Pakistan remains unwilling to change the substance of its policy on terrorism even as it tries to reassure the international community that it is ready for a drastic transformation.
LAHORE, Pakistan -- I write from a country where people like you and I live with our families -- loving grandparents, self-sacrificing parents with babies, innocent children and know-it-all teenagers. Where we search for tools of peace-building to heal our fractured but shared world.
There can be no real peace with honor if women are left out. Without women at the table, women's rights will be an empty promise if peace is ever negotiated.
Forgetting man's past atrocities or ignoring those happening, now, today, in too many places around the world, is both callous and short-sighted. That is bad enough. But it's equally hazardous to ignore the astonishing and perilous acts of human courage that negate, undo, reverse the violence and uphold our rights and dignity as humans.
If poverty, oppression, injustice, joblessness and hopelessness are the deeper causes of motivations to violence, ridding the world of religion won't lead to less violence.
ISLAMABAD -- Even in the world's most dangerous places we must now establish the right of all children to schooling and make a new idea of "education without borders" a reality.
When terrorists killed 160 teachers and children at a Peshawar school last December, a burst of commentary suggested that Pakistan would now change its ambivalence about Islamist extremism. Two months later, it seems that Pakistan's government and military are back to business as usual.
The king has died. Long live the king. Saudi Arabia today is a medieval system whose horrid human rights practices match its antiquated political system.
Whenever there is news of a shooting, kidnapping or attack, the first thought that goes through my mind is "Please don't let it be a Muslim" (with "Please don't let it be a Pakistani Muslim" following closely behind). For if it's a Muslim, it will no longer be considered an isolated incident. If it's a Muslim, I have the onerous burden of having to do the following.
To believe that the attack in Paris was a tragedy singularly about a cartoon or as an event solely to be defined as an assault on freedom of expression, is to be daft and incongruent with the history and reality of American and Western policy in the Middle East.
To save humanity from tearing itself apart, we must reject the erroneous premise that some human beings have been created as less than others. We must accept as inviolable and "self-evident" the truths that God is indeed compassionate and all-loving, and that all of us have been created equal.
Here is my challenge to Amir Liaqat. If you are sincere that your religion forbids you from hating anyone, or wishing death upon anyone, and if you are sincere that you want to give Ahmadi Muslims a voice -- then prove it with your actions.
Only a fool offers longer term predictions about the Middle East. I offer the following shorter term predictions about the Middle East for 2015.
The official "end" to the Afghan war, while it doesn't mean the end of combat operations, does offer us a moment of disturbing reflection on what has been accomplished these last 13 years, during the first of our wars allegedly to eradicate, but in fact to promote, terror.
"End of U.S. combat means that fewer American lives will be lost in Afghanistan and less American money spent, but Afghans will continue to die, even more now because they no longer have the support of foreign troops."
The same clerics who stand to lose everything if the Muslim masses turn away from them took yet another cowardly and barbaric step to ensure they keep their masses captive -- either mentally, physically, morally, and spiritually.