Putting blame on Pakistan won't? help the war on terror.

Blame Pakistan first for all evil on this planet. Increase the number of troops. More bombs, better arms, more control of borders. Profile all Muslims. More of the same has not worked. It has only exacerbated the security situation in Western Asia. Can someone turn the light on?
There is a dearth of clear vision and thinking in the $80 Billion think tank industry that seems to copy and paste the Neocon agenda and pawn it off as policy.
Bombs and more troops is not the answer.
What is needed is a new Marshall Plan for Pakistan, creation of massive economic opportunities and elimination of subsidies to cotton farmers in the US. The elimination of the cotton subsidy would allow Pakistani farmers to export about $12 Billion of cotton and cotton products. This would also provide additional employment to the youth who may have too much time on their hands.
America should build more roads, more schools and more hospitals in the NWFP, FATA, Wazirisitan and Pakistan. 100 new hospitals in the NWFP would evaporate any anti-Americanism. 100 new roads would eviscerate bigotry and illiteracy. 1000 new schools would eliminate any anti-Western animosity. Better seeds and increasing per hecter yields would put more money in the pockets of the farmers, who could then send their children to better schools. Pakistan need 50 new American Universities and 1000 internet ready libraries. She needs 50 million internet capable $100 laptops. An investment in Pakistan would reduce and eliminate the expenditure on GWOT (Global War on Terror).
Finally a word of sanity in the Canadian press.
Putting blame on Pakistan won’t help war on terror, March 05, 2008, Tariq Amin-Khan
The Harper government, with the support of the Liberals, appears set to extend Canadian troop deployment in Afghanistan beyond 2009. The question is: What are Canadian troops doing in Afghanistan, and by extending the mission will Canada be able to assist the U.S. and NATO in their objective to win the war on terror and eliminate Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the militant Islamists? A tall order to be sure, but is it achievable? The short answer to the question is no.
If the mission objectives are unattainable, then why are Canadian troops in Afghanistan? The situation gets murkier as we examine the rhetoric of security analysts who pin the blame squarely on Pakistan. They claim that the issue is not the insurgency in Afghanistan; the problem really is with Pakistan.
But it appears that the problem is neither in Afghanistan nor in Pakistan. Rather, there is a direct relationship between foreign military presence in Afghanistan and the rise of militant Islam. Furthermore, the absence of a democratic alternative gives militant Islam a free hand to operate in both of these states.
The foreign militaries occupying Afghanistan take the view that militants are on the run as NATO intensifies its military campaigns against them. The reality is otherwise.
Even a cursory look at the developments in Afghanistan, Iraq and even Pakistan (until recently) shows that militant Islamists have gained in strength, and have become bolder since the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. The Taliban in Afghanistan have not been contained but have actually become stronger.
Militant Islam is a political movement and its aim is to capture state power. The U.S. played a significant role in the 1970s and 1980s to empower Islamists. The Taliban in Afghanistan took advantage of this nurturing environment to hone their political and military skills. They have had a taste of holding onto state power and are eager to return.
It is now becoming clearer that militant Islam cannot be defeated militarily. Every time overwhelming force has been used, NATO, Afghan, Iraqi and Pakistani casualties have increased and Taliban, Iraqi and Pakistani militant Islamists have withdrawn and regrouped to relaunch their attacks another day. This has been the pattern.
All this raises the possibility that the war on terror is not a war to be won at all.
By all accounts, the Bush administration has crafted this war as the new permanent war, a “long war,” along the lines of forcing a stalemate as in the Cold War. This permanent war fuels not only the military-industrial complex, but now also the security-industrial complex all combined with the synergy that exists between Big Oil, the military and Western economies.
This idea of forcing a stalemate is also echoed by professor Janice Gross Stein in the recent book The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar. Her view, expressed in terms of Canada’s military strategy in Afghanistan, is that based on the U.S. Cold War policy of containment, the aim at best would be to attain a stalemate in the war on terror.
It is not possible here to discuss in any detail the fallacy of applying the logic of the Cold War in relation to militant Islam and the war on terror. But it can be said that this strategy of forcing a stalemate is ill-conceived against adversaries that are mobile and geographically untethered. These adversaries, in the heat of battle, can simply melt into the populace as NATO commanders are left to mull over their battle plans.
Blaming Pakistan for the war on terror going badly for NATO, therefore, does not help; it merely compounds the problem. The sobering fact is that Pakistan has very little to do with the war on terror being won or lost. But alienating Pakistan is an option that NATO takes at its own peril.
As to the support that militants in northwest Pakistan have provided the Taliban on the Afghan side, there is a need to understand the ground realities of the area. Southern Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan is a contiguous area inhabited by the same ethnic group, the Pashtuns, who have had historical kinship ties. The border, the Durand Line, is an arbitrary divide between Pakistan and Afghanistan established by British colonial rulers, and it has never been possible to effectively police it.
Consequently, the border has always been porous and an attack by an occupying force against Pashtuns on one side is seen as an attack against the other side as well. However, when you overlay religious ideology onto this ethnic solidarity, it becomes a potent combination that produces a resilient guerrilla force. A force that is able to take on the most sophisticated militaries within an inhospitable terrain against which standing armies and modern weaponry have not been very effective.
This reality of guerrilla warfare worked wonders for the U.S. when its Islamist proxies in Pakistan and Afghanistan were waging the jihad against “godless communism.” Ironically, now that the shoe is on the other foot, Pakistan is being blamed for the war on terror going badly for Canada, the U.S. and NATO.
The only way militant Islam can be contained, nay challenged, is for a democratic alternative to take root in Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, it would be naive to assume that even if this shift comes about, the transition will be simple and painless because the democratic alternative will be resisted. But democracy will eventually deal with the militants.
In this context, the outcome of the Feb. 18 elections in Pakistan gives pause for hope. The outcome reinforces the position that the political and democratic alternative is the best antidote to check the rise of militant Islam. Just look at the rout the Islamist parties have suffered in these elections in the Northwest Frontier Province. A province where the Islamists had formed the government after the 2002 elections, and where people resoundingly said no to intimidation and suicide bombings.
This is the message that Stephen Harper also needs to hear. Even with additional troops, Canada will end up fighting for more stalemates. But what will this no-win situation mean in human terms - in lives lost for an objective that is neither clear nor within the mission’s grasp.
Tariq Amin-Khan is an assistant professor in the department of politics and public administration at Ryerson University.

Democracy is an attitude

Is China able to pursue democracy? Can the Communist Party of China (CPC) broaden democracy under the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC? Is democracy something solely defined by the West?
No political institution around the world could label itself perfect. Although the least defective mechanism in human history, democracy in every country is in process. Therefore, democracy is rather an attitude and something out of self perception.
Unlike the world's most modern democracies, the Chinese people were suppressed several times by outsiders with surpassingly sophisticated gunboats and cannons. The inward-inclined Chinese at that time, long feeling insecure and victimized, were understandably wary of any dose that Western countries attempted to feed us. Good idea and sincere behavior from outside may not always be seen as they are.
While one nation is evidently left over by the rest of its peers, the people would not easily take what others uphold, particularly when pushing democracy is used as a tool of penetration.
The economic miracle in the consecutive three decades empowers China to pursue political freedom with much more resources at hand. Aspiration for democracy is not what we use for make-up. Every country would have its uniqueness to develop democracy based on its own history, culture and conditions. The unique process of democratic advancement in various countries could hardly be oversimplified to a few modes. Even Western democracies have experienced agonizing unique processes.
Hu Jintao said at the 17th CPC National Congress to "deepen political restructuring," betraying the urgency sensed by the CPC that ossified political arrangements often impede further economic ambitions. Anyhow, few countries in the developed world had so many challenges as China does, a vast land, the world's biggest population with a substantive chunk of poor people and yet to be reached national unity, just name a few. China has a much shorter history of the modern republic and crammed into only three decades the industrial revolution on which both the United States and the United Kingdom spent over a century.
Considering the uniqueness of each democracy and the time-consuming process of breeding democracy, it's unwise to copy existing foreign democracies. Democratizing China in Western style is not a cure-all for problems in China. After China successfully integrated market economy into the socialist pattern, which in orthodox definition requires common ownership of the means of production, why don't we believe China could also create a new way leading to a successful socialist democracy?
Democracy should not be a political slogan for toppling something, and it is mundane and what people feel in their day-to-day life. Although still in rapid transformation, market economy is fervently embraced by the Chinese, most of whom now enjoy unprecedentedly decent livelihood. The government conceded from most aspects of people's life. People are free to travel and study abroad, purchase cars, own real estates, trade publicly-listed stocks, choose their jobs and lifestyle, and grumble on blogs, which was so incredible in a country where only a decade ago citizens were required to report their marriages, divorces and family plans to the government.
Consciously transforming its role from a strictly-knitted revolutionary organization to a competent ruling party, the CPC is now blazing trails in testing what the most effective method is in democratizing Chinese politics. The CPC proclaims it represents not only the working class but also all the outstanding forces, a significant drive to diversify itself to a cover-all plural one. Hu said to widen intra-Party democracy, which the CPC believes is a guarantee for a better application of democracy in the country. Increasingly enlarging loss margins have been introduced in various CPC elections, including the ongoing voting for the all-powerful CPC central committee this weekend. Multiple candidates and contested campaigns in direct elections are also being institutionalized at grassroots levels. All constituencies are now much better represented.
China was lagged far behind by leading economies in the contemporary time. The Chinese have to resort to a path which is different from conventional development. Among the defects Western democracies also have, the foresighted democratic principles designed by founding fathers could still not effectively prevent tiny but extremely powerful interests groups from trampling on the majority. While having a long way to go, the CPC is now trying to improve the democratic centralism, which has been proved, partly by the economic miracle gained by the nation, quite effective to enrich Chinese and keep the country on a stable track.
Modern Chinese are aspiring to achieve the biggest economic and social goals at the lowest cost. The Chinese-style democracy we are now promoting will have high chances to give an answer.

Editor: Song Shutao


Daily Times - Site Edition
Friday, March 07, 2008
Footloose: Greeks in Pukhtunkhwa? —Salman Rashid
Watching from the rooftop that April afternoon many years ago, I could see a clear Greek connection here; a worship of Dionysus. A reading of the DNA test report mentioned last week in this space shows that to be true. While the Kalasha have no Greek strain, many tested Pukhtuns doThe DNA tests I mentioned in my column last week that showed there was no Greek strain in the Kalasha people of Chitral brought up an interesting proposition from correspondent Lubi Uzunovski. She writes that the test does indeed show a total lack of Greek genetic traces among the Kalasha. But has anyone tested them for a possible genetic link with the Macedonians?She goes on that a bulk of modern Greek population is as recent to the region as about one hundred and fifty years and that they were Christian migrants from Asia MinorWhat does one make of this then? Who then were the people who lived in, say, Sparta or Athens over two thousand years ago when the Macedonian prince set out for India? I find Uzunovski’s idea about all modern Greeks being outsiders absurd for that hints at an unpopulated Greece in the classical age. Her suggestion regarding re-testing to establish a Macedonian connection certainly makes sense, however.That having been said, I nevertheless still maintain that history shows us, not even in the vaguest terms, that Alexander never led his army across the great snow-draped ridges of the Hindu Kush Mountains in mid-winter. On the contrary, his itinerary across modern NWFP and the rest of Pakistan is now virtually with any doubt and in it Chitral features nowhere. Historians bent upon ‘proving’ that Alexander was in Chitral hang on to one place name — just one. And that is Nysa which fits nicely with the village of Nisa on the road from Chitral to Mastuj and nearer to the latter.From my memories of 1986, Nisa is a delightfully sylvan spot where huge and luscious peaches, succulent apricots and riotously sweet mulberries and plums abound. And Nisa is where the average landlord will accost you, firmly grasp you by the arm and lead you home to feed you a lavish meal followed by platters of fruit picked straight off his trees. But then, if truth be told, that is what the whole lot of Chitralis are — and not just the well off ones like my good friend Siraj ul Mulk and his charming wife Ghazala. Even the poorest Chitrali will never let a traveller by without feeding him.But I digress; so back to the main story. It is delightful Nisa that tells the charlatan that Alexander was in Chitral because in the context of his Swat campaign, Alexander’s histories do mention a place called Nysa. If anything, that is the flimsiest of grounds to base a whole theory on. A careful reading of the histories show that this Nysa would have been somewhere in the modern district of Dir. But the reference is always vague and one can scarcely assign it a proper location in modern geographical context.So I return to my primary premise that the Greeks (or the Macedonians) did not cross the high ridges into Chitral. We know that a hundred and fifty years after Alexander, another branch of the Greeks who were the progeny of Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander’s generals who inherited Syria and Persian after the passing of the conqueror, invaded Bactria (Balkh), Kabul and eventually overran Taxila. Indeed, their kingdom spread across all of modern Pakistan. Like Alexander, they too were not proper Greeks, but Macedonian. Scattered liberally across this great and wonderful land, they have left behind more than ample archaeological evidence of their long years here. In Chitral we have so far found no evidence of these latter Indo-Greeks.Back in 1999, I was in Bannu with my head full of descriptions of this wonderful, now sadly Talibanised, city left by Chinese pilgrims of the early Middle Ages. My guide, a local government official, initially failed to understand what it was I wanted to see. After several hours of bumbling about and one heated outburst between us, he drove me ten kilometres southwest of town to the village of Bhurt. There above the houses and amidst neatly parcelled farmland loomed a large clayey mound called Akra. I was eventually to learn that this was the remnant of a huge city that thrived from the 3rd century BCE (Indo-Greeks) through the Kushans, Parthians, Ghaznavides and into the time of Iyultimish. That is, this was a living city for a millennium and a half.Later that same evening I saw a spectacle in Bannu city. About sundown, Chowk Bazaar in the city started to fill up with lean-bodied young Pukhtun lads. Soon it was a milling, pressing multitude so my guide and I climbed the roof of a roadside build to witness the proceedings. Here were dancing processions complete with drummers and pipers each led by a beaming, glowing young man bedecked with garlands of marigold and rose with his friends on either side of and behind him. Pukhtuns being what they are, they sported their garlands over one shoulder and below the other crossing their chests with them, just as they would wear their bullet-studded bandoliers.The entire bazaar was virtually choked with such processions and the din of music and the roar of young, jubilant singing and talking was ear-splitting. Though there must have been nearly twenty such processions in that tight little bazaar, there was no harsh word, no scuffling. There was very palpable air of goodwill and merriment. If it got too crowded, arriving processions patiently waited their turn for room to be made before they entered with their own music and dance. And going around all this were copious (that is an understatement!) amounts of confectionary. Among much laughter and joshing, virtually tons of gulab jamun and barfi were forced by friends down each other’s gullets.The heavily flower-bedecked leader of each procession was the soon-to-be groom. For long years it had been tradition that the young groom would celebrate his impending wedding by leading his friends in a musical procession to let the world know that the big day had come for him. As I watched from the rooftop the orgies of gaiety, song, dance and eating, I suddenly saw in them undertones of a Dionysian revel from the distant past when Bannu occupied the now ruined and deserted mound of Akra by the village of Bhurt.When the Greeks were here, they would have indulged in similar revels to please their god Dionysus. Then there would have been bulging wine-skins, not mere cardboard boxes of confectionary. There would have been women also and all and sundry well and properly inebriated. But they all, every single one of them, would have been decked with garlands just as these jubilant Pukhtun lads were in the spring of 1999. Over the years the wine-skins may have given way to pitchers of bhung or perhaps vast quantities of hashish. But with the coming of the hypocritical dictatorship of the late 1970s, the Pukhtuns settled for confectionary — though it is another thing what they would consume in private.Watching from the rooftop that April afternoon many years ago, I could see a clear Greek connection here; a worship of Dionysus. A reading of the DNA test report mentioned last week in this space shows that to be true. While the Kalasha have no Greek strain, many tested Pukhtuns do.Salman Rashid is a travel writer and knows Pakistan like the back of his hand.

The Frontier Post
Marriage of convenience!!!
M Waqar USA
By observing on going political developments and melo-drama between Nawaz Sharif and Zardari, I hate to say that I don't trust Nawaz, he is the one who did not let BENAZIR BHUTTO to run her government properly, when she was prime minister, Mr. Nawaz is asking for restoration of judges but I am sure that nation has not forgotten that during his rule supreme court was attacked. In politics, yesterday enemies can be today's friends but it seems like Mr. Sharif is already creating problems, differences may split but its too scary and it will be another golden opportunity for any army general in Pakistan to overthrow the govt. Although I am sure he has learned the lessons in exile, After his return from exile, he has displayed restraint, tolerance and maturity in his speeches and actions and it was a great gesture that he went to the hospital when Benazir Bhutto was killed, progressive, liberal and democratic Pakistanis must be happy to see that cronies of Musharraf and religious mullah's parties defeated and they have great expectations from winners of 2008 election but I hope that these politicians don't indulge in dirty politics and dig their n graves. Nawaz Sharif is an autocrat with no relation to democratic norms and traditions. His each tenure in the helm of affairs was more dishonest than the previous one. His malpractices not only swayed away the economic structure of the state but also made the lives of poor disastrous. I am not saying that Mr. Zardari is an Angel but I think if Nawaz Sharif is sincere this time then he should fully cooperate with other politicians and let the new govt finish its job for five years and let the people of Pakistan to decide after five years. Nawaz Sharif is asking a lot from the new winners and his list of demands is growing every time I read a Pakistani newspaper on line. Mr. Zardari or his Prime Minister will have their reservations about some issues and if they fail to satisfy Mr.Sharif. I think there will be another political chaos in Pakistan. As Aitzaz Ahsan has termed the political consensus developed between Asif Ali Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif a good omen and has cautioned if both the leaders back out from this consensus people and lawyers will come out on the roads against them and that's what I am afraid of, because Nawaz Sharif will jeopardize this political process. Democracy kicking in now and Pakistanis sees a chance of peace and normal life, people don't want show downs now, Zardari may be a man of compromise and hope Nawaz can be like him too, politics of revenge will derail what the nation achieved through elections, Nawaz Sharif have to compromise, accommodate and not to confront and let the nation's parliament to decide and that will be consensus. We know that Zardari will run the show, Mr Musharraf will expect a Yes Man but that will be a real test and PPP, PML-N, ANP needs to stay strong and together and not let differences of political opinion mess up this new political process, and this all depends on Nawaz to cooperate, but will he??? Although, whenever a GENERAL rules Pakistan, he makes sure to destroy all the institutions of civilians and bring country to total chaos and collapse, therefore the idea of a national government should not be only about sharing power but also sharing responsibility, during past and present military regimes, people of pukhtoonistan and Balochistan suffered heavily, it should be responsibility of new govt to restore confidence among people of these two provinces, provincial autonomy is important issue according to the constitution and it is time to honor this compact, will Nawaz will agree to these issues??? If President Musharraf has any self respect, he must resign now; he can go to TURKEY and should study how ATTA-TURK changed Turkey. Anyhow, I was writing about Nawaz Sharif, I am not going to open can of worms but would love to see what other readers on this forum think???
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Dated: Thursday, March 06, 2008, Safar 27, 1429 A.H.