Sunday, May 31, 2009

Banned from the Pakistani Defence Forum!

I have been "eternally banned" from this forum, which I discovered a few weeks after the Mumbai Massacre. (I suppose it was something I wrote.) This post is provided for those forum members who still wish to discuss Pakistani issues with me.

Some interesting articles:

Corruption: "I own Karachi … and can sell it!" - parts 1, 2, and 3

Neutrality of religious organizations: What? Are we not Muslims?'

Pakistan's past duplicity: Little time and few choices

The old days were better: A brief, happy interlude

The Taliban may create recruits from the refugees they themselves displaced: Military victory in Swat will not be enough

Zardari on dealing with such problems as "18,000 madrasas that are brainwashing our youth": Pakistan on the Brink

Waking up to the Taliban: Paradise Lost

Frightened residents creep out of their homes in reconquered Mingora: link

Taliban communications intercept: "LOST IDENTITY: IS PAKISTAN WINNING ITS WAR ON TERROR?" link1 link2

The Taliban escape to Karachi: link

Pakistan's nukes make it an Al-Qaeda target: "[P]replanning for nuclear arsenal control is a lot better than planning for 30 years of Jihad." link

PBS Frontline Videos: Conflict Zones: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq

"Some hypocrites say that we are doing this for money - or because of brainwashing - but we are told by Allah to target these pagans": Taliban recruits teenage suicide bombers for revenge attacks

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Niilofur Farrukh: Unheeded lessons of democracy

An excellent article from Dawn. I couldn't put it any better: Pakistanis muster up their energies to face yet another humanitarian crisis they must also pause to reflect on Talibanisation and its relationship to our dysfunctional democracy. We need to give serious thought to the deep-seated causes behind the presence of the Taliban...The Taliban managed to make inroads not because they are invincible or outnumber their detractors but because we, the citizens of Pakistan, for six decades have collectively ignored the lessons of democracy that promises equal rights and justice for all citizens...Dictators may have deprived us of our vote from time to time, but we as a nation have contributed to a system built on nepotism, expediency and convenience. Pakistanis clamour for democracy during dictatorships yet make a mockery..

With most institutions having lost the capacity to function efficiently the masses feel a growing sense of injustice, deprivation and helplessness. These have created deep fissures in our society and gradually pushed us to the brink that makes us so vulnerable to extremist ideologies. The nations that have averted disasters are the ones that can find the inner strength, resolve and resilience so future generations do not have to pay a heavy price...For any tangible success the real battle has to be fought within each Pakistani as he/she struggles to re-learn the spirit of democracy.

Even with men like Niilofur Farrukh, Pakistan may not win its battle. Those authors who confidently declaimed, "The pen is mightier than the sword!" never had to deal with murderous fanatics who slay not just those who oppose them, but all who fail to actively support their cause by word and deed.

Even liberals may have to pick up the sword and fight to remain liberals! Will they learn this?

Here's one who did:
I was programmed from birth to be a devout liberal. My dad, a hard working first generation Russian Jew, would lecture me on a regular basis, "The Democrats are the party of the little people. The Republicans are the party of the rich guy."..When I was 26, I parked myself in the People's Republic of Berkeley, CA, the epicenter of the far left. I came as a liberal but soon morphed into a leftist as most people here do...So maybe you get now how hard it was, how disorienting and destabilizing and crazy making it was, when I realized about 1 1/2 years ago that I no longer believed in liberalism. I walked around in a confused state for weeks...The first step, I decided, was deprogramming myself from decades of liberal propaganda...if this lifelong left winger from Berkeley can wake up, hopefully others will also do so before it's too late.

How to Deprogram a Liberal in One Year Or Less