Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Pakistan: state terrorism against peaceful protesters

On Sunday 26 May, personnel of the Pakistan Army opened fire on a peaceful protest in the Khar Qamar area in North Waziristan, in which 13 have reportedly been killed so far and at least 30 were injured. Many of the wounded are in a critical condition.
The Pakistani media, both television and print, following the dictates of Pakistani state is reporting this naked brutality in a completely hypocritical way, reflecting the death of so-called freedom of expression. The poisonous Pakistani media is completely fabricating the truth and is claiming that these protestors attacked the army checkpoint and the army opened fire in retaliation. A spokesperson of the Pakistan Army has said as much in a statement, which is being blown up by the prostitutes in the media, and all the protesters are being labelled as traitors and agents of the enemy.
The protesters comprised around 100 people, and were led by elected MPs from the area, including Ali Wazir. They were going to attend a sit-in by local people against abductions in that area. When the protestors approached the sit-in, the road was blocked by the army personnel who tried to stop them. A fierce argument broke out between the army and the protesters, led by the two MPs, after which the protestors were allowed to pass. When they crossed the roadblocks and moved towards the sit-in, live rounds were fired and people started falling on the road. Many videos of this brutality are circulating on social media at the moment but no government authority or media source is paying attention to them. Ali Wazir was immediately arrested while he was trying to rescue an injured person and turned over to the custody of the army. The other MP from the area, Mohsin Dawar, was declared an absconder and he had to gather support of the people of his area in large numbers to avert his arrest by the army. He is still leading a sit-in in that area.
After the incident, all telephone and mobile phone services were blocked in the area and a curfew was imposed. Ali Wazir was presented in an anti-terrorism court the next day and was then handed over to the police for eight days on the order of the judge. In Pakistan, this commonly means a period of brutal torture. The arrest of Ali Wazir was unlawful, as according to the law an MP cannot be arrested without prior permission from the Assembly and its speaker. But no one has dared to follow this law in Pakistan.

Crackdown on PTM

All the protestors and their leadership belong to the Pahstun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), which is raising its voice against the injustices and brutality of the Pakistani state in tribal areas – which are commonly called FATA in Pakistan – and for Pashtuns generally. Due to the pressure of this movement, these tribal areas were merged into the Pashtunkhwa province last year and brought into the fold of Pakistani constitution and laws. This ended the period of black laws, which denied basic legal rights for the population of the area, and were imposed by the British Raj and continued long after so-called independence. This movement was also demanding the end of army operations in Pashtun areas and state sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan. Just a few weeks before this incident, the National Assembly of Pakistan unanimously approved a constitutional amendment, which was moved by MP Mohsin Dawar. But now the same MPs are being called traitors and enemies of the state on national television and press.
PTM Image fair useThe PTM raised its voice against the brutality of the Pakistani state, but hasn't connected with other oppressed nationalities or with the working class of the country as a whole. Now the state is cracking down / Image: fair use
The Pakistani state, following the dictates of US imperialism, used these areas as a launching pad for the dollar jihad in Afghanistan in the ‘80s. After the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and the so-called war on terror, these areas were again used to impose a war for the profits of the military industrial complex in the US. The people of these areas, along with millions living in Afghanistan, have faced the brutalities of these imperialist wars over the last several decades. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, while millions have become homeless and forced to live in extreme poverty. The imperialist war in Afghanistan is still continuing, sending shockwaves around the region on a regular basis. The Pakistani state and its ruling class have benefitted immensely from these wars, pocketing billions of dollars, while millions are living in extreme poverty and suffering the loot and plunder of the ruling class in collaboration with the imperialist financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank.
The PTM has raised its voice against the brutality of the Pakistani state but so far hasn't connected successfully with other oppressed nationalities struggling against this brutality and with the working class of the country as a whole. The leadership was relying on bourgeois liberals and their ideologies, along with other rotten parties and institutions of the state, whose bankruptcy and impotence have been exposed in this incident. The PTM was also unable to give a detailed political programme to rally more support around them. Now the state is exploiting these weaknesses and has come down heavily against them, trying to finish off this movement once and for all through extreme repression and brutality. An army spokesperson had already threatened them in a press briefing last month, saying that their "time is up".
There is a seething anger and mood of revolt against all this brutality among the masses, especially Pashtuns, and it will express itself in various ways in the coming period. No movement can be crushed by savagery forever, it will rise again and again until it finds a way to express its grievances and the molten lava of hatred against all the state institutions. The masses will come again in big numbers, sooner or later, to take account of all the blood spilt by the ruling class to protect its luxurious lifestyle and plundered wealth. The time for the oppressed masses is far from over, it has yet to begin. It has been proved once again that nothing can be solved within the confines of this class-based capitalist system and the only way forward is to overthrow it through a revolutionary struggle of the working class.
For an end to state repression against the PTM and the immediate release of Ali Wazir and all political prisoners!
For irreconcilable struggle against imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism!
Workers of the world, unite!

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پنجاب میں بھی ایچ آئی وی مریضوں کی تعداد بڑھنے لگی

ٹیسٹوں کے دوران سب سے زیادہ نمونے سرگودھا، فیصل آباد، ننکانہ، چنیوٹ، ساہیوال اور جھنگ میں سامنے آئے،  

سندھ کے بعد پنجاب میں بھی ایچ آئی وی کے مریضوں میں اضافہ ہونے لگا ہے، جن کی تعداد حکام کے مطابق 28 سو سے تجاوز کر گئی ہے۔ پاکستان ایڈز کنٹرول پروگرام کی تحقیقاتی رپورٹ کے مطابق ملک میں گذشتہ دو برس کے دوران ایچ آئی وی کے مریضوں میں مجموعی طور پر اضافہ ہوا ہے، تاہم اس اضافے کے باوجود پاکستان میں ایچ آئی وی کے مریضوں کی شرح 0.1 فیصد سے کم ہے جو اقوام متحدہ کے مقررہ حدف سے مطابقت رکھتی ہے۔ اقوام متحدہ کی عالمی سطح پر ہر ملک میں ایچ آئی وی مریضوں کی شرح زیادہ سے زیادہ 0.3 فیصد سے کم رکھی گئی ہے۔ پنجاب کے مختلف شہروں میں دس لاکھ سے زائد افراد سے خون کے نمونے حاصل کیے گئے۔اس دوران صوبے کے چھ اضلاع میں سب سے زیادہ نمونے مثبت پائے گئے، جہاں پھر اس مرض سے بچاؤ کی مہم چلائی گئی۔ رپورٹ کے مطابق صوبے بھر میں اب تک 28 سو سے زائد افراد میں ایچ آئی وی کی تشخیص ہوچکی ہے اور مزید ٹیسٹ کیے جارہے ہیں۔ اگرچہ ایچ آئی وی پر قابو پانے کے لیے اقدامات جاری ہیں لیکن ماہرین نے علاج سے زیادہ احتیاط کو لازمی قرار دیا ہے۔ اس مرض کے باعث تین سالوں میں 90 سے زائد ہلاکتیں ہوچکی ہیں۔ مینیجر کمیونیکیشن ایڈز کنٹرول پروگرام پنجاب سجاد حفیظ نے انڈپینڈنٹ اردو سےگفتگو کرتے ہوئے بتایا کہ گزشتہ دو سالوں کے دوران پنجاب بھر میں ایچ آئی وی سے متعلق شہریوں کے نمونے حاصل کیے گئے اور تین لاکھ 57 ہزار سے زائد شہریوں کے ٹیسٹ کیے گئے۔ ساڑھے تین لاکھ افراد کے ٹیسٹ 2017 جبکہ پونے سات لاکھ افراد کے خون سے نمونے 2018 میں لے کر ٹیسٹ کیے گئے۔ ایڈز کنٹرول پروگرام کے تحت لاری اڈوں، ہسپتالوں، جیلوں اور چوراہوں پر کیمپ لگائے گئے اور خون ٹیسٹ کیے گئے۔ ان میں 24 ہزار خواتین، 90 ہزار قیدی اور 40 ہزار خواجہ سراؤں سے خون کے نمونے لے کر ٹیسٹ کیے گئے۔

انہوں نے بتایا کہ دو سالوں کے دوران پنجاب کے 20 اضلاع میں خون ٹیسٹ کرکے اس مرض سے بچاؤ کے آگاہی کیمپ لگائے گئے۔ اس دوران 0.1 سے کم افراد میں ایچ آئی وی کی تشخیص ہوئی یعنی نمونے مثبت آئے۔
سجاد حفیظ نے بتایا کہ ٹیسٹوں کے دوران سب سے زیادہ نمونے سرگودھا، فیصل آباد، ننکانہ، چنیوٹ، ساہیوال اور جھنگ میں مثبت سامنے آئے جبکہ سرگودھا کے دو گاؤں کوٹ مومن اور کوٹ عمرانہ میں  دو سو افراد اس مرض کا شکار نکلے۔
نہوں نے کہا کہ جن افراد کے خون کے نمونے مثبت آئے، ان میں 40 فیصد نشہ آور ٹیکوں کی سرنج بار بار استعمال کرنے والے شامل ہیں جبکہ خواجہ سراؤں اور جسم فروشی کے دھندے  سے وابستہ خواتین میں بھی اس مرض کی تشخیص سامنے آئی۔ اسی لیے ٹیکسالی میں خواتین اور فاؤنٹین ہاؤس میں خواجہ سراؤں کے لیے علاج اور اس مرض سے بچاؤ کے لیے مستقل آگاہی کیمپ لگائے گئے ہیں۔
دوسری جانب لاہور میں خواجہ سراؤں کے لیے ایڈز کنٹرول سینٹر بھی قائم کردیا گیا ہے۔
ایچ آئی وی کیسے پھیلتا ہے؟
ایڈز کنٹرول پروگرام پنجاب کے سربراہ ڈاکٹر عاصم الطاف نے انڈپینڈنٹ اردو سے گفتگو میں بتایا کہ ایچ آئی وی لاعلاج مرض ہے اور اس کے پھیلنے کی تین بنیادی وجوہات ہیں۔
1۔ انتقال خون
اکثر اوقات بلڈ بینک سے ملنے والے خون میں احتیاطی تدابیر کا خیال نہیں رکھاجاتا۔ حجام سے شیو بنوانے کے دوران ایک ہی بلیڈ ایک سے زائد افراد پر استعمال ہونے سے یا ایک ہی سرنج کے ایک سے زائد افراد کے لیے یا بار بار استعمال کرنے سے یہ مرض پھیلتا ہے۔
2۔ جنسی تعلقات
جنسی تعلقات کے دوران ایچ آئی وی کا شکار مرد یا خواتین سے ایک دوسرے میں، ہم جنس پرستی کے دوران متاثرہ شخص سے یہ جراثیم دوسرے فرد  میں منتقل ہوتے ہیں۔
3۔ متاثرہ ماں سے بچوں میں
ایچ آئی وی مریضہ خاتون کے ہاں پیدا ہونے والے بچوں میں بھی منتقل ہوسکتا ہے۔ ڈاکٹر عاصم نے بتایا کہ اس مرض سے بچاؤ کے لیے واحد حل حفاظتی تدابیر ہیں۔
خصوصاً خون لگوانے سے پہلے ٹیسٹ کروایا جائے۔ شیو کرانے سے پہلے نیا بلیڈ استعمال کیا جائے۔ ایک بار استعمال ہونے والی سرنج کو دوبارہ استعمال نہ کیاجائے۔ جنسی تعلقات کے دوران صفائی اور کنڈوم استعمال کیا جائے۔ جسمانی طور پر قربت کم سے کم ہو۔ مریضہ خاتون کو بچے کی پیدائش سے پہلے حکومت کی طرف سے مفت ملنے والا انجکشن لگوانا ضروری ہے، جس کے استعمال سے یہ بیماری ماں سے بچوں میں منتقل نہیں ہوتی۔
سربراہ ایڈز کنٹرول پروگرام کے مطابق شوگر، بلڈ پریشر یا ہیپاٹائٹس کی طرح اس مرض کا علاج تو ممکن نہیں لیکن ادویات کے مسلسل استعمال سے اس کے اثرات پر قابو ضرور پایا جاسکتا ہے۔
انہوں نے مزید بتایا کہ کئی مریض 15 سال تک ادویات کے استعمال سے زندگی گزار رہے ہیں۔
ایچ آئی وی سے بچاؤ کے اقدامات
ادویات اور طبی آلات ساز کمپنیوں کی تنظیم پاکستان فارماسوٹیکل مینو فیکچرز ایسوسی ایشن اور ایڈز کنٹرول پروگرام کے درمیان معاہدہ طے پایا ہے کہ جولائی سے ایسی سرنجیں تیار کی جائیں گی جو صرف ایک ہی بار استعمال ہوسکیں گی جبکہ سرکاری ہسپتالوں میں آگاہی کیمپ اور مفت ادویات کی فراہمی یقینی بنائی جارہی ہے۔
پنجاب میں 51 ہزار حجام رجسٹرڈ کیے گئے ہیں اور حکام کے مطابق ایک سے زائد بار بلیڈ استعمال کرنے والے باربر کو جرمانے کیے جائیں گے۔
واضح رہے کہ سندھ میں گزشتہ کچھ ہی عرصے کے دوران سینکڑوں افراد اس مرض کا شکار ہوچکے ہیں۔ اگرچہ پاکستان میں ابھی تک اس مرض کا پھیلاؤ خطرناک تناسب تک نہیں پہنچا لیکن بڑھتا ضرور جا رہا ہے، اس لیے حفاظتی اقدامات ناگزیر ہیں۔
اقوام متحدہ کی ایک رپورٹ کے مطابق دنیا بھر میں جنوبی امریکا اور مغربی افریقہ میں ایچ آئی وی کا تناسب سب سے زیادہ ہے۔ نائجیریا میں 30 فیصد سے زیادہ آبادی اس مرض کا شکار ہے۔ پاکستان میں ابھی تک ایڈز کا مرض دنیا کے کم ترین تناسب پر ہے جبکہ بھارت میں بھی ایڈز کے مریضوں کا تناسب پاکستان سے زیادہ ہے۔
ماہرین کے مطابق پاکستان کو اس مہلک مرض سے بچاؤ کے لیے ترجیحی بنیادوں پر حفاظتی اقدامات کرنا ہوں گے۔ خاص طور پر دوسرے ممالک سے آنے والوں کے ایئر پورٹس پر ٹیسٹ کرانے کو یقینی بنانا ہوگا کیونکہ اب تک یہاں تناسب کم ضرور ہے لیکن اگر موثر اقدامات نہ ہوئے تو اس شرح میں اضافے کا خدشہ ہے۔

په چينايانو واده شويو پاکستانيو ښځو څه تېر شوي؟

Pakistan’s new ISI chief was accused of secretly helping Imran Khan’s party in 2018 polls

Lt Gen. Hameed Faiz was appointed ISI chief Sunday. India will closely watch how he steers ties between ISI and terror outfits Jaish and Lashkar.
Cutting short the tenure of spymaster Lieutenant General Asim Munir, the Pakistani Army Sunday appointed Lt Gen. Faiz Hameed as the new director general of the country’s military-led spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
From being at the centre of a storm during the 2018 Pakistan elections to engineering the Faizabad agreement in 2017, Hameed has been controversy’s favourite child.
The ISI, which was created in 1948 after the first India-Pakistan war over Kashmir, is today seen as the neighbouring country’s de-facto decision-making body that calls the shots in Islamabad’s internal and foreign policy decisions.
Hameed will be directly reporting to the Army chief, even though appointment to the post of ISI’s director general is finalised by the country’s prime minister in consultation with its Chief of Army, according to their constitution.
But ever since former Pakistan President Zia-ul-Haq, who was also Chief of Army, took over the helm of the country’s government in 1978, the ISI chiefs started reporting to the Army chiefs and not the PM.
The only exception to this rule happened during late Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s regime when retired Lt Gen. Shamsur Rahman Kallue was made the ISI chief in 1989, for a brief period.

Surprise appointment

Hameed’s appointment came amid a sudden reshuffle within the Pakistani army and ISI ranks. As the new ISI chief, Hameed will be replacing Munir, who has been shunted out as Commander Gujranwala Corps in Punjab. Munir had been in the coveted post only for eight months.
Breaking: Lt Gen Faiz Hameed has been appointed DG ISI in a surprise reshuffle. The change suggests there may be no change of Army command in November?

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Hameed’s new designation comes two months after he was promoted as Lt Gen. in April and appointed Adjutant General at the Pakistan Army headquarters. He had previously served as head of ISI’s internal security.

Engineering defections and Faizabad agreement

Hameed was at the centre of a roaring controversy during the 2018 Pakistan elections when former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accused him of ‘clandestinely’ supporting current present Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
Gen Faiz Hameed — the man accused of political engineering and stealing the 2018 elections for Imran Khan — is the new https://twitter.com/faridque/status/1016691442436198401 

Hameed was accused of instrumenting defections from Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party to Khan’s PTI.Not surprising then, that this sudden promotion comes as a long pending reward to him by the Khan-led government.
Hameed’s claim to fame, however, is the Faizabad agreement in 2017. He had brokered the deal between sit-in protestors from various religious factions and the then PML-N government. The agitators were were protesting amendment to the country’s Election Act 2017. The protestors had seized Islamabad, paralysing normal life, for nearly a month. It was Hameed who had signed the agreement in the capacity of a ‘guarantor’ for the Army.
Faizabad protests are believed to have further widened the gap between civilian and military apparatus in Pakistan.

Challenges facing new ISI chief

Hameed will be closely watched by India and other nations on how he steers the controversial relationship between ISI and Pakistan-based terror outfits such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, both of which are proscribed by the United Nations.
It also will be crucial for India to watch Hameed’s role in balancing out the role of, what is infamously known as, the ‘Directorate S‘ — the ISI wing responsible for covert action in India or Afghanistan.
Pakistan has also been facing an imminent danger of being blacklisted by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for funding terrorists — a development that can seriously cripple the country’s already dwindling economy.
Calling him a “decisive, firm and out of the box strategist”, Jan Achakzai, an Islamabad-based political analyst and former advisor to the Balochistan government, said Hameed’s key challenge will be to watch and shadow Pakistani government’s foreign policy towards India and its activities in Kashmir.
“The new ISI chief will be looking for ways to raise export and import costs for India. One area where he will likely checkmate Delhi is the Afghan chessboard. Another is Iran, since both Tehran and Delhi’s closed alliance was battered after India bowed down to US’ pressure to not buy oil from the former,” Achakzai added.
But a foremost challenge for Hameed will be to control the growing Pashtun resistance, under the aegis of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), that has created a rift between Pakistan’s military and political establishments.
Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asif Ghafoor, also spokesperson of Pakistan Army, had earlier this year blamed Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies for funding the PTM.
“Hameed is another hardliner who would try to plug the domestic holes more ferociously – issues such as internal dissent cropping up due to PTM, Baluch, political parties at variance. He will also have to ensure extension of the COAS and keep the religious parties in better control of the military,” said Ayesha Siddiqa, research associate at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, University of London and author of Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy.

Post-Pulwama impact? Pakistan removes ISI chief, gets a new hardliner

Lt Gen Asim Munir, believed to have approved Pulwama terror attack, has been replaced as ISI chief with Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, who was once accused of stealing 2018 national election for Imran Khan's party, PTI.

Pakistan has removed Lt Gen Asim Munir as Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief and replaced him with Lt Gen Faiz Hameed in a surprise move. Asif Munir had the shortest ever stint of eight months as the intelligence chief of Pakistan military, which controls ISI.
Asim Munir had been handpicked by Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa last year to head the ISI. Munir is an expert on Kashmir and familiar with the Valley terrain.
A report in the Economic Times in post-Pulwama days quoted an expert as saying that Pulwama terror attack of February "bears the stamp of newly appointed ISI chief" Munir, who was made agency's boss in October 2018.
Before being appointed as ISI chief Munir was the commander of Northern Areas in Pakistan Army and through Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans, he was said to have proved his mettle to the bosses.
But post-Pulawama attack, Pakistan has been under tremendous international pressure that India has been able to generate forcing the Imran Khan government and Pakistan Army to act against terror groups. Significant developments have happened since Pulwama terror attack showing Pakistan moving against terror groups.
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar was designated as a global terrorist in May by the United Nations Security Council, a move that China had been blocking for a decade to save its all-weather friend Pakistan embarrassment at the highest international forum.
Pakistan put fresh curbs on Jamat-u-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who was barred from leading Eid prayers in Lahore's Qaddafi stadium earlier this month. And, also the Pakistan Army agreed for a "voluntary" cut in defence budget for the first time. It was a move seen in sync with softening of Pakistani establishment's support to terror infrastructure.
Munir's sacking, which was not accounted for in the press release by the Pakistan Army, fits the pattern. However, to balance Munir's removal, to please its domestic constituency, Pakistan has appointed "hardliner" Faiz Hameed.
Faiz Hameed had hit headlines in Pakistan when he helped put an end to a sit-in protest by some religious groups in 2017 over the amendment to election laws. The protesters had blocked roads leading to Islamabad in high-tension situation. Hameed brokered what many called the Faizabad agreement to bring normalcy in Islamabad.
Technically, the appointment of director general of ISI is the prerogative of the prime minister of Pakistan and Imran Khan has been saying that his government is firm to contain all kinds of terrorism emanating from Pakistan. Interestingly, Munir was replaced by Hameed two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Imran Khan had an unofficial exchange at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Kyrgyzstan.

Opinion: Pakistani reforms must start in Rawalpindi

The choice of Hameed as ISI chief suggests that Rawalpindi will have a say in the reform agenda as much as Khan’s civilian government in Islamabad.
The appointment of Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed as director-general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), its military-led spy agency, cutting short the tenure of the incumbent Lieutenant General Asim Munir, signals a hardening of stance on part of the Pakistan army. For a country dominated by its armed forces, with the civilian regime rarely daring to take on the men in uniform, the move might complicate the country’s efforts to revive its economy. Its growth this year is expected to slot in at just 3.3%, low even by its own standards, and Islamabad seems desperate for a foreign bailout to cover its hard currency needs. Pakistan’s exports are floundering, domestic inflation is high and its government spends way more than its revenues ought to let it. Neither the International Monetary Fund nor Asian Development Bank are willing to lend the country money unless it demonstrates a will to fix what needs to be fixed.
Is Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan up to the task? The choice of Hameed as ISI chief suggests that Rawalpindi will have a say in the reform agenda as much as Khan’s civilian government in Islamabad. Hameed is considered not just a hardliner, but one who wouldn’t want the army’s role in Pakistani affairs to be rolled back. The country has failed so far to fulfill 25 of the 27 conditions set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog that checks terror financing, and this failure harms its sovereign credit rating. While the army’s exercise of authority is a given, it’s about time Pakistan’s civilian rulers acquainted the country’s generals with the consequences of an economic blowout. Reforms may need to begin in Rawalpindi.