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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/16/09

Obama Admin Facing First Failure

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The people have attached great hopes with US President Barack Obama as they thought his success in the election will be the beginning of a new world, a world of peace and happiness. Now the situation has been worsening with each passing day. I am not living in the United States and unaware of the situation there, but from articles in I have gotten the impression that the situation is not good. The US has been facing economic crisis. But a new effort is being made to create more justifications for the war in the world. Some forces have been trying to create justification for US intervention in Pakistan.

Terrorists are still eager to keep the world engaged in war. At the moment it seems that the terrorists are successful in their aim. It is tragic to note that the rulers of Pakistan have surrendered to the terrorists. The rulers have signed the law for some parts of Pakistan on gunpoint. Now there will be objection from the US over this new development. Now the US will increase drone attacks. Now Obama will be demanding more money for the war. I do not know whether the Americans will be able to pay the cost of a mad war. At the moment the US is the loser in the war on terrorism as her resources are being wasted just for nothing. This is a wakeup call for Obama as the situation is very very serious.

The Nizam-e-Adl, establishing Qazi courts and enforcing Sharia, is now the law in Malakand Division. A region making up the state of Pakistan has moved beyond the established law of the land, as laid down in the Constitution. The extremist militants who threaten every aspect of our way of life have succeeded in having their demands fully met. The tactics of blackmail and coercion, and the open threat to MNAs who opposed the regulation from the Taliban, have paid off. There was almost no opposition; the 'liberals' voted with the right-wing representatives of religious parties. Who knows what impact this precedent will have in the future and how it will shape our destiny. In what seems to have been a savvy political move on the part of the president to parry pressure from the ANP to sign the resolution and from the US not to do so, the issue was placed before parliament. The ANP's objection to this seeking of collective wisdom seems illogical. On major issues the representatives of people should decide.

As it were, the fears of the party from NWFP that the PPP may block the move proved unfounded. In a clear cut verdict, all major parties voted for the resolution; the PPP and the PML-N vocally supported it. Only the MQM made its opposition to the resolution known as a party, walking out of the NA proceeding. One brave MNA from Chakwal alone placed conscience over party loyalty or personal safety and opposed an accord signed under the shadow of guns. So, we have the majority verdict. The NA indeed went so far as to recommend the president sign the resolution. This he has done, glad no doubt that the sole responsibility for so controversial a piece of legislature was taken out of his hands.

But is the majority always right? Has it in this case acted wisely? Or has the herd instinct and fear overtaken the capacity to think rationally and sensibly. Much like the fable involving the emperor and his invisible 'new clothes', it seems no one is ready to call a spade a spade and remove the veneer of religion from the accord which has been cleverly used by the Taliban to render it apparently sacrosanct. This is a familiar tactic used on many occasions particularly since the time of the late General Ziaul Haq. We need to ask questions as to what the Shariah law will achieve. Will it in any way help to tackle militancy or will it encourage the elements who promote it? In Swat recruitment by the militants has been stepped up. Boys who no longer have schools to go to, and are not permitted to play cricket or hear music, are being brought in to madressahs run by the men of Maulana Fazalullah to wage 'jihad'. The reign of the extremists continues. Whose ends will this process serve? Where will it take us? It also seems likely that the overwhelming success of the Swat militants will encourage others to follow their lead. In the past the militants have extracted the maximum possible advantage from any concession granted to them. It seems likely they will do so again. Already, calls to impose Shariah have been heard from Bajaur. The same demand will, no doubt, come in from other places too--and one day our parliament, as it attempts to legislate for a state spinning out of central control, may have to face up to the consequences of what their action has led to.


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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is also (more...)
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