Monday, May 29, 2017

Donald Trump is an Unusual President of USA!

May 29, 2017

By Saeed Qureshi

It is difficult to fathom and define the mindset of president Trump. He is in the habit of blowing hot and cold at the same time. He excels in dishing out contradictory statements: first issuing those and later contradicting the previous ones. One example is Obama Healthcare Plan. After the first debacle in getting the Trumpcare passed by the house, he came out with a stunning denial that as to when did he say that Obamacare should be replaced. It appears as if president Trump wants to undo and demolish of whatever his predecessor president Obama did.

His recent visit to Saudi Arabia is in direct contrast to what he has been saying about Islam. There cannot be more derogatory and repugnant degradation of Islam that what president Trump portrayed before the elections and afterwards. Then he proceeded to Saudi Arabia, the bastion of Radical Sunni Islam to build the bonds of friendship and cohesion between his host country and the USA.  It is utterly unbelievable that while Trump has shown himself to be the strongest and virulent opponent of Islam and Muslims, yet he chose the orthodox Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first foreign visit among other seven countries.

The president seems to be in a diplomatic confrontation with Europe and wants to get out of the pacts that have been in place for decades. His plans for reorientation and refurbishing of the economy have yet to be initiated and show results. There is a scare among the immigrant communities mostly refugees who feel that they can be picked up any time by the relevant agencies and deported.

Even his party members are disgruntled about his mercurial behavior blowing hot and cold simultaneously. Nancy Pelosi described the replacement of Obamacare as a “tattoo on the forehead of the Republicans”. His achievements thus far and particularly in the first benchmark 100 days as president seems to be insignificant. His happiness and annoyance over good or not good developments are knee-jerk reactions and convey the childish attitude. At home turf, he is at war with the media and judiciary from day one after assuming office of the president in the White House.

On top of that the president and his colleague are plagued with a plethora of scandals, out of which the latest is about his son in law Jared Kushner which is quite serious and if proven may cause colossal harm to his presidency as well as to his cohorts and even the family. It is for the special committee and the judiciary to find out the nature of the charges. 

President Trump’s 8-day tour abroad seems to be an exercise in futility except inking a massive deal of 250 billion dollars for sale of military hardware to Saudi Arabia. For instance, he is non-committal about global emissions deal. Also, he has criticized NATO allies for failing to meet the defensive alliance's military spending commitment of two percent of GDP.

He neglected to publicly endorse the pact's Article Five, which guarantees that member countries will aid the others they are attacked. It means America may opt out or curtail its commitment to NATO. It might otherwise be financially beneficial to United States but it would embitter America’s relation with NATO partners. Describing German trade practices as "bad, very bad," in Brussels talks last week, he remarked that Europe's largest economy(Germany) sells too many cars to the US. This remark is favorable to the domestic American auto industry. Yet the question is that global trade is mutual. In retaliation, Germany may discontinue or curtail the import of the American goods or products.

In response to Donald Trump’s, criticism of major NATO allies and his refusal to endorse a global climate change accord, German chancellor Merkel said that “the days when Europe could completely count on others were over”.

Trump’s National Security Advisor Retired Army Lieutenant General, Michael T. Flynn resigned for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his telecommunication contacts with the Russian diplomats. It is a serious issue and an inquiry has been instituted against him. Flynn served briefly as Trump's national security adviser before being fired in February this year.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is under intense scrutiny for his alleged contacts with Russian government officials during the 2016 Presidential election. He has stepped aside from “any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States” and until the completion enquiry.

But on top of all these crises a recent bombshell has rocked the entire country. It is about Jared Kushner; the son in law of the incumbent president of the United States. On May 26, 2017, The Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence officials had, in the course of monitoring Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016, overheard him relaying to Moscow a request from Kushner to establish a "secret and secure communications channel" with the Kremlin using Russian diplomatic facilities. It is perceived that “Kushner was under investigation by the FBI as part of the larger investigation into Russian interference in the election”. in his several tweets. President Trump, has dubbed the leaks about Kushner as "fabricated lies,"

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has requested information and documents from Trump's campaign dating back to July 2015; the AP and other news outlets confirmed.

In the meantime, the Democrats in Congress have demanded to hear directly from top White House adviser Jared Kushner over allegations of proposed secret back-channel communications with Russia. They also demanded revocation of the security clearance of President Donald Trump's son-in-law.

All these developments indicate that both domestically and globally president Trump is faced with a host of scandals and serious issues. While the issues concerning NATO and climate change may be detrimental to the relations between Europe and America, the local multiple inquiries may turn out to be extremely damaging to president Trump, his presidency, his cohorts and some of the family members. The issues of his sexual pursuits and Tax Returns may be revived

It is commonly believed that by firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey president wanted to stop the FBI’s investigation about the allegations of Trump’s elections team with Russia. Some legal experts have termed it as obstruction of Justice.

It is also believed that president Trump doesn’t fit into the mold of a sagacious leader as to exercise restraint and diplomacy in his remarks and decisions. It ought to be an utmost and crucial urgency for president Donald Trump and his administration as well as the retinue of advisors and cabinet members to reset their sails of governance. Instead of embarking upon the path of belligerency and confrontation and vitriolic rebuttals, they should be moderate, sober and accommodating and rather discrete. They should lower and soften their headstrong outbursts and uncalled-for rebukes and retaliations.

But all said and done, president Trump can still win the reelection as the 70 percent white population is with him and their vote bank can bring him back in the White House.



Book Launching Ceremony at the Crystal Banquet Hall Plano

May 28, 2017
Reported by Saeed Qureshi
The much-awaited launching ceremony of the Book “The Evolution of Mankind” English version finally came off on the evening of May 25, 2017, at Crystal Banquet Hall situated in Plano, Texas. It was quite a colorful and dignified evening with an impressive galaxy of guests including families and children. Snacks and Tea were served to the guests. The proceedings were conducted by Mr. Azad Khan of Radio Azad, a showbiz celebrity and gifted Radio and TV anchor.
“The Evolution of Mankind” Urdu version is authored by Muhammad Akhtar Chishti who arrived here from Pakistan to participate and grace the unique occasion. This voluminous edition (674 pages) has been translated into English by Saeed Qureshi a member of the community and a senior journalist. The English version consists of 547 pages.
The credit of getting this book edited, published and publicized goes to another journalist and columnist Mr. Shah Alam Siddiqui and his daughter Urooj Alam Grundmann. Without their assistance and collaboration, this book would have remained confined to merely in Urdu form.
But I want to pay my heartfelt, sincere and warmest tribute to the esteemed Khaliq Qureshi Sahib who was solely instrumental in financing this praiseworthy project. Originally this book was written in Urdu, the national and official language of Pakistan. He is the one who motivated Saeed Qureshi to translate it in the English Language. It took Mr. Chishti over 6 years to write and publish this book in Urdu. The book became the most sought-after its publication. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact its Urdu edition was sold and that it is kept by most of the libraries in Pakistan.
In one of his visits to Pakistan Mr. Khaliq Qureshi saw this book and went all the way to the residence of Mr. Chishti in district Sialkot to meet him and compliment him on writing such an amazing book that narrates as to how the human beings and progeny of Adam spread over the earth particularly after the deluge of Prophet Noah that covered the earth as mentioned in Quran and Bible. Notwithstanding the scientific theories about the evolution of mankind, this book reflects the theological perspective and religious belief of the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims.
At his expense, Mr. Khaliq Qureshi invited the author Mr. Chishti twice to Dallas. This is the second visit of the author to grace the inauguration ceremony of this wonderful book.
Mr.. Khaliq Qureshi wanted this book to be translated into English in order to broaden its scope and sphere of readership. He entrusted this onerous yet crucial job to Saeed Qureshi, a journalist and columnists for over two decades both in Pakistan and the United States. This scribe (Saeed Qureshi) took almost 18 months to render the Urdu script into the English version. A such the English version of the book Evolution of Mankind was launched and introduced on the evening of May 25.
Among the worthy guests who graced this unique occasion by their presence, inter-alia, were Dr. Harbans Lal, Dr. Amir Suleman the founder of the famous literacy Association: “Urdu Ghar”, Syed Iqbal Haider a poet and formerly a TV celebrity in Pakistan, Syed Ijaz Yunus a poet laureate of Dallas, Farooq Khan, a humanist and an excellent English poet, Javed Samuel a wonderful socialite and friend and his gracious wife.
Besides those who attended the launching ceremony were Mr. Andrew; the son-in-law of Mr. Khaliq Qureshi. Mr. Suleman a worthy and senior community member and his noble wife also graced this unique assemblage. They were recently married.
The promoter and financer of this splendid project Mr. Khaliq Qureshi, its author Muhammad Akhtar Chishti and the translator Saeed Qureshi were given the honor to be seated on the stage. They expressed their feeling and views about the book and how they surmounted the bottlenecks to bring this unique book to its present form.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fabulous Urdu Mushaira hosted at the residence of Dr. Amir Suleman

May 14,2014

Reported by Saeed Qureshi

A heartwarming and intellectually stimulating Urdu Mushaira (poetry recital session) was held on the evening of May 13 at the residence of Dr. Amir Suleman. Most of the local poets were in attendance on this auspicious occasion. Dr. Amir lives in a palatial mansion with his gracious wife and wo young kids. He is the founder of the famous literary society known as “Urdu Ghar” in existence now for several years.

This enjoyable and thought -provoking sitting continued until midnight. The occasion was convened in honor of Dr. Taqi Abidi, a reputed and internationally known scholar and researcher on Urdu literature and poetry. Dr. Taqi enjoys the distinction of being the author of several books on various themes including the Urdu poetry and literature and its historical perspective.

Iqbal Haider a well-known poet with a marvelous background of having worked in Pakistan Television presided over the function. Eminent poets mostly members of the Urdu Ghar were the participants in the Mushaira. The poetry on the whole was soul stirring and the audience enjoyed it immensely. The Mushaira sitting was preceded by a sumptuous dinner. The food was plentiful and was excellent by way of variety of dishes and taste.

Dr. Amir and his wife have hosted many similar literary sittings at their house and each sitting leaves its pleasing mark on the guests who certainly aspire to be re-invited for the pleasant and homely atmosphere, cordiality and good will that Dr. Suleman and his honorable wife demonstrate to the invitees each time. One would expect that such literary gatherings would keep happening from time to time to keep the glow of literary culture of Urdu language alive.

The local poets who participated in the Mushaira are: Dr. Amir Suleman, Naheed Shad, Zohra Chishti, Farhan Syed, Masood Quazi, Mnazoor Quazi, Yunus Ijaz, Iqbal Haider and myself (the reporter)


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Negative Politics of the Opposition Parties in Pakistan

May 1, 2017
By Saeed Qureshi
The next general elections in Pakistan are due to be held within three months after June 4, 2018. It means that hardly a year is left for the incumbent government of the PMNL to remain in governance. Right or wrong the PMNL came into power through an established democratic process. Let is complete its constitutional tenure in office for the remaining period. It is certain that the incumbent prime minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif would not contest elections in 2018.
If the opposition is so committed to root out corruption from Pakistan and arraign Mian Nawaz Sharif and his two sons as a result of Panama leaks then the best time would be to win elections against the PMNL and initiate legal inquiry against the family’s offshore accounts. Similar action can then be taken against Mian Shahbaz Sharif the younger brother of the prime minister and incumbent chief minister of Punjab province.
Imran Khan has been targeting solely Mian Nawaz Sharif and his family for the past several years for misdeeds and monetary corruption, as witnessed by his fiery speeches and prolonged Dharnas (sit ins) in Islamabad. Imran Khan has made several attempts to dislodge Nawaz Sharif or to force him to resign. Yet somehow Mr. Khan’s campaigning didn’t click in his favor. In the local elections and those in Azad Kashmir PTI lost badly. It demonstrated that notwithstanding his tall claims and impracticable revolutionary slogans, the people didn’t vote for Imran Khan.
The latest divided verdict of the supreme court allowing Mian Nawaz Sharif to remain in his seat is another setback for Imran Khan to force the prime minister to resign. Overall it looks as if Imran Khan has personal grudge or vendetta or some hidden agenda against Mian Nawaz, his brother and even the entire family.
But while Imran Khan has come to be known as a stubborn and unbending foe of Mian Nawaz Sharif, the other political parties of late have also joined the fray and started harping on the anti-PMNL and anti- Mian Nawaz tunes and his resignation on the basis of corruption.
The PPP whose whole lot is composed of corrupt individuals both morally and financially is also demanding prime minister’s ouster for bad governance and for financial malpractices. This demand has come particularly from Asif Ali Zardari the co-chairman of the PPP who himself is known as the embodiment of corruption and hoarding wealth through every conceivable means. Someone has so aptly remarked recently that if Mr. Zardari is raising voice against corruption the it is the sure sign of the imminent coming of the “Doom’s Day”. 
The religio-political party Jamaat-Islami has always remained a sidelined political outfit. It has been variously indulging in street politics and pursuing a political culture of denial.  It opposed the creation of Pakistan and has never accepted its existence. Its present leadership has fallen back on the old tunes. 
Its leaders are making aggressive speeches against the federal government and highlighting peoples’ day to day problems such as water and power shortage and bribery etc. Someone may ask them is this corruption solely created by PMNL or the socio-economic problems have never been there in Pakistan?
If the JI holds the PMNL responsible for people’s sufferings because of poor governance and shortage of basic amenities then it is merely a blame game and fishing in the troubled waters. Otherwise the fact is that the PMNL despite its shortcomings has been going extra mile to improve the living conditions of the people.
The religious and sectarian parties and groups are also accusing the PMNL government for all unethical and unislamic demeanors and thus demanding its way-out. On top of it the “Dawn Leaks” issue has surfaced. Even if Dawn issue has some truth then it doesn’t mean that the federal government was responsible. It seems as if the entire political lot of opposition wants the army rule or martial law to be imposed. They don’t seem to care if as a result of that happening a political culture and the democratic process that started after the exit of Pervez Musharraf would be nullified. That would be a bad bargain.
Let the judicial system take its course as far as Panama Leaks and Dawn Leaks issues are concerned. Pervez Rashid the PMNL information minister and Tariq Fatimi the advisor on foreign affairs have been removed. The necessary action against other officials and journalists responsible for this fiasco has been taken.
The point that I want to emphasize is that because of these peripheral issues, the ongoing process of democratization should not be derailed. It would be a colossal loss and a grievous set back to the democratic and political process that is somehow in place for several years and should be allowed to remain on the track.
In the meantime, let the inquiry committee ordered by the supreme court should further probe about the wealth and belonging and properties of not only Sharif family but others publicly known corrupt people. Thereafter depending upon the outcome, the prime minister may step down. But while such an inquiry is essential in case of Sharif family then it should also probe the corruption and offshore assets of all the politicians to clear the country of such a curse.
The next general elections must be held on schedule. If in the meantime army steps in, the efforts starting from PPP government to the present to keep uninterrupted march of democratic culture would be nullified. The country would again come under the military boots and no one knows how long that army rule would continue.
As such the best and legitimate option for the politicians in the opposition of PMNL is to prepare for the nationwide elections due to be held in 2018 and try to come into power from the democratic door and not from the backdoor.
In the meantime, let CPEC be completed. No party or any government is more earnest and desirous about the completion of this milestone project than the PMNL. I would reproduce from the Wikipedia the summary of the benefits that would accrue to Pakistan once this gigantic project is completed:
“China–Pakistan Economic Corridor also known by the acronym CPEC) is a collection of infrastructure projects currently under construction throughout Pakistan. Originally valued at $46 billion, the value of CPEC projects is now worth $62 billion. CPEC is intended to rapidly modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of: modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones. On 13 November 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar Port for onward maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia.
A vast network of highways and railways are to be built under the aegis of CPEC that will span the length and breadth of Pakistan. Inefficiencies stemming from Pakistan's mostly dilapidated transportation network are estimated by the government to cause a loss of 3.5% of the country's annual gross domestic product.[7] Modern transportation networks built under CPEC will link seaports in Gwadar and Karachi with northern Pakistan, as well as points further north in western China and Central Asia. A 1,100 kilometer long motorway will be built between the cities of Karachi and Lahore as part of CPEC, while the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and the Chinese border will be completely reconstructed and overhauled. The Karachi–Peshawar main railway line will also be upgraded to allow for train travel at up to 160 km per hour by December 2019. Pakistan's railway network will also be extended to eventually connect to China's Southern Xinjiang Railway in Kashgar. The estimated $11 billion required to modernize transportation networks will be financed by subsidized concessionary loans