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Our collective psychosis

By Raza Rumi

Pakistan’s right wing has flourished on the crutches of a national security doctrine: A world view, which prioritises paranoia and ‘security’ of ideological and geographical frontiers. Never mind if the majority of Pakistanis have no access to water and sanitation or the public education and health systems have virtually collapsed. The events of May 2011 cast a long shadow over the merits of investing in security institutions and fuelling patriotism with conspiracies.

First, the poster-Shaikh of anti-Americanism has been ‘eliminated’ when the mighty guardians were asleep. The new round of WikiLeaks cables reveals anecdotal evidence of civil-military acquiescence to the grand designs of ‘evil’ Americaincluding the nasty drones that kill civilians. And now, the latest attack on a well-guarded naval base and destruction of high-value military equipment has jolted us all. […]

May 28th, 2011|Published in the Express Tribune|2 Comments

Strategic grandeur

As if Pakistan’s domestic woes were not troubling, the unravelling of the US strategy and its implications are eluding even the best of strategists. Mind you, Pakistan is a place every third person is a ‘strategy’ expert and the term ‘strategic’, thanks to the militarisation of the Pakistani mind, is an ever-popular reference. The ideological domination of Pakistan’s discourse is a palpable reality. This is why, across the political spectrum one finds a sense of victory over the failure of US strategy in Afghanistan. This failure is interpreted as the validation of Pakistan’s ‘genuine’ and ‘legitimate’ interest in Afghanistan.

What has worried me most in recent weeks is the capitulation of the liberal-secular chatterati to this pop-discourse of military war games. One is not surprised when former generals and the hawkish hordes of former Foreign Office mandarins express their jubilation. But when supposedly rational and progressive experts pontificate about how ‘we’ have made ‘them’ fail, it is simply shocking. […]