Pakistan: street rage and sectarian bombings

October 10, 2010

us flagOne of the more troublesome aspects of the current situation in Pakistan is how subdued – at least relative to the scale of the deaths – are protests against suicide bombings on Pakistani cities. Travelling from Lahore to Islamabad last month, my taxi driver winced in pain when I told him I had a text message saying the city we had just left, his city, had been bombed again. Yet where was the outlet for him to express that pain, or indeed for the many grieving families who had lost relatives?

I was reminded of this reading Nadeem Paracha’s latest piece in Dawn on the outcry over Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist  jailed in the United States after being convicted of shooting at U.S. soldiers. She has been claimed as the “daughter of the nation” who must be rescued from an American jail.

“Never have the highly vocal keepers of our women’s sanctity even superficially censured the aggravating antics of monsters like the Taliban and al Qaeda at whose hands thousands of innocent Pakistanis have lost their lives,” writes Paracha. ”None of the many women, children and men who were mercilessly slaughtered by the extremists, it seems, were good enough to also be celebrated as brothers, sisters and children of this nation.”

Saba Imtiaz made a similar point in Foreign Policy last month. “Political parties rarely call for protests after suicide bombings, but the Jamaat-e-Islami called for countrywide protests shortly after Aafia’s sentencing. Breathless condemnations of the sentencing came in almost instantly from political parties,”  Imtiaz wrote.

“The millions displaced by the floods in Pakistan, thousands languishing in jail awaiting trial and the countless women who are victims of honor killings, mistreatment in jails and discrimination will not see anyone rallying for their cause. Not acting swiftly to help them — who should also be dubbed daughters of Pakistan and supported by politicians — is the real injustice.”

Not that those comments are meant to suggest Siddiqui’s case should be ignored altogether. But it does indicate a worrying tendency in the way Pakistani society’s national narratives are constructed.  As discussed here, Manan Ahmed at Chapati Mystery has already written about how the Siddiqui case has tapped into the historical narrative about Mohammad bin Qasim, who first brought Islam to South Asia by conquering Sindh in the 8th century - allegedly after racing to the rescue of a Muslim woman who had been raped. The story of bin Qasim was specifically cited by Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber.

“This particular brand of national machismo projected onto a woman’s body is neither new nor unique, yet it is a potent mixture in the oppressive, patriarchal Pakistani middle class. The mullahs can safely rage about the nation’s daughter, and the street urchins can eagerly vow to invade Manhattan,” wrote Ahmed.

What is particularly powerful in the outcry over Siddiqui is the way it fuses the historical narrative with modern-day anti-Americanism.

That there is serious anger against the United States in Pakistan is clear.

The infringement of Pakistani sovereignty through drone missile attacks and, most recently, the killing of Pakistani soldiers by NATO helicopters is seen as a bitter humiliation which the country is forced to accept in return for U.S. economic aid.

“Pakistani anti-Americanism comes from a sustained narrative in which Pakistan is the undignified and humiliated recipient of U.S. financial support — provided at the expense of Pakistani blood. This may not be reflective of the intentions of Obama’s war, but it is reflective of the outcome of this war on main street in Pakistan. And perception is reality,” wrote Pakistani journalist Mosharraf Zaidi.”

But it is also clear that anti-Americanism is considerably more complex than the protesters out burning the American flag would have you believe.  According to this New America Foundation survey  on opinions in Pakistan’s tribal regions, anti-Americanism there has  less to do with national humiliation and the transactional nature of the U.S.-Pakistani relationship and far more to do with specific U.S. policies.

“… the intense opposition to the U.S. military and the drone program is not based on general anti-American feelings,” according to the survey. “Almost three-quarters of the people inside the tribal regions said that their opinion of the United States would improve if the U.S. increased visas for FATA (tribal region) residents and educational scholarships to America, withdrew the American military from Afghanistan or brokered a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians. A majority even said their opinions of the U.S. would improve a great deal. Two-thirds said that policies such as American aid for education and medical care would improve their opinions as well.

“This dramatic willingness to think better of the America demonstrates a notable lack of deep-seated hostility. For many FATA residents, opposition to the U.S. is based on current American military policy, not any intractably held anti-American beliefs.”

The point here is not to discuss the rights and wrongs of U.S. policies, but rather to show how national narratives can be over-simplified for political ends.  Serious debate becomes replaced with outrage. The pain of the individual who lost a relative in a suicide bombing, or of the family which lost its house in the floods,  is submerged amid a wave of national anger about Aafia Siddiqui and the United States. 

That in turn creates a very dangerous environment – one easily exploited by a minority with extreme views to manipulate the emotions of the majority.

Comments

Pracha is a traitor of Islam for calling Taliban and AQ as monsters, they are Allah’s men preaching true Allah teaching. He has sold out to Zionist media. So what if a few suicide bombs in Pakistan. Pakistan doesn’t need good lives all they need is Islam, for Islam is greatest and rest are worst. Pakistan has Islamic bombs and Islamic mullahs so everyone beware. Pakistan has already been enlightened with Islam and need nothing more than that. As a matter of fact Pakistan population wants Taliban to completely take over Pakistan and impose Sharia in Pakistan. So what if disease and death are on rise, Pakistanis don’t care because may be that’s what Allah wants. And we the Pakistanis want to cleanse our society of these lesser mortals who have not accepted to be enlightened by Islam and also of people like Pracha who sold out to Zionists. And suicide bombings are to achieve this cleansing, and if some of our own people die then its martyrdom for them and their sacrifices will be met with more suicide bombings. Hence very minuscule reaction to suicide bombings. Myra has also sold out to Zionists for writing this report and hence has back-stabbed Pakistan. “Kashmir banega Pakistan”.

So Pakistanis, am I right, have I summed up the general sentiment of Pakistanis correctly??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

A very interesting writing identifying the inner feelings of the people in Pakistn. @Myra, people in the entire world do not have deep seated hostilities against foreign countries or people, other than those based on their regular engagement with one another specialy with their neighbours or within the historical context. Ofcourse the situation in the current operation theatre would change dramatically, if the foreign forces were to withdraw. The Palestinians would equally hail America if the Mr Obama were to become an honest broker in their dispute with the Israelis and so on and so forth. However, the deep feelings of Irish and scottish against the english and the Pakistanis feelings against the neighbouring India or for that matter the feelings of latinos against the USA is a different matter. Diplomacy can never make the generations of Japanese forget what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the 5th columnists indian writers like Paracha and co would never be successful in influencing Pakistani military to forget the humiliation they suffered at the hands of the Indian military in their former east Pakistan. A good day.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

What exactly happened to Dr. Siddiqui? She disappeared for sometime and then was traced to Afghanistan. Then she “comes out shooting?” I smell something fishy here. Is this a cover up? I wonder if they messed her up and made her shoot herself in the foot during court proceedings? Now she is permanently locked up in an American jail. Does she know some truth that the CIA and Pentagon do not want others to know?

The reason why I am asking this question is this – Intelligence agencies can mess things up if one ends up on the wrong side with them. They covered David Coleman Headley up and now he is safely in a US jail. I am sure they knew what he was doing in Mumbai. But so long as he was providing intelligence to the CIA, others were expendable. If he had been caught in India instead, it might have opened a can of worms. The US did not allow Indian interrogators to go near him for a long time. He got a bargain deal that he will not be extradited to India.

In the book, “Nuclear Deception,” there is a mention about a CIA official who found out all the clandestine operations by Pakistan’s military in selling nuclear technology to rogue nations. The CIA, the US State dept and the FBI simply destroyed his career and life. The State dept kept providing tips to Pakistanis to escape any capture, destroyed vital evidence when needed and hid the truth about the whole thing so that American objectives in Afghanistan could be achieved. The official was tossed around and made into a “mental” case. His wife divorced him. Now he is a nobody.

I am not saying Pakistani system is made up of thumb suckling innocents. But American intelligence system is as sinister as the ISI. From that angle I am trying to understand if Dr. Siddiqui is another victim of cover up or not. No one will know.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@KPSingh01
“But American intelligence system is as sinister as the ISI. From that angle I am trying to understand if Dr. Siddiqui is another victim of cover up or not. No one will know.”

Perfectly correct. But Myra wants to say is that when a pakistani is arrested by US then there is so much hue and cry (even if no one really cares for that person in homeland) and when it comes to someone dying in a bomb blast inside Pakistan then there is no one to fix things. So point is that Pakistani authorities are just showing off their patriotism while in reality they care least of their own motherland and its people. And partly the common man of Pakistan is to blame as well.

Look at India. The 6 decade old ayodhya issue’s judgement and the reaction of common man to the judgement has shaken the roots of Indian politics. On day of judgement there was unprecedented calm, no curfew in even a single city of country and everyone for a change used their heads than hearts. The ‘Netas’ are shocked to shell upon seeing this cool reaction from public. The message from public to fools of New Delhi is loud and clear, “No more religious bigotry, we want peace, progress and development”. And SC of India will very rightly take another 50 years to come at a decision for the sake of peace in country and 50 years later when today’s Gen Y is full incharge then the mandir-masjid won’t even be an issue. This is great turning point in history of India that will go long way in shaping our future. It is easy for politicians to give to public a lollipop of religious bigotry but it is dammn difficult to give public peace and progress. And in India it is not that politicians wanted to change, it is in reality the public that does not want any religious bigotry any more. And this attitude of public is now putting a huge huge pressure on politicians. So if Indians can tell their leaders to shut up on religious bigotry and talk and do progress and development then why can’t common man of Pakistan do the same. Beats me!!

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

They say that the californian Govt. is now issueing the IOU’s to their civil servants in liew of salaries. If thiab is true than the list of the systemic problems in the USA need to revised. The sytemic problems in the National Security(CIA,FBI etc.), military , judiciary, financial and educational institutions. mr obama cannot even provide jobs to the military if they were to withdraw next month from Afghanistan and sent home.
Perhaps some one should tell me why on earth this info is not available to the would be immigrants and why do they keep soliciting for new immigrants via the green card?
God blessing would definitely come in the world when the Americans withdraw their military from Europe and Japan. They can keep their rag tag military in Afghanistan who desperately need them for shooting practice and their economy.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

How come Myra has not mentioned India. And why have religious bigots here not called her Zionist yet. Surprising!! How come Myra portray a somewhat negative picture of Pakistan administration and yet not blame India for it. I am really surprised.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

The issue is not just Aafia Siddiqui, Pakistan’s public opinion now matters a lot with a vocal civil society and independent judiciary. One of the main reasons that former President Musharraf ousted Chief Justice of supreme court was that the judge had taken strict action against government officials on missing persons case. Many people were picked up for interrogation by intelligence agencies (ISI) with no trace. This action, together with other factors resulted in widespread mass protests and two year campaign after which Musharraf was ousted from power in 2008.
The issue of drone strikes and border incursions, means that both the Pakistani government and military cannot afford to face the severe public backlash. They must not anger the public, and middle class. The middle class families send their sons as officers and men in the Army. Similarly, the politicians depends on the middle class voter. Middle class is emotional, angered and they face the daily challenges of struggling economy, paying bills, running the homes, going to work, putting food on table and sending the kids to school. It is these people who are most angry at US policies.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Continued….And if the US continued with its reckless policies, ignoring the public opinion. It will leave no option for Pakistan’s military, intelligence and civilian government to take a hardline stand against the US. That confrontational approach by both countries will lead to tension, breakdown of relations and further deterioration

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

777″How come Myra has not mentioned India. And why have religious bigots here not called her Zionist yet. Surprising!! How come Myra portray a somewhat negative picture of Pakistan administration and yet not blame India for it. I am really surprised”

-Please don’t be so biased, Myra has mentioned she travelled between Lahore and Islamabad by road. She has more grasp and understanding of the issues, in her blogpost are always accurate and I have never found fault. There is something wrong with you Indians always criticisizing her and labelling her as pro-Pakistan. Please keep your sick comments to yourself and my apology in advance if anything I state offend you.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@”What exactly happened to Dr. Siddiqui? She disappeared for sometime and then was traced to Afghanistan. Then she “comes out shooting?” I smell something fishy here. Is this a cover up? I wonder if they messed her up and made her shoot herself in the foot during court proceedings? Now she is permanently locked up in an American jail. Does she know some truth that the CIA and Pentagon do not want others to know?”
Posted by KPSingh01

KP, sometimes things are indeed as simple as they appear. If CIA was indeed trying to cover up something that Siddiqi knew, they would have simply bumped her off while she was in their custody in Afghanistan & not brought her to the US & to try her in an open courtroom in Manhattan. From what I understand, she disapeared, became a jihadi, got her training & was caught red handed shooting at American/NATO soldiers. It’s as simple as that. And then she was tried & convicted in an American court. I mean, this is not a Pakistani or Indian court we’re talking about & I don’t think she would’ve been convicted, if there wasn’t enough circumstantial and/or physical evidence against her.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@Rex Minor/Pakistan

I generally don’t respond to your jibberish because I skip it but I would like to let you know that your dream of America going bankrupt and the Pashtuns & China taking over the world, ain’t happening. You have a nice day!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

About the current topic, Finger-pointing & deflecting the blame for one’s mistakes & sins has become second nature of the Pakistani nation. As Pracha rightly pointed out, hypocracy & bigotry has become widespread. It’s about time, Pakistan takes a look in the mirror instead of fighting with the shadows.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
“Please don’t be so biased, Myra has mentioned she travelled between Lahore and Islamabad by road. She has more grasp and understanding of the issues, in her blogpost are always accurate and I have never found fault. There is something wrong with you Indians always criticisizing her and labelling her as pro-Pakistan. Please keep your sick comments to yourself and my apology in advance if anything I state offend you.”

No you do not offend me as I still remember that u had that honest dream of making Pakistan the next Japan and I personally respect that dream of yours very much. Often your comments are innocent sometimes childish and sometimes really very mature but always from heart and I feel u have a pure heart although sometimes u do get overtaken by ur emotions which is fine and happens to all of us sometime or the other. So don’t apologise. As a matter of fact my comment was a satire but definitely not directed at you. But if u still feel hurt then accept my humble apologies.

Now to topic at hand. Look, each of us can have an opinion based on our observations, right or wrong is a different matter. My observation on Myra has been that although her observations on Pakistan had been pretty accurate, (I never doubted this) but almost always she has mentioned India in her reports on Pakistan without fail and this is the surprising article where she did not mention India. As a matter of fact I was so surprised that I did a ‘Ctrl+f’ browser text search to check if I have not read it correctly. Thats what I am saying. And now I am disappointed that u saw these comments of mine and got offended but u didn’t replied to 007XXX’s (That is also my screen name only forced onto me by reuters website) that why can’t Pakistan common public send a clear message to their leaders that you all want end to religious bigotry and want peace, progress and development; just like Indian common public sent this message to its bunch of b******d fools of New Delhi.

And don’t u think the matter reported by Myra in this article is alarming that US issue is so blown out of context that local bomb blasts and those who die in those bomb blasts do not get the attention they deserve.

This is how she summed up:
“The pain of the individual who lost a relative in a suicide bombing, or of the family which lost its house in the floods, is submerged amid a wave of national anger about Aafia Siddiqui and the United States.

That in turn creates a very dangerous environment – one easily exploited by a minority with extreme views to manipulate the emotions of the majority.”

Now u decide and tell who is ‘minority with extreme views’ and what is ‘majority whose emotions are manipulated’ as stated by Myra in these sentences. I will wait for your reply.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Mortal: “If CIA was indeed trying to cover up something that Siddiqi knew, they would have simply bumped her off while she was in their custody in Afghanistan & not brought her to the US & to try her in an open courtroom in Manhattan. From what I understand, she disapeared, became a jihadi, got her training & was caught red handed shooting at American/NATO soldiers. It’s as simple as that.”

My question is whether she was a double agent, like David Coleman Headley or not. In the case of Headley, he was able to penetrate deep into the Jihadi network in Pakistan, providing much needed intelligence for the US and its allies. They probably knew of his activities in Mumbai and did not care much about it because it did not affect them or they did not expect much to come out of his activities. He was caught trying to go after the cartoonist in Denmark. By this time Mumbai attacks had happened and there was always the possibility of Headley falling into the hands of RAW. So it looked like a pre-emptive action to stage a case against him and shut him up. He could have been finished off easily too. He probably was too valuable to the CIA at that time. I guess they realized that RAW was probably zeroing in on him as well. So the same question arises – how come Headley was not “finished off?” There is a political side to it, if you see it carefully. It helps paint a picture that these guys are working hard to curtail Islamic terrorists from hurting American people. By capturing someone “alive”, taking him through the judicial process and sentencing him to life, helps achieve the goal of getting public support. May be Dr. Siddiqui was a double agent. I find it hard to see a highly educated individual like her, married with children, suddenly jumping into the Jihadi bandwagon. Getting her alive could be part of publicity stunt as well.

Somehow in this case, I really smell something rotten with the American intelligence system. It looks like a cover up went wrong somewhere and they really could not finish her off, even after she allegedly shot at the soldiers.

No one will know the real truth.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@The Umairs and Rex minors,

There is something warped here about middle class Pakistan. You all harp about U.S. politics, why don’t you middle class people rage against your mismanager in uniform?

These rodents in uniform lie, erase and refabricate history, destroy the psychological state of your nation, have made you lose every war and whored your nation’s sovereignty for money while your people take it to the chin, leaving an embarrassing legacy of surrender, war losses, destruction of democracy and judiciary, not to mention destruction of Pakistan’s reputation by its sloppy outsourcing of assymetrical warfare unto Afghanistan and India via warlords and militants, all trained by your pindi boyz to do bad things.

For all this, Pindi boyz are the biggest waste of money and should all be fired for doing such a horrible job of everything they touch.

You guys are right, Pakistani’s are tough, but there will come a day in Pakistan, when the people’s limit has been reached and they will wake up and once Pakistani’s truly wake up from the induced propaganda slumber, you can’t stop it and something great will take place, that being a self-sustaining revolution, where people start waking from the dream world they were born into.

What really makes me laugh is when Paks advocate using Afghanistan as a strategic depth warlord state, but don’t like if it somebody does that to them, ie U.S. Afghans are not looking forward to being Pak bxtches anymore, they are tired of interference and want their own centralized authority.

I here many Paks here complaining about Balochistan, why have your pindi boyz not sent any dossiers? You bloggers keep complaining, yet fail to produce proof, suggesting that your assertions lack even a shred of credibility. Still the idea of it, India interfering in Balochistan?…hypothenically speaking in an alternate universe, if it were true, how is that different than Pakistan interfering in Afghanistan?

Somebody please enlighten me why Pakistan has the right to interfere in other nation’s territory and why Pakistan does not like it if another does it to Pakistan?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@Umairs, Rex Minors, bloggers, Myra

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ 2010/oct/05/india-pakistan-cultural-heri tage

On a lighter note, sorry to digress. We get too caught up in finger pointing each other’s agencies and armies, but fail to realize our two peoples are actually v. similar.

When it comes to peoples, Indians and Pakistan are definitely family and cut from the same clothe and woven from the same yarn. Enjoy the article.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

Just an observation: I’ve come across quite a few Indians here, say things like “We (Indians & Pakistanis) are the same people”, “We are family & brothers” etc. But I don’t think I’ve yet come across a Pakistani who has said these kind of things.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@ 777xxx777 “Pracha is a traitor of Islam for calling Taliban and AQ as monsters”

Pracha is simply making an observation based on fact. Faith based reasoning is not based on such a notion. Which is were you reasoning breaks down.

The presence of images of torn bodies of fellow humanity resulting from irrational violent murder by Taliban and Bin Liners AQ is a bit of a give away.

Freedom of Religion should no longer be a right. Any Religion which enables the killing of others be it derived from clear or ambiguous text should not be able to operate in modern society.

Regarding this as normal is a bit of a worry. But being brought up on notions against other contained in the Quran chp The Cow it is normal for you.

Posted by markjuliansmith | Report as abusive
 

@Mortal1
“Just an observation: I’ve come across quite a few Indians here, say things like “We (Indians & Pakistanis) are the same people”, “We are family & brothers” etc. But I don’t think I’ve yet come across a Pakistani who has said these kind of things.”

That is because Indians in past 6 decades have come to learn that violence and enmity will lead us nowhere. Indians realise that to really make our dreams come true we need to have cordial relations with our neighbours. But Pakistanis doesn’t seem to have realised this and wants their living standards to go down even more before realising the truths. It will take some more time before their egos melt. And we are glad that egos on Indian side are melting quite fast. And now even China is also reciprocating Indian gestures, although some differences remain. But Rome was not built in a day and so cannot be India/Pakistan/China axis be built in a day. Fruits of patience are often sweet!!

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@markjuliansmith

From your screen name I am assuming that u r neither Indian and nor Pakistani and that is why probably u r not aware of Indian/Pakistani style of taunting. My comment that u referred above was a satire/taunt towards those Pakistani readers who term Parcha as 5th columnist Indian. No Pakistani responded to it yet which means the taunt has pinched them and they are somewhat answer-less. By and large I agree with your judgement so we r on same page. And if in your opinion the reasoning given in my that post breaks down then it is the Pakistani’s reasoning that breaks. And we in India are just hoping that Pakistanis realise that their this line of reasoning will take them nowhere but deeper into the hell hole.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

I am sorry to hear this from you Mr. 777xxx777. I don’t know how come literate and educated people turn toward Taliban and the other extremists, seriously. This is shameful.

Posted by SZaman88 | Report as abusive
 

@ SZaman88
“I am sorry to hear this from you Mr. 777xxx777. I don’t know how come literate and educated people turn toward Taliban and the other extremists, seriously. This is shameful.”

Ohhh my GOD!!!! When the hell did I say I support Taliban. Either I am not understanding correctly or are you saying I am a pro-Taliban guy? I guess the taunt above from me is grossly misunderstood. I think you should all read some of Rex’s comments to know who is supporting Taliban here. That’s NOT me for God sake. Please read my reply to markjuliansmith above. Or I guess its the trouble with Reuters website that it is not showing latest comments on main page of Pakistan Analysis page for this article.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Mortal
we just need common sence to observe the slow but steady demise of the USA; if a country spends more than they produce and hang to the casino economy which several administrations practiced. On top of that the bankers created the toxic assets made up of negative equites, and bundled them and sold them not only in the USA but also across the world. This was the main cause of the global downfall and has not yet been corrected. Now go and ask the economists lauriets in the USA. I have no personal wish for the USA to go down, but theObama people who are now running from the sinking ship, could elaborate on this. So, please we all have the right for our opinions and to interpret the facts as we are facing and not the oe which are being distorted by the US media. So simple but no solution in sight, the Chinese are going to revalue their currency, they are going to slowly but gradually suffocate the casino economy of the USA. Are you with it now? If not please choose a subject you have the qualificatiion and the expertise. No hard feelings, as long as we are prepared to learn, and not always agree with each other. if not then please ignore my comments.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@ I am not a Pakistani nor an Indian, but have noted from mr Paracha articles that he has not fully integrated in Pakistan. Pakistan govt. should consider reviewing the criteria for becoming a Pakistan citizen, particularly if the person iws from Indian origin. I do not believe that indian muslims should migrate from India and the Pakistani citizens walk over to India just because they make up some non genuine stories. I agree with GW commentary of a afamily of idians and Pakistanis, knitted with common language, almost common culture and the satire and the emotions they pour out in the germanic language which very few outsiders understand.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“the Chinese are going to revalue their currency, they are going to slowly but gradually suffocate the casino economy of the USA”

Your analysis may look good on surface but deep inside it has a few flaws:

1. China is a heavily export oriented economy with internal consumption being far far less (yes even now it is so) than exports

2. China has very large number of US Federal Bonds with them which effectively means that China has lent very large amounts to US and no lender would want borrower to go bankrupt without returning the money. So if US goes down so will China as well because of the large number of useless non yielding US Federal bonds that it has accumulated over the years.

3. China’s Yuan valuation is directly pegged to dollar. Going on like this if US fails so will Dollar’s valuation go down and then the large foreign reserves of Dollar that Chinese have will/can become worthless piece of paper.

4. Chinese population gets jobs because almost all the US manufacturing jobs are outsourced to China. If lets say US starts falling and there are no or very less number of buyers in US who could afford an Apple iPad then would Apple not cut down its workforce in China. Now think of all US manufacturing companies cutting workforce in China simultaneously. Unemployment will surmount in China and money supply will dry up quite fast. Will Europe sell to China even when people in China don’t have enough money to buy their products. Which means in distant future Europe ‘may’ also go down.

5. The fact is that US is a heavily consumerist society. Because they consume so much that is why people all around the world produce so much and make a livelihood. What u r saying is that US will stop consuming but then where will the products of rest of the world go? If you say products can be consumes among rest of world then rest of world simply does not have enough money to consume so much.

6. Looking at past bubbles in US we observe that each bubble was made up because of some innovation in science and technology, each bubble burst but US was not hurt much because technology carried them through. But this time it was finance and they were doomed. So now what US needs is some invention/discovery/innovation in science and technology to carry them through and Obama administration understands this completely and that’s why their so much stress on providing and improving educational facilities in US.

By the way do you know what is the root of Germanic? Yes Sir, there is a root language of Germanic as well, so if don’t know then find out!!

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

And above analysis applies to Japan and to a very large extent to India as well.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

pakistan says: @ I am not a Pakistani nor an Indian, but have noted from mr Paracha articles that he has not fully integrated in Pakistan.”

***This question does not arise for him. NFP is in his forties and is born and lives in Pakistan and does not yet call himself “I care for Pakistan although I am not a Pakistani”. What he has is normally called difference of opinion, which you should should be aware of more than anyone else. NFP uses satire to convey his opinion which means to the “superficially-religious” people, he will hit hard. I see that.

SZaman88 “I don’t know how come literate and educated people turn toward Taliban and the other extremists, seriously. This is shameful.”
***SZaman88, you should talk to Pakistan/Rex over Taliban issue. You almost killed 777 in friendly fire.

777: If I did not know you, I would have been confused as well on that issue. I thought it is Rex writing that one!

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“777: If I did not know you, I would have been confused as well on that issue. I thought it is Rex writing that one!”

I guess u r right..the confusion occurred because people thought me to be a Pakistani while in reality I am not a Pakistani. So I think my English in that satirical post of mine was bad and I should try to phrase satires in a better and more blunt and less confusing ways in future. But yes you are right the satires do hit “superficially-religious” and Nadeem is very good at it. (“superficially-religious” learned a new phrase today, never thought it could be put like this)

By the way I am still awaiting answer from Umair on the question that I asked above as, Who is ‘minority with extreme views’ and who is ‘majority whose emotions are manipulated’ in Pakistan as stated by Myra in her final sentence of the article above. Umair???

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@rehmat
“This question does not arise for him. NFP is in his forties and is born and lives in Pakistan and does not yet call himself “I care for Pakistan although I am not a Pakistani”.”

This is nothing, Rex once said to me, “I care least for Indian muslims attitude but I am worried about sufferings of minority in India.” Which effectively means that he does not know what muslims in India suffer from or what they need but he is so called worried for minority in India..he knows least and worries most…simply laughable. We must all thank Rex for at least providing us with constant doses of humour at regular intervals. Keep it up Rex!!

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@777
Let me make the correction” The Chinese are not, repeat not going to revalue their curreny as repeatedly requested by the Obama administration”.
Now all your intelligent commentry should be sent to the treasury Department so that they can understand the reasons for China to adopt this course. The Chinese Premier was reluctant to explain your analysis to the Americans. Sorry, for the missing word”NOT” in my comments. Thanks for the correction.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

The Paracha phenomina is not a unique one, there are many others who go over the board and misuse, in my view, the freedom of expression which some believe that Media has now the power and is using unrestricted. These expressions do not represent the views of the masses but have the intent to influence the masses, the so called silent majority. In certain democracies there are no clearly defined laws to protect against Blasphemy or individual privacy! The media in such countries have now more power than the democratically elected Govts. Is this healthy or is it going to end up in secterian violence and eventual anarchy and even revolutions?
I believe that the continued migration of the people in the world and liberalisation of societies have also had an impact on the loyalty of citizens. Were we not told recently about the Pakistani born American that his owth for loyalty to the USA was a fake? Did the indian muslims who migrated from india took a oath of loyalty to its adopted country? This is the time to air such questions and not maintain silence. We need to define the loyalty for a country, particulary where safeguards are not cleary defined and reflected in the laws of the land.
The identity crisis issue has been raised in France by a President whose own mother was of a Jewish Greek origin and father of a hungarian origin, with a gypsi roma name? Is the loyalty to a country and its flag is really necessary in modern times when human rights are being promoted by the UNO. Is it correct for the French legislatures to ban the burqa, taking away the liberty of certain number of women citizens? Do the European courts have to decide on this issue now? I have no definite views about the identity issue, but do believe that the loyalty needs to be clearly defined in a country.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

The good news is that the chileans have shown to be the heroic Nation and we should honour this new Nation. Once the gringos are out of Afghanistan and the countries in the region recupperate from the instability to the stability, things would settle down, no more secterian violence and no more cross border conflicts, the major task is to feed the people, the majority whose vioces have not been heard for a long time. Do not try to guess who I am, but simply what my opinion on the iissue is, ignore it if you have a different opinion!
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@rex
“@777
Let me make the correction” The Chinese are not, repeat not going to revalue their curreny as repeatedly requested by the Obama administration”.
Now all your intelligent commentry should be sent to the treasury Department so that they can understand the reasons for China to adopt this course. The Chinese Premier was reluctant to explain your analysis to the Americans. Sorry, for the missing word”NOT” in my comments. Thanks for the correction.”

I already ‘assumed’ u wanted to say the word NOT in there as its not only u who track the international business scenario. You blamed me for underestimating your knowledge and now you yourself is underestimating my knowledge on something so naive as China’s currency policy. And what I said was directed to second part of your sentence: “they are going to slowly but gradually suffocate the casino economy of the USA”. I tried to explain you that China in short term is NOT allowing its currency to rise because of above reasons but in long terms it will hurt China itself. Ever wondered why China has pegged Yuan to Dollar. But your reply above does show your bitterness towards US and probably your frustration as well and it seems you didn’t get a word of what I said (had you understood it you would not have replied to tell the correction but would have found that I was telling ill effects of China’s currency policy on China itself). So cool off…and keep concentrating on your favourite subject ‘Taliban’ and hence keep supplying us with laughter!!!!

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“I have no definite views about the identity issue, but do believe that the loyalty needs to be clearly defined in a country.”

From your commentary of past and present it seems that for you loyalty means country being full of ‘Yes Men’. Anyone who tells the majority of countrymen to do away with ills and adopt goods then he is a 5th columnist. And anyone who is not agreeing with your ‘perceptions’ of the world affairs is either a war monger or kaafir or hopeless or something like that. And your telling people that anyone who does not agree with you should ignore your comments is again significant of your arrogance that you consider yourself outright perfect and anyone who does not agree with this can go away because you are (or at least you consider yourself) ‘always’ correct.

I just hope majority of Pakistan does not agree with majority of your stupid notions.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“the major task is to feed the people”

Only sensible comment I ever read from you and would agree to it. But conflict in opinions is the method needed to be adopted to achieve this ultimate goal. But if we can achieve it our way then outsiders should not pass stupid comments.

In India till date poor remained poor despite that rich paid hefty income taxes and despite that govts. released quite large amounts of money for the relief of poor. All money got sucked up by bureaucratic corruption. Now to take a dig at that govt of India has started the ambitious UID project wherein every single citizen will have a UID and will be accounted for. Now every poor guy can have a bank account linked to his UID and then every penny of relief and aid from central govt will go directly into UID linked bank account of the poor chap
and he/she can access that money from the ATM next door and bureaucracy will get removed to a large extent from this process and transparency will increase tremendously. Increased use of technology will definitely lead us Indians to a better future. And to keep UID project itself free of corruption the whole of UID database is centralised and the head of UID project is one of the most respected persons of Indian IT industry Mr. Nandan Nilekani. So India is progressing on goal of feeding its people.

Lets just hope Pakistan ‘listens’ to Parcha (and not to Taliban worshipping people like you) and tries to reinvent itself.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Gentlemen
I have nothing more to add on the subject. @Myra, very good article on street rage and secterian strife.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 
 

@G-W
It is a mixed kind of news…bad that again there is a attempt on life of a govt head and good that it was thwarted by security forces. Pakistani common man really needs to wake up n shake up the governments to stop the religious bigotry, ORDER PA to end this so called Jihadi actions against India, make friends with India and continue to develop the nation. Pakistan right now needs a revolution and there will be a revolution but only thing left to see is that will it be a religious revolution or a development revolution.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

777″So if Indians can tell their leaders to shut up on religious bigotry and talk and do progress and development then why can’t common man of Pakistan do the same. Beats me!!”

-The common man in Pakistan is downtrodden, suffering and unable to stand for his rights. Middle class is also struggling and torn between different directions, however inside there is a seething anger against politicians. Even a strong sentiment against the Army that is why Pakistan Army is very sensitive to public opinion and its image. I can tell you, things are changing, media is getting bold, civil society is vocal, judiciary is ever more independent and taking steps to curb corruption. Change, positive change will come, slowly, gradually, surely and painfully. It is a price we will ultimately have to pay for a better Pakistan. Still a lot of great people call this country their home and proud of it.

“By the way I am still awaiting answer from Umair on the question that I asked above as, Who is ‘minority with extreme views’ and who is ‘majority whose emotions are manipulated’ in Pakistan as stated by Myra in her final sentence of the article above. Umair??”

-Remember one thing, Pakistan and US have a longstanding history of relations which are seen as one sided. Pakistan always sacrificing for protecting regional American interests. US always betraying in return. Wider issues of Palestine, US support of Israel etc. Kashmir does’nt make things better. The small minority could be conservatives, extremists, people inclined to resort to violence and intolerant, they lack proper education. It takes time to change and bring education in the society, it is about awareness and setting the right priority. Masses in large Pakistani provinces are illetrate, lack a vision, vulnerable to exploitation by these so-called religious extremists. Guess what drone attacks, reckless policies makes the job of extremists easier. In FATA all pushtoons look at US as an aggressor.
While majority of Pakistanis, who vote, pay (some) taxes, go to work, earn a living, payy off bills, etc professionals, white collar people majority is moderate, and vote for moderate political parties like PPP, PML(N) (though PML would be termed as bit conservative).Just regular folks getting along with life. They are the one’s with no voice, nowhere to vent their anger and frustrations of daily lives, of having to bribe their way in government offices, going through hell to get a child admitted in school, or apply for an electricity connection etc. And the extremist minority exploits this sentiment by turining US into a villain. Persoanlly, I do not blame US for anything, I think surely Pakistanis must become masters of their own destiny. Take charge of the situtaion, ownership of their problems, work their way out of the mess they find themselves in. And I am convinced, Pakistani people have the ability to overcome any challenge.

hope my answer is coherent enough for you and it makes sense.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@Umair,

As long as Pakistan does not secularize AND democratize, Pakistani’s will continue to suffer from religious extremism, poor education and corruption.

Yes, it is the minority that commits violence in the name of religion, but you have to admit that the majority, while they do not actually get involved in violence, against minorities, India or Afghanistan, politically and religiously ascribe and sympathize with Sunni extremists.

yes there is a clear distinction between the two, when it comes to carrying acts of violence against the state or any other non-sunni kaffir type, but the core political and religious doctrine against minorities in Pakistan paints the entire country with the same brush, it is this unified core doctrine, which actually gives rise to these extremist groups.

So, this stands to reason, that the people of Pakistan, while they have suffered, are downtrodden, should try to moderate their core doctrines and find something positive about secularizing, democratizing and following a path that has brought prosperity to other nations, like India, Turkey, Jordan to name a few.

While, yes, the FATA is being pounded and droned by NATO and they are seen as the aggressor, then what would you call the Pakistani Army, the creator, mentor and supporter of these Haqqani’s and Hekmatayr groups, what would you call them?

The U.S. would not be in Pakistan and Afghanistan had 911 not happened. Your PA and ISI agencies continued the weaponization of Islamic militants for the sake of “national interests”, not fully contemplating the repercussions and ramifications of creating a pandora’s box of militant culture in Pakistan that threatens everybody’s existence from Afghanistan to India and all in between.

I still do not like it, but still believe that the PA is the most organized and professional entity in Pakistan, despite the double dealing and things, it still has the ability to turn the course of history here and make peace with India and use that huge army to stamp out frankenstein.

The PA should make peace with India, sign-off a formal peace agreement and make the LOC as the defacto border and agree to visit Kashmir and its liberation at a time, when Pakistan politically stablizes and rids itself of militancy.

In the mean time, much can be done to mutually benefit all of Pakistan and India and other satellite nations, that being the South Asian Union. Just imagine Umair, how many more computers you could sell to everybody there, if they all had jobs and your army was spending all that cash on infrastructure development, education, industry creation, rather than F-16′s and munitions.

Yes, there are some in India, the hardliners, that would see Pakistan bled dry, by using the forward motion of your short sighted army to spend, spend, spend to counter India. This fallacy of India as army, while historically partially accurate is completely false today. India was never the agressor in any of the wars, Pakistan was the one that always started them.

In any case, India is not about to start any wars with Pakistan, especially because you got nxkes, even when you didn’t have them, we were never the ones who started the wars, pakistan always did that.

Therefore I say again, its time to stop buying F-16′s and more outdated military junk because you won’t need to protect yourself from a country that you make peace with. You can actually spend the money on your people, where it belongs and build them up.

Pakistanis deserve more than being told that India is their enemy. The status quo is not filling their bellie and spirits at night.

Fauji’s can keep their cash, but need to quit squandering national revenue to feed their own military complex, with hundreds of thousands of dead wood military brass, it is administratively dead wood and not needed.

As an emerging power, India has been upgrading to keep some level of Parity against China, because the Chinese are working hard to encircle India and their biggest fear is a united South Asia. Let me repeat, the Chinese their biggest fear is a united south asia, because it stands to threaten their manufacturing business niche.

If it means we can make peace and profit at the same time and lift our people, is that not something to aspire to?

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@”Remember one thing, Pakistan and US have a longstanding history of relations which are seen as one sided. Pakistan always sacrificing for protecting regional American interests. US always betraying in return” Posted by Umairpk

If you’re really interested in transforming your country, first of all, you need to get out of this false victim-hood mentality, which has become a staple of your national rhetoric. The notion that “poor & innocent Pakistan became a sacrificial lamb of the big bad Yankee wolf”, is quite erroneous & ridiculous. The only reson, you guys are in the mess that you are, is the greed of your generals, who have rented out your country, time & again, for the fulfillment of their own bind ambitions. Nobody put a gun to your heads to participate in the Afghan-Soviet war. Your generals did it for the billions of $$$ & weapons which they recieved from the US and with the prospect of using those mujahadeen & weapons against India, after the war. So, if you want to avoid repeating similar mistakes in the future, you need to get your history right, first.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
“Change, positive change will come, slowly, gradually, surely and painfully. It is a price we will ultimately have to pay for a better Pakistan. Still a lot of great people call this country their home and proud of it. ”

Very good to hear this from you that all hope is not lost.

And I think you gave a good answer regarding minority and majority of Pakistan if it was not a mere lip service (I say this because in past u have had flip flop kind of opinions; but if ur answer is honest then accept my humble apology for doubting). As far as US betraying goes I assume you want to say that despite of Pakistan helping US, US is not favouring Pakistan by not putting pressure on India to hand over its side of Kashmir to Pakistan on platter…Am I correct? But what I fail to understand is that isn’t Pakistani majority sick of spending so much on kashmir and not on development? Your governments spend so heavily on defence when all that money could be used for development work inside Pakistan. Is the majority in Pakistan not sick of minority who is killing all non-sunni muslims? Why can’t you people live and let others live peacefully? Why do public not demonstrate on roads even without so called leaders when there is a bomb blast inside Pakistan? Why the hell after all the sins of minority does the majority support it? I am baffled but lets just hope that positive change comes to Pakistan as described by you.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •