Beena Sarwar on the "hornet's nest" of modern Pakistan.
Image from Flickr via Fantaz
By David Barsamian with Beena Sarwar
By arrangement with Alternative Radio.
For the casual observer of international news Pakistan must be enigmatic, bewildering and scary. It’s a “hornet’s nest,” declares The Economist. Almost from its inception in 1947 Pakistan has been dominated by the three As: Allah, Army and America. The country of some 200 million people has been ruled either by military dictators or corrupt civilians. Pick your poison. There are coups and rumors of coups. The prime minster may be ousted. The president may face criminal charges. The intelligence agencies wield supernatural powers. And in the shadows are jihadis. Relations between Islamabad and Washington are “badly strained,” the New York Times reports. No surprises there given the many U.S. drone attacks and invasions culminating in the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers. When you are master of the universe and you pay stipends to servants you expect what? Silence and loyalty.
Beena Sarwar is an independent Pakistani journalist and documentary filmmaker. She is the Pakistan editor of Aman ki Asha, a joint initiative of “The News” in Pakistan and “The Times of India.” She was a producer for GEO TV, the largest 24/7 news channel in Pakistan.
David Barsamian is the award-winning founder and director of Alternative Radio, the independent weekly audio series based in Boulder, Colorado. He is the author of numerous books with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Eqbal Ahmad, Tariq Ali, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His latest books are Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism with Richard Wolff, How the World Works with Noam Chomsky and Targeting Iran. He is winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes.