Archive for May, 2011

Osama and PNS Mehran

May 27, 2011

For those who may not be following the news out of Pakistan, to relate to this piece, here is the link:
http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/23/terrorists-attack-navy-airbase-in-karachi-destroy-three-aircraft.html

i sent the following as a letter to the editor, to the main newspapers in Pakistan, it obviously did not merit attention!

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Since the taking out of Osama bin Laden by the US Navy Seals on May 2, 2011, the Pakistan Navy has come under Taliban attack in the just ended 16 hour standoff at PNS Mehran. On the face of it, it seems as random target selection by the Taliban, meant to create harassment, demoralization, and exposing the vulnerability of the security services/agencies in proactively countering the threat; rather resorting to a reactive declaration of “High Alert” with commentators and defense experts decrying security lapse, lack of information, foreign hand, and similar sure to create hype comments.

Before saying anything about this incident let me say that the choice of the navy seems to be the fallout of using the US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, it is easy to channel the anger for ‘their’ Navy towards ‘our’ Navy! Lucky too, otherwise a lot of people would have lost their midriffs because of naval interpretation!

Let me say how totally reactive to terrorist attacks we are, even the simple indicators that would make us proactive have been ignored. In the case of PNS Mehran, the information flow has been flawed; reports of seven militants being captured and five killed were refuted by the Interior Minister saying all had been killed. Second the entry point of the militants was said to be a water drain, TV grabs of the drain show it to be big enough to drive a medium size van through, why was the drain entry not secured? Or if it was then what material was used that rendered it easy to penetrate? Then the amount of wild bush growth / scrub shown on the TV shots is another question – why was it not cleared? Not only from the terrorist hide out point, but from fire hazard and bird safety point of view?

The question that we all need to be asking is not what happened and how, but what will be done by anyone anywhere to prevent the next incident. How much longer can we afford fire fighting rather than fire proofing our establishments? Will we continue to be reactive and adopt passive measures, or can we go on the front foot and be proactive and adopt active security measures? Or have we become immune to barricades, body searches, scanners, and have even stopped enjoying the basic outings that we used to do just a few years back?

Osama bin Laden – Closure or Continuance

May 20, 2011

my initial post on this blog and other sites was:

Osama bin Laden is dead, justice has been done, I called president Zardari. Obama on TV a short while back.

That he was killed in a ground and gunship assault on his house in Abbottabad, by US Forces, 20 others were killed, and the Americans have his body, is of no consequence.

For now I am sad, and numb.
Tahir Wadood Malik
Survivor of an act of terror October 05, 2009
May 03, 2011

subsequently, i wrote some more (follows) and this basically is what my mind feels about this situation.

i emailed this to the news, dawn, and the times, have not seen it in the news, i doubt if the others ran it.
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My first reaction to the news early on May 3, was what is above; I posted it on my Blog, and on the different websites that I subscribe to.

For me, like perhaps for billions around the world, Osama bin Laden was a name and a picture. The personification of terror. Even though I am directly affected by the ideology that OBL stood for – death as an instrument of terror. I was sad and numb.

Later as I went through the day, the media hype, and general sense of prevailing disaster, I had time to think about what had happened. I wondered if the time, space, bandwidth and other media devoted to discussing the right or wrong of the American action to ‘take out’ OBL and it’s ‘fallout’ was not glorifying OBL the man, and creating a myth out of him. Or was it another deliberate attempt to keep up the hyperbole for the rationale of the ‘war against terror.’

I wonder, and many I talked to wonder too, is taking the life of a man also be the death of the idea he stands for. Was discussing OBL not pricking the wounds, still festering, of the hundreds of thousands of victims, and survivors? Glorifying OBL in death, while not even a mention of those he was supposedly responsible for the death of. Justice must be seen to be effective, in this case nothing is seen, nothing is clear, ambiguity reigns supreme!

OBL’s death does not bring me closure, for the suicide bomber who blew himself up killing my wife on October 5th, 2009, did not claim to be from Al Qaeda, in fact he himself died in the act of killing five, and injuring four. It is said he was from a local terrorist organization. One which spun off after the initial setbacks to Al Qaida and the Taliban, when the war on terror started in our neighborhood.

Already there have been attacks on different targets in Pakistan, and in Afghanistan, claiming to be as revenge for OBL’s death.

Where do we stand? In crushing a head, did we think that we would end the hydra? Forgetting that each of the strands of the hydra head was alive, capable of independent procreation.

Has ideology ever been brought to an end by taking away the advocate of the ideology? OBL may be dead, but for me there is no closure, for there still are many who will follow another OBL, and more survivors and more victims will be left to wonder why does the madness not stop with the killing of OBL?

Cannes – Global Survivors Network shows FIVE

May 16, 2011

continuing to speak truth to terror – add your voice, share this.

i had earlier sent out links to the five short clips separately.

http://my.westhill-mailer.co.uk/BWU-FHQO-CF3LODWN6D/cr.aspx

Global Survivors Network is pleased to announce that our newest short documentary film FIVE, a collection of five stories featuring Pakistani terror survivors, will screen during the Cannes International Film Festival, which runs from 11-22 May 2011. Attended by thousands of people from around the world and followed by many more, the Cannes Festival will help to amplify the voices of Pakistani victims.

Join us in toasting the brave voices featured: Waqar Khalid, Sayed Ali Shah, Ifran Malik, Nawab Sheer, and Tahir Malik. Theirs is an important message of resilience that must continue to permeate the international community.

To catch up on the stories already featured on our website, please visit our latest videos.

http://www.globalsurvivors.org/

UN Report on Supporting Victims of Terrorism 9 Sept 2008

May 14, 2011

this is where this started.
click for the Report of UN Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism

WASHINGTON POST: The Daughter of a 9/11 Victim Reacts to Death of Bin Laden

May 14, 2011

Like most Americans, the first time I heard the name Osama bin Laden was on Sept. 11, 2001. Unlike everyone else, when I first heard his name, I had just hung up the phone after being told that my mother, Judy Larocque, had a reservation on American Airlines Flight 11 — which hours earlier had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

I was sitting at a desk in a dark room at the Cambridge Marriott outside Boston, where I’d been attending a networking breakfast before work. After I gave up the fruitless effort to call my mom, and after I called my sister, listening to her scream when I told her Mom was gone, it was my father who first told me the name of the man who killed her. I did not recognize it. It sounded foreign, unintelligible to me; I could not have even begun to spell it. But the name — and the evil and mystique it would eventually embody — would come to transform and animate my life in ways I could never have imagined.

full story here:

http://www.globalsurvivors.org/news.aspx?menu=main&pageid=12&newsid=85&archive=

Osama bin Laden is dead

May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden is dead, justice has been done, i called president Zardari. Obama on TV a short while back.
That he was killed in a ground and gunship assault on his house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by US Forces, 20 others were killed, and the American have his body. is of no consequence.
For now i am sad, and numb.

for those who missed it, here is obama’s speech (with transcript).

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-dead