Tag Archives: Nawaz Sharif

Failed State Fetish, Part II

“The notion of Pakistan as a “failed state” has roots far deeper than the last few years; it was first deemed to have “failed” in the early 1960s, and this framework has dominated discussion of Pakistan in America from the days of the Cold War to the War on Terror.

From Manan Ahmed‘s “Legends of the fail,” published May 7, 2009, in The National newspaper (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

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With a friend like this, who needs democracy?

A repost of my comment at Sepia Mutiny and Chapati Mystery:

On the intersection of U.S. policy and Pakistani politics, I was particularly surprised to read this link off a Pakistani news twitter feed:

Obama calls Zardari, discusses mutual cooperation
Pakistan News.Net / Friday 27th March, 2009 (ANI)

Islamabad, Mar. 27 : US President Barack Obama telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday to discuss mutual cooperation and the situation in the South Asian region. Obama and Zardari spoke about the “Friends of Democratic Pakistan” forum initiative, aimed at promoting and strengthening democracy in Pakistan, The Nation reports…

Zardari, who launched the initiative of ‘Friends of Democratic Pakistan’ (FODP) in New York in September 2008, will chair the Friends’ Ministerial meeting being held in Tokyo on April 17. The forum consists of 25 countries and multilateral institutions…

What is the “Friends of Democratic Pakistan” forum, and why is Zardari chairing it?

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A Letter to an Editor

Response to “Pakistan in Turmoil,” March 15, 2009, by Barbara Crossette in The Nation

Ms. Crossette’s article is strong on explaining political rivalries, but misses an opportunity to reveal the new gains of Pakistani civil society.
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Opinion: Marching for democracy in Pakistan

Viewpoint: Marching for democracy in Pakistan

By Sahar Shafqat

The Baltimore Sun (online)
March 12, 2009

Imagine this scenario: What if a U.S. president, in blatant contravention of the U.S. Constitution, fired every Supreme Court justice because he didn’t like their decisions, and filled the court instead with his own cronies? What if a new president was elected on a promise to restore the rightful judges to their legal positions after he was in office? What would you do if he didn’t follow through on that promise?

That is the position that Pakistan’s people find themselves in today.
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Opinion: Democracy movement in Pakistan

U.S. has chance to help real democracy in Pakistan

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, March 12, 2009

By Sanjeev Bery, Wajiha Ahmed

Today, a major Pakistani movement for democratic reform will challenge Pakistani President Asif Zardari with a call for government accountability. Known as the Lawyers Movement, this coalition of civil activists will give America a chance to voice support for the strengthening of Pakistan’s democratic institutions.

Members of this movement will begin what they are calling the Long March —- a multi-day walk across the nation that will end in the capital, Islamabad. They are marching to demand a restoration of the independent judges that the former U.S.-backed dictator Pervez Musharraf removed. Continue reading

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Arresting Freedom

LongMarchCrackdown

Plain-clothes police officers detain a PML-N protestor outside the Punjab Assembly building in Lahore.—AP/File

Pakistani President Asif Zardari has given his orders, and compliant law enforcement officers in Pakistan are arresting rival politicians and activists.  Team Zardari is taking pre-emptive measures to block Pakistan’s Lawyers Movemnt and allies from pursuing their Long March. Continue reading

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Twittering Freedom

As Pakistani President Asif Zardari cracks down on pro-democracy activists, a handful of Pakistanis are posting short bursts of information on Twitter.  You can follow their “freedom tweets” online.  The best tag is probably #Pakistan:

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23Pakistan

But you can also go with either of the following…

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