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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 15, 2011, 07:57:27 PM
And right on cue, here is Ombaba with his money sack, certainly pays to misbehave...
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 14, 2011, 08:02:54 PM
If pak were to act on the taliban sanctuaries inside pak, that would solve americas immediate problems, allowing for an honorable withdrawal. With the US gone, the aid would likely diminish. Now why would the aid(s) addicted army want such an outcome ?. There is a moral hazard here, aid continues and increases only as long as the taliban are a problem. Side note: same issue in N.Korea, the more N.Korea misbehaves, the more aid we give. The solution obviously is to use a heavier stick, as opposed to a larger carrot.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 13, 2011, 08:25:57 PM
This article as well as other purelander boards that I follow, suggests that the common man (aka mango abdul in Indian defense forum lingo) has realized that the paki govt has given  the US the right to bomb its citizens in the NWFP/FATA territories in return for mucho $$.  Even worse the paki army bombs its own citizens and strafes them with F-16's. All this was acceptable, because the action was outside of pak's core regions. As the taliban moved into interior regions of pak proper (Lahore, karachi, Islamabad), and the pak govt was not interested in taking action, the US was forced to arm its own black water types and send them into battle along with paki forces, mostly to monitor that real "encounters" took place, as opposed to the sham fights. It seems that the numbers of these gun toting "diplomats" has increased tremendously in the last year or so. Raymond Davis is obviously a military type, who on paper has diplomatic cover. If the paki govt would have been smart, they would have immediately released him, but being paki, they wanted to milk the situation for all its worth. Now, that the jihadi types are agitating,  all bets are off.

Pak is addicted to US $$ support, the politicians loot the country and same goes for the army which gets billions in aid. The mango abdul suffers. Another paki trait is to negotiate by putting a gun to their own head, "give me money or I blow my brains out". At the moment its unthinkable that the US will stop supporting Pak, but if the US stops funding pak, there could be significant upheaval. The army will be forced to fund themselves from paki resources,  which means that whatever little goes to the common man, will stop almost completely....a recipe for social upheaval.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 13, 2011, 04:22:30 PM
Here is one perspective on life in Pureland.

The game preserve By Mohsin Hamid | From the Newspaper Yesterday

LAST summer in Lahore, I had a little party at my house for the final of the football World Cup. It was a pretty relaxed affair, maybe 20 people, cushions on the TV room floor, pizza on the dining room table. Some of my friends brought friends of their own.

One was an American man. He was wearing a light jacket. After he left, my wife told me he was also wearing a gun. Now, Iím open to my friends bringing their friends to my house. But Iím not very accepting of a friend bringing a gun ó or, worse, bringing a complete stranger with a gun. Yet thatís what happened, and it left me angry and disturbed.

Like everyone else I knew, Iíd heard the stories about large numbers of armed Americans in Lahore, staying at such-and-such hotels, for example, or working out at such-and-such gyms. Maybe I became more sensitive to their presence after the incident at my house, but suddenly I began to see them all around town. To be precise, I didnít know if the men I was seeing were armed. But they looked like Americans, and they didnít look like rock guitarists or maths teachers or irrigation specialists or heart surgeons. They looked, to my unschooled eye, like what Iíd expect trained killers to look like.

(Of course it was possible that groups of non-violent, hard-faced, physically fit, all-male Swedish and Dutch and Spanish tourist groups with a niche interest not in ancient outdoor monuments but in the interiors of tacky hotels had descended on Lahore, but I thought this unlikely.)

Then, last month, in broad daylight on a main Lahore road, one such man, Raymond Davis, shot dead two Pakistani citizens with his Glock, and a US consular car sent to retrieve him killed another Pakistani citizen while speeding the wrong way down a street. Davis is being held by the Pakistani police, the US government is demanding that he be released and threatening to withhold aid to Pakistan if he is not, and the wife of one of the Pakistani men killed has committed suicide saying lucidly from her deathbed that her reason for doing so is that she does not expect Davis will be punished for his actions.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government has tied itself up in obfuscatory knots over what should be the straightforward issue of whether Davis has diplomatic immunity, and therefore whether he can be tried in Pakistan.

So what is going on? Who is Raymond Davis, and what are people like him doing in Pakistan? Iíve read articles likening him to Rambo and RoboCop. But I believe another Hollywood film franchise metaphor is more apt. Predator.

The Raymond Davis affair has brought home what should have been obvious to us Pakistanis for a long time. Pakistan has become a game preserve, a place where deadly creatures are nurtured, and where hunters pay for the chance to kill them.

Here in the game preserve, money flows to the hunt. Pakistani extremists are funded, armed and trained. And American hunters, whether far away at the remote controls of Predator drones or on the ground in the form of men with the shooting skills of a Raymond Davis, operate under paid immunity. Want a blanket Tribal Area Hellfire missile licence? Well that might set you back the price of 18 new F-16s. An all-Lahore Glock licence to kill? Perhaps double-oh-seven billion in development aid.

But while the Pakistani population has until now grudgingly tolerated the notion of a game preserve limited to the Pak-Afghan border, the outcry over Raymond Davis has demonstrated that a game preserve encompassing the whole country strikes people as a different matter entirely.

Which puts both our governments in a bind. What are the warden-owners and hunter-consumers of a game preserve to do, after all, when the frogs and butterflies and trees and worms that make up the traumatised and hungry population of this land object to its current business model?

Because when I speak to my Pakistani friends the message I hear, though admittedly far from uniform, is nonetheless becoming increasingly clear. No more Pakistani extremists. No more American killers. And, if it comes to it, no more American aid either. We donít want to live in a game preserve. We want to get on with our lives and build a future in peace for ourselves and our children.

The multi-billion dollar question is this: do the Pakistani and American governments ó no, that term is too limited, focusing as it does mainly on our elected officials ó do the Pakistani and American states have the capacity to listen?

If they do not, then the continued passivity of the long-neglected, inflation-gouged, and violence-subjected people of Pakistan is far from guaranteed. In the meantime, however, widespread reports that our country has produced a more-than-previously-estimated 100 nuclear warheads will surely increase the price of hunting permits.

The writer is the author of the novels Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Nice shooting; is there a backstory? on: February 09, 2011, 07:25:50 PM

You ask is there a backstory. Very likely there is.
The longish link to Bharat-Rakshak, posted below, re: Pak is difficult to summarize (more suitable for a read on the plane ride), but it provides insights into the paqui mind. I do hope to however comment on the way pakilanders think. Thus, wrt to the shooting, its easy to understand, that they are holding out for more $$. Another possibility is that the issue will be used to make a swap, perhaps the MIT trained female terrorist under US custody (daughter of the paki nation), or perhaps the withdrawl of cases against General Pasha (head of ISI), which have been filed in NY, in connection with the Mumbai terrorist act. Another, possibility is H & D (honor and dignity), which has been shattered by Raymond Davis, the shooter. Afterall, its not often that ISI operatives get shot in their own country by americans. To extract more dollah, they are drumming up demonstrations, see the photo (looks like Microsoft is involved  grin). Its also very strange that the wife of the ISI operative, poisoned herself with rat poison More likely scenario is that ISI forced it down her throat (again, anything to maintain a facade of H&D, and extract more dollah). I am betting that they will release Davis soon, the game has gone on far too long. If they hold him too long, the jihadists could get involved, which would make it very messy.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 01, 2011, 07:38:03 PM
Should we be giving billions in aid to pak...since it allows them to redirect their own meagre resources to nuclear weapons.
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 27, 2011, 02:50:51 PM
    I may have shared this with you earlier, if not pl. see this link

This is obviously written from the Indian POV, take it FWIW. But anyone reading this, would be leagues ahead in understanding Pakistan.

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