Slowly, but surely, I see my ancestral city die a slow death at the hands of religious fanatics. From Boko Haram in Nigeria, who kidnapped 276 young girls from a school in April 2014, to the TTP, who has repeatedly attacked schoolchildren in Pakistan, the Islamic fundamentalists are systematically attacking schools and students. Their goal is to deprive the future generation of Muslims of education and return them back to the dark ages. It is time for the West to right the wrongs and help save Peshawar from the apocalyptic mercenaries.
It was strange to receive the news in a country where terror is an every day occurrence, that a deranged jihadist had shed blood on Canadian soil, rampaging through our normally peaceful capital, on the heels of another attack days earlier in Montreal. I knew, too, that the people of Afghanistan would have sound advice to offer Canadians.
The collapse of talks aimed at producing a truce between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates has rekindled fears of ethnic unrest in the war-torn nation, according to a recent Reuters report. But if truth be told, Afghanistan has little chance of stabilizing politically or seeing significant economic progress with or without the power-sharing deal that was being brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
As much as 80 per cent of humanitarian aid can be stolen en route. Most often, rebel groups will set up road blocks and "tax" the aid agencies wishing to deliver the aid. In effect, the aid agencies directly support rebel groups by feeding them or providing them with goods that can be traded for arms or other services.
Splintering the TTP from the middle is a major coup, and analysts say that breaking up the TTP over the issue of talks was always part of the government's strategy. Things may get worse before they get better but Prime Minister Sharif needs to keep the lines of communication with TTP open. Taliban insurgents have been attempting to destabilize the government for over 10 years. Peace will not come overnight, but it will come only through a democratically elected government, however self-serving.
I have seen firsthand the incredible transformations that have taken place in Afghanistan over the past decade. Wherever your views stand on Canada's participation in NATO's mission in Afghanistan, the available evidence shows that without a doubt, life for most Afghans is dramatically better today than it was under Taliban rule
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the latest attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, stating it was taking revenge for US drone strikes. This comment is telling. Taliban schooled in a medieval worldview do not see past religious identities. Instead of viewing their Pakistani Christian citizens as fellow countrymen, they see them as an extension of the Christian West and therefore "the other."
In Afghanistan, the key to personal security is to stay a moving and elusive target: never stick to a routine, move quickly and unobtrusively. This was not only for our safety, but the safety of those we met. Fraternizing with Westerners can draw the wrath of local Taliban -- members recently beheaded two children in Kandahar province to warn citizens of the danger of collaborating with the Afghanistan government.
An unprecedented protest is unfolding in the Balochistan city of Quetta in Pakistan. Thousands of people have staged a sit-in, and are using 93 coffins to block a road to protest the slaughter of Shia Muslims by Sunni Muslim terrorists allied with the Taliban. In their demise is a warning to the rest of us. A nuclear power is about to collapse.
We did it! After tens of thousands of Canadians and even more people from around the world signed my petition on Change.org, we got every single party leader to get behind the campaign to unanimously nominate Malala Yousufzai for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. I had never imagined that not one, but all of our federal parties and leaders would end up supporting the campaign to support a girl halfway around the world.
There are times in human history when a single person becomes a metaphor for philosophy, morality, humanity, poetry, literature, and human stature, all rolled into one. Such persons lead by example, at times sacrificing their own lives for their convictions. We live in the times of Malala Yousafzai.
An 11-year-old Pakistani girl with Downs Syndrome might be put to death for blasphemy. Killing people for expressing negative and/or dissenting views on religion, for burning Qurans, for writing letters -- is this Islam? No. In Islam, a law that penalizes a person for challenging or disparaging the religion -- is blasphemy itself.
In Afghanistan, Obama is all but conceding defeat. We saw it in Vietnam when then-President Richard Nixon assured that the withdrawal of American troops meant "peace with honour." But it's still a country where, if the Taliban have power, Sharia law will flourish, women will continue to be persecuted, niceties like amputations, stoning, honour killings and such will blossom.