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A Concise Overview of the War on Terror, Pakistan Politics, “Pakistan Taliban” – Imran Khan

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An excellent, factual and thoughtful overview of the so called “war on terror” in Pakistan.

Hear, hear Obama & Democratic administration… this isn’t Mullah Imran speaking, someone to be dismissed as an “Islamist”, but someone “moderately religious”, a million times more educated than Zardari or any of the other lota Pakistani politician, and more principled than the political lot combined. Time to put your Nobel prize to good use, President, and invoke change that we can believe in (starting with ceasing the support of corrupt politicians, the fountainhead of which is Zardari).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr-IFLJn00A[/youtube]

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

108 Comments

108 Comments

  1. Ibn AbuAisha

    October 18, 2009 at 10:52 AM

    Indeed, by far the most intelligent synopsis of the whole situation. Learnt more from this 10-minute talk than from countless webpages on the issue.

    • Azam

      October 22, 2009 at 1:19 AM

      He doessn’t understand the mind of Mullah. Who can satisfy or console Mullah Omar or people like Baitullah Mahsud who are killing innocent citizens and Muslims through suicide attacks?

      You need peace to console people and this is what they want and that can only be done by routing out these extremist and illiterate few.

  2. Hassan

    October 18, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    Quite scary picture..

  3. Hassan

    October 18, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    Ron Paul on Afghan hearing

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEDQ-QXtXcg

  4. Mohammed Khan

    October 18, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    I understand his perspective but I think he’s missing some important points.

    Taliban was imposing their version of Islam on the Afghan masses against their traditions. They wanted the Taliban out. They should never have been there because their presence was already a big nuisance to the Afghani people. The Pakistani government had paved the way for Taliban power in Afghanistan.

    The Taliban being in Afghanistan against the will of the Afghan masses was not enough. The Taliban then chose to shelter many al-Qa’eda members, including Osama bin Laden. What was the Taliban doing sheltering terrorists who consider it permissible to kill American civilians? OBL and his cohorts should never have been welcomed but, instead, tried in Islamic courts of law. The Taliban tried everyone they saw as being guilty except the terrorists — likely because they gave them financial support. This quid-pro-quo kept their relationship generally fine. Fine enough to keep OBL there, at least. And this was a serious mistake.

    Keeping OBL, Zawahiri, and others sheltered — terrorists who had a different agenda from the Afghan Taliban — invited the wrath of the US that had recently been attacked on 9/11. What else could the Taliban expect? Though Taliban may have thought it to be a violation of Islam to hand over OBL to the authorities, they should have weighed the costs and benefits of this decision. They didn’t, or, if they did, they cared less about the huge risk they were putting the Muslim civilians into. This opened the way for the US bombing which caused thousands of Muslims to die in one way or another.

    This then led many al-Qaeda militants and Afghan Taliban to take refuge in the Pakistani tribal areas. So, the Taliban first take over Afghanistan, give shelter to notorious terrorists, invite US bombing, then bring this mess to Pakistan’s tribal areas to invite US drones.

    The Pakistani government was dumb to support Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. This has led to the crisis that Pakistanis are suffering from presently. Hardcore militants are holded up in the region and they now want to take revenge on the Pakistan government.

    What winning of ‘hearts and minds’ can be done now? Imran Khan is naive if he thinks that not going against the militants will resolve things. It is too late for that. The only way to win hearts and minds now is to convince the Pakistani public that destroying militants is in Pakistan’s best interest. To be fair though, I agree with Imran Khan that the US cannot win in Afghanistan, and that the situation in Pakistan can certainly be improved if the US pulled out from there.

    At the end of the day, it is the Taliban Muslims who invited this mess and gave the US the excuse and reason to interfere, once again.

    Salaam,
    Mohammed.

    • masmanz

      October 21, 2009 at 1:05 PM

      I think much of the propaganda we are listening mainly from the western media and the establishment that supports a perpetual war needs to be dismissed.
      1. If Afghans really hated Taliban they would have kicked them out, the people who can kick out Soviets in spite of all their military might would not all of a sudden turn into a docile doormat. Many probably disagreed with some aspects of Taliban’s rule, but overall they welcomed the respite from the war-lordism of their predecessors.
      2. It is a common propaganda that somehow Pakistan installed the Taliban, the PPP government may have helped them a bit, but installing a puppet on Afghanistan is an impossible task. We can see how they are fighting Karzai.
      3. Osama was peacefully living in Sudan but the US pressured the Sudan government to send him to Afghanistan. Why? that is the key question that should be asked. They could have easily captured him in Sudan. As soon as OBL got to Afghanistan he was declared the biggest terrorist but no proof of his terror activities was provided to the the then Afghan government. Had the government tried to capture him without any proof it would certainly have created a big chaos in a country which believes that an innocent guest should not be handed over to his enemies. Their attitude is quite different from the attitude of Pakistanis who were happy to hand over innocent people for $5000 each or hand over the innocent Afghan ambassador to his tormentors.
      4. Bombing of Afghanistan was a cowardly act of Bush administration, they could have send in ground forces to capture OBL but instead decided to bomb to take revenge. What were they expecting to achieve? If, after 8 years, US and Pakistan have not been able to capture OBL how do you suppose the Taliban would have been able to do that? How would you feel if the US issue an ultimatum to Pakistan to hand-over OBL or face US wrath? If Pakistan says they can’t find him the US can easily say that Pakistan is just making up excuses.
      5. The people whom Pakistani military is fighting are not Afghan Taliban, they are essentially Pakistani tribes who are against the interference of outsider, be it US or Pakistan, in their affairs. They are wrongly called Taliban. This fight is not a result of religious extremism but simply a result of foolishness (or greed) of the government of Pakistan which just looks at what they think is economic benefit of participating in this so-called global-war-on-terror. The $1.5B Kerry-Lugar bill will not pay for all the lives and property that has been lost. Pakistan government is dumb to continually support this perpetual war which is being carried out at the behest of American neocons.

      • Mohammed Khan

        October 22, 2009 at 12:21 AM

        Thanks masmanz,

        Interesting thoughts. But I don’t agree with some of your points:

        1/ You said, “If Afghans really hated Taliban they would have kicked them out.”

        The Afghanis didn’t react negatively to the Taliban in the beginning because they brought security to a crime-infested region. It is only later that they began detesting the extremism of the Taliban. The Afghani civilians did not have the immense weaponery to drive them out. If Afghan warlords couldn’t do it, how can one expect the civilians to do it?

        2/ You said, “It is a common propaganda that somehow Pakistan installed the Taliban.”

        Actually, the ISI and Pakistani government did create the Taliban, and Saudi Arabia and UAE also financially supported them. Ahmed Rashid, who knows the situation better than us, elaborated on this in his two books (‘Taliban’ and “Descent into Chaos’). I highly recommend all who are interested to read them.

        The Pakistani government’s bizzare strategy was to install a Pakistan-friendly government in Afghanistan, and they thought the Taliban would be perfect for this. No surprise. The Pakistani government had always used militants in their policies, mainly as proxy armies flanking the Indian border, but, in this case, a full scale take-over of neighboring Afghanistan by the Taliban.

        To substantiate my point further that the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan government are buddies, even today with all the mess happening the Afghan Taliban still refuses to fight Pakistani troops. While Pakistani Taliban go and join the Afghan Taliban to fight US/NATO troops in Afghanistan, the reverse is not true. In fact, Mullah Omar told the Pakistani Taliban not to fight Pakistani troops, contrary to what Baituallah Mehsud did and what Hakeemullah Mehsud and his buddies are doing.

        3/ You said, “Osama was peacefully living in Sudan but the US pressured the Sudan government to send him to Afghanistan. Why? that is the key question that should be asked.”

        No, the USA did not pressure Sudan to send OBL “to Afghanistan”. The US prompted Sudan to expel him from the country, period. In fact, OBL wanted to go to Saudi Arabia but was refused by the Saudi monarchy. It was then OBL’s own choice to go to Afghanistan. He was already familiar with Afghanistan when he was there in the 1980s, so it made sense that he went there.

        One point I do agree with is that Clinton could have had OBL arrested in Sudan. Like any politician, this may have been a slip-up and not necessarily a deliberate conspiracy as you’re implying. I don’t believe the US always has full control over the effects of its policies on others, even though many Muslims tend to believe so. They are human and make mistakes too. That’s why there’s a term called “blowback” and the US has experienced a lot of it. (If you’re interested in knowing more about this, read Chalmers Johnson’s “Blowback”.)

        4/ The US bombed Afghanistan in 2001 because the dumb Taliban were not handing over OBL to the authorities. Had the Taliban cared about the consequences of this decision on the civilian masses, the Taliban would certainly have given him in — even if they didn’t see the evidence that he did 9/11 at the time. They made the wrong decision which resulted in many Afghanis being killed and injured. What would you have done? Kept OBL and put the masses at severe risk, or handed him in and saved our many brothers and sisters instead?

        You asked: “If, after 8 years, US and Pakistan have not been able to capture OBL how do you suppose the Taliban would have been able to do that?” You are mixing things. OBL was with the Taliban at the time, so the Taliban did not have to find him. The Taliban could easily have handed him over to the authorities had they wished, but they didn’t.

        You asked: “How would you feel if the US issue an ultimatum to Pakistan to hand-over OBL or face US wrath? If Pakistan says they can’t find him the US can easily say that Pakistan is just making up excuses.”

        This question is irrelevant because it is based on an incorrect understanding of your previous question. Such a question is only rhetorical anyway. It means nothing in reality because none of us can prove it happened or will ever happen. I can be just as rhetorical and ask: What if Pakistan is truthful that it doesn’t know where OBL is?

        5/ You said, “The people whom Pakistani military is fighting are not Afghan Taliban, they are essentially Pakistani tribes who are against the interference of outsider, be it US or Pakistan, in their affairs.”

        You are right that the Pakistani military is not fighting the Afghan Taliban because they’re buddies. But it’s wrong to describe the band of crazy Pakistani militants as overall representative of the “Pakistani tribes”. Most of the Pakistani tribes are peaceful and opposed to the crazy Pakistani Taliban (as they’re called). In fact, hundreds of tribal elders who were truly representative of their tribes were killed by the Pakistani Taliban. Even the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan is not entirely representative of Hakeemullah Mehsud’s group. That’s why the Pakistani military told and reassured the Mehsud tribe that it is not at war with their tribe, but only at war against the extremist members of their tribe.

        You said, “This fight is not a result of religious extremism but simply a result of foolishness (or greed) of the government of Pakistan which just looks at what they think is economic benefit of participating in this so-called global-war-on-terror.”

        This fight is not the result of extremism? You can’t be serious. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and make this assumption. But you are right that there is surely economics and money in the picture as there always is. Politicians use these situations to get as much money as possible. But this doesn’t mean there’s no extremism.

        Regarding the Kerry-Lugar bill funding, it is for non-military use and can be used to help civilians.

        Mohammed.

        • masmanz

          November 21, 2009 at 4:55 PM

          I too disagree with some of your points.

          1. Afghan warlords couldn’t do it because the mass supported Talibans. They may not have agreed with every policy of Talibans but they liked the peace and law-and-order which the Talibans brought. Don’t forget the Northern Alliance was supported by India, Iran, and Russia so they did not lack any arms. Pakistan did not give any heavy arms — tanks, helicopters, F16s etc. to the Talibans so the claim that it was all ISI/Pakistan’s doing does not stand the scrutiny. This excuse of ridding the population of tyrants has been used by colonialists of the past as well. Britain used it in India, USA used it in Vietnam, Iraq, and other places, Soviets used it in Stan republics and in Aghanistan, France used it in Algeria, even Napolean used it in Egypt — this is jut old propaganda.
          2. I have read Ahmed Rashid’s book, he does not impress me at all. He writes whatever will please his Western audiance, I don’t think he lacks the knowledge and I don’t really know why he writes like someone who is ignorant of Islam and Afghans. If you read his books you would think that Burqa was invented by the Talibans. Read Tarq Ali’s Ahmed Rashid’s War at http://www.counterpunch.org/ali10092009.html
          3. I don’t think it is a human making mistake as you put it. I think that they wanted to use OBL organization in Afghanistan against China in Xinjiang, and against Russia in Chechnya. I am not saying OBL was under direct control of CIA but here the neocons saw a common purpose.
          4. It is naive to think that the Taliban could have handed-over OBL without any proof. This is against Pashtun’s tradition. If you recall, a Jirga was held which recommended that if OBL wants to hand himself over to the USA that would be acceptable. OBL was not a nobody in Afghanistan, had the Taliban tried to hand him over they would have ignited a civil war. The reason US did not give any proof was either they did not have any, or they just wanted OBL as an excuse to attack Afghanistan. Had Taliban handed over OBL US would have demanded to catch and hand over his supporters and forced the Taliban into an un-ending civil war, as they are now trying to do with the Pakistani government. The Bush administration was looking for wars, they attacked Iraq even on a much flimsier ground.
          5. Read my comment #1 — Now Pakistan has joined that list.

          The only extremists I see here are those who have started this perpetual war-on-terror without any reason.

  5. PakistaniMD

    October 19, 2009 at 2:10 PM

    As much as I admire Imran Khan, he has no political clout. I personally think reform of Pakistan has to come from the majority; there needs to be a consensus on where to take the nation. A middle ground needs to be found: a combination of secular and religious laws may have to be implemented.

  6. Suhail

    October 19, 2009 at 4:04 PM

    I have to hand it to people like Ron Paul and Imran Khan. People are idiots who do not vote for these people who have principles. Even though Ron Paul is a Kuffar but he is a principled man who does not waver. This clip from 1998 is quite revealing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZtPzOukjZA&feature=related

    Imran as usual was very good and on the mark.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 20, 2009 at 1:00 AM

      I beg to differ for the following reasons:

      1/ Most of the residents of the tribal areas are against the Pakistani Taliban. Their ‘hearts and minds’ are therefore already won. Yet, what has winning their hearts and minds done for them? It has gotten many of the residents killed, too many are afraid to speak, and they are too weak to confront the highly weaponized Taliban.

      2/ Imran Khan (IK) says the army is not the answer to solving the problem of terrorism. Really? Not at all? This is an extreme and unrealistic understanding. Well, the hearts and minds of tribal residents is already won. But that has not done enough to defeat terrorism. Contrary to what IK says, the army definitely does have an important role because the tribal residents are virtually taken hostage by the weaponary of the Taliban. At this time, ‘hearts and minds’ cannot defeat these terrorists under the circumstances. Only brute force by the army can.

      3/ IK says the army is using weapons to target militants, and this is resulting in an unknown number of civilian casualties. If the number of civilians casualties is ‘unknown’, then what is IK’s point? He can’t logically say the casualties are high, if this is what he’s implying. Civilians dying in a theater of war is not surprising, and surely army action has led to civilian deaths.

      But what IK forgot to mention was that the army has always given ample time for civilians to leave an area filled with militants that is about to be attacked. This holds true for Bajaur, Swat, Khyber, and South Waziristan. Had the army been completely neglectful, as IK seems to imply, they would have bombed the tribal agencies with impunity without caring about the evacuation of civilians. It is clear that the army has tried its best to keep the number of civilian casualties as low as possible. IK portrays a reality that only exists in his mind.

      4/ IK says the targets of drone attacks almost always escape. Not true. Many, many Taliban commanders and al-Qa`eda leaders have been killed. Civilians are unfortunately killed too and this is of course very tragic.

      5/ IK says 800 to 1200 al-Qa`eda is a ridiculous thing. But why? I would say that makes a region very dangerous for obvious reasons. And resistance against the army in S. Waziristan came mostly from the militants — not from the residents as IK seems to imply. When the army brokered for peace with the militants, the militants were doing suicide bombings. The militants are in the wrong here. Not the army, as IK implies.

      6/ Tribal extremists wanted peace? In Swat, the Taliban had violated the ceasefire several times since it was first implemented. The most prominent case took place just days after the ceasefire took effect. The Taliban captured the district coordinating officer for Swat and six of his Frontier Corps Guards. A Taliban spokesman said the officer was a “guest” who was detained to “discuss some issues.” The government freed several Taliban prisoners to secure the captives’ release. Later, the Taliban kidnapped a Frontier Corps officer and five of his troops and also attacked a military vehicle transporting sick troops. IK seems to be oblivious to these facts.

      IK is naive and unaware of the facts if he puts all the blame on the army, and portrays the Pakistani Taliban extremists as desirers of peace. The Taliban have clearly violated more than one peace agreement, and so they cannot be trusted for a second. When the government and army’s attempts to broker peace with the Taliban failed — because the Taliban kept breaking the agreements — the army had no choice but to use force against them. To me, this is a reasonable reaction.

      7/ IK makes it sound like the ‘War on Terror’ has contributed to weakening the economy of Pakistan and prevented outsiders from investing. So, is IK saying that the government’s alliance with militants of all colors for much of Pakistan’s existence was the better way to go? Is IK saying that militants, as long as they are Pakistani government proxies, makes it more conducive for Pakistan’s economic growth and prospects for investment for outsiders? I think the situation would be like a time bomb and not conducive at all for the economy for obvious reasons. IK makes no sense.

      8/ IK says “if there is no change of strategy” — yet he doesn’t explain what the new strategy should be — then Pakistan will go the way of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The US bombed Cambodia and that paved the way for Pol Pot who killed millions. This has no relevance whatsoever to Pakistan’s situation. Pakistan has had its Pol Pots for a long time now, even when the US was an ally of Pakistan during the Cold War. If IK is saying that continued US involvement in Pakistan will lead to a worse dictator who kills millions, then my question is: haven’t these kinds of dictators already been around in much of Pakistan’s history? IK needs to read his history again.

      9/ IK then says, “We could be the biggest casualty in this whole thing.” What IK fails to understand is that leaving the militants and tribal areas as they are at this point in time can result in the potential takeover of Pakistan by the militants. Without military action, Pakistan will certainly become the biggest casualty. Not without the army, as IK says.

      10/ IK says that many soldiers and civilians dying in the tribal agencies of Pakistan is ‘radicalizing’ many people. But they were already being radicalized with the presence of foreign militants and extremist Pakistani Taliban. The army’s presence and attacks may have led to some radicalization, but we know well that the vast majority of civilians chose to leave their homes in the hundreds of thousands before any big attack by the army. Had they been radicalized to a high extent, they wouldn’t have chosen to become refugees, but instead fought alongside the militants against the army. This has not happened. IK doesn’t know his facts.

      11/ IK then gives the example of the President of Tehrik-i-Insaf in Bajaur, and how they were bombed by Pakistani helicopters. Yes, this was unfortunate. But if he’s extrapolating from this that this is what the Pakistani army does on a regular basis, then this is nonsense. Some unfortunate killings have happened, but this is clearly not the norm. Otherwise fleeing civilians would have reported such incidents in the thousands. They didn’t. Sorry IK.

      12/ IK explains the effects of army shelling and effects on the injured. But IK forgot to mention that such shelling was being done by Taliban militants too. He also forgot to explain the context as to why the shelling was happening in the first place — because the militants gave the army no choice after their repeated attacks, including against tribal elders, and violations of peace agreements.

      13/ IK then explains that the man says there is no court of justice to redress what happened to him. But what courts of justice did civilians have access to when they were being tortured by the Taliban, and when they kept girls out of school? The army caused some damage, true, but IK is ignoring all the misery the Taliban heaped on civilians. How about their grievances caused directly by the Taliban? Why single out the army when the Taliban has been doing the same?

      14/ Then, IK basically says: because there’s no court to redress injustice by the Pakistani army, people then pick up guns and fight alongside the Taliban against the army.

      Again, how about the injustice against civilians by the Taliban and foreign militants? That’s why the army was fighting the militants in the first place. Why is it more important for civilians to have access to the rule of law when they are unintentionally attacked by the Pakistani army, but not as important when civilians are deliberately attacked, humiliated, and tortured by the foreign/Pakistani militants? IK seems to show favoritism for the militants against the army. Makes me wonder.

      15/ IK says that army injustice against civilians and no justice being redressed by the rule of law is leading to the growth of the Taliban movement, and this is the main problem. No, the Taliban movement was already growing, much before the Pakistani army was involved. Reason is because of the US bombing in Afghanistan in 2001 that led to more radicalization in the region. The Pakistani army came later when these born-again Pakistani Taliban began making a mess of their own. The militants started it and the army responded. The major fault is with the Taliban, not the army.

      I think I have listed enough examples to prove my point. Imran Khan’s logic doesn’t flow. His reasoning is choppy, he mixes cause and effect, and it is clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that he’s trying to verbally attack the government by hook or crook, however he can. All that, while hardly mentioning the faults of the Taliban militants themselves who have wreaked havoc against the Pakistani population in so many ways and caused untold misery.

      Politicians always have agendas. Imran Khan is no different so don’t make him different. It’s ludicrous to suggest in any way that he be a Nobel Prize winner or that he’s much better than the rest of Pakistan’s dirty politicians. Save your cheers, brothers and sisters, and smell the morning coffee.

      Salaam,
      Mohammed

      • Suhail

        October 20, 2009 at 9:32 AM

        I would rather have him take Nobel prize then Obama. And anyways Imran Khan is a muslim and has much better credentials to boot then Zardari or any politician out there. So really I would have husn ad dhann towards him.

        If you wish to believe in what you have wrote then good luck and May Allah help our affairs.

        Suhail

        • Mohammed Khan

          October 20, 2009 at 9:59 AM

          Salaam Suhail,

          I wouldn’t make it an either-or matter of whether Obama or Imran Khan should win the Nobel Prize. Personally, I believe neither deserve it.

          Yes, Imran Khan is a Muslim. But so is Zardari — no matter how corrupt a politician he is.

          Regarding “credentials”, you should read more about Imran Khan and think again. He has never been known for his good credentials from an Islamic standpoint or political standpoint. He has, however, been known for his athletic/cricket credentials, which means absolutely nothing to me and irrelevant to any peace prize. Regarding Zardari, his thug credentials were well known long before he became President.

          The situation in Pakistan is more complex than what Imran Khan portrays. He can certainly win lots of cheerleaders for his speech (and looks), but his lecture lacks true substance. Superficial and emotional thoughts are understandable. But without a proper understanding of the social, religious, political, and economic contexts, he only confuses more than informs.

          Salaam,
          Mohammed.

          • Amad

            October 20, 2009 at 2:02 PM

            We are talking about Pakistan here. It is all relative. We aren’t getting Abu Bakr or Umar, or in terms of leaders, even comparable to a good secular leader.

            Compared to Zardari, even Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi look good, despite how ugly this company is.

            Thus, RELATIVE to all the other politician/junkies that we have running the country, Imran Khan is far more principled than any other known entity by a mile. He sticks to his word. He prays 5 times. He had a bad past, but he moved on. He has leadership qualities, he has education, and he has more loyalty to the country than any of the other thieves. This is because he doesn’t need to plunder. The others are born plunderers.

            I know Imran doesn’t have a chance (he is too principled for the puppet-masters, USA primarily)… but its unfortunate that people won’t at least try!

          • Mohammed Khan

            October 20, 2009 at 2:38 PM

            Salaam Amad,

            Imran Khan is a cricketeer — not a politician — no matter how many good ‘principles’ he has or how much he chooses to involve himself in politics.

            Leading government is not just a matter of ‘good principles’ (though no doubt essential in a good leader), but also a matter of thinking politicially and strategically with true substance and comprehensive knowledge.

            From his lecture, it is fairly clear that his intentions and principles are good. (Allah Knows Best.) But, at least to me, he wouldn’t survive a second as leader of a country with such distorted political and strategic analysis. His advice would make the country much worse under current circumstances with his all-out opposition against the army.

            No sensible person would elect him as a country’s leader, even if he is their leader on the cricket field. How many Pakistanis have supported him politically anyway? Very few — and not because the public is corrupt, but because he lacks the qualities a President or Prime Minister of a country should have.

            And, if it’s only a matter of ‘good principles’, as you say, then why pick Imran Khan over other Pakistanis? Why not, for example, pick Junaid Jamshed, the ex-singer of Vital Signs who transformed his life from rock star to Tablighi mullah?

            In spite of his good principles, it doesn’t de facto mean he will be a better politician because being a good politician requires a lot more than good principles.

            I am not convinced with your argument.

            Salaam,
            Mohammed.

          • Suhail

            October 20, 2009 at 6:10 PM

            What difference does it make if he is a cricketer, At least he is better than a thug who looted the whole country and have now made a mess of it. I am sorry your arguments do not make any sense.

            Regarding his lecture lacks substance then what does Zardari or any other politician in Pakistan have lecture of substance. Rather they are Third grade criminals and nothing else.

            I would rather have Imran Khan in presidents role then an idiot jaahil like Zardari. Regarding husn-ad-dhann for zardari then you must be joking. Zardari is a criminal who have served jailed, exiled from country and his character is known to everybody. While Imran may lack the support but his character is not like Zardari. He may have done some sins in past but who didn’t.

            Salah-ad-deen was not a hero always rather he was also immersed in many sins but when he became leader his character shone through his actions. So your dismissal of Imran is at best naive and without any substance.

          • Mohammed Khan

            October 20, 2009 at 9:37 PM

            Suhail,

            Imran Khan is “better than Zardari” at what? They are both incompetent for the role of leading a country for the respective reasons I noted above. Your either-or mentality is making you pick between two incompetent people for a country’s leadership: a thug and an ex-cricketer who has never had the limelight in politics for obvious reasons. Why limit yourself to these choices?

            Yes, Zardari’s rule has made the country a mess. But to conclude from this that Imran Khan is a better politician is a non-sequitur. The logic simply doesn’t flow. You are again making an argument based solely on “good principles” as if this is sufficient to become a competent politician. Well, it’s not. Politicians also have to think strategically and politically and with vision. As noted in my detailed response above, Imran Khan unfortunately doesn’t demonstrate any of this, in spite of his good principles. His record in politics supports this conclusion. While criticizing the army, he has proposed no viable alternatives as solutions.

            Regarding Zardari, I never said his lectures have substance. This assumption of yours was derived from the fact that I said Imran Khan’s lecture lacks substance. Your assumption was incorrect.

            What solution does Imran Khan propose to this mess in Pakistan? What do you propose if not army action against militants?

            Mohammed.

          • Suhail

            October 21, 2009 at 9:29 AM

            So should he have a degree in Political science from Yale university to become a politician. Ah yes i forgot he does not have a degree in MS of Corruption and Lying. If that is what is needed i am sorry he does not have that.

            I have to say one thing. How do you know that Imran is not a better politician? Just because he does not get votes or because he is too principled. Most of the politicians today are either stooges of cooperations or other nations and greed. I would rather have Imran than seeing the government in Zardari’s hand.

            Regarding the action of army. Let me just say this once. Pakistani army has more blood of its own civilians on there hand then that of any enemy including India. There have been very few countries in this world whose army have killed its own civilians with warplanes and helicopter gunships.

          • Dr Samina

            October 22, 2009 at 12:08 PM

            Hello Mohammed Khan,

            After reading your lot of posts I can only say I couldn’t find a single post without a 100s of nonsense and stupidities.

            You said almost in your every post that Imran khan is not politician he is cricketer etc.
            Could you tell us here a single politician’s name, who has a PHD degree in politics?
            Could you tell us, does Asif Zardari(the most corrupted person on the earth..Unluckily the president of Pakistan) has a PDH degree in politics? As far as I know he doesn’t have even any college degree, he is definitively fraud in everything…
            it’s really shame you comparing Imran khan with the very corrupted person(Zaradari ) , killer of thousands people(Altaf Hussain) and very a brain less leader Nawaz sharif..
            Yeah I agree with you at only one point that Imran khan’s party can’t win the election and I know the reason too, when a country has almost more than 80% either very uneducated or close to uneducated then how can an honest party win the election which doesn’t lie with their people for Roti, Capra and Makan(what a fraud with nation from 4 decades)?

            Please don’t compare Imran khan with other all very dishonest Pakistani politicians.

          • Mohammed Khan

            October 22, 2009 at 2:16 PM

            Hi Dr. Samina,

            Thank you for your feedback.

            I said Imran Khan (IK) was ‘not a politician’ in the sense that I don’t believe he would ever make a competent politician. I stand by that. I gave reasons for my position in detail, especially in a post discussing his political analysis above. Did you read it?

            To clarify again, I don’t doubt IK’s good intentions and good principles. But the assumption that these qualities alone would make a good and competent politician is, with all due respect, naive and ill informed. It is very poor reasoning loaded with incorrect and questionable assumptions. A good politician also needs to be a good strategist who understands the multifarious strands of the issues involved. Nobody could have said it better than Abdul:

            “It’s easy to be an armchair critic and play ball from the sidelines but when it comes to governing a nation of 170 million people it takes more than just principles, it takes wisdom, foresight, good judgement and a sense of reality.”

            Though IK definitely has “principles”, I’m afraid he doesn’t have the rest of the qualities that a competent politician should have.

            You said:

            “it’s really shame you comparing Imran khan with the very corrupted person(Zaradari ) , killer of thousands people(Altaf Hussain) and very a brain less leader Nawaz sharif..”

            You should read my posts more carefully. I never supported Zardari, Altaf Hussain, or Nawaz Sharif. They are indeed a corrupt bunch and highly incompetent to lead the country. I never said otherwise.

            But their corruption and incompetence doesn’t automatically make IK a great replacement, as you seem to say. Why should he? While our current politicians are corrupt and politically incompetent, IK is honest and politically incompetent. He is not a killer but he, in spite of his good intentions, will still make the country a dismal failure with his shallow understanding of reality. This can lead to misery, death, and destruction for many even if IK doesn’t want it. You need not make it an either-or matter: “Either I pick Zardari/Altaf Hussain/Nawaz Sharif or I pick IK.” They are all politically incompetent. They differ primarily in the matter of corruption. The others are corrupt while IK is probably not.

            Regarding your statement of whether there is a politician with a “PHD degree in politics”, who said such a degree is needed to become a competent politician? There are many “Doctors” and PhDs who know lots of theory, but know very little practical, on-the-ground action that would make the real difference. The best evidence is IK who certainly has degrees (though not PhDs). But whether he has a degree or not is mostly irrelevant. I can’t support an educated or uneducated person who is unable to make the right political and strategic analysis for his country. I am not the first to say this. Read what these commentators had to say about IK:

            http://pakistaniat.com/2009/06/01/imran-khan/#

            http://changepk.com/2009/06/15/imran%E2%80%99s-patriotism-is-for-pakistan-or-taliban/

            And here is what wiki says about him with info obtained from different sources:

            “A few years after the end of his professional career as a cricketer, Khan entered electoral politics while admitting that he had never voted in an election before.[30] Since then, his most significant political work has been to protest against ruling politicians such as Pervez Musharaff and Asif Ali Zardari and his opposition to the US and UK foreign policy. Khan’s “politics are not taken seriously in Pakistan and at best rated as single column news items in most newspapers.”[31] As reported and by his own admission, Khan’s most prominent political supporters are women and the youth.[4] His political foray was influenced by Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, the former Pakistani intelligence chief famous for fueling the Taliban’s rise in Afghanistan and for his anti-West viewpoint.[32] In Pakistan, the reaction to his political work has been reported to be such that, “Mention his name at dinner tables and the reaction is the same: people roll their eyes, chuckle lightly, then exhale a sad sigh.”

            I encourage you to read more about him before picking your politician of choice.
            Though your sympathy and support for his honesty is understandable, it is insufficient to make a proper politician. I think it is clear why Pakistan’s population doesn’t vote for him.

            So far, you have unfortunately not made a convincing case in your support for IK as a good politician. What I would like to know from you in view of the above is:

            What criteria do you have when choosing or voting for a politician, Dr. Samina?

            I, as surely others, are most curious to know.

            Mohammed.

            P.S. By the way, are you a medical doctor or a PhD? Just curious.

          • Mohammed Khan

            October 26, 2009 at 11:30 AM

            Suhail,

            Sorry, your message slipped through the cracks.

            Regarding your question about if IK should have a degree from Yale to become a good politician, I’ve already given the answer in response to “Dr. Samina”. Though education usually (though not always) helps, my conclusion of IK is based on his political analyses – not only the one liked by Amad but also his previous analyses he has given in numerous other interviews. Whether IK had no degrees or 10 degrees from Harvard wouldn’t have changed my conclusion one bit.

            Whether IK is a “better” politician than Zardari or not is missing my point. They are both incompetent as I’ve made clear, so choosing between these two is an exercise of waste. It doesn’t mean I don’t see myself as being buddies with IK or that I have something personal against him. I like a person with good principles. But I still wouldn’t want him as the country’s leader.

            The army and leadership are responsible for most of Pakistan’s misery. I said that before. But in view of the current circumstances, I believe they should be supported in their fight against militants. The result of not doing so is putting our brothers and sisters in Pakistan in even more risk, not to mention the growing regional instability and more hostile positions taken by India, Iran (still liked by most Pakistanis), and the US. The militants in Afghanistan will also be emboldened. You can guess the rest.

            Having a good leader and good army requires the creation of conditions to achieve such an outcome which is a long-term solution. Seeing it as a short-term solution by, for example, removing Zardari is a recipe for disaster in view of the current circumstances.

            I think I’m done discussing these issues with everyone as we’re explaining many of the same issues repeatedly. Perhaps it’s a good time to discuss what the Pakistani public as a whole wants as this is more in tune with reality and something that can have implications for future leadership. This means back to Shoeb’s discussion about ‘democracy’. What do you think about it?

            Mohammed.

    • shoeb K

      October 20, 2009 at 5:17 PM

      Suhail

      People like you bring a bad name for ISlam.

      How can you say “Ron PAul, although a Kaffir……”. KAffirs are 2/3 of this world; they arre discovering scientific and medical advancements that “believers” can use ..

      We better learn to coexist..

      By the way you, i, and many others have migrated from PAkistan to US which is a kaffir land..

      You should rethink man

      • Suhail

        October 21, 2009 at 9:31 AM

        You should learn istam before you lecture any other person. Yes he is a Kaffir and any muslim knows that Ron Paul is a Kaffir.

        And who told about not coexisting? I mean are you crazy or something. Anyways you already have told us what your views are and i am sorry they are far away from Islam because Secularism has no place in Islam.

  7. Hudhaifa

    October 20, 2009 at 3:23 AM

    Bleh

  8. Amad

    October 20, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    Can you believe the audacity, cowardice and shameless lowliness of these terrorists to attack female students of an Islamic university?? What kind of motivation drives these losers?

    Blasts rock International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan; female cafeteria targeted

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 20, 2009 at 2:53 PM

      That’s precisely why I’m not against the army at this time as Imran Khan is.

      As I said before, under the current circumstances of violence and terrorism against civilians, Muslims in Pakistan need the army. The last thing we need at this time is Imran Khan’s counterproductive lecture that undermines the efforts of the army against the militants. Though the army is not angelic, no doubt, they must be supported at this time in their battle against bloodthirsty zealots who have no value for life or for Islam.

      It’s not time for carrots anymore. Now these ego-maniacs need a nice, hard thrashing by the military. Hats off to them!

      Salaam,
      Mohammed.

      • Suhail

        October 20, 2009 at 6:04 PM

        Well yes that attack was really a cowardly attempt at students and civilians. But i would not root for Pakistani army anyways.

        The same army that you are rooting for killed thousands of Women and children in Bangladesh and still have not been taken to task for that genocide.

        Same when they killed tons of female students in Lal Masjid with helicopter gunships.

        Brother you take one side but totally neglect the other side. Both the sides are guilty of violating the shariah and thus nobody is a angel. You portrayal of Pakistani army who is good is a misnomer with more nationalistic tune then justice.

        • Mohammed Khan

          October 20, 2009 at 9:47 PM

          Suhail,

          I said we should support the army at this time. This doesn’t mean I support the army’s past actions and atrocities. I say support in the context of what’s happening now. The army is not angelic, as I made clear in my earlier post. But weighing the costs and benefits, it is sensible to support the army to save the country from something worse.

          If you don’t support the army at this time, then what I would like to know from you is:
          What solution(s) do you propose?

          Salaam,
          Mohammed.

          • Suhail

            October 21, 2009 at 9:37 AM

            The only solution that is there is to be sincere to Allah and fear him. Talk to your muslim brethren with whom you are fighting with love for them as they are your brother and sister. Have love for shariah and work on implementing it.

            I guess Pakistani army have more love for Americans than love for there own muslim brethren whom they kill with impunity.

          • Mohammed Khan

            October 21, 2009 at 3:36 PM

            Suhail,

            Talk to your brothers/sisters (read: extremist Taliban) who are slitting the throats of innocent Muslims, hanging and dragging their bodies for exhibition, stopping girls from going to school, blowing up government buildings, violating agreements, murdering tribal elders who don’t agree with them, doing haraam suicide attacks, destroying stores, kidnapping foreigners, bombing shrines, etc.?

            Think again, brother. They need to fear Allah, especially since they speak in Islam’s name. They’ve made a mockery of our Religion and it’s utterly disgusting. If these Taliban were subject to genuine Islamic Law themselves, they wouldn’t survive for a second.

            I love Shari’ah but not the kind the Taliban want to implement. Theirs is a pure lust for power in the guise of Islam. Don’t be fooled.

            Mohammed.

  9. SA

    October 20, 2009 at 2:56 PM

    SubhanAllah these deadly bombings are a weekly occurance now

    Out of all places they people bombed the International Islamic University!

    The dept of Sharia building and women’s caferia were targeted in particular. These actions prove that they are not for Islam or Shariah as is claimed. Either they are khawarij or they are acting for the sake of foriegn interests, or both.

    It’s a vicious cycle. First the bombings happen, then the pakistan army retaliates at the behest of the Obama administration, killing mostly civilians and forcing milions into homelessness as happened earlier this year.

    Who is benefiting here? This is the question worth pondering by those who support the actions of the Pakistan army.

    It’s not black in white. We don’t have only two choices: support the actions of the army or support the “taliban.” Imran Khan is correct in that aspect.

    What if the Taliban and Army are being played against one another? What if both have the same hand behind them?

    It is very difficult to tell who is who, but it is more than likely that many of these groups are in fact agents for the U.S. interest in the region. More on that: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14191

    Obama has recently signed a bill for $7.5 Billion in “non-military” aid to pakistan. ‘Non-Military Aid” is codeword for bribe. The fat cats in charge can split it up amongst themselves in return for sending the nation off to war with itself while they get to sit in the lap of luxury and give orders rather than any substantial public works. This is exactly how are our corrupt, despotic leaders of Muslim states stay in power.

  10. Mohammed Khan

    October 20, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    Salaam SA,

    Let’s not get completely conspiratorial about this, lest it renders us completely impotent at a time when active efforts are necessary for the greater good.

    Do you suggest that because we don’t know for certain what’s happening, that we should let the Taliban and army just fight it out without supporting either side? This is not a ‘solution’ to the problem, even if you are right about the facts. I have no doubt that you are right about the facts, to be clear.

    We, as humans, must always make decisions in life in spite of the thousands of real and imagined uncertainties that exist. It is still important for Muslims to make crucial and timely decisions about the Pakistan conflict. To me, what I know is sufficient to conclude that the region is better off without militants. They have caused enough trouble and now they need to be dealt with. The only short-term solution I see now in vew of the quickly unfolding events is brute force that only the power of an army can deliver.

    Even though the army is not angelic, and even if there are deeper interests involved, it would be ludicrous in my view not to support the army at this time. Militants aren’t good for anyone — not for Pakistan or for Islam. I am no fan of the army, but under the current circumstances it is the right time to give them full support.

    And if you choose not to support the Taliban or the army at this time due to high uncertainty of what’s really happening, then what solution or actions do you propose to address the situation? If the army can’t do it, who can?

    Salaam,
    Mohammed.

  11. shoeb K

    October 20, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    Mohd Khan says Imran is not a politician. Is theer a “preset” description? Anybody can be a leader – a doctor, lawyer, engineer, career politician… High time we have somebody from outside..

    Zia and Bhuttos have screwed up our country. Personally, with all his flaws, Zardari at least says the right thing. Question is whether he can execute.

    Army has also screwed us. They were in self preservation mode with the false alarms about India. While our army was giving false alarm and absorbing all of our money and some more, India was progressing to a modern nation. Our army is singularly responsible for our downfall.

    The big issue is how we will get out of this spiral, how we will develop institutions, how we will keep army at arms length, how we will learn from other countries’ success. Or , are we destined to be a failed/failing state?

    BTW Amad mentioned Imran prays five times. I hope that is not a prerequisite; neither that makes a person good. All these bombers, and Zia Al Huq prayed five times! Let us get away from the doctrinal to what makes a good person.

    • Suhail

      October 21, 2009 at 9:42 AM

      Yeah praying 5 times does not make a person good but it is a required tenet in Islam. So it makes a much more difference. A person may be lacking in his prayers for being lazy etc. but it does not absolve him from his responsibility.to pray so he should get back to it as soon as he can.

      A person who says that it is not important to pray 5 times or does not do it then there is ijma that such a person is an apostate and have left Islam.

      • Shoeb K

        October 21, 2009 at 12:19 PM

        Zia Al Huq and these terrorists who blew the IslamicUniversity prayed five times a day. Purity of mind is important; nopt how many times a person prays. In fact, the literal intterpretation is causing all this mayhem; where groups like you who insist on “praying five times” and others who take a personal approach, but follow the essential tenets of Islam.

        We have to get out of this “believer” “non believer”/ dar-al-islam/dar-al-harb notions .. these are all creating confusion among the illiterate mulla tarined wing ..

        Why do you live in a Kaffr country if you have so m uch fervor for 5 prayers and dislike for Kaffrs?

        • Suhail

          October 21, 2009 at 1:53 PM

          First of all you do not make any sense whatsoever. All your rants are basically rants from the likes of Irshad Manji and others. It reminds me more of apostates then muslims who are against extremism.

          Did you know the people who blew up the university? How do you know they prayed 5 times a day? Even if they prayed 5 times a day does that mean that they are immune to mistakes and other sins. Praying 5 times a day is mandatory for a muslim. It is as simple as that. Whether you like it or not there are 5 main pillars of Islam and if you do observe them that “MUSLIM” is just a label nothing more.

          Regarding your idiotic notion about literal meaning etc. why don’t just leave Islam and be done with it. Because that is what your arguments are totally unislamic.

          By the way who is stopping you from praying 5 times in America or for that matter any other country. Oh wait i know what it is. It is your diseased heart that is stopping you from doing it.

          Regarding Believer and Unbeliever notion then you should just stop reading the Quran because it is filled with these notions.

          I do not understand you guys at all. You call yourself muslims but are totally against everything that Islam says.

          When you abhor all these things like praying 5 times, keeping fast, Tawheed, muslim/nonmuslim, paying zakah then why do you call yourself muslim. Just get rid of that label if that is such a burden on you.

          Have some shame and if you an iota of iman in your heart than fear Allah before you spout this nonsense.

          • Suhail

            October 21, 2009 at 2:05 PM

            And by the way who said that we dislike all the kuffar and do not want to coexist. We dislike there acts of disbelieving and we hate what they associate with Allah. It does not mean that we do not applaud them for justice and call them towards good. We cooperate with them in all that is good and stay away from them in bad.

            So according to you if we write against a government policy and there opression then it is like we hate everyone living in US and west. I mean what are you on drugs or something. May be all these sites are also muslims who criticize there governments.

            http://www.antiwar.com
            http://www.counterpunch.com

          • muhammad ngr

            December 16, 2009 at 8:17 AM

            Suhail,
            Were you expecting to meet people who have been freed from taqleed towards kuffar’s and their agents’ media,or would at least keep quiet rather than openly calling for the kuffar assaults against fellow muslim?!Regretably,you’ve come to the wrong shop!

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 21, 2009 at 10:59 AM

      Shoeb K,

      Excellent points. We certainly need a politician from the ‘outside’. However, Imran Khan’s not the man, in my opinion.

      The army has ‘screwed’ us the most, I fully agree. But I also believe we’ll get screwed more at this time if we don’t support the army against the militants. My advocating this position should not be misconstrued by readers as a full endorsement of the army and whatever it has done since 1947. This would an incorrect understanding of my position. The army as a whole is clearly to blame for much of Pakistan’s misery. But we must weigh the costs and benefits of the current situation and support the “lesser of two evils”. As much as I despise the army, they need our support at this time.

      Very true that good principles are insufficient to become a good politician. Zia ul-Haq prayed a lot but his policies have made Pakistanis suffer the most. The effects of his policies still continue.

      I advocate army intervention at this time as a short-term solution to what’s happening now. Of course there are medium- and long-term solutions as well that are, in the long run, more important. This includes economic development, upholding the rule of law, promoting Muslim moderation, keeping the army under control, formulating a pragmatic regional strategy involving Afghanistan, Iran, and India, etc.

      Mohammed.

      • Shoeb K

        October 21, 2009 at 4:52 PM

        Bro Khan

        Thanks.

        I agree that right now Army is the only one who can bring some semblence to the situation and stop the spread of this cancer.

        However, now since Punjabis are also involved in terrorism, I am not sure how “pure” the army is. An attack on the ehadquarters could not have been done without somebody inside corraborating and collaborating.
        Ia gree with you on Imran also. The refershing thing about him is that he is not a “typical” politician. As you know, whoever the political leader may be, the issue is how much of freedom he will have to act especially to control the army.

        I really believe we have to do the following:

        – Cut doiwn the 40,000 madrasa to 10,000 or so; convert the other ones into modern schools
        – Relook at constitution into controversial laws such as the blasphemy mess Zia Al hiuq did
        – Look into our school text books and remove all anti-India teachings…It just does not have a role. Indian Social Studies text books do not have any negative on Pakistan; in fact the only reference is that India was partitioned..
        – Develop solid institutions that outlasts any administration
        – Put army under civilian control (I wonder why theer is fury about the Kerry-Lugar bill.. All democratic countries have army under civilians. In fact in India, promotions beyond the level of Brigadier is decided by civilians. and that has not hurt them in wars
        – Take out land, factories etc away from army and into sepaarte government organization or privatize
        – Study Malaysia, India, Singapore, Brazil and take and adapt appropriate things thatw ill help us. Nothing wrong in copying good things. For example, India has built world-class institutes like IIT, IIM. We can also create, both of us ahve the same stock.
        – We cannot be singularly focused on KAshmir; it should be one of the things (or even none); our focus should be on our development, education, economy
        – I can just go on. One thing for sure, we just canot be business as usual after this eradication process. My fear is that army will become the “favorite” again and we will gp through the same depressing cycles.,

        • Mohammed Khan

          October 24, 2009 at 12:42 PM

          Salaam Shoeb,

          Your list of solutions above is very thought provoking. If it’s not too much, can you please extend this list? I’ve been pondering over the list for some time now.

          I know you mentioned other interesting and related aspects in your posts, all of which are important in one way or another, including:

          Democracy: Polls say most Pakistanis support democracy. Perhaps a separate discussion on “Islam and democracy” would be interesting. I recommend a book titled “After Jihad”, by Noah Feldman. He discusses the various forms of democracy in Muslim countries.

          Islam and science: Why haven’t Arab and Muslim countries overall prospered scientifically? Has MM posted an article on this subject yet? It’s extremely important. Interesting articles on the subject:

          -“Why Didn’t the Scientific Revolution Happen in Islam?”, by Pervez Hoodhboy: http://www.chowk.com/articles/4091

          -“Economic Development and the Muslim World”, by Jeffrey Sachs, etc.
          http://ifptest.law.harvard.edu/ifphtml/pdfs/Seminar_FT.pdf

          Ijtihad: The closure of the gates of (absolute) ijtihad is blamed for many of the current weaknesses and disadvantages of Muslim society. The important question and debate is: Has the closure of absolute ijtihad (and taqleed) led to a weakened Islamic society in terms of Islam and scientific progress? The answer is not clear-cut and I highly recommend MM to post an article on this subject for discussion. I don’t think the closure of absolute ijtihad should’ve hampered scientific progress. Various forms of (non-absolute) ijtihad are still ongoing. The roots of the problem perhaps lie elsewhere.

          Pakistani attitudes toward the current crisis: It is important to know what most Pakistanis think about the conflict because solutions, whether short-, medium-, or long-term, can only be successful by including the concerns and views of Pakistanis. A lot of times it easy to forget this and to propose self-thought solutions.

          An interesting and recent poll released by the Pew Institute on August 2009 is revealing and worth the read:
          http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/265.pdf

          An Oct 2009 Report on Muslims by Pew is also interesting:
          http://pewforum.org/newassets/images/reports/Muslimpopulation/Muslimpopulation.pdf

          Mohammed.

        • masmanz

          November 21, 2009 at 5:17 PM

          If it was so easy as making a list, here is mine:

          1. Make a madrassa in every village so the people will get educated about Islam and not fall to extremist ideologies be it from the East or from the West.
          2. Strengthen the Blasphemy laws to cover all religions and make it a part of International Human Rights.
          3. Re-write text book to make pupil understand the reasons for which Pakistan was created. Add more material on moral and ethics of Islam and that of the other religions too.
          4. Rebuild the Civil Service of Pakistan.
          5. Make sure the politicians have no way to interfere with the promotions in the Army, the Civil Service, or the Judiciary. The government should only be able to appoint Ministers.
          6. There was a time that people from Korea used to come to see how Pakistan was growing at a very fast rate. All we need to do is to learn from our own past — but I am not against learning from others.
          7. We should certainly improve our higher education and should not be too stingy in praising the great work HEC has done so far.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 21, 2009 at 2:09 PM

      Salaam Shoeb K,

      You said:

      “Mohd Khan says Imran is not a politician. Is theer a “preset” description? Anybody can be a leader – a doctor, lawyer, engineer, career politician… High time we have somebody from outside..”

      I never said Imran Khan is not a politician. He certainly is one and that’s why he has his own political party. What I said was: He, in my view, would not make a good leader for Pakistan. I base this conclusion on his analysis and position on politicial issues — especially his perspectives on the current conflict. In spite of his best intentions, I think he’s wide off the mark.

      Salaam,
      Mohammed.

  12. Mohammed Khan

    October 20, 2009 at 10:02 PM

    Fresh,

    1/ Regardless of how sinful Pakistani politicians are, and even if they support democracy (which they in reality don’t) they are still Muslim and allow Muslims to practice their faith, pray, fast, pay zakat, and do Hajj. Because the army is supporting the current Pakistani government doesn’t translate into them supporting kufr unless the government has expressed kufr clearly without any shadow of a doubt. They haven’t, to my knowledge.

    2/ You are wrong in your statement that the Taliban has not claimed responsibility for the university attacks, Read the article entitled, “Taliban Claims Attacks on Islamic University”, available:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/10/21/2719633.htm

    Regarding your statement that the attack was probably a ‘false flag operation’ to justify the South Waziristan operation… well, this is purely a figment of your imagination without any iota of concrete evidence whatsoever. Therefore, it is rejected.

    Mohammed.

    • Ahmad AlFarsi

      October 21, 2009 at 7:45 AM

      Not that I am in agreement with what Fresh posted, but just wanted to point out, in response to your point #1, that if an individual believes that it is permissible to govern by other than the shari’ah, he has committed major kufr that removes him/her from the fold of Islam. This is agreed upon unanimously by the scholars of Islam.

      Many scholars, such as Sh. al Uthaymin, have gone further to say that if an individual continuously practices the implementation of secular laws, without showing any intention or desire to implement the shari’ah, then he has expressed his belief of permissibility in practice (istihlaal ‘amaliyya), and that this would therefore also constitute major kufr. (Other scholars did not go this far.)

      Either way, without pointing out any specific individuals within any government (as that can be left to our esteemed ulama to do, when necessary), we can certainly say that, unfortunately, most of our ‘Muslim’ governments have wholeheartedly embraced secularism and have no care for the shari’ah whatsoever. wa Allahu al-Musta’an.

      • Mohammed Khan

        October 21, 2009 at 11:21 AM

        Salaam Ahmad alFarsi,

        Thanks for the interesting thoughts.

        The general consensus among scholars of all four Sunni schools of jurisprudence is that if a ruler claims to be Muslim and allows Muslims to fulfill basic Islamic obligations, then he must be obeyed, even if he doesn’t rule by Islamic Law, and even if he shows himself to be a sinful person. Rebellion against such a ruler is impermissible because, among other reasons, the harm outweighs the benefit to Muslims in such actions.

        Moreover, labeling any person or government as “kufr” is a conclusion that requires crystal clear evidence and full certainty. If a ruler’s actions and way of ruling can be interpreted to reach a conclusion other than kufr, then this is what one should accept.

        Being quick to label a government as one of kufr is not representative of what most scholars in Islam’s history understood. It is a new interpretation reflective of many anti-colonial Muslim movements in the 20th century who have discarded their Sunni traditions wholesale.

        And Allah Knows Best.

        Mohammed.

        • Suhail

          October 21, 2009 at 4:08 PM

          Really and you have evidence to back that up. Please post us some classical Ulema about this.

          • Mehdi Sheikh

            October 23, 2009 at 10:44 AM

            Br. Mohammed is right.

            The Qur’aan makes three consequetive statements about a person who does not rule accorting to Islaam, once calling the person a faasiq, a zaalim and a kaafir. What defines a person is to the extend of his rejection of Islaam and his intent. If he rules by other than Allaah because of some worldly desire knowing that his is sinning then he is a sinner and not a kaafir, but if he rules thinking that the other system is better or equal to Islaam or that Islaam is not worth following then he delves into Kufr.

            There are extensive discussions on the issue by scholars of our time and the Salaf-us-saalih as well.

            One example would be Imaam Ahmad, who fought against the mu’tazili beleif that the Qur’aan was created and not the speech of Allaah. He also stated that this is a belief is Major Kufr, but he was persecuted by two khalifs because of this and not once did he declare tehm as kaafir nor did he call for rebellion.

            Islaam required obedience to the ruler as long as what h orders us to do is not a sin and rebellion against a Muslim ruler is forbdden as well.

    • Suhail

      October 21, 2009 at 11:03 AM

      Here Pakistani Taliban is denying the responsibility of attack.

      http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/10/20091020145059671777.html

      Now don’t tell me that Al Jazeera is also bought by Taliban.

      • Mohammed Khan

        October 21, 2009 at 11:37 AM

        Thanks Suhail,

        I am also reading conflicting reports of whether the Taliban accepted responsibility or not. Even if they didn’t do those attacks, it is probable that some other militants did. Pakistan has unfortunately never been short of its militant variety.

        Whoever did, it was a tragedy that deserves full condemnation. And this, of course, doesn’t change my opinion that we should support the army at this time against Hakeemullah Mehsud, Waliur Reham, Qari Hussein, and others Pakistani Taliban thugs of this variety. Their damage to Islam and killing of civilians has already been made clear.

        Mohammed.

  13. Mohammed Khan

    October 20, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Amad, I had responded to SA and Fresh. Please put up those posts and don’t delete them. This is an interesting discussion. Thanks.

    Mohammed.

    -Pls note that “Amad” is not the sole moderator on MM, only one of many. There are several occasions that comments just end up in spam and have to be fished out. Just because a writer has a disagreement with a commentator does not imply a specific comment witch-hunt. -Editor

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 21, 2009 at 2:33 PM

      Thanks for the clarification. The “witch-hunt” has happened before. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t happening again. (smile)

      Mohammed.

      • Qas

        October 21, 2009 at 5:27 PM

        Ohhhh nooooes…my comments b not showing up…they is hating on me (kermit flail)

  14. SA

    October 21, 2009 at 12:47 AM

    the term “taliban” is used very loosely because there is not one taliban, there are many different groups referred to as taliban. some of them may be sincere in the cause of islam, other groups of them are merely opportunists. it is these opportunists that are wreaking havoc. especially in swat valley where they harass and oppress the locals. they kidnap children and kill at will. these are the baitullah mehsuds, armed and trained by US intelligence.

    the point i am making is that the foreign powers, especially the united states are behind the scenes of many of these so called “taliban” groups.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 21, 2009 at 2:28 PM

      Salaam SA,

      True, there are many ‘Taliban’. The ones I oppose are the Taliban who pretend to care about Islam, when, in actuality, they only care about their egos and power. They use Islam as a mask for their unIslamic actions and they should be stopped.

      But how can you confirm that Baitullah Mehsud was trained by US intelligence? I thought US intelligence (read: drones) was responsible for his death.

      I also don’t understand how the US would gain from supporting these militants at this time. The Cold War was a different time and they needed to be supported and armed to fight the Soviets. But supporting them now would lead to more instability in Pakistan (a nuclear power) and neighboring Afghanistan (where US/NATO troops are currently based) — both against US interests, as I understand.

      Mohammed.

  15. pepper

    October 21, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    @ SA:
    I agree wholeheartedly. you have spoken exactly what has been going through my heart this entire time. i just wasn’t able to put it into words… I pray that Allah az-zawajjal makes it clear for us what is occuring. Ameen.

  16. Abdul

    October 21, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    Salaams Mohammed Khan,

    I’d like to commend you for your ability to convey your opinions consistently and diligently using hikmah i.e putting things into context.

    I’ve found that alot of commentators state opinions about issues that affect millions of people based upon concepts and viewpoints without appreciating real consequence and actualities. It’s easy to be an armchair critic and play ball from the sidelines but when it comes to governing a nation of 170 million people it takes more than just principles, it takes wisdom, foresight, good judgement and a sense of reality. Many of these same armchair critics are the direct beneficiaries of the tough decisions that others have to make in Government. Most often these critics don’t have pragmatic alternatives that would enhance let alone sustain the general publics lives whether it be economically, militarily, culturally, politically, legally, financially, socially, federally, agriculturally etc. Are we saying that virtually all the leaders of the almost 60 muslim countries are committing Kufr? Okay for arguments sake they’re all committing Kufr/are kafirs (in the critics opinions),so now where do we go fom there?

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 21, 2009 at 10:52 PM

      Walaykum-salaam brother Abdul,

      JazakAllahu-khayr for your nice words and thoughts.

      Exactly. Reality is far more complex than meets the eye. Making decisions based on generalities and little information is convenient but insufficient to correctly portray the multifarious dimensions a politician lives through.

      Though politicial leaders in Muslim countries today are not angels, fact is that they are in the driver’s seat. They know the details much better than we do, and in spite of their greed and sinful behavior, I believe the collective benefit to society far exceeds the harm from their rule. Political philosophers dissected these issues painstakingly. Tyranny is bad but anarchy is worse, or, explaining it in the Hobbesian way, the anarchy of a human is worse than the anarchy of the State.

      This didn’t escape the minds of our eminent `ulema . Using Qur’an, Hadeeth, ijtihad, and experience, they were aware of the detailed intricacies of what it meant to rule and the baneful effects of rebellion. Did Imam Abu Hanifah encourage rebellion against tyrants? No. When Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal was being tortured in Iraq by the Caliph of his time, did he tell Imam Shafi’i to organize a rebellion against the ruler? No. He told Imam Shafi’i to go to Egypt instead. Imam Ahmed was patient when he was being tested.

      Hadeeth clearly say not to oust a ruler unless he commits apparent blasphemy. That’s why we must be very careful of such accusations against rulers. Imam Nawawi said we must not object to rulers “except if you witness from them firm abominable matters that you have learned about in the rules of Islam.” He then says, “If you see that, detest it and utter the truth wherever you are. However, walking out on them and fighting them is forbidden by the consensus of the Muslims even if they are sinful and unjust.” This is exactly the consensus I was refering to earlier that Suhail was inquiring about.

      Let’s face it: No ruler will be like the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Umar the Second, or the coming Mehdi. They will have faults and we shouldn’t exaggerate and be overly critical with them. Instead of glaring at their faults, we should glare at the benefits we receive from them too. They should be given the benefit of the doubt whenever it’s possible. If their words and actions can be interpreted that way, then that is what should be done.

      Some Muslims are quick to find faults in tyrants. Some even attempt to remove them — but without a sensible, viable understanding of what the replacement State would be like. Emotions take precedence over pragmatic thinking. As you correctly said, they think little or nothing of the consequences of actions they are eager to carry through.The result: more suffering for the Muslim masses. How unfortunate.

      If the Taliban is bad, the army is bad, and the politicians are bad — then what do we do? Stay within the realms of ’emotion’ and not dare go into ‘practical’ realms of the matter? Emotions are fine but I’m more interested in the solutions.

      Mohammed.

  17. SA

    October 22, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    Br. Khan

    You are quick to criticize “Taliban” for their crimes but are so defensive of the so called Muslim leaders (many of whome are placed there for us, such as Zardari) for their crimes, to the extent that you say that they are in fact “good for society.”

    Br. AlFarsi has a good point that that “if an individual believes that it is permissible to govern by other than the shari’ah, he has committed major kufr that removes him/her from the fold of Islam. This is agreed upon unanimously by the scholars of Islam.”

    In fact, the crimes of the Muslim leaders are far far worse than anything the Taliban can possibly do.

    You general defense of Muslim leaders has no appeal. The solution IS to work on removing these leaders, replacing them with new leaders and to engage in education and building society on the basis of Quran and Sunnah.

    Supporting army operation is NOT the solution. They have only killed and maimed thousands and displaced millions.

    Regarding my earlier posts, I am not just touting conspiracy theories without any basis. I have immediate family members who are engaged in relief efforts for the 3.5 million or so refugees. They have conversed with the refugees and witnessed van loads full of refugees blown up by the army. The refugees are against “Taliban” but are equally bitter with the Pakistan army. In fact the refugees themselves say that sometimes its very obvious that the army and “taliban” are cooperating. An example of this cooperation is that the Taliban will enter a heavily civilian populated area, then flag the army. The taliban will then retreat and the army will come bomb the civilian areas. Yes I I know this sounds too horrible to be true, but its from the mouths of the refugees.

    • Shoeb K

      October 22, 2009 at 9:21 PM

      SA

      I believe what is ahppening in refugee settlements. I also have heard.

      however, i do not understand why you will advoocate a Quranic/Sunnah absed rule. First, if you strongly believe in that, how can you reconcile your ‘good” life in US/? Why cannot we have a democratic system like US?

      Second, dont you think the present problems are ebcause Zia-al-Huq went too much into the Quranic direction?

      Third, if we are so “Quranic”, how come we massacred milliuons of brothers in 1971 in East Pakistan?

      I agree we need a new government and new system. But personally I would like a US sytem or Turkish system.

      • Mehdi Sheikh

        October 23, 2009 at 10:57 AM

        @Shoeb

        Your consistent hatred of Islaam is surprising considering that this is a pro-Muslim website. Especially how your arguments are more inline with anti-islamic preachers like Tarek Fattah and Irshad Manji, and Salman Rushdi.

        You are equating “disobedience, mususe and misrepresentation” of Islaam as Islaam itself. Otherwise I don’t think any sane person would think that the Pakistani Genocide in Bangladesh was supported by Islaam.

        And you would support a Turkish system which makes absolutely no qualms about oppressing and marginalizing people who actually practice Islaam.

        I mean while all of us here are against extremism and terrorism, you are just plain against the proper practice of Islaam and want to relegate it to a convenient label and not much else.

        • Shoeb K

          October 23, 2009 at 1:16 PM

          @ Mehdi

          No, I am not against Islam. However, I am against religiosity; I am against peoplel wearing it on their sleeves with hatred for everybody, and destroying everything. I am a practising Muslim.
          Turkey does not ban anything. I have been to Istanbul. They do not suppress or marginalize. They have clearly segregated the religious involvement in government, which I think is dfarn good. Tell me one Islamic cvountry that has done well by comingling religion and government. Pakistan went down the hill with Zia mixing both.

          And I do have problem with people liek yoou who enjoy the freedoms of open society like US, while you do not want our bretheren back home to particpate in a system like that. You want them to remain downtrodden. Why dont you go back to the homeland and be a part of a system like that.. Or create the system you believ is good.

          • Mehdi Sheikh

            October 23, 2009 at 3:01 PM

            @shoeb

            There is a big difference between saying that one is against having an islamic government and saying that one does not want a government run in a system purported to be Islamic but is not so. By giving the example of Zia you are again muddling the difference between a Shariah based society and corrupt people who just USE the deen for their own worldly goals.

            Most of the people on these forums are probably living in the west, and everyone has their singular reasons for doing so, most of them being worldly reason, as are mine, but that does not mean that if life in Muslim countries were reasonably secure and safe that we would not do so.

            perhaps with that last sentence you would say, “gotcha, so secular societies are better”, but no. I do not know any problem that exists in Muslim societies that would not be eliminated by the PROPER establishment of shariah rules. There would be no corruption, no bribery. Women would not be using sex as a tool to get ahead in life and their honor and rights will be protected. Family and societies would be stable.

            The problem is not Islaam or the shariah, but Muslims themselves. Our penchant for the worldly life often causes us to justify the wrong to ourselves and others. You seems to have a very rosy opinion of these western societies who have only managed to rise on the exploitation of the poorer classes (hey, just like in pakistan!), I am sure that if you concentrated on the evil aspects of a secular society as much as you have concentrated on finding the faults of known corrupt Muslim societies, you would find that the white emperor wears no clothes either.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 23, 2009 at 5:39 PM

      Salaam SA,

      Sorry for my delayed response. Lots going on. My response to your response below:

      You’ve misunderstood me. I’ve explained this before but I’ll do it again for clarification purposes. The Taliban (the looney type) are bad. The army is bad. The politicians are bad. Next: where do we go from here? Do we sit and do nothing about it because everyone’s bad? Personally, I think that would be counterproductive. In such a situation, as it has serious consequences for all involved — including good people and millions of Muslims — we should take a position on the matter.

      But what position can we take knowing that all the major players are bad?

      We can support the looney Taliban but I would never do that. Why? Because they are thugs using Islam to promote their power and control on others. To me, the Taliban do not represent Islam for even one second. If they get more powerful, they will continue to destroy all forms of Islam that don’t agree with theirs. Their Islam contradicts Barelwi Islam that most Pakistanis follow or at least admire. The Taliban’s takeover of a place like Pakistan will therefore result in one-hundred times more bloodshed and misery for Muslims in Pakistan. I don’t believe a sensible Muslim should support the Taliban at all for these reasons. It is a poor religious and political choice. They are not good for religion or for politics.

      And this is where you and I differ. You have mostly an either-or approach to these matters that I highly discourage, dear brother. It is especially not the wiser approach at this time as I believe benefits that result from this approach will be very limited and outweighed by the harm.

      Sometimes the situation calls for a more pragmatic position that requires defending the ‘lesser of two evils’ to achieve a greater outcome for the maximum number of Muslims. This is my approach. Defending and supporting the lesser of two evils (army/politicians) doesn’t mean that I generally support them on a daily basis or that I support their past atrocities. I don’t believe they are the be-all for a “better society” as you claim. They are the ones who created the militants in the first place to do their dirty politics, and are primarily responsible for much of Pakistan’s misery. Now they’re just trying to clean up some of their mess – finally.

      While I support the army/politicians against militants, and while I tolerate the army/politicians, I don’t endorse their corruption either. While I don’t endorse their corruption, I am tolerant of their rule under the prevailing circumstances until a more favorable situation emerges. In other words, we must also find ways to have the right army and politicians in power and work on creating the conditions to achieve such an outcome. Now, to change the government and army requires a whole separate discussion. Needless to say, I wouldn’t ever support a revolution against them or use other quick-fix methods that are not only unIslamic but are also bound to fail, as has been apparent in places like Egypt. The way to change government, I believe, is a gradual process that requires patience, prayer, and pragmatism. It will take lots of time and perseverence and can’t be done overnight, as many Muslims wish.

      And having good rulers and working towards getting them in power is only part of the problem. Let’s not forget the other crucial element: society itself — which is, like the people of power, also immersed in corruption and unIslamic activities today. Muslims have debated this before. Will a better Islamic society be achieved from top-down (having a good Islamic government that purifies society), or from the bottom-up (purifying society first to pave the way for a good Islamic government).

      Matters are not so easy even if they appear to be. They are complex and require the weighing of costs and benefits as well as an analysis of the resulting consequences of decisions that will, on the whole, either make most Muslims better off, or make most Muslims worse off. Yes, there are all kinds of uncertainties in these matters, secret alliances, political propaganda and manouvers, etc. But uncertainties are a part and parcel of life and an inherent part of our human nature. This shouldn’t stop us from acting on a situation to achieve the maximum benefit for Muslims. Uncertainties have never stopped us from planning and making decisions in our lives. Reacting to a conflict like this shouldn’t be any different.

      You said: “Br. AlFarsi has a good point that that “if an individual believes that it is permissible to govern by other than the shari’ah, he has committed major kufr that removes him/her from the fold of Islam. This is agreed upon unanimously by the scholars of Islam.”

      Incorrect. You and brother AlFarsi have a non-traditional understanding of the matter from an orthodox Sunni standpoint. Scholars from the 4 Sunni schools of jurisprudence don’t support it. Please read Imam Nawawi’s quote in a previous post to brother Abdul to know what the consensus has agreed on in these matters. The understanding you support is a 20th century reactive understanding of quick-fix Muslims. Instead of learning from the wisdom of Sunni tradition, they have blamed Sunni tradition for the current Muslim predicament. They have devised unworkable, quick-fix approaches to achieve a ‘better’ society with heterodox understandings of rule of law, rebellion, and jihad. Their approach has only led to more misery for Muslims, in spite of their best intentions. It is best that we refrain from such unorthodox understandings and refer to “those who know”, i.e. what the majority of `ulema in Islam’s history have said about the matter. Bartering traditional understandings for modernist ones is not the wise way to go.

      You say that “Supporting army operation is NOT the solution.”

      Assuming I agree with you (though I don’t). What do you propose is the solution in this dire and current time? More education, awareness, Islamic moderation and immersion are all long term solutions that are very important. But can they resolve what’s happening now in Pakistan in view of the militancy, bombings, etc.? I don’t think so.

      Lastly, I was saying not to be overly conspiratorial to the extent that it renders us inactive and prevents us from gaining the greater good. Granted, there are uncertainties and I fully agree with you. But this approach of yours has still not enabled you to propose an alternative, viable solution to the conflict. What do you propose?

      Salaam,
      Mohammed.

      • Shoeb K

        October 24, 2009 at 9:08 AM

        Bro Md Khan

        Why do you say changing govt/army etc through democratic process will take long time and prayers? Even if it takes time, should nt we already plan and work for it?

        Our brothers and sisters in India have been doing it for 60 plus years; governments change or stay like clockwork every five years. One never hears about tehir army or army chief. They seem not to have a problem with an Italian born Christian lady as the most powerful person in the country. Neither a Sikh like MM Singh as the PM. Neither a Christian like Antony as the Defence Minister. It looks like tehey look at the vision and goals of political parties and decide whom to vote for. Their last elections showed that people want a strong national party that is focused on development.

        We are from the same stock although separated due to a historical accident/mistakes/ selfishness whatever. I believe we can create a vibrant democracy if we set our minds to that and work towards. We just acnnot have an army government any more; my fear is that any army govt will be worse than Zia Al Huq’s; more “religious” without believing in the percepts of the religion, more prone to bring additional Blasphemy type laws.

        • Mohammed Khan

          October 24, 2009 at 11:00 PM

          Salaam Shoeb,

          I didn’t specify that it was democracy that would be part of the process. But if it is, then which type of democracy? Surely a democracy that conforms to the Islamic aspirations of the Pakistan public. Which country has an “Islamic democracy” that Pakistan can emulate and be successful in achieving while keeping in mind the unique aspects of Pakistan that differ from existing “Islamic democracies”?

          Yes, most Pakistanis already support democracy according to polls. But I think it would take time to agree on the form it takes, and, of course, a way to overcome the powerful elite who have more to lose than gain in any form of democracy.

          Moreover, democracy is not only about what the majority wants, but also about the rule-of-law, viable and functioning judiciaries, other constitutional protections, dealing with the “tyranny of the majority” against minorities, free press, and free speech. And how about the ‘moral’ fabric of society, pork barrel politics, a fair system of taxation, and security? All of this, I believe, will take time.

          Other questions to ponder: Can the shackles of a feudalistic society transform into a viable democracy? Can democracy work in a place like Pakistan or is another system of government better?

          Salaam,
          Mohammed.

          • Shoeb K

            October 25, 2009 at 5:37 AM

            Brother Khan

            You do bring up items that should be discussed and participated by other bros.

            If not democracy, what else? What will be a fair system taking into account of the aspirations of all?

            You are right that no Islamic country has functioning democracy; Turkey has, but then you know..

            In the same token, no Islamic country is doing well on any metrics,. So, may be democracy is the ebst answer to bring up human talent , to thrive, to innovate??

            We have a lab to compare –two countries, same people, same start –why did one do reasonably well, built institutions, reasonably content people, people vested in the process etc , while the other just go on into deep spiral. Is it ebcause one has democracy and the other one is floundering into various “systems”..

            One thing, army is not the solution. Or is it a deecntarlized system where the country is divided into xx territories (more states than whatw e have) and select a leader from among the territorry leaders??

            I will like to hear your suggestions. Including how we can distribute land.. Our neighbor has done it without any bloodshed through rule of law.

  18. Shoeb K

    October 23, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    @Mehdi

    Thanks Mehdi.

    Sharia, while a romantic and ideal concept, may just be that. There are 57 OIC countries; if they cannot properly implement, who can? So, we should just leave it to the romanticists.

    We should not experiment on poor illiterate people any more. Governments – democratic, sultanate- have failed them. Of all the systems we know in the modern times, a democratic system provides the best benefit; it tries to fulfill the aspirations. So, let us give them that and not not guide into some stupid promised land which we cannot deliver.

    As you know all questioning stopped in 1200 with the shut down of ijtihad. The arrogance taht we know everything that has to be known, has kept us now 1000 years behind. So, a Sharia which is frozen and designed for 1000 years ago; how do you think it can function in todays globalized economy of nation states? MAn’s fundamental progress is abased on constant questioning and revising.

    Personally I have a problem with any system where illiterate 4th grade educated people hold a big say in individuals lives. We have not become adult enough to segregate the chaff from the rice. We are experiencing the problems because of that. We do have to have a reformation; otherwise we will be left behind in the dustbin of history. We are working overtime for that!

    What has happend in the last 1000 years? We have not written a great book, we have not discovered anything, we have not produced any intellectual. . Why/ Why is that there are no famous writers in Arabic (other than the Quranic ). I do not know if you saw the UNESCO research into Arab backwardness.. What do you say about a society, of close to 1.5 billion people,, that produced only 1200 published books in 40 years? What is ahppening to our minds? and we still discuss the role of hijab, burqua, how to spend days before Ramaadaan .

    How long we can take refuge in we discovered Algebra.. that was 1000 years ago.. .

    I am disgusted, really.

  19. Mohammed Khan

    October 24, 2009 at 2:47 AM

    I’m making a comprehensive list of the treachery of the Pakistan Taliban. We can make such a list for the Pakistani army too. But the Taliban speak in Islam’s name and do the atrocities which make them more disgusting. Please add to the list if I missed anything. (Some of this is taken from my previous post..):

    THE ATROCITIES OF THE PAKISTANI TALIBAN

    1/ Slitting the throats of innocent Muslims.

    2/ Hanging and dragging bodies for exhibition.

    3/ Preventing girls from going to school (+ burning girls’ schools).

    4/ Blowing up government buildings.

    5/ Violating agreements (= lying).

    6/ Murdering tribal elders who don’t agree with them.

    7/ Doing haraam suicide attacks.

    8/ Killing humanitarian workers who are in Pakistan to help the country and its people (Ex: World Food program of the UN).

    9/ Attacking hotels where many civilians/foreigners stay.

    10/ Kidnapping people (non-Muslims, Pak troops, foreigners, etc.).

    11/ Bombing shrines of revered saints.

    12/ Assassinating politicians and military personnel.

    13/ Attacking, killing, and injuring children going to school (Ex: Orakzai agency):
    Read: http://letusbuildpakistan.blogspot.com/2009/09/taliban-kill-shia-children-in-orakzai.html

    14/ Killing rival Taliban faction members.

    15/ Rebellion against the government.

    16/ Executing alleged spies among them (Ex: (i) woman was hanged; (ii) decapitation of others).

    17/ Bombing crowded market places (Ex: (i) Peshawar; (ii) Shangla).

    … … …

    Any other atrocities? …

    Mohammed.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 24, 2009 at 2:53 AM

      18/ Assassinating religious scholars (Ex: Shaykh Sarfraz Na’eemi)

  20. SA

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Br. Khan

    It seems you have not understood my point.

    The army operation is NOT harming the “Taliban.” The operations of the ‘Taliban” and the operations of the army are both part of the same scheme: to destabilize Pakistan for the sake of foreign interests. They are both part of the same agenda: to undermine those who truly stand for the sake of truth and justice.

    I know what the “Taliban” have done and are doing. Family members have related to me stories of the refugees. Stories including children being kidnapped to be turned into suicide bombers and children being skinned alive in front of their parents. The same refugees say the operation does not hurt the Taliban one iota because they are both two sides of the same coin. They are both on the SAME side. This is my point!

    Secondly.

    If one says that it is permissible to WANT to live under a system other than Shariah, one implies that it is permissible to WANT to live under a system other than the system of Allah and His messenger: a system other than Islam.

    The question then is why insist on being a called Muslim (one who submits to Allah’s sovereignty) but also insist on WANTING to relegate sovereignty to those besides Allah? i.e. man, science, or other false god (taghut)

    To Allah belongs all sovereignty and submitting to Allah is the definition of being a Muslim.This is the main subject of the Quran. This is not a 20th century idea. This is the message brought by all the Prophets of Allah since the beginning of time.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 24, 2009 at 5:42 PM

      SA,

      I understood your point well. That’s why I said that in spite of uncertainties, including mysterious alliances between the Taliban and the Pakistani army, we must still take a position of action to Insha’Allah achieve the maximum benefit for Muslims. I do believe the US would support anti-Hakeemullah militants like Maulvi Nazeer and Gul Bahadur because this serves US interests. But to extend this example into a blanket statement that the militant Taliban and the Pakistani army are “two sides of the same coin” in totality is exaggerated and, yes, unrealistically conspiratorial in my view. I say so because I don’t believe such an arrangement serves US interests. How do you think it serves US interests? Please be specific.

      I will comment on your second point in another message. Have to rush. Needless to say, your understanding is again incorrect and does not reflect the understanding of our 4 Sunni schools of jurisprudence. May I ask: are you Sunni?

      Salaams,
      Mohammed.

  21. SA

    October 24, 2009 at 6:40 PM

    @ khan

    Indeed, positive action must be taken. Positive action would be to hold the the leaders responsible and to remove them from position of leadership. It would be to struggle to put forth and support sound leadership. Leadership that actually has concern for what is good for Pakistan and the ummah and humanity at large. Leadership that would not sell out for any bribe, even if its a $7.5 billion dollar bribe (look up kerry luger bill).

    Positive action would not include supporting the army of country to declare war and attack its own citizens.

    How did an unstable Iraq serve US interest? How did an unstable Afghanistan serve US interest? An unstable country is an easy victim of being looted and ransacked by predator nations. It is easy to install puppet governments in unstable countries. It is easy for empires to impose their rule in unstable countries.

    One issue that barely anyone remembers is that a being a country based on Islam (i.e. shariah) was the dream for the creation of Pakistan in the first place. Otherwise it would have been part of India. Unfortunately it was never able to achieve that status.

    Also, giving Islam and Shariah a bad name supports US interests. That is a no-brainer.

    Its not just the US. India, Israel have similar interests.

    Yes to your last Q

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 24, 2009 at 10:28 PM

      Salaam SA

      Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. I have a few follow-up questions as a continuation of our interesting discussion.

      You said your specific thought of action to resolve the conflict is as follows:

      “Indeed, positive action must be taken. Positive action would be to hold the the leaders responsible and to remove them from position of leadership.”

      1/ Remove leaders = viable solution to the current conflict? Are you serious, brother? What is your rationale? This is not a time to remove a leader, otherwise we’ll be in a state of anarchy in which militants can really cause major damage. How can you expect the situation to get better by removing leaders? Please elaborate.

      2/ And how exactly do you propose to “remove” the leaders if you deem this a viable solution? Any specific plan, strategy, or course of action? By force? If yes, who do you propose should do it? If not by force, then how?

      3/ If efforts succeed in removing the leader, what is your definition of a good leader (or “sound leadership”) to replace him, and how do you know if the majority of Muslims in the region will agree with your definition? What if they have other definitions? Certainly there will be differences knowing that there are millions of Pakistanis, mostly uneducated and some educated. Many Muslims in Pakistan are quite liberal and most (according to polls) support a democracy. How do you intend to win them to your cause or leader of choice in view of these facts?

      4/ You said, “Positive action would not include supporting the army of country to declare war and attack its own citizens.”

      In war, there is unfortunate loss of innocent life. But the army is mostly targeting militants. Do you propose we let the militants do their thing and “remove” the leader at this time? Yours is a recipe for more disaster.

      5/ True about Iraq and Afghanistan not serving US interests. But it was clear why they were there to begin with. In Iraq, it was about oil, controlling its price, weakening OPEC, and making big bucks through privatization. US planning was pathetic but their intentions were clear. In Afghanistan, there was talk of an oil pipeline from Central Asia to Pakistan via Afghanistan. This was bad planning too for obvious reasons.

      But what can the US possibly gain of significant strategic importance in a place like Pakistan by making the militants and Pakistani army/goverment fight each other as you claim? Why would the US want to destabilize the region when US/NATO are already having a tough time in Afghanistan? Why would the US want to destabilize a Pakistani government that is currently cooperating with the US? What interest would an unstable, nuclear Pakistan serve the US?

      The vague answer you gave to some of those questions is:

      “An unstable country is an easy victim of being looted and ransacked by predator nations. It is easy to install puppet governments in unstable countries. It is easy for empires to impose their rule in unstable countries.”

      An unstable country is more easily looted and ransacked by predator nations? Granted, that’s true, but what exactly can a predator nation “loot” and “ransack” in Pakistan? Please specify? There’s no significant oil as I understand but some 4- to 6-million barrels at the coast. Not significant enough for an invasion, I think. There’s lots of cotton though. But I don’t think a predator nation like the US would care about it. India has enough textiles of its own. So, what would the US loot and ransack?

      Regarding militant-government alliances and other shady matters between them, this is no surprise. Don’t forget that the Pakistani government and ISI were the ones who invented the militant groups as proxy armies. There are surely some sympathetic people in the government, army, and intelligence services who may have alerted and tipped off the militants before an army attack. But, by and large, in spite of some shows of sympathy, the army is surely against the militants. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

      6/ You said, “One issue that barely anyone remembers is that a being a country based on Islam (i.e. shariah) was the dream for the creation of Pakistan in the first place. Otherwise it would have been part of India. Unfortunately it was never able to achieve that status.”

      Incorrect. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the ‘founder’ of Pakistan, never specified his desireof a Shari’ah based Pakistan. He simply wanted a country for the Muslims. There’s scholarly debate on what he meant by a “Muslim” country. But it’s clear that Jinnah was liberal. Jinnah also allowed freedom of worship for Hindus. He said:

      “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

      As I understand, there was no talk of jizya, forced expulsion of Hindus or other pagans, and no talk about implementing hudood.

      7/ About your “yes” answer to my question if you were Sunni or not, then know well that your position on removing leaders and Islamic Law is not representative of our Sunni tradition. If you beg to differ, please quote me scholars from the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali madhahib schools to substantiate your perspective. You’ll not find any support and that means you’re not holding a Sunni position on the matter. The reason is that it’s a modern, 20th century interpretation.

      Salaam,
      Mohammed.

  22. SA

    October 25, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    @ Khan

    Re: Removing Leaders

    How to? This is a decision those who are involved in the struggle for truth and justice in Pakistan will have to make. I disagree that replacing leadership of the country will make things more anarchic then they already are. Right now you have the army staging a war with a band of rouges killing its own civilians in the process. You have 3 million refugees displaced in their own country. The country is bankrupt and practically lawless in many areas. The feudal system and local politics are dominant in most areas anyway.

    In 1999 the leadership was replaced by military coup by Musharraf. Did this cause anarchy? In the 80’s the military coupe was staged by Zia ul Haq. Did this cause anarchy? The answer is no.

    The change of leadership can be immediate, or it can be gradual. They dynamics will dictate.

    A popular coup by the people who are fed up with all the bull and want trustworthy leaders who are committed to serving the people rather than filling their pockets with money while living the high life and abusing their power is one possibility. This option will most likely be gradual. The people of Pakistan would have to be made ready to step up and the new leadership will have to be cultivated. A popular movement will need to emerge. There are groups in Pakistan that have had this goal for a long time. Unfortunately many have been too caught up in current politics and lost sight of the bigger picture. They have also made many blunders. Am I saying Pakistan needs a revolution? Yes.

    It seems you chose not to accept the idea that the army operation is not harming the “taliban” and is making the lives of millions a living hell. Fine, I don’t know how else to convince you. Don’t get me wrong, If the operation was actually only attacking the rogue militants and khawarij and rounding them up. I would support it 110%.

    Suicide attacks have only increased since the army operation. The problems have only increased, not decreased. Bush’s “war on terror” did nothing to stop terror. It was terror. This “war on terror” is the exact same. In fact, your argument for support of the army operation sounds exactly like the Bush doctrine. The solution to everything is to bomb the hell out of civilian areas to get at the terrorist, killing 10 to 20 civilians for every “militant.”

    Its ironic that you accused me of proposing quick fix solutions, then yourself support the “bomb the hell out em” approach.

    SubhanAllah, its amazing how many times history repeats itself, but we fall for the same okie doke each time.

    It is debated what Jinnah’s view was on Pakistan being in Islamic state vs. being a secular state. I have read opinions on both sides. However it was Iqbal who literally had the dream for Pakistan, not Jinnah. Iqbal’s dream was clear. It was illogical to have a separate state for Muslims if not for the purposes of implementing their own laws and values.

    What immediate action can we take right now?
    1.) Denounce the actions of the rouge militants.
    2.) Demand Zardari to halt the military operation against its own civilians.
    3.) Demand that CIA, RAW, Mossad, Blackwater (Xe) etc be ousted from Pakistan wherever they are found.
    4.) Demand that all US military bases be ousted from Pakistan.
    5.) Expose the Obama administration for their hand behind the rogue militants and the army operation.
    6.) Provide humanitarian relief to the millions of suffering refugees.
    7.) Assist those who fight for truth and justice.
    8.) Give platform and assistance to sincere and truthful leadership.

    Lastly. In my opinion it is not my so called “20th century” approach that is wrong, but rather your interpretation of the ijtihaad of the scholars of the past that is incorrect. The opinion of the scholars of the past was based on the institution of Caliphate. This institution was of paramount importance to the ummah and any disturbance in this institution could create anarchy and wreak havoc in the ummah while placing the Muslims in a very vulnerable position. Therefore, despite many of the rulers being less than pious, the scholars determined that a coupe style removal and replacement of leadership could create a lot of problems.

    Also, even the most corrupt and decadent from the rulers still maintained that all sovereignty belongs to God. Therefore, the scholars agreed they shouldn’t be forcibly removed as such and instead opted for the the gradual approach. One example of this approach is during the time of the Abbasids. The rulers had reached a low point in terms of morals and piety. The ummah was being hit from all sides and needed strong leaders. The scholars started a movement of reform and Salahuddin Ayiubi was a product of this movement.

    Our situation today is quite different. The institution of Khilafa is long gone. Our leaders openly declare the sovereignty of others besides Allah. They openly side with the enemies of Islam.The ijtihad of the scholars of the past would have been different in this situation.

    Let me ask you a question. Say tomorrow, the Taliban, which you so detest, gained control and leadership of an area in Pakistan and imposed their rule. Would you say they should be removed from leaderhip? Oh wait, sorry, that would be against the opinion of the scholars of the past. No can do. I guess we would have to just live with it. Maybe Allah would send an army of angels to removed their tyranny. Or i guess we can wait for when Isa AS returns. Right? Give me a break akhi.

    I think this will be my last post on this thread. jzk for expressing your opinons. May Allah guide us.

    Of course the
    This will hopefully be my last post on this thread iA.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 26, 2009 at 12:56 AM

      Salaam SA,

      My few responses below.

      What if the people of “truth and justice” — supporters of Shari’ah, as you understand them — contradict what the majority want? Pakistanis as a whole will likely opt for a non-theocratic but Muslim democratic State (similar to what Jinnah envisaged). But this is against what you have been saying all along: that any form of rule other than Shari’ah rule is kufr rule that is rejected. I am honestly confused at your inconsistency.

      Your advocating removal of Pakistan’s leader at this sensitive and difficult time is really mind boggling. It will definitely make matters worse and more chaotic in every way. The implications of such a move will embolden the militants to take control of the country and its nuclear arsenal. This will embolden India to hold a more hostile stand against Pakistan and will surely invite UN sanctions and US military wrath against Pakistan (as it did in Afghanistan when the Taliban ruled). Iran will be forced to take a more hostile position too to protect itself from the danger of a radical “Sunni” government at its border. As we speak, Iran-Pakistan tensions have already increased because of Pakistani militants targeting their elite Republican Guards. Imagine how gruesome it would be with crazy zealot “Sunni” mullahs next door chanting “death to the Shi’ah!”, not to mention the grave threat to the 15-18% of Shi’ah within Pakistan’s borders.

      In sum, your views would contribute to tremendous national, bilateral, and regional instability. It means more bloodshed and more Muslim corpses — not from Zardari’s government but from a self-styled Muslim Taliban imposing their ways on others. That’s not what we need at this time, brother. Under these circumstances, popular sovereignty would be an even bigger dream so we shouldn’t even talk about it. What’s holding the militants back at this time is the army’s and leadership’s fierce resistance against them — the same players you’re saying we should oppose and replace.

      You said:

      “In 1999 the leadership was replaced by military coup by Musharraf. Did this cause anarchy? In the 80’s the military coupe was staged by Zia ul Haq. Did this cause anarchy? The answer is no.”

      Your examples are of army coups — not “popular” revolutions. It is sensible that the most powerful player that takes control of government will receive little or no resistance from those who are less powerful and hardly armed (unless they’re foolish, of course, or if the army is not unified). This is different from replacement of a leader through “popular” means and can’t be used as good examples. But, as I’ve already pointed out, you’re not for popular government, remember? You said any government that rules by other than Shari’ah is ruling by “kufr” laws that are to be rejected. This includes popular sovereignty, i.e. democracy.

      Perhaps it’s best to agree to disagree and leave it at that. JazakAllahu-khayr for the thoughts and discussion and may Allah Help us all.

      Salaam,
      Mohammed.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 26, 2009 at 1:09 AM

      SA,

      I will address your other points regarding the orthodox Sunni view of rulers/rebellion, and how Muslims should react to a successful rebellion. As far as Pakistan issues go, I think it’s best to terminate that discussion since we already know each other’s views on the matter. I’m sure you agree.

      Salaam,
      Mohammed

  23. Stinger

    October 27, 2009 at 8:46 PM

    To those who are saying that Imran isn’t trained to be a politician; that’s right he isn’t a politician he is one of the best Statesman Pakistan has had in modern times. Lets not ignore his educational background, he graduated from Oxford with a degree in Political Science, and Economics. Besides that how many leaders in Pakistan’s parliament do you know who inaugurated a free cancer hospital and more recently an internationally accredited university?

    God bless you Imran, you’re are a major hope for Pakistan, continue your fantastic work. I know that no body is perfect but you’ve become a major role model for young people everywhere. For those who are criticizing Imran, what is your track record in Pakistan? How many hospitals or universities have you started? Lets put our actions where our words are before we criticize others.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 27, 2009 at 10:12 PM

      Thanks “Stinger”,

      Some comments below.

      “To those who are saying that Imran isn’t trained to be a politician; that’s right he isn’t a politician he is one of the best Statesman Pakistan has had in modern times.”

      Really? He’s “one of the best Statesman Pakistan has had” in modern times based on…? His political analyses are overly idealistic and far from reality. I’m not saying he doesn’t have good principles. He certainly does. But this doesn’t qualify him to be a great Statesman. Sorry.

      “Lets not ignore his educational background, he graduated from Oxford with a degree in Political Science, and Economics.”

      IK’s educational background hasn’t been ignored. It was mentioned in previous posts in response to Dr. Samina and Suhail that you didn’t read. And your point? That this education of his makes him a better Statesman than others? Well, if it is supposed to, his political analyses certainly do not reflect it. If you disagree, then I’ll be happy to know your reasons. I’ve given mine.

      If you judge the greatness of a Statesman based on his educational certificates and ignore his political analyses, strategic thinking, wisdom, foresight, pragmatism, etc., then your criteria for choosing a good politician is based on poor reasoning. Education alone, or with good principles, is not enough to be a great Statesman.

      “Besides that how many leaders in Pakistan’s parliament do you know who inaugurated a free cancer hospital and more recently an internationally accredited university?”

      IK’s free cancer hospital and internationally accredited university are reflections of his good principles that I never disagreed with. But these cannot logically translate to him being a great Statesman for the reasons I explained above. Being a great Statesman requires much more than money and good principles.

      “God bless you Imran, you’re are a major hope for Pakistan, continue your fantastic work. I know that no body is perfect but you’ve become a major role model for young people everywhere.”

      How come Pakistanis as a whole hardly vote for their “role model”? How long has his political party been around anyway..?

      “For those who are criticizing Imran, what is your track record in Pakistan? How many hospitals or universities have you started? Lets put our actions where our words are before we criticize others.”

      Nice try with the ad hominem attack on those who hold a different view from yours. But this digression only brings more weakness to your argument. Irrespective of your, my, or anyone else’s personal humanitarian efforts, it does not change the argument one bit. My humanitarian efforts, or lack thereof, are not going to make IK a great politician. And neither are yours.

      I’m afraid your emotional defense of IK as a great Statesman is unpersuasive.

      Mohammed.

  24. Azam

    October 27, 2009 at 11:29 PM

    Very nice Mohammad Khan.

    I think that Imran Khan is kind of naive when it comes to politics. He has good social services and achievements but he is very immature when it comes to politics.

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 28, 2009 at 12:13 AM

      Thanks Azam,

      God bless Imran Khan for his good principles. God save us from his political leadership.

      Mohammed.

  25. Aurora

    October 28, 2009 at 1:43 AM

    Imran Khan’s “lesser” of the two evils (Zardari/Musharraf). He’s our only hope in Pakistan. Who else is there? Care to answer, Mohammad Khan?

    • Azam

      October 28, 2009 at 2:15 AM

      This is the problem with the Pakistani crowd. Why don’t we believe in democracy? Let democracy develop and take its route. It will by itself take out the “evils” as you say. No one without the popular support has the right to rule.

      This is also the order of Allah as given in Quran.

      42:38 Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance;

      Patience and forbearance is the way to go.

      • Shoeb K

        October 28, 2009 at 4:02 AM

        Azam

        Democracy is the only way.

        Before I get into that, one of the lead subjects in MM today is “10 steps to memorize Quran”. As if that is the numero ono problem facing us.. Now you know why Talibans – not one, two, three but many kinds- arre running around in our country!

        I will go back to Zia Huq as the one who destroyed Pakistan. The seed was set on day one of independence in the structure of the country and the designation Jinnah assumed.

        I always wondered – how did two groups of people, of the same stock, took two different paths and arrived at diametrically opposite results/situation after 60 years. Here was one country – seemingly homogeneous, single religion (supposed to be the glue), related languages that could be understood by all; and another country – multiple religions, languages, lifestyles and customs,and all the contardictions. And that country conducts election like a clockwork; different parties come to power, get thrown out. They do not have a problem in accepting a Christian woman born in Italy as their leader. They created world class institutes. They distributed land.

        Where did we go wrong? IS it our leaders who failed us? Is it our ever e xpanding army? Is it ISI? Is it religion or our interpretation of that? Is it feudalism? Is it our docile people? Is it our Madaris?

        I hope we rise from these ashes. A fire is engulfing us; created by ourselves. I see pople blaming America. If anybody has to be blamed, it is ourselves. Not America. Not india. Not Kasmir. not Afghanistan. Time to take ownership.

        As Azam said democracy is the only way forward. Here are some key actions any new government must take to preserve us as a nation
        – Land distribution
        – Madraris reform or even shutting down
        – Curtailing army responsibilities – take away road building, construvction, land development, factories .. IT IS A JOKE! No wonder they cannot fight and do not get intelligence info..They are all busy making money and enjoying lavish lifestyles.
        – Bring army under civilian control. US has done that, India has done that, China has done that; what is the big deal? Why did we make a hue and cry about Lugar/Kerry bill?
        -Sepaarte ISI from army, bring it under civilin control
        – A crash progarmm in education -let us institute a world class engg, medical, nd management colleges; every two years we do focused institutions
        – USe the nucleus of our legal system (which has been a beacon for us amidst all the charade going on) to insitute similar “national/country” feeling in all endevors

        I can go on… But we have to start somewhere.

        However, in my opinion, the greatest danger is not what is happening now. It is what will happen after this. Army will be perceived as “fair boys” by a thankful nation and they will come back in power. And believe me, it is going to be worse than Zia Huq unless we act now.

        • Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî

          October 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM

          Before I get into that, one of the lead subjects in MM today is “10 steps to memorize Quran”.

          I don’t know what you mean by “lead”. That article is the latest.

          As if that is the numero ono problem facing us.

          That’s not at all implied.

          Now you know why Talibans – not one, two, three but many kinds- arre running around in our country!

          Because MM, a general Muslim blog based in America, posted an article encouraging people to memorize Qur’ân? Your (il)logic is truly astounding!

    • Mohammed Khan

      October 28, 2009 at 11:30 AM

      Aurora,

      I understand your concern. But no known politician is fit to rule, including Imran Khan. Our current leaders and army are immersed in corruption, but I believe they need our support at this crucial time against the militants to avoid bigger problems. (The government/army are apparently the ‘lesser of two evils’ at this time; the other evil being the militants. Imran Khan is completely irrelevant.) The army/government made the militants. It’s high time they clean some of there mess and contain this cancer before Pakistan and the region experience an even more tumultuous situation.

      Democracy in an environment of severe militancy will never work. Look at Afghanistan. The Afghan Taliban had cut off fingers of people who had voted in the “rigged” election. They are now threatening to kill anyone who votes in the soon-to-come re-election. What value is freedom and choice without security? Few people will come to the polls while many take shelter in their homes to hide from militant thuggery. While “democratic” talk is underway, the Taliban are planning their next attacks. Did you read the news today of the attack on a UN hostel in Afghanistan? What good is democracy when the chosen representative has a high chance of being assassinated? Democracy will be effected but only for a few days. Such a leader will hardly have time to think about anything else but his own survival, and for good reason.

      Likewise, while “democratic” talk is underway in Iraq, people aren’t getting electricity and have recently suffered one of the worst attacks. Democray in Iraq is a pipe dream. What needs to be remembered is that Arab Islamic culture is based on a tribal system that still very much influences daily life in the region. In that tribal system, perception is everything, and whoever is perceived as being the strongest will be accepted as leader, even if they are hated. How different is Pakistan, especially in view of the Durand Line that separates Pakistan from Afghanistan which many militants and even the Afghanistan government doesn’t recognize? With huge inter-crossing Pashtun tribes, democracy is a joke in the region. Tribal code reigns supreme. A democratic leader who preaches peace in such a region will be quickly removed by those who have the means of brute force.

      But democracy, or whatever form of representative government, will likely still not work once it’s there. Democracy requires more efficient propaganda to steer the minds of the public to support autocratic decisions of those elected in power. Look at the Bush administration. They invaded Iraq using very, very effective propaganda. They made the US public believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. This was a propaganda victory. This was arguably a democratic government influencing the public mind to justify autocratic, self-serving decisions. While Americans are proud of their democracy, interest groups still lobby and pay politicians to serve their interests. The rich still pocket most of the money. In other words, as democracy is formed, the means of dismantling the tools of propaganda and inequality should be parallel efforts. But can this be done in the real world? Probably not.

      Regarding Pakistan, unfortunately we have corrupt leaders but we also have had a myopic Pakistani public ready to choose among incompetent politicians. In the past, coups represented democratic opinion. The army leaders were not democratically elected but the public stayed silent in acquiescence, hoping that a better situation might arise.The better situation never came and the cycle repeated itself. Let’s face it: a dumb public will not save Pakistan, even democratically, even if the security situation somehow stabilizes. How the security situation will stabilize is an entirely different debate.

      Sorry to spoil this but I’m just being honest about my views. What form of government can really work in a region like Pakistan? I don’t know. Any suggestions?

      Perhaps it’s best to drop the idea of an American-style democracy and instead implement a form of representative government that works in tandem and is at least partially subordinate to a strong central leadership that wields ultimate military power. Unfortunately, like Iraq and Afghanistan, I think Pakistan also needs a strong man to do the job.

      Mohammed.

  26. Ghareeb_fidunya

    October 28, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    L Mirza you are nothing but an enemy of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’alla). Your attacks on brother Tarek are despicable, and you know nothing of him. All who knew him (including many who posted on this board) testified to his upright deen and character. Also clear references were given to him being against the targeting of civilians.

    Your foolish comments like “stupid Mullahs” make it clear you are an arrogant jahil who knows nothing of this deen. You also have the audacity to make blanket takfir of soo many you don’t even know? Fear Allah as he aught to be feared if you have any sense.

    It seems you are too busy trying to please your non-Muslim friends, and would sell any Muslim out to reach that aim. You need to get over your inferiority complex for you have no ‘izzah and you will never gain it by any means other than Islam.

    Listen to the words of Allah (aza wajal), take heed, and make sincere du’a to be guided.

    “Give to the hypocrites the tidings that there is for them a painful torment. Those who take disbelievers for Auliya’ (protectors or helpers or friends) instead of believers, do they seek honour, power and glory with them? Verily, then to Allah belongs all honour, power and glory. “[al-Nisaa’ 4:138-139]

    And to Allah belongs [all] honor, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.” [Al-Munafiqoon 63:8]

    • L Mirza

      October 28, 2009 at 4:50 PM

      Bro Ghareeb
      No, i am not an enemy, neither am I Suhail.

      I just want us to looka round. Who is responsible for our plight.
      Are we doing well anywhere?

      We are livinga nd eating the “good life” of USA enjoying its freedom and opportunities. Why wouldnt we have democartic systems in our native countries?

      Why dont we uphold education as the most importanbt thing? Scientific knowledge? Inqyiry?

      I want us to live religiously; not to live for religion. It is dangerous

      • Ghareeb_fidunya

        October 29, 2009 at 11:19 AM

        I apologize for a long response, but I hope it is beneficial and I urge you to sincerely reflect on it.

        #1 We do not judge the success of a people by their state in this Dunya.

        Read the tafsir of suratul-burooj and the people of the ditch. They were thrown and burned in a fire yet Allah says “that is the great success” about them.

        Rasulullah (Salallahu ‘Alaihi Wasalaam) and the early Muslims were very poor and barely had food to eat compared to the Romans and Persians. Did they say we should modernize or imitate the way of the Romans and Persians and we’ll be successful?

        If a Muslim doesn’t even have food to eat and a place to live and is dying in the streets his status is still greater than the richest non-Muslim in the world in the site of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’alla).

        #2 Honor and Glory come from Allah alone

        I already quoted some ayat in my last post about this. You cannot gain any honor or glory in secular education/science/whatever else.

        This is not to say there is anything wrong with the secular sciences, they should be studied and are beneficial. However, our honor does not come through them, it is through the knowledge and practice of Islam, and obedience to Allah.

        #3 Do you follow Islam because you agree with it?

        The reason for being a Muslim is not because you think Islam has some nice ideas or ideologies, it is because Islam is the truth and Allah (aza wajal) is our creator and knows what is best for us.

        Many Muslims just follow Islam because of the perceived wisdoms they see in it, however there are many areas they probably won’t see the wisdom behind and they will often lack in these.

        #4 No laws outside shari’ah are acceptable to Allah

        Allah knows what is best for us and he has given us the perfect system and laws to follow.

        By following something else you are claiming you know better than Allah (a’oudhobillah). Are you ready to come on the day of judgement and tell Allah why you rejected his way and took another?

        #5 Finally: Islam is a complete way of life (Deen)

        Islam governs all areas of our lives and is not like other modern day religions where it’s just something you do at home or keep to yourself.

        The truth obviously has guidance for all areas of our life and this is what Islam provides.

        You cannot live religiously if your life is not centered around Islam, the entire purpose of your life is to worship Allah (subhanahu wa Ta’alla) as he says in the Qur’an.

        I highly recommend you study the early Muslims and the khilafa of Umar (Radiallahu Unho) and you will see how a completely Islamic system brings justice to all (Muslim and non-Muslim).

        We cannot point to the state of the Muslim lands, and then look at the West and say just because they are stronger they are better and right. Might != Right

        Fir’awn was the most powerful man on Earth and yet what is his status? The west has gained their current power through completely haram and oppressive means (shirk, murder, illegal wars, plundering of resources, a host of other crimes) thus their status is worthless in the site of Allah (I don’t deny that the Muslim lands are essentially the same).

        The end never justifies the means in Islam. We do not control the end, Allah does, thus we follow Islam and the Halal means and put our trust in Allah. Whether our end is good or not in this Dunya is up to him, but we are guaranteed the reward in Akhirah.

        Allah has humiliated the Muslims today because they left their deen and that humiliation will never be removed until they return to it.

        Open your heart and mind and listen to Allah and his Messenger’s (Salallahu ‘Alaihi Wasalaam) words. Reflect on them and question your own ideas you may have been raised on, which may really have no basis or firm standing. Make constant Du’a to Allah for guidance and increase in good deeds.

        Insh’Allah those who are sincere will be kept firmly on the straight path by Allah.

        • L Mirza

          October 29, 2009 at 9:53 PM

          brother Gharib

          Thanks.

          I am a good Muslim, however, I do not subscribe to tyhe theory that Muslims status is higher in the eye of Allah.. all are Allhs children; anybody living a righteous life is Allahs child. One does not become a good Muslim because one prays five times a dfay.. The brothers who are killing brothers (and sisters and children) in Pakistan do pray five times.

          Anyway, theories like this, embedded at an younger age,, are creating our present day problems – violence, ignorance, and intolerance.

          just look around us..

          • Aman

            November 2, 2009 at 12:35 PM

            Assalamualaikum

            L Mirza

            I think we all know this hadith

            Jabir bin Abdullah says: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SallAllah-u-Alaihi-wa-Sallam) saying this: The difference between a man (Muslim) and shirk and kufr is the abandoning of salaah.
            (Sahih Muslim: Kitab ul Iman: Book 001, Number 0147)

            Prophet Muhammad (SallAllah-u-Alaihi-wa-Sallam) said: The difference between us and them (Kuffar/Non-Muslims) is that of salaah so whoever abandons salaah certainly commits kufr.
            (Tirmidhi, kitab ul Iman, Declared Sahih by Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Nasai and Allama Iraqi, Minhaaj ul Muslimeen pg.80)

            I do agree with your saying “One does not become a good Muslim because one prays five times a day” but he can be a good muslim if he prays those prayers with fear of allah, expecting his death, resurrection, judgment, paradise and hell

        • Aman

          November 2, 2009 at 12:05 PM

          Assalamualaikum brother

          Atleast, you had something to say fearing allah,

  27. Stinger

    November 5, 2009 at 10:56 PM

    To Mohammed Khan, I think we both know the level of illiteracy and corruption in Pakistan, why else would the most corrupt politicians repeatedly be elected if the public was so informed? Most of the young, educated people in the country do support Imran because other leaders simply haven’t provided a better alternative besides empty slogans. Imran is one of the most intelligent men in this parliament and I can’t remember if he ever had a corruption charge on him.

    As for the argument about beginning schools and hospitals in the country, it’s an important fact that everyone here should acknowledge, that this man is one of the few in parliament that actually gets productive things done in the country. As for Imran being a good statesman, he has traveled around the world including to India to try and repair Pakistan’s tarnished image. He has repeatedly stated that he wants peace and development in Pakistan, in short he has backed up his statements with action and that is what really counts no matter what anyone may argue here.

    And yes it does matter that people who are concerned about Pakistan’s future are actively trying to improve the country. If we want to debate something it should be how to find a solution to Pakistan’s problems, if you don’t like what’s being put forth by Imran then maybe you can present something more convincing. If we aren’t going to be thinking productively then there’s no need to waste energy here

    Salaam

  28. Stinger

    November 5, 2009 at 11:21 PM

    Shoeb K,

    I like your points on how to rebuild the country but adding to what Mohammed mentioned the security situation needs to be fixed first. There should be only one national armed force not two or three with different agendas. The army needs to be careful in making sure it has public opinion on its side and that no room is made for sympathizing with anti-Pakistan militants.

    Once this security situation is brought under control and the war is brought to an end, then we need to focus on investing in the country, especially through education. A solid, high standard, education is key to rebuilding civil society in the country. The children we educate now will be leaders of the country in two to three decades. Educational programs can be started even now in areas that aren’t as affected by the completely un-Islamic tactics of destroying schools. In short to have a good democracy in Pakistan, we need an educated, informed public, to create this type of public we need to create a strong civil society through national institutions.

    The best hope for Pakistan is an overhaul of the educational system from elementary school all the way to colleges and universities. I’ve seen some of the conditions of elementary schools in the villages, they are unbelievably inadequate for boys and girls. People need to learn that there is a vast world out there and opportunities for progress are everywhere. Educating children needs to be given economic incentive for the poor who send their children to work instead. On the other hand, people shouldn’t think that education is somehow contradictory to Islamic principles. These schools should primarily be concerned with giving people the skills to be highly qualified in existing industries in Pakistan and around the world. Sure there can be some optional religious aspect to the education but it should stress moderation, this would be a good alternative to the incomplete version of Islam that is taught in the Madrassas which are nowhere near what they were during the classical Islamic period.

    We need good, intelligent educators in the country. I would highly recommend anyone concerned with this country get involved with credible NGOs in the country and volunteer as teachers who give hope to a new generation of children. Previous generations have made more than enough mistakes, now we need to step up and build our own future.

  29. keshto

    November 9, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    -1 Mohammed Khan
    October 28, 2009 • 11:30 am

    What form of government can really work in a region like Pakistan? I don’t know. Any suggestions?

    Governments come and go, as is the case of India where there are corrupt politicians who have amassed billions of dollars in Swiss banks. Its a more of a core value of a society than the government itself. Its the collective thinking of majority, prudent or otherwise, which makes or breaks the country.

    Lets follow Pervez Hoodbhoy´s line of thinking who is a nuclear physicist who says the following:

    Today Muslims number over one billion, spread over fifty-eight Muslim countries. None of these nations has yet evolved a stable democratic political system. In fact, all Muslim countries are dominated by self-serving corrupt elites who cynically advance their personal interests and steal resources from their people. No Muslim country has a viable educational system or a university of international stature.

    Reason too has been waylaid. To take some examples from my own experience: You will seldom encounter a Muslim name as you flip through scientific journals, and, if you do, chances are that this person lives in the West. There are a few exceptions: Abdus Salam, together with Steven Weinberg and Sheldon Glashow, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979 for the unification of the weak and electromagnetic forces.

    I got to know Salam reasonably well—we even wrote a book preface together. He was a remarkable man, terribly in love with his country and his religion. And yet he died deeply unhappy, scorned by his country and excommunicated from Islam by an act of the Pakistani parliament in 1974. Today the Ahmadi sect, to which Salam belonged, is considered heretical and harshly persecuted. (My next-door neighbor, also an Ahmadi, was shot in the neck and heart and died in my car as I drove him to the hospital. His only fault was to have been born in the wrong sect.)

    Though genuine scientific achievement is rare in the contemporary Muslim world, pseudoscience is in generous supply. A former chairman of my department has calculated the speed of heaven: it is receding from the earth at one centimeter per second less than the speed of light. His ingenious method relies upon a verse in the Qur’an that says that worship on the night on which the Qur’an was revealed is worth a 1,000 nights of ordinary worship. He states that this amounts to a time-dilation factor of 1,000, which he plugs into a formula belonging to Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

    A more public example: one of two Pakistani nuclear engineers recently arrested on suspicion of passing nuclear secrets to the Taliban had earlier proposed to solve Pakistan’s energy problems by harnessing the power of genies. The Qur’an says that God created man from clay, and angels and genies from fire; so this highly placed engineer proposed to capture the genies and extract their energy.

    (The reader may wish to read the rather acrimonious public correspondence between Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood and myself in 1988 on this subject, reproduced in my book Islam and Science—Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, published in 1991.)

    Muslims must not look towards the likes of bin Laden; such people have no real answer and can offer no real positive alternative. To glorify their terrorism is a hideous mistake—the unremitting slaughter of Shias, Christians, and Ahmadis in their places of worship in Pakistan, and of other minorities in other Muslim countries, is proof that all terrorism is not about the revolt of the dispossessed.

    Our collective survival lies in recognizing that religion is not the solution; neither is nationalism. Both are divisive, embedding within us false notions of superiority and arrogant pride that are difficult to erase. We have but one choice: the path of secular humanism, based upon the principles of logic and reason. This alone offers the hope of providing everybody on this globe with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    What is a common denominator here?

  30. Stinger

    November 9, 2009 at 10:32 PM

    To Keshto,

    I disagree with your statements because you aren’t providing a practical solution to the problems at hand. I’ve seen this defeatist type mentality before which has originated from opponents of Muslims. Have Muslims contributed to science and knowledge Yes and Yes. Just because most of the professional journals you look through are based in the West doesn’t mean that there aren’t journals based in developed Muslim countries where research is being conducted. Your premise needs to be adjusted, historically when the West moved away from medieval Christianity it began to progress, when Muslims moved away from the true understanding and application of Islamic teachings they began to decline. Lets not forget this fact.

    I’m not saying that there aren’t problems in Muslim countries, there are more than enough, but broad statements like the above are inaccurate and an insult to the millions of Muslims who are trying to better the world. You stated that there are no Muslim countries with a functioning democracy, what about Bosnia, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan even Pakistan. Not all of these states are well functioning but their leaders were chosen by popular vote, any democracy in the world is a work in progress including Muslim countries.

    Someone who is knowledgeable in the relationship between politics and Islam will tell you that there are certain aspects of secularism that are and have historically been part of Muslim political systems. Islam does not call for theocracy, historically religious clerics have stayed away from political power, leadership should be based on ability to lead not simply religious scholarship. I can see that you’ve gone through some traumatic experiences at the hands of some ignorant, hateful people. These people are responsible for their actions not Islam or its true teachings, which they aren’t following. I hope you can understand this.

    Peace

  31. keshto

    November 10, 2009 at 12:21 AM

    I disagree with your statements because you aren’t providing a practical solution to the problems at hand.

    It was not my statement to begin with, rather an article from well known Pakistani scientific researcher whose papers are well published and read in International scientific community. As per the solution, my idea is the following, whether palatable to you are not:

    In order for Muslims to survive and thrive, they have to be secular Muslims first and foremost.. Cast their fundamentalism, radicalism aside. equality of all human beings is a must, be him Jew or Hindu.

    You should insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights – this trait is missing big time from Islamic countries.

    To say that Islam is the ONLY religion and disregard other faiths and their values would be wrong. Because religious, moral and ethical values are common moral heritage OF humankind.

    Out of fifty eight OIC countries you only provided few democracies – and those too have sharia laws incorporated in their constitution and they are not secular democracies.

    Remember, eulogizing the past glory of Islam wont take you any where in the present. See what are these countries at present (barring few GCC states with crude oil deposits) most of the fifity countries are precarious if not all.

    Spain´s GDP is equal to all Muslim countries – Is it not a shame? and who reminded of this statement to Ummah, it was Pakistani President Musharaf himself few years ago.

    Pakistan is a gun culture country with unruly mobs doing the ARMY-ISI biddings – you find automatic weapons from Karachi to Quetta, basically anywhere within the border. Under this scenario, what do you expect of younger generation of Pakistan?

    Pakistan has 30,000 registered Madersas beside 100,000 of other unregistered where they are preaching hatred for infidels to the young ones.

    Do you think above scenario augers well for any country? Malaysia has madersas too, but there you dont have Jehadis being churned out. So even if its Islamic education, it should not be radicalised to the point where youngsters would have no option but to rely on AK-47s.

    Today whatever happens around the world, in terms of terrorism-Jehad, All roads lead to Pakistan – why?

    Its time for introspection pally!

  32. Stinger

    November 14, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    To Keshto:

    Why are you implying that I’m not also in favor of introspection? The churning out of extremists from Madrassas is a result of decades of failed policies and the Cold War which was funded by multiple countries, not just Muslim ones. What we’re seeing in Pakistan is the result of geopolitical events that have occurred since partition, Malaysia didn’t have war brewing all around it for the last 50-60 years therefore their views on Islam are much more moderate. In short lets place the blame where it belongs on the people not on Islam. People’s ignorance isn’t an excuse to bash Islam.

    On the issue of democracy, Islam and secularism. As I stated before some of the concepts of secularism aren’t alien to Islam, Islam, especially among Sunnis, doesn’t encourage theocratic government. It favors just government that cares for the people. Democracy isn’t one set system in any case it differs based on the culture and people who apply it. And the nations I mentioned make up almost half of the global Muslim population, so it isn’t insignificant.

    In your comparison between Spain and the Muslim World have you ever heard of dependency theory, the North South Gap, Development Gap etc…??? There are historical factors that have lead to today’s discrepancy, namely colonialism and destruction of the Ottoman Empire. Besides this your facts are off, last time I check Musharraf wasn’t an economist, Spain’s GDP isn’t that great my friend a better comparison would be the entire EU, US, or China which are major world contenders.

    On human rights where do you think these human rights come from? They come from faith traditions around the world. Western views on human rights are based on Christian philosophers and the Judeo-Christian Tradition, which not surprisingly was influenced by Muslim philosophy from the medieval ages (which was at its height). There is a rich tradition of valuing human rights and responsibilities in Islam, people need to wipe the dust off their eyes and see for themselves.

    I can see that you’re trying to put people to shame, how is that going to help anyone? I am proud to be Muslim and I’m proud to have such an amazing, comprehensive, and rich faith tradition. If someone doesn’t understand Islam it is incorrect for them to put others down. We should instead work hard to make this world a better place but never forget the hereafter and always have faith in our hearts.

    I’m sorry that you’ve had bad experience with some ignorant Muslims but I hope you’ll see that there is much more to Islam than the brainwashing media presents. Please don’t let these ignorant people push you away from everything that is good in Islam and Muslim civilizations otherwise they’ll be successful in their hateful goals.

    Peace

  33. Saladwer

    November 16, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    Aslam u alaikum,

    Its nice to see educated people debating on current islamic affairs,especially Taliban, do you know what we are doing here, we are believing on BBC, CNN, FOX and Reuters. they are manipulating the news.please for Allah Sake try to understand 80 % of what which we hear on news about Talibans are fake, dont believe western media at all, they are not our friends, they are all non believers,Talibans were the best example of right Islam to the whole world.

    The reason why we dont like Taliban coz they banned music, they imposed Veil, i Swear to Allah they have not added any thing from their mind. they did what all Islam wants for us, they are 100% true muslims, true sahabas of this time.

    Start reading Quran and Hadiths then see what is real Islam, and you Mr Mohammad after reading your article i thought someone Pro – West is answering the questions.

    Try to understand the things, Wars are imposed be West, for the sake of power, there is only two answers for muslims for them. Genocide or War.

    You might be thinking i am a fundamentalist, yes we need to be fundamentalist, clear our basic things, wake up, media is making you sleep, diverting our attention from main things.

  34. Stinger

    November 17, 2009 at 1:07 AM

    To Saladwer,

    I can see where you’re coming from but I disagree that the Taliban were rightly guided Muslims, it is not our place to judge who is a true Muslim or not, that right is for Allah alone. The problem with the Taliban was that they were engaged in a civil war with Muslims in northern Afghanistan who had fought alongside them against the Soviets. Besides this, they had little understanding of modern world politics and how to properly run a nation. If they were following Shariah they would not have placed their whole nation in danger by giving safe haven to OBL. They were ready to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of their own innocent people for one man.

    One of the greatest mistakes they made was not truly understanding the essence of Islam and its major focus on Iman, purification of the heart, and focus on self-improvement. They cared more about rituals and had a very narrow, culturally based interpretation of the Shairah which they forced upon others. This caused an extremely negative image of Islam worldwide which has hurt Muslims more than anything else. They are the product of 30 years of war in one of the poorest nations on earth.

    In conclusion, the only people who are fit to rule Aghanistan are the ones who keep the safety and well-being of their people first. This does not contradict the higher objectives of the Shariah but I doubt whether the so called Talib’s understood this. To really understand the Shariah you need to have a formal, scholarly education in it which goes hand in hand with understanding the Social Sciences. The Taliban simply did not have this. They had an elementary understanding of it and once they attempted to apply it to the people they became even more isolated internally and externally. There may have been some benefits to their rule compared to the warlords but their extreme views ultimately brought more harm to the Afghan people.

    • masmanz

      November 21, 2009 at 5:41 PM

      Taliban did not provide ‘safe haven’ to OBL, they simply asked for proof since none was provided they couldn’t do anything. Had the tried to capture OBL without any proof it would have started a civil war. Do you really think Bush was justified in starting Afghan war? Why didn’t they just send special ops to capture or kill OBL?

      It is a stretch to claim that the Taliban did not understand Iman. The negative image of Islam is created by the propaganda masters of the Western media, they do it against Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran all the time. They firmly believe that anything which is against ‘western value’ is evil. So the teachings of Islam aginst adultry, fornication, alcohol, free mixing of sexes etc. is rediculed by them. So is ‘excessive’ emphasis on using Islam in every walk of life.

      It is true that the Taliban does not understood the world politics as good as the Pakistanis do.

      I am not saying that everything the Taliban did was good, but to single them out as this ‘greatest evil on earth’ is shear propaganda. This kind of propaganda has been used by the warmongers through ages to justify their aggression.

      • muhammad ngr

        December 16, 2009 at 8:03 AM

        It’s not true but insulting that the Taliban do not understand world politics.Rather,what they find hard to understand is why people engage in treachery for the sake of the dunya without fearing Allah;pakistani POLITRICKSTERS are good at this and that makes most of them worse human beings!

  35. Abu Rumaisa

    November 17, 2009 at 2:58 PM

    related to some thing being discussed in this thread

    Pakistan Taliban airs video denial
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/11/20091116145058336650.html

  36. L Mirza

    November 22, 2009 at 7:29 AM

    It is unfortunate that we always put the blame on “them” .

    Pakistan is a basket case because of us (people of Pakistan). We gave power to the military. We created Zia Huq. We killed the East Bengalis. We built madrasas while India built IIT and IIM whose graduates run world companies, including a female from india, indra Nooyi of Pepsi.

    Why cannot we bring ISI under civilian rule like all progressive countries in the world? Why do our Military have to get into construction, land management, steel business, etc etc? How come next door they ahve a decvent democratic system, with elections and peaceful transfer of power; and we do not have it. India neverw as under military trule; why have we been under military rule for most of our sixty years?

    Instaed of focusinmg on our people and our development, our leadersa nd military was always bent on creating an enemy; diverting all the resources to cultivate that, and fooling people all the time. I hope, after this calamity is over, we will get abck to basics and focus on our peoples development. Our enemies are notf anybody beyond our borders; it is ourselves –or more specifically, our military, ISI, and political establishment.

  37. masmanz

    November 22, 2009 at 10:19 PM

    L Mirza — You are blaming the military, ISI, and politicians; what is left? The Civil Service, the Police, and the Judiciary, or is it that you just forgot to mention them? At the time of independence Pakistan was far behind India in education and industry, and yes perhaps even in the number and qualities of madrassas. We made great strides in industry and agriculture. Madrassas were built by private funding so your statement that india built IIT while we built madrassas is pure baseless rhetoric. The successive governments of Pakistan did neglect higher education (and, they neglected madrassas too), perhaps the leader did not fully appreciate the importance of education. Atrocities in Bangladesh were really sad but I blame Mukti Bahini as much as I do the Pakistan Army. And, yes, India too was involved in training those terrorists (or, do you call them freedom fighters?) Now, we see army engaged in Swat, and Waziristans but many people are supporting the army action as they were supporting during the 1971 crisis.

    I don’t really know why ZiaulHaq was mentioned here, and not Musharraf, Ayub Khan, and Yahya Khan.

    Regarding the civilan control, don’t forget that political wing of ISI was created by a civilian PM.

    The role of India has not been a positive one, it is not just our leaders and army’s imaginations it is the actual actions of India that has caused much of the problems for Pakistan over the years. Let us hope that the new leadership of India will be better than the older ones.

  38. Gopal Raj Kumar

    March 3, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Whilst I do agree with Imran’s analysis of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the so called war on terror, I tend to disagree with his use of the word terrorism and terror as he applies it to resistance fighters of the Afghan and other tribal groups. It redners his arguments feeble when he does that.

    Terrorism has no universal definition. At least in the context of the current so called “waar on terrorism”. The US and its allies have resisted the call to find a definition for ‘terror and terrorism’ in the context of the current wars on the subject matter. What the West has and continues to do in Afghanistan and Irak is pure evil. You cannot justify it by simply referring to it as terrorism.

    Each time a suicide bomb goes off, don’t be too ready to call it the work of the Taliban or a Musliman. Previous wars by Britain and the US outside their home turf showed a wwickedly clever way of employing counter insurgency tactics of engaging their own employees of the local communities to carry out such missions. Thats not difficult to do. Strap an ignorant man or a man of low IQ (autism or other dysfuntion) with explosives and tell him it is his protective gear. Dope his coffee and send him of under protection of his controller’s unit. Then remotely detonate the device on him when he enters the target zone.

    He fits the bill of a terrorist. He is Pasthun, dressed like a local, had a bomb strapped to him and of course the magic ingredient, his religion. He was neither Catholic nor Jewish.

    Another problem is that of Kashmir. Imran makes it sound like Kashmir is the reason why India has 700,000 armed personnel in that state. His analysis in this respect is fanciful. Kashmir is strategic territory for all three protagonists neighbours in the region. These being China (who occupy Aksai Chin), Kashmir in India and Azad Kashmir in Pakistani control.

    It is not the insurgency alone that places those troops there. The militarily strategic high ground is the more important reason apart from the immediate hostile borders between these three states.

    If he is alluding to a justification of the insurgency in Indian Kashmir (for want of a better term) then he contradicts his principles. Theocracies and religion based boundaries are a thing of the past and not recognised by any civilised state. There are exceptions and there are exceptions within states who recognise the concept of secularism as well.

    Kashmir cannot be a part of an Isamic nation simply because there are large numbers of Muslims who settled the region displacing the Indians there. Likewise it caannot be a Hindu state because Indira Gandhi, her father Nehru and other Hindus dominated the Valley and are the original inhabitants off the region. India is a secula rstate with all of the problems of a secular state. His promotion of that insurgency makes life for other Muslims in India (180 million) uncomfortable and uncecessarily so.

    The people of Afghanistan did not deny others their rights to practice their faiths before or now. That lie is a creation of the west to justify the desire to occupy a highly strategic location we call Afghanistan. A pro western Pakistan with its own opportunist government for the umpeenth time promotes that line.

    The Mullahs may have been described then as they are now as being mad religious fanatics. They held together their traditions and their societies in tight discipline and a higher moral standard than any western nation and were “good guys” when it suited the west like when fighting the Soveits in Afghanistan.

    Now that that battle is done away with, the independence of Afhgans, Pashtuns, Baluchi’s Wazars and others (who by the way even the Jews admit to being descendants of their own tribes (semites)) are to be done away with. This is because they would not succumb to total western (via a corrupt Pakistani government) domination and market economics.

    The name Khan is a derivative and variation of the name Cohen (the priestly caste of the Jews). There is an entire list of names in the region that are directly a variant of the names of the various tribes of Israel. It cannot be ignored. Samson himself is described in the bible as being a Wazar (different spelling). The Wazar men themselves grown their hair and to which is attributed their manhood and strength. (ring a bell?).

    There is much more to the whole affair than meets the eye or reaches the ears. The Taliban do not have a popular media outlet that gives its people agency and allowes you and I to hear and read their views without being harrassed. Viet Nam all over again.

    In the final analysis, we must be able to distinguish between genuine freedom fighters and empire builders. The issue of Kashmir is not as simple as Imran makes it out to be. And neither is the problem with Afghanistan or that of the Palestinians comparabe to that of the other simply because they are Muslims in a majority against a non muslim enemy.

    The persecution and murder of Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq (before the war and now), Algeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia (during and after Suharto), Libya, Yemen, Kuwait and Iran has nothing to do with the issues Afghanistan or the Palestinians face in their struggle. It has to do with the distorted applicaiton of the Islam argument by empire builders in the midst of otherwise peaceful communities of Muslims.

    Until that stops (and I do not prescribe western democratic systems and nudity amongst women or single motherhood as a trend as being virtues as western and pro western feminist groups indirectly promote amongst others they consider oppressed) an opportunity will always be there for oppressors to use to justify their evil deeds everywhere.

    To Imaran Bhai Salaam. You are unselfish and a great human being.keep up the crusade.

    Gopal Raj Kumar

    Gopal Raj Kumar.

  39. bonstubon

    May 30, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Tracking Imran Khan’s pledges: http://www.ikhanpledge.com

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