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Posts tagged with: war on terror

10 Lessons Pakistan can learn from the Northern Ireland Conflict

Pakistan has suffered extensively from a war which has bled this nation with hundreds and thousands of lives lost to a ruthless enemy called TTP & Talibans. Pakistan needs to come out of this conflict for the survival of our own existence – but to solve this crisis, we as a nation are forced to stand at a cross-roads – to either go headlong into a “military action” or explore a “ceasefire option”.

The choice is not, one or the other, but the choice is to explore a combination of both, using good cop – bad cop approach, try to head into a ceasefire talks but use strategic & timed military force to drag the militants back onto the peace table

Truly the bleeding hearts of every Pakistan screams, to beat the hell out of these murdering terrorists, but for the sake of Pakistan, and as, educated Pakistanis we must avoid being lead into a mindless war without exhausting avenues and all non-military options, for the fear of loosing our country further.

I share a paper published by London School of Economics and Political Science titled Ten Lessons for Conflict Resolution from Northern Ireland by Jonathan Powell is a great paper to read it sheds light on the lessons that can be extracted from the Northern Ireland conflict. Jonathan Powell was the principal negotiator on Northern Ireland and was instrumental in bringing about a lasting peace in that troubled province after centuries of conflict this

I accede even prior to quoting this paper in context of Pakistan there is no way to convinceably argue that the conflict in Pakistan is similar to the Northern Ireland, but it is equally wrong to suggest that there are no lessons to be learned, from the mistakes the British made and from the successes they achieved.  These lessons can be applied elsewhere, with care, by people like us in Pakistan to learn and seek a lasting settlements to this armed conflict.
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Copy Cat League FLIPS OVER to agree to have Peace Talks with TTP

Imran Khan has been a strong proponent of having peace talks with the Talibans for over 8 years, to an extent that these politicans accused him of being a Taliban Sympathizer and branded him as Taliban Khan. Now it seems everyone PPP, ANP & more recently Nawaz Sharif has accepted the fact that there must be some Peace Talks with the Talibans to help solve this terrorism issue out. Might it be Khan’s turn and say, I told you so, its sad that these spineless politicians (PML, PPP, JUI, ANP & MQM) appeased the Americans for five years allowing them to destroy and ravage Pakistan but now as the local elections are looming around the corner the same politicians have flipped over to strategically position themselves as peace brokers only so that they can fool people to vote for them. Shame on these two timing politicians


Dr. Shakeel Afridi – Hero or a Traitor?

Dr. Shakeel Afridi sentenced to 33 years in pakistan for treasonToday I was lined up skype into BBC World Have Your Say on Friday 25th May on the issue of Dr. Shakeel Afridi being A traitor or heroMy position was

Regardless of who was the target – Dr. Afridi acted as a spy in Pakistan helping a foreign country coordinate an attack of which we (neither the army nor the govt) had any information. No country allows its citizens to work without the knowledge of their government for any other country on a spying mission or as an agent of the other country without declaration.

Even The US itself enacted a law in 1938 called the FARA Act or the Foreign Agents Registrations Act which explicitly states that a person must register with the US Govt when it represent the interests of foreign country and can be severely tried of espionage if they fail to comply. The US has recently sentenced a US citizen of Kashmiri origin Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai for lobbying for Kashmir (not even spying) with money from Pakistan.

Why should the Pakistani courts be blinded to this espionage when the Abbottabad raid was conducted without its knowledge or consent for whatever “greater good” the US people and the US Govt may perceive the action as. In Dr Afridi’s case the Pakistani law will take its course like the US law in Mr Ghluam Nabi Fai’s case.

The end does not justify the means. We don’t like our sovereignty to be trampled like in Abottabad under any excuse. Hence I believe that Pakistan is fully justified in charging Dr. Afridi for treason

What is Your point of view?


What resuming NATO supply means to me

Rana Usman in his blog I Believe writes What resuming NATO supply means to me – he wraps up his article with these touching words

Each day, I die morally, each day when I see my ruling class prostrating to the people who are killing my land. Eventually this nation will die morally, there will be 180 million bodies walking around but dead! yes Morally Dead. Thank you America, Thank you Leaders.


Why does the Pakistani Gov allows the US to kill its citizens?

The question asked by the Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR) in its litigation filed in Peshawar last week – is Why does the Pakistan government allows the US to kill its citizens? – Clive Stafford Smith a director in the British Charity Reprieve ask this in his Op-ed in The Tribune titled Shoot the Drones

As a Britisher he tries to answer this for Pakistanis, but can we the Pakistani nation answer this for ourselves?


Karachi, Navy, Terror, Dharna

Waking up once again to the news of a terrible blast– the third in 48 hours in Karachi, all three on Naval buses! Two things make these blasts distinct from the others that make the daily news in Pakistan: one, the death toll (that is different for every blast of course) and two, this time around our law enforcing agencies already had information of the attacks on Naval cadre. Of course, the attackers did not specify the time, venue and nature of attacks, neither did they send our agencies the ID’s of the attackers, nor did the attackers presented themselves to the law enforcers so our law enforcing agencies and government are certainly not to be blamed for their criminal negligence!

This reminds me, last night a friend told me I should be thankful I live in a peaceful and safe area of Karachi; their area (Gulistan-e-Johar) is Afghanistan, with Baghdad starting from right around the Johar Mor! We are so immune to bloodshed that we practically laugh upon heaps of mutilated dead bodies!

No, we don’t stop at just that, this ridiculous behavior is only limited to the average of the masses. The more literate, the wiser ones do it in a different way. They baselessly criticize, call naïve and morally corrupt fame-seeker any leader who in these most horrendous of circumstances has the courage to give a two-full-days successful dharna against killing of our innocent Pakistanis, in the most targeted city of Peshawar, staying up in the midst of his supporters all night, sleeping on the floor of the stage and wearing a simple latha shalwar kameez (as opposed to the million dollar ‘cheap’ suits other leaders wear!).
Continue reading “Karachi, Navy, Terror, Dharna” »


The Deal Undone: Pakistan, its Army and the Americans

The deal undone explores the strenuous relationship between the Pakistan – US military establishments. The documentary analyzes a specific period in the history of this relationship during the, following the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

From the heights of friendship during the early years of the war on terror to the falling out with the passage of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act in 2009, are episodes explored in great detail in ‘THE DEAL UNDONE’.


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Crisis Guide: Pakistan

Beset by devastating floods, increased terror attacks, and political instability, Pakistan’s precarious state is a matter of global concern. “Crisis Guide: Pakistan,” the Council on Foreign Relations‘ (CFR) new interactive multimedia feature, examines the roots of the country’s challenges. The interactive presentation includes video interviews with more than twenty-five leading analysts, government officials, and journalists from Pakistan, India, and the United States.

Crisis Guide: Pakistan
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Death of Collective Wisdom

Is there a competition going on in Pakistan between institution to earn shame and notoriety for their nation?” my colleague asked me casually while we were having some drinks and watching a news television. “We are on that path for last 40years”, I answered stubbornly. Can there anything such shameful to force you behave that stubborn over your national pride? There is, hold your breath, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, the top body of media and custodian of ‘freedom of speech and civil liberties’, in a press release issued by its Secretary General, Mr Shamsul Islam Naz, has “officially’ appreciated the blocking of the Facebook Website.

This was followed by the Lahore High Court orders of a blanket ban on entire social media website depriving 2.5 million Pakistani’s an access to major internet services. Just because there was ‘one page’ out of millions, set by a silly American kid to make cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The same could have been blocked instead, but things work differently in Pakistan. A decision has to be popular rather than sane, the illiterate bearded men on streets with sticks and guns ought to be satisfied.
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Drone Attacks in Pakistan have a 2.5% strike rate against Al-Qaeda

The Pakistan Body Count, a website run and managed by Zeeshan Usmani, a professor at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute has documented over 124 drone attacks since 2004 and as per the last documented attack on May 11th 2010 in Miranshah shows that only 30 Al-Qaeda operatives have perished in the last six years but more significantly 1266 civilians were killed and over 445 civilians were left injured to run a tally of 2.5% as the strike rate against the Al-Qaeda operatives.

A strike rate of 2.5% is a failure by any measure, its not a statistical probability, or the result of a mathematical equation analysis but actually 97.5% innocent people have lost their lives in lieu of a high flying sophisticated drone targeting an Al-Qaeda terrorist, and by coincidence they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to have been killed instead. I believe such targeting success rate can at best be adjudicated to handing a blind man an automatic machine gun hoping to get lucky in killing people around him, even then I predict he will have a higher strike rate than these remote controlled drones.
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Ex-CIA official reveals Waterboarding Torture & the Iraq Invasion

In a video interview John Kiriakou, a former CIA counter-terrorism official reveals new information about the capture and torture of “high-value” detainee Abu Zubaydah. Abu Zubaydah was arrested in March 2002 in a joint operation with the CIA, FBI and Pakistani intelligence agents from Faisalabad, according to intelligence reports from the Bush administration who had wrongly tagged him as the No. 3 person in al-Qaeda and one of the planners of the 9/11 attacks.

Government documents declassified in the years showed that Zubaydah, in addition to being subjected to other brutal torture techniques [also reported by FBI Interrogator Ali Soufan during his congressional testimony in 2009], was waterboarded at least 83 times in a single month. There is to-date, according to Kiriakou no concrete evidence of Zubaydah’s direct involvement in the execution and planning of 9/11.
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Understanding Terrorism

image by ~trump on DeviantArt

I was deeply troubled by the recent suicide bombings of the innocents in the Kohat refugee camps. I was not surprised by the reaction of the Pakistan military and continuous shelling in response. I know I was not alone in this. The entire nation felt the pain of these refugees who were the victims of an extremist mindset. How cruel does one have to be to attack some people who are already homeless and helpless? Does one really have a second thought before killing himself and many others? These are some questions that occupy my mind before. Where are these terrorist organizations taking this war to? They have introduced an indiscriminate nature of attacks in the country. We all saw how two suicide bombers dressed in burqas struck a crowd of displaced people collecting aid handouts, killing at least 41 people. What bothers me more is where does one get all this courage from? Did these terrorist not see the faces of the people collecting aid? What in the world makes these men choose this path and why do they Pakistan so much?

The country is doing all it takes to put a stop to these terrorist activities. Along with the high intensity of military action, many think tanks have once again begun to explore whether a retort utilizing the tools of dialogue and negotiation might produce a better outcome. The prolonged war on terrorism keeps giving continuous hits to the financial standing of the country. Every morning I wake up and realize that the situation seems to keep getting worse. Terrorism must be stopped with whatever tool it takes before it is too late and the economy of the country cripples.

However, my perspective is poles apart from the others. My deep thoughts about terrorism stem from long inquiry into what creates conflict and violence between the Pakistanis. More importantly what keeps the terrorist going? What fuels the courage to the terrorist for going into mosques and shattering into pieces of flesh?
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Op-Ed: Flogging my Sentiments

My first Op-Ed for Express Tribune Flogging my Sentiments has been published in the Saturdays The Express Tribune, talking about the ever controversial flogging video which has already been extensively debated on my blog running into a very heated debate. In the Op-ed I again take a swing accusing the Pakistan Army and our covert agencies to have leveraged this video to swing the nations sentiment allowing them a more free hand in waging the war in our northern areas of Pakistan > Flogging my Sentiments on Express Tribune


Protest at Karachi Press Club Against Civilians Killings by Army

On Saturday April 10, 2010 Pakistan Army launched an air strike in tribal area of Khyber and as a result at least 73 innocent civilians have lost their lives. Pakistan Army’s first reaction was denial and only confirmed the civil casualties after 5 days. This is not the first time that the Army has been involved in killing innocent men, women and children in NWFP, There have been innumerable incidents in the past when the rescuers were also targeted by the second round of air strikes.

The activists of People’s Resistance in Karachi feels that this is a War by the Pakistan Army on the innocent people of the region in the garb of fighting against terrorism and condemns the killing in the strongest terms.

People’s Resistance would also like to call all the people of Karachi to come join their protest on April 16 at 4 pm at Karachi Press Club to show solidarity with the people affected with this war and call for an end to this war.

Protest: Protest Against the Killing of Innocent Civilians by the Pakistan Army in Khyber
Location: Karachi Press Club
Date: April 16th 2010
Time: 4:00PM

What’s a Meridian Jet doing in Karachi?

Last week while traveling to Islamabad for a personal visit I noticed this jet parked on the tarmac near the PAF sheds, little did I think again about the airplane until I read a blog post by Omar R Quraishi who also happened to notice this plane while he was jet-setting to Lahore for a day, upon his return he put his journalistic talents to use and Googled out some concerning facts.

Meridian Airways previously known as Air Charter Express is being used by British Ministry of Defense from RAF Lyneham base and may also be engaged in flying to Afghanistan as well. With extensive involvement of the US and British forces in Pakistan, it might be as simple as a routine trip to Pakistan shipping supplies to the American forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But Omar logically deduced some similarity with CIA covert rendition program to say

The plane looked very similar to other aircraft that have appeared in news stories every now and then on the whole so-called ‘rendition’ programme in which the CIA uses private aircraft to ferry prisoners to various countries where they are then interrogated so that US laws regarding prisoners and torture don’t have any bearing.

We know for a fact that the US has in the past smuggled out a number of Pakistani nationals out of Pakistan, so I too would be worried as to why this jet is being operated in Pakistan it being suspicious parked behind three PAF Jets at the Karachi Airport, Omar Quraishi rightfully questions

Who came on it? What was it being used for? And how many such planes use Karachi airport in a week? A month? We are taxpayers and our taxes go to pay for installations such as Karachi airport and for the salaries of the air traffic controllers who interact and guide these planes to land — surely we need to know –who is going to tell us this?


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