Showing posts from February 8, 2009

PAKISTAN: Timeline on Swat Valley turbulence

Source: IRIN Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN Schoolgirls even in veils are not allowed to continue their education in Swat LAHORE, 11 February 2009 (IRIN) - Understanding the humanitarian situation in turbulent Swat Valley, some 160km from Islamabad in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), requires some knowledge of the political background to the current tensions and violence. In 1995 radical clerical leader Sufi Muhammad Khan, leader of Tehrik-e-Nifaz e Shariah-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in Swat Valley, demanded imposition of Islamic law in the area. Violence followed as the Frontier Constabulary, a paramilitary force, began an operation against Khan. Tourism, a major source of income, was disrupted and 13 militants died in fighting. After the operation, th

Pay-up time

Source: Frontline NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN Pakistan: None of the first steps of the Obama administration has given the kind of unconditional reassurance that the Pakistanis want. SHERIN ZADA/AP A MAN CARRIES his elderly mother on his back as the family flees from the troubled Swat valley on February 1 as fighting between the militants and the security forces escalates. THE bad news arrived quickly. Just three days after the Obama inauguration

Forget GAZA care about SWAT

Source: The news Thursday, February 12, 2009 By by Fasi Zaka I think it would be absolutely inhuman not to care about the massacre in Gaza, the flagrant violation and cruelty demonstrated by the Israelis. But after talking to an old friend of mine, I can see how someone would be unmoved by the plight of the Palestinians. A friend of mine called recently from the UK to announce the birth of his son. He was with me in university in Peshawar, and is a most amiable fellow. He is from Swat, and I had a good number of friends from that place during my student years. The people of Swat are an extremely good looking people, and of a much more demure nature than most Pakhtuns, who are known to be boisterous. Several years after the completion of my education I went to Swat on a research project for the first and only time looking into the value chain of apple growers for the export market. I met many farmers, intelligent family men who were seeing hard times in agriculture but w

Window on Pak Press: ‘Taliban fighters moving towards Islamabad’

Source: India today As an old adage goes ‘you reap what you sow’, Pakistan is now terrified over the threat from Taliban. The News reported on Wednesday that the local Taliban leadership has decided to send its fighters to Islamabad as a reaction to the operations in Darra Adam Khel and Swat Valley and in this regard chalking on the walls of Islamabad are already appearing, forcing the Islamabad administration to whitewash these messages quickly. Many religious scholars in Islamabad, the leading daily The News and Urdu daily Jang said, have also received messages from the Taliban that they have only two options, either to support the Taliban or leave the capital or they will be considered collaborators of the ‘pro-American Zardari government’ which, they claim, is not different from the previous Musharraf regime. Taliban threat coincided with US President Barack Obama saying that he has sent his special envoy Richard Holbrooke to Islamabad with a message that the terrorists, who threat

Pak to stop broadcast of Taliban radio in Swat, FATA

Source: Merinews During a meeting, officials from ISPR, PEMRA and Radio Pakistan informed the Information Minister of the Pakistan government's ongoing efforts to procure equipment for jamming illegal radio transmissions in Swat and FATA.. PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT has said that it will intensify the government’s public outreach and strategic communications efforts to counter extremist propaganda and prevent terrorism. Officials also said that they were procuring high tech equipment to stop the broadcast of Taliban radio in Swat and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). “Pakistan is confronted with a war of ideas – between tolerance and extremism, and between democracy and anarchy,” said federal minister for information and broadcasting, Sherry Rehman, while chairing a high-level public outreach and communications meeting held today at the Information Ministry to assess the government’s counter-terrorism communications strategy. In this war for hearts and minds, Pakistan’

Troops throng Afghan capital after Taliban attacks

Source: AFP By HEIDI VOGT – 3 hours ago KABUL (AP) — Heavily armed government troops thronged the streets of Afghanistan's capital Thursday, stepping up security before the arrival of the new U.S. envoy to the region the day after Taliban attacks showed how easily the city's defenses can be breached. Richard Holbrooke, President Barack Obama's recently appointed envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was expected later in the day for his first trip to the country. Security would have already been high for such a visit, but Holbrooke arrives following one of the Taliban's most audacious attacks on the capital. On Wednesday, Taliban militants killed 20 people in a coordinated assault on three government buildings. Armed with guns, grenades and suicide vests, they stormed through barricades at the Justice Ministry in the heart of Kabul and a corrections department building to the north. One attacker was killed before he could force his way into a third building, the Educa

The local Government is inactive in protecting the Hindu Minorities in Bangladesh.

Source: Bangladeshi hindu By William Gomes “Terokota Mondir” is a famous religious place for the Hindus all over sub continent. “Terokota Mondir” is located at Birgonj, Dinajpur in Bangladesh . It was donated as a deity property by King Jogodis Chandra Roy in the name of “Shri Shir KantiJew Thakur” Total 16 acer 23 Sotok land was donated by the kind king . On 16th January 2009 a group of Islamic fascist came in the “Mondir (Temple) and start building the house for ” Al Hera Nurani Talimul Quran Madrasa” the local Hindu devotee protested on that communal attitude. And in 17th Januray 2009 Shri Moti Lal das filed a general diary (GD No:590) in Birgonj ploice station on behalf of the local Hindu devotee narrating the illegal activity of Islamic fascist and demanding to stop the illegal activates of Islamic fascist. The chairman of local OP (Unity council) of Brigonj Shri Arun Chandra das said to the source that although they informed the illegal activities to Oc Mujammel Huq of Birgonj

Demanding fairplay is fine, but Azamgarh Muslims need to introspect too

Source: New age Islam Muslims from Azamgarh were merely exercising their democratic right to peacefully protest a perceived discrimination and voice their demands for justice and fair treatment. There is a general feeling in the Muslim community, and not only in Azamgarh, that after every terrorist act the police pick up innocent Muslim youth at random and even if they let them go after interrogation, their lives are already destroyed. They lose their jobs, marriages break down, their Muslim relatives and friends too start avoiding them, not to speak of their Hindu friends or employers. This has already happened to several Muslim youths in different parts of the country. It is easy to blame the police and the government. Not that they do not deserve that blame sometimes. But while we have to try and keep them on their toes, through peaceful protests, through political mobilisation, and so on, that is not going to solve our problems in the long run. Even the denunciations of terrorism,

Radical Books Raise Fears in Indonesia of Spread of Militants’ Ideas

SOLO, Indonesia — At a small, back-street bookstore here, the young employees, wearing matching green skullcaps and sporting wispy chin beards, stock books with titles like “Waiting for the Destruction of Israel” and “Principles of Jihad.” Image Peter Gelling for The International Herald Tribune In Solo, a cluster of publishers have issued Islamist texts, which do not sell well but popularize radical ideology. One book was by a man involved in the Bali bombings that killed 202 people. The New York Times Solo is known as a bastion of a conservative brand of Islam. They work quietly, listening to the voice of a firebrand Islamic preacher playing on the store’s sound system, his sermon peppered with outbursts of machine-gun fire. Another young man, a customer, sifts through a pile of DVDs that chronicle the conflicts in Chechnya, Afghanistan and Sudan. T-shirts, stickers and pins on sale at the back of the store are emblazoned with slogans like “Support Your Local Mujahedeen” and “ Talib

Militants marry Kashmiri girls on gunpoint

Srinagar, Feb 07: Source: Zeenews Militants in Jammu and Kashmir have been forcing young girls to get married to them at gun-point only to abandon them later. Such an instance came to light when sixteen-year-old Fatima Bi of Kishtwar district gathered courage to narrate her misfortune. Fatima said she was abducted by Sher Khan, the then divisional commander of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), a Pakistan militant group four years ago. Sher Khan and his associates tortured Fatima for eight days until she gave in to their demands and agreed to marry Hashim, a HuJI worker. She managed to run away and got a police complaint registered against Sher Khan, who was later arrested. “There was this one Bilal, then another one named Ansari, there was a third man also, I don''t remember his name. They used to keep me in a room and beat me with iron rods. They used to tell me that if I don''t get married according to their will and wish, I would have to face dire consequences. I us

Red storm risingRed storm rising

Presley Thomas, Source: Hindustan Times Gadchiroli, February 07, 2009 IST(8/2/2009) At the ramshackle teashop in Gadchiroli, where locals gather for their morning tea and the town's favourite snack, poha, local banter is run-of-the-mill. Most of it is centred round Bollywood's latest action adventure, Chandni Chowk to China and with the cinema house as a backdrop just behind the teashop, villagers dissect Akshay Kumar's antics in the movie. “How about a ticket for the afternoon show? I want to see the movie again,” says a young man. The film may have been declared a flop but it sure is a hit in this outpost, even if Gadchiroli has seen enough adventure and violence around it in the last few days. Gadchiroli town, a three-hour drive from Nagpur, is the headquarters of a district spread across 15,000 sq km, where left-wing extremists have been waging an ‘armed struggle’ for close to 30 violent, bloody years now. Last Sunday's massacre of 15 policemen was just the latest i