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Editorials

Enough Already: Let’s Give Pakistan Some Love

Those of us who are addicted to news and the blogosphere are aware of the thrashing that Pakistan and Pakistan army ahs been getting from all quarters since Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was served a healthy dose of the same medicine that he himself was a master at concocting. Yes, he is dead, killed, kaput for the crimes that he committed against humanity. But Pakistan, it seems, is still reeling from the aftershocks. Just one look at one Pakistani blog aggregator’s front page is enough to guess the most popular topic of the past few weeks:

In a rather subdued but straight speech the Prime Minister of Pakistan–a man I respect for not having abandoned his party for the Musharraf float–admitted that just like all other nations, Pakistan and its intelligence agencies had also failed in locating and eliminating OBL. I think it is time to give the Pakistani government some benefit of doubt and admit that such failures do occur and that there is no need to look for exotic conspiracies behind it.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C, in the true spirit of American politics [which involves kicking your opponents when they are down] the vultures are already sharpening their claws to dig into Pakistan’s lifeline. Senator Patrick Leahy sugegsted that the US aid to Pakistan should be reviewed and, maybe, stopped. This is the stupidest thing that the US government can do, but stupidity is also a hall-mark of American politics and is not necessarily native to Pakistan alone.

I think any reduction of aid to Pakistan would be downright stupid and destructive. Yes, Pakistan has failed but so have the  the intelligence agencies of the world: weren’t they all looking for OBL?. Let us not kick Pakistan when it is down: let us help this courageous country up, for its people have suffered immensely in this endless war on terror and while I don’t get starry-eyed when I see a Pakistani general in uniform or hear a Pakistan politician, I do care about pakistan and its people. So, let us stand with pakistan and let us stop opportunists here and abroad from stomping Pakistan into further misery and shame.

As I have written elsewhere, Pakistan has sacrificed deeply and suffered greatly in this war and it is now time to acknowledge that and to stand by the people of Pakistan.

So, against the current trend and  going beyond my own critical writings about this event, I would like to send my love and best wishes to the people of Pakistan.

Categories
Editorials

Pakistan Forum: Most Visited Blog Entries this Year

Provided below is a list of posts that have been popular with our readers so far this year:

05/09 : Thinking of Che and The World
05/08 : Of Cuban Cigars, Rum & Coffee
05/06 : Naked emperor, dead rabbit
05/05 : The Osama Kill: A New Era of Hi-tech Death Squads
05/02 : Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda
04/28 : All Politics is Always Local
04/28 : A Case Against HEC Devolution
04/23 : A Weird Knot
04/23 : Sex and Religion
04/21 : Suicide Bomber: A Product of Capital
04/18 : Media Whiz Kids of the Security State
04/14 : Iqbal: The Reluctant Feminist
04/05 : We Are Conformity
04/05 : The Veiled Woman in the Picture: Mystery Solved
04/03 : Review, India-Pakistan: Coming to Terms, By Amit Ranjan
04/03 : Talibanisation of the Heart
03/31 : Maverik Mullah & his Jamiat Ulema
03/31 : Mullahs in Nation-Building
02/06 : Arab revolution in Pakistan!
02/03 : Pakistan’s Hurt Locker
01/18 : Religious Intolerance Sweeping Pakistan
01/18 : Taliban se Qibla-ru Guftagu (طالِِِبان سے قِبلہ رُو گُفتگُو)
01/17 : Dead in My Tracks: Salmaan Taseer, the Mullah of Bourbon St and Freud’s Uncanny
01/16 : Women’s Rights in Islam, By Sayed Mumtaz Ali
01/15 : Suicide Bombing: The Martyr Machine
01/13 : Understanding and removing the barriers: Story of Nazir Ahmad Wattoo
01/12 : Call for Papers: Second Emory Conference on Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding
01/12 : All Eyes on the Prize!
01/12 : Why do people vote for tyrants? Understanding voting patterns in Pakistan
01/11 : CFP: Rethinking Urban Democracy in South Asia
01/10 : After protests, militancy in the Valley
01/08 : Lashkar-e-Zia kills Taseer
01/07 : Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan: Brief Bio
01/05 : HITEC: An Education Miracle Worth Noting
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Categories
Editorials

Pakistan Reduces Number of US Trainers for “Fear of Spying”

Flag of the Pakistan Army
Image via Wikipedia

This is a headline from daily Dawn: ” ‘Pakistan’s request for fewer US trainers reflects fear of spying.’ Makes one wonder about the nature of Pakistan’s policies toward US “advisors.” First of all, why does a military force that eats up a major part of Pakistani GDP need the Americans to come and train them: don’t they have training facilities of their own? And, let us assume, if such American specialists are needed for some reason, why can’t they be monitored and whetted correctly.

Last I checked, the MI and ISI were quite good at keeping tabs on their own officers and politicians. What prevents them from being similarly cautious about the American trainers. And why, as the Raymond Davis case has taught us, did they not know as to how many private US contractors were working in Pakistan? How hard can it be to keep a record of that, given the resources of the Pakistani intelligence agencies?

And now, as the public opinion has become increasingly anti-American, thanks to Mr. Davis, our armchair generals and drawing-room politicians have suddenly realized that having so many US “experts” in the field could facilitate spying!!

How brilliant of them to finally solve this great mystery!

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Commentaries Editorials

Peter King: Sham Hearings by a Terrorist Sympathizer

While the world was engrossed in the tragic events of the natural disaster in Japan and the popular revolutions in the Middle East, Representative Peter King, Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, was busy “investigating” the causes of Islamic radicalization in the United States. An apt line of inquiry, some might argue as some Muslim youth have been radicalized recently and have been covered by the US media.

But what baffles my mind is that Mr. King, so sanguine in his public witch hunt about Islamic terrorism, has been an unapologetic supporter of the IRA. His argument for this long-term engagement with a terrorist organization can be roughly summed up: The IRA has been fighting to oust the British from Ireland and cannot, therefore, be considered the same kind of terrorists as the locally radicalized Muslim terrorists. He, inf fact, is on record for making the following statement: “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it.”

So if we are applying such subtle logic to terrorism, then what does the honorable representative have against Hamas, the Hizbullah, the Moro liberation Front, and the FARC; last I heard, all of these organizations were also fighting to oust their oppressors from their territories.

There is, however, something more sinister in these hearings: they open a path toward singling out different groups as examples in order to please one’s constituencies. Yes, some of the Muslim youth have been misguided but by making that a topic of a committee hearing, the representative and his supporters are causing more harm to America and American relations with the Muslim world. In fact, these actions are likely to strengthen the arguments made by Al-Qaeda and other terroristic groups who already claim that America is inherently anti-Muslim.

There are over one billion Muslims in the world, who, by and large live meaningful, peaceful lives sometimes under hard economic and political conditions. Yes, the revolutionary politics of radical Islam does lure away some of them but that does not mean that all Muslims, like Mr. King, are terrorist sympathizers. If majority of Muslims had terroristic leanings, the world would be quite a dangerous place simply in  terms of their numbers. Sadly, though, this sham committee hearing by a known terrorist sympathizer is only likely to become yet another recruiting blurb on the Al-Qaeda brochures.

So, Representative King: tread carefully and do not play politics with what we all belive to be real America:  tolerant, diverse, and compassionate.