Gaza,FATA,Nazi Germany, Israel and Pakistan: Some random thoughts for my troop worshiping Pakistani friends
I have been writing for some time against crimes committed by the Pakistani/USA and other forces in this fake war on terror and Israeli occupation and bombings of Palestinian territory. I have also been observing the reactions of people against and in favor of both operations, wars, genocide or mass murders (Whatever you want to label them).
What I see is that most of us believe in the concept of humanity but for most people the main issue seems to be their definition of the entity called “human”.
The definition seems to be greatly dependent on race, religion ,sect, nationality, political ideology and other sources of discrimination. This discrimination blinds many people to the extent that they start considering the lives of a 2 years old on one side of the conflict as less important one than on the other side of the conflict.
If we look at Israeli attacks over Gaza and Pakistan army attacks over FATA then we will see that there is not much difference between Benjamin Netanyahu and Nawaz/Raheel Sharif operations. Same logic of targeting particular groups but in reality damaging lives and properties of common people. Also there is not much difference between pro-war Israelies who were shown on the media enjoying bombings over Gaza and pro-war troop worshipers and fake liberals (In reality sectarian and social class fascists) of Pakistan who support and enjoy aerial bombings and heavy ground bombings over populated areas of FATA. Not to forget another thing. Israel and Egypt’s dictator Al-Sissi both have closed their borders for Gaza refugees and here in Pakistan both Sind and Punjab are doing the same with IDPs.
Ask a Pakistan army supporter about Israeli actions and he will use the all the harsh words he or she has against the Israelis and will condemn the attacks strongly. Ask him if these attacks are similar then you will receive harsh words for your self and things like, “There is no general public living in Waziristan & FATA area where Pak Army is doing bombing.” Similarly ask an Israeli army supporter about war in Gaza and similarity between their actions and the actions of Hitler’s Nazi Germany and he will say ” There is no general public living in GAZA area where Israeli Army is doing bombing”
Reality is people don’t care as long as its their men doing their job and it’s not our head facing the bullet or bombings.
No one is asking from Pakistan army that which high-profile targets were targeted? what are the identities of all those hundreds of so-called Uzbaks? what is the proof that all these so-called Uzbaks were terrorists or they were the refugees we accepted for many years or they were from the younger generation of the old soldiers Pak/US trained to fight the Soviets or were they common tribal people?
Similarly not many in Israel will ask their army about the hatred these bombings will create in the region against Israelis or how long can they bully the whole region and how the actions are different from what Hitler did?
The thing is that long as boots on the ground are our’s , bombs from sky are our’s and it’s not us or the people we care are being targeted, all is OK!
We need to oppose the idea of using aerial bombings over civilian population areas (whether so-called enemy areas or so-called our areas) on principle not on prejudices.
Fear of the other kind is a useful tool in the hands of people like Hitler, Netanyahu, Pakistan’s very own dictator Yahya, Musharraf, Bashar al Assad, Stalin, Mussolini, Bush, Obama and others like them.
It’s up to the common people to reject this “creating fear and controlling masses” policy. We need to do it not just for the other side and their rights as humans but also for our rights and freedom too.
Wrong actions and policies, if accepted as norms or principles will eventually hit us too and we will have no moral justification to oppose such actions if we would have supported them in the beginning against other people.
by Sailab Mehsud
IT has not gone unnoticed that ever since Operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched, details emerging about the operation are completely one-sided. Few details are appearing from the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and those trapped in the area. The ISPR has been constantly issuing press releases making various claims, such as killing scores of militants, on a daily basis. But my clandestine trips to Mirali and Miramshah and the ordinary people that I met in Bannu show a different picture.
I met 65-year-old Zahir Shah from Miramshah in Bannu who was with his family in a truck. He had one of the most heart-rending stories to narrate about his difficult journey. “It feels like the Day of Judgment. I may seem alive to you but inside I am dead. No warnings were given about the impending operation. The bomb attacks started suddenly and I had to leave two of my sick children behind. I handed them over to Shawwal Scouts belonging to the Afridi tribe requesting them to bury my children should they die.”
Shah’s version appears to have some basis because some local journalists and I had managed to slip into Dattakhel, a village west of Miramshah in North Waziristan Agency, and were present on June 15 when a curfew was imposed unexpectedly and the operation was launched without a proper announcement. The aman jirga and the tribal maliks had been meeting officials for nearly a month to delay the operation. However, this did not happen.
According to Shah and other IDPs, Miramshah Bazaar, a source of livelihood for many, has been completely destroyed. “Air strikes have killed many civilians including women and children and hardly any terrorists. Ordinary civilians have also been shot at sight,” claimed Shah. Though Shah said this with authority, his claim — like those of the military — cannot be independently verified.
I was in Mirali nearly 20 days ago. There I saw a house reduced to rubble and I could smell decomposing human flesh. A bystander claimed that the house was bombarded at 1:30am in which 24 members of a family were killed. A girl of about seven to eight years of age survived. Noor Behram, a journalist friend, also undertook an arduous 26-hour journey from Miramshah to Bannu with his family when the operation began unannounced. “There was no way to get out. Roads were closed. We walked all the way to the Sadgai checkpoint on the Bannu-Miramshah Road. My wife and children traversed hidden paths; climbed mountainous tracks all day and night to somehow reach the checkpoint, which is a mere 25-minute drive by car from Miramshah. But it took us 26 hours to reach the checkpoint.”
Behram also spoke about the ordeal he and the other IDPs have faced at the hands of security forces during registration. First is the seemingly never-ending wait with thousands of men, women, children, senior citizens and invalids waiting for their turn. Then, everyone goes through a body search, their CNICs are checked, they are cross-questioned and are handed chits which basically say that they are not Taliban and are going to Bannu.
And there are numerous such tales. Mohammad Saiyyid said that air strikes nearly flattened his house. “I was picking bits of rubble when my wife screamed at me and said leave all this, let’s take whatever remains of our essential belongings, grab the children and get out of here. We thought we were the only ones but when I turned to look at my house for the last time I saw a sea of people behind me with their belongings and their families. We went uphill and covered a path of many kilometres. Women in our households observe strict purdah, to see them like this in the open…,” Saiyyid couldn’t speak further.
After hearing everyone’s stories, I cannot help but recall Operation Rah-i-Nijaat launched in 2009 in South Waziristan. At the time, the army claimed that within two months the operation would end. It has been five years and the operation is ongoing. Thousands of Mehsuds were displaced and are now living a difficult life in Tank, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan with some of them subsisting on leftover rotis. The Taliban are present in South Waziristan where they are engaged in an insurgency against the state.
A Taliban commander Gilamand Mehsud called me up and admitted that their men have been killed and injured but not in the hundreds as claimed by the army. “So far nine men have been killed and five injured,” asserted Mehsud.
However, my sources tell me that four days ago, six bodies were found lying in Mirali Bazaar and by their appearance they seem to be Taliban. So far neither the army nor the Taliban have claimed them.
—As narrated to Maleeha Hamid Siddiqui
PESHAWAR: The North Waziristan tribal jirga on Friday refused meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and boycotted his official function in Bannu after they were not allowed to speak and inform the premier about sufferings of the uprooted families.
“We refused to meet the prime minister and attend his official function in Bannu as the government and military officials had asked us to attend the gathering, enjoy the lunch but don’t open our mouth in front of the prime minister,” Sher Mohammad Wazir, head of North Waziristan tribal jirga, told The News on telephone from Bannu.
Sher Mohammad Wazir said some government officials had earlier assured them that someone from the jirga would be given a chance to speak and talk about the hardships of the internally displaced persons from North Waziristan.
“However, when elders of our jirga were preparing to draft demands and raise the deplorable condition of the uprooted families in Bannu and other places, senior government officials backtracked of their commitment,” the tribal elder complained.
Sher Mohammad Wazir, grandson of known freedom fighter Mirza Ali Khan alias Faqir of Epi, alleged that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was kept in dark about the whole situation in North Waziristan and the plight of IDPs.
Another prominent member of the jirga, Hafiz Noorullah Shah said that the government later brought some ordinary tribesmen from among the IDPs and put turbans on their heads and presented them as tribal elders to the prime minister when members of the tribal jirga decided to boycott the official function.
“Senior government and military officials had approached us to attend the function and enjoy the lunch but said we would not be allowed to speak. We were anxiously waiting for the prime minister to come so we could inform him about the real situation on ground and then the inhuman treatment meted out with the displaced tribespeople. But they didn’t allow us to talk and we refused to boycott his function,” Hafiz Noorullah Shah said.
He said no one from 40-mmeber NWA tribal jirga attended the prime minister function in Bannu. “Government and military officials wanted us to stay away from the prime minister as they knew we would inform him about the real situation on ground. We also wanted inform the prime minister that all local and foreign troublemakers had left North Waziristan before the launch of military operation there. Therefore, we wanted to demand him to direct military authorities not to destroy our houses and markets,” tribal elder Sher Mohammad Wazir complained.
He complained that several houses and markets owned by local tribesmen had been blown up in Miranshah and Mir Ali despite the fact that people had fled the area.“Only innocent people are being suffered in this operation and that’s our main concern but no body is listening to us,” jirga head complained.
He said that after a meeting with governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and corps commander Peshawar, who gave them a deadline of June 20, the jirga went to Waziristan and held fruitful talks with the North Waziristan Taliban shura and all them agreed to expel local and foreign militants from the tribal region.
“We have successfully expelled half of the foreign militants and were going to oust the remaining when the military operation was launched. We wanted to complain the prime minister but were not given a chance,” Sher Mohammad Wazir complained.
He said the IDPs are being treated like animals but no one taking its notice.After the prime minister left for Islamabad, Sher Mohammad Wazir said senior government officials came to them and wanted them to end their protest.
“We told them that you people are treating us like animals. We made it clear on them that we don’t need your Rs20, 000 cash but don’t destroy our houses and buildings in Waziristan,” the tribal elder said.
He said they demanded of the government to give one-week relaxation in curfew in Waziristan so that people could bring out their precious goods they had left in home.A top government official when contacted in Bannu confirmed that some of the jirga members had boycotted the PM’s function but a few others were seen participating in the gathering.
“In the morning, the came to the office of commissioner Bannu and then went to the residence of Senator Faridullah Khan for a meeting. They couldn’t develop consensus whether they should boycott or attend the PM’s meeting after they were stopped from speaking. Later some of the elders decided to attend the function and others boycotted it,” the official said and wished not to be named.
The holy month of Ramadan is coming and it is coming at a time when we already have an estimate of more than 2 million (Internally displaced persons) IDPs due to earthquake, floods and various military operations. Now the latest military operation, Zarb e Azb has added around .45 to .6 million new IDPs. I have been criticizing this operation and the way military establishment and their puppets in politics are destroying the country but the real damage is done to the civilians who have to leave their homes and lose their properties, lives of their loved ones and their localities for migration towards other areas. Sind and Punjab governments, despite being the supporters of this war have banned the entry of these IDPs in their provinces as if they are some lesser citizens of this country or they belong to a lesser race. PMLN allied Baluchistan government has also shown no sympathy towards these IDPs. Its only Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) is the only government which is taking care of these refugees. We were not able to stop war but we can reduce the pains of those who are suffering because of the bad actions of our rulers and policy makers. Below are some of the charities who are doing some good work to take care of these refugees:
Another good one and with presence in the area is Al-Khidmat Foundation:
If you know some more charities working on the ground then please feel free to share them in the comments.
According to ISPR, Pakistan army has also setup some camps like USA does in Afghanistan after destroying villages. My suggestion is not to give donations to them as they will use that for publicity stunts which are then used for more bombings. What logic is this that first you bomb them and kick them out of their houses and then bribe them to win their loyalties by giving them a fraction of dollar payments you received from your masters in the form of coalition support funds?
The rehabilitation and care should be a real priority for our government as this useless war is imposed on them by the government and military to get dollars.
It’s really sad first they have made them to migrate and now they are being treated like enemies and animals.
IDPs of Waziristan operation in miserable condition
After fleeing from latest war zone, grandfather Haji Abdullah had hoped for a warmer welcome when he reached safety. “When they realise you’re a Mehsud, they treat you like a suicide bomber who’s wearing an explosive jacket,” said Abdullah, one of 120,000 people to have fled an anti-Taliban army offensive in the South Waziristan tribal belt.
“It’s simply humiliating,” added the 67-year-old, who travelled from his home in Makin, a Taliban redoubt, with five sons and seven grandchildren. Like many of those fearing for their lives, Abdullah made his way to the city of Dera Ismail Khan where he soon encountered hostility as a member of the same tribe as Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud. Such is the wariness of locals in a town which has endured a history of militant attacks, Abdullah’s family says he was only able to find somewhere to stay three days after one of his relatives put up guarantees. “No landlord was willing to rent out his house to me,” he added. But locals say they have every reason to suspect the uninvited new-arrivals from Waziristan, which lies outside direct government control, and believe many are active Taliban followers who are masquerading as innocent victims. “These people are a security risk as most of them belong to the Mehsud tribe and have strong Taliban sympathies,” said Adeel Shahzad, a shoe shop salesman. “The situation has become very tense in our city because of the arrival of these people,” Shahzad said, accusing them of triggering an increase in crime.
A local police commander said his men had received strict orders from the provincial government to keep a close eye out for trouble. “We have clear orders from the government to keep an eye on the displaced persons as the situation may further deteriorate with their arrival,” district police chief Gul Afzal Afridi told AFP. “We have intelligence reports that many of these displaced persons were strong supporters of Taliban,” he said, adding that dozens of new police checkposts have been set up across the city. Police and army personnel can be seen patrolling the streets round the clock in the city, which has a history of Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence as well as Taliban attacks. Hospitals and hotels have shut their gates and only people with valid identity documents can enter these places.
“We have shut our gates and nobody without proper identification papers can enter,” said Haji Munawar Khan, who works as a manager in a local hotel. The International Crisis Group says the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Waziristan are being neglected in a climate of animosity between Pashtuns from the tribal belt and those from the settled areas. “Few efforts, local or international, have been made to identify their needs or to help them rebuild their homes, schools, shops and places of work once they return,” it said in a policy report published last week. “Most FATA (tribal belt) IDPs have not received adequate assistance or any compensation for the destruction of their properties and livelihoods.” The think-tank accused the military of not allowing camps for Waziristan IDPs on the “unjustifiable grounds that they would offer jihadi groups pools of easy recruits,” forcing Mehsuds to seek accommodation in private homes. “Host families have frequently faced harassment by the security agencies, including the military, paramilitary and police,” said the report. Cleaning the barrel of his gun with a handkerchief, Ghazanfar Ali, a private security guard, blamed lawlessness in his city on Afghans and the Taliban.
“The Afghan refugees who migrated to Pakistan in 1980s started the law and order problems in our city and now it’s the Taliban,” Ali said, accusing the Taliban for all the attacks to have rocked the flashpoint city in recent years. Such attitudes infuriate Merajuddin Mehsud, who insists there is no reason for him to be tarred by association with the Islamist hardliners. “I found a house after roaming around for days but still the landlord wanted my national identity card and educational certificates of my son as a guarantee,” said the 45-year-old, who has four children.”We were fed up with the attitude of Taliban in South Waziristan and here it is police and the local population who are creating problems for us.”