Archive for the ‘United Nations’ Category


image

Earlier this year on January 2nd, terrorists stormed at Pathankot airbase of India which took Indian Officials 7 days to clear the site and in the line of duty 7 Indian Security officials had died. India, immediately without any confirmation had blamed Pakistani Intelligence Agencies ISI to have planned that attack on Pathankot Airbase. Later from which it retreated and shifted the blame on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

image

India claimed that Jaish-e-Mohammed Commander Maulana Masood Azhar masterminded the attacks. After which Indian authorities had officially demanded the custody of suspects included JeM Commander Maulana Masood Azhar and released an audio tape claiming Maulana Masood Azhar ordering one of the militant to attack the airbase. Audio tape released ny India seemed fabricated and later it was established that it was not Maulana Masood Azhar and that he had no role in Pathankot Attacks which came as big blow to Indian claims of Pakistani soil being used to mediate the attacks on Pathankot Airbase.

Speculated Telecon between Maulana Masood Azhar and Commander of Pathankot Attacks

Later, Indian authorities released a telecon between the suspect and his mother which seemed to be another bogus attempt to involve Pakistan into the attacks.

As per Indian claim; Audio leak between a Pathankot attacker and his mother prior attacks

Nawaz Sharif lead PMLN Government’s poor diplomacy was evident in this matter like before when Pakistani Government without asking for any concrete evidences from Indian authorities, ordered to have an FIR registered in Pakistan against unknown suspects and begun investigation of the matter.

image

Later, after mutual consent a joint investigation team was formed, based on Intelligence Agency Officials from both sides investigating the attacks by visiting the site.

image

When Pakistani investigation team reached India, it was not given any sustential evidence of Pakistani involvement hence Pakistani investigation team after completing its part returned to Pakistan.

Today, as reported by Indian Media Indian Investigation agency that was investigating the attacks has issued clean chit to Pakistan, of not letting use its soil for Pathankot Attack. Which leads us to this conclusion that either it was an inside job or it was planned by separatists within India, seeking independence from India.

Indian Media’s report on Pathankot Attack

Now question arises that will Pakistani Government take up the issue on diplomatic level and take the matter to United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) against India to have falsely accused Pakistan of planning attacks on India or will our Government maintain the same criminal silence that it always did.

image

Be informed this was not the very first time that Indian authorities had levelled baseless charges against Pakistan, to later it failed terribly to establish that it was Pakistan that backed those attacks.

image

In coming future, can we expect from our Government before investigating any terrorist activity else where to have asked for ample proofs of Pakistani involvement before initiating any legal proceesings. Will our Government seek from India an official apology for defaming Pakistan. Will our Foreign Ministry Officials raise the issue of an inquiry into Samjhota Express incident in which a serving Indian Army’s Colonel Purohit was found involved and which he confessed in Indian custody that he burnt the train which had 68 Pakistanis onboard all burnt and died on spot. Will Pakistan raise the issue of Indian involvement in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwan and in Karachi.

Let us hope, Pakistan will improve its diplomacy and take up the issue of Indian state sponsored terrorism on its soil.

Amaan Tareen is a blogger, Media Strategist, Politicial Commentator and Film Maker. He tweets from: @AmaanTareen

Advertisements

Despite all of the contrary belief, Egypt is certainly under deep trouble. We have seen a very aggressive campaign of the Army against the civilian leadership in the past few days, and it begs the question, why after so much trouble go back to square one?

Image

It’s much like the monopoly game where if a player lands the wrong turn, he/she ends up in jail or goes back to square one. This subtle game of destruction of Muslim nation states has gone much farther than one would anticipate and not only has it engulfed the entire region, it has also pulled Pakistan into the mix as well.

We now turn our attention towards the sequence of events following the revolution in Egypt which led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak in 2010/2011 period. We saw a sea of people converging on the Tahrir Square to protest and eradicate the 30 year long rule of Hosni Mubarak who was determined not to let go. After a fierce struggle, seemingly, the people of Egypt triumph and Hosni is dethroned.

After which another sequence of events led to a fierce struggle of the people and the Egyptian army to ‘elect’ their leader this time around. Elections were held several months later, and a new face emerged victorious: Dr. Mohammad Morsi, a seemingly fine gentleman wearing square shaped glasses and a big chin. However, under the circumstances of borrowed loans from IMF and other money lending entities, Egypt yet again faces huge amount of turmoil, and a failed government now seems extremely incompetent to handle the everyday challenges in the lives of ordinary Egyptians.

After another ‘fierce’ struggle, the president is dethroned yet again! But this time it is not the people who did it, it was the Egyptian army. And so, not only is the democratic process most indefinitely held out, the Egyptian army now has gone down the road of the Yugoslavian army: fighting its own people, and if anyone can clearly remember what happened to a country like Yugoslavia, surely they can put the pieces together and come to a logical conclusion of what will happen in an event this tussle escalates.

Image

In this event, not only will Egypt be prone to outside invasion, it will be severely weakened as well; inviting an all-out buffet for the Israeli leadership to take charge of the country.

Now let’s look at it in another perspective: Pakistan. The Pakistani military still is holding its ground very well, and under all circumstances and predictions has emerged victorious gloriously by pushing back the insurgency in its western territory and dispelling the “bad image” campaign which sought to malign the Pakistan Army and raise questions on the authenticity of its fight of whether or not they are “fighting their own people?”

Through understanding and delegation, assessing their situation and analyzing the threats correctly, Pakistan Army launched a massive counter-attack which not only baffled the Armies of the world, but also utterly disfigured the resolve of the TTP.

From the lessons of Egypt, Pakistan army has several options available, though the situation in both the countries appears to be very, very similar to each other: Pakistan has an incompetent failed government which has failed to punish the terrorists, but has instead engaged in a tussle against the Army, and the people of Pakistan are despairing yet again. The following scenarios can be played out:

1)      Pakistan army goes the path of the Yugoslavian army, takes over the government, ousts all power from the civilian set up and completely disintegrates the state by engaging in civil war: a very unlikely scenario but nonetheless something those who would like to see Pakistan balkanized would most certainly entertain themselves to.

2)      Pakistan army chooses not to engage themselves in this matter and let the incompetent government handle things; which it most certainly will not (under any situation or circumstances).

3)      Pakistan army chooses to act through deliberation and takes over the government, keeps the power within the civil set up and brings in caretaker government which would be allowed to stabilize the country for no more than 2 years until a reliable government can be formed.

The third is the most likely scenario to be played out under the current circumstances but even then, one cannot fully give an accurate detailed account of which scenario is the most likely to be played out.

However, Pakistan army would be wise enough to learn from Egypt and refrain from any unnecessary bloodshed and discourse of violence and they can do this by engaging with the civilian leadership: Non-Politicized Youth of Pakistan.


Image

Over the past 4 years people of intellect and reason have been constantly battling the befuddled and blinded masses who follow the slogan of freedom and democracy without even knowing what it stands for. For them, democracy means “freedom to do whatever they want after they come into power” instead, what they should be thinking about is that democracy is just another form of dictatorship, specifically tailored to the tyrant’s needs to keep a people “happy” in their enslavement.

In the ensuing months and years after which the PPP had come into power back in 2008, Pakistan saw the worst of corruption it has ever witnessed in its 66 years of history. Although one can also present an equally strong argument about the corruption and incompetence of the current prime minister of Pakistan, the point stands that as long as lordship and land-owner mafia remain strong, Pakistan will never see the light of day.

The people of Pakistan often more than not go after something that is illusionary and short-lasting, lacking insight and vision severely, our nation has been plagued by this disease since we had come into existence. We have been continuously bombarded with disappointment after disappointment, fake “leaders”, opportune “leaders”, “Islamist leaders”, you name it; everything is on the table.

The problem isn’t only with the people themselves, but also in the people who claim to be their leaders. In a brutalization of the system, these so called leaders only exploit the name of good father Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his strive to make Pakistan the greatest “Bulwark of Islam” and the most robust and active nation on Earth by giving it the gift of Pakistan. They do this by cheap slogans of “freedom and fraternity” or “housing, shelter, and food” all to gain a few more morsels of power on the seat of Islamabad.

However, people tend to think that the problem is outside themselves as well: another anathema worth annihilating from their minds. They think themselves either perfect or innocent of the charge of treason-against, lying, betraying, delusional thinking, and stabbing Pakistan in the back. In the most recent election, more than 300 people lost their lives in Karachi alone, while the rest of the country’s murders are unaccounted for. This crime, unbeknownst to the people of Pakistan, is on their hands. By refusing reason, opting to follow treacherous, criminal law designed to enslave them through an outdated system (democracy), they have proved once again that they still have not yet come out of this state of shock and surprise, either that, or they are brutally ignorant of the things happening in and around their country.

It is then no surprise that even the outsiders like Mr. Declan Walsh are openly advocating breaking Baluchistan away from Pakistan on the behest of the American government. His most recent article in the guardian outlines and enforces nothing but lies and propaganda on which the Baluchistan campaign has been built upon.

People like these and more are now in the open completely set loose upon Pakistan and its good citizens (who strive every day in hopes of redeeming themselves one day as a living and vibrant nation which (in my opinion also) deserves a full chance of being independent from outside influence and showing the world what it can truly do once set free from outside influences and focuses only on what its founding fathers, and true leaders have set in motion) all because a few “wise” nutcases in Islamabad decided that it was a good idea to let the country go to the dogs when it is under complete and total collapse and a state of anarchy and chaos which stems from a war which has spilled over from Afghanistan directly into Pakistan.

The right thing to do at this point for Pakistan is to admit its mistake, and work towards building stronger characters who are unflinching in their resolve, bravest in the world, and tougher than “Valerian Steel.”


Cover Image

October 31, 2010

A lot of people after reading this may assume as If I am projecting something against my own society and this may cause damage to our image Globally but I think this is a need of time that we need to correct ourselves as it’s a “ Do or Die “ situation for us. The root cause of all our major problems in Pakistan are self made sociocultural values and all these aspects of human life are intermingled ,deficient of all these we are not worthy to be called a nation, but just a group of people occupying some land.

Today after looking at most of the problems in our society I feel that we are not heading towards the moral values, vision of the Perfect Society that we had 1400 years ago. We are in a state of confusion, are we suffering from intellectual repression? As a nation we are morally dead and this is the bitter truth, the worse that can happen to any nation. We have always forgotten the lessons taught to us by the history, we posses capability to rediscover our Patriotism to rebuild a Nation.

We have become a chronic complainer and an aggressive critic of the rampant corruption in the bureaucracy, unclear foreign policy, bribery and government inefficiency. But how about us? Are we morally upright? We also have the same weakness and the same petty quarrels that existed between our leaders. After the gruesome and barbaric Sialkot incident, I deduced that we have no the right to criticize the evil in the government, because we just watched, while these people freely committing a crime in a maniacal and monstrous way, there are hundreds of people who are loosing their lives in Pakistan but we seem less bothered about them.  A Muslim by Religion is killing his fellow Muslim Brother/Sister and we are doing nothing except acting as a silent Spectator of all these events that happening right in front of our eyes. There is no doubt that we love to criticize Western Nations for their grieve violation of Human rights and yet we could not even make a stand nor we could show sympathy at least to those who were victimized. We all have suffered a moral decay. We have remained stagnant, we cease to signify as the masses that could break the past and challenge the establishment, rebuilding the society, acting rather than talking.

We want good politicians but we do not have a right political culture the political structure of dictatorship have not been completely transformed and even if we are aware of all these facts, we always voted for the wrong choice,  without knowing the true essence and power of our right of suffrage, but voted for them because we felt that that was a right choice to be made. We criticize our Armed Forces but still we want them to save us from our enemies, we want them to come in power and save us from the corrupt politicians but as soon as they leave, we branded them traitors or dictators. We want honest people to come forward but we always fail because we do not have a strong and credible political system that can bring good people to the front, or we do not know how to identify their existence. We want someone to take the lead but again we have a ridiculous credibility issues, and highest level of mistrust, or we try to find some controversy related to them we always have a “crab mentality”. So, we can pull them down and preventing them to perform their duty of serving the people.

We need change but first it should come from within us. We have to be faithful to our historical aspirations and experience, rooted as it were, in our realistic demands; we are in many ways and under changing circumstances, still waging a struggle for change. But Always remember that;

To bring the change you have to change FIRST!

We want our rights, but we fail to identify what those rights are. We often make complaints about the issues but we never try to figure out the actual reasons behind such issues. We want revolution in the country but we do not realize that

“ The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall ” – Che Guevara 

We cease to abide within the precept of Islam the way the Prophet (P.B.U.H) admonished us. All of these chaos and miseries will not end as long as we do not remain faithful. I believe that Allah has already given us the direction; it’s only up to us to articulate our faith and follow that direction. If you have no idea on how to overcome all this, then read the Quran thoroughly to understand the purpose for the creation of Pakistan , only then you will come to know why we came into being and why  despite all the hardship and torments we are still safe, The lyrics of our National Anthem also reverberates that purpose.

We emerged as a nation under the great leadership of Quaid-e-Azam; we were conceived from the mind of Allama Muhammad Iqbal a great philosopher of the east. Today, we have our own leaders to whom we like and to whom we are ready to defend but not those who helped us get liberated from the Dark Rule of Great Britain and Indians, we are always up for responding to any allegation on our Favorite Politician just because we like them and we defame others to whom we don’t like. I see a lot of people have forgotten about their greatness and that is why we let every Pakistani Politician play with the Name and Vision of The Great Quaid and Iqbal. Few years have passed PPP Co-Chairman and President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari called Quaid-e-Azam a Non-Graduate” what happened to our national aspiration then? Where our National Integrity and Possessive Attitude go when such radicalizing statements comes out from the people who have no public standing? Why do we only protest and react when a Politician of our choice gets radicalized? Just because we like them? And we agree to what he says no matter he is right or wrong but we opt to defend him, why? Because from the core, we ourselves are equally corrupt, we may go out of the way to defend the Politician we like but not to those who laid the Foundations of this Land and made a Nation before putting any demands? At such instances where goes our Historical, Political and Cultural Awareness?

We should have demanded President Zardari to apologize for using inappropriate words for the founder of the Nation, but we didn’t neither did any of us came out on road. All this doesn’t end here as we do not dare to stop it when that should be and later keep regretting for not doing what we were supposed to do. We always forget that the Nations that forget their real heroes will cease to exist for long. We all should be vigilant in every circumstances that compel, confused aggravate or twist our heroes character or open them to dangerous and self-serving opportunists. There are necessary evils, some done deliberately but with regret, sometimes without. But there are also plain betrayals for selfish ends which are not only unforgettable but unforgivable. We have to take charge of our destiny to free ourselves from the clout of Imperialism and from all the vestiges of oppressions and to take pride in our historical heritage. One does not need to be wealthy and highly educated to identify with the change that we want to achieve. We are all in these together. Together we can act different possibilities, a consolidated power in re-establishing our identity of being Pakistani and to participate in rebuilding our beloved Nation. A Nation, moving forward, armed with Faith, posses Discipline and equipped with Unity! Pakistan Zindabad!

Closing Remarks:

Before you finish reading this, I would like to make one thing clear that this piece of writing is my personal opinion on different on-going matters; my intentions are not to demoralize anyone or deliberately target any segment of the society. The sole purpose of sharing this write up with you all is to share my view and to get some intellectual feedback from you all. The image used represents the “CHUNK” of Pakistani society that has become dead from inside that no one and nothing can wake them up from this deadly sleep of insensitivity. This is my little effort as an individual, as a media person, as a proud Pakistani to at least try and make a difference. I will continue writing more and more and will continue doing work that I believe can bring the real Change in us First and then in our Society. Long Live PAKISTAN !!!


For 50 years Hakim Mohammad Said and his small family used the washroom in the veranda of their modest but large house. He hardly ever spent money on the pre-partition building’s renovation – not that he had a liking for the old architecture. The progressive man simply thought such work would be a wasteful expenditure.
“Oh! So you have got the money to buy new furniture. Please, donate it to the Hamdard Foundation, we need it more there,” reminisced Sadia Rashid, his only daughter, about a conversation she had on the matter with her father.

“Hakim saheb would have been really angry if he were alive and saw the changes we have made in the house to give it a modern look,” she told The Express Tribune as she pointed to their new attached bathrooms, built by extending the rooms. But many things have not changed. The old wooden windows with high-up vents are still intact.
Born on January 9, 1920, in Delhi, Hakim Said was brought up in a traditional household. He learned Arabic, Persian, Urdu, English and studied the Holy Quran. As his forefathers had been associated with the herbal medicine business, he decided to take this treatment to new heights.

He moved to Pakistan in 1948 with his wife and daughter. They rented a room for Rs12 a month where he started the practice of Tibb. “Now I realise that he was a disciplined man. Probably that is why he was so strict,” Sadia mused.

As the only daughter and accustomed to a better lifestyle in India, Sadia took some time to adjust. “I remember the first day of school. I was being choosy about the clothes and screamed. Hakim saheb was reading the newspaper and said loudly, ‘What is [going on] here?’ I guess that was the day when being picky about clothes became least important to me.”

Hakim Said was a devout Muslim who would get up in middle of the night to offer prayers. He would recite the Quran and fast whenever he could. Yet, he did not impose his beliefs on others. “We used to go to all sort of parties, even those where alcohol was served,” she recalled, adding that her father thought it was a person’s own responsibility to refine their character.

Money was something about which Hakim Said was especially particular. Even when Sadia started accompanying him on foreign trips, he never let her buy clothes there. “I used to buy books. Brought back whole suitcases filled with [them]. But that was it. Shopping for all the other things was prohibited.”

“A white sherwani and kurta were his trademark attire. I don’t know why he used to wear the same clothes. But once he told me that it helped save time as there was no need to make a choice.”

Even when he became the governor of Sindh in 1993, Hakim Said did not move into the state residence. “He was entertaining patients even then. Most of the day, he was busy and sat with the family only at dinner.”

After practising Tibb for a few years, Hakim Said set up Hamdard Dawakhana and started manufacturing herbal medicines. Soon he converted it into a trust, sending the profits to philanthropic work. Hakim Said also taught Sadia the importance of keeping a record of the money being spent, something that helps her today as she heads the multi-billion rupee Hamdard Foundation. One of his greatest achievements was having Eastern medicine recognised at the UN as an alternate way of treating illnesses. He set up a college, which offered degrees in herbal medicine. When health minister General Burki of the Field Marshal Ayub Khan regime tried to ban Eastern medicine, Hakim Said took the protest to the people, recalls Masood Ahmed Barkati, the long time editor of Urdu-language Naunehal children’s magazine of the Hamdard Foundation.

“General Burki used to say that eastern medicine and homeopathy were quackery,” he said. “Hakim Said started writing in the newspapers, organised conferences and lobbied hard. Ultimately, Ayub Khan had to pass a law legalising eastern medicine.”

Barkati said that Hakeen Said paid especial attention to Naunehal, reading every draft before publication. “He used to say that today’s children will be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Hakeem Said was fond of Urdu poets and concerned about their financial woes. “Literary figures like Ahmed Chugtai, Ahmed Hamdani, Qamar Hashmi, Nazeer Siddiqui and Qayum Rahi all worked for Hamdard publications at one time or another. He used to hire every educated person.”

Barkati said that Hakim Said did not accumulate wealth. “He did not buy any property. He was always busy trying to find right the professionals for Hamdard University.”

Sadia started working for her father in 1981. “If you want a stake in Hamdard, then work for it,” she recalled him as saying. “I use to sit with three other girls at a small desk. Then gradually, I moved on to learn other things and was made executive coordinator.”

Sadia lost her father on October 17 in 1998 when he was shot at Arambagh Road. “He was wearing the same white clothes, had a tasbeeh in his hand and some books.” He died as he had lived

Article Source : Express Tribune

Closing Notes:

Sometimes I feel sorry for my Nation that produced real heroes and these heroes have no recognition or respect ” They come and they Go ” and nobody in Pakistan cares for them and their commendable work for Pakistan. Recently, when Steve Jobs DIED, I saw people literally crying their heart out over his death like babies do. Are we so MORALLY dead or why are we turning into a WANNABEEISH Crowd that follows a trend/culture/life style that is not their and belongs to WEST. Can we even pay a single tribute to such men who
did outstanding work for billions of human and we only feel sorrow on the death of someone who just improved communication so we can grab our I-Phones and show them to our friends, THATS IT?

Did we ever tried to find out how Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah died, who killed Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan (Shaheed-e-Millat), why we lost the war in 1971, Why East Pakistan became Bangladesh, Why Kashmir is still occupied by Indian Forces, Why we had to defend Russian Forces in Afghanistan (What was their objective of their war with Afghanistan), Why there is no accountability to all those men who are harming the sovereignty of Pakistan/ breaking the Constitution of Pakistan. All what we know is ” STEVE JOBS R.I.P “, just because this is how we see WEST paying tribute to their heroes.

Last but not least, I came across this song that portrays exactly where we stand today as a Nation and reflects the “Beyghairat Attitude ” of ours and least concern towards our own Problems.

Today I feel shame calling my self a ” Pakistani ” no doubt we are turning into a ” Beyghairat Brigade “. In the end I would like to say ” Pakistan ka Khuda hee Hafiz hai ”

Pakistan Zindabad !


QUETTA: Inspector General (IG) Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan Major General Obaidullah Khattak on Friday alleged that India was using Afghan territory to carry out terrorist attacks in Balochistan.
Talking to journalists at the FC headquarters in Quetta, Khattak said there was evidence that Afghanistan was being used against Pakistan.
He urged NATO and ISAF forces to control militants using Afghan soil for launching terror attacks in Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Khattak credited FC for maintaining peace in Quetta and said unity was the only way to cope with internal and external threats adding that suggestions were given to the Balochistan government to deweaponise Quetta.

Earlier Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani on Thursday had issued a warning to Afghanistan to stop cross-border activities in Pakistan.

Addressing a Pak-Saudi joint military exercise programme in Mangla, Kayani asserted that no such activities would be tolerated and that Pakistan “possesses the capability to respond to any situation”.
(Read: Counter-terrorism: General Kayani warns Afghanistan against cross border activities)

Pakistan’s Former President Pervez Musharraf had also charged that arch-rival India seeks to “create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan” as part of a bid to dominate South Asia politically and economically.
Musharraf said Afghanistan sends its Intelligence Staff, Diplomats and Soldiers to India where they are “indoctrinated against Pakistan,” something he said India must stop and the United States (US) should be concerned about.

“In Afghanistan, there is some kind of a proxy conflict going on between Pakistan and India,” Musharraf told a leadership forum sponsored by the Atlantic media corporation.

“India is trying to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan.”

Khattak says there are evidences that Afghanistan soil is being used against Pakistan by India


Indian Muslims are often accused of terrorist links, but in many cases it is Muslims themselves who are terrorised.

”]According to the Indian government and media, many Muslim groups have recently been involved in terrorism. Of these, three stand out: Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), formed in 1976 and banned soon after 9/11 for fomenting “communal disharmony” and “sedition”; Deccan Mujahideen (DM), an outfit which shot to prominence by claiming responsibility for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack; and Indian Mujahideen (IM), a group believed to have been formed after 2001. These groups have been charged with killing hundreds of people. The latest attack came on July 13, when 20 people were killed in a series of bombings in Mumbai.

Shortly after the attack, the police said that IM and SIMI were behind the blasts. A nationwide hunt followed. According to Rakesh Maria, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Chief, expert teams fanned out to seven states. Officers from the National Intelligence Agency, formed after the 2008 Mumbai attacks to fight terrorism, raided the houses of two IM suspects in Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand state.

In Indian political discourse, outfits like SIMI, DM and IM appear as a threat to India’s stability and its global rise. While some depict them as domestic groups, others portray them as working in alliance with outfits from Pakistan. It is thus believed that IM was floated by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a militant group formed in 1990 in Afghanistan and active in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Most accounts of these outfits are, however, inconsistent and even contradictory.

By analysing the Mumbai attack and the alleged involvement of IM and SIMI, I make three arguments. First, since the media and the security agencies have a close and uncritical relationship, we should have a healthy doubt about the accuracy of their information, and refrain from immediately pointing fingers at one Muslim group or another. Despite the fact that barely anyone adequately knows what IM is and how it came about, after the July attack several Muslims were arrested as terrorists.

Second, because Muslims are blamed, arrested, tortured, and killed (by the police) after each terror attack, with little or no evidence, such measures might end up creating the danger the Indian state claims to fight.

Third, I contend that the Indian media’s role in “reporting” terrorism is prejudiced.

What is Indian Mujahideen?

After the blast, the police arrested many people from Mumbai’s “sensitive” (read Muslim) neighbourhoods, a practice the residents of such neighbourhoods have grown accustomed to in the last decade. One suspect, Faiz Usmani, died in police custody. The police claimed that his death was caused by “hypertension”; his family believes that he was tortured. Usmani was the brother of Afzal Usmani, in jail for his alleged involvement in the 2008 Ahmadabad blast. Both brothers are reported to be IM members.

Riaz Bhatkal, described as India’s “most wanted terrorist”, is regarded as IM’s founder. He became close with SIMI in the early 1990s when it began to radicalise. Born in 1976, Bhatkal went to an English-medium school and later studied engineering at a Mumbai college. But beyond that, much of IM’s history remains unclear. It’s not even known whether Bhatkal is alive or dead. After the July 13 blast, the ATS attempted to nab him. This is surprising, because early this year the media reported that Bhatkal was killed in Karachi by Chhota Rajan, Mumbai’s underworld don.

The media provides differing accounts of IM’s formation and, in fact, is sometimes inconsistent even within a single version. For example, Animesh Roul, the director of the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict in Delhi, claimed that IM was “conceived at a terrorist conclave attended by top leaders of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI) in Pakistani-administered Kashmir in May 2008”. He did not find it contradictory when in the next paragraph he wrote, “IM came into the open for the first time in November 2007”. In Asian Policy, Christine Fair indicated two dates of its formation: 2001 and an ambiguous date of “much later”. According to The Times of India, IM was formed in 2005. To Namrata Goswami of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis in Delhi, “key SIMI members …started supporting the idea of the formation of the IM as early as December 2007”.

IM first hit the headlines after a series of explosions in November 2007. In an email to the media and police, IM claimed responsibility for the blasts. As the email explained, the aim of those attacks was to protest against “the pathetic conditions of Muslims in India that idol worshippers can kill our brothers, sisters, children and outrage dignity of our sisters at any place and at any time and we can’t resist them”. Then, in 2008, minutes before the blasts in Ahmadabad, IM sent an email (entitled “The Rise of Jihad, Revenge of Gujarat”) to the media saying: “We hereby declare an ultimatum to all the state governments of India … to stop harassing the Muslims and keep a check on their killing, expulsion, and encounters.”

The messages are a sign that IM’s aim is to protest against and avenge the killings and humiliation of Muslims at the hands of Hindu nationalists and the state administration. The destruction of the Babri mosque by Hindu nationalists in 1992 is important to IM’s ideological repertoire – hence its description by the media and the terrorism experts as a “home-grown”, “domestic” terror outfit. Since the media regard the Babri mosque as a domestic issue (unlike Kashmir, which is international) and the IM invokes the Babri mosque to rationalise its attacks, the IM is thus considered a domestic outfit.

However, many Indian security experts hold that IM is a tool of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) used to destabilise India. In these accounts, IM is a means to advance ISI’s agenda of destabilising India and at the same time to exonerate Pakistan of any allegations made by India and the West of promoting terrorism. The logic of the security experts is that the word “Indian” in IM points to India’s domestic groups, rather than Pakistani groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, through which the ISI has been operating in Kashmir. On the other hand, experts like B Raman allege that IM and SIMI’s reach extends beyond South Asia, characterising the groups as a part of a global network of Islamic radicals without furnishing adequate evidence.

India’s Guantanamo Bays

The media invariably base their stories on the sources of the state. An apt example is Praveen Swami, a terrorism expert cited by everyone writing about the IM. Swami is to print media what Arnab Goswami (of Times Now) is to Indian TV: Their views are rabidly nationalist, some might even say Islamophobic. Swami reproduces the police version (e.g. see his writings in CTC Sentinel, May 2010; The Hindu, Edit-Page, March 22, 2010; and Frontline, June 2-15, 2007) without giving the other side of the story, namely: the viewpoints of the alleged terrorists, their family members, or the Muslim community. It is well-known that the Indian police are biased against Muslims and have been complicit in killing them, as was evident in the state-mediated 2002 Gujarat violence, in which 1,000 Muslims were killed.

Given that the Indian media is uninterested in reporting “facts” and multiple views, can an anthropologist like me make sense of the mediatised world of terrorism? Thomas Eriksen holds that a concept like globalisation has “no meaning to an anthropologist unless it can be studied through actual persons, their relationship to each other and to a larger surrounding world”. I thus agree with Peter Van der Veer that “behind the growing visibility [of media] is a growing invisibility”.

What is rarely visible in the Indian media, however, are the brutal, illegal methods used against suspected terrorists: torture cells, illegal detention, unlawful killings in “police encounters”; elimination of evidence against the illegal actions of the law-enforcing agencies; and rampant harassment of Muslims. In July 2009, The Week reported on the existence of at least 15 secret torture chambers meant to extract information from the detainees. The methods to extract information include attaching electrodes to a detainee’s genitals as well as the use of pethidine injections. To quote The Week, these chambers are “our own little Guantanamo Bays or Gitmos”, which a top policeman called “precious assets”.

In May 2008, a Muslim boy aged 14 was abducted by the Gujarat police. He was dragged to the police car at gunpoint and taken to a detention centre where he was tortured. He returned home ten days later when the court ordered his release following his mother’s petition. The police subsequently threatened the boy’s family with dire consequences if they pursued the case in court. The police harassment becomes even more acute in light of the fact that most lawyers often hesitate to take up the cases of “terrorists”. As a disempowered community – as the government-appointed Sachar Committee report (of 2006) minutely demonstrates – Muslims themselves don’t have adequate and qualified lawyers to pursue such cases. Muslims’ marginalisation thus renders their voice invisible in the media too.

It is believed that after SIMI was banned, soon after 9/11, its radical members formed IM. During my fieldwork (2001-2004) on Jamaat-e-Islami and SIMI I did not hear anything about IM. SIMI activists and other Muslims I met felt terrorised themselves. It is worth noting that since 2001 far more people have been arrested as “SIMI terrorists” than the actual number of SIMI members, which in 1996 was 413 (when founded in 1976, SIMI’s members numbered 132). Until today, the Indian government has still not legally proved its rationale for banning SIMI.

The story untold

In the fight against terrorism, evidence and the rule of law are subservient to prejudice. As of this writing, the Indian government has not yet tracked the perpetrators of the July 13 attack. However, only two days after the attack, Subramanian Swamy, a prominent politician and former minister (with a doctorate from Harvard University) wrote an article called “How to Wipe Out Islamic Terror”. Without any evidence, he blamed Muslims for the attack, in the same way that The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Sun suspected Muslim involvement in the Norway shooting nine days later.

What Swamy did is standard practice in Indian media. In September 2006, a blast killed 35 people at a Muslim graveyard in Malegaon (in the state of Karnataka). The media blamed Muslims. Likewise, in 2007, after a blast killed 10 Muslims praying in Hyderabad’s Mecca mosque, Praveen Swami freely wrote about the Muslim terrorists he believed caused it and about what he perceived to be the “Islamist threat to India’s cities”. However, investigations later showed that Hindu nationalists carried out the Malegaon and Mecca mosque terror attacks.

Returning to Subramanian Swamy, Swamy wrote: “We need a collective mindset as Hindus to stand against the Islamic terrorist. The Muslims of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindus. That they do I will not believe unless they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus”. Those refusing to acknowledge this, Swamy advocated, “should not have voting rights”. He proposed declaring India “a Hindu Rashtra [state]”.

Stories of Muslim terrorists abound in both the Indian and Western media. Since the July 13, 2011 Mumbai bombings, vitriolic pieces like Subramanian Swamy’s have appeared frequently in the media. These pieces subtly influence the analyses of many liberal intellectuals.

By contrast, stories portraying Muslims as the terrorised remain fairly sparse. One wonders if, and how, such stories will be told.

Irfan Ahmad is a political anthropologist and a lecturer at Monash University, Australia and author of Islamism and Democracy in India: The Transformation of Jamaat-e-Islami (Princeton University Press, 2009) which was short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in the field of Social Sciences.


The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Source : Al Jazeera English

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/09/2011912104910716820.html