Who’s Threatening Whom?

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Who’s Threatening Whom?

As the war rhetoric towards Iran continues to heat up, here’s an instructive map of U.S. bases in the region showing who the real aggressor is (hint: it’s not Iran).

Pakistanis For Palestine Condemn Israeli Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla

May 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Below is the press release from Pakistanis for Palestine. For updates, please visit their website for updates: http://paksforpal.wordpress.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: 31-Jul-2010

Pakistanis for Palestine condemns Israel’s attack on the International Freedom Flotilla

Press Statement

Pakistanis for Palestine condemns the naked aggression of the Israeli Defence Forces against the international “Freedom Flotilla”, the convoy of ships attempting to carry humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip that has been unilaterally blockaded by Israel since June 2007. The ships were in international waters, about 150 km off the coast of Gaza, where Israel has no jurisdiction.

Current death toll: 20, Injured: more than 60

We demand:

1. That the United Nations include the Israeli Defence Forces in its list of terrorist organisations and put Israel on the list of states that officially sponsor terrorism;

2. That “the international community” end its hypocritical attitude towards Israel and authorise international news media to report objectively on acts of Israeli aggression; and

3. That Pakistan should use its status as the most important non-NATO ally of the US to pressure it to punish Israel for this gross violation of international humanitarian law

It is time for people of conscience all over the world to demand the end of the apartheid regime in Israel, the last colonial state in this post-colonial world, and to join the worldwide movement for the Boycott of, Sanctions on and Divestment from all organizations and entities that support the racist ideology of Zionism.

For more information on the BDS campaign, see: http://bdsmovement.net/

We subscribe to the three principles laid out in the Palestinian call for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel that calls on Israel to:

1. End its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

For more information, see: http://www.pacbi.org/campaign_statement.htm

We call on all Pakistanis who support the principles listed above to join the campaign.

Please contact us at:

Cell phones: 0344-4648479 & 0323-4160352

Email address: PakistanisForPalestine@gmail.com

Online petition: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dFNRb2pFbXQwT2ZXa2VHNUg1Zk01S0E6MA

The Obama administration’s righteous stance against indefinite detention Glenn Greenwald

April 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

For those who believe that there are certain types of hypocrisy and double standards too blatant and shameless even for the U.S. Government to invoke, I’d like to point out how wrong you are:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/22/detention/index.html

“Bloody Civilians” and the Army

March 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

A story in the National this week, “Pakistan’s Broken Mirror”  about the country’s restive province, Balochistan. An excerpt:

But for the government of Pakistan – and particularly for its army – Balochistan is first and foremost the epicentre of a stubbornly secular Baloch national rebellion whose endurance poses a threat to the state’s ideological and geographical coherence.

Balochistan is a looking glass for Pakistan today, reflecting the tortuous struggle to imagine a national community. How the state handles the rising tide of Baloch nationalism will also determine the future of Pakistan’s nationalist project.

Meanwhile, here’s a story from FATA areas in northern Pakistan where Pakistan’s army just attacked one of the areas in Fata, Orakzai Agency, killing innocent civilians:

Pakistani warplanes attacked a number of sites in the Orakzai Agency today, including a mosque, a school, and a religious seminary, killing 61. Security officials initially labeled all 61 “suspected militants,” though locals later conceded that a great many of them were actually innocent civilians.

Left of the Taliban

March 14, 2010 § 11 Comments

by: M. Tahir

A critique of the Left from the Left. With the encouragement of friends, I’m posting an email below that I wrote regarding a recent controversy on the Left involving former Guantanomo detainee and human rights activist, Moazzam Begg and head of Amnesty International’s gender unit, Gita Sahgal. The debate exposes a larger division on the Left about where it stands with respect to the global war. The incident that sparked the larger discussion began when Sahgal accused Amnesty of tarnishing its human rights work by collaborating with Begg and the organization with which he works, Cage Prisoners. Begg is a Taliban supporter and Cage Prisoners a “jihadi” organization according to Sahgal, and Amnesty damages its reputation by working with them. Following Sahgal’s public remarks, Amnesty suspended her. Some have taken the view that Sahgal is an upstanding activist wrongly penalized by Amnesty while others argue that she is leveraging rampant Islamophobia for her ends.

The disagreement operates along a deepening fault-line in the Left that has wider implications. Many liberals and leftist allies (who support Sahgal) accuse the anti-imperial Left of egregious silence on the issue of the Taliban while it criticizes America’s imperial wars. Charges of insufficient critique of the Taliban and criminal silence on their atrocities are being hurled with increasing ferocity at Pakistani leftists in particular. Those making the accusations include Pakistani liberals as well as those who in the past have been our international allies in South Asia and elsewhere.

The email below is my response to this debate on a particular listserve. I’ve edited it to excise sections particular to an internal debate as well as to keep identities private but kept the rest in tact in the hopes of having a wider discussion.

****

Dear X,

….

The larger issue, however, is this: why do our so-called allies constantly demand that we articulate our disavowal of the Taliban? Do they perhaps believe that in some deep dark religious corner of our lefty Pakistani hearts, we nurture a secret love for the ruthless brutish bearded circus called the Taliban?  Why are we being constantly asked to prove our bona fides as secularists and as humanists (in the sense that we believe in the dignity of *all* humanity)?  And that too by those who appear to have little qualms about retracting dignity from a man whose words and appearance unsettle us but who has done nothing – in terms of his actions – but run a girls’ school in Afghanistan and, now, defend the rights of precisely those that the American empire has reduced to ‘bare life.’ [1]  Does the problem lie in the fact that he “has championed the rights of jailed Al-Qaeda members and hate preachers…” as the Sunday Times puts it? But isn’t the selective granting of rights precisely what the Left is critical of in general?  Or is it that he stated in his memoirs that the Taliban were “better than anything Afghanistan has had in the past twenty-five years.” Yes, these views are abhorrent, but by no means unique. I heard much the same thing from the Afghans I met when I traveled to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border town of Chaman (in Balochistan) over a month ago.  These were Afghans who all hated the Taliban now (among them were ex-Taliban fighters).  To them, the Taliban had seemed like an answer to the corruption, chaos and random murders that had afflicted Afghanistan for decades when they first rose to power. They left when they realized that this was not the case or that the price they were being asked to pay was too high.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Pakistanis for Palestine

March 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

‘Phir barq firozan hai sar-i wadiy-i Sina…’

So wrote the great Pakistani revolutionary poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, in one of several poems of solidarity with the Palestinian people.  The global BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Movement against Israel launched its Pakistani campaign in Lahore on January 25, 2010.  We wish them all the best.  Watch this space for a short piece on why a campaign like this one, which should be a no-brainer in Pakistan, is actually having a really difficult time explaining to even well-meaning Pakistani liberals why Pakistanis should stand in solidarity with Palestinians.  Yes, you heard right.  So successfully have the reactionary religious groups been allowed to co-opt an issue that was once a cornerstone of Leftist politics across the world that even well-meaning progressives in the land of Faiz, who expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian cause both through his poetry and through his politics, apparently seem to be finding it hard today to get their heads around this issue.  That is, when they’re not identifying with Israel as a ‘fellow-victim’ of terrorism, but more on that later.  In the meantime, please visit the ‘Pakistanis for Palestine’ blog at http://paksforpal.wordpress.com/, sign the petition and spread the word.

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