mar, 2009
The State of the Rule of Law in Pakistan - II

The business of life depends on a healthy life of business. A healthy life of business requires an environment conducive to its establishment, smooth running and flourishing, and protection of its income and property. It is because of this that many indices that measure in fact various business factors place rule of law at the top.

04 Mar, 2009
Judiciary's First Ever NO

We have views about the world, and what exists in and beyond the world. We have views about man, his nature, his destiny, and his place in the society and the world. We have views about society, about people and about the things people believe in and do not believe in and about things people do and do not do. We have views about everything. Sometimes we are aware of the implications of our views and sometimes not. But most of the time we are never aware of the theory of knowledge lying behind our views.

04 Mar, 2009
Biggest Battle for the Rule of Law

This article argues that after a suffering of sixty years there is a silver lining that Pakistanis want an inviolable Constitution, rule of law and an independent judiciary to survive with and Pakistan to be run with. They want their rights and freedoms to be protected by the judiciary. That's a good omen.

04 Mar, 2009
Writ of Law or Government

This article argues that what is always required of a government is the writ of law that must be established and maintained without any relaxation and dilly-dallying. In the case of Lal Masjid, by ignoring what was happening in and around the Lal Masjid the government acted unlawfully. But in forcing the Lal Masjid brothers and occupiers to abandon their unlawful activities government acted lawfully. It tried, though belatedly, to establish the writ of the law. It tried to protect the people from the usurpers of Lal Masjid who used force, the monopoly of a government, to encroach upon the inalienable rights of the people.

04 Mar, 2009
The General Out of His Labyrinth

A lawyer representing the Pakistan government recently tied himself in knots, when commenting on the Supreme Court’s order to restore the chief justice to his post. The court also quashed a presidential reference against the judge. This lawyer said: "One side has to lose and the other has to win." In the same breath, he added, "It's a victory for justice, the rule of law, and General Musharraf." Regardless of what this lawyer would have said had the government won the case, it's worth pondering where the Pakistan government stands now.

04 Mar, 2009
Beyond Apex Court's Judgment

The article argues it is most unfortunate that the US and Western powers and their statesmen dogmatically believe that it is only a military government, be it that of Musharraf or any other General, that could contain terrorists and fight terrorism. This is quite a mistaken view and outrageous for the people of Pakistan. Constitutionally, the Pakistan Army is an institution that is supposed to work under a civilian set-up. Why doesn't it fight terrorism and terrorists under the aegis of a civilian government in Pakistan? That is the way to the long-term resolution of the problem of terrorism also, and that is what the present Pakistani government must heed to make the SC’s judgment a win-win situation.

04 Mar, 2009
Wisdom of a Chinese Sage: Part I

This article presents a selection of Lao Tzu' views especially on governance. Lao Tzu is considered first of the libertarian thinkers, and his thought is rated as radical libertarian creed. Wisdom is what is meant for all and for all times. It never dies or becomes irrelevant. One such example of wisdom is the writings of Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher. One of his aphorisms that I happened to be familiar with more than 20 years ago still inspires me. It was, "Learning consists in adding to one’s stock day by day, the principle of Tao (the way, the path) consists in subtracting."

04 Mar, 2009
Wisdom of a Chinese Sage: Part II

This article presents a selection of Lao Tzu' views especially on governance. Lao Tzu is considered first of the libertarian thinkers, and his thought is rated as radical libertarian creed.

04 Mar, 2009
Responsible Choices

This article discusses continuous price hikes of essential items in Pakistan and suggests a non-governmental way out highlighting responsible consumer behavior. The main cause of price-hikes is government itself. So how ridiculous it would be to plead before it or urge it to reduce or control prices. That is why the prescriptions suggested in this article are directly meant for us consumers.

04 Mar, 2009
The Bane of Sovereignty

This article discusses the moral and political implications of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's two exiles. The article argues that sovereignty of a country is determined by its Constitution. If it is followed in letter and spirit, the sovereignty is intact; if not, sovereignty is harmed.

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