Daily Archives: April 14, 2009

A quagmire of indecision

Islamabad is desperate for support in its civil  war against the Taliban – it needs help from India says Peter Preston writing for the Guardian today

It is “the most dangerous place in the world”, according to Barack
Obama. It’s also where 90% of our own home-front terrorist threat
comes from, according to Gordon Brown. Forget scratched heads and reddening faces over Manchester’s missing weapons of destruction. No anxious leader can forget Pakistan – or fail to remember one lethally complex thing. Pakistan’s crisis is political as well as religious, economic as well as tribal, personal as well as endemic. Call Jinnah’s pure state a failed state now and expect ritual resentment. But ask in return what equals “success”, and hear silence descend. The misty, murky road from Operation Pathway is not so long after all. Continue reading

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Swat: Absurdistan’s Latest Chapter

by Hasan Zaidi

Here’s a short chronology of recent events:

– February 16: The North-West Frontier provincial government led by the Awami National Party and backed by a desperate Pakistan army signs a “peace accord” with the banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e

-Mohammadi run by Maulana Sufi Mohammad, who served more than 6 years in jail on terrorism-related charges, so that he can convince his son-in-law, the renegade ‘Maulana’ Fazlullah and his Tehrik-e-Taliban to stop slaughtering people and blowing up things in Swat valley. The accord calls for the enforcement of a more efficient system of local courts in the region but since TNSM and Fazlullah believe it actually enforces Shariah law in the region, most observers believe this is only the thin edge of what these Islamist hardliners actually want to achieve through this agreement. Continue reading

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Journey to the brink

By Haris Gazdar (courtesy DAWN)

While much of Pakistan’s civil society celebrated a famous victory in the restoration of the judges it continued to display suicidal indifference to the existential threat to itself.

President Zardari’s misjudgment and Mian Nawaz Sharif’s ambition brought welcome relief to the jihadi apparatus at the precise moment when the international noose around it appeared to be tightening. The road map to democratic transition was obscured, and the contours of the abyss became a little clearer. Extraordinary acts of leadership are needed. Unfortunately, it is not clear if they will be forthcoming or sufficient. Continue reading

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