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Archive for the ‘Shireen M Mazari’ Category

Talha Mujaddidi | PKKH Editorial Team &  Axis of Logic

We are watching it happen in the streets. The recurring nightmare has become a grim, new reality for the people of Pakistan. After watching the horrors of the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq and neighboring Afghanistan for 8 years, the “war on terror” has finally arrived in The Land of the Pure. The sudden arrival of U.S. marines, U.S. military Hummers, the hired killers of Blackwater, houses barricaded for U.S. personnel in Islamabad and the construction of the world’s largest U.S. “Embassy” are terrorizing this nation of 180 million people. The U.S. slaughter and destruction in Iraq and neighboring Afghanistan for the last 8 years warn them of what may lie in store for them, their families, their land.

The U.S. Marines

On 9/21/08 a bomb ripped through the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killing scores of people and injuring hundreds. Prior to the bombing, U.S. marines off-loaded steel boxes from a truck, by-passed security and took them to the 4th floor of the building. US officials refused to cooperate with the government’s attempts to investigate their activities. One year later, U.S. Marines are leading the occupation of Pakistan.

Until this landing of U.S. forces, the nation’s spokesman for Foreign Affairs had been denying that 1000 U.S. marines were on their way to Islamabad. The thousand marines are now in the capital city of Islamabad. Some of them may be quietly slipping into Balochistan where the presence of JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) have been reported by foreign journalists. But most are here to defend what will be the largest U.S. embassy/fortress in the world, now under construction and to spearhead the invasion and occupation.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Shireen M Mazari

The chaos that is spreading within the country is frightening and a result of bad or lack of governance on the one hand and US intrusions and questionable activities in Pakistan on the other. In the first instance, there is no civilian governance infrastructure to take over and govern the “cleared” areas in Malakand – but then there is no governance even in more central parts of the country. That is why we have had the despicable attack on the poor and marginalised Christians in Gojra – once again under the shameful and protective guise of the Blasphemy Law. Never has a Law been so abused to wreak violence on our minorities’ whom the Founder of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, declared as equal citizens in the state of Pakistan. Clearly, there is so much hatred, intolerance and violence endemic within us that we do not need any Taliban to kill and harm our less fortunate fellow citizens. And where were the government and the law and order institutions when all this barbarism was being carried out?

As Pakistanis we must hang our heads once again in shame; but the main concern for us should not be simply our image internationally but what we are becoming within our own society. That is what should be of primary concern for the leadership. That is why in many previous columns I have been pointing to the dangers of bringing our marginalised population within the mainstream and delivering justice to the people so that they all have a stake in the system and the state – be they the marginalised Madrassah students or the marginalised minorities’. Otherwise extremism and violence will fester – Taliban or no Taliban – and as a desperate measure sending in the military will only aggravate not resolve the problem. And one has yet to talk of Balochistan where targeted killings continue while politicians continue to talk rather than act despite a seeming political consensus on what needs to be done. Why a beginning towards reconciliation cannot be made by declaring a general amnesty for all political prisoners and exiles only our bizarre ruling elites’ mindsets can understand but we are on a precipice here.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Shireen M Mazari

Travelling back from usual monthly visit to my village in Rajanpur district, I was intending to write on the mistreatment of southern Punjab at the hands of the local feudals in power, the provincial government and the national leadership. The latest action in this regard was the cutting off of our water on the orders of the whimsical president. The Seraiki prime minister in his deceitful way can cry hoarse that no province will be deprived of its share of water, but the fact on the ground is that following the Zardari edict the water dwindled off suddenly.

Add to this the twelve-plus hours of loadshedding which make it impossible to use the tube wells, and clearly the intent is to turn the area into a desert. Now is that not part of the Indian plan in turning off the waters of our rivers? So are all these developments mere coincidences? In any case, the water issue is yet another attempt to foster ethnic conflict – the earlier attempt being the entry of IDPs into Sindh and the threats to Pashtun students in Jamshoro University. What is our national leadership playing at? In the same vein, I am not sure whether merely creating a new province in southern Punjab will resolve the issues of our area, given how the area’s tumandars and representatives sitting in the provincial and national legislatures are primarily engrossed in fighting for control of bus adas and sale of jobs.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Shireen M Mazari

It has now become routine for the US to focus on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons whenever there is trouble within the country. Clearly, the US has not recovered from its trauma of seeing a developing Muslim state acquire nuclear capability. Moreover, as one of the greatest proliferators since 1945 to Israel, the US has always maintained hypocrisy over its non-proliferation stance and this has now been fully exposed with its 123 nuclear agreement with India.

Nevertheless, the US has continued to be relentless in targeting Pakistan’s nuclear assets in one way or another. What has been of growing concern to some of us has been the seeming weakening of the Pakistani resolve on sustaining the credibility of our nuclear deterrence through constant improvement and increase in the nuclear arsenal � especially post-9/11. If individual incidents are collated together, the dismal picture unfolds more clearly.

First there was the bizarre and totally unnecessary victimisation of Dr A Q Khan. While the Musharraf regime thought that would end the focus on our nuclear programme, many of us at the time stated the apparent � that capitulation on this count would only send the wrong signals to the US and our other nuclear detractors as they would take this as a sign of our weakness. And that is exactly what has been happening since.

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Tales of U.S. Hegemony and Pakistani Government Betrayals | Pakistan |Axisoflogic.com

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Shireen M Mazari

To learn firsthand how reality loses its relevancy in the media-spin age has been an experience which explains why so many news reports eventually reveal themselves as having not an iota of reality about them. For me the reports on the APC called by Prime Minister Gilani were an interesting study on how what really happened can be totally lost sight of if the government can offer a fast spin and has compliant listeners in the media. Not that that helps the government’s cause in the long run since it creates more distrust and makes it difficult for the government to replay the exercise the next time round. As someone who was present throughout the deliberations – which clearly did not seem to be off the record as may have been understood at the time – the final outcome reflected the non-consensus on the military operation with the leaders divided over the timing, the use of the option itself except as a last resort and so on. However, since the die had already been cast, all that most leaders could do was not to rubber-stamp this decision of the government – and that included the PML-N. So it was surprising to find one newspaper declaring that once the PML-N had endorsed the military operation all opposition voices were silenced! Nothing could have been farther from the truth and if the resolution had simply been the starting point of understanding what really happened in the APC, the truth would have been visible only too clearly. In any case, the APC itself was a welcome move because it allowed the government to put its case forward and also to hear different viewpoints, including the strong consensus that Balochistan was continuing to be neglected at great peril. This column is not intended to repeat the APC proceedings which have been covered extensively, one way or another, in the media already.

Nor is it the intent to clarify one’s position that doubting the efficacy of a military operation, especially one taking place in a political policy void as the present one – since the APC meeting did reveal the lack of a political strategy that would follow when the military operation ended (that in itself is presently open-ended) – does not mean supporting the criminals and militants being targeted by the state.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009
By Imran Khan
the news

The reason why there is so much despondency in Pakistan is because there is no road map to get out of the so-called War on Terror – a nomenclature that even the Obama Administration has discarded as being a negative misnomer. To cure the patient the diagnosis has to be accurate, otherwise the wrong medicine can sometimes kill the patient. In order to find the cure, first six myths that have been spun around the US-led “Global War on Terror” (GWOT) have to be debunked.

Myth No. 1: This is Pakistan’s war

Since no Pakistani was involved in 9/11 and the CIA-trained Al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan, how does it concern us? It is only when General Musharraf buckled under US pressure and sent our troops into Waziristan in late 2003-early 2004 that Pakistan became a war zone. It took another three years of the Pakistan army following the same senseless tactics as used by the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan (aerial bombardment) plus the slaughter at Lal Masjid, for the creation of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). If our security forces are being targeted today by the Taliban and their suicide bombers, it is because they are perceived to be proxies of the US army. Iran is ideologically opposed to both Al Qaeda and the Taliban yet why are its security forces not attacked by terrorists? The answer is because their President does not pretend to be a bulwark against Islamic extremism in return for US dollars and support.

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