Monday, July 26, 2010

India and Pakistan can never be Good Friends

July 27, 2010
India and Pakistan can never be Good Friends
By Saeed Qureshi
Mark my words Pakistan and India can never be good friends. Their coexistence as peaceful neighbours will remain doomed as long as either Pakistan is further dismembered or India is fragmented into many states like the Soviet Union way back in 1989.
India and Pakistan will never be able to sort out their mutual disputes and hammer out their amicable resolution. There is no precedent in the past that they finally found a mutually acceptable solution or agreement: be it the demarcation of borders, the apportionment of water from rivers flowing down into Pakistan or the paramount Kashmir issue.
There is no record of accomplishments for the two neighbours liberated from the British colonial yoke in 1947 of sitting down and coming up with a recipe of veritable peace and friendship. India will not give up her hold on Kashmir, nor will Pakistan or Kashmiri nation relinquish or forego their claim about holding a pledged plebiscite to elicit the local population’s opinion as to which country they would prefer to join. Indian deems Kashmir as an integral part of Indian federation while Pakistan’s standpoint is that Kashmir is a disputed territory whose final status has yet to be determined by the people of Kashmir though a referendum.
The three wars, in 1948, 1965, and 1971 followed by brief skirmishes in Kargil in July 1999 have failed to bring about change of hearts on both the sides. The fact is that primarily it is Pakistan that would be the major beneficiary of the illusive settlement of the outstanding issues between India and Pakistan. For that matter, India would not let Pakistan off the hook lest it can move forward on a course of stability, progress, and prosperity.
India’s military intervention in Bangladesh in 1971 led to the dismemberment of Pakistan and a humiliating defeat for the Pakistan’s armed forces. The Simla Agreement signed in 1972 between India and Pakistan, binds both the countries to settle all contentious issues via parleys to be conducted in the framework of the UN Charter.
Now building of 22 barrages by India on rivers emanating from Kashmir apart from being a violation of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, would give a complete control to India to stop or release water to Pakistan, which is a lower riparian. India agreed to sign Indus Basin Treaty because it deprived Pakistan of three rivers. Otherwise, she would have never agreed if such a treaty had impinged upon her interests.
There can never be a consensus agreement on water distribution and a workable arrangement for water share to Pakistan because India would never do anything that would even marginally benefit Pakistan. Indus Basin Treaty or no treaty, Pakistan agricultural sector would always remain at the mercy of India for release of water as and when she would want it to do preferring first her own priorities and needs. Besides, Pakistan has remained under an unrelenting diplomatic, military, economic, and psychological pressure from India since the inception of both the states in 1947.
India would come to terms on such issues that benefit India economically and turn Pakistan into a market for disposal of her products both industrial and agricultural. Both the countries have not been able to smoothen and ease flow of cross border travel because of stringent visa rules that bar the travelers from either country to go beyond the cities specified in the passport. The intelligence operatives chase and keep a strict watch on the visitors until they depart. There have been instances when a visitor was apprehended on mere suspicion and was kept in India jails to languish for years.
So the talk of CBMS is mere ploy to obfuscate the real issues. Both countries have varying and different interpretation for CMBS. For Pakistan, primarily it is the easy movement of citizens of both the states without much of harassment and strict conditions. For India, it is to allow India to export her goods to Pakistani without any let or hindrance. While Pakistan has ever remained ready to talk on substantive issues India’s priorities and prerogatives have been focused on pushing them to back burners or keeping in a state of limbo.
Pakistan and India can never be good friends and neighbors because there is no good will or an earnest desire that comes from heart to resolve the contentious issues bedeviling their relationship for over six decades. At people’s level, the deep-seated animus can be witnessed when a match is being played or a situation of tension like the attack on a Bombay hotel arises between the two countries. The Hindu extremists have been demonstrating the anti-muslim vendetta by lynching and burning the Muslims and their houses in ethnic and communal clashes.
The hate and the animosity have a history of a thousand years between the Muslims and Hindus. Hindus think that Muslims were primarily aliens and intruders into the sacred Hindustava or Bharat Mata and they have no right to live and survive in the Indian subcontinent. Muslims, though, have been rulers in India until the British came, seldom indulged in the persecution or ethnic cleansing or prolytizing their religious minorities. The Muslim rulers like Akbar married with Hindu women and invariably treated Hindu population well and on equal level.
So in my reckoning there will be another deadly war that might prolong or be of a short duration. In that war, India might be able to truncate Pakistan further. Pakistan as well may be able to capture some chunks of Indian Territory. If the war further lengthens, the economies of both the countries would suffer enormously. The Indian and Pakistan’s industrial productivity may be severely hampered and both would slide back to the acute poverty stage and thus wash off whatever economic progress they have made all these years.
If there were not armistice or ceasefire, both would proceed to annihilate each other with more brutal military adventurism, which may lead to the use of nuclear weapons in the final countdown. So with Indian and Pakistan bracing each other on diplomatic and military fronts all along might try to settle their scores on the battlefield, which would drastically change the contours of the present geographical complexion. Thus, more territorial disputes would arise and more bitterness would develop.
While Pakistan is caught in the throes of a civil war at home front and also fighting a proxy war for the west, it cannot afford to ignite a crisis situation that can lead to a war and military confrontation with India. But once it is free from Tribal and Afghanistan entanglements, it might pick up the courage to brace against India, as a matter of do or die option. Given the Indian expanding role in Afghanistan affairs, Pakistan is genuinely worried that it night get a push both from the eastern and western fronts once the foreign occupation troops leave Afghanistan.
Only the time would unravel if the future Afghan government would allow India to carry on its anti Pakistan activities and be able to incite pro-Indian Afghan and tribal militants against Pakistan for an insurgency. However, hopefully Pakistan would be able to stem the extremists’ militancy as it did in Swat, Dir, Malakand and of late in South Waziristan.
Therefore, in the backdrop of this endemic and seething hostility, the Indian External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna’s three-day visit with a “message of peace and friendship from the people of India” to Pakistan was yet another futile attempt to mend fences between two inveterate adversaries. As the past betokens, there can be no breakthrough as such visits have been window-dressing and cosmetic without throwing up tangible outcome for a real era of friendship and peace to begin.
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Army should take over Karachi

July 22, 2010
Army should take over Karachi
By Saeed Qureshi
Pakistan is emerging as the most unsafe place for humans on planet earth. The target killing of citizens by feuding groups and rival brigands is going on unabated. The trigger-happy assassins since May this year alone have killed 244 persons. The target killers seem to be more daring and overpowering than the law and order outfits. There is a free-for-all mayhem that devours precious lives every day and every moment.
The Karachi metropolis has become the battleground for revenge and target assassinations. The provincial interior minister Zulfikar Mirza, some few months ago claimed, with lot of sound and fury, that he would lay down his life to restore peace in Karachi. He issued that ultimatum to the outlaws and killers in a public meeting. Since then, the situation instead of improving has further exacerbated. It looks as if a mini civil war was underway that might erupt into a full-fledged war sooner than later.
Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan and is inhabited by a diversity of ethnic, sectarian, cross cultural entities as well as aliens from Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. There is no legitimate or credible account of the foreigners living in legal or illegal capacities. Then there are old Sindhis and new Sindhis, the refugees and Pathans from NWFP (now Pakhtunkhawa). It is a hotchpotch of multiple ethnic communities and races.
The bad blood between MQM members and Pathans has been a lingering issue for the last several decades or precisely from the Ayub era when Pathans had an upper hand for their ability to use and flaunt deadly weapons in the public.
They have been counterpoised by MQM in later years after its founding by Altaf Hussain who by his macho style of over-lordship converted this one time timid group into a formidable force that could give matching response to the brazen browbeating by their rivals. The MQM has been working like a monolithic, tightly controlled, closely disciplined, and firmly knitted fraternity that gradually managed to establish its hold as equal partner in Karachi.
However, the conflict that generated in early years between Pathan community and MQM never dissipated although it went into hibernation and has been simmering ever since. Now we hear that the Balochis, Afghanis, and Taliban too are converging in Karachi. It makes Karachi like sitting on the brim of volcano that can explode with full force any time.
There are rangers, and there are government moles and intelligence network, police and sometimes troops but all these have failed to contain or break the chain of killing of innocent civilians. There is an atmosphere of dread and fear that pervades every lane and street, public place and every mind. Those who eke out their living by ordinary means in road side stalls, or kiosks or the peddlers or the laborers on construction projects are also targeted by the invisible assassins whose prime motive is to destabilize and destroy the social peace and smooth commuting of the people whether by walking or in vehicles.
It is a horrendous situation that merits urgent attention of both the provincial and federal authorities. A national conference for restoration and preservation of peace in Karachi should be convened. Karachi has the vital importance for being a port city and the leading industrial city in Pakistan. If the civilian law and order agencies have thus far failed to curb the mushrooming violence then let this city be handed over to the army that has the capability and muscle to curb escalating violence. If needed, the army can solicit the support of the political parties and civil society institutions for this most urgent task.
Besides Karachi in other cities of Pakistan, life is far from being normal or absolutely tranquil. The cities are being subjected to suicide bombing and acts of terrorism by all kind of subversive elements. The latest that took place at Data shrine killing scores of people sends a spine-chilling message from the perpetrators that they could strike anywhere and anytime.
The leaders, rulers, top bureaucrats, and high profile government functionaries are escorted and protected by an army of bodyguards and bullet and bombproof cars. However, a common person is so direly exposed to the lurking threat to his or her life. The people are turning paranoid or senseless about the gruesome tragedies and horrifying killing sprees going on around them.
Majority is poor, helpless, defenseless and without any protection from the savage and heartless criminals, gangsters, hired assassins, mafias who are devoid of any mercy or sanctity for human life. Then whose responsibility is it to provide security and safety to the life and property and guarantee right to live peacefully to the citizens? People are dying every day because the killers shoot or kill them with rare abandon or without any fear from those whose responsibility is to ensure law and order.

Judiciary, Media and Shrines

July 12, 2010
Judiciary, Media and Shrines
By Saeed Qureshi
Why has the Pakistan government chosen to be at warpath with the judiciary and of late with the media? This is a million dollar question that begs detailed answer. The Don Quixote of the present government Babar Awan is fighting multi-directional war with every contender that in his skewed perception was not toeing the government line. In addition, the government is sweeping all the corruption cases under the rug and forgets that a discredited and corrupt lot of people runs the government.
The latest antics like the resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly curbing media’s freedom cannot be expected from an elected provincial government. Yet, Babar Awan the lone crusader for the incumbent government is publically shielding the proponents of this sleazy resolution. These and other farcical gimmicks would in the final run undermine the leftover credibility of the ruling junta.
Can you believe that the worthy prime minister is not aware as to who wrote the letter challenging the appointment of the chief justice of Pakistan? Not long ago, it was the prime minister himself who restored the sacked judges with a stroke of pen. Now he says he does not know who and why someone wrote this nasty letter. Is someone down below or high above bypassing him? If it is the law ministry then the law minister should be arraigned and asked how dare he could do such a nefarious thing. Well it is on record of the apex court that the letter was written by the NAB’s (National Accountability Bureau) prosecutor General Irfan Haider and is part of the official record presented in the Supreme Court.
Theo government has divided the judiciary, the lawyers by bribe and favors to buy their support and loyalties. Now it is coming down with a very hand on the media. So with these malicious steps, the civil society has almost been half debilitated. Yet with onerous dubious distinction, Babar Awan is floating over high and low in the land of Pakistan to do things, which are blatant infringements of the law of the land and the constitution of Pakistan. The courts have been derided, bypassed, and made to look mere retail shops for dispensation of justice. One man under the express or tacit orders of his boss is out to wreck the judicial system of Pakistan, which was restored after great sacrifices and rigorous struggle. Now he is tilting at the media.
Former president Musharraf seemed prone to making amends when he was convinced these were inevitable. His revival of the political system, freeing the media, holding of elections and mending fences with political forces via NRO demonstrated that the chickens finally were allowed to come home to roost.
In addition, the existing government whose leaders had insignificant role in the revival of democracy, civil society, media’s freedom, and judiciary’s independence are now on the rampage with these institutions and wrecking their strength and vitality.
The nation of Pakistan is dying socially, economically and physically. The hope for most of the distressed Pakistanis to survive and subsist is fading. Tell me one project or plan that the government has came up so far, that addresses the meanest problems of the impoverished and downtrodden people of Pakistan? In my earlier article, I have exhorted optimism about a better Pakistan. That is true but how long the ashes would accumulate on which someone would build a new Pakistan.
Now the attack on Data Durbar in Lahore immediately seized the attention of the prime minister of Pakistan who on the other hand does not know who wrote the sinister letter to the supreme challenging the authority of the chief justice to be sitting in his office. The reason is that the prime minister and his family are the part of the shrine system that has been exploiting the gullible people for centuries.
The prime minister’s knee jerk reaction to the Data Durbar attack is fundamentally to lament the desecration of the sacred places but more to forestall the impending threat that can come to the shrine culture in Pakistan. It is an SOS response to the threat posed to the self-preservation and to the survival of the institution, he belongs. It is so because there have been countless terrorist incidents in Pakistan but seldom has the prime minister moved so swiftly and as decisively as in case Data Durbar. His decision to convene a national conference on dealing with terrorism should have been taken long ago.
The great mystic Data Ganj Bakhsh Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery (990-1077 AD), came to India almost a millennium ago. He was a mystic but more than that, he was an outstanding theologian, a learned preacher and eminent scholar of Islam. He would not want a shrine, a tomb, and a mausoleum to be erected on his grave becuase as a scholar of Islam he knew that it was not permitted in Islam. It is strictly prohibited in Islam because Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) decreed not to worship graves and create mediums between God and his creators. God does not accept solicitors because he is closer than our jugular vein. Islam even decrees not to build a permanent grave with stones or bricks.
However, here in India and Pakistan there are countless shrines that are centers for redressing all kinds of people’s problems. Paradoxically, the problems instead of abating or diminishing continue to soar and compound. So the institution of Dargas, Durbars and shrines must be abolished because these are run by the people who are filthy rich, role in sea of money, are the most privileged, travel in slick posh limousines, eat fabulous foods, and take part in politics.
Although they are steeped in materialism and worldly pleasures up to the neck yet they are believed to be the deities of God sharing almighty’s powers. Even in this age of science, reason, and enlightenment, we can see them ruling the hearts and minds of the credulous and superstitious. Yet a real spiritual leader would be more of a thinker, an intellectual, a reformer and not an exploiter or fond of raising mausoleum on his burial place that is turned into venues of exploitation with claims of redressing the needs of the people.
To believe in a human being who is made of flesh and blood, who eats more than the common person, and marries many women, is a cruel and abominable joke with the pristine, pious, and simple teachings of Islam. Islam has been made to look symbolic than an embodiment of eternal codes of life for the salvation and betterment of humans for all ages and regions.
Not only that the institutions of superstition, bigotry, but their foster brother feudalism should also be dismantled finally. Both exploit and enslave the human beings, one in the name of having divine powers while the other through straight oppression and sheer highandedness. This is the biggest paradox in Pakistan and if the people do not relinquish or untangle these nooses of bondage and enslavement there is no way that Pakistan can shape up as a modern, enlightened, progressive, democratic, Islamic state. Islam essentially is a secular religion that allows full freedom to all sects, denominations, and faiths to follow their creeds and dogmas.
Bigoted Islam that is depicted to be ridden with cast, (Syed and others), sectarianism (Shias and Sunnis), and sainthood of shrines cannot cope with the monumental challenges that are raising their heads every now and then. One of these formidable challenges is the clash of civilizations in which Islam has been portrayed to be challenging the West synonymous with Christianity and Judaism.
Nevertheless, apart from this clash of civilizations or religions, the world at large is moving fast on material and technological tracks. If we remain bogged in the primitive and shrine based faith, priesthood, sainthood, fake mystics, shamans and ascetics, the cult of imposter and worldly holy men; then we cannot get rid of the shackles of mental and material backwardness. That is what our country is plagued with and that is what is at the root of its poverty and lack of development. Let us venerate what Data Ganj Bakhsh said.

Let us not Despair about Pakistan

July 9, 2010
By Saeed Qureshi

Pakistan a nascent state has remained caught in myriad problems ever since it came into being in 1947. These problems are both internal and external. A new nation under an inept and self-seeking leadership remained lost and distracted from its course of moving forward to progress, prosperity, and stability. Pakistan’s dilemma is that its leadership that created and struggled for Pakistan did not live long enough to set the parameters that could have transformed it into a vibrant and viable state.

In the modern times, Pakistan and India’s emergence as two independence states is a unique phenomenon that has few parallels in the history. Both the sub-continental states were the result of a sustained movement for independence kept in high gear by Muslim and Hindu leaders. For a variety of undeniable factors and divergent dynamics, these two communities could not opt to live together in one united state.

Immediately after partition of the British India, Pakistan was beset with refugees’ problem and the settlement of the incoming immigrants from the territories that became part of India. This country fell into the hands of the nasty bureaucrats who were averse to making a constitution and embarking Pakistan upon a democratic course. The intriguing politicians, whose predominant lot came from the feudal classes, hijacked the political power and until this day are overt or covert power brokers and wielders. With the feudal culture still rampant and dominant, the democracy seems to be tainted and spurious.

The perennial Kashmir issue has given ascendancy to the armed forces as the savior of the nation although it was during the military rules that Pakistan suffered ruinous setbacks and detrimental downfalls. As is commonly known, the first military ruler Gen (how could he become Field Marshall) Ayub Khan deprived Pakistan of three rivers, lending a devastating blow to Pakistan’s agricultural based economy. Yahya Khan truncated Pakistan. Gen Ziaul buried a democratic government, hanged an elected prime minster, promoted religious extremism and sectarian animus, and turned Pakistan into a mercenary hatchet man for the foreign imperialism.

Finally, Gen Musharraf played havoc with the constitution of Pakistan. He consolidated his power by manipulating with self-preserving amendments in the constitution and pushing Pakistan further into the lap of foreign hegemonic designs and reinforcing Pakistan’s mercenary role.

Now this is history. With the popular elections in 2007, Pakistan has been set on a new democratic path after almost ten years of one-man rule, and 32 years of cumulative military domination of Pakistan. Despite the ferocious and unrelenting insurgency and frequent suicide bombing, Pakistan is doing well with the rest of the world and at home. The religious based militancy that is apace for a decade or so would have challenged the authority of state at some juncture. The thorns of sectarian and ethnic bad blood that Gen Zia had sown have been growing into full-scale stature. It was foregone that eventually, the extremism within both Pakistan or of external import would descend upon Pakistan with full fury.
Pakistan could not have saved itself from the fanaticism of the religious militants after their victory in Afghanistan. Logically they would have come home with more victories with a view to establishing an Islamic orthodox system (caliphate) of government in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. I doubt if Pakistan or Afghanistan governments or societies could hold their advance and check their unrelenting sway as was later witnessed in Swat and northern valleys.

It is here that the American and NATO forces’ presence in this region to curb and weaken these merciless brigands looks useful. Therefore, in a way the military might of NATO and of the United States to browbeat religious frenzy and militancy has been a kind of blessing in disguise for Pakistan.

Eventually the occupation forces will have to leave Afghanistan. So primarily, it would be both Pakistan and Afghanistan that would benefit from the weakening and bludgeoning of Taliban and Al-Qaida who could have turned this region into a hell engaging Pakistan army into a perpetual conflict. If there are people, who believe that Taliban would revive Islamic glory and pristine caliphate are living in fools’ paradise. If Taliban turn Pakistan into another Swat and Kabul, would we call it a genuine Islamic government.

Notwithstanding the personal objectionable character or the villainous volition of the individuals in power in Pakistan, the fact cannot be ignored that it is essentially an elected government. Still it is a democratic dispensation that retains some semblance of accountability and censure as exercised by media and judiciary. Gradually and imperceptibly the economy is showing resilience and revival, howsoever feeble and slow it may be. Already the incumbent government has travelled half way of its constitutional tenure. Let it continue and leave the people to reelect them in the next elections or cast them away in favor of new praetorian. The courts are relatively freer and so are the media and the civil society.

There is a barrage of problems for majority of Pakistan’s populace. The poverty, the insecure life, the shortage of water and power, the corruption, the unemployment, the inadequacy of socio-civic services, the appalling cost of living are some of the horrendous problems that afflict Pakistan. However, these problems were still there when a military junta was in power. So by comparison a democratic government, howsoever, flawed it may be, is decidedly better than a stultifying military rule that gags freedom and rules by coercion. In the present set up, at least you can express and voice your grievances and problems. In an authoritarian system, you risk your honor, life and freedom if you oppose or dissent.

My vision is that Pakistan despite its countless problems including the oft repeated skepticism about its viability and survival will stay and move steadfastly on the way to becoming a modern state with all attending hallmarks. The women are more empowered, and there is some kind of accountability although the executive has not moved fast to take action against the culprits. A stage would arrive when civil society would be vibrant enough to press for dire action against the defaulters, outlaws, delinquents, bribe takers and so.

Instead of condemning or berating the government for every major and minor fault, let us see it in a broader context. At least it is being run by the people’s elected representatives. Let us strive and wish that the incumbent government can move away from its mistakes and follies, corrects its rudder, and drives the country out of dire straits. The worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship, goes the adage.

Towards Peace in Afghanistan

June 29, 2010
Towards Peace in Afghanistan
By Saeed Qureshi
The kind of skepticism expressed by both president Obama and CIA director Leon E. Panetta about the prospects for an Afghanistan peace deal pushed by Pakistan between the Afghan government and some Taliban militants is a natural outcome towards an unpredictable situation that remains fluid and subject to unforeseen changes. President Obama expressed his views after the Group of 20 meeting in Toronto while Mr. Panetta articulated his point of view on ABC’s “This Week.” Show.
The skepticism of both the president of United States and CIA director stems from their main concern that the “The fundamental purpose, of disrupting and dismantling Al Qaeda and their militant allies may not be hampered by inclusion of Taliban into a power sharing arrangement with the government in Afghanistan.”
If viewed and analyzed logically, the mission launched by Pakistan government is well- intentioned and can be carried out in three phases. The first phase is to make the Taliban agree on joining the government in Kabul. This step should not be difficult to achieve, because even the Taliban should be wanting to end the deadly war raging in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan’s territory for a decade now.
Pakistan with the support of friendly Taliban can even prevail upon Sirajuddin Haqqani faction, the so known supporters of Al-Qaida, to agree to join the peace efforts and to become part of the power sharing in Kabul. This phase might be more bumpy but with the will and consent of Karzai government and with the support and backing of Pakistan, the desired pacification can be brought about.
If these stages are achieved, this should be construed as a stupendous victory for America, because as a result of that rapprochement, the fighting can recede and one can look forward to the next step, which is to hunt down the Al-Qaida militants so that Afghanistan and Pakistan is cleared of their existence and calamitous operations. It would be naive to pre-suppose that Sirjuddin Haqqani group would not agree to the complete annihilation of the terrorist band that was primarily responsible for the deadly attacks within America and prompting the NATO and US troops to come all the way to Afghanistan in their pursuit.
If Taliban, ten years ago, had handed over the Al-Qaida leaders to the United States, the horrendous decade long war could have been avoided. I find it extremely difficult to agree with some Islamic revolutionary ideologues that al-Qaida was fighting for Islam. They could have fought for Islam through media, preaching, peaceful and non-violent means. With their stubborn insurgency Afghanistan and the whole region has bathed in blood and horrifying devastation.
America under no circumstances would budge from its mission of disbanding the Al-Qaida network and break their militancy for all time to come. After all al-Qaida does not represent the Islamic world in matters of Islamic ideology or the faith. There are countless diverse schools of faith in Islam and most of these may not look eye to eye with Al-Qaida’s perception or philosophy of Islam. If al-Qaida was so much in defense of Islam then why it fought in support of the Christian armies against the Soviets who were as heathen and anti Islam as the Christian world is. It means that their love, outlook, or perspective of Islam is not in harmony or in conformity with the other shades and genres of Islam.
If Sirajuddin Haqqani outfit lifts its hands off al-Qaida, then it should not be difficult for the United States to approve the formation of such a coalition administration in Afghanistan in which not only the warring factions including Haqqani faction could join, but which the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments would also safeguard and promote. If this arrangement fructifies then the United States would be able to achieve peace at its bidding, which it had not been able to obtain through a decade long war at huge monetary and human cost. This set up would definitively isolate al-Qaida, which would not be able to maintain its physical presence in Afghanistan and continue its heinous activities all by itself.
Therefore, the central idea is to snatch the sanctuaries that are now available to al-Qaida in the form of Sirajuddin Haqqani and some Taliban factions. As such, the efforts being mounted by Pakistan should be appreciated and encouraged. The indications are that Karzai and Pakistan governments are nearing a tacit understanding on this crucial way-out which essentially serves America better than the NATO coalition partner do.
For the United States, this would spell a diplomatic triumph, which would be more durable, and far reaching than the elusive military victory. Once an American friendly government with the participation of Taliban of various brands, both from Pakistan and Afghansintan come into being, the task of the United States to chase and annihilate Al-Qaida would become much easier.
Still it would be irrational and fanciful to expect that the entire army of al-Qaida would be netted. If America manages to capture arch leaders, it would be a gigantic breakthrough. To the lower ranks and ordinary members, America can offer an amnesty so that they can lay down tbeir arms and also join the mainstream of a civilized life and turn away from their murderous mandate.
If concurrently, a solution to the Middle East tumult can also be found by creating the promised independent land for the Palestinians, there is no gainsaying that the friction that exists between Muslims on one hand and Israel and United states on the other would eventually evaporate. If Muslims, can live along with the Christians and Jews in Spain for 700 years, there is no reason as to why they can’t coexist in the modern times when the world is moving towards a contiguous abode commonly known as the global village.
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