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Report: Baitullah Mehsud is Dead

GEO News reports that Baitullah Mehsud, the amir of the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan is dead, apparently due to natural causes. Mehsud had been sick in recent days and reportedly slipped into a coma.

Pakistan’s commemorate Eid ul-Fitr today (Wednesday), marking the end of the month of Ramadan. The passing of this murderous terrorist, if true, is an Eid present of sorts for the violence plagued nation.

Expect the TTP shura council to elect a successor soon. It will, however, not be a smooth ride for the TTP, since the organization has continuously faced internal squabbling. It is possible that the TTP could elect a successor from the Mehsud tribe.

Mehsud’s death, however, will not mark the end of the TTP. Pakistan’s security forces should not take this as an opportunity to be complacent. The Pakistan military-intelligence establishment now has an opportunity to make use of potential divisions within the TTP. But while fragmenting the alliance weakens their existence as an ideological movement, it could also give birth to a wide assortment of criminal entities, further destabilizing the region.

There is no alternative to gaining the support of the local tribes, elders, wayward youth, and striking a fine balance between recognizing local autonomy and ensuring the writ of the government is present.

UPDATE: 6:12PM (New York) – BBCUrdu.com reports that a U.S. Predator drone fired two missiles at a home in North Waziristan, killing around four. Foreigners are among the dead.

UPDATE: 10:50PM (New York) – Renown Pakistani Pashtun journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai tells BBC Urdu that Mehsud’s death has not been confirmed with the Tehreek-e Taliban. Yusufzai did state that Mehsud was very ill recently, due to diabetes and heart-related afflictions.

Additionally, today’s missile strike took place in a village near Mir Ali. Yusufzai said that locals told him that the blasts were so strong they could be heard as far as Bannu and Miranshah.

Ahmed Shuja Pasha, New ISI Chief

Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha has replaced Lt. Gen. Nadeem Taj as director general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The Australian reports that Washington had been pressing Islamabad/Rawalpindi hard to replace Taj as late as Sunday night. President Asif Zardari reportedly met with CIA Director Michael Hayden this weekend in New York. What they discussed specifically is unclear — but Hayden reportedly provided Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will a proposal for “ISI reform” in July.

Taj, a Musharraf relative and appointee, is depicted as the face of the organization’s alleged double game vis-a-vis militants along the border with Afghanistan. He will now head Gujranwala’s XXX Corps.

Pasha, just promoted from major general, had been director general of military operations (DGMO). In this capacity, he headed the Pakistan Army’s operations in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and so his appointment provides no indication of a change in the military establishment’s war on terror policy.

He has represented Pakistan at the tripartate commission meetings and served as UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s adviser on peacekeeping operations.

MAJOR CORPS COMMANDERS CHANGES

The Pakistan Army announced a host of other major personnel changes, most important of which is the appointment of Lt. Gen. Tahir Mehmood as corps commander in Rawalpindi — the second most critical position, behind chief of army staff, for any coup.

The new corps commanders for Bahawalpur and Karachi are, respectively, Lt. Gen. Muhammad Yousaf and Lt. Gen. Shahid Iqbal. Lieutenant General Mohsin Kamal, formerly Rawalpindi corps commander, has been appointed military secretary at GHQ.

Several senior officers were scheduled for retirement this Saturday.

Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani met with Prime Minister Gilani today in Lahore, after his return from a week long visit to China. The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is also in Islamabad, making the rounds.

Dawn writes that Kayani “has put in place a new team to implement his vision for reviving the prestige of the armed forces and for enhancing the security of the state.”

And so with his own ISI chief and Rawalpindi corps commander in place, one could say this is now, at last, Kayani’s army.

Obama and McCain Equally Mediocre on Pakistan

Pakistan, arguably the most important U.S. foreign policy issue right now, took up a few minutes in last night’s one and a half hour presidential debate.

In short, the discussion lacked substance. It was mostly a regurgitation of dated talking points from last year’s party debates. As such, the brief exchange confirmed the pre-existing positions of both candidates on U.S.-Pakistan relations.

But much has changed in Pakistan since last year. The situation in Pakistan is so volatile that each week brings ground changing developments. And so it is worrisome that both Barack Obama and John McCain have clearly not adapted their positions since the primaries.

The partisan debate on the cable channels (particularly DNC TV [MSNBC] and RNC TV [Fox News]) is nauseating and misleading. In reality, both candidates have their strengths and weaknesses on Pakistan.  Combine their strengths and you have a solid Pakistan policy.

OBAMA GOOD FOR CIVILIANS, BAD FOR MILITARY

Obama’s support for Pakistan’s fledgling democracy and appropriation of the Biden plan, which calls for vastly increasing development aid, is excellent. It is an integral part of a transition toward a full-fledged Pakistan policy.

But Obama seems unaware of the clear and present economic danger in Pakistan. The Biden-Lugar bill will not be passed till next year. And it will take time for funds to trickle into the country. [Plus, much of it will be eaten up by USAID and contractors.]  While Obama pats himself on the back for a proposal that is perhaps half a year from actually impacting Pakistan, more and more Pakistanis go hungry.  Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are dwindling, its rupee is plummeting in value, and inflation is dangerously high.

If Obama were truly serious about Pakistan, he would have commented on the new Friends of Pakistan initiative — a coordinating body of Pakistan donors, including the G-7, China, and Saudi Arabia that had its first meeting on Friday.  He would have offered specific ways the United States could help Pakistan now, in this great time of need.

Furthermore, Obama still finds it necessary to compare his “Pakistan policy” to the Bush administration’s old “Musharraf policy.” With Musharraf out of the scene, after an OK from the Bush administration, this is an antiquated talking point.  It’s a different ball game.  No need to talk about the past.

Also, Obama seems to be unaware of the failures of Pakistan’s fledgling civilian government.  Zardari has concentrated power in his own hands.  His style of governance (he’s effectively governed the country, at least partially, since February) has focused on dividing and conquering opponents and deferring major issues (such as the judges’ restoration and parliamentary debate on the war on terror).  On this, Obama is silent.

Obama is most known in Pakistan for his call to go after high-value al-Qaeda and Taliban targets inside Pakistan, if Islamabad is unwilling or incapable to do so.  Pakistanis abhor this policy. Obama’s statements contradicts his supposition that America’s standing in the world is important to U.S. national security and needs to be improved.  Not only does this policy hurt U.S. relations with the Pakistani public — 165 million strong it is — it also alienates Pakistan’s military.  And the worst thing Washington can do right now is pit Pakistani institutions against one another and push away Pakistan’s military — especially when they are essential for security purposes.  At this point, it seems as if Obama would not bode well for U.S.-Pakistan military ties, which have already deteriorated considerably.  And it is imperative that these ties improve.  Plus, a pincer attack on the Pakistani military would destabilize Pakistan, compelling the military to intervene or leading to the decay of its security apparatus.

MCCAIN GOOD FOR MILITARY, BAD FOR CIVILIANS

McCain has yet to really come to terms with the existence of a civil, democratic government in Pakistan.  He fails to include Pakistan in his proposed League of Democracies.  He seems in denial — or his talking points have yet to be updated — so much that he is confused as to what the president’s name is.

McCain masterfully dished out the tricky names of Eastern European leaders, yet referred to Asif Ali Zardari as “Kardari.” Perhaps it was a Freudian slip.  Zardari is, in a sense, the Karzai of Pakistan. [It's ok, Pakistani newsreaders and commentators frequently mispronounce the two candidates' names. Barack is "Barrack" (as in military barracks) and McCain is "Mccann." Besides, Bush didn't even know Musharraf's name in 2000.]

But it also demonstrates the greatest flaw in McCain’s Pakistan policy: he has failed to adapt it to a post-Musharraf Pakistan.

While Obama would likely develop stronger relations with Pakistan’s civilian government, McCain seems like he would strengthen ties with Pakistan’s military. His Pakistan policy seems more influenced by Richard Armitage rather than Ashley Tellis (the architect of the U.S.-India nuclear deal). This is a critical half of the battle.  Pakistan’s military has been and will for the near to midterm be a major power broker in Pakistan.  It is obviously essential to resolving Pakistan’s security challenges.  But ties between the U.S. and Pakistani militaries have deteriorated considerably in recent months.  [Meanwhile, Pakistan's army chief has just completed a five day visit to China, where he will be shown "the money."]

McCain was right to criticize Obama’s idea of unilaterally striking high-value targets in Pakistan.  Though Obama’s idea is consistent with Bush administration policy, as I have stated earlier, it does not make it right.  McCain smartly noted that even if something like that has to be done, you’d don’t announce it publicly — especially when you are violating the sovereignty of an ally!

Also, the Arizona senator seems to have strong relations with Gen. David Petraeus, who will be running the show in Southwest Asia.  The present administration’s Pakistan policy seems to have been fractured within (VP’s office vs. State Department; CIA vs. parts of DoD/NSC).  McCain seems like he would have the confidence of his own military command and (partly due to the weakness of his own vice presidential candidate) would maintain a uniform policy throughout government.

Finally, McCain’s positions on Pakistan (sans the flaws) reflect a realism that is sorely lacking in many of other foreign policy positions, which have been tainted by a piecemeal adoption of neoconservatism.

MCBAMA GOOD FOR COMPREHENSIVE U.S-PAKISTAN RELATIONS

Both candidates fail to understand the immense gravity of the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Both have called for an additional 2-3 brigades for Afghanistan, when independent analysts say at least five or six are needed.

But neither the candidates, nor most in the U.S. policy community, truly understands the comprehensive failure that is Afghanistan. Despite the presence of tens of thousands of foreign troops in Afghanistan, the country is expected to face a major food shortage this winter.  Karzai, once seen as a saint among sinners, is becoming a typical corrupt third world dictator.  His curbs on the media, dancing with war lords, drug dealing brother, and bribe taking office have made him not only impotent, but hated.

Obama is right to tell Karzai to shape up, but it is also necessary to bring more Afghan power brokers (i.e. war lords) to the table, and, God forbid, think of a U.S. exit strategy.  These are the tough issues that will have to be dealt with after the election.

In respect to a Pakistan policy, Obama’s is more promising.  McCain offers strengths vis-a-vis relations with Pakistan’s military and respect for its sovereignty that Obama fares miserably on.

Combine Obama’s promise for strong ties with Pakistani democrats and McCain’s likelihood of restoring ties with the Pakistan Army, and you have a solid Pakistan policy.

Note: I wonder why Obama did not note in the debate (or other appearances) that he visited Pakistan while in college.  He stayed at the home of Pakistan’s most recent interim president and caretaker prime minister, Muhammad Mian Soomro.  Perhaps Obama does not want to invite further claims of Muslimness.  Perhaps Obama needs to grow a pair and teach these small-minded hillbillies a thing or two.  Recommended reading: Hofstader’s The Paranoid Style in American Politics.

Another Note: Some Democratic commentators criticized McCain for calling Pakistan a “failed state” when Musharraf took over.  They spun the comment to suggest that McCain called the Pakistan of today a failed state (wouldn’t be a major stretch, actually), which he did not.  Pakistan was on the verge of becoming a failed state when Musharraf took over in 1999.  The reasons for that are manifold, but McCain was not wrong.  A debate over whether Pakistan was a failed state or near that status is too technical for the U.S. presidential election.  Long story short, McCain was neither wrong, nor offensive (unless you’re Nawaz Sharif).

Rehman Malik’s ‘International Peace Award’ Given by Suspicious Organization

Much to the confusion and ire of Pakistanis, the country’s de facto Interior Minister Rehman Malik was named the recipient of the “International Peace Award 2008 for War against Terrorism.”

The awarding body is the International Human Rights Commission.  The name suggests that it is a legitimate, international organization perhaps based in New York, Geneva, or London.

But no, a simple Google search brings us to the website (cheapo couldn’t even get his own domain name) of the IHRC (providing it with an acronym gives it undeserved legitimacy), which demonstrates it’s a one-man show run by a shady character in Islamabad.

The IHRC’s website provides the visitor with a few minutes of entertainment.

We learn that the group’s “world chairman” is “Ambassador Dr.” Muhammad Shahid Amin Khan.  His bio provides no evidence of diplomatic service that would produce the title of ambassador.  One is also suspicious of the veracity of his claim of being a doctor.

Mr. Khan also claims that he will be in the United States to meet the (spelling errors are his):

“Bush Administeration, Governor of Hawaii Mrs. Lingly, US Chairman of Senate, State Department Officials, United Natiosn Former Secretay General Kofi Annan and other leaders of Organization to discuss the Political and Regional Situation and Political Situation of Pakistan.”

Mr. Khan also includes photos of “the first family,” i.e. his five kids.  In the interest of their welfare and future dignity, I shall not post their photos here.  There’s also a page for his wife, otherwise known as “the first lady.”

Upon visiting the page of the senior vice chairperson, Asiya Khan, we learn through the “Order of the Day” (how regal a pronouncement!) that (spelling errors are his):

“Desiganiated Senior Vice Chairperson is suspanded & dissmissed by the order of the Worthy Chairman from 2nd of June 2008 till next orders. No official will respond on her any request as directed by the Chairman.”

On the site’s main page, we learn of the reasons for Ms. Khan’s dismissal (spelling errors are his):

“Ambassador Mrs. Asiya Khan “Dismissed” from all desiganated posts as the Senior Vice Chairperson & Ambassador from 2nd June 2008 as she never take charge and assume office in the organization ffrom the day of appointment as Ambassador.”

Then there are some other schmucks in various do-nothing positions with the organization.  The various “global offices” are mostly Hotmail addresses.

We end with the juiciest details of all: the IHRC’s World Peace “Ambassadors.”

These “ambassadors” seem capable of strengthening bilateral relations with any man — I mean state.

Mr. Khan writes:

“NEWS OF THE DAY
AMBASSADORS AT LARGE FOR PEACE

IHRC appionted female models from many countries as the Peace Ambassador, they will work through out the world for the globle peace and human rights……Says IHRC Chief today

See the more informations >>>>>>>>>The Media Models>>>>>>>>>”

The group’s “Peace Ambassadors” are: Jaqui Rodriguez, Cassandra Leigh (on left), and Rodika Miron.

It leads me to believe that Mr. Khan is involved in, or at least has attempted to, traffic Eastern Bloc females for illicit purposes.

How does Mr. Khan make his money?  Is he involved in prostitution?  Or did he just copy and paste images off of the Internet?  He claims “Cassandra Leigh” visited Pakistan in June 2008 for a “week long visit to meet the Pakistan leadership and political Parties heads to discuss the issue of peace in the region.”

That explains where Zardari was for the month of June!

The Line of Control

On Monday, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani visited Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield. It was his second publicized visit to the line of control since assuming leadership of Pakistan’s army.

KAYANI: A “NATIONAL CONSENSUS” ON KASHMIR

Both visits occurred after controversial statements from President Asif Ali Zardari regarding the Kashmir conflict.  On both occasions, Gen. Kayani asserted the existence of a “national consensus” in Pakistan on Kashmir.

The national consensus on Kashmir Gen. Kayani refers to can be seen as a euphemism for the military-intelligence establishment’s viewpoint.  But this also converges with a broad spectrum of public opinion in Pakistan.

There is strong public support in Pakistan for a just resolution to the 61 year conflict over the disputed region.  Pakistanis share historic, cultural, and blood linkages with the people of Kashmir, particularly with those in the currently restive valley.

Strategically, water, road, and trade linkages with Kashmir are essential to Pakistan’s future.  Their importance will increase radically in the coming decades when climate change and resource scarcity are expected to hit South Asia hard. Kashmir is the source of all of the region’s major waterways.

In recent years, Pakistanis have demonstrated their ability to be pragmatic and flexible regarding the Kashmir dispute.  But their concessions were not reciprocated by the Indians, who never fail to miss an opportunity to resolve the conflict.

India has had the luxury to defer final status discussions — only until recently.  Kashmir has gained little traction as an international issue.  But this is of little concern to the Muslim Kashmiris.  In their massive rallies — protesters number in the hundreds of thousands — they have made their voice clear.  They have asked for azaadi or freedom.   While some protesters have called for independence, others have called for a union with Pakistan.  Regardless, their desire to be free of India is clear.  Meanwhile, the rise of Hindu chauvinism in India has moved India’s center to the right and pushed Indians further away from compromise with Muslim Kashmiris.  Last month, a leading right wing Times of India columnist called for the permanent settling of Indian troops in Kashmir, tilting the demographic balance.  Conversely, many leading Indian commentators have called for letting the Kashmir valley go.  This is the cost of taking Musharraf for granted.

THE LIMITS OF COMPROMISE

That, combined with what is seen as the strategic encirclement of Pakistan, has made Pakistanis realize that former President Pervez Musharraf made one concession too many in respect to core security issues.  His compromises, in the eyes of the Pakistani public, have yielded little of permanent value.  Whatever benefits they produced are quickly vanishing after his departure.

Neither the Pakistani public nor its security establishment will accept compromise on Kashmir in a context of weakness.  Gen. Kayani has spoken of “peace through strength.”

TARGETING ISI WILL BACKFIRE ON ZARDARI

In this context, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher’s calls for the “reform” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence will hit a brick wall.  The civilian government is, in effect, being thrown at this wall, i.e. the army, and will bear the direct consequences of such action.  This is something Zardari must consider out of both self and national interest.

Moreover, the idea of reform presupposes the existence of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in this realm.  Intelligence agencies by nature operate in an amoral universe.  They are tasked with doing the government’s dirty work clandestinely and non-conventionally.  Their sole task is to serve the national interest, unconstrained not by conventional bounds but simply by capability and risk.  Criticizing one agency on moral grounds makes little sense — they all play the same game by the same (lack of) rules.  There is not a conflict of morals, but of interests.  These can only be dealt with by clandestine competition or dialogue and compromise at a conventional level.  The latter is the more prudent path.

The first target of ISI “reform” would seemingly be the organization’s director general, Lt. Gen. Nadeem Taj.  Indeed, some in Washington are pressing for civilian control of the ISI.  This is a recipe for disaster.  Zardari’s earlier attempt to bring the ISI under civilian control failed.  After another attempt, he’ll find himself sitting out on the pavement outside of the presidential palace.  Zardari lacks the legitimacy and power with which to assert himself over the military.  While the Pakistani public supports the cessation of the ISI’s political role, there is no support for tying the organization’s hands in other matters.  If pressed by Zardari, Gen. Kayani would be forced to enter the political realm, against his will, because of civilian excess.  Zardari should be wiser and focus on his self-proclaimed mandate of roti (bread), kapra (clothing), and makan (a home).

And so, Gen. Kayani is delineating the parameters of acceptable discourse on Kashmir, and at a broader level, Pakistan’s national security issues. Gen. Kayani has given the civilians free reign over non-security matters.  He has, however, drawn a line in the sand.  The civilians cannot pass the line of control into his own domain.  Given Zardari’s consolidation of power and the absence of checks and balances upon him, a foolish press against the military would compel that institution to intervene, making his presidency the shortest in Pakistan’s history.

FYI: Zardari’s visit to Britain — described in the Pakistani press as a “summoning” — resulted in the indefinite postponement of his scheduled visit to China, which is seen as Pakistan’s staunchest ally.  Pakistani rightists and even those in the center believe that Zardari’s closest advisors are trying to push Pakistan away from China.  Interestingly, Gen. Kayani will embark on a 5-day visit of China next week.  The smoking man speaks.

Britain Brings MQM into PPP-Led Coalition Government

Wonder what Mark Lyall Grant was up to?

Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark write in the Guardian’s Comment is Free:

“The Foreign Office has already played a vigorous and little known role in getting Zardari elected president: Sir Mark Lyall Grant, the FCO political director, used his offices to elegantly strong-arm Pakistani political factions exiled to the UK into voting for the PPP’s presidential candidate. In a daring move, the MQM party, which has offices in north London – and was set against the PPP – was talked into becoming temporary champion of a PPP machine it had previously only bombed and shot at.”

Buddies

http://www.app.com.pk/photo/photo_lib/16-09-2008/79c93cb7504a893ea823f37b214774c0.jpg

GEO is as GEO Does

GEO News continues to confound me.  It’s worthy of praise and a major source of irritation.  Part of the Jang Group, it features some interesting talk shows and is usually first to break news in Pakistan.

But all too often the issue of journalistic responsibility escapes the mind of its editors.

Its absence is visible in what I call the “GEO bump.”  If there’s a terrorist attack, GEO automatically adds 25% to the casualties.

It’s also visible in the GEO news ticker.  The ticker a test arena for highly speculative, even conjured up stories.  Its English translations are always funnily worded.  Surely, even an intern from GEO English could serve as a volunteer copy editor.

Then there’s its editorial policy, which seems to change every other day.  No one typifies GEO’s ADD-induced editorial policy than Hamid Mir.  The real question about Hamid Mir is: Is he dumb or so smart that he plays dumb so well?   One day he’s supporting the judges; the next day he’s mouthing PPP talking points on parliamentary sovereignty.  There has to be some sort of rationale behind the madness.

And finally, just to show GEO’s anything goes approach toward news, yesterday on the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks, it broadcast both an Urdu-dubbed version of Loose Change, the 9/11 conspiracy theory documentary, as well as its regular Voice of America content!  I think that says it all.

A more sober — sometimes too sober — alternative is Aaj TV.  Its rise in the past year has been the result of the quality of its news reporting and public affairs talk shows — an encouraging sign for those who hope for a free, responsible press in Pakistan.

Competition and a public that demands media accuracy helps provide a check on tabloid journalism.  There are a over a dozen other television news channels to choose from in Pakistan.  The list grows seemingly daily.  Let’s hope Pakistani viewers do their part and make the right choice with their remote controls.

Much Ado About Nothing

GEO News reported with great zeal that the U.S government agreed to stop attacks in Pakistan, after meeting Pakistan’s Ambassador Husain Haqqani.

But taking a look at Haqqani’s direct quote shows that his meeting with the U.S. National Security Council yielded no change in administration policy.

Haqqani said, “US officials have assured me not to launch strikes on Taliban hideouts by US-led NATO forces within Pakistan territory.”

But NATO forces, U.S.-led or otherwise, are not the ones making incursions into Pakistan.  In fact, NATO has said it will not participate in such operations.  [France and Germany have also condemned them.]

The ground and Predator attacks inside Pakistan are being conducted by U.S.-only forces, outside of the NATO and ISAF command structure and UNSC mandate. 

Ground attacks inside Pakistan are conducted by Navy SEALs.  Predator attacks are done largely, if not exclusively, by the CIA.   

Plus, Haqqani’s meeting occured with the National Security Council, which along with the National Intelligence Council and the State Department, has advised against unilateral, ground attacks inside Pakistan.

The reality is that Haqqani met with a group that already agreed with him, and like him, has no impact on the adoption of this dangerous Bush administration policy.

PPP-Led Government to Evict Iftikhar Chaudhry from Home

GEO News reports that the People’s Party-led coalition government has ordered the vacation of the Islamabad home of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Farooq Naik, the former defense attorney of Asif Zardari now law minister, has said that more judges will be reappointed to the Supreme Court under fresh oaths.  It is clear that Chaudhry will not be among those judges.

This appears to be the end of the road for Chaudhry and the lawyers’ movement.  But I would not count them out completely.  

If and when the political-security tsunami hits, they could be among the few not drowned in the deluge.  

Months ago, the lawyers’ movement began to reframe their cause in a broader context, explaining the integrality of the restoration of the judges to social and economic justice.  Unfortunately, that stalled.  The movement hit a brick wall — namely a bloc consisting of most of the country’s internal and external power brokers.  Its main political advocates were isolated and outnumbered.  

Now Chaudhry, Aitzaz Ahsan (who did not attend Zardari’s oath taking ceremony), and others have little choice but to graciously acknowledge their defeat short of accepting the legitimacy of Chaudhry’s non-restoration.   They need to move on to broader issues, most important of which is the challenge of establishing the rule of law and a uniform and effective judicial system across the country from Karachi to Khyber.  

Their chances of success are quite grim.  Frankly, neither the present government in Islamabad nor its major benefactors care; they fail to see or choose to ignore that in the absence of a working judicial system arise vigilantees like Baitullah Mehsud and Karachi’s lynch mobs.  

But, if the lawyers’ movement fails to speak out on behalf of the rule of law, who, besides the presently isolated PML-N and APDM, will?  Farooq “Johnny Cochran” Naik?  Afrasyiab “Sab Say Pahlay Pakhtunkhwa” Khattak?  Fazlur Landrover?  Or Altaf “Yea, I Got Your Mobile Phone” Hussain?  

In short, the lawyers’ movement should settle down, reconsolidate, and move on from a loss in just one of many battles in a war to bring the rule of law to Pakistan.

Editor:

Arif Rafiq, a Washington, DC-based consultant on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues. [About]

For Media and Consulting Inquiries:
E-mail // Tel: +1(202) 713-5897

On Twitter:
@PakistanPolicy

On the Radio:
Arif Rafiq regularly appears on the John Batchelor Show Friday nights from 09:30-10:00pm Eastern Time. Tune your dial to 770AM in New York or 630AM in DC. The show appears on affiliates in other cities. Listen live online at WABCRadio.com.
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