Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pakistanis Hold Vigil for Mumbai Victims


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: progpak@gmail.com / 917.922.9836


Pakistanis Hold Vigil for Mumbai Victims
Call Upon India and Pakistan to Work Towards Peace

When: Saturday, December 13th, 4:00 pm
Where: Union Square NORTH (16th Street) – across the street from Barnes and Noble

(New York, December 8, 2008) - Action for a Progressive Pakistan (APP) condemns the violence of Nov 26th which claimed the lives of over 180 people in Mumbai, and expresses solidarity with the people of India. The group calls upon the democratically elected governments of India and Pakistan to work together in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice.

APP will hold a vigil this Saturday, December 13th at 4pm in Union Square to express sorrow at the loss of innocent life and call for peace and stability in the region. It demands that measured and deliberate steps be taken to ensure the safety and security of all the citizens of India and Pakistan, who remain the true targets of these extreme agendas. The group also calls upon the governments of India and Pakistan to work for a peaceful resolution of the current crisis, and asks that the world community support the two countries in this endeavor.

"The people of Pakistan stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in India because we also bear deeply the scars of terrorism," said Assistant Professor of Sociology Saadia Toor who’s also a founding member of APP. In 2007 alone, 1500 people were killed in terror attacks in Pakistan. This year, forty people were killed and as many as 350 injured including school children when bombs destroyed a federal government building in the heart of Lahore on March 11th. Another fifty were killed by a terror attack on the Islamabad Marriott hotel in September. These acts of violence, whether in India or Pakistan, are a backlash to the global War on Terror by non-state forces seeking to destabilize the region and derail long-overdue peace initiatives being pursued by the two countries.

The only defense against terrorism is a prosperous democracy. Pakistan has just elected its first civilian government in over a decade after a protracted struggle against the military dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf. The civilian government has already taken several key steps towards de-militarizing the domestic political sphere, and has made overtures towards trying to solve the issue of Kashmir. The civilian regime has managed to impose some limitations on the military but it must do more. To ensure peace and security in the region, the world community must support Pakistan's democratic institutions. This support must include development assistance geared towards addressing the needs of Pakistan's poor. APP calls for an immediate end to US airstrikes inside Pakistan's borders, as they are contributing greatly to the destabilization of the region and causing hardships for innocent civilians.

Action for a Progressive Pakistan stands with the people of South Asia in their struggle for peace in the region.The group, comprised of concerned Pakistani professionals and academics, is committed to ensuring peace, democracy and development in South Asia.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

you better get your UN ambassador
to shut up first.

http://worldfocus.org/blog/2008/12/08/pakistan-raids-kashmir-camp-linked-to-mumbai-attacks/3149/

Anonymous said...

Perhaps hold a vigil for him too and for the receding chances of nonTalibanic moderation in Pakistan.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/
world/asia/article5337881.ece

December 14, 2008
UK may help find Pakistani general’s killers
Carey Schofield

The brother-in-law of VS Naipaul, the British novelist and Nobel laureate, was murdered last month after threatening to expose Pakistani army generals who had made deals with Taliban militants.

Major-General Faisal Alavi, a former head of Pakistan’s special forces, whose sister Nadira is Lady Naipaul, named two generals in a letter to the head of the army. He warned that he would “furnish all relevant proof”.

Aware that he was risking his life, he gave a copy to me and asked me to publish it if he was killed. Soon afterwards he told me that he had received no reply.

“It hasn’t worked,” he said. “They’ll shoot me.”

Four days later, he was driving through Islamabad when his car was halted by another vehicle. At least two gunmen opened fire from either side, shooting him eight times. His driver was also killed.

This weekend, as demands grew for a full investigation into Alavi’s murder on November 18, Lady Naipaul described her brother as “a soldier to his toes”. She said: “He was an honourable man and the world was a better place when he was in it.”

Anonymous said...

There is another valley called Swat, which is in Pakistan. Please light some candles for those bravely facing terrorists there, but who are completely ignored by their own compatriots:


http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=152703

Why did Swat militants exhume Pir Samiullah�s body
Friday, December 19, 2008
by Delawar Jan

PESHAWAR: The exhumation and hanging of Pir Samiullah�s body at a square after his killing petrified the already terrified people of the militancy-plagued Swat valley, but the militants instead of repenting the act threatened to hit every person supporting the existing system in Malakand division.

Pir was already a �persona non grata� for the militants for being the member of Barelvi school of thought, but he invited the militants� wrath after challenging them.Pir was killed during a fierce gunfight between his followers and the militants on December 13. The militants, who had also taken

...

A senior commander of the Swati militants while explaining why they were so angry with Pir said that he was a Mushrik (the one who ascribes partners to Allah) besides fighting with Taliban militants and being loyal to the government.

�Fighting against Taliban is fighting against Qura�an, an act that we will not be tolerated. He was fighting against us at the behest of the government. Not certain personalities, but all those who support this (the existing) system will be hit irrespective of being a politician, a cleric or my own father,� he said, adding they hanged the body of Pir to make him an example for others - the practice, according to them, is being done in certain countries.

...

On October 26, the militants killed 12 jirga members in Gwalerai for holding a jirga against Taliban, and hanged the bodies to �teach a lesson to others.� The security forces encouraged Pir to raise a force against the militants but did not come to his help, as usual, when he was under attack from the militants, further denting public trust in them.


Belonging to Barelvi school of thought, Pir Samiullah, 30, had generated a controversy a few years ago which resulted in the killing of a person, forcing his followers to build a separate mosque and a house for him in the area.

Followers from various parts of the country, including Dir, Chitral, Bajaur, Punjab and Sindh provinces, visited him. Pir had passed his secondary school certificate examination from the Labat Government High School. He had three wives.

He challenged the powerful militants a few months ago and raised an armed lashkar against them on October 10. He lost his brother in the first encounter with Taliban combatants and was killed himself in the second. The militants buried him at an unidentified place ostensibly to stop his followers from building a shrine onto his grave.

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Anonymous said...

UNHEARD MOANS AND CRIES from Pakistan

Out of the other ethnicities, the Baloch people have suffered the most under an administration dominated by Punjabis.

The region of Balochistan is mostly waste land covered by deserts and uncultivable land. However this area is also rich in mineral reserves such as natural gas and petroleum.

In fact, 90% of Pakistan’s energy requirements are met by the natural reserves of the province of Balochistan.

But the irony is that this province does not even get 5% of the electricity produced from the land in this region. So much for Islamic/Pakistani brotherhood!

The per capita income of Balochistan is next to zilch when compared to Punjab.

Balochistan has hardly any schools or colleges except in the capital city of Quetta. The Baloch people have to travel great distances even to get basic necessities such as water and food supplies.
There are hardly any roads or major railway links in Balochistan. Most Baloch people have to work as migrant labourers in the more developed cities of Karachi and Islamabad.

The Pakistani Army rape women and young girls, kill non-combatants; in general terms, they spread misery amongst the Baloch population.

It is not as if the Civil or Military Administration is unaware of these facts. On the other hand, the Administration fully supports these cruel techniques used by the Pakistani Army to subdue the Baloch.

This is actually a return gift from the Pakistani Administration for the audacity of asking for the basic human rights by the Baloch.

There are no technical institutions where people from Balochistan can pursue education, which would enable them to achieve a respectable status. All the work in the various military or civilians are assigned to non-local labour.

This is not done because the Baloch people are lazy or unable to do work. Rather this is being done to add to the depravity of the already suffering people of Balochistan.

The Baloch people who are not so religious, but are however fiercely independent in spirit were ultimately fed up with the Punjabi-led administration decided to rebel against it.

Even though there is a long history of rebellion of the Baloch people against the evil Pakistani Administration, I will confine myself to a recent event that has become epoch in the history of Balochistan.

I will tell you the short story of Nawab Akbar Bughti. He was a man who once believed in the nation of Pakistan and even occupied several important positions in the Pakistani administration unlike most of his Baloch brothers who were not so lucky.

When he came back to his native place, he was really appalled to see the barbarity with which the Pakistani army treated the Baloch people. He could no longer tolerate the injustice and decided to fight the oppression.

He fought, to secure basic Human rights for his people. The Pakistani Administration decided that this impudent Baloch, who had the guts to ask for equal rights, should also be given a return gift. He was bombed in his house, which was actually a cave, in the middle of night.

This was a warning for the rest of the Baloch people to shut up or suffer similar consequences.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Now the Pakistani administration has found a new way of subduing the Baloch. They have started colonising the Baloch land in bits and pieces to establish colonies of Punjabi ex-army men in order to destabilize the ethnic balance of the area.

To add to the woes of the Baloch, Afghan refugees have also been provided habitations in the Baloch land. This was hardly done out of compassion for the refugees, why not house them in Punjab?

The real reason was to turn the native population of Balochistan into minorities. This way, they are being gradually subdued with ease.

While the Western Media chooses to cherry pick the events in Pakistan, we seldom get to hear the moans and cries of these unfortunate people, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

As I write this article, there might be a Baloch woman being molested by the Army of Pakistan, a child being beaten up for being who he is.

Nobody will ever be able to assess the exact extent of the atrocities the Pakistani Administration has committed upon the Baloch people.

I really don’t understand why the media of the free world chooses to ignore a Human tragedy which occurs everyday in a country as well known as Pakistan.

I also wonder why the Western leaders don’t ask the Pakistani administration as to why these people are suffering so much even after the billions of dollars in Aid.

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