Freedom convoy for pakistani gaza: S.O.S from shias

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ajtr, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    FREEDOM CONVOY FOR PAKISTANI GAZA: S.O.S FROM SHIAS

    B.RAMAN


    An S.O.S.message has been disseminated through the Internet by an organisation calling itself the Voice of Parachinar in the Kurram Agency of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, which, it is believed, represents the Shias of the Agency against whom an economic blockade has been imposed by the Sunni extremists of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Lashkar-e-JhangvI (LEJ) for over two years now without any action allegedly being taken by the Government of Pakistan to break the blockade. The message is reproduced below in Annexure I as it was received without correcting the spelling or grammar mistakes in the text. This may please be read in continuation of my article of September 3,2008, titled KURRAM AGENCY CONTINUES TO BLEED---International Terrorism Monitor---Paper No. 435 at http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/\papers29\paper2829.html which is at Annexure II. (3-6-10)


    ANNEXURE I

    OPEN LETTER:-FREEDOM CONVEY needed for pakistani Gaza(Parachinar) also & SALAM Plus tribute to Syed Talat Hussain.

    We SALAM and pay our tribute to great Pakistani Journalist/Anchor Syed Talat Hussain for being a part of Freedom Flotila to end the Zionists siege imposed on Gaza strip.It is worth mentioning here that We the people of Pakistani Gaza(PARACHINAR) are also facing inhuman siege imposed jointly by militants so called Taliban(worse than Zionists) and establishment since April 2007 as the Gaza in palestine. And It was the same courageous Journalist/Anchor Syed Talt Hussain who only visited the Be-sieged Pakistani Gaza(PARACHINAR)and highlighited the misries and problems of the area in his Programme Live with Talt.Great syed talat Hussain for highlighting oppressed areas.



    We demand the Pakistani Civil society ,media & Human Rights that they should try to broke the three years continous inhuman siege and blockadge of Pakistani Gaza(Parachinar) by sending FREEDOM CONVEY to end the Humantarian Crisis.

    For this the boldness and courage like Syed talat Hussain is required if someone have.


    We also want to FOCUS Via Media the step mother treatment of PIA that it have daily two flights to Gligit from Islamabad & Similarly from Peshawar to Chitral with nominal charges of Rs3500/-per head.


    In PARACHINAR a full pledge Airport bigger than Chitral is present BUT PIA do not resume/start Flights to Parachinar EVEN the Parachinar is facing 3 years long imposed siege & blockagde jointly by estiblishment & milltants Taliban..................


    Here it is the matter of great concern that Private aeroplanes of Peshawar Flying Club and one write-off plane of governor(Capicity of three & five seats respectively) are going to Peshawar charging Rs 9300/- per passenger as one side fare. Sources says that the PA admin(bureaucracy) & governor are reciving commission in flying club planes fare that is why they are creating hardles in starts or resun=ming of PIA Flights for Parachinar.As the demand supply is not fulfilled from these planes Therefore regular two PIA Flights are immediately required.

    With addition to this on may31.2010 Chief or army staff visted Parachinar with three protocols helicopters But he did not announced Heli Service or C130 service for Be-siege Parachinar people…



    RAISE & SHARE THIS ISSUE SO THAAT GOVT & PIA can start Daily Flights to parachinar.



    BY:pATRIOTIC TURI & BANGASH TRIBALS PEOPLE OF PARACHINAR VIA VOICE OF PARACHINAR.(E-MAIL FOR CONTACT/FEEDBACK:- [email protected]


    ANNEXURE II

    3-Sep.-2008

    KURRAM AGENCY CONTINUES TO BLEED---International Terrorism Monitor---Paper No. 435 (http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/\papers29\paper2829.html )

    By B. Raman

    (An update of my earlier articles on the subject written since November 20, 2007)

    "Al Qaeda is trying to replicate Iraq in Pakistan by exacerbating the already existing divide between the Shias and the Sunnis in the civil society as well as in the Army." --- Extract from my earlier paper of November 15, 2007, titled "The State of Jihadi Terrorism in Pakistan" at http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers25/paper2459.html



    Till 1977, the Shias were in a preponderant majority in the Kurram Agency in Pakistan's Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on its border with Afghanistan and in the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan) of Jammu and Kashmir, which is presently under Pakistani occupation.

    2. After the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in February, 1979, there was a radicalisation of the Shias of these areas. They started demanding the creation of a separate Shia majority province to be called the Karakoram Province, consisting of the Kurram Agency, the Northern Areas and other contiguous Shia majority areas. The leadership of this movement came mainly from the Turi tribe of the Kurram Agency. The movement was allegedly funded by the Iranian intelligence.

    3. Gen. Zia-ul-Haq put down this movement ruthlessly. He also started a policy of re-settling the Sunnis in these areas in order to control the Shias and dilute their preponderant majority. While Sunni ex-servicemen from other parts of Pakistan were re-settled in the Northern Areas, Afghan Sunni refugees from the refugee camps were re-settled in the Kurram Agency. This led to widespread resentment among the Shias against the Government as well as the Sunni settlers. The Iraqi intelligence of Saddam Hussein too allegedly funded these Sunni settlers in the Kurram Agency to enable them to fight the radical Shias.

    4. There were serious riots in Gilgit in 1988 which were ruthlessly put down by Zia with the help of a combined force of Sunni tribals and Arabs led by Osama bin Laden. Hundreds of Shias were killed. It is generally believed that the anger caused by this massacre contributed to the death of Zia-ul-Haq in a plane crash in August 1988. Enquiries into the crash reportedly brought out that the crash took place when a Shia airman belonging to Gilgit released tear-smoke or some other gas in the cockpit, thereby disorienting the crew.

    5. The Kurram Agency has also been the scene of frequent Shia-Sunni clashes, with most of the attacks by the Shias directed against the Afghan and Pakistani Sunni settlers brought in by Zia. There were three major Shia-Sunni clashes in the Agency in 1983, 1988 and 1996, which resulted in the deaths of a total of 1,200 persons belonging to both the sects.

    6. There was a recrudescence of the violence in April, 2007, after a gap of 11 years. For nearly three weeks from April 6, 2007, the Kurram Agency became the scene of a no-holds barred jihad waged by the local Shias and Sunnis against each other following an incident of firing allegedly by the Shias on a procession taken out by the Sunnis to mark the Holy Prophet's birthday. The local adherents of the two sects of Islam used not only small arms and ammunition, but also mortars and rocket-launchers against each other, resulting in heavy casualties. The clashes initially started in Parachinar, the capital of the Agency. It then spread to the interior areas. The imposition of a curfew by the Pakistani authorities and severe action against the local leaders and volunteers of the two sects ultimately restored an uneasy normalcy. The Pakistan Army extensively used helicopter gunships to put down the violence.

    7. There were conflicting figures of the fatalities inflicted by the two sects against each other and by the security forces on the warring sects. While the Pakistani authorities estimated the total number of fatalities as around 50, non-Governmental sources estimated that at least 80 persons died in the violence.

    8. During the clashes of April, 2007, the local leaders of the two sects accused the Pakistani Army of siding with the other sect. Some Sunni leaders also accused Iran of fomenting the Shia attacks against the Sunnis.

    9. Addressing the media at the Peshawar Press Club on April 9, 2007, Mast Gul, a Sunni jihadi leader, alleged that since April 6, 2007, Shias had killed hundreds of innocent Sunnis. According to him, just on one day about 28 Sunni women and children were slaughtered in the Kurram Agency. He accused Iran of providing financial resources and weapons to the Shias in the Agency. He warned the Pakistan Army that if it did not take effective action against the Shias, he would appeal to the Sunnis in the other parts of Pakistan and in Jammu and Kashmir to come to Kurram and help the local Sunnis.

    10. Mast Gul used to belong to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), which is a founding member of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front (IIF) formed in 1998. He used to operate in J&K till 1995. He and his followers were responsible for the burning down of the Islamic holy shrine at Charar-e-Sharief in J&K in 1995.

    11. After violence instigated by Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda Sunni tribal elements escalated in South and North Waziristan in October, 2007, there were reports of fresh tension in the Kurram Agency in the wake of reports that the jihadi terrorists loyal to Osama bin Laden were targeting the Shia members of the Frontier Constabulary and the Frontier Corps deployed in these two Agencies. It was alleged that while the terrorists brutally killed the captured Shia soldiers, they let free the Sunnis. Some of the Shias beheaded by the terrorists belonged to the predominantly Shia tribe of Turis in the Kurram Agency. Some Shia leaders of the civil society in these two agencies were also targeted by pro-Al Qaeda elements and killed.

    12. These incidents led to a fresh outbreak of violence between the Shias and the Sunnis in the Kurram Agency since the night of November 15, 2007. Despite the imposition of a curfew by the Pakistani authorities and the use of helicopter gunships to quell the riots, violence continued for days. It was reported that the fighting in November was more fierce than in April, 2007, and that about 100 persons, including 11 members of the para-military forces, died in the violence. Police sources suspected that the fresh violence had been engineered by Al Qaeda in order to divert the attention of the Pakistan army from its on-going operations against the jihadis in the Swat Valley.

    13. In December, 2007, there was a fresh flare-up of clashes between the Shia Turi tribals and Sunni tribals belonging to Al Qaeda and the newly-formed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Many of the Sunni tribals involved in the fresh clashes had reportedly infiltrated into the agency from South Waziristan and the Swat Valley.

    14. During the clashes of December, 2007, the Shias and the Sunnis used mortars, rocket launchers etc against each other's places of worship and schools, causing large casualties and severe damages to places of worship. Each side accused the other of starting the fresh violence. There were over 150 fatalities in the intermittent clashes, which continued for over a month. The Taliban and Al Qaeda also targeted the Shia members of the local para-military forces.

    15. The Pakistan Army, which was preoccupied with the operations against the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in the Swat Valley of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) during December,2007, was not in a position to send reinforcements to the Kurram Agency. It left the anti-Al Qaeda and anti-Taliban operations there in the hands of the para-military forces. Their requests for helicopter gunships were not accepted. The Shias hit back at Al Qaeda and Taliban elements with considerable effectiveness. The Sunni leaders once again accused Iran of sending arms and ammunition to the local Shias. This was denied by the local Shia leaders.

    16. While official spokesmen and the Pakistani mainstream media refrained from identifying the dramatis personae and giving details of the fighting, the "Frontier Post" of Peshawar (December 27, 2007) reported, inter alia, as follows: "It is worth mentioning that the recent clashes started when a group of local Taliban militants attacked and opened fire on security forces (FC) at Sada. Plus they also attacked the nearby Balishkhel village where Turi tribe is living. As the Sada is the strongest base of Taliban militants therefore the government writ is nil; that is why due to lack of monitoring and writ of government, clashes spread throughout the Kurram Agency and now its control is quiet difficult due to invasion of Taliban militants."

    17. The "Post", another Pakistani daily, reported as follows on December 31, 2007: "A delegation of notables from Kurram Agency has appealed to President Pervez Musharraf and Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani to stop the ongoing violence that has resulted in the loss of more than 100 lives and billions of rupees' worth of property. Haji Latif Hussain, President, Kurram Welfare Society, said the residents had been fighting the Taliban infiltrating from Afghanistan, North and South Waziristan and Al Qaeda operatives in the area who were thousands in number. He added over 70 people had been killed in furious clashes during the last 45 days. "The armed forces of Pakistan are playing the role of silent spectators instead of countering the attackers and protecting the residents under attack," he said.Latif Hussain said Al Qaeda fighters had occupied various areas of Kurram Agency and blocked the main road from Peshawar to Parachinar, resulting in a shortage of basic commodities. "There is an acute shortage of medicines, food, electricity and water," he added. The Kurram Welfare Society President said that as a result of the war, hundreds of women, children and the elderly had taken refuge in Peshawar while over a hundred students who were unable to move to their native areas because of the war had been forced to stay in Islamabad. Mehdi Ghulam from Kurram Agency said Alizai, Balyamin, Tangi Amro Khail, Arravali, Santikot, Singk, Burqi and Pevar were under Taliban and Al Qaeda attacks while dozens of injured were waiting for their death in the Parachinar hospital owing to a shortage of medicines. He said that although the current confrontation was not sectarian, shrines and mosques of both Sunni and Shiite sects were being damaged by Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. Mehdi said that in Pevar firing from the other side of the border was causing multiple deaths daily. Muhammad Hussain Turi, secretary, Ittehad-e-Ummat Committee, said: "We are not only fighting for our lives and the area but also for the sovereignty of our country. We are fighting the international war against terrorism on our borders by shedding our blood but, instead of helping us, everyone is creating trouble for us by trying to stop us from defending our area." Turi appealed to the President and the Chief of the Army Staff to issue a directive to the army to intervene to save the lives of thousands of people. Gull Ishrat, member, Kurram Welfare Society, said: "We are fighting the battle of the Pakistan Army against those who managed to escape from Swat, Bajaur, North and South Waziristan and Afghanistan and are involved in furious attacks on the Pakistan Army."

    18. The clashes, which never really stopped, have picked up fresh intensity since the beginning of July, 2008, reportedly resulting in over a thousand fatalities on both sides. The Shias have been fighting with great ferocity. According to some accounts, there have been more fatalities among the Sunnis than among the Shias. Since the beginning of this year, the blood-letting has been worse in the Kurram Agency than it has been in the Bajaur, South Waziristan and the North Waziristan Agencies of the FATA. The permanent sanctuaries of Al Qaeda and the Taliban are located in Bajaur and the two Waziristans. There has been blood-letting in the Swat Valley of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) too. The US has been repeatedly expressing its concern over the activities of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Bajaur and the two Waziristans. The situation there has repeatedly found mention in US Congressional testimonies and in the statements of US military officers. The spokesmen of the Afghan National Army too have been expressing their worries over the situation there. The US and the Hamid Karzai Government have been repeatedly urging the Pakistan Army to do more against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in those areas.

    19. But, surprisingly---- and intriguingly--- they have been silent on the terrible blood-letting in the Kurram Agency. The situation in Kurram hardly finds mention in US testimonies and statements. There has hardly been any pressure on Pakistan to do more to bring the situation in Kurram under control. Everybody---- Pakistan, the US, Afghanistan, Iran and Al Qaeda---- have been behaving as if it suits them fine if the Shias and the Sunnis---Pakistani and Afghan--- keep killing each other in the Kurram Agency. The more the Sunnis killed by the Shias in Kurram, the less the problems for Pakistan, the US and Afghanistan in Bajaur and the two Waziristans and the less the problems for Iran in its Sunni-majority Baloch areas. Iran suspects that the so-called Jundullahs (Soldiers of Allah) attacking, kidnapping and killing Iranian National Guards in its Baloch areas are operating from sanctuaries in Kurram. The more the Shias killed by the Sunnis, the better it is for Al Qaeda, which suspects that many of the newly-recruited human sources of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Pashtun tribal belt come from the anti-Sunni Shia community. So money and arms and ammunition keep flowing to the two warring communities.

    20. The Shia community in the rest of Pakistan is getting increasingly restive over what it sees as the strange silence of the Pakistan Army over the continuing violence in Kurram.While Sunni Pashtuns from other parts of the FATA and the NWFP have been going to the assistance of the Sunnis of Kurram, Shias from other parts of Pakistan have not been doing so till now, but they are now threatening to go in large numbers to Kurram to join the Shia jihad against the Sunnis.

    21. On September 1, 2008, a big Shia demonstration was held in Karachi at which Shia leaders warned the Government that if the eight-month long siege and economic blockade in Kurram Agency by the Taliban is not ended, they would issue a call for a long march to the Kurram Agency to free the besieged Shias by force. The demonstrators shouted slogans against the Government over its failure to stop the aggression of the Taliban against the Shia community in the Kurram Agency and Dera Ismail Khan in the NWFP.




    (The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: [email protected])
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Parachinar: The Valley of Death


    Tucked away between soaring snowy-peaks and deep gorges in the fragile north-western region of Pakistan is the tiny town of Parachinar.

    Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, one of the more charismatic leaders in the history of this troubled nation, is said to have called it Pakistan’s own “Switzerland”. Humbled by towering snow-tipped mountains and covered by endless fruit orchards, Parachinar’s natural charm is breathtaking. Its narrative for the last two years however, has been anything but reflective of the serene beauty of its surroundings.

    Strangled by recurring sieges laid on the town, and a plight concealed from the consciences of the outside world by a silent media, the lives of Parachinaris have been a tale of untold suffering. Since early 2007, violence has gripped the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which holds Parachinar, and the surrounding North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) leading to the deaths of hundreds. Even more have been left homeless and without means of sustenance with homes and local businesses regularly torched down just because their owners happen to fall under the wrong “sect”. Despite the periodical nature of sectarian violence in these regions, the unrelenting wave of the recent outbreak has been by far the bloodiest in recent memory.

    Tensions began in April 2007 when a procession of Shias came under fire from fanatical Wahhabis who view Shia Muslims as heretics. What followed on from that initial attack however, has been a systematic attempt to wipe out Parachinar of its’ Shia presence. Shias represent a majority of the population in Parachinar constituting over fifty-percent (50%) of the population. They also have a considerable presence in neighbouring towns in the north-west of the country with a strong and historic Hazara presence further north of the FATA.

    During the rule of General Zia-ul-Haq, the Kurram Agency (which hosts the town of Parachinar) came under increased focus for its strategic location as it provided the shortest route from within Pakistan to the Afghan capital, Kabul. Jutting out into Afghanistan almost like an island peninsula, it was famously nicknamed the “Parrot’s Beak” by US forces during the Soviet-Afghan War and was regularly used as a launching-pad by American-backed “jihadists” to strike out at the Soviets. As a result of this strategic importance, towns in the FATA region were flooded by inflows of Wahhabist and Salafist anti-Soviet “jihadists” well-known for their hatred towards Shias.

    Following on from the early and comparably minimal killings unleashed in April, armed Wahhabi groups have since caved in on the local Shias of Parachinar from all sides. The Shia residents of Parachinar have repeatedly claimed that Wahhabi elements from Afghanistan have joined in the attacks against the town’s Shias, but these cries have been met by deaf ears in Islamabad’s Pakistani central government.

    An all-out attack against the Shias of Parachinar has been underway for a long time now; even Sunni locals seen to be “friendly” towards Shias have not been spared in this maelstrom of killing. Gruesome images of beheaded and mutilated bodies, with arms and legs chopped off from corpses, have surfaced on the Internet since the outbreak of violence.

    http://therearenosunglasses.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/dsc01727-copy.jpg?w=320&h=240
    http://therearenosunglasses.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/parachinar-beheading1.jpg?w=320&h=240
    Such showings of utter barbarity are not altogether unique. The collective massacres of Hazara Shias in next door Afghanistan – more notably in Mazari Sharif in 1998 where during a 48-hour period over 8,000 Hazaras were mercilessly slaughtered – evoke similar images of ruthlessness. By the end of the killing spree then, corpses littered the streets of the city after express orders were given out by the Taliban government for the dead to be left unburied.

    Eerily reminiscent of massacres conducted against Afghan Shias in the recent past, Riaz Ali Toori, a villager from Parachinar, protested in a letter to a Pakistani daily:

    “Today Parachinar is burning: daily bodies of more than five beheaded persons reach Parachinar. The situation of Parachinar is getting worse day by day and so is the life of all people living there. It’s a matter of great sorrow and shock that Pakistan, in spite of bringing Fata into the mainstream of the country, has been pushed into fighting a continuous war and facing terror.” (Letters to the Editor, The Dawn, April 08 2008)

    Surprisingly, at a time when the “civilized” world is on a so-called offensive against “terror”, coverage of the sorrow-filled plight of Parachinaris within western media has been periodical at best. The reasons for this are unclear. May be it is because Parachinar, fatefully, does not sit over barrels of oil; or perhaps our probing of the historical context behind these massacres will lead us to discover that Parachinar is yet another piece of anecdotal evidence of the much disregarded “blowback” stemming from the Soviet era.

    In July of 2008, the New York Times ran a piece highlighting the rise of “sectarian conflict” in Parachinar. By then, the town had already been subject to a siege that had spanned for months; food and medical supplies had been in severe shortage after the main Thal-Peshawar highway leading to the town was blocked off by armed groups. The New York Times article carried the story of Asif Hussain, a Sunni driver, in a relief convoy headed for Parachinar; the convoy was ambushed, and its drivers taken captive. Asif Hussain was let off after convincing his captors that he was Sunni, the other eight drivers were not as lucky. (Power Rising Taliban Besiege Pakistani Shiites, New York Times, July 26 2008)

    Today, the violence has spread out over a larger radius extending all the way through to the southern tips of the NWFP. Attacks on Shias in Hangu, Chakwal and as far south as Deira Ismail Khan have become a thing of the norm. Late in August of last year, a suicide bomber detonated himself inside the DI Khan hospital killing thirty-two Shia followers who had come to claim the remains of one of their leaders slain earlier in the day.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As recently as last week, another suicide bomber struck a Shia mosque in Chakwal instantly killing thirty and leaving hundreds more injured.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The systematic targeting of followers of the Shia sect in various regions of Pakistan, more specifically in the north-west of the country, amounts to nothing other than a project of ethnic cleansing. According to a reputed scholar of the phenomenon of ethnic cleansing, Drazen Petrovic, he defines it as such:

    “ethnic cleansing is a well-defined policy of a particular group of persons to systematically eliminate another group from a given territory on the basis of religious, ethnic or national origin. Such a policy involves violence and is very often connected with military operations. It is to be achieved by all means, from discrimination to extermination …”

    The above definition provides an almost perfect fit to the present situation on the ground in Parachinar. If international silence continues as it has over the last two years, the same story will have repeated across many towns in the FATA and NWFP.

    That the Pakistani government holds principal blame for its failure to restrain the killings is indisputable and goes without mention. Wider global apathy to an ongoing project of ethnic cleansing however, is certainly not comprehensible and deserves a great deal of mention.

    Parachinar deserves better. And the people of Parachinar certainly deserve better. The least we can do is speak out and urge our leaders to press the Pakistani government to bring an immediate end to these massacres. Then, and only then perhaps, can it be said that we have extended a hand to the forgotten victims of Parachinar.
     
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  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The State of Jihadi Terrorism in Pakistan - International Terrorism Monitor---Paper No. 305


    By B. Raman

    At the instance of Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, the new Vice Chief of the Army Staff who is expected to take over as the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) as and when Gen. Pervez Musharraf keeps his commitment to give up his second hat as the COAS, a background briefing on the state of jihadi terrorism in Pakistan was organised by the Directorate-General of Military Operations (DGMO) for a select group of Pakistani journalists at the General Headquarters at Rawalpindi on November 14, 2007. This was the first briefing of its kind held by the Pakistan Army since 9/11. It is believed that the Army officers, who conducted the briefing, were unusually free and frank in sharing their views and concerns with the invited journalists.

    2. It is not clear whether Gen. Kiyani himself attended the briefing. According to reliable sources in the Pakistani media community, what came out clearly during the briefing was that Gen. Kiyani believes that the failure to deal effectively with jihadi terrorism in Pakistani territory was to some extent due to the over-militarisation of Pakistan's counter-terrorism strategy under American influence. Even before this briefing and weeks before Musharraf imposed a State of Emergency, non-Governmental analysts in Pakistan were pointing out that some of the problems being faced by Pakistan in the tribal areas could be attributed to what they perceived as Musharraf's amenability to US pressure in counter-terrorism.

    3. A point often heard from non-Governmental analysts was: Would the US use the kind of military methods on its own citizens in its homeland that it has been forcing Musharraf to use on the tribal citizens of Pakistan? They were having in mind the repeated bombing of madrasas in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) allegedly under US pressure just because US intelligence agencies and military officers suspected that these madrasas were being used by Al Qaeda and the Neo Taliban as training centres for suicide terrorists. According to them, hundreds of innocent tribal children were killed in the bombings, thereby spreading anti-US and anti-Musharraf anger right across the tribal belt. After the bombings, it was allegedly found that the US-supplied intelligence, which led to the aerial bombing, was not correct.

    4. Ayesha Haroon, of the "News", who was one of the journalists, who attended the briefing at the GHQ, has said in her detailed report published by her paper on November 15, 2007, as follows: "The journalists were told that the VCOAS stresses that "military solutions must be politically acceptable" and "only minimum use of force must be resorted to."

    5. It has been my view that while constant US pressure on Musharraf to repeatedly use his Air Force against suspect madrasas and alleged Al Qaeda hide-outs in the tribal area has partly contributed to the jihadi upsurge, Musharraf cannot escape his own share of responsibility for the increase in the activities of Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda jihadi terrorists in Pakistani territory. His predecessors as military dictators had the good sense to realise that the Army alone cannot effectively govern the country and maintain law and order without the co-operation of the Police and other civilian bureaucracy.

    6. The Police has an important role in counter--insurgency and counter-terrorism. They act as the eyes and ears of the Government even in the remotest of villages. They know the community better than the Army. Gen.Zia ul-Haq and other military dictators of the past tried to strengthen the self-pride and elan of the Police in order to secure their co-operation for the Army. Musharraf was the first military dictator, who sought to humiliate the Police right from the day he took over in October, 1999, and marginalise its role. He appointed junior and middle-level Army officers---some serving, some retired--- as monitors of the performance of senior police officers. There were shocking instances where senior Police officers, holding a position equivalent to the rank of a Maj. Gen. in the Army, were asked to report to army officers of the rank of Major or even Captain. These junior officers, who knew very little of the community, were asked to write the annual performance report of very senior police officers. Musharraf also started an exercise to militarise the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of the Ministry of the Interior, which, in the past, used to be largely, if not predominantly, staffed by Police and other civilian officers. The IB of Pakistan shared the same civilian traditions and work practices as its Indian counterpart. Musharraf sought to change this in order to give the Army a greater role in the IB. There was a similar mishandling of the non-police sections of the civilian bureaucracy.

    7. The result: A drying-up of the flow of intelligence not only from the tribal areas, but also from other parts of the country as well. Police officers hardly investigated terrorism-related cases either because of their resentment with Musharraf or because of a fear of incurring the wrath of the terrorists." It serves the Army and Musharraf right" was their attitude. There was neither effective prevention nor successful investigation in most cases. Successful investigation and prosecution is an important deterrent to the spread of terrorism. This is hardly to be found in Pakistan.

    8. Another blunder committed by Musharraf was the over-use of the Frontier Constabulary and the Frontier Corps in the operations against terrorists in the tribal areas. He wanted to avoid using the Punjabi-dominated Army for ground operations. While the Army is actively involved in the ground operations against the Baloch freedom-fighters in Balochistan, it was confining itself to the barracks in the FATA and in the Provincially-Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). American officials and their counterparts in Pakistan often claim that Musharraf has deployed nearly 80,000 troops in the tribal areas. The Americans cite this as one of the reasons for their strong backing to the General despite his growing unpopularity.

    9. What they do not mention is that many of these security personnel are the tribal members of the para-military forces, who come from that area, and not Pakistani military personnel recruited from other areas of the country. A large number of the Pakistani army personnel are used not for ground operations against the terrorists, but for providing physical security to American and other NATO military supplies to Afghanistan from the Karachi port after they are landed there. This has been creating resentment among the tribal personnel of the para-military forces, who feel that Musharraf, under US pressure, is making not only Muslims kill Muslims, but also Pashtuns kill Pashtuns, in the name of the so-called war on terrorism. The FM radio stations operated by pro-Al Qaeda jihadi leaders in the tribal areas have been repeatedly alleging in their broadcasts directed to the fellow-tribals in the para-military forces that innocent tribals are being killed in order to save American lives in the US homeland.

    10. As a result of this, there has been a growing number of desertions of Pashtuns serving in the para-military forces. Only now, for the last few days, Musharraf has been using regular Army units to counter the supporters of Maulana Fazlullah in the Swat Valley, but afraid that the Pashtun soldiers of the Army too might start deserting their units like the Pashtun members of the para-military forces, he has been avoiding the use of the army in ground operations and has instead been relying increasingly on helicopter gunships. This has, on the one hand, resulted in an increase in the number of civilian casualties due to indiscriminate air-mounted actions and, on the other, further fuelled the resentment in the para-military forces, whose personnel are asking: Are the lives of the Army personnel more precious than those of the Frontier Constabulary and the Frontier Corps?

    11. Musharraf has so far not told his people and the international community that Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda organisations in the tribal areas have been increasingly targeting Shias and Christians. Captured Shia members of the para-military forces are being treated with brutality and killed by beheading or by cutting their throats. Shia members of the civil society are also being targeted. The FM radio stations have been indulging in the most horrible anti-Shia broadcasts. Shias are being projected as American agents in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. They are alleging that the majority of the prostitutes in Pakistan are Shias and projecting the Shias as the sect of the prostitutes in the Ummah. A highly reputed school for poor tribal girls run in the FATA by a Christian missionary organisation was targeted and forced to close through intimidation. There are no Buddhists in the tribal areas, but many historical Buddhist heritage sites are there. These too are systematically being attacked. Al Qaeda is trying to replicate Iraq in Pakistan by exacerbating the already existing divide between the Shias and the Sunnis in the civil society as well as in the Army.

    12. Musharraf has been totally helpless in dealing with the situation. There is an urgent need to encourage the emergence of a new leadership---political as well as military---which would be able to deal with the worsening jihadi terrorism with greater political sensitivity and operational effectiveness.

    13. The text of the "News" report on the GHQ briefing is annexed.

    (The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: [email protected])

    ANNEXURE (From the "News" of November 15, 2007)

    ‘No impact of emergency on militancy’
    Army says elements freed by SC attacking security forces

    By Ayesha Haroon

    ISLAMABAD: Even as General Musharraf's 2007 emergency has had no impact on the ongoing counter-terrorism action by the military operations, Swat and Malakand are expecting a major Army operation to rid them of local Taliban leadership by the end of December.

    In a background briefing to senior editors by the Directorate General of Military Operations, at the GHQ on Wednesday, about the VCOAS' concept of handling growing militancy in the country, especially in NWFP and Balochistan, it was told that the VCOAS wanted to create a balance between the military and political solutions.

    Significantly, when asked how the imposition of emergency has improved the DGMO's work in quelling militancy, given that countering militancy was one of the main reasons given for General Musharraf's Emergency 2007, it was told that emergency has had "no impact" on the DGMO's work vis a vis terrorism.

    "The journalists were told that the VCOAS stresses that "military solutions must be politically acceptable" and "only minimum use of force must be resorted to." Worryingly, the message from those involved in the military operations is that they see no political will to "get it over with". It was said that "neglect" of the intrinsic issues and the deep-seated political and development problems is continuing.

    It was shared in the briefing that no willingness from the government functionaries was forthcoming to adequately administer the areas - even the "political agent of Waziristan sits in Peshawar".

    "Improving the situation would need a wholesome approach which is not there, except in presentations," was a rather depressing assessment. The MO says it is trying to aim for a strong political administration and building up local institutions. "That is the end state we are looking for, but when we try to push the local administration to take the lead, they are hesitant."

    Participants of the briefing were told that while the Government of Pakistan's Fata strategy included multiple prongs: military, political, and development; however, all three prongs did not work at the same pace; particularly development, which came to a halt due to the security situation.

    It was said that the valley of Piochar, currently under the control of Mullah Fazalullah and his comrades, would be sanitised by the end of December and the local gang leaders, including Fazalullah, Qari Mushtaq, Ikramuddin, Cheenala, TOR Mullah, are the main targets.

    Bedevilled by the poor intelligence, which earlier resulted in embarrassing captures of soldiers and members of law-enforcing agencies, the MO personnel leading the action have come to the conclusion that instead of the huge threat of thousands of local Taliban followers of Fazalullah, Swat is being terrorised by a group of 40-50 odd thugs. They are thugs masquerading as Taliban leaders, and they will soon be cleaned up, participants of the briefing were told.

    Troops morale given the abductions and the seeming lack of central authority and the writ were the issues raised a number of times during the briefing. While the participants were reassured of the willingness by all those in the field to carry out the orders diligently, it was conceded that there appears no central agency in the affected areas.

    "What can you do if the police or levies give up arms?" The local administration is too threatened to man the posts, exacerbating the already poor law and order situation. About the troops' surrender at Wana there was no excuse given. "It was shameful for us that people decided not to fight." It will take us a long time to come out of it, participants were told. Interestingly, the recently amended Army Act, that includes court martial of civilians, did not elicit much enthusiasm or confidence by the MO personnel.

    Online adds: More than 600 security personnel and 1,300 civilians were killed in at least 28 suicide attacks after the Lal Masjid operation. The high-ups at GHQ admitted that the incidents of extremism and terrorism were on the rise after the operation. The extremists in North Waziristan have ended the peace agreement, the meeting was told.

    The security personnel were ambushed for at least 192 times, 39 bomb blasts and 28 suicide attacks occurred in the country after the Lal Masjid operation. The military is strengthening its positions in the Swat valley. The top officials said that situation in North and South Waziristan was not satisfactory, and a priority of the security forces was to narrow the noose around Baitullah Mehsud.

    From 2001 to date, at least 966 military men were martyred and 2,259 others were injured; 488 foreign extremists were killed, 24 others were arrested and 324 foreign extremists were injured, it was said. The military official said the elements released by the Supreme Court were attacking the security forces and targeting national installations. "We have irrefutable evidence those who were set free under the directives of Supreme Court are attacking the security forces, targeting national installations and worsening the situation.

    "We will not allow extremism to spill into other parts of NWFP. However, more measures will be taken to crush it," they vowed. The Army has fortified its position in Swat and 100,000 troops are participating in war against extremism in Balochistan, tribal areas and other parts of NWFP," the officials said. "We are cooperating and coordinating with the international forces, engaged in operation in Afghanistan. Different targets in NWFP have been hit due to this cooperation."
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Holocaust of Shias in Parachinar

    This was the title of a seminar recently held in the Iranian city of ‘Qom’, “Holocaust of Shias in Parachinar”. We all have been receiving pictures of beheaded bodies and acts of barbarianism from both Sunni and Shia friends. We all know that dozens of people are violently subjugated to sectarian hatred everyday in this once beautiful tribal area of Pakistan, Parachinar.

    The following is a news report by an Iranian news agency on the seminar and how Tehran has raised the issue at the highest level with the Pakistani authority.

    What I fail to understand is that the locals have been demanding the government to send in the army to Parachinar as opposed to areas where the locals have stood up by saying that they we will deal with the militants ourselves and the army need not intervene.

    What I also fail to understand is that the media is absolutely silent on this issue of enormous importance. Where is the justice we talk about? Where are the voices who stand up for human rights? Or are they busy organizing concerts and fashion shows?
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Parachinar: The Silent Massacre



    Taliban’s attack on shia Muslims mosque and religious spots is very comman in Pakistan.We all have heard about mass killing of shia at parchinar pakistan in April 2007 and then in Nov. & Dec. 2007 and currently started in 6th April 2008 which is still not ceased. . One man Mr jawad Published a beautiful article “Parachinar: The Silent Massacre” which i would like to share.

    Tucked away between soaring snowy-peaks and deep gorges in the fragile north-western region of Pakistan is the tiny town of Parachinar.

    Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, one of the more charismatic leaders in the history of this troubled nation, is said to have called it Pakistan’s own “Switzerland”. Humbled by towering snow-tipped mountains and covered by endless fruit orchards, Parachinar’s natural charm is breathtaking. Its narrative for the last two years however, has been anything but reflective of the serene beauty of its surroundings.

    Strangled by recurring sieges laid on the town, and a plight concealed from the consciences of the outside world by a silent media, the lives of Parachinaris have been a tale of untold suffering. Since early 2007, violence has gripped the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which holds Parachinar, and the surrounding North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) leading to the deaths of hundreds. Even more have been left homeless and without means of sustenance with homes and local businesses regularly torched down just because their owners happen to fall under the wrong “sect”. Despite the periodical nature of sectarian violence in these regions, the unrelenting wave of the recent outbreak has been by far the bloodiest in recent memory.

    Tensions began in April 2007 when a procession of Shias came under fire from fanatical Wahhabis who view Shia Muslims as heretics. What followed on from that initial attack however, has been a systematic attempt to wipe out Parachinar of its’ Shia presence. Shias represent a majority of the population in Parachinar constituting over fifty-percent (50%) of the population. They also have a considerable presence in neighbouring towns in the north-west of the country with a strong and historic Hazara presence further north of the FATA.

    During the rule of General Zia-ul-Haq, the Kurram Agency (which hosts the town of Parachinar) came under increased focus for its strategic location as it provided the shortest route from within Pakistan to the Afghan capital, Kabul. Jutting out into Afghanistan almost like an island peninsula, it was famously nicknamed the “Parrot’s Beak” by US forces during the Soviet-Afghan War and was regularly used as a launching-pad by American-backed “jihadists” to strike out at the Soviets. As a result of this strategic importance, towns in the FATA region were flooded by inflows of Wahhabist and Salafist anti-Soviet “jihadists” well-known for their hatred towards Shias.

    Following on from the early and comparably minimal killings unleashed in April, armed Wahhabi groups have since caved in on the local Shias of Parachinar from all sides. The Shia residents of Parachinar have repeatedly claimed that Wahhabi elements from Afghanistan have joined in the attacks against the town’s Shias, but these cries have been met by deaf ears in Islamabad’s Pakistani central government.

    An all-out attack against the Shias of Parachinar has been underway for a long time now; even Sunni locals seen to be “friendly” towards Shias have not been spared in this maelstrom of killing. Gruesome images of beheaded and mutilated bodies, with arms and legs chopped off from corpses, have surfaced on the Internet since the outbreak of violence. Such showings of utter barbarity are not altogether unique. The collective massacres of Hazara Shias in next door Afghanistan – more notably in Mazari Sharif in 1998 where during a 48-hour period over 8,000 Hazaras were mercilessly slaughtered – evoke similar images of ruthlessness. By the end of the killing spree then, corpses littered the streets of the city after express orders were given out by the Taliban government for the dead to be left unburied.

    Eerily reminiscent of massacres conducted against Afghan Shias in the recent past, Riaz Ali Toori, a villager from Parachinar, protested in a letter to a Pakistani daily:

    “Today Parachinar is burning: daily bodies of more than five beheaded persons reach Parachinar. The situation of Parachinar is getting worse day by day and so is the life of all people living there. It’s a matter of great sorrow and shock that Pakistan, in spite of bringing Fata into the mainstream of the country, has been pushed into fighting a continuous war and facing terror.” (Letters to the Editor, The Dawn, April 08 2008)

    Surprisingly, at a time when the “civilized” world is on a so-called offensive against “terror”, coverage of the sorrow-filled plight of Parachinaris within western media has been periodical at best. The reasons for this are unclear. May be it is because Parachinar, fatefully, does not sit over barrels of oil; or perhaps our probing of the historical context behind these massacres will lead us to discover that Parachinar is yet another piece of anecdotal evidence of the much disregarded “blowback” stemming from the Soviet era.

    In July of 2008, the New York Times ran a piece highlighting the rise of “sectarian conflict” in Parachinar. By then, the town had already been subject to a siege that had spanned for months; food and medical supplies had been in severe shortage after the main Thal-Peshawar highway leading to the town was blocked off by armed groups. The New York Times article carried the story of Asif Hussain, a Sunni driver, in a relief convoy headed for Parachinar; the convoy was ambushed, and its drivers taken captive. Asif Hussain was let off after convincing his captors that he was Sunni, the other eight drivers were not as lucky. (Power Rising Taliban Besiege Pakistani Shiites, New York Times, July 26 2008)

    Today, the violence has spread out over a larger radius extending all the way through to the southern tips of the NWFP. Attacks on Shias in Hangu, Chakwal and as far south as Deira Ismail Khan have become a thing of the norm. Late in August of last year, a suicide bomber detonated himself inside the DI Khan hospital killing thirty-two Shia followers who had come to claim the remains of one of their leaders slain earlier in the day.

    As recently as last week, another suicide bomber struck a Shia mosque in Chakwal instantly killing thirty and leaving hundreds more injured. The systematic targeting of followers of the Shia sect in various regions of Pakistan, more specifically in the north-west of the country, amounts to nothing other than a project of ethnic cleansing. According to a reputed scholar of the phenomenon of ethnic cleansing, Drazen Petrovic, he defines it as such:

    “ethnic cleansing is a well-defined policy of a particular group of persons to systematically eliminate another group from a given territory on the basis of religious, ethnic or national origin. Such a policy involves violence and is very often connected with military operations. It is to be achieved by all means, from discrimination to extermination …”

    The above definition provides an almost perfect fit to the present situation on the ground in Parachinar. If international silence continues as it has over the last two years, the same story will have repeated across many towns in the FATA and NWFP.

    That the Pakistani government holds principal blame for its failure to restrain the killings is indisputable and goes without mention. Wider global apathy to an ongoing project of ethnic cleansing however, is certainly not comprehensible and deserves a great deal of mention.

    Parachinar deserves better. And the people of Parachinar certainly deserve better. The least we can do is speak out and urge our leaders to press the Pakistani government to bring an immediate end to these massacres. Then, and only then perhaps, can it be said that we have extended a hand to the forgotten victims of Parachinar.

    Source: aimislam.com

    A report to the Iranian parliament has cited grave human rights abuses against Shias in the northwestern Pakistani city of Parachinar.

    Lack of government control over the highly sensitive border areas of Kurram Agency, the capital of which is Parachinar, has lead to an increased Taliban presence in the area.

    Local Pakistani media reported last week that Taliban-linked militants in Parachinar, Hangu district and much of the Kurram tribal agency have during the last six months been engaged in sectarian violence and have killed 25 to 30 people on a daily basis.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Ahmadi sect pleads for help after Pakistan killings

    (AFP) – 1 day ago
    NEW YORK — A leader of the Ahmadi sect pleaded Thursday for international pressure on Pakistan, warning that extremists were bent on wiping out the community after nearly 100 people were killed.
    The Ahmadi community in the United States urged Pakistan to repeal laws restricting the sect and to clamp down on hardline Sunni clerics, who it said have waged a campaign of incitement.
    "The time is now for the world to wake up to the realization that the goal of the extremist clerics is to execute a full-scale holocaust," said Naseem Mahdi, the missionary-in-charge of the US Ahmadi community.
    "Even today, after this massacre, on television, in the streets, on billboards, in public meetings, the hatred continues to be preached and no one in any governmental body takes steps to stop people from such incitement to murder," he told a news conference in New York.
    Militants last week stormed two Ahmadi prayer halls in Lahore, killing 82 worshippers in gun and grenade attacks. Gunmen later raided the hospital where victims were treated, killing four people in a shootout.
    Mahdi, who put the death toll at 94, said urged US officials to raise religious freedom with Pakistan, which is receiving a 7.5 billion-dollar US package aimed at building its economy and democratic institutions.
    "The US government must take every measure in its power to have all levels of government in Pakistan eliminate the laws and ordinances that have become the tools to facilitate and institutionalize the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims" and have been used against other minorities, he said.
    Founded by Ghulam Ahmad, who was born in 1838, the Ahmadi sect believes that Ahmad himself was a prophet and that Jesus died aged 120 in Srinagar, summer capital of Indian-ruled Kashmir.
    Pakistan declared them non-Muslims in 1974 and 10 years later they were barred from calling themselves Muslims.
    The Ahmadi sect is strongly critical of violence in the name of Islam.
    "The extremists have repeatedly used their power over the masses to brutally attack us in the name of the defense of Islam. They try to gain by violence what they fail to gain by argument, reason and rationality," Mahdi said.
    Religious violence in Pakistan, mostly between majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shiites, has killed more than 4,000 people in the past decade.
    The Ahmadi community has also encountered problems in other countries including Egypt, which earlier this year detained nine members of the sect.
    The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a government advisory board, called on Egypt to release them "immediately and unconditionally."
    Egypt has held the Ahmadis using a prohibition against insulting Islam along with a controversial emergency powers law.
    Neither charge has "any merit whatsoever," said Leonard Leo, the chairman of the US commission.
    "Both are a blatant violation of their international right to freedom of religion or belief as well as contrary to Egypt?s own constitutional protections," he said.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    CONSTITUTION (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT, 1974


    An Act to amend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan [Gazette of Pakistan, Extraordinary, Part I, 21st September, 1974]


    The following Act of Parliament received the assent of the President on 17th September,1974, and is hereby published for general information:-
    Whereas it is expedient further to amend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for the purposes hereinafter appearing ;

    It is hereby enacted as follows:-

    1- Short title and commencement.

    (1) This Act may be called the CONSTITUTION (SECOND AMENDMENT) ACT, 1974

    (2) It shall come into force at once.
    2- Amendment of Article 106 of the Constitution.

    In the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, hereinafter referred to as the Constitution in Article 106, in clause (3) after the words "communities" the words and brackets "and persons of Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves 'Ahmadis')" shall be inserted.

    3- Amendment of Article 260 of the Constitution.
    In the Constitution, in Article 260, after clause (2) the following new clause shall be added, namely--

    (3) A person who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of The Prophethood of MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), the last of the Prophets or claims to be a Prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), or recognizes such a claimant as a Prophet or religious reformer, is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution or law."
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Second Amendment —Yasser Latif Hamdani


    The Second Amendment laid the foundations of intolerance and religious tyranny in Pakistan, which has manifested itself in other ways. Since then our state has been in a downward spiral

    The violence against the Ahmediyya community underscores the bigotry that has become the hallmark of our beloved homeland. A community — already sacrificed at the altar of political expediency — has now been made to pay the ultimate price.

    Amongst the dead, which included retired army officers and other contributors to Pakistani society, was reportedly the youngest brother of Chaudhry Zafarullah Khan. For those who are unaware of who Chaudhry Zafarullah was, he was the author of the Lahore Resolution, Pakistan’s first foreign minister and Pakistan’s advocate before the Boundary Commission. In other words, this community has paid for such crimes as their valiant contribution to the Pakistan Movement, their significant role in the development of Pakistan and the fact that Pakistan’s only Nobel Prize was bagged by them. Yet what happened on Friday was waiting to happen, given the neglect and at times outright bigotry that our governments, both federal and provincial, have been guilty of on this count starting with the PPP government in 1974.

    Things were not always like this. It bears remembering that in 1944 when a group of Muslim divines approached Jinnah to persuade him unsuccessfully to turn all Ahmedis out of the Muslim League, Jinnah was resolute against such bigotry. He responded to them by saying, “Who am I to declare non-Muslim a person who calls himself a Muslim?” It was for this reason that many religious parties and even self-styled freedom fighters like Mirza Ali Khan (Faqir of Ipi) denounced the Muslim League as a “bastion of Qadiyanism”. Yet such was the force of character of our founding father that he not only stood against such bigotry but without any fear appointed the leading Ahmedi Muslim at the time to shoulder the most important responsibility for the Muslims of South Asia, i.e. of arguing Pakistan’s case before the Boundary Commission. So long as the Quaid’s colleagues were at the helm, there was some semblance of common sense that prevailed on this issue. When in 1953, the Majlis-e-Ahrar and the Jamaat-e-Islami, both groups that had opposed the creation of Pakistan, started a mass agitation movement to have Ahmedis like Chaudhry Zafarullah turned out from the government and excommunicated from Islam, Khawaja Nazimuddin, himself a devout Muslim, refused to bow under their pressure. His government fell a few weeks later and the establishment stepped in to sweep up the mullahs with extreme prejudice.

    In 1974, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was determined to hang on to power by hook or by crook. Though not a bigot himself, Bhutto was ill-advised by his law minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada. As a result, the PPP stabbed in the back the one community that had helped them in winning the 1970 elections, by putting a question to parliament that it had no authority to determine. As a result Bhutto managed to hang on to power for another three years. The usurper who replaced Bhutto, General Ziaul Haq, took bigotry against the Ahmedis to another level altogether with his unconstitutional and inhumane Ordinance XX of 1984 specifically targeting this community. His bigotry was upheld by our independent judiciary in Zaheeruddin v The State, where the dispensers of justice compared Islamic symbols with Coca Cola’s intellectual property in an argument that defies all legal sense and logic to justify the ban on the Ahmedis from using any Islamic symbols — symbols that are central to their faith.

    Martin Lau, a leading legal scholar of religious freedom in common law jurisdictions, has argued in his paper on Zaheeruddin v The State that Pakistan has abolished religious freedom for Pakistanis, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, through this judicial precedent. My own view is that the very idea of Pakistan as a bastion against the tyranny of the majority was killed the day our parliament decided to take it upon itself to excommunicate a sect from Islam. The Second Amendment laid the foundations of intolerance and religious tyranny in Pakistan, which has manifested itself in other ways. Since then our state has been in a downward spiral. The Gojra incident, violence against Shias, and now the massacre of the Ahmedis is only symptomatic of the real sickness that emerges from the 1974 Amendment. Pakistan shall continue to be on the wrong side of history as long as the Second Amendment remains in the constitution of this republic.

    The time has come for the PPP government to undo this great injustice done to not just a minority sect but to Pakistan itself. All roots of Pakistan’s current existential crisis with Islam emerge from that one foul act that was brought about on the ill-advice of Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, who is now challenging parliament’s sovereignty, the same sovereignty he had argued 36 years ago as being absolute. It is now up to the PPP to make a clear choice. Will it continue to defend a dubious legacy or will it come out decisively against religious bigotry?

    History beckons President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to clear the name of Pakistan’s largest political party by undoing what it did in 1974. In this they must be supported unwaveringly by the MQM and the ANP — for they claim to be the guardians of secular liberal politics. The Sharif brothers must also atone for their sins — of having spoken from both sides of their mouths — by supporting this move. Even the religious parties, the Jamaat-e-Islami foremost amongst them, must state unwaveringly that while they may not consider the Ahmedis Muslims, they are willing to leave this final judgement to God.

    If they manage to undo this grievous injustice and act of inhumanity, the ladies and gentlemen in our parliament will secure for themselves a permanent place in Pakistan’s history as the visionaries who restored Jinnah’s Pakistan, which is to be built on the ideals of justice, fair play, impartiality and complete equality for all citizens of Pakistan.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    A new sectarian dimension to terrorism in Pakistan


    Anita Joshua
    The government is expected to instil a sense of security among the Ahmadis.
    The irony was too stark to go unnoticed as television cameras zoomed in on the bullet-ridden bodies being brought out of Baitul Nur Ibadatgah in Model Town and Darul Zikr Ibadatgah in Garhi Shahu on Friday when “terror revisited Lahore” after two months.

    The violent death of 94 Ahmadis in the twin attacks brought into public domain their faith that many of them had chosen to keep private because of what the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat (AMJ) describes as “years of un-policed persecution” in Pakistan. As identities of some of the more prominent among the dead were disclosed by the media, many could be heard saying that they wouldn't have wanted this fact to come out.

    That is how they have lived and practised their faith in Pakistan for decades now. So much so that the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) bills Ahmadis as the most vulnerable of all the minority groups living in the country, Hindus included. And, there is considerable angst over the absence of a sense of outrage against what happened on Friday and the government's response to the bloodiest attack on a minority sect that rights organisations describe as the “most relentlessly persecuted community'' in Pakistan.

    Weed out the bigotry

    “Since this opens a new sectarian dimension to terrorism in Pakistan, the government should do more than just make perfunctory statements that are poor consolation for not just the families of the victims but also the Ahmadi community in general,” said a former Member of the National Assembly from the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). “The government needs to do more to weed out the bigotry that is manifesting itself in senseless violence.'' Yet, 72 hours after the attack on the only two places of worship that the Ahmadis have in Lahore, no compensation had been announced by either the federal government or the provincial administration, and the silence on this front is deafening.

    While no one expects the Pakistan People's Party (PPP)-led government to undo founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's (ZAB) legacy of declaring the Ahmadis as non-Muslims, what is expected of a polity that is professing democracy is instilling a sense of security among the Ahmadis who had moved their headquarters from Qadian on the Indian side of Punjab to Pakistan after Partition in the hope of avoiding religious persecution in India.

    Though they call themselves Ahmadis, in Pakistan they are referred to more as ‘Qadianis' — a term that is seen as derogatory by the community. Regarded as heretics, the main points of difference are the Ahmadis' belief that the founder of their faith, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, is a prophet and their refusal to accept the concept of jihad against non-believers. Moreover, according to a risk assessment of minorities made by a University of Maryland project, the Ahmadis have resisted the politicisation of Islam and, therefore, the concept of an Islamic state.

    In Pakistan, they have had to face opposition from the early days itself but the first flashpoint was in 1953 when an agitation for declaring the community “non-Muslim” resulted in rioting in Lahore. Since the Ahmadis had done well for themselves in the fledgling country, this accounted for part of the animosity against the community and the latent demand to keep them out of government service. In fact, the main target of the attack was Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, the Ahmadi Foreign Minister who represented the Muslim League before the Boundary Commission.

    While the Ahmadis weathered this storm as the Army was called out to contain the violence, their support for ZAB in the 1970 election could not stop him from declaring them non-Muslims in 1974 with the Second Amendment which, according to many liberal-minded people in Pakistan, “laid the foundations of intolerance and religious tyranny” in the country.

    But, it was the Islamisation of Pakistan under Zia ul-Haq which delivered the body blow to Ahmadis as they were not allowed to propagate their faith, refer to their place of worship as masjid (mosque) or use the azan (public call to prayer). Instead, their places of worship are called Ibadatgah and they have separate burial grounds. And, they are stripped of their right to vote unless they register themselves as non-Muslims. In the Zia days, they were arrested for reciting the ‘Kalima' (the first article of faith in Islam), their versions of the Quran were destroyed, and they were not allowed to use Islamic terminology on wedding invitation cards.

    This was followed by an exodus of Ahmadis to the U. K. and Canada but the community is still about four-million-strong in Pakistan; majority of them living in Lahore. Though the situation eased in the post-Zia years, the covert discrimination continued vis-à-vis employment and educational opportunities; forcing many to keep their faith under wraps. Till today, they are not allowed to publish Quranic verses in their community newspaper Al Fazal and Ahmadis are wajib-ul-qatal (permissible to be killed).

    Though the 18 {+t} {+h} Amendment sought to undo the Zia legacy along with other vestiges of martial rule, the dreaded Blasphemy Laws — a Zia product — remains untouched and is widely used against Ahmadis, according to HRCP's latest report. The Commission has also recorded 100 Ahmadis being eliminated in target killings in the 25 years since Ordinance XX was promulgated in 1984.

    In a span of a couple of hours, that body count almost doubled on Friday afternoon.
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The "Mormons" of Islam​


    Photo by Jill Carroll

    The treatment of Joseph Smith and the first generation or so of Mormons is a dark stain on America's history of actualizing the commitment to religious freedom codified in the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Smith and his followers were driven from east to west across the country, often victims of violence and crime. Smith himself was tarred and feathered by a mob in Ohio in 1832, suffered property confiscations and violence in Missouri, and was finally murdered by another mob as he sat in a jail in Illinois. His claim of being a latter-day prophet of Jesus Christ caused controversy long before his revelation of the principle of plural marriage, which added fuel to the fire and pushed people's tolerance to the breaking point. Mainline Christians still cannot wrap their arms around the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Some of the most vitriolic stuff out there is "anti-Mormon" material on the internet offered by Christians who view them as enemies of the true faith.

    The Muslims have their "Mormons" as well. They are known as the Ahmadiyya community, named after Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a late 19th century Punjabi who began a movement in Northern India rooted in his claims to be the bringer of a latter-day Islamic renaissance. He also claimed to be the messiah foretold by prophecy and to be the second coming of Jesus. In most other respects, the Ahmadiyya cohere with traditional Islam, but the latter - in both Sunni and Shia forms - considers Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be apostate and the community he founded to be non-Islamic.

    This week, Indonesia - the country with the world's largest Muslim population - ordered the Ahmadiyya community to return to Sunni Islam or else face possible imprisonment. Indonesian government officials stated in April that they were considering banning the faith despite the country's constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, and its history of religious tolerance. Since then Ahmadiyya community members have seen their mosques torched and their homes (and persons) targeted for violence.

    You can read the story for more details.

    This is all too familiar: a group that falls on the slippery fringe of a mainline faith often gets harsher anger and retaliation than those who represent an entirely different faith altogether. Mainline Christians have never lashed out at Buddhists as much as they have at Mormons. Muslims have struggled with the Ahmadiyya and the Bahai - both related historically and thematically to Islam - more than with members of Christianity or Judaism.

    We have an Ahmadiyya community here in Houston. I have visited their mosque, and been their guest at some of their national events. Their motto is "Love for all, hatred for none" which they plaster all over their brochures, websites and even their buildings. They sponsor humanitarian organizations of different stripes all over the world, and preach religious tolerance wherever they go. I like them and am happy to call them friends. Other Muslim friends, however, have chastised me for my working relationship with the Ahmadiyya community - in exactly the same way my Christian friends have questioned my association with Mormons.

    Apparently, Buddhists and Hindus are fine; it's those Mormons and Ahmadiyya who are the problem.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Ahmadis enjoy equal rights as Pakistani citizens; here is an irrefutable evidence

    June 2nd, 2010Abdul NishapuriLeave a commentGo to comments
    “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State”. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech in Pakistan’s first constituent assembly on 11 August 1947.

    Here is a video showing anti-Ahmadi operation by the Punjab Police in Lathianwala, Faisalabad. Recorded on 10th August 2009.

    Pakistani authorities removed Kalima and Names of Allah and Muhammad from the Ahmadiyya Mosque. Approximately 300 Policemen and Elite Force commandos were part of the raid to commit the shameless act having “NO FEAR” of Allah.

    Shame on Shahbaz Sharif, PML-N and their affiliates in Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban.

     
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  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The massacres of Pakistani Shias have unfortunately, failed to gain due action from human rights organisations. However, Amnesty International has published a brief report on the targeted killing of Shia doctors in Karachi in which it confirms that 72 doctors lost their lives due to sectarian violence.

     
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  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Qadiyanism Defeated in the Parliament: Complete account of the proceedings of National Assembly regarding declaration of Qadiyanis as Non-Muslims.

    http://www.khatm-e-nubuwwat.org/lawyers/data/Books/pdf/qad-defeated-in-the-Parliament.pdf

    It is a long document, but please see page 27, the Exchange between Attorney general and Mirza Nasir[/quote]

    Some of it seems incoherent.

    PS: One of the interesting things
     
  19. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Killing fields —Babar Ayaz


    Many of my writer and journalist friends are sad, angry and frustrated. Yes, sad because we are a sensitive and humane bunch and have equal love for all, without distinction of religion, sect, nationality and race

    Once again I have fallen on the thorns of the killing fields of Pakistan. I am bleeding. This time over 80 Ahmedis were killed in two attacks on their places of worship in Lahore. Sorry, the law forbids me to call their worship places ‘mosques’ and the killed namazis. Such are the laws of the land of the pure, although they are in violation of the basic principle of the constitution that grants equal rights to the people and freedom of expression. And these laws conflict with the UN Charter of Human Rights.

    Target killings on ethnic, political and sectarian basis in Karachi; killing of teachers in Balochistan; killing of the Baloch; missing Baloch nationalists; killing of people by the Taliban in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; all those killed are my own people. Even the misled intolerant suicide bombers are of us. And each time a person is killed, something in me snaps.

    My cardiologist who I visited for a checkup last Friday says that in Pakistan we live in depressing times. My psychiatrist friend Dr Haroon Ahmed endorses this statement. He says the number of patients who suffer from depression have almost doubled in the last few years. He is conducting a study on the rise in post-trauma mental disorders and the rise in psychosomatic physical disorder cases. Most such cases are not reported. But Dr Ahmed feels that many people in the urban society are taking tranquillisers. All lessons into positive thinking and optimism are dampened by the reigning grief on such days, which are brought live into our households.

    Every time intolerance and violence wins over life, my soul is tormented and reminds me of Ghalib: Mujeh kya bura tha marna jo yeh aik bar hota. But then, perhaps, it is not only I; such killings quietly shatter the nerves of most people. It is only that different people pay different tolls. Many of my writer and journalist friends are sad, angry and frustrated. Yes, sad because we are a sensitive and humane bunch and have equal love for all, without distinction of religion, sect, nationality and race. Angry, because we have seen how the shortsighted policies of our successive rulers have sowed the seeds of intolerance and violence in this society. Frustrated, because the obscurantists who preach intolerance have access to the pulpit, madaris and air-time more than the voices of rationality in this country.

    No doubt it is important to find out who did it; it is also equally essential to dig out and punish the forces behind terrorism. After every such sectarian killing, our leaders usually say that no Muslim could have done such a thing. Are we not being ostrich-headed? Or, are our leaders trying to tell people that non-Muslims are senseless killers?

    In Friday’s killings, the targets were the Ahmedis. Many religious groups live on spitting fire and brimstone against them every day, and the state quietly watches them condescendingly. A large section of the media reports the statements of the hate-mongers with impunity. Of late, some blogs have been targeting them for conspiracies against Pakistan. Even some TV anchors of religious programmes declare Ahmedis as non-Muslims and condemn them for blasphemy. After one such programme, two Ahmedis were killed in Sindh. Each month there are target killings of Ahmedi and Shia doctors in Sindh and Punjab. Neither the popular news channel banned the aalim, nor the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), which is supposed to take notice of such things, took any action.

    I think that brings us to the most crucial question: why? Yes, why one Muslim sect considers other Muslim sects apostate and thus liable to death? Why have they the right to decide who is Muslim and who is not? Why human life has lost its value? Why so many people tend to believe that it is the work of a foreign hand or the agencies? Why are we shy to face the reality that even many people sitting in our parliament and the judiciary are bigots? Why so many people are willing to blow themselves up?

    Briefly, I can say that there is a broad consensus among the intelligentsia that, for years, the establishment has supported and nourished the extremists. Saudiaisation of our otherwise tolerant Islam in Pakistan has nourished intolerance in the country. All sects and religious minorities have the right to believe in their own interpretation of Islam, but nobody should have the right to preach hatred against another sect. It is easy to say but hard to implement unless there is broad consensus among all the institutions of the state.

    Quickly, on what is to be done. First and foremost, nationalise all madaris and convert them to normal schools. Purge them of the extremist teachers who preach jihad against the state and other sects. Second, all school syllabi should be cleansed of any material that inculcates religious hatred against other religions. Third, no political or religious party should be allowed to spread hatred through the media and the mosques. Last, and most important, Pakistan should be declared a secular state. All sectarian amendments inserted by Mr Bhutto and General Ziaul Haq, which discriminate against a section of society, should be struck off.

    The terrorists psyche is built on hatred. To fight it, let us take solace in Rumi’s poetry:

    Let us fall in love again
    and scatter gold dust all over the world
    Let us become a new spring
    and feel the breeze drift in the heavens’ scent.
    Let us dress the earth in green
    and like the sap of a young tree
    let the grace from within us sustain us.
    Let us carve gems out of our stony hearts
    and let them light our path to love.
    The glance of love is crystal clear
    and we are blessed by its light.
    (Are we?)

    The writer can be reached at [email protected]
     
  20. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    A new sectarian dimension to terrorism in Pakistan

     
  21. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    the report on the 1953 anti-Ahmedi riots.
    http://www.thepersecution.org/archive/munir/index.html
    REPORT OF THE COURT OF INQUIRY CONSTITUTED UNDER PUNJAB ACT II OF 1954 TO ENQUIRE INTO THE PUNJAB DISTURBANCES OF 1953

    see the sarcasm the writers of the report exhibit. e.g.,

    or

    This part of the report gives an insight into the mind of the fanatic - after some inflammatory speeches in Okara:

    Even more telling is the attitude of the judges in this case. Muhammad Ashraf received life imprisonment; the widow of the deceased petitioned for enhancement of the sentence. The judges noted the precedent from the British era
    ( isn't this relevant to the case of Kasab?) but then continued:

    The Pakistani paranoia is visible in 1952. Chaudhary Zafrullah Khan, Foreign Minister, Ahmedi, made a speech in Karachi, May 18, 1952. There were riots in Karachi. The Ahrar had been leading the agitation against Ahmediyas.


    December 1952 - a D.I.G. police wrote
    1952 D.I.G. police report
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010

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