Ann Wright, reports from the 2012 Pakistan delegation
Our first meeting was with Samar Minallah Khan, an anthropologist and filmmaker who has gained the confidence of affected women to made documentaries on the impact of the US war in Afghanistan on women who have had to flee Afghanistan, including two short excellent documentaries that we saw: “Voices Behind the Burkas” and “Where the Heart Lies.” She also is documenting the custom of using girls as compensation for debts and is advocating in the tribal areas for the end of the custom.
Our second meeting was with Sameena Nizar, head of the newly formed Pakistan chapter of Women’s International of Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and director of Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy which works with women in rural areas. 5 members of the WILPF chapter joined us, including one woman who is on the Pakistan Human Rights Council. Mrs. Nizar is setting up a meeting for us on October 3 with other women’s peace groups in Islamabad.
Our third meeting was with the first with the political parties of Pakistan. Tarik Azim is a Senator in the Parliament of Pakistan from the Pakistan Muslin League-N (PLMN) party. We are meeting with all political parties to discuss their prospective on the impact of US drones. Mr. Azim was the Minister of Information in the Musharraf Government and provided insights on the Musharraf government’s acquiesce to the early US drone program.
We ended the evening with an informal dinner at a local restaurant.
Tomorrow, September 30, we will have a press conference with Imran Khan and an opportunity to see more of Islamabad. Four more delegates arrive tomorrow bringing our delegation to 10.
On Monday, October 1, at 11:30am Ann Wright will speak on “Drones Threaten US Foreign Policy” at the Institute of Strategic Studies, the biggest think tank in Pakistan, and that also advises Pakistani foreign office.
From 4-6pm, our delegation panel will discuss US drones with Capitol Law School students and students from other law schools.
On Tuesday, October 2, from Noon-2pm we will have discussions on US drones at National Defense University (NDU), the military university.
From 3-5pm, we will make a presentation on US drones at the Pakistani Institute for Policy Studies.
On Wednesday, October 3, we will meet with women’s peace groups in Islamabad coordinated by Sameena Nazir (WILPF). Other meetings will develop during the course of the next days.
On Thursday, October 4, we will have orientation meetings for the entire group with Shahzad and his staff of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights and have meetings with other groups.
On Friday, October 5, the day will be filled with meeting some families of drone victims and media opportunities.
On Saturday, October 6, we will depart Islamabad after a 9am rally and join an expanding convoy of cans and vans from town along the 6 hours route to our overnight location.
On Sunday, October 7, we will enter South Waziristan at 7am and drive through devasted Wurzistan to our rally site and meet many families whose family members have died in US drone strikes. We will be out of South Waziristan by late afternoon and spend the night in our overnight location.
On Monday, October 8, we will drive back to Islamabad.
On Tuesday, October 9, there will be many media opportunities for delegates to talk about what they saw in South Waziristan and meetings
On Wednesday, October 10, we will have more media opportunities and meetings. And say farewell to many delegates.