The courageous aid workers who fear no evil
He’d already been kidnapped and tortured – so what drove murdered aid worker Khalil Dale back to the danger zone?
By Sarah Rainey
Asked to describe his job as an aid worker for the Red Cross in some of the world’s most dangerous locations, Khalil Rasjed Dale compared it to a Mad Max film. “You’ve got people driving around in cars with machine guns,” he said in an interview in 1998. “There’s no government infrastructure, no law and order and we were trying to help vulnerable people nobody else seemed to care for… You just didn’t know what was going to happen next.”
Two days ago, Dale was found dead. Stationed abroad for more than 30 years, he had been taken hostage by suspected pro-Taliban terrorists on January 5. His decapitated body, wrapped in a plastic bag, was dumped by the side of a road in Quetta, the capital of the Baluchistan province, one of the most troubled regions of Pakistan.
Dale’s murder left many stunned by the brutality inflicted on such a gentle-mannered man. But as his family grieves, his death has brought into the spotlight the role of British aid workers, stationed in some of the world’s most volatile countries. His loss is not the first, nor will it be the last.
Read more » telegraph.co.uk
Pankaj Mishra, Basharat Peer and Arif Lohar
I have been unusually busy at work, so less time to spend on postings (but still more than Brother Zachary who seems really caught up in his presentation). But to make up for it, here are a few random thoughts for Monday:
1. Postcolonial rant of the day. I saw a piece by Basharat Peer …boilerplate “india not shining”, aimed at Westerners and Westernized (left-liberal-westernized, not the other type) Indians and apparently finding its mark, since “Foreign Affairs” leapt to publish it.
And another by Pankaj Mishra (boilerplate “Pakistan not as sick as X imaginary Western reporters think it is”) that made me wonder why these two well educated people are so confused about what they want (never mind what is actually happening, they are confused even about what they want to see happening)? Basharat is unhappy that India has not progressed to Chinese or American levels but is also very unhappy with the idea of capitalist progress in India (thats not exactly what he said, but then again, what exactly DID he say?). Pankaj bhayya goes one step further. He wants to tell his readers that reports that Pakistan is failing to become modern/capitalist are exaggerated..that in fact, things are not as bad as they are said to be and business is booming and much capital is being made, only not in the above-ground economy. Does he mean capitalism is OK when its truly unregulated and undocumented? Who woulda thunk Pankaj Bhaiya was such a hardcore libertarian?
Continue reading Why Korea produces semiconductors and India produces Pankaj Mishra
Pakistan: ‘Blood Money’ Linked to Widow’s Killing, Police Say
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The widow and mother-in-law of a Pakistani man killed by a C.I.A. contractor last year were killed Monday, apparently by the widow’s father, who may have feared that she would remarry and take the money she received as compensation with her, the police said. The families of the two men killed by the contractor, Raymond A. Davis, in January 2011 received hundreds of thousands of dollars of “blood money” in exchange for pardoning Mr. Davis, a common legal practice in Pakistan. Mr. Davis said he shot the two men because they tried to rob him. ….
Read more » The News York Times
Via – Twitter
By Mahvish Ahmad
ISLAMABAD, April 30: Zakir Majid Baloch was picked up from Mastung three years ago. He was on his way to a university where he was enrolled as an MA English student. Zakir had always wanted to go to Balochistan University in Quetta but it was impossible for him to get admission there. According to his sister Farzana Majid, his political activities in the Baloch Student Organization-Azad made him an unpopular pick for most academic institutions. It was most likely also the reason for his kidnapping: Farzana believes that the security agencies picked him up on June 8, 2009, to punish him for his activities.
Continue reading Balochistan: A history of betrayals and disillusionment