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Fareed Zakaria GPS – Musharraf “live” full interview

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Fareed Zakaria GPS – Musharraf – “live” full interview (41 min) – May 17, 2009

This “live” full interview is the complete interview and includes stuff that is not in the “full interview (23 minutes) – CNN podcast version”.

It includes the “Busharraf” comment as well as other stuff that was edited out of the CNN podcast version.

Musharraf replies to the question of “where did the $10B go that U.S. sent to Pakistan”.

Musharraf is expecting that question and says $5B was reimbursement for services (refueling and other such service probably). That leaves $5B. Half was for military and half for development. Says the money was a “pittance” given the high costs of operating expenses for an army that is deployed in the field.

Then compares to the money spent by U.S. in Afghanistan – $143B to give a comparison of the scale of things.

Says more than 50% of Afghanistan under Taliban control. If you succeed in Afghanistan, then you succeed in Pakistan. Says “where is the money and arms coming to Tehreek-e-Taliban – is from Afghanistan”.

Is asked about Benazir, Zardari.

On Zardari saying ISI/Military/Musharraf is pro-Taliban – Musharraf says “it’s his word against mine”.

About Hamid Karzai – “I don’t like double-dealing at all”.

Is asked Zardari has 19% approval rating – while Musharraf had 60-70% approval rating which went down (during the “civil society” movement – see blog post on Mossadeg).

Says democratic government gave “conflicting signals” to Army about operation in Swat. Provincial government (the MMA which includes Jamaat-e-Islami) prevented early action and instead kept pushing “dialog” (even now they say so after failing in their duty in NWFP). For that matter Khwaja Saad Rafiq wants to do deal with “Maulana” Fazlullah and Baramdagh Bugti, so I guess MMA is not the only one.

Saying these “conflicting signals” led to delays (it could be concluded that MMA/Jamaat-e-Islami is responsible for all those deaths caused by the breathing space given by them to the Tehreek-e-Taliban ?).

Says threat is from places like Lal Masjid – as they can link up with Tehreek-e-Taliban type outfits.

“There is an anti-U.S. feeling in the public and the army” because of 1989-1999 period “being abandoned”.

Says “I told her (Benazir) personally” about threats to her life. Prevented her from rally once, but she made hue and cry. Then next time was killed in Liaquat Bagh.

Assessment of Bush

The place where he goes a little overboard is in his comment that he didn’t see anything wrong with Bush i.e. was “straightforward”. That is, that was enough for him. However that is not a nuanced assessment of Bush. On the other hand, Musharraf may realize that criticizing the other country’s leader is not his job. That is for their own electorate to decide. Though he is devastating in his criticism of Karzai.

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria who has been editor at Newsweek who supported the push by Bush into Iraq. Now spreads his “jihalat” in his role as TV personality at CNN.

This guy pushed his “subcontinental” credentials in his time at Newsweek (he is from a Muslim family in India).

He wound up supporting Bush and much of the hype around Bush’s wrong-headed policies. Now when the tables have turned, he is in the process of doing an about face.

Has just published a book – is he going to dish out any better analysis this time ?

That is what happens when you get the “token subcontinental” at the head of an organization. In order to survive they try to act “more loyal than the Queen”. They try to act to make sure the organization doesn’t regret passing the mantle to a “foreigner”.

In most cases their subcontinentalness is useless for insight into Pakistan/India because they usually bring a childhood or early adolescent view of the situation there, or are unduly biased by what they hear from their family. In contrast western journalists may feel they are clueless and wind up learning from a wider array of sources.

The subcontinentals thus contribute no greater insight than other journalists might, in fact they may carry their own baggage of biases.

Although to be fair, most subcontinentals WILL favour their native lands when push comes to shove – however most (esp. if they left at an early age for the U.S.) have not examined their own cultures in much detail and have instead adopted the western ideals as the dominant ones. There ARE immigrants who WILL have a sense of their own culture – usually out of blind faith in native country – these will be seen as “too native” by Americans. Then there can be the thinking immigrants who have a sense of culture and understand it’s weaknesses and strengths, but these will not usually wind up on a career path at Newsweek. These people will usually also be the ones who have seen conditions in Pakistan at a post-adolescent level and this type of person will ALSO not be at Newsweek – they will have had to spend the bulk of their lifetimes outside the U.S.

Unless one is a true scholar/philosopher a person like Fareed Zakaria will forever be in tension to appear to Americans as “one of them” – to secure his seat. They may entertain positive feelings about Pakistan/India but they can’t air them for fear it will be misunderstood. They may however become more critical so they can at another time be positive about something. End result is still that they are critical most of the time. This behaviour can get out of hand and they can start to develop their own sense of what Pakistan/India should be – and this will usually be informed by input from friends and family, or their own sense, but it may not be something that leads naturally from the conditions prevailing on the streets of their native country.

When they visit their native land they may not learn much as well, because when these people visit their home countries they may feel a vulnerability – they are open to charges of abandoning their country or taking up oath of another sovereign power. This may limit their ability to mix in as well. Or they may develop an insulated “attitude” to shield them from accusations of abandoning their native land – oddly enough that is the attitude many “well to do” people develop in Pakistan/India.

Also, since the first generation immigrants have lived their early life in the native countries they may carry the sensibilities of the period they were in Pakistan (in many cases the country may have moved on, but these immigrants will STILL be left in a freeze-frame sensibility that harkens back to that period). They may thus carry the ethnic, or caste attitudes with them as well. If they DO visit those countries they prefer to return as “elevated personalities”, stay at posh hotels – why ? – because to NOT do that would give them a sense that they have not “achieved something by leaving India”. Otherwise what was the use of losing touch with your native culture and land.

For all these reasons first generation immigrants carry all these weights.

Second-generation immigrants

These however disappear for most second-generation immigrants. Who for the most part know the new country MORE than any other country. Also they speak without an accent, which is the first sign of nativeness (or “he’s stayed here long enough to be trustable”) and perhaps more important, when challenged to “go back to your home country”, they fight vigorously against it BECAUSE they have no choice – they know no other country as much as the new country. And this is the first sign that you ARE a citizen of that country.

With regard to people like Fareed Zakaria, they too lack the ability to be “uppity”, or disrespectful towards more native citizen’s ideals – that is, they do not feel an element of entitlement. A western person or even a second generation immigrant has no such problems, because their citizenship is not under question. Even if they are called ethnic slurs, they KNOW they have no other country they know better – so out of desperation they will fight to challenge that accusation.

That is NOT the case with first generation immigrants in the U.S. who may vividly remember their childhood or early adulthood in their native countries. When accused of having dual allegiances, they may feel there IS some truth to that, even if it is a miniscule preference or angst for their native land (and perhaps childhood memories, which can so impact people’s sense of “home”).

Also from the point of view of the organization (like Newsweek here), if a subcontinental was chosen it is far more likely they were seen to be “toeing the line”, or a “safe bet”.

This almost always guarantees that you get LESS diversity when you hire an “exotic” head of an organization.

Not only do they not know their native place as well, but they are reluctant to criticize their new country as much either.

So even while Fareed Zakaria may seem to Americans like someone who would “know Pakistan or India”, in reality maybe totally out of touch with the sense on the streets in his native country (India) because he has been separated by time and space, even though he retains the skin colour, the accent and the memories of that place.

Links:
1/4 Fareed Zakaria GPS – Musharraf – “live” full interview – May 17, 2009
2/4 Fareed Zakaria GPS – Musharraf – “live” full interview – May 17, 2009
3/4 Fareed Zakaria GPS – Musharraf – “live” full interview – May 17, 2009
4/4 Fareed Zakaria GPS – Musharraf – “live” full interview – May 17, 2009

original source:
youtube – umairabdullah
Musharaf on CNN GPS part 1
Musharaf on CNN GPS part 2
Musharaf on CNN GPS part 3
Musharaf on CNN GPS part 4

another version of this same “live” program is at:
youtube – JohnKratosZaidi1
Pervez Musharraf’s interview with Farid Zakaria in GPS (CNN) Part1
Pervez Musharraf’s interview with Farid Zakaria in GPS (CNN) Part2
Pervez Musharraf’s interview with Farid Zakaria in GPS (CNN) Part3
Pervez Musharraf’s interview with Farid Zakaria in GPS (CNN) Part4

Related blog posts:
Fareed Zakaria GPS – Musharraf full interview (CNN podcast)
Musharraf Fareed Zakaria interview – Part 1

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