Posts Tagged ‘Khalid Mahmood’

Hague’s retreat from ten years of blood, toil and money in Afghanistan

29/06/2011, 12:00:06 PM

by Khalid Mahmood

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, believes he has come up with the groundbreaking policy to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan. He now argues that we can negotiate a settlement with the Taliban. Rather, Mr Hague should, as something of an historian, give some consideration to the events that have led us to where we are today.

The Taliban were a product of the Mujahidin’s uprising against the Soviet Union’s forces in the 1980s. Enjoying the support of the Saudis, the CIA and the Pakistani ISI, they caused huge damage to the Soviet forces, killing thousands and fatally undermining the previously fearsome reputation of the red army.  When the Soviets withdrew, the West and its allies left the Mujahidin and its remnants to its own devices. From the ashes of this unhappiness rose the so called Taliban, who wanted to run the Afghan state according to their twisted interpretation of Sharia law. This interpretation led to the summary executions of men, women and children whose behaviour or beliefs fell short of the Taliban’s exacting standards. We all remember the scenes at the national football stadium in Kabul when a woman knelt on the stadium ground and had a bullet shot through her head. This, along with many other atrocities, was the Taliban’s compliance with Sharia law.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Khalid Mahmood is not impressed with AV

12/07/2010, 11:41:28 AM

Nick Clegg made his pitiful address to the House of Commons on electoral reform as though it were the greatest package of constitutional reform since the Great Reform Act of 1832. The truth, however, is a little more prosaic. Of the three main changes he announced, two are very much the work of the Conservatives and suit their political prospectus far more than they suit Clegg’s.

Even the planned referendum on the alternative vote (AV) is hardly the stuff of Lib Dem dreams. For those idealistic Liberal Democrats who have battled for decades for the promised land of proportional representation, their leader’s announcement must have come as a bitter blow.

I oppose the alternative vote system. I should say that this is not because I think it will do me much harm come the next election. I was, after all, elected with more than fifty per cent of the vote in Perry Barr. I oppose AV because, for one thing, it compromises one of the very best aspects of our democracy: its simplicity. I have never met a single constituent of mine who cannot understand the physical action of voting: one cross in one box. (more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon