Ahmed and Cook different in names, same in deed. By Swaali

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With reference to the 1127 words long article and covering nearly 3 pages on "Just and Unjust War" and "Editorial on INS Registration", consisting of 775 words written by Prof Ashtiaq Ahmed and Geoffrey Cook respectively, both seem impressive, but a

Professor Ashtiaq takes delight in making ignorant remarks about the heads of two great nations, namely US and UK. They are worse than moron and are delirious, impatient, are some of the ways Ashtiaq describes them. It's curious that some Pakistan papers pour out similar invectives.

Perhaps this is the right time to try and answer these questions:

1 Is the doctrine of just war as propounded by St Aquinas binding on Christians today?

As I see it, the question is irrelevant. We are not living in Christendom. Also, in today's western democracies, religion is zealously kept out of all political process. To suggest anything else must be either due to ignorance or for manipulation for one's own end.

2 Is this war about America seizing control of oil?

No, but it is to stop Iraq under Saddam from seizing it. Militarily strong Iraq under Saddam could conquer and take control of oil resources of its weaker neighbours. Then, it would control about 57% of world oil supply. This would decidedly affect the world economies including those of America, and UK. This is how Iraq is a threat to both these countries to answer Ashtiaq's criticism. Other countries affected include middle eastern nations, six of whom have recently expressed their fears in a joint statement. " We call solemnly on the Iraqi leadership to move irreversibly and sincerely towards its responsibilities in restoring peace and stability in the region.." [Dawn 23 January].

3 Where is the evidence?

A part of the evidence is Iraq's refusal to answer what it has done with the missing chemical stockpile. Finding out where are hidden by a limited number of inspectors is an extremely difficult job. However, a limited amount of intelligence reports which can be considered militarily safe, is expected to be put in the public domain in the coming weeks.

4 Why is so urgent now?

Existence of terrorist network in the west has made proliferation of chemical weapons far too easy. It is reckoned that September 11th could look insignificant besides what the terrorists in possession of these weapons can now accomplish. Hence the urgency.

5 Are Bush and Blair impatient?

The evidence suggest otherwise. They can go it alone, and yet they have not. This is to respect the genuine demands of the world community in keeping with the requirement of the military operation.

Now Geoffrey Cook

Geoffrey Cook agrees with the editor of Pakistan Christian Post that IRN Registration is not outrageous. He also concedes that Pakistanis in the US prior to 1980s were from the well-off background. He is upset because the editorial put the good of the American nation as a whole above that of lawbreakers, and special pressure groups such as human rights organisations for whom Cook works. Finally, he counsels that the PCP should get involved in the futile fight against the deportation of Pakistani Christians. Don't tell a person off because he is doing the right thing.

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nazirbhattipcc@aol.com , pakistanchristianpost@yahoo.com