You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unnecessary comments

RICHARD Holbrooke may well have serious doubts about the Swat deal, and his reservations may well be shared by others in the American power structure. But does he need to be sending his message to Pakistan via a television interview? We think not. Start with the obvious. The Americans and many others have direct access to the corridors of power in Pakistan. There is hardly a week where some general or State Department official or congressional delegation does not arrive in Islamabad and is duly photographed meeting top government and army officials. Good-cop, bad-cop routines may be standard fare in international politics but do they need to be so publicly executed? Mr Holbrooke himself said, 'We are engaged in very intense discussions with the military leadership of Pakistan and the ISI about this particular issue.' So what mileage is there to be gained from going on television and talking about his reservations?
Full article, DAWN.COM | Pakistan | Unnecessary comments
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'Democratic' India denies rights of Kashmiris...

SRINAGAR, Feb 20: Police opened fire and lobbed teargas shells to disperse protesters demanding the release of a top pro-independence leader on Friday, injuring at least 26 people.

Angry protesters took to the streets in Srinagar, shouting “Down with security forces, release Shabir Shah,” while some threw stones at policemen.

“Twenty-six people were injured in the clashes,” police official Fayaz Ahmad said.

Last year police detained Shah, a senior Kashmiri leader after he led some of the biggest rallies in two decades against Indian occupation of the disputed region.

Shah, dubbed by his supporters ‘Kashmir’s Nelson Mandela’ for the more than 20 years he spent in prisons for opposing Indian occupation, is an executive member of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, main alliance of Kashmiri political parties.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the region since a freedom struggle broke out in 1989. But overall violence involving Indian troops and militants has declined significantly since India and Pakistan began a slow-moving peace process in 2004. New Delhi has put a pause on that dialogue after last November’s Mumbai attacks.--Reuters
26 injured in Kashmir police firing -DAWN - Top Stories; February 21, 2009

but who cares???
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Progressive Youth Front (PYF) Karachi Protest Demo on Saturday 21st February

Progressive Youth Front Karachi calls on civil society, activists, and particularly the youth of Pakistan to protest the ongoing injustices in Swat. We believe the recent Nifaz-e-Adl to be an unnecessary capitulation to forces that have held ordinary and civilian Swatis hostage. Much like the brutal and indiscriminate military operation could never solve the crisis of militancy, the Nifaz-e-Adl promises only a temporary reprieve. The decades-long neglect of the human rights of Swatis will not be addressed by this agreement. If it has any popular resonance, it is only because people are frightened, and tired of war and curfew. In that sense, a renewed military offensive promises to play into the hands of the militants. We call on the government to push instead for a ceasefire, backed by the promise of a free and fair referendum on the question of judicial reform. In the meantime, we express our full solidarity with our progressive brothers and sisters in Swat, whose resistance has been doubly suppressed, both by the bombardment of the military and the machinations of the Taliban.

As a youth organization, we want to, in particular, call attention to the devastated state of the schooling system in the district—for which both the military and the Taliban bear responsibility. Any sustainable solution to the problem of militancy in the region has to include a comprehensive plan to restore and improve the provision of education in Swat.

(About PYF: Progressive Youth Front Karachi is a revolutionary youth organization that believes in a secular and truly democratic Pakistan. We reject the inequalities and poverty that ravage our society, and will continue to organize for a more humane, just, and equal Pakistan.)

Protest demo against “demolishing of educational institutes, Taliban fundamentalism, drone attacks on innocent people of swat, Bajhor, military operation of US imperials and local agents†.

Please come and show your solidarity with innocent people of swat and all area of Pakhtoon kawa.

Programme schedule
Date; - 21 February 2009

Day: - Saturday
Time: - 3:00 p.m.
Venue:- Karachi Press Club (KPC)
Please contact for details

Asfandyar vows to implement accord. Well done ANP!

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Feb 20: Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan has said he can quit the government but cannot back out of his party’s commitment to get the amended version of Nizam-i-Adl regulation enforced in Malakand region for the sake of lasting peace.

He was talking to journalists in Momin Town where he had gone on Friday to offer condolences to the family of MPA Alamzeb Khan, who was killed in a bomb blast on Feb 11.

He said the people of the Malakand region wanted peace, rehabilitation and restoration of normality in their towns and villages and his party could not compromise on the issue.

“We have the president and prime minister on board for the peace initiative. We… can even quit the government, but will abide by the declaration agreed with Maulana Sufi Mohammad,” he said.

He said the ANP would sincerely take the Swat peace initiative to its logical conclusion.

“The bill regarding the enforcement of the Nizam-i-Adl regulation has not been sent to the president and, therefore, there is no question of it getting signed,” he told a reporter.

“We have to decide our matters in line with our needs. All our decisions reflect our desire to safeguard our interests,” he said.

The ANP chief said his party accorded priority to the wellbeing of Pukhtun people and it was ready to talk to the United States and other countries and Nato and other organisations on their reservations over the agreement.

“We will take decisions in accordance with our own requirements. We are ready to convince the people opposing the move,” he said. He said the initiative would take time but a consensus would be developed.

Asfandyar Wali said Alamzeb Khan had sacrificed his life for peace.

“Pukhtuns have always been made to endure terrorism and the same has been the case with Alamzeb Khan,” he said.

He said ANP’s intentions in reaching an accord with Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) regarding the enforcement of a ‘Sharia-based judicial system’ in Swat were based on sincerity.

The ANP chief said some elements were trying to put obstacles in the way of peace in Swat and all political parties and other segments of the society needed to stand up against terrorism.

“Those who don’t know where Swat is located are speaking and writing about Swat,” he said.

He said the analysts who were making a mountain out of a molehill should do something else to pass time. “They don’t know what price the residents of Swat have been paying since the eruption of violence in the valley.”

He said the people of Swat had welcomed the government’s announcement about providing speedy and inexpensive justice.

“Nobody will be allowed to sabotage the initiative for peace,” he added.
Asfandyar vows to implement accord -DAWN - Top Stories; February 21, 2009
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