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Masses In Pakistan Losing Hope

By       Message Muhammad Khurshid     Permalink
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Terrorists and Taliban, taking full advantage of the political turmoil in Pakistan, have increased their terrorist activities.

According to reports, fourteen passengers were killed and five others injured when a coach hit a landmine in the Bulandkhel area of North Waziristan , officials said.

The coach going from Thall to Shewa struck the landmine near the Tauda Cheena Bridge at about 5.30pm. Sources said 12 people died on the spot and two in a hospital, where the five other injured were also under treatment. They said the victims belonged to the Shewa tehsil. Meanwhile, a soldier was injured in an attack on the Datakhel Fort.

The blast targeting the coach happened hours after pro-Taliban militants raided a security checkpost near Mirali in a pre-dawn assault, killing two soldiers and wounding another four, the military said. Security officials in the region said earlier that troops responded with artillery fire after the militants attacked them with rockets.

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According to another report, militant commander Baitullah Mehsud has threatened to start killing the dozens of soldiers who were kidnapped several weeks ago.

Zulfiqar Mehsud, a spokesman for Baitullah Mehsud, told a correspondent that three soldiers would be killed each day if security forces continued their operations in certain parts of Tank district, and added that attacks against security personnel in South Waziristan would be intensified.

Over 200 army and paramilitary soldiers, including eight officers, had apparently surrendered to the supporters of Baitullah on Aug 30 when a military convoy was proceeding from Wana to Laddah sub-division.

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So far, militants have released 31 kidnapped soldiers after holding negotiations with tribal elders. The spokesman accused the government of sabotaging efforts of the tribal jirga by launching the operation against innocent people in Tank district.

Report from Swat said that followers of controversial cleric Maulana Fazalullah captured eight kidnappers and recovered two kidnapped women from their possession during a search launched against them in Kaju town here on Wednesday.

Talking to a newspaper correspondent  in his native village Imam Dheri , Maulana Fazalullah said that his followers signalled a double-cabin pickup to stop at a checkpoint they had established on the Nangoti-Matta Road on Tuesday night, but the driver ignored it and kept going on. He said that the pick-up disappeared in the Kanju area.

According to an editorial of Pashto language newspaper, a no-holds-barred confrontation between President General Pervez Musharraf and his political foes over the last few years has not only had a profoundly debilitating effect on the teeming masses, it has also made a mockery of the government’s tall claims regarding the welfare of the poor.

Musharraf showed former Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali the door to clear the decks for someone he commended as one of celebrated international gnomes. Under renowned economist Shaukat Aziz, he assured the nation, the underprivileged would soon see a turnaround in the economy, an end to food inflation, creation of employment opportunities and the provision of basic civic amenities at their doorstep.

Now that the assemblies have completed their ... tenure...the rulers have little to show for pro-people policies or tangible results of poverty alleviation measures. As central and provincial governments are still harping on ‘unprecedented development projects’ in the country’s chequered history of 60 years, tens of thousands of Pakistanis remain trapped in abject penury, youths stay jobless, children go without education and millions have no access to life-saving drugs...

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In the prevailing anomie, what are the achievements that mark a positive change in people’s lives? However, those at the helm don’t balk at placing in the media large ads spotlighting the building of roads, hospitals, educational institutes and gas and power supply schemes. Compared with the oodles of funds pouring into the country as a result of bilateral agreements with many nations, the so-called uplift projects will simply pale into insignificance. Before exercising their universal franchise right … voters should think hard about whom they should catapult into power.

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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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