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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Anjum Niaz, Phir Kya Hua, Pooh Pooh

'Sadly no one in the media has picked it up,' complains Nadeemul Haque, former head of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economists (PIDE) and currently an advisor at IMF (International Monetary Fund.) 'I feel particularly sad since I have been raising this subject for years. Of the 1.2 billion that the USAID has given to the NGOs, only about 20 are Pakistani NGOs like the Khushali Bank and HEC (Higher Education Commission.) The rest are all awarded to American firms that none of us know anything about. Even though some of these firms have been in Pakistan for years, we still do not know of them or hear of their consultants or even see them.' Anjum Niaz

We defeated the arrogance and contempt for civilian institutions of Gen Musharraf’s military with not one, but two peaceful long marches. We laid petals on the streets of Lahore and Karachi to welcome leaders who had failed us before, for the sake of a national culture of due process and democracy. We resisted terrorists as they stole the religion of most of us, and the culture and innocence of all of us. We repulsed the Flintstones of Swat, and their misogynistic world view, and deified and embraced the very same military that had treated our will with such contempt for so long. Phir Kya Hua

The 103,000 foreign soldiers in Afghanistan and the over 150,000 Afghan National Army soldiers and the Afghan National Police should be more than enough to tackle the less than 20,000 Taliban if the Afghan people were convinced that the west and its partner in Kabul, President Karzai, could be trusted to put their homeland on the path of progress and prosperity. Until that happens, neither any increase in resources and troops nor the holding of elections will be able defeat the Taliban and stabilise Afghanistan. Pooh Pooh


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