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Enlightened Moderation - varnamvarnam
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Enlightened Moderation

On Jan 1, Pervez Musharraf wrote an Op-Ed piece in NY Times preaching what he called _enlightened moderation_. Now there is a rebuttal of the same piece by Samina Ahmed and John Norris.

bq. First and foremost, he continues to avoid handing real power back to democratically elected officials. While the Bush administration repeatedly holds up Iraq as a nation that could serve as a shining example of Islamic democracy in action, it continues to offer a blank check to a Pakistani government in which all power resides in the military. Curbs on democratic freedoms in Pakistan remain draconian. To discourage domestic dissent, the government has sentenced Javed Hashmi, leader of Musharraf’s main political opposition, to 23 years in prison for daring to offer criticism. And it deported an exiled opposition leader, Shahbaz Sharif, when he had the temerity to attempt to return home after the Supreme Court confirmed the right of all citizens to actually reside in Pakistan.

bq. The Pakistani government has taken a similar approach to jihadist organizations. The growth of jihadist networks continues to threaten both domestic and international security. After declaring that no group would be allowed to engage in terrorist activities in Indian-controlled Kashmir, the government ordered a number of extremist groups to do little more than change their name. One extremist leader was allowed to run for parliament, and won, even though he had been charged with more than 20 violent crimes. The leaders of other banned groups, designated as terrorist organizations by the United States, continue to preach freely their sectarian and anti-Western jihad. Pakistan has also notably failed to adequately address important issues such as terrorist financing, including money laundering, making the country a favorite base of operation for all too many extremist organizations. [“NY Times”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42030-2004Jun14.html]

Musharraf is one person who has learned to milk the West for doing absolutely nothing and the entire Bush Administration remains enamored with him hoping that he will deliver Osama very soon. But Ahmed Rashid, the author of “Taliban”:http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/archives/000266.html says

bq. Karzai’s presence in Washington holds some peril for Bush as well, because it’s an occasion to raise the embarrassing question of what happened to the search for Osama bin Laden. In February, 20,000 U.S.-led coalition forces announced, with much fanfare, a major offensive to crush the Taliban, capture its leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, and track down Bin Laden. But U.S. military officers in Pakistan and Afghanistan now privately say it is highly unlikely that the Al Qaeda leader will be nabbed or killed before the U.S. election. [“LA Times”:http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-rashid13jun13,1,2991974.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions]


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