Posts Tagged ‘kidnappings’

Talking in Cuckooland

March 28, 2014

By Corrupt Keeray – Newsvine

As expected the Taliban have shown their true colors and intentions. By refusing to free Shahbaz Taseer and Gilani they have tacitly admitted that they kidnap Pakistan citizens or have them kidnapped through their proxies. This implies that they are fully involved in the extortion and armed dacoities throughout Pakistan. Will these activities stop even if the talks succeed by some miracle? It is well known that car lifting and kidnapping for ransom was periodically undertaken by tribesmen earlier but in those days there was an administration in FATA that dealt with all such criminal activity. Now FATA is lawless and copy cat carjacking, kidnapping and robberies are being committed all over the country—ask the businessmen in Sialkot or Lahore who quietly pay up because retribution for reporting to the police can be swift and merciless besides being futile.

Article Photo

Imran Khan still supporting the TTP

The Taliban have also asked for a ‘peace zone’ to be declared in which they can move freely. This comes from those who have killed 50000 Pakistanis and committed unspeakable atrocities. A peace zone if established will amount to ceding a part of Pakistan to the TTP and it is the TTP that will rule there with the tacit approval of Pakistan. This zone will be a magnet for all criminals’ country wide as well as internationally. Can we afford to do this? Instead of mainstreaming themselves they are asking for territory to establish and then expand. We will be laying the seeds for the mother of all insurgencies if we ever agree to this demand.

Imran Khan has now stated that the Taliban do not want to impose Sharia by force. Really? What have they been doing so far? Why are they opposed to the state of Pakistan whom they call an ally of the US and therefore their enemy? How does Imran Khan know what they want?

Talks are good if they are for negotiating. Talks are useless if they are for stating demands. Talks are doubly useless if one side has ulterior motives. So far the talks have been useless. There could be a dramatic breakthrough but that is unlikely. More likely is a breakdown leading to a resumption of violence. And it is likely that the first person to see through the TTP game and call it a day will be the only real interlocutor we have—Rustam Shah Mohmand. The break will not come from the Taliban because they are on to a good thing with opportunities to sow discord among our institutions like the demand for women and children and ‘non-combatants ‘ held by the ISI and military!!. For the people it is mind boggling that we can talk to the TTP but are bent on a trial for Musharaff!


March 22, 2012

By: Fatima Rizvi

Recently some desperate auto rickshaw drivers climbed high tension pylons to protest the brutal and unreasonable behavior of traffic wardens and police. They were fed up of being mistreated and obviously no one was prepared to help them. Their feat did make it into the media but had zero impact. More recently people protesting severe energy shortages besieged a power grid station and beat up the staff. In Faisalabad there were violent street protests against unemployment, the cost of living and power cuts. A government official’s car was smashed and police and private security guards were badly beaten—again some media coverage but no real concern.

In Karachi where political parties battle for turf there have been protests against extortion, kidnappings and street crime. Not much has been done except for a well publicized ‘crack-down’—all the criminals had to do was leave before the operation started and return once it ended. While the ethnic, sectarian and political divides in Karachi spawn crime and violence a little reported event took place in Sindh—some 3000 people agitated for Sindhu Desh (homeland for Sindhis). The killings in Baluchistan are reported on back pages as small news items and merit just a passing reference in the electronic media. Kidnapping is a thriving and successful business. A Swiss couple held hostage were freed after a ransom was paid. A Swedish woman was released after a one million ransom was air dropped as instructed by the kidnappers. The son in law of a top military official was released after a hefty payment. The son of a former Governor, the Vice Chancellor of Peshawer University and an American kidnapped from Lahore are all in the custody of kidnappers and no one can do anything. These are just the high profile cases—hundreds of businessmen and professionals have had most horrible experiences.

A movement ostensibly for the defense of Pakistan with religious hard liners and militants in their front ranks has held public meetings and rallies all over the country. Their demands are remarkably similar to the demands of the Pakistan Taliban fighting the state in the western tribal areas—sharia law, jehad and militancy. Al Qaeda or what is left of it came out with similar guidance and specifically mentioned the government, the military and the intelligence agencies as legitimate targets. Retired senior military men, right wing political parties, a segment of the media and public opinion seem to be in sync with this movement or at least agree with their agenda with many praising Osama bin Laden and all fanning hatred and anti American sentiment.

These are ominous signs and the writing on the wall is that Pakistan has serious internal issues that need immediate attention. This can only happen if there is an orchestration of state resources with all institutions coming on the same page and pulling in the same direction. There are no indications that this is going to happen any time soon in spite of the economy and internal security being in a downward spiral. A cartoon in a newspaper said it all—political leaders were shown juggling balls with memogate, mehrangate, letter to Swiss etc written on them while a starving man in tatters ( the people) watched from the sidelines. External forces may be exploiting the problems that we face but the problems are of our own making and it follows that only we can solve them—if we want to!