New Trend Magazine (snippet 5 From eyewitness account of Pakistan)

Peaceful Islamic Movement Confident of Musharref's Defeat Munawar Hasan: Learned, Humble, Thoughtful, Fearless
{See below Pentagon's Gen. Myers nibbling at humble pie.}
{Ambassador Abdus Salam Zaeef's betrayal by Musharref is an international crime which will endanger relations between countries - Observers say.}

Our representative in Pakistan has just reported three meetings with Syed Munawar Hasan, interim Ameer of Jamaate Islami Pakistan. Of these, one was a formal meeeting, the second was a one-on-one interview and the third resulted from participation in an informal discussion group.

Munawar Hasan is in charge of Jamaate Islami following the arrest of Qazi Hussain Ahmed by the Musharref regime. He has risen through the ranks of JI and has solid Islamic credentials. Our representative saw him as:
1. Very learned in Islamic knowledge.
2. Very discerning in the knowledge of Pakistani "facts on the ground."
3. He comes across as a practical activist: without illusions but confident of the strength and resilence of Jamaate Islami.
4. In his personal life, he seems to be pious, humble, kind and forthright. {His wife is a leading activist in the Islamic women's movement in Pakistan.}
Here are some of the points Munawar Hasan made in his interview and discussion with New Trend's representative:
THE CONFLICT IN AFGHANISTAN and KASHMIR is the BEGINNING OF A LONG WAR. What we have seen are the first episodes, perhaps incidents, not even battles, of a long-drawn-out war.

MR. MUSHARREF CANNOT DEFEAT OR CRUSH THE CULTURE and SPIRIT of JIHAD. The families and relatives of the martyrs of Kashmir can now be found all over the country and have affected the people's attitude towards jihad. (Mothers offering their second son for jihad after the martyrdom of the first, is quite a common phenomenon. The parents of martyrs do not cry.)

The spirit of jihad has entering many families which were previously secularized.

The army too has both secular and Islamic elements in it. Mr. Musharref promised the army a number of "goods" from the U.S. but has failed to deliver.

Public opinion in Pakistan is VERY STRONGLY AGAINST THE U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. It rose from 66% opposing the bombing in November to 85% opposing it in December and January. The U.S. has very few friends here outside the Musharref camp.

NEW TREND brought the issue of hypocrisy among Pakistani Muslims. Munawar Hasan's response was that that Pakistani hypocrites are munafiqeen of 'amal not of aqeedah. Which means that even those Pakistanis who are lackadaisical in their religious performance and practice do retain the kernel of Islamic faith which can sprout and develop when nurtured properly.

On the issue of Pakistani military sealing the borders to stop al-Qaeda and Taliban from entering the country, the JI interim Ameer said that there is strong resentment among the people owing to these unIslamic acts and Mr. Musharref will have to face the consequences of his actions.
{Musharref stopped the bodies of Pakistani martyrs killed in Mazar Sharif in U.S. bombing from being brought for burial to their home town in Karachi.}

On the arrest of Qazi Hussain Ahmed, JUI leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and others, Munawar Hasan said that these steps are not going to stop the movement and are proving counterproductive for the regime. {The JI leader has condemned the arrest of Hafiz Saeed, leader of Lashkare Tayba.}

Munawar sahib expressed disappointment over the stance of Iran during the U.S. assault, but overall he was CONFIDENT OF THE VICTORY OF THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN PAKISTAN and the defeat of the Musharref regime.

New Trend brought this point that the Islamic organizations are ineffective because they are disunited while the U.S.-backed groups, though small, work together very well. Munawar sahib said that unity will develop as the segments of the Islamic movement work together and the current crisis has brought them closer. Unity will come through the process of the struggle rather than through any declarations.

About Karachi, Munawar sahib pointed out that there are TWO Karachis: The Karachi of 10 million people who are trying to live as Muslims and for whom the mosque is an important focus to their lives.

The other is the Karachi of westernized clubs (the Karachi of Defense Housing Society) where people live as if they are living in America.
The movement Munawar Hasan leads is an unarmed, peaceful movement. New Trend asked Munawar sahib what would happen if Musharref or other generals tried the Algerian "solution" to the Islamic movement, bringing in tanks to crush the people? Munawar sahib did not think such a situation could emerge in Pakistan. This New Trend considers it JI's weakness: the inability to face the fact that U.S. -backed forces can be utterly ruthless. On the other hand, peaceful movements can be transformed by such ruthless acts. In Kashmir, JI's indigenous affiliate, Hizbul Mujahidin, is armed and fighting the Indian army. (Report ends)
DURING A PENTAGON BRIEFING on January 8, 2001, General Myers made the following statement: "Al-Qaida is still a viable organization."

Earlier, on January 7, Rear Admiral Stufflebeem seemed quite frustrated when he pointed out that fighting Al-Qaida is like "chasing shadows." He also admitted that there were no signs of Osama (or other Islamic leaders like al-Zawahiri and Mullah Omar) and the U.S. is simply going to stop answering the question that where is UBL (they spell him with a U). Instead the U.S. will concentrate on fighting Al-Qaeda units "ALL OVER AFGHANISTAN." (In December the U.S. said "Al-Qaida is finished." That was the euphoria of the Tora Bora bombing high.)

Observers say, the U.S. is nibbling at humble pie. The top brass are admitting that their THREE MONTH LONG BOMBING CAMPAIGN HAS FAILED TO DESTROY or DEFEATal-Qaeda. In fact Al-Qaeda is regrouping, the U.S. admitted.

2002-01-09 Wed 21:19ct