Captain Pakistan and the Faustian Pact

Imran Khan of course has made a Faustian bargain and Mephistopheles is probably some shady top-brass general. A few points:

(1.) PTI + Army is the “National” pan-ethnic party of Pakistan that relies on the young frustrated nationalistic religious (but not fanatic) Pakistanis active on social media. As said it’s the BJP equivalent but since Pakistan is an Islamic Republic; the populist right-wing stance is of a different stance.

(2.) PPP & PML are the provincial parties and will have to work some sort of grand coalition deal to survive. The ethnic messy substratum layer of Pakistan that Partition and Paknationalism has tried so hard to erase will form half the country. Pakistani politics must adapt and will be interesting.

(3.) there is no doubt that there has been vote fudging; close seats haven’t been declared. I would imagine there is a PTI wave and approximately 10-20 seat victories are questionable however the PTI has arrived.

(4.) I personally find Imran Khan odd (like the Donald) as Vidhi quipped “Pakistan, like the US, has a thrice married leader.” I find Maryam or Fati much more palatable since women present a gentler side of our Islamic Republic..

(5.) I do think that today has been a victory for Pakistan. Democracy with Mughal characteristics has won the day. I jest but on a serious note; the democratic process is taking seed in Pakistan and the fact that the military are being push behind the scenes is a force for good.

(6.) this is very offensive; after 1948 & 1971, any more meddling in Pakistani sovereign territory is simply unacceptable and I say this as someone who is on the Barkha Dutta/Arundhati Roya spectrum of Pakistan (believe it or not so is Kabir).

(7.) Pakistan’s economy is in a right mess let’s see if Mr. Clean can fix it up but the biggest reason is of course Mephistopheles himself. I’ve seen the Marlow play twice (once with the Game of Thrones chap & Marlow descendant Kit H) and I genuinely can’t remember how the play ends. I’m not going to google it but let the suspense play out; let see how the reality tv version goes..

38 thoughts on “Captain Pakistan and the Faustian Pact”

  1. >PPP & PML are the provincial parties and will have to work some sort of grand coalition deal to survive. The ethnic messy substratum layer of Pakistan that Partition and Paknationalism has tried so hard to erase will form half the country. Pakistani politics must adapt and will be interesting.

    We’ve been seeing this happening for a while now. Nawaz supporting Achakzai and Achakzai giving patronage to PTM. Altafists trying to build bridges with the Pashtun and Sindhi nationalists who they were murdering for decades. A common anti-army narrative being built among each losing party. The only problem is that each group still has the same old prejudices and conflicting interests so they end up backstabbing eachother.

    1. Yes we are seeing an “Indus Valley” (Provincial Parties) vs. “Pakistan” (PTI + Army) narrative.

      What is Imran’s stance on India? Maybe he and Modi can deliver a lasting peace; after all only Nixon could go to China..

      1. Imran blames Nawaz Sharif for being close to Modi. If he is in the pocket of Pak Army, he doesn’t like India very much. In any case, India policy is the domain of Pak Fauj and if Imran knows which side his bread is buttered he will not question them on that. Otherwise, they’ll get rid of him as well.

      2. he and Modi can deliver a lasting peace ????? India policy (and all external relations) is not in the hands of Pak PM or any political policy. It is in the hands of Army top brass . Their intentions are anything but peaceful towards India . They have a strategic and ideological malice towards India and they will drag the government and people kicking and screaming in that path , however well intentioned ordinary people are . So, don’t expect any peace on Indo-Pak border for a few generations .

        1. Let’s not discount India’s role in creating the problem. Refusal to even speak about Kashmir isn’t helping matters any. If the Modi regime has any policy beyond “surgical strikes”, it’s not clear to anyone.

          1. Top Brass have perfected the art of browbeating the Civilians and making a lucrative career out of anti-India policy , which is apparently low-cost to them , why should they give it up? Benefits are high (their uber position in Pakistan) , cost is low (some jihadi violence due to homegrown Islamist whom they have encouraged ) . Only when cost benefit analysis changes, change of course will come about . Why should they give up tried and tested policy?

          2. He just said in his latest speech that he wants to normalize relations with India, so not exactly a parrot. And I agree with Kabir that people like to downplay how stubborn India is on normalizing relations. They’ve been committed to internationally isolating Pakistan for the last few years, frequently talk about tearing up the IWT, and their leaders regularly fearmonger about Pakistan as an election tactic. Their one condition for reconciliation with Pakistan is for Pakistan to abandon Kashmir and accept the status quo in a disputed region. It’s a lazy demand which shows that India isn’t committed to peace.

          3. IK said all the right things. But we all know that India policy is made by the Army.

            Certainly, India is not committed to solving its issues with Pakistan. And we shouldn’t expect any changes on that front until after the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Till then Modi will keep the pot boiling in Kashmir.

  2. Zachary, I have read your comments on and off for a long time . . . including in your younger and more emotional days. You are not and have never been anything like Barkha Dutta. Barkha Dutta’s mind has been partly colonized by post modernists. She is in a virtual prison that she is partly unaware of. She is irrational, and sometimes gets confused between right and wrong. This said she seems well intentioned enough and isn’t dangerous.

    Arundhati Roy is not just a post modernist. She might be one of the most dangerous people in the world.

    Why compare yourself to people you are nothing like? You are actually like smart, wise, nuanced, sophisticated; with a soft heart.

    You are also very different from Kabir. Kabir is well intentioned. However Kabir is unaware of his assumptions, the assumptions of his assumptions, and the assumptions of his assumptions of his assumptions. There are things Kabir knows that he knows; things he knows he doesn’t know; things he doesn’t know that he knows; and things he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know. Kabir doesn’t compute general equilibira (versus specific equilibira) as well as you do. Kabir isn’t as good at understanding correlations between variables and equations (including endogeneity) as you are. When Kabir understands the processes in his subconcious (Sanskaras in his Chitta) every moment will be ever new, alive and fresh for him. His vision will become broad and wise; he will see the truth as it is. There is a universe of great knowledge (wisdom) and love right before him; waiting to transform him through and through. And he will get there.

    And we shouldn’t be too hard on Kabir. You got Vidhi (your personal Guru) to fix you. Kabir doesn’t. Without Vidhi you would probably be vastly less functional right now. 🙂

      1. As an aside, Blighty comes from the word Vilayet , which the East India company soldiers mispronounced.

          1. I imagine Perso-Arabic

            I just checked like all good things in the Ummah; it’s originally Arabic “wilayah.”

            The Arabs may not have much but they have a peerless language..

          2. It is Arabic. A derivative of the Semitic tri-root w-l-y (to defend, protect or care for), whence Wali (ruler, administrator), wilayah (province, dominion), mawla (caretaker, protector). Cf. mawlana = mawla-lana, i.e. our lord, protector.

    1. I have no idea what you are talking about. I really don’t care about “variables and equations”. I am a liberal arts person not a science type. Just because your worldview doesn’t match mine doesn’t mean mine is wrong. The “wisdom and love” bit is extremely condescending.

      I would appreciate it if you refrained from discussing me or diagnosing me. Thanks in advance.

  3. Pakistan occcupied Balochistan ?. Bro no one not even the most anti Pakistani (saner ones) guy in India calls it that People have really taken that one time modi mentioned Balochistan to heart ??

  4. Official results are still not out. The PPP and the PML-N have alleged widespread rigging. So the drama is not over yet.

    PPP seems to have managed to hold on to Sindh and PML-N is ahead in terms of the Punjab Assembly. PML-N mostly won in Lahore and adjoining districts.

  5. Burkha dutt is fine but if u r on Arundhati roy spectrum, then u r quite dangerous for india. Your wife shouldn’t let u come to india in national interest. ?

      1. Burkha Dutt is a reasonable auntie mamma bear.

        You are “NOTHING” like Roy! Roy is one of the most dangerous people in the world. You have way too common sense, intelligence and character to be comparable to her. You don’t know about Arundhati Roy.

  6. Zack,
    I don’t think the democratic process has taken root in Pakistan. This election was heavily manipulated and doesn’t represent what the people want. Otherwise, PML-N would have done better, at least in their own bastion of Punjab.

    PPP and PML-N have alleged rigging. So let’s see how the parties react. Last time, PTI alleged rigging and with Army support held a dharna in Islamabad for five months. Without Army support, I’m not sure what the aggrieved parties can do.

        1. Kabir

          What explains this contradiction that almost all “senior” journalist in Pakistan(even the ones who are principled and vehemently anti PTI) after the initial hinting about elections getting rigged yesterday, have today asserted that the election were fair, while somewhat junior folks (assistant producer etc) are still saying it was rigged? Do you think the senior folks got the “call” , and decided to fall in line?

          1. It is possible that people decided to fall in line, given that PTI is going to be the single largest party (though we still don’t have official results on all National Assembly seats).

            But everyone can see that there is something fishy going on. Imran Khan himself has said that if anyone feels that any constituency was rigged, he is open to investigation. I am interested in how PPP and PML-N choose to respond.


    “In the coming days, the pressure will mount from foreign policy experts for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reopen long-stalled dialogue with soon-to-be prime minister Imran Khan…..In weeks to come, Khan is almost certain to make some suitably-phrased gesture of outreach to India—and a chorus of demands will follow, asking Prime Minister Modi to reciprocate.This truth, however, is also that whatever Khan says will be profoundly irrelevant.”

    The best bit
    “The suave, England-educated cricket star who now rules Pakistan, promising to turn it into some kind of Islamic variant of a north-European welfare state, is exactly the kind of leader many élite Indians would like to see ruling our own country.”

    1. Yes, the calls to “dialogue” will start, candles will be lit, Modi and whoever is named PM in Pakistan will “set a date”, “a new era in bilateral relations” will dawn and so on. Then jihadis will kill a bunch of Indian civilians and we will go back to square one.

      Elections (in either country) are bad news for Indian civilians.

      1. What does it say about the Indian “intellectual” class and Indian people at large when keep falling for that show. I would argue people like that deserves everything that happens to them.

      1. KPK saw the highest HDI growth in Pakistan in the last 5 years under PTI and went from a basket case province alongside Sindh and Balochistan to one which was catching up with Punjab. If something will change, it might be attitudes on environment, health and education.

        1. Let’s hope that things improve for Pakistan. For that IK needs to get out of campaign mode and actually focus on being the Prime Minister of the entire country. I’m still cynical about him, but given that he is going to be PM, I suppose we’ll have to give him a chance.

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