Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain (R) hoists national flag during a ceremony to mark the Independence Day in Islamabad on August 14, 2017. PHOTO: AFP
Pakistan Tehreek -e-Taliban (TTP) released an audio message entitled “Azadi Ka Fareb” on Independence Day, 14th August 2017. The production features Dr Hamood and Commander Musa who are guests on a talk show on Umar Radio. The main theme of the discussion is the “deception of freedom” according to a top Taliban commander who did not want to give his name. The freedom that many see linked to India’s independence from British rule and the creation of Pakistan in 1947 is seen as an illusion by TTP. In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) the people still live under colonial black law introduced decades ago and are fighting to change this legislation which impacts negatively on many areas of their lives (see Links section).
The link to the audio posted on social media sites shows a photo of Adnan Rasheed, a militant commander of TTP and chief of Ansar Al-Aseer, a unit tasked to free militant prisoners. Rasheed, a former Pakistan Air Force junior technician was convicted of an attack on then President and General Pervez Musharraf in 2003 and given the death sentence. He was later freed from prison along with 400 other inmates when militants stormed Bannu prison in 2012. He was also the mastermind of the 2013 Dera Ismail Khan jailbreak in which over 170 prisoners escaped. Rasheed became known to the west after penning a letter to schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai shot by the Taliban whilst he was incarcerated in jail. Rasheed survived military operation Zarb-e-Asb launched in 2014 and Radd-ul-Fasaad to clear the Tribal Areas of insurgents and surfaces from time to time with a new video or audio message.
Seventy years ago in August 1947 India was partitioned into 2 independent countries, India and Pakistan by the British. Punjab became the border area between Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority and was divided into two parts. East and West Pakistan, predominately Muslim were created and were separated by more than 1,500 kms of Indian territory. In the turmoil that followed 1 million people lost their lives when fighting broke out and 15 million were displaced. Hindus and Sikhs fled for India and Muslims to Pakistan.
See following article for background,
Indian Independence Day: All you need to know about Partition between India and Pakistan seventy years on
Pakistan: Furore grows over outdated colonial law, people of FATA say “Go FCR Go”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.