Islamic Democracy

By Qaisar Sultan

A white horse is not a horse, an old Chinese logic. Since horse is a shape and white is a color; something that denotes color cannot designate a shape.  On the similar lines, Islamic democracy is neither Islamic nor democracy. The enlightenment period changed the autocratic rules in Europe which lead to the political secularism, radically separating the realm of faith and that of the reason. We cannot call liberal democracy a “Christian democracy” or “Islamic democracy”. Democracy is simply empowering people that brings them freedom of thought, speech and practice of their faith. The maxim “Islamic democracy” helps religious fervor to grow; and claimants are not majority of people but those who intemperate the religion. The idea of democracy to religious zealots is to grab the power and convert the country into a theocratic state. In order to have a civil polity is to strive for a culture based on justice, compassion, equitable division of wealth, fairness, honesty and dignity of all the citizens. The value system should include reason accessible to, irrespective of the religious belief is part of that political secularism. The political secularism is not Christian, Hindu or Muslim polity.  It is helpful to find that sense of reason; we have all those reasons in our religion. The only danger is that the orthodoxy plays a crucial role in taking a fair political system to narrow interpretation of fundamentalist religious school of thoughts. A secular way of governance cannot be read as Islamic; if we only talk about a faithless culture. The liberal democracy that we are after is based on certain secular and liberal principles. First of all, if it is not in Quran or Sunnah, it cannot be an Islamic tradition or an Islamic law.  Quran talks about consultation among people, justice and equal rights. The Islamic governance and the attributes of Muslim leaders and principles of governance are described in Quran. The form of the government is not the essence of Muslim polity. The Islamic government should be based on justice and free from the corruption and evil. The problem lies in the mind set of those who represent and interpret our religious values. The orthodoxy and going back in time of old Muslim rules negate all of the secular and liberal principles. The debate should not be limited to atheist style hard core secularism where the religion has to be marginalized. The focus should be on the liberal views of justice, human rights, pluralism and rationalism. The modern corrupt rulers of Muslim states have taken the advantage of this mind set. The Islamic states have created a false elitism of corrupt, religious and feudal, rich and powerful, forces. What we call an Islamic state that has changed into an autocratic rule, refusing to include the very principles of Islamic values of justice and fairness. The freedom of speech is being denied in those theocratic governments. The dilemma for the extreme religious posture is if a state promotes their faith and curbs and opposes other faiths they feel very proud. But if in another country they ban their religious culture and values; and declares them minorities and treated them as such then we have difficulty with that. There is a refusal of robust debate that includes the sectarian, ethnic, financial responsibility, international sensitivities and tribal concerns. The rich, feudal and corrupt politicians, autocrats, military rulers take advantage of the prevailing confusion. Continue reading

Raymond was ‘giving N-material to terrorists’

A foreign website has claimed that “top-secret CIA documents found in Raymond Davis’s possession point to his links with ATF 373 – American Task Force 373 – and plotting to provide to al Qaeda terrorists ‘nuclear fissile material’ and ‘biological agents’ they claim are to be used against the United States itself in order to ignite an all-out war in order to reestablish the West’s hegemony over a Global economy that is warned is just months away from collapse.”

Pakistani sources are unable to either confirm or deny the claims and some experts even call the report itself “a part of psy-ops against Pakistan”. The unconfirmed claim was made through a story written by a less known Western writer named as Sorcha Faal. Continue reading

Two Pakistani universities ranked among top 200

Two Pakistani universities ranked among the top 200 Technology Universities of the World, one of them is Federal Government University, according to Quality Standard World University Ranking 2010.

However, another five Pakistani universities including Quaid-i-Azam University, National University of Science & Technology, University of Karachi, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore and University of Lahore (Private Sector) ranked among World Top 600 Universities, according to World Ranking of Universities. Continue reading

Defence Showcase IDEX 2011 officially inaugurates today

By Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

Abu Dhabi, February 20, 2011-Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the 10TH International Defence Exhibition and Conference IDEX 2011 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday February 20, 2011. His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces were also presented.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum shared that Abu Dhabi’s International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) is gaining prominence and wider acclaim among the world countries and companies producing weapons and defence equipments as the event provide them with a window, through which they look at the markets in the region.

He was of the view that the exhibition also represented a platform for the local, regional as well as international arms manufacturers to showcase their latest products and defence technologies. He further elaborated that it would allow the countries of the region, the Middle East and North Africa the opportunity to view these modern defence products and procure them through commercial transactions taking place in the exhibition every year.

We in the UAE do not look at IDEX or Dubai Airshow as two platforms for arms race in the region, as some claim, but see them purely in terms of trade, tourism and technology, because of the diversity in attendance and participation in these events, which have gained international fame and earned great confidence among the exhibitors and consumers he added. He said this makes the United Arab Emirates a meeting place for people of different races and a gateway between East and West, not to mention the experience and knowledge which the men of our armed forces and our police gain through mixing with the experts who arrive from all over the world.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is confident that IDEX 2011 will see a large turnout and the increase in the proportion of exhibitors and visitors because it brings with it all that is new in the world of defence industries and military equipment.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is of the opinion that IDEX has achieved high momentum, development and the volume of demand from countries, companies, factories and individuals demonstrate its success, strength and quality and positions itself as an event of economic and tourism importance as well as creates an opportunity for cross-cultural understanding. The visitors get a chance to see the cultural expressions of our country, its Arab and Islamic traditions and customs.

We in the UAE, both the people and the leaders, are proud of the reputable status of our country and its well established position on the regional and international levels. We are also proud of our young people as well as their competencies and expertise in various sectors that make them worthy of our confidence as leaders and are able to assume their responsibilities in business leadership and the tasks entrusted to them he further added.

The IDEX 2011 is being showcased under the kind patronage of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 20-24 February 2011. The grand opening ceremony of IDEX 2011 was attended by a high-profile officials, foreign delegations and ministers. Large numbers of senior civilian and military officials along with 66 defence ministers, 64 chiefs of staff, top commanders as well as VIP guests, dignitaries, diplomats and leaders of the world defence industry attended the opening ceremony today. For the first time since IDEX’s inception in 1993, exhibitor numbers have gone past the 1,000 mark, recording 18.2 per cent growth over IDEX in 2009, to reach 1,060 exhibitors.

The UAE has achieved a global reputation for staging and organising security and defence exhibitions; this soft image is due to its grand success in hosting IDEX and the Dubai Air show. IDEX is now counted amongst the most established and prestigious international defence shows/exhibitions which provide an excellent opportunity for the manufactures and far and wide to share expertise and technological achievements and enhance their global presence.

The exhibition has a long history of growth and has served as a major influence in the armaments decisions of nations located in the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Attention from the world’s defence and homeland security industry.

IDEX is not an end in itself but a means to promote soft image of the UAE. It represents an opportunity for foreigners to visit UAE and learn about its achievements, cultural acquisitions, Arab traditions and noble Islamic values. It is also an opportunity for UAE citizens to interact with other cultures.

IDEX is the largest tri-service defence and security exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa region. The 2011 international exhibition marks the 10th edition of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference. It is organised by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) with the collaboration of the UAE Armed Forces GHQ, IDEX 2011. It succeeded to draw more than 1000 exhibitors. Tawazun Holding is the headline sponsor for the event.

UAE arms manufacturers

More than 169 manufactures of the UAE is actively participating in the IDEX 2011. Mubadala Development Company is the largest UAE exhibitor. According to many regional as well as international military experts that United Arab Emirates has been put on the armaments industry map by the successful holding of successive IDEX

UAE is expected to achieve substantial contracts in the ongoing international exhibition. According to Major General Obaid Al Katbi, Head of Committees and Spokesman for IDEX 2011, that the value of these deals would be close to Dh18.4 billion. It is hoped that more than $ 20 billion of defence contracts will be achieved in the 10th International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Some of these deals could be signed during the IDEX 2011, which has in the past been chosen forum to announce major purchases.

Pakistan’s companies participation

Many Pakistani arms manufactures are taking part in the IDEX 2011. AERO, Al-Techniques Corporation of Pakistan, Pakistan Ordnances Factory, EPERT Engineering Services, Pakistan Defence Export Bureau, IDEAS-Pakistan and many others are actively participating this international exhibition, showcasing their diversified expertise, specific products and professional services to audiences with high hopes to earn some meaningful contracts.

Country Pavilions

Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Estonia, Libya and Taiwan are the new entrants and taking part first time in the IDEX. Germany holds the largest international country pavilion followed by those of the United States, Turkey and Italy. Rheinmetall AG, is the largest international exhibitor is from Germany.
Saif Al Hajiri, Chief Executive Officer of Tawazun Holding and the Offset Program Bureau) told Gulf News that military purchases in the GCC countries have encouraged defence manufacturers in the GCC and the Middle East to become more visible in such a strategic position.

Tawazun Hodling, the headline sponsor of Idex, is expected to launch new products and make announcements on joint ventures at Idex this year. “Our target is for our products to be of an international standard and to sell in any market,” Al Hajeri said. Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Daheri, Managing Director of Andec, said that the direct economic impact of this year’s edition of IDEX might exceed the ninth edition of Dh2.5 billion.
The International Defence Exhibition and Conference 2011 would now further pave the way towards mutual understanding and cooperation between the nations jointly involved in serving the global cause of peace where United Arab Emirates keeps playing its dominant role in the GCC and Middle East.

All went wrong after BB’s murder: Musharraf

Dubai: Former President Pervez Musharraf has said that he had meetings with Asif Zardari even after Benazir Bhutto’s murder and he indicated about retaining his presidency.

This he said in an interview with a private TV channel, adding that he could not do many things due to 9/11, as it was not possible then.

Former president said that he had several meetings with Asif Zardari which lasted for hours, in which they smoked cigars and had coffee.He said Pakistan Muslim League-Q would have won the elections if BB and Nawaz Sharif would not return to the country. All things went wrong after BB’s assassination.
Continue reading