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War on Terror

The meeting underscored the great concern both Pakistan and the US feel about the grave threat posed by a resurgent Taliban and a determined Al Qaeda to the stability and integrity of Pakistan and Afghanistan, US officials said. The extreme secrecy surrounding the talks came amidst a series of worrying developments: continuing political turmoil in Pakistan, increasingly deadly attacks against Afghan and western targets in Afghanistan and a US top general’s complaints that the Pakistani military is not doing enough to stop militants from launching attacks into Afghanistan, writes Anwar Iqbal in The Dawn, Karachi.

 

Beheadings, martial law, kidnappings: The Taliban is making its presence felt at the gates of Peshawar. The Pakistani army is trying to fight back, but is doing so only half-heartedly against a committed enemy. The situation changed overnight in Peshawar. The villas in the posh suburb of Hayatabad, hidden behind acacias, palms and oleander bushes, are now directly on the front line. The Pakistani security forces have declared war on the Muslim fundamentalists who are said to have taken up positions in the immediate vicinity. Taliban execute a villager just 26 kilometres outside of Peshawar, Pakistan. Eight armoured vehicles belonging to the Pakistani Frontier Corps stand ready to move out in the courtyard of Peshawar's Beaconhouse School. Riflemen are positioned behind sandbagged emplacements at strategically important intersections. Pakistani anti-terror units and paramilitary forces in black uniforms are on patrol in the area, their submachine guns at the ready, writes Walter Mayr for Der Spiegel.

 

It doesn’t matter to ISI that good relations between India and Pak are vital to combat militants in the subcontinent.... Those familiar with governance in Pakistan know that the force is a parallel authority which has its own agenda and which has its own ways to put it into operation, writes veteran columnist Kuldip Nayar.

 

Given the present state of affairs, it is imperative that the government officially declares that India is in a state of prolonged war with faceless and stateless terrorists, and that a policy of "zero tolerance" would be adopted to counter them. Once a state of war is declared, certain ruthless wartime measures can be taken, some restrictions can be placed, new ordinances and laws passed, a new wartime integral organisation can be instituted, forces raised and equipped under an unified command, fast-track courts set up and accountability introduced. The time has come to forget votebank politics and do something different, because the people of India are not sacrificial goats, says Arun Kumar Singh, Vice-Admiral (Retd.)

 

The event of the Georgian Programme, or rather, its result, the situation, has proved to be one of the pivotal tremors which indicate a profound tectonic shift of the continental plates. The landscape is irrevocably altered. As a result of the incursion into Georgia and that tiny country’s political response, everything has changed. The very foundation of what they might grandly call their political philosophy, and everyone else their imperialist agenda, has collapsed in ruin – I mean the American doctrine of ‘The War on Terror’. Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi reflects on the implications of Russian invasion of Georgia.

 

From whichever angle one looks at the mess in the tribal areas, one is led to the inescapable conclusion that General Musharraf had become a symbol of intense hatred among the population in generally and among the tribespeople in particular. His removal will offer an opportunity for fresh initiatives without the baggage associated with him, writes Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former chief secretary of NWFP.

 

 Terrorism affects all of us equally – let us recognise it for the demon it is, and fight it jointly, says Harish Puri, a retired colonel.

 

The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has grown steadily in Pakistan over the past few years, mainly as a consequence of conflict in the northern areas and also Balochistan. The latest wave of displacements comes in Bajaur Agency, where 150,000 people are reported to have fled their homes. An editorial in The News, Islamabad.

 

KABUL: Ten French NATO soldiers were killed in a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan, officials said on Tuesday, the deadliest ground attack on foreign troops here since the US-led war was launched in 2001.

 

President Bush's stormy relationship with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is finally over.  Long after it became apparent that Musharraf was leading him on, and long after it was clear that Musharraf was on his way out the door, Bush still stood by his man.

 But now that Musharraf is gone, having resigned in the face of impeachment, Bush is left to pick up the pieces, writes Dan Froomkin, in the washingtonpost.com.

 

Despite the loss of key operatives, Al Qaeda has capitalised on recent political turmoil in Pakistan to strengthen its ranks by training dozens of new recruits for potential terrorist strikes in the West, including the US. "We assess that Al Qaeda's intent to attack the US homeland remains undiminished," says senior intelligence official Ted Gistaro, suggesting a heightened risk of attack during the upcoming US election season.

 

The U.S. administration got what it wanted — a war in Iraq, a thwarted biological weapons convention, an increase in biological weapons spending and an accused who conveniently killed himself, writes Sujatha Byravan, a former president of the Council for Responsible Genetics, Cambridge, MA.

 

Given the meltdown the country has endured in recent weeks, there are still many obstacles to effective civilian governance. Although the United States will expect things to change in a hurry, they are unlikely to do so right away, writes Ahmed Rashid in the Washington Post.

 

THE echo of what Faiz Ahmad Faiz said half a century ago is reverberating in Swat today: 

Koi masiha na eefai ehd ko puhncha

 Buhat talash pas-i-qatl-i-aam hoti rahi

(No messiah arrived to provide relief, but after the carnage much investigation took place).

An article by Khadim Hussain and other reports

 

As Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged NATO and the international community to target terrorist "sanctuaries" inside Pakistan, the Taliban leadership promised over the weekend that they could easily take over Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. It's a development that rang many alarm bells in India, particularly as it views with increasing concern Pakistan's growing tryst with instability.

 

ISLAMABAD, Aug 11: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the National Assembly on Monday that the government’s was trying to help Dr Aafia Siddiqi, who was being tried in the United States, by seeking her repatriation.

 

KHAR, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistani forces bombed dozens of houses in a tribal region near the Afghan border Sunday, officials and witnesses said, in a military offensive that comes amid U.S. pressure for Pakistan to crack down on militants.

 

THE PPP government made a faux pas in trying to bring the ISI under its control and it is probable that the move may have come under great pressure to do so after the recent bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul.

 

ON July 26, 2008 a Cabinet Division notification announced that the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate had been taken out of the prime minister’s establishment and placed under the interior ministry. This decision was rescinded the following day. Ten days later it was brought back to life but only to be held in abeyance.

 

Al-Qaeda's violent methods and tactics have been coming under mounting criticism this year from Islamist scholars who once supported it, says Frank Gardner, BBC security Correspondent.

 

Al-Qaeda can be defeated if the US relies less on force and more on intelligence and policing to find its leaders, a leading US think-tank says.

 

Increasingly worried about the threat from militant groups inside Pakistan, the US is trying to develop a comprehensive approach to tackling the security challenges this poses to Afghanistan, coalition forces there and, potentially, to the US itself., reports Kim Ghattas, BBC News, Washington.

 

The Taleban were routed earlier this year when the army was brought in. And now the new provincial government has signed a peace deal with them, promising to release prisoners and gradually pull back the army in exchange for an end to attacks and intimidation.

 

The US has given its clearest support yet for the new Pakistani government's efforts to strike a deal with militants.

 

PESHAWAR: At least 37 people, including 30 militants and seven security personnel, were killed and several others injured in continued clashes between the security forces and the militants in the troubled Bajaur Agency on Friday.

 
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  • Good column! Jamelle Bouie is a very valuable acquisition for NYTimes' op-ed page.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • When governments pander to orthodoxy, they make good governance impossible.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • @Mohammad Hussain HINDUS HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN HARMONY WITH ALL COMMUNITIES. TROUBLE SHOOTERS GET WHAT....
    ( By Dev Soni )
  • @Na H Il FACTS ARE BASED ON COMMON SENSE, WHICH IS MOST UNCOMMON WITH PEOPLE WHO USUALLY BRUSH IT ASIDE.
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  • @Dev Soni I would really like to know the fact....
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  • MADRASSAS ARE THE ROOT CAUSE OF RELIGIOUS FANATICISM AND SHOULD BE BANNED FOR RELIGIOUS HARMONY.
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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