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Old 12-31-2014   #481
Bill Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
From Zoha Waseem's Twitter (Kings War Studies PhD student):
I don't trust the numbers I'm providing, but they are probably approximate and Karachi seems relatively safe to many cities in America.

http://www.asecurelife.com/most-dang...-in-the-world/

Quote:
The lists vary from place to place, but here is an average of what the top ten most dangerous cities consist of.
1.San Pedro Sula, Honduras
2.Ciudad Jaurez, Mexico
3.Acapulco, Mexico
4.Caracas, Venezuela
5.Distrito Central, Honduras
6.Maceio, Brazil
7.Baghdad, Iraq
8.Sana’a, Yemen
9.Cape Town, South Africa
10.Karachi, Pakistan
The following list doesn't even list Karachi in the top 50 (doesn't mean its right):

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-m...d-2014-11?op=1

Quote:
Murder is more common in Latin America than in any other part of the world.
Quote:
Thirty-four of the 50 worst cities were located in the region, including repeat murder capital of the world — San Pedro Sula, Honduras — which saw 187 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013 and is getting steadily worse. A full one-third of global homicides occur in Latin America even though the region has just 8% of the world's population, according to United Nations data.
And we're worried about Islamists?
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Old 01-02-2015   #482
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From the Dawn paper:
Quote:
According to official figures, 701 suspects were killed in ‘encounters’ with police and 224 were gunned down in shootouts with the paramilitary Rangers while 143 personnel of police and 17 of Rangers were killed in targeted attacks in the metropolis, said spokespersons for police and Rangers.
The report has more:http://www.dawn.com/news/1154281

Bill,

I wonder if those cities you listed above have similar figures for both civilian and state deaths.
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Old 01-02-2015   #483
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Default From a Peshawar writer

Beyond the sub-title there is value here, especially that painful question for the Pakistani people - so only killing Army children and their teachers causes the state to react?

Anyway the sub-title is:
Quote:
In the absence of effective political institutional input to set up mechanisms able to handle terrorism, Pakistan has given the military a free hand to maintain the status quo.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/syed-i...-strategically
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Old 02-01-2015   #484
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Default A new massacre in Sindh

I have a post up about the latest Shia killing and long section on the background to this particular phenomenon in Pakistan

http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201...round-and.html

Except:
So where will this end? Prediction is where the pundit rubber meets the road, so here goes:

1. The state will make something of an effort to stop this madness. Shias are still not seen as outsiders by most educated Pakistani Sunnis. When middle class Pakistanis say “this cannot be the work of a Muslim” they are being sincere, even if they are not being accurate.
But if the state makes a greater effort to rein in the most hardcore Sunni militants, it will be forced to confront the “good jihadis” who are frequently linked to the same networks. This confrontation will eventually happen, but between now and “eventually” lies much confusion and bloodshed.

2. The Jihadist community will feel the pressure and the division between those who are willing to suspend domestic operations and those who no longer feel ISI has the cause of Jihadist Islam at heart will sharpen. The second group will be targeted by the state and will respond with more indiscriminate anti-Shia attacks. Just as in Iraq, jihadist gangs will blow up random innocent Shias whenever they want to make a point of any kind. Things (purely in terms of numbers killed) will get much worse before they get better. As the state opts out of Jihad (a difficult process, but one that is almost inevitable, the alternatives being extremely unpleasant) the killings will greatly accelerate and will continue for many years before order is re-established. The worst is definitely yet to come. This will naturally mean an accelerating Shia brain drain, but given the numbers that are there, total emigration is not an option. Many will remain and some will undoubtedly become very prominent in the anti-terrorist effort (and some will, unfortunately, become special targets for that reason).

3. IF the state is unable to opt out of Jihadist policies (no more “good jihadis” in Kashmir and Afghanistan and “bad jihadis” within Pakistan) then what? I don’t think even the strategists who want this outcome have thought it through. The economic and political consequences will be horrendous and as conditions deteriorate the weak, corrupt, semi-democratic state will have to give way to a Sunni “purity coup”. Though this may briefly stabilize matters it will eventually end with terrible regional war and the likely breakup of Pakistan. . Since that is a choice that almost no one wants (not India, not the US, not China, though perhaps Afghanistan wouldn’t mind) there will surely be a great deal of multinational effort to prevent such an eventuality. If it does happen, the future may look very different from the recent past (btw, a little explanation of the scenario building in that last link is here).
Sadly, the Tariq Ali type overseas/Westernized-elite Left will play no sensible role in any of this. If we do (God forbid) get to the nationalist-Sunni-coup phase; Pankaj Mishra may find something positive in it (“strength” and the willingness to stand up against imperialism being a high priority for him) but events will not fit into that semi-positive framework for too long.
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Old 04-12-2015   #485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
For anyone who can understand urdu. Outstanding speech. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=761289083962711
Well that was horrifying. Especially the Mazar-i-Sharif part.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles...%E2%80%9398%29

According to the person in the video, 2000 Hazara (Shia) were massacred when taliban took over the city and some Mullah gave them 3 choices.

1) Recite Kalma and become a "Muslim".

2) Remain a non Muslim and pay Jizya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jizya).

3) Or die.


At one point of time, you can hear an iPhone ringing, so I think it was a gathering of elites.
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Old 04-21-2015   #486
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Default Pakistani Taliban claim to have successfully test-fired missile called 'Omar-1'

ISLAMABAD: Just as Pakistan was celebrating the launch of Chinese investments worth $46 billion in the country, the militant organization Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Monday claimed to have successfully test fired its first indigenously developed missile named as "Omar-1".

To justify its claim, the TTP, which has presence across the country and currently resisting Pakistani troops in the volatile tribal regions on the border with Afghanistan, has issued a statement and posted a video demonstrating the launch of missile.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/47004090.cms

Waiting for the confirmation by Pak media. It is still unknown what kind of missile this is.
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Old 05-11-2015   #487
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On the Pak-China Economic Corridor

http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201...-corridor.html

btw, does any credible person take the Taliban claim of downing the helicopter in Naltar seriously? or is there consensus that the chopper crash was an accident? I ask because Major Amin (who is frequently unprintably rude, but usually does have information) insists it was brought down, but nobody else seems to agree. What do "serious" people think? (obviously no one will reveal classified information, but what is out there in public?)
(Major Amin's claim is here http://electronicwarfares.blogspot.c...-security.html )
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Old 05-14-2015   #488
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Default Karachi suburban bus 45 Shia passengers murdered

Yet another example of the hatred by some Sunni towards the Shia minority, claimed by different groups. A simple BBC report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-32732784

Want more, Zoha Waseem (Kings War Studies), adds much more:http://strifeblog.org/2015/05/13/kar...into-question/
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Old 05-15-2015   #489
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Default Killing Ismailis one by one with 9 mm pistols

I had an early post on this massacre. Nothing much has happened since in terms of leads or people being caught, so this is pretty much up to date.

http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201...rat-moved.html
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Old 06-24-2015   #490
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Default Light touch paper and watch

From a BBC report:
Quote:
Officials in Pakistan's MQM party have told the UK authorities they received Indian government funds, the BBC learnt from an authoritative Pakistani source.UK authorities investigating the MQM for alleged money laundering also found a list of weapons in an MQM property.
A Pakistani official has told the BBC that India has trained hundreds of MQM militants over the last 10 years.
The Indian authorities described the claims as "completely baseless". The MQM said it was not going to comment.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-33148880

The MQM is mainly active in Karachi and can order up crowds, disorder and shootings. For context see the stand-alone thread on Karachi:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=21443
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Old 07-29-2015   #491
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Default Stop & Start are back

It appears that patience with his activity just ran out. The headline and subtitle from The Guardian:
Quote:
Pakistan terrorist leader killed in police shootout
Malik Ishaq, head of al-Qaida-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, dies with 13 others in operation some suspect may have been staged by authorities
Some of the detail:
Quote:
Leaders of Pakistan’s most infamous sectarian terrorist group, including its founder Malik Ishaq, were killed in a gun battle with police on Wednesday that many suspect may have been deliberately staged.
Ishaq and 13 other militants from the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) – including two of his sons and a top official – died after gunmen attempted to free them from custody in a pre-dawn operation, police claimed.
Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/29/pakistan-terrorist-leader-maliq-ishaq-killed-police-shootout

(Added later):http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-33699133
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Old 07-29-2015   #492
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This is truly significant. Even if we suppose that his killikng is a one-off (maybe because he was not being cooperative and knew too much etc etc) and this is not a "genuine shift" in GHQ thinking (I think it IS a genuine shift, but just for the sake of argument), the end result is the same. True believer deobandi jihadists will leave the officially-approved Jihad world and move into opposition. Their numbers may be small and their ability to disrupt things less than it was advertised when their threat was magnified to get American money flowing or to explain why we couldnt "do more", but they are true believers. Without true believers, what will become of the official Jihad-machine and the two-nation theory? What asabiya will unite Pakistan? Sure, Gabon manages without deep Gabonese Asabiya, but we are not Gabon.
Interesting times.
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Old 08-23-2015   #493
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Default Why sectarianism is gaining in Pakistan

A succinct commentary in The Economist Explains and ends with:
Quote:
In December 2014 a Pakistani branch of the Taliban massacred more than 130 schoolboys on Pakistani soil, in the city of Peshawar. In response the prime minister vowed to end the state's old distinction between “good and bad Taliban”. Progress towards that goal had seemed patchy, at least until July 29th, when the senior leadership of LeJ, including its kingpin, the once-untouchable Malik Ishaq, were all gunned down. The police have barely bothered to pretend the incident was anything other than a mass extra-judicial killing. Even people who were appalled to hear that Ishaq had been summarily executed hope to draw the conclusion that Pakistan has finally learned its lesson
Link:http://www.economist.com/blogs/econo...ng_in_pakistan

Just maybe the July 29th killing means a change in policy.
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Old 08-29-2015   #494
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Default The best and the bravest: Pakistan police's loss

An obituary on the fifth anniversary of a senior pakistani police officer, Safwat Ghayur, a native of Peshawar, murdered by the Taliban, when he was commanding the Frontier Constabulary. The author is Hamid Hussain, our irregular contributor and the quote has been edited from 16k to 10k to fit.




Quote:
August 04 was the fifth death anniversary of Safwat Ghayur. An army officer who met Safwat first time described him as “a lean man, with loosely fitted clothes, a hint of pattas (a pushtu word for hair coming down over the neck) peeping out from behind his beret, with a swagger in his gait, a sultry smile and a twinkle in his eye. He was a good looking person radiating confidence and authority”. This is the best description of a fine police officer and a gentleman who laid down his life to secure peace of his beloved city. He was killed in an attack on his vehicle by a suicide bomber in Peshawar on August 04, 2010 and police lost one of its finest and bravest officers.

Safwat spent most of career in his hometown of Peshawar and started his fight against militancy in 1990s long before the rest of the country was aware of the danger. In 1997, he spearheaded the ‘Operation Garbage Dump’ to tackle foreign militants in Jalozai camp near Peshawar. In the last few years of his career, he was at the forefront of the battle against militants encroaching on the city from all directions. Peshawar was literally under siege from militants based in surrounding Khyber, Mohmand and Darra Adam Khel tribal territories. He never blinked and stood up with an ill equipped and poorly trained force against hard core militants. This was the time when more than half of the KPK police was equipped with World War II vintage .303 rifles while militants were brandishing AK-47s, submachine guns and rocket launchers. He was always at the front risking his life to protect the citizens of Peshawar.

Safwat was from a well respected and well connected family. His close relatives include army officers, civil servants, ambassadors, politicians, ministers, governor etc. He could have easily opted for a less risky and safe appointment but he decided to be in the trenches where the battle for the survival of Pakistan is being fought. He was one of the few officers whose heart and mind was in right place. There was no confusion and ambiguity. He saw militants as a clear and present danger and carried his duties with vigor and dedication.

As DIG Peshawar Range and CCPO Peshawar, he worked closely with Frontier Corps to secure the city. Safwat was not the kind of guy who would take a back seat. During an apex committee meeting which was chaired by Governor of KPK and his cousin Owais Ghani, he announced that he had subordinated himself to Inspector General of Frontier Corps (IGFC) and that all further instructions for him should be routed through IGFC. In September 2009, he was relieved of his duties due to medical reasons under intense pressure from his family and friends. However, a restless soul like Safwat could not be tamed and barely two months later when the opportunity came to be in the frontlines with his soldiers, he jumped in the fray again.

In December 2009, he was appointed Commandant of Frontier Constabulary. He was frustrated due to the fact that a large number of his force was deployed on protection duties of VIPs. He approached everyone who would listen and with the help of IGFC, he was able to get back about 40 platoons of Frontier Constabulary. Now, his next step was to improve training and administration of his force and lift the sagging morale. He was a hard task master but never asked from his subordinates what he wouldn’t do himself. He removed the dead wood very quickly and dismissed several platoons not up to the task in one go. He sacked about 30 platoons (around 900 soldiers). Once he turned around his force, he now went to army and FC and asked for an opportunity to take his reconditioned constabulary into some operation to build up their operational confidence. He was assigned the task of cleaning up Kala Dhaka (a provincially administered tribal area) in Mansehra district that was the den of criminals and militants. After a successful operation there Frontier Constabulary had a new look. Safwat began to pester IGFC for some more combat opportunities on a larger scale. He was given the task of cleaning Pastawana area with the main objective around Tor Chappar in Darra Adam Khel. This Frontier Region (FR) of Peshawar and Kohat was at a strategic location and local chapter of Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) used this area to launch attacks in Peshawar, Kohat, Nowshehra, Mardan and Attock. The operation named ‘Spring Cleaning’ was carried out in February-March 2010. A joint tactical HQ was established in Dara Adam Khel with a reserve Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of Frontier Corps, artillery and attack helicopters in support but they were never needed. Safwat was in-charge of the operation proudly commanding his constabulary and always leading from the front. Around 36 platoons of Frontier Constabulary did all the heavy lifting causing significant causalities to the militants and captured many alive.

One example is suffice to show that when properly trained, equipped and led by good officers, any group can be molded into a fighting force walking proudly. On the other hand, even a seasoned battalion with over a hundred year history when not properly trained and poorly led surrenders in dozens without firing a single shot. During operations in Darra, Safwat’s troops complained of their kheris (Peshawari chappals) falling apart. Since his establishment had a team of cobblers, he ordered them to follow in the wake of the operation carrying their implements and instruments for repairing the chappals. Some of the cobblers got lost in the mountains and came across a dozen militants who had fled after being given a good thrashing by the Frontier Constabulary troops. The militants, on seeing a different breed of troops equipped with menacing looking tools, quickly surrendered to the cobblers. It was a strange sight to watch when a group of cobblers with their heads held high mustered their prisoners into the camp in the evening. An army officer who worked with Safwat closely is of the view that ‘his standards of leadership were very high and visible and very rarely one come across such a man’.



Safwat’s father was a diplomat and he spent his early life in different countries. He was fluent in Arabic and French. He admired courage and bravery. This factor was very important for him and he would grudgingly admire courage among his adversary especially Arab fighters. On the other hand he had contempt for cowardice and when his own soldiers showed hesitation, he was quick to dismiss them from service. In 1997, he was serving in Traffic police and going on with his usual routine. When he heard on wireless that police were engaged in a firefight with criminals, he turned his vehicle and rushed to the site of action. Soon he was in the middle of the shootout and got shot in left shoulder. When doctor finished his job, he told Safwat, ‘the good news is that it is your left shoulder and not right”. Safwat quipped “and the bad news is that I’m left handed”. Safwat was left handed and he worked hard to learn to use his right hand. It was during this injury that he got hepatitis from a tainted transfusion. Later, complications from the illness caused low platelets making him at risk for serious bleeding even with a minor injury. However, he was so immersed in his work of protecting his beloved city that he didn’t even travel hundred miles away to Rawalpindi to get treated by an expert physician. When pestered about the issue, he simply said that doctor can send me the medicines I need. He was a very light eater and got through a hectic daily schedule only on three Cs: Coke, Coffee and Cigarettes.
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Old 02-09-2016   #495
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Default Daesh / ISIS in Pakistan

Hat tip to Strife, a Kings War Studies blog for Zoha Waseem's two articles on Daesh in Pakistan; she uses open sources and interviews mainly in Karachi. Slim author bio:http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/department...hd/waseem.aspx

Part One 'An evolving militant landscape – Part I', which opens with:
Quote:
Daesh, otherwise referred to as Islamic State or ISIL, has been expanding its presence around the world beyond its stronghold in Syria and Iraq. In the coming weeks, Strife will be focussing a number of articles more closely on emerging areas of concern in Asia, speaking with practitioners on the ground and academics who interrogate the potential threat posed by Daesh.
Link:https://strifeblog.org/2016/02/06/da...rt-i%E2%88%97/

Part Two 'The allure for the urban militant – Part II':https://strifeblog.org/2016/02/08/da...ant-part-ii-2/
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Old 02-09-2016   #496
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Default Karachi: update

Just watched a BBC / PBS Panorma documentary 'Taliban Hunters' set in Karachi, from mid-December 2015, which reports (with my emphasis):
Quote:
The Pakistani city of Karachi is one of the biggest in the world - and now one of the most dangerous. For more than two years, it has seen an onslaught of kidnappings, bombings and targeted assassinations by Taliban militants. The police are now fighting back, but they are understaffed, under-resourced and up against a deadly enemy. More than 160 police officers have been killed in the line of duty in just 12 months......286 Taliban prisoners in the city jail, 3 convicted; the criminal courts are scared to convict and the (new) anti-terrorism courts in action for a year have a 6% conviction rate.
Link, yes I know often not watchable in the USA:http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...aliban-hunters

Hopefully the PBS link does work:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/taliban-hunters/

Rather oddly there is no mention of the para-military Rangers who have been deployed in the city, although I cannot recall how log for; nor the role of other agencies in CT.
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Old 08-03-2016   #497
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Default Pakistan: a more positive trajectory

From an IISS Strategic Comment on Pakistan, which takes an optimistic viewpoint and on internal security:
Quote:
Security improved across the country in 2015. Under Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the Pakistani military has nearly completed its operations in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, in particular North Waziristan and Khyber Agencies, with displaced people beginning to return home. A high-level committee chaired by Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's de factoforeign minister, has produced recommendations for the tribal areas – traditionally governed under antiquated arrangements dating from the British colonial era – that would gradually move them into the Pakistani political mainstream. The attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar at the end of 2014 led to a near national consensus on the need to tackle terrorism. Concerted counter-terrorism operations across the country have yielded impressive results. Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies' statistics indicate a 48% fall in terrorist-related attacks in 2015 compared to the year before and a 38% fall in the number of deaths. The deployment of paramilitary Rangers has also ameliorated the security situation in Karachi, Pakistan's business capital. To be sure, there have been major terrorist attacks this year, including a bomb targeting Christians in Lahore on Easter Sunday. Furthermore, groups posing transnational threats to India and Afghanistan have continued to operate from Pakistan. But the overall level of violence has been lower.
Note a full copy of the Comment is behind a paywall:http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/.../pakistan-e44d

The cited Pakistan Institute website has nothing readily found with the cited statistics:http://pakpips.com/index.php
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Old 10-09-2016   #498
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Default Can policing change?

Thanks to a Pakistani "lurker" for the pointer to three new articles on policing, each takes a different focus.

Lahore, in Punjab Province, has a new police force, for odd reasons called 'Dolphin' whose role is officially a Patrolling Unit and Street Crime Unit. With some hi-tech equipment. Alas all is not well:
Quote:
Initially, the Force created an impression of being an uncorrupt and efficient outfit. But, that image was soon dashed to pieces when, in random incidents, the DF cops were found guilty of taking bribe, resorting to misconduct, and causing a road accident that killed one.
Link:http://tns.thenews.com.pk/just-dandy-cops/

A broader view of attempts at police reform, where only the motorway police get good marks. This sentence explains:
Quote:
The government does not follow the Constitution and the laws, the police does not accept its code of conduct or the rules of superintendence.
Link:http://tns.thenews.com.pk/case-police-reforms/

Does the image of policing matter:
Quote:
The catch-22 in this situation is that an improved public image will undoubtedly help the police force to serve the public better, and yet this image can only be created and sustained if the force is able to drastically improve their calibre.
Link:http://tns.thenews.com.pk/matter-image/
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Old 10-26-2016   #499
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Default Karachi update: some good, some bad

Thanks to a Pakistani "lurker" for the pointer to this excellent article, with two viewpoints from:
Quote:
... Laurent Gayer, a French social scientist and author of Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City (2014). For the past fifteen years, he has been studying Karachi’s complex sociopolitical and cultural environment. Omar Shahid Hamid is the second participant in the discussion. He has written two novels about Karachi, deriving mainly from his own experiences as the son of a slain bureaucrat, Shahid Hamid, and as a young police officer in Karachi in 2000s. He has recently rejoined the Karachi police force to work with the counterterrorism department.
Link:http://herald.dawn.com/news/1153570/...mid-on-karachi
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Old 01-25-2017   #500
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Default Same place, two very different views

Two very different commentaries on the war within Pakistan, made clear in the titles.

First, by Peter Oborne and Sabin Agha, in The Spectator entitled:
Quote:
Pakistan is winning its war on terror ;Over the past three years, the country has seen an extraordinary reduction in violence
A key passage:
Quote:
Violence has not just dropped a bit. It is down by three quarters in the last two years. The country is safer than at any point since George W. Bush launched his war on terror 15 years ago. The change can be dated to a special cabinet meeting called by prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Karachi in September 2013. At this meeting Sharif called an end to Pakistan’s culture of violence.
Link:http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/12/p...war-on-terror/

Second, Christine Fair, in WoTR entitled, bluntly:
Quote:
Pakistan's unending war on civil society
Her point in one sentence:
Quote:
The Pakistan military is waging a war on democracy at home and wars in Afghanistan and India with the subsidy of the United States.
Link:https://warontherocks.com/2017/01/pa...civil-society/
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