Pakistani PoV, understanding how Pak intelligentsia sees the world and itself.

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Vinod2070, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    True DD, but in my opinion the hope as faint as it can be in my opinion is all but it is hope, and it gives me fresh breather when we see the people's spontaneous agitation to reinstate and honour the judiciary , also I believe like you people like Irfan Hussain is only handful of minorities there, and I am agree with you that his voice will find ' a few taker' rather people like Zaid Hamid will get praised and worshiped there.

    Regards
     
  2. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ejaz Haider is also a sane voice. Maybe somebody can post his articles too.
     
  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    As pointed out by respected member Flint here, I am here by posting the Article by Ejaz Haider appeared in the www.indianexpress.com

    link of the article from Ejaz Haider and the article follows:

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/swats-wicked-problem/446627/0

    Swat’s wicked problem


    Ejaz Haider

    Posted: Tuesday , Apr 14, 2009 at 0020 hrs IST

    On April 9, Sufi Muhammad, chief of Tehreek Nifaz-e Shariat-e Muhammadi (TNSM) left his peace camp in the district of Swat, saying that if anything unpleasant happened in the area, President Asif Zardari would be responsible for it. However, Sufi was careful in stressing that the “peace deal with the provincial government is intact.”

    On April 12, Zardari sent the document to parliament for its review and to suggest a course of action. The same day, a beleaguered ANP government in the NWFP threatened to walk out of the coalition at the Centre if the president did not sign the regulation.

    Where does Swat go from here?

    Before attempting to answer this question, it is important to clarify two issues about Swat which, because of poor information, have become conflated and caused much confusion: the peace deal and the Nizam-e Adl Regulation 2009.

    Deliberations on what is now termed the Nazim-e Adl (Shariat) Regulation 2009, still in draft form since it has not been signed by Zardari and for that reason does not enjoy the legal status of a presidential order under the constitution, had begun as far back as 2007, in fact before the army operation in the valley had started.

    To think that that document is the peace deal is therefore incorrect.

    When the recent round of troubles began in Swat and the army was deployed to the area after the police, the Frontier Constabulary and even the Frontier Corps elements were found inadequate before Fazlullah’s men, the operations resulted in much civilian internal displacement and casualties.

    The army operation, which began in November 2007, continued until February 2008. It is a measure of the success of the first phase of the operation that elections were peacefully held throughout the Valley and voters overwhelmingly voted for the Awami National Party and the Pakistan People’s Party, the two major partners in the NWFP coalition government.

    After the elections, however, the Taliban elements began sporadic operations again. The second phase of the operation resulted in more collateral damage. At that point the ANP government began lobbying for a political solution. The policy resulted in a dual-track strategy: make legal arrangements for the implementation of Shariat law in the area through Sufi Muhammad’s TNSM and use that to force the Taliban into a peace deal.

    The thrust was to blunt the Taliban who were using the absence of Shariat in the area to accomplish their agenda. Sufi Muhammad, the father-in-law of Fazlullah, with his TNSM was thought to be the best bet to achieve this.

    Sufi was released from jail in Dera Ismail Khan and allowed to reclaim his bailiwick. Simultaneously, the government offered a peace deal to the Taliban who had already come under pressure because of his release and his statements that given the government’s sincerity in implementing Shariat, there was no reason to continue fighting.

    The fighting stopped. But the policy has come under tremendous pressure and there is much disinformation floating around. The two issues, implementation of the Shariat law and the peace deal, have also got mixed up because of the timing and because the Nizam-e Adl Regulation 2009 has been used as the device which prevents the Taliban from making mischief.

    Such is the level of criticism that Zardari has so far refused to sign the order even though it was signed by NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti on March 9 this year. The video showing a girl being flogged has contributed further to undermining the two-pronged policy.

    The question is: what is the best course of action in Swat? Critics say the government has surrendered to the Taliban and conceded territory; they warn that other groups would replicate this; they chide the government for showing up the state to be weak and challengeable and so on.

    The supporters point to the ground realities; the fact that fighting has stopped, qazi courts are dispensing justice and even taking the Taliban to task; human lives are not being lost and people have started returning to the area.

    This is the point in the debate, what should or must the state do, where we are reminded of what social scientists and policy planners call a “wicked problem.”

    A wicked problem is generally one that is either difficult or almost impossible to solve because of contradictory and changing requirements and where information is incomplete. To add to the degree of difficulty, a wicked problem involves complex interdependencies, such that tackling one aspect of the problem can create other problems.

    Essentially, this means that no course of action can be based on a definitive formulation because a wicked problem successfully eludes one; courses of action cannot be correct and incorrect or true and false but only relatively better or worse; every attempt is a one-shot experiment which may or may not work; stakeholders have different frames for understanding and solving the problem; there are multiple value conflicts and so on. The list is long and growing longer!

    Going by this, Swat is as wicked as a wicked problem can get. Not only that, given the pressures of getting to the end-state, a solution, even as how must one get there remains highly disputed, the planner is not cut any slack when he goes wrong!

    Problem is, there is no definitive solution because there is no definitive formulation of the problem for a host of reasons. The liberals can say the state must act as the Leviathan. Sure. But can the state do so in relation to one problem when its capacity to act as the Leviathan is undermined because of the fragility of the social contract which is presumed to have brought it into being and which the liberal enclave never tires of pointing to otherwise?

    The question is important because the same set of liberals talk about the necessity for the state to dialogue with the Baloch sub-nationalists because the Baloch non-acceptance of the social contract is owed to the state’s highhandedness and its unacceptability!

    In a way they are right because a state can act ruthlessly only when its writ is accepted by the majority of the people. A violent expression of state writ, paradoxically, requires the stamp of legitimacy even more so. But if that legitimacy is absent in relation to one set of dissidents, it is equally absent in relation to all sets of dissidents. Neither liberals nor the state can cherry-pick targets for the exercise of internal sovereignty.

    The prognosis therefore is not easy, given the wickedness of the problem. But it is a foregone conclusion that if the presidential order is not signed, the fighting at some point will restart.

    The immediate question then is, and we can’t go beyond the immediate: is the state ready for that?

    The writer is Op-Ed Editor Daily Times and Consulting Editor The Friday Times, Lahore. The views expressed are his own
     
  4. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Another one on Filn't farmaish. :)

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\04\15\story_15-4-2009_pg3_2
     
  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I think the letter by Col. Harish Puri has hit the bulls eye, that is, the ego of Pakistani Army and we see barrage of columns to counter it. Col. Puri was very subtle in pointing out the fallacies and ambiguity of PA.
     
  6. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    It was a good and frank article. Few Pakistanis can dare to even read it without those hate pheromones acting on the faculties and rendering it incapable of rational thinking.

    They will immediately get into denial, start talking of the rape of Kashmir and what not!

    At least we have done our duty. Up to them to have the sense to take the advice or not.
     
  7. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    It was a great article daredevil, but might I say very subversive at the same time!!
    For a Pakistani to see the merit in it, he would have to ignore the trees for the forest and that is a hard thing to do.
     
  8. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Second Editorial: Foreign policy and ‘wishes of the people’

    Second Editorial: Foreign policy and ‘wishes of the people’

    The 17-member Parliamentary Committee on National Security has asked the Zardari government in its report to the National Assembly on Monday to make its policies independently “in accordance with the wishes of the people, keeping the national interest supreme”. After 16 meetings, the Committee has produced the following wisdom on how the world should be made to understand Pakistan’s attitude towards terrorism: “the threat of terrorism can be effectively addressed by resolving the issues confronting the Muslim world”.

    The Committee is caught in some kind of time warp when it belatedly tells the government “to take steps to ensure that the Pakistani soil is not used for any kind of attacks on other countries; and all foreign fighters, if found, should be expelled from Pakistan”. The “if found” phrase perhaps indicates the view of those parliamentarians who insist that there are no foreigners in the tribal areas. If you ask the federal minister for science, Mr Azam Khan Swati, he will probably tell you that Jews and Indians are swarming the “Pakistani soil”, that is, if he has time free from constantly ridiculing the policies of his government.

    The Committee was certainly thinking of the Americans when it put this formulation in its report: “the government needs to adopt an uncompromising attitude to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan”. Elsewhere, it recommends using forceful diplomacy in dissuading the US from carrying out its drone attacks. In this rather vague phrasing, it seems to be hinting at taking physical counter-measures to stop the drones from flying over Pakistan, including asking the air force to go up and intercept. It will not, of course, recommend what action to take if this escalation leads to any of our aircraft being shot down.

    The only useful recommendation was allowed by the Committee towards the end, but not without violating an earlier recommendation about doing in foreign policy what the people want: “Pakistan’s strategic interests should be protected by developing stakes in regional peace and trade by developing trade ties with neighbouring and regional countries”. No word is allowed about how this “normalisation” with the neighbours is possible if the people-propelled, referendum-type, isolationist but “independent” foreign policy is followed by Islamabad.

    Democratic governance has evolved on some familiar lines over the centuries. While Gallup polls will always be a device of pressure on the representative government, democracy has become more and more “indirect” since the days of the Athenian city state. In fact there is a lot of literature available today critical of the idea of direct democracy in which the people decide every policy. The praise for indirect and representative democracy stems mostly from the fact that the interest of the state is determined in an expert fashion by those who have been elected by the people instead of directly by the people. Referendums are not favoured in truly democratic constitutions. America doesn’t allow referendums; the European Union has only bitter experience flowing from the recent referendums on its further unification.

    When the state is strong it has a wide margin for deciding its own foreign policy. But when the state is weak, this margin for “independence” becomes narrow. The pursuit of national interest therefore takes place within the limits and constraints of its power to influence the world. Foreign policy “independence” is therefore achieved in three categories: the superpower category with the capacity to make other states obey; the middle power capacity to withstand the persuasion of big powers while not being in a position to persuade the lesser powers; and those powers that are amenable to external pressure without being able to persuade the lesser states.

    Events have shown that not even a superpower can have an “independent” foreign policy. The “Gallup poll-driven” Iraq policy of President Bush was finally found not to be in America’s interest. In the same manner, the advice to Islamabad to have an “independent” foreign policy is in fact a recipe — backed no doubt by the people — for isolationism. What the people want is a “heroic and defiant” foreign policy which an economically troubled Pakistan simply cannot afford. An insistence on an “independent” as opposed to “flexible” foreign policy presumes going to war with states that thwart it. That is not an option Pakistan has.

    The Parliamentary Committee on National Security has projected itself as “internally blind” because it has ignored the fact that a lot of the “soil” it is trying to protect through an independent foreign policy is not in Pakistan’s control. It forgets that foreign policy is based on a consideration of internal developments.
     
  9. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Response to 'Open letter to General Kayani'

    Open letter to General Kayani


    Wednesday, April 15, 2009
    This is in response to Colonel Harish Puri's unbecoming "open letter" to the COAS of the Pakistan army published in your newspaper on April 14. It is by no means intended to be on behalf of, or in defence of, General Kayani – his dignified persona and rightfully august office would not even consider any such move. Probably, neither would ISPR.

    Firstly, straight off the bat your quote and the wild googly on the "surrender" in 1971, are nothing but silly remarks. (Then what was it?)May I suggest that Colonel Puri read chapter 12 of Shuja Nawaz's excellent book Crossed Swords – Pakistan: Its Army, and the wars within.

    Regarding the colonel's snide remarks insinuating "surrender" to the dreadful 'Taliban' in Swat, and inaction of the army against the perpetrators of the dastardly flogging of the 17-year girl, the matter is sub judice in the Supreme Court and shall not be commented upon. (really? Are u kidding me?)As for the army, it is in Swat as required/in support of and in assistance to the civil security forces and to the NWFP government. It is not in a war zone and nor is it is a judicial/policing force and hence cannot take any independent action. From one honourable retired soldier to another honourable retired soldier: best wishes, and may the light of understanding envelope you.'

    Brig (retd) Mateen M. Mohajir

    Karachi



    ****

    This is with reference to an open letter written to Gen Kayani by a retired Indian colonel. What is going on? Whose interest is this letter serving? This is outright poor journalism on part of The News -- our newspapers should not become a tool in the hands of the foreign agents and publish such articles. Freedom of press does not mean compromising on the values that we cherish/hold and protect at all cost. One such value is the pride and glory we take in the professionalism of the Pakistan Army and its soldiers. The retired Indian colonel should focus more on writing open letters to his own COAS and on the atrocities happening on a daily basis in Occupied Kashmir by the Indian army. The retired colonel wrote that he was perturbed to watch a girl in Swat being flogged. I hope he is equally moved when women are raped and murdered in Occupied Kashmir? If the Pakistan Army is trying its best to allow the politicians to find a peaceful solution to the problem that is the best course it is taking.

    Security forces are only a tool to implement the broader agenda/security polices designed by governments. On one hand India accuses Pakistan of lack of democracy and on the other hand it keeps looking up to the generals in Pakistan for solutions.

    Mohammad Ali Ehsan

    Karachi



    *****

    I protest the publication of "An open letter to General Kayani" by a retired colonel of the Indian army (April 14). This letter should not be taken lightly as it is the most provocative piece written by anyone against the leadership of our Army in living history, and a befitting reply from the Army must come forth, without further delay. How dare the writer suggest that Pakistani soldiers would perform better (in Swat) under Indian officers, as our own have turned into property dealers. And how dare he propose that we slaughter the Taliban in the same manner in which we (allegedly) butchered the Bengalis back in 1971. And even if we did, will we never be allowed to learn from our past mistakes? (Truly hit the ego of PA)

    How the DG ISPR will respond to the Indian colonel, I don't know. However, being a true nationalist, I am going to give my own befitting reply to him. Let it suffice if I tell him (and our enemies) to stop hatching conspiracies against our nationhood (and our strategic weapons), as this time we have the Taliban on our side, against whom no known antidote exists. A country governed by the Taliban and armed with nuclear weapons has the potential of becoming the next real superpower of the 21st century. No wonder our opponents look terrified. And no wonder General Kayani is abiding by "national interest." (True Pakistani mentality is on display here, already talking about Taliban Govt. - Freudian slip perhaps)

    Shabbir Ahmad

    Islamabad



    *******

    This is with reference to Colonel Harish Puri's 'open letter' to General Kayani. As far as writing of the said article is concerned it was a good effort but without much substance. The colonel highlighted many points of which a few were correct while most others were based on assumptions and have no bearing on the current situation which the world is facing. While mentioning the role of Pakistan army the Indian colonel tried to give a bitter toffee wrapped in chocolate paper.

    First of all let me clarify the abnormal situation of our western front in which our brave army is operating. Here we have to be very clear that who is the enemy and who is a citizen. (So, you still don't know if Taliban is your citizen or terrorist, great). Before blaming us, the Indian colonel should have seen what is happening in India. What about the insurgencies in Kashmir, Assam and other parts of India? The same thing we are facing by the curtsy of your intelligent agencies. Being an army officer, Colonel Puri must be aware of who is behind all this unrest in Pakistan. The writer quite cleverly has tried to hide the role of the Indian government which is behind all this mess as it operates from a veritable safe haven in Afghanistan. As for the flogging of the Swat girl, yes it is barbaric and has been condemned by one and all. However, surely such barbaric acts – and worse – have happened and do still happen in India as well.

    Major (retd) Anwar Pasha

    Lahore



    *******

    In his article 'An open letter to Gen Kayani', while highlighting the Taliban threat, Col (retd) Harish Puri has actually tried to malign the Pakistan Army by distorting the facts. He has probably forgotten the bashing that the Indian Army took from a handful of Kashmiri Muhahideen and later by the brave Pakistani soldiers led by dynamic young officers in tactical encounters. He should have better consulted his colleagues who took part in the Kargil operations to find out that a Pakistani post of about 10-15 persons equipped with small arms was able to withstand several assaults by a battalion of about 800 soldiers of the 'valiant' Indian army. (Then how come you lost Kargil war?)

    Before stories about the Pakistan army, the Indian colonel should first look around in the rank and file of his own army to see its moral bankruptcy, professional incompetence and low morale.

    Brigadier (retd) Shahid Masud

    Rawalpindi

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=172498
     
  10. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    The usual denials and rants. The anti India pheromones in full play!
     
  11. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    How many times will we be fooled by the US?



    Wednesday, April 15, 2009
    Shireen M Mazari

    So Senator Kerry has come to do the usual doublespeak to the Pakistani people through its already confused leadership! Like the other US leaders before him, his understanding of Pakistan ran skin deep at best as he tried to justify the drones by declaring that terrorism existed in Pakistan before these attacks. Oh what a revelation Senator; but we all know qualitative difference between the pre- and post-9/11 status of terrorism in Pakistan. And, while some elitist part time residents and drawing room analysts (the very group that they seem to decry) of the capital may see drones as merely red herrings, the fact is that drones have killed almost 900 innocent Pakistanis between 2006 and 2009 and only 10 Al Qaeda targets. The growing instability in the country as well as the IDPs from the drone-hit areas are testimony to the fact that drones create space for future militants; as well as to the fact that the military option has not only failed to stabilise the area but also failed to deny space to the militants. And, no one buys the Pakistani state's whining to the US against the drones as authentic anymore since, if the leadership was truly opposed to these drone attacks, they would simply claim back Bandari air base. Remember also that perception is at least as critical as the reality.

    Senator Kerry also talked about his cosponsored bill relating to aid to Pakistan that will be introduced – or may have been introduced – in the US Senate through its Foreign Relations Committee. He declared that there would be no conditionalities and he feigned – because I refuse to believe that a seasoned Senator like Kerry would be so ill-informed on the issue especially when he knew he was travelling to Pakistan – total ignorance about the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2009 already introduced into the House of Representatives by Representative Howard Berman, Democrat from California. The bill, if passed as is, would be as humiliating for Pakistan as the US-bulldozed Platt Amendment of 1903 was for Cuba.

    There have already been some comments of this Act in the Pakistani press and some of the clauses are so insulting that any self respecting Pakistani government would begin voicing its outright rejection of any aid tied to these conditions – but there is a deafening silence from our leaders and their diplomatic reps in the US. As for the billions we spend on lobbyists, apparently Ambassador Haqqani has rendered them ineffective.

    Coming back to the Berman bill's clauses, there is a truly absurd India-specific clause J which requires Pakistan "not to support any person or group that conducts violence, sabotage, or other activities meant to instil fear in India". This assumes that the Pakistan is indulging in such activities which in itself are unacceptable. Or is the US going to get a similar undertaking from India given the dangerous games RAW is playing within Pakistan? In any event, is Berman truly ignorant – as many US legislators are about foreign affairs – about the existence of a bilateral Pakistan-India anti-terror agreement or is he simply playing to the Indian lobby? Either way, for Pakistan the message is clear.

    Clause K is equally humiliating, with a barely veiled effort to target Dr AQ Khan again. It seeks access for US investigators to "individuals suspected of engaging in worldwide proliferation of nuclear materials," and requires Pakistan to "restrict such individuals from travel or any other activity that could result in further proliferation". Berman would have been more useful to his country if he had sought to clarify the US role in proliferation to Israel or to seek more light on the nuclear agreements India signed with Iraq and Iran! In any event, the US has to get over its trauma of Dr A Q Khan and Pakistan's nuclear capability, just as it finally seems to be getting over its Iranian revolution trauma!

    The hand of the Indian lobbyists is all over this Bill including in Clause H which requires Pakistan not to provide any support (could also include political and moral since it is open-ended), "direction, guidance to, or acquiescence in the activities of any person or group that engages in any degree in acts of violence or intimidation against civilians, civilian groups or governmental entities" – target being the indigenous freedom struggle in Indian-Occupied Kashmir. Of course, given how the US is intimidating civilians in FATA with the drone attacks, shouldn't our government tell the US this may include them also! If only our leaders had such guts and gumption but all we see them do is fawn and fall all over the US regardless of the impact it has on the country.

    Clause I focuses on the Taliban but again with the onus on the Pakistan government, with the underlying insinuation being that it is the Taliban's survival and nurturing is all at the hands of the Pakistani state – this despite the fact that the Pakistani state has lost thousands of its personnel in fighting these forces. If Pakistan's detractors would study history they would realise that asymmetric conflicts for hearts and minds are never won through military means but who can talk sense to a super power that is still subject to irrational behaviour as a result of 9/11 – so much so that it has also forgotten that the perpetrators of 9/11 were rich, westernised Arabs living in Europe and the US.

    The Berman bill's title itself – with the acronym PEACE – is a cruel joke on the people of Pakistan and now Senator Kerry has been trying to tell us that his bill will have no conditionalities. That is nothing but a pack of lies; in any case it is irrelevant because now that an earlier bill relating to aid to Pakistan has been introduced in the House, Kerry's bill in the Senate, along with the Berman bill, will eventually go before a conference committee of Congress comprising equal members from the House and the Senate's relevant committees and one bill will be moulded from the two. Given the effective Indian lobbying and the animus that prevails in the US political circles against the nuclear Muslim state of Pakistan, the conditionalities of the Berman bill will not be removed – certainly not all of them. Yet, from Pakistan's perspective, even one of the present conditionalities makes the aid bill humiliating and unacceptable to any nationalist, self-respecting leadership endowed with courage and a sense of history.

    Does our leadership fit that bill? Certainly not so far but perhaps a greater reliance on parliament may give them some courage. After all, President Zardari also turned to the same parliament that he had been ignoring in the context of the issue of terrorism, to gain courage on Swat. But Parliament cannot be used selectively and one hopes it will now be more assertive of its powers.

    Meanwhile, the US has begun to send drones into Swat to undermine an agreement that has parliament's sanction. The detractors of the peace agreement should realise that while the agreement was certainly signed from a position of weakness, once it is enforced action can be taken against the criminals violating women through acts of flogging and destroying education through burning of schools. After all, amongst the "secret" 14 conditions, are conditions that the Taliban will not prevent women from working or studying, will cooperate in the anti-polio drive, will desist from attacking barber and music shops, will denounce suicide attacks and so on. Given the paucity of the writ of the state, such an agreement, if enforced, can being peace to the local people especially with the army withdrawing and the Taliban agreeing not to display weapons in public and accepting a ban on raising militias. This is not the end of the problem but merely a beginning.

    If the state wants to have a better negotiating position it needs to provide security and justice to the people while dialoguing and negotiating with all Pakistani stakeholders backed by, but not unleashed, coercive power of the state. This is the only way to isolate diehard militants. This is also a beginning to deny space for future militants, but that also requires the "adopt a madressah" approach mentioned last week, to go to the roots of the problem. The term Af-Pak has made us a "legitimate" war zone for the Americans with all that that implies. Unless we create space between ourselves and the US, we cannot move to reclaim the lost space of the moderate majority that is the Pakistani nation.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=172494
     
  12. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Sleepwalking to disaster

    Sleepwalking to disaster

    By Irfan Husain

    Saturday, 18 Apr, 2009 | 01:21 AM PST |


    WHEN faced with a frightening civil war and reeling from repeated blows from a ruthless and determined foe, how does our government react? It puts the country’s clocks forward by an hour. I suppose this is one of the few things it can do to show it exists at all.

    The rest of us can be excused for doubting the presence of an administration, given the slide and drift we have been seeing over the last year. As the Taliban have made rapid inroads, and now strut about with greater impunity — to say nothing of immunity — than ever before, it has been painful to watch how ineffective the PPP-led coalition has been.

    When her widower, Asif Zardari, signed that infamous instrument of surrender known as the Nizam-i-Adl, Benazir Bhutto must have turned in her grave. Whatever else she might have been accused of in her lifetime, even her worst enemies concede she was a courageous fighter. And although the original demand for Sharialaw in Malakand surfaced during her tenure in 1994, I doubt very much that she would have surrendered the state’s writ as easily as this government has done.

    Another major politician who would have thoroughly disapproved of the turn of events in Swat and elsewhere is Khan Abdul Wali Khan. The late father of ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, a member of the ruling coalition, was an avowed secularist. His National Awami Party was committed to Bacha Khan’s democratic ideals and struggled to keep religion separate from politics. The sight of his son cravenly handing over Swat (with the NWFP to follow) to the Taliban would have broken the tough old Pashtun leader’s heart.

    To their credit, a handful of politicians did not roll over as the Nizam-i-Adl was propelled smoothly through the National Assembly. My old friend Ayaz Amir made sure this law did not pass without some serious doubts being expressed. And the MQM lived up to its secular credentials, although I would have been happier if they had resisted rather than boycotted the proceedings. By contrast, the PPP succumbed and feebly maintained the party line of surrender.

    But the deed is done, and we are left to face the consequences of the government’s gutless display. However, we must also accept the fact that we are where we are because the army refused to fight the Taliban in Swat. It can be argued that due to this lack of military resolve, the provincial and federal governments had few options. But surely, given political will, the administration had enough resources at its disposal to confront around 5,000 militants.

    This resounding defeat is the cumulative result of years of pandering to extremists. Partly, this happened because the army thought it expedient to use them to further its agenda in Afghanistan and Kashmir. But mainly, it is due to the massive confusion about the true nature of the threat. After my column (‘The high cost of defeat’) appeared in this space last week, I must have received at least a score of emails accusing me of, among other things, not wanting a dialogue with the Taliban. Several readers asked why I did not wish to treat the militants as errant brothers, and reason with them.

    I wrote back saying that if any brother of mine went around blowing people up, and chopping off the heads of innocent people, I would want him locked up and tried for murder. No society anywhere advocates negotiations with known killers, whatever their stated motives.

    This exchange goes to the heart of the muddled thinking that has thus far characterised our response to the Taliban threat. TV channels are full of so-called religious scholars and conservative pundits who have tried to justify the deal, assuring us that it would bring peace to Swat. While the gullible might buy this line, I paid more attention to a recent statement by Muslim Khan, the Swat Taliban spokesman. He is quoted as saying that “Muslims should take up arms instead of laying them down”. Thus, he has already broken a key provision of the deal that called for the militants to disarm.

    Asif Zardari has declared that the deal brings Islamic justice, and not the Sharia, to Swat. Tell that to the women who can no longer leave their homes without their husband’s permission and to the thousands of young girls deprived of an education. And just to remind the government who’s in charge, Maulana Sufi Mohammed has declared that under the deal, those militants who terrorised Swat during their year-long campaign, cannot be tried for the murders and other atrocities they committed. So much for swift justice.

    Over the last year, as the Taliban have edged closer to seizing control of the state, the country’s rulers have been indulging in irrelevant power plays. First it was about the reinstatement of the chief justice; then it was the Punjab government being sacked; and now the government and the opposition are squabbling over the implementation of the Charter of Democracy. Meanwhile, Gen Kayani is travelling the globe instead of seeing to the country’s defence.

    And as the economy falters and stalls, the rest of the world is being asked to rescue us yet again. We are telling the Americans that we will not accept any strings to their assistance, while the Friends of Pakistan are being told that the country will collapse without a bailout. In some ways, we are holding a begging bowl in one hand, and a raised middle finger in the other. If we had a third hand, it would be holding a gun to our head. In fact, this is now our preferred negotiation mode.

    It would help a lot if the government had a coherent plan to combat the militant menace. In fact, Pakistanis as well as the international community would welcome some sign that somebody in the government is doing some serious thinking. So far, we have been fed with clichés and idiotic waffle. Perhaps this absence of any sensible policy is even scarier than the continuing inaction. It seems the government is sleepwalking its way to disaster, with our leaders more interested in scoring political points than doing their duty, and fighting the Taliban threat.

    We have been told that somehow, the government will separate the ‘moderate’ Taliban from the really bad guys and talk to the former, while using force against the latter. I wonder if the abandoned and terrorised people of Swat can tell the difference.

    [email protected]

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect...umnists/irfan-husain-sleepwalking-to-disaster
     
  13. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    How true Irfan Hussain ji, you have put more aptly than any non-pakistani would be able to put the way you did.
     
  14. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistanis trust the others to save them from themselves all to often.

    The others have to fail just once and it will be all over! I think the time is over now, no amount of aid can do it this time.

    The law of diminishing results has started to apply. Each dollar of incremental aid has that much less effect and the internal mess is greater than it has ever been.

    Pakistan is on the verge of a civil war or a capitulation. A failure in both cases.
     
  15. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Life post-Nizam-e-Adl

    Life post-Nizam-e-Adl


    Sunday, April 19, 2009
    Dr Farrukh Saleem

    Here are four of our historical, landmark, monumental mistakes. First: in 1947, we accepted that 27,220 square kilometres of FATA -- Bajaur, Khyber, Kurram, Mohamand, North Waziristan, Orakzai, South Waziristan plus FR Peshawar, FR Kohat, FR Tank, FR Bannu, FR Lakki and FR Dera Ismail Khan -- shall continue to be governed under the Frontier Crimes Regulation of 1901. Second: in 1970, Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA), a total of 72,496 square kilometres -- that includes Skardu, Ghanche, Gilgit, Ghizer Diamer, Astore and Hunza -- was created as a separate administrative unit. Third: in 1997, Ehtesab Act was passed by the Nawaz Sharif government that gave birth to Ehtesab Courts. Fourth: in 1997, the Anti-Terrorism Act gave birth to Anti-Terrorism Courts.

    For the past 62 years we have failed to integrate FATA into the rest of Pakistan. For the past 39 years we have failed to integrate FANA into the rest of Pakistan. That's 99,716 square kilometres, nearly 13 per cent of our total landmass, outside the boundaries of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The results of our follies are for the world to see. On April 13, President Asif Ali Zardari, the 11th president of Pakistan, signed Nizam-e-Adl Regulation 2009 donating an additional 5,337 square kilometres of Pakistan to Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM). The TNSM has already laid its claim to 14,850 square kilometres of Chitral and 5,280 square kilometres of Dir. That would mean 16 per cent of our landmass. Where would it all stop? FATA is beyond Pakistan de facto. Swat is now beyond Pakistan de jure. Pakistan has no writ in most of Balochistan. And, that's a total of 452,243 square kilometres, or 58 per cent of Pakistan, beyond Pakistan's writ. What would Swat now be like? Which one of the 192 member-states of the UN would Swat be like? Which one of the 57 OIC countries would Swat be like? Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan?

    Would the 'Switzerland of Pakistan' now be like Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia's per capita book readership is one of the lowest on the face of the planet. Saudi Arabia is yet to produce a Nobel prize winner (Israel has produced eight). Saudi Arabia has no more than 5,000 scientists (200 per million) while the US has 1.5 million (4,000 per million). Saudi Arabia hasn't invented anything of consequence for the human civilisation in its 77 years of existence. Saudi Arabia officially practises a comprehensive gender-based apartheid system whereby 14 million Saudi women have different legal rights than Saudi men, an "unequal access to property and jobs, and restrictions on freedom of movement… (Saudi women were not allowed to vote in the municipal elections of 2005)." Would the 'Switzerland of Pakistan' now be like the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan' (as Afghanistan was from 1996 to 2001)? No political parties, no politics, no elections -- and absolutely dictatorial. No TV, no chess, no kites. For women -- restricted employment, no education, no sports, no nail-polish. For everyone else -- no videos, no music, no dancing, no clapping during sports events -- and a beard "extending farther than a fist clamped at the base of the chin." No paintings, no photographs, no stuffed animals -- and no dolls.

    Saidu Sharif has the Swat Museum and the Swat Museum has Buddha's footprints. Remember how the National Museum of Afghanistan was torn down with sledgehammers? Swat has Mingora and Mingora has Buddhist stupas. Remember Buddahas of Bamyan? Swat has Kabal and Kabal has a beautiful, beautiful golf course. Swat has Malam Jabba and Malam Jabba has a ski resort (last year, parts of the ski resort were burnt down). What would life be post-Nizam-e-Adl? According to Amnesty International, Nizam-e-Adl means "legitimising human rights abuses" in the Swat Valley. According to McClatchy Company, that publishes 43 different daily newspapers in the US, "A growing number of US intelligence, defence and diplomatic officials have concluded that there's little hope of preventing nuclear-armed Pakistan from disintegrating into fiefdoms controlled by Islamist warlords and terrorists, posing a greater threat to the US than Afghanistan's terrorist haven did before 9/11."


    The writer is the executive director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS). Email: farrukh1 [email protected]

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=173259
     
  16. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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  17. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    The four theatres of war
     
  18. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ The pathetic attempts at creating some kind of Indian linkage is again obvious.

    Af-Pak is what best describes them. They have nothing to do with India and we want nothing to do with them. They have always been a neglected corner of India and its good that we got rid of the tumour for a time till we can again get the rest of the healthy body back in shape.

    Till then, enjoy the company of your babaric invaders and your inspiration. You will go to the stone age like them pretty soon, till we come to liberate you at our own sweet time. ;)
     
  19. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Just walk away:Time to dump Pakistan

    Just walk away:Time to dump Pakistan


    WHAT Washington calls "strategy" is usually just inertia: We can't imagine not supporting Pakistan because we've "always" supported Pakistan.

    No matter how shamelessly Pakistan's leaders looted their own country, protected the Taliban, sponsored terror attacks on India, demanded aid and told us to kiss off when we asked for help, we had to back the Paks.

    Because that's just the way things are.

    Well, now that Islamist marauders are sweeping the country with violence as the generals in Rawalpindi mull "To be or not to be" and President Ali Asif Zardari knocks back another scotch behind closed doors, perhaps we should consider an alternative approach to this splintering, renegade state.

    A better strategy's obvious. But Washington has trouble with the obvious. At our pathetic State Department, habit trumps innovation every time. And the Pentagon can't seem to see beyond the immediate battlefield.

    What should we do? Dump Pakistan. Back India.

    Washington's deep thinkers will cry, "But China might move in!"

    If China wants Pakistan, let Beijing have it. That would be fun to watch. Take on the Taliban? Given China's ghastly ineptitude in dealing with its Uighur Muslims, more power to 'em.

    Anyway, China knows that India's the prize. Indian neutrality is essential to any future conflict with the United States. Beijing isn't going to do anything to drive New Delhi into a closer relationship with Washington (and the US Navy).

    So set the "China syndrome" fears aside. Move on to the integrity issue: We claim -- or used to claim -- that we're serious about combating terrorists and punishing their backers.

    Yet, we've been abetting the forces of terror by supporting Pakistan unreservedly. Islamabad merrily sponsors terror attacks on India, knowing that America will step in and convince New Delhi not to retaliate.

    Apart from the myriad Pak-backed terror strikes in Kashmir, we've seen gruesome attacks in New Delhi and, most recently, in Mumbai. Pakistan's intelligence services did everything but put up billboards announcing that they were behind the terrorists.

    India prepared to strike back. But we stepped in every time.

    As long as Pakistan's obsessed India-haters know there won't be any penalties for terrorism, they'll keep at it. The formula isn't hard to figure out.

    Suppose we just left Pakistan, even withdrawing our embassy personnel? Without us to protect them when they go rogue, would Pakistan's murky intel thugs still launch terror strikes on India?

    Pakistan would have to behave responsibly at last. Or face nuclear-armed India. And Pakistan's leaders know full well that a nuclear exchange would leave their country a wasteland. India would dust itself off and move on.

    Of course, there's also the issue of the Pentagon's bewildering incompetence in placing 50,000 of our troops at the end of a 1,500-mile supply line through Pakistan, rendering our forces virtual hostages of Islamabad.

    The answer's another dose of common sense: Instead of increasing our troop numbers in Afghanistan, cut them. Instead of embracing the hopeless task of building a modern nation where no nation of any kind has ever existed, concentrate exclusively on killing al Qaeda terrorists and the hard-line Taliban elements who help them.

    Instead of pretending the Kabul government has any validity, arm the factions with which we share common interests. We're really not obliged to cut massive welfare checks for our enemies.

    Our sole mission in Afghanistan should be killing terrorists. To that end, we need a smaller, lethal, unfettered force, not more agricultural experts and con-game contractors.

    Bottom line: Let India deal with Pakistan. If the Chinese want to engage, just smile. Focus on killing our enemies, not buying them ice cream. And get serious about strategy. How is it that the leaders of the most powerful state in history think like small-time operators?

    Briefing Washington audiences, I warn them that, when the boss tells them to think outside the box, he really means, "Come back with new reasons why I was right all along."

    It's time for some genuine outside-the-box thinking. Because the Pakistani box looks increasingly like a coffin.

    JUST WALK AWAY - New York Post
     
  20. Su-47

    Su-47 Regular Member

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    Great find DD. Pity the US govt doesn't think this way.

    USA also kinda deserves what it is getting. They have always supported Pak. They threatened India and Israel into backing off from attacking Pak nuclear installations. And now they have a headache in the form of nuclear pakistan. I actually want Pak to get an ICBM. Then USA will realise just how serious the problem is. Till now they have been relaxed coz they aren't under pak nuclear range. when that day comes, they'll get a taste of how india lives: always apprehensive of Pak nukes.

    I hope the USA finally learns its lessons. Stop supporting these bloody dictatorships and extremist states!
     

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