Tag Archives: Khyber

Jihadi Vs. Jihadi – 32 dead as Taliban clash with rival Islamists in Pakistan

Militant clash in Khyber tribal region kills 32

By: Zahir Shah Sherazi

PESHAWAR: An intense gun-battle erupted between two banned militant groups in Khyber Agency’s Tirah Valley on Friday, with at least 32 militants so far killed in the clash.

Intelligence officials said the gun-battle started late Thursday between the proscribed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and rival group Ansarul Islam (AI) in Tirah Valley’s Maidan village. The dead included 23 Ansar fighters and nine TTP militants, while several others were also injured.

Officials said the death toll was likely to increase as the fighting had not yet ended.

Speaking to a Dawn.com reporter, Sadat Afridi, a spokesman for the banned Ansarul Islam group, claimed that they had captured over three TTP bases in the valley’s Maidan village, and that the fight was still on for a fourth base.

Afridi said that his group has vowed to flush out TTP militants from Tirah Valley as they “carry out attacks on mosques and public places, which is against Islam.”

Afridi said that they would not allow the TTP to continue “killing innocent Muslims in the name of religion.”

Khyber is among Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border, rife with homegrown insurgents and home to religious extremist organisations including the al Qaeda.

The remote Tirah valley holds strategic significance for militant groups. On one side, it shares a border with Afghanistan. On the other it leads to the plains of Bara, which connect the agency to the outskirts of Peshawar.

Khyber also links several agencies to each other, serving as a north-south route within Fata. The region has been long fought over by a mix of militant organisations, including the TTP, the Ansarul Islam and Mangal Bagh’s Lashkar-i-Islam.

Continue reading Jihadi Vs. Jihadi – 32 dead as Taliban clash with rival Islamists in Pakistan

Captain among eight killed in IED attack in Khyber Agency

By: Zahir Shah Sherazi and Agencies

KHYBER AGENCY: Eight soldiers including a captain were killed and three others were injured as security convoy was targeted by the militants with a remote control improvised explosive device (IED) in Bara Tehsil of Khyber Agency on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Government sources said that a convoy of the security forces was passing through Qamarabad area of Bara Tehsil in Khyber agency when it was hit by a remote controlled IED planted on the roadside. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

What’s Wrong with Pakistan?

Why geography — unfortunately — is destiny for South Asia’s troubled heartland.

BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN

Perversity characterizes Pakistan. Only the worst African hellholes, Afghanistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Iraq rank higher on this year’s Failed States Index. The country is run by a military obsessed with — and, for decades, invested in — the conflict with India, and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pays almost no taxes. But despite an overbearing military, tribes “defined by a near-universal male participation in organized violence,” as the late European anthropologist Ernest Gellner put it, dominate massive swaths of territory. The absence of the state makes for 20-hour daily electricity blackouts and an almost nonexistent education system in many areas.

Heavily armed jihadi groups clash in Pakistan: 5 killed, 5 injured in clash between rival Islamic militants

5 killed, 5 injured in clash between rival militants groups

Firefight between Lashkar-e-Islam and Ansarul Islam began when latter’s fighters attacked stronghold of LI militants.

PESHAWAR: At least five militants were killed and five others were injured when clashes erupted between Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) and Ansarul Islam (AI) in the Sanda Pal area of Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency.

According to locals, the firefight between the two groups began in the early hours of Monday when fighters of AI attacked Sanda Pal, a stronghold of LI militants.

They claimed that four militants of the Mangal Bagh-led LI had been killed and two were injured, while one fighter of AI was killed and three were injured.

Clashes between the two groups occur frequently as AI fights the LI to gain control of the area.

According to sources, heavy weapons were used in the fight and AI fighters took control of a number of small outposts to reach Sanda Pal – the main outpost.

Residents living in the secluded valley have little communication with the world.

The area has been under the influence of militants, including the LI, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Ansarul Islam, who have consistently targeted each other over territorial disputes and sectarian differences.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

Via – Twitter » TF’s Tweet

Pakistan – More than 50 dead in gunfights, air strikes in Orakzai, Kurram

By AFP

PESHAWAR: At least 51 militants and four soldiers have been killed in air strikes and clashes with security forces in the restive northwest over the past week, officials said Sunday.

On Sunday, planes bombed a tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, killing 26 militants, a senior paramilitary official told AFP.

“Jet strikes today killed 26 militants and wounded 15 others and destroyed their seven hideouts in different areas of Upper Orakzai and Kurram,” the official said.

Separately, at least 25 militants and four soldiers were killed in Bara, Khyber Agency in gunfights between March 12 and 18, the official said.

Four security forces personnel embraced martyrdom and 12 others were wounded in gunfights which left 25 militants dead,” he said.

The official said that no militant had been killed in custody and added that the military operation was directed at the militants belonging to the Taliban-linked Laskhar-e-Islam group that is led by warlord Mangal Bagh.

The group has been involved in recent suicide attacks and kidnapping in Peshawar, which borders Khyber, he said.

Two local intelligence officials confirmed the clashes and death toll.

Independent verification of the incident is not possible as access to the area is restricted by the military.

Read more » The Express Tribune

Summary of Musharraf’s Article: You don’t get it, the Baloch deserve to be killed by the Army.

Understanding Balochistan

By Pervez Musharraf

There is no doubt that Balochistan is the most backward and most deprived province of Pakistan. Successive governments since our independence are responsible for their share of the neglect suffered by Balochistan. But unfortunately the sardars themselves did not favour development in their areas. Notably Akbar Bugti, who despite having been chief minister and governor of the province, hardly did anything for Balochistan, or even for Dera Bugti. An anti-Pakistan, anti-army and anti-FC sentiment was planted and gradually nourished, especially among the Bugtis, Marris and Mengals, by their sardars. Some efforts made in the 1970s to open up the area through the establishment of a communication infrastructure were strongly opposed and rejected by the Marris.

Continue reading Summary of Musharraf’s Article: You don’t get it, the Baloch deserve to be killed by the Army.

Pakistan’s TTP “Taliban” Prove Once Again That They Are Really Monsters – TTP claims killing of 15 abducted FC troops

Mullagoris mourn death of 15 FC men

PESHAWAR: Villagers in Mullagori area in Khyber Agency continued to mourn the death of the 15 Frontier Constabulary (FC) men who were kidnapped by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants last month and killed on Thursday.

All the slain men were from Painda Lalma village and belonged to the Mullagori tribe. Their bodies were transported to the village on Thursday after collective Nimaz-e-Janaza was offered for them at an official event at the FC offices in Peshawar’s Hayatabad town.

Relatives of the dead FC personnel had also reached there to take possession of the bodies. The FC men were overpowered when the TTP fighters led by Commander Asmatullah Shaheen stormed the FC Fort in Mullazai area in Frontier Region Tank in a night-time attack on December 23. They abducted the 15 FC personnel and later killed them. ….

Read more » The News

FATA, the strategic playground of Pakistan: Another school blown up by Pakistan’s strategic assets

School blown up in Khyber

By: Ahmad Nabi

KHYBER AGENCY – Bacha Khan Foundation School was blown up, as some unidentified militants planted explosive devices inside it in Khuga Khel area of tehsil Landi Kotal ….

Read more » The Nation

Solve the Pakistan problem by redrawing the map – By M. CHRIS MASON – Globe and Mail

Relations between the United States and Pakistan have reached an all-time low. The Khyber Pass is closed to NATO cargo, U.S. personnel were evicted from Shamsi airbase and Pakistani observers have been recalled from joint co-operation centres.

Much more importantly, senior officials in Washington now know that Pakistan has been playing them false since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and understand that Pakistan was sheltering Osama bin Laden a few hundred yards from its version of West Point. The recent shelling of Afghan troops inside Afghanistan by the Pakistani army, and the NATO counterstrike, cleared in error by Pakistan, has further embarrassed the Pakistani military.

Continue reading Solve the Pakistan problem by redrawing the map – By M. CHRIS MASON – Globe and Mail

BAAGHI: Sindh fights back in Shikarpur

BAAGHI: Pakistan fights back in Shikarpur —Marvi Sirmed

Shikarpur was to the old Sindh what Karachi is today to Pakistan. Having trade links with Central Asia, from Qandahar to Uzbekistan to Moscow, Shikarpur was the gateway of Sindh to the world

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan saw yet another moment of national shame right on the day of Eid-ul-Azha when four Hindus, including three doctors, were brutally killed in broad daylight. Conflicting media messages and false claims about the motive are but an ugly attempt to justify the crime. According to the story given out to the media, the murders took place after a boy from the Hindu community sexually assaulted a girl from the Muslim Bhayo tribe. Bhayo is the third most influential tribes of Shikarpur after the Jatois and Mahars in Chak town of Shikarpur. Hindus make around 6,000 out of the total 40,000 people in Chak town and are the predominant contributors to Sindh’s economy through trade and other professions. In the local politics of the area, the Hindu community has never been as muted as it is now, after the advent of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), working openly through their unmarked offices and representatives since at least a decade.

One was appalled listening to the people of the town about the immunity with which the Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) operates in Shikarpur in cahoots with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan-Fazl (JUI-F) and with the support of local tribal chiefs and state machinery, especially the police. The accused Bhayo tribe has its members in not only the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (the main accused Babul Khan Bhayo is district head of the PPP), but also in pro-Taliban  Ulema-e-Pakistan-Fazl (JUI-F) and proscribed militant extremist organisation, the SSP.

According to the details gathered from the local communities, a young girl from Bhayo community went to see her Hindu friend on Diwali night. The girl was seen entering the autaq (sitting area used by males), which was unusual in the local culture. Discovering the boy and the girl together, community elders (Hindus) reportedly beat the boy and sent the girl back to her home. The event triggered the ‘honour’ of the Bhayo tribe. What made things worse was the boy’s religion. The Bhayos felt doubly humiliated.

The Bhayo members of the  Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) and the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan-Fazl (JUI-F) started threatening the entire Hindu community since that day. The community requested the police for security after which the police established a small picket near the Hindu neighbourhood. But two hours before the incident, policemen vanished from the scene only to come back half an hour after the ambush. Just when the police pretended to start searching for the culprits, SSP and JUI-F workers gathered around the police station and amid the slogans of Allah-o-Akbar (God is Great) and Jihad Fi Sabilillah (war in the cause of God), they intimidated the police staff and asked to close the case. Resultantly, the FIR could only be registered around 36 hours after the crime. The victims’ family does not agree with the facts described in the state-registered complaint.

Noteworthy is the fact that the victims were not even remotely related to the Hindu boy accused by the Bhayo tribes of being ‘karo’ (accused boy). According to a much-criticised tradition, when an unmarried couple is caught together, they are murdered after the Panchayat is informed. The accused girl (kari) is usually murdered before or with the accused boy (karo). According to the tribal code, karo can only be the one directly involved in the ‘illicit’ relations with the kari. In this case, even the principles of this tradition (unapproved by educated Sindhis), karo-kari (honour killing), were not followed. It is a case of simple and direct targeting of the Hindu community, which remains an endangered one after the religious extremists were installed in the area for running the madrassas.

Madrassa tradition in Shikarpur is almost 40 years old, which is the age of the oldest madrassa here. According to the locals, Pashto speaking Niazis from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjabis from south Punjab were brought in over a decade ago. Totally alien to the local culture and traditions, they tried to impose strict Islamic code, which initially did not work. But after more than a decade, an entire generation has been out of these madrassas in the social life of Shikarpur. When I spoke to over a dozen people from the local Muslim community, I found them extremely opposed to and fearful of the Islamisation being brought to Sindh, which they saw as a part of the larger design of ruining the Sindhi culture.

The fact that the common people still value local pluralistic culture is evident from the fact that over the last few days, people — mainly Muslims — are coming out in the streets every day in almost 500-600 villages and towns of rural Sindh against this incident. It was heartening to know that not only thousands (6,000 according to a conservative estimate by a member of the local Press Club) of Muslims participated in the funeral of their four fellow citizens; hundreds of them have taken upon themselves to ensure the security of the frightened Hindu community. They stay day and night at the entrance of the Hindu neighbourhood. These common people, one Hindu resident of the area said, are not only from the influential Mahar and Jatoi communities but also some Bhayos are seen among them.

When asked how the pro-Taliban Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan-Fazl (JUI-F) guys got such an influence in an otherwise sufi and secular culture of this city, the people proudly said that the fact that these extremists need political backing, support of the tribal influentials and police machinery, is enough evidence of their weakness. Had they had a popular support, they would not have needed any of these tactics. A local rights’ activist (Muslim), who is a key organiser of a protest rally today (Monday) at 12 noon in Hyderabad, wanted me to tell the world that Pakistanis would fight extremism till the last drop of their blood.

This is Pakistan! Those in the charge of things must realise that the people of Pakistan are committed to their pluralistic values ingrained in their sufi culture. Any effort to dismantle plural and secular social base would be met with fierce resistance. The ones who believe that we, the ‘liberal fascists’, are few in number and are irrelevant, should see how this battle is being fought by a common citizen in Sindh, original home to a wonderful Hindu community who made Shikarpur mercantile hub of Sindh before the Talpurs came in. Shikarpur was to the old Sindh what Karachi is today to Pakistan. Having trade links with Central Asia, from Qandahar to Uzbekistan to Moscow, Shikarpur was the gateway of Sindh to the world. And in Shikarpur, it was our Hindu trader community that started the system of payments through cheques. Home to poets like Sheikh Ayaz, this city has produced seers and litterateurs alongside professionals of the highest quality. Today Shikarpur is determined to fight extremism more than ever.

Continue reading BAAGHI: Sindh fights back in Shikarpur

Where are Taliban’s apologists who justified these actions through linking it to American highhandedness in the region.

Execution Videos Strike Terror in Pakistan

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Jul 19, 2011 (IPS) – A video showing a group of 16 Pakistani policemen, hands tied behind their backs, being executed by Taliban gunmen in the Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is only the latest in a series showing brutal acts designed to strike terror in the areas bordering Afghanistan.

In the video, released on Monday, an unknown member of the Taliban (Islamic scholars) explains that the policemen are being punished for abandoning Islam and to avenge the deaths of six Pakistani children killed during security operations in adjacent Swat district.

The policemen are believed to have been abducted by the Taliban during a raid on a security post in the village of Shaltalo on Jun. 1.

“We first thought that we were watching a scene from an action movie and could not believe that it was an authentic recording of executions,” Imranullah, a resident of Dir, told IPS. …

“But, given the Taliban’s reputation for brutality, we were soon convinced that it was genuine,” Imranullah said. “We still remember how the Taliban murdered a popular female dancer called Shabana in Swat and strung her body up from an electricity pole as warning.”

Read more → IPS News

Fundamentalism & Pashtun culture

by Zar Ali Khan

Tableeghi Jumat is opposed to the Pashtun culture and is busy working against the culture of Pashtun. They are promoting Arabization, an Arab culture in the name of religion Islam. They do not like Pashtun names and name their near and dear as Arabs. These religious people have entered into each and every pashtun house under a conspiracy of Pakistani establishment and ISI. These people are also against music and dub musicians as infidals and enemies of God …

Read more: View Point

Death of Osama & Threats to Pakistan; US Operation Raises Questions on Country’s Security Apparatus; Top Brass Holds Somber Meetings

By Aijaz Ahmed

Excerpt:

Death of Osama & Threats to Pakistan; US Operation Raises Questions on Country’s Security Apparatus; Top Brass Holds Somber Meetings. It is said that US did not share any information on the raid with Pakistan but a government officer confided to Indus Herald on the condition of anonymity that a number of Pakistani commandos provided cover to the operating US soldiers…

To read complete article : Indus Herald

Sindh should follow Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s example and announce formation of Sindh HEC

By Khalid Hashmani

It is time for the Government of Sindh to immediately announce creation of a Higher Education Commission of Sindh (HECS) and appoint a suitable person to head the HECS. Too much time has already been wasted in trying to protect an institution that has failed Sindh, Balochistan and the rest of country. Any hesitation on the part of the remaining provinces to form their higher education bodies will simply prolong the delay in the implementation of 18th Amendment. The current managers of HEC should stop their delaying tactics and work for an orderly devolution of HEC in the larger interest of the country before people of small provinces loose their trust and hopes in the democratic process that allows vested interests to sabotage duly passed constitutional amendments. If the centralization of HEC is maintained, history will record it a violation similar to the tyrannical actions of General Zia-ul-Haq and General Musharraf who violated the constitution so violently.

Continue reading Sindh should follow Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s example and announce formation of Sindh HEC

Let us strengthen Pakistan

Let us Unite to Uphold 18th Amendment including Devolution of HEC

By Khalid Hashmani

As more and more information comes out in the waning days of Higher Education Commission (HEC), most Sindhis are shocked to know that out of ten thousands (10,000) foreign and domestic scholarships that have been distributed by HEC so far, Sindh received only 892 (http://ejang.jang.com.pk/4-7-2011/Karachi/pic.asp?picname=99.gif). This amounts to about one third of the number that Sindh would have received even if the NFC award rules were applied. There is no province/ state or ethnic group anywhere in the world that has suffered as much as Sindhis have when it comes to scholarship opportunities in Pakistan. Instead of defending an institution that has denied Sindhis their due share in educational opportunities for so many years, we should be demanding trial of those officials who were responsible for denying Sindh its due share in scholarships. It is doubtful that an agency of such dreadful performance should even be given a role of standard setting and quality assurance. The Government of Pakistan should seriously consider creating a new agency with proper representation from each province/ state to oversee the jurisdictions that 18th Amendment allows at the federal level.

Continue reading Let us strengthen Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa supports HEC devolution

KP supports HEC devolution – by Yousaf Ali

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has dispelled the impression that it was against the devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), saying a lobby has become active to create hurdles in the implementation of 18th Amendment by getting baseless reports published in the media.

Talking to The News, spokesman for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and chairman Overseeing Committee on Devolution Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the HEC devolution was part of the 18th Amendment and its non-implementation would be tantamount to violating the constitution. …

Read more : The News

THINKING ALOUD: The return of extreme ignorance and evil

THINKING ALOUD: The return of jahiliyah – Razi Azmi

With the known ‘infidels’ out of the way, religious fundamentalists needed new enemies to keep their fires stoked and their hateful hunger satiated. So they turned on themselves, creating a whole new set of heretics, apostates, blasphemers and infidels

At a time when enlightenment is seeping through the Islamic heartland in the Middle East, jahiliyah (stubborn arrogance) is taking Pakistan by the throat. If the founder of the country, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, were alive today, he would live in fear, like the millions of others who share his secular ideology.

Murderous thugs control the country in the name of Islam, from Khyber to Karachi and from Lahore to Lasbela. This is no accident; it has been a long time coming. The chain of actual events and the process of constitutional and mental regression that have led to this can be traced back to Pakistan’s beginnings.

Intolerance and bigotry first began to creep rather innocuously into Pakistan’s body politic with the passage of the Objectives Resolution under Liaquat Ali Khan. It gathered pace under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s politically expedient concessions to the Islamists. Ziaul Haq’s constitutional amendments and propaganda on the pretext of Islamisation turned it into a fearsome juggernaut. …

Read more : Daily Times

Manzur Ejaz’s interview with Viewpont: Urdu, English used as tools to oppress working classes’

Excerpt:

It was Awami National Party, led by Wali Khan, that declared Urdu as an official language in Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Even the Punjab has never formally made such a move ……

….. Mother tongue is a right of every human being, recognized as such by the UNO. It is also a question of identity: that is why Punjabis are called Punjabis and Sindhis are called Sindhis. The Urdu-speaking dominant population, which migrated to Sindhi cities, imposed its language at the expense of Sindhi language which was in use at all levels –from education to government institution—since 1852-54. When Bhutto recognized the right of Sindhi people for their mother tongue, the Muhajirs felt threatened and issued statements like “Urdu ka janaza he zara dhoom se nikle.” Muhajirs were threatened by the rise of Sindhis not only in linguistic field but in other spheres as well. It was a common complaint among Muhajirs that Sindhis were even showing up at Clifton Karachi. Despite recognition of mother tongue, Sindhis did not demand a ban on Urdu in Sindh. Therefore, for Muhajirs it was not a question of losing identity; it was fear of others gaining identity. ….

Read more : WichaarViewPoint

Controversial Kalabagh Dam will hurt the interests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and Pakistan as well

A Case Against Kalabagh Dam: Aziz Narejo

Filling in the Dots: Why PILDAT is Reviving Kalabagh Debate: Introductory Note by Kamran Shafi

Kalabagh Dam is a very bad idea indeed. If ONLY for the reason that 3 out of 4 federating units of this blessed country have rejected it.

I am familiar enough with the Mardan-Nowshera-Charsadda area well enough to know that when without this monstrosity there is water standing along the roads just three feet below the level of the road there has to be a big problem of water-logging already.

I can only hope that sense prevails and that our already frayed federation is not damaged further.

We also must ask the question WHY an organisation whose goal is “to strengthen and sustain democracy and democratic institutions” in this poor country should re-raise a hugely contentious issue like the Kalabagh Dam? Which has been DEMOCRATICALLY rejected by three-fourths of the country.

– = – = – = –

A case Against Kalabagh Dam – by Aziz Narejo

A recent seminar in Karachi organized by an NGO, PILDAT has again brought the issue of Kalabagh Dam to the fore. Especially an irrational and unscrupulous statement at the seminar by IRSA chairman (from Punjab) has flared up the emotions among the stakeholders.

Actually he is not alone in this. There is a certain lobby in Pakistan, which continues to insist on the construction of Kalabagh Dam on Indus River ignoring the fierce opposition from the provinces of Khyber- Pakhtoonkhwa and Sindh …

Read more : Indus Herald

Bin Yameen “Notorious as the ”Butcher of Swat” killed in drone attack

Bin Yameen negotiated peace deal before American missile killed him

Notorious as the ”Butcher of Swat” in the Pakistani military circles for his merciless nature, Al-Qaeda commander Bin Yameen (also known as Ibn-e-Amin) was ready to strike a ceasefire deal with the Pakistani security forces to divert fighting to neighbouring Afghanistan when he was killed last week in an attack by US drone aircraft.

Yameen, the chief of operations in northwest Pakistan’s Awat Valley and the chief of the Tora Bora Brigade, one of the six brigades in Al-Qaeda’s Shadow Army called a meeting of other insurgent commanders but his movement was tracked by American intelligence.

His aim was to broaden operations in the Khyber district as well as in the Afghan province of Nangarhar to close down the NATO supply route.

Bin Yameen’s death has indicated a strange dimension in the South Asian war on terror theatre where American drones have successfully eliminated the big number of the vertical command of Al-Qaeda and its affiliated group leaders, but has developed a new situation in which thousands of freshly trained men have split in to small cliques, after the killings of their commanders. This is the most little known aspect behind the much boasted American drone strike successes in the AfPak war theatre. …

Read more : Asia Despatch

Kurram: the forsaken FATA —Dr Mohammad Taqi

The flat out refusal of the Kurramis, who have lost over 1,200 souls since April 2007, to cede their territory and pride to the jihadists and their masters has thrown a wrench in the latter’s immediate plans. Having failed to dupe the citizenry, the establishment has elected to bring them to their knees by force
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited a tribal agency last week but he did not tender an apology to some local families, whose dear ones — including children — were killed by the Pakistan Army gunship helicopters this past September. Not that one was holding one’s breath for the general’s regrets but it would have presented some semblance of fairness given the Pakistan Army’s demands for apology and furore over the NATO choppers killing its troops in the same region during the same month. Well, life is not fair as it is, especially for the people of Kurram — the third largest Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA).

The crime of these civilians, killed by their own army, was that they had been resisting the influx of foreign terrorists into their territory. Despite the claims put forth by the military about the NATO incursion, it is clear now that the latter had attacked the members of the Haqqani terrorist network who were using the village of Mata Sangar in Kurram to attack the ISAF posts in neighbouring Khost, Afghanistan. Reportedly, the de facto leader of the Haqqani network, Sirajuddin Haqqani, was in the region at the time of the NATO attack.

What has also become increasingly clear is that the Pakistani establishment is trying its level best to relocate its Haqqani network assets to the Kurram Agency in anticipation of an operation that it would have to start — under pressure from the US — in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA) sooner rather than later. This is precisely what the establishment had intended to do when it said that the NWA operation would be conducted in its own timeframe. The Taliban onslaught on the Shalozan area of Kurram, northeast of Mata Sangar, in September 2010 was part of this tactical rearrangement. When the local population reversed the Taliban gains in the battle for the village Khaiwas, the army’s gunships swooped down on them to protect its jihadist partners.
This is not the first time that the security establishment has attempted to use the Kurram Agency to provide transit or sanctuary to its Afghan Taliban allies. It did so during the so-called jihad of the 1980s and 1990s when the geo-strategic tip of the region called the Parrot’s Beak served as a bridgehead for operations against the neighbouring Afghan garrisons, especially Khost. In the fall of 2001, the Pakistan Army moved into Kurram and the Tirah Valley straddling the Khyber and Kurram agencies, ostensibly to block al Qaeda’s escape from the Tora Bora region. The Tirah deployment actually served as a diversion, as al Qaeda and key Afghan Taliban were moved through Kurram and in some instances helped to settle there. …
Read more : Daily Times

Is Pakistan falling apart?

It has suffered disaster after disaster. Its people have lived through crisis upon crisis. Its leaders are unwilling or unable to act. But is it really the failed state that many believe?

By Patrick Cockburn

Is Pakistan disintegrating? Are the state and society coming apart under the impact of successive political and natural disasters? The country swirls with rumours about the fall of the civilian government or even a military coup. The great Indus flood has disappeared from the headlines at home and abroad, though millions of farmers are squatting in the ruins of their villages. The US is launching its heaviest-ever drone attacks on targets in the west of the country, and Pakistan closed the main US and Nato supply route through the Khyber Pass after US helicopters crossed the border and killed Pakistani soldiers.

Pakistan is undoubtedly in a bad way, but it is also a country with more than 170 million people, a population greater than Russia’s, and is capable of absorbing a lot of punishment. It is a place of lop-sided development. It possesses nuclear weapons but children were suffering from malnutrition even before the floods. Electricity supply is intermittent so industrialists owning textile mills in Punjab complain that they have to use their own generators to stay in business. Highways linking cities are impressive, but the driver who turns off the road may soon find himself bumping along a farmer’s track. The 617,000-strong army is one of the strongest in the world, but the government has failed to eliminate polio or malaria. Everybody agrees that higher education must be improved if Pakistan is to compete in the modern world, but the universities have been on strike because their budgets had been cut and they could not pay their staff.

The problem for Pakistan is not that the country is going to implode or sink into anarchy, but that successive crises do not produce revolutionary or radical change. A dysfunctional and corrupt state, part-controlled by the army, staggers on and continues to misgovern the country. The merry-go-round of open or veiled military rule alternates with feeble civilian governments. But power stays in the hands of an English-speaking élite that inherited from the British rulers of the Raj a sense of superiority over the rest of the population.

The present government might just squeak through the post-flood crisis because of its weakness rather than its strength. The military has no reason to replace it formally since the generals already control security policy at home and abroad, as well as foreign policy and anything else they deem important to their interests. …

Read more : The Independent

Kalabagh dam : Unable to understand why they see the world only with the eyes of Punjab?

Violation of oath

By Mohammad Khan Sial, Karachi

I was amazed to read the letter of — of Lahore (July 28) entitled: “Violation of oath…high treason” claiming that Prime Minister’s oath has been violated by saying: “Kalabagh dam has become victim of politics”.

I am unable to understand why people like — see the world only with the eyes of Punjab? Dr Bhatti must know who after taking oath compelled ‘majority’ of our population to get separation from ‘minority’? Who despite utilizing natural resources of Balochistan for 60 years, pushed the people of Balochistan to further backwardness and utilized their resources on the basis of un-justified population being sole criteria for distribution of natural resources, for the benefit of Punjab? Who did not allow to release at least 10MAF water downstream Kotri in Sindh after passing 19 years to signing on “Water Accord – 1991”?

Who was responsible for sea intrusion inundating 2.6 million acres of land in Sindh due to non-implementation of the said Accord? Who is responsible for untimely mass destruction of Indus delta? Who is compelling people of Sindh to live 80 per cent below the internationally recognised dateline of poverty despite Sindh is meeting 75% gas and 59% oil requirements but its people are still poor? want to tell Dr Bhatti, let us start from Balochistan and later Sindh to know who in the various governments discriminated the two provinces by violating the oath? Why people like Dr Bhatti are not worried about rest of Pakistan except Punjab. Perhaps such people think Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are not parts of Pakistan? Very sad.

Courtesy: THE FRONTIER POST, Saturday 31, 2010

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=le&nid=1855&ad=31-07-201

Kalabagh dam is not a flood-control project, it would have caused more flooding

KBD would have caused more flooding: expert* Former IRSA chief says dam is not a flood-control project

Kalabagh dam is not flood-control Project: ex-Chairman IRSA Gandapur

PESHAWAR: The Kalabagh Dam – had it been built – would have caused flooding rather than averting it, a former chairman of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said on Wednesday, while responding to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s recent statement about the dam.

“The dam’s effect on floods would have been contrary to what the prime minister claimed,” said Fatehullah Khan Gandapur, who headed IRSA from 1993 to 1998.

The KP leadership has criticised the PM’s statement, and Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain termed the project “a dead horse”. “Kalabagh dam is not a

flood-control project,” Gandapur said while talking to Daily Times on Wednesday. “It is a run-of-the-river project and its design has to be changed if we want to make it a flood-control project,” he said.

Kalabagh dam would have caused more flooding & it is not a flood-control Project: ex-Chairman IRSA

Gandapur said the dam’s construction would have caused reverse flow in the Kabul River, submerging Nowshera district and water-logging the entire Peshawar valley. “Consultants have called the dam’s design a failure,” he said.

Courtesy: Daily Times, August 12, 2010.

Kalabagh dam would have caused more flooding: Expert

KBD would have caused more flooding: expert

* Former IRSA chief says dam is not a flood-control project

* ANP says dam would have done immense harm to KP, Sindh

By Iqbal Khattak

PESHAWAR: The Kalabagh Dam – had it been built – would have caused flooding rather than averting it, a former chairman of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said on Wednesday, while responding to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s recent statement about the dam.

“The dam’s effect on floods would have been contrary to what the prime minister claimed,” said Fatehullah Khan Gandapur, who headed IRSA from 1993 to 1998.

The KP leadership has criticised the PM’s statement, and Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain termed the project “a dead horse”. “Kalabagh dam is not a flood-control project,” Gandapur said while talking to Daily Times on Wednesday. [August 11, 2010] “It is a run-of-the-river project and its design has to be changed if we want to make it a flood-control project,” he said.

Gandapur said the dam’s construction would have caused reverse flow in the Kabul River, submerging Nowshera district and water-logging the entire Peshawar valley. “Consultants have called the dam’s design a failure,” he said.

The Awami National Party is in no mood to compromise on its position over the dam. “Their (pro-dam elements) philosophy is to let the whole of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa drown,” senior ANP leader Senator Haji Adeel said. “Why doesn’t Islamabad look at other feasible projects instead of only eyeing the Kalabagh Dam, which aims to destroy two provinces?” he asked. “There are other projects that, if undertaken, will help you avoid flood and destruction,” he said. “Had the Kalabagh Dam been built, it would have sunk Akora Khattak and Jehangira towns in Nowshera district and its effects would also have been felt in Pabbi town,” Adeel said.

“Why don’t you build dams from where the water is coming?” he asked, adding that Basha Dam would be able to store 800,000 cusecs and Munda Dam 300,000 cusecs of water.

Courtesy: DAILY TIMES, August 12, 2010

Unanimous resolution against MQM for target killings passed in Kyber Pukhtunkhwa

KP resolution urges Sindh govt to protect Pukhtuns

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly through a unanimous resolution on Monday demanded of the central and Sindh government to take stern action against the people and those political parties who are involved in targeted killings of Pukhtuns in Karachi and provide protection to them.

The resolution was moved by senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour and Opposition leader Akram Kan Durrani after Speaker Kiramatullah relaxed rules 240 under rules 124 to allow the resolution. The resolution stated that member of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly strongly condemned the target killings of Pukhtuns in Karachi and demanding of the federal as well as Sindh government to take action against the political parties and the persons involved in the killing of Pukhtuns.

The resolution, which was also read out by PPP Sherpao’s Sikander, Nighat Aurakzai of PML (Q), Munawar Khan of PML (N) and Qalander Lodhi of PML (Q), stated that Sindh government must bring the culprits tobook and provides protection to Pukhtuns.

The resolution stated that members of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly are on the back of the Pukhtuns.Bashir Ahmad Bilour, debating in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly said Pukhtuns in Karachi are being targeted while government is not taking enough steps to protect their lives.PML (Q) female member Nighat Aurakzai said MQM was ‘terrorist’ group and if they are not controlled similar terrorist actions in other cities of Pakistan could also be initiated.

Bashir Ahmad Bilour in his talks with media at Assembly premises also labeled MQM as a terrorist group and urged the government to take steps for protection of Pukhtuns.

Read more >> The News

How long the world will continue to buy the slanted truth.

The slanted truth —Dr Mohammad Taqi

Daily Times

Believers in the thesis that Afghanistan provides Pakistan with strategic depth are so scared of this shared bond that they had vetoed Afghania — represented by the letter ‘A’ in the word Pakistan — as the new name for the province previously known as NWFP

“Tell all the truth but tell it slant” — Emily Dickinson.

Three men had their right hands severed for petty theft last month by the Taliban in the Ghaljo village of Orakzai Agency. After initial treatment at a hospital in Kohat, they contacted a prominent civil and human rights activist to get prosthetic surgery done, followed by a rehabilitation programme. Funds were raised subsequently as charitable donations from individuals to assist them.

Continue reading How long the world will continue to buy the slanted truth.