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Posts Tagged ‘tribal areas’

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Atif F Qureshi, PKKH Editorial Team | Edited by Talha Mujaddidi
PakistanKaKhudaHafiz.com

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Can Pakistan resist Pax Pox Americana?

When it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the Earth,” they say: “Why, we only want to make peace!” Holy Qur’an (2-11)

Wherever the Americans go, their policies spread poison. Under the pretext of ‘freedom and democracy’ US policy-makers trample over weaker nations, placing and replacing puppet rulers on a whim and propagandising against all aspirations for true independence. (Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrown is a must book to read in this context

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Recently, I interviewed two of my friends (Ali and Ahmed*) who have worked inside the IDP relief camps. These friends went to IDP camps in early July and since then many IDPs have moved back to their homes in Swat, Malakand and Buner area. Many other refugees have not yet been able to return home, but the situation is improving at the moment. The lack of funds is still is a big problem for the people and the government because the costs of rebuilding entire towns, villages and infrastructure are enormous.

Before we get into the interviews which follow, it is important that the reader know something about the Pathans. The vast Majority of the people living in NWFP (North West Frontier Province are Pathans). Pathans are an ethnic group that speaks the Pashto language. Pathans, or Pushtoon, are also the majority population of Afghanistan. Pushtoons are able fighters and accustomed to living under harsh climatic conditions. Pushtoons were part of most armies that ruled the region and the Indian Sub-continent and they are also staunch Muslims.

Pushtoons have contributed a great deal to the development and prosperity of the Pakistan. Many of Pakistan’s prominent personalities have been Pushtoon. Pushtoons for the most part follow their own tribal laws and customs, and they are very strict about those laws. To the Western world it seems confusing when Pushtoons fight with one another, but these are easily understood as any group struggles for internal control. It’s also important to understand that they have have many tribal laws and customs, which have nothing to do with Islam but rather, are based on their tribal laws and Jirga (council of leaders). Western pressure, western backed NGO’s, military action, political pressure, or other such urbane machinations cannot force the Pushtoons to change these laws or to amend them. Pushtoons are also the backbone of the Pakistan Army, the most powerful institution of Pakistan. Pathans are proficient with the use of modern technology and equipment and they are innovative in new business and customs but they will not alter their tribal codes or laws.

The Pathans are staunchly religious and don’t think of Afghanistan as a foreign country because Afghanistan has a majority population of Pushtoons. The Pushtoons are strongly opposed to the U.S.-led war and they consider the U.S. occupation force to be a repetition of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Pushtoons are also unhappy with the Pakistan Government because both the current Zardari government and the earlier Musharraf government are puppets of the United States. They also view the rest of the Pakistani elite class and politicians and the majority of the Pustoon politicians to be corrupt and Pro-U.S. for their own self interest.

TM = Talha Mujaddidi, Axis of Logic Columnist
RW = Relief Workers being interviewed.


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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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