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Taliban and Extremists at War Against Pakistan

Posted on September 14, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics, Religion, Society
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Adil Najam

While I, like everyone else, remain fully engrossed in the political circus of Pakistan and the shenanigans of messers Musharraf, Bhutto, Sharif, Rahman, and Co., there is, as we have suggested before, a real war – a terrible war – that Pakistan is involved in right now.

The bigger crisis in Pakistan today is the increasing assault of the Talibal-like extremists on the very fabric of Pakistan society. They are using the unpopularity of the government, of the military, and of USA as a camouflage to attack and kill Pakistanis. These murderers and criminals have no interest or allegience to Pakistan and are the true and real enemies of Pakistan. What is truly frightening is how many Pakistanis are willing to defend or ignore these thugs and murders either because they themselves do not like the government, the US or the military or just because these murderers are supposedly acting in the name of Islam and therefore should be ignored. Such attitude – which is becoming widespread – is deeply worrisome.

As Pakistanis we have to decide whether we stand with Pakistan and or with those who are killing Pakistanis. We must not let these extremist Talibans use our dislike for the government or for USA or for the military nor our love for Islam as a tool to divide us. We can settle our other political scores elsewhere and at another time. Right now it is clear who the enemy of Pakistan is and we must speak out against them.

The killing of soldiers, the attacks on security services, and the kidnappings of Pakistani soldiers makes the news, but it is the smaller news that slips by which shows the true extent of how deeply the fascist tendencies of these new Taliban are and how grave a threat to the fabric of Pakistan and to our Pakistaniat these people are.

Here are three recent news items which I find truly frightening and very very disturbing.

First, this this disturbing news from Bajaur, reported in Daily Times and all other national newspapers:

Suspected militants blew up a tailor’s shop on Thursday in northwest Pakistan for making Western clothes, an official said. The pre-dawn blast also damaged two other nearby shops in Kasi, a village in the tribally governed Bajur region, the AP quoted Mohammed Khan, a local government official, as saying. No one was hurt. Khan said militants recently warned the tailor to stop making Western-style clothes, which they view as ‘un-Islamic’.

Online reported that a bomb exploded along the roadside in Saliarzai tehsil. No casualties were reported. In Bannu, police and a bomb disposal squad defused three powerful remote-controlled bombs on the Bannu-Miranshah roadside near Masoomabad. Bannu DPO Dar Ali Khattak told APP that the police were probing the matter.

Staff reports add: Swabi police defused a bomb planted at the building of the population welfare office. People found the bomb packed in a ghee tin. They called the bomb disposal squad in Mardan, which defused the bomb. Militants destroyed a narcotics shop with a bomb late on Wednesday in Pusht bazaar of Salarzai tehsil in Bajaur Agency.

Next this news that is so reminiscent of the Bamiyan destruction and also of what happened to the Bodhi tree in Islamabad. According to Dawn:

In a grim reminder of destruction of world famous Buddha statues in Bamiyan by the Afghan Taliban, blasts in Swat’s Buthgarh Jehanabad historical site on Tuesday damaged rocks engraved with Buddha’s images. The Gandhara civilisation site was attacked with two explosive devices early on Tuesday morning.

The area is about 20km from here, near the tourist resort of Malam Jabba. Before the recent deterioration of the law and order situation in the valley, hundreds of tourists, mainly Buddhists, used to visit the site. Local people said one explosive device had been planted on top and another in the foot of the rocks. The images were not damaged but a portion of the rock was. They believed that it was the handiwork of local militants.

Finally, this most disturbing and harrowing news about militants beheading two women just because they thought they were ‘prostitutes’. The parallel to Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa is haunting. No evidence, no trial. Just an accusation and then a brutal beheading. This is not my Islam, this is not my Pakistan. Swift and clear action needs to be taken against these fascist murderers. I think The News editorial is exactly right in saying:

The beheading of two women in Bannu, allegedly because they were involved in “immoral” activities is shocking and reminds one of the infamous Salem witch trials of 17th century North America where dogma was used to target and burn at the stake women whose actions did not conform to the boundaries set for them by a conservative and rigid society. Those behind the beheadings are sadly mistaken if they think that they, by brutally killing a person without trial, are acting in a pious and virtuous manner if anything they are afflicted with a perverse mind themselves and acting no different than beasts. To say that the beheadings require a swift response from the government in that such mercenary acts by extremists have to be checked and those behind the murders caught and punished is to say the obvious. This is in fact the least that one expects from the authorities. The women were reportedly abducted by local militants for allegedly being involved in prostitution. The militants, of which there is no dearth now in certain parts of the country, have taken upon themselves to enforce a rigid version of the Sharia. However, what they did with these two women is nothing short of deliberate and pre-meditated murder. That they should act with impunity, and that too in a district which is the home of the NWFP chief minister, speaks volumes of the government’s inability to act against such marauding vigilantes. Till now, the normal targets were music and CD shops and there was little or no loss of life. This was followed by lethal attacks on NGO workers and a female social worker some months ago and she too was killed. Had the government acted against these militants at that time and not been ambiguous and uncertain in its response to the growing Talibanisation of the region, perhaps the gruesome act of beheading two women would not have taken place.

In fact, one can also draw parallels with what happened in Bannu and the abduction of women by the Lal Masjid vigilantes some months back. The only difference is that those women, also alleged to be involved in “immoral activities” were released after being forced to ‘acknowledge’ their so-called misdeeds. The women who were abducted in Bannu were obviously not as lucky. What will happen next. Will any woman who is seen walking without a veil or talking to man be a legitimate target for abduction and eventual beheading by these militants? It should also be remembered that the perception or understanding of what constitutes immoral behaviour is by no means uniform in Pakistani society.

But that is still beside the question, which is: what gives the right to anyone to label a woman a ‘prostitute’ and then proceed to take away her life? One isn’t living in the Dark Ages, despite the wishes of some in society to push Pakistan to that era. And there is a head of state who never tires of saying that extremism in the country needs to be tackled head on and that the whole nation needs to support him on this. Unfortunately, it is the government itself which often fails to come good on this, usually falling short of taking the fight to the extremists. The result is before us- parts of the country, especially FATA and some settled districts of NWFP adjacent to the tribal areas falling under the influence of the militants who go about forcing others to live according to their own rigid version of Sharia. The militants do not have any altruistic motives, they rather want political power, which is what they will continue to see grow as long as the government fails to act and apprehend those behind such moral policing and vigilante acts.

These are just a sample. One reads every day of these Taliban kidnapping soldiers, blowing bombs in large cities,trashing video shops, killing Pakistanis. What they are doing is not just criminal, it is an attack on Pakistan. But equally disturbing is the silence or consent of the many who are willing to ignore or condone these acts just because they have bought into the extremists agenda about how all of this is really against the USA or Musharraf. Killing Pakistanis is an attack on Pakistan and it is time for all to stand up against the extremists and for Pakistan.

109 Comments on “Taliban and Extremists at War Against Pakistan”

  1. asheikh says:
    September 14th, 2007 3:09 pm

    “The bigger crisis in Pakistan today is the increasing assault of the Talibal-like extremists on the very fabric of Pakistan society.”

    True but incomplete statement…what about the increasing commercialism and consumerism?

    “…it is time for all to stand up against the extremists and for Pakistan.”

    Interesting how you frame this within a nationalist mold…what about being for human rights, justice, pluralism and democracy and not simply for Pakistan? Besides, what exactly do you mean when you say “stand up against…”? How will this help us get rid of religious fanaticism?

  2. Akif Nizam says:
    September 14th, 2007 3:12 pm

    Adil, that was my observation too on my recent trip to PK. It’s shocking to see how indifferent and fatalistic Pakistanis are about violence in their own society which they greet with nothing more than a headshake, a sheepish smile, a shrug of the shoulders or a roll of the eyes; it doesn’t even come up in conversations, only in secondary newspaper headlines. If a dialogue is forced, such events are circuitously linked to the Lal Masjid event or the American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. All those who say that compassion is missing from the Pakistani society should hear the Pakistanis defend these murderous elements and how compassionate and understanding they are about the motives and impulses of these enemies of their country.

    All the outrage is reserved for insignificant events, be it Obama’s comments towards Pakistan, Shoaib Mansoor’s movie or some new cartoon controversy brewing up in a far off land. It’s a classic case of deflection of responsibility on the part of the entire society. It is not just the politicians or the religious leaders who use this; everyone, (case in point, see comment above) including the media is guilty of it.

  3. September 14th, 2007 3:21 pm

    I am sorry to say that you discussed the problem but didn’t provide solution. But problem only can be solved when you have root cause of the problem. Did you try to think about the root cause, I mean when extremeism started and why?
    I bet you if today Musharraf is deposed and democracy is restored, all kinds of attacks will be stopped.
    You should remember when Zia ul Haq was fighting against USSR, we had lot of suicidal attacks on our soil. But after Zia’s death when democracy was restored, bombings stopped suddenly.
    So today first we need to restore humans rights, democracy and social justice, then you can expect the stoppage of suicidal attacks.

  4. Shahbaz Khan says:
    September 14th, 2007 3:26 pm

    I simply cannot understand why it hurts people’s feelings when somebody condemns religious fanacticism or the killings of innocent people in the name of Islam!

  5. iFaqeer says:
    September 14th, 2007 3:44 pm

    asheikh if you really want an answer, I’d say that it is exactly us “liberals” who have been the only ones actually working on human rights, and freedom of speech and the like, when even the “moderate Islamists” one so hears about nowadays (notice I put the phrase in quotes; please don’t get distracted by my use of the last word) were in government with the last military dictator we had. Was it these Mullahs lining up to take on General Zia or Asma Jehangir?

    More at:

    http://ifaqeer.blogspot.com/2007/07/robert-jensen-farid-esack-and-junaid.html

    http://ifaqeer.blogspot.com/2007/07/pakistan-twenty-oh-seven-twenty-oh.html

    and, not least:
    http://ifaqeer.blogspot.com/2007/07/pride-and-human-rights-in-pakistan.html

    And the point is not that I think no one has the right to hold the political, theological or social opinions the Taliban, the Jamaat, or anyone else holds. But subverting the writ of the state is not in the tradition of The Prophet of Islam. (SAW) He did not take up arms until a community elected him Head of State and he was at the head of a government.

  6. iFaqeer says:
    September 14th, 2007 3:47 pm

    Mera Pakistan, you’re right; the same argument we make in the US, about respect for human rights and rule of law (izzath-e-nafs, insan ki qadar, etc.) should not be trampled in the pursuit of an orderly, safe society. However, openly committed illegal acts like kidnapping, killing innocents, and so on is neither Islam, nor morality.

  7. iFaqeer says:
    September 14th, 2007 3:48 pm

    Adil, so what do you propose? Let’s talk, if we can…

  8. jalaal says:
    September 14th, 2007 4:13 pm

    aap zaraa duniya me bahar aaye to pata chale ki musharraf ko bushka tattu kaha jaata hai. yeh saari pareshaniya musharraf ki karamat hai.

  9. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    September 14th, 2007 4:23 pm

    Adil Najam’s “Taliban & Extm. at War……. Its always the same stereotype ” designation” of my enemy ” visibly wearing a beard and a turban trying to tell you something that you do not want to listen”, by the way they were “designated ” by our ex-masters atleast 6 of them (their agencies) are having secret meetings in Faizabad and Badkhshan to decide what beleif should we brownis have, the brand, orientation, signals, instructions, the damned indoctrination, preaching crusades, no one can subcribe to Uncle Sam’s Anti-Islamic HOAX anymore. The genocide of Irakian & Afgan race is flagrant, open and can been with only opened eyes not with red sunglaces.

  10. RAJA says:
    September 14th, 2007 5:21 pm

    amazing logic in many comments here.

    so, they don’t like Mush so they blow up a poor tailor who is stitching trousers!!!!

    wah wah wah. very interesting logic. idiotic but interesting!!!

  11. isoftiger says:
    September 14th, 2007 5:37 pm

    Dear Adil,

    What we are seeing today is the final culmination of a belief system that says, “what i believe to be true, i can force on others”. It is the idea that Islam sanctions a fascist philosophy under which ANY action is justifiable in the name of religion.

    This nonsence has gone on for too long now, and conveniently given further air by the likes of Bhutto, Zia and Sharif for their petty political objectives.

  12. D_a_n says:
    September 14th, 2007 5:46 pm

    Very true Raja….
    This is something NO MULLA or their sick sympathisers can EVER give a straight answer to..

    if someone does not like Mush or his policies…HOW IN THE WORLD DOES IT HELP BY BLOWING UP AND KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE?? How? Just answer me this…

  13. Affan says:
    September 14th, 2007 7:24 pm

    I also don’t see the connection between Musharraf’s rule and the gruesome beheadings and crimes committed by Taliban like vigilantes. Musharraf is no angel but why blame him for everything?

  14. PatExpat says:
    September 14th, 2007 8:15 pm

    Adil,

    Though I respect your usually well balanced presentations but this time it has been a ludicrous argument. Though many people hate when Musharraf or government is dragged into these situations but the fact of the matter is he sets an example by his own deeds.

    What Musharraf has shown is that Courts can rule whatever they want, he will do whatever he believes is right? In direct contravention of Supreme Court order he has deported Nawaz Sharif? What kind of precedence it has set?

    At least earlier, people used to storm/attack courts before the decision was delivered because they felt that once the decision is delivered, it would be impossible to do anything against it. Well, Musharraf has shown us that Supreme Court decisions are nothing to worry about (regardless of whether NS has signed agreement which SC has declared void). Why should anybody go to courts when in the end the usurper gets to do what he wants to do? Then you have people throwing grenades in buses in Karachi, killing lawyers and harassing High court in broad daylight with total immunity. Nobody raises an eyebrow. It does not even create sensation on the evening news.

    Despite being educated abroad and considering myself a liberal, if I need justice in Pakistan, I would rather go to vigilante courts set up by Lal Masjid / Tribal areas than approach the regular court where I know I can be killed, my lawyer can be killed or even in the end if the courts rule in my favor, there is no guarantee their decision will be carried out.

    The same is true for the Tribal areas. You can say that its not your Islam, but they believe that its their Islam and they are doing whats right by their interpretation. And the President of the country has set a dangerous precedent (at least dictators used to seek legitimacy for their actions by coercing courts through PCOs etc that in the current situation has been rendered worthless) which no one especially the so called liberals and lawyers seem to recognize.

    Spare me the drama of killing of two prostitutes (which was no doubt wrong). 50 people were killed in Karachi on May 12. Musharraf is on record celebrating the occassion is display of his power. Does anybody remember that except for the harassed sind high court. How many are bombed and killed in Baluchistan? does anybody care?

    You expect people to accept killings that were not in the name of religion and stand up to the killings in the name of religion. People have become immune to killings whether in the name of religion or not. They want their paycheck at the end of the month and Musharraf’s government has ensured that. So no one cares what happens in Baluchistan, Waziristan, Lal Masjid, even in Karachi as long as I get my salary at the end of the month.

  15. Saad says:
    September 14th, 2007 8:34 pm

    The first thought that came to my mind after reading the news about yesterday’s blast, was that how will Gen. Musharraf react if someone said to him what Gen. Musharraf himself told the nation in the aftermath of May 12 massacre?

    [quote]Addressing a select gathering of people at the Chief Minister House on Friday, the president asserted there was a need to close this chapter and think about the future. President Musharraf is in the city to review the law and order situation and to defuse the tension following the May 12 carnage in which more than 40 people were killed.[unquote]

  16. PatExpat says:
    September 14th, 2007 8:39 pm

    Post Script:

    In Karachi, I would rather pay some Unit Incharge / Sector Incharge to carry out the justice that I believe is right rather than go through the ordeal of courts/kachehri/thana/FIR etc.

  17. Khurram says:
    September 14th, 2007 8:59 pm

    I am truly dismayed to read some of the comments posted here. As I was reading Adil Najam’s post, I was thinking that at least this subject is something that we can all agree upon, no matter what our back ground and beliefs. Clearly I was wrong.

    This is not about Islamism vs. secularism, democracy vs. dictatorship, liberal vs. conservative. It is not about whether ignoring the supreme court is better than raiding it to prevent it from doing its work, or whatever other silly arguments people want to have. It is about a simple question: Does any one have the right to impose their views or their cause by force upon others? If I don’t hold the same beliefs that you do, does that give you the right to kill me?

  18. PatExpat says:
    September 14th, 2007 9:11 pm

    Khurram,

    Thats exactly what we are saying. When a President of the country can have 40 people killed in Karachi just to prove his point (and has the audacity to claim it as such) why do you expect the rest of the nation to act any different?

  19. Khurram says:
    September 14th, 2007 10:24 pm

    PatExpat, if the President of Pakistan does something that you do not agree with, then protest against it. At least you know who it is that you are fighting against. Start a revolution. Take part in civil disobedience. But don’t randomly kill people who are not your enemies, and who have done no wrong other than trying to make an honest living. If we want democracy then we have to prove that we are worthy of it. This argument of “he started it first” is best left to school kids.

    With each successive government, military or elected, we have shown that we got what we deserved We have welcomed each ruler with open arms, and have turned a blind eye to his or her weaknesses. If this trend continues, then our next government will be worse than our current one.

  20. Khurram says:
    September 14th, 2007 10:45 pm

    PatExpat, one more point:

    You said in an earlier comment that “You can say that its not your Islam, but they believe that its their Islam and they are doing whats right by their interpretation”.

    They have every right to their beliefs, as long as they don’t force themselves upon me. After all, I don’t go around with a lathi and beat up women observing purdah, or tell men to lower their shalwars below their ankles, or shave their beards.

  21. Allama says:
    September 14th, 2007 11:35 pm

    Whatever is happening is called “blowback”.

    If a republican Ron Paul can say 9/11 was a blowback, why can’t we say that whatever religous violence is happening in Pakistan (against army or common persons) is indeed a blowback.

    For decades, Pakistan (army and ppl, including me) has trained and encouraged ppl to go to Afghanistan and Kashmir, and kill and maim ppl. Where were the liberals then? There was one Bacha Khan in NWFP who raised his voice against this, and warned Pakistan against it. Nobody remembers him though.

  22. Faraz K says:
    September 15th, 2007 1:27 am

    Guys, the root cause of these militants popping up may be Musharraf and/or a number of other factors. But we gotta acknowledege that blowing up stores, and brutally executing people is completely unacceptable under any circumstances. Sure there are a lot of other worse things going on (some body mentioned the Iraq war) and we acknowledge that those things must be stopped.

    So why can’t we acknowledge that this is a very real, very dangerous problem, too? We are not asking for too much here. I can only interpret your counter arguements as tacit approval of these bombings and executions. And I feel stupid even typing this response because it’s just so obvious.

  23. Harris Siddiqui says:
    September 15th, 2007 1:29 am

    I am glad that Adil has written on this subject but I am equally surprised at the shear number of ostriches with their proverbial heads buried in the sand on this issue. Wake up people, we are at war! These days there are more military engagements in Waziristan than in Iraq yet the majority of our people still consider it a minor inconvenience at the most. If any of you thinks that this situation will solve itself if Musharraf was deposed or if America leaves Afghanistan then you can’t be more mistaken than that.

    The poor tailor will get his shop blown up for the crime of sewing pants. The “whores” (as one of the posters above so affectionately calls them) will get their heads chopped off and the body parts of poor civilians will keep on paving the highways to heaven for the misguided souls whether Musharraf remain in power or not or whether America stays in Afghanistan or moves on, to think otherwise would be a folly which may cost us our country one day.

    This problem has a life of its own now and like a cancer is spreading fast. The inability of our government to show the real toll this war is taking on our society to the people of Pakistan is mind boggling and so is the lack of confidence to take this war to the next step. Yesterday an “A Class Security Installation” was hit in Tarbela, tomorrow it could be somewhere else. Nip this evil tree before it bears more fruit.

    We need to start looking at it as a war between Pakistanis and anti Pakistan forces and we must not let our religious feelings come to the rescue of these forces who are only using Islam for their personal gain.

  24. Khairulbashar Siddiqui says:
    September 15th, 2007 1:31 am

    Great to read all these comments.Unfortunately majority of Pakistanis don’t believe in Human rights and dignity. They don’t understand that democracy can only flourish and even possible, if we have sizeable middle class. people who are slaves of Zamindar and Jagirdars or so called religious fanatics can never elect better representatives.
    Some one asked about solution. It is simple. Build institution, don’t destroy them, only hold them responsible. Keep talking and negotiating. Pakistan at present has one institution, which is Army. By Musharraf’s mistake, we might be heading towards a free judicial system, if they really want to build it. presently I am afraid they are playing in the hand of corrupt Politicians who are slaves of their own greed and Power. Sometimes i don’t understand the NAIVENESS of my nation. How can they let them to do the same stupidity all over again. Believe it or not Musharraf can deliver us seperate workable institutions. In last 60 years no one has ever progressed in this direction that much.
    Both biggest parties are nothing but group of THUGS manuplating innocent pakistanis by money and duress.
    I hope again that we stand up strongly against these Taliban like people who are hijacking my Islam. Before 9/11 America was the only place where Muslims had some rights. Because of that incident we have not a single place in the world where you can excercise your rights peacefully. Again I can just pray for Muslims to study the rise of different civilizations and learn from that.

  25. Masood Afridi says:
    September 15th, 2007 4:54 am

    When I first read this post I thought, OK this is so obvious. Everyone knows and thinks this.

    Now after reading the comments I realize this is a very corageous thing to write. So many people (like many commentators) are so comfortable blaming others for our own problems. Yes its becaie of USA all ours problems are or because of Musharaf…. OOO oooo ooo, just get rid of him and we will become paradise!!!

    No, these extremists are making Pakistan hell for everyone not just for the tailors they kill or women they behead or statues they bow up or bombs they blast.

  26. Masood Afridi says:
    September 15th, 2007 4:57 am

    People asked what the solution is. Let me tell you what the solution is. We start by saying it out loud like in this poast. Theseextremists are criminals and thugs and murderers and we shuld deal with thm by law like criminals and thugs and murderers are deal with. The prolem is not just the extremists but all those (like here who are defending the extremists. The solution is first to stop making excuses for their actions.

  27. PatExpat says:
    September 15th, 2007 5:44 am

    DAWN’s editorial today. Exactly what I have been trying to say:

    (Quote)
    The incumbents now need to look beyond self and to readjust their priorities according to the need of the country. A government that lacks credibility and broad-based support cannot even begin to stem the tide of Talibanisation. When the coterie in power is not taken seriously by law-abiding citizens, how can it hope to quell armed revolt? The charade must end sooner than later. While there is no guarantee of success, participatory democracy remains the best hope for repairing the damage inflicted on the country over the last eight years. It is time for free and fair elections so that a broad-based government representing all sectors of the population can emerge. Such a government alone can tackle the problem of militancy that Pakistan faces today.
    (Unquote)

  28. Poulee says:
    September 15th, 2007 6:33 am

    Very timely post! I do believe there is an active war going on in Pakistan. But I think one of the challenges we have is to use the proper labels for the warring parties. Is “Taliban-like extremists” against “Pakistan”? Or is it “fundamentalists” against “moderates”? Or is it “Mujahadin” against “westernized liberals”? None of these expression capture the true spirit of what either of the parties. I propose that proper expression here should be “Mullahs” against “Muslims”. What does Mullah mean? you ask. Let’s see how Iqbal describes it;
    Din-e-Mullah Fee Sabeel Lillah Fisaad…
    Words like fundamentalists and Taliban-like extremists are meaning less for the majority of the public in Pakistan. Same way ?moderates? and ?westernized liberals? are not the most cherished expressions. So, before we move any further on the subject, let?s try to frame the conversation in proper context and call it a war between Mullahs and Muslims. Because, unless we define our enemy properly, we will be fighting an enemy that does not even exit.

  29. ivehadit says:
    September 15th, 2007 8:06 am

    Musharraf’s legacy: a Pakistan completely divided between religious and ethnic lines. The Indus lines the split between the ultra-religious and the secular. Urban Sindh seems leaning ultra-ethnic and fascist. This is what happens when you carve up the polity unnaturally. Take away the secular parties and you get the mullahs in Baluchistan and NWFP (and pliant chaudhry’s in Punjab) and MQM takeover of Karachi. And he’s still at it: take PML-N out of the picture and you’ll get again an unrepresentative Punjab result. Who knows where this tinkering with the body politic will take Pakistan.

    Why not just sign up for an open society, everyone. If someone breaks the law, let the law handle it…not the not-so-respected-anymore Pakistan Military.

    The guy started out well-meaning and “enlightened” but now he’s just plain self-preserving. Witness the latest banana republic proposal – if Musharraf can’t get elected, we’ll make Sehba the president. Will she also be given a uniform?

  30. LATIF says:
    September 15th, 2007 8:59 am

    Mr Najan. I read you article in The News today about Gen Musharraf and from there found about this website. Great article in The News. I wish Musharraf would read it and think about your analysis. But then you may get into trouble .

  31. AUK says:
    September 15th, 2007 9:31 am

    Surprisingly, no one has mentioned the root cause of the problem. And without knowing the cause, trying to attack the problem won’t work. It is the Wahabi version of Islam imported from our dear friends (Saudis, who help us out in other ways too), which is fueling this war. Perhaps it has some roots in the Afghan war against the Russians, but at that time, there was an enemy. In the absence of that enemy, they have created a phantom.
    It may not be common knowledge that these Wahabi Madrassas are mushrooming in remote northern and north west regions of Pakistan in the last 10 years. I haven’t seen one, but these Madrassas shouldn’t be confused with normal mainstream madrassas in major Pakistan, as they practice a very strict interpretation of Islam, not known to most Pakistanis. There is a reason for this growth, the sustained high oil prices in the world, thereby providing constant fuel to the fire. There is another reason; the poverty and backwardness of these regions of Pakistan, coupled with high population growth, and their love for their faith. This provides the other fuel to the fire, a constant supply of young malleable minds, with no prospects in this life, hence the attraction to the promise of a bright future in the hereafter.
    Greg Mortenson, in his book “Three cups of tea” has written about these Madrassas. There has been a lot of troubling news coming out of Swat lately, which I always thought of as a peaceful region. If you look closely, most of the troubles emanated from one particular madrassa (I don’t recall the name). The Maulvi running this Madrassa was running an FM channel as well, making sure that his message of hate reached as many people as possible. He exhorted people of the region to stop their kids from getting polio vaccination, and also to stop sending their girls to schools, in return promising them huge rewards in the hereafter.
    This is not a war against Islam, it is a war against the forces of doom and darkness. Also this war can’t be fought with American gunships or with brute force. That is only making the problem worse, by spreading the message of hate, and creating an enemy for the enemy. There is only one way to fight this war; with schools, and by choking the lifeblood of this enemy, the petro-dollars that are fueling this war. By making sure that every kid in the region can and does go to a school, we can start tackling the problem today. That is not a small order in itself, but the only way to cure this cancer.

  32. faraz says:
    September 15th, 2007 10:33 am

    The return of BB is positive sign. I think she is capable of mounting a war against these “facist jihadis” much better then millatry dictotor.

    Army dont have political will to root out these elements. Also we need to root-out mullahs from our security agencies compltely. Recent attack on SSG mess is due to a black sheep.

    Alternate is to take 180 turn of Afghan policy and to aliante ourself with rest of civilized world.

  33. Eidee Man says:
    September 15th, 2007 10:34 am

    “While I, like everyone else, remain fully engrossed in the political circus of Pakistan and the shenanigans of messers Musharraf, Bhutto, Sharif, Rahman, and Co., there is, as we have suggested before, a real war – a terrible war – that Pakistan is involved in right now.”

    You missed Altaf Hussain. BB, the Sharif brothers, and the army are extremely corrupt and incompetent. But they are not cold-blooded killers. Altaf Hussain’s MQM is a fascist terrorist organization that flies under the radar only because it is secular, and well, part of the government!

    Nothing happens in a vacuum. Pakistan not having proper civilian rule, the US excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the violence by radicals are all related issues.

    The vast majority of these attacks in Pakistan and the other attacks abroad using Pakistan as a “base” are carried out by foreigners who have escaped from the thinly stretched U.S. army in Afghanistan.

    Also, I disagree completely with the notion that Pakistanis are on the path to radicalism or Talibanisation. I have certainly seen no evidence of that in all the times I’ve visited Pakistan recently. On the contrary, most ex-pats think that Pakistan seems more and more Westernized (or what their perception of the West is).

    The bottom line is that if you had real elections and a strong justice system, you wouldn’t have 90% of these problems. The radicals would get actual representation in the assemblies, and their fans would probably vote them out after their fad is over.

    The supposed Talibanisation of the majority of people in Pakistan may sell fear-mongering TV shows to an ignorant public or may even get some papers published for struggling academics, but it certainly has no basis in reality.

  34. Hamza says:
    September 15th, 2007 11:23 am

    Some of the comments on this post make for incredibly depressing reading.

  35. dawa-i-dil says:
    September 15th, 2007 11:23 am

    @ AUK nice analysis …but do you notthnk Musharraf policies of roshan khayali also adding fuel to this fire…

  36. Javed says:
    September 15th, 2007 1:35 pm

    We are slowly but surely sliding on the path of disintegration into fragment of Pakistan just like Yugoslavia; unless we have a popular uprising against the army and save The Pakistan as it is! Time is near when the popular uprising even won

  37. Mantra says:
    September 15th, 2007 1:52 pm

    I wasn’t expecting Adil to make such an argument. It’s quite surprising, actually.

    The rule of law seems to be coming into attack from all sides. Is it too much to ask that everyone be expected to follow it and not just the powerful? If Musharaff jumps off a cliff, should everyone else? Why is this moral relativism trivial to anyone who supported the restoration of the Chief Justice?

  38. Sayed Zeeshan says:
    September 15th, 2007 2:03 pm

    I can’t even begin to understand why haven’t the government yet officially declared that we are at war?

    Here we have a war like situation in the north and all the so-called intellectuals can utter is “talk to them.” How could sane people talk to murderous thugs. Its just a tip of the taliban-iceberg.

  39. PatExpat says:
    September 15th, 2007 2:04 pm

    Babar Sattar in today’s The News right beside Adil Najam’s article

    [Quote]
    The real issue simply is whether we wish to be a country ruled by law, or one ruled by edicts of autocrats. Article 15 of the Constitution states that every citizen has the right to enter and remain in Pakistan. Upholding the right of the Sharif brothers to return to Pakistan, the Supreme Court ruled that Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif “had an inalienable right to enter and remain in the country as citizens of Pakistan” and that their “return/entry to the country shall not be restrained, hampered or obstructed by the federal or provincial government agencies in any manner”. The Constitution, together with the Supreme Court’s reiteration of this constitutional right, left no room for any creative interpretation of the law by the Musharraf regime.

    It is indeed incredible that our general-president decided to defy the law and the Constitution in full public eye and send a loud message to all and sundry that he still had no intention of letting legal formalities get in the way of personal ambition.
    [Unquote]

    Then we, the educated, the liberals, the seculars, ask the question that why don’t the Talibans have respect for the laws of the country. Excuse me, neither does the president or his coterie of advisors.

    But this is his best line

    [Quote]
    What is most disconcerting is that the Musharraf regime’s blatant breach of our fundamental law and the unequivocal ruling of the Supreme Court has not outraged the nation as it ought to have.
    [Unquote]

    And we are disturbed that why the people of Pakistan don’t care about whats happening in some remote corner of the country.

    Are we really so NAIVE?

  40. Toryalai says:
    September 15th, 2007 2:07 pm

    Adil your analysis is too simplistic and the real players have not been dealt with! Taliban (= Pashtoons = Afghans ) serve better the purpose of people like you when it comes to ‘peace and stability’ in Pakistan. Why people like you ignore the fact that the Taliban are controlled by religious bigots based in Pakistan (ISI and other agencies) and, for various political reasons, it’s the undeclared policy of Pakistan to sustain a chaotic situation along the Pak-Afghan border in order to: a) strategically keep US busy in a situation whereby they (US) don’t get the time to consolidate their position in the region which if they succeeded will have far reaching consequences for Pakistan in the future; b) open the doors of cash flow from the US and its allies to Pakistan; c) give Musharaf a reason for justifying his military rule; d) divide Afghans on the basis of ethnicity i.e., Pashtoons versus non Pashtoons (applicable both in Paksitan and Afghanistan) and hence achieve another objective of not allowing the Pashtoon nationalists to get united; e)…

    Have you ever thought Afghans and the Talibans are extremely poor then how on earth they are funding their resistance against Pakistan or USA? For their source of funding your must look elsewhere (e.g., Wahabism from Saudi Arabia and Wahabi radicals in the Pakistani establishment in addition to other sources of funding from within Pakistan and from abroad). Therefore DO NOT blame the Pashtoon Talibans but the Punjabi Talibans who are behind all this wave of terror!

    Have you also forgotton the killings of thousands of Pakistani shia muslims at the hands of wahabi radicals, funded and trained by the ISI and other govt agencies? Or what about the extremists/terrorist who have been arrested in the past few years in the USA and other European countries – with few exception they are all non-Pashtoon Pakistanis (check the ethnicity of 7/7 bombers of London carnage!)

    If a govt gets engaged in the target killing of its own people then people like you shouldn’t be surprised when the inevitable starts haunting all of us; this is exactly what is happening right now! The well trained terrorist, who were trained, to kill their own co-citizens have now turned their guns on their patrons! Of course in the name of Islam!

    Please do not write just to meet ATP’s daily quota; you should have a clearer picture when you decide to write, otherwise don’t bother!

  41. asheikh says:
    September 15th, 2007 3:35 pm

    ifaqeer,

    “asheikh if you really want an answer, I

  42. Hasnath says:
    September 15th, 2007 3:45 pm

    Thank you for this very honest and powerful analysis. It takes courage to write about unpopular truths. I salute your courage.

    By the way, do not be disheartened by the comments here. The comments actually prove your analysis. As you rightly point out:

    “What is truly frightening is how many Pakistanis are willing to defend or ignore these thugs and murders either because they themselves do not like the government, the US or the military or just because these murderers are supposedly acting in the name of Islam and therefore should be ignored. Such attitude – which is becoming widespread – is deeply worrisome.”

  43. FARRUKH says:
    September 15th, 2007 3:55 pm

    Excellent writeup. You are correct. These militants are not only using Islam but are also using Musharraf’s unpopularity to gain sympathy. I think that is one more reason why Musharraf must leave. His leaving will not automatically solve this problem (thats nonsense) but this problem of militancy cannot now be solved while he is still there.

    BY THE WAY, VERY INTERESTING HOW PEOPLE HERE WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT MUSLIMS DYING IN BOSNIA BUT SEEM OK (EVEN HAPPY) ABOUT THE DEATH OF THE mUSLIM TAILOR IN BAIJOUR AND THE TWO MUSLIM WOMEN IN BANNU.

    What do we call this. Hypocricy? Munafqat? Magarmach kay aanso.Why are those so worried about the deaths of Muslims also not worried about the Muslims being killed by these religious fanatics and extremists?

  44. AUK says:
    September 15th, 2007 3:58 pm

    Rafkash, perhaps you should go read my 5 long paras again, as I surely did not go around in circles. I was also trying not to look at it in the political context, as that totally fogs the issues. Do you know the profile of a suicide bomber? The latest one in DIKhan was a 14-15 year old kid who did not even have a beard. Who are these kids, and where are they coming from? Who is forcing them to commit such acts? That is why I differentiated between two types of Madrassas in the country, the Wahabi ones and the other mainstream ones, which are in every nook and corner of the country, and which I have no problem with. I have an issue with the Wahabi ones, and these are being funded by our Saudi friends. There is also a particular demographic where these madrassas are being successful, in the tribal belt and in the Northern regions of Pakistan.
    I was also very clear in explaining that American gunships won’t solve this problem (hence I am against this war), and there is no easy solution, but there is a solution.
    As for Greg Mortenson, he is the guy whose aborted attempt to conquer K2 in 1993 in trying to save the life of a fellow climber took him down a fateful journey which still continues today. He has spent atleast half of his life since in the Northern regions of Pakistan and in Afghanistan, opening elementary schools focusing mainly (not exclusively) on the education of girls (And no he does not make them dance). He has 55 schools in the region now. He speaks fluent Urdu, Darri, and Pashto. And yes, you may not know him, but he is a household name in Skardu and in the villages of the region.

  45. Mansoor says:
    September 15th, 2007 4:08 pm

    By the way, excellent front page header with this post. ALso makes you think.

  46. Shahbaz Khan says:
    September 15th, 2007 4:22 pm

    To Ms. Afreen,

    While reading the comments on this post, I was impressed by the sincere efforts you have made in order to prove your point. But I am afraid that you will not be able to achieve your desired target as people only see what they want to. They install a mental “filter” on their senses which lets in only the information which agrees with their point of view, and blocks out everything else. As my experience suggests, some people will not relent however reasonable you get with them.

    Anyways good luck.

  47. Kumail says:
    September 15th, 2007 4:45 pm

    Adil this was a long time coming. It is slightly disheartening to see most people missing the point here. Much has already been said here however I just like to make a few quick points:
    1 – The sovereignty and integrity of the nation of Pakistan must be upheld. We are certainly at war with elements who are infiltrating our society and defacing the very fabric of our nation.
    2 – Musharaf may have done several wrongs, but so have BB and Nawaz Sharif. If you can absolve them then dont treat musharaf like a pinata just to smack him around whenever something goes horribly wrong in the country
    3 – Musharaf deserve to challenged for not upholding the writ of law in several situations that have been observed. However, he does deserve the support of the nation for putting an end to any elements that challenge the first point i’ve made in this list.
    4 – In more of a long term, we need to take into consideration the development of an educational and social infrastructure for helping and assisting the underprivileged gain better opportunities than in past. Give them something to hold on to , something that wouldnt want to loose. Historically speaking, armed resistance and revolutions come from areas and people who have nothing left to loose but their lives.
    5 – The mullahs and the likes of Altaf Hussain should get the Mustufa Kemal treatment and be sunk in the indus or the arabian sea. Good riddance id say

    Unfortunately the several nay-sayers here cant envision the bigger picture. Maybe they would realize their mistake when a Taliban-like individual comes to their door, drags their sister out into the street, claims that she is a prostitute and proceeds to pump a few bullets in her head.

    Quite gruesome isnt it and I am sure someone is cringing just at this thought. If we stay silent about it, this is what will happen.

  48. D_a_n says:
    September 15th, 2007 4:55 pm

    @ Ms. Afreen…

    smart salute coming your way! :)
    mashallah you speaketh much truth….

  49. AUK says:
    September 15th, 2007 5:11 pm

    DD, Yes, Mush’s roshan khiyali is a problem for the mainstream society, but that is not an imminent issue, as that part of the society hasn’t gone violent yet. However a more immediate issue is taking up arms against these elements in the name of Americans which is making us more enemies each day. That is the other side of the story, i.e. how do you tackle this while keeping the Americans out of all this, and we won’t be able to understand that unless we know the reasons. Also the course that Mush is on won’t change now unless something changes on the political front. Anyone claiming that BB is the solution does not know what he/she is talking about. BB is as alien to Pakistan now as any Martians.

  50. Azam Khan Afridi says:
    September 15th, 2007 8:30 pm

    To Dawa-i-dil.

    How is caring about the death of a poor tailor and poor women in Pakistan is defined as being ‘pro-American’?

    And what should we call people like you whose comments here are saying that we should not worry about the murders of these Pakistanis?

  51. Akbar says:
    September 15th, 2007 9:18 pm

    The comments here are more proof of your banner on the right side of the page. Ours is a deeply DIVIDED SOCIETY. Excellent analysis. Please don’t let the bullies silence you with their threatening comments. We need voices of reason like yours.

  52. Masood Afridi says:
    September 16th, 2007 1:11 am

    The discussion has been eye-opening for me. The state of denial that Pakistanis outside are living in on this issue is scary. But fact is that even here in Pakistan we deal with this by denying it or just ignoring it and finding excuses. I wish I am wrong and teh problem will just disappear with Musharraf but I think that is wishful thinking only.

  53. Deewana Aik says:
    September 16th, 2007 4:02 am

    PatExpat, Musharaf government is necessary evil (until someone better comes along) while Talibans are just evil. So if one has to choose the choice is obvious.

  54. ali raza says:
    September 16th, 2007 4:09 am

    The mehsud tribes did not just start fighting when this government came to power. They have always fought the government of the country. We can go as far back as the mughals and the same story line. They fought the British, post 1947 they turned their guns onto Pakistan. In either case, they claimed these governments were unislamic. In the past the Bristish and successive Pakistani campaigns in this land have only affected peace with use of overbearing firepower from the air. Fighting a guerilla on the ground is futile. Pakistan airforce had to straff them as early as spring of 1948. I think the black scorpions squadron needs practice with live rounds on live idiots. I just hope the generals have the guts.

  55. September 16th, 2007 11:55 am

    I am literally shocked to see u Adil sahab for such ‘either with us or against us’ and ‘bomb them to destroy them’ pov.

    isnt it so obvious that they r doing it coz no one is ready even listen to them.

    and what have we done to bring some sense into them, actually visit them, observe their ‘elusive’ societies. we care only to bomb them, so do they. we r all the same.

  56. Zaigham says:
    September 16th, 2007 1:18 pm

    Its quite unfortunate whenever a voice is raised against talibanisation, it is confused with secularism.
    “The dilemma of these so called Islamic Revolutionaries is that they, were unable to present religion comprehensively, were unable to address and bring-forth the solutions of ‘Jhiliat-e-Jadeedia’, were unable to understand Shariat as they couldn’t understand it purely on the basis of Quran and Sunnah and without the inherent bias of Mullahiat, were unable to prove the dominance of Islam in matters of Politics, Economy, Sociology, Education and Hudood & Tazeeraat. People simply rejected them. Now they are bent upon carving out a legitimate way of violence, opposition (violent opposition??? maybe), Jihad and Qitaal from Seerat-e-Nabwi to support their theory of Revolution.” (Al-Burhan, Javed Ahmed Ghamdi).
    Once they are rid of all the prostitutes, they’ll go after witches, the minorities(muslim sects, just like Iraq), philosophy and then anything that is symmetrical (Church during dark ages used to believe that symmetry is God’s attribute only, why should our Mullahs miss it?).
    The time is already upon us. People are more than ready to embrace anything other than present regime. Its between the devil and the deep sea for us.

  57. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    September 16th, 2007 2:02 pm

    Masood, yo may be sounding stupid that’s why your own people don’t listen you but when someone kill your kids and parents and police don’t return you then one would like to see how would you react.

  58. Aslam says:
    September 16th, 2007 2:13 pm

    Hamza,

    Someone who kills women IS a murderer. SOmeone who cblows up a shop IS a criminal. When was it that we considered these acts to be teh actions of ‘heroes’? And if we did then shame on us.

  59. Aslam says:
    September 16th, 2007 2:36 pm

    The brutal murder of Maulana Hasan Jan yesterday in Peshawar shows that these extremists are no longer only targetting civilian populations, large cities (it is NOT just in the Nortehr Areas, bombs have gone off all over Pakistan), women and tailors, they are also targetting moderate religious scholars.

    This news item in THE NEWS on March 14 2007 shows how they are not only against tailors but also barbers…. PLEASE READ LAST LINE TO SEE WHY MAULANA HASAN JAN WAS REALLY KILLED:

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=46791

    Barbers in Wari stop shaving beards after threats

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007
    Delawar Jan Banori

    DIR: Barbers in Wari, the headquarters of Wari Tehsil in Dir Upper district, on Tuesday banned trimming and shaving off beards and fixed a fine of Rs 5,000 in case of violation, while in Dir, the district headquarters of Dir Upper, barbers were meeting today to review the situation and take a decision on the issue.

    The barbers in the two main towns of Dir Upper, Dir and Wari, received threatening pamphlets against trimming and shaving off beards. They were warned of the ?worst storm? if they failed to abandon the ?un-Islamic? practice.

    Barbers in Wari decided at a meeting they would not shave off or trim beards following the threatening pamphlets. They decided to impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on violators in view of the threat of dire consequences.

    Also in Dir, some barbers have received pamphlets asking them to abandon the practice but most of them have either tore or burnt the pamphlets. After the decision of the Wari barbers, they have also convened a meeting of all the barbers, which would decide whether to ban or continue shaving off beards.

    The Urdu-language hand-written pamphlet reads, ?Our beloved Muslim brothers, listen and listen attentively and then think over it that shaving off beards is a great sin. This (beard) is the holy Sunnat of our beloved Prophet (PBUH), but regretfully we have been shaving it off and throw these blessed hairs into dirty drains and dirty places, which is a shame.

    ?You people have been making your earnings from this sacred occupation as Haram by shaving off beards, thus throwing your own children into the hell. Remember, if you do not abandon shaving off beards within a week and do not make your occupation in line with Sunnah, very soon you will face the worst storm and the responsibility will be yours, God willing.?

    Though the pamphlet did not include the word trimming beards, a local journalist of Wari, some 40 kilometres from here, claimed the pamphlet asked not to even trim beards. After the threat, the barbers of Wari, residents said, have put up notices, besides the pamphlet, at their shops, which say: ?Don?t insist (on shaving off beards) in view of the pamphlet.?

    The barbers of the Dir city also received these pamphlets, but they did not take them seriously and either tore or burnt them. However, when barbers in Wari decided not to shave beards, they also geared up the campaign to ban the practice.

    ##########A prominent religious scholar, Maulana Hasan Jan, was reported the other day in a section of press as saying that forcing and threatening barbers not to shave beards was against Islam and this must be stopped. ########

    The district police officer was not available for comments till the filing of this report.

    (P.S., how can I make something appear BOLD?)

  60. Aslam says:
    September 16th, 2007 2:52 pm

    Maulana Hasan Jan’s murder shows that they will even kill religious leaders who stand in their way. Note that he had issues a fatwa AGAINST suicide bombing.

    See this:

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C09%5C16%5Cstory_16-9-2007_pg1_5

    JUI leader gunned down

    * Jan had issued fatwa against suicide hits

    By Manzoor Ali Shah

    PESHAWAR: Unidentified assailants shot dead Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader and Wafaqul Madaris Vice Chairman Maulana Hassan Jan in the jurisdiction of Yakatoot police station here on Saturday, police said.

    SSP Tahir Khan said the assailants took Hassan from his house on some pretext during Iftari and later killed him at a deserted place in the Wazir Bagh area. Peshawar Nazim Haji Ghulam Ali quoted Hassan?s relatives as saying that some people came to his house on Friday and requested him to solemnise a marriage on Saturday. Hassan, a former MNA, also issued a fatwa against suicide attacks.

    AP adds: He along with a group of Pakistani clerics traveled to Afghanistan in 2001 to convince Mullah Omar that he should expel Osama Bin Laden from Afghanistan to avoid American attacks.

  61. Kazim says:
    September 17th, 2007 12:57 am

    This website has been writing about the CJ case, the killings in Karachi, MQM and against Musharraf so often. All the time really. You had been ignoring the serious problems of religious fanaticism. I am glad you have finally woken up to these problems which are most serious for all of us who actually live in Pakistan.If people want to fool themselves in believing that this is happening just because of America they can do so.

  62. Adonis says:
    September 17th, 2007 1:04 am

    The fact is that a vast majority of the people of Pakistan believes that the present regime is not a legitimate government. Its source of strength is not support of masses but the barrel of gun. Organs of the state are acting as personal serf of a dictator. In such circumstances, all actions of these state organs are seen as self serving illegitimate activities.

    So for the people of Pakistan, these civil war like conditions are the result of conflict between two groups of thugs who are trying to impose their values on others through brute use of force. Whether this brute use of force manifests itself in lal masjid, in waziristan, in bajaur or in bomb blasts in rawalpindi or tarbela, it should be equally condemned.

    Neither of the two extremist fringes (secular and religious) represents the people. The only way forward is to let the true representatives of the people to the fore. Some of us may not like them, but only they can get us out of this mess.

    Extremists can only be defeated once they are isolated. Sympathizing with the actions of either set of extremists because we ourselves are secular or religious will further inflame this conflict.

  63. September 17th, 2007 2:03 am

    well u r right in a sense that Talibans are prooving to be destructive for Pakistani Army and soldiers n even common people But actually all that is in revenge for making allie with the US to kill fighters for Islam. But killing the common people n those who are not involved is reaalllly condemnable

  64. Deewana Aik says:
    September 17th, 2007 2:04 am

    “Neither of the two extremist fringes (secular and religious) represents the people.”

    I don?t knw who you are calling secular. Musharaf strengthened his position with the support of political Mullahs while all the major political parties were opposed to 17th amendment. Mullahs are still in bed with Musharaf in two provinces not to mention the fact that they are the only allowed opposition by Musharaf, everyone else is simply not allowed in the country.
    It seems that some of us have very short memories.

  65. Deewana Aik says:
    September 17th, 2007 2:20 am

    In mehmand agency a hospital has been blown up. Hardly worth commenting on.

    http://www.jang-group.com/jang/sep2007-daily/17-09-2007/up04.gif

  66. Adonis says:
    September 17th, 2007 2:36 am

    BTW, it was not only MMA that supported 17th amendment. PPPP also voted in favour of two clauses of 17th amendment. Some people do seem to have a very short memory.

    It is funny that you include MMA in the list of extremists. No matter how much you may hate the beards of MMA leaders, the fact remains that it is not them who are fighting in this conflict. MMA leaders are career politicians who play by the book and are part of the system. They try to come into power through elections not by the barrel of gun. Thats why people like Fazl ur rehman have no influence over taliban.

  67. Asad says:
    September 17th, 2007 3:28 am

    Very nice article Adil.

    It is a sad fact that we allow anything to happen, no questions asked, if the reason is stated as Islam. I won’t be surprised if someone rapes a woman and then justifies it in the name of Islam and us Pakistanis, in general, allow it and even encourage it.

    Certain un-Islamic customs in Sindh and Punjab come to mind when thinking this.

  68. PatExpat says:
    September 17th, 2007 3:38 am

    @Asad
    True! women get raped. They get married to the quran. They are given away in exchange for punishment.

    Surprisingly, all of this has nothing to do with Taliban. Its always the secular feudals and aristocrats of Sind and Punjab. Recently, a PPP (supposedly the most left wing and secular party) minister was convicted of vani (giving away girls) and the police let him get away after bowing and shaking hands with him within court premises. Mukhtaran Mai was not raped by Talibans (but Musharraf claimed at the time that she could have allegedly claimed that to secure immigration).

  69. Asad says:
    September 17th, 2007 3:44 am

    @PatExpat:

    You cannot ignore the fact that religion is used to justify these heinous acts of the feudals. And people believe the flimsy justification.

    The ignorance of Pakistani people is one of the prime reasons that democracy will never work here unless there is a high literacy rate with people actually being concious of what is happening in the world around them.

  70. Adonis says:
    September 17th, 2007 4:20 am

    Surah Al-baqara, verses 6-7:

    “As for the Disbelievers, Whether you warn them or not, it is all the same for them; they will not believe.

    Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes; their’s will be an awful doom.”

  71. Deewana Aik says:
    September 17th, 2007 4:48 am

    And you exclude yourself from such people? You know vanity is haram in Islam too, right?

  72. AUK says:
    September 17th, 2007 8:10 am

    Adonis, Great point about MMA. That is why an American imposed democracy is so dangerous, because it attempts to exclude people whom they don’t like or don’t understand (like the MMA or even N league in this case). Remember all the hoopla about Turkish president Gul whose wife wears hijab, and the whole western media going against his election, when Turkey wanted him in office. When such exclusionary democracy is forced upon people, it starts these beneath the surface currents, that can destroy a society.

  73. lida says:
    September 17th, 2007 12:43 pm

    People who Blame Musharaf are idiots because they fail to see that prior to Musharaf things were the same.
    The only difference now is that 9/11 has made Pakistan the forefront of dealing with these Extremists morons.

    I say Do what Ataturk did and jail all these extremists and make them see “Khuda ke liye” hundred times as a punishment.

    No mai ka laal could have faced US with the prevailing conditions in Pakistan. Not dealing with poverty and lack of education has caused all this mess for Pakistan.
    Pakistan’s porous borders have attracted all these fanatics from the arab world and are brainwashing our lost youth.

    The only Blame I put on Musharaf is messing with Supreme court and not making education a priority for Pakistan.
    The rest is all the same for Pakistan and No politician can fix pakistan. I hate to say it but we are on the verge of declaring Pakistan a failed state.

    I know people hate me for saying this but we are heading that way fast.

  74. Aamir Ali says:
    September 17th, 2007 1:37 pm

    who dares claim Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid were innocent?? Was the mountain of picture,video evidence and their own confessions as well as their heavy weaponry not enough?

    Some Pakistanis are too weak to call evil evil. Taliban/Alqaeda and Lal Masjid gang are evil folk.

  75. PatExpat says:
    September 17th, 2007 2:58 pm

    @Aamir
    Not to defend Jamia Hafsa’s actions but there was a news item couple of days ago that prosecution found that Lal Masjid folks had nothing to do with burning of CD shops/stalls and dropped the case.

    True Lal Masjid crossed many lines but there were some crimes we just loaded on them since they were the flavor of the month at the time.

  76. ali raza says:
    September 17th, 2007 5:14 pm

    lida, musharraf lost a lot of us because he messed up on the CJP issue. That is the root cause of his unpopularity off late. Other than that the majority of Pakistanis support him instead of the thieving premiers of past and the terrorist mullahs.

    At the same time we cannot let our disappointment with some of his actions give cover to the anarchists. Atleast that is how I see it. A uniformed president isn’t the best option, but it is a thousand times better than being ruled by Taliban.

  77. Adonis says:
    September 18th, 2007 12:41 am

    I wonder how some people have the temerity to compare mush with Ataturk. Ataturk was a great leader who lead turkey through a time of great crisis. He was a war hero who brought turkish army back from the brink of precipice. Under his command, turkish army secured some stunning victories. He was a national hero even before he came to power. His biggest contribution was that he instilled a spirit of nationalism in turkey and turned this fractious country into one nation.

    On the other hand, our ‘gift of God’ commando’s biggest claim to fame (or dare I say infamy) before he made himself the “saviour of the nation” was the hugely mismanaged and terribly planned Kargil operation. His biggest “contribution” after assuming power is to divide the country into opposing segments and ethnicities who are now at each others’ throats. As compared to almost fanatic nationalism of Ataturk, our imposter has as his closest ally, the ‘Don of Edgeware Road’. This london based mafioso while speaking in New Delhi, called the creation of Pakistan a great disaster and expressed his hope to become a part of India and yet he is the one closest to mush’s heart.

    The bottom line is that just by holding puppies in ones hands and opening bars and dance clubs while destroying ones country does not make one an Ataturk. It rather makes one just another Reza Shah Pehalvi.

  78. September 18th, 2007 4:03 pm

    Adil
    A very interesting discussion.

    In 2002, i was travelling through the tribal belt and happen to sit in on a meeting with some tribal elders- They were against the military and its incursions in their area but they were interested in dialogue-They said they had lost too many of their boys to the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and didn’t want to see the same thing happen now- They were fiercely patriotic and spoke of defending Pakistan, they said they were the country’s secret weapon against India *if war ever broke out*-
    But after the meeting i met with some of the younger men who were listening in-They kept their heads low while talking to me and made it very clear that the army was not welcome on their land- They thought their elders were too soft and had bowed down to America by allowing the army in-
    They spoke of an ideal Islamic society-One in which Sharia governed all aspects of life-*(By the way when questioned they had no idea what sharia was-they babbled something about music and the burqa)* They spoke of their friends who were preparing to fight the army-And then the youngest of the lot, not more than 12 years old, looked at me and said, “And when we fight back-they will perish-because we are the true believers-and our jihad will be accepted.”
    I realized then, that though the tribal belt had always been fiercely independent, they had managed to coexist under the government’s mandate- Now, no more- The younger generation was keen to fight, they had been educated in madrassas, they lacked critical thinking, they were frustrated, they had no jobs, they were completely brainwashed and had access to weapons-They were pressured by those around them, and the army was their new target.
    And by 2007, it was not just the army- Because now average Pakistanis in restaurants and mosques and shops are being targeted.

    So you are right that the question is not about Musharraf, or BB or democracy, the question is, are we Pakistanis going to stand up against this violence or not?

    The choice is as clear as day and night…We can pretend that this is about Musharraf and his uniform or lack of democracy but lets not kid ourselves-The extremists will not give up their weapons and their cause whether we have democracy or not-They are here to stay-And right now they are winning….

  79. Khalid says:
    September 19th, 2007 3:10 am

    Interesting that all the religious folks heer seem to be offended at the criticism of the Taliban. I woudl have thought that the really religious people would be teh ones who hate the Taliban the most because teh Taliban have corrupted Islam so much. ??

  80. symk says:
    September 19th, 2007 1:47 pm

    When there is no rule of law, oppression of political parties, military rule and lust for power at any cost, people will indulge in acts of terrorism. The solution lies in respect for law, free and fare elections and keeping military in a role which it was assigned, which is protection of our frontiers. When constitution is moulded to suit a dictator and corrupt politicians are awarded ministeries like Interior and trade do’nt be amazed at the rise of extremism in Pakistan. For those who boast so called growth of GDP and foreign reserves, the situation was more impressive in Ayub’s time but we lost out eastern half within 2 years of him leaving the office. Musharraf is solely responsible for the chaotic mess in pakistan and has no moral authority to enforce law in our northwest. I am amazed that with suicide bombing on the rise and attacks against the military our DG ISI is holding talks with Benazir on behalf of his master to prolong his rule.

  81. Deewana Aik says:
    September 19th, 2007 2:06 pm

    “When there is no rule of law, oppression of political parties, military rule and lust for power at any cost, people will indulge in acts of terrorism. ”

    Not really. All these problems were in the times of prophets and imams but they and their followers kept themselves away from any ‘acts of terrorism’. Where do you get your ideology from? We have some excellent leaders in the form of prophets and other pious. We REALLY DO NOT need deviant talibans to tell us about rights and wrongs.

  82. Wajahat says:
    September 19th, 2007 7:41 pm

    In February 1998, the honourable guest of the sharee government of Taliban had issued a fatwa (as if he was qualified to do so) that his organization was not going to differentiate between a civilian and a soldier.

    The African embassies bombings followed soon and then for an event like 9/11 to happen was a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.

    Quoting some verses of the holy Quran, these neo-kharijites terrorists came up with some twisted logic of non-discrimination between civilians and soldiers.

    Some of the explanations of these (hopefully hell bound terrorists) are:

    1. If muslims are not standing up against an unjust ruler and not taking part in their version of terroristic ‘jehad’ with them, then its ok to kill them also.
    2. Americans are wajib-ul-qatal because they are paying taxes to a govt that in turn is providing arms to Isreal etc.

    I have always wondered if any priest, rabbi, pandit or any non-muslim accuses that Quran is a book that preaches violence (aka killing innocent civilians), then all over the muslim world, our ba-ghairat muslim bretherns start demonstrations and explanations that how peaceful islam is etc, but despite the fact that the terrorist guest of ‘sharee’ govt of Taliban did the same back in 98, he is still respected and revered among a vast numbers of bay(not ba)ghairat muslims.

    Probably, some real sharee govt would have had his head chopped off right there, for inciting murder and/or blasphemy of the holy Quran for presenting it as a
    violent book to the whole world.

    As a reprisal for the actions of these handful of terrorists, for whom Allah has shrunk his vast earth anyway, thousands of innocent muslims have already lost their lives so far. No wonder, Allah has made the hell fire for muslims also.

  83. Kazim says:
    September 19th, 2007 8:44 pm

    Some of these jahils are also against polio vaccination because somehow they think saving lives of children with polio medicine is unislamic! The biggest problem facing Islam today are these fanatics.

  84. Aqil Sajjad says:
    September 19th, 2007 9:33 pm

    Sharmeen:
    Since so many Pakistanis are in denial about this problem and seem to think that it will go away by just making the army return to the barracks, wouldn’t it be better that democracy was restored asap so that people start to see that extremism is here to stay and needs to be countered seriously.

  85. Carlos says:
    September 20th, 2007 7:45 am

    Assumption: Surrounding every nest of homicidal maniacs is a community of non-maniacs who are aware of the existence and behavior of the nest.

    That nest attempts to feed off the fear and wish to be left in peace of the surrounding community. It also attempts to predate upon them, drawing their children into membership -just like any gang.

    My message to the community is this: you will not be left alone. The nest will eat your children. The nest will eat your peaceful life, and leave you in ruins-a refugee. You will lose everything.

    This is Islam? I say no! I say the nest is the oppressor, the destroyer. The nest must be eradicated by any means necessary. Mothers, are you listening?

  86. Khalid says:
    September 20th, 2007 10:17 am

    This will never disappear by itself. Just like we created these monsters we now have to dismantle them. Not for USA’s sake, but for Pakistan’s sake.

  87. September 20th, 2007 12:49 pm

    And now this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7005140.stm
    Bin Ladin’s grand statement: rise up against Musharraf…I wonder if he would rather have BB in power?

  88. Aamir Ali says:
    September 20th, 2007 1:06 pm

    Are you the same Sharmeen Obaid who made some films about Pakistan for Frontline etc? If so well then at least your films had some balance.

    What despairs me is the utter cowardice and denial of the Pakistani people, they believe that if army goes to barracks, america leaves afghanistan and musharraf is overthrown, that terrorism will end.

  89. chief sahib says:
    September 20th, 2007 2:16 pm

    follow the money and it will lead to Saudi Arabia. We are just a time pass for the crazy rich unemployed arrogant arabs. They will come and live in Pakistan without visas causing violence marrying into our tribes. How many Pakistanis can live in Saudi without a visa, let alone be allowed to marry their women. As Oil prices go higher this problem will just keep on getting worse as these people will have more and more disposable income to spend on their pet projects to make up for their own shortcommings.

    Either make all these foreigners get a visa, job and pay taxes when they come to Pakistan or ask for the same treatment in return for our fellow Pakistanis in their countries.

  90. saadullah says:
    September 20th, 2007 2:41 pm

    Anyone who thinks that what these Taliban are doing is Islam has no idea what Islam is. Khuda inn sabb ko hidayat dey.

  91. PatExpat says:
    September 20th, 2007 2:59 pm

    I don’t know why the ‘enlightened’ people draw the wrong conclusion from the arguments presented by us ‘obscurantists’.

    Nobody is claiming that Musharraf’s doffing of the uniform (a promise which has broken amongst the countless which nobody seems to remember) is panacea to the terrorism problem. The only thing we say is that if the President and the Army (which consider themselves to be amongst the most sincere) can carry out extrajudicial killings, raping (does anybody remember the rape of Dr. Shazia in Sui by an Army Major which was decided by Musharraf with a single sentence “I dont think he has done it”), abductions; why do you expect the so called Talibans/outcasts to be any better?

    Where do you want to try the Taliban? In Pakistani courts? Well the President contravened the courts decision. Why should Taliban/Outcasts be any better?

    Again to reiterate, What Taliban are doing is wrong but then our government does not have a moral high ground.

  92. confused says:
    September 20th, 2007 3:22 pm

    PatExpat. I dont see anyone in the post or in the comments actualy defending Musharraf.. so who are you arguing against?

  93. Adonis says:
    September 21st, 2007 2:12 am

    #
    “Aamir Ali says:

    What despairs me is the utter cowardice and denial of the Pakistani people, they believe that if army goes to barracks, america leaves afghanistan and musharraf is overthrown, that terrorism will end.”

    When one group of terrorists is gone, then the nation can deal with the other group of terrorists. !!!

  94. Aqil Sajjad says:
    September 22nd, 2007 8:05 pm

    Adonis:

    “When one group of terrorists is gone, then the nation can deal with the other group of terrorists. !!!”

    Not really. Then the nation will probably be too busy bashing Musharraf’s successor for all his/her real and imagined sins to find any spare time for dealing with the other terrorists. Aur phir aap issi topic peh exactly yahi kahain gay keh pehlay qaum zara BB ya NS say deal kur lay phir aur baqi cheezain dekhi gee. Jub hum nay kissi issue ko importance nahin deni hoti to hum issi tarah uss ko put off kartay hain. It is like the tomorrow that never comes.

  95. Khatib A. says:
    September 23rd, 2007 1:42 am

    Fanatics are biggest enemy of Pakistan and of Islam. I consider myself a religious person (even have a big darhi!) and I think these Taliban are munafiqs and apostates and have brought a bad name to my religion. May Allah (SWT) give them guidance.
    Peace!

  96. chief sahib says:
    September 26th, 2007 4:14 pm

    This is a modern phenomenon, resultant of the cold war. When u have people indoctrined in violence they can do nothing else. How can you expect a person who has been taught to label ppl as kaafirs and then kill and taught that being the only purpose of life to work for a single day under someone else.
    We (funded and trained by bearded and non-bearded allies) created a monster and now the monster wants to destroy us.

  97. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    October 16th, 2007 9:15 pm

    Your title is very biased as it designates the religious
    elements of Pakistan as criminels fighting Pakistan,
    it is utterly ludicrous, as if others are “Farishtas”!!
    and they are serving the country, notably
    Seculars, communistes, progressists, marxists, secterians
    who are nothing but anti-Pakistan and its ideology, they
    wish to impose on Pakistan foreign political agendas.

    Pakistanis must put them before accountability.

  98. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    October 17th, 2007 1:40 pm

    My third comment can be retenue, I might add :

    Just to refresh our memories, a propos, Talibans and
    so called, extremists are nurtured, nourished, helped
    supported politically, provided arms and given green
    signals by the ONE spending money of loot-maar on
    her istiqbal.

    The basic anti-Pakistani party which is
    “progressist ” socialist, communist, and recently with
    the” ashirwad” of Marchal, converted to secularism with
    Dupatta, and tasbih in her left hand.

    This band of impotent liars, cheats, swindlers and evils
    have always found, since centuries, their accomplices,
    gendre, Ulema-e-sou of epoch Ummayyads, Abbasyde, Fatimide, and Usmania. Result, will be a culture of
    Mi-brothel, Mi-Jalabah.
    Are Pakistanis so naive and stupid to allow this??????

  99. MKA says:
    October 18th, 2007 11:14 pm

    The events today once again prove this point. The blasts today are partof this war. Those who keep defending the extremists are not firends of either Pakistan or of Islam.

  100. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    October 27th, 2007 8:29 am

    MKA,

    Who is friend of who, elections will tell you !!
    The Pakistanis know well who is against Pakistan
    and anti-Islamic, they know what is anti-Pakistan
    how to be , when to be, and where to be in Pakistan.

    Can you Imagine Anti-American living in America ????
    working in the media, as journalist, Prof, “intellectual”
    exploiting freedom of speech, how would he /she live in America. Only like traitors !!! You know !!

    In legal terms ; offensive, punishable, condemnable, OUT !
    Is UK different ??

    ONLY IN PAKISTAN, you can live there, be anti-Islamic,
    condemn openly Islam, muslims, and the Constitution,
    redicule the religion and can get away. Shamlessly,
    challenge the very existance and creation of Pakistan,
    you can get away with it, because of Tolerance, wait when
    it will come to the brink, the racaille of Marxist, socialist
    communists, seculars, and corrupt liberal Hijras will be
    brought before public ADALAT.!!

    Pakistan ZINDABAD

  101. Mercede says:
    April 25th, 2008 2:21 am

    Many of you ignore the fact that these taliban company is a foreign funded organization to destabilize pakistan. Since Islam is a very emotional issue for people with no actual knowledge of islam this organization uses the distorted stuff to brainwash people. Does islam allow suiside, let alone the suisidal attacks to kill so many innocent people?

    I suspect the main problem s gawadar port which is the shortest route to the sea for soviet block which has an abundance of OIL and Petrolium. It is also the shortest route from western china to the sea. If you have been watching closely china has signed many agreements with pakistan to use pakistan trade route. and has been a heavy investor for Gwadar port.

    We all know that Blochistan Libration Army is an indian supported organization which yesterday (April 23, 2008) killed a university Vice chanceller for thier brutal agenda. Akbar bugti was no innocent man, rather a terrorist against state though i think he deserved a trial.

    People of pakistan are very stupid and fail to understand these external forces except for the educated ones. consider the judge crisis. if CJ is restored will it help pakistani people? exactly how? due to the bycotts by lawers 430,000 cases everyday (read it in a newspaper) are in pending. who is suffering here because of them? and media is just too busy to projecting it as the main problem in pakistan.

    We know that the media had been very biassed in the case of hUqooq-e-Niswan bill and geo was reporting a rape case weekly. Rapes are still happening. I read the news in jang about a gang rape by Shalimar police in Islamabad (F10/2) Geo doesnt have time to report it now. Why should they? they have their Huqqooq -e-Niswan bill passed. now if someone gets raped it’s her problem not theirs’

    We need to open our eyes and we have to stop blaming musharaf for everything that goes wrong. Listen to the vulgarity the FM radio’s are spreading. Musharaf never personally told those anchor persons to go cheap. Who asks for rishwat in goverment offices and some of the semi private offices? For god sake stop blaming one person for your problems or the problems of the society. When Nawaz shareef goverment was dismissed, people in the country rejoiced. now on the return people again rejoiced. have they forgotten Qarz uttaro Mulk sawanro corruption or the baitul mal case? who is actually stupid? you decide

  102. GreenSufi says:
    July 3rd, 2008 2:24 am

    Well written article Adil, but you have not highlighted the systematic massacre of Barelvis and Sufis by these militants, especially by the so-called “Lashkar e Islam” of Mangal Bagh.

    The Barelvi or Sufi families, are admittedly fast turning into a minority in predominantly and increasingly Deobandi pashtun areas.

    But with Mangal Bagh and Munir Shakir’s attacks, the situation is grim: they have killed Sufis/ Barelvis especially the supporters of Afghan Pir, Akhundzada Saifur Rahman Naqshbandi. Their men are butchered and their women and property made ‘halal’ by Mangal Bagh’s followers.

    Astaghfirullah. God preserve us from this madness.

  103. Pakistani says:
    August 19th, 2008 9:44 am

    In all the fuss over Musahrraf I hope we do not forget that we are at war and under attack from an enemy that is amongst us – the extremists who are bent on killing Pakistanis. I am happy to see Musharraf go an hope that we can now concentrate on the real war in Pakistan and root out these evil extremists.

    As if to announce to us that they are still out there and killing innocent Pakistanis, even ill and sick ones, here is what these cowardly extremists did today:

    “23 dead in Pakistan hospital suicide blast PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Aug 19 (AFP): A suicide bomber blew himself up Tuesday at a hospital in the northwestern Dera Ismail Khan town, killing at least 23 people, police said. The explosion happened as people gathered to protest over the death of a man in a suspected sectarian attack in the town, said provincial police chief Malik Naveed Khan.

  104. True Pakistani says:
    January 11th, 2009 9:57 am

    A good writeup on the so called “Talibanization”, but you omitted an important side of this senario, that is CIA connections with the so called “Taliban” or CIA/ American touts in the guise of Talibaan. You can read about this on
    following web pages
    http://pakistanthinktank.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&p=1132

    http://www.defence.pk/forums/war-terror/18486-us-army-vs-taliban-who-whose-side-2.html

    http://www.defence.pk/forums/war-terror/13673-cia-indian-afghan-involvement-wot-pakistan-7.html

    You can find a large number of web pages on this by typing “Baitullah Mehsood CIA agent” or”Baitullah Mehsud CIA agent” in Google search

  105. Mansoor says:
    January 21st, 2009 5:38 pm

    Blame game!!!

    Easy to blame “others” than oneself!! It is always “the other party’s” fault.

    I am referring to True Pakistani’s comment about CIA connection!

    Here is a scenario:

    A Pakistani movie/TV actress gained weight…

    Fill in the blank with any name and there will be such a hue and cry that this has to be an American conspiracy!

  106. Waqar Jan says:
    January 27th, 2009 1:59 am

    We all are ignoring one fact; that the Taliban has always been an invention of the US intelligence agency CIA which was funded by the US government to fight against the Russians in Afghanistan. At that time the Taliban were protecting the US interests in the region so they were called “Heroes” by the US. Some of theirleaders were invited for press conferences to Washington and New York. Now that the Taliban want the NATO forces out of Afghanistan which is against the US interests so they have become Terrorists.

    I am not a supporter of Taliban but the fact is that most of us are ignorant of the real “Big game” that is going on in the region since American invasion of Afghanista. These so-called Talibans have nothing to do with Islam. Most of them are not even Muslims. They are well-trained and well-paid terrorists employed by the CIA and RAW to destabilize and defame Pakistan. They have better and more sophisticated weapons than what the Pak Army has. They are using the name Taliban for many reasons; most importantly to exploit the sympathies of the Pakistani Muslims with the Mujahideen and the hatred against US prevailing among Pakistani masses.

  107. Haseeb Hayat Shah says:
    January 5th, 2011 11:07 am

    Taliban war is not the war of America it is the war of Pakistan. Please Stop this war. Geo or Gena do.

  108. Tj says:
    January 14th, 2011 12:26 pm

    No point in bewailing government’s unwillingness to tackle this scourge on the world.

    A people gets the government it deserves…

    Pakistanis were happy to see use of Islamic terrorists against perceived enemies – India

    Now it’s hard to get off the tiger.

  109. Aamir Ali says:
    January 14th, 2011 11:27 pm

    @TJ Indian

    Its not Kashmiris who are committing this violence against Pakistan, the same Kashmiris however continue to be crushed through force by India, something no Indian cares about as long as Indian flag keeps flying in Kashmir.

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