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The News  section ‘Kolachi’ mentions me and Pakistan Youth Alliance:

With over 5,000 fans of the organisation on Facebook, the Pakistan Youth Alliance (PYA) has emerged as one of the biggest aid collectors and distributors. So far it has distributed over four million rupees worth of goods and relief aid to the flood-stricken people across the country including Nowshera, Rajanpur, Charsadda, and southern Punjab.

 Ali Abbas, heading the PYA told Kolachi that since every settlement has its own requirement, therefore it is not possible to issue a similar item list for every camp and settlement. “We first carry out an assessment of every locality, get in touch with the governmental officials and find out what commodities are required in a particular area.

 On his way to deliver the ninth consignment, he said that so far a tremendous response has been received by the organisation. Abbas discourages dry ration amongst the items. He said that in some areas, such as Nowshera, there is an excess of commodities. In fact, there was so much flour that people were sleeping on flour sacks.

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One started praying for no ‘Pakistan link’ the moment the news of smoke discharging from an SUV parked at Times Square broke in the media. But it turned out later that it was done by a US national of Pakistani-origin. We were lucky that Faisal Shahzad could not assemble the bomb properly. One fails to understand how a westernised youth found the right connections and logistics to travel to the war-struck strongholds of the Taliban and other splinter terrorist organisations. Sadly, our omnipresent intelligence agencies couldn’t trace these links. How could Faisal Shahzad, during his brief visit to Pakistan, find out the proper links and get all the training without any difficulty?

How many Faisal Shahzads are still in the making? How many Pakistanis will further defame their religion and country in pursuit of their murderous goals?

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Islamabad

source: The News

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Interesting revelation was made in The News, Newspost. Read the letters below. PIA, which was once one of the best airlines of the world, having played a pivotal role in the making of Emirates Airlines and Singapore Airlines is now ranked 2nd worst in the world.

Friday, April 30, 2010
This is with reference to a report published in CNNMoney.com (April 14), according to which, PIA is the second worst airline of the world in terms of on-time departures and delays. The report is based on findings by Flight Stats, a US-based company which has ranked Japan Airlines as the best airline for on-time departures. This deterioration of PIA is very disturbing given the fact that it now has a relatively younger fleet with nine Boeing 777s and 5 ATRs, following the grounding of its ageing fleet of fuel-guzzling 747s. Its fleet has the same average age as Southwest, which tops the list of US-based airlines for flight regularity and on-time departures.

The Pakistan government, in spite of the financial crunch, has pumped billions of rupees into PIA, but it has failed to provide it with a professionally competent management that could curtail pilferages and culture of corruption and kickbacks that have dominated the airline since Gen Musharraf’s tenure. It is the appointment of cronies, with known indulgence in financial wrongdoings, by Musharraf and the present regime that has led to PIA’s ranking amongst the worst airlines of the world. PIA is today as bad as Pakistan Railways. The only difference being that while railways has a depleted fleet of engines (courtesy Ashraf Qazi), PIA has 14 new aircraft. Both these organisations have been plundered through corruption, mediocrity, political appointments and pilferages. It is time the authorities concerned took action and prevented further loss to the national exchequer by sacking the incompetent management of PIA.

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi
Islamabad

*****

Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I share the sentiments of Meekal A Ahmed, Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, Rashid Orakzai and Aneela Chandio (May 2). PIA was once run by men of integrity and commitment like Nur Khan, Asghar Khan, Rafique Saigol etc. These days, integrity and merit are apparently a disqualification as individuals shrouded in controversies are considered fit to head state-owned organisations. That PIA has gone from bad to worse does not seem to bother the elected government, for which cronies with their hand in the till are a source of pride and satisfaction.

No wonder the credibility of this government is almost non-existent. An airline with a fleet of Boeing 777s and ATRs being ranked as the second worst airline in terms of delays should have rung alarm bells in Islamabad. It is sheer incompetence that is responsible for this mess. Perhaps a third-party audit is due, or else this airline may face a major catastrophe.

R Chaudhry

Conroe, TX, US

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Some serious lessons need to be learnt from the UN Commission’s report on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Surely there was a security lapse, lack of coordination and incompetence on the part of our premier intelligence agencies whose character has been dubious ever since their role was expanded in the political sphere. The UN Commission’s report might be the first formal and written proof of how certain agencies undermine democracy. It is high time all democratic forces joined hands and curtailed the covert operations of these agencies by redefining their role.

Redefining the role of intelligence agencies with minimum interference in civilian matters is the need of the hour. It will also strengthen their professional capabilities and make our countrymen more secure. The Quaid-e-Azam had rightly ordered the uniformed men not to interfere in civilian matters and never assume the role of policy-makers.

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Islamabad

The News

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With reference to the news item titled “Video of girl’s flogging in Swat was fake” (March 29), one would like to enquire about the source and authenticity of the claims made in the report. The report doesn’t mention the name of the NGO which allegedly provided financial support in the making of the video.

It alleges that some elements in the establishment needed public support for military action in Swat and thus engineered the drama to develop a hype about the matter. If an Islamabad-based NGO paid money to get a ‘fake’ video made, then did the Taliban spokesman, Muslim Khan, also take money to claim that the TTP indeed carried out the flogging?

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Islamabad

The News – Newspost

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A shocking incident recently took place at the UET Peshawar where activists of the student wing of a religious party stormed a hostel room and beat a student there, reportedly, for listening to music. The poor student was beaten black and blue with sticks and the attackers did not even spare his guests who were present in his room. The student lost his life later while his guests are critically injured.

Such Taliban-like behaviour of this students’ group in different universities throughout Pakistan is not a new phenomenon. Such incidents take place wherever this group is active. I urge the government to enforce a ban on student bodies which have been promoting violence on campuses. I also urge the government to take the student’s killers to task. We are fighting extremism in FATA while our campuses in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar teem with extremist students who are little Baitullah Mehsuds in their own right. It is high time we cleansed our centres of higher education of such fascist elements.

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Islamabad

The News

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
With reference to the letter “A new leaf?” by Imaan Hazir (March 9), I would like to urge the media to highlight Mai Jori’s brave stand and encourage women like her so we can have true democracy in Pakistan. Mai Jori contested the election from an area which was recently brought into focus due to a heinous crime committed against women. Some women were buried alive there in 2008 in the name of ‘honour’.

Mai Jori deserves our full encouragement even if she has lost. The face of Pakistani politics can only be changed if women like her take a stand and vow to fight against old tribal customs and injustices committed in the name of honour.

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Islamabad

The News – NewsPost

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