Is this Patriotism?

By Bilal Qureshi

In  an article published in The New Republic, respected American journalist Nicholas Schmidle shares some of his experiences and observations about the over all paranoia and hysteria that has been increasingly visible across Pakistan’s electronic media. Specifically, Mr. Schmidle describes his awkward interaction with Shireen Mazari. Mazari had no information about Mr. Schmidle’s background, but she assumed, incorrectly of course, that Mr. Schmidle is working for C.I.A just because he was an American. This attitude towards foreigners, especially towards Americans is misguided. If everyone visiting Pakistan is working for Blackwater or C.I.A, Islamabad should not allow these people to travel to Pakistan. Otherwise, Pakistan’s public, particularly those who write opinion pieces or appear on Television should not accuse everyone of being a spy because this attitude is alienating friends at an alarming rate.

Regretfully, Ms. Mazari’s prayers were answered when Mr. Schmidle was later asked to leave Pakistan, which he did, but did his departure change anything in the country? Did Mr. Schmidle’s exit made Pakistan a safer place to live for ordinary Pakistanis? Did Mr. Schmidle departure make Pakistan a peaceful and heavenly prosperous place for all the ‘good people’ to visit and invest? In fact, can we say honestly argue that the overall economical, political or social situation in Pakistan has changed because those ‘agents and spies’ are no longer in Pakistan to do whatever these people were doing? I mean seriously, can anyone in Pakistan answer with specificity what was accomplished, or worse, what was saved when a particular person was declared persona-non-grate and forced out of Pakistan? Obviously we don’t know the answer – no one knows the answer to this question, including those in security establishment who decide who can come and who has to leave.

What people of Pakistan need today is help. Yes, help and I mean it in every sense of the word. And, expelling people from Pakistan is not a very smart way of attracting assistance from donors. Despite squandering all the goodwill (and I am being overly generous here), Pakistan can still attract money, technical assistance and knowledge from around the world, but first, the country has to demonstrate that it is emotionally ready to improve and help itself before other nations commit to help Pakistan. And, as for as I know, both public and private supporters around the world are still willing to come forward to and give whatever they can to Pakistan, provided, the country puts a muzzle on conspiracy theorists, and stop treating every N.G.O and foreigner as a smoke screen for C.I.A. If Pakistan cleans up its act, it is a safe bet that the country can revive its economy and find affordable and sustainable resources for energy, water and electricity shortfall. Most importantly, both direct and indirect foreign investment can also help Pakistan’s depressed and angry youth find employment, which for me is critical if Pakistan is serious about disrupting Taliban’s recruiting inside the country. But, and it is a big but, the country has to first dethrone pseudo intellectuals and Taliban supports like Ms. Mazari, and rest of the gang that promotes hyper religious nationalism in the country in the name of patriotism.

For me, patriotism is protecting the country from degenerating and it is my patriotic duty to sound the alarms of panic because Pakistan does not face any threat from either its neighbors, or from the West. Pakistan is being attacked and threatened by internal enemy – homegrown terrorists, Taliban, and Al-Qaeda, coupled with an economy that is in a downward spiral and Pakistan stands at a critical juncture today. If overly hawkish and overly animated conspiracy theorists like Ms. Mazari succeeded in convincing the public in Pakistan that America is the enemy and behind everything bad and wrong, there is an American plot, Pakistan would continue to deteriorate. If, on the other hand, common sense prevailed and Pakistan stopped treating distinguished journalists like Mr. Schmidle as spies, and instead, welcomed people from across the world to come to Pakistan, chances are that within couple of yeas, the country would successfully beat back not only the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, but also become a place that is peaceful, vibrant and a source of innovation and happiness for everyone, but especially for Pakistanis.

So, what is Pakistan going to do?

45 Comments

Filed under Activism, Army, Democracy, Islamabad, journalism, Media, Pakistan, Politics, Terrorism, USA, war, War On Terror

45 responses to “Is this Patriotism?

  1. Milind Kher

    Conspiracy theorists are people who work for the terrorists so as to spread misinformation. Like any consummate magician, they want to misdirect the audience.

    Shireen Mazari appears to be a leading conspiracy theorist, creating a xenophobic mindset, directed at willy nilly pushing people into the arms of terrorists.

    The powers that be need to step in and restrain her.

  2. Ron

    Shireen Mazari , Zaid Hamid and co. have made a successful career out of “conspiracies”.

    Cool.

  3. Mustafa Shaban

    I disagree with Bilal and Milind too. Mr. Schimidl was accessing areas that are declared ”no-go” zones by the government. Journalists are free to roam any part of Pakistan except for a very small areas of land declared ”no-go” zones. Its the law of the land and people should obey it. In US or UK the same would have been done if a Pakistani journalist ventured in an area that is declared a restricted area by US or UK government. So I dont see the problem. Also Shireen points out possible American involvement that makes home grown problems even worse. This doesnt make her anti american, she is only against US foriegn policy which is horrible.

  4. vajra

    @Mustafa Shaban

    Mr. Schimidl was accessing areas that are declared ”no-go” zones by the government. Journalists are free to roam any part of Pakistan except for a very small areas of land declared ”no-go” zones.

    I am sure that it must be blindingly obvious to all knowledgeable strategic analysts of reputation, but for the rest of the vulgar herd, could you please point out where in the blog above you found that Schmidle (and not Schimidl as reported) was accessing “no-go” zones?

    Or are you referring to private, confidential and very sensitive sources of information which you are regrettably unable to share with personnel uncleared by security?

    Does the word ‘evidence’ ring a bell?

  5. Milind Kher

    @MS,

    You may want to support Shireen Mazari. However, do realize that the mindset that she is operating from is a very closed and xenophobic one.

    Given the current perception of Pakistan in the outside world, I don’t know whether it would be a good thing for Pakistan. Anyway, that is something you have a better right to decide.

  6. At last a sensible piece of writing from someone which proves all Pakistani’s are not Conspiracy Theorists and Chasers of imaginary enemies in every corner excepting to introspect.There seems to be a group comprising of a section of military, ISI and Taliban/Al Qaeda elements that have infiltrated into Pakistan establishment and corrupt politicians, who individually or collectively with the active participation of some sections of the media in Pakistan,imagine and think every thing about others to be wrong and other Nations have only one agenda,that is to destroy Pakistan , forgetting that no Nation in the world will bother to take over Pakistan,probably with the exception of Taliban/Al Qaeda, with its problems of terrorism, deported politicians , disinterested intellectuals and professionals and apathetic Public.
    Wish saner people like the writer of this article build a movement to save Pakistan!

  7. Pingback: Is this Patriotism? « Ramanan50's Blog

  8. Anwar

    It is best to ignore her however I must add that compared to what I often come across in American press, she is benign…

  9. Mustafa Shaban

    Nicolas Schimidl kept on going to the TTP areas withouth the permission of the Foreign Office which he should have done. It was the Pakistani officials that deported him from the country. Any reason why they would deport an innocent man?

  10. vajra

    @Mustafa Shaban

    Nicolas Schimidl kept on going to the TTP areas withouth the permission of the Foreign Office which he should have done.

    Once again, since you tend to ignore anything that doesn’t suit your current obsession, where did you get that fact? It was not quoted anywhere in the original blog.

    Don’t you read anything other than the typed stuff that runs under TV screens?

  11. Mustafa Shaban

    @vajra: These are the sensetive areas the foreign office talks about. Schimidl also claims that he has befriended some people from the TTP. How could he have done that without visiting thier strongholds? And what other areas would the Foreign Office deem ”sensetive”, other than the areas on the nuclear facilities?

    I read this article on this link

    http://www.tnr.com/article/world/slander

    This guy posted a comment there that I think is very valid.

    Your attempt to draw a similarity between Shireen Mazari and Ann Coulter seems misplaced. Ann Coulter has largely disappeared from the US mainstream media. Her views never coincided with more than a slice of rightist opinion here and became an embarrassment to her employers (much like Pat Robertson after his call for Chavez’s assassination). In short, her propaganda value reached diminishing returns. Mazari, by contrast, seems quite in tune with Pakistani public opinion. They are distrustful of the Pakistani Taliban since bombs started incurring civilian casualties but fundamentally more hostile to a domineering US. In US political terms, Mazari’s “negatives” are much lower than Coulter’s.

    Moreover, your enumeration of absurd stories from The Nation (Pakistan) completely misses the point. The vast majority of the Pakistani population hates our intrusive advocacy of policies that would essentially generate a Pakistani Civil War, even while we make it abundantly clear that in the long term, we will favor India no matter what sacrifices we call on Pakistan to make now. Mazari articulates that sentiment. And you reduce this to: “Shireen Mazari is like Ann Coulter.” Sorry, I don’t find that assessment useful or compelling.

    What do you guyz think?

  12. Ali Abbas

    Unfortunately, conspiracy theories have become the narrative; there are fewer sane voices like Bilal’s. Yesterday, I was attending an event that was undertaken to commemorate the deaths of Leftist protestors in Pakistan in 1953. From former Leftist icons to businessmen who are covering their ultraconservatism with Lefty terms, there was a shocking recourse to the sort of conspiracy theories espoused by Mazari, Imran Khan, Zaid Hamid etc. I changed my seating twice and the views that were being spouted (as the event kept being delayed) were uniformally along the lines of: “Americans want to take over Karachi with the help of MQM and Zardari”.

    There is a shocking lack of condemnation for the Taliban in Pakistan and a perverse propensity to wallow in conspiracy theories.

  13. ved

    I think the freindship between USA and Pakistan was a marriage of convenience. There is clearly trust deficit. USA has used Pakistan and this sense, the sense of betrayal is obivous by the behaviour of Media and Government of Pakistan alike.

    But need of the hour is to show maturity, maturity on the part of Pakistan’s leadership and Media to subside jingoism.

    Whether they want to go taliban’s way and become another Afghanistan or become a modeled democracy on line of western countries and on principle and dream of MAJ.

  14. Mustafa Shaban

    Also I read the same article on this link

    http://pkonweb.com/2010/01/09/dr-shireen-mazari-%E2%80%9Cann-coulter-of-pakistan%E2%80%9D/

    And the comment below was very well put:

    Kamil Bangash says:
    January 9, 2010 at 10:45 am
    I am no fan of Dr. Shireen Mazari, but let me start by observing that anyone who has any knowledge of the abhorrent and racist Ann Coulter would never draw any comparison between the views of the two. However, anyone who compares the two must have at least a sympathetic ear to the views of Ms. Coulter as only this can lessen the severity of her ideas enough to be able to compare her with any ordinary mortal. Nicholas Schmidle seems to be from this category of people, of which there is oodles in the US.

    Mr. Schmidle wants the Pakistani ragheads (a la Coulter) to devote all of their time (and energies) to the problem of ‘home grown’ terrorism, and to forget about the countries who helped conceive and nurture this phenomenon. Not withstanding Jeremy Scahill’s excellent expose on the activities of Blackwater/ Xe Services in Pakistan, he does not want us to discuss these minor irritants since they are only in Pakistan to help the Pakistanis defend their country and its nuclear/ unclear installations against attack from the Taliban. According to him, Mrs. Clinton’s utterance that ‘we have a common enemy’ should be accepted as a pearl of wisdom with no questions asked.

    Mr. Schmidle is also very keen to point out the rightist agenda of The Nation of Islamabad, which was a keen supporter of the Afghan jihad against the Soviets and a friend of the Americans in years gone by. He has also quoted Mr. Arif Nizami to make the case against Dr. Mazari, and has alleged that the owner of The Nation wanted India to be nuked. We would have appreciated Mr. Schmidle’s journalistic knowledge and ethics if he would have clarified the relationship between Arif Nizami and the owner of The Nation newpaper. I am sure that Mr. Schmidle is aware that the two are related, that Arif Nizami’s father was the actual founder of The Nation newspaper and that Mr. Nizami had some scores to settle with his uncle over his unceremonial ouster as editor (not that we want to pronounce any judgement on that).

    In the end, it seems to me that Mr. Schmidle is also nursing a personal grievance against Dr. Mazari, who was unkind enough to continuously cast aspersions on the nature of his presence in Pakistan. He did not need to quote Arif Nizami to prove that Dr. Mazari may be a spokewoman of the military. Everybody in Islamabad suspects that. But that does not mean that everything she says must be wrong. We would ask him to allow us ragheads to decide what is right and wrong. However, we would definitely like him to enlighten us about the new measures put in place to frisk all passengers from Pakistan enroute to the US, and how his views on this issue differ from those that may be held by Ann Coulter

  15. Milind Kher

    We need to understand that conspiracy theorists are not fools. The theories that we dismiss are eagerly lapped up by the uninformed and less discerning. And that is where the terrorists score.

    Shireen Mazari, Zaid Hamid etc are executing a hidden agenda drawn up by the terrorists. The day that the awaam wakes up to this may be too late.

  16. hoss

    “she assumed, incorrectly of course, that Mr. Schmidle is working for C.I.A just because he was an American.”

    Now we are dealing with Shirin’s assumption and Schmidle’s denial which is really no denial and you can read that in his TNR article. In fact he was working for Shirin and Shirin called him her resident CIA agent on his face and he did not object to it right away. He may not be on CIA payroll but what’s the harm in helping and sharing some information with the CIA occasionally?

    I just find it ridiculous that a few of Shrin’s rants are judged on Patriotism. Why is patriotism so cheap in Pakistan and for the writers like Mr. Qureshi. Do they suffer from the white man superiority syndrome?

    So what if one journalist from Pakistan calls all American visiting Pakistan CIA agents, does this journalist in any way represent the Pak government?

    As has been made clear that Shirin was and still is close to Pakistan’s security establishment and the paper she edits is known for its alignment with the security establishment. Perhaps the security establishment has just parked, so to speak, her at the Nation until they get a government that is more sympathetic to her relationship with the security establishment.

    Her close relations with the security establishment make her more informed than many and if she shows doubts about some American journalist’s credentials, I would take her more seriously than the denials by the person concerned.

    Conspiracy theories emerge due to lack of public information. More conspiracy theories are hatched up in the US than anywhere in the world. Share the info and be transparent and the conspiracy theories would go away. As long as the governments are disinclined to present the facts to the people, the public would indulge in speculation and in their own analysis. These speculations and analyses often become conspiracy theory or theories.

    I have no problem with the conspiracy theories in Pakistan, which just shows to me that people are trying to figure out what is going on and they want to be involved. Sometimes they are wrong and some other times they are right. I think the public speculation in a country raises political awareness and consciousness.

    Those who deride conspiracy theories in a country like Pakistan are also against sharing information with the people.

  17. Milind Kher

    All that Bilal Qureshi seems to be saying is that it is not right to suspect every American who comes to Pakistan. It appears that he does not want an insular mindset to prevail, as in his opinion, that could work to the detriment of Pakistan.

    We have already seen the ill effects of living in denial about the terrorists.

  18. vajra

    @hoss

    Sometimes I wonder if Shirin Mazari alone has been parked by the security establishment, until – what were those native woodnotes wild? – until they get a government that is more sympathetic to the particular wild-eyed writer’s relationship with the security establishment.

    It is clear that getting a unification of Pakistani society behind the objective of achieving governance of the state by elected and accountable civilians is impossible, as long as there are apologists for the military, hence, by extension, apologistst for the pit-bulls hired by the military are free to do their work. It was intelligently pointed out that Shirin Mazari may have been a plant at The News. It is fascinating to wonder when they will get down to having plants on blogs.

  19. Milind Kher

    @Vajra,

    They already have plants at blogs. I won’t name them, but aren’t some of the right wingers here precisely that ?

  20. vajra

    Corrigendum:

    “…..apologists for the pit-bulls hired by the military…..”

    Is this my first spelling mistake? Possibly; it is rare to lose one’s temper so thoroughly reading someone else’s freewheeling ‘materiel’.

  21. hoss

    “It is clear that getting a unification of Pakistani society behind the objective of achieving governance of the state by elected and accountable civilians is impossible,”

    Vajra,
    It is not impossible but in the presence of a strong security establishment, will not be easily accomplished.

    Many journalists are on the establishment
    payroll. Some are just allied to the establishment like here in the US and any other country where security establishments have strong influence.

  22. azhar aslam

    Bilal, Milind Kher & co

    ” it is not right to suspect every American who comes to Pakistan…. ”

    But it is right for americans to suspect each and every single pakistani travelling to US ( and that will include Bilal), as terrorist and treat them so ?

    i rest my case with you boot lickers

  23. Mustafa Shaban

    2 of my comments have been awaiting moderation for a long time, it wil be good if they are posted as both are very relevant to the disussion.

    @hoss: I disagree on what you have said except for the part regarding conspiracy theories. You are right when you say that discussion of conspiricies leads to a lot of openness and dialogue and awareness. However note that many of these theories have been proven as fact. Undeniable fact and that things of such nature have been admitted openly by the CIA so there should not be a shred of doubt on anything. Also you rightly mentioned the US being the greatest hub for conspiracy theories. Note that these theories are put forward by thousands and thousands of PhD’s, MD’s, analysts and professors, not only some students and radio talk show hosts. Also I will challlenge anybody on this forum on the validity of certain conspiracy theories. If you are so confident that all conspiracies are garbage then why not have a debate on 9/11, CIA etc?

    @Milind: First of all not every American visiting Pakistan has been labeled a CIA agent, only some of them, most of them under suspicious circumstances. Also every Pakistani visiting the US is screened and a lot of them wrongfully are considered terorrists. If you think Pakistani security forces are paranoid wait till you get to the US and UK and you will see how paranoid one can get.

    @hoss: heheheh maybe your rite, I could be one of thse people placed on blogs lols.

  24. yasserlatifhamdani

    Shirin Mazari is an embarrassment….

  25. yasserlatifhamdani

    This is what I wrote almost one year ago:

    Relationship with the US will be another challenge which shall require a masterstroke of diplomacy both domestically and internationally. Zardari understands that Pakistan’s relationship with the US is essential for both our security and economic future. He would do well to ignore those- both on the left and right- who advise the government to take a sterner approach with the US. Here he must realize that elements within Pakistan’s security apparatus will try and foment the anti-American sentiment to bring the PPP government down. It seems that having taken the u-turn on Taliban, this group is not quite ready to take a similar u-turn on its perceived strategic assets that the various Lashkars of the 1990s are imagined by it. It is possible that these Lashkars might be deployed internally to against the PPP government. Zardari must outflank this re-alignment of the security apparatus with rogue elements.

    https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/zardaris-moment/

  26. yasserlatifhamdani

    “Mazari, Imran Khan, Zaid Hamid etc”

    I cringe when I hear Imran Khan’s name thrown in with these two crazies, but Imran has only himself to blame… making Mazari his information officer in PTI and doing ridiculous TV shows with Zaid Hamid.

  27. Ammar

    So the deal with conspiracy theories is that they crazier they are we find them more reassuring, the author has correctly pointed out the zeal for negative nationalism and how every foreigner is eyed with suspicion. The foreign correspondents reports are instrumental in policy decisions so it is important that they should be facilitated and not snubbed

  28. yasserlatifhamdani

    Azhar Aslam,

    You have a point there. Americans have now nominated 14 countries for special attention when visitors from there arrive in the US.

    The sad part is that Nigeria would never be on that list had it not been for Abdul Mutalib. The lesson should be that terrorists can come from anyone and are most likely radicalized in Salafi Islamic student bodies on every US campus. Instead they’ve decided to target 14 countries. May we ask what passport Nadal Malik Hasan had?

  29. rex minor

    Please do not make haste and blame Shirin Mazari or be cynical towards Mustapha Shaban.I have watched the so called journalists reporters men and women from the CNN and other outfits reporting their findings on the cable networks. Most of them are lies, a propaganda based on false translations. I have raised some queries with CNN lady who was shown in Swat with a young military colonel but have had no response. In fact they are giving a wide coverage to her report now, defamation of the religion.
    It is difficult to prove or disprove about their service to CIA, when the leaders of Pakistan are currently all on the CIA payroll. But the Pakistan Intelligence could refuse foreign journalist reporters entry into the country, if they do not understand or speak the local language where they are reporting from? The author is absolutely naive about his illusion about the foreign investment etc. Pakistan has officially been declared by several western Govts.as the most dangerous country in the world and those who travel from Europe to Pakistan, excluding Journalists or the military, upon their return are immediately put on the Intelligence watch list. We all know what it means.
    Sorry for intervention.
    Regards,

  30. rex minor

    PS
    The author should have tried to read Nicolas Shmidle presentation to the US senate about Pakistan and its relations with the AlQuida and the Talabans outfits. He is most probably of a jewish origin and has apparently lived in Pakistan in 2006/3007. He also speaks urdu and persian. In otherwards, he was not a tourist but holds a residence permit?

  31. Sadia Hussain

    The harsh truth is that the proponents and believers of conspiracy theories cannot be reasoned with, and they would paint a picture in which Pakistan as an alternative reality. It is the responsibility of the enlightened groups to ensure that educated people must not find refuge in such theories and face the true evils of extremism

  32. Mustafa Shaban

    @Sadia: Tell me who is denying the true evils of extremism? We understand that extremism is a major problem that is why we stand with our Army and support thier actions in S. Waziristan and elsewhere. Iam so happy that they are doing thier best and doing so well against the TTP!

  33. rex minor

    Pakistan should follow the Chinese and create a National army. The current army has given Pakistan extremest dictators who have lost east wing of the country and is going to disintegrate the country in bits and pieces. It is not that they are doing it deliberately but due to their sheer love for the centre of gravity they are always chasing shadows and are likely to be routed by the Pashtoons. This time they are in a vicious circle. The destruction of dwellings, old women and children would not bring security but a civilised dialogue with your citizens and neighbours without any demands could.
    @Sadia, you do not have extremests in your country but people with different cultures. The trick is to bring these groups in harmony with each other. This is not the task of army but the community leaders.
    The fact is that Pakistan Intelligence Service is as incompetent as the American, British and many others:
    . How could PI let Nicholas S have a residence permit, then deport him and then again let him enter the country and then again deport him. Pakistan now is the nest for all types of conspirators!!
    . How could the US Intelligence Service allow the underwear bomber to enter the US.
    . How could the British Intelligence Service allow extremests from the middle east receiving asylum in the country when their own country of origin labelled them as dangerous people.The answer is very simple,……incompetence,….incompetence….and incompetence. Do not spread radical views or hatred against the foreigners, but guard your country.
    Take care.

  34. Sadia Hussain

    @ Mustafa Shaban! Pakistan has an army of “Taliban Apologists” and sympathizers! As you righty said that The Pakistan army is doing a laudable job against TTP, the citizens need to counters the misinformation being spread various quarters

  35. Milind Kher

    @Sadia,

    You are spot on. The pernicious propoganda of the Taliban apologists has to be countered. They are blatantly supporting the terrorists and harming the cause of Pakistan.

  36. Mustafa Shaban

    @Sadia: There are only very few TTP supporters in Army, and also that at the lower levels. Contrary to what some media channels would have us beleive the TTP sympathizers are very small in number and do not pose a threat to the mission.

  37. vajra

    @Mustafa Shaban

    It is apparent that Sadia Hussain has driven you out from one position after another and shows no signs of letting up.

    Either you and Sadia Hussain are one and the same person, and you have devized this as your only way of winning a great debate on PTH for the first time, or one is forced to ask if you are really, truly here for the hunting.

  38. Mustafa Shaban

    @vajra: hahahaha your first theory is halarious….

    @Sadia: lolz can you believe this guy?? He thinks me and you are one person!

    And you guyz were calling me a conspiracy theorist!

    @vajra: only jokin…me and sadia, are two different people, honestly, I am not here to win, only to give my point of view. Also I was shocked that you think I would do something like that.

  39. Sadia Hussain

    @Mustafa! I think you may have misread me, by the “Army of Taliban” I meant the sympathizers present in media, academia and politics.
    @ Rex! I would like to differ, we have extremist elements in our society though they are not in large numbers but they are more vocal and resourceful than the silent majority

  40. Mustafa Shaban

    @Sadia: There are TTP apologists but they are very few. There are not enough of them to have any kind of impact. Ofcourse I do not consider Imran Khan to be a TTP apologist and same said for Zaid Hamid and Syed Mushahid Hussain.

  41. Mustafa Shaban

    @updike: I know G. Bush wasnt the first, but his is a good example of such attitude. Also the people who are sometimes considered to be with the terrorists but they are totally against the terrorists.

  42. Sadia Hussain

    @Mustafa! I do consider Imran Khan to one of the leading Taliban Apologists not only for he has the audacity to negotiate with them but also for the reason he is more fond of conspiracy theories rather than condemning the Taliban out LOUD! Zaid hamid is all together a different story, he is simply at best a delusional person who venomously commits the crime of hate speech.

  43. Mustafa Shaban

    @Sadia: Well you dunt understand what he said:

    He says that the TTP need to be brought to justice and that the rightist religious extremist are a pproblem that needs to be dealth with.

    He cites lack of education and poverty as the reason for the influence of these forces and I am sure you agree so far.

    He also says that the TTP is made up of many groups around 30, some of which are religious extremists, foreign militants and foriegn backed militants and ordinary pakistanis who see the Pak goverment as a slave of US. He says by having dialogue we can spearate them and learn who is who and bring over the lighter elements including tribals to our side. And then we can deal with the real terrorists with intellegence and police operations and wipe them out.

    The Rand think tank states that most terrorist insurgencies have been successfully dealt in this way and not militarily. This is his opinion, doesnt make him a TTP apologist. What do you think? This is his opinion , though I dunt agree with him completely he does raise some valid points.

  44. Sadia Hussain

    @Mustafa! There is no such thing a “Good Taliban” or “Progressive Taliban” they are not reformists they are plain and simple extremists who aim to impose a parallel system of governance. We cannot appease them by socio political empowerment. I disagree on your viewpoint on how to bring an end to these elements, while military offensive alone is not the solution but such an offensive with the right amount of power and percussion can bring an end to it. This has been seen in Sikh insurgency movement in India or even the case of Tamil tigers

  45. Mustafa Shaban

    @Sadia: You are right I agree, but along with the Tamil Tigers and Sikh insurgency are the examples of other insurgencies solved through dialogue and police and intellegence like the IRA problem in England and Ireland. there are other examples like that as well so it basically depends on the situation. I think military solution is best but they must be precise and try thier best not to creat civilian casualties which i am sure they are trying.