Various religious groups have always had access to men in uniform under one pretext or the other. If it is not the militants then it is Deobandi or Salafi reformation movements such as the Tablighi Jamaat or Al Huda that are allowed to access military personnel and their families. Reportedly, the households of one of the two smaller services were opened up for Al Huda by the senior leadership….
I never thought a day would come when my ears would cringe at the mere mention of ‘democracy’, and even more so, at Inquilab and Insaf. Not because I don’t stand for these values, but perhaps, because I am dismayed by how they are being re-defined by a select few. Civil disobedience is now the pursuit of Inquilab, anarchy is to be pronounced as Insaf, and democracy — the demands of an individual leading a mob…..
What happened in Gujarat in 2002 is condemnable but the manner in which the Congress politicised this issue for over a decade for minority votes rather than fighting it as a crime against humanity made Modi what he is today……
The more onerous task has been left to Amit Shah, the party president. His job is to keep pushing the frontiers of communalism, to create circles of Hindu consolidation around the Muslim individuals, neighbourhoods, villages, markets, fairs. This is not communalism for its own sake but more as an electoral asset, from state to state, constituency to constituency. At this phase of the Hindu Rashtra project, the Al Qaeda's exhortations will help Hindu consolidation that much more. In fact Amit Shah may well survey the scene and proclaim with satisfaction: with such enemies, who needs friends?.....
Ajit Kumar Singh
This orchestrated political drama also appears to be the Army's attempt to shift attention from the much publicized operation Zarb-e-Azb that was launched on June 15, 2014, to eliminate terrorists from the NWA of FATA. During more than two and half months of the operation, no significant gain has been made in the region. Though a press release by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on September 3, 2014, asserted that 910 'militants' had been killed in the operation, and that that the SFs had cleared five towns, including Miranshah, Mir Ali, Dattakhel, Boya and Degan, this has limited credibility, given past records of superficial and exaggerated claims of the Pakistani Forces. Significantly, the Jamaat al-Ahrar, a new faction of the TTP, has claimed that only 30 fighters had thus far been killed in operation Zarb-e-Azb,.....
Anna MM Vetticad
It would be easy to pretend that this trend is a mere coincidence, or to cite exceptions to counter the argument being made, or to accuse columnists of a cynical over-analysis of innocent entertainment. Let’s not be naïve or lie to ourselves, please. Bollywood and its viewers would do well to introspect about the patriarchal-communalism evident in these ‘coincidences’. The last thing this country needs is for its film industries to unwittingly support off-screen bigotry……
The Pakistani military does not realise that its meddling makes Pakistan more unstable, not less, as does its insistence on a narrow definition of the national interest, which civilians are not allowed to alter….
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
Al Qaeda has barely been operational for the past few years, battered by the death of Bin Laden and US drone attacks that have wiped out many of its senior commanders. Zawahiri has been critical of the Islamic State’s anti-Shia stance – it is one of the reasons that the Islamic State ended its allegiance to al Qaeda. Worse, many of the al Qaeda affiliations in Afghanistan, the Arab world and West Africa have switched their loyalties from Zawahiri to the Islamic State…..
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What this sorry episode has done is to confirm the image of politicians as jokers in the eyes of the military. As it is, the officer class is indoctrinated with an unflattering view of civilians. But when politicians engage in their periodic tussles for power, they only make themselves look ridiculous to the army, as well as to the people they represent. Small wonder opinion polls repeatedly show the low level of respect enjoyed by our ruling elites…..
Mehr F. Husain
How things change. But generally, there has been little realisation of the difference between expressing contention according to the situation, i.e. differentiating between whether the head of state is aggressively claiming sovereignty like Musharraf, or he/she is the result of a rotting system due to lack of political evolution, as in PM Sharif's case….
Rumours and unsubstantiated claims of tons of money flowing into coffers of certain media houses, anchors and analysts also added to the dismay of people at large, wondering how civilian and military agencies can dole out precious public money to individuals for narrow political objectives. Political parties as well as the religio-political group called Pakistan Awami Tehrik led by a maverick naturalized Canadian national also ostensibly dished out massive funds to favourites for running down rivals or eliciting favourable views.....
The “conspiracy” to get rid of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been exposed. Although the circumstantial evidence was compelling, no one, not even the government and parliament, had hard-core facts to prove who was doing what and why…..
The survivors of the group, suspected to be from the Lashkar-e-Toiba, fled into the forests, abandoning their backpacks and radio sets. Intelligence sources have told The Indian Express that the dead, or one of the survivors, appears to be an important commander: a wireless station across the LoC has been calling out the code name “Charlie 2”……
Dr Mohammad Taqi
A whisper campaign started in earnest about how Mian sahib was an unforgiving, stubborn man who was overreaching way too early in his term. While the security establishment had played footsie with domestic, regional and transnational jihadists for decades, it threw the decision to act against them in the PM’s lap. Interestingly, the most vocal opponents of the military operation in Waziristan were the military-friendly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Imran Khan, not PM Sharif. Piggybacked on this was the time tested establishment mantra to berate civilians for corruption and poor governance….
“We will free Pakistan of pharaohs”. The Dawn wrote: “The image of a righteous Prophet Moses (Musa) dethroning a wicked Firaun (pharaoh) has often been employed before. It was perfectly effective during Iran’s Islamic Revolution. A poster of Ayatollah Khomeini, in the role of Musa dethroning Mohammad Reza, the last shah of Iran, cast in the role of pharaoh. Hosni Mubarak, the erstwhile strongman of Egypt, was also termed by his opponents as a modern pharaoh.”….
In a democratic setting there are three domains of life of a citizen - 'religious' that defines the personal sphere of relationship of anybody with his or her God, 'social' that encourages harmonious relations with other citizens, and 'political' that gives the same freedom to everybody to elect the rulers of the country. If the leadership of the community allows religion to create socio-political 'exclusivism' it is not democratic. We have examples of Muslim leaders successfully leading the Hindus politically…..
We have class one human beings in our city, and 95% of them are very simple in their ways of living and beliefs. We have a corrupted class of people like many others in the world. Our corruption comes from the politicians and from rotten intellectuals. The quantity of these people is very few in number, the rest of our people are very nice, humble and honest…..
In his article Ramadan mentions this year's White House Iftar (July 14, 2014), where President Barack Obama spoke of "Israel's […] right to defend itself against what I consider to be inexcusable attacks from Hamas," while Muslim leaders attending the Iftar remained silent. Ramadan contends ISNA and RIS are run by supposedly Sufi-inspired men who say "Yes sir!" to power, whether in the US or in the Middle East. In the article, Ramadan is perhaps also referring to Habib Ali al-Jifri - an influential Islamic scholar based in Abu Dhabi, who has 3,700,000 followers on Facebook - and his recent "prayer of Tawfiq" for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi……
Thankfully, the demonstrators were persuaded to withdraw without any bloodshed but the complete inability of a demoralised police force, though present in sizeable numbers, to tackle the law and order situation effectively, has again left the administration red-faced......
Whether Prime Minister Sharif or Tahir-ul-Qadri and Khan initiated the move to military mediation and how the military has played into the development of the crisis itself are questions that are at this stage difficult to determine. But senior politicians and constitutional experts have denounced it as a national disgrace that reflects badly on the commitment to genuine democracy across the political spectrum…..
This refusal to face failure and learn from it has ensured that we remain locked in a perpetual cycle of denial. Others, too, try and blame others for their mistakes, but by invoking God, we leave no room for discussion and analysis. After all, how can mere men question His will? This assumes, of course, that God has not given us the gift of free will and the power to shape our own future. And if this life is only a brief transition to eternity, then it’s pointless doing anything to improve the world.....
Muhammad Nurul Huda
In August 1975, the architect of Bangladesh's freedom and most of his family members were violently and shamefully murdered by some disgruntled army officers. The tragic ramifications of that dastardly incident are still being felt by a shocked polity. The trial and conviction of some of the perpetrators of that gory incident have brought some solace and the nation waits for the punishment of the remainder.....
Mehr F Husain
What is interesting is how people have steadily responded positively to religious-affiliated actors participating in a political battle for power. With the ASWJ entering the arena and supposedly showing its support for the PML N, it is likely to put off those who were rooting for the PML N causing them to flock to Qadri who is known for his anti-violence stand. On one hand, putting the political opportunitism aside, the ASWJ is capitalising on a situation where religion and politics have merged by campaigning for democracy and they have supporters. ….
The conclusion is inescapable: If Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri are resorting to unconstitutional means to force out a prime minister; the same prime minister hasn’t mounted a true constitutional defence against their charges. The tragedy is compounded by the reluctance of the “miltablishment” to uphold the same constitutional imperative in such murky circumstances. Woe is Pakistan…..
“We cannot fight ISIS without fighting the doctrine of jihad and without exposing the bankruptcy of Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran,” he said. “Too many leaders in the West are reluctant to identify the elephant in the room, which is Islamism. If they cannot fight the ideological foundation of ISIS, then we will see the ISIS cancer spread.”....