Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reading List Of The Day

An interesting piece of side news. Nicholas Schmidle, a freelance journalist who reports for the New York times, Slate and the Washington Post (amongst others), has been expelled from Pakistan on the grounds that he was reporting without a journalist visa.

In 2007, Schmidle spent a considerable amount of time reporting on Abdul Rashid Ghazi (of the Lal Masjid Fame, and brother of the idiotic Aunty Maulvi). From Schmidle's own writing it appears that the relationship with Ghazi enabled him to build upon his contacts and list of potential interviewees. From this article following Ghazi's death in July, he wrote the following:

"[Ghazi] was always willing to share the phone numbers of his mullah friends in other Pakistani cities. Having a personal reference from Ghazi was like having a backstage pass to the wild world of radical Islam."

Schmidle since put that backstage pass to constructive use. While he also covered the lawyer's movement for the restoration of the Chief Justice, his articles regarding militant 'Islamism' were the more informative. Schmidle tends to keep his analysis/commentary to a minimum and instead uses facts, anecdotes and excerpts from interviews to paint a picture (which may or may not be representative of the facts on the ground, buts its interesting nonetheless).

Two in particular are worth reading, particularly for the interviews. One is a very well researched and thorough piece about the J.U.I (F) and Fazlur Rehman's current and future role with respect to Talibanism in NWFP. You can (or rather should) read Arif Rafiq's commentary on that article here.

The other and most recent article to date concerns Balochi Separatists, and while it was perhaps attempting to portray their cause sympathetically, ended up making me dislike them even more than I already did.

The rest of his articles are listed and linked here.

Note: Click here to watch an Aunty Maulvi video which is both lame and strangely entertaining.


Ahsan said...

screw all this. what i'm interested in is: how long can our streak of "item of the day" posts keep going? i say february 12.

ali mate said...

yo NB, random: someone told me about this yesterday....check the link and google it for more.

p.s "It's a _____ dogg!"