Monthly Archives: December 2014

Shutterdown strike: the aftermath of Peshawar School Attack

Peshawar will remain closed today [31st December] in the result of 16/12 Action Committee formed to strongly condemn the Peshawar Army Public School Attack on the 16th of December that killed 132 and wounded 126 school children, staff members and security personnel.

The rallies, gatherings, candle lighting, school children prayers programs were not only arranged across Pashtunkhwa [the Pashtun historical land in Pakistan], Pakistan and region. It was even condemned in the Indian [a nation which Pakistan has fought for 3 wars with over Kashmir disputed territory] parliament and a message from their Premier Narendar Modi who had called PM Nawaz Sharif and had condoled with him. The same was condolence message from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and their Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

This massacre was followed by condolence and condemning messages and statements from leader around the world whether it is United Nations secretary General Ban Ki-moon, American President Barak Obama. The Gulf leadership and their Organization of Islamic Countries would be arranging their meeting for promoting peace will be held in Peshawar, came through news organizations.

As I write these lines; got a text message from a female right and social activist Sanna Ejaz, a leading figure in the Khyber Pashtunkhwa civil society members being arrested by the Police after a baton charge on the Peshawar strike observer.

The Khyber Pashtunkhwa government is led by Imran Khan a cricketer turned politician, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf. Whose party had the 4 month longer sit ins and strikes across Pakistan to down the currently elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But the said party is quick to arrest the social and political activists who are literally aware lot condemning Pakistan’s double standard in foreign policies toward Afghanistan and rest of the neighboring states. The political and social activists have also expressed concerns over the role of Pakistan labeling Taliban as “good and bad”.

Sanna says, “I am not hurt but we are kept in jail after we had started our peaceful strike against the Peshawar massacre”. She adds she’s never afraid of such arrest and will keep her struggle go on.

“Many of our activists are arrested across Peshawar as they were out for shutter down strike”, she adds.

The Khyber Pashtunkhwa civil society, Pashtun nationalist political parties were the first who condemned the attack across Pakistan.

Pakistan as a nation condemned the killing for the first time; otherwise there were many ifs and buts whenever the militant organization would kill the innocent masses from Khyber Pashtunkhwa, Federally Administrative Areas, Balochistan and Pashtuns living in Sindh. And if human rights and media organization shows the figure dead in the last decade only from Pashtun areas is from 50 to 70 thousands. Most of them are targeted in the same kind of massacres whether it was targeted killing of 12 hundred Pashtun elders from Tribal areas or the suicide bombing attacks on the masses of Khyber Pashtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi [the religious militant wings were targeting the populations of Pashtuns in Karachi in particular, sometimes they would claim killing of others too].

Some half a dozen operations across the above stated areas were launched and at the same time followed by different agreements between Pakistan Army and the outlawed militant organization Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan. The main deals areThe Shakai Peace Agreement, April 2004, Srarogha Peace Agreement, February 2005, The Swat Agreement, May 2008 and then the 2014 Government and Taliban peace talks”. I don’t want to go in details of the agreements but these were the land marks that were followed by the deadliest terror attacks on masses.

Where these Taliban come from and who provided them sanctuaries; is a bigger question.

Taliban had captured Afghanistan after the deadly Afghan Civil war [supported by US & allies via Pakistan]. The October 7, 2001 Nato and US led operation on Taliban regime [1996-2001]. The Taliban regime called “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” came in to American notice after 9/11 deadly attack by AlQaeda militants on World Trade Center Twin Towers. The AlQaeda militants who had found their sanctuaries under Taliban regime claimed the attack in a video message from the organization chief Osama Binladen. The hard line AlQaeda and Taliban were allies sharing the same ideology of “Sharia Law”. The Taliban regime head, emir of the faithful Mullah Muhammad Omer had rejected any suggestion of handing over AlQaeda leader to US and closing AlQaeda sanctuaries active across Afghanistan.

The Pakistani civilian government and then military regime was the stronger supporter of Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan was among the three nations [including Saudi Arabia and UAE] who had recognized “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”.

So a crackdown against Taliban and AlQaeda showed them way to enter Federally Administered Tribal Areas and stayed there as Muslim brothers and guests. Though, the people of FATA are not aware of these people but always claim that the political agent and Pakistani establishment were their main facilitators to settle them in safe heavens across Fata. At the same time they [militants] were given the same facilities of safe heavens in Khyber Pashtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi. These organizations including AlQaeda, Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network organized their attacks back inside Afghanistan.

Pakistan pursued its policy of the so called strategic depth and interference in Afghanistan was though not under a complete cover. Though it was in an alliance of war on terror that showed it’s double faced policy after the AlQaeda top leader Osama Binladen was killed in a US navy seal raid under the nose of Pakistan Army’s top academy in Abbottabad just miles away from capital city Islamabad.

Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan announced its formal organization under the leadership of Pakistani Taliban [a group once active as supporters of Afghan Taliban & then bounded themselves with AlQaeda] leader Baitullah Mehsud in 2007. The said organization called for a holy war in Pakistan and started the same kind of activities they were pursuing against coalition and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. That killed thousands of people and their last but not the least attack on Peshawar was another that angered the Pakistani politicians and military leadership to launch an operation against all “Good and Bad Taliban”.

The Pakistan Army operation has caused the hang to death of some of the former Pakistani military members and others who were involved in attacking Pakistan’s strategic points like GHQs and former army ruler Gen (R) Perver Musharaf. But the reality of the operation is yet waited whether resulting true or false. As Punjab based wanted militant organizations that are a power house for global militancy are yet not touched nor are the Afghan Taliban asked to stop their organizational work using Pakistani soil as sanctuary.

So many if and buts are used in TV talk shows by political and military leadership. Their clear stance would emerge by the passage of time.

It seems both Taliban & ISAF would end their combat in Afghanistan

The Nato led ISAF mission of Afghanistan is now going to be concluded. The flag of the international community united front against terrorism is going to fold and mission end by the ceremony observed inside Afghanistan and the speech of American president Barak Obama.

Nato had their 13 years longer mission in Afghanistan. And just years ago, they [Nato] started transitional process of security to the newly organized and a well polished Afghan Security Forces.

At the same time; came across a statement released by the Afghan Taliban Spokesman Zabehullah Mujahid. It’s interesting to see that Zabeh’s statement is more political than its older version of extreme religious tune only.

Mujahid states, “America, its invading allies, ISAF, NATO along with all international arrogant organizations have been handed a clear cut defeat in this lopsided war”. And at the same time he adds that they’ll keep fighting until the last invader [forces from Nato] remains on the Afghan soil.

“They [Nato, Isaf and America] have nothing left except empty talk on stages, lies and deceits to try and mislead their nations”.

From one angle seeing Afghan Taliban statement, shows hope, at a time when the international community will be leaving Afghanistan. Many viewers will disagree but I see a deeper insight in the statement. The spokesman is using the term “Afghan nation” instead of another harsher term.

The spokesman adds, “We are of the belief that our nation will continue strengthening the trenches of Jihad, the demoralized American built forces will constantly be dealt defeats just like their masters and independence shall be achieved and a way paved for the establishment of a pure Islamic system by expelling the remaining invading forces unconditionally”.

Even though, Afghanistan has not achieved the support and assistance it needed at the time when none group or stronger resistance force remained after October 2001 attacks against the Taliban regime. And it was a misfortune when the civil war and then Taliban crashed Afghan society was not considered in the form of its needs. Therefore no special development plans were chalked out. According to former finance minister that 80 to 85% funded budget went back to the accounts of coalition partner countries. On the other hand International Community in particular Americans blamed the Afghan government for its massive corruption. And the unfriendly relations between the ex-Afghan president Hamid Karzai with the United States government and allied forces lasted till the electioneering of newly elected president Ashraf Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah. One can understand the relations when Karzai lashed Americans and Pakistan in his farewell speech.

It’s politics and would go on. But we cannot neglect the development of Afghanistan in the previous 13 years. I still remember how I went through Kandahar and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan in Taliban era, 2000. Again visited these areas in 2005, 2006 and till 2014. The speed of rebuilding Afghanistan cannot be ignored. Afghanistan had none of its forces, offices, governance, political, judicial, security and development institutions. All of them are now running functionally followed by a young lot of Afghans pursuing their higher studies in different educational institutes. It is hoped they [young Afghan lot] will be running once they are in the field for practical activities.

Lets have a comparative view of Taliban era with current Afghanistan, a democratic nation.

Just one example in the form of freedom of expression, we remember the Shariath Ghag Radio Kabul in 1996 to 2001, cannot be compared with 25 TV and more than 100 FM radio stations across Afghanistan. The media monitoring organizations have put Afghanistan having more freedom for speech and views than its neighboring Pakistan.

The same is the situation of school going children in millions now, cannot be compared with the negligible or no school going children in the Taliban era. Women are part of the parliament and life running institutions. This on one could dream in Taliban era. Judiciary, I remember, how Taliban executed people open in the soccer stadiums but never exists in today’s Afghanistan.

The most interesting outcome of the last 13 years is a government elected with 8.1 million vote polls. That shows the commitment of Afghans to their sovereignty, integrity, freedom and development.

My observation is not the final point, we still need more to develop Afghanistan, minimize opium, corruption, gender discrimination, basic democracy, a more speedy and transparent judicial system, rule of law and governance.

It is true had Afghanistan not faced the militancy of Taliban in last 13 years, the country would have evolved a nation of its own not defending on International Community funds after a decade. And sustainable development would have taken roots.

It is well said in a proverb, that the will of people is the will of God. So, Afghans are never going back to Taliban era or their run regime. So, it won’t be possible to push the society back to the dark ages Afghanistan saw during its civil war and then Taliban era. By reading Afghan Taliban statement makes me hopeful that they will join Afghanistan democratic government after a successful reconciliation process as their brothers [religious political leaders Maulana Fazal Rehman, Siraj ul Haq, Maulana Sami ul Haq most of them part of Pakistani parliament] are doing in neighboring Pakistan. Because none of the foreign combatants [ISAF/Nato/US] remains in Afghanistan and it is never a war between infidel [the main attractive point for Taliban to join jihad] and Muslims on Afghan soil anymore.

Pakistan: lets stop own destruction after Peshawar brutal attack

The attack on Peshawar Army Public School killed at least 142 wounded more than 126 majority of them school going children, school staff members and Pakistani security personnel at the said school. The attack was later claimed by the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan spokesman Muhammad Khorasani. Who had talked to a foreign news organization and called it retaliation to Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan. He added, most of the children were from Army families and the said organization having popular schools and colleges around the country is linked with Pakistan Army. Khorasani also added that the fighters were ordered to shoot the elder students not children.

Khorasani has further stated that their [TTP] attacks on Pakistan military organizations will keep going. He states that the Peshawar school attack was planned by the TTP operational head and organizational head of the Peshawar and Dara Adamkhel chapter, Khalifa Umer Mansoor.

Khorasani adds that civilian should remain away from the military institutions and organizations otherwise they’ll be themselves responsible of the destruction.

Pakistan Army chief, Gen: Raheel Sharif shortened his Quetta based event, passing out parade of the army recruits form Balochistan, and made his way to Peshawar. Where the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif had also arrived for monitoring the situation from very close and advising the security forces to minimize the death tool and get the inside school children and staff member with safety.

The Pakistan Army well trained SSG Commandoes took part in counter operation. And the fight went long, that caused a higher number of causalities. Otherwise, Taliban sources had confirmed the number of attackers having both target killers and suicide bombers as 6, but Pakistan army’s ISPR director General Asim Bajwa told the press reporters that the attackers were 9 and all were killed by the end of the day.

At the same time Afghan Taliban spokesman has condemned the attack on a school in Peshawar.

Peshawar’s Warsak Road Army Public school was soon covered by the parents and relatives who had their children inside the school. Most of them remained senseless, searching every child coming out covered by the Pakistani security personnel. Most of the parents went hopelessly, as their dead and injured children were rushed to the nearer Lady Reading Hospital and Combined Military Hospital Peshawar. The hospitals staff mixed their weeps and sorrows with the parents and relatives by seeing the flowery faces of mostly under teen and teenage students. And Peshawar in particular and Pashtunkhwa [the Pashtun populated belt in Pakistan] as whole felt the shocking news in moments after the tragic incident took place.

Though Lady Reading Hospital is not new to such casualties, as the said institute was the front line health facilitator to injured, killed and traumatized after the launch of war on terror. As Peshawar is under the black cloud of sorrows and grieves since 2007, after the launch of TTP. The AlQaeda linked Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan active in Fata and Khyber Pashtunkhwa, as Peshawar is capital city of the province so most of their activities took place here. According to a rough estimate some 70 thousand civilians and security forces of Pakistan [most of them from Pashtunkhwa, Peshawar, FATA, Quetta, and Karachi] have been killed in the said war with non-state actors [some analyst name them].

Political leadership from around the country and world has strongly condemned the brutal and inhumane attack on Peshawar school.

Let’s now go a bit back to the historical background of the said organization, TTP. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, capitalist world launched their anti communist USSR campaign and produced warlord groups to counter the then super power. Pakistan became its [US and capitalist group] active ally because it was in fear that the socialist regime in Kabul will be a cause of Pakistan’s disturbance in the shape of “Pashtunistan issue”. As the naturally linked Afghans from Pakistan and Afghanistan both side lives in a divided region of their geography. And this division is not new; it is going back to the 1893 Durand Line drawn by the United Kingdom British Rulers.

After the USSR defeat and Afghanistan’s socialist regime collision, the World capitalist block left Afghanistan to be on its own as the Geneva Accord was signed and the Afghan socialist leader and the fourth ruler of the Kabul under PDPA regime, Dr Najibullah resigned. The throne went to Gulbadin Hekmatyar and (Late) Prof: Burhanuddin Rabbani. But soon a war among the two leaders and some 7 to 8 groups erupted, which is known as Afghan Civil War.

They [the capitalists] didn’t consider the Arab [including AlQaeda in Chief Osama Binladen from Saudi Arabia, Aimanul Zawahiri from Egypt accompanied by hundreds of their well trained fighters] and other Muslim fighters they had brought here for countering the expansionist policy of USSR. Now a new chance came to Pakistan, because of her rivalry [the two have fought on Kashmir issue for three times] to its neighbor India and formed a policy of “strategic depth” means using Afghanistan as a piece of land against its bigger in size enemy India. This military strategic term interrupted in Pakistan in a tune that Afghanistan be considered its fifth province to breed the anti India militant forces as well as keeping well wishers of Pakistan on Kabul throne.

Those militant groups [both indigenous and foreign] who were bred in Afghanistan took a complex structure, I won’t explain it more, the complexity of their militancy grew and peaked then hit the World Trade Center and 9/11 took place in the United States of America. By then the Afghan children were remembered that the deadly force of Islamist militant in Taliban’s ruled Afghanistan are a threat to American interests and global peace. So war on terror was launched on. How this war was fought can be traced in “The Wrong Enemy” by Carlotta Gall, a veteran journalist who has covered Afghanistan since the US troops invasion against the Taliban [who had sheltered AlQaeda] regime on October 7, 2001.

The writer, Carlotta Gall in her book; The Wrong Enemy, nicely explains how American were dodged again. When the then Pakistani President Gen: Musharaf showed a mere “U” turn Taliban regime supporting policy. But later it proved wrong enemy fighting in the wrong zone when AlQaeda leader was tracked on May 2, 2011 [a decade after the Pakistan US and international community joint launch of war against terrorism] in American Navy Seal operation just in the Garrison town of Abbottabad some miles away from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. She further states that the then President Gen: Pervez Musharaf, [the fake ally of US war on terror her quotes proves], his army and intelligence agency chiefs knew the presence of AlQaeda leader. She adds, they not only knew his presence but had a special army official to monitor the AlQaeda leader being traced by the US and other intelligence services from around the world.

She explains in different chapters how the Afghan Taliban, foreign militants under the umbrella of AlQaeda and Taliban [now an hybrid against the infidel enemy in Afghanistan] moved themselves to FATA (Federally Administered Areas of Pakistan). And were looked by the Pakistani state in the said land of tribal Pashtuns. As Pakistan was waiting to revise its policy openly once the Nato forces leave Afghanistan. But clashes took place between the militant groups and Pakistani military after US pressure on Pakistani government and its stronger military leadership. As the stronger Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network were launching their spring attacks against Afghan and International Community around Afghanistan. In this regard several operations were launched against those who were earlier settled in FATA with an aim to use for taking the throne of Kabul again. This resulted the creation of TTP in 2007, in leadership of Baitullah Mehsud. Who started targeting Pakistan in retaliation for the first time in an open war against the state.

The US drone strike had started by killing an Afghan Jihad veteran and now the foreign and Afghan Taliban facilitator, Naik Muhammad in 2004. When Naik Muhammad had clashed with Pakistani army several times. As Pakistani officials were using the dual faced policy. Arresting the AlQaeda and Taliban fighters whenever pressure would come from Washington. Therefore the army saw Naik Muhammad a young tribal much dangerous and therefore asked for US drone help.

Earlier Afghanistan stuck in civil war of the Mujahideen fictions led by Pakistan had turned to a well planned laboratory for producing the militancy groups. Those were intended to be used against the neighbor [India]. Even a smaller bacteria producing laboratory can’t be that open because the production of bacteria can get an unknown code and may be capable to affect everything it is attached to. But Pakistan based “conservative and extremist mentality” didn’t considered this spread of own raised snakes bites. Even today, the apologize-rs inside the society are day dreaming of Pan-Islamism and capturing the region under their rule.

Even at this time we [Pakistan] are blamed for using our sanctuaries in Fata, Quetta, and Peshawar against the destruction of Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Jalalabad and Mazar e Sharif. And the intelligence agencies, news reports, world leading researchers have proved this in their statements and research out lets. The same mentality of “strategic depth” still exists and Afghanistan is disturbed for the same purpose. As I write these lines, I have got a tweet from a journalist friend that the Kabul Bank branch in Helmand is attacked some 10 killed and 10 other injured.

So the death of flowers like children in Peshawar school is a result of the above explained hidden policy of the Pakistani military. The only need of policy can change the said south Asian region into a peaceful one. Earlier to this Pakistan, Afghanistan, regional countries [Iran, India, China, Central Asian Nations, Russia] and international community can come around a table for the solution of militancy rise in Pakistan and Afghanistan in particular and region in general. The Peshawar school attack is not the last nor the first; we have lost 70 thousand civilian and security forces. It will go on unless we change our mentality.

RIP to all the innocent souls who lost their lives in Army Public School in a terrorist attack; pray for quicker recovery of injured and hopeful that we change our mentality with an aim not to be the cause of further self destruction.

Kabul: suicide bomb blasts killing ANA personnels & Pakistan, US relations

The deadly attacks by Afghan Taliban are continuing across Afghanistan. Today’s attacks in Kabul are again claimed by their spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid via his twitter account. In the latest attack Mujahid claimed his organization’s suicide bomber hit the Benz 303 bus loaded with Afghanistan National Army, according to his figure some 45 personnel of the newly trained Afghanistan National Security Forces were killed.

On the other hand, media organizations have reported some 14 injured were carried to Kabul based hospitals.

It is not the first attack, earlier the strategic camp emptied after Britishers’ withdrawal came under attack. Later on the Taliban website stated that their 10 suicide bombers and fighter went through the camp killing many of Afghanistan forces and damaging the camp badly.

I still remember how Afghanistan army tried to cover the Helmand and Kabul attacks by attacking a tracker fitted Houbara Bustard, the Siberian migratory bird making its way through Afghanistan and reaching to Pakistan’s deserts in Balochistan province.

Former president of ‪Afghanistan Hamid ‪‎Karzai is missed and much remembered after ‪Kabul blasts and an increase in disturbance across the country. In process dealing between United States of America and Pakistan where Afghanistan’s newly formed government is totally bypassed [handing over Afghanistan forces captured Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan commander or the man No.2 after Hakimullah Mehsud, Latif Mehsud to Pakistan]. At the same time media has reported the deaths of TTP leadership and important commanders in the drone strikes on Afghanistan side of Kunar and Nuristan.

On the other side, Afghanistan government and its spy agency has taken the Pakistani spy agencies responsible for providing safe heavens to Afghanistan disturbing militants. This is proved by the earlier statement of Pakistan’s Sartaj Aziz, a veteran politician and adviser on foreign affairs to Premier Nawaz Sharif. Aziz had stated in his interview with BBC that Pakistan should not own the war of others and should single out the militants who are only against Pakistan, he further stated that his country should not take on the enmity of militants who are against Afghanistan and the United States of America [surely pointing to the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network and Quetta Shura].

Such a one sided and biased US policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan won’t work for creating peace in the region, that’s disturbed by the outlawed organization active in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Though, US drone has started a speedy attacking of the wanted militants both in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s black-whole FATA. On the other side Pakistan army chief’s recent visit to US has boosted the hitting of Al-Qaeda militants across the country. And for Zarb e Azb and Khyber 1 operation military assistance from US will surely make its way to Pakistan. Even though the impact and credibility of the operations is yet not monitored through media and human rights watch.

Ignoring Afghanistan and its people in such a situation where ISAF: NATO forces in Afghanistan: would be withdrawing after 14 years of war would surely lead the region to a mess rather than stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Now people will understand Karzai’s last speech raising his finger on both Pakistan and US. Ashraf Ghani & Dr. Abdullah Abdullah are still confused to form their cabinet; Ghani’s much bowed photos with COAS in Pakistan don’t seem to work. As the Afghanistan issue with Pakistan is pretty political rather than economic.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are two neighboring states having a controversy over different issues. As Pakistan remained the hardest ally of US in Afghan resistance against USSR and then remained active in Afghan civil war. The said war killed millions of people and remaining of them fled the country to live the miserable life in refugee camps of Pakistan and Iran. And after this phase Pakistan was the only neighboring country that supported the Taliban regime by giving them way to enter Afghanistan. Not only this the Benazir Bhutto government fully influenced by the stronger army and its spy agencies were the creator of this force that at last formed bound to Al-Qaeda that later claimed responsibility of World Trade Center 9/11 attacks. Even at the time of writing these lines, Pakistan is taken as the breeding nest of Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network, Quetta Shura in different research reports and independent analysis.

Though, we can’t hide the positivity of current civilian government in ‪Pakistan who are given tough time in the shape of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf led by Imran Khan, and forced not to deal the Afghan policy independent of Pakistan’s powerful spy agencies & its army.

One can sadly say that Nawaz Sharif is having greater positiveness [in his earlier Premiership times this leader from Punjab was not that much realist toward Afghanistan] toward Kabul. But poor Sharif’s position is not that stronger. It can be judged after US dealing the government to government affairs with Pakistan army instead of elected government of Sharif.

The only conclusion of this war can come by sitting to a table of dialogue of Afghanistan and Pakistan endorsed by the regional powers and monitored by the international community. Otherwise this sanctuary and interference game in Afghanistan will not only destabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan. The cancerous form of double faced policy of interference and militancy support would surely cause a death to regional peace or even it can extend to global peace.

With courtesy Afghanistan Times Kabul, that published the piece in their Op-Ed page on 16 December 2014.

Lets provide a book and school instead of gun and tank to children: Malala Yousafzai

Swat comes to its normality and people live there with peace and harmony again. It is hoped that the progress and development will take its root again. The tourism would attract tourist from around the world once again. Though, this one time unlucky valley had lost its colors, was controlled by those groups having a mind set of hate and extremes of their ideology. The only girl who stood against them was given a punishment through the barrel of gun; when she didn’t stop her voice go on media and to many ears in public gatherings of Swat.

The story of a tinny faced Malala Yousafzai is not hidden now, as she is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. The child hero who struggled for girls education in particular and education for all in general, but was tried to be quite by the then militants surrounding Khyber Pashtunkhwa’s paradise like valley of Swat. She only didn’t stop her work but sped it up with more energy and activism.

This was the girl who wrote the BBC Pashto blog with her pseudo name Gulmakai. That actually became a whistle blow against the well known Mullah Fazlullah, the FM radio Mullah, his regime and follower. This pushed the government to take action against this non-state actor. Fazlullah and his followers of a mindset, who had not only pushed the people of Swat to the stone ages but had opened his own way of judiciary, where his loyal militia beheaded people, lashed girl in the public and forced women not to go to Bazar, banned smaller girls from school and started bombing every educational institute.

The turn of people came one by one; everyone disliked by this stronger Taliban commander came through an announcement from his very popular FM radio. Some 3 million people of Swat left the area and were made IDPs [internally displaced persons]. According to a rough figure some 800 schools and colleges were brought to the ground level. This was not only miserable for the people of Swat, rest of Khyber Pashtunkhwa felt the wrath from a distance. The music play was stopped on the buses going to Mardan, Sawabi and other neighboring districts. Because in the Taliban interpreted Sharia Law, the Music hearings were Haram. None should have ear before listening Music. People from those areas waited for this wrath stretching to touch them.

On the other Hand, Fata [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] were already under the clouds of terror, target killing, bombs blasts. This had killed some 12 hundreds tribal chiefs in its first phase. This resulted in collision of the social structure of Jirga/Council. And youths were left to the mercy of Al-Qaeda impacted Taliban groups. No one cared these lands of Pashtuns. As Pakistan had to pursue its policies of “Strategic Depth” and expansionism or a having influence on Kabul. The death toll in suicide bombing, target killing, slaughtering had risen over to 50 thousand civilian and government security personnel.

Gulmakai—Malala Yousafzai was only a 14 years old child. She became the icon of courage among her fellows, and started to be part of the public gathering of civil societies and political elders. Soon, she gained popularity at her village and town. As Taliban were cleared from the area after Army took control of Swat. Their [Taliban] loyal were still surrounding the society under cover. Malala, her father and her father’s friends & political comrades were given open letters to stop their pro-education, pro-democracy and anti terrorism & extremism activities. Otherwise wait for their turn to be either targeted in a gun attack or bomb in their school [Malala’s father was head master of his own private girls and boys school].

If aware class of a society stop their criticism and practical struggle against the wrongs to their political, social and cultural surrounding, then the result will be bloodshed, destruction and erosion of development from the surface of earth. On such event and issues not only criticism a holy war against those who stopped education for children was boosted up by Zia ud din and his daughter Malala. This didn’t go long; soon the militants understood the value of words much powerful then the bullets in their guns. This made Malala be targeted by a militant who searched her out in her school van at a time when she was on way to school with rest of her fellows. This caused injuring Malala so serious as bullet had penetrated through her skull, and wounding two of the fellows boarded in the van. Thanks God, she was brought to Islamabad/Rawalpindi based army hospital, in a military helicopter. This only happened after a high cry was made on Pakistan private TV channels and international media. Otherwise she wound have survived. She went through some surgeries, and finally recovered from unconsciousness in an English Hospital.

The courage and struggle of Malala was lauded around the world. She became a global icon after recovering from her injuries in England. The world leaders nominated her as the child education campaigner. And UN Secretary General Bun Ki-moon, former UK Premier Gordon Brown, US President Barak Obama, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and leaders around the world praised the child hero and her struggle against a mindset and their blackish hurdles in the way of “Light” and education. I remember I was in Kabul, Afghanistan, when tinny girls and boys planned a pray for Malala campaign.Than this all went beyond the boundaries of nations.

Therefore, Malala was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize just months ago, and today, she received it with another social activist from India. Malala’s award ceremony is celebrated around Pashtunkhwa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, region and globally. Though, she was named a western agent, or not hurt in real. But today, her speech starting with the name of God Almighty, the references from Quran and Hadith pushed some conservative Pakistani leaders to congratulate her via their twitter and facebook accounts. At a time when Pakistan is still divided toward Malala’s struggle. Khyber Pashtunkhwa provincial assembly led by Pakistani cricketer turned politician Imran Khan’s PTI is still reluctant to pass the resolution of “Malala Yousafzai congratulation on the award of Nobel Peace Prize”.

The great piece from her speech on the eve of Nobel Peace Prize ceremony she told she’s committed to pursue her struggle until deprived and out of school children are back to schools. She called on world leaders that if there are plenty guns for people why not books for children? If world can build tanks then why not schools? She stressed on education in particular the female education, while she was accompanied by the deprived girls from around the globe. She recited the Quranic word “Iqra”—meaning read. And told the gathering Islam, the peace spreading religion is giving rights to both men and women for education. She told that she was named after the Malala of Maiwand, Afghanistan– an Afghan hero woman who fought against the invasion of British forces in Afghan Anglo war. She told that she is proud to be the first Pashtun receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. And added, this award is not of her alone, it is of all those 66 million girls and children who are not in schools.

We hope for the best of Malala and wish her success in her mission providing education for all children around the world, who lacks education.

Quetta: Mehrabad and Hazara town where Hazara community lives

The November, December, January and February are the wintery months across Balochistan, our elder says these four months brought many cold days and nights just three decades earlier. The mountains would get a white cover and pipes for daily use water would jam. No one could live without a warmer place and getting warm wool dresses and covering themselves in larger showels—a larger piece of woven wools to guard oneself from cold weather.

Just got out of my bed and started to warm water on a gas stove in iron bucket. Though it was too late near 10:00 am, a friend of mine with whom I had stayed said from inside his blanket “buddy keep sleeping, Quetta is closed till 11:00 on such a cold wintery day. Then I felt the harshest cold breezes once coming out of the quarter in search of a suitable place for to bath in. Regretted that my friend was right, but anyway, I had a plan to meet a source and it was necessary to have him ask about my subject.

After getting myself ready for the field, just dialed the mobile number of Ebrahim, and told him about myself, as I was earlier referred by a friend. Ebrahim recognized, and told me that yeah “I am ready, if you could come to ‘Fresh Point’ in Mehrabad/MarriAbad”. It was a point of happiness and confusion at the same time. Because, many of the readers know that Mehrabad is a corner adjacent to Quetta Army cantonment. The population in this corner of Quetta is mainly Shia minority Hazaras who are targeted by the sectarian violence groups earlier Sipa e Sahaba Pakistan now active with their title of Lashkar e Jhangavi after their organization under SSP was blacklisted by government of Pakistan in General Musharaf, the army ruler era [1999-2008]. Therefore, Hazaras rarely agree for appointment.

Most of the Shia Hazara killings are claimed by the same [LeJ] organization and the number has risen to 2000 and some 3000 injured including the ones in critical situation. The deadliest attack happened in 2003 when I was a FSc student and had been here to Quetta for Medical Exam Preps. That included a suicide bomber for the first time; the bomber had jumped in the Ashura rally while passing through Liaqat Bazar.

It is not only the Shia Hazara who feels the burn, the Sunni religious clerics and their Madrassas come under attack after the killing of Shias. These kinds of attacks are never claimed but according to security and religious affairs analyst, “a reaction” to attacks on Shia minority.

After crossing a Frontier Corps checkpoint, submitting my Identity Card with those security personnel. Then I forwarded, saw new photos with black and red flags above them. Reading the name of each photo, I understand some activities of the Shia sects are going. Yeah, sure it is the 40th of Muhramulharam, the month’s ten days are observed as mourning by Shia Muslims in connection to the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) an event from where the sects in Islam got roots.

Sitting for some minutes on “Fresh Point” in the beginning of Mehrabad, the man who was seeking me called. He’s in front of me. I just stood up and met him by introducing myself “I am Malik, the journalist”.

Ebrahim took me on his bike, and we went to the very corner beside the Hazra graveyard. I could see the highest number of graves in with erected boards explaining the name and explaining the cause of death and exact date.

Ebrahim asked me if I have come ever to this area, I replied not recently, because some years ago I had visited Mehrabad with a friend. He smiled, “we are given just this some Kilo Meter area to live in, and we are totally cut from rest of the Quetta”, life is harsh. We can’t get to our businesses, we feel so segregated.

One can easily observe the situation after going through the two population pockets of Hazara community living in Quetta’s Hazara town and Mehrabad. Only a college for girls and boys exist in Mehrabad.

The population in Hzara Town still lacks college, having heavily loaded high school for boys and the same for girls, an elected councilor from the area once told me. I had a visit of this area of Hazara Town just a week ago with another friend from the community. A larger number of people were inside a village covered by a wall, every one entering is asked by the armed guard of FC personnel, and then let to go ahead.

I understood Ebrahim feeling, and the feeling of his family and rest of relatives. It is true, the Shia Hazaras are pushed to the only corners of Mehrabad and Hazara Town, and they have no presence in Balochistan universities and colleges for higher studies and gaining vocational skills. Even a bus loaded with mixed students was attacked by the sectarian group and killed more than a dozen youths who were under graduates from BUITEMS Quetta University.

The same kind of attack took place on a Sardar Bahadur Khan [Women] University bus that killed many young girls enrolled at SBK when their bus was attacked by a suicide bomber woman. Though, the plan of the suicide attack was to kill Shia minority Hazara girls studying at the same university, but the bomber killed and injured from the Sunni majority. As the route of the bus was changed as a security plan and negligible Hazara girls would use this bus.

Now the Islamic State the well known ISIS/ISIL presence have been confirmed in Balochistan by provincial government in a communique with federal government, as reported by Dawn.com. The larger group in Iraq and Syria is well known for its Shia massacring and pushing Yezdi, Kurds and other minorities from their areas of influence.

Though, the federal minister of interior in Pakistan has rejected the presence of IS but wall chalking is reported on walls in Quetta and around in favor of the said organization. And some major key Tehreek e Taliban Commanders have already announced their allegiance to the Islamic State.

None of the Hazara community member can go to Saryab Road Quetta University and Khuzdar University for Engineering, because they [Hazaras] would be an easy target by the group that targets everyone from the Shia minority living in Balochistan’s capital Quetta.

Ebrahim says with a half smile on his face, “the international [pointing to Iran and Saudi Arabia] and Pakistan’s own plays are played here and we the masses of Balochistan pay the price, otherwise same kind of Shias living in Punjab too, I haven’t heard such deadliest attack on them”.

Chaman traditional meal at “Masam Aka hotel”

The melodious sound of birds, the smaller muddy house a blackish fog sheathed on its walls. The windows without curtain even in the chilly winter weather of Balochistan.

Half a dozen Quail cages hanging from the straightly tight string, every cage covered in a different color cloth piece. Below them is a larger stick made cage with a larger bird, Che kor–Pheasant and a separate wall in the veranda is having different portraits of sightseeing and some animals. These portraits are now having their corners semi scrolled. As if they are a decade or two old.

We come to “The Masam Aka hotel”—a restaurant is called hotel a term popular by the local Pashtuns living in the bordering town of Chaman. The said restaurant is situated in a longer street covered with taller buildings, some even more than seven stories.

Masam Aka—a term used for old age people in Pashtu is eighty years old, now curved on his back with white beard and shivering hands, fills up the larger eating pots with his well known “Rosh—locals call to a piece of mutton roast in a plat for one man”.

Here this old age, Afghan—Kandhari do not follow the role and fill one, two or even three in to a Kasa/Tali—a single but larger eating pot than ordinary plats.

The eating pots organized on a stand, warm water for “hand wash” of entering customer in a dirty looking Samovar, “Shlombay” an acid like sore tasting liquid that is squeezed out of fermented milk, is served in plastic pots.

Three smaller children, Nasibullah, Nazir, Abdullah, seems teenagers, help their boss “Masam Aka”, one cleans the dishes, the other serve bread and roasted meat, the third one is a junior to the previous seniors only provide liquids to the customer sitting dispersedly, in smaller groups.

No one can ask a direct question from “Masam Aka” because the old age Kandharis dislike this informal way of discussion. If one wants to explore this old age man, he/she should ask about his birds he has kept. Masam, will sit and slowly start the names of birds he has kept. And then the ice break will take place. Because he dislike popularity and publicity, never write a board for his hotel, “I believe in God, he’s provided me what I needed, that’s enough”.

He’ll never run after earning, because he believes God is giving what is written for me.

Masam Aka, said he had come here after Babrak Karmal, the Afghan communist regime third throne holder of the Kabul. He adds, he left his “Samovar—tea providing stall” in Baro Darwaza, situated exactly beside the road in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.

“I left Kandahar and moved to the neighboring Chaman, some 35 years ago, because Babrak Karmal and his regime were not seeing if one is old age. Everybody was forcefully enrolled in military of the country”, says Masam.

“Situation got worse when Shorawi—Russians were called to come for Babrak’s help, the war erupted and our masses fought in different groups. None cared who is right who’s wrong”.

The 80 years old Masam Aka is never married nor plans to marry in the future. He told he’s neither having mom nor father. But don’t ask me of my “nephew and nieces” no one ask an old age like me.

Masam said it was a sudden event when God awarded me with the spiritual power to go for Hajj—the Muslim obligatory visit of Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia. “To be honest, I had never collected even a fifty thousand RS (500 US $), but don’t know the way how I did collect the amount needed for Hajj”, asks Masam.

Masam serve the lunch only, he sells 20 and even some times 25 KG mutton in roasts every day. He said the people of “Chaman” are never eating anything else except “Mutton”.

Those who remember the taste always makes their way toward Masam Aka hotel. Here Mutton is roasted in black but cleaner pots are on wooden fire from 11 am to 1 pm only. The “Masam Aka roast lovers” know the time and makes their way to this calmer restaurant.

The Masam Aka, smaller home of some three room quarter is not only his business place. He sleeps here and keeps his animals around.

“It is my home, my hotel, my guest room and a house for my animals. Now, I only pray for peace and harmony in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and around, I don’t need anything else. Have enough to live upon”, says Masam, with greater hopes in his sparkling eyes.