Friday, February 24, 2017


Two Daesh terrorists killed in Karachi: Police
The police gunned down two Daesh activists in a raid in Manghopir area in the wee hours of Friday. Daesh aka ISIS ot IS, a Wahhabi takfiri terrorist group, is run by allied Deobandis such as Taliban, ASWJ (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi) in Pakistan.

According to SSP West Nasir Aftab, when police conducted the raid, the two suspects opened fire at the personnel, leaving one policeman injured. In the retaliatory fire, both the suspects were killed while their accomplices managed to escape the site.
Weapons and laptops were found from the suspects' possesion.
The SSP said a hit list was found on the laptop, that included names of police officers and other government officials.
The deceased were identified as Saifullah and Haneef.

Pakistan - Another operation

TERRORIST outfits in the country have conveyed a chilling message over the last few weeks, and even yesterday in Lahore: no one is safe, neither civilians, nor law enforcement, nor the armed forces in the militants’ escalating campaign of urban terrorism. And what seemed inevitable in the wake of this violence has now come to pass. A military operation has been launched across the country with the stated objectives of eradicating residual terrorist threats, consolidating the gains made in counterterrorism operations thus far and tightening security along the borders. The operation, codenamed Raddul Fasaad, entails coordinated action by all wings of the armed forces as well as paramilitary organisations, civilian law-enforcement agencies and intelligence outfits. Even though the offensive has a countrywide canvas, Punjab — that has long been a hotbed of violent extremist groups that the provincial government has treated with kid gloves — is clearly the focus. This was underscored not least by the fact that the operation was announced after a high-level security meeting in Lahore chaired by the army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa.
Despite appearances however, Raddul Fasaad was not inevitable, had the government — both at the centre and in the provinces — not fallen short in countering extremism and terrorism. For this was the much-vaunted aim of the National Action Plan agreed upon in the anguish of post-APS Peshawar. The civilians were to supplement Operation Zarb-i-Azb that was targeting terrorists in northern Pakistan by taking action against hard-line madressahs, cracking down on terrorist cells in urban areas where such elements can easily find cover, initiating reforms in the criminal justice system, etc. Crucially, the centre and provinces had also pledged to craft a counter-narrative to push back against the poisonous ideology that has fuelled extremism in the country. Instead, they have demurred, obfuscated, clamoured for military courts and, most damningly, refused to acknowledge the dynamics of terrorism. Consider Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan’s statement that banned sectarian organisations could not be equated with terrorist outfits. Or take Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah’s shifting the blame for the Mall Road suicide bombing in Lahore on protesters gathered there, or the fact that groups like the ASWJ have taken out rallies despite being banned.
The reality is that a military force can only carry out kinetic operations; it cannot effect a change in mindset. And extremism is a mindset, one that has percolated through society for decades now. Only the government can counter it through an intelligent use of the resources at its disposal, that too if it displays a steely resolve that has been lacking so far. At the same time, even while recognising that a level of secrecy is necessitated by the situation, transparency must inform the operation: the military should clarify who it is targeting and specify a time frame for the campaign. A vague, open-ended engagement is never good strategy.

Pakistan - Hollow claims

Had it been an ideal world, even the unfortunate yet expected losses of soldiers fighting on borders would not have occurred. However, when the horrors of terrorism are unleashed upon innocent civilians going about their business, far removed from the battlefield, the uncalled war zone that ensues amid screams and panic cannot and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. The fear and chaos that seem to have completely engulfed the country after yet another blast in Lahore’s shopping district killed at least nine people, wounding many more, on Thursday, serve as an uncomfortable reminder that terrorism can strike anywhere and anyone. With all politicisation of this national tragedy aside, the authorities could have played a more meaningful role in standing by the bereaved families and the injured as they braved their loss and shock. However, as before, the attack only served to put the indifferent officials back into a defensive mode; wading controversial statements in a futile attempt to save their own skin.
The conflicting reports that originally downplayed the blast as a mere “generator explosion”, only to later confirm the presence of an explosive device (that, too, by the CTD spokespersons) clearly validated the government’s resolve to at least paint an illusion of normalcy before the public even when the reality says otherwise. It is quite unfortunate that the present circumstances expose our vulnerability to the fast-increasing influence of militant outfits despite much-touted governmental claims of having the terrorists on the run. The ever-wider reach of these terrorist groups has claimed more than 100 lives in a series of suicide bomb attacks across Pakistan. Last week, an alleged supporter of the Islamic State struck a crowd of Sufi dancers at the shrine of Sehwan Sharif, claiming at least 90 lives. This attack on the country’s moderate voices occurred only days after a suicide attack near the provincial assembly in Lahore killed over 10 people that included two senior police figures in Punjab. The blood tapestry adorning the walls in all provinces and even the tribal agencies in the last few weeks has, thus, exposed as hollow all claims of establishing order and “breaking the back” of terrorists in Pakistan.
It is not to say that the civilian and the military leadership are sitting idle as terrorist organisations continue to satiate their civilian bloodlust in order to test the state’s resolve. An extensive counter-terrorism crackdown, Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, has already been initiated by the armed forces across the country while yesterday’s blast saw the provincial law enforcement personnel evacuate the site of the explosion for further forensic investigation. Nevertheless, much more still needs to be done if the authorities actually aspire to undermine this ever-intensifying threat that has already thrown down many horrific gauntlets to the Sharif administration. In lieu of playing the old blame game, it is high time that all political elite gather to carve out a combined line of action against militant violence in the country. Given that the law agencies failed to prevent losses of precious human lives despite having received various bomb threats in the same market, Pakistani intelligence community, as well as police officials, also need to gear up to better anticipate such eventualities in order to take stronger preventive measures.
Stranded roads sans any usual roar of traffic, petrified families confined inside the so-called refuge of their homes, and the rumoured cancellation of numerous events in the local circuit, the militants have definitely stridden, if not succeeded, towards proliferating fear amongst the masses. Even if the government is not blamed for its lack of security provision to citizenry today, it would not be able to enjoy this immunity for long. In conjunction with the military-led operation, it should also work towards establishing more efficient civilian structures. Failure to do so would only highlight it as a fundamentally weak state, both in the eyes of militants and the general public.


A top leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to join Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Nadir Leghari, who had joined PTI in 2010, was elected president of the party’s Sindh chapter in March 2013 and the chairman of Insaf Professionals Forum-Sindh.
The former senior PTI leader announced his decision to join PPP after he met with the former president, and president Pakistan Peoples Party parliamentarians, Asif Zardari at the Bilawal House. Mr Leghari was said to have expressed complete confidence in Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s, leadership.
A day earlier, former PPP MNA Nabil Gabol, who has a strong support base in Lyari had announced rejoining the PPP.

Pakistan - ISIS Hates Our Saint Because He Belongs to Everyone

Last Thursday a suicide bomber affiliated with the so-called Islamic State attacked Sehwan Sharif, one of the most revered Sufi shrines, in the southern Sindh Province of Pakistan, killing more than 80 people, including 24 children, and wounding more than 250.
Why the terrorists hate Sehwan is why we love it. The saint and his shrine at Sehwan belong to everyone, to Sunnis and Shiites, to Hindus and Muslims, transgender devotees, to believers and questioners alike. The inclusiveness, the rituals and music born of syncretic roots make shrines like Sehwan Sharif targets in the extremist interpretations of the Islamic State and other radical Wahhabi militants.
As a child in the late 1980s and early ’90s, I would visit the town of Sehwan with my family on our way from Karachi to Larkana, my family’s hometown. After driving along bumpy roads deserted but for palm trees and solitary men standing on the open highways selling lotus flower seeds, we would stop near the western bank of the Indus River to visit the shrine of Sehwan’s patron saint, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a 13th-century Persian mystic and poet who was a contemporary of Rumi.
Qalandar, whose real name was Syed Mohammad Usman Marwandi, is adored in music and poetry as the Red Falcon. As you drive through the narrow, dusty streets of Sehwan, the air becomes perfumed with the scent of roses, sold in small plastic bags and body-length garlands that devotees lay at his tomb.
I was 7 when I first saw Sehwan during Ashura, when Shiites mourn the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussain, who was killed in 680 by an unjust ruler at Karbala, in what is now Iraq. I remember thousands of men and women together in collective, ritualized mourning in the courtyard of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine. They walked barefoot over glass and the embers of burning cigarette butts, their black shalwar kameez drenched in sweat, their palms striking their chests rhythmically. Even as a 7-year-old, I found something hypnotic, something fierce, something pure about Sehwan.
Over the years, I kept returning to Sehwan to sit in that courtyard, the shrine illuminated by red and green fairy lights, its golden dome and turquoise minarets soaring above a town of modest roofs.
The cool tiled floor of the shrine is often carpeted with devotees, some carrying tiffins of food on outings with their children, others in fraying and torn shalwar kameez prostrate in prayer. Even wealthy urbanites visit to lay their anxieties at the feet of the buried saint, tiptoeing gingerly through the crowds. In a country built and maintained on immovable divisions of ethnicity, gender, class and belief, the shrine at Sehwan welcomed all. It was an egalitarian oasis formed by the legacies and practice of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism merging into one.
On Thursday evenings people congregate to listen to the religious songs called qawwali and perform a devotional dance, dhamal. They arrive with offerings of bruised rose petals, sugared almonds and what money they can spare. They seek solace from their pain; pray for safety in a harsh, unjust world; beg for an answer to a forgotten prayer. Those who can’t offer anything arrive empty-handed. Sehwan’s shrine promised the weak, the worried and the poor that they would always be safe here.
Every time we visited the shrine, a deaf and mute man named Goonga welcomed my brother, Zulfi, and me. A servant and a guardian of the shrine, Goonga wore his hair in a turban and had a matted beard. On the breast pocket of his shalwar kameez, he sometimes wore a picture of Hussain. Goonga would walk us through the shrine that was his home and refuge.
In the courtyard of the shrine, men in flowing robes and long dreadlocks sing:
O laal meri pat rakhio bala Jhoole Laalan, Sindhri da Sehwan da, sakhi Shahbaaz Qalandar, Dama dam mast Qalandar,
which translates to:
O red-robed, protect me always, Jhule Lal, Friend of Sindh, of Sehwan, God-intoxicated Qalandar, Every breath intoxicated by you, Qalandar.
No matter how far from Sehwan I have traveled, how far from lands where Urdu is spoken and heard, just to hear “Dama dam mast Qalandar” is to be transported home. My brother called me after the attack on the shrine. “Goonga,” he asked. “Is he alive?” We were trying to find out. But no one had seen Goonga since the blast. We Pakistanis always believed our saints protected us. In Karachi, where we live by the sea, we believe that the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi, overlooking the Arabian Sea shore, saved the city from cyclones and tsunamis.
Before Qalandar arrived here, before Islam came to the subcontinent, Sehwan was known as Shivistan after the Hindu god Shiva. In time, the town’s name was changed, but Sindh has long remained a home to all faiths. At the annual festival of Qalandar, a Hindu and a Muslim family together drape a ceremonial cloth over Qalandar’s grave. A lamp-lighting ceremony reminiscent of Hindu rites is also performed.
The shrine in Sehwan was attacked because it belongs to an open, inclusive tradition that some in Pakistan would rather forget than honor. Though it was founded as a sanctuary for Muslims, in its early incarnation, Pakistan was a home for all those who wished to claim it. Parsis, Sikhs, Christians and Jews remained in Pakistan after the bloody Partition in 1947.
Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, Pakistan’s brutal military dictator in the 1980s, aided by Saudi money and supported by the United States, destroyed Pakistan’s progressive, syncretic culture. In the 11 years that General Zia presided over Pakistan, our textbooks were rewritten, exclusionary, intolerant laws were passed, and primacy was given to the bearers of a closed, violent worldview. Pakistan never recovered. Only pockets of the country still imbibe the generous welcome once afforded to all faiths. Sehwan is one of them.
After the attack, Pakistan’s military closed the border with Afghanistan and complained that the attackers had been given haven in Afghanistan. In retaliation, 100 people accused of being terrorists have been killed by the military.
Sehwan has no proper hospital, no trauma centers. For all its historical, religious and cultural significance, it was — like so much of this wounded country — abandoned by those who rule the province. There is no real governance here, no justice and no order. For life’s basic necessities, people must supplicate themselves before dead saints.
On the morning after the blast, the caretaker rang the bell, just as he always had. Devotees broke through the police cordons and returned to dance the dhamal on Saturday. Zulfi texted, “Goonga is alive.”
On my last visit to the shrine, after Goonga walked me through the crowded marketplace selling food and offerings, I sat on the floor besides a mother who had brought her son, crippled with polio, in the hopes that her prayers would ease his suffering. I had come to the shrine to see the blue and white floral kashi tiles, to walk around the perimeter and to be in a part of Pakistan that still operated on that rarest of currencies: hope.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

دہشتگرد انسانیت کے دشمن‘ قوم کو شہید اہلکاروں پر فخر ہے: بلاول

کراچی (این این آئی) پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا ہے کہ دہشت گرد انسانیت کے دشمن ہیں اور سکیورٹی فورسز کے جن باہمت اہلکاروں نے دہشت گردوں سے لڑکر اپنی جانوں کا نذرانہ پیش کیا ہے پوری قوم کو ان پر فخر ہے، پیپلز پارٹی دہشت گردی کے خلاف مہم میں سکیورٹی اداروں اور پوری قوم کے شانہ بشانہ ہے۔ انہوں نے یہ بات بدھ کو بلاول ہاﺅس میں پارٹی عہدیداروں سے گفتگو کے دوران کہی۔ بلاول بھٹو نے کہا کہ دہشت گردی اندرونی ہو یا بیرونی اسے ختم کرکے دم لیں گے۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ تمام امن پسند عالمی قوتیں دہشت گردی کے خلاف پیپلزپارٹی کے ساتھ ہیں، انسانیت کے دشمن دہشت گردوں کو اللہ اور عوام معاف نہیں کریں گے۔ نیشنل ایکشن پلان پر عمل ہوتا ہوا دکھائی نہیں دے رہا ہے، صرف سندھ حکومت اس پر عمل درآمد کررہی ہے، باقی صوبے بھی نیشنل ایکشن پلان پر عمل کریں۔ علاوہ ازیں بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے صوبہ سندھ میں پارٹی کی تنظیم نو کے حوالے سے ڈویژن اور ضلعی عہدیداروں کی تقرری کے لیے امیدواروں سے انٹرویوز لینے کا سلسلہ شروع کر دیاہے ۔بدھ کوبلاول بھٹوزرداری نے بلاول ہاﺅس میں لاڑکانہ ، سکھر ڈویژن اور ان سے منسلک اضلاع کے عہدیداروں کے امیدواروں سے انٹرویوزلیئے۔ اس موقع پرپیپلزپارٹی کی رکن قومی اسمبلی فریال تالپور،قومی اسمبلی میں قائد حزب اختلاف سید خورشید احمد شاہ،پیپلزپارٹی سندھ کے صدرنثار احمد کھوڑو ودیگر سینئر رہنما بھی موجود تھے۔اس موقع پر خطاب کرتے ہوئے بلاول بھٹوزرداری نے کہاکہ نئی تنظیم پر بھاری ذمہ داری عائد ہوگی کیونکہ پارٹی آئندہ سال ہونے والے عام انتخابات کی طرف جارہی ہے۔

The Blood-Drenched Return of Pakistan’s Taliban

Donald Trump’s new national security advisor, Gen. H. R. McMaster, will be seeing some familiar names and some familiar problems coming across his desk in the next few days, and months, and very likely years. And they’re not good news.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are coming back into view as centers of terror and unrest potentially every bit as dangerous to the United States as the so-called Islamic State that operates in Iraq and Syria. And Afghanistan’s a part of the world where McMaster discovered his hard charging left him with limp results.
In 2010 his mission was to curb corruption in the U.S.-backed Afghan government—graft, bribery, and theft that undermined everything Washington thought it was trying to do. But some of the people that the United States sent out to build the Afghan nation turned out to be just as corrupt as the locals. And McMaster, even though he worked to understand the Afghan culture, sometimes lost patience.

Asked at a teleconference what he thought Afghans saw as an acceptable level of corruption, McMaster shut down the questioner, acting as if the inquiry made no sense at all and was, indeed, completely unacceptable.
Of course, the problem continued. And what we see now confirms what Af/Pak hands have known all along: the corruption is not just about money, it’s about the whole record of the Afghanistan and Pakistan conflict. You can’t trust the governments you support, not when they are talking about money, and much less when they talk about peace or about “victory.”
What we have seen in the last few days is a bloody reassertion of killing power by various factions of the Pakistani Taliban, known as the TTP—the same group that came very close to blowing up an SUV full of explosives in Times Square in May 2010.
Within the space of a few days, and after almost two years of relative calm, Pakistan has been hit by five suicide bombings and other attacks: On Feb. 13, the target was a protest rally in Lahore, in the rich province of Punjab that used to be considered the peaceful heart of Pakistan. Thirteen people were killed, including two senior police officers. One of those, Mueben Ahamd, was an intelligence officer known for his extensive operations against militants. The Taliban splinter group Al Ahrar claimed the attack.
On Feb. 14, as police tried to defuse a bomb in Quetta it went off, killing two people and wounding 11 . On the 15th, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle rammed a government van carrying senior judges in Peshawar, and other bombers hit a government compound in Mohmand.
On Feb. 16 the attack was on a Sufi shrine in Sehwan in the south of the country, and 88 people died. An offshoot of ISIS claimed responsibility for that atrocity, but in the complicated web of jihadist factions, there are links between ISIS and the Taliban on both sides of the Af/Pak border.
Pakistani authorities promised a merciless crackdown. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the chief of the Pakistani army, promised that “each drop of [the] nation’s blood shall be avenged, and avenged immediately.” He vowed there would be “no more restraint for anyone.” And roundups of suspected terrorists began immediately.
But on Tuesday, at least five people died when suicide bombers tried to storm a courthouse in northwest Pakistan.
All this comes after the Pakistani military has conducted several massive military operations against the TTP and other jihadist groups, repeatedly proclaiming that the back of the organization is broken. What the latest attacks prove is that the organization may be wounded, but it is far from dead. Which is, of course, the point the Taliban on both sides of the border want to make.
Muhamamd Khorasni, a spokesman for the TTP militants, sent an email last week announcing that all the fractured Taliban groups are coming together and have appointed a new deputy head of the organization, uniting what had been separate factions.
Another TTP source told The Daily Beast that the organization was dispersed after government offensives that began in 2014, but their ideology and commitment remained and they were able to rebuild. “Your Western media forecasted that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan collapse, but the Taliban regrouped and reorganized. That is exactly what the TTP has been doing since the Pakistan army operations. It bounced back , reorganized, and will take revenge.”
“TTP leaders had a meeting on Jan. 20 near the Af/Pak border,” this source claimed. “All the groups agreed in principle to combine attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
At the same meeting, according to this source, some leaders suggested a general amnesty for those ex-TTP Taliban who had switched their allegiance to ISIS. “We hope they will come back,” he said.
The feeling is that ISIS has no future in the Af/Pak wars, according to several TTP sources. An Afghan Taliban source told The Daily Beast there have been “no clashes between Afghan Taliban and the Afghan chapter of ISIS for a long time, and the Afghan Taliban want ISIS to merge with them.”
The chances of that apparently have improved after U.S. drone strike took out Afghan-ISIS leader Hafiz Saeed Khan last summer. According to this source, he has been replaced by Abu Haseb, who is Afghan, but who used to be a commander in the Pakistani Kashmiri organization Lashkar-e-Taiba.
None of this bodes well for the United States. As a former TTP commander told The Daily Beast, “We are very clear about our Jihad to install an Islamic regime in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but of course the United States are our lifetime and definite Enemy Number One.”
The ongoing blame game between the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, each blaming the other for allowing if not indeed encouraging the rebels fighting their neighbor, has given the Taliban on both sides of the frontier a chance to resume their activities and regain strength.
A well-placed European diplomat notes that the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan are now deeply interconnected, and unless the governments of those two countries find a way to pursue the same anti-Taliban agenda, ”terrorists will remain at large in the world’s most  dangerous region, Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
For all these reasons, Gen. McMaster probably would agree with one of his former subordinates who said Af/Pak has been “a sucking chest wound for the United States for the last 15 years.”
Now as U.S. national security advisor, McMaster has the chance as he never has before to try to stop the bleeding. But if he is as smart as many of his colleagues say he is, he probably knows that is just about impossible.

Sami Yousafzai reported from Islamabad, Christopher Dickey from New York

Bomb kills at least 10 in shopping district in Pakistan's Lahore

By Mubashir Bukhari A bomb blast in an upscale shopping center in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore killed at least 10 people on Thursday, a provincial government spokesman said, the latest attack in a surge of violence that has shaken the country.

 "It was a bomb blast with a huge sound impact that smashed the windows of almost all the buildings around," said Punjab government spokesman Malik Mohammad Khan. He said the blast caused a huge crater and authorities were investigating the exact "nature and motives" of the blast. Punjab police spokesman Nayab Haider said the explosion was caused by a bomb that was detonated either remotely or by timer. Pakistan has been struck by a wave of militant attacks in recent weeks which have killed at least 130 people.

One attack at a Sufi shrine in southern Sindh province killed 90 people. Rescue officials said security forces cordoned off the site of Thursday's blast, in a residential neighborhood which also houses banks and coffee shops, after what one bank worker described as a frightening explosion.

 "We left the building and saw that the motor-bikes parked outside were on fire and all the windows in the surrounding buildings were shattered," eyewitness Mohammad Khurram told Reuters. Reports of a second explosion in the city turned out to be a tire blow-out, a government official said. Thursday's bombing was the second attack in Lahore in two weeks. A suicide bombing on Feb. 13 killed at least 13 people at a protest near the provincial assembly. Government and military officials have vowed to hunt down militants across the country and Pakistan's border with Afghanistan has been shut down due to security concerns. After the shrine bombing, Pakistani security forces said they had killed more than 100 suspected militants in targeted campaigns across the country.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pashto Music Video - Gul panra - Tapay

Pakistan - Anything Over A School

The children of Pakistan struggle as it is to attain an education, without having the government evict them from the few schools that exist in non-urban parts of KPK. Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pervez Khattak has ordered the evacuation of a high school to establish a training centre for aircraft maintenance. He directed the Elementary and Secondary Education (E&SE) Department to vacate the building of Government Higher Secondary School, Pir Piai, in Nowshera district, and to put the building at the disposal of the Pakistan Air Force. The centre will put 165 schoolchildren out of school, with no other options of attaining an education, as there is no other government higher secondary school in a distance of 15 to 20 kilometres. A vocational training centre can be built anywhere; the school did not have to be its casualty.
The move has triggered anxiety and uncertainty among the students of the school and their parents who could not afford education in private schools. The parents have been approaching the officials going as far as saying that they were ready to provide free of cost land for constructing a building for the training. The children of these conflict-ridden areas are already suffering due to the security situation, and instead of providing innovative solutions to ensure each child attends school, the government is taking away the little opportunities they have.
To attain an education is an inherent right of every child, yet it is unfortunate that the government prioritises everything else over it. The students of Government Boys High School Rukanpur have been forced to hold classes under the open sky as their school building has been demolished for a road project. The PML-N decided to demolish the building to build a motorway. The school had two portions, one for high school classes and other for the elementary classes on total 51 kanals of land, educating 200 children, that now have no other alternatives.

Pakistan’s Way of Fighting Militancy: Wait Until the War Comes Home

How Pakistan’s Passive Extremists Complicate the Country's Fight Against Terror

Tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have surged following a series of terror attacks all across Pakistan in recent days. The military in Pakistan has pledged “no restraint” in its fight against extremism in the aftermath of these attacks. Authorities in Pakistan maintain that the recent attacks were planned and coordinated from within Afghanistan. “Recent terrorist acts are being executed on directions from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We shall defend and respond,” said the Pakistan military’s media wing in a statement. Reportedly, hundreds of Afghan nationals have been arrested in the wake of recent terror incidents. Moreover, Pakistan also claims to have carried out military strikes against the sanctuaries of various militant groups based in Afghanistan near the Pak-Afghan border.
Domestically, Pakistan has launched a countrywide combing operation and reportedly more than 400 suspects have been apprehended due to the operation. The newly launched combing operation is expected to target militant sanctuaries in South Punjab.
There are growing institutional linkages between militants from Pakistan’s tribal belt and Punjab-based sectarian outfits. A number of militant outfits that fled the country in the wake of Pakistan’s counterterrorism operations more than two years ago have reportedly extended their influence to sectarian organizations working in southern Punjab.
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A series of combing operations reminiscent of the one currently underway have been launched previously. However, all of these combing operations have proven to be a kneejerk reaction to terror incidents, rather than operations with a clear strategy. Pakistan’s “post terror attack reactive measures” have become quite predictable now. There is always a high-level security meeting in reaction to terror incidents that ends with promises of punitive measures against terrorists of all sorts. The provincial government in Punjab has on many occasions promised to act against militant outfits based within the province. However, despite these assurances, there has been little action beyond rounding up the usual suspects. What is also predictable is that it’s just a matter of days before the media frenzy surrounding the recent incidents, families’ reported grief, and national bitterness recedes and, with it, so do any promised punitive measures.
At the strategic level, there exist many loopholes in the government’s counterterrorism strategy. One of the main issues concerning this problem deals with the political stakeholders’ apologetic attitudes toward conservative religious groups, which are not only part of networks that are deepening the country’s ideological divides, but also challenge the state’s writ in the streets every day. While the government in Pakistan has tried to find scapegoats in Afghanistan to shift the blame away from the country’s borders, the government’s tolerance of Islamist extremists, or supporters of radical theocratic Islam, is only undermining the country’s moderate Muslim voices.
A few months ago, the federal government in Pakistan presented Masroor Nawaz Jhangvi a peace award. Jhangvi won Punjab’s Jhang district’s by-election after running a vicious election campaign on a sectarian basis where he openly declared that “Shia are infidels.” After winning the election, Jhangvi joined another far-right religious party, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). While the JUI-F is part of the government, it has openly confronted the government’s efforts to regulate madrassas (religious schools) and vehemently opposes any change to the country’s blasphemy laws.
Adil Arshad of the School of Education at the Forman Christian College University believes that giving such an award only reflects “a mismatch and mocks the heritage which the award carries.” “It encourages the pro-extremist narrative while compromises the effectiveness and credibility of the government’s any counter-measures in this regard,” he adds.
After the attack in Lahore last week, a local television channel in Pakistan invited the head of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a banned organization, to discuss the country’s counterterrorism policy. During an hour-long discussion, the banned organization’s head recommended that the government should release all captured Taliban leaders, for such measures would only aggravate the threat of terrorism in Pakistan.
Moreover, the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), which, along with the Pakistani Taliban, claimed the majority of recent attacks, has announced the launch of “Operation Ghazi” in the honor of  a cleric, Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, who died in the 2007 Lal Masjid operation in Islamabad. The Lal Masjid’s leadership, which has openly declared its allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), has on many occasions called for the enforcement of sharia law in the country.
In 2011, Mumtaz Qadri killed Punjab’s governor, Salman Taseer, for defending a Christian woman over the issue of blasphemy. Qadri’s arrest and his eventual execution last year have been widely condemned by the conservative Islamic parties while mosques and streets have been named after him in his honor. His act has been applauded with titles such as “Shaheed” and “Ghazi.” The violent expression that militant groups such as the JuA, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and ISIS have adopted takes inspiration from the passive support of conservative evangelists with whom the government in Pakistan seems to collaborate.
While Pakistan needs to develop better cooperation with Afghanistan to deal with the two countries’ common militant threat, Islamabad cannot afford to look away from its domestic militant challenges, which span beyond tactical and operational challenges.
The so-called combing operations currently underway and the mostly random arrests in response to terror incidents are only the tip of the iceberg. The deepening ideological divides in the country pose a real challenge, and Pakistan’s leadership needs to prepare on a war footing.

پیپلزپارٹی میں لوگوں کی جوق درجوق شمولیت بلاول بھٹو کی قیادت پراعتماد کااظہار ہے

پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی بلوچستان کے صدر سابق صوبائی وزیر حاجی میر علی مدد جتک نے کہا ہے کہ بلوچیت اور پشتونیت کی بات کرنے والوں کے پاس اب کوئی اور ایشو نہیں بچا اس لئے کبھی مردم شماری پر سیاست کرتے ہیں اور کبھی بلوچ پشتون تضاد کو ابھار کر اپنے سیاسی مقاصد حاصل کرتے ہیں جن سے اہلیان بلوچستان کو خبر دار رہنا ہوگا، بلوچستان سمیت ملک بھر میں امن وامان کی صورتحال تسلی بخش نہیں مگر افسوسناک طور پر وفاقی وزیر داخلہ اپنا فرض نبھانے کی بجائے بیانات جاری کرکے لوگوں کی دل آزاری کرتے ہیں پیپلزپارٹی کے قائدین پر وفاقی وزیر داخلہ کی بلا وجہ تنقید سمجھ سے بالاتر ہے ، پیپلزپارٹی میں لوگوں کی جوق درجوق شمولیت ہم پر اعتماد کا اظہار ہے ۔ان خیالات کااظہار انہوں نے سریاب کے علاقے کلی گوگڑائی مسلم آباد میں منعقدہ شمولیتی جلسے سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے کیا ۔

اس موقع پر میر غلام فاروق سرپرہ حاجی غلام رسول سرپرہ طارق سرپرہ بہادر نیچاری میر گل سرپرہ مولوی محمد رفیق عبدالواحد لہڑی جمعہ خان لانگو منیر بھٹی اور دیگر نے اپنے درجنوں ساتھیوں سمیت مختلف سیاسی جماعتوں سے مستعفی ہو کر پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی میں شمولیت کا اعلان کیاانہیں خوش آمدید کہتے ہوئے حاجی میر علی مدد جتک پیپلز پارٹی بلوچستان کے سیکرٹری اطلاعات سردار سربلند جوگیزئی جہانگیر خلجی محبو ب سرپرہ ثناء اللہ جتک درمحمد ہزارہ شاہجہان گجر لیاقت سرپرہ یعقوب زیارتوال حاجی غلام رسول اور دیگر مقررین نے کہا کہ کوئٹہ سمیت بلوچستان کے مختلف علاقوں میں لوگ جوق درجوق مختلف سیاسی جماعتوں سے مستعفی ہو کر پیپلزپارٹی میں شمولیت اختیارکررہے ہیں جو کہ چیئر مین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کی قیادت پر اعتماد کااظہار ہے انہوں نے کہا کہ بلوچستان سمیت ملک بھر میں امن وامان کی صورتحال تسلی بخش نہیں وفاقی وزیر داخلہ ہر واقعے کے بعد میڈیا پر آکر صرف دعوے کرتے ہیں گزشتہ روز انہوں نے پیپلزپارٹی کے قائدین پر جو بلا جواز تنقید کی اس سے صاف ظاہر ہوتا ہے کہ وفاقی وزیر کو بلاول فوبیا ہوچکا ہے اگر انہوں نے اپنی زبان درست نہیں کی تو پیپلزپارٹی کے جیالے بھی اپنے قائدین پر ہونے والی تنقید کا جواب دے سکتے ہیں پیپلزپارٹی نے ہمیشہ ملک میں تحمل اور رواداری کی سیاست کی ہے ۔

انہوں نے کہا کہ حکومت سی پیک سی پیک کھیل رہی ہے مگر تاریخ گواہ ہے کہ سی پیک کی بانی بھی پیپلزپارٹی ہے اور پیپلزپارٹی ہی اس کو مکمل کرے گی سی پیک کے مکمل ہونے سے بلوچستان میں خوشحالی کے ایک نئے دور کا آغاز ہوگا اور لاکھوں بے روزگار جوانوں کو روزگار میسر آئے گا۔انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ بلوچستان میں 67سالوں سے قوم پرست جماعتیں بلوچیت اور پشتونیت کے نام پر سیاست کررہی ہیں مگر پشتونوں اور بلوچوں کا نام لینے والی ان جماعتوں نے پشتونوں اور بلوچوں کی ترقی کے لئے کوئی کام نہیں کیا بلکہ ان کی یہ کوشش ہے کہ پشتون اور بلوچ پسماندہ رہیں تاکہ انہیں اپنے مفاد کیلئے استعمال کیا جاسکے پیپلزپارٹی رنگ و نسل سے بالاتر ہو کر عوام کی خدمت  ہے۔ یقین رکھتی ہے اور عوامی خدمت کو عبادت کا درجہ دیتی

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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Former president and head of Pakistan People's Party (Parliamentarians) Asif Zardari said that he was not against those madaris which are providing religious education but he was against the madaris which “educate and promote terrorism in the country and facilitate terrorists who kill our people on our land.”

He also asked Sindh chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to contact federal government on the issue of Afghan nationals living in Sindh. "We have suffered very much at their hands. They must get out of Sindh and the country."
The meeting was also attended by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, IG Sindh AD Khuwaja, Additional IG CTD Sanaullah Abbasi, Additional IG Karachi Mushtaq Maher, Commissioner Karachi Aijaz Ali Khan, Commissioner Hyderabad, Qazi Shahid Pervaiz who has been posted as Home Secretary now, DIG Hyderabad Khadim Rind and other senior officers.
On the advice of Zardari, Shah decided to pay Rs 10 million as the compensatory amount to the family of the head constable killed in the Sehwan blast. His heirs would also be given one job and other facilities. Zardari urged the chief minister to grant other facilities to the family, as well. "This is not an ordinary matter. A head constable of police has embraced martyrdom in the line of duty hence ours is a clear and loud message to the entire police force that their government will not leave their families alone and helpless if they sacrificed their life in the line of their duty," Zardari asserted.
IG Sindh police AD Khuwaja briefed former president about the suicide bombing at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan. He said that the Counter Terrorism Department was assigned the investigation and geo-fencing data was being obtained.
Former President said that there were some clear areas such as provincial borders with Balochistan and Punjab where strict checking mechanism should be made. He said districts or areas where facilitators of the terrorists live should also be dealt with iron hands.
Murad Shah said that he worked out comprehensive plan under which he would request the federal government to conduct operation in Balochistan particularly in the areas of Wadh, Mastung, Jhal Magsi, Khuzdar and some other areas. "This is important and has been worked out in the light of agencies' reports," he said.

This he said in response to Sindh chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah’s briefing who told him at a meeting at CM House yesterday that he had sent a list of 94 madaris (religious seminaries) to federal government for vigilance and watch on their activities but instead of taking action the federal government gave a heart-breaking response.
"Our forefathers had established Sindh Madressatul Islam where founder of nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah received education. This is the kind of madressa we want to promote," Zardari clarified. Shah told him that operation had begun in the areas right from Malir to Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Dadu belt, Sukkur to Larkana, Ghotki and some other areas.Zardari said that some forces were working to weaken Pakistan but he would not allow this conspiracy to succeed.
He also asked Sindh chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to contact federal government on the issue of Afghan nationals living in Sindh. "We have suffered very much at their hands. They must get out of Sindh and the country."
The meeting was also attended by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, IG Sindh AD Khuwaja, Additional IG CTD Sanaullah Abbasi, Additional IG Karachi Mushtaq Maher, Commissioner Karachi Aijaz Ali Khan, Commissioner Hyderabad, Qazi Shahid Pervaiz who has been posted as Home Secretary now, DIG Hyderabad Khadim Rind and other senior officers.
On the advice of Zardari, Shah decided to pay Rs 10 million as the compensatory amount to the family of the head constable killed in the Sehwan blast. His heirs would also be given one job and other facilities. Zardari urged the chief minister to grant other facilities to the family, as well. "This is not an ordinary matter. A head constable of police has embraced martyrdom in the line of duty hence ours is a clear and loud message to the entire police force that their government will not leave their families alone and helpless if they sacrificed their life in the line of their duty," Zardari asserted.
IG Sindh police AD Khuwaja briefed former president about the suicide bombing at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan. He said that the Counter Terrorism Department was assigned the investigation and geo-fencing data was being obtained.
Former President said that there were some clear areas such as provincial borders with Balochistan and Punjab where strict checking mechanism should be made. He said districts or areas where facilitators of the terrorists live should also be dealt with iron hands.
Murad Shah said that he worked out comprehensive plan under which he would request the federal government to conduct operation in Balochistan particularly in the areas of Wadh, Mastung, Jhal Magsi, Khuzdar and some other areas. "This is important and has been worked out in the light of agencies' reports," he said.

IS in Pakistan

The incessantly overlooked yet increasingly visible horrific footprint of the self-styled Islamic State cannot be underplayed any longer. Last week’s attack on a crowd of Sufi dancers at the shrine of Sehwan Sharif clearly validated an alarming emergence of another threat that can perpetuate horrific spectacles of sectarian carnage to further its regional prevalence. Given the ease with which the IS was found to previously operate through a network of local facilitators, a recent report by the Counter-Terrorism Department has apprehended the provision of a “fertile growth area” for the group in not just Sindh but also other parts of the country. In the light of the alleged ideological affinity that the perpetrators of a gun attack on Ismailis in Karachi in 2015 shared with the IS, the study has strongly warned the authorities against an additional number of coalitions between other militant groups; asking them to tighten their group to prevent an even graver challenge befalling upon law enforcers.
Despite an obvious presence of both the IS literature in the suburbs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as its recruiters in Lahore amongst other cities two years ago, a categorical refusal of their existence marked the official stance until recently. This spectacular oblivion, perhaps to satiate their appetite for decreased militancy, if not normalcy, is largely responsible for our inability to even initiate an efficient line of action against its fast-expanding influence, which, in turn, has paved the way for a ratcheted frequency of attacks. It is not just the state’s credibility that is at stake here. Our long and increasingly dark fight against militancy has not yet fared the promised results. Law-enforcement authorities and the armed forces are still struggling to vanquish the innumerable terrorist strongholds spread across the country notwithstanding their unrelenting determination and fearless valour. Amidst such circumstances, any possible alliance between militant outfits or the entrance of another body hell-bent on spreading its ultra-radical teachings at the expense of peace and tolerance can only spell a drastic doom.
Fundamentalist interpretations of Islam have already facilitated an onset of instability, chaos and bloodshed in not just the Muslim countries but the world over. At least 143 attacks have already been conspired in over 29 countries by the IS in the last three years; its deadly tentacles killing around 2000 people, injuring thousands more. A terrorist group of such grave existential threat cannot and should not be allowed to perpetuate its ideology in Pakistan. As is already being done, sweeping security crackdowns on all suspected hideouts as well as military collaborations with the Afghan government against militant sanctuaries should, definitely, be pursued as a directed offensive. However, this military action can only be a part of a broader strategy that the state pursues. Killing people might restore public faith in the governmental ability to regain control over the disorder prevailing the country but might not achieve anything more significant.
Former president Asif Zardari has already struck the right tone in his remarks on Monday; railing against the madrassahs “promoting terrorism in the country”. After all, extremism would have long died a natural death had it not been for its ever-increasing followers and sympathisers. This trajectory can only be understood in the context of the ideological drift that some of these madressahs have long facilitated the terrorist networks with. Corrupting young students with highly radicalised versions of so-called Islamic injunctions, compelling them to partake in massacres only to further their own evil agendas, is what the IS and many others have been doing for years. It is the state’s responsibility, however, to weed out all sinister institutions in order to cleanse the national narrative of violent ideologies. Moderate traditions, which have long been synonymous with this land of tolerance, diversity and Sufism, should once again be integrated into the society. Only these interpretations hold the power to undermine the rapidly gaining influence of fundamentalism and sectarian bloodlust.

Pakistan - Lawyer among seven killed in Charsadda suicide attack

At least seven people were killed when multiple Taliban suicide bombers attacked a court complex in northern Pakistan Tuesday, the latest in a series of assaults which have raised fears militants are regrouping.
One bomber was briefly on the loose inside the busy complex in the Tangi area of Charsadda district but was killed by police some 20 minutes after the attack began, officials said.
A second bomber was shot dead by security forces and a third died when he detonated his vest outside the main gates of the facility in province, according to police. The attack was claimed by the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) faction of the Taliban, which carried out a series of apparently coordinated assaults last week including a powerful bomb blast in Lahore which killed at least 15 people.
Earlier this month the group vowed a fresh offensive on targets in Pakistan including the judiciary.
"So far seven people have been killed and 21 wounded," Suhail Khalid, district police chief, told AFP, adding that a lawyer was among the dead. The three attackers had opened fire on police and thrown grenades as they tried to battle their way into the complex, Khalid said.
"Bomb disposal experts told us that each bomber was wearing seven to eight kilogrammes of explosives," he told reporters in Charsadda. "Police fought bravely and saved Charsadda from devastation."
It was not immediately clear how many people were inside at the time of the attack, but hundreds of people including lawyers, judges and citizens normally attend such district court complexes every day.
Lawyers and the judiciary are frequent targets in Pakistan. Among last week's assaults was a bomb blast targeting a van carrying judges in Peshawar, which killed their driver.
Last August JuA along with the Islamic State group claimed a suicide bombing in Quetta that killed 73 people, including many of Quetta’s legal community.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's office condemned the latest assault and the loss of life.
"We are a steadfast nation and will not be deterred by such attacks. Our government will continue to fight against terrorist elements and we will succeed," a statement said.


Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has condemned the bomb blasts and firing in Charsadda adding that terrorism was the tool of enemies to harm our country and society.
In a press statement issued here, the PPP Chairman expressed deep anguish and distress over the unabated wave of terrorist attacks across the country.
He saluted the brave Charsadda police personnel who challenged and eventually killed the suicide terrorists and prayed for the martyrs stressing for better medical treatment to the injured.

American Consul General meets Bilawal Bhutto at Bilawal house

Monday, February 20, 2017

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More Bomb Threats Close Jewish Community Centers Across The Nation

By Matt Ferner

Jewish Community Centers were shaken by another wave of bomb threats, forcing evacuations in nine states Monday.
Eleven Jewish Community Centers received threatening calls Monday, said Marla Cohen, communications manager for JCCA, the Jewish Community Center Association. 
Law enforcement officials were investigating the threats and, as of late Monday, centers were being reopened after explosive devices were not found. 
For some of these organizations, it was not the first threat made in recent weeks. There have now been at least 67 incidents at 56 Jewish Community Centers in 27 states and one Canadian province since the start of 2017, Cohen told The Huffington Post.
Monday’s incidents are part a sharp rise in threats made against JCCs around the nation since Donald Trump began his presidential campaign, which was frequently criticized for winking at white nationalists and not forcefully condemning hate speech and extremism.
The far-right has become emboldened under Trump, and while the number of Americans who directly support hardened hate groups remains far lower than in earlier decades, the number of hate groups in America is rising, according to a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate and extremism around the nation.
Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at SPLC, said that this series of bomb threats since the new year is “unprecedented.”
“I’ve been working at SPLC since 1999. I’ve never seen a string of attacks like this that are targeting the same kind of institution in the same kind of way. This is new,” Beirich said. 
She added that it remains unclear who is making these threats, if it’s one person or more, but it has rattled communities around the U.S.
“This threatens an entire community. It’s very scary,” Beirich said. “You’re terrorizing whole families and children. There are usually day care centers that serve an entire population in the area. These threats can make it impossible for those communities to function normally.”
Anti-Semitic hate crimes comprise the largest portion of religiously motivated attacks in the United States. But Trump has yet to address the issue. In news conferences last week, the president had multiple opportunities to address concerns over rising anti-Semitism, but each time he either downplayed or denied the rise. When a Jewish reporter asked Trump explicitly about the recent spike in bomb threats against JCCs, Trump cut him off, told him to sit down and told the reporter his question wasn’t fair and claimed to be the “least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.”
Deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters didn’t specifically address anti-Semitism, but did say in response to the latest bomb threats Monday, “Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom,” adding Trump has “made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”
The Anti-Defamation League said it was “deeply disturbed” by the latest wave of bomb threats this week and issued bomb threat guidance for all Jewish institutions.
“We are confident that JCCs around the country are taking the necessary security protections, and that law enforcement officials are making their investigation of these threats a high priority,” said ADL Chief Executive Jonathan A. Greenblatt in a statement. 
The FBI and Department of Justice have said they are “investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with the threats” to JCCs.