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Friday, September 25, 2009

Rafia Zakaria, Zafar Hilaly, Babar Sattar, Shaukat Qadir, Shaheen Sehbai

In our sixty-second year, perhaps it’s time we came to terms with the reality that we are and have always been a nation of beggars. Ironically, it is only in embracing this grim reality that we can find the opportunity to change our future. Rafia Zakaria

Barack Obama has reached his "Lyndon moment" sooner than many expected. This moment occurs when a US president has to decide whether to commit his country and his own political future to a war that America must win but which she manifestly cannot, or to safeguard his political career, and American lives, by withdrawing behind the walls of fortress America. Lyndon Johnson opted to stay and fight in Vietnam. He became unelectable and hence forfeited a second term. Nixon, who inherited the Vietnam war, like Obama did Afghanistan, at first tried to win the war but then realised that he could not, sued for peace nay surrendered, and left. He was rewarded by a grateful electorate with a second term in office. While Obama was trying to make up his mind whether to be a Johnson or a Nixon, General McCrystal's report on America's predicament in Afghanistan landed on his desk, making his decision all the more urgent and vastly more difficult. Zafar Hilaly

While the NRO continues to outrage citizens for perverting the very concept of rule of law, the Holders of Public Offices (Accountability) Bill, 2009 – meant to replace the NAB Ordinance – is coming to be seen by concerned citizens as a permanent NRO. But our problem of corruption is not limited to the NRO or the new (un)-Accountability Bill, but is much more deep-seated. While we continue to focus on financial corruption that the elites indulge in, we tend to ignore various forms of social and intellectual corruption being practiced in our midst with vigour, which allow financial corruption to exist in the first place. The bane of our existence is a deeply entrenched logic of necessity and the unscrupulous ethic of success it produces wherein the end justifies all means however rotten. Babar Sattar

No army in the world is trained to operate against guerrilla warriors. In fact, guerrilla warfare is the antithesis of military operations. The military trains to operate against recognisable opponents who are trained like all armies and, therefore are predictable. Those in the military who are wise enough not to be ‘fighting the last war’ and resort to the unexpected are also predictably unpredictable. They all operate along recognisable lines of communication, because they are bound to their logistic support system. Shaukat Qadir

The list of conditions and monitoring subjects (pl refer to the text of the bill) makes stunning reading but the key para which is likely to create a lot of trouble, although it is desperately needed in Pakistan's context, is about keeping the armed forces under control of the civilians.This para is about US monitoring and every six months Secretary of State has to give the Congress "an assessment of the extent to which the Government of Pakistan exercises effective civilian control of the military, including a description of the extent to which civilian executive leaders and parliament exercise oversight and approval of military budgets, the chain of command, the process of promotion for senior military leaders, civilian involvement in strategic guidance and planning, and military involvement in civil administration." Shaheen Sehbai


Anonymous Omer said...

The link to Shaukat Qadir in this article is wrong. It should be

October 20, 2009 9:19 AM  
Blogger temporal said...

the link is fine and leads to his post

October 20, 2009 12:18 PM  

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