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Pak Tea House » Entries tagged with "US"

Imran Khan’s USA Conundrum

Gohar Qureshi Having read Mr. Imran Khan’s recent statement about TTP, that they do not seek to enforce Shariah in Pakistan rather liberate it from the US war. I might be the only one who supports PTI manifesto for what it is and NOT because Imran Khan leads the party. Being a law abiding Pakistani American it is offensive to come across anti American narrative that Mr. Khan leads his followers with. Has he ever attempted to educate his followers on what led the US war on terror. The youth of today who must have been very young when 9/11 happened have no awareness whatsoever on how tolerant US was and still is. That we could travel domestically in the US without body scans which we were always subjected to flying … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Politics, secular Pakistan, Society, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

Calling Us Dollar Hungry and Fake Liberals

Raza Habib Raja Raza Rumi, whom I consider a good friend, elder brother  and a mentor, was attacked two days ago. He survived whereas his young driver, Mustafa could not make it. When it happens to a person known well to you and to whom you owe a lot, the incident becomes personal at many levels. Suddenly, you realize that words which are being written and spoken are not just a harmless exercise but entail life threatening consequences. And it also makes you realize that in this country- where ironically you are mocked at by titles like “Pseudo Liberal”, “Fake Liberal”, “Dollar Khor”, “Indian and US Agents”- you are always risking your life and despite the risk, continue to be mocked by our sick urban middleclass. And Raza Rumi was risking his life … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Free Karim – NOW!

By Madiha Tahir On New Year’s Eve 2009, Karim Khan’s family was blown to pieces. A brother, a son and a house guest –a laborer working at a nearby mosque– were all torn to shreds, ripped up in an American drone attack. Since then, Karim has been working with the Islamabad-based lawyer, Shahzad Akbar to file cases in the Pakistani courts demanding justice. At every step of the way, the demands by Pakistanis for democratic, legal solutions have been met with intimidation, harassment and secrecy both by the Pakistani state and the US. Now, Karim has been disappeared. On Feb 5th, 15-20 men, some of them in police uniform, picked up Karim from his home in Rawalpindi, according to witnesses. They took him in front of his wife and children, and his whereabouts … Read entire article »

Filed under: Drones, Pak Tea House

The Structure of Power in Pakistan

M Asadi A class/power structure analysis of the country reveals that it has changed dramatically since the military backed by the Americans incorporated itself in the power equation formally in 1958, in what was hitherto a feudal dominated, agrarian state, cultivated by the British during their colonization of India. The next big change in the power equation was the military dictator Ayub Khan promoting the underdeveloped local bourgeoisie as a bulwark against the feudal elite whose power he was attempting to usurp, (we cannot talk about a “developed” business class at this time when the country’s production and trade is dominated by primary products and most of the population is rural) leading to SOME industrialization, massive inequality and also land reforms for that very end- i.e. to weaken the feudal elite and … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Politics

The Wizards of Langley: Inside CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology

Ahmad Khan Jeffery T. Richelson is an American author, who has extensively produced literature on the process of intelligence gathering, historical technological up-gradation of intelligence agencies and its impacts on national security in America. He came up with The Wizards of Langley: Inside CIA’s directorate of Science and Technology in which he highlighted a brief history of CIA directorate of Science and Technology (DS &T) under the administration of different individual and CIA’s different aerial and space reconnaissance programs. He gives brief historical accounts of technological genies that resided inside CIA (DS &T). Richelson calls them the wizards of the Langley—the place where CIA headquarters is located— because of their technological and scientific achievements, which enabled CIA to architect an empire of international intelligence gathering. The primary objective of DS &T was to excavate … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, USA

The Drone Signature

By Saad Hafiz Drones have been a popular topic of late, mostly in discussions about whether the US government should be authorized to track down and kill suspected terrorists anywhere around the globe using the pilot-less predators. Amidst the passionate debate, the much vilified drones have become the signature weapon in the post-9/11 anti-terrorist warfare, particularly in the al-Qaeda and Taliban safe havens straddling the Afghan-Pakistan border. US drones have proven to be quite effective and a much-needed instrument of attack in the war against the terrorists. Drone strikes have taken out key leaders, disrupted meetings and curtailed movement, often forcing terrorists to scurry for cover. Drone enthusiasm is driven by the minimization of the risk to ground forces and non-combatants. Opponents counter that drones are an ignoble and cowardly form … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Perils of Arundhati Roy Style Liberalism

Raza Habib Raja As a philosophy liberalism is more inward looking and hence does not try to shift blame on the outside forces. By its orientation, it also does not have an overly negative assumption about human nature and consequently is not obsessed with crime and punishment. It believes in the rationality of humans and further assumes that human intelligence is capable of creating an artifice where ethnic, linguistic and other such “ natural” differences can … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Imperialism, India, Marxism, Taliban

Anti-Americanism in the Muslim world

By Saad Hafiz: Many Americans are baffled and angered by the deep-set anti-Americanism prevailing in the Muslim world. Some Americans see it as an expression of a malevolent ill disposition that goes beyond the pale of reason, revealing the inherent venality, weakness and instability of Muslims. In this worldview, the US is the beacon of freedom and democracy and a major aid provider, which makes it especially confounding that it would be the target of Muslim rage. The genuine fears about extremism and violence in the Muslim world continue to play a role in driving these views. Former President George W Bush captured a widespread concern when he said, “Like most Americans, I just cannot believe the vitriolic hatred of the United States because I know how good we are.” There are … Read entire article »

Filed under: USA

No change is change

No change is change

By Saad Hafiz: As the US Election approaches, the battle for the White House remains too close to call. The outcome is determined by an Electoral College, which has a total of 538 votes. To win a majority, a presidential candidate needs at least 270 votes. National polls did swing dramatically in challenger Mitt Romney’s direction after he trounced President Obama in the first debate. Recent polls show the two candidates in a virtual dead heat … Read entire article »

Filed under: USA

Beyond empty sound bites

By Saad Hafiz: Politics and diplomacy is a tough business, and the use of catchy sound bites is its modern currency, particularly in the media-savvy US. In keeping with this trend, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman used an attention-grabbing sound bite: “This is a new Pakistan. Catch up, gentlemen,” as Islamabad squabbled with Washington on transit rights for NATO forces in Afghanistan through Pakistan. Ms Rehman’s clip stressing upon her US hosts that Pakistan would not be pushed around anymore, probably bolstered her credentials with her intended domestic security and hyper-nationalist audience. Not to pick on Ms Rehman, who has the unenviable job of representing Pakistan in suspicious and unfriendly Washington, but reliance on sound bites often serves as a substitute for actual dialogue, helps masks ugly realities and contributes … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Culture Shock – American Lifestyle

By Kashif: A life-changing event for me was a trip to the United States of America (USA), when I was selected as a Fulbright Scholar. The US is a dreamland for almost everyone; considering the number of visitors in New York and Chicago per day waiting in a queue would certainly testify my above mentioned assertion. I couldn’t believe I am in the US until the first day at the school. The whole system, the organized processes, students’ maturity, students’ goals, professors’ friendliness and among others, impressed me a lot and instantly broke the prejudice being carried in my mind about America and American people. The mind-change was a little bit quick and I realized I am still in a danger zone as my friends and family members kept on calling and … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture

Protests and anti-Islam Film

By Salma Ahmed : Another derogatory movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ has yet again created a havoc in the Islamic world especially in Libya, Egypt and Pakistan. I have not seen the movie or its trailer but only read about it. Apparently, the movie is poorly directed with no plot or acting worthy of comments. It was clearly made to humiliate Muslims and incite the reactions they are known to have. Kudos to the evil masterminds behind the movie; they have accomplished their goal. Muslims all over the world have taken to streets, protesting about the movie and are hell-bent upon destroying US embassies. In Libya, they even managed to take innocent lives (such as the lives of US ambassador Christopher Stevens and his staff). Pakistan, however, has outdone itself. Almost a week … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam

Why Muslims Have Such a Mindset

Raza Habib Raja In my previous article titled as “ How Moderate Muslims Reinforce the Problem” I tried to explore the linkage between mindset of moderate Muslims and extremism. I tried to show that due to their denial expressed in the form of weird conspiracy theories and apologetic defense, moderate Muslims end up inadvertently supporting the extremists and the radical elements. But why Muslims are like that? The reasons in my opinion are manifold and some are imbedded in our cognitive framework while rest are the outcome of international events and the actual behaviour of foreign players. First of all, conspiracy theories appeal to our fundamental and deeply held conviction that a Muslim cannot do anything which would bring a bad name to Islam and lead to adverse consequences to the Muslim … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

“Audacity of Hope” (An open letter to all Pakistanis)

Sultan Babar Mirza Reportedly, two foreign players have historically played the role of major kingmakers in Pakistan. Be it Ayub, Bhutto, Zia, Benazir, Nawaz Sharif or Musharraf – plenty of rumours say these ‘leaders’ largely owed their thrones to either the United States of America or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have some evidence of this as well (not as much as one would like, but enough). Before going further, let us … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Politics

Weak candidates in US presidential contest

By  Saad Hafiz: After decisive primary victories, it appears certain that Mitt Romney will be anointed as the Republican candidate for president at the party’s convention in Tampa in August. Romney wrapped up the nomination numerically when he won the voter-rich Texas primary a few weeks ago. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is a veteran financial executive and a former governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. For Romney, now begins the hard part as he faces multiple challenges as he squares off against President Obama. Romney’s biggest challenge is that he is up against an incumbent president who faced no primary challenge and has been actively preparing for the general election for more than a year. Obama brings to the table all the fundraising, organisation, and media attention that naturally flow to a sitting president. The latest campaign finance figures underscore the … Read entire article »

Filed under: USA