IMRAN's In My Humble Opinion

From Imran Anwar http://imran.tv http://flickr.com/ImranAnwar

Archive for August, 2008

Imran interview in Beijing Review, China

Posted by imrananwar on August 31, 2008

This is an interview in the latest edition of Beijing Review, discussing the “war on terror” and many other issues. Please read. Comments welcome.

http://imran.com/IMRAN/MediaCoverage/BeijingReview_WarOnTerror.html

July 21, 2005

Advertisements

Posted in Anwar, Beijing, China, Imran, Terrorism, War | Leave a Comment »

Musharaff Out – Pakistan Gets Yet Another Historic Opportunity

Posted by imrananwar on August 19, 2008

Like the Democratic party in America, which is capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of certain victory, I have seen fewer countries in the world that have the ability to waste historic opportunities like Pakistan has.

Much that I have been a critic of President Dictator Musharraf in Pakistan, I do have to give him credit for not having been the evil dictator that General Zia had been about 20 years ago. On top of that, I must laud retired General Musharraf for having the decency to step down, and resign instead of facing impeachment.

In that, he has shown greater courage and decency than either president Bill Clinton did or that I wish President George Bush would show.

Some of the statements in his farewell speech were laughable. But, one also has to understand how difficult it must be for any president, much less a dictator, especially one who suffers from a savior complex that Musharaff did, to step down.

But all is well that ends well. And one has to say that the Musharraf presidency and role in Pakistani politics has run its course. For better or worse he is now a part of history. Now it is up to the Pakistani coalition government as well as the Pakistani population to decide where they want to go from here.

Will Mr. Zardari and Mr. Sharif, the two men in power for now, do the right things for Pakistan? Will they have the good sense, decency and moral courage to put their own political ambitions aside and focus on putting Pakistan on the right track?

In this case, the right track that Pakistan needs to be on is, in reality, a long and winding road – of several interconnected and sometimes opposing paths!

On the one hand Pakistan has to do everything in its power to curtail the evil of fundamentalism and lawless terrorism that has become the norm. On the other hand it also has to stand up for its national self-interest, even if that means standing up to United States pressure.

Pakistan has to ensure that education of the masses, especially in the rural areas is a high priority. But, it cannot be done at the expense of economic development in the major cities. It needs to ensure the provinces get their fair share of revenues and development funds, but not at the expense of idiots holding up building of dams and power plants needed to survive, much less thrive, in coming years.

I am personally a big proponent of considering dictators and their supporters punishable by death when they overthrow an elected government. However, we also have to remember that the so-called elected rulers of Pakistan generally have themselves been guilty of becoming “elected dictators”.

So, yes, there is some value to charging Mr. Musharraf with treason, which he did commit, in overthrowing the government of Mr. Sharif. This is especially true if the Pakistani people seriously want future generals and dictator wannabes to have the deterrent of death staring them in the face, should they decide to overthrow an elected government. But, at the same time, I realize that the Pakistani army is not going to stand by and watch one of its own actually be hanged.

I am also quite certain that Mr. Musharraf and his partners in crime, including bureaucrats, and people like Mr. Shaukat Aziz, have played a major role in plundering the economy of Pakistan, playing the stock market, and manipulating commodity prices to their own benefit. However, these are crimes that have been committed by every single government, and every single ruler, in Pakistan.

So, if we want to jail or imprison Mr. Musharraf, we should be ready, willing, and able to do the same for Mr. Sharif as well as Mr. Zardari. After all, neither Mr. Musharraf, nor Mr. Sharif, were ever given the name Mr. 10% that Mr. Zardari is commonly known as.

In the immediate future the biggest threat to Pakistani democracy and being on the right track does not come from the Army or from any external threat. The biggest internal risk to Pakistani democracy would come from the politicians starting infighting for greed and personal ambition.

Let us all hope for the best and make sure we keep the pressure on these new rulers to follow the rules. Let us pray that this historic opportunity is also not squandered by politicians, bureaucrats and illiterate followers of fundamentalist murderers.

What do you think?

Posted in 2 Centences Worth, America, Army, Bush, Clinton, Constitution, Dictator, Dictatorship, Economy, Elections, Freedom, History, Military, Musharaff, Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan, Politics, President, Terrorism, Terrorist, Zia | Leave a Comment »

Can Bush Push Mush? Another Legacy Leaving Opportunity Lost

Posted by imrananwar on August 12, 2008

For all the years I have followed Pakistani politics, from the inside as a student political leader, or from the outside as a media person, I have always been amazed by the huge number of historic opportunities squandered by Pakistan, Pakistanis and Pakistani generals, judges and politicians.

From the dictator Zia having an opportunity to clean up the country of corruption, to Benazir Bhutto doing something for womenkind and education, history was wasted. Ghulam Ishaq Khan was thrust into the role of President and blew a historic opportunity for him to be apolitical, and have a chance to be someone Pakistanis would remember as a hero.

Alas, once in power in most countries, and especially in Pakistan, elected and unelected heads of state, regardless of being 40 years old or 70, seem to live in the moment, for the moment, and moment by moment. Even the aged Ghulam Ishaq Khan did more to enrich his relatives, and play political games, than grab the incredible opportunity he had to become a new father figure in Pakistani history.

It is amazing that in Pakistan’s 61 years, there is not a single head of state who has tried to, or left, a legacy good enough for Pakistanis to consider adding his (or her) photo on even a (now defunct) One Rupee note.

We now have a situation that is eerily similar to what we have seen before. A dictator, even more unpopular than Zia, is clinging to power, simply because one of the most unpopular American Presidents, ever, George W. Bush’s grand foreign policy for the South Asian region is — ‘we stand by Musharraf.’

Perhaps Bush supports Mush because it ensures there is at least ONE President who is more unpopular than Bush himself is! But, jokes aside, even a tragic accident of history like George W. Bush is trying, belatedly and with no success, to spend the next 6 months trying to “leave a legacy.”

I can easily say Musharraf is a far smarter and more cunning man than Bush ever was, or will be. But, one thing they both share in common besides the sound of their names – no understanding of how legacies are left.

They do not understanding that a legacy is not created by clinging to power, or failed ideas, but by doing things in the greater interest, things bigger than what even our biggest admirers could imagine us doing. Legacy and history smile on us when we do things even we could not imagine being selfless, brave and visionary enough to do. When we become bold enough to stop living for our own egos today, but to step aside now, so the future can look back on us with respect.

Alas, neither Bush, nor Mush, get the concept, which is why they are both close to each other in how history will not remember them. They are among the most unpopular, ineffective, and impeachable Presidents – though they rule over countries thousands of miles apart, and worlds apart in political, religious and social systems.

Posted in America, Army, Benazir, Bhutto, Bin Laden, Bush, Dictator, Dictatorship, Elections, Freedom, Judges, Justice, Musharaff, Musharraf, Opportunity, Pakistan, Politics, President | 2 Comments »

Transitioning From Guesswork To Analysis In Predicting Apple Product Transitions

Posted by imrananwar on August 2, 2008

There has been some discussion going on about the direction of Apple next new models. Speculation became rampant when the Apple CFO referred to some product transition coming up, which may squeeze profit margins.

People are trying to guess if it means a switch from Intel to AMD, some new chipset from Semi, the company that Apple acquired, some new video chipset, etc. I can see that they can be called ‘trasitions’ – but then, so is changing the way a power adaptor connects to the laptop. I do not see any of these as having significant enough impact to warrant the CFO warning of some lower profit margins.

My prediction is that Apple may decide to let Mac OS X run on non-Apple ‘Windows/Wintel’ machines (which would lower margins and be a product ‘transition’ at the same time).

To keep pace with, while not really price-matching the low quality fares of HP and Dell, they would also reduce their own hardware prices somewhat, but still command a premium for additional things like Semi related chips, perhaps GPS and a WWAN capability built in.

And, finally, perhaps it is time for the granddaddy of the old and defunct Apple Newton, bring in a TouchMac. A tablet style MacBook Pro with touchscreen, iPhone like functionality, and 3D display capability.

It would be cute to call them TouchBooks, but Panasonic may object based on their Toughbook trademarks. That would be tough to book as a trademark!

What do you think?

Posted in Apple, handheld, Intel, iPhone, laptop, Newton, Panasonic, TouchBook, TouchMac, ToughBook, Windows | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: