August 2014(EDITION 2, Volume 51)
Asif Jehangir Raja
Ever since its emergence as a nation-state on the world map on 14 August 1947, Pakistan has been through different phases of glory and troubles. This phenomenon isn't unique as almost every nation, as we go through the chapters ....Read full article
Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmad
I have received thousands of letters and telegrams of congratulations, greetings and good wishes from all over India and abroad. It is physically....Read full article
Maj Waheed Bukhari
Since my childhood I was fond of listening to the historical events. With every passing day of my life, this habit became a custom. Few weeks back....Read full article
Ejaz Haider
Pakistan was created with an aim of developing it as a progressive modern country, which could offer equal socio-economic opportunities....Read full article
Ejaz Haider
The basic unit of identity and analysis in today's world is the nation-state. In its current incarnation, it's not a very old concept. Some scholars....Read full article
Maj Gen Muhammad Khalil Dar
14th of August is proudly celebrated as Independence Day because the Muslims of the subcontinent finally freed themselves form yoke of occupation....Read full article
Brig Ehsan Mehmood Khan
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was one of the most world leaders of his time, who left his mark on all aspects of future statecraft of the subcontinent....Read full article
Feryal Ali Gauhar
The Political Problem of Mankind is to combine Three Things: Economic Efficiency, Social Justice And Individual Liberty (John Maynard Keynes)....Read full article
Dr. Akber S. Ahmed

On the western front frowned the eagle

mighty Caesar in imperial regalia regal....Read full article

Juggun Kazim
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?.Now if happiness is true harmony between....Read full article
Naila Inayat
In these times, when everything around you seems disastrous, you hope to find a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't remember the last time....Read full article
Salman Rashid
Raja Afrasiab, the Sarangal Gakkhar, lives in a lovely old haveli of the classical design in village 'Hur Do Chir'.I had imagined this meant....Read full article
Maj Farooq Feroze (Miranshah)
The sudden beautiful drizzling marked with mystic fragrance brought a pleasant change in weather in the spacious ground....Read full article
Brig Dr Muhammad Khan
The basic provision of the international law is that: “individuals should not be arbitrarily deprived of their lives, and homicide should be deterred....Read full article


Dr. Rizwana Abbasi
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than....Read full article
Tahir Mehmood
Our world does not have a long history; if not in religious sense then at least in political and economic evolution. The Paleolithic....Read full article
Salma Mohammad Hassni
am using my pen at a time when my native province Balochistan is facing many problems in its educational system owing to the negligence....Read full article
Zubair Torwali
Although the idyllic Swat valley is now known more for the worst ever Taliban atrocities during 2007-09 but it still remains the cherished....Read full article
Afia Nathaniel
There have been numerous articles written about the state of our film industry, the past glories, the dismal failure along the way and....Read full article
Lt Col Sohail Akbar Bajwa
It was an evening as usual in Quetta as I was retiring at my residence and was enjoying the programmes of Independence Day on TV. It was ....Read full article
Ms Maryam Imran
Ever since I wedded you, I have never seen your spirits to falter; it would be very naïve to ask you traditionally about your spirits, but....Read full article
Asif Jehangir Raja
Today, the challenge we face from the east, in terms of lethality, is no different than the one we face from the west....Read full article

Lt Col Rai Altaf Hussain (Line of Control)

ltcolrai.jpgOn behalf of all ranks of my unit, I congratulate the nation on the gracious occasion of 68th Independence Day. It is indeed a day to be celebrated as a nation with zeal and enthusiasm. My unit is presently deployed on eastern borders and I assure the nation that we will uphold the flag of the country with dignity and pride.


Lt Col Ch Muhammad Atif Iftikhar (FC Balochistan)

ltcolchm.jpgPakistan's 68th birthday arrives at a moment when it is mired in host of problems. August 14th should be a time to join together and focus on the common goal to preserve independence. It is a day to celebrate freedom and reflect on the future of Pakistan. Let's stand as a nation and present our children, a prosperous and better Pakistan.


Lt Col Muhammad Bilal Iqbal (Siachen)

ltcolmbilal.jpgEvery year 14 August reminds us of great sacrifices made by our forefathers to bestow us with precious gift of freedom. History is replete with names of many heroes, who, in the name of patriotism, laid down their lives for the motherland. Even today, we the proud sons of Pakistan are fully motivated to stand up against any challenge irrespective of unforgiving weathers and tormenting terrain.


Capt Saba Aslam (GHQ)

capsaba.jpgOn completion of 68 years of independence, I want to salute our forefathers who sacrificed their comforts for our better future. I also want to pay homage to women of Pakistan who participated in struggle for freedom and are now equally contributing in the progress of the country.


Cdr Zakir Hussain (Pak Navy)

cdrzakir.jpg14 August is a unique day for all of us. It not only reminds us of our collective responsibility as a nation, but also reinforces our belief in being one of the most resilient states of the world. Pakistan Navy is serving this nation in all possible ways and we will not let enemy to cause damage to this great country. Happy Independence Day


Capt Umar Iqbal (FATA)

capumari.jpgIndependence is a precious gift of Almighty Allah which is attained through innumerable sacrifices by our ancestors. Pakistan is a sacred place for us where we can practice our religion with complete freedom. Let us take a decision to value our nation by making the dreams of our forefathers come true. Long Live Pakistan


Lt Col Shadman Aslam Shah (Pakistan Rangers Sindh)

ltshadman.jpgI congratulate Pakistani Nation on this Independence Day. While soldiers of Pakistan Army are busy in bringing peace in FATA through Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan Rangers is doing all it can to protect citizens of Karachi and is also looking after border areas of Sindh. Long Live Pakistan!


Group Captain Mashkoor Hussain (PAF)

groupcaptm.jpgIslamic Republic of Pakistan emerged on world map on 14 August 1947, as a nation born of burning desire for freedom; ready to offer toil, sweat and blood; for longevity, prosperity and success of this Divine gift Our Pakistan. PAF is ever ready to defend this nation and we will not hesitate in rendering any sacrifice for Pakistan.


Lt Hamza Ibrar (Line of Control)

lthamza.jpgAzadi or liberation is a frame of mind and an attitude which we must endeavour to seek. “Yaum-e-Azadi” is a day of soul searching and re-appraisal to assess whether our actions as individuals and team members are aligned with the ideology of our independence.


Lt Col Atif Mujtaba (FATA)

ltcolatif.jpgI and my unit wish Pakistani Nation a very happy Independence Day and assure that we will leave no stone unturned in bringing peace to our motherland.


Maj Dr. Farheen Nighat (United Nations Military Observer – Darfur, Sudan)

majfehreen.jpgIndependence is a precious gift of God. But this Nation gave lots of sacrifices to get this independence. Let's pledge we shall not forget those sacrifices and will give over next generation, a more prosperous and peaceful Pakistan.


Lt Col Ahtesham Ali Malik (FC KPK)

ltcolahtesham.jpgI congratulate people of Pakistan at this great day. We are happily safeguarding the frontiers of Pakistan and protecting it from external and internal threats. On this joyful day, I and my troops, wish you all a very happy Independence Day.


Maj Ansar Ali Bhatti (Line of Control)

majansar.jpgI congratulate the nation on the auspicious occasion of 68th Independence Day. The Nation must remained assured that Pakistan is in safe hands and its Armed Forces have the ability to defend it from any sort of internal/external threats. The Armed Forces will hold the flag high till last drop of blood and will not hesitate for any kind of sacrifices for the dignity and the honour of the country. Happy Independence Day.


Maj Muhammad Rizwan Sharif (Siachen)

majmrizwan.jpgAugust 14th has a great historical significance, as the boundaries of our beloved Pakistan emerged on world map. As we celebrate this day with a sense of pride, we must pay profound homage to our predecessor for their unparalleled sacrifices, which brought forth, the dream of a sovereign state. While rejoicing this day, we are also cognizant of the fact that we are successor of men and women of honour who have left behind great traditions of glory and courage for us to emulate. On this epoch making day we strongly convey to our fellow countrymen that we will leave no stone unturned in defending our motherland against all threats.


Lt Mubasher Nazir (FATA)

ltmubashar.jpg14th August is the most important day in the history of Pakistan as 68 years ago on this day, Pakistan emerged on the map of World as the 1st ever Islamic Republic. Muslims of the subcontinent sacrificed their families and homes for an independent country. For a decade or so we are fighting the menace of terrorism. Let's all pledge to bring peace to Pakistan and fight the enemies of the state till the last breath.


Capt Atif Hameed Zafar (United Nations Military Observer – Ivory Coast)

capatif.jpgMay peace, piety and prosperity by mirth envelop the nation. May the essence of brotherhood be alive in our hearts. May the pride and honour of Pakistan be our motto for building a better Pakistan. Happy Independence Day to everyone back home.


Maj Amer Ghuman, SSG (FATA)

majamer.jpgI congratulate people of Pakistan on 68th Independence Day. We are determined to secure Pakistan from internal and external enemies and will render every sacrifice for the country.


Lt Taha Aftab (Siachen)

lttaha.jpgI congratulate Pakistani Nation at this Independence Day from the snow covered mountains of Siachen. Pakistan is very precious to all of us and we must put in our best to make it a progressive and strong country of the world. May Allah be with us.

Ever since its emergence as a nation-state on the world map on 14 August 1947, Pakistan has been through different phases of glory and troubles. This phenomenon isn't unique as almost every nation, as we go through the chapters of history, had to face innumerable challenges in their path to success. Pakistan is no exception. A country with 30 million people in 1947, that had minimum resources with almost nonexistent infrastructure at the time of creation, is now an atomic power. In 1947, Pakistan was poor enough to feed itself and had to import food from abroad; today not only feeds 180 million people but is also the 3rd largest rice exporting country in the world. The farmers have not only been able to fulfill the domestic needs of wheat, rice, sugar and milk for 180 million people, but are also exporting products to the rest of the world. Pakistan has also gone quite far in textile exports as well as manufacturing. We hardly had any manufacturing industries in 1947. Six decades later, the manufacturing production index is over 12,000 with the base of 100 in 1947. Pakistan's average annual GDP growth rate in the first five decades remained higher than the average growth rate of the world economy. Average annual GDP growth rates of Pakistan were 3.1% in the 1950s, 6.8% in the 1960s, 4.8% in the 1970s, and 6.5% in the 1980s. It declined in the years to come due to political and security situation but was about 7% during 2003-04 to 2006-07. The achievements of Pakistan in income, consumption, agriculture and industrial production are extremely impressive and have lifted millions of people out of poverty levels. With a GDP growth rate of 6.8% in the 1960s, Pakistan was considered as a role model of economic growth for other developing countries and many of them followed Pakistan's framework for economic planning. This growth enabled the country to create more jobs and per capita income that was less than $100 in 1947, now stands at $1380. This is a clear indication of improvement in well-being of citizens. Pakistan didn't even lag behind in the field of sports. It produced some spectacular performances in its history of 68 years. Jahangir Khan went on to enter the Guinness Book of Records by winning the World Open title six times and the British Open title a record ten times. In 1992, Pakistan won the One-Day Cricket World Cup whereas in 2009, Pakistan won the ICC T-20 Cricket World Championship. Pakistan had also been the World and Olympic champion in hockey and has lately performed very well in snooker. Armed Forces of Pakistan have also grown tall in all fields and are now counted as one of the best in the world. At partition, out of 46 training establishments that existed in pre-partition India, only seven were in Pakistan. With weak logistical foundations and deficiency of equipment, Pakistan Army was also deprived of human resources in 1947 and was only handed over six armoured, eight artillery and 33 infantry units which were much less as compared to the Indians. But today in 2014, Pakistan Armed Forces are comprised of around 0.6 million personnel with a fully equipped Army, Air Force and Navy. In comparison with few units at partition, Pak Army today comprises nine corps, that have infantry, armoured, artillery and air defence divisions with hundreds of fully equipped and trained units. Pakistan has enormous potential to emerge as a strong country of the world. For that, all of us have to rise above ourselves and have to think, what is best for Pakistan. It is only through hard work, honesty and dedication, that we can help our state to become stronger. Armed Forces are successfully clearing NWA from the clutches of terrorists as operation Zarb-e-Azb has entered third month. Pak Army is determined to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan and will continue with the operation till elimination of all terrorists. Happy Independence Day!

Written By: Afia Nathaniel

There have been numerous articles written about the state of our film industry, the past glories, the dismal failure along the way and then of this “revival”.

I want to write about the industry from an insider's perspective and about where we are headed or rather where we should be headed. In my opinion, the Pakistani film industry is far from a true “revival”. Right now for local filmmakers and producers who are taking risks with telling new kinds of stories in cinema, it is simply a matter of survival.

True revival happens when there is a critical mass of content in the market which can change the status quo of stagnation in the film industry. At the moment, there are hardly two or three independent films coming out every year and that too in a very limited sense because they only cater to local desi audiences. True revival of any cinema industry happens when you look from the inside out and look towards the global market as your audience and not limit yourself to only local audiences.

If you look at the success of Mexican, Indian and African independent filmmakers in the global market, they have carved out a niche for themselves by offering local stories to global audiences. There is a great thirst in the international market to hear stories from Pakistan, especially, well-told stories through the language of cinema. These films can be art house, commercial or straddle a whole section in between. This diversity in cinema is precisely what we need to have in our local cinema cuisine which is only used to seeing the Bollywood commercial films on one hand or limited local films that do not completely fulfil the audience's diverse palate. We should be making films of all kinds and in all genres. Sci-fi, thrillers, supernatural, horror, drama, noir, fantasy, etc. It is only when an audience is exposed to a diverse range of cinema, will a true growth happen in the local indie cinema industry of Pakistan. Right now, it is either the film with the latest item number or some big Hollywood film. The spectrum in between is quite missing.

The other change which is necessary and is happening, albeit slowly but for the better, is the emergence of the “middle class” filmmaker in Pakistan. Stories which can represent our social classes across the board are necessary for this very diversity we seek to sustain cinema. And filmmakers, like me, who have made their name on their own terms and on their own merit, are very necessary for this growth to happen. My father was in the armed forces and encouraged us to do what we liked. However, the art was never considered to be a career option. I left my career in computer sciences to pursue filmmaking because it was not just a passion – it is my life. I was always a storyteller and I found a way to push through this industry, learning as I went.

I am a writer, director, producer and editor of films and my first feature film DUKHTAR will hit cinemas in Pakistan on 18th September 2014. I believe we stand on the threshold of an exciting time where, if given the right incentives to the film industry and new filmmakers, we can create a critical mass of content for local and global consumption.

For us to look ahead in the industry, we also need to look at how audience behaviour has changed and is impacting the media industry the world over.

The audience of today is a smart audience. They understand quality when they see it. They are exposed to a world where all kinds of films and content is available at the tip of their keyboards. This audience does not want to see three hour films and are not used to waiting for a whole year to wait and see the film they have heard so much about. Instant gratification is one of the hallmarks of this new audience, especially the 18-24 age bracket. This is the demographic that is fast shrinking for TV as they turn to new ways to consume media and films online and on mobile devices. Catering to this next generation of audiences is going to be challenging yet interesting. We have to find new way to structure our stories, new ways to distribute our stories and new ways to finance these stories in order to reach these audiences.

From where we are standing in Pakistan, it will be interesting to see how we cater to this next generation of audiences which may not necessarily want to go to a cinema theatre to watch their films but instead want to instantly watch the latest release on their mobile device. The current state of film distribution in Pakistan is not yet ready for this model. Going to the cinema will always be a special experience, perhaps, with families and friends, and that is here to stay. However, getting ready to cater to the next generation's expectations of how they want to watch films is equally important as what they want to watch. Understanding this behaviour is a crucial component to any conversation we have on the revival of cinema in Pakistan. It is the emergence of a new kind of audience that expects something better from us all.

How we adapt to this new audience behaviour coupled with providing merit-based incentives to new filmmakers and allowing a diverse set of voices to thrive is what will determine how successfully this revival in cinema takes place. And it will also determine how far those voices will be heard in the rest of the world.

So here's to looking ahead. The world is alive with possibilities…as is cinema.

The writer is an award winning Pakistani film maker who holds an MFA in Film Dircting from Columbia University (Dean’s Fellow),  and BSC Computer science from LUMS

Twitter: @AfiaNathaniel


Written By: Zubair Torwali

Although the idyllic Swat valley is now known more for the worst ever Taliban atrocities during 2007-09 but it still remains the cherished destination of many domestic tourists. Because of Swat's cultural heritage, diversity and natural beauty, it also used to host many foreigners in the past, who are again showing interest in visiting this place due to improvement in security situation.

Swat is the seat of the Buddhist relics and a significant part of the famous Gandhara civilization. Another historical fact many people might not be aware of, is Swat being the home to the ancient Darada or Dardic civilization.

Apart from the historical attractions, the Swat Valley is also visited extensively by summer tourists who come here to get respites from the sweltering summer in cities due to the shortage of electricity in the down country.

While the keen researchers and the Buddhist pilgrims take their ways to Saidu Sharif, Barikot, Odegram, Ghalegey, Punjigram or But Kada (Gul Kada), the common tourists would take their way to Kalam, Bahrain, Madyan, Malam Jaba, Miandam, Utror or Mahu Dand (Mahi Dhaan). The former are places with excavations of Gandhara, and the lately discovered Darada, civilizations whereas the latter are the places blessed with natural beauty and freshening climate. Alongside the Gandhara and Darada, Swat has some great but old monuments built by the Muslims during the 10th and 11th centuries.

There was a time when the foreigners, hippies and the pilgrims used to walk in the mountains during nights as well. There was also a time when the bazaars of Bahrain, Saidu Sharif and Madayan used to have a large number of foreigners. Swat used to be the most peaceful place in Pakistan. A foreigner could sleep in the open for the night without any fear.

 But then came a time when even the locals feared going out of their homes during daytime as well. The decade old rising religiosity, combined with the rising terrorism and extremism, resulted in a situation that made lives difficult for the locals of Swat.

The extremist elements virtually turned the 'paradise on earth' into a living hell. To them every sign of civilization was a stigma, and every un-conforming human being was infidel who was consequently punished to death. The valley was in full control of the Taliban when, in May 2009, Pakistan Army launched 'Operation Rah-e-Rast,' to save the people of Swat from the brutes. And truly proving the saying, 'when there is a will there is way' correct, the Army cleared Swat of the militants by the end of 2009. Peace began to resume, and things are much better today.

While Swat was recovering from the deadly scars by the militants, the people faced the wrath of nature due to irregular monsoon rains and huge floods ravaged the entire valley in July 2010. The floods obliterated many parts of the upper beautiful valley beyond Fatepur and people faced worst kind of troubles. Roads were almost washed away to an extent that it took more than 3 months for the Army to make a jeep-able track from Fatepur to Kalam.

After clearing the area of the militants and restoring the writ of the government, the Army and the government tried hard to reconstruct the infrastructure of Swat and revive its tourism which was mainly destroyed by the militants.  One of such measures was to hold sports and entertainment festivals in the entire valley, with its culmination in Kalam. Since 2010, Pakistan Army has been arranging one such big festival in Kalam with the name of Swat Summer Festival. This year it was scheduled from August 7 to 10 in Kalam and the valley of Mahu Dand. Such like festivals are excellent measures to boost tourism in Swat.

The entire beautiful valley beyond the town of Madayan including the valley of Chail to the east of Madayan is known as Swat-Kohistan or Kohistan of Swat due to its different ethnic identity.

Bahrain town is 64 km from Saidu Sharif and is located in the centre of Swat-Kohistan. The Wali of Swat named Bahrain after two rivers in the area  Daral and Swat.  It was also known by the names of Braniyal, Bhoonal and Darshah in the past. Bahrain is a considerably well-off town with an amicable local Torwali population. The town has pleasant weather during summers with chill breeze going past you while it is also accessible during winter. The old town of Bahrain has the intact structures of old houses with beautiful wood carving works  a specialty of the Darada culture.

The town of Mankiyal is locally known as Manekhaal. It has the famous 'Koshein' (Mankiyal Peak) which is also visible from many parts of lower Swat such as Barikot. Mankiyal valley has beautiful pastures of Jaba and Tape Baan and both places are best for skiing.

Kalam is known as the crown jewel of Swat and is considered to be the most beautiful town and valley in the entire Swat district. It was merged with Swat State in 1947; and with Pakistan in 1969 alongwith with Swat. The central mosque, known as Kalam Mosque, is a blend of modern and old architecture. Huge wooden beams with carved pillars and doors fascinate the visitors. The deodar forest in Kalam on a plain land is simply matchless.

Mahu Dand or Fish Lake is locally known as Mahi Dhaan. It is about 35 kilometres from Kalam in the Mitiltan valley. An azure water lake, a sanctuary of the trout fish; with lush green pasture around, and deodar trees in between the island the Mahu Dand, is best for camping in summer. Travelling to this place is extremely fascinating as one may find sharp steep waterfalls, meadows and valleys en route. The famous Plasaar (Falak Sair) mount is seen on the way which is also known as mini K2 because of its resemblance with K2.

On the other side, to the west of Kalam, is the valley of Utror. Utror has the beautiful lake known as Kandole (bowl). Places of Shahi Bagh and Ladu Valley are worth visiting in the near vicinity.

I will suggest Pak Army to further promote the local culture of Bahrain, Kalam and rest of Swat in these festivals. In this regard they can arrange musical shows, local sports’ games and making exhibition stalls.

All valleys of Swat-Kohistan area are fairylands. These are places where one finds everything: snow packed high mountains, lush green pastures, lakes, green lands, culture, camping grounds, foggy waterfalls and deodar forests. I suggest people to visit these areas more often because of improved security situation which will also attract foreign tourists.


The writer is a journalist based in Swat.

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Written By: Salma Mohammad Hassni

am using my pen at a time when my native province Balochistan is facing many problems in its educational system owing to the negligence of our federal and provincial governments as well as the feudals, sardars and nawabs who want the masses to remain ignorant, slaves, and not progress. More so, my province is blessed with natural resources and the longest coastal area, and has attained the attention of many big powers. It is the potential wealth of my province that makes it important in the entire region and, to me, is major cause of the disturbance in Balochistan.

The attitude of local authorities and politicians have pushed the common man into more miseries. The majority of the population is poor and mostly work the little lands they have and the cattle herds. With the advent of 21st century, and revolution of media in Pakistan, the level of awareness in the province is on rise where elders, though poor, are inclined towards educating their children. Although, some of them are facing difficulties in fulfilling their dreams of educated Balochistan also due to cultural issues, lack of resources and attitude of sardars; yet they are inclined to send their children to schools.

However, I feel that the decades old system of education has became dysfunctional. A number of brilliant teachers, lecturers, professors and PhD doctors from Balochistan have been targeted by militants, who play in the hands of foreign elements. Of late, the people of Panjgur (a far town in Balochistan), are facing threats by the militants to shut down government schools and have asked locals not to send their children to schools. Resultantly, students are scared go to schools. The parents are uncertain what would happen to their loved ones if they send them to schools. Many young students and teachers have, so far, lost their lives and many have fled the area. Though the government-run-educational-institutes are less in numbers yet the locals of Panjgur have started to enroll their children in private schools.

Education of the females is another issue of the province. On the one hand, religious extremists are discouraging locals to send girls to schools, and on the other hand, tribal elders often forbid women education due to cultural issues. The religious extremist and hard liner groups use different tactics to fulfil their agenda. Sometimes they attack female vaccination teams, the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and a few of them distribute pamphlets or threaten people against sending their girls to schools. For example, recently in Quetta, a private school female teachers were attacked with acid. However, a strong response from political and social circles against these advances gave a clear message that these kind of activities are not backed by the masses of Balochistan, who are more than willing to educate the next generation, especially females.

I request that the government should focus on Balochistan, particularly in the western areas for provision of schools, colleges and universities so that these people get on their feet and become capable of earning their daily living. More education will lead to elimination of extremism and feudalism in the province.

In the end I would appreciate Pakistan Army that has opened hundreds of schools and colleges in the far flung areas of the province that shall go long way in development of the province.


The writer belongs to Khuzdar and is President Devote Balochistan.

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Written By: Maj Farooq Feroze

The sudden beautiful drizzling marked with mystic fragrance brought a pleasant change in weather in the spacious ground of Frontier Force ( FF) Center Abbotabad, where mortal remains of Capt Akash Aftab Rabbani (Shaheed) was placed for Namaz-e- Janaza. The day will be remembered for many years  as everyone in the city  wanted to attend the funeral of shaheed, which caused massive traffic jam and the funeral turned into a big gathering.

A smartly turned-out contingent presented last salute and the burial was performed in local graveyard with full military honour and religious fervour.

It was my fifth day in Miranshah and I was acquainting myself with new environment before the commencement of Operation Zarb-e- Azb. After having brief round of the area, I entered into the office, where later on I spent most of the time during my stay. In the office, I saw a young, fair looking SSG officer, who was deeply busy in his laptop and was simultaneously getting information from another officer sitting across the table. I greeted in a loud voice and the young SSG Captain warmly returned my greetings with a smile and firm hand grip. His broad and curious eyes were looking quite attractive on his face. I sat beside him on the sofa and saw his name tag “Rabbani” on his commando uniform.

The other officer left the office for a while and we started informal talk. “Rabbani is your name,” I asked referring to his name tag on his uniform.  “No sir, this is my family surname and my name is Akash,” replied Capt. “Where are you from,” I again asked and not knowing the reason of my curiosity and taking unusual interest in his personality. “Sir ! I am from Abbotabad and passed out with 123 PMA Long Course,” he replied. We kept discussing various aspects of upcoming operation over a military-styled tea break until the other officer returned. Capt Rabbani stood up and told him about the marking of all important locations on the maps and offered his further help if needed.

After he left, my stream of thinking took me to probable outcomes of the operation which also included martyrdom of anyone among these young soldiers, who were determined to crush the ugly head of terrorism. Pak Army was all set to commence the operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), which had been turned into the epicenter of terrorism and hub of heinous crimes for the last decade or so.

Capt Akash Rabbani along with his Commando Battalion reached Miranshah three days before we met for the first time.  This short and memorable meeting established my strong relationship with Capt Rabbani. We would meet almost every day as operational activities were getting momentum. After air strikes in various areas of North Waziristan, ground offensive was launched on 30 June to clear the area in Miranshah.  Butt Marka was the last place known as the most notorious hideout of the terrorists in the city and Rabbani's Battalion was given responsibility to clear the area. It was 8th July and I reached there to embed my camera team with the troops so that live operational activity can be recorded. I saw Capt Rabbani, who was leading troops from the front. He warmly hugged me with a smile on his face after the operation was completed.

And in next phase of operation on 15th July, in Boya Degan (Mirali), Capt Rabbani was assigned a mission to clear off area from the terrorists. In completion of the assigned tasks, he led his men from the front and in due course, embraced shahadat while fighting fearlessly against the ferocious terrorists. He undoubtedly wrote a glorious chapter of Zarb-e-Azb with his blood and left lasting impression for others to follow.

I was listening to Dr. Aftab Rabbani, father of Capt Akash Rabbani, who was narrating various events of Akash's life in a very composed manner. Akash was born on 20th October 1990. He was very sharp and intelligent since childhood. His elder brother, Dr Danish is doing house job in Ayub Medical College, whereas younger sister is a student of 2nd year in the same college. Dr Aftab told that his father was inspired by Allama Iqbal therefore, when Akash was born, he was given this  name keeping in view the depth and universality coupled with a sweet sense of a romance. Following the foot prints of his family, Kashi (nick of Akash) also scored high marks in Matriculation and FSc and had a chance to easily clinch a seat in a medical college to become a doctor. But, he was destined to bring laurels for his parents, and the country, in a unique way therefore profession of arms turned his ultimate passion into his destiny. His performance was remarkable in PMA and he was commissioned on 19 April 2011 in 47 Field Artillery, which was stationed at Kharian. His performance remained outstanding during his basic course, but his motivation took him to Special Services Group (SSG) to pursue his carrier. He joined SSG in 2013 and after successful training, he joined 4 Commando at Tarbela. His unit was tasked to spearhead operation Zarb- e- Azb in North Waziristan Agency.

Recalling his memories, Dr. Aftab Rabbani, who is also a professor of medicines at Ayub Medical College, said Kashi was very loving son, caring brother and a sincere friend. He held a large social circle of friends, who always feel his absence and share his cherished memories.

While expressing his feelings Dr. Aftab told that initially it was extremely difficult to reconcile the reality of his Shahadat, but the respect and privilege rendered by the people and Army, has given a tremendous determination and sense of pride to Akash's mother and other family members. “Akash has become my introduction and identity, wherever I go,” he said proudly.

While concluding his remarks, he uttered with grief and sorrow that he feels pity about a section of society that try to confuse the nation regarding ongoing operation against terrorists to undermine the sacrifices of our sons. He wished that the whole nation should stand united behind the forces to bring lasting peace in Pakistan


Raja Afrasiab, the Sarangal Gakkhar, lives in a lovely old haveli of the classical design in village 'Hur Do Chir'. I had imagined this meant there were two neighbouring villages where chir trees grew, but I was wrong: there wasn't a pine tree in sight and there was only one village of this name. Nor too did Afrasiab know the origin of the name. He told us, however, that the village was formerly called Soga Dutt, apparently after an early local influential man. We had left the Mandra-Chakwal road at village Sahang and motored through undulating country to fetch up in the village and had found Afrasiab waiting. He told us his family had not one, but two havelis to show. The first one, itself rather austere, had a hugely beautiful carved door. Here were flowers so extravagant that they could only have emerged from an artist's mind intertwined with vines of equally exaggerated style and beauty. Here were sets of pilasters growing out of pots that, according to Kamil Khan Mumtaz, the noted architectural historian, symbolised the treasure of Laxmi.

The jamb and the lintel were profused with curvi-linear forms and the arch above the door was another abundance of similarly rich flowers and leaves. In the spandrels shone two sunflower-like designs and the outer rectangular panels were again filled in with more pilasters, geometrical patterns and phantasmagoric flowers and vines. One had grown to expect such artistry in Chiniot and Multan or other larger towns. Hardly in a place as remote as 'Hur Do Chir'.

Remote today, the village, situated as it is amid ravines and broken ground, would have been all but inaccessible in 1926 when Zaildar Sultan Mahmood, Afrasiab's grandfather, had undertaken to build this haveli. Timber for the door, so Afrasiab relates, came from the market in Jhelum town, carted across the Salt Range by camel. Azeem, the master whose celebrity spread wide as the greatest woodworker of the area, came from a neighbouring village and was hired at two annas per day. Such a master would surely have worked with a complement of helpers and this sum would have paid for the lot. For eight months, the Azeem and his team laboured over the timbers before they could all be put together to make up the door. Two annas per day translate into sixty per month or four rupees and twelve annas per month. Which in turn would mean thirty rupees in all for the eight months, it took to complete this fantasy in wood. Other than that Afrasiab did not know how much the timber and its transportation from Jhelum had cost. Nor did he know the full cost of the haveli.

Done with the door he led us into the main room where Zaildar Mahmood would have entertained his guests. The walls were plain, but the roof was another festival of colour. Every inch of the massive rafters was painted over with elaborate designs not very different from what we saw on the door and the panels between the rafters were aglow with what appeared to be pearl. But of that I could not be sure. A frieze running around the top of the wall just below the roof was yet another riot of colour and design. One of these panels had been retouched at a later date, which clearly demonstrated that the earlier finesse had been replaced with gaudy crudity.

This beauty was now all but abandoned, but the other haveli was occupied by Afrasiab and his family. Begun in 1948 by his father Abdur Rauf, the building was completed two years later. This one too was endowed with an elaborately carved door. Though somewhat simpler, it was yet a sight to behold. Added to the pilasters, the curving vines, the fantasy of flowers and the geometric designs was a panel of leaves that went around the jamb and above the arch. These leaves, I imagined, symbolised the hooded serpent so common in temple architecture.

The haveli itself followed the classical plan with rooms around a central courtyard. Interestingly, the baithak where male visitors were entertained, was not in front, but to one side of the building. The ornate door was thus not laid in the façade, but on this side. Raja Afrasiab disclosed that he had received offers to sell the door, offers that he had rejected. I hope he continues to rebuff such offers in future as well. An interesting footnote to this tale is the fate of mistri Azeem who crafted the more elaborate of the two doors. As time passed and people gave up spending money on such works of art, his family began shifting their craft to the bigger market at Rawalpindi. Today the descendents of that celebrated artisan run a successful furniture showroom there. Raja Afrasiab did not know where the showroom was or under what name it went. But he said he could find out. If he does, there will surely be another story.


Written By: Dr Rizwana Abbasi

“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about  war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.” (Omar Nelson Bradley)

The world is familiar with the devastation of nuclear weapons and the enduring impact that they have on the lives of those who had suffered in the horrors of war or tragic accidents around the globe. Practical use of nuclear weapons may have been brought under a check, nonetheless, the proliferation of this dangerous technology is a concern that remains a factor for 'strategic turbulence' in our time. Transformation of crude nuclear technology and fissile material into weapons of mass destruction, somewhat true, has become a thesis for two distinct aspects: one, the institutionalization of regimes and treaties to control and finally disarm the nuclear weapons; second, casus belli for intervention into other States and regime changes. Such proliferation concerns have been the reasons of realization of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other subsequent mechanism. Significant amongst those is the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG)  that somehow brings in NPT and (now struggles to adjust some of the non-NPT signatories) into a single cohesive framework. This article attempts to expound on its efficacy and discusses Pakistan's membership of NSG. It also endeavours to propose a comprehensive single framework whereby various export control regimes can be converged.

In the contemporary international security environment, the NSG membership debate has emerged as an urgent issue for the states in Asia. It is, therefore, important to seek answers to some relevant key questions: why the group was established and what is its structure and efficacy in today's security environment? What are the problems attached to this group and why violations occur within its designed structure? Why this group is important for the future security and what will happen if it is not fixed? Why is it imperative for Pakistan to attain a membership state status in the NSG and how would that be achievable?

It is important to understand that the NSG is an important part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime (NPR). NPR consists of different treaties, regimes and arrangements which build interaction among states to promote non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, arms control and disarmament. Some of the instruments are more formal such as treaties, conventions and agreements. Others may be informal and voluntary arrangements or in the form of agreed guidelines that participants accept or choose to disregard, as they deem appropriate.

Within this, the first institutional effort to strengthen norms against proliferation of nuclear material took place when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was approved in 1954 and became operational later in 1957. The purpose was to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy ensuring that 'assistance provided by it or at its request, or under its supervision or control is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose' under the IAEA statute, Article II. The Article III A.5 of the IAEA authorizes this agency 'to establish and administer safeguards' and make institutional safeguards mandatory for Non-Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS) party to the NPT.  This was a successful institutional effort to create a system of safeguards. For instance, NNWS agreed to report to the IAEA with their civilian activities and also to keep their facilities open for inspection by the IAEA inspectors to ensure that there was no diversion of material from civilian to military purposes.

The most significant and debated measure of the regime, the NPT, was introduced in 1968 and came into force in 1970, with a range of obligations for NWS and NNWS. It was established under the belief that the proliferation of nuclear weapons would enhance the risks of a nuclear war. Thus, the treaty required the NWS not to transfer nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosives or control over such devices or assistance to NNWS (Article I  Pillar I). The treaty envisages the NNWS not to acquire, manufacture, or seek assistance in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons or explosive devices, (Article II). The treaty gives right for the peaceful uses of nuclear technology without discrimination highlighted under the Article (IV  Pillar II) while the NWS were to disarm and subsequently eliminate nuclear weapons (VI  Pillar III). Additionally, the treaty gives party states the right to withdrawal by giving a three month-notice. Finally, the provisions of the treaty, particularly Article VIII, paragraph 3, envisaged a review of the operation of the treaty every five years.

After it came into force, the NPT assigned the IAEA the responsibility for verifying its safeguards system at the global level. The IAEA was given a formal responsibility to implement Article III of the NPT and additionally, it serves two purposes of the NPT. The first purpose is in accordance with Article IV.2 of the treaty and the second function deals with international nuclear safeguards in accordance with the article III of the treaty. Under these clauses the IAEA verifies the fulfilment of non-proliferation commitments. These legally binding facts demonstrate that the NPT represented the foundation for an international regime to establish a codified norm against proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. In addition to the above developments, some important informal measures had been introduced to reinforce the NPT norms and facilitate coordination among its member states. Since the final text of the NPT had yet no clear implementation and enforcement strategy for its article II commitments, therefore, the multilateral negotiations on nuclear export control resulted in the establishment of two separate mechanisms for dealing with nuclear exports, viz, Zannger Committee (ZC), Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Wassenaar Arrangement (WA). In addition to the above developments, some important informal measures had been introduced to reinforce the NPT norms and facilitate coordination among its member states. Since the final text of the NPT had yet no clear implementation and enforcement strategy for its article II commitments, therefore, the multilateral negotiations on nuclear export control resulted in the establishment of two separate mechanisms for dealing with nuclear exports, viz, Zannger Committee (ZC), Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Wassenaar Arrangement (WA).

In 1974 the export control committee known as Zannger Committee (ZC) was established as an intergovernmental group to coordinate export controls on the nuclear material. Under the ZC the NPT article III.2 (focused on safeguarding of nuclear exports to non nuclear weapon states) had been redefined. Whereas the NSG later renamed from its original name London Group (an offshoot of the NPT) was emerged in response to the 1974 Indian explosions with the purpose of halting the further proliferation of nuclear weapons. The aim was to reinforce the NPT's article III and IV to ensure that transfers of nuclear material would not be diverted to unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycles and nuclear explosive activities. It is important to understand here that the NSG further elaborated the NPT article III.2 and IV, thus, its agreements and mechanism flows from the NPT. Thus, the ZC and the NSG are informal arrangements but directly serve the NPT's purpose and strengthen its normative structure.

Question arises why violations occur in this institutional arrangement? Answer in the first place relates to the fundamental structure of the NPT. Had there been no loopholes in the NPT, NSG would have served its purpose more rationally.  Since the violations inside the NSG are directly related to some fundamental structural flaws and problems, attached to the formation of the NPT (which is the most powerful organ of the NPR), which weaken the disposition of the NSG, thus, it could not serve the NPT's normative purpose. What are these loopholes?

First, under the NPT, five countries are considered as recognized NWS while the rest of the Treaty's signatories are regarded as NNWS and barred from acquiring nuclear weapons, which is a big question mark. This special arrangement legitimizes the continuous possession of nuclear weapons by five NWS and endorses disarmament of unarmed states. Such arrangement has raised global criticism towards this regime's discriminatory framework.

Second, there is a problem of non-universal role of the NPT, that is, within the NPR, from the outset, most states adhere to a greater or lesser extent to the terms initiated by the NPT, but India, Israel, and Pakistan have never joined the NPT, although India (exploded nuclear devises first in 1974 and later in 1998) and Pakistan (followed the Indian tests in 1998) developed nuclear arsenals and declared themselves to be nuclear weapons states, whilst Israel has maintained the policy of 'nuclear opacity' and ambiguity since 1968. India and Pakistan assert their sovereign right to possess nuclear weapons and have strong reservations towards the status of the NPT from the outset, regarding it as a 'discriminatory treaty'. India, nevertheless, has abruptly changed its policy posture towards the NPT after 1998 test and no longer considers the NPT as a discriminatory treaty because it struggles to create some space in the international nuclear politics. North Korea first joined the NPT, withdrew in 2003, and later tested nuclear devices and now building ballistic missile capability, thus violating the NPT norms.  The NPR is incomplete when these four de facto nuclear weapon states remain outside the NPT treaty, because they are not being accepted as NWS as per NPT conventions.

Within this, third problem is attached to the article IV of the NPT, which has failed to restrict states' access to the full fuel cycle, to prevent the diversion of peaceful technology for the development of nuclear weapons. Thus, the North Korean behaviour has tested the efficacy of the NPT's article IV. The danger is, Iran might follow the North Korean steps. Another issue is that within the NPT article III and IV, vaguely defined NSG has been used to give waiver to state to transfer nuclear technology. The Indo-US civil nuclear deal is glaring example in this case, which damaged the original essence of the NPT. Fourth, no progress has been made towards the article VI (disarmament – because Treaty gives no time-frame) which has not been fulfilled by the established nuclear weapon states thus, aggravating the 'crisis of trust' in the NPT regime.

Fifth, within the NPR, export control regimes (particularly the NSG) are under immense challenge because of globalization. The consequence of which has been the easy exchange and transfer of knowledge and the flow of dual-use technologies. Rapid technological advance  bringing a decrease in the value of old technology and an increase in the supply of discarded technology  increases the risk of the proliferation of nuclear-related material and technologies. Additionally, these export control regimes are fairly weak with no legal legitimacy.

Finally, over the last 35 years, the IAEA safeguards system under the NPT has played a vital role in detecting and curbing the diversion of civil uranium to military usage and verifying states' nuclear facilities. However, these IAEA safeguards confront a number of challenges, such as detecting undeclared nuclear activities; risks from the states, which have not joined the NPT; and states which have significant unsafeguarded activities. Nuclear fuel making  which is regarded as a right under Article IV of the NPT  creates many problems because verifying enrichment or reprocessing facilities is a difficult task. If the IAEA cannot effectively safeguard nuclear materials needed for civilian purposes, then this is a severe weakness in the agency's ability to prevent such virtual NWS from becoming actual NWS. The Additional Protocol (which reinforces the IAEA safeguards is not universal yet) addresses such gaps; without this protocol, the agency cannot monitor the research and development activities.

These above facts powerfully demonstrate that today the entire non-proliferation regime is widely considered as a 'system in distresses'. There are mounting apprehensions about the regime's efficacy as a cordon to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is of paramount importance that the NPT regime be systematically strengthened in this environment to meet present challenges. If the current challenges attached to NPT are not addressed, there remains question about its future adequacy given the significant rise in interest in pursuing nuclear power in a globalized environment.

With NPT in distress, the NSG has become far more relevant today. Due to rising economic interests and maintaining a flourishing trade, more and more states aspire to adhere to the export control regimes. For example, many analysts have lauded that the present century belongs to Asia. It is due to the fact that Asia is a continent with large, fast-growing economies that will demand a great deal of energy including nuclear energy. It is observed that more and more states are acquiring additional reactors and connecting to the grid in Asian region. Conversely, today, several countries that have achieved mastery in the nuclear fuel cycle remain outside the NSG umbrella. Certain other countries, which may not have the requisite expertise over the entire nuclear fuel cycle but still possess resources or expertise valuable to one or more stages of the fuel cycle, have not gained membership either.

The NSG has to recognize its potential role to make it consistent with current realities. Question arises, is it ready to meet today's challenges? In times, the NSG will have to reflect emerging trends such as in the global nuclear power industry. As agreed in the NPT article IV, the group, by no means, will oppose development of peaceful nuclear energy, even as it remains strongly opposed to proliferation and proliferation networks. The current guidelines, which were written in 1978, specify that supplier states exercise “restraint” in exporting enrichment and reprocessing items. Moreover, the NSG lacks legal legitimacy, institutional mechanism to address states’ power demands on the given criteria.

India and Pakistan are aspirant states, which seek to add more reactors to their power grid.  The NSG members in search of their geostrategic interests and trade expansion, exempted India from the existing rules and India escaped the constraints associated with its status. Nevertheless, being a political arrangement with no  legitimacy, in my opinion, NSG may not decide on expanding membership outside its defined criteria. NSG member states clearly laid down the admission criteria of new states in 2001 Aspen Plenary: item 4 of 5 on the list that says: the new aspirant states should be a party to the NPT and have in force a full-scope safeguard with the IAEA. Nevertheless, India, a non-NPT party state, did not place its facilities under the IAEA full-scope safeguards, thus, is not entitled to enjoy the benefits of the NPT membership and was subjected to the NSG rules that forbid nuclear cooperation with states that have unsafeguarded facilities. India has not signed CTBT and has not addressed matter of moratorium on fissile material (FM) production yet within the conference on disarmament (CD). Therefore, as a result of Indo-US deal, its eight nuclear reactors are under the IAEA question mark. Without addressing apprehensions on these urgent matters, Group membership extension would damage the efficacy, spirit and structure of the NPT and entire NPR may appear to be ineffective. Through selective admission for individual states, the NSG will undermine its credibility not only within the NSG but within the NPT NNWS and outside.

Pakistan also seeks membership in the NSG and MTCR, but directed by a 'criterion-based approach', which may create a new mechanism to build nuclear cooperation with these new nuclear weapon states. Such a proposition, pragmatic in nature and consistent with time-sensitive strategic urgency, is paramount for Pakistan as it aspires to institute three additional nuclear power plants to generate 8800 MW of electricity by 2030 and 40,000 MW by 2050 to make up for the ominous power deficiency that has rattled it so far. Pakistan has already initiated a nuclear power plant Kanupp-2 (K-2) in Karachi. Pakistan plans to lay down two additional plants, NPPs, Chasma-1 and Chasma-2. Thus these evidence compel Pakistan seek membership in the NSG as an urgent case.

How then the criterion based approach can be adopted, which Pakistan has floated? How to legalize the role of the NSG and formally attach it to the NPT? In author's view, there is an urgent need to revive the non-proliferation regime and enhance the role of non-NPT states in the full spectrum of non-proliferation and disarmament standards and obligations instead of breaking the designed structure of the NPT on selective basis. Less restrictive rules for some states and greater demands on the others will surely exacerbate the crisis of trust in the NPT regime. Within this the NSG guidelines and structure necessitate a revision in line with emerging and potential developments and set new criteria for membership considering the Non-NPT states.

The contention is that a new broad formula needs to be defined for export control policies that can meet current and future challenges in the realm of inhibition of proliferation. States which are not member to the NPT should be considered on a separate legal formula recognizing the security paradigm and security imperatives of these states. This document new formula or document would be linked with export control regimes. This document would recognize the new realities facing the world today such as globalization, rise in energy demands, information revolution and changing nature of security constructs. Secondly, dual-use technology considerations under the NSG are very critical. There is need to address sensitive technologies more clearly and consider their registration carefully, with emphasis on greater transparency in nuclear export controls. Denial Information is not shared outside the Group, whereas in my considered opinion, openness does not have an alternative, therefore sharing of best practices at the international level is exceedingly important for better manifestation of the effectiveness of export control regimes. More of the dual-use items are tangible and can be controlled but it is difficult to control intangible technological transfer and that demands more focused and practically durable operational procedures in that area. Most important of all, the export control process needs to be formally linked to the NPT.

Instead of having four multilateral regimes in institutionalized manner, there should be one regime, may be called Comprehensive Nuclear Proliferation Inhibition Regime (CONPIR) merging the four into one to develop more effective export control mechanism worldwide. This arrangement may take these factors into account:

•It should be cognizant of the fact that Pakistan and India are declared nuclear states and, therefore, they should be treated as NWS as per provisions of the NPT.

•Further testing and acquisition of NWS status should be banned.

•Unsafeguarded nuclear facilities of new NWS and of those NNWS, which aspire to become part of the NPT framework, for peaceful uses of nuclear technology, should be subjected to IAEA mechanism of inspection.

•Access of nuclear material and technology for peaceful uses must be conditioned with signing of the NPT and an unambiguously declared moratorium on testing of any nuclear devices under any circumstances or conditions.

•A realistic and workable framework for nuclear disarmament  with defined time-lines to achieve disarmament objectives.

In my reckoning, the major challenge would be to create some space for India and Pakistan within the non-proliferation regime so that they come under the same obligation as NPT's description of NWS, as outlined under the article VI of the NPT. India and Pakistan are independent sovereign nuclear weapon states and can be incorporated within the NPT through the 2015 NPT review conference. If it is too late to pursue India and Pakistan to give up their nuclear weapons, then we should introduce new arrangements through which the two states can be attached to the NPT so that they become full partner to the regional and global disarmament process. Pakistan had been advocating for long either amending the NPT or creating a protocol so that Pakistan may be attached to broader ambit of NPT. This would allow them to retain their nuclear weapons and restrict them to restrain their further developments.

After this process, the cooperation with international export controls may become more viable. This will create an effective and enduring 'criteria based approach' for these states to join NSG, prohibit the explosive testing of nuclear devices and call for the phased elimination of fissile material production, which should include the existing stockpile into it. Further benefit would be that both the states would abide by the obligations of the NPT. Such a regime like CONPIR will strengthen international framework rather than weaken it. Since these countries have no legal non-proliferation obligations, and Indian role in the NSG will raise question for south Asian regional balance, therefore, inclusion of these states into the NPT through CONPIR will create a strategic stability in the region.

The writer is a PhD in International Security and Nuclear Non-Proloferation from University of Leicester, UK and is on the faculty of NDU, Islamabad

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Written By: Prof Dr. Muhammad Khan

The basic provision of the international law is that: “individuals should not be arbitrarily deprived of their lives, and homicide should be deterred, prevented and punished.” These rights to life are further secured and protected by 'The Universal Declaration of Human Rights-1948'. Its article-1 emphasizes on 'innate freedom and equality, whereas article-2, puts a ban on discrimination. Article 3 of this declaration however, very clearly states that, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Unfortunately, with all these safeguards and guarantees for the human beings, through various agreements, declarations and covenants, the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir are being humiliated, discriminated, tortured and killed as if there is no law meant for their protection and safeguard.

Ever since its establishment in 1945, the United Nations Organization (UNO) has regulated and managed many regional and global conflicts. During the cold war, this international regulating body has been quite effective in ensuring global peace through forestalling many impending wars and conflicts. Kashmir and Palestine are two such issues, where this global regulating body could do little. Resultantly, still there is bloodshed in both states and the aggressors are exploiting the innocent inhabitants of these states through various illegal means. Indeed, among the contemporary global disputes, Kashmir is the longest unresolved dispute on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. India referred the dispute to United Nations on January 1, 1948, once the Kashmiri troops (comprised of former British Indian soldiers and irregulars, later named as Azad Kashmir Regular Force) had almost reached to the suburbs of the Srinagar and Jammu.

In response to complaint and counter complaints, the UNO asked for the ceasefire and later it passed 23 resolutions, emphasizing for the solution of this dispute. The basic criteria fixed by UN for the resolution of Kashmir dispute was the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir through a neutral mechanism of plebiscite under UN Administrator. Unfortunately, despite accepting the UN resolutions, and promises made by Lord Mountbatten, then Indian Governor General and the first Indian Prime Minister, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, India obstructed the process of conduct of plebiscite, which could have paved the way for the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir. Besides denying the right of self-determination, in the subsequent years, India declared the State of Jammu and Kashmir as its integral part in complete disregard to the UN resolutions, international norms and promises made with the people of Kashmir.

In the light of UN resolutions, people of the state have been demanding their right of self-determination from the successive Indian governments. In turn, New Delhi adopted discriminatory attitude with those demanding their rights, while keeping a few (puppets) linked with Indian Union on false hopes, as Nehru did with Sheikh Abdullah.  Whenever, the people demanded their rights, Indian authorities unleashed a reign of terror on the unarmed innocent Kashmiri people. There have been massive human rights violations by Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. In fact, over the years, the Indian atrocities have become a routine matter for the Kashmiris. However, the most horrific phase of human rights violation in IOK was the decade of 1990s, where through the deployment of its 700,000 security forces, Indian security forces killed over 93,000 Kashmiris, who were asking for their right of self-determination. Various Human Rights groups, especially, the Amnesty International has identified the Indian brutalities on innocent Kashmiris. In its annual reports on human rights, Amnesty International has pointed-out discriminatory laws which gave Indian security forces unprecedented powers to kill, torture and exploit the people. These laws were imposed in the state in early 1990s.

These laws include; Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA). Under extreme international pressure, Indian government repeal TADA in early 2000, however, the other two extreme laws are still imposed and despite strong opposition from international community, human rights organizations and Kashmiris, Indian Army has prevailed upon the government not to undo these. Indeed, through these laws, Indian security forces were given sweeping powers of arrest and detentions, even shoot to kill with virtual immunity. As per Amnesty International, “The AFSPA violates India's international legal obligations and several fundamental rights, including the right to life, the right to liberty and security, and the right to remedy. This law has alienated people and is an impediment to achieving peace, and an obstacle to justice.”

As the records show, the human rights violations committed by Indian security forces in IOK, while making use of these laws have no parallel in the contemporary world. Unfortunately, the long standing Kashmir dispute itself and the human rights violations in the state could not attract the global attention as given to other international disputes like Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, etc. This is mainly because the neutral observers and international media had no access in the state, as India had totally banned the movement of outsiders into the state, who could have observed the happenings since 1990. Even today, international media is not allowed in IOK. Then, the so-called Indian secularism, its democracy, a strong diplomacy and international relations and above all its lobbying at the global level kept the Indian human rights violation in IOK obscured from the civilized international community. Upon the denouncement of armed struggle by Kashmiri freedom fighters in 2002, it was expected that Indian security forces would stop human rights violations in IOK. Indeed, it was a landmark event, once Kashmiris decided to resume their traditional peaceful political struggle for their right of self-determination. Regretfully, this peaceful Kashmiri struggle did not oblige India, and its security forces are still continuing with the human rights violations. According to a recent report of China Daily (January 2, 2014), compared to 2012, there has been 38% increase in the human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir during year-2013. Whereas, the death toll due to violence during 2012 was 148, and in 2013, the human rights violation caused 204 deaths. This data has been compiled by a rights group; 'Coalition of Civil Society' (CCS) in its annual report, 'Human Rights Review-2013.'

Today a common Kashmiri spends his life in a state of total fright and insecurity from the Indian security forces. This fear is felt alike among the larger Kashmiri community as well as any single individual. The human security is the most significant aspect of international law and is extension of the logic of social contract of liberal school of thought and specifically covers the security of individual and generally security of communities and societies. The right to live is explicitly sanctioned in international law, to every individual, regardless of cast, creed, faith or geographic identity. The provision of human rights and security are categorically stated both in international law and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  But the human security situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir is ironically an ignored issue by international community. The ICCPR clearly spells that: no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life. But, what about those over 100,000 Kashmiris who lost their lives since 1990 and who will question Indian might over thousands of mass graves in IOK.

Besides, there are incidents of torture and rapes by Indian Army. This all has happened, despite having a global prohibition on torture even during the times of national emergencies. India is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)-1948. According to Article 5 of UDHR-1948, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The factual position however is that, torture, hostage-taking, and rape have been a regular feature in IOK since last two and half decades, after Kashmiris started mass struggle against Indian occupation of their state in 1990. 

Ever since the partition of the subcontinent, through the repressive state sponsored policies, and various discriminatory laws, Kashmiri masses have been exploited to an extent that, they became slave in their own homeland. Millions of them have taken refuge in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world in past.  The forced demographic shifts in IOK through forceful mass migrations of Kashmiris and settlement of other communities are bound to have long term effects on political landscape of Kashmir. The main argument of this research is to vindicate right of Kashmiris in IOK to all provisions of International conventions on human security and that human rights violation in IOK is a serious violation of international law and needs to be addressed at all international forums. 

Sequel to the nuclearization of South Asia (India and Pakistan) in 1998, the former US President Mr. Bill Clinton declared Kashmir dispute as, “the most dangerous place on earth.” In the later years, President Barrack Obama also declared settlement of this issue important for peace between India and Pakistan and indeed a cause of instability in South Asia. Owing to the disputed nature of Kashmir, India and Pakistan remained at loggerheads and thus could not exploit their true potentials, which could have ensured the regional integration of South Asia.

As a first step for promotion of peace and stability in the region, India should stop human rights violation in its occupied part of Kashmir. For this purpose, the pre-requisites would be to repeal the discriminatory laws especially; AFSPA and PSA. Amnesty International and civilized world community consider that today Kashmir has become a humanitarian issue, rather than political or religious one. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that India fulfils the obligations imposed on it through various provisions of International Law and declarations about right of the people of Kashmir.

The writer is the Head of International Relations Department at National Defence University (NDU), Islamabad

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Written By: Lt Col Sohail Akbar Bajwa

An eyewitness account of the terrorist attack at Khalid Aviation Base, Quetta and  PAF Base Samungli on night 14/15 August 2014

It was an evening as usual in Quetta as I was retiring at my residence and was enjoying the programmes of Independence Day on TV. It was around 2135 hours that I received a call from HQ Southern Command (HQ SC) that I needed to report immediately at Khalid Aviation Base (KAB) Quetta in relation with a terrorist activity.


Being a Commanding Officer (CO) of Light Commando Battalion, I immediately passed instructions to my men and moved to the location of the incident. In the meanwhile I was informed that some intrusion by the terrorists had taken place both at PAF Base Samungli and KAB. The CO of a Punjab regiment, Lt Col Ahmed was also passed similar instructions who also immediately moved to KAB.


Upon reaching KAB and taking control of my area of responsibility, I came to know that the terrorists were spotted by few civilians while they were attempting to cut the outer fence of the base and making their way in. The locals residing nearby KAB, displayed responsibility and immediately passed this information to the authorities concerned. The information was conforming to earlier threats to KAB and Samungli base thus the entire security apparatus in the cantonment as well as Samungli base came to red alert.


I was told to cordon off the base from south, checking suspicious movement and stop any spillover of the terrorists towards the Cantonment. Meanwhile the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Maj Gen Aftab, Brigadier Rohail and Brigadier Aziz ul Hassan Usmani had been carrying the reconnaissance of entire base periphery. At the same time, the QRF of my unit was put on 15 minutes notice possibly for PAF Base Samungli.


In the meanwhile, troops from FF regiment were also assigned to carry out search from the intrusion site. As soon the troops led by Lt Col Waseem Iqbal and Captain Yasir approached the middle part of the fence, they were fired upon fiercely. The fire was so intense that it had hit Brigadier Usmani's vehicle, bursting its tyre, and a bullet also passed through the jeep of Maj Gen Aftab. It is important to mention about the valour of the Base Commander's driver who changed the burst tyre in minimum time amidst heavy exchange of fire and successfully brought the commander back to base.


This fire caused multiple bullet injuries to troops of FF regiment including Captain Yasir, however terrorists were fired back by soldiers of Punjab regiment. Enemy was in near vicinity and fire exchange was taking place from as close as 70 metres. The valiant sons of Punjab regiment led by its brave officers proved true to their salt. In this dual of extreme nerves they proved their professional mettle and hit the terrorists back with extreme courage and bravery.


Meanwhile Punjab regiment on inner cordon of the base was reinforced by troops of Punjab Light Commando Battalion led by Major Hassan in heavy volleys of fire. Moving forward I contacted CO of the Punjab regiment and coordinated the employment of my men with him. The best part was that no intrusion had been made by the terrorists into KAB. The fire fight continued till 0145 hours when the last of the big blasts was heard near inner fence. It was expected that all terrorists had been killed by that time. It was the same time that I received a call from Maj Gen Majid Ehsan who appreciated all the troops, took a stock of situation on ground and asked me for any further help in discharging of duties.


The situation and events at PAF Base Samungli were no different from KAB. The provost and intelligence tentacles provided the information of a suspicious vehicle with about 8 individuals parked within short vicinity of outer boundary of the base wall near Kili Khezi. Troops from FC Balochistan deployed outside the wall were assigned to check the vehicle. When the FC troops reached near the vehicle, the terrorists, of whom two were wearing FC uniforms started firing at them.


In the heavy exchange of fire, the terrorists spread out and started firing rockets, small arms and various other fire arms. They fired about 5-6 rockets into the air base which landed near main tarmac. Allah had been so kind that no harm was done and that few of those rockets didn't even explode. Three terrorists were killed during this encounter with the FC.


This was followed by a fierce fire fight between terrorists and own security guards on outer fence which resulted in multiple bullet and shrapnel injuries to own troops of the Punjab regiment and Defence Services Guard (DSG).


During this exchange of fire, Wing Commander Mehr Gul, rushed to the base main tarmac. Simultaneously Air Commodore Salman Bukhari moved troops of the Punjab regiment and PAF ground combaters to the boundary wall to tackle the expected intrusion. The terrorists had also made holes in outer boundary wall and were making efforts to enter the base. In the same situation, the terrorists got inside the boundary wall and were hiding near one of the washrooms of DSG living area.


At about 0130 hours, Wing Commander Mehr Gul and Wing Commander Ameed Ullah requested base Commander for employment of Punjab Light Commando troops at the air base since any further intrusion into the base could be disastrous. On the request of the Base Commander, an armed helicopter (heli) was sent to Samungli from KAB.  The heli spotted few individuals hiding along boundary wall and fired upon them. The QRF of Punjab Light Commando Battalion comprising 40 individuals was moved to the Air Base at about 0245 hours. Snipers were deployed along the inner perimeter covering the fighter aircrafts while Captain Fakhar alongwith Wing Commander Mehr Gul climbed upon ADA pen (a high rise structure) for observing and locating the hidden terrorists. They successfully located the hidden terrorists through specialized NVGs and same information was shared with Major Atif and Captain Bugti of the Punjab regiment and PAF troops. These two brave officers were quick to respond and killed the terrorists.


By 0615 hours the situation had calmed at both bases. The assets had remained safe Alhamdolillah and there wasn't any fatal casualties to own troops except 14 wounded. In all, 12 terrorists had been killed including 6 who were wearing suicidal jackets. The terrorists had left behind a huge cache of ammunition and explosives. The national threat had been subdued with great courage and conviction and above all, with the united response of all our security forces. 


Lt Gen Nasser Janjua, Commander Southern Command was continuously monitoring the situation at both places and was issuing orders for implementation at ground level. The follow up visits of Gen Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of Air Staff, CM Balochistan Abdul Malik along with his ministers, IG police, and IGFC Balochistan to the wounded officers and soldiers raised the morale of the troops.


The success of the operation was a divine blessing indeed. The public grew more confidence in the forces and are certain that the security of Pakistan lie in safer hands. Timely help in shape of information sharing by the local population was indeed the most valuable asset in this operation.


We all should bow our heads to Allah Almighty in gratitude of the divine help in the thickest hour.  



Written By: Ms MAryam Imran

Dear Husband,

Ever since I wedded you, I have never seen your spirits to falter; it would be very naïve to ask you traditionally about your spirits, but I hope you are in the best of your health.  I and our baby are also doing great, looking forward to see you soon.

I thank Allah Almighty for granting me the pride to be your wife, a soldier's girl; a soldier who is doing his part for our motherland. The pride of being part of your life, and your sweet memories are enough for me to bear this time without you. The strength I hold in the darkest of hours is your echo. Though you are away but every now and then I close my eyes to remember your ever smiling face. I always hold my head high and suppress my tears when I think of you. The day you left, I saw you mounting your jeep and driving away while waving at me; that is a memory embedded into my mind permanently. I know one day I will see you driving that jeep back to us.

We are doing well and you don't need to worry about us. Little Amna has now become very active and sometimes stands in the balcony to salute all men wearing uniform. She looks so adorable while doing so. She believes her father is the bravest and she keeps singing patriotic songs. She has made great plans for this Independence Day, she wanted you to be here, but I told her that you are protecting our National Flag from an evil witch, she somewhat believed. She has decorated the complete balcony with little national flags and persuaded me to buy her a green and white dress. She is such a doll.

I hope you might be having better plans for the Independence Day. What better can one offer his country and nation than to get rid of nemesis that has encroached into the veins of our motherland. Don't you worry about us, do what is to be done. It melts my heart when I see innocent people suffer daily from the hands of these terrorists. If God has given you a chance to extend His justice, then brave up and ensure this chance is not lost, and return victorious. We are proud of you and so is our nation.

Back here, all families of our regiment have developed a unique spirit of friendship. We visit each other very often and it feels as being related by blood. We find comfort by sharing with one another, our joy and sorrows. I have told all the lady wives that looking after our children at home while our husbands fight for an esteemed cause and staying strong is our Jihad. We all pray for your well-being and men fighting beside you. Hopefully our prayers will bear fruit and you and your comrades will be back here safe and sound.

I have bought a suit from my favourite designer. I have kept it in the closet till the day you will return. I will wear it and will take you to your favourite place to dine. Now you have the extra motivation, I suppose things will find a better pace. We are waiting for your safe return.

I want you to always remember that you are the source of happiness in my life. You make me so complete; it is beyond words. I love your wit, your charm, your ability to make me laugh even when tears flow heavily from my weary eyes. You are my best friend, my strength and my breath.

I have big plans for the future, so many places to see and shops to visit, write back sooner, and come home soon. I know times are hard but as Allah says, after every hardship there is ease. Stand tall and soon it will be over. We will be looking forward from your side.

A Hug from Amna. She is waiting for you to return and buy her Barbi doll.

Take care of yourself and your men, may Allah Almighty guide you to victory.


Yours Ever Loving Wife Maryam


Written By: Naila Inayat

In these times, when everything around you seems disastrous, you hope to find a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't remember the last time when we weren't hoping against hope or the unending wait for good to come our way has not made us anxious?

Every day begins in a very predictable manner. You wake up and the first thing your Mom talks about over a cup of tea is “Iss Mulk ka kya banay ga?”(what will happen to this country?) Take an auto to office. They grumble over something that you can't avoid even with your headset switched on: “Iss Mulk ka kya banay ga?”

You reach office hoping to finally kick off the day with assured zeal. You look at your 'to do list' and a colleague passes by after greeting you, he shares the most important query of our times, “Iss Mulk ka kya banay ga?” He obviously wants you to ponder over it. But I'm frankly quite disgusted hearing this, time and again.pak2

Everyone tells you, “It is best for you to leave this country.” You walk in for a visa interview and the officer questions you, “As a minority, have you ever been discriminated against?” Unable to understand the question at first you ask again and replying to this one is difficult. You haven't been discriminated against 'severely' but you realize that your reply can either get you the fancy stamp or you'll be deprived off it for a while. Being truthful you proudly say, “No sir! I and my family have never been discriminated,” “that means you'll return back to Pakistan,” comes back the reply. Not a proud moment, after all.

You go out of the country, and you yearn to come back, you dread the day you decided to go out. You miss everything that is Pakistan  friends, family, food, daily routine and the roads. Standing in scorching heat in an alien foreign land you start thinking of the roads of your city, how exactly you know where they take you. No matter how many flyovers and underpasses are built you know your way around the city.

It is strange how you start feeling closer to home when you're away from home.

Counter arguing with friends and colleagues about the future and the feeling that you couldn't debate them anymore. After all you don't live in isolation from your surrounding and what's happening around you affects you immensely.

Meeting a family friend who had first-hand eye witness account of the partition of British India, while talking casually, you utter few pessimistic words about the ongoing state of the country and tell him how many of your friends have started thinking of fleeing. He places his cup of tea on the table and appears to be lost in thoughts. After a pause of silence, he asks you about your opinion in a worried tone. You tell him that you still haven't lost all hopes though quite a time, you feel down... While listening, his eyes shine, reflecting back to those eventful days of partition, he begins to narrate what he witnessed. He tells you about the chaos of the sudden displacement and how he himself witnessed horrible atrocities, specially that heart wrenching event in which he lost some of his natal family members in the train journey. He, in wet tone, tells that the trauma of all that violence still haunts him in his memories.

Then all of a sudden he asks, “Have you ever found me or any of your elders regretting of the partition?” My reply is; No! He continues, “Those were most painful days, but it was worth it. We knew even if not us, our next generation will feel safe and prosperous. We trusted on the leadership of Jinnah and sacrificed for freedom. What else is the biggest blessing for one's life, other than freedom?”

One gets lost in thoughts. Nations take centuries to evolve. Pakistan is just 68. We are the second generation after the partition. Our elders sacrificed for us. They are as hurt as all the youth, may be more than us, as they better know how their dreams for Pakistan have been shattered. But still they own Pakistan and hope to rise again. What I realized is that freedom has its cost and taking it for granted is what we are mistaken. Nations have to pass through the testing times that doesn't weaken them; rather that makes them stronger than ever.

Scattered in your thoughts you realize how safely this 76 year-old has stayed and fought his internal wars, he hasn't travelled away yet he has picked himself again and again. The childhood memories of singing national songs start resonating your ears; the one that you used to sing in school choir, “Ham laayay hain toofaan say kashti nikaal kay - is mulk ko rakhna meray bachou sanbhaal kay”. We have brought the ship out of strom please look after this country).

You come to know what Pakistan means to you. Pakistan is like a ship for you; a shelter in the storm. Leaving the ship is not the solution. You need to fight with the fiery waves and win this battle. Reminding you of a famous quote, “A ship is safe in harbour, but that's not what ships are for.”

You recall that in Convent, in the morning assembly prayer, at the end you would say “God Bless my country, my parents, my teachers and my school.” You were supposed to pledge allegiance to the flag of Pakistan. Most of the time the flag was not even there but then too you said it. It always felt good. And you realize even today you feel no different. That was my Pakistan and that shall remain my Pakistan my childhood memory, my youthful love, my future and my destiny. We - the minority in Pakistan - have lived through all good and bad times. This is our home. It is second-to-none. We shall leave no stone unturned to work for our home;

For my Pakistan, and for our Pakistan.

The writer is a journalist based in Lahore

Twitter: @NailaInayat


Written By: Juggun Kazim

“But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?”

Now if happiness is true harmony between a man and the life that he leads then I think we are all in serious trouble. If we are what we eat then I am a bag of popcorn with loads of butter combined with nihari, biryani and haleem. And if life is truly what we make of it, then good LORD, we are all stuck in a horrendous-never-ending-rut.

Everyday we go to work and follow pretty much the same routine; by work I don't just mean our nine-to-five jobs but the routine of being homemaker as well. Work seems to be never ending and one step forward often means two steps back. It is almost like being stuck in a hamster wheel on which you never keep running. Round and round and round you go! When does the constant rat race end we all tend to wonder?

There is the personal time we try to spend with close family and friends. Visiting the parents on Sundays at least plus the random get-together held at home or at a friend/family member's house. The dynamics, however, seem to always stay the same. Some days we get frustrated and chart out a whole new schedule of fun and excitement with others, and then it just happens, and things stay the same. Nothing is changed!

We don't think that routine it the key to success and emotional balance. At least this is what I've heard from most I've spoken to. Can we really equate routine with harmony and therefore happiness? I used to worry that have we all just fallen into a rut that we can't seem to get ourselves out of?

For years I kept looking for ways to make a huge difference in Pakistan or a big enough impact to be remembered or for my life to have 'real' meanings. Every day I would sit for hours between shoots, charity events or during my meals or at bedtime to figure out my so-called game plan for the life.

There were two fundamental problems with this. Firstly, life never quite turns out how we plan it and we therefore lose out on the important wonderful moments because we are so focused on what we don't have. Secondly, we lose focus of what we are currently doing and exhaust our energy on what we don't have. So our efforts become half-baked.

I have spent quite some time in Canada. My best friends there are always asking me, 'Why are you in Pakistan?' My reply is fairly simple: “It's important to me that I try in my own way to make a difference and I know in my heart that I have tried and will continue to try. I believe that this country is beautiful and holds immense promise and opportunities for me and for my son, Hamza. Pakistan's wonderful value system and our culture is fantastic. Nobody is saying that it is perfect but it is certainly worth fighting for and maintaining.”

We perpetually focus on the bad, like honour killings and terrorism but we forget the beauty of our poetry, our stories, our architecture, and our culture. I understand that the electricity, water and natural gas issues are enough to drive anyone nuts. But lets look at it this way: what if you're a child, or your parents give you little tough time, or you are unwell? Do you disown every problem? Of course not! You accept that there is an issue and then you take the necessary steps to resolve the problem.

The point is to care for and respect what is ours. If we don't, then who would? I feel an ownership, a sense of belonging to Pakistan, which no matter how hard I tried, I didn't feel towards Canada. I just didn't want to raise my son in a place, which he or ultimately I couldn't call our own.

There is one more important point I feel I must raise here. This land is like our 'mother' and we proudly call it 'the motherland'. It is our responsibility to respect our motherland and care for it like our own mother. This is the place that gives us identity. No matter what we do or where we go, we will always be Pakistani first and then anything or anyone else. I feel sad as well as sick that a new trend has started of putting Pakistan down and bad-mouthing our nation as the new 'IN' thing in the social media and the youth. This not only needs to be addressed but dealt with properly. Every single one of us needs to make an individual as well as collective effort to help reshape people's perception of our home, our nation, Our Pakistan!

The struggle to achieve what you really want in life is what brings you true happiness. It is not whether you achieve that eventual goal but the will to stay on gives the satisfaction. Most people in their lives may not be able to change the entire world but the fact that they might make a small dent in their own surroundings is what counts at the end. Even if you don't make that small dent, it is important that you tried no matter how much you were criticized for it.

In struggle lies the triumph of a Man!


Written By: Tahir Mehmood

Our world does not have a long history; if not in religious sense then at least in political and economic evolution. The Paleolithic phase (Old Stone Age) entered into Neolithic phase (New Stone Age) around 10, 000 B.C. The hunter gatherers started agriculture around 8000 B.C. and it was the yield of surplus grain that gave rise to trade between the tillers in the suburbs and the city dwellers who were mainly manufacturers of Bronze Age. This period being insignificant till 2100 B.C. once Hammurabi of Babylon introduced the earliest law code. There existed in these times the oldest civilizations like Mesopotamian (3500 B.C.), Egyptian (3000 B.C.) and Harrapan (2500 B.C.). The Greek City States and Iranian empire struggled around 700 B.C. to 300 B.C. The Roman Empire – replacing Roman Republic – was founded in 27 B.C. and perished in 476 A.D. The various religions like Confucianism, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam emerged from 600 B.C. to 600 A.D. The known history from this moment onwards was dominated by the kings and monarch in all parts of the world and among followers of all religions. Then began the phase of colonialism from the 15th century and lasted (in physical domain) till 20th century. However, the critics are of the view that the colonialism continues till to-date in the form of neo-colonialism. In April 1492, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, after ending Muslims’ rule in Spain, despatched Christopher Columbus on a sea voyage that culminated on discovery of American continent. Only five years later, on 8 July 1497, Portuguese King Manuel sent Vasco da Gama – in command of four ships and 170 men – on a mission that took him to found India. The rest is history. In following centuries, Portugal, Spain, England, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy were able to colonize almost entire America, Africa and most part of the Asia. Those who got colonized were more in numbers, fought in their own lands, but were vanquished by usually a smaller minority from European peninsula.

Historian Niall Ferguson in his book “Civilization: The West and the Rest” has found six factors in this rise of the West. These are: 1) competition; 2) science; 3) property rights; 4) medicines; 5) the consumer society; and, 6) the work ethic (p.12). The West passed through various stages like Renaissance (13th century), Reformation (16th century), Enlightenment (late 18th century), and, Industrial Revolution (18th century). During all these phases, different phenomena were taking place, like: struggle for individual freedom, rise of a trading class, reducing the powers of monarchs and kings, secularization of politics, emergence of the nation-state etc. During this period, the French Revolution (1789) and American Revolution (1776) took place that ushered in the lasting notions of a responsible republic and a representative government. In 1776, Adam Smith wrote “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” that gave birth to capitalism. He prophesied that serving the individual interest would actually promote the collective interest through an 'invisible hand'. Karl Marx contrarily wrote “The Communist Manifesto” in 1848 and “Das Kapital” in 1867 that battled against unbridled forces of capitalism. John Locke, Rousseau and Voltaire wrote treatises that advocated for democracy and more republican form of the government. These were the formative years of the West when citizens learnt to live through the notions of democracy, work ethics and, of obligations and duties being citizen of a nation-state. Capitalism and the capitalists were soon to realize that the worker was also a consumer and his interests were to be protected. Therefore, wages raised, working conditions improved and the consumer was protected to a level that the interests of owners were not hurt. The inner debate and dialogue in the societies continued for the good of citizenry. The very people participated and evolved percepts of a better and powerful world that others could not resist and were colonized. The wars by the kings abhorred, and the national wars fought, eventually convinced the warrior nations to find peaceful norms of competition and survival. In nutshell, the kings were rejected by the society, freedom was won by the individual, economy and politics was transformed to a degree that the West achieved edge on other parts of the world. The occupation of vast colonial empires in far off lands is testimony to this superior edge over others.

Contrarily to the spirit of these times, a focus on the subcontinent and overall Muslim world would reveal a different trend and direction of societal movement till these were colonized by the West. These societies appear victim of a deadly status quo. These never yearned for a change: a change in the form of government from the kingdoms to the republic, the economy that aspires to expand under new rules than mere slouching at a subsistence level, a population agitating for more individual freedom than merely accepting the kings' rule as a fate accompli, an education system that is based on scientific critical enquiry and evidence than mere emulation and acceptance, and a culture that promotes work ethics, savings and investment than mere luxurious display of individual idiosyncrasies. Except territorial and hereditary wars, the history of these societies has left no trace of a worthwhile political or economic debate in these lost centuries. Emulation and repetition continued in the name of scholarship after 13th century. In 1500, there were more than 200 printing press in Germany alone, whereas in 1515, Turk king Sultan Salim 1 had issued a death sentence decree for anyone using the printing press. The male and female literacy rate in Paris by 1789 was 90 per cent and 80 per cent respectively when female literacy at mass level was hitherto an unknown concept in the Muslim world. They were colonized being inferior in knowledge and warfare in later centuries.

Then began the resistance and struggle phase for the independence of the colonial world. The colonial societies were familiarized only with history of kingships and their glorious wars. However, the colonial masters were in no mood to restore the old kingships and their empires. Meanwhile, a small segment from the colonial populace had also emerged that aspired for creation of new nation-states based on democratic form of the government. The World War I, World War II and the rise of America also influenced the course of history toward decolonization by the former masters. There emerged new nation-states that were still inhabited by a majority that was hardly prepared for the experiments of democracy, free market, individual freedom and rule of law. In absence of such essential institutions, the common attractions for the majority were family bondage, tribal lineage, ethnic and linguistic affinity, and sectarian factionalism. These colonies wavered betwteen authoritarian regimes to democratic governments in search of progress and development. However, till to-date former colonies stand far short of the desired goals and are mostly dependent on former masters. The old tribal mindset is often at display and not an exception. They have yet to learn that the authority is the law, or, the law is the authority.  And, now these societies also face the ever growing challenges of Globalization.

The globalization phenomenon has been given impetus by introduction of new technologies and advent of the Information Age. The transportation and information means have virtually reduced all types of distances and barriers. The citizens of nation-states are no more restricted, shielded or blinded by the state frontiers rather they live in a world of 'mirror-image'. The societies and individual not only see each other but also compare. This certainly has given rise to expectation, demands and aspirations. The 'local' phenomenon still exists but there is also a rise of universalism in culture, media, food, dress, language, and awareness. The manifestation can be seen in evolution of global systems: political system is getting shaped around democracy, economic globalization around free market, global climate regimes, global nuclear non-proliferation, and global trade regimes etc. Now the questions arise: 1) Whether these former colonies are prepared to take part in this globalization process? 2) Have these societies passed through the formative periods when individual freedom and representative government is outcome of a societal evolution than mere imported but alien norms? 3) Will the 'mirror-image' of a globalized world put these former colonial societies in a long internal conflict till settling of political, economic and cultural contradictions? 4) Will these societies enter into a conflict mode with the former masters, or failing would lead to a frustrated response from few agitated individuals? The questions are numerous and the answers unpredictable. However, one thing is obvious that centuries lost during middle ages cannot be regained in few years by mere desires, dreams, agitation, or at worst, internal violence.

If the causes and reasons for the rise of one civilization are based on individual freedom, genuine representative and participatory governments, economic liberalization and decentralization, universal education, gender indiscrimination and rule of law, the other civilization would have to either find new paradigms for the progress and development, or, follow the suit. Till that destiny, they will have to live through the times with patience, work earnestly, and, maintain stability and internal cohesion. If there is only a hollow desire of self-rise in these former colonial societies, then nothing is a better choice than wait and pray for the others' fall as a process of change by the Nature that occurs in centuries and millennia.

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Written By: Dr. Akbar S.Ahmed

On the western front frowned the eagle

mighty Caesar in imperial regalia regal,

in the east prowled minions of Xerxes

fierce lions swift as desert breeze.


Out of the shimmering sands I rode

suddenly Colossus-like the world I strode

giving from my raiment fair

an Alhambra here, a Taj there


In me flowed an eastern weather

I swerved and moved like a bird in feather,

I was Khaldun, Khayyam and Ghalib

not mere seraph but from Adam’s own rib.


Cordoba and Cathay are all mine

mine are sahara, tundra and pine

mine, Kubla’s dome of pleasure

mine, Roomi’s secret sufic treasure.


The Bedouin, the Brahmin, the Confucian, they heard

the powerful rhythm, the azaan that averred

the tauhid of Allah, the glory of Islam,

pale, quaked the Cross, the Shinto, and even Ram,


Ghazni at Somnath and Samarkand flowered

Avicenna and Averroes all ignorance murdered

Haroon’s Nights illuminated darkened lives

women-kind awakened as empresses, poets and wives.


Badr was sobbing, Panipat weeping

the universe gaped as I lay sleeping,

kaleidoscopic chaos seemed far to me

I slumped, I sank, I fell free.


Free of strife, inebriated with bliss

complacency seduced me with slumberous kiss

victim to the venomous charms of sloth

on my internal fountains died all froth

as placid, blue azure I slept;

yet ever the Islamic cosmos wept.


Then 0 God, a nightmare vision I saw

a leprosy white Crusader garbed for war

see, his red teeth and purple eyes

0, see, within me pale hope dies.


Now who will find me Saladin or Alamgir?

succour me friendly sultan or saintly pir

the Crusader slowly moves his cloudy hand

with it he brandishes an atomic wand.


On his heaving shoulder sits a hungry eagle

it starts, it flutters its wings regal

the Crusader melts, sheds his amorphous wear

yet appears again as a Russian bear!


In my dream voices loud and clear

echo with hoary throats and sere

of Communism and Capitalism Capitalism and Communism

lesser voices chant: Negroism, Hinduism, Arabism


Thundering ‘isms’ crash about me

1 gasp, I wake, I see

around me fragments of Suez fall

Muhammad Mustapha I hear you call.


Prophet in the desert, before Allah falling

I hear you in the muezzin’s calling

I vow again to revive within me your song

to sing it forever, sweet and long.


The task so immense, its breadth its length

So great I sip of history for strength

then scimitars cast aside quills unsheathed

Muslim true never surrendered while he breathed


Out, out damned spots of blind imitations

sham, servile servings of other nations

exit, eclectic intellect of alien droppings,

time-patience to grow own mental wings.


Out, out ICS blackened pseudo-Englishmen

their traits, their chota-pegs, their Victorian pen

1, iconoclast rejuvenated I smasher of the obsequious

saliva-fal1en, I reject the kala-sahib infamous.


Then computers and the minaret,

the maulvi and flats-to-let,

the Boeing coaxed in air, with soft bismillah

external strength, throbbing internal Allah


Beware Marx and his spiritually sick sentences

beware Freud, his phalliced homo’s repentances

but open to me Marxist economics Freudian theories

international answers to personal queries.


Then, one day my head high again 1 will rise

Pure Muslim, Marxist-Malinowski-Mawdoodi wise,

one day I will no longer sweat-fear to dream,

Then, then I will possess the key to ‘alif lam mim’.


Written By: Feryal Ali Gauhar

“The Political Problem of Mankind is to combine Three Things: Economic Efficiency, Social Justice And Individual Liberty” (John Maynard Keynes).

We are celebrating our 68th year of existence, and, as we watch a polity in distress, a population bursting the boundaries of self-sufficiency, an economy crippled by energy shortages and a crisis of law and order, an environment barely able to sustain the needs of burgeoning numbers, governance which exists in name only, the question arises as to exactly what it is we are celebrating on the 14th of August this year.  Surely there must have been strides in providing services to the people, opportunity for self-improvement, meaningful and decent work, the protection of lives and livelihoods, the development of infrastructure connecting farms to markets, rural to urban areas.  And yet we see totally iniquitous development, lop-sided and socially unjust, economically unsustainable, marginalizing the already impoverished, with poverty growing rapidly while resources dwindle and demands increase.

Amongst the poorest sections of society all over the world are poor women, comprising the larger majority of poor populations anywhere.  Why is it that in the twenty-first century women are still marginalized, relegated to the backwaters of development, treated as chattel, bartered and exchanged like cattle, and murdered with impunity?  In recent years in our country we have seen the rapid increase in violence towards women – perhaps if these women were economically empowered they would not be victimized in these brutal ways – there would be a value placed on women beyond their being the repositories of the future generation, the nurturers of the family, the sustainers of life itself.  For such a society to emerge, it would be necessary to see women as being worthy of the same opportunities for the achievement of their fullest human potential, enriching themselves, their families, the nation.

Unfortunately, in 67 years of existence, we have failed to recognize the importance of this equation.  In fact, instead of incorporating the value of women's contribution to the economy in our development plans and policies, we have almost entirely left women's economic and political participation out of the larger discourse.  Tragically, we are one of the few countries in the world where the global biological norm has been reversed, i.e., where there are 106 women to every 100 men the world over, there are 94 women to 100 men in Pakistan.  Where are those missing millions?  Aborted before they are even born?  Killed once they are?  How well would Pakistan have benefited had women been made an integral part of the development agenda?

In order to understand the importance of the inclusion of women in this agenda, I offer the following argument to support my contention:  that without gender equality we shall continue to de-link the contribution of women's economic potential with the future of this country.

Defining Gender and Gender Equality

Gender refers to socially constructed roles and socially learned behaviours and expectations associated with females and males. Gender Equality will be defined here in terms of equality under the law, equality of opportunity, including in access to human capital and other productive resources that enable opportunity and equality of rewards for work, and equality of “voice” or the ability to influence and contribute to the development process. 

Equality under the Law

Gender disparities in rights constraint the sets of choices available to women in many aspects of life – often profoundly limiting their ability to participate in or benefit from development. Gender disparities in literacy and access to information still limit women's participation in political forums despite constitutional laws giving women equal rights to vote.

In no region do women and men have equal social, economic, and legal rights.  In a number of countries women still lack independent rights to own land, manage property, conduct business, or even travel without their husband's consent.  In much of sub-Saharan Africa, for example, women obtain land rights chiefly through their husband as long as the marriage endures, and they often lose those rights when they are divorced or widowed. In Turkey, great strides have been in moving towards equality for men and women through laws but systemic obstacles also stand in the way of translating into reality what appears to be a national commitment to gender equality due to lack of effective implementation and limited enforcement.  Finally, country's capacity for effective implementation and enforcement is often limited, in part because statutes could conflict with more dominant traditional or religious legal structures within the country and in part because administrative agencies may be weak or absent.

Links between Gender and Development

In order to see the link between gender equality, women's empowerment and development, I offer a few examples from around the world:

In Brazil, gender discrimination explains 5% of inequality; income in the hands of mothers has four times the impact on children's height-for-age as income in the hands of fathers. In India, children of literate mothers spend two more hours/day studying than children of illiterate mothers. In Guatemala and Nigeria, educated mothers are more likely to adopt health-seeking behaviours, such as immunization.  In Turkey, high female illiteracy rates limit women's chances of integrating into a modern productive life, thus curtailing women's potential for empowerment at both family and community levels.                                    

Access and Ownership of Resources – Access to Education and Livelihoods

All over the world, especially in the countries of South Asia, women continue to have systematically poorer command over a range of productive resources, including education, land, information, and financial resources. Despite recent increases in women's educational attainment, women continue to earn less than men in the labour market even when they have the same education and years of experience as men. Many countries have introduced mandatory education laws recognizing basic schooling as a human right with no discernible discrimination by gender — but the way education is delivered deters girls more than boys from going to schools in many settings.  In Turkey, for example, traditional norms in many parts of the country still prevail, limiting women's access to their rights to education.  Women's entry into all levels and types of education has been a consistent national priority since the establishment of the secular Turkish Republic in 1923.  However, like in Pakistan, a strong patriarchal culture reflected in gender discriminatory traditions and practices (such as son preference, early marriage, and gender-based seclusion and segregation) reinforced by religious beliefs, as well as scarce economic resources have acted as barriers to women's education.

In our country, factors such as persistent regional disparities in socio-cultural as well as economic conditions and very high rural-urban migration rates in the last four decades have further complicated the situation.  Thus, despite significant improvements over time, gender equality in education has not been achieved and women, to date, continue to lag behind men by almost all indicators.  The continuing presence, in large numbers, of girls in religious secondary education, which by definition, reinforces gender stereotypes and falls short of developing women's capacities for market-oriented skills also constitutes a serious drawback.

High levels of economic and political inequality lead to economic institutions and social systems that systematically favour the elite, undermining a country's potential for growth and its ability to reduce poverty. Additionally, inequitable institutions impose economic costs. Equity is a fundamental part of the package needed to achieve empowerment and a better investment climate. It is also essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.  Improving equity is commonly viewed as a central concern of the state.  Greater equality brings greater stability and cohesion to society.  These benefits are public goods, improving the workings of society and the economy. More schooling, resources, and autonomy for women can help alleviate some of the worst manifestations of poverty, including child mortality and malnutrition.

Access to a Political Voice

Limited access to resources and weaker ability to generate income constrain women's power to influence resource allocation and investment decisions in the home and limit women's ability to influence and contribute to development. Unequal rights and poor socio-economic status relative to men also limit women's ability to influence decisions in their communities and at the national level. Women remain vastly under-represented in national and local assemblies, accounting for less than 10 percent of the seats in parliament, on average except in East Asia, where the figure is 18-19 percent. And in no developing region do women hold more than 8 percent of ministerial positions. And in Eastern Europe female representation has fallen from about 25 to 7 percent since the beginning of economic and political transition there. In the household, resource allocation decisions are commonly inconsistent with the unitary household model. Rather, these decisions appear to reflect different preferences among household members, by gender. They also reflect differences among them in control of resources, such as income, assets, and education. And they reflect factors outside the household that affect women's and men's economic “fallback” positions and their options to leave the household under bad circumstances. If a person owns or controls assets and is able to take these assets when they leave, they have some power over how household resources are allocated, giving them positive bargaining power.  In Indonesia, the assets a man, or a woman, brings into a marriage are thought to be a good indicator of their respective bargaining power, since in most of the countries spouses can recover what they brought into the marriage if the marriage is dissolved.

When a large share of the population is excluded from the main opportunities in development (education, investment, property rights; they don't even have the same political influence and the ability to influence their governments), then a lot of human productive potential of society goes to waste.  Inequalities in rights, resources, and political voice generally disadvantage women, but they also disadvantage the rest of society and impede development.  Even more striking, the costs of gender inequality are particularly large in low-income countries. And within countries, they are larger for the poor. Inequality impost costs to well-being.  Inequality affects the next generations. The singular role of the mother in the child's early years, difficult to dispute, is a principal pathway for gender discrimination to affect next generations.  Inequality also brings costs to productivity and growth such as less schooling resulting in missed opportunities, lost earnings and inefficient allocation of labour.

Gender equality is explicitly recognized as essential to achieving poverty reduction. Clearly there is a strong correlation between income & gender inequality.

Cross-country and country-specific evidence indicates that gender inequality hinders economic growth and leads to:  A heavy cost on families and nations, cost on people's lives and decrease of well being, cost on productivity, efficiency and economic progress, and weaker governance

Recent studies suggest that gender equality is correlated with corruption.  But, is this relationship real or spurious?  Enterprise surveys show that women in business are less likely than men to pay bribes to government officials, whether because of risk aversion or higher standards of ethical behaviour. Besides rights, broader participation of women in public life also appears to matter.  Governments are less corrupt when women are more active in politics.  For example, corruption falls as the proportion of parliamentary seats held by women rises (based on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index), controlling for national income and other factors shown to affect corruption.

A Framework to Promote Gender Equality and Development

In order to put ourselves on a sustainable path to just and equitable development, it would be necessary to reform institutions (legal, economic) to provide equal rights and opportunities.  It is equally important to foster economic development to strengthen incentives for more equal resources.  It would be essential to take measures to redress inequalities in command over resources and political participation, or “voice”.

Legal reform is important to promote gender equality in many areas but five stand out:

1) family law – reforms that eliminate disparities in legal status between women and men in the family help lay the groundwork for broader progress toward gender equality;

2) protection against violence: in many countries, including Turkey, laws that ostensibly protect women from gender-related violence contain biases that discriminate against the victims or that render the laws ineffective. For example, certain provisions in the law such as those pertaining to reduced sentences in “honour killings” need to be reconsidered and revised to achieve greater equality between men and women;

3) Land rights: equal access to and control of land resources is important for several reasons. Insecure land rights can reduce female farmer's productivity and inhibit women's access to credit, since land is an important form of collateral;

4) Labour law:  Laws that restrict the types of work women can do or limit the hours they can work, even when couched as “special protection”, restrict women's access to the labour market.  Such legal restrictions should be eliminated.  At the same time, equal employment and equal pay legislation can help form the basis for equal rights and equal protection in the labour market;

5) Political rights: equal political rights provide the foundation on which women and men can enjoy equal voice in society. Where restrictions exist to limit women's ability to exercise these rights, they should be eliminated.

There is compelling evidence for the state to intervene to promote gender equality: gender needs to be systematically integrated into the analysis of economic problem and gender must be integrated into the policy process at the planning, budgetary, implementation and evaluation levels.

To correct structural injustice, policy agendas need to be made more inclusive by strengthening the capacity of the excluded to participate on more equitable terms in the market economy and democratic polity. The failure to do so shall only result in greater structural distortion and inequality, inevitably leading to social injustice and concomitant forms of violence which brutalize the excluded with impunity.

Can we say that on this Independence Day we have realized that women are indeed, half the earth and half the sky?  If we were to include half our population in the process of development, we could indeed, see the silver lining at the edge of the dark clouds looming above us.

The writer read Political Economy at McGill University, Montreal, Media Education at the University of London, Development Communication at the University of Southern California, and Cultural Heritage Management at the National College of Arts, Lahore.  She teaches at apex institutions, writes a column for a leading daily, makes documentaries, and has published two best-selling novels.


Written By: Maj Waheed Bukhari

(Tale of an arduous train journey from India to Pakistan during partition by a veteran Pak Army)

Since my childhood I was fond of listening to the historical events. With every passing day of my life, this habit became a custom. Few weeks back, I received a call of Colonel Shahid Kirmani from ISPR Lahore office who told me about a veteran officer. This officer had been in charge of a refugee train during partition. After listening about his amazing feat during the Independence movement, I was highly keen to meet this valiant soldier, who is now 95 years old. It was a memorable moment to meet Major (Retd) Rafi, who although is frail at this age, but has a graceful and up right gait which is hallmark of an Army officer. I was already in awe that a person of this age has such vivid memory, exceptional vocabulary, vast knowledge and clear commanding voice. Once he started narrating his arduous journey, I not only forgot to raise any questions, but frankly my hot cup of coffee got cold.

“It was just two months before independence that we got married,” he said pleasingly while looking at his wife who was sitting beside him. He might be one of the oldest living officers of Pakistan Army, who was commissioned on 14 Nov 1943 from Indian Military Academy (IMA). While talking to me, he frequently looked at his uniformed picture hanging on the wall for a while as if recollecting the golden memories. He was assigned task for commanding a special train carrying refugees from Jabalpur (India) to Lahore and later to Malir Cantonment; thousands of migrants men, women and children were impatiently waiting to arrive at the land of their dreams and kiss its fragrant soil.

While narrating his tale he told that on the day of departure, as the time for move drew closer, an extremely distasteful event took place. The Indian officials asked them to load the whole baggage in one go which was practically impossible. But somehow their men managed to get hold of a long bamboo and tied all portable items with the rope thus succeeding in meeting Indian's childish demand. Indian officers witnessing this were put to great embarrassment and later allowed them to carry the luggage at ease. Continuing with narration of the events he told that next day when train reached New Delhi, the RTO (a Sikh Lieutenant Colonel), bombarded at him and asked to count all the inmates travelling by that train. As per RTO's information, the numbers of travelers were exceeding the actual number specified. He also seemed determined to send the train to Old Delhi for maintenance, to which, Maj Rafi immediately replied angrily that he would not allow such delaying tactics being in-charge of the train and inmates. He had the idea that under the garb of maintenance and repairs, the train was being dispatched to Old Delhi to murder the refugees.


Maj Rafi seemed totally lost in the past and shared that Allah gave him courage at that time and seeing his determination, the Sikh Colonel threatened him of dreadful outcome, whereas, he just told him that he could not take any legal action against him, as he had no right to take a Pakistani Army Officer into custody. The Sikh Colonel moved towards his office with his head down in embarrassment. As a result after some time, Major Rafi was facing the Area Commander Brigadier G.K. Jones. Maj Rafi upon hearing the name, recalled that Brig Jones was his Company Commander at IMA (Indian Military Academy) so without wasting time, he reminded him of being his cadet and that he had helped him and some of his course mates in getting commission. He recalls that after listening to him, Brig Jones showed a lot of kindness. Seeing his gentle attitude, he not only brought the non-cooperative attitude of the Sikh Colonel to his notice but also requested him to order early move of the train. Despite the Brigadier's clear orders, to which he agreed at that time, the frantic Sikh Colonel managed to delay the departure for two more days. On our way to Pakistan, he recalled that, “we witnessed unbearable scenes of brutality rather inhumanity on Muslim refugees. Those horrible scenes still hang around in my memory and steal from me my peace of mind.”

“Youngman, this story is full of bloodshed and could better be imagined than described,” said Maj Rafi with wet eyes and deep voice. The exhausted souls were lying half dead in misery, many were slaughtered by the coldhearted rioters, who did not even spare innocent children and women. Extremist, frantic Sikhs and Hindus did not abstain from attacking refugee camps, killing Muslims brutally; he further added with a gloomy tone… and placed back the coffee cup on table. “Somehow our train reached Panipat station after frequent interruptions. The train driver (a Kashmiri Hindu) thought here of a naughtiness to threaten the inmates. Without my permission he stopped the train in front of the Shernarthi Camp where over four and half lac Hindu extremists were lodged. Their aim was to torture all Muslims to death, who would fall in their hands. It was indeed, a marvel that we were safe and sound from their clutches. Seeing the grimness of situation, I immediately alerted my company and rushed towards the driver to know about the situation. He told me that water in the engine had been dried up and as such, the train had developed some fault in the engine. “I immediately tasked a few jawans to look for some water,” shared Maj Rafi while emotionally narrating the events of that time.

He further narrated that luckily his men caught sight of a well and drew plenty of water. The driver was taken aback at their initiative and resourcefulness and after screwing some nuts and bolts of the engine, he showed his readiness to move the train. “I told him in clear terms that henceforth, he will not stop the train without my permission. As the train was moving closer to its destination we were feeling excited. Now the state of uncertainty was being replaced by hope and optimism.” Maj Rafi was narrating the tales of his arduous journey and I was like a starry eyed child listening to the stories of an era bygone. Similarly when their train reached Ambala, the intelligence sources told them that the railway line had been damaged by some gangsters. He then decided to again get help from Brigadier Jones. When after tiring efforts, he got in touch with him, he was very rude and furious. “Later, on my request in cool manner, he gave a positive nod and again the Sikh colonel was told to arrange a pilot engine for us. We thought that now long-drawn torment is about to end but the evil minded Sardar again played a grubby trick and asked the driver to follow a longer route, where Sikh zealots were indiscriminately butchering the Muslims. I cautioned my jawans to exercise complete vigilance to meet any eventuality. At Patiala railway station I observed from the platform, a large number of people raising slogans of JAE GURU, obviously they were planning for some mischief. They were also carrying swords and kirpans. When they saw that the train was carrying army Jawans fully equipped with weapons, they dropped the idea of attacking it. At every point of time Allah Almighty was so merciful to protect us from the atrocities,” shared Maj Rafi.

The train was on move towards Lahore, when suddenly it started whistling and stopped eventually. Thinking of some new misfortune Maj Rafi stepped out and saw a few soldiers in green uniform. These Pakistani soldiers were evacuating refugees and meanwhile they ran short of the ration. “Listening to their problem, we arranged some dry ration for them,” he said. At Attari the last railway station a Pakistani military contingent belonging to Corps of Engineers welcomed them warmly and told that a trench, the demarcation point between the two countries is nearby. When their train entered the most awaited and beloved land for which they all had made immense sacrifices, tears started welling up in their eyes. While listening to the tale of this freedom journey I went quite emotional, until Maj Rafi called me and patted my shoulder. I heard him saying, “no doubt it was through the deep devotion and extreme sense of sacrifice, under dynamic leadership of the Quaid that Muslims of the sub-continent won a homeland and thus their long-cherished dream was fulfilled.” Changing his posture to a bit relaxed position, he asked his servant for fresh cup of coffee and closed his old grey eyes sparkling with the cheerful memories of a treasured journey.


Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was one of the most world leaders of his time, who left his mark on all aspects of future statecraft of the subcontinent and the world at large. He did not have time to write a book nor did he leave behind any monograph. However, a lot can be found in his speeches, communiqués and pursuits as a politician and statesman. Inter alia, his vision on the military instrument of statecraft is quite clear and a beacon of wisdom for the generations to come. Key Ingredients of the Quaid's Defence Vision Key ingredients of the Quaid's defence vision included:

  • Strong national defence (strong Army especially cavalry, Navy, Air Force).
  • No dependence on the international body.
  • Self reliance both in defence production and the military system.
  • The Watchword (faith, discipline and self-sacrifice)
  • The importance of training system.
  • Doctrinal evolution.
  • Professional confidence.

qa2Contribution towards International Peace Even before the creation of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam practically contributed towards international peace by supporting the allied defence efforts during World War I. He joined other Indian moderates in supporting the British war effort and urged the Indian Muslims to join British forces. Hundreds of thousands joined and fought in different theatres of war. The Muslim infantrymen and cavaliers, mostly from the areas forming part of Pakistan now, played a heroic and historic role in bringing back the international peace and stability by offering sacrifices including that of their lives. Yet again, during World War II, Quaid-i-Azam vocally supported the British war effort and asked the Indian Muslims to join British forces. Some 617,353 Muslim soldiers participated in World War II and fought in different theatres of war. Establishment of the Military Academies

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was an ardent advocate of establishing a Military Academy on the lines of Sandhurst Academy. In 1925, he was appointed as Chairman of a subcommittee to study the possibility of establishing the academy. The members of the subcommittee included Sir Pherose Sethna and Zorawar Singh. Major Lumby acted as Secretary of this subcommittee. Motilal Nehru, resenting Quaid-i-Azam's appointment as Chairman, resigned his membership of the Sandhurst Committee. The Quaid, along with his colleagues, sailed from Bombay in S. S. “Kaisar-i-Hind” on April 10, 1926 and arrived in England on April 24, 1926. Up to April 30, the sub-committee visited various institutions of England, and proceeded to France to visit its military institutions from May 3 to 6. Then it returned to England, where it stayed for another two weeks to visit the remaining English institutions. After that the sub-committee sailed for Canada on May 28, 1926. Having landed on the Canadian soil on June 6, it visited the Canadian military institutions for three days and reached the United States of America on June 9. Having visited the American military training institutions for three days, it returned to England. The sub-committee re-assembled on 1 July where they visited Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. The subcommittee visited France yet again. Based on the information gained during the visit, the committee was able to give concrete recommendations for establishment of the Military Academy in the Subcontinent. Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, who recognized this fact already termed Jinnah's support to the recommendations of the Indian Sandhurst Committee a matter which was “politically valuable” to the British Government.

He always supported the proposal that the armed forces of subcontinent should be completely made up of local officers and soldiers, with no participation of the British personnel. He particularly supported the induction of local officers at all tiers of command, which if not done, would lead to lack of spirit among the locals. Thus, the military career must not be denied to the local citizens. The purpose of writing these lines here is to corroborate that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had the strategic vision for the state defence besides being well versed with the training system in the Europe and North America, and the Subcontinental operational needs.

Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), known as Quaid-i-Azam's own is a notable legacy of the Quaid. PMA was established in 1947. Some 66 Muslim (Pakistani) cadets were shifted from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) to PMA in 1947. In March 1948, the First Battalion was bestowed with Quaid-i-Azam's patronage as Colonel-in-Chief, and the most coveted claim Quaid-i-Azam's Own. Khawaja Nazimuddin gave the Quaid-i-Azam banner to the Pakistan Military Academy on behalf of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah. The Quaid-i-Azam banner is held by the champion company at every passing out parade. During his address in 1950 on completion of his term, Brigadier Francis Ingall said, “I have given many addresses from this position here and from 1948 to 1951 I was very keen on the question of Pakistan and believed in it. I believed what the Quaid-i-Azam preached. I believe in Islam.”

Atomic Weapons and the Pattern of Future Wars Quaid-i-Azam was fully cognizant of the evolving character of war in addition to the prospective role of the world body. On January 2, 1948, he articulated, “The First World War of 1914-18 was fought to end war. Its horrors quickened the conscience of the world and set statesmen thinking to devise ways and means of outlawing war. This led to the birth of the League of Nations and the idea of collective security, but the League of Nations proved only a pious hope. It failed to avert World War II. The destruction caused by the first world war pales into insignificance as compared to the devastation and havoc resulting from the last world war and now with the discovery of the Atom Bomb, one shudders to think of the pattern of future wars.” Responsibility for the Defence of the State


Quaid-i-Azam stood for adherence to the global values and United Nations charter for the purpose of international peace. However, he was skeptical about the capacity of the UN on the way to collective security. He believed that the foremost responsibility for defence of the state was that of the state itself. The question is: Was the Quaid realist? Not exactly, indeed. He believed in the efficacy of liberal values. However, he deemed that the state should have both the will and capacity for its defence. To him, weakness was tantamount to inviting aggression. He is quoted to have said, “Pakistan which has been recently admitted to the United Nations Organization will do everything in its power to strengthen the Organization and help it in the achievement of the ideals which have been set up as its goal. While giving the fullest support to the principles of the United Nations Charter we cannot afford to neglect our defences. However strong the United Nations Organization might be, the primary responsibility for the defence of our country will rest with us and Pakistan must be prepared for all eventualities and dangers. The weak and the defenceless, in this imperfect world, invites aggression from others. The best way in which we can serve the cause of peace is by removing temptation from the path of those who think that we are weak, and therefore, they can bully or attack us. That temptation can only be removed if we make ourselves so strong that nobody dare entertain any aggressive designs against us.”

The Need for a Strong Air Force Certainly, the Quaid was conscious of the need for strong, well trained and well equipped land forces and navy. Nonetheless, he was equally cognizant of the necessity for a strong air force that could work with other services e.g. army and navy to achieve synergetic strategic outcome on the way to ensuring security of the frontiers of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan Air Force base at Risalpur in 1947, Quaid-i-Azam pronounced, “There is no doubt that a country without a strong Air Force is at the mercy of any aggressor. Pakistan must build up her air force as quickly as possible. It must be an efficient air force second to none and must take its right place with the Army and the Navy in securing Pakistan's Defence.”

The Watchword for the Defence Forces During his visit to PNS Delawar at Karachi on 23rd January 1948, Quaid-i-Azam said, “Everyone of us has an important role to play in strengthening the defence of the country and your watchword should be Faith, Discipline and Self-Sacrifice.” Armoured Corps: “Corps de Elite” Quaid-i-Azam had so keen eye to observe and evaluate the significance of various segments of the military forces that he never missed any. For instance, he greatly valued the importance of the armoured corps in the land forces. During his visit to the 3rd Armoured Brigade of Pakistan Army at Risalpur on April 13, 1948, he said, “For centuries cavalry has been regarded as 'Corps de Elite' of every nation. Although you have now changed your mounts for these awe-inspiring machines the tanks, your perseverance, your patience, coolness and dash that had to be displayed by a cavalier, must still remain guiding light. Your Brigade is the only one of its kind in Pakistan Army, in fact in the whole Muslim world.” It may be noted that Risalpur took its name from Risala i.e. Cavalry or armoured corps, and was thus a home of the armoured corps for a long time. The Quaid was greatly delighted to see the armoured brigade personnel and equipment. He indeed corroborated the operational significance of cavalry and the leading role expected from it during war together with other arms. Self Reliance in Military Hardware

Self reliance in all spheres of the state, including the military realm, has been one of the areas that the Quaid particularly stressed upon. He was proponent of indigenous production of military hardware as much as he supported the aggrandizement of industrial production. Freedom and the Defence Forces Freedom of the state has a definitive linkage with the strength and capacity of the defence forces of a country. The Quaid was cognizant of, and stressed upon, it at different occasions. During one of his addresses to the civil and military officers at Karachi on October 11, 1947 he said, “The establishment of Pakistan for which we have been striving is, by (the) grace of God, an established fact today, but the creation of a State of our own was the means to an end and not the end in itself. The idea was that we should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own rights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.”

Armed Forces and the National Policy Quaid-i-Azam looked at the armed forces as the servants of the people and not the architects of national policy, notwithstanding the necessary input from the desks of the military hierarchy that is norms around the world and is imperative for national progress. To this end, said on August 14, 1947, “Do not forget that the armed forces are the servants of the people and you do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues and it is your duty to carry out these tasks with which you are entrusted.” Conclusion The Quaid's defence vision Pakistan was based on the empirical wisdom and the future needs for the defence of Pakistan. The Quaid's legacy lives. Today, Pakistan has a formidable defence system which includes the armed forces and civilian security forces besides the strategic weapons including the nuclear technology. The people of Pakistan stand behind their armed forces and are thus real source of their strength. The Quaid's precepts and guidelines would surely continue to serve as the source of wisdom for the current and the coming generation as well.

The writer is a PhD (Peace and Conflict Studies) scholar, author of ‘Human Security of Pakistan’ (published 2013) and co-author Of ‘Kashmir: Looking beyond the Peril’ (published 2014).

Written By: Maj Gen Muhammad Khalil Dar

14th of August is proudly celebrated as Independence Day because the Muslims of the subcontinent finally freed themselves form yoke of occupation. Incidentally summer months i.e. May to September remain associated with independence struggle ever since the early stages of occupation. It was in May 1757 when Indian Forces attempted to oust the expanding British along the coast of Bihar and it was again 10th May 1857 when native troops rebelled at Meerut which quickly transformed into a large scale independence struggle taking authorities completely by surprise. 

Since, this year's 14th August is overlapping with own Army's multidimensional efforts to help establish the writ of the Government in FATA in general and NWA in particular; the objective of this article is to maintain the focus on this region, albeit, in historical sense.Additionally, in most of the accounts of 1857 War, Frontier i.e. now KPK largely remains out of focus, due to understandable reasons of least activity. Nevertheless, little digging in history reveals that authorities, young officers and troops of this area played a decisive role. While experience in FATA highlights that little has changed in the social perspective, therefore, an attempt has been made to remain objective with a singular aim of learning military lessons. For there lies great lessons in not only own stories of triumph but also in enemy's display of tact and valour when confronted with difficult choices.  

Though, authorities in Peshawar had received news of rebellion in Meerut on 11th May, thanks to newly installed telegraph, it was on 21st May 1857, when Herbert Edwards, Commissioner  Peshawar, received a letter from John Lawrence, the Chief Commissioner Punjab at Lahore, proposing to abandon parts of areas west of Indus and release forces to relief Delhi. The letter also proposed that Amir Dost Muhammad of Afghanistan be asked to take formal possession of vale of Peshawar (accepting his territorial claim) with an assurance of friendship during the crisis. Back in Calcutta, the East India Company Headquarters, and Ambala, company's military headquarters, the situation would have looked exceedingly bleak given the fact that many of British units had not returned from Crimean Campaign and some were being earmarked for War with China. As against 40,000 held, before Crimea only 28,000 British troops were in India. Such was the predicament faced by East India Company (EIC) Government in India on the 11th day of War of Independence i.e. when the true scale of uprising had yet to take place. Growing sense of insecurity had forced them to contemplate to give up the newly acquired territory beyond Indus (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) to release troops for use in heart land; the greatest existential threat heretofore faced by the British authorities.

Up there in Peshawar, though, by 14th May potential threat of unified large scale uprising in eight native units had been quickly forestalled by dispersing those from Peshawar. However, the atmosphere on 21st evening was tense and fearful due to rebellion of soldiers from three recently dispersed Native Bengal Infantry units i.e. one in Mardan Fort (55th Native Bengal Infantry) and two in Nowshera. To make the matters worse, a letter from Subedar Major of 51st Native Bengal Infantry at Peshawar had been caught, inciting uprising at collective level. Now with the "prepared to abandon" mindset of the superiors on one side and unreliability of esteemed regiments on the other, the situation could be categorized as unnerving.

What separated Punjab in general, and Peshawar in particular, from rest of the India was that political and military leadership were men of nerves with steel and found crisis as best time to prove themselves. Instead of succumbing to crushing pressures from multi-directional threat perceptions, they chose cold calculations and bold actions with unyielding conviction based on their personal leadership and inspiration. For Nicholson, Edwards and Sydney Cotton, “To surrender Peshawar would be certain ruin; they must stand or fall at Peshawar."  They not only disagreed to abandonment the proposal by John Lawrence but started sending relief columns to besieged Delhi. As the events proved later that those were the forces from Punjab and Frontier which mainly contributed in regaining Delhi on 24th Sep 1857, ending over four months of siege.

One is confronted with few fundamental questions. What gave the military leaders in Peshawar the uncommon confidence to not only hold on to whatever they had but send significant reinforcements to relieve Delhi? Why did Afghan King not attack and re-claim Peshawar (his summer capital till 1824)? And above all why the tribesmen did not join together and finish the outnumbered infidels as was being done in Central India?

In pure military sense, by 1857, recently acquired Peshawar and surroundings had the largest concentration of British and Company troops than elsewhere in India. Responsibility of Peshawar Division of the Bengal Army then included Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Murree and Attock, rendering it the largest and the most important command in India. Out of total of 28,000 British troops in India, over 12,000 were in Punjab with a bias towards Frontier along with 50,000 of native troops out of 300,000 being maintained in whole of occupied India.

Decade of rule in frontier had, though, been mired with near constant struggle against truculent / unruly tribesmen, who almost encircled the Company's possessions, between 1849 and 1857, no less than fifteen punitive expeditions were launched, but this kept the men in high state of readiness. In response to perpetually restive Tribal Region highly mobile and effective forces had also been raised outside the ambit of the central authority, directly supervised and financed by the Provincial Government at Lahore. Acclaimed ‘the Guides’ and ‘the Punjab Irregular Force’ contained cavalry, artillery and infantry, not to mention higher rate of pay for a strenuous job of controlling seditious tribesmen. And above all a group of competent and effective civil military officers like, Herbert Edwards, John Nicholson, Chamberlain and Sydney Cotton, had been on the Frontier long enough to mature into impacting personalities who were capable enough to make the best use of available resources. All of them along with lower tier officers would play dominant roles in recapture of Delhi. 

When the news of uprisings among Native Bengal Regiments at Meerut was received in Peshawar on the evening of 11th May i.e. after one day of happening, civil and military leadership under Herberts Edwards, vowed to adopt three stepped approach proposed by John Nicholson. First, the urgent need to create a moveable column comprising reliable troops of Punjab Irregular Force and Queens regular regiments to quell the trouble whereever required. Second, dispersion of eight Bengal Native Infantry units and lastly to raise levies from Punjab and Frontier comprising Sikhs, Punjabi Muslims and Pakhtuns, albeit counting on proven loyalties of locals, especially of tribesmen. This would fill the vacuum left by regular and other loyal units like ‘the Guides’ and ‘the Punjab Irregular Infantry’.

The Corps of Guides from Mardan, Coke's Rifles and three squadrons of Irregular Horse from Kohat and 5th Punjab Cavalry from Peshawar moved at once as parts of hastily assembled moveable column to join Delhi Field Force for the relief of Delhi. Guides under Colonel Henry Daly were on the move in the evening of 13th May reaching Nowshera at midnight and moving towards Attock Fort at the day break, all under intense heat and Ramadan. By 18th the Guides were in Rawalpindi resting enroute at Burhan and Sang Jani. By 9th June they were in sight of Delhi. The acclaimed regiment had traversed 586 miles (1000 Kms) in 27 days complete with baggage and ammunition only to heroically lose 50% of men and horses within two hours of their arrival as they were asked to join the ongoing fighting straightaway. A feat only possible when officers and men of a regiment are bound solidly and hardened through time tested mutual trust.

Back in Peshawar authorities decided to take the bull by horn rather than overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, adopting a ruthless action against 55th at Mardan. The punitive force under Nicholson moved from Peshawar at midnight 24th reaching Mardan at day break and dispersing and chasing the breakaway soldiers to the very foot hills of Malakand and Buner, hence, fighting for 24 hours without rest. They chose to publically disarm the native units in strong opposition to respective British commanding officers of the regiments, who understandably felt disgraced. Since mid 19th century was still in the age of chivalry, one of the British commanding officers shot himself dead once confronted with such disgrace. Disarming of units coupled with hangings was done in a ground (the location of Khyber Colony now), all in full spectacle of local chiefs of surroundings and notables of the city. This resolute military action had a major transforming impact on locals and tribesmen. The ever watching and weighing tribesmen, which way to side, were readily convinced to choose British as allies for the time being. Soon reports from Kohat, Hazara and elsewhere were received for mass recruitments to join British Army along with large scale allegiance of the tribal chiefs. This enabled the authorities to recruit the locals en-mass to be utilized. By September, Punjab had largely been pacified with no signs of either tribal rebellion or any sign of Afghan Government's intention to exploit the situation and re-claim Peshawar.  

Within the overall unfolding of events on 14th June, John Nicholson promoted as Brigadier was asked to assume the Command of Punjab moveable column earlier sent. He prepared to move the next day from Peshawar and caught up with the main force by 20th June. He was escorted by 250 tribal horsemen who made a ring around his regular escort force. They were devoted and blindly faithful to the Nicholson who had earned their respect through fairness and admirable fighting spirit. On reaching Delhi on 14th August, Nicholson injected a new spirit of hope in the Delhi Field Force, through the sheer impact of his imposing personality and urged them to attack the fort rather than wait and wear down. The attack which was launched on 14 September was successful but it took Nicholson's life, who was 35 by then. The tribesmen are recorded to have wept on the death of their Nickal Sen as he was commonly known since his days as Deputy Commissioner Bannu; soon after, they left the scene of war.

For a military student, the academic value of this whole episode is immense, both in the realms of science and art of war. It wasn't the universal behaviour of British officers in rest of the India. While at Cawnpur, General Hugh Weeler and at Meerut, General Hewit both lost hopelessly despite having more troops and weapons, primary reasons being: hesitation, inactivity under crisis and lack of boldness. General Anson the Commander of the Army in Northern India chose to go-ahead with routine and got his headquarters settled at Shimla despite being aware of the simmering situation since February on the very issue of controversial rifle cartridges. As the telegraph lines had been cut, the Army Command at Shimla was out of the loop of events. Nevertheless, Henry Lawrence at Lucknow read the potential gravity of the situation in time and prepared to fight it out and eventually saved lives etc. By and large, anyone who showed reluctance in disarming the units, paid the heavy price. To a modern military reader, the challenges of that time may appear incomprehensible. It took one and half month for the news of the rebellion to reach England in absence of telegraph line. The message from Peshawar – Lahore on telegraph first had to go to Karachi and then to Calcutta and finally to Delhi due to absence of lines in central India – available lines were soon cut by the natives. With such kind of communications, the planned control by central authority was rather unrealistic, if not impossible. Therefore, the local commanders decided the issue locally and sum total of many local decisions played critical role in eventual outcome. Bengali soldiers, though, charged with faith and anger lacked such decisive elements which are only possible through order and discipline. Pathans and Punjabi Sikhs shared common abhorrence for Bengali soldiers regardless of religion, due to decade old defeats from their hands. The details are many but the common conclusions are that it was the leadership which made the difference and modern weaponry was only effective as long as it was in the hands of trained and disciplined user. 

The end of war changed the course of India forever. While Muslims were accused and persecuted elsewhere, in Punjab and Frontier, they earned the titles of loyalty, bravery and status of martial races; Gurkhas, Gharwals and Sikhs being the others. By 1860, more than 70% of the British Native Army comprised of Punjabi Muslims, Punjabi Sikhs and Pathans, replacing farmers of Bengal and Ouhd.  And why did Mir Abdur Rehman not exploit the vacuum and neither attacked directly nor incited the tribesmen? Conventional answer can be that he remained loyal to his pledge since British had helped him recover Herat from Persians in 1855 but it could also be that he chose to wait and weigh the situation in the best tradition of this land and people.  

In retrospect it was mainly possible due to personal efforts of few but highly competent officer cadre, who had the ability to read the overall environment correctly, rationally, and make sound judgments which were difficult to digest by the desk managers sitting in the capitals.


Written By: Ejaz Haider

The basic unit of identity and analysis in today's world is the nation-state. In its current incarnation, it's not a very old concept. Some scholars trace it to the 1648 peace of Westphalia, a series of treaties that ended the Thirty Years War and the Eighty Years War between Spain and the Dutch Republic. Others trace the modern contours of the nation-state to the French Revolution (1789-99).

Be that as it may, the nation-state has emerged over the last three centuries as the concept that gives legitimacy to a collective entity.

Yet, it is a problematic concept. Scholars have – and continue to – debate what exactly constitutes a state, where it can be situated, what grants it its legitimacy, what makes it more powerful than the people that constitute it, why do states act in totalitarian and Orwellian ways, and so on.

Add to this the problem of the post-colonial state, an entity begot of independence from colonial rulers and often carved out in ways that destroyed the facts of geography, history and ethnic and other organic linkages, leading to bloody conflicts within and across states that have persisted and drawn much blood. Most post-colonial states can be better described as state-nations rather than nation-states, administrative units striving to build nations after having got the states. The experiment has failed at many places, with states imploding and giving birth to more states, arguably more organic than the previous incarnations.

Pakistan went through this experience in 1971, internal troubles leading to external aggression resulting in a politico-military defeat and the secession of its eastern wing. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, which itself split into 15 new states, there has been much upheaval in the Balkans, ranging from bloody internal wars in former Yugoslavia to the velvet divorce in former Czechoslovakia.

However, despite the ease with which the concept can be problematized, both conceptually and empirically the state remains the basic unit of analysis and legitimacy. The rise of trans- and multi-nationals, civil society actors, NGOs, and other global entities that cut across state boundaries have begun to play a much bigger role but remain, in the end, subservient to the states and their laws. In fact, even as globalization has caused greater integration, the changing nature of threats from non-state actors has forced the states into enacting laws that cut into civil liberties and tend to keep the aliens out through enhanced scrutiny. The paradox is that this segregation and building of legal walls is owed to the integration made possible by globalization and the communication revolution.

States still indoctrinate. They retain the monopoly of violence. They are crucial to the identity of every individual. They give passports and grant visas. They have national anthems, their versions of history, the idea of sovereignty, the concept of nationhood, one being distinct from the other. Everyone outside the in-group is the 'other' and a potential enemy. People fight for their states, they kill and get killed. The morality of the states is not judged by the benchmarks on which we judge individual morality. Like Luigi in Italo Calvino's short story, Conscience, we get medals for killing  enemies in a war. But just like Luigi, if we were to go and kill Alberto, a personal enemy, we are caught and hanged to death. Somehow, killing for the state is more acceptable than killing for personal reasons. One gets us medals, the other is termed murder.

That said, the state is just an imagined community. It is neither biological, nor organic. And once we have it, we get down to creating a nation around it through what the French scholar, Ernest Renan, called 'selective amnesia' by which term he meant that the narrative must be controlled in ways that allow highlighting certain aspects and forgetting others.

During the years that I lectured at the Command and Staff College and when I speak at the National Defence University, I flag the point that the entity for which we are prepared to lay down our lives exists only in our imagination. It's a provocative point for sure, especially when made before officers who have taken an oath to defend the motherland, another term used to invoke powerful imagery of defending the mother's honour. But it's an important point. The two armies that have fought wars since 1947 were once one army. In 1947-48, as well as in 1965, the two sides facing each other were often commanded by former comrades-in-arms. It's a lesser-known fact that when Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinlek realized that Partition was inevitable, he made a last ditch attempt to propose that the British Indian Army must not be divided. It was too late and his proposal, under the circumstances, was too impractical but it does show how the British looked at the army they had created and which, to wit, on both sides, remains the most organized and coherent organization.

Sixty-seven years ago, this month, Pakistan came into being. Sixty-seven years down the line, while we have travelled a long distance from the ragtag state we inherited, we have also lost on many fronts. The first shock was 1971. Even today, trouble simmers in parts of Balochistan, some sections of Sindhis and Seraikis and up north in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is not enough to say that these elements do not matter or that they are a minority. What is important to note is the point, proven once again, that states are imagined. Their reality lies in the strength of that imagination. And the strength of that imagination and the pride one takes in it is about state-society relations. It is neither about the strength of a state's army nor its arsenal: it is about legitimacy.

As I once wrote elsewhere: “States, ultimately, are as strong or brittle as their acceptance by the people that make them up. Nazih Ayubi's thesis comes to mind, distinguishing between 'hard' and 'strong' states. Ayubi argued that the authoritarian Arab states had little ability to control populations, trends and changes which is why they could not enforce laws and break traditional structures. The hard state coerces; the strong state achieves its goals because it is accepted by its people. By this definition, the Arab states were/are weak states.”

We will be celebrating the birth of Pakistan this month, as we should. But equally, we must remember that ceremonies alone do not make a state stronger or keep it together; nor do national songs and speeches bristling with literary flourish.

Nation building in some ways is the same as training for combat. The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. The more you invest in appreciating the complex, hard work required by political aggregation the less likely will it be for people to challenge the legitimacy of the state.

The writer was a Ford Scholar at the Programme in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1997) and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. (2002-03). He is currently Editor, National Security Affairs, at a private TV channel and contributes to several publications

Twitter: @ejazhaider


Today, the challenge we face from the east, in terms of lethality, is no different than the one we face from the west. Both of them are existential challenges.

Asif Jehangir Raja

Mr. Zafar Hilaly is a renowned diplomat who had been Pakistan's Ambassador to several countries. His father Agha Hilaly migrated from India and is considered among pioneers of Pakistan Foreign Service. His uncle Agha Shahi was also a famous diplomat. In line with his family traditions, Zafar Hilaly also joined Pakistan Foreign Service. Besides other prestigious portfolios, he remained Special Secretary to the Prime Minister. He is a security and political analyst who regularly contributes for print & electronic media.

Hilal: This year we are celebrating 68th Independence Day of Pakistan. Your father Agha Hilaly migrated from India and is considered among pioneers of Pakistan's Foreign Service. He is also known to have close acquaintance with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. What are your memories of early days of Pakistan and what your father shared with you, particularly, with reference to dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam?

ZH: On the 68th anniversary of our independence, it's worth recalling that many did not think we would exist for as long as we have. In fact, on or about our first anniversary in August 1948, Nehru declared that Pakistan would not have a life span of more than 25 years. And just the other day, Richard Armitage, the former US Deputy Secretary of State, said he was not sure whether Pakistan would last a further 25 years. A spate of recent books by American think tanks and former diplomats also hold out the prospect of Pakistan's impending demise. Well, Nehru was proved wrong; and there is every reason to believe that the other doomsayers will also have to eat their own words.

Yes indeed my father migrated from India to live in a part of the subcontinent he scarcely knew and had never visited, only because he believed in Jinnah and his cause. In fact, along with the others whom you describe as the 'pioneers' of Pakistan he, and his brother, Agha Shahi, readily gave up all they owned, including over a score of houses on a street named after their own father (Agha Abdullah) in Bangalore for the sake of Jinnah's Pakistan. I say this because when in 1950, as a very young boy, I grumbled to my mother about the modest accommodation assigned to us by government in Karachi, when compared to the virtual palace in which we lived in Bangalore, she suggested I keep quiet lest my father overhear. Later, when I finally did summon up the courage to ask father why he had decided to leave all his worldly possessions in India to trek to Pakistan; his answer, in one word, was, 'Jinnah', adding, 'and I have never regretted that decision.'

Yes, my father Agha Hilaly worked fairly closely with Jinnah as Pakistan's first de facto chief of protocol in 1948, although he never thought of himself as a 'friend' of Jinnah or even an 'acquaintance'; he was too much in awe of Jinnah to consider himself in those terms, besides he was much younger. It's probably more accurate to describe him as a devoted follower, a 'murid', if you like, of the man he revered as 'the Quaid'. My father's reminiscences of working with Jinnah were many. I recall him remarking that Jinnah had no patience for the interminable pleasantries and aimless banter exchanged with foreign dignitaries during courtesy calls and how the Quaid had fretted because, for instance, his half-hour long meeting with the Saudi monarch in 1948 had consisted of nothing but pleasantries. He also recalled Jinnah feeling irked that the Shah of Iran, a young man in 1948, seemed so tongue tied during their meeting that he hardly uttered a word. Luckily the Foreign Secretary (or was it the Foreign Minister at the time?), who was also present at the meeting, came to the rescue and the meeting concluded on a pleasant note.

What impressed my father about the Quaid was the meticulous attention he paid to detail. There was nothing 'airy- fairy' about the Quaid. He wanted his subordinates to be 'boned up' on all aspects of the projected meeting, the proposals under discussion and to brief him, if the need arose. Apparently, Jinnah was fastidious in just about everything he did, including dress, deportment and his selection of words and phrases. Some of the Quaid's attributes must have rubbed off on my father because on one occasion, I recall him telling me (1961), with considerable pride that an Indian journal had declared him the 'best dressed Ambassador (High Commissioner) in New Delhi'. Sensing I was unimpressed by the accolade he had earned my father remarked, 'you don't seem to appreciate how important it is for a diplomat to be well dressed. By dressing well you not only tell a lot about yourself but also show respect for whomever you are meeting.' I suspect he recalled Jinnah too believing that. Of course, much has changed since then, though not in some countries like Italy, as I discovered. There, even today, 'Clothes maketh the man', as the saying goes.

Hilal: Quaid-i-Azam was known for Hindu-Muslim unity. Similarly, initially Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal also demanded for more political representation and economic rights for Muslim community. How do you view role of Hindu leadership and movements for Hindu revivalism that pushed Muslim leadership to the conclusion that it would be detrimental to the future of Muslims of the subcontinent to live alongside a highly prejudiced and narrow-minded Hindu majority in one country.

ZH: Yes, indeed, the attitude of Hindu nationalists in the Congress Party had a key role to play in the creation of Pakistan. Some believe, and I agree, that their role was unwittingly, of course, even greater than some Muslim League leaders, for example, the (Hindu) refrain that in an independent India the will of the (Hindu) majority would invariably prevail. It caused a great deal of concern among Muslims who feared for their future at the hand of Hindu revivalists (like Vallabhai Patel) who had come to dominate Congress policies. Even Nehru, who was considered more 'secular' than the rank and file Congress Party leader, was not prepared to accept that Muslim concerns had to be addressed and their fears assuaged if India was to remain united. Nehru believed that the time had come for Muslims to lump it, as it were, and accept Hindu dominance just as, I suppose, the Hindus had accepted Muslim (MUGHAL) rule. Jaswant Singh has pointed out how Jinnah, once known as the 'Ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity' among his fellow Congress Party members was slighted and made to feel unwanted in Congress by Nehru in the 1930s because he felt that Muslim apprehensions should not be ignored. Of course, the breaking point between Jinnah and Nehru and, in a sense, between Muslim and Hindu India came later, in 1946, when having accepted Jinnah's conditions for a united India, Nehru went back on his word very shortly afterwards. It was then that Jinnah declared he had no trust in Nehru, or the Congress, and that henceforth the Muslim League, of which he was by now the undisputed leader, would settle for nothing less than partition.

Frankly, that was probably just as well because, as we now know, Hindu bigots in Congress wished to reclaim India exclusively for the Hindus. For them even Mahatma Gandhi was far too accommodating of the Muslim viewpoint and, hence, an obstacle to militant Hindu rule, which is why, as we now know, he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic (Naturam Godse) in 1947.

Hilal: Pakistan began its journey with virtually no economic assets, meagre share of defence forces and non-existent civilian bureaucracy. However, today despite enormous challenges, Pakistan has achieved many successes. How do you view this journey from a 14 August 1947 to 14 August 2014?

ZH: To say Pakistan began her independent journey with few, if any, assets is a gross understatement. I recall being told the Foreign Office did not even have paper for notes, summaries, etc. or the wherewithal to purchase them at the time of independence because the funds supposed to have been released for Pakistan's use had been withheld by India. Instead rolls of toilet paper served as writing material in the Foreign Office for several weeks after independence. So yes, the saga of Pakistan's rise, in the teeth of unremitting Indian hostility and the denial of her assets is one that deserves recounting, especially when we consider that the task was made infinitively more difficult by the huge influx of refugees that partition triggered and the administrative chaos that created for a fledgling nation.

But while succeeding generations must not forget all that, and the other travails and vicissitudes our elders endured, and how well we have done to reach the stage where we are at today, the fact is we are out of the woods as yet. In fact, the challenges we face today, at the hands of local and foreign zealots, and cunning enemies in neighbouring countries are, if anything, as serious a challenge to our independence and territorial integrity as any that we have faced in the 67 years since we gained our freedom. In other words, Pakistan's history is still in the process of being made. The present, therefore, is not the time for self–congratulations although, Inshahllah, that time too will come. The present is the time to make history and to make history bend in our direction.

Hilal: You have served for a long time in Pakistan's Foreign Service. Your father, Agha Hilaly, and paternal uncle Agha Shahi also remained top civil servants for Pakistan. In your opinion, what are major achievements of our foreign policy and where things went wrong that could have been avoided, or a better course had been chosen to safeguard Pakistan's national interests?

ZH: Pakistan's greatest foreign policy success has been the relationship we have been able to forge with China. It is in every respect an exemplary relationship and moreover one that ensures peace can subsist in our volatile environment notwithstanding India's hegemonic hilalyaspirations and crude attempts to impose her fiat on the smaller nations of the region. But we would do well to remember that like much else in life friendship too, much like loyalty, has to be continually nourished. It must not be taken for granted; hence, it is gratifying to see that every sphere of government and, in particular, the armed forces striving to maintain the closest possible cooperation with China.

Our gravest foreign policy failure has been our inability to convince the world that, like so many other people, Kashmiris too must be permitted the right of self-determination, as was promised to them by India, Pakistan and the UN itself in numerous UNSC resolutions. The Kashmir cause is a great moral cause but somehow it has not caught the imagination of the world like ending apartheid in South Africa did not long ago. Our stance that the Kashmir dispute must be settled peacefully in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri nation is the right one and we must not, merely for the sake of pleasing India, or a phony peace, give up our principled stance or forsake the Kashmiris.

As great a failure has been our inability to forge the closest possible relations with our neighbours, Iran and Afghanistan. The fault is not entirely ours, especially in the case of Afghanistan, which stubbornly lays claim to Pakistan territory and connives with India to harm Pakistan. But that said, had we made the right kind of approaches to Kabul earlier, like we did in the last days of the Daoud regime (1978) and generally shown more imagination in handling Kabul, who can say we would not have succeeded in overcoming the suspicion and distrust that presently sour relations. Indeed, matters have reached a pass today that both countries not only accuse each other of harbouring and providing succor to their respective enemies but also actively helping them to launch attacks against the other. I have always believed our policy towards Afghanistan should be non-interventionist, trade oriented, non ideological, focused on genuine national interests and undergirded by an inflexible bias towards neutrality in other people’s wars and repeatedly pointed this out to the powers that be while I was in service. Needless to say it earned me no kudos.

However, it is the vital relationship with Iran that we have consistently failed to get right and has been our greatest foreign policy failure. It has deprived us of the vast economic benefits that an assured supply of energy would generate for the economy and the improvement it would bring about in the quality of the people’s lives. It beggars the imagination that 67 years on, not a single oil pipeline links energy-starved Pakistan with an oil exporting country of the magnitude of neighbouring Iran. It is no less astonishing, given our geographical location, common religion and cultural ties that not a single bilateral treaty binds the two countries to come to the assistance of the other in times of peril or need. We have signed defence treaties and joined alliances with countries seven seas away from Pakistan but not even one with our neighbour Iran. The lapse is so glaring and logically so inexplicable that I, for one, have never been able to discover a plausible explanation.

Another failure was the decision, very soon after independence, to take the side of the West in the ongoing cold war at that time. We were seen as having sold ourselves to the West and although few believe, it caused any lasting damage, which was not the case. The Soviet Union, for example, was alienated and blocked all moves in the UNSC to implement the resolutions of the Security Council on Kashmir although earlier these had been passed unanimously. Moreover, at a key moment during the Bangladesh crisis, the Soviet Union signed a military alliance with India, in effect giving India military cover to invade East Pakistan without having to worry about the Chinese and US reaction.

Both Agha Hilaly and Agha Shahi were strongly opposed to the uncritical relationships Pakistan forged with the West during the Cold War. Agha Hilaly nearly lost his job over his opposition to Pakistan joining SEATO. And it was Agha Shahi who finally persuaded ZA Bhutto to adopt a non-aligned posture when it came to choosing between the capitalist and communist worlds rather than be too clever by half and promise unstinted support to the West out of one corner of his mouth and the same to the Soviets out of the other corner as Bhutto would do on occasions. Eventually in 1982, Agha Shahi resigned as Foreign Minister, ostensibly on health grounds, but actually because of differences over the direction of our Afghan policy and the posture, our leaders adopted towards the US.

Again, it was Agha Shahi who masterminded the UN campaign to win China's admission and, as it happened, it was Agha Hilaly who acted as the messenger/ adviser to both Presidents, Yayha Khan and Nixon, in the now historic rapprochement between China and the US. As a measure of US gratitude President Nixon offered Agha Hilaly US citizenship, which he politely declined. However, he did accept Prime Minister Chou en Lai's invitation to pay an 'official' visit to China even though he was by then (1974) a private citizen, having retired from service two years earlier. The invitation to pay an official/state visit, as PM Chou reminded Agha Hilaly during a dinner in his honour, was 'a unique invitation' and indeed since then a Chinese prime minister has not extended a similar invitation to any 'private' Pakistani citizen.

Hilal: You remained Pakistan's ambassador to Italy, Yemen and Nigeria. In your view, what are the essentials for a successful diplomacy and a diplomat?

ZH: To be a good diplomat one need to have a cool head, a cold heart, a smiling countenance (preferably) and a facile pen, in other words, good powers of expression and excellent communication skills. But that's not all, he also needs to have a profound knowledge of the host country's history and geography and an innate ability to discern where important differences exist, and if no solution can be found, how best to manage them, so that relations remain on an even keel. In other words, to dwell on the positive things that draw the two countries together and do everything that will help reduce friction. All of which requires experience and the right training and background. But just as you cannot clap with one hand so a diplomat's efforts to bolster relations with the country of his accreditation will flounder if he receives no support from his parent office or the government of the day. Alas, regrettably, that happens all too often, as I know from personal experience.

Hilal: Today Pakistan is facing internal as well as external threats. How do you view security challenges for Pakistan from eastern and western neighbours?

ZH: Today, the challenge we face from the east, in terms of lethality, is no different than the one we face from the west. Both of them are existential challenges; let us make no mistake about that. And both must be met with a judicious mix of diplomacy, discussion, state manoeuvring and force. However, we face another challenge, which you have not mentioned, although it is no less vital to our survival, and that is the challenge posed by poor governance and bad leadership. And it is this challenge that should take precedence over the external challenges because if we can get governance right, and are able to meet the very basic requirements of our people, the other challenges will become much easier to confront and the prospects of success immeasurably improved.

Hilal: Over a period of time Indians are following a diplomatic pattern whereby they emphasize on normalization of trade and socio-cultural relations with Pakistan without even mentioning of core issues between two countries. How do you see peace prospects in South Asia with a hegemonic India not ready to listen to others' grievances?

ZH: Precisely because the Indians are behaving in the manner you have correctly described, I see the prospects of improved relations with India as virtually nil. On the other hand, recent developments suggest the possibilities of greater confrontation and perhaps even conflict is very real. The election of Modi is a clear sign of popular bellicosity in India when it comes to dealing with Pakistan; the hysteria of the Indian media and the propaganda against Pakistan whenever there is an incident on the border or LOC; and the proclivity of Indian Army Chiefs to threaten Pakistan every now and then all suggest that India is spoiling for a fight. In the circumstances, I won't be surprised if the very first incident on the border, or perhaps a false flag operation, will result in a major trial of strength. It is for this reason that on no account can we afford to see our defences weaken even as India's massive rearmament programme gathers speed and new weapon systems are inducted, in particular new anti- missile weaponry. We must do whatever is needed to maintain an effective defence capability knowing that there are no prizes for having the second best military in a war. Meanwhile, Indian plans to weaken and bleed Pakistan by supporting anti Pak elements in Afghanistan and Balochistan are becoming more evident by the day. The seven Indian consulates located in the Afghan provinces bordering Pakistan reveal the nature and intent of Indian moves. These consulates are not there to promote tourism. Interestingly there are nearly a million Indian origin persons in Britain but India has only two consulates there whereas it has seven in Afghanistan although there are only 2160 Indians residing in Afghanistan.

And as India's presence in Afghanistan has expanded, so has Indian support for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It's no coincidence that cross border raids on Pakistan by TTP elements sheltering in Afghanistan have multiplied. Just as it's no coincidence that cooperation between the strongly India backed Kabul regime and the TTP has intensified, so much so that the second senior most figure in the TTP, Latifullah Mehsud was arrested by American forces while travelling in the company of a senior Afghan intelligence official. It seems it's only a question of time before the Pak-Afghan border region is transformed into an Afghanistan-India-Pakistan battleground with India actively backing Afghanistan. It's not, therefore, surprising that in the reckoning of some 'The Great Game' in Afghanistan has already resumed with new players and others are preparing to enter the fray to safeguard their own interests.

India is also busy improving relations with China to dilute the Pak-China alliance and further bolstering her strategic alliance with the US. Both moves are meant to ensure that Pakistan remains, in relative terms, militarily weak and diplomatically isolated. There is nothing cool, dispassionate or ritualistic about our antagonism with India. There is no clash of political ideologies or systems. What we have is historical and religious hatred on an unprecedented scale at a time when both countries are in the throes of full-blooded nationalism. India and Pakistan may want to escape from their history and geography but seem unable to do so. It's like a Greek tragedy. Both know the end but seem powerless to prevent it.

Hilal: How do you see post-2014 Afghanistan?

ZH: Afghanistan was never really a state in the accepted sense of the word. It only emerged as a country of sorts in the mid eighteenth century when Ahmed Khan, leader of the Abdali contingent in the Persian army of Nadir Shah, carved out a barrier between Persia and a crumbling Mughal Empire in India which was later to evolve into a buffer zone between Czarist Russia and British India. We could see Afghanistan disappear on the political map if the Pushtuns, Uzbeks and Tajik decide to link up with the other central Asian entities bearing their names or form their own autonomous republics. On the other hand, if Afghanistan were to fall under Taliban sway, a succession of radicalized states could come into being. Conversely if Afghanistan were to fall under Indian influence, India would be able to challenge Pakistan from the east and the west. I think Afghanistan's future is really up in the air and we will have to wait and see who the latest elections will bring to power, the extent of his support and how he proposes to deal with Pakistan.

Hilal: Your suggestions to combat religious extremism, sectarianism and ethnic militancy in Pakistan?

ZH: The only answer to combatting extremism, sectarianism and ethnic militancy is education, education and education. But even a revamped educational system won't work unless a holistic approach is adopted and planning at national, rather than provincial, a new/reformed system is implemented on an all Pakistan basis. In other words, every school in the country, including the most remote school in the Kaghan valley, must come within the purview of the new system and a central authority, which should also require the registration of all madarassahs and the strict supervision of their curricular and teaching methods. Moreover, funding of schools and madarassahs should, as a matter of course, be in the knowledge of the national education authorities and made available to the public on request.

Of course, the adoption of a new national education system will require an amendment to the Constitution, which presently designates education as a provincial subject. It may also require the creation of a special separate service perhaps called the Education Service of Pakistan with recruitment undertaken by the Central Public Service Commission for candidates with prescribed qualifications.

Only a good educational system will allow us to tackle the other major ills that afflict society such as indiscipline, corruption, social injustice, the cult of mediocrity, etc. And also tackle the cancer of ethnicity/ provincialism, which is so damaging to social morality and national unity. The greatest sufferer of provincialism is the nation itself because it has to contain the legitimate grievance of a wronged citizen; accommodate the incompetence of a favoured citizen and, most importantly, endure the decline of morale and efficiency caused by an erratic system of performance and reward. It's a bit like picking a 'Third and Fourth XI' to represent the country while ignoring the 'First XI' and still hoping to win the World Cup. A good yardstick to measure the quality of the country's leadership, and its political system, is the government's interest in education. It is no accident that with the exception of China, not one non-democratic country has even one university rated among the top 200 universities in the world. In fact, before Hong Kong's return to China, the best-ranked Chinese university ranked 47th in the world and given Russia's long history of dictatorship the best ranked Russian university today is ranked 210th. The obvious lesson to derive from these statistics is that when a leadership's base is narrow, higher education is for the children of the powerful: when it is big, it is for the betterment of everyone.

Hilal: It is often said that strong institutions are important for continuity of democracy in the country. As a political analyst, in your view how we can make our institutions strong so that they can perform in line with state's interests than any other temporary political consideration or influence?

ZH: I don't think I am qualified to address this question. But, what I would say, as someone who has had the opportunity to observe the working of governments at close quarters, is that the trouble with Pakistan, and our institutions, is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Pakistani character. There is nothing wrong with the laws and the Constitution. There is not even anything wrong with our institutions and how they function. What is wrong is simply the unwillingness or inability of our leaders to rise to their responsibility and especially to the challenge of personal example, which is the hallmark of true leadership. I believe the character of one man at the top can bring about that quantum of change in a society that could be transforming. Jinnah did it and the pity is that 67 years on we await his true successor. Let me also add that the difference between different forms of government, like a dictatorship and democracy, is mostly a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only how broad based they are, in other words, in the number of essential supporters. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with and the quality of life (and misery) under them for the population as a whole.

Hilal: What message you would like to give to the youth of Pakistan on this Independence Day through pages of Hilal?

ZH: Reject those people, policies and habits, which cripple our chances of becoming a modern, progressive, tolerant and democratic Muslim country. Reject the world and slogans of make believe and unrealistic expectations because that's the commonest manifestation of under development. Don't believe that somehow through the power of prayer alone your problems will be solved. Admit that although your country is presently not a great country it can become one and that your generation will have to toil, and sweat, and fight, and die to make it great. And then ask Allah for the strength to make you do all that.


Written By: Dr Zafar Mehmood

Pakistan was created with an aim of developing it as a progressive modern country, which could offer equal socio-economic opportunities and benefits to its citizens. At the time of its creation, Pakistan was a country of 30 million people. Despite being primarily, an agrarian economy, it had to import most of its food to feed its citizens. Agricultural output then accounted for about 53% of GDP. The industrial sector at that time consisted of a handful of medium and cottage industries. Per capita income was less than $100 whereas literacy rate was 10% and life expectancy stood at 32 years.

With concerted efforts of the leadership, Pakistan's average annual GDP growth rate in the first five decades remained higher than the average growth rate of the world economy. Average annual real GDP growth rates were 3.1% in the 1950s, 6.8% in the 1960s, 4.8% in the 1970s, and 6.5% in the 1980s. Average annual growth rate fell to 4.6% in the 1990s mainly due to political instability, while remained almost same in the 2000s to 4.7% owing mainly to internal security problems. However, the average annual growth rate was about 7% during 2003-04 to 2006-07.

Literacy rate in 1947 was 10%, which has gone up to 58% in 2011-12. Despite this achievement, literacy rate remains dismally low when compared with other developing countries. This is a major challenge to be addressed for rural and female population. Life expectancy has now gone up to 67.2 years. Poverty which was around 46% in the early 1960s has come down to about 21%. With a GDP growth rate of 6.8% in the 1960s, Pakistan was considered as a role model of economic growth for other developing countries. Many countries emulated Pakistan's framework for economic planning. Later on economic mismanagement and implementation of imprudent economic policies caused sluggish growth in the 1970s and 1990s and due to insufficient domestic resource mobilization, the country accumulated large public debt. The economy improved in the 1980s, with a GDP growth rate of 6.5%, when policy of economic deregulation was adopted. Balance of payments situation improved with large inflow of workers' remittances. Afterwards, economic situation became uncertain as a consequence of different external and internal shocks-including Asian financial crisis, economic sanctions after nuclear test, global recession, severe drought, military tensions with India, and the 9/11 event which resulted into new and greater influx of Afghan refugees into Pakistan.

Over the past sixty eight years, the share of the agriculture sector has come down to 21.5% of the GDP. Despite this decline, the agricultural sector now not only satisfies the domestic needs of wheat, rice, sugar and milk at a much higher per capita consumption level, but also exports its surplus production.This was made possible as Pakistan doubled its cultivation area to 22 million hectares along with the development of a vast irrigation network of large storage reservoirs, barrages, and link canals. The contribution of the manufacturing sector in GDP was negligible at the time of independence, however overtime the country has achieved great progress. Manufacturing production index that was 100 in 1947 is now more than 12,000. Pakistani industries now produce consumer as well as industrial raw materials and capital goods. Consequently, Pakistan which used to export only agricultural raw materials in 1947, now has 85% of exports consisting of manufactured and semi-manufactured products.

During the early years of 2000s, Pakistan introduced many economic reforms to put economy on a higher growth path. As a result, economic growth accelerated to 7%, especially during 2003-04 and 2007-08, this was mainly due to unprecedented growth in the services sector. This resilience led to a change in the image of the country despite adverse security conditions. This growth enabled the country to create more jobs and resulted into reduction in poverty. Per capita income that was less than $100 in 1947 has now increased to $1380. This is an indication of improvement in well-being. Despite all odds, Pakistan has made an impressive progress. Nevertheless, the achievements remain far less than its real potential mainly because Pakistan has neglected development of its human resources. The poor cohort still does not have adequate access to education and health facilities. As a result, Pakistan missed opportunities to grow faster and become a modern economy. Since independence, Pakistan has accumulated about $60.9 billion of foreign debt (disbursed and undisbursed); local debt is in addition to it and is larger. Consequently, the country is spending over 38% of its current budget on servicing debt, which is more than the total development budget. This leaves meagre resources for human development.

What lessons can be learnt from the past experience in reforming the Pakistan economy? Pakistani planners experimented with policies of central planning, nationalization, regulation, liberalization, deregulation and privatization. From these policies major lessons are: central planning has been a failure as it led to low productivity and low investment in human resources. Government officials cannot efficiently allocate resources as markets do. Licensing system promotes rent-seeking behaviour, which benefits license holders at the cost of domestic consumers. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) owing to inefficiency, waste and corruption hurt the economy. Import substitution industrialization though protects domestic industries against foreign competition but adversely affect consumers in terms of higher prices and poor quality for goods produced by protected industries. Over regulations and controls of the private sector increases the cost of doing business. Creation of oligopolies retard growth and raise prices.

High tax rates on individuals and corporates led to wide spread tax evasion; consequently government too often misses tax-revenue targets. State-owned banks and financial institutions were used to provide concessional loans to political favourites, which retarded economic growth. Capital-intensive industrialization could not generate sufficient jobs for the growing population. Administered prices of key commodities and utilities disproportionately benefited rich classes and created their shortages, which hit the poor hardest by denying them their access. Subsidized agricultural inputs benefit large farmers who afford to buy them, while small farmers, due to lack of sufficient money to buy them, do not benefit from subsidized inputs. Foreign investment mostly came in import-competing industries that were heavily protected. No effort was made to attract FDI in export-oriented industries.

Thus, what should be the thrust of our future policies? First and foremost, outward-looking strategy that promotes exports and integrates Pakistan into the world economy; it would improve competitiveness and accelerate economic growth on a fast track. Second, prices give correct signals to market players but if they are distorted via government bad policies and market failures then wrong mix of industries is selected resulting into slow growth and high unemployment. Therefore, distortions need to be removed by taking right policy measures; the best policy is to allow the economy to work through market forces with meticulous government oversight to check market failures. Monopolies or oligopolies should be regulated by independent bodies.

The role of the State should be limited to facilitating the private sector and provide security and independent disputes settlement system, building cost-effective efficient infrastructures, developing quality human resources, maintaining sound enabling macroeconomic, and paying full attention for the welfare of the citizens. State-owned enterprises should be run on commercial basis. Foreign investors should be attracted to export-oriented industries while ensuring they transfer the technology. Strength of the Pakistani society is its resilience, which has persistently strived to make the country recover and become stronger. This must persevere in the future. Pakistan is currently going through very hard times of its history. If history stands corrected, Pakistan will In sha Allah come out of the current prolonged impasse and continue its journey towards realizing the goals of a progressive, prosperous and modern economy, which was cherished by the Great Leader.

The writer is a Professor of Economics at School of Social Sciences & Humanities at NUST, Islamabad This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Written By: Prof Dr. Riaz Ahmad

I have received thousands of letters and telegrams of congratulations, greetings and good wishes from all over India and abroad. It is physically impossible for me to reply to each one of those who have sent me their messages and I am very grateful to all of them for their sympathy, good wishes and greetings.

Quaid-i-Azam's Statement dated 13 June 1947 expressing his thanks to the Muslims of the Tribal Areas for their numerous messages of good wishes and greetings. After protracted and long parleys between Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of British India, Mahatma Gandhi., Jawaharlal Nehru and other Indian leaders for about three months Partition Plan of 3 June 1947 was finalized by which Pakistan was created on 14 August 1947. The Tribesmen of NWFP were happy on this occasion. Upon conclusion of the Partition Plan of 3 June 1947, the hundreds of tribesmen sent their congratulatory letters and telegrams to Quaid-i-Azam, the Father of Pakistani Nation on this achievement that Pakistan would be established very soon. The Tribesmen were also very happy that the people of NWFP (now KPK) expressed their willingness to join Pakistan in July 1947. The happiness of the Tribesmen was increased because in the province the Congress Ministry of Dr. Khan Sahib was to be removed or toppled as it was against the idea of Pakistan. This was not a unique position, because the Referendum of July 1947was in line with the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the Muslims of the subcontinent. Responding to these hundreds of letters and telegrams, the Quaid thanked them in his reply of 13 June 1947. After the establishment of Pakistan when the Quaid, as First Governor-General of Pakistan, visited the Frontier in April 1948, the Quaid especially thanked them in his meeting of 17 April 1948. Both these documents are being published here showing the unstinted loyalty of Tribesmen for the cause of Pakistan.


Quaid-i-Azam's Statement dated 13 June 1947 expressing his thanks to the Muslims of the Tribal Areas for their numerous messages of good wishes and greetings. I have received thousands of letters and telegrams of congratulations, greetings and good wishes from all over India and abroad. It is physically impossible for me to reply to each one of those who have sent me their messages and I am very grateful to all of them for their sympathy, good wishes and greetings. Particularly, I thank our Muslim brethren of the Tribal Areas across the North-West Frontier Province for their messages of good wishes and greetings, which have come in large numbers, and I take this opportunity to assure them that we shall adjust and settle our affairs in a brotherly way. There is no desire on our part to interfere with their freedom. We shall be happy to meet them and enter into such arrangements with them, as would be in the mutual interests of both, and the Muslims generally.

Quaid-i-Azam's address to the Tribal Jirga on 17 April 1948 at Government House, Peshawar. I have been looking forward since long to meet you, representatives of the Tribes of the North-West Frontier, and it has given me very great pleasure indeed to have met you here today. I am sorry I have not been able to visit you in your own parts of the country, but I hope to be able to do so sometime in the future. I thank you for your welcome to me and for the kind personal references you have made about me. Whatever I have done, I did as a servant of Islam, and only tried to perform my duty and made every possible contribution within my power to help our Nation. It has been my constant endeavour to try to bring about unity among Musalmans, and I hope that in the great task of reconstruction and building up Great and Glorious Pakistan, that is ahead of us, you realize that solidarity is now more essential than it ever was for ach ieving Pakistan, which by the grace of God we have already done. I am sure that I shall have your fullest support in this mission. I want every Musalman to do his utmost and help me and support me in creating complete solidarity among the Musalmans, and I am confident that you will not lag behind any other individual or part of Pakistan. We, Musalmans, believe in one God, one Book the Holy Quran and one Prophet (PBUH). So we must stand united as one Nation. You know the old saying that in unity lies strength; united we stand, divided we fall. I am glad to note that you have pledged your loyalty to Pakistan, and that you will help Pakistan with all your resources and ability. I appreciate this solemn declaration made by you today. I am fully aware of the part that you have already played in the establishment of Pakistan, and I am thankful to you for all the sympathy and support you gave me in my struggle and fight for the establishment of Pakistan. Keeping in view your loyalty, help, assurance and declarations, we ordered, as you know the withdrawal of troops from Waziristan as a concrete and definite gesture on our part that we treat you with absolute confidence and trust you as our Muslim brethren across the border.

I am glad that there is full realization on your part that now the position is basically different. It is no longer a foreign Go vernment as it was, but it is now a Muslim Government and Muslim rule that holds the reigns of this great independent sovereign State of Pakistan. It is now the duty of every Musalman, yours and mine, and every Pakistani to see that the State, which we have established, is strengthened in every department of life and made prosperous and happy for all, especially the poor and the needy. Pakistan has no desire to unduly interfere with your internal freedom. On the contrary, Pakistan wants to help you and make you, as far as it lies in our power, self-reliant and self-sufficient and help in your educational, social and economic uplift, and not be left as you are dependent on annual doles, as has been the practice hitherto which meant that at the end of the year you were no better off than beggars asking for allowances, if possible a little and producing what is best in you and your land. You know that the Frontier Province is a deficit province but that does not trouble us so much. Pakistan will not hesitate to go out of its way to give every possible help financial and otherwise to build up the economic and social life of our tribal brethren across the border. I agree with you that education is absolutely essential, and I am glad that you appreciate the value of it. It will certainly be my constant solicitude and indeed that of my Gov ernment to try to help you to educate your children and with your co-operation and help we may very soon succeed in making a great progress in this direction.


Your desire for entering the Pakistan Service in the Civil and Military will receive my full consideration and that of my Government, and I hope that some progress would be made in this direction also without unnecessary delay. You have also expressed, your desire that the benefits, such as your allowances and khassadari, that you have had in the past and are receiving, should continue. Neither my Government nor I have any desire to modify the existing arrangements except in consultation with you so long as you remain loyal and faithful to Pakistan. I know there has been scarcity of food grains, cloth, and sugar. You must realize that we have all been passing through difficult times all over the world and Pakistan is no exception; indeed the whole world is facing hardships, but we are not unmindful of this problem, and we are endeavouring to the utmost of our capacity, with special care for Balochistan and the Frontier Province, and you will not be neglected in this respect. We will do our utmost to see that essential commodities reach you in time and in reasonably sufficient quantities. I am hoping and looking forward to the time when more normal conditions may present themselves to us, so that we may be able to live with more ease and comfort in the way of food, clothing, housing and all the necessities of life. In the end, I warmly thank you for the whole-hearted and unstinted declaration of your pledge and your assurances to support Pakistan, so that it may reach the pinnacle of glories of Islam and become a great and mighty nation among other nations of the world. Pakistan Zindabad

The writer is Ex-Director, National Instiutute of Historical and Curtural Research, and Professor at Quaid-i-Azam Chair (NIPS), Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad

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