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Terrorism and solution? دہشت گردی اور اس کا حل جوابی بیانیہ ؟

اِس وقت جو صورت حال بعض انتہا پسند تنظیموں نے اپنے اقدامات سے اسلام اور مسلمانوں کے لیے پوری دنیا میں پیدا کر دی ہے، یہ اُسی فکر کا...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Violence in name of God - Videos



The Endgame in FATA ?


In 2004, for the first time in Pakistan’s chequered history, the federal government had to order military offensive against virulent and violent militant outfits in its tribal regions, although troops had been previously deployed in the remote Tirah Valley in Khyber tribal region to correspond with the US military action against Al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden and his associates in the neighbouring Tora Bora region in eastern Afghanistan.

The action in South Waziristan had begun after some reluctance amid differences between the military and its intelligence wing over the presence of foreign militants in the Wana region. This denial and inability of the state and its various organs to nip the evil in the bud led to catastrophic consequences.

The military offensive, therefore, proved fatal and costly for the government both in terms of the casualties suffered as well as its image. The myth of the mighty state crashed, replaced by the seemingly invincible Nek Muhammad and hordes of his Waziri militants.

Soon, and predictably enough, militancy spread to the Mehsud heartland, across the boundary into North Waziristan Agency (NWA) and beyond.

The July 2007 siege and subsequent clashes to wrestle back the control of Lal Masjid in Islamabad, fomented further troubles, leading to the rise of militant groups in Mohmand and Bajaur Agencies.

In December, 2007, Baitullah Mehsud, the undisputed leader of the Pakistani militants in South Waziristan (SW) moved to establish the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, assembling various factions on a single platform, creating a formidable challenge for Pakistan.

He swiftly established control in Orakzai, appointing his ultra-radical and aggressive young lieutenant Hakeemullah Mehsud to oversee Orakzai, Kurram and Khyber tribal regions.
Hakeemullah would succeed Baitullah after his death in a drone strike in August, 2009.

In the following years, the military and paramilitary forces launched a series of operations against militants in the length and breadth of Fata. Some were aborted half way, others put off or put on hold, following peace agreements through tribal interlocutors.

Realising these were futile, the Pakistan Army launched a decisive operation against the Mehsud heartland in October, 2009, forcing the TTP leadership to take refuge in the neighbouring NWA, while paramilitary forces fought fierce battles in Bajaur and Mohmand tribal regions. By April 2010, Bajaur was declared a conflict-free zone.

In March 2010, security forces launched an ongoing operation in Orakzai. According to security officials, total control over the territory is now in sight. Kurram was also cleared and a road link between Kurram and down-country was reopened after years of blockade by militant groups.

The security forces have been able to reclaim and regain control of much of the lost territory with Bajaur and Mohmand. Kurram is less of a problem now while Orakzai is on the way to be reclaimed.

But three years later, South Waziristan remains a dilemma even with large troop deployment and massive development projects. Only a small number of the displaced Mehsuds have returned or agreed to return home, others are weary and fearful of the revenge and return of the TTP. Ambush, sniper attacks and fire-raids by Mehsud militants, still hiding in the countryside continue unabated.

While the army and the paramilitary forces have been able to re-establish state writ over much of Fata, civil administration is still hamstrung, so the policy of clear, hold and transfer has not been entirely successful.

Today, the Bara subdivision in the Khyber tribal region remains unstable despite several clean up operations. Part of Orakzai, close to Khyber’s Tirah Valley remains uncleared.
Militants fleeing Orakzai have now taken sanctuary in Tirah.

There is a tenuous and somewhat tactical truce between the belligerent groups: the Lashkar-i-Islam, Ansar-ul-Islam and the TTP, but it is only a matter of time before clashes flare-up in Tirah pressurising the plains of Bara, which would spell trouble for the adjacent provincial capital, Peshawar.

By no means is the fight over with the TTP leadership at large. Hakeemullah Mahsud in  NWA; Maulvi Faqir Muhammad and the TTP commander from Mohmand who managed to flee across the border into Afghanistan continue to create trouble by attacking Pakistani outposts on the borders.

With the operation in Orakzai nearing an end, all eyes are now fixed on NW: home to Pakistani and foreign militants including the Haqqani Network which has proven itself to be the US’s toughest and most relentless enemy so far. NW is also home to Al-Qaeda central leadership and various strands of foreign militant groups of different nationalities, languages and ethnic groups making NW one of the toughest challenges that the Pakistani security forces have faced so far.

In the words of one senior security official, if and when it happens, the battle in NW will determine the future course of events in Fata with profound security and stability implications for Fata and Pakistan. Time will tell.  
By Ismail Khan http://dawn.com/2012/10/21/the-endgame/
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Guarding the frontier
The fascinating and indomitable people of Fata have been beautifully described by Lt. Gen. Sir George Macmunn in his book The Romance of Indian Frontiers. “There is such colour and romance, such love and lust, such tragedy and glory as would fill 10,000 volumes.”
Bound by a common language, Pakhtu or Pashto with different dialects, yet a single code of honour and culture called Pakhtunkwali, the inhabiting tribes remain fiercely resistant to change and outside interventions and hence an enigma to the outside world.
Having largely remained what they are since Pakistan’s inception in 1947, both politically and administratively, the tribespeople inhabit seven tribal agencies over 22,407 square kilometres, much of it trudging along the borders with Afghanistan. While the rest of Pakistan moved on, the tribal agencies mostly remained impoverished and backward with the lowest socio-economic indicators in the country.
Proud to be the unpaid soldiers and defenders of Pakistan’s borders, the tribals feel that their areas have been treated as the country’s backyard, abandoned and forgotten.
Sharing the long and porous border with Afghanistan and tribal linkage meant that events and turbulence in the neighbouring country would impact the tribal areas. So the US invasion of Afghanistan barely two decades after the Soviet invasion, followed by the aftermath of 9/11 caused an upheaval that rattled the tribal structure and brought the already tenuous government control to nearly nothing.
As a result of our national ignorance and indifference, little effort was made to get to know the people inhabiting Fata.
Khyber: Comprising 991 square kilometres, with its agency headquarters in Landi Kotal, Khyber sits on the so-called international highway linking it with Afghanistan through Khyber Pass. Its three sub-divisions, Landi Kotal, Jamrud and Bara are inhabited by the Afridi, Shinwari, Shalmani and Malagori tribes administered through the offices of the political agent in Peshawar. Afridis being the predominant tribe, further divide into eight sub-clans occupying Jamrud and Bara sub-divisions. Shinwaris are the smallest tribe living in and around Landi Kotal on the border with Afghanistan. Khyber borders Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.
Bajaur: Stretching over an area of 590 square kilometres and originally a sub division of Malakand,  it is situated along the Hindu Kush range. Bajaur gained its federal tribal agency status in 1973. Inhabited mainly by the Utmankhels and the Tarkanris, the former being the major tribe whereas the Tarkanris of which Salarzi is a major sub-tribe inhabit the relatively greener Salarzi, Mamud, Nawagai and Charmang areas. The headquarters are in Khaar which borders Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province.
Mohmand: Spread over an area of 2,296 square kilometres, Mohmand agency was created in 1951. Because of its congruity with Peshawar, until 1951, it was directly administered by the deputy commissioner in Peshawar. The agency headquarters are in Yakkaghund. The major tribes being the Mohmands, Safis and Utmankhels.
Kurram: Established in 1892, Kurram which borders Nangarhar, Khost and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan is the second oldest tribal agency after Khyber. Spread over an area of 3,380 square kilometres, Kurram is one of the most sensitive tribal regions, owing to its Sunni and Shia population. The agency headquarters is in Parachinar and is Shiite, while Sadda is predominantly Sunni. It is inhibited by 15 tribes including Turis, Mangals, Bangash, Massouzais, Paras, Chamkanis, Alisherzais, Zaimukhts, Maqbals, Jajis, Jadrans, Ghiljis, Hazaras, Khushis, Kharotis and Lasianis. The Turis are the largest tribe bordering Afghanistan’s Khost province.
Orakzai: Formerly part of Frontier Region, Kohat, Orakzai was declared a tribal agency in 1973 with its headquarters in Hangu. Out of the seven tribal agencies, this is the only one that does not share borders with Afghanistan. Spread over an area of 700 square kilometres, it is inhabited by Orakzais and Bangash tribes. Mostly mountainous with thick forests, it has two sub divisions, Upper and Lower Orakzai.
North Waziristan: Spread over an area of 4,707 square kilometres, it borders the Khost and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan and has three main sub divisions, Miramshah (the agency headquarters), Mirali and Razmak. Inhabited by Utmanzai Wazirs, Dawars, Saidgis, Kharsin and Gurbaz tribes, it has a volatile history as the inhabitant tribes fought the British until 1947.
South Waziristan: Spread over an area of 6,619 square kilometres, the largest agency in Fata was established in 1895 with Wana as the regional headquarters. The three sub divisions, Wana, Sarwekai and Ladah are inhabited by the Mehsuds and the Waziris. The former gave the British a hard time and suffered several punitive expeditions. Both tribes spearheaded the Afghan army and restored King Nadir Khan to the throne in Kabul in 1929.
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Dubious debate
Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas inherited from the British the 1901 Frontier Crimes Regulation and an administrative system that gave them an indirect control over its populace, thus leaving them outside the purview of the British law.
The system revolved around a political agent or an administrator of a tribal agency who exercised his powers as a government or state representative over their respective tribal clans through a bevy of tribal maliks, elders and notables. They helped maintain law and order through responsibilities assigned to them.
In the context of law and order and dispensation of justice, the responsibility is shared or collective. Administratively, the tribal areas are divided into what are called protected areas, administered areas and inaccessible areas — where the government has no writ.
Other than the system that remains in operation, Pakistan as a British dominion also inherited treaties between the British Empire and the tribes that continue to regulate relations between the state and tribal territories to date.
Hence the tribal areas or agencies have a ‘special’ status in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan where the president of Pakistan enjoys sole executive authority over Fata, exercising his powers through the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).
This ‘special’ status of Fata and the system in operation have remained unaltered and any attempts to introduce social and political reforms were met with fierce resistance from the status-quo conscious bureaucracy and vested tribal interest groups within Fata.
So the British-time policy of assimilating Fata and its people into the mainstream through social, political and economic amalgamation remained mere words.
Reforms
The first major political reform came much later, in 1997, when tribal people were granted the right of one-man-one vote.
The US intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s alliance in the ‘War on Terror’ brought tribal borderland, back into focus.
General Musharraf donned two hats of the army chief and the president; and  cluelessly toyed with the idea of replacing the old system with a military officers-led tribal administration thereby introducing a semi-elected tribal council. He called it “my own (military) unit” and abandoned it for the old order again.
What majorly led to militancy here  includes the absence of an effective governance system, expansive area, and social, economic and political deprivation.
The PPP-led coalition government introduced amendments in the FCR extending the Political Parties’ Act to it in August, 2011 — small but important steps which perhaps could not bridge the yawning gap between the socially, politically and economically backward tribal areas and the rest of Pakistan.
Given decades of inertia and status quo, these are significant changes that have spawned a whole new debate on the status and future of the tribal agencies.
Ironically, elected Fata parliamentarians participate and vote to legislate for entire Pakistan, yet they cannot legislate for Fata which continues to be governed through presidential decrees.
The extension of the Political Parties Act in particular has brought Fata on the political agenda making it a part of the political discourse and political parties manifesto. The debate over whether Fata should be a separate province, made part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or given an autonomous status like Gilgit-Baltistan should be viewed in the same context.
Resource constraints, the state of the security environment in Fata, the border region and neighbouring Afghanistan, sensitivities of the tribal people, the British legacy of tribal treaties, constitutional provision which requires ascertainment of the will of the tribal people with regard to changing their ‘special’ status and above all, its impact on the overall national political and parliamentary scene all remain open questions.
The future
In the absence of a long term national strategy, political vision and a roadmap with the unequivocal support of the political and civil and military establishment, as well as the consent and consensus of the tribal people; the debate to change the course in Fata remains rhetoric.  — Ismail Khan
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Battle for survival
“Neither militants nor military has won our hearts or minds,” says Shad Mohammad*, a 40-year-old shopkeeper from Inayat Kallay of Bajaur Agency. He clearly remembers how Taliban would publicly beat, humiliate and kill people. His hometown does not feel like home anymore.
Following the military offensive against the Taliban, the tribal agency has been denotified as a conflict zone since last year even though the local militant commander Maulvi Faqir Mohammad is still at large. Yet, many like Shad Mohammad in Bajaur have no peace of mind. They feel uncertain and anxious, while every day is a fight for survival.
Movement inside the agency is difficult due to long waits at check-posts and the fear of sudden bombing. Shad Mohammad, father of six, does not feel secure even in the presence of the peace committees which  comprise armed volunteers who are members of the lashkars formed by the government to maintain peace in the area.
“How can we leave our land and home to the militants?” says 30-year-old Qadir Khan who hails from Salarzai tribe of Bajaur.
He lost his father, uncle and other elders of his clan a couple of years ago during a Taliban attack which was a punishment for taking sides with the government. Having survived many attempts on his life, Khan will never leave the area to his enemies.
“We have not lost resistance. In fact, we have become stronger with time,” says Brig. (Retd.) Mehmood Shah, former Secretary Security Fata. “The military is trying its best to curb militancy and is quite successful. Initially, people sympathised with the Taliban but after seeing the devastation, they have also joined hands with us.”
Brig. Shah believes that civilians abhor militant attacks and  have distanced themselves from militants but they have higher expectations from the government to restore normalcy in their lives. “This does not mean that the people are any less resistant towards militants.”
Dr. Ashraf Ali who heads the Islamabad-based Fata Research Cell writes in the July 2012 issue of Tigah, an FRC journal, that militancy has risen in recent years.
Instead of joining the militants who reportedly pay a handsome amount to recruits, people have shown resilience in the face of militancy. They have left their homes and bear the hardships in shelter camps in their battle for survival. *(names changed for security reasons)

Militant groups operating in FATA


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Khwarij- Takfiri Taliban hijacking of the ‘true face’ of Islam

Takfiri Taliban Khwarij claim to posses knowledge of unknown through revelations like  Khizdhar (pbuh) the  special servant of Allah mentioned (not by name) in Qura'n. According to consensus of all Muslim scholars: Any one who claims to receive revelations after The Seal of Prophets, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is a fraud, cheat and unbeliever. 
طالبان خضر (عليه وسلم) طرح وحی حاصل کرنے کے دعوی 
کرتے ہیں
.نبی محمد صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم (صلی  اللہ علیہ وسلم) کے بعد کسی بھی وحی وصول کرنے کی دعویدار ایک فراڈ دھوکے باز اور کافر ہے

 وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِي
 میں نے کچھ اپنے اختیار سے نہیں کر دیا ہے
[Khidhar said that:]
"I did it not upon my own command". [Qura'n 18:82]

خضر (صلي الله عليه وسلم) نے اللہ کے حکم کے ساتھ تمام کارروائیوں نے

اس کے بیان میں، تحریک طالبان پاکستان نے کہا کہ، "اگر کسی کو بھی اس کی چھوٹی عمر، تو قرآن میں حضرت خضر کی کہانی (ہے کہ) کے بارے میں کی دلیل نبی موسی (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) (وہ) کے ساتھ سفر کرتے ہوئے ایک بچے کو مار ڈالا. ان کے قتل کی وجہ سے کے بارے میں بحث کرتے ہوئے انہوں نے کہا کہ اس بچے کے والدین متقی تھے اور مستقبل میں وہ (بچے) کو ان کے لیے ایک برا نام کی وجہ سے کریں گے. "

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“It’s a clear command of Shariah that any female that by any means plays (a) role in war against mujahideen (holy warriors) should be killed. Malala Yousufzai was playing a vital role in bucking up the emotions of Murtad (apostate) army and government of Pakistan, and was inviting Muslims to hate mujahideen.” — Tehreek-i-Taleban Pakistan.
Excuse me, but how does anyone justify killing a 14-year-old girl?
Malala Yousufzai, the young Pakistani middle-school girl shot in the head last week by a TTP gunman because she wanted an education, probably didn’t think of herself as a courageous activist. The world cast her in that role and it almost killed her. Now she lies in a Pakistan hospital clinging to life.

She brought attention to Taleban military operations that left hundreds of girls’ schools in charred ruins and the terror campaigns to keep girls from getting an education.


After the shooting, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf described Malala as “true face of Pakistan.”


But what is the true face of Islam? Will Muslims allow the TTP to interpret Islam in their twisted way and present it as its “true face?”


In its statement, the TTP said, “If anyone argues about her young age, then the story of Hazrat Khidr in the Qu’ran (states that) while traveling with Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) (he) killed a child. Arguing about the reason of his killing, he said that the parents of this child were pious and in the future he (the child) would cause a bad name for them.”


The TTP rationalized Malala’s attempted assassination by offering the Sunnah about Hazrat Khidr, who in Islamic history is considered a righteous servant of God possessing immense wisdom and mystical powers. 


It’s an affront to Muslims for self-appointed guardians of Islam to suggest that they possess the same wisdom and righteousness as Khidr. It’s also an insult to imply that they see the future and have direct communication with God.


Muslim organizations worldwide are seeking anti-blasphemy legislation in the West to protect all religions. Yet the TTP, Al-Qaeda and like-minded extremists are immune to the consequences of blasphemous behavior even as they employ pretzel logic to justify murder. 


By generalizing and taking out of context verses from the Qur’an, extremists are no better than non-Muslims committing blasphemy. I, like most Muslims, bristle at the suggestion that I must defend Islam to non-Muslims because of the acts of individuals who apparently cannot read, write, nor have the wherewithal to find a reputable sheikh who can teach them the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Yet I am left with the nagging doubt that my refusal to stand up to gangsters has put people like Malala in danger. It stands to reason that if one is insulted over denigrating depictions of Islam by non-Muslims, one should be equally offended by the distortions of the Sunnah by Muslims to excuse their crimes.


We are witnessing courageous Muslims who have no tolerance for people hijacking Islam. Muslims worldwide condemned the 9/11 attacks in the strongest language possible, albeit those condemnations were under-reported in the American and European press. And more tangible efforts to fight intolerance can be found in Saudi Arabia, which has experienced remarkable success in its rehabilitation and deradicalization program of returning extremists to true Islam. The program has only a 10 to 15 percent recidivism rate.


More recently, thousands of Libyans crowded the streets of Benghazi to protest radicals’ killing four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, at the US Embassy. Pakistanis have held demonstrations throughout Pakistan to voice support for Malala and condemn the Taleban.
A window has opened for the government of Pakistan, which appears to have growing popular support to crush militant organizations that disgrace Islam. The Pakistan Army is eager to avenge the shooting given its claim that it chased the Taleban from the Swat Valley in 2009.



Yet Malala’s attackers stopped the bus taking the girl and her 15 classmates to school in the center of the valley’s largest town of Mingora. Since the TTP appears to operate with impunity, it’s unlikely that the army has ability to wage an effective offensive, although under the chaotic circumstances in the region, the Pakistan government is doing the best it can. The true test for Pakistan is to stabilize the Swat Valley and create a deradicalization program similar to Saudi Arabia’s project. Pakistan also must put pressure on clerics to condemn violence in the name of Islam and to recognize that using religion as a weapon to gain political power through terror is in itself blasphemous.


If Muslim countries are going to demand that the West pass blasphemy laws to rein in hate speech, films and cartoons that denigrate Islam, then those countries must apply the same standard to its own people. A government official offers a $100,000 bounty to kill a filmmaker for insulting the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, when he fails to offer the same bounty for the killers of children, the Muslim community should ask itself why it tolerates the double standard let alone offering the despicable bounty in the first place.



(By ROB L. WAGNERThe writer is a columnist at the Saudi-based Arab News, where this article was published on Oct. 15, 2012)
http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2012/10/15/243798.html

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Attack on Malala Yousufzai by Takfiri Taliban and educating girls

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=363385143749640
ملالہ یوسف زئی پر حملہ غیراسلامی اور غیر شرعی فعل ہے، علماء کا فتویٰ
لاہور … سنی اتحاد کونسل کے 50 سے زائد مفتیان کرام نے فتویٰ دیاہے کہ ملالہ یوسف زئی پر حملہ غیر اسلامی اور غیر شرعی فعل ہے، حملہ کرنے والوں کی خود ساختہ تعبیر اسلام ، شریعت سے متصادم ہے اور حملہ کرنے والے دہشت گردوں کا فہمِ اسلام گمراہی اور جہالت پر مبنی ہے۔ لاہور سے جاری فتویٰ میں کہا گیا ہے کہ اسلام عورتوں کو تعلیم سے منع نہیں کرتا، بلکہ ہر مرد اور عورت کیلئے دین اور دنیا کا علم حاصل کرنا لازمی قرار دیا ہے۔ مفتیانِ کرام کا کہنا ہے کہ نبی کریم ﷺ نے ایک مومن مسلمان کی جان اور مال کی حرمت کو کعبہ کی حرمت سے زیادہ اہم قرار دیا، اسلام ایک بے گناہ کے قتل کو ساری انسانیت کے قتل کے مترادف قرار دیتا ہے۔ انہوں نے قرار دیا کہ امریکا کے ساتھ تعاون بھی غیر اسلامی عمل ہے اور دہشت گردی کی ہر کارروائی قبول کرلینے والے دراصل امریکا کے تنخواہ دار ایجنٹ ہیں۔ مفتیان نے قوم سے اپیل کی کہ اسلام کا صحیح فلسفہ دنیا کے سامنے پیش کریں تاکہ اسلام، مسلمانوں، داڑھی اور پگڑی کو بدنام ہونے سے بچایا جا سکے ۔
Read: Illogical Logic غیر منطقی منطق of Takfiri Taliban to kill innocent people in Pakistan- Refuted

Today, Pakistan is in an uproar over the targeted shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai by the Taliban. The Taliban, quick to claim responsibility for the attack, called her advocacy for the education of children, and particularly that of girls, in Swat an “obscenity”, warning the rest of Pakistan to not follow in her footsteps: “let this be a lesson”. With this tragic incident, Pakistan is at a crossroads in the war for its future. The two paths in front of the country are clear. It can tumble down the route of Afghanistan or take the long and uphill route to becoming a relatively peaceful and prosperous country.
Facing the Taliban takeover of Swat in 2009, 11-year-old Malala took on her shoulders the responsibility of a country and did what the Pakistani government did not have the courage to do — she stood up for her basic human rights. Today, as she fights for her life on a hospital bed in Peshawar, pictures of her heartbreakingly innocent face cover the pages of newspapers and the screens of social and news media across Pakistan, finally uniting a country against its real enemy: the Taliban. The Pakistani government, military and opposition parties are, in a rare show of unity, unequivocally denouncing the attack, for once on the same page as the civil society, which has also forcefully and bravely stepped out into the streets.
This public outrage offers a glimmer of hope. Pakistan has taken a tiny step on the difficult path towards reclaiming its identity as a moderate country. In the short term, the government needs to step up and seize the opportunity in front of it and finally take decisive action against the Taliban. Hunt down Malala’s attackers and the perpetrators of countless previous atrocities, try them quickly and if they are convicted, ensure they never see the light of day again. It will take a combined effort by the government, the judiciary, the police and the military, all of whom will have to get past their fractious history — a very tall order by any stretch. But there is nothing more important — the very existence of Pakistan and the basic human rights of its citizens are at stake. However, this is a short-term fix.
The long-term solution to rooting out radicalisation and militancy lies in the very thing which so threatens the Taliban: girls’ education. While a great deal of empirical evidence from around the world demonstrates that investments in female education give huge dividends in terms of economic, educational and health advancements, my recent research establishes that the education of girls also makes them less supportive of terrorism and militancy. Specifically, I used data from a recent, large-scale public opinion survey in Pakistan to show that while uneducated women exhibit higher support for militancy relative to uneducated men, educated women show much lower support for militancy relative to educated men. 
Imagine a society where women are unable to deliver their babies in hospitals because the only on-call doctor is male, or a society where any girl emerging from the house to study or any women going to work is under threat. This was Afghanistan under Taliban rule. The good news is that Pakistan is not there — yet. That it took an attempted murder of a courageous girl and the brazenness of the Taliban’s public proclamations threatening her life again, to shake us out of our complacency is appalling. 
This attack was not about drones and it was not about Islam. This is about a struggle for power and control by the Taliban and an effort to remove any traces of productive participation by women in society. Just as the Taliban scare us with terror, we must scare them by making them unable to operate. The threat of persecution may not serve as a deterrent to the crazed suicide bomber variety of militants, but it will deter many elements within the Taliban and it will importantly deter future militant recruits. We must terrorise them by investing more than ever before in educating girls.
The Taliban know that they lie on the fringes of society, given that even the militant Jamaatud Dawa publicly opposed the attack on Malala. This tragedy reeks of their desperation, not their strength. Let this event be a lesson to the Taliban and be their end.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2012.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Imran Khan's Anti Drone Attack March to Waziristan

وزیرستان جانے کیلئے تحریک انصاف کے امن مارچ کاآغاز
  Updated at 10:1 PST
اسلام آباد… تحریک انصاف کے سربراہ عمران خان کی قیادت میں تحریک انصاف کا امن مارچ وزیرستان روانہ ہو گیا ہے۔ امن مارچ میں سیکڑوں گاڑیاں شامل ہیں۔ اس کے علاوہ پشاور ، لاہور اور دیگر شہروں سے بھی ریلیاں آج صبح سے روانہ ہونا شروع ہوگئیں جلوس کی حفاظت کے لیے جانثاران عمران خان فورس تشکیل دے دی گئی ہے۔ روانگی سے قبل میڈیا سے گفتگو میں عمران خان کا کہنا تھا کہ ہمارا مارچ امن مارچ ہے،کسی سے لڑنے نہیں جارہے اس لیئے اس مارچ سے سب کو فائدہ اٹھانا چاہیئے ،ا گر ہمیں روکا گیا تو رک جائیں گے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ پہلے کہا گیا طالبان کا حامی ہوں، اب کہہ رہے ہیں مغرب کا حامی ہوں۔ انہوں نے الزام عائد کیا کہ ہمارے خلاف بدگمانی پھیلانے میں فضل الرحمان کا بڑا ہاتھ ہے۔ عمران خان نے کہا کہ فضل الرحمان لوگوں کو کہہ رہے ہیں یہود اور نصاریٰ آرہے ہیں حالانکہ میرے ساتھ امن کا پرچار کرنے والے لوگ ہیں، فضل الرحمان ہماری مقبولیت سے گھبرا کر مارچ کیخلاف باتیں کررہے ہیں۔ عمران خان نے کہا کہ ہمارے امن مارچ کو طالبان کے حملوں کا خطرہ نہیں، ہمارے ساتھ کچھ ہواتو ذمے دار صدر، انکے اتحادی اور مولانا جیسے لوگ ہونگے،ہمیں سیکیورٹی وزیرستان کے لوگ فراہم کریں گے
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UN condemns US drone attacks on Pakistan
The United Nations have condemned US drone attacks in Pakistan warning they create "playstation mentality" towards killing. Zubeida Malik reports on the use of drone attack and UN's Philip Alston explains why he thinks the attacks are so worrying.[ BBC, special report]







Supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan were blocked in protests over drone strikes blocked a key road in Pakistan for three days. The protests was called by Tehrik-e- Insaf, the party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, over continued US drone strikes in the north-west. Thousands of lorries were held up by the rally, including 500 supplying Nato troops in northern Afghanistan.

Political blockade
More than 3,000 trucks carrying supplies from the Pakistani port of Karachi to the Afghan capital, Kabul, pass the northern route each day. Nato and other supplies to Afghanistan have often suffered disruptions because of militant attacks. But this is the first time that political protests have caused a blockade, the BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says.
US drone attacks have escalated in the region since President Barack Obama took office. More than 100 raids were reported last year. The strikes are are hugely unpopular with the Pakistani public. Many militants, some of them senior, have been killed in the raids, but hundreds of civilians have also died.
Correspondents say they have the tacit approval of the authorities, although Pakistani leaders deny secretly supporting them.
The US does not routinely confirm it conducts drone operations in Pakistan. But analysts say only American forces have the capacity to deploy such aircraft.

JI stages sit-in against US interference 

Frontier Post - 
KARACHI (PPI): Thousands of activists of Jamaat-e-Islami on Saturday staged sit-in at Tibet Center on MA Jinnah Road against US interference, drone attacks target killings, extortion, and poor law and order situation in the country.


The year of the drone-2010
US Predator unmanned drone at Bagram air base in Afghanistan - 27 November 2009
During last 4 years of Musharaf rule, there were 9 US Drone attacks killing 112 people, up to this 4th years of PPP/Zardari rule there has been 223 US Drone attacks in Pakistan, killing 2129 people. [Irfan Siddiqui, http://ejang.jang.com.pk/3-20-2011/Karachi/pic.asp?picname=07_07.gif ]. It is generally estimated that 99% killed were innocent civilian tribesmen.



The United Nations have condemned US drone attacks in Pakistan warning they create "playstation mentality" towards killing.
Zubeida Malik reports on the use of drone attack and UN's Philip Alston explains why he thinks the attacks are so worrying.


US fuel tanker under attack - Analysis

These attacks are taking place at a time of heightened tension.
Public anger here has been very strong since last week's Nato air-strike in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed.
Pakistan is determined to register its protest and closing the Khyber Pass is a very effective way of putting the squeeze on Nato because the alliance relies on the Khyber Pass.
It is a key lifeline for supplies going into Afghanistan. Up to 80% of Nato's non-lethal supplies are going through Pakistan so while the pass remains closed it is a critical situation for Nato forces.
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THE blowback effect of the US drone policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan has not only further destabilised Pakistan’s civilian government but proved futile as a decapitation strategy.
When drones kill innocent bystanders it infuriates the Taliban — on both sides of the border — who use this campaign to recruit additional foot soldiers and suicide bombers. In April 2009 warnings by US military and intelligence officials as reported by the McClatchy News Service echoed what certain dissenting CIA operatives had said about drone strikes that they do more harm than good.
McClatchy quoted an intelligence official saying that Al Qaeda and the Taliban were using these strikes as a catalyst for the jihadi movement in Pakistan to show ‘Americans as cowards who are afraid to face their enemies and risk death.’ Certain military officials involved in counterterrorism operations have also said that drone strikes are a ‘recruiting windfall for the Pakistani Taliban.’
That is also journalist Zahid Hussain’s argument in his second book The Scorpion’s Tale which charts the aftereffects of the ongoing drone campaign and the strategic costs that have far exceeded tactical gains. It questions whether such strikes that have successfully taken out certain mid-to-high value militant targets can point to a winner in the fight against insurgency.
The US drone programme, originally authorised by former US president George Bush against a smaller list of Al Qaeda’s most-wanted high-level militants began with a limited mandate but in early 2008 all previous restraints were removed.
Precise ground intelligence was required in the scenario of a strike, which could not be approved unless the target was identified accurately, and a complete assessment of collateral damage had to ensure against significant civilian casualties.
David Sanger writes in The Inheritance (2009) how Bush authorised strikes against targets merely based on visual evidence of a ‘typical’ Al Qaeda motorcade or a group entering a house with links to Al Qaeda or its Pakistani Taliban allies.
There are obvious moral and legal issues with drone strikes but Hussain’s observation is focused on whether this powerful tool has deterred young, disaffected youth from joining militant groups.
Scorpion’s Tale charts how Faisal Shahzad, the failed-would-be-terrorist cultivated contacts with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and why when questioned by a New York judge said he was avenging the many drone strike deaths.
The author recounts the tenuous relationship between the US and Pakistan, not only because of Shahzad’s failed Times Square attack but because ‘the bombing attempt has convinced the Americans that the targeted killing of militants by the drone strikes was insufficient to stem the tide of the insurgency.’
He writes how drone warfare has collectively massed the Pakistani Taliban and other local militant groups under the Al Qaeda network into closer collaboration, creating an army of militants who share manpower, recruitment techniques and services and financial resources, and cannot be defeated by the Pakistani establishment any time soon. Hussain claims that the drone attacks have also ‘inspired a flood of new recruits.’
Figures for this year show that September has so far been recorded as the busiest month for drone operators with the number of attacks exceeding those in the first five years of implementing this strategy in 2004. However, with the recent estimate by the American CIA that currently there are about 100 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and another 300 or so across the border, most should (or could) have been targeted since 2004.
A recent study by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann at the New America Foundation shows that the 203 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan from 2004 to the present — including 107 in 2010 — have killed approximately 1,286 to 1,981 individuals, of whom around 975 to 1,446 were described as militants in media accounts. Thus the true non-militant fatality rate since 2004 according to this analysis is approximately 25 per cent. In 2010, it is nearer to six percent. These figures negate the high civilian fatality ratio.
Much like Husssain’s earlier book, Frontline Pakistan (2007), this timely narrative has information collated after recorded interviews and investigation, and it serves as a precursor to the December review of the Afghan war strategy. What then becomes relevant in regards to this review is whether the counterinsurgency strategy at work in Afghanistan has proven successful as touted repeatedly by key US commanders on the ground or is in fact weak and ineffectual.
There are no new revelations in Scorpion’s Tale which is a drawback if you’re looking for exclusivity, but its invaluable documentation and collation of events provide insight into the power politics at play in Pakistan, which aids and abets the rise of extremism. Hussain’s narrative will especially be of interest to readers who are new to this region as it explains why the war in Afghanistan has cross-border references that threaten US interests globally and also Pakistan’s internal fractured security.
When the Soviets withdrew in 1989 the Mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan nurtured by CIA money and ISI patronage looked to Kashmir as the new battleground. Hussain notes that Kashmir did not suddenly become a focus of Islamic extremism in the late 1980s, but had nurtured radicalisation since 1947. He argues that because of Islam’s pivotal inclusion in the affairs of the state, the use of religion for playing politics became an effective tool readily available to successive civilian and military leaders, who rather than working to counter its influence, manipulate it for their own survival.
Scorpion’s Tale questions why the use of military power hasn’t stopped the flow of militant recruits and why radical ideologies triumph. If there are a greater number of young men desirous to fight, undeterred by the kill-or-capture approach, is the campaign against terrorism being won or lost?
This book is a compelling reminder of the challenges faced by both the Pakistani government and the US-led forces in Afghanistan in finding a non-military solution to curbing extremism. It should make those who are in the corridors of power wonder whether the answer lies in greater combat, or instead in negotiating with the Taliban and countering the radical ideologies of terror groups by providing opportunities for education, employment and better living conditions to the people living in the region.

Book Reviewed By Razeshta Sethna,
The Scorpion’s Tale: The relentless rise of Islamic militants in Pakistan — and how it threatens the world (TERRORISM) By Zahid Hussain Simon and Schuster, New York  

ISBN 978-1-4516-2721-3 ,245pp. 


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08 Jan 2011
Figures for this year show that September has so far been recorded as the busiest month fordrone operators with the number of attacks exceeding those in the first five years of implementing this strategy in 2004. ...
31 Jan 2011
Drone strikes were a comparative rarity when President Bush was in office, but have been dramatically and repeatedly escalated by President Obama, usually in retaliation for attacksby militant groups. This has led CMC to term the ...
24 Feb 2011
Counterproductive Drone Attacks in Pakistan Creating more Hatred ... In April 2009 warnings by US military and intelligence officials as reported by the McClatchy News Service echoed what certain dissenting CIA operatives had said about ...
31 Mar 2011
Counterproductive Drone Attacks in Pakistan Creating more Hatred ... In April 2009 warnings by US military and intelligence officials as reported by the McClatchy News Service echoed what certain dissenting CIA operatives had said about ..
25 Dec 2010
Pape and his team of researchers draw on data produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the world that was partially funded by the Defense Department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency. ... He's in fact saying: I am taking revenge for the dronestrikes in the tribal areas. So he's acting more like a tribesman whose involvement in Pashtun values . . . one of the primary features of that is revenge, rather then saying I'm going to have a jihad or I've ...
06 Feb 2011
As in all such CIA drone attacks, the victims are described as “militants,” but this has not been independently verified. Often, such reports have proven false, with evidence emerging that among those killed by the drone missiles are ...
12 Mar 2011
Counterproductive Drone Attacks in Pakistan Creating more Hatred ... In April 2009 warnings by US military and intelligence officials as reported by the McClatchy News Service echoed what certain dissenting CIA operatives had said about ..
12 Feb 2011
The drone attacks inside Pakistani territory have brought protests from the public, the political parties and the media as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. There is a third perception that the US is following anti-Islam policies. .
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