Gen Kayani, forget honour and prosperity, save our lives from your Taliban partners
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Utter shame PM Gilani and Rehman Malik
I have two news items from today’s newspapers in front of me.
Here is the first one:
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Saturday that the people of Pakistan were destined to move towards prosperity but the country’s dignity and honour would not be compromised to achieve this objective. The Army chief also made it clear that it was for the Pakistani nation to decide what was good and what was bad for the national interest. “Every Pakistani wants to live with honour and dignity and the armed forces are with them in this resolve,” he said.General Kayani said the armed forces have been fulfilling their responsibilities with full commitment whether it is fight against terror, services in flood and earthquake affected areas or safeguarding boundaries of the country. “The services of our heroes are great asset for us,” he said.In the end of the function, General Kayani shook hands with all media persons but there was no question answer session.
Here is the second news item from BBC Urdu which describes how our fellow Pakistani citizens, Shia Muslims of Parachinar, are demanding the Pakistan army to safeguard their lives and honour from the Taliban (Jalaluddin Haqqani network, which happens to be a strategic partner of Pakistan army).
’کرم ایجنسی میں فوج تعینات کی جائے‘
پاکستان کے قبائلی علاقے کرم ایجنسی میں سڑکوں کی بندش اور مغویوں کی بازیابی کےلیے احتجاج کا سلسلہ جاری ہے۔
جمعہ کو اسلام آباد میں منعقدہ ایک مظاہرے میں مظاہرین نے شاہراہوں کو محفوظ بنانے کےلیے فوج کی تعیناتی کا مطالبہ کیا ہے۔
مظاہرے کی قیادت کرم ایجنسی سے رکنِ قومی اسمبلی ساجد حسین توری نے کی جس میں علاقے کے نوجوانوں، عمائدین اور توری قبیلے کے سرکردہ مشران نے کثیر تعداد میں شرکت کی۔
نامہ نگار رفعت اللہ اورکزئی کے مطابق اس موقع پر مظاہرین نے حکومت سے مطالبہ کیا کہ کرم ایجنسی میں شاہراہوں کو محفوظ بنانے کےلیے فوجی اہلکاروں کو تعینات کیا جائے۔
انہوں نے کہا کہ بگن کے علاقے سے اغواء ہونے والے مغویوں کو بھی فوری طورپر بازیاب کرایا جائے۔
انہوں نے یہ بھی مطالبہ کیا کہ جن قبیلوں نے مری امن معاہدے کی خلاف ورزی کی ہے ان کے خلاف سخت ترین کارروائی کی جائے۔
واضح رہے کہ کرم ایجنسی کے نوجوان اور توری قبیلے کے افراد پچھلے ایک ہفتہ سے اسلام آباد میں کرم ایجنسی کی سڑکوں کی بندش کے خلاف سراپا احتجاج ہیں۔
اس سے چند ہفتے قبل کرم ایجنسی کے علاقے بگن میں مسلح افراد کی جانب سے دو مسافر گاڑیوں پر حملے کے نتیجے میں کم سے کم تین افراد ہلاک اور متعدد زخمی ہوئے تھے۔
مسلح افراد نے مسافر گاڑیوں میں پارہ چنار جانے والے پینتیس کے قریب مسافروں کو بھی اغوا کر لیا تھا تاہم بعد میں ان میں سے چند خواتین اور بچوں کو آزاد کردیا گیا تھا۔
یہ بھی بتایا جاتا ہے کہ کچھ دن قبل ان مغویوں میں سے چند افراد کی لاشیں بھی ملی تھیں۔ مقامی لوگوں کا کہنا ہے کہ اغوا کاروں نے مغویوں کی بازیابی کےلیے کروڑوں روپے تاوان کا مطالبہ کیا ہے
Finally, this breaking news while I was writing this post:
Two killed, nine wounded in a bomb explosion in Kurram Agency
South Asian News Agency (SANA) ⋅ May 1, 2011 ⋅
PARACHINAR, (SANA): At least two passengers were killed and nine others wounded in a land mine explosion on Saturday in Kurram Agency.
According to details a land mine was planted near the roadside hit a mini passenger van on Ladda Road in Kurram tribal agency.
A local official Javed Khan while talking to media has said that the explosion killed two passengers and wounded nine others including a woman.
May God save Pakistan from General Kayani and General Jalaluddin Haqqani. With friends like these who would need enemies?
ہوے تم دوست جس کے دشمن اس کا آسمان کیوں ہو
Protesters castigate authorities for their silence
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Hundreds of residents of under-siege Parachinar here on Friday castigated president, prime minister and political parties for what they called their criminal silence over the 0.5 million population’s plight at the hands of militants.
They called upon the rulers to either honour their commitments made on several occasions with the Jirga delegates and MNAs belonging to Fata or step down in case they could not make secure the only road link between Kurram Agency and rest of Pakistan.
The protesters, mostly youth, took out a rally and staged a sit-in near the Parliament House. All political parties, barring Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf completely ignored the event.
In their fiery speeches, speakers regretted that PPP, PML-N and so-called NGOs were insensitive to the long-continuing human rights violations in Parachinar, the headquarters of Kurram Agency. The rally was organised by the Youth of Parachinar, which has encamped outside the Press Club here since last week to press the government for re-establishment of its writ there.
MQM Parliamentary Leader in the National Assembly Dr. Farooq Sattar expressed solidarity with the protestors and promised to demand lifting of the siege and reopening of the Thal-Parachinar Road on the floor of the lower house. He added MQM leader Altaf Hussain would address the affected of Parachinar if they organised such a programme in the coming days.
They noted Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan had recently staged a dharna in Peshawar in a bid to halt drone attacks. They said they were also against any kind of outside interference in Pakistan’s internal matters.
But they decried Imran never issued even a statement against the blockade of Parachinar and in support of their struggle against the militants’ barbarism. However, PTI central spokesman of Imran, Zahid Hussain Kazmi on behalf of the party chairman, rushed to the venue and joined the protest. Later, he delivered a brief speech, condemning the siege of the region.
The PTI spokesman expressed solidarity with the protesters and criticised the PPP-led government for its indifference to the seething human misery in Parachinar.
Maulana Asghar Askari cautioned that if the status quo persisted, next time they could stage a sit-in inside the Parliament premises. He noted the president, prime minister and even interior minister had promised to drive Taliban out of the region and secure the road from them but they failed to honour their pledges.
Amid chants of shame, shame and down with Zardari government, he said they were aware as to which hidden forces were behind the diabolical activities of Taliban. “There is uniform behind the rampant terrorism,” the participants shouted in response to his statement.
He recalled that Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had very recently rightly said that Pakistan army was the best in the world. “We may dare to ask our army chief why then the Thal-Parachinar Road is not being made secure,” he remarked.
The religious scholar complained that the electronic media had not been projecting the crisis, as it should have had been and noted the media often looked for noted political figures for coverage instead of highlighting human misery.
The MNA from Parachinar Sajid Hussain Turi who is also chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on the States and Frontier Regions, in his speech described Parachinar as Pakistani Gaza and said their peaceful agitation would continue unless the road was cleared of militants.
He said due to the road blockade, broiler chicken was being sold in Parachinar at Rs450-500 per kilo, price spiral of the day-to-day commodities such as flour, ghee was unaffordable for the majority.
Similarly, he continued, both ordinary and life-saving drugs were also no more available and in some cases, medicines meant for animals were given to patients.
“Entire convoys of vehicles are taken away along with passengers by the militants: either killed with brutality; their bodies are mutilated and returned only after ransom is paid. These terrorists have martyred over 2000 innocent men, women and even children since 2007,” he lamented.
He asserted their struggle would continue until 35 persons abducted a few days back were recovered, the army troops moved in to clear the road; violators of the Murree Agreement punished and at the earliest PIA service resumed from Peshawar to Parachinar.
In the question hour session of the National Assembly, Interior Minister Rehman Malik assured the house that Parachinar-Thal-Peshawar Road would be opened and a military escort will be deployed at the troubled patch of the road to provide protection to civilian convoys.
MNA from Kurram Agency Sajid Hussain Turi boycotted the National Assembly proceedings and joined the protesting youth.
MQM’s MPs led by their Parliamentary Leader Haider Abbas Rizvi also visited the camp to express solidarity with the protesters.
The protesters have come from different localities and assembled in the Capital in favour of their demands after eight of the 41 people taken hostage by the Taliban on March 25 were returned beheaded, burnt and mutilated.
These people were taken hostage by the Taliban while travelling on the Thal-Parachinar-Peshawar Road. The remaining 33 people are still being held captive by the militants.
Addressing the gathering, Haider Abbas Rizvi demanded that the government make concrete efforts to recover the 33 missing people. He asked the government to restore C-130 air service immediately in the interest of people of the area.
Sajid Turi said that this time we will not accept the government’s hollow promises of restoring peace in the area. “Until the demands are met, I will not attend the National Assembly session,” he added.
The young protesters were chanting slogans against the Taliban and the government. They felt the government’s apathy towards the humanitarian issue was ‘senseless’. “We will continue our protest until the government comes up with concrete steps,” they said.
Qalandar Bangash, a university student, said that it seems that Parachinar is not part of the country as the Parachinar-Thal-Peshawar Road has been closed for the last four years and the people of Parachinar are facing tremendous problems. According to the protesters, the city is being held hostage by a “handful” of Taliban, who could easily be eliminated if the establishment had the will to do so.
Rohullah, a student of University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, said, “I left my final year examination to join the protest in Islamabad to highlight a genuine issue.”
He said there was only a pocket, a kilometre or so, where the miscreants were hiding and blocking the road, denying people in Upper Kurram access to Peshawar and the rest of the country.
Before the closure of the Pak-Afghan border for security reasons in 2008, people in Upper Kurram were using the Afghanistan route to access Peshawar. Worryingly, now they do not even have access to the basic necessities of life.
With additional reporting by Umer Nangiana
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2011.
Pakistanis slam Parachinar Shia killings
Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:28AM
Hundreds of protesters have staged a sit-in in front of Pakistan’s Parliament, demanding a military action against pro-Taliban militants in the country’s volatile tribal regions.
The demonstrators, who had marched to Islamabad from Parachinar in Kurram Agency located in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, are seeking an end to years of bloodshed in their hometown, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Parachinar, Pakistan’s only Shia dominated tribal region, has been gripped by anti-Shia violence for years.
The people of the area say pro-Taliban Wahhabi militants, that have a strong presence in the area, are responsible for the unrest.
They also say that their hometown is faced with a humanitarian crisis due to the closure of the main road that links Parachinar to the rest of the country for the past four years.
“Is Parachinar not part of Pakistan?” the Shia group has asked.
Meanwhile, over two hundred Parachinar protesters have been camping outside the National Press Club in Islamabad for the past three days, refusing to eat.
They have vowed to continue their hunger strike until the government does something about their plight.
The protesters have been joined by politicians, including a lawmaker from the area that has boycotted the Parliamentary proceedings until peace is returned to Parachinar.
Others have also endorsed the effort. Last month, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced financial compensation for the people affected by the road closure.
However, protesters from the area have rejected the move, saying the only way to address the problem is to treat the troubled region at par with other parts of the country and establish the writ of law enforcement agencies there.
Reports say that over 4,000 people, most of them from the Shia community, have been killed since the violence engulfed Parachinar back in 2005.
According to official figures, over 32,000 families have also been displaced from Parachinar due to years of violence.
A thoroughly illiterate and ill-informed article, designed solely to malign the army and further project the author’s personal agenda. Shame! I beg you to go and visit South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Swat and Parachinar before writing such a poorly researched piece of @#$%$%^%$!