Pakistan political discussions

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by A.V., Feb 16, 2009.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government and Islamic hardliners on Monday signed an agreement to enforce Sharia law in the northwestern Swat valley, a

    provincial minister told reporters.

    Militants in the Swat Valley declared a 10-day ceasefire as a goodwill gesture ahead of the expected formal announcement of the agreement on Monday.

    Several past deals with militants have failed, but Pakistan says force alone cannot defeat al-Qaida and Taliban fighters wreaking havoc in its northwest and attacking US troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.

    The United States has said the deals merely give insurgents time to regroup.

    Regaining the Swat Valley from militants is a major test for Pakistan's shaky civilian leadership. Unlike the semiautonomous tribal regions where al-Qaida and Taliban have long thrived, the former tourist haven is supposed to be under full government control.

    But militants have gained power since a peace deal last year collapsed within months, and violence has increased.

    Provincial government leaders confirmed they were talking to a pro-Taliban group about ways to impose Islamic judicial practices in the Malakand division, which includes Swat.

    The Swat Taliban's version of Islamic law is especially harsh. They have declared a ban on female education, forced women to stay mostly indoors and clamped down on many forms of entertainment.

    Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said the militants would adhere to any deal reached with the group if Islamic law is implemented in the region.

    He also announced the 10-day ceasefire. "We reserve the right to retaliate if we are fired upon," he said. "Once Islamic law is imposed, there will be no problems in Swat. The Taliban will lay down their arms."

    Khan also said the militants had freed a Chinese engineer held captive for nearly six months. Long Xiaowei was freed on Saturday, days before a planned visit to China by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

    Provincial law minister Arshad Abdullah said the deal would require the pro-Taliban group to convince the militants to first give up violence. Then existing laws governing the justice system can be amended or enforced, he said.

    "They have to succumb to law," Abdullah said. "They have to put down their arms."

    Past deals required militants to stop fighting but eventually unravelled amid militant complaints that the government was not meeting their demands.

    The pro-Taliban group - known as the Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammedi, or the Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law - is led by Sufi Muhammad, who Pakistan freed from custody last year after he renounced violence.

    Muhammad is the father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah, the leader of the Swat Taliban. Muhammad, who has long agitated for Islamic law in the region, said that after the formal announcement he will go to Swat and ask Fazlullah and his men to lay down their arms.

    A broad peace deal reached last year with Fazlullah's militants effectively collapsed within a few months, and Pakistani security officials blame that agreement for the militants' gains in Swat since then. The deal was supposed to let religious scholars advise judges in the courts, but the agreement encountered obstacles, said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister for North West Frontier Province


    Pak signs pact with Taliban, enforces Sharia law-Pakistan-World-The Times of India
     
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  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Daw...an/Shariah-Zone-One-Solution-for-Pakistan--il

    Shariah Zone: One Solution for Pakistan?
    By I. A. Rehman
    Thursday, 12 Feb, 2009 | 07:21 PM PST |

    The civil war underway in the tribal areas and a large part of the Frontier province, including Swat, presents the biggest challenge Pakistan has ever faced. At stake is not only the integrity of the state but also the nature of its polity. The odds are heavily stacked against Pakistan’s survival as a democracy.


    This grave situation has been created by a combination of several factors. The authors of the Pakistan demand may not have wanted to establish a religious state, but their argument was derived wholly from the religious identity of the population of the designated territory. Soon after the new state came into being, enforcement of Shariah rule was demanded. This demand has never been opposed. Instead, the state has been yielding to the clerics throughout its 61 years.

    Between 1949, when the Objectives Resolution was adopted, and 1979, when the Federal Shariat Court was established with powers to strike down any law considered to be repugnant to Islamic injunctions, Pakistan repeatedly affirmed its constitutional obligation to enforce the Shariah.

    In addition, the armed forces were indoctrinated in a religious context as General Ziaul Haq’s rule to reserve senior posts for genuine Islamists remained in force for a decade. These historical precedents are enough to convince a militant in Swat that he is only asking the state to honour its constitutional pledge.

    On another point, the state chose to avoid integrating the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) with the rest of the country. In 1994, when a movement for enforcing Shariah in place of the archaic Frontier Crimes Regulation began in PATA, the government obliged by setting up Qazi courts. This did not satisfy the clerics and they were accommodated further in 1999. Dissatisfied again, the agitators decided that instead of asking the state to enforce the Shariah, they would do the job themselves.

    Meanwhile, world powers failed to ensure the establishment of a government of national unity in Afghanistan after the fall of the Najibullah regime. The vacuum was filled by religions militants who had been trained, among other things, to carry out terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings. Thus, over the last few years, a vast territory comprising Afghanistan, FATA, and the former PATA districts, has become a theatre of a war. US and Nato forces are fighting the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and the Pakistan Army is battling with the tribal militants, the self-styled Pakistani Taliban.

    As things stand, the US’s ability to win the new Afghan war in coming years seems doubtful. Neither the US nor Nato has an exit strategy. Only two possibilities emerge: either the messy war will continue for another decade, or the Taliban will be brought into the ruling coalition which they will eventually dominate. In either case, Pakistan will be buffeted by almost irresistible storms.

    If fighting continues in Afghanistan, militants from the tribal areas keep up their fight there alongside the Taliban. Consequently, militancy in Pakistani territories would grow. The US pressure on Islamabad to fight the extremists and the latter’s inability to comply could strain relations to a breaking point. In that event, the survival test for Pakistan would be tough.

    If Taliban of any hue come into power in Afghanistan, the pressure on Pakistan to allow a similar dispensation in the Frontier region will increase manifold. Even now, the tribal areas are not prepared to merge with the NWFP. In future, they may claim freedom to join Pakistan or Afghanistan, and in the latter case, they may well want to take NWFP along – a possibility many Pakhtuns may not choose to resist.

    Whatever happens in Afghanistan, Pakistan will face in FATA and perhaps the NWFP a situation that resembles the present US predicament. The Pakistan Army may have the capacity to lay the territory to waste while killing hordes of people, but it will not – and cannot – do that. For one thing, the army will risk its unity if it strikes out against ideological allies and, for another, the state will be overwhelmed in the aftermath of an unwelcome war.

    The sole option will be to buy a truce by separating the Shariah lobby from the terrorists and creating FATA and PATA as a Shariah zone, which may quickly encompass the Frontier province. The question then will be whether Pakistan can contain the pro-Shariah forces within the Frontier region.

    In such an eventuality, the hardest task for the government will be to protect the Punjab against inroads by militants. Already, religious extremists have strong bases across the province and sympathizers in all arenas: political parties, services, the judiciary, the middle class, and even the media. For its part, the government is handicapped because of its failure to offer good governance, guarantee livelihoods, and restore people’s faith in the frayed judicial system.

    This bleak prospect can be averted only through a bold, imaginative, and wide-ranging strategy. An order presided over by clerics will not guarantee deliverance to the Frontier region as matters have perhaps gone too far to be reversed. The fact is, people will reject theocracy only after paying the cost of opting for it. Pakistan should think of minimizing the damage by granting full autonomy to FATA and the Frontier province in the hope that this will douse the fires.

    For the rest of Pakistan, the government will have to resolve its meaningless row with the judiciary and lawyers, work by a broad political consensus, and wean the people away from parallel courts through visible improvements in the system of justice and policing.

    Ultimately, the key to a safe future lies in Afghanistan. The war there must be brought to a speedy end. It is posing a greater threat to Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China, India, and the Central Asian states than to the US. A way must be found to bring all these countries and the US together at a table to evolve a mechanism by which to bring peace to that thoroughly ravaged land. The task is not impossible. But one wonders whether Pakistan has the will and the resources to escape falling into the well its myopic soldiers of fortune have dug for others.


    I. A. Rehman is a leading human rights advocate, a prominent art critic, and a well-known columnist. He is also a founding member of the Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy, and a councilmember of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
     
  4. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    InVinCiBlE, hope you will not mind me changing the title.

    Guys from now on all Pakistan's politics related discussion here
     
  5. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    thanks sir its better to have a sticky for pakistani politics
     
  6. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Done so let's get going :)
     
  7. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    New Islamic justice system to buy peace in Swat

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has ushered in a controversial Islamic justice system in a big chunk of the North-West Frontier Province to buy peace in Swat valley, but critics fear it may only increase the influence and power of the Taliban.

    The new Nizam-e-Adl system was announced by NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti after an agreement with Maulana Sufi Mohammed, the head of the banned Tehreek-e-Nifas-Sharia Mohammadi.

    The system, which apparently has the backing of the PPP-led federal government, will provide for Islamic courts headed by qazis, or Islamic judges, in the NWFP’s Malakand division that includes seven districts including Swat.

    In return, Sufi Mohammed has agreed to persuade his son-in-law, Maulana Fazlullah, who is also the leader of the Taliban in Swat Valley, to give up arms and militancy.

    The Swat Taliban announced a 10-day ceasefire on Sunday as the agreement was being finalised. A spokesman for the group called it a “goodwill” gesture. A Chinese engineer held by the Taliban was also freed, and according to reports, will go back to his country escorted by President Asif Ali Zardari, who is to visit Beijing on February 20.

    The Nizam-e-Adl deal has raised concerns that the NWFP government has once again capitulated to the Taliban. Leaders of the Awami National Party, which heads the province’s coalition government, were categorical in conversations with The Hindu that the Nizam-e-Adl regulations did not mean that Sharia law had been imposed, but were only a means to provide “cheap and speedy justice” to the people of the region.

    Under the newly announced system, criminal cases will be decided within four months and civil cases within six months. The Sharia bench of the Peshawar High Court is to be the final court of appeal.

    The government announced under the agreement “all laws that are anti-Sharia and anti-Hadith, that is, which go against the Koran and the Sunnah, are subject to cancellation and considered null and void”.

    The agreement to establish the qazi courts will be implemented only when peace returns to Swat and the government writ is restored, said Mr. Hoti at a press conference in Peshawar.
    The Hindu : International : New Islamic justice system to buy peace in Swat
     
  8. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    Window on Pak Press: Peace first, deal later

    For once the deal between the Zardari-Gilani government and Talibans to restore peace in the militancy shattered Frontier region and to ward off their takeover of Islamabad dominated the Pakistan media as much as it has shocked and surprised the world.

    As the Western nations as well as India felt the Sharia rule in the Taliban-ruled Swat region Talibani might pose threats to the entire region, President Asif Ali Zardari made it clear that he would approve "Nizam-e-Adl Regulation" in Malakand only after the restoration of peace in the region.

    Zardari's decision to have peace first before the Sharia rule was sealed was highlighted by almost all the newspapers.

    However, the papers, including Daily Times indicated that both Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have differing opinion.

    Gilani was quoted by Daily Times having said that the Swat peace deal was in line with the government's "three Ds" policy and would be beneficial for the country. "The use of force is not the only solution", he told reporters after inaugurating a conference to discuss labour-related issues, adding his government believed in the "three Ds" of dialogue, development and deterrence.

    He said the army only acts when the federal and provincial governments seek its services, adding there should be an exit policy for the armed forces. He said Islamabad had always condemned drone attacks and would continue to do so.

    At the same time according to media reports the ghost of former President Gen Pervez Musharraf's dictatorial regime has started haunting the country. Stating that "Musharraf played havoc with nation"

    The News said the views expressed by Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf were tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of the nation because it was dictatorship that pushed Pakistan towards a political and constitutional anarchy.

    Musharraf has said: "There is a global conspiracy to malign the armed forces and the Inter-Services Intelligence in an attempt to weaken Pakistan."

    Reacting to the book The Inheritance: "The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power" by the New York Times journalist David Sanger the former President has said the allegations being levelled against the armed forces and the ISI will lead to defeat in the war on terror.

    He also denied having ever said the security of Benazir Bhutto was dependent on her relations with him.

    Talking about the Swat deal, The News said that though people in Swat and rest of Malakand division heaved a sigh of relief and expressed happiness following the announcement that Nizam-e-Adl Regulation was being enforced in their area but in keeping with expectations the Western capitals appear apprehensive and their media is critical of the decision.

    At the same time, The News as well as other newspapers, including Dawn and The Nation highlighted Zardari's assertion that the bill regarding the deal would not be signed if peace was not restored.

    Zardari's harsh decision was announced by Information Minister Sherry Rahman. The News headline said, "Nizam-e-Adl Regulation to be approved after peace restoration. Through another headline it predicted: Swat deal facing a premature death."

    The Dawn said "President to sign bill only after peace restored". But The Nation reporting on the deal said "All un-Islamic laws declared null & void".

    Reporting from Peshawar the paper said, "In the wake of a consensus between the NWFP Government and the banned Tehrik Nifaz Shariah Mohammadi (TNSM) headed by Maulana Sufi Mohammad regarding judicial system, the former announced an end to every sort of un-Islamic acts with immediate effect.

    Expressing satisfaction over the consensus with the banned Tehrik Nifaz Shariah Mohammadi (TNSM) Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti said, "There is nothing new in the proposed Shariah regulations but amendments suggested in 1994 and 1999 regulations."

    He also said that maximum emphasis was being laid on the implementation of already framed laws according to the constitution. Similar views were expressed by the representatives of the banned TNSM and other politico-religious forces.

    The agreement signed by the two sides was made public during a press conference here at Frontier House Peshawar on Monday.

    The News discussing the reaction in the Western media said: "Unfortunately, much of this criticism is misplaced. This is primarily due to the lack of knowledge about the kind of law that is being proposed for Malakand region and the adjoining Kohistan district of Hazara division."

    It said, "The reaction by the Western media and some liberal and progressive sections of the population in Pakistan was so strong and negative that it appears to have unnerved the federal government. The statement by Information Minister Sherry Rehman that President Asif Ali Zardari would sign the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation only after restoration of peace in Swat could be interpreted as an attempt to allay the fears in the Western countries and deflect the criticism against the amended Islamic-rooted law. This statement doesn't take into account the fact that enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl Regulation is necessary for restoration of peace as any further delay would provide the militants an excuse to continue their attacks against the security forces and pro-government people and provoke the military to take retaliatory action.

    "It is unfortunate that Pakistan has become so weak and vulnerable to foreign pressure that its government cannot even initiate measures and make laws in accordance with the wishes of its people. The people of Swat and other parts of Malakand Division have made it abundantly clear that they want Shariah as they believe it would make their area peaceful and facilitate quick and affordable delivery of justice.

    "More importantly, they feel this would bring an end to the military operations in Swat and restrain the militants. In fact, return of peace is now the most important wish of the people in Swat and they would welcome any decision that could achieve this objective.

    "The expressions of joy in Swat as seen on our television screens and distribution of sweets in villages even in places like Lower Dir to celebrate the announcement about Nizam-e-Adl Regulation were proof of the relief that the common people felt about return of peace to their troubled area.

    "So strong was the reaction in the Western media that an American TV channel in a report termed the "deal" as capitulation to the militants. It wrongly claimed that the whole of NWFP would now be under Shariah and that strict Islamic law would be enforced. It also stressed that the Pakistan government gave up its sovereignty, that secular law was over and that the Taliban would henceforth impose their tough Islamic laws in Swat and beyond. Other Western media outlets argued that the Taliban got what they wanted after the government agreed to impose Islamic law and suspend the military operation across much of northwest Pakistan."

    The Nation in another story of regional interest said, "CIA helped Pakistan, India exchange info". The Paper quoting Washington Post said: The US Central Intelligence Agency helped arrange back-channel intelligence exchanges between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai attacks in order to avoid conflict between the two nations.

    Citing unnamed US and foreign government sources, the newspaper said the exchanges, which began days after the attacks in late November, gradually helped the two sides overcome mutual suspicions and paved the way for Islamabad's announcement last week acknowledging that some of the planning for the attack had occurred on Pakistani soil.

    Due to the CIA's effort the two countries quietly shared highly sensitive intelligence while the Americans served as neutral arbiters, they said.

    The exchanges included sophisticated communications intercepts and an array of physical evidence detailing how the 10 Mumbai gunmen and their supporters planned and executed their three-day killing spree in the Indian port city, the report said.

    Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies separately shared their findings with the CIA, which vetted the intelligence and filled in blanks with its own information, said The Post.

    The Paper said the arrangement was ongoing, and it was unknown whether it would continue after the Mumbai case is settled. Officials from both countries, according to the Paper, said the unparalleled cooperation was a factor in Pakistan's decision to bring criminal charges against nine Pakistanis accused of involvement in the attack, a move that appeared to signal a thawing of tensions on the Indian subcontinent after weeks of rhetorical warfare.

    "India shared evidence bilaterally, but that's not what cinched it," a senior Pakistani official familiar with the exchanges was quoted as saying. "It was the details, shared between intelligence agencies, with the CIA serving mainly as a bridge." The FBI also participated in the vetting process, he said.

    A US government official with detailed knowledge of the sharing arrangement said the effort ultimately enabled the Pakistani side to "deal as forthrightly as possible with the fallout from Mumbai," he said.

    US and Pakistani officials who described the arrangement agreed to do so on the condition of anonymity, citing diplomatic and legal sensitivities. Indian officials declined to comment for this story.
    India Today - India's most widely read magazine.
     
  9. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    Swat Residents Rejoice Shari`ah Justice

    PESHAWAR — People in the violence-ravaged Swat valley and the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) are rejoicing the government's decision to enforce Shari`ah.

    "With the enforcement of Shari`ah law, everyone will be treated equally," Taweez Gul, a young laborer, told IslamOnline.net.

    "No one will be denied justice just because he can't afford to hire a prominent lawyer."

    Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, NWF Chief Minister, signed an agreement on Sunday, February 16, with Sufi Mohammad, leader of the main faction of the Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shari`ah Mohammadi (TNSM), on enforcement of Shari`ah.

    Shari`ah laws will be enforced immediately under the Shari`ah Regulations Act signed by President Asif Zardari.

    Under the newly introduced judicial system, there will be Qazi courts in Swat, Dir, Chitral, Kohistan, and other NWFP districts.

    The courts will decide the civil cases within six months and the criminal within four months.

    "People have taken to the streets in large numbers," Mahboob Ali, a local journalist, told IOL by telephone.

    "They are raising slogans in favor of Shari`ah and distributing sweets. I have seen the people cheering and enjoying after a long time."

    Paenda Khan, an elder resident of Kabal area who had fled to nearby Dir district some six months ago following fierce fighting, recalls the good old days when Shari`ah governed Swat state.

    "There was equal justice," he told IOL.

    "Even if a common man went to Qazi court against Khan of Swat (ruler), he would have to appear before the judge. When there is justice, there is peace."

    Swat had been an independent state governed by Shari`ah laws until 1970 before annexed to Pakistan by former military ruler General Yahya Khan.

    Peace

    Gul, the young laborer, believes the enforcement of Shari`ah will bring real peace in his region.

    He thinks that militants now have no excuse to fight.

    "Now, our and their main demand has been met. Therefore, they should lay down their arms."

    Mahboob, the local reporter, says people displaced by the heavy fighting have already started returning to their homes.

    Around 200,000 people from different areas of Swat have taken refuge at safer places following fighting between the militants and the security forces.

    "People are very much hopeful for peace in the region because this time the agreement has not been signed behind the curtain but under open sky and with the real representatives of the people."

    Khan, the elder resident of Kabal, is one of the many displaced who plan to head back home.

    "I'm wrapping up my luggage and getting ready to move back to my hometown."

    Khan and his seven-member family have been taking shelter in one of his relative’s house in Dir.

    "I am very happy. I think the enforcement of Shari`ah law is because of our sacrifices," he said.

    "I am sure it will bring a long-lasting peace in our area."
    Swat Residents Rejoice Shari`ah Justice - IslamOnline.net - News
     
  10. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Nizam-e-adl: what next for the Taliban?

    Nizam-e-adl: what next for the Taliban?
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009
    Asad Munir

    Only time will tell whether the peace deal signed in Swat bears fruit and brings lasting peace to the valley. In this regard, however, it may be worthwhile to give readers a background into the origins of the Taliban in Pakistan. Also, it will be seen that the nizam-e-adl regulation agreed to now is similar to what Sufi Mohammad's Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM) had announced on its own way back in November 1994. Coincidentally – or perhaps not – that was also the month when the Taliban captured Kandahar.

    Mullah Omer started his Taliban movement with less than 50 madressah students and after the fall of Kandahar, thousands from Pakistani madressahs rushed to join the new force and by December 1994 he had a force of 12,000. A new phenomenon had been created in Pashtun society – that of madressah students and mullahs, with guns in their hands, ruling the Pashtuns. In Pashtun society no clear role is defined for religious functionaries in the social system. Government officials posted in these areas and the Maliks/Khans are considered leaders, who get legitimacy from the authority they exercise on behalf of the state, with religious functionaries given a limited role of dealing with rituals.

    Throughout the region's history, the religious leaders had wanted a greater role for themselves in decision-making and that is why the area often saw uprisings led by religious personalities. The latter had hold of the leadership as long as the war/jihad was on but once the conflict was over, it reverted to the Maliks and Khans. The present Talibanisation is not just a movement for enforcement of Sharia; the mullahs want power, authority and a defined role in decision making in the social system of Pashtun society.

    Events and political happenings in Afghanistan have always had some impact on NWFP in general and FATA in particular. The Durand line divided many tribes, and out of the seven tribal agencies, six have tribes on either side of the Durand line.

    As for Swat, it is neither a tribal area and nor does it border Afghanistan – so the question arises that why has it become a stronghold of extremists. Being a fertile area it always attracted invaders. Till the 10th century most of the population were followers of Buddhism and were very peaceful and docile people. In the 16th century the Yousafzai tribe captured the valley. The area was divided between various sub-tribes. There was no central system of administration and the tribes resolved their disputes themselves. Except for a few years of central rule, this system continued till 1917, after which different tribes elected a central leader and Swat emerged as an independent state. In 1926, the British accepted the state of Swat and the ruler was offered the title of Wali-e-Swat. He formed his own central administrative system with two types of courts functioning in the State. Courts headed by the religious scholars, known as qazi courts, and judicial courts headed by the area tehsildars. The qazi courts dealt with cases of divorce, inheritance and some other minor cases involving Sharia while all other disputes were referred to the tehsildar court. The appellate forum was that of a hakim, and a final appeal could be made to the wali. All this process took only one month. In those times the social problems were also not very complex so generally, the population was getting free and speedy justice.

    Dir and Bajaur were annexed by Pakistan in 1960 while Swat was merged in Pakistan in 1969. In 1975, these former independent states were declared as Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA). These areas were then conferred the status of districts which meant that they also got district administration and police force. The judicial system, however, was based on jirgas and the executive authority of district magistrates. In 1992, on a petition of lawyers, the PATA regulations were abolished by the courts. However, surprisingly no alternative system was put as a replacement and this created a judicial void which created unrest in the general public.

    And it was this void which then created the seeds for the Nov 1994 uprising by the TNSM. This led to violence and the TNSM took control of six districts. New rules for traffic were introduced and all kinds of transport were forced to move on the right side of the road, the left being deemed un-Islamic. This resulted in numerous road accidents. Men were made to wear watches on the right hand. A sitting MPA of the PPP, the then ruling party, was killed. It took the law-enforcement agencies more than a month to dislodge the militants and to regain control of these areas.

    As for the TNSM, it was formed by Sufi Mohammad in 1988. He himself is a simple and peaceful man :confused:who does not preach violence except in the way of jihad against non- Muslims:eek:. However, he does not have the leadership qualities and capabilities to control large movements. In the 1994 movement, besides the TNSM, many other elements also joined in and they included gangs of car-lifters, the timber mafia, farmers who had disputes with Khans, loan defaulters, smugglers and many other anti-social elements. Because of the violence, the then provincial government introduced the Nizam-e-Adal regulation in Malakand division in December 1994 and established qazi courts thereafter in 1995.

    Besides the TNSM factor, there are other actors in Swat. In the aftermath of 9/11, many of the foreigners who fled Afghanistan crossed over to Pakistan and took refuge in many parts of the country. Quite a few landed up in Swat and they were joined by others more recently after the recent military operation in Bajaur agency. Another factor that may have contributed is the landless farmers who, during Bhutto's era, took possession of lands which belonged to the Khans of the area -- Matta tehsil of Swat was the most affected in this regard.

    In case a focused strategy is evolved and pursued to a logical conclusion, the situation in both, FATA and Swat can be brought to normalcy if the following steps are taken: To develop consensus of civil society, all political parties, the media and all segments of society and the general public need to be educated that Talibanisation is a real and serious threat to the country and that if nothing is done to stop its advance then the anarchy will spread across the length and breadth of the country.

    As for Sufi Mohammad's demand for the establishment of an appellate court, this has already been done now. It should be noted however that the Adal act was already in place and so the establishment of an appellate court is not exactly a major milestone. One effect that the government will be hoping for is that Fazlullah may be sidelined or isolated to some extent because the people will see Sufi Mohammad as being the motivating force for the new system. At the same time, however, the governments should continue with targeted operations which should be conducted against the real terrorists through accurate intelligence. Once an area is cleared of militants, troops should remain stationed in it, so as to re-take control over all troubled areas in the district.

    The office of the DC/district magistrate should be restored with its original powers. This will allow the return of local administration. Compensation should be paid immediately for damage caused to public and private property. Special funds should be provided by the federal government for reconstructing all damaged and/or destroyed schools. An army garrison should be established in Swat and should have the size of a brigade. The headquarters of the Swat Scouts should be shifted from Warsak to Kanju. The scouts should be reorganized into five wings corps and also FC posts should be set up in all suitable areas. The strength of the police force should be increased and the Frontier Constabulary should be deployed wherever required.

    The local people who are against the present violence should be provided security. Their resistance against the militants can be maintained only if they believe that the government is serious in eliminating the Taliban. Also, the judicial system should be made more effective by taking suitable steps for making provision of justice both speedy and affordable.

    Negotiations with terrorists should be held on a two-point agenda: that they surrender and lay down their arms and that their leaders give an undertaking that they will not run a parallel administration and not interfere in the state's domain. If these conditions are accepted, and a monitoring system put in place confirms that they are being adhered to then a general amnesty to those not involved in heinous crimes could be considered.



    The writer is a former brigadier who served as chief of military intelligence and of the ISI for NWFP, FATA and the Northern Areas. He also commanded the Dir Scouts and raised and commanded the Swat Scouts. Email: [email protected]
     
  11. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    now what is this:

    The Hindu News Update Service

    Stop Sharia laws, kick out Taliban nomads: Miss Pakistan World

    Toronto (IANS): Denouncing the Sharia laws in Pakistan's Swat Valley as surrender before terrorists, Miss Pakistan World Natasha Paracha said on Monday that the world should pressure Pakistan to stop implementation of rigid Islamic laws.

    The 23-year-year-old Islamabad-born Paracha, who won the 2008 beauty pageant in Toronto last year, told IANS: "I cannot bear to see that the people who have burnt down schools are being heeded to.

    "These nomads (the Taliban) coming from the Middle East and other countries are taking over our nation. I strongly urge the United Nations to intervene and help the Pakistani government tackle these forces and throw them out.

    "The world has to put pressure on the Pakistani government to stop the Sharia Law enforcement."

    She said: "The government should never compromise with terrorists. We cannot have basic rights taken away from women."

    Paracha, who is a graduate of the University of California in Berkeley, said she feared that "if they have the Sharia Law imposed in the Swat Valley then, it will spread to the whole of Pakistan. Rigid Islamic laws are not a solution for Pakistan and Pakistanis".

    She added: "Pakistan should be a secular Muslim nation and the constitution of Pakistan should be followed throughout the country."

    Toronto-based Sonia Ahmed, who started the beauty pageant for Pakistani girls from around the world in 2002, said: "It is disappointing to see that President (Asif Ali) Zardari has proved himself wrong just in the first year. It is a shame that people who are not even Pakistanis (Taliban) are running Pakistan.

    "In the 1970s, a similar situation occurred when the fanatics closed down casinos, cabarets and bars as well as enforced chadar or veil for women. I am sorry to say that Pakistan was much better during military rule as compared to this sorry state of democracy."


    Calling the implementation of Sharia laws beginning of the downfall of Pakistan, she said: "This act of compromise by the Pakistani government clearly shows that it is a failed nation. Taliban has no place in Pakistan and the people of Pakistan should kick them out. They are invaders and barbaric people."

    Blaming the Taliban for spoiling India-Pakistan relations, she said: "They were unhappy to see Pakistan and India in peace and had to do whatever they could to ruin the relations that were between the two countries.

    "Instead of driving the Taliban out of the country, the government is allowing them to do as they please."

    By his action, Sonia Ahmed added, President Zardari is paving the way for a military coup. "In just one year, Pakistanis are fed up with his actions and false promises."
     
  12. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Out of power, but still in denial - Musharraf

    Former Dictator , President, General Pervez Musharraf is out of power, but still in denial. He claims that there is a conspiracy was being hatched to weaken Pakistan by launching a malicious campaign against the (Pakistani) Army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

    He claims it just when the world has started talking the truth about the Super Taliban “Pakistani Army” and the Super Al Queida “Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).”

    New York Times journalist David E. Sanger in his book titled “The Inheritance” writes about the drone attacks inside Pakistan that started after phone tapping of Pakistani Generals by American agencies led to the disclosure of Army’s secret deal with the Taliban.

    Musharraf, after publishing his questionable book “In the Line of Fire: A Memoir” (of course everyone disbelieved him), he describes David E. Sanger’s book as “white lie.” So what is Musharraf’s book, a “Brown Lie”?

    “There is a big conspiracy being hatched against Pakistan, to weaken the Pakistan army and the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence agency), to weaken Pakistan,” claimed Musharraf. Musharraf used the same kind of lies to remain in power. He use to claim that there is no alternative to him in Pakistan.

    ‘How can we side with the people attacking us’, he questioned (guess who?)reporters. Of cource he was at the house of old friend Brig (retd) Niaz Ahmad. Brigadier Niaz Ahmad had played a role in secret deal with Musharraf and his arch rival fromer Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Someone should care to ask the failed dictator that how did he do a deal with Nawaz Sharif who used to and still attacks Musharraf? Was Brig (retd) Niaz Ahmad used to deal with ISI, Pakistani Army and the Terrorist too?

    “Get your facts correct, I have never double-dealt,” is another of Musharraf’s claim. This is not the first time such an allegation is leveled against Musharraf. Bruce Riedel has already spoken about President Pervez Musharraf allowing Al Qaeda to regroup in its tribal lands.

    Out of power, but still in denial - Musharraf | Frontier India Strategic and Defence - News, Analysis, Opinion
     
  13. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    NATO cautions Pakistan over truce with Taliban

    NATO led a growing chorus of concern by warning that a truce between the government of Pakistan and Taliban militants in a restive region near the Afghan border risks giving the extremists a "safe haven."

    A hard-line cleric sent to the battle-scarred Swat Valley to negotiate with the Taliban received a hero's welcome there on Tuesday by crowds shouting "Long live Islam! Long live peace!" The cleric, Sufi Muhammad, expressed hope the militants would give up their arms to honor the pact, which imposes Islamic law and suspends a military offensive in the former tourist haven and nearby areas.

    NATO has 55,000 troops in Afghanistan, and many face attacks by Taliban and al-Qaida fighters believed to find refuge in pockets of Pakistan's northwest.
    In the last few months, Swat has largely fallen to militants who have beheaded opponents, burned scores of girls' schools and banned many forms of entertainment. Gunbattles between security forces and militants have killed hundreds, while up to a third of the valley's 1.5 million people have fled.

    The truce "is certainly reason for concern," NATO spokesman James Appathurai said Tuesday in Brussels. "We should all be concerned by a situation in which extremists would have a safe haven."

    Britain also weighed in with reservations.

    "Previous peace deals have not provided a comprehensive and long-term solution to Swat's problems," the British High Commission in Islamabad said. "We need to be confident that they will end violence _ not create space for further violence." Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Japan that the agreement still needed to be "thoroughly understood." A senior U.S. Defense Department official, however, said "it is hard to view this as anything other than a negative development." He requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of relations with Pakistan and because he was not authorized to speak on the record. The provincial government in northwest Pakistan announced the deal Monday after it met with Islamists led by Muhammad, who has long demanded that Islamic law be followed in this corner of Pakistan.

    As part of the deal, the pro-Taliban cleric agreed to travel to Swat and discuss peace with Maulana Fazlullah, his son-in-law and the leader of the Swat Taliban. Hundreds of jubilant residents lined the roads and shouted slogans as Muhammad arrived Tuesday. Many of those in the convoy with him wore black turbans _ a Taliban trademark.

    "We will soon open dialogue with the Taliban. We will ask them to lay down their weapons. We are hopeful that they will not let us down," Muhammad told reporters.

    Muhammad was detained in 2002 after he sent thousands of volunteers to fight the U.S. in Afghanistan, but Pakistan freed him last year after he agreed to renounce violence. It is unclear how much influence he has over Fazlullah or exactly where and when they would meet.

    The Swat Taliban said Sunday they would observe an initial 10-day cease-fire as a goodwill gesture.
    Similar deals have failed in the past, including one last year in Swat that was blamed for giving insurgents time to regroup. Federal Information Minister Sherry Rehman insisted President Asif Ali Zardari would not sign off on the agreement "until peace is restored in the region." The Swat Taliban, meanwhile, have said they will stop fighting once Islamic law is in place. Some 2,000 militants are believed to operate in the valley, and have already set up their own courts, meting out punishments in line with an exceptionally harsh brand of Islamic law.

    NATO cautions Pakistan over truce with Taliban- Hindustan Times
     
  14. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    Pakistani Army suffers defeat in yet another war and ground

    Pakistani Army can be crowned as the most defeated Army of modern history. Pakistani Army has been steadily loosing its ground and territory every defeat. Historically, it has lost half of its territory and other territories lost have been given by diplomatic channels.

    The latest in series of defeats is against unorganized, ill-equipped (Compared to Pakistani Army) Taliban terrorist in Swat valley. Taliban terrorist submitted Pakistani Army to a truce in the Swat valley after the deal between the provincial government and Taliban terrorist to enforce Islamic law. The truce comes as a relief for the beleaguered Pakistani Army after two years of fighting in which the terrorists have captured regions and are barely 100 odd kilometers northwest of Islamabad.

    Pakistani Army’s defeats against Indian Army is understandable, but, why did Pakistani Army loose against the Terrorist? Its simple, Pakistani Army is neither prepared to deal against India on which it can threaten nuclear weapons, but, the ill-equipped army has no deterrence against the terrorists.

    Even the Pakistani Police has refused to enter these areas. The News of Pakistan reported “Around 600 specially-trained commandos of the newly established Elite Police Force (EPF) have refused to get posted in the turbulent Swat Valley, saying they would prefer sacking to being made “scapegoats.” Its a sharp contrast with other professional police forces who would rather carry the orders of government.

    Pakistan’s army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had pledged to restore government control of the Swat valley, which is currently controlled by Taleban militants. The second phase of the military operation Rah-i-Haq in July 2008, to regain control of the northern district of the North-West Frontier Province have made no headway. Pakistani State writ has evaporated from Swat’s 5337square kilometer area.

    Pakistan first deployed its military in the FATA in 2002. Today the total strength of the Pakistani armed forces deployed along the Afghan border is 100,000 soldiers, tanks and armed helicopters.

    Few years ago, Pakistani Army used to poke fun on Indian Army saying that worlds fourth largest army cannot control few terrorists? Today, it must have understood the reason, why?

    In current comparisons, Pakistani Army has a stature lower than Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and afghan Armies which have been successful against the terrorists.
    Pakistani Army suffers defeat in yet another war and ground | Frontier India Strategic and Defence - News, Analysis, Opinion
     
  15. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Dangerous double game that mirrors Pakistan's identity crisis - Times Online

    Dangerous double game that mirrors Pakistan's identity crisis

    Jeremy Page: Commentary

    The discovery of a secret CIA airbase in southern Pakistan exposes the dangerous double game that Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s President, has to play as he tries to manage relations both with the United States and with a fiercely anti-American public.

    While he is criticised in Washington for surrendering to the Taleban by allowing Sharia in the Swat Valley, he will be lambasted at home for allowing the Americans to use a Pakistani base to launch drone attacks on his own territory.

    His dilemma mirrors the identity crisis Pakistan has suffered ever since it won independence from Britain in 1947 and especially since it backed the US-led War on Terror in 2001: is it to be an Islamist state, or a secular democracy?

    There is no easy answer for the widower of Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister who was assassinated in December 2007.


    CIA secretly using Pakistan base for drone raids

    Like his predecessor, Pervez Musharraf, Mr Zardari appears to have tacitly allowed the US to carry out the attacks, and use Pakistani bases to launch Predator drones, armed with Hellfire missiles.

    Yet he faces a new US Administration that appears determined to strike al-Qaeda and Taleban militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas far harder than had been seen under Mr Musharraf.

    As a democratically elected President, Mr Zardari is also under greater pressure to protest publicly about the attacks, especially when there are civilian casualties.

    Failing to do so would be political suicide in a country where 97 per cent are Muslim, and many oppose the support for the US campaign. In doing so, however, he risks being embarrassed by revelations like the one about Shamsi, and fuelling anti-American sentiment.

    Lisa Curtis, a former CIA analyst who worked at the US Embassy in Pakistan in the 1990s, said: “He’s in a very difficult position. The US has said, ‘We’re going to do this because the intel is getting better and better. We’ve hit some high-value targets and collateral damage has been very little,’ ” she told The Times. “At the same time, he has to protest publicly because this is Pakistani territory and a lot of Pakistanis are very unhappy.”

    The US increased drone attacks and even sent special forces into tribal areas last summer after apparently losing faith in the commitment of the Pakistani Army. President Obama has pledged to review US policy in the region, but made it clear that he would continue with the drone attacks.

    US officials say drones have killed several high-value targets in the past year, including Usama al-Kini, the al-Qaeda operations chief in Pakistan, in an attack on January 1. An American dossier leaked last week revealed a list of other prominent victims, including Rashid Rauf, the British chief suspect in the plot in 2006 to blow up a transatlantic airliner.

    Some Pakistani officials support the attacks but most see them as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and even in the US some experts question the efficacy of the tactics.
     
  16. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Secrecy and denial as Pakistan lets CIA use airbase to strike militants - Times Online

    From The Times
    February 17, 2009
    Secrecy and denial as Pakistan lets CIA use airbase to strike militants

    The Pakistani Government has also repeatedly demanded that the US halt drone attacks

    Tom Coghlan in Kabul, Zahid Hussain in Islamabad and Jeremy Page in Delhi

    The CIA is secretly using an airbase in southern Pakistan to launch the Predator drones that observe and attack al-Qaeda and Taleban militants on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan, a Times investigation has found.

    The Pakistani and US governments have repeatedly denied that Washington is running military operations, covert or otherwise, on Pakistani territory — a hugely sensitive issue in the predominantly Muslim country.

    The Pakistani Government has also repeatedly demanded that the US halt drone attacks on northern tribal areas that it says have caused hundreds of civilian casualties and fuelled anti-American sentiment.

    But The Times has discovered that the CIA has been using the Shamsi airfield — originally built by Arab sheikhs for falconry expeditions in the southwestern province of Baluchistan — for at least a year. The strip, which is about 30 miles from the Afghan border, allows US forces to launch a Drone within minutes of receiving actionable intelligence as well as allowing them to attack targets further afield.

    It was known that US special forces used Shamsi during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but the Pakistani Government declared publicly in 2006 that the Americans had left it and two other airbases.

    Key to the Times investigation is the unexplained delivery of 730,000 gallons of F34 aviation fuel to Shamsi. Details were found on the website of the Pentagon’s fuel procurement agency.

    The Defence Energy Support Centre site shows that a civilian company, Nordic Camp Supply (NCS), was contracted to deliver the fuel, worth $3.2 million, from Pakistan Refineries near Karachi.

    It also shows the fuel was delivered last year, when the United States escalated drone attacks on Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, allegedly killing several top Taleban and al-Qaeda targets, but also many civilians.

    A source at NCS, which is based in Denmark, confirmed that the company had been awarded the contract and had supplied the fuel to Shamsi, but declined to give further details.

    A spokesman for the US embassy in Pakistan told The Times: “Shamsi is not the final destination.” However, he declined to elaborate and denied that the US was using it as a base.

    “No. No. No. No. No. We unequivocally and emphatically can tell you that there is no basing of US troops in Pakistan,” he said. “There is no basing of US Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army, none, on the record and emphatically. I want that to be very clear. And that is the answer any way you want to put it. There is no base here, no troops billeted. We do not operate here.”

    He said that he could not comment on CIA operations.

    The CIA declined to comment, as did the Pentagon. But one senior Western source familiar with US operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan told The Times that the CIA “runs Predator flights routinely” from Shamsi.

    “We can see the planes flying from the base,” said Safar Khan, a local journalist. “The area around the base is a high-security zone and no one is allowed there.”

    He said that the outer perimeter of Shamsi was guarded by Pakistani military, but the airfield itself was under the control of American forces.

    Shamsi lies in a sparsely populated area about 190 miles southwest of the city of Quetta, which US intelligence officials believe is used as a staging post by senior Taleban leaders, including Mullah Omar. It is also 100 miles south of the border with Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand and about 100 miles east of the border with Iran.

    That would put the Predators, which have a range of more than 2,000 miles and can fly for 29 hours, within reach of militants in Baluchistan, southern Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s northern tribal areas.

    Paul Smyth, head of operational studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said that 730,000 gallons of F34, also known as JP8, was not enough to supply regular Hercules tanker flights but was sufficient to sustain drones or helicopters.

    Other experts said that Shamsi’s airstrip was too short for most aircraft, but was big enough for Predators and ideally located as there were few civilians in the surrounding area to witness the drones coming and going.

    Farhatullah Babar, a spokesman for the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, said that he did not know anything about the airfield. HOwever, Major General Athar Abbas, the chief military spokesman, confirmed that US forces were using Shamsi. “The airfield is being used only for logistics,” he said, without elaborating.

    He added that the Americans were also using another airbase near Jacobabad, 300 miles northeast of Karachi, for logistics and military operations.

    Pakistan gave America permission to use Shamsi, Jacobabad and two other bases — Pasni and Dalbadin — for the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. US Marine Special Forces were based at Shamsi and, in January 2002, a US Marine KC130 tanker aircraft crashed close to its runway, killing seven Marines on board.

    Jacobabad became the main US airbase until Bagram, near Kabul, was repaired, while Pasni, on the coast, was used for helicopters and Dalbadin as a refueling post for special forces’ helicopters. However, in December 2001, Pakistan began sharing Jacobabad and Pasni with US forces as India and Pakistan began massing troops on their border. In July 2006 the Pakistani Government declared that America was no longer using Shamsi, Pasni and Jacobabad, although they were at its disposal in an emergency.

    The subject has become particularly sensitive in the past few weeks as President Obama has made it clear that he will continue the strikes while reviewing overall US strategy in the region.

    The latest strike on Monday — the fourth since Mr Obama took office — killed 31 people in the tribal agency of Kurram, and another on Saturday killed 25 people in South Waziristan, according to Pakistani officials.

    Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Pakistani Foreign Minister, responded on Sunday by categorically denying that Pakistani bases were used for US drone attacks.

    Aerial assault

    — Armed predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been in use since 1999

    — The aircraft is controlled from the ground using satellite systems and onboard cameras

    — The MQ9 craft, which is used in Afghanistan, is 11m long, has a 20m wing span and a cruise speed of up to 230mph. Each can carry four Hellfire missiles and two bombs

    — Three systems were bought by the RAF last year for £500m

    Sources: Jane’s Information, US Airforce, RAF, Times archives
     
  17. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    Pakistan truce called 'great surrender'

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Pakistan agreed yesterday to suspend military offensives and impose Islamic law in part of the restive northwest, making a gesture it hopes will calm the Taliban insurgency while rejecting Washington's call for tougher measures against militants.

    A U.S. defence official called the deal "a negative development." Some Pakistani experts doubted a truce could decrease violence.

    "This is simply a great surrender ... to a handful of forces who work through rough justice and brute force," said Athar Minallah, a lawyer and civil rights activist.

    Elsewhere in the northwest, missiles fired yesterday on the Kurram region by a suspected U.S. spy plane killed people in a house used by an extremist commander. Witnesses said Taliban fighters sealed the area and later were seen buying 30 coffins. The deaths came after a suspected drone strike Saturday killed more than two dozen militants at a village in South Waziristan. The frontier region is where Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding.

    Yesterday's peace agreement applies to the Malakand region, which includes the former tourist destination of the Swat Valley, where extremists have gained sway by beheading people, burning girls' schools and attacking security forces since a similar agreement broke down in August.

    Speaking in India, U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke called the rise of the Taliban in Swat a reminder that the U.S., Pakistan and India face an "an enemy which poses direct threats to our leadership, our capitals and our people."
    TheStar.com | World | Pakistan truce called 'great surrender'
     
  18. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    To be honest lets get buckled up. Taliban is near our border. Another round of terrorist activity is about to begun.
     
  19. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    cant agree more with you sir, the recent development in pakistan is a warning signal. the taliban is increasing in power day by day.

    NATO has already issued a warning to pakistan yesterday.
    the US is already sending 17,000 more troops to afganistan.
    another round coming up,surely
     
  20. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Pakistan embassy in Tehran attacked.


    TEHRAN (SANA): Protesting against Shia-Sunni clashes of Parachinar, more that hundred Iranian attacked on Pakistan Embassy.

    They held placards saying “Death to Wahabies”, “Death to Taliban”, “Death to Yazidyaat”, “Death to America” “Death to American allies”, etc.

    They, in no time started raising slogans and said all what was written on the banners (Above).

    Later, the demonstrators started throwing stones on the Embassy building. All the front windows were broken by the demonstrators in the meanwhile a protestor with the help of his two friends climbed at the main door of the Embassy and removed the Pakistani Flag from their. The flag was torn into pieces and was also burnt later on.

    It is pertinent to mention here that all this happened in the presence of the Iranian Diplomatic and the regular police.

    The demonstrators threatened the Embassy officials and shouted at them saying just come out and to see what would be done to them. The most surprising of all is that there was no condemnation of the event nor condemnation of burning Pakistani flag was seen in any Iranian news paper.
    Pak Embassy in Tehran attacked | SANA | Top Story | SOUTH ASIAN NEWS AGANCY | niche
     
  21. .v0id

    .v0id FOUNDER Administrator

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    Shocking News :eek:
     

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