Waiting Game

While government negotiators distance themselves from talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a high-level meeting on Monday morning, chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif, agreed to formalise an agenda for a final push in talks with the terrorists, even as a series of attacks in Karachi and other parts of the country over the last two days left several people dead. An explosion killed three peace committee members in Landikotal on Sunday, while a small bomb exploded inside a Karachi seminary on Monday, killing three children. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar reportedly told the meeting that either the talks needed … Continue reading Waiting Game

Pakistan Army should be part of peace talks with TTP

 Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq suggested on Friday that army officials should be included in the peace process so that talks between the government and Taliban could be fruitful. Haq said that the both negotiating committees have no empowerment and they were working as messengers. The government and the army should give authority to the committees, he said, adding the failure (of the talks) will be a failure for Pakistan. Haq also said that there was no other option except peace talks with Taliban for restoring peace and eliminating terrorism from Pakistan. He said that the national economy has been destroyed and … Continue reading Pakistan Army should be part of peace talks with TTP

Taliban Ceasefire Over!

  Only three days after Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan informed the nation that the ‘peace talks’ with the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) were about to enter a “comprehensive” phase, the TTP has announced that it will not be extending the ceasefire. Considering how much time and effort the good minister spends defending terrorists before the people they routinely kill, they really ought to be more considerate towards him. He says that Islamabad is a safe city, and they bomb the capital within a week. He claims that the peace talks are about to enter the next level, and they decide against … Continue reading Taliban Ceasefire Over!

The business of religion

It is rather simple; when man is hushed into servitude, silenced from laughter, pleasure and inspiration, he will have nowhere to go but the worship house, the seminary of suppression. There is a distinct rawness to today’s modish brand of Islamic radicalism one just cannot reconcile with the antiquity and supposed perfection of the faith-based cosmos mankind has demonstrated its devotion towards for centuries. Man has not been made for the moment and neither has his history on earth been a rehearsal for some macabre epilogue written in authoritarian blood. This newfangled approach to institutionalised religion, where subjects are straitjacketed into submission to … Continue reading The business of religion

Baloch separatists follow Taliban footsteps

Baloch separatists have pierced the relative calm created by the banned Pakistani Taliban’s temporary end to hostilities by slaying innocents. The outlawed United Baloch Army (UBA) claimed responsibility for two terror attacks this month, the April 9 bomb blast in Islamabad’s fruit market, which killed at least 25 workers, and an attack the next day at a railway station in Sibi, in which 15 people lost their lives. The timing of the Sibi and Islamabad attacks is important as they were were carried out just as talks between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government and the Pakistani Taliban appeared to be making progress. … Continue reading Baloch separatists follow Taliban footsteps

Taliban leader goes missing in UAE

  Mutasim confirmed to be missing in the UAE. PHOTO: FILE ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan on Monday officially confirmed that a senior Taliban leader, Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, who had started dialogue with Kabul-backed negotiators in Dubai, has been missing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After a mysterious silence for nearly two weeks, the Afghan Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed that Mutasim is missing. “The Afghan government confirms that Agha Jan Mutasim has disappeared in the UAE and we are talking to UAE senior officials to determine his fate,” the Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Shakaib Mustaghni said in Kabul. “The talks, unfortunately, have … Continue reading Taliban leader goes missing in UAE

Tolerance for Terrorists?

Tolerance is a fine thing. However, there are limits that any sane society must prescribe, and the presence of autonomous, unaccountable entities that in all likelihood present a danger to the lives of citizens and the security of the state cannot be tolerated. Recently reports have emerged that in the event that peace talks fail, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) allies at religious seminaries in and around the capital, Islamabad, are ready to support the terrorists and help attacks on the city. The TTP strategic aim of inculcating fear in people is well served by these reports. However, these fears are not … Continue reading Tolerance for Terrorists?

Man of Pakistani descent appointed as UK’s culture minister

Picture of Ali Azmat kissing a baby! AGENCIES Sajid Javid — File photo by Reuters   LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron appointed former banker Sajid Javid as the country’s new culture minister, replacing Maria Miller who resigned earlier on Wednesday over an expenses scandal. Javid has served since last year as financial secretary to the Treasury. Cameron said on Twitter that lawmaker Nicky Morgan will step up to the financial secretary post at the Treasury, key to the government’s relationship with the financial services industry, from her current role as economic secretary. Javid, the son of a Bristol bus … Continue reading Man of Pakistani descent appointed as UK’s culture minister

Mullahs trying to ban laughter?

Militants want ban on laughter, crying, says Chinese governor REUTERS The governor of China’s Xinjiang region. — Photo by Reuters   BEIJING: The governor of China’s restive region of Xinjiang wrote on Monday that Islamist militants were trying to ban laughter at weddings and crying at funerals, as he appealed to people to stamp out the “tumour” of extremism. Xinjiang has been beset by violence for years, blamed by the government on militants and separatists. Exiles and many rights groups say the real cause of the unrest is China’s heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language … Continue reading Mullahs trying to ban laughter?

Change of guard at Mansoora

  At a meeting on January 10, 1971, Syed Munawar Hasan, leading a pack of young turks, launched a frontal attack on Syed Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder and ameer (chief) of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), blaming him for the party’s rout in the country’s first democratic elections. Because of his move, the JI was thrown into turmoil leading to Maudoodi’s resignation the following year.  Forty-three years later, as the Jamaat kicks out Munawar Hsasan from the office of ameer, he has defaced Maudoodi’s party, leaving it in a far worse shape than the founder had in 1972, not only in … Continue reading Change of guard at Mansoora