Showing posts from October, 2006

Pashtun Influence in Pakistan Army: An Analysis

Musharraf Contends with the Pashtun Element in the Pakistani Army
Terrorism Monitor: Jamestown Foundation
Volume 3, Issue 42 (October 31, 2006)

By Hassan Abbas
The recently concluded peace deal between the Pakistani army and pro-Taliban tribal elements in North Waziristan has led analysts to question why Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has backed down from military confrontation (Terrorism Monitor, October 5). The reason that the government made this decision is that keeping the Pashtuns of Afghanistan involved in the government process will keep Pakistani Pashtuns from revolting. It will be interesting to analyze whether Pashtun influence within the Pakistani army is a measurable factor, and if Pashtun power and opinion in the army have roles in these recent developments.

The Pakistani army stands today as the most organized, powerful and influential institution in the country. It has a cohesive and task-oriented profile with a strong esprit de corps. The composition and ethnic make-…

Bajaur Strike - Consequences?

Bajaur seminary strike could hurt Orakzai’s ability to negotiate peace’
By Iqbal Khattak
Daily Times, October 31, 2006

PESHAWAR: Monday’s airstrike on an alleged militant training camp in a madrassa in Bajaur Agency came as a surprise to NWFP Governor Jan Orakzai and threatens his credibility as a negotiator with tribal leaders, officials said.

Official sources told Daily Times on Tuesday that the governor and his team were “stunned” by the attack on the madrassa in which 83 people were killed, especially as it came at a time that the government was about to reach a peace agreement in the area.

The political administration of Bajaur Agency was negotiating a North Waziristan-like accord with militants. Nine members of the banned Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariah Muhammadi were released on October 21 after four months in detention on terrorism charges, a move that was seen as an indication that a deal was close.

“Obviously, negotiations with the militants by the administration enjoyed the full backing o…

Absolutely Intriguing Insights on What President Ishaq Khan May Have Taken to his Grave?

Picture: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan with Gulbadin Hikmatyar and Burhan-ud-din Rabbani

EDITORIAL: GIK: has he taken a big secret to his grave?
Daily Times, October 29, 2006

Ghulam Ishaq Khan (1915-2006) was a much more substantive man than today’s politicised and polarised Pakistan can ever fathom. He was a prodigy as a boy and never let his brilliance die down as he grew into a self-made man who was tough to beat in anything he touched. He hailed from a village in Bannu, joined the civil service at a humble level in the NWFP, and rose steadily until he was made finance minister by General Zia ul Haq. In 1985 he was elected chairman of the Senate and took over as president under the Constitution in 1988 after General Zia’s death in an air-crash in Bahawalpur.

Mr Khan was an 8th Amendment president who ruled in tandem with the army chief and the elected prime minister in the form of a ‘troika’ that effectively eclipsed the power of the elected politicians. He weighed in with the army chief…

Shut Up Sheik Hilaly

Sheik Hilaly on why women are 90% responsible for adultery
* Discusses the ‘uncovered meat’ theory of no hijab
Daily Times Monitor: October 29, 2006

The following are extracts from Sheik Taj Din al-Hilaly’s controversial sermon given last month, as independently translated by an SBS Arabic expert.

“Those atheists, people of the book (Christians and Jews), where will they end up? In Surfers Paradise? On the Gold Coast? Where will they end up? In hell and not part-time, for eternity. They are the worst in God’s creation.”

“When it comes to adultery, it’s 90 percent the woman’s responsibility. Why? Because a woman owns the weapon of seduction. It’s she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It’s she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then, it’s a look, a smile, a conversation, a greeting, a talk, a date, a meeting, a crime, then Long Bay jail. Then you get a judge, who has no mercy, and he gives you 65 yea…

How to Improve Education Standards?

Dr Mubarik Ali — Historian
Daily Times, OCtober 29, 2006

“We will have to focus on improving research methodology, set up libraries that include international research journals and put in a strong check and balance system to deal with corruption, ignorance and negligence among externals and supervisors, especially at MPhil and PhD levels. We will also need to educate people about copyright laws and plagiarism because without both it is unlikely that our universities and educational institutions will be credible abroad. The recent incidents of plagiarism in Punjab University and Karachi University have earned a bad name for Pakistan’s education system and have tarnished the image of our higher education institutions. Therefore, the government should take action against the culprits and make sure that such incidents never take place in future. We need to develop a sense of topic construction because most Pakistani researchers focus on extensive details, which are based on the history of…

Who rules the world?

Picture: Library of congress - Inside View

Capital suggestion: Libraries
By Dr Farrukh Saleem
The News, October 29 2006

History stands witness that whoever owns the largest library rules the world. In the 10th century, the library at Saint Gall was the largest in the Christendom (St. Gallen, present-day Switzerland). The library's first general catalogue, the Breviarum Librorum, had 426 titles.

In the 10th century, 1,300 km from Switzerland, Umayyad Abd al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba, founded the University of Cordoba. Abd al-Rahman III built libraries. His sons were also extremely fond of books, and they gave Cordoba even more libraries. By the time Al Hakam II, Abd al-Rahman's son became caliph of Cordoba (961-976), Cordoba had become 'the most cultured city in Europe'; 900 public baths and 80,000 shops.

Muslim Cordoba had 70 public libraries. Al Hakam II first secured peace with the Christian kingdoms and then went on a massive translation drive commissioning translatio…

Bajaur worldview?

Tribal jirga calls Osama and Mulla Omar ‘heroes’
By Masood Khan
Daily Times, October 29, 2006

KHAR: A meeting of pro-Taliban tribal militants and elders on Saturday called Osama Bin Laden and Mulla Omar “heroes of the Muslim world” and vowed joint efforts to fight the “enemies of peace” in Bajaur Agency.

A jirga of the Mamoond tribe and local pro-Taliban militants in the Umree area of Mamoond tehsil announced that tribal people would protect Pakistan’s borders.

The announcement comes days after the political administration of Bajaur Agency released nine suspected Al Qaeda militants, triggering rumours that a North Waziristan-like peace accord was also likely in Bajaur, which overlooks Afghanistan’s Kunar province where Osama and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are suspected to be hiding.

“We have no links with terrorism. We were peaceful tribesmen and we are peaceful tribesmen today,” wanted local Taliban commander Maulana Faqir Muhammad told the jirga. “We are not involved in attacks on security ch…

What Musharraf is upto and story of Ram Lal

POSTCARD USA: Aitzaz lights up Washington —Khalid Hasan
Daily Times, October 29, 2006

Aitzaz Ahsan came to Washington last week but so brief was his visit that it reminded me of the one Ghalib compared to saiqa au shoal au seemab, or a flash of lightening, a leaping flame or mercury. He was come and gone before you could say he came. I don’t think there is another in Pakistan who can keep an audience entranced with the sparkle of his conversation as Aitzaz Ahsan can. Quite a few years ago, a young woman from parts foreign asked my friend Zafar Rathore, “And what do you do Mr Rathore.” “Madam,” he replied, “I converse.” So does Aitzaz Ahsan.

We had him over at the small group we have here where anyone interesting from back home is invited to come, break bread with us in a Pakistani restaurant in Springfield, Virginia and converse. The group I named the Kebab Masala Group, since it always met in a restaurant by that name (which went out of business, naturally) actually bears a rather high-…

Police Reforms in Pakistan: An Evaluation

Police, order and crime
By Azam Khalil: The News, October 28 2006

"We enact many laws that manufacture criminals, and then few that punish them."

When the "Chief Executive's" order No.: 22 of 2002 was promulgated, it touted that the age old police system created by the British occupying forces in the subcontinent was never a just system nor a suitable proposition for a "free" country like Pakistan.

The Police Order 2002, as it was called, among other things laid out that the police, "has an obligation and duty to function according to the constitution, law and democratic aspirations of the people." "Such functioning of the police requires it to be professional, service oriented, and accountable to the people." "It is expedient to redefine the police role, its duties and responsibilities." "It is necessary to reconstruct the police for efficient prevention and detection of crime, and maintenance of public order.&quo…

Muslims in India

New Delhi, 26 Oct, 2006: (AKI/Asian Age)

The Indian government is worried about the impact of a report that lists the findings of a committe that was appointed last March to look into the social, economic and education status of Muslims in India. According to sources, the report has essentially detailed data proving that the status of Indian Muslims today is below that of low caste Hindus or dalits, once also known as untouchables. India's prime minister Manmohan Singh has not given any time to Justice Rajinder Sachar (Retired), who had reportedly asked for an appointment to discuss the findings in the report.

The Sachar committee's had been constituted in March last year for a term of 15 months, which expired in June. It was given an extension till October. Justice Sachar, when contacted, said that the term had now been extended till November, and that the October date that had incidentally been printed in all newspapers at…

Another Interesting Take on How Should the U.S. Handle Pakistan

Denying Terrorists Safe Haven in Pakistan
by Lisa Curtis: The Heritage Foundation
Backgrounder #1981: October 26, 2006 |

The recent upsurge in Taliban attacks against coa­lition forces in Afghanistan and continuing links of global terrorist networks to groups based in Pakistan are leading many in the United States to question Islamabad’s commitment to fighting the global war on terrorism. Washington should review Pakistani efforts to deny terrorists safe haven and its overall policy toward Pakistan, which is at the center of interna­tional anti-terrorism efforts.

Pakistan has made invaluable contributions to combating al-Qaeda over the past five years by cap­turing scores of key leaders and helping to foil numerous deadly plots. However, Islamabad will need to adopt a more comprehensive policy against violent extremism to fully deny groups and indi­viduals the use of Pakistani territory as a base for global jihad.

Pakistan has traditionally relied on violent extrem­ists to accomplish its…

Inside the U.S. - Pakistan Relationship

How to Save the Pakistan Relationship
Marvin G. Weinbaum
Newark Star Ledger, October 23, 2006

Pakistan and the United States are increasingly questioning the benefits of their strategic partnership. Officially Washington continues to lavish praise on President Musharraf for aligning his country against global terrorism. But many of Pakistan’s extremist groups and associated Islamic institutions appear to be operating with near impunity and fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan.

Musharraf’s commitment to a peace process with New Delhi has earned him high approval in Washington; yet Pakistan’s security services are blamed for complicity in terrorist acts against India. The Pakistan President is applauded for his vision of an enlightened, moderate Pakistan in the face of reported violations of civil liberties and denials of women’s rights, and a federal government powerless to enact reforms.

US policy makers may believe that Musharraf is indispensable at Pakistan’s helm, but many critics…

Dr. A Q Khan Controversy: Update

Pakistan launches major image-building offensive in US
The News: October 24, 2006
By Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has launched a major image-building offensive in the US to convince decision makers and think tanks to put the Dr AQ Khan saga of nuclear proliferation behind them and treat Pakistan as a responsible nuclear power.

The man in-charge of the Pakistani nuclear programme and assets, Lt-Gen Khalid Kidwai, head of the Strategic Planning Division, who was himself deeply involved in debriefing Dr AQ Khan, is currently in Washington and is scheduled to meet senior officials as well as members of the Carnegie, Rand Corporation and other think tanks to speak about this new Pakistani image.

The Pakistani initiative comes after the North Korean nuclear test generated renewed interest in what Pakistan may have provided the North Koreans and Iran through the AQ Khan network.

Meanwhile, a senior military officer held a briefing at the Pakistan Embassy on the Eid day in connection wit…

Plight of Pakistan Police

Mirpurkhas DIG suspended after overnight ‘coup’
By Muhammad Khalid
The News, October 24, 2006

MIRPURKHAS: The Mirpurkhas range deputy inspector-general of police was suspended and his personal staff officer along with a gunman arrested in the wee hours of Monday after overnight dramatic events.

In a row which has been brewing between DIG Saleemullah Khan and Inspector-General of Police Sindh Jehangir Mirza for some time, raids are also being conducted for the arrest of Additional DIG Shahid Bajwa, who is considered as a close aide of the DIG.

The suspension orders came after the DIG tried to get an FIR registered against the provincial police chief overnight Monday for alleged wrongful and illegal orders/action under various sections of the Pakistan Panel Code.

Mirza had reportedly directed Khan a few days ago not to leave Mirpurkhas without his permission. But the boss’s order apparently angered the DIG, who directed an SHO to lodge a case against the IG. The SHO informed the Mirpurkhas…

How to resolve Shia-Sunni Schism?

An Islamic-Western alliance against sectarianism in Iraq
Mehlaqa Samdani October 24, 2006

Pittsfield, Massachusetts - At a time when the Muslim and Western worlds seem to be drifting apart, alleviating the sectarian conflict in Iraq presents a unique opportunity for both camps to work together and achieve a common goal. A coordinated effort between Muslim civil society actors and Western groups would not only serve to bridge the sectarian divide in Iraq but could also begin to heal the growing mistrust between the Muslim world and the West.

Last week, the Organization of the Islamic Conference held a meeting of Iraqi Shiite and Sunni ulema who painstakingly produced an eight-point declaration known as the Mecca Document. The document aims to bridge the sectarian divide in Iraq by forbidding Shiites and Sunnis from killing each other. This is the first real initiative undertaken by the Muslim world to stop sectarian violence in Iraq. However, it must not be the last and should be suppl…