Pakistan: has it reached the edge of the precipice?

March 10, 2009

Maybe this always happens at times of national upheaval. But there is a surprising disconnect between the immediacy of the crisis facing Pakistan as expressed by Pakistani bloggers and the more slow-moving debate taking place in the outside world over the right strategy to adopt towards both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Reading Pakistani blogs since confrontation between the country’s two main political parties exploded and comparing them to international commentaries is a bit like watching men shout that their house is on fire, and then panning over to the fire station where the folks in charge are debating which type of water hose works best.

With lawyers and supporters of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif vowing to blockade parliament later this week over the refusal of President Asif Ali Zardari to reinstate fired judges, the country is steeling itself for violent street protests, which in turn could provide easy targets for suicide bombers seeking to add to the mayhem.  Sharif has talked about “a prelude to a revolution”, prompting the government to threaten him with charges of sedition.

Writing in Pak Tea House, a blogger who had insisted right up until February that Pakistan would turn out all right said this had been based on the assumption political parties would pull back from outright confrontation in the interests of the country. “I was wrong. And so faced with altered facts, I have changed my opinion. Pakistan is unraveling.”

The blog Changing up Pakistan makes the inevitable comparison with watching a car accident in slow motion, while a blogger at Deadpan Thoughts complains about March madness. “When policies are decided on the streets, things never come to a good end,” he writes.

Metroblogging Lahore carries a series of photos of protests in Lahore. Scroll down for his photo of a live mouse hanging from a protest board - the kind of tiny detail that stays with you perhaps more than the other images. “The little mouse was trembling and paying with its life for someone else’s crimes,” the photographer writes.

Panning out to the bigger picture, is international debate about how to stop Pakistan from becoming a failed state by pumping in development aid and devising a regional strategy involving Iran, Russia, China and India to bring stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan. But all of these will take time to put in place,and are not designed to douse the immediate conflagration.

Pakistan has weathered crises before, of which the biggest was its defeat in 1971 when it lost control of then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.  And to be fair, we didn’t have bloggers back then to provide a blow-by-blow account of the anguish of Pakistanis caught in the maelstrom.

Is this just one more crisis?

Writing in Informed Comment, Juan Cole says “the increasingly rancorous conflict between the left of center, largely secular Pakistan People’s Party and the right of center, big-landlord Muslim League, has the potential to tear the country apart.”

Daniel Markey from the Council on Foreign Relations may have said what many are thinking when he wrote that “there might be even worse things than military rule in Pakistan.” (There has been much talk of how Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani will respond to the crisis despite his pledge to keep the army out of politics.)

The Indian think-tank, the South Asia Intelligence Review, paints a worst case scenario of an Islamist takeover with “an Iran-like shift, with the overwhelming proportion of the Pakistan Army simply tranferring allegiance to the mullahs, eliminating the small remaining secular segment within  the military leadership.”

That seems unlikely, since the Pakistan Army has had a much more dominant role in Pakistan than the Iranian generals who fled with the shah in the 1979 revolution. It is fiercely nationalistic and hardly likely to go along with a takeover by Islamists who do not respect the nation state. 

The only point of comparison, perhaps, is that the Iranian Revolution came from the street and when street protests get out of hand, their outcome becomes unpredictable. So has Pakistan reached the edge of the precipice? Or another turning point in its tortuous history?

(Reuters photo of bloodstains on the ground in Lahore following the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team; and March 6 photo of PML (N) supporters)

80 comments

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Hey Myra,All these topics are under the title of Pakistan: Now or Never?It is high time to remove “Now” and “?” from the title.Hence, Pakistan: NeverI have read blogs too, on All Things Pakistan and comments on BBC website from the Lahore people after the attacks. These people are not getting their hopes up. Not even Imran Khan can help if given the task of Pakistan cricket ambassador to attract support for the game.There is already a global recession and with the USA with 8% unemployment, there should be no more aid to Pakistan. Pak govt will keep on asking for money stating that if no money is given then their nukes will fall in terrorists’ hands. This is racketeering at the highest level.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

@Myra,Yes, Pakistan has reached the precipice. The civilian/military government cycle is a complete failure, given all the assasinations of Bhutto, attempted ones on Musharaff and the Zardari Govt.Since Pakistan is in such a poor state with its economy and everything else going on, any moneys, given by the IMF and the world should be used for food ONLY.The U.S. and the world should give FOOD shipments only to Pakistan, and contigent on the following:-Complete denuclearization, those Pak nukes should be sitting on an American Base-Complete Pakistani attack on the Madrasas, and terrorist infrastructure and dismantling of the campsPakistan’s economy is its own problem, no more IMF help.The other thing is that Saudi money. Barack Obama has to address the Saudi Family directly for the oil and gas money funding the insurgents and terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The source is Wahhabism from Saudi, it must be dealt with directly.There has never been a better time to leverage Pakistan to make it submit to the world’s demands, since it is staring down the edge of a cliff.The world holds the power position here, we just need to leverage it.Yes, this would cause chaos in Pakistan, but I think Pakistan needs to go through a period of pain and chaos before things get better. The cancer, the Pak military and the terrorist infrastructure and Madrasas within Pakistan must be removed.This would be the cheapest solution, food for nukes and food for terrorists.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

The only reason for such close scrutiny of Pakistan is that the country has nukes and you cannot underestimate the collateral damage that would result to the civilized world if the bunch of thieves that run the country were to fall out. Without nukes, nobody would give a toss if the mad mullahs, despotic army and the corrupt politicos went for each others’ jugular. Instead of doling out the USD 10 billion to the country which anyway is certain to line the pockets of the army and the politicians, it would be better to offer the sum directly to Kiyani & Co. along with permanent residence (they will certainly prefer US) along with their families in exchange for the nukes. We may just be surprised by their response. These guys probably will do anything and everything as long as the terms are couched as ‘national interest’(national is synonymous with the army in Pakistan, if you please), does not endanger their lives and leaves them with lot of moolah. The 10 billion dollars along with permanent passage will certainly take care of their concerns and hopefully the rest of the worlds’ too.

Posted by Munna Bhai | Report as abusive

Nukes no nukes that is not the question. West would have a legitemacy if it would have stood up for Pakistan in 1971 when the world stood quite and let India take advantage of our internal problems.Pakistan is a country with many internal idealogical dicotomies and a constant security threat from countries like India, Israel and America. We never had a chance to deal with issues one at a time. We have always sided sanity in all world affairs. Look at our stance against the madness of Russian politics during cold war times or our role in China USA relations and even the war against terrorism but unfortunately we never got sanity in reward. Some how the rich and influential in USA and europe have an unconditional bellicosity towards us. India has always found friends due to its enemosity with Paksitan and Pakistan have always been neglected when it has not been required.After the post cold war times until 911 we had a time period when political process took a fearce self cleansing process for almost ten years which; if could not settle the idealogicl dicotomies mentioned above, at least started to settle them. In the post cold war USA madly looked for the next challalanger to its absolute hegimoney which it found in China and also started looking for idots in teh neighbour hood to fight its war. This time this war of USA did not have two things for Pakistan .i.e. a strong moral ground and a direct threat to its existance.India sold its self for this role and Pakistani nation in the heat of all this American sponsered madness after being confused for a while took the correct root of setteling its idealogical dicotomies. There is no such thing as never for Pakistan. The question is whether Pakistan does it now or later.Look at who is agitating in Paksitan, where teh agitation is and what is the agitation all about. Its the most educated part of Pakistan, its the part of nation that is most independent finacially and its the struggle for principles not for personalities. Tell me any other nation around the world that is so awake to what it should have as a systems.In the post cold war world India sold its size for American garbage and Pakistan took the route to settle dealogical dicotomies. I think Pakistan is the winner at this turn of history again.

Dear Ms. Mcdonald:If you call yourself a journalist, you should publish both sides of the argument. Your rhetoric is getting old. Don’t you have a new topic to discuss? Or will you continue the same old topic over and over again. Pretty disgusting if you ask me.Allison Baily

Hi Myra:The same type of arguments can be made against India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Sikkim, Myanmar, israel, and the rest of the 3rd world. Picking on Pakistan shows a complete lack of understanding of the geopolitical situation brought on by the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The US defeat and exit strategy will bring peace to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Indians have a wet dream the absorption of Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangaldesh, Tibet and Pakistan into what they call “Akhand Bharat”. It will never be, no matter how much you propagate their cause.Ms. McDonald, you should give up full disclosure. Do you get money from the Hinduvata or are you simply advertising the cause of the Neocons? What kind of name is Myra anyway?

Posted by Amardeep Singh | Report as abusive

Is this where all the rejected bigots meet? What a waste of time. The writer seems obsessed with her one point agenda–which is obvious from her periodic diatribe.

Posted by Suzanne Sommers | Report as abusive

All this is pure unadulterated garbage. For some real news about Pakistan please visit http://www.Ahmedquraishi.com

Ghulam,If you think Pakistan is the winner then you REALLY need to pull your head out of the sand. The reason NO ONE came to Pakistan’s aid in 1971 was because no country (including all-weather friend China) wanted to be associated with YOU and the MILLIONS the Pak Army murdered in East Pakistan. If China attacked India; then USSR would attack China leading to the USA attacking USSR going on to World War III.1971 was a crowning victory for India when Pakistan and Lieutenant General A A K Niazi surrendered to:a Sikh (General J. Aurora)a Jew (General J. Jacob)a Parsi (Field Marshal S. Makenshaw) who was not present in East Pakistan.Pakistan is not a winner, but a begger:(1) Ask Saudi Arabia for oil defferment.(2) Ask USA for money no questions asked and receive nothing.(3) Ask China for loan (soft or otherwise) and get rebuffed).(4) Ask the IMF for money (second time in less than 20 years) with no conditions. However, conditions are attached.(5) Pak army surrender to Taliban in Swat. This is not a peace deal.(6) Sri Lankan cricketers attacked and not ONE attacker is captured or killed.Pakistan should only receive aid by earning it. I cannot see the point of continuing to give money to Pakistan to fight the terrorists it created that are running havoc internally.Pakistan is becoming more and more isolated. No tourists, no hosting of cricket and no foreign investments.Read these headlines:Pakistan facing serious internal threat: HillaryDaily Times – Leading News Resource of PakistanIslamabad bigger worry than Kabul: US diplomatwww.dailytimes.com.pkDavid Miliband urges Pakistan to unite against homegrown militants – Times Online

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Most of us who write about Pakistan, have never stepped inside that country. All our information is based on what is available in the press. It is not easy to bring down a country. I saw an article about India’s upcoming elections. It paints a very bleak picture. If one were to take the article literally, it would look as though India is on the brink of disaster.http://www.guardian.co.uk/slide show/page/0,,2176124,00.htmlWhat people do not realize is that the sub-continent has always been on the “brink of disaster,” to the outside eyes. India has seen terrorist inflicted and self inflicted crisis for a long time.May be at times like these, reporters can try looking at the positive side of things in every country and help provide some psychological solace. Projecting negative image day in and day out will make it a reality faster than it should.I feel sorry for the moderate Pakistanis, who are no different from Indians on the other side of the border. I’d like them to join hands with Indians and bring down the terror machinery in the region. This is something only the people can do.Many times over the years, I have felt the same about India – after 1975 emergency, collapse of the first Janata government, Khalistan, Bluestar operation, Indira’s assassination, 1984 anti Sikh riots, LTTE menace in the late 1980s, BOFORs scandal, Rajeev Gandhi’s assassination and so on. My circle of friends felt that India was doomed for fail after each of those events. But India has come out stronger.Looking at the events in Pakistan today, I get the same feeling about that nation. But their evolution has been different. They have not nurtured the habit of tolerance, patience, democracy etc. Therefore their chances of coming out of this crisis may be very different. Though from an Indian stand point, a splintered Pakistan will help assure in terms of security, nukes etc., a united and progressive Pakistan will do as good. The question is whether Pakistan has what is needed to get there quickly.

Ghulam Moeen uddin :Your comments are impressive and spark some hope the the drowning state of pakistan. But the problem is that there are not many sane people left in Pakistan. I have met many Pakistani people in west and they are generally nice. Well they did try to hide their identity firstly but being a Punjabi I know who is on which side of Punjab.Now the thing is, nice and intelligent people of Pakistan have left it already. Well most of them. Whatever intellectuals are left in Pakistan are either ruling or try to rule it, while keeping their savings and children out of country.You speak of 1971, If Pakistan army had not slaughtered Bengalis, Bangladesh would have never happen. You try to blame west for letting India interfere in Internal problems of Pakistan. But when Millions of East pakistanis start pouring in India, its no longer an Internal problem.You should be thankful that it was India who attacked you in 1971, Imagine if it was America or China, Americans would surely made a new country and keep some Army bases, while Chinese would have expanded themselves to Bay of Bengal.You also speak of agitations, these days two agitations are going on in your country. One is on Nawaz shareif vs Zardari issue, Which is purely political and not for any system. Other is Chaudhry vs PPP, which is very interesting PPP won the elections by promising reinstallation of Iftikhar chaudhry a million times. From Shaheed benazir to each small big leader, everybody said it on camera. But they forget everything after winning elections. Iftikhar chaudhry issue was used politically in last long march and I suspect it will be used for political purpose this time too. The beneficiaries will change this time.We are discussing Pakistan supporting terrorism and effects of it on rest of the world. We fear if Pakistan continues supporting it, one day Nukes will fell in hands of Terrorists. But we have not seen any agitation against terrorism from Pakistani public. Isn’t it clear indication that they are supporting it ?”Pakistan Now or Never” is history, its “Pakistan collapsed Now or Later”

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive

Alison, Suzanne, Amardeep,Did you guys actually read the blog and click through the links? You seem to be saying that a post with links to three news stories, four Pakistani bloggers, two American commentators and one Indian website is one-sided. Hmmm.If you are not interested addressing the issues raised in the post, or in the links, maybe you should find a different site to follow.Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

Munna Bhai wrote:”Instead of doling out the USD 10 billion to the country which anyway is certain to line the pockets of the army and the politicians, it would be better to offer the sum directly to Kiyani & Co. along with permanent residence (they will certainly prefer US) along with their families in exchange for the nukes. We may just be surprised by their response. These guys probably will do anything and everything as long as the terms are couched as ‘national interest’(national is synonymous with the army in Pakistan”Pakistan Army motto is Death before Dishonour, officers and men of Pakistan Army will spit on US green card and American dollars. They have nothing to offer Pakistan except their toil, sweat and blood. Everyone in Pakistan respects Pakistan’s Army, Myra has rightly stated Pakistan Army is fiercely nationalistic. Pakistan Army is Pakistan’s probably only institution which has a culture of merit.I personally think, Pakistan has not reached the brink of disaster. The Military, politicians, and common people need to pull themselves together. Pakistan is facing many challenges, but the hopeful part is the nation and its people are equally capable of facing these challenges and overcoming them,

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

- Posted by Umair” Pakistan Army motto is Death before Dishonor”Why did pakistani people remove Musharraf/Sadam who had everything in control for over a decade and now you have Democracy and you cannot control your border states with Afghanistan and Swat if i am correct is just 150Km from pakistani capital city.All you need is British Rule/Military Rule or let West take over your country like Iraq and West can teach you how to be free and democratic.

Posted by Austin | Report as abusive

Pakistan, Iran, Turkey container train service from August 14 2009ISLAMABAD (March 10, 2009): Pakistan, Iran and Turkey agreed to launch Special Container Train service to give new dimension to trade among three countries. The train service is likely to be launched on August 14, 2009 from Islamabad in a ceremony to be attended by leadership of all the three countries. The three countries ministerial conference has approved the launching of the container train service and efforts are afoot to give the project final shape.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

This guy Ghulam Moin udeen is a laugh riot. Precisely the reasons why I feel Pakistan has a great future- total disconnect with reality. And it’s nice to see Ahmad Qureshi peddling his pathetic website for all its worth. I presume honest opiniion does count for something since Op-Eds in Pakistani newspapers like Daily Times and The News have panned his writings for the drivel he dishes out,leaving him to scrounge for readers.

Posted by Munna Bhai | Report as abusive

I personally think, Pakistan has not reached the brink of disaster. The Military, politicians, and common people need to pull themselves together. Pakistan is facing many challenges, but the hopeful part is the nation and its people are equally capable of facing these challenges and overcoming them,- Posted by UmairUmair:@I personally think, Pakistan has not reached the brink of disaster.—It is serious. Muslims (fair assumption if I call terrorists Muslims) are intentenally killing innocent Muslims in Pakistan. I am not even discussing India here. It is not the time to panic, but at the same it is also not the time to wait for the final moments and keep on defending the follies of the caretakers of Pak establishment. When terrorists start having fun at will, those are not normal times.I like your optimism. But be careful since in times such as these, mind can play its own games for survival.Identifying a problem is must for its solution. For a Pakistani it is important to ask hard questions. What are the problems for Pakistan? What are their causes? Is there a denial of the situation? What is govt/Army/ISI doing about it? Do they want temporary solutions or permanent? Remain proud of your country, but at the same time never ignore the faults and blunders of any one out of patriotism–be it govt, Pak army, ISI. Questioning Pakistan’s govt, Pak army, ISI does not mean a disrespect to your nation. There needs to be a strong need of introspection and accountability on the establishment. Pakistan’s short-sighted international policies focused on destabilization of India are suddenly destabilizing Pakistan itself. While fixing and finding solution, is again imperative not to find shor-sighted and temporary solutions. US/Pak roles in cold war+US in Afghanistan post-9/11 have led to proliferatio of terrorism and these terrorists are loyal to no body. There is no room for failure or bad move now. You know the answer to this “Do you see civilian govt a source of motivation and guiding the nation at this critical hour in overcoming the challenges?”. It is so sad that Zardari et al are still stuck in petty politics.Whichever way you dress it, the situation has never been this worse in Pakistan.PS: Umair: in one blog, you had a doubt on the figures I quoted on the demographics in 1947 and now in Pakistan. I responded, but did not see your response. Reposting, let me know of wjat you think.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu ism_in_Pakistan#Hinduism_and_PartitionDe mographyIn August 1947, at the end of British Raj, the population percentage of Hindus in what is today in Pakistan was perhaps as high as 15-20%, but would drop to its current total of less than 2% in the years since independence. According to the 1998 Pakistan Census, caste Hindus constitute about 1.6 percent of the total population of Pakistan and about 6.6% in province of Sindh. The Pakistan Census separates Schedule Castes from the main body of Hindus who make up a further 0.25% of national population[1]

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Posted by UmairPakistan, Iran, Turkey container train service from August 14 2009ISLAMABAD (March 10, 2009):I admire your hope and optimism for Pakistan and my prayers are with you.But ground condition inside Pakistan compels me to think otherwise.Economy in Dooms just as New govt. took overPeace/Dooms deal in Swat where girls cannot go to school which was once tourist paradise turned in Iron Age by Sharia Law.Lahore where there was no terrorist activities Spoiled relations with world and your own Cricket loving peopleI really hope and pray that Pakistan comes out of this but pakistani’s should stand up and ask for help dealing with problem from their neighbors or those who are willing.One side Pakistani Govt. saying everything is under control and then something like Lahore Cricket happens is really frightening. Then your govt. ask for financial end from IMF and other donors which do not reflect on your street if you look at commodity prices and your stock market. May be Pakistani needs someone who is honourable who is willing to help people instead of Greedy, Corrupt and Ingorant Politician who blamed Lahore attackers came from Indian then retracked his statement.Ask for Help Militarily and politically to fight terrorism and world will rush to save your country Instead of trusting corrupt politician who lie about troubled region is under control before its too late

Posted by Austin | Report as abusive

Umair wrote:”Pakistan Army motto is Death before Dishonour, officers and men of Pakistan Army will spit on US green card and American dollars”Double speak again, Pakistanis are fighting in War on Terror for American dollars, Zardari and company have asked million times for more aid money and weapons.”Pakistan Army motto is Death before Dishonour” they are getting both for Dollars.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive

Ghulam Moeen uddin“…but unfortunately we never got sanity in reward.”—How do you sanely reward- blatant lies, deceit, self-delusion, paranoia – is the dilemma faced by the rational world at large – do give some ‘sane’ paki suggestions.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

Pakistani’s have a deep double standard, which I am confused and want answered.Why are Pak’s so concerned about Kashmir and India’s problems, when Pakistan is being taken over by Islamists and extremists and just lost cricket and their financial system is in shambles. You Paki’s casually dismiss your problems and say “Pakistan will get through this”, or “Pakistan has seen tough days before” or “we have to pull ourselves together”, or “we are facing challenges”, or “everycountry has its share of problems”….Paki’s seem to spend so much energy finding fault in India and 1/100th of that energy is comparably used to discuss their internal problems and fight radical Islam.Instead, all we are seeing are defensive Pakistani’s who can’t take criticism or admit that Pakistan has problems so deep that they are being casually dismissed, while India is constantly being demonized.Guys like Umair, keep ranting on about the Prowess and professionality of the Pak Army. Well, it is not that professional, it is the reason that Paksitan is in a mess.When will someone of reason and rationality, please come forward.Again, I ask, why are Pakistani’s so stubborn to admit their own much deeper problems and quick to hurl verbal diarrhea at India on the drop of a dime?Having lived with all types of religions and nationalities, relatively speaking, my personal opinion is that Pakistani’s, on the whole do not a good moral core at their center. A stable, function society is the result of the collective actions of its people.People in Pakistan have to take responsiblity and realize that while they embrace hatred and animosity against India, it is this hatred, through the use of Proxy armies and hate of Hindus, has come back to roost in Pakistan.When will the world see average Pakistani’s take responsibility grow up and change their behavior to improve the radical Islam in their country.Antagonizing India has worked in the past to polarize the Pakistani society to get nationalism, as a common hatred or enemy is used to propangandize Paks against India.When will average Paks rise up and say, “RADICAL ISLAM IS PAKISTAN’s TRUE ENEMY WITHIN?”.The world is tired of Pakistan not taking responsibility. Please do not deflect the issue towards India. Pakistan is in its current situation because of Pakistan, not India. Muslims have killed more than 70,000 Paki’s in Pakistan.Why will Pak’s not address the muslim on muslim violence, but instead always divert the issue towards India?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Ahmed Quraishi said:”All this is pure unadulterated garbage. For some real news about Pakistan please visit http://www.Ahmedquraishi.com- Posted by Ahmed QuraishiAhmed, I have visited your website, you are slewing and hurling chunks of Islamist propaganda. You also entertain conspiracy stories as true. You have no credibility. I am sure you will still be hurling your verbal diarrhea as truth, even when you are 90.By the Khalistan movement is a terrorist organization. The world is fully aware that Pakistan has radicalized and weaponized a small group of Sikhs to become extremists against India. Why are you focussing so much energy trying to toss negative thoughts against India, while completely dismissing radical Islam?Also, Khalistan, should be made out from Pakistan, so tell your Mr. Aulakh that Punjabistan, most of it, exists in Pakistan, in case neither you or him have not looked at a map lately, you Pakistani’s are actually occupying most of Khalistan and should return it to the Sikhs, if you believe in it so strongly.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

- Posted by Ahmed Quraishi“All this is pure unadulterated garbage please visit http://www.Ahmedquraishi.comAhmed Qurashi wake up to your country’s call before its too late and becomes TABLEBANISTAN half of Pakistan is right now remaining half TALEBANISTAN from other half of Pakistan is coming soon because you don’t care for your country then you will have nothing left to be proud of and to help your people in Pakistan.

Posted by Austin | Report as abusive

Mr. SINGH:@What kind of name is Myra anyway?- Posted by Amardeep Singh–What kind of name is “Amardeep Singh” anyway? Singhs come in all flavors–regional flavor I mean—what flavor you have—Punjab, Rajasthan, UP…..? You are not an Indian from your wording, referring India as “they call “Akhand Bharat” “their cause” (rather than saying our or India’s). So it is your pen name or what?@The Indians have a wet dream the absorption of Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangaldesh, Tibet and Pakistan into what they call “Akhand Bharat”. It will never be, no matter how much you propagate their cause.– What the hell are you even talking about? Your thoughts about India/Akhand Bharat Blah Blah….are nothing but “crap”, at best. If you have a point other than baseless allegations against the writer, put it here—empty statements mean nothing. Leave aside other countries in your list, if India wanted, who was stopping India from swallowing Bangladesh in 1971. And Pakistan?—it is a separate country and India respects that. Same goes for other countries. If it is too much information for you, remember one thing—India is not an expansionist country. Do yourself a favor—do not embarrass yourself by acting as an Indian-bec. your are not.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

many Pakistanis write about India’s interference in Pakistan’s internal matter in 1971 that led to the split of Bangladesh.This is because of two reasons: genocide cannot be allowed. If your neighbor is choking his wife, one cannot leave it as an internal matter (this is the reason Pakistanis give in regards to Kashmir). The second reason is refugees. India had to handle all East Pakistani refugees when West Pakistan was engaged in genocide. By the way, India is not engaged in systematic genocide inside Kashmir. How many refugees are pouring into Pakistan? None. Genocide cannot be equated with military control. What India is doing in Kashmir is military control against militancy. What Pakistan did in East Pakistan was genocide by its own military. Make this distinction clear. Do not equate the two.Now, if India was wrong in getting involved in the internal matter of Pakistan when refugees were pouring into India in 1971, tell my why Pakistan interfered in the case of Afghanistan when refugees poured out from there? Wasn’t that a matter for Afghanistan? Why did Pakistan interfere. Also why did Pakistan encourage the Taliban to take over Afghanistan when the Soviet Union was gone? Wasn’t the war between the tribes inside Afghanistan their own internal matter? Why is it all right for Pakistan to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal matter and not so for India to do the same in East Pakistan? I’d say these two cases are somewhat similar – neighboring country, having internal civil war. Why was it not all right for India to go into East Pakistan and all was right when Pakistan engaged in Afghanistan (covertly or otherwise)? Kashmir is a different matter that does not fit in this comparison.

Rajeev,This Amarrdeep Singh guy is either a Khalistan supporter or a Pakistani writing in disguise.Your are very much right – India has no imperialistic ambitions. If so, it would have gobbled up Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka by now. There are issues in each of these countries which could have been used for that reason. India wants to mind its own business. We have enough internal issues to worry about.All this Akhanda Bharat nonsense is periodically used by people whenever they run out of ideas.

What a coincidence. Almost 20 years ago on Jan 19-21, 1990, ISI sponsored Pak terrorists, fresh from their victory against Russians with CIA help, caused 350,000 people, mostlly Hindus but also some Sikhs and moderate Muslims to flee their homes in tourist destination of Kashmir valley. 20 days ago same terrorists caused 350,000 people, 99.99% of them Muslims to leave their homes in tourist destination of Swat. Guess what is next – Lahore, Pindi, Karachi??? I think they are scared about the frankenstein they created. They cant really be so stupid. Or may be they are?

Posted by victor | Report as abusive

Amar Deep S**t and Umair quranshi Check URL listed below this will give you’all reason to be proud of your Dishonest Military and Government. This could be reason your Alqeada and taleban friends going crazy on your own people enjoy your safety as along as you live in WEST.http://www.lebanonwire.com/0902MLN/ 09022810MET.asp

Posted by Austin | Report as abusive

Rajeev on Hinduism in PakistanFirst, you stated recently your forefathers hailed from Narowal in Punjab, Pakistan. Thats great, I have been to Narowal, I guess its close to the indian border, the rice in Narowal is just awesome. Pakistan Army has commissioned officers from Narowal, currently the people of Narowal are well to do with many of them settled abroad.Look Rajeev, at the time of independence if you make a cpomparison of hindu population you included then East Pakistan. In 1971 Bangaldesh became independent, so naturally you cant make the same comparison. the wikipedia link you quoted says in its first line:”Following the creation of Pakistan, and the subsequent mass migrations, Hindus today have a much smaller numerical presence. Nonetheless Hindus have played a major role in the history, culture and politics of the country.”The key word here is mass migration, I was once visiting a city near RahimYar Khan, Sadiqabad on the border of Punjab and Sindh, i was accompanying a local and spoke to a person, later it turned out that guy was a local hindu. Hindus are living in Sindh and elsewhere. Manmohan Singh originally hails from Chakwal in Pakistan but he migrated. Similarly Pervez Musharraf hails from Delhi but migrated after partition.Roots are very important for human beings, I hail from Punjab in Pakistan and my forefathers were lucky enough not to migrate. People like yourself must play their part. You have your roots in Pakistan. Many people in Pakistan have their roots in India.Now i see no problems for current level of hindu population in Pakistan. No doubt Pakistan is an Islamic Republic with 98% muslims, still the white colour in Pakistani glag represents minorities and hindus are part of it. Minorities have equal rights in Pakistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Myra,I think the recent unfolding of events will be another turning point in the history of Pakistan. If everything fails, the Pakistani army will be ready to take control of the state.This reinforces the thought that the idea of Pakistan was ill-conceived and poorly executed.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

- Posted by UmairMinorities have equal rights in Pakistan.Issue is not migration from India to Pakistan or china to Sri Lanka for say.Issue and fact on the ground says Since Taliban rule in SWAT They have purposely destroyed Buddha statues and other religious historical places god knows how old they were. Swat lost its attraction to tourist as well as moderate pakistani because of sharia law so they migrated.Pakistan had systematically destroyed minorities and hence minorities population in Pakistan had declined because of hatred preached by mulah/madrasas and fake patriots of Islam towards other religion, if you look at minorities in india their population had grown since independence.Just accept the fact that pakistan is on the brink of collapse and self destruction because of failed policies of your military, government and your hatred for other religions of the world.

Posted by Austin | Report as abusive

“Rape has become a “moneymaking concern” in Pakistan and that many Pakistanis felt it was an easy way to make money and get a Canadian visa”: Ex-President Gen. Pervez MusharrafThen he denied ever saying this and Washington Post posted the audio files on the website.Quite Optimistic picture!http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp -dyn/content/article/2005/09/18/AR200509 1800554.html

Posted by David | Report as abusive

“According to the New York Times, Mukhtar Mai, her friends, colleagues and their families are at great risk from violence by local feudal lords, and/or the government of Pakistan”"the former president of Pakistan, has admitted on his personal that he placed restrictions on her movement in 2005, as he was fearful that her work, and the publicity it receives, hurt the international image of Pakistan”So the rape victim and her family get arrested in Pakistan!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu khtaran_Bibi

Posted by David | Report as abusive

“We failed cricketers”: PAKISTAN’S sports minister”Broad’s a liar”: Pakistan chief”Pakistan register Broad complaint”: BBC NewsIn Pakistan, if terrorists don’t kill you, Government will. Governments changed but crooks remained. How much should I be optimistic?http://www.smh.com.au/news/sp ort/cricket/we-failed-cricketers/2009/03  /10/1236447214637.htmlhttp://news.bbc.c o.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/7934423.stmhttp:/  /www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/cr icket/article2297286.ece

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Alison, Suzanne, Amardeep,Can you guys please find some positive and encouraging news on Pakistan and post it here? I have been looking around for so long for some good news from that country.We discuss about Pakistan here because it concerns us and affects us. You may not like the truth but that doesn’t make us secure. Instead of criticizing the messenger, can you hear the voices and the messages! Can you contribute to this debate? I believe, it affects you as well.

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

Hi Myra,some interesting points, especially the comparison with the iranian revolution. it is clear in pakistan such a scenario would be dificult to take place (thankfully.) unfortunately the country now seems to be headed for an worse one then an islamic revolution: chaos.not sure what the end result will be for the 15march long march. zardari is clealry now acting like a dictator and nawaz sharif is reacting in an immature manner and one which is counter-productive to the interests of Pakistan.The judges still offer some hope, but how they can manage to restore the chief justice given the tyrancial and unbending mood zardari seems to be in remains a mystery. will it ever happen? (and the military best stay out of all this, i think)

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

also for those pakistani commentators worried about india swallowing up pakistan, nepal, bangladesh etc. in some kind of akhand bharat superstate. i think these are conspiracy theories as far as i know and people should not waste time on this. at this moment in time the biggest enemies of pakistan are not the indians, it is the pakistanis themselves. even many indians are saying a stable pakistan is good for the whole region.if in the future more stability prevails, i see nothing wrong in forming a union like the EU. pakistan,india, nepal can stay seperate states but with common market, maybe even currency etc. but that is probably long time ahead in future, when saner heads prevail.

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

“mujahideen, terrorists are wolf packs; India not a threat to Pakistan; and on the understanding with the US on attacks across the Durand line”Zardari says all these nice things to WSJ and asks for 100 billion dollars aid. On returning to Pakistan he denied everything.Are these the elcted leadres of Pakistan? And now he is taking orders from army and Musharraf.With leaders like Zardari, Sharif, where is Pakistan going? Those who go to drain the swamp, kindda fall in love with it!http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12230 7507392703831.htmlhttp://online.wsj.com/ article/SB122428208361046021.htmlhttp:// acorn.nationalinterest.in/2008/10/21/wha t-zardari-told-the-wall-street-journal/h ttp://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail. php?id=37965

Posted by David | Report as abusive

and finally, in 71 the bangladesh episode was entirely pakistan’s fault. until the time we finally accept the atrocities commited by pak army against the bagladeshis, this country is going nowhere (except backwards)

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

“Israeli Arms Dealer Tries Bollywood Pitch”Can’t stop laughing …:-)http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/200 9/03/10/israeli-arms-dealer-tries-bollyw ood-pitch/?hp

Posted by David | Report as abusive

David—interesting ‘Item’ girl…

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

Pakistan went over the edge of the precipice two years ago. Now as they are sliding down the slope, they are trying to look dignified at the same time.The rest of the world is now looking over the edge, hoping that Pakistan will be able to grab a branch.But it is hard to see that happening. Because Pakistan thinks that branches are “unhelpful”.So instead, Pakistan will either try to talk their way out of their plummet, or just give in to the pit’s demands.Either way, at the bottom of the pit lies Somalia, Gaza and Afganistan.

Posted by John Smith | Report as abusive

This is really last days of instable pakistan.What we see is dark future of Pakistan.

“Pakistan: has it reached the edge of the precipice?”—The possible scenario-1. Kyani’s coup & Zardari hanged- for masterminding the attack on sri-lankan olayers to defame the army.2. Zardari engineers the removal of Kyani with a few puppet generals…3. A mutiny in the Pak Army – with the help of terrorists groups.4. Obama goes crazy (or comes to his senses, whatever) & launches a full-fledged attack on Pakistan- breaks it into five nations – destroys it’s nuclear arsenal.5. One fine morning Pakistani’s wake-up to find themselves at sea…lol

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

well i’m not disappointed at all. But i’m sure Zardari has to go. Military rule is nearly out of question. I think it is situation like 1993 when both parties have to go

Is pakistan is again going for miletary rule. ?????????????

Posted by vijay | Report as abusive

So, it has not been even 2 weeks since the Sri Lankan cricketers got attacked on their way to play cricket resulting in the death of many policemen. Not ONE attacker was killed or captured; they all got away in broad daylight. NOW, we have a distraction of politicians being arrested.Some extracts from Dawn.comGovt crackdown on opposition in bid to thwart long march (11/03/2009).ISLAMABAD: Dozens of political activists and lawyers were arrested in Islamabad and across the Punjab Wednesday in a bid to thwart a planned protest march on the capital, police said.Those rounded up include members of Pakistan’s most popular opposition party, which is headed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was last month disqualified from contesting elections.A top leader in Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party, Raja Zafarul Haq, was placed under house arrest, police said.Police dressed in civilian clothes attempted to arrest lawyers’ movement leader Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan from his residence early Wednesday morning but he was not present at the time.Many lawyers and MPs have gone into hiding to avoid detention, and were unreachable by telephone at their homes and offices.Police also searched in vain for cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who lives just outside the capital.In Lahore police confirmed further arrests after authorities banned protests and ordered paramilitary troops to be on alert in a bid to prevent this week’s planned ‘long march’ demanding legal reforms.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Anup wrote:”—The possible scenario-1. Kyani’s coup & Zardari hanged- for masterminding the attack on sri-lankan olayers to defame the army.2. Zardari engineers the removal of Kyani with a few puppet generals…3. A mutiny in the Pak Army – with the help of terrorists groups.4. Obama goes crazy (or comes to his senses, whatever) & launches a full-fledged attack on Pakistan- breaks it into five nations – destroys it’s nuclear arsenal.5. One fine morning Pakistani’s wake-up to find themselves at sea…lol”Hey Anup, i dont want to be rude, but please get some mental help you psychopath.Anyways, just remember Pakistan Army has an excellent command structure, Gen. Kayani was appointed by Gen. Musharraf, moreover he has the loyalty of all the corps commanders. The Army is Pakistan’s guardian and its commander-in-chief has a stated policy not to induldge into politics.Obama will not dare attack a 170 million strong muslim nuclear power knowing the kind of massive retaliation he will face. Pakistan is strong and capable of destroying an attacking enemy.One fine morning Anup might stop living in denial and accept mental help to cure his psychotic condition.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

MEHK wrote:”What we see is dark future of Pakistan.”What I see is a bright future of Pakistan. Now who the heck are you? would you mind introducing yourself? By the way I am a Pakistani.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

HINDU ZEALOTS VENT ANGER ON WOMENBy Amy Kazmin in Mangalore, IndiaPublished: March 6 2009 18:05 | Last updated: March 6 2009 18:05With its blue mood lighting, ultra-modern furniture and bottles of beer at Rs160 ($3, €2.40, £2.20), the Amnesia Lounge was designed to be a chic chill-out spot in tIndia’s southern port city of Mangalore.Instead, Amnesia, gained national notoriety, after Hindu zealots stormed the club and assaulted female customers – while television cameras, summoned in advance by the thugs, rolled.The attack in January exposed deep generational divisions in India. Ageing politicians from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party and the ruling Congress bemoaned the “pub-and-mall” culture that has flourished, with the economy.Yet the brazen violence was hardly a traditional expression of India’s deep-rooted social conservatism.Rather, the attack fits a disturbing pattern of rising Hindu vigilante culture among lower class youth, whose anger at their economic marginalisation is being channelled into religious indignation by right-wing Hindu organisations such as the Bajrang Dal, or the Sri Ram Sena, or Lord Ram’s Army.Young women seen as flouting conservative social traditions have been the victims of a series of violent assaults in Mangalore, generating fear in a community once known for its cosmopolitan attitudes, relaxed ambience, and relatively easy mixing of boys and girls.In particular, the vigilante groups – part of the family of conservative Hindu groups that form the core support base of the BJP – are incensed by Hindu girls socialising with boys from the Muslim community, which has prospered with an inflow of remittances from migrants working in the Gulf.The attackers “see a glaring richness all around and they have absolutely no access to it so there is a kind of frustration”, says H.P. Soumayaji, a member of Mangalore’s Communal Harmony Forum, which has documented the violence. “This frustration is transformed systematically into a hate politics.”Hindu zealots used iron rods and chains to smash the windscreen and windows of a private bus carrying 40 Hindu, Christian and Muslim students on a chaperoned overnight study trip in December, leaving five injured by broken glass.Women have also been beaten for talking to men on public buses, in coffee shops and theatres. Young women also say they are being watched on school campuses by strangers, who aggressively warn them against talking to Muslims.“They blasted me for being with a Muslim guy,” said K.S. Shruti, a 17-year-old high school student, who was pulled off a bus, along with her Muslim companion, last month by a gang of thugs, who took the two young people to a remote area and beat them.“They said, ‘you are not a Hindu’. I was totally terrified,” she added.As it campaigns for coming parliamentary elections, the BJP is seeking to project itself as a party that can reinvigorate the faltering economy, strengthen national security and boost India’s global standing. Yet in Mangalore, which is in the BJP-ruled southern state of Karnataka, many see the party as soft on extremist Hindu groups, with which it has strong links, and shared preoccupations about India’s social flux.Captain Ganesh Karnik, a BJP member of Karnataka’s state legislature, said the party did not condone violence. But he added that relationships between Hindu girls and Muslim boys were “disturbing” society, prompting some to express their “anguish”.“Will the girls here want to be mothers before they are married?” Capt Karnik asked. “It’s a changing society, values are changing and these issues are very sensitive. We need more time to settle down with this.”M.B. Puranik, Mangalore president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council, said, “this free mixing of girls brings fear complexes in the mind of orthodox traditional people that if we continue on this way, our society will go to the dogs.”Traditionally, Indian families, both Hindu and Muslim, have administered tight control over women – including their education, work and social life – according to their family’s beliefs and priorities. But where many families are loosening strictures, Hindu zealots believe that it is their prerogative to step in.“The concept of the family has widened,” said Mr Puranik. “If I consider you are my sister, if certain things are wrong, I have every right to ask you, ‘why do you do that?’ We want to protect our sisters.”Many also believe the vigilantes have the tacit support of sympathetic state police who talk of local Hindu girls being “exploited” by cash-rich Muslim boys, and respond to mob attacks on young women by summoning the victims’ parents and admonishing them about their daughters’ conduct.Sarah Aboobacker, a prominent, 73-year-old Muslim novelist and social critic in Mangalore, says the growing Hindu fundamentalism mirrors the extremism she has seen in the Islamic community. “All fundamentalists do the same thing,” she says. “They want to say what women should do and not do.”.Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

All Indians should stop worrying about Pakistan, rather India should be taken care of. India is going in the wrong direction, India cannot attain its rightful place in the world unless the hindu funtamentalism is brought under control. Rising extremism among Hindus is a major problem for the world. This issue will be exposed and highlighted by the world media just like Financial Times in UK has taken up recently.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair,India is not the one country worrying about Pakistan. Thank you for your concern. However, its the world that worrying about Pakistan. One day Sri Lankan criketers are attacked; the next week Pak govt arrests opposition politicians to prevent a rally.The world’s eyes are on you.GUARDIAN (UK):Pakistan arrests opposition leaders ahead of planned ralliesLong march to nowhereLaid-back Lahore faces a frightening futureAs human victims of terror attack are buried, nation mourns the other casualty – cricketDAWN (PAKISTAN):Fata’s 35 Hindus migrate to IndiaPakistan’s inflation up by 21.07 per cent in FebruaryZardari, Holbrooke to visit Japan for April donors’ meet (MORE BEGGING)Government bans protests, alerts troops in Punjab, SindhBusiness activity in Islamabad grinds to a haltGovt arrests 100s of activists, bans ralliesBombing shrineTIMES (UK):Pakistan politicians arrested ahead of protest rallyLahore attack ‘mastermind’ escapes police raid in PunjabCricket massacre lays bare the flaws of a failing stateNY TIMES (UK):Pakistan Police Crack Down on Opposition Before ProtestFor Pakistan, Attack Exposes Security FlawsGULF TIMES (QATAR)Islamabad hopeful of Saudi aid package (MORE BEGGING)THE AUSTRALIAN (AUSTRALIA)Lahore symptom of wider problem

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Bring back Musharraf! Kayani,Zardari,Nawaz should be hanged! The recent events have just gone on to show that there is no one incharge. We cant question Zardari since this ‘crazy thug’doesnt have a stable mindset and ‘controls the nuclear button’. What is Kayani waiting for. Over the last year since we was the COAS there have been one blunder to the other. This guy when he became a senior officer, the first thing he did was to get his son to the US. How can we ,Pakistanis, expect him to have any allegiance to the country. Kayani was the ISI chief at the Red Mosque crisis and it has been he who should have known about the ‘brutal killings in Mumbai’. The buck should stop here.We , as pakistanis, need to rise. Hang these three people and just go after the militants. All borders should be sealed and deweaponization carried out in those areas. The military commanders should be made responsible for their areas.Any lethargy in duty should be penalized possibly by public hangings. This will compel the people in realizing that these in the upper echelons are responsible for their actions.These people living in FATA dont deserve to be called humans , we should be the ones who should bomb them to stoneage not the US. They steal our mobiles,cars etc from Karachi,commit all sort of evil and portray themselves as “muslims”. Lets finish this once and for all.

Posted by suleman maniya | Report as abusive

John”Pakistan…as they are sliding down the slope, they are trying to look dignified at the same time.” “at the bottom of the pit lies Somalia, Gaza and Afganistan.”—Pakistan,When it reaches the bottom of the pit – head on-it would still try to look dignified & claim atleast their legs are up…

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

suleman maniya,bring back musharraf? its thinking like this which has brought pakistan to the brink it is today. no country in the world has ever prospered for long under military (or civilian) dictatorship, has it?

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

To Mr ketchup:Weren’t the great empires of history all dictatorships ? Didn’t the asian tiger economies grow under dictatorships ? What matters is the quality of rule, not the political system. Of course with dictatorship its more of a lottery while with democracy its more of choice.No Pakistan is not “on the edge”. Since 2001 I have been reading media articles about “Pakistan on the Edge” and “Pakistan on the brink”. Pakistan is still here.

Considering the religion, culture, history etc., I think military dictatorship is the best option for Pakistan. I don’t think they can function as a democracy. The past sixty years have clearly shown that their feudal system, terrain, corruption etc have not allowed democracy to take root and grow. Being a much smaller nation than India, they have been unable to come up with stable governments elected by the public. This is cultural. Chinese work best under autocratic rules. The whole middle east is made up of tribal culture or theocratic states. It is all right. There is nothing written that every country has to be democratic. It is the best option possible. But cultures have to have the maturity to handle it and have faith in it. In Pakistan, the army dominates everything anyway.The only problem is an army will need an enemy to keep itself prepared at all times. From that stand point, what works for Pakistan is disadvantageous to India. The Pakistani military will keep its machinery well oiled by keeping its aim at India at all times. The Western powers prefer such dictatorships to get their priorities met.If the US pressures Kayani from taking over Pakistan, the country will surely spin out of control. For war on terrorism to go on, the US might need to turn a blind eye to whoever takes over Pakistan and hope that they do not turn against the US.

aamir ali,i seriously disagree. at the root of a lot of the problems pakistan is facing today is lack of a proper functioning democracy. the current government is more a civilian dictatorship, the judiciary is still not independent. the seeds of all this were laid during the musharraf era.i symphtize to the damage created in pakistan by corrupt politicians and feaudals. but remember the military also has its own interests which do not at many match with those of the common person on the street.pakistan would not be on the course it is today were it not for all these years of military interference. we need to work at making the democratic system stronger rather then longing for military rule again and again. the joke must end now.it is rare to hav a good dictatorship. a dictatorship is the equivalent of putting all the eggs in one basket, in this case putting all the trust in one person. for those nations u name who succeeded under dictators, there are countless others which hav crippled under dictators (suharto in indonesia, the myriads of dictators in the middle east, north korea, zimbabwe.. is this the direction u r looking for?)musharraf, while not a robert mugabe, he certainly was never a ‘good guy’ dictator. like zia, musharraf put his own interests before the country. musharraf also played a double game with the west. because of these two dictators the country is today in the mess.now zardari has become the new musharraf. from military to civilian dictatorship, it is still the same old story. these things take time. if he bring in musharraf or the military again, the whole process will begin again.

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

The “blogger” at deadpan thoughts is humbled by being quoted here :) thanks

Pakistan is about to slide into military rule again. I think Gen. Ashfaq Kayani is getting his selection of civilian handmade suits tailored as we speak.The problem with military rule, is it is the least of all evil options to Pakistan. The Pakistani military must review its policies against India and Afghanistan and cease and desist all proxy wars and terror training camps in Pakistan.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Mr. Ketchup – an apt answer to suleman maniya / Amir Ali—”Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, & farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting again.” (Khalil Jibran)

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

“That seems unlikely, since the Pakistan Army has had a much more dominant role in Pakistan than the Iranian generals who fled with the shah in the 1979 revolution. It is fiercely nationalistic and hardly likely to go along with a takeover by Islamists who do not respect the nation state. “Myra,some have agreed to you on this. I don’tMost Pakis rank Islam higher than nation on their list of priorities. (One of the reason why subcontinent was split and reason why they see their N weapon as Islamic bomb)Also many in Pak army have nurtured the Islamist. Who know how many of them indeed deam of pakistan following Wabist ideology? If they were so nationalistic they would have worked towards strengthening Democracy and not weaking it. Also they would have fight Taliban till death rather than surrendeting abjectly in SWAT.Umair thinks Paki army as professional to no end. I think they are power hungry crooks who sabotage democarcy at their whims and keep their populance under paranoia of war to keep lining their pockets.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive

The motto os SSG( Pakistan’s is ‘who dares wins’. It seems the Pak Army has twisted it to ‘who dares governs’.The pak army is one of the most corrupt organizations and most of the serving generals hold dual nationality. It is no coincidence where their allegiances lie because at the thought of some instability they are out of the country and they have made this huge Behemoth!! An army purge and a civilian government purge should improve things to a great deal. I think Deweaponization is the key. These tribals should be forced to give up their weapons otherwise they should be bombed to stone age. They dont understand negotiations. Is the army prepared to do that? No frankly its got things so easy that the desire to fight is not there. It’s a bunch of cowards we are speaking about!

Posted by Suleman Maniya | Report as abusive

Suleman Maniya wrote:”The pak army is one of the most corrupt organizations and most of the serving generals hold dual nationality”The Pakistan Army is one of the strongest in the world, its high command one of the best trained. Its ranks motivated, the motto of Pakistan Army is “Iman- Taqwa- Jihad” which translates Faith, Piety and struggle in the path of Allah(God). Pakistan Army personnel hold Pakistani nationality and they were born in Pakistan and they would like to die in Pakistan. A bunch of battle hardened brave warriors, enemies fear Pakistan Army.Men at their best; Pakistan Army!

Posted by Pakistan Army | Report as abusive

Suleman ManiyaYour opinions stand out and contradict all Pakistani or for that matter muslims opinions on these posts. State for record ( if you dont mind) your background.A majority of the opinionated people from outside Afpak ( new American term), especially non muslims, hesitate to condone the extreme steps you suggested- for one good reason, modesty. They don’t want to look hate mongers even when addressing the hate mongers, funny but true. This tenet is unhealthy both in the larger global context as well as, most certainly, in the interest of afpak. One has to put out fire in neighbors home, if not the fire will engulf the entire neighborhood.SAUDI FACTOR: Sustained campaigns of militant/terrorist outfits have both material and ideological tacit support from Wahabism. The way to put out the global fire is to convince Saudis to accept others as legitimate co-owners of this planet.The starting point of this admission is permitting to build places of worship of nonmuslim faiths in Saudi arabia. Its that obscene in a civilized world to denigrate other faiths *illegal* by an entire nation, simply its anti people in nature and is incompatible with international law. Especially, when seen in the context of them pumping billions of dollars into other countries spreading wahabism.The international court of justice just issued an arrest warrant on Bashir, the murderous ruler of Sudan, as expected he defied to surrender. Gross negligence of human rights should not be overlooked by international community; military option should be implemented before more innocent lives are lost. A proactive international community will ensure global peace in this multipolar world we live in.

Umair:@at the time of independence if you make a cpomparison of hindu population you included then East Pakistan.-If you carefully read “In August 1947, at the end of British Raj, the population percentage of Hindus IN WHAT IS TODAY IN PAKISTAN was perhaps as high as 15-20%, but would drop to its current total of less than 2% in the years since independence.” It specifically says “today’s Pakistan”—means W. Pakistan (the Pakistan as defined today).

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Umair:Some tehnical problem has been restricting me from responding.@First, forefathers from Narowal/awesome rice.–I know about Pakistani Basmati—but did not know about rice from Narowal-but thanks for information, will like to visit the place one day. Funny (or sad?), Narowal is walkable from India- 4-5km from India/Pak border!

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

RajeevThats is true Narowal is very close to the border, on top of that I was there only once, somewhere around August/september 2002, during my college vacations. If you remember that time the 2001-2002 border stand-off took place after parliament attack in India. The schools in Narowal were closed due to vacations and Army formations were stationed in the school compounds and open areas. Thankfully India-Pakistan did not go to war that time, they should never go to war in future.If you would like to visit Pakistan, you must. I hope the embassy in Delhi issues you a visa. You can be sure of remaining very safe, although i understand how difficult it is for me to state this after attack on Sri Lankan team. But atleast that shouldnt be a reason for you not to visit your ancestral place. Make some contacts in Lahore, get your passport stamped, fly in to Lahore and take the trip to narowal. (maybe bus or train?) Everything else shall take care of itself.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

before pointing fingures at pakistan india should keep its own house in order. india is so much involved in pakistan dat it has overlooked it’s own militant organizations. there r 36 terrorist organizations operating in india n all ur politicians including rajiv gandhi were killed by ur own ppl. we know india has created all the unrest in fata n baluchistan. wat’s the purpose of establishing 14 counsalates on jalalabad’s border of baluchistan. why indian army is operating in afghanistan? mind it unstable pakistan will not b in ur interest….

Posted by future legend | Report as abusive

wat r u indians talking abt the rights of minorities in pakistan….we know wat u ppl did the dalits, tamil nadu, muslims in kashmir n gujray….nirender modi killed thousands of muslims in gujrat…shiv sena razed babri mosque…after more than 60 years of india’s creation still more than 94 percen t muslims r living below poverty line…they dont have access to better health conditions n higher education….shame on u…u dont deserve to b called a secular state n world’s biggest democracy…..

Posted by future legend | Report as abusive

The Pak Army Wrote:The Pakistan Army is one of the strongest in the world, its high command one of the best trained.This is a disgrace. The strongest army in the world at Taking Over! Kayani doesnt have the balls to publicly ask the US not to bomb Pakistan ( Just goes on to show how strong the army is), although I fully endorse those actions.AZAD DP ( meaning probably deported person!! or Displaced Person ( lower chance) you ask about my background. Alhumdullilah I am a muslim.Dont you know what happens in the tribal areas of Pakistan. All of these Bastar*s are living on illegal drugs, smuggling of goods, robbing us from our cities (cars,mobiles bank robberies etc) and go to these areas where no one can reach them. If this is the kind of Islam you preach then I dont need to say more. We should wage a WAR against such people even if it takes a 100 years and Kill them all!. I believe most of the people in Karachi and elsewhere would agree to this. We have been taken hostage by them and I think when that happens then we must Fightback. Mr AZAD what was your opinion on the Bombay incidents do you condone it or condemn it , Does ISLAM condone it ! Never , my friend and all those people who did must be publicly executed. What about the Big Drug Lords living in our vicinity the ones who have come from India you know who I mean. We must not give shelter to these because it is these people who sugjugate us and indulge in more evil. We should stand for principles but I think your enlightened views do not go beyond the Pak Army!!! we need an upheaval…

Posted by suleman maniya | Report as abusive

@wat r u indians talking abt the rights of minorities in pakistan….we know wat u ppl did the dalits, tamil nadu, muslims in kashmir n gujray….nirender modi killed thousands of muslims in gujrat…shiv sena razed babri mosque…”- Posted by future legendFuture: Take it easy.Presently, Muslims (and other minorities) are much safer in India than anywhere else.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLtC w-3Wqrkhttp://www.asianews.it/index.php? l=en&art=10075

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Myra,The turn of events in Pakistan do not augur well for a civilian society , but the most pertinent question here is : whether there exists a civilan society in Pakistan?Is it not true that Pakistan today is controlled by Pak army and world’s most dreaded and maligned intelligence agency ISI with active support from islamic terror outfits which have been created and nurtured by Pakistan army and ISI to work with limited agenda: to cause as much damage to India by waging low intensity war using these terror outfits, secondly to spread jehad all over the world as if Pakistanis are custodians of islam or islam is in danger and to maintain control over the drug and opium growing region of Afghanistan ? To achieve these objectives, periodically Pak army, stage some election and ask Pakistanis to vote for a particular group of politicians, Zardari , Gillani and Nawaz Sharif are no different from them ,Pakistanis like very obedient citizens, select some of these politicians nominated by Pakistan army .The most interesting part of the entire episode, Pakistan and its media are always in denial mode as if everything is ok within Pakistan , and it is an international conspiracy hatched by anti islamic forces: India , Israel and US to cause all these terrorist activities in Pakistan to destabilize Pakistan . Incidents in Mumbai, Lahore or attack on marriott hotel in islamabad , the first reaction of Pakistanis and its media are always put the blame on India or Israelis.Pakistan has been exposed to the world as a failed state, a state sponsor of terrorism , and presence of nuclear arsenals in Pakistan pose grave danger to the international community , it is incumbent upon international community to wrest the control of weapons of mass destruction from Pakistan before these are taken over by islamists , prosecute proliferators like A.Q.Khan and its cronies for crime committed against humanity.

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

[...] pronouncing. Eh? And it’s a good thing our media outlets are up to it… Er, no. As Reuters Global put it: Maybe this always happens at times of national upheaval. But there is a surprising [...]

Pakistan was never on the edge, but since 2001 you media folks have declared it to be about 1,000 times. Boy you folks love sensationalism.@RajeevIndia is a country which was officially and unofficially killed Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and lower caste Hindus. Don’t talk about Pakistan.

We makes world’s cheapest car in India , Pakistan makes world’s cheapest terrorist .

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

@Anju2008Its good that a nation of 1 billion finally managed to make a cheap car. Congratulations.Pakistanis also created a car called Adam Revo but unfortunately it was not successful.

@RajeevIndia is a country which was officially and unofficially killed Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and lower caste Hindus. Don’t talk about Pakistan.- Posted by Aamir Ali–Aamir, Can you couunt how many million Muslims and Hindus in E. Pakistan and 1000s of Balochis and >1000 of Frontier Gandhi’s Khudai Khidmatgars haev been killed by your Pakistani Army.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Tuesday, 23 September 200810,000 Indian troops are stationed in Afghanistan under the garb of supervising construction of road Jalalabad-Port Chahbahar project that has now been completed. Whereas India has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, on ground they have 107 in which 20 intelligence units are burning their midnight oil to destabilise PakistanAfter 9/11 CIA bought the loyalties of pro-Pakistan tribal chiefs, leaving ISI and MI behind, those who refused were killedNek Mohammad was killed by Americans when he made peace with PakistanISI had once given six figure coordinates of Baitullah and yet no Hellfire missile was fired on his hideout by CIAForeign intelligence agents are involved in carrying out gruesome beheadings of security personnel and torching girls’ schools to defame the real Taliban who had a peaceful agendaBesides CIA and RAW, even Iran and Uzbekistan had developed their tentacles in Balochistan, Swat and Kurram AgencyThe nexus in Kabul is working upon a scripted plan to make FATA lawless and beyond the control of security forces, push militancy into settled areas and then into major cities and thus create a civil warlike situation to prove their contention that Pakistan was the most dangerous country in the world and that the extremists were on the verge of taking over power and nuclear weapons.When Gen. Musharraf submitted to U.S. pressure after 9/11 and ditched the Taliban in Afghanistan, he provided air bases as well as logistics support and shared intelligence with CIA. He allowed CIA and FBI to recruit agents in FATA and other places and to establish their outposts. The focus of ISI and other agencies was shifted towards hunting and nabbing so-called terrorists all over the country, in monitoring dissident elements within the army and in political wheeling and dealings. The CIA acquired all the links ISI and MI had both sides of the Pak-Afghan border and gradually took most agents on ISI payroll within its fold. By virtue of having better technology and means the CIA was able to take over intelligence acquisition and dissemination system. As a consequence the troops operating in FATA became entirely dependent upon CIA inputs. Taking advantage of complete liberty of action, CIA succeeded in buying the loyalties of many tribal chiefs and notables in FATA by doling out dollars in sacks since it knew that the Pashtun could not be crushed by force but could be purchased. Those not falling in line were got killed.In FATA, Nek Muhammad was first cultivated and provided logistic support. When he entered into a peace deal with Pak Army in July 2005, he was killed using precision guided missile. Abdullah Mehsud, an Afghan war veteran who had also fought the Northern Alliance in October-November 2001 was captured and brainwashed during his two years internment in Guantanamo Bay. He was released after agreeing to work on terms dictated by CIA and he soon was able to takeover the leadership role. His death at Zhob at the hands of Pak security forces was a loss for CIA.Baitulah Mehsud and Fazlullah had not taken part in Afghan jihad and do not qualify to head Taliban; yet 30 year old Baitullah has managed to create Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Fazlullah calls the shots in Swat. Mulla Omar had never shown interest in establishing any links with Pakistani Taliban and had warned Nek Muhammad not to operate under the brand name of Taliban. It is being questioned as to how come Baitullah, Fazlullah and their spokesmen desperately wanted by Pakistan security forces have escaped the hawk eye of USA, particularly after they have been seen giving detailed interviews to media and using their cell phones? ISI had once given six figure coordinates of Baitullah and yet no Hellfire missile was fired on his hideout by CIA. The TTP that has spread its influence in all the seven agencies of tribal belt and in neighboring settled districts of NWFP has succeeded in making inroads into Punjab, particularly southern Punjab. Large number has been recruited from Chiniot, Bahawalpur, Dera Nawab, Bahawalnagar, Faisalabad, Sialkot and other places.After Shakai peace deal with the militants in South Waziristan in July 2005, Pakistan was subjected to a calculated slander campaign. Having pushed more than one hundred thousand troops into the furnace of FATA it was scoffed at for not doing enough to control militancy in FATA. Pakistan was also accused of nuclear proliferation and IAEA kept up the pressure to hand over AQ Khan for interrogation. Musharraf accepted the charge and forced AQ Khan to make a confession to defuse the heat. The religious extremist threat was blown out of all proportions and it was repeatedly stated that Pakistan’s nuclear assets had become unsafe. Musharraf accepted this charge as well and promised to fight extremism and terrorism with full force.After declaring Pakistan as the most dangerous country, FATA was declared as the most dangerous place on earth. Pakistan was blamed for growing turbulence in Afghanistan since in the view of U.S. military leaders and Karzai Pak army was not doing enough to control militancy. The phenomenon of missile attacks by drones commenced in January 2006 when a suspected target in Damadola was attacked killing scores of innocent civilians. Another deadly missile attack was launched on a Madrassa in Bajaur in October that year killing 80 students. Ever since, this phenomenon continues unabated.Once the ISI was freed from the wild goose chase of so-called terrorists and came under pressure on account of missing persons, it started to concentrate on its primary task in the troubled spots. To its horror it found far too many militant groups and criminal gangs operating under the guise of religious militants and cultivated by foreign agencies.They were the ones involved in carrying out gruesome beheadings of security personnel and torching girls’ schools to defame the real Taliban who had a peaceful agenda. Besides CIA and RAW, even Iran and Uzbekistan had developed their tentacles in Balochistan, Swat and Kurram Agency. Most of the pro-Pakistan groups had been purchased or neutralized and those not coming to terms were eliminated by groups sponsored by CIA. Things had gone topsy-turvy and ISI found itself at a loss how to differentiate between friend and foe.It is when the ISI began to recover the lost ground and renewed its old contacts in FATA and started to expose and block clandestine activities of CIA, RAW and RAM that all hell broke lose on ISI. Instead of feeling ashamed of what they were doing, USA had the cheeks to start making hue and cry that ISI was linked with the Taliban and that it must be emasculated. The three colluding partners lost their cool when the Indian Embassy in Kabul was subjected to a suicide attack on 7 July 2008. The trio fumed with anger and blamed ISI without even carrying out preliminary investigations. It was alleged that the perpetrator of suicide attack belonged to Gujranwala. Adm. Mike Mullen and Deputy Director CIA Stephen Kappes came huffing and puffing to Islamabad on 12 July and expressed their concern in strong words. Both Gen Tariq and Gen Kayani were told to bring the ISI to heel and to control militancy on their side of the border. The details of suicide bomber provided by the visitors proved false. It transpired later on that it was a bomb planted in a parked jeep which was detonated with the help of a remote control and was masterminded by Mossad.The month of September saw intensification of missile attacks and each attack resulted in loss of innocent lives. The idea was to antagonize pro-government Waziris and also to force them to migrate as had happened in case of Bajaur. To further up the ante, Pakistan was declared as a battleground and a first ever ground attack was carried out by U.S. troops on the night of 3 September at Angoor Adda killing 15 men women and children. A deadly missile attack was conducted on pro-Pakistan Jalaluddin Haqqani house in North Waziristan on 8 September killing 25 inmates mostly women and children. He was blamed for carrying out attack on Indian Embassy.The intruding drone was forced to beat a hasty retreat on 12 September when Pakistani jets got airborne and started to track it. A ground attack on 15th was also thwarted by the troops and locals. So far, 62 border violations have been carried out by U.S.-ISAF forces including 36 after the takeover by PPP government in March 2008. So far 30 missile attacks have been made killing innocent people. In none of the attacks any Al-Qaada operative or militant Taliban was killed.The nexus in Kabul is working upon a scripted plan to make FATA lawless and beyond the control of security forces, push militancy into settled areas and then into major cities and thus create a civil warlike situation to prove their contention that Pakistan was the most dangerous country in the world and that the extremists were on the verge of taking over power and nuclear weapons. After inflaming South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Mohmand Agency, Khyber Agency, Darra Adam Khel, Kurram Agency, Hangu and Swat, Bajaur Agency was built into a stronghold of militants where huge cache of arms and ammunition was dumped. By virtue of being located at the crossroad of the tribal belt and also linked with Dir, Swat and Afghanistan, it was to act as bulwark and a launching pad to provide reinforcement to other areas.10,000 Indian troops are stationed in Afghanistan under the garb of supervising construction of road Jalalabad-Port Chahbahar project that has now been completed. Whereas India has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, on ground they have 107 in which 20 intelligence units are burning their midnight oil to destabilise Pakistan. Many mercantile shops run by Indians have an intelligence office in the rear. In Wakhan, a religious Madrassa run by Indian Muslim clerics is functioning since 2002 under the patronage of Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad. Very young boys, mostly orphans, destitute or homeless are recruited. Recruits are mostly Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. The latter being fair skinned and resembling Europeans are trained to hit targets in Europe or in USA to once again create a 9/11 like situation.Reportedly, 10,000 ideologically motivated terrorist and suicide bombers have been trained. Besides receiving military training, they have also been made to learn Pashto and customs of the Pashtun. They are regularly infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. Posing as volunteers they join the rank and file of militants to fight the army. They are the ones who are destroying schools, CD shops, bridges and other installations and carrying out brutal beheading of captured personnel. The idea is to create chaos and confusion and also to defame the real Taliban that have not come under their influence. They are also responsible for creating cleavages within the people of FATA and in disrupting peace deals. In Kurram Agency, Afghan officers and soldiers are actively involved in the sectarian conflict by way of providing arms and ammunition to Shias belonging to Tori tribe and physically participating in duels with Sunnis. In Swat, Fazlullah led militants are supplied with war munitions as well as fighters.Likewise, dissident tribal chiefs in Balochistan including late Akbar Bugti were also taken on board. The CIA helped in reincarnating BLA and providing all sorts of war munitions to Baloch militants belonging to Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes and establishing over 60 Farari camps in Balochistan. Shamsi airbase that was handed over to USA in October 2001, houses Blackhawk helicopters primarily engaged in monitoring the entire length of Iranian border. CIA has cultivated Sunni Iranian Baloch Jandullah group (not the one that had operated against 5 Corps commander). It is anti- Iranian regime and was utilized by CIA to carryout acts of sabotage in Iran through Zahidan. Iran has now constructed a stone wall all along its border to prevent cross border terrorism from Baluchistan. It has clouded Pak-Iran relations since the latter feels that such activities could not have been undertaken without the blessing of Pak government.It is now clear that our so-called friends have been playing a double game. Now that USA has bared its teeth and let its intentions known, to pretend that it would stop short of achieving its objectives will be like living in fools’ paradise. It is simply degrading to unashamedly say that we cannot fight the Americans. It is also preposterous to assume that Pakistan may not survive without American support. Pro-American elements within Pakistan on U.S. payroll have been parroting this theme since creation of Pakistan to safeguard their vested interest. North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, Somalia are living examples who have survived despite adopting hostile posture against USA. It is high time that we gird up our loins and put our act together to face up to the challenge boldly.The army under Gen. Kayani has expressed its resolve to confront the threat and safeguard country’s sovereignty irrespective of the consequences. It is now up to our week-kneed rulers oblivious of the ominous threat and still busy in power game as to how they stand up to the test. It will be naive to expect that the threat will be warded off with diplomacy alone. We must make USA realize that it will become exceedingly difficult for U.S. led allied troops to operate in Afghanistan if Pakistan opts out of fighting U.S. war of terror and refuses to provide transit facility to carry oil and food supplies to its troops in Afghanistan. The magnitude of dependence can be gauged from the fact each day over 400 containers ply from Karachi and Quetta to Afghanistan transporting food, munitions and 300 million gallons of fuel for U.S.-Nato troops in Afghanistan. We may also consider bridling CIA’s unchecked activities and closing down four bases in control of USA.______________An excellent eye opening article. Long Live Pakistan.

Posted by manapakistani | Report as abusive