Friday, February 5, 2010

So Karachi Bleeds Once Again

It's beyond horrible. The news is depressing everywhere you look. The only option of getting some good news is ... not to watch local news at all. We've descended so low in our misery and brutality of humankind, that I feel we can't get any lower. The first blast that happened near Nursery area, main Shahra-e-Faisal confirmed a lot of people's worst fears. Everybody had been wary after the Ashura Blast. The loss had been too great. The Chehlum Blast was no different. Only, it hadn't been in the midst of the juloos, it had targetted a bus carrying mourners (for the Chehlum).

The second blast took place outside the Emergency Ward of Jinnah Hospital.Yes, things apparently COULD get lower than the first incident!

The injured were more injured. Doctors ran for their lives. Paramedics were injured. Ambulances were destroyed. What kind of an enemy does that to you?

Take a look at the following piece of news which came today only:

Iraq Bombing Kills Dozens of Shiites Near Karbala 
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- A bombing killed at least 27 Shiite Muslim pilgrims as they left a shrine near the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, state-owned al-Iraqiya television reported. Al- Arabiya later said the toll had risen to 41 dead and 144 hurt. The attack today in Qantarat al-Salam, just east of Karbala, wounded more than 60, al-Iraqiya said. Two mortar shells hit the area after a car bomb exploded, Agence France- Presse reported.

It's ONE common enemy. It's not about ethnicity. This enemy isn't going to let any practising Muslim state survive on its own. We all have two paths clearly laid out in front of us. And it's our duty to choose the right one.  We can choose to harp on about Talibans taking over Karachi, or recognize the enemy walking freely within our land (and btw, our politicians lie blatantly to protect it too). Take a look at the following pieces of news:

Nov 21, 2009: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday said he will resign if it is proved that US-based security firm Blackwater was operating inside Pakistan. (Dawn)

Nov 23, 2009: At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, "snatch and grabs" of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.(The Nation

Nov 26, 2009: Members of an elite division of Blackwater (Xe Services) are conducting a secret programme from Karachi in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, “snatch and grabs” of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigative report by US-based newspaper The Nation has revealed. (Daily Times)

Dec 5, 2009: Barrister Zafarullah, the petitioner’s counsel, cited several news reports according to which American and Dutch nationals were found patrolling the federal capital’s streets with sophisticated weapons. He said the diplomats and marines of both the countries had also beat up the people. He said the “culprits of these incidents” were set free and no action was taken against them for violating the law of the land. He said an American magazine, The Nation, had disclosed the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan and its hideouts in Karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad. The counsel also said that the Sihala Police Training Centre commandant had also complained that explosives were being heaped in the centre and he was not allowed to visit the sites.
Illegal weapons: Seeking search of US embassy, he said the day Blackwater had stepped into Pakistan, terror acts and suicide attacks had been scaled up. The counsel also alleged that in the US embassy illegal arms and ammunition were being stored, which were being used for “sabotage acts” in the country.

Dec 11, 2009: The US contractor Blackwater is operating in Pakistan at a secret CIA airfield used for launching drone attacks, according to a former US official, despite repeated government denials that the company is in the country. The official, who had direct knowledge of the operation, said that employees with Blackwater, now renamed Xe Services, patrol the area round the Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan province. (Guardian)

Dec 12, 2009: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had asked private security contractor Blackwater Worldwide to kill Dr AQ Khan, the Pakistani scientist “who shared nuclear know-how with Iran, Libya, and North Korea”, agency’s founder Erik Prince admitted in an interview with Vanity Fair. (Daily Times)

Jan 22, 2010: Visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said the US is considering giving Pakistan drones for intelligence and reconnaissance purposes, a private TV channel reported on Thursday. 
Gates conceded that US security companies Blackwater and DynCorp are operating in Pakistan in private capacities. He said the companies would comply with Pakistani laws. 

Jan 24, 2010: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday denied the presence of the Blackwater security agency in Pakistan, adding that US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has stated that he was misquoted by the media when they said that he had admitted to Blackwater’s presence in the country. Talking to reporters after the hand-over ceremony of explosives scanners to Islamabad police at the Islamabad Sports Complex, he termed the reports regarding presence of Blackwater in the country “part of a conspiracy”.

Feb 4, 2010: Special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke has rejected Taliban allegation that the soldiers killed in Lower Dir bomb blast were working for BlackWater. Talking to journalists in Washington, Holbrooke said that the American soldiers were training FC officials in Pakistan. He said that there is nothing secret about the presence of American soldiers in Pakistan. He said that killings of American soldiers in bomb blast at girls school is a big tragedy. 

And finally, something that really opens one's eyes:

Sep 22, 2007 (yes, 2007): Congressional report blames Blackwater for battle of Falluja
A US congressional investigation today said the private security firm Blackwater triggered one of the bloodiest battles in the Iraq war when it sent an unprepared team of security guards into the insurgent stronghold of Falluja. (Guardian)

Nov 13, 2009: Huge rise in birth defects in Falluja
Doctors in Iraq's war-ravaged enclave of Falluja are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants, compared to a year ago, and a spike in early life cancers that may be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting. The extraordinary rise in birth defects has crystallised over recent months as specialists working in Falluja's over-stretched health system have started compiling detailed clinical records of all babies born. Neurologists and obstetricians in the city interviewed by the Guardian say the rise in birth defects – which include a baby born with two heads, babies with multiple tumours, and others with nervous system problems - are unprecedented and at present unexplainable. Other health officials are also starting to focus on possible reasons, chief among them potential chemical or radiation poisonings. Abnormal clusters of infant tumours have also been repeatedly cited in Basra and Najaf – areas that have in the past also been intense battle zones where modern munitions have been heavily used. The first battle was fought to find those responsible for the deaths of four Blackwater private security contractors working for the US. The city was bombarded heavily by American artillery and fighter jets. Controversial weaponry was used, including white phosphorus, which the US government admitted deploying.

As I said, one common enemy. The same story, told time and again within Muslims nations around the world today (those who refuse to bend of course). What's important right now is to...



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