Footloose in East Africa [2 of 3]

Hippos down in the Ngorongoro Crater. The Crater with its steep walls of 610 metres has become a natural enclosure for a very wide variety of wildlife, including most of the species found in East Africa, except the giraffe. Aside from herds of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest. Source:




by Hafeez R. M.


It was July last year, 27th July 2011 to say exact that I left for Arusha in the morning bus. It was broad daylight affording me an opportunity to view the landscape of open plains dotted with thousands of baobab trees. On the roadside, I could see tribal homes and villages, their tin shacks, their colored laundry hung along the fences. I had a good laugh on reading some funny names of the shops like “Born Again Grocery” and “Miami Pub and Grub”. Finally, a plump Tanzanian lady, sitting next to me, was bumping into me every now and then due to potholes, breakers and bad patches.

The bus backtracked towards Dodoma as it was bypassing Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conversation Area. I wasn’t to these places but could imagine of vast landscapes dotted with millions of wildebeest, gazelles, lions and even the elusive rhino.

The bus passed by Songwa which had gained reputation due to a Tanzanian Pastor having a ‘miracle cure’. Though all witch-doctors have been outlawed, many could not be touched as they are miraculously healing thousands of sicks just for five cents of concoction made from herbs and water.

By midday, the bus stopped at Singida for lunch break. From here, it went up north leaving the tarmac road. It appeared that instead of reconstructing road in stages, the entire highway was being dug in bits and pieces. The sudden diversion to the secondary roads was bone rattling. Further, it was perturbing to see people living in absolute poverty. Their abodes were made of mud, their land was dry and their settlements were devoid of any modernity like TV antenna or dish, electric power poles and mobile phone towers.

On way to Arusha

At long last, the bus reached Arusha and was surrounded by usual crowd of touts, taxi-drivers and guides. Incidentally, this bus terminal was a battleground in the past week as drivers and touts, armed with rocks and sticks stoned police and their vehicles against the newly introduced parking system. I hurriedly came out of the terminal and got a room in the first available place, Hotel Aquiline, following the golden rule ‘any port in a storm’.

The writer at the Art and craft shop containing a large number of items.
Gerald out in the open after going through the painting gallary

The Arusha City

The hotel was nice but due to load shedding its lift remained un-operative during day time. However, it served a sumptuous breakfast which partly compensated for the power problems. The room rent was US$ 28 per night.

Arusha has a total population of 1.5 million. It is centre for a number of tourist attractions like Mount Meru, Great Rift Valley and Arusha National Park. It is a multicultural city with a majority African population, large Arab and Indian minorities, and many European and American ex-pats, engaged in diplomatic affairs or business specially in tourism.

The climate was rather cool as the city is at an elevation of 1,400 m on the slope of Mount Meru. Arusha has some modern buildings specially some banks and hotels.There is UN building as well. It housed a tribunal for investigating war crimes in Rwanda. In the city, except for few paved road, most roads are unkempt dirt road lined with small shops.

The traffic on the highways is controlled by speed-breakers at seemingly odd places. This is for the safety of people walking along the road sides. Some of the women walking had large bundles on their heads and it’s a wonder they could see the traffic at all.

In the afternoon, Gerald Msanya came to me and we had a round of the surrounding area. He persuaded me to have a sim for mobile phone which hardly cost half a dollar without any formalities. Gerald is a teacher by profession and we are email friends for the past one year.

Last day in Arusha

Next morning, we went to Snake Park, about 25 km west of Arusha. There were a few snakes like Black and Green Mamba, Egyptian Cobra and Puff Adder. Also, there was a crocodile farm and Massai Cultural Museum. I saw the traditional huts with women sitting at the doors doing jewellery beadwork or traditional medicine men using savanna plants.

Sikhs are a significant part of the Asian community in Tanzania. The community includes Hindus, Shi’a and Sunni Muslims, Parsis and Goans. But the number of Asians in the country has declined by 50 percent in the past decade. Faith and justice are the pricipal beliefs of Sikh religion which advocates the pursuit of of salvation though disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God.

However, its ticket of US$ 12 was exorbitant.

On our way back, we went through a well-stocked art and craft shop besides enjoying a painting exhibition.

On my last day, I moved alone and saw a Sikh Temple. The care taker, Dharm Singh, became very friendly and asked me to come on next Sunday for a community lunch. He also directed me towards shopping complex and a Sikh Eatry, Dhaba, just at the end of the city.

In a five-star Hotel in Moshi


On 30th July 2011, I left for Moshi about 85 km. Half between, the van passed by Kilimanjaro Airport. This is the second, albeit small, international airport of Tanzania (the first is Julius Nyerere International Airport).

Moshi town is beautifully set on the slope of the rising Mount Kilimanjaro. Though small, it has a charming atmosphere, fresh air and a great place to spend a few days. It reminded me of a Chinese Town Yangshou, also known as backpacker paradise. There was a difference, however. The bulk of tourists in Moshi were well-to-do, able to afford expensive tours with a minimum of US$ 2,500.

Moshi has a population of about 150,000 people. Compared to other towns, it was clean. It was well planed with straight roads and streets. There were many places of worship all around including a Sikh and Hindu Temples.

Due to close proximity to Mt. Kilimanjaro, it serves as the base for many expeditions with many climbers staying in nearby hotels and employing locals as guides, porters and cooks. Besides, it is centre of the coffee industry in Tanzania.

I only stayed overnight at Hotel Buffalo paying US$12.5 as my time for Tanzania was running out.

A typical street of Marangu
The guide with his other


While I was going to Marangu in a minivan, a young man started talking with me and later introduced himself as a guide. On reaching Marangu, he helped me get a room in a hotel having a funny name, Hotel Gentleman Palace. Initially, I thought that it was meant for men only but soon found out a lot ladies staying there. I got a room which a grand view of the rainforest for only US$ 15. The guide, Bariki Lyimo, left me and committed to come for the next 2 days for ten dollars per day. It suited me as he belonged to the local Chagga Tribe and would be able to take me well inside his house and the village.

In the afternoon, I walked around the town and its market area. I marveled at the beautiful scenery of farmland, the savannah and the rain forest. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and I could not see the majestic mountain.

Bariki came next morning and together we moved in the region enjoying rushing waterfalls fed by the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

He also took me to his village, Materuni, and introduced me to his parents. The Chagga Tribe is said to be “most educated” among of the tribes in Tanzania. Their houses were cone-shaped, with a roof thatched with dried grass or banana leaves. Many were built with cement walls and corrugated metal roofs but were of the same design. Mostly, the people were farmers engaged in the cultivation of yam, sugarcane, maize, bean and their main crop, coffee. He explained the process of coffee plantation, coffee packing and roasting and finally treated me with freshly brewed coffee in a fine mug. It was quite delicious.

Also we went to a blacksmith workshop besides exploring some caves in the area. We went at the top of a hill where a Church was located. It reminded me of Christ the Redeemer  in Brazil.

At the door of Mount Kilimanjor Park Marangu Gate Reception


Second day in Marangu was reserved for a trip to the base of Kilimanjaro. It was hardly five km away and was hemming with activities. Lot of porters and guides were moving around to fetch some business. Many assured me that people older than me have done it successfully and persuaded me to hire them. I was neither interested not rich enough to go for it and told them that I was yet considering.



The mountain is featureless. It is part of the East African plateau on the Tazanian side along with the smaller Mount Meru. Both are extinct volcanoes.

It is the highest peak in the entire Africa. It has a height of 19,336 feet (5,895 meters) and remains snowed-capped all the time. It is said to be the world tallest walk-able mountain which takes one through five different climatic zones. Of course, it is a hard climb which takes 7 to 10 days. Some estimate that as many as 40% people do not reach the top because of sickness or injury.

A treck could cost from $2,500 per person with camping, food, guide and park fees.

Marangu Forest

On the last day, I ventured alone and covered another area known as Mamba. It turned to be a paradise for bird-watchers and nature lovers. Also there were scenic waterfalls, flowers and fruit nurseries. The entire area was lush-green with hidden waterfalls. On return, I got lost. I was in a jungle with tall trees. I wanted to go to some heights to look for a training school perched in a hill to ascertain my position and to make strategy for the safe return. However, the path started climbing and became steeper and steeper. Like an old ox-wagon, I went up creaking, jerking and tilting. High trees shaded the path. On both sides, a green walls of plants, trees, bushes, willows and weeds formed a corridor. The walk became a little frightening. All senses were on the alert, hearing, sight and smell. Eyes darted perpetually from point to point sizing up everything that stirred. At long last, I was on the top able to see the school and returned back safely.

The Big Five – The term was coined by white hunters and refers to the five most difficult animal in Africa which are difficult to hunt and involve high degree of danger.

Massai Dance

Farewell to the land of Big-Five

By 3rd August 2011, I decided to move to Kenya. A nearby border-post, Holili, could take me into Kenya via Taveta. I asked Bariki to accompany me to facilitate in border-crossing. That was a tactical mistake. The immigration officers do not want guides or agents to witness their dealings with the travelers which may involve bribes. So the immigration officer at that post, at Kenyan side, got infuriated over the agent role and asked me that since I had no prior visa, I could not enter Kenya. Also, this was a small post, barely consisting 3 officers with apparently no computer or figure-printing equipment. Perhaps, they only clear those who did not require visa or had prior visa. That means, no new visa could be issued from that post. After a lot of hassle and intervention by some fellows, I was advised to try Namanga – the major border crossing. For this , I had to go back to Moshi, book a Nairobi-bound bus for the next day and try my luck. The bus fare was $15 on Akamba Bus Service. I stayed overnight at the same place, Hotel Buffalo.

On 4th August, 2011 I boarded a bus which would take 8 hours to reach Nairobi. Except eight (including me), the passengers were either Tanzanian nationals or permanent residents. The bus was half empty.  I sat by an Indian monk of Ananda Marga wearing saffron turban and monk’s robes. Also, a Sikh had taken a front seat. We three mingled well in no time and had good gossip.

The bus reached Namanga at about 10 pm and all were asked to leave for passport checking and border-control. While I was going towards the immigration office, I was stopped by two persons who asked me to take necessary visa stamps of $50. They blocked my way and in confusion or pressure I had to yield as it was pitch dark and I was standing in the middle of the road having large trailers on the both sides. After paying $50, I went to an immigration officer who, of course, was happy to see that I had no prior visa and for another $50, in addition to official fee of $50, not only granted me one but also filled the application-form on my behalf. I had just to sign on the dotted line.

When I came back from the immigration office, I could not spot the bus and became worried. In the meantime, a tout and a taxi driver started following me and hunt for the bus begun. Meanwhile, all but me got into the bus. I am grateful to a fellow-passenger, a Sikh, who asked the conductor to go and look for me. The conductor traced me and led me to the bus. Both the Indians made a fun of me which I did not mind as I had lawfully entered Kenya after sustaining a loss of only $100.

The rest would be covered in another post.


Next: Footloose in East Africa [3 of 3]

Previou1 2 3 

More from Hafeez R. M. on Wonders of Pakistan

1. The Shrine of Hazrat Ayub Ansari in Istanbul 2. Sacred Crocodiles 3. Shalimar Gardens, Lahore 4. Gorakh Hills, A pleasant surprise 5. The tomb of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi 6. Thar coal – hope or despair [in three parts]
The writer Hafeezur Rahman Malik is an ex-Bank Executive. As says Hafeez, he now whiles away his time in teaching and traveling. Each year in summer and winter holidays, he goes on a footloose and fancy-free safari to a new country or to a new area of a large country like USA. His travel tales are published by various websites specially & . He lives in Karachi, Pakistan, with wife and a cat.
Source, Images: Top to bottom 1. Title image, 2. 3 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13



Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We at Wonders of Pakistan use copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
Published in: on 24/04/2012 at 9:47 pm  Comments (4)  

Footloose in East Africa – [1 of 3]


Serengeti National Park is a large national park in Serengeti area of Tanzania. The park is  famous for its annual migration of over one and a half million white bearded wildbeast and 250,000 zebra. Its widely regarded as the best wildlife reserve in Africa due to its density of predators and prey. Since continuous hunting of lions made these animals scarce, the British, while the area was a part of their colonial empire in Africa decided to make a partial game reserve of 800 acres in the area and the full one in 1929. These actions became the basis for Serengeti Nationalpark which was established in 1951. [In the image above, an  old rhino and her young stroll along their favourite trail in the Serengeti National Park. Photograph: Staff/Reuters].

– TO TKU –



by Hafeez R. M.


Note for WoP readers: Today we are taking you to an African Safari. WoP writer Hafeez Rahman Malik is in the driving seat. An avid traveller and apt guide that he is, will show you the wonderous life, the happenings, events, way of the crowd, interesting Africn ‘loag’ on the street, but above all to Serengeti, the venue of the greatest wildlife show on earth, a spectacle you can see no where in the world.

At the heart of the Serengeti lies an ancient phenomenon that is the largest movement, as I said, of wildlife on earth. (Surprisingly Hafeez R.M. missed this spectacle). In pursuit of food and water, over a million wildebeest and half a million zebra and antelope migrate north from the Serengeti to the adjoining Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya every year. January brings “short rains” to the Serengeti; it usually rains briefly and not every day. Migratory herds can be seen in the south east of the Serengeti park and the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

When the dry season arrives [around June], the grasses are exhausted and the wildebeest head to permanent water. Forming columns which stretch for miles, the wildebeest are joined by other hoofed animals. Predators follow and crocodiles wait hungrily in the rivers. Only those herbivores which can do without surface water for long periods and live on poor forage remain during the dry season. Come November, when the grazing is finished in the north and the rains resume in the south, the army of animals surges back to the renewed pastures to mate and calve. Only through migration can the herds use the widespread resources of the ecosystem and build up such huge numbers.

 White bearded wildebeests are the most common large animal on the plains and the principals of the migration. These wildebeest live in denser concentrations than any other large mammal, except for humans. Wildebeest are known as gnus in southern Africa due to their gnu gnu sound. Although the wildebeest looks (according to African legend it was assembled from spare parts) and sounds comical, it is superbly evolved for its migratory plains lifestyle.

Wildebeest are constantly on the move, always striving for the side with the greener grass. As the sea of grass provides little cover and young are easy pickings, wildebeest have evolved synchronized birthing: About 90 per cent of calves are born within a three week period. Predators cannot make much of a dent in the population of newborns with such a sudden glut of food. Wildebeest young can run minutes after they are born. Within three days, calves are strong enough to keep up with the herd.


Plains zebra and wildebeest often intermingle. They are complementary grazers, preferring different parts of the same grass. Zebra, with their superior vision and hearing, serve as an early warning system for the wildebeest. Given the choice, predators prefer wildebeest meat to zebra. So zebra are happy to offer the carnivores that choice.

You can ssee zebra in the greatest numbers and they became one of your favourite animals. You see in the middle of an ocean of zebra stretching to the horizon a restful place to be.

The mother keeps her newborn away from other zebra for the first few days until it imprints on mum’s stripe pattern. Zebra are the African snowflake: no two look exactly the same.

Here in Serengeti you will see countless zebra in this neck-nuzzling stance: It allows them to rest their big heads while watching two directions and brush flies off each other. Although they always remain wary, some potential prey seem unworried during the day by predators that are in plain view and not stalking. It should be remarkable to see a herd calming, munching and snuggling with (presumably sated) lions crouched in the vicinity.

To zebra, it’s a migration.
To big cats, it’s a moving feast.

This and other aspects of life in TKU lands are the subject of today’s post which is being uploaded right now.



Published in: on 24/04/2012 at 12:52 pm  Comments (11)  

Nuclear missile Viagra for India

The world media misreported this week. “India launched her first intercontinental ballistic missile,” True enough, India did launch a new, 5,000 km-ranged Agni-V missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead to Beijing and Shanghai.
Previously, India’s 3,500-km Agni-III did not have the range to hit China’s major coastal cities. But Agni-V is not an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), as wrongly reported. Nor was the missile North Korea launched on 15 April that fell apart soon after liftoff.
Some media wrongly claimed it was an ICBM that could hit the United States. One longs for the days when media employed real war correspondents who understood military affairs.



by Eric Margolis


“India launches first intercontinental ballistic missile,”  the world media misreported this week.  True enough, India did launch a new, 5,000 km-ranged Agni-V missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead to Beijing and Shanghai. (more…)

Washington Leads World Into Lawlessness

The US government pretends to live under the rule of law, to respect human rights, and to provide freedom and democracy to citizens. Washington’s pretense and the stark reality are diametrically opposed.
US government officials routinely criticise other governments for being undemocratic and for violating human rights. Yet, no other country except Israel sends bombs, missiles, and drones into sovereign countries to murder civilian populations.
The torture prisons of Abu Ghuraib, Guantanamo, and CIA secret rendition sites are the contributions of the Bush/Obama regimes to human rights.




by Paul Craig Roberts


The US government pretends to live under the rule of law, to respect human rights, and to provide freedom and democracy to citizens. Washington’s pretense and the stark reality are diametrically opposed.

US government officials routinely criticize other governments for being undemocratic and for violating human rights. Yet, no other country except Israel sends bombs, missiles, and drones into sovereign countries to murder civilian populations. The torture prisons of Abu Gahraib, Guantanamo, and CIA secret rendition sites are the contributions of the Bush/Obama regimes to human rights.

Washington violates the human rights of its own citizens. Washington has suspended the civil liberties guaranteed in the US Constitution and declared its intention to detain US citizens indefinitely without due process of law. President Obama has announced that he, at his discretion, can murder US citizens whom he regards as a threat to the US.

Congress did not respond to these extraordinary announcements with impeachment proceedings. There was no uproar from the federal courts, law schools, or bar associations. Glenn Greenwald reports that the

Department of Homeland Security harasses journalists who refuse to be presstitutes, and we have seen videos of the brutal police oppression of peaceful OWS protestors. Chris Floyd describes the torture-perverts who rule the US.

Now Washington is forcing as much of the world as it can to overthrow international treaties and international law. Washington has issued a ukase that its word alone is international law. Any country, except those who receive Washington’s dispensation, that engages in trade with Iran or purchases Iran’s oil will be sanctioned by the US. These countries will be cut off from US markets, and their banking systems will not be able to use banks that process international payments. In other words, Washington’s “sanctions against Iran” apply not to Iran but to countries that defy Washington and meet their energy needs with Iranian oil.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, so far Washington has granted special privileges to Japan and 10 European Union countries to continue purchasing Iranian oil.


Requiring countries to shutdown their economies in order to comply with Washington’s vendetta against Iran, a vendetta that has been ongoing ever since the Iranians overthrew the Washington-installed puppet, the Shah of Iran, more than three decades ago, was more than Washington could get away with.

Washington has permitted Japan to keep importing between 78-85% of its normal oil imports from Iran.

Washington’s dispensations, however, are arbitrary. Dispensations have not been granted to China, India, Turkey, and South Korea. India and China are the largest importers of Iranian oil, and Turkey and South Korea are among the top ten importers. Before looking at possible unintended consequences of Washington’s vendetta against Iran, what is Washington’s case against Iran?

Frankly, Washington has no case. It is the hoax of “weapons of mass destruction” all over again. Iran, unlike Israel, signed the non-proliferation treaty. All countries that sign the treaty have the right to nuclear energy. Washington claims that Iran is violating the treaty by developing a nuclear weapon. There is no evidence whatsoever for Washington’s assertion.


Washington’s own 16 intelligence agencies are unanimous that Iran has had no nuclear weapon’s program since 2003. Moreover, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s weapons inspectors are in Iran and have reported consistently that there is no diversion of nuclear material from the energy program to a weapons program.

On the rare occasion when Washington is reminded of the facts, Washington makes a different case. Washington asserts that Iran’s rights under the non-proliferation treaty notwithstanding, Iran cannot have a nuclear energy program, because Iran would then have learned enough to be able at some future time to make a bomb. The world’s hegemon has unilaterally decided that the possibility that Iran might one day decide to make a nuke is too great a risk to take. It is better, Washington says, to drive up the oil price, disrupt the world economy, violate international law, and risk a major war than to have to worry that a future Iranian government will make a nuclear weapon. This is the Jeremy Bentham tyrannical approach to law that was repudiated by the Anglo-American legal system.

It is difficult to characterize Washington’s position as one of good judgment. Moreover, Washington has never explained the huge risk

Washington sees in the possibility of an Iranian nuke. Why is this risk so much greater than the risk associated with Soviet nukes or with the nukes of the US, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea today? Iran is a relatively small country. It does not have Washington’s world hegemonic ambitions. Unlike Washington, Iran is not at war with a half dozen countries. Why is Washington destroying America’s reputation as a country that respects law and risking a major war and economic dislocation over some possible future development, the probability of which is unknown?

There is no good answer to this question. Lacking evidence for a case against Iran, Washington and Israel have substituted demonization. The lie has been established as truth that the current president of Iran intends to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

This lie has succeeded as propaganda even though numerous language experts have proven that the intention attributed to the Iranian president by American-Israeli propaganda is a gross mistranslation of what the president of Iran said. Once again, for Washington and its presstitutes, facts do not count. The agenda is all that counts, and any lie will be used to advance the agenda.

Washington’s sanctions could end up biting Washington harder than they bite Iran.
What will Washington do if India, China, Turkey and South Korea do not succumb to Washington’s threats?

According to recent news reports, India and China are not inclined to inconvenience themselves and to harm their economic development in order to support Washington’s vendetta against Iran. Having watched China’s rapid rise and having observed North Korea’s immunity to American attack, South Korea might be wondering how much longer it intends to remain Washington’s puppet state. Turkey, where the civilian and somewhat Islamist government has managed to become independent of the US- controlled Turkish military, appears to be slowly coming to the realization that Washington and NATO have Turkey in a “service role” in which Turkey is Washington’s agent against its own kind. The Turkish government appears to be reassessing the benefits of being Washington’s pawn.

What Turkey and South Korea decide is basically a decision whether the countries will be independent countries or be subsumed within Washington’s empire. The success of the American-Israeli assault on Iran’s independence depends on India and China.

If India and China give the bird to Washington, what can Washington do? Absolutely nothing. What if Washington, drowning in its gigantic hubris, announced sanctions against India and China?

Wal-Mart’s shelves would be empty, and America’s largest retailer would be hammering on the White House door.

Apple Computer and innumerable powerful US corporations, which have offshored their production for the American market to China, would see their profits evaporate. Together with their Wall Street allies, these powerful corporations would assault the fool in the White House with more force than the Red Army. The Chinese trade surplus would cease to flow into US Treasury debt. The offshored-to-India back office operations of banks, credit card companies, and customer service departments of utilities throughout the US would cease to function.

In America, chaos would reign. Such are the rewards to the Empire of globalism.

The White House moron and the neoconservative and Israeli warmongers who urge him on to more wars do not understand that the US is no longer an independent country. America is owned by offshoring corporations and the foreign countries in which the corporations have located their production for US markets. Sanctions on China and India (and South Korea) mean sanctions on US corporations. Sanctions on Turkey mean sanctions on a NATO ally.

Do China, India, South Korea and Turkey realize that they hold the winning cards? Do they understand that they can give the bird to the American Empire and bring it down in collapse, or are they brainwashed like Europe and the rest of the world that the powerful Americans cannot be resisted?

Will China and India exercise their power over the US, or will the two countries fudge the issue and adopt a pose that saves face for Washington while they continue to purchase Iranian oil?

The answer to this question is: how much will Washington pay China and India in secret concessions, such as eviction of the US from the South China Sea, for their pretense that China and India acknowledge Washington’s dictatorial powers over the rest of the world?

Without concession to China and India, Washington is likely to be ignored while it watches its power evaporate. A country that cannot produce industrial and manufactured goods, but can only print debt instruments and money is not a powerful country. It is a washed-up two-bit punk that can continue to strut around until the proverbial boy says: “the Emperor has no clothes”.


: China is responding to the sanctions by taking advantage of the drop in demand for Iranian oil to negotiate lower prices for its purchases. The result of Washington’s sanctions on Iran is to lower the cost of energy for China and to raise it for everyone else.

Paul Craig Roberts has been Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. Roberts earned his fame as co-founder of Reaganomics. He is also a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Scripps Howard News Service.

More from Paul Craig Roberts on Wonders of Pakistan

Empires Then and Now 2. The Outlook for the New Year [in two parts] 3. Is the War on Terror a Hoax? [in two parts] 4. The latest orchestrated threat and the end of history 5. The Critics of 9-11 Truth. Do they have a Case
Source, Title image
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.



Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We at Wonders of Pakistanuse copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

Getting real on Siachen

Siachen has gotten more warped in countless complexities with time. What may have just begun as a pre-emptive up-man-ship between the two competitive neighbours has now developed a life of its own, difficult to shed and difficult to untangle. The only strategic significance thus that needs to be played in the issue of Siachen is the tenuous civilisational future in South Asia. The loss of the 139 soldiers in the Gayari sector of Siachen and the 8000 others that have been lost mostly to elements cry for rectifying a serious strategic miscalculation. It must be righted forthwith.





The follwing oped by Shahzad Chaudhary pin points the ferocity of weather in Siachen which takes its toll from both sides of the warring nations, nations who are battling for the supremacy over Siachen; but are repulsed by its harsh weather. The weather eats up more of  human souls than the two sides lose through inter-country fightimg. The solution?

In a three articles series titled ‘Pakistan – The Largest land of Glaciers’ that I had put up in Jan 2009 issue of this e-magazine, it was suggested thtat the Siachen glacier be  designated as an ‘international peace park’ where two hostile nations could cooperate for the sake of sustainable development. However, this process couldn’t come through and the stalemete continues till date. Rivalries apart, the weather over Siachen continues to take its toll. The recent icy landslide that buried about 140 Pakistanis in this frigid graveyard should be an eye opener for both India and Pakistan to withdraw their forces from this cold hell and declare instead Siachen as an inter-national peace park.

With the current optimism prevailing in Islamabad and New Delhi, let Siachen be the first to turn from a bone of conetention to a zone of perception. Perception which may further pave the way for a peaceloving, forward looking, progressive Subcontinent than the current morbid, antagonistic and backtracking South Asian region. [Nayyar] (more…)

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