Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

Irfan Hussain: What the Taliban Want

January 24, 2010

This article appeared in Dawn on January 24, 2010

Often, I am asked by readers or friends abroad what the Taliban want. Why, they ask, are they slaughtering hundreds of innocent people wherever they can? What is their purpose? What is their agenda?

The short answer is power. Other excuses for their murderous excesses are a fig-leaf: demands for the Sharia and the expulsion of foreign forces from the region are no more than window-dressing.

These terrorists realise that they cannot achieve power through peaceful, democratic means as they have no support. Even relatively moderate Islamic parties have been repeatedly trounced at the polls in Pakistan. So extremists reject democracy as it does not give them access to power.

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Ayaz Amir:Conscience of the Constitution

January 22, 2010

This article appeared in The News on January 22, 2010

The National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was a dead duck the moment the National Assembly refused to have anything to do with it. If it still needed another shot in the head, a division bench of the Supreme Court (SC) could have done the needful, no extraordinary issue of constitutional theory being involved in the outcome.

But we have not been that lucky, all 17 of their SC lordships hearing the NRO case whose detailed judgment — written by My Lord the Chief Justice — is now out, and about which the shrillest comments are coming from the already committed or the already biased.

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Ayaz Amir: The Road to Hell

January 1, 2010

This article appeared in The News on January 1, 2010

We have a developed talent, honed over the years, for counting the trees and missing the larger picture. We see things in one dimension and forget that there may be other sides to reality. This leads to false conclusions and the begetting of great tragedies.

Let us for argument’s sake accept that Asif Ali Zardari, the luckless president of a luckless country, is the author of a thousand villainies, the darkest thing to have happened to the Islamic Republic. But let us at least weigh his real or presumed infamy in the scales of history before coming to a judgment about what he deserves.
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IA Rehman: Pause, sirs, and ponder

December 25, 2009

 This article appeared in Dawn on December 24, 2009

The fact that in its response to the Supreme Court judgment of Dec 16 the nation is divided cannot be denied, and prudence demands that the causes of this division should not be brushed aside without careful scrutiny.

A large section of society believes that Pakistan has become a corruption-free entity and a judicially controlled democracy while a none-too-small section feels deeply hurt. Much can be said for and against both sides.

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Teresita Schaffer:US-Pakistan partnership: Make it work for both sides

December 22, 2009

This article appeared in Christian Science Monitor on December 22, 2009

President Obama’s Dec. 1 address to the nation correctly listed a partnership with Pakistan as a crucial foundation of policy toward Afghanistan. Sustaining that partnership may be his most formidable challenge.

The Achilles’ heel of our past alliances with Pakistan has been both countries’ unwillingness to confront the discrepancies in their goals. This time, we need to be clear on where our goals do and don’t coincide, and what we are prepared to do about them.

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Ahmad Faruqui – Demonizing America

December 21, 2009

This article appeared in Dawn on December 21, 2009

It was in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran that America was labelled The Great Satan. Judging from current trends, the day is not too far off when America will be given the same moniker in Pakistan. Ever since the US resorted to carrying out drone attacks against terrorist suspects inside Pakistan, vocal condemnations of America have been widespread. The furore over the Kerry-Lugar foreign aid bill brought matters to a head.

 At issue, the corps commanders explained, was the affront to national sovereignty. The nation’s honour had been attacked became the rallying cry. So what if the challenger was the globe’s only superpower? And so what if it was simply trying to strengthen Pakistan’s civil institutions? Their crumbling at the hands of the military had been of great concern to civil society.

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Pervez Musharraf: The Afghan-Pakistan Solution

December 3, 2009

By Pervez Musharraf
This article appeared in The Wall Street Journal on December 1, 2009

My recent trip to the United States has been an enriching experience, during which I had a very healthy discourse with the American public and an opportunity to understand their concerns about the war in Afghanistan. One question I was asked almost everywhere I went was, “How can we stop losing?”

The answer is a political surge, in conjunction with the additional troops requested by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Quitting is not an option.

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Ahmed Rashid takes on Conspiracy theorists

November 25, 2009

Ahmed Rashid, veteran Pakistani journalist, in his latest column on BBC News has taken on the conspiracy theorists in Pakistan.

Here is the piece – Pakistan conspiracy theories stifle debate

Switch on any of the dozens of satellite news channels now available in Pakistan. You will be bombarded with talk show hosts who are mostly obsessed with demonising the elected government, trying to convince viewers of global conspiracies against Pakistan led by India and the United States or insisting that the recent campaign of suicide bomb blasts around the country is being orchestrated by foreigners rather than local militants.

Viewers may well ask where is the passionate debate about the real issues that people face – the crumbling economy, joblessness, the rising cost of living, crime and the lack of investment in health and education or settling the long-running insurgency in Balochistan province.

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Sadiq Saleem – Singh in Washington — and Pakistan’s options

November 25, 2009

An Excellent piece by Canada-based Pakistani analyst, Sadiq Saleem. This piece appeared in The News on November 24, 2009 

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official visit to the United States should have been the major story in Pakistan’s media. But our right-wing anchors and columnists and “get-Zardari” editors are far more focused on the domestic power struggles to realize that the nightmare of Pakistan’s strategic encirclement may already be on the brink of becoming reality.

 

The less attention Pakistanis pay to fighting terrorism and figuring out a way of dealing with the world, the more likely it is that India — the country with which Pakistan has fought four wars in 62 years — will continue to gain ground. India already has better relations with the governments of Afghanistan and Iran, our western neighbours. The more we demonstrate hatred towards the United States, the more we contribute to making the India-US relationship into an anti-Pakistan alliance, which need not be. We could complain and get angry with the US, as the Jamaatis and the Ghairat lobby advocate, or we could analyse the rising Indian influence and figure out ways of combating it.

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Sadiq Saleem: Transparency, corruption and perceptions

November 18, 2009

This article appeared in The News on November 18, 2009

Transparency International’s new Annual Corruption Perceptions Report and Pakistan’s position on its index is once again the topic of discussion on all TV channels and most newspaper columns, courtesy right wing anchors and columnists. Instead of focusing on the terrorist threat to the Pakistani way of life, the corruption issue is once again being used to create hatred for the political class and to dislodge or weaken an elected government.

 

One can sense a replay of the past, as those who know Pakistan’s history of the 1990s would testify. In Pakistan between 1988 and 1999 no elected civilian government was allowed to complete its term because of alleged corruption. The 1999 military coup that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power was also justified on grounds that Pakistan’s generals were better suited to wage the war against corruption.

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