June 15th, 2014
03:53 AM ET

Journalist: Pakistan facing watershed moment

Fareed speaks with Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, author of Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan, about the siege of Karachi airport. Watch the video for the full interview.

Ahmed, what should we make of this? One thinks of terrorism in Pakistan taking place in the northwestern frontier, in remote places. This is one of the central locations in the whole country.

Well, I think it's a watershed for the country in its half-hearted fight with terrorism and extremism.But unfortunately, I fear that neither the political government nor the military is going to bring about the kind of policy changes that are required, and which will make people understand that this is a watershed.

This attack was critical, and that Pakistan can start unraveling like what we are seeing in Iraq right now.After all, there too, we've seen an army collapse. We've seen civil society collapse. In Pakistan, you have militant groups who are very small in number, but you have large numbers of students who’ve been studying in the madrassas who could well provide backbone in the cities to a very large scale movement across the country that will really test the government and the military.

What would the policy changes be that Pakistan would have to do to fundamentally and fully confront this?

Well, I think the crux of this really sits with the army. The army started, 40 years ago, a program of training extremists and fundamentalists as a foreign policy tool in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in India, etc. Now that foreign policy tool is now backfiring. And we're seeing these militants now come home and demanding an overthrow of the government and an Islamic system.

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Topics: GPS Show • Pakistan

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    It would be great if the Pakistan government and the Taliban finally got together somehow and put an end to that senseless civil war and just ignored the West! Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be likely.

    June 15, 2014 at 5:57 am | Reply
  2. Peter mabas

    Terrorism and extremism are caused by three factors around which all others revolve. First the misguided misinformed and gullible religious fanatics. Secondly politics, bcoz in islam religion and politics are inseparable they go hand in hand. Thirdly economic factors, a proverb says that an idle man is the devil,s workshop.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:16 am | Reply
  3. jgreen52013

    President Obama/Council of Economic Advisers:

    Every time a person becomes unemployed, it cuts into corporate profits….but this is not on the table….and when we multiply this by 11 million, in the aggregate it is an extremely serious problem for corporate America, regarding the bottom line….

    Better yet, WHY is this not on the table?

    When we speak of our jobless, we speak of their plight—and that is in no sense diminished by our looking at the other side of this equation—

    Unemployment is a “social” problem, with oft dire social consequences, we as a society have the responsibility to address.

    To get the oligarchy/plutocracy on board, however, we need to change the dialogue—we need to change the message TO: The loss in corporate profits resulting from unemployment—which, given automation, alone, grows exponentially as we advance into the 21st Century:

    “3% is the zero-sum threshold above which unemployment starts substantially undermining the Market–and the loss in income to the Market is compounded exponentially with each percentage point of increase in unemployment, above 3%”.

    Currently, many in the oligarchy/plutocracy still have one foot on the plantation, cling to the anachronistic and erroneous belief that they need “a pool of slaves” to be used and discarded “at will” [the current status of employment law in America]—but they are cutting off their nose to spite their face in the process—

    Thus, how do we change the dialogue—how do we build consensus to repair our unemployment crisis?

    Consider the following analogy:

    20 years ago gays getting married was on no one’s radar—it simply wasn’t discussed. Perhaps it started with a single couple who saw this as a right—but in the years since the consensus grew and currently the majority of Americans believe gays should have the right to marry.

    And the point is that the same dynamic could be applied in our economic evolution re the unemployed.

    The bottom line is, Humphrey-Hawkins [15 USC § 3101] was ahead of its time—when it was signed into law in 1978, by President Carter—Now it is Indispensable to the Effective functioning of our 21st Century market economy….

    And, the over-arching point is that until we change the dialogue–change the message–we are not going to solve our insidious unemployment crisis in America.

    FULL EMPLOYMENT IS A PRO-MARKET CONCEPT, Amazon

    Jim Green, Democrat opponent to Lamar Smith, Congress, 2000

    June 15, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  4. jgreen52013

    Harvard's Glaeser:

    President Obama/Council of Economic Advisers:

    Every time a person becomes unemployed, it cuts into corporate profits….but this is not on the table….and when we multiply this by 11 million, in the aggregate it is an extremely serious problem for corporate America, regarding the bottom line….

    Better yet, WHY is this not on the table?

    When we speak of our jobless, we speak of their plight—and that is in no sense diminished by our looking at the other side of this equation—

    Unemployment is a “social” problem, with oft dire social consequences, we as a society have the responsibility to address.

    To get the oligarchy/plutocracy on board, however, we need to change the dialogue—we need to change the message TO: The loss in corporate profits resulting from unemployment—which, given automation, alone, grows exponentially as we advance into the 21st Century:

    “3% is the zero-sum threshold above which unemployment starts substantially undermining the Market–and the loss in income to the Market is compounded exponentially with each percentage point of increase in unemployment, above 3%”.

    Currently, many in the oligarchy/plutocracy still have one foot on the plantation, cling to the anachronistic and erroneous belief that they need “a pool of slaves” to be used and discarded “at will” [the current status of employment law in America]—but they are cutting off their nose to spite their face in the process—

    Thus, how do we change the dialogue—how do we build consensus to repair our unemployment crisis?

    Consider the following analogy:

    20 years ago gays getting married was on no one’s radar—it simply wasn’t discussed. Perhaps it started with a single couple who saw this as a right—but in the years since the consensus grew and currently the majority of Americans believe gays should have the right to marry.

    And the point is that the same dynamic could be applied in our economic evolution re the unemployed.

    The bottom line is, Humphrey-Hawkins [15 USC § 3101] was ahead of its time—when it was signed into law in 1978, by President Carter—Now it is Indispensable to the Effective functioning of our 21st Century market economy….

    And, the over-arching point is that until we change the dialogue–change the message–we are not going to solve our insidious unemployment crisis in America.

    FULL EMPLOYMENT IS A PRO-MARKET CONCEPT, Amazon

    Jim Green, Democrat opponent to Lamar Smith, Congress, 2000

    June 15, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      What has this to do with Pakistan, may I ask?

      June 15, 2014 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        @ My Troll:
        That is not even my style of writing.
        Make a more sincere effort.

        June 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
  5. jgreen52013

    Sorry about the duplication.....but note the reference to the Harvard Economics professor......

    June 15, 2014 at 11:44 am | Reply
  6. chri§§y

    @ Joey (the REAL Joey) Happy Fathers Day!

    June 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Thank you chrissy, and the same to you. Also, thank you for agreeing with me since you seem to be educated enough to decipher what I say and discern me from my impostor.

      June 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ chrissy and all phenomenal parents like her, Happy Fathers' Day.

      June 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        Happy Father's Day, JIF.
        I echo your sentiments about wonderful mothers that do it all.

        June 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
  7. Shawn Forbes

    ... and one week prior to the bold Taliban attack in Karachi, the Obama administration released 5 high ranking Taliban commanders.

    June 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  8. chri§§y

    They were NOT high ranking commanders!

    June 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Why are so many trying to make it difficult for Obama to what we elected him to do?
    The writers here who addressed emotions shared by unthinking mobs see one of our worst problems.

    June 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  10. chri§§y

    That wasnt you @ 4:11 @ Joey? I know the previous ones in black werent you.

    June 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    Excuse me i meant @ 3:11. That wasnt you?

    June 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      That was the real JIF.

      June 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  12. chri§§y

    If it was then thank you very much! You know i DO get the fathers day treatment from my girls lol.

    June 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  13. chri§§y

    Thanks @ banasy...i thought it was...then i thought i was wrong...lol glad to know i still have some of the troll radar left. Lmao

    June 15, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  14. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. And don't forget the GOP all time favorites........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!

    June 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  15. j. von hettlingen

    It's the ideology of the army that needs to change! Those who started the programme of grooming extremists for foreign attacks outside Pakistan 40 years ago, are long gone. Unfortunately the army is such a strong and reactionary force in Pakistan that it dictates what the civil government should do! It's up to the population to do something about it.

    June 17, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
  16. Skumar

    With very little history to learn from and the fault-lines well entrenched right there in its foundations, the future of Pakistan is simply too obvious. The political leadership had very little vision and they leaned on to foreign support too early and too heavily. No wonder saner people in Pakistan have started asking for absorption under Indian statehood. I don't think anyone in India cares and who wants to adopt a terminally ill patient.........graveyard.

    June 19, 2014 at 5:08 am | Reply

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