Terrorism in Pakistan: What is missing in the strategy?

terrorism and sufism

The city of Karachi was, literally, rocked by the tremors triggered by thebiggest blast of the city’s history on November 11, 2010. It was an attack on the Criminal Investigation Department’s centre, later on, owned by none else than the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

The blast was preceded by a transient phase of firing on the spot which, now we know, was actually a battle between the security forces personnel and the attackers. After putting the security personnel to sleep, a truck heavily loaded with explosives slammed into the CID building leaving it almost flattened. And where the blast instigated a wave of shudders encircling its circumference of many kilometers and smashing glasses of buildings to pieces, I wonder if it could also reach to the noticeably protected buildings of the nearby CM House and the US Consulate, not to mention the five star hotels dotted around. Continue reading

“Punjabi Power” overwhelms Zardari” — what lay behind the scene!

“Punjabi Power” overwhelms Zardari

Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:47 am (PDT)

Manipal, India – Regular readers of this column will not have been surprised at recent developments in Pakistan, in which army chief Ashfaq Kayani enforced the surrender of the Pakistan People’s Party-led government to the demands of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) chief, Nawaz Sharif.

The core purpose of Kayani’s institution is to ensure the continued supremacy of Wahabbi Punjabis over all other groups in Pakistan, a mission that it has fulfilled thus far. Uppity non-Punjabis, such as assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, were shown their place for daring to talk of a genuinely federal structure for the country. Now it is the turn of her husband, President Asif Ali Zardari, to be at the business end of Kayani’s swagger stick.

The “honest” former – and soon to be reinstated – chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, has been a member in good standing of the Punjabi supremacist brigade since his years as a lawyer. He detests Zardari and has only kind words about his champion and fellow Punjabi, Nawaz Sharif. This despite the fact that the Sharif family has acquired an asset base of close to US$2 billion, entirely because of its proximity to the military and other levers of patronage in Pakistan.

The Sharifs are far wealthier than the Zardaris, in a culture where wealth comes less from initiative or from enterprise than from muscle power. The difference is that the Sharif family is Wahabbi, and has been active in funding the Jamaat-i-Islami (Pakistan) since its early days in business four decades back, while the Zardaris are Sufi, a philosophy that places them in opposition to the military-backed Wahabbi network in Pakistan.

Sharif ally Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who from the start has sought to ensure the elimination of his nominal superior Zardari, also has Jamaat links, having been an early backer of the founder of Wahabbism in Pakistan, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq.

According to individuals in the PML(N), the humiliating climb-down by Zardari came as a result of the silent backing given to the plans of General Kayani by Obama advisor Colin Powell and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both of whom backed the reinstatement of Justice Chaudhry and the return to power in the Punjab of the Sharif brothers.

What Powell and Clinton perhaps failed to take serious note of was the fact that the street uprising orchestrated by Kayani and Sharif had the support of the Jamaat-i-Islami (Pakistan), an organization that believes in the feasibility of establishing a Wahabbi Caliphate throughout the world, and certainly in India, a country ruled for more than six centuries by Mughal dynasties.

It is the Jamaat that has been orchestrating the opposition to Pakistan’s participation in NATO’s attempted war against the Taliban, and seeks a total Allied pullout from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Jamaat leaders have been in regular contact with the Sharif brothers and army headquarters since Zardari took office less than a year ago, working in tandem with Prime Minister Gilani to force the president’s removal.

Zardari is the individual who backed an unpopular policy of bringing to account the perpetrators of last November’s attacks in Mumbai, and gave tacit backing to U.S. efforts to take out the Taliban leadership through the use of airpower. Both these policies were sabotaged covertly by the Pakistan army, a fact not unknown to NATO commanders and to the incoming U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry.

By helping to reward what was essentially a mob masquerading as an expression of “democratic” sentiment, Hillary Clinton has opened the door to a future series of orchestrated street protests, this time by the Taliban and elements friendly to it. This, according to individuals within Pakistan tracking such developments, will “spontaneously” erupt should NATO come anywhere close to taking out the Taliban’s capabilities.

The Sharif brothers, with the blessing of the military, today control the streets. Tomorrow it will be the Taliban’s turn.
Zardari, aware of the financial vulnerability of the Sharif brothers, was confident that a show of strength would have brought them to heel, and that the military would not, in the present international climate, have dared to intervene the way it did in 1999 against Nawaz Sharif.

Ironically, it was those international forces who daily repeat the mantra of a “moderate” Pakistan that sided with the allies of the Jamaat-i-Islami (Pakistan), which – unlike its Indian counterpart, which is moderate and has issued a fatwa against terrorism – regards the Taliban as an associate entity. In Bangladesh, “democratic” protests similarly orchestrated by the men in uniform ensured the paralysis of civil authority and a steady expansion of the influence of jihadists.

Zardari represented an alternative that seems now to have been all but snuffed out. The next stage in the Kayani-Sharif drama is the stripping of presidential powers from Zardari, followed by more “spontaneous” demonstrations. These would lead to a fresh election, in which the Punjabis would return to center stage through the victory of Nawaz Sharif.

By then, Prime Minister Gilani will have understood the dangers of supping with a very short spoon, but it will be too late. The reality is that the PPP can survive the present assault only through unity, which the army seems determined to prevent.

However, it would be premature to write the epitaph of Asif Ali Zardari. Should the Pakistan president deem it necessary, he would be able to mobilize in huge numbers Sindhis, Pashtuns, Baloch and other groups that have been under the heel of the Wahabbi Punjabis since the1970s. Should he press for genuine federalism, and for a more equitable representation of disadvantaged communities within the Pakistan military, such steps would resonate among a people chafing under supremacists.

During the 1960s, what was then West Pakistan ran the eastern part of the country as a colony, using Bengalis in the military to help them in this task. After the liberation of Bangladesh in1971, India’s Indira Gandhi made the mistake of refusing Bangladesh hero Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s request that at least a few officers of the Pakistan army – 93,000 of whom were prisoners of war – be tried for genocide.

She also left alone the Bengali component of the army, which subsequently regenerated itself as the Bangladesh army, and from the start adopted the longstanding policy of subservience to the dictates of the men in uniform in Pakistan.
Gandhi had fallen under the spell of the charming Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the perfume-loving father of Benazir Bhutto, and lost in negotiations at Simla in 1972 all that her military had gained on the battlefield.

Nearly four decades after the Bangladesh debacle, the Bourbons in the Pakistan army have evidently learned nothing. Once the country was vivisected, the western part was itself partitioned into Baloch, Pashtun, Sindhi and Punjabi components, with the latter dominating the other three much as the West Pakistanis had ruled over the East during the two decades prior to the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.

As this column has emphasized, what is taking place in Pakistan is not a “war on corruption” headed by a fearless judge. Justice Chaudhry’s backers, the Sharif brothers, would not survive the Obama vetting process even for a few hours.

It is not a “battle for democracy” either. Zardari and his party were elected to power, and paralyzing a country is not – except perhaps in the view of the U.S. State Department – the prescribed method in a genuine democracy of resolving differences of opinion.

What has taken place is the assertion of Wahabbi Punjabi supremacy over the country, a victory that will have immediate consequences not only on NATO’s operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but on the unity of Pakistan.

(Professor M.D. Nalapat is vice-chair of the Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair, and professor of geopolitics at Manipal University. ©Copyright M.D. Nalapat.)

Note from the blogger: This post is actually an article which has been published here “as-is”, i.e. not even a single comma or dot has been inserted/removed. This post also might interest you: Help, Beowulf! By the same token, I hope you guyz will like the following image which clearly depicts …. uhh, well, I hope you got it! ;)

‘Pakistan Khappy!’ means not ‘We do need Pakistan’

When Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto, one of the most influential political figure of Sindh, in particular, and Pakistan, in general, was assassinated in Rawalpindi, Sindhis, particularly, expressed their sorrow-cum-anger resulting from frustration they had been undergoing since long which literally shuddered the whole of Pakistan. Criticized by some as being the act of anarchy, it showed that Sindh was truly cross at Pakistani establishment and did not want to be a part of it any more, as was witnessed at Garrhi Khuda Bakhsh, Larkana.

Moreover, it was the first time ever that we heard people who (ironically) supported a pro-establishment party, i.e. PPP, chant slogans: ‘Na khappy, na khappy! ~Pakistan na khappy‘ (English: We don’t need Pakistan). Enter the ‘savior’, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, now the co-chairman of the party! He responded to outraged throng and shouted ‘Pakistan khappy! Pakistan khappy!‘ (English: We do need Pakistan), thus saving Pakistan from being disintegrated (as many argue it would have been otherwise).

But, what we are witnessing today shows exactly the opposite.

One needs not have an MA in Linguistics to understand that no word of any language has only ONE absolute meaning; the word ‘khappy‘, a word of Sindhi, is also no exception and has many other interpretations besides the one taken by many in case of Mr. Zardari’s, what we call in marketing and advertising jargon, USP (Unique Selling Point). (Perhaps, Zardari also had also the same in mind.)

However, Sindhis and the people who can understand Sindhi know that ‘Pakistan khappy‘ can flawlessly be translated to mean ‘Let’s sell Pakistan‘, or more appropriately, ‘Let Pakistan be sold‘, I suppose?. Keeping this interpretation of the phrase with a bit of humorous touch made in a ‘light’ mood by the blogger and the country’s present economic and political situation (read particularly Sindh) in mind, how will you comment on it? How d’you see the country today?

And, to top it all, will Mr. Zardari be successful in his aim of ‘Pakistan Khappy‘? (Please keep the ‘fresh’ interpretation in your innocent mind) :)

Originally posted in a group on Facebook.

The die is cast

Here comes the decision that almost everybody, in general, and Sindhis, in particular, at least, me, were waiting for: MQM SITS IN THE OPPOSITION!

The main reason MQM gave for not being able to reconcile with PPP is appointment of Mr Shoaib Suddle as IG Sindh. They said they had certain reservations on his appointment in Sindh.

MQM has never objected to anything unless it’s equal to their lasting loss. So, can you guess why would MQM object to Shoaib’s appointment? Need some clues?

Here you are:

  1. Abdullah Shah’s period
  2. Shoaib, IG Sindh, in that period
  3. Hundreds of ‘terrorists’ killed in encounter by Shoaib’s team

By now, you must be able to guess on what grounds MQM opposed Shoaib being in Sindh?

Pre-Election Celebrations at Johi

Here is the link to a YouTube video of a cheerful gathering of PPP supporters during election campaign days. Unfortunately, due to certain policies of WordPress.com, I couldn’t embed the video directly on this page; but, I hope you will watch the video and give feedback. By the way, most of the youngsters in the video are my friends.. Miss them!

Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvpunSLolnU

Thanx :)

“Forgive and Forget”

News: “Asif with his men went to 90 to meet MQM people. They agreed to “Forgive and Forget“.

The golden rule has been redefined in a unique way by PPP and MQM.

So, now we know that this rule can be applied no matter how worse the situation, or how bitter the enmity may be! This doesn’t mean I’m not happy if two parties agree not to fight any more.. I love to see people coming in certain bond by which further bloodshed is prevented… But, I mean … MQM and PPP?? :-O

Whither Pakistan?”

Anti-Sindhi policies of Karachi educational institues – what will the new govt do?

Everyone’s familiar with how Sindhis are being treated in government intitutes, in general, and in educational institutes, in particular. They have obvious anti-Sindhi policies, bcoz of which many Sindhis are not able to seek admission in any of the college and institutes. Where even Pathans and Punjabis are easily enrolled in universities, Sindhis, the only owner of the land, are flatly refused admissions. What is that?

In these elections, PPP won in Sindh bcoz Sindhis are now tired of and disappointed at such brutal policies and thought that PPP would come to give them relief.. that they would be able to enjoy going ahead in professional life in Karachi.. that PPP will make it possible for Sindhis to get admission in colleges and universities of Karachi. I, myself, have been a victim of such biased policies and had to go to different people to get admission in Karachi University. Yes, they rejected my forms, albeit all the requirements were fulfilled.

I would strongly put it forward to the new elected government to put this issue on top and take effective steps to make the policies conducive for Sindhis getting admission in Karachi.

Demand for the immediate release of Dr Safdar Sarki and others

This is the unedited text of an email by the World Sindhi Congress, that I received today
I strongly support this demand:
London, March 24th, 2008
World Sindhi Congress formally demands Mr. Yusuf Raza Gillani –Pakistan‘s new Prime Minister– the immediate release of Dr. Safdar Sarki, American-Sindhi human rights campaigner currently under custody of Pakistani intelligence agencies.  Dr. Sarki was kidnapped on 24 Feb 2006 by Pakistani agency personnel from his residence in Karachi. He remained missing for about 20 months and was eventually produced due to strong pressure of the Chief Justice Supreme Court. He was immediately arrested on fabricated charges and has since been in detention. The torture inflicted upon him during this time has severely deteriorated his health and places his life in danger.  Jail authorities have failed to provide Dr. Sarki with appropriate medical treatment and refuse to allow his release on bail, directly disobeying local court orders. Due to this brazen disobedience and the conditions to which he is subjected to, WSC holds Pakistani authorities responsible for the health and safety of Dr. Sarki.
“Late Benazir Bhutto demanded Dr Sarki’s release on numerous occasions during her election campaign days, and it is now the responsibility of the new PPP leadership to ensure the release of Dr. Sarki.  Mr. Gillani himself has suffered torture and false imprisonment unjustly; he must understand the pain of illegal custody and the immediacy required in Dr. Sarki’s release. “Why wait one more day, Mr. Gillani must order his release today.” said Dr Haleem Bhatti, Chairperson of WSC.
The International community including US officials and major international media has asked for Dr Sarki’s release. Dr. Sarki’s wife and two teenager sons live in US under great emotional and financial ordeal.
 “If Mr. Gillani can announce the release of the Judges, he can also announce the release of Dr Sarki. He has been granted bail on all charges, even when these charges were fabricated to begin with.” commented A R Kakepoto, the Organizer of US Chapter of WSC. Furthermore, Dr. Sarki’s release by Mr. Gillani would prove his commitment to the ‘restoration of democracy’, which he has begun with the reinstatement of the detained judges.
WSC also demands that Baluch and Sindhi political activists including Akhtar Mengal, Nawaz Zaour, Muzaffar Bhutto and hundreds other be released immediately, as a first step toward a more democratic country.
About The World Sindhi Congress (WSC): WSC is based in the UK, USA, Canada, and Sindh and is one of the most prominent human rights advocacy organizations for Sindh and Sindhis. The main objective of WSC is to create a better understanding within the international community about the persecuted status of Sindhis in Pakistan and about the Sindhi people’s struggle for human rights, including the right to self-determination. WSC is a registered company in the UK and the state of California, USA, and is organized to carry out non-profit activities. For more information, visit http://www.worldsindhicongress.org.
World Sindhi Congress
22 Newfields, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 6YT, UK
Tel. +44 (01707) 896526 ~ Fax +44 (870)1226007
615 Poplar Avenue, Sacramento CA 95691, USA ~ TELE:: 818-917-6910 ~ FAX: 1-775-599-9226
214 McGibbon Dr., Ottawa, ON K2L-3Y4 Canada ~ TELE: 1-613-591-0451 ~ FAX 1-815-550-5694

Email: world_sindhi_congress@yahoo.com
URL: http://www.worldsindhicongress.org