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Friday, November 06, 2009

UNDER THE AFPAK VOLCANO, Part 1 : Welcome to Pashtunistan, Reading to the Endgame,

UNDER THE AFPAK VOLCANO, Part 1 : Welcome to Pashtunistan - A rough beast, its hour come at last, Pashtunistan is already being born across the strategic corridor straddling eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan. If the Pakistani Taliban and their Pashtun allies manage to establish full control, with or without jihadi support, an Islamic emirate will for all practical purposes be constituted. - Pepe Escobar (Nov 5, '09) This is the first article in a two-part report

SPEAKING FREELY : How Eurocentric is your day?
A Boston professor, teaching his students about Eurocentric biases in Western accounts of the rise of the global economy, poses a simple question to get his point across. Can they get through a typical day without running into ideas, institutions, values, technologies and products that originated outside the West? The answer is, of course, no. - M Shahid Alam

D-8 looks forward to stronger ties
The Group of Eight Islamic Developing Countries, or D-8, is looking towards greater and more meaningful cooperation, with Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt at the forefront of efforts to strengthen trade, energy and other ties. Achievement of a preferential trade agreement remains a distant prospect. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Reading to the Endgame D. Graham Burnett and W. J. Walter A chessboard consists of sixty-four squares commonly designated by alphanumeric coordinates (a-h across the x-axis and 1-8 up the y-axis). If one were to replace the numerical assignations with a continuation of the alphabet (running, for instance, i-p up the y-axis), each square would be designated uniquely by a two-letter coordinate that we will call a “tuple.” Now imagine setting up a simple computer program that knows the rules of chess—nothing more. It knows, for instance, all the moves that are makeable by a given piece, and it can keep track of a chessboard (updating what pieces are on which squares as moves are made). Suppose further that this program takes directions for making moves in the form of a pair of “tuples”—namely, one letter-pair designating the coordinates of a square occupied by a movable piece, and then a second letter-pair designating the coordinates of a square to which that piece can be legitimately moved (including squares where it would capture an opposing piece).

A simple truth eludes Zardari. The Sage of North Edgeware can subject him to a further round of Chinese torture (supping with the MQM being akin to that) but he can't rescue him. Nor can that ace of political gymnasts, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, another firm believer in the theory of extracted pounds of flesh, although on a lower scale than the maestros of the MQM. The only person standing between Zardari and imminent destruction is someone he has a disliking for the most, Nawaz Sharif. Ayaz Amir


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