x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Pakistan undermines its future credibility

In a commentary for the pan-Arab daily Asharq al Awsat, Adil Darwish said that Pakistan¿s decision to freeze its military operations against the Taliban and al Qa¿eda along its borders with Afghanistan is unjustified and is likely to have bad repercussions.

In a commentary for the pan-Arab daily Asharq al Awsat, Adil Darwish said that Pakistan's decision to freeze its military operations against the Taliban and al Qa'eda along its borders with Afghanistan is unjustified and is likely to have bad repercussions.

Islamabad said it resolved to do so because it lacked enough military battalions to ensure necessary security forces in the area, while, at the same time, it blamed drone raids for encouraging local inhabitants to support the Taliban.

"The truth is somehow different. While the reality is that - as former prisoners said - many militants would join the Taliban as a reaction to drone attacks to express their dismay over targeting their leaders, and, by large, threatening their source of income."

It is equally relevant to consider the Pakistani decision in light of the latest development in the sub-continent following the visit of the US president Barack Obama and his backing of its regional rival, India, to hold a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Apparently, the Pakistani authorities would like to blackmail the West through the US in order to receive the same treatment as its southern neighbour. But that will not serve regional peace at a time when Islamabad regularly receives logistic and financial assistance to fight terrorism on its ground. Nor will it help contain terrorist movements, whose threat has increasingly become transnational.


Israel condemns new study on Western Wall

A study by the Palestinian deputy information minister, Al Mutawakil Taha, showing evidence that the Western Wall is an Islamic monument and an integral part of Al Aqsa Mosque, has stirred controversy in Israel, noted the London-based newspaper Al Quds al Arabi in its editorial.

"The Israeli prime minister was angered by the outcome of this study, describing it as a sign of lack of commitment by the president of the Palestinian Authority to the peace process. In an official statement, he demanded the PA to void and condemn this research."

As a matter of fact, this study did not bring about anything new. The Islamic character of the Wall does not need any further proof, as both the Eastern and Western Jerusalem is a Muslim and Christian city, which is sacred to the followers of the two religions. Moreover, all the excavations carried out by Israel over the last 60 years have failed to find any historical evidence to support the Israeli claim about the Jewish nature of the holy city.

"It is absolutely unacceptable for the Israelis to attack the study if they believe in democracy as they claim. They should rather respect others' opinions and academic studies even though they are different from what they believe."

Israel likewise attacks Israeli academics, who oppose its ideology, and many have migrated to western countries seeking greater academic freedom.


Arabic use rises among Turkish public

"The Turkish writer Ayse Karabat said that the Arabic alphabet is not a taboo in modern Turkey, even for the most secular elites," said Satea Nourredine in the commentary of the Lebanese newspaper Assafir.

"Many now believe that the decision to adopt the Latin alphabet in the wake of the Ottoman Empire's demise has caused the Turkish language to lose its exquisite spirit."

The worst legacy of the founders of modern Turkey is perhaps the unrealistic ambition of waiving a traditional identity for a new European one.

Although the founders were successful in establishing a republic thanks to western developmental models, their successors now face a new challenge: the public has begun to distance itself from mainstream political and ideological discourses.

Another sign of this change is the use of Arabic script in writing, advertising, and even in educational curriculums. A new Arabic-speaking channel has just been launched, which has gradually attracted a wide Turkish and Arab audience. The revival of old Turkey's Arabic alphabet began even before the Islamic party took office, but they have promoted it in further defiance of secularist hardliners.

The rise of Arabic in Turkey will also prompt new foreign investment and the free movement of people between Turkey and the Arab world.


Ethiopia exports internal crises to Egypt

"The Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi sought to verbally clash with Egypt when he claimed that Cairo supports rebels in his country. Egypt was wise to denounce such statements, while reiterating its commitment to good relations with Ethiopia," wrote the UAE newspaper Al Bayan.

Whatever the outcome of Addis Ababa's move and subsequent diplomatic efforts at containment, Zenawi's remarks should draw attention to the potential risk of similar attempts that aim to worsen Egypt's relations with African countries.

Ethiopia has failed to win international support for its demands for more Nile water. "Egypt, as with other Arab states, has always been keen to preserve and promote its relations with other African states. To its credit, Cairo has provided development assistance to many countries."

Moreover, ongoing Arab investments in Africa fail to please many, who try to foment crises between Arab and Africa countries.

Emerging news reports have prompted Ethiopia's politicians to face internal political problems. But this is no excuse to threaten an ally. This is unacceptable, and may affect both the Egyptian and Arab national security.


* Digest compiled by Mostapha el Mouloudi