The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Reclaiming hearts and minds in Pakistan

The BBC tells the story of Dr Mohammad Farooq Khan, who was shot dead by the Taliban in Swat last week. Dr Farooq ran a school - or more accurately a rehabilitation centre - for teenage boys who had previously served (voluntarily or otherwise) with the Taliban. See also this obituary and video tribute in the New York Times, also featuring Dr Farooq's mission statement in his own words.

Well worth reading and also worth asking the question - how many similar centres exist in Pakistan and Afghanistan and what is the international community doing to help them?

PS: See also this story about the Turi tribe in Kurram who expelled the Taliban from their small corner of the FATA.

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