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Friday, September 11, 2009

Neemrana Initiative - Javed Jabbar, Historic errors made in 9/11 aftermath, Marwa, Dubai

Mr Naik had only recently helped launch the Neemrana Initiative and graciously invited me to join the Pakistani group which comprised 10 persons. The Neemrana Initiative represents a quiet, confidential dialogue held about once every six months, alternatively in Pakistan and India, between a group of Pakistanis and a group of Indians comprising persons of diverse backgrounds from civil society and the military, including some with experience of public office, all of them sharing an interest in improving bilateral relations. A veteran former US diplomat and scholar, Paul Kreisberg, was the convenor in the initial rounds. Later, after Mr Kreisberg left the process, the two sides nominated the respective co-convenors. Mr Naik represented Pakistan, while India was led by Mr A M Khusro, a former ambassador and vice chancellor of Aligarh University, who passed away three years ago. His place was taken by former Indian foreign secretary M Rasgotra, while recently, after the passing away of Mr Naik, the co-convenor of the Pakistan group is Mr Inam-ul-Haq, former foreign minister and foreign secretary. Using the Chatham House principle of non-attribution, all members strictly abide by the principle of "no disclosure to the media," which is possibly why the process has survived through the bilateral ups and downs for over 17 years and has been endorsed by each new government in both countries to make it the longest-running Track-II process between the two nations. Neemrana Initiative - Javed Jabbar

Eight years after 9/11, we know that: The war on terror spawned infinitely more terrorism worldwide than there was before this war. The war on Iraq was launched even though the U.S. – contrary to its public assertions – knew that Saddam Hussein had no WMDs and no links to Al Qaeda. The war on Afghanistan has been going downhill ever since the mission of toppling the Taliban, hosts to the plotters of the Sept. 11 massacre, was swiftly accomplished in November 2001. The two wars cost the U.S. 5,000 lives and $1 trillion. The Afghan war, which has lasted 50 per cent longer than the American involvement in the two world wars combined, has cost Canada 130 lives and about $15 billion. NATO does not care enough about Iraqis and Afghans to count their dead. It is estimated that perhaps 1 million Iraqi civilians have been killed, and 4 million displaced. As for the Afghan dead, injured and displaced, there aren't even credible estimates. The cultural war on Muslims and Islam, since abandoned by Barack Obama, damaged Western interests as much as the Iraq and Afghan wars. It alienated Western allies in the Muslim world, made Muslims more Islamist, and convinced many that the U.S. and allies are engaged in a new crusade. Historic errors made in 9/11 aftermath -Haroon Siddiqui

The Marwa Al-Sherbini Case: Investigators Believe Killer 'Hated Non-Europeans' and Muslims
Two months after the brutal murder of an Egyptian woman in a courtroom in Dresden, investigators believe the German-Russian immigrant who killed Marwa al-Sharbini was motivated by xenophobia. The case, which has not yet gone to trial, continues to be the focus of intense pressure from abroad.

Dubai's New Metro Is Fit for a King, But Will Locals Ride It? By Bernhard Zand in Dubai
It is the longest automated metro system in the world, complete with luxury compartments, Wi-Fi and air conditioning. But will Dubai succeed in luring sheiks out of their cars in an emirate where gasoline only costs 25 cents a liter?


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