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

Pakistan: the country entangled in religion, army and other conundrums


It was when I was in a bus that I got this news of the Taliban lashing a 17-year-old girl for doing something which was against (their version of) Islam.

As the details had it, she was flogged publically at least 30 times in front of many onlookers. She kept crying and begging for mercy. But why was anybody gonna help her? After all, she had committed a ‘sin’ which was against the Shariah (according to the Taliban)!

یا رب! دلِ مسلم کو وہ زندہ تمنائیں دے، جو قلب کو گرما دیں۔۔۔

The punishment was awarded to her for her ‘crime’ of being seen with a man who was not her husband. Yes, world, that’s a crime in the eyes of the Talibanist Islam! *Beware all!*

So, this is the scene in the land of the pure!

،محبت امن ہے

!اور اس کا ہے پیغام پاکستان

What has the government did for the incident? The president and the premiere have made public their messages in which they have ‘severely’ condemned the brutal act of whipping the teen. What else did you expect?

And, by the way, who the hell are these djinn-like creatures called Taliban? Are they so many that they’ve (almost) hijacked the whole system of government by threatening, and carrying out, suicide bombings and other forms of attack?

Well, not really!

As far as my good brain helps me, I think it’s true that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies and themilitary are conniving actively in this whole situation. Otherwise, how could you think of a situation where a government surrenders to the militants, who are involved in killing of hundreds of innocent people, by signing a ‘peace deal’ with them? Not all: The government has actually given them this license of whipping and chopping hands off as part of punishment – in form of what they call the Sharia, or Islamic system of judiciary – in the once peaceful and beautiful vale of Swat. This all happened because the Pakistani army supposedly couldn’t conquer the Taliban militants with force.

Voila!

Here we have the brave army of Pakistan which claims to crush the mighty India (and other countries, if needed) surrendering to the Taliban who are said to have a strong control only in the area of Swat! Yes, the army claiming to defend the whole country couldn’t cope with the Taliban – the mightier!

!اے وطن کے سجیلے جوانو

!میرے نغمے تمھارے لیے ہیں

The Pakistanis are never tired of eulogizing their ‘jawwans’ and boast about their morale and courage!

—–

Well, it should not be off-the-track to mention here what Sain GM Syed is reported to have said in as early as 1952. He said:

The way religion is promoted in this country (Pakistan) will make it (religion) to be one of the most difficult issues to deal with and it would be a deadly threat not only to the country itself and South Asia but for the whole world.

“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! ;)


Homeland or Religion?


Pakistan is a real unique country!

We have ‘mixed’ (confused!) Religion (Islam) and Politics (Democracy). Apart from that, our people believe that Islam was born in and for Pakistan, and vice versa. We would die in the name of Islam. If we needed to choose between Pakistan and Islam, we would surely go for our religion.. By exploding schools and hotels and killing thousands of innocent people of Pakistan in the name of Islam we have actually proved it!!

We have religious-political party members of which if we see give an impression as though they were advertising different types of beard and moustaches. Nothing else. Take it from me. Why religion in Politics? I know, they would espouse it by quoting it from Khulfa-e-Rashideen period. But, isn’t that still a contraversial issue? As Sain G M Syed, the famous figure among the front-row politician who fought for the independent country, has it that it was a bid’at (bidah?) which people soon after the Holy Prophet (SAWW) left this material world. What happened? He was awarded the title, ‘kaafir’.

Does religion conern we as individuals or as a society? Will we be treated in Qiyamah for what we as individuals did or as a whole society? Is it between us and Allah? Or is it some love-triangle thing where society is the thrid party? Is it really?

Supporting is by quoting ‘Amar bil maruuf wa nahii-a anl munkir’? But, is it through sword – or in this age of science and technology, desi saakht k bombs? Or through preaching? But, I am not surprised at all. Killing kalima-go (i.e. muslims, of course) has been a tradition since long. The ones who killed innocent Muslims and married their wives on the first day of their husband’s deaths, not waiting for their Iddah to complete, we call them ‘the Sword of Allah’ (the Arabic translation might remind you of the figure discussed.) Read Tibri at least.

It seems to us that the beloved country springs from the very ideology of Islam: Pakistan ka matlab kya? La illah ilallah! I couldn’t find any other country founded in the name of any religion. C’mon it’s politcs spelled as P.O.L.I.T.I.C.S. – not religion! What Jinnah wanted? A muslim Pakistan?? If you think so, question your study and awareness about your own counry. How many marks did you get in Pakistan Study? 85%? You must utilise other sources also besides reading textbooks which ‘inculcates’ patriotism in us when we are just like a blank white paper. It was our dear first PM of the country who invented this bidah of stuffing Islam’s name into the country. The Pakistan which Jinnah and Sain GM Syed fought for was meant to be a secular country!

You said it was a muslim country. Mullahs heard it and became happy and content. Now, many decades later, when you ask for freedom of eveything – including permission for women to work outside and wear jeans & T-shirts, co-ed schools and colleges, etc. – they deem it as the seizure of their ‘meeras’. Secular aur be-deen an ban’ny dengy Pakistan ko, the wall in Johar read.

And, we, the Pure, have another weird aspect of our lives as well. We follow religion as a family religion which is a cluster of certain rituals. Has it reached our soul? NO! SHOW OFF! Nothing deep inside. Khair, howsoever, we had been successful in making Pakistan ‘muslim’, and, now, we want to withdraw. We want freedom to wear anything we want, see anything we want and go anywhere we wish to… but, uh-oh! No way back. Or it seems so.

 

However, Iran is also famous for being ‘too religious’ a country where people are more ‘Islamic’ than any other Muslim country. But do Iranians also think religion to be more important to choose against the country? The answer is NO.

I found a poll which inspired me to write this post. The poll asked a simple question, ‘As an Iranian, If(or when) time comes to choose between ‘Islam or Iran’, which one will you support?‘. The result by the time I saw it was the following:

Let’s have the same poll here in Pakistan’s perspective. Let’s see what Pakistanis think.

Is it homeland or religion? Speak out!

Good luck, folks!

The world’s greatest lie is…


…at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.

Paulo Coelho in ‘The Alchemist

This is what I *truly* believe…

Fate is the excuse that has been given to justify (but in vain) the actions that are done to us in this cruel world which, otherwise, are sure to erupt a great revolution that would demolish subtly malicious ‘plans’ of religion that connive in making the ‘fittest’ survive in this material world.. and, so, will let the poor have their due respect in the society…

I know many bloggers who write ‘for’ religion… and even they, themselves, know that they’ve taken their religion for granted… Can’t even ask for clarification of any belief, let alone anything against it… I mean even in this age, man are prevented to think over it, albeit, all the religious scriptures are filled with commands that say ‘Think (critically)’.. ‘Ponder over the Creation’, etc.. Dear bloggers, do write on how the religion supports (potentially) the cruel in the world…

and, lo! we can’t even complain against anything done to us by ‘Fate’!!

(This post should be read in connection with my earlier post about the same topic, which can be found here: What is…)

My religion..!?


Well, to give it an answer, I would say, “I’m a MUSLIM“… You can confirm it from my university and college and school certificates. But, after I took The Religion Test on Tickle, Icame to know that my religion, according to the beliefs I hold in my chest, is

The report said:

Your belief system is 83% compatible with Unitarian Universalist religious beliefs.

You can read the full report by clicking here: http://web.tickle.com/rd/53516/tests/religion/

Beautiful Beliefs


First sms:

If God answers your prayer, he’s is increasing your faith. If he delays, he is increasing your patience. If he doesn’t answer, he knows you can handle it.

Second sms:

Jab meri dua qabool hoti hai toh khushi hoti hai ke is main meri marzi hai; aur jab (dua poori) na ho to khushi aur bhi barh jati hai ke is main Khuda ki marzi shamil hai…

When I received the first msg, I didn’t say anything in reply; but, to the second msg which I received from a friend who’s studying at Chandka Medical College, my reply was this:

And tht’s how religion has always bn on th ‘safe side’ , tht’s how ppl r not allowef to complain or to protest against anythng bad tht happns to thm.. N v always calm ourselves by sayin, ‘font complain, dont cry, tht’s happnd coz it was writtn in the Fate’… Right dear Dr. Ekbal? Ghalat ta natho chwan na? ien ee hundo aa na?

[Plz note that this is not an organized response as it was just an SMS. I hope to write one this issue after my exams are over (the last paper being on May 28). You might disagree, even strongly disagree, to what I've said, but that's what I BELIEVE!!]

What is…


I would love to have your opinion in this regard: tell me what are the things that have kept humanity in delusion since the inception of history?? I mean since the first man was born?

And, this is also in the same connexion: What is the ‘world’s greatest lie‘??