Hormis Tharakan, Former RAW Chief
Ajay Kumar Singh, a former police chief of Karnataka widely admired for his professionalism, once told me that whenever terrorists are asked why they turned to terror, they invariably give three reasons: the Babri Masjid demolition, the post-Godhra riots, and faked encounters resulting in deaths of innocent persons. It is beyond the police to correct the first two factors. But they can do a lot to avoid faked encounters and the indiscriminate rounding up of suspects....
The United States plus five world powers reached a landmark deal with Iran on Sunday to curtail the Persian country's purported march towards nuclear weapons. The agreement, when fully realized, has the potential to dramatically alter the geo-political landscape of the Middle-East, Gulf, and South Asia, affecting the strategic outlook and orientation of major countries from Israel to India and in between.....
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In the coming days, if the electoral polarisation persists, India and its interests will be dragged into the internal politics. It is in India’s interests that political rivalries in Maldives be blunted and ended. Both the new President Yameen and the defeated aspirant Nasheed have made positive noises about reconciliation in the interest of democratic stability in Maldives. The extent to which these noises will be turned into concrete actions will of course, depend upon the new rulers……
"Main Aur Mere Parivar Ke Sadasya Apne Gram Mein Hui Hinsatmak Ghatnaon Se Bhayakant Hokar Gaon Va Ghar Chhodkar Aaye Hain, Tatha In Kinhi Bhi Paristhitiyon Mein Ab Apne Mool Gaon Evam Ghar Nahin Lautenge (I and my family left our village and our home due to the violent incidents there. We will not return to our village and home under any circumstances)," says the affidavit……
A strong India, where the majority of the people can move forward, united in harmony, disturbs the balance of power. Despite our poverty, malnutrition and lack of proper governance to encourage human resource development, the average IQ of our people is far higher than that of many developed nations. If this is garnered constructively towards building the nation, without divisive forces and corruption wrecking them from within, India can become an economic and political giant……
The intolerance against the Shias in Kashmir that started decades ago is still visible today. Some people from the majority communities find it easy to attack and develop insecurity in the minds of Shias. This can be gauged through various social networking websites where hate pages against Shias are created quite often, and where the Shiites face criticism on various fronts. Counter attacks and criticism from the Shiites follow suit….
But no strategy will succeed unless supported by the military in Pakistan and the Opposition in India. Lacking access to the former, I cannot analyse the potential for change; but as far as the latter is concerned, the BJP’s approach appears to be: wait until we come to power and then we will allow progress. That is surely morally unacceptable: no party should hold a peace process hostage until its turn at power. Indeed, Mr. Vajpayee’s peace initiatives gained traction because the Congress supported them….
Imagine waking up one day to find that essential services are no longer functioning because the workers they rely on are hiding from a government campaign against illegal residents. This is the reality of Saudi Arabia. A grace period had allowed many illegal residents to correct their legal statuses, but since its expiry, old neighborhoods in Riyadh have been transformed into havens for illegal residents….
The situation is in a flux. The question here is: Will state agencies (Afghans, Pakistanis and Americans) take advantage of the shifting dynamics to scuttle the groups from within. Before you answer that, factor this in: In 2012, after Malala was shot, the Americans refused to hunt down Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan, as they viewed him as an ‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem.....
"There was one common strategy running from Godhra to Patna that is to engineer killing of Hindus and Muslims for political polarisation." "BJP is conspiring to divide society for political gains," he alleged. "It does not bother them whether those being killed are Hindus or Muslims if it helps them grabbing power," said Vaghela, who also has roots in the RSS…..
The spate of scheduling, cancelling and annulling elections and election results over the last three months in the Maldives has eroded whatever little legitimacy was left in its public institutions. Instead of a return to democracy that should have happened in September 2013, when the first of many ill-fated presidential elections was held and then declared invalid, we have a charade of votes being faithfully cast and thrown into the dustbin or waiting room....
Talking about religion conversions and temple destructions by the early Muslims in India, Eaton argued that these were political acts rather than acts of religious fanaticism. He emphasized the fact that not all temples were destroyed by Mughal invaders. Only those associated with the royalty that suffered defeat were destroyed, as was the norm back in the day. “They were political, not religious desecration”…..
The treaty will also clear the way to bring back criminals like Subrata Bain and Sazzad Hossain to Bangladesh from India. Bain and Hossain are currently lodged in Delhi's high-security Tihar Jail. Bain was charged with carrying Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN), illegal arms and for illegal immigration into India. Hossain is wanted in cases of murder in Bangladesh. The Awami League government of Bangladesh contends that Bain and Hossain were involved in attacks that targeted its top leadership.....
Puritans have been unnecessarily incensed by the global bestseller, ‘I am Malala’, Malala Yousafzai’s biography. Thanks to the legacy left behind by General Ziaul Haq, we no longer waste time reading books. In other words, 70 percent Pakistanis do not read books (54 percent in 2002 would stay away). How frequently? Forty-eight percent read once a week, 31 percent once every two weeks, and 21 percent once a month….
Yasser Latif Hamdani
That you should never underestimate your enemy is common sense. Tragically, it seems in Pakistan common sense is in short supply. Our old hands, who continue to pontificate on strategies as if the world was a board game, are almost patronising in the way they talk about the Taliban. “They are our boys”, “We have to win their hearts and minds”, “Taliban were our allies”, “We can still convince them”, “We can bring them in the framework of our constitution”, etc, are the kind of statements that we have heard for over a decade now.
Eric S. Margolis
Israel denies the murder, though some of its leaders have openly stated their desire to “liquidate” Arafat. Israel is the only Mideast nation that can produce polonium-210 in its reactors. Still, Israel insists it was not responsible, though no tears were shed over Arafat’s death. Israel says the culprits were Palestinian rivals....
Mr. Gandhi's intervention, inchoate and fumbling, won’t solve the problem. It does, though, open the door to the truth-telling that is a precondition for healing. For that, India ought to be grateful….
Amid growing levels of violence, political tension and general governmental disarray, what might best be described as Iraq’s Shiite Muslim political block is splintering. These days their block is just as fragmented and disillusioned as any of the other political grouping in the country……
I want to write a positive Pakistan story, grounded in the people, civil society, fashion, music, art, innovation, business. All of this couched in the context of ‘terrorism in the tribal badlands’ and ‘conservative Islamic culture’ of course, else it won’t sell.....
Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in Waziristan since 2009, is dead, thanks to a drone strike. His TTP predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, who boasted of killing Benazir Bhutto, was also dispatched by a drone strike....
But terrorism is seen as the exception in Indonesia, while religious tolerance is the norm. For many people, Southeast Asian Islam serves as proof that an open-minded, gentler version of the religion exists. The country is a possible role model for others, which could learn a lot from Indonesia's "spirit of tolerance," as US President Barack Obama, who spent a portion of his childhood in Jakarta, put it during his 2010 visit….
Silence Speaks More
On September 9, in Mehsana district, he described the relief camps where riot victims had been given shelter as "children producing centres" where the governing philosophy was "Hum Paanch, Humare Pachees". Eleven years later, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate has adopted a different tone. He is making overtures to this minority, which represents a significant proportion of the population in key states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. This change in tone is evident, throughout the Hindi belt, from symbolic gestures like the distribution of free skullcaps and Burqas for the Muslims attending his public meetings, as seen in Jaipur and Bhopal a few weeks ago….
The corridors of the Australian parliament are so white you squint. The sound is hushed; the smell is floor polish. The wooden floors shine so virtuously they reflect the cartoon portraits of prime ministers and rows of Aboriginal paintings, suspended on white walls, their blood and tears invisible....
Syed Badrul Ahsan
Second, the BNP is today more definitively aligned with the Jamaat-e-Islami, whose senior leaders have been sentenced to death for war crimes committed in 1971, and with the Taliban-like Hefazat-e-Islam, which publicly advocates a programme that can only mean a return to the medieval age. It is difficult to see how much of an enlightened leadership can be provided by a party that remains notorious for its corruption and for its association with extreme rightwing groups, and which has been instrumental in the rise and consolidation of communal politics in Bangladesh......
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy
Ansar Abbasi proves his ignorance not just of worldly education and the modern world but also about Islam itself in his column. He claims that only Islamic knowledge is real knowledge, and therefore, all other knowledge is fake by implication. Nothing militates more against the spirit of Islam than this statement. Let us remind Mr Abbasi of the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) saying: “Go to China if you have to in the quest for knowledge.” Now it is entirely possible that Mr Abbasi thinks China in the 7th century was inhabited by Sheikh-ul-Islams, but those who do not use their echo-chamber of self delusion to sound out their own illogical drivel know better….