Category Archives: Pakistan

Pakistan dares to ask: will school attack finally end myth of the ‘good Taliban’?

PK1Decades of state support for jihadis has led to national confusion over who the real enemies are. But the latest attack might be a watershed

By  in Islamabad, The Observer

It is not just the survivors of Tuesday’s assault on Peshawar’s Army Public School who have been reliving the nightmarish attack that left 132 teenage boys dead. The entire country has been traumatised by graphic accounts of gunmen spraying bullets into a hall full of children and then later sadistically killing others after checking whether their parents served in the military.

On Wednesday, Pakistan’s army made a point of letting scores of television crews trample over the crime scene in order that they could broadcast pictures of rooms blasted by suicide bombers, floors covered with pools of barely dried blood, and the sad detritus of an ordinary school day suddenly interrupted by seven terrorists.

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Carving out new provinces is not a solution to the administrative issues faced by Sindh

map_sindhKarachi experiencing a demographic earthquake, moot told

By Saher Baloch

KARACHI: Carving out new provinces is not a solution to the administrative issues faced by Sindh, speakers said on the first day of a two-day peace conference held here on Saturday.

The conference titled ‘Exploring peace and reconciliation alternatives: towards a Karachi for all,’ is being held by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler).

With a variety of noted speakers for the day having three sessions, the opening speech and introduction to the conference was given by executive director of Piler Karamat Ali. He said the aim of the conference was to bring together people from various fields and classes to speak and debate about ideas they felt closest to them.

He spoke at length about the initial migration in the city, how it further developed when people started inviting more people to work here and how the situation deteriorated over the years, making labourers one of the most vulnerable groups in the city at present.

“We need to remember while shunning another person on the basis of ethnicity that they are willing to do the work that we look down upon. We need each other,” Mr Ali said.

Next in the line was Dr Kaiser Bengali, senior economist and adviser to the chief minister of Balochistan. In his presentation on ‘Karachi: a city in transition’, Dr Bengali raised pertinent points about the present demography of the city, the growing differences between various ethnicities inhabiting it and its solutions. Presenting statistics, he said, starting from a Sindhi city to a Mohajir city, Karachi was now in the middle of what he described as a “demographic earthquake” and on its way to become a Pakhtun city in the future.

“Its reason is that there is an exodus of Pakhtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to a high birth rate, increase in household size (meaning number of people per home) and lack of employment in that province, which means that by 2045, Karachi will be dominated by the Pakhtun population.”

He pointed out that the Seraiki-speaking population was also increasing in the city, mostly migrating from south Punjab. “In the future, the Seraiki speakers with their almost 80 per cent population will be the next in line to demand their rights and an electoral seat,” he added.

Explaining further, he said: “This demographic earthquake is bound to create a conflict in the city and our job should be to manage the conflict. Creating a province does not seem like a solution to counter the conflict, but one that might further complicate the situation.”

Read more » DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1152134

Apologists will be regarded as terrorists, allies of terrorists: Sherry Rehman

Sherry Rehman

Sherry Rehman

By Dawn.com

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman said Wednesday that if anyone engaged in the apologist narrative when it comes to terrorism and terrorist attacks, they would be considered as terrorists and allies of the terrorists.

Time has come for a decision and anyone who presents justification for acts of terrorism will be regarded as a traitor.

“Whoever is a friend of the terrorists is a traitor,” Rehman said addressing media representatives in Peshawar.

Read more » DAWN
S
ee more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1151601/

Candlelit Vigil in Brampton, Canada for the victims of Peshawar incident.

Candlelit Vigil in Brampton, for the victims of Peshawar incident.

Candlelit Vigil in Brampton, for the victims of Peshawar incident.

Courtesy: Social media

Any attempt to harm me or arrest me would lead to an uncontrollable situation in Pakistan, says Mualana Abdul Aziz.

MAA

Suicide attack threats again ring out of Lal Masjid

By Kalbe Ali

ISLAMABAD: Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid has blamed two persons for whipping up the furore over his remark that the massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar was a “reaction” to the military operation against militants.

“This campaign against me is a conspiracy hatched by Amin Shaheedi and Faisal Raza Abidi,” he told the Friday congregation, adding that “I warn that they are testing our patience”.

Journalist Raza Bangash, who was among the media persons covering the event, told Dawn that the maulana “also remarked that people who had gone astray construed his opinion as a confessional statement”.

Maulana Amin Shaheedi and Raza Abidi, whom Maulana Aziz accused of fanning public sentiments against him, are, respectively, leader of Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM – Unity of Muslims Council) and a former PPP senator.

Many congregation members and Raza said Maulana Aziz criticised the members of civil society who protested his views outside the Lal Masjid the previous day and had planned more protests on Friday evening against him equating the victims of terrorism and those killed for terrorism.

Maulana Aziz poured sarcasm on the civil society people demonstrating and lighting candles for the Peshawar dead and said they should also have felt pain for the 86 madressah students killed in Waziristan and other deaths in military operations.

“He stated that any attempt to harm him or arrest him would lead to an uncontrollable situation in the country,” the official told Dawn.

“My brother, his family and many people dear to me and a large number of students were killed in army operation here (in Lal Masjid in 2007), but I did not raise such hue and cry,” he said.

Maulana Aziz suggested to the military and political leadership to negotiate peace with the Taliban, ostensibly for a more worthy cause.

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Pakistan Army, ISAF to target Mullah Fazlullah in drone attack: Report

PAF has bombed Fazlullah's hideouts in Afghanistan.  Pakistan’s Ministry of defence has not confirmed the strikes.

PAF has bombed Fazlullah’s hideouts in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s Ministry of defence has not confirmed the strikes.

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army and US-led forces in Afghanistan have decided to target Tehreek-e-Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah using drones rather than a ground operation in the areas where he is believed to be taking sanctuary.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was informed about the decision to take out Fazlullah nicknamed the “Radio Mullah”, who is said to be in contact with the Peshawar school attackers during the assault which left 148 people dead, mostly school children, The Express Tribune reported today.

Citing sources, the paper said that although Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and ISI chief Rizwan Akhter have provided Afghan authorities the audio proof of attackers talking to Fazlullah during the assault, Army is currently refraining from chasing targets across the border.

“The audio recording, handed to Afghan authorities, was in Pashto,” he paper said, citing sources.

Read more at: The Economic Times

 

Pakistan: Jama Hafsa Students in Islamabad Extend Support To ISIS

Courtesy: ARY News » Zem Tv » DailyMotion
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ead more » http://www.zemtv.com/2014/12/19/jama-hafsa-students-extend-support-to-isis/

Infuriated civil society demands arrest of Lal Masjid cleric

Maulana Abdul Aziz Refused to condemn Peshawar Massacre of the Innocents children

Maulana Abdul Aziz Refused to condemn Peshawar Massacre of the Innocents children

ISLAMABAD: A large number of civil society protesters gathered outside the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in protest against remarks of the mosque cleric who declined to condemn the barbaric Peshawar attack that claimed lives of over 130 children,ARY News reported.

The protesters said they would got the FIR registered against Red Mosque cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz for his hate remarks.

The peaceful protesters said the capital administration must immediately arrest the cleric for his remarks supporting Taliban who massacred innocent children.

Read more » ARY News
Learn more » http://arynews.tv/en/infuriated-civil-society-demands-arrest-lal-masjid-cleric/

Peshawar attack: Anupam Kher writes open letter to terrorists

Anupam KherBy Dawn.com

Devastated by the news of the recent attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, Bollywood icon Anupam Kher has written an open letter to terrorists involved in the attack, reported Hindustan Times as it copied a copy of the letter.

Following are the words the renowned icon wrote:

Every time you commit a mindless act of terrorism, I die a little. Truth be told, I have been dying quite often of late; little by little.

I have died when bombs go off in civilian areas, when bystanders are held hostage, when airlines are hijacked, when defenceless people are killed and when the unarmed are sold as slaves.

But today, when you butchered over 130 children in cold blood in a school in Peshawar, I fear there is nothing left in me. I don’t know what your objective was, but you have certainly reduced me to a dead man walking.

What tenet of religiosity can you quote to justify such slaughtering of children? What twisted perception of which faith can you claim to adhere to? Does it require bravery to shoot barefaced children, innocents who do not understand the concept of conflict, much less the evil face of terrorism?

Killing children cannot be an act of faith in any religion. According to early reports, you are the same monsters who tried to kill Malala Yousufzai on October 9, 2012.

You did not kill her; her bravery won her the Noble Prize earlier this month.

Words cannot adequately despise the monstrosity which you have committed. True, there have been greater pogroms in history such as Lidice, Dachau, the purges of Stalin, the Cultural Revolution of Mao, the killing fields of Cambodia. But these were political movements or results of conflict.

What you have done today is something not reflected in history; the slaughter of innocents.

I cannot ascribe a category to which you could possibly belong. Even animals kill for a reason; out of fear or hunger. But you let loose bullets out of senselessness. Truly, you are beyond evil.

Pictures of war and conflict often move me. Today it was different. I saw a picture of a father who had tied the shoelace of his son before he sent him to the ill-fated school.

‘I have the shoe, but I have no son…’ he lamented.

I was not moved. I broke down.

Your dastardly act today will have united parents everywhere and earned you their curses. Time will prove that their curses will not have been in vain.

Courtesy: DAWN
Read more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1151602/

No more excuses for Taliban violence, Bhutto heir tells Pakistan’s leaders

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 25, says prime minister and Imran Khan letting down nation by not backing firm military action

By  in Mohenjodaro

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the youthful heir apparent to one of south Asia’s most famous dynasties, has launched a scathing attack on his political opponents who he said must stop “making excuses” for Taliban violence.

The 25-year-old son of the assassinated prime minister Benazir Bhutto said Nawaz Sharif, the country’s current leader, and the opposition politician Imran Khan, were “letting down the people” by not backing firm military action against the Taliban.

“Perhaps they are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome,” Bhutto Zardari said, referring to cases of hostages who sympathise with or even assist their captors. “There is no reason why the national leaders, the so-called leaders, should not speak out against people who are murdering our citizens, murdering our armed forces and claiming responsibility.”

The remarks are likely to further burnish his reputation as both a brash new arrival on Pakistan‘s political scene but also the most outspoken politician in the country on the issue of militancy and extremism.

He does not sit in parliament, but wields significant influence over the Pakistan People’s party (PPP), of which he is “patron in chief”. The party has been led in the past by his grandfather, his mother – who was killed while campaigning in 2007 – and his father, Asif Ali Zardari. Khan and other right-wing politicians have been criticised for handling the Pakistani Taliban with kid gloves, in a so-far unsuccessful bid to lure them into peace talks.

On Saturday the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan ( TTP ), as the country’s deadly coalition of militants is known, signalled its appreciation of Khan’s approach by announcing the movement wanted him to sit on a committee with four extremist clerics known to sympathise with militant aims. The TTP said Khan and the others could represent its interests in peace talks with the government.

Khan brushed off the embarrassing endorsement, saying “the TTP should select their own Taliban representatives for the peace talks”.

Even mass-casualty suicide attacks on civilians have at times elicited only meek condemnations. Many politicians are reluctant even to identify the culprits as the TTP.

Bhutto Zardari said the tactic had been disastrous, emboldening extremists to target civilians, including Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl education activist who nearly died in 2012 after being shot in the head by a Taliban assassin. “This is why people like Malala become targets because the politicians, or the so-called leaders of this country, can’t find the courage to speak out when a 16-year-old girl could. If we all speak in one voice, they can’t kill us all,” he said.

The TTP has used a highly effective intimidation campaign against liberal and left-leaning political parties and journalists to silence many of its natural critics. Bhutto Zardari said he could speak out only because of the vast security operation that surrounds him at all times and heavily restricts his travel in Pakistan, where he spends much of his time at his fortress-like family compound in Karachi.

“I have a lot of security – I lost my mother to the Taliban because of a lack of security – and that explains partly why I can be so vocal,” he said. “But so does Imran Khan. Nawaz Sharif is the prime minister of Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif is the chief minister of Punjab. They all have more security than I do. They have no excuse.”

In the past Khan has said strident rhetoric might endanger the lives of his supporters and party activists. Bhutto Zardari has shown no such caution, even though he hopes thousands of members of the public will be attracted to numerous cultural events he has organised across Sindhin the coming weeks. They are part of a festival he has promoted as a deliberate challenge to extremists and militants he derisively calls “cavemen”.

Read more » The Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/02/taliban-violence-excuses-bilawal-bhutto-zardini-pakistan-military-action

Pakistan’s Tolerance of Jihadis Backfires Badly

nex

Pakistan used the militants for its own objectives of expanding Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, leading to the rise of the Taliban. ~ Husain Haqqani

By 

Pakistanis are still grappling with the tragedy of the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar that left at least 141 people, most of them children, dead and scores injured. There has been an outpouring of grief internationally, and the Pakistani public is visibly outraged. But the question being widely asked is whether Pakistan’s military and political leaders can transform grief and outrage into a clear policy that would rid the country of its reputation as both a victim of and magnet for terrorists.

Even before this incident, Pakistan had one of the highest casualty rates at the hand of terrorists. About 19,700 civilians and 6,000 security force personnel have been reported killed in terrorism related violence in Pakistan since 2003. But the country refuses to develop a comprehensive approach to fighting or containing the 33-odd terrorist groups believed to be operating on Pakistani soil.

“The question being widely asked is whether Pakistan’s military and political leaders can transform grief and outrage into a clear policy that would rid the country of its reputation as both a victim of and magnet for terrorists.”

The latest attack is the Taliban’s response to the Pakistan army’s military operation against the terrorist safe haven in North Waziristan, part of the tribal region along the border with Afghanistan. Jihadis from all over the world had congregated in the tribal areas to fight as Mujahedeen against the Soviets during the 1980s. After the Soviets left, Pakistan used the militants for its own objectives of expanding Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, leading to the rise of the Taliban.

Read more » Huffington Post
See more » http://www.huffingtonpost.com/husain-haqqani/pakistan-school-attack-jihadis_b_6337112.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Pakistan mourns after Taliban Peshawar school massacre

Mourn2The Pakistani city of Peshawar is burying its dead after a Taliban attack at a school killed at least 132 children and nine staff.

New images from the school show the brutality of the attack, with pools of blood on the ground and walls covered in pockmarks from hundreds of bullets.

Mass funerals and prayer vigils for the victims are currently under way.

Gunmen had walked from class to class shooting students in the Pakistani Taliban’s deadliest attack to date.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30507836?OCID=twitterasia

Our denial killed children in Peshawar

Photo credits: Social media.

Photo credits: Social media.

By Farrukh Khan Pitafi

There is no sight uglier than a child’s corpse. I can say this because I have seen one dying before my eyes.

When a child dies, no words can console the grieving hearts of parents. And a cowardly terror attack on a school just snatched over a hundred children from the warm embrace of their parents in Peshawar.

Just try understanding the magnitude, the size of this all. More than a hundred families will now have their child-shaped holes in their lives forever. Parents all over the country will think twice before sending their children to schools again.

The children that survived the ghastly attack will never be the same again; their innocence, their childhood gone. It takes years for trauma victims to recover. Some don’t recover even after that.

The question on every mind is, when the grieving is over, will the nation unite against the spectre of terrorism?

If the past is any guide, the sad answer would be no.

Also read: Militant siege of Peshawar school ends, 141 killed

Pakistan is given a lot of credit for being a resilient nation. I think most of that is down to the state of denial we choose to live in.

There are always a myriad conspiracy theories circulating within our society. For reasons unknown, we choose to believe them.

We find the distant, often most improbable explanations for simple acts of violence plaguing our nation. Our workplaces, public places, government offices, security installations, hospitals, places of worship and now schools all have come under attack.

After every gruesome incident, TTP or one of its uncountable affiliates takes responsibility; often releases video clips with the assailant’s taped speeches before attack, and yet we refuse to believe it. That state of denial, in essence, is the terrorist’s biggest weapon and his ultimate victory.

Sorry rehabilitation facilities

The logical question after a tragedy of this magnitude is about the rehabilitation of those who survive. Of the amputees, the irreparably wounded, and in this case, the innocent minds scarred for a lifetime.

Read more » DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1151409

“This terrible tragedy has shaken the conscience of the world” ~ Indian Prime Minister Modi

ModiLetter“This terrible tragedy has shaken the conscience of the world”- Indian PM talked to his Pakistani counterpart and he appeals that schools all over Indian territory will observe 2-minute silence for Pakistan victims- Terrorism is a global phenomenon- A menace who is shattering our societies and killing our children and their hopes and dreams- Entire globe has standup to support us on PESHAWAR TRAGEDY- A visionary leadership has to capitalize this unprecedented international support- Pakistan has to behave like a reliable not hostile neighbor to its neighbouring states- PAK-INDIA peace is essential to kill terrorism in the region- Indian PM MODIs announcement of 2 minutes silence in schools of all over India is a great diplomatic and human gesture- let us play our role and do our part of job to illuminate terror from our land.T

News courtesy: vis Social media (Facebook)

Massacre of the Innocents: Death Comes Again to Peshawar

The Earth is shaking, the sun eclipsed, the sky is raining blood.

The Earth is shaking, the sun eclipsed, the sky is raining blood.

I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches.
My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me – I felt as though it was death that was approaching me.
I folded my tie and pushed it into my mouth so that I wouldn’t scream. The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again.
When I crawled to the next room, it was horrible. I saw the dead body of our office assistant on fire.
She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned.
(a surviving student’s account)

Read more » Brown Pundits
See more » http://brownpundits.blogspot.ca/2014/12/massacre-of-innocents-death-comes-again.html

Schools across India pay silent tribute to victims of Peshawar terror attack.

Schools

Schools across India pay silent tribute to victims of Peshawar terror attack.

Courtesy: ‪#‎IndiawithPakistan‬

Via Facebook

We stand with grieving families – World Sindhi Congress

unicefOur hearts goes out to the families who lost their young kids and to families of the teachers. We believe beside Taliban, Pakistan State is equally responsible for the massacre. Pakistan security agencies created them, trained them and financed them.

Intolerance and hatred has no boundaries and innocent citizens are paying the price. Pakistan security agencies along with petro dollars brought the massacres of innocent children. This will never ends until our security agencies stop considering them Pakistan assets and to use them as proxies inside and outside the country!

We stand with grieving families!

Courtesy: Via Social media (Facebook)

Peshawar attack condemned by UK leaders

UKPeshawar attack condemned by UK leaders and Asian groups

Politicians and Asian groups in Britain have condemned the attack by the Pakistani Taliban on a school in Peshawar in which 141 people died. Prime Minister David Cameron called the killings “shocking” and “horrifying”.

Kully Singh said: “The people that did this are neither Muslims or human. They are pure evil.”

Read more » BBC
Learn more » http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30494134

Canada condemns ‘sinister’ terrorist attack on Pakistani school

Harper

‘I think it is beyond our comprehension why somebody would target children’ ~Prime Minister Stephen Harper

By Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

The burned-out buildings dotted the landscape of Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled Swat Valley as veteran Canadian aid worker David Morley drove the bumpy roads with a local aid worker more than three years ago.

“This used to be a boys’ school, that used to be a girls’ school, that used to be a clinic,” Morley recalled his Pakistani colleague telling him.

“What’s he going to be thinking today?”

‘I think it is beyond our comprehension why somebody would target children’ -Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Morley, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Canada, did not mince words Tuesday as news emerged of the suicide attack that killed at least 141 people — the vast majority of them children — at a school in Peshawar, the Pakistani city abutting the Khyber Pass leading to Afghanistan.

“This is a crime against humanity and it’s against civilized norms because we want to nurture and care for our children,” Morley said in an interview.

“We want them to learn and educate, and this is heinous act against all of those norms.”

The attack sparked similar condemnation in Canada and abroad. Many viewed it as a new low in the behaviour of Taliban terrorists, who took responsibility for the attack.

Students ranging from Grade 1 through Grade 10 accounted for most of the dead. They were killed along with their seven attackers, all of whom were wearing explosive suicide vests. Another 121 students and three staff members were injured.

Harper offers condolences

Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his condolences to the families of the victims. It’s hard enough to understand the motives that underlie a terrorist attack, he said, but even more so when the targets are innocent children.

Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird has condemned the attack on the school, which he called cowardly and sinister. (Hasan Jamali/Associated Press)

“It’s hard for any of us, as rational and compassionate people, to understand terrorism — to understand why people would want, in the name of some political cause, to simply terrorize, hurt kill innocent people, whole sections of society,” Harper told a news conference in Quebec City.

“But I think it is beyond our comprehension why somebody would target children. As a father, your heart just breaks when you see that kind of thing.”

Read more » CBC
Learn more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-condemns-sinister-terrorist-attack-on-pakistani-school-1.2874900

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj cancels dinner for MPs in view of Pakistan school attack

india

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj cancels dinner for MPs in view of Pakistan school attack

Sushma Swaraj cancels dinner for MPs in view of Pakistan school attack

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s dinner for Members of Parliament on Tuesday night was cancelled in view of the terror attack on a school in Peshawar in which at least at least 160 people, mostly children, were killed.

“In view of the massacre of innocent children in Pakistan, tonight’s dinner hosted by me for Members of Parliament is hereby cancelled,” Swaraj tweeted. In the bloodiest terror attack in Pakistan in years, nearly 160 people, including at least 124 children, were killed by heavily-armed Taliban suicide bombers who stormed the army-run school and took several hostages, a throwback to the 2004 Beslan school siege by Chechen rebels.

Read more » People Read
Learn more » http://in.peopleread.net/news/india/68487/

Former President describes Taliban as Bokoharam of Pakistan

Former President of Pakistan, Asif Zardari

Former President of Pakistan, Asif Zardari

Former President describes militants as Bokoharam of Pakistan

Condemns the Peshawar school attack, asks Party to mount relief and rehabilitation work

Calls for fighting to the finish ‘existential threat’ to  Pakistan

Islamabad December 16, 2016: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has denounced the militants’ attack on the school in Peshawar killing over 130 innocent children as ‘most barbaric, atrocious and inhuman that will hang the heads of every civilized person in any age and any clime’.

In a statement denouncing the incident the former President said the Bokoharam of Pakistan striking in the fashion of their kinsmen in Africa on Tuesday morning in Peshawar by targeting school children is a dark day in the history of this country. The crime has been committed on a dark day of our history when Pakistan was dismembered this day in 1971, he said.

The monstrous cruelty and sheer barbarism together with the symbolism of perpetrating it today should open the eyes of all those who give the nation lectures that the exterminated militants are ‘martyrs in the cause of a noble fight’.

Let there be no doubt or mistake that the religious extremists and fanatics are the worst enemies of the country and its people. There is no alternative to fight them to the finish for the very survival of Pakistan and our future generations. The absence of alternative to fighting the monster must make the mind of every self proclaimed puritan very clear, the former President said.

Mr. Zardari said that this incident should also strengthen the resolve of the nation to stand together against this existential threat to the security and stability of the country.  ‘Let us be clear’, the former President said, adding also, ‘the enemy is not external but internal; it lives and thrives in our midst and is nurtured and sustained in the name of religion’.

Expressing profound condolences the former President prayed for eternal rest to all the martyred, early recovery of those injured and patience to the bereaved families.

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also directed the Party leaders to suspend all activities and immediately mount efforts aimed at relief and rehabilitation of the victim families. He also called upon the Party workers to visit the hospitals and donate blood to those injured.

Read more » Media Cell PPP
Learn more » http://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/former-president-describes-militants-as-bokoharam-of-pakistan/

Schools in Canada lower flags for Pakistani students!

A Pakistani girl, who was injured in a Taliban attack in a school, is rushed to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. - Photo credits: Social media.

A Pakistani girl, who was injured in a Taliban attack in a school, is rushed to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. – Photo credits: Social media.

Peel schools lower flags in support of people killed at Pakistan school

By

TORONTO – Flags will fly at half-mast outside of Peel District School board schools in support of those killed at Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. The flags outside of the schools will fly at half-mast until the end of day Friday, Dec. 19.

“We were all shocked and saddened by the tragic events that transpired at Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, today. Our thoughts are with all those affected, and we acknowledge the bravery of everyone who reacted immediately to protect the children and staff,” a press release from the school board read. A spokesperson for the Pakistani military said Tuesday that 132 children were among the 141 people killed when the school was attacked by Taliban fighters.

Read more » Global News
Learn more » http://globalnews.ca/news/1729686/peel-schools-lower-flags-in-support-of-people-killed-at-pakistan-school/

“Watching TV and can’t stop crying.” – Priyanka Chopra

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra. Bollywood mourns

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra. Bollywood mourns

Bollywood mourns Peshawar attack

by Asfia Afzal

As the Taliban attack on a military school in Peshawar has claimed more than 120 lives of school going children; people from across the globe have denounced the monstrous attack on humanity. Bollywood celebrities took to Twitter to show their concern regarding the Peshawar killings in Pakistan.

Ace director Karan Johar said, “The Peshawar killing is just heartbreaking, the death of humanity on every level, helplessness is the only feeling.”

Ritesh Deshmukh said, “Death of Humanity, Wake up World it’s not their issue it’s our issue we need to stand up. #PeshawarAttack”.

Dabbang actress Sonakshi Sinha shared her dismay regarding the recent incident and said, “Oh god! What’s happening in this world? Times like these make you question humanity. Everyone please pray for what’s happening in Peshawar. Terrorism has no religion. People who can do such a thing have no God. Prayers with all the parents and children going through this.”

Priyanka Chopra tweeted, “Watching TV and can’t stop crying. Can’t believe how religion can be used for such a horrid act of violence. No God says it’s ok to kill! and kids?!. I send out a prayer. Please God in whichever form and whatever name. Please teach your children to value human life. I pray for peace. #Peshawar”.

Read more » Business Recorder
See more » http://www.brecorder.com/arts-a-leisure/44-arts/211361-bollywood-mourns-peshawar-attack.html

Army chief in Peshawar, vows to hit terrorists hard

Militant siege of Peshawar school over, at least 131 killed

By Agencies | Zahir Shah Sherazi | Mateen Haider | Hassan Jahangiri | Abdul Hakim

PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials say the siege at an army-run school on Warsak road school is over, and authorities are now sweeping the area. Three officials, on condition of anonymity, told AP the operation to clear the school has ended. At least 131 people, most of them children, died when Taliban gunmen attacked the school in the morning. …..

….  6:42pm – Army chief in Peshawar, vows to hit terrorists hard

Army chief General Raheel Sharif has reached Peshawar and vowed to continue the fight against the militants until they are completely eliminated from the country.

DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa posted on twitter that the tragic incident has saddened that COAS, but at the same time he has said that, “our resolve has taken new height. Will continue go after inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination”.

Gen Sharif said that, “this ghastly act cowardice of killing innocents clearly indicates they (militants) are not only enemies of Pakistan but enemies of humanity”.

“They have hit at the heart of the nation, but let me reiterate they can’t in any way diminish the will of this great nation,” the army chief was quoted as saying by the DG ISPR.

Read more » DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1151203

 

Footprints: ‘Kill and dump’ in Sindh

Footprints: ‘Kill and dump’ in Sindh

By Saher Baloch

Sarwech Ali Pirzado’s grave stands out in the ancestral Pirzado graveyard in Balhreji, Larkano district. A red Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) flag is spread over the grave. Another party flag flutters beside it. Known as ‘little Moscow’, Balhreji has seen many socialist and communist movements, evidence of which is found on the main entrance to the street where the graveyard is located. There is a plaque here in memory of “social reformer Muhib Hussain Pirzado”.

The area has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, as the venue where families from across Sindh receive the tortured bodies of their relatives — activists of Sindh’s nationalist parties who hailed largely from Larkano district.

Comment by Muneeb – – “After the success of this strategy in Balochistan they have initiated it in Sindh as well. Needless to say it is an overly short sighted move and would in turn give additional ideological fodder to secessionists. Another factor which Saher should have covered was induction of militant Islamist proxies of state to fill in the void left by secular nationalists, in Balochistan a new FATA is in the making for short sighted gains. It would have been interested to read about such happening in Sindh, as well. We never learn!

Sitting on a charpoy in his modest home, Sarwech’s father Lutuf Pirzado wore an expression of resigned acceptance as he mentioned his son’s affiliation with the JSMM’s student wing, the Jeay Sindh Students Federation (JSSF). Himself an active member of the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy in the 1980s, Lutuf received 15 lashes in prison for wall-chalking and demanding the release of communist leader Jam Saqi.

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Why Pakistan needs secularism

By Akif Khan

In Pakistan, liberals are often accused of working on the Western agendas and being covert agents of “enemies” of Pakistan. They are also thought to be the ones who malign Pakistan’s image by cherry-picking few mishaps in the country. Let us explore the basis of these accusations and why these liberal “fascists” cry for secularism and liberalism and are opposed to Islamic system (aka Khilafat) in the country.

First of all there is this national narcissistic attitude and national state of denial. The incoherent syllabus, media and jingoist protectors of the “ideological boundaries” reinforce this state of narcissism and delusion. We need to realize that there are issues here and we have to address them. The first stage is – to identify these problems, the second is speaking up, third creating awareness and the last stage is where we will be able to move towards finding solutions.

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Pakistan’s overarching threat landscape

armyBy Talat Masood

The military operation in North Waziristan has clearly met with some notable success. Apparently, more than 80 per cent of the area has been cleared and the TTP has become factionalised and is under considerable pressure. Last week, there was also the good news that the security forces killed a top al Qaeda commander, Saudi-born Adnan el Shukrijumah, in an encounter in South Waziristan. Undoubtedly, a lot of credit for turning the tide against the militants at the operational level goes to General Raheel Sharif and to our valiant soldiers who continue to sacrifice their lives to defend and maintain the integrity of the state. But this is only the clearing and to some extent the holding phase of the operation. The major work of rebuilding the devastated areas and rehabilitating the IDPs still remains.

The larger security threat facing Pakistan, however, is multi-dimensional and complex. In contrast, the interest, comprehension and response of our national leaders are intangible. We have four categories of militants — globally oriented, Afghanistan specific, India and Kashmir directed and domestically oriented. These groups work independently but also form alliances to boost their overall capability. In addition, there is an ongoing insurgency in Balochistan. We also cannot be oblivious to the potential emergence of the Islamic State (IS). There are unconfirmed reports that more than 15,000-20,000 volunteers from Pakistan are fighting in Syria and Iraq. Some of these may return and pose a threat, especially in less-governed parts of the country. Karachi remains a perpetual battleground for militant groups of the main political parties and the country frequently suffers at the hands of sectarian militias. This problem is allowed to fester and left to the provincial governments to deal with in a half-hearted manner. On the external front, volatility on the Line of Control and the working boundary has acquired a new life of its own. What I have described is well known, but lost in the din of everyday life and as we are distracted by ego battles of our leaders, we fail to grasp the grave implications of this overarching threat landscape. Our leaders have shielded themselves by living in houses that are fortresses and travel in vehicles with contingents of bodyguards to keep them protected. The most disturbing aspect is that the responsibility of dealing with all these threats has been left to the army. State institutions like the committee on national security and Nacta lie dormant although in a democratic country, security matters are major responsibilities of the civilian government. No wonder Narendra Modi’s government takes the convenient cover that there is hardly any point in talking to the Pakistani civilian government when the military (or the militants) seem to control policy. The Indian point of view is reinforced when Hafiz Saeed, who has a $10 million dollar bounty on his head, brazenly takes out a procession of jihadi elements on the streets of Lahore and makes scathing remarks against India and the US. The government, by giving him a free rein, undermines its case on Kashmir and weakens the political and moral basis of its stand.

On the one hand, the army chief has categorically stated that there are no good or bad militants and the army is operating against all of them without any discrimination. And then the world is presented with this spectacle.

This clearly indicates that we do not treat the Lashkar-e-Taiba, or its other face, the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), in the same category. It seems that it is used to pressure India to show flexibility on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Pakistan has been repeatedly accused of playing a double game and is pursuing a different policy in handling the Kashmiri jihadis and those of the TTP and its affiliates.

Such demonstrations reinforce this impression. Even if Pakistan were to ignore the negative aspects of the international fall-out, it has to seriously consider whether it would be possible to fight radicalism and extremism if it tolerates militant outfits that are spewing hatred and promoting violence as the primary tool of the freedom struggle in J&K. As it is, the spread and influence of militant organisations in southern Punjab is growing rapidly. Many of these groups have global and regional jihadist aspirations. Support for the JuD in Pakistan can even be found among some educated youth and professionals, which could be ominous. The world has changed after the 9/11 and Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the tectonic shifts in the global security structure. The JuD and other Kashmir-oriented outfits should now focus primarily on the political and humanitarian aspects of the freedom struggle. Major terrorist attacks occurred in four places in J&K on the same day when the JuD was taking out processions in Lahore. For India, it becomes easy to put all the blame on Pakistan and then justify the reticence in engaging in inter-state dialogue.

The PML-N had used its rapport with militant groups in Punjab to broaden its electoral support with obvious long-term deleterious affects. Moreover, our claim that the military is dealing with all militant organisations alike needs to be qualified. It would amount to far less change in policy and would be no different from that pursued for several decades when it comes to India.

It seems that we are unwilling or unaware that the world has changed and is not prepared to tolerate any militant groups irrespective of how just their cause may be. Pakistani elements promoting jihad are out of sync with the rest of the world.

The Indian establishment is myopic and too short-sighted, and fails to see the serious discontent in occupied Kashmir that has to be addressed politically and not through brute force. Of course, a negotiated political settlement with India on J&K will greatly reduce the incentive and support for the militant organisations. But that is unlikely to happen in the near future. The jihadists in Pakistan and the Indian hardliners are pulling the two countries further apart and holding the region hostage.

The writer is a retired lieutenant general of the Pakistan Army and served as chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Board

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, December 10th,  2014.
Read more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/804309/pakistans-overarching-threat-landscape/

Malala Yousafzai receives Nobel Peace Prize 2014

The 2014 Nobel Prizes are presented, including the Peace Prize, which has been awarded to Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai. This live stream has now ended

By Telegraph Video and PA, video source APTN

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for speaking up in favour of girls’ education, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 17-year-old, who is the youngest person ever to receive the honour, was handed at gold medal and a diploma at a ceremony in Oslo, joining the ranks of laureates including Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Aung San Suu Kyi.

The teenager was jointly awarded the peace prize with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi for her “heroic struggle” in favour of girls’ access to learning.

Malala began speaking out for the rights of girls at the age of 11, and came to prominence after surviving an assassination attempt in October 2012.

Read more » The Telegraph
See more » http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/11284445/Watch-live-Malala-Yousafzai-receives-Nobel-Peace-Prize-2014.html

 

Where the Kashmiri nationalists really Stand in the greater game

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, human rights activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Nayyar N Khan

State Assembly Elections in Indian-administered Kashmir: People’s Participation a Strategy or Paradigm Shift.

By Nayyar N Khan

State assembly elections 2014 in Indian administered Jammu Kashmir have glimmered a manic deliberation among the parties to the conflict and stakeholders. Indian media and politicians at Delhi and elsewhere in the country are depicting the participation of ordinary masses in the vale of Kashmir as a trust building notion on the Union of India and rejection of separatist sentiments. Pakistani media on the other hand remained both unconcerned and silent or repeated the same rhetoric of yellow journalism. Kashmir based analysts and activists are twisting the story that fits best in their pre-occupied state of mind. The reality is that after almost three decades of boycotts, strikes and shutdowns Kashmiri people decided to vote instead of boycott. Some intellectuals and writers are taking it as an abrupt decision and others are debating it as a dissatisfactory notion from the state of affairs Kashmiri people have been going through since 1988.

What basically happened has its roots in the past, political evolution, experimental judgment and revisited wisdom. It definitely involves the role of Hurriyat Conference/other separatist factions, lessons learned from militancy and a series of boycotts, role of Pakistani establishment and that of Indian government.  Understanding the linkages between past and present situations in the valley of Kashmir is absolutely basic for a good understanding of the events and chain of the events that, in a nutshell, is why history matters. Finding a linkage with past and present is not only useful rather it is an essential part in understanding the social, economic and political attitudes and beliefs in a constituency. The glance of the past is essential for ‘rooting’ people, ideas, movements and events in time. Does it really matter to find the correct answer? The answer is yes it is. Because without finding the correct answer only speculations cannot put the course of “what we are today” in the right perspective.

Elections 2014 of the state assembly in Indian Occupied Jammu Kashmir have initiated a new chapter in the political panorama of the region. A decade of off-and-on detente between India and Pakistan has drawn to a close after months of deteriorating relations that began with the election victory in May 2014 of the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party and the appointment as India’s Prime Minister of a noted hard-liner, Narendra Modi. Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi after had already triumphed in a landslide victory across India in the general elections held in the spring of 2014 is continuously altering the political map of Indian Union by winning the elections held for various state assemblies (constituents of Indian Union). Prime Minister Modi has decided to take that heat to the state of Jammu Kashmir to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiri people.

It is chilling winter in Kashmir where some parts are so cold just like frozen Siberia. Glaciers of Himalayas are melting down due to the political heat and participation of Kashmiri people in the elections after almost three decades. People in the valley who were accustomed to the calls of boycott and shut down calls from both the pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan leadership and in practice have sacrificed their daily means of bread and butter in solidarity with the anti-India leadership since 1987. But in 2014 the corridor of political venue has altered the paintings on the Kashmiri canvas. Instead of shutter down and wheel jam strikes lenses of both electronic and print media are capturing the live enthusiasm of people participation in the electoral process.

This apparent shift in the valley raises some serious concerns as well as some lessons to be learned. Indian state-owned media is propagating the events as a paradigm shift in the Kashmiri politics while Pakistani media is silent on the electoral process of Indian held Kashmir. The politicians across Jammu Kashmir are interpreting the events well in accordance with their pre-occupied state of mind and trying to concrete and cement their long-held opinions on the very issue.

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Pakistan exempts taxes on import of solar panels

By Mubarak Zeb Khan

ISLAMABAD: The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday exempted customs duty and general sales tax on import of solar panels for promoting alternative and renewable energy in Pakistan.

Read more » DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1149791/

Please listen the concerns of Sindh.

Video clip is in Hindi/ urdu language.

Courtesy: Awaz Tv + DailyMotions

Comrade Sobho, an iconic figure

By Aziz Narejo

We, the people of Sindh have been very fortunate to have a giant of a man like Comrade Sobho among us. He was an iconic figure. No doubt about it. A humanist, a communist & the friend of the poor. His love for Sindh – the land & the people – and his struggle for the rights of the downtrodden is of legendary proportions. Through the years, he had attained a mythological stature in Sindh.
Post-Pakistan authorities, specially during the draconian rule of Ayub Khan, exerted tremendous pressure on Comrade Sobho to Leave Sindh. But he didn’t. This courageous man withstood all the pressures & faced hardships but didn’t move away from his motherland. He suffered for it. Years of jail, house arrests & trials & tribulations didn’t break his spirit.
Today we in SANA, remember him again. We will always remember him. Whole Sindh will remember him for all the times to come. All the progressive & humanist people will remember him. He will always live with us, in our heart & our soul. With the sweet breeze of Sindh & the fragrance of the clay. On the Banks of Sindhu & in the mountains of Khirthar. He will be with us. Forever.

Comrade Sobho had love & special relationship with SANA (Sindhi Association of North America) too. He attended a SANA convention in USA. About eight years later, he was Chief Guest & Keynote speaker at our first SANA Sindh Convention. Actually Comrade Sobho had officially declared open our first SANA Sindh Convention. He was awarded Lifetime Achievement Award at our second SANA Sindh Convention.

Courtesy: Social media (Facebook) + Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 9 Dec. 2014.

Sobho Gianchandani passes away in Larkano

By Hafeez Tunio

LARKANO: Renowned Sindhi writer and leftist Comrade Sobho Gianchandani passed away at the age of 95 in Larkana Monday morning at Chandka Medical Hospital.

Comrade Gianchandani was the first non-Muslim and non-Urdu recipient of the Kamal-e-Fun Award – a top literary award given to writers in the field of literature.

During his study in Shantiniketan College in West Bengal, India,

Rabindranath Tagore used to call him “A man from Moen Jo Daro” because of his village, located near this historical site, which is widely recognised as ancient Indus Valley Civilisation metropolis.

After news of Gianchandani’s death was made public, a large number of people belonging to various parts of Sindh traveled to Larkano where his final ritual will take place.

Prominent personalities of Sindh and politicians including Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, former president Asif Ali Zardari, writers, intellectuals and poets of Sindh condoled his death and paid tribute to him.

Born on May 3, 1920 in Bindi village near Moen Jo Daro, Gianchandani got his primary and secondary education from Kamber High School and Pilot School in Larkana before he went to India for higher education.

He was one of the pioneers of the Marxist movement in Sindh and went to jail many times. Till his death, he did not give up his Marxist beliefs.

Apart from his political affiliation, Gianchandani was a poet, writer and journalist and worked with many prominent personalities including, Tagore Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Mahatma Gadhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Goband Malhi and Hyder Bux Jatoi. He was famous because of his struggle for the peasant and labour class.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune
Learn more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/803556/sobho-gianchandani-passes-away-in-larkana/