Former military leaders express anguish, sorrow over Joseph Colony incident

Rawalpindi, MTT News Desk: The Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association (PESA) on Friday expressed deep anguish and sorrow at the inhuman destruction of Joseph Colony at Lahore terming it lowest form of governance.

This was observed in a special meeting of the Executive Council of PESA held to discuss some of the serious issues that are vital to integrity and sovereignty of the country.

The meeting observed that Joseph Colony attack was a repeat of Gojra carnage with a difference that no life was lost this time.

Mass killings of Hazaras amount to ethnic genocide, the former military leaders said, adding that inaction against the culprits and cash awards to the affected people cannot wash the humiliation caused to Pakistan in the international community.

Religious leaders should spread the principles of human values, equality and freedom that are most cherished by Islam. Objectives Resolution also guarantees that fundamental right and the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed and any violation must be dealt with a firm hand, they opined.

PESA members appreciated the independence and courage shown by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in going ahead with preparation of revised nomination papers despite non-approval by the President.

They lauded the prompt support extended by the Supreme Court. However real test of the ECP will be implementation of the conditions prescribed under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Real change can only come when individuals with tainted past are weeded out right from the start, the former military strategists said.

PESA office bearers expressed concern over the on-going Anti-Army campaign through some selected electronic and print media. Its sole purpose is to destroy integrity and strength of the force that is engaged in defending countrys geographical and ideological frontiers and the national values.

Thousands of officers and soldiers have sacrificed their lives in fighting the extremist elements who want to enforce their own version of Islam. It is a matter of great satisfaction that despite this anti-Army campaign, the masses retain their total faith in the Armed Forces and look up to them as true defenders of the Republic.

The PESA members expressed surprise at policies of some of the TV channels, who spare no occasion to blame past military rulers for all the problems but at the same time they are giving almost daily coverage to political ambitions and programme of General Musharraf.

Musharraf flagrantly violated the Constitution, brought ignominy through misadventures like Kargil, Lal Masjid and tragedies of Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto and Sardar Akbar Bugti.

His unconditional submission to USA on just one phone call brought the war on terror inside Pakistan. On the economic front, through his inaction over building the Neelum Dam he has caused threat of perpetual loss of Jhelum River to Pakistan which could render Punjab into a desert, they said.

As a citizen of Pakistan, Musharraf should be free to return home but at the same time he should face the cases that are registered against him.

It was decided to hold a news conference to details about the conspiracies and plans of certain powers to not just destabilize but also break up Pakistan as one nation.

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Through the lens; Iraqi women, power and resistance

By Hammad Mahmood:

A debate organized on International Womens day highlighted the miseries of Iraqi womens facing day-to-day life after war. During Saddams dictatorship no Political party has a right to form, No womens organization to form work for womens rights, Highlighted womens issues or protest for their rights, Ban on Trade unions to form to protect workers rights and there is o freedom of speech under his regime.

Kurdish people treated as second-class citizens in their own Country and 1991-genocide Kurdish community lost thousands innocent loved ones.

People have no life under Saddams dictatorship and womens faced allot threat in the society and cant move freely. This is the situation in Saddams dictatorship and US Told Saddam was a threat to the world and according to Tony Blair’s autobiography” Highest number of child deaths in the world was in Iraq under Saddam Hussain.”

Thats the health conditions of Iraqi people under dictatorship.

After the intervention of US and allied forces world think that a big change could came to Iraqi community. Iraq is at number 2 in corruption in the world and news are coming they are transferring money to abroad.

Iraqi parliament has a 25% presentation of womens but not a positive work is highlighting for womens rights. Iraqi women activist told the audience that few womens are protesting for their rights kidnapped by a group tortured the womens and given them threat if u protested next time for womens rights u would be gang rapped and if u still continued u would be murdered.

No representation for womens rights in the parliament. Speaker told that no politician cant speak against child marriage its un-Islami, is this not a child abuse to bind child at the age of ten Years in wedding.

Islam is official religion of Iraq but in country representation many religions. Womens are openly writing and criticising against religion, fighting for secular constitution.

First International womens day celebrated in 2004 attended by 1000 people still womens in Iraq facing the problems trafficking, prostitution, kidnapped.

On media presentation of womens in war, No shame presenting war pictures. Life under Saddams regime and life under US and allied forces are same.

Us divide Iraq Shia and Sunni conflicts and in Iraqi society sectarian violence increasing. Oil looted, Museums looted under, typical orientation about Middle East is presenting in media, Main question what representation required in media.

24 hours of broadcast during Ashura but no coverage for womens rights in media educated womens cant do jobs because of heavy bombardments.

Pakistan-Turkey cooperation in defence to be further enhanced

Ankara, MTT News Desk: Turkish President H.E. Mr. Abdullah Gul today received a Pakistani defence delegation led by Federal Minister for Defence Syed Naveed Qamar who is visiting Ankara on the invitation of his Turkish counterpart. The Turkish President stressed that the existing strategic partnership between Pakistan and Turkey provides an excellent opportunity for joint ventures between the defence industries of the two countries.

Syed Naveed Qamar agreed with the Turkish President that both countries could jointly produce defence products in their respective countries that will help in technology transfer and will generate economic activities. He commended the excellent cooperation between the defence establishments of the two countries. He noted that both countries take pride in their armed forces which have many complementarities and strong traditions of close cooperation. The Turkish President also referred to the regional situation and said the whole world recognizes the sacrifices that the people and defence forces of Pakistan are making in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

Earlier, Syed Naveed Qamar held a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mr. Ismet Yilmaz. Upon arrival at the Turkish Defence Ministry, the Pakistani dignitary was presented a guard of honour. Both sides agreed to raise the level of High Level Military Dialogue Group, which is an institutional mechanism for boosting defence ties between the two brotherly countries. The Turkish Defence Minister referred to the project of midlife up-gradation of F-16 aircrafts of Pakistan undertaken by Turkish Aerospace Industries and termed it as a symbol of excellent defence cooperation. Syed Naveed Qamar referred to a recent agreement of building a fleet tanker for Pakistan Navy by STM of Turkey and said this is a best model for our future defence cooperation.

Mr. Murad Bayar, Undersecretary of the Turkish Defence Industries also called on the visiting Pakistani Minister. They discussed various proposals related to joint production of defence projects and took stock of the ongoing defence project.

Civilian bunkers surfacing in villages along Cease Fire Line

Jammu, MTT News Desk: After a gap of eight years, civilian bunkers have once again started surfacing in the hamlets along the Cease Fire Line (CFL) in Poonch as a war-like situation erupts on the border between Indian and Pakistan.

As a precautionary measure, populace in several villages from Balakot to Sabzian sector along the CFL, have started constructing bunkers adjoining their houses or renovating the old ones for safety from the unprovoked firing from across the border.

Pertinent to mention that around 45 villages including Kerni, Jhallas and Salotri in Krishna Ghati sector have remained worst affected because of conflicts between India and Pakistan. The Inhabitants here used to construct bunkers adjoining their houses for safety of their life during firing from across the border.

“The prevailing situation has forced people to be extra cautious and recreate these bunkers for a refuge from heavy firing from across the CFL,” said Ghulam Rasool of Sloor, a village situated on extreme border between the two countries.

Attaullah Handoo, a known businessman from Uri, said the tension between the two countries was not good for anyone. Uri has witnessed tremendous surge in business activities after the start of trade between the two sides in 2008. The entire area gained a lot of attention after the travel between the two dividing sides resumed after many decades. However, the present tension is a matter of concern, he added.

Misperceptions about defence budget

Brig. (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Military capability is required to protect the country from internal and external threats, while political stability and economic prosperity is essential for development. The three components help in protecting the sovereignty, integrity and security of a state as well as well-being of the people. The three are interlinked and cannot be separated from each other. It will be ideal to concentrate entire energies of the state towards economic prosperity and to build up democratic institutions attuned towards welfare of people. An ideal state should be bestowed with sound system of justice where cheap justice is available at doorsteps, one law applicable to all, negligible gap between the rich and poor, the society free of curses of corruption, bribe, nepotism, favoritism and jobbery, equal chances for social growth irrespective of the social status. This is not only idealistic but also subject to geo-political environment in which the country is placed.

Pakistan is among the few states whose existence was not accepted by India and from the day one it conspired to reabsorb it into Indian Union. It succeeded partially in 1971 when it broke Pakistan into two and converted its eastern wing into Bangladesh. It is now conspiring to further truncate Pakistan. On its west is unfriendly Afghanistan, which has traditionally remained pro-India and anti-Pakistan. Of late, India and Afghanistan have become strategic partners and India has increased its influence in Afghanistan manifold. Perpetual hostility of India and deceitful behavior of Afghanistan has kept Pakistan on tenterhooks and in a constant state of insecurity. It was essentially the factor of insecurity which impelled Pakistans earlier leaders to gravitate towards the west and seek security in western defence pacts. Although alignment with USA helped Pakistan in building its armed forces, but it was certainly at the cost of development of Pakistan and welfare of the people. Above all, western pacts didnt help in reducing Pakistans security concerns or in preventing breakup of Pakistan in 1971.

An influential lobby in Pakistan at the behest of detractors of Pakistan has all along been critical of armed forces and its defence expenditure. It sells a mischievous misperception that but for 60% of national budget getting consumed in defence; Pakistan would have become a prosperous state. Maulana Fazlur Rahman alleged that one days Army budget is the combined annual budget of education and health. He forgot that one day corruption in Pakistan comes to Rupees eight billion as disclosed by Chairman NAB. He also forgot that unlike military run institutions which are welfare oriented, they pay taxes and are running in profit, all public sector enterprises are running in losses and second largest portion of budget gets consumed in keeping them afloat. Losses incurred by them can meet the needs of defence. Another falsehood in circulation is that the military consumes a very big portion of government expenditures. The reality is that in 2012/13, defence affairs and services consumed only 17% of all government expenditures. Largest amount of budget is spent on domestic debt servicing.

Those propagating curtailment of defence expenditure to be able to develop economy forget that militarily weak Pakistan will tempt adventurers to either step in or destabilize it from within employing covert means. Economic prosperity is possible only when the country is free of external and internal threats, or is militarily in a position to thwart the threats, or has abundant mineral resources. All economic deals and bilateral trade agreements will remain mutually beneficial if the deals have been signed from a position of equivalent or near parity military strength. Diplomatic and political clout will be of some substance if one has military capability matching the hostile neighbor wanting to have its way.

China couldnt have made such an impressive progress in its four-point modernization program and turned into an economic giant on the strength of its economy alone. While pursuing an overall defensive strategy, it never ignored the growth of its military potential to keep its adversaries at bay. There was a time when it was militarily weak, Britain imposed opium wars on China to force it to buy and consume opium from it. Learning a lesson from history, China has been spending huge amounts to build its military might, both conventional and unconventional to deter its enemies.

Likewise, Indias military muscle enabled it to extract benefits from the current and former super power as well as western world, Muslim world and Japan. The US is keen to make India a world power and a bulwark against China because of its military and economic strengths. Indias expanding military prowess motivated China to push border dispute on the backburner and to forge trade and cultural ties with India. India couldnt have pursued its hegemonic policies against all its neighbors in South Asia on its economic strength alone. Its vast military capacity propels India to nurture grandiose plans of converting India into Mahabharat stretching as far as Afghanistan and Indonesia including Pakistan.

On 16 November 2012, Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar on the occasion of his book launching ceremony at Dhaka, Beyond the Lines, held the partition of subcontinent fallacious and expressed his utopian desire of reunifying the countries of the subcontinent to single entity of Akhand Bharat. He advocated formation of South Asian Union on the lines of European Union, which is yet another Indian floated idea of confederation. It gives a fair idea that even after passage of 65 years Indian political leaders and elites have not given up the hope of undoing Pakistan and Bangladesh and establishing mythical Akhand Bharat.

Indias ambitious force modernization program has been at the cost of 70% Indians living below poverty line. Despite such a high a rate of poverty and illiteracy, there has hardly been any dissenting voice heard from within India objecting to lavish defence spending. No demand has been made to cut its ever increasing defence budget each year. But for the huge defence budget allocation of $40.44 billion, India couldnt have employed over 1500,000 security forces to combat insurgents and separatists in its 19 states including occupied Kashmir where 700,000 troops are deployed since 1989. Its military which is in illegal occupation of Siachin Glacier since June 1984 couldnt have sustained a corps size force for that long. But for its military clout, India which remained in the Soviet camp from 1947 till 1990 would not have been gladly accepted as a strategic partner by the sole super power and let it regain its lost influence in Afghanistan.

Had Pakistan not striven to maintain military balance with India at the cost of economic development, Pakistan by now might have got fragmented or turned into a satellite of India. One of the main contributory reasons of political chaos and economic meltdown in Pakistan has been the meddlesome role of India, which has been impeding its economic and political growth through intrigues and coercive tactics. Although Indian military has outpaced Pakistans military with a big margin, Pakistans minimum nuclear deterrence has restrained it from embarking upon high-cost risky venture. It is Pakistans nuclear capability which impelled India to resort to indirect strategy. Having put on the mask of friendship, it has been involved in covert war in concert with its strategic partners since 2002 to destabilize, denuclearize, de-Islamize and balkanize Pakistan.

Pakistan has been deviously embroiled in the futile war on terror imposed by USA which is eating into its vitals. Pakistan military resources are progressively dwindling in fighting this war with no end in sight, impacting its operational, technical and administrative fitness for war. Despite being so heavily engaged in this war for a decade, which is termed by some as an existential war, and despite being faced with three dimensional threats, it is indeed surprising that Pak Army has curtailed rather than increased its annual defence budget. Yet it is being propagated that military expenditure have been constantly on the increase. This is far from truth. Since 1990s, there has been a steady decline from 3.6% of GDP to 2.5% of GDP in 2012/13.

Current Armys expenditure is at the lowest in history of Pakistan. While Pakistans total budget for the financial year 2012/2013 is Rupees 2960 billion, defence budget is Rupees 545, that is, 18.4% of total budget. Defence budget for Army, Navy and Air Force is 50% (Rupees 272 billions), Navy 25% (Rupees 136 billion), and Air Force 25% (136 billion). Army gets only 9% of total budget and not 60% as propagated. Further slashing the defence budget would be at the cost of compromising our defensive posture with crippling effects. Another myth which has been given publicity by US media is that the Army pocketed $ 10 billion Coalition Support Funds whereas in actuality it received only $1.8 billion as reimbursement for services it rendered.

Pakistan military would have certainly drastically cut down its defence budget and even its force structure had India been willing to do the same. Or India had given a written commitment that it wouldnt resort to covert or overt war and would live as a peaceful and friendly neighbor. The US which is continuously preaching that India poses no threat to Pakistan has also not given any guarantee. Even if it gives a guarantee, it will have little value since it didnt honor its 1959 agreement in 1971. Pakistan could have given up its weapon grade nuclear capability if India had reciprocated to Pakistans suggestion of making South Asia a nuclear free zone. Indias plea of upgrading its military potential because of threat from China is frivolous.

Given the hostile track record of India, bulk of strike formations poised against Pakistan, its Pakistan specific Cold Start doctrine, its refusal to resolve longstanding disputes of Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek, its resort to water terrorism to dry up Pakistan, its heavy involvement in FATA and Balochistan, its efforts to isolate and strategically encircle Pakistan and make it a failed state, it will be utterly foolish to suggest downgrading our defensive effort. It is like joining hands with enemies of Pakistan and fulfilling the long cherished desire of our arch enemy which misses no opportunity to harm Pakistan. Willful misperceptions by a handful of misguided politicians, journalists and pseudo intellectuals about defence budget to misguide the people and to defame and undermine the Army must end. Its huge sacrifices under extremely adverse conditions must be acknowledged and lauded.

The writer is a freelance columnist and a defence analyst.

NAB initiates probe against six top military officials

Rawalpindi, MTT News Desk: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated inquiry against two generals and four brigadiers on charges of corruption in DHA Islamabad.

The military officers are accused of signing and implementing three controversial contracts with Bahria Town which resulted in loss to the tune of Rs 100 billion to DHA while some one hundred and fifty thousand people lost their savings.

Those who lost their lifetime savings include serving and former military officers, JCOs, NCOs and civilians, said Lt. Col. M Tariq Kamal (Retired) in a statement issued here today.

He said that the internal accountability system of defence forces is getting ineffective which has brought a bad name to army as senior military officers are being dragged in courts.

He said that only way to save reputation of the institution responsible for safeguarding geographical and ideological boundaries is to introduce a fool proof accountability system in defence forces which will also deter servicemen from indulging in any wrongdoing.

Irregularities in the defence forces should be taken seriously and resolved before any public uproar or involvement of NAB, Public Accounts Committee, media or any other organisation, he recommended.

Col. Tariq said that higher judiciary is beacon of hope for people of Pakistan without which we have no future. Similarly, media has become very important player in pointing out weaknesses in the system and recommending improvements.

Dispelling the impression against judiciary and media he said, Judiciary and media is not against the army but corruption.

He said that apart from those who entered into illegal contracts with Bahria Town to deprive masses of billions, those officials of DHA Islamabad who are executing these contracts and those who are ignoring probe are equally responsible.

Need to arouse patriotic fervor

By Brig. (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Balochistan despite being the richest province of Pakistan in terms of natural resources has remained backward and neglected. There have been sporadic spurts of violence unleashed by the Baloch nationalists who are convinced that their resources are being plundered by other provinces and resource-rich Balochistan would be better off independently. This feeling germinated in their minds after the discovery of natural gas reserves at Sui in 1952 and its denial to them till as late as 1979. Extreme poverty, lack of education and health facilities make the province a fertile area for foreign hunters to fish in troubled waters of Balochistan and exploit the simple and gullible people for their vested interests. Tyrannical hold of the Sardars, Nawabs and Mirs over their respective tribes in the tribal belt is yet another factor of impoverishment and backwardness of the province. Those defying the commands of the Sardar are either put in dungeons to rot for the rest of their lives or are brutally killed. Successive governments in Pakistan, both civilian and military have been leaning on the Sardars to keep Balochistan in control. Not only Sardars were bribed with cash and high office, their inter-tribal rivalries were exploited by pitching one Sardar against the other to meet political ends.

Previously, Afghanistan, former USSR and India were the trouble makers who would support the Baloch dissidents. Now the US and its allies India, Britain, Israel, Afghanistan and Israel are meddling in Balochistan in a big way since 2002 and have succeeded in destabilizing the province to quite an extent. There are reports that even Russia may be having a finger in the pie. The harmony between the locals and non-locals has been disturbed making it extremely difficult for the settlers, mainly the Punjabis to stay in Balochistan, particularly in Baloch dominated districts. The Persian speaking Hazaras originally belonging to Afghanistan are also the target of Baloch nationalists and religious extremists.

Both the democratically elected civilian and military governments failed to remove the sense of deprivation of the people of Baluchistan. Rather than removing their grievances and bringing about reconciliation, they resorted to force to solve the Balochistan tangle. While ZA Bhutto dismissed Balochistan and Frontier governments in 1973 and provoked insurgency, and then initiated a prolonged military operation against the insurgents, the decade old democratic era under Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif from 1988 to 1999 did little for Balochistan which gave reason to the Baloch nationalist parties to foment sense of disillusionment among the Baloch by crying out that they were being exploited and neglected.

However, none can deny that military regimes did a great deal better than civilian regimes to remove the socio-economic inequities of the backward provinces. Maximum development work was done by Field Marshal Ayub Khan in former East Pakistan and even Gen Yahya Khan allocated greater development funds to remove East-West inequities. Had 1965 war not taken place and had East Pakistan crisis fuelled by India not spun out of control in 1971, the imbalance to a large extent could have been corrected. When Gen Ziaul Haq took over, he defused the 1973 insurgency by releasing political leaders undergoing trials under Hyderabad tribunal, initiated development works and generated greater economic activities. Border with Iran was opened up for free trade which flooded markets with cheaper Iranian goods and made the business community prosperous. Removal of ZA Bhutto and later his hanging in April 1979 together with start of Afghan war in December 1979 which flooded NWFP and Balochistan with Afghan refugees were other factors which distracted the nationalists and brought calm in Balochistan. All mega projects were initiated by Gen Musharraf which included Kachhi Canal, Mirani Dam, Gawadar Port, Makran Coastal Highway, Saindak Copper Project and Quetta Water Supply Scheme. Over 300% increase was made in the national budget for development programs. His uplift and welfare policies are being pursued by the present government though at a decreased pace and undertaken by the armed forces.

Had the development works which started in 2001/2002 in Balochistan and system of free education to the youth in best schools together with host of other welfare programs and induction of Baloch youth in armed forces and other government departments which commenced in 2007/2008 been undertaken in mid 1970s, the situation in Balochistan by now would have been quite different. The youth couldnt have been exploited by external forces and disgruntled elements within the province in the name of sense of deprivation.

The PPP led government made a beginning with an apology by President Zardari and an assurance that the grievances of Balochistan will be addressed. All high profile political leaders were released and those in exile were pardoned and asked to return. The Army was returned to the barracks in May 2008, military operations of all sorts were stopped and the security was handed over to the Frontier Corps. No covert or overt war has been conducted since then and the troops of 12 Corps are confined to seven cantonments. Not single Army personnel are on any operational duty in that province. Even Kohlu and Sui towns approved to be converted into military garrisons are being developed as educational cities. Thousands of students have been enrolled in the schools and colleges of Sui and in Cadet College of Kohlu. Establishment of modern medical institute in Quetta Cantonment is a gift for the Baloch people. In this, the Baloch students will avail 80% quota. After the passage of 18th Amendment in the Constitution, the question of provincial autonomy stands resolved. Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package was announced and NFC Award revised to grant greater share to Balochistan.

Although PM Raja Ashraf has extended an olive branch to the estranged Baloch leaders by opening the doors for talks but he categorically stated that this offer is for only those who believed in the constitution and respected the national flag. This is notwithstanding that the government is trying to woo Brahamdagh Bugti and Harbyar Marri, the two chief proponents of Baluchistans independence. Raja Ashraf urged all estranged Baloch leaders to take part in the coming general elections and assured them that it would be free, fair and transparent. He solicited all practical ideas that could help in improving the situation in restive Balochistan.

Situation in Baluchistan is going through a critical stage which warrants positive contributions from all and sundry to avoid another debacle. Foreign powers governed by their strategic and commercial interests are hell bent to detach Balochistan from the body of Pakistan. Their designs need to be defeated through collective efforts. Foremost requirement is to ensure good governance in the province. Since it is not within the capability of provincial ministry to govern, there is a need to oil up the administrative machinery by posting honest, upright and efficient officers. The chief secretary should be a go-getter who should run the show particularly when the chief minister spends most of his time in Islamabad and other ministers are disinterested and involved in criminal activities. All ongoing developmental projects must be completed with speed.

Media should play a role in highlighting the pitfalls of separatist agenda and the dangerous designs of foreign powers wanting to plunder the mineral resources and enslaving the people of Balochistan. Media should also expose the real face of Sardars, particularly the dissident Sardars leading high-heeled life abroad and sacrificing the commoners. The patriotic fervor of the Baloch youth should be aroused through well-conceived cultural programs, dramas and talk-shows on stage, radio and TV. Provision of free education to the Baloch students and their enrolment in armed forces and jobs in government departments must continue to remove sense of deprivation. Education, justice and prosperity alone will curb extremism and arouse patriotism.

Taliban & North Waziristan Operation

Written by Sajjad Shaukat: Since October 9, when a teenager Malala Yousafzai, children rights activist, a child educator and National Peace Award winner has been critically injured by the Talibans dreadful attack in Swat, Pakistan witnessed unimaginable reaction by all the political, religious parties and civil societies in wake of protest rallies across the country. In this regard, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for this brutal act.

On October 11, President Asif Ali Zardari chaired a meeting with Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who had already condemned attack on Malala, agreed to formulate a new strategy to prevent such incidents. Gen. Kayani informed the meeting of actions being taken against terrorists and preparedness of the Army for further action. Afterwards, rumours started that they have decided action against the Taliban and military operation in North Waziristan.

Although all the leaders of political and religious parties strongly condemned this cowardly assault on Malala, yet polarisation exists among them in relation to strict action against the Taliban and military operation in North Waziristan. In this context, the PPP targeted Imran Khan of PTI, who supports Taliban, and suggest the rulers to engage in talks with TTP.

PML-N’s spokesman Senator Mushahidullah Khan stated that Malala incident should not be linked with any proposed offensive in North Waziristan.

Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Syed Munawar Hassan and chief of JJUI-F Fazlur Rehman remarked that the attack on Malala Yosafzai has no connection with TTP but it was conducted to create justification for military operation in Waziristan, while many innocent girls and children are being killed in US drone attacks.

It is interesting to note that division exists even among those politicians who favour Taliban, and also oppose military action in North Waziristan. In this context, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, while strongly criticising Imran Khan said on October 14 that during his march to South Waziristan, he did not say a word against America.

However, these leaders also pointed out that the government seeks to launch operation in North Waziristan to fulfill a long standing US demand.

Notably, in his telephonic address, MQM chief Altaf Hussain stated that the citizens should decide whether they supported the Taliban or wanted to see Pakistan as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam. He asked the heads of the armed forces and the countrys intelligence agency, ISI, to crush the Taliban.

Leader of ANP, Bushra Gohar who condemned the assassination attempt on Malala, suggested on October 15 stern actions against the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and supported military operation in North Waziristan where Taliban have their hideouts.
However, we need to grasp reality in wake of controversial debate regarding clean up operation against all the Taliban.

In the last six years, the Taliban who have killed thousands of people across Pakistan, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA through suicide attacks, targeted killings, beheadings, assaults on military troops, police stations, sectarian violence etc, destroyed hundreds of schools of girls and boys. They have discouraged womens education, keeping them ignorant and exploitable. But they justify them to wage their holly war by killing the moderate dissidents.

When Taliban had their hold in Dir, Swat, Buner and other adjoining areas, they imposed their self-styled religious agenda far removed from Islamic teachings. It was due to Talibans inhuman activities that when in 2009, Pak Army ejected them from these areas through military operations, general masses did not protest against the armed forces.

Meanwhile, more than 50 Islamic scholars of the Sunni Ittehad Council issued a joint fatwa, terming attack on Malala as un-Islamic. They pointed out that the assailants self-adopted interpretation of Islam was nothing but ignorance and digression from the actual Islamic teachings. They clarified that Islam made it obligatory on every man and woman to seek educationstrictly forbids taking life of innocent persons, which is not jihad. Besides, Shia religious scholars also condemned Malala incident.

In fact, Taliban and their banned affiliated groups are defaming Islam which is the religion of peace, moderation and human rights.

It is also mentionable that foreign agents backed by American CIA, Indian RAW, and Israel Mossad are also penetrated in Taliban outfits. By availing the anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan activities of the Taliban, these agencies are defaming Islam and are propagating abroad that Muslims are terrorists, besides undermining the security of Pakistan. In this context, just after Malala event, a new wave of suicide attacks and bomb blasts have started in the country, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

Nevertheless, Talibans dreadful attempt on Malala has distorted Pakistans image in the world as various countries like US, France, Australia, Germany and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have condemned this heinous attack by protesting against the Taliban.

Nonetheless, these extremist elements do not want to see Pakistan a moderate, peaceful and developed country by isolating it from international community.

Now, a majority of people wants that a handful of terrorist elements must not be allowed to impose their self-created ideology in the country.

Regarding drone attacks, we should know that we are facing unjust world order as IMF and World Bank are under the influence of US-led major countries. Every time, Pakistan which has been facing multiple crises, gets loan after American green signal Despite it, opposition has started in other western countries and even in the US against these aerial attacks. So US would be compelled to stop these predator strikes.

As regards military operation in North Waziristan, recently, while dispelling speculations of foreign media, Gen. Kayani reiterated, We might, if necessary, undertake operations in NWA, in the timeframe of our choosing as determined only by our political and military requirements. It will never be a result of any outside pressure. Earlier, he stated, the army has always considered peoples support vital for its operations against terrorists.

Recently, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik ruled out any possibility of military operation in North Waziristan.

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.

{tags Waziristan, Taliban, Military, Terrorism, MQM, Malala, Islam, USA}

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