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?
Some years ago, in response to a rather strong piece on US shenanigans in the Middle East, an American reader wrote back: “Why do you hate America?” As some of my perceptive readers might have already deduced, I get loads of fanmail in response to my weekly rants, especially from my own kind and most of it not most flattering. Yet the accusation ‘why do you hate America’ from an all-American white reader was a little disconcerting. For I do not see myself as an America phobe. The influence of American literature, Hollywood, culture and their collective glorification of ambition, excellence, grit and … Continue reading The many shades of McWorld
A New York Times report has claimed that Al Qaeda militants and planners travelled from Pakistan to Syria where they are seeking to establish a base in order to carry out strikes against the United States and Europe in the future. Director of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, recently expressed apprehensions over the issue before a House panel saying “we are concerned about the use of Syrian territory by the Al Qaeda organisation to recruit individuals and develop the capability to be able not just to carry out attacks inside of Syria, but also to use Syria … Continue reading Al Qaeda militants moving from Pakistan to set up in Syria
DESTROYING the imprints of history, culture and tradition can be termed ‘cultural terrorism.’ The recent attacks on cinemas in Peshawar and elsewhere weren’t simply acts of terrorism but also depict the mindset of the attackers: they wish to destroy diversity. Extremists in this part of the world want to not just snatch away the right to life, but also eliminate culture. The cinema still attracts poor folk. These attacks affect the country’s dying cinema industry while depriving the working class of an easily accessible form of entertainment. But it’s not just the cinemas. Attacks such as those on … Continue reading Cultural terrorism in the name of Islam
Most terrorist organisations rely on propaganda to divide masses, and convolute issues which demand clarity as a prerequisite for progress. The psychological aspect of a war or an insurgency cannot be undermined, at least not without facing serious consequences. Unlike the state, the TTP has learned from its experiences. Every contest between the TTP and the armed forces of Pakistan has resulted in the latter emerging decisively victorious. This imbalance of power has compelled the terrorists to look beyond their guns for strength, and they have successfully discovered it; in us. The TTP is heavily reliant on inaction from the … Continue reading The Trojan Mullahs for TTP
Afghanistan: as China forges new alliances, a new Great Game has begun A common interest in central Asia over Uighur and Taliban militancy is bringing together Beijing and the United States by William Dalrymple of The Guardian A Chinese security officer scrutinises pedestrians in Urumqi, the capital of the Uighur autonomous region of Xinjiang. Photograph: Rooney Chen/Reuters As the disappearance of flight MH370 dominated the headlines across China, a party of senior US officials and AfPak experts arrived in Beijing last week for discreet talks with their Chinese counterparts. They were there as part of a little reported but crucial new Sino-American dialogue on Afghanistan, discussing … Continue reading Uighur and Taliban militancy is bringing together Beijing and Washington DC
by PATRICK COCKBURN Al-Qa’ida, the second act: Why the global ‘war on terror’ went wrong In 2014 al-Qa’ida-type groups are numerous and powerful… In other words, the ‘war on terror’ has demonstrably failed It is now 12-and-a-half years since the September 11 attacks that put al-Qa’ida firmly on the map of global terrorism. The US has spent billions of dollars on its ‘war on terror’ to counter the threat and succeeded in killing Osama bin Laden three years ago. And yet al-Qa’ida-type groups are arguably stronger than ever now, especially in Syria and Iraq where they control an … Continue reading War On Terror – LOST?
The Pakistan-Afghanistan entente cordiale Despite the difficulty of facing regular casualties and unease among some military generals, Pakistan is pressing for peace talks with militants, a stance backed by several political parties. Renewed negotiations with the Taliban are coming at a juncture when many developments are going on in the South Asian region. The exit of US troops, the signing of a crucial security agreement, the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), between Kabul and the US and peace talks with the Afghan Taliban are just some of the major issues that will influence Pakistan and its political situation in the months … Continue reading Dialogue of mutual benefit for Pakistan & Afghanistan at last?
The New Fascism: Terms and Conditions Let’s talk about those pesky terms and conditions. Last month, I had a chance to talk with John McAfee, the founder of the popular McAfee computer security programs. We talked about how people usually don’t read the terms and conditions of the smartphone applications that they download onto their phones. But McAfee did read the terms and conditions of the Bank of America smartphone application, and what he saw was pretty shocking. McAfee told me that, by agreeing to the terms and conditions for the Bank of America application, “You give the Bank of America … Continue reading Militant Corporate Fascism!
Pakistan: a culture of intolerance By Sajjad Ashraf Pakistan’s impoverished and peaceful Christian community has endured mob rampages, blasphemy charges, and was largely spared the ravages of suicide bombings, till last month. Suicide bombings on September 22 at Peshawar’s All-Saints Church, which is designed like a mosque to reflect inter-faith harmony, killed 83 worshippers and injured more than 125, bringing to focus how the danger minorities face in the militancy raging across Pakistan. With almost a bomb a day since Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government took over in June, the church was indeed a soft target. Since independence in 1947 … Continue reading Pakistan: a culture of intolerance