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Why do Taliban (and their supporters) attack secualr Pashtuns?

US responsible for the situation in Pakistan

Irfan Khan Momand UK

Source: “FRONTIER POST” FEB.12, 2008

The recent suicide attack on Awami national Party rally in Charsadda was certainly a very shameful act. We condemned this suicide attack and everywhere we are against every kind of violence and hatred. We have seen and observed in several such suicide attacks that the coward groups are using innocent children for the suicide attacks. Such coward people have no religion, have no culture and have no respect for the humanity because Islam doesn’t say for the suicide attack. The attackers and their coward planners are certainly the enemy of our Pushtoon nation, they are the enemy of our Pushtoon culture, and they are the enemy of our pushtoon norms and Pushtoon non-violent politics which we learnt from our great leaders Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan Baba and Khan Abdul Wali Khan. The enemy of Pushtoon cannot bear our peaceful politics and they are targeting our leaders, our elders and children in their own homes. We have already known our enemy and they are the coward establishment which is not only the enemy of Pushtoon but also the enemy of every democratic nation living in Pakistan because they cannot accept the democracy in this region.


The present cartoon government (interim government led by Musharraf and Soomro in February 2008) is certainly fully responsible for the recent bomb attack in charsadda because the government agencies know the so-called jihadis organisation in Punjab and in Kashmir and the agencies have already their full biodata of every person belong to those organisations but the so-called administrators sitting in Islamabad have no interest of peace, stability and democracy in Pakistan. They are just enjoying their posh life in their villas and they earn money by blackmailing the whole Pakistani nation. This corrupt mafia know that if there start the process of peace and democracy in Pakistan then there will be no chance for their corruption, and for this purpose they had harboured several kinds of criminal groups and stationed them in Pakistan especially in our Pushtoon region which are Arabs, Chechens and Kashmiri in the name of so-called Jihadi groups. They had been trained for these nefarious activities to blackmail the whole Pakistani people in every time. The sectarian violence in Peshawar, in Quetta and in Kurram agency and the destability in Karachi are the preplanned nefarious activities in which these organisations are used. They have been certainly given the task to postpone the election which is to be held in the coming days. Here I would like to mention also that the American agencies are also fully responsible for the destabilizing and the unrest of our region and our people. Pakistani people have no food to eat and the Americans are coming to help our corrupt cartoon government by providing them their sophisticated weapons. They are just introducing and purchasing their modern weapons in our Pushtoon region and nothing else. We will be compelled to say clearly that the American establishment also don’t want the real democracy in Pakistan because the American establishment have already a bad experience with the Democratic governments in India because there is always a real and pure democratic system in India and the American establishment have very difficulty from the Indian governments to fulfil their motives and therefore I can say that the American establishment don’t want to work with a real democratic government in Pakistan. And for this purpose the American policy makers had introduced the Washington’s sponsored Jihad in our region. They have always worked with the dictators and they have been supporting the dictatorship in Pakistan.

I request to my Pakistani people especially our youth men and women that they should start working for the real democracy in Pakistan because the establishment don’t want to educate the people about the politics and about the establishment policies. Everybody should take part in politics that what is going on around us. We should have complete knowledge about our regional situation. There is no war for Islam. The harboured criminals groups are just using the name of Islam. If we take part in politics then we can win our democracy and our rights. No one can snatch Islam from us. Our uneducated people have been used for these religious sentiments for long time starting from general Zia.

We have to fight against our poverty, we have to fight against our missiries, we have to fight for our rights as a respectable nation in the world. We have to throw those corrupt elements and foreign religious extremists in the Arabian see. We have no place for the American guests which is al-Qaeda. Here I will also request to the American people that they should have some know-how about their agencies and their establishment before they go to vote and to elect a new government in USA that what are they doing in Afghanistan and why even the Opium cultivation in Afghanistan is more then ever? If the American start servicing like other respectable nations members of NATO in Afghanistan then there will be certainly peace and stability otherwise the situation will be worst for our Pushtoon nation.



By B. Raman

The Awami National Party (ANP) of Pakistan was founded by the late Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known as the Frontier Gandhi. He was very close to Mahatma Gandhi and tried to popularise Gandhiji’s concept of non-violence among the Pashtuns of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). He strongly opposed the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan.

2. After Pakistan became independent in 1947, its authorities arrested him because of his advocacy of the creation of an autonomous, if not independent, Pashtoonistan and because of their suspicions regarding his contacts with India. He made no secret of these contacts and of his love for India. When he was released after many years of his detention in the 1960s, he had the courage to openly visit India to renew his friendship with Indian leaders.

3.Ghaffar Khan was a leftist by ideology. The party founded by him is the only political formation in Pakistan, which is to the left of the political spectrum. It is secular and is strongly opposed to fundamentalism and wahabisation of the Muslim community in Pakistan.

4. The Frontier Gandhi was succeeded by Khan Abdul Wali Khan, his son, who was as great a lover of India as his father was. He was even more leftist than his father by conviction. He was very close to the erstwhile USSR and the then President Najibullah of Afghanistan. He openly used to visit India for a few weeks every year to meet Indian leaders, as well as Kabul as the personal guest of Najibullah. He was a strong critic of the jihad being waged by the US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Afghanistan. He ignored with contempt a disinformation campaign mounted by the ISI against him projecting him as an Indian and Soviet agent.

5. There were only two Pashtun organisations—-both equally moderate, equally enlightened, equally secular, equally friendly to India— which strongly opposed the Afghan Mujahideen, the late Zia-ul-Haq’s attempt to Wahabise the Pakistani society, the Taliban when it came into existence in 1964 and the trend towards the Talibanisation of the tribal belt of Pakistan under President Pervez Musharraf. The ANP is one of them. The Pakhtoonkwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) headed by Mahmood Khan Achakzai is another. The ANP’s following is confined to the Pashtuns of the NWFP. The following of the PMAP is confined to the Pashtuns of Balochistan.

6. When Wali Khan was incapacitated due to old age and illness, he was succeeded by Afsandyar Wali Khan, his son, another moderate and secular-minded person, who has been strongly opposed to the Taliban. After the death of Wali Khan in 2006 , differences cropped up between Afsandyar Wali Khan and Naseem Wali Khan, one of the two wives of Wali Khan, who was the step-mother of Afsandyar. The Army and the ISI took advantage of these differences. As a result, the party has been weakened, but it continues to be as secular, as moderate, as leftist and as opposed to the Taliban as it has always been.

8. Unidentified jihadi terrorists targeted an election rally of the ANP held at village Nahaqi, near Peshawar, in the NWFP on February 8,2008, killing 27 members of the party through an improvised explosive device (IED), which is suspected to have been detonated by a suicide bomber. In accordance with the security advice of the police, the meeting was held in a closed place and not in a public place. The enclosure had been subjected to security checks by the police. Despite this, the bomber managed to gain entry with his concealed IED undetected by the Police. The enclosure was closed immediately after the meeting started. It is stated that a large crowd of ANP supporters found themselves locked out. They pressed those responsible to let them in so that they could attend the meeting. The door was opened and the waiting crowd entered without being subjected to security checks. It is suspected that the bomber must have entered along with them.

9. Afsandyar Wali Khan was not present at the meeting, but Afrasiab Khattak, one of the senior leaders of the party, was. He escaped reportedly unhurt. Afrasiab Khattak was very close to Najibullah and used to live in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when Najibullah was the President along with Ajmal Khattak, another senior leader of the party. Both of them returned to Pakistan after Benazir Bhutto became the Prime Minister in 1988.

10. No organisation has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack has come shortly after Baitullah Mehsud, the Amir of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, had announced an unilateral ceasefire in its operations against the Pakistani security forces—not only in the tribal areas, but also in the non-tribal areas. According to well-informed Police sources, this cease-fire announcement came after secret talks between the Pakistan Army and Serajuddin Haqqani, son of Jalalludin Haqqani, the Afghan Mujahideen leader, who belongs to the Neo Taliban led by Mulla Mohammad Omar. Serajuddin, for whom the US agencies have been hunting, is widely perceived as the mentor of Baitullah. According to these Police sources, the Pakistan Army is keen that the elections should be held as scheduled on February 18,2008, and hence had reached an informal cease-fire with Baitullah to prevent any disruption of the elections by the Mehsuds.

11. The fact that despite this cease-fire, the ANP election rally was attacked shows that either Baitullah has not been able to enforce the cease-fire or that other organisations such as the ant-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) do not feel themselves bound by this cease-fire and are determined to disrupt the elections at least in the NWFP, if not elsewhere.

12. There have also been indications that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is not as united behind Baitullah as it is perceived to be. Even as Baitullah’s followers were fighting fiercely against the Pakistani security forces in South Waziristan and the Darra Adam Khel-Kohat area of the NWFP, the leaders and cadres of the Tehrik in North Waziristan and the Bajaur Agency were observing an informal cease-fire.

13. The ceasefire with the Mehsud component of the Tehrik does not necessarily guarantee that the elections will not be subject to serious disruptions. That is the message from the attack on the ANP rally.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail:

Another Jihadi Attack on Frontier Gandhi’s Party – International Terrorism Monitor—Paper No. 368

By B. Raman

Ten persons, including some leaders of the Awami National Party (ANP) founded by the late Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, known as Frontier Gandhi, were killed in North Waziristan on February 11, 2008, when a suicide bomber, estimated to be 17 years old, blew himself up near an election rally held at Eedak village near Mirali held in support of a local candidate for the forthcoming elections to the Pakistan National Assembly on February 18, 2008. According to the US authorities, Al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) are operating from sanctuaries in the Mirali area.

2. While Al Qaeda, the IMU and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan cadres in North Waziristan have been observing an informal ceasefire against the Pakistani security forces in the area, they have been targeting the leaders and cadres of the ANP and their supporters in the local Dawar sub-tribe, who have been strongly critical of the presence and activities of foreign terrorists in the Pashtun homeland. In fact, the ANP has persuaded some of the Dawars to form a Lashkar (self-defence force) to protect the ANP leaders and to counter the foreign terrorists. While the ANP has been strongly critical of the foreign terrorists as well as the Americans and the Pakistan Army for misusing the Pashtun homeland for their attacks on each other, Al Qaeda and the IMU suspect that the ANP, which is secular and anti-Wahabi, has been passing on information to the Americans about the sanctuaries of Al Qaeda and the IMU in the Pashtun belt.

3. Among those killed in the suicide attack were Haji Anwar Shah, President of the North Waziristan branch of the ANP, and Bakhtiar Khan Zeraki, President of the Mirali branch of the ANP. Nisar Ali Khan, the candidate for the election, reportedly escaped with minor injuries. Political parties are not allowed to contest elections in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Only independents can. But most independents are indirectly supported by some Party or the other. Nisar Ali Khan belongs to the ANP, but he is projecting himself as an independent. Local ANP leaders as well as ANP leaders from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) have been canvassing for him.

4. For information on the Dawars, please visit