POSTED BY Buzz ON Sep 29, 2013 AT 23:59 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 29, 2013 23:59 IST

As was to be expected, Mr Modi waded into the "Dehati Aurat" controversy, reported earlier, in his speech at BJP's Delhi rally:

"How dare you (Sharif) address my nation's Prime Minister as a village woman? There cannot be a bigger insult of the Indian Prime Minister. We can fight with him on policies but this we will not tolerate. This nation of 1.2 billion will not tolerate its Prime Minister's insult"

He went on to add:

"The journalists who were sitting in front of Nawaz Sharif when he was insulting our Prime Minister should also answer to the people of my country".

"I want to ask those journalists, I don't know who were they but journalists of my country who were having sweets sitting with Nawaz Sharif when he was abusing our Prime Minister calling him village woman, I expected those Indian journalists, the country expected them, to refuse the sweets and walk out"

Reportedly at Mr Sharif's initiative, Pakistan got into damage control mode:

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Sep 29, 2013 AT 23:59 IST, Edited At: Sep 29, 2013 23:59 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Sep 29, 2013 AT 05:10 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 29, 2013 05:10 IST

Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir is heard in the above TV programme as saying that Mr Nawaz Sharif called Barkha Dutt of NDTV and him for a breakfast meet and among other things, smilingly told Barkha Dutt that it seemed Mr Manmohan Singh had gone not as the Indian Prime Minister but as a "dehati aurat" to complain about him to President Obama

Literally, "dehati aurat" would mean a "village woman".

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Sep 29, 2013 AT 05:10 IST, Edited At: Sep 29, 2013 05:10 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Jun 26, 2012 AT 22:26 IST ,  Edited At: Jun 26, 2012 22:26 IST

The intercepts of the chilling conversations that the 26/11 "handler" 'Abu Jindal' had with the terrorists were widely heard around the world and documented in various excellent documentaries and there is a renewed interest in these intercepts now with the arrest of Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Jindal aka Abu Jundal aka Abu Hamza, a co-conspirator of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, who is alleged to be the handler whose voice has been identified with one of those voices on the intercepts. A quick recap from our blogs:

Intercepts of the Phonecalls with Handlers

Excerpts from the transcript of conversation between "Abu Jindal" and one of the terrorists at Chabad House:

Handler: Remember that every one person you kill there is like taking 50 lives.... Handler: Listen

TerrorisTerrorist:  Yes, yes

Handler: Get rid of these people. Kill them

Terrorist:  By Allah's wish it is all quiet. There is no movement

Handler: No, no wait. Shoot. If firing starts, you won't know the timing, direction and intensity

Terrorist:  I've run out of grenades

Handler: Do it

Terrorist:  What? Shoot them?

Handler: Yes. Make them sit up and shoot them in the backs of their heads

... [After some time]

Handler: Have you done the job or not?

Terrorist:  No, I will do it in front of you. I was waiting for you

Handler: Do it in the name of Allah. (Woman screams: Please don't kill me!)

Handler: You killed one?

Terrorist:  Both together

Terrorist:  Allah willing, today is Friday. Today will be the final fight

Handler: Use all of your might. Do it. Shoot them. Get them

Terrorist:  Intense fire has started. Firing has started in our room

Handler: Take cover

(A little later)

Handler: Yes, what happened?

Terrorist:  I've been hit

Handler: Where?

Terrorist:  On my side and leg

Handler: May Allah protect you

Terrorist:  Pray for me, so that I attain martyrdom

For more context, some of the documentaries:

Channel 4's Dispatches: Terror in Mumbai:

CNN-IBN: 60 Hours:

Pro Publica: A Perfect Terrorist

Watch A Perfect Terrorist on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

AlJazeera 101 East: Terror in Mumbai Part I

AlJazeera 101 East: Terror in Mumbai Part II

Also See: Jason MotlagHandler: Sixty Hours Of Terror

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Jun 26, 2012 AT 22:26 IST, Edited At: Jun 26, 2012 22:26 IST
POSTED BY Omar Ali ON Apr 24, 2012 AT 23:59 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 25, 2012 02:59 IST

Pakistan is in the throes of an existential crisis. Pakistan has always been in the throes of an existential crisis. Pakistan’s interminable existential crisis is, in fact, getting to be a bore.  But while faraway peoples can indeed get away from this topic and on to something more interesting, Pakistanis have little choice in this matter; and it may be that neither do Indians. 

The partition of British India was different things to different people, but we can all agree on some things: it was a confused mess, it was accompanied by remarkable violence and viciousness,  and it has led to endless trouble. The Paknationalist narrative built on that foundation has Jihadized the Pakistani state, and defanging that myth is now the most critical historic task of the Pakistani bourgeoisie.

Well, OK. We don’t actually all admit any of those things, but all those are things I have written in the past. Today I hope to shed my inhibitions and go further.

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POSTED BY Omar Ali ON Apr 24, 2012 AT 23:59 IST, Edited At: Apr 25, 2012 02:59 IST
POSTED BY Omar Ali ON Oct 12, 2011 AT 03:05 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 12, 2011 03:05 IST

Pakistan’s predicament continues to draw comment from all over the world; in the Western (and Westoxicated Eastern) Left, the narrative remains straightforward (to such a degree that one is tempted to share an essay by Trotsky that Tariq Ali may have missed): US imperialism is to blame. In this story, US imperialism “used” poor helpless clueless Pakistan for its own evil ends, then “abandoned” them (it’s very bad when the imperialists go into a third world country, it’s also very bad when they leave) and they have now returned to finish off the job.  I have written in the past about my disagreements with this Euro- centric and softly racist narrative and have little to add to it. In any case, no one in authority in either the imperialist powers or Pakistan is paying too much attention to the Guardian or the further reaches of the Left. But even among those who matter (for better and for worse), there seems to be no agreement about what is going on and what comes next. Everyone has their theories, ranging from “let's attack Pakistan” to “let’s throw more money at them” and everything in between. I don’t know what comes next either, but I have been thinking for a few days about an outcome that many in the Pakistani pro-military webring think is around the corner: What if we win? 

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POSTED BY Omar Ali ON Oct 12, 2011 AT 03:05 IST, Edited At: Oct 12, 2011 03:05 IST
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