Some Imran Khan quotes about Shariah in Pakistan

  • From Kal Tak with Javed Chaudhry 21/1/2009
    [This is his answer to the first question in which he talks about shariah in general terms, and not specific to Swat (although I suppose it’s open to interpretation)]

    IK: dekhiyay, sharamnaak baat yeh hai keh hum kehtay hain… hum musalman hain aur shariat say dar jaatay hain. Shariat kya hai? Shariat nabi (SAW) ka rasta hai. Yeh aap ki… agar aap musalman hain tau aap shariat pay chalna chahtay hain.

    humain khauf hai shariat ka naam laytay huay dartay hain. yeh jo badkismatay hai kay jo mulk kay parhay likhay laug hain, woh kamaskam batayain tau sahi keh shariat kya hai. main aap ko batata hoon keh meri nazar main shariat kya hai. Shariat khilafat-e-rashidun hai. Uss ki kya bunyaad thi? Adal aur insaaf; aur falahi rryasaat, aur aik khuddar ryaasat jo kisi aur power kay saamnay na jhukay. yeh shariat nizam ki bunyaad hai. hum kyun dartay hain shariat ka naam laytay huay?

  • Jawab Deh with Iftikhar Ahmed, 1/2/2009 (great interview btw)[this had nothing to do with Swat .. 23:00 into the video]

    Iftikhar Ahmed: aap shariat kay haami hain?

    IK: main bilkul samajhta hoon kay shariath honi chahiyay. Aur shariat jo mainay study ki hay woh khilafat-e-rashidun main jo shari nizam hai woh jo aap nai shuru main tehrik e insaaf ka manshoor bataya tha: khuddari, insaniyat, aur insaaf. yeh teen. yeh shariat ki yeh bunyaad hai

    Iftikhar Ahmed: is mulk main kis fiqah ki shariat par amal kiya jayay ga?

    IK: main to nahin jaanta, main to apni ki [shariah] define kar raha hoon. main to yeh keh raha hoon jo main … study kiya hai, aik islami ma’ashray main insaniyat honi chahiyay aik falahi ryaasat honi chahiyay, udhar adal aur insaaf hona chahiyay.

    after this there is a great section in which he rationalizes suicide
    bombing, etc.

  • Meray mutabiq with Shahid Masood 2/22/2009

    IK: …aik hamari so called liberal class hai, woh dar gayi hai keh shariat aagayi hai, ab pata nahin shariat aagayi hai to kya honay wala hai, haath kaT jayain gay. Shariah to adal aur insaaf hai, insaan ko insaan banati hai aqalmand jaanwar say insaan banta hai. Shariat to aik ma’ashray kay andar adal aur insaaf, aur insaniyat, falahi ryaasat ka naam hai

    Shahid Masood: yeh kaam acha kiya phir hukumut nay?

    IK: main yeh keh raha hoon, in logon nain to pressure main kiya…

    SM: Laikin kaam acha kya, na?

    SM: aik aisa kaam karti hai jo unke manifesto main nahin tha. yeh ajeeb si baat nahin hoee?

    IK: yeh jo laug lay kay aayay thay iss hukumut ko woh liberal alliance bananay aayay thay, main bataadoon, woh Negroponte aur Boucher nain jo liberal alliance banayi thi, Musharraf ki aur PPP ki, ab Allah ki shaan dekhain kay liberal alliance Shariah lay aayi hai (laughs) yeh bhi Allah ki shaan dekhain (laughs again). Udhar ANP bhi liberal thay. Ab dekhain na, Holbrooke ki statement kitni ghalat hai keh yeh jo shari nizam hai yeh baRa bura ho ga. Kya ab woh hamain yeh bhi bataayaiN gay keh hamain kaunsa Islam laana hai?


The nightingale’s torment…


Post by takhalus
Rahman Baba was a famous 17th century Pashtun poet and sufi, nicknamed the nightingale of Peshawar. A symbol of Pashtun culture and poetry, his contribution to Pashtun culture was acknowledged by the provincial government which constructed a mazar near Peshawar city in his honour.

Writer William Dalrymple wrote about the mystic nature of Rahman Baba in this article back in 2004:

Last autumn I visited a Sufi shrine just outside Peshawar in the North West Frontier province of Pakistan. Rahman Baba was a 17th-century mystic poet, and his tomb has for centuries been a place where musicians and poets have gathered. A friend who lived nearby in the 1980s advised me to go on a Thursday night when great crowds of Pathans would sing mystical love songs to their saint by the light of the moon.
“What can we do?” he replied. “We pray that right will overpower wrong. But our way is pacifist. We love. We never fight. When these Arabs come here I don’t know what to do.”

I asked the guardian of the shrine what had happened to the musicians.

“My family have been singing here for generations,” he told me. “But now these Arab madrasa students come here and create trouble. They tell us that what we do is wrong. Sometimes arguments break out – even fist fights and brawls.

“Before the Afghan war there was nothing like this. It only began when Reagan and the Saudis starting sending jihadis to Peshawar. Before that the Pushtuns here loved Sufism. Now trouble happens more and more frequently.”

A prophetic comment, as yesterday morning the shrine was bombed by militants, according to the dailytimes

Locals said the administration had also been warned before the attack to stop women from visiting the shrine.

While he would not have recognised the explosives used, Rahman Baba would have recognised this attempt by the masters of religiosity to destroy his philosophy. After all.. he was targetted by the mullahs of his time..he wrote

“I couldn’t find peace in my search for him. It became unlawful for me to be careless in my religion.”

…and sadly so it had again…rest in peace, Rahman Baba.

P.S the systematic targetting of Pashtun culture in NWFP and FATA is something which I shall be writing about another time.

Myths about radio jamming

The Taliban are thought to be operating weak mobile transmitters. A mobile transmitter that can be carried on a bicycle or motorcycle will have to be very weak. It will need to run off of batteries and also have a low antenna (low antennas limit transmission range since the signal is more likely to be blocked by obstacles such as trees, hills, houses, and buildings). So realistically, the Taliban’s mobile transmitters will be limited to below 1kW almost definitely and most likely below 500W (especially for the bicycle version). It simply cannot compete with a large, stationary transmitter with a dedicated diesel generator acting as a power supply. A small radio station can easily output 100kW of effective power (a term for the combination of the true transmitter power and the gain from the antenna), and its very tall antenna will make sure that signal reaches just about every receiver in the area without being blocked. Army equipment, which is not artificially limited by government regulations, can easily surpass this.

Some common claims about the “impossibility” of jamming the Swati Taliban’s radio station and why they are incorrect

1. The Taliban are using mobile transmitters so they can’t be tracked, let alone jammed effectively.
This is a basic misunderstanding of how jamming works. When you jam a signal, you do not do anything to the transmitter itself. There is no high power beam that you shine on the transmitter that somehow makes it stop. Instead, radio jamming works by sending a competing signal to the receivers you are interested in (in this case, home radios). The stronger signal will win and the other signal will be silenced. FM radio, in particular, is very easy to jam due to something called the capture effect. FM radio receivers used in homes and cars are designed to eliminate noise and interference by locking onto the strongest signal available and suppressing weaker signals. This allows a clear, static free broadcast even when neighboring radio stations accidentally overlap on the same frequency (or nearby frequencies). An AM radio, on the other hand, does not distinguish noise and interference from the true signal, so you end up with static or even several voices talking over each other.

As a consequence, jamming an AM source requires lots of power and the resulting reception will be unintelligible because you have to completely drown out the competing signal with a uniformly loud tone (otherwise you could hear the original signal during the quiet moments). However, jamming an FM signal requires only marginally more power than what your opponent is delivering and you can deliver a coherent signal such as an alternative broadcast or even silence.

2. The radios can’t be jammed because they constantly switch frequencies.

Frequency switching is a defense against jamming only when the receivers are also programmed to switch frequencies. By switching between dozens of frequencies every second, it becomes very difficult to jam because you have to send a strong jamming signal for each of those frequencies. This multiplies your cost (in terms of equipment and power) by as many frequencies as your opponent is using. However, home and car radios are not programmed to switch frequencies in conjunction with other devices. If the Taliban transmitted on 50 different frequencies the broadcast would be unintelligible to a home listener because they would only receive 1/50 of the data. FM works by transmitting on one primary frequency called the carrier and a very small neighborhood of frequencies around it, which contains the actual sound information. When you tune your radio to 88.1, that is actually locking the receiver into the 88.1MHz frequency range plus or minus 100kHz for the sound data. If the Taliban switched from 88.1MHz to 96.3MHz, your radio would go silent until you also switched.

The Taliban may be using advanced frequency hopping for their own strategic communications — there are commercially available walkie-talkies that do this — but they could not possibly be using that technology to broadcast their programs to the public because regular FM radios do not support it.

3. The military can’t jam the FM radio without also jamming their own radio communications, in effect harming more than helping.

This suggestion is just silly. While FM can be broadcast on any frequency, consumer radios are only designed to receive FM transmissions in a certain range of frequencies — typically from around 85MHz to 110MHz (though in most regions the range is smaller). The military uses frequencies outside this band to avoid interference to and from civilian FM transmissions. The entire FM radio range could be jammed with absolutely no effect on military communications — or indeed, cell phones, television reception, wireless networks, or anything else. Frequencies are distinct and broadcasting or jamming one range of frequencies doesn’t impact other ranges.

As you can see, jamming a weak transmitter is almost trivial, whether it’s mobile or not, and no matter where it’s located in your target region. You will never be able to jam it 100% since it will always dominate a small area around it, but you can quite limit that area of dominance to a tiny area that makes it insignificant and prevents your opponent from achieving their information goals.

Another technique that could be used by the army which would be more direct is simply using a direction finder and then physically finding and shutting down the transmitters. An FM broadcast is a notoriously easy signal to track because it makes absolutely no effort to hide itself (such as by employing frequency hopping as noted above), unlike military communications. Free plans for building an FM signal locator can be found with a quick google search. The army even has a special type of missile called an anti-radiation missile that has such direction finding hardware built in. From Wikipedia

“An anti-radiation missile (ARM) is a missile which is designed to detect and home in on an enemy radio emission source. Typically these are designed for use against an enemy radar, although jammers and even radios used for communication can also be targeted in this manner.”

ARM missiles are expensive so this would not be an effective use of resources. However, in principle, the army could use basic direction finding equipment to track the signal from a helicopter, fly near the location, visually spot the transmitter, and disable it with a machine gun.

A brief overview of radio broadcasting Continue reading

Bush believes history will say he contributed to peace, democracy

Popular Egyptian television presenter Mona El-Shazli was granted special permission to interview President Bush at the White House. The interview resulted in some members of the Egyptian state press calling El-Shazli an “American agent” with many suggesting that the US government paid for her and her crew to fly to Washington in order to conduct the interview. President Bush’s popularity in the Arab world — never very high at the best of times — has been further harmed by his visit to Israel on its 60th anniversary. Responding to El-Shazli’s question about whether history will be on George Bush’s side, he said “Yeah, I think people will say, he had a difficult set of circumstances to deal with, and he dealt with them, with a sense of idealism,”

Article: Bush believes history will say he contributed to peace, democracy
Author: Abdel-Rahman Hussein
Publication: Daily News Egypt

The Princess and the Facebook Girl

Pintak contrasts the fate of Egypt’s “Facebook Girl” Esraa Abdel Fattah, and Princess Princess Rym al-Ali. 27-year-old Fattah was imprisoned for 16 days for founding the Facebook group “6 April: A Nationwide Strike”, and allegedly masterminding the 6 April strike against rising food prices in Egypt. Princess Rym is on a quest to build the region’s first Arabic language graduate school of journalism. The article is a little low on background context, especially regarding why exactly Princess Rym’s story is connected to that of Fattah’s imprisonment.

Article: The Princess and the Facebook Girl
Author: Lawrence Pintak
Publication: PostGlobal at