Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, has been reduced to rubble. It has finally been snatched back from Daesh after months of merciless bombardment by the US-led coalition, and a massive ground war.
But “victory” is hardly the term to describe this moment. Mosul, once Iraq’s cultural jewel and model of co-existence, is now a “city of corpses,” as described by a journalist who walked through the ruins.
“You’ve probably heard of thousands killed, the civilian suffering,” Murad Gazdiev said. “What you likely haven’t heard of is the smell. It’s nauseating, repulsive, and it’s everywhere — the smell of rotting bodies.”
Actually, the “smell of rotting bodies” can be found everywhere that Daesh has been defeated. The group that once declared a “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014, and was left to expand in all directions, is now being rapidly vanquished.
One wonders how a small group, itself a spawn of other equally notorious groups, could have declared, expanded and sustained a “state” for years, in a region rife with foreign armies, militias and the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies?
But is such a question now irrelevant, considering that Daesh is finally being routed?
Well, this is what almost everyone seems to agree on; even political and military rivals are openly united on the subject.
Aside from Mosul in Iraq, Daesh has also been defeated in its stronghold in Raqqa, in the east of Syria. Those who survived those battles are now holed up in DeirEzzor, which promises to be their last major conflict. Daesh militants are also being flushed out of the western Qalamoun region on the Syria-Lebanon border. Even the open desert is no longer safe. There is heavy fighting in the Badiya desert, which extends from central Syria to the borders of Iraq and Jordan.
Brett McGurk, US special envoy for the coalition against Daesh, speaks with confidence about its demise. Daesh forces are “fighting for their life, block-by-block,” he said in a TV interview, and the militant group had lost nearly 80 percent of areas it formerly controlled in Iraq since its peak in 2014, and nearly 60 percent in Syria.
Unsurprisingly, US officials and media mostly emphasize military gains they attribute to US-led forces and ignore all others, while Russian-led allies are doing just the opposite.
But aside from the humanitarian tragedies associated with these victories, none of the parties involved has taken any responsibility for the rise of Daesh in the first place. They have to, and not only as a matter of moral accountability. Without understanding and confronting the reasons behind the rise of Daesh, its fall will only spawn another group with an equally nefarious, despairing and violent vision.
Analysts who have tried to deconstruct the roots of Daesh unwisely confront its ideological influences without paying the slightest heed to the political reality from which it came.
Whether Daesh, Al-Qaeda or any other, such groups are typically born and reborn in places suffering from the same, chronic ailments: weak and corrupt government, foreign invasion, military occupation and state terror.
Terrorism is the by-product of brutality and humiliation, regardless of the source, but is most pronounced when that source is a foreign one. Unless these factors are genuinely addressed, there can be no end to terrorism.
It is no accident that Daesh was molded, and thrived, in places such as Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Sinai. Many of those who answered its call also emerged from communities that suffered the cruelty of merciless Arab regimes, or neglect, hate and alienation in western societies.
The reason that many refuse to acknowledge this fact — and would fight tooth and nail to discredit it — is that an admission of guilt would make many responsible for the creation of the very terrorism they claim to fight.
Those who blame Islam are not simply ignorant, but many are also guided by sinister agendas. Their mindless notion of blaming religion is as foolish as George W. Bush’s “war on terror.”
Wholesale, uninformed judgments can only prolong conflict. They also prevent us from confronting specific and clearly obvious links, for example between Al-Qaeda’s rise in Iraq and the US invasion; between the rise of the sectarian brand of Al-Qaeda under Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and the sectarian division of that country under the US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, and his allies in the Shia-led government in Baghdad.
It should have been clear from the start that Daesh, as notoriously violent as it is, was a symptom, not the cause. It is only three years old. Foreign occupation and war in the region predates it by many years.
Although we were told — by Daesh itself, but also media pundits — that Daesh was here to stay, it turned out to be but a passing phase in a long, ugly montage, rife with violence and bereft of both morality and the intellectual courage to examine the true roots of violence.
It is likely that the victory will be short-lived. The group will surely develop a new strategy or further mutate. History has taught us that much.
It is also likely that those who are proudly taking credit for systematically and efficiently annihilating the group — along with whole cities — will not pause for a moment to think of what they must do differently to prevent a new Daesh from rising from the ashes of the old.
Strangely, the “US-led Global Coalition” seems to have access to the firepower needed to turn cities into rubble, but not the wisdom to understand that unchecked violence inspires nothing but violence; and that state terror, foreign interventions and the collective humiliation of entire nations are all the necessary ingredients to start the bloodbath all over again.
Missing B’pora teacher found dead in Wular
Srinagar, May 20: Body of a government school teacher missing for the last one week was recovered from Wular Lake under mysterious conditions near Leharwalpora area in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Monday.
The police have started proceedings under 174 CrPc into the nature of death.
Reports said that some locals spotted the body in the Lake near Leharwalpora Monday morning and accordingly informed the concerned police station.
A police team immediately reached the spot and retrieved the body from the lake, they said.
The deceased has been identified as Mushtaq Ahmed Lone (27) son of Abdul Rehman Lone of Gurez at present Sheikhpora Colony Mantrigam Bandipora.
Mushtaq, a teacher by profession had left to attend his duty at Government High Secondary School Chuntimulla on May 13 but did not return since then.
Confirming the incident, SSP Bandipora Rahul Malik said that an FSL team was rushed to the spot for medical examination.
“The medical team has been constituted for post-mortem including experts from GMC Srinagar in the presence of Magistrate,” he said.
Proper photography and videography is being done of entire proceedings. Rest all other medico legal formalities of the deceased are being done, he said.
We are awaiting FSL and medical report to come to ascertain the actual cause of death, he said.
“An enquiry under 174 CrPc has been initiated and further investigations have been taken up,” the officer added.
Pertinently, the family members and neighbors held a protest demonstration on May 18 and had urged administration for help in tracing their missing kin.
Kashmir University gets A+ NAAC accreditation
Srinagar, May 20: After bagging 53rd rank in NIRF 2019 and 51st in QS India University Rankings 2019, the University of Kashmir added yet another feather to its cap by scoring A+ grade in the recent reaccreditation cycle by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
According to the result issued by NAAC, the University of Kashmir is scoring an impressive 3.31 Institutional Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) on a scale of 04 ahead of several other leading Universities in the country.
The University has scored 3.89 in Infrastructure and Learning Resources, 3.67 in Curricular Aspects, 3.18 in Teaching Learning and Evaluation, 3.05 in Research, Innovations and Extension, 3.61 in Institutional Values and Best Practices, 3.1 in Governance, Leadership and Management and 2.94 in Student Support and Progression.
The long-awaited accreditation was awarded to the University by peer NAAC team on Monday, May 20, 2019, which visited the varsity in the first week of May 2019 from 02-05-2019 to 04-05-2019.
It is in place to mention here that KU has earlier been accredited during its previous two cycles first in 2002 and then again in 2011 and on both these two occasions the University was awarded grade ‘A’ by NAAC.
Pertinently the Peer NAAC team comprising of six members during its visit to the University earlier this month applauded University for its research standards and stated that the varsity has made a quantum jump in its Infrastructure and Learning resources.
Being the chairperson of Monitoring and Steering Committee the Vice Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad personally monitored the preparedness of the University for the Peer NAAC team visit.
While congratulating the staff, students, scholars and alumni on the occasion Prof Talat said “I congratulate both teaching and non-teaching faculty, students, scholars and alumni for this tremendous feat. It was a team effort and we succeeded in our efforts. However at the same time we must understand that we don’t have to be complacent and work harder to achieve much higher grade next time so that our University gets international recognition.”
Registrar KU Dr Nisar A Mir said “I congratulate all the stakeholders of the University and this particular grade will ensure better job placements for our students and will fetch more fellowships to our scholars. Moreover, it will help us to upgrade our infrastructure while we will succeed in securing better funds from different funding agencies governed by UGC and other bodies.”
Governor congratulates varsity:
Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, Monday congratulated Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor of the University, his colleagues, staff and students for being awarded A+ Accreditation by peer NAAC Team.
Governor has expressed happiness on the impressive performance of the University by securing 3.31 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) on a scale of 04. He has urged for making the University a leading Institute in teaching and research and wished it success in all its future academic endeavours.
Mirwaiz Farooq’s anniversary: Curbs in parts of downtown today
Srinagar, May 20: The Srinagar administration has decided to impose curbs in parts of downtown on Tuesday on the eve of Awami Action Committee (AAC) rally from Jamia Masjid to Martyrs’ graveyard Eidgah to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed-e-Milat Mirwaiz Moulana Muhammad Farooq.
An official that restrictions will be imposed on Tuesday in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Khanyar. “The decision has been taken as a precautionary measure,” the official said.
Meanwhile, authorities placed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest ahead of the Eidgah Chalo call announced by Hurriyat (M) to observe death anniversary of Mirwaiz Farooq.
A police official confirmed that Mirwaiz had been placed under house while as restrictions Will be imposed in various parts of Srinagar.
No restrictions on Jammu-Srinagar highway from May 27
SRINAGAR, MAY 21, 2019: Following a review of the security situation in the state and of the requirement of security...
Skeleton of man missing from nearly two years found in Handwara forests
Srinagar, May 21 : Locals on Tuesday found skeleton of a man missing for nearly two years at forests of...
BJP bats for grant of reserved seats to people displaced from PaK
Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir BJP unit Tuesday batted strongly for grant of seats reserved in the state assembly to...
Gunfight rages in Shopian forest
Shopian, May 21 : An encounter broke out between forces and militants in south Kashmir’s Shopian forests this afternoon. Reports...
India cuts off UN panel after Jammu & Kashmir report
New Delhi: Reacting angrily to a submission from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC) on the alleged violations in Jammu...
Pak appoints Moin-ul-Haque as High Commissioner to India
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday appointed career diplomat Moin-ul-Haque as the High Commissioner to India. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on...
Two policemen from J&K scale Mount Everest
Srinagar, May 21 Two policemen from Jammu and Kashmir have scaled the Mount Everest, police said on Tuesday. Union Home...
Budgam Chopper crash: IAF commander removed
Srinagar: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has removed the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Srinagar Air Base, the senior-most officer of...
VIDEO| Restrictions imposed in Srinagar to prevent Eidgah Chalo march
Srinagar, May 21: Authorities have imposed restrictions in Srinagar on Tuesday to prevent a separatist-called commemoration march. The Hurriyat Conference...