War on Terror
For two reasons it is necessary to return to the subject of Kashmir and the penchant of the United States and Britain to meddle in it, though the days of their mediation ended long ago. The first is the appalling behaviour of the British foreign secretary David Miliband who was visiting India from January 13-15, linked the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Tayyaba’s horrific attack on Mumbai with the Kashmir issue. He pontificated that India needed to "incentivise Pakistan" by showing "some movement on Kashmir". And, for good measure, he absolved the Pakistani establishment of any blame for the Mumbai outrage, thus contradicting on Indian soil a statement Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made a few days earlier. -- Inder Malhotra
Right honourable intentions By Prem Shankar Jha
UK a sanctuary for jihadis By B Raman
The United States is eager to keep Pakistan from becoming a failed nuclear state and so are we. The last thing we want is for Pakistan to start coming apart because it would bring a swift end to our dream of becoming a developed country by the middle of this century. We have our own Muslim problem and we will not get any closer to dealing with it if armies of crazed religious fanatics start pouring across our borders to ‘save Islam’. If Pakistan shows signs of falling to pieces it would be in our interest to help it stay together. The Talibanisation that creeps slowly towards Islamabad from the West is as much a danger to us as it is to Pakistan but what are we to do about it? - Tavleen Singh
Help Pakistan TO SELF-DESTRUCT: India will have to fight its own war against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. In essence, that would entail lending Pakistan a helping hand to stay embroiled in growing problems at home, with the hope that an ungovernable state that now is a threat to regional and international security would self-destruct. -- Brahma Chellaney
NEW AGE ISLAM IS BACK IN BUSINESS
Mr. Terrorist we are back in business. We were back in business within half an hour of your terrorist attack. BY THE GRACE OF GOD! We were able to discover your terror attack within minutes of your invasion and kill the Trojan Horse you had injected into our system soon. You must realise that you are a dastardly coward. Come out in the open if you have any grievance. We give ample space to anyone who has any grouse. But obviously you have nothing to say. You have no arguments. You are just a terrorist, an enemy of civilisation and want to spread terror in one form or other. You just want to kill, kill human beings, kill newspapers, kill websites. I hope you understand that you are not going to succeed. Taj Mahal Hotel is back with all its glory. So is Oberoi-Trident. And so is New Age Islam. We are back and we are going to be there. I admit you might attack again and may again succeed. But I can assure you this will be only for a little while. We are back and we will be back every time you attack. Insha Allah.
A word to my readers. Many Thanks for your patience. I know you kept trying to open our pages throughout the time the site was under attack. Do please bear with us if this happens in future too as it very well might. The terrorist is there, lurking in the dark, his nose rubbed in the dirt for now, but he will be back.
Sultan Shahin, editor, NewAgeIslam.com
Your recent assertion that "We should try to resolve the Kashmir crisis so that [Pakistan] can stay focused--not on India, but on the situation with those militants," is misguided. Raising the specter of an international role in the dispute could encourage unrealistic expectations for a favorable settlement among Pakistanis, thereby fueling support for Kashmiri militants. Former President Pervez Musharraf initiated the Kargil incursion into Indian-administered Kashmir in 1999 precisely to raise the profile of the Kashmir issue and encourage international mediation.
The U.S. can play a more productive role in easing Indo-Pakistani tensions by pursuing a quiet diplomatic role that encourages the two sides to continue confidence-building measures like the recent opening of a road between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir. The Indians would be unreceptive to a more direct U.S. role on the issue, and any such move in this direction would raise suspicions in New Delhi that Washington is reverting to policies that view India only through the South Asia lens rather than as the emerging global power it has become.
Special Report by Lisa Curtis and Walter Lohman
Union cabinet minister Abdur Rahman Antulay has done a great disservice to the nation at a very critical time. He has particularly harmed the interests of the Muslim community and in a way undone all the good the exemplary Muslim response to the Mumbai terror attack had done.
Readers may recall my article: Muslim response to Mumbai terror in sync with the national mood, but what is wrong with our intellectuals?
It was posted on 7 Dec 2008, but today after more than a fortnight I received a comment from Ashok Chowgule, vice-President, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, asking: “Given the fact that Antulay was mobbed, in favourable terms, when he went to a mosque near the parliament, how do you say that the Muslim response was in sync with the national mood?”
Mr. Chowgule is a regular contributor to NewAgeIslam.com. A prolific writer himself, he is kind enough to share with me his thoughts, send me his suggestions, urls of interesting articles, etc. regularly and this site benefits from his contribution. New Age Islam’s readers must be very familiar with this fact. But he never questioned the premise of my above article until today. What has happened between then and now? Obviously, Antulay happened to us. …
Sultan Shahin, editor, NewAgeIslam.com
Until Pakistan government succeeds in demolishing the terror machines on their soils, India should have nothing to do with that nation. How can our team of eleven contemplate playing cricket in Lahore within weeks of their team of ten invading our country to kill our people so mercilessly?
Dr A R Mookhi, columnist, Mumbai
NO FUTURE SPORTING TIES WITH PAK UNTIL PAK DISMANTLE ALL INFRASTRUCTURE OF TERROR OPERATING FROM THEIR SOIL
We do not need such contacts with those people who come and enjoy our friendship and hospitality but behind the back, plan terrorist attacks.
jamsheed basha abumohammed, columnist, Chennai
A Realistic Collective Strategy for both Pakistan and India to Prevent Terrorism
"India has to have positive counter-terrorism methods so that we can end terrorism once for all. If evil minds combine, good minds have to cooperate and combat them." -- Former President APJ Abdul Kalam
Violent extremism is a human problem requiring human solutions. The underlying cause of extremist social violence is accumulated social stress. Therefore, to protect their nations effectively, the armed forces of both India and Pakistan need first to reduce the collective societal stress in their nations.
A new technology of defence now exists that can accomplish this goal. It is based upon the latest discoveries in the fields of physics, neuroscience, and physiology. Ultimately, it is based on the discovery of the unified field of all the laws of nature -- the most fundamental and powerful level of nature’s dynamics. Extensive research has confirmed its effectiveness. This new technology is easily applied, highly cost-effective, and can prevent disruption and attack from within the country or outside the country. -- By Maj Gen Kulwant Singh, Dr John Hagelin and Dr David Leffler
Saif Shahin,New Age Isalm
Muslims must not risk the goodwill they have built by linking Karkare's death with Hindutva terror
INDIA HAS probably suffered more violent deaths this year than Iraq – much of it in terror attacks attributed by their perpetrators to Islam. Yet the big story of 2008 has been Indian Muslims’ categorical rebuttal of Islamist terrorism, their unprecedented zeal to prevent zealots from maligning their name and the name of their religion. They would now do well to deal a similar blow to vote bank politics, which has yet again raised its ugly head to undo the good work of the year. -- Saif Shahin in Mail Today, New Delhi
* Zardari says ‘total war’ must be fought ‘in totality’, on multiple fronts
* Military cannot be left to fight the war alone
Also: Islamabad, Kabul to collaborate closely with Pakistan in fight against terror
"We finished off the French wounded." Our special envoy Sara Daniel met up with the Taliban leaders responsible for the ambush two months ago in which the French soldiers fell not in Kunar's rough mountains, but in their comfortable residences in a great Pakistani city. Their remarks show that the "students of religion" have entered the era of global communication and their freedom of movement confirms the spread of their belligerent Islam all the way into the heart of the Pakistani administration.
The big question that would now have to be debated in India is whether we are prepared to increase our involvement in Afghanistan. One opinion in New Delhi favours a low profile and feels that development assistance is about the maximum that Kabul and Washington should expect from us. The problem is that this might not be enough. A US military defeat in Afghanistan is likely to lead to yet another Indian flight from Kabul. Besides, despite a "low profile", Indians continue to be targets of the Taliban and several workers have lost their lives in terrorist attacks. At the same time, any increase in India’s role in Afghanistan is certain to be met with violent opposition from a powerful section of the establishment in Pakistan, which is determined to counter Indian presence in that country even if it means sanctioning acts such as the bombing of the Indian embassy in July this year. Clearly, New Delhi is confronted by a tough choice. But one way or another, a decision will have to be taken sooner than later. An analysis by Indranil Banerjie, a defence and security analyst based in New Delhi.
Bajaur Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan is now the nerve centre for military operations targeting the Taliban – al Qaeda combine. This extended battle in Bajaur will have a significant impact, not only on how Pakistan prosecutes its campaign against terrorism and on the trajectory of conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan, but also on the future of Islamist terrorism and extremism across the world, writes strategic affairs analyst Kanchan Lakshman .
Washington, DC - Wandering seven long years in the mountains of Afghanistan with hardly an end in sight, the United States has just been offered a most fortuitous fix. It likely eludes America’s current president and queuing candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, but not for long. The fix is found in Mecca, Saudi Arabia writes analyst Michael Shank.
The unthinkable seems to be happening — the prospect of an Afghan settlement involving the Taliban is increasing. Analysis and reports by M.K. Bhadrakumar, Pamela Constable, Charles Bremner, Mohammed Al Shafey, Neil Lyndon, Tariq Ali and B Raman
Pakistan now faces an insurgency whose leadership wants to displace the state and government, or at least restrict its domain. If the government of Pakistan cannot neutralise these challenges through military and political means, it will become increasingly irrelevant in many parts of what is today Pakistan. This is the most serious challenge to post-1971 Pakistan: an armed and well-organised movement has entrenched itself in the tribal areas and now threatens to displace the Pakistani state from as much area as possible, Pakistani political and defence analyst Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi.
The mismanaged "war on terror" has stirred extremism, threatening to rip Pakistan apart, says Ahmed Rashid. The Pakistani author and journalist argues that the US strategy of nation-building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia has failed.
A scathing critique of both America and Europe's failure to invest in rebuilding Afghanistan and Pakistan's role in allowing Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements to regroup in Pakistan.
THE burning of Islamabad’s Marriott hotel that Indian channels showed at length is still etched in the memory of horrified people. They are worried about Pakistan. Even the hawks do not conceal their anxiety. The intelligentsia’s concern is that the nascent democratic government in Islamabad might not be able to cope with the likes of the Al Qaeda and Taliban and might have to depend on the military which would want its price, writes India’s leading journalist -- Kuldip Nayar.
MANY in Pakistan are shocked at the bomb blast outside the Marriott hotel in Islamabad which killed more than 50 people and wounded scores. It has made people nervous about further acts of violence, making life unsafe in the capital. The question for many is that if law and order agencies are unable to protect important people in high-security areas, then what can be the fate of ordinary people? By independent Pakistani analyst and author Ayesha Siddiqa
Pakistan's intelligence agencies are convinced that Saturday's terror attack in Islamabad was planned and executed by Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. But the Pakistan Government has done nothing to contain this jihadi outfit. Instead, HuJI has been treated with kid gloves for years, reports Pakistani journalist Amir Mir.
The suicide attack on the Marriott has brought into question Pakistan's participation in the war on terrorism. In a sense the attack was the consequence of the flawed policies which permitted our territories to be used as a place of refuge by the multinational militants who fled Afghanistan after the US attacked and destroyed the Taliban government in Kabul in November 2001, says Khalid Aziz, a former chief secretary of NWFP, Pakistan and heads the Regional Institute of Policy Research, Islamabad.
The blatant act of terrorism in Islamabad on Sept 20 targeting the Marriott Hotel jolted the entire nation and world at large. This raised some important questions about the future shape of "war on terrorism" and survival of modern day societies. Like fascism, terrorism is a self-destructive ideology. If we want to fight terrorism we will have to understand it. Wishful thinking about military might and invincible air strike power will not help to win the war against something that relates to human behaviour. Use of brutal and ill-directed force against a few groups, dubbed as terrorists by America and some of its allies, without eliminating the causes that lead to terrorism will be a self-defeating exercise, say Pakistani columnists Huzaima Bukhari and Dr Ikramul Haq.
More and more people are put off by the concept of suicide-bombing and are criticising it. The fifty-odd clerics who had issued the fatwa against it in 2005 — but were made to cower later by more aggressive clerics — are making their voice heard again. The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) of Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan is reluctant to own it because of this change in public opinion. An editorial in The Daily Times, Lahore.
The attack on the high-security Marriott hotel had greater symbolic significance.
CLEAR MESSAGE: The attackers of Marriott hotel in Islamabad care nothing for democracy or religion. An analysis by an independent Pakistani documentary film-maker and journalist Beena Sarwar.
The most remote place on earth has now become the most dangerous. But both history and present day activity suggest it can never be subdued by outside powers. At best, over generations, it can be quietly subverted. The Pashtuns want schools — at least for males — health services and agricultural development. (20 years ago I was the host of the Pashtuns as I studied the work of the successful Pakistani NGO, “The Motorbike Bank”, that offered credit and farming advice from a traveling motorcyclist, trained as an agronomist.) Osama Bin Laden is their guest and in the Pashtun tribal code a guest must be looked after and given protection. Bin Laden will have to be found by careful police work, as Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi war criminal, was run to earth by the Israelis, says syndicated columnist Jonathan Power (email@example.com).
The perpetrators of the Marriott Hotel blast believe they are striking back at their enemy: the United States and its supporters, including Pakistan’s civilian government led by President Asif Ali Zardari. For, the Marriott is an American symbol hoist in the heart of Pakistan. The proximate cause of this war are US attacks on Islamist terrorist targets within the territory of Pakistan. On one side is the US with its supporters within Pakistan, and on the other, Islamists bent on ridding this region of American presence, power and influence, says strategic affairs analyst Indranil Banerjie.