ALL SHOULD STAND UP AGAINST NWA OPERATION

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Malala being made 9/11 of Pakistan

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Zahid Malik

Friday, October 19, 2012 – The attack on Malala Yousufzai on October 09, 2012 one of the most tragic incidents in the recent history of Pakistan, has rudely shocked all strata of society and, therefore, strong condemnation is still pouring in from everywhere. In view of her deep commitment to book, education and school and the cause of much-needed peace, the shocking incident has also drawn the attention from abroad. The brave innocent girl, still in coma in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, made many people across Pakistan weep and pray for her early recovery as she had become a role model andicon for girls aspiring to attain high ground in different fields.

The level of the reaction that the brutal attack on Malala evoked from the international community can be gauged by the fact that not only the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but also President Barack Hussain Obama himself expressed concern over the tragedy. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who normally keeps a sacred mum and ignores even some of the major happenings and conveniently ignores bypassing of the UN by the mighty, too thought it appropriate to come out with a condemnatory statement, saying he was outraged at the shooting. Thank you Mr. Secretary General. The EU Foreign PolicyChief Catherine Ashton described it as a ‘vile aggression’ and said she was appalled. France and Canada too were not behind in slamming the incident while President Hamid Karzai

of neighbouring Afghanistan, whose own country is bleeding profusely, telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari and condemned the attack in the strongest terms. The air ambulance provided by the UAE took Malala to the UK for advanced reconstructive treatment after initial complex surgery and treatment at CMH Peshawar and then at AFIC Rawalpindi. The government magnanimously has committed to meeting all the expenses for Malala and her friends injured in the dastardly attack. So far so good.

However, it is quite intriguing that soon after the incident, some stray statements started appearing in the media urging Army operation in North Waziristan Agency! The Chief custodian of law and order Interior Minister Rehman Malik – added his loud voice to the mystery when on October 12 he hinted at the possibility of launching a military operation terming NWA as hub of terrorists. All this led one to think of the 9/11 mysterious attack on the Twin Towers of New York which triggered an apparently justified attack on Afghanistan. The Interior Minister while raising his heels in an emotional address in the Senate on October 10 also described all the Taliban as Zaliman (brutal outfit). Before going ahead, I would ask the respected Interior Minister whether hundreds of students in Deeni Madaris (seminaries) in Islamabad itself, most of whom are from poor families, too are Zaliman?

Unfortunately, the statement after a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee on 11th October reiterating the resolve to fight the menace of terrorism added substance to speculations that an operation on NWA was on the anvil.

I feel highly upset over these orchestrated perturbing developments because I am convinced that if

the Government foolishly succumbs to the pressure of our dear friends and prevails upon the Army to go after NWA it will be a suicidal act for the State of Pakistan. I say so because nobody can forget the colossal losses suffered by the country after operation in several Agencies despite deployment of one hundred thousand troops along the border with Afghanistan. In addition to the loss of precious lives of over 5,000 valiant defenders of the motherland and 40,000 innocent civilian casualties, the country suffered a hefty loss of $ 100 billion, or may be more, in the shape of damages to infrastructure and already dwindling economy of Pakistan. And there is no authentic record of loss of lives in provocative drone strikes impinging on the sovereignty of Pakistan, the frequency of which has increased despite repeated unanimous resolutions of Pakistani Parliament. Despite these losses, our dear friend and its officials and elected representatives are never shy of demanding “do more” from Pakistan, ignoring the psychological dent our war on terror has caused the society and a deep scar on the face of Pakistan.

Therefore, it does not need to be a strategist to come to the conclusion that the day NWA operation is launched by the Army, there would be an endless chain reaction of suicide bombings and blasts in the length and breadth of Pakistan including the barrier-ridden-barriers Islamabad. One shivers to imagine that there may be a re-run of events of Mehran and Kamra bases if a diabolic decision is taken for going into NWA.

I also have information and reasons to believe that after initiation of NWA operation, the situation in Balochistan will be ignited by manipulation to such an extent by fire-emitting trouble-makers and their foreign masterminds on the pretext of extreme human rights violations to pave the way for UN Security Council action and justification for deployment of peace keeping force there. Please don’t forget that the UN Human Rights Mission that visited Pakistan last month seconded claims about involvement of State Agencies in enforced disappearances and added that “analysis of the information received during and prior to the visit will be considered in the preparation of the report which will be presented to the Human Rights Council at a session in 2013.” This must be taken as an FIR which could make basis for a strategic trial in future.

Though Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani rightly refused to receive the said UN delegation but I raised a question at that very time as to who were the functionaries of the government that issued visas to the members of the UN Right Mission whose visit was, in essence, a gross interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan?

I am glad that now some saner voices are being heard and a segment of the media has also started giving a second thought to the consequences of NWA operation. Our political leadership should also remember that according to an exclusive story carried by this newspaper, quoting knowledgeable sources, the NWA operation would be made a justification for enforcement of emergency inventing excuse for postponement of general elections. This story has added more to the Malala episode which can be termed as Pakistan’s 9/11 giving a food for thought to the political parties to ponder over some of the dimensions of the bigger game.

I have taken a principled position on the issue which poses a potential threat to engulf the country in blood and flames. I would, therefore, once again appeal to all segments of the society, particularly those whose voice is heard in the society, to please stand up and rein in the ill-intentioned elements within the country and their masters and handlers, to stall the NWA operation and in no case law and order be made an excuse for postponement of elections.