Tag Archives: Peace Initiative

Pakistan Talks Tough On Dealing WithTaliban

Pakistan President Zardari warned the Talian his nation was prepared to crush the terrorist group and will cooperate with the United States in achieving that goal. “I mean business. We will train ourselves with the US to present as trainers to rase the quality of certain forces.” However, he made clear to the Bush administration that Pakistan makes its own decisions pertaining to dealing with terrorism and will not be bossed around by the United States. He warned against US military incursions into Pakistan. “It is counter-productive and a political price is paid.” Zardari emphasized his belief that al-Qaeda and the Taliban played a role in the death of his wife, Benazir Bhutto.

Zardari said there would be new incentives for dealing with tribal areas such as industrial investment, working with farmers for crops other than poppy, and strong military action.

In the meantime, there are rumors a Saudi initiated peace effort is secretly taking place in Afghanistan.

Turkey Offers Caucasus Peace Initiative

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan spoke with his Russian counter part, Sergey Lavrov on the phone and proposed bringing together several of the key nations in the Caucasus region in order to foster peace between those in conflict. Officials from the Turkish and Russian foreign ministries will meet this week to discuss how such an initiative can be furthered in order to restore peace to the troubled region. Prime Minister Recp Erdogan is the architect of the proposed Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform which would include nations from the region and Russia. The goal is persuading all nations to put aside their grievances and work together in a cooperative manner. There are reports Turkey will ask Russia to play the role of mediator in helping it bridge differences with Armenia.

A sign of possible positive outcomes from such an alliance is willingness on the part of Turkey to include Armenia which has been a foe. Turkey is pushing for a coalition that includes Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and itself. As a first step, it is reported Turkish President Gul might even attend an event in Armenia as a gesture of good will.

The important aspect of such an alliance is that emerges from those involved in regional disputes and removes outside groups such as the United States. America must learn to allow regional groupings to resolve problems.

American Muslims Offer Different View Of Iran

The government of Iran as exemplified by President Ahmadinejad has gained a reputation for being aggressive, supporting terrorism and denying its people basic human rights. Two months ago, a delegation of Muslim Americans who foster peace and conflict resolution, visited Iran. They met with peace-practitioners, lawyers, human right experts, scholars, religious leaders and students. In Qom, they m et with three Grand Ayatollahs who served on the Council of the Judiciary. These men expressed a commitment to peace, improved relations with all nations and dialogue with Americans about current issues of dispute. the three Ayatollahs specifically wanted it known they opposed religious violence and terrorism which they regarded as antithetical to Islamic values.

Qamar-Ul Huda, Mohammed Abu-Nime, and Ayse Kadayifci, who authored this report, met with human rights representatives who were frank about difficulties they experience fostering such values in the current Iranian society. The Islamic Commission on Human Rights admitted the public space for human rights has shrunk, but they are still active working to protect women and children’s rights. Despite Iran’s poor record on human rights, it is a positive sign such organizations still exist and are able to express their views.

The delegation encountered considerable debate among Iranian students who want to meet Americans and discuss issues of mutual concern. Many were well read in terms of their knowledge of American political, social and literary concerns since many books are being translated in Farsi. At a meeting with the Bar Association of Isfahan, 400 students joined in discussing legal issues as part a forum on “Islamic Dialogues On Peace. Students were aware of recent publications such as the National Intelligence report on Iran’s nuclear program and hoped Americans would learn more about Iran.

The authors comment in concluding their article: “Let us learn from these exchanges so that we might prevent ignorance. and let us open the channels of communication between these two nations so that we might become wiser.”

This blog is aware of the terrible record of Ahmadinejad regarding human rights. A tragedy of American foreign policy was the Bush rejection of the Khatami reform faction which not only assisted US forces in Afghanistan against the Taliban, but wanted to open avenues for dialogue. Bush rejected their offers. We need positive steps, and it begins by talking with, not demanding from Iran.