Daily Archives: June 21, 2009

“I have great affinity for Pakistani culture”: President Obama

“Dating back to Jinnah, Pakistan has a history of overcoming difficulties”   : President Obama to Dawn News.

 

From The Dawn

 

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama, in an exclusive interview to Dawn, has said that he believes the Pakistani state is strong enough to win the military offensive against the extremists.

 

In this first-ever one-on-one interview by any US president to the Pakistani media, Mr Obama assured the Pakistani nation that he has no desire to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons or send US troops inside the country. 

 

The US president also emphasised the need for resuming the dialogue process between India and Pakistan, which was stalled after the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November last year. ObamaAnwarIqbal_608x325 Continue reading

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Rethinking Islam (Part 2 of 3)

(From Ziauddin Sardar’s Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures.)

Islam is not so much a religion as an integrative worldview: that is to say, it integrates all aspects of reality by providing a moral perspective on every aspect of human endeavour. Islam does not provide ready-made answers to all human problems; it provides a moral and just perspective within which Muslims must endeavour to find answers to all human problems. But if everything is a priori given, in the shape of a divine Shari’ah, then Islam is reduced to a totalistic ideology. Indeed, this is exactly what the Islamic movements – in particularly Jamaat-e-Islami (both Pakistani and Indian varieties) and the Muslim Brotherhood – have reduced Islam to. Which brings me to the third metaphysical catastrophe. Place this ideology within a nation-state, with divinely attributed Shari’ah at its centre, and you have an ‘Islamic state’. All contemporary ‘Islamic states’, from Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan to aspiring Pakistan, are based on this ridiculous assumption. But once Islam, as an ideology, becomes a programme of action of a vested group, it looses its humanity and becomes a battlefield where morality, reason and justice are readily sacrificed at the altar of emotions. Continue reading

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Strange Similarities: Pakistan 1977 and Iran 2009

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

 

I am used to shaking my head in disbelief at the popular theory that Americans got rid of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto because Bhutto was pursuing a policy of nuclearisation and Pan-Islamism that threatened American interests in Middle East. Yet the strange similarities between what went on in Pakistan in the early summer of 1977 and the events in Iran this summer has given me reason to pause. As many other people have now begun to say it openly, it will not be out of place to dwell on the similarities between the agitation against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the agitation taking place against Ahmadinejad.

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Qaumi Amn Conference

Invitation at the Qumi Amn Conference:-Countering Talibnization: A Way Forward,
On 23rd June, 2009

We would like to invite you at a Qumi Amn Conference on Countering Talibanization: The Way Forward.  We are holding this forum on Tuesday, the 23td of June at the National Library, from 3 to 6 pm where different stake holders will articulate their stance on the issue. Representatives from political parties, civil society, academia and affected people of Swat will speak and put forward their points of view.
While the military action continues in Swat there seems to be a lack of political strategy that addresses the larger problem of extremism. The culmination of militant’s actions in swat, in the form of a total take-over of the area, was only the tip of the iceberg. The main problem is much bigger with deeper roots and years of nurturance to the elements that have resulted in the FATA, South Punjab and Swat crisis. There continues to be elements in the political leadership, media, academia, civil administration and community leadership that support the discourse propagated by the Taliban. These elements are supporting the mission of Taliban through direct and indirect ways. There is a strong need for those who want to address this problem at its roots to articulate and propagate a progressive discourse. Continue reading

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Pakistan’s Cost of War

By Talat Masood

US think tanks, Congressional committees and State Department officials keep reminding us of the $12 billion of assistance that has been provided to Pakistan since 2001. Nearly 68 percent of this amount was reimbursement of costs incurred by Pakistan military in counterterrorism operations in FATA. And over $3 billion were provided for economic assistance and development. There is no doubt that deciding to join the war on terror led to substantial flow of US and international assistance from individual countries and donor agencies and did contribute for a while in bringing about macroeconomic stability and increased growth rates. But Pakistan soon realised that its fiscal and monetary policies that were heavily reliant on foreign assistance were not able to sustain growth. Continue reading

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Ahmadinejad Won! Live with it.

  http://www.politico.com/news/ stories/0609/23745.html

By: Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett
Without any evidence, many U.S. politicians and “Iran experts” have dismissed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection Friday, with 62.6 percent of the vote, as fraud. Continue reading

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Filed under Imperialism, Iran