Archive for the ‘ Pakistanis ’ Category

US Intelligence Report: Pakistan in Danger of Becoming an Islamist State run by the Taliban and Warlords

 

Islamabad, Pakistan- There is growing concern in intelligence circles in the US that the Taliban in Pakistan are determined to make Pakistan an Islamist state controlled by warlords and terrorists and little or no central government authority or power to stop them.

 

Their strategy had its beginnings in the alarming success of the Taliban in gaining concessions from the authorities in the Swat valley this winter after fighting the Pakistan army to a standstill and getting the government to agree to instituting Islamic Shariah law in the valley and in parts of the NWFP province.

 

US intelligence officials believe that it is just a matter of time in as little as 10 years the the growing influence of the Taliban will overrun all the rural towns and communities and the government and the army will be relegated to city centers across the country with large swaths of land and power in the hands of the Taliban and other militant groups aligned with them and Al-Qaeda hell bent on instituting a new Islamic order throughout the country.

 

This scenario presents a very troubling outcome for Pakistanis, Pakistan’s immediate neighbors and the world at large. Pakistan is not a small undeveloped country torn by three decades of war like Afghanistan with only 3 million of its 30 million people living in Kabul and the rest spread out all over the country. Or like Iraq, another country of nearly 30 million people that also has experienced its share of turmoil the last 6 years.

 

Instead, Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world with over 170 million people living in major cities like Lahore (population 11 million) and Karachi the twentieth largest city in the world with a population of nearly 20 million people. With at least 100 nuclear weapons, several dozen highly organized and heavily armed militant groups, a weak and getting weaker by the day central government, abject poverty and high unemployment mixed in with rampant corruption and lawlessness, the country is ripe for a revolution. The Taliban have stepped into the vacuum created by the ineffectiveness of various governments who are more concerned with getting to and holding onto power and plundering the nation for their own personal wealth rather than be concerned with the future of the fragile nation with enemies of the state getting stronger from within. Many Pakistanis are more adept to believing in conspiracy theories of American involvement in various plots across the country rather than opening their eyes to the fact that the biggest threat and enemy of the nation is the Taliban and militants who use violence and terror in gaining bigger control across the country.

 

Furthermore, add religious violence amongst its Sunni and Shiite communities, a raging war and Al-Qaeda at its border in Afghanistan to the west. And an ever present historical feud with arch enemy India to the east who has fought three wars with Pakistan in the last 60 years makes this a country that has reached a boiling point. The disillusionment and hopelessness is very high amongst the majority of its moderate citizens who are intelligent and educated enough to know that the real enemy is the Taliban and militants that are determined to bring about Shariah law across the country but who do not see an effective partner in the government that will stand up to this growing threat. Instead the government capitulated to the Taliban in the Swat valley earlier this year and allowed Shari ah law there and agreed to a truce with the Taliban. Now their power and influence is growing in other parts of country as the Taliban are focusing on gaining strength in the populous Punjab state and other provinces across the country. The future has never looked bleaker for the country.

 

We at Pakistanis for Peace believe and have always believed that the biggest threat to the sovereignty and stability of Pakistan is the Taliban and Islamic militant menace that has begun to sweep the country after originating in the mountains of Afghanistan. The government of Asif Zardari has been quite ineffective in fighting the militant threat and there is not clear counterinsurgency strategy to tackle the Taliban and militant threat. Instead the government has done itself little favor by both half heartedly fighting and taking on the Taliban earlier this year and then agreeing to various truces with the militants to end the fighting. Pakistan needs to learn a lesson from the recent high drama at sea near the Somali coast involving the kidnapping of the American captain by the pirates. You do not negotiate and accept demands of the pirates, kidnappers, or terrorists. You speak to them in a firm manner to give up and surrender, if they do not do so, you bring the full force of your military and do so relentlessly until you gain victory. The country of Pakistan is too vital to regional and global peace for it to become a failed state like Afghanistan did in the 1980’s. Its possible failure and falling into the hands of the Taliban will be the greatest challenge and threat to US and world security for the next 30 years and all efforts must be made by Pakistan and its allies to ensure that never happens. Sometime to keep the peace, you have to go to war.

 

Reported by Manzer Munir for www.PakistanisforPeace.com

 

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Attacks on Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Pakistan a New Low on War on Terror

 

Lahore, Pakistan- The already bad security situation in Pakistan got worse Tuesday when about 12 to 15 gunmen attacked the bus carrying Sri Lanka’s cricket team for a match against the Pakistani national team in Lahore Pakistan. At least 5 Pakistani policemen and a driver were killed in the attack and up to eight visiting Sri Lankan cricketers were injured.

 

The masked men opened fire on the Sri Lankan bus as it approached the cricket stadium for its match against Pakistan. Grenades, rocket launchers, weapons and backpacks with dry food and water were left behind by the attackers who all successfully fled the scene after the carnage.

 

Pakistani officials stated that the incident had similarities to the attacks in Mumbai in November of last year by the organization, weapons and the brazenness of the attacks. New Zealand immediately canceled its planned tour of Pakistan scheduled for later this year.  Australia also had previously canceled matches in Pakistan last year due to safety concerns. The attacks have also put great doubt on Pakistan’s ability to host some of the matches for the cricket World Cup scheduled for 2011 to be hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In fact, all international sporting events to be held in Pakistan are now in jeopardy as visiting foreign sportsmen will fear for their safety and are obvious targets by the crazed militants in Pakistan.

 

Pakistan has long been feared to be a country on the verge of becoming a failed state. However various events in the last 18 months have shown how true this unfortunate statement has come to reality. All the attacks that have happened in Pakistan from the Marriott bombing in Islamabad, to the murder of Benazir Bhutto, to the involvement in the Mumbai attacks in India, to the Taliban attacks in Swat valley and their win against the government in gaining Sharia Law, the continued kidnapping and beheading of foreigners and now the brazen attacks on a foreign sporting team just go to show how close to a failed state Pakistan has become.

 

Pakistan has for a long time been the most dangerous country in the world for its citizens with rampant crime, lawlessness, mixture of ethnic groups fighting amongst themselves, armed militants and Islamic extremists fighting in Afghanistan and India, and nuclear weapons in a country with a very weak government and constant political upheaval. The attacks on the Sri Lankan team now show the world and especially to the cricket loving Pakistanis that the enemies of the country will stop at nothing to destroy everything that is cherished in their country for their own misguided goals. No patriotic citizen of Pakistan should after these attacks have any doubt as to the immediate need to eradicate these terrorist groups from within Pakistan as they not only represent a clear and present danger to all friends and visitors to Pakistan but to the nation of Pakistan and its sovereignty. These terrorists aim to destroy Pakistan from within and hope to incite a civil war much like the one in Afghanistan with chaos and destruction through their continued attacks and then hope to put in power Islamic extremists like the Taliban who will proclaim to bring order to the country by instituting Sharia Law throughout the country.

 

We at Pakistanis for Peace and the majority of the good citizenry of Pakistan can not let this happen as the dissolution of the state of Pakistan into anarchy like the one in most parts of Afghanistan and Somalia will lead to a point of no return. As a nation of 170 million people, Pakistan’s population is five to six times the size of Iraq and Afghanistan. It has more ethnic groups and divisions than the two countries combined. And most importantly, it possesses a nuclear arsenal believed to be between 80 to 120 warheads. In a country with many armed militant groups that are operating in various parts of the nation and where the security and law and order situation is perhaps the worst in the world, there needs to be greater attention placed by the international community and the United States in eradicating the militant threat and in securing the weapons. Our condolences go out to the family of the dead policemen and to the injured Sri Lankan team and hope that this horrible attack helps the Pakistani people realize and understand that the true enemy of Islam and Pakistan are these extremists who are determined to destroy their nation.

 Reported by Manzer Munir for http://www.PakistanisforPeace.com

Violence in Beautiful Swat Valley of Pakistan

 

The Pakistani army reported killing at least 17 Taliban militants and injuring many others in an offensive in the north western Swat Valley in Pakistan. According to some local officials many more people are dead after civilian casualties are counted in as well. The recent offensives by the Pakistan army came after recent attacks by the Taliban militants on the local population and at some local girls schools in the valley.

 

The swat valley is in the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan and is a very beautiful area long been a tourist destination for Pakistanis and foreigners. With green meadows, clear lakes, and high mountains, it is a place of great natural beauty and was known as the “Switzerland of Pakistan”.Since December of 2008 most of the area is now dangerous for tourists and locals alike as attacks have continued on anyone who defies the Taliban’s strict and medieval interpretation of Islam. Since then the militants have tightened their hold on the valley by cosing girls schools, intimidating locals, setting up their own courts and execution and beheading of people in the area.

 

The army started an offensive against the Taliban in the area after the government announced it was going to regain control back from the militants. Many locals are concerned that the army and the militants are not the only ones that are becoming casualties as many innocent Pakistanis in the Swat valley are dying as well due to this violence. The areas economy is also in shambles as not only foreign tourism, but the local Pakistani tourists are staying away from this once peaceful and always beautiful part of Pakistan.

 

Reporting  by Manzer Munir for  Http://www.PakistanisforPeace.com            

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