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Current Affairs

Pakistan's Historic Ballot
Rana Banerji

India-baiting or the Kashmir issue did not figure significantly in the election campaign, though there were stray references to the Afzal Guru hanging. ….

 

Pakistan Elections: The Mosque and the State
Shamila N. Chaudhary
There seems to be some disagreement between Pakistan's extremists over participation in the May 11 elections. Pakistani Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan recently told Pakistanis to boycott the elections because democracy is un-Islamic, while Maulana Sami ul-Haq, a conservative cleric who runs a religious seminary that trained many Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, said in a follow-up statement that voting is a religious obligation. ....

 

Pakistan’s Bloody Road to Democracy
CP Bhamri

The story of Pakistan is quite complex. This is perhaps best exemplified by the fact that even though the country’s former dictatorial President Pervez Musharraf is being tried for his various crimes on the eve of a historic general election, Pakistan cannot wholeheartedly celebrate the arrival of democracy as violence and bloodshed continues unabated. Pakistan is still a long road away from democracy as those opposed to such a system are still embedded within the system....

 

Pakistan Elections: Imran Khan and the Charge of the Lights-Out Brigade
Jon Boone

The flimsy, £4,000 cars, which are assembled in Pakistan, are an emblem of the country's emerging middle class. They dominate the roads, either as battered taxis or as private transport for families, who always seem to squeeze into the tiny car.....

 

A Vote to Decide Islam’s Role in Pakistani Politics
Shahid Javed Burki

What replaces it will be determined by the shape of the new political order that finally emerges in the western Islamic world. In other words, more is at stake in Pakistan's upcoming election than just the future of Pakistan. The election has engendered both hope and anxiety among Pakistanis. It could go either way. And, for good or bad, where Pakistan goes, other Muslim countries could follow....

 

On May 3, 1913, Dadasaheb Phalke, an Indian director, producer and screenwriter, released India’s first full-length feature film titled Raja Harishchandra. I did some quick math, failed, tried again and in due time figured that this happened 34 years before the partition. For over three decades after its first release, the Indian film industry produced numerous films many of which originated in Lahore, present-day Pakistan.....

 

Pakistan Election Campaign: The Terrorists Are Clear In Their Objectives, But Are We?
Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, New Age Islam,

Election 2013 has become a turning point in Pakistan tumultuous political history rather a matter of survival especially in the war against Terrorists. Terrorists, like other political parties are waging their election campaign as well, with blood and fire, death and devastation. Terrorist related violence has become a regular theme in Pakistan’s election campaign.

Terrorists are waging their campaign with a clear head. Their strategy and objectives are simple but clear. They reject the so called democratic system in Pakistan on the grounds that it is against the basic precepts of Islam and in contrast with Sharia. Their objective is to take over the political control of Pakistan and implement a system based on their own peculiar notions of Sharia. Since they do not believe in a democratic political system, therefore, the democratic path of assuming power through elections is not an option for them. The only choice at their disposal is the medieval method of an ultimatum which presents the adversary with two options, either submit to our authority or get ready for war. Terrorists believe in this historical and traditional methodology of political warfare. From their perspective the options are defined and there is no room for confusion or a lack of clarity. On the other hand, Pakistan as a state, and we, as Pakistani nation find ourselves in a deep quagmire and are confronted with a multitude of dilemmas in this scenario. We do not have a clear strategy to combat this menace since we do not even have a consensus on whether or not this is a menace…..

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) Way
Rahimullah Yusufzai

The founders of some militant groups were associated with the JUI-F but abandoned the party because they found its policies too moderate. Some Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan commanders as well as a few leaders of Deobandi militant groups such as Harkat ul Mujahedeen, Harkat ul Ansar and Jaish-e-Mohammad, for example, started out with the JUI-F but left to chart their own radical course by picking up the gun to first fight in Kashmir, then Afghanistan and finally, Pakistan....

 

Imran Khan, Can He Be an Exemplary Prime Minister?
Mike Ghouse

The Fitna was started by Maulana Maududi; had it not been for him, Ziaul Haq and Bhutto, the Pakistanis would not have been belligerent towards fellow Pakistanis. Had that evil draconian anti-Islamic Hudood laws was not shoved on to Pakistanis, they would be standing up for the rights of all Pakistanis. Dictator’s Hudood laws have become Allah’s laws now, what an Irony. The germs have infected Bangladesh and Indonesia, and now affecting a few Indian Muslims as well....

Terror In Texas: Why The 14 Dead Do Not Matter While The 4 At Boston Do?
Richard Kim

Ask yourself this: Do you know the name of any one of the people killed in the West Chemical and Fertilizer Company disaster? Do you know how many of them there were? Their ages, aspirations, what they looked like, whether they left behind children or what messages they last posted on Facebook? Do you know what the cause of the explosion was or, if investigators are still searching for an explanation?...

To Win Elections in Pakistan, Islamists Resort To Takfeeri Politics

Actually Maulana Fazl ur Rehman has been using Islam to consolidate his political power in Pakistan. His JUI formed the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and ruled the state for five years. But as BJP did not build the Ram Temple during its six years in power, Fazl ur Rehman’s JUI also did not try to implement the Sharia in the state. On the contrary he has given tickets to some clean shaven Young men against Imran Khan’s party while rejecting the applications of some ‘Hajis’ and ‘Maulanas’. This speaks of his hypocrisy......

 

Murder in Jail: We Are Now Just As Guilty Of Cruelty As We Accuse Pakistan to Be
Prashant Panday

I can also imagine hardliners like Modi making it a campaign point. An eye for an eye should be India’s approach, Gandhi be damned, is what he will say. I can imagine a lot of people – with right-wing leanings no doubt – speaking in defence of what an ex-Army man did to the Pakistani prisoner, even calling him a hero. Pathetic! The real truth is that we have been shamed by this murder inside our jail. We are now just as guilty of cruelty as we accuse Pakistan to be....

Every issue in Malaysia — political, economic, educational or cultural — is dominated by an ethnic shadow. When the British transferred power, it was preceded by a “bargain” between the Malay and the non-Malay political elite that political power will be in the hands of the Malays, while economic power will be retained by the non-Malays, mainly the Chinese. The Constitution was enacted and the political system functioned on the basis of this bargain....

 

Dealing With a Cussed Pakistan
Dileep Padgaonkar

A joint India-Pakistan commission on both counts should go some way to calm Indian fears and suspicions. So would a reciprocal release of prisoners held in the two countries. A consensus on these modes of action between the government and the opposition parties deserves priority attention once the legitimate cries of grief and outrage begin to turn into whispers – and once the high-decibel drum-beats of jingoists begin to get muffled....

Pakistan Elections: Is the Decision in Taliban’s Hands?
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

To ensure victory in the elections, one of the political beneficiaries of the unconditional support of the  Taliban in Pakistan, Pakistan Muslim League-N has succeeded in roping in the former extremists and communal forces who can not only help in the increase of their seats in Parliament but also provide armed support on some sensitive election centres on May 11. ....

 

Bangladesh in a Mexican Standoff
Tarek Fatah

I witnessed thugs smashing car windows and chasing citizens back into their homes even after news broke of the tragedy. The Islamists did not allow anyone on the streets until hours after the building had collapsed and only when rescue vehicles forced their way to the site. By any standards, the relief and rescue operation by the government and volunteers was impressive. At the historic Shahbag square, home to Bangladesh’s young liberal activists, people lined up to donate blood in unprecedented numbers....

 

“Purity of thought and action, fair distribution of wealth and enhancement of intellectual development “as the main responsibility and duty of the people in power; and the edict of their own faith makes it abundantly clear as to what is right and what is not. These intrinsic values have long been discarded in most part of the world for insatiable greed to accumulate immense wealth and parasitic adherence to power at all cost. ...

 

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should not face the death penalty, even for a capital crime By Alan Dershowitz

Utah Muslims: Boston bombing suspects ‘perverted’ Islam By Peggy Fletcher Stack

The Righteous Mind of Tsarnaev Brothers By Bill McKenzie

Boston Attack Spotlights Struggle Half a World Away By David M. Herszenhorn and Andrew E. Kramer

Running Toward the Boston Marathon Chaos By Zachary Bell

2 U.S. Agencies Added Boston Bomb Suspect to Watch Lists By Eric Schmitt and Michael S. Schmidt

 

What caused the Boston Marathon bombings? It's complicated …- By Oliver Burkeman

Plenty of clues in Boston Marathon bombings point to Islamist jihad - By Don McKee

Is the Boston Attack a Ripple Effect of the Conflict in the North Caucasus?- By Valery Dzutsev

Can an act of violence be called 'terrorism' if the motive is unknown?- By Glenn Greenwald

The Cluster Bombs of Boston and Drone Strikes of Yemen- By Matthew Behrens

277 Million Boston Bombings- By Robert Scheer

Calling Islam “Islam” By Bosch Fawstin

 

One day after hundreds of Buddhists armed with bricks stormed a clutch of Muslim villages in the closest explosion of sectarian violence yet to Myanmar's main city, Yangon, newly displaced Muslims combed through the wasteland of their wrecked lives. Unable to go home, they faced an uncertain future — too fearful of more attacks even to leave....

 

Burmese, Other Nationalities’ Dilemma
Mahmoud Ahmad

It is sad that the majority of crimes are committed by these young illegals of unknown nationalities. The decision will affect everyone, including Saudi citizens and legal expatriates working in the Kingdom. If their situation is fixed then they will have access to education and job opportunities and the crime rate will drop sharply....

 

Boston Bombing: Not the Usual Suspects
Ashok Malik

If it was found that the terrorists were Arabs, a link with Al Qaeda would immediately be pointed to. Scenarios would be drawn up of dozens (maybe hundreds) of sleeper cells across the towns and cities of America. The dangers of withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan would be stressed. Finally, US President Barack Obama would be mocked as a naïve...

 

How Doctor's Daughter Became the Muslim Convert Widow of Boston Bomber
Laura Collins

As a girl growing up in Rhode Island Katherine was known to her friends as Katie. One school friend who asked not to be named recalled: ‘I saw her like a few months ago and she was just totally transformed. She was not the same person at all.’…

In Pakistan It Is Between the Mainstream Politicians versus Those Who Sell Religion
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Meanwhile, the secular Congress Party, which had in its ranks men like Mohammad Ali Jinnah at the time, took a decidedly cultural turn under Mahatma Gandhi, who emphasised the ancient identity of India, religious values and ethos of the common man, and who by his insistence on bringing religion into politics made religious identities non-negotiable. Not content with the havoc the Mahatma unleashed upon the Hindus, he went about co-opting Muslim mullahs through the Khilafat Movement as well against the advice of both Hindu leaders like C R Das and Muslim leaders like Jinnah. Gandhi encouraged Muslims from the Deoband and their newly formed Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind to come full-fledged into politics. The ulema were fiery anti-colonialists but were pliable when it came to issues of economics and politics. After all, the ulema, content to be shepherds of their flock, did not need jobs or were not going to compete with the Hindu bourgeoisie for economic opportunities. As one Congress stalwart noted in retrospect, Gandhi unleashed orthodoxy on the Muslims of India and it was this attitude “that rebuffed rationalist leaders like Jinnah” and alienated the Muslim League from the Congress.....

No Real Winning for Pakistani Politicians
Shamila N. Chaudhary

For the time being, Pakistani Taliban threats continue to keep the most influential PPP politicians far from Punjab where it matters the most. Even more tragic is the possibility that ANP will be forced to boycott the elections. While much of the elections focus has been on the historic political transition afoot in Pakistan, the threats serve as a reminder of the tough road ahead for whoever manages to survive and come out on top….

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