Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Tragic Death of Benazir Bhutto

After reviewing the information available from various sources, I have concluded that Benazir's death in the bomb attack on December 27 2008, was most likely an unintentional and exceedingly tragic coincidence.

I have difficulty imagining that a long suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his/her body could be expected to succeed against an armoured vehicle like the one Bhutto was travelling in. I cannot imagine that a capable officer like Rehman Malik would allow her to travel without a BPJ - so I think bullets in her chest cannot be the cause of her death.

At the end of the day, incredible as it may seem, the Pakistani government's bloody handle theory seems plausible.

Was Musharraf responsible for her security? or was Rehman Malik and Zardari Clan?. Are the Islamists responsible for bombing her convoy in the first place? or should she not have stuck her head out the vehicle? etc... etc... these things can be argued endlessly.

Conspiracies like - Was she killed because America wanted her to be the Eid ki Bakri? was she killed because she said something that offended Musharraf? Was she killed because she alienated the Islamists in her public utterances? etc... that will swirl in the minds of observers endlessly as well..

I care little for such speculations, for me, some things are beyond argument, such as -
  • Participating in Pakistani elections or politics is not a joke - death is .. well.. an occupational hazard. If you get careless or try stupid stunts, you will die. People play rough out there, if you aren't serious about this, now is a good time to quit (Hint Hint Imran).
  • The PPP has no second rung leadership capable of holding the party together at this time. It will need time to organise itself into an effective electoral formation. They need to have time - time which they will have to beg President Musharraf to give them. Yes, there is a need to vent the anger welling among its cadre, but if in the process the PPP alienates itself from Musharraf and the Army, that is not going to help their electoral chances. The PPP knows this, and in a week or two, the "Oh My God - BB is dead" feeling will go away - the crowds will tire of burning buses and chairs and refridgerators. Even the Shia and Sunnis will tire of killing each other. Boredom can and will move mountains.
  • It is true that "ultimately" Musharraf bears responsibilty for all things that happen in Pakistan. It has become very fashionable among the glitterati that float in and out of TV screens to spew venom on Musharraf. But honestly, do these people have an alternative to Musharraf? Can they tell the rest of us what that is? because for the last seven years these same people have been telling us - "there is no alternative to Musharraf". And today in all their talk I still see no such thing as an alternative.
  • Without a pretty face like Benazir at the helm, the Pakistan Army will be unable to retain the support of the image conscious American political crowd. This will make releasing monies from US congressional sources difficult and that side of things - coupled with President Bush's own unpopularity in the halls of Congress, will act as a powerful motivator for the PA to seek out a window dressing that suits America's eyes. Please understand the moment the window dressing goes up, the same voices that are railing against instability in Pakistan will rush to tell us how America must give Pakistan trillions of dollars to "stabilize" a fledgeling democracy. This is the extent of the "Pakistani Spring".
  • The Pakistan Army and President Musharraf will have to seek new engagement points in D.C. especially now that the Bush presidency is reaching its end.

To the people of Pakistan, members of the family of Benazir Bhutto, and the members of her political party, I offer the following comments.

Many of us in India liked Benazir, and we are all very very very sad about what has happened. Benazir was a familiar face to us, a fixture at every major treaty we signed with Pakistan since the Shimla Agreement of 1972. Yes, we will miss her and many will only have positive memories of her.

Please ignore the utterances of fools and young people in India who tend to speak before they think. They say senseless and hurtful things. We in India do not hold grudges against the dead. Our political issues with her ended with her passing, and we are all left poorer by her death.

Most people I know in India will sympathize with the people of Pakistan during this tragedy and time of trial. Please do not interpret this as a desire on our part to intervene in Pakistani internal affairs, we merely want to tell you that we understand and feel some fraction of your pain.

23 Comments:

At 10:55 AM, Blogger quantum chaos said...

MAV,
read this.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZDY4NjM2M2FjYzk5YWRjYTFhZjI5MDlhZTgzODk3YTI=&w=MQ==
NPA nahin sudhrenge.Same old tripe.

 
At 5:38 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Quantum Chaos,

A Pakistan Army that is convinced that the US is trying to kick it out of power in Islamabad under the guise of "promoting democracy in Pakistan" is likely to feel severe use/or/lose pressures.

America's mishandling of the "transition to democracy" in Pakistan is going to cause much more nuclear trouble than the India-US nuclear deal.

I think Sokolski needs to be told this.

 
At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ignore the fools in india and young people who say hurtful things"

As an old "fool" much older than you, I can say this, crawl back to whichever rock you were under, slimeman. You are a typical example of what india is capable of, creating power hungry cretins (which is why u have this blog) who will suck up to any mass murderer.

To benazir and those who mourn that bitches death- i say this " hack pthooi". Hope all the jihadis whom she sent into kashmir pleasure her whichever jahanuum she went.

 
At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Pankaj said...

Hello Maverick,

Pakistan has entered the fourth phase; and i believe the most decisive phase of history.

The first phase was its creation and consolidation as a western client state.

The second phase was its use as a western base to fight the great war against communism.

The third phase was led by zia ul haq, which was the complete islamization of the country and the destruction of democratic institutions.

The fourth phase iw the Jehad factory turning against its own creators and mentors. The Al Qaeda is not an organization anymore but an idea whose time has come {inside pakistan}.

A purge of the hardcore jehadis is not possible as they do not carry any membership cards but only a resolve. A resolve to destroy those who are inimical to islam and its hegemony. And who join hands with an infidel west to destroy their own.

Bhutto was a very high value kill for them. And musharraf knows this fully well that he is next in line. One wrong move from our man and he will be finished off.

Most commentators in India speak about the hazards of a disintegrating pakistan, and in their world, "a democratic stable pakistan" is in the best interests of India. This is a fools ambition.

A disintegrating pakistan is good for India. The only thing that India needs to be concerned about is how to take out those nuke weapons and missile delivery installations inside Pakistan, possibly with Israels or American help.

The best thing the internal security establishment can do now is carry out a strategic exersice to be in full readiness and preparation. Readiness is half the battle won.

 
At 4:21 AM, Anonymous Ananya said...

>>so I think bullets in her chest cannot be the cause of her death

Perhaps you need to revisit your conclusions given the latest videos that have surfaced that show BB slumping immediately AFTER the shots were fired and before the blast. Also, statements by various close associates that claim eye witness accounts of bullet injuries.

Of course, you are free to conclude that inspite of all this, the official version is correct. After all, there is no video or photograph that shows presence of bullet holes in the body. But then, there are no photos that show their absence either.

-Ananya

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, she did go along with the Pakistan Army when it sent Jihadis to Kashmir, but then she also assisted us by helping us wind down a number of Khalistani terrorism enterprises. All in all, her contribution to both these things was minimal and equivalent. She provided us with an interface to communicate with deeper seated interests in the Pakistan Army and for that we are grateful to her.

As the NSA says, promises were made that were not kept - but we do not hold grudges against the dead in India. After all even Duryodhan and Dushasan went to heaven.

She was a great Pakistani leader who died an untimely death. She gave her life for democracy in Pakistan.

The PPP will emerge as a key Pakistani political formation in Pakistan after the elections. While it is true that India seeks to remain distant from internal politics in Pakistan for fear of crossing one Musharraf the Magnificent's redlines - alienating the PPP with misguided utterances is unacceptable from the point of India's interests.

As far as I know there is quite simply no debate on this issue anywhere in India.

I do not wish to speculate where your distaste for Bhutto is coming from - but I think it is irrelevant to India's national interests.

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Pankaj,

Gen. Khalid Kidwai in his interview to an Italian nonproliferation group indicated that Pakistan would use its nuclear weapons if India ever interfered in Pakistani internal affairs.

If Govt. of India says anything about Pakistan's internal affairs, it could be viewed as intrusive and result in a nuclear escalation. This kind of escalation is not in India's interests at the present time.

Therefore Pakistan's internal affairs are not something that Government of India can comment on.

Private persons from India should exercise great care in what they say about Pakistan lest their utterances produce undesirable consequences for the Govt. of India and its personnel.

The stability-instability paradox has no resolution in my understanding. I wish you better luck in negoitating those swirling waters.

In my limited understanding, whatever the situation in Pakistan - in the near future a detailed discussion over redistribution of water and discussions about energy transit via Pakistani territory will become a central feature of India-Pakistan ties. This will lend a different flavour to our ties.

Also as a number of people who saw the partition and the liberation of Bangladesh is declining in Pakistan and India - relationships between Indians and Pakistanis will change accordingly.

There a need for Indians to remain alert to their national interests. An unseemly obsession with bloodsport in Pakistanis as distracting as the obsession with candlekissing at Wagah.

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Ananya,

I am skeptical of the accuracy of those photos showing a man with a gun and I do not wish to comment on the memories of certain eyewitnesses but it true that none of these witnesses are qualified forensic observers and perhaps it does not occur to them to consider that if indeed there was an exit wound on Benazir's body - a natural question would be why was she not wearing a BPJ - that would point the finger of blame at her physical security setup. Surely if Rehman Malik and company knew that interior ministry security was inadequate, then the least they should have done is provide her with bullet proof vests and shawls? Or was her personal security setup that incompetent?

There are all sorts of questions it raises. I do not doubt that the PPP cadre believe that President Musharraf was responsible for this act, but the rest of us are allowed to have an open mind.

I stress that this point the PPP leadership has to strike a balance between engaging the anger pent up inside the PPP cadres and keeping the Musharraf Administration in good humour.

What happened was a terrible thing, there is no denying it, but I can also understand it if truth acquires a more elastic quality under such circumstances.

A political consolidation of the PPP after this tragic accident is the key to that the upcoming elections work to the PPP's favour.

Have you seen the movie Maqbool? If not I recommend it...

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maverick,
I confess that I share some of anonymous' distaste for her, especially given her ongoing canonization, but as said elsewhere on the internet, de mortuis nil nisi bonum.

I wonder though whether Ms Bhutto's untimely demise is an irreversible step towards the loss of Musharraf's Magnificence. It appears from a first analysis to me that the Magnificent General's days in power are numbered now that Bhutto is gone. She represented a group of political interests who, in principle, were amenable to negotiation and "power sharing" with his Magnificence. In some sense, they need(ed) each other because both have been quickly becoming anathema to the newly powerful Islamist political interests. Her death leaves no effective representative for these political interests, and I am afraid that their loyalties are now up for sale.

 
At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Faizi said...

Sorry, the previous "anonymous" was me.

Faizi.

 
At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ramanji disagrees with you

Anil Athale disagrees with you

Ajai Sahni - "She was instrumental in sponsoring jihad, openly inciting militants to intensify terrorism in India," says Ajai Sahni, the executive director of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management. "I find it very difficult to discover a single element with her relationship to India that is positive and for the betterment of her country or the region," he adds.


Our own military types disagree with you on almost everything you write
See the Comment on this article


Posted by Lt Gen M Bhandar on Dec 31,2007 23:22 PM
Dear Sir Amazing that we in our country do not have a National Strategy document.In the absence of this ,there is no National Security Strategy.As a result the policy documents made by services are personality based .Thus the qualitative requirements fkeep on fluctuating.Then you have people up the chain who dictate what the services should or should not have.The end result is what the author has amply described.It impacts the professional image and morale.High time that our policy planners sit together and chalk out the National Strategy and periodic reviews be undertaken running parallel to ever shifting strategic scenario. No experiments can be undertaken with the National Security since there are no runners up in war.


In the same article our Defence Minister says
This sorry state of affairs of India’s preparedness became even more apparent when Antony visited the Sino-Indian border in Sikkim: “It is an eye-opener for me. There is no comparison between the two sides. Infrastructure on the Chinese side is far superior. They have gone far in developing their infrastructure".

ALL of these people are wrong and unwise and "young" and DCH types. Only you are right and your cheerleader reader who knows more than the entire British Government

 
At 6:53 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Faizi,

One is stuck between a rock and a hard place here.

Few security personnel in India have any positive memories from the last 20 years of counter insurgency. The next generation of people have imbibed this thinking and like you, they too do not have positive feelings about people like the Late Benazir Bhutto. Honestly speaking prevailing view among security circles very much is "as you sow, so shall you reap".

However, I must confess that in my opinion, this kind of view is likely to alienate the PPP leadership we see today. Ultimately, her son Bilawal was only a child when her decisions were taken. It is improper to hold him responsible for her actions.
Insulting the memory of his late mother, will cause him to dislike us even when we have no history of bad blood.

To me securing a positive relationship with the PPP leadership is more important than reliving the horrors of the past.

I am not saying that security personnel in India are wrong to voice their less-than-positive-appraisals of Benazir and her kind.

I am only pointing out that Government of India's perspectives on the matter are more likely to be driven by a desire to minimize friction with the PPP leadership in the *future*.

And frankly aam janata who are merely picking up the views of these retired officers and amplifing them with their own brand of religious and ethnic hatred are doing India a great disservice.

I am certain that the retired officers do not intend to create a situation that actually offends the interests of the Government of India. For surely even the DCH can realise that doing such a thing would defeat the very aim that these officers have given their lives for?

What do you think? Is it too much to expect such maturity out of the DCH? and from their pied pipers?

Your speculations about the loss of Magnificence are likely to find quite a bit of traction in Islamabad these days. That is exactly the core of my "response" to Henry Sokolski's articles.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Anonymous,

Please read my earlier response to Faizi.

Sri. Raman, Sri. Sahni and others are conveying their bitter memories of the last two decades. When you grew up watching the sons of slain police officers swear to avenge their deaths, there is little that is positive that you can recall. The last twenty years have been terrible and none of us who lived through that and remember the details can deny it.

While the DCH have been busy swilling beer and driving their mercedes' to Goa and back.. Ramanji, Sahni sahab and other people have been doing the back breaking labour of keeping the country together. Their views make complete sense.

I am merely pointing out that the DCH cannot imbibe those views purely out of a lust for bloodsport in Pakistan. None of these retired security officers, despite years of seeing the very worst of what Pakistan has to offer - have a lust for blood. They do only what they have to.

The DCH is not going fight the kind of war they fought with the Pakistanis. The battle will be very different in the years to come and the DCH needs to prepare itself mentally to display the same agility and flexibility that Ramanji and his friends displayed when confronted with the riddle of Pakistan.

One should not be so wrapped up in the past that one becomes blind to the present and impervious to the future.

The DCH are too easily swayed by media based opinion management. They lack the mental agility to seek out India's interests. Sri. Raman and company are merely presenting opinions that offset the deification trend that CNN and BBC, had set in motion. Sri. Raman and Sri. Sahni are merely presenting an antidote to this media offensive being run by CNN and BBC.

In my opinion, the real objective of Sri. Raman and friends to make the DCH realise that objectivity is critical to dealing with the contradictions and conundrums that persist in the nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

If you are in agreement, I would like to put up a post where I outline the kind of issues that the DCH will have to deal with vis-a-vis Pakistan. In doing so I will hopefully be able to flesh out how the future will be different from the past.

Should I do that? In your opinion will the DCH find that useful?

 
At 7:13 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Anonymous,

I don't know anyone in the British government.

I am an Indian and so are my friends who I talk to - that is the only government I know anything about.

 
At 7:35 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Anonymous,

See... defence procurement is always the same - everywhere.

Whoever is at the top, will try to take the biggest cut from the deal.

People below the top will attempt to sell to take a percentage lobbying for a particular supplier.

The bigger the order - the more the number of people trying to get a cut.

The suppliers for their part know this so they pay different groups of people to do different things - they pay one group to lobby, another to spy on the decision makers, another to conduct a psywar, spread lies about the competitor, the minister, etc...

If you are new to this - like the DCH, this all looks like a serious policy debate to you. If you are old hand, you yawn very politely when people aren't looking.

The men at arms do what they have always done - fight a war with what they have. Good officers and jawans do not crave for weapons they do not have. They come up with ways of fighting that are appropriate for the tools they do have.

Politicians pick wars that can be won with the weapons they do have.

This procurement tamasha will continue into the future eternally - it is in the nature of things. Even the DCH will tire of listening to this as they grow older. DCH in the military will learn that any weapon always performs differently under combat conditions than it does under test conditions or on paper. This holds true regardless of whether it is imported or locally made. The DCH in the military will all eventually learn that a known weapon with known flaws is better to plan actions with than a new weapons with unknown flaws. So this gap will always exist and the Indian skill of jugad will pass down through to the next generation.

The skill that the non-military DCH must learn is - the art of picking winnable wars.

The DCH must learn that it does not do to dwell on dreams.

That is what is lacking right now in the environment of debate. There is annoying disconnected-ness in the debate. This is unacceptable to me and I am trying to change it.

Sure - there are far better roads in Tibet than there are in Arunachal. This fact was known some six years ago. The Chinese have logistical improvements both at the tactical (good LOC locally)level and at the strategic level (high volume transport -rail and air, better bombers, better security for transport nodes etc..). The local population Tibet is being "fortified" with Han imports and Tibetan loyalists and this is decreasing the effectiveness of the Tibet expats to penetrate the Tibetan landmass and provide information support.

A confrontation with the Chinese today over Tibet will not be a replay of the Sumdrong Chu event some twenty years ago. This has been known for the past decade - so what else is new?

This simply means that we will have to devise a newer defense paradigm and we will have to pick the wars we fight with China more carefully if we are to win them.

We cannot construct roads along the India-China border because we have been busy constructing roads and defensive perimeters along the India-Pak border over the last two decades. We have been spending money improving infrastructure in India's cities and along the GQ routes to facilitate economic growth. Unlike the Chinese government we in India have to be receptive to the demands of our people who want better health care, more drinking water, better electricity. And frankly - more Indians want bijli, sadak, pani outside their house than they do in Arunachal!! Indians I know have been complaining about the number of dead young men that that places like North East and Kashmir have been returning to India for the last thirty years - I seriously doubt they are going to want to add Tibet to that list of places!

This has always been the state of affairs in India for the last fifty years.

So in sum - DCH dreams of Tibet Liberation are unrealistic.

So dear friend, What-The-Fuck is sooo new to you about all this?

Stupid old fools like me have known this for decades now!

Welcome to the Real World!

 
At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Faizi said...

Maverick,
There is little to disagree with in your response. I understand the need for a clear expression of sympathy on her death and the necessity to maintain an engagement with the new PPP leadership. There is little, if any to be gained by pointing out the mistakes (if one may so put it) of a person who is now dead. I dont think that this is too much to expect from the DCH, and as a matter of fact, the major Indian newspapers (at least the english ones)have pretty much taken the opposite tack of extolling her virtues. Although, I personally may have issue with their tone, I think this probably suits the GoI's agenda now, given that we need as many friends/potential interlocutors within the Pakistani power structure as possible. Hence my quotation of de mortuis nil nis bonum dicendum est(Of the dead, speak no evil).

Faizi.

Coming to the issue of his Magnificence, there is a worrisome lack of sense in what one sees in Western media. He truly represents the last bit of leverage for Western interests, and I think the pressures and accusations against him are getting to close to unacceptable levels. Mr. Sokolski is only one of such ignorant people. What is surprising to me is the astonishing degree of ignorance and lack of finesse in their media strategies. They do not seem to understand that his Magnificence is pretty much the only serious powerbroker in Pakistan whom they can talk to. I doubt what is waiting in the wings is particularly sympathetic to Western influence in Pakistan. If this continues, either his Magnificence will meet an unfortunate fate, or he will be forced to completely change policy, and I think his Magnificence is in line for the former more than the latter.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Faizi,

Maybe it is because I belong to an older school that I have a very narrow view of the role of the media.

Specifically I think the media should stay out of the business of making news.

That is the one objectionable thing that the media is doing these days, they are so keen on hyping things up to improve their penetration, that they are oblivious to the consequenes of their actions.

This is a destructive impulse - socially speaking. We appear to be trapped between inept media managers and a media that is driven by a ravenous desire to see freshly spilled blood.

People must realise our issue is with the media and not with Benazir herself. The retired security people are very clear about making that distinction - the DCH are not. This is misguided hostility on part of the DCH.

If Bilawal was 40 years old, I would ignore the DCH and their utterances - but that is not the case. The problem is that Bilawal is young - only 19, he is more likely to spend time with DCH (and their Pakistani equivalents) and he is more likely to pick up on any misguided hostility there and develop a poor impression of India and Indians.

We have no issues with Bilawal. Bilawal did not make any decisions - he did not send any Jihadis to India. His mother has just been killed in an attack by Islamic extremists. It does not make sense to alienate him in any way.

For several years after partition, Indians and Pakistanis were still one country, linked by common social ideas and everyone could see that. Indians and Pakistanis knew each other from old family associations and shared towns. To the Indian mind, "the Pakistani" was quite literally the "fellow who lived down the street" who moved "abroad".

Today after 60 years, we have grown apart - our children have been brought up differently - in differing circumstances. In the last 20 years, Pakistanis have fallen under the sway of people like Osama Bin Laden and Abdullah Azam. These people are not Indian in their world view - they come from a different cultural background and their influence is creating a major disconnect between us and the Pakistanis. We need to bridge this gap and today we have the comunication tools to do it with.

In the age of the internet - Indians and Pakistanis mostly meet each other on the internet - and here in the click of button, first impressions are formed. There is where the danger lies. It is best in my opinion if the trend towards senseless hostility is arrested quickly.

There is no difference between candlekissing at Wagah and perpetually lusting after Pakistani blood.

The DCH must learn the middle road, but I wonder if their pied pipers are listening.

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello,

The Bhutto and the Zardari clans are fighting over the scraps left in the aftermath of the assasination.

The Bhuttos are keen to push the leadership of Murtaza's heirs and in doing so keep the fortune earned by Asif and Benazir's stewardship of the "Pakistan-Central Asia Link/New Silk Road" in the early 90s inside the Bhutto clan... and quite predictably the Zardaris are opposing the move.

I expect more dirty laundry from within the family to be aired before the fight settles down.

Bilawal is emerging as the person who is expected to reconcile the two clans and it really does not help matters that the descendants of Murtaza and Shahnawaz believe that Benazir was responsible for their deaths.

I note that a large number of trucks were burnt on the Islamabad-Karachi highway. There is no one to make good that loss.

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello,

It appears that President Musharraf is moving rapidly to contain the impression that Pakistan is slipping into anarchy.

There are two principal reasons for such a view to come about. Firstly, Pakistan's north-south link - the Islamabad-Karachi road was snapped by Bhutto supporters and a very large number of trucks and vehicles were burnt. Secondly, a number of financial "wizards" on Wall Street had tied their horses to Benazir and were caught off guard by the assasination. Their anger spilled over into the pages of the NYT, the Journal and other magazines.

Musharraf the Magnificent cannot tolerate people talking as such about his great land. It is true that the election will have to be delayed to give the PPP time to reorganise, but this kind of talk will inspire unfortunate minds to attempt more than heavenly power permits. That is something Musharraf the Magnificent will find unacceptable.

To contain this, the Pakistani government is now distancing itself from the "accident" theory.
In a carefully worded statement, the interior ministry now says it awaits the outcome of the investigation and calls its earlier statements - a first impression based on available facts. This public posture shift will be taken by the PPP bosses to their cadres to calm frayed nerves and hopefully this will enable the PPP leaders to contain the violence perpetrated by the cadres. One can hope this placebo is sufficient to stop the burning of trucks and allow for the permanent reopening of the motorway.

In order to deflect international charges of mishandling, Scotland Yard is being brought in. The presence of the words "Scotland Yard" will soothe even the most hypersensitive editoral columns in Manhattan.

For its part, the PPP leadership has placed the young Bilawal at the head of the party. This will draw press coverage away from messy internal rearrangements that will occur and the US media can now present the Americans with a "young face" worth supporting in Pakistan. I suppose if this works the way it is supposed to - the American congress can keep funneling aid money to Pakistan and ... well it will be business as usual.

I cannot see one earthly reason why the Government of India would want to get its hands into this mess.

Personally speaking I am keen to gently observe how the Bhutto-Zardari clan dynamic plays out - purely because it is much easier than confronting the real demons at work inside Pakistani society - i.e. Sindhi-Punjabi water conflicts and Shia-Sunni discord.

 
At 2:16 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Continued from above..

I suppose you all find my conduct peculiar.. recall for a moment - the Birbal and Akbar story..

I am the fool who looks for my lost ring under the street light because searching for it where I dropped it - a mere ten feet away -is impossible given the darkness.

Dear DCH and DCH pied pipers - watch as the Pakistanis now claim that Bilawal is getting "online support".

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\01\02\story_2-1-2008_pg1_9

 
At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Faizi said...

Maverick,
In my experience there is a tendency to either a) senseless militaristic rhetoric or b) all pakistanis are our misunderstood brothers and sisters. The media tends to peddle the latter narrative, because it is a more useful instrument for manipulating policy. The media creating news is unfortunate but unavoidable, given the nature of economics.

I think both a) and b) are dangerous and agree with you about the middle ground. Personally, I am not very surprised by your point of view, and I agree that it is far better to be a spectator than to be involved in the mess that is Pakistan. Messing about there is best left to gorillas who have their hands stuck in the cookie jar.

 
At 6:22 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Faizi,

I think intervening in Pakistan is going to consume a tremendous amount of resources.

It appears that the attack on the WAPDA power line at Mawach Goth and ensuing powercut has sparked enquiries in Pakistan over the exact shortfall in power production.

The Pakistanis are now admitting that they have a 36% shortfall in generation and that there is no load shedding in military areas and industrially vital areas. This stark admission has obvious implications.

This the first time I have seen the Pakistanis themselves confess the extent of their slumlord tendencies.

While the DCH carry dreams of a dash to the Indus, pragmatists - the few in number though we are - seek a more cost effective method of alleviating the situation.

Perhaps that is the right way to talk about this?

"A dash to the Indus is not a cost-effective way of managing our problems with Pakistan."

"Precipitating a dash to the Indus, by confrontationist posturing is by implication not a cost-effective option either."

 
At 6:32 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Friends,

The more I see this mutual admiration society of Bhutto and her international friends - the more I become concerned about the lack of attention to details in Pakistan.

If Musharraf the Magnificient is simultaneously going ahead with participation in a pipeline from Iran and involvement with the pipeline alternatives like GasPort technology.

Positioning oneself in the jaws of a Lion, is fatal... unless ofcourse the Lion realises that it has bitten off more than it can chew.

The Lion is obsessed with pretty faces...

 

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