Pak-Iran gas pipeline to go ahead
Washington, D.C.: A senior US official in an exclusive interview with The Frontier Post acknowledged that the dialogue which took place in Murree between the Taliban leadership and the Afghan official was of the most importance and significance so far because it was for the first time that the representatives of Afghan government participated in an official capacity with the Taliban leadership. He also appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani leadership in holding such kind of dialogue in order to bring long lasting peace in the region. He confirmed that both the U.S. and Chinese official participated in the dialogue process as observers.
In reply to a question about the Operation Zarbe Azab he said that the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani armed forces will always be remembered and hoped that Pakistan will fulfill the commitment it has made to eliminate the terrorists networks without distinguishing between the good and the bad Taliban. He hoped that Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) will soon return to their homes in the Federal Administrative Tribal Areas.
The US official also appreciated the efforts of Afghan and Pakistan leadership for holding several sittings in recent months between the political and military leaderships of both the countries. He especially highlighted the statement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calling the enemies of Afghanistan as the enemies of Pakistan.
When asked about the increase in Taliban attacks in different parts of Afghanistan since the American draw down, the US official was of the opinion that despite the increase of attacks by Taliban they have not been successful in achieving any territorial gains. He further said that the remaining ten thousand US troops will stay in Afghanistan for the years to come and the American annual fund of almost four billion dollars a year will also be continued for many years to come. He assured that America will not let Afghanistan fall into the hands of Taliban again and neither will his country let anyone use Afghanistan for their proxy wars.
With regard to Pakistan India relations, the US official welcomed the recent warm exchange of words between Pakistani Prime Minister, Mian Nawaz Sharif and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Ufa, Russia. He hoped that the two countries will resolve their differences in an amicable way.
When asked whether Pakistan has shared evidence with America of the Indian involvement in the terrorists activities in Pakistan, the senior U.S. official replied in negative.
To a question about to the recent US-Iran pact, the senior U.S. official said that he is satisfied and has faith in his president that the region will be more peaceful when Iran does not produce nuclear weapons. He was hopeful that concerns of the U.S. allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia will soon be assuaged.
Regarding Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline he said that the future of the project will be decided after the sanctions are lifted from Iran. Going a step further into Pakistan’s energy crisis, he said that Pakistan first needs to improve its internal infrastructure of energy sources.He suggested that Pakistan should first concentrate on the huge energy resources it has available with in the country and then think about bringing a pipeline which is hundreds of mile away and which has to pass through difficult terrains.
This correspondent was amazed to see tears in the eyes of the senior American official when asked how the U.S. officials reacted when they heard of the Peshawar Army Public School incident. He replied by saying “I have my own children and I can imagine how the parents must have been shattered by this gruesome incident.”
Washington DC: Service Chief of Deewa Radio, Nafees Takar in an exclusive interview with The Frontier Post said that most of the Afghans are worried about their future after the draw down of US troops from Afghanistan. He further said that it is through education that Pakhtoons on both side of the Durand Line can improve and enlighten their future.
Deewa radio operates under the Voice of America and is a US government sponsored radio with no aim to earn revenues despite being the largest heard radio channel by the Pakhtoon population. Having its transmitters installed in Dubai, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, Deewa radio has the best sound quality and it aims to highlight the American point of views to listeners of both sides of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Nafees Takar, who belongs to Takar village near Takhtbai in Khyber Pakhtoonkhw is the founding member and Service Chief of Deewa Radio. He has assembled some the best Pakhtoon journalists from Pakistan in the head quarters of Voice of America on Independence Avenue in Washington DC. The number of Pakhtoon journalists who are working in Deewa radio are twenty nine in Washington DC, twenty seven in different parts of Pakistan, seven journalists in the FATA region of Pakistan and one in Afghanistan. The US based Deewa staffers are given respectable salaries, latest equipment and are green card holders as well.
Regarding Policy matters, Nafees made it very clear that despite being a mouth piece of US government, Deewa Radio operates in a very balanced manner and no unnecessary pressures are exerted . He said \”we have callers who criticize the American drone attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan.\” When asked about the challenges that he faces in Deewa, Nafees said every morning the first thing he does is to check his email to make sure that all his staff members back home in Pakistan are safe and sound. Another challenge for Nafees and his team is the access to different parts of tribal area and Baluchistan, which are known as the conflict zones in international media.
Regarding Deewa Television, which is another project of the same group, Nafees said that at present they only have two shows and these shows can only be viewed through dish. He did say that with passage of time if the US government allocates more fund, Deewa television will be turned into a full fledged satellite tv channel but at present there are no such plans.
Nafees Takar highlighted the role of social media and said that him and his team are giving special emphasis to tools such as Facebook and Twitter to promote Deewa radio.
Having a degree in literature, Nafees seemed very inclined towards promoting Pakhtoon literature and said that for three years there was a show at Deewa radio on the topic of Islamic mysticism through which all the literary works of the ancient Pakhtoon authors were highlighted and the public at large had really appreciated this initiative of Deewa radio. Regarding a similar such initiative, Nafees Takar informed that Deewa radio will soon be launching a book along with a cd which will have the old famous Pashto poems and pictures for the Pakhtoon children. He hoped that the Pakhtoons in Pakistan and Afghanistan will enjoy this product of Deewa radio and will serve as a marketing tool as well.
Nafees Takar also showed extreme sadness over the recent demise of great Pashto poet Raj Wali Shah Khattak and said that Deewa radio had allocated two full hours to his life and works.
Regarding Pakhtoon women , Nafees Takar said that Deewa radio and tv gives a lot of emphasis to women issues and there are many shows which are specially meant to promote women empowerment, their education and the role they are playing at present times in Pakhtoon society and the much stronger role which could play after getting proper education and equal opportunities.
When asked what makes him the most happy being Service Chief of Deewa radio, Nafees Takar said that \” I am really happy when a caller calls and says that I use to not send my daughter or son to school but now I do. I am really happy when a caller calls and says I use to not vote but now I do.\”