Syrians are suffering from the hands of both Pro-Assad camps and ISIS.

The process of destabilization in the middle east region which started with 2003 invasion of Iraq is now taking more deadly turns. Aleppo and other Syrian cities are facing genocides of people from pro-Assad forces backed by Russia and the Khomenist regime in Iran, and also from the hands of ISIS.

The countries which started this war mess in the middle east especially US, UK and the countries who supported them are not even accepting refugees.

It is the prime responsibility of OIC countries especially bigger countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey etc. to stand up and start a peace process in the region. At the moment USA, Russia and Iran are playing their super power game in Syria at the cost of innocent lives.

Saudi Arabia and other GCC cannot be trusted with any peace process either as they are playing their own power games at the cost of human lives in Yemen.

People around the world who believe in justice and humanity should raise their voice on the issues.

If the ongoing genocide in Syria doesn’t end then I am afraid that it will create more sectarian hate based wars in the region.

I hope some sense will prevail and someday in-sha-Allah we will see peace in the region.

Erdogan, Turkey, ISIS, Russia and Syrian mess

After the downing of the Russian Jet when it violated the Turkish airspace, there seems to be a lot of cold war style propaganda against Turkey and its role in Syria. It seems there is a deliberate attempt to take down Turkey using the situation in Syria.

If a liberal and democratic Turkey goes down then it will empower groups like ISIS and create chaos in Middle East and surrounding regions including Europe. Erdogan is not perfect like any other leader of the world but it is stupid to think that he is in bed with ISIS even after ISIS killed hundreds in Ankara blasts. ISIS considers all democratic leaders and their voters as infidels and worthy of being killed including leaders in Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc so it will be really stupid for anyone to support a group which is committed to to kill you, takeover your countries and destroy your system. ISIS is a product of hatred and chaos created after 2003 Invasion, they have no ideological grounds except revenge, hatred and ignorance. They started as a splinter group of Al-Qaida and later joined by Saddam loyalists who were full of vengeance.

If NATO or Russian led alliance want to eliminate ISIS then they need to stop playing super power games in Syria like they played in Afghanistan which resulted in the creation of Al-Qaida type groups.

Before accusing others, Russia first needs to give answers about the downed Malaysian civilian jet and the way they are destabilizing Ukraine.

This whole Syrian game is fishy with no clarity of approach on how to tackle ISIS or Daesh. At the moment Pakistan and China both are doing the right thing by staying out of it despite their own allies pushing them into this mess.

Turkey made a mistake of jumping into this Syrian mess like Pakistan made by jumping into the Afghan mess. Now they are facing similar pressures to do more or accusations of being in bed with the terrorists like Pakistan was facing even after losing a lot of civilians and soldiers in this war.

Many Pakistanis seem to be falling for this game too, mainly due to sectarian or left/right political alignment. Instead of bringing sectarianism from the conflicts between a theocracy like Iran or a family dynasty like KSA, we need to go more towards liberal Muslim democracies like Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan and I hope Pakistan will be in the same or better league too. Things are not perfect in these countries but they seem to go in the right direction with the establishment of democratic processes, strong opposition culture and strong media.

Unfortunately, even in 21st century, we are stuck with theocracies, dictators like Assad or Al-Sissi and backward monarchies.

Paris attacks, Islamophobia and ISIS

Many people are exploiting the situation to show their inner bigot. At least try and understand the problem before deciding to go for a third world war or some other solution your genocidal mentality tells you to go for.

ISIS is an offshoot of Al-Qaida in Iraq and Syria.

Not many even bother to question how Al-Qaida was formed. It was created by anti-communism alliance led by NATO to fight against Soviets. We were part of it as non-NATO members but we were not the leading players.

They got stronger when they were joined by disgruntled elements in Iraq who were angry at 2003 USA invasion of Iraq. Again we didn’t ordered or invited the invasion but the blame will some how find its way towards us. I hope the attacks will not make life difficult for minorities living in Europe and other parts of the world. Recent statements on the issue by Tony Blair (PM of United Kingdom during the time of invasion) can give some indication about the start of this ISIS menace.

Imagine if Soviets had started to fund KKK or IRA then they would have turned into uncontrollable monsters too. The solution is to stop creating these monsters in the first place and stop invading countries which results in the destruction of societies. These broken societies with soared up poverty, due to war, end up as breeding grounds for terrorism.

I sympathize with the people of Paris like I sympathize with the people in and with people in all other places who are facing poverty and death as a result of political and military policies not created by them.

People like Donald Trump, Netanyahu and other people who feed on hatred and fear do not want peace as peace does not serve their interests. We need to stand up as human beings to beat both war mongers and terrorists.

For those who want to give it  a religious color, I can only say that if you want to blame a religion then at least develop some understanding of it. Even if you treat all Muslims as your enemies, it’s not a bad idea to do some opposition research.

a)Quranic verse for dealing with enemies:

“O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do.” [Al-maeda ,8]

b) Quranic verse prohibiting the murder of innocent human beings:

“For this reason, We decreed for the children of Isra’il that whoever kills a person not in retaliation for a person killed, nor (as a punishment) for spreading disorder on the earth, is as if he has killed the whole of humankind, and whoever saves the life of a person is as if he has saved the life of the whole of humankind. Certainly, Our messengers have come to them with clear signs. Then, after all that, many of them are there to commit excesses on the earth.” [Al-maeda,32]

c)Even in the case where some transgression has been committed against someone, the preferable way is forgiveness:

“The recompense of evil is evil like it. Then the one who forgives and opts for compromise has his reward undertaken by Allah. Surely, He does not like the unjust.” [As-Shura,40]

Strongly condemn state terrorism of Nawaz government against peaceful protesters in Islamabad.

Strongly condemn actions of Nawaz government against peaceful protesters.

However, whatever is happening in Islamabad is not unexpected. People accepted the right of government and security institutions to torture or kill civillians or even bomb the civil areas during Ayub, Yahya, Bhutto, Musharraf, Zia and many other times.

If Nawaz government is using the same wrong principles and excuses like law and order or some national security or some writ of state type excuses to justify their actions then it is also not new.

We have tolerated even worse against people of Bangladesh, FATA, Baluchistan etc and if it is happening with Urban or so called settled area people then it shouldn’t be shocking. Its highly condemnable but not unexpected.

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.

If wrong actions are accepted as principles just because they are not against “our kind” then we shouldn’t feel shocked if same is repeated against us or people we actually consider as humans.

 

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.

Bonfire of dolls lit by Jews in Israel to protest at slaughter of children in Gaza: Thankyou JAG for keeping the hope of peace alive

I felt some hope today when I read a group of Jewish people in Israel showed solidarity with the children of Gaza by protesting in Israel against the genocide of Palestinians by Netanyahu regime.

Salute to these people who took part in the protests organized by Jews Against Genocide (JAG) movement.

People who have suffered the horror of a genocide should feel the pain especially when their own government is doing the same with Palestinians.

When Hitler was doing his massacre of humanity, there were people like Oskar Schindler in Germany who were keeping the humanity alive.

I am glad to see the other side of Israel which shows there is still a chance of peace.

Fear of the other kind is a useful tool in the hands of people like Hitler, Netanyahu, Pakistan’s very own dictator Yahya and others like them.

Its 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.

According to a news on Stopwar.org.uk:

Bonfire of dolls lit by Jews in Israel to protest at slaughter of children in Gaza

Jewish protesters set aflame dolls covered in red paint at Yad Vashem, Israel’s holocaust memorial museum, 12 July 2014. Source: fb.com/schwarczenberg

Jewish protesters set aflame dolls covered in red paint at Yad Vashem, Israel’s holocaust memorial museum, 12 July 2014. Source: fb.com/schwarczenberg

 

JEWISH PROTESTERS set fire to dolls to symbolise the children of Gaza to bring a glimpse of the horror that Gaza faces to Israel’s doorstep.

On 12th July 2014, a group called Jews Against Genocide (JAG) held a memorial service for Palestinian children killed by Israel in its current attack on Gaza. JAG set aflame to a pile of dolls covered in red paint at Yad Vashem, Israel’s holocaust memorial museum.

Jews Against Genocide (JAG) is a movement of Jews from all over the world, including Israelis, who are protesting against Israel’s intent to commit genocide against the non-Jewish indigenous people of Palestine.

Read More…

 

Footprints: Dispatches from North Waziristan- Article in DAWN by Sailab Mehsud

by Sailab Mehsud

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1117751/

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NWA Jirga members boycott PM’s function: The News

Mushtaq Yusufzai

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.

 

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.