Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On Ahmed Rashid, and His Article - The Anarchic Republic of Pakistan

I think Ahmed Rashid is a crypto-traitor for being a communist hack during the seventies and eighties, cheerleading the Soviet invasion, and being a generally whiny, spoilt brat semi-traitor who held himself up as part of the "smart" Communist "vanguard" elite. He was part of what I consider a Lahori "intellectual" faction who have little real world experience of living under fire, and consider themselves politically smarter than everybody else, whilst simultaneously being pain-in-the-ass social butterflies. Najam Sethi was part of his generation on that annoying variant. Tariq Ali represents one generation back of that annoying political faction. As if they deserve to be taken seriously, the only real world shaking political ACTION that this faction was involved with was the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case.

And after that little misadventure backfired, and a misadventure I will bet, planted the idea of a coup in the unimaginative minds of Pakistan's purposely-kept-unimaginative-by-the-British military elite (starting of course with Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan), this political faction had to move into journalism and academia to remain relevant. As for Ahmed Rashid, he fought in the 1970's Baloch Insurgency, aiding and abetting the killing of Pakistani soldiers during that insurgency. That's enough for me to hate him. And he took this I-am-opposing-Pakistan-and-aiding-the-murder-of-Pakistani-citizens-attitude-because-the-entire-structure-is-evil attitude into his coverage of the eighties Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The reason a smart man like him probably never made money and a good book of it, was probably because he was involved with the covering the asses of the Communists for whatever fuck mistakes or murders they did in Afghanistan. Then came the Afghan civil war and the rise of the Taliban. In this fight he had no dog. So he's been trying to make up for his hackery over the last eleven years by writing holistically on the Taliban.

And he has taken that holistic approach to Pakistan and its deep state. As a firm believer in holistic analysis, I recommend this article. I especially enjoyed the attempt at summarising the situation in Karachi. It was kind of interesting.

"MEANWHILE, the lack of services is creating its own anarchy. In Karachi, with a population of 18 million, violence is so endemic and its perpetrators so diverse that it is difficult to summarize. What we do know is that beyond Islamic extremism, the city is in the grip of heavily armed mafias and criminal gangs, who kill over control of water supplies, public transport, land deals and the drug trade. Car theft is rampant. The most lucrative business is kidnapping for ransom. The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reports that there were 260 targeted killings in Karachi in the first six months of this year, compared to 156 last year. Eight hundred eighty-nine murders were reported in the same period. Because the city is the melting pot of the country, much of the violence is between ethnic groups who live in virtual ghettoes and compete for the scarce resources of the city.

Ethnic violence is translated into interparty political assassinations. The Muhajir-dominated Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) which rules Karachi is made up of Urdu-speaking migrants from India. They are in a bloody war with an MQM offshoot and in intense rivalry with the largest Pashtun secular political group (the Awami National Party) as well as with the majority Sindhi population. The Muhajirs blame the Pashtuns for introducing the Taliban to Karachi, and ethnic killings are multiplying; party workers of all groups are being targeted."

And, of course, importantly enough Balochistan:

"There is another civil war going on in Baluchistan Province between Baluch separatists and the army. A province long deprived of development, political freedom and revenue, this is the fifth insurgency by the Baluch tribes against the army since Pakistan’s founding. The ISI maintains that Indian agents based in Afghanistan and the Arabian Gulf states are arming and funding the Baluch. The insurgents launch ambushes and assassinations, and lay land mines every day. They have begun killing prominent non-Baluch who long ago settled in the province. School teachers, university professors and officials have proven the easiest targets—and this in a province that professes a literacy rate of only 37 percent (20 percent for women) compared to the national average of 54 percent. This summer Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that four separatist Baluch “armies” funded by India had forced 100,000 people to migrate from the province. Baluch militants killed 252 non-Baluch settlers from January to June of this year, also assassinating 13 army officers. The army in turn has brutalized Baluch society and several thousand young Baluch are said to be missing, presumed in prison and being tortured. The army’s insistence that the entire Baluch problem is caused by India and that the Baluch have no grievances of their own simply leads to further escalation of violence and further alienation of the population. The province erupted in days of riots and strikes after prominent Baluch nationalist leader Habib Jalib was gunned down in Quetta in mid-July."

This is a summarising article that should definitely be read. At the end, there is some glimmer of hope for a way forward. Building on what this parliament accomplished with the redistribution of money through the 18th Amendment, coupled with realisation amongst the Pakistani population for no more military rule.


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