No coup for now

General Kayani will let the crisis fester until Obama’s Af-Pak strategy is clear Across India’s Western border rages a conflict that pits a multitude of radical Islamist militant organisations against the decrepit machinery of a tattered, incapacitated state. The Pakistani state is not only in retreat, but also in denial. It does not help that … Continue reading “No coup for now”

And who said terrorists don’t attack cricketers?

Pakistan is the jihadi prize It is too early to arrive at a conclusive assessment on the motives behind the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. [Update: See Prem Panicker’s take.] But it is compelling to see this attack as the latest in the series that include the ones on Benazir … Continue reading “And who said terrorists don’t attack cricketers?”

After the mea culpa

India shouldn’t expect that it can defeat Pakistani terrorism on the cheap So little do people expect out of Pakistan that when it did admit that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai came from Pakistan, it was seen as major step in a good direction. That step, we are told, was due to pressure from the … Continue reading “After the mea culpa”

A case of exploding myths

So what if Pakistan is misunderstood? Commenting on Mohammed Hanif’s attempt to dispel ten myths about Pakistan, Dhruva Jaishankar writes (in an email): Mohammed Hanif is clearly very smart, and his prose both entertaining and readable, but his attempt at overturning Indian myths of Pakistan also exposes some of the myths that Pakistanis—particularly upper-class, educated … Continue reading “A case of exploding myths”

Cloaking the retreat

The Pakistani army manoeuvres for the next round Having to prepare for an unlikely war with India is an excellent excuse to mask the Pakistani army’s total defeat—at the hands of the Taliban—in Swat, Bajaur and the Waziristans. If not for the tensions with India, General Kayani would have had to answer uncomfortable questions as … Continue reading “Cloaking the retreat”

Tightening the screws on Pakistan

Four immediate steps The Pakistani military-jihadi complex has, as expected, gone on a war footing. General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has pledged a “matching response” to Indian surgical strikes, “in no time”. The Pakistan Air Force was scrambled to fly sorties over major cities, scaring ordinary people. And the Jamaat-ud-Dawa organised a major pow-wow of religious … Continue reading “Tightening the screws on Pakistan”

Nuclear terrorism is already here

And Pakistan is at the centre of it The world’s strategic analysts worry about the how the “intersection of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction” poses the biggest threat to international security. [See these reports] The truth is that the intersection has already occurred. In Pakistan. Much of the discourse linking terrorists and nuclear … Continue reading “Nuclear terrorism is already here”

Wax in her ears

After the apologists come the Sominists Emily Wax—the Washington Post correspondent who, in February 2008, informed the paper’s readers that Indians don’t dress like Mahatma Gandhi—now announces that the calls made by the Mumbai ‘gunmen’ to television stations shed light on their motives. (The use of the word gunmen should already alert you to where … Continue reading “Wax in her ears”

Beyond the cosmetic crackdown

Pakistan’s military-jihadi complex remains unaffected by the latest ‘crackdown’ It would be one thing if Pakistan’s ‘crackdown’ on its jihadi groups was sincere and thoroughgoing. But it’s not. It is as much a temporary, cosmetic and unsatisfactory exercise as the ones under General Musharraf five years ago (see this archived post). The leaders and operatives … Continue reading “Beyond the cosmetic crackdown”

The Kagan Proposal

If the Pakistani government cannot control the military-jihadi complex in its territory, the international community should step in Many pundits have spoken. Most of them explained just how difficult and dangerous the situation in Pakistan is. But only a few had some good ideas on how exactly Pakistan’s military-jihadi complex—the nucleus of a terrorist threat … Continue reading “The Kagan Proposal”