Friday, February 9, 2018

#PashtunLongMarch - #Pakistan - Da Pukhtunistan Dey

#PashtunLongMarch - #Pakistan - Pashtun Long March wake-up call against fundamentalism

 Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday came out in support of Pashtun Long March, which is being organised in northwestern Pakistan against authorities who carry out abuses against the ethnic tribe.
"I fully support the historical #PashtunLongMarch in Pakistan. The main purpose of which is to mobilise citizens against fundamentalism and terrorism in the region," Ghani said in a tweet.
Pashtun Long March is a protest movement led by young Pashtuns from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where they have long been the targets of military operations, internal displacement, ethnic stereotyping and abductions by the security forces.
He said the historical importance of the march traced back to the great proponent of Bacha Khan, whose philosophy was based on the non-violent ideology.
Ghani said the march was a positive initiation against fundamentalism that morally bound each and everyone to support Pashtuns.
The President also called on the media to impartially fulfill their duties and help the tribe in voicing their grievances, demands and presenting their true image to the world.
"I hope Pashtun Long March succeeds in uprooting and eradicating terrorism from their region," he said.(ANI)

#JusticeForPashtun - #Pakistan - #Pashtun anger

Pashtun tribesmen have directed their anger at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa authorities. This stems from what they see as the latter’s inaction over the recent killing of a university student by a pro-government militant, in Dera Ismail Khan. The angry tribesmen now stand threatened with the full force of the law. Admittedly, they stormed the latter’s offices, setting on fire two compounds as well as several vehicles. This naturally raises important questions about what is worth more: the lives of young Pashtun men or government property?
That many tribesmen rushed to the area from across the South Waziristan border in the immediate aftermath of Idrees Wazir being gunned down should not go unnoticed by the local government or, indeed, the Centre. For it — like the long march on Islamabad to decry the extra-judicial killing of yet another young Pashtun man in a fake police encounter — sends a long overdue message. And it is one that says the lives of those from this community are not expendable.
Yet sadly, this is how the state apparatus has treated the Pashtuns. Ever since South and North Waziristan found themselves on the very frontline of the GWOT. Indeed, the first ever US drone strike back in 2004 hit South Waziristan; taking out one Nek Muhammad who had been described as a pro-Afghan Taliban tribesman. South Waziristan was also home to the late Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud. Thus the Pashtuns of FATA have been under both militant and military fire. The latter includes allegations of controversial landmines having been planted in South Waziristan by the security forces. Indeed, the clearing of these is one of the demands of the #LongPashtunMarch sit-in.
If only it were that easy, though. Meaning that it is difficult to discern whether the militants or the state were responsible for these landmines. To local residents, however, it matters not who planted them — the point is that it is up to the Army to secure their removal. Especially as the latter has waged nine operations in South Waziristan since 2002. And then there is Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad that covers the entire country. But more than anything, locals resent the fact that they returned to the area only after the military had declared it safe. Even worse, they say, when a soldier is injured in a landmine blast locals are punished. One particular investigation has disclosed that during the height of confrontation with the Taliban back in 2010, mines may have been planted across certain areas as a so-called emergency defensive measure.
It is time that the state apparatus treated the tribal populace as part of the citizenry; according them their full rights, not to mention dignity. If it doesn’t, it risks losing whatever moral high-ground it currently holds over India and its forces’ gross human rights abuses in -held Kashmir.  *

#JusticeForPashtun - #Pakistan - #Pashtun protest

By - Afrasiab Khattak

More than a week of peaceful protest by thousands of Pashtun activists ( mostly from Waziristan and FATA) in front of Islamabad Press Club may or may not succeed in forcing the government to accept their reasonable demands but it has definitely redefined Pashtun political discourse in Pakistan. The contradiction between ever growing socio political awareness brought by urbanisation and the utter political disempowerment is the main factor behind the current protest . This non violent political uprising, manifesting impressive energy in Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan and Islamabad, has given voice to the voiceless. It is basically a protest against war and colonial type subjugation in Federally Administered Tribal Area ( FATA). It isn’t surprising that the nucleus of the protest has originated from Masood tribe ( pronounced Maseed in the local Pashto dialect) of South Waziristan political agency. Masoods have faced death and destruction on a large scale in the so called war on terror. They have literally been in the eye of storm. After the collapse of Taliban control over Afghanistan in December 2001, Taliban and Alqaida turned Waziristan, a backward and isolated tribal region adjacent to Paktia, Khost and Paktika provinces of Afghanistan, into their main base for regrouping and launching a new war in Afghanistan with tacit support of Pakistani state. In 2003, Taliban Shura ( Council) formally established the ‘ Emirate of Waziristan ‘ with Jalaluddin Haqqani as its Amir ( Leader). The unemployed youth in both South and North Waziristan flocked into the ranks of Taliban. Unlike Wazirs who have natural resources like forest and fertile land of Wana valley, Masoods mostly live on remittances from Middle East and employment in Karachi and other big cities in Pakistan. In December,2007 Taliban decided to create Tahreek-Taliban Pakistan ( TTP) for division of work and efficiency, Masood dominated the leadership of the new outfit. Bait Ullah Masood. Hakimullah Masood, Waliurahman and some other top leaders of TTP belonged to Masood tribe. Waziristan has witnessed several military operations in the last few years, leading to displacement on wide scale. Majority of Masoods, like many other tribal Pashtuns, have lived as IDPs for more than a decade.
The brutalisation and state oppression isn’t confined to Waziristan and other parts of FATA. FATA Pashtuns have been the main target of military and police operations in Karachi also. The present protest was triggered by the murder of of Naqibullah Masood, a young man from Waziristan based in Karachi. Naqib was killed in a fake encounter with police led by Rao Anwar, a police officer notorious for his “ expertise “ of fake encounters. But the narrative that has emerged from the speeches in the sit-in over the last one week is the expression of cumulative alienation of Pashtuns created by state violence, oppression and humiliation. FATA is devastated by the war brought to the area by the misguided Afghan policy of Pakistani state. Pashtuns belonging to FATA remain excluded from modern state systems and full fledged citizenship under an administrative structure devised by colonial rule. Every government in Pakistan has repeatedly backed out on promises to introduce reforms in the area mainly for two reasons. One, FATA has been used as a launching pad for Taliban’s war in Afghanistan and under this Afghan policy it’s the strategic need of Pakistani state to keep it a no go area and a black hole. Two, The huge black economy of the area is milked by Pakistani bureaucratic elites along with local war lords. This powerful vested interest in the status quo effectively blocks all the efforts for reforms. After the large scale deployment of Pakistan army since 2002 and the protracted military conflict has worsened the situation. Four out of the five demands of the Pashtun protest are about military’s control. They include cleaning of the area from land mines and IEDs, bringing an end to enforced disappearances after arbitrary raids on their homes and also stopping the imposition of prolonged curfews in the area. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told a delegation of the protesters that he will make sure the arrest and trail of Rao Anwar, the police officer responsible for the murder of Naqib Masood. The Prime Minister made no commitment about demands related with Military’s actions but he promised to persuade the GHQ to meet the representatives of the protesting Pashtuns.
It is for the first time in history that a movement that isn’t initiated by any nationalist political party has consistently embraced Pashtun identity. The need for unity required rising above tribal divisions. The mainly spontaneous movement that’s largely blacked out by Pakistan’s Urdu language electronic media, has attracted huge sympathy and support from all sections of Pashtuns not just from within Pakistan but also from Afghanistan and Pashtun diaspora based in UK, US, Canada and many other countries. The anti war narrative of the Pashtun protest in Islamabad has widely resonated with Afghans who are sick of brutality and devastations of war. Pakistani state is nervous and clueless at the outpouring of solidarity and support from wider sectarians of Pashtun society. The Pakhtunkhwa based political parties, that took their time to overcome their initial inhibition, were ultimately forced to join the protest and declare their support for it. Interestingly this protest has become a shoulder for the tears of all Pashtuns aggrieved by state policies and they also include Pashtuns from settled areas. Many people couldn’t hold their tears when Fazal Khan Advocate, whose child was killed in the terrorist attack at Army Public School Peshawar in 2014, narrated the agony and disappointment of his family. Families from Swat raised the issue of enforced disappearances in their areas. Many of the few thousands people caught during military operation remain incarcerated in the so called internment centres. Some have dubbed these centres as Pakistani version of the Guntanamo Bay. Out of the fear of being labeled as “ anti-state” most of the political parties are hesitant to raise such issues on their platforms. Pent up feelings on such “ taboo” subjects have defined the present subject. The active participation of women activists has given a new colour to the protest of tribal Pashtuns who are otherwise dominated by patriarchal traditions. Songs, poetry and slogans recited and raised in the protest are creating an interesting new body of Pashto literature. Pashtun social media activists are using the full potential of the new media for promoting their cause. It’s in this context that some people have called the protest a Pashtun Spring.
Be that as it may, the most positive characteristic of this uprising is its total non violent and civil nature. Instead of going up to their mountains for launching their traditional armed uprisings, people of FATA have learnt to converge on big cities for peaceful political protest . But they have a long way to go for achieving peace and political empowerment. The writer is a retired Senator and an analyst of regional affairs.
The brutalisation and state oppression isn’t confined to Waziristan and other parts of FATA. FATA Pashtuns have been the main target of military and police operations in Karachi also.

Pakistan - Valentine’s Ban


It is that time of year again; fragrant red roses at street corners. Vendors stocking up on gift boxes, chocolates and sentimental cards. Children cutting out crepe paper hearts for their loved ones. People celebrating the idea of love as opposed to divisive ideologies. And of course the affronted hordes of conservatives, policing all those who dare to partake in this day of profanity and turpitude… with a little help from PEMRA.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Wednesday issued an advisory directing local media to “desist from promoting Valentine’s Day” as per an order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that was issued last year on a petition by an incensed citizen who deemed Valentines Day un-Islamic.
What needs to be highlighted in this instance of offended morality, a routine state in our society, is the inflammatory role of the state and judicial institutions. The IHC last year set a precedent for moral policing based on the personal definition of morality for one individual. Rather than focusing on eradicating social ills like hate speech and bigotry, the IHC, PEMRA and the government apparatus have exacerbated dogmatism by condoning such enforced morality.
There is need for deliberation on how an event as innocuous as Valentines can behoove government and judiciary alike to take such a tyrannical approach. Recent censorship bans by PEMRA like those on contraceptive advertisements, filtering websites over blasphemous content and serving notices to tv shows that tackle controversial yet pressing social issues like abuse, all point to the regulatory body’s assuming a more hegemonic and sanctimonious role in dispensing censorship.
Such censorship exonerates the proponents of violence and radicalism that ultimately anoint themselves as the harbingers of moral conduct. Attesting to such violence is the harrowing testament of Saad Aziz, convicted for the murder of social activist Sabeen Mahmud, citing her activism around Valentine’s Day as one of the reasons she was targeted. Even more so disheartening is that PEMRAs ban comes in the wake of the verdict of Mashal Khans murder, lending legitimacy to the misguided ethos of oppression purported by the supporters of his attackers.

Is trade between Pakistan and Israel possible?

In the past few decades, Israel has stepped forward to establish relations with countries across Asia in a series of revolutionary diplomatic initiatives.

Back when Israel came into being in 1948, then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was hesitant about recognizing the country. In contrast to this, today the relationship between the two countries is like a marriage made in heaven.
Praiseworthy eco-political syncretism has surfaced between Tel Aviv and Delhi, after Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to India to kick start their innovation and technological ties to promote mutual interest for good relations. These relations are predominantly the outcome of converging interests: both Israel and India are combating enemies confederated with radical Islam, both have grievances against Muslim neighbours, and both are emerging democracies that carved their independence a few months apart from the same British colonial rule. Furthermore, a symbiotic union has developed — India’s free markets and multifarious needs are irresistible to Israeli enterprises keen to set up their franchises abroad. India now endues Israel to dispense many of the technologies it needs to cater to its vast population.
Relations between the two countries weren’t always so smooth. Even though India was never an anti-Semitic society, it took the country years to get over its aversion to Israel. Diplomatic ties between India and Israel were acknowledged narrowly two decades ago but that decision has paid up for Delhi. Trade between India and Israel approximates to $4.3 billion annually, excluding defence procurements, which merely surged 117 percent, from $276 million in 2015 to $599 million in 2016, and more importantly, Israel has given India many gifts in the areas of technology, agriculture, and medicine. New Delhi’s tech relationship with Tel Aviv hasn’t gone unobserved and perhaps surprisingly, one country that has observed it and may imitate the relationship in the future is Pakistan.
The Jewish community around the world can help Pakistan to elevate its image as an emerging friendly nation
In the past few decades, Israel has stepped forward to establish relations with countries across Asia in a series of revolutionary diplomatic initiatives. As Asia has emerged economically, Israel has established business ties with almost every state in the region. The statistics already show that Israel’s eastwards exports could soon start competing with those of the United States.
At present, Israel has a robust relationship with both India and China. As China has begun to loosen state control over some areas of the economy, Israeli companies have paved their way to grab some good opportunities there. Despite China’s deregulation, the government still has its fingers dipped in infrastructure, heavy industry, and agriculture. Thus, Beijing is now realizing how China can get maximum benefit from Israeli technology and has embraced business from Israel with zeal. Beijing is now on board with a vast range of projects in various different fields.
On the other hand, India has a long history of democracy. Their agriculturists and business people have always been at liberty to engage in business with Israel at their leisure. Over the years however, disinclination has been evident in India to acknowledge Israel as a state. This could be because of India’s strong bond with Arab countries. Not too long ago, the Arab world made sure that it didn’t trade with anyone who also traded with Israeli enterprises. The fact that India has extensive territory and an occasionally restive Muslim minority also tempered the will to advance relations with the Jewish state.
India, although, has also begun to adopt Israeli technology in the fields from diamonds to information technology to defence system to agriculture, despite diplomatic correspondence with Jerusalem are usually still a bit rigid. Indian deputations are now prominent in nearly every international high-tech display held in Israel.
International tech exhibitions have provided a good chance to Israeli and Indian tech executives to convene at the Israel-India Technology Forum, to explore new technologies that would be suitable for the Indian consumer and market. Among the attendees are the officials of some of India’s biggest enterprises, such as Infosys, a giant consulting company with yearly revenues of almost $7 billion.
Many Indian executives have shown keen interest in Israeli technologies in the fields of Information and technology, more specifically such as Information security, internet, cloud computing,  cellular telephone applications and computerized solutions for organizations as well as enhancing cooperation with Israeli companies.
These ventures could be beneficial and have a multifarious function, which can easily apply to a host of fields, including technologies, agriculture, water and medical technologies, environmental technologies, and so on. It’s that recognition — the cognizance that Israel’s technology can help India’s almost one billion people live better lives — that has helped Indian business people and high government officials leave behind their former reluctance to incorporate business deals with Israel.
The cost versus benefit analysis that made India conquer its historic Israel-aversion is now being embraced, at least to some extent, by Pakistan. In recent months, countless articles and statements by Pakistani pundit and scholars — and even political figures — have depicted a courageous attempt by appearing on mainstream Pakistani talk shows to voice support for Islamabad to follow New Delhi’s example.
Pakistanis endorsing better relation, put forward their stance that Israel can help the country, not only with computer science, agriculture, electronics, medicine, solar energy and more, but more importantly, with its international relations. “The Jewish community all around the world can help Pakistan to elevate its image as an emerging friendly nation,” said an advocate of opening ties with Israel.
Certainly, part of the motivation seems to come from the desire to surpass our hostile neighbour, or at least a desire to imitate India’s economic advancement and join the league of advanced nations. “It’s time to confront it,” says the founder of a Pakistan’s policy think tank. “We need a Pakistan with a secure and better future in the coming world and moreover need to have strong bonds internationally. No doubt, India is grabbing it all, whether it’s Israel, Russia, United States and even our good friend China. It’s time for us to broaden our horizon and be vigilant for what is in the best interest of Pakistan.”



Could Pakistan mimic the ties India has with both Israel and the Palestinians?

After rolling out a royal welcome for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in India last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go to Ramallah on Saturday, leaving some in Pakistan – India’s archrival – asking whether a formula of maintaining constructive ties with both sides is something Pakistan should adopt.

While Pakistan has strong ties with the Palestinians, it has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

The two countries flirted between 2004 and 2005 when Gen. Pervez Musharraf was president.

But that flirtation, which peaked with a public meeting of both country’s foreign ministers in Turkey in 2005, petered out because of considerable domestic problems inside Pakistan and Musharraf’s resignation in 2008.

India’s formula is not overly complicated: Historic ties with the Palestinians does not mean that there must be no relationship with Israel, and good ties with Israel does not mean cutting off the Palestinians.

This policy will be on full display on Saturday when Modi starts a three-stop visit in the region – the Palestinian Authority, Oman and the United Arab Emirates – by going to Ramallah for a few hours. This will be what the Indians call a stand-alone visit, with the Indian president going only to Ramallah and not coming to Israel. In July, Modi came to Israel for a three-day visit without going to the PA.
In an op-ed this week in Pakistan’s The Daily Times, columnist Mohsin Saleem Ullah, who is a student at the International Islamic University in Islamabad, wrote – under the headline “Is trade between Pakistan and Israel possible? – that “praiseworthy eco-political syncretism” has developed Israel and India.

“These relations are predominantly the outcome of converging interests,” he wrote, adding that “a symbiotic union has developed – India’s free markets and multifarious needs are irresistible to Israeli enterprises keen to set up their franchises abroad.

India now endues [sic] Israel to dispense many of the technologies it needs to cater to its vast population.”

According to Ullah, “New Delhi’s tech relationship with Tel Aviv hasn’t gone unobserved and perhaps surprisingly, one country that has observed it and may imitate the relationship in the future is Pakistan.”

Ullah wrote that India’s government and business leaders ditched their previous reluctance to deal with Israel when they realized that Israel’s technology can help India’s people live better lives.

“The cost versus benefit analysis that made India conquer its historic Israel-aversion is now being embraced, at least to some extent, by Pakistan,” he wrote.
“In recent months, countless articles and statements by Pakistani pundits and scholars – and even political figures – have depicted a courageous attempt by appearing on mainstream Pakistani talk shows to voice support for Islamabad to follow New Delhi’s example.”

Ullah said Pakistanis endorsing better ties argue that Israel can help their country not only with technology but also with its international relations.

“The Jewish community all around the world can help Pakistan to elevate its image as an emerging friendly nation,” he wrote, quoting an “advocate for opening ties with Israel.”

Another opinion piece in the same paper in late January by columnist Muhammad Tahir Iqbal said while India pursues ties based on “foreign policy pragmatism,” Pakistan’s policy is “often determined by religio- political and ideological” sentiments. “Pakistan has always been inimical to Israel in open support to Palestine at every forum.”

But Pakistan has what to learn from India’s pragmatism, he wrote, quoting Britain’s 19th-century prime minister Henry John Temple: There are “no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies. Interests are eternal and perpetual.”

And Kamran Yousaf, a defense and diplomatic correspondent for the Express Tribune, another major English Pakistani daily, wrote on January 29: “No matter how we perceive Israel, the fact is it is very smart and has a robust foreign policy. After all, diplomacy is the art of making new friends and avoiding confrontation with countries with which you don’t have the best of relations.”

“Should Pakistan revisit its decades-old policy towards Israel then?” he asked. “Pakistan’s Israel policy historically has been driven by the position taken by the larger Muslim world against the Jewish state. But as a matter of fact proponents of that policy have now themselves embraced the change. Saudi Arabia is the prime example. It is an open secret that Saudi Arabia and Israel have been talking to each other for many years now to at least maintain some contacts if not establishing full diplomatic relations.”

Pakistan does not necessarily “need to compromise on its principled stance on the Palestinian issue or recognize Israel,” he wrote. “But Islamabad can at least explore the possibility of maintaining a working relationship with Israel to protect its strategic interests.”

Like Ullah, he also cited the “Jewish lobby” as a reason for considering a change of policy.

“Opening channels of communication with Israel can give a whole new perspective to Pakistan- US ties given the influence of the Jewish lobby in Washington, DC,” he wrote.

Despite voices such as those appearing in the Pakistani media, a spokesman in the Foreign Ministry said he does not know of any new developments regarding the possibility of a change in ties with Pakistan.

Pakistan: Blasphemy and the Mashal Khan verdict


Last April, Mashal Khan was lynched by dozens of fellow university students.
The mob was spurred by rumours that the journalism student had somehow insulted Islam. Khan was stripped naked, beaten, shot and thrown out of the second-floor window of his Abdul Wali Khan University dormitory in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
He was 23 years old.
Dozens of people were arrested after the incident, and on Wednesday, a court sentenced one man to death and five to life in prison. Another 25 men were given three-year prison sentences, and 26 others were let go.
An estimated 200 people were thought to be a part of the mob that attacked Khan.
A day after the ruling, Khan's mother said the verdict did not reflect the gravity of the crime, nor did it go far enough to make up for the pain and suffering felt by her and her family.
"Each of his bones was broken, and he was badly humiliated," Syeda Gulzar Begum told Al Jazeera.
Gulzar said she is determined to keep fighting for justice for her son's brutal killing.
"He was not someone else's blood, that's why they can't feel the pain - I was his mother, and I feel the pain. [It is] the worst situation my family and I have ever faced," she said.

Final resting places 

But even in death - and despite a police investigation that found no evidence Khan had ever violated Pakistan's blasphemy code - her son is not safe.
Khan was buried in a publicly accessible cemetery, where he lies under police protection due to threats from religious hardliners who have said they want to dig him up and burn his remains.
In Pakistan, this is a common threat made against people accused of blasphemy or other religious infractions.
Khan was laid to rest in a dusty family plot, next to a tobacco field near his childhood home.
His loved ones have been fundraising to build a school in his name.
Albeit humble, Khan's final resting place has become a landmark in the community, as people come to pay their respects.
But he was buried before police cleared his name, and almost no one attended his funeral.
In this way, Khan's story stands in sharp contrast to a shrine that was built in the capital, Islamabad, to honour Mumtaz Qadri.
In 2011, Qadri, a policeman, shot dead the sitting governor of Punjab province, whom he accused of blasphemy.
Qadri was hanged in 2016. His funeral was attended by tens of thousands, and many see him as a hero - a reality that illustrates the widespread public support that Pakistan's blasphemy laws still enjoy.

Open wounds

Khan's journalism professor and mentor said the country's rules on blasphemy are an open wound that no one seems capable of healing.
"We are reactive, we are emotional, and we believe mostly in knee-jerk reactions," Sheraz Paracha said.
Young people are also not taught "to be tolerant towards people of other races, towards people of other faiths, towards people of other origins", Paracha added.
"The thinking for the past 40 years [in Pakistan] has been one dimensional, polarised; it's an us-versus-them kind of mentality. No us."
Pakistan is a different society, an ultra-conservative society where people consider religion as a part of life
Human rights groups say the country's blasphemy laws are from a bygone era and too easily misused to settle personal scores.
There are strong arguments to abolish or at least reform the laws, Paracha said. The law is not the only problem, however.
"The government should ensure that no law should be misused to target a community ... and the law should be enforced fairly," he said.
While most of the leaders Al Jazeera spoke to said they were in favour of keeping it on the books, they also acknowledged that it was being misused.
But fear of being at the receiving end of the kind of mob justice that killed Khan - and has targeted others before him - makes it nearly impossible for those in positions of power to even begin discussing reforms to the blasphemy law.
Police response 
In the aftermath of Khan's murder, some accused the police of not responding quickly enough. Others went further and accused officers of facilitating the attack.
However, a police official told Al Jazeera that police are reassessing their approach to blasphemy cases.
"Committing blasphemy or not is a separate issue," said Mian Saeed, Mardan's police chief.
"The main thing is whether we will allow people to take law into their hands and kill any person for committing any kind of a crime, so my answer is no.
"We will not allow anyone to take law into their hands and kill anyone."
Saeed defended the law, however, saying that it helps prevent social anarchy.
The idea that governments must control what people say about Islam is a common argument used to defend the blasphemy law.
But privately, many people also admit the laws do not live up to the spirit of Islam.
"No sane person, no law-abiding person, no person believing in humanity, no person believing in any religion [would do something like this]," Paracha said, referring to Khan's death.
"We are followers of Prophet Muhammad, who was in his life accused, hit, targeted by his enemies. He never did this to his enemies, so how could we?"

Khan family memories

Khan's family, meanwhile, has left his room untouched.
It looks exactly the way it did on the day he left home for the last time: Pictures of Khan and his friends hang on the wall next to academic medals and trophies, some of which are captioned with inspirational sayings.
"Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone," one reads. "No racism," another says.
To his loved ones, these are reminders of the kind of man he was.
"He was a humanist and was only standing up to corruption in his school, and he was accused of blasphemy," said Khan's sister, Storiya Iqbal.
In its investigation, Pakistani police said university officials - whom Khan had publicly criticised for corruption and incompetence - conspired to make false allegations against him and rallied the mob that killed him.
"I would tell the government to diminish these laws. Because if we will not abolish these rules and these laws from [their] roots, I think that more and more Mashals will be killed in this world," Iqbal said.
In the Khan family home, there is both grief and anger.
"My message to the world is that my son didn't make any mistake and there was no proof against him," Khan's mother said.
"So, without proof, why did he suffer this way in Pakistan?
"I just have my voice … My child died with so much cruelty, and I can't even imagine that in Islam, [there could be] so much cruelty against a child. This is not in accordance with Islam."

Pakistan, not US, suffered the most in anti-terror war: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said terrorism adversely impacted Pakistan more than the United States. 

In a strong worded response to the query by David Asman in a news program of an American TV, Bilawal said terrorists killed thousands of Pakistanis in several terrorist incidents, adding it is Pakistanis who suffered massive losses more than that suffered by the Americans.

Pakistan has surmounted the menace of terrorism by 75 percent, Bilawal said adding, “In Afghanistan, 75 percent of the provinces, and 45 percent of the country is not in control of Afghan government.”

The PPP’s young chairman raised the question as to how Pakistan alone could be expected to curb terrorism if NATO forces, the allied forces and the Afghan government have failed to defeat the terrorism.

Pakistan seeks eradication of terrorism from its own soil and Afghanistan, he underscored.

US drone strike kills 3 Haqqani rebels in Pakistan

Three suspected militants have been killed in a US drone strike at a compound close to the Durand Line in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency, a media report said on Friday.
According to local officials, two missiles were fired at the compound in the Gorwek area across the border near Zero Point, Dawn reported.
Names of the deceased could not be ascertained but local sources claimed that both belonged to the Haqqani network.
Drone strikes in the region have surged in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new Afghan policy in which Pakistan was accused of harbouring terrorists and offering “safe havens to the agents of chaos”.
On Jan 17, two suspected militants were killed and another was injured when US drones fired missiles at some locations on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border in Kurram Agency’s Badshah Kot area.