By Nadeem Farooq Paracha
Cross post from The Dawn
On April 19, a Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) rally in Peshawar was attacked by a suicide bomber. The gruesome attack was allegedly engineered and undertaken by members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The irony is that the JI are one of the few mainstream political parties in the country that actually sympathise with the TTP, claiming that the terror group is fighting a war against “American imperialism” and against the Pakistani state’s “aggression” in the north-west of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
But the irony in this respect wasn’t a one-off. In early April, former ISI sleuth, Khalid Khawaja, was kidnapped along with another ex-ISI man by a group of terrorists labeled (by the media) as the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ (or Punjabi extremists having links and sympathies with the Pushtun Taliban).
On April 29, Khawaja’s murdered body was found in the turbulent tribal area of North Waziristan. He had been shot twice. A faction of the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ calling itself Asian Tigers claimed responsibility. Khawaja was an open supporter and sympathiser of the TTP, and was known to have had deep links with various Sunni sectarian organisations, and within both the Pushtun and Punjabi Taliban groups.
Note: This article is response to a post by Gorki and I thought putting the whole things as another article would be a better idea.
Can India take a new initiative, a progressive initiative without being intimidated by the right wing and utterly regressive forces in Pakistan? Our Indian friend Gorki’s suggestion that India attempt to side step the military establishment in Pakistan and deal with people of Pakistan directly, imo, is a visionary and progressive approach in Pak-India relations. By now we know that Pakistan with heavy military influence over its foreign policy, is practically incapable of presenting any new initiative to improve relations with India or even Afghanistan. Continue reading
Source: Institute of South Asian Studies, an autonomous research institute at the National University of Singapore
By Ishtiaq Ahmed
It is argued in this brief that the recent London conference on the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan was a major success for the Pakistani military in convincing the international community that its cooperation is vital to resolving the crisis in Afghanistan. It was achieved in light of the fact that the Pakistani military effectively combated Taliban terrorism on its own soil. The Pakistani military has also come out against the Taliban domination of Afghanistan in case of an early United States (US) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troop pullout, because it would threaten Pakistani security and national interests. Continue reading
[This was originally published in DAWN’s blog section and then subsequently also included in the much recommended critical PPP/Let us Build Pakistan site. The link for the latter is http://criticalppp.org/lubp/archives/4072 and for the former is http://blog.dawn.com/2009/12/31/the-scholar-the-sufi-and-the-fanatic/. The critical PPP site is quite refreshing and has taken on both the naysayers as well as been critical of its own party. Even their news reports are more reliable at times than the mainstream media. In reposting the article, critical PPP has accreditted DAWN. – Ali Abbas]
By Nadeem F. Paracha Dawn 31st Dec, 2009
Roughly speaking, the political and social aspects of Islam in Pakistan can be seen as existing in and emerging from three distinct sets and clusters of thought. These clusters represent the three variations of political and social Islam that have evolved in this country: modern, popular and conservative. Continue reading
Filed under Democracy, India, Islam, Islamism, movements, Pakistan, Partition, Politics, Religion, south asia, state, Sufism
“We need slaves to build monuments,” says an Iraqi engineer living in Abu Dhabi to a reporter from the Guardian. In the published report he goes to add that he would never use the metro if it wasn’t segregated since “we would never sit next to Pakistanis and Indians because of their smell”. Continue reading
The Neo ‘Iron Curtain’ and the loud marching steps of televangelistas.
The latest cultural trend is the sensational rise of televangelist channels in U.K, using tactics which can only be described as ‘emotional and religious blackmail’ and premium rate phone charges to raise funds from devotees, most of these are Nigerian Pentecostal ‘Witchdoctor’ (faith healer potions and exorcisms) TV channels operating from London. Generally the term ‘televangelist’ refers to American evangelical splinter churches propagating to solicit donations for converting poor Africans. This concoction of ideologies is being beamed back to Africa and Asia through satellite. Continue reading
Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Benazir Bhutto, Citizens, culture, Democracy, dynasties, Elections, Europe, FATA, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, Images, India, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, journalism, Kashmir, Labour, Languages, Media, men, minorities, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Partition, Politics, poverty, Religion, Rights, Society, south asia, Sufism, Taliban, Terrorism, Travel, Urdu, USA, violence, war, Women, youth
By Feroze R Khan
The origins of war are as old as the story of human civilization itself. Warfare, throughout the ages, has mutated and it makes no sense to define the nature of war itself. The nature of waris ambiguous and sly towards any attempts at categorization. From the wars of the early humans fought over the issues of primordial hunting-gathering tribes to the wars of the states, warfare is more discernable by its application of a systemic violence. Continue reading