Friday, November 7, 2008

World Bank E Conference on Afghanistan [2001] - 11

Sat Dec 08 2001 - 21:52:25 EST
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Waldemar: while I agree that some people may not feel comfortable with the 'personal', I don't necessarily agree with the need for people's comfort at all times! If this is about changing ourselves (and the world) then a little bit of discomfort may be a very healthy thing. With regard to your assessment of why people do not feel comfortable with the 'personal' as you call it, some of us may also just prefer the so-called 'technical' or professional: not to hide behind it, or for job security purposes, but to keep our eyes and ears open to the reality and perspectives of others, in an attempt to transcend ourselves.On 'getting marginalised', I think that this is, in most instances, a function of our own abilities, and the choices we make. The space you get is the space you create. To me, the staff of any organization is the organization itself.

Staff shape the organization, just as much as the organization shapes staff. It is a matter of our own approach to life. Some of us have joined our current agency to work with, rather than for it. Many of us were invited to join the agency after openly stating that our purpose would be to give the agency a shape that we think it should have, not simply to follow the currently approved patterns of work. This, in itself says a lot.

On the communication center: I agree that a communication center alone will not help achieve the results that you are talking about. The first step according to me is to stop externalizing the problem where we say that we cannot function because of XYZ. I believe in reversing the story. Look at the opportunities rather than the limitations. Build on what we have rather than focusing on what we do not have. Within the World Bank, we have created space for dialogue in many instances in total contradiction to what was accepted practice: among peers, between technical and managerial staff, between staff and clients, and with a large number of external constituency groups. What you call personal courage, I just call personal interest in maintaining a modicum of self-respect:

the ability to face ourselves, to do what is appropriate, so that we continue to have some respect for ourselves in the future. On military, whereas I agree with your suggested steps with regard to defense budget and military aid, and the need for built-in transparency on the subject;

I do not recall either appreciating or stating that the 'postive role of the military was underestimated'. I do recall, however, expressing my extreme frustration with our elected as much as our unelected 'power snatchers'. What I said was that in our set up, the so-called democratically elected 'leaders' have been by far the most insecure when it comes to mobilizing communities for development action. The military rulers, on the other hand, in a number of instances (since they have taken over power many times!) have felt the need to reach out and encourage local level management for development. This was obviously done more in an attempt to undercut intermediaries at the provincial and district levels, to centralize power, and to stabilize their own rule rather than for the love of democracy or the 'down-trodden'. See excerpt below from my earlier post.

"Our society (determined by those holding political power) becomes more repressive with each passing regime; our 'democratically elected' leaders are insecure and extremely uncomfortable with the 49/51 margin and shaky alliances that brings them to power, so they begin from day one to look for 'deals' to hold on to their seats a little longer; and for this they need to exercise absolute control. Our non-democratically (self) appointed leaders need to exercise absolute control since they have so-called 'usurped' power, and are not considered legitimate. So, obviously, the focus is on controlling, rather building anything, let alone institutions that would at the very least, soften, if not curtail absolute power".
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Jonathan Pappie (
Sun Dec 09 2001 - 00:19:21 EST
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Attacking the process

I am obviously not as qualified to comment as some who have spoken here, and by listening I have learned much, even though I may have disagreed.As an observer I am impressed by the efforts made but dismayed by the lack of focus and agenda that I see. According to news reports there is a danger that thousands of innocent people could starve to death if aid is not rushed in very shortly. We have heard several reasons for this, and my frustration with the aid agencies themselves is that each has created it's own separate bueracracy and administration. Each is subject to its own political whims and in-fighting to embark upon what appears to be a fairly daunting, but do-able immediate task. (FEEDING PEOPLE) Once the agencies can facilitate this effort it would then be the intelligent direction to focus on establishing both short term and long range agendas to rebuild this region. At this point in time an outline subject to the approval of the weighted parties could be agreed upon. Perhaps a deadline for the distribution of funds and a safeguard system in proving the deployment of those funds would help the process. This would
minimize the altercations which are bound to erupt as a central body(Hopefully the world bank) would be in a position to verify the projects over time and implement a course of action.In other words a business plan for Afghanistan. However this must be a secondary initiative with the welfare of the people being the primary and immmediate initiative.

Jonathan Pappie,
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Sun Dec 09 2001 - 13:44:31 EST
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In response to Najma's comments which rightly reemphasize the need to understand before "solving," I would like to encourage those who know more about indigenous institutions in Afghanistan to share with us how these work and what role they might play in the future development and reconstruction of Afghanistan. National Public Radio ran a story this morning about Pashtun law for example. We have been hearing bits and pieces in the news about how such indigenous institutions (especially the jirga) can play an important role in resolving immediate conflicts and moving forward. However, I was deeply disturbed by some of the methods the Pashtun law promoted to resolve conflict among tribes. The example given was a dispute over the use of an irrigation system in which a man from one tribe shot and killed a man from another. Part of the resolution was to promote that one tribe give and the other receive a woman as a wife and new member of the tribe affronted. This is a traditional method in many cultures historically. I would like to refrain from judgment and be respectful of local traditions and culture. However, as a woman concerned about human rights this example greatly disturbs me.

I do not intend to discount these institutions as universally negative. Rather, the example once again points to the complexities we're dealing with and raises deeper questions about:

*What these institutions are;

*What is their scope (i.e., in terms of populations included);

*What constructive role can they play in meeting the needs of the Afghan peoples (including women) and future development of Afghanistan; and

*What concerns should we have about them and is there anything we can/should do about these anyway??

I ask those who are knowledgeable about these institutions, Qaim Shah, for example, to please enlighten us.

Jennifer Brinkerhoff
Assistant Professor
Department of Public Administration
George Washington University
Jonathan Pappie (

Sun Dec 09 2001 - 12:25:33 EST
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Having worked in Counter Terrorism I thought I would comment on the above so there is some accuracy. First of all not all of us brand terrorists in this manner and actually may sympathize with the plight of some of the people whom these radicals "represent". Basically these are acts of desperation brought on by economic or political frustration, combined with hatred for the west and Israel, as well as religious fervor gone astray. Not always is it religious fervor, but the religion as an excuse to carry out these acts. However, it is the methodology and barbarity, utter
lack of respect for sacred innocent human life, including children, that leaves us no choice but to
act with disregard for their (the terrorists) life.

That means no negotiations with terrorists, and no discussion, if you do that then you open up the window to every radical militant with a cause. An act of diplomacy legitimizes their cause and that could trigger a wave of new causes deploying these tactics to get government to acquiesce to a whole host of demands through subversive elements. The result being more dead people.

Also if you review the demands of the terrorists themselves you will find that they leave no room for negotiation. Hammas is a perfect example. Many blame Israel, and by no means is Israel without fault.

However, the militants of Hammas and Islamic Jihad have done nothing but reject all proposals and negotiations Arafat has entered into. In effect they are not team players for peace and use brutal tactics to attempt to effect change that will never occur. The dissolution of Israel. They will accept no alternatives. Check out their website.

The same is true of the Sept. 11 attacks or any other, these groups attack civilization itself in order to become a part of it. Not too bright. So the only real way to combat this problem is to reach down to the next generation and try to teach right from wrong and hope that the poverty, ideologies and organizations that foster this type of activity can be reduced or eliminated. In other words we understand the anger, but the means do not justify the end, especially when the end does not exist. Therefore we are forced into a neutralization policy. Unfortunate but effective. The only thing being is that you have to get all of them. If you think I am wrong then next time you go out glance over at a small child with their parents ..and know that a terrorist has no concern whether or not his bomb blast takes that life. There is right and there is wrong and the gray can wait.

It's not that we don't understand them. It is that understanding does not seem to stop the taking of innocent life. They leave us little choice to be civilized when they are not. Consider this. Osama bin Laden with all of his money and power could have 10 lobbyists in ten countries documenting the issues and trying to effect change through government and many other channells. He could have hired consultants to work with the World Bank. Instead he chose a path of violence that took thousands of innocent lives and threw a coutnry into war. We should talk to this man.

I think not.
Jonathan Pappie,
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Sun Dec 09 2001 - 16:07:28 EST
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Clearly, resolution of the "crisis" should be illuminated with reference to the multiplicity of *rational* perspectives, including those of oppressed, marginalized, abused and outraged peoples.However, sociopathic murderers and rapists have peculiar perspectives. It is a distraction to analyze their destructive behavior in terms of what religion they belonged to, or what particular prejudices they held against others prior to committing their acts of violence against perceived enemies.A proper analysis might explore their fanaticism, their prejudice, their
upbringing and life experience. However, to introduce into the analysis the particular religion they claim to follow, or the particular group that has become the object of their self-hatred, in effect serves to diminish their personal responsibility for what they have done.The victim of a sociopath or rapist is not served by an analysis of the perpetrator's religious views and political leanings. Such analyses only serve to rationalize forms of insanity, not illuminate it. Mayor Giuliani understood that when he rebuked the naive sheik's grandstanding on the site of the crime, in the home of the bereaved. It does no honor to a righteous cause or religion to associate it with madness.

Nevertheless, highly regarded religious and political leaders are fully responsible for enticing warped minds to act in criminal ways. The appeals in this discussion for more dirct evidence of involvement are misguided and naive. Resolution of the "crisis" entails in part slencing those who advocate violence against innocents. Freedom of expression is not absolute in any civil society.May the discussion of tensions among the World's peoples, and resolution of the current "crisis," continue with reference to justified outrage, as well as in terms of sincere compassion,
with respect for the multiplicity of *rational* perspectives. Leave analyses of irrational perspectives to psychoanalysts.

S. Hackbarth
NYC public schools

Paul G. Martin
Sun Dec 09 2001 - 20:55:20 EST
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We are in danger of ascribing rationality to the West and irrationality to those who are not in positions of power; a so-called "rational" protection response of those who are, and wish to remain in power.We must not lose sight of the fact that the major world players, Russia, China and the United States, not to mention their "allies", have acted, and continue to act, in ways that simply meet their self-interest- with total contempt for the wellbeing and autonomy of those who are bit players on the world stage.What is needed is a fundamental re-ordering of the priorities for human-kind- "world development" is simply a catch-cry of the greedy. What is required are solutions that are not based on greed and self-interest, but on autonomy and respect for all citizens of the world; a world where governments can no longer be bought by commercial interests.

Paul Martin
Community Consultation
Sun Dec 09 2001 - 01:09:37 EST

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I was looking through earlier messages under topic 3 and came across this thought provoking question from Nadeem: "We try to understand even mass murderers through their past and what happened to them. Why not the WTC terrorists?" I have not seen much interest in addressing this question, and would like to focus on it for a bit. In the aftermath of September 11, almost everyone who was anyone was bent upon finding a label for the 'terrorists'. However, calling someone 'evil', 'coward', or 'insane', basically blocked our own ability to see the real picture. These labels represented our feelings towards the person/s rather than facilitating a search for answers (in terms of what he/she may have been, and what was the motivation for such destructive behaviour). This approach I find dangerous. In our own self-interest, if nothing else, it would have helped to try to understand the other perspective, the logic behind the action.

The labelling continues. A recent news story labelled the first batch of prisoners held by Northern Alliance as 'suicidal'. Easy. No more explanation needed. They surrendered. They were suicidal. They picked up a fight. They had to have known that they would die. They died. End of story. However, with the Walker ('American Taliban', as he is called) story breaking earlier this week, the need to understand the other person's perspective may still be appreciated. After all, he was a student who was 'brainwashed' and drawn into a fight on the side of foreigners / enemies in a foreign land. Don't we want to know how this could have happened? Why? How can it be stopped in the future? Or are we again going to find a label for him and move on?Similarly, the situation building up in Afghanistan is a little too complex as our friend Qaim Shah has indicated. It requires much more than finding ways to build roads and bring food and water to the people. This is critical in the short term, but not enough. Our solutions to date seem to be too simplistic.

Developing institutions that are sustainable will require a much deeper understanding of the people, their history, and the dynamics of their society including their beliefs, their culture, their traditions (not just a strange version of Islam that everyone outside of Afghanistan seems to have become an expert in, overnight).

The only way to influence is to engage. The only way to engage is to be willing to explore, to understand, to communicate. Are we able and willing to meet this challenge?
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Marco Giaconi

Mon Dec 10 2001 - 12:06:38 EST
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Well, psychopolitics may be very useful, but I think that a clear priority must be set for political reorganization and economic resurrection. I guess that western powers should give a close look to modern techniques for agriculture; but we must define, irrespective of "traditional" loyalties, new criteria for land ownership. Destruction of old (and somewhat criminal) tribal organizations may be a psychopolitical mistake, but it paves the way to a safe modernization of the whole area.

Marco Giaconi
Director of Research
Centro Militare di Studi Strategici


Mon Dec 10 2001 - 15:27:43 EST
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Dear friends,

My worry is about another kind of imperialism thrust upon developing countries' population in the name of development. How much of the development funds will be actually utilised in Afghanistan. How much of the aid money will be remitted back to the countries of origin in the form of shamefully high emoluments and perks for the development "experts"? How much of it will be remitted to pay for un-needed hardware. I am fearful of the scenarion where hordes of unemployed (read unemployable) people from developed countries with dubious credentials will be swarming to Afghanistan to enforce their fancy projects and "brilliant" ideas. I have seen countless examples of this new form of "wite man's burden" in various countries. Afghanistan, despite all its troubles has a dubious distinction. It does not owe a single penny to any country or nstitutions.

How can it avoid being burdened with loans in the name of development.I would like to reproduce a quote from "The Development Game" written by a development practitioner Leonard Frank, published in a special issue of Granta magazine in 1986.

Development, as in third world development is a debauched word, a whore of a word. Its users can't look you in the eye. Among biologists, the word means progress, the realization of an innate potential. The word is good, incontestable, a cause for celebration. In the mouths of politicians, economists and development experts like myself it claims some approval, but means nothing. There are no genes governing the shape of human society. No one can say of a society, as a gardener can of a flower, that it has become what it should be. It is an empty word which can be filled by any user to conceal any hidden intention. A Trojan horse of a word. It implies that what is done to people by those more powerful than themselves is their fate, their potential, their fault. A useful word, a bland word, a wicked word, a whore of a word. Development in the mouths of Americans has a lot in common with psychotherapy in the mouths of Russians.

No, this is nonsense.. there is nothing sinister about 'development'. It is simply a useful word to describe the achievement of desirable goals: higher incomes, better nutrition and so on. There are no serious agreement about what is desirable, and by repeated use the word has achieved a validity of shared understanding. That is all. Now please let me sleep.

Nabi Aslamy

Tue Dec 11 2001 - 03:09:54 EST
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Dear Suleman.

I totally with you that fund will not be used effectively for the Afghanistan reconstruction but surely it will help a bunch of so called experts from other nations. This is the time that UN should attract the the skilled Afghans who are either still survived in the country or living abroad and dying to accomplish something for their motherland. Let them to do the reconstruction effectively with less money. After all Afghans know their people, culture, language and tradition of Afghanistan. There are thousands of Afghans who are willing to leave the luxury of life here and serve their nation. I think this would be the logical approach of reconstructing the war torn nation. Let us persue the practicality of this notion and bring it to reality.
Dr. M.N.Aslamy (Afghan national)

Mon Dec 10 2001 - 18:01:14 EST
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Hello Fellows, Friends and drqazisb:

I find the idea of a Trojan Horse interesting. In modern times it could be a Internet file sent with a hidden virus inside. Or a person with a bomb strapped in an attempt to silence an idea or stop an activity. An aggressive attack motivated by some misguided perception of a World View. A tyrant of ideas, or self proclamed elite who knows the best for everything in his egocentric kingdom, but I digress.Afghanistan or any area on the planet can benefit with generosity by the giving most often by those who's genius or hard work or good fortune has allowed them to be wealthy and generous. Other ways of development is in the investment world of business. Many of the governmental bureaucrats do not understand the risk taker's issues. Bureaucratic workers have a job and income even when there is little economic activity for anything else. What prosperity has resulted today is the product of innovators and tinkers. More sophisticated today that create the wealth which others wish to control. Freedom is not free, investment is not by nature free. Charity is though, thank God. On second thought it is not free as working on proposals and networking takes an investment of time and energy. Even non-profits are burdened with administrative cost and a portion of that charitable gift is an investment in the Staff too.Please do not tell me that there is no room for businesses, or the jobs that they create. Such a big job as reconstruction needs to get all the help that it can get. As the Beatle's lyric said:" I get by with the help of my friends." All of them.

Sidney Clouston

aamir moghal

Tue Dec 11 2001 - 10:27:53 EST
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I totally agree with Mr Nabi Aslamy and Mr Suleman on the suggestion that Afghans and only Afghans should forge an alliance amongst themselves to pull out Afghnaistan from the present quagmire of poverty, misery, corruption, butchery, blood letting, revenge, feuds and Pagan ways of treating womenfolk. In this respect the most important thing is an alliance of those Afghans who are living abroad and who are enlightened and educated, they should rise above their ethnic diversity and be a single nation at least for the time being i.e AFGHAN.Though it is a novel idea but if some Afghan farmer are interested in Poppy Cultivation then they must be allowed by the Western World by regulating their cultivation and active use of Poppy in medicines, the Western Pharmaceutical Companies should buy the Poppy Crop for using it in medicines and at the same time Heroine Manufacturing Laboratories should be curbed. In this way Afghans can earn badly needed money to feed their children. The Western NGOs working in Afghanistan should involve the Afghans from every ethnic group in re-developing and re-constructing the country. The tribal leaders of Afghanistan should be taken into confidence through sheer openheartedly and good intentions for rebuilding and rehabilitation.

Muhammad Aamir Mughal
Marta Amde

Tue Dec 11 2001 - 11:57:54 EST
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Dear Dr. Aslamy, (the Afghan national)

I agree with you 100% and I wish victory to you and to all Afghans that are willing to move to Afghanistan in order to assist our Afghan brothers, sisters and children, sacrificing the comfort and the secured life styles the land of freedom and peace, the land that respects human rights, he land of luxury, Sweet America offers you. These are the type of people that the World Bank and the international world should encourage and assist. My prayers goes out to determined Afghans that wish to rebuild the beautiful Afghanistan. May all of you be crowned with success in all your endeavors.

If I didn't have motherhood responsibilities, I would have loved to volunteer to train some members of RAWA (the association of Afghan women) in my expertise, manufacturing clothing and home furnishings.

With Best Wishes
Marta (Ethiopian national)
Marta Amde

Tue Dec 11 2001 - 11:22:07 EST
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Dear World Bank,

Why do you consider development as a solution to the problem of terrorism? What is the guarantee that your investment in developing Afghanistan will not be destroyed by terrorists? Did you know that not only WTC, Pentagon, American embassies in Africa, etc. but the very little infrastructure built in one of the poverty-stricken areas of the world became terrorist attractions? Innocent lives were lost and infrastructure damaged when Bin Laden and Co. bombed shopping areas, hotels, parks, etc. in Ethiopia? It is only logical to openly and honestly examine the root causes of terrorism and solve the problem before investing in development.


Tolerance to differences in religion and other issues is commendable. But, in the name of tolerance, let's not be afraid to call a spade a spade since we cannot address the real issue unless we identify it properly.


Terrorism is birthed in the mind of believers of the Islamic religion. It is designed, sponsored, carried out and applauded by non-others but Muslims. A terrorist is referred to as a martyr by non-others but Muslims. A murderer is a role model to non- others but Muslim children. Though some Muslims denounce terrorism in public, many are proud of it and support it in private. (This is not a suggestion to eliminate Islam but to focus on some of the details that give birth to terrorism and find solutions.)


With all the respect due to the leader of the greatest nation, the United States of America, President Bush was wrong when he said, "Islam preaches peace". It's all right for him to avoid calling a spade a spade because he is a politician and a leader of Christians, Muslims and Jews. Not to pass judgement but in order to tackle the root problems of terrorism, it is also all right for others to openly and honestly admit a religion that preaches jihad; a religion that violates the rights of women and turns God's creations, women, into toys of other creations, men, on earth and in heaven; a religion that trains and brain washes children to become criminals does not preach peace.


A martyr is one who voluntarily dies or suffers agonizing pain on the account of adherence to a cause especially religious beliefs. A martyr is not one who kills and destroys property.The justification for the World Bank to invest in development in Afghanistan should be to avoid or minimize human sufferings not to fight terrorism. Bin Laden didn't become a terrorist as a result of lack of development in Afghanistan or because he found a safe haven in Afghanistan. Bin Laden didn't become a terrorist because he lives in poverty; he is a millionaire. Bin Laden didn't become a terrorist to support a just cause, the Palestinian cause: Government officials of Palestine have witnessed to this fact. Bin Laden became a terrorist because he didn't like the fact that America used Saudi's land for military purposes. In other words, it was his way of expressing his TEMPER TANTRUM. Rewarding temper tantrum with development will make terrorism the formula to achieve development and as a result, it will breed more terrorism. Responding to terrorism with war and violence breeds terrorism in the terrorizes' communities. My heart goes out to the Afghan and Palestinian innocent victims especially the little ones.


The responsibility of eradicating terrorism lies in the hands of Islamic religious leaders and educated Muslims. The World Bank and the international world have the responsibility of helping those Muslim individuals or groups that are committed to reform some of the wrong teachings of Islam. The international world should unite to assist the new president of Afghanistan in providing food and shelter to the needy as well as in his efforts to pull out and destroy the roots of terrorism before focusing on development. Only when and if reformist Muslims don't succeed should the international world use other means such as sanctions and, if the need still persists, war.

Javed Khan

Tue Dec 11 2001 - 13:35:20 EST
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Mr Gandapur:

With all due respect, I am a little surprised at your naivete in placing the ball for Pakistan's future in the court of International Community, and failing to mention Pakistan's and its citizens own responsibilty in making it a modern progressive country. I will quote below from a recent article "Resurrection!" by Ardeshir Cowasjee in the Dawn newspaper:

The bad news of the day is that in Pakistan nine babies are born every minute. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the maker and builder of Pakistan, intended to be a progressively modern state, stated on February 19, 1948: "But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it.... "Later that month, he reiterated: "In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.....".

On March 7, 1949, the Objectives Resolution was moved and adopted on the first day of the fifth session of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, meeting in the Assembly chambers at Karachi, at four of the clock in the evening. The official report for that day's debates records:"The Honourable Mr Liaquat Ali Khan (East Bengal, Muslim) : Mr President, Sir, I beg to move the following Objectives Resolution embodying the main principles on which the Constitution of Pakistan is to be based."In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful;"Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the state of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limit prescribed by Him is a sacred trust;"This Constituent Assembly, representing the people of Pakistan, resolves to frame a constitution for the sovereign independent State of Pakistan;

"Wherein the state shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people;"Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed;"Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accord with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah;

"Wherein adequate provisions shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their cultures;"Wherein the territories now included in or in accession with Pakistan and such other territories as may hereafter be included in or accede to Pakistan shall form a federation wherein the units will be autonomous with such boundaries and limitations on their powers and authority as may be prescribed;

"Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to the law and public morality;

"Wherein adequate provision shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes;"Wherein the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured;"Wherein the integrity of the territories of the Federation, its independence and all its rights, including its sovereign rights on land, sea and air, will be safeguarded;

"So that the people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their rightful and honoured place amongst the nations of the world and make their full contribution towards international peace and progress and happiness of humanity."

Now to quote from Liaquat's subsequent address to the President, the Honourable Mr Tamizuddin Khan, a quotation which must bear constant and frequent repetition:

"...the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy .... In the technical sense, theocracy has come to mean a government by ordained priests, who wield authority as being specially appointed by those who claim to derive their rights from their sacerdotal position. I cannot overemphasize the fact that such an idea is absolutely foreign to Islam. Islam does not recognize either priesthood or any sacerdotal authority; and, therefore, the question of a theocracy simply does not arise in Islam. If there are any who still use the word theocracy in the same breath as the polity of Pakistan, they are either labouring under a grave misapprehension or indulging in mischievous propaganda.

"..... Therefore, there should be no misconception in the mind of any sect which may be a minority in Pakistan about the intentions of the state. The state will seek to create an Islamic society free from dissensions, but this does not mean that it would curb the freedom of any section of the Muslims in the matter of their beliefs. No sects, whether the majority or a minority, will be permitted to dictate to the others and, in their own internal matters and sectional beliefs, all sects shall be given the fullest possible latitude and freedom. Actually, we hope the various sects will act in accordance with the desire of the Prophet who said that the differences of opinion amongst his followers are a blessing. It is for us to make our differences a source of strength to Islam and to Pakistan and not to exploit them for our own interests which will weaken both Pakistan and Islam.".... We believe that no shackles can be put on thought and, therefore, we do not intend to hinder any person from the expression of his views."Therein lies Pakistan's future. Look around you. There is an "enemy within" that is holding Pakistan back. Restructuring of the US Department of Justice means nothing to Pakistanis.

Javed Khan

Zubair Faisal Abbasi

Tue Dec 11 2001 - 14:02:58 EST
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Its a great message from Marta Amde. I don't want to go in detail I would just like refer the esteemed write to Edward Said's Book "Covering Islam". That may give some clue to where the real fallacy of 'reality creation' lies.Islam, to my understanding, does not infuse any pathogenic character in Muslims or anyone who recites the Kalima becomes a social pathogen. There have been a lot of wars in the West on Christian Religion ( please refer to 'Why I am not Christian' by Bertrand Russell) but none of the intellectuals picked the 'dirty gene' in the ideology. They instead of doing it, found discursive formation of 'intolerant behaviour' in all its germination points in social, cultural, economic, and psychological frameworks. Why we get so reductionist when it comes to Islam and Muslims, I am not able to understand.


Zubair Faisal Abbasi.

Tue Dec 11 2001 - 14:10:41 EST
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I understand that you are expressing your "open and honest" opinion about the terrorism, but i must say it is also a very limited one that betrays your ignorance of the outer world. Perhaps, "terrorism" started for you just recently and is inalienable from islamic evil, but i could point you in direction of Irish IRA and Bask nationalistic movement as few examples of "non-islam terrorists". Religious fanatism is only one of the possible factors in birth of terrorism, but these factors are a much larger in number and most often represent resentment of deprived people (or those that think that they are deprived of something vital for their survival).

As for the World Bank mission, i don't know how effective its development projects would turn out but along with exterminating the terrorist elements, large resources need to be provided to many countries in the world to promote social and political infrastructure to help people construct a life. As for the proposition for "well-defining" the projects and purposes of the World Bank, I think the proposition itself is not very well-defined (i.e. does that mean condemn islam and refuse any help to countries with muslim population?)


Tue Dec 11 2001 - 14:10:41 EST
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I understand that you are expressing your "open and honest" opinion about the terrorism, but i must say it is also a very limited one that betrays your ignorance of the outer world. Perhaps, "terrorism" started for you just recently and is inalienable from islamic evil, but i could point you in direction of Irish IRA and Bask nationalistic movement as few examples of "non-islam terrorists". Religious fanatism is only one of the possible factors in birth of terrorism, but these factors are a much larger in number and most often represent resentment of deprived people (or those that think that they are deprived of something vital for their survival).

As for the World Bank mission, i don't know how effective its development projects would turn out but along with exterminating the terrorist elements, large resources need to be provided to many countries in the world to promote social and political infrastructure to help people construct a life. As for the proposition for "well-defining" the projects and purposes of the World Bank, I think the proposition itself is not very well-defined (i.e. does that mean condemn islam and refuse any help to countries with muslim population?)


Tue Dec 11 2001 - 16:42:42 EST
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In reading the postings for the topic of "where do we go from here?" I'm struck by how in a sense this electronic dialogue mirrors in microcosm some of the critical difficulties that arise in resolving conflicts and developing reform programs. Some participants are focusing on problem-solving, offering suggestions on governance arrangements, sequences of interventions, investment priorities, and political dynamics. Others, however, appear more interested in a) assigning blame for the current situation and the historical events leading up to the present, and/or b) exhorting various actors to redress these past and present injustices.

Experience tells us that conflict resolution and concrete steps for change cannot proceed when one or more of the sets of actors involved remain focused on fixing blame and/or self-justification. The possibility of progress emerges only when actors are willing to open up to reframing issues around common ground, and to compromise, joint problem-solving, etc.As an outsider, I can empathize with the emotions of those from the region who feel that the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered, and continue to suffer, injustices and deprivations.

Yet, I think that a social justice perspective alone will not provide sufficient common ground for designing and/or implementing solutions, precisely because the debate becomes mired in blame and exhortation (mostly directed toward others). Without devaluing the importance of social justice, I would argue that a more utilitarian perspective may be more persuasive in terms of working with actors, both from the region and outside, who have resources and energy to contribute to moving forward. An important element in taking a utilitarian perspective is to recognize that all actors have interests, and that any kind of lasting solution to Afghanistan's problems will require taking those interests into account. It is certainly not an original observation to note that politics, global, national, and local, are instrumental in policy and program design and implementation. For example, Joshua Forrest's contribution on decentralized governance structures and Homira Nassery's comments about the politics of Afghan NGOs offer useful and interesting points on the salience of politics, interest groups, and incentives. Part of the complexity of the reconstruction and development task derives from the large number of arenas within which political dynamics play out, from local villages, to Kabul, Bonn, and beyond.

I don't believe that taking a utilitarian and political perspective means that one has to throw away one's moral compass. Recognizing that groups have interests does not mean one necessarily shares those interests. And, espousing morally admirable interests does not necessarily mean that the espousers are high-minded or moral; there are those who would wrap themselves in the cloak of social justice in pursuit of narrow political gain. "Where we go from here" will be strongly influenced by politics and interest group dynamics, like it or not. And sorting these out is not easy. However, reformers will be more successful in implementing change to the extent that they master these dynamics, seeking to create positive incentives and common ground to "do the right thing." We all would like to live in a world characterized by social justice, peace, and prosperity, but getting there will not happen simply by expressing outrage that these desirable features are currently missing or in short supply.As this dialogue comes to a close I would like to express my appreciation to the organizers, moderators, and participants. I've learned a lot and have gained some insights into events in Afghanistan that I would not otherwise have had the chance to discover. My thanks to all.

Derick W. Brinkerhoff
Principal Social Scientist
Abt Associates Inc.
4800 Montgomery Lane, Suite 600
Bethesda, MD 20814 USA

Adnan Ozair

Tue Dec 11 2001 - 16:20:46 EST
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You are partially correct, development is not the answer to terrorism if only economic development is taken into consideration. What is more important is values like justice, equity and freedom - and which the fact is are the primary values of Islam. They are not practised by many so called Muslim countries, no doubt. In addition, you can see that in most cases where you see terrorism, these values are missing. Enough has been discussed on this so no need to go into details - more important is to repond tosome of the misunderstandings you seem to have. However, before that, I will agree with you that a lot of responsibility lies in the hands of educated Muslims.

All the points you have mentioned on Islam are incorrect. Please find out what Islam is before making such comments. If what you are saying about Islam was even partially true, the conversion rate to Islam in the US would not have become multifold since September 11th and an ambassador of a European country would not have been accepting Islam after the event.There is no place for terrorism in Islam. If anyone like Usama bin Laden hijacks Islam and claims to do what he is doing in the name of Islam, it does mean that Islam permits that.

Islam, like any other religion does preach peace, though there is permission for war only in particular situations as in any other religion or ideology. To clear your misunderstanding about 'jihad' the word does not mean 'holy war' as is frequently understood. It means 'to struggle' wether you are in a struggle for earning a living, in a struggle to get a project completed or in a struggle to fight for justice - its a whole spectrum of meanings. There is plenty of reading material for you to refer to if you want to know the truth. A few are:

Peace and the Limits of War - Transcending Classical Conceptions of Jihad (by Louay Safi)

Islam and Universal Peace (by Syed Qutb)

Islam provides every right to women - try to find out the truth. No doubt these are not fully practised in many so called Muslim countries - but do not say that Islam takes away the rights. Plus, if you obtained your conclusions from what happened in Afghanistan during the taliban regime, you are totally misinformed. What was being practised was an extension of the culture, not true religion! A few readings for your reference:

Islam - The First Women's Liberation Movement (by Salwa Abdallah)

Islam: The Empowering of Women (by Aisha Bewley)

Gender Equity in Islam (by Jamal Badawi)

In Islam, there is no permission to destroy property or threaten civilians, women, children or old men even in war! (You can read abouth this in the book mentioned above). Therefore anyone who does that is by no means a martyr in Islam. Once again, I request you to find the truth and differentiate from what the media portrays. If any terrorist is labeled a martyr, it does not mean that Islam permits that. You are once again listening to the terrorists who are misrepresenting Islam. o if you want to call a spade a spade, with all respect, please find out
what a spade is!

From: "Suleman"

Dear participants,

I am not sure how the moderators allowed the first part of Marta's message which to me is tantamount to "hate mail". It does expose a certain rather ignorant mindset which dialectically creates more hatred on both sides of the divide. I would request the sensible discussants to ignore that, and concentrate more on productive discussion.Regarding the issue raised by me in my previous mail and responded to by = some friends, I would like to clarify that nobody can be against the notion of North-South cooperation for rebuilding Afghanistan. It is the = actual practice behind the noble notion that I am worried about. This has to do with the larger issue of accountability (read the lack of it) = and (non) transparency of international development sector.

The fateful = experience of having been ruled by a primitive regime does not deprive Afghan people of the right to have the final say on how they are going to be "developed" and by whom. What I said about the credential of development "experts" is well documented in development literature and is ubiquitous for all to see, all over the development industry. Usually = the qualifications of these development "experts" is the "right" passport, the "right" colour of skin, command over the "right" jargon in = the "right" language and sometimes the "right" gender, occassionally coupled with a fresh degree in a "soft" subject. That's all. These may be desirable attributes of a development "expert" to some, but to me, can never be a substitute to profound insight into the socio-cultural milieu of the "target" community, strong command over the relevant sectoral knowledge and respectful attitude towards the "natives". I do = not even ask too strongly for existential attributes such as "willingness to serve", "sacrifice", "atruism" etc.It therefore, is an issue which goes beyond merely "involving" Afghan people. It pleads for ensuring their "control" over their lives. I can go on and on but sufficient to say that those interested may try to obtain and read any of the following books on the issue:

1. Lords of Poverty

2. The Alms Bazar by Ian Smillie

3. Participation: The New Tyranny (ed) Kothari and Heeks

I would also like to attract the attention of the forum towards the issue of Appropriateness of the technological options. I have seen and read about countless fancy technological options that have destroyed the = livelihoods and social structures beyond repair. The question of the choice of technology for rebuilding Afghanistan is a very tricky one and needs more attention than is being focussed upon now.


Tue Dec 11 2001 - 21:35:15 EST
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What I have learnt from our e-discussion is that there is a fundamental disconnect between two perspectives.The discussion was fascinating in the subliminal rather than in what was said. The first perspective

(1) treated the problem as clinical and ahistoric. Proposed solutions were to develop decentralized, local, village-by-village level, grassroots administration. They wanted to empower women and introduce a lot of democracy with a fair amount of assumed donor altruism thrown in. These suggestions would apply to any country either pre or post conflict and have little to do with the reality of Pakistan or Afghanistan. Martin summed it up very well, We are in danger of ascribing rationality to the West and irrationality to those who are not in positions of power; a so-called rational protection response of those who are, and wish to remain in power.

The second perspective

(2) was more interested in the muted (and perhaps even self-conscious) way in which they tried to bring in the historical context and the need to consider what has now been called the Great Game in Afghanistan.

Robert Fisk was quoted, a history of uneven US intervention was cited, Islams attempts at modernizing itself that were frustrated by Western policy was mentioned, and the need to consider the historic context of the destruction of the Afghan crisis was mentioned.To initiate the discussion, I had laid out nine propositions six of which were meant to deal with the issue of international terror and the possible clash of civilizations which to me was a central part of the huge problem that the world is facing. Yet there was little discussion of the possibility that the causes of terror and fundamentalism may lie in international injustice and to prevent future Afghanistans, we must deal with this issue. At least one person talked of the need to strengthen globalization and weaken the national state.

Mention was made of Pope John Paul IIs very catholic initiative to use confession or recognition as a healing process. But this was not pursued.So I will summarize what we were left with from

Perspective I

:*Build local government, valley by valley village by village.

*Empower, educate and include women .

*Alleviate poverty with dignity and inclusion with empowerment.

*Do not think unidimensionally, i.e., not just market but more government and donor funded technical assistance. However, it is fair to say that the politically correct statement of Afghans for Afghans was made and some doubts cast on donors.

*Design and manage better projects.

*Learn from Cambodia and set up a research institution, which will be able to better plan and administer projects and other interesting issues. No one would disagree with any of these propositions anywhere in the world. After all they were contained in propositions 6-9 that I originally laid out and Dani commented on them and was in broad agreement with them. Some contributions (Mecklai, Abbasi and Zaman) also agreed wholeheartedly with all these suggestions.

Perspective 2, while agreeing with the rebuilding propositions above, wished to focus on the problem in its historical, Afghan, Palestinian, and Muslim context (Mughal, Siddiqi, Dani, Myself etc).

1. OBL should be caught and punished. However, it is not right to say that any mention of a new, improved US foreign policy or any criticism of Israel is the same as supporting terrorism. Injustices everywhere must be decried be they against Americans, Muslims, Jews or Palestinians.

2. The repeated singling out of the Muslim world as terrorist also needs to be addressed or we may find ourselves repeating such a discussion for Afghanistan or another Muslim country somewhere. Find a peaceful approach to the development of their world free of terrorism. We have to move beyond the WTC and OBL.

3. Related to this is the issue of the risk that little people run in becoming cannon fodder in some great geo-strategic game. Is terrorism defined to forbid national liberation? Is all dissent a rebellion against civilization, as we defined by the coalition?

What do I conclude?

1. There is no disagreement that Islamic countries need democracy, education, decentralization, and modernization, including the full emancipation of women! The global community must insist on it and empower the citizenry to ask for it.

2. How do we develop civil society in America to support liberal ideas overseas when their leaders may wish for temporary Faustian alliances? Perhaps they need to do more of a long-term calculation than short-term fix? We must also recall that it is the same civil society that supported soldier blue!

Can we do anything to prevent such a major disaster from happening again? It is interesting that after Vietnam, American civil society has supported all manner of cruel intervention. Curiously civil society intellectuals not the state impose censorship.

3. In the age of globalization, we need a global civil society! To me that is the message of the Afghan episode. This civil society should not have let the Afghans be forgotten after they brought communism down. They should have blown the whistle on the atrocities earlier and forced the financiers of the war to take responsibility for the peace. We need to keep short-term national leadership in check everywhere. Global civil society must respond to a higher consciousness and check national leadership from indulging in mere patriotic frenzy. Unfortunately this issue was not considered.

Nadeem Ul Haque
IMF Res Rep--Sri Lanka
C200 International Monetary Fund
Washington DC 20431 USA
Tel off 941 477022
home 941 556 308
fax 941 346 259

[Moderators Note: This summary was received prior to the provocative message presuming a relationship between Islam and terrorism. This message generated several responses, including one that stated, Religious fanaticism is only one of the possible factors in the birth of terrorism, but these factors are much larger in number and most often represent resentment of deprived people (or those that think that they are deprived of something vital for their survival).

Another message recommended Edward Said's Book Covering Islam.]

Dear Discussants:

We wish to express our appreciation for your participation in this thoughtful discussion on Pakistan and Afghanistan: Opportunities and Challenges in the Wake of the Current Crisis. The diversity of participation and ideas has been both enlightening and informative as we collectively struggle to understand how we got here, what the implications of the current crisis are, and how to move forward.

This has been a very challenging discussion from several points of view. First, the deep and continuing challenges made us consider not only seemingly objective development expertise and advice, but also perspectives informed by direct experience and high emotion. This aspect of the dialogue points to our continuing need to better understand each other across cultural and "development" divides both with respect to the region and development more generally. Second, events unfolded concurrently with our thoughts, ideas, and interactions. How can we capture current implications when what is current changes on a daily basis? How can we consider constructive ways of moving forward when others are already making decisions and setting precedents?

It is our hope that this dialogue has and will continue to contribute to these large development and humanitarian questions. The agenda for moving forward is still under development and will be evolving for some time. Dialogues such as these can inform continuing debates on how to effectively move forward, as well as prevent similar occurrences throughout the world.As noted to you previously, we plan on making a summary report of this dialogue available to potential policy / decision makers and other key stakeholders in the process.We hope that this report, as well as the entire discussion, can become a point of departure for subsequent discussions, and will inform considerations of alternatives in the future.

Discussions such as these have multi-layered consequences. At a very minimum we hope that this forum has served as a vehicle for learning within the community created here and that we will each take that understanding with us to new communities and challenges.Several of you have expressed a desire to continue this discussion in some way. A message on this subject is being posted separately to introduce an initiative of the Development Gateway.

Best wishes,
The Moderators
Dear discussion participants:

We at the Development Gateway have just launched a site on Afghanistan reconstruction and development having collected various relevant web resources and cataloguing them according to key issues that we identified so far. Now that this interesting e-discussion is drawing to its end, we would like to invite all of you to visit our site often and actively participate in discussions and information sharing through this site. You can post your own content and articles easily within a couple of minutes and share them with a broad community of stakeholders in Afghanistan reconstruction. We would like this site to be completely owned by the Afghanistan reconstruction community defined in a broad sense: representatives of the Afghan Diaspora, international and local NGOs, donors, multilaterals, and the private sector.If you would like to be an advisor or cooperating organization for this site, please let us know and we will discuss modalities of collaboration.Our site has quite a few interactive features that are still being fine-tuned so please provide your feedback on how to make it more useful for your needs.For example, we have a discussion space where you start your own e-discussions and participate in other discussions. We have a bulletin board where you can post your announcements about related jobs and volunteer opportunities/interests, and books and events related to Afghanistan reconstruction. You can advertise your upcoming conferences on Afghanistan and highlight other related activities of your organization. In the future we hope to add additional value added services to this site such as a projects database, an expertise database, and an e-procurement service.

Please join this effort by clicking "Become a Member" right under the Member Directory section of the site.
Click here:

As a temporary solution for general discussions on Reconstruction in Afghanistan and as a community building tool we have also created an egroup at

You can joing this egroup by sending a blank email to

I'm looking forward to our collaboration on the Afghanistan Development Gateway

Focus page!
Oleg Petrov
Development Gateway
The World Bank
Tel.: 202 473 8861
Fax: 202 614 1169




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