Tag Archives: Blackwater

Our dogmatic liberals

[Here’s another twist to the liberal-conservative debate in Pakistan. We think we know about right-wing nationalists, but do we have the correct definition of ‘liberal nationalists’? Obviously most Pakistani nationalists are not Islamists. In fact, is an Islamist ever anything other than just an Islamist or can there really be an Islamist nationalist? It would be interesting to find out what our readers think of the points raised by this article. Is the writer’s stance on Blackwater, for example, a variant of xenophobia or other biases unworthy of liberal values the writer claims to uphold? Or is it a worthy stand against so-called neo-imperialism? Or further still, are these just dangerous and irrational views based on mere conspiracy theories? Is she a liberal rightly accusing some of her fellow liberals, just like Islamists and right-wing nationalists do, of being liberal fascists? Is she saying that she is more patriotic than those she considers liberal fascists,  or just less dogmatic? Please do respond with your thoughts on the matterposted by BC]

The News, March 17, 2010

By Humeira Iqtidar

“Why are Pakistanis so prone to conspiracy theories?” a colleague at Cambridge recently asked. He was referring to recent debates about the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan. A version of this question is echoed by the liberal intelligentsia of Pakistan. The local version emphasises the focus on Blackwater within the rhetoric of a segment of society, notably the Islamists. A common refrain amongst the liberal intelligentsia to the question of Blackwater presence in Pakistan is that we must look inwards, we must critique ourselves and our own creations such as the Taliban before we focus on Blackwater. Through framing any critique of Blackwater as conspiracy theory, there is some congruence between the stance of my colleague at Cambridge, who is largely unfamiliar with Pakistan, and the liberal intelligentsia: they both see this focus on Blackwater as an illogical act, as a hiding behind and of course, as an abdication of our own responsibility.

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Filed under Democracy, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Pakistan, War On Terror

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.

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

Demystifying mysteries

By Ayesha Siddiqa               Dawn, 01 Jan, 2010

 The Pakistani media is playing its role by informing citizens about the threat posed by the American security contractor Blackwater. Every other day there is some news of suspicious cars being stopped by the Punjab police and the passengers being interrogated and then released under pressure from unknown and unnamed people in the government.

Intriguingly, we never get to hear the end. There are several questions that could be asked about what the occupants of these vehicles were doing in Pakistan. More important, why does the Punjab government and its police let such people go? Continue reading

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Filed under Army, Democracy, Pakistan, Punjab, state, USA, War On Terror

“Pakistan Reported to Be Harassing U.S. Diplomats” – NYT

By JANE PERLEZ and ERIC SCHMITT    New York Times December 17, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Parts of the Pakistani military and intelligence services are mounting what American officials here describe as a campaign to harass American diplomats, fraying relations at a critical moment when the Obama administration is demanding more help to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

The campaign includes the refusal to extend or approve visas for more than 100 American officials and the frequent searches of American diplomatic vehicles in major cities, said an American official briefed on the cases. Continue reading

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Filed under Democracy, FATA, Media, Pakistan, state, Taliban, USA, War On Terror

World journalists write to the Government of Pakistan

Raza Rumi
Today, world editors have written to the government condemning the way a journalist, Matthew Rosenberg, has been maligned without evidence thereby making him vulnerable to being attacked extremists. True, the western media rarely reports without a slant. But unsubstantiated propaganda is plainly wrong and makes us all ashamed. We must practice what we preach. We hope that foreign correspondents are provided protection and better editorial discretion is introduced. As a writer I support freedom of expression but irresponsible allegations can be dangerous in these insecure times.
TO: Qamar Zaman Kaira,
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan

4th Floor, Cabinet Block, Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad (16 November 2009)

RE: Nation article about Wall Street Journal reporter

Respected Minister Kaira,
We are writing to register our strong concern at a recent development that has caused alarm among international media organizations working in Pakistan.
On November 5, The Nation newspaper published a front page article accusing Matthew Rosenberg, a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, of working for the C.I.A., Israeli intelligence and the U.S. military contractor Blackwater.
Mr. Rosenberg is a respected journalist of high standing. Not only was the article unsubstantiated, it critically compromised his security and raised questions about whether he can return to Pakistan to work safely in the future. Continue reading

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Filed under Media, Pakistan, Urdu

Confessions of a ‘Reluctant Anti-Americanist’.

Bradistan Calling

Certain brands define the love-hate relationship that Pakistan has had with the United States of America over the past 60 years. America has been the biggest and most advanced ‘Superpower’ of the world. American technology, capital markets and economy is the biggest in the world. Pakistan as a third world country needs investment and technology for development.

Pakistan needed allies and military hardware after its traumatic birth and found a willing patron in United States of America. I will not try and re-write Tariq Ali’s critically acclaimed book ‘Pakistan on the flight path of American Power’. Now the American and Pakistani right-wingers are having an acrimonious divorce over ‘Black Water’ and ‘Predator’ drones, ‘never wash your dirty laundry in public’ is the sane advice. Pakistani right-wingers love to hate Americans and the American right-wingers love to assume that all Pakistanis are ‘terrorists’. Continue reading

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Filed under Pakistan, USA