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The man who sold Pakistan

Published Feb 09, 2014 07:42am


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WE’RE already in the middle of it, so why not try and figure out the likely small print. Here’s an idea for the draft agreement:

“The Federal Government shall be under an obligation to take steps to enforce the Shariah, to establish salat, to administer zakat, to promote amr bil ma'roof and nahi anil munkar (to prescribe what is right and to forbid what is wrong), to eradicate corruption at all levels and to provide substantial socio-economic justice, in accordance with the principles of Islam, as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.”

Sound familiar? It should. That’s the operational part of the 15th Amendment that never was.

If you’re the conspiratorial or cynical sort, here’s a theory for the ages: the once-upon-a-time would-be amirul momineen is about to pull off the greatest political bait-and-switch this country, or perhaps any country, has ever seen.

Nawazul Sharif the amirul momineen. And this time, no one would see it coming — or even blame him for wanting it. It’s the TTP, stupid.

If only. If only that were true. The heart almost aches for it to be true. Anything but the tawdriness and ugliness of protecting Punjab over and above everything else. Amirul momineen would at least suggest a higher purpose.

No, there’s another villain in this piece. Imran Khan. Taliban Khan. The man who smashed this country on the rocks of extremism.

Oh, here we go again, the Khanistas will bleat. Blame Imran for everything. If a dog crosses a road, blame Imran. It’s not even Imran’s government, they will yell. He’s in charge of nothing.

All true. But that still doesn’t make him any less of a villain. In fact, precisely because he is in charge of nothing, he has the freedom to drag us all to ruin.

(KP is a bit prize that the PTI doesn’t even pretend to care about much; it’s Punjab the party really craves.)

The problem with Khan, the problem for all of us, is as simple as it’s ugly: he’s mainstreamed extremism.

Made it sexy, dressed it up, foisted it off on an audience that didn’t really understand what he is selling or why; packaged it as the little blue pill that will make all our troubles go away.

Without Khan, the right-wing wouldn’t disappear. Without Khan, there would still be the Taliban. Without Khan, there’d still be plenty of merchants of hate, bigotry and xenophobia. Without Khan, there’d still be a bunch of apologists.

But without Khan, none of that wouldn’t be as mainstream as it is with Taliban Khan running around.

Let’s play a little game. Imagine there was no Imran. No Taliban Khan on the national stage, no handsome mug and mischievous eyes plastered all over the country and shipped inside every TV. There’s just Zia and his progeny.

So, the usual is playing out. The Taliban are blowing up stuff and themselves, kidnapping a few here and there, issuing their usual threats of taking over the country, etc, etc. Par for the course, really.

Nobody really knows what to do about it. The boys are still playing their games. The pols too weak and scared. The public confused.

Then in walk the original apologists, the political extension of the extremist set. The usual chappies: Fazlu, Jamaatis, Sandwich, et al. And throw in some of the latter-day saints, like Burqa Avenger, aka Abdul Aziz.

And they all have the same message: Taliban misunderstood; all they need is some love; all we — Pakistan — need is some Islam; and all will be good. And boo to the Americans and their evil plans.

Folk listen for a bit, folk yawn, folk go back to their business and have some chai and samosas and laugh about it all.

Those goofy chaps, folk tell themselves, always taking themselves so seriously and pretending nobody knows what they’re all about.

Extremism stays where it belongs: on the margins. Because there’s no one credible to sell it to the centre and the mainstream.

Until Imran. Taliban Khan’s greatest gift is his power of simplification.

Simplification allows you to obfuscate. And obfuscation sells to helluva lot more people than the direct approach — if what you’re selling is the right-wing.

So Taliban Khan arrives with his simplistic formulae. Step one: Pakistan is broken, but Pakistan can be fixed, if only we had a more honest, more patriotic ruling class. Step two: Pakistan doesn’t have a more honest, more patriotic ruling class because they’re corrupt and beholden to outside interests. Step three: Anything that goes wrong inside Pakistan is because of the corrupt, unpatriotic ruling class. Step four: Taliban rose from among the people, a people oppressed by a corrupt and unpatriotic ruling class.

Step five: Taliban are misunderstood, and deliberately so by a corrupt and unpatriotic ruling class that is beholden to self-interest and outside powers.

See how that works?

It mainstreams hate, bigotry and xenophobia without ever sounding hateful, bigoted or xenophobic. It’s all couched in the language of understanding and pain and transferring blame.

And boy, has it sold. That handsome mug, those plaintive eyes, that soft, colloquial Urdu, those open hands — an irresistible package hawking irresistible simplicities.

And just like that, it’s mainstream. Your high-school kid, your average housewife, your gent on a charpai, your trousered and shirted office 9-to-5-er, every one of them a little Khanista.

Drinking from the fountain of refreshing truth, oblivious to its source. Lapping up Imran. Lapping up Taliban Khan, the man who sold Pakistan.

The writer is a member of staff.

Twitter: @cyalm


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (186) Closed

El Cid Feb 09, 2014 08:54am


Nasir Feb 09, 2014 09:12am

It appears that you are guilty of the same crime that you are alleging Imran of "simplification and obfuscation." Is this problem really as simple as you put it and do you really believe that people support Taliban have become mainstreamed just because Imran wants the government to resolve the issues through dialogue.

Let me assure you that I don't support IK's views and approach on these negotiations but I certainly don't see him supporting the Taliban. The players responsible for current situation are now sitting on the sidelines and blaming others. The Taliban problem developed over decades and it will take years if not decades before we can get rid of this menace.

Syed Hasnain Feb 09, 2014 09:12am

No one but Cyril Almeida could have put it so well and so well in time. But aren't we too late in really putting out the fire? God forbid!

Tariq K Sami Feb 09, 2014 09:14am

I think the man who sold Pakistan long time ago was Bhutto who blinked first to the extremists. The man who broke up Pakistan remember his "tum wahan hum yahan" to Mujib,the man who said will break the leg of any NA member who goes to Dhaka. The next guy who should be blamed is Nawaz sherif who drove the country to a "failed state" status. He attacked the Supreme Court. He attacked the Armed forces. He destroyed Karachi and its business houses. He is still trying to destroy Karachi and the MQM mandate. NS looted considerable wealth and laundered it abroad. Next he rigged the elections via the Judiciary and Najam Sethi. Next in line is Musharraf . He was an unelected leader and so he did not have a mandate and he pitched in with the Americans to get some recognition for his regime little did he know he will open the flood gates of extremism and outsider intervention. Imran to his credit made it clear that he stands with the Pakistan Military if he has to choose sides. Yes he has a soft corner for his fellow Pashtoons. Yes he is trying to salvage a bad situation. When you are in that position you are bound to get some one to say look at him he is a Taliban Khan. That is a cheap shot. I still believe he is the only person who can deliver and save Pakistan.

Ahmed Ozaif Feb 09, 2014 10:44am

Our views as a nation are so ossified that whenever we see a new process to be started, we start seeing the outcomes on the basis of our previous views and assumptions. What is anything wrong in applying a new strategy for peace when the strategy of war has already failed even in the times of most anti Taliban and most jingoist tenures of Musharraf and PPP. If that strategy has failed for so long why cant we start a new strategy for the ultimate aim?

Anoop Feb 09, 2014 10:55am

Pakistan is stuck in the narrative it has constructed for itself : Islam the greatest Religion and anything and everything mandated by it is super awesome.

When the TTP asks for this to be put into actions and consequently laws, the rational part of the mind goes : "Alert! Alert!".

Same with Pakistanis justifying Afghan Taliban's brutal rule over Afghans.

The fight in Pakistan is between people who are wholeheartedly committed to the narrative, like Imran Khan and other Taliban apologists; and, people who proclaimed to believe in the narrative, but secretly don't.

Jinnah said, "Some are misled by propaganda. Islamic principles are as applicable to life as they were 1,300 years ago. The Constitution of Pakistan will be made on the basis of the sharia."

Did Jinnah really mean this? Which group does he belong to?

anuj Feb 09, 2014 11:49am

Imran is a captain looking for a team post his leaving cricket, even if that team happens to be the TTP.....

Paras Feb 09, 2014 11:49am

This truly made my day!

Asad Feb 09, 2014 11:50am

Complete nonsense Cyril !! Why don't you share the alternative to that narrative? Bomb every living soul in N. Waziristan to oblivion, and asking the Americans to help us in this noble cause?? There will have to be negotiations, and there will have to be a middle road, its going to be give and in all negotiations.Or get ready for another decade of hell with no guarantees to peace?

Anon Feb 09, 2014 12:37pm

Excellent article!

Waqar Feb 09, 2014 12:48pm

Its been a while since I have read your crap. Thanks for making my day

ali Feb 09, 2014 01:02pm

I agree with your 5 pointer theory but the deduction that IK is the man who sold Pakistan doesn't make sense....even if looked sarcastically.....but the main question here can Imran be so naive?

Sajid Feb 09, 2014 01:08pm


Red Dawn Feb 09, 2014 01:20pm

I love this man for his courage, his stream of conscious style of writing and his lyrical melodious way of walking through minds of people.

waqas Feb 09, 2014 01:32pm

this is not criticism....this is pure hatred.... expected better

deep Feb 09, 2014 01:40pm

@Asad: First of all, Cyril - brilliant. I am a fan - but you have outdone yourself in this article. Asad - the alternative is not bombing anyone to oblivion - the alternative is a lot of hard work that involves working with the afghans, securing your borders, targeted operations (even in your cities), school book reform, etc etc. For all that to happen heed Cyril's plea - stop treating KPK, FATA etc as the servant's quarters far away from the main mansion of Lahore and Islamabad.

Parvez Feb 09, 2014 01:43pm

Sorry Cyril can't agree with you on this one. Not because I'm a great big Imran fan, because I'm not......have come to my senses. But because your analogy is wrong. The buyer ( the people ) of this new product are fed up, frustrated and severly disallusioned with the product handed to them over 67 years in the name of dictatorship and democracy. Now they are at a stage where ( Political,social vecuum in the country ) they are prepared to cut their nose in order to spite their face.............Imran has simply messed up this chance ( he has been used ) and the religious right are seeing this as another opportunity at GRABBING POWER and nothing more.

Fayez Feb 09, 2014 02:02pm

Imran simplifies. And what would your sophisticated plan be? Bomb everyone? That's not a simple plan at all. Must be a very smart brain that came up with that plan.

Taimur Javed Feb 09, 2014 02:52pm

Ahan, so isn't Mr. Almeida being too simplistic in his description of IK just like IK's view of terrorism (as per him it is too simplistic). What is his alternative, he could've given that, bomb Waziristan to oblivion.

Last time I checked, Imran Khan didn't beg the taliban to spare him as he shares there view and they are in the same team

Asim Feb 09, 2014 03:21pm

@Anoop: Jinnah never said that Shariah is the goal of Pakistan. His Pakistan was highjacked through Objectives Resolution by the same people who fought against him and objected to making of Pakistan.

Asim Feb 09, 2014 03:24pm

I hope this is not true.

sam Feb 09, 2014 03:35pm

@Anoop: well said Anoop..very well indeed!!

Dr Saad Feb 09, 2014 04:09pm

I often say that Dawn has become the new The News and now I feel compelled to say that its journalists are turning out to be Hamid Mirs!

salman Feb 09, 2014 04:11pm

Ironically, by using a simple strawman, you are guilty of the same thing you accuse IK of. PTI stance on talks has been clear since before elections. Pmln stance is now also the same. However, everyone seems to miss one point. ..I have heard IK many times say...lets talk to those that want to talk, and act against those who dont. So his solution is not as simple as you make out.

But hey....its easier to stick to the narrarive that IK is to blame so carry on....

Mohamed Idris Feb 09, 2014 04:19pm

Cyril seems to have a prejudiced and baised mind towards Khan. Probably he may be jealous of the Love and Respect Khan gets from all over the World and Pakistan. Cyrill has raised only problems in this article which every KG studying kid knows, there are no rational solutions . I agree Taliban is Monstrous and criminal but the question is "What made them like That" . This Cyril hasnot studied History, In 1971 when Pakistan pulled in the army to fight the extremists in Bangladesh, What was the result. U have a new country. No sane person would advocate to bomb its own people without negotiating or trying to find a peaceful solution. PS. I am not from Pakistan and yes as an outsider i see Khan only hope for Pakistan.

Adnan Feb 09, 2014 04:24pm

@waqas: I agree. Not a IK fan either, but this is hatred very thinly disguised as an intelligent piece of writing. Expected better from this author.

Aziz Feb 09, 2014 04:29pm

When you do not know who or where the enemy is then the best course is to try to find out. rather than trying to bomb them and the whole country to oblivion.

I feel optimistic because in the process we will perhaps discover that WE ARE THE ENEMY OURSELVES.

If as a nation we cannot agree on at least one course to follow despite existential dangers then that is the only conclusion to arrive it. The negotiation process, no matter how convoluted will at least make this obvious. Once we discover who the enemy is then we can find ways to deal with it too, hopefully!

Atta Feb 09, 2014 04:32pm

Very Sorry Cyril can't agree with you the way you depicted the IK... he is not the destroyer he is the lost hope for us... you should have disclaim this article or you may have placed this article as a satire to please the mess like those anti Pakistani ..... you are once more suggesting the Pakistanis to beg before the west or USA for their help and loss there identity... :(

ahmad butt Feb 09, 2014 04:34pm

Ok agreed Imran Khan is siding with the nemesis. Why is the Pakistan army helpless in containing the Taliban for all those years? they have the air force at their disposal too. Why is the intelligence agency failing to cut off their logistics and weaponry? Oh i know, Imran Khan yet again is responsible for their misdeed :)

Aamir Ali Feb 09, 2014 04:44pm

Good job almeida you certainly made a good article, Humour along the lines of right wing and theocratic mindset, comparing sharif with ik then depicting the man who is really behind the curtains and his idealogy, showing a true face of imran khan absolutely made me a fan of this article.

Aftab Saeed Feb 09, 2014 04:51pm

Nicely done Cyril...criticism with wisdom and foresight!

Naveed Lotia Feb 09, 2014 05:19pm


Jinnah never talked about Sharia.

khanm Feb 09, 2014 05:24pm

It was not the man who sold Pakistan, it is the entire nation who sold Pakistan. I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws?.. Let us have a positive approach in finding the flaws and rectifying them. The tree of liberty what we need to safe guard needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Ask not what the country has done for you. ask what YOU can do for your country.

Ali Feb 09, 2014 05:45pm

The more criticism IK gets from these paid journalists the more love IK gathers from his diehard,true Pakistanis.

Sarah Feb 09, 2014 06:47pm

Every word here in this article is a gem! Hats off to Almeida!

Noman Feb 09, 2014 07:14pm

An outstanding and truth bearing article,standing ovation to the writter,People please read it with a clear and impartial mind

zafars Feb 09, 2014 07:16pm

Whether IK is a villain or not, one thing is for sure its the so called corrupt civil society of our country(of which Cyril is a member) that has ruined Pakistan with its selfishness. Their platitudes notwithstanding, they are the real culprits who have sold Pakistan.

Ghost Feb 09, 2014 07:23pm

nicely done doubt imran is acting as devil's advocate in this picture

RealKhan Feb 09, 2014 07:26pm

@Adnan: I do not agree, the article is based on bitter truth and what we had seen from IK or aka Taliban khan

RealKhan Feb 09, 2014 07:40pm

@deep: I liked it

Asad Feb 09, 2014 07:43pm

@Atta: u said the right words... "lost hope".. There is no hope in ik.. Just another brick in the wall, only talks and tallks, nothing on ground.. "lost hope"...

Anonymous Feb 09, 2014 08:03pm

All of it might have carried weight if CYRIL ALMEIDA had not been fuming over the defamation lawsuit sent over by PTI last week.. Your bias shows in this article

kami Feb 09, 2014 08:03pm

Fabulous writing Cyril. Time has passed for sugar coating, this nation needs to swallow the bitter pill. Imran Khan is a born again Jamaatee and the worst thing that could have happened to this country at the worst possible time.

imran shafi Feb 09, 2014 09:19pm

If I am not wrong the writer is the same man behind the French restaurant drama in Islamabad. That drama clearly showed his extent of tolerance towards foriegners in this country, no matter with which ideology the French owner was running his business. He did't allow Pakistanis to enter into his legally owned property in Islamabad. And Mr. Cyril made a huge hue and cry because maybe he was not allowed to have his evening dose of whisky. Please Sir leave IK , don't at least call him Taliban khan, without not realising and understanding the ground realities.

s s ayub Feb 09, 2014 09:41pm

Mr. Almeida! Do you really believe in democracy - the numbers, I mean the votes? You know what, your favorite "Taliban Khan" scored 7.7 million votes after PMLN 14.6 million.

If majority is with them, why do champions of democracy like yourself are crying day in and day out. On the other hand you claim yourself to be a LIBERAL (please consider it as opposite of CONSERVATIVE / ORTHODOX), then why are you baying for the blood of other human beings (even less than human beings - the TALIBAN, according to your way of writings).

Please Mr. Almeida, enlighten us in your flowery English, with where do you stand - what are you Mr Almeida?

Amin Hussain Feb 09, 2014 10:05pm

(KP is a bit prize that the PTI doesn

Shahida Khan Feb 09, 2014 10:10pm

@Ali: live in your castles of sand, brother cos soon it will all be blown the dustbin of history.

shahid Kinnare Feb 09, 2014 10:22pm

Burger family of Pakistan did not realize that TTP and JI tried to capture Pakistan through Jeans. Uneducated Pakistani did not allowed it to happen through their votes.

TKhan Feb 09, 2014 10:36pm

@Tariq K Sami: Yes, Imran has a soft corner for his fellow pushtoons of TTP , a gang of criminals under the umbrella of Al-Qaeda who have killed 50000 Pakistanis because they were led astray by drone strikes and so on. Poor souls. Yes, Imran is the best hope we have in a country like Pakistan. Poor country. Indeed, you have brilliantly explained the situation.

Addy Feb 09, 2014 10:37pm

Imran's support for the Taliban comes from a misguided sense of tribal Pakhtun loyalty. Even in his playing days he was a strong proponent of the 'tribal lifestyle', aka their macho gun culture. Later, at different times he promoted his appreciation of the tribal Jirga system. He likes to be seen as an untamed warrior from the mountains, rather than the petty bourgeois from urban Punjab, which is his real background. Add simplemindedness and a stubborn disposition and the picture is complete. Imran is truly the Fredo Corleone of Pakistan politics.

Azlaan Feb 09, 2014 10:39pm

Incorrect. The message of PTI is tailored to it's constituency. Given that they are in power in the west of Pakistan their rhetoric reflects that. If mainstream Sindh or Punjab were PTI's primary area of influence, their message would be altered accordingly.

It remains to be seen, though, if PTI can take it's constituency and through representation and policy lead them to the path of political and idealogical moderation, as they are supposed to do.

GA Feb 09, 2014 10:40pm

Imran Khan is so right wing in Pakistan but would be in sync with left wing anti war movement in the US. Conversely, those left wingers calling for military operation in Waziristan would be at home with rightist US Neo Cons. Funny how it works.

Syed Shah Feb 09, 2014 10:46pm

I am a Pakistani American, been in the US for 35 years now, and I cant tell you how dangerous Imran Khan is, because Cyril is absolutely right, IK gives the Taliban the credibility they would never have not deserve, they deserve to be destroyed and ignored.

Imran Khan, you are a naive foolish man.

Aarif Mirza Feb 09, 2014 10:52pm

This writer is a member of staff? I am a non-political reader, and I have to say that this is a sad article built on transgression and tangents. I thought this was a credible newspaper of educated journalists, not a fan column of lavish opinions with undertones of resentment and hate.

I ask the editor to prevent future articles like this. The same message would have been more effective had the author chose to write in a higher tone than 4th grade english and a 2nd grade grudge. If I wanted tabloid style writing, I'd read a tabloid.

Kaala Hindu Feb 09, 2014 11:39pm

I can see how people are getting frustrated with IK. I am a 200% PTI supporter and I'm fed up with PTI leaders lack of making success. I would not call Taliban's with this name because Talib is a student of Quran e Pak and what so called Taliban's are uneducated wild cougars. Now these wild cougars can be only fixed is to send bunch of zoo keepers with 5 to 10 million cages to capture these wild animals who are living in the caves in the middle of no where. We must not use our precious PAKISTANI ARMY but instead use American zoo keepers with the most sophisticated weapons to smoke out these wild cougars. Cougars are cats and they cannot be allowed in the middle of People but instead locked up in cage with maximum security. Imran Khan turn your back on Talibans oh I mean Cougars.

Shafi Feb 09, 2014 11:43pm

This is a horrible article (although good written). Its so one sided, from journalist point of view completely unprofessional. I'm surprised that this person belongs to a new publishing organization.

Komal S Feb 09, 2014 11:48pm

Not sure i agree with the author. Technically Imran Khan became irrelevant after the elections as he got significantly less seats than predicted. Nawaz could have easily ignored Imran narrative as he had very weak mandate. Unfortunately the Sharif brothers are even more happier to shake hands with the terrorists. Not sure what they are going to gain out of this. This is going to be very messy.

Azlaan Feb 09, 2014 11:54pm

Absolutely Incorrect.

The message of PTI is tailored to it's constituency. Given that they are in power in the west of Pakistan their rhetoric reflects that. If mainstream Sindh or Punjab were PTI's primary area of influence, their message would be altered accordingly.

It remains to be seen, though, if PTI can take it's constituency and through representation and policy lead them to the path of political and idealogical moderation, as they are supposed to do.

uaahmed Feb 10, 2014 12:16am

Thank you Kind sir, you have remarkable talent of Writing and incredible Guts and Foresight

i was the only one in my circle of Friends to tell them that this guy is nothing but a farce and now today they tell me that i was right

Nadeem Feb 10, 2014 12:20am

Horrible......can journalism stoop to these levels. Shame

AIM Feb 10, 2014 12:34am

At least Imran has tried and has given free cancer treatment and that too world class for free. He has started a university. He could have just lived better life than all of us in West. If he wants to have dialouge whats wrong with it. We have tried everything else in last 12 years. Prophet peace be upon him did it with Kufar with Sulah Hadibia. It worked out to be the best deal for muslims. They were able to live in peace, progress and eventually triumph.

Mr Cyril and rest, What have you all done to sacrifice or give up for this country.

As they say in USA it is very easy to be a monday quaterback then play the game.( American fooltball game is played on Sunday)

May Allah bless Pakistan and its people.

Bilal Feb 10, 2014 12:51am

Cyril Almeida was fan of Imran Khan and supported IK over other parties. He supported Imran Khan and his ideology until that unfortunate and tragic church attack took place in which several people died. He started calling Imran Khan, the Taliban Khan after that single incident. I do not know why he did not speak against Imran Khan earlier when Taliban killed other innocent people all around Pakistan.

Taimoor Feb 10, 2014 12:52am

cyril i think what you fail to see in PTI and IK is the possibility that maybe in pushing for talks, theyre not acting on belief (being apologists for TTP and terrorists/mainstreaming terrorism) but actually doing know that thing people in government do against an opposition?

salman Feb 10, 2014 12:54am

@ahmad butt: Without doubt Imran Khan is responsible for that. He confused the nation specially youth. Because of him we as a nation undecided, not committed and have doubt on the ability of Army and the people of Pakistan.

NASAH (UA) Feb 10, 2014 01:10am

It takes just one bad egg to stink the whole place and call it fragrance -- you are exactly right -- things were better when Imran was managing the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Center not falling from the forklift.

ASAD ALAM Feb 10, 2014 01:22am

This article is simply in violation of freedom of speech. Do some research first to support argument. Imran Khan Offered one solution of a complex issue, You can differ with strategy or Policy but Do not malign him with hate. He only wanted to bring peace. Would you call US "Taliban Khan" if they supported talks.? Follow Work ethics before writing this kind of low class articles.

Asif Raza Feb 10, 2014 01:28am

Imran khan is honest to Pakistan and people of pakistan

Adnan Aftab Feb 10, 2014 01:33am


Abdul Basit Feb 10, 2014 01:55am

With great expectations come great disappointments and great disappointments merit a great criticism. Imran was expected to advocate Pakistan. He is acting otherwise

Sami Feb 10, 2014 02:10am

There can be differences about the "tag" of "the man who sold Pakistan" but a very true and correct analysis of whatever is going on in the name of "Talks".

Ahmad Feb 10, 2014 02:13am

the title to this article is pure sensationalism. the least you could do is put it under 'opinion'

Kemal Feb 10, 2014 02:18am

A great truth penned with courage. Bless you

Erudite Feb 10, 2014 02:30am

This is an excellent piece. Thanks Dawn and PML-N. Both PML-N's and PTI's policies of appeasement are disastrous for the country but very few people have the star power that Imran Khan does, which is why his apologist stance is all the more dangerous. Selling the country for the sake of few votes is the worst thing any politician could do. But perhaps all is not lost? Imran and company can still redeem themselves by distancing themselves from the extremists instead of banking on xenophobia and appeasement.

Junaid Feb 10, 2014 02:41am

Article is well written but lacks any solid argument or fact rather full of hatred and biased opinion. I am not sure how affective the author's call for the 'ruling elite to be patriotic' is, However I am really disappointed by journalism in our country which is just words, emotions, propaganda and based on ones personal opinion instead of doing some research.

Probably all of us need to first look at our input and the quality of input to the welfare of this country and do some constructive criticism based on some facts.

Adil Khan Feb 10, 2014 02:45am

neem hakreen khatra e jaan...these journos speak about things of which they know nothing...its Piers Morgan - Bret Lee effect. Do you even understand how political events take shape? you are as much a simpleton as you accuse IK of being. The difference being IK is on the ground and faces the reality daily.

Aun Feb 10, 2014 06:20am

@ahmad butt: Pakistan Army is not helpless. Pakistan Army if takes the situation in their own hands then they can clean sweep everything and mind you every one. However the only issue is they want to work under the constitution of Pakistan as every one is aware that whenever some thing good is being done for the the country and is people, initially one receives all kinds of praises and applauds however after some time passes the same people starts cursing,abusing and indulge in all sorts of rubbish against those who did something good for them. Moral We Pakistanis's have very short memory and that we do not like to read history and learn from its mistakes. Infact we keep doing what our elders have already done. Thats why we keep roaming in circles and if nothing else is done, our children will be doing the same thing that what we are doing here today.

Rayan Feb 10, 2014 07:46am

That's called calling a spade a spade.

SS Feb 10, 2014 08:19am

This article is extremely one-sided, lacks balance and objectivity expected of a good journalist. He needs to debate issues on both sides before coming to this stark conclusion.

Hammad Haider Feb 10, 2014 09:05am

Here we go again. Each and every party decided to negotiate in the APC, yet the only one these liberal fascists choose to criticize is Imran Khan. Oh I see so now Imran Khan is to be blamed for bringing taliban into limelight, I guess you are forgetting Imran only came to limelight himself in 2011. Taliban had already captured your north west by 2008, 2009. So I guess you should get a life man and give peace a chance,we always have our armed forces in place to tackle the taliban in case the peace talks fail.

u29 Feb 10, 2014 09:15am

Your "step V" does not exist simply because his mandate is to give negotiations a chance before launching an operation. That does not equate to "taliban are misunderstood". Sorry you can hate Imran Khan, I will respect that. Because more than Imran Khan, I like freedom of thought and expression, but basing your hate on something which does not exist and distributing it in a credible news source is just irresponsible journalism.

khalid sheikh Feb 10, 2014 09:18am

The writer Mr.Cyril Almeida can only understand what he means by this article.Either I am too dumb or Lame in the head not to understand because it does not make head or tail.

ameer ali Feb 10, 2014 09:37am

those who are not ready to give peace and dialogue a chance are more radical & extremist than talibaan !! this is one sided article !

Muhammad Farooq Feb 10, 2014 09:53am

The writer may have exaggerated the role played by IK in the context of Taliban but it is a fact that IK being a popular sports personality of past and popular political personality of current times, has helped Talibans by taking their sides so many times. It has dissuaded the nation in taking a joint and united stand against the brutalities of Talibans. The writer's contention that IK made TTP a mainstream phenomenon is correct, though a bit over-stated.

Irshad akram Feb 10, 2014 09:56am

This piece has so much "hate, bigotry and xenophobia" and even sounds "hateful, bigoted or xenophobic".

shahid Feb 10, 2014 10:02am

No, Imran Khan has not sold out Pakistan. If you are really interested in finding the culprit then go and stand in front of the mirror and look straight in the mirror. You will see the seller right in front of you. It is after reading such articles one is forced to believe the Imran's use of the term "American Totay"/

Ali Shah Feb 10, 2014 10:31am

I am surprised at Cyril's anger towards Imran. How can somebody who hasn't even been close to power circles be accused of being the main protagonist in the direction that Pakistan is taking?

Muhibullah Feb 10, 2014 11:27am

According to a 2008 survey conducted on behalf of the non-partisan American think tank Terror Free Tomorrow, 36.8 percent of the Pakistani population thought that it was very important goal for the Pakistani government to impose strict Shari

Left is Right Feb 10, 2014 11:36am

I absolutely love your columns, Mr. Almeida. I can't agree with you more !!! ......May Allah give Imran some sense, but I think the situation is now out of our hands....we liberals are now fighting a losing war.

Riaz Papin Feb 10, 2014 11:53am

@ Tariq K. Sami. To say that IK has a soft heart for Pashtuns is the greatest joke I heard in a while. Do you know who are the greatest victim of the religious indoctrination, extremism and terrorism over the last few decades? It is Pashtuns who have been used as cannon fodder both by the state and decimated by the terrorists alike. Interestingly most people have missed the point of the article. In simple words, IK has "mainstreamed religious extremism" and bigotry by justifying the cruelties of Taliban as a reaction to drones. Bravo to Almaida for writing this and putting it across so eloquently.

An observer Feb 10, 2014 12:44pm

For the die hard supporters of IK, I liked the guy but it's time to accept we placed our bets on the wrong horse. The trouble was their were no right horses running the race. IK got trumped by the TTP & no matter what IK supporters say now, the hand has been dealt.

zarqa Feb 10, 2014 01:07pm

one eyed analysis completely biased. the 15 year era of Musharaf and Zardari should be discredited for the current situation

Earl Dsouza Feb 10, 2014 01:08pm

Well said

Shahzor Ahmad Feb 10, 2014 01:19pm

Dude all your article says is that you have some personal issues with Imran Khan, and some how because DAWN loves publishing your banal views, you think you can take it out here and waste our time. Please grow up and at least try to some constructive criticism. Your writing is far from analyzing any practical issues Pakistan is facing, or proposing any solutions to the prevailing problems. All you're trying to do is bringing those people down who are at least trying to bring some positive change,

Not-a-Fan Feb 10, 2014 01:57pm

Many times too much of slangy language just destroy the whole content or message one trying to send. Being cool dude should not be maintained as the sole purpose of article writing.

Ajmal Feb 10, 2014 02:33pm

From the title, even a PPP or PMLN fan would think it's an article about any of our current or previous PMs. Or maybe Zardari.

Islam Zindabad Feb 10, 2014 02:46pm

@Naveed Lotia: Aren't you Muslim You should say it if he doesn't say, Secular peoples trying to get some ways to cross it .

Asad Ali Feb 10, 2014 02:47pm

Mr Cyril , you have no right to offend 25 Million Voters of Both PML-N and PTI . We hardly even know you and your article is not an opinion but a blame . I hope Both parties sue you . Who knows you turn out to be the one who sold out . PML-N and PTI are the largest parties of Pakistan . Your one lame article can undermine the greatness of these Right wing parties . You have to accept the will of the Majority . The Majority wants Shariah Law . They voted for the parties who want to impose Shariah Law. If you don't like it , join politics , win the election and the change the constitution by two third majority .

Aman Feb 10, 2014 03:18pm

nonsensical to the point of being hilarious!

Sara Muzzammil Feb 10, 2014 03:44pm

Thank you for writing this. I hope people can see past the stardust and open their eyes for once

uc Feb 10, 2014 03:50pm

Since Cyril Almedia knows a thing or two more then the millions who voted for PTI I would suggest he come out with a policy statement on how to get rid of extremism Pakistani is mired in today. I hear IK being ridiculed for his take (and let me point out myself that his policy on Taliban is not without flaws and may in the end fail all together); however I would like to call on all the enlightened Left wing diaspora (Cyril Almedia included) to please state there policy on how to tackle Taliban and extremism in general. The choicest answer would be to launch another Operation, since we have been very successful in doing so in the past like in SWAT where we made all the badies run away so that they could come back and haunt us again and where our Army is still deployed since it is not secure enough for the civilians to take over.

Abid Qureshi Feb 10, 2014 05:31pm

@ahmad butt:

It is the parlement who needs to take a decision as the army can't on them own, that is why we have parliament who should have the courage to make bold decisions for the betterment of the country.

Abid Qureshi Feb 10, 2014 05:35pm

There is nothing wrong with dialog with TTP as everyone wants peace. But the problem is that it is not the first time that that a peace initiative has started with TTP, it has failed all the time.

Haq Feb 10, 2014 05:41pm

Yes, negotiations might lead to peace, but something's are more important than peace. Things like your country, it's constitution, protection from living in a despotic regime in the long run is more important. If they weren't more important than peace, we would've never had the partition, there would've been no revolutions in the world. Principles are more important than peace. I cannot live in a Pakistan sold to the Taliban. It will no longer be the country I would die for. This kind of compromised peace is going to cost us dearly.

rizwan ul haq Feb 10, 2014 06:06pm

two things are very disappointing for the media in pakistan; first highly appeasment, second extreme criticism this is because of its immaturity and gaining cheep popularity

Sadaf Ahmed Feb 10, 2014 07:15pm

Excellent piece, really well written. For those who argue that journalists should get behind Imran as 'although not perfect' he's the best of the bunch. I say, what nonsense. That's not the job of a free press. It's not unpatriotic to speak out and even if it were, it's not the job of the press to be patriotic.

Great to see such quality journalism coming out of Pakistan. Seems the press isn't dead yet.

Tahir Feb 10, 2014 07:43pm

@Sarah: it all depends how one defines things...I think you have defenition of the word gem....There is nothing gem in hatred, bigotry and false stuff.

Maverick Feb 10, 2014 08:07pm

@Noman: you are right.

Maverick Feb 10, 2014 08:08pm

@Sarah: yeah ..Awesome artice

Maverick Feb 10, 2014 08:11pm

@Atta: Kindly read this article without being biased

Maverick Feb 10, 2014 08:12pm

@salman: u r speaking like a true IK khan..huh

rabia khan Feb 10, 2014 08:21pm

@Naveed Lotia: in those times people were honest better muslim without much knowledge of Islam, but now they have turned into animals who need much guidance from Quran :)

AJ Feb 10, 2014 08:32pm

@imran shafi: And what are the ground realities MR. Imran Shafi? Why do you think IK should not be called Taliban Khan?

Sohail Feb 10, 2014 09:49pm

Probably the dumbest article I have read. Starts with an interesting premise but gives no arguments to support its stance.

Nasir Afridi Feb 10, 2014 10:57pm

i appreciate your anger but Sir or Miss whoever you are, before I or you point out anyone for being extremist lets be fair with ourselves. We are the one who's becoming fuel for that extremism. I and you are the people who is holding banners "kafir kafir shiya kafir" , "Gustakh e Rasool" , "Sindh 1 and Sindh 2" , Hazara sooba hamara huq ha". No offence but this is who we are, I and you are. We are the ones sitting at home holding coffee mug in our hands and saying-writing crap about all these "respectful personalities". you want change be that change, great stuff does not comes easily, and what comes just by sitting at home and commenting over issues is "Bullshit"

Adnan Aslam Feb 10, 2014 11:12pm

What exactly was the author trying to say???? I am still confused....

AM Feb 10, 2014 11:32pm

God have mercy on this country and its residents. You guys have a short memory. You are negotiating with same people you spoke with in Swat and....what happened. Do you need more reminder......

rafs Feb 11, 2014 12:05am

@Syed Shah: Imran Is Foolish and you sir: are a smart man to come to that conclusion. The reason you are a smart man, I imagine, is because you have lived in US for 35 years?

Zeeshan Ahmed Feb 11, 2014 12:58am

Cyril is great at criticising Imran but provides no solution.... "he has the freedom to drag us all to ruin"...which makes no sense since Cyril admits Imran is "in charge of nothing"

syedfaisal Feb 11, 2014 01:00am

@Aun : my dear muslim bother i have worked for 2 months in a transport department in 2007 which was delivering the nato containers to afghanistan most of the main Transport contractor from the nato were the pakistan army officer ranks raletvs believe me our pak army has sold out by yours GHQ to Nato it is now a dollars paid army now time is changed they can not fight people who are fighting for Allah and his rule

syedfaisal Feb 11, 2014 01:25am

@deep: my question from you what have you done from the last 10 year to safe karachi by targeting operation? did you have achieved your goal? you have done 50 operations around but what have you done the people of fata are not the same where they were before the loved with Pakistan and pak army, i am inviting you to come to the fata and talk with the nation and get their opinion

saira Feb 11, 2014 01:27am

@ASAD ALAM: I think you need to read up on 'freedom of speech'. It's not what you think it is.

saira Feb 11, 2014 01:31am

@imran shafi: He touched a nerve with the PTI wallahs. Throwing tantrums instead of arguments, as always.

Lakhkar Khan Feb 11, 2014 01:35am

@Ali Shah: The problem is not that. The problem is Imran Khan is not condemning Taliban. He is actually enabling and legitimizing their criminal presence.

Lakhkar Khan Feb 11, 2014 01:38am

@Asif Raza: A wise enemy is better than a stupid friend. Imran is definitely NOT a wise enemy.

Lakhkar Khan Feb 11, 2014 01:39am

Cyril, tell it like it is. Keep it up.

Lakhkar Khan Feb 11, 2014 01:43am

@TKhan: With friends like IK who needs an enemy?

Tariq K Sami Feb 11, 2014 05:03am

@Riaz Papin: For the rest of Pakistan to say : "Mein khaunga chicken ki boti, thenal khameer di roti" (from Aloo Anday),while the Pashtoon nation alone fights the occupation of their homeland. That's not gonna happen.

tariq Feb 11, 2014 09:17am

People who talk about Sharia law in Pakistan have no Idea what the Quaid envisioned. Country where All Creeds, all Religions and Muslims could live freely without Religious laws being imposed on them!. Go Figure.

Waqar Feb 11, 2014 11:13am

@Syed Shah: so you are in US for 34 years and you think you know better than millions of people who voted IK in KPK because of his Peace Talk slogan. Well, the only thing going for you is your logic, makes you one us, if you know what i mean ;)

HS Feb 11, 2014 11:14am

@Syed Shah: You might not be aware that the Taliban were an asset to this country, they were made by us to fight for us and when their work was done they were left in limbo. You cannot ignore this as these are facts, hard but true, talibans are our people!

Waqar Feb 11, 2014 11:17am

@Naveed Lotia: You know nothing Jon Snow !!

a Feb 11, 2014 11:20am

I'd like to hear a solution from Mr writer, if he doesn't want negotiations to go ahead. Each day, people from both sides (WITHIN PAKISTAN) are being killed. Does the writer NOT want that stopped? Bombing N.Waziristan back to stone age is a misconception quite alot of people carry nowadays. What they don't understand is that Waziristan is also part of Pakistan.

Who is asking the government to give in to ALL of taliban's demands. No one needs strict shariah law across Pakistan. But that doesn't mean that both sides keep killing each other until Pakistan is no more.

"Ittefaq mai barkat hai".

Also, your use of the words 'Taliban Khan' makes you look pretty immature Mr writer. You are generalizing all people with last name of Khan as being sympathizers of taliban. SHAME ON YOU.

Wasif Feb 11, 2014 11:40am

Brilliant, unapologetic and resigned with the humour of our own misery. Cyril Almeida, take a bow Nadeem F. Paracha, eat your heart out

On another note, I sincerely request Cyril to write a detailed analysis of Imran's motivation to make extremism mainstream; what did he expect to gain from this except from the obvious route to Islamabad et al. Where would one want to take Pakistan whilst pursuing the course of Ameerul Momineen or Anti-corrupt extremism

Many thanks

Naqvi Feb 11, 2014 11:55am

Such a brilliant, heartfelt article. Khan's fans should remember that country comes before party loyalties. Say no to despotic vision of Khan and company. Save Pakistan.

Naqvi Feb 11, 2014 11:55am

Such a brilliant, heartfelt article. Khan's fans should remember that country comes before party loyalties. Say no to despotic vision of Khan and company. Save Pakistan.

Umair Khalid Feb 11, 2014 12:46pm

people who voted for Imran have now realized that he is no different than any other politician.

Yaseen Feb 11, 2014 12:50pm

Good command on language does not guarantee substance! Hence proved.

Immad Feb 11, 2014 01:19pm

Yes Imran Khan provided us with best facilities of cancer treatment and a good college. But does that give him the leverage to betray Pakistan and Pakistanis by sympathizing and siding with the killers of Pakistanis? Its so disgusting that even the blood of 50000 innocent Pakistanis does not mean anything to Imran Khan. If we are willing to pardon and befriend killers of 50000 why we want to punish single time murderers and petty thieves. If this is what we are willing to do then aren't we hypocrites?

amna Feb 11, 2014 02:40pm

Who ruled from 2008 - 2013? yes your fav "party" for whom u have written much stuff. What have they done? Did they bring peace back? They are too vocal against it ( appny girabaan men jhaanky pahly)

Now people of Pakistan have kicked them out and have given chance to others, let them do their work.

Sheep Feb 11, 2014 02:50pm

@Ali Shah: Money, religion and personality.

Wrest Corp Feb 11, 2014 02:53pm

I don't see anything wring with a dialogue with the TTP, as we are all striving for peace. Even the US wants to initiate peace in Afghanistan, and hence talking to Taliban (the ones they are fighting with).

Just that peace initiatives with TTP has failed on numerous occasions and that's the biggest challenge. Even the 15 points shared with the Pak Govt seems difficult to deal with.

Wasif Basharat Feb 11, 2014 03:11pm

The whole argument is based on the writer's assumption that by NOT talking about a problem it is either a way of addressing the problem or prolonging it. Welldone Sir! I salute your wisdom.

Enough said!

Wasif Basharat Feb 11, 2014 03:14pm

@Yaseen: thats a killer comment! I likes! =)

nomi Feb 11, 2014 03:22pm

Ignoring a problem does not make it go away. You portray such a happy little world if it wasn't for Imran, TTP would go about their business blowing people away, it's all fine as long as it's not in the mainstream? You blame him for bringing awareness to the masses, of the corruption done by your elite? If that brought hate and bigotry to mainstream then rightly so, people suffered in silence long enough, let their emotions dictate. I chose to be among-st the learned than to be deaf, dumb and blind.

Syed Shoaib Ahsan Feb 11, 2014 03:45pm

You make the very same error you accuse him of.

Kamran Iftikhar Feb 11, 2014 06:13pm

Imran pretense on Taliban has backfired on him. The illusion he pulled has shattered and in the next elections he will loose KPK

wizarat Feb 11, 2014 06:19pm

Thanks I couldn't have said it better.

You have articulated a problem, now next step

Please let us talk about the solution to this dilemma

How about in every terrorism FIR we include the names of the supporters and instigators of TTP?

Kemal Feb 11, 2014 06:49pm

Sympaty for Taliban must be expressed by journalists and politicians in order to mellow them out. We should not say anything to incur the wrath of Taliban

Patrick Gomes Feb 11, 2014 07:15pm

One fails to understand the sense in which, or the reason why, Mr Almeida attributes the "mainstreaming of extremism" to Imran Khan. Could he mean that all PTI supporters or IK fans are backers of extremist violence? Or that IK has glamourised such violence? Or perhaps that the jamaatis and the usual suspects he mentions were not very much in the mainstream of Pak politics -- in the street, if not at the polling booth, well before IK had made any inroads to either? And lastly, is the author suggesting that any attempt to situate extremism at the crossroads of geo-politics and domestic socio-political realities nothing more than pandering to the obscurants? We'll never know, since Mr Almeida, departing from his customary journalistic rigour, has provided precious few clues.

almieda Feb 11, 2014 07:21pm

Yes Cyril you are a genius it not Nawaz sharif who has the final authority/responsibility and accountability but IK the sidekick is the main show in town...One thing is extremist mindset and their convoluted Sharia other are indigenous tribal people easily fooled like the rest of Pakistani masses ( always getting fooled by corrupt politician and opinion makers )by their age old code of revenge and honor . We need to get tribal on our side and who will bring these ttp type under control by our help all military, social and economic front ...It seems only diamond can cut diamond that extremist their custom ridden version of Sharia imposer can only be fought by forward looking , enlightened rightful elite of this country

almieda Feb 11, 2014 07:24pm

poor Nawaz sharif thought he commanded the rightful position to decide with his 2/rd majority .Cyril you don't believe in real democracy do you or will of majority of people

Zia Feb 11, 2014 08:47pm

Very good English, but you are completely unaware of the situation in Fata and with the Taliban and Pakistan or you deliberately practice such mischievous writings to get sth ur objective...

Yasir Mahmood Feb 11, 2014 08:57pm

This with referrence to Mr. cyril' column "The Man who Sold Pakistan". He has rightly termed Mr. Khan as Taliban Khan. He has emerged as tribal leader more than the national leader in the post election scenario. How can Mr. Khan be insensitve to the hunderds of innocent people killed by Zalimans. Does Mr. Khan have any justification for those killings. And what guaranttee would he give to.the nation that Zalimans would not commit such attrocities once the peace pact is signed. They have signed thse pacts in the past but did stay on them. They are notorious in breaking the pact. So why should we go for the talks again. My suggestion to the govt is that if it imperative to talk, talk on your own terms and not to accept their any unconstitutional demand.

White Crow Feb 11, 2014 09:18pm

Imran khan is surely a villain.

imran Feb 11, 2014 09:54pm

One of the worst articles i have read in a long time. Mr cyril your views are shared by a minority who have a very secular thinking.

Lawrence Lobo Feb 12, 2014 12:04am

Good stuff Cyril, keep em coming!!

Fareed Feb 12, 2014 12:27am

5 years of Zardari's rule, how many times Cyril put spot light on his misgovernance ? Man who sold Pakistan , what an epithet for IK ! Money grabbers , tax cheats sold Pakistan. Cyril is shooting in the dark.

Raju Feb 12, 2014 01:42am

@Sohail: This article has made over 140 people pour their minds out and comment and you call this dumbest article.

Fareed Feb 12, 2014 04:37am

Power to negotiate or not negotiate with talibans is with Nawaz Sharif, Cyril why have made Imran K target of your false accusation,by captioning the article,," The Man Who Sold Pakistan." it sounds as if he committed treason. Did he ?.

ahmad butt Feb 12, 2014 11:03am

@salman: Confused youth? What have they done other than vote for PTI because they consider that PMLN and PPP have failed to do anything. What can they do to stop the war or contribute in it? They only voted in an election and what are you talking about it is totally irrelevant. In the 90s, i thought Nawaz Sharif would do wonders for Pakistan, and then i saw the PMLN jiyalas jumping the courts, corruption in karz utaro scheme and only in a third world country the graduates are given yellow cabs than jobs/careers that match their qualification. People have no say in anything, take it or leave it ( remember ex-PPP prime minister famous words in a CNN interview). For your information, army is still fighting and there has not been any ceasefire. Why are the jawans dying, whose cause they are on? Army action in Bangladesh caused the nation to break, and the army is being stretched to Baluchistan and even in Karachi too. now for your last comment, please do tell me the glory of Pakistan people, i want to know their achievements on a national scale. We have disrespected a noble laureate because of his faith. and the father of making the country atomic power AQ Khan.Also do not mention Imran Khan winning the world cup in 92 off course because he is part of yahudi sazish(jewish conspiracy)

ahmad butt Feb 12, 2014 11:11am

@Aun : That is exactly what George Bush said to Taliban when they launched their post 9/11 offensive. What have they achieved? A first world army with most advance weaponry cannot fight in a difficult terrain.There is a website liveleak that has war footage , i suggest you see how tough it is to battle in the rugged terrains. Same goes for Pakistani soldiers, the army operation has been going for nearly a decade with no result in sight. As much as patriotic you want to sound, please bear in mind that Pakistan army does not need to fight an unnecessary war.

Fahd Feb 12, 2014 11:45am

The comments only serve to further validate Mr. Almeida's excellent thesis. It seems like many people are more interested in defending Imran Khan's indefensible simplistic stance than actually making even the slightest effort to question their preconceptions and understand the enormity of the existential crisis the country is facing. As Mr. Almeida suggests, it is because of the charisma of Imran Khan that his followers would ignore logic and common sense, blindly believing anything their dear leader says. Imran Khan has indeed mainstreamed hatred and xenophobia. And the biggest tragedy is that his simplistic and conspiracy theory thinking, now pushed from the periphery toward the center, have pushed the "land of the pure" into a much bigger mess from which it will be very difficult to extricate the country from.

Doruk Adnnan Feb 12, 2014 11:51am

The writer better be a stand up comedian

Bano78 Feb 12, 2014 11:54am

This is what journalism is all about, jurrat. This is the truth from beginning to end. Unfortunately we as a people don't have a backbone anymore, otherwise we would not have tolerated the mullah in our homes, schools, workplaces, let alone our streets.

Ishrat Feb 12, 2014 12:50pm

I like the narrative. Especially the sentence -- "Burqa Avenger, aka Abdul Aziz."

Hahahah - you made my day. Good on you.

Muzammil Feb 12, 2014 02:23pm

Next time better come up with some constructive criticism rather than trying to portray yourself as just another IK basher... Its nothing personal Mr. Cyril, its just good business.

rauf Feb 12, 2014 02:41pm

in your next article , tell us what you would do ?? lets see what you can come up with..wait i will tell you right now , you wont come up with anything...

UB Feb 12, 2014 02:46pm

I think you have nothing to do so that you wrote this one. This article daubed me about the maturity of Dawn News.

amir Feb 12, 2014 03:12pm

@a: 500 women suicide bombers, gangs of Uzbek mercenary - you need guts to bomb them. I'll rather kill them in their caves before they kill me in my city.

Amir sahab will do nothing for he needs to protect his mills and madressahs; he need to pamper his regional friends. After all he's alive thanks to them.

Illegitimate, hypocrites, mercenary - tats how these talibs of education are.

haris Feb 12, 2014 03:20pm

@Yaseen: "Good command on language does not guarantee substance! Hence proved." but it attracts brainless group effectively ... Thence proved!

Could someone ask the author, did Imran Khan put the guns on the foreheads of other entire political elite to agree for talks?

If yes, I would support him for his overwhelming courage because I don't want to be guided by timids.

Is IK is stopping you to launch all-out operation?

As Talat Hussain rightly said: "This Nation loves to be fooled, again, again, and again"

Sabeen Khan Feb 12, 2014 03:30pm

@Umair Khalid: Oh seriously? How can you speak on behalf of all the other voters that voted for PTI? Vague comments do not strengthen the point. You better be updating yourself with the developments made in the KPK 'cause your media won't show any. We are not at all disappointed in Imran and PTI!

Aamir Feb 12, 2014 03:58pm

A very good articulation of facts by one who is not so much accustomed to our culture. 10/10

Faheem Z. Chaudhry Feb 12, 2014 04:02pm

Be it Pro war or antiwar we all want sustainable peace in pakistan, one thing we all need to understand is that Pro talks does not equate to Taliban sympathizers. would the writer care to explain latest attack on Peace committee member by the militants:

Pro Talks activist are being targeted, be it by militants or by such columns, @writer does your write up come under mainstream hate against Imran Khan.

Ahsan Feb 12, 2014 04:06pm

I have been a staunch critic of IKs policy with regards to terrorism from day one but I sincerely believe that Cyril has overstretched his case here. Khan has not said anything new, his stance is quite old. He was saying exactly the same things pre election when we got some pro khan commentaries from the Cyril.

Both Khan and MNS were given the public's mandate to find peace with these terrorist. I think they are actually doing something about it rather then following the PPPs policy of doing nothing.

Even if we completely disagree with their polices, they should still be allowed, or rather, encouraged to follow them. Ultimately they will fail and then probably recognize that military action is the only solution to this problem.

Musharraf Feb 12, 2014 04:07pm

For the future Pakistan will be play ground same like Afghanistan for European Union

Salis Usman Feb 12, 2014 04:24pm

Let us clear this, otherwise we will be at loss on that Day. Faith in Allah Almighty, our religion, Islam comes much before the country, party, family, ourseleves and our money.

Salis Usman Feb 12, 2014 04:32pm

If Talibaan are extremists, what is this article. Both sides are extremist. I don't see tolerance either side. Islam does not go for extremism in any way.

Murad Iqbal Feb 12, 2014 06:03pm

I did not expect this kind of article from Cyril. Pathetic analysis, needless and excessive blaming of IK for what he did not do. From the topic, I thought he will be naming Zardari or Hussain Haqqani, etc...

Fareed Feb 12, 2014 06:23pm

Cyril, Ever heard of phrase ," The buck stops here", popularized by President Harry S. Truman, means taking full responsibility. PM Sharif is the main player, why can't you spare Imran K ?

Khalid Yusuf Feb 12, 2014 07:02pm

@tariq: Please get 2/3rds majority in parliament and change the constitution through democratic means before you go off about Jinnah's Pakistan. This is democratic country...if you have support, get the votes and carry out your wishes. If you dont have the votes, then focus your words on education, economy and infrastructure and stop wasting time on pipedreams.

Khalid Yusuf Feb 12, 2014 07:15pm

Last time I checked, Nawaz Sharif was democratically elected and has a majority in the parliament. If you cannot accept democracy, you cannot accept the constitution because it contains references to Islam as the source of are an extremist! Simply blurting out that Jinnah wanted this or that does not nullify the will of the people expressed through voting. It sounds to me like Cyril expects the entire constitution to be changed into a Kemalist wet dream on the basis of what he says Jinnah wanted....regardless of parliament or majority. I think he should find lots of common ground with Shahidullah Shahid although they are on extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. Both of them can sit and chat about how they dont accept the constitution or democracy. Both would love to shove their interpretations of shariah or liberalism down people's throats. Hypocrisy in the extreme I say

Pervez Feb 12, 2014 09:00pm

Of all the comments I have read about this article, it appears that most could not fathom the depth and wisdom in this absolutely amazing analysis. In simple words the author Cyril Almeida (by the way she is a lady) says;

The man who sold Pakistan (Imran Khan) by providing a prefect opportunity to Nawaz Sharif by promoting Taliban under misguided theories. Nawaz Sharif, in his previous tenure proposed 15th amendment designed not only to make Quran and Sunnah the law of the land but to empower the government to implement the rule of sharia.

The idea of the 15th amendment came from Tahira Sikandar, wife of Maj. Gen. Sikander, Military Assistant to the Prime Minister at that time (close to Abba ji) who had a vivid dream that Nawaz Sharif is ruling a peaceful nation as Ameer-ul-Momineen under Sharia law. MG Sikander reported the dream to Nawaz Sharif who was deeply affected.

Nawaz Sharif was a pick of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq who himself was dreaming of becoming Ameer-ul-Momineen and make Sharia the law of the land.

Nawaz Shareef's exile in Saudi Arabia has further cemented his desire to become Ameer-ul-Momineen and to turn Pakistan into a model like Saudi Arabia where only his family can rule Pakistan for many generations.

This is obviously a very intelligent analysis by the author. My hats off to Ms. Almeida.

Ghani K Feb 12, 2014 09:53pm

@Murad Iqbal: Don't expect from a bleeding heart liberal Cyril to write against Zardari or Husain Haqqani. IK is their favourite target. I wish Cyril would leave his cozy office in Karachi and spend few days in KPK. It might dawn on him that ground realities are different , every city in KPK is in war zone, IK is trying to find out a way out of this madness.

ScKhan Feb 12, 2014 11:36pm

Said it like it is. And now everybody's wondering: "What ? No? Not our golden boy too? "

Ali Aftab Feb 12, 2014 11:43pm

I disagree Mr. Cyril ...

Zar Feb 13, 2014 12:04am

That was a nice effort to gain some popularity....but don't forget ...imran khan is a leader and no leader in history has faced lesser opposition....the words show your low pathetic self