Monday, January 3, 2011

Two Pieces on Violence in Pakistan

Happy New Year. I'll talk about the obvious MQM defection later.

But for your reading pleasure I have two pieces that acknowledge the long-war-ish nature of violence in Pakistan. First is this blog entry on the 1400 deaths in Karachi over 2010. Apparently more people died in Karachi than from terrorism in all of 2010. Being a Karachi-ite, this should explain why I'm less scared of Islamist terrorists than ethnic ones. I'm a veteran. LOL. Anyway; here's the comment I left in very bad English:

Yeah, Sabeen, you made a point that is always at the back of my mind, which I also sometimes make to people, when discussing militancy; namely how can the government claim to “defeat” the militants in the north, if it can’t control Karachi? Karachi, Balochistan and FATA are a ring of insecurity and low level chaos all around the Indus farming plain. What do you do with a situation like this? Will the government accept that this is close to the nature of the problem of security in Pakistan itself, and then implement a democratic plan to deal with this issue?

OK; yeah, sanctimoniousness (and Dawn's questionable editing policies, where they randomly delete my comments) aside I think this point is valid. Nice of him (her?) calling Karachi an "Unconventional War Zone". At least we're seeing an acknowledgement of the problems of our city.

The second piece is from NFP, where he does his usual spiel, but adding to that, for the first time I have ever read him, he makes a direct acknowledgement of a tactical event on a battle field in North Pakistan! By a Pakistani soldier! He's no fan of the Pakistan military and is careful not to give an inch to any military propaganda, but for once, NFP gave space to a few words from a Pakistani soldier. Albeit it was about a conversation on a battlefield, but still wow! It's a nice piece, acknowledging how the Pakistan military should give space to voice the realities of the current conflict and not try to paper over the truth with propaganda. This is a fine sentiment that tries to work with outing the truth and should be encouraged.

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