Wednesday, June 15, 2011

a 'letter to editor' received but unlikely to be published

The Snare
Letter to Editor
When I heard, I didn’t believe it. The members of an American delegation then on official visit to Pakistan entered the office of a major general (now retired) who was serving at a pivotal post, and during the course of meeting presented him the keys of a bullet proof vehicle they brought along with them from Washington. They were keenly concerned about the safety and security of the general, of course. But to their utter surprise, the general refused to accept the gift, saying his institution had provided him enough to meet his transport and security needs. I couldn’t believe that a General in the Pakistan GHQ would refuse the Americans. He paid the cost and retired as major general but why did he refuse the gift? “Such bullet proof vehicles are secure, but serve the purpose of dubbing exclusive or private conversations which they can use to achieve their ends. Already our everything is being recorded by mobile phone companies, the Blackberry has server in America and all emails channel through central control in the US. PTCL is already sold out, other ways of communication are not secure too. The equipment brought from US might have secret codes which only the Americans know; that’s why the radar system on May 2 was not working or at least could be dodged.
Why I am keen to recall the retired Major General’s is the report of a team of Pakistani journalists, anchorpersons and others led by Marvi Sirmad meeting the US Consul General in Karachi where the most senior journalists were provided with gifts of mobile phones, which they say are the most latest and sophisticated. It is feared that the cell phones will be interlinked and centrally monitored by the consulate staff. For many this can be the most desired gift, but for the security and integrity of the country and individuals this can be a hazard. You never know.
Marya Mufti, Lahore

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

from a kurram agency-based journalist -- read it

A journalist based in Parachinar sent this to me -- its here unedited, uncut -- might be a bit obtuse at times but worth a read

After Nine-Eleven when fierce game started at the name of terrorism, this fierce game not only compelled the thousands of people to exclude them from their ancestor areas, but it was also the harmful reason for the “Educational Murder” of tribal students. Bright and shined future of tribal students has been made darken by the terrorists. The innocent children, who might have a pen and book, were forced to hold on weapon and explosive material. Suicides were trained to kill their own Pakistanis. This bloody game and tribal students “Educational Murder” are still continued.
Terrorism in Pakistan and especially in tribal areas is the part of the Worldly conspiracy. But names of some Pakistani Agencies have been also included in this list of terrorism doubtfully with continuation. Misunderstood policies of rulers and government made the common people doubtful about them. Different weapons are using to explain the FATA tribes as terrorists. Different criminals, murderers, thieves, robbers and plunderers were assembled and named “THARIK-E-TALIBAN”. The people who were stranger and unacquainted by Islam and Islamic ordinances made Commanders. They spoiled the appearance of Islam. Anti-Islamic activities and terrorism of Talibans revealed the tribes as terrorists all over the World. And electronic media also explained the little accidents of FATA by advancement to take superiority on each other. Talibans were cover-aged mostly by them, which give progression to terrorism in Pakistan and FATA. Pakistani Agencies and rulers set the media free for their cover-age. Freedom for media was a personal purpose of Pakistani Agencies and rulers.
Pakistani Agencies and rulers got a lot of funds and aids from America and other countries for operations in FATA. America and other countries granted packages of thousands of $dollars for the FATA tribes. But FATA tribes were kept disappointed from these packages. How did the funds and packages vanish? OR
Who had eaten them?
Tribes are unknown to these situations.
Writer also belongs to the tribal area Parachinar Kurram Agency and related to journalism.
Fierce game is still continued at the name of terrorism in Kurram Agency since five years. Thousands of peoples had been killed. More than billions of rupees have been damaged. The educational system is in critical conditions.
In2007when Talibans marched towards the Kurram Agency from Northern and Southern Wazirstan and started their activities at the name of “Tharik-e-Taliban”. In the meantime Shia-Sunni elders of Kurram Agency wrote a letter and faxed it to the President of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan and security officers. In that letter they expressed untrustworthy against the activities of Talibans and demanded to give them no permission for the entrance towards the Kurram Agency. But strange situation was created, when the photocopy of that letter reached the Talibans Commander next day. Talibans Commander sent five hundred rupees for each head of Shia-Sunni elders by the help of officials for their shrouds. He warned them, that they should purchase their coffins and be ready to death. Because killing is the only result for everyone, who disobeys the Talibanization.
At that time in2007the local journalists of Kurram Agency met the Political Agent and informed him about the activities of Talibans and different doubts of people. Political Agent told them, that the activities of Talibans are the policy of Federal Government.
Journalists asked him that, if we write a letter about the activities of Talibans and doubts of people and fax it to the superior officials. Political Agent revealed and told them, that the elders of Shia-Sunni tribes have also faxed a letter to the superior officers before this. But photocopy of that letter reached the Talibans Commander next day. Talibans Commander sent five hundred rupees for each of them and threatened them, that they will kill them. Your faxing letter will also reach the Talibans next day.
The meeting of Political Agent of Kurram Agency cleared the reality, that the running fierce game and terrorism are also supporting by some Pakistani Agencies and officials.
Activities of Talibans were developing day by day by the help of Pakistani Agencies. Talibans made their check posts, training centers and residences at Lower and Central Kurram Agency. Talibans also reached to Parachinar the capital of Kurram Agency and putted on their tents in “Central Principal Mosque” and schemed to attack and holds the Parachinar.
At this on15thNovember2007elders and journalists of Kurram Agency informed the Political Agent of Kurram Agency about critical situations and conditions. But Political Agent told the tribal elders and journalists, that circumstances are in control and nothing will be happened.
But next day after the “FRIDAY PRAYER”on16thNovember2007Talibans attacked the innocent people of Parachinar with Hand-Grenades and Rockets. In result many people of Turi-Bangash tribes were killed.
Passengers of Turi-Bangash tribes who were traveling from Peshawar to Parachinar killed with inhumanity at the powerful Network of Talibans called “Shashu” located in Lower Kurram Agency. And thus disturbance rose in whole Kurram Agency. Activities of Talibans are still continued from 16thNovember2007.
Durable and strong centers of Talibans are located in Lower and Central Kurram Agency. These training centers existed indigenous and external terrorists. Talibans are training for terrorism in these centers. Thall-Parachinar road is blocked since five years. Thousands of Upper Kurram Agency tribes are besieged. Parachinar is harvested from whole country of Pakistan. Telephonic media has been also prevented for many hours. Electricity is suffering load shedding. Developmental programs are stopped. Supply of goods is also stopped. Tribes of Parachinar are compelled to purchase a lot of eating and drinking commodities expensively from Afghanistan.
Even Parachinar is facing hardships, but some Pakistani media is not cover-aging the references of Parachinar. Media represents the news or accident so clearly, if it is happened in other areas of Pakistan.
Thousands of Parachinar tribes are besieged since five years, arrival and departure roads are blocked. Road blockade caused 100reds of patients and injured to death due to nonexistence of life saving drugs and treatment in time.
But it is so sorrowful, that some media of Pakistan especially electronic media is completely silent about Parachinar. They are not interested to give any cover-age about the circumstances of Parachinar and people’s difficulties. Most media of Pakistan resembles the hardships and terrorism of Parachinar with sectarian disturbance, which is completely wrong.
Media representatives of Peshawar and Islamabad have been invited to Parachinar for the coverage of situations. They came and talked to the people of Parachinar. They observed the situations of Parachinar. During this they told, that they had been often informed about the sectarian disturbance of Parachinar at Peshawar and Islamabad in press released by Government. But reality is completely different. There is no disturbance between the Shia and Sunni tribes at Parachinar. They have been also affected by Talibans. And terrorism is still running. Roads are blocked. And tribes are besieged.
Government arranged official convoy many times for arrival and departure of passengers and eating and drinking commodities from Peshawar to Parachinar since five years. But Talibans attacked, looted, and burnt the trucks and coaches fully loaded by goods and passengers many times in the presence of F.C.
Writer has a video, in which Talibans and well armed local individuals are looting goods from the trucks and coaches of Turi-Bangash tribes in the presence of F.C servants in official convoy at Lower Kurram Agency. They set the trucks and coaches on fire. Talibans are crying at the time when they are looting goods and burning the coaches and trucks. And some F.C servants are replying their slogans by raising their hands. The dead body of a young is on the ground. But official servants are not bearing the trouble to take up the dead body. Faces of Talibans can be identified in that video.
Talibans attacked the convoy many times at Lower Kurram Agency. But every time their target was to hit only the people of Turi-Bangash tribes. F.C servant or conveyance has not been harmed. It is guessed and Turi-Bangash tribes are also blaming continuously, that attacks on convoy are supported by some F.C servants. Therefore Talibans don’t attack the official servants or conveyance. Government and Security Forces were silent against the Talibans even they had proofs and videos. Therefore Turi-Bangash tribes asserted their untrustworthy towards the F.C.
When America pressured the Pakistan to operations the Talibans of Northern Wazirstan, especially Haqqani Network. The negotiations started for the settlement of peace and opening of roads. Negotiations were in progress at Islamabad and Peshawar.
Tribal elders of Kurram Agency, Grand Tribal Jarga (Multitude) and Haqqani Network also took part in these negotiations. During which many elders of Turi-Bangash tribes criticized against the presence of Talibans Commanders in these negotiations. Objecting members were eliminated from these negotiations after this.
On 3rdFebruary2011 Federal Interior (Home) Minister of Pakistan Rehman Malik stated with Grand Tribal Jarga and M.N.A’s of Kurram Agency, that parties have been agreed for peace agreement. Thall-Parachinar road will be opened on 5th February 2011.
On 8thFebruary 2011 members of Grand Tribal Jarga came to Parachinar by road and thus the Thall-Parachinar road has been opened for traffic. People started their arrival and departure on Thall-Parachinar road. Kurram Agency was showing great pomp and show. Tribes were unbelievable about the opening of Thall-Parachinar road. They did not believe that the besieged tribes have been set free.
During this Pakistani and International Media also acquainted, that Haqqani Network has been shifted from Northern Wazirstan to Kurram Agency. Safety of Haqqani Net-work for the arrival and departure to Afghanistan is the only purpose to open the Thall-Parachinar road. Because the borders of Kurram Agency are joined with Afghanistan’s three provinces Paktia, Nangrar and Khost. And Talibans have also issued news and reports to support the peace agreement in Kurram Agency, which have been recorded.
Some means say that, the time when Thall-Parachinar road was unblocking and peace agreement was passing, Talibans held some personal stakes. Permission of road, residences in some areas and some other demands were their basic conditions. Therefore one month duration has been given for that agreement.
But Turi-Bangash tribes told them again and again, that safety of Thall-Parachinar road and passengers is the responsibility of Government. And they will not allow Talibans and terrorists on the road of Kurram Agency and for making their camps/hideouts.
Accidents started immediately after the one month of peace agreement and opening of road. Two innocent children were kidnapped from the Lower Kurram Agency. Passengers of Turi-Bangash tribes were kidnapped along with drivers and coaches, who were traveling from Peshawar to Parachinar. Drivers belonged to Charsada and Pesha-war. They were warned; that they will never be ever carry the Turi-Bangash tribal passengers, who are against the Talibans and terrorism. Talibans charged them heavy fines.
On 13thMarch2011 well armed terrorists attacked the passenger’s coach of Turi-Bangash tribes at “Mamoo-Khwar” nearer to Hangu and killed the 10 passengers. And in reaction of police three attackers were killed. Identified three terrorists were the men of “Mangal Tribe” of Kurram Agency. One of them was a recently serviced F.C servant.
But Government didn’t take any action against the colleagues of these terrorists, even in the presence of proofs and identifications.
On Friday 25th March 2011 Talibans attacked the three passenger’s coaches and killed the three passengers at main road nearer to F.C check post in Baggan at Lower Kurram Agency. 45 passengers of Turi-Bangash tribes were kidnapped along with women and children by Talibans. Women and children were set free after the some hours of this accident.
Talibans were telling them, that they have been deceived in agreement. Their demands have not been fulfilled. Therefore they have kidnapped the passengers of Turi-Bangash tribes.
After this accident government and “Grand Tribal Jarga” convinced the Turi-Bangash tribes that kidnapped passengers will be set free immediately. Grand Tribal Jarga negotiated many times to Talibans for the freedom of kidnapped passengers. In which Talibans demanded to pay them a huge amount and recognize their stakes.
Negotiations were in progress. In the meantime on 21stApril2011 Talibans slaughtered and burned 8 kidnapped passengers. Two of them were the students. Burned dead bodies were sent to the Turi-Bangash tribes. And Talibans also issued the video of a kidnapped passenger. In which he is slaughtered by a knife. After that Talibans placed some woods and pour oil on the dead body for burning. The scene of burning of the dead body has been also shown in that video.
Negotiations are in progress between Talibans and Grand Tribal Jarga. But still the negotiations have not been succeeded. And still the kidnapped passengers are in the custody of Talibans.
Means are telling that Talibans will not let the kidnapped passengers of Turi-Bangash tribes until their stakes and conditions have been accepted.
Kidnapped people are still in the custody of Talibans, therefore different tales are spreading.
Although Talibans kidnapped and killed the passengers but Turi-Bangash tribes described the Haqqani Network and Talibans, that they will not let the Talibans on the road of Kurram Agency for the arrival and departure to Afghanistan. And the land of Kurram Agency will not be allowed to use against any other country. After this announcement of Turi-Bangash tribes Talibans and Haqqani Network started attacks of missiles and mortars on Upper Kurram Agency area’s “Sahlozan” from 17th February 2011, which are still continued. And in these attacks two have been martyred and fifteen have been injured.
While Talibans hit mortars, missiles to Turi-Bangash tribe’s village called “Balash-Khel” in Lower Kurram Agency to arrogate the area. In result four men of Turi-Bangash tribes were killed and seven were injured. In answer of Turi-Bangash tribes two important Commanders and seventeen Talibans were killed there.
During these clashes droll situation was created, when suddenly Security Forces reached the Village of “Khar-Kali” and “Balash-Khel” and bombarded the fortifications (morchas) of Turi-Bangash tribes with tanks and picked up the dead bodies of that Talibans who were on the ground nearer to the fortifications of Turi-Bangash tribes. Means are telling about these dead bodies, that they exists some members of Haqqani Network and Al-Qaida.
Turi-Bangash tribes protested by means of shutter down in whole city against the action of Security Forces towards them by bombarding and hitting missiles instead of Talibans.
And announced great protest against them in Parachinar.
Protesting processions are in progress. Addressing with protesting processions tribal elders deployed and said, that Turi-Bangash tribes are fighting with Talibans in Kurram Agency. But Security Forces are targeting the fortifications of Turi-Bangash tribes by bombarding instead of Talibans fortifications. This confirms that Talibans back has been supporting by Security Forces, and double game has been playing.
Tribal elders describing that, if the Government and Security forces don’t stop the double game, and react against the Talibans, and don’t accept the demands of Turi-Bangash tribes, then protest shall be continued. And Turi-Bangash tribes will also block the road for the eating and drinking commodities for Government and Security Forces.
Writer has contacts with Shia-Sunni tribal elders and common people.
They say! Why the protectors of borders and devoted for settlement of Pakistan are punishing for an unknown reason?
Why the thousands of tribes and tribal students are compelling for violence?
Why the foundations of country are hollowing by the illegal policies of rulers and Pakistani Agencies?
They say! That the circumstances have been marched towards the dangerous side after the destruction of Osama.
Now it is the suitable time that Pakistani Agencies, rulers and policy maker should re-view their policies. And should make the friendly and brotherhood’s policy. Other wise country will become a victim of crisis and critical conditions.