Sunday, 17 June 2007

Pakistan News Blogs and NAB

I came across a very interesting blog that basically reprints news articles about Pakistan news, current affairs etc. called Watandost. I've added it to my blogroll. Interestingly the blog is maintained by Hassan Abbas, the former NAB official who is currently at Tufts and is the author of 'Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism.'

Also check out excerpts from his 2004 Dawn article on the rise and fall of NAB here. (Its the second article in the post.) Its very very informative and makes for interesting reading on how NAB became THE repository for both the hopes of all the people who thought Musharaf would be good for Pakistan, as well as a justification for Musharaf's rule.

Abbas shows how NAB was caught in a catch 22 situation because Musharraf need it to at least appear to be successful to show that he was making good on his promises to 'clean up' Pakistan while also cutting deals with the very people NAB was investigating in order to consolidate his hold on power. Also, NAB was a new institution with very little funding or experience in investigative techniques. To bolster it and speed up the visibility of its functioning a new set of ordinances that undermined judicial procedure were promulgated and the ISI and other intelligence agencies were turned to in order to provide funding and manpower.

Needless to say this was not good for NAB in the long run. Nor for the country.


P.S. Another Pakistan news blog with a decidedly pro-democracy slant is Civil Society Pakistan.

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