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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/10/09

Obama, Please Hear the Cries of Women and Children

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Security forces deployed by the Pakistani government in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border, have started the indiscriminate killing of innocent people. There is complete anarchy and chaos in the entire Bajaur Agency, and innocent people -- mostly women and children -- are running for their lives. There are reports of killing of thousands of people and widespread destruction. It is not yet clear whether the government of Pakistan started this latest operation against terrorists or if they want to kill the tribespeople.

US President Obama should play his role for saving the innocent people. It is true there are terrorist camps in tribal areas, but it does not mean that innocent people should be killed. Tribesmen are not responsible for the creation of terrorists. Those who have created terrorists and imposed them on the tribesmen are still calling the shots as they are the rulers of Pakistan. Rulers of Pakistan are terrorists. I think no saner ruler will ever kill his own men, but the rulers of Pakistan have been killing their own men.

Obama must convey a clear message to the rulers of Pakistan to desist from killing innocent people. The people of tribal areas have great expectations from the US President seeing him as their hero. They have prayed for his success in the recent election. US special envoy Richard Holbrooke is on a visit to Pakistan. He has held meetings with the Pakistani officials. reported the following:

Pakistan called Tuesday for dialogue to "-combat terrorism' and expressed concern about military action against Islamist militants in its first talks with US President Barack Obama's regional envoy.

Richard Holbrooke, considered the architect of peace in Bosnia, heard criticism from a civilian government worried that US missile strikes against militants in Pakistan will exacerbate its domestic problems and unpopularity.
Holbrooke, embarking on a massive US policy review to turn around the war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, met Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
‘It’s an orientation visit. Pakistan conveyed that military action is not the only solution. We should look for dialogue and development also as a tool to combat terrorism,’ a foreign ministry official told AFP.
‘They also conveyed their concern about the drone attacks and told them this is counter-productive. He took note. He expects to talk to the administration and then come back, this is his very first interaction,’ he said.
Since August, there have been dozens of missile strikes, believed to be launched from CIA drones, targeting militants on Pakistani territory whom US officials accuse of waging attacks across the border in Afghanistan.
US President Obama called Monday for a combined effort to eradicate Al-Qaeda safe havens in Afghanistan and the border region with Pakistan, expressing concern over an Afghan government that ‘seems very detached.’ Washington has put together plans to send up to 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, which would double the US contingent fighting against a widening Taliban-led insurgency along with NATO forces.
But US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has not yet signed off the blueprints, waiting for a green light from the White House, which has signalled it wants to look at the strategy reviews under way first, military officials said.
Washington’s relations with allies Islamabad and Kabul have been strained over accusations that neither administration has done enough to eradicate the Islamist threat on its territory.
‘What we haven’t seen is the kind of concerted effort to root out those safe havens that ultimately makes our mission successful,’ said Obama.
‘I do not have a timetable for how long that’s going to take. What I know is I’m not going to allow Al-Qaeda and (Osama) bin Laden to operate with impunity attacking the US,’ he said.
Holbrooke will hold talks until Thursday in Pakistan, where a foreign ministry official said he was ‘likely’ to visit the northwest city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border.
He will also tour Afghanistan and India before reporting back to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama.
‘I am here to listen and learn,’ in ‘this critically important country,’ Holbrooke said in a US embassy statement.
‘The United States looks forward to reviewing our policies and renewing our commitment and friendship with the people of Pakistan,’ he added.

There will be no denying the fact that rulers of Pakistan are habitual liars as on the one hand they have been urging the US administration to halt drone attacks in waziristan tribal region, but on the other hand they have killing the people in Bajaur Agency with full immunity. Human right organisations and Pakistan and international media have been keeping mum over the killing of innocent people. Pakistani media will never hesitate to criticise Israel for killing and destruction in Gaza, but they have been silent over the killing of innocent tribespeople.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is also (more...)
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