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….
To hear the tearful reaction from some of our politicos and television pundits it would seem it was the Grand Mufti of Palestine killed in a drone attack and not the chief of the Pakistani Taliban, an outfit at war with the state of Pakistan. ...
Hindus, Muslims, Dalits, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and others have an equal interest in building a cohesive India where no Indian has to live in apprehension or fear of the fellow Indian, and together achieve the prosperity for all. Prosperity without peace is bound to be lost, why exercise then? ...
The politics of Modi’s parent organisation RSS is based on distortion of history, medieval history in particular. To begin with the projection of kings through the prism of religion, to demonise Muslim kings based on distortions and falsehoods of History, and then in turn spreading hatred against Muslims of today has been the foundation on which RSS built it up. Taking the same method to further lower levels currently Narendra Modi is trampling, distorting the facts of history to project his ideology. In the last week, October 2013, he addressed two meetings and gave one interview which showed the levels to which he can fall to score the political mileage….
In other words, it is a consciousness as well as a desire triggered by either one or an ensemble of tangible commonalities such as religion, geography, language, economy, even perhaps ideology. Once it begins to roll as a political project, the nation is no more a mystification that can be explained away through imagination, spirituality, anthropology or Stalinist scholasticism…..
S. Binodkumar Singh
With the initiative to evolve a consensual solution in tatters, BNP, in alliance with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI), and other radical groups, unleashed a wave violence in the streets across the country.....
In fact, against the wishes of Dr Ambedkar, he gave Muslim leaders in the Constituent Assembly the opportunity to themselves take back their demand for separate electorates in India. This is something the Sikhs had demanded assuming, wrongly as Patel knew, that Muslims would also want it. This great gesture from Patel absolved Muslims from the charge of continued separatism....
Allegations suggesting otherwise by rival political parties “to play with the hearts and minds” of the public were sowing “discord and division” in Maldivian society, Nasheed added. Last week, a group of local religious scholars from the Maldives Society for Islamic Research released a 48-page book titled “The word of religious scholars concerning Nasheed,” calling on the former president to “repent” and “return to the true path.”….
Meanwhile, millions of Hindus go to the temple only occasionally. They believe in God. However, they neither follow nor are aware of every guideline given in Hindu scriptures. Many Hindus eat meat and consume alcohol, but also pray to God and celebrate the major festivals. So let's pose a question — what is a Hindu supposed to be? Is the cheek-poking devotee a benchmark? Is a Sadhu the ideal Hindu? Or is a regular middle-class person, working in a bank, consuming chicken, drinking beer and occasionally visiting a temple also a good Hindu?....
Now, the bombings have left us with a bizarre conspiratorialist discourse, with anti-Modi activists charging him with staging the attacks himself, and his supporters claiming the terror attacks were a political plot. This tells us something important about the maniacal suspiciousness that’s come to characterise Indian political life…..
Hakimullah Mehsud, chief of TTP
American drones on Friday killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, dealing a major blow to a militant group that has terrorized Pakistan and that tried to set off a car bomb in New York City in 2010, according to Pakistani intelligence officials and militant commanders in the tribal belt. The death of the leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, is a signal achievement for the covert C.I.A. program at a time when drones themselves have come under criticism from human rights groups and other critics in Pakistan and the United States over the issue of civilian casualties…….
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How the Pakistani Taliban Became a Deadly Force
A look at our film industry, which unites the length and breadth of India, is enough to dismiss any such fears of "public disorder" caused by usage of the term ‘Allah’. For decades and more, Bollywood songs have celebrated the divine as Ishwar, Allah and other such names. We all have heard the popular Bhajan from Hum Dono, "Allah Tero Naam, Ishwar Tero Naam, Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwan". The song was written by one of the greatest lyricists that the subcontinent has known – Sahir Ludhianvi…..
It opposes negotiating with India to put an end to violence in Kashmir, stands for doing away with LoC and calls for strengthening of jihad. It also advocates ‘liberation of Muslims in the rest of India.’ Advocating sovereign Kashmir, al-Badr is critical of moderate Kashmiri organizations such as JKLF. Its current leadership is opposed to the US, Israel and the Saudi monarchy. Perceiving Kashmir as the gateway of India, it wants to liberate and take hold of this gateway…..
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy
Ansar Abbasi posed to highly sensitive questions towards Dr Hoodbhoy and then went on to tarnish his reputation as a professor by stating, “Aik Aisay Jaahil Ko, Jis Ko Parhaanay Kay Ooper Lagaya Huva Hai Hamaray Aik Prime Institution Main. Mujhay Nahi Samajh Aati Ye Jaahil Waha’n Kiya Parhaata Hoga.” (“An ignoramus who has been chosen to teach at one of our prime institutions, I don’t understand what this ignoramus teaches there.”)….
Mehr F Husain
This does not bode well for either country for as long as the Taliban — Pakistani or Afghani — are continued to be provided with support, the ideals of peace and stability will remain unrealised.....
The United States might not bomb Pakistan back into the Stone Age, but it’s doing a great job of doing exactly that all by itself. India needs to be drawing some lessons from the story of numbers, too. The key one among them is that the world’s preeminent power, with billions of dollars at its disposal, didn’t succeed in purchasing a change in Pakistan’s strategic trajectory. The United States did get some concessions, such as agreement from Pakistan’s leaders for drone strikes against terrorists……
The process of dialysis entails taking blood out of a patient who has kidney failure and sending that blood through a dialysis machine. Inside the machine, the blood is filtered, somewhat like what a normal kidney does, taking out waste and water that has accumulated in the blood. The processed blood is then returned to the patient. …
However, in the overall scheme of things, it is the religious extremists who are on the offensive all over the country, including Quetta, while the state and its institutions appear as mere sitting ducks – in their defensive posture. Guarding every important building and employing a wait-and-see approach is certainly not a winning strategy….
The root of the problem lies in the unease of the opposition parties who have been calling for a neutral caretaker government to oversee the election process, until elections are called for in more than a month's time. The prime minister's reluctance to concede to these demands has led the opposition to believe that the elections may not be managed in an objective and neutral manner, and would thus favour the incumbent.....
After reading the statement, it seems convincing that this meeting was dominated by a few words: thanked, noted, reaffirmed and suggested. It does not seem difficult to assess ‘who used which word’. Ironically, nothing was discussed that was used as a base to get votes and manipulating the public sentiment against competing political players during the May 2013 elections in Pakistan. For instance, the word ‘drone’ is not used even a single time in the whole statement…..
The main architects of misplaced and wrong national security policy in both countries – Generals Pervez Musharraf, Ashfaq Kayani and Ahmed Shuja Pasha in Pakistan, and President George Bush, General David Petreaus and Admiral Mike Mullen in the USA – have retired, opening up the possibility of gainful review by both sides. The most hopeful sign of all is the arrival of Nawaz Sharif, a pragmatic leader determined not to be a prisoner of past national security establishment paradigms……
Putting aside his prepared text, Sharif told the audience in Urdu that he met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and CIA Director John Brennan the previous night. "What can we do for you?," Kerry had asked Sharif. "Nothing," Sharif said he replied, adding that he was probably the first leader of Pakistan not to ask America for anything. He emphasized he was looking for trade, not aid….
Shall we at least see the beginning of an end? Probably not. We might see clashes; some blood may be spilled and some lives may be lost. But the possibility of unlocking the deadlock looks far-fetched. There’s a slim chance that the incoherent monologues of our politicians will add up to a meaningful dialogue. The defiance of each side will further widen differences between them......
Disparate groups are competing for power in Iraq – religious, secular, peaceful and violent – but it's not true that the splits run only along sectarian lines. On the ground, affiliations aren't so narrow either. Since 2003, polls show that even as towns and cities have become less mixed, even as there is sectarian-based fear of travel across regions, the majority of the population still wants a unified Iraq and a centralised political system….