Amid all the talk about whether U.S. troops would, could or should go into Pakistan’s tribal areas to track down al Qaeda and the Taliban, here are two items putting forward an alternative — that money might succeed where military power fails.
Pakistan: Now or Never?
(Update: Edhi returned to Karachi on Feb. 4.)
When U.S. immigration officers question an arriving Pakistani for eight hours and seize his passport, they presumably suspect some kind of link to Islamist terrorism. Abdul Sattar Edhi, 79, "has links" to some horrifying violence, so to speak, but it's hard to imagine they're the kind that immigration officers may have suspected when they detained him at New York's Kennedy Airport on Jan. 9.
Brushing off Pakistan’s insistence that it does not want foreign troops on its soil, the United States says it is ready to send its soldiers to help the Pakistan army fight against Taliban and al Qaeda militants. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week the United States was “ready, willing and able” to send troops to Pakistan.
With the father of the nation, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, himself a lawyer, the legal profession has a certain resonance in Pakistan that it does not have elsewhere. But the lawyers’ movement which led the opposition to President Pervez Musharraf last year had slipped off the front pages with the death of Benazir Bhutto. This week, a number of people have pushed the issue forward again.
While the outside world debates who killed Benazir Bhutto and why, inside Pakistan the shortage of flour is beginning to dominate people’s thoughts ahead of the Feb. 18 election. Reuters China Economics Editor Alan Wheatley highlighted quite how important food supplies are becoming with a piece on Sunday saying that across Asia food is the new oil.
In a 1933 pamphlet, Choudhary Rahmat Ali — credited with coining the name of Pakistan — called on fellow Muslims in the Indian subcontinent to set up a separate nation. His pamphlet titled “Now or Never” argued that Indian Muslims risked losing their heritage if they did not fight for their own country. “Either we live or perish for ever,” he wrote.