Guest post by takhalus

The news from Peshawar is not good, wherever I went and whomever I spoke to I heard tales of sadness and tragedy. Whether it was of victims of blasts who were virtually unidentifiable by family, people who narrowly escaped being torn apart by ball bearings from blasts by tripping at the right moment, to the self employed and government employees whose cars, motorbikes and bicycles have been destroyed in blasts and now have no means of earning money or getting to work. Or the IDP’s who wept when, after walking barefoot from the hills of Landi Kotal and Bajaur wept as they were finally given sandals to wear by local charity workers.

What about the bomb victims of the attack on Gulshan Rehman colony for government employees in Peshawar? The victims haven’t received one penny in compensation from the govt..even the houses damaged in the attack haven’t been repaired yet! It seems like the federal and provincial government has given up on compensating people for all the attacks that have been happened.

The effect of all these attacks has been devastating, Peshawar airport has been the target of constant attacks by militants and all international flights to Peshawar have been cancelled. The local economy is in ruins with many businessmen relocating, restaurants are empty and schools are closed.

It’s not only civilians who have been hit, the military’s casualties have put immense strain on military medical services in Peshawar. Stories of patients being relocated to Rawalpindi because of bed shortages amidst rumours doing the rounds of an attack on Combined Military Hospital Peshawar.

Then you have the loss of pearl continental hotel, unlike Islamabad and the Marriott where there was a determined effort to rebuild the hotel and boost the morale of the locals… poor Peshawar has been abandoned and is now the only provincial capital to not have a five star hotel.

There is also the sale of whats left of pearl continental hotel to the US govt for a new consulate. Presently American aid organisations and consular staff are spread over the city but the purchase will conveniently place the US consulate next door to the Peshawar Corp commanders home. All of this has added grist to the rumours of “Blackwater” renting out large number of places and foreigners driving around at high speeds who are well armed.

The plight of the IDP’s is another issue, while many of the Swatis have returned to Swat, the story of the IDP’s is far from over..thousands more have been displaced from Khyber agency and now Waziristan.

14 responses to “Peshawar

  1. stuka

    NY Times reported that most folks in Peshawer think India was responsible for the bombings. Is that true?

  2. @Stuka
    The conspiracy theories revolving around India’s role are seen only by Punjab Law Minister, Punjab IG and now Rehman Malik has joined the Lot….

  3. It’s sad – unfortunate indeed.
    I believe there’s simply no immediate solution to the menace – we need to do long-term investment in terms of policy-making and fund allocation to further the goals of better literacy rate and poverty eradication.
    And the fight against Talibanisation will always have to be won at the social level. Militancy may or even may not be solution at all to it.

  4. takhalus

    stuka, all manner of conspiracy theories are doing the rounds..India is a bit lower down the list..the most common i heard goes like this Blackwater is doing it so as to create a situation where the americans formally take over. Others range from the federal govt doing it as a way to get more aid to the provincial govt orchestrating attacks at the behest of India (as the present govt consists of ANP)

  5. Rabia

    The morning attack took place in the town of Adizai, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of the main northwest city of Peshawar. The market was crowded with shoppers and goats being sold to celebrate the upcoming Muslim festival of Eid.

    The mayor, Abdul Malik, who was initially reported to have survived, died in the attack, said Sahibzada Anis, the top official in Peshawar.

    Malik, who had once been a Taliban supporter, had later switched sides and formed a local militia to help fight the militants.

  6. @stuka: we love to deny the (domestic) collateral damage of our long-term strategic investments:

    آخر میں چلتے چلتے میرے یہودی میزبانوں نے کہا کہ اسرائیلی شہریوں کو جان سے مارنے والے تو اکثر فلسطینی خودکش حملہ آور رہے ہیں لیکن انہیں یہ سمجھ نہیں آتا کہ پاکستان میں مسلمان مسلمانوں کو کیوں مار رہے ہیں؟

    میں نے کہا اس کا جواب خاصا مشکل ہے۔ بس یوں سمجھ لیجیئے کہ جب کوئی ملک اپنے پڑوسی حریف ملکوں سے نمٹنے کے لئے بیرونی امداد سے جہادی میزائیل تیار کرنے میں لگ جاتے ہیں تو وہ کبھی کبھی وہ بھول جاتے ہیں کہ بعض اوقات وہی جہادی فیکٹریوں سے نکلنے والے میزائل آپ کے گلے پڑ جاتے ہیں

  7. PV

    The blame india syndrome was highlighted by new York times and the Washington post, hence my question. I don’t doubt that india would try and fish in troubled waters but probably not with those who are religious extremists. Indian preference would be to support Baloch nationalists, Sindhi nationalists, Mqm and even those Punjabis who would be ethnocentric rather than religiously motivated.

    I am surprised that ANP is still considered a pro india party. Last contacts between ANP and india were gone after the older Khan Sahib died. We have had more covert relations with Nawaz Sharif’s family than ANP. Hamza Sharif came fo india to meet Vajpayee after 1999 coup. Be was told that surest way to get Nawaz hanged was for India to speak on his behalf.

    Also, I am surprised to see so much talk of blackwater. I did not even know they were in Pakistan and especially I thought they were discredited at home after Obamaadmin came in?

    Maybe Blackeater is simply a media fueled rumor?

  8. PV

    Abdul: I cannot read Urdu. Can you translate a summary pls? Thanks.

  9. PV: I am not great at translating. In a nutshell, he who digs a pit for others may himself fall into it. That’s exactly what happened to Pakistan and its “jihadi” human missiles.

  10. Rabia

    takhalus, that’s the real tragedy of the balochistan government dismissal – i don’t think it would be possible to find another nationalist leader as accommodating as bizenjo again.

  11. Umar

    The ANP still has contacts with the Congress and is a pro-friendship with India party. Till today.
    What I find surprising is that being from Peshawar, I have heard no one at all saying the provincial govt is responsible for it, considering the ANP itself is the biggest target of the militants. It is also the only party to have not just one but two sitting legislators killed by the Taliban.

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