Stories about navy

Mr Nawaz Sharif, you should not be the foreign minister of Pakistan

Since a foreign minister represents his or her country at all international conferences, he or she has to be highly educated. Sometimes a very experienced diplomat is appointed as foreign minister, at other times a popular politician is selected. Pakistan, being a nuclear armed state with plenty of problems of its own, is in urgent need of a foreign minister. But at present, it is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (NS) who is doubling as the foreign minister of the country. We have had some very good foreign ministers, one of them being Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, the longest serving foreign minister of the country. Besides being a retired general, ...

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What about the two Air Force pilots who died yesterday?

Yesterday, Pakistan lost two impeccable fighter pilots in a saddening crash in Karachi. The incident took the lives of Wing Commander Khurram Sammad and Squadron Leader Umair Elahi. As the Mirage fighter plane crashed in Baldia Town, the incident caused four other casualties. Yesterday, Pakistan also saw the self-proclaimed ‘Quaid’ of Sindh, also known as Altaf Hussain getting arrested for money laundering. The news of his arrest caused the usual stir in halting all life in Karachi. Roads were jammed, shops closed and basically all activities came to a standstill as the city sat in terror. The violence that comes with such news is nothing new. People ...

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Bahria University: Arsalan Bilal’s hunger for justice

Ask the administrators of Bahria University Islamabad, who have reportedly expelled Arsalan Bilal from the University for threatening staff members by forwarding a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. It appears irrelevant to the administrators that the same e-mail was forwarded to his friends, class fellows and family members. Yet, Faiz’s poetry is a reason good enough to warrant expulsion if a teacher is added to the mailing list. Bahria University has also declared Arsalan Bilal “psychologically unstable,” even though they are no experts in psychiatry. If so, the university appears to have ...

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MV Suez’s return: Why did it take 10 months?

In an overwhelming and emotional sight, the sailors of MV Suez finally returned to their respective countries after the drama that unfolded in the wake of the crew’s abduction by Somali pirates last year. The crew seemed to weather all storms – from long drawn negotiations to the ship being attacked more than once after it was released. And as if that was not enough, the rescue mission threatened to snowball into a diplomatic row with what was described as ‘dangerous manoeuvres’ by Indian naval ship INS Godavari. However, as the high strung episode comes to an end, serious questions need ...

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Saleem Shahzad: When journalists bite the dust

I hope we live to see the day when journalists in Pakistan boast about a prosperous economy, medical breakthroughs, and life security. I hope most of us never see the day when things are actually worse than how newspapers make them out to be. Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan Bureau Chief of Asia Times Online (a Hong Kong-based news website), disappeared from Islamabad on May 29, 2011, just days after publishing an article for the Asia Times which implicated that officials in the Pakistani Navy had links with al Qaeda (The second part of Saleem Shahzad’s report, ‘Recruitment and training of ...

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Military goes bang, bang

With apologies to the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz, it’s astonishing to see the extent to which civilians will go to defame the armed forces and paramilitary units. First they blame the army for Abbottabad, then the navy for PNS Mehran. Then the accusations of ISI support for our strategic ally, the Taliban, Raymond Davis’s exit, and a host of other problems. Don’t they realise that khaki knows best? The brouhaha over the shooting of a civilian in Karachi is an embarrassment. Can they not see that the dangerous civilian was about to overpower the five Rangers men? Can ...

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My cousin Yaser isn’t dead

A month after Yaser (better known as Lieutenant Syed Yaser Abbas Shaheed) lost his wallet, he received a letter along with his identity card. It was an apology from the guy who had stolen it. He wrote that it was the dire need for money that had forced him to steal, that he was really ashamed and would return him the amount if and when his circumstances changed. I’m sure that though his feelings of remorse would have grown now that Yaser has left, the letter writer can draw some comfort from the fact that he had at least apologised. But ...

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PNS Mehran attack: United we stand?

Does the maxim ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ hold true for us, only as a nation? It’s very evidently true for us, if we are part of the military forces. Just how can the intruders jump into the naval base and create havoc of such great magnitude. Unthinkable and unimaginable. Karachi, my city was under attack, and one feels extremely out of focus, when our armed forces, our jawans, who spend their entire life guarding our lives and our borders, evidently get attacked by people we know as Taliban. This is in reference to the recent attacks on them. But ...

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TV coverage of PNS Mehran attack

The standoff at the naval base on Sunday night excited the electronic media so much that in a bid to give as complete and precise information to the viewers as possible our presenters forgot that the areas they were talking about were all sensitive military installations and as such classified for outsiders. Karachi’s citizens who were obviously the affected population knew full well where exactly the base is located, and did not need to know what lies inside. All that was needed was information about the casualties, the number of people affected, hostages, the intensity of the fight, and the ...

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Apologies, Lieutenant Yasir Abbas

I have always been a supporter of the extravagant budget spending on Pakistan’s defence. The high global ranking of our military has always served as reason for me to maintain my stance and argue in favour of the forces. In debates with friends and colleagues, I have, several times, flaunted the fact that if there is one great thing about Pakistan, it is our defence. Unfortunately, this all changed recently. Little did I know that the forces I talked so highly of would miss an ‘unknown’ number of people jumping in to one of the most valuable bases in ...

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