‘Mumbai is driven by the police and the underworld’

‘Mumbai is driven by the police and the underworld’

 

Expressing grief over the death of senior journalist J Dey, journalist organisations in Mumbai [ Images ] on Saturday alleged that exposure of the police-underworld nexus by the senior scribe could have led to the killing.

“We condemn the killing of J Dey. He tried to expose the police-underworld nexus and with those revelations, today he became a victim. The city is driven by the police and the underworld and no law and order exists here,” said Prasad Mokashi, president of the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh.

“We demand the resignation of the police commissioner as he couldn’t curb the crime rate in the city,” Mokashi said.

“With the murder of J Dey, it has been proven that the police-underworld nexus exists in the city. He had put out several stories on Dawood Ibrahim [ Images ], Chotta Rajan and others,” said Shashikant Sandhbor, president of the Television Journalists Association.

“We demand that the home ministry should conduct a thorough investigation. Also, it should come up with a report on past cases where journalists have been attacked and the status of the probe,” Sandhbor said.

“A proper investigation should be conducted into this dastardly murder. Crime reporters should be protected,” said Aniket Joshi, president of the Mantralaya and Vidhi Mandal Varthahar Sangh.

Investigative journalist shot dead in Mumbai

Investigative journalist shot dead in Mumbai

PTI

File photo of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, who was shot dead by unidentified persons near his residence in Mumbai on Saturday.

File photo of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, who was shot dead by unidentified persons near his residence in Mumbai on Saturday.

A senior investigative journalist, who extensively covered underworld and crime for over two decades, was shot dead in broad daylight on Saturday by four motorbike-borne persons who pumped at least four bullets into him from behind at close range in suburban Powai.

Jyotirmoy Dey (56), Editor (Special Investigation) with an English tabloid Mid-Day, was riding his motorcycle when he was gunned down in a daring attack that shocked the media fraternity.

Dey was shot dead by unidentified persons in Powai at 15.30 hours, Joint Police Commissioner (Law & Order) Rajnish Seth said.

City police’s Crime Branch, which usually probes underworld and serious crime incidents, has taken up investigations into the case.

According to Additional Police Commissioner (West) Vishwas Nagre Patil, four persons on two mobikes fired at least four to five rounds at Dey, who was also riding a bike, from behind this afternoon near Spectra Building at D Mart in Hiranandani area of Powai.

After the attack, he was rushed to nearby Hiranandani hospital where he was declared dead before admission, Mr. Patil said, adding the shooters fled the spot after firing.

“Nine wounds were found on his body,” he said adding,” probably four to five bullets must have been fired taking into account entry and exit wounds.”

“We are probing the matter in all angles.” The body was taken to civic—run Rajawadi hospital for post mortem.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said Dey had not communicated to authorities any threat to him and suggested no one should “jump to conclusions.” State Home Minister R R Patil also said Dey had not made any complaint regarding any threat to his life.

Mid-Day Executive Editor Sachin Kalbag said Dey had not spoken to him about any danger to his life.

Oil mafia

Police sources however said Dey, who recently ran a series of stories on oil mafia, had received threats from anti-social elements. He had also written two books on oil mafia and the underworld.

Dey, who had previously worked with the Hindustan Times and the Indian Express, is survived by his wife Shubra, who is also a journalist.

“We are verifying his mobile phone records and will record the statement of his family members, who reside in Ghatkopar,” a police officer said.

The assailants appeared to be young, Vishwas Patil said, adding police was ascertaining if their movements had been captured by the CCTV cameras placed at nearby buildings.

Expressing shock over the killing, PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the journalist did not ‘target’ any gang or mafia in particular.

Asked if the killing could be linked to elements from the underworld or the oil mafia, Mr. Bhujbal, a former Home Minister, said, “Dey was a very honest person. He used to write on underworld. He was not targeting anyone in particular, whether any gang or any (oil) mafia“.

Mr. Kalbag said the killing of Dey was a tremendous loss to the newspaper. Kalbag sad Dey was called a “guru” by budding crime reporters for his investigative reporting skills.

He said it was too early to ascertain the motive behind the killing.

“Let us not sensationalise the fact that he was working on a story on underworld. Other newspapers too were working on this,” Kalbag said. Dey was believed to be working on articles on wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

Chhagan Bhujbal said Dey’s killing appeared to be pre—planned.

“The way he(Dey) was killed with bullets, it is well planned. Some mafia will be behind it,” he said.

The books authored by Dey were titled Khallas’ (finished), considered a comprehensive write up on the Mumbai underworld, and ‘Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers”.

Deconstructing President Obama’s Strange Stance On Israel

[Overlook the title of the following article (and a couple of paragraphs near the end) for a moment and read what this guy has to say about the Frankfort School of Germany and its merging with Fabian Marxism in the ongoing American social engineering experiment.  This is the "scientific dictatorship" behavioral control experiment that has us all by the throat.  These are the guys that sold our capitalist bosses the idea of sinking America as a means to controlling the entire world.  The corporate fascists and their foundations have been the instruments for America's controlled self-destruction for many decades, and now, the bill for this experiment has come due.  We are the victims, yet we are the ones who must pay for our own destruction and enslavement.

Long live the Revolution!]

Deconstructing President Obama’s Strange Stance On Israel

“Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left” – Herbert Marcuse, Father of the New Left

President Barack Obama’s recent suggestion that returning to 1967 boundaries is the starting point for negotiations between Israel and Palestinians raises questions. While a strong case can be made for minding our business internationally, betraying allies and naively appeasing enemies appear curious as strategic ploys.

His foreign policy revolves around coddling Third World dictators, snubbing traditional friends and overall subservience to the U.N. Obama seems more about reversing his predecessor than charting any coherent diplomatic course. One also wonders whether our President seeks America’s interests or considers our nation fundamentally good.

What gives?

 

The roots of Obama’s “reset” sprouted during the First World War. The lack of a general working class revolt befuddled socialists. According to Marxist eschatology, French workers and their German counterparts should have joined forces to annihilate the bourgeois. Instead, the proletariat shouldered arms for their respective countries to slaughter each other.

To the intelligentsia, smitten with Marxism and other progressive theories, some failing endemic to Western Civilization had prevented the working class from recognizing their class interests. Many Marxist intellectuals came to believe their focus should shift from the economic sphere to a general assault against Western culture.

An institute was established in Frankfurt, Germany to study Marxism’s cultural aspects. It absorbed Antonio Gramsci’s theories suggesting that “cultural hegemony” should surpass class struggle as the preferred pathway to proletariat power. This organization soon became known as the Frankfurt School to obscure its Marxist suppositions.

When Hitler assumed power, the Frankfurt School, which was overwhelmingly Jewish, fled, bringing their theories to America instead of Soviet Russia, which is telling. They were welcomed here by John Dewey, a Fabian socialist hailed as the “Father of Public Education,” and renowned journalist Edward R. Murrow.

After initially taking refuge at Columbia University they branched across America’s education and media establishments. Some, like Horkheimer and Adorno eventually migrated to Hollywood. Like their Fabian counterparts, the Frankfurt School sought not to overthrow capitalism via violent revolution as Marx wished, but to rot society’s foundations.

Leftist intellectuals became termites “boring from within” to undermine America’s free market heritage. They launched a “long march through the institutions” permeating the media, schools and entertainment industries. To unmoor the individual from tradition, morality and self-reliance, they belittled the family, the Church, and America’s constitutional underpinnings.

The Frankfurt School developed Critical Theory, which essentially contrasts the divergence of reality from its ideals. An impossible standard meant to ridicule traditional culture. Derision was their weapon, language and arts their hunting ground and Western Civilization their prey. They incessantly criticized American institutions while pervading spheres of influence and usurping the dissemination of thought.

Progressive theories diffuse through the intelligentsia faster than teeny boppers take to trendy clothes fashions. Few intellectuals willingly forgo the sophistic superiority derived by latching onto ideas not yet widely accessible, or chance squandering the moral preeminence derived from the latest guilt driven philosophical fad. Cultural Marxism spread across the academy like a virus.

This culminated in the rebelliousness of the Sixties. The SDS and other radicals were direct outgrowths of Fabianism. Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization married Marx with Freud giving credence to decadence and elevating fornication to great significance. His “make love not war” epitomized the Left’s moral compass.

Marcuse’s “liberating tolerance” essentially prescribed that any view or behavior formerly considered anti-social or un-American must be tolerated – maybe even encouraged. However, anything reinforcing tradition, patriotism, biblical morality or capitalism should ultimately be denounced. “Transvaluation,” transformed virtue into sin and sin into virtue.

Authority was seen as untrustworthy. The police and military were blasted as “fascist pigs.” Sex, race and other distinguishing characteristics became but social constructs to be “deconstructed” to liberate “humankind” from western culture’s repressiveness. While most of this was fantastical nonsense, their greatest success was highlighting America’s racial hypocrisy.

Marxists co-opted the moral authority of the Civil Rights movement propelling what later became political correctness to prominence. After the Civil Rights Act passed, equality quickly succumbed to racial favoritism empowered by redistributions of wealth and power through affirmative action and expanding entitlements. Racial issues have provided the pretext for massive influxes of federal intervention.

Marxists picture life through the prism of class identification and believe man’s worldly station remains static. Cultural Marxism broadened the group identification that supposedly defines us beyond class distinctions to include race, sex, religion, sexual proclivities, etc. The class conflicts of orthodox Marxism were supplanted by these other antagonisms.

Groups are labeled victims or villains, oppressed or oppressors. In political correctness, victims include minorities, women, homosexuals, non-Christians, immigrants or anyone spouting grievances – even criminals. The oppressors are whites, men, heterosexuals, Christians and the “rich.” Rights ceased as protections for persons and property shifting instead into claims against others.

Political correctness can accommodate no shades of gray. Moms who stay home “let down the team.” Black conservatives are racially banished as “Uncle Toms.” Cubans, who track more conservative than other Hispanics, are rarely afforded the privileged stature of minority victimhood.

The Left’s obsession with race manifests itself in strange manners. Recent immigrants and wealthy blacks are thought more deserving of quota favoritism and set-asides than poor whites. Criticisms of Obama are dismissed as mere racism yet the Tea Party is smeared for being mostly white even as they powered numerous minority candidates to office.

The Sixties generation absorbed these theories and now controls most of America’s cultural institutions. President Obama exemplifies the academy’s biases and benefited immensely by popular culture’s inundation with political correctness. A self-styled intellectual, Obama claims his greatest education was agitating as an Alinskyite community organizer.

Saul Alinsky was an Antonio Gramsci disciple, the first significant Marxist thinker to explore culture as the pivotal battleground. Alinsky begat Wade Rathke, ACORN’s founder, informed Cloward-Pliven and spawned numerous affiliated radical groups closely associated with the president. Obama allies Jim Wallis and Bill Ayers both emerged from the Fabian SDS.

Obama’s hyper-partisanship extends far beyond historical party differences. He routinely demonizes businesses, castigates domestic “enemies” and takes sides in non-executive matters. Everything this Administration does reeks of “Us” against “Them” conducted through the prism of demographic considerations usually invoking redistributions of wealth or power.

Many think the president’s consistent siding with Islam reveals he is secretly Muslim. If true, this would explain Obama’s hostility to Israel, employing NASA for Muslim “outreach,” his refusal to acknowledge Islam’s role in terrorism and his incoherent response to the Ft. Hood massacre. But Muslims aren’t radically pro-abortion, pro-homosexual and pro-feminist.

Nor can being Muslim explain why the president would side with Mexico over Arizona and other bizarre foreign policies like extolling drilling off Brazil’s shores, but not ours. America, as a Western imperial nation has supposedly inordinately benefited by exploiting resources more deservedly belonging to Third World peoples.

Israel represents a bastion of western civilization in territory cultural Marxists find justly Arab. Israel will forever be the oppressor no matter how many murders terrorists commit. Palestinians will always be the oppressed even though they despise us. Yet Palestinians in Israel retain more rights and enjoy more material prosperity than most Muslims enjoy in their own lands.

The commonality infusing Obama’s policies, both foreign and domestic, isn’t Islam or anti-colonialism as Dinesh D’Souza surmises, but cultural Marxism. It explains his frequent apologies for America abroad, why unions were favored over bondholders and why determining which GM dealerships survived wasn’t predicated on profitability, but the owner’s race or sex.

To cultural Marxists, immigrants, even if illegal, hold moral sway over white citizens therefore amnesty and even handouts are justified. Only whites can be racist so the Black Panthers shouldn’t be prosecuted for voter intimidation. Obama’s nominations, such as Sonia Sotomayor, seem more about Affirmative Action for “wise Latinas” than appointing qualified candidates.

Often political correctness proves entertaining.

Obama reacted with a typical PC reflex in deeming that the policeman who arrested Henry Gates “acted stupidly.” In his static worldview conditioned by cultural Marxism, white policemen are the oppressors and blacks the oppressed. What Marxists miss is that groups are comprised of individuals. We aren’t monolithic blobs defined by society, nor are our stations static.

In America, upward mobility is not only possible, it’s probable. The Gates incident occurred in a town with a black mayor, in a state with a black governor and in a country with a black president. The black professor pulled political strings to dodge justice, not the hapless white police officer. The professor was no victim and the policeman wasn’t the racist.

Cultural Marxism might even be humorous if the stakes weren’t so dire.

US plans to double arms sales

US plans to double arms sales

http://www.zoriah.net/photos/uncategorized/2008/06/25/zoriah_iraq_war_baghdad_weapons_c_4.jpg

WASHINGTON: The United States plans to export $46.1 billion in weapons this year, nearly doubling its 2010 figures, officials said Friday.

During the fiscal year 2011, which ends September 30, Washington expects the sales of equipment and military services through its Foreign Military Sales process. About 79 percent of these exports are financed by client countries and organisations, with the remainder funded by US aid programmes.

US military equipment sales, confined to about $10 billion in the early 2000s, tripled to around $30 billion after 2005.

“From 2005 to 2010, we have delivered through the Foreign Military Sales process $96 billion worth of equipment, goods and services to partner countries,” said Defense Security Cooperation Agency Director Vice Admiral William Landay.

Ten years ago, clients were most interested in purchasing material at the lowest cost, even if that meant spacing out deliveries, he explained.

But with the war in Afghanistan and a higher operational tempo for many armed forces, clients are seeking quicker access to purchased progress, which explains the rise in the value of American exports, according to the admiral.

Several nations participating in the NATO-led air campaign on Libya have thus contacted the DSCA to replenish their stocks of ammunition depleted by the operations.

Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom are all participating in the attacks on Libyan strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime.

The rise in exports has led the DSCA to revise its procedures to ensure faster deliveries by determining what type of weapons or other military equipment should be delivered to which country before even being contacted by a client, and purchasing the equipment before it is sold.

In all, over 13,000 contracts are currently underway with 165 countries for $327 billion, according to Landay.

-AFP/wk

Mass anti-nuclear protests in Japan mark 3-month anniversary of quake and tsunami

 

Anti-nuclear demonstrators shout slogans during a march in Tokyo, Saturday, June 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) 

An anti-nuclear protester wearing a creation simulating the  troubled Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during a rally in Tokyo An anti-nuclear protester wearing a creation simulating the troubled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during a rally in Tokyo June 11, 2011, on the three month anniversary of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami which triggered a nuclear disaster. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Mass anti-nuclear protests in Japan mark 3-month anniversary of quake and tsunami

The Canadian PressBy Jay Alabaster, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press

TOKYO – Protesters held mass demonstrations against nuclear power across Japan on Saturday, the three-month anniversary of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that killed over 23,000 and triggered one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.

Streets in parts of Tokyo were completely jammed with thousands of chanting protesters, paralyzing sections of the city. Some marchers called for the country’s nuclear plants to be shut down immediately and for stricter radiation tests by the government.

The magnitude-9 earthquake that hit March 11 off Japan’s northeast coast caused a massive tsunami that devastated the coastline. The disasters knocked out power and cooling systems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 140 miles (225 kilometres) northeast of Tokyo, setting off explosions, fires and large radiation leaks at the facility.

Government reports released earlier in the week said the damage and leakage were worse than previously thought, with some of the nuclear fuel in three reactors likely having melted through the main cores and inner containment vessels. They said the radiation that leaked into the air amounted to about one-sixth of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 — double previous estimates.

The disasters have renewed a national debate on nuclear power in Japan, which has few natural resources. Japan relied on nuclear energy for 30 per cent of its electricity before the disasters and planned to raise that to 50 per cent by 2030, but the government has announced it will abandon that target and promote renewable energy instead.

“Since the earthquake, I’ve realized that nuclear power is just too dangerous for use,” said Takeshi Terada, 32, a shipping worker who marched with 10 friends in Tokyo.

Some nuclear plants across the country remain shut in the wake of the disaster, leading to fears Tokyo and other areas may not have enough electricity for the peak summer months. Residents of the capital are reducing their use of lights and air conditioning, and some companies are moving crucial operations like computer centres to parts of Japan with more stable power supplies.

At the Fukushima plant, hundreds of workers are still struggling to bring the crippled reactors to a “cold shutdown” by early next year and end the crisis. Radiation fears have forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate from their homes around the plant.

Many more people have had to leave their homes along the northeast coast because of tsunami damage. Three months after the disasters, 90,000 are still living in temporary shelters such as school gyms and community centres.

Over 23,000 died

Along the tsunami-ravaged coast Saturday, residents bowed their heads in a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m., when the earthquake struck.

Embattled Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited Kamaishi, a hard-hit coastal city. Kan has been under fire for his handling of the disasters and the country’s recovery plans, surviving a no-confidence vote earlier this month by promising to step down once the recovery takes hold.

Speculation about when he will quit has been rampant, with his party and the main opposition hinting at a coalition to speed the recovery. But Kan’s visit Saturday was seen by some as a suggestion he will attempt to prolong his tenure.

“It is not just a matter of listening to what people say at the destroyed areas. I want to incorporate what I hear into government measures,” he said.

In Tokyo, protesters carried colorful banners and banged drums as they walked in orderly rows past the Economy Ministry and the head offices of Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima plant. Entire families marched, their toddlers and even dogs wearing clothing with anti-nuclear slogans.

“I’m worried about the children. It’s not just in Fukushima, there are radiation problems even here in Tokyo,” said Mika Obuchi, 45, who marched with her husband and 9-year-old daughter.

Palin Plans To Impersonate Ronald Reagan, “Iron Lady” Thatcher Refuses To Play Along

Sarah Palin snub by Margaret Thatcher aides infuriates US rightwing

Rush Limbaugh joins supporters accusing Thatcher’s circle of disgracing former PM with ‘Palin is nuts’ comment

Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin supporters have reacted furiously to reports that Margaret Thatcher’s aides have deemed a meeting inappropriate. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP

A firestorm on the US right has erupted after the Guardian reported thatSarah Palin will be denied a meeting with Lady Thatcher on the grounds that it would be “belittling” for her to meet the darling of the Tea Party movement.

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host, devoted the opening section of his radio show to denouncing the “preposterous” Guardian report, as Palin supporters accused Thatcher’s circle of disgracing the former prime minister.

The US conservative right reacted furiously after the Guardian reportedthat Thatcher’s aides had decided it would be inappropriate for her to meet Palin, who is planning to visit London next month en route to Sudan. Palin has been touring US historical sites (an excursion that saw her slip up this week on the subject of Paul Revere, the American patriot who made a famous “midnight ride” to warn of approaching British forces).

One Thatcher ally told the Guardian: “Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.”

The former prime minister’s friends say she will show the level she punches at when she marks the centenary of the birth of Ronald Reagan by attending the unveiling of a statue of the late president outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square on independence day, 4 July. The Thatcher ally added: “Margaret is focusing on Ronald Reagan and will attend the unveiling of the statue. That is her level.”

The response from the US right was swift. Limbaugh opened his show on Wednesday with a lengthy denunciation of the Guardian after the New York Daily News and a host of US publications picked up on the comments.

“There’s a story out there today, and it’s an illustration of how things happen, how things are said and reported,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “This is preposterous, and I have personal knowledge of this.”

Limbaugh said he knew Thatcher well and embarked on a lengthy description of how he had driven her round a Florida golf course on a golf cart: “I have been with her in social and professional settings as well. It’s obvious that her health is not today what it was, but back in the day,Margaret Thatcher would in no way allow an aide to refer to anybody, Sarah Palin notwithstanding, as ‘nuts’.”

La Donna Hale Curzon, the host of Sarah Palin Radio, accused the Thatcher circle of disgracing the former prime minister. “Margaret Thatcher would never call a fellow Conservative, let alone Gov Palin ‘nuts’,” Hale Curzon tweeted. “Thatcher’s handlers have disgraced the Iron Lady.”

The ally who criticised Palin said the Thatcher circle would not change their minds despite the backlash. “Margaret will not be meeting Sarah Palin. If necessary we will make sure that Margaret has an off day when Palin is in London.”

Critics of Palin revelled in the backlash against Thatcher’s circle, whose dismissive views of Palin undermine her claim that she is the victim of a witch-hunt by left-leaning mainstream media. Palin regards Thatcher as one of her heroines.

Andrew Sullivan, of The Dish blog, which chronicles Palin’s weaknesses, wrote : “As usual, the tired old bigoted comedian Rush Limbaugh took offence that anyone could call Sarah Palin ‘nuts,’ even though she is quite obviously a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and her grip on reality is, shall we say, tenuous. And as usual, Limbaugh blamed it on the left, ie the Guardian’s Wintour/Watt blog.

“What he doesn’t understand is that Palin’s nutsiness is not a partisan matter in Britain, or anywhere else in the world. It is an obvious truth marvelled at by all. Palin’s emergence as a serious figure in American politics has made the country a laughing stock across the world. The idea that a stateswoman like Thatcher, in advanced dementia, would be used by such a crackpot is simply unseemly.”

A State of Terror

A State of Terror 

—Salman Tarik Kureshi

For us Pakistanis, both the social order and the stable survival of the state are at serious risk. We live in a country bristling with guns and bulging with bombs — as it were, a massive national suicide jacket. In a real sense, we live in a State of Terror

Where does one begin to grieve? Sarfraz Shah, Saleem Shahzad, Shahbaz Bhatti, Salmaan Taseer, Benazir Bhutto, Akbar Bugti? The daily toll of the dead and the missing in Balochistan? In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa? The unending ‘targeted’ bloodletting of my fellow Karachiites? Another 35,000 Pakistani men, women and children murdered? Where will the grieving end?

But, it will be argued, these are not victims of the same sets of murderers. The killers, their motives, are all different. In response, I will assert that all these tragic victims (and so many others, unmentioned and unnamed, alongside these and prior to these) are all victims of the same set of circumstances. For they died because they (and we, dear reader) do not live in a normal country. Let’s face it: we live in a State of Terror.

Ours has for long been seen as a special kind of political confection. A ‘normal’ state, for whatever reason it may have been formed, its purpose is nothing more and nothing less than the freedom and well being of its citizens. But we Pakistanis, it is asserted by those who have assumed authority over us, have a special destiny. We live in an ideological state and our sovereignty, as defended by our armed forces with such skills as we have witnessed, has ideological, not geographic, borders.

This ideological state needed, first, to establish its intellectual raison d’être. Mr Jinnah’s formulations were not good enough. Our feckless, incompetent early politicos had little interest in statecraft beyond flying flags on their havelis (mansions) and being given a chair to sit on when visiting the local tehsildar (revenue official). The tasks of government were in fact fulfilled by the civilian and military bureaucrats of the day.

Now, what was feared most by both the civil and military babus (bureaucrats) as well as the landed political gentry, was open democratic contention with the likes of the intellectually more sophisticated middle-class Bengali leadership and the ethnically self-conscious Pakhtun and Sindhi dissidents, not to mention the literate Left in both Karachi and Punjab. Therefore, an ‘Islamic’ narrative was contrived by the establishment of the time, which, it was felt, would overcome Pakistan’s inherent ethnic, regional and class particularities. Jinnah’s liberal, inclusive vision was converted into a faux Islamic exclusivism. Conformity was imposed on the pluralism prized by Jinnah and a unitary state, belying his crusades for provincial autonomy, was created.

As history was to show, this simply did not work. Bengal seceded as Bangladesh and the ethnic entities in what is left of Pakistan have remained as restless and as self-conscious as ever.

But our establishment cannot be accused of failing to repeat its most egregious follies. The uprisings of 1968-69 and the Bhutto interregnum of 1972-77 had brought another disturbing set of ideas to the table, which threatened the basic class nature of Pakistani society: Socialism. Therefore, after Bhutto’s overthrow, the failed Islamist narrative was revived in a still more vigorous and forceful manner.

The philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who witnessed the rise of fascism in his native Italy, identified two quite distinct forms of political control: domination, which referred to direct physical coercion by the police and armed forces, and hegemony, which referred to ideological control and, more crucially, consent. By hegemony, Gramsci meant the permeation throughout society of an entire system of values, attitudes, beliefs and morality that has the effect of supporting the status quo in power relations.

The hegemonic ‘Islamic’ narrative was again thrust onto Pakistan on July 5, 1977, when we heard the military usurper snarling over the media about what he called ‘an Islamic system’. The institutions he promoted and the retrograde educational systems he erected have polluted the intellectual atmosphere of the land and given birth to today’s bigoted, obscurantist political culture and its poisonous fallouts of violent insurgency, terrorism and cold-blooded mass murder.

To make matters far, far worse, this usurper sought to expand his malign influence even beyond Pakistan’s geographical borders. In the east, he dabbled in the violent politics of Indian Punjab, bringing the two countries almost to the brink of war. More dangerously, from June 1979 he began to enable and encourage the mujahideen guerrilla raids into Afghanistan. Training camps were created for these warriors and expensive weaponry provided to them, with the clandestine assistance of the Americans and the Saudis, leading to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at the end of December 1979.

Some of the weaponry that was to flood into the land over the next few years was sold into the hands of ethnic and sectarian extremists and dacoits and, in our biggest city, also of turf gangs. The consequences have included a generalised collapse of law and order and, in the complex environment of Karachi, a self-feeding spiral of ‘targeted’ turf violence.

The further consequence was even more deadly. As anyone who has read any history knows, if a state is to remain a state and not ‘fail’, if a society is to remain functional, the organs of the state under the government’s control — the military, paramilitaries and police — must establish and assert monopolistic control over serious weaponry. Gun power, if set loose and released from the control of the state, is a power for the anarchic destruction of the state that has unleashed it. These destructive forces were unleashed in Pakistan when the retrograde Zia regime distributed guns to the mujahideen and across the land. Zia’s successors to date have maintained these policies. The Taliban were subsequent beneficiaries of this by now established largesse. The wolves of al Qaeda, smelling the blood to be shed, also arrived at the feast.

For us Pakistanis, both the social order and the stable survival of the state are at serious risk. We live in a country bristling with guns and bulging with bombs — as it were, a massive national suicide jacket. In a real sense, we live in a State of Terror — both internally, for the citizens of this country, and externally, for what could be thrown out of here at the citizens of other lands.

Thus, the pseudo-Islamic narrative spawned by this country’s real rulers not only failed to hold it together when it came to the test. In its revived, more formidable form, it is, as the police term goes, “armed and dangerous”.

Can this deep-seated malignancy be excised and removed by our own surgery? It has to be. For, otherwise, there are those both outside and within who will carry out their own bloody, terminal butchery.

The writer is a marketing consultant based in Karachi. He is also a poet

Clinton Warns Against Non-American Colonialism In Africa

Clinton warns against “new colonialism” in Africa

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claps as she is greeted by dancers on arrival in the Zambian capital Lusaka June 10, 2011. REUTERS/Mackson Wasamunu

LUSAKA | Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:12am EDT

(Reuters) – Africa must beware of “new colonialism” as China expands ties there and focus instead on partners able to help build economic capacity on the continent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday.

Clinton, asked in a television interview in Zambia about China’s rising influence on the continent, said Africans should be wary of friends who only deal with elites.

“We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa,” Clinton said in a television interview in Lusaka, the first stop on a five-day Africa tour.

“When people come to Africa to make investments, we want them to do well but also want them to do good,” she said. “We don’t want them to undermine good governance in Africa.”

Clinton, appearing on the televised “Africa 360″ program in Lusaka on Saturday, said African states could learn much from Asia on how governments can help support economic growth but said she did not see Beijing as a political role model.

“We are beginning to see a lot of problems” in China that will intensify over the next 10 years, she said, pointing to friction over Chinese efforts to control the Internet as one example. “There are more lessons to learn from the United States and democracies,” Clinton said.

Her trip, which also takes her to Tanzania and Ethiopia, is meant to highlight the Obama administration’s drive to help African countries meet challenges ranging from HIV/AIDS to food security and speed up often impressive economic growth.

She has repeatedly drawn comparisons with China, which pumped almost $10 billion in investment into Africa in 2009 and has also seen trade soar as Beijing buys African oil and other raw materials to fuel its booming economy.

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; editing by Mark Heinrich)

The war behind the war in Yemen

The war behind the war in Yemen

The conflict in Yemen is really a battle cry for escalating tribal warfare over two rapidly diminishing resources: land and water. - The conflict in Yemen is really a battle cry for escalating tribal warfare over two rapidly diminishing resources: land and water. | REUTERS

GEOFFREY CLARFIELD

From Saturday’s Globe and Mail

Depending on your point of view, the war in Yemen can be explained in two ways. It’s a war in which a government that favours the largely Sunni citizens of the former “communist” state of southern Yemen is violently opposed by tribally based Shiites in what was once the independent state of northern Yemen. Or it’s a war about national elites battling it out for access to scarce resources in the midst of a population explosion. Regardless of which is true (evidence suggests the latter), there’s a war behind the war in Yemen that goes largely unreported.

 

 

Yemen has one of the highest birth rates in the world, and remains one of the poorest countries in the Arab world. In 1953, it had a population of 4.3 million people. Today, that number is more than 24 million, with half under the age of 15. Demographers suggest Yemen’s population will reach 60 million within the next 40 years.

Yemen has no major industries. It’s largely agricultural, with some pastoralism in the eastern desert. Three-quarters of its national revenue comes from oil exports. Yet, experts predict these will be exhausted by 2017, leaving the government nearly broke and unable to invest in rural development.

About 70 per cent of the people live in rural areas. About half of the population is functionally illiterate. Most Yemenis live their lives as members of tribes that follow a customary tribal law system based on mediation and material reparations (livestock and money) that has regional variations. (Yemenis call this blood revenge system tha’r.)

Growing populations and rural conflict over land and water are aggravated by the fact that, although alcohol and drugs are forbidden by the state, Yemenis are addicted to chewing a narcotic leaf called khat, whose production takes up more and more cultivated land in a country dependent on rain-fed agriculture and a medieval form of channel irrigation.

Do-it-yourself tube wells have allowed farmers to tamper with the groundwater, and this is aggravated by the fact that traditional upstream communities have always had the upper hand in water conflicts when it comes to interference with the flow. Add to this the fact that customary tribal law and the national (sharia-based) inheritance laws create conflict over land and water, as one favours the sons of the man while the other favours the wife’s family. This is just one more variable that contributes to widespread rural violence.

It should come as no surprise that there’s disparity over how many Yemenis are killed each year. The ministry of justice says the national murder rate is about 1,000 a year. Non-Yemeni water and land experts say more than 4,000 Yemeni men die annually during murderous land and water conflicts; there are, after all, anywhere between 10 million and 15 million guns freely available to male adults. This toll is far greater than that experienced during the current political upheaval. Yemen is running out of water, and water tables are plummeting – experts suggest Sanaa, the capital, may have no water within 10 years.

A typical conflict occurred in 2007, when members of a tribe kidnapped an 11-year-old boy over a plot of land. He resisted and was killed. His tribe refused mediation. Warfare erupted, until the government sent in tanks. Similar events happen regularly all across the countryside, but they’re rarely reported on. With rising numbers of murderous conflicts over land and water, tribal mediation takes up more and more time and energy and is often subverted by powerful elites who are either in the national government or have close ties with it.

Yemen is one of the few countries in the world where citizens are reorganizing or revitalizing their tribal structures. Their motto is, “Yemen for the tribes and the tribes for Yemen.” But this is really a battle cry for escalating tribal warfare over two rapidly diminishing resources: land and water. As the Yemenis say, “Al-ard ‘ard.” Land is honour, and they’re fighting for it every day.

Geoffrey Clarfield is an anthropologist at large.

The army’s response

The army’s response

Since May 2, the armed forces have come in for an unprecedented amount of stick. Abbottabad, Mehran, Kharotabad and most recently Karachi have become bywords for what the critics are saying has gone wrong with the military and intelligence services. Lest we are swayed by the language of the ISPR release after the meeting of the high command of the army, these critics are not confined to the ‘usual cast of suspects’. Even hitherto reliable, if not wired mouthpieces of the establishment have of late acquired new wings and taken flight along paths never before associated with them even in the wildest imagination. Is this, as the Corps Commanders’ ISPR release suggests, a move to slander and weaken the armed forces by those with unshakeable biases or, God forbid, hidden agendas at the behest of our ‘enemies’? Even more alarming, does the press release’s statement that all this criticism should be put an end to constitute a thinly veiled threat? After all, Saleem Shahzad is not yet cold in his grave, and the investigations into his brutal murder seem to have lost their way in the labyrinthine maze such efforts seem always destined to end up in. The media in Pakistan may be imbued in large part with pro-establishment views, but even those holding such views are finding it hard not to reflect on the obvious failures of recent days, fearing a loss of their own credibility. Defending the indefensible has never been harder, and seems all but a lost cause. Some political leaders too have taken up verbal arms against these alarming manifestations of weaknesses, lapses, failures. No doubt some of them may already have had the honour of being in the list of usual suspects, but new entrants, as in the media, must be cause for concern for GHQ. The trickle down effect in today’s information-savvy Pakistan also is cause for worry for those whose self-image of the ultimate saviours of the country has taken a pounding of late.

Perhaps it is a reflection of the sensitivity this barrage of criticism has aroused that COAS General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, in a rare show for the military of self-abnegation, has proposed that US aid intended for the military should be redirected towards the civilian side. Appreciable as the sentiment is, and it may be informed also by the questions of ‘guns versus butter’ that have been reignited by the recent budget, in the first place it is necessary to ask whether this is practicable? US aid is intended to be spent for the purposes for which it is given. In the past, the US has raised suspicions over the diversion of aid meant ostensibly for non-military or specifically for counter-terrorism purposes, to other uses. That is one of the issues holding up the reimbursement of Coalition Support Fund payments. Can a ‘reverse osmosis’ of military aid being diverted to civilian use be done without an explicit nod from Washington, and particularly the US Congress? In that case, the aid would be re-designated and therefore no longer be considered ‘military’. The implication is that it is not as simple as ‘switching’ money from accounts received under the head of military aid to civilian use, no matter how desirable that may be in the present circumstances. In fact, this would require a re-negotiation and restructuring of that aid with the US’s consent. Such a restructuring would be immensely popular here and help, if that is the purpose, to refurbish the recently battered image of the army, which the present COAS has been at pains to achieve after Musharraf’s departure took the stain of association with the dictator off the uniform.

The corps commanders also warned against stoking divisions between institutions and between the military and the people. It needs reiteration that there is no ‘plot’ at work here, only the natural consequences of recent negative developments that need addressing rather than a retreat into a bunker mentality and knee-jerk reactions against real or imagined enemies. Shooting the messenger, a la Saleem Shahzad, will only mean the message has not been heard, remains therefore unaddressed, and can only be to the detriment of the armed forces themselves and the country. Cooler and wiser reflection at the level of the top brass is the need of the hour. The country is beset with grave problems, primary being terrorism and the economy. As the military itself has stated, this is a time for pulling together to confront the huge tasks ahead. The best beginning for that would be to shun any thoughts of ‘ending’ criticism and instead responding in a serious manner to the issues and questions the critics keep throwing up.

Pak Army Running Parallel Government–Nawaz Sharif

Stop meddling, Nawaz warns army

* PML-N chief says army should stop its ‘dominance’ of foreign policy

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif launched a rare direct criticism of the military on Friday, accusing it of running a parallel government and meddling in the country’s foreign policy.

Nawaz’s remarks were likely aimed at capitalising on popular anger at the army following the US raid that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden last month.

Talking to media at the condolence reference for investigative journalist Saleem Shahzad, the former premier said the army should stop its “dominance of the country’s foreign policy”, and accused it of running a “parallel government”. He also urged the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of the murder of Saleem Shahzad. He said his party would keep on raising voice until the assassins of the journalist were arrested. He also demanded the government to set up a commission to probe Shahzad’s murder.

“Abbottabad operation by the United States, PNS Mehran naval airbase attack in Karachi and the drone attacks are the outcome of our weaknesses and negligence,” said Nawaz and stressed, “We have to take serious notice of these incidents.” The PML-N chief further said that certain institutions were responsible for harming the Kashmir cause. “There is a need to bring changes in the mindset of these institutions to strengthen real democracy in the country.” He urged the people to forge unity among their ranks in larger national interest. “We will not tolerate breaching law, torture of journalists and suspension of the constitution in the future,” he asserted.

He called for presenting budget allocations for army in parliament. The reference was organised by the South Asian Free Media Association. agencies

Lie To Me

Lie To Me


For politicians, expectations of honesty are gone. They lie about almost everything, not just their personal lives. When you vote for Democrats or Republicans you tell them: Lie to me.


by Joel S. Hirschhorn
(libertarian)
Friday, June 10, 2011

What is the main lesson from the recent fiascos of former Senator John Edwards and Representative Anthony Weiner? If you follow the news shows you saw a number of video clips where each of them had lied many times about what eventually they confessed to, their stupid, sleazy sexual misconduct. As I watched the videos I was amazed how good their lying behavior was, without any hint of their blatant dishonesty in how they looked or sounded. Of course, I was also reminded how terrific a liar Bill Clinton was when he went on television to lie about his sexual misconduct.

As a fan of the TV show Lie To Me where the experts can detect minute physical signs of lying or micro-expressions, I felt that the politicians had developed the talent and skill to lie without giving any sign of it.

Here is what Americans should learn: All elected Democrats and Republicans have succeeded because they are excellent liars and, therefore, not one of them can ever be trusted to be telling the truth.

When you vote for any of these two-party politicians all you are saying is: LIE TO ME.

And when they get elected that is exactly what they will do, and not just about their personal behavior. The larger lesson is that American politicians will also lie effortlessly about public policy and just about everything they have anything to do with.

Make no mistake, President Obama has lied about many things just as presidents before him also have.

Can you have an effective representative democracy when elected officials can never be trusted to tell the truth to citizens? No.

Elected officials no long feel they have a profound responsibility to tell the truth. It appears to be behavior that has become automatic, not something they agonize over. Lying has become normal behavior whether it is done in Internet communications, on TV, in speeches or during campaigning for office. Lying may have become so commonplace that politicians no longer spend time justifying it to themselves or their closest staff or supporters. Sure, when they get caught, they easily apologize and accept responsibility in some glib and usually tearful way. But their moral decrepitude should not be forgiven. Dishonest politicians are chronically ill, selfish, egoistic betrayers of public trust. Severe punishment of them is necessary, starting with legally required removal from office and loss of all pension and health insurance benefits.

In the US political system public trust of elected officials is pass, or should be.

This is not a matter of cynicism; it is just prudent and logical to mistrust just about everything said by elected officials. Of course, if you think that a particular politician lies supports your views, then it may not bother you, but it should.

Forget about the rationalization that politicians merely misspeak or that they are just fallible human beings like the rest of us. My point is that an essential skill and regular behavior of politicians is lying without any hint of it. The only thing that politicians now fear is losing control and inadvertently telling the truth!

Has it always been this way? Have American politicians always been ubiquitous liars? I dont think so. What was once aberrant behavior has become normal behavior. It is yet another sign of just how much the US has sunk. It is not just that the country is on the wrong track; it is off the track, falling into an abyss.

When it is rational to always be suspicious of everything politicians say, then why keep listening? Why keep voting for them? Why keep believing that the US is still a functioning democracy? Why believe lies about reforming government? Why think that the overpowering corruption of government by corporate interests will change?

The biggest insanity of all is that when politicians get caught lying about sexual behavior they pay a high price, but not when they get caught lying about the economy, how they have voted on issues, how they have implemented their campaign promises, what they have taken from corporate supporters, and other substantive issues. They get away with it. In large measure because the media do not make a big deal of ordinary lying. Lying is the new normal. Expectations of honesty are gone.

The US political system is broken. That is the truth. You can trust me.

Take a little satisfaction knowing that the biggest lies politicians tell are probably to themselves.

Panetta Thinks Libya’s “Al-Qaeda” May Be Extremists

CIA chief casts doubt on Libya’s NTC

CIA director Leon Panetta
The head of the American spy agency has voiced concerns that elements within Libyan opposition leadership in the Transitional National Council (NTC) may be ‘extremists.

Speaking at his Senate confirmation hearing as US President Barack Obama’s nominee for a new Secretary of Defense, current CIA Director Leon Panetta told American lawmakers that worries about “some members” of the NTC “are legitimate” and that US authorities are “watching very closely,” reported the prominent US daily The Los Angeles Times on Friday.

Panetta’s remarks reflect major doubts within the Obama administration on whether to back the Libyan opposition group in its bid to take control of the oil-rich North African country.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to the NTC as “the legitimate interlocutor” of the Libyan people, but stated that “there is not a clear way forward yet” about transition of power in Libya.

More than 20 foreign ministers and representatives of Libya’s revolutionary forces gathered in Abu Dhabi on June 9 to discuss providing financial support to Libyan opposition forces.

Clinton offered no direct US financial aid to the revolutionaries but said the US would give $26 million in humanitarian relief for Libya, bringing total US aid pledge to the country to $81 million.

Moreover, other countries, including France, Turkey, Italy and the UAE have pledged financial support to the NTC totalling over a billion dollars.

NTC authorities, however, say they need at least $3 billion over the next four months to pay for the body’s expenses.

Meanwhile, the council’s finance chief Ali Tarhouni complained outside the Thursday meeting that countries pledging support for the Libyan revolution have failed to deliver the much needed aid funds. “It’s been almost four months now and nothing has materialized,” he said.

MA/GHN/MB

Just Because They Came From Afghanistan Doesn’t Mean NATO Is Responsible!

No US or NATO involvement in cross-border attack on Pakistani forces

ISLAMABAD, June 10 (KUNA) — The US embassy on Friday denied as “allegations” recent reports that US and NATO facilitated Afghan militants’ attack on Pakistani security forces previous week in a border region.
These allegations are false, said US embassy here in a statement. Some media outlets have reported that US and NATO forces aided the insurgent attack in the Shaltalo area of Upper Dir on June 1st. More than forty militants and over ten soldiers were reportedly killed in the attack. According to local officials more than a thousand militants from Afghanistan crossed into Pakistan and attacked paramilitary forces checkpost. “US, NATO and Afghan forces have been conducting an aggressive counter-insurgency campaign in the border region of Afghanistan for almost 10 years”, said the US in the statement. The United States and Pakistan have actively cooperated against the violent extremists that threaten us both, it said.
Reporting baseless allegations is irresponsible and demeans the sacrifices of the civilians and military personnel who have fallen in our common fight against violent extremism, added the statement.

Pakistan’s Kashmiri problem

Pakistan’s Kashmiri problem

Praveen Swami

Even if a military offensive against jihadist leader Ilyas Kashmiri’s bases in North Waziristan materialises, Pakistan’s prospects of crushing the jihadist movement are bleak.

Eleven years ago, Muzaffarabad newspapers carried photographs of a grinning jihad commander carrying the severed head of Bhausaheb Maruti Talekar of the Maratha Light Infantry, a macabre trophy of a raid across the Line of Control.

Last week, the man in the photograph was reported killed in a United States drone attack. In the years since it was taken, Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri had emerged as the head of Brigade 313, a feared al-Qaeda linked group that draws its name from the number of followers of Prophet Muhammad who defeated the numerically stronger armies of pagan Mecca. Even though media reports that Kashmiri was connected to the 2008 Mumbai attacks are erroneous, he was responsible for a string of attacks within Pakistan, including the recent strike on a naval base in Karachi. Brigade 313 is also alleged to have jihadists plotting attacks in Europe last summer, and has been linked to the 2009 Pune bombing.

There is still contention over Kashmiri’s fate — Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, said he was “98% certain” that Kashmiri was dead, while the United States military says it has no confirmation. But reports have come amongst renewed debate over a possible Pakistani offensive against his bases in North Waziristan, the epicentre of the country’s jihadist movement.

Forces loyal to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-linked Afghan warlord, are reported to have relocated to adjoining Kurram in anticipation of an attack, and Mike Mullen, the United States’ military chief, fuelled rumours that an attack was imminent, saying the operation was “very important.”

Not without reason, sceptics are unmoved: Admiral Mullen had said just the same thing in October last year: Pakistan’s military chief General Pervez Kayani, he said, “committed to me to go into North Waziristan and to root out these terrorists.”

Either way, the bad news is this: going into North Waziristan is profoundly unlikely to have an abiding impact on the jihadist movement — as opposed to particular terrorist groups — in Pakistan.

Politics and peace: Long before 9/11, the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan brought about seismic political changes in north-west Pakistan’s political landscape. Inspired by the example of the Islamist insurgents they had fought with, young commanders who had participated in the Afghan jihad began to displace the traditional tribal leadership. In some cases, local Islamist militia were set up. North Waziristan’s Dawar tribe, for example, formed its own Taliban as early as 1998-1999.

The case of Umar Khalid, a jihadist commander from Mohmand with whom Pakistan signed a short-lived peace deal in 2008, is instructive. Born into the Qandharo sub-tribe of the Safi, and a school drop-out, Khalid had no traditional claims to leadership. Instead, he fought with the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir and in Afghanistan after 9/11. Following Pakistan’s 2007 raid on the Islamist cleric Abdul Rashid’s Lal Masjid in Islamabad, he used his jihadist militia to impose a brutal new order in Mohmand: women were forbidden from receiving an education, music was banned, and barbers were punished for shaving beards.

Leaders like Khalid show that the Pakistani Taliban aren’t just ideological enemies of the Pakistani state: they are rebels against the traditional structures of power among the region’s societies, and a political challenge to the complex order that sustains Pakistani sovereignty there.

Sana Haroon’s path-breaking history of the region, Frontiers of Faith, suggests that north-west Pakistan’s jihadists are heirs to a long tradition. Haroon has shown that the political life in the region involved a complex negotiation between tribal custom and clerical authority. Ayesha Jalal’s Partisans of Allah, in turn, demonstrates that the ideological foundations of Islamism in the region date back to the collision between Empire and Islam in India. Indeed, as scholars like Thomas Ruttig have shown, much of what is passed off as tradition, like the code of Pashtunwali, is an expedient justification for political expedience.

Back in 2002, under intense pressure from the United States to mop up jihadists fleeing Afghanistan, General Pervez Musharraf ordered the Pakistan army into the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas, the site of these contestations. Operation Meezan, or Balance, was the army’s first intervention in the region since independence in 1947. In 2004, a further offensive targeted jihadist strongholds around Wana, in South Waziristan.

Less than prepared for the rigours of a counter-insurgency campaign, Pakistan’s army was mauled. Lieutenant-General Safdar Husain, the commander of the Peshwar-based XI corps, persuaded General Musharraf to back down, and seek negotiated deals with the jihadists.

In April 2004, the pro-Taliban legislators Maulana Merajuddin Qureshi and Maulana Abdul Malik Wazir secured a peace deal with 10 commanders of the Islamist insurgency in North Waziristan — an arrangement called the Shakai Agreement. In essence, the commanders promised not to target Pakistan, if the army called off its offensive and let foreign jihadists live in peace.

Less than seven weeks later, though, the deal fell apart, after the two sides failed to agree on the registration of foreign jihadists — in the main, Uzbeks, Chechens and Arabs. Even though Nek Muhammad, the key signatory to the Shakai deal, was killed in a missile attack, the Islamist insurgency went from strength to strength: North Waziristan is now the most important hub for jihadists fighting the Pakistani state, as well as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces in Afghanistan.

The February, 2005, the Srarogha deal went much the same way. Facilitated by the Jamiat Ullema-e-Islam leader Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman — whose abiding relationship with the Pakistani state has led to his twice being targeted in suicide-bombings this year — the deal saw the jihad commander Baitullah Mehsud agree to expel foreigners from South Waziristan.

Mehsud, though, simply used the deal to regroup, and began fighting again in 2007. The army initiated a half-hearted offensive against Mehsud late that year, but called it off in the wake of the Mumbai attacks: in a briefing for media, an official spokesperson even described the jihadist commander as a “patriotic Pakistani.”

Large swatches of South Waziristan are now ruled by Nazir Ahmad — a Taliban leader who proclaimed last month that his Taliban forces and al-Qaeda were united. “At an operational level,” Nazir said, “we might have different strategies, but at the policy level we are one and the same.”

Finally, in 2006, the Pakistan army signed a third peace deal with the Uthmanzai Wazirs of North Waziristan, hoping to stave off the prospect that low-level attacks would escalate into an insurgency. The agreement, in effect, handed power to Islamists; their flag was flown at the function where the deal was signed. Less than a year on, the two sides were at war, once again.

General Musharraf’s desperate peacemaking needs to be understood in the context of the crisis Pakistan was confronted with after 2001. He was faced with multiple lobbies calling for dismantling the army’s historical clients, the jihadists: India threatened war, following the attack on Parliament House in New Delhi; the United States was irked by the support jihadists in Pakistan’s cities offered al-Qaeda; military insiders like former ISI chief Javed Qazi argued that the military-mullah alliance made attracting desperately-needed investment impossible.

His eventual half-hearted crackdown on jihadist infrastructure, though, proved enough to send thousands of jihadists fleeing the plains into areas like Waziristan. There, they soon realised Pakistan’s threats were pyrrhic — and prepared the terror offensive now tearing apart cities in Punjab and other provinces. The scholar Hassan Abbas has recorded, in a seminal paper, that from “March 2005 and March 2007 alone, for example, about 2,000 militants from southern and northern Punjab Province reportedly moved to South Waziristan and started different businesses in an effort to create logistical support networks.” Events have shown that jihadists can be crushed — but at a cost. In 2008, the secular-nationalist Awami National Party took power in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, sparking off a collision with jihadists in neighbouring Swat. Swat’s jihadist movement dated back to 1989, when local cleric Sufi Muhammad’s Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) sought to replace tribal custom with Shari’a law. Backed, ironically enough, by smugglers and druglords who wanted to eject the Pakistani state from the region, the TNSM waged a low-grade war against Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s government in 1994-1995. The insurgency re-erupted again in 2006.

The ANP government’s attempts to reach a deal with Muhammad came to nothing: by 2009, its cadre were being systematically eliminated. The last straw, by some accounts, was a 2009 speech where Sufi Muhammad declared that democracy and Islam were irreconcilable — and that women should only be allowed to leave their homes only for the Haj, not even medical treatment.

Finally, the military went in — crushing the TNSM insurgency, but in the process causing massive civilian displacement and hardship that some fear will lead to a pro-jihadist backlash. Notably, the victory did nothing to end terrorism in the region, which rages on.

Now, though, with a middle-level officer corps ever-more sympathetic to the Islamist cause, a substantial popular constituency hostile to backing the United States’ war on terrorism, and a military that has demonstrated few counter-insurgency skills, there is little stomach for another campaign. Fighting in North Waziristan, without doubt, degrades the jihadist movement’s capabilities, but large-scale terrorism will not quickly end. For that, Pakistan needs political resources — a commitment to democratisation and development, and parties that can deliver them — that it simply does not possess.

For the foreseeable future, Pakistan’s descent into the abyss seems inevitable: war or no war in Waziristan.