It is indeed a great effort by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to launch a Peace March to Waziristan on 23 September 2012. Imran Khan will be leading the march to show the reality of drone attacks in tribal areas and how they are resulting in innocent civilian casualties. Please support this effort by whatever way you can.
Recent wave of Arab spring and success of Justice and Development Party in Turkey have given many lessons to Islamic movements and political parties around the world.
These revolutions and political successes came as a result of patient and hard laboured struggles without compromising on fundamental issues.
Here in Pakistan, after wasting a decade in an un-wanted foreign war, there was a chance of smaller but ideologically focused parties to join hands against the so called war on terror.
The other fundamental issues which got spot light during that time were issues like independent judiciary,corruption, missing persons and breaking the status-quo in Pakistani politics.
Two political forces, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by Imran Khan and Jamat e Islami led by Munawwar Hassan, can be expected to bring people together on fundamental issues related to the survival of our country. On one hand eyebrows are being raised over the inclusion of former PML-Q members in PTI and their alleged soft corner for MQM which Imran Khan has rejected.
PTI’s poltical leadership has been denying the impression that they are forming any alliance with forces of status-quo, MQM with its politics of violence or any corrupt leadership. Their point of view on the inclusion of new leadership as expressed by Imran Khan recently is that these people are joining PTI after agreeing with PTI’s agenda and knowing that their assets and credibility will be scruitinized before giving them any party tickets.
Time will tell if PTI sticks to what it claims. Now in another turn of events Jamat e Islami is getting closer with PML-N, a force well-known for being an important part of status-quo along with two other pillars including PPP and establishment.
This development is interesting as according to the news reports, Farid Paracha of Jamat e Islami said,“All the PML-Q has been renamed as PTI. If we have to work with these corrupt people, there is no need to get closer to the PTI.”
This line of argument is interesting from Jamat e Islami’s senior leader. JI is criticizing PTI for including those who are joining the party after accepting PTI’s agenda on USA war on terror, corruption,judiciary etc. Also these people are joining PTI after knowing the fact that their assets and credibility will be scruitinized before giving them party tickets.
On the other hand JI prefers to be partners with a party which is itself an important part of status-quo and has a good history of corrupt power politics (JI’s past statements are also there on this). It was evident from the JI’s recent social media campaign that the people in JI who support PML-N and JUI-F are not happy with PTI’s growing popularity and a possible conflict of interest in the form of some common vote bank or supporter base especially anti-war on terror votebank.
If we talk about fundamentals, PML-N supported operations in Sawat and tribal areas, and played its double role in judiciary movement. Also the possibility of them having a clear stance on corruption is very limited, if we look at their past tenures in federal government.
But still they are eligible for being a partner in the eyes of JI’s senior leader despite former accusations by JI on PML-N for playing the role of a friendly opposition.
So far there are no clear statements on the recent developments between PTI and JI relationship by their top most leaderships. According to news reports, they are expected to meet soon to discuss recent developments in Pakistani politics and way forward with each other.
I hope they will keep fundamental issues like war on terror, corrution, indepndent judiciary, missing persons and independent foreign policy in mind before taking any major decision. This is a make or break time for Pakistani politics as new developments are taking place in neighbouring Afghanistan and a new wave of change in Pakistan is knocking our doors.
Will PTI and JI compromise their fundamental stances over some tactical politics? Their answer may determine the future course of our country and its politics.
Peshawar: Pakistani Taliban has slammed PTI chief Imran Khan, terming him a slave of America and Europe. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s spokesman Ahsanullah Farooqui told BBC that liberal was an English word, if Imran Khan considers himself a public leader then he should talk in Urdu which is national language of Pakistan.
He said that Imran Khan often says in his speeches that he was not Taliban’s supporters then ‘we are not in misunderstanding too’.
Khan told BBC in an interview that he was a liberal man and against of Taliban insurgents.
The TTP spokesman while defining a liberal man said that a man who considers himself free from all religions, adding such kind of cannot be preacher of Islam.
He said that he wants to inform PTI chief that he blames that Pakistani politicians were slave of the United States, but “ I want to inform Imran Khan that he is slave of those Americans who are not alive now.”
Meanwhile, PTI provincial spokesperson Zahid Hussain Momand said that his party was against of military operation in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Militancy would automatically be finished if war in the tribal regions stopped, he added.
Comment : One can only hope that some evil satanic mind in establishment is not thinking of exploiting this statement against IK like Benazir. May Allah protect everyone from the evil satanic minds running the country.
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.
LONDON: Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan called Thursday for the army to withdraw from Pakistan’s tribal areas and for talks with the Taliban, warning that the country faced “catastrophe” otherwise.
Khan said the US-Pakistan military offensive in the areas bordering Afghanistan was turning locals massively against the United States and boosting support for the militants.
US drone strikes on militants were sparking “anger and hatred” in the area, said Khan, who leads the marginal Tehrik-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice).
“The solution is to hold a dialogue with the militants,” he told an audience at the Chatham House foreign policy thinktank in London.
“The solution is to win them onto our side, not to bomb them with airstrikes.” Otherwise, he warned: “If we continue with this military operation we are facing a catastrophe.”
The militants operating in the tribal areas did not share the beliefs of the Afghan Taliban, who wanted to create an Islamist state, he said.
“In my opinion, they are political Taliban, they are not religious Taliban.”
“They will fade away as soon as the Pakistan army moves back and dialogue is held,” he added.
Khan said that Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf once described him as “a terrorist without a beard” for suggesting talks with the militants, but now it was an idea being promoted by others.
“Now even (Afghan President) Hamid Karzai considers (Taliban supreme leader) Mullah Omar to be a brother,” Khan added, to laughter from the audience.
He also criticised the tactics of the US military surge in Afghanistan.
“The only way I see the surge being effective is if they use their muscle to get the Taliban to the negotiating table.”
“If they use the surge for more bloodshed, I can guarantee they will leave behind — because they will leave — a far more radical government than the one it replaced.”
A US drone strike in the lawless northwest border area Thursday targeted Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, officials said, although the militia denied reports that he was among 10 killed. –AFP
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