- At Let Us Build Pakistan Abdul explains why we should be worried at the frightening way the left and right are coming together in the Lawyer’s movement with this quote from Hazrat Ali: “(‘hua kalematul haq wa yuridul batil’ – ‘What they say is true but what they intend is false’ – Hazrat Ali’s advice to his followers in the battle of Siffin)”.
At Indus Asia Online Journal, a great account by Khalid Hashmani of Shafquat Mahmood’s talk in Washington DC about how the elite class of Pakistan has already become tired of democracy and is ready for another military dictator:
The 15,000 elite who are the enabler of frequent change over between civilian and military rule are rather impatient . As soon as a civilian government comes to power, the elite gets tired of the slow pace of decision making process, corruption, and political confrontation among political parties. They immediately start campaign for the military power to be returned. He added that it is not that “military regimes” are less corrupt but rather they do corruption in a low key manner and ensure that no one gets access to their internal workings to do any monitoring. It is ironic that when military takes over the power it always uses the excuse that civilian rulers were incompetent and corrupt. After few years of military rule, the 15,000 elite once again get tired of the military government and want to see democratic civilian rule to be returned.
- Another great article by Sheharyar Ali about the left (in this case the HRCP) siding with the right-wing rhetoric and demands.
The Reality of Radical Islam by an Indian blogger Nitin Pai at The Acorn about how wrong Fareed Zakaria is about negotiating with the Afghani Taliban:
Mr Zakaria’s arguments are dangerous because they undermine the very internal opposition to radical Islam within the Muslim world that he claims the West should work with. Once the United States begins to negotiate with the ‘good’ Taliban, the moderate Afghans will be done for. So why is it that the surviving moderate Awami National Party (ANP) leaders can’t venture out of their homes in Swat? Because the Pakistani government struck a deal with the Taliban. Those who are opposed to the radical Islamist agenda should do the opposite.
Unfortunately, after having just finished reading the Atlantic Council’s recently published report on Pakistan, it seems that US policy is going to be following a line similar to what Fareed Zakaria is advocating. Moderate and liberal Pakistanis and Afghans should expect nothing from the US.
- A blog post by Afghan blogger Azar Balkhi that explains in the simplest terms the point in Nitin’s post — the impossibility of integrating the Taliban into any moderate Afghan government.
- From last year, a series of four articles by NB at Five Rupees about the Hayat Sherpao assassination trial. Here’s the link to the first one to get you started.
- One of the most disgusting things I have ever seen, this 23 minute documentary on the army’s actions in Bajour and Swat. It should be clear from watching this that the army is completely incapable of fighting an insurgency short of leveling whole villages like Lowi Sam in Bajour or indiscriminately massacring civilians from aerial bombing like in Charbagh in Swat. What is also clear from this video is that opportunistic politicians like Imran Khan will have absolutely no difficulty exploiting footage like this to argue that the army needs to withdraw from the tribal areas immediately.
Some excellent blog posts and a video