National Journal – 28 April 2009

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45 Responses to National Journal – 28 April 2009

  1. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    It was not Pakistan and Bangladesh that were mistakes – it was Hindu nationalism that seduced the Hindu leaders of Congress Party into sidelining Jinnah and causing the break-up of British India. And I would like to take to task that fantasist called M. K. Gandhi without whom there would not have been any partition.

  2. Babak Makkinejad says:

    All:
    Can someone please explain to me the reason for all this hand-wringing about Pakistan?
    My understanding has been that the Army of Pakistan, from its inception, has been based on Punjabi ethnicity. As far as I can tell, the Taliban are a Pashtun-based movement.
    Am I to understand that the Punjabis, who have contempt for the members of every other ethnicity in Pakistan, are – all of a sudden – amenable to the ravings of those ignorant tribesmen and peasants? That the Pakistani officer corps is about to line-up pray behind Mullah Omar?
    I cannot believe that the internal organization of the state and polity in Pakistan is as bad as immediately after the Partition. Am I wrong?
    And I fail to see how another Punjabi dictator could address the real source of instability in that country – the absence of land-reform.

  3. par4 says:

    Col. Isn’t the military allowing the Taliban to run loose just to show the new civilian govt. who really runs things?

  4. Patrick Lang says:

    Babak!
    That is what I said. Now the Punjabi army must rally behind one of its natural leaders to kick the crazies in the tail.
    “Land Reform?” We have been down that road a hundred times all over the world. The truth is that if the locals can’t mange it, then it can’t be done.
    What makes this situation unique are the nuclear weapons. pl

  5. Babak & Col. PL:
    FWIW, Juan Cole agrees with you. Perhaps a least worst objective is that the Pashtun areas of eastern Afganistan and northwestern Pakistan coalesce into a “Pashtunistan?” Of course, few states voluntarily undergoe a peaceful fission (Czechosolvakia is the only example that comes to mind), but you asked us to think outside the box, no? The challenge is to convince the Punjabs that they’ll be better off separating themselves from the Pashtuns. I guess one of the questions this raises is whether this would make the rivalry between India and Punjab Pakistan better or worse than it is now.

  6. Mad Dogs says:

    Pat wrote: “Now the Punjabi army must rally behind one of its natural leaders to kick the crazies in the tail.”
    And over at the National Journal this: “We should pray that Musharraf or someone remarkably like him has sufficient support from the Pakistan Army to return to power and save the situation before it is too late.”
    I can’t say that I have any political affinity for military coups and military dictatorships.
    Having thus “staked out” my political leanings, now I don my political analyst chapeau where the only thing that counts is sober, unblinkered realism:
    Pakistan will likely again return to governance by military dictatorship.
    Some would argue that this is the lesser evil.
    I, and my liberal-realist brethren, will grasp our noses firmly, and make the point that yes, another bandage will likely stop the bleeding, but someday, the patient better get some real treatment for the underlying ailment.
    Decades of Saudi funding in Pakistan for schools/madrassas based on a Wahhabi extremism needs to be changed.
    And yes Pat, even land reform is required.
    But my political analyst unblinkered realism says not to expect this anytime soon.
    Instead, continued re-application of bandaids, over and over again.

  7. Patrick Lang says:

    Mad Dogs
    I, too, grieve for the peasant farmers of Sind, etc. I know that I am not a sensitve enough person. Peccavi.
    Seriously, I first worked on land reform projects in El Salvador and Honduras in the ’60s. You can’t do it for them. They have to do it for themselves.
    Kaboom!!! (The sound of a low air burst 50 Kt. weapon somewhere…) pl

  8. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    US initiated (limited) land reform in Iran in early 1960s.
    By the time of the Iranin Revolution land (reform) was not a major issue although it persisted as a source of political and social tension for another decade.
    I expect that without land reform in Pakistan there will be a very bloody peasant war that will cause the collapse of Pakistan.
    How this potential peasant war will interact with the Pashtun War and the Shia-Sunni War I cannot phatom.
    But I think it will be a good idea to remove the land as an issue solely for the purpose of ameliorating the political conditions of Pakistan.

  9. Cieran says:

    Colonel:
    Kaboom!!! (The sound of a low air burst 50 Kt. weapon somewhere…)
    We need to work out, rationally and as a nation, what an appropriate U.S. response to such an act should be. Said response should be openly and candidly discussed well beforehand, so we don’t see the kind of rank stupidity that characterized the Bush administration’s response to 9/11.
    I would suggest that if that 50KT you mention were detonated somewhere in the U.S., then the proper response would be along the lines of 5 MT or so distributed at various points around the sources of the offense, and I’m not suggesting that response for anything beyond the purely pragmatic realization that the current political principle that “bad actions don’t need to have bad consequences visited upon the bad actors” is just not something that is going to work well when the bad actors are using nukes.
    That is, the world has only seen WMD’s deployed twice against a populated target, and that was at the end of a world war where lots of other woes were visited on the world. But if nukes start getting thrown around by tinpot dictators or ill-disciplined militaries or paranoid theocrats, then we can kiss our notions of what “civilization” means good-bye, hence the need for some appropriate accountability noted up front.
    In my estimation, the biggest mistake that the Bush administration made in the AfPak region was doing a half-assed job of responding to a brazen terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Their perfunctory response to Al Qaeda and the Taliban is a big part of why nations now think they can rattle the nuclear sabre (including our “allies”, e.g., Israel). It didn’t have to be so…
    We need to make it clear that the school of U.S. international relations is now under new management, and that accountability will be the order of the day. Or else we’ll likely see another ill-considered political response to a 50KT burst someplace, which will lead to a 100KT event someplace else, and so it goes…
    Sorry to be a wet blanket, but your “Kaboom” raises a very serious point which requires some very serious consideration, and preferably before the event might ever take place. An ounce of prevention and all that…

  10. Jose says:

    Babak Makkinejad, the fact that you speak of a Punjabi-based army only serves to underscore the weakness of Pakistan as nation.
    So long as there are different ethnic groups who resent the Punjabi’s, there will be resistance.
    The Indians will exploit this weakness to their advantage, I sure the Russian and Iranians also have interests to exploit.
    IMHO, America can not fix Pakistan unless they act in the interest of the Pakistani, not Punjabi interest.
    Look to Indonesia as an example…

  11. Pakistan, like Belgium was a bad idea.
    But would we have those wonderful chocolates without a Belgium?
    Seriously, I first worked on land reform projects in El Salvador and Honduras in the ’60s.
    Hmmm. I’ve got a soft spot for that part of the world. Sounds interesting to say the least. I didn’t know we were tromping around down there before the 1970s.
    As for Pakistan, can’t we just find some other heartless schmuck who can control the country via the Army and make him an offer he can’t refuse – boatloads of money – until this all blows over in a few decades? What can the Taleban offer in return? Nothing.
    I’m still a firm believer in bribing foreign governments to get what we want.
    And that’s said only half jokingly.

  12. Patrick Lang says:

    Cieran
    Think so, eh? Hmm…
    pl

  13. Fred says:

    Babak, why the hand-wringing? One word, ignorance. The US is media is in hog-hell over 68 cases of swine flu in a week yet on average hand gun deaths in the US are 83 per day. Land reform? I hope for media reform here first, but hopefully nothing like the stockmarket reform we had for the past few years, or past few weeks.
    As Pat and others point out, a 50KT weapon makes a big bang. (Of course the current population of Hiroshima is ~1.6 million.)

  14. Cieran says:

    Colonel:
    Think so, eh? Hmm…
    Just trying to stimulate a little discussion, sir!
    Actually, I think the hard problem is deciding the appropriate stance for non-American targets. A doctrine against attacks on the US seems pretty easy compared to the complexities of the various actors and their potential targets, e.g., Pakistan on India, Israel on Iran, etc, etc.
    That problem is one I would enjoy seeing discussed by those myriad minds more capable than my own. It’s a natural question to ask.
    And don’t forget: you’re the one who said “Kaboom!”

  15. eakens says:

    “Are the disparate militant groups that are loosely united under the Taliban umbrella really capable of formulating and executing a coherent and ambitious strategy to seize power?”
    Have you ever seen a cartoon where the barrel of a gun gets bent into a U-shape directed back at the shooter? Well this question is the equivalent of that.

  16. Arun says:

    Babak,
    The sidelining of Jinnah? What mythology are you reading? I get my mythology from (the sources mentioned in) here:
    http://www.geocities.com/sadna_gupta/
    If I say Jinnah was a megalomaniac, that would be polite.

  17. Arun says:

    If the Taliban connect the dots, and institute large scale land reform, then they romp into power.

  18. Cold War Zoomie says:

    It’s heating up for the summer…
    Yahoo/AP Article

  19. jonst says:

    “Peccavi” Ah, General Sir Charles Napier is remembered!
    Land Reform in Pakistan? Lead by us? (as in US)
    Please, please, no more of that talk. We’ve seen a century of it. We’re not smart enough. Sophisticated enough. Or honest enough.

  20. Babak Makkinejad says:

    jose:
    Thank you for your comments.
    I never claimed that there is a Pakistani Nation only that there is a state.
    India, Afghanistan, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia also are in a similar boat. In Europe, Belgium, Austro-Hungary, Yugoslavia, Great Britain, and the Russian Empire were also primarily states but without a corresponding national identify shared among all their subjects . As such, this state of affairs has not been uncommon historically.
    But I do not think outsiders can tell what the best interests of Pakistan is going to be.
    I certainly would not wish to see a repetition of the common pattern of governance (among Muslim states) – Dictatorship (often based on the Armed Forces) or dictatorship -> democracy -> chaos -> dictatorship every 20 years in Pakistan.
    My understanding of Indonesia was that it is structurally similar to Pakistan – a state with the armed forces being the only national institution that works – dominated by the Javanese.
    What has US done there that recommends itself to you?
    Cold War Zoomie
    Yes, I agree. Money & patronage are essential ingredients of politics – domestic or foreign.

  21. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Arun:
    Jinnah was well-respected, entrenched member of the Congress well before Gandhi and his entourage ruined the Congress.
    Jinnah, a liberal Muslim lawyer, was not the man who caused the partition; in my opinion .

  22. Nancy K says:

    Fred, an interesting perspective re the comparison of Swine Flu and gun deaths.
    We do have an epidemic in this country. It is a good thing that guns don’t kill people, or so the NRA tells us.
    As a public health nurse, I am concerned about both the gun epidemic and the Swine Flu however.

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Minnesotachuck:
    Thank you for the reference of Dr. Cole’s comments. He has articulated my vague understandings (which I could never have done like him) quite well.

  24. Pakistan, like Belgium was a bad idea
    To this day, Brussels sprouts remain a source of profound personal bitterness for me.
    According to the Washington Times, the Taliban now pose specific threats:

    Pakistani military analysts say militants could bring normal life to a halt in a large part of Pakistan if they move against the Tarbela dam. The world’s largest earthen dam, it is located on the Indus River about 30 miles northwest of the capital in the districts of Swabi and Haripur.
    The Taliban is already next door in Buner district…
    ….
    The Tarbela dam is used for irrigation and flood control as well as for generating thousands of megawatts of electricity. Security specialists say the Taliban could threaten to destroy the dam as a bargaining chip to gain more concessions from the government, which agreed to the imposition of Shariah law in the scenic Swat Valleyand the surrounding Malakand region in return for a now-unraveling peace deal. If the dam is destroyed, millions of acres of crops would be flooded.
    ….
    Only 300 to 350 armed personnel are guarding the Tarbela dam.
    ….
    Moreover, there is a history of Taliban attacks at Tarbela and on other dams.

    and

    Besides the Tarbela dam, another vulnerable target is Attock Bridge. Located in the Swabi district, it crosses the Indus and connects northwestern Pakistan with Punjab province, the most populous in the country.
    If the Taliban took control of the bridge, it could cut Pakistan in two.

  25. My guess is that this is the first of many posts concerning Pakistan and its future! Actually I do know many posts already have dealt with this “nation-state” and its future. The presence of nuclear weaponary and delivery capability does put this well into the top 10 of international problems. You can rank them I will not.
    Nuclear surety is a highly technical arena, witness the disgrace of the USAF recently and its disregard of first principals of nuclear surety. One of couse being that war reserve items and training items are clearly marked and discerable including their containers. US in the past used blue for exercise. Hey isn’t that the color of USAF uniforms?
    Anyway open source media and intel constantly reports that Pakistan does well on nuclear surety issues! Really? Let’s have a NIE on that specfici subject!

  26. Fred says:

    Mr. Vlahos says “Look at the “politics” of Kenya or Iraq or scores of societies, and you will see worlds governed not by civic institutions but rather by “elite sociability.” ” This is a very interesting view. It reads like an anthropologist. I would also posited that ‘elite sociability’ could also be said of the US Congress and offices on Wall Street.
    Mr. Scheuer’s take is completely different in view. His views on supply line problems echo Pat’s but I wonder if he was raising them from 2002-04 while still at the CIA under the Bush administration?
    While off subject Mr. Scheuer’s comments on ‘Truth Commission On Torture?’ on the same National Journal website are just astonishing: “Because I put together the rendition program against al-Qaeda in August, 1995 — under President Clinton — and then ran it for 40 months — during which period all those rendered were taken to Arab prisons under Mr. Clinton’s orders — I can only say that America is far safer today because of the brains and bravery of the CIA officers who successfully executed their orders regarding rendition under both Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush.”
    Clinton did it, so it is okay if Bush did it? Will it also be okay if Obama does it or the local sheriff too? . I can only imagine the public statements that will be released by various governments after the “John Yoo” treatment is given to American ‘suspects’. I would wager that none, however, will be the ‘elite sociability’ of American politics or business.

  27. fasteddiez says:

    CWZ said:
    “I’m still a firm believer in bribing foreign governments to get what we want…And that’s said only half jokingly.”
    Then you believe in reality, historically speaking. The sticky wicket seems to be the “to get what we want” part. No easy task with doofuses (Doofusii???) on both ends of the voting construct.

  28. J says:

    Colonel,
    ‘Why’ does National Journal trot out ‘ZERO experience level’ Michael Scheuer as a CIA ‘covert action’ expert?

  29. Ingolf says:

    Minnesotachuck:
    Does Juan Cole really see things the same way?
    “All the talk about the Pakistani government falling within 6 months, or of a Taliban takeover, flies in the face of everything we know about the character of Pakistani politics and institutions during the past two years.
    My guess is that the alarmism is also being promoted from within Pakistan by Pervez Musharraf, who wants to make another military coup; and by civilian politicians in Islamabad, who want to extract more money from the US to fight the Taliban that they are secretly also bribing to attack Afghanistan.”

    He’s quite possibly far too sanguine but his view of these matters does seem quite different.

  30. harper says:

    I would like to add just one historical observation to the National Journal comment, which I overall support.
    We have two global crisis hubs that just never seem to be resolved: the Indian subcontinent and Israel-Palestine. In both cases, at the end of World War II, when it was obvious that the old Mandate system was out the window, and that the era of old-style European colonialism was finished, new innovative techniques for manipulation were devised. One was called “Partition.” The Brits did it in India as they parted from their centuries-long colonial adventure there, and left a legacy of religious and sectarian war. The partition of Palestine, which Gen. Marshall strongly opposed, is such an obvious case I need not say any more.
    I know that sixty years later it seems absurd, but maybe the ultimate best outcome to both the subcontinent and Israel-Palestine, is to end the partition, and try a fresh go at a single-state solution.

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    harper:
    No chance.
    In Palestine and in India 2 visions of Utopia are in conflict.
    There is no resolution except cease-fire.

  32. Jose says:

    Babak Makkinejad:
    I agree with you, Pakistan should be allowed to manage its internal affairs without American pressure and threats.
    My problem is when you take the largest group (Punjabi’s) and pit them again the other five (I include both the Serakis and Muhajirs) no good can come out of it.
    This policy of dropping Predator attacks based on an American timetable is being to resemble the Israeli tactics in the West Bank.
    Anything connecting the American to the Isaraelis is not a good sign for the stability of Pakistan, IMHO.
    We don not need another Abbas, unless we want another Hamas….
    I have a copy n article on Indonesia, that I will send to you via Col. Lang when I have time to find it.

  33. RaviT says:

    Babak,
    Your first comment is really off the reservation–so, the Hindus wanted a separate Pakistan so that, what–Hindus could be treated badly in Pakistan, and Muslims could do OK in India? Makes no sense, and is not regarded as a credible history by any legitimate historian, be they Martian, Japanese, American, Greek or whatever. Epic fail. Please stick to topics you know something about–I’m now less likely to believe you on other topics, b/c you are so ideological and false on Indian history.
    Sorry, but I have to call a spade a spade.

  34. RaviT says:

    Babak,
    If you want British-Palestine partition to be respected (one Muslim state, one Jewish state), why are you not respecting the French partition of “Syria” into a Muslim stage (Syria) and a Christian one (Lebanon)? Muslims have no more right to rule in Lebanon than do Jews in the West Bank/Gaza if you’re going to uphold colonial partitions. And, if you don’t respect colonial partitions, well–hello Indian Reconquista of (the valuable parts of) Pakistan!
    Best,
    Ravi

  35. curious says:

    hah. I am back and I read enough to be dangerous and absolutely wrong. (A lot of fascinating tidbit eg. why is tiger tamil cooperating with PLO. or Jemaah Islamiyah connecting with tamil tiger? How was the connection made? … weird. It’s a bit like the IRA hooking up with Libya. I still can’t understand why.)
    anyway, Pakistan.
    Pakistan is pickled, but they don’t know it yet. It won’t end up in big bang like everybody thinks. Worst, slow motion crash.
    The very basic problem: the entire establishment is still playing the 1980’s game, while demographic and geopolitical reality have moved beyond their actual grasp and political skill.
    The military still think they are in control, that they are the guardian of the nation. Meanwhile everybody sees them, specially the third generation status quo, as corrupt and a sell out to US. The JI feels somewhat jealous because Musharaf is doing his own muslim party (PML Q). While Nawaz felt it’s his turn that’s been robbed. The big parties know, the military is just lining up their own pocket in the name of national harmony.
    Zadari? Everybody knows he is there because Hillary wants him there. The minute US is bored with him. He is out.
    then there is the new radicalized Islamic groups. Creation of military/musharaf of course. The military thinks they can control them, but the Islamist group is just bidding their time to kick the corrupt/sell out to US out when the time come. They are banking on new found populism. The disenchanted mass out of bad economy and no future. (US making ISI ditching taliban, is where the hardline islamist realized, they have to play the game.)
    So. Everybody wait until US is bored with Zadari. Then maybe the military will do something because things are shaky, except they can’t do it quite as well as before. Musharaf eff it all up. The military image as the national guardian has been tarnished. The populist will be split in roughly equal balance between new radical Islam, old Islamic guard, Nationalist, and military.
    Taliban blowing up things every which way. Knowing very well, everybody is at each other throat.
    … and here is the exciting part… when everybody finally realize they are not in charge and Pakistan is imploding.
    the economy. It won’t be like Bhutto or Musharaf with US/China/Saudi bailing out. It will be total crash of currency. Suddenly … the public is very angry like never before. Truly angry…
    .. and that’s how pakistan collapse. Either they find a true leader at that point. Or everything degenerate ever so slowly (basically, rehasing the 80’s-90’s cycle, except bloodier, poorer, and less national control. US, saudi, more Islamic radicalism, national disintegration, etc)… ad infinitum
    As a true friend, US should look deep into Pakistan eyes and tell them. This is not sustainable, you have to stop playing the game and think of the people.
    (but of course we know that’s not going to happen. we just gonna F them up by confusing our interest with what’s the right thing for Pakistan.)
    It’s all very generic and banal. Very boring.

  36. curious says:

    I certainly would not wish to see a repetition of the common pattern of governance (among Muslim states) – Dictatorship (often based on the Armed Forces) or dictatorship -> democracy -> chaos -> dictatorship every 20 years in Pakistan.
    My understanding of Indonesia was that it is structurally similar to Pakistan – a state with the armed forces being the only national institution that works – dominated by the Javanese.
    Posted by: Babak Makkinejad | 29 April 2009 at 09:36 AM
    There are similarities between Pakistan and Indonesia. The military and secret service methodology to control the mass. The military conclusion that in order to create political stability, they have to play in it, and in the end nurture/create competing radical Islam groups for various purposes, ultimately eaten up by the game. (same school. Fort Benning, read same manual. They really spiff up with new trick for once.)
    The difference Pakistan geography, population pattern, economy and resource will crash harder when the game fail.
    Pakistan doesn’t have a lot of room for error and experiment, no oil, a lot more urban centers to control, huge numbers of radicals, small economic base. But they have far more coherent culture and control compared to Indonesia. Easier to control. Pakistan also starts off with far higher education and military sophistication. But there is limit to all that, if the taliban decides to drive around and start blowing things up, Pakistan is gone. On the otherhand, the Indonesian mess that makes indonesia weak is also a mess for everybody. Moving from point A to point B is a nightmare, nevermind taking over anything. If one wants to take indonesia, it’s from the center out. not from the fringe to center. That’s what the cia learn from 50’s infiltration vs. second attempt with Suharto coup. That’s how the dutch defeat protuguese and the British. That’s also why JI fails their bombing campaign.
    Of course infiltrating the special force/elite unit is the easiest to take over any country. That’s classic. Must be trick No.1 chapter one. Work on the big ego. Everybody want to be the “big boss”

  37. Babak Makkinejad says:

    RaviT:
    You wrote: “Hindus could be treated badly in Pakistan, and Muslims could do OK in India”
    I presume that you are stating that Hindu are maltreated in Pakistan while Muslim are well-treated in India?
    I disagree.
    I would like to call your attention to the periodic murder and rape of non-Hindus – Muslims, Sikhs, and Dalits – by Hindus.
    At times, these are endorsed or encouraged by the Government of India. For example, after the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi, members of Congress were out in the streets of Delhi encouraging the murder, rape, and looting of the property of Sikhs. And those people are still in Lok Sabha.
    Another example of the systematic murder of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 with no interference by Government of India . Mr. Vajpayee, the sitting Prime Minister, could (should) at least have dismissed the Gujarat Government and introduced Presidential Rule. But he did not.
    Where are the comparable events against Hindus – or even Sikhs – in either Pakistan or Bangladesh?

  38. Babak Makkinejad says:

    RaviT:
    I have no position in regards to the colonial partition of Levant or that of the British India. The one partition that I truly regret is the dissolution of Austria-Hungarian Empire – without which there would not have been a WWII or a Shoah.
    My only concern in the Levant is that Americans (and to a lesser extent the Europeans) by indulging Israel have helped transform a communal war over land into a broader war between 2 religions.
    And as far as I can tell, both the Leaders and the Populace of US-EU are in state of cognitive denial about the harm that they have caused and continue to cause. And when someone like Mr. Ahmadinejad brings them the bad news, they huff and puff and want to shoot the messenger.
    The conflict between Pakistan and India is not perceived as a religious one by the plurality of Muslim states. It is considered a normal conflict between antagonistic polities that also has religious overtones. The conflict between Greece and Turkey or between the so-called Azerbaijan Republic and Armenia also is treated as such by other Muslim states. While I do not deny the religious overtones in these cases, the religious character of the conflict has not yet begun to dominate (thus rendering them impossible to resolve.)

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    curious:
    You wrote: “It’s all very generic and banal. Very boring”.
    Yes, indeed!
    But plain bread is also boring but quite nourishing.
    Governance, in my opinion, exactly has to do with the ability to conduct boring and banal tasks over extended periods of time competently.
    This may neither be exciting nor interesting but it will enable oridnary humble human beings to go about their daily life and business in tranquility and to plan for their future and the future of their loved ones.

  40. Well, are those Pak nukes actually under some form of restraint by the Chinese??? What about those “reported” Chinese techies out there in the Pak nuke redoubts and all that??? What is the Chinese factor in the Pak nuke situation…if any????

  41. RaviT says:

    Babak,
    No offense, but you have really been “brainwashed” in your education. Just to pick one example of Hindus being tormented in Pakistan:
    OVER the rivers and down the highways and along countless jungle paths, the population of East Pakistan continues to hemorrhage into India . . . The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Moslem military’s hatred. Even now, Moslem soldiers in East Pakistan will snatch away a man’s lungi (sarong) to see if he is circumcised, obligatory for Moslems; if he is not, it usually means death. Others are simply rounded up and shot. Commented one high U.S. official last week: “It is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland.”
    From Time Magazine:
    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,878408,00.html
    Please read sources more widely from around the world.
    Best,
    Ravi

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    RaviT:
    Thank you for your reference which dates back to the period of time which included the birth of Bangladesh.
    My recollection of that period in East Bengal was one of atrocities committed by the West Pakistan Army against both Hindu and Muslim Bengalis.
    I cannot see its relevance to the more recent cases that I had mentioned in my posting which had to do with the complicity of the Government of India in acts of violence against non-Hindus in India. If you are aware of similar acts in Pakistan or in Bangladesh please let me know – one is never too old to learn something new.
    I do not believe that I am prejudiced in my understanding of the situation in the sub-Continent. In Pakistan, in fact, I am only aware of intra-Muslim violence; Shia-Sunni, Muhajir-Sindhi, Pashtun-Punjabi, etc.

  43. curious says:

    hey do something useful, and start write them down properly at wiki. (don’t forget complete citation for each claim)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Religious_persecution
    no citation equals empty claim
    (this is my new favorite hobby right now. filling in obscure key events at wiki that causes current mess.)

  44. curious says:

    Interesting solution, but if done incorrectly it will tear up the nation inside out. Basically, Pakistan now is a two headed hydra, there are two courts. (not that anybody cares, since they didn’t keep up with the court they have.)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/world/asia/04pstan.html?_r=1&ref=world
    The Pakistani government announced the creation of a new Islamic appeals court over the weekend, saying that it was meeting the terms of a February peace agreement with the Taliban and that the militants should now cease their armed struggle.
    But the Taliban said Sunday that they had not agreed to the two judges appointed to the provincial court.
    “The government has fulfilled its part of the agreement,” Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for North-West Frontier Province, told reporters on Saturday evening. “Now anyone carrying arms would be treated as a rebel and would be prosecuted in the qazi courts,” he said. A qazi is a judge trained in Islamic law.

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