By Salis bin Perwaiz
KARACHI: The Gulshan-e-Iqbal police station here has registered an FIR for the kidnapping of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, along with her three minor children. The FIR was lodged against personnel of an unidentified law-enforcement agency, and a case was filed on the complaint of Dr Aafia’s sister.
Gulshan-e-Iqbal SHO Rustam Nawaz said they received a complaint from Dr Fauzia Siddiqui in which she stated that her younger sister, Dr Aafia Siddiqui, resident of House No: 140E, Block 7, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, on March 30, 2003, left the house for the Karachi airport, along with her three children, to board a flight to Rawalpindi. She, along with her three children, was kidnapped by a member of an unidentified law-enforcement agency en route to the airport.
SHO Nawaz said the complainant further alleged she had also submitted many applications to police stations concerned as well as government officials, including ministers, but to date no action had taken place nor was it clear which agency had kidnapped her younger sister. Furthermore, subsequently it came to their knowledge that Dr Aafia Siddiqui is in an American jail, facing trial.
SHO Nawaz said the application was forwarded to his seniors and after getting their approval, FIR-773/09 was lodged for the kidnapping of Dr Aafia Siddiqui along with her three minor children against unidentified persons or LEA personnel.
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.
After violating the human rights for whole year the so called civilized people celebrate international human rights day on 10 December.
Today (10 December 2009) Obama got Nobel peace prize for his anticipation for the cause of peace. He is same Obama who is sending more troops to Afghanistan for a baseless war to kill innocent people in the name of fighting terrorism, he is the same president of USA who accelerated the drone attacks on civilian population in Pakistan, he is the same person who is backing off from his promise to close Guantanamo bay prison and still he is the selected representative of peace according to Nobel prize committee.
It is really amazing how so called civilized people support the civilian killings in the war against humanity and peace which they call war against terror even after knowing that use of brutal force and indiscriminate bombing which USA and NATO does on Afghans, Pakistan Army does on Pakistanis, Israel on Palestinians, India on Kashmiris and elsewhere are against the international human rights norms and regulations which the so called civilized world drafted themselves.
Social-Economic exploitation is still going on and again the main culprits are so called civilized governments, institutions and leaders of the world. The only thing the civilized world does is to cash those issues in the name of forming global funds, world organizations, international courts and so on but issues and disputes are as severe as they were in fact the situation has gone worse.
I don’t know how celebrating this day will help people dying of imperialist policies and totalitarian governments or people like Aafia Siddiqi and many like her who are not considered to be treated like human beings because of their ethnic or religious affiliation.
I think International Human Rights Day should be celebrated as International Hypocrisy Day.
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.
Another column on national self-esteem and self-respect by Dr. A.Q Khan published in Jang Karachi which I hope will start another useful debate on how our leaders sold their souls to foreign powers without any shame for their acts.
His previous column ‘Ghairat Kahan Hai Tu’ really made people to think on our behavior and actions as a nation and the sort of leadership coming on our national scene.
By Ayaz Wazir
Operation Rah-e-Nijat, or to use the so-called FATA experts’ pet phrase ‘the mother of all wars’, has entered its fourth week. All indications are that it will soon be over. So far more than 700 militants are reported to have been killed. There has been no mention whatsoever of loss of innocent lives or damage to property (termed ‘collateral damage’ in American terms to minimise the psychological impact).This is hard to believe, considering that aerial bombardment and artillery are being used. So far, no picture of any dead, important militant commander has been shown on TV. Neither are journalists allowed to enter the area and whatever the army spokesman tells us is to be believed without corroboration.
Since the operation has already been launched and cannot be reversed at this stage, let us pray that that it will achieve the desired result and no more operations will be required for the elimination of militants, although our experience for the last eight years tells us a different story. Has the writ of the government been established in Bajaur and other places in FATA where operations were conducted earlier? Will this one bring peace to Waziristan? Such questions come to our minds when we talk about operations in FATA.
The army’s job, as we all know, is to destroy the enemy. Once that is done, it is then the job of the civil government to step in to sort out the problem on a permanent basis. It is so unfortunate that our civilian government has not taken that step and keeps on blaming the past rulers for the policies that it is still following.
It was a different story altogether during Musharraf’s time. He was doing it for his own survival. The people were fed up and wanted change. They voted in favour of the ruling party, hoping that it will discard the policies of the dictator, and give guidance to the army and the public at large. It didn’t. It even ignored the unanimously adopted resolution by parliament endorsed by all the political parties, which could have laid the foundation of finding a permanent solution to the problem.
FATA has suffered all along and South Waziristan the most. It seems to be the most unfortunate spot on this earth. It has been deprived of political and economic development for centuries. The Afghans ignored it when it was a part of their country. The British continued to do the same, besides constructing roads and an airport to pursue their own interest. In fact, South Waziristan was neglected even after partition.
Thirty years of war in Afghanistan fought mostly from this area have further added to the miseries of the people. It destroyed the infrastructure and left deep scars on the body politic of tribal customs. The traditional tribal system, though intact, was badly bruised leaving little room for the tribes to resist militant onslaught.
Whatever little progress that was made by the tribesmen in trade, commerce and agriculture was destroyed in the eight-year-war against the militants. The general public has not taken up arms against the army but has suffered the most. Their close relatives got killed, their houses demolished and shops razed to the ground. The losses run into billions of dollars but nobody has been paid compensation so far. Imagine their frustration when they see victims of militancy in other cities of Pakistan, getting the attention of the media and government.
The president and prime minister issue immediate instructions for medical assistance and financial help to compensate for the losses. No doubt, they deserve our sympathy and support for rehabilitation, but why are the people from Waziristan not treated in a similar manner? Aren’t they Pakistanis as well? Should they continue to pay for the sins of others? Should they continue to be the victims of a situation brought upon them against their wishes? If not, then let us take the matter more seriously and put our heads together to ascertain what went wrong and what we should do next.
The civilian government does not appear to be in the mood to take over its responsibilities in tribal areas. It has left everything to the army, which is doing its job to the best of its abilities. However, on its own it cannot solve the problem ‘politically’. As Winston Churchill right said, “War is too serious a matter and cannot be left to the generals alone.” The civil government must give its guidance to them, in consultation with the people concerned.
We voted the present government into power mainly to undo the unpopular policies of the dictator and allow for refreshing solutions to the problems faced by the country. Unfortunately, the latter failed to do the same. It got embroiled in notorious matters, such as the NRO. What were the public aspirations and what has the government done? It has only added to their miseries by giving us load-shedding, sugar and flour crises, etc.
FATA, which does not fall under the jurisdiction of parliament, is the responsibility of the president. He is in charge of it. In fact, he was kind enough to take the trouble of flying to Peshawar for a meeting with the tribal elders, donating huge amounts for the economic development of the area. His government, he promised, would take urgent steps towards bringing the people of that area at par with the rest of the people of Pakistan. The tribesmen are hearing such promises for the last 62 years. This seems to be one such promise as nothing has happened so far.
The president is not only in charge of FATA but is also the supreme commander of the armed forces as well. Prudence demands that he visit battle-torn areas including South Waziristan, where our troops are sacrificing their lives, to boost the morale of soldiers and interact with tribesmen. His visit will leave a lasting impact on soldiers and locals alike. What has he done instead? He has shut himself up in the bunkered presidential palace in Islamabad, and has started ordering the purchase of expensive bullet-proof cars for ministers and other senior functionaries of his government. These officials should come out of the bunkered city of Islamabad if they are serious about fighting militancy. This nation can hardly afford the luxury that Zardari and his cronies are living in. The tribesmen in FATA and other Pashtuns in NWFP are getting killed by the hundreds on a daily basis. Waziristan and Peshawar are burning, while life in other cities goes on unaffected. What kind of a nation are we? We are not agitating, expressing our concern, pressuring the members of parliament to do what they are supposed to do, instead of wasting time and energies defending shady deals and bills such as the NRO. What are we up to?
We still have time to rise to the occasion if we want to live as a nation together. We must make decisions reflective of the national aspirations to get rid of this menace. We failed once and lost half the country. We cannot afford to fail again. Let us wake up and face the problem with wisdom and grit. Waziristan, after all, is a part of this country.
The writer is a former ambassador. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, November 28, 2009
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari does not need adversaries as he is his own worst enemy. He shouldn’t be worried about the conspiracies, if any, of his political foes, the establishment or his perceived opponent — Geo and a few journalists associated with the Jang Group — because he himself is in a self-destructive mode.
Perhaps not many would be bothered as to what he does to himself but the big worry is about his style of governance which is marred by inaction and indifference at a time when there is a need to do a lot and seriously.
His strange and incomprehensible attitude is damaging Pakistan and threatening the whole system. To be precise and candid, if I am allowed to express my personal view, there is no greater threat to democracy and the system than the president himself. Others have the right to differ.
Getting to the Presidency or the chief executive’s office through democratic means, does not mean anything if the promises made are disregarded, election manifesto is overlooked, institutions are ruined, constitutional distortions are subtly protected to thrust and sustain a one man rule that could be described as civilian dictatorship, and parliament is ignored and cabinet is turned into a non-entity. All of this is happening under Zardariís rule.
Although the president has pointed his finger at Geo and Jang Group as his sole enemy, he conveniently ignored what the whole world says about his style of government, his growing unpopularity, mounting corruption of his regime and his men.
Read the foreign newspapers and magazines, look what is coming from Paris about the submarine deal, go through the international surveys about the record-breaking corruption to adjudge the reputation of Zardari-led political dispensation. You will find that Pakistan is hurting.
Ask the political parties, get the pulse of the military establishment, talk to the members of the civil bureaucracy and even have a heart to heart discussion with the PPP leaders including those holding public office, there is a consensus that the president is doing just contrary to what the situation demands. Pakistan is confronted with Himalaya like challenges but its president appears non-serious to face them and get them resolved. No matter what he said in his last public speech made from the Presidency, now generally termed his bunker, he knows how he is seen by all the stakeholders and how much he is trusted.
Media has always served as an easy prey for every government. What President Zardari also did on last Wednesday was no different from the past? We know the Jang Group has committed ìsinî by unearthing corruption scandals, one after the other, and by consistently highlighting tales of murder of merit, favouritism, bad governance. We are also ìresponsibleî for reminding the president and his government of promises, commitments and pledges that remained unfulfilled. President Zardari may not like it but we would continue doing so because it is our fundamental responsibility and this is what the media has been doing in the past.
We have nothing personal against anyone. We donít seek any personal favour, plots, foreign trips and lucrative positions. We neither conspire nor claim to be the kingmakers. We are just messengers and opinion makers. We may be accused of running campaigns or getting biased but all such campaigns or biases, if any, would be directed for institution building, rule of law, justice and fair play. The deserted ousted dictator General (retd) Musharraf also thought that we were biased against him. To an extent he was right that we were biased. But our bias was not against him but to achieve the goal of independence of judiciary in Pakistan. We achieved the goal for which the whole nation takes pride today.
Our criticism against the president and his regime is based on similar biases, which should not be misinterpreted in any other manner. Needless to say that we are biased against corruption, we are biased against nepotism and violation of merit, we are biased against misrule, we are biased against undemocratic postures of the democrats, we are biased against weakening of the institutions, we are biased against military rule as well as civilian dictatorship and certainly we are biased against anything that in any manner harms our homeland.
Mediaís criticism is nowhere seen as a ìconspiracyî to make or break governments. Instead, it is taken by the matured minds and civilised societies as a chance to improve governance, better service delivery, address injustices and serve the public interest.
President Zardari may not like it but he needs to change himself if he wants to secure his presidency. It may also not sound music to his ears but he also needs to change his company by getting rid of the tainted sycophants, dirtied courtiers, corrupt to the core souls and some ìknownî agents of MI6 and CIA, surrounding him. He has to act without any further delay to undo the 17th Amendment, implement the Charter of Democracy and check corruption. Otherwise, he would continue getting weaker and weaker with every passing day. But for his own follies and failings, there is no reason to blame others, particularly the media, which is the mirror, whom the politician always support and admire when out of power intoxication.