Pakistan: Now or Never?

Pakistan’s tribal areas; can money go where troops can’t?

January 30, 2008

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.

from FaithWorld:

Pakistan’s “Mother Teresa” detained by U.S. immigration

January 30, 2008

Abdul Sattar Edhi holds baby recovered from human smuggling ring, 15 March 2002

(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.

Karzai’s Ashdown snub and the Pakistan link

January 29, 2008

Last week’s offer by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to send U.S. troops to Pakistan in the face of Pakistani opposition has provoked a deluge of comments on the Internet and in the blogosphere.

America’s unwelcome offer

January 26, 2008

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 GatesDefense Secretary Robert Gates said last week the United States was “ready, willing and able” to send troops to Pakistan.

Lawyers’ brief

January 25, 2008

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.

So what did happen after 9/11?

January 23, 2008

With apologies to those out there who are not fans of India’s first prime minister, here is an interesting quote attributed to Jawaharlal Nehru: “You don’t change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall.”

Flour power

January 23, 2008

Soldiers guarding Karachi flour mill

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.

from FaithWorld:

Growing gap seen between Western, Muslim countries — Davos poll

January 21, 2008

High security surrounds Davos, site of the World Economic Forum, 21 Jan. 2008/Stefan WermuthMost people in Muslim and Western countries believe divisions between them are worsening and each side believes the other disrespects their culture, according to a poll released on Monday.

Pakistan: Now or Never?

January 20, 2008

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.Child throws petals at Bhutto’s grave