Tackling Terrorism in Indian Sub-continent.
Friday, 23 Oct, 2009||www.dawn.com
updated on 26 Oct, 2009|| www.thenews.com.pk
UNITED NATIONS: In an unprecedented joint appearance on American television Thursday, UN ambassadors of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India said their governments have the same goal – to defeat terrorism.
‘We all come from the same crucible, the same history, the same background,’ Abdullah Hussain Haroon, the Pakistani ambassador to the UN, told CNN.
‘There may be minor differences of course but I think all three of us are well-intentioned.’ In comments echoed by the other ambassadors, Haroon added, ‘We all believe that these countries should get together and try and sort out this situation.’ The efforts of all, he said, are required ‘to help each other get through this difficult phase.’
The channel interviewed the ambassadors amid worsening violence in Afghanistan, an intense debate in the United States about troop levels there, a Pakistani military offensive against the Taliban after a string of terrorist attacks, and India still reeling from the assault on Mumbai almost one year ago.
The Indian ambassador to the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri, said that India was very restrained after the Mumbai attack, and that its restraint would continue.
‘There is no suggestion ever that a diversion of Pakistani military assets from one border to the other to fight the people who really need to be fought would result in any Indian adventurism, he said. ‘I don’t think that’s the kind of ambiance that we are presently in.’ Haroon said.
Pakistan’s armed forces are very stretched by the offensives against the Taliban. He said they are short of resources, in part because Western countries have failed to deliver on all their promises of aid. ‘I think that the Pakistanis feel there are too many caveats, too many conditions, and it does make it sound rather strange that aid is nowhere near the sort of $5 billion to $10 billion we need a year to be able to come back on our own,’ he said.
‘This is merely adding a crutch. Is that what we need at this time, a crutch? Or do we need something more promising?’ Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan tried to persuade those Americans who are skeptical that they should continue supporting the war in his country.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll this week showed voters are deeply and evenly split over whether to send an additional 40,000 troops there, as the US commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, says is needed.
‘Nowadays, after these elections, I think both the leadership in Afghanistan and our friends and partners focused on how the new elections will bring more legitimacy to Afghanistan. So we are not against that debate,’ he said, referencing the runoff that will take place on November 7 between President Hamid Karzai and his main challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.
All three ambassadors said it is vital that the United States send more troops to Afghanistan to help win the fight against terrorism.
Puri, the Indian ambassador, said, ‘You cannot have a fight against international terrorism which is compartmentalized. The snakes that bite us wherever come from the same pit.’
He added: ‘You cannot do Faustian deals with terrorist groups, so I think you need a comprehensive international movement against the terrorists, and I hope that all of us who are involved in this will carry this fight through until the end so that all of us are victors in this.’ –APP
Turkish PM for joint struggle to stamp out terrorism
Updated at: 1720 PST, Monday, October 26, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday stressed the need for putting up a joint struggle against the scourge of terrorism and extremism.
Delivering a historic address to the joint session of Pakistani Parliament, the Turkish PM said Turkey understands the challenges and problems being faced by the people of Pakistan. “Turkey stands with Pakistan in the war against terror,” the Turkish PM said.
The Turkish PM’s speech at the joint session of the Parliament is a first ever address made by any foreign diplomat.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, senior military officials including Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and members of parliament attended today’s session.
The first lady of Turkey was also present along with the Turkish diplomats.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was not only the great leader of Pakistan but also of the entire world. When Ms Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, the members of Turkish parliament representing all the political parties of the country expressed grief, he added.
He described the relations shared between Pakistan and Turkey as extraordinary.
“Pakistan holds a special place in the hearts of Turkish people right from the day the former became independent 62 years ago,” the Turkish PM said, adding “the Turkish people still remember the freedom movement spearheaded by Jauhar brothers.”
The coordinated attacks on security infrastructure which went on for a week gave Pakistan a real taste of an insurgent backlash to violent conflict. Over the weekend, amidst security threats to educational institutions, ranging from schools to universities, the media speculated over whether these would close down in order to avoid an ugly hostage situation. There seemed to be some confusion on Monday morning, with headlines claiming that all private schools would remain open in Lahore, ‘including those in cantonment and DHA.’ But by night time, the government had done a 180, announcing that in fact schools across the country would remain closed for the entire week. Though I’m sure no student would complain about a week-long vacation, these mild, curfew-like restrictions suggest that this is the point when the country’s internal conflict gets a little too close for comfort to everyday life, instead of just being something you watch on the television screen.
It was City 42, a news channel, that reported that LUMS (yes, I dare mention LUMS, after all that) would shut down after the blasts at IIU in Islamabad, making the administration’s still-pending decision a self-fulfilling prophecy after students assumed the news to be true. LUMS students were upbeat however, knowing that they had no readings, quizzes, or assignments due. ‘They [the students] don’t care about theses security issues,’ says Haider Fancy, a senior at LUMS. ‘They just want to get the next week off, and not have to go to class, that’s all they care about.’ But not everyone can be so detached. ‘These freshmen are crazy,’ exclaims a slightly more concerned senior, ‘with all this security mess, they’re out on campus celebrating.’
The warden at the female hostel of Beaconhouse National University seemed to be way ahead of the game than the wobbly policies of the LUMS administration. Students living at the hostel claim that the warden had been calling parents up and ‘freaking them out,’ in a sort of polite way to inform concerned parents that ‘they’ were responsible for their daughters’ safety, and not the entrusted hostel administration. As early as last weekend, many hostel residing students got concerned calls from parents all over Pakistan, worried for their children’s safety. Indeed, it seems this sensational propaganda laden ‘war of terror’ has gotten to our nerves.
LUMS students received a security update on their lively email server, warning students that terrorists ‘could take control of their cars’ and use them to execute attacks. If that doesn’t get you a little edgy, the government has been investigating text messages claiming that terrorists might be able to hack into an unsuspected caller’s phone so that when he presses a key to dial a number he detonates a bomb which could bring down a building. (On a side note, wouldn’t everyone agree that the scene would make a great ad for a cell phone provider? The voiceover could say, ‘Now introducing new explosive pre-paid packages, which might put your security, and the security of others around you at risk’ over the backdrop of a three-way split-screen conversation between a man, his wife, and… a terrorist!)
So with all this news of evil, scheming terrorists taking control of strange foreign objects through these ‘Jedi mind-tricks’ which they seem to have mastered in the past few months, I’m afraid of using the lota in my bathroom because it just might be used to launch an attack on some unsuspecting target. Oh what shall we do? Now as a nation we’ll have to conform to the toilet-paper scraping ways of the West. Oh will the Lord finally intervene? read more…….
Courtsey : Dawn, AFP, AP.