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Old 10-18-2007, 06:17 PM   #1
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108 Die in Blast Near Bhutto in Karachi


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Old 10-18-2007, 06:27 PM   #2
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:40 PM   #3
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:05 PM   #4
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Unbelievable. Just horrible.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:09 PM   #5
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that is awful.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:25 PM   #6
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Once upon a time, famous people were killed by assassination. Now it's suicide bombing. The more the merrier philosophy! Fucking pathetic!
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:01 PM   #7
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editorial, Pakistan Daily Times, Oct. 18

Who threatens Ms Bhutto?

The PPP chairperson, Benazir Bhutto, has said that she is determined to return to Pakistan against all odds and isn’t afraid of the plots being made to kill her. She said the South Waziristan warlord Baitullah Mehsud had threatened her directly with suicide-bombing but he was just a pawn in a bigger conspiracy in which the real culprits are “some retired army officers in the establishment”. This throws a new light on Ms Bhutto’s understanding of the lack of security in the country.

The first conclusion one may draw from this statement is that Baitullah Mehsud is a frontman for someone else who actually makes the moves in Pakistan. Earlier, Ms Bhutto had said she did not feel that while President General Pervez Musharraf was opposed to her homecoming, the PMLQ government was hostile because it felt threatened by her politically. Now she has pointed to a new source of threat, and it comes from people apparently within the establishment with the knowledge of the rulers.

By calling Baitullah Mehsud a mere pawn, Ms Bhutto has linked these “retired officers” to what is going on in South Waziristan. It is quite possible that these officers are either manipulating Baitullah Mehsud or have an ideological affinity with him. It is also possible that President Musharraf is not aware of this linkage and Ms Bhutto is also putting him on notice against the people he is relying on. On the other hand, Baitullah Mehsud is not without his links to the “foreigners” in the region connected with Al Qaeda. In as much as there is coordination between the Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda, one has to see Baitullah Mehsud as an agent of Osama bin Laden, whose last message contained a reference to Lal Masjid which is the bone of contention between Baitullah Mehsud and President Musharraf.

The attempts made on President Musharraf’s life in the past have been traced to some elements of the military. The last abortive attempt was made during the crisis of Lal Masjid when someone tried to bring down his airplane with anti-aircraft fire. The guns were discovered from Rawalpindi in the midst of a residential area. The suicide-bombings in the course of the crisis were traced by the investigative agencies to South Waziristan where the volunteers were brainwashed and sent down to Islamabad along with their minders. It is difficult to say that there was definite collusion from anyone inside the establishment, but anyone suspecting an “inside job” can hardly be blamed for being far-fetched in his thinking.

There are many reasons people inside the Musharraf establishment may be secretly alienated from his programme of fighting terrorism, his action in the Tribal Areas and his final showdown with the Al Qaeda-connected clerics of Lal Masjid. This alienation is an easy emotional state to achieve because of the almost universal rejection of the anti-terrorist bent of mind among the people of Pakistan. The “denial” followed by “rejection” is based on a feeling of hostility against the United States. The “rejection” first appeared in the Pakistan Army high command during the Zia era when officers started to fashion “doctrines of defiance” in order to throw aside the “yoke of slavery” of America. Therefore the “pro-America” volte-face in the wake of 9/11 may not have brought about a new way of thinking among many military persons, retired or in service. Indeed, the campaign of the national opposition in full glare of the free media has only strengthened the conviction that Pakistan is enslaved to American policies.

Ms Bhutto went against the grain of the thinking of the average Pakistani when she began to raise her voice against terrorism in Pakistan after the infiltration of the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements into Pakistan following 9/11. Since then she has indirectly supported President Musharraf’s campaign against this terrorism. She also spoke with great clarity against the clerics of Lal Masjid and maintained her stance even after most Pakistanis decided to change their minds about the matter.

The message one can deduce from her statement about the “retired army officers” is clearly meant for President Musharraf, who could be out of the loop in relation to what people in organisations theoretically under his control are planning to do. Of course, it is not only some retired elements who are dead-set against her; there are others within the ruling party who could be more “in the loop” than he because of their own fears. Therefore there is a great danger that this message might be taken as just another political ruse to divide President Musharraf and his party, and ignored. Yet, in Pakistan no intimation of any terrorist threat should be ignored.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:23 PM   #8
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It'll be interesting to see how, or whether, Musharraf and Bhutto use this [if Musharraf wasn't involved] to strengthen their alliance i.e. "democracy with security" or whatever...change through fear...they can continue their push-pull toward their own individual goals citing a common enemy ("terror"), trying to win their own political ends, but, sadly, it's all looking like a recipe for more dysfunction...par for the course for a thoroughly dysfunctional state.

What may need to happen is the whole of the military establishment (which is now very rich and very privileged and well dug in in the most influential and well-paying public institutions) starts seeing a singular Islamist threat against their own future lifestyle. Musharraf may need to use that to bring about a purge of the forces and intelligence agencies of Islamist sympathizers and consolidate his support.

But, i imagine, the situation is exponentially more complex than i can parse.
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:00 AM   #9
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The whole day, I had been expecting former PM Bhutto to be assassinated. The whole event reminded me of Benigno Aquino, Jr.'s return to the Philippines in 1983...where he was "greeted" at the airport with a gunshot to the head. Bhutto's own family history is quite colorful, as her father, former PM Zulfikar Bhutto, was executed in 1979 during Pakistan's last military dictatorship.

So when I had heard about this blast, let's just say that it fits a general historical pattern. And that's really too bad.
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Old 10-20-2007, 02:17 PM   #10
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This happened literally 24 hours after I submitted my resume to US AID to work with the Office of Democractic Transistions in Pakistan. (The "we're really not kidding this time" desk, to be sure....).

Scale of 1-10, how insane am I?

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Old 11-05-2007, 07:33 AM   #11
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A look at some of the restrictions and suspended rights in the state of emergency declared by Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf:

_ Protection of life and liberty.

_ The right to free movement.

_ The right of detainees to be informed of their offense and given access to lawyers

_ Protection of property rights.

_ The right to assemble in public.

_ The right to free speech.

_ Equal rights for all citizens before law and equal legal protection.

_ Media coverage of suicide bombings and militant activity is curtailed by new rules. Broadcasters also face a three-year jail term if they "ridicule" members of the government or armed forces.

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