Translational inhibition due to CHEAP RETIN-A the fact that the path of the excitation occurs Br neuron. recurrent inhibition     Carried intercalary brake cells (Renshaw). Axons of buy nolvadex online canada motor neurons often give collaterals (branches), ending with Renshaw cells. Renshaw cell axons terminate on the body or dendrites of the motor neuron, forming inhibitory synapses. Arousal that occurs in motor neurons travel in a straight path to the skeletal muscle, as well as collaterals to inhibitory neurons, which send impulses to motoneurons and inhibits them. The stronger the motor neuron excitation, the more excited Renshaw cells and the more intense they exert their inhibitory effect, which protects nerve cells from overstimulation. lateral inhibition    
 

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*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Tonia Odili reports ] - The African Basketball League, ABL, has secured a ground breaking partnership deal with TRACE as the official TV and digital partner for the league which tips off on the 4th of March 2016.
 
With this newest partnership, African Basketball League games will be aired on TV in 160 countries across Africa, Europe, Asia, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.
 
According to the Chief Executive Officer of ABL, Ugo Udezue, “This is a historic moment for the ABL and will contribute greatly to the growth of professional basketball within the African continent.  We are excited to feed the appetite of basketball lovers all across the world. He further added that. “This is another great way of making the ABL games accessible to millions of passionate Basketball fans wherever they may be and witness the entertainment and excitement that features so many iconic players. We are delighted to have TRACE as our official TV partner.”
 
Samo Onyemelukwe, CEO of TRACE Nigeria, who negotiated the partnership for TRACE, “this partnership is a new occasion to demonstrate TRACE continuous engagement and support of the best African talents. With ABL, we are committed to provide a fantastic sport and entertainment experience to all basketball fans in Africa and the rest of the world.”
 
The ABL games including the All Star Games, Play offs and behind the scenes will be shown live on TRACE channels including on TRACE Sport Stars, the first global entertainment channel dedicated to the lives of stars in the world of sports.
 
News, pictures and videos from the ABL will also be available on all TRACE and ABL digital and social media platforms.
 
Six strong basketball clubs have already been confirmed for the debut season, Lagos Islanders, Stallions and Lagos Warriors are the Nigerian teams. The other Africa clubs that will participate in the league include Dakar Rapids from Senegal, Abidjan Ramblers from the Cote d’Ivoire and Izobe Basketball Club from Libreville, Gabon.
 
Landmark with a capacity of over 4,000 will be the venue for the Lagos team’s home games.
 
The ABL is proudly supported by TRACE , Union Bank, Wakanow, Cornerstone Insurance, Landmark, THE BEAT 99.9FM and ASKY Airline.
 
Tonia Odili ( Email: tonia@ablafrica.com ) reports.
 
*Photo Caption - Map of Africa

[ Masterweb Reports ] - Dr Kusum Gopal has served as a Chief Technical Advisor to various UN agencies. Her gender-sensitive ethnographic expertise covers a diverse subject matters: Education, Social Development, Civic and Informal Legal understandings, Children’s welfare, Reproductive Health, Refugee Rehabilitation, Relief work, Reconstruction and Conflict Resolution, Public Health (HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Cholera), Domestic Violence, Religious Strife, Human Rights, Environmental protection and, related concerns. Civil rights activist Dr Salah AL-Bander interviewed her for the Kashmir Observer recently.  
 
Q: The World Knows About Mahatma Gandhi And His Mission For A Peaceful World. How Best Can Gandhism Are Applied In These Very Turbulent Times. Please Elaborate
 
A: The essential philosophy of Gandhism is about individual and collective morality by Satyagraha or soul force, establishing the truth, granting the rights of self-dignity and self-determination to a people and their industry against brutal injustice, putting an end to the two hundred years of colonial exploitation through ahimsa or non-violence. By walking through the villages, dressed in a loin cloth, he more than anyone else, ignited ordinary men and women to participate against colonialism, democratising and widening the struggle for freedom. He also believed that suffering was to be endured, for “a complete renunciation of violence of the heart and, consequent active exercise of the force generated by the great renunciation”--that individuals who neither submit passively nor retaliate to violence find in themselves a new sense of strength, dignity, and courage.  There was an ethical code for each satyagrahi to follow and, that meant not just wearing the khadi or spun cotton but an implicit adherence to specific strictures. What is often not acknowledged is that moral valuations have tremendous popular appeal because they are grounded in the cultural and, in both the oral textual belief systems such as the Upanishads, if I may add ethnographic traditions of the Indian subcontinent. In the regions bordering Afghanistan, for example, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan came to be known as the Frontier Gandhi, for his adoption of Gandhian principles  More recently,  Nelson Mandela and, now Baba Anna Hazare, a retired army driver have advocated Gandhism and won national support against the fight against corruption and social injustices. And, we have President Obama who is an ardent admirer of Gandhi.
 
Different historical and social contexts of conflicts and wars result in different expressions. Nevertheless, recognising the critical significance of soul-force as the embodiment of feelings, of  deep emotions of the people from the both sides is an entry point towards any form of conflict resolution: both warring parties acknowledging that conflict whatever its dimension also represents the angst as indeed, anger  as also an  opportunity for dialogues , if not immediate reconciliation. There are painful truths that need to be accepted but what we need to emphasise is the similarities and, mutual interdependence - common grounds rather than differences within a culture of trust and respect.
 
Q: Can Gandhism Be Applied In The Context Of Arab- Israeli Conflicts?
 
A: Only Mahatma Gandhi could answer this important question. Satyagraha has been drawn from  the philosophical traditions in the Subcontinent – in the sense that we had Satyagrahas before – following the first Partition of Bengal – when the British divided it as an act of cauterization to crush the agitation against colonial rule, the Swadeshi movement  for example. A Satyagragha to take root in the Arab- Israeli context  will need to draw upon mutually understood terms of reference and people on both sides willing to participate jointly in these efforts can succeed.  This is also such a sacred region as it is the birthplace of three great world religions and so many accompanying forms of expression. And, to most peoples all over the world, peace here would resonate in creating prosperity in their lands.
 
Q: Could You Elaborate?
 
A: We understand and often attempt to analyse events or happenings as they have unfolded without examining the philosophical and historical roots of conflicts and wars, we need to mediate on what it means to learn from teachers one has never met .On level, what needs to be brought to the fore is that for the two nation state to be established, the roots of the rage that both peoples feel in this region needs to be expressed through dialogues, making compulsory  to respect Arabic and Hebrew cultures. The Holocaust, a very traumatic reminder of human bestiality was engineered by a ‘civilised’ nation in Europe, which forced the need for an independent state for the Jewish people so that it could not happen again. At a poignant lecture I attended whilst a student in Cambridge, Prof. George Steiner said as Hitler wanted the Jews exterminated and out of Europe, his father told him to stay in Europe as that would defeat Hitler’s goal so he did. What is important to reiterate is that Arab peoples were not responsible for the persecution of the Jewish people. And, race and tribe were not matters that affected interaction between the various communities. These cultures, like ancient cultures are very hospitable, kind and generous. And, there are Arab Jews, Arab Christians and Arab Muslims and, to attribute an ethnic or racial identity goes against the spirit of these cultures which have contributed immeasurably to the learning and progress of humanity. Indeed, persecution and ill-treatment of any peoples or individuals is against the charter of human rights but also against the constitutions of most countries.
 
For millennia, in these ancient cultures, Arabs, Jews and Christians who lived here contributed to a vibrant syncretism and, continue to share deep connections. The shared use of metaphors in the languages, customs, music, cuisine reflects such ancient connections. This is itself a very powerful ground for conflict resolution. Even more importantly, they shared their land of their ancestors with those who came and settled and founded Israel. The dialogues now should focus on similarities and sharing legacies. As eminent scholars have noted that the Torah and the Qur’an are very similar. In fact that in itself provides the moral and intellectual foundations for conflict resolution dialogues. Control and availability of natural resources such as water and land form a major point of grievance and, separate settlements have caused deep rifts within this very sacred region, the birthplace of three great world religions. It is important to begin negotiations between the main parties and, come to an agreement on sharing resources and respecting the rights of all individuals equally. Clearly, solutions can only come from the soil: Hezbollah, Hamas, the Israeli government and all parties alone can solve these issues with people who are living with so much mistrust and fear. The USA and other governments can at best provide supporting roles.
 
Q:   What Paths Should These Dialogues Take?
 
A: The aim of such Dialogues is to come to an agreement through a process of restoration, reconciliation, and unity. There are, as you know, great eminent officials, scholars and, governments who have at present initiated interfaith dialogues. I am not a scholar of religion but am studying the philosophical syncretic bridges between different faiths. There are many bridges that can be traversed. One for example, are the Maimonides, the Jewish philosopher Maimuni, believed that Sufi practices and doctrines continue the tradition of the Biblical prophets. He introduced into the Jewish prayer such practices as reciting God's name, prostration, or dhikr, stretching out hands, kneeling, and ablution of the feet. Some of these Sufi-Jewish practices are still observed in a few Synagogues. Abraham Maimuni's principal work entitled "כתאב כפיא אלעאבדין"Kitāb Kifāyah Al-'Ābidīn ("A Comprehensive Guide for the Servants of God") was compiled in Arabic. In the book, Maimuni evidences a great appreciation for, and affinity to, Sufism. Followers of his path continued to foster a Jewish-Sufi form of pietism for at least a century setting up the pietistic school in Egypt. The followers called, interchangeably, Hasidism or Sufism (Tasawwuf), practiced spiritual retreats, solitude, and fasting and sleep deprivation. Interestingly, the Ottomans through the tanzimat sought to incorporate various faiths cultures within, governance by inclusion. By embracing the Hanafi School and, drawing upon all four schools in its law making, it permitted maximum flexibility within the limits of Islamic tradition placating disparate populations of Jews, Christians and, indeed, various schools within the Sunni Islamic traditions. Many of the spiritual exercises of the Hesychast movement championed by St Gregory Palamas whilst at the Ottoman court were derived from Sufi and Islamic practices. And, of course we cannot forget the wonderful contributions of the Mughals. We have inspiring precedents to guide us to make the impossible a reality.
 
Q: Is There A Solution For Afghanistan?
 
A: Ours is a century of great turmoil as the balance of power has been dramatically transformed and, such an understanding is being met with some difficulties. Well, in Afghanistan, there has been since the 1970s, raging civil wars beginning with the Soviet occupation and, the people are suffering immeasurably.  For any effective solution, the promise to work towards establishing a culture of trust and respect is necessary- and currently that seems to be a remote prospect.  There is an urgent need to acknowledge all interests openly – and, the Taliban and all other mujaheedin groups – be they in Pakistan or Pakistani Kashmir. There has to be a thorough understanding of the history and culture of the Afghan people that goes back three hundred years or more, and the indigenous forms of governance they appreciate and identify with.
 
For instance, we need to respect that this region remained for millennia a free and open frontier that facilitated the movement of peoples, trade, armies and, new communities across its strategic terrain—accepting all groups of peoples. That its civilization has been profoundly influenced by the geography and historical affinity with Central Asia, the Iranian plateau as definitively, as with the rest of the Indian subcontinent unifying the two parts of inner and outer Asia. By such time honoured open frontier traditions and practices, Afghanistan has emerged primarily as a confederation of tribes and khanates, a legacy of several hundred centuries. It is also a form of government that the Afghans have preferred, as they are a fiercely independent, egalitarian people who have never favoured a central authority, particularly, if it is seen as being imposed from the outside. With diverse settlements of peoples in the hostile terrain a pluralistic culture emerged with the passage of time. Ethnicity as it is currently interpreted using colonial and Euro-American terms of reference, therefore needs to be qualified within the context of the history and syncretic culture of this region, for instance, the nomenclature Pathan and Afghan have been used synonymously; however there are over twenty different groups that had coexisted, interacted and, assimilated through several hundred centuries. Nowadays, Pashtuns are referred to as Pathans. Whilst they are in the majority, many other groups exist such as Tajiks, Turks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, Baluchis Aymak, Irani, Farsiwan, Brahui, Turkoman Arab, Nuristani, Kohistani, Pamir, Kyrgyz Gujar, Mongols, Arabs, Qizilbash, Punjabi, Sindhi each having contributed to a rich linguistic diversity, with Pashtu and Dari being spoken by the majority.
 
Prof David Edwards, an excellent scholar has correctly noted that Afghanistan’s troubles have less to do from divisions between groups or ambitions of particular individuals than from the imposition of the ideal of a nation state. Nation state, he notes is not inevitability but rather a product of specific cultural and historical events. There has been no moral discourse on statehood in Afghan society that is shared by the majority. It has always been competing forms of moral authority such as the qawm that are challenging the state and its legitimacy and indeed, its role in providing meanings to events.  He observes, that Afghans acknowledge that they fight among themselves, that bitter enmity exists as it does everywhere, but in comparison to the hierarchical, centralised world; theirs is a world of definitive ethical standards and fierce loyalties. He notes further, that in Afghanistan other notions of community have persisted on an equal level with the state, other moral orders have endured despite the consolidation of power by the state and these orders continue to challenge the state and its assertion of supremacy.  Thus, by respecting indigenous cultural sensitivities, engaging with local support and by revitalising traditional institutions in the process of reconstruction and recovery it is possible that the international community will be able to contribute more positively to Afghanistan’s future. It is a region that has been experiencing continuously, lacerations. This will stop if we combine cultural sensitivities with political solutions.
 
Q: What In Your Opinion Would Reduce The Bloodshed And Violence, Wars And Occupations Leading To Peaceful Governance?
 
A: That is a tough question. There is an urgent need for reflection going back in time before we go forward and, initiating a long conversation with all conflicting groups. There exists in modern political analysis to borrow from Bourdieu, ‘meconaissance’ (loosely, translated, misrecognition),  considerations and interpretations remain outdated – thus fresh appraisals by all governments and policy makers who are working with such preconceived erroneous, belief systems need to engage in this joint conversation. If we study the histories of these regions that are experiencing the worst turmoil just now– Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, many parts of the Arab world, and, certainly, Africa what comes to mind is the spirited, egalitarian customs that inspired great civilizations; there has always been great respect for the individual, discriminations based on the colour of one’s skin, physical features, ethnicity indeed status were not valued. These are ancient cultures with extremely powerful traditions of knowledge, of learning, fine arts and, hospitality which have made rich contributions to humanity. Traditional forms of conflict resolution in each culture must be brought to bear and, we need to go back to the pre-colonial times to resuscitate indigenous understandings of democracy whilst locating the roots of the present conflicts.
 
Q: The Greatness Of Indian Civilisation Is Widely Appreciated.  Yet There Is So Much Inequality, For Example, Caste. Can You Explain And Elaborate?
 
A: Yes, certainly. Caste today is supposed to have been derived from Manusmriti or Manu Dharma sastra, a facet of the richly diverse Indian philosophical systems. The Manusmriti is not a legal code in the sense of the word, but a darshana or interpretation of philosophic systems: all ancient philosophical systems in India are known as darsanas, literally meaning, calling insights or points of view.  None of the darsanas -- almost 3000 verses codify cosmogony; four ashramas, government, domestic affairs, caste and morality are binding. In the etymology of Indian words, Manusmriti has come to be erroneously interpreted during the colonial period as the Laws of Manu. Eminent Sanskrit scholars do not accept the translation of smriti as ‘laws’. Smritis are remembered knowledge of the sages, derived from shrutis or divine revelations and thus are not binding. The philosophical and lexical richness of the darsanas needs to be interpreted within the cultural context of Sanskrit.
 
Under colonial rule, for the first time, through random physical measurements, classification and separation of the subject populations using anthropometry, skin colour, racial classifications, and, creation of ethnic identities occurred. H H Risley, an influential administrator for example, ludicrously determined that, “the social position of the caste varies inversely as the nasal index”, that, caste status was fixed, unchangeable; nearly all native practices and customs were reinterpreted distorting indigenous understandings and legislated customary ways of being out of existence. The colonial system supplemented its own formal institutions by manipulating these indigenous social networks in producing and reproducing social and political identities.  In the experience of ordinary people such official social identities ultimately determined their fate, and they were forced by circumstance into relying upon those identities.
 
What is important to note is that the right of land ownership was transferred to the zamindars and those designated as the “lower castes” were turfed out causing widespread poverty. It is now clear from authoritative research that although one was born into a caste, his or her caste status was not fixed; one could change and did change caste and intermarriage was rife. With the movements of people, occupations and social relationships were always in a state of flux. For example, under the Turko-Afghans, the Mughals, groups of people who came to be known as the Kayasths became the backbone of the administration married into the Pathans, Turks  and other groups of people or, the Banjaras who are now reduced to poverty, were once very influential and wealthy traders  - salt carriers of the Mughals. The rich and romantic language of Urdu developed from these camps from Arabic, Persian and, Indian languages as did Hindustani.
 
Q: Why Have These Interpretations Been Accepted? How Can This Be Changed?
 
A: The ancient cultures of the Indian subcontinent are immanent cultures, cultures of acceptance. And, for any change to be effected knowledge needs to be disseminated. For millennia, various peoples have traversed the landscape from the time of the Indus Valley civilisation almost five thousand years ago to the Mughals. Undeniably, the offer of lands, sanctuary, intermarriage, exchange of material goods made explicit through ceremonial rituals of mutual hospitality and acceptance of one another. Thus, for example, suli or bond-brotherhood concerned kinship relations between different peoples and, individuals through formal adoption of one by the other. With diverse settlements of peoples in this terrain, flourishing syncretic traditions, a fusion of indigenous Indo-Persian, central Asian, Turkish (and other influences, a pluralistic culture emerged with the passage of time nurturing diverse range of belief systems, philosophies as indeed, also,  poetry, music, dance, cuisine, couture and so forth. Race and ethnicity as it is narrowly interpreted using colonial and Euro-American terms of reference, therefore needs to be qualified within the context of the history and syncretic culture of this region. The same is true of religion. As cultures of acceptance, all influences are taken and incorporated within, thus, we have integrated and accepted colonial readings. Prior to the British all those who came to Indian subcontinent had intermarried, integrated and, accepted the people as they were accepted by them. This is why colonialism was markedly different from previous empires and governance- it emphasised differences and created separatism. For nearly two hundred years, the formal codification of differences among peoples their religions, racial/ caste discrimination, separatist movements of language purification led to the Partition. Indeed, these impairments which created widespread moral, social, cultural dislocations with damaging consequences on personhoods and, identities need to be researched. There is to date, an absence of well researched accounts of the Partition of the Subcontinent. However, there are some profound films such as Garam Hawa with the actor Balraj Sahni.
 
Thus, what is often overlooked in understanding India, indeed the Subcontinent, is the continued domination of Anglo-Saxon interpretations although people are struggling with the unwieldy post-colonial infrastructure, their loss of lands and grinding poverty remains an extremely serious problem. And, solving these dilemmas remains the responsibility of subsequent governments since Independence.
 
Q: Please Elaborate On Hinduism.
 
A: These term’ Hindu’ need qualification as these tensions have less to do with religion than normally acknowledged. Syncretic beliefs have always been integral to the Subcontinent for millennia. For over thousand years, the prolixity of Indo-Islamic aetiologies was woven into the fabric of everyday existence, there was harmonious co-existence. As a matter of fact Urdu was the awaam ki zaban, the language of the common person in Mughal and, post-Mughal India. And, Arabic was taught in madrassas even as far south as Madras during the Mughal times as also, Indian languages. There is no mention of the word Hindu or Hinduism in any ancient religious texts of India. Gandhi observed that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life. There are important texts such as the six schools of Indian philosophy, the Dharmasastras, four Vedas, Upanishads etc., are compilation of centuries of wisdom.  None of the philosophical traditions of ‘Hinduism’ endorse a religion of the Book: neither do they depend on the authority of a single set of scriptures or exclusive ministerial councils to embody belief systems, nor, is there a definitive liturgy as is the case with the monotheistic Judaeo-Christian traditions. In the subcontinent, various sects and communities have simply coexisted within a pantheistic belief system: the absorption of a deity or belief from another religion does not affect its pluralistic character; it is assimilative, encouraging co-existence. Anyone can gain salvation, a good Muslim, Jew or Christian as long as he or she follows their moral duty as prescribed by their religious texts- as one who is born as a ‘Hindu’ can.
 
In the Indian subcontinent, it is not so much religion as we understand it within the Judaeo-Christian tradition, but rather the open-ended nature of the experience of the sacred that is central to the way spiritual experience is both conceived and understood. Life is seen to have no beginning and no end. Thus, the sacred does not necessarily imply belief in God, Gods or ghosts but also is influenced by the lunar calendar times of the day, musical forms, cuisine, different seasons, as indeed,  intent is regarded as essential to  the collective life of a people, a planet or a cosmic system. Prayers, vows and chants were seen as ferries to a shore of experience beyond the temporal state. The doctrines with its rich vocabulary relating to the subjective and psychic states, functions and phenomena from moksha, mukti, punya, maya, karma and the concept of detachment, are pervasive themes. It is seriously inaccurate to understand Hinduism as an ‘ism’, a religious-cultural phenomenon, an essence with fixed properties to which Hindus, in so far as they are Hindus, subscribe. It cannot be encompassed as an index of standardization unlike Islam, Christianity, and, Judaism. The term ‘Hindu’ many scholars have established is extra local and, some note it was first used in 1815 in India when the arbitrary religious classification of the population, introducing practices of control, discipline and exclusion. With colonial rule, the establishment of what came to be known as “Hindoo legal codes”; similarly “Mohammedan laws” were distorted borrowings from Mughal legal framework which were re-written.  Muslims were represented as separate and foreign when nothing could be further from the truth. Islam has always been vital to the Subcontinent and, is firmly integrated within all the regional cultures. The Act of Separate Electorate in 1935 is a good example; none of these laws had the sanction of the people or their leaders. And, modern India continues to be detrimentally governed by outdated administrative infrastructures and representations as indeed, do most post-colonial countries.
 
Q: What About India And Pakistan? Is There A Solution?
 
A: Yes, the Partition, the proverbial heart of darkness. Immeasurable, callous meddling’s having produced these deep wounds, these wounds still fester and they will not heal.  What is not known is that there were seven partitions of the Subcontinent, two partitions of Afghanistan in 1879 and 1893, the partition of Bengal in 1903-04, the loss of Burma in April 1937 and west Aden, Mustaʿmarat ʿAdan, in 1937, Ceylon in 1947, and the same year between India and Pakistan and all these partitions continue to have a ripple effect throughout the region, the last being the bloodiest. It is noted that over fifteen million people were displaced, millions massacred, but it is reckoned over twenty million were forced to leave their home. This loss of ‘heimat’- painful estrangement from their lands of their birth, their childhoods, their languages, and biradaris reverberates as families remain forced apart on either side of the divide. And, those who were tragically dispossessed remain bitter such as the Sindhis who lost Sindh and, Punjabis who were forced to flee from west Punjab. India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan were most affected but also, Nepal, Tibet, Burma and Sri Lanka suffered. We have had in the not so distant past - shared over five thousand years of cultures, shared histories- millennial connections with the movement of peoples, trade and inter-marriages which generated at the same time as it nurtured a rich cultural diversity, the vitality being expressed as we understand it today, particularly under the Mughals. There are in these foundations deeply powerful syncretism’s, traditions of co-existence of all religions, philosophies and peoples which flourished prior to colonialism and the policies of divide and rule. The political events that led to the partition of the lands and subsequently the separatist politics has poisoned this vitality.
 
Modernity in Europe is about national identities and boundaries which evolved gradually and, in some parts remain an unsettled reality. However, in Africa, Post Ottoman Empire and, the Indian Subcontinent happened over a few weeks and the locals were not consulted. Over the last sixty-four years much has happened to widen the rift, though people on both sides desire peace as religious pilgrimages and inter-marriages continue to happen. Certainly, geopolitics has a critical bearing here and, when the ‘crisis of terrorism’ abates, in time, an EU sort of arrangement would be useful to end the tension and create a zone of peace.  In the end, it is the struggle for land and resources that needs to be addressed and safety of all citizens to be guaranteed. I think, despite the enormous problems, such wisdom will ultimately come to prevail, we can only hope sooner rather than later.
 
*Photo Caption - Map of Indian Sub-Continent

 

[ Masterweb Reports: An Interview With Dr Kusum Gopal by Iftikhar Ahmad ] -  Many of us Afghans are extremely fearful of what the next day will bring. The bombs and shootings continue to cause us great anguish. Our entire region has been desecrated, there is so much suffering and sadness caused by the ongoing forty years of civil wars, political catastrophes beginning with the Soviet occupation and natural calamities such as the drought, famine which has forced over ten million of us to seek refuge outside.  Our religious leaders, tribal chiefs, Elders and our parents, those of whom are alive and whom we respect and love are not being consulted although we know their wisdom is priceless. We have deep love for our land, and we want to regain our glory. We want to become once again strong, independent and in control of our destinies. We want to go to bed waking up with the knowledge that not just the next day, but the weeks, months, decades if not the century will bring hope and joy in our hearts and our mothers can smile again! We want to live together in peace and harmony as we used to, to return to the certainty we value. In this context I spoke to Dr. Kusum Gopal after an informative lecture she gave at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. She believes that peaceful governance and prosperity in this region can only happen if correct political solutions are applied through a deep understanding of our history, our culture, our hopes and dreams.  Dr. Kusum Gopal, an anthropologist who has served as a United Nations Expert and Technical Advisor to government agencies, is also revising her previously published manuscript on Afghanistan, now tentatively titled “Charting Afghanistan, the heart of Asia; learning from her heritage and wisdom”.  
 
Q: Why Do You Say That Afghanistan Is The Heart Of Asia? And Could You Elaborate On Our Early Culture, Our Heritage As You Describe It?
 
A: That Afghanistan is the heart of Asia was observed since the earliest recorded history. Written accounts since Plutarch to the Emperor Babur and more recently, for example by Allama Muhammad Iqbal indicate how this region has been held with great sacredness and respect. For over two thousand years, the open-frontier traditions of Afghanistan have determined the pulse, the rhythm of the Indian Subcontinent-- whatever is happening here affects the rest of the region, profoundly. The Khyber Pass has remained the main conduit for the movement of peoples, trade, armies and, new communities across this ancient terrain. Indeed, its civilizations have been powerfully influenced by the geography and historical affinity with the Indian Subcontinent to which it is tied to in perpetuity reflected in customs, belief systems, the common cuisine, attire, indeed, dance such as the attan, and music. Straddling the Hindu Kush makes for significant connections between inner and outer Asia, thus with the Iranian plateau and, unified cultures of Central Asia. These powerful confluences led to pluralistic engagements  informed by syncreticism unique to the Subcontinent. Balkh, for example was the birthplace of Zoroaster: Zoroastrianism flourished alongside Buddhism.  Indeed, Balkh was also the birthplace of Jalauddin Rumi. There are valuable written sources such as the Pata Khazana, containing Pashto poetry from over two thousand years. Some other  famous poets from the region are Khushal Khan Khattak, Rahman Baba, Ahmad Shah Durrani,Timur Shah Durrani, Shuja Shah Durrani, Al-Afghani, Ghulam Muhammad Tarzi, Ghulam Habib Nawabi, Massoud Nawabi and women poets such as Rabia Balkhi and Nazo Tokhi. These compilations are a testament to the powerful written traditions and pluralism of this region. Indeed, the tragic fates of Laila Majnun and Sohrab Rustom are an integral part of the folklore of India as much as Afghanistan. 
 
Archaeologists working in this region have noted that this region – 5000 years ago had  integral connections with the Indus Valley civilisation.  As a matter of fact many ancient temples and mosques can be found in this region from the Hinglaj in Baluchistan formerly part of the Afghan territory -- and extending into Sindh. This region remained connected with all Empires in India whether it was the Indo Greeks, the Indo Bactrian Empire or Mauryan rule --Emperor  Asoka  placed stupas here with inscriptions in Aramaic, the official language of the Achaemenid Empire) and build palaces, libraries, gardens in Kandahar; also, building roads from Kabul to Punjab connecting to the Gangetic plains. This region has been significant to the Silk  route. During the Mughals knowledge transmission and cultural syncreticism remained characteristic of the Subcontinent where inspite of later political dissensions – collapse of the Mughal Empire -- boundaries did not exist.
 
Integral to open –frontier traditions has been acceptance,  for example is suli or bond brotherhood is to forge voluntarily kinship relations between different ethnic groups and individuals through formal adoption of one by the other mainly by the offer of sanctuary, intermarriage, offer of material goods, of land made explicit through sophisticated ceremonial rituals of mutual hospitality of Pukhtunwali.  For example, Alexander the great was offered a wife whom he married called Rukhsana as indeed later on the Arabs such as Osama Bin Laden who came here during the Cold war. Pukhtunwali is based on ancient principles of moral authority and etiquette founded on several interrelated institutions and concepts: traditions of hospitality, melmastia contained in Mehrman Palineh defining meraneh or codes of manhood such as imandaari (righteousness), sabat (steadfastness), ghairat (of property), namus protecting women and purdah. Purdah is incorrectly interpreted as seclusion of women- it refers to virtuous living and good domesticity. These belief systems extended far beyond Pakhtun cultural arena into the Subcontinent—zan, zar zameen.  The connectedness with the rest of the Subcontinent is reflected in its belief sytems: nasib or fate is seen to depend on the divine who is paramount: everyone’s fate nasib is determined by Allah on the basis of his merit, circumstances, and capabilities. . . Each one stands in his own place and position, and hence all people should be grateful to Allah...The proper attitude of every Afghan should be gratitude, for it is Allah who has determined one’s position in life and gives blessings --ni`mat. Arrogance or kibr cannot be respected as such people are gharur. These forms of etiquette were accepting of other  tribes and peoples while strengthening their own. They also required a vast command of material and social resources and an egalitarian polity in which to flourish. Indeed, immanent traditions are key to understanding the heart of Asia theme. 
 
Q: Yes, We Have Pakhuntwali In Our Hearts And Minds And We Expect Those Who Come Here To Understand And Respect That. There Is So Much Misunderstanding Of Our Culture In Official Policy Making Even If The Intentions May Be Good. For Example, ‘Ethnicity’ Is Not How We See It!   Explain This?
 
A: Yes, many Afghans have been at pains to point out that Ethnicity (as it is currently wrongly interpreted using colonial and Euro-American terms of reference,) needs to be qualified within the context of the history and syncretism of this region, for instance, the nomenclature Pathan and Afghan have been used synonymously; however there are over twenty different groups that had coexisted, interacted, intermarried and assimilated for over three thousand centuries. Nowadays, Pashtuns are referred to as Pathans; whilst they are in the majority, many other minority groups exist such as Tajiks, Turks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, Baluchis, Aymak, Farsiwan, Brahui, Turkoman Arab, Nuristani, Kohistani, Pamiri, Pashae, Kyrgyz, Gujjar, Mongol, Arab, Qizilbash, Punjabi, Sindhi, Sikh, Jat etc each having contributed to a rich linguistic diversity, with Pashtu and Dari is spoken by the majority; all have adopted Pakhtunwali with ease. The interconnectedness among all people forged through interdependence and centuries of interaction needs to be emphasised and colonial interpretations of exclusion, boundaries and difference must be challenged for Afghans to once again forge a peaceful existence.
 
To understand how people relate to each other in time and  place requires humility accompanied by unhurried, long term engagement in the field with the people as also philosophical rigour and scholarship of their history going back a thousand years if necessary. And, it is indeed not just a tragedy but counterproductive when people’s cultures and belief systems are not treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. This is because the received wisdom deeply embedded in the structures of governments and Powers- that- Be seeks immediacy, wants quick solutions,  favours fixed structures of thinking by imposing an overarching order,  a formal logic and coherence when such an order, indeed logic cannot reflect the realities, frustrating governance. For example, policy makers advocate the objective approach not recognising that they are also always being subjective ---objectivity’ is rooted in culture, language, selective perception, and ideology – which permeate human and scientific activities. 
 
Further, the professional act of detached observation effectively dehumanises the observed, reduces him or her or them to an inferior position. It is extremely essential to immerse oneself wholly in the society where one is residing or doing research and partake of daily activities along with the people and respect their customs. When the researcher refuses to go beyond the facade of outward behaviour and become a part of the inner workings of the community’s existence, he/she presumptuously assumes that his/her outside understanding of the observed is somehow more valid than the community’s own involvement with the world---there is no such thing as objectivity—everything is subjective. Good scholarship means privileging the world view of the local people and integrating their hopes and dreams into policy making- the particularity of  emotions need to occupy centre stage  which only a narrative approach can restore fidelity to experience. What we need is holistic intuition that is sensitive to context that ethnographic research can alone provide. The interconnected worlds we inhabit and chronicle demonstrate our common bonds, our common civilisations.  Many aspects of human life such as beliefs and values are subjective and resist quantitative measurement—such subjective phenomena may nevertheless determine certain critical patterns of behaviour and practice and need to be assessed- subjectivity of the research does not necessarily mean subjectivity of the method.
 
Q: Most Of Us Afghans Are Not Aware Of Our Past -- Particularly Specific Structures And Forms Of Governance That Existed Before The British Partitioned Our Land. In Your Lecture You Spoke Wesh And Egalitarianism. Please Explain:
 
A: Until the British intervention in this region, wesh embodied the spirit of land distribution. Traditionally, newly conquered tracts of land were allocated among the tribes and clans. Tribal land continued to be periodically re-apportioned according to the principles of an elaborate system known as wesh where land assigned to a tribe was called daftar and the individual shareholder a daftari. Under wesh, the tribe was obliged to redistribute its daftari lands on a cycle of between five and thirty years. This redistribution involved not merely the shares of individual daftari, but those of whole lineages and segments, thereby necessitating the movement of entire groups to new lands. One scholar suggests that such redistribution was a regular re-enactment and reminder of the heroic conquests and settlement which first brought the Pathans to the region. Thus, wesh ensured equitable distribution by preventing particular groups or individuals from benefiting from the best land by holding it in perpetuity. Thus, the principles of wesh mirrored the ideology of egalitarianism and honour, which was central to this society. In the same egalitarian spirit composition of the jirga was decided by the votes cast by all the daftari of the tribe while decisions affecting the tribe were taken by the jirga (council) of senior men, the respected and religious leaders. Jirgas were mostly convened to discuss issues on a case-by case basis, and did not have permanent powers. As in most egalitarian societies, the traditional figure of chief, khan or mansabdar emerged as an individual of authority and particular honour only in specific contexts and situations, rather than having any permanently ascribed status or power, and no daftari paid tribute or revenue to individual leaders. These were the forms of civil society that evolved naturally and the people were keen to protect. From the eighteenth century, the increase of centralised rule and taxation of mansabdars by the Mughals, and later Kabul kingdoms caused disruptions within this region on account of bankruptcy.  This led to an increase in the collection of tribute and revenue by a chosen few in return for grace and favour rights over areas of land while they were exempted from paying revenue themselves. Such intervention by the Mughal state began to put a strain on the ideals of re-distribution enshrined in wesh.
 
Q: From What You Say, It Means That Everyone Had The Chance To Have The Best Land And Democratic Principles Of The Jirga As It Evolved Naturally Meant That There Was No One Was Allowed To Exploit Their Authority. Did This Happen With The Durand Line? And, How Has This Impacted On Governance?
 
A: Yes, the Durand line changed many things. In addition to drawing boundaries, the British made two further structural changes through the introduction of the Black Letter Law. Although these changes were imposed on the ceded tribal districts came to be known as the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). They became the settled districts over which, even today very little jurisdiction can be exercised. After the British annexation the entire tribal system was abolished within these settled districts through a set of Acts: the damaging effects of the colonial policies in these regions continue to cause great suffering to the people of this region, and indeed, in the entire Subcontinent.
 
The original Mughal system of placement of mere grace and favour rights was replaced by the allocation of full exclusive legal ownership of tracts of land to favoured khans. This decisively undermined the wesh system, the spirit of which was quite contrary to fixed tenure ownership. Thus, the most important innovation introduced by the British land policy in India was the concept of ownership itself. By custom, the traditional system had granted people different rights in the land and to its produce: no one could be dispossessed of rights to land as all were deemed to belong to the land.  This changed: at the top were the 'big khans' who were chosen as the ‘natural leaders’, and deemed the landed aristocracy by the colonial authorities—as in India,  they were given extensive privileges typically owning thousands of acres,  with  the wealth, pomp  and status and exercised patronage over the villages.
 
This new landed elite were to secure political control and carry out judicial, administrative and fiscal services in the interests of Empire. If this local landed elite did not exist it had to be invented and between 1868 and 1880 the British administration set out detailed rules concerning land ownership, rents and tax, and this codification in effect created serious differentiation among an egalitarian people. Secondly, crucial for the political and social life was the transformation of the traditional jirga structure. Traditionally, a tribal jirga had to perform simultaneously the roles and duties of police, magistrate and judge. It sought to maintain or restore peace and order in times of trouble but was also an authority for settling disputes and dispensing justice reviewing cases including breaches of contract, disputes about tribal boundaries, distribution of water rights, claims to land and pasture, infringement of custom, enmity between cousins, and the frequent questions of inheritance among other issues. The jirga’ s members were elected by the whole body of the tribe, mostly from among elders, men of experience and integrity, and the memories of the elders would serve as a record of decisions and precedent. Now the colonial officials reconstituted the jirga and gave them responsibility for adjudicating on criminal cases according to the newly introduced ‘Black Letter’ laws. 
 
As we discussed, traditional jirga decisions were consensual and often ambiguous, with the focus on limiting conflicts rather than locating blame, passing sentences of a restitutive rather than a penal nature. The new role, however, obliged the jirgas to make clear-cut decisions on guilt and levy fines, now paid of course not to the victims but to the State. The government appointed its newly created landed elite to the jirgas and expected them to exert firm control over its decisions. Thus, the Act of 1904 gave the jirgas extended powers of arrest and imprisonment without right of appeal. Since the jirga members were no longer elected but appointed, and since there was no mechanism of appeal against its decisions, the egalitarian tradition was gradually undermined; therefore, the two major changes brought about by colonial rule had combined to produce considerable disaffection among the people. By the early twentieth century, therefore, two major changes brought about by colonial rule had combined to produce considerable disaffection among the people leading to violence. Many tribes were forced to seek refuge with their kith and kin across the border in neighbouring Afghanistan as scarcity of land and resources caused by the new land tenure system threatened landlessness and starvation.
 
Q: We In Afghanistan Are Not Comfortable With The Durand Line- It Has Caused Us So Much Suffering. Some Of Our Dwellings Remain Constructed Over It. So Many Afghans Cross It To Meet Relatives And Family. 
 
A: Yes, the social effects of territorial loss and confinement of human communities inhabiting a region which Afghans could no longer regard as an open frontier has left a sorrowful legacy of ‘ethnic’ conflicts and confrontations not just between the people of these regions but many parts of the colonised worlds that remain unresolved. Well, we need to understand what happened first.  Afghanistan became a pawn when the British wanted to rein in Tsarist Russia :In 1883, the British seized the Bolan Pass, south-east of Quetta, from the Khan of Kalat and some areas of Baluchistan which were part of the Afghan millat. And, this was the Great Game -- two imperial Anglo-Russian boundary commissions without consulting the people fixed resolutely the frontiers in east forcing them to agree, thus the Durand Line of 1893 running from Chitral to Baluchistan: Quetta, Pishin, Harnai, Sibi and Thal Chotiali – all Pashtun territories were snatched by the British dividing this unified region; later, the north- east and the north- west became Russian Turkestan as Russian Central Asia came to be called. The Wakhan Corridor on the high Pamirs was to remain with the Afghans as it served to act as a buffer between British and Tsarist territories. Those tribes who suffered most on account of this Partition were the Kyrgyz and Wakhi tribes:  they no longer could practice transhumance in the Central Asian Steppes, graze their livestock; it damaged their lifestyle as nomadic pastoralists. In 1893, the distraught Amir Abdur Rahman himself is recorded to have said, 
 
"How can a small power like Afghanistan which is like a goat between two lions? Or a grain of wheat between two strong millstones of the grinding mill, stand in midway of the stones without being ground to dust?
 
The great Badshah Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan  and his  party, the Khudai Khitmatgars  won thirty out of the fifty seats in the elections of 1946 but, they were scuttled by the colonial regime. Had they succeeded in their non violent struggle against the British there would have been stability in the Indian subcontinent, indeed, a better world. What is clear from the vast corpus of assiduous archival documentation is that colonial scholarship inspired decisions and actions that have harrowing consequences. Possibly, the colonial administrators outran their own intent with outcomes far beyond those foreseen or intended, grounded as they were in spectacular ignorance. The Soviet occupation had been deeply traumatic and what followed has deepened wounds. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it – and solutions can happen by resuscitating pre-colonial traditions between Afghans stressing mutual dependence based on respect and dignity for every person. 
 
Q: The Taliban Are A Mystery To So Many Of Us. Who Are They? We Do Not Know What Mullah Omar Looks Like. Also, The Taliban Are Not Nurtured On Afghan Soil, -- They Cannot Understand Us.
 
A: Yes they do not understand how sacred indigenous belief systems and culture are to Afghans  who accept that being Muslim is a way of life, not to be contested for men and women. What is often not recognised is the deep resentment against what Afghans perceive to be presumptuousness of Punjabi domination -- doing kibr – such overweening arrogance – gharur is be ghairat (without honour) as  to them it violates what they take for granted: their codes of identity, community,  friendship, authority, love, even enmity.  Bangladesh happened because Bengalis felt marginalised, persecuted and severely exploited, to them, being Bengali is as important as being Muslim; on the same grounds the Baluchis are also seeking separation. Such developments illuminate how the politics of the Partitions in the Indian Subcontinent has traumatised all people be they Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Afghan, as indeed, Indian.
 
The Taliban, now appear to have become a franchise. Here it is difficult to determine who did what, although the Tehreek-i-Taliban make public acknowledgements, time and again. It is clear there has been no guarantee of safety for human life or position, it has been the rule of the gun. The Cold War has much to answer for –after Soviet occupation over ten million fled across the border to Pakistan and Iran.  This is how the mujhahideen  joined one of  these many political alliances be it Hizb- i-Islami, Ittehad-i-Islami   and so forth--they drove the Soviets out.  Also, disenchanted, many idealistic young boys and men found solace in the ascetism of the Deoband school selected possibly because of its roots in early Islamic strictures. The Deoband School had emerged  in India and was set up by  Muhammed Qasim Nanautawi (1833-77) and  Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (1825-1905 who as Deobandis sought to revive Islamic values based on Shari’a and Tariqah (spiritual practice).  Until the Taliban embraced it, it was little  known. The  leadership of the Taliban studied at the Dar-ul-Ulum Huqqaina in Akhora Khattak, and it was Samiul Haq who mentored  Mullah Omar.  It is inevitable that many Pakistanis  talibs were to  play a critical role as the Taliban are regarded as their brothers. To the Deobandis, there are no boundaries and separate countries for Muslims, although there is one for Islam. 
 
Many who joined the Taliban were young men who studied in particular Punjabi run madarassas funded by Zia’ ul Haq’s military ISI unit in government and has had the tacit support of the Pakistani government since. The madarassas were attended by several hundred orphans and some children who had one or both surviving parents. These were the “children of the jihad’ (as Rashid Anmed has described them) who were learning to survive and cope under extremely punishing conditions: they had never known peace. They had no memories of their tribal genealogies and were unable to recount their tribal and clan affiliations or even remember their abandoned farms and valleys. They were also not aware of the shared heritage or the contributions of multi-ethnic groups and religions minorities in Afghanistan; they only understood their version of Islam. 
 
There is idealism in this school but unfortunately it is fractured. They take a constrained view of women --who are to them, not to be seen or heard. Islam under “an all male brotherhood was a way of life they have been brought up in and have grown accustomed to. They are taught that women are an evil temptation and would distract them from their purpose in life. Women cannot work and no education is permitted. They had to remain indoors or be accompanied by a male relative at all times.  All males had to grow beards. In addition to that the   exact length of the beard to be worn by adult males was stipulated and was a punishable offence; a list of Muslim names to be given to new born babies, abolition of celebrations of Nauroz and traditional sports banned. As indeed a ban on dancing, music or flying kites. All agencies that employed women had to leave the country. TV sets were smashed, sports and recreational activities banned, and the population was disarmed. They also oppose all forms of hierarchy among Muslims but also preach a rejection of other expressions of Islam including the cult of the saints. 
 
Naturally, Afghans feel uneasy with such draconian alienating strictures. The Taliban preach an understanding of Islam which derides tribal culture advocating that Afghans make a complete break with indigenous practices such as Pakhtunwali and they deem munafaqeen or hypocrites, other religious and philosophical systems. Unlike the traditional clergy who valued the cultural and historical ideals of early Islam  that were accommodating of  tribal structures, practices  such as the jirga and Pakhtunwali and, also of religious minorities, the Deobandis denigrate the tribal structures and pursue a purist, exclusive,  doctrinaire understanding that  many Afghans deem as anti-Islamic.  
In South Asia, Islam has for over a thousand years espoused the Hanafi figh. The majority of Afghans, including most of the Ulema, believe in Sufism in principle and rely upon and strongly espouse the Hanafi jurisprudence. Almost 80% of the Afghans belong to the Sunni Hanafi sect, the most liberal of the four sects with a minority sects scattered across the country. Such levels of intolerance have led to continued persecution and random killings of Shia Muslims and others. Thus, the Taliban have demonstrated their interpretations are violently opposed to fundamental Qu’ranic Injunctions which advocate inter-faith dialogues and kindness.
 
Q: What Will Happen After 2014 Worries Many Of Us? Any Comments?
 
A: Most important is that representatives of all Afghans must get together – and put forward their plan for a self-determination and peaceful governance. Well, in these difficult times maybe an inclusive movement could come into being and it would be best to have to advocate selective areas of centralised forms of governance—such as the army, police, public transport with  strong regional bases. Trust needs to be built as factionalism or gundi is rife, and to Afghans it negates the intrinsic and natural unity of their communities. How can trust and co-operation be established?  There is a need for dialogue and scholarship- dissemination of knowledge of their heritage and wisdom. It is only through agreements with all political groups could warring factions cement better understandings. Also, all foreign governments present must take responsibility their actions - and do their best to purge the bitter legacy of human suffering that Afghans have experienced over the last forty years.
 
As we discussed Hamid Karzai and his government of jirgas have had to face many challenges post Taliban. And, there has been so much opposition to his government.  The important thing is that the Constitution of 1964 has been rehabilitated with revisions and the 2004 Constitution in keeping with the Qu’ranic principles according to Hanafi fiqh establishing once again the sanctity of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. There is now an Army to defend Afghans and a police force. However, with departure of NATO and the elections let us hope that wisdom and peace will come to prevail. It needs to be recognised that the Taliban are highly motivated well-armed with funds; they have been playing a waiting game. It is important to co-opt the Taliban into the government and to agree to a cease fire.This is where the international communities must continue to assist Afghanistan with military support  such as an UN peace keeping force. 
 
Q: What Would You See As The Most Pressing Problems Now And What Solutions Must We Apply?
 
A: Firstly, I think there is a great need for leaders from all regions to meet with all political parties –including Taliban to set their differences aside and call a ceasefire for safety of all inhabitants to ensure that citizens receive clean water on tap,food supplies, health and housing provision as mandatory. Very little of the terrain in Afghanistan is cultivable only 10-15% and it remains heavily mined. And the laying of mines in the most fertile agricultural areas and, in fruit growing estates as the orchards of Kandahar is extremely upsetting.  Although experts are trying to remove the mines, one notes that Kabul still has 200 square miles out of 500 square miles covered in mines. It needs to be urgently addressed - mines need to be removed in the major cities, and the countryside. There is an acute shortage of food and people do not have money to buy food. They are completely dependent on aid agencies or food supplies and housing. The Afghan population has been displaced not just once but more than five or six times. Homes have been ransacked and devastation has been immeasurable. 
 
It has been ten years since the first comprehensive United Nations Environment Programme Expert surveys in thirty-five random rural locations and thirty-eight urban locations following the bombing of Afghanistan.  UNEP surveys of drinking water in four cities Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar and Herat show extremely high levels of faecal contamination. This report completed in March 2003 documents air pollution in urban areas mostly from car and truck exhaust and the burning of toxic materials. Scores of children have died of cholera, tuberculosis and typhoid; indeed, many adults are wasting away with these diseases. There are no health facilities for the ordinary Afghan citizen and, this is exacerbated by an acute shortage of medicine and medical personnel. Reports compiled since then note that very little has changed since then. This needs to be addressed immediately, solar energy and building with traditional materials straw etc has been initiated but needs to be done in every region. This would create livelihoods; further cottage industries must be encouraged. We are aware of industries that cause pollution—and these must be avoided, Planting of trees and growing crops with the help of technological innovations would make it possible for a secure food supply.
 
Q: Finally, You Say A Nation State Is Not Viable For Afghanistan. Why Is That?
 
A: As you may know nation states are seen to be not just the ideal but the only form of governance. In Europe various regions once part of the Roman Empire and then subsequently other empires the Hapsburgs, Bourbons and so forth evolved a regional consciousness naturally deciding over three centuries the need to separate to exclude based on of their particular form of Christian worship, language, culture and thence polity: nation states are a consequence of specific cultural and historical events. And yet, they remain negotiable, for example, the boundaries of the former Westphalia State remain unresolved in some instances, as also the recent question of Scottish Independence. 
 
There are many forms of governance that can keep a region together – and, wrongly, the nation state is seen as the only solution. In Afghanistan the synthesising of cultural processes by encounter and exchange happened naturally continuously enriching different spheres of life.  By such time honoured open frontier traditions and practices, Afghanistan has emerged primarily as a confederation of tribes and khanates, a legacy of some thousand centuries. It is also a form of government that the Afghans have preferred, as they are a fiercely independent, egalitarian people who have never favoured a central authority, particularly, if it is seen as being imposed from the outside. Also, as a corollary, the Sunni Hanafi creed encourages decentralised, non hierarchical orders to function with minimum government: state interference is nominal as important decisions are carried out by the tribe and the qawm. Thus as rule by centralism has always been a serious issue of contention in Afghanistan we need to re-think rather than impose solutions by force. Given the fierce egalitarian tradition which now also included, bitter tensions it would have been more advisable to revitalise traditions of governance Afghans are comfortable with alongside a few centralised institutions such as the Army.
 
As a matter of fact the foundation for an Afghan state as a nation state was forced upon them by the British when Anglo-Russian empires divided territories to consolidate their international boundaries at the expense of the peoples inhabiting those regions. The Amir who was appointed was forced to accept British control of foreign policy and this generated a lot of pressure on him to seal his kingdom and centralise administration, something Afghan people were not used to. Inspired by European precedents he established absolutist monarchy and declared himself the Imam of the Afghan millat, the vice-regent of Allah-mujtahid. The powers of the ulema, religious clergy over religious endowments such as waqf were curtailed; they became the paid servants of the state. Inspired by Ottoman janissaries, Abdul Rahman sought to breakdown tribal polity by substituting the idea of a grand community, an Afghaniyat qawm. He split major provinces into districts and sub-districts without taking into account tribal settlements. Thus, the twenty years of his reign witnessed almost continuous warfare to safeguard his kingdom from the moral threat posed by the British. To consolidate his empire, rebellions were crushed by ruthless mass executions and deportation of tribes, for example, the forced resettlement of Ghilzai Pashtuns among the Hazaras, the massacre of Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmen and Tajiks; even the remote mountain people, Kalash of Kafiristan who were animist and some Buddhist were converted and renamed Nuristani.  
 
We must acknowledge David Edwards for his excellent scholarship on this region. He notes that Afghanistan’s predicaments have, “less to do from divisions between groups or ambitions of particular individuals than from the imposition of the ideal of a nation state. The imposition of a centralised, political relationship in Afghanistan and its extension into the precincts of local principalities has caused local principalities and tribes to resist, as much as possible its intrusion and domination. There has been no moral discourse on statehood in Afghan society that was shared by the majority.  It has always been competing forms of moral authority such as the qawm that are challenging the state and its legitimacy and indeed, its role in providing meanings to ongoing events. Afghans acknowledge that they fight among themselves, that bitter enmity exists as it does everywhere, but in comparison to the hierarchical, centralised world, theirs is a world of sure ethical standards and fierce loyalties. In Afghanistan other notions of community have persisted on an equal level with the state, other moral orders have endured despite the consolidation of power by the state and these orders continue to challenge the state and its assertion of supremacy.”  Thus, by respecting indigenous cultural sensitivities, engaging with local support and by revitalising traditional institutions in the process of reconstruction and recovery it is possible that the Afghans can determine their own destiny and the international community will be able to contribute more positively to Afghanistan’s future.
 
Iftikhar Ahmad reports.
 
*Photo Caption - Old Afghanistan map

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7. YOU ARE NOW FULLY INFORMED FOR THE DAY - If you follow the guide above, you will never miss any news event in the world. This means that you will be fully equipped to engage in any news or current affairs discussion anywhere and any place in the world. Best of luck!
 
8. ALL NEWS LINKS ABOVE ORGANIZED ON ONE PAGE - Masterweb has put together a unique page that has all the news links above that you need to adequately keep abreast of Nigerian and world news events - Click here to go to the page ( the Link or URL is http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/NeverMissNewsEvents.html ).
 
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports ] - The 2016 US presidential campaign is turning out to be dramatic. Many analysts have predicted a something close to an easy victory for Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton to have an easy ride in the primaries. I also recall severally downplaying the chances of Republican top-notch, Donald Trump, in some of my write-ups. I was proven all wrong as the results of recent primaries turned in.
 
I kept a vigil with CNN as the results turned in on Tuesday night hoping fighter Hillary will turn Bernie Sanders’ lead in New Hampshire around only to wake up that morning to know I was living in the world of my dreams-people are “feeling the Bern”. Not until I watched my beautiful-looking Hillary concedes defeat to Bernie, I didn’t believe it even though the major headline was “New Hampshire primary results: Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders win”!

 
The US state of New Hampshire held its traditional primary just eight days after the Iowa caucuses. Polling in the Granite State has historically been volatile in the final weeks before the primary. Once Iowa holds its caucuses, many New Hampshire voters are known to traditionally cement their opinions especially in the age of the new media.
 
The state has a reputation for predicting correctly the winner of the eventual nomination. Historically a look at votes cast in New Hampshire shows a candidate received and won the eventual nomination.
 
On the Democratic side, since 1992, Barrack Obama (2012), John Kerry (2004), Al Gore (2000) and Bill Clinton (1996) all won at New Hampshire and eventually won the party nomination.
 
On the Republican side, Governor Mitt Romney (2012), Senator John McCain (2008), Governor George W. Bush (2000 and 2004) and Senator Bob Dole (1996) all won the GOP primaries in the state and became eventual winners in the final analyses.
 
Let us have a look at how the presidential candidates fared in New Hampshire. In the Republican race, Donald Trump has a clear lead with 34% over Marco Rubio’s 11%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders had a clear lead with 60% over Hillary Clinton’s 38%.
 
Let us forget a little about the Republicans and restrict our analyses to the Democrats. I say this because the GOP nomination is still open to more possibilities than their progressive counterparts. If it is not Jeb Bush, it will be Marco Rubio. If it is not Ted Cruz, it should be Donald Trump. But surely the ticket cannot go to Christine Fiorina!
 
For the Democrats, the ticket belongs to whoever is “feeling the Bern” or “fighting for US”. Hillary for America strategists need not be told now that they have grossly underestimated Bernie. They also need not be reminded of the importance of NH primary. They do not need the advice that the time come for a reality check. They cannot continue to rely on Hillary or Clinton to just bring in the votes. Bernie may not be so popular with those outside America, but the results are going on just fine for him. In fact, Bernie’s strategists, the truth be told, are doing a fantastic job.
 
In a parenthesis, the loss in this year’s state’s primary is strange because New England state has long been kind to the Clintons. It is the same state that made, Hillary’s husband, Bill the "comeback kid" in 1992. And Hillary beat Barack Obama there in 2008, salvaging her campaign after a third-place showing in Iowa.
 
Also, the fact that Hillary has about 9% support among younger women, aged 18-34, should concern her handlers because records available show that Bernie cruises home with over 90% support among this strategic population. Whoever invited Madeleine Albright, first woman US secretary of state, to speak at Hillary’s NH campaign rally obviously did not do a good job. Let us hear what she had to say on younger women who are not supporting Hillary: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” Haba Madam! Na by force?
 
Well, I have just been reliably informed that "special place in hell" is Albright’s favourite line which she has used for many years therefore it is not unique to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Again, even at that, she being a longstanding diplomat, Albright should have been more tactful speaking for a political campaign!
 
As a Hillary fan myself, I think it will be good if her handlers can look at the New Hampshire debacle from fresh perspectives. President Obama lost in the state after a good start in Iowa in 2008, yet he still won the election. In this case, I suggest her handlers do as they were doing when they started. They need to avoid attacking Sanders directly. The attacks on his campaign from Hillary for America are becoming too direct in recent times.
 
It appears there is mental fatigue on the part of Hillary’s handlers since the Benghazi Inquiry. In my opinion, the handling of that incidence is the most professional thing her campaign has done. Ever since, it has been forthcoming in providing the gap for Sanders to exploit. This only shows mental fatigue on the part of Hillary for America.
 
While we agree that is not just rocket science, we keep our fingers crossed as the results on these keenly contested primaries come in without engaging in unnecessary prognosis. One thing is sure- US politics will not remain the same after the 2016 election. The results so far show how fast the political establishments are crumbling in both parties if things continue this way. This is where Hillary’s campaign staff must analyse the issues from!

 
Olalekan Waheed Adigun x is a political risk analyst and an independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. Email: olalekan@olalekanadigun.com, adgorwell@gmail.com. Phone: +2348136502040, +2347081901080.
 
*Photo Caption - Hillary Clinton
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Ihechukwu Njoku reports ] - Prophet T.B. Joshua continues to fly the flag for Nigeria abroad, having been selected to choose three young leaders who will represent the nation at an internationally renowned conference across Asia and Europe.
 
 
According to a post on Joshua's official Facebook Page, Humanitarian Affairs, "an international NGO that aims to empower young people who are passionate about social change to make a real impact in the world", selected the pastor for his dedication in developing 'leaders of tomorrow'.  
 
 
Joshua has been designated to "select three Youth Leaders between 18-35 years old to represent Nigeria in the 7th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS)," to be held in August 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam, who "will share the secrets behind his extensive humanitarian efforts around the world".
 
 
T.B. Joshua is well known for his charitable work over the decades, especially the provision of scholarships to students such as Mary Jean Nleya who was sponsored to Harvard University, Yinka Oduwole to the University of Oxford and thousands more to academic institutions worldwide.
 

 
Humanitarian Affairs, a member of the United Nations Global Compact, will bring together over 1,000 leaders and world leading experts from more than 60 countries at the USLS.  
 
 

 
"Ultimately, the organisation envisions building an international network of inspired, empowered and proactive young leaders who will be influential change-makers and decision-makers of the future," their website states.
 
 
One of the keynote speakers at the event, Mr Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations, said, "I think Humanitarian Affairs has created such a wonderful platform for you to gather together to discuss leadership, to discuss your own actions and to deal with humanitarian and development challenges that the world faces."
 
 
Joshua has spearheaded numerous global humanitarian projects including relief in disaster-hit countries such as Haiti and Philippines, alongside support for the physically challenged, widows, little people, orphans and elderly.
 
 
Additionally, he founded a football club for the less-privileged called My People FC, which discovered the likes of SS Lazio and Nigerian midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and FIFA U-17 World Cup MVP Sani Emmanuel.
 
 
He was also ranked among the most famous prophets in history by American website ranker.com, given the highest ranking by Google for institutions within Nigeria and awarded the 'Yoruba Man Of The Decade'.
 
 
Joshua's television station Emmanuel TV recently surpassed 300,000 subscribers on YouTube, making it one of the most subscribed Christian channels worldwide.
 
 
Ihechukwu Njoku ( Email: chuk.njoku@gmail.com ), freelance Nigerian journalist reports.
 
*Photo Caption - T. B. Joshua
 

[ Masterweb Reports: C. K. Ekeke reports ] - I begin this year’s Lenten season with a sense of unbelief.  It is not unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ who enters the city of Jerusalem after his desert 40-day fasting and prayer to face suffering, excruciating pain and ultimately death at the hands of Roman Generals and ignorant Jewish political/religious leaders.
 
No, I begin this season of Lent like the father of a demon-possessed boy in the  gospel of Mark, who cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” – Mark 9:24. 
I begin this season of Lent with utter disbelief about what is happening in my country Nigeria under the watch of President Buhari/APC government. 
 
I am in utter disbelief about the state of democracy in Nigeria today.  It seems that President Buhari – a former military dictator and self-acclaimed democrat does not understand constitutional democracy, rule of law, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of association, etc. 
 
I’m in utter disbelief of the abuse of human rights, disregard for rule of law, crack down on freedom of speech, freedom of association, etc. The Nigerian State is turning into a military dictatorship where all freedoms are denied and punished wherever found.
 
I am in utter disbelief of the killings of unarmed and vulnerable pro-Biafra prayer warriors who were invaded by Nigerian Police and Army and shot at indiscriminately massacring ten of them while several others sustained gunshot-induced injuries all over their bodies and vital organs at their usually monthly prayer meetings at National High School Aba in Abia State.  They were massacred while praying. 
 
I’m in utter disbelief of the rampant shooting of defenseless young pro-Biafra protesters who are peacefully protesting against the unlawful detention of their leader: Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, who was arrested last October by the Department of State Security (DSS) for speaking out against SE marginalization.
 
I’m in utter disbelief of a young school girl who was gunned down in Aba while walking to school by a Nigerian soldier who was angry for loosing one of his personal items.
 
I’m in utter disbelief of the indiscriminate killings of Shia Muslims in Zaria by the army – accusing the group of assassination attempt against the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai. 
 
I’m in utter disbelief of the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Zakzaky and the brazen destruction of Shia Muslim headquarters in Zaria by soldiers directed by Lawal Musa Daura, the Director-General of the Department of the State Service [DSS] according to the report.
 
I’m in utter disbelief of the selective fight against corrupt political officials – the selective arrest and harassment of only PDP members and none from APC including the cronies around the president – even though most, if not all members of APC today were once members of PDP.  Some APC member were in PDP until President Buhari won the presidential election last May and they started switching party. 
 
I’m utterly in disbelief of the brazen cruelty of the military force against vulnerable youngsters, who are suffering due to yoke of ethnic hatred, religious bigotry, punitive policies and corrupt political leadership.
 
I’m in utter disbelief of the indifference that world leaders are showing to hurting and marginalized Biafra group, who are simply protesting against joblessness, lack of infrastructure, and marginalization of the region. 
 
Now, we see the hypocrisy of world leaders - especially America, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.  They are only interested in oil resources, contracts, and do not care about human lives - especially Black lives. 
 
I’m in utter disbelief of the deafening silence of Nigerian media, civil societies, human rights organizations, the elders, the statesmen, the politicians, and off-course the religious leaders, who have not courageously spoken out against the rampant shootings and killings of innocent youths by the Army and Police.  This is travesty and rape of democracy.
 
I’m in utter disbelief that all the institutions – courts, judiciary, and legislative body that suppose to protect, uphold, and balance power in democratic presidential system of government are all tamed by this president. 
 
I’m in utter disbelief that Igbos are killed and forced to remain part of Nigeria even when basis of unity does not exist anymore.  I’m in utter unbelief of such a forced adulterous marriage even when the Holy Books proscribed separation and divorce on certain conditions. Nigeria’s amalgamation expired in 2014 and the nation is fundamentally flawed and until real restructure occurs, Nigeria’s unity does not exist.
 
I’m in utter disbelief that while murderous sect like Boko haram has continued to massacre innocent Nigerians in the northeast and IDP centers across Nigeria despite the claim of the government that Boko haram is technically defeated, while the Nigerian Military and Police are busy shooting and killing innocent and unarmed Biafra youths in SE region of Nigeria.
 
I’m in utter disbelief of the resurgent kidnapping and killings of Royal Fathers, Kings, and Obas for ransom by the Fulani herdsmen in SW.
 
I’m in utter disbelief that President Buhari spoke recently at EU parliament asking for rights and self determination of the Palestine people but will kill the indigenous people of Biafra in SE of Nigeria for peacefully asking for the same rights.  What a hypocrisy.
 
Ten months ago, Nigerians voted out PDP out of power because of massive corruption and chose APC party leadership to pilot the affairs of the nation.  Nigerians wanted change – but the change we are seeing now is not what we voted for. Some democratic gains have been made since 1999 when Nigeria returned to constitutional democratic presidential system of government, but today, Nigeria’s fragile and fledging democracy at risk.
 
In a democracy, people have of freedom of speech to complain and protest against joblessness, poverty, oppression, injustice, and marginalization.  There’s nothing wrong with that in a constitutional democracy.  Nigeria is not practicing military system of government anymore and do not have plans to go back to the brutal time of military dictatorship.  Nigeria’s fragile and fledging democracy at risk if President Buhari is not going to respect the laws of the Land.  If he cannot obey the courts, than Nigeria’s democracy is risk.  If the EFCC, INEC, DSS, Military personnel and other institutions of the Federal government cannot use the rule of engagement democratically and wisely, then Nigeria’s unity is stake.  People will have no options than to defend themselves. 
 
President Buhari/APC, DSS, EFCC, INEC and the Army – please be warned.  Do not destroy Nigeria! Nigeria is a presidential democracy not military dictatorship. 
 
I’m in utter disbelief of some many things, but I remain optimistic and hopeful that President Buhari/APC government will turn-around. 
 
Let me conclude by saying my Lenten prayer:  Lord, I believe; help my unbelief even when I just cannot believe the cruelties of men in power.
 
C. K. Ekeke, M.Div., Ph.D.
Theologian, Author, Activist and Leadership Lecturer
cfsnl@yahoo.com
 
*Photo Caption - C. K. Ekeke



[ Masterweb Reports ] - Masterweb developed this page in a bid to daily keep you abreast of Nigerian and world news events so you are well informed and do not miss any news occurrence in Nigeria and around the globe. Most Nigerian newspapers are updated daily. Nigeria and World News Headlines are uptaded every ten minutes as events unfold in the world. 
 
This news page is a useful tool to both Nigerians and everybody irrespective of his or her nationality and country of residence in keeping abreast of current news around the world. We have millions of satisfied users of this page, some of who have made financial contributions in supporting the page and its component link sections.  
 
Use the links below to update yourself of today's news events - 
 
=> Click To Read Nigerian Newspapers
 
=> Click To Read Nigerian News Headlines
 
=> Click To Read World News Headlines
 
=> Click To Read Nigeria Radio & TV News
 
=> Click To Read World Radio & TV News
 
To adequately keep abreast of Nigerian and world news events daily, below is a guide to follow so you do not miss any single news event in Nigeria and around the globe. This means that the news guide is important to both Nigerians and everybody irrespective of his or her nationality and country of residence.
 
STEPS TO FOLLOW NOT TO MISS ANY SINGLE NEWS ITEM
 
1. STEP ONE - Start-off by subscribing to Masterweb RSS News Feed - This is a one time action. Subscription to Masterweb RSS News Feed allows for the automatic download of our news updates to your computer - that way Masterweb news updates come to you automatically. Click here to subscribe to Masterweb RSS News Feed
 
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2. STEP TWO - Start the day by visiting our Newspapers Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/paperfrmes.html ) and read Nigerian and world news from different sources including Nigerian newspapers.
 
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3. STEP THREE - Visit both our Nigeria News Headlines ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/NigeriaNewsHeadlines.html/ ) and World News Headlines ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/WorldNewsHeadlines.html/ ) several times (up to 12 times) daily as the pages are updated every 45 minutes. During a visit, if the news is not updated, hit the F1 key on your keyboard to refresh the page for the latest news update.
 
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4. STEP FOUR - Check out what are on radio and TV in Nigeria and the world by visiting Nigeria Radio & TV News and World Radio & TV News
 
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5. STEP FIVE - Check out what our news contributors may have posted for the day at our Citizen News ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/ ) and Masterweb Reports Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/Masterweb/ )
 
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6. STEP SIX - Revisit our Newspapers Section ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com/paperfrmes.html ) before bedtime for late updates and/or following day's early updates by Masterweb and Nigerian newspapers.
 
_______
 
7. YOU ARE NOW FULLY INFORMED FOR THE DAY - If you follow the guide above, you will never miss any news event in the world. This means that you will be fully equipped to engage in any news or current affairs discussion anywhere and any place in the world. Best of luck!
 
8. ALL NEWS LINKS ABOVE ORGANIZED ON ONE PAGE - Masterweb has put together a unique page that has all the news links above that you need to adequately keep abreast of Nigerian and world news events - Click here to go to the page ( the Link or URL is http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/NeverMissNewsEvents.html ).
 
*Photo Caption - As seen.

[ Masterweb Reports: Evangelist Chi Benedicta Okonkwo on Love ] - Of this there are five kinds, which vary according to the object upon which love is exercised. The attribute in God is the same; but it is in its exit, or in its termination, that it assumes these different forms.
 

  1. There is the love of complacency or approbation. This is exercised towards a worthy object in which excellencies are perceived. This is exercised by God, in its highest degree, in the love of himself, of his own nature and character, because the infinitely excellent must be to God the highest object of complacent love.

The complacent love of God, therefore, extends not only to himself and his will, but to all his innocent creation and even to inanimate nature.
 
This love of complacency, however, as it is exercised in its highest degree towards himself, so also is it exhibited, in the nearest approach to that, towards those beings who are most like himself, having been made in his nature and likeness. An innocent angel, or an innocent man is therefore by nature a joy to God, as is the child to the father who sees in it a peculiar likeness to himself.
 
But the guilty cannot thus be loved. Sinful man cannot receive such love, so long as sinful. Even the penitent believer in Jesus, until the time of his perfect sanctification in the life to come, and doubtless even then, has access to God only through Christ, and, of himself, can in no respect secure the approbation of God.
 
2.The second kind of love, is the love of benevolence, which corresponds to the idea of God’s goodness towards his creatures. This is the product of his wishes for their happiness. It is not dependent on their character, as is the love of complacency, but is exercised towards both innocent and guilty. It is general in its nature, not special, and exists towards all, even towards devils, and wicked men, because God’s nature is benevolent, and, therefore, he must wish for the happiness of his creatures.
 
That that happiness is not attained, nor attainable, is due, not to him, but to their own sin.
 
When the benevolence of God is exercised actively in the bestowment of good things upon his creatures, it is called his beneficence. By the former, he wishes them happiness, by the latter, he confers blessings to make them so.
 
This is done to the wicked also, as well as to the righteous. It is to this that Christ refers, Matthew 5:45, “ He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.”
 
3.The third form of love is the love of compassion.
 
This corresponds to our idea of pity. It is benevolent disposition to those who are suffering or in distress.
 
This also may be exercised towards the guilty or the innocent, if it be possible to suppose that guilt and suffering are separable. It has been very commonly held that they are

 
inseparable. Pain , suffering and distress have been believed to be the result of sin, and consequently, inseparable from guilt. But this is a mistaken notion. Man in a state of innocence was made capable of physical suffering. That capacity was necessary to the protection of his physical organism.
 
It can be and is also exercised toward the guilty. We see this in the forbearance with which he delays their punishment, in his constant offers of mercy, in his yearnings after their salvation, and most signally, in the gift of his only begotten Son, “ that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
 
4. A fourth form of the love of God corresponds to what we call mercy.
 
This can be exercised only toward sinners.
 
Its very nature contemplates guilt in its objects.
 
It consists, not only in the desire not to inflict the punishment due to sin, and the neglect and refusal to do so, but in the actual pardon of the offender. It cannot be exercised towards a righteous being, because, in him is no sin or guilt to be pardoned.
 
Under the ancient economy, God ruled as theocratic ruler over Israel. Sins of the nation and sins of individuals in their capacity of citizens of the nation, were pardoned.
 
Under that dispensation God occupied to that people the position of an earthly ruler, and consequently could pardon sins against his government at will, upon repentance, and upon merely governmental principle-that is, such as would secure obedience to the law, peace and order, and the welfare of the nation. These were offences against the mere person of the king or the laws of his state, and not against the fundamental principles of holiness and righteousness; hence sovereignty and expediency could decide in each case what might be done, and mercy was exercised and justice dispensed accordingly.
 
But this is very different from the case of God, the righteous judge, the dispenser, not of arbitrary law, but of a law based upon his own nature and that of man, essential obedience to which is necessary, not for maintaining government, but for preserving and maintaining the right and preventing the violation with impunity of eternal law.
 
In both cases God must act in harmony with his whole nature.
 
5. The fifth form of love is that of affection.
 
This differs from that of complacency inasmuch as it does not always demand a worthy object. This is exhibited in the parable of the “ Prodigal Son.”

 
It differs from that of benevolence, inasmuch as its object is not viewed in general with all others, but is one of special interest.
 
It differs from that of compassion and that of mercy, because the object may neither be in distress, nor sinful.
 
It arises from,
 

  1. Mutual relationship; as of the Father to the Son, and of all the persons in the Trinity toward each other; of Christ to his apostles, his disciples and his church, and of the adopted sons to God the Father.
  2. From dependence; as of creatures on the creator, and of the redeemed upon the redeemer.
  3. From ownership; as of God over man of God over Israel, and of Christ over the redeemed. This is illustrated in the lost coin in Luke 15:8,9.

This kind of love originates in each of these ways in man, and, as the Scriptures show, is also found in God.
 
It is from this aspect of God’s love that proceeds grace, which is to be distinguished from love, pity, and mercy.
 
Love, as we have seen, is the general characteristic, exhibiting itself in these five different forms.
 
Mercy is one of these, but is given to the guilt only.
 
Pity is given to guilty or innocent, who may be in distress, pain or suffering.
 
Grace is also given to guilty, or innocent, and does not necessarily suppose distress in the object, but involves an affectionate interest in it, arising either from peculiar relation to it, or ownership of it, or compassion for its dependence.
 
Grace is undeserved favour to innocent or guilty arising from affection.
 
Mercy is undeserved compassion to the guilty only.

By Evangelist Chi Benedicta Okonkwo ( Author/Writer)
Vice-President and Financial Secretary, Nigerian Nationals’ Association, Madrid, Spain.

AUTHOR OF THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:
Efficacy Of Prayer
Breakthrough Deliverance
Hidden Secrets To Fulfilling Your Destiny
 

Evangelist Chi can be reached at +34632325146
Email: chichinwogwugwu@hotmail.com
 
*Photo Caption - Evangelist Chi Benedicta Okonkwo