Monthly Archives: November 2014

Quetta: 4 including three women killed in an attack on Polio team

Just got to laptop and when I started going through news via tweets. I found a friend had minutes ago tweeted the news of Quetta attack on Polio eradication team that caused killing 3 young women and a male, and injuring three others.

The unknown gun men sprayed bullets on a vehicle carrying polio teams for the earlier announced polio eradication campaign in the Pakistan’s widest province of Balochistan.

The polio team came under attack in the eastern area of Quetta, called eastern bypass. Though, no body has claimed the attack till I write these lines. Earlier attack on polio team, on 23 November, in Charsada Khyber Pashtunkhwa was claimed by Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan Jamat ul Ahrar.

The said Taliban organization spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan tweeted from his social media account, “We claim the responsibility of attack on polio workers in ShabQadr. We will soon release our policy statement on polio vaccine. In policy statement we will tell according to Islam and science how it is dangerous to health and how it is against Islam”.

It is the first time Polio workers are killed in such a high number in Balochistan which was sought to be a bit peaceful place if compared with the militancy stuck province of Khyber Pashtunkhwa and Karachi. But the recent attack proved that the polio teams are no more secure around the province.

I had just interviewed a polio worker from Quetta, who told me that polio workers are not believing in security men provided for their security. She stated that they become more scared while visiting houses for seeking children under 5. Because a man with gun on a far away distance can only increase “our” chances to be targeted, and those seeking “us” would understand our presence in the area by seeing security men provided to polio teams.

Balochistan is having 12 fresh polio affected children this year. Where seven are reported from Afghanistan bordering district of Killa Abdullah Khan, Chaman. On the other side, Kandahar had fresh cases for the first time. Analysts think that the greater number of incoming and out going people at Pak Afghan border of Chaman will be the cause of polio transportation.

A polio vaccinating doctor who led the teams in his area replied with anonymity in the same tune when he was asked. “When we have outbreak in Chaman, how can Spin Boldak and Kandahar remain safer from polio?”.

The Pakistan origin virus is detected in Afghanistan and Middle east.

Pakistan is reported by World Health Organization having 246 fresh cases this year, which is a record breaking figure if tracked through the last 14 years. And such a boosting up result of polio spread has concerned international community and regional nations.

The ban on polio happened after the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Binladen who’s said was tracked through a CIA led fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Since the death of Al-Qaeda leader the Pakistan based network Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan banned polio vaccination campaigns in their areas of influence. And Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan in border with Afghanistan became a secure area for polio virus grow. So the virus endangered rest of the country as it is carried through other human beings from one region to another.

Dog fight in Chaman is a game played centuries back

In mid of the shinny day, people from the main city takes on their motorbikes and cars toward the “Spyo Maidan” or “dogs fighting ground” a specific area having smoother soil without harder rocks particles is selected. It is Chaman the bordering town with Afghanistan. Chaman is again having a dangerous festival in the cold winter days.

These dogs are fought and the gathering seen in the photo enjoys the match. The dog owners sit and a referee or two in the match see the dogs from very near. They bite and punch each other till even to death. Even the referees interferes the fight when one of the owner objects the game.

Winter is “good for dog injuries and they get well soon after a fight” a specialized dog fighter who doesn’t want to be named says. “In hot days no body fight his animals because it is not a good season for such festivals”.

These dogs are raised especially for the fight. Beside other animals fight people from the Pashtun lands of Kandahar, Chaman and Quetta has changed the sports a necessity. As a legend Baloch nationalist had told once that they [ancestors] enjoyed fighting of animals. Because earlier our elders had larger fights against the invaders when it stopped they turned to train their animal fight. They only quenched their real thirst of own fight against enemy. So it would have become a sports by then.

You can see one of the dog’s feet is colored with Henna. And these healthy dogs have a high price daily meet. A specialized assistant and tricks mentor is hired as the dog care taker. And it is never the business of only high profile families. Even poor people from the surrounding areas take on their lazy, sometimes stray and smaller dogs for fighting.

A source stated that actually high prices as “gambling” are put as bit on each dogs head. The winner cheers and the loser become emotional. Even some time the looser kill his dog for not fighting well or simply beat it for not getting victory over the rival dog.

Such activity is surely a violation of animals and pets laws, a crime in international circles of animal protection organizations. No one is allowed to kill or harm these poor animals. Others sell their dogs with minimum prize and search for a new one.

Dogs for the fight are sold from 50 thousand RS to half of a million. They are never fighting with human being as they are trained to catch their rival dogs only when they are surrounded by a gathering of people.

An old saying is so popular among the fighting dog keepers, “A dog fighter told his friend that I had advised you to feed your dog well but you ignored and kept feeding your papa only. Now see the result you lost the match”. Meaning, someone should concentrate and focus his dog more than his “father”. Now you bet how much these people are interested in keeping fighting dogs.

The sports of animal fight are popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan and rest of the regional countries around the region. And it is going back to century older history.

Pakistan and Afghanistan relations after angry statements by Pak officials

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were not that fruitful. As earlier government led by ex-Afghan president Hamid Karzai had harsher statements whenever Afghanistan faced high profile attacks. Taliban were called a matter not of inside Afghanistan but the sanctuaries outside of Afghanistan. After the 2014 presidential election, the throne came under the newly elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Ashraf just completed his two day visit to Pakistan. In his visit he met with high level officials, his counterpart the Pakistani president, prime minister and had one of the most important meetings with Pakistan chief of army staff Gen: Raheel Sharif.

National and international reports have flooded media. In particularly the statement released by the government officials from Pakistan side. After Ashraf Ghani meeting with Maulana Fazal Rehman, chief of Jamiat e Ulama Islam Pakistan, who is a member of National Assembly, stated that the Afghan peace is linked to the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan. Until foreigners withdraw Afghanistan, peace won’t restore to the Afghans motherland.

The Pakistan army Inter Services Public Relations director general stated the same and linked the Afghan insurgency a cause of foreign forces presence in Afghanistan, while he was talking to Washington based Voice of America Deewa Radio [Pashto service].

The third statement came from Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Adviser on Foreign Affairs talking to BBC. Aziz told that Pakistan should not engage in a war with those [insurgents/militants] whose target is not Pakistan. He was stating about the Afghan Taliban [Quetta Shura] and Haqqani Network presence inside Pakistan.

On the other hand, Afghanistan has always demanded assistance from Pakistani authorities while prolonging their reconciliation with the Afghan insurgent groups [Taliban]. Because Afghan government concerns are raised while seeing Fata/North & South Waziristan as hidden sanctuaries for anti Afghanistan militant’s presence. The Afghan government calls the area a heaven for the Taliban and Haqqani Network [a group working under the leadership of Jalaludding Haqqani, veteran jihadist since USSR invasion of Afghanistan].

A hide and seek tactics are used from Pakistani side toward Afghan Taliban, even they are said to be hiding here and different media reports and research articles have stated it in their  reports from the areas.

Since the beginning of global war on terror and the toppling of Taliban regime in Afghanistan Pakistan is said to be playing double game. When United States of America pressurized Pakistani government and showed them a carrot and stick policy after the launch of anti Taliban and Al Qaeda war, Pakistan though played a role of key figure. But Pakistan hasn’t cooperated with Afghan government as a neighbor.

Though, ex-president Hamid Karzai having influential role and both harsher and diplomatic tune toward Pakistan’s strategic policies and long time interference in Afghanistan didn’t yielded result. It is true Karzai’s era was a bitter one for Pakistan and pushed her to the headlines of world news for having “double standard” policy against Afghanistan. Means both supporting Afghanistan government in meetings but supporting their rivals [Taliban] causing the decade long insurgency inside Afghanistan’s southern regions.

The situation got worse when a key leader of Taliban, Mullah Ghani Biradar, was taken in custody after having backdoor channels with Karzai led government. This not only endangered the reconciliation process but the ties between the two countries got to harder statements from the two leading governments. This got a bad fold after the assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, the Afghan leader who led the Afghan High Council of Reconciliation.

Fata is not only turned to be a sanctuary against Afghanistan, it got another group Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan in 2007. Pakistani Taliban umbrella group launched anti Pakistan attacks after several peace agreements between the insurgents and military breached.

The newly elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif kept a clear political and democratic policy toward Afghanistan. Nawaz announced Afghanistan a sovereign nation and raise hopes for better ties between Kabul and Islamabad. The same remarks were made in Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey tripartite meeting in Turkey.

In the history of Pakistan, foreign policy is engineered by the country’s powerful army establishment. That has been a cause of three wars with neighboring India and supported a three decade long civil war in Afghanistan since USSR invasion. A sudden change and independent foreign policy by the elected government of Nawaz Sharif was clear attack on army establishment interests in the region particularly toward Afghanistan and India.

This all happens after Reuters reported that Pakistan’s democratically elected government is being pushed for more pressure by Army. And they demand “space” in foreign policy or probably complete space of the stated policy. It further reported that Imran Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf leader & Tahirul Qadri, the Canadian national religious cleric, four months long sit ins in the Pakistani capital were used as pressure cooker for getting space in foreign policy.

Thanks to parliamentary parties who succeed in guarding the democratically elected government and pushing the army provoked Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri back to their lines. Just last month Qadri announced to end his sit in, Imran Khan’s sit in is though not in a greater number, still goes on. But the report seems to be pragmatic after seeing Aziz comment in a reported published via dawn.com. And Aziz comments truly shows a diversion of PM Nawaz government from their vows they made in Kabul and Turkey.

We can suggest PM Nawaz the better relations with Afghanistan & other neighboring countries is a need of time. Otherwise Pakistan is never having a status to remain active in interference. Pakistan is already divided from inner side. Baloch & Sindhi separatist movements are on way to their intended destinations. Khyber Pashtunkhwa has not recovered from the burned it got in the previous seven years [since creation of Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan], polio cases are more than 250 just in this year, malnutrition; is reported in a survey published via BBC News that more than 42% of Pakistani population is malnourished, economy; is totally dependent on the grants from World Bank & International Monetary Fund; terrorism eat outs minorities.

In the above stated situation if still Aziz, FazalRehman, Asim Bajwa thinks or act wrongly, it means they going to return us back to the stone ages. We can’t pursue our aggressive foreign policies toward our neighbor Afghanistan. Therefore we should welcome President Ashraf Ghani’s positive stance and flexibility and not consider it be Afghan leader’s weakness but his loyalty to his people and war torn nation.

A gathering of Shia students in Peshawar University lawn!

Just taking some sips of tea, my eyes spotted on a number of youths in multiple groups showing as if they were divided. These youths as ordinary as other Pashtun students had Imran Khan’s PTI like flag in one hand and the Pakistan’s national flag in their second.

Later when I focused on the flag, it was not PTI’s. Some thing in white had written on the flag with a monogram in the middle.

At last I understood, they were from Imamia Students Organization. I had earlier seen their posters around the Peshawar University campus in the days of Muhram ul Haram.

These youths from Pashtunkhwa’s Shia community living across Pashtunkhwa changed into a gathering in the Faqir Ipi lawn of Peshawar University.

It was strange for me seeing the Imamia Students Organization in a greater number, most of them Pashtuns, chanted slogans, Nara e Takbeer, Nara e Risalat and Nara e Haidari [as I live in Quetta and Chaman where very few Pashtuns are from Shia sects or you can say none]. And then, some young activists started their speech to the gathering, was composed of almost some 80 to 100 students.

I couldn’t come nearer to their gathering, as I am knowing the threat the Shia sect faces across Pakistan. By not telling them earlier, they would have felt fear by my sudden presence near them. And when, I was sitting on a distance, merely hearing their louder reply in chants. I could, at the same time, observe their faces crossed looking to the incomers, while they were attending this gathering.

According to some rough data more than 3000 people are killed in last five years around Parachinar and Kuram Agency. Some TTP commanders name circulated media while these bloody clashes took place. The same has happened to Shias particularly the Hazaras [easily targeted because of their change facial figures]. Even a thousand KG bomb blasted in Hazara Town of Quetta. And some 100 of the Hazara Shia community members were killed when a busy snooker club was attacked in a twin bombing attack in 2013. Karachi is no more better than Quetta and Parachinar, Kuram Agency.

Not only Shias are killed in sectarian attacks, some times, it gets Sunni clerics targeted. And this change of reactions don’t let peace come among these two sects.

History of sects in Islam is from the beginning. But, such violence and killing didn’t take place around Afghanistan and Pashtunkhwa, in history of sects [older people from Quetta tells in their gossips & discussions]. It [sectarian violence] boosted only after the 1980s era when Pakistan in the leadership of its Army ruler Gen Ziaulhaq supported anti USSR jihadist campaign while siding with United States of America led group.

As rest of other extreme folds, the fold of extremism among sects has evolved. For example,earlier we would hear that religious clergy members from both the Sunni and Shia sects were attacked in the attempts of target killing by unknown people. And some time the bullet spray would come on a congregation or holly mosques & imambargas. It definitely changed after 9/11 and first suicide attack took place in Quetta while Ashura rallies were in the middle of the city’s Liaquat Bazar [a business center] in 2003.

Pakistan is the country where among other minorities, the Shia minority gets most of their loved one killed in sectarian violence mostly across, Quetta, Parachinar, Peshawar and Karachi.

And same happens to Sunni clerics in the same cities. This conflict of sects is not new for Pakistan. But always get to peak when political ups and downs happen in Pakistan’s relations with Iran, or Iranian relations with the Arabian Gulf nations particularly the Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, heard Mahmood Khan Achakzai’s interview with Mashaal Radio Pashto service, when he was asked who kill people on the basis of sects in Pakistan and why Balochistan government is not taking steps to stop them.
Achakzai, the Pashtun nationalist leader and chairman of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, referred to these clashes as proxy activities. Means, these clashes are having links to other nations [pointing to Saudi Arabia & Iran]. Because Pashtuns are never killing people on the basis of religious, sect, race, color and language et cetra basis. Nor such clashes have place in the history of Pashtun Afghans.

He straight forwardly stated that what are countries powerful spy agencies doing when plans are made for these clashes? They (spy agencies) are for the defense of the country and it is their job.

Why we don’t think before milk is spoiled?

It was class time, I took bath, & fresh up myself then started to walk to campus. Time was short, so I couldn’t take breakfast. Owing to no breakfast and no energy, I rarely reply even a simple question. Or only nob my head while replying. As conversation needs energy.

So, when I got to department, it didn’t seem that our classes were on today. So got to NewsPaperStand. Started reading, mostly crime reports and bigger headlines of politics. Having Imran & Sirajul Haq’s photos as they have again announced their reconciliation and unity in Khyber Pashtunkhwa provincial government.

Another part of the paper contained a quarter of the page advertisement. And I came across this ad in the Urdu news-paper “Daily Nai Baath” published from Peshawar, it put some strange impression on me. And pushed me think for awhile. This was via JI’s deputy General Secretary, an Afridi— whose name I don’t remember. The said official of JI hailing from Khyber Agency had demanded rights from Pakistani government. And had tuned to be equally treated as the people of North Waziristan are treated. And he had asked for one lac RS for each family who have fled Khyber Agency.

While reading this ad, heard two guys in the background on the premises of the department, one having a nationalist theme tuned logical, while the other putting his religious point of views, showed to be JI supporter [not confirm].

The ad takes me to past, consider it only my imaginations, I would ask why JI supported the civil war and militants in Afghanistan, why they became part of Zia’s dictatorial era and used as tools for the said dictator & his led army state/martial state, why they tried to disturb/destory the social structure of Pashtun Afghan society on both sides of the Durand line [in Afghanistan & ‪#‎Pashtunkhwa‬]? How they used the language of gun instead of argument?

These were the reasons behind the destruction of Afghanistan and disturbance across Pashtunkhwa. That is still going in the shape of ZarbEAzb against the innocent masses of FATA [not confirmed if militants are attacked because no media is allowed to cover it]. And has forced some 1 million people to flee their homes in North Waziristan & Khyber Agency.

What they [JI/JUIF] yielded from all their jihadist ideology based views and formation of jihadi organizations Haftgana & Hashthgana in Afghanistan and Pashtunkhwa [Refugee camps were used for the said purpose in Pashtunkhwa]?

The only product I can count on and state is the 3 decade destruction of Pashtun Afghan Ulas on both sides. And has killed millions of people. This war is still underway. And its fold after 9/11. Which penetrated through the borders of Pashtunkhwa again. This has, so far, killed more than 70 thousand innocent people across Khyber Pashtunkhwa, Fata, Quetta and Pashtun populated areas in Karachi.

Do you think, if our religious parties had played a mere nationalist [nationalism is never opposite to religion— prophets were sent to their nations] role, would this miserable situation have been the result?

No, never. Afghanistan wouldn’t have seen that destruction and civil war, killing million of people, & pushing millions other to live life of refugees in Pakistan, Iran and the western countries. We the Pashtun in Pashtunkhwa wouldn’t have seen the daily basis “Domesday”, killing, slaughtering, migration, starvation under the holly name of our peaceful religion Islam. And the said party’s president/emir Qazi Hussain Ahmed wouldn’t have seen threats & suicide bomb attacks from militants he had led to organize— for war in Afghanistan. Nor the JUI F leader Maulana FazlurReham would have faced three times suicide bombing on his life.

Why don’t we/Pashtun think the result of our deeds before we take steps and practice our hard line ideologies? Because we won’t advertise for relief for our IDPs, displaced due to our own deeds in the past.