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Pakistan News And Discussion-9
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The government of Pakistan has banned my book “The Truth About Muhammad,”

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=18807<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Seal his lips - <b>The PM is getting unstoppable about Pakistan </b>
http://www.newsinsight.net/archivedebates/....asp?recno=1560

9 January 2007: The PM said something odd yesterday. At the FICCI annual summit, he gave free rein to his imagination almost like A.B.Vajpayee . "I dream of a day," said Manmohan Singh, "when, while retaining our separate identities, we can have breakfast in Amritsar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul. That is how my forefathers lived. That is how I want our grandchildren to live."

Pakistan said nothing about this dreaming. But it poured ice-cold water. Pakistan said nothing about this dreaming. But it poured ice-cold water on another of the PM's proposals. Last month in Amritsar, and again at the FICCI summit yesterday, he spoke of a peace, security and friendship treaty with Pakistan. Pakistan was ready with its reply, which was effectively a riposte or snub or both.

The news agencies quoted a Pakistan foreign office spokesperson to say, "We are working to normalize relations with India and for that it is important we resolve longstanding issues between us, Kashmir being most important of them. Once we resolve outstanding issues, perhaps we can move towards such a scenario." ........... <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nuggets from the Urdu press</b>
FT 
<b>Rekha wants to be mother</b>
According to Daily Paksitan, famous Hollywood actress Rekha wants to be a mother at the age of 73. She said that recently a woman gave birth at the age of 63 and I would like to break her record. Rekha said a lot of women can perform this feat, and she is confident that she will be the first to do it at the age of 73.

<b>Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi grave desecrated</b>
As reported in daily Khabrain, people were angered when the graves of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi and his family were desecrated in Thana Bhon in India. The incharge of Khanka Imdadia Ashrafia Maulana Najam ul Hassan, said that a few days earlier the gravestone was missing and now somebody had vandalised the graves of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, his wife Rahmat Elahi, and his brother Mazhar Ali Khan Bahadur. When the local people heard about the incident, some 30 to 40 thousand people gathered around the mazar. He said people believe that RSS is involved in this incident.  <!--emo&:liar liar--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/liar.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='liar.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>Ulema to promote family planning in mosques</b>
As reported in daily Express, the federal minister for population welfare, Shahbaz Hussain has said that<b> 22 thousand ulema are being nominated to educate people about the benefits of family planning. This includes 6,000 women scholars. Following the Bangladesh model, population control pills packets would be available in the mosques</b>. <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo--> The minister said that the proposal for approval of providing funds to ulema and women scholars has been sent to the Prime Minister. The Ulema karam would explain the benefits of family planning during juma (Friday) prayers.

<b>Bangladesh can become East Pakistan again</b>
As reported in daily Jang, the head of Jamaat ahle hadith, Allama Zubair Ahmad Zaheer said that the fall of Dhaka was a great tragedy and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Yahya Khan were responsible for it. He said that Bangladesh can become East Pakistan again but the rulers of Pakistan would have to relinquish power for ten years. If Pakistan agrees to accept the rule of East Pakistan for ten years, we can reverse the course of history. Our selfish and opportunist rulers would not accept this but in a first step for unification we shall remove the visa restrictions on Muslim brothers of Bangladesh.

<b>Pakistanis disappear in Saudi Arabia</b>
In an interview in daily Jang, the federal secretary for religious affairs, Wakil Ahmad Khan, said that all the policies of Saudi Arabia are made because of our own erroneous ways. <b>3.53 lac people went for Umra from Pakistan and 1.1 lac disappeared in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has prohibited Hajj pilgrims less than 40 years of age from Pakistan and Egypt.</b>   <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo--> This restriction doesn’t apply on a person traveling with a family.

<b>Six mazars set on fire by vandals</b>
As reported in daily Khabrain the shrines of famous Sufi saint Hazrat Pir Musa Nawab, Pir baba Suba Sadiq and Pir Manak Shah were set on fire in Hangarpur by unknown vandals. The cover cloth of the grave and other relic were destroyed by the fire. Thousand of devotees and followers of Pir Baba gathered around the mazar and protested against the desecration of the shrines. The police is arresting people in panic and has arrested one non Muslim Khrishna thori and have registered a case against him.

<b>Squads to disrupt New Year parties</b>
As reported in Daily Pakistan, Shabab-e-milli would stop anyone celebrating New Year and indulging in obscenity and nudity. The youth squad (danda force) would patrol the streets of big cities and disrupt New Year parties to stop nudity and obscenity. Azeem Randhawa said that the rulers are pushing the country into atheism under the guise of enlightened moderation and paving the way for nudity and obscenity against the laws of God, which is part of the western agenda.

<b>Iran would deal in Euro only</b>
As reported in daily Express, Iran has announced to convert its reserves from dollars to Euro and said it will deal only in Euro in the future. The government spokesman, Ghulam Hussain Alyam, said foreign monetary deals and payments of oil would be received in Euro. He said that in the future the Iran budget would also be announced in Euro.

<b>Internet love in Lahore</b>
As reported in Daily Pakistan, 30 year old American Dona Mary Pant has married a Pakistani after an internet love affair. She filed a case in the court of civil judge Rashed Javed Rana for the acceptance of her marriage. She accepted Islam and her Islamic name is Rabia Khan. The lawyer of Dona denied this and said Dona Mary Pant is still a Christian.

<b>New curriculum to promote moderation</b>
As reported in daily Jang, the federal minister for education, Lt Gen ® Javed Ashraf Qazi, said that textbooks are being changed to promote moderation, broadminded education, and tolerance for the rights of minorities and women in Pakistan. The minister said we don’t want our children to become simple maulvis only but to become good citizens. He said Islamic teaching would be limited to Islamiyat classes and calling it secularism is just propaganda and stupid thinking. He denied that the government is back tracking on the two nation theory, but said this new curriculum would stress that Pakistan in not a religious state.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Our jihadi militias in Somalia? </b>
FT
Khaled Ahmed
Soon many warriors from all over the Islamic world are expected to get to Somalia. Because Ethiopia is Christian-ruled and is being helped by America 
 
There is trouble in Somalia again and some newspapers in the United States have named Pakistanis among the Yemenis and the Chechens who are fighting there on behalf of Al Qaeda.

In June 2006, the Islamists took control from a government in Somalia that was hardly functional because of its tribal warlordism. This is a phenomenon we are familiar with from Afghanistan. The clerics who became empowered then set up sharia courts. Unsurprisingly, the Somali clerics too became inclined to an extreme Salafism meant to reform the Somali society the same way the Taliban had theirs.

The world got scared after learning the incongruous punishments the clerical courts were dishing out to the people. One clerical judge actually gave death to soccer-watchers on TV.

Like the Taliban, the militia serving the clergy provided security to the people tired of the depredations of tribal hoods since Somalia’s last dictator Siad Barre gave up in 1991. Like the Taliban, the clerics, calling themselves United Islamic Courts (UIC), were not given recognition by the UN.

In 1992, civil war among the various tribes in Somalia coincided with famine in Ethiopia. One General Farah Eidid got hold of the capital Mogadishu as one part of the country called Somaliland broke away.

The UN sent its forces into Somalia to quell the carnage so that the starving people could be fed. They ran into Eidid in 1993. Osama bin Laden was next-door in Sudan and came down on the side of Eidid with money, weapons and men.

Eidid ended up killing 18 Americans under the UN mandate in an encounter made famous by the film titled Black Hawk Down . Then he ambushed and killed 24 Pakistani soldiers also serving the UN.

(When the US troops landed in Somalia to punish the warlord Eidid, the regiment contained Eidid’s son in it, who was an American citizen! He was hurriedly sent back. The son is now the third senior-most minister in the internationally recognised government the mullahs had ousted!)

Eidid invited Pakistani journalists with Al Qaeda money. The top Urdu columnists arrived on the scene where he had killed the Pakistani soldiers.

Urdu columnist Rafiq Dogar wrote a book on the visit and said how he loved the dead American ‘gora’ being dragged around by the Somali ‘technicals’. He did not like the fact that Pakistan had sent its troops there.

(The writer was present at the book launch.)

Pakistani troops had brought relief to Eidid’s people in Mogadishu through medical care and food. He killed them out of sheer savagery at the behest of Al Qaeda.

<b>There were reports that Osama had sent boys from Harkatul Mujahideen from Sudan to help Aidid and that they could have fired the bullets that killed the Pakistani troops. Harkat was then united and its two leaders were very close to Osama</b>.

Harkat’s leader Fazlur Rehman Khaleel had become famous for having co-signed a fatwa of death against America with Osama bin Laden. The other leader Masud Azhar was a bright pupil of Mufti Shamzai of Karachi. He was a good fund-raiser too.

Amir Mir writing in the foreword of A to Z of Jehadi Organisations in Pakistan by Amir Rana (Mashal, Lahore) presents extracts from the Indian interrogation report after Masud Azhar’s arrest in Delhi.

Masud Azhar told the Indian interrogators that he was against the presence of the Pakistani troops in Somalia under the UN auspices. He wrote a book on the subject and criticised Pakistan’s policy of assigning troops to UN missions.

He distributed 5,000 copies of the book in Pakistan. A seminar held in Islamabad in which many intellectuals – including, unknowingly, Eqbal Ahmad – spoke out against the policy of sending troops under the UN auspices but actually under American command.

Masud Azhar had written that Americans troops in Somalia were protected by Pakistani troops as if they were their servants.

He was in Somalia in 1993, according to his own book. Later, he traveled to India and was caught in 1994 in Anant Nag in Held Kashmir while trying to coordinate his militia. His route had described this pattern: on a Pakistani passport to Saudi Arabia and from there to Dhaka on a Portuguese passport, and from Dhaka to New Delhi.

He was sprung from the Indian jail together with his friend Umar Sheikh in 1999-2000 by Al Qaeda with many entities working together. An Indian plane was hijacked to Kandahar where the Taliban exchanged them for the passengers. Umar Sheikh was later sentenced to death for his part in the murder of Daniel Pearl.

<b>Al Qaeda wants a state from where it can operate. When Osama feared that he might lose Afghanistan he tried through Zarqawi in Herat and Mulla Krekar of Ansarul Islam in Iraq to create a base in Kurdistan where, as luck would have it, Barzani was willing to help but not Talabani. The plan did not work out</b>.
(Kurd cleric Mullah Krekar taught at the International Islamic University in Islamabad and is now in Norway as an asylum-seeker but wanted for terrorism in Turkey.)

Now Somalia is the objective. It conveniently has territorial claims on Kenya and Ethiopia and can expand if unified under Islam. But the Americans are already in Ethiopia training its troops for a ‘pre-emptive’ operation.

<b>Ethiopia has a population of 75 million divided equally between Muslims and Christians, but the Christians rule. It received $600 million in aid from the US in 2005, the same as Pakistan.</b>

<b>Osama bin Laden’s message said: ‘Somalia is our safe haven; Ethiopia is in the way’. Ethiopia has made this statement the casus belli for its invasion.</b>

The internationally recognised government was in a city called Baidoa and the Islamists were not able to take it. The Ethiopians have gone in and the Baidoa government has returned to Mogadishu.

<b>The mullah judges with their Al Qaeda fighters first fled south to Kismayo, then to the Kenyan border. From the reports it appears that South Waziristan may have sent in its sons to fight the Americans in Somalia.</b>

Let’s hope, contrary to such reports, that there are no Pakistanis in Somalia. Soon however many warriors from all over the Islamic world are expected to get there. Because Ethiopia is Christian-ruled and is being helped by America.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>U.S. Gen.: Insurgent chief in Pakistan </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BAGRAM, Afghanistan - An Afghan insurgent leader operating from inside Pakistan sent some 200 ill-equipped fighters, some wearing plastic bags on their feet, into Afghanistan where most were killed in a major battle this week, a top U.S. general said Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley said that Jalaluddin Haqqani recruited and sent unemployed and untrained men to fight in Afghanistan.

U.S. forces killed about 130 fighters moving in two groups in the eastern province of Paktika late Wednesday and early Thursday, one of the largest winter battles in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

"There's Taliban leaders in Pakistan," Freakley said. "We know that this group ... were from Jalaluddin Haqqani and we believe, though we don't know exactly where, that Jalaluddin Haqqani is operating from inside Pakistan and sending men to fight in Afghanistan."
..................<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

God, Pakistani Army is providing them with plastic bag. Are they thinking these guys will bring back poppy in these bags? Pakistani Army send well equipped terrorist in India. Why they are so partial? Are they worried, in India terrorist will get attracted towards luxury?
<b>Fate of Jinnah House to be decided expeditiously</b>:<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India on Saturday assured to decide the fate of Jinnah House, familial property of Pakistan founder located in Mumbai, as expeditiously as possible, saying it understood the sentiments of the people of this country.

"I am fully aware of the sentiments of people of Pakistan in regard to Jinnah House. I respect the sentiments," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri in Islamabad.

He was responding to a question as to whether India will fulfill its commitment to hand over the complex to Pakistan.

"We are fully aware of the issue and we will resolve the issue as expeditiously as possible," Mukherjee said
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
My take, Moron SIngh will give this property to Pakistan along with some temple property, just to make Pakistan happy. <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>EU draft report on Kashmir critical of Pakistan</b>
http://in.news.yahoo.com/070115/43/6b4t3.html
<b>Pakistan army destroys al-Qaida hideouts</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan's army destroyed three suspected al-Qaida hideouts in an air strike near the Afghan border on Tuesday, killing several members of the terror group, an army spokesman said.

The military carried out the operation in South Waziristan tribal region after receiving information that 25 to 30 al-Qaida members were hiding there, said army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan.

"We believe most of them were killed, but we don't have a body count," he said.

Sultan said some terror group members at the sites were foreigners, but "no high-value target was believed to be there."

Sultan said the destroyed al-Qaida hideouts were in an isolated area near the village of Zaoola, which is close to North Waziristan where the government in September signed a controversial peace deal with tribal elders to halt military operations against militants.

In return, local militants and tribal elders at the time promised to not provide shelter to any foreign militants, nor target Pakistani security forces and pro-government elders.
............<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Result of yesterday's slap.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->अजमेर। खुफिया पुलिस ने पाकिस्तानी अभिनेत्री जेबा अली को वीजा कानून उल्लंघन पर अपनी निगरानी में रखकर दिल्ली के लिए रवाना कर दिया।
   खुफिया पुलिस सूत्रों के अनुसार <b>राजस्थान के गृह विभाग</b> ने जेबा अली के पासपोर्ट को काली सूची में डालकर उसे तुरंत भारत छोड़ने का आदेश दिया है। सूत्रों ने बताया कि जेबा अली अमेरिका के नागरिक जफर अली नकवी और उसकी पत्नी रशीदा बुखारी नकवी के साथ अजमेर पहुंची थी।
   जेबा अली के पास दिल्ली और रुड़की का वीजा ही था अजमेर आने का वीजा नहीं था। जेबा अली संभवत: बुधवार को नई दिल्ली से पाकिस्तान के लिए रवाना होगी। सूत्रों के अनुसार जेबा अली पाकिस्तान से 6 जनवरी को दिल्ली पहुंची थी।
http://www.jagran.com/news/details.aspx?id=3038137
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Rajasthan state govt asked Pakistani actress to leave India. She had visa to visit Delhi and Roorkee, but instead she visited Ajmer. She has been packed and sent to Delhi by Rajasthan police, and she will leave for Pakistan tomorrow.

Well done Rajasthan! I can not imagine a Cong-ruled state taking such a step.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rajasthan state govt asked Pakistani actress to leave India. She had visa to visit Delhi and Roorkee, but instead she visited Ajmer. She has been packed and sent to Delhi by Rajasthan police, and she will leave for Pakistan tomorrow.

Well done Rajasthan! I can not imagine a Cong-ruled state taking such a step. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
We do need more Paki actresses in Bollywood films <!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo-->

I remember a couple of years ago the mullahs in pakiland went wild when one of their actresses smooched some Hindu patel actor in India, I think there was even a fatwa on her, so let's hope more of them come in and act in Bollywood.

<b><span style='font-size:12pt;line-height:100%'>Reflection</span></b>

[center]<b><span style='font-size:17pt;line-height:100%'>The Quest for Peace</span></b>[/center]

[center]<b>Sixty years after Partition, peace between the two neighbours remains elusive…

Ayesha Siddiqua Agha</b>[/center]

In January 2006, I went to see Banarsi Lal Chaaki Wala in the small town of Majeetha near Amritsar. He was sitting outside his small shop, reading an Urdu newspaper. Surprised at the sight of an Indian man reading an Urdu newspaper years after partition, I exclaimed, “So you read Urdu newspapers?” His response was, “It is the most beautiful language in the subcontinent.”

I had gone to meet Banarsi Lal in search of my own past. My mother was born and raised in Amritsar and I was in India looking for her house and her grandfather’s village near Amritsar. The only thing I remembered was that my mother’s ancestral village was a few miles away from the small town of Majeetha. A day earlier, I had found her house in Amritsar’s new mohalla ‘Islamabad,’ where I was warmly welcomed by the people. I was admonished by the local residents for staying in a hotel. How could I stay in a hotel in my mother’s home town?

We talked about 1947 and all had their own stories to tell. No one actually remembered how the looting and killing started. “We heard that the Hindus coming in trains from the other side were butchered and then people went on the rampage.” I told them we had heard similar stories on the other side of the border. As a French scholar studying the Partition and Indian history once remarked: “The mass murders during partition were intellectual killings in which people were slaughtered and bodies maimed to deliberately draw a reaction.”

None of the people that I talked to in Amritsar had anything but fond memories of the time before partition. In fact, Banarsi Lal got very excited when I told him that I was from Pakistan. A lot of other people from the bazaar also gathered around us, wanting to know if we made tractors in Pakistan or whether our women went to schools and worked in offices.

Later, I also met the mother of a Delhi University professor, Veena Kukeraja. The old lady had migrated from Multan and had vivid memories of the place. Although she turned down my offer to come to Pakistan – she was extremely bitter at having been forced to leave her home – she couldn’t hide her happiness at meeting a person with whom she could speak fluently in her local dialect, Seraiki. No one in her family, including her daughters, could now speak the language. I was delighted to note the similarity in expressions used by Veena’s mother and some old women of my own family.

The pleasant memories of my 45-day stay in India are a personal experience, which surely have no bearing on the reality of India-Pakistan relations. Indeed, when I moved among the policy-makers for my project to study the Indian military and politics, I was constantly reminded of the major hurdles that hamper contact and communication between common folks. The general goodwill of the people has no bearing on the bureaucratic machinery of the two governments and their respective plans for the politics of the region.

Today, the two neighbors seem to have covered some distance from the years of bitterness and conflict. Clouds of war had overshadowed South Asia during the 1980s and the 1990s and had remained there even until much after the 2002 military standoff when the two militaries stood poised at the border ‘eyeball-to-eyeball.’ The situation began to change after Prime Minister Vajpayee’s visit to Islamabad in January 2004 when Islamabad and New Delhi re-engaged to negotiate peace. The two sides decided to hold a composite dialogue that included negotiations on trade, a resolution of the Kashmir dispute, solving the Sir Creek issue, working out a mechanism for the release of prisoners, especially fishermen that often get arrested for inadvertently straying across the border, increasing people-to-people contact, starting cultural exchanges, solving the problem of terrorism and withdrawing troops from the Siachen glacier, in addition to several other issues. There has been a relative increase in people-to-people contact, facilitated by the launch of the bus service between the two Kashmirs and Punjabs, and the Khokrapar-Munabao rail link.

After a few hiccups and some anxieties about whether the peace initiatives would be able to survive them, the foreign secretaries of the two countries met in Delhi in November. The meeting was aimed at continuing with the talks and agreed in principle to exchange information to combat terrorism and to strengthen communication and confidence-building for strengthening their respective nuclear deterrents.

Talks and confidence-building are imperative for both countries. Given the subtle changes in the overall global and regional environment, it is vital for India and Pakistan to bring greater sanity in the overall tenor of their relations. The Asian region has the potential of becoming a critical geo-political zone, especially if the two bigger states, China and India, manage to make their bilateral relationship more constructive. In fact, the visit of the Chinese President to India and the offer of signing a nuclear cooperation agreement in the civil nuclear sector, increasing bilateral trade and eventually solving the border dispute will boost their bilateral ties tremendously.

Beijing, like the rest of the world, has realised that South Asia, especially India, is part of the future of the Asian region. Major European companies have begun to invest in India, and China does not want to lag behind in capturing an important market. New Delhi has successfully managed to sell the idea of India as a potential economic and military giant to most of the world. So, while the country still has its abject poverty and sub-regions of violence and underdevelopment, the world seems interested in building India’s economic potential. Hopefully, the poor will also eventually benefit from the windfall of this economic development. Needless to say, India’s consistent track record of electoral democracy and strong democratic institutions and its cultural diversity have served it quite well in projecting itself as an attractive place for foreigners. More important, economic progress and development appear to be backed by a consensus among the various ideologically diverse political parties such as the Congress, the BJP and the leftist/Communist parties. The bottom-line of this consensus is that the political class will not allow their respective ideologies to hamper economic and political growth.

The journey towards progress, however, must be analysed carefully for what it means for bilateral relations between India and Pakistan. In India, in particular, the move towards economic progress coincides with the coming of a new generation of young middle class people, that are earning good money through IT and call centres all over the country and want to move on without being bothered by the threat of war and conflict. Today, India has a much younger population as compared with China which is attractive for the rest of the world. This new generation does not want to be disturbed by terrorism and war and, hence, it is getting uncomfortable with all state and non-state elements which are seen as perpetrating violence. The Mumbai blasts of the 1990s or the recent blasts add to their hostile view of Pakistan. The neighbouring country is no more than just a trouble-maker and an irritant that is constantly pulling India back from its journey towards material advancement and glory at the global level.

This is a generation which has not seen Pakistan and they have no vision of the country other than that of a poor and troubled neighbour that lacks democracy, that is teeming with mullahs, and where the military takes over power more often not. Since the Kargil crisis, this new generation and those far off from Delhi are joined together much more resolutely in fighting a war. There is little sympathy with Pakistan’s position on Kashmir.

I recall a conversation that one of my Indian journalist friends had with a filmmaker who had called him to seek his opinion regarding the mechanism of a hand-held nuclear detonator. Despite the fact that my friend advised him that a nuclear trigger could not be carried around in one’s pocket, the filmmaker insisted on of making one of the actors run across valleys and mountains with a nuclear detonating device in his pocket (I suspect it was Amir Khan in Fanaa). Listening to the conversation, all I could think of was how the film would add to the hostile image of my country. The sad reality is that most young Indians have no idea about Pakistan. Following the Mumbai blasts, which have been blamed on Pakistan, they will have even less interest in knowing about it.

The opinion in Pakistan regarding India is also partly based on suspicion. Despite the genuine fascination with India and its culture, a lot of people, especially in the Punjab, would like to approach relations with New Delhi quite carefully. There is greater talk of the Indian media invading Pakistani culture and changing the language that children speak or affecting their moral values through its cinema. Today, Pakistan’s younger generation is equally vocal about the threat posed by India. They have been made to think about the issue of cultural interaction in terms of the threat it poses to Pakistan’s identity as a Muslim country, to its norms, values and ethos. During a course that I recently taught at the Quaid-i-Azam university my question was how could cultural interaction be stopped since it was not just about commercial films. These young people had no concept of cultural interaction beyond cinema. More interestingly, they could only think about bilateral relations from a classical realist paradigm with no room for alternative perspectives. The popular notion that is encouraged, especially in public sector universities, is that India is behind most problems in the country, including the current water crisis.

The deep mistrust of India becomes more pronounced among the younger generation of bureaucrats, especially diplomats. They believe Pakistan’s security will always be threatened by India. One is reminded of a mid-ranking information ministry employee posted in Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi who is known for painting a horrible picture depicting poverty in India hung on his office wall to his Indian visitors and telling them that things are much better in Pakistan. The official’s behaviour not only demonstrates a lack of knowledge of diplomatic norms, but also represents the anger and the ideological divide between, at least some peoples of the two countries, which remains unbridged.

A more powerful India, it is believed, would like to treat Pakistan like Nepal and Bhutan. Under the circumstances, there is no other way to keep India on its toes than by encouraging internal conflict in India. There is a sufficient number of disgruntled people in India who would become willing partners with militants or any one that wants to help them fight a war with New Delhi.

A glance inside the corridors of power in Islamabad would show that those proposing peace with India might be running out of steam. This is despite the fact that both sides have continued with the peace negotiations. Reportedly, there is a lot of discomfort in the foreign office and GHQ regarding India’s lack of action on a resolution of the Kashmir issue. Although the hawks are not proposing war or greater conflict, they argue that Pakistan has knelt too much before New Delhi and that it is time to regroup, at least, politically. Recently, <!--emo&Confusedtupid--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pakee.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='pakee.gif' /><!--endemo--> the director general, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, Dr. Shireen Mazari and Lt. General (retd) Asad Durrani <!--emo&Confusedtupid--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pakee.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='pakee.gif' /><!--endemo--> questioned the logic of Islamabad providing greater space to India. Consequently, very little has been achieved on trade negotiations and the foreign office seems to be faltering on issuing visas to Indian travellers. An Indian diplomat in Islamabad, in fact, complained about Pervez Musharraf being the only one wanting peace with New Delhi. The diplomat further said that while the Pakistani President took critical decisions such as opening the Khokrapar-Munnabao rail link, the Indian High Commission officials had to chase him several times to get some action on this score because the foreign office was dragging its feet.

Currently, India-Pakistan relations seem to comprise two disjointed layers. The top layer represents the peace talks and an effort to curtail tension between the two states with an intention of reducing the threat of war. The second layer, on the other hand, is about the growing ideological divide and mistrust between the two. So, while policymakers on both sides want to contain the possibility of a military conflict because it has a high financial and opportunity cost, there is little interest in altering the fundamental dynamics of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The foreign secretaries talks, hence, do not indicate any major change in bilateral relations. In fact, the two countries have come to a point where there is little possibility of any major breakthrough even on smaller issues such as withdrawing troops from the Siachen glacier. Since the Indian military faced an embarrassing situation during Kargil and is quite out of sorts due to the slow pace of its modernisation and restructuring, it is fearful of committing itself to a withdrawal without seeking guarantees that the glacier will not be occupied by Pakistan at some future point.

The political leadership, on the other hand, is too divided about taking responsibility for withdrawing troops without getting its military on board. The past experience of India being embarrassed during the 1962 war with China because the political leadership did not listen to its military leaders is a situation that New Delhi would not like repeated. Under the circumstances, a major change in the geo-political environment does not appear likely in the foreseeable future. In addition, there is complete distrust in India regarding Pakistan’s intent to close down the jihad project.

More important, what a number of policymakers on both sides have not begun to problematise is the fact that the entire region is undergoing a generational change that involves the natural replacement of those that could connect with each other’s territories at an emotional level with a new generation that has only grown up on hostile rhetoric and negative images of each other.

I remember being questioned in the University of Madras about the change in the tenor of bilateral relations once the 1947 generation is replaced by the younger lot that does not carry the baggage of Partition. My response then was that it was important to be careful about such a proposition due to the fact that while the younger generation does not have any memories of 1947, they also do not have any emotional ties with Pakistan. It must be noted that this is the last time that the army chiefs of the two countries are men that were born in each other’s countries. The Indian general is from around Multan and the Pakistani general is from Delhi. During my 45 days in India, I got a chance to interact with Muslims, people from the southern states and the younger generation. A lot of them were eager to hear what Pakistan was all about. However, the southerners, said that Pakistan was least relevant to them. All they knew about the country was through seeing the Muslims of India and the action-thriller Bollywood flicks in which all terrorists were portrayed as having some links with Pakistan. Recently, a friend visiting India was asked by a taxi driver if all Pakistanis were “atunkwadis” (terrorists). The majority of the lower and lower-middle class Indians including the Muslims had no notion of Pakistan, and what’s worse, the younger generation saw Pakistan as a pariah state. <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo--> None of these people talked about Pakistan with the fondness and longing that I heard in the voices of Wassan Singh Jaat or Banarsi Lal Chaki Wala.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>India's pullout from Siachen on cards </b>
Rahul Datta | New Delhi
Pioneer.com
Govt to take a call on Musharraf's wishlist
<b>The UPA Government is likely to make a final decision on troop pullout from Siachen glacier very soon as the top political leadership is favourably inclined to demilitarise the world's highest battlefield. </b>

Eager to step up the peace process between India and Pakistan, the political leadership may skirt the concerns raised by the Army that Pakistan should first agree to authenticate the troop positions on the glacier divided by 110-km long actual ground position line (AGPL).   

Indian soldiers patrolling the Siachen Glacier near the Forward Logistics Base (FLB)
Keen to convert the glacier into a "mountain of peace," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to take up the issue of troop pullout within the next two or three days with his Cabinet colleagues.

<b>Realising the political implications of the issue, he is also likely to discuss it with Congress high command, including party president Sonia Gandhi.</b>

The Cabinet is also likely to discuss the possibility of the Prime Minister's maiden visit to Pakistan though External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee made it clear in Islamabad on Sunday that such a visit was not in the offing in the near future, sources said here on Tuesday.

Pakistan is reluctant to authenticate the troop positions and its Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri said in Islamabad on Sunday that he did not want to get into a battle of words. He said, "We could find ways and means to meet India's concerns but we have to let the officials meet."

Stating this in a joint conference with Mukherjee, Kasuri said his Government had presented a very detailed plan for the resolution of the Siachen issue and methods to identify troop positions and termed the plan as a complete package. He also said this method could be worked out on the basis of these proposals and officials of the two sides would meet soon for further discussions.
 
The Pakistan Foreign Minister, however, refused to divulge the details of the plan and said Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan had given the plan to his counterpart Shiv Shanker Menon during their meeting in New Delhi in November last. Two months ago, Kasuri had claimed that the Siachen issue was about to be resolved during his Foreign Secretary's visit to New Delhi, adding political will was needed to address it.

The Pakistan Foreign Minister reiterated this on Sunday last, too, and said it could be resolved within days given the political will, adding a lot of work had been done on this issue.
 
The Defence Secretaries and officials of India and Pakistan have met 10 times since the two countries decided to work out a mechanism to address the final objective of demilitarisation in 1987 when former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his counterpart Benazir Bhutto were at the helm of affairs.

The two armies are operationally deployed there for the past 24 years and the Indian defence establishment does not want to be taken off guard in case Pakistan reoccupies the heights. At present, the Indian army has the strategic advantage of commanding all the major high points of the glacier, thereby providing it access to the mountain passes.

However, <b>Pakistan is in a better position as it has to maintain less arduous logistical support to its army due to favourable gradual descent on its side of the glacier. Pakistan, moreover, has better access to the glacier as the road heads are closer to the less steep heights</b>.

India, on the other hand, has to maintain all its logistical support through air due to extremely rugged and harsh terrain where temperatures hover between minus 30 to minus 50.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Another Moron SIngh blunder in card. Not sure how long he will keep on destroying India.

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jan 17 2007, 03:43 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jan 17 2007, 03:43 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>India's pullout from Siachen on cards </b>

Another Moron SIngh blunder in card. Not sure how long he will keep on destroying India.
[right][snapback]63148[/snapback][/right]
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<b>Mudy Ji :</b>

If Nehru Ji could loose One-Third of the State of Jammu & Kashmir to the Pakistanis due to his viccilations, Aksai Chin to the Chinese as he refused to pay heed to his Generals' Advice, Information and Pleadings as well as <b>Gave Away</b> Cocos(?) Islands to Burma-Myanmar which are now with China then why can't Moron singh Ji give Siachen back to the Pakistanis.

Our Leaders cannot be seen to change - can they?

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Nareshji,

There is a major problem with India's useless third class leaders, that they don't have long term vision about India. They look for short term personal goal. We should ask these idiots what they think about India.
Just imagine current useless PM of India called "Muslim first". Is he batting for his birth country, who kicked him out in 1947.
Its shame and looks like its going to be long term shame as India is just producing and electing spineless idiots as its leaders.
<b>20 ‘militants’ killed in Waziristan army blitz</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->PESHAWAR, Jan 16: Pakistan Army helicopter gunships struck a suspected militant hideout in the restive South Waziristan tribal region early on Tuesday morning, killing at least 20 militants, a senior security official said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

And US is claiming it was US missiles who did this great job and more are coming.

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jan 17 2007, 04:43 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jan 17 2007, 04:43 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nareshji,

There is a major problem with India's useless third class leaders, that they don't have long term vision about India. They look for short term personal goal. We should ask these idiots what they think about India.
Just imagine current useless PM of India called "Muslim first".  Is he batting for his birth country, who kicked him out in 1947.
Its shame and looks like its going to be long term shame as India is just producing and electing  spineless idiots as its leaders.
[right][snapback]63154[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Mudy Ji :</b>

Volumes and Tomes could well be written about the sorry state of India's Leadership but the following Seven Words "tell it all" :

[center]<b><span style='font-size:17pt;line-height:100%'>A PEOPLE GET THE LEADERSHIP THEY DESERVE</span></b> <!--emo&:furious--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/furious.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='furious.gif' /><!--endemo--> [/center]

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SUCH GUP  - FT
<b>Easy money</b>
<b>Hollywood-Lollywood</b>
Hollywood babe Liz Hurley is soon to tie the knot with long-time beau Non-Resident Indian Arun Nayyar. The wedding will take place in Jaipur in the spring. Hurley has asked Lahore's most famous dancer, Kiran, to come and liven up the occasion, especially the mehendi which will feature Kiran as the star attraction. Kiran's fee, we hear, will be a handsome sum and the attendant publicity even more valuable.

<b>In God’s name</b>
A madrassa on the edge of Dera Ismail Khan has been in the making for more than a decade. It is spread over 130 kanals of land and all and sundry have contributed generously to its endowment but it is far from complete. Sources say it is a pet project of Maulana Deisel and that many of the hapless who apply to the Frontier government for jobs are asked to contribute to this noble cause. Naturally, the contributors complain when they don’t get their jobs for not everyone can be accomodated in the public sector, even if they have demonstrated their piety by being generous to the right causes. At any rate, complainants are blithely told that they contributed “in God’s name” and it’s very naughty of them to want a reward in the here and now.

<b>Return of the Sheikh?</b>
The formerly Informative Sheikh of Pindi has been heard saying how much the real PM misses him at the Min of Inf. He says his successor, M. A. D., is recognized as an abject failure and that he’s been offered his old job back. Isloo’s hacks are taking bets on the return of the Sheikh.

+++++

<b>Nuggets from the Urdu press </b>
<b>Milk of a goat cures all</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
According to daily Khabrain, a car mechanic Mohammad Ramazan in Kasur is using a strange goat as a messiah to cure all the diseases in the world. He printed an ad and distributed handbills in which he asserted that he bought a goat that has two tits that give milk. He gave this milk to a sick girl and she recovered immediately. A blind woman massaged her eyes with that milk and she gained her eyesight. He said this milk is the miracle of God. After this ad, a lot of sick people are coming to his house and he is collecting nazrana from these patients. He said he would build a mosque with the money.

<b>No other sects in NWFP</b>
According to daily Khabrain, the minister for religious affairs Amir Liaqat Ali said that NWFP maulanas want to divide the nation. He said, the government of NWFP doesn’t like to see Maulana Muneeb ur Rehman as chairman of Central Ruet-e-Hilal committee. He said that experts of astonomy were consulted during the reign of righteous Caliphs and all the provincial and zonal Ruet-e-Hilal committees formed by NWFP government are illegal. He said Eid can’t be celebrated following Saudi Arabia. He said all the sects are represented in central Ruet-e-Hilal committee while the zonal Ruet-e-Hilal committee of NWFP doesn’t have ahle tashe or ahle hadith ulema.

<b>Man raped by two Kuwaiti women</b>
According to daily Nawa-i-Waqt, a higher court in Kuwait sentenced two women to seven years in prison for raping and beating a man. According to a newspaper, ‘Alrai’, the man, was beaten up and injected with drugs for potency. He presented his medical certificates that proved the sexual assault. Earlier the lower court awarded 15 years imprisonment to both the women.

<b>Fatwa to kill female staff of NGOs</b>
According to daily Jang, the chairperson of human rights commission Asma Jehangir, wrote a letter to interior minister Aftab Sher Pao in which she pointed to a fatwa issued by Mufti Khalid Shah of Dara Adam Khel to kill the women associated with NGO’s and United Nation. International Red Cross and human rights organizations are termed as agents of Jews and West. Mufti Khalid asked the Muslim Umma to kill women worker of NGOs and called it a sacred duty of Muslim. He also urged Muslim to use heavy guns, destroy their houses, attack their cars and loot their homes. She also wrote that one maulana issued a fatwa in Hazara and warned all female NGO staff to leave the area. Asma Jehangir said these mullahs write their sect, name and address and paste their fatwa on the walls. NWFP government registered cases against them but is not taking any action against them. There were three women NGO workers killed during the year 2006.

<b>Princess deported from US</b>
As reported in daily Khabrain, a Saudi princess, Hina Aif Aljidar was deported from the US for violating immigration rules. She was found guilty of confining her employees in her house and forcing them to work for her at lower wages. She was sentenced for two years of surveillance and her six months would be confinement in her house and would be deported to Saudi Arabia.

<b>Our emotions are hurt again</b>
As reported in daily Express, The Cartoon Network has created a cartoon series with the character of the Prophet Moses to instigate the emotions of Muslims. The cartoon series that would destroy the religious thinking of children and would start from Sunday. The satanic plan by cartoon network has hurt the emotions of Muslims in Pakistan. People have started calling newspapers and said that cartoon of the prophet Moses are blasphemous. Some people asked the cable operators not to show cartoon network and asked the parents to watch the kids and not allow them to watch the channel.
 
<b>Raj Kapoor and Ajmal Khattak were classfellows</b>
In a feature in the daily Express, famous politician and poet Ajmal Khattak wrote that he was the best football player of his school and famous Indian actor Raj Kapoor was his class fellow. He said he would protect Raj Kapoor from teasing by other Pathan boys as he was very good looking. <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->  Prithvi Raj who was father of Raj Kapoor liked him very much because he protected his son.

<b>Women’s bill will destroy households</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
As reported in daily Nawa-i-Waqt, a wife named Nasim hit her husband with a heavy stick and opened a wound in his head when he stopped her from going to bazaar. The injured husband, Razzaq, was brought to a hospital where he lamented that Women’s Protection Bill is responsible for his wounds. He said now a lot of households would be destroyed because of this bill.

<b>Mother of three marries a Pakistani boy</b>
As reported in daily Express, the American lady Domana Mary Petit, who married a Pakistani boy Amir Khan after their love affair on the internet, was already married and had three children from her first husband. She said she has got a divorce from her first husband. She came to Pakistan and married Amir Khan with the consent of his parents. She submitted her marriage certificate and her statement in a civil court.
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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Top Ten Significant Matters
<b>Saudi Officials Concern Themselves With</b>
By Ayeda 
 
10. Making sure teddy bears remain banned in the country
9. Making sure morally-loose Barbie remains banned
8. Ensuring the sale of cats and dogs continues to be banned
7. Sending out female members of the Moral Police to
    inform women that eyebrow plucking is haraam
  6. Making sure no Christmas cards or wrapping paper is
      available in December
<b>  5. Bull-dozing historical monuments and replacing with KFC,
      Starbucks and Pizza Hut </b>
  4. Ensuring all cinema remains banned
  3. Ensuring camera cell phones remain illegal (even though
      they are advertised all over the country)
  2. Making sure women do not go to the grocery store
      without a mehram
  1. Making sure women do not (gasp!!!) drive cars
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Two options for Pak military</b>
FT.com   
Najam Sethi's
E d i t o r i a l
Until recently, US-Pak relations were hunky-dory. But a question mark has just cropped up. President Bush’s “democracy” project in Iraq has crashed. Worse, his “nation-building” project in Afghanistan has stalled at the hands of resurgent Taliban. Consequently, his ratings have plunged and he desperately wants to show some good results. So he is rushing 22000 additional troops to Iraq and considering the same option for Afghanistan. But there’s a difference. In Baghdad, he has only himself to blame for his woes while in Afghanistan he is inclined to blame Islamabad because the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists are operating from borderland sanctuaries in Pakistan.

The “Taliban problem” in Afghanistan has resurfaced in 2006 with a bang. In <b>2003-04, the Americans prodded General Pervez Musharraf to use the Pakistan army to crush them in Waziristan. But the army’s high losses, followed by a popular backlash, forced it to opt for dubious “peace deals” to maintain the status quo in 2006.</b> But when the Taliban launched a wave of ferocious attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan, Washington’s patience ran out. Shorn of additional NATO troops and expecting a renewed Taliban offensive later this year, President Bush wants General Musharraf to “do more” to clamp down while he sends more troops to defend Kabul. A “hearts and minds” project is also underway simultaneously – there is more US money for “rehabilitation and development schemes” in Waziristan and “reconstruction” in Afghanistan.

Until now the US has nudged the international media to accuse Pakistan of “hosting” the Taliban. It has also played “good cop” in Islamabad who praises General Musharraf and bad cop in Kabul who clucks sympathetically with President Hamid Karzai when he blasts Pakistan. But that “soft” approach may be changing. Recent statements by top US officials and generals claiming that Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders are holed out in sanctuaries inside Pakistan are meant to signal that if Pakistan doesn’t stop the Taliban then America will conduct pre-emptive strikes against them inside Pakistan.

Islamabad’s ambiguous response lacks credibility. It denies Taliban and Al-Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan but cracks down on foreign or Pakistani journalists who try to verify its claim. It has signed “peace deals” with Talibanised elements in the tribal areas but is not averse to occasionally rocketing them at American insistence. Last week, two such “strikes” were carried out. This approach is wearing thin. The Americans are not appeased while the local tribal backlash against the Americans, General Musharraf and the Pakistan Army is spilling over into the rest of the country. Why is General Musharraf clinging to this “failing strategy” which is alienating his international friends without diminishing the hatred of extremists for him?

The answer lies in a national security doctrine long nourished by the Pakistan’s military intelligence agencies. It says that (1) Afghanistan must not be allowed to fall into the hands of pro-India elements, like the Northern Alliance Uzbek-Tajik ethnic combine (2) It should therefore be dominated by pro-Pakistan Pakhtuns who have historically straddled both Pakistan and Afghanistan (3) These Pakhtuns should not be secular, or pro-Russia or pro-India like earlier Pakhtun regimes until 1990 and the current Karzai regime (4) The Islamic Pakhtun Taliban should be supported as the least objectionable option. It is this doctrine that has spawned sectarian violence and fundamentalism in Pakistan and enabled Al Qaeda to take root in Afghanistan. In short, it is the Pakistan military’s obsession with India on its eastern border that is at the root of its Afghanistan policies on its western border.

Until now, the price of this doctrine was paid by Pakistanis because the military is all powerful and unaccountable. But the Al-Qaeda-Taliban nexus has sucked the US into the region and pitted the Pakistani military’s regional interests against the American military-industrial complex’s global ambitions. The Pakistani military’s assessment is that the Americans have no long term staying power in the region, as demonstrated by their impending retreat from Iraq, and that Pakistan is sure to rebound as the key player in Afghanistan, hence the need to retain its Taliban assets.

This means that Mush-Bush interests may diverge in 2007-8. <b>Mr Bush wants an outright “victory” over the Taliban while Mr Musharraf means to deny him exactly that</b>. Meanwhile, anti-Americanism is growing in Pakistan and the political opposition is ready to exploit any opportunity to weaken the Musharraf regime. We should therefore expect a chorus of foreign and local calls for “democracy” and taming of the Pak army by Democrats and Republicans alike.

<b>There are two options. The Pakistan military establishment can continue to play devious “power games” at home and abroad, deepen ethnic and religious fissures in the country, demean and weaken the democratic impulse of the people and lead Pakistan into isolation and despair. Or it can bury its obsession with India, allow Afghanistan to acquire an autonomous, moderate, pro-West centre of gravity, focus on rolling back the tide of religious extremism and build a stable and sustainable economy.</b>
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>An about face</span></b>[/center]

<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>MIRWAIZ Omar Farooq’s declaration at Islamabad on Friday after a series of meetings with Pakistani leaders, including the President, that since armed struggle in Held Kashmir and political and diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute had not paid off, there was a need to give up the freedom fight and carry out fruitful negotiations with India, mirrors his defeatist attitude. It was almost unbelievable to hear him say, “We are not prepared to sacrifice any more of our loved ones”</span></b> especially as Kashmiri leaders in the Valley declared that the people would not let the blood of martyrs go in vain. In proof of Kashmiris’ opposition to the President’s various proposals that were vague, unworkable and unhelpful to the creation of durable peace, Syed Ali Geelani rightly pointed to the complete strike they had observed in Held Kashmir. That the entire downtown of Srinagar responded to the strike call demonstrated where the Mirwaiz really stands. It is quite obvious that to genuinely elicit the Kashmiris’ aspirations, the only sensible means to be acceptable to them as well would be the grant of the right of self-determination as determined by the UN Security Council. The Mirwaiz had better listen to the cries of the dead and the bereaved in his land and not be taken in by the optimistic assessment of the Pakistani leadership about India willing to give them a fair deal.

The statement routinely appended to every inchoate idea thrown up by Islamabad that the Kashmir settlement it sought would be in accordance with the wishes of its people assumed a different shape when Ch Shujaat Hussain expressed the belief while meeting the Mirwaiz that Kashmiris on either side of the LoC were supportive of the President’s proposals for self-rule, demilitarisation, free crossborder movement and joint control. Strangely, that baseless view found an echo with the Mirwaiz. Ch Shujaat should know that the “extraordinary” and “bold” decisions he had in mind would not find favour with New Delhi unless they are consistent with its stand.

President Musharraf’s call for discouraging the opponents of peace process since in his view it has raised hopes of finding a settlement in line with the Kashmiris’ wishes is wide of the mark. There is no sign of a change of wind blowing in the Indian capital. It is persisting rebuffing Islamabad’s conciliatory moves, sticks to its stand of atoot ang and is interested in normalising ties to draw the maximum benefit from economic and commercial exchanges. It must be clear to our leadership that abandoning the principled position will neither lead us to the dispute’s just resolution nor durable peace. Steadfastness rather than impatience alone can pay dividend.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->


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