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Cairo Date: 9/18/2013
Kabul Time: 6:34 AM Cairo Time: 4:04 AM
Karzai: Did 'War on Terror' encourage radical Islam
Karzai: Did 'War on Terror' encourage radical Islam? AFP
10 June 13
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday the Muslim world was "in turmoil" and wondered whether the "war on terror" led by the United States since 2001 was to blame for the radicalisation.
Addressing a forum on relations between the US and the Muslim world in Doha, Karzai declared: "The war on terror as it began in 2001 and moved forward until today has not been a happy one."
"Have we succeeded in the war on terror?" he went on.
"Did we address the sanctuaries of terrorism? And by waging this war on terrorism, have we brought less radicalism to the Muslim world, or caused more radicalism?"
The Afghan leader said: "Today, the Muslim world is in turmoil from Pakistan up to Nigeria," and stressed: "In my view, the West as led by the US needs to explain itself to the Muslim world."
"If things have gone wrong, action must be taken to correct ...," Karzai said.
"In my view, there is much that we Muslims have to correct in our societies and governments, by showing more tolerance towards the rest of the world and other religions ... but there is also a great deal of explanation to be done by the US and our Western friends."
The US-Islamic World Forum, sponsored by the Washington-based Brookings Institution and scheduled to run through Tuesday, is to debate developments in Afghanistan, the conflict in Syria and the political and economic changes brought about in the countries affected by the "Arab Spring."
Talk to the Taliban The News
The news
10 June 2013
Dr A Q Khan
Random thoughts
A few months ago, Maulana Fazlur Rehman organised an All Pakistan Conference at Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad, in which almost all political parties participated. Notable leaders were Mian Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Munawar Hassan, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Ch Shujaat Hussain, Mushahid Hussain, Maulana Attaur Rahman and a number of prominent tribal leaders. I had also been invited by Maulana Sahib.
OPS Media Monitoring Bulletin Hottest News and Political Issues
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After the preliminaries by Maulana Attaur Rahman and the welcome address by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of the tribal delegation gave a detailed account of the atrocities committed in the tribal areas. I was honoured to be the first speaker. There was a general consensus that negotiations had to be initiated with the Taliban in order to end this war. The Taliban conveyed their confidence in Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Mian Nawaz Sharif and myself.
Afterwards a grand jirga was held at the Governor House, Peshawar to discuss how to proceed further. It was also the consensus that Musharraf had sold our sovereignty upon a single phone call from the US, thus embroiling Pakistan in a US war of aggression. He gave many lame excuses to justify his action. However, the fact remains that, as a military dictator, he had been a pariah at the international level and it is generally accepted that he took this anti-nation decision in order to become accepted by the west.
I had written on this topic once before and was surprised by the reaction of some leaders that the Taliban should lay down their arms before any talks could take place. This was tantamount to asking them to disrobe and then plead for mercy something a Pakhtun would never do. Their history is one of constant struggle and they are a proud, warrior nation.
The same demand is heard from some anchorpersons, who even advise that no talks should be held with the same people accused of killing 35 to 40,000 soldiers and civilians. One wonders if they ever took the trouble to find out how many thousands of innocent men, women and children have been brutally killed or mutilated by the ongoing drone attacks and the F-16 and heli-gunship bombardments. Not so, because no journalists have ever been allowed to find out the truth.
Let us go back to the atrocities of World War II. This war, started by Germany, Italy and Japan, ultimately involved the US, many European countries, Russia, China, Korea, etc and resulted in the deaths of more than 55 million people. During the siege of Leningrad by the Germans, almost three million Russians died of starvation.
The Japanese slaughtered almost a million unarmed, harmless Chinese and threw their bodies into the river the infamous Nanjing Massacre. And who can forget the horrendous massacre of innocent Jews by the Nazis? Almost 200,000 people died in the atomic attacks on Japan and many died in Tokyo from incendiary bombs. However, none of these horrible events deterred those concerned from sitting down to talk, finding common ground and later becoming good friends. Nobody stubbornly refused to sit with the other parties because of the many deaths that had taken place. The purpose here is to stress the inevitable necessity of dialogue to solve political problems. The British, even though they were a superpower, could not subdue the IRA and ultimately had to sit down and negotiate a deal.
The countries mentioned above were of varying cultures, religions, etc, but still they agreed to sort out their problems through dialogue. Here we are the same nation and believe in one Almighty Allah. Then why cannot, or should not, we sit down with our own people and talk to solve our problems? While admitting that a foreign war was thrust upon us by a dictator, we have, nonetheless, been killing our own people and destroying the very fabric of our own country.
The rulers should realise that they can never win this war. It is very easy for those sitting in fortified, comfortable castles to use the poor as war fodder and indulge in lip service to patriotism, etc. Why dont they go to the front and feel the heat? I am convinced that, should a referendum be held, 80 percent to 90 percent would vote against this senseless war, which we have owned as our own war to please the Americans and in order to earn a few bucks. Furthermore, the cost of this war will become even higher
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for us when the Americans leave us high and dry next year. The seeds of hatred sown now will take a long time to be eradicated.
In one of my previous columns I wrote about mass graves and the fact that our opponents were losing their fear of the police and the levies and that, after some time, they would not hesitate to attack even the Rangers and the army. That has happened even earlier than I expected. Nowadays nobody is safe.
The opponents have the advantage of choosing their targets and time of attack usually aimed with great precision. Yet still there are many who advocate continuing this senseless war. If we continue in the same trend, we may well end up like Iran, Iraq and Libya or the Russia and France of yesteryear.
Even before the new government could take over, the US welcomed it by a drone attack killing a very moderate Taliban leader whom our respected columnist, Rahimullah Yusufzai, described as being the most suited person for negotiations. The Americans have a knack of throwing a spanner in any efforts on our part to stabilise our own country. Someone else, not so moderate, will take his place and want revenge for this killing.
The new chief minister of KP, Pervez Khattak, is challenging the federal government to shoot down the drones. He claims that, had they (the PTI) been ruling the centre, the Americans would not have dared to undertake such an attack. Well, drones being out of your reach, Mr Khattak, why dont you close Attock Bridge for all Nato containers? That is your territory. The Nato supplies passing through KP are the main source of equipment and fuel for the attacks in Waziristan.
Unless we stand as a united nation against our enemies (like Iran and North Korea have done), we will be kicked around by our adversaries. Only united, proud and brave nations are able to protect their national respect and sovereignty. It is time we forgot our differences and faced the enemies as one nation without compromising under any pretext.
My suggestion to Mian Nawaz Sharif is to immediately set up a committee with Governor Eng Shaukatullah (a respected tribal leader), Gen ( r ) Ali Jan Orakzai, Saleem Safi, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, former ambassador Rustam Mohmand, Brig Mahmood Shah, Ambassador Aziz Ahmad Khan and a representative from the GHQ to sit down with the Taliban and find an amicable solution. Please dont delay this as it will only result in more casualties and hardened attitudes.
kabul Afghanistan
kabul Afghanistan
Mr FAZLURRAHMAN FAZIL Ambassador of The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Cairo
Mr FAZLURRAHMAN FAZIL Ambassador of The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Cairo
Mr FAZLURRAHMAN FAZIL Ambassador of The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Cairo