Pakhtunkhwa Times

A Letter To The World Citizens

Posted in 1 by ppfcanada on February 25, 2009


A Heart Broken Girl
Tue, 24-Feb-2009

Shehnaz is an ethnic Pashtun and at present studying in the United States. In this letter she wants to share the pain and sufferings of her people due to the ongoing conflicts between Taliban militants and Pakistan seucrity forces, with the civilized world. Shehnaz can be reached at gwal_pari@yahoo.com

To keep the originalility of the letter intact Pakhtunkhwa Times with permission of Pashtunpost is sharing it with you as it is and without any edits in its contents—Editorial

Dear Citizens of the World!

The people of Swat, Pakistan (in NWFP), and surrounding areas have been dying for over a year now, and the Pakistani government has done nothing to help stop their destruction. It claims it has sent “security forces” to those regions to settle the matter, but it fails to provide evidence. Not just that, but instead of having these “security forces” punish/kill the Taliban, they kill civilians. They claim to be shooting in areas filled with Taliban, but somehow, the Taliban always end up escaping while innocent Pashtuns’ lives are snatched. Taliban destroy our schools while these “security forces” stand and watch quietly. They argue that they cannot differentiate the Taliban from the average Pashtun man, but how does one witness a person committing such horrendous crimes and remain silent, claiming not to know who the criminal is when the criminal is standing right in front of him?

Then there’s the media: why is it that hardly a handful of people around the world knows about what the Pashtuns are going through right now? If they knew, there would perhaps be more protests against our genocide; or perhaps, at the very least, our situation would be mentioned in most newspapers, whether local or international, and maybe even make front-page news every now and then. For instance, how many people universally are aware of the fact that the Taliban have now issued a new dictum in which they have decided that all young, unmarried females in Swat must be married to them (i.e., these militants)? How many people know that hundreds of schools in Swat alone have been destroyed in just the past year? hwHow How mddffffffHow many people have read the letters and articles, in BBC, that are written by victims who beg the world to help them (such as in “A Letter from Swat,” by Zobair Torwali, a social activist who lives in Swat)? How many people know that a law was passed no more than a month ago, stating that girls are not to go to school anymore and if they do so, they and their families will have to face severe consequences? How many people know that numerous Pashtun refugees from NWFP have fled to Afghanistan – that, by foot – in order that they may be at peace? Unfortunately, there are far many more who refuse to leave because for them, their current residence is their home; this is where their ancestors lived, survived hardships just like them, and died; it is where all of their relatives and others with whom they have strong bonds have lived for centuries; but also, most of them cannot afford to leave due to financial difficulties. Not to mention, their current regions symbolize for them hope in a state hopeless situation.

Yet, we wonder in pity, why aren’t their screams being heard by the media, by the world? How much more louder do these victims’ screams of this burning pain need to be in order for them to be heard? How long must the suffering continue, and how many more people must die, in order to be labeled genocide by the international community? At the very least, how long must it continue in order for the world to hear the victims’ heartfelt cries? All these questions lead us to ultimately ask: why is the media so silent on the matter regarding these Pashtun victims?

The media’s role is vital because due to the lack of attention that the Pashtun victims are receiving from the media, whether Pakistani or international media, very few people are aware of their suffering. And if the public does not know what is going on around the world, how can they raise a voice against the injustice being done to a people? Indeed, very few news sources have earned the rest of Pashtuns by documenting the miseries that their loved ones back home have been swallowing for the past year. And because we young Pashtuns living abroad have realized that the media is not doing its proper job in revealing the miserable and painful condition of our people, we have decided to accept the heavy burden upon our own shoulders and raise awareness of the situation ourselves. Groups on Online Social Networks (such as Facebook, Orkut, and MySpace) have been created in support of Pashtun victims; in some of these groups, members share and discuss ways through which they can raise awareness of this genocide, and one of the most important ways they have come up with is writing letters to important news sources and explaining this injustice.

I hope that this letter expresses its unheard voice powerfully enough in such a way that the readers are convinced to research the current Pashtun genocide, educate others about it, and help us stand up against our oppressors and with the oppressed.

Thank you for giving me the permission to freely share my thoughts with you, citizens of the world!

Sincerely

Shehnaz,

(A heartbroken Pashtun)

United States

Via Email

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2 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on February 25, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Scot-free in Swat?
    Editorial: TheNews

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009
    Sufi Muhammad Khan has announced a ten-point peace plan for Swat, under which militants would not display arms, troops would withdraw from some key positions and schools would re-open. We have been told repeatedly that the truce and the agreement on the imposition of Sharia law mark big steps forward. But the whole issue leaves open questions that demand answers. There is nothing in the peace plan about punishment for those who committed all kinds of atrocities for months in Swat. Nor is there any mention of amnesty.

    The extent of the depravity of these people is almost unparalleled. Dead bodies were dug out from graves and hung in public; women accused of being prostitutes were made to dance in streets before being killed; anyone who challenged the militants, including the elderly, was ridiculed, beaten and in some cases driven out of the valley.

    Is there to be no accountability in Swat? Will those who carried out these atrocities walk away scot-free? Will the rapists of women walk gaily past their families in the streets of Mingora? Will the murderers of young men scoff at the parents of victims? The message such a situation would send out could have grave repercussions. These must be considered by the authorities. Do they really wish to give confidence to criminals that they have impunity for all kinds of horrible offences?

    We have been told these people demanded Sharia. Many accounts are emerging to suggest nothing could be further from the truth. After all, just over a year ago, in the election of 2008, the people of Swat had voted out religious parties in favour of the ANP. They would hardly have done so had they wished for Sharia rule. Like their counterparts everywhere in the country, the people of Swat seek order in their lives and a just, efficient judicial system. This continues to be denied to them. Those who should be punished for the most grotesque acts of inhumanity have instead reaped rewards under the peace deal. They have made it clear they intend to stay in command in Swat, dictating terms under which girls can attend school. The omens are not good. The purpose of punishment, under the law, is of course to deter further crime. This deterrence has not been put in place in Swat and in the future we can expect the adverse consequences of this to be felt across a valley stained with unwashed blood.

    Dear Editor,

    I thank you for your above article and had you added to the list of atrocities carried out by the Taliban, the similar atrocities carried out by the Pakistan army on the innocent people of Swat (entire NWFP), I would have saluted you.

    The first thing that should happen is to bring to court (this Sharia Court), all the people who committed crimes against humanity be they Taliban or the Pakistan army (the real enemy of the Baloch & Pakhtun people) and be punished in accordance with Sharia Law.

    Yours Faithfully

  2. Anonymous said, on February 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    The News International
    Hazara Nazims rail against NWFP renaming
    Friday, February 20, 2009

    By our correspondent

    MANSEHRA: The district nazims of Mansehra, Abbottabad and Haripur Thursday demanded of the provincial government to address the core issues of militancy, lawlessness, unemployment and poverty in the province before its renaming.

    “We are ready to accept ‘Pakhtunkhwa’ if it can resolve the major issues confronting the province. Through this step, the ANP-led government wants to run the NWFP affairs on ethnic and language basis,” said one of the speakers at the district council session here.

    Following the regular session of Mansehra District Council, another session was also held to chalk out a joint strategy to block the provincial government’s move to rename the province. The session, held with Convener Attiqur Rehman Jahangery in the chair, was addressed by Abbottabad District Nazim Haider Zaman, Haripur District Naib Nazim Major (R) Safdar Zaman, Mansehra District Nazim Sardar Mohammad Yousaf. They said the province renaming was not the demand of the people, adding that they would not let the ANP rename NWFP.

    They said their forefathers had rendered sacrifices for the creation of Pakistan and that the ANP’s move might destabilise the country. “A meagre percentage of the NWFP people are in favour of the province renaming; they should respect the referendum of the pre-partition era and accept it as NWFP,” they maintained.

    They said Hazara was rich in natural resources and could be given the status of a

    separate province if the federal government renamed the NWFP as Pakhtunkhwa. Earlier, taking part in a debate on law and order and other agenda items, councillors Dr Siddique, Amjad Salar Khan, Malik Farooq, Maulana Waseeur Rehman, Ghulam Jan and lady councillors Parveen Saif and Riffat Hameed Qazi said police should maintain cordial relations with the local bodies’ representatives to curb the crime.

    FAO: Editor of The News International

    Dear Sirs

    Why do you, echo the above article, over and over in different format but always making an issue of Pakhtunkhwa.

    Are you and your paper, ANTI Pakhtun?

    Yours Faithfully


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