On July 19, 2014, TRT and CADiP (Campaign Against Drones in Pakistan) joined hands to organize an iftaar discussion and dinner at the Jenner Jean Community Center in solidarity with the victims of the war on the people of Waziristan. Under pressure from the West, the Pakistan military launched Operation Zarb-e-Azab, allegedly to root out militant havens in the region. This came after a decade of smaller operations and drone attacks in the area that have killed tens of thousands and displaced nearly 5 million. Zarb-e-Azab alone has left more than 600,000 homeless, but the operation still continues with no end in sight. Heavy bombardment and use of artillery gunships means that the region has been completely destroyed. Those displaced by the war are living in poorly managed camps, longing to return home.Recognizing the fact that a large number of residents in Thorncliffe are immigrants who have escaped conditions in Afghanistan and Pakistan that were a direct or indirect consequence of the “war on terror”, the event was hosted to facilitate a discussion around the matter and to raise funds for those who have been displaced from their homes in Wazirstan.
The event was attended by approximately 50 Thorncliffe residents. TRT organizer Rubena Naeem and CADiP organizers Hamna Mughal and Azfar Zaheer gave presentations, followed by a discussion. Attendees expressed their horror at what’s going on in Pakistan and the world in general. One attendee pointed out the similarities in the strategy and objectives between the war in Pakistan and various other imperialist wars around the world and described these as, “different pages from the same book”. Attendees open heartedly donated $1300 to be donated to the Tribal Development Network, a grassroots organization in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan) that is working to rehabilitate the displaced. It was also noted by attendees that while charity is good, it’s not the solution. “We need to unite to fight for those at the receiving end of these wars, the most oppressed and marginalized peoples around the world”.