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Thread: Pakistani politics (catch all)

  1. #241
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    Strategic assets strike again? or is this someone else? http://www.brownpundits.com/strategi...-strike-again/

  2. #242
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    An interesting Op-Ed perspective.


    Welcome to Pakistan, where even the most feverish anti-US conspiracy theories turn out to be, well, true.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/352124/w...s-are-correct/
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  3. #243
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    Not bad, as propaganda, but if this guy is sincere then he needs serious help.

  4. #244
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Factional Politics of South western Punjab

    Our occasional correspondent Hamid Hussain has provided a new commentary (on attachment) on Pakistan's emerging political situation, with the focus on the 'Factional Politics of South western Punjab'.

    Sadly it reinforces my belief that the ordinary Pakistani voter has no choice, Pakistani's politicians change their party labels and remain power hungry. This time there is little mention of the military / ISI.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    davidbfpo

  5. #245
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    David,

    That was a very interesting find.

    Thanks.

    It does help to understand the way Pak politics works and will help in watching the political fortunes of these players.

    It appears that Pakistani politicians are opportunists and they carry this philosophy into policy making when in power.

    And that is why there is a feeling that Pakistan is sold to the highest bidder!

  6. #246
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    Default Pakistan through critical-studies/poco/culture studies eyes

    My review of Sadia Toor's book is at http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...slam.html#more

  7. #247
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    Default Offering a reward has drawbacks

    Pakistan minister offers bounty for anti-Islam film-maker

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...c1679be5c3.5c1

  8. #248
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Pakistan minister offers bounty for anti-Islam film-maker
    Ray,

    I am sure the Pakistani minister is bathing in the limelight after his remarks. Somehow I doubt he has US$100k to offer, although a collection to support his own bid to undertake the mission cannot be excluded.

    Given the state of Pakistan's railways for which he has responsibility it is easy to conclude he is a rabble rouser, 3rd class.

    The BBC reports a White House spokesman's reaction:
    Therefore we find Mr Bilour's announcement is inflammatory and inappropriate. We note that the prime minister's office has dissociated itself from his comments.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19692971

    When is the 3rd class minister's next visit to the USA, without diplomatic immunity?

    Seriously I have a certain affection for the Pakistani people, each time you see such newsreel one wonders if it the aid "tap" should be turned off.
    davidbfpo

  9. #249
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Stick to trains, not planes minister

    The 3rd rate minister's offer could alter his travel plans and also reveals more about him than I expect even he intended:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...n-say-MPs.html

    ...the minister is a regular visitor to London, where he and his brothers spend large parts of the year in family properties....Whitehall officials said the comments could affect Mr Bilour’s ability to visit the UK.....Ghulam does have properties in London. They are joint properties with his family and when he goes to London, he stays there. He stays in their own apartment every season, between June and August when it’s hot here,” said a source close to the family.
    It gets better:
    His comments were widely ridiculed by his opponents amid speculation that they were aimed at diverting militant attacks on his family businesses in Peshawar, one of the main centres of violent protest against the film. One of his family’s four cinemas, which are said to show “X-rated” films, was burnt by protesters.
    Finally, maybe time to call your Congressman:
    The brothers are regular visitors to America, where some of their children are at university.
    davidbfpo

  10. #250
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Offering a reward has drawbacks

    Created to accommodate posts on the pakistani railways Minister's offer of a US$100k reward to murder the maker of the provocative film.
    davidbfpo

  11. #251
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Are the "usual suspects" controlling extremists in Pakistan?

    A commentary by Ahmed Rashid, via the BBC:
    Pakistan is paying a devastating price for pandering to extremists and allowing them to dictate the political agenda...(much later)....Pakistan is on the cusp of a nightmarish scenario where extremists call the political shots and the government obeys.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19697479

    Usually I enjoy reading his work, but this passage jarred - hence my emphasis:
    In Pakistan, as elsewhere across the Muslim world, there is a sense of powerlessness against Western governments and media companies who want to uphold the right of free speech but publish explosive material that enrages Muslims. A growing sense of economic and political powerlessness is leading to support for extremist views. And the refusal of the West to meet half-way on containing hate material is being further fuelled by extremists who find it convenient to stake their claim in such troubled moments.
    Rightly Ahmed Rashid contrasts, perhaps not his intention, with:
    Riots in Lahore and many parts of Punjab were led by the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba .. Sipah-e-Sahaba, a militant Sunni group that wants to "cleanse" Pakistan of all Shia Muslims and has claimed responsibility for the murder of more than 300 Hazara Shias in Quetta alone this year, openly led the demonstrators in other parts of Punjab (nobody has been caught for the murder of so many Shias).
    The Pakistani Taliban and their supporters were in the forefront in Karachi and Peshawar where they have considerable assets.
    Then the traditional state (the army & ISI, not government):
    in January 2012 the military and intelligence services mobilised dozens of Islamic parties, militant groups and retired generals to form a platform called the Defence of Pakistan Council. They held nationwide street protests against the Americans and Nato after the government had closed the Nato supply road to the Afghan border.....Yet, mysteriously, when the military decided to cut a deal with the US and reopen the road, the Council just as suddenly disbanded and disappeared from the streets. The establishment had demonstrated to the Americans its obvious influence over extremist groups.
    The apparent national (in)security strategy pursued by the "usual suspects" in the Pakistani Army & ISI has been debated before on SWC. I do wonder how long the US Congress will continue to agree to fund billions in US$ civil and primarily military aid - if the Executive argue the case.

    In time I will merge this thread with the thread 'Pakistani politics'.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-04-2012 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Merged
    davidbfpo

  12. #252
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    Considering that the US and France have done nothing substantive publicly in response to last week's riots (unless you count Nakula's arrest yesterday as a specific US govt response) AND riots didnt happen this week, it would seem that even the reaction to gross insults will eventually peter out...or get controlled.

    Its the ruling elites in the middle east and Pakistan who need the modern world more than the modern world needs them (what will they do with their oil? drink it?). This bluff is bound to be called at some point, why not now? If Western nations tell them it can't be done and let them figure out how to pay off the DPC, after a few Fridays, they will figure it out. The elites who cannot figure out even this are not going to be salvageable anyway (its like a "stress test" for the elite..one that even Egypt seems to have passed and places like Saudi Arabia are in no trouble at all).
    Whats the alternative? How will the US prevent individual jokers from making insulting videos in their kitchen and uploading them to youtube? I see no practical way in which it can be done. The thing to tell Ahmed Rashid or Kiyani is not "we are trying out best but Nakula wont listen and sadly we have no laws on the book to deal with him". Its to tell them that there is nothing that can be done about this and its best to just ignore it because in the end, it doesnt even matter. Islam wont disappear because some people make insulting remarks about it, just as Christianity or Mormonism or even scientology have not disappeared in spite of the best efforts of the Onion. Its a pointless fight. Sure, the mullahs will scream bloody murder. But either the elite has some way to control them or the elite is about ready to get bumped off anyway. The bottom line is, in most places, they will find a way.

  13. #253
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Omar:

    Good comment. After "there is nothing that can be done", I would add "because we won't change our fundamental values." Slight change in tone but I think it conveys an important point.

    David:

    I spoke briefly to a Congressman last week about Pakistan and asked how long we were going to put up with Pak Army/ISI behavior. She hesitated for the briefest of moments and then responded with boilerplate about how the nukes must be kept out of the hands of terrorists. It was obvious that she didn't know what the General Sahibs have been up to. She was probably average in that respect. I figure until the average congressional representative knows, nothing will change. If the executive does make the case, those representatives will know immediately and the money will stop that day, the day after if the executive makes its case late in the afternoon.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  14. #254
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Any time someone uses the word "control" in this sort of context there has to be a healthy appreciation for the extent to which some things are simply not controlled. I'm sure the usual suspects have a relationship with the extremists, and may have some influence, but the extent to which they exercise "control" is quite debatable. It's easy for outsiders to say, for example... we cannot control x, but y controls x and we can influence y, so all we have to do to get rid of x is to put enough pressure on y. It rarely works so simply in the real world, largely because "control" is often variable and incomplete.

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Its the ruling elites in the middle east and Pakistan who need the modern world more than the modern world needs them (what will they do with their oil? drink it?). This bluff is bound to be called at some point, why not now? If Western nations tell them it can't be done and let them figure out how to pay off the DPC, after a few Fridays, they will figure it out. The elites who cannot figure out even this are not going to be salvageable anyway (its like a "stress test" for the elite..one that even Egypt seems to have passed and places like Saudi Arabia are in no trouble at all).
    I wouldn't want to lump the ruling elites of the Muslim world, or even the Muslim world in any sense, into one basket. Much of the Muslim world has no oil and no economic influence. Parts of that world have oil and influence... realistically those governments exist in symbiosis with the modern world and the need on either side is going nowhere. Different parts of that world need to be dealt with in different ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I spoke briefly to a Congressman last week about Pakistan and asked how long we were going to put up with Pak Army/ISI behavior. She hesitated for the briefest of moments and then responded with boilerplate about how the nukes must be kept out of the hands of terrorists. It was obvious that she didn't know what the General Sahibs have been up to. She was probably average in that respect. I figure until the average congressional representative knows, nothing will change. If the executive does make the case, those representatives will know immediately and the money will stop that day, the day after if the executive makes its case late in the afternoon.
    I doubt that most Congressfolks know or care much about it. Until the US presence in Afghanistan is reduced to a level that no longer requires land supply routes it's not likely that the US will shake things up with Pakistan in any lasting way.

    Once the US no longer requires Pakistani cooperation to supply forces in Afghanistan, it would be theoretically possible to stop all support to the Pakistani government. Of course if that started us on a road that ends up leading to an extremist takeover we might end up wondering whether that was the right decision...
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Of course if that started us on a road that ends up leading to an extremist takeover we might end up wondering whether that was the right decision...
    That is exactly the rhetorical argument the Pak Army/ISI uses and has been using for years. It is a line that is good for all times and will work for anything that can, will or has happened. All they have to do is suggest that anything we want to do that they don't like will start us down the road. What we need to do when they say that is to tell them to stuff it bub, do something and do it now.

    Of course as you say, that will be much easier if we were to reduce our forces such that we don't need the Karachi supply route. If only we had the moxie to actually do that.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    That is exactly the rhetorical argument the Pak Army/ISI uses and has been using for years. It is a line that is good for all times and will work for anything that can, will or has happened. All they have to do is suggest that anything we want to do that they don't like will start us down the road. What we need to do when they say that is to tell them to stuff it bub, do something and do it now.
    And if they won't, or can't, "do something"?

    Just because a point of argument is eternal doesn't mean it has no substance. The status quo in Pakistan sucks, for us. We have some capacity to disrupt that status quo. We have absolutely no way to assure that the consequences of such disruption will suck any less, for us.

    The great complication in our relationship with Paksitan is our involvement in Afghanistan. Take that away, Pakistan's problems become a lot less important to us and many more options open for dealing with them.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    And if they won't, or can't, "do something"?
    Can't don't have nothin' to do with it. Won't does. And they haven't done anything except lie to us for years and years. Of course, it's easier to get away with lying when the inside the beltway elites they lie to figure they can't possibly be outsmarted by anybody let alone people from Pakistan. So we already know what happens if they won't. Would that we had the moxie to tell them to stuff it and stop their money. But that will probably never happen, because if we did come close to doing that, they would whisper something about "nukes" and we would get the vapors and it would start all over again.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Can't don't have nothin' to do with it. Won't does.
    You assume control, and capacity.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    And they haven't done anything except lie to us for years and years.
    Of course. Do you expect them to announce to our faces that their perception of their interests is inconsistent with our perception of our interests? These are things we figure out for ourselves, ideally.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Would that we had the moxie to tell them to stuff it and stop their money. But that will probably never happen, because if we did come close to doing that, they would whisper something about "nukes" and we would get the vapors and it would start all over again.
    Again I think you miss a major point. The nukes are an issue of course, but the elephant in the drawing room is our presence in Afghanistan, which is a situation of our design, not theirs. That presence and the need to use Pakistani territory to support that presence is what constrains our options. Without that presence there would be a lot more options for pressuring the Pakistanis to do what we want... of course without that presence we wouldn't care nearly as much.

    Again, we chose to put ourselves in a position where a government that does not share our interests has leverage over us... do we blame the outcome of that decision exclusively on them? Granted they are acting in accordance with their perceived interests rather than ours, but what did we expect?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    I have 2 recent blog posts that may be of interest:
    1. On Freedom of speech and innocence of muslims business.
    http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...-omar-ali.html

    2. On the shooting of Malala Yusufzai yesterday: http://www.brownpundits.com/2012/10/...sake-of-islam/

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    Pakistani cricket legend Imran Khan: “We'll sweep the election”

    http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2012/1...-the-election/
    An interesting interview with Imran Khan, who possibly is quite popular in Pakistan.

    There is a video in this link covering the interview.

    Imran Khan is confident that he will sweep the election, but he has some sharp comments on the US Drone attacks.

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