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Political Reforms in FATA

By Amir Abbas Turi Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), considered to be among the most dangerous places on earth today, was a peaceful territory prior to 9/11 – despite its governance problems. After the 18th constitutional amendment, powers of state executive were transferred from the President of Pakistan to the parliament. However, despite such measures the President, instead of the Parliament still holds an authoritative position for decision making in Tribal areas. Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan renders MPs from FATA incapable of legislating for their respective constituencies. Pakistan has been besieged by hostile militants. Keeping in view the current scenario, political reforms in FATA are the need of the hour. In order to implement writ of the state in the region, a constitutional amendment is a required. Currently, clause … Read entire article »

Filed under: FATA

Strengthening governance in FATA

I am generally skeptical about foreign funded programs as our history shows that aid has often been mismanaged or misappropriated. This is why I always take ambitious sounding development programs with a pinch of salt. The other day I stumbled upon this website (http://www.aitebaar.org/), and inquired details from Raza Rumi, who gave me further information about this program. He also sounded a little cynical as always, but was still hopeful that due to the renewed focus on good governance and peace building in FATA by the major political parties of the country, perhaps there was room to contribute through this project. “AITEBAAR is a Peacebuilding Support to the Post Crisis Needs Assessment (PCNA) Programme, which is a DFID, funded initiative implemented in close collaboration with the Government of Pakistan and FATA … Read entire article »

Filed under: FATA

The Waziristan march: Will it be worth it?

By BB: More so then the Americans it is important for the Pakistan eyes, long been shrouded, to see what is happening in Waziristan In Pakistan, the anti-drone rhetoric has become synonymous with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Last year, its chief Imran Khan marched hand in hand with a group of tribal elders, international lawyers and human right activists towards the Parliament in the capital city. Outside the towering white structure, Khan and the international lobbyist vowed to take their anti-drone protests to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and later to the United Nations.  But what was expected to be uproar soon became a whimper. The petition never reached the abode of the judges. Only a handful of enthusiasts showed up for the rally. And the media barely batted an eyelash. In fact, the tottering hillock of flashlights only showed up to capture … Read entire article »

Filed under: war

Future of Pakistan’s Western Frontier

By Prof Farakh A Khan (This is continuation of my last article.. It was felt that this subject requires greater depth since people in Pakistan have distorted view of our Fata issue. The origin and evolution of Jihadi Wahhabi movement has to be put in proper perspective) Conflict in society is the oldest human response inherited from our evolutionary animal past. As human society graduated from sticks and stones as weapons of aggression to high explosives and air war the level of carnage increased dramatically. We are now entering phase of robotic war lased with nuclear technology where power of destruction has escalated to a new level. The level of misery caused by modern wars is not acceptable anymore. War in Afghanistan either by foreign forces intervention or internal conflict for the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

Karachi: Fairgrounds, demos, devils and more

By Ali Arqam: Zulfiqar Mirza’s theatrics, Altaf Hussain’s histrionics, rabble-rouser Qureshi’s anti climax (of Nuclear Arsenal under threat episode), Munawwar Hasan’s  ‘No one loves me’ rants, Fazlur Rehman’s alarm bells of Islam in danger, the new theatrical production is a rally by JuD for “Difa-e-Pakistan”. Welcome to Karachi fairgrounds. First swearing Mirza damned MQM for posing threat to Pakistan’s integrity, then Altaf Hussain waved the map of so called balkanization of Pakistan. Thereafter, Imran came with a life line for Pakistan (he will only share the details when he will come to power) then Munawwar Hasan called on the bearded and hijabis to save Pakistan. Most recently Fazlur Rehman brandished a red flag and now Hafiz Saeed of JuD,  Ahmad Ludhianvi of ASWJ and others have jumped on the bandwagon to defend state of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

Future of Pakistan’s Western Frontier

Prof Farakh A Khan’s exclusive contribution for PTH The aggressors have called people of what are now Fata and of Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa different names at different times of history labelled as terrorists or freedom fighters. The ten-year war has taken toll of the American purse and its fighters. On the other hand the Afghan people are constantly suffering. The Americans are openly talking to Afghan Taliban leadership since November 2010 to end American occupation of Afghanistan. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: FATA, Pakistan

Getting High On Davis, Diyat And Drones

By D. Asghar Our so highly charged nation is somehow trying to establish a link between Davis, Diyat and Drones. The drones and their targets are absolutely unrelated to this whole Davis affair. Only a fool would have thought that drone strikes will cease, once Davis was released. But as usual the right of the right and highly charged masses are trying to make an issue out of the non issue. I am not a proponent of such strikes, but somehow fail to understand, why all of a sudden, there is such hue and cry about these drones. The strikes were going on for ever. No one seems to ask a question, why are those drones targeted in one particular area? Who is there? Who are these drones seeking? All of a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Justice, Pakistan

New Light on the Accuracy of the CIA’s Predator Drone Campaign in Pakistan

By Matthew Fricker, Avery Plaw and Brian Glyn Williams Widely-cited reports of the inaccuracy and disproportionality of civilian to militant deaths in the CIA’s ongoing Predator drone campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan are grossly misleading. The most detailed database compiled to date, assembled by the authors of this article, indicates (among other important findings) that the strikes have not only been impressively accurate, but have achieved and maintained a greater proportionality than either ground operations in the area or targeting campaigns elsewhere. [1] This finding is striking because highly critical reports over the last year, emanating in particular from the Pakistani press, have impugned both the accuracy of the CIA’s drone strikes in the tribal areas of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda

Pakistan's disaster could lead to a systemic collapse

Raza Rumi The colossal humanitarian tragedy and the imminent economic meltdown, will now shape a new Pakistan or rather, exacerbate its predicament in the months and years to come. Pakistan’s chronic political instability, structural economic constraints and a warped national security policy are all going to be affected by the unfolding drama of the national disaster, perhaps the severest, in the country’s history. Whilst the challenges have snowballed within a short duration of ten days, the … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan, Pakistan, strategy, Terrorism, violence, Zardari

Blowback in Lahore

We have posted Omar Ali`s previous post titled “The Dead Parrot” a few weeks back. Below we reproduce his comment on the Lahore massacre. Dr. Ali discusses compelling reasons why we are here and where we are heading towards from here. We did not get into this mess overnight and we will not get out of it soon enough. Too many innocent Pakistanis are losing their lives as Pakistan struggles to overcome its previous policy errors. PTH may not necessarily agree with all points raised in the following post (AZW)   Blowback In Lahore By Omar Ali http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?265617 Terrorists (Punjabi Taliban) simultaneously attacked two Ahmedi sect mosques in Lahore during Friday prayers and killed over 80 people. First thoughts on this evil attack: The choice of target is easy to understand. Ahmedis are a persecuted and vilified minority in Pakistan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, History, Identity, India, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, state, strategy, Taliban, USA, violence, war

Ahmed Rashid: The Times Square Bomber: Home-Grown Hatred?

The Times Square Bomber: Home-Grown Hatred? By Ahmed Rashid From The New York Review of Books Published May 14, 2010 The Pakistani media is in a state of apoplexy about the would-be Times Square bomber, the Pakistani-born US citizen Faisal Shahzad. Predictably a great many commentators in the press and on the non-stop talk shows that run on over 25 TV news channels have discussed whether it was a CIA plot to embarrass Pakistan or provide an excuse for American troops to invade us: Was Shahzad an Indian or Israeli agent? And in any case, why should Washington hold Pakistan responsible, since he was an American citizen? Not surprisingly, the Zardari government, the army, and Pakistani politicians have also muddied the waters. Although the government has said it will fully cooperate with US investigators seeking … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, FATA, Identity, Islamism, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence

The Alleged Stunning Indiscretion of a News Anchor

One of our friends recently wrote: “Two highly recommended books for those who wish to understand Pakistan: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and The Castle by Frank Kafka”. This is not a cynical view of Pakistan. Pakistan is a country that is a conundrum wrapped within a puzzle inside an enigma. As the previous proxy state militia broke into different factions and is now fighting the state, the lines between friends and foes are blurred. ISI that used to formant proxy militias to further its causes in Kashmir and Afghanistan is now itself being attacked by its very own Frankenstein. The previous masters of the Taliban are now either their prisoners or being killed by them. A case of Khalid Khwaja and Colonel Imam is a sad reflection of the evil of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, North-West Frontier Province, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

For Times Square Suspect, Long Roots of Discontent

 Reproduced from The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/nyregion/16suspect.html?pagewanted=1 Published: May 15, 2010 This article was reported by Andrea Elliott, Sabrina Tavernise and Anne Barnard, and written by Ms. Elliott. Just after midnight on Feb. 25, 2006, Faisal Shahzad sent a lengthy e-mail message to a group of friends. The trials of his fellow Muslims weighed on him — the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the plight of Palestinians, the publication in Denmark of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad. Mr. Shahzad was wrestling with how to respond. He understood the notion that Islam forbids the killing of innocents, he wrote. But to those who insist only on “peaceful protest,” he posed a question: “Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, FATA, Identity, Iraq, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Pakistan, Religion, Taliban, USA, violence

Pakistani ambassador to the UN on Faisal Shahzad

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.N., Abdullah Hussain Haroon, speaks to CBS News’ Pamela Falk about U.S.-Pakistan cooperation in the investigation of the case of Pakistani-American would-be bomber Faisal Shahzad and what needs to be done to eliminate jihadists in the tribal regions of Pakistan. Watch video here. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Islamism, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA

The Continuing Curious Case of Faisal Shehzad

In many ways, Faisal Shahzad has come to epitomize the confusion that Pakistan and its diasporas have had with Islam. Here is an outwardly successful Pakistani American who decided to blow up the very people he was living with. RAND has recently published an important report that calculates the percentage of wannabe Jihadis in the North America. This report finds Pakistani descent Jihadis topping the list. Like it or not, our country has had a hand in some aspect of terrorist acts perpetrated across the globe one way or another. There is absolutely nothing to be proud of hearing these negative headlines about our country; yet if we are not able to recognize our follies, we will never be able to redress them. Below, we are posting excerpts from two important commentaries and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, FATA, Islam, Islamism, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence