Archive for the ‘Khar’ Category

Pakistan: Power Game Affecting War On Terror

February 24, 2008

voiceforpeace

By Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan
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Terrorists hiding in tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border have been getting breathing space as all attention has been diverted to the power game being played in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan after election. According to tribal elders, the terrorists will certainly use the time for strengthening their position.

Terrorists have destroyed the whole infrastructure in the tribal areas. All the girl schools have been blown up in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas. Now there are worries among the parents of girls as they are still in confusion whether their children will get education or not. There was a time when a force of terrorists were fighting war against the security forces, but now all of sudden both the parties silenced the guns. There are many questions, which the rulers must anwser.

Writing about the power game in Islamabad Daily Times stated in its editorial that the leading parties in the country, PPP and PMLN, say they have agreed to form coalition governments in Islamabad and Lahore, with the ANP lending a hand in Islamabad to ensure that it is not deprived of its rights in the NWFP as the largest party in the assembly. The calculus on offer implies that each party will get representation in the cabinet according to its proportion in the National Assembly. But there are caveats here too. Mr Asif Ali Zardari is still talking of a “national government”, and Mr Nawaz Sharif is dropping hints about supporting the PPP “from the outside”.

There are other areas of ambiguity too. The two parties are seen addressing the issue of the judges’ restoration differently. The PMLN is responding directly to the lawyers’ movement and sending reassuring signals to its erstwhile partners in the APDM. The PPP says the parliament will decide the judges’ issue although Mr Zardari has not been averse to dropping hints that he might get the judges back in their seats. This applies also to the future status of President Pervez Musharraf. They seem to agree on the restoration of the 1973 Constitution but they might get stuck when it comes to deciding the “cut off” date.

There is a report in the press saying that the central executive committee (CEC) of the PPP held a marathon meeting right after the two-hour meeting between Mr Zardari and Mr Sharif, and bickered over the judges’ case. There is supposed to have been a “heated discussion” on whether the judges had to be “restored” or the judiciary made “independent”. Some members were of the opinion that “talks with Nawaz Sharif could only move ahead if the PPP too come out openly with the option of reinstatement of the dismissed judges”. This suggests that Mr Sharif has succeeded in putting Mr Zardari under pressure on an issue dear to Pakistan’s inflamed civil society, but the PPP’s CEC is still said to have stuck to the “independent judiciary” line, leaving at least some of the fired judges to stay fired.

As if to provide chorus to the PPP-PMLN action on the political stage, the lawyers have hit the roads again amid familiar stone-pelting and lathi-charge which shows the police in a bad light and the state as a horrible anti-citizen entity. Ex-chief justice Mr Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has called out from his house that the 60 judges fired for not submitting to the PCO can be reinstated by another administrative order and that the new parliament should not endorse President Musharraf’s firing. Mr Nawaz Sharif has responded to the statement by saying, “Iftikhar Chaudhry was chief justice and remains chief justice”, while Mr Asif Zardari has reserved his judgement.

Clearly, the ex-judges have found it impossible to avoid being politicised. Far from exercising restraint as enjoined by their status, they have shown a tendency of being overwhelmed by the excessive articulation of the lawyers. Eulogising the deposed chief justice, an “affectee” judge of the Lahore High Court, Justice Khwaja Sharif, stated that “if a judge performs his duties fairly, justly and honestly, he must then be termed not less than a saint”. Then he said something that a judge who has to sit in judgement over all kinds of cases should have left to the more outspoken lawyers: “The US fears the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s suo moto notices regarding recovery of the missing persons”.

Unless the PPP and PMLN decide at the outset what their stance is going to be, misunderstandings can and will occur. Accepted that the final decision about the judges will be taken after the government has been formed in Islamabad, but the disorder that is sure to prevail after the passing of the March 8 deadline for their restoration, will adversely affect the standing of the parties. There is no doubt that the PPP will be at a disadvantage in this because it will come under pressure from civil society, and the PMLN will feel tempted to arm-twist it.

Given this situation, the two mainstream parties must think of collaboration over the long term to save their gains from frittering away. They must adhere to their pledge to help each other at the central and provincial levels and not to destabilise each other as was their pattern in the past. Both arouse strange emotions within the Islamabad establishment. One party fears the establishment; the other scares it, but with the same result. Their resolve that they will let each other rule for five years will be realised only if they undertake not to antagonise each other, keep their more visceral members in check, and give top priority to the economy that has enough buoyancy to be saved through careful stewardship.

And that is a tall order.

Pakistani Paramilitary Raid Into Tribal Areas

October 24, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for your continued cooperation for saving the people of tribal areas from terrorists. Due to your efforts now the government has started some serious efforts for elimination of terrorists. But the terrorists have also been making last-ditch efforts to terrorise the people. Today a group of Taliban armed with heavy weapons came to Khar, the main town of Bajaur Agency and started indiscriminate firing killing several people.

Several were also injured.

This incident has created great scare in the areas.

Taliban and terrorists have also been hurling threats to journalists to extend support to them otherwise they will be killed. The administration has been watching the situation, but still reluctant to take action against them. Taliban and terrorists have also been sending threat to my family, but we have decided to continue our struggle against them. Believe me sir, your positive approach and support to me has been bringing a positive change. We are facing threat, but we will not give up the campaign against terrorism.

Meanwhile, the government of Pakistan has started operation in Swat valley. According to Pakistan military spokesman, the army is deploying 2,500 troops to Swat, a scenic mountain valley in northwestern Pakistan. The army is sending 2,500 troops to Swat, to assist the local administration, which had requested the federal government for deployment to the area, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad said in an interview to western news agency.

The troops being deployed in the area to improve law and order and get rid of the followers of Fazlullah, he said. He said the troops would assist the Frontier Corps in the area. According to sources the security forces have sealed all entry points of Swat valley and troops posted at all key points.

Please Sir, just pray for my family as it is due to your kindness and prayers that I am still alive.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan

Muhammad Reports from Tribal Areas, Pakistan

October 16, 2007

Background: Because we had lost contact with our brother  Muhammad amid severe violence in the tribal areas, Pakistan; we had serious doubts about his safety during the last several days. Muhammad has had some close calls to be sure.  But this was his longest period without a pre-planned loss of communication in more than a year.  Yesterday, we breathed a sigh of relief when Muhammad made contact.  He is safe now and below is his latest report from the war zone.

John E. Carey

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for your email, your cell phone calls and your concern about me. You are really great and and I feel honour to call you as my brother.

Actually, I have spent some time near the terrorists just to observe what they have been planning.  It is dangerous situation and Pakistan Army has been bombing in the tribal areas. I have also celebretated Eid with my family so I remained out of touch with you for a week. I am sorry for not informing you in time to spare you concern.

Situation in the tribal areas is still critical as there are still some officials who have been providing support to terrorists including Taliban. I want to inform you that the terrorists have been strengthening their positions. Now that Ramadan is over, some fear increase in violence all around. Some local influential people and government officials have been providing financial support to Taliban and terrorists. They have almost established their government in parts of tribal areas. Armed Taliban have been patrolling the roads. People are in state of fear and terror. Dreaded terrorists of international fame have also arrived in the tribal areas. They have been training the tribesmen.

Again thank you very much for your email and love.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur AgencyTribal Areas Pakistan

Editors note: A tentative peace is now holding in the tribal areas. See:
Ceasefire after Pakistan border bloodshed: tribal elder

President Bush Lost Credibility, Confidence

September 6, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
September 6, 2007

It seems obvious to just about all American voters: Bush lost all credibility somewhere after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. He couldn’t or didn’t regain it thus becoming one of the presidents’ with the lowest public support polling numbers in history.

I like President Bush. But when the American people believe you have lost just about all credibility their confidence goes down the drain quickly.

Just yesterday, when a reporter asked Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin about the impending report from General David H. Petraeus on the “surge” in Iraq, he answered, “The Bush report?”

“We know what is going to be in it. It’s clear. I think the president’s trip over to Iraq makes it very obvious,” the Illinois Democrat said. “I expect the Bush report to say, ‘The surge is working. Let’s have more of the same.'”

For right or wrong, President Bush has become the “more of the same” president. As a result, Hillary Clinton and others are running for the White House under a one word banner: “CHANGE.”

I asked a friend who is a registered Republican what he thought about Vice President Cheney and he said (I am paraphrasing a little here) “Cheney represents the worst aspect of American politics. Cronyism. Special interests influencing the White House. Halliburton. Waste fraud and abuse. Lying to the American public. You cannot trust this guy and he has tremendous influence over President Bush.”

Cheney, to many, is the Emperor of the Evil Empire. Karl Rove was just the executioner.

Vice President Cheny was my “boss” in a way at one time while he served as Secretary of Defense (during the first war in Iraq) and I served as a Naval Officer. But Mr. Cheney lost me when he made a long-winded “over the top” defense of President general Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, September 10, 2006. You have to read for yourself the transcripts (see references at the end).

Mr. Cheney is also close to President Karzai of Afghanistan. Mr. Karzai has made no secret of the fact that he believes the Taliban, al-Qaeda and perhaps Osama Bin Laden himself are hiding out in the tribal areas of Pakistan: the land governed by President General Pervez Musharraf. The tribal areas are along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. They form, as the name implies, a semi-autonomous region. Pakistan’s Army does not venture into the tribal areas without severe trepidation.

For more than a year, we at Peace and Freedom have had an almost daily dialogue with journalist Muhammad Khurshid from Khar, Bajaur Agency, Tribal Areas Pakistan. Muhammad has given us at Peace and Freedom, and we hope, many readers, an appreciation for Pakistan, President General Musharraf and especially the tribal areas.

Muhammad I trust. Mr. Cheney: no.

Mr. Cheney was also involved in “the great research project” which prompted the administration to practically guarantee that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and intended to use them. CIA Director Tenet told a room full of Oval Office luminaries this fact was a “slam dunk.” Mr. Tenet lost his job, not too long after that, and was smeared, some say, by the White House as a man without credibility or merit.

Cheney also engineered Secretary of State Colin Powell’s dissertation before the United Nations on Iraq, Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction and the CIA’s “proof.”

Mr. Powell also lost his job and may have been the victim of a smear campaign engineered by the White House. Powell was “thrown under the bus.”

But it is President Bush himself who has disappointed most. Remember, “Brownie, you are doing a heck of a job” after Hurricane Katrina? He lost his job soon thereafter also.

Remember, “I looked into Putin’s soul and saw a man I could do business with”?

Just yesterday, President Bush said of China’s Hu Jintao, the architect or banker, perhaps, of the genocide in Darfur, “He’s an easy man to talk to. I’m very comfortable in my discussions with President Hu.”

President Hu regularly stabs America in the back at the United Nations and elsewhere. The fact that he smiles and is an affable lad is not relevant.

Mr. Putin and President Hu Jintao just cooperated in the largest combined Chinese-Russian military maneuvers ever. They also hosted an international conference that gave the podium to the likes of President Ahmadinejad of Iran. He naturally attacked the U.S. in his speech.

But President Hu is really best known as the villain in the worst Human Rights abuses and the worst violations of ecology on today’s planet earth. Never mind what President Bush sees in his soul. Ask Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the United Nations, Greenpeace and other international human rights or ecology groups. God will mediate this one.

On China, President Bush has enemies on the left and the right.  The right wing of the Republican Party says Bush is soft on China.  The Democrat left says he does too little for Human Rights.

Remember Don Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, the architects of the war against terror in the Pentagon? Mr. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, opened a two-front war of words on Capitol Hill, calling the estimate by Gen. Eric K. Shinseki of the Army that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in postwar Iraq, “wildly off the mark.” Pentagon officials put the figure closer to 100,000 troops.

Neither Rumsfeld nor Wolfie attended General Shinseki’s retirement. But the General, in hindsight, appears to have been right. Rumsfeld retired and Wolfie went to the World Bank where he crashed and burned.

But generally, commentators say, President Bush stands by his people.

President Bush stood by his pal from Texas Alberto Gonzales long past the time most president’s would have summoned, even driven the bus. The president will maybe go down for his loyalty to his guys: but not for his acute judgment.

And who in the United States is responsible for out “Hearts and Minds” effort in the war against terror?

To remind those that don’t even recall: Karen Hughes, another President Bush buddy from Texas.

In 2005 CBS News reported on Hughes’ role this way: “President Bush’s adviser Karen Hughes was named to a State Department post designed to change Islamic perceptions about America.”

And how are we doing on the “Hearts and Minds effort”? Miserable. A total failure (see references at the end about “misunderspinning”).  Ms. Hughes still works at the U.S. Department of State.

President Bush and his vice president are serving out their terms. The next presidential election is a huge one.

But you knew all this. I was the one that only caught on slowly.

Related:
Cheney’s Stand on Musharraf May Yet Be Reversed

Pakistan: Bush Team Ignored Experts

China: ‘Trust but verify’ needed

Cold War Redux?

Permanent President Putin?

Misunderspinning: Hezbollah Honored For Sharp Media Acuity; Where’s Ours?

Where is America’s War of Hearts and Minds?

Bush Again Proves Soft on China

Bush, South Korean President Roh Run Amok