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BOOK REVIEW: Pakistan: Beyond The ‘Crisis State’ / Author: Maleeha Lodhi

Thanks to Liberty Books for the review copy

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reviewed by Afrah Jamal

Published under the title: 17 Reasons to Hope

“History will be what we make it. If we go on as we are, history will have its revenge and retribution”— from the movie, ‘Good Night, & Good Luck’

A region known for most “terrorist sightings”, a place feared for harbouring medieval mindsets next to progressive thinkers and a nation shunned for having an affinity for nuclear toys. By turns a cautionary tale, an indispensable ally and an international pariah, Pakistan does not fit into any mould — for long. But its name crops up whenever things go awry.

Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ is a compilation of articles put together by Maleeha Lodhi that countermands the grim prognosis. When Ms Lodhi, who has served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US and UK, acknowledges that “resilience has been part of Pakistan’s story from its inception, obscured by the single issue lens…

VIEW: SPOOKS in the Dog House

(Published in SHE Magazine June 2011)

7 years ago, Tim McGirk of TIME wondered if ISI could help find Bin Laden. In a way they did.

Pakistan’s decision to share a critical piece of information sealed Osama bin Laden’s fate. But the hand that dealt the fatal blow was American. The Inter-Services Intelligence – (ISI), never popular to begin with, has seen its credibility plummet since 2nd May 2011. Other services have come into their share of criticism but trying to ascertain Pakistan’s top spy agency’s role in this fiasco can be a daunting challenge. In one day they were checkmated by an ally, became suspects in a crime, forced to be spectators of their own show and put on public trial.

Over the years, visiting American scholars have expressed incredulity at ISI’s inability to locate bin Laden given the agencies reach (deep) and reputation (fearsome). While they may be convinced in their minds of ISI’s duplicity, its head, Lieutenant General Shuja Pasha has pleaded guilty to a lesser ch…

VIEW: An Inconvenient Truth — According To A Little Bird —by Afrah Jamal

I've already acknowledged the bravery of our men in 'You Can't Handle The Truth'....

First Published in Daily Times / Saturday, June 04, 2011

Some new information surfaced immediately after I hit the send button on my first piece ‘You Can’t Handle The Truth?’ (Daily Times, May 30, 2011) — information that casts new light on the events of May 22, 2011 when an indeterminate number of men stormed a naval airbase and targeted its prized assets. I say indeterminate because none of the officials seem to agree on a number.

This new information holds answers to some key questions — motive (why target the Navy?), the mystery surrounding the downgraded number of attackers (not 12) and determining who was really responsible for security on that fateful day when a surgical strike paralysed an entire base. Incidentally, it could be a brief extension of the same light the slain journalist, Saleem Shahzad, was trying to shine on the PNS Mehran tragedy.

A recent headline, ‘Navy blames…

EVENT: It Happened This Morning..

I dont react to crank messages as a rule, but when this morning i get a 'Good Morning Afrah' at 7am....7am!!! from a strange number, i smsed back asking who it was.

NO Response.

So i called & someone said Hello then went silent...freaking out that they knew my name (& could spell it) I wondered (was it isi sending a warning shot (heaven forbid) on my navy story) & then took a childish & ineffective stand by texting 'who is this...coward, ans or i'll report u'. False bravado on my part.

How was I to know MM Alam had just learnt 2 text...

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