The Zeitgeist Politics

Global Politics with a focus on The Middle East

Pakistani Army GHQ under attack

with 6 comments

Really, the point I made in my previous post has been proved right. Spend all this time arguing over the Kerry-Lugar/Berman bill and militants sneak in (quite like the wooden horse in Troy) to attack the Pakistani army General Headquarters. As the battle goes on in Rawalpindi, which has left 3 dead,  its time to rethink priorities. Focus people: We’re a country at war with severe economic problems.


Written by Saba Imtiaz

October 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Begin Quote–
    We’re a country at war with severe economic problems.
    –End Quote

    This is a fire who’s flames will touch many citizens in South Asia (irrespective of race, gender, nationality or religion).

    The moderates have been out of power in South Asia for far too long. The only long-term solution is doing something dramatic about increasing people-to-people contact across south Asian countries.

    We need a Peaceful Resistance. We need the Army to get out of civilian areas – whether it be Kashmir, NWFP or NE-India.

    For the kind information of our most recent Nobel peace laureate and the intelligence agencies in India and Pakistan …. Peace can never be found at the end of the barrel of a gun or the end of a bomb fuse.

    * We need civilians to be involved in the reconstruction of peace.
    * Stop fighting over terrorists and start fighting for peace.
    * We need to increase people-to-people contact
    * we need to fight food insecurity together
    * We need to make sure war-mongers pay reparations (domestic politicians and invading armies)

    All this may sound naive and simplistic, but in all the squabbling and terror attacks, people to people contact has come to a grinding halt, we need to put this back on the radar.

    Anand Bala

    October 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm

  2. beautiful sentiment anand really and i mean this totally sincerely when i say i agree and wish it were true…

    but colour me cynical when i say that the word is largely governed by realist politics… absolute power corrupts absolutely but moderate power corrupts moderately, to the point where you worry about your nation state, your next four years in office or getting re-elected or being the most unpopular politician in the country or having your own agency get more money, etc. nobody is governing for the people and few leaders ever do, ‘moderate’ or not.

    though i do have a question. You don’t think the Cong in India are ‘moderates’?


    October 11, 2009 at 1:54 am

  3. I agree with you sentiment on realist politics. That is why I think we need something dramatic from the people to increase people-to-people co-operation in South Asia.

    On Congress being moderate – allow me a rant!

    * We have an economist PM who has done his time in the IMF. “Structural Adjustment” should be his middle name.

    * We have a Home Minister who is a Harvard Educated Lawyer and has argued for ENRON (plus been on the board of mining companies who are one part of the Naxal problem in the country).

    * We have the emergence of capitalist cronies who are making a smooth transition from the board room to the parliament or government office.

    * The average wealth of a cabinet member in Manmonhan’s cabinet is shocking. We probably have the most number of $millionaires for any cabinet in the world.

    * The Congress Party may sound and appear moderate, but they have swallowed the World Bank bait – hook, line and sinker.

    * The only difference between the congress and the BJP is that is that congress claims to be secular while BJP plays the Hindu vote card.

    * Congress has been doling out tax breaks to the largest multinationals, doling out land to them and increased the tax burden on the poorest of the poor by increasing taxes such as VAT.


    Anand Bala

    October 11, 2009 at 3:27 am

  4. Ah reread your first comment and I get your people-to-people cooperation thing now.

    Re: the Cong, interesting stuff, thanks. But I’m assuming under Vajpayee it was more of the same anyway as it would be also under the BJP? What scares me about the BJP is support for Hindutva – I mean people like Narendra Modi and the Shiv Sena getting more power. Though Mayawati would be a scary prospect too…


    October 11, 2009 at 1:58 pm

  5. Saba-
    My apologies for hijacking the thread and taking it away from what’s going on with GHQ. (allow me the liberty of passing that buck to Alex)

    The Shiva Sena has a nasty brand of chauvinistic politics. The preferred choice of propaganda is intimidation that borders on a “protection racket”.
    Unfortunately the Shiv Sena is a family run business. This made it difficult for politicians within the Shiv Sena to rise within the party. Other political parties have weened away some of the key Shiv Sena members. A direct result of this is the “Senaization” of politics in Maharashtra. The implication is that every party in Maharashtra now has senior politicians who practice the “Sena Brand” of politics – intimidation and Chauvanism.

    Narendra Modi is (hopefully and fingers crossed) unlikely to have any influence beyond Gujarat. He is very much a “local” politician. One thing that might change this equation – India’s fortune 100 companies have started pouring money into Gujrat and anointing him as the next PM. This might give him the funding and clout he requires to get to New Delhi. Scary thought!

    Overall the BJP has learnt that the Hindutva card is valid only for one Election and cannot be reused. The good news – they have already used it. For e.g. – We do not hear of the “Ram Temple” any more.

    Mayawati: I think she is good for Indian politics. She is forcing parties like the congress and BJP to go beyond their traditional vote base and address issues related to development. She is forcing large national parties to take cognizance of the issues related to the most marginalized communities. If they don’t – she get’s their vote – and becomes a “spoiler” by not giving them a strong mandate. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is a good example of how this played out. Dalits are getting more out of the National Parties by voting against them and for Maaywati. If Mayawati serves that purpose – I am glad to have her around :-).

    Anand Bala

    October 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm

  6. apart from intimidation and chauvinism, shiv sena politics in maharashtra is just stupid. key example being the massive chattrapati shivaji statue they’re erecting in the sea. waste of money much? maharashtra’s impoverished masses could use that money.

    narendra modi has been anointed as the next leader of the BJP and the next PM for some time now. it’s a very scary thought but hopefully his demagogic ways will not go down as well on the national stage.

    maywati, yes as a spoiler she’s great, any sort of third-party competition that wrests power away from the BJP/Cong two-horse-race and encourages some debate is good. but if she was to actually come to some real political power then i fear what she would do. ive heard her speeches and she seems to be India’s version of Sarah Palin in terms of competence and ability. good for the dalits sure but i’m sure there are more capable dalits out there rather than corrupt billionaires like mayawati.


    October 11, 2009 at 8:32 pm

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