Propaganda against Pakistan’s Ideology

By Sajjad Shaukat:

Straightforwardly speaking, subversive activities arranged by the Indian secret agency, RAW in connivance with American CIA and Israeli Mossad inside Pakistan coincides with the propaganda launched by the US, some western countries and India. In this regard, high officials and media of these countries manipulate every terror attack to tarnish the image of Pakistan. For example, Pakistans civil and military leadership, all the political and religious parties had strongly condemned Taliban for the failed assault on Malala Yousufzai. But US-led these countries, especially India left no stone unturned in exploiting the incident in connection with Talibanisation of Pakistan.

Now, their media have also started distorting Pakistans history. In this respect, a book titled, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: The Unfinished Memoirs written by the Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as his autobiography has recently been released. While speaking in line of the book, senior media anchor of Geo News, Hamid Mir reproduced its contents in his article, Mujibs Memoirs, published in daily, The News on November 24, 2012. He writes, One-sided history books tell us that Mujib was a traitor who broke up Pakistanin fact, the political intrigues and blunders of military dictators broke up PakistanBengalis were massacred and their women were raped.

Notably, a renowned Bengali journalist Sarmila Bose authored a book, Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War. While countering exaggerations of the Indian and Bengali Journalists, Bose argues that the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 was not three million, but around 50,000 while Bengalis were equally involved in the bloodshed of non-Bengalis, and their women were raped.

In fact, before the 1971 war, Mujibur Rahman was in contacts with Indian rulers and training camps of Mukti Bahini, established by Indian army and RAW. Therefore, when East Pakistan was occupied by Indian Army, Majib stated with pleasure that his 24 years old dream of an independent Bangladesh had been fulfilled.

However, foreign entities have taken a new turn of propaganda, showing ill-conceived thoughts against the idealogy of Pakistan. In this context, under the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Indian propagandists visited Pakistani educational institutions and criticised countrys curriculum labeling it hate-spreading contents against India. While favouring Indian point of view unilaterally, US-based magazine, The Christian Science Monitor published a story on February 28, 2013, titled Pakistan text books raise debate about curriculum of hate. It writes that in a suburban high school of Islamabad, ninth-graders are taught Pakistani history with an oblique angle vision.

As regards the migration of 1947, the magazine explained that students are taught: Caravans on the way to Pakistan were attacked by Hindus and Sikhs. Not a single Muslim was left alive in trains coming to Pakistan. While quoting Pakistani historian Mubarak Ali, it indicated that it was a one sided story and that actually it was an Indian reaction to Pakistani attacks on Hindu and Sikhs. The magazine also quoted, another historian, Abdul Hameed Nayyar, who targeted the Pakistan text books in similar tone saying, these try to create and define Pakistani nationalism in a very narrow sensein term of an Islamic identity.

But anti-Pakistan and self-created approach of The Christian Science Monitor was clearly exposed when it wrote, across Pakistan, government-sanctioned school text books contain blatantly anti-religious-minority and anti-Western materialmany people are worried that the curriculum is fueling intolerance, especially among youthsleading to violent behavior and even sympathy for the Taliban.

Nevertheless, we need to know the historical facts with reference to the above false propaganda, as its aim is to stimulate skepticism about the ideology of Pakistan.

During the British rule, Hindus which were in majority in India dominated Muslims in every field. The Hindus demanded that Urdu should be written in Hindi Script instead of Persian script. The Indian National Congress which claimed to represent all communities, oppressed all Muslim ideas and supported the Hindus. In 1905, the partition of Bengal ensured a number of political benefits for the Muslims but the Hindus launched an agitation against the partition which was annulled. Taking cognizance of Hindu injustices, in 1906, a Muslim deputation met Viceroy Lord Minto and demanded the right of separate electorate for Muslims. Afterwards, in various political reforms, the separate electorate was maintained for Muslims, which endorsed the two nation theory.

The two nation theory means the cultural, religious, economic and social dissimilarities between Hindus and Muslims. These differences of outlook, in fact, were greatly instrumental in giving rise to two distinct political ideologies. Despite living together for centuries, Muslims maintained their individual culture and civilization.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who was pioneer of the two nation theory advised the Muslims not to join Congress. Allama Iqbal said in 1930, India is a continent of human beings belonging to different languages and professing different religionsI, therefore, demand the formation of consolidated Muslim state in the best interests of the Muslims of India and Islam.

It was due to the obstinacy of Congress which rejected the genuine demands of the Indian Muslims that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was compelled to leave Congress. He advocated the two nation theory by declaring that Muslims needed a separate state to protect their rights. Jinnah came to believe that Muslims and Hindus were distinct nations with unbridgeable differences. In All India Muslim Leagues annual session at Lahore in 1940, the Pakistan Resolution was adopted as the main goal of the party.

Indian Congress had refused to recognise an independent Pakistan. Therefore, during partition, thousands of armless Muslims, migrating to Pakistan were massacred by the brutal attacks conducted by Indian armed gangs. They were tortured to death; their women were raped, caravans were looted and several Muslims disappeared.

No doubt, Pakistan became a reality on the basis of ideology which is Islam. In this respect, while addressing the Constituent Assembly on August, 11 1947, Quaid-i-Azam elaborated that he did not want Pakistan to be a theocratic state. He wanted Pakistan to be a liberal, secular and progressive state where the followers of every religion, faith, and sect were treated as citizens of equal status and they enjoyed equal rights.

Islam which does not permit suicide attacks considers killing one innocent person equal to murdering the entire humanity, while jihad is a sacred obligation, but its real spirit needs to be understood clearly. In this connection, 50 Islamic scholars and muftis of the Sunni Ittehad Council have issued a joint fatwa (edict) on February 7, 2013, and declared, Killing of innocent people, target killings and suicide bombingsin Karachi and Balochistan including sectarianism as against the spirit of Islam.

Now, people from all segment of life and majority of politicians including general masses want that a handful of terrorist elements must not be allowed to dictate their agenda and to impose their self-created ideology in the country.

On the other side, US-led some western countries and their media have totally ignored Hindu terrorism which emanates from the ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism). Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the fundamentalists parties such as BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar groups have been propagating ideology of Hindutva which is also being encouraged by the government officials. Although, sporadic attacks on the other ethnic and religious communities, entailing Indian lower castes, and especially Muslims and Christians have continued, yet appointment of extremist Hindus in top positions in various institutes, and alteration of academic courses in accordance with the Hindu ideology have reflected the intentions of the BJB and the subsequent Congress rulers. Indian text books misinterpret historical facts regarding Sub-continent and Pakistan. While Indian constitution declares the country to be a secular state, but in practice ideology of Hindu nationalism has been implemented.

Recently, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde confessed the nexus between BJP and the RSS, disclosing that organised training camps run by these fundamentalist parties were promoting Hindu Terrorism. They also revealed that these parties were behind the Samjhauta Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts including Gujarat and Babri masjid incidents.

Nonetheless, displaying unilateral move by neglecting Hindu terrorism and Indian text books, the US-led some western countries, their media like The Christian Science Monitor, and some Pakistani internal elements have been misinterpreting the history of Pakistan, its ideology and Islam by equating the latter with Talibanisation. They are defaming Islam which is the religion of peace, democracy, moderation and human rights.

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.

2013 and the future Of Pakistan

Since 2008 after the eight years of Gen Musharraf dictatorship this government formed , Nation had high hopes with this government that economy could boast, Job opportunities for youth, Better law and order conditions so foreign investment could come to Pakistan but the last five years are the most dark period in Pakistans history the debt of the government is more than 61 years of countrys history, Economy suffered allot due to energy crisis only in Punjab 1,00000 small and 400 big industry closed which cause 4million unemployment in industrial sector. Sports industry is also suffering main industry moved to Bangladesh and Srilanka which boast their economy and create job opportunitys their and increases our unemployment and government has no policy to re-establish his industry.

On the other side corruption in every department is increasing day by day PIA is near bankruptcy and Railway is also in also in loss. Many corruption cases highlighted during these five years for example Rental power case in which sitting prime minister famous as Raja rental including 16 other persons and Supreme Court of Pakistan issued their warrant, Effederine case in which ex-prime minister son involved, Hajj corruption case , Giving routes to Turkish airlines without any debate which effects PIA business. Most favoured nation status given to India without any debate in parliament or at any public forum is this form of democracy in which only one person is taking decisions.

The criteria of merit of this government is that under metric MNA with JALI degree appointed as education minister is this joke to our political system and already more than 50% of higher education commission grant has been cut during this government, Under metric appointed as a chairman of OGDCL a very important department, Foreign minister dont have any knowledge and experience about foreign affairs but appointed, chairman PPP is selected without any experience or knowledge to running a party is this democracy or kingdom abuse of the system.

The most serious threat we are facing as a nation is terrorism and drone attacks by US government just last year 3,325 people killed in drone attacks we sacrificed more than 40.000 lives in war in terror these causalities are more than 1948, 1965 and 1971 causalities and we lost billions of dollars in last ten years. Recently Us President has given permission to CIA to do as many drone attacks to Pakistan in one year which will cause loss of important civilians lives and lost of infrastructure but no protest from our government or from any political party or from civil society.

We dont have any policy to deal with terrorism and unfortunately government and political parties are not unite on this important security matters. US announced withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 and Pakistans role is very important in this region, India build five consulates in Afghanistan and they are supplying weapons to BLA and destabilizing Balochistan government has to raise this matter to security council because this is security threat to Pakistan.

Pakistan is main ally in war on terror and why is US silent on Indian involvement in Balochistan which is destabilizing Pakistan what we have get after so much sacrifice. Killings of Hazara community is also a big threat and they protested with 87 dead bodies for four days under -8 temperature than the prime minister came do they have any feelings for people. In recent two bomb attacks in Karachi 40 people killed and several injured and no government official or police reached at the place because a large number of police deployed to chief minister Sindhs advisor engagement and prime minister also attended the ceremony but cant bother to go their and know he is visiting Agmer Sharif on government expense and before he visited UK with his family members as state visit he is not eligible to stay at this post after issuing his warrants from Supreme court of Pakistan on rental power corruption case.

Karachi is a main commercial hub of Pakistan and main central Asias port trade upto Afghanistan depends on Karachi, Last year more than 15,000 people killed in Karachi with the average of 10 to 15 killings daily and no foreign investment is coming to Pakistan because of uncertain conditions closing of Karachi for one day can cause Pakistan billions of dollars. Our government and law enforcement agencies failed to protect the citizens and Karachi is an influence of Taliban, Pakistani Taliban strengthen in Pakistan after the drone attacks many places in Karachi is no go areas for government and they are challenging government rit.

Main question is that from which route weapon is coming to Karachi and in which quantity and who is sponsoring these terrorist groups and wants to destabilize Pakistan. Last week two ranger persons kidnapped who and then murdered and their dead bodies cant identified because of torture who is behind their murder. After the bomb explosion one group shutdown the markets in twenty minutes why government is silent on this issue.

During interior ministers tenure thousands people killed but he is still on post , He is head of security of Benazir Bhutto and escaped from the blast place then why he is appointed as Interior minister of Pakistan, according to his statement he said that big explosion could occur in Karachi in few days then blast happened from which resources he got the information and cant take any steps and also given the statement election can,t be possible in these conditions what is his agenda behind these statements.

Is their any international conspiracy behind to delay election process in Pakistan because government is not able to conduct fair and free elections because of poor law and order situations. Interior ministers statement Laskker e jahangavi involved in these bomb attacks and given 734 terrorist list to Punjab government Punjab government have to clear his name about they have link with terrorist group. Extremists attack on Christian community and no action has been taken by Punjab government and they have failed to protect their citizens.

Threat to the society is the threat to peaceful Pakistan and few forces wants to destabilize the country. Message given through such incidents to the international community is that Pakistan is not safe for any religion and government must have to protect human rights.

Putting Karachi on fire

By Sajjad Shaukat

Protests and demonstrations by the Shia community enveloped almost all the country in reaction to the deadly twin blasts which killed more than 50 people, and damaged various buildings on March 3, this year in the Shia-dominated Abbas Town of Karachi. Next day, Sohrab Goth area of Karachi turned into battlefield with heavy exchange of fire after the four mourners of the burial procession were killed, while several people including four personnel of the Rangers were injured, and at least 10 vehicles were set on fire in wake of complete shutter down strike in the city, plunging it into total chaos. In this regard, on the appeal of Muhttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), shutdown strikes and protests were again held in Karachi and some other cities of the Sindh province on March 6.

There has been no claim of responsibility. But suspicion falls on banned Sunni extremist organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) which has claimed major attacks on Shias in Quetta, particularly of February 17, which killed more than 100 persons of the Hazara Shias on the Kirani Road.

In this respect, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, while stating in the National Assembly on March 5 that four activists of the LeJ, involved in Karachis Abbas Town bomb blasts have been arrested, assured the Assembly that he would present a fact sheet that apart from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TPP) some other outfits like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi are also involved in recent terrorist activities, while LeJ is openly holding its meetings in Punjab. Earlier, he disclosed that Punjabi Taliban of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which had its headquarters in Punjab were behind the terror attacks in Karachis Abbas Town and Quettas Alamdar Road and Kirani Road. He elaborated that the Punjab governments ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was in an electoral alliance with the banned organisation. Therefore it has taken no action against the militant group. Former Governor, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Barrister Masood Kausar expressed similar thoughts on March 5. Notably, in the 2010, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer (The Late) revealed that Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has links with Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Although various sorts of subversive activities continue in different cities of Pakistan, yet Karachi needs special attention where sporadic terror-acts such as target killings, suicide attacks, hostage-takings, intense exchange of firing between two ethnic groups and workers of political parties in wake of setting buildings, shops, vehicles on fire and sectarian violence have kept on going since the last year, killing more than 2,200 people including several personnel of Police and Rangers.

In the end of April, 2012 in the areas of Lyari more than 20 people including police men have lost their lives as the gun-battle between police and gangsters continued for eight days. The criminal militants had been using heavy-weapons like rocket-launchers, hand grenades, machine guns. Besides these arms, police also discovered anti-aircraft guns from some places. In this context, Rehman Malik had disclosed, There is someone behind the scene who is providing modern weaponry to culprits in Lyari, and militants, belonging to the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Baloch Liberation Army were creating disturbance in Lyari. He told the National Assembly on February 2, 2012 that the aggravated situation in Karachi was the result of a well-planned conspiracy. He also revealed links among these militant outfits in carrying out joint terrorist activities, while the former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had also indicated foreign hands behind the Karachi unrest.

However, in 2012 besides other innocent people, leaders and members of the Pakistan PPP, MQM and ANP were murdered in the target killings, while dead bodies were also recovered from various places. In February, 2012 three Shia lawyers, two activists of the Sunni Tehreek (ST) and a doctor including Baluch MPA Nawabzada Bakhtiar Khan Domkis wife were brutally killed in separate assaults. Especially, the year of 2012 shows that the foreign-backed terrorists who had gone underground for some months due to the collective operation of Rangers and Police reappeared in Karachi.

The wave of various kinds of terrorism continues unabated in Karachi in 2013. Recently, sectarian violence erupted in different areas, killing more than 30 people after a terror assault on a leader of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat and the killing of four men of the group believed to be the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan.

It is notable that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan have claimed responsibility for a number of terror-related incidents.

In April 4, 2012, leaders of the three coalition parties, PPP, MQM and ANP attended a joint meeting hosted by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, and they ensured indiscriminate action against miscreants in Karachi. While heads of these parties have repeatedly appealed for peace in the city, so question arises, who are putting Karachi on fire?

In this context, in 2011 when terrorists took the lives of more than 1500 people in Karachi, the city was handed over to the Rangers and Police whose personnel conducted search operations in various phases, and seised weapons, suicide jackets, explosives and hand grenades from fugitives custody. A number of insurgents along with huge cache of arms and ammunition, made of US, India and Israel had been caught.

In this connection, on July 18, 2011, Rehman Malik, while indicating foreign hands in Karachi, had openly stated, Over 200 miscreants have been arrestedIsraeli-made weapons including AK-45 rifles have been recovered from them. Police investigations have also proved that the culprits, who disturbed law and order situation in Karachi, were not permanent residents of the city. In the recent months, weapons of foreign origin were captured, and insurgents belonging to TTP were also arrested.

Nevertheless, we cannot see the civil-war like situation in Karachi in isolation as it is part of various subversive acts, being arranged by secret agencies like American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad in other regions of the country. These agencies are in connivance to destabilise Pakistan for their common strategic interests.
These intelligence agencies have recruited smugglers, criminals, employees of the security companies, experts of the psychological warfare, and journalists in order to fulfill anti-Pakistan designs of America, India and Israel. A majority of the insurgents who are committing terror-acts especially in Karachi are receiving training in terrorist camps located in India and Afghanistan.

As regards Karachi, due to political instability, poverty and unemploymentthe jobless youth fall into the hands of criminals who are assisted by the external elements which use them for conducting targeted killings and other violent activities. These internal culprits, some Indian Muslims and insurgents who are particularly backed by RAW have joined the ranks and files of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, the Tehreek-e-Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba and other militant groups. They have also got the membership of MQM, ANP and PPP. Besides killing the leaders and persons of the rival religious parties, and attaking the offices of the opponent political parties, these are real miscreants who target the Pushtuns, Urdu-speaking people and even the people, belonging to the interior Sindh. In fact, CIA, Mossad and RAW have succeded in creating and manipulating the ethnic, linguistic and sectarian divisions in Karachi through their paid-agents, while leaders of ANP, MQM and other religious sects accuse each other for murdering the people of their-related communities.

In the past few years, aside from gang warfare, criminal acts, violent rioting and target killings, Karachi has witnessed a steady increase with some high profile deaths. Each murder sees a retaliatory attack. The situation has so deteriorated that leaders of some major political parties requested to Pak Army for intervention to save the lives of people.

Notably, Karachi is Pakistans largest port and financial hub with the largest commercial markets, collecting 70 per cent of the countrys tax revenue. So, besides causing unrest in the city, creating instability in Pakistan, another aim of the foreign hands is to cripple the economy of the city as Karachi is intermittently brought to a halt with shutdown strikesmany shopkeepers remain reluctant to open their shops due to violence which is fuelling the flames.

At present, aggravated law and order situation demands a programme of de-weaponisation and detection of foreign-backed terrorists which is essential to curb violence in Karachi. Now, security forces are coping with sporadic battles with the militants in some tribal areas, while our external enemies which are putting Karachi on fire also seeks to engage Pak Army in the city.

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.

Extrajudicial Killings through Drones

By Sajjad Shaukat

Under the pretext of American so-called counterinsurgency programme, the US President Barack Obama has broken all the record of human rights by extrajudicial killings of the innocent people through CIA-operated drone attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen in general and Pakistan in particular, while, the United States claims to be protector of human rights not only inside the country, but also all over the world.

Recently, the UN has opened probe regarding the predator strikes. In this regard, Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism said, A UN investigation into targeted killings will examine legality of drone strikeswill investigate 25 strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories. It will also focus on civilian killings by the strikes.

First time, a US Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of the predator attacks, openly admitted that 4,700 people have been killed by the raids of Americas secretive drone war. The number exceeds some independent estimates of the death toll. According to the research of London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between June 2004 and September 2012, these unmanned aerial vehicles killed between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians including 176 children. In this respect, in a report, The Guardian pointed out on August 11, 2011, The CIA claims that there has been not one non-combatant killed in the past yearit is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.

Nevertheless, details collected by the Pakistani journalists show that civilian casualties through unmanned aircraft are higher as indicated by the US officials. In the last four years, more than 900 innocent civilians and only 22 Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by these aerial attacks.

While justifying these air strikes by the spy planes, counterterrorism advisor to Obama, John Brennan who faces a Senate confirmation hearing for his nominee as CIA director is the main player, advising Obama on which strike, he should approve.

Especially, during his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama had pledged to reverse excesses of the Bush era in relation to terrorism. He also promised to reformulate a counterterrorism policy in accordance with the legal and moral values of the US. Contrarily to his assertions, Obama followed the Bushs approach of counterterrorism in its worst form by expanding and accelerating the predator strikes.

In this context, The New York Time on May 26, 2011, in an article which was written with assistance of several counterterrorism advisers of the administration revealed, President Obama has become personally involved in the process and has normalised extrajudicial killings from the Oval Office, taking advantage of Americas temporary advantage in drone technology. Without the scrutiny of the legislature and the courts, and outside the public eye, Obama is authorising murder on a weekly basis.

Notably, American constitution explicitly grants the right to declare war to the Congress so as to restrain the president from chasing enemies around the world, based solely on his authority as commander-in-chief by waging a secret war. But instead of capturing militants alive and to avoid giving the right of due process of law to them in a court, President Obama has openly been acting upon a ruthless policy of targeting killings by supervising the CIA-controlled drone warfare.

Besides, a report of the New America Foundation disclosed that President Obama has authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms. The report explained, When the US drones attack Pakistans tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50 innocent civilians they kill, these killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistanwhile killing 10 militants, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis, not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1400 militants?

Based on research, a report, Living Under Drones, prepared by experts from Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law disclosed that the US campaign of drone strikes in Pakistans northwestern tribal belt is terrorising civilians 24 hours a day and breeding bitter anti-American sentimenthave killed thousands of peopleeven stopping their children going to school for fear of being targeted. The report urged Washington to rethink its drone strategy, arguing it was counterproductive and undermined international law.

Citing unnamed US officials, The Washington Post reported on January 21, this year, The Obama administration is completing a counterterrorism manual that will establish clear rules for targeted-killing operationsthe guidebook would contain a major exemption for the CIAs campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan to continue striking Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan.

Defense Minister Leon Panetta has defended these attacks on Pakistans tribal areas under the pretext of North Waziristan-based Haqqani militants whom they blamed for several assaults on American and NATO bases in Afghanistan. On the other hand, US-led coalition forces have failed in stopping incursions of heavily-armed insurgents in Pakistan from Afghanistans side, who have killed more than 100 personnel of the Pakistans security forces in the last two year, while targeting the infrastructure of the areas. In fact, US seeks to make North Waziristan, a scapegoat of NATOs defeat in Afghanistan by continuing illegal mass murder of the innocent people through drones.

It is notable that Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam who visited America in August, 2012, emphatically told the then CIA Director David Petraeus that predator strikes which are violation of Pakistans sovereignty must be stopped. He pointed out that these strikes are proving counterproductive, giving a greater incentive to the fundamentalist and extremist elements in Pakistan, and are increasing anti-US sentiment among the people.

However, setting aside the parliament resolution, rallies and processions of Pakistans political and religious parties, and ignoring the new Pak-US rapprochement, without bothering for any internal backlash, these aerial attacks keep on going on FATA.

In fact, American such a duplicity contans a number of covert designs. The fresh wave of strikes by the pilotless aircraft has thwarted the offer of militants and Pakistani government for peace talks. And, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accelerated subversive activities in the country. Now, US wants to incite the Haqqani network as in the past 15 months, most of these strikes have targeted the North Waziristan. So, these aerial attacks are provoking the tribal people against Pakistans security forces, and increasing recruitment of insurgents. Another aim is to create a rift between Pakistans armed forces on one side and the political and religious parties on the other. Besides, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, US India and Israel are determined to destabilise it. Drone campaign is also part of this game.

The CIA-operated these strikes which continued on Pakistans tribal areas since 2004 have intensified under the Obama era. In one of the major drone attacks, more than 40 civilians and policemen were killed on March 18, 2011 in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. In the past few months, these unmanned aircraft killed more than 150 people, especially in North Waziristan including South Waziristan.

On the one side, US top officials have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistans help not only for peace process with the militants, but also for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario, while NATO troops have started transporting their equipments via Pakistani route as part of the exit strategy, but on the other, US spy planes on Pak tribal regions are undermining international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan including peace dialogue with the Afghan militants.

Recently, US ex-presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton have opposed Obamas faulty drone strategy. Even, new Secretary of State John Kerry has also criticised unabated use of unilateral drones in Pakistan, saying, US engagement with the world is not just about drones.

Besides, widespread criticism from some US allies and human rights groups which have remarked that these aerial attacks are illegal and unethical, and violation of the targeted countries sovereignty, the United Nations Charter, universal declaration of human rights and international law, but US warrior President Obama remains obstinate to continue extrajudicial killings through drones.

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.

How to Encounter Terrorism?

By Sajjad Shaukat

Despite the fact that Pakistans law-enforcing agencies and intelligence agencies have thwarted many terror attempts of the militants through pre-arrests, discovery of weapons and huge explosive material, suicide jackets etc., but terrorists keeps on targeting the installations of security forces, intelligence agencies and police including government buildings through bomb blasts, suicide attacks and targeting killings. They are also murdering political and religious leaders in order to fuel ethnic and sectarian violence.

In the recent months, militants high profile subversive activities include attacks on Peshawar Airport, Kamra Air Force Base, the assassination of leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Bashir Ahmad Bilour, attempt on the life of Malala Yousafzai, blast in Hangu. Besides, they are conducting terror attacks in various cities of the country, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and city of Karachi. In this regard, on February 2, this year, militants martyred 15 soldiers including 25 people at a military camp in Serai Naurang Lakki Marwat, while Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has owned responsibility. Similarly, on January 10, more than 100 people, a majority of whom belonged to the Hazara community lost their lives in the twin bombings in Quetta. The militant group, Lashkar-i-Janghvi claimed responsibility for this deadly attack. In the recent past, sectarian violence erupted in different parts of Karachi, killing more than 30 people after a terror assault on a leader of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat and the killing of four men of the group believed to be the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan. A perennial wave of these acts indicates that terrorism has increased in Pakistan.

It is a challenge for the whole nation that various terrorist organisations like Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (Gods soldiers), Lashkar-i-Janghvi, Lashkar-e-Islam,
Sipah-i-Sahaba and some other militant outfits, especially the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) feel pride in murdering the innocent people and killing the personnel of the security forces, while claiming responsibility for their heinous terror assaults. These culprits are free to move inside the country.

Media reported on January 2, this year that while changing professional priorities, Pakistan Army has declared the internal threats such as anti-state terrorist groups as major challenge to the country.

Every Pakistani must understand that unlike the conventional war which was being waged between two sovereign belligerents through traditional armies and intelligence agencies, the arena of aggression has changed. In the present era, non-state actors like terrorists have made it difficult for the security forces to serve alone as the dominant sphere in this different war.

Complex phenomenon of terrorism cannot be left on the security forces and law-enforcing agencies alone, as it is everyones war. There are a number of impediments in fighting war against terrorism, and these must be overcome to encounter terrorists.

No doubt, Pakistans law-enforcing agencies and intelligence organisations which are well-prepared in coping with terrorism are engaged in identifying and locating the terrorist networks and their support bases including informers and accomplices. While remaining vigilant, these agencies have thwarted many terror attempts of the militants through pre-arrests, but were discouraged as their actions were being challenged through courts of law regarding the validity and legality of their decisions. The insurgents lawyers availed the opportunity by indicating procedural penal flaws. Thus many terrorists were freed by the courts due to lack of solid evidence in legal terms, though reality of their subversive activities existed. Due to this practice, efficiency of law-enforcing agencies drops to zero level, giving a greater setback to war against terrorism and making the concerned official insecure in face of judicial grilling.

Terrorist presently under custody, if released by the court due to judicial discourse will certainly join their main terrorist networks, thereby strengthening terrorist groups. Consequently, this new style war will turn in favor of terrorists instead of law-enforcing agencies and intelligence agencies which may suffer more in the hands of terrorists.

In this respect, Pakistans media must recommend to the legislative and law-making authorities to change the complex procedures and evidence-related issues, and to make new laws against terrorists in order to provide the legal cover to law-enforcing and intelligence agencies which are fighting the menace of terrorism. For this purpose, the concerned agencies should be allowed to detain the certain suspected individuals so that the intensity and frequency of occurrence of terrorist activities could be reduced.

While fighting against the militants, Pakistans security forces and intelligence agencies require maintaining high degree of morale and confidence. In this context, our media should appreciate the sacrifices and services of countrys security forces and agencies in their fight against terrorism.

Meanwhile, it is a good move that the National Assembly on December 20, last year passed the Investigation for Fair Trial Bill-2012 so as to provide legal cover to the concerned law-enforcing agencies and intelligence outfits to tape the phone calls and watch the e-mails. The bill envisages that electronic material would now be permissible in the court of law as evidence.

Another impediment in war against terrorism is that by misconception of Islam, terrorist groups manipulate the feelings of innocent Muslims who are naturally prone to favor the cause of Muslims. Hence, they become targets of terrorists propaganda who project their unfair designs in the name of Jihad, and undertake criminal activities of terrorism, inflicting serious loss of innocent lives and damaging property. The militant outfits also recruit very young boys, and after their brainwashing through indoctrination, they train them for suicide bombings. The planners misguide these Muslims by convincing that they will have a noble place in the Heavens in exchange of suicide attacks.

However, Islam considers killing one innocent person equal to murdering the entire humanity, while jihad is a sacred obligation, but its real spirit needs to be understood clearly, as targeting innocent women and children is not jihad. These Taliban and their banned affiliated groups are defaming Islam which is the religion of peace, democracy, moderation and human rights.

In this connection, 50 Islamic scholars and muftis of the Sunni Ittehad Council have issued a joint fatwa (edict) on February 7, 2013, and unanimously declared killing of innocent people, target killings and suicide bombingsin Karachi and Balochistan, along with sectarianism as against the spirit of Islam. They added that those involved in the killing of innocent people are condemned to hell. Their Fatwa also declared, The suicides attacks and related violence smeared the name of Islam and weakened Pakistan.

Earlier, these Islamic scholars had said in their joint Fatwa, the terrorists self-adopted interpretation of Islam was nothing but ignorance and digression from the actual teachings of the religion. Besides, Shia religious scholars also condemned terror attacks.

Although our rulers, leaders of political and religious parties have repeatedly condemned the terror attacks of the Taliban and other extremist groups, yet instead of verbal statements, they must show practical unity against these elements which seek to create anarchic situation in the country to accomplish their self-motivated power designs.

While indicating internal threats of terrorists, recently, Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani also said that the country was pitched against the faceless enemy. He explained that the present spectrum of threats could be defeated through collective national efforts in which the armed forces had a pivotal role to play.

Now, people from all segment of life and majority of politicians including general masses want that a handful of terrorist elements must not be allowed to dictate their agenda and to impose their self-created ideology in the country.

In these terms, it is war of entire nation against terrorism. But such a war needs better intelligence-gathering which is possible, if people provide information to the law-enforcing and secret agencies about the presence and covert activities of the Taliban and other militants. People must also point out foreign agents who have joined the ranks and files of these terrorists or are backing the latter.

Nevertheless, this is the right hour for the nation to practically cooperate with the security agencies to encounter terrorism.

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.

Bin Ladin Film is a Disaster Movie

By Yvonne Ridley

Every now and again a movie is released which creates a major change in society and the way it thinks, such is the power and influence of Hollywood at its best.

In The Heat of the Night is a classic example and it forced middle class Americans in 1967 to take a long hard look in the mirror to confront their attitudes towards race and prejudice.

Norman Jewison’s racially-charged murder mystery won several awards in the 1968 Oscar ceremony which that year had been delayed a couple of days out of respect for the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, the leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, who had been assassinated the previous week.

As the film went on general release there were reports of all-white audiences in the Deep South cheering in theatres, giving their full-throated approval of Sidney Poitiers portrayal of a proud black man who refused to be intimidated by Rod Steiger’s redneck police chief in a small Mississippi town.

This was nothing less than extraordinary given the political context at the time but this particular movie made ordinary Americans see racism for the vile doctrine it is.

If anyone was expecting such a seminal moment from Kathryn Bigelows new movie Zero Dark Thirty about the demise of al Qaida leader Osama bin Ladin they will be disappointed. In fact if anything, the film will fans the flames of prejudice in those countries where burning the American flag is already a regular occurrence.

Zero Dark Thirty is so wrong on so many levels that it is bordering on being irresponsible. While the re-enactment of torture scenes might be authentic the truth is Osama bin Ladin was tracked down through good, old fashioned intelligence work. In other words, not a drop of blood was spilled nor so much as a Chinese burn.

For the last two years Ive embroiled myself in an academic study which involved interviewing scores of torture victims from various wars and conflicts since 1945 and one of the most powerful testimonies came from US Republican Senator John McCain; a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of the War on Terror but vehemently opposed to torture.

His was probably the one voice that George W Bush listened to and then tried to dismiss and silence such was the power of his personal experience and belief that torture does not work.

So when it emerged that a team of Navy Seals had taken down the worlds most wanted man thanks to intelligence from a courier, the first question on McCains lips was did the courier reveal OBLs whereabouts through torture? It was not an unreasonable question and the response he got from the head of the CIA with regards to the raid on the Pakistan hideaway in Abbottabad was a firm no.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta even wrote to Senator McCain in May 2011, stating: ..no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/couriers full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means.

However Bigelows film gives the impression that OBL was eliminated purely via intelligence gleaned from full on, no holds barred torture. While this method of intelligence gathering probably now has the full approval of the unquestioning sheeple whove turned Zero dark Thirty into a box office hit, there is an intellectual force at play which finds the methods of interrogation portrayed in the film as abhorrent.

Torture is not only morally and legally wrong under international law; it is also unreliable and rarely effective, as I discovered in my own research. Of course Im not the only one to reach this sort of conclusion and it is something which must have influenced the Oscar judging panel. This could be why Bigelow could have become the second casualty of the film by way of not being nominated for the coveted gold statue the first casualty of Zero Dark Thirty was the truth.

But perhaps the most irresponsible and dangerous clip in the film portrays how a doctor was coerced by the CIA in an unsuccessful attempt to get DNA via blood samples from children living in the mystery house in Abbottabad. Its true that a real life doctor – Shakil Afridi – is now in prison in Pakistan for using the cover of a hepatitis vaccination programme for the CIA to try and identify the occupants of the house suspected as OBLs hideaway.

However, in Bigelows movie the doctor and his team wear jackets which suggest they are providing polio drops. The significance of this scene was not lost on Rob Crilly, Pakistan correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, who said last week: In a country where polio has made a comeback in recent years, the film provides yet another blow for health workers trying to eradicate the disease and prevent Pakistan acting as a reservoir to reinfect the rest of the world.

As I write this, news is just coming in of reports that at least nine women who were vaccinating children agains polio have been shot dead in northern Nigeria by gunmen. The killings are already drawing comparisons with a series of incidents in Pakistan last December where five female polio vaccinators were also shot and killed.

These fresh waves of hostility towards immunisation drives in Nigeria, are being fuelled by some who claim the vaccines are part of a western plot to sterilise young girls and eliminate the Muslim population.

Zero Dark Thirty will do little to dispel this nonsense and plenty to encourage it. Bigelows film is grossly inaccurate and irresponsible and has possibly already cost the lives of innocent aid workers.

The film may yet go down for having a major global impact, but for all the wrong reasons. This is Hollywood at its worst a disaster movie in every sense.

*British journalist Yvonne Ridley is a supporter of Cageprisoners.

Official confession of ‘Hindu Terrorism’

By Sajjad Shaukat

A deliberate propaganda campaign keeps on going by the US, some western countries, Israel and India regarding Talibanisation of Pakistan under the pretext of perennial subversive acts like suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence which secret agencies like American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad have been arranging in the country through their affiliated militant outfits. They intend to destabilise Pakistan because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. For the purpose, Indo-Israeli lobbies which are well-penetrated in the US administration have left no stone unturned in distorting the image of Pakistan. They manipulate every terror-event which takes place in Pakistan. For example, despite the fact that Pakistans rulers, political and religious leaders strongly condemned the failed attempt by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Malala Malala Yousafzai, but America and some western countries have been exploiting the episode in tarnishing the image of the country. They are showing to the international community that Pakistan has become a failed state due to terrorism.

On the other side, US-led western countries and their media neglect Hindu terrorism which has now been officially confessed by India. In this regard, exposing the nexus between Bhartia Janta Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Indian Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde disclosed on January 20, this year that organised training camps run by the fundamentalist parties, RSS and BJP were promoting Hindu Terrorism. He also explained that these extremist parties were behind the Samjhauta Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts. He added, We will have to think about it (Saffron terrorism) seriouslyHindu extremist parties BJP and RSS were involved many times in Hindu Muslim violence in India, especially Gujarat and Babri masjid incident.

By setting aside the so-called protest of BJP, RSS and other political leaders, Indias External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid endorsed Shindes statement, saying that it was based on facts. Meanwhile, Indian Home Secretary R K Singh revealed that during investigation, the government found ten names of the Hindu extremists, associated with RSS, who were involved in these terror attacks including Ajmer Sharif.

While, India has always accused Pakistan of these subversive acts, but it is quite silent over Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) terror which has obtained a new face as Indian RAW, countrys high officials and fundamentalist parties have co-relationship.

In fact, ideology of Hindu nationalism prevails in every field at the cost of other minority groups. It is even supported by Indian defence forces secretly. This could be judged from the incident, when on April 6, 2008 in the house of Bajrang Dal fundamentalists in Nanded, a bomb went off. The investigation proved that these militants were found in bomb-making and attack on a mosque in Parbhani in 2003. Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra arrested a serving Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit along with other army officials, indicating that they were helping in training the Hindu terrorists, providing them with the military-grade explosive RDX, used in the Malegaon bombings and terrorist attacks in other Indian cities. ATS further disclosed that Lt. Col. Purohit confessed that in 2007, he was involved in bombing of Samjhota express, which brunt alive 70 Pakistanis.

Indias National Investigation Agency (NIA) is convinced that Sadhu Swami Aseemanand, a Hindu right-wing leader was directly involved in the Samjhota Express blast. Sources in NIA further pointed out that besides Lt. Col. Purohit, other Indian army officials were also behind that train-bombing. In this regard, a court in Panchkula, Haryana has recorded Aseemanands statement which confirmed the NIA inquiry.

Swami Aseemanand also confessed in the court that several RSS preachers and Sang activists were directly involved in planning, financing and executing Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts. He stated that various leaders of Hindu communal organisations including Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Abhinav Bharat, Jai Vande Matram and Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram were also behind these blasts.

With the backing of Indian high officials, leaders of the Indian extremist parties, Shiv Sena, BJP, VHP and RSS were pressurising the Congress regime to release the all culprits.

It is noteworthy that in various tapes, LT. Col Purohit said, We are all on the same plane, Hindu Rashtra (Nation). He even claimed that Gen. J J Singh is with us. (Singh was Army Chief till Sept. 2007). Significantly, Purohit mentioned that one of our own captain had visited Israel, and demanded continuous supply of arms, training, an office with a saffron flag in Tel Aviv, political asylum and support for our cause of a Hindu Nation in the UN. The Israelis, he added, gave a very positive response.

Notably, The Times of India reported on December 17, 2010 that Congress Partys heir, Rahul Gandhi feels that the bigger threat to India may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups which create religious tension and political confrontation with the Muslim community.

Particularly, Indian Hindus are followers of Chanakya (Say some thing else and do some thing else). This fact has been verified by the misdeeds of Hindu fundamentalist parties like BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sina and Bajrang Dal which have missed no opportunity to communalise national politics of India even under the Congress rule. With the support of Indian officials and RAW agents, these parties have been launching anti-Christian and anti-Muslim bloodshed coupled with the dissemination of Hindutva.

Apart from the past genocide of Muslims and destruction of the Babri Mosque, more than 2500 Muslims were massacred in 2002 in the BJP-ruled Indian state of Gujarat. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have charged the Gujarat state administration for involvement in a massive cover-up of the states role in that massacre and pointed out numerous police officialsspecifically ministers, high officials and leaders of the VHP, BJP and Bajrang Dal as participants.

Similarly, in the recent years, assaults on Christians, their churches and property have been executed by the Hindu mobs in various Indian cities. In this respect, at least 60 Christians have been assassinated in the recent past by Hindu extremists in the state of Orissa. Other religious minorities of India are also target of Hindutva terror.

In Maharashtra, non-Hindu communities have lived in constant fear and awe since the advent of the fundamentalist party, Shiv Sena whose Chief Bal Thackeray (The late) has organised army of hoodlums to beat up any religious minority, openly directing the Hindu terrorists to loot and stone any of their shop or house. Lack of serious action by the subsequent governments against Shiv Senas vandalism has clearly defeated the secular echoes of India which is in fact a secular terroist state.

As regards Hindu terrorism, on November 7, 2011, leader of the VHP, Pravin Togadia, in his furious speech questioned the past of Muslims and Christians, and further gave a call to Hindus to capture the Islamic holy places in Arab and Vatican of Europe.

Besides, Hindutva terror is also employed in the occupied Kashmir. In this context, in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of the controlled Kashmir, while other groups reported about thousands of mass graves without markers. In this context, in the last few years, rights groups discovered more than 3,000 unnamed graves in the various districts of Kashmir.

Especially, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves. Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have said that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and para-military troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by RAW.

Indian official confession also shows that Mumbai terror attacks of 2008 were in fact, arranged by RAW in connivance with Indian home-grown terrorists, while Indian top officials were accusing Pakistans intelligence agency, ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in this respect.

Notably, western countries have interests in India which serves as their largest market. And the US has also its strategic interests in the region, while New Delhi is its main ally to counterbalance China in Asia. It is owing to these collective interests that like his predecessor, Obama ignores Hindu terrorism which has become a dangerous reality for international community after the official confession of Indian rulers. Now, the right hour has come that the US-led these powers should break their prolonged sleep by banning Hindu terrorist groups through UNO.

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.

All against terrorism

Professor Ali Sukhanver

In this world of conspiracies, spreading of depression has proved one of the very successful strategies used as the war tactics and its repercussions are more fatal and lethal than those of a nuclear bomb. Now survival is not the fate of the fittest ones but of those who dont fall a prey to depression and disappointment. Throughout the world, most of the countries have their own well organized and well trained wings in electronic and print media. The men belonging to these wings are simply the soldiers armed with pens and words and basically they have two responsibilities to perform; spreading disappointment and depression among the enemies and generating hope and determination among their own people. On the whole their assignment is to deform the facts and figures with the help of misinformation in the larger interest of their own country. But at the same time it is something more pathetic that a very few of these men armed with pen and words join hands with the forces hostile to their own land and start playing in the hands of those whose only objective is to shatter the very foundations of their country. Unluckily such men armed with pen and words are present in the Pakistani print and electronic media also, though they are few and far between. We always find these unfortunate soldiers trying to prove their loyalty to their foreign masters by acting upon the agenda provided to them. Defaming the Armed forces of Pakistan, slandering the intelligence agencies of Pakistan and above all framing the religious forces in every act of terrorism is the actual duty assigned to such media-men and media groups. Such elements are always eager to spread an impression throughout the world that Pakistan is facing the worst situation of sectarian divide and the blood thirsty sectarian extremists are butchering ruthlessly their religious opponents in the streets of Pakistan; but in reality the situation is altogether different.

Be it the streets and bazaars of Karachi, Quetta or Peshawar, it is not the sectarian conflict which has taken lives of countless Muslims in the name of extremism; it is something else. The people involved in such heinous acts of brutal killing in the name of religion neither belong to the Taliban nor to the Tehreek-Taliban and nor to Al-Qaeda because all these three claim to represent the Muslim community and to safeguard the Muslim interests all over the world. These organizations have a grave enmity with US just because they think US is working against the Muslim interests and it is US which has given all Muslims the name of Terrorists. The wave of targeted killings of the Deobandi, Barailvi and the Shia Ulamas and their respective communities is in fact the part of a well organized conspiracy against the Muslims and the sole aim of this conspiracy is to spread hatred based on misunderstanding among different Muslim sects. The terrorists, according to the agenda provided to them, target someone from the Deobandi sect and the very next day they target someone from the Barailvi sect and the third day their target is someone from the Shia community. The game does not stop here; the targets keep on shifting from the religious persons to the political figures; one day someone from the ANP and the next day someone from the MQM or from the Nawaz League. In short every killing, portrayed by some of the prejudiced media groups or media persons as sectarian killing, has another picture behind.

It is true that the Pakistani society is facing a lot of social and financial problems, yet it has an exemplary harmonized religious fiber. People dont hate others on religious or sectarian grounds. The Deobandis, the Barailvis and the Shias have family relations and connections with one another. They have inter- marriages, they participate in the religious ceremonies, they share the joys and sorrows of one another and above all they feel grieved at any loss the other community has to bear. Just cast a look at the brutal killing of over one hundred innocent people belonging to the Hazara Community in Quetta a few weeks back. Though most of the martyrs belonged to the Shia sect but the whole of the nation was grieved at this massacre. Though the provincial and the federal governments remained indifferent to this sad incident till the very end but people raised their protest against this genocide throughout Pakistan keeping away all sectarian differences. It was for the first time in the history of Pakistan that the protestants in such a large number demonstrated a sit in with eighty six dead bodies of their dear ones for more than three days. These demonstrators were not only the Hazaraz or the Shias; they were from all social and religious walks of life. Though it was really a heart-rending incident but it gave the world a very strong message that the whole of Pakistani nation hates and condemns every act of terrorism and that the terrorists do not belong to it. However, the demand of removal of the Provincial Government and an SOS call to the Army must be an eye-opener to all those who advocate democracy in Pakistan.

Pakistan is a non-violent and moderate society. People are very much loyal to their land and religion and tolerance is the basic lesson of Islam. They know very well that the secret of their survival as a nation is hidden in unity and harmony. Those who are trying to give an impression to the world that Pakistan is an extremist and intolerant society divided on sectarian grounds are simply distorting the real face of this society. Such people are nothing but the puppets whose strings are in the hands of their puppeteers and their target is to demoralize the Pakistani nation by spreading depression and disappointment in it.

Dual Policy of the Pakistani Taliban

By Sajjad Shaukat

Since the Pakistani Taliban led by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) offered peace talks with the government, a debate has continued in our country among the political leaders and analysts, showing divergent views. But they have ignored the fact that the militants offer is part of their dual policy by which they seek to fulfil a number of secret designs.

By following tricks, TTP wants to create a rift between the ruling alliance on the one side and between the ruling parties and their sympathisersreligious and political leaders on the other. In this regard, differences between these parties were most apparent in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly on January 4, this year when lawmaker of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Mufti Kifyatullah said that the government should engage in talks with militants. But Information Minister of Awami National Party (ANP) Mian Iftikhar Hussain stated, The ANP is trying to get all political parties on board to develop a single agenda over terrorism, and should settle with whom they should talk and on what grounds. He added, If the problem is not resolved by talks, then strict action should be taken. Earlier, chief of the ANP, Asfanyar Wali Khan remarked that talks with the TTP were possible if they renounced violence, and withdraw their unacceptable conditions.

In this regard, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik also pointed out on December 27, 2012 that the Talibans offer of conditional truce is unacceptable, saying, Taliban groups cannot dictate the state.

In fact, tough terms of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan for reconciliation indicate double game. In this context, in a letter, Pakistani Taliban demanded that Pakistan should pull out of the Afghan war, abandon its pro-American and pro-western policies and change its constitution and foreign policy in conformity with Islamic Shariah. The militants also demanded from Pakistan to refocus on a war of revenge against India. The TTP dubbed the ANP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) as agents of the US and warned that Taliban would target both the parties. The militants said they would not target the JUI-F, Jamaat-i-Islami, the PML-N and Imran Khans Tehrik-i-Insaaf because they had no problem with them.

Indeed, these certain conditions which are full of contradictions clearly show that the Taliban insurgents are not interested in peace dialogue nor are they serious about reconciliation. They want to create division among the political and religious parties through their duplicity.

It is tact of the Pakistani Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, as he did not send any statement for peace deal with the government. The said letter was written by a Punjabi Taliban leader Asmatullah Muawiya outlining his leaders conditions for talks, though TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ahsan endorsed the offer. Through his dual policy, Hakimullah also seeks to check that after the recent suicide attacks, bombasts and target killings, especially in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, assaults on the Peshawar and Kamra Air Force bases including assassination of the ANP leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour and killing of 24 Levies personnel by the TTP militants have made the state to retreat and to accept their demands. In this context, while rejecting the ceasefire offer by the Taliban, Interior Minister Rehman Malik remarked, I dismiss every claim of Ehsanullah Ehsan unless Hakimullah Mehsud authenticates his claim of being his representative then as to why he himself does not come to open.

It is notable that TTP insurgents have even lost the sympathy of majority of people due to their subversive acts. Recently, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, leaders of the PML-N, ANP, Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F, PTI and MQM had denounced the shocking assault on Malala Yousafzai including the killing of Bilour. Besides, the Sunni Ittehad Council, Islamic scholars of various sects termed these terror-attacks as un-Islamic; pointing out that the assailants self-adopted interpretation of Islam was nothing, but ignorance and digression from the actual teachings of the religion. They clarified that Islam not only made it obligatory on every man and woman to seek education, but also strictly forbade taking life of any innocent person.

Pakistans members of civil societies, human rights groups, students of universities etc. have protested against the inhuman activities of the Taliban.

However, Islam considers killing one innocent person equal to murdering the entire humanity, while jihad is a sacred obligation, as targeting innocent women and children is not jihad. These Taliban and their banned affiliated groups are defaming Islam which is the religion of peace, democracy, moderation and human rights.

In the past few years, the Taliban killed thousands of people across Pakistan through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, beheadings, assaults on military troops, police stations, sectarian violence etc., and destroyed hundreds of girls schools including those of boys. In the Khyber agency, they are also indulged in murdering and torturing Shias in their majority areas, forcing them to flee.

Taking cognisance of their strong opposition by all the segments of society, the TTP-led Taliban might have felt that they could again get the favour of some people by offering meaningful dialogue to the government.

As part of their bluff, TTP leadership claims that the outfit is part of other Taliban who have been fighting against the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. On the other side, on September 17, 2012, in a rare interview by telephone from an undisclosed location, leader of the Haqqani militant network, Sirajuddin Haqqani had revealed that the group has become so confident after battlefield gains in Afghanistan that it no longer has sanctuaries in Pakistan, and instead, felt secure inside Afghanistan. Earlier a Haqqani leader also stated that Taliban chief Mullah Umer had instructed the militants to stop subversive acts inside Pakistan, and to continue their war of liberation in Afghanistan.

Notably, in their conditions for dialogue, like the blame game of foreign elements, the Taliban also demanded that Pakistan should stop pitting Afghan insurgents against the Kabul government. In fact, based in Afghanistan, US-led India and Israel are covertly assisting the TTP insurgents with arms and ammunition to destabilse Pakistan in order to obtain their collective secret designs. For the last two years, heavily-armed Taliban entered Pakistan from Afghanistans side and attacked security forces check posts, killing several soldiers of the Pak Army besides destroying infrastructure of various towns. Pakistans civil and military leadership has repeatedly protested against cross-border terrorism including TTP location in Afghan provinces of Nooristan and Kunar, but US-led NATO and Afghan top officials did not take any action.

Besides, the TTPs offer of peace talks with the present regime has coincided with the acceleration of drone attacks on North and South Waziristan. In the recent ten days, these CIA-operated unmanned planes have killed more than 60 people in these tribal areas. The main purpose behind is not only to provoke the tribesmen against the Pak Army, but also to cause more recruitment for TTP, and to provide it with justification of more terror-attacks inside Pakistan. The aim is also to regain the favour of PTI and other religious entities for Pakistani Taliban.

Another diplomatic tact of the TTP and drone attacks is to create a rift between Pakistans security agencies on the one side and the general masses led by political and religious parties on the other.

It is of particular attention that in 2007, military operations were stopped when an agreement was signed between Taliban leader Fazlullah and the government, but it failed as these militants violated the accord through their inhuman activates like hostage-takings, attack on the Shias etc. In 2008, setting aside American concerns, the government asked the Swat Taliban to lay down arms in accordance with the peace deal as their promise for enforcement of the Islamic law was fulfilled. But various transgressions by the Swat Taliban like refusal to disarm, murder of innocent people, beheadings, destruction of schools etc. clearly violated the peace agreement. They also occupied Dir, Buner and other adjoining areas. When the government writ was challenged, the civil government called army to re-launch military operations which ejected TTP militants out of these regions.

No doubt, latest offer by the Pakistani Taliban is part of their dual policy. Nonetheless, by uniting all the political and religious parties, the government must get a decisive upper-hand over them, developed through consensus. And the matter should not be left to military alone to cope with these foreign-backed militants.

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.

Security Challenges to Pakistan

By Sajjad Shaukat

Media reported on January 2, this year that while changing professional priorities, Pakistan Army has declared the internal threats such as anti-state terrorist groups as major challenge to the country. In the newly published Green Book, known as Army Doctrine, a new chapter, titled, Sub-conventional Warfare has been added which also mentions about the militant intrusion in Pakistani areas from across the border in Afghanistan, and the new warfare requires public support. However, the Pakistan Army is ready to face all conventional and unconventional security challenges.

Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani also said on December 29, 2012 that the country was passing through a very critical phase and is pitched against an amorphous enemy, while the conventional threat has also grown manifold. He explained, Increasingly complex external environment and our precarious internal dynamics have created a myriad of security challenges. He added that the present spectrum of threats could be defeated through collective national efforts in which the armed forces had a pivotal role to play in harmony with other state instruments.

Armys new doctrine and Gen. Kayanis statement has come at a time when external enemies have intensified suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted-killings, beheadings, assaults on police stations, ethnic and sectarian violence inside the country. Besides the provinces of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the city of Karachi have become special targets of terrorism which continues unabated.

While, Pakistans security forces have been coping with sporadic battles with the militants in the tribal areas, and are target of surprise assault by the militants. In this regard, around 400 heavily-armed Taliban attacked two security posts outside Peshawar on December 27, last year. They killed 2 soldiers and kidnapped 22 Levies personnel whose dumped bodies were found. In the recent past, these insurgents had beheaded some soldiers through similar act. In Balochistan, several personnel of security agencies have been martyred by the foreign-supported separatists in defending countrys security.

Besides other terror acts, recent assassination of Senior Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister and the courageous leader of the ANP, Bashir Ahmad Bilour including eight people came like a fresh challenge from the Taliban. And Sectarian violence erupted in different parts of Karachi, killing more than 30 people after a terror attack on a leader of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat and the killing of four men of the group believed to be the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan. While on December 30, 2012, more than 20 pilgrims were killed in a suicide car bomb attack on three buses in Mastung area of Balochistan.

Apart from this perennial wave of sabotage, militants armed with suicide jackets, explosive-material, and automatic weapons attacked the Peshawar Airport on December 15, 2012, Kamra Air Force Base on August 16 same year and Pakistans Naval Airbase in Karachi on May 23, 2011. During all these assaults, after fierce gun battle with the insurgents, Pakistans valiant security forces foiled these terror attempts.
For all these subversive activities, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (Gods soldiers), Lashkar-e-Islam and some other militant outfits, especially the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsibility.

In fact, secret agencies like American CIA, Indian RAW, Afghan intelligence-National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Israeli Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan have been dispatching highly motivated militants and suicide bombers along with sophisticated weapons to attack the security forces of Pakistan and to commit various forms of terror acts. These secret agencies have hired the services of many Muslims who have joined the ranks and files of TTP and other extremist outfits. Pakistans civil and military leadership has repeatedly protested against cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan including TTP location there, but US-led NATO and Afghan top officials have taken no action. Notably, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World; therefore, these entities are determined to denuclearise it.

As regards the conventional threat to Pakistan, US which has signed nuclear deal with India in 2008, has been supplying atomic technology and other modern arms to the latter to counterbalance China. In this respect, Balochistans Gwader seaport where China has invested billions of dollars can link Central Asia with rest of the world. As Sino-Pak strategic partnership irks the eyes of US-led India and Israel, hence, they intend to destabilise Pakistan through their affiliated insurgent groups.

Nevertheless, Pakistan has been facing a different war by coping with faceless enemies like foreign-backed terrorists. Besides collateral damage, more than 40,000 innocent persons and more than 5000 personnel of the security forces have been martyred in this new style war in maintaining the integrity of the federation. On the whole, Pakistan suffered the losses of more than 70 billion dollars due to war against terrorism.

In the past aggression, was openly being made between two sovereign belligerents through the traditional armies. But the arena of aggression has changed. In the present era, non-state actors like terrorists have made it difficult for the military to serve alone as the dominant sphere in every war. Now, different lethal weapons such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts and targeted killings used by the militants coupled with states non-lethal techniques of psychological warfare like propaganda, creation of division among government institutes, politicians, general masses etc. can be more harmful in damaging the interest of a rival country.

In these terms, a number of developments against Pakistan like US double game, pressuring Islamabad to do more against the militants by ignoring the internal backlash, intermittent drone strikes, accusation of cross border terrorism, perennial propaganda against Pak Army, countrys nukes, intelligence agency, ISI, exploitation of the Malala episode, distorting the image of Pakistan as a fundamentalist state etc. clearly show nefarious designs of the US-led India, Israel and some western countries. But it is due to lack of unity among our politicians, security forces and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfil their secret aims against the integrity of the country.
It is regrettable that on the one hand, security challenges to Pakistan indicate that it is rapidly advancing towards a failed state, while on the other, our media, particularly most of the TV channels conduct controversial debate between politicians and commentators, contesting internal politics. While speaking in the tone of anti-Pakistan elements, they have been following the external blame game in maligning the countrys security agencies.

Notably, present drastic situation cannot be comprehended by the general masses and even the political leaders who abruptly change their opinion without logic. Therefore, they become unintentional victim of the external plotters who succeed in creating a rift between the political groups, divided on ethnic and linguistic lines. These foreign enemies also seek to create a division between the political leaders and the Army.

Without bothering for Pakistans multiple threats, our political and religious parties have started old game of accusations and counteraccusations, while forming alliances and counter alliances to increase their vote bank in the forthcoming elections. It could be judged from the fact that Dr Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, the chief of Tehrik-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran (TMQ) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) who recently returned from Canada has announced a long march to Islamabad for revolutionary changes in political and electoral system. Recently, Dr Tahirul Qadri and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) declared that their pro-revolution supporters would turn Islamabad into Tahrir Square of Pakistan. PML-Q leaders have also responded positively to their call. The ruling party, PPP and opposition party, PML-N have strongly condemned Dr Qadris at this hour when elections are going to be held in the coming months. Unlike Egypt under the ex-president Hosni Mubarak, parliamentary system is smoothly working in Pakistan. Therefore, some political analysts opine that by pursuing the guidelines of some foreign power, TMQ and MQM want to create civil war in the country by dividing the military on one side and general masses on the other.

Undoubtedly, today our nation stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing multiple challenges to the security of the country. So, it is not armys war only; it is nations war which demands a selfless unity among Pakistans security forces, politicians, media and general masses to castigate the sinister aims of the external and internal enemies.

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.

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