Day of Action for Rivers: Support for PFF March in Sindh to Save Indus River
by: Aziz Narejo
International Day of Action for Rivers is being observed the world over this Sunday. An announcement by the organizers (copied below) says: “Under the banner “Our Rivers, Our Rights,” voices around the world defending people, water, and life will be heard this Sunday. If you are participating this year, don’t forget to take photos and send them along to us!”
Very sad indeed. Unfortunately, the supply of suicide bombers exceeds the ability of our security forces to catch them and will likely do so for several years to come. The Jihadi militias are the Pak security establishment’s gift to the nation and its the gift that keeps on giving.
I know that now the security establishment itself is at the recieving end and we all need the security establishment to stop this menace, but it bring up this unpleasant business about “the gift that keeps on giving” because it is not only important that the security establishment now changes sides and eliminates these militias, it is also important that we develop better civilian institutions that can keep the security establishment in check so they don’t create new monsters in the future. Our security establishment is a professional institution, with reasonable good capabilities when it comes to actual army work like fighting conventional wars (at least by third world standards), but the average military officer (in most armies, not just in our army) has a very narrow and distorted world view. If they are allowed to decide national priorities and strategy without civilian input, they are guaranteed to make at least one big blunder every few years….I remember an exchange with an Indian historian who had spent some time with Indian
officers in Kashmir. He said the thing that struck him was that many of these officers are brave and are doing a tough job in harsh terrain and he admired them for that, but when they sat down for conversation after dinner, their naive and even silly theories about history, their total ignorance of economics and sociology, their “world view” basically knocked his socks off and he realized for the first time how lucky India was that these fine officers are NOT in charge of making public policy. Now, this historian was a fairly typical left wing product of higher education, so I am not saying everything he regarded as silly was really silly….sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, but I think he did have a point.
Anyway, coming back to the tragic bombings. We also need to improve the civilian police and dedicated anti-terrorist force. Ultimately, this is a police matter. Man for man, the Punjab police is more effective than most subcontinental police forces (that is not saying much, ALL subcontinental police units are riddled with corruption, use torture, abuse the poor and gang up with the rich to rob them and so on, but my guess is that the police in Lahore is probably more effective than the police in Delhi or Karachi) and given some time and effort, this menace will eventually be tackled mostly by the police in the settled areas while the army eliminates their bases in the tribal areas and suchlike. It will be a very unpleasant and nasty war…
On March 12th, 2010, Friday, a group of civil society leaders, layers, writers and legislators (Pitamber PPP MPA, Advocate Javed Qazi, Asho Thama HRCP representative, Punhal Sario, Verji Kolhi, Zulfiqar Halepoto and others) visited the camp of displaced dalit families in Mithi (Thar Desert).
People of FATA are grateful to His! Excellency Karzai for his statement against FCR in FATA
By Zar Ali Khan Musazai
President Hamid Karzai was right to say that Frontier Crimes Regulations commonly known as FCR is a terrible legacy of the British colonial rule being applied on Pashtun People in FATA. The sooner it is taken out the better. It is also against human dignity. As for as I understand this important question was posed a Pashtun journalist no less than the incumbent President of Peshawar Press Club in Pashto language in Islamabad when his Excellency! Hamid Khan Karzai was there on his official visit to Islamabad. Some of the Pakistani- minded Journalists who were present on that occasion criticized the remarks of Pashtun President Hamid Karzai and termed his reply as an intervention in internal affairs of Pakistan. This criticism was illogical and non sense. These so called journalists should realize that FATA is a place where Pashtun live and Karzai is also a Pashtun/Afghan and he has the right to ask for his people’s right in FATA. This unfortunate part has always been used for the nefarious designs by the establishment of Pakistan. First this part was used by the British rulers to block the forward movements of the then Tzarists and latter on was used by Pakistan with support of international community and Arab world to stop socialist block of former USSR to remain in Kabul. This time this part is again being used as proxy to thwart the good intentions of international community to prevail peace and promote democracy and developmental activities in Afghanistan. People in FATA do want change and are not ready to remain in old and out dated system which has given them nothing except humiliation and destruction. FATA is an area where there are no human rights. Political parties are not allowed to do politics and political parties act has never been extended to this part. Resultantly, extremist religious forces.