Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the state

By Editorial

The Pir Chambal shrine strike in Pind Dadan Khan on November 12 by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) should disturb Pakistan because of what it means in terms of the country’s capacity to fight al Qaeda. The LeJ is a sectarian (anti-Shia, anti-Iran) terrorist organisation closely aligned with al Qaeda, together with the Tehreek-e-Taliban and Jundallah. The Pir Chambal killers kidnapped a group of Military Intelligence (MI) personnel and wanted their men released from prison as ransom, but in the ensuing operation against them they killed all of their hostages. Pakistan has been seemingly trying not to fight the terrorists attached to al Qaeda for various reasons and has been relying on other national hate objects like the US, India and Israel, to deflect attention. In this incident, too, there were reports that sympathetic elements from within the Pind Dadan Khan police had forewarned the terrorists about the coming operation that led to the capture and death of the MI personnel. More significantly, the terrorists were hiding in the Chambal hills for many months and the local police must have had information of this.

The LeJ is the sectarian face of al Qaeda but its main function is to engage in kidnapping for ransom in all the big cities of Pakistan to fill the fast-depleting coffers of its parent organisation. When the military spokesman of the ISPR tells us that the army has broken the back of al Qaeda, he leaves LeJ out. In one case after the other, the courts have convicted LeJ members for abducting people, especially those who are Ahmadis, but the image of the LeJ somehow never takes the sort of beating it should. After its founder, Malik Ishaq, was let off by the courts and ultimately released from a Lahore prison, a flurry of sectarian deaths followed, in particular two gruesome incidents in Balochistan where dozens of Shia Hazara were targeted and killed. Any outside observer would think that the state of Pakistan seemingly has a level of tolerance for these minions of al Qaeda that should arouse suspicion.

Late prime minister Benazir Bhutto was convinced before her death that attempts would be made on her life by the Musharraf establishment through the LeJ on the basis of the interface it enjoyed with it. A Pakistani journalist who interviewed Ms Bhutto after the Karachi attempt on her life, quoted her thus: “I have come to know after investigations by my own sources that the October 18 bombing was masterminded by some highly-placed officials in the Pakistani security and intelligence establishments who had hired an al Qaeda-linked militant — Maulvi Abdul Rehman Otho alias Abdul Rehman Sindhi — to execute the attack. Three local militants were hired to carry out the attack under the supervision of Abdul Rehman Sindhi, an al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant from the Dadu district of Sindh”. She ultimately died at the hands of another al Qaeda attachment — the Tehreek-e-Taliban.

There are four factors that force Pakistan to lean on its indoctrinated sense of insecurity to ignore the real danger confronting it from within: 1) lack of writ of the state; 2) presence of foreign terrorists on its soil; 3) affirmation of the ideology of the terrorists by the ideology of the state; and 4) the ‘contamination’ of the establishment from the more stringent doctrines embraced by the terrorists. The indoctrinated sense of insecurity which covers up for the reluctance to fight the terrorists is the textbook designation of India and Israel as enemy states and the latest media-led campaign against America according to which the US backs the other two and intends to snatch Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. Most Pakistanis are aware of the change this conduct of the state is bringing about. They call it the rise of extremism. But any diagnosis of how this has been brought about will not fail to indicate that it is the impunity enjoyed by the terrorists. There is Pakistan’s vast madrassa network to endorse the strict ideology of the terrorists and there is a response from within the state institutions in the shape of ‘penetration’. The world is increasingly worried about this symbiosis of terrorists with the Pakistani state and society, simply because an isolationist state relentlessly points to ‘external’ enemies who are to be fought first.

Courtesy » The Express Tribune

Defend Occupy Toronto from Eviction!

ALL OUT TO DEFEND OCCUPY TORONTO! NO POLICE VIOLENCE! STOP THE EVICTIONS!

The Toronto Police have served eviction notices to Occupy Toronto protesters at St. James Park (Jarvis St. and King St.), ordering them to vacate the park between 12 midnight tonight and 5 a.m. tomorrow and threatening to remove them. Removal in the wee hours of the night means the police want to act without witnesses, increasing the threat of violence against peaceful protestors at Occupy Toronto.

The message of the Occupy Toronto protesters, representing the views of the majority of people in Canada, is a sharp critique of the inequalities, suffering and corruption of the capitalist system and advocates a more just society.

The camp is an expression of the right to free assembly and free speech.

We call on all those who care for democracy, civil rights, and the right to dissent, to go to the Occupy Toronto site at St. James park (Jarvis and King) and to stand in solidarity with the camp and its ideals, and to prevent a government attack on peaceful protesters.

The OFL is mobilizing a mass picket, linking arms around the site, at 11 pm tonight. President Sid Ryan notes that in London last night, the cops waited until supporters went home and then moved against the Occupy site around 1 am.

Comrades and friends should start going to the park whenever they can, and those who can, should also go to the 11 pm rally ..

If you cannot go to the site, phone your city councillor and the Mayor to demand they stop the eviction, and stop security officials from forcibly removing peaceful protestors from the site. Call your MP and MPP, call the talk shows, make your voice heard.

CP24 is running a poll asking the public if they support the eviction or not. Go to http://www.cp24.com to vote.

Unity and Solidarity Can Win!

Toronto Committee and Provincial Executive, Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)

A palace coup could be in the offing in Pakistan as pro-Taliban generals try to undermine civilian government of President Zardari

Top military brass’ absence from Prez event sparks speculation

Islamabad, November 15, 2011 – Pakistan’s top four military officials, including powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, were absent from a state banquet hosted by President Asif Ali Zardari, triggering speculation about unease in ties between the government and the military. The three service chiefs and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee were not among the guests at the reception and banquet hosted by Zardari for his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov at the presidency yesterday.

The presence or absence of the top military leadership at events organised by the civilian government is closely tracked by the media and political circles, as it is considered a reflection of the state of relations between the military and the government.

The absence of the military leaders at the banquet was reported by several TV news channels on Tuesday.

One channel quoted its sources as saying that an inquiry had been ordered to ascertain why the service chiefs did not attend the reception hosted by the President. ….

Read more » http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Pakistan/Top-military-brass-absence-from-Prez-event-sparks-speculation/Article1-769419.aspx#disqus_thread

via » News adopted from Facebook (above news is circulating at Facebook)

Sindh’s Centuries Old Tolerances Under Pressure Amid State Inaction

Sindh: Old Tolerances Under Pressure Amid State Inaction

The multiculturalism and peaceful coexistence between ethnic and religious communities that is traditional to Sindh is being tested as never before. However moves at the national and local level are being counted on to defuse a tense situation. ….

Read more » UNPO

World Sindhi Congress (WSC) Appeals for an Independent Enquiry to Investigate the Murders and Disappearances of Sindhi Political activists at UN

LONDON,  (Press release NOVEMBER 10, 2011) World Sindhi Congress (WSC) participated and took floor in a meeting with Committee on Enforced Disappearances by Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at United Nations, held on 10th November, 2011 in Geneva. Dr. Rubina Greenwood, Vice Chairperson of WSC presented a statement on recently killed and disappeared Sindhi political activists.

In her statement she informed OHCHR that security forces and other security agencies have been actively engaged in hundreds of forced disappearances and targeted killings of political activists and ordinary peace loving people of Sindh and Blochistan. Media sources in Sindh have reported the official count of missing people who were picked up by the various security agencies is to be close to 175.

Dr. Greenwood reported that more than 45 Sindhi political activists belonging to various students’, labors’ and other political organizations have disappeared in recent years. Amongst them are Mr. Muzaffar Bhutto, Mr. Noor Muhammed Khaskheli, Mr Shahid Notayar, Lala Yasser, Shoukat Brohi, Faisal Wagan, Riaz Kakepoto, Shah Nawaz Bhutto, Jam Bhutto, Yasir Notiar, Ali Nawab Mahar, Zulfiqar Jamalim Hameed Shar are some of the prominent names. She also said that number of ordinary law abiding Sindhis who belong to Shah Bandir and Jati areas (border villages to India) have been illegally captured by Intelligence agencies too. Among those who are also abducted include Ali Bachal Themor, Ghulam Kadir Boryio, Taj Mohammed Themor and Mohammed Boryio to name a few.

Recent appeals made by Asian Human Rights Commission which was issued on 11th October 2011 with names of students who were taken by Pakistani Agencies from Sindh University including Afzal Pahnwar, Sanaullah Bhatti and Mukhtiar Pahnwar was presented as a supporting document to OHCHR by Dr. Greenwood.

“As recently as in last two weeks i.e. 6th November and 29th October 2011 five prominent political activists including Mohammed Brohi, Nadeem

Lashari, G M Abro, Noor Abro and Anwar Depar were arrested and their whereabouts are unknown since then,” said Dr. Greenwood in her statement.

Security agencies and Police regularly engages in the murder and killing of political activists. She said that from February to April 2011 a number of prominent political leaders and activists have been killed including Zulfiqar Kolachi, Aijaz Solangi, Sirai Qurban Khuhawr, Roplo Choliani and Nadir Bugti and Noorullah Tunio. She also reported the

murders of two active leaders of Pakistan Fisher folk Forum (PFF): Haji Abubakar and Abdul Ganai Mirbahar in May 2011.

She said that this callousness of security agencies completely ignores the commitments Pakistan made just last year when it signed the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in which Article One very clearly states, “All peoples have the right to the self-determination.”

Rubina appealed to the OHCHR Committee on Forced Disappearance to put pressure on government to set up an independent investigation of the recent killings and disappearances of political activists andordinary Sindhis in line with Pakistan’s commitments to the UN Treaties addressing freedom of speech and association.

In an email message, Dr Hidayat Bhutto, the Chairperson of the WSC said, “It is important for International Community to know about the atrocities towards progressive and secular human rights and democracy workers.”

WSC regularly attends UN events where it comments on the human rights situations in Sindh and other parts of Pakistan.

Pakistani journalist given U.S. asylum tells of threats, disappearances in Baluchistan

Siraj Ahmed Malik, an ambitious young Pakistani journalist, was enjoying a stint last fall on a fellowship at the University of Arizona when he started getting chilling messages from home.

One after another, his friends and colleagues were disappearing, he learned, and their bodies were turning up with bullet holes and burn marks. A doctor’s son from his home town was arrested and vanished. A fellow reporter was kidnapped, and his corpse was found near a river. A student leader was detained, and his bullet-riddled body dumped on a highway. A writer whose stories Malik had edited was shot and killed.

“These were kids I had played cricket with, people I had interviewed, younger reporters I had taught,” Malik, 28, said in an interview last week in Arlington County, where he now lives. The final straw came in early June, when one of his mentors, a poet and scholar, was gunned down in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, Malik’s native province.

On Aug. 19, Malik applied for political asylum in the United States. In his petition, he said that his work as a journalist and ethnic activist in Baluchistan, where he had exposed military abuses, made him likely to be arrested, tortured, abducted and “ultimately killed by the government” if he returned. …

Read more » The Washington Post