(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)
Pakistan: Now or Never?
Selective tweeting, selective outrage and selective media reporting – everyone has a view on drones. On one hand, the United States is accused of lying about civilian deaths in its drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, of human rights abuses, and of operating outside a transparent legal framework. On the other, many of those opposed to drones brook no nuance, reserve their outrage only for people killed by Americans rather than by the Pakistan Army or the Taliban, and promote a dangerous ahistorical narrative that militants are the result rather than the cause of drone strikes.
In the very early days after the Sept 11 attacks on the United States, some in India, for the briefest of moments, believed Washington might be coming around to its point of view: that the problem and source of “cross-border terrorism” lay in Pakistan. Instead, an aggrieved India was forced to look on as Washington turned to its old ally Pakistan to help it fight the war in Afghanistan.
In all the casting-about for comparisons to the confusing events in Egypt, three come easily: Pakistan, where coups were celebrated and later regretted; Algeria, where a cancelled election led to a vicious civil war; and Turkey, where the army repeatedly intervened to nudge along multi-party democracy while retaining power behind the scenes.
from Expert Zone:
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters, the IDSA or the Indian government)
One day, a 10-year-old girl died. The next, a seven-year-old boy. The victims of the relentless attacks on election meetings in Pakistan are so very rarely named that you have to start counting the ages of the children to give some kind of human meaning to the deaths.
Arriving into Kabul you are struck by two contrasting images. Streets jammed with noisy traffic, pavements spilling with hawkers and women in sky-blue burqas wending their way through the crush of people. And then just a few metres from this bustle of everyday life are whole streets walled off, defended by layer upon layer of guards with machine guns behind sandbags and blast barriers set up in a zigzag manner to stop or at least slow down the suicide bomber.