Month: October 2009

In defense of Kerry-Lugar Bill

PointWise By Dr. Khalil Ahmad 1. The furore against the Kerry-Lugar Bill in Pakistan is politically-motivated. Among other things which include opposition to the US government and to the Pakistan Peoples Party especially its present leadership, it has its roots in the mindset that has been nurtured through the last six decades by the Pakistani establishment. One of the most important characteristics of this mindset is its concept of charismatic sovereignty of Pakistan which gets hurt just by any hint of ‘bilateral relations’ of any type with any country. It may be termed as upholding an isolated sovereignty or an all-dominant sovereignty in a world populated with a large number of sovereign countries. 2. That we are unable to see the merits of the KLB in its proper context is both cause and effect of this fuss persisting from the highest military ranks to the lower intellectual strata of our society.

Waziristan Strategy or Pakistan Strategy?

The battle in Waziristan is variously called “the mother of all battles”, war of ideas and the war for the meaning of Pakistan. Whatever one may call it, there is a little doubt that this is the most important battle Pakistan has ever been engaged in. we hereby present, in two parts, an analysis of how this battle became unavoidable and attempt to present a comprehensive strategy that is required for winning this war. Waziristan today has come to symbolize the paradigm in which Pakistan finds itself. An epicentre of ‘terrorism’, a symbol of ‘Talibanization’ and now a field for what has been euphemistically called ‘mother of all battles’. Pakistan and Waziristan were not always like this. How we have come to this pass is crucial to analyse, but even more urgent is to assess that are we prepared enough to win this battle? Is this just a battle or a war? Is the battle confined to South Waziristan? What are the implications beyond Waziristan? What lies beyond the battle? What will happen after South …

Blast in Peshawar Peepal Mandi Market

Updates Number of casualties raised up to 104, more than 150 are wounded EMERGENCY DECLARED, LADY READING HOSPITAL CALLS FOR BLOOD DONATIONS AT LEAST 80 KILLED, 200 INJURED: NWFP INFORMATION MINISTER MIAN IFTIKHAR At least six building collapsed due to the explosion in peshawar Market- Dawn News ____________________________________________________________________                       At least 104 people, mostly women and children, were killed and over 150 injured when a huge car bomb ripped through a crowded market here on Wednesday. The blast triggered a huge fire which engulfed a number of buildings near the Meena Bazaar. A plume of dust and smoke billowed from narrow lanes of the market situated in the old part of the city. A senior intelligence official blamed terrorists based in Darra Adamkhel for the attack. ‘We intercepted a call last week in which militants were talking about a ‘heart-rending’ attack in Peshawar,’ he said. A representative of the shopkeepers’ association said threats had been received in recent days with militants demanding that women be …

Ideas can win the war

Shahid Javed Burki Tuesday, 27 Oct, 2009 Now that the military has begun its Rah-i-Nijat operation in South Waziristan, the question has begun to be asked whether it will succeed. We will not know the answer for several weeks, perhaps not even then. The real victory will come only when the people not just in the tribal areas but in all parts of the country decide that they have been misled by a small of group of extremists. The people must make clear that they don’t see their country and religion being under assault by the West, in particular the United States, and that it is their own people who are attacking them. In addition to the use of military power, what is required is the use of people’s power. The war being fought in the hills of South Waziristan is not simply a military war; it is more a war of ideas.

Not an elitist media!

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it. [Art Buchwald] I With the advent of electronic media and its proliferation, the war against the all powerful elite classes has acquired a new dimension in Pakistan. As the force and both reach and range of TV channels has no parallel in the history of communication technology, now the previously all important print media occupies a backseat or just follows suit. But of course it has its own uncontested place.

Islam & social reform

By Asghar Ali Engineer Dawn- 23-10-09 Traditional ulema have nearly always opposed social reform calling it un-Islamic. Many are able to mobilise support from static Muslim societies by quoting either certain selected Quranic verses or the hadith. Historically, ulema have also declared reformers as kafir or mulhid, i.e. believers in naturism rather than God.

Hakimullah Mehsud’s Autobiographical Handwritten Notes

Following a meeting of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud’s meeting with tribal reporters last week, the NEFA Foundation has released a brief autobiographical sketch handwritten by Hakimullah Mehsud to provide a reliable account of his life and origins to the media. At Awaam we have posted A Translation of Hakimullah Mehsud’s Autobiographical Handwritten Notes and an Analysis of Hakimullah Mehsud’s Autobiographical Handwritten Notes by NEFA Senior Investigator Claudio with Reporting by Javed Afridi.