By C. Christine Fair
The Obama administration pledged more than $100 million in aid last week to Pakistanis fleeing the fighting between the Taliban and the military in the Swat Valley. All told, since 2001, the United States has spent about $12 billion to help Pakistan. Yet last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared Pakistan a “mortal threat” to international security.
Washington needs to strike a far better bargain for its billions. Continue reading
Filed under Pakistan, USA
France and Pakistan have agreed to co-operate on civilian nuclear power, officials said, with Islamabad calling the move a “significant development”.
But there is confusion over the deal reached by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Pakistani counterpart.
Pakistani officials said Mr Sarkozy had undertaken to supply Pakistan with “civilian nuclear technology”.
But the Elysee Palace said France had agreed only to co-operate in the field of “nuclear safety”. Continue reading
Ordinance Should Be Reversed and Abusive Taliban Leaders Held Accountable says Human Rights Watch
(New York, April 15, 2009) – The Pakistani government should swiftly reverse its decision to cede de-facto administrative control of the Swat valley in Pakistan’s tribal areas to the Taliban and affiliated groups, Human Rights Watch said today. The move presents a grave threat to the rights of women and other basic rights in the troubled region, Human Rights Watch said. Continue reading
Mahjabeen has sent us this heartfelt piece from Peshawar
I opened the newspaper two days ago and read the news of the deal with the Taliban in Swat and the decision to sign the Nizam-e-Adal Regulation for the Malakand Division by the federal and the NWFP Governments. And, my heart sank. The state especially the political parties had capitulatd.
On the same page a well-know journalist had hailed the move and later on T.V I also saw a prominent journalist and the ANP praising this decision. The journalist was making it appear like a landmark peace deal, a moment to rejoice, a great event. In fact, it was being said that the whole nation was rejoicing. My question is what was the whole fuss about, what were they celebrating? This is like getting your child back after paying a heavy ransom to the kidnappers and then inviting the kidnappers for a tea party! Who asked the people of Pakistan or of the Malakand Division whether they supported such a move? Continue reading
by Hasan Zaidi
Here’s a short chronology of recent events:
– February 16: The North-West Frontier provincial government led by the Awami National Party and backed by a desperate Pakistan army signs a “peace accord” with the banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e
-Mohammadi run by Maulana Sufi Mohammad, who served more than 6 years in jail on terrorism-related charges, so that he can convince his son-in-law, the renegade ‘Maulana’ Fazlullah and his Tehrik-e-Taliban to stop slaughtering people and blowing up things in Swat valley. The accord calls for the enforcement of a more efficient system of local courts in the region but since TNSM and Fazlullah believe it actually enforces Shariah law in the region, most observers believe this is only the thin edge of what these Islamist hardliners actually want to achieve through this agreement. Continue reading