Swat attack on Malala: War of words in Senate over policy about militancy
[Dawn] Political rivals in the Senate on Wednesday used the debate on the terrorist attack on Swat
...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat...
girl Malala Yousufzai to blame one another's policies about militancy.
Though, all the senators belonging to major political parties were unanimous in condemning the dastardly attack, a clear divide was visible in the house between those supporting the ongoing war on terror and those opposing it.
Senator Mushahidullah Khan of the opposition Pakistain Mohammedan League-N (PML-N) joined the religious-minded senators in declaring that the war on terror was not in the country's interests and that it had been imposed on Pakistain by the US.
On the other hand, the PPP senators said that those who believed that it was not Pakistain's war were "living in the fool's paradise".
When some senators, particularly those belonging to the Awami National Party (ANP) and Hasil Bizenjo of the National Party (NP), opposed the role of religion in state affairs and called for propagating secular views in the country, they were bitterly criticised by members belonging to the religious parties.
The two stalwarts of the ruling Pakistain People's Party (PPP) -- Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Raza Rabbani -- held the state responsible for the rising tide of militancy and extremism in the country because it always made compromises and never stood firmly against the forces exploiting religion.
Giving an example, Mr Ahsan flayed the government's decision of blocking YouTube website, and said if there was one "filthy book" in a library containing 10 million books then it did not mean that the whole library should be closed.
Mr Rabbani was of the view that the country was facing the present confusing situation due to the "failure of the democratic, progressive and political forces which have always made compromises and digressed from the ideological path set by the Quaid-e-Azam".
An independent senator from tribal areas, Saleh Shah, and Hasil Bizenjo of the NP in their speeches took the ANP -- the ruling party in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
(KP) -- to task for entering into an agreement with Maulana Sufi Muhammad for enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl in Swat in 2009 which, according to them, provided an opportunity to the Taliban to get hold of the area.
ANP's Afrasiab Khattak and Ilyas Bilour, however, defended their provincial government's decision and said that it was actually done to provide an opportunity to the fighting Taliban to come to the negotiating table, They said when the agreement brought no results, a massive operation was launched in Swat and the gun-hung tough guys were expelled from the area.
Mr Khattak alleged that it was the five-year rule of the religious parties' alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) in the province that allowed the gun-hung tough guys to propagate their views through 30 FM channels. It was during the MMA's rule that the Taliban were allowed to transport arms and ammunition by using roads.
ANP's Haji Adeel warned that if the political parties did not take a clear stance on the issue of terrorism, the country would become a fundamentalist state.
Another ANP Senator Shahi Syed claimed that the Taliban had forced the party to close a number of its offices in the city of Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
. Without naming the MQM, he said that those who were celebrating the closure of their offices would be the next target of the Taliban.
Senator Nasreen Jalil of the MQM said the political parties which had allowed the Taliban to stay in their strongholds should be asked to clarify their stance whether they supported the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam or that of the Taliban.
Senator Hasil Bizenjo held the policies of former military dictator Gen Zia ul Haq
...the creepy-looking former dictator of Pakistain. Zia was an Islamic nutball who imposed his nutballery on the rest of the country with the enthusiastic assistance of the nation's religious parties, which are populated by other nutballs. He was appointed Chief of Army Staff in 1976 by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, whom he hanged when he seized power. His time in office was a period of repression, with hundreds of thousands of political rivals, minorities, and journalists executed or tortured, including senior general officers convicted in coup-d'état plots, who would normally be above the law. As part of his alliance with the religious parties, his government helped run the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, providing safe havens, American equipiment, Saudi money, and Pak handlers to selected mujaheddin. Zia died along with several of his top generals and admirals and the then United States Ambassador to Pakistain Arnold Lewis Raphel when he was assassinated in a suspicious air crash near Bahawalpur in 1988...
responsible for the rise in extremism and sectarianism, saying that it was Gen Zia who had made the religion a state property. He alleged that the state even today was promoting religious extremism. "You cannot stop extremism without separating religion from state," he said.
Referring to the recent sectarian killings in Quetta, Mr Bizenjo alleged that the city was witnessing a war between the groups backed by two countries. He claimed the group backed by Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face...
was killing those who were believed to have their origin from Iraq.
Mufti Abdus Sattar of the JUI-F said that Islam was the state religion under Article 2 of the Constitution and those who spoke against Islam were actually anti-state people.
Senator Saleh Shah said that everyone was condemning the attack on Malala but regretted that no one talked about other similar girls being killed in drone attacks in Fata and Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
Posted by: Fred