Malana


Daily Times

Editorial: Bajaur: attacking the jirgas

The Salarzai tribe that had begun to oppose the Taliban in Bajaur has been attacked near the town of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal agency. Their jirga was attacked by a suicide bomber who rushed into the gathering of elders and exploded himself on Wednesday. In all 22 elders were killed, including the leaders and commanders of the lashkar (militia) that they had put together to fight and expel the Taliban and their affiliated “foreigners” from the area. Forty-five members of the 300-strong council of elders were wounded.

An organisation of obscure origin has claimed the deed. This is a pattern and tells us how the Taliban and their patron Al Qaeda have come under pressure lately from the jirgas and reacted. In March, they had to massacre a jirga in Darra Adam Khel and last month they repeated the deed on a jirga in Orakzai agency, killing over a hundred elders. This is stage two of the strategy employed by the terrorists. They began by killing the maliks and single individuals of influence in the Tribal Areas to replace the traditional system of self-governance. Stage two is now upon us and is more problematic.

The jirga remains the apex of the system of authority among the tribes. When the maliks were being killed, the jirgas remained silent, linking the killings to “injustice” in Afghanistan. But as the Taliban began to impose their rule over them with punishments serving as instruments of fear, public reaction to them began to change. The problem was that the state at that time was not around to reassure them that they would be supported if they defied the terrorist regime. But now in Bajaur, for the first time, the Taliban and their “foreigners” are getting hurt in their confrontation with the Pakistan army, as is apparent from the suing for peace by Baitullah Mehsud, their “caliph” in South Waziristan. So now the tribes and jirgas are beginning to reassert themselves.

The Salarzai showed patience when their economy was being demolished and their schools were being pulled down by the Taliban. But after the army began operations in Bajaur, the Salarzai began to express their true response to the Taliban, something that has not happened elsewhere in the Tribal Areas, either because the military operations there have been fitful or have not succeeded. Therefore the attack on the Salarzai jirga clearly shows a new trend in the adventure story of the Taliban-Al Qaeda combine: they are becoming unpopular among the tribesmen and trying to cow them down by attacking their jirgas.

But the jirga killings are simply going to damage the Taliban’s cause further. Nowhere was the popular reaction against the “foreign” terrorists more intense than in the Malakand division (Swat, Dir, etc). But the people there were “softened” in favour of the Taliban by the MMA government in Peshawar which ruled in the area, just as it did not encourage the people of FATA to rise against the terrorists. Thus when the elections rolled around, the Swatis clearly indicted the MMA government for not looking after them. They also began to condemn the government when the military operations inflicted a lot of damage on them without eliminating the terrorists. So the fear factor came in and their message was: leave us to the mercies of the Taliban.

Fortunately, things changed after the exit of President Pervez Musharraf from the scene and his policy of mollifying the MMA because it helped him stay in power through the 17th Amendment. With the PPP in power in Islamabad and an apolitical army chief in the person of General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani heading the army, the scene has changed for the better and the pressure on the Taliban has started to build up. This must be kept up and, more importantly, other tribal agencies should be brought under military operations.

South Waziristan, where the last military operation in May this year discovered the “suicide academy” where suicide-bombers were trained for the whole of Pakistan, is back in the hands of Baitullah Mehsud whose second marriage was celebrated by subservient tribesmen on the occasion of last Eid to show that he was still the “caliph”. Kurram Agency is also a place gradually going out of the territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan. Since Peshawar failed to re-establish the traffic on the road going to Parachinar, the agency’s economy has become connected to Afghanistan. If you want to send food and medicines to Parachinar, you have to first smuggle them to Afghanistan. Since the Pakistani state could not come to the help of the besieged tribes there, their co-tribals from Afghanistan are coming in to defend them. This is not a situation which Islamabad can take for very long.

Attacking the jirgas is a sign of weakness in the Taliban “movement”. More and more tribesmen are going to turn against them as their elders are exterminated. More citizens’ militias will be formed against the Taliban; but the terrorists will be rolled back only if the Pakistan army goes in and helps its own people to defend themselves. This is the war that Pakistan has to fight, and from it hangs the prospect of what will happen in the region in the coming weeks and months. *

Saturday, November 08, 2008

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Daily Times

Editorial: Bajaur: attacking the jirgas

The Salarzai tribe that had begun to oppose the Taliban in Bajaur has been attacked near the town of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal agency. Their jirga was attacked by a suicide bomber who rushed into the gathering of elders and exploded himself on Wednesday. In all 22 elders were killed, including the leaders and commanders of the lashkar (militia) that they had put together to fight and expel the Taliban and their affiliated “foreigners” from the area. Forty-five members of the 300-strong council of elders were wounded.

An organisation of obscure origin has claimed the deed. This is a pattern and tells us how the Taliban and their patron Al Qaeda have come under pressure lately from the jirgas and reacted. In March, they had to massacre a jirga in Darra Adam Khel and last month they repeated the deed on a jirga in Orakzai agency, killing over a hundred elders. This is stage two of the strategy employed by the terrorists. They began by killing the maliks and single individuals of influence in the Tribal Areas to replace the traditional system of self-governance. Stage two is now upon us and is more problematic.

The jirga remains the apex of the system of authority among the tribes. When the maliks were being killed, the jirgas remained silent, linking the killings to “injustice” in Afghanistan. But as the Taliban began to impose their rule over them with punishments serving as instruments of fear, public reaction to them began to change. The problem was that the state at that time was not around to reassure them that they would be supported if they defied the terrorist regime. But now in Bajaur, for the first time, the Taliban and their “foreigners” are getting hurt in their confrontation with the Pakistan army, as is apparent from the suing for peace by Baitullah Mehsud, their “caliph” in South Waziristan. So now the tribes and jirgas are beginning to reassert themselves.

The Salarzai showed patience when their economy was being demolished and their schools were being pulled down by the Taliban. But after the army began operations in Bajaur, the Salarzai began to express their true response to the Taliban, something that has not happened elsewhere in the Tribal Areas, either because the military operations there have been fitful or have not succeeded. Therefore the attack on the Salarzai jirga clearly shows a new trend in the adventure story of the Taliban-Al Qaeda combine: they are becoming unpopular among the tribesmen and trying to cow them down by attacking their jirgas.

But the jirga killings are simply going to damage the Taliban’s cause further. Nowhere was the popular reaction against the “foreign” terrorists more intense than in the Malakand division (Swat, Dir, etc). But the people there were “softened” in favour of the Taliban by the MMA government in Peshawar which ruled in the area, just as it did not encourage the people of FATA to rise against the terrorists. Thus when the elections rolled around, the Swatis clearly indicted the MMA government for not looking after them. They also began to condemn the government when the military operations inflicted a lot of damage on them without eliminating the terrorists. So the fear factor came in and their message was: leave us to the mercies of the Taliban.

Fortunately, things changed after the exit of President Pervez Musharraf from the scene and his policy of mollifying the MMA because it helped him stay in power through the 17th Amendment. With the PPP in power in Islamabad and an apolitical army chief in the person of General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani heading the army, the scene has changed for the better and the pressure on the Taliban has started to build up. This must be kept up and, more importantly, other tribal agencies should be brought under military operations.

South Waziristan, where the last military operation in May this year discovered the “suicide academy” where suicide-bombers were trained for the whole of Pakistan, is back in the hands of Baitullah Mehsud whose second marriage was celebrated by subservient tribesmen on the occasion of last Eid to show that he was still the “caliph”. Kurram Agency is also a place gradually going out of the territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan. Since Peshawar failed to re-establish the traffic on the road going to Parachinar, the agency’s economy has become connected to Afghanistan. If you want to send food and medicines to Parachinar, you have to first smuggle them to Afghanistan. Since the Pakistani state could not come to the help of the besieged tribes there, their co-tribals from Afghanistan are coming in to defend them. This is not a situation which Islamabad can take for very long.

Attacking the jirgas is a sign of weakness in the Taliban “movement”. More and more tribesmen are going to turn against them as their elders are exterminated. More citizens’ militias will be formed against the Taliban; but the terrorists will be rolled back only if the Pakistan army goes in and helps its own people to defend themselves. This is the war that Pakistan has to fight, and from it hangs the prospect of what will happen in the region in the coming weeks and months. *

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Daily Times

Editorial: Bajaur: attacking the jirgas

The Salarzai tribe that had begun to oppose the Taliban in Bajaur has been attacked near the town of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal agency. Their jirga was attacked by a suicide bomber who rushed into the gathering of elders and exploded himself on Wednesday. In all 22 elders were killed, including the leaders and commanders of the lashkar (militia) that they had put together to fight and expel the Taliban and their affiliated “foreigners” from the area. Forty-five members of the 300-strong council of elders were wounded.

An organisation of obscure origin has claimed the deed. This is a pattern and tells us how the Taliban and their patron Al Qaeda have come under pressure lately from the jirgas and reacted. In March, they had to massacre a jirga in Darra Adam Khel and last month they repeated the deed on a jirga in Orakzai agency, killing over a hundred elders. This is stage two of the strategy employed by the terrorists. They began by killing the maliks and single individuals of influence in the Tribal Areas to replace the traditional system of self-governance. Stage two is now upon us and is more problematic.

The jirga remains the apex of the system of authority among the tribes. When the maliks were being killed, the jirgas remained silent, linking the killings to “injustice” in Afghanistan. But as the Taliban began to impose their rule over them with punishments serving as instruments of fear, public reaction to them began to change. The problem was that the state at that time was not around to reassure them that they would be supported if they defied the terrorist regime. But now in Bajaur, for the first time, the Taliban and their “foreigners” are getting hurt in their confrontation with the Pakistan army, as is apparent from the suing for peace by Baitullah Mehsud, their “caliph” in South Waziristan. So now the tribes and jirgas are beginning to reassert themselves.

The Salarzai showed patience when their economy was being demolished and their schools were being pulled down by the Taliban. But after the army began operations in Bajaur, the Salarzai began to express their true response to the Taliban, something that has not happened elsewhere in the Tribal Areas, either because the military operations there have been fitful or have not succeeded. Therefore the attack on the Salarzai jirga clearly shows a new trend in the adventure story of the Taliban-Al Qaeda combine: they are becoming unpopular among the tribesmen and trying to cow them down by attacking their jirgas.

But the jirga killings are simply going to damage the Taliban’s cause further. Nowhere was the popular reaction against the “foreign” terrorists more intense than in the Malakand division (Swat, Dir, etc). But the people there were “softened” in favour of the Taliban by the MMA government in Peshawar which ruled in the area, just as it did not encourage the people of FATA to rise against the terrorists. Thus when the elections rolled around, the Swatis clearly indicted the MMA government for not looking after them. They also began to condemn the government when the military operations inflicted a lot of damage on them without eliminating the terrorists. So the fear factor came in and their message was: leave us to the mercies of the Taliban.

Fortunately, things changed after the exit of President Pervez Musharraf from the scene and his policy of mollifying the MMA because it helped him stay in power through the 17th Amendment. With the PPP in power in Islamabad and an apolitical army chief in the person of General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani heading the army, the scene has changed for the better and the pressure on the Taliban has started to build up. This must be kept up and, more importantly, other tribal agencies should be brought under military operations.

South Waziristan, where the last military operation in May this year discovered the “suicide academy” where suicide-bombers were trained for the whole of Pakistan, is back in the hands of Baitullah Mehsud whose second marriage was celebrated by subservient tribesmen on the occasion of last Eid to show that he was still the “caliph”. Kurram Agency is also a place gradually going out of the territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan. Since Peshawar failed to re-establish the traffic on the road going to Parachinar, the agency’s economy has become connected to Afghanistan. If you want to send food and medicines to Parachinar, you have to first smuggle them to Afghanistan. Since the Pakistani state could not come to the help of the besieged tribes there, their co-tribals from Afghanistan are coming in to defend them. This is not a situation which Islamabad can take for very long.

Attacking the jirgas is a sign of weakness in the Taliban “movement”. More and more tribesmen are going to turn against them as their elders are exterminated. More citizens’ militias will be formed against the Taliban; but the terrorists will be rolled back only if the Pakistan army goes in and helps its own people to defend themselves. This is the war that Pakistan has to fight, and from it hangs the prospect of what will happen in the region in the coming weeks and months. *

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Genocide of indigenous people of Parachinar,Kurram Agency in Pakistan by Taliban

Currently, over half a million of people residing in Kurram Agency of tribal areas of Pakistan are facing a catastrophic genocide due to the complicity or ineffectiveness of the Government of Pakistan to establish the rule of law in the Kurram Agency. These people living in the Kurram Agency on the Pak-Afghan Border, are the indigenous population facing the wrath of the extremist militants known as Taliban across the region. The crime of these indigenous people is that they do not subscribe to the ideology of Taliban.

Parachinar is the headquarter of the Kurram Agency, one of the FATA agencies in the North Frontier areas of Pakistan near the Afghanistan border.  This agency is surrounded by other tribal agencies where Taliban and their supporters have strong hold.  But they still have to take over the headquarters of Kurram Agency to establish their complete rule in the region. Violence is their major tactic, including shooting down straight away, beheading or lynching to death. Most of their opponents either have left the areas or submitted to Taliban rule.

The world has become alive to the grave threat of the terrorism to the civilised world since the attacks on the twin towers of New York on 11 September, 2001. But the terrorism perpetrated by those very forces which are now identified as Al-Qaeda and Taliban, is not new to several areas of the tribal belt, known as Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It has been playing havoc since the 1980s when the Western world had complicity colluded with the “Mujahideen” to wage a covert war against the Soviet forces that had occupied Afghanistan.

The Mujahideen, with their extremist Islamic worldview, continued to perpetuate in Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistani tribal areas even after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. Later, they surfaced in the form of the Taliban and took over the whole of Afghanistan. Their counterparts in Pakistani tribal areas also tried to impose the Taliban brand of Islam in these areas, but faced resistance from the local people of Parachinar Kurram Agency.

The Taliban have been killing and plundering the villages around Parachinar and pose a grave threat to the existence of its indigenous people. It’s only people of Parachinar who have been guarding their “Taliban-free” character, and that’s the main reason that the Taliban are bent upon destroying these local people. It’s Parachinar which has got the highest literacy rate in the tribal areas where girls also go to schools, something the Taliban do not tolerate!

These indigenous people of Parachinar had been subjected to many attacks since the 1960s, but now, since 2007, not only the people of Parachinar have been attacked by the Taliban several times, roads coming to this town have also been blockaded by Taliban and their supporters. The Pakistan Government has been complacent or actively complicit in the whole affair on the side of one party, the Taliban, who through violent means are trying to increase their control over the Kurram Agency.

In April 2007, 60 people were killed when Taliban attacked the Parachinar city. Later, the authorities imposed a curfew and no one was allowed to move in or out of the Parachinar town for over two months. This was the first indication of the Taliban infiltration in the Kurram Agency. The Taliban want to use the Kurram Agency like other bordering towns and areas to carry out their insurgency along with Afghan Taliban across the border against the Kabul Administration and NATO forces.

However, the peace loving people of Parachinar opposed the Taliban who had become infuriated and had started taking revenge for their failure by attacking, blockading, kidnapping and beheading innocent people to terrorize their opponents. Since then, there has not been a single day when violence has not struck the Parachinar valley. In November 2007, the Taliban and their supporters, again, attacked the people of Parachinar. This attack left 75 people dead and over 300 wounded. Since then, there has been no reprieve for the people of Parachinar.

Due to the complicity of the minion officials of the local security agencies, and ineffective policies at the higher level, the Taliban were so much emboldened that they started attacking in front of security forces. On 16 April 2008, a convoy of 20-25 vehicles accompanied by the security forces, including the Pakistani Army, was attacked by the Taliban at a town known as Sadda, which falls on the main road between Parachinar and Peshawar.  Four people were killed of the convoy, but the security forces remained silent, perhaps they were not ordered to take any action against the Taliban.

Organized ambushes and attacks aside, the Taliban also carried out two suicide bomber attacks on the people of Parachinar, one on 14 August 2007 and the other on 16 February, 2008, killing 15 and 58 people respectively. It has also been ascertained by the local people of Parachinar that as much as 40 people were slaughtered on different occasions from the only main road link between Parachinar and Peshawar. The Taliban last year took over a contingent of Pakistan security forces spared all of them but beheaded one of them. His only crime was that he belonged to Parachinar.

Recently secondary school examinations were postponed by the Pakistan government because the authorities were not able to maintain law and order situation in Kurram agency. But students in a very unusual way came out on the road and demanded for the holding of exams because they did not want to waste their academic year. Pakistan authorities later restored the examination schedule. But during the examination, two students of village Alizai of the Kurram Agency, were kidnapped by the Taliban. One of them was shot dead straight away, while the other was slaughtered by them at a grave of one of their dead collaborators near village Bagzai.

Moreover, during the same period, the Pakistan Army also killed two local people who were returning to their home. An ambulance carrying patients to a Peshawar from Parachinar was attacked with a rocket-propelled gun by Taliban on a main road. This resulted in the death of seven people including several women. Nowadays Taliban have started target killing of the people of Parachinar who are living, studying and working in Peshawar and other cities of the country. The Pakistani government, as well as its army failed to take any action against Taliban to stop the killings of innocent people. Locals say that the Taliban are being supported by Pakistani government which has given them a free hand for some other gains best known to the authorities.


Posted by hasnain

http://hasnain.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/stop-the-humanitarian-crisis-in-parachinaar-pakistan/

>

Genocide of indigenous people of Parachinar,Kurram Agency in Pakistan by Taliban

Currently, over half a million of people residing in Kurram Agency of tribal areas of Pakistan are facing a catastrophic genocide due to the complicity or ineffectiveness of the Government of Pakistan to establish the rule of law in the Kurram Agency. These people living in the Kurram Agency on the Pak-Afghan Border, are the indigenous population facing the wrath of the extremist militants known as Taliban across the region. The crime of these indigenous people is that they do not subscribe to the ideology of Taliban.

Parachinar is the headquarter of the Kurram Agency, one of the FATA agencies in the North Frontier areas of Pakistan near the Afghanistan border.  This agency is surrounded by other tribal agencies where Taliban and their supporters have strong hold.  But they still have to take over the headquarters of Kurram Agency to establish their complete rule in the region. Violence is their major tactic, including shooting down straight away, beheading or lynching to death. Most of their opponents either have left the areas or submitted to Taliban rule.

The world has become alive to the grave threat of the terrorism to the civilised world since the attacks on the twin towers of New York on 11 September, 2001. But the terrorism perpetrated by those very forces which are now identified as Al-Qaeda and Taliban, is not new to several areas of the tribal belt, known as Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It has been playing havoc since the 1980s when the Western world had complicity colluded with the “Mujahideen” to wage a covert war against the Soviet forces that had occupied Afghanistan.

The Mujahideen, with their extremist Islamic worldview, continued to perpetuate in Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistani tribal areas even after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. Later, they surfaced in the form of the Taliban and took over the whole of Afghanistan. Their counterparts in Pakistani tribal areas also tried to impose the Taliban brand of Islam in these areas, but faced resistance from the local people of Parachinar Kurram Agency.

The Taliban have been killing and plundering the villages around Parachinar and pose a grave threat to the existence of its indigenous people. It’s only people of Parachinar who have been guarding their “Taliban-free” character, and that’s the main reason that the Taliban are bent upon destroying these local people. It’s Parachinar which has got the highest literacy rate in the tribal areas where girls also go to schools, something the Taliban do not tolerate!

These indigenous people of Parachinar had been subjected to many attacks since the 1960s, but now, since 2007, not only the people of Parachinar have been attacked by the Taliban several times, roads coming to this town have also been blockaded by Taliban and their supporters. The Pakistan Government has been complacent or actively complicit in the whole affair on the side of one party, the Taliban, who through violent means are trying to increase their control over the Kurram Agency.

In April 2007, 60 people were killed when Taliban attacked the Parachinar city. Later, the authorities imposed a curfew and no one was allowed to move in or out of the Parachinar town for over two months. This was the first indication of the Taliban infiltration in the Kurram Agency. The Taliban want to use the Kurram Agency like other bordering towns and areas to carry out their insurgency along with Afghan Taliban across the border against the Kabul Administration and NATO forces.

However, the peace loving people of Parachinar opposed the Taliban who had become infuriated and had started taking revenge for their failure by attacking, blockading, kidnapping and beheading innocent people to terrorize their opponents. Since then, there has not been a single day when violence has not struck the Parachinar valley. In November 2007, the Taliban and their supporters, again, attacked the people of Parachinar. This attack left 75 people dead and over 300 wounded. Since then, there has been no reprieve for the people of Parachinar.

Due to the complicity of the minion officials of the local security agencies, and ineffective policies at the higher level, the Taliban were so much emboldened that they started attacking in front of security forces. On 16 April 2008, a convoy of 20-25 vehicles accompanied by the security forces, including the Pakistani Army, was attacked by the Taliban at a town known as Sadda, which falls on the main road between Parachinar and Peshawar.  Four people were killed of the convoy, but the security forces remained silent, perhaps they were not ordered to take any action against the Taliban.

Organized ambushes and attacks aside, the Taliban also carried out two suicide bomber attacks on the people of Parachinar, one on 14 August 2007 and the other on 16 February, 2008, killing 15 and 58 people respectively. It has also been ascertained by the local people of Parachinar that as much as 40 people were slaughtered on different occasions from the only main road link between Parachinar and Peshawar. The Taliban last year took over a contingent of Pakistan security forces spared all of them but beheaded one of them. His only crime was that he belonged to Parachinar.

Recently secondary school examinations were postponed by the Pakistan government because the authorities were not able to maintain law and order situation in Kurram agency. But students in a very unusual way came out on the road and demanded for the holding of exams because they did not want to waste their academic year. Pakistan authorities later restored the examination schedule. But during the examination, two students of village Alizai of the Kurram Agency, were kidnapped by the Taliban. One of them was shot dead straight away, while the other was slaughtered by them at a grave of one of their dead collaborators near village Bagzai.

Moreover, during the same period, the Pakistan Army also killed two local people who were returning to their home. An ambulance carrying patients to a Peshawar from Parachinar was attacked with a rocket-propelled gun by Taliban on a main road. This resulted in the death of seven people including several women. Nowadays Taliban have started target killing of the people of Parachinar who are living, studying and working in Peshawar and other cities of the country. The Pakistani government, as well as its army failed to take any action against Taliban to stop the killings of innocent people. Locals say that the Taliban are being supported by Pakistani government which has given them a free hand for some other gains best known to the authorities.


Posted by hasnain

http://hasnain.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/stop-the-humanitarian-crisis-in-parachinaar-pakistan/

Genocide of indigenous people of Parachinar,Kurram Agency in Pakistan by Taliban

Currently, over half a million of people residing in Kurram Agency of tribal areas of Pakistan are facing a catastrophic genocide due to the complicity or ineffectiveness of the Government of Pakistan to establish the rule of law in the Kurram Agency. These people living in the Kurram Agency on the Pak-Afghan Border, are the indigenous population facing the wrath of the extremist militants known as Taliban across the region. The crime of these indigenous people is that they do not subscribe to the ideology of Taliban.

Parachinar is the headquarter of the Kurram Agency, one of the FATA agencies in the North Frontier areas of Pakistan near the Afghanistan border.  This agency is surrounded by other tribal agencies where Taliban and their supporters have strong hold.  But they still have to take over the headquarters of Kurram Agency to establish their complete rule in the region. Violence is their major tactic, including shooting down straight away, beheading or lynching to death. Most of their opponents either have left the areas or submitted to Taliban rule.

The world has become alive to the grave threat of the terrorism to the civilised world since the attacks on the twin towers of New York on 11 September, 2001. But the terrorism perpetrated by those very forces which are now identified as Al-Qaeda and Taliban, is not new to several areas of the tribal belt, known as Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It has been playing havoc since the 1980s when the Western world had complicity colluded with the “Mujahideen” to wage a covert war against the Soviet forces that had occupied Afghanistan.

The Mujahideen, with their extremist Islamic worldview, continued to perpetuate in Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistani tribal areas even after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. Later, they surfaced in the form of the Taliban and took over the whole of Afghanistan. Their counterparts in Pakistani tribal areas also tried to impose the Taliban brand of Islam in these areas, but faced resistance from the local people of Parachinar Kurram Agency.

The Taliban have been killing and plundering the villages around Parachinar and pose a grave threat to the existence of its indigenous people. It’s only people of Parachinar who have been guarding their “Taliban-free” character, and that’s the main reason that the Taliban are bent upon destroying these local people. It’s Parachinar which has got the highest literacy rate in the tribal areas where girls also go to schools, something the Taliban do not tolerate!

These indigenous people of Parachinar had been subjected to many attacks since the 1960s, but now, since 2007, not only the people of Parachinar have been attacked by the Taliban several times, roads coming to this town have also been blockaded by Taliban and their supporters. The Pakistan Government has been complacent or actively complicit in the whole affair on the side of one party, the Taliban, who through violent means are trying to increase their control over the Kurram Agency.

In April 2007, 60 people were killed when Taliban attacked the Parachinar city. Later, the authorities imposed a curfew and no one was allowed to move in or out of the Parachinar town for over two months. This was the first indication of the Taliban infiltration in the Kurram Agency. The Taliban want to use the Kurram Agency like other bordering towns and areas to carry out their insurgency along with Afghan Taliban across the border against the Kabul Administration and NATO forces.

However, the peace loving people of Parachinar opposed the Taliban who had become infuriated and had started taking revenge for their failure by attacking, blockading, kidnapping and beheading innocent people to terrorize their opponents. Since then, there has not been a single day when violence has not struck the Parachinar valley. In November 2007, the Taliban and their supporters, again, attacked the people of Parachinar. This attack left 75 people dead and over 300 wounded. Since then, there has been no reprieve for the people of Parachinar.

Due to the complicity of the minion officials of the local security agencies, and ineffective policies at the higher level, the Taliban were so much emboldened that they started attacking in front of security forces. On 16 April 2008, a convoy of 20-25 vehicles accompanied by the security forces, including the Pakistani Army, was attacked by the Taliban at a town known as Sadda, which falls on the main road between Parachinar and Peshawar.  Four people were killed of the convoy, but the security forces remained silent, perhaps they were not ordered to take any action against the Taliban.

Organized ambushes and attacks aside, the Taliban also carried out two suicide bomber attacks on the people of Parachinar, one on 14 August 2007 and the other on 16 February, 2008, killing 15 and 58 people respectively. It has also been ascertained by the local people of Parachinar that as much as 40 people were slaughtered on different occasions from the only main road link between Parachinar and Peshawar. The Taliban last year took over a contingent of Pakistan security forces spared all of them but beheaded one of them. His only crime was that he belonged to Parachinar.

Recently secondary school examinations were postponed by the Pakistan government because the authorities were not able to maintain law and order situation in Kurram agency. But students in a very unusual way came out on the road and demanded for the holding of exams because they did not want to waste their academic year. Pakistan authorities later restored the examination schedule. But during the examination, two students of village Alizai of the Kurram Agency, were kidnapped by the Taliban. One of them was shot dead straight away, while the other was slaughtered by them at a grave of one of their dead collaborators near village Bagzai.

Moreover, during the same period, the Pakistan Army also killed two local people who were returning to their home. An ambulance carrying patients to a Peshawar from Parachinar was attacked with a rocket-propelled gun by Taliban on a main road. This resulted in the death of seven people including several women. Nowadays Taliban have started target killing of the people of Parachinar who are living, studying and working in Peshawar and other cities of the country. The Pakistani government, as well as its army failed to take any action against Taliban to stop the killings of innocent people. Locals say that the Taliban are being supported by Pakistani government which has given them a free hand for some other gains best known to the authorities.


Posted by hasnain

http://hasnain.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/stop-the-humanitarian-crisis-in-parachinaar-pakistan/

Almost one million people of Parachinar remain stranded for more than a year by the criminals of Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba & Al-Qaeda

Appeal for help to the international community

PESHAWAR: Delay in reopening road delays return of peace to Kurram

By Zulfiqar Ali

PESHAWAR, Oct 23: Delay in reopening of Thall-Parachinar Road despite an agreement, reached between the warring tribes of Kurram tribal region in Murree on Oct 16, is likely to shatter people’s confidence.

Under the peace agreement, signed by the rival parties, a 30-member jirga had to proceed to Parachinar on Wednesday last by road to end yearlong blockade of the area bordering Afghanistan.

Former federal minister Malik Waris Khan Afridi, who is leading the jirga, told Dawn that plan had been revised and mediators comprising notables and former parliamentarians from Fata and Hangu district along with 34 local elders were likely to go to Parachinar on Saturday.

“Both parties want lasting peace and have agreed to reopen the main road and resolve the disputes. Now this is the government’s responsibility to facilitate the process for the jirga to proceed to the area by road in order to rebuild confidence of the local people,” he maintained.

He said that further delay in reopening of the main road might shatter peace process, adding that according to the agreement negligence on the part of the local administration or any other government agency might be considered a deliberate move to sabotage the peace process.

“If administration takes jirga members to Parachinar by helicopters then it will not serve the purpose and will spoil all the efforts,” he said and urged that the government should rein in trouble makers to save the peace process.

Upper parts of Kurram had remained cut off from the rest of the country since November 6 last when fierce clashes broke out in the region.

The blockade had badly affected socio-economic activities in the region which forced local people to travel to Peshawar via Afghanistan.

The political administration had made an abortive attempt to open the road in June last for transporting food to Parachinar but the convoy was attacked near Sadda in Lower Kurram.

Sajjid Hussain, an MNA from the area, said that around 1,600 people had been killed and more then 3,000 wounded in fighting, causing large scale displacement and destruction. He said that Fata Secretariat in coordination with the Federal Interior Ministry was working out a plan for road safety.

Sources said that one of the reasons for delaying visit of jirga was immediate transfer of political agent Mohammad Azam Khan, who was posted as managing director of Sarhad Tourism Corporation.

Officials said that as the political agent was transferred after he was promoted to grade 20. Only grade 19 officer can be posted as political agent of Kurram.

“Transfer of Azam Khan at this very moment was not a wise decision on the part of the government.

His transfer conveys a clear message that government is not sincere in restoration of peace in Kurram,” said a jirga member from Parachinar. He said that Azam Khan should stay in Parachinar once joint jirga reached by road to start dialogue.

Sources said that normalcy was fast returning to Kurram valley and rival groups had voluntarily vacated trenches in sensitive areas and stopped plundering and destroying each other properties.

In Parachinar town, the administrative headquarters, local elders have voluntarily placed complete ban on display of weapons. Peace committees have been set up to check the movement of miscreants. (Dawn)

By Zulfiqar Ali
http://letusbuildpakistan.blogspot.com/2008/10/almost-one-million-people-of-parachinar.html

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