Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Pakistanian Defence And Its Alternatives

Pakistan Today's cover May 3, 2011

It can be argued that the world’s most powerful countries are those that understand the difference between perception and reality, and attach equal importance to controlling both. Pakistan’s reality is a harsh, challenging one, but unless we move proactively and immediately to counter the further degradation of our already distorted image, it is about to get a lot worse.

Consider this, from Al Jazeera English:

“The Arab Spring has eroded many of the conventional assumptions about the relationship between dictators, Islamists and the West. In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria, we heard dictators playing the Islamist card for three decades – "support us unless you want the terrorists to win".
The reality has been quite different...Today, the US continues to lavishly fund the Pakistani military, while using drones and secret soldiers such as Raymond Davis to attack the extremist forces that the same regime supports. It is up to the US to stop feeding the beast.”

Or this, from The New York Times:

“... Bin Laden’s death near Islamabad has rekindled suspicions in Afghanistan…“Pakistan is the problem, and the West has to pay attention,” said Amrullah Saleh, the former intelligence director of Afghanistan, who resigned last summer. Though jubilant at the death of Bin Laden, he said it was time for the United States to “wake up to the fact that Pakistan is a hostile state exporting terror.”

Or this, from Salman Rushdie for The Daily Beast:

“ There is not very much evidence that the Pakistani power elite is likely to come to its senses any time soon. Osama bin Laden’s compound provides further proof of Pakistan’s dangerous folly.
As the world braces for the terrorists’ response to the death of their leader, it should also demand that Pakistan give satisfactory answers to the very tough questions it must now be asked. If it does not provide those answers, perhaps the time has come to declare it a terrorist state and expel it from the comity of nations .”

Despite American and British efforts to diffuse the situation, this hard-line ‘enough is enough’ stance is being echoed across the globe. It is neither surprising nor unexpected, and in the long run questions of whether it is justified will remain, as they are now, relevant only to Pakistan’s internal dialogue, but more on that later. The world, like the mob, is ultimately uninterested in the nuances of things. Can it, like the beast, be lulled into stillness with the right tune?

I cannot comment with any authority on the PR plan our politicians, military, past/future leaders and broadcast journalists are currently following. I know that most of the politicos are sticking with the ostrich routine, most of our leaders are rechecking their visa-to-safer-climes status, most of our broadcast journalists are continuing to miss the forest for the trees, and that the ISPR is shooting a feature film, written possibly by the official behind the 'We're good, but we're not God' line featured in this BBC report. The two sole Pakistani voices who have spoken for us internationally today, then, are the rather Laurel and Hardyesque pairing of novelist Mohsin Hamid and President Asif Ali Zardari; Hamid in an opinion piece for The Guardian and Zardari in a comment for The Washington Post.

Both have chosen to follow what I would like to dub ‘The Pakistanian Defense’ (a nod to George Bush, which is also interestingly often a feature of the PD, as is the kind of ironic self referencing you see here). The Pakistanian Defense has a few standard features, some of which are listed below, which can be tweaked to accommodate word length, timing and audience.

1) More of my countrymen have died than all of yours combined.

Zardari, or his resident ghost writer, does it with: 

“Let us be frank. Pakistan has paid an enormous price for its stand against terrorism. More of our soldiers have died than all of NATO’s casualties combined. Two thousand police officers, as many as 30,000 innocent civilians and a generation of social progress for our people have been lost.”

Hamid does it with: 

“Less well known is the statistic that since the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan, terrorists have killed nearly five times that number of people in Pakistan. The annual number of Pakistani fatalities from terrorism has surged from fewer than than 200 in 2003 to almost 1,000 in 2006, to more than 3,000 in 2009. In all, since 2001 more than 30,000 have died here in terror and counterterror violence; slain by bombs, bullets, cannons and drones. America's 9/11 has given way to Pakistan's 24-7-365.”

Zardari’s piece is simple in structure and word choice, much like a lot of the hostility currently emanating from the pens of opinion makers in other countries. It, like Clinton’s ‘you cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us’, outlines the outer limits of the diplomatic dance. Hamid, on the other hand, co-opts the linguistic weapons of choice of the other side (surged, counterterror, America’s 9/11 has given way to Pakistan’s 24-7- 365) and in doing so creates a space where nuance may one day live.

2) Pakistanis want peace, not war.

Zardari raises the facts that: 

“Radical religious parties have never received more than 11 percent of the vote. Recent polls showed that 85 percent of our people are strongly opposed to al-Qaeda. In 2009, when the Taliban briefly took over the Swat Valley, it demonstrated to the people of Pakistan what our future would look like under its rule — repressive politics, religious fanaticism, bigotry and discrimination against girls and women, closing of schools and burning of books. Those few months did more to unite the people of Pakistan around our moderate vision of the future than anything else possibly could.”

Hamid reinforces that with: 

“If Osama Bin Laden's death means that the war in south and central Asia can now begin to end, that America can begin to withdraw its forces from the region, and that Pakistan and Afghanistan can somehow rediscover peace, then one day there may be celebrations here as well.”

3) They will be gunning for us even more viciously now.

Zardari points this out with: 

“Only hours after bin Laden’s death, the Taliban reacted by blaming the government of Pakistan and calling for retribution against its leaders, and specifically against me as the nation’s president.”

Hamid says it with: 

“As news of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden's death reverberates in Pakistan, embassies here are shutting down, hotels are ramping up security, restaurants are reporting cancelled reservations and public gatherings like plays, concerts and lectures, are being postponed. The feeling in Lahore is familiar: it is like the dread that lingers over the city in the days after it has suffered a massive terrorist attack. This time, though, the attack has not yet happened, and the dread spans the entire country. Pakistanis know they may pay a blood price for Bin Laden's killing. A purported mirror has been broken. Bad luck is to be expected.”

Zardari makes the mistake of sticking with the royal ‘we’, demanding an acknowledgement of worth nobody currently wants to give us. Hamid comes in from the other end and makes us ordinary, human, sketching life for Pakistanis in details The Other can understand, even if they are details actual ordinary, human Pakistanis would scratch their heads at (hotels, restaurants, plays, concerts, lectures…er…what?). A universal symbol of bad luck, the broken mirror, is weaved in too, to reinforce the pathos and significance of ‘dread’ and ‘blood price’. Zardari invites you to stick a sock on your hand and pillory his pomposity. Hamid invites you to sit down, listen and sympathize.

4) Why on earth would we want to make the most trigger-happy nation in the world angry with us?

Zardari feels the best way to make this point is:

“The war on terrorism is as much Pakistan’s war as it is America’s…My government endorses the words of President Obama and appreciates the credit he gave us Sunday night for the successful operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. We also applaud and endorse the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that we must “press forward, bolstering our partnerships, strengthening our networks, investing in a positive vision of peace and progress, and relentlessly pursuing the murderers who target innocent people.”

Hamid goes with: 

“But there are other, truly frightening theories, such as that even in a town with as dense a military presence as Abbottabad, Bin Laden managed to elude Pakistani security forces, suggesting a remarkable degree of incompetence. More terrifying still would be if there were official complicity in harbouring him, putting Pakistan on a collision course with the US. Pakistanis must hope that neither of these is true.”

The royal megaphone of royalty sticks with the moving speechwriting software writs and having writ moves on. Hamid establishes the difference between the sheep and the shepherds with one fluid reference to the ‘incompetence’ of the state within a state that consistently fails to protect its charges. 

To be fair to President Zardari, this is where the difference between a novelist and a head of state is, governed by realpolitik as much as it is by style. The privilege of implying, publicly, that their nation's army is either incompetent or duplicitous rests only with one. This is evident also in the contrast between Sir Salman Rushdie's Down With Pakistan and David Cameron's more measured public stance.

5) Forget the past, it is not in our power to change it. Lets talk about what happens next.

According to our president: 

“We can become everything that al-Qaeda and the Taliban most fear — a vision of a modern Islamic future. Our people, our government, our military, our intelligence agencies are very much united. Some abroad insist that this is not the case, but they are wrong. Pakistanis are united.”

According to one of our brightest literary lights: 

“In the meantime American, Pakistani, Afghan, and terrorist commanders will go on conducting their operations, the slaughter will continue, and human beings – all equal, all equal – will keep dying, their deaths mostly invisible to the outside world but at a rate evoking a line of aircraft stretching off into the distance, bearing down upon tower after tower after tower. Bin Laden is dead. But many Pakistanis sense the impending arrival of yet another murderous plane, headed their way.”

Zardari takes the opportunity to tell people Pakistanis are united against ‘terrorism’. Hamid points out that Pakistanis are united only in being the direct target of everybody else’s cross hairs.

The defining characteristic of The Pakistanian Defense, finally, is that…

6) People are no longer buying it.

And that, really, is the point of the deconstruction. It doesn’t matter how well or how badly written our responses to this situation are, what notes we hit or don’t hit in our explanations, the rest of the world no longer gives a shit.

Consider this, from an Economics Times report on our President’s article:

“Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari defended his country on Monday against accusations it did not do enough to track down Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but made no direct comment on alleged intelligence failures…Zardari provided no detailed explanation on how bin Laden managed to live for years undetected in Abbottabad, a hillside retreat popular with retired Pakistani generals just a few hours drive from Islamabad. “

Or consider this, from one of the responses posted to Hamid’s article in The Guardian:

“I once referred to Pakistan as the classic informant, who tells the thief about the whereabout of the owner of the property and then informed the owner of the property the thief is coming…Pakistan as I have also posted before is a country the world should fence off and throw away the key. It is a country that its only contribution to the world is misery and danger to lives and limbs. In fact it is terrorist country. The most dangerous terrorist country on the planet.
Every western gov't including ours should not only cease aid to Pakistan, immigration from Pakistan should also be stopped. The world should let Pakistan sleep in the bed it made.”

Back now, to the question of whether the bile and revulsion this ‘rogue state’ and ‘terrorist sanctuary’ is currently provoking is justified. You can choose to find your answer amongst the six points of The Classic Pakistanian Defense outlined above. You can find it while channel surfing, watching someone like Ansar Abbasi holding forth on how Osama Bin Laden was a Muslim Hero. You can find it in the pages of an Urdu paper as a columnist obsesses over the burial ritual of one murderer and not the mass graves of the multitudes of innocents he, and those he was a figurehead for, killed. You can find it in the online edition of an English one detailing how the banned Laskhkar-e-Taiba held funeral prayers for Bin Laden in Karachi today.

People of that ilk make Pakistan’s image crisis worse by openly exposing their – and by extension our - tolerance for intolerable positions. If what the foreign commentators I have quoted above said offends you, and you think they are refusing to distinguish between Pakistanis and those elements within Pakistan that gave Bin Laden shelter, acknowledge the role those elements play in shaping the outside world’s refusal to make that distinction. This, from outside the bubble, is a country where a sentence is blasphemy but a murder is not, rape victims are vilified for attempting to challenge patriarchy, terrorists are sheltered after slaughtering innocent civilians, and the challenge to sovereignty by a western force is always more important than the steady, decades long erosion of sovereignty by some imported, medieval hogwash.

Once, there might have been room in the world for an ideology that thinks it is special, God gifted, exempt from the rules and norms of the comity of nations of which one commentator speaks, but that place has already been taken. Certain Pakistanis need to accept that we are not Israel. By this I mean we cannot defend an indefensible position by virtue of association with unshakeable allies because really, at the end of the day, we have none. Even Saudi Arabia had the sense to let its most notorious son slip quietly into the sea, we on the other hand built him a home in a hill resort.

Today, we have a twofold crisis. One, the incompetence, exposed, of a bloated institution that has never lost an opportunity to enrich itself and steadfastly refused to fix itself. Two, a perception that Pakistan is populated by illiterate Muslims who will come out on the street to protest Danish cartoon strips but not to protest an almost comical, internationally inflammatory misstep. How do we fix the first? The rogue state within a state needs to be broken, examined forensically, and rebuilt in the shelter of a democratically elected civilian government, never to take a step without a popular mandate again, and then only to protect our citizens not endanger them further. 

How do you fix the second? For a start, apologize. Apologize Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, to the world for not keeping your side of the bargain, to your country for letting us be shamed on your watch. Apologize even if it kills you. Because your subsequent loss of face might embolden you enough to hold others accountable. And because somebody or the other is always trying to kill you anyway and you might as well die on the right side of the line.


Raza said...

Whatever man. Salman Rushdie's douchebag.

Great parallels draw, though.

TightDhoti said...

its as if on que, the media and people are looking for holes to poke through and find ways to excuse us of any complicity or incompetence. We have Brig SQ in the ET today bragging about how the ISI and the Army have a grip of things and this was all done for Obamas upcoming elections.

Still no one is answering what OBL was doing there in the first place. That ISI officials sit down for a chat to foreign journalists, the President of Pakistan addresses an American audience pretty much shows that our leaders take the Pakistani people for granted.

Aman said...

World opinion has already turned against Pakistan.Its now turn of Pakistanis themselves to ask for truth from ISI,Military etc because due to these agency every Pakistani is gettin branded as dishonest.

If it was not in US interest , US would have let Pak all alone there and then World might have fenced Pakistan and thrown away the keys. But due to Interest of US in Afghanistan and threat of handing over Nukes to extremists has kept US on Pak`s side even if it had to let go off its common sense.

And still US gets most flak from Paki people when it should be Military and ISI which should receive wrath of people.

banaras said...

Reading this post sent chills down my spine. The author is completely correct in asking for accountability of the intelligence and military establishment. And yes, things like these can only start happening under the umbrella of a stable democratic government. Unfortunately, with Osama's death, we have run out of time.

The accountability process needs to start posthaste. For starters, Gen. Pasha, if he has any sense or dignity at all, should immediately resign. A non-partisan and thorough inquiry needs to be carried out (I realise it will be difficult to find anybody here who is both unbiased and competent).

God help us all.

TLW said...

Very good Cafe Pyala.

Stuka said...

hey man, there's Pakistanis and there's Pakistan. Pakistan is fucked, there's no denying that. But I know plenty of cool Pakistanis. Once you guys grow the balls to kick Kayani in the balls and say "fuck you, I think prosperity is more important than the Paki Army's version of dignity" (paraphrasing a recent Kayani speech) you have belled the cat.

TLW said...

@Stuka The implicit charia-pan aside, you are talking about the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz. They're the ones who have made the most noise recently about getting the Pakistan military under control.

The weak current government is trying to see its term through to the end.

Anonymous said...

Great thoughts, Pak is certainly at a defining moment at some dark dismal cross road... Peace~~~

Pakistani in US said...

Great post, Pyala.

I get so depressed after every such episode that I literally have to crawl under a blanket and put myself to sleep to calm the senses. And to get the strength to go to work the next day and sit through questioning eyes, mocking grins and all so familiar puns on the rouge state. I am mad tired and there is hopelessness all around.

White Stripes said...

""For a start, apologize. Apologize Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister""

Sure, but how innocently you missed out the two names that REALLY need to apologize: Gen Kiyani and ISI cheif, Pasha.

Anonymous said...

Each time I despair that Pakistan is teetering on the edge of a self-created precipice with indoctrinated citizens who feel they are on the edge of glory, I see a brilliant article on Cafe Pyala that makes me feel that all is not lost.

Thank you for that, Cafe Pyala!

By now, Zardari's repetitive arguments have worn thin. His current article submitted in record time to WaPo is not substantially different from his previous article where he makes the same worn arguments.

He claims he is a victim of terrorism himself but apart from a few statements claiming the involvement of the Pakistan Taliban, there was never any conclusive evidence linking Benazir's death to anyone. In fact for all we know, he may have plotted to kill his own wife to come to power.

As an Indian, I know that the views of a lot of our citizens will always be colored by the prism of the Mumbai attacks. Like Rushdie, I too grew up in Bombay. As a child, I saw first-hand the chauvinism of goons like the Shiv Sena and grew up wanting to get out of there and finally did just that more than a decade back. But all my animosity dissipated on the day of the Mumbai attacks.

As a child of Bombay, I now feel connected with Salman Rushdie.

Anonymous said...

white stripes, read the lines after that. and the many other references to the army and isi throughout.

karachikhatmal said...

Excellent as always MSS, but you sort of weave a little too much here. dismantling the rogue state and putting it under civilian mandate? kyun nahi! but how does one even conceive of that?

i said this on twitter earlier, but both the army's supporters and detractors believe in its power too much to accept that this entire episode happened w/o their knowledge. what that made me realise was that we all have a general, or ISI Lt. inside our heads, who we believe at some point not only knows what we're thinking, but has also crafted a plan to thwart it.

every rightist and leftist and imran khanist has drafted theories about 'what really' happened, because no one believes the army could fuck up so bad, even though that's exactly what they claim to have done. which means that all of us believe in their power too much to accept that they would fess up. and as long as we believe in their abilities so deeply, we can't really take any concrete action against them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you CP for a well-thought out and honest appraisal of this monumental crisis we find ourselves in today. The sorry part is that the current discourse in the country is still about the moronic PML-Q joining the even-more-of-a-joke PPP government and the portfolios that were dished out. It makes one sick.
If I ever hear about Kayani's (or Musharraf's!) smoking style and Pasha's German-language skills again I will puke.
In more honorable times they would simply ease a sharp dagger into their own heart and spare us the shame! Instead the plutonium-coated heads we helped grow on their heads cannot fathom the dark road and miseries they have unleashed upon this most unfortunate nation.
Regardless if it was incompetence or deliberate harboring of a sworn enemy of your nation the PM/President should take this as an expedient opportunity to change the entire national security apparatus of this blighted country.
God please help us help ourselves...

deep said...

I composed an apology letter for Mr. Zardari the moment I got to know that OBL was killed in the place he was. I fantasised that he would say sorry, this has been an intelligence failiure and I will ask our ISI to give me a report as to how this happened. And all this would end with Shuja Pasha tendering his resignation. PLEASE let there be accountability after this. I am not a Pakistani but I empathise with the ordinary Pakistani.

Pekhawaray said...

this feeling of shame is so palpable for me that i can almost touch it.
so when are we conducting an inquiry? will kayani-Pasha and other incompetent,devious f****** resign.
civilian govt. should now take a stand against the military.
Yes, I agree, admit the guilt and start putting the house in order.

usmankhaliq said...

I agree with what KarachiKhatmal said about not considering the fact that the army probably did indeed mess up this time. However, considering the intelligence's two-faced role in supporting/attacking militants of their liking, its difficult not to think of it as having some sort of support from the powers-to-be. The time has come to finally redraft our entire foreign policy concerning this region. Our economy is going nowhere, the state of education is messed up,and the levels of "jahalat" and intolerance prevalent amongst us is alarming.Instead of wagging angry fingers at people who don't shy away from labelling us a a "failed state",its time we do something concrete to fix it. Stop suppporting militant groups for ANY vested interests. Resolve the Kashmir issue with India, and instead of boasting about having the best nukes/missiles/other useless,shitty military toys, start investing in things which really matter: our economy,our people. This constant fear of the "unknown enemy" is getting us nowhere, and unless we try and fix it ourselves, no God,Bhagwan,Allah,jesus Christ or Chuck Noris will descend down as our saviour against our own created ghosts.

Anonymous said...

Great post by MSS. But then the CIA's trust had waned over the years altogether. Do read this on

The "Romance that wasn't" - it's obvious that the CIA all along has been distrustful of the ISI and all the files on gitmo say it again and again.

J.Tull said...

Although there are numerous holes in the entire Osama hunt story, the way the conspiracy theorists are at it shows how far removed the pakistani media is from reality. (read delusional).

Of course, there are many obvious questions for which the Pakistani state / government must give answers. Obviously they won't and nor will i write them out.

But, IMO, there are a couple of points worth making.

1. If the state knew where OBL was, it had a rare opportunity to do something right, and arrest the man.

2. the tug of war within the state for 'who actually runs the state' has been won. Democracy stands for nothing here, it never did.

Asad Shairani said...

The aholes in khakis have brought us to the brink of destruction. Its time we start shouting or we'd be fucked big time.

Farrukh Ejaz said...

Kiyani, Pasha, Zardari and Gillani are responsible for this mess. ISI and Army knows everything. Army will not let go the power and position that it enjoys. Stop deluding yourselves with the dream of civilian autonomous rule. And yes Imran khan is not the answer. Stand up and be counted.

Allah help us help ourselves.

Arun said...

Why did Osama feel safe there to hide there for years?

stuka said...

"@Stuka The implicit charia-pan aside, you are talking about the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz. They're the ones who have made the most noise recently about getting the Pakistan military under control."

Completely agree. Leaving aside Nawaz Sharif's many personal faults, as a politician he has done more to stand up against the Army than many of PPP's Punjabi stalwarts like Gilani himself, and Shah Mahmud Qureshi to name another. Zardari himself has shown no guts in standing up to the Army. Within PML N, Javed Hashmi has had the most courage to stand up to the national security establishment.

It is redundant to say that politicians are weak, charachterless and so forth. They are, but they also don't have the ordained sense of superiority that Pak Army's little Bonapartes have. If Zardari had had the balls to tell Kayani to fuck off after his initial term (something NS would have done), he could have shifted the power equation between his government and his army.

All of this randi rona is a consequence of holding incompetents in divine esteem - Punjabi jarnails of mediocre intelligence and less education.

Mukul Kesavan said...

Thank you for this. Watching the geo-political geniuses who speak for Pakistan on Indian news channels (like that plausible diplomat, Hilaly (?)) you begin to wonder if the enormity of this and other things even registers.

Anonymous said...

I am probably going to take a lot of heat for this question but what the hell:

Can one of you, without judging me and calling names, give me a practical reason why we should not start calling India a big brother like Bangladesh does? BD has proven that all our pre-47 assumptions of "Hindus will rule us, be cruel to us, won't let us grow" were wrong. They befriended India and have done much better than us in a short span of 30 years. Look at their economy, look at their growth, heck, just look at their global image which is thousand times better than ours. How has India hurt them??

So one practical reason why we shouldn't be holding Indian's hand and crawling back up from this shit hole that our jarnails have put us in?

Ali said...


No heat, but here's something to ponder. Pre-47 assumptions about Hindu dominance were not the reason behind the philosophical conception of Pakistan. Pakistan was an evolution of the United India movement, which was simply a more universal form of the Islamic awakening described by Iqbal.

Why were nowhere close to that vision of a near utopian paradise is our own fault. That India is nowhere close to that utopian vision, is why we parted ways in the first place.

We'll get it back though...after a bit of a struggle of course.

Hamza said...

This post summarizes most of the conversation I, as a Pakistani currently living in the US, have had with a lot of people in the last few days.

Hats off to you for providing this succinct assessment of The Classic Pakistanian Defense.

Now, time to share this.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to go OT.


I guess this is what separates Pakistan from India.

60 years on, Pakistan invokes almost on a daily basis the imagery of the Quaid-e-Azam's vision, Allama Iqbal's dream itself based on Al Beruni's perception almost 1,000 years ago that Muslims and Hindus are different in every respect.

India on the other hand has moved on. 60 years ago, there was no other grandiose dream than to be independent. Today, Gandhi is hardly invoked and Nehru is all but forgotten.

Pakistan seems to living in the past but India moved long ago to the present.

@Anonymous (the one who feared flak):

What makes you think Bangladeshi's call India a big brother? I can tell you the very thought of this will be disgusting for the average Bangladeshi.

India and Bangladesh's relationship is built primarily on pragmatism and respect. Bangladeshis over the past decade has been striving to improve their standard of living and a key element of that is peace and stability.

Similarly, India's relationship's with other neighbors these days can also be said to be the same. For instance, when the anti-India communist government took over in Nepal with whom India has had traditional ties, India did not revoke the visa-free status for Indians and Nepalis to travel to each others countries.

Clichés such as big bother or "China is our one true friend" or the affection towards Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the attack on its cricketers are so childish I wonder if those who come up with them are still in school. Please go to China and find out if the average Joe on the street there feels the same about Pakistan.

Being a neighbor means giving each other space and not being too close or too apart that you piss the other one off.

Your thought however is a laudable one. It doesn't have to be the Indians. It could be the Americans, the Turks or even Indonesians, all countries the Indians will have no problems with.

Anonymous said...

Re: the bangladesh comparison... bangladesh benefited from one huge factor at its inception -- the support by islamists like the JI to west pakistan's genocidal campaign against political expression in the east. that discrediting of the islamist line allowed secular principles and identity to flourish much more so in bangladesh. our trajectory from there-on unfortunately was one of giving islamists more and more space, starting with bhutto, peaking with zia, kiddy-gloved by bb-nawaz at best, manipulated by musharraf, and energized by america's forays into the muslim world. so the question is, how much more death and misery will we have to face as a direct result of our coddling of islamists before they lose enough credibility to allow secular principles to take hold in our political and social life?

Arun said...

Ali wrote: Why were nowhere close to that vision of a near utopian paradise is our own fault. That India is nowhere close to that utopian vision, is why we parted ways in the first place.

i.e., our theory always trumps your practice.

Asiantv said...

The answer to your question is actually very simple and plain. It's simply too early to speculate about anything. There are a lot of rumours which is the cause of confusion. The fact to the matter is that until PN doesn't reaffirm its position we can only speculate. Let's wait for the official word instead of assuming out of the blue.

music online said...

I think its all about taking chances.

Hassaan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.