THE FRONTIER POSTAfter the Tora Bora debacle, the Pakistan Army purged Tirah Valley of Al-Qaeda insurgents in 2002. For reasons best known to top brass, the Pakistan Army vacated the area, leaving the control of the Valley to local armed groups of Lashkar-i-Islam, Ansarul Islam and Tawheedul Islam. The turf war amongst local gangs of extremists continued that has ultimately encouraged Taliban and foreign forces to make allies to wrest the control of the area. Today, with the connivance of splinter groups, Taliban hold a complete sway over the Tirah Valley, once in control of Pakistan Army. Hundreds of Taliban have positioned themselves at all important strategic points, and are offering a strong resistance, inflicting heavy loss to the Pakistan Army, though the ISRP claims to have killed 110 militants. Yet the Valley has not been cleared of the militants. Pro-Pakistan Ansarul Islam (AI) militants have been beaten out. In fact, reliance on the AI militants is proving costly for Pakistan and its Army. The war is far from being over. Lashkar-i-Islam (LI), well entrenched in Sipah, Akkakhel and Malikdin Khel areas of Tirah, is facing a ground offensive from the Bazaar-Zakhekhel side down to the Bara valley and Sheen Qamar to reach out LI hideouts. The airforce fighter jets are impounding the area under the control of the TTP sans a significance success. The loss of men and material in the fierce fighting is significantly high. The continued black-out in the local media has deprived the army of the much-needed nation's support in the hot pursuit against the deadly terrorists. Those who report on the sad events risk their lives. Fears of the wrath of the terrorists loom large over their heads. No Army has won a war without the support of its masses. The Pakistan Army must revisit its policy of ignoring local media. The nation deserves to know nothing but the truth. On the other hand, Lashkar-i-Islam and Tehrik-i-Taliban that combine together form a force to reckon with, have agreed to accept Mangel Bagh, having strong local support and know-how of the world's difficult terrains, as the Supreme Commander to coordinate on all matters of their importance on Tirah and Khyber Agency. Meaning thereby, the worst of the intensified war is yet to come. Pakistan Army is doing the best it can do but the civil administration lags far behind especially when it comes to the disaster management and in hammering out a political solution of the situation. The fact, the Pakistan government never withered the international pressure in the war on terror. It just succumbed to the Americans in the Afghan situation. Spineless Pakistan accepted American demands like divine orders without safeguarding its own interest. Pakistan released all Afghan Taliban to kick-start the Afghan peace process, but the repatriation of the TTP danger men like Faqir Mohammad and Fuzullah has been denied. Pakistan is paying a price on the account of its bad diplomacy on the Afghan issue. If at all, Islamabad wants to flush out terrorism, it must revisit its internal and external policies. First, it should set up an Anti-terrorism National Counter to educate the masses about true face of the terrorists and their sponsors. Secondly, ISPR must coordinate more with local media corp. Third; Pakistan should also form a high-powered peace mission to strive for the restoration of the peace in the region. Use of the military might, alone, cannot win back the lost grounds. The last but not the least, the corrupt political agents and their Khasadars and the some personnel of the Frontier Corps are stabbing the Army in the back, leaking the secrets of the Pakistan Army's movement to the terrorists hence the success of the Army had remained limited. Pakistan Army needs to be careful in making some policy decisions. At the same time, efforts should be made to reach out the residents confined in the war zone. There is a hue and cry over the bad management of the internally displaced people from war-hit areas but irony is those are still there in the war zone and had been completely neglected to face starvation under the mercy of killers. The performance of the power-hungry previous government was the worst but the caretakers, too, are yet to show any political will to help the people in need. Pakistan has been offering all-out cooperation to its American-led allies in Afghanistan at the cost of sovereignty but Islamabad must not forget what it achieved in the war against the Soviet invasion. The same so-called allies abandoned Pakistan once their interests were served. The same is being repeated now. Pakistan must revisit its offerings in the greater interests of the nation. Needless to remind here that too much reliance on the foreign masters can serve the individuals' interests not of the Pakistan.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Radio PakistanPopular singer Ahmed Rushdi's death anniversary is being observed on 11th April by thousands of his fans across the country. Syed Ahmed Rushdi was born on 24th April‚ 1934‚ in a well respected Hyderabad Deccan family. Singing was strictly disallowed in his household‚ but Rushdi was crazy about music and wanted to sing all sorts of songs. In this context‚ he met many talented seniors‚ and took admission in a small music school by another name. In 1954‚ he came to Karachi with his family‚ and gave an audition at Radio Pakistan. He first sang Himayat Ali Shaer's poem‚ soon followed another hit‚ Bandar Road se Kemari‚ which was a mega-hit of the times. Rushdi sang his first number for the film Karnama (1956) and sang over 800 songs in films till 1983. Since 1976‚ Ahmed Rushdi was a heart patient and his doctors advised him to abstain from singing but Rushdi refused by saying that music was his life. When he had a second heart attack in 1981‚ he was composing a musical album. On the night of April 11‚ 1983‚ he had a third heart attack. He was immediately taken to the hospital but pronounced dead by the doctors. He was 48. In recognition of Rushdi's services‚ he has been decorated with a Pride of Performance posthumously.