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Books and Documents

War on Terror

Nearly two decades after the incident, the country''s premier investigative agency has exonerated Kapse. This is the third time he has been exonerated since the commission indicted him. The CBI did find two “neutral” witnesses, a Muslim and a Hindu. Curiously, it chose to believe the Hindu, who contradicted Mapkar''s story only on one point. But, without explaining why, it ignored the Muslim'' witness''s story, which corroborates the victims'' version. ...

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: The Wages of Duplicity

Tribal militia and elders, who have been supporting the Government since 2008, continued to be systematically targeted by the terrorists. Unless the scale of violence in KP is brought down dramatically, it is unlikely that the people will secure any enduring relief. Unfortunately, this objective is unlikely to be met, as long as Pakistan continues to pursue its offensive strategies in Afghanistan,. ....

 

In writing about the founding of the Roman Republic, Niccolò Machiavelli famously said of Romulus: “It is well that, when the act accuses him, the result should excuse him; and when the result is good, as in the case of Romulus, it will always absolve him from blame.” Romulus had first killed his brother and then “consented to the death of Titus Tatius, who had been elected to share the royal authority with him”. From this we get the famous phrase, “when the act accuses, the result excuses”. But does it? -- Ejaz Haider

 

The incredible story of boy ‘terrorist' Mohammad Aamir whose youth was destroyed because of his wrongful arrest and 14-year long incarceration Mohammad Aamir had just turned 18, when one February day in 1998, he was ambushed by a police van. A month later, he found himself thrown against the cold, forbidding walls of a prison cell in the capital's Tihar jail. The charges were murder, terrorism and waging war against the nation. -- Vidya Subrahmaniam

It is precisely such arrogance that led to the loss of Pakistan's eastern wing, and the creations of Bangladesh. More sagacious opinion in Pakistan is already recognizing a threat to the 'Federation' in the vicious cycle of state and rebel violence in Balochistan. It remains to be seen whether a military and political leadership - which appears to have embarked on a suicidal enterprise both within Pakistan and in its wider neighbourhood - has the capacity to learn any lessons from the enduring disaster that is its own history. -- Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

 

Who exactly is a terrorist? But even more importantly what is terrorism? Is it a method of asymmetrical warfare? Is it an ideology? Is it a ‘weapon of the weak’? As we shall see later, there is a considerable amount of debate surrounding the definition of terrorism. One could argue – it is virtually impossible to have a standard ‘one size fits all’ kind of a definition for this term. -- Aditya Sakorkar

Then I knew not, My dreams be shattered And my future be tattered! But they did, they did! They came to loot and ravage; In time they grew more savage; They called themselves Taliban, (The seekers of the truth), But they had not the least truth, They came with daggers and swords drawn, And thus wanted to impose Koran! But how to revive, Our shattered dreams we cost , And bring anew our Paradise Lost!-- Zubair Torwali

Instead of an impartial inquiry, one might have expected the report presents the image of a witch-hunt and indulges in voodoo magic to preserve the soul of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency. The fact remains that Pakistan has a long history of such crimes. Please remember the names of Daniel Pearl, Wali Babar, Moosa Khan Khel, Hayatullah Khan, Umar Cheema and Faraz Hashmi. No conspiracy theory about the seemingly ubiquitous ‘foreign hand’ can hide this fact. -- Farrukh Khan Pitafi

 

While mourning my father’s death, I wish to speak up. I share the belief with my father that America’s Afghan strategy is shortsighted and probably based on domestic rather than strategic considerations. As Afghans, we rarely understand U.S. policy. One day the U.S. military declares the Taliban the enemy, the next day they’re willing to make peace. Does this policy reflect the realities on the ground? Is it a winning strategy? -- Abdul Matin Bek  

 

A warning bell must also be sounded about the risks of glorifying the extremists` cause in any way by other actors, including sections of the media. Objectivity and balance must be maintained at all times; brutality and barbarism must be shown for what they are. Without this effort, extremist groups will continue to target all those who are vocal about their activities. – Editorial, The Dawn

The West's Afghanistan policy marks a return to these geostrategic roots —this time founded on the hope that religious-authoritarian regimes will provide a volatile region stability. Its growing engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, its tactical embrace of jihadists in Libya and Syria, its use of the right-wing cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, as a mediator with the Taliban form other parts of this mosaic. -- Praveen Swami

 

It really makes one wonder how easy it is to blame anything on militants; and why these militants would be silent about his death? Since when have they been afraid to claim acts of morbidity? This dead journalist filed a story by way of this report. It presented two sides of a story, and left you to formulate a conclusion: that there is no justice for those killed by a powerful murderer. -- Atika Rehman (Photo- Saleem Shahzad)

 

The only question left is whether he should proud to be a Pakistani after he was facing the trauma of life-spoiling attacks by the ‘terrorist outfits’. This was not the end of the miserable and painful story of Shamsul Anwar. The ‘terrorists’ again hit him and kidnapped his 14-year-old daughter, Madina Anwar on May 17, 2011 from her school at Misrial Road and shifted her to Kurram Agency. He reported to police and lodged a complaint with the SSP but they did nothing. -- Shakeel Anjum

"This confirms our worst fears soon after Saleem was killed, that while all sorts of placatory noises would be made, in the end, nothing would be done. It will be business as usual in a country that had the most journalist deaths in the world in 2010 - 44 - and four prominent newsmen killed this year [2011] for simply doing their job. -- Amir Mir (Photo: Saleem Shahzad)

If today the US is ready to talk to the Taliban, it is because of countless sacrifices on the part of Pakistan. At this time of crisis, it was incumbent upon the Taliban that they insist Pakistan be included in the process. But, alas, that did not happen. Pakistan has never agreed to a negotiating table without a seat for the Taliban over the past decade. But, the Taliban, at first instance, started talks with the US and subsequently established a Qatar office and got a prominent leader released from Gitmo.  -- Nazir Naji

When I read the article “Pakistan’s FATA Horror: Waiting to Receive Pieces of Daughter’s Dead Body”, I was reminded of the horrific ordeal my family and I endured four years ago. “He has never wronged anyone; I am not going to believe in God’s justice if anything happens to him.” We eventually received a call from Khyber Agency. A boy’s voice on the other end of the line informed us that my uncle’s body had been found in a water drainage pipe – his dead body. Relatives rushed to the scene, but all we found was mangled body parts; we found a head with no nose and no ears, a body with no legs or hands. -- Aqib Kazmi

 

These are difficult times for professional journalists in Pakistan. Eleven were killed last year in the line of duty. They were either caught in the crossfire of ethnic or extremist violence or targeted and eliminated by state and non-state groups for their political views. Now an insidious campaign is afoot to target senior journalists who question the wisdom of the security establishment on a host of thorny issues. They are being labeled as "American-CIA agents". This is an incitement to violence against them in the highly charged anti-American environment in Pakistan today. -- Najam Sethi

As the Sultan of Sokoto, His Royal Eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar told President Jonathan, Muslims and Christians are not at war because of the thoughtless and embarrassing actions of extremists. The activities of an extremist minority are no justification to throw Muslims and Christians at each other’s throats. “We reach out to all Muslims in our country from the highest levels of leadership to the ordinary peace – loving citizens and call on them to work with us to fight against the evil of sectarian violence of Boko Haram. They argued that they love peace and cannot do it alone and they were ready to work with other Nigerians to unite the country in the collective effort to stop Boko Haram from breaking up the country”. -- Mohammed Imam Yusuf

Boko Haram began in 2002 as a peaceful Islamic splinter group. Then politicians began exploiting it for electoral purposes. But it was not until 2009 that Boko Haram turned to violence, especially after its leader, a young Muslim cleric named Mohammed Yusuf, was killed while in police custody. Video footage of Mr. Yusuf’s interrogation soon went viral, but no one was tried and punished for the crime. Seeking revenge, Boko Haram targeted the police, the military and local politicians — all of them Muslims. It was clear in 2009, as it is now, that the root cause of violence and anger in both the north and south of Nigeria is endemic poverty and hopelessness. -- Jean Herskovitis 

 

“The challenge for the United States is to strike a balance between its short-term, war-fighting needs and long-term interests in promoting a stable, prosperous and democratic Central Asia,” John Kerry wrote in the introduction to a report released on December 19 by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations entitled “Central Asia and the Transition in Afghanistan.” Though the US has consistently hectored Uzbekistan on human rights over the past two decades, the country has become more oppressive. The US-Uzbekistan military relationship has had its ups and downs – the US operated an air base there from 2001 to 2005 – and through it all, Karimov hasn’t changed. -- Joshua Kucera

Bangladesh has experienced a dramatic stabilization over the past year, though contradictory impulses continue to create some confusion, particularly in view of the Government's decision to retain Islamist elements within the Constitution, against the ruling Awami League's (AL's) secular commitments in the past. The ongoing War Crimes (WC) Trials and sustained action against extremist elements have, however, pulled the country back from what appeared, just years ago, to be the edge of the precipice, and transformed the profile of governance in the country. Sanchita Bhattacharya

Take for example Najam Sethi. An experienced journo and publisher from Lahore and certainly one of the sharpest and most perceptive men on TV and print journalism in Pakistan. Though a robust political animal when it comes to understanding and relating the politics of Islamabad, the military establishment, foreign policy, terror outfits and, of course, the politics of the Punjab, yet he can’t help but stumble whenever commenting on Sindh and its capital Karachi. I have found a number of the most progressive intellectuals and media men from the Punjab flip-flop from being profound and articulate while talking about something else but then begin to actually prattle when it comes to commenting on the political cultures of Sindh and Karachi. -- Nadeem F. Paracha

 

They may think that they can control the aroused passions of the people with regard to the West and continue to ride the Jihadi tiger to victory in Kabul. But they could well end up inside it. As the decade unfolds, regardless of the outcome in Afghanistan, the world could be compelled to confront a radical Pakistan which is armed with nuclear weapons. It would be a good idea to begin planning for that contingency now.-- Manoj Joshi

He was 20, a private in the 10th Mountain Division from Boyne City, population 3,735 souls, which bills itself as “the fastest growing city in Northern Michigan.”  He died of “wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire” and is survived by his parents. These days, the names of the dead dribble directly onto the inside pages of newspapers, or simply into the ether, in a war now opposed by 63% of Americans, according to the latest CNN/ORC opinion poll, but in truth barely remembered by anyone in this country.  It’s a reality made easier by the fact that the dead of America’s All-Volunteer Army tend to come from forgettable places -- small towns, obscure suburbs, third or fourth-rank cities -- and a military that ever fewer Americans have any connection with. As in all such cases, NATO has opened an “investigation” into what happened.  The results of such investigations seldom become known. Similarly, on Thanksgiving weekend, 24 to 28 Pakistani soldiers, including two officers, were killed in a set of “NATO” helicopter and fighter-jet attacks on two outposts across the Afghan border in Pakistan.  One post, according to Pakistani sources, was attacked twice.  More soldiers were wounded.   Outraged Pakistani officials promptly denounced the attack, closed key border crossings to U.S. vehicles supplying the war in Afghanistan, and demanded that the U.S. leave a key airbase used for the CIA’s drone war in the Pakistani tribal areas. In response, American officials, military and civilian, offered condolences and yet pleaded “self-defense,” while offering promises of a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the “friendly fire incident.” -- Tom Engelhardt

The Haqqani Network which primarily uses suicide bombings as a tactic in Afghanistan, and constitutes a quintessential element of the Kabul Attack Network (KAN), a group that carries out operations in and around Kabul, the national capital. KAN also includes militants belonging to the Quetta Shura Taliban, run by Mullah Omar, and Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HI-G) led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and co-operates with other terrorist outfits including al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Led by senior Haqqani leaders, Dawood and Taj Mir Jawad, KAN has executed several attacks in Kabul. The major KAN successes owe mainly to the Haqqani Network. Jeffrey A. Dressler of the Institute for the Study of War notes, “[a]s early as 2007, there were reports that insurgents were establishing bases of operations in districts and provinces in and around Kabul. These bases were established in Kabul and Logar and resourced by suicide bombers who could be assigned to strike targets in the nation’s capital”. -- Ambreen Agha

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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 )