syed.ali

Syed Ali Raza Abidi

A businessman who writes on politics and civic issues. He completed his masters in business administration from Boston University. He tweets @abidifactor.

Pakistan needs a gun-control law

Has your car ever been stuck behind a police mobile in a traffic jam? If yes, then you may have found yourself staring in to the barrel of a rifle that lay snugly on a police officer’s lap. There is probable a security lock on these guns that are pointed directly at us, but the thought of an accidental shot always makes me move a little further away from the vehicles to ensure the gun is not pointing at me. What bothers me is that I have never seen the rifle pointing towards the vehicle, at another officer or the driver ...

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Dear PM Gilani, Pakistan’s fate is in your hands

Dear Prime Minister Gilani, I am delighted by your political maneuvering and how smoothly you have bailed out a failng government. It is smart of you to abandon personal and political egos, and pursue policy of reconciliation. The strategy has worked well and you have garnered support. You are still the prime minister of Pakistan. The fate of Pakistan is in your hands. I hope that your recent decisions were not just an attempt to save President Zardari or your highly unpopular government. Hopefully the MQM and PML-N have reminded you of what your priorities should have been in the first place. ...

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If I were President Zardari in 2011

There is no doubt President Asif Ali Zardari has transformed into a polished politician since his return to Pakistan on December 28, 2007. He has led a number of PPP politicians and managed to bring build a coalition based on “lessons learnt from past mistakes” through a policy of ‘reconciliation’. However, the leaders he nominated, for their personal motives and selfish gains, caused disagreements with partners and ended up embarrassing the party. Corrections have to be made in the future. With one coalition partner already out of the government and another on its way, I feel some extraordinary steps need to be taken to ...

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Karachi in the grips of extortionists, terrorists

Earlier this month Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza entered the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) building for a media briefing where a businessman handed him a ‘parchi’  from extortionists and asked the minister to take action against the people who had been threatening him if they didn’t pay the required sum. The ‘parchi’ practice Being a part of the business community in Karachi for several decades, I can confirm that the parchi system is normal practice in Karachi. Political parties, gangsters, ‘community associations’ and representatives of so-called philanthropic and religious organisations pay regular visits to business units around the city ...

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Imran Khan and the MQM: Similar yet distant

Imran Khan is well known for his work in the development sector. He is also a national sports hero and hopes to bring reforms that will change the status quo and bring progress and prosperity in Pakistan by doing away with the corrupt and feudal controlled system. Khan leads a pro-democracy center-right political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf or “Pakistan’s Movement for Justice”  – justice, which is said to be the main agenda for reform. He offers an ideology which is very similar to the center-left political parties, but he appears more interested in educated professionals, who are self-made and renowned international figures ...

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Sugar crisis: Fed up of food politics

Had we punished the hoarders of basic food items in 2008 and 2009, we wouldn’t have to face the current crisis. Surprisingly, our ‘suo moto judiciary’ did not take notice of it. No one can deny that the current sugar shortage is self-created and that RAW, XE, CIA or Musharraf have nothing to with it. This drama is an epic mismanagement by the policy makers we have elected to operate the public relief departments of this county. We should all know the reasons behind this crisis because we are paying exactly the double of what was available only a few ...

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Ethnic politics in Karachi – ANP, MQM…and Taliban?

In the 2008 elections, the ANP came into power in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and won two seats in Karachi. Since then, the party has been under attack from the Taliban. The Karachi police has managed to nab hundreds of Taliban activists who were either hiding in the metropolis or gathering funds for their ‘cause’. Reports about the arrests of the Taliban, including the Afghan Taliban, have been regular. Just last month, Taliban operatives responsible for logistics and finances were arrested by the CID Karachi and are now in custody. The most famous arrest was of Mullah Baradar. An average of 20 kidnappings occur in ...

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50 reasons Pakistan needs Musharraf

Prime Minister Gilani said at the National Assembly session to leave former president Pervez Musharraf to himself and let him exercise his right to a political career in Pakistan. President Zardari said that if Musharraf wants to return, he will have to cross the same bumpy road as him to get to the presidency or premiership. Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhry Shujaat and the remaining politicians, including religious parties, want him tried for treason, Dr Aafia’s case and introducing extremism in the country. Since the launch of his party on October 1, Musharraf has been on a political offensive. He has talked ...

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Karachi doesn’t need Rangers!

Increasing the powers of the para-military troops to police Karachi is supposed to help control the law and order situation. But has it? Ever since 1993, when the Rangers became a visible force in the city, what have they really achieved? Political forces have awarded Rangers funds and powers which seem to allow then to get away with committing crimes instead of preventing them. Many in the city believe that Rangers go unpunished because of their position. They are superior in rank to the Police and just below that of the Army. But in Karachi, they are supposed to be ...

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Pakistan on the brink of revolution

It is an undeniable fact that a revolution is coming in Pakistan. Almost every leader seems to agree that major change is on the way – but every party has its own version what that change is. On a TV show PPP Senator Syed Faisal Raza Abidi said that he sees the Taliban taking over Islamabad. CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif from the PML-N said he sees a “bloody revolution” if current mismanagement, corruption and lack of interest to help the displaced continue to prevail. According to MQM chief Altaf Hussain martial law-like steps need to be taken to ‘save’ Pakistan. He has also called for accountability ...

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