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Exclusive interview with Noam Chomsky on Pakistan elections

Updated May 07, 2013 11:56am


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Noam Chomsky. — Photo by AFP/File
Noam Chomsky. — Photo by AFP/File

by Ayyaz Mallick

Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Noam Chomsky, is without doubt the most widely heard and read public intellectual alive today. Although trained in linguistics, he has written on and extensively critiqued a wide range of topics, including US foreign policy, mainstream media discourses and anarchist philosophy. Chomsky's work in linguistics revolutionised the field and he has been described as the 'father of modern linguistics'. Professor Chomsky, along with other luminaries such as Howard Zinn and Dr Eqbal Ahmad, came into prominence during the anti-Vietnam War movement in the 1960s and has since spoken in support of national liberation movements (and against US imperialism) in countries such as Palestine, El Salvador and Nicaragua. In fact, his prolificacy in terms of academic and non-academic writing has earned him a spot among the ten most cited sources of all time (alongside Aristotle, Marx and Plato). Now in his mid-80s, Professor Chomsky shows no signs of slowing down and maintains an active lecturing and interview schedule. Here we caught up with him to get his views on upcoming Pakistani elections, American influence in the region and other issues.

As a country which has spent almost half of its existence under some sort of direct military rule how do you see this first ever impending transition from one democratically-elected government to another?

Noam Chomsky: Well, you know more about the internal situation of Pakistan than I do! I mean I think it's good to see something like a democratic transition. Of course, there are plenty of qualifications to that but it is a big change from dictatorship. That's a positive sign. And I think there is some potential for introducing badly needed changes. There are very serious problems to deal with internally and in the country's international relations. So maybe, now some of them can be confronted.

Coming to election issues, what do you think, sitting afar and as an observer, are the basic issues that need to be handled by whoever is voted into power?

NC: Well, first of all, the internal issues. Pakistan is not a unified country. In large parts of the country, the state is regarded as a Punjabi state, not their (the people's) state. In fact, I think the last serious effort to deal with this was probably in the 1970s, when during the Bhutto regime some sort of arrangement of federalism was instituted for devolving power so that people feel the government is responding to them and not just some special interests focused on a particular region and class. Now that's a major problem.

Another problem is the confrontation with India. Pakistan just cannot survive if it continues to do so (continue this confrontation). Pakistan will never be able to match the Indian militarily and the effort to do so is taking an immense toll on the society. It's also extremely dangerous with all the weapons development. The two countries have already come close to nuclear confrontation twice and this could get worse. So dealing with the relationship with India is extremely important.

And that of course focuses right away on Kashmir. Some kind of settlement in Kashmir is crucial for both countries. It's also tearing India apart with horrible atrocities in the region which is controlled by Indian armed forces. This is feeding right back into society even in the domain of elementary civil rights. A good American friend of mine who has lived in India for many years, working as a journalist, was recently denied entry to the country because he wrote on Kashmir. This is a reflection of fractures within society. Pakistan, too, has to focus on the Lashkar [Lashkar-i-Taiba] and other similar groups and work towards some sort of sensible compromise on Kashmir.

And of course this goes beyond. There is Pakistan's relationship with Afghanistan which will also be a very tricky issue in the coming years. Then there is a large part of Pakistan which is being torn apart from American drone attacks. The country is being invaded constantly by a terrorist superpower. Again, this is not a small problem.

Historically, several policy domains, including that of foreign policy towards the US and India, budget allocations etc, have been controlled by the Pakistani military, and the civil-military divide can be said to be the most fundamental fracture in Pakistan's body politic. Do you see this changing with recent elections, keeping in mind the military's deep penetration into Pakistan's political economy?

NC: Yes, the military has a huge role in the economy with big stakes and, as you say, it has constantly intervened to make sure that it keeps its hold on policy making. Well, I hope, and there seem to be some signs, that the military is taking a backseat, not really in the economy, but in some of the policy issues. If that can continue, which perhaps it will, this will be a positive development.

Maybe, something like what has happened recently in Turkey. In Turkey also, for a long time, the military was the decisive force but in the past 10 years they have backed off somewhat and the civilian government has gained more independence and autonomy even to shake up the military command. In fact, it even arrested several high-ranking officers [for interfering in governmental affairs]. Maybe Pakistan can move in a similar direction. Similar problems are arising in Egypt too. The question is whether the military will release its grip which has been extremely strong for the past 60 years. So this is happening all over the region and particularly strikingly in Pakistan.

In the coming elections, all indications are that a coalition government will be formed. The party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is leading the polls with Imran Khan's (relatively) newly-emerged party not far behind. Do you think an impending coalition government will be sufficiently equipped to handle the myriad problems facing the country that you have just pointed out, such as civil-military imbalance, drone attacks, extremist violence etc.

NC: Well, we have a record for Nawaz Sharif but not the others. And judging by the record, it's pretty hard to be optimistic. His [Sharif's] previous governments were very corrupt and regressive in the policies pursued. But the very fact that there is popular participation can have impact. That's what leads to change, as it has just recently in North Africa (in Tunisia and Egypt). As far as change goes, significant change does not come from above, it comes through popular activism.

In the past month or so, statements from the US State Department and the American ambassador to Pakistan have indicated quite a few times that they have 'no favourites' in the upcoming elections. What is your take on that especially with the impending (formal) US withdrawal from Afghanistan?

NC: That could well be true. I do not think that US government has any particular interest in one or another element of an internal political confrontation. But it does have very definite interests in what it wants Pakistan to be doing. For example, it wants Pakistan to continue to permit aggressive and violent American actions on Pakistani territory. It wants Pakistan to be supportive of US goals in Afghanistan. The US also deeply cares about Pakistan's relationship with Iran. The US very much wants Pakistan to cut relations with Iran which they [Pakistan] are not doing. They are following a somewhat independent course in this regard, as are India, China and many other countries which are not strictly under the thumb of the US. That will be an important issue because Iran is such a major issue in American foreign policy. And this goes beyond as every year Pakistan has been providing military forces to protect dictatorships in the Gulf from their own populations (e.g. the Saudi Royal Guard and recently in Bahrain). That role has diminished but Pakistan is, and was considered to be, a part of the so-called 'peripheral system' which surrounded the Middle East oil dictatorships with non-Arab states such as Turkey, Iran (under the Shah) and Pakistan. Israel was admitted into the club in 1967. One of the main purposes of this was to constrain and limit secular nationalism in the region which was considered a threat to the oil dictatorships.

As you might know, a nationalist insurgency has been going on in Balochistan for almost the past decade. How do you see it affected by the elections, especially as some nationalist parties have decided to take part in polls while others have decried those participating as having sold out to the military establishment?

NC: Balochistan, and to some extent Sindh too, has a general feeling that they are not part of the decision-making process in Pakistan and are ruled by a Punjabi dictatorship. There is a lot of exploitation of the rich resources [in Balochistan] which the locals are not gaining from. As long as this goes on, it is going to keep providing grounds for serious uprisings and insurgencies. This brings us back to the first question which is about developing a constructive from of federalism which will actually ensure participation from the various [smaller] provinces and not just, as they see it, robbing them.

It is now well-known that the Taliban's creation was facilitated by the CIA and the ISI as part of the 1980s anti-Soviet war. But the dynamics of the Taliban now appear to be very different and complex, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, as they attack governments and mainstream parties. Some people say that foreign intelligence agencies are still behind the Taliban, while others consider this a denial of home-grown problems of extremism and intolerance. How do you view the Taliban in the context of Pakistan?

NC: I can understand the idea that there is a conspiracy. In fact, in much of the world there is a sense of an ultra-powerful CIA manipulating everything that happens, such as running the Arab Spring, running the Pakistani Taliban, etc. That is just nonsense. They [CIA] created a monster and now they are appalled by it. It has its roots in internal Pakistani affairs. It's a horrible development and phenomenon which goes back to radical Islamisation under Zia and taking away the long standing rights of people in the tribal areas (who were left largely alone). The Pashtuns in particular are kind of trapped. They've never accepted the Durand Line nor has any Afghan government historically accepted it. Travel from what is called Pakistan to Afghanistan has been made increasingly difficult and people are often labelled terrorists, even those who might be just visiting families. It is a border which makes absolutely no sense. It was imposed by the needs of British imperialism and all of these things are festering sores which have to be dealt with internally. These are not CIA manipulations.

Actually, US government policies are continuing to do exactly the same thing [produce terrorism]. Two days after the Boston marathon bombings, there was a drone strike in Yemen attacking a peaceful village, which killed a target who could very easily have been apprehended. But of course it is just easier to terrorise people. The drones are a terrorist weapon, they not only kill targets but also terrorise other people. That is what happens constantly in Waziristan. There happened to be a testimony in the Senate a week later by a young man who was living in the US but was originally from that village [in Yemen which was bombed]. And he testified that for years the ‘jihadi’ groups in Yemen had been trying to turn the villagers against the Americans and had failed. The villagers admired America. But this one terrorist strike has turned them into radical anti-Americans, which will only serve as a breeding ground for more terrorists.

There was a striking example of this in Pakistan when the US sent in Special Forces, to be honest, to kill Osama Bin Laden. He could easily have been apprehended and caught but their orders were to kill him. If you remember the way they did it, the way they tried to identify his [Osama’s] position was through a fake vaccination campaign set up by the CIA in the city. It started in a poor area and then when they decided that Osama was in a different area, they cut it off in the middle and shifted [the vaccination campaign] to a richer area. Now, that is a violation of principles which go as far back as the Hippocratic Oath. Well, in the end they did kill their target but meanwhile it aroused fears all over Pakistan and even as far as Nigeria about what these Westerners are doing when they come in and start sticking needles in their arms. These are understandable fears but were exacerbated. Very soon, health workers were being abducted and several were murdered (in Pakistan). The UN even had to take out its whole anti-polio team. Pakistan is one of the last places in the world where polio still exists and the disease could have been totally wiped out from this planet like smallpox. But now, it means that, according to current estimates, there will be thousands of children in Pakistan at risk of contracting polio. As a health scientist at Columbia University, Les Roberts, pointed out, sooner or later people are going to be looking at a child in a wheelchair suffering from polio and will say 'the Americans did that to him'. So they continue policies which have similar effects i.e. organising the Taliban. This will come back to them too.


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Comments (89) Closed

Awais Lodhi May 07, 2013 06:59am
awesome, call a spade a spade !!
Accountant May 07, 2013 09:00am
But he did not say what the pakistani army should do to get rid of this problem. If the security agencies, who are sucking our blood, don't do anything about these terrorists then what should we expect from the US.
Faraz May 07, 2013 06:51am
Very clear. Thanks
Syed Hydar May 07, 2013 06:57am
Quite interesting.
Imran May 07, 2013 08:43am
A correct analysis. Noam Chomsky has put things in correct perspective but it is nothing new for people living outside pakistan. he has correctly pointed out that pakistan's salvation lies in having better friendly relations with india. This should also put end to all conspiracy theories mongers in pakistan who see outside hands in all their problems.
Pakistani May 07, 2013 12:41pm
Sir Noam Chomsky is the intellectual warrior.
caz May 07, 2013 11:31am
Pakistan is an historical mistake and what its people have to realize is that islam simply does not have solutions to the problems of a complex modern world. pakistan is founded on the despicable ideology of communalism and its laws including the demand for sharia is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Islam is a defeated civilization and the primitive ideology is propogated to keep the oil despotisms in arabia in place.
Nandakumar K May 07, 2013 11:39am
An excellent example of Marxian analysis of a problem!
Raj May 07, 2013 11:42am
It is quite normal here in USA for the rich and the famous to charge a hefty fee for lectures and interview sessions. For instance, former Bill Clinton's wife Hilary is known to charge $50,000". Even the accademics do it too. I wonder how much Prof. Chomsky charge for his interview this time? Take a guess.
Q May 07, 2013 08:45am
"Terrorist Superpower" i can read your brain Mr. Chomsky
jamil May 07, 2013 08:50am
Sindh has more resources than any other part of the country!
Ali Shah May 07, 2013 07:45am
Noam Chomsky is the greatest intellectual going aroudn today
Capricorn May 07, 2013 07:34am
So very typical of Mr. NC and Pakistanis to blame all their Problems on the United States. It is easier to blame somone else and harder to find a solution.
Imraan Mehmood May 07, 2013 07:28am
Noam Chomsky called the drone a 'terrorist weapon' and dawn was happy to publish his comment. If a Pakistani would have called the drone a 'terrorist weapon' Dawn would have censored the comment.
Syed Hussain Akbari May 07, 2013 09:48am
True. DAWN is losing its credibility.It appears to me that a sort of dictatorship mind rules in the presntation of the happenings in the constitution of DAWN. I hope they change their attitude.
dsp May 07, 2013 09:50am
that's very true just like India cant match china and china cant match America(in terms of military) its better to use the meager resources that we have to uplift the population of subcontinent than to fool 1.5 billion people in fruitless wars for sure India and Pakistan cannot wish each other away ITS TIME WE REALIZE THAT WE CANNOT DESTROY OTHERS WITHOUT RISKING OUR OWN DESTRUCTION
Imraan Mehmood May 07, 2013 09:54am
you forgot Balochistan
Khayyam May 07, 2013 09:55am
Actually its we and only we (people and politicians) who are responsible for the current issues. If you think some of us in the past were ignorant and played in someone's hands, its responsibility also lie upon us. This is our country, we ourselves have to protect it. We have to build one common thinking among ourselves, everyone of us needs to create and maintain peace around ourselves,surroundings. By discussing only conflicts and their causes we won't get too far. We have to realize that in the end its the people, we, our own people who are involved in such kind of activities. And it doesnot matter whether we are performing activities on our own or on someone else's direction because in the end we(people of Pakistan) are the one who are suffering.
bilawal ali hanjra May 07, 2013 10:31am
very true analysis ,US should stop breeding terrorism in the world.I like his sentence that change doesn't come from above rather people have to try for it.
Rohit May 07, 2013 06:10pm
Raj, believe it or not some nice people in this world don't care about money and I am guessing Mr. Chomsky is one of those. In fact I would go as far as saying his human rights activism is PRICELESS.
Ali May 07, 2013 01:25pm
Ahmed May 07, 2013 01:26pm
The fact that the interviewer felt the need to get Chomsky's opinions on the Pakistan elections reveals more about the interviewer than anything Chomsky said. That is, Chomsky is venerated by the Pakistani "intelligentsia" because he is perceived as saying negative things about the US. The fact is that Chomsky are of scholarship is lingistics. He happens to be interested in politics, but that does not mean his views are based on any greater knowledge of the situation in Pakistan than even an average Pakistani on the street. Chomsky says as much at the beginning when he tells the interviewer the latter knows more about Pakistan than he does. The interviewer was merely fishing for confirmation by an "authority" of his own negative views on the US that is conventional wisdom among the Pakistani "elite" (as they complete applications for US visas, admission to US universities and so on).
saad malik May 07, 2013 01:36pm
You will find out on the day of judgement what Shariah means...just wait for that time...
Azmul May 07, 2013 04:06pm
so you think that considering Pakistan a one nation is the way forward? Well I am very sorry but that's just a big misunderstanding you have. Probably you belong to that province which shares less and takes more. The basic flaw in your understanding is that after creation of one country, the states within do NOT withdraw from their identity. Whatever a province yields, its first right goes to the local population. In the name of one country, the rights of individuals are crushed. Do you even know what one nation is? Well take a linguistic class if you want to know the definition of One nation. For God's sake do not confuse between a multi linguistic country grouped together for benefit of a few, and the word Nation. Do research before you draw conclusions. As far as your claim regarding Women rights in Islam, well probably you need to read Quran again. There is difference between giving rights and giving equal rights. Any one who has read Quran knows that although a woman's status was raised, it was clearly not made equal to what men enjoy.
mohammad shafique May 07, 2013 01:56pm
naom chomsky is clear that the problem of pakistan is the punjabi oligarchy and its control of the military which is the source of the pakistan's chronic instability due to its ruthless colonisation of southern punjab, sindh and balochistan. This oligarchy is bent on thwarting the implementation of the lahore resolution of 1940 which was the basis of the pakistani entity.
I TIRMIZI May 07, 2013 03:47pm
I really wonder how come a person of Noam Chomsky's stature ignored a very fundamental problem (and solution) of Pakistan: For Pakistan to survive - and prosper, feudalism must be destroyed.
pathanoo May 07, 2013 03:46pm
BRAVO!!!! Ahmed. Well said. Truth was told by you. Noam Chomsky is a far left liberal who hates America and will always find some thing bad to say about America. It is surprising though that he was so lucid on the affairs of Pakistan and did not dump every thing in America.s lap. In Chomsky's world, America can do no good.
Shakoor Ahmed May 07, 2013 03:44pm
There is no doubt about the merits of Islam. The problem arises when Islam is used for conducting politics and for power grab. Politics is a dirty game and to bring Islam into it is a folly. The unethical politicians take shelter under the umbrella of Islam and misguide the Awam.
Nav May 07, 2013 02:35pm
Pakistan faces many problem the greatest is its internal issues. Not the Taliban. Not terrorism. But its unity under the banner of one nation- Pakistan. Below you will read people bickering which region has more resources? Pakistan should be a united nation, a nation of all the provinces once and for all. The problem Pakistan has faced under all previous leaders is that you define yourself by your province. You should define yourself as a Pakistani. All provinces should be developed equally and together. And to those who attack Islam, the funny thing is you fail to realize that Islam is what provided the pre-requisites to the renaissance, that most intellectuals that drove advances in human knowledge were Muslims, the ones who advanced the idea of democracy were Muslim, the ones who built massive societies based on a unified Justice system across hundreds of ethnicity's was Islam, the one that gave women rights hundreds of years prior to the west even classed women as "first class" humans was Islam. Islam is a way of life guys. Not a civilization. It is a way of living. It is about destruction of poverty. It is about patience. It is about unity across genders and races. It is about Peace.
farid May 07, 2013 03:42pm
US has ruined Pakistan's political system by interfering in its internal issues. It has used Pakistan against the Soviets and now against the religious fundamentalism.
farid May 07, 2013 03:33pm
Probably nothing. You can send him an email and I am sure he will honestly reply to you.
farid May 07, 2013 03:34pm
100% right statement.
Masood hussain May 07, 2013 06:22pm
I as a appreciate Noam Chomsky very much as a free thinker enjoying immense respect all over the world but placing him on a high paedastal with Plato,Aristotle and Marx is too much.Problems facing Pakistan have long been recognised but they need to be placed in the right order and priorities.
independentthinker May 07, 2013 10:14pm
Do you need to read the Quran to see what it says about what rights women have? Quran is indeed a holy book - but God also gave you brains to distinguish right from wrong. What does your logic say - why should a woman's status be less than a man's? It is that mentality that keeps us from prospering. For God's sake - we are all equal and it should not matter, what gender, color, religion, etc. we have. Why would God discriminate against Her creation - ever wondered?
Realist May 07, 2013 04:52pm
Very well said mate! 5 Dislikes for this? Pakistan also needs a high literacy rate for people to be able to comprehend thought provoking points like you mentioned above.
Anonymous May 07, 2013 06:19pm
The proverbial difference between preaching and practice. That is what is missing in Islam and that is the main issue. What it teaches is great, what its followers practice is...well I leave it for everyone to judge.
Vivek Raj May 07, 2013 05:01pm
The very fact that you made such a kind of statement shows how ignorant,primitive & unscientific bend of mind your education & culture has given you.Don't wait that some day some thing would happen.See whats happening right now.God has given brain & a loving heart to all humans. We can all strive to make this world & our individual lives better today itself, if we were to just listen to our heart & work hard for our peace & prosperity ,rather than waiting for judgement Day.Sir,jab Judgement Day aayega, toh woh bhi dekha jaayega,magar abhi toh jee lo.
Nav May 07, 2013 05:16pm
Indeed. It is absolutely true that the misguided impressions of people about Islam are entrenched in their belief that political regimes and dictatorships are based on principles of Islam. I am deeply saddened by people who assume things about a billion people when they do not take it upon themselves to learn about Islam.
Dr. Baig May 07, 2013 10:06pm
Sorry, not impressed! Ranging from the typical Punjabi bashing to the thoughtful " drones are a weapon of terrorism " spare me the luke warm, wishy washy stereotypical not so enlightened natives theme. A very patronising peace, this simply reflects American perceptions, we know better and by the way don't annoy big bad India you cannot compete with them. First of all, pound for pound Pakistan is with all its flaws and inadequacies an incredibly resilient nation with a huge potential for growth. Typically, the mantra is secular liberalism, but the real goal is Pakistan as conceived in the objective resolution. America is not the world, just another country...... It's a big world out there time to make our own foot prints.
independentthinker May 07, 2013 09:58pm
What an amazing interview - hearing the facts as they are! I fully agree with Mr. Chomsky that new leader - preferably Imran Khan, will break free from the U.S. influence. Based on what i am hearing from Mr. Khan's speeches, i believe Pakistan will become an independent state, without being pressured by any super power. Drone attacks should be totally disallowed - as they terrorize the innocents - the effect of which is far greater than the benefit of hitting the targets. I believe, by maintaining good relations with the neighbors, Pakistan does not need to spend billions on its military. I am sure India would also like to normalize its relations with Pakistan, as both countries have much better use for their funds than blowing it away to prepare for the war, that neither of them want or Mr. Chomsky's views about Nawaz Sharif. It is time for Pakistan to bring a real change, where the party that will govern, will come with new ideas and will not come with a track record of corruption. May God always bless Pakistan!
Boffin May 07, 2013 07:36pm
This was a very simple Q&A session with Chomsky. I do not think he is aware of all the details and subtleties of the matters at hand. Also, the Pashtuns in Pakistan are not against the Durand line. I know a large number of Pashtuns and many are my close friends. Most Pashtuns do not want to separate from Pakistan as Chomsky claims. P.S. On a slightly different subject I have started noticing bias in Dawn's reporting. I am sure many others see this too.
Shaukat May 09, 2013 06:15am
He is some one far smarter than you. You seem to be a byeproduct of dictatorship cant tolerate any one. That is the problem with majority of Pakistani's.
Nadeem Altaf May 09, 2013 06:16am
One can only pity you.How barren you are.
Sridhar May 07, 2013 08:50pm
You are absolutely correct. The interviewer wanted validation.Some how he thought the world would be interested in what happens in Pakistan. So he approached a big name, and not necessarily an expert on Pakistani politics. I do respect Chomsky but there is nothing that he said during the course of interview that has not been articulated repeatedly, with greater insight and wisdom by Pakistani intellectuals and columnists of The Dawn. If validation by Chomsky will get more moderates to wake up and take notice and action, all the best wishes to the troubled nation.
Chanakya. May 07, 2013 11:04pm
Noam Chomsky? Who is Noam Noam Chomsky?
Ayyaz May 07, 2013 11:09pm
Hi, I am the person who conducted the above interview with Prof. Chomsky. Just to clarify, there was no fee or charge involved. He took time out for us completely for free. Please refrain from comparing Chomsky with likes of Clintons and other establishment 'intellectuals'. Ayyaz
Chanakya. May 07, 2013 11:14pm
Once you start blaming someone else for you shortcomings, problems, you're never going to find way out or solution.The wise, the braves they take upon themselves and get out the rut and succeed and lead others to success.
Chanakya. May 07, 2013 11:16pm
The Army( Pakistani) just waiting, just for the right moment.
mo May 07, 2013 11:33pm
offended by truth hmm?
mahavir May 07, 2013 11:51pm
Why then discrimination between believers and non believers?
Chanakya. May 08, 2013 12:35am
Does there exist a non-free-thinker?
Chanakya. May 08, 2013 12:37am
Destroy? Why not build a free society free from feudalism?
Chanakya. May 08, 2013 12:43am
How about a "crusader"? Why we can not think , or take things without a lace of violence?
Chanakya. May 08, 2013 12:44am
Whose judgement?
moina May 09, 2013 04:58am
Amazing ! I envy his intellect
malik May 08, 2013 05:05am
It is duty of Government to form the policy, if government do not have any policy to confront terrorists, no specific law has been passed for this during the last 60 plus years. then how come security agencies are responsible for this.
Ammar May 09, 2013 03:47am
Naom chomsky, such a learned person and a very famous name in the world ... Mr. Gangadin, you need some serious reading outside your academics to know where the world is heading....
Nayyar Rashid May 08, 2013 05:10am
No one can cast any doubts or aspersions on the calibre of Chomsky and his intellect but I don't agree with his views on the Durand Line....... Pushtuns are an ethnic group and they are loyal citizens of Pakistans... All that they share with Afghans is a common ancestory... and they are very much comfortable with the idea of being a part of Pakistan.... it is just the Afghan President who is not very comfortable with the issue of Durand Line being settled once and for all............
dandi rogan May 09, 2013 02:45am
gangadin surely you've heard of Noam Chomsky, the kind hearted intellectual giant who is a voice for the voiceless and the oppressed.
sabir Jarwar May 08, 2013 06:44am
Nom is always best & genius intellectual.
A Rehman May 08, 2013 06:54am
I agree with the P.S. Standard of journalism has definitely seen a decline in Pakistan.
Skeptic May 08, 2013 07:49am
Excellent observation! Agree totally!
Jimny May 09, 2013 01:51am
Professor Chomsky is one of the most cited individuals in works published in the past 20 years.
Maryam May 09, 2013 01:49am
What is wrong with you man ? How dare you questioned his caliber ? If you are born a 100 times , even then you may not be able to have a 0.5 % of IQ what this man has got !!!
amerbail May 09, 2013 01:45am
Let me guess, you must be PMLN fan. Must be hard to hear the reality that goes against your ideals.
Pak Super Power 2030 May 08, 2013 10:59am
I am from Lahore and I agree with you. Problem is that Punjab is big but pays less taxes. Sindh and Karachi are feeding us which is shame. But greater shame is we rule them.
Akil Akhtar May 09, 2013 12:12am
This coming from an indian who always blame Pakistan for everything, no wonder you have not found a solution yet.
anonymous May 08, 2013 11:15am
It is a fact that by intervening in Pakistan's internal affairs the US has managed to further weaken the country. Nevertheless, Pakistan has let the US carry on with their agenda! If Pakistan was truly as united as so many utopian-thinking people claim it to be then it would have never come so far. By giving out co-ordinates facilitating the drone strikes, the Pakistani has betrayed their own people!
Meeru May 08, 2013 11:23pm
Uncle Chomsky badly needs a reading list of Indo-Pak History...
Sunny Boye May 08, 2013 12:15pm
Dr. Saab HOW???
gangadin May 08, 2013 12:58pm
What caliber? what intellect are you talking about? Who is he and why was he interviewed? How dare he comment on anything Pakistan? Remove his picture and stand up on your own.
Shubs May 08, 2013 02:13pm
Others can only show you a mirror. Whether you use it to identify your flaws or throw rocks at it is completely up to you.
Shubs May 08, 2013 02:20pm
Absolutely! Noam Chomsky is the go-to guy for people all over the world who want anti-American sound-bytes from an American. His ultra-left views border on the ridiculous at times. One is used to his complaints, but very few people have heard any real solutions from him for any of the modern world's problems.
Asif May 08, 2013 03:07pm
Warning to those anti-Americans who get over excited about Chomsky's pronouncements about America, he is pathologically objective, and would equal facility burst the bubble of the other side as well.
Khan May 08, 2013 03:25pm
Mr Rashid its not that simple. I respect Pakistan and wish it well. I am a Pashtun from Quetta. And i got all my education from Quetta. I do not agree with your opinion on Pashthuns. We as college students did discus the Durand issue and did so with great fervor and pride. To be honest with you we felt more uncomfortable about it then the Afghan President.
Khan May 08, 2013 03:37pm
Thank you Ayyaz Mallick on getting Chomsky's view on the current situation and elections in Pakistan. I could not have asked for more. I know he did give bits of his discussion on Pakistan when OBL was apprehended or killed in Abotabad. But, in comparison, this interview is in detail.
Engr May 08, 2013 03:38pm
shame on us to ask an american what does he predict about our future[election]....
Anoosh Khan May 08, 2013 04:07pm
For a man of his stature,I expected a deeper insight.
dervesh May 08, 2013 07:08pm
brother Sindh is a province and karachi its capital so don't write Sindh and Karachi. Sindh feeds Pakistan and karachi is our part.
Mansoor May 08, 2013 07:30pm
I do not have any doubt in his intellect but I am sorry to say what he is saying is said by any mind of some common sense and awareness. We already know these things.
aslam May 08, 2013 07:37pm
Well for once I think that the Great Chomsky has shown his lack of understanding of the peculiar environments of Pakistan and its North western borders...why is he not raising his voice to return the Mexican lands back to Mexico..In a way it will help US solve the problems of it 2800 km border with Mexico..After all the affinity between the people on both sides of this border is no less than the Pakhtuns..In any case the bulk of the Mexicans think US to be guilty of annexing not only their lands but also their people forcibly. The advice on bringing the federating units closer is wise and we have to put our house in order..Relations with India have to improve but again no solution to overcome the core issues...Remains an academic talk...
Realist May 08, 2013 08:49pm
What planet are you living?
Naseem Altaf May 09, 2013 07:10am
In some future times when our countries have learnt to be fraternal ,rather than paternal, and less suspicious of each other ; we may have soft border with Afghanistan across the Durand Line ,making the life of the people more comfortable .Remains my dream.
Naseem Altaf May 09, 2013 07:15am
You deserve pity,my dear sir.
OK May 09, 2013 10:41am
An interview which every Pakistani should read, Noam Chomsky is an unbiased person and respected all over the world for that particular quality of his.
Pr0udPakistani May 09, 2013 10:51am
@gangadin..this article wasn't for illiterate people so I am not surprised by your reaction.
Ahmed May 09, 2013 11:51am
No matter who wins but deep inside me I am satisfied that Imran has never been charge of any corruption. Eeven in this interview, Nawaz Shaeef has been assessed as a corrupt person. Thank you Imran Khan for giving us a choice.
Moiz Khan May 09, 2013 11:52am should start reading brother.
NASAH (USA) May 09, 2013 12:16pm
Noam Chomsky is the conscience of the kinder gentler progressive America.