My last  article was a peek into China through extracts from South China Morning Post.  Time to get back to Pakistan and excerpts from DAWN. There is something very familiar about Pakistan…it is known territory…easy to understand…and stirs up our mental faculties and juices very well. All our analysts and experts , specially the valley based military variety can offer an educated opinion…after all it is difficult to decipher the inscrutable noodles of the Chinese. However we have to understand one thing…never discount Pakistan. In defensive fire planning, the DF (SOS) always caters for the most dangerous approach of the enemy. Similarly, I have always maintained that while China is the most obvious, bigger and future threat to India it is Pakistan which is the more dangerous one…. We all know that sleeping with the dragon is difficult…even if it is not breathing fire…if it tosses around, its sheer weight could crush you…however Pakistan is different…it is a viper…unpredictable, poisonous, toxic and lethal. It fits in your pocket and will sting you from inside. One has to deal with Pakistan with brain and not brawn…play on its fears and make it look inward into its myriad problems; some of which I am highlighting….a few every time I write such plagiarised articles.    



Extract : The Indus has begun to choke. It lacks running water all year round, and dry periods are on the increase. Water quality has degraded due to deposits of fertilisers, pesticides, chemicals, sewage and industrial effluents. Water quantity has diminished because of upstream infrastructure, agricultural intensity, high per capita usage and climate change. This is the story of all ecosystems from Gilgit-Baltistan, where they originate, to Thatta and Badin, where they culminate, covering all our rivers, streams, springs, riparian, watersheds, wetlands, lakes and other floodplain- and groundwater-dependent ecosystems, coastal waterbodies and delta estuaries.


My Comment : Absolute water scarcity and unchecked population are the real werewolves stalking Pakistan.  For an economy which is 20% dependant on agriculture, water scarcity is lethal.  More than militancy or radicalism, the real killer is water or lack of it. Pakistan is in an irreversible slide. I have written earlier about it  @ and



Extract: The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Thursday declined to extend the month-long ceasefire with the government, accusing it of failing to honour the decisions reached earlier. The announcement has put the nascent peace efforts into the doldrums….A statement issued by the TTP late in the evening gave out details of the six-point agreement that it said it had reached with the government under the aegis of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” (IEA) on Oct 25, 2021. 


My Comment: The honeymoon is over. In fact it never took off. The interesting aspect of this statement is that TTP is operating under the aegis of Afghan Taliban! Very simply put, Pakistan has put a regime in power in Afghanistan which is detrimental to its own interests. It is like shooting oneself in the head. Pakistan’s western border is going to remain increasingly troublesome for a long time…that is relatively lesser pressure on the Eastern border.   



Extract : The ongoing fighting between the Islamic State’s Khorasan chapter (IS-K) and the Afghan Taliban is not merely a conflict between two rival militant and ideological forces; it is also a reflection of sectarian, ethnic and class divisions in Afghan society, and has already started to impact Pakistan as well…the conflict between the Taliban and IS-K will add to the insecurity inside Pakistan besides widening the Salafi-Hanafi divide in the country or at least in the Bajaur, Mohmand and Orakzai tribal districts, which have a decades-old history of such a divide…In the current context, the Taliban also know that IS-K is strengthening its networks in the urban areas by recruiting disgruntled, battle-hardened members of other groups as well as self-radicalised educated youths — mostly adherents of Salafism. Some experts have claimed that IS-K’s Kabul network had “also absorbed splinters and defectors from the Taliban’s radical Haqqani Network”. Similarly, IS-K has waged an extensive propaganda war against the Taliban declaring them allies and puppets of the US, who have deviated from their jihadist purpose; this was the Taliban propaganda against previous Afghan governments…The Taliban also have apprehensions that if not Saudi Arabia other external players can use IS-K to weaken their regime. Who can understand better than the Taliban the role of external support in the destabilisation of a country? But merging a militant group with a community is a mistake which can continue to nurture anger that will only benefit IS-K.


My Comment: The Chicken have come home to roost for all actors in this drama. The situation is only getting worse in Afghanistan…the unfolding humanitarian crisis will add to the situation…it was predicted and it is happening… 



Extract : There exists in mankind an instinct to throw off the yoke of oppression. The tipping point may come after years of injustice and hardship, but it will come and when it does, the people will rise and demand they be heard. That is what appears to be unfolding in Gwadar city where tens of thousands of locals as well as people from surrounding districts have been protesting for close to a month — that too without a party flag in sight. Their numbers continue to swell and, most surprisingly for a conservative society, women are participating in droves — not just standing by silently, but speaking articulately and forcefully about their rights….The crescendo of voices demanding their rights is only growing louder and the mass of humanity gathering day after day in the port city shows no sign of dispersing. It is a rare development in the highly securitised province which inevitably scores the lowest on the country’s human development indices. That the protest is taking place in the shadow of the port long projected as the centrepiece of the multi-billion-dollar CPEC project is a damning indictment of the authorities’ skewed priorities…As Maulana Hidayat said in a TV interview a couple of days ago: “When the Gwadar port has brought no prosperity to those living in its vicinity, what good can it do for the people in the rest of the country?” The Balochistan government and the security establishment must take concrete, verifiable measures to address the protesters’ demands. Otherwise Gwadar could become the spark in a tinderbox of disaffection.

My Comment : The CPEC was a doomed project from the beginning. The people of Pakistan are ensuring that now. The militants have started targeting Chinese and people have started targeting the government. When conservative Muslim women and children come to the streets spontaneously, there is trouble… .and it is already about a month long agitation. The chances of Gwadar turning into a Chinese base are over the horizon… I had predicted the failure long back in 2017 since Baluchistan and Gwadar were in reality the weak heart of CPEC…


Extract : It may be a cliché but history does repeat itself and, in our case, this cycle runs faster than a dog chasing his tail. Even then, are we ones to learn any lessons from history or tragedy or even a slap in the face? Perish the thought…and collectively titans have let us down royally and so often that it is difficult to count. Pardon the somewhat oblique message here. When you see the same thing over and over again and say the same thing with a similar frequency, it does get a bit tiresome….From what one hears, the politics of confrontation (or people’s rights in my lexicon) has made way again for the politics of reconciliation and if several principles have fallen by the side in the bargain, so be it. A seemingly more ‘credible’ civilian façade is being carefully prepared and will be unveiled soon…My only worry is that when prominent national political leaders, with mass support from what one can see, are prepared to settle for mere crumbs from the table of the wise and the powerful, the bold and the beautiful, will there be anything left to trickle down to the have-nots? …And is it wise to test the patience of those struggling to feed their children endlessly? Infinite deprivation and want can trigger infinite chaos that none can control or steer. Do I need say more?


My Comment : Like enter the dragon is it time for “Enter the Bhutto”? The Army and Bhutto started dating each other some time back. The whiff of their romance came to fore when he parachuted out of PDM in one of the local elections…Abbas Nasir , erstwhile editor of DAWN and the author of this  article has put it in the best words possible..    



 ExtractThe dilemma of key political stakeholders is a classic one: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government is flailing due to governance issues and its inability to get a handle on the situation. It is also twitching nervously and constantly looking over its shoulder since its spat with the establishment over the appointment of the new DG ISI…The opposition was metaphorically shut out of the system till a few months ago, but now smells an opportunity…The smell remains faint however, and the options vague. ..The establishment remains quiet, but there is a disquiet in this quietness. The PTI government’s handling of the DG ISI issue has led to a coldness with the establishment. But in the absence of any viable options that do not upset the system’s equilibrium, there is nothing much that can happen…THE PTI GOVERNMENT…It is in a spot of trouble, as understatements go. The precarious state of the economy, and the debilitating inflation is pulverising the government like Mike Tyson’s punches. Some in the government have even stopped putting up a brave face….THE PML-N…The core group of party leader Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz remains defiant in the face of changing dynamics….They argue that, at this point, when the changing nature of the relationship between the PTI and the establishment may be throwing up opportunities for the party to oust the government, the leadership is clear that it will settle for nothing less than fresh elections…THE PPP…The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is desperate to wear the crown…The party has also cosied up to the establishment — not that it would admit it — and is now the focus of fresh attention within the framework of possible political alternatives. The game that the PPP is playing is a complex one. THE ESTABLISHMENT…The high command has been emphasising the last three years that Pakistan needs democratic stability and continuity…On the surface, the optics are fine. Routine meetings and briefings continue as normal and the business of the state is conducted as per procedure. But underneath this calm surface there is an undercurrent of tension that refuses to subside. Some even call it a trust deficit. ..According to insiders, over the last few weeks, there has been some subtle messaging of intent between power centres that has done little to assuage concerns that the same page has lost much of its same-ness….SO WHAT NOW?…There are no good options on offer as the political traffic jam gets more entangled with each passing day…The economic situation is expected to worsen in the coming weeks …The horrific Sialkot incident has added to the growing sense of alarm that the country is adrift… the recent appeasement of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has strengthened it ideologically as well as politically…there is evidence enough that the TLP factor in the electoral politics of Punjab is growing stronger by the day. ..A year is an infinity in Pakistani politics. With a number of moving parts drawing unsynchronised patterns on the country’s landscape, the real and immediate challenge is to navigate through the complexities of the next few weeks. Till then, it is anyone’s game


My Comment : This article analyses the political chess board of Pakistan in great detail. There is change afoot and there is ample evidence to it. However the Pakistani formula will remain  E+P1+P2+P3 = Pakistan . What do these represent? See what was written @ . However all equations could change since Immy Bhai still has a card to bargain with…he has to appoint the new army chief in 2022…he has backed Faiz the ex DG ISI and for the first time this appointment will also be politically contested. PML N opposes Faiz you see….


Overall Comment : Pakistan has far more problems than even we can dream of. When you feel one is bad enough …others pop up which look even worse… never a dull moment in Pakistan…remember? We used to hear…Pakistan runs on three As…allah, amrika and army. It is true…Pakistan is living proof of that…the difference is that amrika is out and china is in…I leave it to you to coin the new letter on which Pakistan runs…till then ..khuda hafiz of vannakam of au revoir…whichever you prefer…  




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