Comments on: Will Obama’s Afghan plans survive Kashmir crisis? Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: Oyned Thu, 27 Jan 2011 14:24:25 +0000 Obama is doing a good job! come on! U have all my support :)

By: Blackshot Mon, 29 Dec 2008 08:47:39 +0000 I believe Obama will improve relations with India, but still, just one man’s power will not be sufficient, it is going to take all parties willing to work together.

By: James Sun, 28 Dec 2008 21:26:09 +0000 With Obama formerly elected and in office now, all eyes are set on him to bring forth the promised CHANGE to america. It will be interesting to see the future steps he takes toward foreign policy and relations. Certainly, the world is embracing a new era, a change where the first american black president takes on the commander in chief role in US.

By: ashfaq zehgeer Tue, 23 Dec 2008 15:38:03 +0000 SHOE OFF UNCLE SAM!

World eyes were fixed on last Sunday’s looped video of an Iraqi journalist Muntazar alZaidi throwing his two shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in iraq. “This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.” yelled AlZaidi while throwing his shoes at Uncle Sam.
The whole of the Muslim world erupted in glee at the shoe attack on George W. Bush. Far from a joke, many in the Middle east saw the act by an Iraqi journalist as heroic, expressing the deep, personal contempt many feel for the American leader, they blame for years of bloodshed, chaos and the suffering of civilians. The sight of an average Arab standing up and making a public show of resentment was stunning. The pride, joy and bitterness it uncorked showed how, many Arabs place their anger on Bush personally for what they see as a litany of crimes – chief among them the turmoil in Iraq and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths since the 2003 U.S. invasion.
“The heroic effort of alZaidi sent the message loud and clear to Bush: that he’s loathed for his wrongdoing, for killing Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine,”By willingly risking prison and death just to throw those shoes, he reminded the powerful and powerless alike that a single symbolic gesture can be more effective than a thousand grenades.
The Iraq war is the most prominent cause of Arab resentment of Bush. Even many who were outraged at Shiite and Sunni militant groups for the killings of civilians and sectarian strife that tore the country apart ultimately blamed Bush for unleashing the chaos. Some accuse his administration of fueling Shiite-Sunni tensions across the region. But more broadly, nearly every U.S. policy in the region became seen as part of a campaign to divide or subjugate Muslim nations, from Iran and Syria to Sudan and Somalia. His administration’s war on terror was seen as a war on Muslims and Arabs in general, an image fueled by civilian deaths in Afghanistan and, in particular, the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo bay. Bush was seen as heavily favoring Israel over the Palestinians. His administration’s campaign to isolate the Palestinian militant group Hamas translated to the Arab public as an attempt to starve Palestinians in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Shoes hold a special place in the Arab lexicon of insults as a show of contempt — effectively saying, you’re lower than the dirt on my shoes. Even sitting with the sole of a shoe pointed at another person is seen as disrespectful. Iraqis had bashed the statue of Saddam with their shoes after US marines toppled it to the ground following the 2003 invasion of their country.
AlZaidi attained instant hero status around the Arab world. People from around the world have rejoiced in the glory of a frogmarched Iraqi reporter and vowed to make him rich and eternally famous. What made al-Zaidi’s defiance particularly resonant for many was their anger at autocratic Arab leaders whom they have considered slavish followers of Bush’s policies in the Middle East.
The al-Baghdadia television network, which employs Zaidi, broadcast his photo and martial anthems. Arab satellite TV channels and Web sites repeatedly played the scene of Bush ducking as the shoes flew past.
In Libya, a charity led by Moammar Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha announced it would give Zaidi an award for bravery and urged the Iraqi government to free him.”What he did represents a victory for human rights across the world,” said the organization, Wa Attassimou.
“The flying shoe speaks more for Arab public opinion than all the despots/puppets that Bush meets with during his travels in the Middle East,” Asad Abu Khalil, a Lebanese American college professor, wrote in his blog, the Angry Arab News Service (
A Saudi businessman offered to buy either of the shoes thrown at Bush for $10 million, Saudi television reported.
In Cairo, Egyptians in the middle-class neighborhood of Bulak laughed as they recounted Zaidi throwing his shoes at Bush.
“It was especially gratifying that it happened toward the end of his presidency, because this is how he will be forever remembered,” Nermine Gabaly, a 32-year-old homemaker, said with a smile.
“The Iraqi reporter should not be penalized for doing this,” she added. “He just expressed his emotions as an Iraqi citizen.”
During college, Zaidi, whose family is originally from the southern city of Nasiriyah, was the head of the student union. Unmarried, he had a reputation for jumping on stories that took him to the front lines of Iraq’s conflict. He declined a promotion because he didn’t want to be cooped up inside an office, said his brother Durgham al-Zaidi, a cameraman.
“When we see a family that has experienced tragedy, we look at them as if we had lost one of our own relatives,” Durgham said.
On the air, Zaidi referred to the U.S. militarypresence as “the occupation” and was known to call Bush “the devil.”
Saif al-Deen al-Kaisi, an editor at al-Baghdadia, recalled a conversation a year and half ago in which Zaidi said, “I hope to meet Bush and hit him with my shoes.”
Zaidi opposed a recently signed U.S.-Iraq security agreement that will extend the presence of U.S. troops for at least three years. “Any honest Iraqi patriot rejected the agreement,” Maithan al-Zaidi said. Zaidi had returned to Baghdad two weeks ago after spending two months in Lebanon attending a journalism course, his relatives said. Two hours before the news conference, he spoke to Maithan and made plans to have dinner with him afterward, Maithan said. He added that there was no discussion of throwing shoes at Bush. After the incident, Iraqi guards wrestled Zaidi, his colleague Waad al-Taie and another journalist to the ground, Taie said. “They beat us and said, ‘You are a group of conspirators against this visit,’ ” he recalled. “I told them: ‘I had no idea about all this. He surprised me just as much as you.’ ” Taie said a U.S. official asked the Iraqis to release him and the other journalist.
“Muntadar has not joined any party or movement,” Maithan said. “Nobody paid him to do this. His love for Iraq made him do this.”
In the southern city of Najaf, several hundred followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr took to the streets Monday, describing Zaidi as a religious warrior. They threw shoes at U.S. military Humvees but the Americans did not respond, witnesses said.
In Sadr’s Baghdad stronghold of Sadr City, protesters burned American flags and chanted, “Bush, Bush listen well: We pushed you out with two shoes.”
But Hassan Jarrah, a government employee in Najaf, said that Zaidi should have “expressed his personal views of protest by words, not through assaulting President Bush.”
“What he did is condemned by all decent, reasonable people,” Jarrah added. “We should show to the Iraqi public and the world at large that we Iraqis do not condone such acts, and we are innocent of his actions.”
Zaidi’s brothers said they had received scores of offers from lawyers to represent him. Iraqi politicians have also expressed their support, but Durgham said he was worried about his brother. “If in front of TV cameras, they are beating him, can you imagine what they are doing to him behind the cameras?”
At one Baghdad elementary school, a geography teacher asked her students if they had seen the footage of the shoe-throwing, then told them, “All Iraqis should be proud of this Iraqi brave man, Muntazar. History will remember him forever.”
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hailed the Iraqi reporter as a role model for courageousness. “It’s a good thing it didn’t hit him. I’m not encouraging throwing shoes at anybody, but really, what a courage,” he said.
“I am not surprised. Whole word hates him.” said the CPM general secretary Prakash Karat. Himself an ardent Bush baiter, Mr Karat was unfazed and felt that Bush deserved that. “I am not for once surprised. What he had done is well known and hence the entire world hates him” he added.
Abdel-Sattar Qassem, a Palestinian political science professor at the West Bank’s An Najah University, wrote in an online commentary that “Bush wanted to end his bloody term hearing compliments and welcoming words from his collaborators in the Arab and Islamic world. But a shoe from a real Arab man summed up Bush’s black history and told the entire world that the Arabs hold their head high.”
Players can now hurl their shoes in a video game designed to bring back memories of the Iraqi farewell to Bush. Internet surfers got a kick out of making Flash-based games. In one of the games, players assume the role of Bush to earn points by dodging the shoes flying toward him. Another game scores player on how many shoes hit the animated Bush.
The intense personal resentment of Bush may give Obama an automatic advantage in his attempts to repair the U.S. image. Obama’s race and his family ties to Islam have raised hope among some Arabs that he’ll be more sympathetic to their views. Obama’s aides have spoken of his delivering a major address in a Muslim capital early in his administration to set a new tone. But many in the Middle east say it will take more than symbolic gestures. The president-elect’s promises to withdraw from Iraq and close Guantanamo have also raised Arab hopes. Another top demand is for a more balanced U.S. stance in the Arab-Israeli peace process.

But on Monday, Arabs were just glowing with pride over the farewell to Bush.
“I’ve watched the video over a dozen times on You Tube and was excited every time I see him (alZaidi) standing up and calling Bush a dog,” said Tamer Ismail, 23-year-old art student in Cairo. “But I felt so bitter when he missed.”

By: SEO Links Fri, 14 Nov 2008 10:34:55 +0000 I believe Pres. Elect Obama will improve relations with India and peace throughout the region……….but it is going to take all parties willing to work together……..

By: casima rica Sat, 08 Nov 2008 15:50:14 +0000 Dear zehgeer!
unless & until Indian people throw the communal brigade out, the reverse terrorism by these saffron criminals will continue to destablise India. BJP, RSS & others are power hungry goons & can go to any extent to catch the throne.. SO BEWARE ALL…..

By: ASHFAQ ZEHGEER Fri, 07 Nov 2008 18:26:10 +0000 My heart beats for the human values which have been put to rest in indian administered kashmir. The helplesness of the people there has led every human soul to raise the voice of revolt against the treatment metted out to the people of that part of the world. Kashmir issue is definitely a serious heart burn for the whole of south asia but it should be amicably resolved by india, pakistan & people of kashmir. If we are really serious in bringing peace to this sub continent & resolving kashmir issue, we must immediately put an end to the oppression & suppression of kashmiris under the garb of countering terrorism. the genocide & masacre of innocent people in kashmir should be at once stopped.
The people of kashmir are peace loving & every saner soul must help in resolving kashmir issue keeping in mind the larger interests of the people of india, pakistan & kashmir who are living under constant fear of militancy & terrorist related activities.

By: ASHFAQ ZEHGEER Fri, 07 Nov 2008 10:12:03 +0000 i’m an indian by birth & i love india more than any other entity on this earth. i’m closely monitoring the present day policies of various outfits that they adopt to uplift thier votebank. these power hungry criminals should be dealt sternly under the law of land as thier deeds of spreading hatred, communal & regional divide is not only de-stablising our country but also giving a very bad name. Babri masjid demolishion, Bombay blasts, Godhra carnage, Gujrat riots, Grahm stanes case, kandhamal violence, Delhi, up, jaipur, bangalore, ahmedabad blasts, amarnath row, economic blockade of kashmir, massacre of sikhs and above all genocide of kashmiri muslims are some of the examples of our secularist character. If we have to survive as one nation, we should immediately put an end to all this by bringing real culprits to book & save innocents to be prosecuted. From the updates intelligence agencies recieve, the main players for all these unfortunate mishappenings are the people of saffron brigade. we must try to establish the facts & bar them from further misdoings if we have to prosper.

By: Ajay Singh Mon, 18 Aug 2008 21:03:01 +0000 Everyone like apples… I believe whether its Kashmiri Muslim or Kashmiri Hindu taste of freedom is universal. This note is to separatist Kashimiri’s if you want to establish long term solution for Kashmir first of all call back majority of displaced Hindu & Sikh Kashmiris back home. Give them a security for 5-7 years and then with them including demand for separate Kashmir. That will be something true separatist voice, and not by killing minorities you can demand separate Kashmir.
The way I look at Kashmir problem, solution could be reach if govt is dedicated to do so, like:
1) Amend J&K property law it should allow any Indian/Foreign person could buy land in J&K. Currently no one can buy property in J&K except local people. This will open door for future investments and crank up the economy.

2) Open up door for industrial growth, current industrial policies are British times and it’s old. Government should provide special incentives for heavy infrastructure investments. Mix up with global economy. This environment will provide good opportunity for all youngsters to get employed in homeland. If employment is there then no one would like to pick a gun. Ask any employed man to pick gun in name of Jehad, I don’t think he’ll ever do.

3) Stop spending on free ration, let people earn it. Provide mandatory education till higher secondary.

5) Central govt should stop making statements in media blaming Pak for each tiny-mini incident.

I have faith in democracy and I do believe if we really take care of people they’ll pay back.

– AS

By: Ajay Mon, 18 Aug 2008 20:52:12 +0000 One must not forget that Pakistan is also home to millions of Kashmiris. Along with that its also home to millions of Afghans. What both refugees share?..basically, denial of basic human rights in their own homeland. Moreover, these refugees are not living in perfect conditions in camps.Now is the time for world community to move forward and liberate them, so that they can return to their land and stop participating in terror related activities. Resolution of Kashmir issue is the only and only solution to end the instability in Pakistan.

Lets not turn this blog into war of words between Indians and Pakistanis. Kashmir problem is as old as the birth of these nations.