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Imran Khan’s USA Conundrum

Gohar Qureshi Having read Mr. Imran Khan’s recent statement about TTP, that they do not seek to enforce Shariah in Pakistan rather liberate it from the US war. I might be the only one who supports PTI manifesto for what it is and NOT because Imran Khan leads the party. Being a law abiding Pakistani American it is offensive to come across anti American narrative that Mr. Khan leads his followers with. Has he ever attempted to educate his followers on what led the US war on terror. The youth of today who must have been very young when 9/11 happened have no awareness whatsoever on how tolerant US was and still is. That we could travel domestically in the US without body scans which we were always subjected to flying … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Politics, secular Pakistan, Society, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

Raza Rumi: Voice by Heart

Amir Abbas Turi These are the ruthless terrorists who are heartless and do not spare even the humanity lovers and peace-preachers such as Raza Rumi. Callous inhumane terrorists are taking lives of innocent people in this Land of Pure – Pakistan – and Mustafa, Rumi’s martyred driver, is the latest addition to this episode. On the eve of Friday, merciless culprits showered bullets on this non-violent team in the streets of ‘Takht-e-Lahore’. These murderers, who committed a slaughter in the name of Islam, forgot or ignored the teachings of this religion – which emphasises that killing a single human being is akin to killing the whole humanity, and that a single person or institution is not qualified to prosecute, judge and persecute even the most atrocious criminal. Whether an alleged sinner can … Read entire article »

Filed under: Raza Rumi, Religion, Society, Taliban, Terrorism, violence

Come on Pakistan! Culture isn’t a static thing

By Raja Arsalan Khan Pakistani intelligentsia cannot challenge the Taliban through a comprehensive narrative because of the confusion it is suffering from. We are unique; we are supreme; we are here to tell people how to live; we are destined to change the whole world; only the Muslims have contributed to the human progress; everything should must Islamized; everyone except Muslims are our enemies. It is the executive summary of education imparted to our students while we seek an answer to the question: how to root out militancy from society. And unfortunately, media (now a 24/7 business) is complicating the problem by constantly bashing the West and reminding people about so-called negative influence of non-Muslim world and unending conspiracies designed by Jews, Hindus and Christians to consume us. Even a cursory look at the extremism … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture, Islam, Pakistan, Religion

Ahrar-ul-Hind II: Faqir of Ipi, Majlis-e-Ahrar, and the TTP

By Yasser Latif Hamdani This is to carry on from the last blog-post where I wrote about the Ahrar-ul-Hind which is a militant reincarnation of Majlis-e-Ahrar and the anti-Pakistan “nationalist” forces who had opposed the making of Pakistan and called its founder “Kafir-e-Azam”.  The narrative that I put up- grounded in fact and history – has evoked a rather unbecoming reaction from some Pushtun Nationalist  bloggers and commentators. They feel that Majlis-e-Ahrar being an entirely Punjab based phenomenon is entirely different from Ahrar-ul-Hind.  They feel that Majlis-e-Ahrar (which was a bigoted anti-Ahmadi, Anti-Shia organization) was a progressive organization only because it opposed Pakistan, was allied with Bacha Khan and the Congress and fought against “capitalism” and “colonialism”.  To this group, Ataullah Shah Bokhari (the grand doyen of the Anti-Ahmadi movement in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Ahrar-e-Hind (TTP Mohmand Group) : the 21st Century reincarnation of Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam Hind

By Yasser Latif Hamdani Bilawal Bhutto in his closing speech to Sindh Festival reminded the intellectuals of Pakistan that those who stand with the Taliban today are the same people who stood against Jinnah and called him Kafir-e-Azam.  This point is not always underscored. The recent emergence of the terrorist group Ahrar-e-Hind has surprised many.  Unfortunately our intellectuals do not read history nor are they particularly adept at any kind of deep analysis.  Had they read some history, they would know that the whole intellectual movement that has spawned Taliban has always been consistent in its hatred of Pakistan, its founding principles and what it represented for the Muslims of South Asia. The role of Majlis-e-Ahrar is the most significant when it comes to Militant Islam in the subcontinent. This was a pre-partition body of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Taliban and Sharia: A Comparison

Athar Mahmood Nowadays, on TV shows, many die-hard supporters and sympathizers of the Taliban are propounding their agenda to enforce sharia, and form a society within the Islamic parameters. I ponder are they actually so naïve or deliberately trying to make us deluded souls. Imperialism is being shielded under Islamic rule of laws; barbarism is being introduced under the camouflage of Islamic culture and so on. Worth noting is the point that everything is being charted out in the name of Islam. This article is an attempt to expose the Taliban’s misunderstanding of Islamic principles and their self-proposed agendas in the light of Quranic verses. Islam does not require weapon or force to implement its teachings. Carrying a gun or rocket launcher can be the tradition of tribes but not of Islam. Those … Read entire article »

Filed under: Taliban

Major Jahanzeb Shaheed: Nation’s Real Hero!

Major Jahanzeb Shaheed: Nation’s Real Hero!

Syed Foaad Hussain Any martyred soldier leaves behind an aggrieved family and number of relatives. However, what apparently seems a sorrowful demise indeed carries along a substantial message for us. Responsible nations do not forget their heroes. However, for Pakistani people, perhaps, there is a need to define who the heroes are and who are not. Would you call them heroes who shoot polio workers, blow up mosques and shrines, and attack religious processions? Or, those brave soldiers … Read entire article »

Filed under: Terrorism

The new face of fascism

Saad Hafiz Benito Mussolini’s infamous quote on fascism, adapted to Pakistan, reads, “Everything for the Taliban, nothing outside the Taliban, nothing above the Taliban.” The quote accurately captures the remarkable hubris of fascism, its frightening, xenophobic and coercive impulses. Fascism brings with it a thick set of assumptions about the world’s past, present and future. It represents a complete vision of life that crosses class divisions and carries no pluralist opposition. The objective, unchanged through time, is to establish control over the people, its main thrust to remake society and rule over every dimension of life. Like their predecessors in history, the new fascists draw their allure from their anathema towards half measures and compromises, their simplicity, their appeal to the imagination and their zest for action but also their intolerance … Read entire article »

Filed under: culture

Talibanistan – Land of the Taliban

Saniya Ahmad “Welcome to Talibanistan. Yes, that’s what the name Pakistan has changed to. The country is run by a little bit differently now, but please don’t be afraid. You’ll get used to it soon enough. Just wanted to give you a little heads up on how things are running here so that you can get accustomed quickly. Talibanistan is a Muslim country. Any citizen of any other religion is deported or found dead somewhere. The Muslim minority sects i.e Shias and Ahmadis are by all means Wajib-ul-Qatal, since their beliefs are a tad bit different than those of the Talibans, and of course the Taliban do not like anyone to have a difference of opinion with them. Ahmadis and Shias are running for their lives, they barely make it to the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Taliban, Terrorism

A Fruitless Discourse

By K. M. Khan: If the current political situation was a fairy-tale then Pakistan would be the heroine in trouble and Taliban would be the prince charming to the rescue of his dream girl from the nexus of the villain (USA). The prince would save his princess from the villain through tough action and in the end everybody will live happily ever after. Sadly, this is the reality of the perception of many people in Pakistan. The Nawaz Sharif government has by taking a U-turn from confrontation to engagement proven that it is either naive or really foolish to believe that the dialogue with the Tehrik-i-Taliban will make them surrender their weapons and barbarity. In the past deals with the Taliban had been signed but the only result was that that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

A Talibanised society

By Saad Hafiz It is hard to argue against the notion that Pakistan is a fertile ground for extremist Islam, its causes and conflicts. Pakistan’s status as an ideological state has resulted in the proliferation of Islamic political groups of all kinds. The country’s constitution states that it is an Islamic state, religion is a way of life and that indoctrination, and no other competing ideology, is allowed. Moreover, national policies pursued since Pakistan’s creation have set the country’s trajectory away from the tolerant, syncretic and peaceful strands of Islam, and towards a harsh, literalist and limited version of Islamic values. Extremism is also driven by a pernicious mix of cultural and religious factors — the labyrinthine working through shame-honour/power-challenge codes, Islamic fatalism and the notion of violent jihad. It is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Taliban, Terrorism

Taliban Are Right, We Are Wrong!

by Obaidullah Khan How painful is this fact for those who have not yet abandoned reason that our independent and sovereign state is negotiating with the terrorists. We are down to such a low that we are begging for mercy from those who are vicious barbarians and brazenly attack innocent citizens and the state institutions while our state seems to be helpless against them. Such barbarians must be dealt with an iron fist, is an established principle of politics in any country that claims to be independent and sovereign. Apart from disgracing the martyrs of our nation, whose blood is still of no value to our rulers, are we not disgracing our constitution by surrendering before those who are contemptuously mocking the writ of the state and its constitution and are … Read entire article »

Filed under: Terrorism

Who Are the Taliban: Clarifying Ambiguities

By Kasim Osmani Following is a translation of an interview with Dutch researcher Alex Strick van Linschoten about the Taliban. Alex is PhD student at King’s College, co-editor of My Life with the Taliban & The Poetry of the Taliban, and co-author of An Enemy We Created. The interview was originally published in Urdu on 2013/02/03 edition of daily Dunya.  Dunya: You are working on the Taliban and Afghanistan for last eight years. What persuaded you to choose these topics? Alex: I visited Afghanistan as a traveler not as a researcher. I think it is an interesting place to visit. I wanted to know about this country. In the meanwhile, I developed good relations with northern Afghanistan and learnt Pashto language. I am also learning Arabic and Persian. When I met Mullah Abdul … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism

On negotiations with Pakistan’s Taliban

by Malik Rashid As Pakistan’s government begins to talk with the Taliban, many Pakistanis wonder if the two negotiating parties are real adversaries. Can the so-called negotiations terminate the little freedoms Pakistanis have gotten acquainted with in the past few years? Since enmity across the borders hasn’t been operational lately, military’s new doctrine identified homegrown militancy as the biggest threat to ‘national security’. Like the old doctrine proposed a perpetual war of survival against neighboring states, the internal war must be indefinite to maintain military’s domination of the state. Hence the fear could be well founded that negotiations with Taliban could limit freedoms and democracy in the name of Islam instead of establishing peace in the country. But it is not 1977, and lately the Tunisian constitution has offered a rare hope on terms of reconciliation between … Read entire article »

Filed under: Terrorism

Talks or War?

Talks or War?

by Mirza Jawad Ahmad After a decade of proxy war now for last couple of years there has been a hype of talks with Taliban in Pakistani politics and military forces. Who are these Taliban? Traditionally speaking it’s a banned extremist outfit, bunch of parasites addicted to suck human blood. Symbolically they can be labelled as living vampires also. Whoever they are the argument shouldn’t be about the physical identity only, rather the mentality that’s the sole … Read entire article »

Filed under: Terrorism