Monday, May 2, 2011


Today, on the 2nd of May 2011, morning breakfast table greeted me with some news that literally made my jaw drop - an expression of awe, wonder, amazement, surprise, and paranoia at the same time.

Its futile to reiterate the exact nature of the operation and the circumstances in which it took place; something thats all over the papers, 'free media', and the web at the moment, nor do I feel it pertinent to mention the state of utter crises that has suddenly engulfed Pakistan's name in the world arena ... as we speak. But what I do see is that the consequences will be dire, it will be grave and long term at the same time. It is certainly not something that the Pakistani public is not accustomed to after all these years (ok, nine years since September 11th) of conflict, chaos, sounds-of-gunfire, ambulance sirens and hysterical news reporting. On camparison with the 'jubilant' reactions of the American people on some foreign renowned news networks, yes, I am so not surprised by the state of disbelief (in comparative terms) that a Pakistani living in its own land suddenly finds himself in. Reactions range from staying mum to complete obliviousness, and from scenes of frustration and hurling abuses at the Interior Mnister to emotions of content and 'smiles' over a new bluff game emanating from the horizon.

Its too early to say anything and predict what the sign of things would be, but what I do see happening after the many related "exchange of intelligence official's comments", and the heated debates over the growing tensions between the two countries, the stakes of both the countries are really heavily involved. As for Pakistan, the stakes are much more higher. But what amazes a layman on the roadsid,e and if the wordmouth is anything of value, is that even with so much at stake, he is still kept in oblivion over the whole issue. Rationality seems to be lacking over the whole decision making process, and yes, it seems the nature of it is all the more elusive.

Waging a war over a foreign land, and as with all foreign operations, theres not too much to lose for the US. Yes, the aftermaths of such an operation and the consequences of it are tilted highly in favour of the Americans. Anlaysing the situation, one wonders about the circumstances in which the 'attack' actually took place, especially when the relations between the US and the Pakistani Intelligentsia were known to be at its 'lowest ebb' after almost a decade or more since the May 28th, 1998 Atomic Explosions in Chagai, Pakistan. It is also a fact that the 'war against terror' in the north of the country was never possible, and would never be possible without Pakistan's help in the entire process from supply of logistics to intelligentsia and to false and suppressed news reports in the local media that is bought and sold at will.(ref : )
Yes, the US is highly dependent and by however means we chose to negate this fact, it still remains a stark ground reality.

OBL's photograph widely circulated in the electronic media is claimed to be fake by many


There are two ways that any news analyst or common man sees this as being the 'aftermath' of such an operation:

1 - After showing to the world that US 'does actually achieve what it strives for' and portraying the killing of one man as being a magnanimous victory, the US would leave Af-Pak region pretty soon keeping in view Obama's promise to leave the region completely by 2014. The serious economic crises the US faces currently do not help but pushes the US elected representatives to call for a pullback anytime sooner than later. As the saying goes that 'wars are fought more in the minds than real', America seems to have already won this war with the chanting and the 'Go US' slogans at Times Square being obvious reasons to this effect.
With Pakistan portrayed as world's number one terrorist's hideout, the US can now aim to launch operations at will anywhere, anytime, without taking the 'dependency' factor into consideration. So without doubt, the killing of Osama gives a further 'free-hand' to America to bully around world's "Islamic terror" (or men in beards/women in hijab) at will !

2-  The US would not leave anytime soon. Over the past several years, with Pakistan declared a state engulfed with terrorism, together with the killing of an "house-hold icon" (the infamous Arabian 'bogey man'), the US is currently at complete liberty to launch operations anywhere inside Pakistan without slipping off from "moral ground" that today it chose to create.
With OBL killed within some hundred kilometres away from the place where Pakistan's highly secretive Atomic Research Laboratories are located, the US has grounds to lament further on the "nuclear free Pakistan" agenda - something claimed to be extremely vital to the very existence of Pakistan. 
Moreover, with the next year's US elections in sight, the US might never look to cease its operations here, but would aim for 'continued government policy to counter terror' to generate votes.

Whatever the circumstances or the path that they may chose to adopt, the US is in a winning position by far.

The question is, what Pakistan gains out of it?? Possible gain may come, in Imran Khan's words, "the US now has no reason to stay in Pakistan or Afghanistan and should leave immediately". Adopting such a policy still seems, to the common man, like asking too much from the current setup in place. Possibly some bucks to keep the 'big fish' thriving in the country can silent such voices further !!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pharoah Hosni and the Angry Mob !

Dozens of people have been killed and thousands injured over the past four days of protests throughout Egypt; all demanding a change of order and the subsequent ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Was it forthcoming? Or was it abrupt? If one is to observe the country over the past 30 years since 1981, when the “senile” and “paranoid” President (as described by Foreign Policy ) came into power, Egypt has had a pretty stable and a progressive economy even after the great Arab-Israel wars of 1967 and 1973 when the whole nation came together against the continued Israeli oppression. Devoid of much mineral wealth, Egyptians made their only river, Nile, to be a symbol of upheaval and progress while our country is blessed with five rivers which turn out to be symbols of sheer inter-provincial dispute. The Panorama museum and the roadside graffiti on the walls of Cairo, would tell one much about the nationalistic fervor of the Egyptians and the passionate way in which they honor their war heroes. Still, with such people as its inhabitants, it is little surprising that they were subjugated for full thirty years by an authoritarian ruler.

Protestors riot against the security forces

“Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.”    -  JFK

30 years !!
Time changes a lot of things. Back in 1981, Hosni Mubarak continued the “emergency law” after the assassination of President Anwer Sadat by virtue of which the government had the right to imprison individuals for any period of time, and virtually for no reason. The new President went autocratic with his policy of near-militant lockdown on political opposition, and anyone who dared to question the authority was kept locked without trials for an indefinite time. Dr. Ayman Nour, who was the opposing candidate in the Al-Ghad party in the 2005 elections, became the victim of such autocracy when he was sentenced to five years in hard labor after he demanded a repeat of the voting process. According to a report by Transparency International, the cases of corruption in Egypt are also at an all time high, and the very mechanisms, laws and regulations currently in force by the regime are insufficient to address it.

Big Brother is Watching !

Time gave way to a change of order. Thirty years of autocratic rule brought in a new generation of Egyptians; a generation brought up in lies and deceit and devoid of opportunities to grow and excel; a generation which saw five-star luxury complexes being built for the super rich and the well-to-do in the Egyptian society - the very rich who were handpicked by Hosni Mubarak from his party to lead ministries of his choosing. This generation of people from ages 15 to 24 comprises almost half of the Egypt’s unemployed. The use of drugs and alcohol, prostitution, and cases of sexual abuse has become rampant. A sense of frustration and hopelessness seems to be haunting the Egyptian youth and its elders too, who have seen enough of bigotry and corruption in the government circles. In an atmosphere of such hopelessness, crime rate also rose to an all time high and a foreigner is warned of educated ‘professional’ thugs lurking around Cairo who could pickpocket you in broad daylight.

Time did nothing but perpetuate the President’s rule. No substantial institutional setup was evolved in the thirty years of Hosni Mubarak’s tenure with a common consent of the populace, and for a common good. Such common good of the population was no longer deemed important as the people raised a hue and cry over the constant subjugation of Egypt and its people by the American imperialism. Hosni Mubarak was termed as ‘pro-Israel’ by many of his critics. He eliminated through death sentences and imprisonment a large number of Islamist opponents and long fought to suppress the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist transnational movement and the Arab world's largest political opposition organization in Egypt, and members have been known to be arrested for their participation.

Egypt is the largest recipient of American aid, only after Jewish Israel.

Egypt is the largest receiver of American direct aid only after Israel. Even the 1.5 billion/ year Kerry-Lugar Bill to Pakistan, given under 'adverse' circumstances for a war ridden country, was not able to surpass the staggering 3.8 billion Egyptians receive every year since a peace treaty was signed back in 1978; all to subjugate the Egyptian people to peaceful terms with Israel. It would be pertinent to say that foreign support may protect and prolong the lifespan of an authoritarian regime, but it cannot maintain such a regime indefinitely. Under ‘puppet’ Hosni Mubarak, keeping in view the Egyptian wars with Israel, not surprisingly, the very 'upholder of democracy' has kept an authoritarian regime upon the ONLY country which posed a slight threat to Israel's existence - for full 30 years !!

This coupled with severe restrictions on freedom of speech - for how long will a regime survive? Egypt currently ranks 133 out of 168 nations in terms of freedom of the press.  In a very shameful way, the Egyptian government openly admitted that it is fine to lie to tens of millions of Egyptians. Currently, there is a vast internet blockade in the country and even the mobile phone networks have been thoroughly jammed. All international flights are closed and people are being denied access to the outside world. From a purely Orwellian perspective, without doubt, the current crises in Egypt are a classical example of a ‘Big Brother’s’ rule and its subsequent end due to internal strife and frustration.

 Egyptian riots do not have a central controlling figure - Sheep without their Lion !!

The underlying problem to such a bloody change of order is that there is no central figure or a revolutionary who could plan a subsequent action after the government is overthrown. At such a juncture, the analysts are anxious that someone from the military might take over soon, leading to ANOTHER dictatorial era in Egypt’s history – another classical example of Orwellian Animal Farm.  Egyptian people have now come out in the open in thousands against a dictator whose family is known to possess wealth up to $50-70 billion. Demonstrators in Cairo, Alexandria and the other cities have burnt down cars and government buildings to lodge their protest.  Although, they are united and filled with extreme hatred for their 82 year old dictator who refuses to step down; there is no Che Guevera, nor is there a Khomeini for their guidance in their midst, and in the absence of such leadership, is there a true change on the cards? Will somebody listen? 

Nevertheless, Hosni Mubarak, the modern day Pharoah, continues to hold office as of today and has declared that such a ‘bloody’ revolution would be tackled by an iron fist by his army. By all means, no wonder, it is one of the finest examples of what power can do to a person even after a thirty year dictatorship!