Archive for January, 2010

Irfan Hussain: What the Taliban Want

January 24, 2010

This article appeared in Dawn on January 24, 2010

Often, I am asked by readers or friends abroad what the Taliban want. Why, they ask, are they slaughtering hundreds of innocent people wherever they can? What is their purpose? What is their agenda?

The short answer is power. Other excuses for their murderous excesses are a fig-leaf: demands for the Sharia and the expulsion of foreign forces from the region are no more than window-dressing.

These terrorists realise that they cannot achieve power through peaceful, democratic means as they have no support. Even relatively moderate Islamic parties have been repeatedly trounced at the polls in Pakistan. So extremists reject democracy as it does not give them access to power.

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Ayaz Amir:Conscience of the Constitution

January 22, 2010

This article appeared in The News on January 22, 2010

The National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was a dead duck the moment the National Assembly refused to have anything to do with it. If it still needed another shot in the head, a division bench of the Supreme Court (SC) could have done the needful, no extraordinary issue of constitutional theory being involved in the outcome.

But we have not been that lucky, all 17 of their SC lordships hearing the NRO case whose detailed judgment — written by My Lord the Chief Justice — is now out, and about which the shrillest comments are coming from the already committed or the already biased.

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Ayaz Amir: The Road to Hell

January 1, 2010

This article appeared in The News on January 1, 2010

We have a developed talent, honed over the years, for counting the trees and missing the larger picture. We see things in one dimension and forget that there may be other sides to reality. This leads to false conclusions and the begetting of great tragedies.

Let us for argument’s sake accept that Asif Ali Zardari, the luckless president of a luckless country, is the author of a thousand villainies, the darkest thing to have happened to the Islamic Republic. But let us at least weigh his real or presumed infamy in the scales of history before coming to a judgment about what he deserves.
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