Search
 
Write
 
Forums
 
Login
"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
Image Not found for user
User Name: Ghayyur_Ayub
Full Name: Ghayyur Ayub
User since: 26/Jul/2007
No Of voices: 298
 
 Views: 3109   
 Replies: 4   
 Share with Friend  
 Post Comment  

Is Islamabad losing Parachinar to Kabul?

by

Dr Ghayur Ayub

 

Lord Curzon understood the Pakhtun psyche and separated Pakhtu speaking areas from the domination of Punjab in 1901, creating NWFP. He particularly concentrated on the tribal region and wisely combined the draconian Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) and military objectives with a softer policy of winning the hearts and minds of the tribal people through development projects pertaining to communication, railways, roads, education and health. His knowledge of the Pakhtun mental make-up surfaced in his Darbar speech, at Shahi Bagh, Peshawar on April, 26, 1903, when he said, “Pathan is a curious mixture. He is a man of war but he is also a born trader. I see him conducting business right away in the Bazzars of Bengal. I have come across him in Burma and Asam.” He could have added religion as third element in the mixture.

 

In recent decades, the Shias of Kurrum agency have suffered on all three counts. It all started when Gen. Zia targeted their religious beliefs by; relocating the Shia Kurrum Militia from Parachinar to other agencies; upsetting a century-old tradition of keeping a Shia officer either as head of Kurrum Militia or as political administration; and having a mixture of Shias and Sunnis in appointments of subordinate administrative staff of APA, Tehsildar and Naib Tehsildar. His policy went against the local Shias and when the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, the situation got deplorably worse for them.

 

After the Taliban defeat in 2001, a large number of them along with Al-Qaeda members fled to the tribal areas settling among other places, in regions around the Shia dominated upper Kurrum. As a result, their defeat in Afghanistan became a flashpoint for Shia miseries. The religious oppression of Shias multiplied manifold when, five years ago, they blocked the only road that connects Parachinar with Tal-the first town in the settled area. It adversely affected Shia trade and commerce downgrading their social life and strangulating their livelihood. As a consequence they found it difficult to safeguard their families, find jobs, decent food and sometimes even medicine.

 

A glaring example was that of Sarwan Ali from village Malana, who shot himself because he could not get food and medicine for his ailing wife. Or a young mother in her early twenties from village Alamsher, who was fatally wounded in her home, holding her baby in her arms, by a splinter of mortar shell fired by Taliban from a nearby hilltop. Bombing, shelling,shooting, killing and living in a constant state of fear, anguish and disappointment has become routine. Ironically, for their daily essentials they cross the border to Afghanistan; and when they want to visit their relatives and friends in Pakistan they travel through Afghanistan and re-enter their own country at Torkham. Can things be more pathetic than this? For them, the Afghan government is friendlier than Pakistan's; thanks to the failure of political administration to redress their grievances and control the Taliban's brutal onslaught. When an angry local Shia was asked, which country was safer to live in; Pakistan or Afghanistan? He replied in an argumentative query, “Just look around and you tell me?” He had lost two sons, when, one night, the Taliban left their beheaded and mutilated bodies at his doorstep. The valley is full of such grieving Shias.

 

The unbearably harsh life is reaching an explosive point, leaving them with two options; either to migrate or fight back. They have opted for the second. For that, they need possible support from Iran, Hezbollah, Afghanistan or even the Americans. Material help from the latter two seems logical because of easy access. They can see new venues of hope through Khost, Paktia and Nangarhar after being regularly attacked at Tor Ghar near Tal, Doaba near Hangu and Japanese tunnel near Kohat. In frustration, some have started thinking to react the way certain rebellious Baloch have reacted with one difference; the Shias understand that Kurrum cannot survive independently. So they have looked back at history and have found two incidents they can get guidance from.

  1. First; in the early 20th century, the Sunnis created a deplorable situation for the Shia population identical to the one seen today. The grand Khan of Turi Duperzai, Noor Khan (alias Dur Khan) wrote to the Deputy Commissioner of Kohat on behalf of the Shia elders, inviting the British government to Kurrum agency to safeguard the Shia population. The British accepted the invitation by appointing a political agent at Parachinar. That's how the massacre of Shias was stopped.
  2. Second; a treaty known as Durand Line Agreement was signed on November 12, 1893, between Amir Abdur Rahman Khan and Sir Henry Mortimer Durand creating a buffer zone between British India and Afghanistan. The signed treaty was in English-a language the Amir couldn't read or understand. The translated portions in Dari and Pakhtu were not signed by the Amir. According to historians, the Pakhtun elders close to the Amir were not aware of the written agreement. They thought the treaty was according to an unwritten Jirga practised in those days.

This brings up an important point of the time frame of the pact which remains ambiguous till the present day. Maybe the treaty was actually in two parts; a written part according to the British legal requirement signed by the Amir; and an unwritten part called 'Tiga' according to the requirement of the Jirga System. 'Tiga' in the Jirga system is like a seal between the two participating parties and is time bound. Was a hundred year limit part of 'Tiga'? The Pakhtun elders then and in the following decades believed so. And this could be the reason that successive governments in Afghanistan, including the very friendly Taliban of Mullah Omar, took a firm stand on this issue. They have consistently disregarded certifications by SEATO and SENTO which supported Pakistan's version, by arguing that Afghanistan was not made party during the dialogues, and that those two bodies are dead and buried. They also argue; that how can a treaty of such a nature and magnitude be agreed upon without a time-frame. The issue has not reached the United Nations thus far, and the US and UK both ignore it because it can affect their war strategy in Afghanistan.

Some frustrated Shias share Afghanistan's version and consider the DLA as null and void since 1993, thus making Kurum part of Afghanistan. When asked what if the Taliban got back to power in Afghanistan, they reply they will cross that bridge when they come to it; so strong are their feelings. According to them things have changed since 9/11.They conducted a private survey, amongst 500 Shias aged between 20 and 65, (its authenticity cannot be verified) which gives opposite figures to the one given by another public survey conducted by the New America Foundation and Terror Free Tomorrow, which stated “Nearly nine out every ten people in FATA oppose the U.S. military pursuing al-Qaeda and the Taliban in their region.” The local survey showed that 99% are against Taliban and Al-Qaeda; 70% are disappointed by the role played by the Sunni led Pak army in Kurum; 85% are against the existing political set-up in Kurrum; 45% are ready to take up arms against the Pak army.

Irrespective of the survey being authentic or not, a strong lobby is surfacing especially amongst the youth who blame Pakistan for their miseries. They want to safeguard their livelihoods, bring safety to their families, put trade back on track, achieve an atmosphere of peaceful existence, and most importantly have freedom of religious beliefs. They are ready to take up arms in Hezbollah style to achieve those aims.

The American administration must closely be watching the situation in Kurum in the context of their non-productive military actions in FATA and non-implementation of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZ) policy in the region. Obama is desperate to show the American people that he can crush Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in FATA and help the locals economically. Upper Kurrum could turn out to be his dream come true if it becomes a launching pad to achieve those aims. Its location bordering Afghanistan from three sides and with direct land-linkage with the three important FATA regions of North Waziristan, Aurakzai and Khyber makes it ideal to fight his worst enemy from within FATA. If the local Shias are willing to participate; why shouldn't he take advantage of the opportunity and offer material help to the trained fighters against Al-Qaeda and Taliban?

Before it turns into a reality, Pakistan should seriously think of taking the following reconciliatory steps;

  • Take the Shia population, especially the youth, in confidence and show them in real terms that the government is willing to help take them out of their miseries.
  • Construct a second road along the south bank of Mar Toi (Kurrum river) bypassing the strongholds of Taliban dominated regions at Sadda and beyond, thus opening communication and trade links with the rest of Pakistan
  • Undo what Gen Zia did, by reintroducing the century-old system of power sharing between Shia and Sunni officers in civil and military bureaucracy in Parachinar.
  • Bring back the HQ of Kurrum Militia to Parachinar and build it afresh by inducting both Sunnis and Shias in its ranks and files.

Otherwise, the Pakistani leadership should open its eyes and read the writing on the wall which says; ,Islamabad is fast losing Parachinar to Kabul,.

 Reply:   This is what Hillary says ! But fact is otherwisw
Replied by(Ghulam_Rasool) Replied on (6/Apr/2011)

Our sectarian divide

 

By General Retd Mirza Aslam Beg | Published: April 3, 2011

 

The sectarian divide in the Muslim world has been the cause of serious conflicts in the past, and continues to have its toll, particularly for the last 30 years, with external forces exploiting this weakness. The countries which have suffered most are Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon and Pakistan, and the one being targeted now, is Bahrain, from where the new great game begins.

On a larger canvas, one would find that during the last 30 years sectarianism has grown into “two centres of power”, namely the Pakhtun Power and the Shia Power, determining the security parameters of the entire Asian region. These ‘centres of power’ can be called the Sectarian Tectonic Plates, which could shake the world peace if they collide and collude, a new era of peace and unity would emerge.

These centres of power have grown out of the great turmoil caused by contrived wars and conflicts in the region through interventions, state-sponsored terrorism, and contrived conflicts, such as the occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1980; the eight-year war of liberation by the Afghans from 1980 to 88; the eight-year Iran-Iraq war from 1980-88; the first Gulf War of 1990; the nine-year civil war in Afghanistan from 1992-2001; the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by USA and allies in 2001-2011; the invasion of Iraq by America in 2003-2011; Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 and the ongoing brutal wars in Palestine and Kashmir. As a result, more than six million Muslims have died and many more millions were seriously wounded, maimed and decapitated - a brutality, which ironically has earned the title of ‘terrorists’ for the brutalised, and the oppressors call themselves the ‘messengers of peace’. As a reaction to this state-sponsored terrorism, the Islamic Global Resistance grew to contain and curb the menace and turned into a movement, which has lasted for almost 30 years giving birth to Pakhtun and Shia Powers.

The Pakhtun Power: The hardcore of this power base is in the Pakhtun belt, along the Pak-Afghan borders, with 24.0 million of Pakhtuns living in Pakistan and 17.0 million in Afghanistan. Its area of influence extends from Karachi with four million Pakhtuns, to the line of Hindukush. It has developed into a formidable base for the Islamic Resistance, which draws “support of the freedom fighters from 70 countries of the world.” During the last 30 years, it has defeated two superpowers, and the NATO forces. The defeated powers, therefore, are now planning “to contain and curb the Pakhtun Power, the greatest threat to US interests in the region,” according to David Kilkullen, Security Advisor to the former US President. This purpose can be achieved by making the two powers collide with each other.

The Shia Power: extends from Iran to Iraq, to Bahrain and to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where a significant Shia minority resides. The Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, was contrived to create hatred between the Shias and the Sunnis. Iraq has since been occupied and defeated, but Iran is defiant and is being demonised as a threat for the Sunni countries in the region, who out of fear are arming themselves against Iran and have bought military hardware worth over $150 billion from USA, during the last seven years. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the GCC countries are the main recipients of the military hardware, and are preparing themselves to fight the so-called Shia threat.

Bahrain, which is a Shia majority country, and is ruled by the Sunni minority, is facing intervention by the Saudi and GCC armed forces, under the watchful eyes of the West, as part of the Gulf countries Joint Peninsula Shield Force. Iran calls it as “invasion by an army of occupation”, while the United States has declared that the “entry of foreign troops was not an invasion.” The Shia led protests seeking to break the 200-year old Sunni rule in Bahrain, and military intervention by the neighbouring Sunni countries, marks the unfolding of the conspiracy to make the Sunni and Shia countries collide; whereas during the past 30 years, sectarian riots were induced in Iraq and Pakistan, and now “the nations are being pitched against each other.” It is the beginning of the new great game to damage the unity of the Muslim world.

The US intelligence agencies operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan are hand-in-glove with the Indian and European intelligence agencies in Afghanistan since 2004, and have been able to turn the Afghan war on Pakistan. Pakistan military thus is engaged in a running battle against its own Pakhtun tribes. Additionally, more than 100,000 troops are deployed on the Pak-Afghan border in support of the American and coalition forces in Afghanistan. In fact, Pakistan has unwittingly become a party to the crime for the defeat and destruction of the Pakhtun Power, which is the name of the new great game of the competing powers in the region.

Both the Pakhtun Power and the Shia Power are a significant element of our national power and must be harnessed to enhance our national security at this very critical moment in history when a strong wind of change is sweeping the Muslim world. In Pakistan, we already have a burning problem in Parachinar, Kurram Agency, due to the involvement of the neighbouring countries with so much of bloodletting there, since the occupation of Afghanistan in 2001 by foreign powers. It is a dangerous trend, so clearly visible now in Bahrain, where the Saudi and GCC countries have entered to support the Sunni ruler with full blessings of the West. These are very ominous signs, making the Sectarian Tectonic Plates collide and damage the prospects of unity of the Muslim world.

The revolutionary upsurge in the Arab world demands democratic freedom and social justice, and equally ignites the Pakistani mind. Fortunately, we have a democratic rule in Pakistan, which can deliver social justice and civil liberties, despite all the faults of the present system. We have to give it a chance to correct itself. We need political peace and stability, which will come if we show patience. And the best to happen to our national security would be the departure of the occupation forces from Afghanistan - the mother of all evil.

Pakistan thus stands at the choice point to experiment democratic governance, unpolluted and free from foreign intrusions and intrigues. Sectarian divide is a great weakness, which can be overcome democratically through political wisdom. Also, awareness is fast developing in the Muslim society about the negative impacts and consequences of sectarianism.

The writer is former Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan

 

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/03-Apr-2011/Our-sectarian-divide/1

 


 
 Reply:   Ghulam Rasool
Replied by(Asghar_khan) Replied on (6/Apr/2011)

I think are unable to understand the reality of the history. If you remember the cold war, if you listen the speech of Hilry Clinton. According to her the wahbi brand of Islam imported to this region. It is the continuity of cold war. Being a responsible person to God, please think about it. Islam not allowed killing of innocent peoples. The person is on right way, what he said it is reality. We dont belive shia and sunni, but we belive on right and worng. Please stop worng arrgument, if one is agent of Iran the other side is agent of Ameria, Suadia and Israel.
 
 Reply:   Ghayyur Ayub is a liar and agent of Pasdaran e Inqilab Iran
Replied by(Ghulam_Rasool) Replied on (17/Oct/2010)

Ghayyur Ayub is trying to tort history and he is paid agent of Iranians. There are hundred of Pasdaran e Inqilab and Iranian army agents. Shia's have direct connections with NATO and allowing them to use passages outside Pakistan without passport is an old story. Ghayyur Ayub is telling a lie and his propaganda is for the sake of petro dollars.
 
 Reply:   stop your shia anti taliban false propoganda
Replied by(drkjke) Replied on (17/Oct/2010)

stop your shia anti taliban false propoganda,taliban are islam,s heroes and inshalah will soon be victorious.than you parachinari and other iran backed people, who are fighting alongside america against taliban will be punished heavily,inshalah,soon
 
Please send your suggestion/submission to webmaster@makePakistanBetter.com
Long Live Islam and Pakistan
Site is best viewed at 1280*800 resolution