The plight of the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan (FATA) does not seems to be on the priority list of the present government and military establishment. FATA is bleeding, military operations in South Waziristan, Mohmand, Khyber and Orakzai agencies are underway killing innocent tribesmen while people like Wali ur Rehman are making press conferences from areas (Miranshah Fort) supposed to be under army control. The whole Fata and N-WFP is like a war zone, ordinary pashtuns are being killed both by Talibans and military secret agencies with impunity.
Nearly half a million refugees from FATA are living in abject conditions, while government under orders from ARMY establishment is not allowing local and international NGOs like ICRC to help them. Journalists are completely barred from entering and reporting on FATA, Only government or military version of information is available to the international community.
Pakistan Army is using fighter Jets, gunship helicopters and long range artillery against civilians indiscriminately. More civilians are killed then the extremists elements in these operations, which are basically not targeting Talibans and other extremists rather ordinary civilians are killed on daily basis in the ongoing military operations in South Waziristan, Orakzai, Kurram, Khyber, Mohmand and Bajawar Agencies, besides in the FR regions of Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Peshawar and Kohat. It is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention and International Community must rise to condemn it. If record is history, Pakistan has not killed a single Taliban leader in its 7 years army operations in FATA and in settle areas like SWAT, while the civilian deaths are about 30000, which is horrible reality beyond imagination. Molvi Fazlullah former Waali-e-Swat, Tariq Afridi, the King of Darra Adam Khel, Hakimullah Mahsood the Emir of the de-facto “Islamic Emirate of Waziristan. Haji Mangal Bagh Afridi the de-fecto Political Agent of Khyber Agency,Maulvi Faqir Mohammad the undisputed lord of the ring in Bajaur Agency, Umar Khalid the DC of districts of Charsadda and shabqadar, Molvi Gul Bahadar, Molvi Nazir and Jalaludin Haqani are presiding over the rotating Presidency of North Waziristan are all alive and no body dares to touch these fanatics. Even Baitullah Mehsood was killed by US in a drone attack rather than by Pakistan. Pakistan must be made accountable for its violations of all moral and international norms in its so called war against terrorism. According to a news report published in The News on January 15, 2010, 12 dead bodies of unidentified persons have been recovered from Akhurwal area of Darra Adam Khel, F.R. Kohat, which speak clearly of the atrocities committed by the security forces of Pakistan in the area in collusion with Talibans of Darra Adam Khel. It is after the publication of a Report by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on the issue of Mass Graves in Swat and my assertions that the bodies of innocent people being killed in FATA are shifted in Trucks to other areas of Pakistan to be buried, have cautioned the secret agencies and now innocent people are being killed by these unbridled secret agencies and then thrown out in the streets. It is a clear cut genocide of Pashtuns and International Community should take notice ot it. Particularly, US must make Pakistan accountable for its help provided to the Talibans Fighting in Afghanistan. The reason for Every US and NATO soldier killed and wounded in Afghanistan can be traced to Pakistan which is actively supporting Talibans in Afghanistan by providing them training, sanctuaries and finances. It is a well known fact that Taliban Quetta Shura, Gul Badin Hikmat Yar Group and Haqqani Network of Noth Waziristan are supported by so-called rogue elements in ISI. It is ironical that how a super power of the world with a formidable secret service like CIA cannot detect the secret support in terms of training, logistics, finances and sanctuaries provided by Pakistan to Talibans fighting in Afghanistan. If the current trend and policies continue the US and its NATO allies are going to face the same fate as former USSR did. US tax payers must ask the White House to explain as to how the money is spent to finance the war on terrorism. Pakistan must be made accountable for the money it is receiving for war on Terror. The money aimed at eradicating terrorism should not be used to buy weapons to be used against US and Allied Forces in Afghanistan. This aid money should not be used to train and provide sanctuaries to Talians. As the tricks and treaturies of Pak-Army have been exposed in war on terror, now it is using different means to pressure US not to give priority to Civilian Government. While no protest were recorded for the military aid , it is openly expressing its reservations of Civilian Aid through Kerry-Lugar Bill. Hurdles have been surmounted to stop giving visas to personnel destined to monitor the aid provided under US $ 7.5 billions spanning over a period of 5 years. The reports are published deliberately about stopping of the US Diplomatic cars and the rude behaviour of US Citizens or diplomats and criticising the civilian government for releasing these diplomats. Concerted media campaign have been launched in Print and Electronic media by journalists and anchor persons on the pay-rolls of ISI are some of the clear examples how the military establishment is trying to flare public anger. The money given for war on terror is used to create anger among public against USA. In this way they are killing two birds with one bullet. On one hand they are black-mailing the civilian government and on the other they are bargaining with the US to evade accountability, stop civilian aid which can be used for the betterment of the people of Pakistan rather then going into the pockets of few Generals, and give them free hand in war on terror to pursue it in their own way and terms and conditions, no matter how detrimental it may be to the US and Pashtuns interests.
US Afghan centred-strategy has failed. Now, time has come for the US to re-think its military, political and diplomatic strategies in the region, by isolating the Al-Qaeda and Talibans Internationally with particular emphasis on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia who ae financing and training Talibans. If US is interested in the real solution of Afghan conflict it must attack the root cause and the root cause lies in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The pashtun nationalists sentiments are on rise against Punjabi dominated army, which will lead to more chaotic situation in future. Pashtuns are being killed mercilessly and International community is a silent spectator. But, Punjab should know that it will not receive bouquet of flowers from Pashtuns, for their killing spree in FATA and N-WFP. In a reaction, the urban centers of Punjab, like Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan have been constantly attacked. For the first time in the history of Pakistan THE ARMY GHQ is attacked and the aura of invincibility of PAK-ARMY is gone. As written in my previous articles that Karachi is on the verge of explosion, has turned into true when 45 Shiite processionists were killed in a bomb blast and the consequent setting on fire the markets and shops indiscriminately by furious mobs or organised politico-criminal mafia in Karachi. It is to be noted that before setting on fire the shops and markets right from Light House to Bolton Market, the criminals gangs looted and plundered the markets. An illegal money market was also the target of these attackers, from where it is believed that billions and trillions of illegal currency was looted. Whether this money goes into the pockets of MQM gangsters or ISI-Tablian-Terrorist-Network, in both cases the losers will be Pashtuns because this money will either be used in Karachi or in Pakhtunkhwa to kill innocent pashtuns.
The phenomenon of target killing in the port city of Karachi has re-surfaced and dozens of activists of different political parties, interest groups and religious parties are being killed on daily basis. The MQM is threatening to resign and sit in the opposition if its workers are continued to be arrested and killed. While other political and religious parties & sectarian and ethnic groups are blaming MQM for killing their activists. The scale of killing cannot be gauged independently due to self-censor, threats and pressures from all the actors involved in the game of blood and flesh. Pashtuns are openly threatened to leave Karachi or face the music of death. Many pashtuns have been killed, their properties including shops, houses, cars and buses have been destroyed and hurdles are mounted to stop them earn their livelihood with dignity. Ironically, here too our Pashtun leadership is silent.
I would like to appeal once again to the leadership of Pashtuns particularly, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Afzal Khan Lala, Abdul Latif Afridi, Mahmood Khan Achakzai and Afrasiab Khattak to keep a keen eye on the fast changing situation in Pakistan and its implications for Pashtun nation. In his meetings with Americans and Europeans leaders, Asfandyar Wali should forward the case of Pashtuns in such a way so that Pashtun interests are protected in the future emerging political situation in Pakistan, particularly the plight of pashtuns in Punjab, Baluchistan and Karachi. He should also be aware of the fact that Pakistan is on the road to Balkanisation. While maintaining Anti-taliban policy, he should inform and encourage the moderate educated nationalist pashtuns to be prepared for any eventuality, in case that Balkanisation happen. Talibans and Inter Services Intelligence of Pakistan have clear-cut goals and objectives to use Pashtun youth as fodder for their mercenary war against Afghanistan, India, USA and NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan to eradicate terrorism and extremism. It is high time for the Pashtun leadership to evolve a new strategy for the Pashtun nation to protect them from the 1400 years old puritanical religious obscurantist ideology and the political and military strategic depth policy of anti pashtun elements. A grand Jirga of Pashtuns from Pakistan and Afghanistan is a need of the hour for creating a consensus on the future of Pashtuns. There is a need of a permanent body(Think Tank) of Pashtuns like CENTRE FOR PASHTUN STRATEGIC STUDIES IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM, for devising plans for the protection of the interests of Pashtuns in the region based in UK, USA or France. We cannot put our head into sand like an ostrich and waiting others to define our destiny. We should rise to the occasion and demand our rights and fight for our rights politically and diplomatically on International forums. I would appeal in particular to Pashtun DIASPORA in Europe, UK, USA and Middle East to come forward with funding the Pashtun Lashkars that are fighting the oppression and Terrorism of Talibans in FATA and Pakhtunkhwa. They should also extend moral and financial support to the Pashtun-Development-Oriented-Institutions like The Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy (AIRRA) and The Bacha Khan Education Foundation (BKEF). Pashtuns should be ready well equipped politically, financially, ideologically and diplomatically for a NEW STATE OF PAKHTUNKHWA. I have a vision of a Great State of Pashtun Nation which includes Afghanistan, certain parts of Baluchistan, complete FATA and and pashtunkhwa. I can see the emergence of a new State of Pashtuns in the near future. The moderate and educated Pashtuns should be well-prepared to define the different facets of the constitution of the new state in accordance with the new realities of the World
By: Fazal ur Rehman Afridi