Tag Archives: conspiracy theories

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

Moving Forward from the Dictators’ Mess

Bangladesh SC Says No to Religion-based Political Parties

The Daily Star 06 Jan 2010

Religion-based political parties of the country will be banned, said the law minister on Monday.

But the words ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim’ and state religion Islam will remain in force in the constitution, said the minister.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed’s affirmation came at a media briefing at his secretariat office, a day after the Supreme Court vacated an earlier stay on the High Court verdict that declared illegal the fifth amendment of the constitution.

He said since the Supreme Court has upheld the High Court verdict regarding the fifth amendment to the constitution, religion-based political parties will be banned. Continue reading

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Filed under Democracy, Islamism, Justice, Politics, Religion, south asia, state

Shireen Mazari’s “Shoddy” Journalism Condemned!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009 (The News)

Journalists lead dangerous lives in Pakistan. They are targeted by the terrorists whose actions they report and by politicians and bureaucrats whose failings and indiscretions they expose. All this is to be expected. What a working journalist may not expect, however, is to be stabbed in the back by one of his own, as has recently happened to Matthew Rosenberg, a journalist working for the Wall Street Journal. Mr Rosenberg has been accused in a local newspaper of having links to the CIA and Mossad and of acting in some undefined way as an agent of Blackwater. As if this were not enough to blight his life and career, he is further accused of having ‘secret’ meetings with Secretary Law and Order FATA Secretariat, Tariq Hayat Khan, and Additional Chief Secretary FATA, Habib Khan. Both are said to have ‘fed’ documents to Mr Rosenberg, thereby implicating them in his alleged espionage activities. The story is based upon information from a nameless source and has no supporting evidence. Mr Rosenberg has had to leave the country and is unlikely to be working here in the foreseeable future. Continue reading

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Filed under journalism, Pakistan