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Reflections on the current crisis in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa

I’m currently working with an international organization in Mardan, Swabi, Swat, Buner and D.I. Khan– all conflict affected areas of Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa (KP). I’ve literally been living in these areas since January this year and have tons of stories to share but time constraints have not allowed me to write about my experiences as yet.

I do not favor religious parties and groups such as Taliban. I have always not only condemned but also never even become sympathetic to any of their socio-economic or religious justifications for violence. Similarly, I do not agree with the wholesale bombardment of innocent towns and villages of KP, our military does not have a great track record of its operations inside and outside the boundaries of Pakistan.

Nevertheless, the point I would like to make is that people of Swat and Buner, across the board, including schools teachers, doctors, small business owners, landless peasants, manual laborers, government employees and even the religiously inclined do not believe there was any alternative to pushing out the Taliban other than a military operation. Urban and rural poor that I have met in health facilities of Qambar and Charbagh, two core headquarters of the Taliban in Swat, unanimously stated that we expected the Taliban to be like our brothers, to assist us in rooting out corruption and implementing shariah law.

They found the reality quite opposite, with the Taliban acting like pillaging foreign invaders and caring little for the problems of the downtrodden. Many people were already deciding to leave their homes when the military operation began and the huge displacement took place. It is unwise and ignorant to claim that there was wholesale condemnation or approval for the military operation. We can debate this sitting far away from those affected by the conflict, but from the point of view of those who were displaced, have lost livelihood and loved ones, the reality is somewhere in between.

Many people have advocated that the real solutions to the conflict reside in radical land reform, end of state patronage to the corrupt pathan elite, public health system, legal reforms, nationalizing madrassas, literacy campaign etc. Their point is that no amount of military operations will truly defeat the taliban and bring about a viable change in the conflict affected areas.

I have two things to say about this:

  1. When I shared such ideas to combat the taliban, I was about to be beaten up by an elderly fellow in Swabi, who had been displaced with his family from Kanju, Swat. He said, “the taliban were brutal, blood thirsty men coming to destroy our homes, pointing guns at anyone they suspected as opponents and you are suggesting political solutions? The police was on the run, there was no one to defend ordinary citizens, how is it possible to defeat such an enemy other than shooting back at them?” I had no rebuttal to his comments…
  2. My local colleagues in conflict affected areas (including I) all agree with the social and economic reforms necessary for bringing real change but they insisted on the fact that we can talk about such reforms now, when there is a civilian government, when we have room to advocate change through political mobilization and pressuring government departments to work, especially the security services which, unfortunately, no one still trusts. They told me how it was impossible for any intelligent, educated person to hold dialogue with local taliban commanders since most were illiterate, opportunist poor folk, some even belonging to the lumpen proletariat, such as Sher Mohammad alias qasai (butcher). Qasai owned a small meat shop in Charbagh, Swat and joined the taliban when they entered Swat. He became the taliban commander of the area and was found riding a prado with armed guards and dispensing justice through ridiculous religious edicts, enjoying executions while having tea after juma prayers.

We must keep in mind that militaries have historically meted out collective punishment to people in order to carry out their own objectives. We should not believe their narratives and never blindly support any military action, especially within our own territories. However, we should not categorically state that every military action is completely unjustified and based solely on fulfilling some hidden agenda. Taliban commanders in Buner demanded bhatta (extortion money) from residents, whether rich or poor, and sent messages to whoever refused to either leave town or face strict punishment (execution). Similarly in Buner, I heard how taliban collaborators were tortured and executed by the army, who knows whether they were criminals or simple bystanders in the conflict.

I believe it is ridiculous to argue over the flogging girl video! It does not matter whether its real or not and why it was released at the time to swerve public opinion and launch the military campaign. It does not matter since armed action against the taliban did not require a flogging video. Samar Minhalla has answered this brilliantly

Daily Times – 4th April 2010:“…the taliban used violence against women and men, cutting throats, hanging body-parts in public places and executing people without any judicial process. They seem to have conveniently forgotten all those gruesome beheading videos in CDs that were sold openly as ‘Swat-1’ and ‘Swat-2’. All this was not only filmed by the militants but also proudly owned and disseminated by them. None were ‘fake’, none were funded by any anonymous NGO based in Islamabad.”

I also do not believe there’s any point of arguing whether the military operation was justified or not, since it has already taken place and one hopes there will be no excuse for such widespread use of our armed forces and the blood of army jawans to get rid of murderous hordes like the taliban. There should be no appeasement of any such group, anywhere in the country, whether its crazed mullahs in a masjid of Islamabad or tribal militias in Khyber Agency, anyone who dares to violently challenge the state and kill its civilians must be stopped and never allowed to gain time and space for empowering themselves further.

I personally hold religious parties and other non-bearded mullahs like Imran Khan for the infiltration and proliferation of taliban militants in Pakistan, since whosoever condemned them back in 2004, 05 and 06 were considered cronies of America and enemies of Islam. If the splintered taliban groups back then had been crushed, we would’ve have to face the large umbrella group of Tehreek-e-Taliban today. Obviously, we must not forget the lack of seriousness shown by the military in eliminating such threats back then. It is well known that Musharraf was bartering American support by conducting half-hearted military operations in tribal areas while maintaining contacts with such groups for future use in securing Pakistan’s strategic depth in Afghanistan.

In the opinion of residents of Swat and Buner, the most urgent need now is to prevent the resurgence of taliban and to keep the peace for not allowing the army to move back in. For everyone’s information, the army had completely rolled back from main areas of Swat and handed over security to the police in January, 2010. I was in Saidu Sharif the day of the bomb blast in Nishat Chowk (Feb.22), killing about 20 people and bringing army check posts and random road blocks back into the cities of lower Swat.

Let us analyze the performance of civilian governance and rehabilitation of life for all those affected by the conflict. We all recognize that violence is not the solution to the issues plaguing Pakistanis today and this is the best time, in this relative calm, that we must exert our influence in the corridors of power to provide education, health, justice and other basic necessities to those who are vulnerable enough to join the ranks of criminals such as the taliban.


36 Comments

  • Nadir El Edroos |

    Very well said! thank you!

    It shouldnt matter who is involved, what their objectives are, who sponsors them, or from where they garner support, at the end of the day, anyone who weaponizes and takes the law into their own hand and threatens the state the government must and should act promptly to protect society and its citizenry.

    Long debates of negotiated settlements are all well and good, and where blood shed can be avoided should be considered. However, by negotiating with one group you set the precedent where anyone who takes up arms against the state is able to get away with it.

    Rather than situating groups such as the taliban in Swat as some radical mujahids we should treat them for what they are, petty criminals. Regardless of how noble their aims no one should be allowed to take the law into their hands.

    We are all victims of nievity and lack of foresight. When in October 2001 American military action in Afghanistan began and thousands of individuals crossed into Afghanistan and subsequently return, the state should have monitored their actions then. When the first acts of rebellion against the government began and the first kidnappings and thefts in the frontier began then the state should have acted.

    9 years later, negotiations is well and good. But even while you sit and negotiate people die. Who is going to take responsibility for that!

    I personally was sickened that while the government prior to the Swat operation sat down to negotiate with Sufu Muhammad, people were being killed on the streets of Swat.

    Army units were confined to their barracks in or around the main cities of Swat while PAKISTANI citizens died!

    Who is going to take responsibility for state inaction when it citizens are killed? As long as common citizens are victimized it doesn't matter whether its Americas agenda, a Jewish conspiracy, a Raw intervention – state inaction in the face of violence is inexcusable.

  • MB |

    A very excellent post i must say, though not necessarily that we agree to all that is said but very good one,again.

    On the issue, i think , and i have been saying it everywhere, so i just repeat, that the Military-Civil Establishment needs to complete throw the old formula of keeping the status-quo intact, IF IT REALLY WANTS TO SAVE PAKISTAN. I mean, this is 21st century, while people in Pakistan are slow to wake up, they are finally waking up, and you can not keep this feudal setup for long. The establishment needs to re-write the script if it wants any respect from people. The economy is a nightmare, our country has become a slave playing in WEST hands for some dollars and our civil and military leadership had proven to be worst of its kind. The people are slowly keep themselves away from the PAKISTAN-iat they were hanging onto since 47. They are loosing hope, and Baluchistan, the recent violent protests for electricity in Pindi/ISB, the Hazara people protesting against NWFP name change, voice in PUNJAB etc. for Saraiki provice, are all indication of growing frustration among people.

    There is only one harsh reality in the world. It all comes to the "pait" in the end. You cannot fool people forever in the name of "patriotism" (islam ka qila, the ummah logic,the kashmir cause,the jihad rhetoric) and islam. People need money and food and security along with health and education like the REST OF THE WORLD wants.

    The establishment has fooled the nation enough since 65 using religion and nationality as a justification, to keep the people away from demanding security,health,education and the good things in life.

    The false dream is coming to the ground. People are realizing it. And keep in mind. Our establishment is not separated from people when it comes to the effects of their own designs. I have so many SMS with me from fellows who have joined forces and their "disappointment" is so much visible in their language. Every young guy join forces with a dream of serving his motherland and long time back this is exactly what he had been injected in his trainings. But now, looks like the corruption has completely taken over the MILITARY as well. Due to privacy issues i cannt quote their SMS here but i wish i could. One of the fellow has said their instructor tells them to bear the training for a while phir "ayyashi hee ayyashi". When cadet inquired that is "ayyashi" what we have joined the forces for? and is it not HARD WORK, LOVE for our MOTHERLAND, self respect which you should be teaching us . . . the Lt. Commander replies, those characteristics were once our core objectives . . "aaj kal pakki nokri chahiye sabko . . Khao piyo or aish karo" . . .

    When i read this SMS i was shocked at the level of PROFESSIONAL DECLINE our FORCES have drowned into. When i inquired about all the hi-fi appearance of our armed forces, my friend said . . its all cosmetics to keep the "bharam" on nation.

    While i have been for a long time criticizing the forces all over internet, i didnt know our last-hope (a bitter reality) is in such dismal professional level.

    All i can say is , LORD HELP THIS COUNTRY.

    • Aamir Mughal |

      One of the fellow has said their instructor tells them to bear the training for a while phir “ayyashi hee ayyashi”.

      ====================

      How True the Instructor was:)

      1 – 1958 – 1969.

      2 – 1969 – 1971.

      3 – 1977 – 1988.

      4 – 1999 – 2007.

      Pakistan: The Myth of an Islamist Peril By Frederic Grare Publisher: Carnegie Endowment Policy Brief #45, February 2006 Click on link for the full text of this Carnegie Paper
      http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/45.grare.f

    • Aamir Mughal |

      One of the fellow has said their instructor tells them to bear the training for a while phir “ayyashi hee ayyashi”.

      ========================

      Missing person’s case takes dramatic turn Police want Army generals to be probed Thursday, April 08, 2010 By Umar Cheema http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=233

      ISLAMABAD: A high profile missing person’s case has taken a dramatic turn as the police are examining a sitting corps commander and two recently retired ISI officials whereas a former DG ISI, now a corps commander, is likely to be examined following a guarded disclosure by former attorney general Malik Qayyum. Lt. Gen. Shafqaatullah, Corps Commander Multan, and two retired ISI officials, Brig. Mansoor Saeed and Col. Jehangir Akhtar, have submitted their statements to the Supreme Court through the police as they were allegedly in knowledge of where Masood Janjua had been kept.

    • Nazia |

      So Mughal

      you are slowly, very slowly accepting that Supreme court is making some moves against army mafia other than routine jobs.

      Police got the courage of challenging the generals only due to stand of judges.

      Recently hooliganism of Rangers for protecting the son of DJ is strongly reacted by police and army had to interfere in it via our comedian rehamn malik.

      So people have started changing their taboos.

  • Nazia |

    Nadir

    Govt has still no concrete plan for countering this wave of terrorism still hidden in suburbs of swat valley.Non serious attitude of ANP in this regard is quite obvious that they are more interested in changing the name of Province or helping zardari to keep his presidency as long as possible.

    We and swati people are badly in need of rehabilitation programs and it should be implemented on gradual basis through sincere and local people.Influx of unemployed people from Kashmir after earth quake disaster and now from war zones of swat/waziristan is making lot of pressure areas in already saturated cities .So it might be sign of another human disasters in coming years.

    From my private sources the bureaucrats and senior army officers have created many fake NGOS in Islamabad areas mostly are running by ladies of their families .They have rented and decorated portions in posh locality and trying to get the aid by showing them pathetic pictures of livingstyles of these people.

    So still no solid program has been floated from govt level and backwardness of this area is not allowing the locals to think on long term basis.

    You can imagine their limited approach that they are happy that now there, hotels are in service and they can start their business as before.

    Nobody can wipe off the scene of brutality of talibans which have been imprinted in young minds of this area and if we are not able to create some more effective programs for its youth, who knows how they would react in frustration of helplessnes.

    Development and employment generated facilities with critical monitoring of religious activities in medressahs and mosques should be top priority of any rehabilitation procedures.

    It is still missing and adhoc like activities are being seen along with fake kind of celebration from political representatives, just to butter the army establishment.

  • Aamir Mughal |

    In the opinion of residents of Swat and Buner, the most urgent need now is to prevent the resurgence of taliban and to keep the peace for not allowing the army to move back in. [Faris Kasim]

    ========================

    Musharraf and Military have played a very crude joke with the Innocent people of khyber-pukhtoonkhwa, the Military Establishment is responsible for the "alleged militancy" in the area because right under the nose of George Bush and Musharraf [and that too at the very start of War On Terror] More fighters cross into Afghanistan Staff Correspondent Dawn Wire Service Dated 3 November 2001 Issue : 07/44 – TNSM chief jailed for three years By Intikhab Amir 24 November 2001 Issue : 07/47 "LIES"of General [R] Pervez Musharraf, Sharifs & Talibans. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/03/liesof-g

    Why there wasn't any check when People Conveniently crossed the border [resulted in the death of more than 4000 young men who went with Sufi Muhammad] and Conveniently Sufi Muhammad returned back and put behind bars [very good no questions were asked].

  • khalid humayun |

    When I started reading this article I had a mind set that personal opinion would be imported on the basis of personal experiences. But, as I kept on reading, my own opinion kept on changing. The article is based on reality and it is not the "cry" only.

    The most beautiful part of the article is suggesions. Give them education, health, earning opportunities, sense of partcipation, the evil will shrink to nothing Insha Allah. Evil makes inroads in days, it takes years to oust it.

    I fully agree with Mr. Nadir's point. In that, while fighting terrorism, we should also probe about supply line of terrorists and find out those powers behind the curtain that are supporting and financing the terrorism. If we succeed in this area, war against terrorism would not be futile.

  • Ammar |

    The military operation is Sawat was inevitable and it should have been launched much earlier. The Sawat peace accord should be reminder that peace-talks with militants are bound to fail for this gives them the much needed recognition by the state and we are making them a stakeholder in matters such as governance and judicial reforms. The decision of Qazi courts was simply to appease the militants.

    Anyone with a gun or bomb will then dictate their terms to the state? The agenda of Sufi Muhmmad was strictly political and for such ambitions they can take part in electoral process. Since 2001 negotiations are used for buying more time and consolidating their power. Militants can be rehabilitated if they lay down the arms and integrate within the system. The Taliban do not seek land reforms, provincial autonomy or more fiscal independence they simply want to dismantle the system and impose their version of governance.

    • Nazia |

      3.5 million people whom army made IDPs for 5 months have bombs or guns.

      First decide then make comment of hostility.

      Qazi courts are part of culture of swat but when it was going to hands of sufi mohammed group what LEA are doing?

      its good you acknowledge

      Since 2001 negotiations are used for buying more time and consolidating their power.

      Operation started in 2009

      so 8 years are justified for this forceful action.

      Remember swat is not your border area but strictly lying inside our boundaries.

      How you rehabilitate militants?

      By recruiting them for Pak army or by sending them back to Afghanistan by giving them Nishan jurat.

      Our system pick a cadet for army at the age of 18 years these militants start training at the age of 7 and 8 and coming to 18 years they have become ruthless warrior.

      So there are least chance of rehabilitation of such unwanted breed.

  • Yasir Qadeer |

    I think I will have to agree with Nadir here. We are all victims of our own insecurities in one way or the other. The most critical point in rehabilitation of these affected areas should be to keep a constant look on a possible resurgence of militancy. We cannot force another war on this area.

  • Sher Zaman |

    Perhaps it’s true of the author to state that violence is not the answer to the multitude of problems that exist in that part of the country. Taliban came to enforce Sharia and true teachings of Islam, but in reality they are power thirsty people, trying to take over the lives of people. People should put their trust in the government and wait for the better days to come.

  • Nazia |

    Mughal

    Ayashiee of few has become misfortune of majority.

    Dil Khoon say bahr gaya
    http://jang.com.pk/jang/mar2010-daily/26-03-2010/

    Our army men has always proved that they are made to misuse the power of love of their nation .They have punished the people for their affection, ignorance and trust.They consistently entrusted on uniform as a symbol of savior. This impression persists as long as their area is not selected for new strategical depths.

    .

  • Al |

    Nice article. I think the same policy is being continued even today. The military is only targeting certain groups that had begun attacking within Pakistan & still there are groups that primarily focus on Afghanistan that are allowed to go free in the region.

    It is only a matter of time when these other groups turn their guns on Pakistan as well. This is a dangerous policy that we follow in our own backyard.

  • Maher Elahi |

    Kudos to Faris for the excellent articulation on the Taliban in Swat and the reaction of common people against their nefarious activities in that area.

    This piece deserves wider circulation to help many ill infomed and confused persons to understand the situation vividly.

    The comments of MB are also commendable. The armed forces need to be briddled and brought under the law of land. Actually they have been allowed to see themselves akin to invaders of gone by days and superior to bloody settlers . That is why they name their toys after them and look at civillian institution with contempt.

    They have time and again conquered their own country, while showing no worthwhile performance when put to any test.

    It is perhaps not entirely their fault. It is a congenital condition which begs to be diagnosed properly and treated intensively.

  • Nakkash |

    Demilitarization is a very sensible option but for that you will first have to establish the writ of the government in the far flung areas of Pakistan. In many remote areas of Pakistan you wouldn’t even find a single check post or presence of police and law enforcement agencies. Now if you take away arms from the inhabitants of such areas then how are they going to defend themselves from criminals and enemies? Idealism is good but it should take ground realities into considerations.

    By the way I still don’t understand the calculus of disrupting the lives of millions of people by making them migrate and then remigrate back just to apprehend a few hundred or perhaps thousand militants? Is this collateral damage commensurate with the objectives and goals of the military operation?

    I understand that it’s a fait accompli situation since the operation has already taken place and the damage done. Wounds will probably heal but the scars will remain. But at least we can learn lessons from the past and decide not to commit the same mistakes over and over again.

    Does only the State has an exclusive monopoly over the use of violent coercive force? Perhaps it’s correct but to assert this right the State has to first ensure that it’s writ extends to such areas and it should keep in mind the well being of people of such areas and not the morale of it’s armed forces. This operation was solely launched to uplift the morale of the army because they were badly defeated in the tribal areas and they wanted a soft target to make a show of their military prowess.

    Taliban are an indigenous outcome of the culture of our rural and tribal areas and they also have a moral, religious and material support from the local population. If they want Sharia so be it. It is our urban imperialism that makes us think that whatever we think is good for us is essentially good for others too.

    Military operation is always a last option when all other options fail. Without socio-economic development no matter how many villages they bombard or raze to the ground, it will fail to deliver. It needs a long term strategy which is beyond the scope of our myopic leadership. We need to throw away the yoke of Western imperialism and think first in the interest of the local population of such areas and then in our own national interest.

  • jibran |

    Faisal, so your credibility is that you work for an International NGO, so we should belive your crooked story and start to worship Samar (May)Lanatullah.

    Obviously you belong to the same camp as does Samar (May)Lanatullah and other facists.

    First you wanted Army to conduct the operation, now because the pimps followed the orders of your masters and there was carnage, you want to dis-associate yourself from future un-coverings of crimes committed by Na-Pak Army.

    You are like those missionaries, who are like embedded-journalists. The army does the carnage and you take the opportunity to prey on poor people and yet pretend to work on humanitarian grouds.

    BTW, I'm sure they pay you good. You are not just a worker for them, you are their ambassador.

    • Nazia |

      Jibran

      are you under trainee of nota??.

      If cant do like faisal and samar then what is point of attack.

      It would be better if you think they are wrong then swap them , charge them and take the responsibility of any little job related to rehabilitation program in this areas.

      Every thing would be crystal clear in few days.

      try IT I would be the one who will arrange backup support for you.

    • Gauss |

      Jibran,

      First, Who's Faisal? The author's name is Faris.

      Second, when does the author associate or disassociate himself with the Army operations? I think he would probably agree with any operation to cleanse the country of militancy since he does say, i quote: """There should be no appeasement of any such group, anywhere in the country, whether its crazed mullahs in a masjid of Islamabad or tribal militias in Khyber Agency, anyone who dares to violently challenge the state and kill its civilians must be stopped and never allowed to gain time and space for empowering themselves further.""" & """However, we should not categorically state that every military action is completely unjustified and based solely on fulfilling some hidden agenda."""

      Read more carefully and don't make logical fallacies. Take your personal grudges elsewhere. You sound like you're on the Taliban's payroll.

  • Amna Zaman |

    good article. But I don’t agree with most of the comments such as Nazia’z. You really don’t have to criticize the state for all this. To counter terrorism is not going to be something that will be achieved over night. It will take years and many more sacrifices. We the people will have to support the state as well as the military and hope for the best in the interest of the country. Patience is a virtue in such cases.

  • Gauss |

    There are some brothers of the "ummah" in the west who actually try to justify the Taliban using two arguments:

    1. What we hear in the media is all lies about the Taliban, they don't do the things that are attributed to them

    2. They attacked schools because the army was taking over schools

    I think both are symptoms of historical ignorance (i.e. we, as in Muslims, have killed more Muslims than anyone else, historically speaking) and an inherent inability to accept that we (yes, the Taliban are from us) have the capability to commit heinous crimes and genocide.

    If you follow both arguments above, it is easy (almost logical) to debunk them..but that's for you to figure out.

    Great Article.

    • abrar |

      Gauss,

      You said: "we, as in Muslims, have killed more Muslims than anyone else, historically speaking"

      Really ??? you mean even more than Genghis khan?

  • abrar |

    jibran,

    So Faris is in an *embedded* NGO :)

    Lol :), I like the term.

    They are all embedded NGOs other wise they would be banned on one pretext or another.

    Here is Marketing 101 for you.

    Q: So how do you really sell?

    Ansewr: By showing off the good side of the product (story in this case).

    Q: Is it hard to sell?

    Answer: NOT REALLY, if the consumers are poor and hungry and your product is well packaged with a FUTURE WARRANTY and apparently comes FREE.

    Q: And how do you dis-credit competitor?

    Answer: By showing the poor quality of the competition?

    Q: What if the competition is not poor quality

    Answer: Hire all the channels of Marketing and sign exclusive marketing contracts.

  • Sadia Hussain |

    The Sawat peace accord was a cardinal sin, we allowed and legitimized violence never has any state caved in to the terrorists. We established a parallel judicial system and allowed them to be a party to it. The operation was welcomed by the masses who loathed the Taliban, and the perception that is war is a viscous cycle is not true. Sri Lanka has effectively rooted out terrorism and India curbed the Sikh separatist movement. This is a long battle but with the right vision we can put an end to all this violence.

  • Aamir Mughal |

    The latest news is that PML-N leadership is now thinking of doing a double U turn and now wants the province name that they proposed – i.e. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – and which they almost stalled the entire 18th amendment for, to be renamed to Hazara-Pakhtunkhwa. Please also see the following report from Milwaukee Journal of January 19 1965 regarding Gohar Ayub Khan’s shamefule role in the violence in Karachi following the 1964-65 elections. He is a politician whose entire political career seems to consist of pitting his own constituents against other groups in the country just for his own short-term political gain. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=IgAqAAAAIBAJ

    • Aamir Mughal |

      A delegation of MQM met with Hazara Community of NWFP to support the demand of Hazara Province [being supported by Gauhar Ayub and PML-Q AND Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law]. How sad and tragic that MQM conveniently "FORGOT" that it was Captain Retd. Gauhar Ayub who played havoc in Karachi with the innocent lives of the people of Karachi during 1960s his Father General Ayub Khan Rule. The PML-Q is raising hue and cry over an issue which is just administrative in nature. Very shameful on part of MQM which usually raise hue and cry over Ethnic Hate Campaign which was started by Gauhar Ayub in 60s which had culminated in the loss hundreds of Innocent lives in Karachi. There is no shame left in Musharraf who is sitting abroad and playing havoc with the lives of people of Pakistan by inciting clash in NWFP through Captain Retd. Gauhar Ayub. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Illahi and other Rampantly Ethnic Hate Mongers within the PML-Q who are opposing the name of Pukhtunkhwa Khyber were themselves responsible for a worst kind of Ethnic Hate Campaign in the National Newspapers of Pakistan right after the death of Benazir Bhutto. The Dirty record of Chaudhry Brothers and PML-Q under General Musharraf is as under: NRO, Chaudhry Brothers, PML – Q & Jang Group of Newspapers
      http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/nro-chau

    • jibran |

      Aamir Mughal, its all politics.

      MQM is paving way for another province called 'Greater Karachi'.

      Any thing are possible when all the policial parties share THE COMMON BAAAP. :)

      Lol…

    • Al |

      @Aamir Mughal: I think it is all politics. All the politicians are the same & will not let any opportunity go to exploit the masses for their own personal gains.

      But i do not agree that the issue is trivial in nature as you seem to imply & is just being needlessly politicized.

      In my opinion the name doesn't have much to do with the protests rather it is the growing resentment against the central & provincial governments.

      And that is mostly due to the skewed resource distribution in the country. For example, South Punjab has been quite neglected by the PML governments for a long time in terms of development expenditures. If they have their own province, they would definitely be better off because the resource distribution would be more equitable.

      I am fully for creating more provinces. There is no harm in it. In fact it will be much better for the ordinary citizens & the country.

    • Aamir Mughal |

      Dear AI,

      Sir, I have nothing against administrative changes but when situation takes "THE UGLY ETHNIC HATE" then it is very paining because of loss of innocent lives just for nothing.

    • Al |

      @Aamir Mughal: No one can disagree with what you are saying. Our politicians in their selfish interests exploit the simmering feelings of the population.

      But one cannot deny that these feelings of resentment are there to some extent in the general population against one ethnic group or the other.

      The reason is pretty simple. This is plain & simple human nature. When denied their rights, exploited, or facing tough times people look for identification markers like religion, language, nationality, ethnicity etc.

      Before partition, Muslim resentment came out against the Hindus for the deprivations that they felt. After partition this resentment has been targeted towards fellow muslims of other ethnic & linguistic backgrounds like pathans, muhajirs, punjabis etc.

      In my opinion the real reason is the feeling of exploitation felt by the masses. It is human tendency to blame others whether it be on the basis of religion, language, ethnicity etc. in such situations.

      That does not absolve the politicians of their responsibility of containing & directing the genuine resentments of the population in the right direction instead of directing it to achieve their own short-sighted interests.

      But until we are able to remove the real causes of this resentments felt by many ethnic groups inside Pakistan, there is little hope for change.

    • Aamir Mughal |

      Al says: April 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm But until we are able to remove the real causes of this resentments felt by many ethnic groups inside Pakistan, there is little hope for change.

      ========================

      I agree.

    • Aamir Mughal |

      Al says: April 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm But until we are able to remove the real causes of this resentments felt by many ethnic groups inside Pakistan, there is little hope for change.

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      I would rather suggest that Autonomy should be given from Federation to Provinces and then from Provinces to Uncion Council Level [Grass Root] so the people must have sense of belonging and sharing in decision making. I had read somewhere that 18th Amendment contain Access to Information Clause and if that is correct then Secret Service Act should also be done away with to enable the Journalists and Researchers to do some Objective Journalism and Research.

      Best Regards