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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Zardari mistakes Osama for Obama

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Posted by: danish Ahmed 5:00 AM

In a sensational revelation, a Central Asian news agency has claimed that it has irrefutable evidence to prove that Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari may have been taking orders from Osama and not Obama as is widely believed. "That may partly explain", says South-Asia correspondent Floral Poi, "why Zardari has been making contradictory statements on a host of issues ranging from Mumbai terror attack to reinstatement of sacked Chief Justice Iftikar Chaudhary to his equation with Prime Minister Gilani".

Political analysts say that this won't be the first time Zardari has been victim to an evil prankster. He had earlier claimed that after the Mumbai attack, someone claiming to be Indian foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee had called him threatening to attack Pakistan. An inexperienced Zardari panicked and went into denial mode which has now resulted in one of the biggest diplomatic stand-offs between the two countries.

Sources indicate that owing to the close similarity between the names of the Saudi fugitive and the American President, the former has been sending Zardari instructions on various policies. It is not clear if the Al Qaeda leader deliberately misled Pakistani establishment or the latter misunderstood the message as having originated from the Oval Office. It is a mistake that everyone, from CNN to Ted Kennedy, have done. The names Obama and Osama have been used interchangeably (but erroneously) quite a few times, but this is the first time that a nation's policies have been influenced by it.

A Zardari aide said,"the media is blowing it out of proportion, yes he was always weak at spelling, but these sorts of mistakes are not unheard of! Remember just a few years back George W. Bush plunged his nation into the Iraq War after claiming to have heard God's voice?" And didn't it turn out that the voice did not belong to God but to Dick Cheney who was over the intercom? So why is it difficult for Zardari to make a similar mistake by confusing Osama with Obama ?" the official emphatically questions.

However, a large number of political and security experts argue that it might not be as inadvertent a mistake as it is now made out to be. A security expert on condition of anonymity says,"radical militant groups have always had a say in the governance, the instructions from Al Qaeda or Taliban to the President might not be such a rarity, maybe Zardari just didn't know how to handle it. Afterall he is not known to be particularly bright. Pakistan has been running with hares and hunting with hounds all along, this shouldn't surprise anyone."

Osama Bin Laden could not be reached for comment.

Update:
I guess everybody has taken it as it should have been - An April Fool Joke :D
There were 2 clues -
  • Floral Poi - is an anagram of April Fool.
  • Individual letters in bold starting with "A" spell April Fool.

Posted By danish Ahmed 5:00 AM

Monday, March 16, 2009

Remembering Misty

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Posted by: danish Ahmed 5:29 AM

Misty, a close friend of mine died on this day 2 months back but it was only in the last week that I came to know of it making me wonder if online relationships are too hollow or I was just being too apathetic :(

Well, I knew her on the Internet, we had never met in real but we knew facts about each other that only closest friends could know. She had been introduced to me by a close friend who wanted to prove that the even average Americans can be intelligent and mature and can take part in political and philosophical debates! Well, my friend was correct, Misty turned out intelligent, educated, mature and so affectionate!

She was my main adversary on Yahoo Literati, we were always trying to surpass each other's ratings and I am glad to say that ultimately she won. But she had also been my agony aunt whenever I needed one. Even people close to me would marvel at knowing how much I confided in a friend I had never met but then Misty had the sort of warmth that it was impossible to not open up to. Of All I knew about her, she loved her three kids and her world revolved around them , I hope the world now looks at her kids with the same love and compassion that Misty seemed to have in abundance.

The last time we chatted was on the night of 26/11 as terrorists lay siege on Mumbai. Ironically our last conversation was very much on the same lines as had been the first one but it was not over yet. We were supposed to pick up the thread later on but this time fate had other plans. She passed away on 16th January, 2009. I learn't of her demise after more than one and half months from a another friend and since then I have a nagging guilt that I was so apathetic that I did not realize such an important friend passing away.

I apologize and pray that her soul rests in peace.

Posted By danish Ahmed 5:29 AM

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pakistan Is Riding A Many-Headed Hydra

Posted by: danish Ahmed 2:36 AM

The picture of Lankan cricketers being air-lifted by a military chopper from the very ground they should be playing on, may reflect the state of affairs in Pakistan. If the attack was audacious, the lack of security and the administration's immediate response raise too many questions. How could all twelve of the attackers disappear after carrying out such a horrendous attack? The ambush was carried not in hilly terrains of FATA but in a bustling city of Lahore! No matter how well trained they might have been, twelve young men fleeing after carrying out such an attack would attract some attention. The fact that many of the attacker have been captured in CCTV footage and the plethora of evidence they have left behind should make the task easy.

When the convoy was attacked the bus driver sped to the Gaddafi Stadium from where the players were air-lifted by a military chopper but not far from this venue a patrol vehicle did not find it unusual that three young men were speeding away from the site on a motorbike! Well, I am not weaving a conspiracy theory but just putting togather facts that indicate Pak authorities may have bungled up. In fact, if the immediate objective of terror attacks is to spread panic and mistrust, Lahore ambush has been a pretty successful one. Does the fact that the Lankan players were air-lifted from the stadium and were subsequently taken to Dubai suggest that the Pak authority did not trust even its own agencies? As for that matter, was the decision to air-lift players made by the civilian authority? And if indeed it was the civilian administration, had it then put the Lahore cops into action? Does this imply that the popular world opinion of there being multiple power centres in Pakistan, an undeniable fact?

These are some of the questions which may have very definite answers but I simply haven't come across them.However, most of the people would agree that reaction in this manner indicates that the decision-makers are absolutely panicky. When India reacts to terror attacks by panicking it is deplorable but still understandable considering the fact that it is a very non-military state. The majority of Indians do not belong belong to the warrior class, they are mostly of trader, artisan, farmer and scholars pedigree but that is not the case with Pakistan. Its society is perhaps the most militarized society in the contemporary world,yet its response was hardly upto the expectation. There seems to be some confusion in the Pakistani establishment regarding the strategy in the war against terror. Since the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, Pakistani authorities have been indulging in unabashed double-speak but post Lahore ambush the barrage of contradictory statements have exceeded the bounds of coherence. I don't think that the civilian as well as the military leadership of Pakistan is so infantile as to think it could take the world for a ride.

Pakistan is often said to be riding the tiger which will pounce on it the moment it gets off and it is for this reason that nations of the world are taking measures to prevent its eventual collapse.Since its creation the common people have been subjected to either autocratic military regimes or corrupt and inefficient politicians. While its neighbors, its best friend and arch-enemy China and India have been developing at a rapid pace, Pakistan's economy has all but stagnated. Thus it is not surprising that militant groups continue to draw support and volunteers from the disgruntled sections by offering them an alternative political system. Pakistan may be fighting with the "terrorists" in its North-West but it is in no way inclined to tar identical militants fighting against India in Kashmir with the same brush. Yet, it can never say for sure that the very same "mujahideen" in Kashmir are not the "terrorists" in Lahore.

Pakistan is not riding a tiger, it is riding a many-headed Hydra whose tentacles wreck havoc from USA to India and from UK to Afghanistan, but its biggest victim is and will continue be the Pakistani state itself. So all these boil down to what India has been saying all along, dismantle the infrastructure of terror completely, questions and answers, evidences and witnesses are mere technicalities, all you need to do is to face the reality and do the right thing.That reminds me of the bus driver of the Sri Lankan team who has been rightfully hailed as a hero for keeping his calm and driving the guest team to safety amidst gunfire and grenade attacks. He displayed the grit and determination and the attitude necessary to defeat terrorists. Policy makers in Pakistan have much to learn from this bus driver of Lahore.

Posted By danish Ahmed 2:36 AM