Sunday, June 9, 2013

Deafening Silence on Taliban Terror in Nawaz Sharif's Inaugural Speech

Pakistan's biggest anti-terrorism case is not against the Taliban; it's against Pervez Musharraf!

Loudest protests  in the country are not against Taliban terrorism which has claimed over 50,000 Pakistani lives; such anger is exclusively targeted against the US drone strikes!

In his first speech at the beginning of a third term as prime minister. Mr. Sharif talked about everything except the big elephant in the room: the growing Taliban menace which Pakistan's Army Chief Gen Kayani recently said had "claimed thousands of lives, including those of the Army, Rangers, FC, Police, Frontier Constabulary, Levies and innocent people of Pakistan. If we include the injured and affected family members of the martyrs, the numbers increase manifold".

Kayani added that "even in the history of the best evolved democratic states, treason or seditious uprisings against the state have never been tolerated and in such struggles their armed forces have had unflinching support of the masses; questions about the ownership of such wars have never been raised. We cannot afford to confuse our soldiers and weaken their resolve with such misgivings."

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must not ignore the history of  broken promises by the Taliban and must not insists on talking his way out of terror by engaging with the Taliban.  There is very little chance that the Taliban will seriously negotiate without credible threat of military force.

As flawed as his strategy (if we can call it that!)  is, Mr. Sharif must, as a minimum condition,  insist that the Taliban cease terror attacks to create an environment conductive to meaningful peace talks. If they refuse, that should be seen as a clear signal of their bad faith.

Nawaz Sharif speaks against drone attacks but stays mum on Taliban atrocities; Why Fauzia Kasuri left PTI; Who will be the leader of the opposition in National Assembly?

Viewpoint from Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses with Riaz Haq, Sabahat Ashraf, and Ali Hasan Cemendtaur Nawaz Sharif’s first speech as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Why is Nawaz Sharif against the drone attacks but not the Taliban atrocities, the future of War on Terror, What kind of opposition will be there in the Pakistani Parliament, Who will be the leader of the opposition, and why did Fauzia Kasuri leave PTI.

Please watch the following video these topics:

Nawaz Sharif against drones, Fauzia Kasuri quits PTI, leader of opposition who from WBT TV on Vimeo.

This show was recorded at 12:30 pm PST on Thursday, June 6, 2013.

Nawaz Sharif, War on Terror and future of drone attacks, Civilian army relations, Fauzia Kasuri, mother of PTI, Leader of Opposition post, Pakistan vs USA, Faraz Darvesh, Riaz Haq, Sabahat Ashraf, iFaqeer, Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, WBT-TV, Viewpoint from Overseas, Pakistanis in the US, Silicon Valley Pakistanis, San Francisco Bay Area Pakistanis

 تیسری بار وزیراعظم پاکستان بننے پہ نواز شریف کی تقریر، ڈرون کے خلاف مگر طالبان مظالم پہ خاموش، پارلیمنٹ میں قاءد حزب اختلاف کون ہوگا، فوزیہ قصوری نے تحریک انصاف کو کیوں چھوڑا، کیا جاوید ہاشمی اور شاہ محمود قریشی بھی ایسا کریں گے، فراز درویش، ریاض حق، صباحت اشرف، آءی فقیر، علی حسن سمندطور، ڈبلیو بی ٹی ٹی وی، ویو پواءنٹ فرام اوورسیز، امریکہ میں پاکستانی، سلیکن ویلی، سان فرانسسکو بے ایریا

 पाकिस्तान, कराची, विएव्पोइन्त फ्रॉम ओवरसीज , फ़राज़ दरवेश, रिअज़ हक , सबाहत अशरफ , ई फ़क़ीर, अली हसन समंदतौर, दब्लेव बी टी टीवी, सिलिकॉन वेली, कैलिफोर्निया, फार्रुख शाह खान, फार्रुख खान পাকিস্তান, করাচী, ক্যালিফর্নিয়া, সিলিকোন ভ্যালি, ভিয়েব্পৈন্ট ফরম ওভারসিস

 Виещпоинт фром Оверсеас, Цалифорния, Карачи, Пакистан, Фараз Дарвеш, Риац Хак, Сабахат Ашраф, И-фаяеер, Али Хасан Цемендтаур

 ، رياض حق ، إي فقير ، صباحات أشرف ، علي حسن سمند طور ، فيوبوينت فروم أفرسيس ، كاليفورنيا، كراتشي ، باكستان ،
പാക്കിസ്ഥാൻ കറാച്ചി കാലിഫോര്ണിയ വീവ്പൊഇന്റ് ഫ്രം ഓവർസീസ്‌
ഫരശ് ദര്വേഷ് രിഅശ് ഹഖ് അലി ഹസാൻ സമണ്ട്ടൂർ ഐ ഫഖീർ സബഹറ്റ് അഷ്‌റഫ്‌ પાકિસ્તાન, કરાચી, ફરાઝ દરવેશ, રીઅઝ હક, સબાહત અશરફ, અલી હસન સમાંન્દ્તૌર, કાલીફોર્નિયા, વિએવ્પોઇન્ત ફ્રોમ ઓવેર્સેઅસ पाकिस्तान, कराची, विएव्पोइन्त फ्रोम ओवेर्सेअस, कॅलिफोर्निया, फराज दरवेश, रिअश हक़, साबाहत अश्रफ, ई फ़क़ॆर, आली हसन समंद तूर פקיסטן, קראצ'י, קליפורניה, הטליבאן, האיסלאם.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Taliban vs. Pakistan

Yet Another Peace Deal and Shia Blockade

Taliban Insurgency in Swat

Musharraf's Treason Trial

General Kayani's Speech on Terror War Ownership

Impact of Youth Vote and Taliban Violence on Elections 2013

Imran Khan's Social Media Campaign

Pakistan Elections 2013 Predictions 

Why is Democracy Failing in Pakistan?

Viewpoint From Overseas-Vimeo 

Viewpoint From Overseas-Youtube 

Pakistani Media Profit From Elections


Suhail said...

There is no possibility of an Army action against Taliban because a) Nawaz is in league with them, b) Imran is forming a government in KPK with JI who are Taliban mentors and c) Army is afraid of taking on Taliban. However, an Army action in Karachi cannot be ruled out and appointment of Chaudhry Nisar as Interior Minister may be a first step in that direction. Ironically Taliban would welcome such an initiative and be part of it. So much for the "biggest threat" to Pakistan.

Z said...

your governments needs to stop following USA orders and betraying Muslims only than they can be stopped

Riaz Haq said...

Z: "your governments needs to stop following USA orders and betraying Muslims only than they can be stopped"

Are you justifying the Taliban killings of innocent Pakistanis because the US is carrying out drone strikes?

What if Pak govt can not stop US drone strikes?

Are you saying that the Taliban would then be doubly justified in killing innocent Pakistanis?

Riaz Haq said...

LET plots attacks on TTP? Pak Military fighting fire with fire?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a WSJ piece on Nawaz Sharif's decision to keep defense and foreign affairs portfolios for himself:

Mr. Sharif hasn't commented publicly on the reasons for retaining the defense and foreign-affairs portfolios. A spokesman for his party, Tariq Azeem, declined to comment.

An aide to Mr. Sharif, however, offered this explanation: "When Nawaz Sharif was in power in the past, there were misunderstandings between the prime minister and the army," he said. "This time there will be a direct link."

The thinking in the Sharif camp went, the aide added, was that, "with the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan in 2014, foreign and defense ministries are going to be working very closely together."

Mr. Sharif has frequently said he wants to improve relations with India, and has accused the army—then headed by Gen. Pervez Musharraf—of undermining his peace initiative toward India in the late 1990s. The traditional justification for retaining an army of more than 500,000 men, which eats up about 20% of Pakistan's budget, is the long history of hostilities with India. The two neighbors have fought three wars since partition in 1947.

The current army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has differentiated himself from many of his predecessors by repeatedly stating his commitment to democracy. A spokesman for the military didn't return calls seeking comment.

Whether the shift will sap power from the army remains to be seen. Putting so much weight in one man's hands could backfire, some analysts said. "One of the reasons why people voted for Nawaz Sharif was that they thought he had the best team," said Aasiya Riaz, joint director of Pildat, an Islamabad-based think tank. But ministries require full-time "strong and effective fully fledged ministers" to enforce civilian control, she said.


The foreign ministry will be run by two Sharif appointees: His former foreign and finance minister, 84-year-old politician Sartaj Aziz, has been named adviser on national security and foreign affairs, and will have the rank of minister; Tariq Fatemi, a former ambassador to Washington, has been named a special adviser, and will serve as a deputy minister, with the rank of minister-of-state.

Mr. Chaudhry, the ministry spokesman, said both men were "very experienced."

The new finance minister, Ishaq Dar, was set to unveil an emergency budget on Wednesday.

The issue of tackling the country's energy shortage is in the hands of lawyer and former banker Khawaja Asif. The ministry of petroleum and natural resources went to entrepreneur and engineer Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Mr. Sharif won praise for not trying to grab control of the provincial governments in two violence-plagued western provinces, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In the latter, he deflected coalition entreaties from Islamists and allowed the party of former cricket star Imran Khan, which won a plurality of provincial legislature seats, to form the provincial administration.

In Baluchistan, where a low-level separatist insurgency has been waged for nearly a decade, Mr. Sharif—whose party won the most seats in the provincial legislature—last week decided to support the leader of a nationalist party, Abdul Malik Baloch, as the new chief minister.

Mr. Baloch is a middle-class professional—unusual in a province where both the government and the armed rebellion have long been led by tribal chiefs.

"Baluchistan is on fire today," Mr. Baloch said in his first address to the provincial parliament Sunday. "If the federal government and the militant organizations help the provincial administration, there will be no difficulty in finding a solution to all festering issues of the province."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on sharp decline in drone deaths in Pakistan:

The number of reported civilian deaths caused by the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan is at an all-time low, a report by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) stated.
According to the data mentioned in the report, the number of drone strikes conducted under Obama’s administration stands at 318, while the total number of strikes carried out since 2004 is 370.
These hundreds of strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region killed at least 2,500 people, 400 of whom are said to be civilians.
The report stated that around 200 children lost their lives in drone attacks.
The campaign carried out with the help of unmanned aircraft left around 1,100 injured.

There is said to be a steep decline in the number of US drone strikes in Pakistan; strikes are now at their lowest level since early 2008.
The average number of people being killed in each drone strike has fallen sharply too, an analysis of the Bureau’s data shows. On average, four people now die in each attack – just a third of the rate in the first six months of 2010.
TJIB data indicates that the highest casualties in the US drone war occur when the CIA carries out “signature strikes” – attacking groups of men judged to be behaving in a suspicious manner.
TBIJ is a not for profit organisation based at City University in London.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Time mag article on Malala Day in Pakistan:

Last Friday, Malala Yousafzai took to the podium at the United Nations. It was her 16th birthday, and her first major public appearance since the Taliban’s attempt to assassinate the Pakistani schoolgirl last October for her efforts to promote girls’ education. Traces of the near-fatal attack were still visible, as the disfiguring on the left side of her face showed. But as she demonstrated in a powerful and moving speech, her resolve had not dimmed.

Yousafzai issued a simple plea: she wanted the world’s leaders to offer children free and compulsory education. She said that she wanted to wage a war against illiteracy and terrorism, but had no use for the tools of violence. “Let us pick up our books and our pens,” Yousafzai urged. “They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” The audience, both inside the U.N. hall where she spoke and among the many who saw the speech live on television around the world, responded with tearful applause. Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown hailed Yousafzai as “the most courageous girl in the world.”

Back home in Pakistan, however, the reaction was depressingly mixed. Yousafzai’s supporters were thrilled to see her defy the Taliban militants who tried to silence her. They were impressed by her message of forgiveness, saying that she did not “even hate the Talib who shot me.” Some of the country’s main television channels showed her speech live; most did not. There were a few politicians like former cricket legend Imran Khan who tweeted tributes to her bravery. But even as the world was marking “Malala Day,” as the UN had named it, the Pakistani government didn’t bother to register the occasion.

The most troubling were the many voices that denounced Yousafzai and her speech as “a drama” – a colloquial expression commonly used to describe “a stunt” or “a hoax.” When Yousafzai was shot nine months ago, there was widespread sympathy. On television, messages of solidarity were broadcast. Children in mosques, churches, and temples were shown holding candlelight vigils. But since then, the mood has turned dark, and Yousafzai has become the object of widespread and lurid conspiracy theories.....
It becomes more comforting to cast blame on “outside actors.” Incidents like the appearance of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot two men in Lahore in 2011, do end up lending some substance to these claims. It is perhaps inevitable that Pakistanis wonder how many other foreign intelligence agents lurk in the streets and bazaars. Enduring drone attacks, seen to kill many innocent civilians, have seen sharp rise in anti-American feeling. It is part of the reason why some spurned Yousafzai as a local hero. Her acceptance by the West led to her being rejected at home.

But a deepening sense of denial makes it difficult for Pakistan to confront its enemies at home. The new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said that it would like to negotiate with the Pakistani Taliban to end domestic terrorism. But the militants don’t appear willing to talk. In the few weeks Sharif has been in office, a reported 32 terrorist attacks have claimed some 250 lives. For that trend to stop, more Pakistanis will have to see past the conspiracy theories. It is impossible to take on a threat you refuse to see.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters' story suggesting Sharif taking tough-line against militants under pressure from Pak military:

Sharif's tougher line signals that Pakistan's powerful military still has the upper hand in policy-making, despite hopes that the government would have a larger say after he came to power in the country's first transition between civilian administrations.

"Of course we want to try talks but they are a far off possibility," said a government official, who has knowledge of discussions between civilian and military leaders on how to tackle the Taliban.

"There is so much ground work that needs to be done. And when you are dealing with a group as diverse and internally divided as the Pakistani Taliban, then you can never be sure that every sub-group would honor talks."


"Today it would be incorrect to say that the army has full control over policy making," said one retired senior army officer. "It is just fashionable to say the army doesn't let civilians work. Question is, do they want to work?"

But for now, when it comes to the Taliban, there is more confusion than clarity.

"On the ground there is no policy as such," said one senior police officer posted in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region on the Afghan border. "Should I fight them or talk to them?"

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Hindu report on Pakistan's National Internal Security Policy (NISP announced by Ch Nisar Ali Khan:

Pakistan’s first ever National Internal Security Policy (NISP) apart from addressing critical issues related to threat perceptions ranging from street crimes to nuclear terrorism, envisages a deradicalisation programme which involves looping madrassas into mainstream education.

The policy tabled by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the National Assembly recently, is aimed at protecting the national interest of Pakistan and includes three key elements — a dialogue with all stakeholders, isolation of terrorists from their support systems and enhancing deterrence and capacity of the security apparatus. The NISP said dialogue offered a political means to end internal disputes but this is not the only option though it is the most preferred way to bring peace and reconciliation. Doors were open for negotiations with all anti-state and non-state groups within the limit of the Constitution and without compromising the primary interests of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state.

The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), designated as the focal organisation for coordinating counter terrorism efforts in Pakistan, in consultation with other institutions supporting NISP, will develop and coordinate a National De-Radicalization Programme Design. The policy envisages the integration of mosques and madrassas in the national and provincial educational establishment by mapping and then mainstreaming and integrating the existing and new madrassas and private sector educational institutions.

The policy said a large number of terrorists, either are, or have been students of madrassas where they were brainwashed to take up arms against the state. Therefore, the madrassa and mosque remains an important point of focus for any government policy to stem the spread of extremism in Pakistan. The policy recognised a need to develop a national narrative based on tolerance, harmony and the right of the people to make religious, political and social choices. De-radicalisation programmes will be conducted in jails for prisoners and terror convicts.

The madrassa system cannot be excluded from the internal security parameters of the country, the policy stated. Controlling funding of the terrorists is a major challenge especially when the curriculum in these madrassas does not prepare the youth for the job market.

It is proposed to tighten control over foreign funding to non-governmental organisations and madrassas by involving banks, the Federal Board of Revenue and taxation departments to monitor the flow of money to suspected organisations.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Wall St Journal story on Pakistan's heavy losses in terror attacks:

Each day, Cpl. Hamid Raza helps strap Cpl. Mohammed Yakub to a physiotherapy bench, lifts it and wipes the sweat off his bewildered comrade's forehead. Eyes darting, Cpl. Yakub often screams and grunts through the procedure, flailing his hands.

"Traumatic head injury," Cpl. Raza says softly. "He realizes it's me, and he tries to speak, but he can't. He can't eat, he can't talk, he can't remember the words."


The Pakistani army has lost roughly twice as many soldiers in the conflict with Taliban fighters as the U.S. It is a toll that keeps rising as American forces prepare to withdraw from next-door Afghanistan by December amid an intensifying war on both sides of the border.

In Washington and Kabul, officials often accuse Pakistan of being a duplicitous and insincere ally, charges fueled by alleged covert aid to the Afghan Taliban from some elements of the Pakistani security establishment. In 2011, the then-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, described the Haqqani network, a group of insurgents operating from bases in North Waziristan who are affiliated with the Afghan Taliban, as a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Pakistan's government denied the accusation.

Murky as this war is, one fact is clear: The price ordinary Pakistani soldiers pay in the struggle against Taliban fighters is real and high. Since Pakistan's army began moving into the tribal areas along the Afghan border to confront the Pakistani Taliban in 2004, more than 4,000 Pakistani soldiers have been killed and more than 13,000 injured, according to military statistics.

By comparison, the U.S. has lost 2,315 service members, just over 1,800 of them killed in combat, in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.


Just last month, the Taliban executed 23 Pakistani troops they had captured, prompting the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to suspend tentative peace talks with the militants. That bloodshed followed several deadly attacks in January, including a bombing of a convoy heading to North Waziristan that killed 26 and a blast that killed eight soldiers here in Rawalpindi, just a few hundred yards from the army's headquarters.
A soldier with Pakistan's Northern Light Infantry, Pvt. Ali, 28, lost his right leg during a clearing operation in the Kurram tribal area in 2012. He has had three surgeries since then.

"The Taliban would fire rocket-propelled grenades and attack at night, never showing themselves," he says. Following one of the patrols, which involved a gunfight, Pvt. Ali was returning to his base. He stepped on a freshly planted Taliban mine.

"I didn't lose consciousness after the blast, and the other soldiers carried me down on a stretcher," he recalls.

A fellow amputee, Pvt. Ali Rehman, 21, had just arrived in the Kurram area when his unit was sent to retrieve the body of a soldier killed by the Taliban higher up in the mountains. "We were going through the valley in an open-backed vehicle, and that's when we struck an IED," he recalls. The explosion sheared off his right leg.

Amputees are usually able to serve in a desk job in the military once fitted with prosthetic limbs. The military hospital in Rawalpindi provides some of the most sophisticated such devices, says Maj. Zaheer Gill, its specialist of rehabilitative medicine....

Riaz Haq said...

...The ground assault, which follows a two-week airstrike campaign, began early in the day with house-to-house searches for Pakistani Taliban leaders and other insurgents in and around Miranshah, the region's administrative capital.

In the sweep, the military said troops had found and cleared underground tunnels and facilities to prepare improvised bombs. The military said it also was using artillery, tanks and heavy weapons against militant targets in other parts of North Waziristan.


"It will be great if this operation finishes all this militancy. We have had to live under this tension for 10 years," said Illum Noor, one of many residents who have fled because of the military operations. He left his home in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan with 60 family members, walking two days on foot before taking refuge in the town of Bannu, just outside the tribal areas.


The government in Islamabad came under criticism for not quickly following its 2009 operation against militants in adjacent South Waziristan with an offensive in North Waziristan. According to Athar Abbas, a retired Pakistani general who served as the military's spokesman between 2008 and 2012, the army was set to launch a North Waziristan operation in 2011.

Mr. Abbas said the then-army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, decided against it, believing that Pakistan would be seen as moving into North Waziristan "at the behest of the U.S.," which had, at the time, ramped up its mission in Afghanistan. Gen. Kayani also worried about terrorist retaliation, Mr. Abbas added.

"It was a case of analysis and analysis leading to paralysis," Mr. Abbas said. "That delay has caused a hell of a lot of damage, death and destruction."

Gen. Kayani, who was succeeded by Gen. Raheel Sharif last November, couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Miranshah and the surrounding villages, especially the settlement of Danday Darpakhel, have been known as the headquarters of the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group that the U.S. has placed on its official list of terrorist organizations.

The Haqqani network's activities have been focused on Afghanistan. As a result, it was long regarded as a threat primarily by Kabul and Washington, not Islamabad. Many North Waziristan residents said Haqqani network members, based in the area since the 1970s, had slipped away before the offensive.

After Miranshah, the army is expected to move next on the town of Mir Ali, known as a hub for the Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants, especially from the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan.

Khalid Munir, a retired Pakistani army colonel, said that the terrain allowed tanks to be used in both towns. "If there is stiff resistance, buildings will be razed to the ground," Mr. Munir said.

According to information provided by the military, 376 militants and 17 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the operation so far. The military said that 61 "terrorist hide-outs" had been destroyed, and that 19 militants had surrendered to Pakistani forces. The figures couldn't be independently verified.

Senior Pakistani officials have warned that the operation, named "Zarb-e-Azb" after a sword used by the Prophet Muhammad, would lead to retaliatory attacks by militants in Pakistan's main cities, where they have entrenched networks and sleeper cells.

Since the air offensive began, Pakistani authorities have registered 466,807 displaced people from North Waziristan, according to the country's Disaster Management Authority. Government and aid agencies are scrambling to provide them food aid, basic health care, shelter and cash handouts.

Most of North Waziristan's residents have fled to neighboring districts in Pakistan, with many walking for hours in withering summer heat. In addition, according to Afghan officials, as many as 100,000 have sought refuge across the border in Afghanistan