Pakistan

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Pakistan became a country on 14 August 1947 after a lengthy struggle of muslims of British India (1 ).

The country's 100 million muslims felt threatened by the Hindu majority. Pakistan was a geographicly divided country. Part of the country would later become the independent the nation of Bangladesh in 1971 (2 ).

The founder of Pakistan is Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it should be noted that he did not intend for Pakistan to be a theocratic state (3 ).

Jinnah lived from 1876 to 1948 and had originally been Indian nationalist and started his political career in the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League in 1913 he remained active in the movement until the 1930's. He grew disillusioned by communal strife and the inability of Gandhi and Nehru to control Hindu militancy. He then turned to Muslim separatism and nationalism. (4 ).

Another key play is Pakistan history is Liaqat Ali Khan, (18951951) who served as Pakistan's first Prime Minister from 1947 to 1951. He started his career in public life as a Muslim leader in the United Provinces. In 1933 he became Jinnah's right hand man. He was assassinated in 1951 (5 ).

Due to political instability Pakistan had its first military coup in 1958, several others have followed (6 ).

The following is a sketchy list of Pakistan leaders.

The 1958 coup place Field Marshal Ayub Khan who declared martial law and banned all political activities, he was in power for 11 years. he was follow by a civilain dicitator ZA Bhutto (7 ).

Next was General Yahya Khan under him Part of Pakistan become the nation of Bangladesh he was the first Pakistan ruler to initiate free and fair election (8 ).

The next ruler after him was ZA Bhutto (9 ).

The Bhutto regime fell in 1977 and was replaced with military dictatorship ran by General Zia-ul-Haq, he legitimized his power in 1984 and died in a mysterious plane crash in 1988 (10 ).

In 1988 Benazir Bhutto became the Prime Minister but was overthrown in 1990. For a time after this Nawaz Sharif become prime minister but was over thrown by General Pervez Musharraf (11 ).

In 1999 a bloodless coup displaced Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and put Pervez Musharraf in power, Sharif was forced into exile for nine years (12 ).

The long term dictator Pervez Musharraf lost power in 2008 (13 ).

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007 during her campaign to return her again to the position of prime minister of Pakistan. She was killed by extremists (14 ).

Her husband Asif Ali Zardari is now prime minister.

Women issues

Pakistan has been battling the Taliban in the north, and then a peace deal was brokered. This cease fire for the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan is causing concern for women of the area. Women can only work in places were they are completely segregated from men, because the Taliban feel its "un-Islamic for a woman's voice to be heard in public." A spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) said "women will benefit the most from the enforcement of the shariah." and continued "We want to give women their rightful place in Islam," and concluded "Women are not supposed to work in factories, or even work in fields. That is a man's work and we will not allow them to shrug off their responsibility." (15 ).

The government of Pakistan attempted to have a peace agreement with Taliban fighters, it would impose Islamic religious law in the Swat valley. Bush administration's first envoy for Afghanistan James F. Dobbins, Said in 2009, "It is definitely a step backwards," and added "The Pakistanis have to take a stronger line with extremists in the region." (16 ).

The Taliban have banned females getting an education, they call it "un-Islamic.". In the Swat valley of Pakistani, a father of two girls said "My daughters are sitting at home," and "Their future looks bleak because they will stay uneducated." The Taliban blew up the girl's school (17 ).

The Taliban blew up girls only school in Shabqadar, north of Peshawar on January 2010. The Taliban has destroyed hundreds of schools (mostly girls schools) in the north west of Pakistan to help in their efforts to enforce the Sharia law (18 ).

In early 2009 video of a 17 year old burqa-clad girl by the Taliban in Pakistan's Swat valley. This incident was described by Islamic scholars as "un-Islamic", "satanic" and denounced it as "gross violation" of Quranic codes. Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan said "This kind of treatment is neither Islamic nor human. In fact, not only is it un-Islamic and inhuman, but also satanic,". Vice chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia university, Mushirul Hasan said this incident is exactly opposite of what Islam preaches and added "I am horrified. This (incident) is a gross violation of Islamic and Quranic injunctions which teaches humanity, love, peace and magnanimity," (19 ).

Intelligence community

US government documents showed a close relationship between a Pakistan intelligence organization the (Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate) ISI a and al-Qaida. The ISI funded al-Qaida training camps, an America cruise missile attack in August 1998 who's unsuccessful goal was to kill Bin Laden "also killed apparently a number of Pakistani intelligence officials who were at the camps at the same time." (20 ).

Now it is reported that the ISI is in Americas corner in its anti terrorist campaign, and its been reported that CIA funding accounts for a third of the ISI budget. A former CIA agent said "They gave us 600 to 700 people captured or dead," and Getting these guys off the street was a good thing, and it was a big savings to (US) taxpayers." (21 ).

arms

American military equipment stolen by the Taliban is for sale in Pakistan. Among what is being sold are boots, camouflage, even high-power binoculars and sophisticated night-vision gear. Defense analyst Paul Beaver said "This is state-of-the-art military equipment. If you're going to fight a war these days, you're much better off fighting at night," and "If you've got the equipment, sniper scopes and night-vision equipment, you can put the enemy off balance." (22 ).

The Obama administration is planning a three fold increase in civilian aid in Pakistan this will also be included with the 10 billion in mostly military assistance they have received since 2001. this move by president Obama hoping this will lead to more effective strategies in shutting down insurgent strongholds (23 ).

The U.S. under secretary of defense for policy Michele Flournoy said about increasing military aid to Pakistan "We need to substantially increase our military assistance and broaden the form," (24 ).

Islam and government

There has been some contention between Islam's role in government. The Qur'an has numerous passages on personal responsibility on matters of ones belief, like "Whoever accepts guidance does so for his own good, whoever strays does so at his own peril. No soul will bear another's burden, nor do We punish until We have sent a messenger" (17:15). It does not talk about a judical system that punishes sinners, punishment come from God as cited in Qur'an 36:17. Muslim scholar, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, wrote in "Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a," wrote "In order to be a Muslim by conviction and free choice, which is the only way one can be a Muslim, I need a secular state." And the government cant force a "Belief in Islam," and concluded "or any other religion, logically requires the possibility of disbelief, because belief has no value if it is coerced." (25 ).

Concept of forcing someone to convert to Islam is counter to what the heart of the Qur'an teaches "There is no compulsion in religion." Surah 2:256. within Islam there is now uniform agreement on imposing the Sharia. The history of Islam has seen numerous schools of Islam many had contradictory views. The Sharia is not a group of codified body of rules. Instead it is a interaction between scholars, jurists and the Muslim community (26 ).

columnist Shafqat Mahmood of the News International newspaper said "victims of ignorant cavemen masquerading as fighters of Islam," and noted "This is a fight for power, not Islam,". Khurshid Ahmad, an Islamic scholar and national legislator said "Islam is our identity and our system of life, but variety and choice are part of it. People should dress modestly, but women don't have to cover their faces and men don't have to grow long beards," and The Koran is very clear that there should be no coercion in religion. You cannot cram it down people's throats. This is where the Taliban destroyed their own case.". Islamic scholar and political activist Raja Zafar ul-Haq said "When people talk about sharia law and punishments like cutting off a thief's hand, they don't realize there are 13 preconditions that have to be met before that punishment is ordered. That's why nobody's hand is ever cut off here," (27 ).

A Poll released in May 2009 and done by the non profit International Republican Institute showed that of people in Pakistan 81 percent felt the country was going in the wrong direction most blamed President Asif Ali Zardari, though they still preferred a democracy to a military dictatorship. Ten percent felt that terrorism was a problem. 69 percent said that having the Taliban and Al Qaeda operating in Pakistan was a problem (28 ).

In 2009 Pakistani religious leaders and scholars issued a strong denunciation of the Taliban tactics in Pakistan. This happened during a convention of clerics in the Pakistani capital. An Organizer of this event Hanif Tayyeb, said "We want to give the clear picture of Islamic to the world, that Islam has nothing to do with extremism, Islam has nothing to do with militancy, Islam is a religion of peace and love," (29 ).

khati'a?

Research done by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies released in 2010 showed a thrity three percent increase in deaths caused by insurgents in Pakistan. In Afghanistan it also showed that Taliban and other insurgents killed twice as many civilian as U.S.-led coalition and Afghan government forces, the targets were things like mosques, a university and public markets. (30 ).

A Mosque of a cleric who was critical of the Taliban was bombed. Sunni cleric Ahmed Naeemi, was critical of suicide attacks and other Taliban tactics. Its believe he was the target of the bombing, Naeemi eight other people were killed in the blast. In another mosque bombing in Nowshera killed at least three people and wounded at least 20 (31 ).

In May 2004 a Shiite mosque was blown up in Karachi killing 16 people and wounding. This was revenge for the assassination of a senior Sunni cleric Nazamuddin Shamzai (32 ).