Progressives in Pakistan demand an immediate end to military operation in FATA

It is good to know that at least few progressives have stood up against the military operations in FATA. We often see many fake liberals and progressives in Pakistan, who actually are sectarian and social class fascists, support this fake war on terror. It is one of the rare moments that a group educated people with some sense of justice left in them stood up against tyranny.

I would have loved to see them criticizing military’s policy of using sectarianism itself through the likes of Zaid Hamid, Faisal Raza Abidi, Sunni Ittehad Council etc to forward the war agenda or to see some blame wrongly going against capitalism but in fact it is ‘corporatism’ which should have been targeted. However, it is a great thing to know that not all progressives and liberals are fake in Pakistan.

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We, the undersigned, demand an immediate end to the ongoing military operation in the North Waziristan region of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). We expect this, the sixth military operation in FATA within the last decade, to follow the pattern set by the previous “decisive” operations which resulted in death and suffering for the people of FATA.

The current operation in North Waziristan is nothing but a sham that will only increase the suffering of the people of FATA. Those declaring “full support” for the military operation choose to ignore history (and the present) at their own peril.

While we condemn religious extremism and militancy in the strongest terms, we do not believe that the problem of religious militancy in Pakistan can be addressed through military means nor by an exclusive focus on FATA as a harbour of militancy. Our demands are as follows:

1. An immediate and unconditional halt to the ongoing military operation in NorthWaziristan and other parts of Tribal Areas.

2. We demand that the people of FATA have the right to decide what to do with the problem of militancy in their area. This process must include working-classes, peasants, women and minorities in FATA – with complete accountability, full access to independent media and without any coercion from the security establishment or militant groups.

3. Public disclosure of the names, details and any alleged militant linkages of those killed in the ongoing operation.

4. Immediate abolition of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and steps to integrate FATA into mainstream Pakistan by providing guarantee of fundamental rights including rights of political association and the national penal code.

For complete demands and list of people who signed the documents, please visit:

http://progpak.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/stop-the-military-operation-in-fata/

I am especially glad to see the names of teachers in the list who are showing support for some good cause.

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Swat and Extremism

Swat is a good example to see how extremism develops. In 2006 I went to the area with my friends. We offered prayers in mosque (belonging to Jud or Fazlullah). We had people from different sects like Shia, Sunni or non-taqleedis but no one in the mosque bothered to question our different ways of praying and everyone was normal about it.

Similarly there were tourists with different social-class backgrounds and dressed up like the way they do in Karachi, Islamabad etc and no one bothered to question their dresses. There were girls school in the area and no one bothered to blow them up. Things started to go bad in the area when Army demolished the local structure which created vacuum for these groups to take over and especially when Lal-Masjid operation was conducted (The operation itself was sectarian and social-class fascism backed) , it gave a message to the people that there ways are in danger now and so they went on to the path of extremism. Its very easy for us to consider others as evil aliens and point fingers at them but to resolve a problem, an honest analysis is required to see where it all started and where the root cause lies.

Swat, Tribal areas etc were promised that their autonomy will remain in tact if they join Pakistan but Army on various occasions from 60s violated these agreements and started to meddle in there affairs especially in Musharraf’s time they deliberately targeted their religious schools and institutions. It seems that army used this war not only to bag dollars from Americans but also to pursue their old goal of invading these tribal areas because they seem to love only that Pakistan which is under their boots otherwise they will do another Bangladesh with that part of the country like they are also doing with Baluchistan.

People are again chanting slogans for more War in North Waziristan especially after Malala Yousafzai attack. They should ask their self about the goals they have achieved after decades of military operations in FATA, Baluchistan and Swat. These operations have resulted in more extremism and more terrorism, and they are not going to give different results in the future except things will go worse.