Wednesday, May 20, 2009

India Bluffed LTTE – Sri Lanka Victory by Zaheerul Hassan

A couple of years back I happened to come across four Sri Lankan’s Army officers who reveled that their country is passing through a Indian sponsored war with Tamils . They reveled that Velupilla Prabhakaran Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Chief is one of the world's most ruthless rebel’s leader. They also narrated me that thousands of innocent Tamils and Sri Lankan forces have been killed during last few years. Any how, those young army officers were determined to fight insurgency and their faces were revealing that sooner and later they would be throwing out insurgency from the country. Still I remember that On 61 national day of Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapakse expressed that shadows of terrorism have almost been wiped out with the last remnants of the cornered in a patch of jungle in the islands northeast. At that time, he further stressed while saying "I am confident that the Tigers will be completely defeated in a few days,”. Thus Sri Lankan forces played their final episode and have defeated 37 years old Asian longest insurgency and eliminated LTTE’s Chief Prabhakaran too. It was 1979 when LTTE has been established with the support of RAW. Sri Lanka even though made many efforts to resolve the issue peacefully but India remained fully involved in backing LTTE and never let the former allowed to go for negotiations. Prabhakaran who began his fight for a separate state for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils slowly and gradually has became strong rebel leader and started struggle for an independent Tamil State. The Lankan Leaders were in the opinion that the situation much worse than what it was during the 1987. In 1986/87 full throttle have been imparted to the movement by RAW while establishing 32 LTTE training camp in Kulathur, Salem district, India, By mid 1987, over 20,000 Sri Lankan Tamil insurgents had been provided sanctuary

A time came when probably Rajive Gandhi came to know about the real motives of Tamil’s leader. He asked his world’s notorious agency RAW to pull her hand out from the Tamils. Rajiv Gandhi also ordered the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to fight the LTTE because he realized that Indian government made a blunder while supporting LTTE. The Prime Minster stance was totally against the secret agenda of RAW and thus agency totally behaved opposite and deliberately helped in assassination of her Prime Minister through Prabhakaran. The LTTE chief was arrested but released on bail leaving behind a big questioned mark. Basically his bail was arranged by RAW to launch him again for attaining their mission of establishing an independent state of Tamil on Sri Lanka’s piece of land. Maddrass High Court though issued Death Warrants of Prabhakaran earlier but he never been apprehended by professional intelligence agency of India.

India has taken “U Turn “when she came to know that Sri Lankan forces are determined to up root their launched plan and Tamils started facing defeat continuously. The basic aim of India was to keep the Tamils away from the idea of establishing Independent Tamil State on majority’s area i.e. Indian Territory. For this RAW pitched them against Sinhalies and has bluffed innocent Tamils. The Indian Armed forces used to carry out brutality against Tamils and as per Indian peace keeping forces (IPKF) never felt hesitation of raping Tamil’s women. There are many officers like Lt. Col. Srikant Prasad Purohit who murdered and raped innocent women and Tamil’s male members of the families. I noted that LTTE and Taliban militants were using same technique while fighting against Pakistan and Sri Lankan Forces. Both were and are using human shields. It means the terrorists have been provided combat and explosives training in Indian and Afghanistan. "Suicide cadres are coming in front of troops in the frontline and exploding themselves," military spokesman of Sri Lanka, Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. The government has always remained enthusiastic in waging war while handling LTTE despite involvement of India. Here the question remains, why LTTE didn’t want peace and where was LTTE which was just a militant organization getting all the finances. The deadlock between LTTE and Sri Lanka was occurred because of illegal involvement of India and RAW in Sri Lanka’s internal problems. Any how an excellent and splendid victory has been received by Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka defeated RAW’S Game Plan .But difficult phase of rehabilitation has been started and should be done on war footing. Hundred of thousands Tamils have been displaced and buried in the soil due to the longest war. Same was happened in Swat where more than 2.5 millions people were internally displaced and thousand were killed so far.

The LTTE movement against Sri Lanka do have new political scenario in the region. The chances of creation of Tamil’s state is now much more than earlier , since most of the trained Tamils either became underground or went back to Indian held Tamil Nadu state . Reportedly, before pushing back and surrendering, LTTE’s leadership has decided to reorganize the movement with changed brand and go for an already perceived Tamil State on Indian Territory. Thus it’s quite right that India is going to reap as she has sowed for Sri Lanka and other regional countries. Reportedly, there are more than 100 liberation movements which are struggling for the rights of self determination in their respective states. Out of these liberation movements, Kashmir, Khalistan, Mezzo Tribes, Assam and Tamils are on the top of the list. But unfortunately India is busy in spreading state terrorism against Sikhs, Muslims and christens rather than resolving their internal ethnic problems. Bangladesh mutiny, Dlai Lama and Tamils problems and interference in FATA area of Pakistan are showing clear cut involvement of New Delhi. Let’s hope that Dr. Manmohan Sing should be able to stop her notorious agency from her malicious activities against neighbouring countries. At the same times Sonia Gandhi should also detail some inquiry to find out the actual cause of the death of her husband along with the responsibly. UNO should launch some rehabilitation programms since colossal efforts are required to restore the life in effected areas of Sri Lanka. World community should also force India to stop storming state terrorism in the region.


The international media remains toujours preoccupied with fears of NCB-material thefts from Pakistan’s installations. There are some feeble voices, like that of US Congressman Ed Markey who, nevertheless, occasionally expresses concern at fragile security of India’s WMD materials and technology. Markey considers that India’s installations are very porous and offer scope for theft, and by corollary, proliferation.
Concern about India is corroborated by her historical record. Let us have a bird’s-eye view of a few incidents. Four containers of phosphorous penta - sulphide were detained by Sri-Lankan authorities at Colombo Port, en-route Bombay to Israel (1994). These containers contained ingredients for manufacture of a deadly nerve gas. In 1989, India publicly confirmed that Yellowcake was being smuggled from Jaduguda Uranium mines in the Singhbhum region of southern Bihar to Nepal. Yellowcakes are manufactured from Uranium powder that could be converted into radiological-dispersal devices, commonly known as dirty bombs. The notorious smuggler, Maheshwar Deo Singh was caught by Indian police and 1.8 kg of Uranium was recovered from his possession in 1989. In the Uranium market of Kathmandu, one kg of Jaduguda Uranium costs Rs 1 crore. On being interrogated, Deo confessed that his network of couriers have been carrying on the `businesss’ for the past several years. He disclosed that a courier gets the minimum of Indian Rs 25,000 for successfully carrying a consignment from Jaduguda to various dumping centres in Bihar and West Bengal. From there the inter-country `dealers’ smuggled Uranium to Katmandu.
In 1990/1991, two shiploads, containing Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) materials from India were on their way to Syria, but the vessels were called back. However, later in 1992, India succeeded to deliver such consignments to Syria. India supplied thiodyglycol and some other chemicals to Iran in 1992. Again in 1993, the United Phosphorous Ltd of India supplied 30 tonnes of trimethyl – phosphate to Iran. During November- December 1993, India made an abortive attempt to ship chemicals to Iraq through Jordan. The shipment embarked from Madras Port. The information about this shipment was received by American Government, which protested to Jordan and the ship was turned back. In 1994, four containers of phosphorous penta – sulphide were detained by Sri-Lankan authorities at Colombo Port, en-route Bombay to Israel. The consignment contained ingredients for manufacturing a deadly nerve gas.
Three persons, with eight kilograms of Uranium were arrested by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation in Tamil Nadu in July 1998. The stolen material contained six kilograms of natural Uranium. The contraband was sent to Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research for analysis. It confirmed that the recovered material contained Uranium 235 and 238. On 31 July 1998, two engineers were arrested by police. They were carrying 2.31 kilograms of Uranium from. From the samples, 1.40 percent and 2.20 percent of enriched uranium was extracted, confirming that the recovered Uranium was neither an ore, nor a depleted compound. Mumbai Police seized 8.3 kilograms of uranium, confirmed by Bhaba Atomic Research Centre to be radioactive, on May 1, 2000.
In 1994, a shipment of beryllium and other material worth over US $ 24 million, useful for making an H-bomb, was caught in Vilnius. This catch confirmed the late 1980s CIA assessment that India was trying to develop a Hydrogen bomb.
Let us quote a few more incidents. An Indian national, Sitaram Rai Mahadevan, having Canadian citizenship and permanently residing in the USA, was arrested in October 2003 for sending blueprints of specialized nuclear valves to North Korea. Twenty-five kilograms of radioactive uranium were recovered from smugglers on November 5, 2000, and fifty-seven pounds of uranium on November 7, 2000. On 13 Nov 2000, three uranium rods were recovered from smugglers, according to an IAEA report. On August 27, 2001 West Bengal police arrested two men with more than 200 grams of semi-processed uranium. Radioactive Cobalt-60 rods were stolen from the Tata Steel factory in Jamshedpur on August 15, 2003. Seven hundred and fifty kilograms of Uranium was stolen during transportation from Jadugora Uranium Mines (Bihar) to Hyderabad in January 1999.
Delhi based M/S NEC Engineers Private Limited shipped 10 consignments of prohibited material, worth $ 791,343, to Iraq between September 1998 and February 2001. The exports included titanium vessels, spherical aluminum powder, titanium centrifugal pumps and industrial cells with platinum anodes that can be used in the manufacture of rocket propellant. Protech Consultant Private Limited supplied NBC-weapons-related material to Iraq as well as Iran. This shipment violated USA-imposed sanctions on NEC Engineers and Protech Consultant Private Limited of India. Taiwanese customs authorities recovered 1,000 tons of Aluminum Oxide from a North Korean container ship in August 2003. The Aluminum Oxide found aboard the ship had been manufactured in India. The substance when mixed with other materials could be used for making shells. Twenty-nine Titanium Alloy Rings, worth Indian Rs 22.50 lakh, used in rocket engine were stolen from the highly-guarded Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in Bangalore (February 6-12, 2004). Two persons, Khurshid and Aslam, were arrested by Bareilly Police with 254 grams of weapon-grade Uranium.
That‘s not all. Akhtar Hussain Qutbuddin Ahmed, an Indian businessman working in Dubai was deported on 12 June 2004, on charges of trying to sell India’s nuclear secrets to various diplomatic missions. He was accused of offering nuclear secrets which he had acquired from his brother who was working as a senior scientist at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). He was interrogated by police and security agencies for over 40 hours and later handed over to India, on arrival he was arrested at Mumbai airport.

An Indian national Sitaram Rai Mahadevan, having Canadian citizenship and permanently residing in USA, was arrested in October 2003 for allegedly sending blueprints of specialized valves, a critical part for nuclear plants to North Korea. On 30 September 2004, US State Department announced imposition of sanctions against two Indian nuclear scientists; Dr C Surrender and Dr. Y S R Prasad for transferring unconventional weapons and missile technology to Iran.
On 23 March 2007 US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested two Indian citizens Parthasarathy Sudarshan and Mythili Gopal in South Carolina, USA. They were involved in smuggling to India US-made electronic components for use in missile-guidance system.
The above incidents are only tip of the iceberg. Indians even advertised on websites dual-use (nuclear) equipment. It is unfortunate that the world community seldom shifts its focus, away from Pakistan, to India.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

India Continues to Imprison Human Rights Activist Dr. Binayak Sen

Last week marked the second anniversary of the detention of the internationally recognized award-winning human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, who’s worked as a public health professional in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh for twenty-five years. He was arrested on May 14, 2007, for allegedly helping the Maoist, also known as the Naxalite, insurgency in the state and detained under one of India’s most draconian laws, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act.

(for further details visit the website:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pakistan in a state of war! by Muhammad Jamil

Pakistan is in a state of war with militants and terrorists - some sponsored and aided and abetted by enemies of Pakistan.

And this is not the time for polemics over the genesis and the causes behind terrorism but to wholeheartedly support the armed forces, as all major political and religious parties barring a few proverbial exceptions have reached consensus that terrorists are enemies of Pakistan and the army should take the operation to its logical conclusion. Indeed, when the people of Swat and other areas see the army succeeding in its mission, they will be more than willing to bear the brunt of inconveniences because they would see light at the end of the tunnel. The government has started setting up camps for the displaced persons and care should be taken that these are safer places near their homes but away from the reach of the militants and terrorists. Anyhow, there is an enormous humanitarian crisis and rehabilitation of refugees is a great challenge, however it provides an opportunity to help the displaced persons estimated to be more than a million, who have all the time on their minds as to what will happen to their houses and belongings. They are physically suffering and under psychological stress and need care and attention. They should be assured that they will never be left alone and would be looked after in the camps, and will furthermore get all the help in rebuilding their houses after the militants are flushed out of the area. To manage such an influx of people who lost their homes and other belongings is not an easy task and requires extraordinary leadership having strength of character to face the situation. At official level, services of bureaucrat having repute in their commitment and devotion to duty should be inducted in the teams to manage the camps and providing the displaced people the necessities of life. To express solidarity with the displaced persons, the NGOs, civil society organizations and political parties should send their delegations to visit the refugee camps. Punjab government has expressed solidarity with the people of NWFP in this hour of need, whereas some religious parties are criticising the military operation and doing only lip service to the affectees. Ulema should be facilitated to visit those camps to tell the people about militants' motives and that they are acting against the teachings of Islam. The people thus be inspired to never bow down to the imposters who raise the banner of Islam to denigrate it through their barbaric methods like bullying, killing and maiming their Muslim brethren. Armed with the trust and confidence, these people in the camps would prove a great asset, and in future they will stand up and fight the enemies of Pakistan and Islam. The media should also play its role by giving all out support to the armed forces and discouraging the so-called intellectuals and religious zealots who try to prove that action should not have been taken against the militants. There can be no two opinions about Pakistan's need to eliminate terrorism; for one the writ of state has to be established, and secondly it cannot allow foreign elements to operate from its soil against Afghanistan to invite wrath of the international community. Without going into specifics, all Pakistanis must unite to frustrate the designs of terrorists and enemies of Pakistan and Islam. The should reinvent the spirit of 1965 war with India when people of Pakistan were united and stood behind the armed forces, and it was because of that unity that Pakistan not only could repel the attack but also made advances in Kashmir sector. Today, the people can play their part by giving all-out support to the armed forces, and also help the displaced persons that have been uprooted from their abodes due to the ongoing war between the armed forces and the terrorists. In February 2009, Awami National Party had entered into a peace accord with Sufi Muhammad with the objective to restore peace in Swat by demobilisation of Taliban militia and restoration of the state's writ to the beleaguered valley. But none was anywhere in sight. On the contrary, Fazlullah's brigands had publicly vowed neither to disarm nor to demobilise. Visibly, the militants had consolidated their position in Swat and began advancing to Buner, Lower Swat and Shangla to entrench, and link up with local Taliban and enlist new recruits to hold on to these regions too. Many people had raised eyebrows over the peace agreement on the pretext that it was the result of building up pressure on the NWFP government by arm-wielding Taliban. So far as residents of Swat are concerned, with enforcement of Nizam-i-Adl their old demand for restoring system of courts that was in vogue during Wali-i-Swat era had been met. Agreement to this effect was signed by Sufi Muhammad, who on his part had assured the government that he would use his influence over Maulana Fazlullah of Tehrik-i-Taliban and his followers would lay down arms after the announcement of Nizam-i-Adl. It however transpired that Fazlullah had some other motives, and he prevailed upon Sufi Muhammad who insisted that he would himself appoint Qazis and Darul Qaza, monitor the entire system, and the government would have no say in the matters in Malakand Division. It so happened that after the announcement of Nizam-i-Adl, they started moving from Swat to Dir and Buner, terrorizing people and forcing them to enlist as recruits to organise manpower to run a parallel government. Meanwhile, Maulana Sufi Muhammad in a public meeting used derogatory remarks against the Constitution, Supreme and High Courts, describing democracy and its institutions as nizam-i-kufr. By doing so, he lost the support of a large section of the people who had earlier supported or sympathized with his cause. On seeing the colossal human suffering, Ulema and Mashaikh of Sunni Ittehad Council has described the army operation as jihad. Unfortunately, Amir Jama'at-i-Islami Munawwar Hassan has opposed the military action and by doing so Jama'at-i-Islami would further lose support of the people. The army this time should not stop unless militants and Fazlullah's brigands are flushed out of the area. In the past, peace agreements were signed but to no avail because after military operation and quelling violence, the army went back to the barracks without finishing the job, because there were many voices criticising the security forces for killing their own people. But this time around, the government, parliamentarians, political parties and people at large are supportive of the military action and wish to see that armed forces complete the job and destroy the fortifications of the terrorists and militants.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

COAS briefs politicians by Muhammad Jamil

In a briefing on Pakistan's security, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani told the senior government officials and political leaders that there was no going back on the military operation against militants till its logical conclusion and that a swift action had been launched to flush out extremists from Swat and other parts of Malakand division.

In a five-hour long in-camera briefing military leadership also reassured political leadership that Pakistan army would continue its presence at border with India and no guarantee from international community would be accepted for showing laxity on eastern borders. A few days ago, there was news that the US had asked Pakistan for the deployment of force to the border with Afghanistan by moving them from border with India, and the US was willing to give sterling guarantees that India would not make any misadventure against Pakistan. But Pakistan rejected the US proposal because Pakistan could not trust a hostile neighbour like India. If the US can use its clout with India not to do any misadventure, the question is why the US leadership does not ask India to resolve the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan? The question also is that why the US did not ask India not to conduct war exercises of its strike forces in Indian Punjab in the close proximity of Pakistan's border at a time when tensions were already running high after Mumbai attacks. It goes without saying that non-state actors were involved in Mumbai mayhem and Pakistan as a state was not involved. President Barack Obama at his 100th day press conference had said: "Pakistan's military leadership was beginning to recognise just in the last few days that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided, and that their biggest threat right now comes internally." It appears that his advisors have misguided him and Pakistan's military leadership was not misguided about India's mortal threat to Pakistan, as Pakistan's political as well as military leadership have been expressing their concern over internal as well as external threats to Pakistan. Such statements cannot satisfy Pakistan, as India on one hand refuses to implement UNSC resolutions on Kashmir while on the other is building dams on Pakistani rivers to deprive its farmers of the required water. The problem is that American-industrial-military-complex and international corporate capital are vying for orders from India for hundreds of billions of dollars, because the latter is on buying spree to acquire sophisticated weaponry and equipment and materials for the so-called civil-nuclear technology. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani said: "Pakistan is at the crossroads of its history. The situation is not normal; militants have threatened the very fabric of our society by trying to impose their will through coercive measures. After having exhausted all political and peaceful means, the government was left with no other option but to call in the armed forces to take stern action against the miscreants." Though briefing was in-camera yet sources said that the political leadership appreciated the assessment by military leadership with regard to internal and external threats to Pakistan, which was reflective of high professionalism.

Swat’s worst humanitarian crisis by A Z Hilali

The people of Swat have ultimately got what they wanted and thanks to the Pakistan military that finally they have conducted operations against militants for their permanent relief in Malakand region of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), where at least 1,800 people have been butchered by brutal actions of Taliban.

In the military operation around 15,000 security forces are battling against 4,000 brutal militants, including a small number of foreigners and hardened fighters from the South Waziristan tribal region, who are greatest threat to the national security of Pakistan and the world at large. It is a worst human crisis in the modern South Asian history since the "war on terror" (2001) in which around 2,000 soldiers have died in battles with militants. By every account Swat unleashed the worst humanitarian crisis in the US-led "war on terror". Thousands of civilians have fled from Swat and neighbouring districts in the fighting between the army and militants and hundreds of thousands are unable to move and could be caught in the crossfire. Swat is a partly urbanized area, making civilian casualties a near-certainty. There are fears of a bloodbath if residents are unable to evacuate from the main city (Mingora) and other parts of area. Although thousands fled southwards as skirmishes broke out between Taliban and the army but according to Social-Aid (NGO), desperate people in Swat and particularly from the upper areas are trapped and most residents north of Mingora, such as Matta and Bahrain, have still problem to move for safe shelter. It is estimated that many people have died due to violence, starvation and disease. According to UNHCR, approximately 660,000 people have been displaced from Swat, Dir and Buner areas and predicted that displacement could confront Pakistan with its second largest disaster of the 21st century since the incident of 2001. The country is facing the largest displacement in its own history, and many are now living in camps lacking adequate food, shelter, sanitation, and health care and there is growing exponentially for the staggering countless people who continue to stream out of the Malakand region. Strategically, the Swat valley is surrounded neby the semi-autonomous tribal areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan, as well as where Taliban and the Al-Qaeda have strongholds. The military launched the offensive operation after the militants in Swat used a peace deal to impose their reign and continue their genocide of innocent people which was bloodiest and most brutal act of contemporary history. By then more than hundreds of people had been murdered (average of around 18 deaths per day) including men, women and children. In addition, there was a systematic rounding up and shooting of people, either for immediate mass-murder or detention of people in Taliban concentration camps and more than 1,500 are missing and feared dead. Indeed, Pakistan has declared war against US trained extremists and there is a possibility that the military action could trigger a wider conflagration. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, in a televised address to the nation mentioned that Pakistan has launched a full-scale offensive against Taliban guerrillas who have seized control of the vast Swat valley, and other parts of the NWFP. The Prime Minister categorically declared that Pakistan will no longer "bow its head before the terrorists," and called upon the nation to rally behind the armed forces. In fact, the federal government has given task to the military command to "eliminate the militants and the terrorists" once and forever for the greatest interest of people and the country. So, there should be no doubt that military is not fully aware of the gravity of internal threat and they are determined to employ requisite resources to ensure a decisive ascendancy over the militants as well as the forces are also fully prepared to meet the conventional threat from the arch rival of India. Moreover, it is interesting to note that the bulk of offensive against Taliban is being carried out by the military and other forces such as Frontier Corps and paramilitary forces are equally assisting the regular army. But the US media has created wrong perception that there is no indication that the army was pulling any major combat formations off the border with India and preparing to dispatch them or other major ground units to the battle in and around Swat. Furthermore, everyone seems to agree on the severity of the crisis and urged that military command should take decisive action against Taliban because the whole nation has realised the brutality of Taliban and believes that their real agenda was to seize territory and power not the enforcement of Islamic Sharia. Thus, after a long time, the people see a ray of hope in the conflict region and military also realised that majority of people are against the Talibanisation and desire to snub religious extremism for the largest interest of country. The people of the area emphasized to the federal government to focus on a response based on humanitarian aid, while human rights and civil society groups are calling for urgent protection for needy and helpless displaced people. A leading humanitarian group and Social-Aid (NGO) has called on the federal government and UNHCR to take additional measures for the help of over one million displaced people who have been rendered homeless by the ongoing armed conflict in the country. The civil-society groups have also urged the military to carry out operation carefully in the concerned areas and avoid civilian casualties in the strife-torn region because the civilian population is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the devastating impact of bloody violence. Moreover, the government and military both should establish mechanism to avoid gross human rights violations, including the indiscriminate killing of innocent people. In fact, no military can fight war without the help of people because war is not a military activity conducted by soldiers, but rather a social activity that involves entire nation. In this regard, the passions of the people are necessary to endure the sacrifices inherent in war because people supply the blood and treasure required to prosecute war and if this spirit is not available then there is a difficulty in achieving short- or long-term objectives. So, the people have urged that the planning and implementation of military operations in Swat and other parts of region must take into account the safety of the civilian population. Whoever caused the loss of innocent people must be held accountable as General Ashfaq Kayani has instructed the army that the safety and protection of people must come first in the planning and implementation of any military operation. He also ured the army to make precise strikes against the militants and adjacent areas to ensure minimum collateral damage even at the expense of taking risks. Thus, it must be clear that civilian casualties are unacceptable and every effort should be made to protect the civilian population. Moreover, the communication system, including mobile phones, have been disabled due to security reasons and the government workers and the military personnel must provide services to the needy people who are searching for their missing family members. In the same way, there is an utmost need of coordination with other IDPs camps in other parts of NWFP which would help people reduce their panic and dissociation. In general, "International law" does not recognise IDPs as refugees because the International Refugee Regime defines as refugees only those who have crossed a country border within the two sovereign countries. Because of this lack of international legal recognition, IDPs remain without international protection and live out of sight in appalling misery at the socio-political margins of their countries. However, the IDPs are direct victims of "war on terror" and the world community is responsible to develop a comprehensive plan to address their emerging problems and must take action to improve their living conditions, including strengthening the health care system among a population suffering recurrent illnesses such as anemia and acute malnutrition. The aging camps are also in need of new, improved sanitation systems and better refugee housing. For this purpose, additional funds are also needed for protection complementary and supplementary feeding; and access to basic services. Nevertheless, the people of NWFP and the rest of Pakistanis are happy that military has taken action against the atrocities of Taliban who are responsible for gross violation of human rights abuses and the displacement of people in Swat has made it among the world's worst situations in the political history of Pakistan. In fact, militants are responsible for committing or assisting war crimes and genocide of innocent people and their leaders must be treated like Slobodan Milosevic (Former Yugoslav President), Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic (Serb leaders) under the severe charges of genocide. So, the militants are killers of innocent people and solely responsible for mortal threat to the security and safety of country and the world.

Pakistan seeks drones’ ownership by Muhammad Jamil

Drones attack in FATA may have killed a few high-profile al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders but have caused collateral damage killing women and children.

On the whole drones' attacks have been counter-productive for one that Pakistan's sovereignty is violated and secondly when Pakistan looks helpless, this emboldens the militants, as it gives an impression of weakness of the government as well as armed forces that they cannot safeguard territorial sovereignty of the country. Pakistan has, therefore, asked Washington for ownership of US drones that carry out attacks on its territory. "Democracy doesn't believe in half measures. We have asked for the ownership of the drones," President Zardari said, when asked about reports that the US has agreed to pass control of drone aircraft to Islamabad. Speaking in London after talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Zardari said Islamabad was "negotiating terms" with the US over the drones, which have long been a source of tension between Washington and Islamabad. Meanwhile, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, at a Senate hearing said that Pakistan had asked surveillance support missions by US unmanned aircraft. But another report says that Pakistani officials have pressed to have direct control over the drones while US intelligence and military officials have offered greater access to the data collected from unmanned surveillance drones. Rubbishing media reports that Pakistan had been given joint control of armed American drones on its territory, Major General Athar Abbas spokesman for the armed forces said Washington never made such an offer to it. But the US administration does not feel any qualms over its disinformation or double speak. In the past, late General and president Ayub Khan who had excellent relations with the US had to write "Friends not Masters", to show his disenchantment with the US administration when it betrayed him during war with India. The US had not only stopped military aid but also economic aid instead of helping Pakistan in the hour of need. Late Bhutto had initially good relations with the US but because it interfered to tell him that Pakistan should not harbour ambitions of becoming a nuclear power that he had to write "Myth of independence". Anyhow, despite all aberrations and 'sins' of the US administration each and every Pakistani ruler seemed to have worked at the pleasure of the US, and when he resisted, he was shown the door either through mass movement or an intrigue. The problem is that Pakistan depends on the US for economic and military aid, and even IMF and the World Bank would not approve loans for Pakistan unless there is nod from the US administration. It is because of this dependency syndrome that our defence minister had in the recent past said that US drones do not take off from Pakistani soil, and Pakistan has only allowed the landing of the drones. One is amazed on the statement because when the drones land in Pakistan then they must have taken off to go to some other destination. The US must understand that despite being friends, allies and also partners in war on terror, the US should respect the sovereignty of Pakistan, otherwise it will further erode its credibility and popularity which is already at the lowest ebb.

Pros & cons of transit trade by Muhammad Jamil

Pakistan and Afghanistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 6th May to begin talks on a transit trade agreement by the end of the year, which would ‘ultimately’ allow India to use the Wagah-Khyber route for trade with Kabul.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who had hosted the Afghan and Pakistani presidents for the first round of the second trilateral talks said that both countries would benefit out of it. ‘This is an historic event. This agreement has been under discussion for 43 years without resolution,’ she said. Anyhow, mere signing of one MoU cannot be described as an historic event, as there are ‘many a slip betwixt cup and the lips’. Before this MoU is given practical shape and agreement is signed, there is need for sterling guarantee about resolution of Kashmir dispute which is lingering on for the last six decades. Secondly, if at all final agreement is signed, it should include Pakistan’s right to use India’s land route for trading with Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Though India is not mentioned in the memorandum of understanding, there is a perception that India will be the main beneficiary of a transit trade agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan as Kabul’s major trade partner. Both India and Afghanistan have long insisted that Pakistan opens its land route for transit trade between the two countries which do not have a common border. Afghanistan has been persuading Pakistan to allow Afghanistan to trade with India using Wagah-Khyber route, but Pakistan had taken the position that till the time Kashmir dispute is resolved with India, it will not give any concession to India. The signing of the MoU is once again because of dependency syndrome that the US tells Pakistan that India is not a mortal threat to Pakistan, as if American leadership is ignorant about history of the subcontinent. It has to be mentioned that Pakistan had three wars with India, and the major and the basic reason was Kashmir dispute which remains unresolved despite various rounds of negotiations including the Composite Dialogue, which has been put on hold after November 26 Mumbai attacks. Pakistan always suspected that India would use commerce as a way to undermine Pakistan’s fidelity to Kashmir, which is why Pakistan wants India to resolve the core issue before MFN status could be accorded to it. The problem is that India’s lust for big power status clouds the prospects of unity amongst the South Asian nations. India, therefore, has to give practical demonstration that it will deal with other nations on the basis of equal sovereignty. Pakistan has shown flexibility on the Kashmir issue by going beyond its stated position of resolving the dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions. And India should have gone beyond its stated position of ‘Atut Ang’. There are good prospects of formation of Asian Union but all the disputes have to be resolved before moving forward. It is true that despite having fought many wars including two World Wars, the visionary leaderships of the European countries are united today. The outstanding feature of 13th SAARC meeting at Dhaka in April 2006 had been the admission of Afghanistan as 8th SAARC member, and observer status to the US, South Korea and two economic powerhouses of Asia - China and Japan. The European Union has also shown interest in an observer seat in the SAARC. The question is that why the EU and US are vying to have observer status in the SAARC? The answer is not far to seek, as this forum comprises eight countries of the region with total population of more than 1.5 billion people. And with Japan and China’s population of 1.5 billion (observer status), it is a market for 45 per cent population of the world. In order to make the SAARC a stepping-stone for creating an Asian Economic Union, its members should resolve all the disputes, as the formation of European Union was possible only after the member-countries had resolved all territorial disputes. Pakistan had espoused a lot of expectations for establishing an ideal relationship with Central Asian states that became independent countries after collapse of the Soviet Union. It was rightly so due to Pakistan’s strategic position, which is confluence and meeting point between Sinkiang of China, Iran and Central Asian Republics. And also because of its principal city-port Karachi - the closest trading port for this region, and is a convenient route for their trade with the western and other countries. But apart from non-resolution of Kashmir dispute, three decades of internecine conflicts and civil war-like conditions in Afghanistan did not allow this idea to materialize. Taliban factor had also been responsible for some misgivings in the past, as some obscurantist elements were rushing to neighbouring countries like China presenting distorted version of Islam preaching militancy, which they abhorred. Unfortunately, Pak-Afghan relations were in the past marred by decades of mistrust in varying degree under different shades of government, due to the lack of visionary leadership on both sides. Continuous contact and dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan has removed many a misunderstanding, and now both sides understand each other’s point of view, difficulties and compulsions. Pakistan had some reservations; the first one that Indian consulates in Afghanistan were involved in organising terrorist activities in Pakistani provinces adjoining Afghanistan. Secondly, since India has no border with Afghanistan it could not help Afghans the way Pakistan did by conducting operations arresting hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives. And in the process quite a number of Pakistan’s law enforcing agencies personnel were killed. But to open a new chapter of everlasting friendship, both Afghan and Pakistan governments have left the past behind. The fact remains that Pakistan and Afghanistan are bound by religious, fraternal, cultural and geographical bonds; and as it is often said in the context of geographical situation and in the realm of international relations that ‘you can change friends but not the neighbours’. Given the mutual trust, respect and cooperation, both countries could march forward to achieve progress and prosperity of their people. Apart from other avenues, the region could benefit tremendously from the proposed gas pipeline project from Central Asia to India, which envisages linking Turkmenistan with India via Afghanistan and Pakistan. In this backdrop, Pakistan rightly views a strong and stable Afghanistan not only in the interest of Pakistan but also in the interest of the region. Pakistan therefore has made enormous sacrifice and suffered in men and material but has been able to arrest and kill hundreds of al-Qaeda operatives and Taliban. Afghan government should remember the crucial role played by Pakistan to ensure smooth presidential and general elections in Afghanistan by keeping strict vigil on the border.

Karzai’s melodies by Muhammad Jamil

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's outpourings over these days do come pleasingly to Pakistani ears.

But his melodies have rather come too late in the day, after much water has flowed down the bridge. Had indeed he been somewhat sincerely friendly to Pakistan, the two neighbours with their concerted endeavours would have possibly succeeded in pacifying the war-torn Afghanistan and in curbing monstrous extremism blighting them so horrifically. His Pakhtun ethnicity would have stood them in good stead, particularly in bringing to peace his country's restive south and east, his community's strongholds from where the Taliban drew their main support and where they are now insurmountably entrenched. Yet Karzai fell to playing a slave to the Americans and a surrogate to his Northern Alliance allies, and took to path of hostility and animosity against Pakistan, though ostensibly mouthing pious vows towards it but keeping a dagger in the cloak to stab it all the way. Pakistan's sincerity he invariably rewarded with deceit. Leave alone keep hauling Pakistan over the coals at his American masters' wink. He was not ever loath in swatting Pakistan right, left and centre, at the behest of his Northern Alliance allies, never taking a pause to ponder if they were taking him too for a ride even domestically. It was after ages the non-Pakhtuns, making up this alliance, had come to occupy a domineering position in Afghanistan's power dispensation, albeit courtesy the American conquerors in reward of services it had rendered them in toppling the Taliban and occupying a country traditionally ruled by its Pakhtun majority or their appointees. And if for this alliance's pleasure he kept his ethnic Pakhtun majority at bay from his country's prevalent power structure, at its behest he kept Afghanistan's relations with Pakistan turbulent too. He couldn't be unaware of the alliance's chumminess with India. Nor could he be oblivious of its machinations to embed India even strategically in Afghanistan to the detriment of Pakistan's compelling security interests. Yet he batted not an eyelid in playing ball with this scheming alliance against Pakistan. And even if not actively, he became an acquiescent participant in the plots that the alliance-dominated Afghan intelligence hatched up in collusion with CIA, RAW and Mossad to hurt Pakistan and destabilise it. Unknowing, too, he couldn't be of anti-Pakistan activities of Baloch dissidents, holed up in alien agencies' safe havens in Afghanistan. Yet all through he has always put a straight face on these inimical activities taking place in his country against Pakistan and instead has throughout kept demonising Pakistan impudently and churlishly. This really hurts, coming as it does from a man who couldn't be ignorant of the tremendous sacrifices Pakistan has made for Afghanistan's cause and the immense sufferings it has been bearing on this score till-date. Although in the Afghan jihadi structure, he had had a secondary role, still he would be knowing full well how Pakistan stuck out its neck at great risk to its own security for the Soviet aggression's vacation in Afghanistan. India, he may not have forgotten, was then staunchly on the Soviet side. And as Pakistan was struggling desperately to overcome the fallout of that involvement in Afghanistan, it finds now in a perilously bristling minefield for getting involved in yet another pacification campaign there, again thanklessly. Nonetheless, if Afghanistan's predominant Pakhtun south and east are under the resurgent Taliban's thumb, he himself is to blame. He never understood that for vested political reasons the Northern Alliance would very much want these Pakhtun regions to be perpetually disturbed. That way its supremacy in the existing power structure goes unchallenged. Its Indian friends, too, want the Pakhtuns stay sidelined, as the existing dispensation serves it well. And by a sheer quirk of circumstances, he may recapture the presidency in the August polls. For the present, he looks a shoo-in, as no formidable contender has yet emerged on the scene. But he will stay a lame duck, as the Obama administration is quite averse to him and will find out ways to bypass him. By every consideration, Hamid Karzai has burnt all his boats. His odes to Pakistan will be of no avail now, as it itself will be in a spot for Obama's Af-Pak strategy. In it, both Pakistan and Afghanistan figure as foot soldiers, with India in region occupying seat of a full partner of America.

It’s not too dark yet! by Ali Sukhanver

It was the mid of 1999, I still remember the evening when I was introducing myself to a pretty German girl in Australia; I am from Pakistan and she asked me in a surprisingly strange way where Pakistan is.
I, again, wish to meet the same girl; I am sure now I won’t have to tell her where Pakistan is; because it is all changed now. Pakistan is no more in oblivion. We should be thankful to the unforgettable 9/11 for this whole sale introduction of us; the same 9/11 which compelled the whole world revolve around Pakistan. Life is a simple game of three moments; one which belonged to us; one which we own now and the one which is expected to be ours; the past, the present and the future. Successful are those who keep looking back at their yesterday and intelligent are those who are always conscious of their tomorrow but the luckiest ones are those who try to make their present everlasting provided that their present is something to be proud of. We the Pakistanis are surely among those luckiest ones. For the last many years this prediction is selling hot that Pakistan is going to be no more on the world map in the near future. But every year Pakistan is always there, giving a tough time to all those who are dreaming of Pakistan changing into a waste land. Pakistan has become the centre of all concentration in a very short period of time. This matchless importance is simply because of the fact that the world around us has accepted the reality that Pakistanis have an exemplary ability of sailing in troubled waters. They can achieve any target if they are determined. The situation in Swat and other neighbouring areas is certainly not very encouraging. The anti-state elements in these areas have compelled the government to order the Pakistan army for an operation clean up. As a result of this operation hundreds of miscreants has been killed and arrested but on the other hand this activity has ruined the lives of millions of innocent citizens. So many children and women and old people are forced to leave their homes and wander in the streets of Rawalpindi, Islamabad and other cities of Pakistan. They are searching helplessly for shelter and food in scorching heat and certainly most of them are unsuccessful. The government of Pakistan is doing its best to help them out of this distress but because of its limited resources and a huge expenditure on the military operation in Swat, it is very much helpless in fulfilling the requirements of these migrating people. It is something very strange that the international authorities, who have been exerting a very painful pressure on the government of Pakistan to take stern action in the tribal areas, are now watching silently this game of death and distress instead of supporting the afflicted people. The innocent immigrants are trying to find out who is responsible for their miserable plight, the government of Pakistan, the Taliban, the Islamist extremists or the international authorities because one day they are going to pay off the scores. When the military operation in Swat, Buner and other neighbouring areas was in the pipe line, I had a chance of talking to my friend Dilawar Khan who is a trader there. He said that the local people are never in favour of any military operation. They know that such operations can suppress the disturbance for the time being but they are not the permanent solution. He further said that in spite of all these realities his people are of the opinion that in the present scenario the military operation seems the only possible solution because the miscreants have made their lives a hell. No peace, no security. Schools are being burnt, the shops and the banks ransacked , innocent citizens kidnapped for ransom , young girls raped ;in short all type of human rights violations; what else could the government do. He said that as a result of a huge military operation thousands will be killed and millions displaced but there is no other way out. The increasing demands kept on pushing the writ of the government to a blind alley. In the beginning it was expected that Maulana Sufi Mohammed would successfully tackle with the worsening situation if a peace accord is signed because he is the person who has a mild approach towards religion and a soft corner for peace in Swat. His role was being appreciated and admired by all segments of society but unknowingly he at once took a u-turn and started giving wrong statements, challenging constitution, blaming the parliament and rejecting democracy. This changed behavior of Maulana Sufi Mohammed gave birth to new fears and apprehensions. If he had not acted in this way, the situation in Swat could be very much different. Still, there are so many ways and solutions. The military operation should be continued because at present it is the only option. It would help the government of Pakistan in clearing out the mess. At this critical juncture the most important responsibility lies on the shoulders of the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. Although they are doing their best yet they will have to ‘do more’ .These agencies should more concisely concentrate upon the foreign elements hiding among the ranks and files of the peace loving Swatis whose sin is a desire of the implementation of Islamic Shariah. The peace accord is still alive in papers. Neither the government nor the TNSM has announced the cancellation of this accord although practically it is almost non-existent. Better we try to revive it. Sometimes we crave for our old clothes we used to wear again and again in the past because they suited us a lot. We stop using them when we have got a collection of the new ones but we never throw them away because they never seem useless to us. So it is the time to go back to yesterday and search for the old clothes .They would be surely more comfortable for us than the new ones. The night is surely at hand but yet it is not too dark. We can reach home safe and sound if we succeed in keeping the torch burning.

Crisis of Confidence By I A Panshota

It perhaps may not be wrong to say that Pakistan is on the tenterhooks. A tenter is a framework used for stretching newly woven cloth and a tenterhook is one of the hooks, which holds the material fully taut. Thus, a country on tenterhooks is in a state of great tension or suspense, especially when the anxiety or curiosity is stretched to the extreme. There have been many hiccups about Pakistan confronting US demand of doing more or earning the discredit of `not doing enough' being coalition partner on the `War on Terror'. The current spate of statement is now becoming more demanding, with rhetoric alleging that Pakistan has a foot in both camps. The question, whether Pakistan is using any dilly-dallying tactics in its war on terror is disturbing both the Pakistanis as well as international community. Some people opine that Islamabad is in an acute shock, not fully knowing, how to overcome this crisis. A large segment of Pakistani society is apprehensive of something that any action, as prescribed by the friendly allies, may prove the `last straw to break the back of the camel'. Does this mean, the US or the European allies really want Pakistan to fall prey to any imprudent and improvident move? In its latest round of development, daily `The News' has published one of the famous US news-agency FOX' s report of April 30, 2009, referring Commander of US Central Command General David Petraeus's statement, telling US officials that next two weeks are critical to determining whether the Pakistan government will survive. The Pakistan has run out of excuses and are finally getting serious about combating the threat from Taliban and al-Qaeda extremists. His statement came in the wake of US propping up the Pakistan military with counter-insurgency training and foreign aid. The statement of the Gen. Patraeus came as a big blow to all the Pakistanis. Although State Department's spokesman Robert Wood has tried to neutralize its impact by saying "I do not know where this two weeks time frame came from" yet much remains to be done to heal the scars of his forecast. Both Pakistan and the US have a long history of inter-dependence. The roots of their relationship cannot be so easily exterminated, unless there is any radical departure from or reversal in bilateral relationship. For a number of reasons, Pakistan's reliance on Washington has become more pronounced during the last couple of years. Both Americans and Pakistanis, fully know how Washington remained committed, to provide political, economic and defence assistance during the most hilarious post independence days, to offset Indian domination. Then there was time, when the cold war brought the sub-continent under its foreboding shadows. It was SEATO and CENTO' "Shield" that provided Pakistan security umbrella. Then Afghan War provided yet another opportunity to Pakistan to become partners. According to famous US writer Dennis Kux, some of the US leaders termed this relationship as "marriage of convenience" and her administration soon tried to shift its gears after the Soviet pull out. Pakistan's dilemma was its failure to harvest the expected rewards of ensuing US goodwill. Granted that relations between the two countries followed strange "on-again-off-again" friendly and frosty patterns alternately, but seldom came across such a gloomy side of the American outlook.. Whatever the international media paints, is mostly disillusion. No doubts, Pakistanis are full of complaints but the level of their goodwill has not yet fully exhausted. During the last sixty years, America was always regarded as the custodian and savior of Pakistan and roots of past bonhomie are still alive in the memories of the old generation. Pakistan has repeatedly expressed its willingness to act promptly on any piece of actionable intelligence, the US ever tasked. In case, if anything goes wrong against the perceived results by default, Pakistan cannot be held responsible solely, for a number of reasons. In fact, Taliban are altogether independent entity, having their own political agenda. They do not react with the consent of Pakistan, but act, out of their own free will. Pakistan leadership suffers, when frequency of Taliban or al-Qaeda militancy gains moment and US is dismayed when it fails to achieve desired results. There is no discounting the fact that Pakistan has no magic spells or charm to mould their common enemy's opinion. It is psychological phenomenon and none of the two coalition partners are betraying each other, with prickly discontent. Pakistan continued to face similar dilemma in the past as well. During Bhutto's time, when Pakistan tried to buy nuclear plant from France, the relations with Carter administration considerably soured. Although Afghan war brought the two countries together again, yet Islamabad has to walk on tight rope during General (late) Zia's time when efforts to make nuclear bomb were in full swing. Again, in the words of Kux, the American assert that frequent wrong-headedness, twists and turns of Pakistani leaders was the underlying cause of major setbacks to Pakistan. The answer of US demands blaming Pakistan for `not doing enough' is not difficult to calculate yet same cliché is often repeated every now and then. Once again looking back into the past, Pakistan left no stone un-moved to come up to the US aspirations, providing transit routes, deploying its hundred thousand army and paramilitary troops, on the porous Pak-Afghan borders, targeting its own people on suspicious grounds, sharing intelligence, ignoring public calls or sympathy waves, bowing to the rulers disliked by the masses, allocating all financial resources for security purposes, suffering losses of trillions of rupee in business transactions, committing and mobilizing all civil forces against the extremists groups and sacrificing taboos, as part of `Please US' policy. But what did it earn, in return, is no mystery to the world. It is time for our `most allied ally' to heed to our calls and look into some of the inherent weaknesses, borne as a result of our, social, economical educational, religious, social and political background. Their ideologies baked during the last many centuries cannot be altered within so short span of time. As expecting a friendly smile from the wounded souls, a hearty laugh from a homeless displaced person and expecting good-will gestures after drone attack makes no sense. At the same time US critics should also give due credit to the Americans being considerate, extending their bowl of largesse and undertaking unfailing shuttle diplomacy to find some logical solution of the problem. Pakistan continues to bear the brunt of the Taliban wrath for taking a U-turn or our failures to fulfill their dreams. The hospitality and philanthropy demonstrated in the past, which resulted into massive influx of refugees with their high powered weaponry, in the past is today's yeast for anarchy and chaos, besides being a cause of concern for fuelling bitterness between two allies and coalition partners. In the absence of continuous congruence of security goals, the partnership is simmering with friendliness. Pakistan has never been at odds with the US in the past, nor can it afford any such proposition in future. It fully understands that all roads to peace and prosperity pass through Washington. The time now dictates to visualize the sensitivity of Gen Petraeus statement. The whole nation sincerely hopes that President Zardari and his team of advisors, currently visiting the US would be able to find some solution of the core issues through friendly dialogue process.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Manmohan’s Hypocrisy and Sikh Alienation by Mamoona Ali Kazmi

Recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh commented on the situation in Pakistan mainly of Sikh minority. He said “The minorities are facing problems in neighbouring Pakistan...Jazia (religious tax) is being imposed on minorities. We will take appropriate and necessary steps on the issue of imposition of jazia in neighbouring country on minorities”. Look who is talking. Congress Prime Minister is talking about the rights of minorities particularly Sikhs in Pakistan. This remark by the Indian Prime Minister accounts to interference into the internal affairs of Pakistan. It is also worth mentioning that he is talking about the area where the military operation is going on to flush out foreign militants and their local supporters to restore peace. So what is happening to minorities is not on the order of the government but of some extremist elements. Above all what is most important is that Indian Prime Minister has serious concerns about the minorities in Pakistan, which are Pakistanis. There are evidences about the violence and oppression against minorities in India. Indian government itself is a source of violence. May be Manmohan Singh forgot 6 June 1984 but not the Sikhs of Punjab who lost their loved ones. India in fact is a country of Hindus, caring only about their welfare even at the expense of other minorities. The government of India even involved in the organized killing of Minorities. As far as Sikhs are concerned they are never treated as patriotic citizens of India and always mistrusted.

Indian government tried several times to purge Sikh identity and merge them into Hinduism. Since independence Sikhs remained mistrusted and are being discriminated and treated as aliens. During British rule Gandhi and Nehru promised the Sikhs to have full rights and freedom over Punjab. They stated that Sikhs would have the rights to rule Punjab without any interference from the government and that no laws would be passed without discussing them with Sikhs. Gandhi said, “You (Sikhs) take my word that if ever Congress or I betray you, you will be justified to draw the sword as taught by Guru Gobind Singh”. As soon as the British left India Sikhs were fired from their jobs and declared as traitors of India. Even in the Indian constitution, Sikhs were declared ‘Hindus with long hair’. Gandhi betrayed Sikhs and told them that if they cut their hair and give up their faith and joined the Hindus, they would be given full right and hired at the jobs. After independence when Nehru was asked to fulfill his promise of creating a separate Punjabi state, he brushed it off by saying “circumstances have changed now”.
After independence the Indian government continued its efforts to wipe out Sikhism from Indian soil. For this purpose in 1978 it sent an agent, Nirankari Gurbachan to Punjab to destroy Sikhism. He spoke against Sikhism and insulted the Sikhs Holy Scripture Guru Granath. In retaliation Sikhs launched a peaceful march against him while Gurbachan who already had Indian troops with him ordered them to shoot Sikhs. Resultantly, 13 Sikhs were killed leaving many other injured. The Indian government instead of punishing the culprits put the blame of this occurrence on Sikhs. This angered Sikhs and they rebelled against the Indian government. At this time a religious leader, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, took power in Sikh nation and started a campaign of evangelizing Sikhism. He openly spoke against the Indian Government’s activities against Sikhism. As the people started supporting Bhindranwale and the freedom movement gained momentum many a people became Sikhs. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and many political leaders launched peaceful march and demanded full rights and status of first class citizens for Sikhs in India. An Anandpur Sahib resolution was brought to attention by Bhindranwale, which included many demands for Punjab and Sikhs such as: regional autonomy for Punjab; return of Chandigarh to Punjab; specials status for Sikhs in the Indian union; a supreme court review of Punjab river waters; return of Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab; provision of a fare share of electricity to Punjab and declaring Amritsar a holy city.

The Indian government rather than fulfilling the demands of Sikhs began arresting them blindly. At this stage Bhindranwale said, “There is no solution to Sikh’s problem without freedom”. Riots between Hindus and Sikhs broke out. In Haryana, Hindus were called from villages by beating drums to kill Sikhs. Under such circumstances Bhindranwale was sure of Indian government’s plans to attack the Golden Temple at Amritsar and he was not wrong in calculating the Indian government’s intentions. As Lt. Gen. K.S. Brar, who was in charge of operation stated that the Indian army planned and rehearsed an attack on Golden Temple 18 months before the attack itself happened. Bhindranwale addressed the Sikhs and advised them to be ready to defend the Golden Temple.

As the Sikh movement gained momentum, Punjab was handed over to Indian military. The Indian government and military, in order to hit the Sikhs below the belly, planned to attack Golden Temple in the first week of June that marks the martyr day of fifth Guru, Guru Arjun Dev, founder of Golden Temple, and hence there was going to be a big Sikh gathering. Indian government announced a curfew in Punjab, telephone lines were cut and all press reporters were asked to leave Punjab. Punjab was completely disconnected from the rest of the world. The entire state was surrounded by troops. All the Sikhs were being harassed all over India.

On 31st May a large contingent of Indian army launched an attack on Golden Temple. This operation was given the name of Blue Star. Sadly, there were only 251 Sikhs inside to protect the complex of the Golden Temple as compared to thousands of fully equipped Indian troops. The Indian government also brought tanks and destroyed Akaal Takhat, which is in the front of Golden Temple. On 6th June when all Sikh fighters became martyrs, the war was over and the Indian troops entered the temple.

They did not even respect the sanctity of the holy place and entered with their shoes on. When the Indian troops found that only 251 men had stopped them from entering the temple for 6 days they started killing innocent Sikhs who had come there to visit the Temple. This was to hide their humiliation. About 50,000 Sikhs were killed that day. Sikh artifacts were burnt. All the literature written by the Gurus was taken away by the army. The whole Amritsar city was burnt. Sikhs’ shops were looted and houses were set on fire. Hindu mobs went to every house and burnt Sikhs alive, women were dishonored. Most Sikhs between ages 5 to 40 were killed. The Indian government thought that if they kill young Sikh men then there would be no Sikh marriages and in the next 10 to 15 years the Sikh population would not increase and they would eventually die out. All the visitors of the Golden Temple were arrested and they all starved to death because they were not given any food to eat not even a single drop of water.

Indian government said that the operation was conducted to flush out Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his supporters from the Golden Temple. If the Golden Temple was attacked to drive out Bhindranwale then why were other more than 50 Sikh temples attacked on the same day in Punjab by the army? Why were thousands of innocent people, specifically Sikhs, killed? Why did the government have to use tanks and heavy artillery to drive out few Sikhs? The Indian government has no justification for 1984’s bloody massacre. However, the truth is that it was a grand and wicked plan of Hindu government to vanish Sikhism by merging it into Hinduism. Because if would have been only Bhindranwale then the Indian army could have leave Punjab after the operation was over. Else there is no reason for army to stay in Punjab, burn whole Amritsar city and the Sikh literature?

Ever since operation Blue Star, Sikh youngsters have been picked up by the police, tortured in custody and than murdered in fake encounters. In some places in Punjab, whole villages lost their young generations as a result of inflammatory action of Indian regime. To top it, Amnesty International is banned from carrying out human rights investigations in the Punjab. Operation Blue Star proved that India is a country of Hindus who are intolerable towards other communities and want either to banish them or to merge them into Hinduism. It also shows that freedom of religion which is provided under Indian constitution is nothing but reflection of a sham democracy. So it seems strange that while victims of Operation Blue Star are awaiting justice, Indian Prime Minister is very much concerned about the announcement of a dissident group of Swat about minorities. There is a need that India first brings its home in order and than talk about others and its political parties must stop using issues relating to Pakistan as election gimmicks.

Friday, May 15, 2009


A room cannot be called a bed-room without a bed. River without water, a flower without fragrance and a brain without ideology; all are same as a body without soul. For a Muslim, Jihad is like the blood running in the veins .The western world is defaming this most important element of the Islamic teachings by intermingling it with violence and aggression. Jihad is in fact a very delicate and subtle type of lesson in the book of Islam. Jihad means an action against those who intend to challenge the authority of Almighty God by depriving the weaker ones of their basic human rights. It has so many types and forms. It does not mean holding a naked sword and start beheading the rivals indiscriminately. Those who interpret Jihad in this way are not aware even of the basic teachings of Islam and those who promote such blood dripping picture of Islam can never be called the Muslims.

Unfortunately, fearing the growing popularity of Islam, the Jews and some of the de-tracked Christians planned a conspiracy and succeeded in nurturing a strong disliking against Islam and the Muslims. The Mosaad and the CIA implanted paid agents among the rows of the fundamentalist Muslims in the garb of extremists who are more interested in Jihad than any other lessons of Islam. The innocent and peace loving Muslims unknowingly became a toy in the hands of such disguised agents. Now the situation has become so complicated that it is almost next to impossible to single out the terrorists from the peace loving fundamentalists mistakenly called the extremists by the anti-Islamic world. The blood-shed in the tribal areas of Pakistan, including Swat, Buner, Bajur and the Malakand division is a result of this carefully manipulated conspiracy. Although the Pakistan army is trying its utmost to eliminate and crush out these foreign supported elements yet this operation clean up is not the final solution to this horrible menace. In spite of the best possible precautionary measures, one can never guarantee the safety and security of the innocent citizens in these areas.

There is another misfortune or hard luck with Pakistan. Some of the very effective and powerful TV channels are behaving non-sense. They are always trying to portray that the military action directed by the government of Pakistan in the afflicted areas is a cruelty and violation of the basic human rights. Such channels are always standing with the terrorists not with the government. They claim that they are reporting the truth but they don’t know that their so-called truth is going to drown the whole of their country. The readers might be remembering that after the Mumbai blasts when the government of Pakistan was rejecting and condemning the Indian blame that Ajmal Qassab is a Pakistani citizen, it was one of the most popular TV channels which supported the Indian blame. The channel in the garb of investigative reporting tried to convince the whole of the world that the government of Pakistan is denying the facts. Such a behavior on the part of the electronic media is unique in Pakistan. All over the world no media can go against the official policy regarding the security and defense of a country. But in Pakistan media particularly the electronic media is so strong that it has forgotten every limit and boundary. It would be very immoral to say that some of the channels, intentionally or unintentionally, seem catering for the requirements of those who are not well wishers of Pakistan. It is surely the craftsmanship of such channels that today the world around us is calling us different disgusting names. They have put at stake the credibility of the government of Pakistan, the armed forces, the intelligence agencies and even of the religious institutions commonly renowned as Deeni Madrassas.It is because of the propaganda of these channels that today the west is calling these Madrassas as the nursery of terrorists. An atmosphere of fear and horror has been so successfully contrived that now people are reluctant in sending their children to these Madrassas.

The role of Deeni Madrassas and the mosque has always been inseparable throughout the history of Islam.Madrassa means a school, not meant only for the religious education but for all types of education including science, technology, geography, chemistry, anatomy, astrology and so on and so fore. In these schools the teachers try to shape and form a character which has an ability of facing all possible challenges of life. It is an absurd misconception that these religious schools nurture and nourish terrorism. The government of Pakistan has been very sensitive with respect to the Madrassas.It the last few years all of them have been registered under a law. Their financial matters, their syllabus, their courses and even the students and the staff, almost every thing is under a careful surveillance.

It is true that some of the Fake-Madrassas established in the tribal areas of Pakistan particularly along the Pak-Afghan borders are involved in some nefarious activities. Their role is no doubt same as that of the Indian consulates working on the other side of the border in Afghan area. Both of them are busy in defaming the Muslims and destabilizing Pakistan. It is the result of their disgusting activities that Pakistan is passing through the worst phase of its life. Everywhere there is a hue and cry that Pakistan is heading down towards a point of no return. It is also in the air that Taliban are about to take over control of state of Pakistan; all nothing but a cock and bull’s story. The international media and the US think tanks are pursuing an agenda based on international conspiracy to create a sense of insecurity and state of uncertainty. They are trying to suppress and depress the Pakistani nation so that it may lose all courage and determination to give the anti-Pakistan forces a tough time.

The picture of Pakistan is not as horrible and disappointing as portrayed by the west. The democratic government of Pakistan is successfully tackling with all the problems in spite of so many limitations, the rule of the law is being observed, coherence between ruling coalition and establishment exists, the foreign investors are investing in new projects, the armed forces are playing their best possible role in the betterment of the country, the foreign embassies are functioning smoothly; what else is required.

It is the most urgent need of the time that the Pakistani nation must get united to thwart such conspiracies. Domestic media and political forces need to be mobilized to counter hostile propaganda and create a ray of hope in the nation. The nation should try to strengthen the institution of Mosque and Madrassas. The teachers and the preachers should be given more importance, more attention and more care. According to the reports, the CIA, the Mosaad and the RAW are eagerly trying to pop in the mischievous elements in the mosques and Madrassas of the urban areas of the Punjab and Sind. The government must be more vigilant in this regard. There should be allocation of more funds to facilitate those who are serving these mosques and Madrassas.It is not only the responsibility of the security agencies but also of the common public to keep an eye on the foreign agents who are eagerly looking for a chance of creeping into these sacred institutions. These agents are dreaming of changing the whole of our country into a battle field. We are a peace loving nation; we have nothing to do with blood-shed and slaughtering. The Pakistan army is passionately fighting a war against terrorists but this war is in fact a warm up activity. The actual game is going to start after these terrorists have been pushed out of our territory. By then our hidden enemies would have surely thought of some new plans of destabilizing us. We are preparing for the flood behind the storm.

It's Just a Matter of Pride? by Dr. Nauman Niaz

There is a fragile future of Pakistan to consider. Wracked by geo-political turmoil, threatened by terrorism, and lacking India’s wealth, Pakistan cricket has become a pariah, with BCCI manipulating and ICC shirking and tricking them without being the competent authority to take the decision which they not only authenticated but also hastily implemented.
A legal notice issued to International Cricket Council (ICC) by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), to some has come as an overt and covert intimidation. It seems, the PCB has tried standing up to BCCI’s manipulation, sending the message that they are now equally in a contest with them. To most, PCB is playing in a dead-pan, running against the bull-horns and their response is only emotional. Nonetheless the other side shows them hitting the ground, communicating emotional tenacity, determination and resolve.ICC unlawfully took a unilateral decision and awarded Pakistan’s share of the World Cup 2011 matches to India. The series of events on behaviors disturbed characters commonly display that both ICC and the BCCI impair their ability to internalize pro-social values and also frequently serve as tactics to manipulate and impression-manage others-guilt-gripping and shaming, externalizing the blame, rationalization, minimization, and feigning innocence.Considering the present geo-political situation and the internal upheaval, it is almost next to foolishness considering that World Cup 2011 matches could be staged in Pakistan, without scare and also plain stupidity to contemplate foreign teams agreeing to play in a country that witnessed Sri Lanka being ambushed, the bullets spreading all over. Security failure it was, still BCCI and the ICC fired off so quickly that they were hard to identify and separate, and some slick maneuvers could utilize several tactics at once, picking at Pakistan, completely wrong-footed.ICC and the BCCI, working in advantageous environments concealed clearly obvious aggressive or exploitive intent while simultaneously putting Pakistan unconsciously on the defensive. However, Mr. Ijaz Butt is now engaged in deliberate, intense confrontation designed to challenge the legitimacy or validity, or the value of the decision taken by the ICC.BCCI and the ICC, significantly after the ambush at Lahore where Sri Lanka barely survived fatality, labeled Pakistan a cricketing backwater. For a while now, Pakistan cricket has felt it is being discriminated against when it comes to issues of safety, and it is easy to see why they may feel that money speaks all languages but Urdu.It's going to require a good deal of compassion, especially in the ICC and India's case, and courage, to welcome Pakistan back into the fold, but every effort must be made because cricket doesn't have enough good teams to be able to cast aside one of its major nations.The ICC's dithering has succeeded in driving a rift between Pakistan and some of the other major cricket nations, especially India. This is not a conducive atmosphere for rational decision-making in the future, especially considering how well known the ICC is for its politicking and power broking. When the storm clouds gathered and decision about moving Pakistan’s share of Cricket World Cup 2011 matches to India gained momentum, it seemed, none stood behind Pakistan, the Lahore terrorist attack brazenly used as a tool. At this point, it appears as though the ICC is splitting along ethnic lines, as has been predicted many times before.It sounds daft that Pakistan, even if the decision is overturned could still be a place to organize international matches by 2011, still their arguments over the World Cup hosting rights rage and the ICC looks to be on the verge of splintering. IDI had the powers and not the ICC and also even the competent authority could only recommend shifting the World Cup from Pakistan. Second, according to the MOU, Pakistan could only be inquired about their security plans eighteen months before the start of the tournament. In haste, the ICC allowed such manipulations to run and end in such acrimony is hard to understand. If there’s one thing it does well, it is placate vested interests. If they could find a way to appease BCCI on the ICL and Zimbabwe issues, then surely there was a route through the World Cup queries.Pakistan’s rights of hosting the World Cup matches couldn’t and shouldn’t have been taken away-instead if there were security concerns and in case if they lasted up to 2010, they could have been asked to shift their matches, not to India but to a neutral venue such as Abu Dhabi or Dubai. By stripping Pakistan it means they would lose a huge financial chunk. They would be having some disgruntled business partners in the form of the television rights holder and sponsors. Even worse, Pakistan was considered a plaything to be pushed, prodded or pulled in any direction. That is one sure way to devalue the game. It is a major concern.ICC’s decision could be viewed as hasty, bald-faced and uncivilized response to the security issues in Pakistan.Heartening, the failure of PCB’s earlier foreign policies is now clear to everyone except its architects, and then they must entertain private doubts, from time to time, about a policy whose crowning achievement now is to file a legal notice against the ICC, seeing a paradigm shift to end a swaggering silence and a deafening status quo.Before Mr. Ijaz Butt came in power, Pakistan’s most obvious mistake was to trust BCCI and play a role of a conduit; they now need to act independently, picking the right people to sincerely help developing cricket and asking ICC for their contractual rights. Anything else is an indulgence.At first glance, the goals of BCCI with reference to its huge financial market, it being the attraction for majority of top-tier cricketers and also their insight to dominate the world game might appear to conflict. BCCI after its brainchild, the Indian Premier League became a story of an overnight success, it started to use statutory rights to control access and accumulate monopolistic powers.And it also, stubbornly and quite brazenly, sidelined Pakistan, to regulate downstream activities, such as imposing exclusivity, territorial restraints and trying to isolate it in a tight corner. Inundated with success and drunk with power and unlimited opportunities, the BCCI, in the meantime, seemingly has forgotten to realise that directed at curtailing the powers and presence of other teams in the region, particularly Pakistan is fast touching the precipice of market clout which may prove harmful to subcontinent's cricket and its interests.It isn't significantly different from the situation in Pakistan, rather the hugeness of India and weak political interconnections make it more susceptible. ICC’s Executive Board, while taking the decision, completely failed to take into account that the law and order situation in the entire sub-continent was fragile and unpredictable.India, presently being termed as champion of cricket in Asia has had its share of terrorist activities. The regions with long-term terrorist activities today are Jammu & Kashmir, Mumbai, Central India (Naxalism) and Seven Sister States. In the past, the Punjab insurgency led to militant activities in the Indian state of Punjab as well as in Delhi. As of 2006, at least 232 of the country’s 608 districts were afflicted, at differing intensities, by various insurgent and terrorist movements. Mumbai has been the most preferred, over the past few years a series of attacks including explosions in local trains in July 2006, to the more recent ones in November, 2008 (killing at least 172). On August 25th, 2003, two bomb explosions near the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar killed 50 while on July 11th, 2006, a series of seven blasts took toll of 209 people.From Mumbai to Delhi and the three explosions on October 29th, 2005 killed more than 60 and injured at least 200. The Delhi Summit on Security took place on February 14th, 2007 with the foreign ministers of China, India and Russia meeting in Hyderabad House, Delhi to discuss terrorism, drug trafficking, reform of the United Nations and the security situations in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and North Korea. It was followed by 5 bombs exploding on September 13th, 2008.Attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13th, 2001, the Ayodhya Crisis, Varanasi blasts, insurgency in North-East India, the volatility in Nagaland and Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and the devastation continues to South. Karnataka, the serial blasts in Bangalore on July 26th, 2008 and the Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh, and the Hyderabad bombings, further to Tamil Nadu etcetera hardly show India being a country without possibilities of a series of other such attacks.Retrospectively, BCCI must know that unlike the West, it lives on a triggering device and events erupt to change the political, social and geographical dynamics. India, no matter how lucrative a marketplace isn't fully a safe place for cricket's unconditional prosperity. Throughout history, revolutions and political changes have brought the fall of one organisation or system only to replace it with another. "Round and round she goes, when she stops nobody knows!"In the present India-Pakistan situation, restricting to cricket alone, BCCI's egocentricity has been viewed as the root cause of the game's suffering, though indirectly in Pakistan and we still continue to jump on this ages-old, broken bandwagon. We have been led to believe that BCCI's inflated ego must be undone, negated or at least brought down a peg or two, convincing them that their prosperity would last from within the subcontinent with Pakistan, India and Bangladesh being the other three wheels.I genuinely believe that given Indian cricket's present economic growth my inclination to batter and blame BCCI's ego mentality is not only logically nonsensical, it is also irresponsible. They are ruling the roost and ready for complete domination, not in Asia but also contemplating to emerge as a major governing force in world cricket, effectively endeavoring to sabotage the ICC.Secondly, I assert that it's not the ego that's the true cause of the way things are in Asia, but rather the soul or the higher self. This includes the current crises. Although this may be hard to believe, it's true. It's time that both the BCCI and the PCB should know that the higher self's primary motivations are to experience, and through a variety of challenging experiences, to grow; they would also need BCCSL and the BCB..In fact, this is the time our collective higher selves actually engineer what's known as the illusion in order to accomplish some highly noble intentions on this Asian Block, otherwise Pakistan may well not but BCCI would end up in a real tight corner, completely isolated needing to learn through contrast and spirituality. By reconnecting within and viewing life from this higher-level perspective, you can achieve all these goals most quickly and easily.Bangladesh, another co-host mustn’t forget the August 17th, 2005 catastrophe. Five hundred bomb explosions occurred at 300 locations in 63 out of the 54 districts. The bombs were exploded within a half hour period starting from 11.30 a.m.On 17 August 2005, around 500 bomb explosions occurred at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. The bombs were exploded within a half hour period starting from 11:30 am. A terrorist organization, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) claimed responsibility for the bombings. The group, led by Shaykh Abdur Rahman and the elusive Siddiqur Rahman (also known as Bangla Bhai), is alleged to be affiliated with Al Qaeda.In Sri Lanka on August 12th, 2005 their Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assasinated by an alleged LTTE sniper. On January 7th, 2006, a suspected LTTE fishing board loaded with explosives detonated and destroyed a Sri Lanka Navy vessel at the port of Trincomalee, killing thirteen sailors. The March 1st mine explosion and April 23rd attack on Sinahlese civilans in the village of Gomarankadawala in the Trincomalee district, an an attempt to kill Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, the sinking of Sri Lanka Navy ship on May 11th, and the killing of award-winning author Nihal de Silva and seven tourists by a LTTE land mine in Wilpatty National Park made 2006 gory for Sri Lanka.On June 15th the LTTE blew up a civilian bus killing 68, including ten children and three pregnant women. The same day, the LTTE bombed a bus carrying 140 people in Kebithigollewa in Northeastern Sri Lanka. Sixty-eight people died. On June 26th, 2006, the third highest ranking Sri Lanka Military officier Major General Parami Kulatunga was wounded in an attack by LTTE and died after reaching the hospital. A suicide bomber killed 103 sailors on October 16th. On February 7th, 2007 at Batticaloa, Rev. Selliah Parameswaran Kurukkal, the head Priest of the Santhiveli Pilleyar Kovil and a father of three, who blessed President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the President’s visit to Vakarai four days previously, was forcibly dragged out of his residence and shot dead by gunemen from the LTTE.There were eight terrorist attacks in April and several others continuing well into May, July, August, September and November made Sri Lanka hostage to militancy. On January 1st, 2008, a former minister and a Member of Parliament beloning to UNP for Colombo District T. Maheswaran was shot by a gunman while attending the New Year prayers at Kotahena, Sivam Kovil around 10..35 local time (05:05 GMT) and later succumbed to his injuries at the Colombo General Hospital along with one Hindu pilgrim who was too attending to the prayers. On January 8th, a non-caibnet Minister of Nation Building and a Member of Parliament of Sri Lanka, D. M. Dassanayake died of injuries sustained in a roadside bomb attack in Ja-Ela, twelve miles (19 km) north of Colombo along with one of his body guard. The attack injured ten others. LTTE blamed for this assassination.Ironically, the sequence of terrorism in Sri Lanka runs into 2009, with the suicide air raid on Colombo on February 20th, the Kirimetiyagara Village Massacre on February 20th, and the Mahagodaya Massacre on April 12th should have been evidence enough for the ICC to refrain taking a radical decision against Pakistan. A legal notice to the ICC and the PCB ratcheting up the stakes in its confrontation further, sending a lette rto Michael Beloff, President of the ICC Disputes Resolution Committee, to refer the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) isn’t something emotional, it is all quite logical.
Writer is the Member of the Royal College of Physicians and Official Historian of Pakistan Cricket

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Curbing Terrorism: Difficult Fight Ahead by Khalid Khokhar

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, storming of Marriott Hotel, attacking a visiting Sri Lankan cricket team and assaulting a Police Academy Manawan have galvanized the PPP-led Government to embark upon a comprehensive and sustained campaign to flush the militants in Buner, Dir and Swat regions.

The people of Pakistan supports the ongoing military operation codenamed as “Rah-e-Haq Four” against the militants rebels in the Malakand division of country’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The “Malakand Peace Aggrement-2009” that was brokered on February 16, 2009, aimed to curtail militants' freedom of actions and wean locals away from hardcore militant Talibans. The peace accord was followed by Nizam-i-Adl Regulation-2009 (NAR) hoping that it was a regional remedy which should not be exported to other parts of the country. Soon after its implementation, the Swat Peace Accord suffered a violation committed by Talibans. The militants started intimidating people and forcibly recruiting young people to take them back to Swat for military training. The military was exercising restraint to honour the peace agreement in Swat, but the deal has only emboldened an export into other districts in the name of spreading Islamic law. The utmost restraint from Pakistan Army was misinterpreted as “weakness”. The militants moved south to occupy Buner, just few hundred kilometers from Islamabad. Taliban militants want to enforce own laws in the region, and have been attacking government buildings, courts and security forces. The militancy was further accentuated by the edict of TNSM leader Sufi Mohammad (who helped negotiate the peace deal in Swat) declaring that Pakistani institutions like Parliament and the High Courts are un-Islamic - a statement that reveals the militants’ broader goal of undermining Pakistan’s democratic institutions. It is quite alarming that insurgency-ravaged environment prevalent in Swat, Buner and Dir has created serious national security concerns for Pakistan, both internal and external which can be enumerated as under: - (a) Spill over of extremism and militancy in the settled areas. Incident of militancy in SWAT, Buner and Dir are a case in point. (b) Burgeoning trend of extremism which unleashed a spate of suicide attacks all over Pakistan. (c) Subversion of general masses through negative propaganda by militants against the Government, thriving on the common perception that Pakistan is fighting America's war. (d) Presence of foreign fighters has serious impact on the overall security situation in the country. (e) Demands from international community to "Do More" affect morale of our troops, who have given huge sacrifices. The continuation of unlawful activities even after the peace deal and enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl in Malakand and Swat areas, forced Pakistan Army to resume their operations on April 26 in Lower Dir, Buner and Swat. An all-out offensive “Rah-e-Haq-Four”, has been launched in Swat to flush out anti-state elements and terrorists from the restive valley. The militants entered Buner district in the first week of April and secured a firm control of the district after a clash in Gokand. The sources believed majority of the militants had come from Swat while they had also recruited locals in their militia. Pakistan Army is doing a commendable service and progress in controlling the Buner region. In Maidan area of Lower Dir district, the Army has been using gunship helicopters to pound the suspected positions of the militants. The operation would lead towards Sultanwas and Pir Baba. Militants’ strongholds in Mingora, Peochar, Kabal, Khawazakhel and Shangla had been attacked successfully. In Swat, the ground forces have moved towards the area which is considered to be the “rear base” of militant hideouts of Fazlullah, Muslim Khan, Shah Dawran, Mehmood Khan and Ibne Amin. The Government is likely to deploy two more division as part of contingency measure to eliminate miscreants in the troubled areas. The militants were on the run. Nevertheless, the district headquarters of Mingora is still under the control of Taliban. The militants are patrolling the streets and holding positions in roof-tops. The ground intelligence estimates indicate the presence of about 4000 militants in Swat, and around 700-800 in Buner. 762 militants have been killed, 34 personnel of security forces martyred and 77 others injured in the operation of “search & destroy” till writing of these lines on 14 May, 2009. Major General. Athar Abbas, the Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said security forces were exercising utmost restraint during the military operation in Buner as the militants were using civilians as human shields. They are attacking only confirmed hideouts and strongholds in the valley on the mountains to, avoid collateral damage. The effects of the operation are evident: (a) Cross border move has been fairly controlled. (b) Militants' freedom of movement has been considerably curtailed. (c) Ability to organize training camps is effectively dented. (d) Common people are gradually weaning away from the militants. (e) Absorbed all the "No Go Areas" in FATA and traditional writ has been restored to a large extent. (f) Majority of militants' sanctuaries have been busted. (g) Balance of power is gradually shifting to Government/common tribesmen. (h) Development works are progressing at a reasonable pace. The Governmental strategy was to re-establish Government's writ followed by package of incentives, quick dispensation of compensation, rehabilitation process & reform and economic development. The military operation has led to a flood of internally displace people (IDP) seeking shelter outside Malakand division. According to reliable sources, millions of people are fleeing through difficult mountain tracks to the neighbouring Swabi and Mardan districts, where the Government has set up 20 refugee camps. The exodus from Dir, Swat, Buner and Malakand constitutes the largest IDPs since 1947. With the fresh migration, the total is likely to exceed 1.5 millions. Approximately 9,90,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have so far got themselves registered with the government. The Pakistan Cabinet endorsed the ongoing military operation against the Taliban and other militants in the Malakand division of the country's North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Some of the features are: (a) creation of P M Special Fund for the victims of terrorism with the initial contribution of Rs200 million from MNAs own pockets, besides a month’s salary. (b) Formation of committees to carry out day-to day monitoring of IDPs. (c) Providing full cover to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through Benazir Income Support Program. (d) Holding of “peace march” against terrorists and militants across the country. As the use of force within own country without popular support of the people, could seriously erode credibility of military operations in the eyes of own people. Therefore, Pakistan Army has to be very careful to avoid collateral damage and take extra care of the local sensitivities. The Federal Cabinet has fully endorsed military action in Swat observing that there was no option left after failure of the peace accord. However, the cabinet expressed the resolve that there should be minimum collateral damage and should be over as soon as possible. Gen Kayani’s remark that “The present security situation requires that all elements of national power should work in close harmony to fight the menace of terrorism and extremism”, serves as a welcome sign that the army needs active cooperation of all other elements of the society to meet this enormous challenge. The people have realized that even after accepting their demand of enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl, the miscreants continued to indulge in unlawful activities including destroying public property, abduction, dacoities etc. The entire nation shared their grief and sympathies with their brethren of Swat Buner and Dir in the hour of trial and tribulation and will not leave them alone in lurch. Within this purview, cardinal aspects are: (a) Military means must be politically driven backed by popular support. (b) Convergence of military and political components. (c) Use of minimum essential force to achieve well defined objectives. (d) Conduct effect based operations to establish writ of the Government and shape the environment for effective articulation of political and socio-economic means. (e) Reduce own and exploit militants' vulnerabilities. The fight against Taliban and extremists is a long-term, episodic, multi-front, and multi-dimensional conflict. Pakistan is doing everything it can within the constraints. The Pakistan military may have a difficult fight ahead. The Taliban have already been digging trenches and fortified positions. There are indications that the fighting in Dir, Buner and Swat will be heavier with high civilian cost. In a recently conducted survey by US-based International Republican Institute (IRI) on March 2009, 69 per cent acknowledged that Taliban and al Qaeda operating in Pakistan is a serious threat, while 45 per cent support Pakistan Army fighting the extremists in NWFP/FATA. The armed forces are determined to take the operation to its logical conclusion. However, it will be a long drawn counterinsurgency operation because Pakistan Army is confronting an “irregular war”. Even winning the conflicts in Swat and tribal regions will not end the “long war” against terrorism. Terrorism cannot be eradicated by taking pre-emptive military actions alone as it has several dimensions. The amicable and permanent resolution of the issue of extremism can only be achieved when it is addressed in totality and not in parts. It is of course very important to confront the immediate threat of terrorism but it is equally important to address the root causes of terrorism. People loose hope, when societies breakdown and countries fragment. These then become recruiting areas for terrorists. The world can be made a safer place by investing in people, strengthening economic opportunity, responding to global challenges, alleviating poverty, eradicating hunger, fighting disease and spreading literacy to the poor and marginalized people in the tribal belt.