The Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians joins the universal condemnation – including that of secular, progressive and left forces in Pakistan – of the Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan’s latest, and most vicious, act of terrorism – the massacring in cold-blood of at least 130 young students and nine staff members at the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar on December 16.
The TTP, in taking responsibility, said the attack on the school was in retaliation for the deaths resulting from the army’s actions against the TTP in its main bases in South Waziristan and North Waziristan in FATA – Federally Administered Tribal Areas – on the Pak-Afghan border.
What bitter irony: The Pakistan army and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – with the help of mainly the United States and Saudi Arabia – helped in the creation, funding, training and arming of, first, the counterrevolutionary ‘mujahideen’ to fight the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan which took power in April 1978, and then the Taliban after the PDPA’s downfall in 1992.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan (and the extreme right-wing and sectarian Islamist groups that formed it in 1997) has been responsible for well over 30,000 deaths in Pakistan through countless terrorist acts. Despite that – and the TTP’s turning against the U.S. – powerful state patrons in Pakistan have continued to support it because the TTP did their bidding in helping the Afghan Taliban and in conducting acts of terrorism against India. The Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan has also been a staunch supporter of the TTP.
However, under pressure from Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, Russia and, above all its main paymasters, the U.S., the Pakistan army had finally been compelled to attack the TPP which, in turn, has begun to bite the hand that has nurtured and fed it for so long.
The CPPC is saddened by the death of innocent civilians in the Pakistan army’s against the Taliban. Those who are displaced must be taken care of by the state. We are, further, opposed to the drone attacks by the U.S. and imperialism’s denial of justice to the Palestinian people, its criminal boycott of Iran, and its brutal attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
However, the actions, program and the vision of the Taliban cannot be supported by anyone. They, and all other fundamentalist/terrorist groups, must be fought against relentlessly by all means – military, political and economic – and rooted out. All support for them, and fundamentalist schools, by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States must be stopped completely. Officers and others in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government who have patronized the TTP must be removed from office and prosecuted.
It is high time that Pakistan becomes a secular state with the welfare of its people its priority. It must stop serving U.S. interests and adopt a policy of friendship and mutually beneficial relations with all its neighbours – especially India and Afghanistan.
For comments and critique of this statement , please contact:
Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians • firstname.lastname@example.org