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.

 

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Peshawar Church attack, war, peace and Pakistan

Really disappointed with the killing of 81 innocent people in a suicide attack on a church in Peshawar.

I Strongly condemn the church attack. If I am in a place where I see the person who planned this attack and I have a gun in my hand then I will surely put all the bullets in his head. But I am also not mad enough or driven by social class or sectarian hatred that I will vent all my hatred towards tribal people and demand senseless military operations in tribal areas to hunt down “suspects”.

It looks interesting to see whenever there is a momentum of talks, incidents like attacks on minorities or on senior govt./military officers speed up and all pro-war lobbies and sectarian/social class fascists speed up their pro-war propaganda. It seems they are not interested in ending this mess but are more interested in fighting an imported war. They need to know that a war designed on sectarian and social class fascism cannot bring peace.

Military operations especially where aerial bombings and heaver artillery are involved are bound to result in loss of innocent civilians including children. This will eventually produce more hatred especially when these attacks are backed by sectarian and social class fascists in establishment, civil society, media and politics.

This is what is happening from 9-10 years. Its time to think for those who are living in war trauma for a long time and try to bring them towards normal life.

First step will be to come out of this war and stop drones by any means necessary including shooting them down.

Second step will be to start dialogues with tribal elders and groups who are willing to talk. Then with the help of these elders and groups try to bring others on table as well but if they show resistance then, with the help of tribal elders and groups who are in favor of talks, look for other means.

Similarly, its finally time to see which groups and individuals from so called settled areas side want Pakistan to remain in this war.

In my view elements who don’t want Pakistan to come out of this war from both militant’s side or from establishment/political parties side have same source of power. Militant groups which are not in any kind of mood for talks are mostly linked with India or Iranian/American backed northern alliance.

Similarly, Khomenists and American puppets are keeping up their pressure for more and more war. Their only apparent point of difference is in Syria and that to doesn’t seem to affect their collusion in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.They are exploiting sufi/salafi , deobandi/barelvi, so called liberal/so called religious and other fault lines to forward their war agenda.

One can ask: Why Pakistan is being targeted? The answer to this will not be simple but to keep it simple, we can start with two issues:

(1) Gwadar

Iran feels it as a competing port for its Chahbar port which Iran is building with the help of India to strengthen its hold over Central Asia. Americans are pissed off because Chinese companies are building the port with high Chinese stakes in the area.

(2) Nukes

It is not a secret how India and Americans hate Pakistani nukes. They have a interest in keeping Pakistan into this war so that resulting chaos will force Pakistan to give up its nukes. Iran always sees Pakistani nukes as Sunni nukes and feels them as a hurdle for its future goals in middle east. It even snitched on Pakistan in 2003 when it helped USA to corner Pakistan on nuclear proliferation issue.

Its time for lazy heads in Pakistan to think actively. Need to come out of this war to get some chance for peace.

Malala Issue, drones, NWA operation and fog of this fake war on terror

Recent events of march against drone strikes and attack on Malala Yousafzai have raised some important questions in my mind. These questions are mainly related to the timing of the event and how past events were dealt by the government and security institutions.

If Benazir Murder case is resolved then a lot can be understood about this fake war. For a start, one should ask that how was it possible that some rogue terrorists were able to delete or tempered the mobile communication record from the area? As far as I know that only ISI or some other high level intelligence organization like CIA (Like NADRA data they can surely access this data too) can do it.

These incidents like Benazir, Malala, Islamic University blast or Peshawar market blasts (denied by Talibans) happen at crucial times when anti-war protests take momentum or some crucial decisions are being made about further operations.

Another interesting event is the letter written by Afghan (Pentagon puppet) President Hamid Karzai to PTI’s Chairman, Imran Khan. For those who think that Malala issue is not related to drones and military operations or this fake war, there are few things to ponder upon (If they have the brain to do so). Why the president of a country would like to write a letter to Imran Khan and show the concerns which are shown by social-class and sectarian fascists in Pakistan and pro-imperialism media in USA? It seems Imran Khan and PTI’s march against drone strikes not only disturbed the plans of Pakistani sectarian and social-class fascists but also disturbed the pro-war scum internationally.

Another thing to understand about drone, NWA operation and Malala issue is that Imran Khan is scheduled to lead a protest in front of UN on 26th October 2012.

We need to find answers for these questions. For a start on Malala’s issue, government’s own interior minister Rehman Malik denied the involvement of TTP. Even if it is TTP then there are more than 15 (some say 30) groups working as TTP.

Some are fighting for revenge, some are being funded by international enemies of the country who want Pakistan to remain stuck in this war and some are local criminal gangs. Unless they are not identified clearly, word Taliban has no meaning. Free and Fair investigation can only be done in current scenario through Supreme Court or some investigation body working under SC. But again judiciary is being badly cornered by the government and army due to corruption and missing persons cases. That is why I say for a start we need to find the names behind Benazir murder case.

People say that these tribes and terrorists are ideologically connected. Ideologically connected is also a vague term. People with same customs, cultures or grievances  or may be some other common points can be termed as ideologically connected. With this logic most Indians can be termed as RSS, most USA can be connected to Bund or KKK, all Irish people can be termed as IRA, all British people can blamed for the crimes of East India Company, most Israelis can be linked with Stern gang, most Germans can be linked with Nazis etc. Without addressing the root causes, one cannot solve this issue and waging a war against populations after some isolated incidents doesn’t look very intelligent especially after a decade of destruction.

When are we going to learn the lessons from past mistakes? Or Pakistan army and government are committed to repeat another 1971?

Pay Zakat to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre

Ramadan comes with a message of piety, sharing with each and caring of each other. I would like to appeal to all people paying Zakat this year to support Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre. The team running Shaukat Khanum Trust is one of the most credible and capable team in the country and around the world. Running the largest charity organization in a poor country like Pakistan and managing to make it free for around 70 percent of cancer patients in a poor country is not a game.

Please help them in their great effort.

Below is the link of their donation page:

http://www.shaukatkhanum.org.pk/how-to-help.html

Currently, Shaukat Khanum Trust is running a large cancer hospital in Lahore which provides free treatment to around 70 percent of its cancer patients. They are also working on two projects in Karachi and Peshawar. The hospital is a brain child of Pakistan’s legendary cricketer and philanthropist, Imran Khan.

A good message is given in their recent ad campaign for 2012 Zakat collection:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I1TUIEopBk

Please help generously.

 

Muhammad Ali Jinnah -Address to the Tribal Jirga at Government House, Peshawar on 17th April, 1948

That’s what we call leadership. Quaid e Azam really wisely dealt with the tribe and respected their independence and love for Islam and their customs unlike today’s leadership which has brought us in a war situation with our own tribal people just for dollars.

Tribes trusted Jinnah because he was a man of his words and honor unlike the so called leaders like Zardari,Musharraf,Kiyani,Nawaz and likes.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah -Address to the Tribal Jirga at Government House, Peshawar on 17th April, 1948

I have been looking forward since long to meet you, representatives of the Tribes of the North-West Frontier, and it has given me very great pleasure indeed to have met you here today. I am sorry I have not been able to visit you in your own part of the country, but I hope to be able to do so sometime in the future.

I thank you for you’re welcome to me and for the kind personal references you have made about me. Whatever I have done, I did as a servant of Islam, and only tried to perform my duty and made every possible contribution within my power to help our nation. It has been my constant endeavour to try to bring about unity among Mussalmans, and I hope that in the great task of reconstruction and building up Great and Glorious Pakistan, that is ahead of us, you realize that solidarity is now more essential than it ever was for achieving Pakistan, which by the Grace of God we have already done. I am sure that I shall have your fullest support in this mission. I want every Mussalman to do his utmost and help me and support me in creating complete solidarity among the Mussalmans, and I am confident that you will not lag behind any other individual or part of Pakistan. We Mussalmans believe in one God, one book–the Holy Quran–and one Prophet. So we must stand united as one Nation. You know the old saying that in unity lies strength united we stand, divided we fall.

I am glad to note that you have pledged your loyalty to Pakistan, and that you will help Pakistan with all your resources and ability. I appreciate this solemn declaration made by you today. I am fully aware of the part that you have already played in the establishment of Pakistan, and I am thankful to you for all the sympathy and support you gave me in my struggle and fight for the establishment of Pakistan. Keeping in view your loyalty, help, assurances and declarations we ordered, as you know, the withdrawal of troops from Waziristan as a concrete and definite gesture on our part–that we treat you with absolute confidence and trust you as our Muslim brethren across the border. I am glad that there is full realization on your part that now the position is basically different. It is no longer a foreign Government as it was, but it is now a Muslim government and Muslim rule that holds the reigns of this great independent sovereign State of Pakistan. It is now the duty of every Mussalman, yours and mine, and every Pakistani to see that the State, which we have established, is strengthened in every department of life and made prosperous and happy for all, especially the poor and the needy.

Pakistan has no desire to unduly interfere with your internal freedom. On the contrary; Pakistan wants to help you and make you, as far as it lies in our power, self-reliant and self-sufficient and help in your educational, social and economic uplift, and not be left as you are dependent on annual doles, as has been the practice hitherto which meant that at the end of the year you were no better off than beggars asking for allowances, if possible a little more. We want to put you on your legs as self-respecting citizens who have the opportunities of fully developing and producing what is best in you and your land. You know that the Frontier Province is a deficit province, but that does not trouble us so much. Pakistan will not hesitate to go out of its way to give every possible help–financial and otherwise–to build up the economic and social life of our tribal brethren across the border.

I agree with you that education is absolutely essential, and I am glad that you appreciate the value of it. It will certainly be my constant solicitude and indeed that of my Government to try to help you to educate your children and with your co-operation and help we may very soon succeed in making a great progress in this direction.

Your desire for entering the Pakistan Service in the Civil and Military will receive my full consideration and that of my Government, and I hope that some progress would be made in this direction also without unnecessary delay.

You have also expressed your desire that the benefit, such as your allowances and khassadari, that you have had in the past and are receiving, should continue. Neither my Government nor I have any desire to modify the existing arrangements except, in consultation with you, so long as you remain loyal and faithful to Pakistan.

I know there has been scarcity of food grains, cloth, and sugar. You must realize that we have all been passing through difficult times all over the world and Pakistan is no exception; indeed the whole world is facing hardships, but we are not unmindful of this problem, and we are endeavoring to the utmost of our capacity, with special care for Baluchistan and the Frontier Province, and you will not be neglected in. this respect. We will do our utmost to see that essential commodities reach you in time and in reasonably sufficient quantities. I am hoping and looking forward to the time when more normal conditions may present themselves to us, so that we may be able to live with more ease and comfort in the way of food, clothing, housing and all the necessities of life.

In the end, I warmly thank you for the wholehearted and unstinted declaration of your pledge and your assurances to support Pakistan, so that it may reach the pinnacle of glories of Islam and become a great and mighty nation among other nations of the world.

Pakistan Zindabad