Friday, December 19, 2014 INTERNATIONAL

Skip Navigation Links
SUPPLEMENT

Visitor Login










Offering material inducements without policy change to win vote

Jehan Perera in Colombo

The government is sparing no effort to ensure victory for itself at the forthcoming presidential election. The opposition alliance accuses it of offering their members large sums of money to cross over. This is rejected by those who have been accused of this practice, which leaves the electorate in a state of disquiet and uncertainty, not wishing to believe the worst in those who ought to be champions of the national interest. Those who join the government do not seem to be negotiating any policy changes. Similarly, the situation where it concerns the various groups who are being provided with tangible benefits would be calculated to make them feel grateful and obligated to cast their vote to their benefactors.  So far at least the government appears to be focused only on providing short term material benefits to induce those who join it and the electorate in general. 
The problem of ensuring free and fair elections in these circumstances has grown to be so challenging in these circumstances that election monitoring organisations, in an unprecedented manner, have issued a joint statement on this matter.  They said that “As election observers, whose primary objective is to ensure a free and fair environment for elections, we are concerned about the prevailing conditions. The sovereignty of the people is foremost in a democracy and the legitimacy of the elected leadership arises from the free vote of a country’s constituency.”  The main point that the Sri Lankan election monitors seem to be making is that elections should always yield in an outcome that truly reflects the will of the people.
The election monitors have made a serious charge against the manner in which the election campaign has been unfolding and the inability of state institutions to conform to the basic norms of a democracy.  “It is a right of the people to be able to choose a candidate of their choice within the framework of a free and fair contest.   Having observed events in the run up to the election, we note the following: There is unfettered use of state resources for election campaign purposes. There is unfettered use of publicity material including hoardings and posters in clear violation of election laws. The Police is not sufficiently active in dealing with election related violations, and violence which is in contravention of the regular laws of the country.”

Bought off
The politicians who have crossed over to the government from the ranks of the opposition do not appear to have negotiated for the policy changes they advocated in the opposition.  This raises the question whether they were motivated by conviction or by the desire for power and wealth.  The government appears to believe that it can offer people material inducements, without the promise of policy change, and yet get their support.  But there has been at least one recent crossover that has been based on another motivation.   The relevance of Hirunika Premachandra’s crossover is not only in the number of votes she can bring to the opposition.  It also throws some light as to how a section of the people who are being wooed for their vote might behave.
Hirunika Premachandra has been in the limelight ever since her father was shot dead in a clash that took place during the run up to another election.  The accused gunman was a government MP.  Her father was a presidential advisor and former government MP.  In the aftermath of her father’s murder she demanded justice.  When the government did not show much interest in pursuing the case, she protested publicly.  Then in a surprising turn of events she joined the government and gave thanks to the President.  The magic of the President’s personality, and his readiness to dole out patronage, seemed to have worked on her too.  She contested the Western Provincial Council elections on behalf of the government and obtained the highest number of votes in the country’s richest and most educated province.
Hirunika Premachandra’s cross over to the opposition shows the tenuous nature of commitment based on material inducement.  In an interview with the media she said, “It is difficult to stay in the same party with the people who were responsible for my father’s death. Three years have passed and justice has not yet been done.”  She could not stay with a government that did not do justice by her late father.  She could not work side by side with those who had participated in the killing and the cover up that led to the obstruction of justice.  She had joined the government and enjoyed the benefits it offered.  But this was not sufficient to win her loyalty.  When the opportunity came for her to work for a more lasting policy change, she chose to leave and oppose the government.

Northern campaign
As the election campaign heightens in intensity the government has begun to release large stocks of gold and jewellery that is in its possession which was taken by the LTTE from the people of the North.  The government has begun to distribute these back to their owners.  The timing of the release of these assets that belong to the people suggests a political motivation of obtaining their votes.  The question is whether this action of the government at this time will actually translate into votes for the government.  The war-affected people are likely to wonder why the government held on to their assets for five years, instead of returning it to them shortly after the war ended.  Indeed, they are also asking why the government is holding on to their land, which it has appropriated to build army camps and hotels.
The quest for justice that Hirunika Premachandra has within her for what happened to her late father, and which has influenced her decision to leave the government, would throw light on the likely pattern of voting of those war survivors in the North.  Their quest for justice is even more painful and long lasting because most of them have not given up the hope that those who are missing are still alive. The government has appointed a variety of bodies to ask them for details of their loved ones, but has not yet provided them with the answers as to what happened.  It is good that the government is giving back to the people their lost gold and jewellery.  But it would be much better for both the government and the war survivors if the government would give them closure with regard to their missing loved ones, by finding out what happened to them to the best of its ability rather than delaying ascertaining the truth of the matter. To paraphrase Hirunika Premachandra, five years have passed but justice has not yet been done.
The government appears to believe it can still obtain a fair share of ethnic and religious minority vote.  The major ethnic minority parties, the TNA and SLMC have still to take formal decisions as to which side they will support.  After the end of the war, the economy in the North and East has made significant gains due to government spending on infrastructure and other material developments.  The government is also offering a continuation of the political stability that the country has enjoyed and contrasts it with the potential instability of the opposition alliance which, while promising all round change, has yet to evolve its own election manifesto.  Although the government has done little over the past decade in terms of making policy changes that would ensure better protection of ethnic minority rights, it continues to be hopeful that the material and short term benefits it offers can sway their votes in its favour.

Comment

Jehan Perera in Colombo

The government is sparing no effort to ensure victory for itself at the forthcoming presidential election. The opposition alliance accuses it of offering their members large sums of money to cross over. This is rejected by those who have been accused of this practice, which leaves the electorate in a state of disquiet and uncertainty, not wishing to believe the worst in those who ought to be champions of the national interest. Those who join the government do not seem to be negotiating any policy changes. Similarly, the situation where it concerns the various groups who are being provided with tangible benefits would be calculated to make them feel grateful and obligated to cast their vote to their benefactors.  So far at least the government appears to be focused only on providing short term material benefits to induce those who join it and the electorate in general. 
The problem of ensuring free and fair elections in these circumstances has grown to be so challenging in these circumstances that election monitoring organisations, in an unprecedented manner, have issued a joint statement on this matter.  They said that “As election observers, whose primary objective is to ensure a free and fair environment for elections, we are concerned about the prevailing conditions. The sovereignty of the people is foremost in a democracy and the legitimacy of the elected leadership arises from the free vote of a country’s constituency.”  The main point that the Sri Lankan election monitors seem to be making is that elections should always yield in an outcome that truly reflects the will of the people.
The election monitors have made a serious charge against the manner in which the election campaign has been unfolding and the inability of state institutions to conform to the basic norms of a democracy.  “It is a right of the people to be able to choose a candidate of their choice within the framework of a free and fair contest.   Having observed events in the run up to the election, we note the following: There is unfettered use of state resources for election campaign purposes. There is unfettered use of publicity material including hoardings and posters in clear violation of election laws. The Police is not sufficiently active in dealing with election related violations, and violence which is in contravention of the regular laws of the country.”

Bought off
The politicians who have crossed over to the government from the ranks of the opposition do not appear to have negotiated for the policy changes they advocated in the opposition.  This raises the question whether they were motivated by conviction or by the desire for power and wealth.  The government appears to believe that it can offer people material inducements, without the promise of policy change, and yet get their support.  But there has been at least one recent crossover that has been based on another motivation.   The relevance of Hirunika Premachandra’s crossover is not only in the number of votes she can bring to the opposition.  It also throws some light as to how a section of the people who are being wooed for their vote might behave.
Hirunika Premachandra has been in the limelight ever since her father was shot dead in a clash that took place during the run up to another election.  The accused gunman was a government MP.  Her father was a presidential advisor and former government MP.  In the aftermath of her father’s murder she demanded justice.  When the government did not show much interest in pursuing the case, she protested publicly.  Then in a surprising turn of events she joined the government and gave thanks to the President.  The magic of the President’s personality, and his readiness to dole out patronage, seemed to have worked on her too.  She contested the Western Provincial Council elections on behalf of the government and obtained the highest number of votes in the country’s richest and most educated province.
Hirunika Premachandra’s cross over to the opposition shows the tenuous nature of commitment based on material inducement.  In an interview with the media she said, “It is difficult to stay in the same party with the people who were responsible for my father’s death. Three years have passed and justice has not yet been done.”  She could not stay with a government that did not do justice by her late father.  She could not work side by side with those who had participated in the killing and the cover up that led to the obstruction of justice.  She had joined the government and enjoyed the benefits it offered.  But this was not sufficient to win her loyalty.  When the opportunity came for her to work for a more lasting policy change, she chose to leave and oppose the government.

Northern campaign
As the election campaign heightens in intensity the government has begun to release large stocks of gold and jewellery that is in its possession which was taken by the LTTE from the people of the North.  The government has begun to distribute these back to their owners.  The timing of the release of these assets that belong to the people suggests a political motivation of obtaining their votes.  The question is whether this action of the government at this time will actually translate into votes for the government.  The war-affected people are likely to wonder why the government held on to their assets for five years, instead of returning it to them shortly after the war ended.  Indeed, they are also asking why the government is holding on to their land, which it has appropriated to build army camps and hotels.
The quest for justice that Hirunika Premachandra has within her for what happened to her late father, and which has influenced her decision to leave the government, would throw light on the likely pattern of voting of those war survivors in the North.  Their quest for justice is even more painful and long lasting because most of them have not given up the hope that those who are missing are still alive. The government has appointed a variety of bodies to ask them for details of their loved ones, but has not yet provided them with the answers as to what happened.  It is good that the government is giving back to the people their lost gold and jewellery.  But it would be much better for both the government and the war survivors if the government would give them closure with regard to their missing loved ones, by finding out what happened to them to the best of its ability rather than delaying ascertaining the truth of the matter. To paraphrase Hirunika Premachandra, five years have passed but justice has not yet been done.
The government appears to believe it can still obtain a fair share of ethnic and religious minority vote.  The major ethnic minority parties, the TNA and SLMC have still to take formal decisions as to which side they will support.  After the end of the war, the economy in the North and East has made significant gains due to government spending on infrastructure and other material developments.  The government is also offering a continuation of the political stability that the country has enjoyed and contrasts it with the potential instability of the opposition alliance which, while promising all round change, has yet to evolve its own election manifesto.  Although the government has done little over the past decade in terms of making policy changes that would ensure better protection of ethnic minority rights, it continues to be hopeful that the material and short term benefits it offers can sway their votes in its favour.


Login to post comments


(0)



RENEWABLE ENERGY
Untold story of an African revolution

Wambi Michael in Lima

Africa is experiencing a revolution towards cleaner energy through renewable energy but the story has hardly been told to the world, says Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Steiner, who had been advocating for renewable energy at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, said Africa is on the right path towards a low carbon footprint by tapping into its plentiful renewable resources – hydro, geothermal, solar and wind.
“There is a revolution going on in the continent of Africa and the world is not noticing it. You can go to Egypt, Ethiopia Kenya, Namibia, and Mozambique. I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa’s energy problems in the next fifteen years,” Steiner said in an interview with IPS.
Sharing the example of the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, Steiner told IPS that the decision was taken that “if UNEP is going to be centred with its offices in the African continent on the Equator, there can be reason why we are not using renewable energy. So we installed photovoltaic panels on our roof which we share with UN Habitat, 1200 people, and we produce 750,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, that is enough for the entire building to operate.”

The best business proposition
He noted that although it will take UNEP between eight and 10 years to pay off the installation, UNEP will have over 13 years of electricity without paying monthly or annual power bills. “It is the best business proposition that a U.N. body has ever made in terms of paying for electricity for a building,” he said.
According to Steiner, the “revolution” is already happening in East Africa, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia which are both targeting renewable energy, especially geothermal energy.
“Kenya plans to triple its electricity generation up to about 6000 megawatts in the next five years. More than 90 percent of the planned power is to come from geothermal, solar and wind power,” he said.

Wind, solar and geothermal resources
“If you are in Africa and decide to exploit your wind, solar and geothermal resources, you will get yourself freedom from the global energy markets, and you will connect the majority of your people without waiting for thirty years until the power lines cross every corner of the country” – Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director
Kenya currently runs a geothermal power development corporation which invites tenders from private investors bid and is establishing a wind power firm likely to be the largest in Africa with a capacity of 350 megawatts of power under a public-private partnership.
In Ethiopia, expansion of the Aluto-Langano geothermal power plant will increase geothermal generation capacity from the current 7 MW to 70 MW. The expansion project is being financed by the Ethiopian government (10 million dollars), a 12 million dollar grant from the Government of Japan, and a 13 million dollar loan from the World Bank.
Phillip Hauser, Vice President of GDF Suez Energy Latin America, told IPS that geothermal power is a good option for countries in Africa with that potential, but it comes with risks.
“It is very site-dependent. There can be geothermal projects that are relatively cost efficient and there are others that are relatively expensive. It is a bit like the oil and gas industry. You have to find the resource and you have to develop the resource. Sometimes you might drill and you don’t find anything – that is lost investment,” Hauser told IPS.
Steiner admitted that like any other investment, renewable energy has some limitations, including the need for upfront initial capital and the cost of technology, but he said that countries with good renewable energy policies would attract the necessary private investments.
“We are moving in a direction where Africa will not have to live in a global fuel market in which one day you have to pay 120 dollars for a barrel of crude oil, then the next day you get it at 80 dollars and before you know it, it is doubled,” he said.
“So if you are in Africa and decide to exploit your wind, solar and geothermal resources, you will get yourself freedom from the global energy markets, and you will connect the majority of your people without waiting for thirty years until the power lines cross every corner of the country,”Steiner added.
A recent assessment by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) of Africa’s renewable energy future found that solar and wind power potential existed in at least 21 countries, and biomass power potential in at least 14 countries.
The agency, which supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, has yet to provide a list of countries with geothermal power potential but almost all the countries around the Great Rift Valley in south-eastern Africa – Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania among others – have already identified geothermal sites, with Kenya being the first to use a geothermal site to add power to its grid.

Cited tipping
IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin told IPS that the agency’s studies shows that not only can renewable energy meet the world’s rising demand, but it can do so more cheaply, while contributing to limiting global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius – the widely-cited tipping point in the climate change debate.
He said the good news in Africa is that apart from the resources that exist, there is a growing body of knowledge across African expert institutions that would help the continent to exploit its virgin renewable energy potential.
What is needed now, he explained, is for countries in Africa to develop the economic case for those resources supported by targeted government policies to help developers and financiers get projects off the ground.
The IRENA assessment found that in 2010, African countries imported 18 billion dollars’ worth of oil – more than the entire amount they received in foreign aid – while oil subsidies in Africa cost an estimated 50 billion dollars every year.

New financing models
According to Amin, renewable energy technologies are now the most economical solution for off-grid and mini-grid electrification in remote areas, as well as for grid extension in some cases of centralised grid supply.
He argued that rapid technological progress, combined with falling costs, a better understanding of financial risk and a growing appreciation of wider benefits mean that renewable energy would increasingly be the solution to Africa’s energy problem.
In this context, Africa could take on new financing models that “de-risk” investments in order to lower the cost of capital, which has historically been a major barrier to investment in renewable energy, and one such model would include encouragement for green bonds.
“Green bonds are the recent innovation for renewable energy investments,” said Amin. “Last year we reached about 14 billion dollars, this year there is an estimate of about 40 billion, and next year there is an estimate of about 100 billion dollars in green finance through green bonds. Why doesn’t Africa take advantage of those?” he asked.
— IPS

Comment

Wambi Michael in Lima

Africa is experiencing a revolution towards cleaner energy through renewable energy but the story has hardly been told to the world, says Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Steiner, who had been advocating for renewable energy at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, said Africa is on the right path towards a low carbon footprint by tapping into its plentiful renewable resources – hydro, geothermal, solar and wind.
“There is a revolution going on in the continent of Africa and the world is not noticing it. You can go to Egypt, Ethiopia Kenya, Namibia, and Mozambique. I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa’s energy problems in the next fifteen years,” Steiner said in an interview with IPS.
Sharing the example of the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, Steiner told IPS that the decision was taken that “if UNEP is going to be centred with its offices in the African continent on the Equator, there can be reason why we are not using renewable energy. So we installed photovoltaic panels on our roof which we share with UN Habitat, 1200 people, and we produce 750,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, that is enough for the entire building to operate.”

The best business proposition
He noted that although it will take UNEP between eight and 10 years to pay off the installation, UNEP will have over 13 years of electricity without paying monthly or annual power bills. “It is the best business proposition that a U.N. body has ever made in terms of paying for electricity for a building,” he said.
According to Steiner, the “revolution” is already happening in East Africa, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia which are both targeting renewable energy, especially geothermal energy.
“Kenya plans to triple its electricity generation up to about 6000 megawatts in the next five years. More than 90 percent of the planned power is to come from geothermal, solar and wind power,” he said.

Wind, solar and geothermal resources
“If you are in Africa and decide to exploit your wind, solar and geothermal resources, you will get yourself freedom from the global energy markets, and you will connect the majority of your people without waiting for thirty years until the power lines cross every corner of the country” – Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director
Kenya currently runs a geothermal power development corporation which invites tenders from private investors bid and is establishing a wind power firm likely to be the largest in Africa with a capacity of 350 megawatts of power under a public-private partnership.
In Ethiopia, expansion of the Aluto-Langano geothermal power plant will increase geothermal generation capacity from the current 7 MW to 70 MW. The expansion project is being financed by the Ethiopian government (10 million dollars), a 12 million dollar grant from the Government of Japan, and a 13 million dollar loan from the World Bank.
Phillip Hauser, Vice President of GDF Suez Energy Latin America, told IPS that geothermal power is a good option for countries in Africa with that potential, but it comes with risks.
“It is very site-dependent. There can be geothermal projects that are relatively cost efficient and there are others that are relatively expensive. It is a bit like the oil and gas industry. You have to find the resource and you have to develop the resource. Sometimes you might drill and you don’t find anything – that is lost investment,” Hauser told IPS.
Steiner admitted that like any other investment, renewable energy has some limitations, including the need for upfront initial capital and the cost of technology, but he said that countries with good renewable energy policies would attract the necessary private investments.
“We are moving in a direction where Africa will not have to live in a global fuel market in which one day you have to pay 120 dollars for a barrel of crude oil, then the next day you get it at 80 dollars and before you know it, it is doubled,” he said.
“So if you are in Africa and decide to exploit your wind, solar and geothermal resources, you will get yourself freedom from the global energy markets, and you will connect the majority of your people without waiting for thirty years until the power lines cross every corner of the country,”Steiner added.
A recent assessment by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) of Africa’s renewable energy future found that solar and wind power potential existed in at least 21 countries, and biomass power potential in at least 14 countries.
The agency, which supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, has yet to provide a list of countries with geothermal power potential but almost all the countries around the Great Rift Valley in south-eastern Africa – Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania among others – have already identified geothermal sites, with Kenya being the first to use a geothermal site to add power to its grid.

Cited tipping
IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin told IPS that the agency’s studies shows that not only can renewable energy meet the world’s rising demand, but it can do so more cheaply, while contributing to limiting global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius – the widely-cited tipping point in the climate change debate.
He said the good news in Africa is that apart from the resources that exist, there is a growing body of knowledge across African expert institutions that would help the continent to exploit its virgin renewable energy potential.
What is needed now, he explained, is for countries in Africa to develop the economic case for those resources supported by targeted government policies to help developers and financiers get projects off the ground.
The IRENA assessment found that in 2010, African countries imported 18 billion dollars’ worth of oil – more than the entire amount they received in foreign aid – while oil subsidies in Africa cost an estimated 50 billion dollars every year.

New financing models
According to Amin, renewable energy technologies are now the most economical solution for off-grid and mini-grid electrification in remote areas, as well as for grid extension in some cases of centralised grid supply.
He argued that rapid technological progress, combined with falling costs, a better understanding of financial risk and a growing appreciation of wider benefits mean that renewable energy would increasingly be the solution to Africa’s energy problem.
In this context, Africa could take on new financing models that “de-risk” investments in order to lower the cost of capital, which has historically been a major barrier to investment in renewable energy, and one such model would include encouragement for green bonds.
“Green bonds are the recent innovation for renewable energy investments,” said Amin. “Last year we reached about 14 billion dollars, this year there is an estimate of about 40 billion, and next year there is an estimate of about 100 billion dollars in green finance through green bonds. Why doesn’t Africa take advantage of those?” he asked.
— IPS


Login to post comments


(0)



 ISLAMABAD DIARY

Pakistan in mourning after most heinous terrorist attack

Jonaid Iqbal

Pakistan is in a state of shock and three days mourning for one of the deadliest terrorist attack at Peshawar’s Army Public School, where seven Tehreek Taliban militants transgressed into the school building, massacred 132 pupils, nine teachers, and hurled gunshot wounds on 200 more children and teaching staff.
The siege against the militants lasted over seven hours, at the end of which about 900 pupils and other members of the teaching staff had been rescued. Reports say, seven militants were shot dead by army commandoes and two were captured.
But, as they say, something good comes out of even the most horrid happenings. Here in Pakistan, today, the public as well as political parties are united to defeat the common terrorist enemy. Even arch rivals Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan shook hands and smiled and civil and military establishments have come on the same page.  
What happened at Army Public School more or less appear to be like watching a horror movie in which feature heavily armed ten terrorist devils, who picked a children school for assault because most schools are not fully guarded.
The marauders entered the compound, jumped over the wall with the help of a ladder they had brought along, and cut protective wires. That done, they  landed straight at the assembly hall where pupils were gathered, and fired at the children at point blank range and also torched the body of a lady teacher, present on the dais, and burnt her alive.
A rescue army unit rushed to the scene within 15 minutes, but by that time the 10 devils had already murdered many dozens of students and had also shot nine teachers dead.
Seeing that the army rescue team had arrived, the seven militants hastened to the administration block [of the school] and shot dead the lady principal and vice-principal.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rushed to Peshawar and Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif came all the way from Quetta. The COAS was busy there attending an army event. Both rushed to the scene to guide the rescue operation.
The Prime Minister as well as the army chief have vowed to wipe out terrorism, until it was completely eliminated, saying “We will not tarry until each drop of blood of students is avenged.”
Leading public leaders of the country have described the tragic incident a national tragedy and as one of darkest moment in the history of this land.

50,000 Pakistanis killed
However, the fight against the gruesome attack is seen as game changer to unite the nation; every man, woman and child swearing his/her support in the momentous task of ending the scourge in which more than 50,000 Pakistanis and their valiant soldiers, sailors, airmen, frontier constabulary troops as well as the police have perished since 9/11. The militancy has also destroyed more than $ 1000 worth of the country’s infrastructure. 
The government acted speedily and convened a multiple party conference (MPC) at Peshawar on Wednesday, which was attended by important elected leaders of all political parties, including a Pakistan Tehreek Insaf delegation led by Nawaz Sharif’s chief antagonist, Imran Khan. Khan.
Before he left for Peshawar Wednesday morning, Nawaz Sharif announced lifting of moratorium and death penalty on terrorist related. According to Amnesty International, there are more than  8000 prisoners on death row in Pakistan.
The same morning, Army Chief Raheel Sharif, accompanied by Director General Inter Services Intelligence, flew to Kabul to ask his Afghan counterpart to take decisive action against TP sanctuaries in that country. Earlier, Pakistan security officials had found evidence that the attack in Peshawar was planned inside Afghanistan by Mullah Fazlullah group.  The chief has received assurances from the Afghan government and the ISAF for action against a Kunar-based Taliban group which is believed to have carried out the massacre at Peshawar Army Public School. 
Condemnation  and condolences after the latest tragedy has poured in from across the country as well as from world capitals. Three days mourning was declared by all political parties and condemned by all section of opinions.

Comment

Jonaid Iqbal

Pakistan is in a state of shock and three days mourning for one of the deadliest terrorist attack at Peshawar’s Army Public School, where seven Tehreek Taliban militants transgressed into the school building, massacred 132 pupils, nine teachers, and hurled gunshot wounds on 200 more children and teaching staff.
The siege against the militants lasted over seven hours, at the end of which about 900 pupils and other members of the teaching staff had been rescued. Reports say, seven militants were shot dead by army commandoes and two were captured.
But, as they say, something good comes out of even the most horrid happenings. Here in Pakistan, today, the public as well as political parties are united to defeat the common terrorist enemy. Even arch rivals Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan shook hands and smiled and civil and military establishments have come on the same page.  
What happened at Army Public School more or less appear to be like watching a horror movie in which feature heavily armed ten terrorist devils, who picked a children school for assault because most schools are not fully guarded.
The marauders entered the compound, jumped over the wall with the help of a ladder they had brought along, and cut protective wires. That done, they  landed straight at the assembly hall where pupils were gathered, and fired at the children at point blank range and also torched the body of a lady teacher, present on the dais, and burnt her alive.
A rescue army unit rushed to the scene within 15 minutes, but by that time the 10 devils had already murdered many dozens of students and had also shot nine teachers dead.
Seeing that the army rescue team had arrived, the seven militants hastened to the administration block [of the school] and shot dead the lady principal and vice-principal.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rushed to Peshawar and Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif came all the way from Quetta. The COAS was busy there attending an army event. Both rushed to the scene to guide the rescue operation.
The Prime Minister as well as the army chief have vowed to wipe out terrorism, until it was completely eliminated, saying “We will not tarry until each drop of blood of students is avenged.”
Leading public leaders of the country have described the tragic incident a national tragedy and as one of darkest moment in the history of this land.

50,000 Pakistanis killed
However, the fight against the gruesome attack is seen as game changer to unite the nation; every man, woman and child swearing his/her support in the momentous task of ending the scourge in which more than 50,000 Pakistanis and their valiant soldiers, sailors, airmen, frontier constabulary troops as well as the police have perished since 9/11. The militancy has also destroyed more than $ 1000 worth of the country’s infrastructure. 
The government acted speedily and convened a multiple party conference (MPC) at Peshawar on Wednesday, which was attended by important elected leaders of all political parties, including a Pakistan Tehreek Insaf delegation led by Nawaz Sharif’s chief antagonist, Imran Khan. Khan.
Before he left for Peshawar Wednesday morning, Nawaz Sharif announced lifting of moratorium and death penalty on terrorist related. According to Amnesty International, there are more than  8000 prisoners on death row in Pakistan.
The same morning, Army Chief Raheel Sharif, accompanied by Director General Inter Services Intelligence, flew to Kabul to ask his Afghan counterpart to take decisive action against TP sanctuaries in that country. Earlier, Pakistan security officials had found evidence that the attack in Peshawar was planned inside Afghanistan by Mullah Fazlullah group.  The chief has received assurances from the Afghan government and the ISAF for action against a Kunar-based Taliban group which is believed to have carried out the massacre at Peshawar Army Public School. 
Condemnation  and condolences after the latest tragedy has poured in from across the country as well as from world capitals. Three days mourning was declared by all political parties and condemned by all section of opinions.


Login to post comments


(0)



METROPOLITAN
EDITORIAL
COMMENTS
INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS
INFOTECH
CULTURE
MISCELLANY
AVIATOUR
LETTERS
LAST WORD
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
 OIC Diary, November 2014  Incursion on Al Aqsa Mosque
 OIC Diary, November 2014   OIC-IDB support to fighting Ebola Virus
 OIC Diary, November 2014  Call for joint action to combat extremism and intolerance in the world
 OIC Diary, November 2014  Revitalizing Islamic Social Finance  
 OIC Diary, November 2014  IPHRC Statement on Al-Aqsa  
 OIC Diary, November 2014  IPHRC Statement on Palestine
 OIC Diary, November 2014  OIC, IDB Joint Committee with Guinea on Ebola containment
 OIC Diary, November 2014  OIC Secretary General Hosts Foreign Minister Of Somalia
 OIC Diary, November 2014  International Conference on Female Genital Mutilation
 OIC Diary, November 2014  New Government in Yemen
 OIC Diary, November 2014  OIC Agenda (11-28 November 2014)  
 OIC Diary, November 2014  OIC Ministerial Contact Group Meeting on Palestine and Al-Quds
 OIC Diary, November 2014  RIYADH SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENT GCC consolidates defence of Ummah
 OIC Diary, November 2014  Election of a new interim leader in Burkina Faso
 OIC Diary, November 2014  OIC Agenda (18-26 November 2014)
 OIC Diary, November 2014  Spanish recognition of the state of Palestine
 OIC Diary, November 2014  OIC and UNHCR discuss Muslim refugees
 OIC Diary, November 2014  1st Ministerial High Level Partnership Forum on Somalia
 OIC Diary, November 2014  OIC-UNHCR joint plan of cooperation
 OIC Diary, November 2014  Passenger bus attack in Kenya
 OIC Diary, November 2014  ISRAEL’S “STATE JUDAIZATION” BILL
 OIC Diary, November 2014  COMCEC GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ISTANBUL Al-quds and Konya named Islamic tourism capitals for 2015 and 2016  
 OIC Diary, November 2014  Notice of Islamic Conference of Information Ministers, 2014
 OIC Diary, November 2014  Joint media action planned   10th Islamic Conference of Information Ministers
Empowering the faithful and promoting interfaith accord
Interfaith Dialogue
FOUNDING EDITOR: ENAYETULLAH KHAN; EDITOR: SAYED KAMALUDDIN
Contents Copyrighted © by Holiday Publication Limited
Mailing address 30, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh.
Phone 880-2-8170462, 8170463, 8170464 Fax 880-2-9127927 Email holiday@bangla.net
Site Managed By: Southtech Limited
Southtech Limited does not take any responsibility for any news content of this site