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Journal of America Team:

 Editor in chief: 
Abdus Sattar Ghazali

 Managing Editor:
Mertze Dahlin   

Senior Editor:
Arthur Scott

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November 2013

Killing of Taliban chief Hakimullah in drone attack described as a fatal blow to peace process
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali:
Killing of Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in drone attack is described as a fatal blow to peace talks between the government and the Pakistani Talibans. Hakimullah Mehsud, who had a $5 million US government bounty on him, was killed on Nov 1, 2013 along with three other Taliban leaders when a US drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in a compound in the village of Dandey Darpakhel, five kilometres north of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan. Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader, Hakimullah Mehsud was in fact a fatal blow to the peace process in the region.  “The identity of those killed in the drone strike was "irrelevant". The strike should not be viewed as the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, but rather as the murder of the peace process”, he told a press conference in Islamabad. Read More

Hardliner Mullah Fazlullah chosen as new leader of Pakistani Taliban
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali:
The Pakistani Taliban Thursday elected Mullah Fazlullah, a fiery cleric from Swat, to succeed Hakimullah Mehsud who was killed in a US drone attack on November 1. Sheikh Khalid Haqqani from Swabi was elected as his deputy by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Alarmingly, the TTP leadership has been moved from the volatile tribal belt to the so-called settled districts of Pakistan. Mullah Fazlullah is the first leader not to come from the Mehsud or Wazir tribes – which dominate the TTP – or even the tribal areas - while Sheikh Khalid Haqqani is also from the  settled region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwah. Read More

Pakistan shelves talks with Taliban amid controversy over martyrdom?
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali:
Pakistan government has virtually abandoned the projected peace talks with the Pakistani Talibans after the killing of the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) leader Hakeemullah Mehsud in a US drone attack on November 1, 2013. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the National Assembly Tuesday that no dialogue could make headway until the United States stopped drone strikes at suspected militant hideouts in the tribal belt. He repeated his argument that a dialogue process initiated by the government as mandated by the Sept 9 All Parties Conference had been “sabotaged” by a Nov 1 drone strike that killed the Taliban chief. The minister said that the drone attack didn’t target an individual instead it was an attack on peace process. He said that Taliban were willing to come to the negotiating table but the drone strike just 13 hours before the peace talks shattered the whole process.
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Ruthless regimes not impervious to civil resistance: A rejoinder to Maged Mandour
By Stephen Zunes and Jack DuVall: There is little systematic evidence to suggest that “ruthlessness” is, in and of itself, a critical variable. Maged Mandour’s article on openDemocracy, “Beyond Civil Resistance: The Case of Syria [11]”, argues that civil resistance has been marginalized in the Syrian insurrection because it doesn’t work  against “ruthless” regimes. But history doesn’t support that conclusion. The outcome of a nonviolent insurrection against an autocratic regime is determined by any number of factors, such as its ability to mobilize a critical mass of the population, the overall strategy and skillful sequencing of tactics, the effectiveness in targeting the regime’s pillars of support, and the ability to cause divisions within the ruling elite and to encourage defections within security services. But as Drs. Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan note in their book, “Why Civil Resistance Works” [12] (Columbia University Press, 2011), these dynamic actions are effective in part because they avert or minimize the effects of ruthless force by an oppressor.
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