THE problem with a head-in-the-sand approach to fighting militancy is that the rest of the body is left exposed. For a while now the TTP has been an enemy of the Pakistani state but there is hardly a faction within that umbrella organisation that at some point over the years has not been in the good books of the army-led security establishment. But the good Taliban/bad Taliban dichotomy never made sense to begin with and as time has gone by, the contradictions have become apparent. The TTP in all its forms has always been bad news for this country’s internal stability and external relations. Just how bad has been underlined in recent days with two foreign news services reporting that the TTP has claimed to have sent men to Syria to fight alongside rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
The Arab nexus, including links to Al Qaeda, has always been apparent in the arc of the TTP’s relatively short history. Unlike, say, the Afghan Taliban who by and large have hewed to a purely domestic agenda, ie ridding Afghanistan of foreign ‘invaders’, the TTP’s overall agenda has leaned more towards the concept of a global jihad. In the past, that has meant offering sanctuary to foreign militants who arrived in Fata for training or to escape more hostile environments in their home countries. Eventually, however, a resilient TTP was always likely to seek to contribute directly to so-called jihadist struggles outside the Pak-Afghan region. As with all things, TTP claims made by various commanders take time to be established but if the Syria claims are verified, it would mark an alarming new phase in the militant network’s existence.
Syria may be an epic mess on its own, but other countries that could be potential destinations for the TTP’s battle-hardened cadre of fighters will surely be alarmed by the possibility. Pakistan is already fairly isolated in the international arena because of its inability to systematically curb the activities of non-state actors on Pakistani soil and this latest development will only add to the pressure. But it is in the domestic arena that the repercussions will be the most severe. The TTP has proved to be far more resilient than originally thought, though perhaps that is in no small part aided by the lack of a coherent strategy on the part of the state to fight militancy. If the TTP is confident enough to be sending fighters abroad, does that mean the network believes it has enough resources locally to successfully fend off the Pakistani state? That is an enormously worrying possibility.
Drop in the Ocean – On whose side is Allah?
by Gen. Shahid Aziz
Published in The Nation, December 30, 2012.
Half-cocked measures never work. Public sentiments are echoed in slogans like ‘drone attacks must end’, ‘stop supporting Baloch separatism’, ‘Black Water and the likes must end terrorism in Pakistan’, ‘stop interfering in our domestic affairs’. But these are mere public appeasement proclamations, made in a manner not to offend our masters. The people, however, know that nothing short of a total breakaway from the US will end our plight. Half-cocked measures never work. And we cannot breakaway unless the current political order is replaced with something more dynamic. They have permeated to the very roots of this system and will control any change within it. This political carousel, irrespective of new players, will continue to remain compliant to US objectives. For any positive outcome, these shackles have to be entirely removed and a new citizen friendly order created; adjustments to fit ankle size will not reduce the pain.
PESHAWAR: Pakistan is still a major destination for radicalised Muslims bent on a life of jihad, despite hundreds of US drone strikes, the death of Osama bin Laden and the fracturing of Al-Qaeda.
New battlegrounds have sprung up in Africa and the Middle East, but the number of foreign recruits smuggled into the northwestern tribal belt is increasing and they come from more diverse countries.
Since the 1980s “jihad” to expel Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Muslim fighters from all over the world have lived and trained on the Afghan-Pakistan border, moulded into Al-Qaeda and a host of spin-off militant networks.
After US-led forces in late 2001 evicted the Taliban in Kabul for sheltering Al-Qaeda, Afghan Taliban fled across the border into Pakistan.
But Washington and Nato will end their combat mission in Afghanistan next year and these days the Taliban say their foreign allies are drawn to other conflicts, despite their support networks in a region outside direct government control.
“Al-Qaeda is shifting its focus to Syria, Libya, Iraq or Mali,” one member of the Afghan Taliban told AFP on condition of anonymity in northwest Pakistan.
Local officials estimate the number of Arab fighters has fallen by more than a half or two thirds in the last 10 years, to below 1,000.
In the last two years, some Al-Qaeda Arabs, particularly Libyans and Syrians, left to take part in the civil war in Syria and the violent uprising that overthrew Libya’s dictator Muammar Qadhafi in 2011.
Others migrated to Iraq in 2003, and others to Somalia and Yemen.
But Saifullah Khan Mehsud, executive director of the Fata Research Center, a think-tank focused on the tribal belt, says uprisings in the Middle East have had a minimal effect on the Arab presence in Pakistan.
“Arab fighters are not leaving in big numbers,” he told AFP. “They have been there for 30 years and it continues,” he added.
The number of fighters from other countries is also rising, say witnesses in Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan — the district with the largest concentration of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters.
“The overall number of foreign jihadis has increased in the last two years. Every week we see new faces,” says one regular visitor.
There could be around 2,000 to 3,500 foreign fighters in the border areas from around 30 different countries. During the 1980s, the number was also estimated to have been several thousand.
More nationalities, same problems
Most of the current crop are Turkmens and Uzbeks, numbering between 1,000 and 3,000 fighters according to local officials, who have fled authoritarian secular regimes in their home countries to set up their own groups.
The Islamic Jihad Union, which splintered from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, is based in Pakistan’s border areas. It is committed to toppling the government in Uzbekistan, and fights alongside insurgents in Afghanistan.
It has also plotted an attack in Germany, which was foiled.
US officials say covert drone strikes have played a huge role in destroying training camps and disrupting Al-Qaeda in Pakistan.
According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 362 US drone strikes have been reported in Pakistan since 2004 — 310 of them since US President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
Although North Waziristan locals say the strikes kill more Taliban than Al-Qaeda operatives, they have condemned foreign fighters to a life underground.
“They are low profile, they dress like locals, they avoid big meetings and above all they move all the time,” a local journalist told AFP.
Mehsud says that foreigners are coming from a more diverse number of countries than in years past.
“A few months ago, we even welcomed some (two or three) people from Fiji for the first time!” says the Taliban member who spoke with AFP.
“There are more nationalities because they face the same problems. They tell us that they feel left aside by capitalism and discriminated by unfair laws, like the Swiss one on minarets or the French one on hijabs,” he adds.
Local and Western officials say the number of Western militants have fallen to dozens compared to the several hundreds of a few years ago.
A Canadian, who uses the name Mohammad Ibrahim, told AFP that he had been in Pakistan for three years but was now preparing to leave to wage jihad at home.
“Foreigners are now afraid to come to Pakistan because of the drone strikes,” he says, putting the number of his compatriots at 14, compared to “60 to 85 three years ago”.
A mechanical engineer by training, he says he works in “technical and logistic affairs” but does not elaborate further.
“I often met British, Spanish, Italians, Algerians and Germans. But now…our movements have been limited because of the drone strikes,” he says.
It was not long ago when some Indian Muslim leaders had gathered in Lahore and had adopted a resolution at their meeting to demand a brand new country in the name of religion. They systematically created a mass frenzy in the support of their demand and finally achieved what they wanted – ‘a brand new country in the name of religion’. It was born in a pool of blood and was accompanied by the misery and the mass migration on a scale never seen before in the Sub-Continent.
But creating hysteria and dividing population in the name of religion was very easy compared to running and managing a new country. The leadership failed at all levels – and in all sections of the society. The rot started early. They couldn’t bring the country to the people. Couldn’t keep it together. Couldn’t agree on a Constitution or a form of government. First it was Mullahs, feudals and bureaucrats. They were soon joined by the military, which lost no time to enslave everybody else. It became the ‘praetorian masters’, the ‘powers that be’ and the ‘establishment’. The military became the ultimate master of the destiny of the country.
To stop the people from getting their due rights, the establishment created a fake ‘ideology of Pakistan’. When pressed to accept demands of the people, especially from the eastern wing and the smaller provinces, it first created One Unit and then encouraged the rightists to fight the progressive elements and the people of various nationalities demanding their rights. The religious right and the establishment would readily dub them unpatriotic, anti-state, anti-Islam and enemies of the country.
What was the result? They lost half of the country in just 24 years. They still didn’t learn. Created some more monsters in the name of religion and ethnicity. Today everything seems out of control. The rightist groups, which were supported in the name of religion to fight the nationalist and progressive elements in the country and to wage proxy wars on the borders and in India and Afghanistan, have started working on their own agenda. They now think they are in a position to claim the whole pie – ‘why settle for less’?
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: Imam Hafiz Muhammad Hamid Jamaat-ul-Daawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s brother along with his wife and five children has been whisked out of the United States.
The family boarded a Gulf airways flight to bypass London because the British authorities had earlier refused them transit permission on the grounds that they did not have valid US visas.
By the time this report has been printed, Hafiz Hamid and his family would be in Pakistan. What treatment they receive there is not known but the Pakistani authorities do consider Hafiz Hamid a “person of interest”.
Hafiz Hamid was imam at the Islamic Centre of Greater Worcester in Worcester, Massachusetts and had been fighting immigration regulation infringements for the last several months.
By Tarek Fatah
In recent history, every few years the Muslim ummah breaks out into a spasmodic convulsion of uncontrollable hysteria and violence that defies reason, leaving the rest of humanity bewildered.
The burning and killing continue unabated across the Islamic world as we Muslims, provoked by a pathetic amateurish film mocking the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H), validate every negative stereotype about us.
Muslims like me revere Mohammed (P.B.U.H) not just as a Prophet, a Messenger of God to humanity, but also as a beloved father-figure, greatly admired and adored. However, what we Muslims fail to recognize is that the rest of the world does not share our opinion and have the right to disagree with our beliefs.
At best, non-Muslims consider Mohammed (P.B.U.H) a mere historical figure who laid the foundation of the first-ever Arab empire in the 7th and 8th centuries. ….
Read more » Toronto Sun
5 Reasons Why Hezb-e Islami Killing Foreigners in Kabul is a Big Deal
By El Snarkistani
Another attack in Kabul today, which (sadly) isn’t that unusual lately.
But today’s reported killing of eight people in Kabul is frighteningly different from the norm here in the Emerald City.
1. This is being claimed by Hezb-e Islami.
Once upon a time, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and friends did a great deal of violence in Kabul. ….
Till the “Innocence of Muslims” film’s director is not hanged, No American Embassy can run in Pakistan; Says Hafiz Saeed
Banned outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba/ Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s chief Hafiz Saeed Says, till the “Innocence of Muslims” film’s director is not hanged, No American Embassy can run in Pakistan & no relations with America …. The language of the news is urdu/Hindi.
More details » Voice of America (urdu)
TTP leader says Jinnah was a apostate or blasphemer (kaffir), the Prophet sanctioned killing of women and children in war.
PRECIOUS little happens in Pakistan that cannot be traced to the man who ruled over this country for 11 dark years of its existence. On the morning of Aug 17, exactly 24 years after his death, Gen Ziaul Haq’s presence was felt all the more poignantly. ‘Terrorists attack Kamra airbase’, ‘19 pulled out of buses, shot dead in sectarian attack’ at Babusar Top, ‘Zardari seeks Muslim countries’ assistance’ on Afghanistan. Rulers either side of Zia have contributed to this mad, unending dance of death that Pakistanis have been subjected to. But while the dictator may have found the soil fertile for cultivating his brand of hatred, he was so thorough in his execution of the self-assigned job and so heartlessly committed to his creed that he ensured that generations after him will find it impossible to escape his influence.
By: Tarek Fatah
Who would have thought a Canadian mother of two would leave her children behind and join the international jihad unfolding in Syria?
Meet Thwaiba Kanafani. She left the comforts of her apartment in downtown Toronto, soon to appear in a YouTube video dressed in camouflaged battle gear, holding an automatic assault rifle, to declare: “I came from Canada to answer the call of my homeland” as the men surrounding her chanted “Allah O Akbar.”
Kanafani is not alone. A Dutch journalist who was kidnapped by rebels inside Syria, along with his British colleague, reports some of his abductors had “Birmingham accents,” while others were from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Chechnya, with no Syrians present.
Reports of non-Syrian jihadis have been confirmed by correspondents of both the Guardian and the New York Times who say foreign fighters under the banner of al-Qaida’s black flags bearing the Islamic declaration of faith, “There is no god but God,” are taking a bigger role.
The jihadis are the best-funded and well-equipped of the groups fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime.
While the American-backed Syrian National Council (SNC) had its own share of U.S.-based Islamists pulling the strings, it is now clear these jihadis-in-suits will not be the ones determining the future of Syria when the doctor dictator is gone. Very soon, Damascus will get a taste of al-Qaida’s hatred of life and their yearning for death as they have demonstrated in the last couple of months.
In one attack by the al-Qaida fighters on the historic Damascus district of Zainabiya, the fighters made no effort to hide the al- Qaida flag. Some wore the black head bands while others wore the flags of Pakistan, Somalia, and other Muslim countries. They killed Shia residents and pilgrims as they tried to destroy the shrines of Prophet Muhammad’s granddaughter Hazrat Zainab and Ruqaiya. At least one Afghan family was slaughtered inside their home.
One al-Qaida commander inside Syria, Abu Khuder, had this to say about foreign jihadis: “In the beginning there were very few. Now, mashallah, there are immigrants joining us and bringing their experience … Men from Yemen, Saudi, Iraq and Jordan … (al-Qaida’s) goal is establishing an Islamic state and not a Syrian state.”
The role of America in Syria seems at best incompetent and disastrous.
However, evidence suggests there is a method in the madness of the Obama Administration. Instead of helping the democratic forces of Syria it has dilly-dallied on the sidelines until the Islamists managed to get an upper hand. The same cowardice was demonstrated when Iran’s democrats rose up in 2009.
One of the leaders of the Syrian al-Qaida is Abdelhakim Belhadj, a Libyan accomplice of Osama bin Laden who, according to former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, was suspected of complicity in the 2004 Madrid train bombings.
Belhadj was arrested by the CIA, but then released under mysterious circumstances and returned to Libya where he facilitated the U.S.-NATO overthrowing of Col. Moammar Gahdafi.
Now the same Libyan ally of NATO has been parachuted inside Syria with the help of the Turkish government.
Reportedly, 15,000 Syrians have given their lives to fight a dictator, and Belhadj’s presence in the war-torn country could make it a hell on earth.
Courtesy: Toronto Sun
Via – Twitter
In his latest exclusive dispatch from Deir el-Zour province, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad meets fighters who have left the Free Syrian Army for the discipline and ideology of global jihad
By: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Deir el-Zour
As they stood outside the commandeered government building in the town of Mohassen, it was hard to distinguish Abu Khuder’s men from any other brigade in the Syrian civil war, in their combat fatigues, T-shirts and beards.
But these were not average members of the Free Syrian Army. Abu Khuder and his men fight for al-Qaida. They call themselves the ghuraba’a, or “strangers”, after a famous jihadi poem celebrating Osama bin Laden’s time with his followers in the Afghan mountains, and they are one of a number of jihadi organisations establishing a foothold in the east of the country now that the conflict in Syria has stretched well into its second bloody year.
Christian Nurses poisoned to Punish drinking tea during Muslims Ramadan in Pakistan
Karachi: July 30, 2012. (PCP) Christian staff nurses of Civil Hospital Karachi were poisoned as punishment to drink tea in their Hostel rooms during Holy Month of Ramadan being observed these days by Muslim majority community of Pakistan.
Among Eleven (11) poisoned Christian nurses (3) were rushed to Intensive Care Unit ICU of Civil Hospital Karachi were remaining (8) are being treated in emergency ward.
Civil Hospital Karachi is under ministry of health of Sindh government where Christian medico staff was in majority till 1985.
Staff Nurses Rita, Anila and Rafia were in serious condition in ICU ward of CHK while staff nurse Rita was later transferred on life saving equipment.
There are reports that FIR have been registered against unknown person on poisoning Christian nurses in Aram Bagh Police Station of Karachi and non was arrested so far.
According to Ramadan Ordinance of Provincial Sindh Government, to eat in Public places is prohibited and restaurants and vendors will remain closed during timing of Ramadan.
The Ramadan Ordinance is not imposed on Five Star Hotels in Sindh Province and allows minority community individuals to take meals in indoor facilities.
After independence of Pakistan in 1947, all restaurants have to put curtain on their doors where Muslim and other religious communities were free to dine and smoke during Holy Month of Ramadan but laws of total ban or closure were made after Islamization of Pakistan during Zia-ul-Haq rule.
The poisoning incident of 11 Christian nurses have spread wave of fear among religious minorities of Pakistan and rising extremism in society.
Courtesy: Pakistan Christian Post
Via – Twitter
Today there is only the cruel choice between continued American presence and Taliban rule
After a trillion dollars and 2000 dead Americans, there is precious little to show as the U.S. heads towards its 2014 exit. America’s primary goal had been to create a stable, non-hostile Afghan government and army which could stop extremist groups from once again using Afghan territory as a base. But Hamid Karzai is already on the way out, rapid desertions could collapse the Afghan National Army, and only die-hards like Marine Gen. John Allen say that the U.S. can win. The Taliban are smelling victory.
America’s failure drives many bearded folks – and Imran Khan’s thoughtless supporters – into fits of ecstasy. It also delights some Pakistani leftists at home and abroad; imperialism has been humbled. Some comrades imagine that a mythicalAfghan “working class” – whatever that might mean – will pop up from nowhere and somehow stop the Taliban from moving in as fast as the Americans move out. Do they also hope for snowflakes in summer?
By: Wichaar Desk
The 47-year-old government clerk and part-time lab assistant was walking home through the grounds of a hospital in the northwest city of Peshawar in the fall of 2009 when he stumbled upon the carnage left by the blast. Scores of bodies were packed into vehicles. Bleeding survivors with missing limbs and severe burns were scattered everywhere.
He has suffered from severe depression and anxiety ever since and is dependent on antidepressants to make it through the day so he can provide for his wife and four children.
by Hakim Hazik
They had come in their serried legions, by air by sea and by land routes. Gathering dust and glory of arduous distances, hazarding innumerable perils including the incomparable risks of flying on the PIA’s Air Buses, recycled from the Lahore Omnibuses.
They gathered on Rue du Marche, led by the soldier statesman Syed Drone ul Ummat. Their hearts were filled with love for the True Faith. The earth shook with their slogans: O the oppressors give us an answer, give an account of the blood that was spilt. The walls of the city were covered with uplifting and pithy statements: Look ye people Qazi is coming.
When the din of the crowd settled somewhat the great leader took the stage and spoke thus:
Dear followers of Islam,
‘I know that your hearts are strengthened by unshakeable faith and you are ready to lay down your lives for the everlasting glory of the Ummah and the Caliphate. This, the greatest army since the valiant General Tariq bin Ziad, that has arrived on this continent.
We will teach the infernal Swiss, a lesson that they will never forget. They will learn not to interfere with the tenets of Islam and try to proscribe what is our fundamental right i.e to build the domes, arches, minarets and cupolas in accordance with our tradition and our culture. To put loudspeakers on the tallest minaret and make announcements at the highest decibel level to raise money for jihad in Palestine at 3 o’clock in the morning. We are not fighting for charity. We are fighting for basic human dignity.
We have a right to kill, on average, 6 labourers from FATA every day in Karachi. We have a right to pull off the buses, on average, 20 pilgrims and behead them by the roadside on a daily basis. We have a right to blow up the graven images in Bamian which the idol worshippers in UNESCO, in their crassness, had entitled a world heritage site.
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — A shot rings out, but the burqa-clad woman sitting on the rocky ground does not respond.
The man pointing a rifle at her from a few feet away lets loose another round, but still there is no reaction.
He fires a third shot, and finally the woman slumps backwards.
But the man fires another shot.
And another. And another.
Nine shots in all.
Around him, dozens of men on a hillside cheer: “God is great!“
By Farrukh Khan Pitafi
…. A group has the audacity of calling itself the Difa-e-Pakistan Council and then simultaneously threatens to kill its people. The question that arises then is why has the country’s establishment tolerated this ragtag army of thugs thus far? Somehow, everybody forgets that the transformation that it was asked to bring after 9/11 was so onerous that it might not have brought the dissent under full control and hence, the calculated and cautious approach. The fact is that we have witnessed some uncharacteristically huge mishaps in recent years and yet, if this scribe is asked to put his life in the hands of our government and the army, he will willingly do so. But tolerance of such terrible outfits is nothing short of criminal neglect. Perhaps, the DPC long march schedule from July 8, will give us definitive proof of whether the country’s deep state is involved in its genesis or not.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2012.
Islamic militants fighting Indian forces in Kashmir will declare war on Pakistan if it weakens its traditional support for their jihad, their senior leader has warned.
By Dean Nelson, New Delhi
Syed Salahuddin, leader of the United Jihad Council, an umbrella group of Kashmiri militant groups which includes the Lashkar e Taiba, said they had been fighting “Pakistan’s war in Kashmir” but Islamabad now cares more about trade than jihad.
“We (militants) are fighting Pakistan’s war in Kashmir and if it withdraws its support, the war would be fought inside Pakistan,” he said in an interview with the Arab News.
His threat emerged as India and Pakistan’s leaders prepare for talks in Islamabad on Monday on proposals to withdraw their troops from the disputed Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield close to the Line of Control which divides Kashmir.
Salahuddin and other Kashmiri militant leaders fear Pakistan’s leaders will withdraw its long-standing support for the military strikes against Indian forces in Kashmir as part of its diplomatic campaign to reduce trade barriers and ease movement between the old enemies.
Pakistan’s readiness to grant ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ trading status to India and the opening of new ‘cross-border’ trade routes in Kashmir had sent a message to insurgent leaders like his Hizbul Mujahideen that “Pakistan wants business with India.” Pakistan has long used group’s like Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar e Toiba as part of its proxy war with India over control of Kashmir, with military protection for their training camps in ‘Azad’ or ‘Free’ Kashmir.
Considering how very incensed the Deep State gets the more you hold a mirror to it; and being conscious of the sudden torrent of vile abuse and, worse, dastardly and outlandish allegations presently being heaped upon yours truly, I wanted to write about dog shows and fat Labradors this week. However, this is the Land of the Pure, where ever newer horrors are visited upon us every single minute of every single day, some couched in words. All of them, you can be sure, spoken from on high: as if the sermonisers were standing on some particularly elevated moral ground, with us mortals crawling somewhere down there.
To come straight to the point, the following words in Lt.-Gen. Asad Durrani’s article “The second oldest profession” in this newspaper of May 29 sent a very, very cold chill down my spine. Said the general: “I do not know if Afridi should have been tried by a jirga or in a court of law, under tribal decree or under the country’s penal code, but I do know that for him, it is not yet all over.” And as if that was not disturbing enough: “I think Dr Afridi will get another chance to administer a polio vaccine; the next time in the Promised Land.” I ask you.
Who does not know that Dr Shakil Afridi, the man who helped our ally in the War on Terror find Osama bin Laden a few hundred metres from the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, Abbottabad Cantonment, is a ‘Dead Man Walking’? He is in Peshawar Jail, which is as vulnerable to attack by the mighty Taliban as Bannu Jail where they first bribed their way in; then garlanded and honoured General Musharraf’s convicted attacker, Adnan Rasheed (who was sentenced to death) with a dastarbandi (adorning him with a turban), and then made video recordings of their great feat, rehearsed firing and all. We have to note that not a single person was even injured in that Great Escape in which nearly 400 prisoners, some of them dangerous terrorists, escaped. So, where’s the problem in ‘rubbing out’ Shakil Afridi in Peshawar Jail?
However, for a former head of the ISI to say almost gleefully what he said, Durrani certainly deserves mention. Specially, and I say this as someone who lauded his stand on the Mehrangate scandal: admitting that as a Pakistan army general he should not have done what he did, being such a senior person. Indeed, what he said about Afridi is way out of court.
And now to the jailbreak. There is not a squeak out of the leaders and the spokesmen of the Ghairat Brigades about that catastrophe. Remember that we know that Adnan Rasheed worked for Amjad Farooqi, who in turn worked for Abu Faraj al Libi and is also known to have been a member of these extremist organisations at various times: Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan; Harkatul Ansar; Harkatul Mujahideen; Harkatul Jihad-al-Islami in which he is said to have been this group’s pointman with al Qaeda’s International Islamic Front. Quite a beauty, what? Yet, not a word about the jailbreak and its links with al Qaeda, especially when one of the prisoners who escaped was accused of plotting to kill the then chief of army staff himself!
The Punjabi hegemony
By Raza Habib Raja
The selective way of presenting history in Pakistan conveniently ignores the fact that at its creation, there were two large sometimes contrasting and sometimes overlapping movements. The first was primarily centred around Muslim identity and tried to actually bargain a better position for its bearers. This movement though ended up in carving a separate homeland for the Muslims, nevertheless did not have that strong separatist thrust at least in the beginning.
Imran Khan launching a campaign against the resumption of Nato supplies, would cause a “financial loss” of $650 million to Pakistan
Imran to launch campaign against resumption of Nato supplies
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he was contacting other political parties for the opposition campaign against expected re-opening of the Nato supply routes to Afghanistan, DawnNews reported.
Talking to media representatives at the press conference at Zaman Park in Lahore, Khan criticised the parliament for its inability to implement the resolution regarding future rules of engagement with the United States.
He asked why Pakistan was compromising on its stand of not allowing the Nato supplies through its land-routes, ….
Read more » DAWN.COM
In the wake of the first anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s killing by American elite troops, DW takes a closer look at Pakistan’s “other” war in a rare interview with a prominent Baloch leader.
Hyrbyar Marri is the fifth son of Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, a veteran national leader and the head of the largest Baloch clan. In the late 1990s Hyrbar Marri went into exile in Britain. In 2007, he was arrested under a warrant issued by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and held in Belmarsh – a maximum security prison in southeast London. Prominent British human rights advocates such as Peter Thatchell campaigned for Marri and accused the British executive of collaborating with Musharraf’s regime. Marri was eventually acquitted in 2008 by a British jury and remains in Britain where he has recently been granted asylum.
DW: What’s the current situation in Pakistani-controlled Balochistan?
Pakistan’s Kangaroo Court calls itself “Supreme Court,” but in fact is another front for the Mullah-Military complex
Pakistan’s puppet Court – By Shiraz Paracha
The Supreme Court’s controversial detailed verdict against the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan is one more bad decision by a Court that has a dark history of collaboration with the military in depriving the people of Pakistan of their fundamental rights.
The Supreme Court has been transcending its legal boundaries and constitutional role. Its decisions are biased, unfair and politicized. The Court is not a neutral and objective defender of law and judges have been acting as puppets.
The Judiciary is not independent and appears to be playing someone’s game. Indeed the Supreme Court is acting as a proxy for imposing a controlled democracy in Pakistan. It seems that characters such as Imran Khan and Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan are part of this game. The former ISI chief Lt. General Shuja Pasha was an architect of the latest effort to introduce ‘clean democracy’ in Pakistan. General Pasha was not alone in military’s one more political adventure.
Actually, the military considers itself the sole defender of Pakistan and generals have been trying to shape and control the Pakistani politics. In fact, the military never felt comfortable with parliamentary form of democracy. For this reason every few years new campaigns are launched to ‘clean’ the system.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s recent calls for the establishment of a technocrat government and Imran Khan’s Tsunami are reflections of military’s new efforts to bring a setup that ‘suits’ Pakistan. The Judiciary and media are means to complete that agenda. As the Parliament is about to complete its term, Imran Khan is threatening that he would not accept results of the new elections. Dr. Qadeer, dubbed by some as the future president, has joined hands with Imran Khan. The media and the Judiciary are taking cue from some in the military to pressurize the present government. All these actors want to maintain the status quo by imposing a controlled democracy.
By: Nadeem F. Paracha
There is a genuine fear among some (yes, just some) Pakistanis that their society and state is headed straight to becoming a 21st century model of fascism.
I say the fear is being noted and felt by just some Pakistanis because it seems to most of their compatriots – especially those squirming within the growing, agitated and uptight urban middle-classes – the emergence of such a state and society is actually something to do with abstract concepts like ‘national sovereignty,’ ‘honour’ (ghairat), ‘revolution’ and a ‘positive Pakistan!’
It’s like saying chronic neurosis is a pretty positive thing to have.
Recently in a sharp and pointed article, author and scientist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, clearly alluded to how the Pakistani society and state are showing signs of the kind of myopic mindset that the German society plunged into in the 1920s and 1930s, setting the scene for Hitler and his fascist outfit and mentality to become Germany’s overlords – eventually taking the nation over the brink and towards widespread destruction.
So is the Pakistani society headed in the same direction?
A number of experts and sociologists have drawn some prominent symptoms to look for in figuring out if a particular society is drifting into the clutches of fascism.
Let’s discuss a few in Pakistan’s context:
• Symptom 1: Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist societies/cultures tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
In Pakistan patriotism has been intertwined with the belief in a divine monolithic deity. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a person is singing praises of God or the state. It’s as if both are one and the same. Thus, if you are not all that enthusiastic about singing loud patriotic songs or displaying 50X10 Pakistani flags over your 5X2 office cubical, you are a traitor and/or/thus a kafir.
KABUL: Afghanistan’s intelligence agency on Thursday said it had prevented a large terrorist attack in the capital, arresting a Pakistani national driving a truck packed with explosives in Kabul.
The agency said in a statement that the man was arrested Thursday on a major road in the east of the city. It said the man was going to use the truck bomb in a suicide attack.
The agency did not say what the suspected target was. It said it would release more details as they became available.
The arrest comes a day after a suicide attack on the same road killed seven people. In that attack one militant detonated his car bomb outside a compound where foreigners live, while two other attackers fought their way inside before being killed.
….. the myriad of complexities that allow Pakistan, the most dangerous enemy of the West to escape scrutiny. Islamabad’s military capabilities are not restricted to nuclear bombs alone; it has deviously managed to squeeze billions of dollars from the very West its undeclared jihad wishes to destroy. ….
…. the man who supplied the Iranians the centrifuges and who amassed a fortune selling stolen nuclear know-how from the Netherlands and components manufactured in Pakistan to Iran, Dr. A. Q. Khan is being set up to become the next president of nuclear-armed Pakistan.
Time magazine called this dangerous rogue scientist “The Merchant of Menace” in 2005 and had this to report on Khan’s Iranian connection: “… IAEA officials say, [A. Q.] Khan did establish contact with the Iranians. A key member of the network has told investigators that Iran bought centrifuges from Khan. The IAEA reports that the Khan network also provided Iran with blueprints to manufacture more P-1 and P-2 centrifuges.”
Seven years ago Time reported, “Khan is under house arrest, his every move monitored by Pakistani government agents. He is said to be in failing health,” predicting Khan “will probably live out his days a recluse.”
Not so fast.
The man Pakistan promised would never be allowed to peddle his nuclear wares again, is today a free man and has teamed up with the notorious pro-Taliban Pakistani politician, Imran Khan donning the title of ‘Patron’ of cricketer-turned politician’s political party.
While the anti-American Imran Khan is being groomed by Pakistan’s military-judicial-jihadi complex to take over as the country’s next prime minister after the 2013 elections, the mad scientist Dr. A. Q. Khan is being promoted as the country’s next president.
Already a Facebook page has emerged with the title “We want Imran Khan as PM and AQ Khan as president.”
The possibility of President A. Q. Khan of Pakistan is already creating waves in The Netherlands; Holland is to host the 2014 World Nuclear Security Summit where Pakistan will be at the table and some members of the Dutch media are raising the issue with alarm.
It seems neither the U.S. nor Israel have woken up to the scenario of a nuclear-armed Pakistan headed by a pro-Taliban prime minister and a rogue nuclear scientist as the president; one who admits to have sold nuclear parts and know-how to both Iran and North Korea.
Read more » Toronto Sun
The courageous aid workers who fear no evil
He’d already been kidnapped and tortured – so what drove murdered aid worker Khalil Dale back to the danger zone?
By Sarah Rainey
Asked to describe his job as an aid worker for the Red Cross in some of the world’s most dangerous locations, Khalil Rasjed Dale compared it to a Mad Max film. “You’ve got people driving around in cars with machine guns,” he said in an interview in 1998. “There’s no government infrastructure, no law and order and we were trying to help vulnerable people nobody else seemed to care for… You just didn’t know what was going to happen next.”
Two days ago, Dale was found dead. Stationed abroad for more than 30 years, he had been taken hostage by suspected pro-Taliban terrorists on January 5. His decapitated body, wrapped in a plastic bag, was dumped by the side of a road in Quetta, the capital of the Baluchistan province, one of the most troubled regions of Pakistan.
Dale’s murder left many stunned by the brutality inflicted on such a gentle-mannered man. But as his family grieves, his death has brought into the spotlight the role of British aid workers, stationed in some of the world’s most volatile countries. His loss is not the first, nor will it be the last.
Read more » telegraph.co.uk
Militants Turn Against Pakistan’s JUI-F Islamist Party
By: Zia Ur Rehman
Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Islam-Fazlur (JUI-F) is one of the leading Islamist political parties in Pakistan. The JUI-F is considered ideologically similar to the Taliban, and the party is popular in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Yet in the past four years, several activists and leaders of the JUI-F have been targeted and killed in KP and FATA by unidentified Islamist militants. Even the JUI-F’s right-wing leader, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, has been targeted in two failed assassination attempts.
Although no group has claimed credit for the attacks, analysts believe that the operations have been executed by irreconcilable Pakistani militant groups that disapprove of the JUI-F’s “appeasement” policies. These include the JUI-F’s decision to support the present ruling coalition in Islamabad, which is carrying out military operations against Pakistani Taliban groups in FATA, as well as the party’s reported attempts to engage the United States on peace talks for the war in Afghanistan.
Saving Pakistan… and India?
by Omar Ali
Pakistan is in the throes of an existential crisis. Pakistan has always been in the throes of an existential crisis. Pakistan’s interminable existential crisis is, in fact, getting to be a bore. But while faraway peoples can indeed get away from this topic and on to something more interesting, Pakistanis have little choice in this matter; and it may be that neither do Indians.
The partition of British India was different things to different people, but we can all agree on some things: it was a confused mess, it was accompanied by remarkable violence and viciousness, and it has led to endless trouble. The Paknationalist narrative built on that foundation has Jihadized the Pakistani state, and defanging that myth is now the most critical historic task of the Pakistani bourgeoisie.
Well, OK. We don’t actually all admit any of those things, but all those are things I have written in the past. Today I hope to shed my inhibitions and go further.
First, the crisis. Some friends think I am being unnecessarily alarmist and the only crisis is the presence of American infidels/imperialists in the region. Let America leave and all will be well. Others believe that if the army had a “free hand”, they would have things under control within days. Let us dispense with both theories. The crisis is not primarily American generated (though they have a long and glorious history of feeding dollars to the crisis) and no one is in complete control. The existing corruption-ridden state is a British colonial creation struggling to get by alongside an unstable mix of Islamist ideology and a very shallow and self-contradictory foundational myth. Even though the karma of the Raj is potent stuff, it will not last forever against these forces. When it goes, the next step will not be the dawn of Chomskyan enlightened anarchy or democratic socialism; it will either be Salafist Islam or the dissolution of the state. Dissolution being physically and diplomatically difficult (who will handle the scramble over borders that would follow?), Salafist Islam administered by the army (perhaps with a charismatic cricketer as its public face) is the likely option.
Unfortunately, it is not likely to work very well. In fact, it is incapable of sustaining even the bare minimum of modern statehood. Unlike Iranian Islam (which is literate, modern and sophisticated compared to Salafist fantasies) there is no there there. A militarized salafist Pakistan may hold together a few years in the name of war against the infidels, but after the war (and who wants a war that could go nuclear?) we are left with little more than the vague notion of a rightly guided caliph, the whipping of uppity women and the accelerated cleansing of undesirable smaller sects. After all, if you have a religious state, then you cannot have ten different interpretations of religion (not to speak of ten different religions). Which vision is in charge has to be clear. The state must enforce religious uniformity or become secular. There is no third option. One can see this principle in operation in Pakistan ever since General Zia started Islamizing in earnest. Ahmedis were already beyond the pale, but Shias, a sect that provided the founder of Pakistan and were an integral part of Pakistan, now face the prospect of second class citizenship or worse. If you happen to believe in the Salafist project you may find this a desirable endpoint, but everyone else will want to stop this process and reverse it if possible.