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Quick Edit | From guns to glory

Quick Edit | From guns to glory
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First Published: Fri, Jan 07 2011. 12 13 AM IST
Updated: Fri, Jan 07 2011. 12 13 AM IST
The return of Muqtada al-Sadr to Iraq on Wednesday, in what many expect to be the precursor to a key role for him in the country’s politics, is worrying. In his heyday, the radical cleric’s preachings encouraged widespread sectarian and anti-American violence. With foreign troops slated to pull out of Iraq later this year, al-Sadr’s policies are likely to have an open field. In Afghanistan too, there have been noises about integrating the Taliban—along with their religious fundamentalism—into mainstream politics. And in India, negotiations are afoot with former United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) rebels, possibly leading to an eventual political role for some. As with al-Sadr and the Taliban, the latent threat in such mainstreaming of non-state actors is the persistence of their early motivations. As India looks for peaceful options with Ulfa leaders, the possibility of such continuance should serve as a cautionary tale.
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First Published: Fri, Jan 07 2011. 12 13 AM IST
More Topics: Quick Edit | Muqtada al-Sadr | Iraq | Taliban | Ulfa |