Posts

Showing posts from September, 2005

To be or not to be....

Daily Times, October 1, 2005
VIEW: ‘Muslim moderates’ are not for hire —Farish A Noor

If the moderate majority remains a silent one, it is because they have been reduced to such a mute state by the oppressive laws of the ruling government. And that is one thing we cannot blame on the so-called ‘radicals’

We live in an age of mantras and slogans and among the more popular ones these days is the oft-repeated mantra that ‘Muslim moderates must speak up and re-claim Islam from the clutches of the radicals’. This has been the latest hit single for the past few months and at many a conference attended by the great and the good held all over the world in the spankiest five-star hotels the same record has been played time and again, to an appreciative crowd.

The latest glitzy do was held in Southeast Asia where the future prospects of the region were discussed at length. Predictably the same clichéd references were uttered before a jaded audience too bored or deaf to note the difference: ‘Septem…

Back to India-centered propaganda

The news item below is a classic example of state sponsored propaganda. Rather than accepting that something is seriously wrong in Baluchistan that is inspiring Baluchis to opt for violence, the intelligence agencies have yet again started blaming India for such attacks. It also indicates that the official India-Pakistan peace process might be derailed soon.


The News, October 1, 2005
Police find clue to Lahore blasts

Tariq Butt

ISLAMABAD: Police investigators say they have tracked down two terrorists, who bombed Lahore at a couple of places on September 2, killing seven people and injuring dozens others. But they are unable to arrest the culprits despite knowing their hideout, and have sought the assistance of a premier intelligence agency to lay hand on them.

"We are close to catching the terrorists and will, Inshallah, give a good news to the nation," Lahore's Senior Superintendent of Police Aamir Zulfikar told this correspondent in Lahore on Friday.

Another investigator, wh…

Pakistani links with terror: A brave analysis from a former Pakistani army officer

Despardes.com
Why only Pakistanis?
By Kamran Shafi


It may well be that the London bombings happened only because of Britain's pillion-rider" (according to the think-tank Chatham House) status in the US assault on Iraq. It may well be that Muslims are enraged at what is happening to their own across the world. But why is it that most of the terrorists who go about the world trying to bomb themselves and others to oblivion have the deepest linkages to Pakistan? From Reid the shoe-bomber to three of the four London bombers, all of them had their teachers and guides in Pakistani madrassas? Why?

I ask because it is not as if we stand out in any way amongst the Ummah: it is not as if we are the most aware among our co-religionists; it is not that we are the best 'Muslims' that we should so 'stand up' for the down-trodden Iraqis and Afghans; neither is it that we as a people are the most politically sensitized. So why are we in the forefront of terrorism across the w…

Pak-Israel contacts: Interesting history

Despardes.com
Engaging Israel discussed
Islamabad, Sept 25: Improvement in relations with Israel could help expedite the Middle East peace process, said Pakistan's Former foreign secretary Niaz A.Naik while a addressing a seminar 0n "Engaging Israel for Peace", arranged by the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) here on Friday.
Mr Naik said Israel kept on supporting Pakistan time to time, and mentioned that it supported Pakistan on the forum of United Nations on a resolution against Soviet Union's aggression against Afghanistan.

Another former foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar revealed that as ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, he met the Israeli ambassador in Washington when there were rumors of a pre-emptive Israeli strike against Pakistan's nuclear installations but Israel made it clear that it had no such plan. He said the then Israeli foreign minister was in China where a similar assurance was held out by him.
Mr Khokar said as a foreign secretary,…

Debating the Israel Link

The News, September 27, 2005
Debating the Israel link
Imtiaz Alam

The writer is Editor, Current Affairs, The News, and Editor South Asian Journal

Revelations made by Pakistan's three former foreign secretaries were quite consummating about Islamabad's secret contacts with Israel since 1984 at SAFMA's seminar on the subject. The debate over initiating open contacts with Israel, however, remained confined to whether it was rightly packaged or timed and for the right reasons. Most participants from the audience suspected that President Pervez Musharraf might have done it for self-promotion while taking an exception to bypassing both the Cabinet and the Parliament on such an important policy shift. Concern for democracy was so overriding among an otherwise liberal audience that they refrained from giving any credence to the new foreign policy initiative. The real question, however, is that whether opening with Israel is in Pakistan's interest?

For too long Pakistan's nation…

Decline and Fall of Arabs: Lessons for Pakistan

The News, September 26, 2005
Decline and fall
Chris Cork

Civilisations come and go, empires rise and fall, and currently we may be seeing the decline and fall not of Islam -- which as a religion appears to be in good health the world over -- but of the Arabs, most of who just happen to be Muslims.

There is an unspoken but underlying assumption in many western minds that the "Clash of Civilisations" predicted by Huntington in his book of the same name published in 1996 is now under way, and that battle has been joined between the opposing forces of Christendom and Islam. Well, Dear Reader, it isn't, and here's why.

Islam, and specifically the twenty--two Arab nations present no significant military threat to the West. Even assuming the Arabs could put aside their differences and assembled a unified fighting force it would never punch much above lightweight. They have a collective GDP a little less than that of Spain and the combined -- and purely conventional, let's no…

Understanding Musharraf

Dawn, September 23, 2005
No thanks, General Sahib
Ayaz Amir

IF a picture is worth a thousand words, a single cannon shot as fired by Pakistan’s soldier-president on the subject of rape and Canadian visas is worth a thousand images.

The next time he waxes eloquent about enlightenment and moderation his own words as spoken to the Washington Post will come back to mock him: “You must understand the environment in Pakistan. This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.”

This was during his New York visit hailed by official trumpeters — no shortage of the kind in Pakistan — as a huge success. (How does this breed define success?) Worse was to follow. Realizing his blunder, Gen. Musharraf went on the defensive, saying he had said no such thing. Indeed that he would have been stupid to say it. (“True,” as Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times commented.)

The Washington Post,…

Who lobbies for India and Pakistan in D.C.?

Washington Post
India, Pakistan Sign With U.S. Lobby Shops
By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, September 15, 2005; A31

B arbour Griffith & Rogers and officials in the government of India didn't want to talk fees for their new lobbying contract last week. Well, we could wait a bit.

The lobby shop's foreign agent filing finally surfaced at the Justice Department, and it shows that the fees are none too shabby.

Merely $700,000 for a year's work of "developing, refining and expanding relationships between Indian officials and the U.S. foreign policy-making apparatus in the Executive and Legislative Branches."

Too bad the shop can't take advantage of the services of Robert D. Blackwill , former U.S. ambassador to India, who is now president of Barbour Griffith & Rogers International . He is under a one-year ban on representing a foreign government that does not expire until November.

Not to miss out on the benefits of a lobbyist to help navigate one's way in Washington…

Musharraf in New York

The News, September 23, 2005
Misspoken words, unintended consequences
Reality Check
Shafqat Mahmood
The writer is a former member parliament and a Lahore-based freelance columnist

By making insensitive remarks on the issue of rape, General Musharraf finds himself under a withering barrage of criticism. If the first faux pas was not bad enough, he has compounded it by accusing the Washington Post of misquoting him. The newspaper in reply has not only produced a verbatim tape of his remarks, but has added choice bits not mentioned in the original story. These make him look even worse.

The General has been in power long enough to know that you don't throw words out carelessly. More than that, he should know by now that papers in the west are very careful in their attributions. A misquote or a wrong reference can cost millions of dollars. They record every interview not only for the convenience of accurate writing. It is also evidence in case the contents of the story or the quotes are chal…

India-KGB link

Dawn, September 19, 2005
KGB bribed Indira’s ministers: book

NEW DELHI, Sept 18: India’s main opposition party on Sunday called for an investigation into claims made in a new book that the former Soviet Union bribed senior figures of the Indira Gandhi government during the Cold War. Former KGB senior archivist Vasili Mitrokhin wrote in “The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the World” that the spy agency had bought secrets from Indian cabinet ministers and paid them retainers.

“It seemed like the entire country was for sale,” Mitrokhin quotes then KGB general Olef Kalugnin as saying, describing India as a model for infiltration of a third world government.

Excerpts were published on the front pages of major Indian newspapers on Sunday. The claims were likely to embarrass the ruling coalition headed by the Congress party and supported by the Communist Party of India — the two alleged recipients of KGB largesse.—AFP

Musharraf at his worst

Dawn: September 17, 2005
Opponents are enemies of country: Musharraf
Dawn Report

NEW YORK, Sept 17: Pandemonium broke out at a meeting organized to promote Pakistan’s soft image when after a confrontation with human rights activists an irate President Pervez Musharraf declared that those who opposed his policies were the enemies of Pakistan.

“You are against me and Pakistan,” said the president when a human rights activist referred to his alleged comments in a Washington Post interview which quoted him (Gen Musharraf) as saying that women exploited rape to get visas.

Provoked by a single question, the president allowed an event held to promote his government’s pro-women policies to degenerate into a bout between himself and part of the invited audience.

“I am a fighter, I will fight you. I do not give up and if you can shout, I can shout louder,” said Gen Musharraf.

“I wish you had quoted Muslim scholars as opposed to British scholars,” said the president to the woman who had quoted some Ame…

Musharraf at his worst

Dawn: September 17, 2005
Opponents are enemies of country: Musharraf
Dawn Report

NEW YORK, Sept 17: Pandemonium broke out at a meeting organized to promote Pakistan’s soft image when after a confrontation with human rights activists an irate President Pervez Musharraf declared that those who opposed his policies were the enemies of Pakistan.

“You are against me and Pakistan,” said the president when a human rights activist referred to his alleged comments in a Washington Post interview which quoted him (Gen Musharraf) as saying that women exploited rape to get visas.

Provoked by a single question, the president allowed an event held to promote his government’s pro-women policies to degenerate into a bout between himself and part of the invited audience.

“I am a fighter, I will fight you. I do not give up and if you can shout, I can shout louder,” said Gen Musharraf.

“I wish you had quoted Muslim scholars as opposed to British scholars,” said the president to the woman who had quoted some Ame…

Musharraf at his worst

Dawn, September 17, 2005

Opponents are enemies of country: Musharraf
Dawn Report

NEW YORK, Sept 17: Pandemonium broke out at a meeting organized to promote Pakistan’s soft image when after a confrontation with human rights activists an irate President Pervez Musharraf declared that those who opposed his policies were the enemies of Pakistan.

“You are against me and Pakistan,” said the president when a human rights activist referred to his alleged comments in a Washington Post interview which quoted him (Gen Musharraf) as saying that women exploited rape to get visas.

Provoked by a single question, the president allowed an event held to promote his government’s pro-women policies to degenerate into a bout between himself and part of the invited audience.

“I am a fighter, I will fight you. I do not give up and if you can shout, I can shout louder,” said Gen Musharraf.

“I wish you had quoted Muslim scholars as opposed to British scholars,” said the president to the woman who had quoted some Ame…

Musharraf at his worst

September 17, 2005
Opponents are enemies of country: Musharraf
Dawn Report

NEW YORK, Sept 17: Pandemonium broke out at a meeting organized to promote Pakistan’s soft image when after a confrontation with human rights activists an irate President Pervez Musharraf declared that those who opposed his policies were the enemies of Pakistan.

“You are against me and Pakistan,” said the president when a human rights activist referred to his alleged comments in a Washington Post interview which quoted him (Gen Musharraf) as saying that women exploited rape to get visas.

Provoked by a single question, the president allowed an event held to promote his government’s pro-women policies to degenerate into a bout between himself and part of the invited audience.

“I am a fighter, I will fight you. I do not give up and if you can shout, I can shout louder,” said Gen Musharraf.

“I wish you had quoted Muslim scholars as opposed to British scholars,” said the president to the woman who had quoted some American …

China's pearl in Pakistani waters!

Dawn, September 11, 2005
One in the string of pearls
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

“AND China now has a pearl in Pakistani waters - the warm water port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea coast, in the province of Balochistan.” This was the last sentence of my column last week on the adventures of Admiral of the Chinese Fleet ‘Zheng He.’ It prompted many readers to send in messages regarding the connection of China of the 15th century with Gwadur of today.

“I don’t get it,” wrote in one e-mailer, “Gwadar is China’s pearl in warm waters? Is it going to become a Chinese port, or will they have rights over it.” And another, “You very innocently say that China now has a pearl in Pakistan in the form of the Gwadar port. I will wager that if Pakistan slumbers as it now slumbers, then China will just come and stay there as the British did 200 plus years ago.”

A third message asked, with regard to the comment that Napoleon had suggested that the sleeping giant, China, not be awoken, “Don’t you think that Muslims …

Views on Agra Summit: Book Excerpts

Dawn: Book Reviews - September 11, 2005

Peace is the way
By Dr Mubashir Hasan

This is a collection of articles by various writers from Pakistan and India on the Agra Summit. While capturing the mood of the event, the articles are a mix of analytical opinion and personal impressions which look at the peace process in the subcontinent in a historical perspective

Dr Mubashir Hasan writes about the closing years of the 20th century when the tide turned in favour of peace in South Asia

The prime minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, boards a bus at Amritsar and heads towards Wagah on the India-Pakistan border. Thousands and thousands of Indians gather to see him enter Pakistan. The prime minister of Pakistan, Mian Nawaz Sharif, and thousands of Pakistanis give an enthusiastic welcome to the Indian guest and his entourage. Next day, the Indian leader visits the monument erected at the site, where 59 years ago, the All India Muslim League meeting presided over by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Ji…

Pakistanis 'put religion first': BBC

Pakistanis 'put religion first': BBC - September 16, 2005

Most Pakistanis believe their religion is more important than nationality while Indians trust the police and army more than their politicians.
These were two of the findings of the Gallup International Voice of the People survey 2005, commissioned by the BBC World Service.

The poll surveyed more than 50,000 people in 68 countries, representing the views of 1.3bn citizens.

Its findings explore the global attitudes to power.

Little control

On the question of which people were most trusted, 61% of the surveyed Indians cited the military and police, and 58% said journalists, while only 1% trusted politicians.


Of the surveyed Pakistanis, 55% trusted religious leaders, 42% journalists, 31% politicians and business leaders and 29% the military and police.

Globally, only 13% trusted politicians.

Two-thirds of Indians did not feel their elections were free and fair.

About 77% of surveyed Indians did not believe their country was …

The plight of Pakistani Jews

Daily Times, September 16, 2005
VIEW: Where have Pakistan’s Jews gone? —Adil Najam

There was once a small but vibrant community of Jews in what is now Pakistan. Most of them left Pakistan decades ago in circumstances that were not comfortable for them and a matter of some shame for us

The front page of last Friday’s Jerusalem Post featured a boxed item headlined “Surprise! There are still Jews in Pakistan.”

The story in The Jerusalem Post was triggered by an email sent to the newspaper’s online edition in a Reader’s Response section by one Ishaac Moosa Akhir who introduced himself thus: “I am a doctor at a local hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. My family background is Sephardic Jewish and I know approximately 10 Jewish families who have lived in Karachi for 200 years or so. Just last week was the Bar Mitzvah of my son Dawod Akhir.”

I remember seeing the mail when it originally appeared middle of last week and wondering whether the writer was, in fact, who he claimed to be or an over-zealou…

How a military ruler views the world!

Musharraf: No Challenge From Bush On Reversal
Pakistani President Still Leading Army

By Glenn Kessler and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 13, 2005; A19

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 12 -- President Bush, who has been promoting democracy around the world, has never questioned Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, about his controversial decision last year to renege on a pledge to step down as army chief, Musharraf said in a wide-ranging interview Monday.

"Let me assure you that President Bush never talks about when are you taking your uniform off," Musharraf said before offering an energetic defense of his democratic credentials.

Musharraf, interviewed after arriving for this week's opening of the U.N. General Assembly, also said he believed that Iran, like every country, had a right to peaceful use of nuclear power, opposing efforts by the Bush administration to punish Iran for pursuing a nuclear program.

He also expressed surprise that North Kor…