By: ST Hussain The Express TribuneAccording to a media report, the PML-N opposition leader in the National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, has said that the military should not launch any operation against terrorists in North Waziristan. The opposition leader has said this despite the fact that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani declared in a speech at the Pakistan Military Academy on August 13 that the fight against extremism and terrorism was Pakistan’s own war and that the nation needed to support the military in it. The PML-N leader seems to think that the Pakistan Army is fighting America’s war. Why have the PML-N’s leaders ignored the fact that in the past, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), through videos and press statements has revealed its agenda to impose Sharia law through the use of force in Pakistan? It is the duty of every Pakistani to support the Pakistan Army’s fight against terrorism and extremism, and play its role in educating the people about the threats posed by the TTP. Every political party’s leader should get a briefing from the army about the ground realities before making a statement against the military decision to eradicate the menace of extremism and terrorism, which is challenging the very existence of Pakistan and making it a theocratic state — against the vision of its founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The leaders of the PML-N, who claim to be the flag holders of Jinnah’s political party, should at least respect the Quaid-e-Azam’s ideology of Pakistan and listen to his speech of August 11, 1947 in the Constituent Assembly before deciding to support the TTP’s ideology.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
THE NEWSEid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Sunday (August 19), Senior Minister Bashir Bilour made the formal announcement on behalf of the provincial government. The Minister regretted that once again the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee did not take into account the witnesses reports confirming the sighting of the moon coming from every part of the province. He said 23 reports for sighting of Shawwal moon were received from eyewitnesses in various parts of the province including Dera Islmail Khan, Bannu and Bajaur.
http://news.yahoo.comA suicide bombing at a wedding, a deadly airstrike on a village, grenades in a mosque — hundreds of Afghan civilians are dying violently this summer, while the Taliban and the NATO coalition wage verbal warfare. A U.N. report says 1,145 civilians were killed and 1,954 others injured during the first half of the year, 80 percent of them by militants. But like other aspects of this decade-long war, facts are often obscured by perception and propaganda. That has left both sides locked in a battle of words, crafted to win the Afghan public's support. The foreign forces and Taliban fighters have been issuing dueling statements ever since the conflict began more than a decade ago. Civilian casualties are the latest focus of the information war. In a message ahead of Eid al-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of Ramadan this weekend, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar instructed his fighters once again to avoid killing or wounding Afghan civilians. "Employ tactics that do not cause harm to the life and property of the common countrymen," the one-eyed chieftain of the insurgency said in an eight-page message released to news organizations. It came days after at least 50 people were killed in bombings and gun battles that erupted on either end of the country in the deadliest day of violence for civilians this year. The Taliban has not yet claimed responsibility for carrying out the attacks Tuesday in Kunduz and Nimroz provinces, but the coalition wasted no time in hanging the blame on Omar's shoulders. "Omar once again writes that his thugs should 'pay close attention to the protection of life, property and honor ... employ tactics that do not cause harm to life and property of the common countrymen,'" U.S. Gen. John Allen, the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said Friday in his written response to Omar's message. "Yet, as we saw in Nimroz and Kunduz provinces just days ago, Omar sent his assassins to slaughter dozens of innocent Afghan men, women and children." "Either Omar is lying, or his henchmen are not listening to him." The U.N. figures represented a 15 percent decrease in overall deaths and injuries from the previous year, but U.N. officials cautioned that civilian casualties were spiking as summer fighting continues. Those attributed to foreign and Afghan forces declined as both groups strengthened policies to protect civilians, the U.N. said — 165 civilians killed in the first half of the year, down 35 percent from 255 in 2011. The majority — 127 — came from airstrikes, though that was also a reduction from the previous year. Beyond statistics, however, the conflict is as much a "war of perceptions" as it is a fight on the battlefield, said Thomas Ruttig, who co-directs the Afghanistan Analysts Network in Kabul. "The Taliban are attacking what they consider legitimate targets," such as the Afghan police and army, foreign troops as well as Afghan government officials and their supporters, he said. "When they are attacking what they say are legitimate targets, they often do not care about bystanders." Insurgents aren't bothered by civilian casualties, even during Ramadan, said Khalid Pashtun, a member of parliament from Kandahar province, the spiritual birthplace of the insurgency. Many insurgents actually consider Ramadan appropriate because they believe any foe they kill will go to hell while a civilian fatality will go to heaven, he said. "I've heard them say many times that the civilians who get killed will go to heaven — that this is good," he said. The Taliban say that international soldiers' mere presence in Afghan cities and towns puts citizens at risk. The insurgents denounce coalition aerial attacks that have inadvertently killed civilians. And they condemn international forces for razing villages in the south — areas the coalition claims were impossible to otherwise clear because they were so booby-trapped with bombs. The Taliban exploited a rapid-fire succession of coalition setbacks earlier this year to further their information war: —In January, a video purportedly showing American Marines laughing and urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters surfaced on the Web. —In February, Muslim holy books were burned at a U.S. base, sparking deadly riots across the nation. —In March, a U.S. soldier allegedly went on a shooting rampage in two villages in Kandahar province, killing nine children, four men and three women and burning some of their bodies. —In June, Allen flew to Logar province to personally apologize for the deaths of 18 women, children and village elders killed in an airstrike during a pre-dawn raid to capture a Taliban operative. "Your troops mercilessly martyr women and children in our country, destroy villages and houses, desecrate our religious sanctities, vilify our national honors and culture, set fire to our houses and green orchards or bulldoze them until they become leveled with the ground," Omar's statement said. Stepping up its war of words with the Taliban, the coalition has issued a dozen or more statements in recent weeks accusing the Taliban of civilian carnage. After a suicide bomber blew himself up last month at a wedding in Samangan province in northern Afghanistan, killing 23 people including an Afghan lawmaker who was the father of the bride, Allen said: "Once again the Taliban have murdered Afghans in cold blood with complete disregard for innocent life or to the sanctity of a wedding. Their depravity clearly knows no bounds." In June, after Taliban gunmen stormed a lakeside hotel near Kabul, leaving 18 dead, Allen said: "There is no doubt that innocent Afghan civilians were the intended targets of this unspeakably brutal attack," Allen said. Earlier this month, a bomb exploded in a mosque in eastern Nangarhar, injuring 21 people including the mullah who was addressing the worshippers. The explosion, which shattered windows, doors and the roof of the mosque, occurred near where the mullah was standing and most of the other people injured were elders in the front rows. Allen condemned what he said was a "senseless act of terror against Afghans who were simply trying to practice their faith" during Ramadan. Mohammad Nahim Lalai Hamidzai, another legislator from Kandahar, said the Taliban consists of several factions, some of which care more about civilian casualties than others, he said. The Haqqani network, which is affiliated with al-Qaida, is aligned with the Taliban, yet often operate independently. "The ordinary Taliban don't want to kill civilians — they are fighting an emotional battle against the foreigners," he said. "When civilians get killed everybody blames the Taliban, but we have a network of insurgents and nobody knows for sure who is doing which killings." Arturo Munoz, an Afghan expert at the RAND Corporation, said the key issue is whether Afghans accept and are swayed by the coalition's condemnations of civilian deaths caused by militant attacks. "It does seem that the Afghan people are reacting negatively to the terrorist tactics used by the Taliban and the Haqqani network, which undeniably kill and maim far more civilians than U.S. or coalition operations," Munoz said. But he said the coalition's attempt to highlight civilian casualties caused by militants has been hampered by incidents like the Quran burnings, which sparked more public outrage across Afghanistan than the shooting rampage in Kandahar province. "Attacks on people can be seen as a normal part of war, but an attack on Islam is not normal and is not excusable," Munoz said, adding that the U.S. was right to apologize and taking steps to prevent future desecration of Muslim holy texts. "Nonetheless, the legitimacy of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan was damaged."
بھولے باپ کا زیادہ بھولا بیٹا۔ڈاکٹر ارسلان ۔۔۔۔از۔۔۔۔۔مالک اشتر
http://www.pakistanchristianpost.comChristian staff nurses of Civil Hospital Karachi were poisoned as punishment to drink tea in their Hostel rooms during Holy Month of Ramadan being observed these days by Muslim majority community of Pakistan. Among Eleven (11) poisoned Christian nurses (3) were rushed to Intensive Care Unit ICU of Civil Hospital Karachi were remaining (8) are being treated in emergency ward. Civil Hospital Karachi is under ministry of health of Sindh government where Christian medico staff was in majority till 1985. Staff Nurses Rita, Anila and Rafia were in serious condition in ICU ward of CHK while staff nurse Rita was later transferred on life saving equipment. There are reports that FIR have been registered against unknown person on poisoning Christian nurses in Aram Bagh Police Station of Karachi and non was arrested so far. According to Ramadan Ordinance of Provincial Sindh Government, to eat in Public places is prohibited and restaurants and vendors will remain closed during timing of Ramadan. The Ramadan Ordinance is not imposed on Five Star Hotels in Sindh Province and allows minority community individuals to take meals in indoor facilities. After independence of Pakistan in 1947, all restaurants have to put curtain on their doors where Muslim and other religious communities were free to dine and smoke during Holy Month of Ramadan but laws of total ban or closure were made after Islamization of Pakistan during Zia-ul-Haq rule. The poisoning incident of 11 Christian nurses have spread wave of fear among religious minorities of Pakistan and rising extremism in society.
An 11-eleven-year old Christian girl has been accused of blasphemy and arrested for burning pages of the Holy Quran in Islamabad on Saturday. The news emerged when a website called “Christians in Pakistan” reported the incident saying that the girl named Rimsha Masih, who has Downs syndrome, was accused of blasphemy for burning 10 pages of the Holy Quran. A police official at the Ramna Police Station, when contacted by The Express Tribune, confirmed that an FIR has been registered against the girl. The website report stated that Rimsha, daughter of Misrak Masih, is a resident of Umara Jaffar, sector G12/0 Islamabad, and was arrested on August 17 (Friday) by a women police station. The report added that the complaint was filed by Alsyed Muhammad Ummad.
While everyone was expecting that there would be a compromise between the judiciary and the legislature in the contempt case against Yusuf Gilani, the Supreme Court disqualified the Prime Minister. Though the parliament and the President have accepted the verdict, the problem has just begun and is likely to take different forms and raise multiple questions. What is the judiciary likely to do next? Will this tussle between the judiciary, legislature and executive help Pakistan build its institutions and maintain the democratic form of government? Many within Pakistan, including the critics of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the supporters of judicial activism of the Supreme Court, consider that the higher judiciary has gone overboard by disqualifying Gilani. The civil society seems to be deeply divided over the issue; a section supports the judiciary, while another section, though not supporters of the PPP, oppose the extreme form of judicial assertion. There is also a third section, which is pro-PPP and considers that the judiciary is pursuing a political vendetta against the party, and in particular against President Zardari for delaying the restoration of the judiciary in 2008. Is the Judiciary playing to a gallery? Undoubtedly, PPP is not the darling of the people in Pakistan. People love to hate Zardari and he has become the scapegoat for everything that has gone wrong with the country. The military have silently taken a back seat allowing the PPP-led government to take all the blame – from a failing economy to the reopening of the NATO supply lines. Unfortunately for the PPP, there is no single success story for them, either on the domestic front or in its external relations. Perhaps, the only success for the government has been the length of its tenure. The judiciary, in addition to its popular appeal, also has the support of a majority within the media. While, the print media is relatively moderate, the electronic and social media have gone overboard in presenting one side of the story. The judiciary in many developing societies, including Pakistan, has become assertive whenever there is a weak government. The judiciary in Pakistan is not only aware that the government is weak and unlikely to get confrontational, but is also aware of its popular support base, especially for its Chief Justice. Would the judiciary have remained this assertive had the ruling party commanded absolute majority? Would it have a delivered a similar judgment against Nawaz Sharif had he been the Prime Minister? Zardari has avoided a confrontational course until now, and is unlikely to pursue such a strategy. So, the judiciary is likely to continue its assertion and remain even more active. Can an activist judiciary directly govern Pakistan? This is a larger question that both the judiciary and those who support its activism have to ponder. In any democratic society, where the constitution is supreme, the three primary institutions – legislature, executive and judiciary - have well defined functions and responsibilities. There is not only separation of powers, but also checks and balances. Undoubtedly in Pakistan, both the legislature and the executive have failed to perform their duties. Now the question arises as to whether the judiciary can intervene and take the role of other institutions because they have failed to discharge their responsibilities. Two more questions arise: Is the judiciary capable of governing and administering Pakistan? And in a democratic set up is it desirable? Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most efficient of them all? A serious introspection of the entire judicial machinery is also imperative. Many within the legal fraternity would agree that the lower judiciary is extremely corrupt and inefficient. The level of pending cases and the judgments in the last six decades would attest this fact. The social system in Pakistan has begun to favour feudalism and the Taliban-style justice because the mainstream judicial system has failed to deliver. If people of Swat and Malakand demanded the imposition of Sharia, the primary reason was not that they were in love with a religious system, but because the mainstream legal system is corrupt, slow and inefficient. Justice in many parts of Pakistan is not only delayed, but also denied. In fact, Pakistan would not have reached this position had the judiciary, from the lower level to the Supreme Court, discharged its duties justly and efficiently. Advantage judiciary Given the fact that Pakistan needs accountability, what is happening presently is not essentially a bad development. This should have, in fact, happened in the late 1970s, if not during mid-1950s. The judiciary should have stood up against Zia and declared his military coup to be unconstitutional. Similar measures should have been taken against Musharraf as well in 1999. Having started late, will the judiciary now ensure that all the political institutions remain intact and the larger good of the society is not compromised? Judicial activism should help improve the process of governance, and not pit one institution against the other. After using the doctrine of necessity against the military rulers, the same yardstick should perhaps be used vis-à-vis the political leadership as well.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.comPreparations for a military push against militants in North Waziristan appeared to be underway, as a top US army commander held talks with Pakistani military officials on better cooperation along the border with Afghanistan. Residents of the lawless Waziristan tribal region said they had noticed "abnormal movement of military convoys in the area" and this had caused fears of another showdown between the army and tribal militants affiliated with al-Qaida , The Express Tribune reported. The top military leadership cancelled holidays for the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr for troops deployed in the region and directed them to stay alert, the report said. The preparations for a possible campaign against militants emerged as general James Mattis, commander of the US Central Command, held talks in Islamabad on Thursday with Pakistan army chief general Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani. Officials were quoted by the Tribune as saying that Mattis and Kayani would discuss how to eliminate their "common enemy" — Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud . A statement issued by the US embassy said the two commanders had discussed common security issues, including steps to improve cross-border cooperation. Surveillance craft hit in base attack ASaab-2000 airborne early warning aircraft of the Pakistan air force was damaged during the terrorist attack on Kamra airbase, defence minister Naveed Qamar has said. The nose of the aircraft was damaged terrorists stormed the airbase in Punjab province. 2 killed in fresh attack on Shias Two persons were killed and 19 others injured in a gun and bomb attack on a group of Shia students in the port city of Karachi on Friday, a day after 25 community members were pulled out of three buses and shot dead by masked gunmen in Pakistan's northwest.
The Express Tribune News Network.Dozens of Afghan militants crossed into the Kalash Valley of Chitral on Friday, made off with a herd of goats and kidnapped a shepherd. According to an official of the Chitral Scouts, the militants came from the Nuristan province of Afghanistan. The official had rushed to the site and chased the militants up to the border following the incursion. The official said that the militants attacked the Dobazha pastures in the morning and took away around 700 goats with them. “They also kidnapped a shepherd identified as Abd Khun, a resident of Kara Kaarh area of Bamboret in Kalash, for showing resistance,” the official said. He added that before the arrival of the scouts, the residents of the area also followed the militants in efforts to release the herds and the shepherd, but the residents said that the militants had crossed the border immediately and had also killed at least 20 goats. The residents expressed concern over the continuous border incursions of militants into the Garmai pastures of Bamboret, the stealing of their herds and kidnappings of shepherds. They demanded the security forces in Chitral to stop living in plains and move into their check posts in the mountains to guard the borders. According to a local, the armed residents of Bamboret who chased after the militants had crossed the border into Afghanistan and had successfully taken back their goats and the shepherds. Pakistani security officials say that militants from banned outfits, who have found a safe haven in Afghanistan, have sporadically carried out attacks on the security forces in Pakistan. Pakistani government officials have repeatedly urged the Afghan government to stop the cross border attacks and take action against the militant factions who are constantly targeting security forces and civilians, but the Afghan government denied the incursions and instead blamed Pakistan for violating its border. Both the countries claim that they would work on these issues and would put pressure on the enemy that operates along the border to put an end to the incursions.
Pakistanis have gathered
Dawn.comThe Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has banned travel of foreigners from Peshawar to southern districts of the province and tribal and semi-tribal regions through Kohat tunnel. Besides, security at the tunnel has been beefed up and all those intending to travel through it must carry their computerised national identity cards. The standard operating procedure (SOP) in this regard was announced by Home and Tribal Affairs Department, Peshawar, on Friday. It stated that travel of foreigners from Peshawar to Kohat, Hangu, Karak and Bannu districts, and North and South Waziristan agencies through Kohat tunnel had been banned, as for this they would have to pass through the restive Darra Adamkhel, a Frontier Region (FR) of Kohat district, and onwards through Kohat tunnel. Similar restriction is also meant for all those Pakistani staff members working with any international or local NGO. The restraint is also applicable in case of other remaining five FRs i.e FR Peshawar, FR Bannu, FR Lakki, FR Tank and FR Dera Ismail Khan as well as the seven tribal agencies, including Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan. However, the people will have to obtain prior permission from the Home and Tribal Affairs Department so that necessary NOC and proper security arrangements could be made for them well in advance. Ban on travel through Kohat tunnel is in addition to the restriction already imposed for 10 districts for visiting foreign tourists, diplomats, foreign missions, expatriates and Pakistani staff members working in NGOs and INGOs with regard to entire seven districts forming Malakand Division, including Swat, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Shangla, Buner, Malakand and Chitral and three southern districts of Hangu, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan. The home department advisory clarified that all ambassadors/foreign missions/diplomats/embassies’ officials intending to visit the aforementioned specific areas were advised to route their written requests through the federal ministry of foreign affairs, Islamabad, so that it should reach the provincial government’s home department, Peshawar, a fortnight or at least 12 working days in advance, enabling it to process it and obtain security clearance from the quarters concerned and to make proper security/ protocol arrangements for the visiting foreigners/dignitaries. The government has asked the foreigners/expatriates and Pakistani staff working for NGOs/INGOs to route their written requests for visiting the abovementioned areas through their respective organisations. For visiting the rest of the districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, all categories of foreigners might forward their written requests to the home and tribal affairs department, Peshawar, at least five working days prior to their visits so that proper arrangements could be made for their visit. Meanwhile, to thwart any threat to strategic Kohat Friendship Tunnel two extra army units and sniffer dogs have been deployed there, turning it into a nuisance for a large number of people proceeding to their hometowns for celebrating Eid, sources told Dawn in Kohat on Friday. The National Highway Authority and security forces have also renewed their request to people to keep their identity cards and papers of vehicles with them for easy passage through the tunnel. The security forces have forbidden travel through the tunnel for those people who did not possess CNIC. The sources said that this time the authorities had also not opened the hilly track between Darra Adamkhel and Kohat to ease traffic at the tunnel. They said that the villages close to the hilly track on Darra Adamkhel side were still infested with militants, who could cause harm to passengers.
EditorialThe assault on the Pakistan Air Force Base Minhas in` Kamra may be a reminder that our security apparatus has serious flaws, but the quick and timely action taken by the base defenders prevented bigger damage. The counter-attack by the Quick Response teams of the base suggests they were on alert to deal with any untoward incident in the light of an intelligence report a few days before the attack. This is not the first attack on a sensitive military target. The attacks on GHQ (Rawalpindi) and PNS Mehran (Karachi) and three different attacks on Kamra since 2007 are a series of similar events. These provide conclusive evidence that the state is at war with the terrorists who wish to impose their narrow vision of religion on Pakistan through force of arms. It came as no surprise that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. After all they have openly declared war on the state. COAS General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani the other day sent a clear message of terror looming large over national security, implying the enemy is within. The statement of US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta expressing concern about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in the wake of the Kamra attack may be part of long standing western worries that the arsenal could fall into the wrong hands. But the US State Department, through its spokesperson Victoria Nuland, came to Islamabad’s rescue and supported the foreign office’s contention that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is secure and under a proper command and control system. Panetta continues in his self-assumed role of ‘bad cop’, while State continues to pour oil on troubled waters in its avatar as the ‘good cop’ vis-à-vis Pakistan. Where the security forces seem to have learnt lessons from previous attacks and thwarted the assault on Minhas Airbase with minimum losses, the attack on buses in the Babusar Top area of Mansehra district, where 25 people were killed after being identified as Shias, shows that the law enforcers of the country are way behind the curve on terrorism generally, and sectarian terrorism in particular. Obviously a number of such incidents have occurred in the northern areas previously with an identical modus operandi, but after the usual fuss in the immediate aftermath of such tragedies, the authorities become lax over time and the buses revert to plying without any security arrangements. The terrorists meanwhile wait out the initial flurry of the security forces and as soon as they see that it is back to business as usual, launch their own unique ‘enterprise’. Time and again lack of coordination among the intelligence, law enforcement and security agencies has been discussed in the light of the need to set up an overarching body that would manage and oversee coordination and collaboration among different agencies, ranging from the armed forces to the civilian setup, and from the federal government to the provinces, to ensure a concerted national effort against the various types and forms of terrorism, ranging from those who are waging war on the state directly (e.g. the TTP) to those involved in an indirect assault on state and society through sectarian murder. A country that has been ravaged by militancy, terrorism and sectarian conflict cannot sit sanguine on the issue of security lapses and the legal loopholes that allow terrorists to wriggle through the judicial system and return as free persons to their nefarious activities. This is tantamount to a self-inflicted invitation to threats, violence and instability. We are sitting on a volcano, and the enemy we are faced with is difficult to squash because of its scattered nature, with no central command structure that may lend itself to concerted action. Most groups in the field of terrorism are small, largely operationally autonomous entities that bite like the flea and then vanish. All the more reason for a centralised intelligence and operational database under coordinated command if the challenge is to be met.`