Archive for the ‘assassinated’ Category

Muhammad reports from Pakistan, March 23, 2008

March 23, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,I hope you and your team at the Peace and Freedom will be alright. As usual there is still uncertainty. Terrorists have still been roaming freely. The officials have still been patronising them. But today I have been sharing a very interesting news with you. According a report carried by the Nation newspaper, a paper of anti-Musharraf establishment, The alleged militant group familiarly known as “Taliban” was declared “out of Islam” by 73 different sects of Muslims through an edict (Fatwa) circulated in parts of the narrow tribal strip of Darra Adamkhel.

The edict in Urdu language was circulated on behalf of Mufti Zainul Aabideen on Friday night. The one page edict focuses on Talibans’s terrorists acts in the area, particularly slaughtering of human beings and suicide attacks. The edict against the Taliban terror is considered first-ever effort on the part of any religious figure in the last five years. Earlier, the late Maulana Hassan Jan publicly denounced Taliban acts, but he was mysteriously assassinated in retaliation.

After the killing of late Maulana Hassan Jan, a large number of Ulema and religious scholars remained reluctant to say anything openly against the Taliban.It is for the first time that a religious scholar declared “Taliban” as being “out of
Islam.”

The edict said that all the acts of Taliban are against the basic norms of Islam and humanity. “Even the Taliban leaders are considering themselves and their directives as superior to true Islamic principles and directives as ordained by Almighty Allah,” the edict said.

Elaborating his point of view, the author of the edict states that the Taliban declare those infidel who oppose their ideas and interpret Islam according to their own needs and ideas, which is contrary to the all-embracing ideas of Islam.

In this respect, the author of the edict invited the attention of Taliban Mufti Khalid Shah’s edicts against internationally recognized Islamic scholars like late Maulana Hassan Jan, Allama Taqi Usmani, Maulana Tariq Jameel and others. He said that such edicts of Mufti Khalid Shah against such highly credible and respectable religious scholars were available on Tliban-made CDs.

Mufti Zainul Aabideen further states that Taliban, despite chanting slogan of “Allah’s rule on Allah’s land” are ignoring this slogan in the areas under their control. They not only impose the system of their choice in these areas, but also forcibly collect the so-called taxes and fines from the people. They justify their terrorist acts discussing in mosques, schools and other public places and claim, “There is no sin in killing 100 innocent persons for one guilty person.”

Islam prohibits killing of innocent people whereas the Taliban are killing innocent Muslims. Even they congratulate the terrorists and suicide bombers on, what they claim, “entrance into the heaven for killing the innocent people.”

The author of the edict further states that Taliban give preference to the directives of their amirs (heads or commanders) instead of following the directives of Allah Almighty and sayings of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Even Taliban affiliated to different groups are reluctant to recognize each other’s amirs (heads or commanders).The author of the edict has in particular denounced slaughtering and beheading of the innocent people at hands of the Taliban. In the light of this edict, the author has requested Ulema and religious scholars to come forward to denounce such inhuman and immoral acts on the part of the Taliban.

Dear Sir, this is a positive development. I want to tell you your continued cooperation has bringing some positive change on our lives.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan

Commentary: Momentous day for Pakistan, Bhutto’s legacy

March 18, 2008
By Asif Ali Zardari

Asif Ali Zardari is the co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party and widower of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in Pakistan in December.

In this handout photo released by Pakistan Parliament House, ...
In this handout photo released by Pakistan Parliament House, Asif Ali Zardari, left, widower of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party waves as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif looks on during the National assembly’s first session at Parliament House in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday, March 17, 2008. Pakistan inaugurated a new parliament on Monday dominated by opponents of President Pervez Musharraf who have vowed to crimp his powers and review his U.S.-backed policies against al-Qaida and the Taliban.
(AP Photo/Pakistan Parliament House, HO)

(CNN) — Monday was a momentous day for the people of Pakistan, but a bittersweet day for me.

Sitting in the gallery watching a democratically elected National Assembly headed by the Pakistan Peoples Party and its coalition partners, I thought of the terrible price paid for this moment of liberty. I thought of the many jailed, beaten, tortured, and exiled. I thought of all of those who had their reputations assaulted. I thought of the undermining and dismantling of Pakistani civil society. I thought of the attacks on the independence and autonomy of the judicial system. I thought of the censorship of the press, emergency rule and martial law.

But of course more than anything else, I thought of my beloved wife, Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto, who sacrificed her life for her beliefs and her country. This was the day of her triumph, the vindication of her long battle for the restoration of democracy. For my country, this was a day of celebration. But for me and our children, this day was also a day of tears. Democracy had come to Pakistan, but at a terrible, terrible price.

Last week, the two largest political parties in Pakistan agreed to form a coalition government that would restore democracy and bring stability to our country. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which I lead after the assassination of my wife, has joined the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, to form a broad-based, democratic, liberal government in Pakistan — an umbrella of reconciliation and consensus. The new prime minister, from the PPP, will be announced within the next few days.

In agreeing to form a coalition government Mr. Sharif and I have responded to the mandate given by the people of Pakistan in the February 18 election. Pakistan’s people no longer want to live under the thumb of a dictator. They want an end to terrorism and violence and wish to join the rest of the modern world in the pursuit of peace and prosperity. They want to restore the supremacy of the people’s house, the National Assembly, and free it from the sword of Damocles of a marginal presidency with inflated, unconstitutional authority.

Pakistan’s political leaders and people have suffered from the politics of personal destruction; we have been battered by dictatorship; we have seen civil society taken apart and a free and independent judiciary destroyed. We have seen international assistance, secured in the name of fighting terrorism, diverted towards making Pakistan’s affluent few richer. We have seen progress on education, health and women’s rights stopped and reversed. But now, with renewed confidence in democratic parties like the PPP and PML-N, it is time for the rebirth of a democratic, vital and progressive Pakistan.

Some fear a coalition government would lack the necessary strength to tackle Pakistan’s myriad problems. But cooperation between the country’s biggest political parties, representing an overwhelming majority of the people, would bring greater stability than one-man rule. Together, the PPP and PML-N will be able to build a strong civil society. That would go a long way to erasing the scars of militarism and militancy. We will focus on providing education and employment at the grassroots levels so the country’s youth can play an integral role in building a strong national economy.

Under the rule of Pervez Musharraf, extremists were allowed to thrive along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The key to improving security there is not to make citizens in Pakistan’s tribal areas feel like second-rate citizens kept under lock and key, caught between the threats of violence from militants and the military. Rather, we must let all of our citizens, including those in the Federally Administered Tribal Area, know they are part participants in the growth of Pakistan’s economy and civil society.

Fostering a better level of trust and understanding among the people in the border areas, and delivering on their key needs, is essential to enhancing security in the FATA and throughout Pakistan. While immediate steps must be taken to hunt down identified terrorists, the long-term solution to extremism lies in respecting the will of the people and in providing them with a means of livelihood at every level — food, clothing, shelter, jobs and education. By talking to and respecting our people, we will be able to isolate the extremists and terrorists.

Those of us who are now in a position of leadership seek, in my wife’s words, “a tomorrow better than any of the yesterdays we have ever known.” We see a Pakistan where all children, regardless of their socio-economic standing or their gender, are guaranteed compulsory and quality primary and secondary education. We see a Pakistani educational system of quality teachers, who receive decent salaries, and teach in modern classrooms with state-of-the-art computers and technology. We see a Pakistan where political madrassas that teach hatred are closed, and educational institutions that focus on science and technology flourish.

The PPP has a vision to build a nation that is one of the great capital markets of the world; a revitalized nation that will generate international investment. We look forward to the complete electrification of all of our villages, the purification of our nation’s drinking water, the privatization of the public sector, the expansion of the energy sector, the development of our export industries, the modernization of our ports and the rebuilding our national infrastructure. All of these elements are essential to a Pakistan where a democratically elected government, with the mandate of the people, confronts and marginalizes the forces of extremism and terrorism wherever they may exist in our nation. In other words, I see the Pakistan for which my wife lived and died.

Pakistan’s democracy has not evolved over the past 60 years because the generals believed they should intervene in politics and run the country. The army’s misperception of itself as the country’s only viable institution, and its deep-rooted suspicion of the civilian political process, has prevented democracy from flourishing. The PPP and its allies will reverse the current regime’s suppression of civil society and free speech. We will establish a Press Complaints Commission similar to that of the United Kingdom and stand up for the democratic rights of citizens to freely establish television and radio stations, subject to the basic legal framework.

While the tasks ahead are not easy, the Pakistan Peoples Party plans to work in good faith with its fellow democratic parties and our coalition allies to achieve our goal of building a new, progressive Pakistan. Everything will not come at once. The reformation of Pakistan — politically, economically and socially — will be a long and complex process. But we are determined to begin and we are determined to succeed.

We did not come this far, we did not sacrifice this much, to fail.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

Bhutto Knew: Pakistan Is a War Zone

January 12, 2008

By Clifford May
The Washington Times
January 12, 2008 

Osama bin Laden probably does not get home delivery of Parade, but more than 30 million Americans do. And on the magazine’s cover last Sunday was the not-quite-smiling face of Benazir Bhutto, along with this confident quote: “I am what the terrorists most fear.”

By the time Mrs. Bhutto’s image and words reached America’s breakfast tables, she was, of course, dead. The Jan. 6 issue had gone to press before she was assassinated on Dec. 27 during a campaign stop in northern Pakistan.

Not far from where she was killed are the “tribal areas” of Pakistan — a swath of wild, mountainous territory along the Afghanistan border where al Qaeda and its allies hold sway. Bin Laden is believed to enjoy sanctuary there.

If he and other terrorists….

Benazir Bhutto: ‘Loss of a very great lady’

January 1, 2008

By Harlan Ullman
The Washington Times
January 1, 2008

Shortly before 8 a.m. Dec. 27, while driving from Washington to Norfolk, my cell phone rang. It was a very senior Pakistani official and trusted friend. “Something has happened to Benazir. We are not sure what.” The “what” quickly became tragedy.

Supporters of slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto ...
Supporters of slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto light candles in Lahore December 31, 2007. Pakistani electoral officials will decide on Tuesday whether to go ahead with a Jan. 8 poll, with expectations it will be delayed by up to two months after Benazir Bhutto’s killing. Picture taken December 31, 2007. (Mohsin Raza/Reuters)
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Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated. Unwittingly, she had written her own, incomplete epitaph years before. The second sentence of the new edition of her autobiography “Daughter of the East” reads: “Born in Pakistan, my life mirrors its turbulence, its tragedies and its triumphs.” Sadly, she would not live to achieve many of those triumphs. And her life and character reflected the complexities and contradictions of Pakistan.

Born into privilege, she remained a servant of the people. A child of the East, she was educated in the West first at Radcliffe, where I recall we met, and then at Oxford, where she became president of the prestigious Oxford Student Union. The surviving member of a political dynasty, she expressly advised her three teenage children to steer clear of politics. Then she bequeathed the chairmanship of her party to her 19-year-old son, Bilawal, a student at Oxford, as an insurance policy if the worst were to happen.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080101/
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FLASH NEWS from Pakistan

December 27, 2007

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) – Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.
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Mrs. Bhutto was apparently the object of a suicide bomber.  Attempts have been made on her life before but they we unsucessful.

Mrs. Bhutto was rushed to hospital after the attack and apparently died on the operating table.

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto wears a shawl ...

MSNBC

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

“At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

“She has been martyred,” added party official Rehman Malik. Bhutto was 54.

File photo of Benazir Bhutto (© Anjum Naveed/AP)

A party security adviser said Bhutto was shot in the neck and chest as she got into her vehicle, then the gunman blew himself up.

A senior military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, confirmed that Bhutto had died.

Her supporters at the hospital began chanting “Dog, Musharraf, dog,” referring to Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf. Some of them smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene of the bombing could see body parts and flesh scattered at the back gate of the Liaqat Bagh park where Bhutto had spoken. He counted about 20 bodies, including police, and could see many other wounded people.

The road outside was stained with blood. People screamed for ambulances. Others gave water to the wounded lying in the street.

The clothing of some of the victims was shredded and people put party flags over their bodies.

Security had been tight, with hundreds of riot police manning security checkpoints with metal detectors around what was Bhutto’s first campaign rally since returning from exile two months ago.

Bhutto had planned an earlier rally in the city, but Musharraf forced her to cancel it, citing security fears. In October, suicide bombers struck a parade celebrating Bhutto’s return, killing more than 140 people in the southern city of Karachi.

Jan. 8 elections
Parties across the country were stepping up campaigning for the Jan. 8 elections after a Muslim holiday late last week and a holiday on Tuesday for the birthday of Pakistan’s founder and revered first leader, Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Western allies hope the election will restore stability in a nuclear-armed country vital to their battle against Islamist militancy. The three-way race had pitted Bhutto against the party of another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and a party that backs Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup.

Sharif and Bhutto had talked of an alliance, and Sharif on Thursday spoke to Bhutto supporters outside the hospital, saying: “My heart is bleeding and I’m as grieved as you are.”

The elections are for provincial parliaments and for a National Assembly from which a prime minister and a government will be drawn. It was not clear if they would still be held on schedule.

In recent weeks, suicide bombers have repeatedly targeted security forces in Rawalpindi, a city near the capital where Musharraf stays and the Pakistan army has its headquarters.

Before the rally, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, Bhutto had met with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the end of his two-day visit here.

“We too believe that it is essential for both of our countries, and indeed the larger Muslim world, to work to protect the interest of Islamic civilization by eliminating extremism and terrorism,” she said after their meeting.