Posts tagged Pakistan

The ire at the advertisement misses the point. It’s the proverbial forest and the trees. The anger needs to be redirected to the producers and the designers who refuse to share their millions with the very people who spend 16 hours a day ensuring the production is on time so that Junaid Jamshed can have his lawn exhibition in January instead of the usual March! If you must boycott Sana & Safinaz, you should also boycott Gul Ahmed, Junaid Jamshed, Al-Zohaib and the dozens of designers who are making big bucks while keeping wretched conditions in their textile mills.
Rabaylspeaks truth at her blogObama Says Do Moreon the Sana Safinaz ad controversy.
Some days — some years — it’s hard to think of a more apt symbol for Pakistan than this 1,800-year-old sculpture of beauty and pain. The world doesn’t need to see Pakistan’s soft image; it needs to see its human face.
Kamila Shamsie on the softer side of Peshawar for New York Times.
After a year of crises and confrontations, the relationship, though troubled, survives. But the moment when one side or the other decides it is better to cut aid, reduce military co-operation and weaken diplomatic ties is growing nearer.
The Economist on tenuous U.S.-Pakistan relations after a NATO airstrike killed 24 Pakistani troops.
It is clear that entrepreneurs play a strong, complex, role in conflict dynamics; they also have the potential to be key actors in economic recovery after the end of violent conflict. What is less clear is how development actors can not only foster and nourish the talents of entrepreneurs towards the restructuring and growth of the economy, but also ensure that their activities contribute to peacebuilding rather than to fragility of the state.
"Agents of Peace?: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Peacebuilding in Fragile & Conflict-Affected States." (And Sadaf is an i2i Board member. Woot!)
Pakistan’s is a diverse society, so diverse, in fact, that observers who deal best in generalizations are bound to get the country horribly wrong. [Anatol] Lieven recognizes this diversity and makes it central to his analysis. For him, Pakistan is a place of competing and overlapping clans, sects, tribes, beliefs, and practices. Its society, in order to function, has evolved powerful mechanisms to deal with rivalries inside shared localities. As a result, Lieven argues, Pakistan is characterized by structures—military, bureaucratic, social, political, spiritual, judicial—that are profoundly “Janus-faced,” in the manner of the two-faced Roman deity who gazes and speaks in opposite, contradictory directions. These structures, at once predatory and protective, operate to make the country both (frustratingly for reformers) very difficult to change and (bafflingly for forecasters of its demise) remarkably resilient.
Mohsin Hamid, “Why They Get Pakistan Wrong” [and Lieven gets it right]. Great piece by a great author. Read this.


Pakistan After the Floods: 1 Year Later

Photos: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Amazing photos.

Women from the Pakistani community, clad in their finest, exchanged gossip over mangoes, while men debated foreign policy, business and their two cents on Pakistan, while cradling ‘chaunsas’ that were on display.
Via Huma Imtiaz for Express Tribune, on the much-anticipated arrival of Pakistani mangoes in the United States. Mmm. Aam. 
It is not the money — $800 million in withheld aid — that is crucial here. The Pakistani military will survive perfectly well without access to this relatively modest sum. What is important is that the Obama Administration believes that public embarrassment of an on-again, off-again ally in the fight against Islamist terrorism will bring that ally to heel. This does not seem like a path to success. The Pakistanis want the respect of the U.S., or at least some recognition that, despite the Bin Laden calamity, they have also suffered at the hand of extremists…It seems that it would be more in the American self-interest to speak quietly to Pakistan at moments like this, rather than to deliver a public spanking.
Jeffrey Goldberg for The Atlantic on whether “Humiliating Pakistan is Good Policy”. I am undecided.

Am pumped for the release of Gol Chakkar, out late this summer. Check out the interview I did with the filmmakers & one of the actors here.

The terrorism literature has long held that poverty does not explain terrorism. Yet despite what would be a fairly robust body of literature, both the British government and the American government, have put together this canard that we can buy our way out of terrorism by investing in education and so forth. We simply don’t find this.
Christine Fair, via Telegraph, “Poverty does not breed extremism in Pakistan, study finds.”