Posted by Raza Rumi
Zubair Torwali has reported from the field and debunked the perverse myths on the flogging video. This is followed by the brave and daring Samar Minallah’s account of the flogging saga and what more proof do Taliban sympathisers want. PTH is carrying these two pieces in solidarity with these two individuals who believe in a progressive and peaceful Pakistan and condemn militancy at great personal risk.
Swat has witnessed many harsh and cruel days. For about two years, it presented a view of Afghanistan during the heyday of the Afghan Taliban. The man who ignited the situation against the state of Pakistan — Sufi Mohammad — was spared (seemingly by design) for about three years. The MMA was then the ruling government in the province. In 2008, a half-hearted operation was launched under the name of Rah-e-Haq but it was evident then that the action being taken against the insurgents was not serious. However, soon the situation became very grave and serious when the hanging of slit-throated and beheaded bodies became a routine, and the Grain Chowk in Mingora became notorious as the ‘Khooni Chowk’. Upon intense pressure from the people of Swat and the media, the government decided to try and settle the issue peacefully. A long deliberation and negotiations were carried out at the start of 2009 to reach a settlement. In the wake of this endeavour, a peace deal was signed with the Taliban in February 2009. Emboldened by the very apparent capitulation on the part of the government, the militants expanded their writ to the nearby districts of Buner and Dir. The people’s reaction to the peace deal was mixed. Some thought it would bring permanent peace to the Valley but there were many who were cynical and thought that the peace deal was carried out on the terms put forward by the militants. They were of the opinion that since the Taliban were non-state actors, they would not comply with the truce. Their apprehensions proved true and the Taliban extended their ‘rule’ beyond Swat. Continue reading
Haris Gazdar (Economic and Political Weekly)
The Pakistani military finally appears to have embraced the war against jihadi militancy as its own. If so, an important shift in perception and policy has taken place. Past experience, however, demands caution before coming to any hasty conclusions. Things are chaotic enough in any case, for there to be sufficient material evidence to support optimists and sceptics alike. It is possible, nevertheless, to post milestones that will need to be crossed if we are to decisively move in the right direction. Continue reading
Here is a speech delivered by the CEO SRSP Masood UL Mulk at the UN Flash Appeal at the National Library in Islamabad. The four speakers on this occasion were the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, The Federal Minister for Finance and Planning Ms Khar, the Chief Secretary of NWFP and Masood Ul Mulk the Chief Executive of SRSP
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On 15th May SRSP teams based at the Transit Facilitation Center on the Malakand Mardan road, established with the help of UNHCR, to receive displaced people observed that more than 400 vehicles came down that road each hour, continuously, for almost twelve hours carrying people fleeing the war. This was a tale repeated many times and at many points on many days.
Less than 20% of these people found space in the camps established by the government to receive them. Some went to government schools. The vast majority were taken care of by the moral economy of the area reflected in its social networks, strong ties of reciprocity and traditions of hospitality and humanity. Continue reading
Posted by Raza Rumi
Let us all us join hands to alleviate the sufferings of the people who need our help
North West Frontier of Pakistan faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis as more than 1,200,000 displaced people flee the mountain districts of Swat, Buner, Shangla and Lower Dir as the war between insurgents and the government of Pakistan intensifies. As the army has moved into these to initiate military action to evict the area from the insurgents, the people of these areas are leaving their homes behind in hundreds to safer sanctuaries in other parts of the province. The displaced people are leaving in a hurry carrying barely anything from their homes to help them through this tribulation. About 10% of these are being accommodated in camps established by the government at fourteen locations. Another 90% are finding refuge with social networks of families, tribes, clans, schools etc in districts far removed from their homes. The main districts where the pressure is falling are those of Mardan, Swabi, Malakand, Nowshera, Upper and Lower Dir, Peshawar, Charsadda. Continue reading
By Eric Margolis – 3rd May 2009
PARIS — The Taliban are coming! The Taliban are coming!
French troops in Afghanistan were just rocketed by Taliban.
Last week, a bunch of lightly-armed Pashtun tribesmen rode down from the Malakand region on motorbikes and in pickup trucks and briefly swaggered around Buner, only 100 km from Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
Hysteria erupted in Washington. Hillary Clinton, still struggling through foreign affairs 101, warned that these scruffy tribesmen were a global threat. Continue reading
By Bill Roggio
The Pakistani government has launched a military operation in the Taliban-controlled district of Buner. The operation is the second in three days in the Malakand Division, a region recently ceded to the Taliban in a controversial peace agreement. The Malakand Division encompasses nearly one-third of the Northwest Frontier Province.
Paramilitary fighters from the Frontier Corps backed by regular Army units, artillery, helicopter gunships, and attack aircraft moved into Buner this afternoon after the government warned the Taliban to “leave Buner or face action.” Continue reading