Recent events of march against drone strikes and attack on Malala Yousafzai have raised some important questions in my mind. These questions are mainly related to the timing of the event and how past events were dealt by the government and security institutions.
If Benazir Murder case is resolved then a lot can be understood about this fake war. For a start, one should ask that how was it possible that some rogue terrorists were able to delete or tempered the mobile communication record from the area? As far as I know that only ISI or some other high level intelligence organization like CIA (Like NADRA data they can surely access this data too) can do it.
These incidents like Benazir, Malala, Islamic University blast or Peshawar market blasts (denied by Talibans) happen at crucial times when anti-war protests take momentum or some crucial decisions are being made about further operations.
Another interesting event is the letter written by Afghan (Pentagon puppet) President Hamid Karzai to PTI’s Chairman, Imran Khan. For those who think that Malala issue is not related to drones and military operations or this fake war, there are few things to ponder upon (If they have the brain to do so). Why the president of a country would like to write a letter to Imran Khan and show the concerns which are shown by social-class and sectarian fascists in Pakistan and pro-imperialism media in USA? It seems Imran Khan and PTI’s march against drone strikes not only disturbed the plans of Pakistani sectarian and social-class fascists but also disturbed the pro-war scum internationally.
Another thing to understand about drone, NWA operation and Malala issue is that Imran Khan is scheduled to lead a protest in front of UN on 26th October 2012.
We need to find answers for these questions. For a start on Malala’s issue, government’s own interior minister Rehman Malik denied the involvement of TTP. Even if it is TTP then there are more than 15 (some say 30) groups working as TTP.
Some are fighting for revenge, some are being funded by international enemies of the country who want Pakistan to remain stuck in this war and some are local criminal gangs. Unless they are not identified clearly, word Taliban has no meaning. Free and Fair investigation can only be done in current scenario through Supreme Court or some investigation body working under SC. But again judiciary is being badly cornered by the government and army due to corruption and missing persons cases. That is why I say for a start we need to find the names behind Benazir murder case.
People say that these tribes and terrorists are ideologically connected. Ideologically connected is also a vague term. People with same customs, cultures or grievances or may be some other common points can be termed as ideologically connected. With this logic most Indians can be termed as RSS, most USA can be connected to Bund or KKK, all Irish people can be termed as IRA, all British people can blamed for the crimes of East India Company, most Israelis can be linked with Stern gang, most Germans can be linked with Nazis etc. Without addressing the root causes, one cannot solve this issue and waging a war against populations after some isolated incidents doesn’t look very intelligent especially after a decade of destruction.
When are we going to learn the lessons from past mistakes? Or Pakistan army and government are committed to repeat another 1971?
by Hamid Mir
ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan is no more a cricketer turned politician. He has suddenly become an important regional player in the US endgame in Afghanistan.
A mind-blowing public rally of Imran Khan in Lahore on October 30 made it very difficult for the Zardari regime to give new commitments or accept any demands from the US to push its decade-long war against terror. Imran Khan has not only become a threat for traditional political parties inside Pakistan but is also going to become a big hurdle in the implementation of demands made by US during the recent visit of Hillary Clinton to Islamabad.
The PTI leader criticised not only President Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif but also blasted US policies in the biggest-ever show of political power in Lahore in the past 25 years. The last time Lahore saw this kind of political tsunami was on April 10, 1986 when late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned after many years in exile. A big reception to the daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a bombshell for the then military dictator. Benazir Bhutto addressed a big rally in Iqbal Park, adjacent to the historical Lahore Fort. That rally was the beginning of General Zia’s end.
The October 30 rally by Imran Khan in the same Iqbal Park also looked like an end of pro-US policies started by General Pervez Musharraf ten years ago. Imran addressed US Secretary of State as “Chachi Clinton” (Aunty Clinton) and said a big no to any more army operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas. It will now be impossible for the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and its coalition partners to start new operations in North Waziristan or even continue the old operations from South Waziristan to Khyber Agency. Elections are close and no political government can take the risk of going against public opinion.
Hillary Clinton is these days desperately looking for someone who can become a bridge between Afghan Taliban and the US. Imran Khan can make some serious efforts in this regard but is more focused on the situation inside Pakistan. He has offered his services for the engagement of Pakistani Taliban but wants assurances that there will be no more military operations.
Imran said all this just one day before the meeting of President Asif Ali Zardari with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Istanbul. The US has arranged this meeting through Turkish President Abdullah Gull for the success of the Istanbul conference. Army Chief General Kayani also left for Turkey on Monday. Afghan officials will discuss the US endgame with Pakistan, India, Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, UAE, Turkey, US and UK in Istanbul Conference from November 1.
The US wants some commitments from Pakistan at this conference and that is why the Pakistani Army Chief is also invited to this conference. However, Imran Khan’s massive anti-American rally has made it very difficult for Pakistani leaders to oblige their friends from Saudi Arabia and Turkey who have became part of the process on the US request.
Imran criticised the Army operations in the tribal areas in very strong words. He clearly said some tribal elders had given him assurances that if US drone attacks were stopped and the Pakistan Army halted operations in the tribal areas they would control all militants. Imran Khan also arranged meetings of these tribal elders (mostly from North Waziristan) with his ex-wife Jemima Khan who is making a documentary against drone attacks.
Jemima and Imran are separated but often meet because of their two sons. An American lawyer Clive Smith is also helping Jemima and they are planning a big campaign against drone attacks in the Western media. Jemima writes for Vanity Fair magazine. She is helping not only Imran but also Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, and Assange may also speak at the inauguration of documentary against drone attacks. The documentary is expected to have a lot of “WikiLeaks”. Imran Khan has repeatedly said, “Pakistan has changed”. He threatened, “I will not spare anyone who gave Pakistani bases to US and sold my people for dollars”.
Without naming Pervez Musharraf he sent him a message not to come back to Pakistan. He also said: “We want friendly relations with every country but we cannot accept slavery of America”. Imran Khan came out openly in support of the Kashmiris and advised India to withdraw its troops from Kashmir.
He tried to satisfy the central Punjab voters who are not happy with the soft stance of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif on India. This hawkish stance will definitely bring him closer to the military establishment but he opposes military action in Balochistan. He also criticised the role of Pakistan Army in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in his recently published book “Pakistan a Personal History”.
According to the sources in Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) more than a dozen ambassadors from different Western countries wanted to see Imran Khan this week but he left for China immediately after addressing the mammoth public rally in Lahore on Sunday night. He will be a guest of the Chinese government. His opponents often declared him “Taliban Khan” or the “modern face of Jamat-i-Islami” but hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed the songs of many popular singers in the Lahore rally. For some critics it became a grand musical show but the fact is that the crowd enjoyed the music at a public place after a very long time. Pakistan has many popular pop singers but they cannot sing at public places due to fear of suicide bombings that started in 2007. There was a suicide attack on the musical show of Sono Nagam sometime back in Karachi and after that many pop singers were threatened not to sing at public places. Many singers like Adnan Sami, Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar tried their luck in India in recent years but now they can come back.
Imran Khan is bringing back not only the political activities on the roads but also encouraging many pop singers like Shehzad Roy to sing publicly who made songs against drone attacks. Roy presented his famous song ‘uth bandh kamar kya darta hey phir dekh Khuda kya karta hey” in the Sunday rally. Thousands of youngsters were dancing on this song and Imran was clapping with them.
Imran Khan is becoming the voice of the common Pakistanis who are neither religious extremists not secular fascists. He is becoming a ray of hope for those disgruntled youngsters who have started hating democracy due to bad governance and corruption. These youngsters can now bring about a change in Pakistan through their vote power. Youth is the real power of Imran Khan and this youth belongs to the lower middle, middle class. This is the most disillusioned class in Pakistan but now the youth of this class is becoming active, which is a positive sign.
Dozens of sitting parliamentarians are contacting Imran Khan for joining his PTI. Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and many political big shots will make some shocking decisions soon but Imran is more interested in young blood and well-educated minds.
He warned the government on Sunday that all politicians must declare their assets inside and outside Pakistan within a few months failing which his party would launch a civil disobedience movement and block all major cities with public support. For many analysts he is emerging as the third option after Zardaris’s PPP and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N.
Some say he will ruin Nawaz Sharif in the central Punjab and PPP would be the ultimate beneficiary. Imran does not agree with this analysis. He always criticises PPP and PML-N jointly because one is ruling at the centre and the other is ruling Punjab, which is more than 60 percent of Pakistan. Imran has definitely proved that he enjoys more political support in Lahore than Nawaz Sharif but it does not mean that he is going to get clear majority in the coming elections. He needs some winning horses not only in the central Punjab but also in south Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Sindh.
He needs big rallies in Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta and then he can make some bigger claims. He will definitely make dents not only in the vote bank of PML-N but will also damage the PPP badly. There are 25 seats of national assembly in Lahore division of which PML-N has 20, PPP has 3 and PML-Q has one. Imran may snatch at least half of the PML-N and all the seats won by PPP and PML-Q in Lahore. Out of 23 seats in Gujranwala division PML-N has 13, PPP 8 and PML-Q has 2. Imran will damage PPP and PML-Q more than PML-N in Gujranwala. There are 20 seats in Faisalabad division – PML-N has only 4 while PML-Q has 8 and PPP has 7 seats.
Many sitting members of the national assembly from Faisalabad are pleading to Imran to accept them in his party. Some PPP, PML-Q and ANP members from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are also in contact with Imran, which means that his popularity is not confined to Punjab.
His biggest stronghold in the north is the tribal area where he is expected to make a clean sweep and more than 10 seats are in his pocket. This is the same area where he will not allow government to start any new Army operations.
If there is no operation then what will be the future of Pakistan-US relations? Zardari regime is at the crossroads. There is US pressure from one side and the PTI pressure from the other.
Nawaz Sharif was trying to play safe by targeting only Zardari and not the US but Imran Khan has suddenly changed the political dynamics in Pakistan. He is the new trouble man for US and also for the pro-US political elite in Pakistan. All the popular parties have no option other than to follow his anti-Americanism.
Hillary Clinton needs to realise the wave of change in Pakistani politics. She cannot understand this change without engaging Imran Khan. October 30 was just a beginning. World will see more changes on the political map of Pakistan and Imran Khan will play a leading role.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday said his party would take the issue of drone attacks to the International Court of Justice and appreciated the resolve of the founder of a UK-based legal action charity, Reprieve, to knock on the doors of international courts against such strikes.
He said war was too serious a matter to be left to the generals, while a grand Jirga from Waziristan, through a unanimous resolution, called upon Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take note of the drone attacks and hold an independent and transparent probe into the matter.
The Jirga was co-organised by Reprieve and the Foundation for Fundamental Rights to raise awareness about the drone assaults and firm up a line of action on how to halt them. The Jirga demanded of the Pakistani military to stop its operation in Waziristan and said the tribal people were capable of tackling the menace of militancy on their own.
The largely-attended forum urged the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Special Envoy on Extra Judicial Killings Christof Heyns to help halt the US hegemony, mass killings of tribal people and undermining of Pakistan’s sovereignty by drone attacks.
Various participants cautioned that after failing in Afghanistan, the US was looking for an excuse to attack Pakistan. Speakers heaped praise on Reprieve founder Clive Stafford Smith, as well as on Shahazad Akbar of the Foundation of Human Rights for their endeavours to legally fight the drones’ issue and highlight it at different forums. Jemima Khan, the ex-wife of PTI chief Imran Khan, also attended the Jirga session.
Imran Khan, during his speech here at a local hotel, quoted France’s ex-prime minister Georges Clemenceau and said war was too serious a matter to be left to the generals. He said generals were handling the tribal areas’ policy with the civilian puppet government having no say at all.
Imran said the situation was no different in the US where generals, such as Petraeus, handled the Afghan policy and had no plan-B. The PTI chief said the anti-terrorism war was adding to the number of militants and intensifying militancy, and those who lost their relatives looked for revenge, either becoming militants or supporting the militancy.
Later, Imran addressed a rally of his party here at the D-Chowk near parliament and said every minute of the National Assembly proceedings consumed Rs66,000 but its members could not get a unanimous resolution against the drone strikes implemented.
Imran said it was a matter of shame that sessions of the lower house of parliament were costing the national exchequer so much but in return legislators had failed to come up to the nation’s expectations.
Amid chants of ‘shame, shame’, the PTI chief said the APC resolution had clearly said that if the US did not stop drones, the Nato supply would be blocked. “Did the MNAs do so? Instead, drones continue to hit Fata,” he said.
He called President Asif Ali Zardari ‘Sadar Zardari, Bari Bemari’ and said: “We have no hopes in him, since he is a beneficiary of the NRO, which has bound him to silently support drones and remain loyal to the US”.
Similarly, Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, whom he called the Dengue Brothers, have also disappointed everyone, Imran said. He asked why they were holding a public meeting in Lahore whereas Zardari was sitting in Islamabad.
PTI workers warmly welcomed Clive Smith, when Imran invited him to express his views on the matter. “What we need is your support and a pat on the back to take forward the issue. We need evidence,” he remarked.
Clive Smith said: “We will be going to the US, France, Germany and other European countries to raise the issue”. He described drone attacks on Waziristan as a criminal offence.
Earlier, the rally participants endorsed the resolution, adopted by the Waziristan Grand Jirga, by raising their hands. The Jirga’s resolution confirmed that US spy agency CIA was responsible for the drone attacks in Pakistan and such strikes were being carried out by CIA agents sitting in Pakistan and abroad, which was a flagrant violation of the country’s laws as well as international laws.
The proceedings were bumpy, as at one point, Kamran Khan, an MNA from Fata, and a tribal elder, Khan Marjan, exchanged hot words (mostly in Pashto), accusing each other of being non-serious about drones.
The images of collateral damage caused so far by drone strikes were shown on a projector and saddened the audience. Mutilated bodies of children and elderly people were painful for the viewers who watched with disbelief.
The resolution noted that Fata, particularly the North and South Waziristan Agencies, were part of Pakistan and its inhabitants were Pakistani citizens under Article 1 of the Constitution. However, the state and its institutions had failed to safeguard the fundamental human rights there such as the right to live. It also noted that attacks were mostly inflicted during late night so that the tribal people could remain in grip of fear and insecurity.
The resolution confirmed that drone assaults were mostly carried out on residential areas and homes, resulting into the deaths of innocent women and children.
APP adds: Addressing the rally, Imran Khan condemned what he called the ‘criminal silence’ of non-government organisations (NGOs) on drones that claimed to be champions of human rights. He asked the government to quit if it could not take action in this regard and said civilian casualties because of the drones were increasing with each passing day.
He said the judiciary was independent, but some people were a major hurdle in the way of the implementation of the Supreme Court’s decisions. He demanded the implementation of the resolution adopted in the recently-held All Parties Conference. “After coming into power, the PTI will introduce an economic system that will protect the rights of consumers and investors, and will convince foreigners to invest in Pakistan,” he added.
A thanks giving party is thrown today by USA with plenty of fireworks via multiple drone attacks killing over 40 people today.
The way drone attacks are happening. i think no need for this good for nothing army with morons sitting as generals and having a useless airforce which is used only to buy old crap F-16s to run lock heed martin. shut these bullshit institutions down and people should make voluntary arrangements for defense like in old times tribes used to do.
These feet licking dogs can only serve the will of their dollar masters.
After the WikiLeaks deluge
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan stands insecure as our leadership, both political and military, ruling the country have been exposed by no one else but Washington, to whom our leadership is shown by WikiLeaks to have sold their souls at the cost of national integrity, honour and prestige.
Is our fate in safe hands? This is the fundamental questionthat boggles almost every mind in Pakistan as the WikiLeaks bombshell, believed to be deliberately leaked by Washington to attain its designs including chaos in Pakistan, leaves hardly anyone among the leaders here to be trusted.
Each and every word of WikiLeaks would be taken as true if Pakistani authorities and leaders, blamed and shamed by these leaks, do not come out with a clear answer. They need to reply, more importantly through their actions, that Pakistan is no more American domain.
Otherwise, WikiLeaks precisely proves what was earlier said i.e. Pakistan has been practically reduced from a sovereign state to an American colony as the president, prime minister, top political leaders and even Army chief all have been shown pleasing or taking into confidence the US ambassador — the de facto viceroy of Pakistan — to continue ruling the roost with the blessings of Washington.
DG ISI Lt Gen Pasha too crossed the limits of discipline as he is shown by the WikiLeaks to have told US officials that President Asif Ali Zardari was corrupt. The question here arises why did he report such purely internal matter to the Americans.
The only exception has been Imran Khan, the man who on the face of Americans has been criticising US policies, drone attacks, the so-called war on terror besides asking for negotiated settlement with Taliban to end extremism and refusing to dance to the tunes of the “real masters” of this unfortunate country.
Shame is too little a word to reflect on the portrayed conduct of those ruling Pakistan after one goes through the WikiLeaks, which is expected to heap more dirt on Pakistan as well as the Muslim nations.
What would be more shameful than reading President Asif Ali Zardari as conceding to the Americans, “We are here because of you,” and then assuring Washington, “We won’t act without consulting with you.” To the pleasure of his masters, Zardari committed Pakistan to the war on terror, insisting that it was Pakistan’s own war.
Asfandyar Wali too shares the shame by inviting Washington to influence both Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari through Jeddah and Dubai to mend fences. Why did he invite three foreign countries in matters purely pertaining to internal politics?
Look at the callousness of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who on the issue of drone attacks told Washington, “I don’t care if they (US) do it (carry out drone attacks) as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.” The premier had snubbed the interior minister Rehman Malik, who had suggested to the Americans that the Predator attacks should be stopped after the Bajaur operation.
Look at the double speak of the PML-N, whose top leadership both Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were shown repeatedly assuring the Americans that the PML-N was pro-America. To leave no doubt about his loyalty to the Americans, Nawaz recounted his decision to override his Chief of Army Staff and deploy Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia in support of the US coalition in the first Gulf War. Here Chaudhry Nisar Khan reminded that it was the PPP and its leaders who were organising street demonstrations against Pakistan joining with the US coalition.
Exposing the hypocrisy of the already stinking Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the WikiLeaks revealed that the leader of the country’s most fiercely pro-Taliban religious party, hosted a jovial dinner for Ms Patterson at which the Maulana sought her backing to become the prime minister and expressed a desire to visit America. His lieutenant Abdul Ghafoor Haideri acknowledged that “All important parties in Pakistan had to get the approval of the US (to get power).” Just compare the actions of these Maulanas to what they preach in their speeches. Simply disgraceful!
Interior minister Rehman Malik is referred to as a frequent and co-operative interlocutor, who professes his support for cooperation with the United States.
No less shocking is the way the Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has been opening his heart and mind before the Americans, including the US ambassador. Otherwise giving the impression of being a man of few words, the Army chief spoke before the Americans against President Zardari and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, and also talked of getting resignation from the president and tailoring democracy to his sweet choice.
He also hinted at supporting Asfandyar Wali Khan, the leader of the Awami National Party, as the new president. Kayani even made it clear to Ms Patterson, the former US ambassador, that regardless of how much he disliked Zardari, he distrusted Nawaz even more.
Such hobnobbing of the military chief with any foreign diplomat or official, what to talk of Americans, is undoubtedly a violation of discipline and breach of his oath. Unluckily, we have a tainted president, tainted prime minister and tainted political leaders otherwise this is a fit case of seeking explanation from the Army chief.
With such leadership, both political and military, Pakistan’s future is really bleak. Whom should we trust? Who is free from the US influence? Can we become a sovereign nation? Can we take our own decisions? Why do we have more faith in Washington than in God? How could we save Pakistan from being destabilised after reading what our president, prime minister, political leaders and Army chief have said to a minnow American — Anne Patterson? With such leadership, how can we tackle the problem of terrorism? Who would save us from disgrace and shame?
One hardly has any answer to the above questions. Our irony is that our leaders are leading us to shame like never before. What option do they have to undo what they have brought for this country and its people? Resignations and stepping down from their respective public and political offices is one option. Another option is to say a firm no to the American drone attacks, cut the Nato supply line, revisit our policy on US’s so-called war on terror, halt all military operations inside Pakistan, open up dialogue with the local Taliban leaders to bring to an end terrorism and desist from dancing to the tunes of Americans.
Otherwise these leaks, containing truths and half-truths all suiting Washington but embarrassing others, are bound to create more mistrust and chaos in the country, which is the actual design of those having leaked it from Washington.
Another story of brutality in this so called war against terror has come on internet. In the video Pakistan Army soldiers are doing extra-judicial killing of 6 prisoners (seems to be of young age) in area probably of Khaiber Pakhtoonkhwa.
Previously videos of torture including old men have come on the media and army promised an inquiry but no results came , also reports of civilian killings through indiscriminate bombings is a usual practice in this so called war against terror.
We seriously need a “War Tribunal” to probe unconstitutional actions, extra-judicial killings, drone attacks with support from Pakistan government/army, illegal abductions and other human rights violations by Army and other security institutions in this so called war against terror.
If we think we are a civilized nation with some sort of sense of justice and humanity then we need to take some bold measures. We need to understand actions like these extra-judicial killings will promote terrorism and will not help the cause of peace (if this is the real purpose of this war which doesn’t seem to be).
Though there is a statement in media as usual claiming these videos to be faked but we can’t trust them unless free and fair investigation with proper trial are conducted for these actions.
Image building dramas like stopping NATO supplies or showing false discontent on drone attacks will not solve the problem. Army really needs to behave as a naitonal and civilized army not an occupied force.
Imran says he got positive response from Taliban–>We support this initiative from Imran Khan and demand the government and urge the people to honestly support it.
At last someone from politicians finally volunteered for the cause of peace in Pakistan. We cannot expect any good from parliamentarians, government, army or agencies to work for the cause of peace because it will not serve their greed and lust for power.
People like Imran Khan , other leaders from PTI and Jamat e Islami,Ulemas who are trusted by tribesmen and other religious and political figures need to make a joint effort for this cause and this should be backed by the trust of Pakistani people and government.
Army and agencies shouldn’t try to deceive the people this time as they have already created a huge mess just for dollars and to serve their imperialist masters.
We support this initiative from Imran Khan and demand the government and urge the people to honestly support it.
We need to get out of this war against humanity and peace, we are already too late and cannot afford more damage.
We oppose the killings of innocent people in army actions, suicide bombings or in any other way.
Imran says he got positive response from Taliban
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan, who on Wednesday offered his services and even showed the willingness to go to the tribal areas to get the mounting terrorism issue resolved through political dialogue, got encouraging response from the Taliban side. His appeal, however, seems to have fallen on the governmentís deaf ears.
The cricket hero-turned-social worker, Imran Khan, told The News on Thursday that after his Wednesday’s press conference, he was contacted by some important Taliban groups, who posed their full confidence in him for political solution of the problem. Khan said that no one from the government side contacted him though.
Imran Khan on Wednesday volunteered to mediate between the government and the Taliban leadership to bring peace, claiming that the menace of terrorism was bound to grow because of the military operation in South Waziristan and in the absence of a political solution.
In his press conference, he had said that if the government gave him the mandate, he was willing to travel to the tribal areas and elsewhere to negotiate peace. His only pre-condition to mediation between the two sides was that the government would not let the US-pressure to ruin his peace efforts like the past.
While some people believe the government has no political strategy to address the issue and is entirely dependent on the military operation that has allegedly aggravated the problem, Imran has taken a bold step amidst great chances that he would be dubbed pro-Taliban by confused Pakistanis and arrogant foreigners.
Imran Khan got an encouraging reaction from some Taliban leaders. Khan said that he was now even considering convening an all parties conference (APC) on the issue. Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman Group) are also opposed to the military operation and seek a political solution to the problem by revisiting Pakistanís policy on the US war on terror, formulating an independent foreign policy and bringing an immediate halt to the military operation in the tribal areas, particularly South Waziristan.
Although, Maulana Fazlur Rehman is not appearing in the media these days, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Professor Munawar Hasan has become vocal in his opposition to the military operation. Interestingly, the PML-N is also not supportive of the present military operation but it lacks the guts to public its demand a political solution to terrorism. However, the party is not making its views public amid reports that it does not want to irritate Washington that is today quite pleased with the party and its top leadership.
In this situation, Imran Khanís daring initiative to do what others are shy to do, is expected to bring pressure on all other pro-dialogue parties, including the PML-N, the JI and the JUI(F) to sit together and chalk out a strategy where the government could be pressurised to save its innocents, whether in the tribal areas or in settled areas of Pakistan from being killed.
Recent attack in the Parade Lane mosque Rawalpindi which is one of the most secured areas of the country taking lives of dozens of people and then the drone attack by USA forces in our northern part of country taking lives of 50 people are calling for a serious revision of our foreign and security policies especially with respect to this American lead war against humanity and peace or so called war against terror.
Whether innocent people are dying in drone attacks, military operations or suicide bombings the historical fact is they don’t add to the cause of peace but result in more terrorist activities which lead to more military operations and so this vicious cycle of death and fear is going on and on with no real directions.
We don’t see any real measures for peace except for lies and false claims by our government and security institutions that are not willing to come out of this weapon-blood-dollar game because of their personal greed and foreign self-imposed pressure.
Another thing which our government does is to gather ‘Ulemas’ and religious scholars to give joint statements or ‘Fatwas’ against the suicide bombings and to declare these acts against the teachings of Islam which is true and factual but it has not proved worthy enough to stop these attacks and the prime reason is that this is not a matter of religion or personal faith.
Resistance in Afghanistan is surely backed by religious and nationalist sentiments as their land is occupied by foreign imperialist powers but in case of Pakistan it is due to our imperialist sponsored security and foreign policy backed by our unjust and cruel actions against our own people that we are seeing one of the most terrible times of our history where life seems to have no value.
The main contributor to this mess was surely Musharraf and his ruling junta of that time which for their lust for power, greed of wealth and so called international stature put Pakistan into a great mess that nation is finding itself into an apparent hopeless condition.
The Musharraf government’s submissive policies in front of America and allies, giving permission to foreign security agencies to operate in Pakistan, illegal abduction and selling of Pakistanis and others without any legal procedure and protecting the basic human rights, extra judicial killings to please foreign powers, merciless bombings of civilian areas in the name of hunting down few terrorists, creating sectarian and ethnic tension among masses to extend his rule and this baseless war, giving no respect to country laws and creating a sense of deprivation of rights and alienation among the people living in tribal areas and Baluchistan all have summed up to this mess.
Current elected government and military establishment are no different in their overall strategy and policies except for few cosmetic changes which are mainly made to run this war effectively. Our role has become a client state and our army is fighting like a deadly mercenary force killing its own people. If someone criticizes the war or protests against the violation of national sovereignty then he or she becomes eligible for the titles of extremist, fundamentalist, Taliban supporter or even traitor.
Media machinery is also being utilized by establishment to gather support for this and they are especially targeting the youth by promoting propaganda specialists and so called think tanks to spread war hysteria in the name of patriotism and nationalism and also glorifying the security institutions and their role in country affairs.
This seems to be a never ending game due to our self destructive policies which has gone worse with the involvement of foreign player’s contribution and even for that I say we have provided them the ground to play evil.
We seriously need to think our way out of this war if we want to survive as a nation and exist on the map as an independent state of this world for this we need to think and act as an honest, just and freedom loving nation putting everyone on board. We need to bring everyone on table with sincerity not in the hypocritical manner our security agencies did previously and these talks also need to include those people we are killing in Waziristan, Sawat, Bajaur and elsewhere.
We also need to compensate the losses of the victims of military actions and provide justice to the people who suffered by the actions of our governments and military by putting the responsible figures of this mess like Musharraf in front of the system of justice as without it all confidence building measures will be considered as words of mouth.
May Allah show us the right path and give peace to the innocent souls of people who lost their lives in this war.
US-led war in Afghanistan ‘unwinnable’–> Imran Khan interview by PressTV,Video of IK discussing so called war against terror
The following is the highlights of Press TV’s exclusive interview with the Chairman of Pakistan’s Tehrik-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice), Imran Khan.
Press TV: Imran, the last time we spoke there was a different president running Pakistan and there was a different president in the White House. What has happened since then?
Imran Khan: When the 2008 elections came, the Bush administration wanted a similar puppet to replace Musharraf and that puppet turned out to be Asif [Ali] Zardari. So both the puppets allowed the Americans to attack Pakistani territories where they have killed — according to the government — so far 14 al-Qaeda in 60 drone attacks and 700 innocent civilians. So, everyone who knows anything about the area knows that these drone attacks are counter-productive. They might have killed 14 al-Qaeda, but they have produced thousands more al-Qaeda sympathizers. Every civilian that dies, the family then seeks revenge against the Americans and the Pakistani army, which is considered to be a stooge of the American army. So, therefore, Pakistan has seen chaos and unfortunately we do not have the leadership in Pakistan which can stand up and tell the Americans that it is a failed strategy and there needs to be a completely different strategy. Because this is a dollar-addicted leadership, it allows Americans to do anything, uses its own army against its own people for US dollars.
Press TV: Does it mean that the man in the White House, Barack Obama, is he better than his predecessor?
Imran Khan: What we have seen under President Obama is an escalation in Afghanistan. And, unfortunately, he does not give us the confidence that he has a proper grasp of that what is going on there. The tactics that are being used in Afghanistan are only making the problem worse. What was initially the Taliban resistance to the US, has now morphed into a Pashtun resistance, a Pashtun independence struggle against foreign occupation. And it is exactly the same situation as the Soviets faced in Afghanistan in the Pashtun areas. It is only a matter of time before it spreads to the Tajik and Uzbek areas. So, almost eighty percent of Afghanistan is involved in resistance struggle against the Americans. I do not see any strategy at this moment which is going to address this problem. I think if the current strategy is followed, the things will get from bad to worse.
Press TV: But it is not just the Americans is it? It’s the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who is also in agreement with President Obama about the policy in Afghanistan. Who is advising them?
Imran Khan: Well, as for the British Prime Minister it seems that as if whatever the Americans are doing they just follow the same line. It is very sad, because Britain has a very long experience of Afghanistan and the Pakistan tribal areas. There is a lot of material left behind by British writers, administrators and governors about this whole area and how it should have been dealt with. But, all the lessons have been ignored. And Tony Blair, basically, followed whatever George W. Bush did. And I am afraid that Gordon Brown is going along the same lines. What can you see (you can see is that) there are more British causalities and public opinion has already turned on the war in Afghanistan. And for the first time the majority of American people do not think that this is the war they want to own or which they are going to win. Well, the reason we do not talk about the British involvement is because it is only because of the Americans that the Britons are there. So, the US really has to understand that this is an unwinnable war and in fact the war is already lost, because the hearts and minds battle has been lost. You can only win a war if you win the people over to your side.
Press TV: But the West is trying to say that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won until Pakistan is sorted out. We keep hearing about the Pakistan Taliban. Who are they? And where are they from?
Imran Khan: Well, first of all this is just absolute nonsense. There was no problem in Pakistan. It was Afghanistan and the occupation of Afghanistan that then had a problem of destabilizing Pakistan. And this is just the fact. So I just do not know where they come up with this lie. Because, it’s just a blatant lie. How can they say that Pakistan has to be stabilized and then Afghanistan will become. Surely, stability in Afghanistan will stabilize Pakistan. In fact, a CIA ex-station chief of Kabul, Graham Fuller, actually wrote in the International Herald Tribune that unless and until NATO leaves Afghanistan, Pakistan is going to descend into radicalization and chaos which is absolutely right, because we had no Taliban in Pakistan. Before Pakistan was pressurized to send troops into Waziristan and General Musharraf, a military dictator was pressurized by the Americans to do that because he was getting military and US dollars from the Americans. So the moment he sent the troops in that is when the military operation led to the birth and the formation of Pakistani Taliban. Until 2004 we had no militant Taliban in Pakistan.
Press TV: Do you want to elaborate on that particular point?
Imran Khan: This was in September 2004, there was a drone attack which killed about 70 civilians and then there was a funeral the next day and another drone attack which killed another 40 or 50 people. And that was the spot of the reaction against their own tribal people. So our own tribal people rose up against the Pakistan army. And since there was Taliban versus Americans, anyone who fought the Americans or anyone supporting America which was the Pakistan army they all started calling themselves Taliban and gradually the more military operations we did, the more we created the phenomena of fighting Pakistani Taliban.
Press TV: More than two million possibly three million people have been displaced in Swat. Can you tell me what is happening there?
Imran Khan: Well, it is very important for people to understand that the Swat and tribal areas are completely different. The history, the geography and the people. So Pakistani Army doesn’t go into or hasn’t been into tribal areas since 1948. It is governed by its own laws. Swat is part of Pakistan, governed by Pakistani laws. The issue in Swat was completely different than the tribal areas. In the tribal areas people rose up directly because the Pakistani army under the US pressure was sent into the tribal areas by General Musharraf — a military dictator. That’s what caused the reaction in the tribal area. Resentment against the Pakistani army, resentment against the drone attacks and against Pakistani army using artillery bombardment in the villages caused a reaction when the people rose up. The demand of the people of Swat was that they wanted the old system of justice which was based on Sharia (Islamic law). Before the British came the whole Indian subcontinent was under the Sharia law. So by Sharia they basically meant their own system of justice, which prevailed and gave access to the justice for the common man before 1974. So people of Swat always had this movement going on, demanding their own system of justice back. So once the Taliban movement started in tribal areas and Pakistan army was sent into Swat because this movement was causing problems, they (tribal areas) then joined hands in with Taliban and called themselves also Taliban. But the genesis of the Taliban movement in Swat and the tribal areas was completely different. In my opinion the way the Pakistani army went into Swat were to go after 2,000 or 3,000 Taliban. They displaced two million people and destroyed their livelihoods and crops. They destroyed their fruit trees and crops. They incurred huge infrastructure damage — almost a billion dollar. It makes no sense to me, because what was the urgency? Was there any doubt that the 2,000 or 3,000 Semi-literate Taliban fighters could take on the 700,00-strong Pakistani army? Was there any doubt? So they made it into a big success, this propaganda that there was some great military achievement for just displacing these 2,000 or 3,000 fighters.
Press TV: Has there been a success?
Imran Khan: How can there be success when you go after 2,000 or 3,000 people and you make two million people homeless.
Video of IK discussing so called war against terror