Bibi/Pinky was put under house arrest and then released. I think BG has it about right.
Boston Globe, Nov 10, 2007, Pakistani make-believe
This is a political shadow play. Many Pakistanis know that Bhutto’s family and entourage presided over egregiously corrupt and incompetent governments, and that Musharraf’s military cronies have been placed in key business sinecures from which they control a large swath of Pakistan’s economy.
Amid all this intrigue, the current prime minister, the apolitical former Citibank executive Shaukat Aziz, has fostered stunning economic growth in the last few years, without the corruption of his predecessors. His stewardship comes much closer to the ideals of competence, transparency, and accountability than to Bhutto’s penchant for feudal privilege or Musharraf’s for Napoleonic authoritarianism. Whatever the outcome of the Bhutto-Musharraf shadow play, Pakistan needs the kind of good governance it has had from Aziz.
Flash mobs are not what you may think they are.
Joseph Biden starts making sense:
A drastic increase in non-security aid, guaranteed for a long period, would help persuade Pakistan’s people that America is an all-weather friend — and Pakistan’s leaders that America is a reliable ally. Pakistanis suspect our support is purely tactical. They point to the aid cut-off that followed the fall of the Soviet Union to our refusal to deliver or refund purchased jets in the 1990s and to our blossoming relationship with rival India. Many Pakistanis believe that the moment Osama bin Laden is gone, U.S. interest will go with him.
When U.S. aid makes a real difference in people’s lives, the results are powerful. In October 2005, after a devastating earthquake, American military helicopters delivering relief did far more to improve relations than any amount of arms sales or debt rescheduling. And the Mobile Army Surgery Hospital we left behind is a daily reminder that America cares.
To have a real impact on a nation of 165 million, we’ll have to raise our spending dramatically. A baseline of $1.5 billion annually, for a decade, is a reasonable place to start. That might sound like a lot — but it’s about what we spend every week in Iraq. Conditioning security aid — now about three-quarters of our package — would help push the Pakistani military to finally crush Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Aid to the Pakistani people should be unconditioned — that is, not subject to the ups and downs of a particular government in Islamabad or Washington. But aid to the Pakistani military and intelligence service should be closely conditioned — that is, carefully calibrated to results. Like it or not, the Pakistani security services will remain vital players — and our best shot at finding Bin Laden and shutting down the Taliban. Their performance has been decidedly mixed: we’ve caught more terrorists in Pakistan than in any other country — but $10 billion later, Pakistan remains the central base of Al Qaeda operations. We must strike a much better bargain.
Getting Away with farce by Ayaz Amir: THIS is unsustainable and cannot last. You can’t mock the heavens and think there will be nothing to pay for it. These are the acts of desperate men who know that their moment in the sun is up, from whose fingers power is slipping but who want to stave off the inevitable.
Open Society Institute is hosting a forum on the Emergency with Asma Jahangir (on phone), Ayesha Jalal and CM friend Anil Kalhan (and others) on Nov 14th at 9:00 am in NYC. They will even give you breakfast if you show up. RSVP. I wish I could attend but if you do, tell me about it.
Happy Diwali, to all my gentle readers. Go light some fire-crackers but not in Southern California, please.