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Archive for category TERRORIST TALIBAN

Biting the bullet by Lt.Gen(R) Talat Masood,Defence Analyst

Biting the bullet

By

Lt.Gen(R) Talat Masood

Published: December 31, 2014

The horrific incident at the Peshawar school jolted the nation and the civilian and military leadership came together to reclaim its neglected priorities. We were assured that now there is a broad consensus among political parties, and between them and the military, to combat terrorism. Hopefully, the concept of consensus as envisaged by the civilian leadership does not remain confined merely to reacting to the army’s demands, but to take initiatives and demonstrate the ability that it is a part of the transformation process. So far, the army has taken most of the major decisions. Lately, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is trying to seize the initiative and the broad-based action plan to fight terrorism covering both the ideological and the security aspects is a manifestation of the government’s commitment. Of course, people will be closely watching the plan’s implementation because our history is full of grandiose plans that were seldom executed or at best partially implemented.

imgres-12The greatest challenge today is of transforming mindsets. In this, the role of clerics, madrassas, media, political parties and the mainstream education system is critical. How is the government going to deal with those madrassas that are known for spreading hatred and resist any scrutiny? Research institutes dealing with madrassas have assessed that about 10 per cent fall in this category, which is a substantial figure close to about 30,000. These are operating as autonomous units and are like sanctuaries that have remained outside the ambit of law. The prime minister’s action plan is emphatic that these madrassas will be reformed. In the enforcement of its writ, the government’s resolve will be measured. In addition to reforming madrassas, the government should open additional schools on a countrywide basis and make them attractive enough for parents to prefer to send their children to them. After all, what does the future hold for those students who continue to be subjected to rote learning and are deprived of modern education except to be exploited by the jihadi market? How can they contribute to society when their education fails to relate to the demands of the employment market, where physical and social sciences are key subjects and form the foundation of a progressive nation? With such acute limitations, they will continue to be exploited by unscrupulous forces as is happening now. We find that the very forces that are attacking the Pakistani state are those elements that were once nurtured by the state. Similarly, the religio-political parties that are supportive of radical madrassas may find that their students turn against them for being not sufficiently jihadist in the years to come. Moreover, if madrassa managements have nothing to hide, then why are they avoiding government oversight? The reality is that some of these seminaries have become dens of militants in urban centres.

The decision to establish military courts to handle cases pertaining to terrorism and lifting the moratorium on the death penalty has invoked criticism both inside and outside the country. The government’s position is that extraordinary conditions demand special measures. There is no doubt that these are unusual times and the civilian courts have miserably failed to provide justice for reasons well known — the state unable to provide protection to judges, witnesses and prosecution lawyers. As a result, the entire judicial machinery, fearing for its life, has been practically paralysed while many acquitted terrorists are roaming around freely, committing multiple murders of innocent citizens. And those who are awaiting trial are languishing in jails for years. The army is justifiably very disturbed and insists on setting up military courts for expediting cases. But there is a flip side to this proposal that cannot be overlooked. The civilian leadership, by its inadequate response to terrorism and other related matters, is gradually yielding space to the military that already heavily dominates the political and security landscape. Civilian leadership has to rise to the national challenge if the current ‘consensus’ has any substance. If consensus translates into handing over most major responsibilities of law and order, dealing with terrorist cases, taking decisions on strategic matters to the army, then it should be noted that such a state of affairs will have its own dynamics — militarisation, further weakening of state institutions and a playback of our history. In this cycle, democracy would be the first casualty and militant and radical forces the likely beneficiaries.

The prime minister’s current resolve is encouraging. History will, however, judge him and the provincial chief ministers on how they contribute towards strengthening civilian institutions, developing a national policy, improving governance, and above all, tackling terrorism. The leadership and courage that has been demonstrated by General Raheel Sharif has been inspiring. But it would be a folly to overload the armed forces with tasks that plainly fall in the domain of civilians, whether these pertain to the development of areas cleared by the army in Fata, resettling of internally displaced persons and dealing with the appalling law and order situation of Karachi and other major urban centres. It is through bank robberies and hostage-taking that criminal activity and terrorism feed each other.

A significant improvement in relations with Afghanistan has also been steered by the army leadership. The major military operation in North Waziristan and a paradigm shift in our policy of denying space to the Taliban, the Haqqani network and Hafiz Gul Bhadur have helped in improving relations with Afghanistan and the US. Recent plans for coordinated operations with the Afghan military to clear sanctuaries on both sides of the border, if conducted without any past prejudices coming in the way, should put pressure on the TTP and Afghan militants.

If we would also abandon support to the Jamaatud Dawa and focus on dealing with Kashmir and other issues with India politically, we will unlock tremendous potential and resources in fighting terrorism and militancy. It would be unwise to allow radical and extremist elements to flourish to keep the Kashmir cause alive. This strategy has not worked in the past and will not be beneficial in the future. We need to revisit our major policies to be at peace with ourselves and with the world.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2014.

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POWERFUL VIDEO : Pakistani Mother’s Laments For Justice in 138 Children’s Peshawar Massaacre

pakistan-taliban-peshawar-pakistani-men-carry-an-injured-school-girl-to-a-hospital-following-an-attack-by-taliban-gunmen-on-a-school-in-peshawar-on-december-16-2014

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Peshawar attack.Terrorism at it’s worse. What to do? by Shams Z Abbas

pakistan-taliban-peshawar-pakistani-men-carry-an-injured-school-girl-to-a-hospital-following-an-attack-by-taliban-gunmen-on-a-school-in-peshawar-on-december-16-2014

Peshawar attack.Terrorism at it’s worse. What to do?  

Shams Abbas

Pakistan seems to be in a state of shock and rightly so.Do we deserve this brutality when the larger majority of our people are moderate and peace loving Muslims.Many are in a state of disbelief.they feel,Muslims cannot do this to Muslims.So then who is behind it?

While there are many players in the promotion of domestic homebred terrorists,we must not ignore, the role of geo political strategies and compulsions of the powers which have been the major players in the Af-Pak region.These powers ‘objectives aim at ,consolidating their presence, and to control Afghanistan.Indeed these powers want Pakistan to do their bidding to ensure that the region remains in their control.This may not necessarily coincide with our policy in the region.I had forwarded an article earlier ,from which I am repeating the relevant excerpt.

Excerpt from the article ,’WHO CREATED THE TALIBAN AND WHO FUNDED THEM’

 
image.adapt.960.highQUOTE
Just as in Libya and Syria where the US and its Persian Gulf allies funded terrorist fronts in bids to overthrow each nation’s respective governments, this unholy alliance is working in Pakistan to create a militant front, with which to menace political groups ,in Islamabad and ,reorder the country to reflect and serve their collective interests. And just as in Syria now, where the US feigns to be locked in battle with terrorists of their own creation, the fact that the US is funding their own enemy billions of dollars while allegedly fighting them in Afghanistan creates a perpetual conflict justifying their continued intervention in the region – overtly and covertly.

When a terrorist attack is carried out in Pakistan by the “Taliban,” it must then be looked at through this lens of global geopolitical reality. Attempts by the Western media to reduce this recent attack to mere “extremism,” preying on global audiences emotionally, provides impunity for the state-sponsors of the Taliban – those funding, arming, and directing their operations across the region, and then benefiting from their horrific consequences.

It appears, just as in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, the West and its allies are waging a proxy war in Pakistan as well. Attempts to exploit the tragedy in Peshawar compound this insidious agenda. Those across Pakistan’s political landscape must understand that their is no line these foreign interests are unwilling to cross in achieving their agenda – be it a line crossed at a perceived ally’s expense, or a perceived enemy’s expense. UNQUOTE.

It is therefore important to caution that our Anti terrorism Action Plan should focus on:

I. The US – AFGHANISTAN – INDIA  role and historical perspectives. These are well understood and I need not repeat. Suffice it to say, that the USA and INDIA have an overwhelming role in Afghanistan and with the advent of the MODI-Doval DOCTRINE, we can expect India to feel neglected if Pakistan and Afghanistan resolve their differences.Ideally there should be synergy in the objectives of achieving stability.In that India,Pakistan and Afghanistan have to jointly work with American and Chinese support. A strong diplomatic offensive needs to be vigorously pursued.

2. We need to be prepared for a long drawn out war against terror.While these terror acts have most certainly a foreign dimension,this foreign linkage can only be successful  through the cooperation of local misguided extremist religious elements.We need to focus on them in entirety, using full force of the law enforcing agencies and quick dispensation of justice.

3. This is also an opportunity to acknowledge that our defensive mechanisms to protect ourselves from potential attacks, have not used modern technology and electronic surveillance options.Our security and intelligence are both, not matching, the devious and ever changing methods, being used by the terrorists.The nation needs to be comprehensively educated.

Why cannot the Pak- Afghan border be fenced.Why cannot the movement to and fro of  Afghans and persons from Pakistan be controlled and checked.Which country in the world allows such easy access.
Why are we harboring three million Afghan refugees.So that ,some from them , can play  havoc with our law and order.There is a need to send them back.

4. The government in power must-stop, games of brinkmanship and playing politics.The media and the channels have consistently been discussing politics and politics only.

Anti  terrorism strategies,economy,law and order are not talked about or  discussed at length,
considering that these issues are more important than politics.

5. Has  the time not come for the judiciary to look into it’s past performance ,which in the context of ,decision of priority cases, related to terrorists ,has been extremely dismal.Why do we have a judiciary if we do not feel safe or get timely justice.If the  judiciary cannot reform itself in 67 years ,will it ever?

The issues of importance for the common man ,take precedence over political expediencies. Drastic changes are  urgently needed ,to improve the performance of the judiciary.

6. Committees need to be Action Committees not assembling and dispersing committees. Lot of action plans were made in the past. Many APC’s and committees formed. The recommendations are in place.These need to be implemented and a follow-up mechanism put in place.

Today  Ifthikhar Chaudhry is saying ,that the ban on executions was illegal? Why did it take him so many years to realize this.That too after retirement. Why shouldn’t Zardari and his Jiyalas be made answerable.

The then Army Chief Kiyani ,should have been more forceful with his recommendations and anti terror plans.

Where goes Independent  thinking.Indeed the much touted independence of judiciary is negated by Ifthikhar’s admission that the ban on executions was illegal.The ex CJP is now throwing the blame on Zardari and Nawaz by implication.

7. Much has been talked about a moderate RELIGIOUS narrative .This is vitally important to offset the extremist narrative propagated by men like MULLA AZIZ  and his likes .They sit on pulpits of mosques and breathe extremism and RELIGIOUS fundamentalism down people’s throats and ears.Many believe them and are misled.Their pupils come from all over.

The thousands of Medressahs have according to a report 2.5 million students.That is a large number to be put just into religious education at the cost of depriving them of their right to broad based education.

Don’t we know what is to be done in this respect?Why are we afraid of catching the bull by the horns.For how long?Will this menace become any less if we do nothing about it.

Time for thinking is over.Procrastination is criminal.Measures need to be taken.Action with effect from yesterday is the way forward .This has to be  well strategised, both, at the International level and by attacking the domestic terror bases ruthlessly.

Shams Z Abbas

Pakistan seems to be in a state of shock and rightly so.Do we deserve this brutality when the larger majority of our people are moderate and peace loving Muslims.Many are in a state of disbelief.they feel,Muslims cannot do this to Muslims.So then who is behind it?

While there are many players in the promotion of domestic homebred terrorists,we must not ignore, the role of geo political strategies and compulsions of the powers which have been the major players in the Af-Pak region.These powers ‘objectives aim at ,consolidating their presence, and to control Afghanistan.Indeed these powers want Pakistan to do their bidding to ensure that the region remains in their control.This may not necessarily coincide with our policy in the region.I had forwarded an article earlier ,from which I am repeating the relevant excerpt.

Excerpt from the article ,’WHO CREATED THE TALIBAN AND WHO FUNDED THEM’

 
QUOTE
Just as in Libya and Syria where the US and its Persian Gulf allies funded terrorist fronts in bids to overthrow each nation’s respective governments, this unholy alliance is working in Pakistan to create a militant front, with which to menace political groups ,in Islamabad and ,reorder the country to reflect and serve their collective interests. And just as in Syria now, where the US feigns to be locked in battle with terrorists of their own creation, the fact that the US is funding their own enemy billions of dollars while allegedly fighting them in Afghanistan creates a perpetual conflict justifying their continued intervention in the region – overtly and covertly.

When a terrorist attack is carried out in Pakistan by the “Taliban,” it must then be looked at through this lens of global geopolitical reality. Attempts by the Western media to reduce this recent attack to mere “extremism,” preying on global audiences emotionally, provides impunity for the state-sponsors of the Taliban – those funding, arming, and directing their operations across the region, and then benefiting from their horrific consequences.

It appears, just as in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, the West and its allies are waging a proxy war in Pakistan as well. Attempts to exploit the tragedy in Peshawar compound this insidious agenda. Those across Pakistan’s political landscape must understand that their is no line these foreign interests are unwilling to cross in achieving their agenda – be it a line crossed at a perceived ally’s expense, or a perceived enemy’s expense. UNQUOTE.

It is therefore important to caution that our Anti terrorism Action Plan should focus on:

I. The US – AFGHANISTAN – INDIA  role and historical perspectives. These are well understood and I need not repeat. Suffice it to say, that the USA and INDIA have an overwhelming role in Afghanistan and with the advent of the MODI-Doval DOCTRINE, we can expect India to feel neglected if Pakistan and Afghanistan resolve their differences.Ideally there should be synergy in the objectives of achieving stability.In that India,Pakistan and Afghanistan have to jointly work with American and Chinese support. A strong diplomatic offensive needs to be vigorously pursued.

2. We need to be prepared for a long drawn out war against terror.While these terror acts have most certainly a foreign dimension,this foreign linkage can only be successful  through the cooperation of local misguided extremist religious elements.We need to focus on them in entirety, using full force of the law enforcing agencies and quick dispensation of justice.

3. This is also an opportunity to acknowledge that our defensive mechanisms to protect ourselves from potential attacks, have not used modern technology and electronic surveillance options.Our security and intelligence are both, not matching, the devious and ever changing methods, being used by the terrorists.The nation needs to be comprehensively educated.

Why cannot the Pak- Afghan border be fenced.Why cannot the movement to and fro of  Afghans and persons from Pakistan be controlled and checked.Which country in the world allows such easy access.
Why are we harboring three million Afghan refugees.So that ,some from them , can play  havoc with our law and order.There is a need to send them back.

4. The government in power must-stop, games of brinkmanship and playing politics.The media and the channels have consistently been discussing politics and politics only.

Anti  terrorism strategies,economy,law and order are not talked about or  discussed at length,
considering that these issues are more important than politics.

5. Has  the time not come for the judiciary to look into it’s past performance ,which in the context of ,decision of priority cases, related to terrorists ,has been extremely dismal.Why do we have a judiciary if we do not feel safe or get timely justice.If the  judiciary cannot reform itself in 67 years ,will it ever?

The issues of importance for the common man ,take precedence over political expediencies. Drastic changes are  urgently needed ,to improve the performance of the judiciary.

6. Committees need to be Action Committees not assembling and dispersing committees. Lot of action plans were made in the past. Many APC’s and committees formed. The recommendations are in place.These need to be implemented and a follow-up mechanism put in place.

Today  Ifthikhar Chaudhry is saying ,that the ban on executions was illegal? Why did it take him so many years to realize this.That too after retirement. Why shouldn’t Zardari and his Jiyalas be made answerable.

The then Army Chief Kiyani ,should have been more forceful with his recommendations and anti terror plans.

Where goes Independent  thinking.Indeed the much touted independence of judiciary is negated by Ifthikhar’s admission that the ban on executions was illegal.The ex CJP is now throwing the blame on Zardari and Nawaz by implication.

7. Much has been talked about a moderate RELIGIOUS narrative .This is vitally important to offset the extremist narrative propagated by men like MULLA AZIZ  and his likes .They sit on pulpits of mosques and breathe extremism and RELIGIOUS fundamentalism down people’s throats and ears.Many believe them and are misled.Their pupils come from all over.

The thousands of Medressahs have according to a report 2.5 million students.That is a large number to be put just into religious education at the cost of depriving them of their right to broad based education.

Don’t we know what is to be done in this respect?Why are we afraid of catching the bull by the horns.For how long?Will this menace become any less if we do nothing about it.

Time for thinking is over.Procrastination is criminal.Measures need to be taken.Action with effect from yesterday is the way forward .This has to be  well strategised, both, at the International level and by attacking the domestic terror bases ruthlessly.

Shams Z Abbas

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Countering Terrorism, Immediate Actions Required – By Lt Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi

Countering Terrorism, Immediate Actions Required 

By

Lt Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi

There was a conference of political parties to take a joint stand against terrorism. While it is good to see them realize the threat and get together , the out come has been mixed.
 
It is heartening to see the Prime Minister lift the ban on hanging. Let us now see the action in short time . The sentenced terrorists must be hanged forthwith. The petitions / appeals lying with the Prime Minister / president must be disposed off/ rejected in all terrorism cases without further waste of time. The judiciary should be directed by the Chief Justice to process the cases of terrorism expeditiously.
 
The disappointing part is the decision to set up a committee of politicians to prepare a plan of action. Making of committees is the known way of putting off a decision. What expertise do our politicians have in combating terrorism??
 
green-ground-red-drones-blue-paf-strikes-dawn-20-june-2014This should have been a committee of military and civil experts. The ISI, IB, MI , Police and civil servants who have experience of dealing with Taliban / TTP would have delivered an action plan which would have been prepared without any political considerations. 
 
Now we are likely to see opposing points of views diluting any worthwhile suggestions. Imran Khan while condemning the attack still talked about alternatives. This conference has failed to come up to people’s expectations. We expected directives being issued to all the provinces to wipe out all terrorist cells in their respective areas. The DCO and the SPs must be made accountable and given the task to root out all extremism/ terrorism from his district. If any incident then occurs strict action to be taken against these officers.
 
The Conference should have issued a directive to the Armed Forces to use all means to wipe out this scourge as was done by Sri Lanka to wipe out the Tamil Tigers. Activation and release of funds for NACTA should have been announced
All these measures would have raised the morale of the nation and the Prime Minister would have seemed to have taken charge of this existential struggle. 
 
The Army Chief has done well to have taken the Afghan President and the ISAF Comdr  into confidence about the linkages across the border. They must cooperate otherwise Pakistan should consider other means to hit Fazlullah and others holed up in Kunar and sending these terrorists to hurt us. 
 
Such occasions show the worth of a nation and its leadership. Let us not fail this test of history otherwise it’s judgement can be very harsh.
 
Javed Ashraf
Terrorism 

Terrorists have struck again in Peshawar. The Army Public School was attacked and over a hundred children were killed through point blank firing. It is the worst incident to have struck Pakistan ever since these animals started attacking our public and the Armed Forces. 

All that we ever hear from our politicians is condemnation. They need to do more if the country is to be rid of this menace. 
 
The Army is fighting them but our Government has stayed executions of all condemned and sentenced terrorists. Even the killer of Salman Taseer continues to enjoy a VIP status in jail despite a death sentence because the Prime Minister and the President refuse to sign the black warrant under pressure from EU human rights group. 
 
There are now more then 8000 condemned prisoners in jails waiting for a jail break since our politicians would not carry out the sentence of death for their crimes.

The Army leadership has to get this stay lifted from the Prime Minister who should immediately order the start of executions instead of meaning less announcement of 3 days mourning.

The s at a large scale to hurt these animals. 
 
Anyone including Imran Khan and our religious parties who have been calling them as our people and speaking favorably about TTP must come out and condemn them with no holds barred. 
 
We can not afford to have these terrorists living in our midst. 
 
The Prime Minister must call a meeting of national security council and also order the police in all provinces to launch a full scale operation against all known cells and extremist moulvis / Madrassahs which prepare and harbor these terrorists. 

We can not continue to remain quiet and indulge in power politics. The nation has to stand together and if some one does not stand up he should be condemned and isolated.

If at this moment the Prime Minister does not take charge and lead the fight, he should quit. 
 
If Imran does not stand with the nation, he should be told to get off as he is not fit to lead. 
 
The Army now has to not only assert itself with the Govt to issue necessary orders but also intensify their operations. We have suffered and our hearts ache for our brothers and sisters who have lost their dear children. May God bless these innocent souls. 

Let the nation rise and prove ourselves worthy of being a respectable nation. If we fail now we are not fit to survive as a country worth living and will soon have the likes of ISIS and TTP ruling this gutless nation.

Lt Gen Javed Ashraf
E-Mail
Javed Ashraf <javedaq41@gmail.com>

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Re: Who could have averted school massacre in Peshawar? Admiral(Retd) Afzal Tahir: former Chief of Naval Staff

Re: Who could have averted school massacre in Peshawar?

Admiral(Retd) Afzal Tahir: former Chief of Naval Staff

 

 

 

peshawar-school-siege

 

Nobody ordinary has the exact information so none can give it to you.  However, as a first step let the powers that be and by that I mean the people in the know come out and tell the nation who is behind the tragedy, the executioners, the planners, the aiders and the abettors, exactly in the same words as the ISAF commander was told.  
 
Such an operation cannot be done alone by a single group and it has to have supporters of many kind.  Let us stop lying to our people and tell the truth about whoever is involved in this dastardly attack.  I would point the finger at the Afghan government or some agency of it and of course India’s intelligence agency RAW.  
 
Let us stop drumming about US interests and that of other Western countries, look at your neighbours and see how their interests are also served by such like incidents.  
 
Let us behave like a nuclear nation and call a spade a spade.  An attack on Afghan soil to target and kill the perpetrators is fully justified and must be undertaken and do not think about sovereignty. After all we have endured drones and attacks in the same cause being a sovereign country. 
 
STAND UP TO THESE RASCALS AND KILL THOSE WHO KILL YOUR OWN WHEREVER YOU CAN FIND THEM, THIS OR THAT SIDE OF THE BORDER.  THE WORLD OF TODAY UNDERSTANDS THE LANGUAGE OF FORCE ONLY.

 
THIS IS NOT AN EMOTIONAL OUTBURST BUT A WELL THOUGHT OUT COURSE OF ACTION.
 
Afzal Tahir is a former Chief of Naval Staff

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