On the other hand Nawaz family has 876 security personnel to protect them
On the other hand Nawaz family has 876 security personnel to protect them
The republics of India and Pakistan were created in 1947 when the British Raj pulled out of the subcontinent. In what became the largest known population transfer in history, India was split along religious lines and an estimated 14 million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs migrated across the newly formed borders. Both countries looked to the future with hopes that political stability and economic prosperity would lead to a stronger and more positive relationship. As they prepare to mark the 65th anniversary of their independence, Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman looks at how the two nations have fared.
IMRAN TALIB FAKE KHAN AND NAWAZ SHARIF LOHAR,BOTH SUPPORT HARDLINE ISLAMIST,TALIBAN AND BOTH ARE SUPPORTED BY PAKISTANI ESTABLISHMENT(MILITARY)AND JUDICIARY.FOLLOWING ARE SOME OTHER SIMILARITIES REPROTED IN ''THE NEWS''.
http://www.sananews.netPrime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf
After latest incident of civilians from Muslim minority being pulled off bus on major road and shot, Pakistan lays on flights to capitalA series of sectarian massacres on one of Pakistan's most important roads has forced the government to lay on military flights for Shias travelling to and from the country's capital. The decision to allocate C-130 Hercules transport planes for the use of civilians travelling between Islamabad and the north-eastern provincial capital of Gilgit follows the killing on Thursday of 20 Shias. In the third such incident on the road in six months, the victims were pulled off a bus some 100 miles north of Islamabad by armed men, lined up and shot. Local officials said the up to a dozen people wearing army uniforms had stopped the bus before mounting their attack. "After checking their papers, they opened fire and at least 20 people are reported to have been killed," said Khalid Omarzai, administration chief of Mansehra district. Pakistan is struggling to deal with a rising tide of sectarian violence and extremist Sunni militant groups who do not regard members of the Shia sect as true Muslims. The prime minister's office said the flights were a temporary measure as the country heads towards the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr. "Normally people would travel by roads but because of the situation people are no long prepared to use it," a spokesman for Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the prime minister, said. The road is critical for connecting Gilgit-Baltistan, the mountainous province that borders China, with the rest of the country. With stunning scenery and access to some of the world's highest mountains, it was once popular with international tourists travelling the Karakoram Highway. But Gilgit and its surrounding area have been repeatedly hit by appalling sectarian violence. In February 18 Shias were forced off a bus travelling to Gilgit and killed. And in April nine travellers were shot dead in a town 60 miles from the city. And in another attack on Thursday a bomb appeared to target a bus carrying Shia students to an anti-Israel rally in Karachi, the megacity on the country's southern coast, which is also frequently racked by sectarian killings. Police said one man was killed and 11 were wounded as the bus travelled to the protest held annually at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Many analysts have criticised the Pakistani government for not doing enough to suppress anti-Shia groups. The government and military are often reluctant to launch crackdowns in the Sunni-majority country, in which radical groups enjoy mainstream support from the public.
http://www.thenewstribe.comInterior Minister Rehman Malik has said that clue of every crime points towards North Waziristan and criminals form Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan are sheltered here. Speaking to media on Friday, he said that politicians should refrain from doing Taliban Branded Politics, referring to Sheikh Rashid’s latest speech. Malik said that four terrorists who attacked airbase in Kamra had been identified. He said that that sensitive installations located near populated areas would be shifted. To a question, the minister said that families of Naran bus attacks victims would be compensated. Malik said that after the passage of 18th amendment security had become provincial.
DAILY TIMESPakistan People’s Party (PPP) Secretary General Senator Jahangir Badr on Thursday expressed concern over the reported statement attributed to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry regarding the people’s disappointment with the government. Badr said that such political statements attributed to the chief justice did not seem appropriate, adding that as long as Justice Chaudhry was the chief justice of Pakistan, he could not associate himself with politics. The judges of superior courts could participate in politics after two years of their retirement, he said. The PPP leader said his party respected the judiciary, adding that it was the right of the people to elect their representatives. It was also their right to exercise their opinion by casting vote in favour or against any political party in the election, he said.
By:Ershad MahmudThe recent terrorist attack on the airforce base in Kamra reminds me of last Friday’s prayers wherein I strongly realised that the present peace is fragile and violence can revisit us anytime in the days ahead. As luck would have it, I incidentally bumped into a mosque to offer prayers and experienced the unexpected. The mosque, which is just a couple of miles from Pakistan’s military headquarters, was filled with worshippers but the sermon was not delivered by the local imam. Instead a young and fairly well-built man was addressing the people from the pulpit. After listening to him a little I thought that he would make a traditional anti-American diatribe where the United States is roundly criticised for all the evils bedevilling the Muslim world. But he suddenly took a turn to enliven the last two decades of the previous century of ‘jihadi’ activism. A returnee from the battlefront in Paktia, Afghanistan, he flaunted his heroics of ‘jihad’ against the USA-led Nato forces. Chest-thumping he claimed that he had killed several ‘enemies’ in his two years service, he boasted of several successes against the US forces. In his words, the Taliban are winning the battle in Afghanistan and the US has been forced to run for its life. This young ‘mujahid’ sent us into a state of déjà vu when he asked the worshippers to spare at least one of their sons for the holy ‘jihad’ as this was the ripe time to inflict maximum destruction on the enemy which is on the run. So they could win the final round. He promised his group had arrangements in place for military training of such aspirant ‘jihadis’. Not quite long ago this was the routine practice in Pakistani mosques. He cleverly appealed to the collective emotion of the people by bringing in the case of Aafia Siddiqui, an American-educated Pakistani woman who was sentenced to 86 years by the US court for terror charges. He told the audience that ‘mujahedeen’ had taken oath not to rest till she was released from the US prison. Probably the financial crunch had forced this man to fall back on the old tactics of raising funds during Friday prayers in Pakistani mosques. He made an appeal to the people that the Taliban needed huge financial resources to continue this war as a small operation would require huge financial input. He convincingly asked everyone to contribute as much as they could. Pointing towards his colleagues at the gate, who were combing their long beards with their fingers, the speaker said that they would collect the charity and facilitate the recruitment. At the end of the prayers I noticed people queuing up at the gate to contribute whatever they could for ‘jihad’. It was a baffling experience for me as I was of the view that radical activism in such a way was a thing of the past, at least in urban centres. The government has taken several steps to dismantle the infrastructure of these groups and open activism is banned. There are also programmes for de-radicalisation of militant youth in order to rehabilitate them and bring them back into mainstream society. However, it seems that the state has largely failed to stop these groups from routine activities of raising funds and recruiting fresh blood in the name of jihad in Afghanistan. This is just one example and there are surely more but one wonders if the top guns at the policy level know of such development. As this personal experience shows, counterinsurgency efforts have not yet produced the desired results and need close introspection at the top level. Such brazen escapades of ‘jihadism’ in mosques in the centre of the country fly in the face of Pakistan which vehemently rejects any mention of Pakistan being used by terror groups for terror activities in Afghanistan. Straight denial and negligence of such activities will not do it good. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, had to face embarrassment recently in a public meeting at Washington when she criticised the coalition forces for not being able to stop Afghan terror groups from intruding into Pakistan’s territory and attacking the army and civilians alike. An American official slapped her with a counter question as to why her country was not doing anything to stop infiltration of terror groups into Afghanistan in the first hand. How could Pakistan expect Afghanistan or the US to do what they have been asking it to do for a very long time? Although this is not an excuse but the Pakistani state is fast becoming an ineffective state and has failed to establish the rule of law in the country. The government’s ability to police and timely gather intelligence seems flawed as well, and not much has been delivered. These groups know and exploit this weakness and thus take advantage of it. A comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy should be adopted and seriously implement which should also target mosque committees warning them of consequences if banned outfits are allowed to go about their activities. This is a critical time for Pakistan to put its house in order and eschew any negligence or tolerance of such radical groups.
The writer is Islamabad-based freelance journalist and consultant. www.ershadmahmud.com
3 GUNNED DOWN IN SECTARIAN VIOLENCE IN QUETTAThree persons belonging to the Hazara Community were gunned down on Arbab Karam Khan Road of provincial capital on Thursday. According to the police, they belonged to the Hazara Tribe and were on way in rickshaw when unknown armed men ridding the motorcycle opened fire on them near the Farooq Floor Mills of Arbab Karam Khan Road in the limits of Saryab Police Station. As a result, a man was killed on the spot and two others sustained serious bullet wounds. The rescue team rushed to the spot and the deceased and injured persons were taken to the Civil Hospital where two of the injured succumbed to their injuries before reaching the hospital. The deceased were identified as twenty five years old Khadim Husan and Abdul Ali 25. The third victim of the target killing could not be identified at the time of filing this report. “The firing victims were Shia and belong to be the Hazara Tribe. It is the case of Sectarian targeted killing,” Police said. No organization had claimed the responsibility of the killing of three Hazara tribesmen. Normally, armed men from the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi claimed the responsibility in the past for target killing of Shia and Hazara Tribesmen. The case has been registered against the unknown persons and investigation is underway.
The Express TribuneA day after Syria was booted out of the 57-memember Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Muslim leaders continue to deliberate on the fate of the conflict-ridden Arab state. Addressing the Emergency OIC meeting in the Saudi city of Makkah on Thursday, President Asif Ali Zardari called for an immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria. Emphasising the policy of non-interference he urged the international community to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He said, “Pakistan desires that Syria must forge its own destiny in accordance with the aspirations of its people and we must respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Calling for an immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria, the president also appealed to all sides in Syria to declare ceasefire during Eid-ul-Fitr. Referring to neighbouring Afghanistan President Zardari urged the Muslim heads of states to support Pakistan in appealing various factions in Afghanistan to join the reconciliation process. He said that Pakistan has been seriously affected by the unrest in Afghanistan adding that the fallout of the Mujahideen resistance to the former Soviet Union continues to haunt Pakistan. Reiterating Pakistan’s support to Afghan-led reconciliation process, the president said that peace and stability in Afghanistan was vital for the peace and stability of Pakistan. “Indeed, it is vital for peace and stability of the region and the world,” the president remarked. He said that there were more than three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and expressed the hope that the Afghan refugees will soon return to their homeland to rebuild their country. Commenting on Pakistan’s commitment to a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions, he expressed the hope that Pakistan’s engagement with India will be result-oriented. Speaking about the large-scale genocidal killings of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, he called upon OIC to use its offices for promoting a process of protecting the life and property of the Muslims in that country. “We are passing through a period of upheaval and turmoil and historical forces have brought mankind face to face with new challenges,” he said. President Zardari also proposed the OIC to consider sending a Special Mission comprising heads of states and governments to conflict-ridden areas that affect the Muslims.He said that terrorism continues to haunt Muslim societies and has distorted the face of Islam. “The war on terrorism has spread like a contagion and has so far cost the Pakistan more than 40,000 citizens, over 6,500 security personnel, destruction of infrastructure, nose-diving of production and growing unemployment,” adding that there was a need to collectively fight against the forces that encourage the militancy. While reiterating Pakistan’s support and complete solidarity with the Muslim nations, the president concluded his speech, hoping that the summit will reinforce Islamic solidarity to overcome the challenges faced by the Muslim world.
We will not forgiveThe terrorist attack on the Minhas base at Kamra during the night of 27th of Ramazan revealed the hollowness of the propaganda of the Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP), which has accepted responsibility, that it is in any way concerned with the interests of Pakistanis and the Pakistani state. These false prophets, sanctimonious and self-appointed, will not be forgiven, nor forgotten. Especially since the TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan has said, “We are proud of it.” The assault re-emphasises the threat Pakistan continues to face from the plague of militancy, as well as the gaping chasm between intelligence reports which even appeared in newspapers a few days ago and the ability of the guerrilla trained terrorists to gain not just proximity, but entry, into an airforce facility. At the same time, it is a matter of satisfaction and pride that the Pakistan Air Force, aided by the Army and the Police, put up a valiant defence and for that it deserves special commendation. The special commendation is not enough for us to do justice to the gratitude we feel for Sepoy Asif, who was the first to challenge the attackers, and laid down his life, before the reports of his gun alerted the rest of the defenders to the call of duty. Air Commodore Muhammad Azam, who led the defence, was injured. Nine TTP terrorists, including their commander, had been shot dead. According a private TV channel, one of the rockets fired by the attackers, who were armed with RPGs and automatic weapons, hit and inflicted light, but repairable damage to an I-L 78 cargo plane, although the militants’ real target was a spy plane. The report also says that three suspects have been taken into custody. A meeting chaired by Air Chief Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt decided to form an investigation committee. Any further existing loopholes in security must be identified immediately and plugged. Apparently, the attack was not a reaction to the recent reports that Pakistan had agreed to launch a military operation in North Waziristan, as TTP’s spokesman said it had long been in planning. However, the terrorist raid lends support to opponents as well as supporters of armed action against the militants, whether in North Waziristan or elsewhere. The supporters would argue that the daring attempt at such a sensitive location reflects the growing courage and might of terrorists that could only be effectively addressed by the use of force. On the other hand, the opponents would maintain that the military operation would antagonise the whole of the tribal belt that contributes large numbers in defence of the western side of the border. Today brought the further depressing news of Pakistani travelers shot dead in Gilgit, after being dragged out of their bus and identified as Shia. Such barbarism on our soil, on our watch, is unacceptable. Be they Shia, Sunni, Chrstian, Hindu, Sikh or any other religion, Pakistanis stand together for each other. There is no doubt in our hearts. Now is the time we must join hands and protect each other, for those who would see us torn apart seem to be determined to do so. The army chief’s prescient warning that the army on its own could not eliminate the menace of terrorism bears repeating. No matter how reluctant Pakistanis feelings towards the Afghan war, let there be no mistake that when Pakistan is attacked, be it Kamra, or be it the targeting of Shia travellers in Gilgit, Pakistan does not forget and will not forgive. We are one and we will persevere.
EDITORIAL :Toning up counter campaignThe brutal massacre of 25 Gilgit-bound bus passengers and the thuggish assault on the Kamra airbase once again underscores chillily how deeply flawed and inadequate is the state’s counter-terrorism action. Bluntly, these shattering episodes leave no doubt about it that terrorists still have an upper-hand and the state is in retreat in the face of their unrelenting thuggery. But what else could it be when the state has not come up with any comprehensive coordinated counter-terrorism strategy worth the name so far, even as the country is visibly in the lap of a multi-dimensional terrorism? The kind of concern, action and coordination that such a vile phenomenon should elicit from the state is just not perceptible on any of the official corridors. At best, various state agencies and arms seem working disjointedly and that too for firefighting, not weeding out this scourge from its roots. There indeed is a strange sort of hiatus marking the act of the whole security apparatus to counter terrorism and overcome it. No strategy is in evidence. No action plan is perceptibly in execution. It is all chaos, whereas terrorists are palpably well organised, having forged mutual links, with their tentacles now spreading out to the underworld as well. Fighting out terrorism is always a long a haul. Wherever it springs up it defies leaving soon. And the way things are going on, in our case this long haul is surely going to be infinite unless the state changes its act. At the risk of being repetitive, this government had had hammered out a fairly comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy soon after its debut but only to forget all about it in no time. That poor thing is simply gathering dust on some obscure official shelf. Even the national counter-terrorism authority that was supposed to be the nodal agency of all national counter-terrorism efforts is a long forgotten enterprise. Now one even hears of it not. Nor is anything known about the legislative bill aiming at plugging off holes in the anti-terrorism law that enable terrorism suspects to get off the hook in the courts. Even the army chief has bemoaned the absence of such a counter-terrorism regime. Yet there is no anxiety in the official circles to bring about such a legal regime to deal effectively with the suspects. Statedly, the legislative bill was objected to by two senators of the right-wing clan to whom its own religiosity comes uppermost and the nation’s security only at best secondarily. The bill is lying wholly unattended on some Senate floor now for more than three years. With such an insouciance overwhelming the state apparatus to a virtual condition of utter prostration and emasculation, the less said about the state’s counter-terrorism action the better. Wherever successful counter-terrorism campaigns have been waged, it is always by combining the state’s civil power with its military power. While the military fights out terrorists on mountains and in caves, it is the civil power that takes on the urban terrorism. But that combination arguably doesn’t obtain in our case. While the military is battling terrorists in the field, the civilian security apparatus is leaving urban terrorism almost unchallenged. Not only terrorists are harbouring freely their sleeper cells in cities and towns, the outlawed extremist outfits too are operating there without any obstructions and impediments. Worryingly enough, even the military’s operational preparedness and vigilance to grapple with terrorists leaves much to be desired. The ease with which terrorists have assaulted Kamra and earlier Karachi’s Mehran naval base and Rawalpindi’s GHQ sets the mind at great unease. There indeed is an imperative need to tone up the state’s entire counter-terrorism action. But that can happen only if the state takes the menace of terrorism very seriously and acts accordingly. It is not the lip service that matters. What really makes the difference is the action, not rhetoric. And if even now the government keeps sitting on its haunches and does nothing concrete, not even the elections will be of any avail. The vile thugs are visibly in ascendancy and will keep the state hostage to their wickedness and thuggery. The government must wake up and act before it is too late. Already, it is very late.