Daily Archives: April 15, 2010

The Sre Vala Killings

The weekend killings of scores of villagers in Sre Vala shows the dark side of the war, where up to 75 innocent Pakistani villagers were mistakenly killed.

War is an ugly phenomenon, and as much as we despise the loss of innocent lives, unintentional civilian casualties do happen. Yet limiting the civilian bystander casualties to the minimum is what will define the success or failure of the operation being waged by the Pakistan Army. The war will be won less with the boots and more with the realization that what Pakistan offers is a far superior alternative to the nihilistic Jihadis that were planning to conquer Pakistan. In the Khyber bombings, 75 innocents died due to a massive intelligence failure. Families and children died when the army that they support, dropped bombs on their own homes. We condemn this utter and senseless loss of innocent lives. Pakistan Army must fully investigate this incident, and take appropriate measures to ensure that the mistake does not happen again. As Daily Dawn editorial below says “Damage control alone cannot suffice”.

Below, we are reproducing the Daily Dawn editorial condemning these killings, as well as the detailed report of the killings published in the New York Times.


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Filed under Afghanistan, Army, FATA, human rights, Rights, state, Taliban, Terrorism, violence, war

Islamabad’s Fatima Jinnah Park – Where Planners Failed. YouTube

[ tags Islamabad,Pakistan,Fatima Jinnah,Park, Capital,Environment,Planners,Planning,development]
Isa Daudpota

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In 2007 I wrote an op-ed piece titled "Fatima Jinnah Park Metaphor for Pakistan’s Problems and their Solution" – see http://www.chowk.com/articles/fatima-jinnah-park-metaphor-for-pakistans-problems-and-their-solution-Q-Daudpota.htm . Its focus was on the wasteful symbols of a macho state that surrounded the park: models of missiles, the massive Centaurus Hotel, and Apartments’ Complex, the Army Sector and other extravagances. There was also the issue of the a franchise of McDonald’s illegally set up by carving out a large corner of park.

Here one sees what ails the interior of the park, which has been neglected for nearly two decade during which I have been a frequent visitor.

With the Municipality flushed with money and an overly ambitious Chairman, an expensive, massive landscaping project has been in progress in the park for over two year.

This video which is a small part of an hour-long interview (other segments may be shown later) shows how issues of sustainability have been overlooked by the designer. The park, for example, doesn’t use mulch and or have manure pits to utilize its organic waste. To understand the inappropriateness of the planning for this park see the video:

This clip doesn’t show that the sewage from the Pakistan Air Force Sector flows right through the middle of the park and goes on to pollute Islamabad and Rawalpindi’s groundwater.

I was asked to slip into Urdu by the interviewer as the audience for this program are more comfortable with "Urlish" – a mix of Urdu and English – soon after this recording the channel itself turned bilingual!

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Filed under Pakistan