Why Pakistan is not a failed state


The next time someone tells you Pakistan’s about to fall to the Taliban or end up carved into four pieces, you can tell them to zip it. There is no power on earth that can undo Pakistan. It has come to stay.
Don’t let them distract you, for we have a wonderful destiny to achieve, and a dream called ‘Pakistan’ to fulfill with 18 crore wickets in hand. [Image: More than 24,000 Pakistanis form the world’s largest “human national flag” in Lahore. –APP Photo]
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A WARNING TO THE DOOM MERCHANTS –

PAKISTAN WILL NOT BOW DOWN

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by Michael Kugelman

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Note for WoP readers:

While uploading this piece by Kugelman, I happened to come across a moving note by fellow blogger Global Pakistani. As I continue with the articles that are not written by us Pakistanis but from the western media most of whom parrot the same worn out tune of Pakistan a failed state, this note is a befitting response to such malicious reports disseminated by the mainstream media in the west.

Dear readers, what to speak of foreign press, our achievements are not given due projection by our own media because we are the people deriving much pleasure in denouncing our own country, our own values and our own identity. There are many amongst us who not only in drawing room discussions but also in the open chats, speeches and interaction, start casting doubts on the very Raison d’être of the nation state of Pakistan.

This message, therefore, by Pakistani by Choice blog is as much meant for our fellow Pakistanis as it is for the western propagandists who day and night try to brandish Pakistan as a failed state solely because it does not fit into the frame work the western imperialists and the US Neocons are trying to build for this part of the world… [Nayyar]

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For decades they’ve talked about how Pakistan is on the verge of collapse, a failed state, better off chopped into four smaller countries. Ever since the nation’s birth our enemies have steadfastly worked overtime to reverse the miracle of Pakistan.

Pakistanis are arguably among the most resilient people in the history of this earth. No other nation can soak up as much pressures that Pakistan has in recent years.

We’ve fought wars, brought superpowers down on our doorstep, faced internal strife and terrorist attacks, faced monumental refugee crisis, earthquakes, floods, and have been labelled terrorists. However, each time we’ve dusted ourselves off and moved on with a solid determination and the steely resolve that makes us ‘Pakistanis’.

It is, therefore, no surprise that despite being deprived of top level international cricket for more than 15 months, being isolated internationally and reeling under the most harrowing incident of the game, fighting a war inside our borders and looking after three million of our brothers and sisters made homeless due to conflict, we manage coming on top of the world in T20 finals and so many other events where we occupy one of the top three positions in the world.

This is who we are.

This is what we do.

The next time someone tells you Pakistan’s about to fall to the Taliban or end up carved into four pieces, you can tell them to zip it. There is no power on earth that can undo Pakistan. It has come to stay.

Don’t let them distract you, for we have a wonderful destiny to achieve, and a dream called ‘Pakistan’ to fulfill with 18 crore wickets in hand. (more…)

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Afghanistan: the Smell of Defeat


There’s a reason why the US media doesn’t use the term defeat however applicable it may be. It’s because your average “Joe” understands defeat, the shame of defeat, the sting of defeat, the anger of defeat.
Defeat is a repudiation of leadership, proof that we are ruled by fools and scoundrels. Defeat is also a powerful deterrent, the idea festers in people’s minds and turns them against foreign interventions, police actions and war.
That’s why the Times won’t utter the word, because defeat is the antidote for aggression, and the Times doesn’t want that. None of the media do.
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CUT-AND-RUN TIME

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by Mike Whitney

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Note for WoP writers: In the post that follows, Mike Whitney raises an important point. Selecting an excerpt from the New York Times, he quotes: America thinks it is in Afghanistan to help the Afghan women. Take a look at this August 2012 editorial titled “The Women of Afghanistan”:

“Afghanistan can be a hard and cruel land, especially for women and girls. Many fear they will be even more vulnerable to harsh tribal customs and the men who impose them after American troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

Women s’ rights have made modest but encouraging gains over the past decade. But these could disappear without a strong commitment to preserve and advance them from Afghan leaders.

The editorial continues:

…all Afghans should be invested in empowering women. As Mrs. Clinton has argued, there is plenty of evidence to show that no country can grow and prosper in today’s world if women are marginalized and oppressed.” (“The Women of Afghanistan”, New York Times)……

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The author has rightly pointed out that actually its not the rights of women in Afghan society, but Washington and other international partners….

So says Whitney, its more It is about “America’s global interests”, particularly, pipeline corridors, mineral extraction and the Great Game, controlling real estate in thriving Eurasia, the economic center of the next century. That’s why the US invaded Afghanistan, the rest is propaganda.

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In addition to what the oped writer of Counterpunch has so tacitly answered about this pseudo feelings for Afghan women, question arises what about the women of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan etc. where women can’t even vote, go to a shopping center if not accompanied by their menfolk.

Fact is that the American administration gets passionate for women’s rights only when a country goes astray from the goals set for it by the US. Similarly, the other US passions for human rights, democracy, enlightened moderation and such bla bla come only in action when a country follows an open, independent policy in its national interests, but may not fit into the agenda set by the US and its allies in the West.

In our context we have seen a manifestation of this hypocritical, sinister policy with respect to its stance on Kashmir. When respective Pakistani governments sided with US vis-a-vis its arch rival in the cold war era, US had espoused the human rights for Kashmiris with perhaps still more warmth than Pakistan itself. But after the demise of the erstwhile Soviet Union there was nothing left by which the US could get an advantage from Pakistan and hence the same Kashmiri freedom fighters are now branded as “terrorists” same as US has termed the Afghan Mujahideen who fought against the USSR on America’s behest, but now are fighting a war of independence as terrorists. [Nayyar] (more…)

The Maimed: On Eleven Years of War in Afghanistan


World peace must develop from inner peace

Peace is not just the mere absence of violenc

Peace I think is the manifestaion of human compassion

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DEFYING THE VAST ENTERPRISE OF DEATH

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by Chris Hedges

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Note: Chris Hedges gave this talk Sunday night in New York City at a protest denouncing the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The event, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was led by Veterans for Peace.
(more…)

Myths about Pakistani Punjab


The first thing the visitors from abroad notice is the absence of violence in Punjab that everyone talks about if he/she is not a Pakistani Punjabi. The first thing that comes out from the mouth of non-Pakistanis is that you must be crazy to visit such a violence-ridden country. They seriously believe that they were seeing you the last time in the US and they will soon hear the news about your untimely death. You tell them that violence unleashed by the Taliban-jihadis is limited to areas around the Pak-Afghan border; in the rest of the country it is random and rare. Each day more people die in road accidents, both in Pakistan and the US, than those who are killed by religious extremists. Since the US is obsessed by the Afghan war, the western media stretch the Pak-Afghan border to the entire Pakistan.
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MYTHS ABOUT PAKISTANI PUNJAB

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by Dr. Manzur Ejaz

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In the 60s, there was more liberal space for women in Pakistani Punjab than now; instead of progression Pakistani Punjab has regressed under the heavy pressure of religious fanaticism

My dear friend, Sucha Deepak Singh, a Punjabi-Canadian, visited Pakistan, spent most of his time in Lahore and Sahiwal, but he also took a tour of my village. He found most things, contrary to his own anticipation and friends’ advice, to be untrue. He still has some confusion created by his personal limited data.

The first thing he noticed was the absence of violence in Punjab that everyone talks about if he/she is not a Pakistani Punjabi. The first thing that comes out from the mouth of non-Pakistanis is that you must be crazy to visit such a violence-ridden country. They seriously believe that they were seeing you the last time in the US and they will soon hear the news about your untimely death. You tell them that violence unleashed by the Taliban-jihadis is limited to areas around the Pak-Afghan border; in the rest of the country it is random and rare. Each day more people die in road accidents, both in Pakistan and the US, than those who are killed by religious extremists. Since the US is obsessed by the Afghan war, the western media stretch the Pak-Afghan border to the entire Pakistan.

Based on his observation, he was of the opinion that many negative aspects of Pakistan are overblown by the media. For example, he said that the problem of electricity load shedding is overstated because he stayed in Bahria Colony, Lahore, where power is guaranteed 24/7 and it was not as bad as reported by the media during his stay in early July in Sahiwal. He thought Pakistani Punjab was a bit more prosperous than its Indian counterpart. I had the same feeling during my half a dozen trips to East Punjab; West Punjab is much more industrialised and commercialised than its counterpart.

Another myth in his mind was that most Punjabis speak Urdu. When he was there he observed that everyone spoke Punjabi, not only with him but with each other. I had similar experiences: a young man surprised me by choosing to talk in Punjabi though he has been educated in top English medium schools of Lahore and has not been exposed to Punjabi. As matter of fact, Mr Singh thought that Pakistani activists promoting Punjabi are more serious than in the Indian part of Punjab. Maybe both of us have a limited experience because I have seen and been told by many that the new generation of Punjab is Urdu-speaking. But my guess is that the parents, even if they are pure villagers, try to speak Urdu to their children from early childhood but when the young ones go out in the street, somehow, they learn Punjabi.

He was extremely surprised to see that Muslim Punjabis are also divided into castes. He thought — since we claim to be an ummah — there should be no caste division like there is in Hindus or Sikhs. One can see how such a misconception has been created. For this generation of Indian Punjabis who were unable to interact with their counterparts across the border, Muslim is a generic universal term. Such an impression is created by Pakistanis as well by presenting themselves as a universal community. The reality is that Pakistani Punjabis are so much divided into castes that intra-caste marriages are rare. This tells us that most of Pakistani Punjabi Muslims are converts from Hindu lower castes. They have continued the old practices but hypocritically give a misleading misconception to outsiders.

However, he was convinced that most Muslim Punjabis have more than one wife because one of his friends has two or three wives. I told him that in central Punjab most married people have to contend with one wife because besides the cultural pressure, most cannot afford more than one wife. I do not know a single living person in my village or elsewhere in Punjab who has multiple wives. He still does not believe it yet. Probably, the Muslims of India have been demanding of the government that they should have the legal provision to marry up to four wives. Whether Muslims can afford to indulge in multiple wives is a different thing but having multiple wives is very rare in central Punjab.

In general, he is right that women in Pakistan are not treated the way they are in East Punjab. I had the same view when I visited East Punjab the first time when I saw the number of women using bicycles and scooters for daily work and chores. In the 60s, there was more liberal space for women in Pakistani Punjab than now; instead of progression Pakistani Punjab has regressed under the heavy pressure of religious fanaticism.

Pakistani Punjab has not done as bad as the media stories portray. Much has to be done but let me end with an episode. I ran into an aged philosophy professor of Punjab University Chandigarh (it is a campus of PU Lahore) who first told me that he is ‘jaangli’ (Jatka) from Kamalia, a town on river Ravi in Faisalabad District. He said when he visited Pakistani Punjab he was not keen to see anything else but how the Muslim Punjabis conduct business. Before the partition of 1947 there was no business class of Muslims — in every town, businesses were conducted by Hindus. After walking through Anarkali — there was hardly one Muslim shop in this always busy bazaar before partition — he said, “Oye Muslio, tusin te Laalayaan noon vi pichhe chhad gaey” (O Muslim [shopkeepers], you have even surpassed the seasoned Hindu business class).

The writer can be reached at manzurejaz@yahoo.com

Source, Title Image
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A new group, calling itself “Baloch Liberation Tigers” announces its birth In hotel blast


A man shouts for assistance while searching for survivors at a hotel building which was left destroyed by a bomb blast in the town of Dera Allah yar, located in the Jaffarabad district of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Aug. 14, 2011. REUTERS/Amir Hussain

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First a note from my friend Peter Chamberlin of There are no sunglasses weblog.

[With this bombing, the war in Balochistan may have just gone to the next level.  This announcement by the previously unknown terrorist group “Baloch Liberation Tigers,” links it to the other new “wild card” to arise in the Tribal Region, the “Asian Tigers.” 

This group is the one which last year kidnapped Khalid Khawaja and Col. Imam, before later executing them.  They proved to be independent from the terrorist hierarchy, specifically, ignoring the pleas of both Mullah Omar and Sirajuddin Haqqani to spare the “Father of the Taliban.”  The Asian Tigers apparently took orders from Hakeemullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban. 

Perhaps Khawaja’s fatal mistake was in presenting a list of Taliban commanders who worked for Indian intelligence (RAW), since Hakeemullah’s name should have been at the top of the list.  Hakeemullah’s specialty has proven to be killing Shia.  He is probably linked to the anti-Shia terror attacks in and around Quetta.   Balochistan is home to RAW’s biggest operation on Pakistani soil (SEE: The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army–Mar 1, 2005 here, then here, here, here & here). 

There are no coincidences in the spy game, meaning that if both anti-Pakistan militant groups adopt the moniker “Tigers,” at roughly the same time, then it demonstrates linkage.  It will one day be proven that both terrorist groups work for the same paymasters.

* 23 wounded as bomb rips through a roadside restaurant in Dera Allah Yar

* Four suspects arrested in connection with bombing

* Little-known Baloch Liberation Tiger claims responsibility 

* Toll could rise as several people believed to be trapped in rubble

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BLAST KILLS 15 ON INDEPENDENCE DAY

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by Muhammad Zafar

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QUETTA: A blast at a hotel on the National Highway close to Dera Allah Yar killed 15 people and injured 23 others on Sunday.

A bomb that was attached to a timer ripped through a two-story hotel, reducing the building to rubble, police said. The attack also wounded 23 people, said Jaffarabad District Police Officer Javed Gharsheen. Police have taken four people into custody who had tea in the hotel’s restaurant and left just before the bomb went off, he said. Dera Allah Yar is some 350 kilometers east of the provincial capital of Quetta.

Most of the people died on the spot. The dead and injured were taken to the civil hospital, however, most of the seriously wounded were referred to Larkana and Jacobabad hospitals for better treatment. A little-known organisation, Baloch Liberation Tiger (BLT), claimed the responsibility for the devastating blast, in which unarmed civilians were made target of mass killing for the first time. Rescue workers and police were removing the rubble to find any survivors. Police said the death toll could rise as several people were believed to have trapped in the rubble.

A BLT spokesman, who introduced himself as Miran Baloch, phoned local office of a news agency and said it was a remote-controlled blast and members of his organisation had planted the bomb inside the hotel. He said his organisation will target those people who participate in the celebrations of Independence Day of Pakistan. According to eyewitness accounts, the victims were taking their mid-day meal and there was no evidence that they had participated in any function in connection with the Independence Day.

The blast destroyed the double-storey building of the hotel and reduced it to rubble. The explosion rocked the town and caused panic among its residents. Jaffarabad DPO said that the unknown miscreants had planted an explosive device inside the Bismillah Hotel, one of the three hotels on national highway in Dera Allah Yar, which was open in the holy month of Ramazan to serve food to passengers. He added that the terrorists detonated the device by remote control when people in a large number were inside the hotel. Around 12 kilogrammes of explosive was used in the blast, Gharshin said. The sources in the district administration, however, told APP that about 35 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast. The blast also caused damages to nearby shops and buildings.

The personnel of Frontier Corps and police rushed to the spot and sealed off the area. They started a rescue operation which lasted several hours and retrieved 15 bodies and 19 after hours’ long hectic efforts. “Teams of Bomb Disposal Squad were dispatched from Sukkur and Quetta to inspect the site,” Gharshin said.

Those killed in the blast belonged to Dera Allah Yar, Dera Murad Jamali and nearby villages, and had come to the hotel for taking midday meal. The district police said that another bid of sabotage was foiled on a tip-off, as the police and Bomb Disposal Squad recovered 10 kilogrammes of explosives near a gas field on National Highway passing through Jaffarabad district.

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DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

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 uses 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.
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