Who’s fighting for what?

Repeatedly, we have been reminded of the mess that our historical policies, weak political leadership, indifference towards sectarian plus extremist ideologies and the international security scenario have so elaborately designed to put Pakistan into.

Yesterday’s attack on Islambabad’s Marriott hotel is just another, add the most significant another, reminder of how nothing is well for our country at the moment. Why our leaders keep calling it the worst terrorist attack in Pakistan’s history? Just because three or four foreigners were killed or that one of Islamabad’s elitist symbols was destroyed totally and completely. A better explanation is the fact that it was just half a kilometer away from centres of political power, the Parliament, the Presidency and the Prime Minister House. And that scared the —- out of our ruling elite.

We are officially on high red-alert right from when suicide bombings no longer remained anything unusual; attacks on civilians, security forces, police, army continued all the way from last year when we almost became used to a bombing or two a week in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, just forget Wana, the Tribal Areas, Balochistan, Swat for a moment.

All for what? Fighting someone else’s war on something that they themselves are a physical and psychological persona of. And who cares for that matter? You? or Me? or any other ordinary Pakistani? Isn’t the President or the Prime Minister from Pakistan? Then, how are they so insensitive to such a gruesome incidence that both the highest seats lie vacant even before 24 hours passed after the bombings?

Who are we fighting? For whom are we fighting? For what are we fighting? How is it going to end and till how long can we last??

18 Comments so far

  1. paknation on September 21st, 2008 @ 11:40 pm

    This ugly war will end one day, when USA leaves Afghanistan.

  2. tperacha on September 21st, 2008 @ 11:43 pm

    great write hasan…we all know this madness is not going to end till the Americans withdraw from Afghanistan because only then the Pak govt. will end its end its operations in northern areas. I have said this before and will say it again; there is not military solution to this mess. Unfortunately, I feel like Zardari is yet another yes man of the US policies and is happy to carry on the policies of previous administration when it comes to the phony war on terrorism.

    What pisses me most is that how in the world can he leave for the US only a day after the Marriott bombing? This can only happen in Pakistan as I can’t imagine any other head of state leaving her country in a situation like this.

    It is my believe that the reason Pakistan has survived the blunders of our more 60 years of history is because of Allah’s blessings and the prayers millions of Pakistanis who sincerely loved this country and want it to be a true peaceful Islamic state. I request everyone to pray for this beloved land of ours during the last ten days of Ramadan as we all don’t know if we are going to be around for next Ramadan or not. May Allah give sabr to those who lost their loved ones and to the families of injured as well.

  3. monkey on September 22nd, 2008 @ 1:51 am

    Very well said. But I beg to differ so far as your explanation of why this has been termed as the worst suicide bombing in Pakistan so far is concerned.
    I believe that this was indeed the worst so far because of two very important reasons:
    1) The bomb happened in a supposedly "high security" area where not only all sorts of important buildings are located but also it is our capital for God’s sake! If the capital isn’t safe, then which other city is? This was an immense security lapse because the vehicle used for the bombing went driving around all these important roads and nobody bothered to check up on it, there were no reports at all with intelligence?
    2) The bomb was 1000 kgs. Do you remember the devastation of the Benazir Bhutto welcome rally attack in Karachi in October last year? Both bombs combined did not weigh even a quarter of what this bomb did. So you can imagine the magnitude of this explosion.
    Let’s please look at things in perspective and not spin facts: This was the worst explosion – not because foreign nationals died etc (which in itself is a tragedy because at the end of the day loss of life is loss of life, irrespective of nationality), but because this explosion was way more ferocious than the ones before.

  4. momekh on September 22nd, 2008 @ 5:59 am

    Our country truly and surely needs ‘us’. Us being the ‘newness’ that is required. Old policies and seemingly deliberate lack of communication has lead to such a sorry state of our leadership that it is now not even sad – it is much, much beyond that, beyond frustration, beyond anger, beyond all o’ that.

    Have you seen the video of Hamid Mir’s recent interview on some other local channel? I have never seen him this depressed and have never heard such a bleak picture. The video (http://blog.momekh.com/2008/09/21/oh-my-god/) was a slap-on-my-face wake up call that situation, which never was in my or your hand, is now totally out of apparant control.

    Welcome to the new world friggin’ order.

  5. maynotb4 on September 22nd, 2008 @ 9:49 am

    The moment Osama bin Laden launched his offensive against the West he forced everyone to take sides. You may hate the fact that foreigners are in this country, Afghanistan or Iraq but we are all caught in the domino effect and we have to make decisions. Don’t think that the Militants will stop the moment the Americans leave because I can assure you they won’t. Do you want their brand of Islam or not? Do you want to go back in time or not? Do you want a moderate Muslim State which is at peace with the rest of the world which has a comfortable lifestyle, education for your girls as well as boys, freedom of speech, freedom to travel anywhere you desire, a rupee worth something? The choice is yours – DECIDE!

  6. farrukh on September 22nd, 2008 @ 11:45 am

    Have you guys heard the fire fighters did not have stairs to climb the top floors of Harriot that was on fire? They did not have water pressure to reach 5-story hotel top. what a pity! This adds to my confusion that we are not even ready to deal with any emergency (aren’t we used to emergencies?)

  7. Asim.Net.Pk (asim) on September 22nd, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

    Pakistan 9/11 is 9/20! but the incident shows some facts

    1) Poor secruity measure in pakistan capital during the meetings and iftars of our government people.

    2) The secruity guards dont have enough or proper equipments when first blast took place, the fire could be stopped for second blast.

    3)Foreign US ppl are killed, were they target or the government know one knows.

    4)PM Gilani says, India is not involved, but its indicated that RDX explosives came from FATA, where its was operated by RAW agency and Afghan agents used local people help to bring the 1000 kg explosives these heavy explosives long time were missing when it was shipped from India going to Afghanistan using by some Indian construction company.

    5)All officials says, NO VIP was killed earlier, which is height of carelessness that all the hotel secruity guards were killed 40 people
    which given there own lives and saved many.

    6)Our Prime Ministry and local offical were missing to give statements after 2hrs of blast, while President was enjoying his time at US and London flights and not bother to give active statements on high times.
    "Make your sorrow into strength"Mr.Zardaree, I wonder whats are strength
    and whats our sorrows.

    7)Bomb Blast Experts are still less present in the country where the suicide bombing is happening twice a month in different parts of pakistan.

    8)After the Bomb Blast, Pakistan was again hit by low market shares,
    US give statement that Pakistan is not capable of control on war and in
    return pakistan offical give statement that pakistan will make aggresive
    action now in NWFP. In another statement, Baluchistan will become war ground.

    9)Geo Networks, PTV, and Aaj all media, giving show how poor pakistan government performance and how badly the pakistan is working on war on terror. But people of pakistan have chosen the current government.
    We want to slap ourselves and want to make a show for the world.
    The two top leader, Mr.Zardaree, visiting US and long and Mr.Nawaz is heading for Umrah with his family. Our other officals are struggling for power sharing some people are trying to distablize Punjab, Shabaz Shareef government.

    10)However, our tribal friends or so called terrorist or other unoffical gangster will be planning more attacks due to Pakistan army attacks on their homes. We are fighting and killing people in our home country in terms of US war, why we fighting someone else war!

    The thing situation really sucks! bcoz we poor pakistani people are being killed and our koolest government dont bother to settle issues of
    poor people and increase the law or RESTORE JUDGES:)….

    Officials just go to IFI and IMF and other places to get CHANDAA!(money)
    in the name of poor pakistan people and then economy will again see more

    cant stop writing!

  8. Who’s fighting for what? (pingback) on September 22nd, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    […] Originally posted by Hasan Mubarak […]

  9. sceptic on September 22nd, 2008 @ 6:44 pm

    The Daily Times

    22 Sep 2008

    Editorial: Admit it: this is Pakistan’s war

    Twelve hours after the blasting of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the flames had still not been doused. The medium-sized Shehzore truck, packed with 600 kg of RDX explosives, drove up to the hotel barrier and exploded, setting the hotel on fire. It is more than likely that, just as he was “pleasantly” surprised by the result of the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001, Osama bin Laden must have been “happily” surprised by the total annihilation of the hotel with a truck that, according to the owner Mr Sadruddin Hashwani, was not even allowed to enter the premises but stopped at the barrier near the main road by the hotel guards.

    Islamabad has received major attention from Al Qaeda after the elections in 2008, at the rate of almost once a month. Al Qaeda has acknowledged bombing the Danish embassy while letting its Taliban minions accept responsibility for others. And Al Qaeda is not new to the task. In 1995, by his own admission, Aiman al Zawahiri had proclaimed his theory of al adu al qarib (the near enemy) by bombing and completely destroying the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad. However, despite all this special attention from Al Qaeda, the security agencies have not been able to “secure” Islamabad. One reason is obvious. Suicide bombers are virtually unstoppable. Another is the existence of Al Qaeda sympathisers and facilitators at every level of Pakistani society, but especially at the lower level. A third is the lack of anti-terrorist training in our civilian intelligence agencies which are ill-staffed and ill-equipped. Low levels of pay account for low levels of motivation too.

    The target may have been the parliament building where President Asif Zardari made his speech in the presence of all the important personages of the state. A truck laden with explosives was allowed to move on the roads of the capital city without sufficient checking. One reason is that it was camouflaged as a contruction-goods carrier, which made it congruous with the construction sites across the city. Apparently it was “checked” a short distance from the Marriott but the checking was confined to diverting it in one sensitive area rather than examing its contents. According to former secretary FATA, Brigadier (Retd) Mehmood Khan, the explosives could be from the Wah munitions factory, contents of a truck hijacked by Al Qaeda not long ago. Al Qaeda was thus using local resources.

    The Marriott Hotel was probably the secondary target. Unfortunately, no one in Islamabad possessed the imagination to visualise what Al Qaeda could do with suicide-bombing. The hotel had received three hits before this, once clearly threatened by the clerics of Lal Masjid who boasted having many suicide-bombers in reserve, an oblique reference to the destructive ability of Al Qaeda, the patron of the growing strength of violent clergy in Islamabad, with nearly a hundred madrassas, many of them illegal. The seizure of Islamabad is on the drawing board of the leaders of Al Qaeda.

    Regrettably, there was some “deflective” journalism in evidence soon enough. One commentator said President Zardari should go to the US, stare President Bush in the eye and challenge him. Another seriously wondered if the blast might actually have been caused by “foreign” powers, a reference that could embrace anyone from India, Afghanistan, Israel and Russia to the United States. One journalist alleged that the Marriott was a target because some American Marines had secretly holed out there during Admiral Mike Mullen’s visit to Islamabad last week. A cleric in Quetta said he could not condemn the attack because it was a fidai hamla (suicide attack) aimed at “America and its accomplices”. A leader of Jama’at-e Islami thought it could be a sequel to blasts in India, meaning that it could be a tit-for-tat incident from India and not from someone inside Pakistan. It is amazing how these people are deceiving themselves and the people of Pakistan by not calling a spade a spade —Al Qaedi did it — because of their anti-Americanism, however justified that may be.

    Thankfully, it was Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani who was direct and clear in his designation of the enemy. He said the attack had come from Al Qaeda and its thousands of “foreign” terrorists now located in the Tribal Areas. President Zardari was more exhortative when he said he and the people of Pakistan would together face the onslaught of terrorism and referred to “the wife that he had buried” after she fell victim to the same terrorists not too far from Islamabad last December. It was also good to see Rehman Malik, the advisor to the interior ministry, arrive at the site and take charge minutes after the incident and facilitate the treatment of the casualties in the various hospitals of the city.

    Let us admit it. This is Pakistan’s war that Pakistan’s army is fighting. Let us also admit that Pakistan needs alignments at the global level to even diagnose what is happening to it, apart from the crucial intelligence about the movement and intent — through tapped phone calls — of Al Qaeda and those who serve it. And let us admit that, given its economic crisis, Pakistan cannot even deploy the muscle it possesses against the terrorists unless it is assisted with funds, expertise and technology from its friends abroad. *

  10. sceptic on September 22nd, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

    Many contributors have harangued on the point that Pakistan is suffering because it has been fighting someone else is war. If that’s so, whose war are the Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighting? Are they fighting for Pakistan by bombing it civilians?

    Let us assume one sunny morning the Americans and NATO decide to pack-up and leave from Afghanistan. Does any one believe the Taliban would just say, “Ok, that’s done now. Let us brush up our CVs and start going through the employment pages for a decent 9 to 5 job.” No, not really. The Taliban won’t stop until they turn whole of Pakistan into another Talibanistan a la Afghanistan. They won’t spare anyone – pro or anti-Taliban. No TV, no Internet, no music, no picture, no ads, no films, no cricket, no women on streets, no minorities, no nothing, back to the caves. They won’t merely stop at enslaving otherwise hardworking Pakistanis. They will use their technical acumen to further their own nefarious and inhuman agenda worldwide.

    Pakistan is fighting a war of its survival. It is our own war, make no mistake about it.

  11. tperacha on September 22nd, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

    @sceptic –

    before 9/11 did you know what was going in FATA and other northern areas of Pakistan? maybe even back then there was no music, no internet, no tv there? we all know the history of FATA…it has always been a state within a state, but prior to 9/11 they never created any problems for us. let me ask you this? do you think tomorrow if NATO and the US forces decide to leave Afghanistan will the Pakistan army still continue its operation madness? I bet the Pak army will be the first to retrieve because it will no longer be on payroll ($$$$$$$$$$).

    The Talibans are not on a mission to spread Talibinaztion in Pakistan, but rather at WAR with the state of Pakistan, which first created them and when no longer required started killing them left and right! The Americans will eventually leave the region, maybe soon, but its Pakistan that will have to encounter the post American scenario similar to the post Afghan-Russian war.

    If the US can have a peace treaty with Muqtada in Iraq why can’t we have peace with the Talibans????? We MUST not further aggravate the situation and STOP the military operation.

  12. kaami on September 22nd, 2008 @ 9:08 pm

    I will strongly second what “sceptic” has so eloquently phrased.

    So this is not our war, we are just innocent beings caught unknowingly in the middle of somebody else’s doing. Bravo! Hats off to this latest revelation. But if this is the case then what we were doing in Afghanistan in the last three decades?

    Who marketed the Jihaad against USSR to US and asked them to join in?

    Who continued with this screwed up philosophy long after the retreat of USSR?

    Who setup training camps where these mad cow boys continued to receive military training?

    Who created Taliban?

    Who accepted money from Osama to destabilize our own governments?

    Who amongst us had dreams of exporting this Jihaad all over central Asia including China & India?

    Why do we not condemn or even talk about bearded rats like Osama & Zawahiri? Why can’t we have blog posts about them? Why can’t media make them a topic of a talk show?

    How come we splatter our presidents and politicians with mud and ridicule and dare not utter a single word about these crack pots? Are all our bloggers deaf / blind or they are just plain chicken?

  13. tperacha on September 22nd, 2008 @ 10:50 pm


    I have noticed your posts on other MBs as well I can’t speak for others, but on LMB I would request that you change the tone of your comments (Are all our bloggers deaf / blind or they are just plain chicken?)

    No one is chicken here and everyone is entitled to his/her opinion so please be respectful to others when posting.

    Pakistan participated in Soviet war for her own interest…had we not done the Soviet would have attacked us next after Afghanistan. Would you have liked that? And it is no secret that we always wanted to protect the Afghan border and so when Taliban came to power there we never felt threatened by them. And btw, it wasn’t us only who backed them…..what about UAE and KSA?

    Secondly, when you make vague and irresponsible statements like ‘Who accepted money from Osama to destabilize our own governments?’ you need to provide some credible source. you just can’t come up with conspiracy theories here and hope that others would believe you.

  14. kaami on September 22nd, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

    @tperacha nobody started killing Talibaan left and Right, not the Pakistan govt. It tried to convince them and even protect them but they didn’t listen. They without a doubt had a safe heaven this side of the border. But after re-grouping and taking advantage of various Jirgaa Agreements, it was these folks that went on the offensive not the govt of Pakistan. Wasn’t the Lal Masjid Episode an attack on our capital. It was a well orchestrated and planned offensive, with support of Pakistani political elements. Since then they have not retreated and there have been attack after attack. What happened in Swat? It was not a tribal area, can we let them to take chunk of our territory and just sit back. Besides that, there is a loose federation of these fanatics with Al-Qaeda at the helm. The jhangvi’s and Sipah Sahabah and the jundullah’s all have their roots their. They are purely offensive organizations with the blood of thousands of innocent souls on their hands including Shia doctors and Sunni religious scholars who don’t subscribe to their doctrine. Like it or not they even succeeded in their objective of getting Musharraf and we are all complicit in that.

    9/11 was a blessing in disguise; otherwise we were very close to a silent take over of our society by these mad men. Don’t you remember the wall chalkings at that time, This Kafir and that Kafir. They used to have large public gatherings in our cities like Lahore & Karachi, where people wearing commando shalwar Kameez and carrying KK’s use to yell open threats on the loud speakers. Hotel, consulates and what not was being bombarded even then. After 9/11 clean up of the cities was largely successful until 2007 where they again went on an offensive this time focussing on the Capital.

    This is a deep rooted cancer and cannot be treated with an Ostritch approach. The nations who have fought and won against worst terrorism have done so by presenting a united front despite internal differences. If we cannot mange this, then I agree with what the author is advocating i.e. surrender.

    It’s a fact that the tribal area have always been independent, they have always had the same customs and rituals practised within their boundries. But the arrival of Arabs has changed all that. In plain words “writ of the Govt of Pakistan cannot be imposed on the Tribal regions”, OK all right. But in the same vain there writ cannot be allowed to be imposed on the settled areas of independent Pakistan.

  15. kaami on September 23rd, 2008 @ 12:03 am

    @teperacha if you have read my posts for the last two years then you must have noticed that I have progressively gone bitter but never indecent. In fact the worst kind of abuse has been hurled on the blogs by those with religious manifestations; I don’t need to mention the nicks. Previously, I used to avoid using names of our politicians and terrorists and in very mellow words used to warn people that this senseless movement mongering will lead you no where, nobody listened. Lately, I have realized that the other side has an open field when it comes to hurling abuse, and spreading on the fly conspiracy theories. So no longer I will give any reverence to people I consider crack pots, I will call them crack pots and that includes His Highness Osama Bin Laden and his band of brothers.

    That’s my opinion, also I am entitled to my opinion of the bloggers and to express it, and they can comment on it like you have done here. I have a high regard for Hassan and he knows me from my previous posts, but then I am angry, and sometimes one should write in anger, the time for being politically correct has gone.

    As far as me and you are concerned , wehave our history right except for the issue of Osama’s money being used in our politics, I agree with you on Talibaan & Afghan history and assure you my sources on my “assertion” are very “well placed”. I didn’t need any confirmation but then COWASJEE also wrote about it, you can go talk to him, write to him or dig up his articles. True that jihad against USSR was a tactical necessity but nurturing & exporting that Jihaad was our own choice. By the way the other stake holders like UAE, Saudia, USSR , USA and the whole wide Islamic don’t give a damn about us, they have their interests on the other hand it seems that we want to carry the burden of the whole ummah on our weak shoulders, we are bound to get crushed.

    In the end I guess we are all worried about the future and have our notions of how it should unfold. Before this latest explosion the world stock market rebounded from a slide and there was an average increase of 400 – 600 points in the markets around the world. The same day I had a look at KSE and was literally shocked that it just managed a ONE point increase with trading volumes much below than 1999. This shows how long it takes to build and how quickly one can descend into abyss.

  16. tperacha on September 23rd, 2008 @ 8:23 am

    kaami – i obviously don’t have a personal grudge against you my friend and i acknowledge that you have some valid concerns, but i just see things differently than you do. if ever possible, i would love to talk to you in person about some of the above issues.

    till then keep sharing your thoughts and keep Pakistan in your prayers.

  17. kaami on September 23rd, 2008 @ 10:42 pm

    Thanks Peracha. I was in Lahore/Pakistan in March 2008, just after elections and my friends assured me, “Mian Sahib Aa gaey hein sub theek ho jaey gaa” and I couldn’t do anything else but smile on their wishful thinking.

    I will take you up on your offer the next time I visit that beautiful city, but I warn you my views about politics and religion are pretty radical.

    Here is a refreshing development, finally, somebody in the print media had the guts to say, what should have been said a long time back:


  18. Who’s fighting for what? | Tea Break (pingback) on October 13th, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

    […] Originally posted by Hasan Mubarak […]

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