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War on Terror Can't Be Won Through Terrorism

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Ruthless bombing on a religious seminary in Bajaur Agency, Tribal Areas a few days ago in which at least 83 small children were burnt to death has created great terror in the mind of innocent people. They were seen cursing both the terrorists and the attackers for deepening their agony. It is ironic to note that in this case law has completely been violated by both the parties. Those who have been violating the law are terrorists and in this case they have also violated the law by selecting a place for their meeting where mostly children have been staying, but the people of the areas have been putting question to the civilised world as why they have violated the law. According to them, had the allied forces provided them the information about the terrorists they can easily be nabbed without shedding blood.

According to the law applicable in the tribal areas, Maliks and tribal elders may be taken into confidence before launching an operation in the areas. The allied forces launched the attack on their own resulting into the killing of the innocent children. They have completely missed the target.

A reporter of a Pakistani newspapers in his dispatch condemned the attack. According to him, yet in other gruesome incident more than 80 people, mostly teenagers were killed during reckless bombings on a religious school in Bajaur Agency bordering the Kunar province of Afghanistan. No doubt, this was not the first incident of its kind. Hundreds of people in our tribal belt, in particular Waziristan agencies have so-far fallen prey to the operations conducted by our security forces that had to succumb to the pressure of the Western world and took weapons against their own people. But this time, the Bajaur deadly attacks saddened the entire nation and literally made weep those who saw the tragedy either directly or through scores of photographs taken after the air strikes.

While the military sources are spending all their energies to prove that they independently struck militants camp which was imparting military training to the inmates detrimental to national security, the credible sources, the eye witnesses and above all the ground realities speak otherwise. Out of more than 80 victims majority was the students between 10 to 18 years of age who had nothing to do with the militancy what to say of terrorism. It is intriguing to note that recovery of not even a pistol was reported from the so-called militant' training camp.

In any case the uncalled for and sudden bombardment our own countrymen cannot be justified. One wonders as to which law of the country permits the security agencies to inflict horrible death on the citizens on militancy charges which are yet to be established. Even if the official version is taken as correct, eliminating the alleged militants carries no justification and is tantamount to extra judicial killings.

We are convinced that contrary to the claims of those at the helm of country's affairs, the genocide in Bajaur was in fact committed by the foreign elements and not by the valiant members of our defence forces who can never think of shedding blood of their brothers. Rather they are believed to have been striving hard to ensure peace and tranquillity in each and every nook and corner of the country. A religious school definitely has scores of copies of our holy book Quran and no sane Muslim can even think of desecration of the Holy Quran or the mosque as was done in the recent aerial attack where the leaves of Quran were found scattered in large area and a Masjid was flattened to ground. While some 30 Huffaz of Quran were also reported to be included among the 80 victims of the bombings. The injured survivors of the tragedy said they were performing ablution for Fajar prayer at the time of deadly strikes.

The questions striking minds of common people, the civil society members, and the intelligentsia are yet to be answered by the responsible lot who staged this inhuman act. They have to clarify and make the enraged people understand as to what were the factors that led to such a high scale aerial strike over a Madrassa situated just a kilometer away from the main Bajaur road. It could have easily been surrounded even by the Khasadar force of the political agent and searched and there was no need at all to use gunship helicopters as the socalled militants could have been rounded up without shedding a drop of blood. Moreover, the political administration was just a few hours away from inking peace accord with the Mamond tribe when the gunship choppers in a pre dawn attack buried 83 innocent inmates under the rubbles of the building. The peace deal ceremony was scheduled for the same day with the Mohtamim and other concerned clerics. The deal was to be signed at 8 and the hawks struck the Madrassa at 5 am to punish the innocent souls for the crime yet to be committed. What prompted this action made in haste remains a mystery and certainly creates doubts in everybody's mind.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the air machines of the US or the NATO forces were seen hovering over the Bajaur Agency moments before the area was banged with explosions. Some reports even suggest that the Madrassa was razed to the ground before the Pakistani gunship helicopters appeared on the sky

It is apprehended that the Bajaur tragedy has caused serious blow to the peace initiatives being taken in the tribal belt such as the North Waziristan peace pact and particularly the recently arrived at peace agreement between the administration and some 100 tribal elders in Bajaur Agency who had pledged not to provide shelter to the foreigners. The reports speak of high tension in the tribal belt especially in Bajaur Agency where the feelings of resentment, anxiety and even revenge are prevalent. The limbs of the minor victims of the bombings, scattered all around, and sky shaking cries of the mourning mothers and relatives have touched every resident of Bajaur Agency as well as the visitors to the area, contradicting official claims that people have welcomed the action. A number of newsmen who were shown scores of photographs of the bombing victims during senior minister press conference the same day in Peshawar, moved them to tears.

On the other hand the Bajaur killings have attracted reaction from every walk of society in the country. While all the political forces of the country sans PML (Q) have strongly condemned the incident and expressed their worst apprehensions in this regard, the NWFP Assembly through a unanimous resolution asked the federal government to review its foreign policy as the attack on religious school in Bajaur has endangered the sovereignty of the country.

Reacting sharply to the incident not only the Senior Minister NWFP Siraj ul Haq resigned from the ministerial slot but number of MNAs and senators belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami have also tendered their resignations in protest. The Chief Minister NWFP, Akram Durrani also expressed the resolve to leave the post within moments whenever asked by the party high command.
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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, 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 (more...)

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