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A pipe dream of good governance

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The most oft-repeated cliché by members of the ruling elite in our political discourse is as follows, "We are passing through the most critical period of our history".

Saeed Qazi Profile Saeed Qazi

But fact of the matter is that these ladies and gentlemen who lament this state of affairs personally never experience any such criticality, so to say, except for naturally falling ill or dying in the luxury of their ostentatiously built homes.

But as far the majority of the people whom they rule is concerned, they always remain in a critical situation, thanks to these ladies and gentlemen mentioned above. Despite all this we hardly find any serious effort on the part of the so-called analysts or economists as to why this unfortunate situation perennially exists for the majority of the people.

The most common and perhaps the most superficial and misleading argument that is put forth is that of so-called good or bad governance. This jargon and phraseology has consciously been designed to lead to oversimplifications, aimed at deducing false conclusions.

Is this just a question of good and bad governance? Can it solely explain the misery, hunger and deprivation that besets us? Well, things are not that simple. We have been toeing all the policies that were prescribed by our western masters. More than 80 percent members of Pakistan's first planning commission were Americans.

Our growth rates were healthier when president Ayub Khan embarked on his industrialization drive and afterwards handed over those units to the private sector. His uneven development triggered the longest ever movement in the history of Pakistan and apparently healthy growth rates of Ayub's regime resulted in the overthrow of his own government. 

Subsequent years saw the rise of Zulfiqar Ali Bhuto on the heels of 1968-69 movement and his socialist program. Bhutto did far less than what he promised in his manifesto and sought to rebuild the system which he had promised to smash once in power. That became his tragic flaw and resulted in the counter revolution which Gen Zia initiated during his brutal regime.

The post-Zia period was also continuation of the counter-revolution garbed in the democratic dispensation during which the international financial institution gradually took over the economy.

Four decades of less government and austerity has taken its toll and what we find as a natural sequel to this exercise is a broken system ailing economy and a period of unprecedented instability at hand. This year at the World Economic Forum all those who matter, strangely enough, talked about the so-called "Grand Reset". This was, in fact, was an admission of failure of the economic paradigm which based itself on trickledown theory which, needless to say, miserably failed.  

And last but not the least, the IMF has, for the first time in history, began keeping the record of protest movements and concluded in its report the world has entered into a phase of extreme volatility where falling living standard and unemployment would result in social unrest of huge proportions  in the  world at large.

The movement in India and Myanmar may serve as a reminder to us that we are part of the same economic reality and sooner than later such political convulsions may catch us unaware and overtake all the nonissues upon which our political discourse is currently based. Oligarchy in the name of democracy cannot continue indefinitely. The toiling masses may soon serve a notice to the ruling elite, a scenario which was predicted at the annual meet of WEF at Devos. All the claimants of power wrangling with each other may join hands in the event of any such movement. So far the one way war on the peoples of the world will soon provoke a response of epic proportions.

The elite that gathered at Devos this year have already warned governments, big corporations and those who are at helm of the affairs, and advised the Grand Reset with an enhanced role of governments. So far governments are doing so by printing currency in the first world and doling it out.

It seems an end of ‘The End of History' thesis by Francis Fukuyama and ‘Clash of Civilization’ is fast giving way to the clash of classes. And history shows we need a good system without which good governance is not possible.

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Pakistan

Sanjrani meets Dar to get position in Balochistan

According to the details, this meeting was held in leader of the house's chamber.  

Published by Qurrat Tul Ain

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Islamabad: Current chairman senate Sadiq Sanjrani met with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar to get important position in Balochistan. 

According to the details, this meeting was held in leader of the house's chamber.  

In this meeting both leaders have discussed about the formation of government in Balochistan and about the current political situation in Pakistan. 

Sadiq stated that he will work under the government with PML-N and Pakistan Peoples party (PPP) and make improvement for the betterment of the country. 

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How the Kansas City shooting proves the “good guy with a gun” idea is a fallacy

“That’s what happens with guns”: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas noted that the shooting still happened despite extensive security at the parade.

Published by Web Desk

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In remarks following a mass shooting at the Chiefs Super Bowl parade, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas made a pointed statement about how the tragedy was able to take place even with more than 800 police officers stationed at the parade to secure the area.

“That’s what happens with guns,” he said plainly.

At least one person was killed in the violence and 21 people — including 11 children — were injured. As of Thursday, police had detained three people and confiscated multiple firearms in connection with the shooting, which they attributed to an interpersonal dispute.

“Parades, rallies, schools, movies, it seems like almost nothing is safe,” Lucas added.

According to reports, the violence began as an argument and escalated. It was not a single-shooter targeted attack like the kind that often receives more media attention. That makes it more in line with the vast majority of shooting incidents in the US.

Lucas’s statements highlight the fact that the proliferation of guns and weak gun control policies have fueled the United States’s mass shooting crisis, including the latest instance of violence in Kansas City. They also explicitly acknowledge the fallacy of the “good guy with a gun” argument: the idea that adding armed security — rather than limiting access to guns — can keep people safe.

The US has problems with gun violence because it has a lot of guns

The US is unique among industrialized countries when it comes to the frequency of fatal gun violence.

According to CNN, which referenced the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a University of Washington global health research group, the proportion of homicides caused by gun violence in the US was 18 times that of the average of other developed countries in 2019.

Similarly, the number of firearms people own in the US far surpasses that of any other developed country. The US has about 120 firearms per 100 residents, much higher than Yemen, the next closest country, which has about 53 firearms per 100 residents, according to a 2018 study by the Swiss-based gun research project the Small Arms Survey.

As Vox has explained, multiple studies have directly linked the country’s number of firearms with the frequency of gun violence. “One 2013 Boston University-led study, for instance, found that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership at the household level, the state firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9 percent,” my colleagues Nicole Narea, Ian Millhiser, and I wrote. “And states with weaker gun laws have higher rates of gun-related homicides and suicides, according to a study by the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.”

The impact of gun violence has already been evident this year. In the first month and a half of 2024, 1,639 Americans have been killed by firearms and 2,223 have been injured, according to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit group that tracks US shootings.

In response to shootings, gun advocates often argue that more guns are the answer, that having a so-called “good guy with a gun” helps as they can stop a “bad guy with a gun.” That argument was advanced by gun advocates following a recent church shooting in Houston, in which off-duty officers shot and killed the suspected shooter.

And it’s a myth directly peddled by the gun lobby: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” former National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre previously said. As Lucas noted, however, despite the strong presence of armed security and law enforcement at the Chiefs parade, the shooting still occurred and resulted in injuries and a fatality.

“We had over 800 officers there, staffed, situated all around Union Station today. We had security in any number of places, eyes on top of buildings and beyond — and there still is a risk to people,” Lucas said. That’s not to say law enforcement and civilians didn’t help prevent the situation from being worse: Bystanders assisted in subduing one suspect, per reports, and police arrested at least one individual as well.

Research has shown that increasing the presence of “good guys with guns” is not a fully effective way to reduce gun violence. This is because police often aren’t able to respond in time and the attack has already occurred when they’re able to react. Per a Texas State University study, police were able to stop less than a third of active attacks — including shootings — between 2000 and 2022.

Lucas’s statements and the circumstances in Kansas City ultimately underscore a grim reality: A central problem in these shootings is the guns themselves.

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Pakistan

President says Pakistan focusing export increase to improve economy

Dr. Arif Alvi while  talking to a delegation of Miracle Saltworks Collective, a USA-based salt mining and processing company has said that Pakistan wants to promote foreign investment and joint ventures in various sectors.

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

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Islamabad: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Wednesday said Pakistan is focusing on increasing exports to improve its economic situation.

Talking to a delegation of Miracle Saltworks Collective, a USA-based salt mining and processing company, in Islamabad today, he said Pakistan wants to promote foreign investment and joint ventures in various sectors. He said we want mutually beneficial business partnerships with foreign companies.

The President noted that better processing, packaging and marketing can add value to our salt. He said Pakistani salt can be obtained with high quality and very low investment.

The delegation apprised the President about the potential of Pakistani salt mines in earning foreign exchange, saying that quality and mineral rich rock salt is found only in Pakistan.

The delegation acknowledged that Pakistani salt is of low cost and high quality, emphasizing that the country can benefit from the largest salt market in the world.

It noted that the quality of Pakistani salt in terms of mineral content is the best in the world, and responsible mining, better processing and marketing can increase the value of Pakistani salt.

The delegation informed the President that Miracle Salt Works Collective will invest in Pakistan's salt sector. The company will mine and process Pakistani salt using high-quality technology.

 

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