<b>NWFP being renamed as Afghania </b>
PESHAWER: The government in the North West Frontier Province has decided to change the name of the province as Afghania. For this purpose, the provincial government has sent the summary of a bill to the federal government. The NWFP government has also requested the Ministry for Inter-Provincial Coordination to make necessary amendments to the Constitution in this regard. It may be recalled that a committee led by the provincial law minister, Malik Zafar Azam, has held consultations in this regard with all stakeholders, including leading political parties of the province. Thereafter, the committee had recommended renaming the province as Afghania.Â
âThe fake currency totalled Indian Rs 10.2 million ($252,000) in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations,â Dhak Bahadur Karki, a senior security official at the airport told AFP, adding the bills were hidden in soap bar wrappers.
Abdul Wahib, 40, who told police he was a businessman, was stopped on Monday at Kathmanduâs Tribhuvan Airport upon arrival from Karachi. If convicted of counterfeiting, Wahib could be sentenced to five years in prison and fined the same amount as the total of the fake currency he attempted to smuggle into Nepal. afp<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Gen 'Ataturk' Musharraf </b>
If Pervez Musharraf survives politically after the Lal Majid episode, it will mark the retreat of Islamism in Pakistan and subsequently in the sub-continent
The storming of Lal Masjid in Islamabad and ridding it of radical Islamists is a major turning point in the history of South Asia. If Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf survives in power, it would mark the beginning of the retreat of Islamism in Pakistan and perhaps in India and Bangladesh.
The General began his national career as the head of the ISI and tried to throw out India from Kargil. It was a start behoving a dedicated leader of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. His turning away from Islamism commenced on the morrow of 9/11 when he told his people that Pakistan was not a thekedar (contractor) of Islam. Moreover, their identity was Pakistani, not Muslim.
The terrorist bomb blasts in London two years ago were another widening of the breach between Gen Musharraf and Islamism. He soundly condemned the terrorists and expressed shame that they were of Pakistani origin. Very few Muslim leaders had at the time condemned the dastardly acts.
Lal Masjid is the third step in the divorce of the General from Islamism. By symbolically challenging the mullahs, he has implicitly declared that enough is enough and that the spheres of the sultan and the mullah are separate. Islam does not look back when its follower turns his back on the faith, which includes the unity of the state and religion. Once a murtadd (apostate), always a murtadd.
The career of Kemal Ataturk is a shining example of this phenomenon. He began life as a loyal officer of the Ottoman Army, rose to be a General and fought for the Caliph's Turkey against Christian Greek invaders and defeated them in the battle of Sarkarya in 1921.
As described by Bernard Lewis, the distinguished American authority on Islam, the Kemalist movement began as one to free Islamic lands and peoples from infidels. He was, however, a modernist who dreamt of converting Turkey into a republic, a concept which was an anathema to conservative Muslims. He, therefore, had to abolish the Caliphate which meant the final separation of the temporal from the spiritual. He allowed the masjids to hold prayers, although the imams were to speak in Turkish and not Arabic. He was not against Islam. But he was a nationalist.
From this moderation, he had to drift away to eventually describe the Caliphate as "the tumour of the middle ages". On the fourth anniversary of the Grand National Assembly, the Ataturk declared: "It had become necessary to liberate Islam from being a tool of polities." He went on to abolish the shari'ah and replaced it with a civil code based on the Swiss model. The wearing of the fez, as well as the hijab, was forbidden. In 1928, the Arabic alphabets were replaced with Roman as the script of the Turkish language. Turkey was to become a fully European country despite only three per cent of its territory being on the western side of the Straits of Bosporus.
Kemal Pasha had, in a matter of eight years, turned from a moderate Muslim to being virtually an anti-Islamist. Islam is a pure religion which offers itself to no compromise.
<b>The Muslim is either a momin, a faithful, or he is a murtadd. That is the fate that awaits Gen Musharraf after Lal Masjid. He has violated the Pakistan Constitution whereby sovereignty belongs to Allah. Article 2 states that Islam shall be the state religion of Pakistan and the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in Holy Quran and Sunnah shall be the supreme law. Before he goes any further with reform, he might have to redraw the Constitution</b>.
Even if Gen Musharraf does not introduce a new document, he could have a go at the ulema, say by abolishing polygamy and making divorce as easy or as difficult equally for men and women. In one stroke he would gain the support of the more modern among the Pakistanis as well as most women.
<b>If the General gets away with such reforms, he might replace the shari'ah with a civil code, as Ataturk did</b>. The provocation to the Islamists would be such as to provoke a counter-attack which, in turn, would give him the opportunity to fight and hopefully to defeat them. No doubt, the resulting bloodshed would not be insignificant.
The Army can broadly be taken as a class that would support this secularisation and there would be the elite, the media, the judiciary and the Governments of Russia, China as well as the US which would support any change that is anti-fundamentalist. India should also favour a more modern Pakistan which, in turn, would weaken the hardline ulema in India.
<b>All in all, the dice is loaded in favour of Gen Musharraf</b>. No doubt, the supreme pre-condition would be his ability to survive an environment which does not put a high premium on avoiding bloodshed
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Ittefaq Nama </b>
Open latter to His Imperious Majesty, His Holliness, Judge of Judges, Chairman and CEO of Supreme Coat, Iftkhar Chory Saab: â786. AOA. Kajra ray, kajra ray, teray karay karay naina. I am 200% agree with you about men in uniform. We both never ever want to talk to a man in uniform except to say âIâll have a Big Mac, Coke and Extra Large Friesâ. Hain ji? I am your great admirer and will spote rule of la and respact of judiciary for as long as I am in opposition. As you know, I am coming. Please do not sand me back to Saudi Arabia. It is not EuroDisney. Life in Jeddah is like driving koora (garbage) truck with Mercedes hubcaps. I have learnt a lot in exile. You can do an exam if you like. It will proof to you that I am brilliantine. Does Musharraf know what is called Pakistani with one hair? Answer: Iqbal. Why Pakistanis are not in London football team? Answer: because every time it is a corner, Pakistanis they build corner shop. Living with Britishers is also not nice. The white people they are not liking us Pakis. It is happening to me also. On day before APC, I decided to paint my Park Lane flat fresh white. But on climbing ladder I slapped and fell into tub of white paint and was covered in white paint. I decided to go to Oxford Street to get Wipe Its. On the way I met Maulana Fazlurrahman who asked, âMian Saab, whatâs happened to you?â I said âI was painting flat for APC and climbing ladder I slapped and I fell into tub of white paint. Now Iâm going to Oxford Street to get Wipe Itsâ. Then I again started walking and met Sherry Rehman. She said, âMian Saab, whatâs happened to you?â I said âI was painting flat for APC and climbing ladder I slapped and I fell into tub of white paint. Now Iâm going to Oxford Street to get Wipe Its. Do you mind?â. She went off in huff in Prada shoes. Then I started walking and met Imran Khan. He said, âMian Saab, whatâs happened to you?â I said âUfff! I was painting flat for APC and climbing ladder slapped and fell into tub of white pain. Now I am going to Oxford Street to get Wipe Its. Tenoo keee?â I said pushing away his helping arm leaving white smudge on Imranâs Georgio Harami suit. Lastly I met Asfandyar Wali who asked, âMian Saab, whatâs happened to you?â and I started shouting, âAll of you di mother-sister! Whatâs to you?!! Every body is illegitimate offspring! Iâve only been white for half an hour and I canât stand you interfering Pakis!â So please let me return to bloved Lahore. As Allama Iqbal said: Pyar kiya to darna kya?â
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SUCH GUP - FT
As the days pass, details of the Mush-Big Ben deal will become known to the nation and it will then be obvious that the arrangements range from the practical and do-able, to the mindlessly optimistic to the downright bizarre. One such caveat brokered by Mush and Big Benâs intermediaries has to do with Hubbyâs status and return to the Land of the Pure. Our mole says it has been agreed that Hubby will stay put abroad and not return to Pakistan. They say Big Ben did not need much persuasion on this score and has agreed to let Hubby stay away.
<b>In the Land of Sand </b>
Mushâs visit to Al-King in the Land of Sand had a single point agenda â to get the Brothers Sharifov to stay away from Pakistan. Clearly, it hasnât worked to the extent that the Brothers have moved the Supreme Court to clear the way for their return. Whether they actually make the journey at the end of the day is yet to be seen but sources say Al-King is mighty cheesed off with them. A fly on the wall told us that Al-King had a one-on-one meeting with Mush in which he poured his heart out regarding the Brothersâ âbroken promisesâ and âviolated agreementsâ. Al-King told Mush that they had asked for a three month break from the Land of Sand to attend to ailing family members, and had promised to return. Al-King said the Brothers Sharifov were now turning a deaf ear to him.
<b>Posting and transfers </b> <!--emo&--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Such is the new-found amity between Mush and Big Ben that even before the ink is dry on The Mother of All Deals, the lady is being consulted on all and sundry. We hear no important postings and transfers of high officials are being done without Big Benâs say-so. Naturally, the lady is deeply appreciative of Mushâs gentlemanly conduct.
Now that itâs open season, Pakistanis will witness yet another dynastic duel. This one is between two sisters-in-law, bahus of a political dynasty. The duel will run on powerful undercurrants, with one lady taking a more prominent public position than the other. Watch this space.
Mush trip to Saudi lala land was a complete failure.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nuggets from the Urdu press </b>
<b>MMAâs secret deal with Musharraf</b>
In daily Nawa-e-Waqt, lyrical columnist Irfan Siddique wrote that, according to reliable sources, Chief Minister of NWFP Akram Durrani gave a detailed briefing to the National Security Council on crushing extremists. Is there any agreement between the MMA and the army to crush extremism? During the last few years, many Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives were captured in NWFP by the provincial police. Army operations are going on in Balochistan, where the MMA is part of the government.
<b>Musk smell from the grave of Ghazi Abdul Rashid</b>
As reported in daily Khabrain, thousands of aqeedatmand (devotees) of Ghazi Abdul Rashid are thronging to his grave in Rojhan, Taunsa Sharrif, and are taking samples of mud from his grave as tabarrak (blessed gifts). Gul Khan from Waziristan said that the grave of Ghazi Abdul Rashid smells of kasturi (musk) and roses. The sheet that covered the body of Ghazi Abdul Rashid was divided by hundreds of devotees.
<b>Karzai pardons Pakistani suicide bomber</b>
As reported in daily Khabrain, Afghan President Hamid Karzai pardoned a 14 year old Pakistani boy. The boy, Rafiqullah, illegally crossed the border wearing a suicide belt to kill the governor of Khost Arsalla Jamal. Rafiqullah said that he met a person in Afghanistan who gave him the jacket. He said he was threatened when he refused to attack the governor. His father, Matiullah, said he didnât know about the activities of his son.
<b>Pakistan army equipped only to fight India</b>
Daily Express, quoting from The New York Times, reported that when Al Qaeda was organising in Afghanistan, the Clinton administration was in the dark about their activities. Now that American intelligence agencies are convinced of Al Qaedaâs presence in the tribal areas of Pakistan, they are in the same situation as the Clinton administration was. <b>According to CIA officials, the Pakistan army is incapable of fighting Al Qaeda in the tribal areas, as the army is equipped with traditional weapons and is only trained to fight India</b>.
<b>Americans thinking of direct attack on Pakistan </b>
Daily Express, quoting from The New York Times, reported that thereâs discussion in the Bush administration about whether a direct attack is an option. The Bush administration believes that a direct attack would be a great mistake. When a CIA official was asked what would happen if Al Qaeda attacked from the tribal areas and succeeded, the official replied that they would destroy the whole region.
<b>Cowasjee under attack in Urdu press</b>
Sarerahe wrote in daily Nawa-e-Waqt, that famous columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee said in New Dehli that Pakistan is on the brink of break up and everyone should pack their bags. Cowasjee should be congratulated on his statement and should spread his bedding in Chandni Chowk in Hyderabad Deccan. Others that he has warned should pack their bags too, and head for anti-Pakistan destinations.
<b>Saudi Grand Mufti condemns fictitious jihad </b>
According to Daily Pakistan, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, said that Muslim youth should be aware of those who are instigating them to carry out a fictitious jihad. He said that these elements keep their own children away from these hardships, which show their wicked intentions. He said one group is spreading a fitna (mischief) among ummah, and it should be avoided.
<b>Sir, we are with you!</b>
In daily Express, famous columnist Javed Chaudhry wrote that the government killed innocent citizens in Karachi on May 12. On July 10, it attacked Jamia Hafsa and <b>killed more than 2,000 innocent girls and boys</b>.<b> The greatest hero of Pakistan, Dr Abdul Qadeer, has been under house arrest for 1,236 days</b>. Sir, now the people of Pakistan have woken up and will make sure that your decisions are acted upon. Start with small cases, and we are all with you.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Internal Security Threats: Counter-TerrorismÂ Â </b>
If America is the terrorist...
Counter-terrorism is more dangerous for the government in Pakistan than terrorism is for terrorists
Pakistanâs undertaking to end terrorism is sabotaged by a lack of conviction. It doesnât believe that there is terrorism. It equally lacks the conviction that counter-terrorist policies are its own. At the popular and intellectual level, efforts against terrorism are confounded by the insistence to first âdefine terrorismâ. In this discussion, America invariably emerges as the terrorist.
Is there terrorism in Pakistan? There is an overwhelming consensus that there is no terrorism in Pakistan. The violence that one sees is a reaction to the policy of âenslavementâ to the United States. The United States is not fighting a war against terrorism but a war against Islam. The trouble in the Tribal Areas fills the vacuum of the dereliction of the state when it facilitated the American invasion of Afghanistan. Most politicians and their followers deny that there are any âforeignersâ in Waziristan.
Even those who acknowledge the existence of terrorism in Pakistan, begin the discussion by condemning the United States. The inevitable reference to Iraq bleeds the American case against terrorism of all legitimacy. Obfuscation sets in when intellectuals demanding a âcorrectâ definition of terrorism equate the collateral damage of war to the killing of innocent people by suicide-bombers. âFactsâ about terrorism appearing in the national press are ignored for these reasons, but also because of the power of intimidation of the Islamists who actually agree with the strategy of suicide-bombing.
<b>Facts that need to be ignored:</b> In the first six months of 2007, Pakistan suffered 558 terrorist attacks that claimed 1019 lives. As far as the incidents of terrorism are concerned, the highest number occurred in Balochistan, 238, but the fatalities there, 94, donât compare with the deaths, 723, in the Tribal Areas. The NWFP suffered 155 attacks with 160 deaths. It is the Tribal Areas where the people are being forcibly moulded to become the support base of the terrorists. Other areas are simply âexternalâ targets away from the âground zeroâ of the Tribal Areas. The Tribal Areas could be the largest base of international terrorism in the world.
The politics of denial must ignore all evidence of counter-terrorist âsuccessâ. The security forces of Pakistan arrested 853 terrorists in the first six months of 2007. These included 32 Al Qaeda operatives, 172 Taliban warriors and 488 âinsurgentsâ against the state. Those arrested also included 115 from the banned religious groups. Where were the Al Qaeda men (Arab, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Chechen, etc.) arrested from? Mostly from Wana in South Waziristan, which the world thinks is where Osama bin Laden could be hiding. The collective rage (the state plus the religious groups plus the population) against the âintelligenceâ that Osama bin Laden could be in the Tribal Areas strikes at the root of counter-terrorism in the country.
<b>âUmmaâ versus the West and counter-terrorism:</b> There is little clarity about the âmoralityâ of fighting terrorism. Since the collapse of Arab nationalism in the Middle East, all âdefinitionalâ matters are referred to the religious leaders. Based on networking, most clerics in the Islamic world derive strength from supporting and propagating the edicts issued by Arab clerics against counter-terrorism. Added to this is the jurisprudence of the Palestinian issue in the Middle East. The âinjusticeâ of what has been done to the Palestinians by the United States booby-traps all focus on national issues.
The terrorism of sectarian wars promised most to be considered ânationalâ and not linked âgloballyâ to the United States. Yet, each time Shias and Sunnis were massacred in Pakistan both communities accused the United States for having âplannedâ the killings. A âglobalâ nexus was established after every sectarian killing to prevent the development of the morality of fighting terrorism inside Pakistan. The Shia of Pakistan were dubbed partners of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq; the Shia-killers were linked by the Shia clerics to the United States through the middlemanâs role played by the ISI.
<b>Anti-Americanism as counter-terrorism:</b> If not terrorism, who is killing us? No doubt, America. The logic of this argument is developed through very tortuous reasoning. The first part is simple. If there is terrorism in Pakistan it canât be done by a Muslim because Islam forbids a Muslim from killing another Muslim. If terrorism is a Muslim phenomenon then it should happen inside the United States. Since it is happening in Pakistan, it must be engineered by Washington. Amazingly, discussants on TV channels are linking the recent Al Qaeda suicide, Abdullah Mehsud, to an American plan to kill the Chinese in Pakistan. Wasnât he released from Guantanamo Bay prematurely for this reason?
Counter-terrorism is more dangerous for the government in Pakistan than terrorism is for terrorists. Not all the establishment in Islamabad is convinced that Pakistan should accept the latest American âpressure tacticâ in the shape of a Congress Bill to get Islamabad to pursue the Taliban and Islamic extremists. The biggest persuader may be Islamist âintimidationâ, but the stated reason is the âpeople of Pakistanâ and that ultimately includes democracy that Musharraf is postponing.