My choice today: Thu 22 May 2008

Why should we ignore General Hamid Gul’s advice on Pakistan’s role in the war on terror: 

Tussle between PPP and PML-N? Whose loss?

Why must we insist on a durable approach to the ‘independence’ of judiciary?


Editorial of Daily Times:

Hangu jirga prefers jail to peace

As explosions wounded people in Kohat, bombs went off in Bajaur, and a cleric was murdered in Khyber agency for “spying for the Americans”, the 50-man jirga from Hangu was put in jail in Peshawar for not reaching a peace deal to end the sectarian war in Kurram Agency. The jirga was put in the jug under Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) while its leaders accused the “elders” comprising the jirga of deliberately avoiding solution. Hundreds of innocent people have been done to dearth in the nearly two-year old war between the Shia and the Sunni.

This is no surprise at all. Solutions were reached under FCR because of the system that prevailed under it. Above all, the authority of the state represented by the political agent could not be challenged. The jirga which contains members of the parties in conflict could not reach a decision because of the countervailing power of the Taliban. It is not the political agent but the Taliban and their central leader Baitullah Mehsud who call the shots. The Sunni-Shia conflict is hundreds of years old in the region, but Kurram became controversial — with its Shia majority in the headquarters, Parachinar — because it is located directly in front of the caves of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. The Shia are surrounded by Sunni tribes and run the risk of being ethnically cleansed.