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Showing posts from January 18, 2009

Fata insurgency challenge of highest order: Obama

Source: Pakistani newspaper WASHINGTON, Jan 23: An international challenge of the highest order and an urgent threat to global security is how the new US President Barack Obama described the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan in his maiden speech to his diplomatic corps. Mr Obama was equally forceful while talking about another pivotal issue that has occupied US policy makers for half a century: the Middle East. ‘Let me be clear: America is committed to Israel's security. And we will always support Israel's right to defend itself against legitimate threats,’ he said. ‘Now, just as the terror of rocket fire aimed at innocent Israelis is intolerable, so too is a future without hope for the Palestinians,’ he added. Reacting to his statement, the pro-Israeli neo-con media welcomed Mr Obama’s commitment to Israel but rejected his suggestion for creating a better future for the Pales

opinion: A just war on terror —Rafia Zakaria

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Source: Dailytimes A just war on terror can only be a war that abandons force and invests faith in the idea that if people are no longer bombed in the name of protecting America, they will themselves join the just fight against terror? On January 2, 2009, his first day in office, Barack Obama ordered the shutting down of Guantanamo Bay within a year. This pivotal move was long expected by his supporters and marked the beginning of what has been touted as the forthcoming theme of Obama’s nascent presidency: regaining America’s moral stature in the world. By all accounts, shutting down Guantanamo seems to be a calculated symbolic first move, putting a dramatic and visible end to the kind of flippant rejection of the rule of law so closely associated with the Bush-Cheney Administration. In addition to the Guantanamo order, another executive order forbade the use of torture in the interrogation of terror suspects in an effort to show, in the president’s own words, “that we are ab

analysis: Swat under siege —Abbas Rashid

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Source: Dailytimes Both India and Pakistan do not seem optimally positioned in terms of internal dynamics to deal with the pressing issues they face. The dissensions within will allow the militants to secure even greater space One indicator of the state of Swat is the fate of its schools. According to one estimate, over the last fortnight, around twenty schools have been burnt down — more than one a day on average. The total number of schools in Swat that have been destroyed has now exceeded 150. Most are girls’ schools. In fact, few schools in the area are actually functioning because of understandable concerns on the part of parents and teachers for the safety of the children. There are doubts expressed sometimes as to who is responsible for this. Obviously, it is not possible to rule out the involvement of more than one element. But the Taliban have often enough made clear their aversion to girls’ education and the experience of their rule in Afghanistan provides ample te