Seven blasts on railway tracks, two on gas pipelines in Sindh

Balochistan-style attacks on state interests in Sindh

Seven blasts on railway tracks, two on gas pipelines

Over a dozen bombs blew up railway tracks at seven points along major railway line in Sindh on Saturday. Also coupled were two attacks on gas pipe lines supplying natural gas to Karachi and other parts of the province.

The attacks launched with home-made bombs disrupted railway traffic on main line for hours and the trains destined to Karachi and parts of Punjab were stopped on various stations between Ghotki and Karachi. ….

Read more » The Point » » The Voice of Sindh & Balochistan

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When rickshaws turn jihadi

By Raza Rumi

Why is the Lahore city administration not taking note of these vile messages? Some of the images are visually disturbing for children who are frequent users. Is there no other way to articulate our concern for water scarcity and ‘war’ with India? Extremism is slowly destroying the culture Lahore was once proud of.

Newer and popular expressions of jihadi ideology are impositions from the above and do not reflect the imaginations of the artists and drivers. Our public spaces are turning into haunting grounds of militaristic might and jihadi discourse. Challenging it is the first step towards changing our country.

To read complete article » The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2012.

Options matrix before Gen. Kayani for the appointment of Spy chief – Aabpara auditions

Aabpara auditions

By Wajahat S Khan

It’s appointment time at the Fortress on 7th Avenue. Pakistan’s premier intelligence arm, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, is transitioning through a change of the guard. After an unprecedented two extensions at the helm of the ISI, infantryman (or as he prefers it, Piffer) Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha is getting ready for golfing. Or is he?

The deadline for the switchover is March 18th, the day Pasha says goodbye to his Aabpara staff of at least six sub-directorates (‘Analysis’, ‘Counter’, ‘Internal’, ‘Media’, ‘Special’ & ‘Technical’) and goes packing. Assuming he will either not be offered an extension (which has to officially come from the office of the prime ninister), nor accept an extension if it is offered (which may be likely as it will make him look good and the PM/government seem thankful and happy), the DG-I (preferred again, for only civilians call him DG-ISI) will be replaced by a man who will have to be battle-ready without the luxury of any ‘settling in’ period. ….

Read more » The Friday Times

Pakistan – As always, too late

The ignored Baloch

By: Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

As always, too little too late

Rehman Malik has announced the withdrawal of cases against the Baloch militant leaders driven to the mountains or forced into exile by what they call the brutality of the security forces. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani wants to convene an All Parties Conference on Balochistan.

Had these cases been withdrawn four years back and a genuine reconciliation process initiated, this could have led to talks and arrested the situation from reaching a point of no return.

There was enough goodwill in Balochistan for the PPP-led government when it took over in 2008. There were also hopes that parliament would act forcefully and the courts would exert their authority to end the atrocities initiated by the Musharraf regime.

The PPP government simply failed to pursue the peace process meaningfully. Instead, it willingly agreed to follow the policy being pursued under Musharraf. This meant continuing the military-cum-FC operations in Balochistan that displaced thousands of people, allowing forced disappearances and the torture, killing and dumping of the disfigured corpses on roadside.

In June 2008, Senator Sanauallah Baloch who had returned from exile after the restoration of democracy resigned from the House after a speech that moved the entire Senate. Soon after Baloch leaders rejected the move by the government for an All Parties Conference. They instead demanded direct talks on issues highlighted by leaders like Akhtar Mengal that included end to operations in the province, tracing persons forcibly taken away and the ownership of Balochistabn’s resources by the Balochis.

Month after month, there were peaceful protests all over Balochistan to press for their demands. There were calls by nationalist parties for shutter down closures, hunger strikes, and hoisting of black flags. Baloch representatives in parliament underlined the dangers if no measures were taken to improve the situation. Year after year, the government continued to look the other way.

Raisani complained of being powerless and accused FC of running a parallel government that was harming the process of reconciliation. Gilani, however, failed to take any notice as the federal government had decided to follow the policy formulated under Musharraf. It was willing, as before, to bribe the tribal leaders in the provincial assembly and offer crumbs to the population. It was not willing to concede what Baloch considered their rights.

Continue reading Pakistan – As always, too late

Government decides against Pasha extension

By Azaz Syed

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s government has reportedly decided against extending the tenure of the chief of its spy agency, DawnNews reported late Saturday.

Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who has been the Director General (DG) of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency for the last three-and-a-half years, will reportedly be transferred to the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) as its head.

Pasha was handed a one-year extension as chief of the premier spy agency last March. However, following his alleged role in the Memogate scandal, it was being reported that Pasha will not be given another extension.

According to sources quoted by DawnNews, the government is keeping mum on this issue for now. “Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will take the final decision after his one-on-one meeting with the President Asif Ali Zardari,” sources told DawnNews.

In what may come as a surprising development, the government may appoint a non-military official or a retired military officer as the new chief of the ISI. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

The only capital city on earth where pigs roam wild is Islamabad

Hogs going wild in Pakistani capital

By CHRIS BRUMMITT

Associated Press – ISLAMABAD (AP) — With a police officer wounded and the presidential palace breached, the Pakistani capital has launched a fresh offensive against a uniquely feared enemy in the Muslim country – the city’s ever expanding population of wild boar.

Read more » Associated Press

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More » BBC urdu »» Pigs attack Pakistan’s Supreme Court! Seven wounded

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2010/05/100506_wild_boars_attack.shtml

Shia Pashtuns of Parachinar may invite foreign intervention to get themselves rid of a brutal military state

Editor’s note: Departing from collective silence in Pakistan’s mainstream media, Daily Times is the only outlet in English and Urdu media which has published at least two articles highlighting the 17 Feb 2012 Shia massacre in Parachinar in which 47 Shias Muslims were massacred; at least 12 of them were killed by live firing by Pakistan’s paramilitary forces (FC) deployed in Kurram Agency. In the following op-ed Farhat Taj notes that what is phenomenal is that so many Shia tribesmen have managed to stay cool-minded despite the trauma they have to live with as shown by the Shias who rescued the Sunnis. Taj also notes that Kurram Shias have a stronger case to invite a foreign power (United Nations, Afghanistan, NATO etc) to get themselves rid of Pakistan’s military state and society that places no worth on their blood and sufferings.

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Pushing Kurram to invite foreign intervention — Farhat Taj

Read more » LUBP

Taliban’s former ‘vice and virtue’ chief sees new revolution

By Reuters

Excerpts;

…. “The Taliban were defenders of Islam and true Muslims, and we introduced a pure Islamic system. I believe the Taliban will never regret that…” –Maulvi Qalamuddin, the bearded cleric who oversaw the religious police squads which roamed Afghan streets beating women, smashing televisions and herding men into mosques. ….

Read more » Gulf News

14 blasts rock Sindh railway track

KARACHI/HYDERABAD: Lengths of railway track were blown up in Bin Qasim, Nawabshah, Hyderabad, and Pud Eidan, Khairpur and Ghotki somewhere before and after dawn stopping the up and down traffic, Geo News reported Saturday.

According to police, two blasts were heard before they found out a sizable part of the main track, going through Long Khan Kairio village area of Nawabshah, has been damaged.

Later, a couple of similar blasts were also reported from Qasimabad area of Hyderabad, where 1-2 feet long rail tracks came off in the wake of explosions. To boot, blasts near Latifabad area also reportedly damaged the rails taking the tally to four in Hyderabad alone that too within hours.

Moreover, culprits, also targeted rails near Pud Eaidan area using the same modus operandi i.e. two IEDs planted close by detonating one after another.

Reports of a similar sabotage also came from Kotri, Ghotki and Bin Qasim.

All the up and down trains have been stopped to safety. Railway sources told that Zakaria and Fareed Express were stopped at Sadiqabad.

Fortunately no passenger/cargo train was anywhere near the blast sites, otherwise major casualties could have been the outcome of these perpetrations.

Police have condoned off the site to launch an investigation as well as search for probable explosive devices or the culprits hiding nearby.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-36919-14-blasts-rock-Sindh-railway-track

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More details » Voice of America

http://www.voanews.com/urdu/news/pakistan-rail-blasts-140395433.html#.T0kN7WG9-7o.facebook