Thursday, July 9, 2009

Division of the Provinces and the Government Structure

I hereby propose a new structure for the Government of Pakistan

Estimated Percentage of Total Population by Province


  • Simplified structure
  • Little bureaucracy
  • Less tiers of government
  • Less VIPs
  • Efficient governance
  • Fast reforms and progress
  • Maximum local participation
  • Emphasis on Pakistani identity and amalgamation rather than provincial identities
  • Preservation of local cultures and demands
  • Maximum local input in ensuring their own government
  • A TRUE democracy
  • Ensure religious and minority rights and protection


Pakistan's current governmental system should be abolished
Provinces should be abolished and replaced by smaller Provinces or large districts that are based on regional needs such as big cities, regional areas and identities like South-eastern Sindh, Bahawalpur, Makran, Kalash, Hazara etc
Min provincial divisions: 15
Max provincial divisions: 20
Provincial governments should be abolished
Presidential system instead of Prime Ministerial system

New Structure i Purpose


Two houses, one consulting council:


  • Members from each small province or large district based proportionately on population
  • Max 150 members (proportionately divided on the bases of province populations)
  • Population census to be conducted in each province after six years
  • Members more responsible for provincial well being
  • Proposes and argues on laws based on their constituency's interests
  • Prime Minister heads the national assembly and coordinates affairs smoothly
  • National assembly proposes laws and passes drafts to be checked by the Religious and Secular Council and then to be approved by the Senate
  • No Assembly member can be elected for more than two terms
  • Members have to be born in the district and should have lived there at least 75% of their life
  • Members must have a minimal qualification of graduation from a four-year college


A consulting council of 3 members elected from each small province / large district (1 Sunni scholar, 1 Shia scholar, 1 minority representative)

  • Headed by the Prime Minister who can veto the decision of the council ONLY in case of a squabble or indecision
  • Senate can veto and remove amendments by the council based on national interest
  • advises the National Assembly on the correctness of laws by proposing amendments to drafts passed by the Assembly.
  • Sunni / Shia scholars need to be qualified - at least 4 years university degree in religion, plus 4 years experience in jurisprudence
  • Sunni / Shia scholars make sure that any law doesnt go blatantly unislamic
  • Minority representatives elected from provinces' religious/secular minorities
  • Minority representatives make sure that any law doesnt disrespect their rights or freedoms
  • Decisions on amendments MUST BE MADE BY VOTING by the council members.
  • Approved laws are passed back to the National Assembly for review and final vote before going to the senate.
  • A maximum of three months allowed for decision making by council after which, the draft automatically goes to senate for approval.


  • 2 members from each district regardless of population or area
  • Members more responsible for national well being has final say in passing laws
  • Headed by President, supreme head of state who can veto any laws
  • Senate votes and passes any laws that are approved by the National Assembly
  • After national assembly and senate approval, president signs or vetos laws to bring them into effect
  • President coordinates the senate and makes sure all demands are met in national interests
  • Members should have lived in the region for at least 75% of their life
  • Members should have completed at least a four-year bachelors degree
  • Members elected from either of three possible political parties
  • No senator can be elected for more than two terms.


Decides national strategies and looks after national security and well being.
Devise national policies for defense, foreign affairs, education, healthcare, infrastructure, human development etc. based on small voluntary committees picked from the national assembly. Each committee should have an appointed professional consultant who should have a master's degree in the subject and who advises the committee on making effective decisions that are then approved by the national assembly and the senate.



  • A representative elected from the district to coordinate the following affairs within the district:
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Human Development
  • Provincial security (heads police, etc)
  • Revenue and taxation (at least 50% of taxes collected from an area should be spent in the same area) ther important areas such as transportation, energy, etc
  • Headed by the Province Nazim
  • Each representative must have at least five years experience in their relative areas and must have at least a three year diploma
  • Decides local strategies, and looks after local well being
  • Decides projects for the province based on local input


Each large district has at least four local councils headed by Naib Nazims

  • Representatives from the locality who act as sub-coordinators in the same areas as the central council.
  • Mostly responsible for taking local feedback and implementing projects.



Representatives to be elected from 3 possible political parties only!
National Assembly representative can be elected for maximum of 2 terms
Senators can be elected for maximum of 3 terms (being a senator becomes better with experience in national affairs)
President or Prime Minister cannot be elected for more than 2 terms
Each party must conduct party elections before each national election to decide on a party head for those elections
No party head can be elected more than 2 times 4 year terms for each house
Representatives to the religious and secular council can be elected for 4 terms of 4 years each


  • Local government elections not based on political parties
  • Anybody can be a candidate (as long as they are properly qualified) and 3 rounds of local elections are held (after 2 months each) to narrow down on candidate options.
  • No local councilor or Nazim can be elected more than 3 times
  • Local councilors and Nazims are elected for 4 year terms as well.


  • National Assembly drafts and passes law based on provincial interests
  • Religious and Secular council deliberates and votes on law, and proposes amendments to make sure its religiously, and secularist correct
  • National Assembly reviews and votes on amended law
  • if law passes, it goes to the Senate for approval
  • if law fails, National Assembly meets with Religious and Secular Council in joint session to debate on amendments
  • National Assembly passes second draft
  • Religious and Secular council reviews and proposes amendments to the second draft
  • National Assembly reviews amended draft and votes on it.
  • if passes, it goes to the Senate for approval
  • if fails, one last try is possible after which Senate can review all three drafts and vote on the best one themselves.

In order to bring about a effective system of governance in Pakistan we must first look at the population and percentages of the population of the provinces. Then we must establish a system based on our research and findings. Below I have listed all my research.

Actual Populations of the provinces and territories:

73,621,290 (1998)
Sindh: 30,439,893 (1998)
NWFP: 17,743,645 (1998)
Balochistan: 6,565,885 (1998)
Northern Areas: 1,500,000 (1998)
Azad Kashmir: 3,965,999 (1998)
FATA: 3,341,070 (1998)

Actual Total Population Count: 137,177,782

Estimated Population of the Provinces and Territories:
Sindh: 35,000,000
NWFP: 20,000,000
Balochistan: 7,000,000
Northern Areas: 2,000,000
Azad Kashmir: 4,000,000
FATA: 4,000,000

Estimated Total Population Count: 147,000,000

Now I know that we have 165 million people estimated for 2006 but I do not have access to those 2006 estimates for the provinces. I have decided to award the territories provincial status for sake of argument. To make the math easier on those math challenged, I have decided to use the estimated figures.

Estimated Percentage of Total Population by Province:

Punjab: 51 %
Sindh: 23.8 %
NWFP: 13.6 %
Balochistan: 4.76 %
Northern Areas: 1.36 %
Azad Kashmir: 2.72 %
FATA: 2.72 %

+ OR - .04 %

Now what this research tell us is that we need to understand that dividing the provinces into smaller pieces will NOT be enough to solve the problem we currently face. As you can see Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan yet it has a population of 7 million which is about 4.76 % of the population. Therefore, dividing Balochistan would further weaken the position of the Baloch people. We must find a solution to the problems that dividing the provinces will create. The solution for this would be to implement a National assembly where EVERY province will have 5 seats. Therefore, no one lacks representation in this new government structure. We can also adopt another house where the seats will be based on population but it will be under the National Assembly. This is a very simple solution to the problems and off course more reforms will be needed to make this idea feasible.

Friday, July 3, 2009

You know you're a Taliban when

You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

You can't think of anyone you HAVEN'T declared Jihad against.

You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.

You've often uttered the phrase, 'I love what you've done with your cave.'

You've ever had a crush on your neighbor's goat.

You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.

You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

You bathe at least monthly whether necessary or not.

You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon 'unclean.'

You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.

You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least one.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

America and Michael Jackson.

Two things made America more influential and awe inspiring than any other nation on the face of the earth: cowboy movies and Michael Jackson.

Long before the American Tomahawks, B-52s and the rest of the American weapons used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, Michael Jackson entered the houses of the nations across the Middle East and Central Asia.

Some say these Muslim nations want war with America. That’s typical Langley hogwash. Long before Karen Hughes and Don Rumsfeld came up with kooky concepts of public diplomacy, and long before Pentagon and State Department established offices for outreach to Muslims, this icon of modern American culture was welcomed in a region that knew little about American culture or simply didn’t care.

America didn’t need men with twisted minds and Darth-Vader plans for global domination to open the doors for American supremacy [this is for you, Richard Perle]. It happened anyway thanks to Jackson, Stallone and Madonna.

Those who knew one face of America – Reagan at the time – and vehemently hated it became crazy about another American face. I am sure they could never reconcile this contradiction deep in their hearts. But it was there, the two sides coexisting side by side.

Aside from our region, Michael’s music opened the doors of the Soviet Union and China to everything American, not to mention Africa, East Asia and the rest of the world. Before his album, Thriller, for example, only members of the elite in some of these nations knew the truth: that there is another side to America besides imperialism, a good side.

It seems so ordinary now. But, really, think about it; closed and proud societies warmly welcoming a completely new and alien culture of a country whose foreign policy was viewed suspiciously by many.

Right about the same time as Michael’s Thriller and the moonwalk, there came Sylvester Stallone with his accent, Tom Cruise with Top Gun, and then ‘USA for Africa’: forty-five American singers joining in a song for the victims of the African drought. The song, We Are The World, gave the world this amazing message about an American nation striving to help the needy. Even the best American diplomats and the best image consultants couldn’t buy the goodwill that these ordinary good Americans created for their nation.

Sure, while this was happening, CIA was secretly supporting terrorist militias in Latin America and Africa, pushing Iraq to declare war against Iran, destabilizing governments and exploiting the pure passion and the blood of the Afghans to settle an American score with the Soviets. America’s governments were doing dirty things. But it was the good side of America that the people of the world preferred, the one that was really launched by Michael Jackson and others. The Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union didn’t exactly crumble thanks only to America’s gung-ho politicians or military strategists. They crumbled because of the enduring power of the image that Jackson and Madonna and Tom Cruise and Stallone and others spread worldwide.
This is the lesson that America desperately needs to learn today. Jackson almost launched America’s cultural supremacy in the digital age. CIA or the US military used it, not caused it. So who is the real asset?

Enough of US government using Hollywood celebrities to get back at China like Stephen Spielberg did when he canceled a contract for Beijing Olympics last year in a theatrical move to politicize Tibet; and enough of the US government using YouTube and Twitter as political tools in its not-so-innocent battle with Iran.

The Americans need to bring that time back when they came together for something like ‘USA for Africa’, an effort devoid of any political mileage, like the search for cheap oil in African jungles, which is what they’re doing now.

This ugly and militarized side of America has eclipsed everything else in the past decade. Let’s remember that Washington’s entire might in Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t and couldn’t generate the kind of real goodwill that America received with Jackson’s death.

Your Jacksons are far more appealing than your Tomahawks. Get it. Or beat it.