Tuesday, April 07, 2020
03:30 PM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > General > News & Articles

News & Articles Here you can share News and Articles that you consider important for the exam

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default Extremism And Terrorism (Important Articles)

Afghan Saga: Killing One Innocent Person is killing the Humanity – Man in Search of Humanity

March 27, 2012
Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD
Exclusive Article

In its search for change and progressive future-making, the global mankind is oppressed and victimized by the systematic intransigence and arrogance of the few affluent class of people managing the global institutions, militarization and governance – the perverted insanity lacking basic understanding of the Human Nature and of the working of the splendid Universe in which we enjoy coherent co-existence. The mankind continues to be run down by the cancerous ego and cruelty of the few Western warlords. Killing unjustifiably one innocent human being is like killing of the whole of the humanity. The global warlords represent cruel mindset incapable to see the human side of the living conscience. Madness of the perpetuated war on terrorism and its triggered insanity knows no bound across the global spectrum. Animals do not commit massacre of their kind and species, nor set-up rape camps for the war victims, the Western led wars against the humanity have and continue to do so at an unparallel global scale without being challenged by any global organizations or leaders. Torture and massacres of innocent civilians are convenient fun games to be defined as “collateral damage” and a statistic. Perhaps, they view humanity just in digits and numbers, not as the living entities with social, moral, spiritual and intellectual values and progressive agendas for change and development. Every beginning has its end. It is just that most powerful nations have failed to learn from the living history- a slap to EH Carr’s precious thoughts of human history.

Continued insanity of the on-going Terrorism of Wars got jolt to commit past mid night massacres of the 17 innocent civilians – women and children in Kandhar- the occupied and poverty stricken Afghanistan. Not one soldier but claims Sayed Ishaq Gillani the head of the Afghan Parliamentary Investigation inquiry that perhaps 15-20 US troopers were involved in the massacres of the afghan women and children in two-three villages. Another report accuses troopers of rape of two women during the vicious attacks. US war thinking news media reports of the Afghan ‘host’ reactionary language of silent protests – the journalistic front page headline sketch of the poor-man’s pain and anguish, but not telling the truth that American forces and NATO are not their ‘invited guests’ but ‘aggressive occupiers’ with an established pattern of behavior to kill civilians and destroy human habitats for extended fun and enjoyment. Afghan investigator Hamizai Lali told BBC that “If the international community does not play its role in punishing the perpetrators, the Wolesi Jirga [parliament] would declare foreign troops as occupying forces.” Other voices of Reason call for public trial of the accused soldier (s) in Afghanistan to be witnessed by the grieving people. In his prompt follow-up phone call, President Obama made his” saddened” impressions known to Hamad Karazi – the US installed puppet president of Afghanistan. Nonsense, in situations of adversity and crisis, competent and intelligent leaders show no feelings on the war fronts nor a Commander–in-Chief of the most powerful armies in the world, would spell out emotions as war code dictates “do or die” and nothing in between. Obama appears smart and tactful at least in his secured outlook, fighting and killing people thousands of miles away from his drawing room without any repercussions to the self- his inner soul and human conscience.

Strange as it was, the US mainstream news media never bothered to ask the names of the 17 women-children massacred by its soldiers, the children birthdates, about their toys if they had, and how they were massacred while asleep – something the US media is used to portraying in its journalistic cultural context. You cannot blame the US military psyche either because they are doing a job. They went there to kill people, and this is what Obama calls the invincible armies. Under the NATO, the Western allied nations use media as a weapon to manage innovative battlefield and defeat the perceived enemies in lands far away that the US military minds could not understand – its people, their psychology or cultural identity. One of the biggest hurdles that American strategists face is that they are disconnected and ignorant of the social, moral and civilizational culture of Afghanistan and Iraq, and failed to comprehend its vitality in fighting successfully. To put a pattern to the context, first it was the US marines photos of pissing on the dead Afghani corps, then the unknowing burning of the Muslim Holy Book Qura’an, and now the added new massacres of the innocent civilians. The American history narrates that Thomas Jefferson, the architect of the American Constitution had three volumes of the Holy Al-Qura’an in his library that he used to devise the legal, moral and ethical stipulations for the American Constitution. Does it mean that the American populace is not aware of their own history? The US armed forces are trained and represent the US culture of thinking, sense of freedom and liberty and justice, moral values and political indoctrination, strangely, why should the Commander-in-Chief be ‘saddened’ for these latest atrocities against the people who never harmed nor threatened the US national interests. Does hypocrisy and cynicism have another name? To invest in favorite perversion, torture, corruption and massacre of the innocent people happening frequently to portray sadistic political governance, and the world can watch the bloody atrocities with deafening silence and inhuman complacency but what kind of glorification would it produce for the generations to come to understand the norms of humanity? Deliberate massacres of the innocents need no explanation or psychological clarification, massacre is massacre. To distort the facts and misinform the public, media outlets bring hourly paid intellectuals and subject experts to discuss the war stigma and psychological imprints on the soldiers leading them to commit massacres. The media exercise shields the actual crimes and creates TV imagery on screen as if it is unreal, no blood – no killing, all unknowingly and “a lone marine”- the Obama explanatory note. The informed and conscientious global community wonders, when rationality would replace the drudgery, hypocrisy of wars and killings of the innocent people? History will judge the people and leaders by their actions, not by their claims.

Looking at the Nature of Things, the universe encompasses many challenging opposites – time, space, sun, moon, gravitational rotation of the earth, fire, water, air, sand, floods, earthquakes, tsunami, disasters, explosions, wars, destructions, bombing and all that can be imagined to destroy the mankind and endanger the continued movement of the splendid, inspiring and harmonious Universe. How it is that Man – a creation of God cannot co-exist with fellow Man? Is Man by nature a blood thirsty creature? Perhaps, the invisible forces of culture and environment and societal indoctrinations frame and shape that mindset.

There is growing trend of “Big Thinking” in American politics that often overwhelms the powerful nation to drain out its abilities to see the mirror for a critical self-analysis and reconstruction of policy and strategic behavior in a situation of primary crisis management conflict resolution. Throughout its two centuries of evolving history, the US government has been continuously engaged in more than 220 wars. What a tragedy and loss to human thinking, intellect and values – Immanuel Kant, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Shakespeare and Bertrand Russell and their souls put to tormenting torture – the treatment they did not deserve from George Bush, Barrack Obama, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, Rumsfeld and so many others full of embittered conscious and cancerous ego to annihilate the mankind.

Deceit and dishonesty of the Bush manufactured War on Terrorism and its short-long terms crippling impacts on the present and future of the mankind will continue to hold the future generations hostage for change and peaceful co-existence. Individually paranoid and intellectually insane, the men who are universally hated and feared cannot be source of hope and positive thinking to envision change and promising future for the humanity. America appears at a crossroads being unable to ward off the in-waiting crucial challenge of history that it will no longer be seen as a viable superpower and more susceptible to change of global status and to be replaced by another nation or group of new emerging Asian nations of economic and political leadership as the next power (s) of the 21st century and new global age of politics, human integrity and peaceful co-existence. America is skeptical being unable to command the ethical and intellectual spirited power of the global echelon to be a great nation of the world. President Obama claimed “Yes We Can” to America’s change phenomena but political cynicism and lack of proactive commitment stumbled his convenient political slogan for personal choices. On wishful thinking, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded to Obama the Nobel Peace prize but now the people across the globe are questioning and Nobel Committee is reviewing it consideration if the Obama award should be recalled. That should send a strong message to President Obama to rethink if he is a suitable candidate for the presidential re-election in 2012.

Robert Pape, Professor, University of Chicago’s, and author of the Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, 2005, points out the alarmingly failing record of the US Empire in war engagements:
“America is in unprecedented decline. The self-inflicted wounds of the Iraq war, growing government debt, increasingly negative current-account balances and other internal economic weaknesses have cost the United States real power in today’s world of rapidly spreading knowledge and technology. If present trends continue, we will look back on the Bush years as the death knell of American hegemony.”
Late Chalmers Johnson (Dismantling the Empire) warned:
“We Are Going to Lose the War in Afghanistan and it will Help Bankrupt us.

One of our major strategic blunders in Afghanistan was not to have recognized that both Great Britain and the Soviet Union attempted to pacify Afghanistan using the same military methods as ours and failed disastrously. We seem to have learned nothing from Afghanistan’s modern history — to the extent that we even know what it is. Between 1849 and 1947…..”
Twenty years after the forces of the Red Army withdrew from Afghanistan in disgrace, points out Chalmers Johnson, that the last Russian general to command them, Gen. Boris Gromov, issued his own prediction: Disaster, he insisted, will come to the thousands of new forces Obama is sending there, just as it did to the Soviet Union’s, which lost some 15,000 soldiers in its own Afghan war. We should recognize that we are wasting time, lives, and resources in an area where we have never understood the political dynamics and continue to make the wrong choices.

To change the world, it is incumbent upon the intellectuals, academics, visionaries, poets, philosophers and the thinking people to perceive and articulate new and creative ideas, new political imagination for the 21st century organizations to be functional for the people, by the people and accountable to the supremacy of the people’s will. Thus facilitating opportunities for dialogue and reason to deal with issues of primary national conflicts, competing economic and political discords, freedom, justice, human rights, and to invent new terminologies of diplomacy, peacemaking and co-existence between Man, the Humanity and the encompassed Universe. Peace and global security are not the properties or the exclusive domains of any superpowers, UNO or the Security Council or corporate entity. The global mankind enjoins rational optimism to see the ideas and ideals of peace and human security as it’s own collectively, not of the few.

Leaders create leaders. The Mankind looks to the Thinking People of new ideas, imagination and commitment to transform the helpless and degenerated present unto hall marks of positive hope and plausible future for all the humanity living on One Planet. But the raging wars and new emerging conflicts are undermining the future of the mankind. The global community views the current US- Israel warmongering against Iran with great dismay and active disapproval. The US and Israel are isolated and even Europeans appear reluctant to offer enthusiastic support for the Iran attack.

Time and encompassing opportunities warrant New Thinking, New Leaders and New Visions for change and the future-making. But change and creativity and new visions will not emerge from the obsolete, redundant and failed authoritarianism of the few insane leaders. None have the understanding of neither peace nor respect for human life and co-existence in a splendid Universe. To challenge the deafening silence of the US and Europeans for global peace and security, the humanity must find ways and means to look beyond the obvious and troublesome horizons dominated by the few warlords and continued to be plagued with massacres, barbarity against human culture and civilizations, destruction of the habitats and natural environment as if there were no rational being and people of Reason populating the God-given Universe. The informed and mature global community looks towards those Thinkers, educated and honest proactive leaders enriched with coherent unity of moral, spiritual, intellectual and physical visions and abilities to be instrumental to rescue it from the planned encroachment of the few Western warlords. The March 2011 Japan’s natural disasters – tsunami, earthquakes and nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima have further heightened the tormenting uneasiness, pain and anguish of the mankind across the globe. Environmental experts, technological inventors and nuclear scientists seem to invent things but failed to manage the operational outcomes and accidents, essentially signaling major flaws between what is thinkable for the good of human change, progress and advancements and the divide between what could purge the human existence because of the ignorance of their own thinking and action, arrogance, warmongering and inconsistency and continued confrontations with the Nature of Things.

“If the human nature is in part wicked and in part foolish, how can human beings be prevented from suffering from the result of their wickedness and folly?” C.E.M. Joad (Guide to Modern Wickedness), the 20th century proactive thinker offers a rational context to the prevalent facts of life:

“Men simply do not see that war is foolish and useless and wicked. They think on occasion that it is necessary and wise and honourable, for war is not the work of bad men knowing themselves to be wrong, but of good men passionately convinced that they are right.”

(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution and comparative Western-Islamic cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest one: Arabia at Crossroads: Arab People Strive for Freedom, Peace and New Leadership. VDM Publishers, Germany, September 2011. Comments are welcome at: kmahboob@yahoo.com)

The article is contributed to pkarticleshub.com
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Roshan wadhwani For This Useful Post:
agentontheduty (Wednesday, September 04, 2013), iranibilly (Thursday, May 16, 2013), nadiamughal (Tuesday, May 08, 2012)
  #2  
Old Thursday, March 29, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Battling Al Qaeda
March 29, 2012
Ian Bremmer and David Gordon

It’s been nearly 11 months since the killing of Osama bin Laden and almost 11 years since 9/11 thrust Al Qaeda to the forefront of US national security.

Since then – in fits and starts after 2001, and at an accelerated pace in the last five years – the United States has been remarkably successful in degrading Al Qaeda’s operational capacity and splintering the organisation, culminating in the raid in Abbottabad last May.

To state the obvious, all this is good news. The US homeland is safer, the world is a better place, and a reduced jihadist threat is allowing the United States to make a shrewd strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific region.

But what is less appreciated is that while the threat to the homeland is diminished, the demise of “Al Qaeda central’’ is coinciding with a resurgence of radical extremist political activism. The two trends are connected, and present a growing challenge to US interests.

The fracturing of Al Qaeda has reversed Bin Laden’s signal achievement: defying the truth that all politics is local and focusing the efforts of the most extreme elements on attacking the “far enemy,’’ the United States.

In the absence of a leader, these groups, buttressed by the dynamics of the Arab Awakening and the US withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, have re-entered domestic politics throughout the Middle East and South Asia. Their activities add a layer of complexity, uncertainty, fragility and danger to the region’s trajectory and create enormous problems for US foreign policy.

Osama himself was aware of this development. According to reports of correspondence taken from his Abbottabad compound, Bin Laden fretted constantly that his operatives were too eager to direct their activities to local dynamics rather than the overarching anti-US cause.

These tensions – and the temptation among Qaeda operatives to strike softer local targets – sharpened as the US vise tightened and the operational control of an increasingly isolated Bin Laden weakened.

The killing of Bin Laden, continued US pressure, and the ascension of the unpopular Zawahri to leadership have reinforced the shift of Al Qaeda affiliates toward local issues, making the various regional branches less receptive to dictates from Zawahri, an Egyptian.

This new focus on the local is driving a resurgent influence for the most radical elements in areas in which Al Qaeda had in recent years become deeply unpopular. The US withdrawal from Iraq intensifies extremist opposition to the Shia Prime Minister, Nouri Kamal Al Maliki, as it’s more clear than ever that it’s his sect, not his ties to Washington that fires the radicals.

In Mali, the increased local activities of Al Qaeda in the Maghreb have contributed to a deteriorating security environment that allowed the long-simmering Tuareg rebellion to strengthen and fueled the discontent that led to last week’s coup. For the United States, which had promoted Mali as a regional success story of flourishing democracy, this is a troubling development.

The return of extremists and their increasing influence in North Africa has surprised and disoriented even the region’s moderate Islamists, with the electoral success of the Salafist Al Nour Party in Egypt challenging the Muslim Brothers and Tunisia’s Ennahda-led government struggling to prevent Salafist influence from deterring much-needed foreign investment.

An influx of returning jihadists in Libya is injecting a radical ideological element to a transition already fraught with ethnic and tribal tensions. Here, as in South Asia and the Sahel, the localisation of the most extreme elements is changing the game.

It is in Syria where this dynamic is most acute and most challenging for the United States. The uprising against the Assad regime is in many ways a strategic plus for the United States, especially given the close cooperation between Damascus and Tehran. But sectarian dynamics in Syria make it very difficult for the United States to exploit or even manage its advantage.

The inability of the Syrian opposition to unite or gain purchase among ethnic and sectarian minorities results to a great extent from the perception that the strongest elements of the opposition to the Alawite Shia Bashar Al Assad are Sunni extremists. Minority groups fear they will treat them even more harshly than Assad has treated much of the Syrian population.

And the very fractiousness of the opposition that extremism fosters is increasingly allowing extremist elements to define the anti-Assad forces – fueling further fractiousness and, in a vicious cycle, creating even more openings for extremists.

Zawahri’s call for jihad against the Assad regime – Al Qaeda’s first such exhortation that is not against the United States or a close US ally – is both a testament to and a driver of these local dynamics. All of this makes rhetorical or military support for the Syrian opposition from the United States, Turkey or Saudi Arabia very difficult, and contributes to the stalemate we’re now seeing.

America’s very success in the war on Al Qaeda has created a paradox: While the most extreme elements have shifted their focus away from the United States, the complexity of the challenge that they pose for US foreign policy has only increased. The war on terror may be winding down, but managing its aftermath is just beginning.

Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group.’ David Gordon is head of research at Eurasia Group and former director of policy planning at the State Department
Source: Khaleej Times
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Saturday, March 31, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Impact of Terrorism on Global Security in 2011:
A Pakistani Perspective
*

Raheela Asfa
**
Dr. Mughees Ahmed

http://berkeleyjournalofsocialscienc...ebruary122.pdf
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Roshan wadhwani For This Useful Post:
nadiamughal (Tuesday, May 08, 2012)
  #4  
Old Monday, April 02, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Al Qaeda’s tactical creed
April 2, 2012
M. Zaidi

IDEOLOGY may have been the forte of Al Qaeda ideologues promoting global jihad, but it has also combined with a military tactical doctrine to make it look more pragmatic to millions of ‘jihobbyists’ around the world.

Since this becomes a conflict between good and bad, good has to necessarily triumph over bad, since without an alternative vision for the future, no ideology can hope to succeed.

The faithful are implored to shun inertia and spring into action, since only from action can that alternative vision for future be achieved. The vision that inspires Al Qaeda is the ouster of foreign occupiers in Muslim lands, the removal of all vestiges of cultural pollution that violate the laws of God and the application of laws that are informed solely by the Holy Quran.

The US is the main antagonist, one against whom Al Qaeda ideologues have laid out an ideological strategy. As a typical example, Abu Ubayd al-Qurashi has tended to argue in his works that the US is weakening, while the jihadi movement led by Al Qaeda is on the rise around the world.

For example, in a 2002 article A Lesson in War, he performs a nuanced distillation of Carl von Clausewitz, a pioneer of war studies and tactics. Qurashi postulates that Americans are too entrenched in Clausewitz’s ‘centre of gravity’ doctrine, which emphasises fighting a centralised hostile adversary with a unified command structure, which becomes redundant when fighting a fluid organisation like Al Qaeda. Qurashi argues that Americans are totally inept when it comes to understanding Al Qaeda’s tactics, and deconstructs Ray Cline’s arguments about power.

Qurashi interpolates variables that Cline argues are vital for any entity to acquire power, within which territoriality , economic capability, military ability, strategic purpose and a will to accomplish that purpose are essential elements. Qurashi argues Al Qaeda has significant potential power and territorial bases in the shape of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. It has
the will, and territory will be hugely helpful for acquiring economic capability.

Qurashi interpolates research by another American military strategist T.N. Dupuy, who identifies fighting power (P) as being constituted of the number of troops (N), multiplied by variable factors (V), multiplied by the quality (Q) of those troops: P, in fact, is equal to NVQ.

He says that even though the US may have a central pool of troops, the jihadis can recruit Muslims from all over the world, offsetting the numerical ratios of American troops. He also postulates that the qualities of Islamist warrior (jihadis) are undeniably higher, since they fight out of conviction, not monetary gains, and live hard lives and thus are inherently
conditioned for war.

Abu Musab al-Suri also stresses on Islam being under attack by the establishment of the ‘new world order’ comprising the Jews and ‘Crusaders’, spearheaded by America, with France, Britain and Nato, and the ‘apostate’ Arab regimes. Suri has also equated Islamic scholars who denounce jihadism with the enemy within, who lead Muslims astray under the guise of
Islamic injunctions.

The need for edifying action is also demonstrable in his Call for Islamic Global Resistance. Suri has laid out a ‘battle doctrine’ against primarily America, which stipulates that mere words will not save the ummah in the face of the enemy’s “machineguns, flogging, rape and defamation”. Suri’s emphasis at all times is on the fact that jihad against the US cannot be
waged through words and non-violent means, and only this philosophy is the way forward.

As regarding asymmetric warfare, for Qurashi the asymmetrical confabulation of jihadi vs US forces is not such a bad thing since the fluid nature of jihad makes it more flexible, creative and resilient, besides making good propaganda material. This has been effectively utilised particularly by Al Qaeda to project itself as a small but dedicated populist force
seeking to defend the freedom of the oppressed and downtrodden challenged by the American Goliath.

Qurashi points to various asymmetrical trajectories which he argues can be effectively utilised. America’s superiority in forces’ strength, he argues, has not defended it against the weaker side’s intelligence and will power. The superiority of American information technology has not defended the US against the economic aftermath of 9/11 since images of the
subsequent stock exchange crashes were transmitted by the enemy’s own media centres.

He then posits the largest fissure in the American armour — America is seeking to protect the narrow ideal of a state while Al Qaeda is fighting for the people; America is trying to uphold democracy while Al Qaeda espouses a higher divine cause which gives it the leverage to operate throughout the world, while the US is limited by its territorial imperatives.

Qurashi tries to show that America is still reliving the Cold War military doctrine when engaging Al Qaeda, which is ineffective against the entity’s cell-based, fluid and constantly morphing tactics. For Al Qaeda, the scatter of forces created by engaging in Iraq at the same time as in Afghanistan shows the lack of creativity of American thinking.

On the other hand, the jihadis gain their strength from the same troop diffusion process by opening up too many fronts for Americans to handle at one time. This ‘too much everywhere — too little effectiveness’ theme also resonates with another top Al Qaeda strategist and ideologue, Abu Bakr Naji, who argues that even though US has the capability to crush jihadism
and Al Qaeda, only hegemony will not be enough.

Remote countries will become graveyards for the Americans unless the US legitimises itself in the eyes of the people of those countries. This would mean a reversal of its foreign policy in some cases. Reliance on proxy regimes, Naji argues, will not work since they in turn lose legitimacy by allying with the Great Satan.

The writer is a security analyst.
-Dawn
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Roshan wadhwani For This Useful Post:
nadiamughal (Tuesday, May 08, 2012)
  #5  
Old Thursday, April 05, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

A liberal Pakistan?
April 5, 2012
Niaz Murtaza

AGAINST the backdrop of creeping radicalisation in Pakistan, the vision posed in the title above may seem a utopia restricted to the imagination of delusionary liberals.

However, since even totalitarian regimes could not constrain dreams and since dreams often sow the seeds of progress, it may be worthwhile to evaluate the prospects for a liberal Pakistan.

The immediate difficulty in doing so relates not to Pakistan’s inhospitable terrain but to defining liberalism, which means different things to different people. Liberalism comes from the Latin word ‘liber’ (free). Thus, the hyper-free market economies espoused by the likes of Reagan are often defined as economic (neo) liberalism, even though they are antithetical to liberal left-wing thought. Consequently, a clear definition of liberalism is essential.Political liberalism was the first liberal strand to emerge, as a movement against absolute monarchies. It is often seen as emerging during European Renaissance although its roots go back much earlier and spread more globally to the various uprisings against tyranny since antiquity. Thus, democracy, equality of rights (especially for minorities and women) and individual freedom represent the core of political liberalism.

Economic liberalism includes economic individual freedom, equity and equality of opportunity. This economic vision rejects both Reaganism and communism. Among existing economic systems, the ones in Scandinavia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Bhutan come closest to true economic liberalism.

Cultural liberalism encompasses multiculturalism and a willingness to evolve cultural norms in line with changing societal needs. Liberals also espouse secularism based on the long history of manipulation of religions by governments and the unspeakable horrors committed against religious minorities. Secularism aims not to banish religion but to get the state out of the way to allow people to practise religion freely according to their own wisdom. While liberals reject Taliban-style religion, mystical interpretations of religion are primary sources of inspiration for many liberals.

The common philosophical foundations for these different strands are provided by liberalism’s vision of human nature. The main focus of lower animals in life is on material consumption and on competing with others to access the natural resources needed for it. However, liberalism believes that the main determinants of high quality of human life are non-material pursuits, e.g. aesthetical interests, cooperative endeavours, scientific investigations and altruistic and spiritual concerns.

Consequently, unlike with lower animals, the pursuit of high quality of life by humans is not in conflict with but is intrinsically linked to ensuring the rights of other groups, societies, species and generations. Thus, conservatism, with its focus on power, materialism, domination and xenophobia, is humanity’s evolutionary inheritance from lower animals and a puzzling desire to cling to those anachronistic origins. Conversely, liberalism reflects a desire to transcend those origins and attain humanity’s full potential and hence the focus on equality, cultural diversity and democracy under liberalism.

Liberalism is often rejected as a western import in Pakistan. However, liberalism’s origins are highly diverse. Its central tenets like human rights, equality, and above all the emphasis on spirituality are also emphasised within non-western religions and philosophies such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Moreover, while liberals embrace many western practices (e.g. the emphasis on human rights), they reject others, e.g., over-materialism, over-individualism and neo-imperialism.

What are the prospects for liberalism in Pakistan? In line with the liberal creed, my focus here is on investigating the electoral prospects of liberal parties, for liberalism can be achieved not through revolutions or dictatorships but through democracy only. Viewed so and surprisingly, many liberal beliefs provide powerful strategies for winning elections in Pakistan.

Liberal positions on economic justice and equality could find a sympathetic audience among the majority of Pakistani systematically deprived of fair economic opportunities since before Independence. A party that develops cogent positions on the mechanisms utilised by the elites to deprive the majority of their rights and practical strategies for overcoming them (beyond populist but empty slogans about reducing corruption by half in nine days) stands a good chance electorally.

The emphasis on equality of rights and cultural diversity are also relevant for the majority of Pakistanis, who are a collection of minorities and lack a majority group since no ethnic group constitutes 50-plus per cent of the population (once the Seraiki are treated separately). Unsurprisingly, ethnic parties are quite popular in Pakistan. Moreover, since dictatorship leads to the dominance of one or two ethnic groups in Pakistan, democracy can also be sold as the best way of ensuring the rights of all ethnic groups.

Other liberal tenets may unfortunately find less sympathetic reception within Pakistan, e.g. women’s equality, cultural relativism and secularism. However, people do not vote for a party only if it reflects their worldview on every issue, for such complete consonance is rare. They normally vote for parties which address their most important concerns.

Moreover, the most important electoral issues globally are usually economic and political ones rather than cultural ones. Thus, a party which resonates politically and economically with the majority could win even if it is culturally somewhat out of sync.
Its economic and political resonance can also provide it with a solid platform to gradually influence people’s positions on other issues.

Thus, the biggest obstacle for liberal parties in Pakistan is not an out-of-tune agenda. It is that they have failed to develop a strong grass-roots presence in villages and slums. Marginalised people can only be weaned away from patronage-driven and right-wing reactionary parties if liberal groups and parties demonstrate the superiority of their agenda through community-level work and then use that foundation to sell an agenda stretching up to the national level. A liberal Pakistan may then no longer remain a distant dream.

The writer is a political economist at the University of California, Berkeley.

murtazaniaz@yahoo.com
-Dawn
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Roshan wadhwani For This Useful Post:
nadiamughal (Tuesday, May 08, 2012)
  #6  
Old Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Should we put Pakistan at stake for Hafiz Saeed?
April 10, 2012
Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

There are many fellow travellers I am not proud of sharing my green Pakistani passport with but I am particularly not proud of sharing this passport with Hafiz Saeed. His organisation is a declared terrorist outfit by the United Nations Security Council. He is a source of embarrassment to every Pakistani who wants to see Pakistan’s economy thrive and who prays for reclamation by this country of its rightful place in the international community. Who would want to do business with a country where a renowned hatemonger is given state shelter?

Even more disturbing is that the Pakistan government does not agree with the charge and continues to support and protect Saeed’s movements in the country, where he holds rallies under the Difa-e-Pakistan Council umbrella and preaches hatred for fellow Pakistanis who disagree with his totalitarian vision of a theocracy.

Born in 1950, Saeed is the head of the Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD), a charity organisation that is considered a front for Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), which is as stated above a banned outfit. The bounty politics and the diplomatic maneouvring by the Indian lobby in the US are of no consequence to me as a Pakistani. Here is what I know: time and again, the LeT and JuD have taken to the streets. In response to the caricature controversy in Denmark, this organisation systematically burnt down a great part of the Mall Road, Lahore. Last month, the JuD is said to have spearheaded a movement to ban the right to worship of a peaceful community in Rawalpindi. Is there no accountability for acts of terror aimed at citizens of this country let alone violence aimed at other nations?

Saeed’s hate speeches at mass rallies, which have gained prominence, include inciting violence against the “enemies of Pakistan”, even though on a television show on Geo TV, he has denied that he supports terrorism. His popularity has grown since the US announced a bounty of $ 10 million on his head. He is being hailed as a defiant hero instead of being held accountable for what he did.

The bounty was a long time coming. The statements against Saeed had been mounting. Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and adviser to Barack Obama on Afghanistan and Pakistan in an interview to the Daily Telegraph said that the evidence showed that Osama bin Laden played a key role in planning the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people died, including four Americans. There is also proof that both Hafiz Saeed and Osama bin Laden communicated through a courier until bin Laden died.

Saeed does not shy away from this association. It was he who led the funeral prayers for Osama bin Laden after the Americans eliminated him in a strike in Abbottabad on May 4, 2011, to the embarrassment of the ISI. He cried while he read the prayers for the world’s most wanted terrorist and called him a “martyr” and a “fellow Muslim brother”.

Meanwhile Saeed mocks the bounty, clearly emboldened by the Pakistan government’s appeasement of the ISI that supports him. “I am here, I am visible. America should give that reward money to me,” he added, “I will be in Lahore tomorrow. America can contact me whenever it wants to.”

The problem is not just that Saeed continues to spread ideology advocating terrorism despite the bounty, but that the government thinks he is important enough to take a stand for, against both the US and India. This is the same government that backed off after the murder of Salmaan Taseer, and rather than crack down on the Blasphemy law, it let flowers be garlanded on the murderer. This constant soft peddling runs the risk of Pakistan being perceived as a nation that has no capacity to act on its own. In this case, it may again be shamed if the US undertakes a unilateral strike against Saeed as it did for Osama.

The phrase ‘due process’ has been thrown around quite a bit. This is quite ironic. Our courts, which have repeatedly trampled on due process rights of its citizens, are willing to use this principle to defend someone who openly advocates violence and terrorism. Our selective application of legal principles has a Machiavellian tone to it. This country, which has hauled up dissidents and patriots alike for far lesser a slight, is incapable of jailing Saeed because of due process. The whole idea is a joke.

By deliberately sending the world a message that someone so clearly connected to violence in a very direct and deliberate manner, running a group on the fringe, has more freedom in this country than a normal citizen is not very dignified.

We do not need Hafiz Saeed with his dubious background to be the one to champion the cause of the rights of the Kashmiris, or the drone attacks — we have our politicians for that. By not sending a ‘we are on the same page’ message to the US on this one, the government is fueling the right wing sentiments in Pakistan that view Saeed as a religious scholar and not a terrorist. The state radio refers to him as “Professor Hafiz Saeed”.

We also threaten the gradual progress, especially on trade, made with India, when we fail to carry out a joint investigation into the allegations against Saeed. His recent vitriolic remarks against India came at a time when President Zardari was due to visit India for a personal trip. This visit would help in thawing the diplomatic channels given that the Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, is travelling with him and that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is to hold a lunch in the visiting delegation’s honour.

The bounty on Saeed’s head is a direct result of Pakistan’s inaction; it can now either enter wholeheartedly into a world of international isolation and defy cooperation on this issue, or act like a responsible country and work effectively to put Saeed behind bars.

The types of Hafiz Saeed are not good for Pakistan’s image, for its economy and consequently for the poor people of this country. How long are you going to feed them a diet of misplaced zeal, misguided sense of honour and a sheer misreading of the events of our time? Tell them the truth. Let them figure out if they really want the dystopia that people like Hafiz Saeed want it to be or whether they stand for something different. My bet is on the latter.

The writer is a technology and media professional and a freelance writer based in Lahore. She can be reached at aisha.f.sarwari@gmail.com
-Daily Times
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Stop blaming Fata
April 25, 2012
Ayaz Wazir

Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas have been in global limelight since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The subsequent invasion of that country by the US once again focused the world’s attention on Fata, but for all the wrong reasons this time. The Americans made Fata a scapegoat in the war against terror. Its people are presumed offenders of the worst sort, without the Americans taking the trouble to understand the people and the problems faced by them.

They never differentiated between militants and the ordinary tribesmen. They simply put all the blame on the people of Fata, accusing them of sheltering militants, without acknowledging that Fata’s problem is not of the creation of its inhabitants. Earlier they had washed their hands of any responsibility for the situation in Fata after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and returned there only after their pride was dashed to the ground in New York.

In their haste to exact revenge the US pressured the military dictator in Pakistan to deploy the Pakistani army in the tribal area to stop militants from crossing the Afghan border. The orders were obeyed blindly. However, there are no signs yet of the war coming to an end. Whenever a terrorist incident takes place anywhere in the world the US and Nato never miss the opportunity to point accusing fingers at Fata, particularly the two Waziristans. The Pakistani media is not permitted by the government to operate independently in Fata, and therefore it is not possible for it to investigate the veracity of US/Nato allegations.

The tribesmen have no way of countering claims against them. And if someone does dare to do so, he disappears and later his disfigured body bearing marks of torture is found on the roadside. So whatever is said by the media in the West or even in our own country becomes the lead story within no time all over the world and is accepted as the universal truth.

Having failed to defeat insurgency in Afghanistan the US invariably resorts to the blame game to cover its own weaknesses. Whenever an untoward incident happens in that country they immediately accuse Fata of having a connection with it. The recent attacks in Kabul and Afghanistan’s Logar, Paktia and Nangarhar provinces are a case in point. Instead of accepting responsibility for its own security lapses, the United States put the blame on Waziristan, because it allegedly gave shelter to the Haqqani network which allegedly masterminded the attack.

What stops the Americans from pursuing and apprehending Haqqani and members of his network, which is so dangerous that the embassies it targets in Kabul include that of the US? The Taliban’s success in breaking those high security parameters in Kabul speaks volumes of the lapses on the part of the US security forces.

Meanwhile, the government in Islamabad does not miss an opportunity of blaming Fata for any unpleasant incident taking place anywhere in the country. Be it an attack on important personalities or installations, the blame comes straight to the tribal area and Waziristan becomes an easy excuse for the hiding the government’s own shortcomings. Our interior minister has conducted many inquiries and collected the heads of many suicide bombers. But the findings, if any, are yet to be shared with the nation. What is he doing with all those inquiries and the heads he collected?

When will our government learn to be more realistic in handling the affairs in Fata? When will it learn to stop blaming people there instead of accepting its own mishandling of the situation? By simply adopting resolutions in parliament it cannot absolve itself of the responsibility of saving its people from the devastation wreaked on them by continuing to follow the ill-conceived policies of a long-gone dictator. This is what the government has to look at seriously if it wants to bring peace to Fata and take the nation out of the gloomy situation that it has been in for so many years.

Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador in Afghanistan, did not lose time blaming Waziristan for what happened in Kabul recently. Similarly, our media also tried to shift the onus of responsibility for the jailbreak in Bannu to North Waziristan nearby. Instead of those responsible being dismissed or the government resigning, it is Fata which receives the blame. Neither has the US admitted its security failure for the attack on Kabul nor has Pakistan owned up to lapses which led to the jailbreak in Bannu.

The people of Fata are as loyal to the country as people anywhere else in Pakistan. They have rendered tremendous sacrifices for the sake of the country. Their sacrifices on the eastern border gave us Azad Kashmir. They defended the western border for a very long time, a job which is now being done at a huge cost by the regular troops deployed there.

Not a single day passes without some trouble in the area. The people there have rendered once again the sacrifice of vacating their houses and becoming IDPs, with no assistance from the government, to enable the army to clear the area of militants. It is another matter that the operations have not yielded positive results but in the process the people suffered the utmost with their houses destroyed, businesses crippled and children deprived of education, a field in which they were already far behind compared to children of all other areas in the country. The militancy and military operations have sent them back to the Stone Age, something our valiant commando general was afraid of when the agreed to make Pakistan an ally of the Americans in their war against terror.

Despite the ill treatment meted out to them the tribesmen have raised no voice against the country or revolted against the state. The injustices committed against them are numerous but they are still loyal to the country. Instead of developing the area the government has made its inhabitants’ lives even more miserable by imposing on them “Regulations in Aid of Civil Power.” These regulations give sweeping powers to the army to take drastic action, without any accountability, even it merely suspects someone of being involved in activity against army personnel or the government.

Whatever little hesitation the army had in resorting to punitive action, while it worked in the area under the FCR, has now gone after the introduction of this Regulation. The norms that were followed over centuries by successive governments for resolution of disputes are now ignored and force is used, which only adds to problems, rather than resolving them.

We do not seem to have learnt lessons from what we did in East Pakistan. We are treating FATA like a colony and using uncalled for harsh measures by adopting wrong policies of administering that area. The problems that led to the use of brutal force could have been resolved with the help and involvement of the locals, but that was not done and punitive was action taken on one pretext or another.

The treatment meted to the people there is still fresh in their minds. Their silence does not mean that they do not what happened to their lives and properties. They are waiting for the government to come forward and redress their grievances. They should be treated as a part of the solution and not part of the problem otherwise Fata will remain restive and the country will continue to suffer as a result.

The writer is a former ambassador hailing from FATA. Email: waziruk@hotmail.com
-The News
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Roshan wadhwani For This Useful Post:
nadiamughal (Tuesday, May 08, 2012)
  #8  
Old Saturday, April 28, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Terrorism has no place in Islam


Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta


Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is one of the most renowned scholars of Islamic theology and jurisprudence from Pakistan. Formerly a professor of Constitutional Law in the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, he founded Minhaj-ul-Quran International, an organisation that teaches non-extremist Islam and is present in at least 55 countries.

He was in New Delhi recently to launch his book, Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings. He has a huge following in the Islamic world and many have declared him the true leader of Islam. While talking to this writer, he tried to explain the meanings of Islamic theology and how it is being misinterpreted across the world for political reasons. Belonging to the Barelvi sect, historically seen as opposed to the Deobandi and Wahabi schools, he says differences of opinion always existed in Islam but none of the schools ever taught the killing of non-combatants.

Congratulations on your new book. In recent times, many Muslim scholars have tried to interpret the meaning of jehad politically, but you have tried to rationalise its meaning religiously to suggest that there is no place for terrorism and suicide bombings in Islamic philosophy.

I find some people within the religious circles justifying terror activities to achieve their ulterior aims. So, I thought it was necessary to explain that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, with the Quran, and with the Sunnah [habits, practices and teachings of the Prophet]. In order to establish that, it was necessary to look into the Hadith [Islamic law], Quranic commentaries and works of Islamic jurists followed by the Islamic Ummah [community]. Extremist interpretations are deviations from true Islamic teachings, which only emphasise peace and calmness.

For example, the words “jehad” and “shahadat” [martyrdom] or the concept of fighting were never used in any of the Islamic literature as killing of non-combatant non-Muslims. None of these terms means killing women and children or old people, priests or sick people. You are not allowed to do these. You are not allowed to demolish temples or churches or synagogues and other places of worships. These words are used only in the context of a “just” war or a war where you are only defending yourself. These words are valid only if there are two armies fighting each other in a battlefield, as is mentioned in various religious sources.

A separate group cannot declare jehad, as is being seen now. This is not their prerogative, not their right. And even when there is a war between two armies or countries, Islamic teachings have put lots of restrictions. You are not allowed to kill women, children and other such groups as I have mentioned. You are not even allowed to kill non-Muslim traders and farmers as they sustain our economy. You are not even allowed to cut trees unnecessarily. These are prohibitions, which the Muslim Ummah knows. But a few terrorist organisations have led the world to believe that Islam is a violent religion, and I, through my book, wanted to clarify all these doubts by examining the religious texts and other sources. These organisations have misinterpreted the Quran by propagating that the killing of a Muslim is equivalent to the killing of the whole of mankind. Instead, the Quran has specifically said that the killing of a “human being”, not just a Muslim, is equivalent to the killing of the whole of mankind. The word “Nafsan,” meaning human being, is used throughout in the Quran.

Most of the extremist organisations owe their allegiance to the Deobandi or the Wahabi theological schools. How does your book interpret their teachings?

I have interpreted the writings of all the great jurists belonging to all the Islamic schools of law in the world. If you talk of Deoband, I have devoted many pages in my book to talk about the Ulema [scholars] of the Deoband school. I have quoted scholars of the Wahabi, Salafi, Hanafi, Shiites, and all the other prominent schools. And none of them has disagreed with my point of view. I have not neglected a single school of law which is of academic concern in Islamic history.

Are you saying that it is the political agenda of organisations that has led to such construed understanding of Islamic law?

Not only political agenda or international agenda. There can be social and economic factors, local ideologies of governments, which may be responsible. Such violence, with its ideological understanding steeped in Islam, can also be an articulation of social and political frustration of people across the Muslim world. However, these political issues and religious understandings should not be intermingled. There can be democratic and peaceful ways to solve political problems. But it should be made amply clear that Islam and Islamic teachings do not allow killing of non-Muslims and even Muslims who are non-combatant. This is a prevailing phenomenon, which should not only be condemned but should be explained in the light of Quranic teachings.

You have argued in your book that terrorists are like the Kharijites, who appeared during the time of the messenger and formed a rebellious sect to fight against Muslims during the reign of Ali. You also say that Islamic scholars considered it a religious duty to fight and kill the Kharijites if they refused to renounce the violent doctrine. Could you elaborate on this aspect of Islamic history?

The theological school at Damascus had a political dispute with the fourth Khalifa, Ali (AS). There was a battle. Hazrat Ali (AS) had advocated arbitration between the two sides. It was then, when a few sentimental young people saw that the battle could be settled peacefully, they defected and raised the slogan of violence and took up arms. They formed a new group called the Kharijites, who believed in settling the issue through force. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) declared them as outside the ambit of Islam. I have tried to explain that violent means were not the ideas of our caliphs and our scholars but were, in fact, a deviation from Islamic principles. Violence has always been a Kharijite philosophy and of those who have political agendas. They believed that those who disagreed with them should be killed. Even in the present times, there are groups like these, though under different names.
In the present times, there is a positioning of modernism and its principles as a phenomenon that is against pre-modern religiosity. In this context, what do you have to say about theological states that believe in brutal punishments?
I would not like to comment on theological states and their functioning, but for me, there is no contest or contradiction between modern principles and Islamic theology. It depends on how you look at it. Islam is about restoring social order and dynamics. As I said, such brutalities are outcomes of only some people who misinterpret Islamic texts and have no knowledge of modern scientific principles.

Political interests have guided states, and the name of Islam is wrongly given to misguided decisions. In this context, dictatorships and monarchical rules have been there and improper decisions in the name of Islam are perpetuated to prolong those dictatorships and rules. Monarchical rules are not patronised by Islamic teachings. Democratic decisions are the basic tenets of Islamic teachings. Therefore, the basic principles of Islam and modern requirements of society have no contradiction, in my opinion. The Quran and the Sunnah are wrongly used for political reasons.

The book talks about liberal principles in Islam. Can you also, then, talk about the space for dissent in Islamic history and how it was justified theologically?

The differences of opinion are accommodated right from the 14th century. The Quran says “La-Iqra-Fi-Deen.” There is no compulsion on anybody to embrace Islam. And at the same time, there is no compulsion within the deen of Islam. That is why you find differences of opinions in many schools of jurisprudence in Islam. We have, in those schools, different verdicts for the same incidents in Islamic history which have been made because of different reasoning and different traditions. There is a universal framework, but within that there are different opinions. That is why different schools of jurisprudence were established. None of them, including the Shiite philosophy, has declared that kafirs [non-believers] are outside the ambit of Islam. They are also allowed to go for the Haj. The philosophy of Hadith-Ikhteda-Ummati-Rahmatul is stressed all the time. It means that the differences of opinion in good faith is mercy in the Ummah. It gives you alternatives, substitutes. In the last two years, young people have received this kind of understanding with great ease.

Finally, what is the history of fatwas?

The word “fatwa” originated in the Quran and the Sunnah. This word was commonly used during the days of the Holy Prophet and his companions as a governance tool. The problem with the word arose when some clerics, especially in South Asian countries, misused this word because of their personal prejudices. These clerics are to Islamic philosophy as quacks are to medicinal studies. Fatwa is a highly qualified juristic term. Qadis [judges] and muftis [lawyers] have used it constantly. Fatwa and Ifta are similar terms, which are used only in crucial judgments.

-Cuttingedge
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Roshan wadhwani For This Useful Post:
nadiamughal (Tuesday, May 08, 2012)
  #9  
Old Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

America’s new crunch
May 1, 2012
Dilip Hiro

When Washington announced in April a $10 million bounty on the Lahore-based Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, it was aimed at bringing about the jihadist leader’s conviction. He has been the alleged mastermind for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, leaving more than 160 dead, including six Americans.

But the move has gone awry, adding to the tortuous relationship between Washington and Islamabad arising from the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border and closure of supply lines to NATO forces in Afghanistan. The defiance with which Saeed has treated the US threat has highlighted the power of the Pakistani street, an integral part of the country’s politics. At crucial points in Pakistan’s history such as the 1977 general election under the civilian rule of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, street power, fueled by Islamic fervour, trumped elected authority, and paved the way for the shift from democracy to military dictatorship.

The electoral system is weighed in favour of feudal lords since a large majority of voters live in villages whereas day-to-day politics are played out in urban areas. In towns and cities, Islamist groups have wide support among the lower middle and working classes, prone to taking to the streets on any issue related to Islam. Little wonder that in the current episode, Saeed has emerged as the epitome of street power, a formidable force that poses an unprecedented challenge to the US. Though a civilian government has been running Pakistan since 2008, its military high command has not abdicated its traditional authority to decide policies concerning national security, an area that covers a vast ground, domestic and foreign. Its Inter-Services Intelligence directorate which plays a vital role in securing or enhancing Pakistan’s internal and external security became the primary tool to execute Islamabad’s crafty policy of making India bleed through “a thousand cuts” in the three-fifths of Kashmir it controls. In turn, the ISI used various non-governmental organisations to implement the official policy.

The provincial Punjab government’s attempts to deactivate Saeed as a political-religious leader have failed due to the judicial verdicts. Twice during 2009 the Lahore High Court released Saeed from house arrest due to lack of evidence. That is why a US State Department spokesman explained that the bounty on Saeed was for evidence that would stand up in court – a tall order as recent events in Pakistan show.

The retreat of the civilian and military power elite in the face of murderous intimidation heartened jihadist leaders like Saeed. Broadening their support base are US drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal belt adjoining Afghanistan, which are condemned almost universally in Pakistan.

Determined to block the reopening of Pakistan’s land routes into Afghanistan for NATO traffic under any circumstances, Saeed cobbled together an umbrella organisation of 40 political and religious groups under the Difa-e Pakistan Council (DePC), Defence of Pakistan, in December. Its leaders immediately took to addressing rallies in major cities. Their rallies draw huge crowds. Council leaders combine patriotism with religious piety in an environment where a large majority of Pakistanis believe that Washington’s “war on terror” is a war on Islam. The latest opinion survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, published in June 2011, shows that 75 per cent of Pakistanis have an unfavourable view of the US, and 68 per cent consider it as “more of a threat.”

The council decried Washington’s bounty on Saeed, calling it “a nefarious attempt” to undermine its drive to safeguard Pakistan’s sovereignty. The Council’s hands have been strengthened by the Parliament’s resolution on April 12, demanding an end to US drone attacks and hot pursuits by US or NATO troops inside Pakistan.

When the Obama administration and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani review mutual relations on the basis of the Pakistani Parliament’s resolution, they will find the shadow of Saeed lurking over them. More than the leading representative of militant jihadism in Pakistan, Saeed has come to epitomise street power. Recent episodes in Pakistan show that when it comes to a crunch, street power trumps electoral authority. The US thus faces a formidable foe in Pakistan whose cooperation it badly needs to withdraw from Afghanistan in an orderly and dignified fashion by 2014.
Dilip Hiro’s latest book is “Apocalyptic Realm: Jihadists in South Asia”

© Yale Center for the Study of Globalisation
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Roshan wadhwani For This Useful Post:
nadiamughal (Tuesday, May 08, 2012)
  #10  
Old Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Roshan wadhwani's Avatar
40th CTP (FSP)
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: CSP Medal: Awarded to those Members of the forum who are serving CSP Officers - Issue reason: CE 2012 Merit 101
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Islamabad, MoFA
Posts: 2,322
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,683 Times in 640 Posts
Roshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of lightRoshan wadhwani is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Bin Laden complained of group’s disaster
May 2, 2012

Osama bin Laden bemoaned “disaster after disaster” inflicted by the US onslaught on Al Qaeda before his death a year ago and even mulled changing his terror group’s name, a top US official said.

President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism aide John Brennan on Monday also argued that a US drone campaign had left Al Qaeda seriously weakened, and unable to replace wiped-out leaders.

Brennan said in a speech in Washington that the terror group was losing “badly”, was a “shadow” of its former self, and that its core leadership would soon be “no longer relevant”.

He said the Al Qaeda leader’s frustration at the demise of his group, which was behind the September 11 attacks in 2001, poured out in documents seized from his Pakistan compound by US Navy SEAL commandos who killed him a year ago. “He confessed to ‘disaster after disaster’” for Al Qaeda, Brennan said, noting that some of the captured material would be published online this week by the Combating Terrorism Centre at the US Military Academy at West Point.

Brennan also said that subsequent US operations to wipe out senior Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan had left the group reeling. “Under intense pressure in the tribal regions of Pakistan, they have fewer places to train and groom the next generation of operatives, they’re struggling to attract new recruits.

“Morale is low,” Brennan said in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars, which was briefly interrupted by a Code Pink anti-war demonstrator who was hauled out of the room by a burly policeman.

News of Bin Laden’s death broke in Washington late on May 1, 2011, and in Pakistan on May 2, owing to the time difference.

Brennan said that the documents gathered at Bin Laden’s lair in Abbottabad, outside Islamabad, show the late Al Qaeda leader urged subordinates to flee for places “away from aircraft photography and bombardment.”

Things got so bad for the group which plotted the 9/11 attacks, the deadliest terror strike in US history, that Bin Laden considered changing the group’s name in a rebranding effort, he said.

Brennan’s speech will likely prompt new claims by Republicans that the Obama campaign is exploiting the anniversary of the Bin Laden raid to boost the president’s prospects of reelection in November.

Senior Obama aides are clearly using the president’s decision to launch the high-risk raid as an implicit comparison to the character of his presumptive Republican rival Mitt Romney.

The president himself implicitly suggested in a news conference on Monday that Romney may not have ordered the high-stakes raid last year.

Brennan also claimed that the administration’s tactics against Al Qaeda had made it harder than ever for the terror network to plan and execute large-scale, potentially catastrophic attacks.

“Today, it is increasingly clear that compared to 9/11, the core Al Qaeda leadership is a shadow of its former self,” Brennan said.

“Al- Qaeda has been left with just a handful of capable leaders and operatives, and with continued pressure is on the path to its destruction.

“And for the first time since this fight began, we can look ahead and envision a world in which the Al Qaeda core is simply no longer relevant.”

Brennan’s speech amounted to the administration’s most comprehensive public survey about the state of the struggle against Al Qaeda. He spent considerable time defending strikes by unmanned US aerial drones in nations like Pakistan, crediting them with dismantling Al Qaeda’s top leadership and causing Bin Laden’s distress.

Despite lauding the administration’s achievements in hammering top Al Qaeda leaders and the group’s capacity, Brennan also warned that global terror threats were still potent, particularly those emanating from Africa.

“As the Al Qaeda core falters, it continues to look to its affiliates and adherents to carry on its murderous cause,” Brennan said, warning that the group’s merger with the Shebab group in Somalia was “worrying.”

He said that Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remained a threat, despite the strike that took out radical US-born cleric Anwar Al Awlaki, who directed its external operations.
Source: Khaleej Times
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Essay On Terrorism In Pakistan: Its Causes, Impacts And Remedies Roshan wadhwani Essays 13 Sunday, May 06, 2018 07:58 PM
Dr. Shireen Mazari (The News: Every Wednesday) Abdullah The News 161 Thursday, October 27, 2016 09:25 AM
The search for peace - pakistan and india Tassawur Pakistan Affairs 0 Tuesday, January 04, 2011 10:49 AM
Economic cost of terrorism in pakistan redmax Pakistan Affairs 0 Tuesday, January 04, 2011 01:56 AM
Pak-india relations Mao Zedong Current Affairs 0 Thursday, October 21, 2010 02:56 PM


CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of CSSForum.com.pk (unless CSSForum.com.pk is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.