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Shari'a Law via democracy

Pakistan's pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulam-i-Islam Party (JUI) has denounced the armed struggle by Islamist militants. "It is a unified decision of all the religious parties in Pakistan enshrined in this document that we call for an unarmed struggle within legal and constitutional limits," (via RFERL)
posted by czytm on Oct 24, 2011 - 12 comments

Too soon?

In cinemas soon: Hero Hitler in Love. (autoplaying audio) [more inside]
posted by vidur on Oct 18, 2011 - 34 comments

The people of India love you deeply!

"Certainly, Uncle Sam, disowned by Pakistanis, has found innumerable devoted nephews in India. Indian and Pakistani perceptions of America now wildly diverge: A 2005 Pew poll conducted in 16 countries found the United States in the highest regard among Indians (71 percent having a favorable opinion) and nearly the lowest among Pakistanis (23 percent)." Why do India and Pakistan see America in such opposite ways?
posted by vidur on Aug 17, 2011 - 45 comments

A Variety of Religious Experience

The Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Crash Course (previously, related)
posted by villanelles at dawn on Aug 16, 2011 - 30 comments

The extent of CIA drone strikes revealed

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have been carrying out research into the extent of drone missile strikes carried out by the CIA. Today they published findings. See also: facts and figures, a timeline, and their Twitter feed where updates are ongoing.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 11, 2011 - 56 comments

Your father spotted my presence immediately

In August-September 1965, India and Pakistan went to war for the second time since their independence in 1947. On September 19, a civilian aircraft (Beechcraft Model 18) carrying the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat (bordering Pakistan) was shot down by a Pakistani Air Force pilot (flying an F-86F). Now, 46 years later, the Pakistani pilot has written a condolence letter to the daughter of the pilot of the Indian civilian aircraft.
posted by vidur on Aug 8, 2011 - 8 comments

Details about the raid on Osama Bin Laden

In the New Yorker: Getting Bin Laden, What happened that night in Abbottabad. The writer, Nicholas Schmidle, spoke with NPR about the article and gives a short audio account of the raid.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 1, 2011 - 72 comments

Pakistan's Middle Class Extremists

Why Development Aid won't solve Radicalism "The data revealed four findings that undermine common wisdom about support for militancy in Pakistan...Overall, the findings suggest that arguments tying support for militancy to individuals’ socioeconomic status -- and the policy recommendations that often flow from this assumption -- require substantial revision."
posted by stroke_count on Jul 20, 2011 - 6 comments

The shot that nearly killed me.

In pictures: the life of a war photographer (There are some graphic images in here; not for the squeamish, though for most would be SFW for most workplaces).
posted by smoke on Jul 6, 2011 - 11 comments

Call him John

"After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold. Hidden from view, standing just outside the frame of that now-famous photograph was a career CIA analyst" - The man who hunted Osama bin Laden
posted by vidur on Jul 5, 2011 - 58 comments

So, Cricket, Maybe?

With the NFL and NBA potentially going dark in the fall, Michael Schur and Nate DiMeo of Grantland.com decide to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match to see if it can be a suitable replacement.
posted by reenum on Jun 17, 2011 - 73 comments

The shooting was expert

"Davis didn’t have time to ponder their motives. The intersection of Jail and Ferozepur roads was packed with cars, bicycles, rickshaws, and pedestrians; the motorcycle pulled around his car and stopped just ahead of it. Shamshad, on the back of the bike, turned. He raised his pistol. He cocked it." [Black Ops and Blood Money] (previously and previouslier)
posted by vidur on Jun 15, 2011 - 30 comments

Pakistan and India

What to do about Pakistan? The Economist urges the west to focus on the Kashmir issue in order to help stabilize the region. Christopher Hitches urges the US to stand more firmly behind India.
posted by beisny on Jun 10, 2011 - 29 comments

Syed Saleem Shazad

The Most Dangerous Place In The World On May 29, fearless Pakistani journalist and author Syed Saleem Shazad disappeared on the way to a TV interview concerning his story about al Qaeda infiltration into the Pakistani military. On May 30, his badly beaten body was found in a canal 150 km from his home in Islamabad. Shazad, Pakistan Bureau Chief for Asia Times Online, had written many provocative stories that brought him threats from Pakistan's ISI. Shazad's murder shows again why Pakistan is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists.
posted by rdone on May 31, 2011 - 29 comments

Encountering Urdu poetry's modern heavyweight

Faiz for Dummies. Worth a read even if you don't know Urdu.
posted by bardophile on May 31, 2011 - 21 comments

Risking it all in Pakistan

Risking it all in Pakistan – Pakistani truck drivers face death at every turn.
posted by atomicmedia on May 28, 2011 - 17 comments

The end of the end of polio?

With the help of Bill Gates, the World's efforts to eradicate polio (PDF) have over the last few years gained a great deal of new hope (TED) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on May 27, 2011 - 66 comments

There is Much More to Say

It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he is not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq -- that is, to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and the national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Equally uncontroversially, these crimes vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.
There is Much More to Say by Noam Chomsky.
posted by klue on May 24, 2011 - 463 comments

Revenge Attack

"This is the retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden" - At least 70 Killed at military training centre in North-West Pakistan. Pakistan Taliban claim responsibility.
posted by numberstation on May 13, 2011 - 26 comments

Cricket on the halo deck?

"This Imperial dOvewalker COOs his way into a Big Surprise. Parveen says let him have it with the dOveton Launcher 3000! He won't know what hit him after attacking my planet." Just another tale from the The Pakistani Starfleet Explorers. Via boingboing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 12, 2011 - 16 comments

"An institution full of intelligence but devoid of wisdom"

Whose side is Pakistan's ISI really on?
posted by Artw on May 12, 2011 - 44 comments

The Miscreants of Taliwood

The Miscreants of Taliwood is probably one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. And it defies all types of film making (in a good way). The subject? The Talibanization of a certain part of Pakistan and the assault on art, entertainment, and humanity. But it’s not quite a documentary. It is a surreal trip through the fiction and the nonfiction of Peshawar, NWFP and FATA. It is fake, it is real, it is unbelievable. Basically, it is Pakistan. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 7, 2011 - 12 comments

So how do we stand now?

Following recent events; Frontline has rushed out a special report (53 mins). which takes the viewer inside two fronts of the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. They also find new evidence of covert support for elements of the Taliban by the Pakistani military and its intelligence service, the ISI [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on May 5, 2011 - 55 comments

War is Boring

David Axe is on his way back from reporting for 6 weeks in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by garlic on Apr 19, 2011 - 7 comments

Trees cocooned in spiders webs after flooding in Sindh, Pakistan

An unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of Pakistan has been that millions of spiders have climbed up into trees to escape the rising flood waters, cocooning them.
posted by livejamie on Mar 31, 2011 - 105 comments

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War
posted by lalochezia on Mar 29, 2011 - 34 comments

They forgave him

"At a hearing of the Lahore Sessions Court convened for security reasons at the Kot Lakhpat Jail today, CIA contractor Raymond A. Davis was arraigned on double homicide charges and then quickly acquitted and released. Attorneys for Davis and the victims' families announced that they had entered into an agreement in which Davis offered compensation to the families -- $1.4 million total -- and they forgave him." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Mar 16, 2011 - 60 comments

Zahida Kazmi, Taxi Driver

For the past two decades, Zahida Kazmi has been driving a cab in Pakistan.
posted by bardophile on Mar 12, 2011 - 14 comments

Where disagreements are treated with bullets

Barely two months since the assassination of Salman Taseer, the former governor of Punjab, another of Pakistan's politicians noted for their stance on the blasphemy laws has also been gunned down. Shahbaz Bhatti, himself a Catholic, was the Federal Minister for Minorities. Now that two of the original three individuals involved in the calls to amend the blasphemy laws are dead, fears arise for the safety of Sherry Rehman, the female MP who went so far as to table a motion specifically requesting they be amended. That motion was ruled out by Pakistani President Yousuf Gilani. More on the blasphemy laws Previously
posted by dougrayrankin on Mar 2, 2011 - 17 comments

Malay-Chinese blogger in Pakistan

What the Chinese Guy Said. Jia Wei is currently doing a six-month internship at Dawn, one of Pakistan's leading English dailies. This is his blog.
posted by bardophile on Feb 11, 2011 - 21 comments

The Case of Raymond Davis in Pakistan

The mystery of American Raymond A. Davis, currently imprisoned in the custody of local police in Lahore, Pakistan and charged with the Jan. 27 murder of two young men, whom he allegedly shot eight times with pinpoint accuracy through his car windshield, is growing increasingly murky. Also growing is the anger among Pakistanis that the US is trying to spring him from a Punjab jail by claiming diplomatic immunity. from The Deepening Mystery of Raymond Davis and Two Slain Pakistani Motorcyclists [more inside]
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream on Feb 8, 2011 - 107 comments

Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story

"Uniforms have been stolen in the past for this kind of thing." An update on the investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008. (Previously)
posted by vidur on Feb 6, 2011 - 4 comments

Pakistani actress takes heat from cleric, gives it right on back

Veena Malik, a Pakistani actress, appeared on an Indian reality show, "appeared to cuddle with an Indian actor" and was criticized by a Pakistani cleric. Malik stood her ground: "What is your problem with me? You tell me your problem!" an angry Veena Malik asked the Muslim scholar, who accused her of insulting Islam. At least some people in the country are unimpressed by the criticism of Malik: If there’s something this country’s good at, it’s sanctimonious hypocrisy. Oh by the way, she's said to have broken new ground in the Twittersphere.
posted by ambient2 on Jan 22, 2011 - 20 comments

This is what happens to blasphemers...

Salman Taseer has been assassinated in Islamabad. Why was he assassinated? Because he spoke in defence of Asia Bibi and against Pakistan's outdated blasphemy laws. Where do the justifications for death to those who insult Islam come from? Apparently not from the Quran...
posted by dougrayrankin on Jan 4, 2011 - 39 comments

Drone warfare against Pakistan

It may take years, but some researcher will travel to Pakistan’s tribal areas and produce a definitive study on what it’s been like to live amidst an aerial bombardment from American pilotless aircraft. When that account inevitably comes out, it’s likely to find that 2010 — and especially the final quarter of 2010 — marked a turning point in how civilians coped with a drone war that turned relentless. (previously: 1,2)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 17, 2010 - 151 comments

Not a sport for gentlemen

Asian Games Cricket Gold for Pakistani Women Pakistan beat Bangladesh to grab gold in women's cricket at the Asian Games.
posted by bardophile on Nov 19, 2010 - 10 comments

Better a live goat than a dead one...

Two and a half million Muslims went on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca on Nov 14, 2010. The day after Hajj is celebrated as Eid-ul-Azha by Muslims all over the world. This year, in light of the flood aftermath in Pakistan, the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society is suggesting a substitute for the traditional animal sacrifice on Eid. [more inside]
posted by bardophile on Nov 15, 2010 - 30 comments

The End of a Smartly Turned Out Era

The border crossing at Wagah between India and Pakistan has long been host to one of the most bizarre rituals in diplomacy, one which draws massive crowds to witness its daily spectacle. Sadly, all good things come to an end.
posted by Biru on Nov 2, 2010 - 57 comments

Pakistan SCBA's New President

A much-needed glimmer of hope for Pakistan? [more inside]
posted by bardophile on Oct 28, 2010 - 8 comments

NATO: bin Laden in Pakistan

Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said. ... al Qaeda's top leadership is believed to be living in relative comfort, protected by locals and some members of the Pakistani intelligence services... The official would not discuss how the coalition has come to know any of this information, but he has access to some of the most sensitive information in the NATO alliance. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 18, 2010 - 107 comments

Sovereignty, huh, yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

The history of sovereignty can be understood through two broad movements, manifested in both practical institutions and political thought. The first is the development of a system of sovereign states, culminating at the Peace of Westphalia(check out the cool maps) in 1648. The second movement is the circumscription of the sovereign state, which began in practice after World War II and has since continued through European integration and the growth and strengthening of laws and practices to protect human rights. via [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Sep 28, 2010 - 28 comments

Dhan dhan dhan dhan!

The dhol has traditionally been played by men at Punjabi weddings and sufi shrines. Rani Taj, the first professional British-Kashmiri female dholi, trained by the Dhol Blasters and Azaad dhol, plays the dhol at public events.
posted by bardophile on Aug 27, 2010 - 19 comments

Luke Powell's photographs of Afghanistan

Photographer Luke Powell captures the beauty and dignity of Afghanistan from the cities in the news to remote villages reachable only on horseback. He photographed the country extensively throughout the 1970s as a tourist and again from 2000 – 2003 in the employ of the United Nations to document minefields, mine victims, and demining efforts. Glimpses: Boys in the Bazaar l Koochie Tents (nomadic pastoralists). [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 27, 2010 - 7 comments

Still a failed state

Ahmed Rashid writes about The Anarchic Republic of Pakistan as amid the flooding the CIA resumes its drone campaign and Pakistan is to clamp down on Islamist militant charities while the Chinese give Military Assistance. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Aug 25, 2010 - 17 comments

One Big Interdependant System

How are heatwaves in Russia and flooding in Pakistan related? Both result from a kink in the jet stream that has frozen in place. (Previous coverage of the disasters in Russia and Pakistan on the blue.)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 15, 2010 - 19 comments

Flooding in Pakistan

Pakistan is suffering the worst flooding for over 80 years. (NYTimes) (Guardian) At least 1600 people are dead, and approximately 15 million are affected by this tragedy. Millions of acres have been swamped by the floods. The United Nations has rated the floods as the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history. (Wikipedia) (The Big Picture)
posted by seanyboy on Aug 9, 2010 - 49 comments

The Spy Who Ran Back to the Cold

On June 6th, Shahram Amiri - an Iranian nuclear scientist -- appeared on a YouTube video claiming he was abducted by US and Saudi authorities in Medina, drugged and flown to the US. On June 7th, a second video on Youtube appeared where he, or someone claiming to be him, said he was fine, studying in the US. (The U.S. government has no official comment but cited him as a source on Iran's nuclear program.) A 3rd video backed the first. Now Pakistan says Amiri is in hiding in its Washington embassy's Iranian interests section under asylum and making arrangements to get back to Iran. How he got there, and why, is a mystery. [more inside]
posted by msalt on Jul 13, 2010 - 25 comments

Erik Prince off the record

Eric Prince (Wiki), the controversial and secretive founder and owner of Xe, formerly known as Blackwater International, rarely gives public speeches. When he does he attempts to ban journalists from attending, and forbids recording or videotaping of his remarks. The Nation magazine has obtained an audio recording from May 5th in which Prince speaks to a select gathering in his hometown of Holland, Michigan. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on May 6, 2010 - 43 comments

The Year of the Drone

The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2010 (PDF). "Our study shows that the 114 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan from 2004 to the present have killed between 830 and 1,210 individuals, of whom around 550 to 850 were described as militants in reliable press accounts, about two-thirds of the total on average. Thus, the true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 32 percent." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on May 5, 2010 - 113 comments

Times Square Bomber says he acted alone

Faisal Shazad has been arrested in connection with the Times Square bombing as he attempted to leave the country. The suspect was allegedly trained in Pakistan, though he claims he acted alone.
posted by misha on May 4, 2010 - 252 comments

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