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Contents - October 2003


Air Cdre (Retd) KHALID IQBAL

Reaction to 'postponement' of President Putin's visit to Pakistan is quite interesting. Conspiracy theorist blame American and Indian pressure, some also talk about American pressure via Saudi Arabia. Over the last two years or so, there has been a quantum jump in high level Pakistan-Russia interactions. Hence, expectations have been snowballing in the context of a pleasant reset of bilateral relations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov visited Pakistan and General Kayani visited Russia on the heels of postponement of the Presidential visit. This indicates that it is not a crisis situation............more

Mengal's Six Points

Ostensibly there seems nothing wrong with the six points raised by Sardar Akhtar Mengal, that are:

1. an immediate end to all military operations;
2. missing persons to be presented before the court;
3. abolition of agency death squads;
4. free rein to Baloch political parties to function;
5. punishment to those found guilty for heinous crimes;
6. and rehabilitation of thousands of displaced persons in the province.....more

Rebellion by Khawarij
Takfiri Taliban and Shari'ah

Columnist Brig (Retd) AFTAB AHMAD KHAN

Three decades after introduction of the religious militancy by USA to defeat USSR in Afghanistan and later US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11 many armed groups have resurfaced in Afghanistan to resist US-led NATO occupation. As a fallout some groups have rebelled against the state of Pakistan on the pretext of establishing Shari'ah rule. Known as Taliban, they consider the rulers and other Muslims to be disbelievers, apostates who must be killed unless they return to the rule of "their brand of extremist ideology"; this claim is rejected by Muslim scholars on the grounds of heretic extremist Takfiri doctrine of Khwarij of early days of Islam. It is considered as a doctrinal deviation [bid'at], heresy. Leaders such as Hassan al-Hudaybi (died1977) and Yousuf al–Qaradawi reject 'Takfir' as un-Islamic and marked by bigotry and zealotry. Dr. Tahir ul Qadri has issued a comprehensive edict (fatwa).....more

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