‘Pro-jihadi, anti-India’ policy #fail

“’Pro-jihadi, anti-India’ policy #fail” – my column Personal Political published in Hardnews, India, and in The News on Sunday. Many in Pakistan have been saying this for a long time, and been attacked and branded as traitors, Indian agents and kafirs for going against ‘the establishment’. Now, for the first time, this argument is in the public domain, being discussed on live television. Recently, Asma Jahangir Chairperson Emeritus of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, lashed out at the Pakistan army’s self serving policies and demanded that they stay out of politics – in words that one would never have heard on television before. Her view reinforces what I wrote a few days earlier, below (predictably, efforts are afoot to portray her as ‘anti-national, pro-Hindu, pro-India’. These efforts too, will #fail). Continue reading

Pakistan army should butt out of politics: Asma Jahangir says it like it is


Clip from Crossfire in which Asma Jahangir, the indomitable Chairperson Emeritus of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, says it like it about the Pakistan armed forces, in a talk show with the  ever sensationalist Meher Bokhari, on Dunya TV on May 26, 2011. View the full programme at the PkPolitics website. The clip posted here starts Continue reading

The curse of living in ‘interesting times’

My recent column, published in Hardnews, India and The News on Sunday, Pakistan

PERSONAL POLITICAL

The curse of living in ‘interesting times’

Beena Sarwar

Visiting newspaper offices in Sweden some years ago, I was struck by the relative ease and routine manner in which journalists obtained information. Any envy was overtaken by the comforting thought that at least it’s never boring to be a journalist in Pakistan. Someone obviously threw the proverbial Chinese curse at us: “May you live in interesting times” and added, for good measure, “not just interesting, but downright dangerous”.

The roller coaster ride of Pakistan continues, with many passengers unsure whether the seat belts and the mechanisms are in working order. As I write this, speculations are rife about the ‘expected’ change of face in government. But then, if one were to believe the forecasts of newspaper and television pundits, this would have happened months after the first elected government in 12 years took over power in March 2008. Continue reading

TED and Compassion, India-Pakistan joint defence, Zardari and conspiracies

Several links and news items I’ve been wanting to share and finally managed to compile – as well as a belated bit of good news and congratulations to Dr Hassan Abbas, a journalist and then police officer in Lahore before becoming an academic and blogger at Watandost. He has been selected for the QAU Chair at Columbia U, well deserved. He has for years been stressing the need to deal with many of the problems in Pakistan as regular law and order issues, rather than blanketed under the ‘war on terror’, and has suggested reforms to the police sector including better training, pay and equipment – see his recent police reforms paper at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU)

Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists are having a field day in Pakistan, with much unease at how some journalists are (mis) conducting themselves. I say let them fulminate and froth. We’ve had fighting words from Zardari in his latest speech, and he has come out swinging (to use Bilal Qureshi’s term) in his interview to Express TV, posted at Pkonweb

The bottom line is that Pakistan army does not want to be under civilian control – see report by Saeed Shah: ‘Pakistan’s military seen moving to undercut Zardari over his close U.S. ties

One of Zardari’s ‘faults’ in the ‘establishment’s’ eyes is his insistence that India is not the enemy. Continue reading

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