As a measure of damage control following some tension in the Pak-US relations on the Taliban issue and the deal with Sufi Mohammed for the introduction of Taliban brand of Shariah Justice System in Swat and Malakand Division, the Pakistan Embassy in Washington has published a half- page advertisement recently in the Wall Street Journal of New York with a picture of Asif Ali Zardari. It says, "Pakistan and the United States - victims of terror, partners in peace." The advertisement says "The USA and Pakistan can defeat terrorism together and bring prosperity to the Pakistani People. Pakistanis in the trenches; Pakistan is on the front line. Pakistan is defending the entire civilized world, 1700 soldiers killed, 3500 civilians dead, and tens of thousands maimed. This is Pakistan's war, this is Pakistan's blood. But Pakistanis should not stand alone. President Zardari has pledged to "Wipe out the cancer of terrorism before it infects the entire planet". The USA and the world must stand by Pakistan's side in this decisive battle against the terrorists. "The USA and Pakistan, together in victory, defeat is not an option." This is Mr Zardari's first positive and forceful statement to crush Taliban movement along with USA which is spreading terrorism and religious extremism. The majority of the people of Pakistan are also in favor of this policy for their peace of mind and the country's progress and prosperity. There are some radical religious elements, however, who believe that if Taliban come to power, they will introduce Nizam-i-Islam in the country. This is not going to happen. Taliban's entire religious mindset spread out all over the country. The government has no control over madaris. They have become absolutely irrelevant to modern times and progressive concepts about Islam developed by modern scholars like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allama Iqbal and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Many world scholars of Islam have also written volumes on the teachings of Islam in the modern perspective, but they are not taught in our madaris It cannot be over emphasized that unless the syllabus of our madaris is changed we cannot get rid of the Taliban mindset of rigidity and cruelty mixed with a mere ritualistic approach. The government of Gen. Musharraf, which propagated enlightened moderation throughout its tenure miserably failed to implement the madaris reforms when the opportunity offered itself. Now it is very difficult when our army is fighting a war with Taliban, but when their movement is crushed madaris reform should be the top priority of the government to flush the breeding grounds of these religious fundamentalists. In the United States, President Obama is busy in cleaning the debris of Guantanamo Bay left behind by Mr. Bush. President Obama has announced restarting the military commissions to try suspected terrorists. After the detainees are given legal protection, the trials of thirteen defendants will be started in September. Five of the thirteen are charged with helping orchestrate the September 11 attacks. The rest of the 241 detainees will be released, or transferred to other countries or tried in civilian US courts. Some will be held indefinitely as POWs with full Geneva Conventions rights. Meanwhile in a rare dramatic move in bipartisan unity both Republican and Democratic members of the Congress voted 9 to 6 to keep Guantanamo prison open foe foreseeable future and forbid the transfer of any detainees to facilities in the US.. They have expressed fear that if the terrorists are brought to the US soil from the Guantanamo prison which is on Cuban territory it will be a great threat to the American homeland. In a forceful rebuttal President Obama has called the Guantanamo Bay a torture cell where hundreds of detainees were kept without trial in violation of their human rights and Geneva Conventions. This was a misguided experiment by President Bush which resulted in a mess. Consequently, he said prolonged detention of terrorism suspects who cannot be tried is the toughest problem we are facing. Mr. Obama strongly defended his anti -terrorism policies and his commitment to close the Guantanamo prison. He said roughly 240 prisoners held at Guantanamo will be shifted to maximum security prisons of the United States. Immediately after President Obama's speech, former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on TV to deliver a rejoinder as part of his media campaign in defense of Mr. Bush, s national security policies. A prominent American historian has observed that it is unprecedented that a vice president of an outgoing administration should lambast the new administration so early. There is no doubt Mr. Bush's national security policies which included the creation of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Presence where detainees whose crimes had not been proved in the courts of law, were subjected to inhuman torture, made USA the target of worldwide hatred and a burning desire for revenge in the Islamic world. This has also given rise to a fear in the USA of reprisal attacks by the terrorists. President Obama wants to clear the mess created by the Bush administration in order to reduce the possibility of the reprisal attacks by Muslim terrorists on the US homeland. E-mail: burhanhasan@hotmail.com