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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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