They armed the rebels and succeeded in protracting the civil war. But
they were never close to unseating President Assad. In Yemen, the ill-planned
air strikes turned out to be disastrous both for the Saudis and the Yemenis.
After a year-long campaign, the Houthis are still in Sana’a. At this point, the
Saudis seem clueless about how to get out of the mess...
Since 2013, more than 20 people in Bangladesh have been murdered by
Islamist extremists, many hacked to death. Among the first victims were
bloggers who had criticized Islamic fundamentalism....
Next halt, Haji Ali Dargah, she announced about a week ago. To which
there was a prompt response: Come, we’ll garland you with slippers, Haji Arafat
Shaikh of the Shiv Sena threatened. On April 28, Shaikh left no one in any
doubt that for him it was Shariah before the Sena.....
Last week six former Pakistani envoys to India and nine former Indian
envoys to Pakistan met in New Delhi and deliberated on many issues, including
the need to have an institutionalized mechanism, which insulates the peace
process from terror attacks....
The high point of her trip was going to a Mandir so that she could ring
the bells loudly as she had seen so many times on screen! The largest brand of
‘lawn’- that Pakistani innovation of unstitched Shalwar-Quameez fabric that has
become all the rage is called Khaadi, and its ads are everywhere. Indian
entertainment channels are available on cable, and the IPL is covered live...
I somehow managed to visit Sonargaon (the golden city), the
administrative and commercial centre of pre-British rulers that finds mentions
in the travel memoirs of Ibn-e-Batuta and Ralph Fitch. It also has Panam City
which houses a cluster of around 52 mansions inspired by European architecture,
built in the 19th century. Hindu cloth merchants stayed there once upon a
The only way to exist in a pluralist society is to accept and respect
the existence of conflicting ideas, contrasting outlooks, contradicting narratives,
and a juxtaposition of liberal, religious and traditional outlooks. Live your
life. Just don’t expect others to toe your line.
“This is the worst book I have ever read. Please do not buy it as it is
not worth the paper it is printed on.” Ayub has also printed his reaction: “If
Raghavan is so piqued by the book there must be something in it and it should
be compulsory reading for the 200 million Pakistanis.”...
As I departed from the
conference, the beautiful saying: Man Kunto Maula Fa Haaza Ali-un Maula (‘to
whom I am the master, Ali is the master’) kept ringing in my heart! Rays of hope, unity, harmony and peace were
beginning to spread all around. I pray the festival brings together people from
different traditions together in a bond of love and peace…virtues and
principles that Imam Ali (a.s) stood for!....
But it is for these precise reasons that Pakistan’s generals are certain
to ensure that any process of India-Pakistan normalisation goes nowhere — and
to ratchet up the pain when it serves their interests, secure in their belief
that India will not retaliate....
Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s bus trip to Lahore resulted
in a Kargil conflict; Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise stopover at
Lahore to greet Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday had the
Pathankot episode on its heels; then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s peace
initiative too was greeted in the form of Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks. The
history of 69 years of India-Pakistan relations is replete with such examples....
Lt Gen Kamal Davar
Pakistan has bared its fangs towards its larger and overly indulgent
neighbour for the nth time. Many, including some in India’s security
establishment, had predicted no matter how much one reaches out to them,
nothing will change as long as the Deep State (the army, ISI and their terror
Tanzeems) rules the roost in Pakistan....
The scenario drawn out here has relevance because Prime Minister Modi’s
foreign policy initiatives with regard to Pakistan have so far seemed to
oscillate between ‘Jhappi’ (embrace) and Katti’ (estrangement); however, he
would need to develop a more centred policy before he travels to Pakistan later
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain
I do feel that the Prime Minister would have sensitised the young Crown
Prince on the intricacies of terror threats including nuclear terror. He may
also have informed him of the threats of nuclear terror emanating from Pakistan
in the event of a meltdown. Now that Israel and the Saudis have emerged as
friends due to the common Iranian threat this could also be an opportunity for
India to display sagacity and work towards an Israel Iran detente which may
then draw Saudi Arabia into it too...
With his outreach, first to UAE and now to Saudi Arabia, Modi has
conveyed that his approach to foreign relations is neither doctrinal nor
ideological, but is shaped by his concern for his country’s strategic
interests. Given that the security of South and West Asia is so deeply
intertwined, India just cannot avoid initiating a lead diplomatic role to
reconcile the estranged Islamic nations...
How can one ever justify the burning of books? And yet, books are burnt,
increasingly so. These days’ books are also pulped because religious gurus
don’t want them to reach the bookstores. Some have destroyed more books than
they have read. Such people were found in Nazi Germany. South Asia is their
current halt. Book burners include those who call themselves people of the book.....
deafening explosion took place inside a children's park known as
Gulshan-i-Iqbal at Iqbal Town here at around 6:30 pm when it was teeming with
families, especially women and children, enjoying the Sunday and Easter
Modi Offers Condolences to Kins of Lahore Blast Victims
His false claims, like the ludicrous idea that thousands of Muslims in
New Jersey celebrated 9/11, are extremely dangerous. History has taught us that
there are extreme consequences if we don’t address the threat he poses
immediately and unite against hate. ....
Pakistan fought wars with India to grab land. India engaged its neighbor in a virtual battlefield to prove that the idea of a secular democracy was far superior to the idea of a military-run theocracy. This battle of ideas began during the freedom movement when the Hindu and Muslim leaders of the Congress Party opposed the demand for a separate nation based on religion.
was spellbound with her ability to express the most complicated concepts with
ease and fluency. It was rare to come across a beautiful 71-year old South
Asian with such a golden tongue. Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
came down from Islamabad to meet her...
So go ahead and
change the language to the ‘right’ one. You might get a 10pc improvement at
most. A parrot singing in Urdu or Sindhi understands no more than one who sings
in English. The terrible authority of the teacher, sanctioned by tradition,
weighs heavy upon young minds....
A year ago, the
blogger and free speech activist Avijit Roy was murdered as he was leaving the
Ekushey book fair. Then, we feared the violent extremists who were murdering
our writers on the streets. Now, it is the state itself that is brutally
suppressing political dissent. Caught between a paranoid government and the
threats of violent fringe groups, the free media is the victim.....
Simply put, the
state imposition of the death penalty on a man like Qadri can be manipulated
into yet another dimension of anti-state radical ‘heroism’ and divert attention
from the horror of his crime. Pakistan does not need any more of such men, and
an ironic but real act of preventing their creation may be to let them fester
in prison, alone, anonymous and forgotten.....
“Islam was warmly accepted and then later grew
in India largely due to the teachings of Sufi masters who promoted concepts
such as mutual respect, tolerance, brotherhood and love towards other
communities. However, in the recent past import of radical and extremist
ideology which claims to be representative of true Islam has brought immense
loss to image of Islam and Muslims in India. Any extremist organisation such as
Daeshor ISIS waving Islamic flags and misusing the holy Qur’an has actually no
endorsement in the ambit of Islam...
One can sharpen
one’s censure with satire to make it hurt. Talking of culture in general,
insult comes easy because this is an area of discussion we are not too familiar
with. But if English was seen to dominate this year’s LLF, it was only because
the critic chose to ignore the Urdu sessions: the LLF kicked off with a
memorial discussion of Intizar Husain, the recently deceased genius whom the
entire world had read in translation; followed by CM Naim’s brilliant