Tag Archives: Talibanization

Time to Put the Squeeze on Pakistan

Nearly 15 years after 9/11, the war in Afghanistan is raging and Pakistandeserves much of the blame. It remains a duplicitous and dangerous partner for the United States and Afghanistan, despite $33 billion in American aid and repeated attempts to reset relations on a more constructive course.

In coming weeks, Gen. John Nicholson Jr., the new American commander in Afghanistan, will present his assessment of the war. It’s likely to be bleak and may question the wisdom of President Obama’s goal of cutting the American force of 10,000 troops to 5,500 by the end of the year. The truth is, regardless of troop levels, the only hope for long-term peace is negotiations with some factions of the Taliban. The key to that is Pakistan.

Pakistan’s powerful army and intelligence services have for years given support to the Taliban and the Haqqani terrorist network and relied on them to protect Pakistani interests in Afghanistan and prevent India from increasing its influence there. Under American pressure, the Pakistan Army recently waged a military campaign against the Taliban in the ungoverned border region. But the Haqqanis still operate in relative safety in Pakistan. Some experts say the army has helped engineer the integration of the Haqqanis into the Taliban leadership.

Pakistan’s double game has long frustrated American officials, and it has grown worse. There are now efforts in Washington to exert more pressure on the Pakistan Army. Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has wisely barred the use of American aid to underwrite Pakistan’s purchase of eight F-16 jet fighters. Pakistan will still be allowed to purchase the planes, but at a cost of $700 million instead of about $380 million.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/opinion/time-to-put-the-squeeze-on-pakistan.html?_r=0

The Punjabi hegemony on Pakistan

The Punjabi hegemony

By Raza Habib Raja

The selective way of presenting history in Pakistan conveniently ignores the fact that at its creation, there were two large sometimes contrasting and sometimes overlapping movements. The first was primarily centred around Muslim identity and tried to actually bargain a better position for its bearers. This movement though ended up in carving a separate homeland for the Muslims, nevertheless did not have that strong separatist thrust at least in the beginning.

Continue reading The Punjabi hegemony on Pakistan

Pakistan on course to become Islamist state, U.S. experts say

McClatchy

A growing number of U.S. intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials have concluded that there’s little hope of preventing nuclear-armed Pakistan from disintegrating into fiefdoms controlled by Islamist warlords and terrorists, posing a greater threat to the U.S. than Afghanistan’s terrorist haven did before 9/11.

Continue reading Pakistan on course to become Islamist state, U.S. experts say

Whither Pakistan? A five-year forecast

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Courtesy: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

First, the bottom line: Pakistan will not break up; there will not be another military coup; the Taliban will not seize the presidency; Pakistan’s nuclear weapons will not go astray; and the Islamic sharia will not become the law of the land.

That’s the good news. It conflicts with opinions in the mainstream U.S. press, as well as with some in the Obama administration. For example, in March, David Kilcullen, a top adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, declared that state collapse could occur within six months. This is highly improbable.

Now, the bad news: The clouds hanging over the future of Pakistan’s state and society are getting darker. Collapse isn’t impending, but there is a slow-burning fuse. While timescales cannot be mathematically forecast, the speed of societal decline has surprised many who have long warned that religious extremism is devouring Pakistan.

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There is no Islam in Swat. The Taliban have finished it.

The Women of Swat and ‘Mullah Radio’

By a group of NWFP women

Courtesy: AIRRA.ORG

Islam started as soon as we fled from Malakand. People outside Swat think we had Islam and Shariat. There is no Islam in Swat. The Taliban have finished it.

woman from Mingawera, Swat, in a Sawabai camp

Where does one begin to tell you what they have been saying? It is difficult to explain because it is difficult for some of us to believe, to understand, and at times, even to empathise with. Between their rage and their tears, between giving each other solace and laughing at lighter moments, they opened up to talk to us. They shall not be named but they shall be heard by all of us today.

Continue reading There is no Islam in Swat. The Taliban have finished it.

‘Stupid’, it’s the local dynamics that matter most…

By Sahar Gul

Courtesy: Airra

At this crucial time when there is need of uniting nation around the single national interest of providing relief to the IDPs and successfully annihilating the Taliban in the Malakand division and restoring peace in the region, the discourse by some people to equate Taliban with the Pashtun nationalist agenda seems nothing but an effort to create startling diversion which no doubt ultimately hampers the attempts to eliminate extremism from Pakistan.

Continue reading ‘Stupid’, it’s the local dynamics that matter most…

What do people in Buner think about ongoing war?

By Zar Ali Khan Musazai

About 3 million people from restive Swat, Buner and Dir migrated to comparatively safer areas of Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera, Charsadda, Peshawar and some others in down Pakistan , a small number where these IDPs were restricted to settle or encamp. In other three provinces of Pakistan some political parties and individuals opposed the entry of IDPs from Pashtun areas.

Continue reading What do people in Buner think about ongoing war?

The real threat for Pakistan is from the enemies within

From News post of today’s The News, Monday, June 01, 2009

The army in Bahrain

by Zubair Torwali, From Bahrain and now in Islamabad

Bahrain is a scenic town in upper Swat generally known as Swat Kohistan. Swat Kohistan comprises the narrow valley beyond Madyan, another scenic town in upper Swat. Bahrain is the main business hub of the adjacent villages with a collective population of over 90,000. The people of Swat Kohistan are ethnically distinct from the rest of Swat. The people of Bahrain speak Torwali while the people of Kalam have their own language called Gawri. The people of both the communities have their own culture as well. The whole valley beyond Madyan is the most visited tourist resort with its tributary valleys such as Daral, Jabba, Ushu and Utrot.

On May 28 the Pakistan army entered Bahrain and was greeted by the local people who came forward with white flags and kept on chanting “Pak Fauj Zindabad’. This is unique in that something like this has happened for the first time in the whole of the troubled Swat valley. It was also unique as Bahrain had been under the control of the Taliban since the beginning of April. When the brave soldiers of the Pakistan army saw this scene they also became emotional and began chanting slogans in favour of the army and the people. The people were so happy at this spectacle of the state forces that they happily carried the ammunition, guns and other luggage of the soldiers to their positions. Even a big gun was carried by 20 local people to a small hilltop above the main town of Bahrain . This was a pleasant surprise for the army as they thought that the people would despise them because, they say, they have gone through such experiences in some parts of the tortured valley.

The people and the soldiers later mixed with each other and exchanged stories. The soldiers then flocked to the shops in order to get the SIM cards of the sole functional cell phone provider. Those who are still in Bahrain told me that initially a curfew was imposed but seeing the enthusiasm and warmth of the people it was lifted after two hours. The locals have even tried to invite the soldiers for dinner despite the fact that food is still short in the whole area. In the wake of this, the army has abandoned shelling of the area and whenever they shell the nearby hills they inform the people before. The people are so jubilant that they have now forgotten about the food crisis and really regard the army as true saviours. This change is important because initially in the previous phases of the military operation — carried out last year and the year before that — the people were most disheartened by what they saw the army’s ambiguity regarding the Taliban militants. And it is in that context that what has happened in Bahrain must be replicated in the whole valley. The war against the militants can only be won by winning the hearts and minds of the local population — and this has been done in Bahrain .

And this will be done only if the armed forces realise that their only real assets are the people of Pakistan and not those who have till now been regarded as ‘assets’ against India or Afghanistan. The real threat for Pakistan is from the enemies within. Of course, there is one major flaw with the current operation and that is of intelligence — proved by the fact that no one among the top leadership of the Swat Taliban have yet been arrested or killed. The people of Pakistan pay for a regular well-equipped and trained army and therefore they are justified in demanding that the said force carry out its constitutional responsibility to protect them from all enemies — from within or without.

Courtesy: Pakistani e-lists/ e-groups, June 2, 2009

Analysis: Why attack Lahore?

questBy Syed Shoaib Hasan

Courtesy: BBC News, Islamabad

Lahore – Pakistan’s cultural capital – has faced its share of militant attacks, but it has not had to put up with the kind of sustained campaign it now appears to be facing.

Wednesday’s suicide bombing of the police emergency response headquarters on a heavily guarded section of Lahore’s Mall road underlines the fact that the cultural heart of Pakistan is a city under siege. It is a clear statement from the militants seen to be under siege in Swat and elsewhere – they are alive and can strike back.

Continue reading Analysis: Why attack Lahore?

The so-called secret agencies are the root of the problem

by Omar Ali, USA

.. The so-called secret agencies are the root of the problem. The Jihadis are just cannon fodder, used to get even more money from America, threaten India, dominate Afghanistan and (most important) maintain the army’s monopoly of power .. (because in the presence of these “militants”, no one else can possibly govern unless the army stands with them). The average jihadi foot soldier probably thinks he is fighting for Allah, having no idea that he is fighting for GHQ and will be killed when he is worth more dead than alive..

Continue reading The so-called secret agencies are the root of the problem

Changing course

manzoorejzWASHINGTON DIARY: Changing course

by Dr Manzur Ejaz, USA

Courtesy: Wichaar.com, May 26th, 2009

Foreign pressure may have played some role in getting the government and the military to confront the Taliban, but it was the Taliban’s own actions that triggered the operations. Every day, I run into people who were all committed to Islamisation and indirectly support the Taliban by putting the entire blame on the United States. In a dramatic turn, they now blame the military for taking so long to fight back against the Taliban! For the first time, a group hastily organised a rally demanding strict action against the Taliban in front of the hotel where President Asif Zardari was staying in Washington during his US visit. Two main Urdu weekly newspapers, the Pakistan Post and the Urdu Times, have announced a major convention to be held in New York against Taliban terrorism.

Continue reading Changing course

Pakistan – Big Brother (Punjab) is not allowing IDP Camps

Nawaz Sharif who visited the camps in Mardan only shed crocodile´s tears but practically playing hypocrite role.

***

Punjab not to allow IDP camps

By Dilshad Azeem

Courtesy: The News, Thursday, May 21, 2009

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has decided in principle not to allow camps for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the province, The News has learnt.

Continue reading Pakistan – Big Brother (Punjab) is not allowing IDP Camps

CANADA GETS TOUGH ON PAKISTAN

Canadian defence minster Peter MacKay names Pakistan as the most dengerous country

OTTAWA – Extremely concerned over the current volatile situation in Pakistan, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay has termed Pakistan as the most dangerous country in the world. “I’m extremely concerned. The instability in Pakistan in my view makes Pakistan the most dangerous country in the world”, MacKay was quoted as saying.

Addressing a press conference at St. John’s MacKay said it was very difficult for the Pakistan Army to quell the insurgency that has engulfed the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of the country. As long as insurgency is allowed to foster and to incubate inside Pakistan, the problem remains very real, very difficult, he added.

MacKay said the operation against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan would not yield the desired results until the extremists are rooted out from Pakistan, and some greater strides are made in taking on the insurgency in Afghanistan as well. He also highlighted that beside a surge in deployment of troops in Afghanistan, it was also very necessary to cut-off the supply lines of the Taliban, as only then peace and stability could return to the country.

Continue reading CANADA GETS TOUGH ON PAKISTAN

The Obama Administration, by all accounts, is scrambling to fix the crisis in Pakistan

senatorobamaTuesday, May 19, 2009

Why ‘Pakistan’ Doesn’t Exist – And Why Meddling May Not Help

Courtesy: D’Souza’s Daily Drivel

The Obama Administration, by all accounts, is scrambling to fix the crisis in Pakistan.

The United States and Japan have each pledged billions to shore up the country’s doddering economy. Special envoy Richard Holbrooke is busy drumming up international support for what is being described as a “global concern.” Drones continue to pound militant hideouts in the lawless tribal region. And everywhere there’s talk about the impending disaster set to unfold along the badlands bordering Afghanistan.

Continue reading The Obama Administration, by all accounts, is scrambling to fix the crisis in Pakistan

Pakistan & armed militants – Cure is worse than the disease

by Omar Ali, USA

The real point on which inquiry is needed (but doesnt look very likely) is why things got to this pass? why are thousands of armed militants moving around different parts of Pakistan? if foreign countries have sent them in, then shouldn’t out security agencies have made some attempt to stop this foreign intervention long before it got to this point? If Pakistanis are involved, shouldn’t our security agencies have taken notice of these trends long before they reached the point of civil war? What role did our super duper intelligence agencies play in all this? And given that these agencies have been running the country for most of the last 10 years (and longer), what have they done to improve governance and reorder the state so that the majority of the people have a real stake in the health of the system? And what IS the system they are committed to? We need to know because until we get an open and transparent accounting, this fog of confusion will allow the real criminals to get away TO COMMIT NEW CRIMES, maybe even bigger ones than the last set of stupid policies…

Continue reading Pakistan & armed militants – Cure is worse than the disease

Get ready for the ride

usaPakistan Is Rapidly Adding Nuclear Arms, U.S. Says

By THOM SHANKER and DAVID E. SANGER

Published: May 17, 2009

Courtesy: New York Times

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency, raising questions on Capitol Hill about whether billions of dollars in proposed military aid might be diverted to Pakistan’s nuclear program.

Continue reading Get ready for the ride

Internally Displaced Persons of Pakistan

For Internally Displaced Persons of Pakistan

More than a million peace loving people of Swat, Malakand, Buner and Dir have chosen the way to sacrifice the lives of their beloved family members, their homes and belongings, and the assets built over generations, for the sake of Peace and Security of Pakistan and its implications for the whole world. A recent UN report indicates this Internal Displacement of well over one million souls as the biggest in the past fifteen years

Continue reading Internally Displaced Persons of Pakistan

Butchers of Swat

swat_militantsby: Syed T. Ali-Gilani, MD

Fri May 15, 2009

These are crimes against humanity, these animals should be brought to justice under the laws of Islamic republic of Pakistan, as soon as possible. We should all convince the Chief Justice to start the investigation. These are brutal murders of innocent poor victims ( This is the ultimate form of terrorism to intimidate the local populace). how can a sovereign state tolerate such a state within the state.

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Pakistan conflict map

A map produced by the BBC suggests only 38% of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and surrounding areas is under full government control.

The map, compiled by the BBC’s Urdu language service, was based on local research and correspondent reports as well as conversations with officials. It shows the Taleban strengthening their hold across the north-west.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari rejected the findings, telling the BBC it was an “incorrect survey”.

He was speaking after talks in London with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who pledged £12m ($18m) in humanitarian aid for north-west Pakistan.

Mr Zardari said the two countries were united in fighting the threat to their countries’ democratic way of life, and also repeated assurances that his country’s arsenal was in safe hands.

There was an international outcry recently when the militants moved into Buner district, just 100km (67 miles) from Islamabad.

Pakistan has continued its military offensive to regain control of the region, and has reported the deaths of 11 militants in the Swat valley in the past 24 hours.

Residents trapped in Mingora, the main town in Swat, told AFP news agency by telephone that militants had planted mines and were digging trenches.

“People are becoming mentally ill, our senses have shut down, children and woman are crying, please tell the government to pull us out of here,” said one shopkeeper, who did not want to give his name.

“Forget the lack of electricity and other problems, the Taleban are everywhere and heavy exchanges of fire are routine at night.”

Mapping lawlessness

The report the BBC map was based on covered the 24 districts of NWFP and the seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

nts over the past 18 months, backed up by conversations with local officials, police officers and journalists.

They concluded that in 24% of the region, the civilian government no longer had authority and Taleban commanders had taken over administrative controls.

Either the Taleban were in complete control or the military were engaged in operations to flush them out.

Another 38% of the region was deemed to have a permanent Taleban presence, meaning militants had established rural bases which were restricting local government activities and seriously compromising local administration.

In those areas – three districts in FATA and 11 in NWFP – the Taleban had repeatedly shown their capability to strike at will, says the report.

Militants had made their presence felt by carrying out periodic attacks on girls’ schools, music shops, police stations and government buildings.

The map gives a snapshot of the current situation. However continuing fighting between Pakistani troops and the Taleban means the situation on the ground could change in the future.

The Pakistani army’s spokesman, Gen Athar Abbas, rejected the BBC map as “grossly exaggerated”.

“The ground situation doesn’t give any indicator of such influence or control of Taleban in this area,” he told the BBC in Rawalpindi.

Thousands flee

The region is notorious for its lack of law and order, so the researchers applied a series of rules to differentiate Taleban activity from general lawlessness.

The incidents had to be of a recurring nature, there had to be an official recognition of Taleban presence, Taleban militants must have appointed local “commanders” and religious schools sympathetic to the militants must be operating in the area.

Pakistan has been stepping up its campaign against the Taleban in the north-west.

Tens of thousands of people have fled from the region to escape the fighting.

The research also indicates areas to which researchers believe Taleban-style militancy may further spread inside Pakistan.

The report found that, based on current perceptions of religiously motivated violence, there were strong indications that in 47% of Punjab Province there was a high likelihood of an increase in Taleban militancy in the near future.

The BBC’s Barbara Plett in Islamabad says that while the research indicates the strength of the Taleban in the region, the various factions and groups are only loosely co-ordinated.

Observers have warned against overstating the existence of one unified insurgency against the state, says our correspondent.

Are you living in an area that is not entirely controlled by the government? How does the Taleban affect your daily life? Send us your comments and stories using the form below.

Courtesy: BBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8047504.stm

Pakistan war fuels international tensions

Peter Symonds

Comments by China’s ambassador in Islamabad last Thursday highlight the reckless character of the Obama administration’s escalating intervention in Pakistan. By pressuring Islamabad to wage an all-out military offensive against Islamic insurgents in the Swat Valley and neighbouring districts, Washington is not only destabilising Pakistan but raising tensions in a highly volatile area.

Continue reading Pakistan war fuels international tensions

Swat – where are they now?

swat_militantsby Mashal Khan Takkar

The wirter is the President of Canadian Pakhtoon Cultual Association Inc. Canada and he can be reached at mtakkar@yahoo.com

I am here in Pakistan for the last seven months. What I have heard and seen here about the conspiracy against SWAT and as a whole Pashtoon Nation, soon I will be there in Toronto and I will tell the truth to every one.

When in SWAT there was a very terrible situation and it was very risky to go there before Nizam adal, I had four trips to SWAT to help there the displaced people from the hilly areas to Mangora. And I had helped them how much I could not for advertisement.

Now our brothers, sisters , kids and our elders from SWAT are in great trouble. You cant imagine what is happening with them.

I salute the great Pakhtoon local people here how they are helping their guest from SWAT. And when I was going to Takkar from Islamabad, I saw on the banners , Dranoo and garano Mailmano pa khair raghlee.

Me and Sardar Ali takkar both were in the Car and when we saw it , really we wept to see the enthusiasm of the local people. They have given there own houses and hujras to their guest from SWAT.

We have also given shelters to a few families in our house and Hujra in Takkar. I spent with them 4 days and what I have heard from them, it was terrible even to hear…

One thing I am very much surprised, that the organizations from Canada and Pakistan had been sending e-mails to the people about the girl flogging, where are they now? Very sorry for their this attitude. I can say a lot about but I don’t want to get into detail at this time. It is not time for it.

We have to demolish the walls of darkness

manzoorejzWasshington Diary: Change of seasons and Dreams

by Dr. Manzur Ejaz, May 12th, 2009

Courtesy: Wichaar.com

When we were lion-hearted, when the tidal waves of our thoughts were keen to demolish every boundary, when a new flower buds like our soft souls looking for excuses to fall in love, when every dream seemed realizable, when every day came with a new dream and every night opened a mysterious book revealing secretes of times to dawn, when death was unbecoming inevitable, when life’s ocean had no shores, that was the time our good fortunes waited for the fragrance of new seasons. Those times whirled around us like youthful leopards. That was our time sowing seeds of new dreams and looking for blossoming. Those were the times when no one was born old.

Continue reading We have to demolish the walls of darkness

Pakistan’s Ethnic Fault Line by Selig S. Harrison

SeligHerrisonPakistan’s Ethnic Fault Line

By Selig S. Harrison, Washington DC

The Washington Post,Monday, May 11, 2009

-Selig S. Harrison is the author of the report “Pakistan: The State of the Union,” based on a six-month study of ethnic tensions in Pakistan issued last week by the Center for International Policy. A former Post bureau chief in South Asia, he has written five books on the region.

To American eyes the struggle raging in Pakistan with the Taliban is about religious fanaticism. But in Pakistan it is about an explosive fusion of Islamist zeal and simmering ethnic tensions that have been exacerbated by U.S. pressures for military action against the Taliban and its al-Qaeda allies. Understanding the ethnic dimension of the conflict is the key to a successful strategy for separating the Taliban from al-Qaeda and stabilizing multiethnic Pakistan politically.

Continue reading Pakistan’s Ethnic Fault Line by Selig S. Harrison

“Fear and extremism have covered entire world but Sindh free”

world_planetBy Mukhtiar kapri

Courtesy: TeamSind.blogspot.com

After 9/11 world is remaining in deep alienation, and confidence have been broken among countries. Every country has remained a victim of extremism. In this regard, world is facing socio- economic problems. There is no single day which passes without suicide attacks.

Continue reading “Fear and extremism have covered entire world but Sindh free”

America’s Two weeks notice to Paksitan

manzoorejzWASHINGTON DIARY: Two weeks notice

by Dr Manzur Ejaz, USA

The writer can be reached at manzurejaz@yahoo.com

Courtesy- Wichaar.com, May 5th, 2009

The US is clear on the point that the Pakistan Army, and not the civilian government, is the one to decide about the war against the Taliban. If the army can manifest its sincerity, the US will support Pakistan’s security, integrity and viability as a country.

Continue reading America’s Two weeks notice to Paksitan

Pakistan: Struggling to See a Country of Shards

By SABRINA TAVERNISE

LAHORE, Pakistan — On a spring night in Lahore, I came face to face with all that is puzzling about Pakistan.

I had just interviewed Mobarak Haidar, a Pakistani author who was confidently predicting the end of the world. Islamic extremism, he said, was a wild animal that would soon gobble up Europe and all of Western civilization. “All the world’s achievements for the past 500 years are at risk,” he said in a gloomy tone, sitting in his living room. Soon there would be no more music, dancing or fun of any kind. The power went out and candles were lit, adding to the spookiness.

And then, as I climbed into a car to go home, a wedding party came out of nowhere, enveloping us in a shower of rose petals. Men playing bagpipes marched toward us, grinning, while dancing guests wriggled and clapped, making strange-shaped silhouettes in our headlights.

So which is the real Pakistan? Collapsing state or crazy party?

The answer is both, which is why this country of 170 million people is so hard to figure out.

Pakistan has several selves. There is rural Pakistan, where two-thirds of the country lives in conditions that approximate the 13th century. There is urban Pakistan, where the British-accented, Princeton-educated elite sip cold drinks in clipped gardens.

The rugged mountains of the west are inhabited by fiercely tribal Pashtuns, many of whom live without running water or electricity; there, an open Taliban insurgency seems beyond the central government’s control. In the lush plains of Punjab in the east, the insurgency is still underground, and the major highways are as smooth as any in the American Midwest.

The place where these two areas meet is the front line of Pakistan’s war — valleys and towns less than 100 miles from the country’s capital, Islamabad. Taliban militants, whose talk is part Marx, part mullah, but whose goal is power, now occupy this area. In recent weeks they pushed into Buner, even closer to the capital, and last week the military, after weeks of inaction, began a drive against them.

The war, in a way, is a telling clash between Pakistan’s competing impulses, so different that they are hard to see together in the same frame.

“It’s like when people try to take snapshots, but the contrast is too sharp,” said Feisal Naqvi, a Lahore-based lawyer. “You only capture a little bit of the real picture.”

Islam is perhaps the only constant in this picture. Pakistan, after all, was established in 1947 so the Muslims of the subcontinent would have their own country after independence from Britain. The rest became India, a multifaith, Hindu-majority constitutional republic.

But Pakistan didn’t declare itself an Islamic republic until 1956. In its early years, Pakistan’s liberals will remind you, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the country’s founder, delivered two speeches in which he said that Pakistan would not be a theocracy and that citizens of other religions would be free to practice.

Nevertheless, Islam became a powerful glue for the new nation; subsequent leaders, civilian and military, relied on it to stick the patchwork of ethnicities and tribes together. Then, like a genie out of a bottle, it took a direction all its own. “Once you bring Islam into politics, it’s hard to handle,” Mr. Naqvi said. “You don’t have the tools to control it.”

Young countries have long memories, and Pakistanis have not forgotten (or forgiven) the actions of the United States since the 1980s, when its spy agency, together with Pakistan’s own, backed Islamists fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Soon after the Soviets left, Washington withdrew its aid to Pakistan, and the Islamists were left with their own safe haven.

“The Americans just walked out, and Pakistan became the most sanctioned state in the world,” said Najam Sethi, editor of The Daily Times, a newspaper. “That has now created a powder keg of sympathy for the Taliban.”

Like splinters in fingers, these memories continue to irritate. They came tumbling out in a candle-lit room (again, no power) full of journalists in Muzaffargarh, a town in southern Punjab where militants had recently issued threats. Instead of hearing about those threats, though, I was reminded of grievances against America.

Courtesy: The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/weekinreview/03tavernise.html?_r=1

US gives Pakistan two weeks time to eliminate Taliban

Courtesy: The Economic Times, 1 May 2009

WASHINGTON : Stepping up pressure on Pakistan to take concrete action against the Taliban, the US has given Islamabad two weeks time to eliminate the insurgents from its soil before Washington determines what it will do next.

General David Petraeus, who heads the US Central Command, has told US officials that the coming two weeks would be “critical to determining whether the Pakistani government will survive”, Fox News reported.

Continue reading US gives Pakistan two weeks time to eliminate Taliban

Pakistani Media on Extremism: Time to Draw a Line

Imdad Soomro
Imdad Soomro

What Sindhi Press Says:

People who can not read Sindhi media have no idea what Sindhi press is writing, I have noticed lot of good stuff is being published in Sindhi media. Here is one such article by our noted journalist & columnist Imdad Soomro, who is in charge of Sindhi newspaper daily Ibrat’s editorial page. It may give you some idea of Sindhi media. Imdad Soomro can be reached at imdadsoomro@gmail.com

Media on Extremism: Time to Draw a Line

By Imdad Soomro, Hyderabad, Sindh

Please note: The following article has published in one of the most influential & widely acclaimed Sindhi daily of Pakistan.Daily Ibrat on September 30, 2008

Courtesy and Thanks: Sindhi Daily Ibrat

In the post-Musharraf era of Pakistan when a pro-people ruling class is governing the country and fighting a war against terrorism, the Pakistani writers, opinion makers and media men seem to be divided in two clear camps, the issue of terrorism is so serious in our country that it is no more a concern only of government, or of one party, or a particular group. Hosts and anchorpersons, of course, in this age of electronic media influence a lot to common people, at the same time bizari propegenda of extremism is also being countered and responded.

A large portion of Urdu Media, both print and electronic, is calling Taliban as ‘forces of resistance and heroes’, the Right-Wing which had found a new direction after the collapse of Soviet Union, they have found their new allies who apparently are moderates and prescribe to liberal ideas but while writing on ‘national sovereignty’, FATA situation, American involvement and aggression, tend to tilt towards extremists’ line.

Continue reading Pakistani Media on Extremism: Time to Draw a Line

Pakistan must be saved from collapse

by KEVIN Rudd
April 29th, 2009
Wichaar.com
KEVIN Rudd rightly linked Australia’s increased troop commitment to Afghanistan with a desire to ensure the viability of the Pakistani state. He identified this as a vital interest for Australia. Like US President Barack Obama, Rudd has appointed a special envoy — in this case former Defence Department head Ric Smith — for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

That Rudd questions the viability of the Pakistani state should alert Australians to the perfect storm of trouble in Pakistan today. It is the worst and most dangerous security situation in the world, albeit with strong competition from Iran and with North Korea putting in a serious effort. Don’t think I’m being alarmist. Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress that the security situation in Pakistan “poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world”. She added: “The Pakistani Government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists … we cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan.”

Continue reading Pakistan must be saved from collapse