Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ
Modi is a hard-core Hindu fundamentalist-schooled in their ideology -and in word and in deed he is simply their iconic figure...This portends ill for geo-politics in the South Asian sub-continent. The core ideology of Hindutva -we are aware is the establishment of a Hindu Nation-State where the minorities will be treated as second-class citizens. Their methodology is fascist and they will do anything, in sheer desperation to achieve their narrow goals…
We can bring the change. And by becoming a politician I want to show girl and every person in Pakistan and all over the world that it does not mean that you need money or you need property, or you need a high status in a society to do something. You can do it. You just need to be a human being and you need to be yourself. And that's all that you need for doing something. And I think that's what I need. I don't need money. I don't need a high status. I don't need to be from a very bigger family, middle class family. I think that it should be an example to everyone….
My novels are deeply rooted in the spirit of my hometown Mecca, an unexplored world. I draw upon the city's myths, history and philosophy, and all that in a language that has to be deciphered like Sufi texts. It's almost impossible to translate......
One of the first things that the Quran objects to is wealth. "Karim" means generosity. That's why we carried a banner at the protest with the words: "Property Belongs to God. Down With Capital". I'm often accused of dressing up what is actually a fanatical religion. But for me, religion is based on the two fundamental principles of fairness and the distribution of property. If a religion doesn't ask questions about distribution and justice, it's a dead religion....
But the wider question is whether peace is possible without the partition/federalisation of Iraq as a unitary state. It is a shame to see the security situation deteriorating in Iraq but after 10 years of people saying "get out" it is churlish to now say you shouldn’t have left…..
The year 2014 marks 100 years since the start of World War I. What was supposed to be the war to end all wars turned out to be one of the many bloody conflicts since then. The death count of the past 100 years has been more than that of any other century and our region, for one, continues to be mired in violence. Pakistan came into existence amidst bloodshed, fought wars with India and became involved in proxy wars, all the while facing internal divisions. September 11 and the wars that it spawned are some of the biggest and bloodiest stories of our times....
It opens the way to a new re-writing of the political map of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. It also re-integrates Iran as a political entity and not only a security problem into the international community as a legitimate regional power. Though only a first step, the agreement has important implications. It could ease the diplomatic relations between the US and Iran, but it could also prepare the way for coordinated humanitarian relief and a political solution in Syria....
The main challenge is keeping the developed world committed to Afghanistan, especially to the women and children, so that the progress that has been made in the country, especially in women's attainment of human rights, isn't wiped out by conservative forces. The progress is real and significant, especially in terms of the obstacles that have to be overcome. It proves that the Afghan people are behind that progress….
It’s hard to imagine that any settlement would not allow some position for the Assad government in a transitional stage that is kind of a minimum condition under which they would even participate. But it is very hard to see if the rebels can even find representation that would appear in Geneva if they want to. It is a very shaky possibility, but it is actually the only one that I can see that has any hope of saving Syria from a plunge to even worse catastrophe than today……
The big temples that were politically irrelevant were never harmed. Those that were politically relevant — patronised by an enemy king or a formerly loyal king who becomes a rebel — only those temples are wiped out. Because in the territory that is annexed to the State, all the property is considered to be under the protection of the State. The total number of temples that were destroyed across those six centuries was 80, not many thousands as is sometimes conjectured by various people…….
I don't think music that is based on geographical borders is something that needs to be understood. It needs to be felt. The fact that you are Arab doesn't mean you feel the music more than somebody who does not understand Arabic....
Orla Guerin, BBC’s Pakistan correspondent
They said: “The bomb will be connected with a button, or something like the remote control of a TV. We will give you this kind of remote, and you will go to the place. “We will also give you a mobile, and we will ring that phone, and press the remote, and you will be blown up with this bomb.” They told me they would use such a large amount of explosives that no-one would even know if it was a man or a woman.....
13-year-old girl Meena says her own family tried to turn her into a suicide bomber. She told her story to BBC’s Pakistan correspondent Orla Guerin.
Traditional Islamic organizations get millions and millions dollars from Saudi Arabia, Iran and even our Western governments to spread their 6th century medieval ideology, gender inequality, armed jihad and so on. We don’t have a penny to counter these issues, but still we are contributing as much as possible, which is the need of our times. No business entrepreneur, no government looks at us. Politicians, media and policy makers run after traditional Islamic organizations....
Ali Asani, professor of Harvard University
But 1980 onwards, a new Jihad came up after Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. To get rid of communism, US along with Saudi Arabia created, trained and established Jihadis spending billions of dollars. Thereafter, Jihad became a complex issue exploited by fundamentalists. In the US, there are several de-radicalisation programmes for religious scholars where they’re given other views....
Securing data is extremely difficult in FATA because of the secretive US program, the lawless and remote nature of the area, and the active control and suppression of accurate testimony by local actors including the Taliban, Al Qaeda linked groups and Pakistani security authorities. This issue is so politicised that it is difficult to take claims on face value. That’s why our research is based on extensive, discreet research from multiple eyewitnesses interviewed on three separate occasions by separate investigators who have worked with us in the past – not just on drones, but abuses by the Taliban and others, abuses against women and so on…..
…the Chechens couldn’t have acted independently, not obeying their leaders. Otherwise they will lose their arms corridor. Turkey keeps these groups under control, looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth. It happened a few times, including the incident with chemical weapons. How come there was sarin, the one that was found in the homes of the militants from Jabhat al-Nusra? It was real sarin….
Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark
The British, French, German and US government were all debating LeT. Almost everything was known about what might happen, barring the date itself, making this the most visible invisible attack, the most imagined unimaginable assault, ever planned. When the smoke finally parted, what was left behind was the Ram Pradhan commission that could only draw together 64 pages on India's 9/11. When we read it, we knew we were right to commit to the story.....
Arif Jamal,South Asia expert at Harvard University
“CLOSE THE JIHAD FACTORY, STOP PRODUCING AND HARBOURING JIHADIS AND CRIMINALS”
It was the Lashkar-e-Taiba which founded the tradition of severing the heads of Indian soldiers. In 1995, LeT commander Haibat Khan brought the severed head of an Indian soldier and it was put on display at the annual congregation of the Jamatud Dawah in Murideke. Mujallah Al-Dawa published the story in its December 1995 issue. Ilyas Kashmiri has spun out of the military control but the LeT/JuD has yet to spin out of their control. This is bound to happen, sooner or later. The day LeT spins out of their control, it would be the end of Pakistan as we know it…
Sufi Militants Struggle with Deobandi Jihadists in Pakistan
When you go to a Catholic church in Sindh, in my hometown Larkana, there are no pews. They sit on the ground with their legs crossed, in a yogic position. And they don’t have candles, but Diyas. And they put rose petals on the picture of the Virgin Mary. We come from a region where we mix all these ideas and have done so for centuries beautifully. Again in Sindh, we have Jhule Lal, who Hindus and Muslims worship together....
We lived together in peace. A majority of the people comes from a Sufi background. We are Sufi descendants. My own grandfather was a student of one of the greatest Sufi masters in the Sudan. We are part of the Quadiri order of Sufi. So we are peaceable. Overall, the Sudanese are very humble people. Sudan has the Nile, which has the sweetest water in the world, and 23 rivers and resources like gold and oil. But today the Sudanese are ruled by this: one man, one idea, one plan….
The story of Pakistan’s doublespeak is as old as the history of that country. Just look at Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Not in any way a practising Muslim, he used to drink alcohol, eat pork, smoke 50 cigarettes a day, and dress like a English gentleman. Yet, it was he who created Pakistan in the name of Islam....
My concern has always been how to make sure that Pakistanis are part of the 21st century and not living in some dream world of the 7th or 8th century. Pakistan's raison d'etre shouldn't be some abstract ideology; it should be the prosperity of our people. I'm also here because I'm working at a think tank in Washington DC called the Hudson Institute which has an initiative called 'India, its neighbours and globalisation'. Is this region the outlier in globalisation? Are our problems catching up and holding us back? Are we spending too much energy on our little quarrels? ....
People who say such things can be forgiven. There is extreme hopelessness in our country and people are even disappointed with politicians. The important thing to note is that it is not important whether Malala was shot or not -- Malala is not asking for personal favors or support. She is asking for support with girls' education and women's rights. So don't support Malala, support her campaign for girls' education and women's rights…..
The enormity of conflict in Balochistan has had always been downplayed – and branded as a normal crisis of governance, tribalism and issues of local competition. But we have to understand – that bad governance, tribalism and societal crisis that includes criminalization and Talibanisation are instruments of Islamabad’s larger policy to maintain colonial control.
It's always good when Israelis and Palestinians sit down across from each other and negotiate together. When a third party is there, an American, or the UN, or whoever else, then nothing good comes of it – because every third party has its own interests and keeps them in consideration. Unfortunately, there's now no alternative. If the Americans aren't involved, then nothing at all happens….