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Books and Documents

War on Terror

Washington, DC - Wandering seven long years in the mountains of Afghanistan with hardly an end in sight, the United States has just been offered a most fortuitous fix. It likely eludes America’s current president and queuing candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, but not for long. The fix is found in Mecca, Saudi Arabia writes analyst Michael Shank.

 

The unthinkable seems to be happening — the prospect of an Afghan settlement involving the Taliban is increasing.  Analysis and reports by M.K. Bhadrakumar, Pamela Constable, Charles Bremner, Mohammed Al Shafey, Neil Lyndon, Tariq Ali and B Raman

Pakistan now faces an insurgency whose leadership wants to displace the state and government, or at least restrict its domain. If the government of Pakistan cannot neutralise these challenges through military and political means, it will become increasingly irrelevant in many parts of what is today Pakistan. This is the most serious challenge to post-1971 Pakistan: an armed and well-organised movement has entrenched itself in the tribal areas and now threatens to displace the Pakistani state from as much area as possible, Pakistani political and defence analyst Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi.

Pakistan and the War on Terror: A Country on the Brink

The mismanaged "war on terror" has stirred extremism, threatening to rip Pakistan apart, says Ahmed Rashid. The Pakistani author and journalist argues that the US strategy of nation-building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia has failed.

A scathing critique of both America and Europe's failure to invest in rebuilding Afghanistan and Pakistan's role in allowing Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements to regroup in Pakistan.

THE burning of Islamabad’s Marriott hotel that Indian channels showed at length is still etched in the memory of horrified people. They are worried about Pakistan. Even the hawks do not conceal their anxiety. The intelligentsia’s concern is that the nascent democratic government in Islamabad might not be able to cope with the likes of the Al Qaeda and Taliban and might have to depend on the military which would want its price, writes India’s leading journalist -- Kuldip Nayar.

 

MANY in Pakistan are shocked at the bomb blast outside the Marriott hotel in Islamabad which killed more than 50 people and wounded scores. It has made people nervous about further acts of violence, making life unsafe in the capital. The question for many is that if law and order agencies are unable to protect important people in high-security areas, then what can be the fate of ordinary people? By independent Pakistani analyst and author Ayesha Siddiqa

Pakistan's intelligence agencies are convinced that Saturday's terror attack in Islamabad was planned and executed by Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. But the Pakistan Government has done nothing to contain this jihadi outfit. Instead, HuJI has been treated with kid gloves for years, reports Pakistani journalist Amir Mir.

 

The suicide attack on the Marriott has brought into question Pakistan's participation in the war on terrorism. In a sense the attack was the consequence of the flawed policies which permitted our territories to be used as a place of refuge by the multinational militants who fled Afghanistan after the US attacked and destroyed the Taliban government in Kabul in November 2001, says Khalid Aziz, a former chief secretary of NWFP, Pakistan and heads the Regional Institute of Policy Research, Islamabad.

 

The blatant act of terrorism in Islamabad on Sept 20 targeting the Marriott Hotel jolted the entire nation and world at large. This raised some important questions about the future shape of "war on terrorism" and survival of modern day societies. Like fascism, terrorism is a self-destructive ideology. If we want to fight terrorism we will have to understand it. Wishful thinking about military might and invincible air strike power will not help to win the war against something that relates to human behaviour. Use of brutal and ill-directed force against a few groups, dubbed as terrorists by America and some of its allies, without eliminating the causes that lead to terrorism will be a self-defeating exercise, say Pakistani columnists Huzaima Bukhari and Dr Ikramul Haq.

 

More and more people are put off by the concept of suicide-bombing and are criticising it. The fifty-odd clerics who had issued the fatwa against it in 2005 — but were made to cower later by more aggressive clerics — are making their voice heard again. The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) of Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan is reluctant to own it because of this change in public opinion. An editorial in The Daily Times, Lahore.

 

The attack on the high-security Marriott hotel had greater symbolic significance.

CLEAR MESSAGE: The attackers of Marriott hotel in Islamabad care nothing for democracy or religion. An analysis by an independent Pakistani documentary film-maker and journalist Beena Sarwar.

 

The most remote place on earth has now become the most dangerous. But both history and present day activity suggest it can never be subdued by outside powers. At best, over generations, it can be quietly subverted. The Pashtuns want schools — at least for males — health services and agricultural development. (20 years ago I was the host of the Pashtuns as I studied the work of the successful Pakistani NGO, “The Motorbike Bank”, that offered credit and farming advice from a traveling motorcyclist, trained as an agronomist.) Osama Bin Laden is their guest and in the Pashtun tribal code a guest must be looked after and given protection. Bin Laden will have to be found by careful police work, as Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi war criminal, was run to earth by the Israelis, says syndicated columnist Jonathan Power  (jonatpower@aol.com).

 

The perpetrators of the Marriott Hotel blast believe they are striking back at their enemy: the United States and its supporters, including Pakistan’s civilian government led by President Asif Ali Zardari. For, the Marriott is an American symbol hoist in the heart of Pakistan. The proximate cause of this war are US attacks on Islamist terrorist targets within the territory of Pakistan. On one side is the US with its supporters within Pakistan, and on the other, Islamists bent on ridding this region of American presence, power and influence, says strategic affairs analyst Indranil Banerjie.

 

President Zardari’s first tasks are to deal with the faltering economy and get a grip on the war against terrorism while satisfying international concerns. So far he has not much to show, says author and veteran Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid. However, the issue is whether the next US president, Europe and NATO will have the courage and the will to take the bull by the horns and attempt something new rather than continue with a policy that has clearly failed.

 

America killed 1.5 million Vietnamese at the cost of 58,159 of its own soldiers. Remember, the only force that pulled the Americans out of Vietnam was the American public opinion (because too many Americans were getting killed). Over the following three decades -- and a dozen wars later -- the Pentagon has learned to keep American casualties low. In Iraq, over a million Iraqis have lost their lives while US casualties stand at 4,159. Iraq has been destroyed; destroyed for no reason, destroyed for weapons of mass destruction that didn't even exist. Imagine; if there is another 9/11 and it's traced back to Pakistan. They'll have a reason -- a reason to vaporize Pakistan. If they can destroy countries for no reason just imagine what they'll do if we give them a reason, warns independent Pakistani columnist Dr Farrukh Saleem.

 

On its part, the Bush administration is not going to get sucked into Pakistan tribal belt. It has learnt its lessons well from Vietnam to Iraq and the bloody nose the Soviet Union had suffered in Afghanistan. It has a limited goal and limited time frame to operate. .. It wants to diminish, if not end completely, the powerful role of the ISI, reform the army and rework the skewed policy with a set of new managers like Kayani. A high risk policy it is but President Bush is known for such gambles, writes M Rama Rao, India Editor of Asian Tribune.

 

London-based author Farrukh Dhondy reports “from the front line, a dispatch from the war between the pen and the sword”, as he puts it.” In Britain and in most diasporic spreads of Islam the battlelines between the two are drawn.” Exposed for the first time to Sufi poetry, “this mainstream version of philosophical Islam”, reports Dhondy, British Muslim youth wanted to know, “Why had this beauty of their religion been denied them? Why had they not been told?”

 

A bomb attack has hit the Marriott Hotel in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, killing at least 31 people. The BBC's Barbara Plett who was at the scene says the blast created a 20ft (6m) deep crater, and destroyed the entire front section of the hotel. She says the building is engulfed in flames, and rescue workers are carrying out bloodied victims and bodies. Police say the blast occurred as a lorry approached the hotel and they suspect it was a suicide attack. Police estimate that the blast was caused by more than a tonne of explosives. They are warning that the hotel could collapse.

 

The BBC's Owen Bennett Jones in Islamabad looks at the changing patterns of Islamist militancy and violence in Pakistan's tribal regions, seven years after 9/11.

Also: Voices from unstable borders and Turning to the Taleban in Pakistan

 

Seven years after 9/11, the US has declared the Afghan-Pakistan border region to be the new frontline in its war on terror. An analysis by well-known Pakistani journalist M Ilyas Khan

 

NEW DELHI: Friday's encounter in the Capital left no doubt on SIMI's hard-line terrorist character - far from claims of it being a cultural organization - as has been maintained by the Centre and security agencies across the country all along. Investigating agencies say that the shootout which resulted in the tragic death of gallant cop, inspector Mohan Chand Sharma of Delhi Police, has bared the real character of the Students Islamic Movement of India as consisting of religious fanatics who have no compunction in massacring innocents, possess deadly bomb making skills and are sitting on a cache of sophisticated weapons.

But while the feeling of vindication is palpable in the police ranks, they are also seeing the encounter as a wake-up call.

 NewAgeIslam.com presents a collection of stories from mainstream national media that look at the encounter from different angles.

WASHINGTON, Sept 10: The US military will revise its strategy for Afghanistan to include militant ‘safe havens’ in Pakistan in its area of concern, the top US military officer said on Wednesday. As Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen underlined key points of the new strategy at a congressional hearing in Washington, the White House and the State Department indicated that they already had an understanding with Pakistan on implementing this strategy.

 

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Heavily armed militants opened fire on the United States Embassy in Sana, Yemen, on Wednesday and detonated a car bomb at its gates, in an attack that left at least 16 people dead including six of the attackers, Yemeni officials said.

No Americans were killed or wounded in the blast or when guards began to return fire, said a Yemeni official.

Yemeni security officials and witnesses said the death toll was at least 16, including four bystanders, one of them an Indian woman. The other dead were six attackers and six security guards, the Yemeni officials said. A report by ROBERT F. WORTH in the New York Times

Also related articles: Yemen’s Deals with Jihadists Unsettle the U.S. By ROBERT F. WORTH

And Wanted by F.B.I., but Walking Out of a Yemen Hearing by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

 

The decision to make public a presidential order of last July authorizing American strikes inside Pakistan without seeking the approval of the Pakistani government ends a long debate within, and on the periphery of, the Bush administration. Senator Barack Obama, aware of this ongoing debate during his own long battle with Hillary Clinton, tried to outflank her by supporting a policy of U.S. strikes into Pakistan. Senator John McCain and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin have now echoed this view and so it has become, by consensus, official U.S. policy, writes Tariq Ali.

 

Through the eyes of Dexter Filkins, the prizewinning New York Times correspondent whose work was hailed by David Halberstam as “reporting of the highest quality imaginable,” we witness the remarkable chain of events that began with the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, continued with the attacks of 9/11, and moved on to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Filkins’s narrative moves across a vast and various landscape of amazing characters and astonishing scenes: deserts, mountains, and streets of carnage; a public amputation performed by Taliban; children frolicking in minefields; skies streaked white by the contrails of B-52s; a night’s sleep in the rubble of Ground Zero.

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • For Hats Off this is just another opportunity to say something hateful about Muslims! The guy is obsessed with anti-Muslim hatered.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • never mind taxila. or konark. The holy cow of monumentality - taj mahal.
    ( By hats off! )
  • Excellent article. Changed my ignorant mindset. May this idea spread to all the muslims of the world.
    ( By Sahil Raza )
  • Dear sister Teresa, Thanks for this meaningful review. I hope this review will encourage both serious readers and peace....
    ( By SAJID ANWAR )
  • The Crown Prince is only strengthening the monarchy and consolidating the anti-Iran front. He....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Taj Mahal's deterioration is symbolic of a paradigmatic shift in our values.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is so dumb really Turks, Arabs and Persians are not...
    ( By What? )
  • Dear Sister Teresa, You have wonderfully given the gist of the book and created curiosity among the readers ....
    ( By Rajat Malhotra )
  • An anti-reform AIMPLB gives Islam a bad name and is like a curse on the Muslim community. We need new leadership.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • ully agree with this press bulletin. Indian Muslims must reject the leadership of such regressive clerics.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghaus Sb says: “The way you are speaking in your comment shows you are not a Muslim.” From what I say, he can....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus Sb says: Those who say, fitna means “shirk” and opine that the early Muslims fought to end fitna” must have meant “to end that ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Good article. The is only One G-d and Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet of G-d. As I write this, G-d is known ...
    ( By Lenny SB )
  • Please read my article on subject of "there is no compulsion in Religion...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Related article...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sb, Please read my comment again and again. You did not get my comment. I did not say both...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Arbitration is of two kinds - binding and non-binding. When the parties choose binding arbitration, the decision of the arbitrator is binding on the parties ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • All right thinking Muslims must welcome such a course. Academic independence of the Universities must be protected and respected. There ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Referring to your comment: 7/18/2018 5:04:08 AM, to you both views are valid and fitna could mean “shirk or polytheism” also. The Quran clearly commands ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What do I mean by acceptance? Read the Quran carefully. There isn’t any verse that calls for tolerance of the peaceful rejecter of Islam. There ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The title question sums up the matter of the article. The answer is the course will discuss in detail how Muslim clerics and fundamentalists misinterpret ...
    ( By arshad )
  • Site Web Israel and Myanmar give more rights to muslims, than muslims give rights to Kafirs,...
    ( By Shan Barani )
  • Good article. The is only One G-d and Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet of G-d. As I write,..
    ( By Lenny SB (Shivarsi) )
  • I fully agree with Faizur Rahman sahib. Such "courts" should be called "Arbitration centers.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A course on "Uses of religions to gain political power" would be entirely appropriate. By the way, Obama refused to use the label "Islamic....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • بہت بہت شکریہ جناب! اللہ عز و جل آپ کے مبارک کلمات کو مستجاب کرے۔ آمین بجاہ سید المرسلین صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم
    ( By misbahul Huda quadri )
  • fve questions
    ( By hats off! )
  • بہت عمدہ ۔ اللہ تعالی ہم مسلمانوں کو صوفیائے کرام کے نہج پر شریعت و طریقت کو سمجھنے اور اس پر عمل کرنے ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Mushrik and muwahhid, Muslims and non-Muslims all equally need to adopt the path of tolerance. One sided tolerance is not helpful. This point should also ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sb, Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Az-Zuhri informed him from Urwah bin Az-Zubayr and other scholars that (until there is no more fitnah) the Fitnah ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • An excellent read that contextualises many pertinent issues connected to Muslims and Islam! Your angle ....
    ( By Meera )
  • Naseer sb, Can you suggest me how many books have you read on theology? From your comments it appears you have been inspired by orientalist ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sahib, What is theology? Why do you use theology in general term? In your comment you meant that those who follow theology are following ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Before I say anything further, could you please explain your questions? What do you mean by acceptance?....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Tolerance in Muslim society earlier was because of low level of outward piety. Intolerance grows as the level of outward piety grows. Outward piety is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Muslim nation (with the exception of one or two Muslim countries) as a whole has been blind and deaf to the above advice and ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • I fully agree with Rashid sahib.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • At this rate Hats Off may soon get some insight into his unquenchable hatred of Muslims.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is the time when the anti-Muslim hate propaganda of the BJP/RSS is at full blast to cover up for the absence of any acchhe ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent book review! As the reviewer says, "secularism cannot be used as a pretext to ignore discrimination on grounds....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )