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The state that wouldn’t fail

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Rabzon, Jul 21, 2011.

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  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Absolutely, You are correct. A Country can prosperous only by Education and Economy. Pakistan needs to improve that section. Also, Politicians but that will come with improvement of Education and then Awareness. As of Now, Situation is very bad. But Things can improve if tried in best way. Army should work as Army only and not as most powerful. A Economist or Politician are better than Army man to lead the country because Country is not all about defence. There are 100's of things.

    Goo Education --> Good Health Care --> Population Control -->> Good Selection of Government -- > Good Liberal View --> Good Economy.

    Also, India is just a myth created by most of the top Pakistani officials. I heard many saying " India will attack Pakistan, Hence - We need to improve defence ". Why we will do that ?? I don't think India has any such intention. A Prosperous and Peaceful Pakistan is good for whole sub-continent.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  2. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    The elephant in the room that no one wants to address is Pakistani army. Till the nation is in the clutches of its army, it will continue to foster its assymetric assets against Afganistan/NATO as well as India.

    Under the guise if fighting terrorism , Pakistani military has been continuously extorting money from it Allies and more importantly the Pakistani Public. This investment in WoT that Pakistan wants to be reimbursed for, came from Pakistani people's pockets. What justification did the Pakistani army had to use up billions of dollars to aid Afghan war. This is what happens when there is no public voice to govern the country

    So essentially PA built and backed mujhahideen taliban organisations without any control with the public's money. When some if them went independent from their handlers... The PA used Pakistani money to fight them pushing the economy into bankruptcy. Forget the aid money, thats all used to build conventional and nuclear assets against India

    Pakistani army has used china mostly to develop its military capabilities rather than education or infrastructure. Lack of education and employment is the primary cause for Pakistani youth too be attracted towards the mujhhideen business.

    Its is of utmost importance for pakistani people to take control of their military... This war on terror can never be ended unless the pakistani people are empowered.
     
  3. Sanibhagwan

    Sanibhagwan 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    All these points except point no 5 fit very well for India too.

    In my option, there are just 2 issues which got piled up over the years and has multiplier effect.

    1) Pakistan army has to go back to barracks. It is literally micromanaging every aspect of pakistan.

    2) The mass hysteria created by some people (that India has a secret Akand bharat agenda and wanted to engulf the whole of pakistan) thereby making India the enemy no. 1

    If you don't believe in point no 2... here we go

    http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=104786
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  4. Capt.Popeye

    Capt.Popeye Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    A thought-provoking piece posted elsewhere by Muse. And there is a slight bitter-sweet tinge to it that did not leave me unaffected.

     
  5. Rabzon

    Rabzon 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    ANALYSIS: A very misleading report


    Daily Times
    by Farhat Taj
    August 06, 2011


    On July 31, 2011, a programme on a private TV channel was aired in which a TV crew was transported by the Pakistan Army to Wana, South Waziristan. The army soldiers escorted the team throughout their stay in Wana. The team talked with the soldiers stationed in the area along with some tribesmen, and also aired the development work initiated by the army in Waziristan. The whole programme was misleading.

    Before their departure to Waziristan, the anchorperson of the programme said this: “The norm is that when you go to a new place, you first ask around to get a knowhow about the area. We are going to Waziristan, but there is no one to ask about this area.†This is factually wrong. People from Waziristan can be found all over Pakistan in state institutions, universities, the transport business and other job markets. Many people from the area, including the entire Mehsud tribe, are IDPs outside Waziristan. But one has to remember that the TV programme was not meant to air the views of the people of Waziristan or to educate the people of Pakistan about the people of Waziristan. The programme was a piece of propaganda. It was meant to present the perspective of the Pakistan Army, which simply does not concur with the ground reality in Waziristan. It is thus no wonder that the anchorperson could ‘see’ none among the thousands of people from Waziristan scattered all over Pakistan for a chat about the area prior to the journey.

    The anchorperson interviewed some tribesmen from Waziristan. One of the tribesmen was the son of Maulana Noor Muhamamd, who the anchorperson introduced as a “shaheedâ€. This jihadi maulana, recently killed in a suicide attack, always had deep links with the military establishment of Pakistan since the days of the so-called Afghan jihad. He had strong relations with al Qaeda and the Taliban leaders. He had the blood of the innocent people of Waziristan on his hands. How could the television channel declare such a person a shaheed?

    The TV programme did not even casually refer to the 200 plus tribal leaders of South Waziristan who have been target killed because they opposed the presence of Taliban and al Qaeda militants in Waziristan. Their families hold the ISI responsible for their brutal assassinations. It is pertinent to mention that a prominent journalist, on a recent TV talk show said that in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack, the Musharraf government sent a delegation to Afghanistan to pursue Mullah Omar to hand over Osama bin Laden to the US. This was the public stance of the government. Privately, the delegation urged Mullah Omar to defy the US by refusing to surrender bin Laden. The government wanted to drag and humiliate the US into the Afghan quagmire just like the USSR. The journalist stopped at this point, but there is much more in the follow up than what he said. Tribal leaders in South Waziristan (and later all over FATA), who opposed or potentially could oppose the militants’ escape into their area in the wake of the US’s bombing in Afghanistan were killed in pursuit of trapping the US in Afghanistan. This was according to the plan to create a leadership vacuum in tribal society to be filled by the state-assisted Taliban and al Qaeda.

    The TV programme remained silent about the presence of the Punjabi Taliban and other foreign militants in the area. Not far from Wana bazaar, where the TV team spoke from, is Doag, the centre of the Punjabi Taliban. The Wazir tribesmen constantly point out (privately for security concerns) that even the Waziri terrorists are a minority. A majority of the militants, they inform, are the Punjabi Taliban. The TV report failed to show the training centre for suicide bombers in the area. The report ignored the ‘good’ Waziri Taliban commander, Mullah Nazir, based in Wana. The report failed to show the petrol station in Wana bazaar where Farooq Yargul Khel was target killed in 2003 precisely because he had publicly declared that he would never allow the militants to enter Wana bazaar and would evict them from the rest of Waziristan through a tribal lashkar. He was the first among the target-killed leaders of Waziristan for their opposition to the Taliban and al Qaeda.

    The programme did not even mention the disastrous army agreement with al Qaeda-led Taliban commander, Nek Mohammad, in 2004 that discarded the tribal leaders’-led political order in the area. The agreement is tantamount to dictating a new social contract at gunpoint between the Wazir tribe and Pakistani state, whereby Waziristan was handed over to al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report was also silent on the Wazir tribe’s clashes with Uzbek militants in 2007. Pakistan Army weapons, including long-range artillery, were freely used against the Uzbek militants. Instead of killing the Uzbeks with help from the Wazir tribe, the army authorities let them flee to North Waziristan so as to put them under the influence of the Haqqani network in the area to direct their jihadi energies towards the international forces in Afghanistan. There is nothing in the programme that might suggest that the TV crew had reflected on the commonsense observation of how any local people could provide honest answers in the presence of the army authorities.

    A bizarre part of the programme is when its female anchorperson, sitting in a topless military vehicle, veiled herself as the vehicle entered Wana bazaar. “This is the culture here and we have to show respect to this culture,†she pronounced from behind the face veil. The fact is that not all women in the tribal area wear the face veil. Rather than showing respect to the tribal culture, the journalist displayed insensitivity to the tribal norm that accepts that casual female visitors to the area, like this journalist, are exempt from the local pardah (veil) norms. But, let us not forget that the journalist was reporting in Wana bazaar, an area close to the centre of the Punjabi Taliban. Most probably, it was fear of the Punjabi Taliban rather than respect for tribal culture that made her wear a face veil in Wana bazaar.

    FATA has been converted into a black hole where reality is created and presented to the world in a manner that suits the security establishment of Pakistan. This TV programme is just such an example. Within hours of the programme, the Chinese authorities reportedly blamed the Uzbek militants based in FATA for recent terror attacks in a Muslim-dominated region of the country. Within hours of the programme, there was a drone strike in South Waziristan that killed militants. But, sadly, such media presentations only serve to mislead the people of Pakistan who have no direct access to FATA. It is most unfortunate that Pakistani media outlets are part and parcel of the military’s propaganda to mislead the people of Pakistan.

    The writer is a PhD Research Fellow with the University of Oslo and currently writing a book, Taliban and Anti-Taliban
     
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  6. Rabzon

    Rabzon 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    ANALYSIS: Pakistan’s foreign policy: grandeur of delusions — II

    Daily Times
    Dr Mohammad Taqi
    August 11, 2011

    “Our object should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large. We have no aggressive designs against anyone. We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our full contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world†— Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s address on August 15, 1947.

    I had noted last week that the recent events in Turkey indicate that any military’s control over the domestic and foreign affairs of a nation-state is unsustainable and discordant with the new geopolitical realities. There is nothing new about this. The single-party communist and non-communist governments, military juntas in Latin America, the Ba’athist regimes or the mom and pop dictatorships a la Ferdinand and Emelia Marcos all had one thing in common — the national security state paradigm was central to their domestic policies.

    The foreign policy of these regimes was by and large reflective of their domestic policies. Leon Trotsky had aptly noted: “Foreign policy is everywhere and always a continuation of domestic policy, for it is conducted by the same ruling class and pursues the same historic goals.†In case of these assorted dictatorships, their militaries played the pivotal role in carrying out these policies and held sway either as an institution or sharing power with the ruling individual, clique or party.

    Before the echo of Quaid-e-Azam’s above quoted words — spoken at the inauguration of the Pakistan Broadcasting Service — could fade, the signs of what was to become Pakistan’s lot started manifesting themselves. The events starting with the October 1947 tribal incursion into Kashmir from the Pakistani side, which eventually snowballed into a war between the two new countries, also set the stage for the national security state paradigm becoming the sheet-anchor of Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policies. In this case, Trotsky’s adage was turned on its head.

    The involvement of the military in achieving the nascent Pakistan’s immediate foreign policy objectives when the democratic institutions of the country were in an embryonic form set the stage for its larger-than-life role in the affairs of the new state. In due course, the military enterprise displaced and/or co-opted both the civilian bureaucracy and the politicians. Three martial laws were merely an outward manifestation of this chokehold that the military has continuously exercised over Pakistan’s polity.

    The establishment’s subsequent misadventures in Kashmir actually created a situation where the domestic policy continued to be crafted to suit the means and ends of the foreign policy agenda. The state’s patronage of the Islamist groups and religio-political parties was used to support this jingoism and the symbiotic relationship peaked under General Ziaul Haq with the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. To raise such jihadist cadres, the Pakistani state moved from the primordial secularism of Quaid-e-Azam to the obscurantist and Arabised Islamisation of Pakistan under Zia. The proxy warfare that started in Kashmir in 1947 remains the bedrock of Pakistan’s defence strategy. The quest for so-called strategic depth in Afghanistan is also a manifestation of this phenomenon. Ironically, a conventional military has been betting on an unconventional war strategy that relies on the presumed but untested success of guerrilla warfare in the event it is run over in a war.

    The initial call to the holy war in Kashmir was rather generic but the next decades saw the full-fledged use of highly indoctrinated jihadist proxies inducted into Kashmir, especially after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. All pretences to the Kashmiris’ right of self-determination were jettisoned along the way. Organisations like the JKLF — supported initially by the Pakistani state — were abandoned in favour of Islamist proxies, when they started moving away from the Pakistani position to demand a “Kashmir for Kashmirisâ€, i.e. independence from both India and Pakistan.

    The admixture of military jingoism and jihadism unleashed a massive radicalisation of Pakistani society that eventually culminated in the rise of several domestic militant Islamist outfits with ties to similar international groups. But the most dangerous outcome of the decades of indoctrination is a mutant urban middle class that grew up on a steady diet of the concocted stories of victories and revisionist history in the Pakistan Studies textbooks. Quaid-e-Azam’s nationalism — itself not without a modicum of communalism — was eventually replaced by full-fledged Pakistani chauvinism. Any desire for ‘peace within and peace without’ was replaced by faith in mutually assured destruction through nukes. The grandeur of delusions perhaps could not be more grandiose and delusional.

    The 19th-century US Senator Stephen Decatur’s words, “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong,†seems to have become the national creed, replacing the Quaid’s desire “to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at largeâ€. In contrast to Turkey’s “zero problem†foreign policy aimed at harmonious relations with its neighbouring, regional and international states, Pakistan’s foreign policy became a zero-sum paradigm vis-à-vis its neighbours.

    However, the hyper-nationalists, especially in the intelligentsia, are losing sight of the fact that all aforementioned dictatorial regimes had one more thing in common — a transition from authoritarianism to democracy that set in motion the processes that eventually saw civilian supremacy established over the military. The transitions to democracy may have had various different routes and means, ranging from the implosion of regimes like the USSR or through protests and mass movements, but one common denominator was the role of civil society and scholars as the guiding force as well as the watchdogs of this civilian oversight.

    Whether it is establishing the constitutional parameters for robust defence ministries or exercising control over the military through making it accountable via transparency in budgeting, planning and procurement processes, it is ultimately the opinion leaders who have to ask the hard questions of both the military and the politicians. But before one can objectively ask such questions, one has to get past Decatur’s delusional belief in his country’s certitude. And how aptly had Senator Carl Schurz responded to Decatur: “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.â€

    While we are holding seminars on de-radicalisation, it may not be a bad idea to hold one to discuss how we got here. Senator Schurz’s remark was an instant reality-check; perhaps that could be the theme of a frank dialogue.
     
  7. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Main differance, religion does not matter enough to kill people over it.
     
  8. Jungibaaz

    Jungibaaz Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    you got to be kidding me? maybe you don't know the cause of these barbaric acts...
    lack of education is the sole cause, not mind set.

    and yet it is only part of the main difference, all comes down to development.
     
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  9. abirbec04

    abirbec04 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    All comes down to Education. These retards obviously take their religion too seriously when everyone else has the good sense of blowing it off. But there is an alarming trend of even educated people getting involved - these educated established guys can and are being indoctrinated by a false premise of a very narrow view of religion which their masters themselves do not subscribe too.

    Take Osama Bin Laden for example - he was the undisputed champion of the Jehadists but what will they now say when the Americans including the ABC TV crew found "Marijuana" or a "Pot Garden", lots of bottles of Coca Cola and obviously an enormous Cache of PORN. They even found sex toys and personal lubricants in the shelf. So from this description he is not even a Muslim, a bigoted hypocrite who has been living a life of a lie.

    But then many of fellow Jehadists will never believe it as well and start spinning conspiracy theories, hell half of them don't even believe that he is dead and the other half says that he was killed before the Abottabad raid. This kind of conspiracy theories are bread and butter over in the arab world and also in Pakistan, albeit Al Qaeda themselves have announced that OBL is dead.

    Go figure .... :lol:
     
  10. Rabzon

    Rabzon 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Nawaz Sharif gets it right on India

    By Editorial
    Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.

    Addressing a seminar organised by the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) in Lahore over the weekend, PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif surprisingly said some very laudable and perhaps remarkable things on relations between Pakistan and India. In fact, if one analyses his remarks, one will find things said that most politicians would be afraid to say in public, perhaps out of fear from hawks, conservatives and the strong anti-India lobby that is found in many sections of society, in particular in the civil-military establishment and the media.


    Mr Sharif said that India and Pakistan had a common heritage of culture, that even their language and eating habits are similar. He said India should have built a motorway from the Wagha border-crossing to Calcutta and the two countries should have traded. When he constructed the motorway it was his plan to take it to Kabul via Peshawar as well as to Gwadar and Tashkent. He told the audience that Atal Behari Vajpayee had suggested announcing 1999 as the year for resolving the Kashmir dispute but his government was toppled that year. As for Kargil, he hoped that someday an independent and impartial inquiry would decide the truth about what had happened. Mr Sharif also said that instead of competing in the manufacture and acquisition of weapons, Pakistan and India should compete economically. If India buys a tank, Pakistan does the same and this comes at the expense of our social sector and infrastructure, he said.

    On the issue of culture between Pakistan and India, Mr Sharif said that hating a community which had a culture similar to ours meant in effect hating a part of ourself. To this we would say that those who think of Pakistan from the outside know that the current crises faced by the country stem from its persistence in the ‘ideologically’ ingrained but unrealistic policy towards India. Pakistan’s obsession with Afghanistan — the pathology of having a ‘friendly’ government there — is nothing but a corollary of the policy of ‘strategic depth’.

    The dwindling capacity of the state to cope with terrorism is owed to Pakistan’s ‘vigilance’ on the eastern border from where Pakistan’s static ‘threat matrix’ expects India to attack and occupy Pakistan because it never accepted the creation of Pakistan. The equally shocking tendency to view the Taliban and al Qaeda as ‘reconcilable’ friends of Pakistan emanates from the irreducible theory of opposition to India. Experts in the United States know that 90 per cent of anti-Americanism in Pakistan is constructed on the supposition that America has joined hands with India to subjugate or subordinate Pakistan to India’s ‘hegemonic’ drive.

    When policies don’t work and strategies end in defeat or indirect reversals like an economic meltdown, it is time to change them. Darwin held that it was not survival of the fittest that defeated the less fit but the inability of the less fit to mutate. Erroneously thinking that ideology means refusal to make changes in policy, Pakistan has reached a point where it needs to change itself drastically from a warrior nation to a market state, or fade away like a failed African state. It needs a leader who commands popular support and is willing to lead without being led by cheap populism. Nawaz Sharif, usually, is not this to his followers and on TV channels, when he is rated ‘friendly in opposition’ as if a normal leader is supposed to be a pathological fire-breather. He sounds unfamiliar again when talking about relations with India, but he is the leader who has the answer to what looks like Pakistan’s terminal crisis. He realises that Pakistan’s undoing has started because of its ‘path dependency’ on the ‘security state’ model which has forgotten to live as a normal economic entity.

    On this anniversary of Pakistan’s independence, the only good news has come from Punjab simply because a leader has correctly diagnosed the unease from which Pakistan has suffered for a long time. What he is recommending is not capitulation to an enemy but a normal adjustment to today’s globalised world where economic growth is the only way to survive and where there are no free lunches from superpowers needing surrogates to fight their wars.
     
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  11. DaRk KnIght

    DaRk KnIght Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Its all about economy :tup:
     
  12. Rabzon

    Rabzon 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    EDITORIAL: Faulty policy on the Taliban

    Daily Times
    August 29, 2011

    The latest cross-border attack of fugitive Taliban terrorists has mounted tensions between Islamabad and Kabul. Pakistan suffered a huge loss on Saturday when over two dozen security men were killed in another pre-dawn onslaught by 300 terrorists on seven Pakistani check posts in Chitral. There are conflicting reports about the actual death toll in the attack as the intense firing between the security forces and the terrorists continued for hours. The ISPR put it at 25 while the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Malakand division claimed killing 80 security personnel and capturing another six. Lodging a strong protest with Afghanistan’s envoy in Islamabad, Pakistan stressed that ISAF and the Afghan National Army need to take effective measures to thwart such cross-border incursions by the terrorists from their sanctuaries in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan bordering Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan’s military authorities have held the inadequate presence of Nato and Afghan security forces in the northeastern region of Afghanistan responsible for the attacks. It also said that despite intelligence sharing for the last one year about the large concentrations of the Taliban in the area, Nato and Afghan forces did not take any action against them.

    Saturday’s attack on Pakistan’s border security personnel was the sixth deadly attempt since April 21 when 14 Frontier Corps soldiers were killed by terrorists in the Kharkari area of Dir. In four other attacks, more than 50 security men, including civilians, lost their lives. Since the US-led Nato forces withdrew from remote outposts in Kunar and Nuristan, a security vacuum had been created there. The situation required prompt and stringent security measures from Pakistan. But we failed in doing so. Before demanding the Afghan government to check the terrorists, we should question ourselves about what are we doing for our own defence. How effective are our own security measures? Instead of pointing a finger at Nato and Afghan forces, it is time that Pakistan should increase its own security and reinforce the borders. No doubt, ensuring security along the 2,430 kilometre long rugged and porous border that Pakistan shares with Afghanistan is a strenuous task; however, extraordinary situations also entail extraordinary efforts.

    Our government and the military authorities should also not buy the TTP’s denial regarding the involvement of the Afghan Taliban in their cross-border raids. It is evident that the Taliban, who had fled from Swat, Dir and Bajaur during the military offensives have taken refuge in the bordering provinces of Kunar and Nuristan and organised themselves with the help of the Afghan Taliban. In collusion with each other, they plan, attack and kill not only Pakistani troops deployed at isolated border checkposts but also the innocent villagers living nearby. We should come out of the fallacy that surrounds the ‘good Taliban’ and ‘bad Taliban’ notion. There is no such division. The Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan are one and the same, bent upon carrying on their terrorist activities with impunity. The presence of Taliban sympathisers in both our parliament and the military ranks is not a secret. Our military has been nourishing the Taliban, including the Haqqani network, as its strategic assets since decades. Despite suffering massive human and property losses, our military still seems reluctant in taking action against its Afghan proxies. We have been repeating in this space that these jihadi outfits have to be disbanded once and for all. We need to be for our own survival.Protests to the Afghan government for the menace of terrorism, which we ourselves have inflicted upon us, would not serve any purpose until we change our policy and stop supporting these terror outfits.
     
  13. Rabzon

    Rabzon 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Cross-border attack

    Dawn
    Editorial
    Aug 29 2011

    YET another cross-border attack, this time in Chitral, has underlined the growing seriousness of the problem along the Pak-Afghan border in Fata. The problem is emanating from the eastern Afghan provinces, particularly Kunar and Nuristan, and appears set to continue for some time. At least two points need to be made here. One, border check posts need to be manned by the army, not the Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary, police, levies or scouts. The latter group do not have the necessary training for border duties and is one of the main reasons border check posts have been overrun several times since May. The main duties of the FC, police, levies, etc are to ensure law and order in the tribal areas; it is only the army that has the training and capability to secure the border and rebuff attacks by well-armed militants with knowledge of the local terrain. However, because of resource constraints owing to the various military operations against militants, the army has delegated much of its border patrol duties to paramilitary and lightly armed forces that are under-equipped to deal with the new challenges emanating from Afghanistan`s eastern provinces, where many of the militants who fled from Swat have gathered.

    Second, the knee-jerk reaction of blaming the Afghan government or foreign forces for attempting to `destabilise` Pakistan must be checked. The reality is that the space available to the Taliban, both Afghan and Pakistani, in eastern Afghanistan is growing without the direct or indirect sponsorship of the Afghan government or foreign forces. The same space is used by the Afghan Taliban for attacking the Afghan government and the foreign forces as it is used by the Pakistani Taliban for launching cross-border raids.

    Easy as it may be to blame the Afghan government or the Americans and tempting as it is to look at the cross-border raids as a tactical issue, the fact is that the raids must be located in the wider strategic choices of the Pakistan state. The problem with the good Taliban/bad Taliban distinction has always been that it is a false one — they support one another and are committed to a takeover of the state in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tolerating the good Taliban for strategic purposes will always redound upon the state here — as is happening with the cross-border raids by the bad Taliban.
     
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  14. Rabzon

    Rabzon 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Democracy — the only road to be on


    By Rasul Bakhsh Rais
    Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2011.


    The writer is professor of political science at LUMS.


    Not everyone supports democracy in Pakistan; some for religious reasons, others either don’t know what it means for them, while some see bad things in it because of the deceptive ways of the electoral class. That, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise. In every country and society, one encounters opposition to democratic ideas for some reason or another. The real issue in Pakistan is that those coming to power, on account of popular representation and because they keep referring to their own glorified role in democratic struggles, hardly have any political or ideological commitment to democracy.

    Exposing their hypocrisy can be the first step towards building our democratic future. The bigger challenge, however, is how we can defeat their using use of democratic means — i.e., popular support — to betray the popular mandate. Let us be clear, the popular mandate is not about acquiring power but rather about articulating the public good, securing rights and the defending lives and properties of citizens. Pick up a manifesto of any political party in the governing coalitions, and one will will see these grand objectives emphasised over and over again. A mandate is not a right to rule but rather a social contract, a promise or commitment one makes when asking people to support one’s programmes and policies when running for election. Fair and free elections are a rarity in Pakistan, and so individuals, groups and parties have used violence, coercion, fraud, and money to procure popular support. The democratic means of achieving power, often claimed by victors of elections in Pakistan, may not stand the litmus test of being free, fair or untainted of corruption.

    The same has been true of our four military dictators — all of whom vowed to build ‘genuine’ democracy, or create a social and economic base for it, while displacing the electoral elite. But what they did instead was to destroy each and every institution and norm that could make the democratic progress of Pakistan, smooth, sustainable and deep. The history of military dictators is characterised by deceit, institutional decay, political fragmentation, moral and social rot, (that produced polarisation), insurgencies and alliances of the state with violent ethnic and religious groups.

    So, what is the alternative if we find ourselves between two options — military rule and ‘democratic’ demagogues misrepresenting democracy? The answer is that we must learn from our own experiences, a lot more than we learn from the struggles of other countries. Two lessons are important and must form the foundational ideas of our social and political thinking. One, there is no alternative to democracy. Second, that democracy comes in stages and through struggles — and never is it offered on a platter or as a gift.

    How can we go about this struggle, which must be both through debating universal ideas and their relevance to our society and time (it also has to come through the concrete actions of members of civil society)? For this, we must educate our people and struggle harder than we have in the past. I am afraid, a diverse, plural, large and complex society like Pakistan cannot be governed peacefully without democracy — a democracy, which is not hijacked by demagogues, murderous violent groups that enter into political compacts or by those who have no respect for law, judiciary or accountability.

    This raises a million-dollar question: how to get rid of those who have false representation and falsely represent democracy? I wish I had a simple answer. It has to be through persistent, patient work for civic education, support of judiciary, accountability and rule of law. The road to democracy is long and the journey can be tiring, but this the only road that leads to progress, stability and civilised governance.
     
  15. genetic_nomad

    genetic_nomad FULL MEMBER

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    unfortunately PK, like IN suffers from a corrupt political class, but we lack better options. The only way seems to be forcing these politicians to mend their ways and work for betterment of the people. TBH, they can indulge in corruption to a certain extent but it should not come in the way of social development of the masses.
     
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