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nusrat fateh ali khan – mast mast April 6, 2008

Posted by KG in media, music, religion.
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updated: the user who posted the video to youtube disabled embedding, so here are the direct links… part 1: http://youtube.com/watch?v=zqs3DkcKUB0 and part 2: http://youtube.com/watch?v=VDzJRsmzbTg

“pakistan’s imran khan to leave hiding for protest” November 12, 2007

Posted by KG in history, international, interviews, iraq war, news, politics, race, religion, sports, terrorism.
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excellent npr interview with imran khan (7:53)

All Things Considered, November 12, 2007 ยท Philanthropist, politician and former cricket superstar Imran Khan has been in hiding since Musharraf declared emergency rule.

But Khan hopes to channel the political anger of thousands of students Wednesday when he emerges from hiding to lead a student rally at Punjab University.

Khan talks with Michele Norris about the rally and his opposition to the current crackdown.


“Pakistan had a traumatic birth because the British left in such haste,” Khan says in a low and measured voice. “Most of us blamed Mountbatten. He rushed it. As a result, the Kashmiri question wasn’t resolved and there has been animosity with our neighbour India ever since.

“Another result was that the state became obsessed with its own survival. Security became the first priority. The emphasis was on armed forces. That was where the arms race began: the race to get nuclear weapons.

“And we became a client state, relying on US aid, rather than being non-aligned like India. It left us with the problem of militancy. The mujahideen, on the Pakistan border with Afghanistan, was actually trained by the CIA during the Cold War. Ronald Reagan said the mujahideen leaders reminded him of the Founding Fathers of America. Now America calls them terrorists.

“The legacy of all this is the war on terror, which many in Pakistan see as a war on Islam, that is why there is no shortage of recruits there.”

I suggest that many in the West cannot understand why Pakistan cannot hunt down the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters hiding on its border. Khan sighs. “No one in the West understands that the tribal region of Pakistan has always been an independent entity. They have never been conquered. Every man is a warrior and carries a gun. It is the most difficult terrain. Even a superpower like the British Empire could not control that area. They had to bribe the tribes. To think that Pakistan’s army, which begs and borrows for its survival, could control it is naive.”

america and musharraf: an unrequited love story November 5, 2007

Posted by KG in international, interviews, iraq war, news, politics, religion, terrorism.
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from wapo:

The roots of the crisis go back to the blind bargain Washington made after 9/11 with the regime that had heretofore been the Taliban‘s main patron: ignoring Musharraf’s despotism in return for his promises to crack down on al-Qaeda and cut the Taliban loose. Today, despite $10 billion in U.S. aid to Pakistan since 2001, that bargain is in tatters; the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda’s senior leadership has set up another haven inside Pakistan’s chaotic border regions.

The problem is exacerbated by a dramatic drop-off in U.S. expertise on Pakistan. Retired American officials say that, for the first time in U.S. history, nobody with serious Pakistan experience is working in the South Asia bureau of the State Department, on State’s policy planning staff, on the National Security Council staff or even in Vice President Cheney ‘s office. Anne W. Patterson, the new U.S. ambassador to Islamabad, is an expert on Latin American “drugs and thugs”; Richard A. Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, is a former department spokesman who served three tours in Hong Kong and China but never was posted in South Asia. “They know nothing of Pakistan,” a former senior U.S. diplomat said.

Current and past U.S. officials tell me that Pakistan policy is essentially being run from Cheney’s office. The vice president, they say, is close to Musharraf and refuses to brook any U.S. criticism of him. This all fits; in recent months, I’m told, Pakistani opposition politicians visiting Washington have been ushered in to meet Cheney’s aides, rather than taken to the State Department.

npr all things considered interview (4:46) with rick barton, co-director of the post-conflict reconstruction project & advisor to the international security program at the center for strategic and international studies, about musharaff’s crackdown.