Pakistan’s military and legislators plan peace talks with Taliban

– In the midst of bad and worsening relations with Washington, Pakistan considers new round of peace talks with Pakistan-based Taliban, arguing that ‘military solutions’ are making things worse.

By Owais Tohid

Excerpt;

……. But analysts believe that striking negotiations with Islamic militants will pose serious challenges. “We struck peace accords with militant commanders during the past and those blew up on our face,” says Peshawar-based defense analyst, retired Brig. Mohammad Saad. “Once you enter into negotiations, they [the militants] grow bigger than their size and start believing themselves as equal. The more the state talks to them, they will become a bigger problem in Pakistan.”

“Their agenda is different,” Brigadier Saad adds. “Their ideology is in clash with the norms and values of any modern civilized society.” …..

To read complete article → csmonitor

IQRA Program

– Information on 30 million “Improving the Quality of Reading Activity (IQRA)” Program in Sindh

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

Recently, the US government issued “Request for Agreement (RFA)” documents for engaging NGOs for a US $ 30-million “Improving the Quality of Reading Activity (IQRA)” Program in Sindh. This RFA was issued in conjunction with the $ 155 million agreement between Government of Sindh (GoS) and the US Aid Agency. The full RFA document is available at http://www.usaid.gov/pk/docs/USAIDPakistanRFA-391-11-000005.pdf

Those interested to be active participant in the “Improving the Quality of Reading Activity (IQRA)” Program must read read the full document at above link.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, September 30, 2011.

Naraaa e Takbeer

Grass à la carte

by Hakim Hazik

We are, without a doubt the most honorable nation on the face of the earth. An attack on our sovereignty will be resisted with all possible means at our disposal. Haqqani Sahib is our knight in shining armour who will demolish the cruel and heartless American imperialism.

He is the defender of the Faith and the servant of the Strategic Depth, in which we believe with our hearts and with our souls, unto which we hold no equal, to which we prostrate ourselves and from which we seek succour and sustenance. There is only one Supreme Entity superior to the Strategic Depth and that is the Soft Strategic Depth.

It was Daddy Ji Haqqani, who give the glad tidings to President Reagan over high tea in the Blue Room, that the Soviet Union was no more, that the Clash of Civilizations was over and for the world economy to prosper and for Lockheed Martin to get new contracts, a new clash and a new civilization had to be found. It was him who made possible the peresteroika, the glasnost, the demolition of the Berlin Wall, the internet revolution, the New American Century, the Desert Storm, the Freedom Fries and the Arab Spring. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. It is strange that the whole world knows it, except Admiral Mullen.

Even the Foreign Minister knows it. She has laid it out in clear and categorical terms. Any attack on Daddy Ji or Junior will be considered an act of extreme provocation and we will respond with our strategic assets mounted on Hatf missiles and on Birkin handbags. If necessary, we will eat grass. By the grace of God, half the population is already eating grass. This is a morally and nutritionally sound option especially if flavoured with raw sewage, as in the blessed province of Sindh.

We will sell our children, we will die of dengue hemorrhagic fever, we will drown in foreign seas, trying to cross over into Europe but we will defend Daddy Ji. Our resolve is unshakable, our honour is not to be trifled with. We will borrow from Brother Hu and we will borrow from Brother Abdullah, we will buy F16 aircraft with cash payments and with the new American aircraft, we will fight the new American aggression.

The stalwart of the Ummah and the Doyen of Soviet Jihad, Imam Charlie Wilson, (D), Texas, had said that Brother Jalal ud Din was ‘goodness personified’. The Interior Minister was paying homage to the memory of Imam Sahib, when he said that the Brother is a son of the soil. To win the soil, you must talk to the son.

Our faith is growing steadily, matched only by the growth of our population and light years ahead of the growth of our economy. This is the winning formula. Faith combined with IMF dollars, dengue virus, nuclear weapons and a diet of grass will allow us to conquer the world and disprove allegations of nuclear proliferation and spot fixing. This is the formulation which our premier intellectual forum, the Corps Commanders Conference has devised and which the Brain of the Ummah, Maulana Peabrain of Karachi fully approves off.

Naraaa e Takbeer.

Courtesy: → ViewPoint

http://www.viewpointonline.net/grass-a-la-carte.html

Mirpurkhas, Sindh – Human Rights and Human Security Report

September 2011 – Mirpurkhas was found in 1806 by Mir Ali Mohammad Khan Talpur. The word Mirpurkhas means, “The land of high Mirs.” In 90s this district gained the status of the head quarter of district Tharparkar. Later on 31 October 1990, the district was bifurcated into two districts: District Mirpurkhas and District Tharparkar. Afterwards, it was further bifurcated in two districts Umerkot and district Mirpurkhas.

Continue reading Mirpurkhas, Sindh – Human Rights and Human Security Report

GRAPES TURNING SOUR: THE APC

Waseem Altaf

They give a damn when it comes to worthless civilians and more so in case of corrupt politicians but when feel the need to signal the world that the whole nation stands behind them, orchestrate such gatherings. However, perhaps the time is over for such theatrics. This time around popular leaders from Baluchistan were not invited because they don’t like their faces but militant mullahs were very much part of the APC.

The Prime Minister gave his address by reading a carefully crafted paper rejecting the US allegations and “do more demand” and also stressed his complete support to the valiant armed forces.

The DG.ISI categorically denied any links with Haqqani network and any export of terrorism. However Mian Nawaz Sharif countered him and asked if that was so why the whole world accused Pakistan? General Kayani and Molvi Munawwar Hassan of Jamaat-e-Islami, the hand in glove came to Pasha’s rescue. Mahmood Achakzai stated that if ISI wanted, there could be peace in Afghanistan within a month. The gallant sons of the soil however could not muster enough courage to even name the US or even its functionaries in the draft of the resolution and the drone issue was not even discussed.

Let us look at the general and vague clauses of the APC resolution:-

A) The already passed resolutions of the Parliament should be implemented.

Yes sure, but a little difficult task for you guys. How about hiring some overseas consultants to get those implemented after all we do import professionals to get things done.

B) Pakistan wants good relations with all countries.

Yes you want to have good relations with other countries but also want to continue with mischief mongering. Unfortunately the two things don’t go together.

C) The focal point of Pakistan’s foreign policy is peace in the region.

Yes that is why you facilitated peace in Afghanistan (1979-89) and in Indian administered Kashmir (1989-99) Peace in Baluchistan and Karachi is immaterial for those who think “international

D) Defense of Pakistan is the first and foremost duty of the people and defense forces of Pakistan.

Maybe it’s the first and foremost duty of people of Pakistan but please let the defense forces defend the Defense Housing Societies .And please also defend your citizens in your own country. They are being abducted and bombed and killed within your so called jurisdiction.

E) Pakistan rejects all baseless allegations.

Okay! So allegations leveled by you have a base but the Indian and the Afghan allegations, the American and the British ones and perhaps those by Iran and China are all baseless. And surely the allegation of murder of Saleem Shahzad by ISI should also be baseless.

F) Pakistan wants negotiations with all groups who want peace.

Unfortunately you only want negotiations with those who don’t want peace.

G) To move forward Pakistan should focus on trade and not aid.

Good realization after 64 years of coming into existence.

Perhaps the grapes are turning sour.

Courtesy: → SPN → South Asian Pulse

‘Taliban and Anti Taliban’ – A People’s History of FATA

by Amit Julka

When I read Taj’s book, ‘Taliban and Anti Taliban’, I thought a more suitable title for the book would have been A People’s History of FATA, as it has much in common with Howard Zinn’s seminal work A People’s History of the United States. Both books narrate the story of a land from the point of view of the conquered, and not the conquerors. Both books seek to challenge the dominant narrative and conventional wisdom. The only difference is that Zinn’s Native Americans had been vanquished and exterminated about four centuries ago while Taj’s tribesmen are being systematically oppressed and exterminated as we speak.

And this is where the significance of the book lies. It presents the story of a people who have been often been regarded as savages and brutes from their eyes and not the eyes of those who wish to conquer them. FATA has often been termed as Pakistan’s dirty backyard. The state claims that the region is not under its control, and hence justifies oppression against the natives under the garb of the draconian FCR laws. The Americans say that the region is a haven for terrorists. However, no mainstream observer has bothered to tell the story of the people and the way they have been squeezed between the state and the Taliban.

The book starts with the chapter ‘Deconstructing Some Myths About FATA’. In this chapter, Taj questions two fundamental notions that outsiders have about the region and its people. Her first argument is that contrary to popular opinion, the people of FATA are not Taliban sympathizers. She argues that the widespread militant activities in the region have more to do with the state’s policy of treating the Taliban and their ilk as strategic assets. Thus, according to her, the Taliban and other jihadi groups have been imposed top-down and enjoy no popular support. On the contrary, she argues that it is the indigenous people of the region who have tried to resist them, and it is the state’s collusion with the militants that has changed the power structures in the region and destroyed tribal institutions like jirga and Pakhtunwali.

Her second argument is that the state’s attempt to portray the tribal areas as unruly and beyond its control is nothing but insidious propaganda. In fact, it is the state, and especially Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI that has repressed people through legal and extra-legal means. Moreover, she adds that the influx of militants from Afghanistan to Pakistan wouldn’t have been possible without the state’s collusion. This, she claims flies in the face of the state’s claim that some soldiers may have sympathised with the Taliban due to ethnic affiliation or other such factors. ….

Read more → ViewPoint

Catch 22 for Pakistan’s left

– by Nayyer Khan

I do not expect a balanced outlook from a common man in Pakistan who lives behind a smoke screen created by Urdu press and brain washed through 60 years of antagonistic indoctrination against the non-Muslim world, except China. However, the views of old friends from left Wing (now liberals mostly associated with NGOs or civil society) and laissez-faire intelligentsia astonish me. The old cult is still deep seated in their minds, in which America takes the position of the devil. They go so far in their prejudice against America that they lose their ability to pick the lesser of the two evils.

I fully agree to the universal rule that my enemy’s enemy is my friend, yet the issue is to identify who the current enemy is. It is a well established fact that a smaller but irrational enemy is much more dangerous than a bigger yet rational enemy. Hence the later becomes a friend when an irrational enemy is the immediate threat. …

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Permanent revolution

by John Reiman

There will be no breaking the power of the “feudals” in Pakistan, no equality for women in Afghanistan, no establishment of stable democracy in Egypt, no resolving the tribal conflicts in Africa, and no salvation for the 15 million children who die of hunger every year on the basis of capitalism

As they did in the 1950s, once again, the winds of revolution are sweeping the former colonial world. This time, however, these winds are mixed with those of counter-revolution also, and this complication is partly a result of the failure of the previous period to resolve the problems in that part of the world. ….

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