Here are two fairly commonplace, albeit not random, news items from two leading English dailies, and a letter to the editor:
1. The News November November 19, 2009
Taliban did not attack GHQ: JI chief
Rally denounces ‘US interference’ in Pakistan’s affairs
By Muhammad Anis
ISLAMABAD: The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Central Amir, Syed Munawwar Hasan, on Wednesday claimed that the Taliban had not attacked the GHQ rather India and the United States were behind the attack.
Addressing the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) women wing ‘Go America Go’ rally, taken out to denounce the alleged interference of the United States in internal affairs of Pakistan and drone attacks in the tribal areas, Munawwar claimed that the political and military leadership talked about the interference of a neighbouring country but could not name the country directly because America wanted Pakistan to accept India as its friend.
He charged that India and America were also involved in the attack on the GHQ in Rawalpindi. “I am not ready to believe that Taliban are so powerful that they would dare attack the GHQ,” he said.
He said the people of Pakistan had rejected the US policies but the leadership, who benefited from the NRO, was compromising the national interests.
“The US officials are now talking about extending the military operation to North Waziristan, Islamabad is under the occupation of Blackwater, while the rulers are afraid of naming India for its involvement in the tribal areas and Balochistan,” he said. The JI chief said the critical conditions and the crisis being faced by the country was a charge-sheet against the political and the military leadership.
He also strongly criticised the elements who had been trying to make amendments to the Blasphemy Law.
The rally was led by the JI women wing secretary general Dr Rukhsana Jabeen. The JI women workers, female students and children, who participated in the rally, were carrying placards and banners, raising slogans against the “planned expansion” of the US embassy in Islamabad.
“The womenfolk have come out on the roads to safeguard our Islamic identity and expose the real enemies of the country and the nation,” JI Amir Munawwar Hasan claimed.
2. The Nation November 16, 2009:
Pak will soon be Islamic welfare state: Shahbaz
LAHORE – Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif witnessed flag-lowering ceremony at Wahga Border here on Sunday. Members National and Provincial assemblies and a large number of people were present on the occasion, says a handout.
Later, talking to mediamen, the Chief Minister appreciated the national spirit displayed at the ceremony and said that the way people raised slogans in favour of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam and other national heroes was worth-seeing and fully represented the sentiments of the masses. He said that there was a need for displaying the same spirit in practical life for transforming the ideals of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal into reality. He expressed the hope that time would soon come when Pakistan would be transformed by the masses into an Islamic welfare state in the real sense.
He congratulated Rangers Punjab Director General Maj Gen Muhammad Yaqoob Khan as well as officers and jawans of the Rangers on their glorious performance in the parade and said that they had taken a lead on the neighbour. Earlier, Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was given a rousing welcome by the people when he reached the Wahga Border.
Meanwhile, the CM also went to the residence of former Inspector General of Police Punjab Shaukat Javed and condoled the demise of his son. The CM offered fateha for the departed soul.
3. Letter to The Editor, The News November 18, 2009:
For those who say it’s not our war
I cannot get the image of the young wounded soldier lying helplessly in the CMH out of my mind. His thin bullet-riddled body was covered with bandages, and his face was sad. He was 21 years old, my son’s age, and when I prayed for his recovery he asked me to pray for Pakistan. ‘Pakistan hai to hum hain’. Another young soldier said that the nation was not being told the truth. The casualties were far more than those being reported. His grievance?
That precious lives were being sacrificed in a war which most political leaders said was not theirs. Not a single government representative has ever bothered to visit the troops to boost their morale. I fail to understand that if my countrymen and women are being massacred, if my children are being killed and maimed, if my soldiers are coming home in coffins, then how is it not my war? Who are the people in the videos, cutting the throats of innocent citizens? Who was spewing poison in the FM broadcasts in Swat? Who is training young impressionable minds to blow themselves up in the name of God? Who challenged the writ of the state after the peace deal? Is Hakimullah an American, or was Baitullah a Jew, or is Fazlullah an Indian? And does it make any difference whether they are or not? For the mother who weeps over the ravaged body of her child, does the identity of the culprit matter? Were Mir Jafar or Brutus outsiders? Is it the name Taliban which is causing the problem? Are we really that stupid and naïve to fall for that argument?
I request those who are confused about whose war this is to visit the bullet-riddled soldiers, the three-year-old daughter of Pervez Masih, the recently widowed Nasreen bibi in Lal Kurti, the hospitals in Peshawar where injured children scream in agony, and the graveyards where families have buried the pieces of their loved ones. These are the victims of a split second of madness. Does it matter what these murderers call themselves? Whoever they are, and whoever is behind them, they are traitors and enemies of Pakistan and Islam. Unless we recognise the enemy within, we will end up in history books as a nation that once was.
– posted by BC