Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Punjab And The Militants

I'm in a bit of a rush right now, but read this press release from Human Rights Watch in full. Evidently Shahbaz Sharif's government was told well in advance that something like this was about to happen but they didn't really care. It's the same angle as Musharraf-with-BB's-security thing. I'm excerpting what I think are the most relevant parts:
Human Rights Watch also urged the government of Punjab province, controlled by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party, to investigate and prosecute as appropriate campaigns of intimidation, threats, and violence against the Ahmadiyya community by Islamist groups such as the Sunni Tehrik, Tehrik-e-Tahafaz-e-Naomoos-e-Risalat, Khatm-e-Nabuwat and other groups acting under the Taliban’s umbrella. Leaders of these groups have frequently threatened to kill Ahmadis and attack the mosques where the killings took place. The anti-Ahmadiyya campaign has intensified in the past year, exemplified by the government allowing groups to place banners seeking the death of “Qadianis” (a derogatory term for Ahmadis) on the main thoroughfares of Lahore.

The independent, non-governmental Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Ahmadi community leaders told Human Rights Watch that they had repeatedly brought these threats to the notice of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the provincial government, and the police controlled by the provincial authorities, and that they had asked for enhanced security for Ahmadiyya mosques given their vulnerability to attack. However, Human Rights Watch research found that the provincial government failed to act on the evidence or to ensure meaningful security to the mosques.

On May 30, Zaeem Qadri, advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, said in an interview on Dunya TV that the provincial government had failed to remove the threatening banners from the city’s thoroughfares in order to prevent “adverse reaction against the government” by the groups responsible. On the same day, a Taliban statement “congratulated” Pakistanis for the attacks, calling people from the Ahmadiyya and Shia communities “the enemies of Islam and common people” and urging Pakistanis to take the “initiative” and kill every such person “in range.

“The Punjab government is either in denial about threats to Ahmadis and other minorities or is following a policy of willful discrimination,” said Hasan.

The thing about not wanting to remove the banners shouldn't surprise anyone. Remember when Shahbaz Sharif basically said that he was okay with terrorists as long as they killed other people ("them") but not people like him ("us")? Well, in the PML-N worldview, Punjabi Ahmedis are definitely "them".

Also, read Recycled Thought on the question of Punjab-based militant networks, and how they're intertwined with local politics.


takhalus said...

there is an element of truth in the argument that South Punjab is not FATA..but it goes like this the militants use the region for ideolgical and recruitment purposes..it didn't suit them to pick a fight in a region where the terrain doesn't suit them (yet)

Anonymous said...

Everybody has portrayed Shahbaz Shareef's statement as they wish, some people claim that by 'them' he meant Non-Punjabis, and now you're saying that he meant 'Ahmedis' by 'them'. Interesting!

Nabeel said...

At Anon651: The point is not the interpretation of 'them' - it's that he was okay with terrorists, it's that he can accept someone being killed.

In any case, the PML N is increasingly reproachable...and it has nothing to do with me being from Karachi. It's just that they refuse to take a strong united stand against extremism and the militants, period.

AKS said...

@ Nabeel

"It's just that they refuse to take a strong united stand against extremism and the militants, period."

Yes, but they do take a strong united stand against Israel. That just makes them better than you and I, don't you know.

"Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has warned that ignoring Israeli barbaric act of storming the flotilla will not bear positive results as it is time to take a strong notice of the Zionist state.

"He said the world... also take concrete measures to curb such inhuman incidents in the future.

"He said the forces backing Israel should also think if their attitude was promoting terrorism and extremism."


No word yet from the Ameer-ul-Momineen candidate on what measures the Pakistan government should take to curb inhuman incidents or on how the Punjab government's actions were promoting terrorism and extremism.

Nabeel said...

This is what the thinking seems to be:

"It's not terrorism when someone from Southern Punjab does it, bhai...yes,they killed and bombed a few soldiers but then they ousted us in 99 so they had it coming...and you can't blame anyone for getting upset after Lal Masjid...plus those killed in Gojra and Garhi Shaho were kafirs anyway..."

Incredible and unbelievable,but they leave themselves open to this line of questioning when they refuse to even acknowledge the atrocities. The dear brother (http://twitter.com/CMShahbaz) is obviously too happy about Apple and Israel to worry about the invasion of a hospital.

Nabeel said...

Well, this is good news. Hooray for CM Shahbaz and PML N. Let's hope something comes of this.

Nabeel said...


Forgot to post the link.

Yasir Qadeer said...

The Taliban hideouts should be attacked and dealt with. It is the responsibility of the elected government of that province to act and make sure that it is doing its best to secure the lives of people.

Anonymous said...

Did this denounciation of terrorism propmt the backlash against the Ahmedis?


Anonymous said...

I never really cared for Ahmadis

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