Saturday, November 5, 2016

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Did it have to be Hillary Clinton for president? Yes. Here’s why

The US is the closest it’s ever been to breaking the 240-year male stronghold on the presidency. Though American women have made some political gains during that period, there has only been one woman so far with a real chance of smashing that glass ceiling: Hillary Clinton.
And yet some women, especially young women, have greeted Clinton’s historic candidacy with muted enthusiasm.
“I want there to be a woman president, of course,” said Maria Alcivar, a graduate student at Iowa State University and reluctant Clinton supporter. “I just don’t see why it had to be her.”
Across the country over the last 18 months, several women have expressed similar sentiments: a wish that the potential first female leader was someone less flawed and less polarizing.
Experts say there is no predictable route to the presidency for a female candidate, not least because the trail is still being blazed. But there is a case to be made that the first woman to get this close to the presidency would probably look a lot like Clinton: a nationally recognizable figure with an extensive résumé and close proximity to power.
“There’s a saying, the first into battle needs to wear the most armor,” said Adrienne Kimmell, executive director of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, which studies women running for executive office.
She continued: “Because women have higher and harder barriers to clear the path to executive office, the women that win need to exceed expectations – so by comparison they tend to be more qualified than their opponents.”
A 2011 study identified what the researchers called the “Jackie (and Jill) Robinson effect”, a reference to the first African American player in Major League Baseball. Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947 and by no coincidence, according to the theory, he remains one of the best players of all time.
The study found that female lawmakers outperform their male colleagues, introducing more legislation and delivering more financial projects to their home districts. This, the researchers suggest, is the result of underlying gender discrimination, which narrows the prospective pool of female candidates down to only the most qualified, talented and politically ambitious.
“One of the reasons it’s taking so long to elect a woman president is because very few women have actually run for president,” said Jennifer Lawless, the director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University. The first may have been Victoria Woodhull in 1872, nearly 50 years before women won the vote, and 136 years before Clinton’s first competitive campaign in 2008.
The gender gap leaves a very narrow pipeline to the top, Lawless said. The most common route to the US presidency is through the Senate or a governor’s mansion, which greatly narrows the pool of prospective female candidates, since there are currently only 20 women serving in the 100-strong US Senate, 84 congresswomen (19%) and six female governors.
Patricia Schroeder, a former Democratic congresswoman from Colorado who briefly ran for the Democratic nomination in 1987, has spent a lot of time over the last 18 months thinking about what has changed for women since she first entered Congress in 1973.
“Sexism is a lot harder to pinpoint than it was but it’s clearly still there,” she said.
When Schroeder first arrived in Congress she faced questions from her male colleagues about how she managed to raise two small children while being a lawmaker. On one occasion she snapped back: “I have a brain and a uterus and I use both.” She was also advised never to wear green. It apparently was not a power color.
Research shows that women who run for elective office win at comparable rates to men. Party trumps gender at the ballot box. That is to say, male and female voters overwhelmingly support their party’s candidate, regardless of gender.
In an analysis of 2010 House races, female candidates received as many votes as male candidates of the same seat status (incumbent, open seat, challenger), according to a study by Kathleen Dolan published in her 2014 book, When Does Gender Matter? Women Candidates and Gender Stereotypes in American Elections. 
And yet women seeking to run for office still encounter barriers their male counterparts do not. Studies show they are less likely to express interest in a political career and more likely to doubt their ability to run. Women are less likely to put themselves forward and need to be recruited to run for office, research suggests.
Ivy Taylor, the mayor of San Antonio, said she did not start her career expecting to run for public office. After encouragement from her husband and community leaders she decided to try for a seat on the city council in 2009.
“I felt qualified but not ready, if that makes sense,” Taylor said of her decision to run. “It took some time for me to get used to the idea because I didn’t think of myself as a politician but then I came to understand that elected office was an extension of my commitment to working with people in order to create a better future.”
Taylor is one of only 19 big city mayors, according to a 2016 report by the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance of the 100 largest US cities. Of the top 15, only San Antonio has a female mayor.
Experts and political groups involved in recruiting women to elective office say that having a female president – whoever she is – will open doors for women at every level of government, regardless of party. In some cases, even the prospect of a Clinton presidency has already helped.
“It is not a coincidence that we have a record number of Democratic women running in competitive Senate races in the same year we have Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket,” according to Muthoni Wambu Kraal, the senior director for state and local campaigns at Emily’s List, which has been helping elect pro-choice women since 1985. “She was a powerful recruitment tool.”

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End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in Pakistan

The media in Pakistan strive to play role for transparency and accountability in Pakistan but faces many heinous factors. According to International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), 115 journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 1990, leaving Pakistan among the most challenging environments to perform their duties. Every year, Mishal Pakistan remembers the lost lives of journalists in the line of duty through the annual journalism excellence recognition. The AGAHI Awards honors the sacrifices and contributions of the journalists in Pakistan on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, observed every year on 2nd November.
The Freedom of the Press Report 2016 of the Freedom House highlights that while the rate of media workers’ killings has declined somewhat in recent years, the number and intensity of threats directed at journalists from a variety of actors, including state and non-state actors, especially the militant groups, remained high in 2015. Impunity remained the norm for crimes against journalists.
Pakistan saw multiple challenges for the journalist’s communities, including abduction, harassments, job loss, involuntary detention, death threats, murder and other livelihood related challenges.
Among the key developments in Pakistan, the broadcast regulator, PEMRA, issued new guidelines that limited discussion of security operations and other sensitive topics. Also in November 2015, reporter Zaman Mehsud of the Daily Ummat and Daily Nai Baat was shot and killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The report also highlights that, journalists with Pakistan’s largest private television network, Geo TV, and its affiliated outlets remained frequent targets of violence and intimidation.
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is observed every year since the adoption of Resolution A/RES/68/163 by United Nations General Assembly at its 68th session in 2013. The session proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI), and urged governments and relevant stakeholders to take definite measures to put an end to the culture of impunity.
Mishal Pakistan has been actively engaged in media development for the last thirteen years. To improve the narrative building around human security, competitiveness and economic development, this year Mishal Pakistan and Agahi have special categories in AGAHI Awards for journalists reporting on more than 30 indicators. Mishal has the credit of training more than 5000 journalists across various verticals of journalism in socio-economic and political spheres.
Established in 2003, Mishal has been engaged with some of the most dynamic organizations, including media enterprises and global development agencies helping them develop their communication strategies and solutions for better understanding and creating synergies with their concerned stakeholders. Mishal is the country partner institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum.
Mishal’s research and capacity building initiatives have assisted and helped successive governments to improve Pakistan’s global ranking on competitiveness, gender gap, trade and information technology indices.

Pakistan: How to fight Terrorism?

By Adam Pal

“Terrorism will never cease in a country where the so-called leaders are criminals and terrorists in disguise”

—Michael Bassey Johnson

Once again blood flowed in Quetta. At least 61 were killed and 117 wounded, many of them in a critical condition, when terrorists attacked a police training college in Quetta. Around 9:30 in the evening three terrorists entered the college where 700 trainees were present. They entered one of the hostels rounded up and then killed trainee cadets in the building.

After this killing spree two terrorists blew themselves up, while security forces claim that they shot down the third one. So far three different terrorist organizations have been blamed for this atrocity. These include IS, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and a group of Taliban led by Mullah Daud of the Hakeemullah Mehsud group.
IS is relatively new in Pakistan and has been trying to show its presence gradually, although government authorities have denied many times any presence of IS in Pakistan. The second organization which claims the attack has been involved in killing hundreds of innocent people in sectarian attacks on Shias in the past few years. In recent years many Hazaras, who also belong to the Shia sect living in Quetta, have come under attack and hundreds of them have been killed, including women and children. The Taliban have also been involved in many terrorist attacks in the past.

Hypocrisy of the state authorities

After this attack, a series of statements of condemnation has been issued by various government officials and politicians. Also those in power have once again vowed to curb this terrorism and to deal with it severely. People in Pakistan, and especially those living in Quetta, have almost learned all this dramatic response to such incidents off by heart. Crocodile tears are shed and various Army and Police officials appear on TV screens to say that “we have broken the backs of the terrorists; we are cleaning them up and they are weaker than before.” Similarly politicians in power claim they will deal with this severely and will adopt strict security measures in the future. All this routine posturing has become a sick joke for the victims and their families.
Just two months ago on 8 August a deadly terrorist attack killed around 94 and injured 130 in Quetta in which most of those who were killed were lawyers. First a terrorist attacked the President of the Lawyers’ Association of Quetta on the road, and when he was taken to hospital a large number of lawyers and family members arrived to enquire about whether he had survived or not. At that precise moment a suicide bomber blew himself up and killed as many people as he could. This attack was also claimed by two terrorist organizations which include IS and a group of Pakistani Taliban, Jamat-ul Ahrar. A similar response by the government officials was repeated then, as the Army Chief flew to offer funeral prayers for those killed and statements of condemnation were issued by the Prime Minister and others.
But with every incident we see how the rage and anger is increasing among the families of victims and common people who have seen these terrorist attacks continuing now for the last one decade. Quetta with a population of around one million, has a big cantonment with the Headquarters of the Southern Command of the Pakistan Army. The Commander of the Southern Military Command stationed in Quetta oversees more than 60,000 personnel. Along with that, there is the local police and other security forces that are operational in the city. Every few kilometers there are checkpoints for surveillance and searching of passersby. Even with this kind of security arrangement, the terrorists - who have no support in the local population - easily get through and carry out the deadliest of attacks. This clearly shows that sections of the Pakistani State sponsor these kinds of activities, otherwise this could not have been possible.
In a recent leaked report in the daily Dawn this can be clearly seen. This news has brought to the surface the rifts within the Army and civilian government. According to the same report, in a high level meeting civilian leaders accused the ISI [Pakistan Secret services] chief of supporting terrorist outfits in the country and propping them up for their own vested interests.

Role of imperialism

Reagan sitting with Afghan Mujahideen - Public DomainRonald Reagan sitting with Afghan Mujahideen - Photo: Public DomainPakistan is under constant pressure from the US, India and other countries to cease propping up these terrorist outfits. The report explains that even China, which has increased its Imperialist role here in recent years, is not happy with these tactics. China recently blocked a move in the UN by India to declare a ban on Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Muhammad, a fundamentalist organization working in Pakistan.
The Chinese are investing more than 51 billion dollars to build an economic corridor called the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This will link Gwadar port in Balochistan with China through a network of roads and railway lines. It will give China access to the Indian Ocean through which its trade route to the Middle East will be halved. Americans consider it a threat to their strategic interests in the Middle East and especially in the Strait of Hormuz. In such a situation the Pakistani ruling class is trying to please both masters while splits in different sections of the state are coming to the surface.
Some bourgeois analysts claim that recent terrorist attacks are in fact an attempt to sabotage the CPEC in which India, in coordination with Afghans, is supporting the terrorists. In recent years India has built closer ties with Afghanistan at the behest of the Americans and to the detriment of the Pakistani ruling class which see Afghanistan as its colony.
All this has only further complicated the situation and these tensions will grow as the CPEC nears its completion and the trade route becomes functional. This corridor will help to strengthen the stranglehold of Chinese Imperialists in the region and weaken American influence. But this so called “road to prosperity” will be built on the bones of innocent victims.
All this influence of the Chinese and Americans Imperialists is also affecting the politics of the bourgeois parties in Pakistan. The PTI, a right-wing party in opposition, has issued a call to block Islamabad indefinitely with a mass sit-in, starting from 2 November. They are demanding the resignation and putting on trial of the Prime Minister on accusations of money laundering which appeared in the Panama papers leaks. Although they do not seem to have garnered mass support for their demands, the differences within the Pakistani State, the rifts between the civilian government and the military top brass, and the contradictory interests of the Chinese and Americans can shape the outcome of this sit-in. A similar sit-in in 2014, however, continued for many months without any result in the end.
At the moment, the Americans are putting pressure on Pakistan to curb this terrorism and act against all their so called "strategic assets" or fundamentalist organizations covertly supported by the Pakistani State. The irony is that at the same time we see reports about US officials helping to create IS and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Even ground operations with support of Al- Qaeda, or its affiliated organizations, have been discussed by American government officials in recent years. The Taliban were created by the Pakistani State with the support of the American CIA to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden worked for the CIA for many years before becoming its enemy. Many leaders of terrorist outfits who are officially banned, or at the top of the list of terrorists, are roaming freely in Pakistan and holding public meetings. Mostly police and other security forces protect them and are on duty as their bodyguards.

Manoeuvres against the mass movement

These terrorist attacks have also been selectively used against mass movements which have threatened the Pakistani State. When Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan, after many years of self-exile on 18 October 2007, more than two million people came out onto the streets of Karachi to welcome her. It was a public gathering beyond Benazir's expectations, as people were demanding employment, bread, clothing and housing. The Pakistani ruling class felt threatened by such a gathering. That rally, which attracted even more people as it moved towards to its final destination where Benazir was expected to deliver a speech, was cut across by suicide bombings in which around 180 were killed and Benazir herself had a narrow escape. She was killed two month later in Rawalpindi when a sniper’s bullet hit in her head amidst a suicide bomb. In a statement the Taliban claimed responsibility.
And yet we see public meetings of other right-wing parties which have never been targeted by such attacks. In 2014 a sit-in by a right-wing party, the PTI, continued for many months in Islamabad but no such incident took place. This shows that there is a method in this madness.
This also clearly expresses the strategy and tactics of the imperialist powers and various states like Pakistan who have used terrorist organizations for their own strategic interests. When the Taliban were being used by the American imperialists and the Pakistani State for their own thieving interests in Afghanistan they were proclaimed as "Our strategic assets". The leaders of the Taliban held meetings with the American president in the White House and were openly supported as waging a 'holy war". However, during the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 these "holy warriors" suddenly became terrorists.
At the moment we see a dubious policy on the part of the imperialists and the Pakistani State. There are now terrorists and holy warriors. Some sections of the imperialists and a wing of the Pakistani State are propping up these Islamic fundamentalists and using them for their strategic interests, while at the same time other sections are waging a war on terror against the same groups. In Pakistan this situation is clearer than before. The Army is involved in an operation called “Zarb-e-Azab” against these terrorists in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, in which they claim that they have broken the back of these groups and cleared all of that area. At the same time we see thousands of madrasas (boarding schools only for religious education) operating in Pakistan which support this holy war. One such famous madrasa is Haqqania of Akora Khatak which, considered to be the founder of the Taliban and where Mullah Omar once studied, was given a grant of Rs 300 million (approx. $3 million) by the government of KPK province ruled by the PTI and JI in this year's annual budget.
This love-hate relationship of the Pakistani State is now an open secret while the common people are becoming victims of this dubious strategy. But the question arises as to how this can end and how people can get rid of this bloody menace.
Many bourgeois liberals claim there is a need to strengthen the security apparatus and step up the military operations against the terrorists. But we have seen time and again that the whole state apparatus has failed miserably many times and has clearly shown its inability to deal with this problem. The covert support of some sections of state has increased with each passing day, and they are hand in glove with those sections of the imperialist powers, such as the US, in supporting such elements. Courts of Justice, Police and other law enforcement agencies have also failed to curb these killings. Due to the impotence of the courts to sentence such criminals, a special law was passed in Parliament to establish military courts for such cases. This step, while highlighting the weakness of the State as a whole, also has been proven over time to be futile and terrorists keep on attacking wherever they like.
Another argument which comes up is that help needs to come from the American imperialists through the use of drones. But we have clearly seen that the American invasion in Afghanistan and Iraq merely helped to spread this terrorism even more and have strengthened these forces of black reaction. Even in Iraq where there was no Al Qaeda before the invasion, it now has a strong base and even more bloodthirsty gangsters like IS have taken the lead. From various leaked reports it is now clear that the Americans helped establish forces like IS.
Now where should a common person in Pakistan look to in facing such terrorist organizations? In some areas in reply to attacks on Shias by sectarian terrorist organizations such as Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, organizations are mushrooming which attack Sunni religious leaders. These Shia outfits seem to have links with the Mullah Regime in Iran. The Iranian ruling class uses the victimization of the Shias and their grief for their own imperialist interests and to counter the influence of the Saudi imperialists in the region.
The political parties in Pakistan have also failed to give any concrete programme to fight this terrorism. In the “rubber stamp” parliament, the statements of condemnation of such incidents are piling up to become a mountain heap of garbage.
In this situation the only way forward for the people of Pakistan is to think beyond the current rotten and failing state apparatus and the present political parties. The people of Pakistan will have to organize themselves to fight this terrorism.


In recent years we have seen a large number of attacks on schools and universities. In December 2014, terrorists entered an extremely high security area in Peshawar and attacked the innocent students and teachers of the Army Public School. One teacher was burnt alive in front of her students who were later killed mercilessly. Around 148 people were killed and 114 injured in this incident. The families of the victims, who were mostly children of Army personnel, are still demanding justice for these killings. Despite many claims and announcements of a National Action Plan, nothing has been solved yet and many more incidents like this have happened.
The only way forward for students is to organize themselves and to rise up against the ban on student unions. If elected student unions were organized in every educational institution, they could take responsibility for the security of their institutions. The management of educational institutions have failed time and again to prevent any terrorist attacks. By hiring private security companies and banning student gatherings in the institutions, they have only increased the difficulties and mental torture of the students. If student unions were present and totally responsible for their own security then they could organise the fight against such terrorist activities. Along with this, these student unions would be able to remove any elements supporting these terrorists or their ideology. This would end the spreading of such reactionary ideas and a better future could be built free of terrorism.
In Balochistan where recent terrorist attack was carried out, an Army operation is also going on against the Baloch nationalists. A large number of students and youth in Balochistan were involved in an armed struggle against the Pakistani State for their independence. It is clear that this armed struggle could not achieve its aims and is now being drowned in blood, in which nearly twenty-two thousand have been killed so far. Many Baloch nationalists have claimed that these terrorist attacks by Islamic fundamentalist organizations are a strategy of the State to divert attention from their freedom struggle. Also, these organizations are penetrating more and more, with State patronage, the Baloch population which has a long history of secular traditions. In those areas where not a single member of such organizations could be found some years ago, now they have huge mosques and madrasas. This clearly shows the strategy of the State to divert the movement in Balochistan along religious lines.
However, the limitations of the  armed struggle against the State are also now clear to the students and youth in Balochistan and they are drawing conclusions from this. It is important to link the struggle against national oppression with the struggle of the working class against capitalist exploitation going on in other parts of the country. Some Baloch nationalists have committed crimes against this class solidarity by killing poor workers of other nationalities in Balochistan. This should be condemned and the tactics of the “armed struggle” as a whole should be abandoned. Although student unions responsible for security against terrorist attacks might need arms, but this is totally different from waging an armed guerrilla struggle against the State.
Students will need to work in coordination with labour unions to fight against terrorism and its root cause, which is none other than capitalism.

Labour movement

In recent years many government installations have been attacked, where due to the inefficiency of the security forces and law enforcing departments there have been large numbers of casualties. Whether it was a terrorist attack on Karachi airport in June 2014 or an attack at the hospital in Quetta on 8 August of this year, everywhere it can be seen that there is no basic strategy to deal with such attacks. In the attack on the airport two years ago it was claimed that eight workers of a private company for cargo handling Gerry's Dnata were killed due to freezing, after they ran to hide in a cold storage unit at the airport and couldn't be rescued on time. Similarly many workers at the hospital were killed in Quetta two months ago. This also raises the question of corruption and lack of interest of the management in these departments. The government is unable to provide the necessary basic infrastructure in hospitals required to deal with such attacks. Many dead bodies of cadets killed in the attack the other day had to be carried on the roofs of dilapidated old public transport vehicles by their families due to lack of ambulances.
It is now important that workers’ unions organize themselves to fight these terrorist activities. The government is hell bent on breaking the unions and weakening their power, but at the same time it is unable to provide them security and essential needs to live. It is important that the unions should be well organized and take the responsibility for security themselves. This should be linked to the demands for increasing the role of unions in the affairs of their departments where they can decide on the use of funds and security measures.
Even in private industries we have seen terrorist attacks. In recent investigations of the incident in Baldia town, the factory fire of 2012 it is being considered a terrorist act in which nearly 300 workers of the factory were burnt to death, including women and children. Although no one has been punished yet after four years and the investigations are never ending, it is clear that the workers will have to organize themselves to prevent such attacks in the future.
At the moment less than one percent of the workers in Pakistan are unionized. This has not only increased the exploitation by the capitalists, but has also left them at the mercy of various terrorist organizations. Whenever workers come out for their rights and protest for these demands, they are threatened not only by the Police and other state officials but also by local gangsters supported by terrorist outfits.
It is important that the working class in Pakistan organizes itself to fight against these terrorist threats which are also used by the capitalists to exploit the workers. Many examples can be cited where terrorist organizations have started out  as strike breakers at the behest of capitalists in various industrial sectors. With the patronage of the industrialists and the local Police they prospered to take on strong unions and build yellow unions in the industries. From this they moved on to the political plane, carrying out their activities more ruthlessly connecting with much more serious elements of the state.
It is important that workers are organized in unions and decide themselves about what actions should be taken to guarantee their security and against any terrorist attacks. Any elements supporting the ideology of these terrorists should be dealt with seriously and strict action taken against them. Some fundamentalist organizations, like Jamat-e-Islami which support Islamic fundamentalism and terrorist activities, have infiltrated the labour organizations in the garb of raising the demands of the workers. Experience has proved that in all the movements in which they participated, in the end these organizations always supported the attacks of the State and the capitalists on the working class. These should be strictly dealt with and measures should be taken against such infiltration.
Only with unionized workers and through class solidarity of the working class can this terrorism and all its sponsors can be eliminated.

People’s Committees

It is clear that due to the inefficiency and covert support of the State for this terrorism, people will have to organize themselves to fight it on a local level. People's committees free from any influence of the State authorities need to be built up to fight against these forces of black reaction. In recent years to stop the Taliban, the Army organized many people's militias to fight these fundamentalists. The problem was that all these militias under the supervision of the Army were controlled by tribal leaders and huge landowners who had their own vested interests. It is important that Committees formed to fight this terrorism would also have to fight against such landowners, tribal leaders, local politicians and members of the ruling elite. In many cases these same people have links with the terrorist organizations and are involved in their funding. Some might have differences with any one specific terrorist organization and use people to rally around them to fight that organization. But in the end their prime motive is to defend their own property and privileges. It is therefore important that people's committees be controlled by workers and peasants, while all elements supporting these fundamentalists should be removed. These committees at local level need to discuss not only the security of their area and the measures that need to be taken, but they also need to discuss how to fight against the ideology of these terrorist organizations.
Such committees would also have to fight against the influence of the state authorities and local Police which are covertly supporting these terrorists. With the passage of time it is becoming clear that these terrorist attacks will increase and the only way of ensuring the security of their families, is that the people themselves need to take revolutionary steps. It cannot be left to corrupt state departments or private security companies - who pay inhuman wages to their employees - to secure us from these terrorists.
All this raises the need for a political party, which not only supports these measures but also exposes the real causes of this terrorism and fights to put an end to them. We have seen that the decay of capitalism globally is destroying the fabric of society everywhere. In the Middle East it is clear that these rivers of blood and tears cannot be stopped through any military intervention or imperialist war. Only by removing capitalism and fighting against all the imperialist powers through a class war can this bloodshed be brought to an end.
The present wave of terrorist attacks is a by-product of the policies of the ruling classes around the globe. To end this, it is necessary to put an end to the cruel and corrupt ruling class and their rotten state. This can be only done through a socialist revolution. This will be the revenge for the killings of thousands of innocent people who have lost their lives because the society in which they were living was unable to give them security. It is important that after every terrorist attack we do not just shed tears for the killed, but we move forward with a firm resolve to build the forces for a revolution to overthrow the capitalist system which breeds terrorism.

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Pakistan - Justice for Waziristan

Afrasiab Khattak 

FATA Pashtuns in general and those from Waziristan in particular are a horrible example of the fact that people of peripheries are expendable and that the voiceless peoples have to pay the price of adventurist and misguided state policies with total absence of accountability and transparency.
Waziristan acquired international fame for the wrong reasons. It became well known the world over after 9/11 when Al Qaida, Taliban and terrorists belonging to various nationalities shifted to Waziristan from Afghanistan in the aftermath of the advent of ISAF forces in that country. The various agreements signed between General Pervez Musharraf’s government and Taliban not only gave a free hand to the terror syndicate to rule FATA with North Waziristan as its capital, but also enabled it to fight in Afghanistan for long years, vociferous denials from Islamabad not withstanding. In all this, the people of Waziristan remained at the receiving end as on the one hand they were mercilessly killed and persecuted by terrorists and on the other hand they would be frequently caught in the crossfire of terrorists and the security forces. They had to live in this bloodshed and agony for more than a decade, from 2003 when the Taliban established their Emirate in Waziristan to the beginning of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014.
Operation Zarb-e-Azb brought relief to the locals to the extent that it destroyed the strong bases of terrorists in Miran Shah, Mir Ali and other places and pushed the terrorists into Afghanistan. But Pashtun tribes of Waziristan, namely Dawars and Utmanzai Wazirs, faced other forms of trails and tribulations. They had to leave their houses and properties at an extremely short notice practically leaving everything behind. Later they discovered to their horror that nothing was left of their properties in their markets, in bazaars, and in their homes. According to the elders of the area there were about 11,000 shops in the markets of Miran Shah and 7000 plus in Mir Ali Bazar. Not even a matchbox was left in these markets that once used to be bustling shopping centers. Most of the houses were destroyed and totally empty. Even the valuable parts of the debris of the destroyed houses were also gone, let alone the properties left behind by the IDPs. The concerned authorities have failed to conduct inquiry, apportion responsibility and compensate the local population for their huge losses. The smartest thing that the authorities could think of was to change the nomenclature. The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were renamed as Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) to avoid the legal consequences of the arbitrary government policies. Unlike the anti-terror military operation in Swat in 2009 where the military was working closely with political governments of the province and the federation, Operation Zarb-e-Azb did not have any political oversight.
In the total absence of accountability and transparency of the civil and military administration in FATA, the process of repatriation and rehabilitation has its own problems in Waziristan (not very dissimilar to other parts of FATA). The concerned authorities in their wisdom made it mandatory for the IDPs returning to their homes to sign an eight page long “social contract” which imposes unfair and arbitrary conditions on the people. The question is under what authority did the political agent bring Pashtuns of Waziristan, who are under the jurisdiction of the Constitution of Pakistan, under a concocted social contract based on bureaucratic whims? Why was no action taken against the officialdom for creating a parallel social contract? Interestingly the people going back to their homes from IDP camps have to go through searches after searches while passing through many checkpoints on their way back to make sure that they don’t carry any weapons. But the same armless people are also supposed to be not only responsible for their own security, but also for the security of the government installations in their area. According to the provisions of the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) they are liable to be charged under the principle of collective responsibility where the entire tribe can be punished for the offense committed by an individual. Security remains a serious problem for the IDPs who are returning to their homes. On the one hand they are threatened by well-armed and well-trained terrorists and on the other hand they have to face the wrath of authorities. They are literally living between the devil and the deep blue sea. Imposing a curfew on Sunday had become routine in North Waziristan during the last few years for preempting terrorist attacks on troops during their movement from one point to the other. That was something understandable and justified but it should have come to an end after the military operation in the area. At times the curfew is used as punitive action against the local population. For example on September 14 when local people protested against the custodial death of Jamshed, a local young man in Boya sub-division of North Waziristan, the authorities clamped a 1000 hours long curfew as a punishment for the fierce agitation of the locals who had clashed with law enforcers. This is not the way to win hearts and minds.
Continuing education by the young ones is yet another challenge for the IDPs who are going back to their homes. According to a survey conducted by local educated people there are about 110 thousand students of different categories in North Waziristan. Many of the buildings of educational institutions have either been destroyed by terrorists or have taken hits in the fighting. In some cases army personnel are living in the buildings of educational institutions. The government machinery has to move on war footings to make arrangements for the students so that they can continue their studies. Apart from the issue of extremely insufficient compensation for the destroyed properties the other problem is the ownership of land. The authorities in Miran Shah have started construction on private land without the consent of the owners, creating unrest on a large scale. One hopes that those busy in wrestling for power in Islamabad will find some time to work for providing justice to the people of Waziristan. Otherwise FATA in general, and Waziristan in particular, will remain a bleeding wound that will determine the political behavior of Pashtuns. They see themselves as victims of a war fought for hegemony on both sides of the Durand Line.

اگر نواز شریف نے پاناما بل پاس نہ کیا تو سب کو لگ پتا جائے گاکہ جمہوریت بہترین انتقام کیوں ہے: بلاول بھٹو

ڈہرکی: پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا ہے کہ جمہوریت رہنی ہے تو اس کے لئے شیر کی قربانی لازمی ہے، نواز شریف نے پاناما بل پاس نہیں کیا تو سب کو لگ پتہ جائیگا کہ جمہوریت بہترین انتقام کیوں ہے، پاناما پیپرز پر اعتزاز احسن کا بل منظور کرنا ہوگا، یہ بل منظور نہیں ہوا تو کمیشن نہیں چل سکے گا اور اگر کمیشن نہیں
چلا تو آپ کی حکومت بھی نہیں چل سکے گی۔
 بلاول بھٹو نے کہا کہ ہم قومی سلامتی کمیٹی کی تنظیم نو کرنا چاہتے ہیں تاکہ وزیر داخلہ کا احتساب ہوسکے،میاں صاحب کی بدترین حکومتی پالیسی نے قوم کو منتشر کردیا ہے۔
انھوں نے کہا کہ کشمیر میں جاری مظالم پرمیاں صاحب عالمی حمایت سمیٹنے میں ناکام رہے اورپاکستان عالمی سطح پر تنہا ہوتا جا رہا ہے۔
چئیرمین پی پی پی بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا تھا کہ کوئٹہ سب سے زیادہ دہشتگردی کی لپیٹ میں ہے جہاں کے قانون دانوں کو بےدردی سے قتل کیا گیا،دوسری دفعہ پولیس سنٹر پر حملہ کرکے قانون نافذ کرنے والوں کو شہید کیا گیا۔ دہشتگرد ہمارے بھائیوں،بہنوں،مائوں اور بچوں کو شہید کر رہے ہیں لیکن ہمارے حکمران صرف ایک بیان دینے کے بعد خاموشی اختیار کرلیتے ہیں اس حکومت میں قوم کو دہشتگردی کے خلاف اکٹھا کرنے کی اہلیت ہی نہیں ہے بلکہ یہ تو ابھی تک اچھے اور برے کی پالیسی سے باہر نہیں نکل سکی ہے۔
بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا ہے کہ ہماری جدو جہد اسلام کے امن کے پیغام کی ہے،ہماری جدوجہد دہشت گردی کو جڑ سےختم کرنےکی ہے، ہماری جدو جہد غریبوں، بے روزگاروں، عورتوں اور اقلیتوں کیلئے ہے ،میں یہاں آ پ کے ساتھ دیوالی منانا چاہتا تھا،میں یہاں آ پ کے ساتھ دیوالی منانا چاہتا تھا، دیوالی روشنی کی جیت،اندھیرے کی ہارہے،محبت کی جیت نفرت کی ہار ہے، دیوالی امن کی جیت جرم کی ہار ہے۔
انہوں نے کہا کہ میں مودی کو دکھانا اور بتانا چاہتا تھا کہ پاکستان میں مسلمان اورغیر مسلم ہم سب ایک ہیں،یہ ہم سب کا ملک ہے، ہم جناح کے پیرو کار ہیں، ہم پاکستان ہیں،ہم باب الاسلام کے رہنے والے ہیں، ہم لوگوں کو تقسیم نہیں کرتے،ہم امن چاہتےہیں، جمہوریت چاہتےہیں،ہم نسل، زبان اور جنس کی بنیاد پر تفریق نہیں کرتے، یہ ہے جناح کا پاکستان،بھٹو کا پاکستان ۔
بلاول بھٹو نے یہ بھی کہا کہ دہشت گرد ہمارے بچوں، بہنوں، ماؤں اور بہنوں کو مار رہے ہیں، حکومت کیا کر رہی ہے، صرف فوٹو سیشن، صرف مذمت، ایک بیان پھر خاموشی، چند دن کےبعد بھلا دیا جاتا ہے، نہ کوئی انویسٹی گیشن، نہ قوم کو پتہ چلتا ہے کہ اصل دہشت گرد کون تھے۔
انہوں نے یہ بھی کہا کہ دہشت گردوں کے سہولت کار اور فنانسر کون تھے، سب بھلا دیا جاتا ہے،دہشت گردی سے لڑنے کی اس حکومت میں نہ اہلیت ہے نہ نیت ہے، آپ نے خود کہا تھا کہ احتساب آپ سے شروع ہونا چاہیے، آپ کو تو سی پیک تحفے کے طورپر دیا گیا تھا،ملتان میں میٹرو بن رہی ہے مگر راجن پور میں ایک اسپتال تک نہیں، مجھ سے وعدہ کیا تھا لیکن آج تک آپ نے ایک ٹکا بھی تھر پر خرچ نہیں کیا، ایک علاقے کو ترقی دیں گے اور دوسرے پر کام نہیں کریں گے تو وفاق کمزور ہوگا،میں ملک کو بچانا چاہتاہوں۔
انہوں نے کہا کہ میں مودی کی سازش ناکام بنانا چاہتا ہوں، آپ کی وجہ سے پاکستان دنیا میں تنہا ہوتا جارہاہے، مودی سازش کررہا ہے لیکن حکومت اور وزیراعظم چپ ہیں،اقوام متحدہ کو بتائیں کہ پنجاب کے کھلے میدان میں دراندازی تو ہو ہی نہیں سکتی،میاں صاحب، مودی کی یاری میں ہمیں نہیں پتہ آپ کو کیا فائدہ ملا، آپ کے اس عمل کے بعد مودی جیسا شخص اسلامی ممالک میں جلسہ بھی کرتا ہے۔
بلاول بھٹو نے کہا کہ کشمیر پر پاکستانی مؤقف کو نقصان پہنچا، یہ سب صرف آپ کی وجہ سے ہورہا ہے،حیرت ہوتی ہے تین مرتبہ منتخب ہونے والے وزیراعظم کو تین سال میں ایک بھی وزیر خارجہ نہیں ملا،ملک قرضوں کے بوجھ تلے دبتا جارہاہے، مہنگائی آسمان سے باتیں کررہی ہے، دہشت گرد نام بدل کر حملے کررہے ہیں، فیڈریشن کو کمزور کیا جارہاہے۔
بلاول نے یہ بھی کہا کہ کسی مسئلے کا سیاس حل نکالنےکی فرصت نہیں، ہر ایک اپنی ضد پر اڑا ہوا ہے،ان کو صرف اور صرف اپنے اقتدار کا لالچ ہے،عوام تو ان کے ایجنڈے کا حصہ ہی نہیں۔
پاناما لیکس کیس کی تحقیقات پر بات کرتے ہوئے بلاول نے کہا کہ یہ چھوٹا موٹا اسکینڈل نہیں بلکہ دنیا کا سب سے بڑا کرپشن اسکینڈل ہے آپ نے خود کہا تھا کہ احتساب آپ سے شروع ہونا چاہیے لیکن حدیبیہ پیپر مل،پیلی ٹیکسی،سستی روٹی،پاناما پیپرز،ماڈل ٹائون کا قتل عام سمیت کوئی بھی اسکینڈل ہو لیکن آپ نے کبھی بھی جواب نہیں دیا لیکن اب آپ کو جواب دینا ہوگا پاناما پیپرز پر آپ کو احتساب بل پاس کرنا پڑے گا ورنہ جوڈیشل کمیشن نہیں چلے گا،اگر جوڈیشل کمیشن نہ چلا تو پھر آپ کی حکومت بھی نہیں چلے گی۔
بلاول بھٹو نے عمران خان پر تنقید کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ چچا عمران اب بہت ہوچکا،آپ روزانہ سٹیج پر کھڑے ہو کر جھوٹے الزام لگاتے ہو، آپ نے میری ماں پر بھی الزامات لگائے تھے۔آپ میرے والد کی تو بات کرتے ہو لیکن ذرا لوگوں کو اپنے باپ اکرام اللہ نیازی کا بھی تعارف کرائو لوگوں کو بتائیں کہ استاد حمید گل اور آپ نے بینظیر بھٹو کے خلاف سازش کرائی تھی چچایہ بھی بتائیں کہ انکل پاشا نے آپ کی کتنی مدد کی تھی۔میری زبان نہ کھلوائیں،اپوزیشن کو ساتھ مل کر کام کرنا ہوگا۔اگر آپ مائنس ون کا مطالبہ کریں گے تو میں بھی مائنس ون کا مطالبہ کروں گا اور پھر تحریک انصاف کا سربراہ شیخ رشید ہوگا لیکن وہ آپ سے بہتر کام کرے گا۔
انہوں نے کہا کہ یہ سب اقتدار کے لالچ میں اندھے ہوچکے ہیں میں اس اقتدار کی اندھی لڑائی میں نہیں پڑنا چاہتا کیونکہ سیاستدانوں کا کام ملک کو بحرانوں سے نکالنا ہوتا ہے اس لیے پیپلز پارٹی نے چار مطالبات کیے۔میاں صاحب ہمارے چار مطالبات مان لیں ورنہ جو بھی نقصان ہوگا وہ آپ کا ہی ہوگا۔آپ کی ضد نے ملک کو اس حال میں پہنچایا ہے جمہوریت کو 
بچانے کیلئے شیر کی قربانی دینا ہی ہوگی اگر نواز شریف نے پاناما بل پاس نہ کیا تو سب کو لگ پتا جائے گاکہ جمہوریت 
بہترین انتقام کیوں ہے

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