Hospitality > Hospital

The most recent outrage from across the border is the shoddy treatment meted out to Pakistani women cricket team members. If you have been sleeping under a rock (in Waziristan or something) the details are as follows:

So Pakistani women cricket team went to India for a world cup. Wait!! Pakistan has a women cricket team? And nobody has issued a fatwa about it yet? Why hasn’t anyone commented on their clothes? Who is sponsoring them? Is it a western agenda to spread anti-Pakistan culture to subvert our society? So many questions!

But I digress.

So Pakistani women cricket team went to India for a world cup. They were threatened with match cancellations in Mumbai, so their matches were shifted to cuttack. In cuttack, they were put up in … wait for it … wait for it … IN THE STADIUM!!

When I heard that, I immediately made up the details: The poor wimmens were given tarp tents and a corner of the ground to pitch their tents!! They were told to change under the seats and use the spectator bathrooms!! In short, they were treated horribly!

The fact that the team expressed satisfaction about their arrangement does not satisfy me. Also the fact that they stayed in this building:

Miserable looking building, with dirty carpets with shoddily dressed men welcoming the guests.

And they stayed in this room:

2 Women to a room, cooped up. Worn footwear. Wall colours dont go well with floor colours. Not sure if the cot is real wood.

is even more outrageous than staying on the pitch. Because it changes nothing. Because the critical questions to ask are:

“What would Indians do if their players were put up in the stadium in such an accommodation? Wouldnt they go ballistic, asking for attacking Pakistan and suspending all sporting contacts? Didnt they go NUTS for the minor issue of few Pakistanis going over on a boat and killing over a hundred people in Mumbai and send dossiers upon dossiers to retaliate? Imagine how much more they would do if their sports heros (or heroines) are insulted?”

And that is why Pakistan needs to retaliate by

  1. Putting Indian cricket team up in a stadium if and when they visit (if this proposal to build accommodation inside Pakistani Cricket stadiums is implemented)
  2. Refusing to travel to India
  3. Refusing to play any cricket matches in India including IPL

But dispassionately analyzing the situation, I think we should take  a step back and defuse tensions. Two things are of importance.

A better cross cultural understanding is the need of the hour

Perhaps Indians do not know that Pakistanis value hospitality more than anything else. That is why when Sri Lankan team visited, they were put up in the best possible five star hotel, despite the fact that transporting them in a bus to the stadium is dangerous. Perhaps if India had realized the importance of hospitality, they would have put up the Pakistani women cricket players in top of the line five star hotel.

“I was shot in front of the Gaddafi stadium, but the hotel accommodations were excellent. I feel honored and respected. The warm hospitality (and an equally warm bullet) touched my heart” — Tharanga Paranavitana

Journalists should not whip up passions based on un-vetted and unreliable information

If they do whip up passions based on made-up information, the next day they should write columns and give speeches on how Journalists should not whip up passions based on un-vetted and unreliable information. Because whipping up passions and then offering platitudes about media conduct are ultimately about gaining fame and notoriety, and not about informing the public about important issues. As old hands in media realize

Self-regulation is the best form of regulation and self-importance is the best form of importance

And social media helps with both.


Attack of the Drone Attacks

When I read Mohsin Hamid’s excellent piece on drones (more accurately, when I done readin’ Mohsin Hamid’s writin’ ) I thought that the last word had been said on drone attacks. But no! A new article by Christine Fair has dropped from the sky like … err … a hellfire missile from a drone. The article (based on a pew study) argues that only a minority of Pakistanis are aware of drone attacks and even among them, only a section of the population oppose it. Interesting.

There are two classes of objections to the drone program

  1. Drone attacks perform the role of judge, jury and executioner without offering the victims a right to appeal. Furthermore they cause civilian casualties. Pakistanis who sincerely profess this line of argument are truly concerned about human rights. For a moment, let us ignore those 11 pesky Pakistanis. Those leftist busybodies!
  2. Drone attacks invade the sovirginity of Pakistan, inflame passions among those attacked and ultimately are counterproductive. Most people fall under this category, based on my unscientific polling.

Let us take up the sovirginity argument. To argue loss of sovirginity, we have to assume that Pakistani government (and the powers that be) have clearly stated their opposition to the drone program. And they have on several occasions. For example Ahmed Mukhtar has categorically stated:

The drones do land in Pakistan territory but do not take off from there (they are forced to walk back to Afghanistan)

And ofcourse Pakistan provides only moral, political and diplomatic support for drones and not material support or shelter, somehow Google earth’s satellite didnt get that memo.

Lookeee who is home in Shamsi Airbase

But what of the outrage after every violation of sovirginity you ask? Well as Senator Dianne Feinstein spilled the beans:

I don’t know whether you’d care to comment on this but [I] also noticed that Mr Holbrooke in Pakistan ran into considerable concern about the use of the Predator strikes in the FATA area of Pakistan. And yet, as I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base

As I understand it, American politicians are truthful on non-fellatio related issues.

So drones possibly take off from Pakistan (or atleast most probably did so, till the recent past), drone attacks are being carried out with full knowledge and support from Pakistan army, who probably supply targeting (if not tolerate them in “Kill boxes“). And since Pakistan army does nothing for free, it is reasonable to conclude:

We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totaling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of “not doing enough” in the war on terror should simply ask the CIAhow much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan 

  • They are doing it because they got a “with us or against us” call
  • Pakistan professed its inability to do its usual counter insurgency (announce an operation, create 1.5 million people in tents, bomb and flatten houses using artillery) and had to reluctantly agree to US use of drones.

Or what a reasonable person will deduce

  • All of the above

So the outrage in public, while approve in private is most probably a well thought out policy by the powers that be, which leaves us two choices about the people who trot out the sovirginity angle about drone attacks

  1. They are hypocrites
  2. They are gullible idiots

Since yours sachly never attributes malicious intent, let us go with the gullible idiots explanation. So, what should the gullible idiots do to stop drone attacks?

  1. Reject coveting free and subsidized american arms. This is possible only if Pakistan normalizes its relationship with her neighbours, like India
  2. Conduct a full spectrum counter insurgency, by cutting off money, recruits, patronage and encouragement to any and all extremist organizations. This means ceasing to recognize the difference between “good” taliban and “bad” taliban. Proceeding on all terror cases, irrespective of whether they are committed for or against the objectives of the state, purging serving and retired officers from all armed forces who encourage such organizations, truly enforcing bans on banned organization, instructing the judiciary to enforce the law in letter and spirit.







I was kidding I was kidding. Got you there didnt I? Let the money for drones, fake outrage and articles on drones continue ……

Fake Track Two

  1. Great neuj folks!! South Asia Peace Institute has been invited for Track-2 meeting in Dili!! I will be live teeting it! #TrackTwo
  2. Immigration is humiliating. Indian officer there wanted to see my passport and Visa. Can relate to daily indignities of Cashmeeris #TrackTwo
  3. Passed by Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar, Safdarjung’s Tomb and Ali’s 50% off cheap pants & shirts shop. Proud of Pakistani heritage #TrackTwo
  4. Breakfast. Something called “Dosa” from tribals of remote southern provinces. Yummy exotic ethnic food. Cute. #TrackTwo
  5. Wow. They have Chai here too! Must have gone out of their way to accommodate their guests. Doesnt taste very Pakistani though. #TrackTwo
  6. Sessions begin. First session “The path forward” #TrackTwo
  7. Pakistani delegate: “There is a difference between knowing the path & following the path” #TrackTwo …wait, did he just quote “The Matrix”?
  8. Predictably the terrorism angle brought up. Need all my skills to deflect this one #TrackTwo
  9. India complains about 10-20 Pakistani terrorists. Most Pakistani terrorists live in Pakistan. We are victims too #TrackTwo
  10. Liberalized visa is way forward … oops! shouldnt’ve mentioned visa immediately after suggesting Pakistan teams with terrorists #TrackTwo
  11. Dont think Pakistan training LeT and LeJ just hurts you. They go and kill Pakistanis too. We are victims also #TrackTwo
  12. Fixation about just international terrorism from Pakistan should end. Pakistan also produces excellent columns about terrorism #TrackTwo
  13. Next session: Role of various organs of state in National stability and peace process. #TrackTwo
  14. Whew! Did I tell you how relieved I am the previous session was over? #TrackTwo
  15. Question on Army supporting Peace process. Indians should trust Pakistani Army, they are firmly behind the peace process #TrackTwo
  16. On Election in Pakistan: No Pakistani trusts Pakistan Army. They are deceptive, manipulative bastards who cannot be trusted #TrackTwo
  17. Hmph, walked into that trap! …. Just because no Pakistani trusts Pakistan army doesnt mean Indians shouldnt trust Pakistani Army #TrackTwo
  18. Arrrgghh. Unnamed defence analyst (lets call her Ayesha) writes truthful column on Army not giving up support for non-state actors #TrackTwo
  19. Guess who is not invited to the next track two meeting? #TrackTwo
  20. Break for Lunch #TrackTwo There is meat! Not sure where they got that from. Kudos for the effort.
  21. Indian delegate asks if I have met Dawood bhai. Super annoying. I live in Lahore and everyone knows Dawood lives in Karachi #TrackTwo
  22. Cut the stereotyping. Dawood doesnt live in all of Pakistan. Just because I am Pakistani doesnt mean I went to Karachi to meet him #TrackTwo
  23. Indians bring up hate filled textbooks. Bollywood is also jingoistic. What about Indian kids who watch Sarfarosh? #TrackTwo
  24. Sonali Bendre was hot in that movie, but thats besides the point #TrackTwo
  25. Does anyone know where Sonali Bendre lives? Dilli? #TrackTwo
  26. Will Sonali Bendre autograph my pirated Sarfarosh CD? #TrackTwo
  27. Wrong to think Pakistanis are brainwashed against Hindus alone. #TrackTwo
  28. People from Karachi went all the way to Mumbai to shoot a pregnant Jewish woman on her head. Pakistanis hate Jews too #TrackTwo
  29. What about the time when Pakistanis cut the neck of a Jewish reporter? Why do Indians assume Pakistanis hate Hindus? #TrackTwo
  30. Why is the head of Pakistani delegation giving me dirty looks? Idiot should stop stomping on my feet so much #TrackTwo
  31. Meaningful action does not always indicate trust. Sometimes trust indicates meaningful action. Santana said so. #TrackTwo
  32. Well I made up the previous tweet. Dont tell anyone #TrackTwo
  33. When I said Santana, I meant Santayana. Not the musician guy the philosopher guy. #TrackTwo
  34. Several low hanging fruit. India could withdraw from Siachen & Sir Creek. If Pakistan doesnt take over, demonstration of trust. #TrackTwo
  35. To withdraw from Siachen you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well do you?.. Did he just quote “Dirty Harry”? #TrackTwo
  36. Question on 26/11 progress. Pakistan has independent media, independent judiciary, independent Army, independent ISI. Takes time #TrackTwo
  37. Why are Indians protesting to shut down drama and music performances? Where did they think they were? In Lahore? #TrackTwo
  38. Indian public opinion still against peace. Pakistani delegation suggests non-representative government in India for Peace #TrackTwo
  39. Pakistan can share its experience with unrepresentative and unaccountable government. Much needed in India for peace in South Asia #TrackTwo
  40. More visas, simplifying visa process, multi city visas are way forward #TrackTwo
  41. Visa on Arrival, minimal paperwork, more border crossings way forward #TrackTwo
  42. Visas could be granted in Pakistan banks itself rather than the border #TrackTwo
  43. Just in case the message is lost. Liberalized visas is the way forward #TrackTwo
  44. Not sure if everyone heard because of static in the Microphone. More visas. Liberalized visas #TrackTwo
  45. Next session: Cashmere. #TrackTwo India gets terrorism session, we get Cashmere session. heh heh
  46. Plight of Cashmeeris should be addressed. India has repressed Cashmeeris and denied them basic freedom and dignity #TrackTwo
  47. Progress possible only if Both India and Pakistan allow representative government in their respective parts of Cashmere #TrackTwo
  48. Hmmm. SMS from Pakistan HC staffer. Asked me if my wife and kids were doing well. Strange. #TrackTwo
  49. Okay scratch that. India should allow representative government in their Cashmere. #TrackTwo
  50. Azad Cashmere has Azad in it. They have rights. It has a Prime Minister. I dont remember his name, powerless puppet anyway. #TrackTwo
  51. Cashmeeris seem to be ungrateful about all the money & traini…..:cough: Moral, political, diplomatic support Pakistan gave them #TrackTwo
  52. 4 Point solution (1) India declares Cashmere as dispute (2) Withdraws (3) Something something (4) India gives Cashmere to Pakistan #TrackTwo
  53. Sessions end. Summary. Productive trip. Totally was convincing and in my elements. #TrackTwo
  54. Dinner in Villa Medici. That liquid does not seem to be coca cola. Will take your questions tomorrow guys! Thats all. #TrackTwo