There has been mixed response in Pakistan to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai's Nobel Peace Prize nomination, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Hakimullah Mehsud says he is ready for peace talks with Pakistani government, Former President Pervez Musharraf is granted bail and allowed to leave Pakistan by Supreme Court and then his re-arrest is swiftly ordered by another judge in Lal Masjid case, US government is shut down and there are now worries over potential for US debt default.
Malala's International Recognition:
has brought into sharp focus Pakistan's wide gender gap in education. With 27% difference between male and female literacy rates
, Pakistan's gender bias in basic education is among the worst in the world. Malala's heroic effort raises hope that recognition of this serious problem will lead to greater focus and funding to address it. Some in Pakistan have criticized Malala Yousufzai by questioning her authenticity and her credentials to represent Pakistan. They argue that the West is using the teenager to advance its own agenda.
While recognizing that the West does suffer from the "White Man Savior Complex", I find such concerns overblown and fundamentally off the mark. I think Malala is a great ambassador for Pakistan doing a great service to Pakistan women who make up half the population of the country. I am absolutely certain that she has seen more of Pakistan and understands Pakistan's problems better at her tender age than most adult Pakistanis.
As to those who claim the Taliban care for girls' education, let me suggest that they look at Taliban's record in Afghanistan. The meager number of just 800,000 school children in Afghanistan included few girls in 2001 when the Taliban ruled the country. Today, there are 8 million children, 40% of them girls
, attending schools in Afghanistan. In Pakistan's Swat Valley, home of Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani Taliban blew up girls school and terrified them in 2009, and followed up with attempt to kill Malala
(then 14 years old) on her way back from school in 2011.
Taliban Chief Mehsud's Response to Talks Offer:
In an interview with BBC, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Hakimullah Mehsud has responded to "All Parties Conference" (APC) offer of talks to end violence. His response can be summed up as follows: "Seek an audience with me here at my home and I will talk with you". It reflects his confidence and clarity in the face of severe confusion and weakness communicated by Pakistani politicians.
Mehsud said he has two basic demands: 1. America must leave the region and 2. Pakistan must impose his version of the "Shariah" law. He vowed to continue his "Jihad" until both of his demands are met
Meanwhile, there is a report in New York Times
that Hakimullah Mehsud's deputy Lateef Mehsud has been working for Afghan intelligence agency (KHAD) which has close ties with India's intelligence agency RAW
It seems to me that "peace talks" with the TTP will fail just like similar efforts in the past did, most notably in 2009 in Swat. There are clear parallels here with the 26-year long LTTE insurgency in Sri Lanka which, after many broken peace deals, ended when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa finally decided to declare all-out war against terrorists in 2006, ending in a crushing defeat of the LTTE in 2009 with Pakistan's help
. I think Pakistani leadership will eventually do what the Sri Lankans did. I just hope they do it soon to save unnecessarily prolonged cost of tens of thousands of innocent lives and unneeded damage to property and national economy.
A Judge of Islamabad High Court has forced police to register a case against Gen Pervez Musharraf in Lal Masjid case. Soon after bail was granted in other cases on trumped charges, the General's arrest was ordered even though no formal charges have yet been filed by a prosecutor.
Clearly Pakistan judges are continuing their vendetta against the former president by framing him while releasing real terrorists. These right-wing judges are sending a clear message to the Army and the politicians: "Don't mess with our fellow Islamists. If you do, you'll be framed in multiple cases of murder and treason".
Meanwhile, these same judges are releasing terrorists in large numbers, including the recent release of the man who attacked the Sri Lanka cricket team which brought an end to international cricket in Pakistan. The conviction rate in terror cases is in single digits in Pakistan. No wonder Pakistan is considered a epi-center of terrorism.
US Government Shutdown, Worries Over Debt Default:
The US government has been shut down for several days. Only the "essential" services are operating. The shutdown has highlighted the need for government services. It has undermined the anti-government rhetoric (Government is the problem. not the solution) of Republican Conservatives and Ayn Rand Libertarians.
Meanwhile, the debt ceiling is approaching and, in the absence of Congressional authorization to borrow more, there could be a catastrophic debt default which could send shock waves across the globe. The US dollar is the world's main reserve and international trade currency. The US debt is held by most of the nations of the world in their central bank reserves which underpin their currency value and economy, highlighting the fact that the US remains an exceptional country and indispensable nation
in the current world order. This places a specially heavy burden on US leadership to behave responsibly or risk raising serious questions about their claim to being "exceptional".
Here's a video discussing the above topics:
Nobel for Malala; Taliban Chief's Response to APC; Musharraf's Re-arrest; US Debt Default Worries
from WBT TV
Sri Lanka's Victory of LTTE
Malala Moment: Profiled in Courage...Not!!
Judges' Vendetta Against Musharraf
UN Malala Day
Treason Trial of Musharraf
Does Sharif Have an Anti-Terror Policy?
Blowback of US Drones in Pakistan
Why is Democracy Failing in Pakistan?
Viewpoint From Overseas-Vimeo
Viewpoint From Overseas-Youtube