By now Ms Christine Fair has more or less branded herself as India’s champion. Whether this is out of a new love for India and Indians or some other more pragmatic reason is something to wonder about but her agenda is clear. Promote India and twist logic to prove its lily white innocence, counter anything even faintly critical of India and bad mouth Pakistan every which way to please the Indians and their lobbyists. With such an image it is hard to imagine US policy makers or anyone else for that matter taking her seriously not withstanding her scholarly credentials. In fact her recent writings targeting Pakistan signal a come down and tarnish her image especially because in the background somewhere is a refused visa to visit or work in Pakistan — as is the case with some others attacking Pakistan. Just because you give aid or have a relationship does not mean unquestioned access — the Raymond Davis fiasco proved that.
Much is being read into the recent so called ‘macho’ speech of the Co Chairman of the PPP. Some analysts are calling it some kind of a gauntlet thrown at the ‘establishment’ which they think and hope will be picked up so that fireworks can start. The media loves fireworks because it rakes in the moolah and these days that is the most important consideration. More experienced and savvy people know that the outburst by the Co Chairman was neither a speech nor a gauntlet — it was a sad and pathetic spectacle. It was the response much like the one a cornered rat makes as a last ditch effort to evade a fate that looks inevitable.
Read Full Article Here: Zardari: Screaming with fear
In an article titled ‘Why Does Pakistan Accuse Indian Spies of Terrorism’ Mr Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC comes out strongly in support of India’s intelligence agency RAW and blames Pakistan’s military for the whole business of blaming a fresh smelling rose like RAW for foul and rotten deeds. The motivation for Pakistan’s military to do this according to Mr Kugelman is that it wants to shore up its popularity within Pakistan.
The short answer to the question ‘Mr Kugelman asks in the title of his article is that the Indian spies are being accused of doing exactly what they are doing — nothing more and nothing else. They have been doing it for a very long time and periodically had to be reminded that they need to back off whenever they went too far — Pakistan does that effectively. There would be no problems if RAW was brought under control and the Indian mindset towards Pakistan changed. This is not about to happen — not with the ultra nationalists fanatic Hindu backed Modi government in power.
Read complete article: RAW antics
Saad Aziz’s confession with regards to his involvement in perhaps the most high profile target killing incidents (Safoora chowk massacre and Sabeen Mehmood’s murder) in recent times seemed like a convenient all-in-one package that helped the state seal the controversial cases. Speculating the odd timing and circumstances behind the confession is a rather futile exercise. However, what is of greater concern is that the general public found it hard to digest that an IBA graduate could be complicit in such activities. In the aftermath of this revelation, a plethora of opinion pieces were published dubbing the rise of educated terrorists as a new era in the history of terrorism. It has been almost a decade and half since Pakistan became embroiled in the War on Terror. Today, Pakistan is considered the 8th most dangerous country on the planet. It is ironic and deeply worrying that academic research on religious extremism and violence in Pakistan remains in dearth. There is a lack of awareness about the fact that while terrorism can be tackled with the use of force, extremism cannot. This has resulted in stale and short sighted defense policy which has and continues to prove to be an efficacious long term solution. Moreover, whatever research does exist, is either focused solely on statistics or is completely theoretical in nature detached from the on-ground reality.
Educated individuals from the middle class falling prey to the scourge of militancy is by no means a new phenomenon. For instance, the mastermind of the Parade Lane attack of 2009 was a student at the International Islamic University. Furthermore, one of the key people of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Islamabad is a student at the National Defense University. There are a couple of other examples as well, but the crux of the matter is that there exists this misconception that radicalism and militancy is all a matter of poverty and illiteracy.
The radical and extremist narrative has been ingrained in our mindset over the years. Be it our homes, mosques, schools, or even the air we breathe; it is present all around. Taking the example of the rising sectarian violence in the country; beyond the usual suspects, there is another ignored factor at work behind the plight of minorities in Pakistan, and that is the significance of public opinion. The hard fact is that hatred towards non-Muslims is now the default attitude of a significant number of Pakistanis. They may not condone attacks and violence against these communities, but they fully endorse the basic doctrinal core that fuels the hatred against non-Muslims.
According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2012, 41 percent of regular Pakistanis do not even believe that Shiites are true Muslims. In addition, militant organizations have recognized this shift in attitudes and used it to justify attacks on the grounds that Shiites are the enemies of Islam. Also, the prevalence of this anti-Shia sentiment has given religious and political groups an opportunity to exploit and demand that they, like Ahmadis before them, also be recognized by the state as non-Muslims.
Though there is consensus in the country that terrorism is a major issue that needs to be addressed and we can see that the required measures are being put into place, there has hardly been any initiative with regards to tacking the phenomenon of extremism. There is a dire need to realize that an ideological reorientation is what is required. This extremist mindset that has been institutionalized needs to be countered through radical reform of the education curriculum (schools and seminaries), and a change in narrative needs to be brought about in our homes, mosques and public spaces. Because reactionary measures that are taken by the heads of state might curb terrorism in the short-run, but the extremist ideology will soon become an extension of ourselves.
Ms Fair’s articles no longer make waves. They are so tiring and boring and the topic is always the same — Pakistan. This time the title of her latest is — Honor our Fallen By Getting Real on Pakistan — and sadly she honors no one, certainly not the fallen, by yet another tirade against Pakistan. One wonders what she teaches her students as assistant professor at the prestigious Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service — could not be diplomacy for sure! She is no credit to the institution that has chosen to employ her in spite of her obsession driven single track warped thinking on US Foreign Policy and Pakistan. Sad but true.
This time her motivation comes through in the part where she suggests a way forward for the US — a misnomer if ever there was one because what she is suggesting is a recipe for disaster and a negation of all the hard work done and sacrifices made by the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House. She says that — ‘the US must take advantage of our diminished troop presence in Afghanistan to wean itself off of the poisoned Pakistani teat. India is the most important partner in South Asia’ — thereby implying that the teat sucking US should now latch on to the Indian teat that she has discovered, no doubt to her advantage, is not poisoned. She suggests a throwback to the old policy of playing India and Pakistan against each other — an utterly useless idea in the present scenario.
Fair lists the count of the American fallen but fails to even mention the hundreds of thousands of the Pakistani, Afghan and Iraqi fallen. She does not mention the women and children killed in bombings and atrocities. Surely an assistant professor should know that the Drone strikes that kill and cripple innocents (including American hostages) and the atrocities like the ones at Abu Ghraib and in Afghanistan serve as recruiting posters for Al Qaida, the Taliban and the IS. How do the Afghans feel when American troops urinate on their fallen, or when drug crazed sergeants kick down doors and wantonly kill Afghan women and children. Pakistan even if it wants to, and it does not, needs to do nothing because the hatred is spawned by blundering Bushes and Blairs and those who do their bidding.
Also read: Fair’s Unfair Affair With Pakistan
Fair the assistant professor, mentions the weapon and funds given and sold to Pakistan and the GAO audit that oversees these funds. Again she forgets to mention how much goes back to Washington through lobbyists, contractors and middle men. Enough has been highlighted in the US media about corruption right at the origin of these sales and aid funds. She forgets that Pakistan has been a US ally for more than six decades and has helped US many times and continues to do so. Today Pakistan does not want to fight a war with anyone except with the terrorists and insurgents created by past policies in which the US was complicit. The US understands that in an asymmetrical situation like the one between Pakistan and India it is dangerous to let one side have total conventional superiority especially when there are unresolved issues because then the focus shifts to nuclear weapons. So what the US is giving to Pakistan is well considered and is meant to give it capacity to deter and the capacity to counter terrorism,
Fair cannot get over the OBL episode but she conveniently ignores how Arabs lived, trained, travelled and planned right in Washington and then hijacked commercial flights to carry out 911. She also forgets, what no Pakistani will ever forget, the murdering antics of the US contractor Raymond Davis and the subsequent senseless killing of Pakistani soldiers and civilians by air attacks and a Drone strike. While blaming Pakistan for duplicity she forgets who called Raymond Davis a US diplomat. The US and Pakistan have been in contact at all levels long enough to forge and amend policies without half baked ideas being preferred by delusional assistant professors. Like declaring Pakistan a hostile state and following a policy of ‘containment’ towards it (an old hackneyed idea) yet keeping it in the IMET program and giving it support for counter terrorism. Who is confused and whose new India oriented ambitions are outrunning her talents?
Ms Fair and those who are her fans and students need to understand some realities. Pakistan today does not want conflict with India and will do nothing to trigger it. Pakistan is not carrying out subversive activities within India nor is it sponsoring any such activity from its soil. India is doing this in Baluchistan, FATA and Karachi and the Indian Defence Minister has owned up to such a policy in his recent statement about countering terror with terror. Pakistan, the US and Afghanistan have converging interests that are the basis for their current cooperative policies. The US and Pakistan discuss concerns and interests and this process is institutionalized with no room for doubts on intentions. Pakistan has its nuclear assets under full control and the US knows this and Pakistan conforms to all international norms. The Afghan Taliban (once compared to US’ founding fathers by a US President) are fighting to rid their country of foreign presence and both Afghanistan and Pakistan with US and Chinese support are helping to bring about peace in Afghanistan. India needs to come on board and Ms fair might want to work in that direction with her sponsors. The stakes for Pakistan are very high and it is now a facilitator for peace and stability in the region — US policy makers understand this fully. Ms Fair unfortunately does not nor does she want to.
The Report of The Century Foundation International Working Group on Pakistan
The time is long past for Pakistan to wake up to its present predicament and begin a serious reassessment of the fundamental policy challenges it faces. Decades of mistakes and misperceptions have compounded pernicious ideological choices to present Pakistani society with a series of ongoing crises it must address before its basic resilience is overwhelmed: a public sphere dominated by extremists, a crippled economy debilitated by corruption, and a deteriorating regional position. The Century Foundation International Working Group on Pakistan, comprised of a broad and diverse assemblage of American, Pakistani and international figures deeply concerned about the country’s future, believes it is time for Pakistan to address these problems vigorously and comprehensively, and for its international partners to assist where they can.
Read Complete Report: WakeUp, Pakistan
Six men armed with 9mm pistols dressed in police or security guard uniforms riding three motorcycles stopped a bus loaded with men and women of the Ismaili community in broad daylight on a busy Karachi street. They boarded the bus and killed 43 at close range and in cold blood. The Chief Minister of Sind condemned the ‘incident’ and vowed to eliminate terrorism. He did not say who the killers were and nor did he elaborate on the methodology that he intended to follow to end ‘terrorism’ nor did he explain why he waited for such an event to voice his intention. Others have also condemned the incident, announced a day of mourning and monetary compensation for those killed and injured – all part of a sickening routine that is repeated over and over again.