As you may have gathered by now, I remain a fan of Khalid Ahmed: http://tribune.com.pk/story/299569/husain-haqqani-versus-pak-army/
Various commentators are weighing in:
Pakistan’s national security state was built up with American help at every step, but at least since Zia’s time, they have grown up. Unlike the early bumblers and goofs (Ayub Khan, Ghulam Mohammed) with their near perfect understanding of their role as a “Western ally”, Zia and company had an agenda of their own and used the US more than the US used them. That agenda was far too ambitious and was never fully worked out or agreed upon. Touble was inevitable..within the “Paknationalist” agenda, there was a purely India-centric/Two-nation-theory capitalist faction (very shallow and very short-sighted, with no deep cultural roots and no hope of success) and a more Islamist faction (with deeper roots and greater clarity, but even less compatible with global capitalism or regional peace). Both factions were united in wanting to use Jihadists in some crazy scheme of defeating India and dominating Afghanistan and central Asia; the islamists with clearer understanding of what that means, the “secular” paknationalists with their usual shallow cluelessness.
But that use has become problematic since 9-11. Since Mumbai, even the use of “India-specific” Jihadists is being frowned upon in some circles. Unwilling or perhaps, truly incapable of giving up their “assets” and devising a new narrative, the paknationatlists have bet the house on a US defeat in Afghanistan happening before the confused narrative becomes impossible to sustain.
That timing may not come off as hoped for…We are now in the position of hoping that the Americans, GHQ and India will all work this out before it blows up….Even writing that down seems insanely optimistic. But its 1.5 billion people. One must remain optimistic…
Ruchira’s niece friend (she’s linked to it here) made this very poignant and bittersweet documentary about New Delhi and in particular the “hidden” population of South Asia, who are castigated as “slum-dwellers”.
Its really worth watching and the full video is here. My paternal grandmother was from Karol Bagh, Delhi, and she was always very fond of the city (she hadn’t moved on Partition but a few years later to marry my grandfather).
I’m reminded of the talk by Rosling where he quotes Deng Xiopeng’s famous saying “its doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white so long as he catches the mice.” South Asia has been so caught up in identity/communal conflicts that the cat has forgot to catch mice almost entirely.
Apparently some Muslim students in England don’t like to be taught about evolution.
Islamic creationism and its most well-funded proponent (Harun Yahya) copy and paste most of their arguments from Christian creationists (though they are not into young earth cretinism) but given the wider hold of orthodox Islam in Muslim communities, once the infection arrives, the host is more susceptible than modern Christian populations. This is especially true of the fanatical and inbred English-Muslim community. I predict they will soon outdo the Southern evangelicals in supporting this nonsense.
Or am I prejudiced against our brothers in England?
Listening to it at the moment essentially Indian students are better than Swedish students; the Swedish speaker was in the top quartile in his school in Sweden but bottom quartile in his exchange program in India. So what? Nevertheless the economic graph is extremely interesting for instance China’s economic inequality is inter-regional (between Shanghai and the hinterland) whereas India’s economic inequality is intra-regional (within Maharashtra state etc.). Btw to give away the spoiler Mr Rosling predicts 27th July 2048 (ironically his 100th birthday) as the date when Indo-China’s GDP per capita exceeds the West (and again what does that really mean; that India & China will logically be the predominant powers in their neighbour just as Western countries are in theirs?)
Though interestingly enough 1858 were key dates for the US, UK (Queen Victoria & President Buchanan exchanged the first telegram), China (losing the Opium War), Japan (Harris treaty) and India (Sepoy Mutiny).
Hans Rosling was a young guest student in India when he first realized that Asia had all the capacities to reclaim its place as the world’s dominant economic force. At TEDIndia, he graphs global economic growth since 1858 and predicts the exact date that India and China will outstrip the US.
…Theater director and filmmaker Feroz Abbas Khan [Gandhi, My Father] is one of them. “For me, Freida Pinto is a spectacular accident, a dazzlingly lucky by-product of a hugely successful film that grabbed popular imagination I have to admit that, like most, I remain mystified by all the attention she is receiving from the West. Strictly, as a director, I find absolutely nothing in her that is either extraordinary or interesting in terms of personality, talent or looks. She appears like someone available by the truckloads anywhere in suburban Mumbai! In Slumdog too, what great shakes did she do? I am sorry, but I just don’t get it …”
…Thank god for the color of her skin which also must have played a part. The Katrinas and Kareenas are fair-skinned and Pinto is spot-on when she feels she could be a misfit in that environment….
Of course not. This can never be justified. But I wanted to use this hook to get to a thought I have had many times since this attack: The Nazi analogy.
What Nazi analogy? When you read about the Nazis, one of the recurring themes is this: that all great powers use violence and “harsh methods”, but they hide their reality behind fancy words and propaganda. The British, the Americans, the French, everyone has killed innocents and done worse when they felt it necesary. They have invaded other countries, tricked their enemies, eliminated their opponents, but when Germany does what has to be done to save Germans and German greatness, its suddenly all about human rights and other bullshit. This exact same argument shows up in a lot of paknationalist propaganda (incidentally, also in some hindutva propaganda and other places, so this is not Pakistan-specific, but read on). The paknationalist version is focused on Israel and the US; they arrange assassinations, they use proxy forces against other countries, they shelter terrorists, etc etc but all of a sudden Pakistan is evil just because we dare to do the same thing….. In some formal way, this is true. But my thought is that making this argument is itself a worse stage in moral degradation and (as in Germany) can lead to much worse. To have some people in the country who think like this is par for the course. To have some people like that in charge of the country may not be totally benign. There are similarities between Pakistan arming and training Kashmiri terrorists and Indian intelligence playing some role in setting up the Tamil Tigers, not to speak of America arming and training the contras, but the differences are also significant.
The brazenness of the attack. The ruthlessness and distilled evil of the killers and their controllers. All this may only be quantitatively different from other cases. But how many midlevel powers would go this far? and how many would resist such international pressure and drag out the aftermath this long? Or this just my prejudice against Islamist freedom fighters?
I need to develop this thought, but comments welcome….I will be happy to be proven wrong.