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Terrorism that's personal

Acid attacks and wife burnings are common in parts of Asia because the victims are the most voiceless in these societies. graphic pictures under the fold
posted by desjardins on Apr 17, 2010 - 56 comments

nation building

One Night in Afghanistan
THE PRESIDENT: at a time when too many American institutions have let us down, when too many institutions have put short-term gain in front of a commitment to duty and a commitment to what's right... all of you want to build -- and that is something essential about America. [Al Qaeda and the violent extremists have] got no respect for human life. You see dignity in every human being. That's part of what we value as Americans. They want to drive races and regions and religions apart. You want to bring people together and see the world move forward together. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 4, 2010 - 36 comments

He has a wife, you know

Life imitates Python: The Life of Brian's unfortunately-named Roman has a real-life counterpart, and he's been denied ambassadorship to Saudi Arabia due to the fact that his name means "biggest dick" in Arabic.
posted by Jon_Evil on Feb 4, 2010 - 91 comments

Tora Bora: America's First Major Battle Of The Twenty-First Century

That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 29, 2010 - 26 comments

The Intelligence Factory

A journalist tries to track down the truth about a recent terror detainee.
posted by smoke on Dec 13, 2009 - 18 comments

Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan

Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan - by Jeremy Scahill [via]
posted by Burhanistan on Nov 24, 2009 - 61 comments

Are nuclear weapons safe in Pakistan?

Defending the Arsenal: In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?
posted by homunculus on Nov 10, 2009 - 21 comments

David Rohde: Held by the Taliban

On a reporting trip to Afghanistan in November of 2008, New York Times reporter David Rohde and two of his colleagues were kidnapped by the Taliban. After being held captive for seven months in the mountains of Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan, David and one of his colleagues escaped in the middle of the night and made their way to freedom. He recounts the story in a five part series: Held by the Taliban. [more inside]
posted by Merik on Oct 21, 2009 - 22 comments

Obama's War

Frontline in Afghanistan
In a war that has lasted eight years, what is the way forward now? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 15, 2009 - 52 comments

Food for the Soul

The other side of Islam - Abida Parveen (last.fm) sings verses by the Sufi saint Bulleh Shah. and here is Main Nara-E-Mastana and Mast Qalandar. She is sometimes called the natural sucessor of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan though there is also his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Begum Abida is associated most closely with the verses of the Sufi saint Shah Abdul Latif, (wiki) some of whose illustrated veses are shown here. She has also sung the verses of other Sufi saints, including Amir Khusrau, Bulleh Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Sultan Bahu, and others such as Kabir and Waris Shah.
More about Qawwali (Related: - kosem's outstanding post [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Oct 14, 2009 - 5 comments

Sex, bribes and videotape

FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, has gone on record with her allegations of government corruption and treason. (previously)
posted by ryoshu on Sep 22, 2009 - 98 comments

Morenatti, a conflict photographer

Some recent photographs by the renowned photojournalist Emilio Morenatti, Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 2009, who recently lost his foot in a bomb blast in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 14, 2009 - 19 comments

La - La; Can't hear you.

Tariq Ali writes in the LRB: - This is now Obama’s war. He campaigned to send more troops into Afghanistan and to extend the war, if necessary, into Pakistan. These pledges are now being fulfilled. On the day he publicly expressed his sadness at the death of a young Iranian woman caught up in the repression in Tehran, US drones killed 60 people in Pakistan.
Tariq Ali discusses the views of Graham Fuller an ex CIA Kabul station chief who thinks Obama's Policies are Making the Situation Worse in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The further view from Asia is that Pakistan wields a double-edged sword and that although the Pakistan-US plan are falling into place the militants, too, have their mechanisms in place, and they don't plan to deviate. A mighty collision is inevitable.
Meanwhile Kalashnikov demand soars.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 28, 2009 - 91 comments

Fatima Bhutto explains what the US is doing wrong in Pakistan

A thought provoking interview on the state of Pakistan in Guernica. [more inside]
posted by Lame_username on Jul 17, 2009 - 4 comments

Nice weather for protests.

June has been a good month for political upheaval and mass protest. Peru (update), China, and Iran were discussed here previously. But how many of the following were you aware of: Canada, Thailand, Honduras, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Pakistan, and India? The latter four reflect a quite serious electricity shortage throughout the Indian subcontinent, during a record-breaking heat wave that has caused over 100 deaths. But don't worry, not everyone is dealing with life-threatening problems. In Israel 30,000 turned out to protest a parking lot. Meanwhile, Indymedia continues to cover all the bourgeois first-world protests you've never really wanted to know about.
posted by shii on Jun 30, 2009 - 8 comments

Cry havoc and let loose the Dogs of War.

Nearly 2.4 million displaced; mostly in refugee camps where it's about 45 degrees Celsius with no wind. Their economy is devastated."The numbers of people who have moved in that last three and half weeks is the highest rate of movement we have seen for more than 20 years anywhere in the world."
Your tax dollars at work?
posted by adamvasco on May 26, 2009 - 65 comments

Frontline on the frontline.

Children of the Taliban. [more inside]
posted by gman on May 17, 2009 - 38 comments

Beneath the burqa

Shuttlecock burqas to fetish wear. Some snapshots of Pakistan's struggles with its sexual identities. [more inside]
posted by tavegyl on May 14, 2009 - 10 comments

Rejoice for it is Spring

Joshi (a slideshow).
High in the Hindu Kush, north of troubled Swat and just South of Chitral are three valleys where the last of the Kalasha people live, and the legend of Alexander is strong. No census has been performed since 1998, but most experts put the current Kalasha population at about 3,000. ( wiki ).
posted by adamvasco on May 11, 2009 - 7 comments

As Heaven turns to Hell

The Swat Valley In NW Pakistan has been inhabited for over 2,500 years. Alexander the Great defeated Persia, thenceforth, he entered Swat via Kunar in 326 BC. In those days it was Buddhist. Described by many as Heaven on Earth; and as a land of story tellers it is now rapidly heading towards Hell on Earth. The Northern Areas of Pakistan must rate among some of the most beautiful in the world
posted by adamvasco on May 8, 2009 - 36 comments

Pakistan: We're into repeat here

Pakistan is complicated as Nicholas Schmidle explains. (His take on Zadari). Fatima Bhutto describes her late Aunt's widower as Obama's murderous guest and has previously called for the West to Stop Funding My Failing State. Of course one aim of the US-Afghan-Pakistani summit is a parade for aid. Another Pakistani politician, Imran Khan gives his views on how to clear the mess. The author Ahmed Rashid states Pakistan is on the brink of chaos. A note to foreign journalists.
posted by adamvasco on May 7, 2009 - 34 comments

A whole movie in one image

Movie posters carry the movie in one still image. But they're also a great overview of trends, both artistic and popular. Modern major film posters are common enough, and if you're looking for some discussion of modern posters, Movie Poster Addict might be your scene. But dig deeper and you come across quality versions of foreign films, such as Mexican posters (deep link to a section of Pulp Morgue) or hand painted posters from Russia, India and Pakistan, even the US. MeFi's own flapjax at midnite shared a collection of recent finds from the 1960s and '70s on in this Flickr set. [flapjax at midnite's collection via mefi projects] Some-what pre-vious-ly on Me-ta-Filter. And not from MetaFilter, but from our favorite list site: 20 baffling foreign movie posters.
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 18, 2009 - 13 comments

Faith and Ecstasy

Pakistan's believers in Islamic mysticism embrace a personal approach to their faith and a different outlook on how to run their country’s government. The BBC asks "Can Sufi Islam counter the Taleban?" The Economist reports "Of Saints and Sinners".
Meanwhile from two in-depth reporters; William Dalrymple : Pakistan is a country staring disaster in the face); and Moni Mohsin: A personal history of Pakistan on the brink.
The counterinsurgency tactics that seem to have worked so well in Iraq could backfire in Pakistan. (more articles from Nicholas Schmidle)
posted by adamvasco on Mar 4, 2009 - 34 comments

On this land that belongs to God

On the Militant Trail [Most recent of four articles with links to preceding pieces] Renowned Asia Times correspondent Syed Saleem Shahzad visits Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and takes a journey with the Taliban through the Swat valley. His four-part series of articles examines the differing natures and strategies of various Taliban groups, describes a government counter-insurgency campaign gone seriously awry and finds indications that "a major battle will be fought in Pakistan before the annual spring offensive even begins in Afghanistan this year."
posted by Abiezer on Feb 6, 2009 - 15 comments

Nuclear Proliferation Has A Home on the Interwebs

One of the kings of nuclear proliferation has his own website. No mention of house arrest though.
posted by brookeb on Jan 29, 2009 - 10 comments

Pakistan's Jihadi Problem Worsens

Pakistan in Peril. "The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 21, 2009 - 30 comments

JOE 2008 examines changes/trends in the geopolitical and military landscape

"Authored by the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), the Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008, pdf) outlines a strategic framework and forecasts possible threats and opportunities that will challenge the future joint force." One portion picked out by the media: Mexico and Pakistan are the two countries most likely to undergo "sudden collapse". [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Jan 15, 2009 - 7 comments

An Eye for an Eye: Justice or Injustice, Poetic or Barbaric?

"At an age at which I should be putting on a wedding dress, I am asking for someone's eyes to be dripped with acid,"
Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over [Ameneh Bahrami's] head, leaving her blind and disfigured. Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.
[more inside]
posted by davidstandaford on Dec 29, 2008 - 263 comments

Tear me apart at the seams

India, as she is today, was carved out of British India, in 1947 when the left and right hand sides of the country became the new nation of Pakistan (East and West) respectively. While the history of Islamic influence and subsequent tolerance and intolerance goes back centuries to the first advent of the Mughal invasion, it has been said that the post Independence troubles of the modern nations of India and Pakistan stem from this sundering. In 1971, war brought forth Bangladesh from the former East Pakistan on India's eastern border. The Partition, as this holocaust is known, embedded in current day Indian memory, history, culture, movies, books, TV serials and music, was an unimaginable horror of slaughter and bloodshed. This separation was not in the plans of the Mahatma, and it is said he was assassinated by Hindu fundamentalists for letting it happen. What future awaits the Hindus and Muslims who have lived side by side for hundreds of years?
posted by infini on Nov 26, 2008 - 37 comments

Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan

From Great Game to Grand Bargain. "The crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan is beyond the point where more troops will help. U.S. strategy must be to seek compromise with insurgents while addressing regional rivalries and insecurities." A new piece in Foreign Affairs by Barnett R. Rubin and Ahmed Rashid. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 28, 2008 - 35 comments

TIP TOP

Lollywood '70s
posted by vronsky on Sep 20, 2008 - 36 comments

"forward, forward I say"

"Fog of War" cited by United States Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad. He was speaking to journalists to clarify reports concerning his unauthorised contacts with foreign government officials, among them Asif Ali Zardari; a then contender to succeed Pervez Musharraf as president of Pakistan. Earlier this year he was being touted as a possible successor to Hamid Karzai as President of Afghanistan as seen in these two articles. So who is Zalmay Khalilzad? Neo con and oil businessman. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Sep 10, 2008 - 8 comments

Talibanistan

Right at the Edge. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
posted by homunculus on Sep 5, 2008 - 62 comments

Pakistan’s Phantom Border

Pakistan’s Phantom Border. "Pakistan is often called the most dangerous country on earth. Increasingly, its people would agree. Despite nearly $6 billion in U.S. military aid for the border region since 9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and homegrown terrorist groups have eroded the border with Afghanistan, inflicting a steady toll of suicide bombings. Going where few Westerners dare—from Taliban strongholds to undercover-police headquarters—the author sees what’s tearing the country apart."
posted by homunculus on Jun 22, 2008 - 24 comments

"How wonderfully Gothic!"

Heated controversy over cousin marriages in Britain. The Guardian argues it's fine, legal in the UK for centuries, done by Darwin, HG Wells and Queen Victoria; and a 2002 study (prev) found little increased risk. But in Bradford, England, where half of babies born are to ethnically Pakistani parents, cousin marriage is very common -- as high as 70% in that community. Bradford, with 1% of British population, has 70 youths with terminal disorders which lead to dementia-type illnesses – eight per cent of the UK total. Should the government ban cousin marriage? Encourage genetic testing? Or keep its mouth shut? [more inside]
posted by msalt on May 23, 2008 - 26 comments

Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S. Part 2

"The United States Lacks a Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas" (PDF). A recent GAO report claims that the Bush administration has failed to prevent Al Qaeda's reemergence in Pakistan, and that we're basically right back where we started in 2001.
posted by homunculus on Apr 30, 2008 - 38 comments

Alas! regardless of their doom, the little victims play!

Limited nuclear war would damage ozone layer. Apart from the human devastation, a small-scale nuclear war between India and Pakistan would destroy much of the ozone layer, leaving the DNA of humans and other organisms at risk of damage from the Sun's rays, say researchers at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Michael Mills at the LASP and his colleagues used computer models to study how 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs would affect the atmosphere. They say that their scenario – in which each country launches 50 devices of 15 kilotons – is realistic, given the countries' nuclear arsenals. "The figure of 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs compares pretty accurately to the approximately 110 warheads that both states reportedly possess between them," agrees Wyn Bowen, professor of non-proliferation and international security in the War Studies Group at King's College, UK. Here is an earlier 2006 report by Michael Mills about the devastating effect even a limited nuclear war would have on the ozone layer.
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 9, 2008 - 55 comments

So, you thought Cricket was for sissies, aye?

First, a bit of an introduction to the game of Cricket (youtube) for those of us who may not be familiar with the sport. Next, a few clips (1, 2, 3, 4) on how awesome the Gentleman's Game can be (and you thought we didn't do anything but roam around in our white pants and cotton shirts...). But, if that wasn't enough for you, then here's a taste of Twenty20 Cricket (the fast, fast paced version of the game), and the new DLF Indian (pdf) Premier League. (This is in addition to the One Day Matches, which were instituted to bring in a bit more excitement into the game during the 1970's, prior to which the match only consisted of Tests. However, some purists still maintain that the game would've been better served had it not been commercalized to the extent that it has, and still prefer the leisurely pace of the original format to its current incarnation.) [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 20, 2008 - 56 comments

Pakistan vs. YouTube, BGP loses

YouTube Hijacking: A RIPE NCC RIS case study is the definitive look at how actions of Pakistan Telecom caused the global outage of YouTube Sunday the 24th of Feb. 2008. This incident has exposed weaknesses of the Border Gateway Protocol as is outlined by Danny McPherson from Arbor Networks as well as on the Renesys blog.
posted by gen on Mar 2, 2008 - 33 comments

Glimpses of South Asia before 1947

Glimpses of South Asia before 1947 1,150 illustrated pages by the world's leading Ancient Indus Civilization scholars 774 photographs, postcards, lithographs, engravings, and archival film of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka before 1947
posted by UbuRoivas on Feb 8, 2008 - 8 comments

"Queen of Baluchistan"

"Jennifer Musa, who has died aged 90, was an Irishwoman of modest stock who took over from her husband as head of a tribe in the remote borderlands of Baluchistan; unveiled and uncompromising, she dedicated her life to the conservative Muslim tribesmen among whom she lived for 60 years until her death." 1992 New York Times interview. 1995 interview with The Independent. 2006 interview. Another 2006 interview.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 18, 2008 - 14 comments

Why He Went Nuclear.

Why He Went Nuclear. Before he was the infamous father of the "Islamic bomb," A.Q. Khan was just another midlevel scientist working at a research job in Amsterdam. Here, the story of how he betrayed his employer and set out to create a worldwide bazaar in lethal weapons.
posted by chunking express on Nov 20, 2007 - 19 comments

In the Shadow of Lal Masjid

The China Factor in Pakistani Politics "Pakistan’s alliance with China, which supports Islamabad’s confrontation with India and underpins its hopes for economic growth in its populous heartland, is probably a lot more important to Islamabad than the dangerous, destabilizing, and thankless task of pursuing Islamic extremists on its remote and impoverished frontiers at Washington’s behest."
posted by Abiezer on Nov 8, 2007 - 12 comments

Newsfilter

“I will not let my country commit suicide,” says General Pervez Musharraf in an address to the nation, after declaring Martial Law, in Pakistan, yesterday night. Benazir Bhutto, who had earlier returned to the country to a large reception (and whose convoy was later attacked) along with former Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff, have condemned the act.
posted by hadjiboy on Nov 3, 2007 - 61 comments

Benazir's Homecoming.

Two-time Former Pakistani PM, Benazir Bhutto Returns After 8 years. The leader of a Pakistan's most progressive and liberal political party, but tarnished by serious corruption and money laundering charges, Benazir Bhutto landed in Karachi today welcomed by thousands, reminiscent of her return to take on a previous military dictator in 1986. Bhutto has recently lost popularity because she has sought a deal with General Musharraf and tried to obtain an amnesty from corruption charges. Can she use her thunderous return to overcome such setbacks and lead the second largest Muslim country again?
posted by Azaadistani on Oct 18, 2007 - 40 comments

The man who knew too much

The man who knew too much. "He was the CIA's expert on Pakistan's nuclear secrets, but Rich Barlow was thrown out and disgraced when he blew the whistle on a US cover-up. Now he's to have his day in court."
posted by homunculus on Oct 13, 2007 - 21 comments

The Long War

The Long War Journal. Regardless of your politics, the aggregation of info is useful, and the chief blogger doesn't seem to have been mentioned on MeFi before.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 6, 2007 - 4 comments

"Unfortunately, Bin Laden was a really good hider."

The Ongoing Hunt for Osama bin Laden is a comprehensive Newsweek update on the search for Osama. Psychics can't find him. Native American trackers can't find him. As the Daily Show noted in 2004, the dead or alive terrorist mastermind is "a really good hider."
posted by kirkaracha on Aug 26, 2007 - 36 comments

Yeh Hum Naheen

We have lost on the way the lesson of living together, We are now even scared of each other. They are others whose faces are on your hands, Your hurts are a deep sea -- our wounds are deep. The stories that are being spread in our names are lies, This is not us.
Words of a Pakistani pop song Yeh Hum Naheen [This is not us] hitting the charts, attempting to spread the message that all muslims are not terrorists, story via Salon. "Produced and written by a British Muslim, Waseem Mahmood, at the request of his two sons, "Yeh Hum Naheen" offers a welcome counterpoint to the images of troops storming the Red Mosque, or fundamentalist mullahs preaching jihad. But the key to the song's success lies neither in its production values or deft depictions of average Pakistanis going about their daily lives, but in its heartfelt expression of pain. "
posted by infini on Aug 25, 2007 - 26 comments

"...as a Russian and Chinese-led alliance created to counter US hegemony"

The Shanhai Cooperative Organization. [wiki] When Moscow and Beijing engineered the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) six years ago, I am not sure if they foresaw its emergence as an important actor in the international order. Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, currently observers, are lobbying hard to get accepted into this club. The US request for membership was rejected two years ago.
posted by delmoi on Aug 23, 2007 - 14 comments

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