BREAKING NEWS: American Journalist Nicholas Schmidle Deported From Pakistan

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An American journalist, Nicholas Schmidle, who authored the article “Next Gen Taliban” that appeared in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has been deported from Pakistan. He was forced to leave today — Friday, 11 January.
Schmidle will be returning to Washington, DC on Saturday and will be joining a panel I am moderating Monday afternoon titled “Pakistan in Peril” featuring veteran journalists and Pakistan-watchers Steve Coll and Peter Bergen as well as former Bush administration National Security Council senior official Flynt Leverett. Nicholas Schmidle will now be part of this panel.
Schmidle was informed that the Ministry of Interior was deporting him for unspecified reasons, but his speculation is that he was expelled because of his article which The Washington Note highlighted on Wednesday, 2 January — before it came out on Sunday.
These are the latest dispatches that Schmidle has published in Slate.
Other journalists I have spoken to today tell me that there is a pattern of intimidation of journalists clearly emerging in Pakistan. While this may be the first deportation of an American journalist that most can recall, there have been other troubling incidents.
New America Foundation fellow and journalist Eliza Griswold was apparently held in custody by Pakistan authorities on one occasion. CNN Terrorism Analyst and New America Foundation senior fellow Peter Bergen was denied a visa on one occasion in 2006 with no explanation given. Nir Rosen — also a New America Foundation fellow who has reported extensively on Middle East affairs — was threatened in Quetta, Pakistan by what some believe to be government “goons” and was told that he needed to leave immediately or he would be “the next Danny Pearl.” New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall was beaten by thugs who identified themselves as Pakistani police.
Some believe that Schmidle’s article antogonized Pakistani government officials because he conducted interviews in Quetta where the Taliban are operating in full public. These sources suggest that Pakistan government authorities want to limit exposure to the fact that they have done nothing to shut down the Taliban in Quetta and/or are turning a blind eye to the Taliban’s operations theres.
For those in the Washington, DC area — the event I will be moderating with Schmidle, Coll, Bergen, and Leverett will be from 2:30 pm til 4:00 pm on Monday, 14 January at the offices of the New America Foundation. A video clip will be posted later to the New America Foundation website.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

25 comments on “BREAKING NEWS: American Journalist Nicholas Schmidle Deported From Pakistan

  1. ramiz raja afridi says:

    hellow my name is ramiz raja afridi from jamrud khyber agency and i am a student and i am very soory to say that people says that taliban is in triable areas some people says but one thing i want to clear that taliban is coming form afghanistan and they are entring to pakistan and also indian terrest is coming to pakistan and triable area people are not terrest we are peacefull people and please i request to america to stop war in triable area and here is force in triable area name is khyber khasadar force they are very faithfull force and they are fighting against taliban but the salary is very less.so i request to obama prisedent of america to increase the salary of khyber khasadar force and also give free educaion to the childern and thanks bye..

    Reply

  2. Sofia Aalam says:

    The situation in balochistan is very grim as foreign media in banned from entering balochistan which is around 43% of land mass of porkistan, I appeal to all foreign journalist to travel to balochistan to cover all the human right abuses committed by the porkistan army in balochistan.

    Reply

  3. Shafqat Ali Khan says:

    Dear sir,
    Its good time to review your country policy regarding this GWOT.otherwise it might possible that mabny more Americans would also be deported even unwillingly.

    Reply

  4. Sudhir Afridi says:

    By Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    Khasadar Force in tribal areas sans reforms and facilities in the last one-century? Khasadars still get minimum salaries from 3 thousand to 5 thousand
    The British Empire had recruited the local Khasadars in 1890 from within the tribal areas as a force based on privileges for the Chieftains and tribal elders to some how win their support to control the whole tribal areas in a peaceful manner. The British Regime had recruited the khasadars, which was indirectly a political and financial bribe to the influential and powerful elite class in tribal areas. Basically the Khasadars were watchmen and their duty was to escort the British officers wandering in the tribal areas. Under the British rule the khasadars would be paid only monthly salaries (Kharcha), which was more than enough for them as they would be from the very poor back ground in that time of British Rule. Since the recruitment till 1990 the Maliks and elders of the tribes would try to provide a Khasadar for recruitment who would be disable, one eyed or lame. Mean to say that a healthy person would hardly go into Khasadar Force in the past. Some people would also consider it shameful to be a Khasadar.The Khasadars used to enjoy only salaries nothing more. The British Regime had not given the Khasadar Force a status of a regular force with pensions and other perks and privileges as government servants and soldiers enjoy. Even at that time the British Regime had not allowed the Khasadar Force to have lunch, dinner and breakfast with government expenditures from the treasury. Since that time the Khasadars have been using and carrying their own weapons, bullets and uniform.
    By the time only in Landikotal Tehsil there are more than 1257 soldiers in Khasadar Force. The Shinwari tribes have 250 khasadars with two subidars and 4 naib subidars. Their duty is to control and a watch in 46 check posts and pickets in the surrounding of Shinwari tribes. Shelmani tribes enjoy 295 khasadars, two subidars and four naib subidars. They are posted for at least 7 posts and pickets in the Shelman areas. Zakha Khel tribes in Khyber Pakhai areas have recruited at least 212 khasadars, two subidars and 7 naib subidars in a short area of 8 kilometers square. Their duty is to control and monitor the area from nine posts and few pickets as well. Bazaar Zakha Khel enjoys the support of some 500 khasadars, two subidars and 9 naib subidars. They are posted for only 4 posts in the Bazaar Zakha khel area. The twelve hundred and fifty seven khasadars in the Landikotal sub-division are all disappointed from their future as government servants.
    In the last more than one century since the British Regime till the present rulers of the Independent and Sovereign Pakistan the rulers and the policy makers did not try and even ponder over to bring some reforms in the Khasadars Force. They have been weeping that they are not able to meet their domestic needs as from the very thin salaries it is hard to feed and educate their children in a proper way. Some of the senior khasadars complained on condition of anonymity that the administration was not ready to pay them for lunch, dinner and breakfast. They told that they were compelled to pay from their own pickets. They also told that while an official person or any other dignitary was coming, they were bound to pay from their own pockets on transport. The government does not provide transport and weapons in this 21st century, told a subidar hiding his identity. They asked the rulers particularly the President and the Governor NWFP to pay attention towards the Khasadars, introduce reforms and pay them pensions like basic facilities. It is also a fact that senior most and poor khasadars are devoid of promotion to the next rank. Some of the senior khasadars complained that junior and fresh khasadars have been promoted to the rank of subidars, which was an attack on the rights of the poor and senior most khasadars. The Khasadars cannot dream to be promoted or posted on a post where he could though illegally make some money if he is poor and from a backward family. It is also noteworthy that Khasadars from elite class never turn up to their duties as per required from a government servant. In time of need and emergency and tension like situations the poor khasadars are asked to move ahead and in case they lost lives or suffer any serious casualty then they have to be silent and patient for the political administration is never happy to help such type of suffering khasadars or the heirs of the lost ones.

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  5. Sudhir Afridi says:

    By Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) should be completely eradicated from FATA, observed the common people in a survey at Landikotal.Malik Fateh Khan observed that FCR was a draconian law which has debarred the tribesmen from all their basic human and political rights for the last more than one century. He said that the tribal people should be united to demand a separate province for FATA, which he said, was full of all resources and talent. He said that he was himself a malik but was happy when he heard about the removal of FCR from FATA.
    Malik Yousaf Khan in his views said that FCR was against humanity and Islam, that is why he regretted that why the rulers in the past half a century could not realize the bad and terrible aspects of it. He demanded that FATA should be merged into the NWFP so that the power of Pukhtoons could be increased and united. He said that the rulers and political administration had always exploited their resources and blamed them in return for the misdeeds of the bureacucracy. Malik Yousaf Khan advised the tribal people to get united and don’t disperse on the issue of FCR.He favoured that it should be completely eradicated from FATA which was a hurdle in their progress.
    Sadullah Khan afridi sadi that it was in the best interests of the tribesmen to demand a separate province Qabailistan.He said that developing divergent opinions on the removal and replacement of FCR would cause delay in changing the system. Islam Gul Afridi a social worker and journalist also said that merging of FATA in the province would produce negative and worse results. He said that FATA should be given a separate identity as the tribesmen had different cultural and traditional values and added that Political parties in NWFP would also resort to their exploitation, so he said that tribal people could not sustain to wage another struggle for their democratic, human and constitutional rights. Majority of the people are agreed upon to have a separate identity and elected body whether it should be in form of a separate province or an elected tribal council. A very short number of people who have privileges from the system in FCR are disappointed over the announcement of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillni to eliminate FCR from FATA.He educated, social, political and religious people are of the view that FCR should be uprooted by hook or by crook, and they termed it a break to their development in FATA.

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  6. Sudhir Afridi says:

    Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    A day long seminar on “FIR against FCR” under the auspices of Landikotal press club held here Tuesday at Landikotal Press Club, in which FATA political and religious leaders participated.
    Fata political and religious leaders partially rejected the black law (FCR) and demanded for alternate law that would adjust with the tribal traditions and customs.
    Speaking on the occasion, Muslim League (N) Secretary Information FATA Syed Wali Shah said that FCR was a black law imposed by Lord Curzon in 1901 to deprive the tribesmen of their basic rights. He added that it was totally inhuman and against the law of the land. Syed Wali Shah appreciated Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on the brave and courageous step taken on the floor of the assembly. Because he said that it would improve the lives of the century depressed and oppressed tribesmen.
    ANP Landikotal leader Shah Hussain Shinwari totally rejected the invalid law of the British biased Lord Curzon and congratulated the new coalition government especially the ANP central leader Asfandyar Wali Khan that he has construed the dream of Khan Wali Khan adding that Khan Bacha Khan and Abdul Wali Khan had also struggled for the abolishment of FCR from FATA and NWFP.
    JAmiat-Ulem-e- Islam Khyber Agency information secretary Sarwar Afridi said in his address that it was the part of 1973 constitution that every amendment would be brought with the consultation of Fata MNAs but he said that Musharraf government kept tribals depressed and ignored for the last eight years.
    Farhad Shabab, President of Pakistan Peoples Party Khyber Agency while attributing to late Ms Bhutto said that she had a strong desire to uproot FCR from the FATA and replace it with a system accepted to the tribal people. Farhad Shabab proposed elected FATA council for making legislation for the tribal areas and he opposed the annexation of FATA into the Province.Farhad Shabab of PPP Khyber said that Peoples Party would strike the last nail into the coffin of political administration by bringing basic changes into FCR .He said FCR was a basic break in the development of FATA and through this law the political administration had always violated the basic rights of the tribesmen.
    Jamaat-e- Islami NWFP deputy secretary general Zarnoor Afridi said that JI would bring the FATA political leadership on a unified point regarding changes in FCR and would not let any one scatter the tribal people or deviate them to reject changes in FCR. Zarnoor Afridi said that establishment of elected FATA council was in the best interests of tribal people and they were unanimous on it. He also said that curtailment of the unlimited powers of political agent was the need of the hour. He said that there were three views in the tribal areas regarding amendments in FCR, one that it should be totally eliminated and FATA should be merged into the Province, secondly that amendments be made in to it and there should be an independent and autonomous FATA council and thirdly the political administration and the traditional maliks were not willing for a change of even a single word. Tribal journalists Khyal Zaman, Sudhir Afridi and Fazlullah also spoke on this occasion and favoured amendments in FCR.However all the FATA chapter political leadership urged upon their top leadership to get united for deciding the fate of the depressed tribesmen.

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  7. Sudhir Afridi says:

    Government has lost writ in FATA
    Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    After a complete domination over the sub-continent the British Empire had enacted Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) in 1901 in the tribal areas (FATA) to some how bow them down. But they were not aware of the natural valour of the tribesmen. The British imperialists had thought well over imposing this draconian law in the tribal areas .In this law of jungle, FCR, the British government had tried its level best to snatch all the basic humanitarian and political rights from the tribesmen. Basically the British regime was of the view to enact FCR in FATA through which they could easily rule over it. For this purpose they had recruited the militias and khasadars from within the tribal areas, so that the Tribal Pathans could be conquered with the help of their own men and soldiers. Apart from it the British Regime had also planned to bring closer the notables from amongst the tribal people who had some power and influence in the tribal areas by giving them some perks and privileges from the treasurey. Basically all their techniques had been meant to suppress the tribals and easily rule over them. But it is to be accepted that in a war like political situation they had implemented their government writ to some extent in most of the tribal areas whether it had been made possible through the use of force or through giving bribes to the chieftains and the notables in the tribal society.
    It is also worth mentioning that on the one hand the tribesmen had been fighting against the British Forces while on the other hand the British planners had kept on going with mega developmental projects through out the tribal areas. I feel no hesitation to submit that the British regime had done much for the development of the tribal areas than the rulers in Pakistan since its creation. The roads and railways are the two visible and notable mega projects, which the British regime had completed in a short span of time, though it was their requirement too. Despite all the tactics and developmental activities, the British authorized officers and army personnel had not been able to pass even a single day or night with rest and peace. Because they were aliens and their faith was opposed to the one of the Muslims in this region. The British army had invaded this sub-continent, which in their words it was a golden sparrow, however they failed in the tribal areas to rule with satisfaction till their departure from the sub-coninent. They had suffered much and innumerable loss to their lives and materials with the mighty hands of the tribesmen.
    The rulers in Pakistan and its bureaucracy have been always unanimous on the single agenda to keep the tribal people deprived of all their basic rights on the name of national interests. After the creation of Pakistan when Quaid Azam visited the tribal areas, he was welcomed and assured to recognize Pakistan as their Islamic State. Otherwise it was not possible for the few army soldiers to have subjugated any inch of land from the warring tribesmen. Since 1947, the tribesmen have displayed their commitment with Pakistan and they have been proud to be patriot and custodians of Pakistan. The brave tribesmen have since then defended the Western border with Afghanistan without any greediness for wealth. The tribesmen have never allowed any traitor or anti state elements to misuse the Western border. The independence of Kashmir had been possible with the practical support of the tribesmen. In short the tribesmen are proud for giving much more to Pakistan but the rulers and the establishment cannot present any thing in return rather blackmailing and exploitation, the two gifts for the tribal people. Constitutionally tribal areas are the integral part of Pakistan but in spite of this, the rulers are not ready to provide justice and peace to the tribal people. Under the law of Jungle, FCR, the establishment has always tried to sabotage the peaceful environment in FATA.The tribesmen are devoid of all their basic humanitarian, constitutional, democratic and judicial rights till now. The doors of the higher and the superior courts cannot be knocked by any miserable tribal person for seeking justice. There is a ban on the tribal parliamentarians to take any part in legislation for FATA. They are allowed to legislate for the whole country but powerless to do some legislation for their own tribal areas. This is a clear violation of human and democratic rights but no body is willing to accept the basic rights of the tribal people. The tribal people are banned to make any political party or register it legally. Publication declaration order and political act are not extended to the federally administered tribal areas.
    The tribesmen are very miserable. The rulers and the bureaucracy have always blackmailed and condemned the tribal people for an uncommitted guilt and crime. Every blame occurs to the shoulders of the tribesmen. The tribal areas are like a towel on which every person in government comes to clean dirty hands with. They have always been slaughtered on the altar of national interests. The border with Afghanistan became unsafe after the US Government announced to give a package for the social uplift of the tribal people. Every body knows that President Musharraf in his period of the dual offices exploited the financial resources of the tribal people. After 9/11 the tribal people saw only bloodshed of their innocent nears and dears and they for the first time in history migrated from their own homes and villages on the hands of their own Muslim army.
    However sorry to state that despite all the bloodshed, negative and inhuman tactics the government failed to restore its writ in the tribal areas. It is also a fact that every tribal person is neither a Talib nor Militant. As a whole the tribal people are historically hospitable and peaceloving. The tribal people have never committed aggression against any nation but it is obligatory for them to break teeth of the aggressors and invaders and that is why they don’t know how to bow down before oppression and aggression. I also want to make it crystal clear that the vast majority of the tribesmen do not support the objectives and views of Taliban and militants based on extremism and fanaticism. The proof of this is that only a short number of tribesmen have resorted to militancy to resist. The reason behind the emergence of the short number of militants is that they lost their close relatives as a result of US jet fighters strikes and missile attacks which also destroyed their homes, hujras and mosques. On the other hand the Pakistan army on the special directives of the President Musharraf to appease Bush hit the villages in the tribal areas killing innocent people including women and children. This aggression on the part of the US army and oppression on the part of the Pak army gave birth to militancy and insurgency in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The militants and Taliban time and again forgot the cruelties of the government of Pakistan and agreed to sign truce with the army of Pakistan but every time the illegal ruler of Pakistan failed to keep his words and always violated the agreements made with the fighters in tribal areas. Both sides suffered great loss in form of material and lives only for appeasing the US President Bush. The recent resignation of the Governor NWFP Ali Muhammad Jan Aurakzai was also in this context that he had asked the Federal Government, particularly President Musharaf not to go back on their promises with the tribal elders and Taliban regarding the immediate release of the tribesmen from the jails in return for the release of the soldiers.
    The army on the strict orders of President Musharraf launched and completed military operations killing hundred of innocent tribemen, women and children but the army failed to overcome the militancy in tribal areas or to bring normalcy. It is a fact that the political administration has lost its writ, which it had utilized and enjoyed in the last half a century. The small groups of militants and Taliban are practically ruling over the entire FATA. It is also a fact that political administration and the local tribal elders lost their writ in FATA after the army officers snatched all the administrative powers from the political administration and they sidelined the local tribal elders. The writ of the government could be restored only if the army goes back to their barracks from the whole of FATA.It is also important for the government to pacify the angry tribesmen by giving them all their rights including a special financial package for the development of tribal areas. The proper use and utilization of funds on the mega development projects should be ensured. The government is also supposed to take the local and national political leadership into confidence along with the elected representatives of the tribal people. It will be convenient for the government to speedily enact its writ in Fata only if the government and the establishment jointly seek apology from the tribal people for their inflicted wounds to the tribal people. In future the tribal people should not be kept in darkness nor they should be maligned for the misdeeds of the rulers or establishment.
    Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    Tribal Journalist

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  8. Sudhir Afridi says:

    By Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    The Journalism and Mass Communication department of Peshawar University organized five round tables for tribal journalists, which were largely participated by tribal journalists and the professors of Journalism department. The round tables were aimed to guide and educate the tribal journalists that how they could report in conflicts and in the situation under tension in the tribal areas. Flanked by other professors Naem Gul said that the most precious thing for the journalists in FATA was to protect their lives. Protect your lives and use appropriate terminologies in your reports, said Profesor Naem Gul.He said that the tribal journalists should report stories and events to resolve conflicts rather than to add fuel for burning. Professor Faiz, Inamullah and Gul Wahab also stressed the tribal journalists to be careful in reporting for keeping in view the national interests, Islam and the tribal conventions and urged them to report just to inform and educate the people.
    The tribal journalists regretted that most of the time their stories are twisted, which give a very bad impression in the tribal areas. They also complained that the owners of the newspapers and the TV channels were not paying them any wages, which was not fair, and justice. They described that since 9/11 the tribal journalists were performing in a 2nd World War like situation. They added that FATA has become a war zone where it is difficult for journalists to be neutral or make bold reporting. On the one hand militants and on the other hand law enforcement agencies threaten them to create stories or events as per their desires whereas the affected party then resort to cause loss to the concerned journalists. It is also on the record that tribal journalists have suffered much loss and have lost some five to eight tribal journalists while performing their duties. The tribal journalists asked the media organizations to raise a strong voice for them so that they could also get some wages while performing as being journalists in the conflict zone of FATA.
    The tribal journalists also said that access to real information was also difficult for them. The political administration and the other stakeholders don’t support them in this regard but every one wants them to publish and broadcast news in their favour, told tribal journalists. They also suggested that editors of newspapers and Channels should not issue press cards to every body as they told that majority of the tribal journalists were illiterate and had no concern for journalism or reporting but their goal was something else. The tribal journalists proposed that the government should not treat them as alien. They demanded that they should also be treated as journalists regarding foreign visits and other privileges from the government’s side. They were sorry that in some of the tribal agencies they still had no press clubs while the consecutive Governors of NWFP had promised to build press clubs for the them to facilitate them.

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  9. Sudhir Afridi says:

    Might is right
    By Sudhir Ahmad Afridi
    I was really wonder struck when I read the concerns of the Western and American media on the Internet and heard through their electronic media regarding the suppression of the voices and agitation of the Tibetans by the Chinese government. The world has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of any sovereign state. But contrary to this it is also the moral right of every State and government to raise objections on the violations of the basic human rights through out the world. I don’t mean that China is justified in its stand on the issue of the Tibet. Surely China can force down and silence the cries and the demands of the people of Tibet in relation to the independence of Tibet, but not forever. At last Chinese government would be willing to give at least maximum autonomy to the Tibetans and would restore all the democratic and human rights of the people of the Republic in China. The present century is that of democracy and media and it is not possible for any regime to refuse basic rights to its citizens for long. The World has certainly become a “Global Village” and the dwellers of the globe are all interconnected through one medium or the other and directly or indirectly get affected from the situation prevailing any where in the World. If Chinese Rulers want to make their state the Super Power of the World and lead the countries of the world, it will have to show maximum flexibility with regard to human rights and democracy. Chinese people can be ruled for some time through the dictatorship of Communist Party, however, the world can not be ruled over for a single day with the stick of dictatorship. Secondly the philosophy of communism has been buried in the Soviet Republic of Russia where from it had emerged. Rightly it was the defeat of Capitalism when Communism had taken birth. Both Communism and Capitalism are in nature “Secular” and there is no concept of morality in them that is why they cannot claim to be the leading ideologies with justice and fairness. Coming to my basic point I can say that China is capable to rule over its people besides Tibetans but as long as the Communist Party enjoys the mighty stick. After coming out from China, the Chinese people will surely be impressed by the different cultures, civilizations and languages spread in the world. Either the Chinese will recognize them or will surely compromise on some points of the opposite cultures and civilizations which suit them and prove beneficial for them. By not allowing the other cultures to penetrate into the society of China, it definitely means that Chinese Ruling Class is afraid that alien cultures and languages can badly affect their society from the inside.
    The American Regime is justified to raise a voice for the people and their basic rights to be restored and kept intact, but how far the American people and their ruling class can justify their occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well. It is no longer a fact that Al-Qaeda and Taliban from within the shattered and broken Afghanistan had attacked to destroy the Twin Towers in USA.The leadership of Al-Qaeda and Taliban neither had nor have any sophisticated weapons and other resources through which they could uproot the imperialists and international terrorist “USA”. Every sober and learned person in the World knows it better that US President Bush and his regime were only seeking a pretext to somehow attack and capture Afghanistan for implementing its long cherished New World Order. Similarly the US regime launched a widespread and impressive propaganda against Sadam Hussain and his regime for holding weapons of mass destruction. The US forces smashed the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq after their invasion but so far failed to recover or prove the availability of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The basic goal of the US Regime was to bring the Middle East under their direct or indirect imperialistic rule, so that the biggest oil reservoirs could be utilized for strengthening their powers to rule over the whole world and facilitate their own people. Secondly the Bush administration had intended to protect Israel from being blotted out by Iran, Syria, Hamas and the other anti Israel states. The American President blackmailed the extremist regime of Taliban led by Mula Omer, the one eyed, with the blame that Taliban and Al-Qaeda had jointly planned to attack the Twin Towers killing the innocent Christians only as the Jewish employees had already vacated the Twin Towers fearing the attack .The barren and land locked Afghanistan has nothing to procure to the power and money hungry “Bushes” and Dick Cheneys.but its Geo -strategic location is very much significant for the US and NATO forces to control China, Central Asian States, Pakistan and Iran simultaneously. The American policy makers and their people in general have no concern with the issues of human rights, democracy and the sovereignty of a state. They are greedy and selfish to much extent to go beyond every limit of violating all the basic rights of the people and subverting the recognized terms and treaties regarding war and peace. The US army sabotaged all the rules and regulations set in the Geneva Convention, by detaining people of every category including ambassador of Taliban regime in Cuba. Cuba is not a state of America, but by force it has opened a jail there so that US Courts could not take notice of the human rights violations there, which is out of their jurisdiction. In Afghanistan the US army and the NATO Forces even did not forgive the innocent women and children going in the wedding processions to enjoy some moments of pleasure. The US jet fighters often strike the villages in the tribal areas of Pakistan in which innocent and unaware people including women and children get lost their precious lives. The lives of the Pushtoons have no value as they are killed in the best national interests of the West and America and President Pervez Musharraf. This is rightly a crusade because the Western rulers are all silent on the atrocities committed by US army in Afghanistan and IRAQ as well. The American interference in the internal political affairs of Pakistan is not some thing secret. An illiterate person in the Muslim world also knows better what the US President and its hand picked cabinet were doing for their vested interests. Amrican lobbyists are happy to flourish and nourish Sheikhdom in the Arab World because it is in their best financial interests to strengthen the Sheikhdom in the Middle East, in Pakistan the US President openly supports an illegal dictator Prevez Musharraf while in Afghanistan and in some parts of the World like Sudan and Syria he becomes the champion of democracy and human rights. How far is the US army justified to strike the populace villages in the tribal areas of Paksiatn, which is brazenly a violation of the sovereignty and space of an independent State? Pakistan under an unconstitutional, illegal President and the then Chief of army Pervez Musharraf has been a front state ally of the US against the so-called war on terror. This shows that the West and the US are merely interested in their own financial and economical gains rather than upholding the cause of democracy and the human rights in the world.
    Israel has illegally captured much of the land of the Palestinians and that of the Jordan and Syria. Nobody can justify the killings of the innocent people of Palestine who are yelling to get back their lands. American and the Britain are the staunch supporters of Israel and pitches it on its back to kill more and more Mslims in Palestine to ensuer its protection from the Arab World The US and the West considers the small flower like children to be terrorits who pelt the tanks and soldiers of Israel with stones ,but are blind to see the heavily armed Israeli soldiers who bulldoze the homes of Palestinians and brutally kill them in their own streets. Might is right, but this rule and policy would repeat itself in future.As you sow so shall you reap The Indian government is also not justified to snatch rights from the people of the occupied Kashmir. The Kashmiris should be given their right of plebiscite as per the resolutions of the Untied Nations. At last the occupiers will have to vacate the lands to the original people of the occupied lands. Russia might have gotten some lesson from the harsh and unforgettable defeat in Afghanistan. If the British, the Germans and the Russians could not cover the whole world for long, how long the American Forces would control Afghanistan and Iraq?
    Sudhir Ahmad Afridi

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  10. Asad says:

    HEllo!
    Dear Nicholas Schmidle
    Why not u visit Guntanamo bay or see what is your army doing in Afghanistan, Iraq Philpine. Somalia………long list.
    Please stop blaming Pakistan. If u look at your own past and present you will see that your hands are cloured with the blood of Innocent Muslims
    Please donot mid. This true and truth is harmfull
    Bestregards

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  11. karenk says:

    …and by ‘marriage from hell’ I mean,despite all the promises, neither is getting what they really want, and both are feeling used. What is really needed is a ‘marriage counselor’. Who could that be?

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  12. karenk says:

    I am grateful for the responses. Through links provided here that I checked out leading to ever more links(including a great poll by worldopinion.org) it seems that:1-Pakistanis want a justice system that works, and they’ll take Sharia law to get it. 2-they don’t trust the US 3-they want to elect their own representatives democratically 4- they want Islam as their national religion. One thing is clear from my American perspective-we should not be backing Musharraf. It was interesting to note that Pakistani editorialists were saying that the thanks they’ll get from the US for backing the war on terror is the US invading Pakistan via the FATA’s and gaining control of their nuclear program. Meanwhile the perception here in the US media is that the thanks the US is getting from Pakistan for giving them billion$ is a half hearted effort in the FATA’s where al Qaeda is regrouping to attack us again and still no capture of bin Laden/al zawahiri! Wow. This current US/Pak alliance is like THE marriage from hell!

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  13. Faheem Ahmad says:

    Something for everyone to ponder, how many journalist have the Americans jailed or are holding for making statement that would seem anti US, how many journalist have been “accidentally” shot by the US, lets not forget Bush wanting to bomb Aljazeera. So much for being fair to the free press, Pakistan just kicked this guy out where as the US just kills them, who is better and who is worst, lets see a panel discuss that if they dare;)

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  14. omar r. quraishi says:

    karenk raises a very valid point — something for those sitting in washington to take note —
    omar r. quraishi
    op-ed pages editor

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  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Pakistan is a military dictatorship. What the hell do we expect them to do to journalists that rock the boat; give them awards?
    Welcome to the reality of Bush’s “war on terror”, and his democratization process, demonstrated so clearly by this “most favored ally in the war on terror”.
    Meanwhile, Mahmud Ahmed and Khan walk free, superheroes to every Muslim fanatic that has wet dreams about severing American heads.
    Just another day in Bushworld.

    Reply

  16. Noon Khan says:

    @karenk
    I am a Pakistani and the illusion that Pakistan will collapse after Musharraf is ..just an illusion. There is no chance of Taliban taking over Pakistan. Extremist elements have no support of Pakistanis. Even the religious party alliance MMA renounces Taliban style of government. Why they are able to do so much damage is just because of abundance of weaponry Cold war era and a long Afghan border. US govt and people should stop supporting dictatorship because the strategy of using force indiscriminately by Musharraf is a total failure.

    Reply

  17. Stephen Demetriou says:

    Just curious. Do you suppose his deportation has anything to do with what was also mentioned in the Times about the discussion by Cheney and others about a wider role of the CIA in Pakistan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas? Juan Cole mentioned this on Wed.
    http://www.juancole.com/2008/01/osc-pakistani-papers-react-to-nyt-story.html#comments

    Reply

  18. Larisa Alexandrovna says:

    Steve,
    Thanks for alerting us to this situation. I have sent this to my full list and also posted it on my own private blog here:
    http://www.atlargely.com/2008/01/journalist-nich.html
    Best,
    Larisa

    Reply

  19. Malou Innocent says:

    Excellent question from karenk. I’ve been reading The Frontier Post a lot recently and not surprisingly their editorial page has had some very harsh criticisms of U.S. foreign policy. The latest one I read was how the United States left Pakistan out in the cold following our assistance to the Afghan mujahedeen, via the ISI, in the war against the Soviets in the 1980s. After reading similar editorials from the Pakistani press, I wonder how the intellectual elites within that country align politically. These are the educated and rational Pakistanis. These are not the Taiban or al Qaeda. These are the editors and writers of English language newspapers. What will happen with these and the millions of other educated Pakistanis that hate America, Musharraf AND the Taliban/al Qaeda? That’s the critical question that many in our country tend to ignore. Any thoughts?

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  20. karenk says:

    ooo that event looks interesting.Too bad I live too far.I’d like to know one thing in particular about Pakistan that I hope will be addressed: If Al Qaeda should manage to kill Musharraf, then what? Does that mean Islamic extremists would take over? What about the regular people?(like those lawyers who protested Musharraf, like other professionals, doctors, businesspeople and regular citizens)? Who do they support to lead Pakistan? Is any potential leader coming from that arena? Or do their politics not work that way? In other words, are the options for Pakistan limited to Musharraf, someone from the PPP or Islamic extremists seeking a state run by Sharia law? Anyone else out there? Any other possibilities?

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  21. Steve Clemons says:

    Hannah — Thanks for the note. I’ll ask Nick Schmidle when he’s here. I know he speaks several of the local languages — so dont know if he had a translator/fixer who wasn’t acceptable to the people he was interviewing — some who were in the leadership of some of the stronger Islamist groups in Pakistan. Nick and his wife both lived in Pakistan these last two years — and thus this deportation is upsetting. He really loves the place, and the Pakistan government has hurt a friend of the country.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  22. Hannah Bloch says:

    In light of his deportation, I do hope Nicholas Schmidle and/or the New York Times magazine have made arrangements for the safety of the Pakistani fixer(s)/translator(s) who worked with him.

    Reply

  23. Steve Clemons says:

    Erich — Schmidle emailed me as he was being deported with a Thursday the 10th time stamp — but that was actually early am Friday the 11th. He flew to London early am on the 11th….today.
    Oops..see I goofed on date…fixing now.

    Reply

  24. erichwwk says:

    Nice. Glad to see you back in the hosting business, in such a timely manner, w/ such a supporting cast.
    Would be nice to hear NAF fellows Eliza Griswold and Nir Rosen as well, but perhaps panel would become unwieldy. Look fwd to video archive, in lieu of c-span.
    so… was “today” fri. the 11th, or thurs the 10th?

    Reply

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