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Showing posts from November 20, 2012

MASS MEDIA AND ITS INFLUENCE ON SOCIETY

By M A Mughal In the last five decades or so, the media and its influence on the societies, has grown exponentially with the advance of technology. First there was the telegraph and the post offices, then the radio, the newspaper, magazines, television and now the internet and the new media including palmtops, cell phones etc. There are positive and negative influences of mass media, which we must understand as a responsible person of a society. Before discussing the influence of mass media on society it is imperative to explain the three basic functions of mass media; they are providing news/information, entertainment and education. The first and foremost function of the media in a society is to provide news and information to the masses, that is why the present era is some time termed as the information age as well. People need news/information for various reasons, on one hand it can be used to socialize and on the other to make decisions and formulate opinions. Entertainment would…

Modified objectives of USA in Afghanistan

Today the US is looked down upon as the most ruthless and biggest terrorist state in the world that has fuelled uncertainty, insecurity and chaos in the world. It is hated because of its unjust and dual faced policies and going to any extent to achieve its strategic and mercantile interests. Its wholehearted support to Israel and India and its penchant to topple regimes and plunder resources has lowered its esteem. The sole super power which was prancing like a wild elephant at the dawn of new millennium is currently in thick soup since the war on terror it had initiated in the aftermath of 9/11 has not proceeded in accordance with its chalked out plan. US-NATO forces claiming to be invincible have got bogged down in the quagmire of Afghanistan and things have gone topsy-turvy. The rag-tag Taliban living up to their past reputation, have taken the steam out of the elephant by pushing it against the wall and have left it dazed and helpless. Despite their massive superiority in men, ma…

Pakistan’s maritime compulsions

Pakistan’s maritime compulsions are myriad; its geostrategic location, the blue water navy ambitions of its eastern neighbour, the presence of international naval forces in its vicinity and the onset of piracy add to the challenges. With a 960 kilometers’ long coastline stretching to 200 nautical miles of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and 95% of its trade and 100% of its oil imports being transported via the sea route, make the maritime sector the bedrock of its national economy. The close proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, the lifeline of the world’s energy needs, with more than 17 million barrels of crude oil passing every day, makes Pakistan’s location extremely sensitive. With growing strains in US-Iran relations and Iran’s threats of blocking the Strait of Hormuz, Pakistan’s commanding situation at the mouth of the energy highway enhance its importance. Indian aspirations for achieving the status of a blue water navy in pursuit of its global power aims, has prompted it to induct a…

G4S Loses Contract. Handing Prisons to Any Commercial Contractor is a Grave Mistake .

( PMSCs: Risks and Misconduct ) Picture Credit: thinkprogress.org While media outlets generally focus on the international dimension of PMSCs involved in Iraq or Somalia, one should bear in mind that Western countries increasingly employ such private firms domestically. Yet, major risks emerge when states try to combine security functions that used to be exclusively public with a profit-oriented business strategy. In the UK, the privatization of the prison system has created intense controversy. After being directly involved in the London Olympics security fiasco, the Private Security Company G4S has lost its major contract to administer the prison of Lincolnshire, United Kingdom. Ultimately, the privatization of prisons represents a threat to democracy itself as “commercial confidentiality shields the process from public view and democratic accountability.”


By Andrew NeilsonOpen Democracy
Last summer the Ministry of Justice opened a competition for contracts to run eight prisons in En…

Cinco malentendidos frecuentes acerca de la paz y la guerra en Colombia

Una niña participa en una marcha por la paz en Colombia como parte de las preparaciones para la liberación de 70 soldados retenidos por las FARC. Foto: AFP
A diez años del último intento serio por alcanzar un acuerdo político con las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), nuevas negociaciones políticas entre el gobierno y la guerrilla comenzarán en Oslo este mes. Dichas negociaciones tienen más posibilidades de prosperar que los anteriores intentos, pero enfrentan algunos obstáculos importantes, incluida la resistencia política o la posible violencia ejercida por parte de saboteadores (tal y como es analizado en nuestro más reciente informe: Colombia: ¿por fin la paz?).
Un conjunto de ideas compartidas sobre los actores que impulsan  este conflicto de cinco décadas, sus efectos en el país y las razones del repetido fracaso de anteriores diálogos de paz, pueden hacer que el éxito sea aún más difícil de alcanzar. Malentendidos como los que se discuten a continuación no son…

The North Caucasus: The Challenges of Integration (I), Ethnicity and Conflict

Europe’s deadliest conflicts are in Russia’s North Caucasus region, and the killing is unlikely to end soon. The state has fought back against attacks, first claimed by Chechen separatists, now the work of jihad-inspired insurgents, that have hit Moscow, other major cities and many Caucasus communities. But its security-focused counter-in­sur­gen­cy strategy is insufficient to address the multiple causes of a conflict fed by ethnic, religious, political and economic grievances that need comprehensive, flexible policy responses. Moscow is increasingly aware of the challenge and is testing new approaches to better integrate a region finally brought into the Russian Empire only in the nineteenth century and that has historically been a problem for the Russian state. Diversity in religion, ethnicity, historical experience and political allegiances and aspirations complicate efforts to alleviate local tensions and integrate it more with the rest of the country. Understanding this pluralis…

Myanmar: Storm Clouds on the Horizon

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Myanmar’s leaders continue to demonstrate that they have the political will and the vision to move the country decisively away from its authoritarian past, but the road to democracy is proving hard. President Thein Sein has declared the changes irreversible and worked to build a durable partnership with the opposition. While the process remains incomplete, political prisoners have been released, blacklists trimmed, freedom of assembly laws implemented, and media censorship abolished. But widespread ethnic violence in Rakhine State, targeting principally the Rohingya Muslim minority, has cast a dark cloud over the reform process and any further rupturing of intercommunal relations could threaten national stability. Elsewhere, social tensions are rising as more freedom allows local conflicts to resurface. A ceasefire in Kachin State remains elusive. Political leaders have conflicting views about how power should be shared under the constitution as well as after the 201…