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The USA must start to plan a reasonable exit strategy as the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan are going badly. But what are the feasible Next Steps, assuming the first point is agreed upon?

1. An international conference to discuss the issue of terrorism under the facade of Islam.

2. A detailed and workable strategy of combating terrorism which puts emphasis on a long-term approach and not just short-time of the current Global War on Terror led by the USA.

3. Networking of all moderate political forces/movements in the region through joint efforts.

4. The USA to open dialogue with Iran, like done with Syria recently.

5. An international conference to be held in say Istanbul to discuss Iraq situation after the USA troop pullout. Plan for a regional peacekeeping force, say Arab League or OIC.

6. Similarly, plan for a pull-out of Western forces in Afghanistan and a similar regional peacekeeping force.

7. Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, and Bangladesh to take lead in providing troops to stabilize both countries after the Western forces leave.

8. Rich Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, etc) to provide funding along with Western donors (read North American, EU and Japan)

9. Strengthening of Arab League and OIC assistance mechanism to provide good governance interventions and other technical assistance for both countries immediately.

10. Finally, a pull-out of Israeli occupation forces from Palestine and eventual independence for the occupied territories. This is the key of the peace strategy. There certainly can be no peace without a resolution of the Palestinian problem. The radical forces in the Muslim world will be diminished politically only with a just solution of the Palestinian issue.

11. Finally, a grand coalition of great powers (EU, USA, China, India, Russia) and Islamic world leadership to plan for a sound stabilizing effort in both countries.

12. A grand coalition of Islamic moderates to defeat extremism from within the Islamic body politic.

Obviously, easier said than done. But we have to start somewhere and the seriousness of the situation demand quick action. Remember time is not on our side and the sooner we act the better for us all. Every one can contribute to make our world peaceful and better. Citizen voices can and should make a difference. Let us act together with one voice for justice and peace.


We are with you Sohail.

Posted by RoadToPeace on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 15:55:58

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