the ruling elite cannot be expected to change things because the majority already has one foot out of the door. Most members of the ruling elite have dual nationality, which means that if the situation deteriorates further they can always leave, along with their capital. This saves them from taking responsibility for improving social conditions and the country’s politics for the benefit of all. http://is.gd/krkPC
Who cares …
On 4th January, 2011, Salman Taseer died. Shot dead by his own body guard. His support for non-Islamic minorities in Pakistan coupled with his support for removal of blasphemy laws from statute books angered extremists. Leading to this killing. Salmaan Taseer’s other bodyguards did nothing against the killer. Many ‘powerful people’, afraid, did not attend Taseer’s funeral.
Like this author points out, the State of Pakistan is in the hands of people who have interests, capital, and a life outside Pakistan. Pakistan needs complete, total commitment.
Another hate crime
On the other side of the world, on Saturday 8th January, 2011, in the advanced world, there was a similar incident. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, during a public event at a Safeway grocery store on the north side of Tucson, was shot.
Giffords — who in 2006 became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, at 36 — has, for more than a year, been the target of violence-tinged rhetoric from political opponents and of threats that appear to have come from right-wing activists.
Sarah Palin’s political action committee posted a map of the US, showing the locations of the 20 Democratic members of Congress, including Giffords, it was targeting for defeat. Each location was marked by an image of a gun crosshairs.
Palin’s camp dismissed charges that she was encouraging acts of violence, saying she had spoken out against violence. But Giffords herself was one of many who spoke out against the image, telling MSNBC: “When people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”
In June, the campaign of Giffords’ Republican opponent in this year’s midterms, Jesse Kelly, placed an ad that read: “Get on target for victory in November/ Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office/ Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”
The website for Kelly, a former US Marine, depicted him with holding an automatic weapon.
Today, Kelly said in a tweet: “We are all deeply saddened by this morning’s shooting. Gabrielle Giffords, the other victims, and their families are in our prayers.”
It is unclear why Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Was is it because she ‘approached the immigration debate in a nuanced fashion, mixing requests for more Border Patrol agents with calls to increase the number of work visas granted to foreigners.’ Or was because she was the first Jewish woman to be elected Congresswoman from Arizona.
Desert Bloc parallels
Gabrielle Gifford and Salman Taseer were ‘marked’ for supporting ‘Others’. Christian intolerance, Islamic extremism. Any difference. Sympathy for ‘kaffirs‘ killed Salman Taseer; supporting ‘aliens’ hurt Gabrielle Gifford. USA & Pakistan-Siamese twins?
Pakistan is evading the blasphemy issue. USA will ‘investigate’ if xenophobia behind Gabrielle Gifford attack. Christian intolerance + Islamic extremism = Desert Bloc behavior. Proof – Attacks on Gabrielle Gifford & Salman Taseer.Last train out
- Family of slain Pakistani politician feels for Giffords (cnn.com)
- Political violence in the US and Pakistan (blogs.ft.com)
- Gabrielle Giffords a Champion of Green Causes (treehugger.com)
- Gabrielle Giffords, update on her brain injury (actionforbetterhealthcare.com)
- Gabrielle Giffords shot in Arizona – Sarah Palin ‘has blood on her hands’ (archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com)
- Bhutto pledges to defend minorities in Pakistan (reuters.com)
- Salman Taseer assassination – BBC News (news.google.com)
- Global worry: Tucson attack augur more violent US? (foxnews.com)
- Pope Asks Pakistan To Repeal Blasphemy Law (video) (nowpublic.com)
- Taseer Murder Reveals Depth of Pakistan’s Extremist Drift (time.com)
- Pakistan slaying divides nation – Washington Post (news.google.com)
The West, most notably the United States, has been all too willing to dance with dictators in pursuit of perceived short-term goals. The litany of these policies and their consequences clutter the earth, from the Marcos regime in the Philippines, to the Shah in Iran, to Mohammed Zia ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. Invariably, each case has proved that myopic strategies that sacrifice principle lead to unanticipated long-term consequences. (via Asif Ali Zardari – Pakistan on Frontier of Fight Against Terrorism – washingtonpost.com).
December 17, 2007
More than 18 months ago, the 2ndlook blog, traced the source of all terror in the modern world to the very door-step of the US of A.
In today’s world, behind all terror you will similarly see another baleful influence. No, it is not Osama bin Laden. The source of modern terrorism is the USA. (Decemeber 17th 2007 – from Behind The Web Of Terror).
October 6, 2008
The 2ndlook blog did a Quicktake on the commendable, new Pakistani attitude – best represented by Asif Ali Zardari.
Zardari’s vision (first time, during an interview on Times Now), was for a Pakistan which would serve as a facilitator for good Indo-China relations on one hand – and a Pakistan that is ‘lucky’ to share common borders with the world’s two emerging economies – India and China.
This is the kind of vision that India-China and Pakistan must share and work with. Of course, India needs to be motivated by these statements on one side! On the other India must keep consolidating gains at each step. We cannot let paranoia come between us – and blind faith in human goodwill, blind us to realities of Pakistani politics.
After all, Musharraf did a Kargil after the Lahore Accord – and Zardari questioned the validity of a signed agreement. (from A New Beginning! by 2ndlook).
We must take up Zardari’s offer
Zardari’s most valuable statement is an echo of Indic values was made to Pakistani bureaucrats, “For power to be effectively used for long lasting public good, it must be dispersed as widely as possible”. It is America and Britain which created the border problems, funded and armed these countries and stoked the rivalries.
“I look at U.S. support as a blessing. I look at the world support as a blessing to Pakistan,” Zardari said.
And a few days ago Zardari decided to ‘thank President Bush’ for democracy in Pakistan. And our own Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Manubhai for readers of this column) informed President Bush that the “people of India love him”
And our leaders are thanking President Bush for this!