Tag Archives: Waziristan

The path to redemption…

By: Sana Saleem

The military offensive in South Waziristan has been deemed successful: speaking to the press, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced the completion of the South Waziristan offensive, and stated that the army will now focus on the Orakzai area. However, continued attacks on major cities and high security zones suggest that many fighters have fled the war zone and are being sheltered in cities across the country. The absence of a sound strategy to combat the infiltration of militants in otherwise peaceful areas is adding fuel to the fire. Continue reading

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The Pakistan Government along with her Military and Citizens.

By: Agha Haider Raza

In the December 18th New York Times publication, an article Pakistan Ministers Are Called Before the Courts was written by Jane Perlez and Salman Masood.  Though the article does state the annulment of the National Reconciliation Ordinance and the repercussions of the decision taken by the Pakistan Supreme Court, it has given an image portraying the Pakistan Army as an anti-democratic institution.  Understandably the Pakistan Army is going through a turbulent phase.  The army is currently engaged in a battle against militants who are adamant in bringing down the current democratic set up in Pakistan.  However, one must not forget that many of these militants have grown up in the same neighborhood as the army soldiers, and regardless of allegiance, it is always difficult to take up arms against a childhood acquaintance. Continue reading

Pakistan conspiracy theories stifle debate

By: Ahmed Rashid

Switch on any of the dozens of satellite news channels now available in Pakistan.

You will be bombarded with talk show hosts who are mostly obsessed with demonising the elected government, trying to convince viewers of global conspiracies against Pakistan led by India and the United States or insisting that the recent campaign of suicide bomb blasts around the country is being orchestrated by foreigners rather than local militants.

Viewers may well ask where is the passionate debate about the real issues that people face – the crumbling economy, joblessness, the rising cost of living, crime and the lack of investment in health and education or settling the long-running insurgency in Balochistan province.

The answer is nowhere. Continue reading

Why not a civilian head of ISI?

By: Kamran Shafi

In view of the fact that the cardinal sin of the federal government to try and put the ISI under civilian control is cited as a reason behind all the obituaries presently being written about the imminent fall of a) just the president; b) all the major politicians; and c) the whole shoot, I’ve been trolling through the Internet to see how just many of the world’s top intelligence services are headed by serving military (in Pakistan’s case, read ‘army’) officers.

And how many are appointed by the army chief. Consider what I’ve come up with.

Except for two retired army officers in the early days, one a lieutenant colonel the other a major general, all the DGs of MI5, the “United Kingdom’s internal counter-intelligence and security agency were civil servants. The director-general reports to the home secretary, although the Security Service is not formally part of the home office”, and through him to the prime minister. Continue reading

The heart desire’s more!

By: Agha Haider Raza

9b8b3985debfe5d75f79b3b68147a21aLooking at the past week, one can see how resilient Pakistanis have become.  Suffering numerous suicide bomb attacks and wide-spread military action, we are here yet again, still standing.  But how long can we sustain ourselves at this current rate of demolition? How many times will we resist smacking the hammer on our own foot? Nowadays we seem to have become the offspring of Glenn Beck and the Republican Party.  With a constant denial of the harsh reality and a love for misconstruing and fabricating baseless facts that just aim to maim the United States, we seem to be struggling.  And when we struggle, we play the role of a secluded, spoilt child.  Prior to 9/11, we perfected this character, but now the circumstances have changed. We can no longer do as we please without being held accountable for our actions. Continue reading

We must declare ‘state of war’

By: Mohammad Malick
peshawar-pak-blast-313Let’s face it, we are at war.  The ridiculous arguments about the terrorists only targeting government establishments, or it is the West’s war, it’s a Jihad against infidels, etc, were blown to smithereens last Wednesday afternoon in Peshawar’s Meena Bazaar.  The powerful car bomb, which ripped through the thickly-congested market place — a favourite shopping area of lower and middle class families in particular — showed that it is a war with terrorists standing on one side of the blood line, and we the people on the other.   The dead count had a heart wrenching abnormally high share of women and children. The message has come loud and clear: every Pakistani is a target, even the women and children are no longer off the hit list of the terrorists. Continue reading

What about the common citizen?

By: Murtaza Razvi

common citizenIt is a daunting debate at this time of terror visiting and revisiting our cities, day after day, as to where one should draw the line between fending for oneself and creating a sense of panic while doing so.   The debate basically revolves around fear and prudence. For instance, anxiety has gripped the parents of many school-going children today. Authorities in Lahore keep closing down private schools that are not found to be ‘prepared’ enough to face a terrorist attack, while their counterparts in Karachi are less circumspect. A state of apathy prevails in officialdom in Sindh at a time when intelligence agencies have warned that high-end schools may come under attack. Continue reading