Posts tagged Pakistan

His right leg was severed. I watched him bleed out from his femoral artery. It was shocking. It’s pixelated, and it doesn’t really look real. But it was real.You’re still in the war zone and regardless of whether you’re physically there or not. America wants an antiseptic war… The reality is that nothing is clean. There’s a level of intimacy that goes with every action in war. It’s completely psychological. You hear the hum of a computer. You don’t feel the missile coming off the rail; you watch it. All the drone operators, they get a bad rap. It’s not a video game… It is real life, and these people need just as much help.

Ex-drone operator Brandon Bryant shares with CNN his experience of being ordered to conduct a drone attack for the U.S. (via shortformblog)

More of this: we need so much more of this. Not perverted for our pleasure at experiencing the gruesome from a first-hand account, but expressions of humanity, morality, and justice/injustice; like Kosovo, Rwanda, South Africa, Germany, every where there has been a culture severed by the harrowing divide of war, these individuals need healing. This in no way vindicates what they’ve been asked to do - and the lines of morality and the normative get fuzzy here - and, in no way does it excuse the very necessary conversation that is happening between Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and UN, amongst others; but we need more of this - more healing, more communication, more exposure on, what we can only hope becomes illegal conduct during war: drones, drone warfare, ‘robotic’ war, and ‘othering’ away these wrongful deaths and the individuals who ‘push the button’. 

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globalpost:

KARACHI, Pakistan — Three more health-care workers were killed Wednesday in renewed attacks against those trying to immunize Pakistani children against polio, bringing the total killed this week to nine.

The attacks Wednesday occurred near Peshawar, killing a female health worker and her driver as well as a third worker in a separate incident, Al Jazeera reported. The World Health Organizaiton and the United Nations have both suspended their campaigns in the country because of the violence. 

Read more: Polio workers shot in Pakistan, 9 killed in 3 days

This.is just. …so sad.

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mehreenkasana:

Isn’t it amazing how rhetoric shapes politics? Simple words and images. If you’ve studied US foreign policy specifically in terms of the Middle East and South and Central Asia, you’ll notice how the Western media has maintained a very strong and even strangely hypnotic kind of control over consumers when it comes to the notion of “danger.” It’s full of sensationalism and trigger-happy as well as trigger-paranoid narrow-minded discourse. After 9/11, the most “dangerous” places in the world were Iraq and Afghanistan. US and its allies deployed troops in both regions, killed thousands and thousands of Iraqis and Afghans, plunged itself into an economic failure, and unwillingly realized only recently that its decision was a flawed, hypocritical one.

Now the rhetoric has shifted its focus on Iran and Pakistan. Two countries that have been under aggressive and relentless US foreign policy for the past decade. With sanctions imposed on Iran and drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan, USA continues to increase its violent pressure on both states. What’s amazing is how there’s very little opposition from American viewers; the majority plays easily into media’s aim to create a phantom Muslim enemy. An enemy that is, statistically speaking, so small and negligent that it barely exists as an “imminent” threat. Putting power politics aside, what does that say about Western media? It highlights its purposeful, malicious bias that perpetuates violence and bigotry against Muslims but it’s more than just that: Western media operates like a machine. It facilitates war.

Do you remember this from 1945? Look closer.

“Kill Japs, kill Japs, and then kill more Japs.” We all remember what happened then.

It’s just incredibly saddening. I grew up thinking words are obsolete, that human sensibility could see through the loopholes and inconsistencies of political rhetoric but when you have media so passionate about exaggeration and dishonesty, and people who are not only unaware but unmoved by tragedies proven over and over again, piles and piles of dead children and women and old people, it’s easy for war to happen - again. It’s convenient even. Because it satisfies that fear put into you. That “enemy” is dead, your politicians tell you. Then they create another enemy. It’s time to kill that “enemy” too.

Words are everything. Western media insists that it is “fair” and “neutral” but it contradicts itself by analyzing international relations without discussing actual politics. Yesterday everyone was worried about nonexistent WMD in Iraq and Afghanistan; today they’re worried about Iran and Pakistan.

And you know what could possibly happen after that. Everyone knows.

Sweet baby unicorns! I’m not saying I’m always right (unless you’re a future employer), but these magazines always have the most reductionistic and isolationist covers/cover stories. Pretty big ups to original poster, btw.

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On August 16, 2012, gunmen stopped a passenger bus in Mansehra, pulled 20 Shia Muslims off and killed them in cold blood. This is the third incident of targeted killing against the Shia community in Pakistan in the last 6 months.

Pakistan: Shia Target Killings Continue (via globalvoices)

Source cites 18 killed on 23 February and 9 killed on 3 April, additionally. Another source (via social media) cites four total incidents of targeted Shia killings.

@sheerazhaider: #ShiaKilling This is 4th time in 4 months,1st one kosistan,2nd chelas,3rd manwar gilgit,and last babusar naraan today.CJP Are You Awake?

Two other sources (via social media) call out the labeling of the targeted killing (as Shia or Sunni).

@AnjumKiani: if u want to call it a  #ShiaGenocide then call It, If u want to term it as a  #SunniGenocide Do it. For me its a  #MuslimGenocide. #Gilgit

One of which accuses Khawarji (also as spelled Khawariji) Muslims of the killings. The best my research can determine, the Kharijites differ from Sunni and Shia Muslims in their former belief in the leadership of ‘final Rashidun Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law and cousin of the Islamic prophet Muhammad’. The wiki says something about condemning other Muslims to death for differing beliefs, but the wiki cannot be verified.

@javhb: RT @AnjumKiani: The 16 martyred in #Gilgit by Khawarji terrorist were neither 16 Sunni’s or 16 Shia’s, They were Pakistani Muslims. Full Stop!

Two things occur to me:

  1. The pervasive ‘Western’ (and ‘ignorant’) belief that Muslims kill each other over religious differences, and that this sort of genocide and war have been occurring for centuries. This perspective justifies inaction as a historical derivation.
  2. Genocide is genocide. Past, present, and future, it’s still genocide. Many of us (who have become global activists via social networking) reject the predominant ‘Western’ justification of such genocide and call for action.

I’d like to use this terrible event to propose (and possibly reinforce) a multi-agency perspective to global awareness and action. I mean agency in the historical institutionalist sense, as possessing the capacity to affect action.

(1) Syria, Rwanda, the DRC, Chechnya, etc, demonstrate that international organizations like the United Nations fail to manage and prevent such conflict; I argue this is likely because of (domestic) political reasons, rather than international structural design, but this is a separate discussion. (2) Amnesty International, Medicines Sans Frontiers, various NGOs have had more success at managing on the ground conflict; but they are often victims of conflict themselves and receive little protection from ‘global governance’ institutions. (3) Finally, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Avaaz, blogs) provide on the ground, verifiable information and necessary clarification about on-going conflict; they engage global communities and provide mechanisms for action and support but are also unsupported by global institutions.

What I am trying to convey is that we (as global scholars and activists) have been just as divided about international governance and the prevention (and subsequent intervention) of genocide. If we keep approaching governance, peace-keeping, global activism in these differing camps (1-3 above), we do little to quiet the rumors that international awareness and activism have been ineffectual for decades and will continue to be. …I’m drawing an analogy.

When I was interviewing at the WTO, an interviewee suggested that the WTO perspective of global governance has the UN at the top of the triangle, the WTO to one side, and the World Bank and the IMF to the other side (peace-keeping, trade, and banking/development - the three pillars of global governance).

I propose another triangle of global governance. With global institutions like the UN at the top, NGOs to one side, and global citizens (via social networking) to the other (institutions, NGOs, and citizens - the three pillars of global governance all in advocacy for peace-keeping and development). This conceptualization isn’t ‘new’ or ‘novel’, but it’s another example of how academia and activism unite to inform institutional and private-sector responses to international conflict and crises.

Something there’s been much too little of in this century.

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likes.

america-abroad-media:

We recently partnered with two leading television channels in Afghanistan and Pakistan to host the first-ever international town hall connecting Afghans and Pakistanis for direct dialogue.  

This groundbreaking event brought together live studio audiences and government officials in Kabul and Islamabad to discuss the way forward for Afghanistan and Pakistan as the US prepares to withdraw troops in 2014, as well as the role Pakistan should play in the reconciliation process.  

Check out images of Afghans viewing the town hall here

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“If it is used selectively,” it can help both the U.S. and Pakistan by taking out “key leadership” of al-Qaeda and other groups such as Tehrik-i-Taliban of Pakistan, which poses a greater threat to Pakistan than it does to the U.S., said Jones, a former representative of the U.S. Special Operations Command at the Pentagon.

Pakistan has told the White House it no longer will permit U.S. drones to use its airspace to attack militants and collect intelligence on al-Qaeda and other groups, according to officials involved in the talks.” from Bloomberg.

…the problem is, they AREN’T and HAVEN’T BEEN used selectively, and this is why there is controversy.

aljazeera:

Children rescued in Pakistan seminary raid | 

More than 50 students, including drug addicts, found in basement of a Karachi school, many shackled with chains.

aljazeera:

Children rescued in Pakistan seminary raid |

More than 50 students, including drug addicts, found in basement of a Karachi school, many shackled with chains.

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2 minutes. must watch. please join me in condemning any use of drones in any nation for any purpose.

brushedteeth:

US drones ‘causing mental trauma’ in Pakistan

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MUST SEE OF THE DAY

thepoliticalnotebook:

Aalu Anday, a new, and now viral, pop song by Lahore-based musical group Beygairat Brigade is probably the only pop song that mentions Blackwater. Written in response to the death of Salman Taseer, the song (sung in Punjabi) challenges Pakistani politics and extremism, taking on notable politicians. It’s also unbelievably catchy: it’s been stuck in my head since yesterday.

Read stories on the group and the song at Dawn and the New York Times.

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In Kabul, [US secretary of state Hillary] Clinton bluntly warned Pakistan that the US would act unilaterally if Islamabad failed to crack down on the Taliban-linked Haqqani network inside its North Waziristan sanctuary.


She then flew to Islamabad to deliver the message in person during a four-hour meeting with Pakistan’s top generals, calling on them to bring the Haqqanis to the negotiating table, kill the group’s leadership or pave the way for the US to do so.

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Trade for peace! Pakistan gives India MFN!

Article in the FT today (sorry no link my 5 views per week registration was being *ahem* rather rude), Pakistan conditionally grants Most Favoured Nation status to India! HOORAY.

Putting Kashmir aside (which is of course one of the conditions), the FT columnist, James Lamont, says this is a brave move for Pakistan. Its wonderful - most wonderful for the people of Pakistan. With China’s growth stalling and no multilateral trade deals on the go, India’s also had cause for a less positive outlook. FT says Pakistan and India currently trade about $2.7billion, and that this is a fraction of what will be available with the MFN status.

Three cheers for liberalism aside (in Kashmir), this is good news for many.

Any thoughts on whether or not this could affect continued violence in Kashmir between the two governments?

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Partners, allies do not talk to each other through the public. This is something that we took up, we have taken up with the US and if this continues the only way we have to interpret this is that this is the policy decision of the US. Then we have the right to be able to take our own policy decisions. We want to partner with the US. We have said this repeatedly. This is a complex problem. Looking for scapegoats, blame-games will not help. I just hope that we’ll be given a chance to be able to cooperate with each other and the doors will remain open because statements like this are pretty much close to shutting those doors.

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I am not saying that drone strikes must stop. My complaint is that you have to be accountable for civilian deaths. There are no checks on how many civilians are killed. This is what concerns me and other Pakistanis who want to end fundamentalism in Pakistan. Civilian deaths in drone strikes are fueling extremism.

Shahzad Akbar - Pakistani lawyer who is suing the CIA to stop the drone strikes - in response to a senior U.S. official is dismissing a report by the London-based Bureau for Investigative Journalism that says covert American drone strikes in Pakistan have killed 385 civilians, nearly half of them children, since 2004.

The US counterterrorism officials say civilian death toll from drones much lower… still though, we are talking about civilian deaths, caused by an UNMANNED aeral assult vehicle! Apparently President Obama (the main proponent behind the US’ use of drones, WHICH I DID NOT KNOW!) doesn’t have the decency to put a man in the field to at least be held accountable for these civilian deaths.

That’s it. I’m not fucking voting in the 2012 Presidental election.

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i ask myself quite frequently, at what cost am i willing to spread the truth?
not for a fear of my own life, but of who i leave behind…
thepoliticalnotebook:

Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad found dead outside Islamabad after disappearing on Sunday. Shahzad, who worked for an Italian news agency, had just reported for the Asia Times Online on links between the Pakistani military and Al Qaeda based on the May 22 attacks on the US naval base in Karachi.  He had apparently reported that he had since received threats from the ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence agency).  Relatives have identified the body, which was found near his car in the town of Sarai Alamgir.  He leaves behind a wife, three children, and a legacy of excellent investigative work.  Read more at Dawn and the Toronto Star.
Photo via the Toronto Star. Credit: Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty

i ask myself quite frequently, at what cost am i willing to spread the truth?

not for a fear of my own life, but of who i leave behind…

thepoliticalnotebook:

Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad found dead outside Islamabad after disappearing on Sunday. Shahzad, who worked for an Italian news agency, had just reported for the Asia Times Online on links between the Pakistani military and Al Qaeda based on the May 22 attacks on the US naval base in Karachi.  He had apparently reported that he had since received threats from the ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence agency).  Relatives have identified the body, which was found near his car in the town of Sarai Alamgir.  He leaves behind a wife, three children, and a legacy of excellent investigative work.  Read more at Dawn and the Toronto Star.

Photo via the Toronto Star. Credit: Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty

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