Weekday Squib: That thing about neutral umpires (2)

Baseless yet again? Not quite. It was the daily News, a Pakistani newspaper, that first broke the story of Pakistan’s move to get the World Bank’s Praful Patel replaced. Feb 3rd, 2005 The World Bank has replaced its Indian-born official with an American for reviewing Pakistan’s complaint on Baglihar dam following objections raised by Pakistan … Continue reading “Weekday Squib: That thing about neutral umpires (2)”

Weekday Squib: That thing about neutral umpires

Pakistan just loves them Neutral umpires in cricket owe their existence in part to Pakistan. So it must not come as any surprise that Pakistan would insist on the neutrality of umpires officiating in more weighty matters. Thanks to Pakistani objections, the World Bank has replaced Praful Patel, the World Bank’s vice-president for the South … Continue reading “Weekday Squib: That thing about neutral umpires”

Weekday Squib: When a CD-plate does not help

A sign of improving bilateral relations? Shivshankar Menon, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, was handed a ticket last week for driving at 120km per hour on the Islamabad-Lahore highway. He was fined Rs 750…His car was caught speeding by motorway police officials who refused to allow the vehicle to proceed unless the fine was paid. … Continue reading “Weekday Squib: When a CD-plate does not help”

The baseless days are back again

(They never went away, stupid!) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, chief of Pakistan’s army and a lot more besides, has declared that “India’s “allegations” against Pakistan “baseless”.” Baseless. That quintessentially Pakistani word. It is the word for every reason, for every season. In fact, it should be declared that country’s national word. And officially be made … Continue reading “The baseless days are back again”

Things that go Rauf out of existence

A plot that twisted its way to the end (err…end?) Rashid Rauf was killed in a strike by an American unmanned aerial vehicle. Or so the Pakistani authorities have informed us. You’ve got to hand it to the Americans, and/or the Pakistanis. It’s a good way to bring the Wonderful Adventures of Rashid Rauf to … Continue reading “Things that go Rauf out of existence”

Pax Macdonaldica does not hold

Tom Friedman proven wrong…again There’s good news and bad for Thomas Friedman. The good news is that one of his ‘laws’ is perhaps true. The bad news is that another of his theories has been proven to be false, yet again. The price of oil may have stalled Russia’s moves towards becoming a liberal democracy, … Continue readingPax Macdonaldica does not hold”

On Gandhi and the Jews

A deeper understanding of ahimsa at the time of genocide Over at Prospect magazine, Salil Tripathi has a brilliant explanation of Mahatma Gandhi’s views on the Jews and the Third Reich. This position has been characterised as passivity bordering on cowardice. But it is subtler than that. Gandhi expressed great sympathy for the historical persecution … Continue reading “On Gandhi and the Jews”

Who orchestrated Rashid Rauf’s escape and why

Seven possibilities 1. The ISI—because Rauf was working for them, and, like Omar Saeed, just can’t be allowed to fall into the hands of British or American authorities. Like what Rauf’s lawyer alleges, he could have been “mysteriously disappeared”. If this is so, the good people at the Gulshan-e-Abad mosque might be the last ones … Continue reading “Who orchestrated Rashid Rauf’s escape and why”

Sunday Levity: No self-respecting intelligence agency can do without these

Indian Jewish Mossad agents who steal lines from INI and other stories Aadisht Khanna writes that “the book violates all the unities. There is no unity of place. The plot jumps from Shillong to Madras to Dubai to Ireland to the NWFP. There isn’t unity of characters either. Characters are brought in, given dialogue that … Continue reading “Sunday Levity: No self-respecting intelligence agency can do without these”