Stop the Military Operation in Fata

June 22, 2014 § 83 Comments

***Please endorse in the comments section***

[For further analysis on the military assault, see here.]

We, the undersigned, demand an immediate end to the ongoing military operation in the North Waziristan region of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). We expect this, the sixth military operation in FATA within the last decade, to follow the pattern set by the previous “decisive” operations which resulted in death and suffering for the people of FATA.

The current operation in North Waziristan is nothing but a sham that will only increase the suffering of the people of FATA. Those declaring “full support” for the military operation choose to ignore history (and the present) at their own peril.

While we condemn religious extremism and militancy in the strongest termswe do not believe that the problem of religious militancy in Pakistan can be addressed through military means nor by an exclusive focus on FATA as a harbour of militancy. Our demands are as follows:

1. An immediate and unconditional halt to the ongoing military operation in NorthWaziristan and other parts of Tribal Areas.

2. We demand that the people of FATA have the right to decide what to do with the problem of militancy in their area. This process must include working-classes, peasants, women and minorities in FATA – with complete accountability, full access to independent media and without any coercion from the security establishment or militant groups.

3. Public disclosure of the names, details and any alleged militant linkages of those killed in the ongoing operation.

4. Immediate abolition of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and steps to integrate FATA into mainstream Pakistan by providing guarantee of fundamental rights including rights of political association and the national penal code.

5. Formulating and implementing a pro-people development policy to reverse the systematic underdevelopment of the FATA region.

6. Ending the systematic discrimination against internally displaced persons (IDPs) from FATA, who have been denied entry into other provinces.

7. The security establishment must end its policy of supporting militant groups for strategic ends, both within Pakistan and in neighboring countries such as Afghanistan.

8. Cutting off sources of funding and support for militant groups operating in the country, for example from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

9. Canceling all defense and unequal economic agreements with imperialist powers (such as the US) and institutions (such as the World Bank and IMF), which perpetuate uneven development and exploitation of peripheral regions like FATA.

What Pakistan needs is a new social contract based on the radical equality of all its peoples. The time is for a peoples’ movement against the Pakistani military and ruling classes’ continuing relationship with militant groups and US-Saudi imperialism. Progressives in Pakistan must remain committed to building a pro-people, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist political alternative without blinding themselves by expressing support for short term measures that only serve to intensify the contradictions bred by almost 70 years of subservience to imperialism and exploitative capitalist development.

Standing with the peoples of Pakistan means saying no to the wars waged against them by American imperialism, the Pakistani military and its proxies. Standing with the peoples of Pakistan means holding this military accountable for its criminal acts, not cheering it on.

We say NO MORE WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLES OF PAKISTAN!

Signatories:

1 M. Wasim Khan (Advocate Malir Bar, Karachi)
2 Sarah Suhail (Advocate, Lahore and PhD Student)
3 Noor Mir (Anti-War Activist, Washington DC)
4 Ehsan Rafi (Artist)
5 Ehsan Ali (Awami Action Committee Convenor and Lawyer, Gilgit Baltistan)
6 Ashraf Kakar (Awami Workers Party and Faculty, Quaid-e-Azam University)
7 Fahad Rizwan (Awami Workers Party and NSF)
8 Sonia Qadir (Awami Workers Party and Student, New School for Social Research)
9 Mahvish Ahmad (Awami Workers Party Islamabad/Rawalpindi)
10 Ammar Rashid (Awami Workers Party Islamabad/Rawalpindi)
11 Sher Ali Khan (Awami Workers Party Lahore, Dep Gen Sec)
12 Sara Kazmi (Awami Workers Party, Lahore)
13 Khalid Mehmood (Awami Workers Party, Vice President Punjab)
14 Hassan Mujtaba (Awami Workers Party)
15 Husna Ali (Awami Workers Party)
16 Aima Khosa (Awami Workers Party)
17 Ateeb Ahmad (Awami Workers Party)
18 Hashim Bin Rashid (Awami Workers Party)
19 Umair Javed (Awami Workers Party)
20 Shahzad Arshad (Awami Workers Party)
21 Ammar Ali Jan (Awami Workers Party)
22 Feroz Imran (Awami Workers Party)
23 Hasan Raza (Awami Workers Party)
24 Umair Rasheed (Awami Workers Party)
25 Muhammad Ali Jan (Awami Workers Party)
26 Maham Hameed (Awami Workers Party)
27 Sohaib Bodla (Awami Workers Party)
28 Fakhra Hassan (Awami Workers Party)
29 Akhtar Bashir (Awami Workers Party)
30 Rizwan Khaliq (Awami Workers Party)
31 Qasim Baloch (Baloch Human Rights Activist)
32 Mir Muhammad Ali Talpur (Baloch Rights Activist)
33 S Adeel ur Rahman (Business Consultant, Karachi)
34 Campaign Against Drones in Pakistan (CADiP)
35 Arsalan Samdani (CADiP)
36 Urooj Shahzadi (CADiP)
37 Zarak Khan Kasi (Chair, Iranian Studies, SOAS)
38 Kamran Vardag (Chairman, Green Peoples Movement, Islamabad)
39 Nasha Ali Shah (Concerned Citizen and Social Activist)
40 Meera Ghani (Concerned Citizen)
41 Alia Ali (Concerned Citizen)
42 Nabeel Shakeel Ahmed (Concerned Citizen)
43 Ali Ally (Concerned Citizen)
44 Amna Masood Janjua (Defense of Human Rights [DHR] Pakistan)
45 Waqas Ali Zaheer (Democratic Students Federation DSF)
46 Ali Arqam (Freelance Journalist, Karachi)
47 Osama Motiwala (Freelance Journalist)
48 Haider Ali (FSc Student, Faisalabad)
49 Adnan Atta (Geologist, University of the Punjab)
50 Asha Amirali (Graduate Student, University of Oxford)
51 Sobia Kapadia (Human Right Activist and Architect, Karachi)
52 Isfundiar Kasuri (Imran Khan Foundation)
53 Tahir Jan (Inqilabi Socialist Hunza)
54 Riaz Shah (Inqlabi Sociaists, Central Organiser and Doctor, Karachi)
55 Rizwan Atta (Inqlabi Socialists & Journalist, Lahore)
56 Naghma Shaikh (Inqlabi Socialists and Feminist Activist, Karachi)
57 Ali Sajjad (Inqlabi Socialists and Teacher, Faisalabad)
58 Rehana Channer (Inqlabi Socialists and Teacher/Poet, Karachi)
59 Sartaj Khan (Inqlabi Socialists IS Pakistan, Editor “Socialist” Urdu)
60 Riaz Ahmed (Inqlabi Socialists Pakistan and Teacher, Karachi University)
61 Asim Jaan (Inqlabi Socialists Pakistan)
62 Adnan Ata (Inqlabi Socialists Pakistan)
63 Inqlabi Socialists Pakistan (Inqlabi Socialists Pakistan)
64 Amal Rana (Interfaith Institute for Justice, Peace and Social Movements, Vancouver)
65 Irfan Dawar (Internee, FATA Development Authority)
66 Ali Yawar (Irtiqa Institute, Karachi)
67 Naveed Iqbal (Islamabad)
68 Chris Hedges (Journalist and Author, Pulitzer Prize Winner 2002)
69 Miranda Husain (Journalist, Lahore)
70 Rifatullah (Journalist, Peshawar)
71 Mustafa Bhutto (Karachi)
72 Sophia Hasnain (Karachi)
73 Reem Khalid (Karachi)
74 Nofil Naqvi (Karachi)
75 Kashaf Asim (Karachi)
76 Roza Khan (Khaton Pakistan College Student, Karachi)
77 Dr Alamgir Khan Shinwari (Khyber Agency, FATA)
78 Abdul Haleem (Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
79 Amanullah Jiffrey Kariapper (Lahore)
80 Zoya Rehman (Lahore)
81 Habeel Khalid (Lahore)
82 Shaffaf Shahid Latif (Lahore)
83 Abira Ashfaq (Lawyer, Pakistan)
84 Huma Dar (Lecturer, University of California – Berkeley)
85 Aneeqa Khan (LUMS & SOAS)
86 Talha Naushad (LUMS)
87 Taimoor Shahid (LUMS)
88 Adnan Khan (Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
89 Muhammad Azam Khan (Malakand, KP and Islamabad)
90 Arfan Chaudhry (National Students Federation NSF Punjab, President)
91 Khurram Ali (National Students Federation NSF, Central Organiser)
92 Nasir Mansoor (National Trade Union Federation NTUF, Dep Gen Sec)
93 Fawad Hasan (NSF Karachi, Gen Sec)
94 Fatima Zaidi (NSF Karachi, President)
95 Ali Raza (NSF Punjab, Organiser)
96 Mir Askari (NSF Sindh, Organiser)
97 Alia Amirali (NSF, Gen Sec Punjab)
98 Mian Naveed (NSF, General Secretary)
99 National Students Federation (NSF)
100 Rashid Khan Orakzai (Orakzai Agency, FATA)
102 Syed Suhaib Ali Shah (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf)
103 Maryam Kanwer (Pakistan Youth Alliance PYA, C0-Founder)
104 Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi (Pakistan Youth Alliance PYA, Founder)
105 Hifza Jillani (Peace activist)
106 Sabeen Mahmud (Peace Niche, Karachi)
107 Sarwat Viqar (PhD Candidate, Concordia University)
108 Marianna Assis (PhD Student, New School for Social Research)
109 Adaner Usmani (PhD Student, New York University)
110 Asif Akhtar (PhD Student, New York University)
111 Natalya Naqvi (PhD Student, University of Cambridge)
112 Shahram Azhar (PhD Student, University of Massachusetts)
113 Sahista Patel (PhD Student, University of Toronto)
114 Amen Jaffer (PhD Student)
115 Shozab Raza (PhD Student)
116 Kyla Pasha (Poet and Beaconhouse National University, Lahore)
117 Ali Hassan (Principal High School, Karachi)
118 Zahra Khalid (Professional, Islamabad)
119 Khadija Ali (Professional, Islamabad)
120 Ahmad Jamal Mirza (Professional, Islamabad)
121 Saadia Toor (Professor, CUNY New York)
122 Ali Nobil Ahmad (Professor, LUMS)
123 Tariq Amin-Khan (Professor, Ryerson University)
124 Sahar Shafqat (Professor, St. Mary’s College of Maryland)
125 Hadia Akhtar (Quaid-i-Azam University)
126 Waqas Butt (Researcher, University of California, San Diego)
127 Anders Widmark (Researcher, Uppsala University)
128 Nadia Hasan (SARG South Asia Research Group , York University)
129 Nausheen Quayyum (SARG, York University)
130 Nishant Upadhyay (SARG, York University)
131 Nayani Thiyagarajah (SARG, York University)
132 Tanveer Hussain (School Teacher, Karachi)
133 Toufic Haddad (SOAS and Editor, International Socialist Review)
134 Sanaa Alimia (SOAS, Senior Teaching and Postdoctoral Fellow)
135 Peter Boyle (Socialist Alliance, Australia)
136 Tony Iltis (Socialist Alliance, Australia)
137 Margaret Gleeson (Socialist Alliance, Brisbane Australia)
138 Uneeb Khan (Software Architect, Lahore)
139 Usman Rana (Student Activist)
140 Usmaan Basharat (Student, Arizone State University)
141 Omer Aijazi (Student, British Columbia)
142 Sohaib Ibrahim Khan (Student, Columbia University, New York)
143 Fatima Tassadiq (Student, Columbia University)
144 Zarak Khan Kasi (Student, Coventry University)
145 Mujtaba Waseem (Student, Faisalabad)
146 Bilal Anwar (Student, FC College Lahore)
147 Saif Ullah Nassar (Student, FC College University, Lahore)
148 Haider Tupi (Student, Karachi)
149 Muhammad Asaad Khan (Student, Lahore School of Economics)
150 Fatima Javed (Student, LUMS)
151 Virinder Singh (Student, Manchester University)
152 Haider Naqvi (Student, New School, New York)
153 Hira Nabi (Student, New School, New York)
154 Asad Ur Rehman (Student, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics)
155 Hassan Turi (Student, Parachinar FATA)
156 Nadine Zubair (Student, Parent, Citizen)
157 Iman Sultan (Student, Temple University, Philadelphia)
158 Tayyaba Jiwani (Student, University of Toronto)
159 Arsalan Khan (Student, University of Virginia)
160 Aina Niaz (Student, Utah State University)
161 Ayyaz Mallick (Student, York University, Toronto)
162 Mehreen Kasana (Student)
163 Chloe Bourcier (Student)
164 Myra Faza (Student)
165 Naila Ali (Student)
166 Halimah Babakarkhail (Student)
167 Fatima Anwar (Student)
168 Jahanzeb Dar (Student)
169 Asghar Dashti (Teacher Federal Urdu University Karachi)
170 Iman Sultan (Teacher, Islamabad)
171 Faisal ur Rahman (Teacher, Karachi)
172 Amber Saeed (Teacher)
173 Erum Haider (Teaching Fellow, LUMS and PhD Student, Georgetown University)
174 Saad Intikhab (University of Hong Kong)
175 Zehra Goawala (University of Melbourne)
176 Snehal Shingavi (University of Texas, Austin)
177 Shamineh Mavalvala (University of Toronto, Sussex University)
178 Madeleine Nephew (Washington, D.C.)
179 Muneeb Siddiqui (Writer)
101 Feriyal Amal Aslam
180 Ibad Khurram Khan
181 Rabayl Mirza
182 Moaiz Siddiqui
183 Vaqas Arshad
184 Ziyaad Yousef
185 Zehra Hashmi
186 Mahwish Humayun
187 Muhammad Shehryar
188 Atif Sheikh
189 Usman Khalid Kashmiri
190 Beenish Raza
191 Farooq Tariq
192 Annie Onaiza
193 Zainab Moulvi
194 Mahvesh Khan
195 Angela Ramos
196 Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
197 Bakhshal Thalho
198 Sarah Humayun
199 Ali Raza
200 Fahd Ali
201 Anzee Altaf
202 Safdar Bashir
203 Hasan Rashid
204 Zehra Wamiq
205 Haziq Basharat

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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