KO, a Pakistan blogger, reciprocates the love:
In Pakistan, we have a slightly different democratic system from India, where you have the worlds biggest elections. You guys go to great lengths making sure everybody gets the chance to vote, wasting time and money sending voting machines on elephants and what not, while we have greatly streamlined the process. You see, Musharraf tells us he embodies the people’s desires, and so when he votes its the same as the whole country voting, so our process is much faster and terribly efficient. We hear that Bush is really envious of our system and has been asking Musharraf tips about the next US election.
Over the years our leaders have waged war and then taken halting steps to peace only to quickly run back to the safety in jingoism which their mediocrity demands, using hatred and fear for easy political gains. I have been watching this whole process from the sidelines for many years, wondering when the whole madness will end
A friendly neighborhood Indian blogger tries to communicate his feelings towards his neighbours. Chanakya at vichaar.org writes:
Dear Pakistani People,
We like Pakistani people. And we dont just mean Adnan Sami, Jal or Strings – we mean regular Pakistani folks. In fact, we like most people and cultures. Heck, we tolerate Laloo and he’s totally out of this world. We can understand your accent much easier than his!
Sounds good, but what about Jammu and Kashmir, you say. Ah yes. A real party pooper that. Well, here’s the truth. We’ve grown up seeing the “whole” of Jammu and Kashmir as a part of India in our textbooks. But then, so have you. So here’s the plan. Rid yourselves of the party pooper in the army costume and get a real government. Then lets talk over a few beers (okay, kawa or whatever for you guys. Lighten up, its just a figure of speech!). Let the guns stop talking and the kawa start taking effect. Then who knows what we will think of together ? Whats the tearing rush ? The Himalayas aren’t going anywhere. At least lets first stop slapping one another around and running to the U.S. like two silly brats in a school yard. The world is laughing at us, you know.
OxBlog’s Patrick Belton receives a letter from Bangladesh:
IT is the new buzz here, but it is unclear whether it actually exists
besides one sad-looking internet café with two computers in the
“wealthy” part of town (read: less than abject poverty). Both times I
went there was no current and hence no internet, but in theory you
could check your email. Dhaka still does not have a McDonald’s nor any
other international chain, although it does have a Dominous pizza (note
the ingenious way around copyright) and a restaurant that has stolen
the Chili’s logo and sells Thai food. The country has trouble
attracting foreign investment because it has one of the highest
corruption rates in the world, exacerbated by a political system run
almost entirely by two political families who trade off power almost
When I was here before, women did not adhere strictly to purdah and
many ventured into the marketplace wearing only hijab. Now, women are
largely kept to their homes and are required to wear a burkah in
public. However, some advances have been made in women’s health. Birth
control in the form of contraceptive pills from India is now available,
although apparently the local Madrassa has organized a campaign against
its use (not that it seemed to be having much effect; most of the women
see it as a Godsend)…
The biggest difference has to be the proliferation of cell phones and
televisions. Now, every third person seems to have a cell phone. The people in the
area may still not have reliable electricity, or safe drinking water,
or indoor plumbing, or much of anything else, but now many families do
have a television. The children look just as malnourished but now they
can sing Bollywood songs. Because of this, the people have a greater
awareness of the outside world than they did four years ago.[OxBlog]
Inspired by the manner in which the United States treated another military dictatorship that tested nuclear weapons and is neck deep in proliferation activities, North Korea has expressed a desire to be treated similarly (via ).
Analysts said North Korea might ask the United States to reduce its military presence in South Korea and remove North Korea as a potential target for a pre-emptive nuclear strike in exchange for Pyongyang’s abandonment of its nuclear weapons program.
Other sources in the U.S. government said North Korea may be seeking to be treated like Pakistan.
Pakistan has strengthened its ties with the United States even though it went ahead with nuclear weapons tests and has been implicated in the proliferation of nuclear weapons. [Asahi]
The Acorn’s advice: The Dear Leader needs to ask his propaganda machine to ‘find’ Osama bin Laden somewhere on the Korean peninsula, north of 38th parallel.
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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