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Old 01-31-2008   #41
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Default Operations in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

Moderator's Note: An old thread 'Waziristan: campaigning in the past and soon?' has been merged into this thread.


Strategic Design Considerations for Operations in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas: Dust-up along the North-West Frontier by William McCallister at SWJ Blog.

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Ideas as to what constitutes good governance various among individuals, groups and cultures. The current definition of good governance as outlined in a recent report on threats from safe havens and ungoverned areas is a case in point. The report defines governance as the “delivery of security, judicial, legal, regulatory, intelligence, economic, administration, social and political goods and public services, and the institutions through which they are delivered”. The definition implies a social service centric function for government emphasizing “delivery” and distribution of social services. It further implies that only democratic institutions are a safeguard against militancy, extremism and terrorism. Not all cultures view the role and function of government in quite the same way. Tribal society, particularly along the North-West frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan judges the role and function of effective government quite differently...

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Old 02-01-2008   #42
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An excellent read.

The SWJ "Strategic Design Considerations for Operations in Pakistan’s Tribal Areasust-up along the North-West Frontier" by William S. McCallister is one of the finest articles that has covered the psyche that governs the lawless badlands of western part of Pakistan.

Indeed, Pakistan is a curious mix of tribalism, feudalism, modernity, military supremacy and an attempt at democracy. It is an interesting pot pourri that does not mix and exude a pleasant aroma.

Pakistan is a country that has a serious identity crisis. It rejects its Indian past and is struggles to conjure an exclusiveness of being a historical separate indentity called the Indus Valley civilisation. This in fact encourages a further schism wherein the Mohajirs (immigrants from India due to the Partition) are forgotten and slighted! Interestingly, this search for a new identity ignores the fact that a large part of the Moslem population of pre Independent India were low caste convertees (to be free of the horrid caste system) or those who were converted to avoid the subjugation through the jezia (unbearable tax on non Moslem) or because of the Sword!

Thus, Pakistan is actually at war with itself and seized with a national schizophrenia, in a manner of speaking!

Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan, was initially with the Congress Party and was not really concerned about the Moslem cause. But like all politicians when he realised that he could not wrest power from Gandhi and others, he took up the cause of Moslem's and for a separate homeland for the Moslems. It was merely a power quest that worked itself into a powerful political movement that brought about the birth of Pakistan. It was but a fait accompli without a solid foundation in reality of existence.

It is important to note what Jinnah had said in the inaugural address of the Pakistan Parliament. He had said:

We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish......

Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.


This indicates that Jinnah's main aim was for power and not for Islam!

The birth of Pakistan though rejoiced by the Moslems of India, actually put into place a power struggle amongst the various segments. The Mohajirs being more educated than those who were from the parts that became Pakistan took all the plum posts in the bureaucracy, judiciary, education etc. The actually population of what became West Pakistan, steeped in feudalism and power as the land owning "aristocracy" and the backbone of the Indian Army felt threatened. This is the genesis of the struggle in Pakistan between the military and democracy.

The Mohajirs , who were rootless but intelligent, realised that there had to be a common cause wherein their legitimacy as inheritors of the promised land was not up for the grabs, used Islam as the catch all for all eventualities. Given that Pakistan was created for Moslems, the military and the landed satraps could not contest this excellent ploy.

Kashmir came handy for the military, who used the Mohajir inspired identity of Islam to the hilt. The military sprang into action as the true defender of Islam and went to war. This ensured that the exchequer became military oriented and beholden to it for defending Islam, as the sword arm, and extracted their pound of flesh.

Islam being partial to an aggressive mindset accepted the military's domination over democratic norms and thus this psyche gave legitimacy to successive military govt and its stranglehold over the economy wherein the army put its finger in every economic pie. It also turned the Nelson's eye to the military's infiltration and thus stranglehold over the bureaucracy by appointing serving and retired military officers in important bureaucratic and economic appointments.

This unholy churn and mismatch of governance is the cause of Pakistan's woe wherein the democratic institutions and norms have been sabotage and totally put out of shape.

While Islam ruled supreme in Pakistan, it had not yet been encased ''in the show window''.

It was Zia, who ensured Pakistan breathed and slept Islam! It was again a Machevillian ploy of an illegitimate dictator to legitimise his regime and the US strategic interest in Afghanistan was his Allah given gift.

Zia's "vision" of Islamic predominance of all matters temporal is what has added to the identity crisis. Fundamentalist Wahhabism and the ummah, an unrealistic dream of all Moslems, has seized the people.

Therefore, all one can say is, Quo Vadis, Pakistan?

Last edited by Jedburgh; 02-02-2008 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 02-08-2008   #43
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The Long War Journal, 7 Feb 08: Pakistan's Interior Minister orders negotiations with Baitullah Mehsud
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The Pakistani government and the Taliban appear close to signing the next round of "peace" accords to end the fighting in the tribal areas and the settled districts of the Northwest Frontier Province. Pakistan's Interior Minister stated a deal can be made with Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, while Baitullah announces a cease-fire in northwestern Pakistan.

Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz has ordered the formation of a peace jirga, or committee, in order to conduct official talks with the Taliban and Baitullah. “The government, in collaboration with a jirga consisting of influential and local people from the Fata and the Frontier regions, would soon take measures for sustainable peace in the tribal areas," said Nawaz.

Nawaz claimed the government was operating from a position of strength due to military operations. "The demand of initiating a peace process was made by the Mehsuds, who are on the run after being crushed by the security forces in Waziristan," Nawaz said. "[Baitullah] Mehsud has no choice but to agree on the peace deal. It’s a matter of his survival.".....
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Old 04-10-2008   #44
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Default Balochistan

The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, 3 Apr 08:

Tribes and Rebels: The Players in the Balochistan Insurgency
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As the violence on Pakistan’s northwest frontier dominates the headlines, a lesser-known insurgency has gripped Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan. Bomb blasts and rocket attacks have become almost daily events in this region: A ten-week period in 2008 saw 76 insurgent-linked incidents reported, claiming the lives of 14 people and wounding 123.

The troubled history of Balochistan dates back to the independence of Pakistan in 1947, beginning as a reaction to the annexation of the princely state of Qalat—later joined to three other states to form modern Balochistan—by Pakistani authorities in 1948. The annexation led to the first Baloch rebellion, which was swiftly put down. The security situation in the region remained fragile as rebellions erupted in 1958, 1973, and most recently in 2005.

Unlike previous anti-government insurrections, it is currently hard to pinpoint one person or group for orchestrating these incidents as there are today several groups in Balochistan potentially interested in challenging the government.....
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Old 04-10-2008   #45
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This is merely a thought ‘out of the box’, albeit radical, yet may have merits to warrant a discussion.

While there is no doubt that Pakistan is a political entity, which is established and recognised by the comity of nations, yet internally it is, as it appears, battling to find an identity, resulting in the rise of subnationalism and political contradictions and strife.

India, out of which Pakistan was carved, was not single political entity till the British came on the scene. It was a myriad of subnational identities, cultures, traditions and faiths.

Pakistan was created solely on the basis of Faith, while India, espoused a secular constitution. Notwithstanding the secular constitution, India has its movement that are prompted by subnationalism. However, it survives as an entity because of it secular structure and laws.

On the other hand, Pakistan solely depends on its Faith, powerful that it maybe, but it is not powerful enough to extinguish the sub nationalism that festers beneath the superficial layer of Faith. Indeed, if Faith was the be all and end all of a Nation, then Bangladesh would not come into being!

While the Islamic Faith is very potent as a uniting force, it apparently is not that potent to wash off subnationalism or perceived dominance of one community over the other. Balochistan which is richest as a region is the poorest in Pakistan.

Maybe the grumbles of the stomach are more real than religion as such!

One also wonders if religion alone, as its sole raison d’être, can make a nation!
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Old 04-11-2008   #46
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Default Religion can build nations

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
One also wonders if religion alone, as its sole raison d’être, can make a nation!
How about Holland? A country that freed itself from Spanish Catholic rule and can be described as a successful country (leaving aside current criticisms of a growing Muslim population). I am no expert on Dutch history, just a quick thought.

Religion is one factor in nation building, potent too.

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Old 04-11-2008   #47
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Pakistan was founded on the basis of Faith, in that the Muslim League believed that the subcontinent's Muslims needed their own state to avoid sublimation into a much larger population of Hindus. However it was not founded as an Islamic religious state.

The closest modern-day example would be Israel, which was founded as a Jewish state but not as an explicitly religious state.
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Old 04-11-2008   #48
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Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Pakistan was founded on the basis of Faith, in that the Muslim League believed that the subcontinent's Muslims needed their own state to avoid sublimation into a much larger population of Hindus. However it was not founded as an Islamic religious state.

The closest modern-day example would be Israel, which was founded as a Jewish state but not as an explicitly religious state.
There indeed is the contention that is fielded that Pakistan was founded on 'ethnicity' ie Moslem and not religion i.e. Islam.

There is also the contention the Jew is both a religion as also an ethnic group. Therefore, Jew as a religion is separate as being Jew as an ethnic group!

Indeed, if Pakistan came into being so as to not be swamped by a majority, then what was the raison détre?

Not being swamped by the majority can mean nothing but religion!

India is a diverse country with diverse communities, languages, culture, tradition and yes, religion!

Therefore, what made Moslems of British India different, if it were not religion?

If Indian Moslem were worried about being swamped, what made them feel so? Culture, tradition, language or what? Everything in India was diverse, excepting RELIGION!!

Thus, one feels it is splitting hairs when debating Moslem ethnicity and Islam, the religion!! There is nothing actually which is Moslem ethnicity or so I feel, though I can be educated!

In so far as Pakistan and Islam is concerned, the role of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Majlis-i-Ahrar and their attempts to dissolve the fine difference of the claimed Moslem ethnicity with Islam, the religion, requires scrutiny.

Should one accept that Pakistan was founded not on Islam the religion but on the "Moslem ethnicity", then it raises the question as to what commonality had the pre Partition Indian Moslems amongst each other to be taken to be an ethnic group?

Pre Partition India was diverse in language, dialect, culture, and traditions. In fact, the diversity and the different mindset was one of the reasons why the British could rule the country with a mere handful and that is the reason why even the so called First War of Independence of 1857 (the Sepoy Mutiny as per British history) was an utter failure inspite of the overwhelming numbers of Indians. Hindus and Moslems! The Sikhs did not participate.

That the Moslem identity was a contrived ethnicity is proved beyond doubt by the Language Movement in East Pakistan that started practically immediately on the birth of Pakistan when it imposed Urdu on the Bengalis!

The aspect that the Moslem ethnicity is a contrived rationale has been proved when Bangladesh came into being. It should not have happened if blood (ethnicity) was thicker than water!

Likewise, Balochistan, FATA and the problems of the Northern Areas too should not have happened if there was anything called the Moslem ethnicity!

Events in Pakistan's history leads me to believe that Moslem 'ethnicity' is but a contrived respectability being assigned to a religion's motivated existence. More of a sop since it is important to the Islamic mind than being a reality!

That is my belief and I am sure there will be those who will not agree.

Last edited by Ray; 04-12-2008 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 07-15-2008   #49
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Default Reforming Pakistan's Police

ICG, 14 Jul 08: Reforming Pakistan's Police
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After decades of misuse and neglect, Pakistan’s police force is incapable of combating crime, upholding the law or protecting citizens and the state against militant violence. With an elected government taking over power after more than eight years of military rule, the importance of reforming this dysfunctional force has assumed new importance. Elected representatives will be held accountable if citizens continue to see the police, the public face of government, as brutal and corrupt. The democratic transition could also falter if deteriorating security gives the military a new opportunity to intervene, using, as it has in the past, the pretext of national security to justify derailing the democratic process on the grounds of good governance. Major reforms and reallocation of resources are required to create an effective and accountable police service.....
The 34-page report also provides a decent, if very brief, pre-Musharraf background on the Pakistani police, beginning with the Colonial era and running up from independence in '47.
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Old 09-22-2008   #50
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The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, 22 Sep 08: A Who’s Who of the Insurgency in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province: Part One – North and South Waziristan
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Militants operating in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) include both Taliban and non-Taliban forces. However, the Taliban militants are much larger in number and have a lot more influence in the region. The Pakistani Taliban have close links with the Afghan Taliban and operate on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, also known as the Durand Line after the British diplomat who demarcated the boundary in 1893, Sir Mortimer Durand. The non-Taliban militants, on the other hand, are often pro-government and enjoy cordial ties with the Pakistan authorities and security forces......
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Old 09-24-2008   #51
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A pair of briefs from the Pakistan Security Research Unit, 22 Sep 08:

Future Prospects for FATA
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The future of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal areas (FATA) has become the focus of intense anxiety and debate both within the country and in the wider international community. The problems, posed by the lawlessness of this strategic region for the ‘War on Terror’, hardly need stating, but there is little consensus regarding the way forward. Allegations of cross-border infiltration by a resurgent Taliban based in FATA have soured relations between Pakistan and the government of Hamid Karzai in neighbouring Afghanistan. Growing US and British casualties in Southern Afghanistan have raised concerns about Pakistan’s military effectiveness and commitment and have led to public debate about the necessity for US unilateral action within Pakistan’s tribal territory. There have also been claims that people in the intelligence services sympathised with the militants.....
Sectarian Violence in Pakistan's Kurram Agency
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Since 2004, there has been intense violence in the FATA. What started in South Waziristan,slowly spread to North Waziristan in 2005 and then later to Bajaur and Mohamand Agency during 2006 and 2007. For the last two years, this violence has spread to the settled districts of the NWFP including Bannu, DI Khan, Peshawar and Swat. Led by the Taliban and its local supporters in the FATA and NWFP, this violence is posing a serious threat to the process of governance, challenging the writ of the State. Referred to by media as Talibanization, these developments have been the subject of intense academic, media and policy interest.

Unfortunately, this excessive focus on the Talibanization phenomenon, has not given adequate space to focus on the ongoing sectarian violence in Kurram Agency. Since 2007, sectarian killings have increased in the agency and have taken many lives. During the last two months (July-August 2008) alone, there have been around 300 casualties.

This briefing examines what is happening in Kurram Agency, and explores three questions: Why is there sectarian violence in this agency? Why has it escalated recently? And are there any connections between this violence and the violence that is happening in the neighbouring Agencies of the FATA?
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Old 09-24-2008   #52
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A good article on Pakistan in the Economist as well:

http://www.economist.com/world/asia/...ry_id=12267391
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Old 09-30-2008   #53
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PSRU, 29 Sep 08: Pakistan’s Tribal Areas: An Agency by Agency Assessment
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There are seven tribal agencies (Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Kurram, Orakzai, North Waziristan and South Waziristan) and six Frontier Regions (Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, D I Khan and Tank). They share a similar history and structure of ‘governance’ and -in varying degrees- all the agencies are suffering from the fallout from the US led War on Terror. However, they are not homogenous, and there are multiple actors in, and differing dynamics to, the conflicts in the tribal borderlands. The purpose of this briefing is to outline the differences between the agencies in terms of the nature of violence, the humanitarian situation and the prospects for improving the situation within the region, using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

There are clear limitations to such a research process, and accurate quantifiable assessment of the human security situation in the FATA is difficult. The region remains subject to a media blackout, and in cases where journalists are active, they are likely to be cautious and, understandably, exercise a degree of self-censorship with what they publish. In this context, the assessment below can only ever be illustrative rather than exhaustive, and it remains an assessment which probably represents a minimum baseline in terms of the extent of human suffering in the region, based on the collation of media reports. Notwithstanding a significant margin for error, the differences appear important, and, quantitatively, it seems that the agencies have not equally shared the insecurity in the region, suggesting some agencies may be more resilient than others to the Talibanization, whereas other may have simply submitted to the militant presence.
Complete 21-page brief at the link.
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Old 11-27-2008   #54
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PSRU, 20 Oct 08: Toward a Containment Strategy in the FATA
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.....the least-worst option at present, is through a containment strategy for the FATA. Such a strategy would seek to insulate the FATA from the dynamics in Afghanistan and Pakistan, would seek to de-escalate the violence within the FATA, and would refocus the objectives of the US and Pakistan militaries. If such a strategy is to be effective it must be co-ordinated, it must operate at multiple levels, and it must be sustained because it will not be immediately effective. Recognising that not all the players in this strategy will be willing partners it is necessary also that recalibrated pressure forms part of the strategy.....
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Old 12-30-2008   #55
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Default Scenic Pakistani valley falls to Taliban militants

From the AP:

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The Taliban activity in northwest Pakistan also comes as the country shifts forces east to the Indian border because of tensions over last month's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, potentially giving insurgents more space to maneuver along the Afghan frontier.

Militants began preying on Swat's lush mountain ranges about two years ago, and it is now too dangerous for foreign and Pakistani journalists to visit. Interviews with residents, lawmakers and officials who have fled the region paint a dire picture.

A suicide blast killed 40 people Sunday at a polling station in Buner, an area bordering Swat that had been relatively peaceful. The attack underscored fears that even so-called "settled" regions presumptively under government control are increasingly unsafe.

The 3,500-square-mile Swat Valley lies less than 100 miles from the capital, Islamabad
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...7LLJgD95COON80
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Old 12-30-2008   #56
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Bad news indeed. It makes you wonder if someone in the planning loop of the Mumbai attacks might have considered the potential of increasing Pakistani/Indian tensions and the resulting redistribution of Pakistani forces.

Whether deliberate, or lucky on the part of the enemy - the sooner that tension is eased some the better for us, the Afghanistan government, the Pakistanis, and the Indians.

From another perspective, it seems to show the enemy does not have to coordinate (at least in the way we think of it) its actions to have an effect or to take advantage of new conditions as a result of that effect.

Best, Rob
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Old 12-30-2008   #57
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Default First thoughts

Sorry was on my way out the door this morning when I came across that little nugget of news. I had a few immediate thoughts: The first was the same Rob mentioned; how much of the Mumbai attacks was geared towards getting this reaction out of Pakistan? Was it planned accordingly with the time of year, winter is a slow time in Afghanistan, therefore enabling them to broaden their power base in Pakistan? Or was it simply coincidence? Secondly is now with a larger land base how much can the Taliban recruit, train, equip? Are they again moving to a larger scale military force to be reckoned with inside Pakistan to eventually cross over in strength into Afghanistan? The problems that arrise when an insurgency grows to military might. Thirdly how does this affect our policy on going into Pakistan? NATOs policies in Afghanistan? Pakistans ability to squash it when things with India calm back down? Just a few of the immediate thoughts and I'm sure there are a miliion others out there. Talk about on effect based operations, maybe we should take note if this was planned!
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Old 01-10-2009   #58
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Default FATA - a Most Dangerous Place

Caught sight of this new report, written by a Pakistani analyst and will need a longer read, even a hard copy: http://mtblog.newyorker.com/online/b...ok_low-res.pdf

This seems the best place to add it.

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Old 01-28-2009   #59
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Default From 1/27/09 Hujara Online (KhyberWatch.com)

There is growing anti Taliban and al Qaida sentiment evident over recent months and days on the above blog/website. These writers, some high school and college studens in UK, are helping plan a major demonstration against slaughers going on in Northern Pakistan currently, particularly inside Swat.

Thought this snippet might be of interest to you all.
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http://www.khyberwatch.com/forums/sh...9199#post59199
Posted by: aimal khan
On: Today 03:22 PM

I am not against Islam as a religion( faith+worship+morality) and spiritual institution but I am totally against the extremist Islam in any shape like Salafis, Ahle hadith, Wahabis, Taliban, Panjpeeris, Ishate tawheed wa Sunna , and some extremist Deobandis. They are one of the most important causes of terrorism in today´s world. Politics of USA are power politics and they desrve it. Muslims used to do the same when they were in power rather worse than USA today as USA is not directly conquering the lands inspite of the necessary resources they have.Muslims started from MAKKAH and MADINA and conquered almost the whole known world to them at that time. Although that time they were not terrorists. they were fighting against their enemies according to all the established rules of war. Todays extremist muslims dont have power and try to fight against their enemies by the tool of terrorism whis is absurd, cruel, unjust and stupid.


All the best,
Global Hujra: A Pakhtun Cyber Land
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Old 02-01-2009   #60
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Default Kyberwatch, Frontierpost and Other News of Interest

http://asinstitute.org/home.php?page=1

Issue #98 came out by direct e-mail today, 31 Jan 09.

Give it a few days and #98 will be on this website, too, which now only has the Jan. 09 issue.

Site based in Lahore, Pakistan with focus among other things on both Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also on Africa and other areas.

Again, may be of "broadening" interest as we will be dealing more heavily with, perhaps in Pakistan from now on.
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