Friday, December 16, 2016

Video Report - Russia broker nationwide ceasefire in Syria

Video Report - See how Russian hackers breached system

Video - Obama calls for doctor after woman falls ill

US wants drone back from China

Video - President Obama Holds a Press Conference

#Pashto Song - #APSSchoolAttack - Mung Hisab Ghwaro

#Pakistan - Persecution of the Ahmedi Muslims - ''The Mob Wins''

The crazed mob that attacked an Ahmedi mosque in a village close to Chakwal has gotten what it wanted. While the police, Rangers and FC personnel guard some of the families, and 32 have been in arrested in connection to the attack (the mob numbered in the thousands), families from the Ahmedi community have already started leaving the village, for fear of further attacks against them.
This should not come as a surprise. The persecution of the Ahmedi community has often led to them having to leave their homes and possessions behind in a bid to save themselves from potential attacks such as this. And no one can blame them – when the state fails, one must do something on their own. Sadly, leaving is the only option the minorities often have and it’s not an easy thing to do.
And while the law enforcement agencies have awoken from their slumber – arrests are being made (more need to be made and faster, though), security is being provided and investigations are being carried out – this is exactly why preventing an incident is more important than reacting to it. If the police had stepped in and prevented the attack from taking place, the Ahmedi community would have greater confidence in their abilities and would not be leaving everything that they love behind, which is incidentally, exactly what the mob wanted.
And that means that the police fails on two counts; not only did it fail to protect the community, but also that the community will no longer trust the law enforcement agencies with their lives or property ever again. A state’s prime responsibility is to look after the security of all of its citizens, and not just the majority – a majority that single-mindedly attacked an entire community to take over their mosque. Sunni supremacists are used to getting their way through use of force. If the government is even the least bit interested in ensuring that this country is for all Pakistanis, and not just one for the most violent elements of a certain sect, then we must collectively stop letting our minorities down.

More powerful than prime minister? Pakistan appoints new spy chief

Shamil Shams

Pakistan has appointed Naveed Mukhtar as the Inter-Services Intelligence chief. The agency's main job is to deal with external security threats, but experts say the ISI is also deeply involved in domestic politics.

Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar, who succeeds General Rizwan Akhtar as the military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general, was last based in the southern city of Karachi as the corps commander. He also served as the head of the ISI's counter-terrorism wing. Mukhtar also commanded Pakistani troops in the restive South Waziristan region near the Afghan border.
Constitutionally, the ISI is responsible for dealing with external security threats, but pro-democracy activists say that in practice the organization has been deeply involved in the country's domestic politics.
The new ISI chief was appointed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the advice of the army chief General Qamar Bajwa. However, civilian premiers have very little say in matters related to security, defense and foreign policy. Hence, the announcement of Akhtar's promotion on Sunday, December 12, didn't come from the ministry of defense or the prime minister secretariat but through the military's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) department.
It is the second big appointment by PM Sharif in the past two weeks. Last month, the premier appointed General Qamar Bajwa as the country's new army chief. Bajwa succeeded General Raheel Sharif, under whose tenure experts say the military dominated almost all spheres of government.
"I don't think the new ISI chief will be any different from his predecessor. Naveed Mukhtar will carry the orders of his chief, General Qamar Bajwa. But the difference in the personalities of the outgoing ISI head and the incoming chief might make a slight difference," Zaman Khan, a Lahore-based columnist and a senior member of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, told DW.
A powerful position
The director general of the ISI - once called "the state within the state" by former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani - is considered the most powerful person in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation after the military chief.
"ISI's powers have increased manifold in the past decades. It has become so powerful that it will take a long time and enormous efforts by the civilian government to minimize it as per constitutional requirements. But the history tells us that the ISI has been stronger than the civilian government in Pakistan," Khan underlined.
However, some analysts believe that PM Sharif can bring the ISI under the civilian control. "It can be done, but we must not forget that Sharif's political career was nurtured by the ISI," Saleem Asmi, former editor of Pakistan Dawn newspaper, told DW.
Islamabad-based civil society activist Tahira Abdullah told DW that it would not be easy to control the military's spy agency, but that civilian leaders should keep making efforts regardless. "The civilian leadership should try to take control of the security and foreign policy affairs. At least, on matters like anti-terrorism and relations with India and Afghanistan, the civilian and military leaders should work together," Abdullah said.
A document released last year by the International Crisis Group (ICG) also advised Prime Minister Sharif to take matters into his own hands and democratize the country's anti-terrorism strategy "in order to replace an overly militarized response with a revamped, intelligence-guided counterterrorism strategy, led by civilian law enforcement agencies, particularly the police."
Consolidation of democracy
Outgoing ISI head Rizwan Akhtar has been transferred to the National Defense University in Islamabad. He was a close aide to Pakistan's former army chief, Raheel Sharif. Prior to his ISI job, Akhtar had headed the paramilitary Rangers force in the southern province of Sindh, where he supervised a major operation against criminal gangs and Taliban militants. Human rights activists, however, accused Akhtar's forces of being involved in extra-judicial killings and torture during the operation.
According to Nasir Tufail, a journalist in Karachi, Akhtar's human rights record was dismal. "He was a controversial figure during his tenure as the director of paramilitary forces in Karachi. Many political activists were allegedly kidnapped by government agencies. Qaim Ali Shah, the former chief minister of the southern Sindh province, often complained that Akhtar didn't follow his government's orders," Tufail told DW.
Analysts say that despite the fact that Pakistan's civilian leadership has almost no control over the army and the ISI, it is still a good sign that PM Sharif is gradually asserting his authority. Nawaz Sharif did not succumb to the pressure from the military's supporters to extend the former army chief Raheel Sharif's tenure, and now he has appointed a new ISI chief as per constitutional requirements.
However, experts say the new army chief Bajwa and the incoming ISI head Mukhtar are likely to continue the same policies as their predecessors. They do not expect a policy change with regard to Afghanistan, India and China. Nonetheless, activists say it is a good omen for Pakistan that democracy is flourishing in the country.
Experts also say that the US administration would want to see a stronger civilian leadership in Pakistan which can take domestic and foreign policy matters into its hands and limit the role of military generals in politics. They say the regional and international situation would also favor Sharif if he chose to assert his authority. But the question remains: Will Sharif go for it?
The ISI-CIA ties
The ISI's relations with the US and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have deteriorated since the killing of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a US operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in 2011. Experts say that the US' decision to bypass the ISI and unilaterally go after bin Laden irked the Pakistani military and its intelligence service.
The two agencies worked closely during the Afghan War against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The ISI also collaborated with the CIA in hunting down the Taliban and al Qaeda leaders after the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.
The ties, however, remained difficult throughout the past decade. The US repeatedly accused the Pakistani military and the ISI of backing some factions of the Taliban, a charge Pakistan has always denied.
"It is not possible for the ISI to slavishly cooperate with the CIA as was largely the case in the 1980s," said Farooq Sulehria, a London-based researcher. But Sulehria also points out that the US and the CIA won't give up on the ISI. "The US needs the ISI in tackling the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and beyond. The ISI needs the US support too because it depends on it financially."
The so-called "Islamic State" (IS) terror outfit has also made huge gains in Afghanistan and is increasing its presence in the country. The group has claimed responsibility for a number of terror attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the past few months.
"IS poses a big challenge to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It has to be seen how Pakistan's new military leadership will deal with it," Farhan Hanif Siddiqui, an international relations expert at the Islamabad-based Quaid-e-Azam University, told DW. "But the problem is that the Afghan-Pakistani ties are deteriorating. The Pakistani army has to find a way to work with Kabul," Siddiqui underlined.

د پښتنو پر تعليم ولې بريدونه کيږي

د پېښور پر ارمي پپبلک سکول د وسله والو خونړي بريد دویم تلین په داسې حال کې لمانځل کېږي چې لا هم د ترهګرۍ پېښې دوام لري. اېله یوڅو ورځې مخکې د افغانستان په وردګو کې وسله والو يو زده کونکی په دار وځړولو. بلخوا د خېبر پښتونخوا په بنو کې د يو پروفسر کور وړنګول شو او یو بل بیا وسله والو وتښتولو. د نن په ځوانانو غږ خپرونه کې مو هم پر دې خبرې کړې چې د ديورنډ کرښې دواړو غاړو ته پر پښتنو زده کوونکیو او تعليمی ادارو بريدونو په دغه سيمه کې تعليم ته څومره تاوان رسولی او د پښتنو پر تعليم د دې بريدونو اهداف څه دي؟ په ځوانانو غږ خپرونه کې موږ سره مېلمانه وو د عوامي نېشنل ګوند ځوانانو څانګې مشر محسن داوړ او په کابل کې د تعليمي کمپاين چلونکی مطيع الله ويسا. خپرونه دلته د غږ په ځاي کې اوريدې شئ

د پېېښور ارمي سکول پېښې پر دویم تلین د وړیا تعلیم لپاره #SaluteToAPSmartyrs #Salute_MartyrsOf_16Dec

SAD VIDEO - #RememberingAPS - Story of Gulsher ....13 year old boy - victim of the #APS attack in #Peshawar.

by Anum Chagani

Story of Gulsher by anum-chagani2

#RememberingAPS - Remembering our lost future

Rabia Umaima Ahmed

It is often said, “Small coffins are the heaviest to carry.” But it seems that December has become to most painful month of the year. Every year the memories of 2014 start haunting us.
144 children and staff died on 16 December 2014 but as a nation we lost our future.
Terrorists had ripped the hearts out of people.Pakistan Armed forces, Leadership and the citizens of the country became united against them. Two years down the lane while terrorism has decreased drastically yet we mourn the 2nd Anniversaryof APS Peshawar attack. The Nation asked a number of people for their comments on how the incident changed them as a person and Pakistan.
Aakif Azeem an APS Survivor said, It changed me a lot, made me realize the worth of each and every moment that I live now. For Pakistan, this incident was a game changer as it paved a way that was clear than ever before. It gave Pakistan something to look at, a mirror to reflect!
It made us bear a burden that was never ours to bear at this age. But all of usnow are the game changers for Pakistan, for we know how to make Pakistan, better and safer for the rest!
Shahid Aziz who lost his brother says “16th of every month reminds us of 16/12. To this day my mother is not well, she keeps missing Asad all the time. The government has also not fulfilled its promise.”
"Two years on and we continue to mourn one of the saddest incidents in the history of Pakistan.We hold deep in our hearts all those who lost their precious lives, the parents who had to bury their children and all those whose lives will never ever be the same again. They hit at the heart of the nation; the wound is too deep to heal, but as we continue to fight back we also remind the State that it needs to fulfill its responsibility to safeguard the life and property of every single Pakistani" said Michelle Chaudhry President of The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation.
“It something that I cannot define in words. Everytime I talk about it, it shatters me. It changed our national and personal views regarding war on terror. It has affected me deeply and whatever we do for them would always be less.” Ghalib Khalil (CEO and Cofounder of Azaad Pakistan)
Social Activist Suleman Qamarsaid, “These people are worse than barbarians who did not spare kids. Children are sent to school to study not fight battle. Despite of Zarb e Azb and decrease in terrorist activities they still exist. They need to be eliminated at all cost.
“The uncalled for, untimely, premature demise of so many young flowers of APS Peshawar jolted the nation. Still gives me shudders whenever the scenes of dead students flash before my eyes. It pains me to say that we, as a nation, have not learnt anything from these young martyrs who were in the training phase to hold the joystick of the nation's destiny. Since the APS tragedy, our nation has been further dumped into a deep quagmire of unaccountable and dishonest leaders. I wish and pray that the reigns of Pakistan get into the hands of a leader whose every day would start with a pledge to show to the APS martyrs as to how clean Pakistan is becoming day by day, both monetarily and environmentally. The sacrifices of APS martyrs should not go in vain. Major TalaatKhurshid (Retd), Rawalpindi
The APS martyrs are now with their creator, free from the pain of that terrible day. In the aftermath, a minority of Pakistanis pledged never to forget 16/12, the innocent lives lost, the perpetrators of the attack, and those who contributed support, resources and silence to the cause of terrorism. Revenge is not our answer; we choose to struggle for justice and unity till our society is free from the threat of bigotry and hate, and Pakistan is a beacon of light in this dark world. When our mission is complete, we will hold our head with pride knowing that a strong, peaceful and prosperous Pakistan rose up as a legacy of the sacrifices of that fateful day in Dec, 2016, said Gohar Aftab(Director of CFx Comics)
Dr. Fazle Yousaf and Engineer from Islamabad sais, “APS martyrs wrote a new history by giving their lives while receiving knowledge through formal education that is one of the great virtues that most Muslim unfortunately lack. May Allah Subhanohoo Bless the martyrs with high rewards and a place in JannatulFirdous. Aameen
“The memory lives on.....too painful to revisit frankly and we keep ourselves busy in our trivial day to day affairs to forget the pain. But 16/12 is a sobering reminder that we won’t ever be able to fully come to terms with what happened. Personally I would like to use 16/12 as a day of motivation; to try and do something to help our nation. Any small act helps. Our college is arranging a blood donation drive on 16th December to mark the death anniversary of our APS martyrs. In their memory we strive to help our nation in whatever way we can, in our humble capacity to save some one’s life.” NidaTareen, Principal, School of International Law, Islamabad
16/12 was a heart wrenching incident in our history. Through Mohafizwhich we started right after 16/12, we vowed to make Pakistan safer through its life saving application that allows users to broadcast a life-threatening situation to people they choose as emergency contacts. National security is every person's responsibility. We need to play our role to ensure that our loved ones are safe and sound.People should be aware of technologies such as Mohafiz that helps save lives and provide immediate rescue services to people in need. AmmaraKaziof Mohafiz App.
“Our mosques, churches, markets and educational institutes have always been exposed to terrorism yet we have shown resilience and will always show our strength in future. With every act of terrorism, our spirit becomes stronger than ever before. This tragedy of APS has led us to believe that it's the time to stand with our beloved nation to eradicate the core evil from our society. HarisBhatti Social Activist and a photographer.
Sidra Humayoun from War Against Rape said “After two years of APS attack a studentIrshadHussain passed away yesterday, and our woundswere freshened again. In two years he only heard two songs for his teachers and class fellows. Institutions need to realize that stop interfering in neighbor countries policies and built your nation.
“No doubt, the militants killed our innocent children, but they could not kill our spirit. At the same time it highlighted the grey areas andchallenges to our education system. Disappointing to see that nothing has changed in practice and our children are still not safe.” QamarNaseem (Co-founder of Blue Veins)
“After the attack my tears didn't stop for several days until I came across a video in which the APS attack survivors were asked to smile. Those beautiful smiles from hospital beds gave me hope, my tears didn't really stop but this time they were of happiness and resolve. APS survivors motivate me to be resolute and spent every pint of my sweat and blood for the betterment of this country"AamnaHassan FasihHair to Help NGO.
“For me the APS incident was very, very persona” says Umar Ali a Journalist, “It changed me in many ways –my thinking, my worldview, all changed. APS Peshawar should have been the moment to forgot our ideological differences and focuson the menace of extremism. But unfortunately, it did not happen. Instead, the state presented the slain kids as some sort of brave heroes. Failure of the state to protect the kids was covered by painting a picture of valiance and patriotism
A retired army colonel, NajamulHadi said, “APS incientwas a great loss for the country but it was a turning point in the survival ofPakistan when PakistaniForces launched themselves to cleanse the country from terrorists.Allah bless the innocent souls the brave teachers and staff, specially the Shaheed Principal MrsTahiraazi who manifested great qualities of a typical Pathan Muslim Madar e Watan.” “I vividly remember when I first heard the news. My heart sank and i didn't know how to react. I don't know why people kill each other and that too innocent children? What wrong have they done to anyone? Leaving aside religion, creed and everything which kind of humanity teaches us to butcher. I don't find a single word for this act. May Almighty grant them highest place in jannah.” Said ColonelSafdarTiwana (Retired)
“APS attack proved to be a" turnaround" factor for socio political dynamics of Pakistan. I believe that APS created national resolve against Taliban;still we are in confused state, how to respond against "holy Jihad". Which was indoctrinated for three decades.The tragic incident left me in deep frustration and helplessness.AyubAyubiAnti-Terrorism Activist.
“APS attack was Pakistan's 9/11, with the nation coming out even stronger in building an opinion against the menace of extremism and terrorism. This incident showed that the struggle of over a decade was our own war to preserve our identity and existence, and President Musharraf was proved right. The martyrs of APS can never be forgotten and their sacrifice will be a motivation to eradicate radicalism and terrorism in the name of religion.” Saad Malik Vice President Youth Wing APML Pakistan.
“We were supposed to get better and do better as a society after that dark day. We need to look at our actions in the past two years and ask ourselves that have we done that or have we regressed.” Jibran Nasir, Lawyer and Social Activist “After APS attack incident Isaw fear in the eyes of kids in AaghazSchool for the first time, I had to work hard to counseling and comfortthem through extra security measure but deep inside I can still feel their eyes full of fear even after 2 years. I don't know how to make them overcoming their fear.Syed Fahad,Hair to Help and founder of Aaghaz School.
“There is no humanity left in the world. We need to build a coalition of nations to fight against terrorism.16/12 is a constant reminder we have a long way to go as a nation against this menace.” ImranaTiwana, Social Activist and Environmentalist.
“Even after two years of the attack the families are not told who the culprits were and how did they succeeded in executing it. We send our kids to school to gain education not fight war. Instead of releasing songs ISPR should release facts on what happened.”Gulalai Ismail, Founder of AwareGirls.
“Wish National Action Plan was madesome20 years ago, it may have saved these kids. These songs will not ensure peace we need to take more positive steps.UzmaYaqoob,Forum of Dignity Initiative.
“These terrorists were cowards who could not fight with the men of this country. Earlier we never educated our kids on safety measures in such scenarios, but APS made us realize the importance of it. 16/12 made every kid a soldier.16/12/71 broke us, 16/12/14 made us stand up again to fight against this menace.”Haseeb Khan, Actor

#NeverForgetAPSMartyrs - Pakistan - Remembering the fallen

By Dr Ziauddin

Peshawar was up in flames for around three decades from the beginning of the Afghan war. But it was only on black Tuesday – December 16, 2014 – after the attack on the Army Public School (APS), that the city finally burnt.
A city of flowers witnessed funerals of flowers. Charts bearing information on the funeral timings of innocent children who had been mercilessly killed were put up at each street of the city. The residents of Peshawar all grieved for the victims regardless of whether they were related to these children or not. Relatives of martyred children visited the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Peshawar to collect the bodies of their children and were horrified to see bullet-riddled bodies lined up to be collected.
People were seen crying publicly. It seemed as if there was a funeral in every home. Horrifying stories of the killing of children spread through the city. The parents of the children narrated stories of how their beloved children were killed, reducing listeners to tears.
Although no one asked them to, shopkeepers did not open their shops for several days. Marriage ceremonies were cancelled. People did not know how to handle their grief and feeling of helplessness. Death and destruction was not new for Peshawar but the cold-blooded killing of innocent children of this scale was never witnessed in history.
It is believed that whatever happens in Kabul affects Peshawar. At the beginning of the Afghan war, three decades back, a government school was blown at Ghari Qamar Din near Peshawar, killing hundreds of children. Major blasts included the 2009 Meena Bazaar blast where around 150 people died.
A blast at the All Saints Church at Kohati Gate killed 120 worshipers in 2013. Terrorists have not even spared mosques, prayer gatherings, and funeral prayers.
Dealing with these tragedies became routine for the residents of Peshawar and they continued with their business activities as per usual. But the massacre at the APS broke their backs and a feeling of helplessness and grief affected them deeply.
The residents of Peshawar love their city, almost as a part of their faith. At the time of Partition, Peshawar was overwhelmingly inhabited by peace-loving, Hindko-speaking people called Peshawaris. They wanted to live and die in Peshawar. For any Peshawari, leaving Peshawar and living anywhere else was unthinkable. When they were out of Peshawar, they cried for Peshawar as Jews cried for Jerusalem. Before the partition, a Peshawari went to the Bombay Railway Station and asked a clerk for a ticket for ‘the city’. The clerk asked which city he was referring to and the Peshawari said, “There is only one city in the whole world and that is Peshawar”. Famous films legend Dilip Kumar, who was born in Peshawar, once said: “I wished I [had] not left Peshawar and paid a huge price for leaving”.
Even when new residential schemes, such as Nishterabad, Gulbahar, and Hayatabad were started, most of the Peshawaris did not want to leave the walled city and their way of living. Later on, Pakhtuns also arrived at Peshawar but the Peshawaris’ love for the city is reflected in their songs that praise Peshawar.
Peshawar witnessed many ups and downs in history. The Sikh rule was particularly cruel for the city and people were hanged on minarets of famous Mahabbat Khan Mosque. Peshawar under the British rule prospered and cantonment areas and new gardens were added. The city was also connected with the rest of India by train.
During the British rule, thousands of Peshawari residents sold their properties and migrated to Afghanistan following the unwise appeal of Muhammad Ali Johar of the Khilafat Movement. These people lost everything when they came back to Peshawar. Later, peace prevailed until the beginning of the Afghan war.
The APS tragedy will always be remembered by the residents of Peshawar and will keep reminding people of how innocent children and teachers were killed and the state could not protect them.
At a recent function in Peshawar, Shumaila, mother of Asfand Khan, who died in the massacre, narrated the suffering of the families of martyred children. She mentioned that the parents of martyred children are suffering from fatal diseases, such as cancer, and psychological disorders. It is the duty of the state and the society to take care of these families because they lost their beloved children during the war on terrorism in Pakistan.

Open Letter To Pakistan - Remembering #APS

TURBAT: Two years have passed since the Army Public School Peshawar became the target of one of the deadliest assaults in the history of Pakistan. To date, it remains a mystery as to why the attack was carried out. Today is a day to pay homage to students and teachers who lost their lives, as well as to educationists who have been braving their lives every day since then to educate our children.
Unfortunately, Pakistan is at the top of the terrorism list where terrorist attacks on educational institutions have taken place at an alarming rate. I fail to understand how Zarb-e-Azb can protect schools in Pakistan; many enemy strikes occur around educational institutions which is too close for live warfare. Schools are where educationists are made, as well as future doctors, engineers, police officers and other intellectuals. The cure for terrorism is not through having every common man pick up a gun and fight; rather, it is education that is the cure of all the problems and outcomes of Pakistan. Until our educational institutions remain weak, we will be confronting such terrorist attacks.
Zeeshan Nasir

چئیرمین پی پی پی بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا سانحہ ارمی پبلک اسکول پشاور کے شہید طلبا کو خراج عقیدت

پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے پشاور آرمی اسکول سانحہ میں دو سال قبل دہشتگردوں کے ہاتھوں بے رحمی سے شہید کئے گئے141معصوم
طلباء اور اساتذہ کو زبردست خراج عقیدت پیش کیا ہے، سانحہ اے پی ایس پشاور کی دوسری برسی کے موقع پر اپنے پیغام میں پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ یہ معصوم بچے ہمارے معاشرے کے مستقبل کی امید کی نمائندگی کر رہے تھے لیکن حیوانوں نے ان کو مرجھا کر قوم کی امید کو قتل کردیا، بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ وہ ان معصوم بچوں کے والدین کا دکھ اور دردگہرائی سے سمجھ سکتے ہیں کیونکہ وہ خود دہشتگردی کی اس عفریت کے متاثر ہیں جس نے ان سے ان کی والدہ اور پوری قوم کی امید شہید محترمہ بینظیر بھٹو کو چھین لیا، بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا ان کی پارٹی کا دہشتگردی کے خلاف کسی اچھے یا برے دہشتگرد کی تفریق کے بغیر بالکل واضح موقف ہے، ایک دہشتگرد، دہشتگرد ہے اور دہشتگردی کے مکمل خاتمے کے لیے تمام دہشتگردوں کو ان کے حال یا ماضی کا خیال کیے بغیر ختم کرنا ہوگا،بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے سانحہ اے پی ایس کے شہید بچوں کو خراج عقیدت پیش کرتے ہوئے ان کے والدین کو سلام پیش کیا ہے جنہوں نے اپنے دکھ اور درد کو طاقت میں تبدیل کرکے معاشرے کو پشاور اور لاہور میں ’’ شہداء اے پی ایس ٹراما سینٹرز‘‘ دیے ہیں جہاں پر معصوم شہداء کی یاد میں ایک مقدس مقصد کے طور سب سے زیادہ تکالیف والے افراد کا علاج کیا جائے گا، پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین نے اس عزم کا اعادہ کیا کہ ان کی پارٹی عوام کی حمایت سے دہشتگردی کے خلاف لڑتی رہے گی اور دہشتگردوں کے موت پر آنسو بہانے والوں اور قوم پر دہشتگرد حملوں کے دوران چھپ جانے والوں کو بھی نہیں چھوڑیں گے۔

#PeshawarAttack - Muhaafiz - In he loving memory of APS Angels

#PeshawarAttack - Forgotten Sacrifice

On December 16, Peshawar’s schools and offices will remain closed to commemorate the 2-year anniversary of the the Army Public School (APS) attack that shook the nation. Elsewhere, prayers will be held, and minutes of silences observed.
Beyond that there seems to be very little attention paid to an event that was declared “our 9/11”, that was supposed to be the watershed movement in the war against terror, that forced us to say “we will not forget”, and “never again”.
We only need to remember the nation’s collective rage, sorrow, and resolve in the attack’s aftermath to realise how much of that emotion has been diluted. Every section of the society paid their tributes, and vowed to not let the sacrifice of our children go in vain. The death penalty was immediately reinstated – ignoring the disjointed cautionary views from several quarters – and every political agenda was set aside and all leaders were bought together in a marathon session to formulate the nation’s response.
The result: The National Action Plan (NAP), an extensive, if not much elaborated document that bound the state to act in all manner of fields. It demanded military operations and military courts, revamping the justice system and setting up of a dedicated counter terrorism force, it asked agencies to immediately sever terrorist sources of financing and regulate the sprawling and unchecked madrassa system, going so far as to reform the syllabus taught at these institutes to make their students more compatible in the modern workforce.
This was it, the one event that had united the nation against religious extremism, one event that even the religious parties could not defend. No other government had ever had such a golden chance to end this consistent menace. The PML-N were poised and were making all the right statements.
Two years later, we can see that the ball has been dropped, and the golden opportunity squandered. Regulation of the madrassa networks was abandoned by the PML-N at the first sign of resistance from them, and the syllabus reform didn’t even get started.
In times of need, banned organisations and extremist groups in Punjab were asked to support the government in exchange for freedom to spread their vitriol – we remember the sight of these groups openly bashing NAP in the capital with express permission from the government to do so. Military operations and military courts went ahead, but in Punjab those operations were hindered and halted; to the extent that Masroor Nawaz Jhangvi, son of the founder of the Sipah-i-Sihaba (now the banned ASWJ) was able to contest and win a National Assembly seat.
Some progress has been made, but it is also undeniable that the sacrifice of 132 children, and the resolve of the APS attack, has been forgotten – that too in two short years.

Tragic Memory of the Peshawar School Attack

  • By Sajjad Shaukat
In one of the bloodiest-ever terror attacks in Pakistan, six Taliban militants mercilessly killed at least 141 people, including 132 children and nine staff members of the Army Public School and College in Peshawar, on December 16, 2014. They also burnt a lady teacher alive. After eight hours operation, Pak Army’s commandos cleared the school area, and six militants were killed.
On the same day, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the ghastly act at the Peshawar school.
The tragic loss of the lives of innocent children moved the entire world deeply. Every Pakistani said that shame on these terrorists who considered innocent children as their enemies, and martyred them through brutal tactics.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the then Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif including leaders of various political and religious parties strongly condemned the heinous attack at the Peshawar school. PTI Chief Imran Khan called off the December 18 (2014) countrywide shutdown, and also decided to cooperate with the government against terrorism.
However, after that inhuman gruesome tragedy, question arose as to what measures required to eliminate terrorism from the country.
In this context, the former Army Chief Gen. Raheel accompanied by DG ISI rushed to Kabul on December 17, 2014. Resources suggested that during his meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the ISAF commander, he presented evidence of the Peshawar massacre’s linkage with TTP sanctuaries in Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. He also asked the extradition of the TTP chief of Mullah Fazlluah, and handing over to Pakistan.
In fact, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where external secret agencies, especially Indian RAW are sending logistic support to Baloch separatist elements and TTP insurgents in Pakistan. In the recent years, especially TTP’s militants and its affiliated banned groups conducted many terror-activities in various regions of the country as part of the scheme to create chaotic situation in the country. Hence, RAW also used TTP terrorists in relation to the attack at the Peshawar School.
There arose the need of immediate execution of outstanding cases of death penalty to terrorists. In this respect, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif revoked the ban on capital punishment in terrorism cases. The nation also expected that politicians should show no politics on the blood of innocent children. For the purpose, leaders of all the top political parties including PTI Chief Imran Khan attended a meeting of the parliamentary parties convened by Prime Minister Sharif after the deadly attack at a school in Peshawar. Setting aside his differences, Imran Khan ended PTI’s 126-day sit-in at Islamabad to give a clear message that the whole nation stands united against terrorism. However, all the leaders unanimously decided to form a parliamentary committee to chalk out a “Plan of Action” in seven days which would be approved by the political and military leadership.
In this connection, on January 2, 2015, besides the chiefs of almost all the political parties and military top officials agreed on a draft of legislative measures which paved the way for establishment of special military trial courts. It was unanimously agreed that the 20 points National Action Plan (NAP) enunciated in the All Parties Conference (APC) Resolution of December 24, 2014 was being acted upon—the bill as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment was enforced soon after its approval from the parliament. Special military courts were established and the ruthless terrorists facing death penalty had been hanging.
In this respect, the role of the Armed Forces is appreciating in uprooting the terrorists from their so-called safe havens. But inability and evident reluctance on the part of political leadership remains a major contributing factor affecting the implementation of NAP in its true spirit.
It may be informed that in January 2015, apex committees were formed to expedite the implementation of the National Action Plan. 15 committees and sub-committees were set up; however, no plausible developments were witnessed. Ironically, the inability on the part of government was covered with mere verbal statements in relation to NAP implementation.
Unfortunately, a full-scaled activation of National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) remains in limbo even after seven years of its creation. Lack of allocation of resources for NACTA in the last annual budget, non framing of service rules for the authority etc. make NACTA a real midsummer night dream. Interestingly, NACTA’s budget stands at Rs. 92 million a year of which Rs.63 million goes into the salaries of the staff. What kind of an effective role will be registered by the authority and who may be blamed for such state of affairs?
Debate may be generated over all twenty points of NAP to highlight the progress and performance of the government with respect to its implementation.
Focusing on Madrassa reforms, it may be projected that government has yet to come out with an authentic and final figure about the number of Madrassas, existing in the country. Reforming their syllabus and controlling their finances seems a wishful thinking.
On the performance of judiciary, it may be highlighted that over the past four years, more than 14,115 persons in terrorism-related cases were acquitted and 10,387 were granted bail, only about one hundred hanged.
Since ill-gotten money provides oxygen to the terrorist networks and other mafias working against the interest of the state, it appears that the civilian leaders lack political will to block the supply of illicit money to the terrorist networks, despite the fact that no government can defeat terrorism without plugging the illicit money to the terror networks. In all the provinces, there are strong politicians, government cronies who have become ‘untouchables’ for anti-graft drive. It would be a challenge for the prime minister to allow the state institutions to bring all corrupt to book whether they belong to the ruling party or to the opposition.
It may be highlighted that some federal ministries are taking steps in the right direction, but the pace is quite slow. Interior ministry’s prepared rules and regulations for International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs), local NGOs, policy draft over arms licenses etc. remains non-implemented.
Civil society is raising concerns over the slow pace of implementation and narrow scope of the Plan’s progress. Reportedly, members of NAP-Watch Pakistan, an alliance of over one hundred noted citizens and experts was lgrilled the government in their first annual report to be made public on 24 Dec 2015 report.
Lamentably, the extremist organizations, their sympathizers and supporters are still finding time and opportunities to mischievously target Law Enforcing Agencies and people of Pakistan. Ironically, after TTP, a newer and more formidable menace in shape of ISIS is raising its head in the region. Recent terror attacks by these oufits especially in Balochistan might be cited as example.
In this connection, the nation must press the political leadership to realize the task and fully implement the NAP. To supplement the gains of the military operation Zarb-e-Azb, there is a need to declare 2016-17 as the year of the complete implementation of NAP. Government should be encouraged to end its nap on NAP. The focus should be on NAP and its implementation.
It is regrettable that still some political entities are creating controversy about the National Action Plan which is essential part of Pakistan’s war against terrorism, as it has co-relationship with the military operation Zarb-i-Azb which has broken the backbone of the militants. In order to conceal their corruption, they are criticizing the NAP.
These hostile entities should know that corruption is the essence of terrorism. Therefore, people want that this menace must be eliminated from the country as part of overall war against terrorism.
In this regard, on June 10, 2015, while showing the progress of the Zarb-e-Azb, the then Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif said, “Terrorists have been cleared from their strongholds in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency and fight now is moving into last few pockets close to Afghan border.” He laid emphasis on “continuation of the operations till elimination of the last expected and probable terrorists groups and sanctuaries.” While addressing a ceremony of the golden jubilee celebrations the 1965 war regarding Pakistan’s victory and defeat of India, Gen. Raheel again stated on September 6, this year that the operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched at a time when terrorist networks had solidified in the country, and the Armed Forces had been fighting an untraditional war for the past many years, elaborating, “our success is the result of our martyrs and ghazis—in Karachi and Balochistan, peace has returned, where militants have been surrendering their arms.” He reiterated his resolve to eliminate “abettors, financiers, sympathizers, and facilitators” of terrorists at all costs.
Notably, while heading a meeting of high level apex committee, (Of civil-military high officials) on September 10, 2015 regarding overall progress on implementation of NAP against terrorism, Prime Minister Sharif stated that provincial governments were following its several provisions accordingly, however, attention should be paid to other points as well.
Nevertheless, in order to dismantle the terror-financing networks, elimination of corruption is an important part of Pakistan’s National Action Plan, devised to counter extremism in the country following the Peshawar school massacre of children. Similarly, reforming the religious seminaries is also its key part.
Nonetheless, tragic memory of the Peshawar School Attack will remain fresh in the minds of people, as mass murder of children is a manifestation of the most barbaric face of the Taliban insurgency led by TTP. While taking solid measures, counter-terrorism strategy or the Action Plan must be enacted and implemented completely, without losing more time. And, this different war needs unified front of all the segments of society, which is essential to defeat the ruthless enemy of Pakistan, including their external agents.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

#PeshawarAttack - Commemorating Peshawar tragedy

Peerzada Muzamil 

That was when innocent children fell to bullets and humanity felt ashamed.

It was one of the darkest hours of the human history. It was the hour which broke our hearts, which made the entire world aghast. It was the hour of disgrace which gave a chill to the nerves of humanity. It was the winter of bloodbath. And it all began that morning – morning of that December, the winter of which was less harsh than what it was going to witness; when the kids left their homes for school and never returned. It was the day when children went to acquire the light of knowledge and faded into the eternity of grim darkness; when teachers were giving lessons and received bullets in wage. It all began the morning when a bunch of terrorists, laden with lethal arms, misled by their distorted religious ideologies, committed the terror that claimed lives of the buds which were yet to bloom.  
Around 10:30 in the morning, on the 16th of December, seven heavily armed men in the guise of Pakistani Paramilitary Forces entered the premises of Army Public School in Peshawar. With the aim of inflicting maximum casualties, they opened fire on the innocent children and their teachers in the school auditorium. The incessant firing left over 150 dead among which 132 were students and remaining were the staff members. The spectacle aftermath was heart-rending – the bodies of innocent children lying dead and cold, their notebooks besmeared with innocent blood, the air smelling injustice and echoing the shuddering shrills of bewildered children who were injured. 
Gunmen were killed and some children managed to get evacuated in the joint operation conducted by Pakistani Army and Police. While everybody was mourning over the massacre, TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) claimed the responsibility and termed it as the revenge against the Pakistan Army. Giving a thought to it, the sound conclusion is inevitable – if Pakistani Army launches an operation against the terrorism in order to make peace and security prevail in the state, in order to make churches safe for Christians and Mosques safe for Shia Muslims, in order to make markets safe for public and on and on. The question is why would TTP kill innocent children and justify their vindictive ingression into a school by calling it a righteous vengeance? Had those school children to do anything with this? No. 
This is not Jihad, and certainly not what Islam teaches. This is not what Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) taught. This is outright brutality and the perpetrators of such brutal and outré ferocities are not human beings at all. 
The children, who had left their homes to learn, left this world by inscribing in our hearts the saddest of memories. The Peshawar School Massacre was the massacre of future, hope, knowledge and truth. It was the massacre of spring. It was the massacre of humanity.  Coffins of the children were resting on the people’s shoulders – the children upon whose shoulders their nation was hoping to stand. It was the funeral of despair and those were the smallest of coffins, and someone has rightly said: “Smallest coffins are the Heaviest” May their souls rest in Heavens and may Almighty bestow their Parents an everlasting strength.

“They went to school and never came back” – nation remembers #APS martyrs on second anniversary

The brazen militant attack on Army Public School, Peshawar, in December 2014 brings back haunted memories of the deadliest day that claimed over 150 innocent lives, mostly children, and nation remembers the martyrs in mourning on second anniversary of the attack.
More than 150 lives were lost in the Peshawar school massacre of December 16, 2014, the deadliest extremist attack in Pakistan’s history.
Two year on, those who survived now study in the same rooms where they huddled in terror as their classmates fell around them.
Time has not healed the wounds of the parents who are still in shock over the death of their children whereas the survivors of the heinous attack have not yet forgotten the scenes which unfold before their eyes on the horrible day.
The country united the Pakistani nation and opened a new chapter in the fight against terrorism.
Spot where the attack took place – the auditorium – is now a sports hall and soldiers stand atop recently fortified walls as children play on the green, expansive grounds below.


Last year, on first anniversary of the attack, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and then army chief Raheel Sharif joined opposition leader Imran Khan for a ceremony at the school marking the massacre.
The attack on the Army Public School saw a shift in public opinion on the country’s more than decade long struggle against extremism.
Parents seeking vengeance backed by a shocked and outraged public drove support for a nationwide military-led crackdown.
The army intensified an offensive against militants in tribal areas where they had previously operated with impunity, and the government launched a sweeping plan to tackle extremism, including greater prosecution of hate crimes.
The effort has seen levels of militancy-linked violence fall to their lowest levels since 2007, the year the Pakistani Taliban came into being.


For the families of the 134 pupils and 16 staff members who were killed, the primary concern is that justice is done.
On Dec 2 last year, four men were hanged after they were tried in  military courts for their involvement in the massacre. All four were said to have confessed to facilitating the attack.
Prayer ceremonies and functions will be held across the country on this day whereas candle light vigils will also be organized to remember the victims of the terrorist attack.