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The Future of Swat

That the conflict would force the civilian population out of the area affected in Swat and flood the towns and camps in NWFP was not in doubt, our inability to organize relief is frightening. The widespread sympathy for the army action, not only among the local population of Swat and Dir, but most Pakistanis will not last for long. The humanitarian crisis and the official inability to tackle it will soon turn the sentiments. Unfortunately the army action was unavoidable, the alternative was the whole of Pakistan getting destabilised......more

Defining Moment

Every nation has defining moments, one keeps hoping they are few and far between. Pakistan is not so fortunate, we find ourselves quite often at a crossroads of sorts. Sufi Muhammad gave us one such defining moment when he disabused us of any further illusion as to how his agenda differed from that of his rather brutal son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah. The media had elevated the Pied Piper of Konduz (Konduz is the town he abandoned the young following he led across the border in 2001 to combat the US invasion of Afghanistan) in the last few months into a full-blown hero, many times larger than life than he really is.....more

Defining Character

While the book “War of Choice, War of Necessity” by Richard Haas makes for very interesting reading, his Essay “The Dilemma of Dissent” is more of an eye-opener. With experience in the White House working with both the younger and elder Bush, Haas was an insider in the making of decisions affecting millions. Very frequently the rulers and their close aides made important ones without proper enquiry, analysis or debate. To quote Joseph Helke in his novel, “Good as Gold”, “independent men (and women) of integrity who will agree with all our decisions after we make them”. Those facilitating such decision-making are known as “Enablers”. One way to avoid becoming an “Enabler” was to resign, that unfortunately requires a conscience.....more

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