Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grabbing Water Resources by Zaresh Khan

In 1990, an analyst remarked in his report that, "by making water the main issue of contention, we could undertake to resolve other contentious issues. For example, by treating the Chenab River as the frontier we could establish the geographical boundaries of Kashmir. The analyst concluded his report by citing two sentences, whose interpretation is nearly the same; the first sentence was, “The Rivers hold the keys to the future conflict” and the next sentence was “The issue (Indus Waters) has the germs of future conflict.” Last summer, in agricultural heartland of Pakistan, farmers began to notice that the level of water in the river and groundwater is decreasing to a great extent. The waterways, which bisect the Punjab are fed with glacial melt waters from the Himalayas and for centuries has provided crucial irrigation for the region. According to Pakistan India is withholding millions of cubic feet of water upstream in Indian-administered Kashmir and storing it in the massive Baglihar dam in order to produce hydro-electricity.

A treaty known as Indus Waters Treaty was signed between Pakistan and India on 19 September 1960 with World Bank as a signatory. According to this treaty, Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, termed the eastern rivers, will be under the exclusive right of India and Pakistan is entitled to unrestricted use of the rivers, Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. However today that treaty is in tatters because India has repeatedly broken it, bent it, subverted it, and worked around it to reduce the amount of water to Pakistan and increase the amount of water to India. India never had any intention of living up to it or to allow any concessions to either Pakistan or Bangladesh. Water is not only a strategic resource, but also a lethal weapon which is being used and will be used in the future. India has used her dams to cause flood damage to Pakistan. According to Lt Gen (r) Hameed Gul, India has so far built 62 dams and hydro-electric units on Pakistani rivers to deprive Pakistan of water and render into a desert.

Here two important question arises, firstly the water needs of Pakistan and secondly what will India gain from stopping the waters of Pakistan. As far as the first question is concerned, Pakistan is a successful agrarian society. Punjab province of Pakistan has been blessed with 30 feet of topsoil and a host of rivers to irrigate it. About 85% of this water originates in the Western Himalayas, in India and Tibet and the rest comes in small distributaries from Afghanistan and Kashmir. The Chenab River that flows through the heart of this fertile Pakistani Punjab area is the key to the prosperity of the region. But according to a recent report, the flow of river water in Pakistan is dropping precipitately, at nearly 7% a year. The country's vast irrigation network is silting up and agricultural output will reach a crisis by 2010, with two key commodities - food grain and cotton - badly hit. And the reward goes to India. Building dams and reservoirs in Kashmir could help irrigate Punjab and Sindh in Pakistan. The trouble is that the territory required for such construction lies in Indian Kashmir. And again courtasy India, Pakistan cant build dams to fulfill its water requirements. And now the second question what is India gaining? Analyst believe that low water flows and energy deficiency have forced India to increasingly manipulate the IWT to its advantage; secondly, Delhi wants to use water as political leverage against Pakistan; thirdly, keeping up ancillary issues as a wall to keep the core issue on the backburner and lastly, to prove to the Kashmiris that Islamabad is denying them jobs and opportunities which originate from the state’s very own resources.

The Indus basin treaty in itself had the seeds of discontent as the World Bank solution violated the International Law which does not allow change of direction and the flow of the rivers anywhere in the world. River Ravi passing through Lahore was given to India. Subsequently Pakistan saw with open eyes India building dams and powerhouses on the three Western Rivers which were designed “for exclusive use of Pakistan.” this was yet another conspiracy planned against Pakistan. Pakistan has been apprehensive that in a dire need India under whose portion of Kashmir lies the origins and passage of the said rivers, would use its strategic advantage and withhold the flow and thus choke the agrarian economy of Pakistan. and the worst fears of Pakistan came true when on June 14, 2002, The Indian Minister for Power and Water, Chakravarty, said openly in a formal meeting of the IWT council held at Delhi: “When we abrogate IWT, Pakistan will be in a state of draught and Pakistanis will cry for drops of water”.

India out of its hatred and revenge for Pakistan is leaving no stone unturned to damage the integrity of Pakistan. The implications of this move of India against Pakistan will be far reaching and disastrous. The water bomb needs to be defused. No nation should deprive another of a shared resource which, thanks to geographic design, collects in a basin within its borders. The Final Settlement calls for a cross-border body that will oversee the Indus water basin and treat water as a commodity to be shared equitably. Islamabad is acting mature and so should New Delhi.

Understanding Pak-Libya Ties by AVM(Rtd) Iqbal Haider (Former Ambassador to Libya)

It’s not just rhetoric, when it is said that two peoples, sharing common religious, cultural and political values, can forge a natural alliance for mutual benefit. For a while Pakistan and Libya, during the 70’s, building upon the so called vague common values, managed to show the world, how the two nations could complement each other on their road to development. Despite losing their way in the 90s, the shared perceptions, now also complemented by historical ties, are still palpable on both sides. While people in Pakistan proudly name their sons after Qaddafi, Libyans have a vivid memory of Pakistani doctors and engineers, who dedicated their lives to lay the foundation of a Nation emerging from Italian Imperialism. Though the new Century brought many changes to both the countries, the common grounds of cooperation have not fizzled. The frameworks for moving ahead are well in place. What is required, is a watershed event that could bring back the heydays of Pak-Libya Friendship.
Pakistan established its Embassy in Libya, in the late 60s. However, the relationship blossomed when the late Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the Libyan Leader, Col. Muammar Al-Qaddafi developed a special relationship in the early 70s. After the debacle of 1971, Pakistan was looking to expanding and fortifying its relationship with the Arab world, which was in line with the dream of the Libyan Leader, to unify and strengthen the Islamic countries. In addition to the common interests, the two leaders shared the political vision of socialism, while keeping their unique ideologies intact. Above all, the two were not only democrats at heart, but were equally loved by their respective nations. This special relationship was consummated when Col. Qaddafi visited Pakistan in 1974, ahead of the 3rd OIC Summit in Lahore.
For the next five years, there was no looking back, as the respect which both leaders had for each other, flooded the hearts of their people. The manpower from Pakistan began to shoulder the responsibility of developing Libyan infrastructure. Both countries exchanged special favors, reflecting the brotherhood of their peoples. Pakistan was, however, soon to be caught up in domestic, regional and global turmoil, while the Libyan idealism had to face a stiff challenge from the West.
The removal of Late PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto by General Zia-ul-Haq and his subsequent trial, estranged and disillusioned the Libyan Leader, whose heart bled for Bhutto. It is said that he had even asked General Zia to spare and extradite Bhutto, who was his personal friend. While the disappointment was fresh in Qaddafi’s mind, USSR invaded Afghanistan and suddenly Pakistan figured much higher in the US Tactical goals for South Asia. It was a strategic compulsion of Pakistan to forge a common policy with the US and spearhead the Afghan resistance, as well as guard its borders against the Indo-Soviet nexus encircling it, both, geographically and ideologically. However, in the context of Pak-Libya ties, the new policy was bound to estrange Libya. The Libyan Leader had never minced his words against the Imperialistic designs of the US. The end result was a sudden stagnation in bilateral ties. Though the manpower continued to flow, yet the special status of Pakistanis in Libya dwindled.
During the 80’s, as Pakistan, due to its own regional compulsions, grew closer to the US, Libya, on the contrary, drew further away from the West. Having being blamed for Lockerbie bombings and bearing the brunt of direct US air attack in Tripoli, Libya had all the reasons to hate the Western policies, which seemed to greedily view its rich Oil resources and threaten the very existence of its leadership, at the same time. These local compulsions were topped up by the personal dismay of the Libyan Leader with General Zia for “assassinating” his beloved friend. The inertia of the cooperation of 1970s, however, did continue for a while but gradually deminishing.
The next blow to the relationship came when the US imposed sanctions on Libya, creating Economic and Financial hardships on a country, which depended heavily on its Oil Exports. This was followed by an exodus of a massive number of Pakistani workers, gradually drifting to other locations in the Middle East, not because they desired so but only because they could not sustain. What is to be understood here, is the psychology of an expatriate. A skilled/semi skilled worker of a cash-strapped country, who emigrates to greener pastures, always does so to feed a large family back home. Pakistani expatriates faced the same challenge. As the foreign companies wrapped up their business and the income in the public sector in Libya dwindled sharply due to sanctions, Pakistani workers could no more support their families back home. Almost 90 percent of a 100,000 strong expatriate community of Pakistanis was forced to find jobs elsewhere. By the middle of 1990s, the relationship between the two countries reached its lowest ebb.
During this time, the tide could not be turned despite a visit of Late Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to Libya in 1990, during her first tenure as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The international situation had not changed much and Libya was still under stiff US sanctions. No headway could be made also because of frequent changes in Pakistan’s political fortunes during the 90s that ultimately rested again with the Army, when Mr. Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power in 1998. The estrangement continued during the era of President Musharraf, who visited Libya only once in 2000, while the seeds of friendship kept simmering in the hearts of the two peoples.
Finally, the rapprochement between Libya and the West in 2003 ended the Libyan isolation and conditions seemed ripe once again to revive the friendly ties between the two countries. Unfortunately, Pakistan was too pre-occupied after September 11, 2001 and was at the forefront in the war against terror, again becoming a strategic ally of the US.
Libya, despite its abhorrence to terrorism, was wary of the US designs, especially after the US invasion of Iraq. Equally important was Col. Qaddafi’s disappointment with Arabs’ lack of unity that had already shifted his focus towards championing the cause of African Union. With Pakistan still embroiled in its regional quagmire and Libya looking Southwards, a lot of work was needed to bring the two countries together. At a lower level, the desire for reviving heydays of Pak-Libya ties seemed to re-emerge but it was not backed up by the will of their Leaders.
Pakistan, however, took the initiative and in 2006, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz visited Libya. The Diplomatic presence of the two countries in each others capitals also increased. Pakistan looked to diversify its relations with Libya, especially in the Commercial Sector. A successful exhibition of Pakistani products was also held in Tripoli in 2007. The election of President Asif Ali Zardari, in 2008, was well received by the Libyan Leader, most likely because he is considered to be a part of the legacy of Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Currently, the situation is once again ripe to sow the seeds of a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries. The opportunity must not go begging.
When the regional and local politics created distances between the two countries, the Religious, Cultural and Historical ties kept them together. Credit goes to Pakistan’s hardworking labor class in Libya and the honest and steadfast friendship of Libyan people, that has enabled this mutual reverence for each other to survive the toughest of challenges. It is time to harness this asset.
The two countries have a lot to offer to each other. There can be a perfect partnership between the skill of Pakistan’s manpower and the will of the Libyan people. Pakistanis, in contrast to other expatriates, tend to assimilate well with the Libyan culture, share the same Islamic values, and are better equipped to learn Arabic, a language that is revered by all Muslims and is an important factor in Libya. The similarity of the script of the languages of the two countries makes it quite easy for Pakistanis to grasp Arabic. They celebrate the same festivals, offer the same prayers and observe the same social values. Libya would never like to forsake its Islamic character and values on its road to development and, therefore, Pakistanis should be encouraged to play an integral role in Libyan development.
The skilled workforce of Pakistan, well recognized in the US and the West, can best be utilized in the Health Sector, Infrastructure Development, Engineering Projects, Information Technology, Education Banking and Finance. Pakistan can not only help support projects within Libya but could also contribute towards Libya’s various African Development programs. The concept of South-South partnership is not only cheaper but carries with it empathy and an understanding of the problems of poverty.
Libya can also look at Importing commercial goods from Pakistan, as well as seek Pakistan’s expertise in reviving the Libyan Industries. Pakistan offers the best Investor friendly policies for Libya to exploit. With Pakistan’s interests firmly tied up in Libya, the Libyan investment in Pakistan can become progressive and diversified.
The avenues of cooperation are many and the benefits unfathomable. ‘ The one who seizes the opportunity turns the tide.’ The question of enhanced relationship between Pakistan and Libya does not stem from “How?”, it’s embedded in “When?”. The answer to this Million Dollar question, nevertheless, remains “Now!!”

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Hidden Truth about Hemant Karkaray by Zaresh Khan

on 26 November 2008, at the age of 53, Hemant Karkaray, a brave and honest indian serving police officer died in Mumbai. It is alleged by Indian government that he alongwith three other officers died figthing the terrorists. There are many doubts regarding this staement of the indian government and media. First, why is there so much of difference of information about the death of karkaray. The times of india gave a different report and the indian express came up with a 360 degree different story. To unveil the truth about karkaray, we need to look at his pattern of investigations. On September 29, 2008, three bombs exploded in Modasa, Gujarat and Malegaon, Maharashtra killing eight persons, and injuring 80. Several unexploded bombs were found in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Hemant Karkare, as the chief of the state Anti-Terror Squad, led the investigation into the 2008 Malegoan blasts. In late October the ATS arrested eleven suspects, and alleged that some radical Hindu groups were behind the blasts. Opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janta Party and Shiv Sena, and Hindu organizations alleged that the arrests were made under the pressure of the incumbent government, in an attempt to appease India's Muslim population. Some BJP, RSS and VHP leaders accused the ATS of being used as a tool to attack the Sangh Parivar and of using illegal detention and torture. The above given pattern of investigations carried out by Karkaray shows that he has always been dealing with Indian extremist elements in india and thus was always a pain in the neck of the extremist elements. The hindu extremist elements in india have always been very strong and intolerable.The true story of Indian Police Chief Assisination by the terrorists is unveiled by Minority Affairs Minister A. R. Antulay. Antulay is forced to resign from his Ministry after his statement about Indian Extremist involvement in Mumbai attacks. This is one of very strong evidence that unveil Indian false propaganda against Pakistan. It seems that there were no Pakistani involvement in Mumbai attacks but actually it was planned and executed by Hindu extremists who forced Minister A.R.Antulay to resign and who assasinated Hemant Karkaray. According to former senior Mumbai Police officer Y.C. Pawar, Mr. Karkare was regarded as ' very, very honest ' in police circles.(Times of India Nov.28 2008). furtehrmore, Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Mr. Julio Rebeiro wrote in an article in Times of India," Karkare was one of the best police officers in Maharashtra and I dare say in India". This is an open truth that Karkaray never died figthing the terrorists rather he was trapped into death. He was assasinated by the Hinduvatism politcs of india to prevent the unveiling of the truth abouth Col. Purohit invovlement in the terrorist act of samjhota express. He was a very honest and brave police officer who gave his life while exposing the hidden truth and the brutalities of the hindu extremism and porpaganda against Pakistan in front of the world. Indian government, RAW and Hindu Extremism when realized that their evil deeds and ambitions will be disclosed and made public in front of the whole world and that the true face of their democracy will be revealed, they had no option left but to assasinate Karkaray and make Antulay resign. but they forgot that a lie has no feet to stand at and today after the massacre of Karkaray, the genuineness and precision about the indian propaganda has finally been disclosed and today the whole world knows whay kind of an intolerant state india is and to what extent india can go to serve its own vested interests. Its not Pakistan who is sponsoring terrorism rather it is the Democratic state of India who is making the whole world suffer in the form of sponsoring and training terrorists and extremists.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reply to Colonel Harish's open letter to General Kayani

Note: A letter written by an Indian colonel was published prominently on the editorial pages of The News. It can be reached at http://www.thenews.com.pk 'archives opinion' date 14 April 2009. The language was unbecoming and derogatory and demanded a rejoinder. The same was sent expecting that the newspaper will give it due coverage which unfortunately the newspaper didn't despite a reminder by the writer. After waiting for one week the reply is being published here.


Reply to Colonel Harish's open letter to General Kayani

My dear Colonel Harish!

Before I proceed further, knowing my army chief very well as I did some basic courses with him and served at a couple of places, would like to enlighten you that he is a clear headed man who doesn't squanders his time to read futile and ego-centered pieces, hence any such mail is filtered and dropped in some trash can. The News cared for your feelings not to be hurt, published it and I am replying it so that you are not discouraged either.

I am taking this opportunity to address you for a couple of reasons; first, while addressing Pakistan army's chief, you excessively blew your trumpet and tried to make mockery of my army, and when I say my army that means the army I served for 24 years. The other reason to reply you is general Kayani's hectic professional commitments which prevent him from indulging in useless and worthless stuff pinned on the wall by the empty minds. Let me make it very clear at the outset that your notions about your superiority are totally concocted and just an example of some psycho-syndrome. The earlier you do away with it the better it would be for you. I am shocked and stunned to note that you met just one odd soldier (if at all you met him in Iraq, where God knows what he was doing and how that inopportune came across you) and you formed an opinion about the officer lot of Pakistan army and above all you considered him worth mentioning here in this esteemed paper which trusted you and expected you to produce something worth publishing. I met dozens of Indian soldiers (and officers) during my service days at the flag meetings and at other venues and always found them wishing for, the standard of Pakistan army but I always assumed it as an appreciation for my army.

I think you forgot to read ‘The Himalayan Blunder' by your very own brigadier Dilvi or ‘The Top Brass' by brigadier H S Sodhi, who has critically analysed the Indian military leadership. Or perhaps you live so deep among the fantasies that you don't know even what colonel Prohit with the corroboration of his brother officers did at Maleguon during the most recent past. I suppose you haven't heard that a word of criticism from your enemy should be taken as a citation. You call your army an equal opportunity army? Well, merely offering ‘equal opportunity' is not sufficient. The most important thing is to provide the fair sex, a discrimination- and prejudice-free environment with immense amount of respect and cooperation by their male colleagues, otherwise bosses would keep making sexual advances against girls like fearful Flying Officer Anjali Gupta, who would remain on the run from pillar to post to save their honour. So please I request you to think twice before blowing your horn.

Unfortunately it only happened yesterday that an American female student on a trip to your ‘heavenly' country was raped by a bunch of sexually perverted six young Indians. I am sure you would have not dared to exploit the Swat Flogging video if you would have learnt about this shameful incident before that. Otherwise also you will bear with me that it happens only in India that the poor Dalit girls are forced to run naked on full moon nights and are forced into the Devdasi system of prostitution. Sarita Bai of Kotpuli village was raped by a custodian of the law and in other incidents females are gang-raped at religious places like a temple of Jodhpur, a couple of years back. "More women are killed or injured in sexual assault than through terrorism. Yet, how often have you seen the issue debated in parliament or figuring on political agendas? Leading activist Brinda Karat told the Times of India. Angry residents in Bombay also took to the streets after a drunken policeman raped a girl in daylight on a beachfront boulevard in the city". It's a Reuters report of May 14, 2005 from New Delhi and not my story about meeting a Pakistani soldier in the streets of Iraq.

Since we were discussing the ‘mutual army affairs' so I would not like to show some lost sleep on Indian social and societal affairs. Regarding your hallucinations about the Indian officers leading me and my colleagues, well colonel you may call it insubordination but I, being a committed and motivated soldier would bluntly refuse to serve under some disgruntle fellow who is involved in a colleagues rape case or drug trafficking as a part of the UN peace keeping force abroad.

When you talk about the pictures of surrender then don't forget to confess about those plunders which Indian forces carried out there and also those long hatched conspiracies sponsored by the Indian army and her forerunner RAW. Please don't remind us about the East Pakistan Fall, as we have not forgotten that for a moment and we also know that how that happened.

Colonel! Now while coming to the main point, I would not hesitate to tell you that in your letter you were unable to hide your fears about Taliban invading India but at the same time you expect Pakistan to fight the battle for your survival. I wish you would have thought of that in 1971 when you were meddling in Pakistan's affairs openly.

My army chief is quite clear about his priorities and he knows how to handle and when to tackle his internal militancy problem. He is working as a loyal team member of the government who trusts him and has thrown her weight behind him. For that he doesn't need any adversary advise and that too from a signaler who is not good for anything more than a ‘wilco & over'.

Colonel! How about putting our respective houses in order and stop dreaming about the dismemberment of each other in six months or in a year's time? You are pinning your hopes on the New York Times only while I have the reasons to believe the same in your case especially when minimum 50 independence movements are running inside India out of which at least 18 are full fledge insurgency movements, so better forget it. You are living at Pune where a great art academy is situated. Instead of wasting your time for such activities why don't you join some cultural troupe to spread a word of love (and not hatred)? Just think over it, because it's a sincere neighbourly advice and a strong will to do that plus an academy, both are within your reach.

Media & Anti State Propaganda by Zaheerul Hassan

Media is an instrument of war and peace, which is being exercised by every nations to mould the situations for the purpose of acquiring desired results, assist in revisions and making Foreign Policy, breaking status quo, making/changing the opinion of masses, protecting national and international interests, helping in economic growth by displaying positive picture of the policies, last but not the least indicating flaws in government policies/actions with a view to remove the bugs and suggest measures to improve. The lethal exploitation of media has also being made by terrorists organizations, notorious foreign agencies and their masters to expand ill motives through propagating various sectarian issues and promoting extremism in Pakistani society. Major powers especially America and her allies are using this tool to hit and exploit the sensitivity of the government policies and neutralizing those important institutions and their heads, which are directly related to the national integrity and security of the poor states. In the case of our country, its quite clear and alarming that anti state ulterior and interior forces are all out to push Pakistan into political turmoil, anarchy, instability with a view to fulfill their set objectives against lonely Islamic nuclear power. Our adversary is using the media in spreading rumors, creating chaos and confusion amongst the general masses of Pakistan. She is being directly supported by Tel Aviv, Washington, and some of western countries for leveling allegations against, Pakistani political and military leadership. In this regard, they are launching fabricated stories and maligning intelligence agencies and Armed forces in various undesired activities.
An agony to this aspect is that some of our top liner's electronic and print media's instruments are showing reckless attitude while dealing with the important and sensitive issues of Pakistan. Though the management of our front line newspaper committed that the letter has been published unintentionally in the paper but the damaged caused to our national asset is irrecoverable. Its not first news ever published in Pakistani newspaper but many times objectionable news do publish or telecasted too in various private electronic channels. On April 14, 2009 open letter to General Kayani of Col (R) Harish Puri's published in “The News International” , the author ( Hharish Puri ) has equated Swat peace accord with the surrender at Dhaka. He has further tried to project the threat of so called Talibanisation to India through Pakistan. And most painful point was his desire to have Pakistani soldiers under command Indian officers, making an ideal war machine. The Colonel has done a favour to remind us of 1971 humiliating defeat; thereby telling the younger generation of soldiers; who is our real enemy. The colonel should know that Indian and US has orchestrated personal agenda; bring Pakistan to the brink of political collapse. The real motive of this letter, which is to discourage the Army to support Swat Peace Accord that has been expressed as collective, will of the people of Pakistan through the resolution passed by National Assembly. The Colonel must know that we have started learning from the history example of East Pakistan finally plunging into Indian design due to obsession of Generals of that time, with the notion of writ of govt. The earlier we have realized, the better it is. Otherwise the Indian desire to look for a greater role in Afghanistan should be seen as replay of 1971 from across the Western border. The Colonel being a nonbeliever may not understand the power of Islamic ideology. If, for a while we assume that suicide bombers were motivated through Islamic ideology to die for a cause then we should stretch our imaginations as to what wonders can we perform if we motivate ourselves to live in accordance with the injunctions of Islam. And that happens to be the collective desire of the people of Pakistan as enunciated in our constitution. Probably the time has come for operationalization of Article 2A of 1973 Constitution. Therefore, the Colonel correctly perceives the threat to Hind. The history of distant past may repeat itself as threat actually emanates from the land of Babur, Ghaznavi and Ghauri. Notwithstanding the circumstances that led to the passage of resolution by National Assembly, it should not be seen as collapse of the present system or failure of the state, but the will to move forward towards accomplishment of Pakistan - as desired by our forefathers, who decided to lead their lives as per own ideology that differentiated them from Harish Puri's pitta and maata. So Mr Harishpuri, and his masters should remember that their dream to command a Pakistani soldier is a misplaced desire. He must know that Pakistan Army Chief and complete armed forces are die hearted soldiers and has full conviction and belief in Islam. I know that the letter has been written in RAW'S headquarters and accordingly sent for publishing. The sole purpose of this letter was an effort of defaming Pakistan Armed Forces and Intelligence Agencies. it is based on his perception of the motivational power of Islamic ideology then he must write to his own Army Chief to enroll Muslims of India, who are more in number than us and need to be uplifted beyond cobblers, barbers and washer men.
Coming back towards the topic I would like to say that during the past few years electronic media has progressed well, almost 60 Channels are covering various aspects of the life. The issue of prevailing security environment is rightly on the top of their agenda. Unfortunately, the national and international issues are being debated just to have an edge over other channels. In Pakistan media and judiciary are known as third and fourth pillar, principally, the first and second pillars, the Executive and the Legislature of the Pakistan. The country is under going a very critical situation due to the war on terror and other factors. Let's evaluate that under the current environment our media is displaying its responsibilities or still need improvement? The answer will be yes but still require lot of improvement in this regard. It is quite evident that one way or other the intellectual lot of media remained anxious in restoring of democracy; at the same time some of them indirectly found projecting the illegal activities of terrorists and anti state elements. Here, I would like to suggest to media pundit and information ministry to devise to guarding our national interests and policies. Training should be given to reporters about looking while covering the sensitive matters and commenting upon the national issues. Information minister should also arrange regular press briefing of the media. The complete facts should be highlighted to the media; similarly media should also show responsibility while making any issue in air. Anyhow, media should counter anti state propaganda instead proving space for anti Pakistan writers in their publication to win the goodwill and making money at the cost of national integrity and security .

Friday, April 10, 2009

CIA’s New Strategy of Maligning ISI by Zaheerul Hassan

Three top class American leaders, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Richard Holbrook, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army General David Petraeus, head of the US Central Command, said that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence service had links to militants on both its western border with Afghanistan and its eastern border with India.

Just after the announcement of new strategy on Afghan Issue, Three top class American leaders, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Richard Holbrook, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army General David Petraeus, head of the US Central Command, said that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence service had links to militants on both its western border with Afghanistan and its eastern border with India.
These leaders leveled baseless allegations against Pakistan intelligence agencies while saying that ISI’s links specifically to the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani militant network to the forces of Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Pentagon chief’s and Gates comments came after President Barack Obama policy on Afghanistan. Obama revealed in an interview with a media Progrmme “Face the nation “that his ground forces will not enter into Pakistan territory while chasing the militants. Moreover targets inside Pakistan will be neutralized in collaboration with Islamabad.
The statements of American’s leadership and Obama depicting double face since President and his CIA has adopted a new strategy of maligning Pakistan Intelligence agency. The currant Washington stance regarding war on terror gives two results, either president and its government are working in two different directions or tarnishing the image of ISI purposely with a view to weaken Pakistan.
On 29, 2009 ISPR rejected allegations against the ISI, published in a section of the international media New York Times. He stressed that these contentions of US are totally baseless and mala fide. “The commitment of Pakistan in fighting terrorism can be judged from the sacrifices rendered by its security forces, including the intelligence organisations,” he said in a statement issued here. “Such unauthenticated reports are part of a malicious campaign to discredit and bring disrepute to our security organisations. We, therefore, reject the allegations”, the spokesman added. It is unfortunate part of the war on terror game that CIA is altogether working on some different agenda. She has started playing and bluffing Obama as per her past experience of providing false information to Former President Bush on the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Similar approach is being now adhered in Afghanistan too.
Basically CIA has its own plan of creating instability in South Asia particularly in Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Sri Lanka. ISI is one of the strongest and patriotic intuition which is guarding national interests. ISI probably has translated the actual motive of CIA, RAW and RAAM against Pakistan and others ASEAN countries. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army General David Petraeus are extensions of former US government, thus statues quos is maintained and no visible change has yet been noticed on ground regarding Afghanistan.
Pakistan security and intelligence agencies has suffered more losses than American and foreign troops deployed in Afghanistan since 9/11. The current wave of terrorism in the country is directly linked with the overt and covert strategy of CIA and its sister’s organizations against Pakistan. Attacks on Police Training center Manawa & Sri Lankan Team in Lahore, Suicide attack on a mosque in Khyber Agency were carried out just after the conclusion of Swat Pact and settlement of Chief Justice Problem are clear indications of involvement of India in collaboration with CIA.
Holbrook already claimed that assistance from neighbouring countries will be taken to finish terrorism in Afghanistan. Here I would like to comment that what a simple strategy, method and view point and stance being taken by America over Afghan Issue. Other than US, the only affected countries in war against terror are Pakistan, Afghanistan Iraq and to some extent Iran. But dragging China and using India and Israel in the Afghan issues depict the ill motive of US policy. The aim of CIA and her allies are to keep Pakistan in trouble and defaming ISI only. In fact poor coordination among NATO – members is one of the major reasons of current instability in Afghanistan. They are using Pakistan and ISI as their escape goat.
The success of President Barack Obama’s new war strategy depends heavily on factors beyond his control because of irresponsible attitude shown by US top leadership and her agency (CIA). The only way of resolving afghan issue and elimination of terrorism in the world is that trust be shown over allies, cooperation with each others and respect the sovereignty of Pakistan. At the same time CIA should stop backing RAW, RAAM and Mossad those are actively busy in spreading anarchy in Pakistan.
So far entire war on terror is the reflection of protecting American’s interests only since Sept 11, 2001. Obama set the country on a path that is likely to require far more help from the rest of the world than it took for President George W Bush to turn around the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama said that a vital ingredient in his formula for success will be reconciliation among at least some adversaries within the country. But at the same time reconciliation carried out by Pakistan with local Taliban is not acceptable to US,”what a double Standard “.
However, CIA is working 280 degree opposite to it. The word about Taliban commander’s connection with ISI would be considered as a mud spraying efforts of CIA. Yes, I do acknowledge here that CIA and ISI were working against Russian incursion in 80s to protect their respective national interests. Both the agencies were having links with various Taliban Groups and also exploited these too. Bush too declared these Taliban as war heroes. Both the agencies have worked for their national interests so no crib but maligning ISI and Pakistan Security agencies is just an effort of creating instability, sabotaging democracy and targeting peaceful nuclear programme.
Jews are controlling 60% of world media. CIA is using media as her tool for propagating against Pakistan. Some of Western electronic and print particularly Americans media jumped into the support of self-generated cold war of notorious Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) against Pakistani Intelligence Agency (ISI). The current campaign against ISI is part of media trial of Pakistan and its security agencies. Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit also said that the report published by the New York Times “missed the essential fact of robust cooperation and engagement between Pakistan, Afghanistan, the US and other countries in counter-terrorism efforts”. According to the reports, The Times and New York Times are being totally sponsored by the lobby which is taking care of Mossad, CIA and raw interests. Their credibility on the world forum beyond any doubt is questionable, biased and one sided.
CIA has adopted a multi-directional approach to targeting ISI, as usually its allied agencies, RAW, Khad and Mossad are assisting the US intelligence agency covertly in the completion of their agenda of destabilizing this region. The malicious operating roles of the revealed agencies against Pakistan, China, Russia, Bangladesh, Iran, Middle East countries and Sri Lanka are totally now an open secret game because of their common interests of containing the emerging super power like Russia and China to get hold of the future markets. American leadership is deliberately closing her eyes on the actual root causes of their failures in war on terror .Washington-led block believes that their political economic goals can only be achieved through targeting the opponents’ intelligence agencies, launching puppet governments of their own choice, destroying important institutions, assassinating popular political leadership and creating unrest and destabilization in the developing countries particularly in Asia.
CIA in collaboration with Raw and Mossad are engaged in disturbance creation plan in ASEAN and Arab countries. In the recent past, Raw with the help of her master agency CIA staged plots while carrying out attacks, on Sri Lanka Team, Police Training Center Lahore, Bangladesh mutiny, and suicidal mission after the Swat pacts to implement her new strategy. Concluding the discussion, I must say that Government of Pakistan might be well aware of this move of an international conspiracy to target the ISI. The political leadership should convey to US authorities about the repercussion of propaganda against Pakistan, her security forces and sensitive organization. Washington must know that non stoppage of such type campaign against ISI will cause damage to the war against terror. Pakistan’s political leadership must take step to guard against the potent threat to the country’s security. US think-tanks should ask their leadership to curtail the activities of CIA if they want to go for real peace in the world.

Writer is freelance and can be contacted on Zameer36@gmail.com

Detriments to Swat Peace Pact by Lt Col Zaheerul Hassan (R)

Swat which remained on international focus due to turmoil brought out by the Taliban Insurgency since 2007, has now heading towards calm and peace slowly and gradually. General masses of Pakistan, particularly Swati population have welcomed the accord concluded between Sufi Muhmmad of the banned TNSM and the government. But some of western countries, US and India authorities did not endorse the pact since the said deal is not as per their design.
There are some external and internal forces which are basically anti accord elements and now making efforts to defeat the peace. Anti Pakistan internal and external forces has adopted the multidimensional approach to sabotage the revealed deal while: using black sheep of FATA by slaughtering of government officials, abducting and shooting down of innocent people, destructing private and public properties, challenging government writ , negative propaganda against law enforcement agencies, media campaign against Islam and condemning Pak government policy of carrying out negotiations with local Taliban. Sufi Muhammad and Fazalullah if serious in establishment of permanent peace then they have to find out the culprits using their platforms for creating instability in the country . Thus, foreign sponsored groups, pact opposing western countries, US and Particular India are real detriments to Swat Peace Pact. On 29 March district Lower Dir, miscreants while kidnapping Muhammad Shoaib (Manager MCB Peshawar) was chased by locals under Alamzeb Khan (ex District Nazim/JI). During exchange of fire, Alamzeb Khan and his relative Mehmood lost their lives. Later Khurshid Khan (DPO) along with police contingent reached to the site (village Haya Serai) and in an ensuing gun battle, the DPO and the two police constables got killed. However miscreants managed to escape with the kidnapees.” The local sources alleged that the Kidnapping and killing of DPO and innocent people have been done on the instructions of so called Taliban spoke’s man. The local population has now started realizing that these Taliban are interested to enforce their own agenda which is totally away from the Islam.
For example lashing of 17 year old young girl for no fault has further fueled the sentiments of the general public. Though, Taliban leadership has declared the video as factious one, but these two recent incidents on one hand has flared up the locals who are adamant to form a Lashkar and physically attack the miscreants hideouts along with protest processions to pressurize the government for the recovery of abductees and on the other hand the incident has created a concern in the ranks and files of miscreants due to the up rise of locals against the Talibans.
All these events taking place one after the other pointing towards the malicious aims of the rival intelligence agencies to destabilize Pakistan. The intelligence agencies like RAW and CIA are sponsoring such brutality in Swat to cause adverse effects on the peace deal between the government and the Taliban. The drone attacks is another issue which is being cashed by anti Pakistan Taliban because of some obvious reasons like: not targeting the actual culprit like Baitullah Mehsood .Now it become an open secret that Washington is not interested to hit some covert Taliban but only victimize innocent people. Whatever the case may be, the increase in drone attacks in FATA area is undermining the sovereignty of Pakistan and damaging the peaceful efforts. Once the peace deal gets influenced by such ruthless activities, the involved players will be able to achieve their vested interests. Apart from their efforts to contemplate the name of Pakistani intelligence agencies, the RAW sponsored and trained miscreants are now concerned over the growing restlessness among the people regarding their ruthless episodes. Thus in order to create pressure among the common public and to provoke hatred in their minds against the government and the agencies, they (Planted Talibans) are carrying out such incidents as quoted above. Now it is the tone of the tongue that external forces are involved in causing unrest in Baluchistan too. Bugti Mari tribes have secular / nationalist out lock and have no religious motives. Baluchistan Liberation Army is being supported by RAW and CIA with the overall aim of weakening Pakistan. As regards to FATA some forces are supporting terrorists to take political control of the area, defeat coalition efforts of the government and peaceful locals. The government is following three pronged strategy which encompasses dialogue with the locals, development of the area and use of force as deterrence.
Pakistan has deployed over 120,000 troops along the Pak – Afghan border and setting up of nearly 850 border security posts, development works in the affected areas, registrations of madrassas, enforcing of Islamic laws in Swat. But even then Pak government is facing problems due to malicious activities of foreign hands in FATA. In short, as the strategic significance of Pakistan has always overawed the rival and competing intelligence agencies. The masters of these foreign agencies are working on five points agenda to eliminate Pakistan from the world map or declared her a failed state. The five points agenda encompasses “ (one) target Pakistan nuclear programme, (two) separation of Baluchistan and FATA area, ( three) Maligning Armed Forces and ISI , (four ) create political instability and economical disorder , last but not the least , sabotaging peace deals of government and locals. Thus, All possible measures are being taken to prove Pakistan a failed and irresponsible state. For a long time, RAW has been carrying out subversive acts with in the territorial boundaries of Pakistan. Now, terrorists’ intentions are as clear as crystal, the government and public of Pakistan should act responsibly and maturely. Steps should be taken to safeguard the sovereignty of Pakistan.
The swat pact needs to be protected at all costs as the prosperity and stability of Pakistan hinges upon the success of this peace deal. Further more, in every organization be it a terrorist organization, there are some anti state elements and black sheeps. The need of the hour is to highlight such miscreants within Talibans and others organizations.
Their elimination be carried out by respective loyal local leadership and respective head of the organization. This conspiracy theory against Pakistan has to be dealt tactfully and intelligently. Only then we can ensure the sovereignty and peaceful existence of our beloved country. The great game against Pakistan launched by India supported by US and Israel has to be defeated. This is not a war of bayonets rather it is a war of minds. Thus deployment of army or drone attacks is not the solution of the problem. The resolution to the problem is to look up for the root causes and then eliminate the same for better future of Pakistan.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time Is Short as U.S. Presses a Reluctant Pakistan by JANE PERLEZ (New York Times)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — President Obama’s strategy of offering Pakistan a partnership to defeat the insurgency here calls for a virtual remaking of this nation’s institutions and even of the national psyche, an ambitious agenda that Pakistan’s politicians and people appear unprepared to take up. Officially, Pakistan’s government welcomed Mr. Obama’s strategy, with its hefty infusions of American money, hailing it as a “positive change.” But as the Obama administration tries to bring Pakistanis to its side, large parts of the public, the political class and the military have brushed off the plan, rebuffing the idea that the threat from Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which Washington calls a common enemy, is so urgent. Some, including the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and the president, Asif Ali Zardari, may be coming around. But for the military, at least, India remains priority No. 1, as it has for the 61 years of Pakistan’s existence.

How to shift that focus in time for Pakistan to defeat a fast-expanding Islamic insurgency that threatens to devour the country is the challenge facing Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Richard C. Holbrooke, the special envoy to the region, as they arrive in Pakistan for talks early this week. Strengthening Pakistan’s weak civilian institutions, updating political parties rooted in feudal loyalties and recasting a military fixated on yesterday’s enemy, and stuck in the traditions of conventional warfare, are generational challenges. But Pakistan may not have the luxury of the long term to meet them. Some analysts here and in Washington are already putting forward apocalyptic timetables for the country. “We are running out of time to help Pakistan change its present course toward increasing economic and political instability, and even ultimate failure,” said a recent report by a task force of the Atlantic Council that was led by former Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. The report, released in February, gave the Pakistani government 6 to 12 months before things went from bad to dangerous.

A specialist in guerrilla warfare, David Kilcullen, who advised Gen. David H. Petraeus when General Petraeus was the American commander in Iraq, offered a more dire assessment. Pakistan could be facing internal collapse within six months, he said. General Petraeus, in Congressional testimony last week, called the insurgency one that could “take down” the country, which is home to Qaeda militants and has nuclear arms. Even before the insurgency has been fully engaged, however, many Pakistanis have concluded that reaching an accommodation with the militants is preferable to fighting them. Some, including mid-ranking soldiers, choose to see the militants not as the enemy, but as fellow Muslims who are deserving of greater sympathy than are the American aims. It is problematic whether the backing of Mr. Zardari, and the Obama’s administration’s promise of $1.5 billion in aid for each of the next five years, can change the mood in the country, said a former interior minister, Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, who visited Washington last fall to meet with some of the people who are now officials in the Obama administration. Fighting the insurgency is commonly seen in Pakistan as an American cause, not a Pakistani one, he said. There are questions, too, of whether the Obama offer of nearly $3 billion in counterinsurgency aid can quickly convert the Pakistani military from a force trained to fight India on the plains of Punjab into an outfit that can conquer the mountains of the tribal areas, where the militants operate. “After such a long time of being with the Americans, the country has been through such stress and strain and nothing good has come of it,” Mr. Sherpao said. “A cross-section of people is dead set against the Americans. Another section is not happy but not vocal. About 1 to 2 percent would say this policy of America should continue.”

The distrust has been heightened by charges from American officials, including General Petraeus and Mr. Holbrooke, that Pakistan’s spy agency is still supporting the Islamic militants who pour over the border to fight American troops in Afghanistan. A former director general of the agency Inter-Services Intelligence, Lt. Gen. Javed Ashraf, said the American opinions — long held but now publicly stated — did not augur well. A spokesman for the Pakistani military called them “baseless” and part of a “malicious campaign. “You can’t start a successful operation with a trust deficit,” General Ashraf said. “Pakistan is an ally. But then you say we are linked with the Taliban. The serving army people will say, ‘To hell with them if this is what we are going to get after laying down more than 1,500 lives.’ ” That is the number of soldiers the Pakistani Army says have been killed fighting the militants in the tribal areas. The lack of trust was evident, military analysts said, in the American refusal to consider a request from the Pakistani military that it operate the remotely piloted aircraft the C.I.A. has been using to hit the militants in the tribal areas.

Although those Predator drones have been successful in killing top Qaeda operatives, a factor acknowledged privately by Pakistani officials, the attacks continued to be criticized even as the new Pakistani-American partnership was supposed to be taking root. “Predator strikes are not a strategy — not even part of a strategy,” a former army chief of staff and ambassador to Washington, Gen. Jehangir Karamat, said in a front-page article in the newspaper The Nation. “They are tactical actions to ratchet up body counts.” The Americans have been stingy on even the more basic tools for guerrilla warfare, like helicopter gunships and night-vision goggles, which Pakistan has requested for the past three years, Pakistani military officials say. There are still doubts that Washington will deliver such equipment speedily, they say. Then there is India. Its growing presence in Afghanistan — the building of roads; the opening since 2001 of two consulates in two cities close to Pakistan — makes Pakistan believe it is being encircled, said Ishaq Khan Khakwani, a former senator from the Pakistan Muslim League-Q party. Pakistanis complain that even though Mr. Obama, during his European trip, called for dialogue between India and Pakistan, his plans fail to address this major strategic concern. “The United States has to get India to back off in Afghanistan,” said Mr. Khakwani, who is sympathetic to the American position. “Then Pakistan will see Indian interference is diminished and that will give confidence to Pakistan.” The deep questioning about why the Pakistani Army should fight the Taliban reaches well down into the ranks of the soldiers and their families. Dissent on that goal has become increasingly prevalent among rank-and-file soldiers, and even in the officer corps, said Riffat Hussain, a professor of international relations at Quaid-i-Azam University here who also lectures to soldiers at the National Defense University. There have been at least a half-dozen reported courts-martial of soldiers who refused to fight, and the real number was probably larger, Professor Hussain said.

In Jhelum, a town 100 miles south of Islamabad and a place with a proud military history, one village had shown in the boldest terms the anger about the military fighting Muslims on Pakistani soil, said Enver Baig, a former senator with the Pakistan Peoples Party, who considers himself a pro-American politician. When the body of a soldier killed in the tribal areas was taken home to his family last year, the father refused to accept his son’s coffin, Mr. Baig said. Instead, the father took off his shoe and used it to slap the army officer who had escorted the body. A month later, when another soldier’s body was delivered to the same village, the army left the body on the village outskirts, Mr. Baig said.

Monday, April 6, 2009

India's Failing Secularism by Kapil Komireddi

In a supposedly secular state, India's religious minorities find themselves in an increasingly precarious position.

As India prepares for the 15th general election since it became a republic in 1950, the country's religious minorities are anxious. The impressive economic growth that put India on the covers of major western news weeklies has not touched their lives, and they are acutely aware of their precarious position in a country that is routinely celebrated by the rest of the world as a redoubt of western-style modernity in a region associated with backwardness.
Indian Muslims in particular have rarely known a life uninterrupted by communal conflict or unimpaired by poverty and prejudice. Their grievances are legion, and the list of atrocities committed against them by the Indian state is long. In 2002 at least 1,000 Muslims were slaughtered by Hindu mobs in the western state of Gujarat in what was the second state-sponsored pogrom in India (Sikhs were the object of the first, in 1984).
Gujarat's chief minister, Narendra Modi, explained away the riots by quoting Newton's third law. "Every action," he said on television, "has an equal opposite reaction." The "action" that invited the reaction of the mobs was the torching of a Gujarat-bound train in which 59 Hindus pilgrims, most of them saffron-clad bigots who were returning home from a trip to the site of the Babri Mosque that they had helped demolish a decade earlier, perished. The "equal and opposite reaction" was the slaughter of 1,000 innocent Muslims for the alleged crime of their coreligionists.
Such an event, had it occurred anywhere else, would have destroyed that country's reputation. But, astonishingly, the years since 2002 have witnessed a steady stream of books, mostly by western authors, extolling India. The unwillingness on western intellectuals' part to engage honestly with the violent reality of India, or offer a sincere portrayal of its transformation, has much to do with their own assumptions of history and modernity; but glossing over India's treatment of its Muslims – or omitting it substantially from their analyses – must have at least something to do with the insidious apathy towards Muslim tribulations that has characterised western attitudes since 9/11.
The rise of Hindu chauvinism in India has a complex history, but the absence of any meaningful sanction from the rest of the world has certainty emboldened Hindu bigots. Last week, Varun Gandhi, the Hindu-chauvinist BJP's London-educated parliamentary candidate from the Pilibhit constituency in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, made remarks of a kind that even European neo-Nazi leaders would hesitate to make in public.
Addressing an exclusive gathering of Hindu voters, Gandhi talked about the injustices faced by Hindus; then he told his enthusiastic listeners that he would sever any hand that was raised against a Hindu; that the lotus (the BJP's election symbol) would chop off Muslim heads; that Muslim names were scary; that his opponent's name sounded like "Osama bin Laden".
The name of his opponent, Riaz Ahmed, does not sound remotely like bin Laden's; but listening to a "Gandhi" make such an inflammatory speech should, if it hasn't already, shatter complacent Indian liberal notions about the country's experiment with secularism. Varun Gandhi is not a fringe figure: he is the great-grandson of India's first prime minister, the staunchly secular atheist Pandit Nehru.
For decades Indian intellectuals have claimed that religion, particularly Hinduism, is perfectly compatible with secularism. Indian secularism, they said repeatedly, is not a total rejection of religion by the state but rather an equal appreciation of every faith. Even though no faith is in principle privileged by the state, this approach made it possible for religion to find expression in the public sphere, and, since Hindus in India outnumber adherents of every other faith, Hinduism dominated it. Almost every government building in India has a prominently positioned picture of a Hindu deity. Hindu rituals accompany the inauguration of all public works, without exception.
The novelist Shashi Tharoor tried to burnish this certifiably sectarian phenomenon with a facile analogy: Indian Muslims, he wrote, accept Hindu rituals at state ceremonies in the same spirit as teetotallers accept champagne in western celebrations. This self-affirming explanation is characteristic of someone who belongs to the majority community. Muslims I interviewed took a different view, but understandably, they were unwilling to protest for the fear of being labelled as "angry Muslims" in a country famous for its tolerant Hindus.
The failure of secularism in India – or, more accurately, the failure of the Indian model of secularism – may be just one aspect of the gamut of failures, but it has the potential to bring down the country. Secularism in India rests entirely upon the goodwill of the Hindu majority. Can this kind of secularism really survive a Narendra Modi as prime minister? As Hindus are increasingly infected by the kind of hatred that Varun Gandhi's speech displayed, maybe it is time for Indian secularists to embrace a new, more radical kind of secularism that is not afraid to recognise and reject the principal source of this strife: religion itself.
The author is the writer in Guardian.co.uk