Daily Archives: September 26, 2008

Zardari Meets Palin; a Different Take

I am not sure I completely agree with, or endorse the thought, but this bears quoting. It’s something Nowsherwan Yasin said on a mailing list this morning about the whole Zardari hits on Palin brouhaha (in case you’ve not followed it, check out the post and discussion Teeth Maestro’s blog here.):

Although I agree that such statements are inappropriate in foreign relations, I can’t help but see an unintentional advantage (of sorts) of Pakistani chauvinism in dealing with such a character. The politically correct, hidden misogyny of the American politician really has no answer for the snide, smart @ss, belittling demeanor that Palin seems to exhibit. She reminds me of the typical sitcom girlfriend, you know the one that will not let passive guy X go out with his friends and Y humiliating him to a laugh track, constantly nagging and yelping without any real knowledge of anything.

But good old sexism, in societies where it is acceptable, such as Pakistan, provides a trump card.

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Filed under Democracy, Pakistan, Politics

SAJA Panel Discussion on the South Asian Blogosphere

SAJA BRIEFING: The South Asian Blogosphere and How Its Changing the Media 8:35pm
Website: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saja/2008/09/26/desiblogs

The South Asian Journalists Association presents an online panel discussion among some of the best-known names in the South Asian blogosphere. They will discuss the state of the blogosphere (South Asian and otherwise) and how it is affecting how news and information about South Asia and the diaspora is gathered and shared. Sabahat Ashraf of iFaqeer; Anil Dash of AnilDash.com; Karthik of Uberdesi.com; Maria Giovanna of Filmiholic.com; Arun Venugopal of SAJAforum.org

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Filed under Blogging, journalism, Media, Pakistan, Society, Writers

Ayesha Siddiqa on the burning Pakistan

Ayesha Siddiqa‘s brilliant piece on openDemocracy is a must-read. She is clear and quite strategic in her analysis that concludes with these lines:
This effort to create a domestic coalition that can address such acts of terror should be part of a larger agenda to reach out to the rest of the world – including Russia, Iran, China, India and others – to keep the Americans at bay. Pakistan needs to go multilateral. Unless a third option is found beyond Washington and the Taliban, Pakistan will continue to burn – until it consumes itself.

Pakistan: a country on fire

The bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on 20 September 2008 has hit Pakistan hard. The reputation of the hotel as a meeting-point and social hub for the capital’s political and diplomatic class ensured that the attack – which killed fifty-three people and wounded 250 – would receive the maximum worldwide publicity that the assailants doubtless wanted. But the effect of the enormous blast involving around 600 kilograms of explosives also reinforced the insecurity of the working-class Pakistanis who were its principal victims. Even more, the incident has intensified serious concerns over the political future of Pakistan itself.

In assessing the country’s predicament at this critical juncture, three elements that often fail to get the attention they deserve need to be borne in mind: the role of Washington and the way it is perceived by Pakistanis; the distinction between the country’s ostensible (or political) government and its real (or shadow) one; and the role of class and its changing dynamics in Pakistan’s economy and society. Continue reading


Filed under Army, Politics, war