12
April
April 2016(EDITION 4, Volume 53)
 
Written By: Tahir Mehmood
The capture of a serving Indian naval officer involved in spying and terrorism-related activities from Pakistani soil is multi-dimensional in its effects and after-effects. On the one hand it is a phenomenal achievement of our intelligence agencies but on....Read full article
 
Written By: Masood Khan
Pakistan is facing four serious external challenges, which need to be addressed very carefully. Any approach to handle them must pass through two exacting crucibles....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal
The fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington D.C. on March 31 and April 1, 2016. Nuclear Security Summit 2016 Communiqué stated: “The threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism remains one of....Read full article
 
Written By: Amir Zia
“This high-profile arrest has provided a rare opportunity to Pakistan to turn and counter the Indian propaganda tide. India’s state-sponsored terrorism should be presented in its....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Rizwana Abbasi
Empirical record shows that nuclear weapons have not been employed after 1945. However, in many crises and wars in history, there were possibilities when nuclear weapons could have been used without fear....Read full article
 
Written By: Sadaf Jabbar
One of the most interesting aspects of Chinese culture is that it has retained its values and hierarchy system inherited from Confucius philosophy and it is deeply rooted in Chinese culture and civilization even today. Due to this profound impact....Read full article
 
Written By: Brigadier Syed Wajid Raza
Mujahida Hussain Bibi, well known as Bibi Sahiba in the Jatha, met martyrdom in the Battle of Chirikot-Degear Defile in 1947, that for all reasons turned fierce.....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand N.I., H.I., S.I.
One of the largest deposits of coal in the world was discovered in the Thar Desert in 1988. Drilling for water resulted in accidental discovery of coal. The Geological Survey of Pakistan conducted test drilling and came up with a coal field....Read full article
 
Written By: Taj M. Khattak
In the early 1960s, visitors waiting for a boat at Kiamari basin would toss a coin into the clear sea and young boys from nearby localities would dive and recover it from the bottom in no time....Read full article
 
Written By: Ahmed Quraishi
Pakistan’s western neighbourhood has seen foreign military interventions that have destabilized the region, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the great....Read full article
 
Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha
Amost remarkable thing happened to me at this year’s Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) where I had been invited to be part of two sessions After coming out of the second session (in which I was a panelist with famous Pakistani scientist and author, Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy), I was met ....Read full article
 
Written By: Sharif al Mujahid
Among the All India Muslim League’s (AIML) second cadre leadership, Abdullah Haroon was actively associated with it for barely five years (1937-42). Yet he stands high in its echelons. What sets him apart is his pioneering role....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Ahmad Rashid Malik
Pakistan-China cultural relations are the continuation of the great ancient civilisational bonds that existed centuries ago between the two nations. Close geographical contiguity and the ancient Silk Road inspired the flow of goods and exchange of ideas between....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Armeela Javaid
How to stop aging and reverse it? How to undo effects that the years have left on our face? These questions pop up in our mind each time we turn back the pages of life and go through the memories captured ....Read full article

 
Written By: Omair Alavi
Pakistan’s film industry has been doing well for the last couple of years but the resurgence has been due to love stories, comedies and a few films that cater to both the genres. Apart from Ismail Jilani’s Chambaili and Bilal Lashari’s Waar....Read full article
 
Script and photos by: Faria Muzaffar Khan and Maj Ikrama bin Munnawar
Satpara is a natural lake situated some 7 kms from Skardu City at a height of 8700 feet, spread over an area of 2.5 km. A metalled road from Skardu leads to Satpara Lake which further leads to the Deosai plains. The lake is fed by Satpara stream, which emerges from....Read full article
 
Written By: Gauher Aftab
 
Pakistan Navy conducted Coastal Security Exercise, code-named ‘Tahaffuz-e-Sahil’ at Ormara to check the efficacy of security mechanism in place at Jinnah Naval Base and associated infrastructure against any maritime terrorist threat.....Read full article
 
Mr. Zhang Chunxian, member of the Political Bureau of Communist Party, China visited GHQ and called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif. During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional stability and measures....Read full article
 
General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited North Waziristan Agency (NWA) and spent his day with troops and tribals. COAS was briefed in detail by the Formation Commander about progress of ongoing Operation.....Read full article
 
12
April

Script and photos by: Faria Muzaffar Khan and Maj Ikrama bin Munnawar

Satpara is a natural lake situated some 7 kms from Skardu City at a height of 8700 feet, spread over an area of 2.5 km. A metalled road from Skardu leads to Satpara Lake which further leads to the Deosai plains. The lake is fed by Satpara stream, which emerges from the Deosai plains, thus becoming the main source of water for Skardu city as well. Surrounded by snow covered mountains, it is one of the most scenic and beautiful lakes of Pakistan. Locals believe there is a gold mine at bottom of the lake which makes its water shine and crystal clear. There also exists a beautiful island at the centre of the lake, accessible on boat. The lake is accessible in all weathers, however, mid July is the best time to visit. Fishing gear, row boats and motor boats are also available on rent, besides hotels and restaurants. Its breathtaking beauty attracts hundreds of tourists around the world annually.

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12
April

Written By: Omair Alavi

Pakistan’s film industry has been doing well for the last couple of years but the resurgence has been due to love stories, comedies and a few films that cater to both the genres. Apart from Ismail Jilani’s Chambaili and Bilal Lashari’s Waar, a handful of years back, no film has dared to touch the heart of a patriotic Pakistani who loves his country but is unable to do something for it, rather than voting in the elections. Besides these two films, no director managed to touch the patriotic nerve of cinegoers who stayed away from theatres only to visit it once in a blue moon. That is going to change with Ashir Azeem’s Maalik, all set to release in theatres worldwide on April 8.


What Makes Maalik Different?
Maalik is about Pakistan; about the common people who nobody cares about, about the countless soldiers who have given their life defending their motherland and finally those politicians who use power as if it was their birth right. In the film, there are multiple plots that will keep the audience engaged unlike the one-dimensional narrative that our films have been churning out since ‘revival’. It is different in every aspect as the comedy here is subtle not slapstick, the action is close to reality than the dhishum dhishum one and the message is clear – take ownership of your country if you want to move ahead. Watching Maalik is guaranteed to make you feel better about your motherland and do something for its return, rather than expect it to gift you something for being one of the many sons of the soil.


Hard Hitting Dialogues
Ask any film enthusiast and they will say that having bombastic and powerful dialogues guarantee that the film will go on to become a hit. In Pakistan there was the great Riaz Shahid whereas in India, Salim Javed and Kader Khan had the power to mesmerize the audience with their script. Ashir Azeem also has that ability and for those who remember Dhuwan, it was the patriotic dialogues that appealed to the audience 20 years back. Even today that hasn’t changed and the way he has penned the dialogues shows that a lot of thought went into the creation of Maalik. When you hear Ehtesham Uddin announcing ‘Maalik mulazim ko dhamki nahi, notice deta hai’ you feel like standing up and hugging him because we, the people, are Pakistan’s Maalik and we must be the ones defining the duties of our leaders.


Then there is the Maalik oath for which every Pakistani can raise his or her right hand and repeat the words – ‘Main Pakistan ka shehri, Pakistan ka Maalik hoon, yeh zameen, yeh log meray hain’. The hard-hitting and patriotism-inducing words of this oath are likely to become a popular cry after the release of the film. They already have become popular on social media where people from all walks of life have posted/shared their oaths. The oath is not just words, it is a mindset changer since whoever reads it gets goosebumps, such is the power of the words. The audience waited a long time for Ashir’s return and his film has given them the chance to come to cinemas and watch their hero in action – be it through delivering dialogues or grenades.

 

malikisall.jpgInspiring Crew, Inspiring Film
Ashir Azeem believes that he wouldn’t have been able to translate his vision on screen had the cast and crew not supported him in his quest. “I believe that the director is the captain of the ship and the more lenient he is with his colleagues, the better will be the results. The Director of Photography, Imran Ali excelled as did Sahir Ali Bagga with the compositions and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan with his vocals. All the actors who have worked in Maalik have done a good job and they fit the role like a glove. I must say that because of them, the burden on my shoulders as writer/director was quite less.”


Like his character of ASP Azher in Dhuwan, Ashir plays an SSG Commando in Maalik who has what it takes to win a battle. “I am glad that the team with which I worked in Maalik was thoroughly professional and easily the best in business. As a director I could have interfered with their work but I chose not to because with no interference, they managed to scale new heights.”


The Overdue Comeback
Who leaves showbiz after achieving success on their very first attempt? Ashir Azeem did that as he went into hibernation from showbiz soon after Dhuwan only to return 20 odd years later. “I never came into showbiz for the glory; I ventured into this field because I had a story to tell. Dhuwan was that story and it is valid even today; Maalik on the other hand takes it one step further because things have changed but not in a good way. Now we have two classes of people in the society–one that is the oppressor and the other is the oppressed. Maalik is targeted at those who have been subject to undue pressures for no fault of their own.”


Maalik targets the unjust elements in the society; while in one of the story the good guys rescue a kidnapped victim, in another they storm a villain’s hideout to complete a mission. There is blood, there are action sequences like never before and then there is the scene where the plane is shown maneuvering in front of a full moon, reminding you of Hollywood productions rather than the ones made across the border. There is also a plot in which Ashir’s real-life wife Bushra plays his better-half and the scenes between the couple give you a touch of reality.


The Dhuwan Connection
More than 20 years ago, drama serial Dhuwan aired and changed the concept of many with its nationalistic script, filming technique and above all, action sequences. Although the play was produced in Quetta, it was way ahead of its time since it dealt with narcotics, smugglers and computers – all that in 1993! It introduced Ashir Azeem to the audience as well as elongated the careers of Nabeel (Bulbulay fame), Nazli Nasr and Asal Din Khan. Twenty three years later, Ashir Azeem, the director, applies the same technique in selecting the cast members for Maalik and besides veterans Sajid Hasan, Farhan Ally Agha, Adnan Shah Tipu and Ehtasham Uddin, the cast comprises mostly newcomers to films. “I didn’t choose actors for my film, the characters chose the actors,” Ashir explains. “I could have easily gone for film stars but then they wouldn’t have looked the part and that is one of the many reasons I didn’t opt for regular faces.”


And then there are the action scenes – those who have watched Dhuwan remember the window-shattering stunt Ashir did himself to rescue a kidnapped victim. Two decades later, he writes that down in his script and let young guys execute it for the audience. “Dhuwan was an action series and believe me, the people at the helm of PTV didn’t want it to end.” The man behind the hit series discloses, “They wanted it to continue after a gap of few months as it was bringing in money and ratings at the same time. I had to end it literally because had I not done so, it would have continued and after a few months people would have wanted it to end. Nothing lasts forever especially if it makes a good impression at first and I wanted Dhuwan to stay in the memory of all those who loved it rather than succumb to the whims of PTV officials and make a mockery of my creation. Dhuwan started and ended at the perfect time and I hope that those who followed it will treat Maalik the same way; it’s not a sequel to it but painted in the same colours by the same painter. (Laughs)


What the Actors Had to Say
Veteran actor Sajid Hasan who plays Ashir Azeem’s father and an Army General in the film is all praise for the writer/director. “Ashir is an old friend and I have time for friends, always. Since acting is the only thing I can do, I supported Maalik by acting to the best of my abilities. Like his previous attempt Dhuwan, Maalik has all the ingredients of attracting audience. I am sure that the many fans of Ashir and Dhuwan would be waiting anxiously for this film.”


Actor/Director Ehtesham Uddin plays yet another powerful role in the film which he believes is close to his heart. “I play an idealistic schoolmaster in Maalik who is a man of principles; the character of Mohsin aka Arastoo is created very beautifully by Ashir and I am thankful to him for writing such beautiful dialogues. This schoolmaster is not like the teachers of today since he commands respect and believes in inspiring his students with his teachings and mannerism. My character also plays a dreamer who believes every person counts when it comes to the betterment of the country. People try to make him quit but he believes that once you are on the right path, you will emerge as the winner.”

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When asked whether people would compare this role with that of Moosa in Chambaili, Ehtesham said that it was the dialogues that attracted him to both the films. “I am thankful to Shahzad Nawaz (Chambaili) and Ashir for giving me so powerful lines. Both the filmmakers were passionate about their work and that’s why I had a great time working in their movies. Yes, both characters had rebellious streak in them but Moosa isn’t Arastoo, they are quite different. They deliver what the audience wants them to say and I am glad both Shahzad and Ashir chose me for such roles.”


Farhan Ally Agha wants everyone who loves and associates with Pakistan to watch this film. “Maalik is about ownership of Pakistan and our responsibilities as a citizen of the nation. I play Major Haider in the film who is Ashir’s friend and the two have a history as batch-mates. We are shown to be idealistic law enforcement officials who believe in giving their best to the country but when they come in civil society, they realize that there is another war going on in the name of corruption and injustice. Unlike other films, Maalik deals with political and social issues which is a step forward for our industry. There are a lot of action sequences in the film and I would term it a complete entertainment package.”


Faizan Sheikh has made a name for himself in theatre but through Maalik, he will be making his film debut. “It was a great experience working on this project even though I am playing a smaller role. I got to learn a lot during the making of the film, since I am also a film student. The production was very prompt and made our life easier on set. It is every actor’s dream to work in a film and with Maalik it surely felt over the moon. I am excited to see the hype and good word of mouth for this project, people are looking forward to it and we surely wouldn’t disappoint our audience.”


The Final Notice
Maalik doesn’t threaten; Maalik gives notice… and that’s exactly what it has given to all the fans of Ashir Azeem out there. The film is all set to release on 8th April all over the world and is destined to do well since it has been made for Pakistan, by a patriotic Pakistani. The film got completed earlier this year but due to the World Cup T20 in India, its release was delayed by the producers. Its success might give courage to all those prospective film-makers out there who believe that without resources they can’t make a patriotic film. Maalik has been made from the heart and that’s what it takes to connect with the 20 million entertainment-deprived countrymen. Pakistan Zindabad!

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12
April

Written By: Dr. Armeela Javaid

How to stop aging and reverse it?
How to undo effects that the years have left on our face?
These questions pop up in our mind each time we turn back the pages of life and go through the memories captured in the old pictures. And as we look at ourselves in the mirror we are horrified by the fine lines around the eyes and the deep furrows around the mouth, the sagging skin that collects at the jaw line and the wrinkling neck that troubles us the most.


There is a solution to all these problems which lies in the small skin care tips that can make the most of changes without much of a down time. You don’t have to go under the knife and have extensive cosmetic surgeries to revive your freshness. Just make use of the simpler yet miraculous skin care procedures. If you start your anti-aging treatment at the right age, you can avoid fillers and surgeries for a long time. These treatments can improve the loose skin of eyelids and face while improving the lift and arch of the brow and reduces the jowls.

 

theantiaging.jpgWe will briefly discuss the procedures that can begin your journey to find the fountain of youth. With every step you take, you get closer to better looking skin, heightened self esteem and a more confident version of yourself.


Hydra-Facial
It is a simple deep cleansing procedure that takes away the dead layers of skin piled up over months and steals your freshness. It is done in the clinic by a skin health care professional. During the treatment multiple serums pass through your skin and revive it without any side effects.


You can wear makeup and attend a party the same evening with a glowing skin. It is an excellent remedy for sun damage, freckles and acne. It also helps in controlling blackheads, whiteheads and the pigments building up in the skin.


Thermi-RF, Tripolar, Tri-Lipo and Scarlet
Radio Frequency (RF) is the latest method to revive your natural collagen. It helps your skin to make healthy collagen and elastin from your own body. The sagging skin tightens up the open pores and fine lines show remarkable improvement. There is a variety of radio frequency devices available but your age and skin condition is the best guide for your doctor to pick and choose the right tool.


Thermi-Smooth
It is an amazing non-invasive 30 minute miraculous treatment to tighten up your skin, improve the bags under the eyes and reduce the fine lines with instant results. It leaves your skin soft, smooth and supple instantly. You can get it done before a party or a dinner as it has no down time and leaves you with an amazing glow and uplift. However it should be repeated every month for at least 4 treatments and the results are well maintained with few treatments every year.


Thermi-Tight Invasive RF
This is top-of-the-line skin tightening treatment for the face, jaw line, double chin and neck. It also can be used to reduce the stubborn cellulite and loose skin of thighs and buttocks. It helps with abdominal skin tightening after child birth and weight loss. The treatment is carried out under local anaesthesia with immediate return to work, no down time. The skin shows instant tightening and keeps on improving each passing week.

 

theantiaging1.jpgScarlet
It is a Bipolar RF with a nice skin rejuvenation impact. It can help treat acne scars, reduce the sagging and improve the deep wrinkles.

Tripolar

It is a skin massage that gives RF energy to skin. It tightens up the skin, and improves the texture of your skin. You can get it done before an event to give you an instant glow and boost.

 

Revlite Laser
It is a very safe laser that rejuvenates the skin, reduces pores and fine lines and decreases the freckles and pigmentation. It also helps managing the fine hair of face and neck leaving your skin flawless with immediate impact on your skin. Birth marks and tattoos can also be treated with revlite laser.


Botox
This popular treatment done all over the world takes away the stubborn ‘frown lines’ and ‘worry lines’ on the forehead. The treatment consumes only 5 minutes of your time and takes away years off your face as soon as it starts working for you. It has to be repeated once in 4 months and can also be used to improve the neck sagging and the jaw line. Your face looks more pronounced and sleek as it brings out sleek looking angles of your face while tapering and slimming the broad looking face cut.


Fillers
These injections filled with a specialized gel are injected in your face to improve the under eye hollowness, deep laugh line folds and the drooping lip corners. It can enhance the shape of the lips and give them a more youthful pout. The fillers restore the lost volume of face and enhance the water in the skin tissue while enhancing the cheek bone and improving chin contours and jaw line. The latest biostimulator fillers (ELLANSE) not only fill the lines and volumise the face areas but also trigger new collagen formation in your skin, thus improving the skin texture and quality for a longer period.


Aesthetic Medicine is the branch of medical science that can guide us to a better living and take us to the much sought for Fountain of Youth. From Cleopetra to Sophia Laren and Angelina Jolie, all women have been looking to reverse the age and look pretty and young forever. The secret of beauty is no more a secret and with the advent in the science and modern day information technology expansion, every woman can get hold of these easy-to-do and simple treatments to stay young and beautiful forever.

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12
April

Written By: Dr. Ahmad Rashid Malik

Pakistan-China cultural relations are the continuation of the great ancient civilisational bonds that existed centuries ago between the two nations. Close geographical contiguity and the ancient Silk Road inspired the flow of goods and exchange of ideas between the two great Asian civilisations – Buddhism and Islam. The Silk Route transformed the foundations of China and became a source of interaction with ancient and present-day Pakistan. The economic strength of modern China since the Communist Revolution has been greatly influencing and reshaping the patterns of Pakistan’s economy by making it self-reliant. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring about a phenomenal growth in people-to-people contacts when modern road and railway connections would be operationalised, and air links will be strengthened.


Ancient Civilisations
Pakistan-China relations are based upon idealism as well as realism of today’s geo-politics. Civilisations are the historical heritage of people. And thus promote cultural dialogue, foster understanding, and promote people-to-people dialogue. Promotion of peace depends on civilisational values and norms.


Both Pakistanis and Chinese belong to ancient civilisations. The great Indus Civilisations of Mohenjodaro, Gandhara, Harappa, and Taxila flourished on the lower Indus basin originated five thousand years ago (The flow of Indus River originates Chinese Tibetan mountains). Similarly, at the same time, Chinese civilisation was flourished at the upper basin of the Yellow River. Both Indus and Yellow River civilisations have had lasting impact on modern human living such as architecture and scientific discoveries.


In ancient time they also learnt from each other. Famous Chinese scholars such as Fa Xian in the 4th century, Xuan Zang in 7th century, and Yijing in the same century traversed the Silk Route to the oldest university in Taxila and other Buddhist places in Peshawar and Dergai in ancient Pakistan. According to French historian, Émmanuel-Édouard Chavannes, Song Yun travelled through Chitral and met with the kings of the Swat Valley. At one point in time, Gandhara was controlled by Chinese rulers. Buddhism was introduced into China in Ghandhari language and literature in the 2nd century. Gandhari was a north-western Middle Indo‐Aryan language closely related to Sanskrit and Pali. There is a need to explore these hidden historical links to know more about Chinese-Gandhara interactions. Research institutions in archaeology and ancient history in Pakistan and China should explore this field.


Mohenjodaro civilisation introduced architecture, cotton, textiles, and mathematics, while the Yellow River civilisation introduced medicine, paper, and gun powder to the outside world. Chinese embraced Buddhism with Chinese characteristics originated in ancient India and flourished in Taxila under Gandhara civilisation, which also had influenced Confucius-dominated Korean Peninsula and Japanese archipelago in the 8th century. Islam also influenced western China via the Silk Road by the end of the 7th century.


Historically, there had been no rivalry developed between the Indus and Yellow River civilisations. They were great sources of inspiration and interaction. By the discovery of the Silk Road 2,500 years ago, starting from the Chinese Province of Shaanxi, they promoted barter trade, which was more people-to-people oriented. The Indus and Yellow River civilisations were inclusive and absorbed ideas along the Silk Road for commerce and ancient civilisational consciousness that exist in the minds of modern Pakistanis and Chinese even today.

 

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Modern Contacts
When modern Pakistan and China were re-created in 1947 and 1949 respectively, the pattern of civilisational bonds continued. Soon after the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1951, both countries desired to promote cultural and economic ties and this process continued until 1960s. When the first Ambassador of Pakistan, Major General N. A. M. Raza presented his credentials to the People’s Republic of China Government on November 12, 1951, Chairman Mao Zedong talked about the significance of cultural relations between the two countries. Premier and the then Foreign Minister Zhuo Enlai also stressed upon the necessity of cultural relations when he delivered a speech at Pakistan’s Embassy in Peking on August 14, 1954. In a message broadcast by Radio Pakistan on January 29, 1956, Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Madame Soong Ching-ling stated:


“Your [Pakistan’s] ancient civilisation in the lower valley of the River Indus flourished at about the same time as the original Chinese culture in the upper Yellow River basin. We both have had a long cultural heritage. We have always lived as peaceful neighbours.”
The first-ever official delegation that came from Peking was women’s goodwill delegation led by Li Teh-chuan at the invitation of the All-Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) in November 1955. Political parties, labour leaders, journalists, parliamentarians, artists, dancers, singers, sports teams (such as badminton, football, volleyball, table tennis), scientists, educationists, writers, tourists, youth-related exchange visits, goodwill and friendship delegations since the mid 1950s. Both countries signed the Cultural Agreement on March 25, 1965. As relations further stabilised by the late 1960s, the first-ever Chinese cultural troupe comprising 54 members visited Lahore, Peshawar, and Dhaka in January-February 1968. Interaction with cultural troupes was much increased in the 1970s and continued into the 1980s and 1990s. Agreements were signed in the field of radio, television, and film exchanges to make joint productions and documentaries. Chinese art troupes including folk singers and demos visited Pakistan many times including folk song and dance troupe, traditional instrumental music troupes and acrobatic troupes etc. and exchanges also took place in the areas like painting, handicrafts, relics as well as puppet shows.


Language, Youth, and Educational Programmes
In order to promote linguistic interaction and understanding the first-ever Urdu-Chinese dictionary compiled by Professor Kong Julan, an expert on Urdu and Head of Department of Urdu at Peking University, and contributions made by Su Yuheng. “The dictionary tries to bridge two languages with distinct roots and traditions and different syntax and grammar, and in social and political sense, it strengthens linkages between people of Pakistan and China” was stated by President Mamnoon Hussain while addressing at launching ceremony of the dictionary at Fudan University in Shanghai on 19 May 2014. He further commented, “The first Urdu-Chinese dictionary has reinforced his optimism for the future and would help the people of the two countries further improve their contacts and promote understanding of their distinct languages and cultures.”


The five years long bilateral ‘Youth Exchange Programme’ aimed at fostering friendship was finalised during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Pakistan undertaken in 2006 and accomplished in 2012. The programme was launched in 2007. Under this agreement, Chinese Government invited 500 youths from Pakistan to visit China and similarly, 500 Chinese visited Pakistan on the invitation by government of Pakistan.


A large number of students from Pakistan are studying in universities and colleges in China as undergraduates, graduates, post-graduates, and PhD students including post-doctoral fellowships. Most of students prefer to study medicine, engineering, basic sciences, and social sciences. Majority of students go on their own expense but there are extensive scholarship programmes offered by Chinese government through the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Approximately 220 students go for higher studies in Chinese universities annually under these scholarship programmes administered by Chinese Government. Pakistan ranks high among China’s international scholarship programmes. There are exchange programmes for middle and high school students between the two countries. Over 8,000 Pakistani students were enrolled in China’s educational institutions as of 2013 and the number is constantly increasing. In return, there are over 6,000 Chinese students in Pakistan. The number of Chinese teachers in Pakistan is also on the rise.


Three Pakistani universities have housed Confucius Institutes to promote Chinese language and culture. The National University of Modern Languages (NUML) at Islamabad set up the first Confucius Institute in 2004 to teach Chinese language, history and other aspects. Another Confucius Institute was set up at the University of Karachi in 2012. The third Confucius Institute was founded at the University of Faisalabad in 2015. These centres and institutes have frequent student exchanges. Teaching Chinese language has picked up pace. Many public and private schools are teaching Chinese language and the number of students has increased to thousands throughout Pakistan.


There are four Pakistan Study Centres in Chinese universities such as Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, and Sichuan University where a number of students are studying history, culture, language, politics, and economy of Pakistan. Programmes are also launched via video conferences across many universities in Pakistan to learn simple Chinese language and culture.


A China Study Centre at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) was set up to facilitate promotion of trade and business between Pakistan and China by providing a platform for cooperation to their entrepreneurs. CIIT also established the Pakistan-China Business Forum (PCBF) in 2013 to promote university-industry collaboration. Over 80 faculty members of the CIIT hold PhD degrees from Chinese universities and over 35 faculty members are currently pursuing their PhDs in different Chinese universities. A Centre of Excellence for China Studies was also inaugurated at the Government College University (GCU) in Lahore in November 2014.


The century long direction of ‘educational Pakistan’ would change from the West to the East in coming days. Pakistanis must prepare for a cultural exchange comprising more interactions with eastern countries with China on the leading position. The new ‘orientalism’ is shining within the rise of an Asian century.


In February 2014, after a meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Mamnoon Hussain, the Joint Statement on “Deepening China-Pakistan Strategic and Economic Cooperation” emphasised on designating 2015 as the China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges. In a move, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao inaugurated the “Year of Friendly Exchanges” on January 28, 2015.
The Joint Statement issued on April 20, 2015 during President Xi Jinping visit to Pakistan also had a cultural touch:


“Pakistan and China agreed to elevate their relation to ‘all-weather strategic cooperation partnership’ enriching the Pakistan-China community of shared destiny, to ensure the perpetual continuity in friendship from generation to generation…. Pakistan supported China in elevating its relations with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, commended the China-South Asia People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Plan, the China-South Asia Science and Technology Partnership Plan and other initiatives put forward by the Chinese side, and is ready to participate in these initiatives actively.”


President Xi also announced the establishment of the Chinese Cultural Centre in Islamabad, which was enthusiastically welcomed by Pakistan. Therefore, there is enormous room for future cultural and people-to-people cooperation between Pakistan and China.
There is a regular exchange of delegations of think tanks and intellectual fora between the two countries. A number of conferences and seminars are organised by public and private sector of the two countries. Moreover, there are friendship associations such as the Pakistan-China Friendship Association (PCFA) and the China-Pakistan Friendship Association (CPFA) in Pakistan and China that provide a platform to bring the people of the two countries together in all areas of human endeavours. The CPFA was created within the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) based in Beijing. These associations were created in the 1950s. There is also the All-Pakistan China Friendship Association (APCFA).


Conclusion
Against the largely misunderstood notion of not-so-close people-to-people interaction between Pakistanis and Chinese, the all-weather friendship is clearly visualised in cultural sphere as this work has realised. The wisdom of great Asian civilisations continues to grow uninterruptedly. People-to-people contact is a historical, vast, highly beneficial, and a continued process between the citizens of the two countries. As bilateral relations have been ever-expanding in multiple areas, especially after the introduction of the CPEC, the process of people-to-people contact will be having enormous room for future cooperation depending on fast emerging needs and challenges they face. Youth programmes and Chinese educational institutions are now a powerful source of attraction for Pakistani students and researchers.

The writer is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS), Islamabad. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
12
April
COAS Visits North Waziristan

General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited North Waziristan Agency (NWA) and spent his day with troops and tribals. COAS was briefed in detail by the Formation Commander about progress of ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb, return of TDPs and development/ resettlement work initiated by Army in the area.

 

Acknowledging the clearance of 650 sq. km. of an uncontrolled area in the final phase so far, COAS expressed his complete satisfaction over progress of concluding phase of the operation in Shawal. Appreciating these successes, he vowed to continue the operation till total elimination of hideouts and curse of terrorism and extremism from across the country. He especially appreciated the intelligence agencies for matching pace of busting sleeper cells in urban centres in rest of the country. While talking to troops on the occasion, COAS commended all officers and men for their courage, determination and spirit of sacrifice displayed by them in Shawal Operation under harsh weather condition and treacherous terrain.

 

COAS was also briefed on the ongoing rehabilitation work, and its effects on the socio-economic landscape of the area. Satisfied with the pace of rehabilitation work, he directed all concerned to further boost the pace to meet timelines and ensure a dignified and early return of TDPs to a better built area. Later, COAS interacted with tribal elders and recently returned TDPs, and assured them that Army will continue to remain in the area till completion of resettlement process. Tribal elders paid rich tribute to Army for successful operations, and ple dged that with the help of the Army, they would never allow these terrorists to return to their area.

 

COAS also laid foundation stone of state-of-the-art Younas Khan Sports Complex at Miranshah for the youth. The sports complex will be constructed by Army Engineers. Renowned cricketer Younas Khan was also present on the occasion, as the Complex has been named after his name. Later COAS took a round of under construction Miranshah Bazaar and appreciated Army Engineers for their dedicated efforts in executing quality construction work. Miranshah Bazaar which had been used by the terrorists as their ‘centre of fight’ and got damaged during the clearance phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, is being completely rebuilt by the Army to revive economic activity in the area wherein new shops and markets will be handed over to war-affected local tribes.

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12
April
Mr. Zhang Chunxian Calls On COAS
Mr. Zhang Chunxian, member of the Political Bureau of Communist Party, China visited GHQ and called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif. During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional stability and measures to enhance bilateral defence and security collaboration were discussed. Mr. Zhang Chunxian acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts towards fighting terrorism and appreciated the successes achieved in the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb. While underlining the importance of CPEC, Mr. Zhang Chunxian said that CPEC would have highly significant and long-term impact on the region and ‘is equally beneficial for people of Pakistan and China’. COAS reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to ensure secure environment for timely completion and subsequent management of CPEC in the best interest of the region.

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12
April
Pakistan Navy Coastal Security Exercise Tahaffuz-e-Sahil

Pakistan Navy conducted Coastal Security Exercise, code-named ‘Tahaffuz-e-Sahil’ at Ormara to check the efficacy of security mechanism in place at Jinnah Naval Base and associated infrastructure against any maritime terrorist threat. Special Operations Forces (SOF), Pak marines, Pakistan Navy ships and helicopters participated in the exercise. A high degree of professionalism was displayed by the various segments of Pakistan Navy, other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and organizations so as to practice and boost the security of this important base of Pakistan Navy.

 

In order to validate plans for defence and security of coastal bases, Pakistan Navy regularly holds such exercises all along the coast with special focus on Gwadar Port to ensure security of the maritime domain which has a crucial linkage with the upcoming developments related to CPEC project and smooth conduct of economic activities in our maritime region.

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12
April

The capture of a serving Indian naval officer involved in spying and terrorism-related activities from Pakistani soil is multi-dimensional in its effects and after-effects. On the one hand it is a phenomenal achievement of our intelligence agencies but on the other hand it also raises few very serious concerns. The capture of this officer and his confessions indicates presence of foreign networks in Pakistan involved in subversion, sabotage and terrorism. This also vindicates Pakistan’s stance that foreign hands are involved in terrorist activities in FATA, Balochistan, Karachi and other parts of the country. Pakistan has time and again urged the neighbourly country through bilateral forums as well as the international community to take notice of this state sponsored terrorism; however, Pakistan’s efforts largely remained unheeded. Instead, Pakistan was often blamed for damaging regional peace, and the actual culprit played victim under the sheer clouds of falsity and propaganda. This event should somehow lead to a guilt-introspection by all those who failed to recognize our great sacrifices, huge losses and unflinching commitment to combat terrorism in its all forms and manifestations.


The capture of this spy-cum-terror agent also indicates presence of terror networks using soil of our brotherly neighbouring countries. This in itself is a crime and infringement on sovereignty of these brotherly countries. It would not be demanding much if we expect brotherly countries to not only lodge protest against the terror exporting country using their soil for perpetrating terrorism, but also take measures for neutralization of these individuals and groups. The closure of such terror networks is fundamental to regional peace and security. The policy of pursuing vicious grand objectives under the garb of trade and economic activity must be censured and curbed by all.


After 9/11, the focus of international community mostly remained on terrorism conducted by non-state actors (NSAs). Pakistan also joined the international community and played the role of a front line state in this war. Notwithstanding presence and involvement of NSAs, Pakistan also got proofs of terror abetment and terror sponsorship by its arch enemy. Few of these terror attacks clearly indicated a much deeper level foreign state sponsorship in planning and execution. Now the capture of this spy-cum-terrorist is clear evidence of state level involvement in acts of terrorism. This also underscores the need for shift of focus by international community. Not only NSAs but also such states that use their intelligence agencies to perpetrate violence and sabotage must be checked and stopped. This event should not be ignored or relegated as a bilateral matter between Pakistan and India but be taken as a turning point to introduce further measures to curb such policies. The international law and international bodies need to be responding to this blatant sponsorship of terrorism along with combating violence perpetrated by non-state actors.


The time has come to shift positions, understand the issue of terrorism more deeply and combat all perpetrators.

12
April

Written By: Sharif al Mujahid

(On the occasion of the death anniversary of Abdullah Haroon on April 27, 1942)

Among the All India Muslim League’s (AIML) second cadre leadership, Abdullah Haroon was actively associated with it for barely five years (1937-42). Yet he stands high in its echelons. What sets him apart is his pioneering role in conceptualizing Pakistan as it came to be embodied in the Lahore Resolution (1940). To quote Reginald Coupland, who did a three-part “Report on the Constitutional Problem in India” (1942-44), Haroon was “the only Muslim politician of any standing who had so far (till early 1939) taken a public part in the constitutional discussion” on the Pakistan proposal. Thus, though Haroon did not live long enough to see his “dream” materialize, he is yet reckoned among Pakistan’s founding fathers.


By late 1938 when he seriously launched his campaign to popularize the Pakistan idea, Haroon had been in politics and public life for some twenty-five years, if only because of his penchant to cause awakening among the downtrodden masses and work for their amelioration and emancipation.


Politics to Haroon, as to Jinnah, was a means of serving the community and the country, not a source of amassing wealth. Like Jinnah, Haroon had built for himself (and his family) a solid financial base before he barged into politics. This means that unlike latter day leaders, Haji Abdullah Haroon did not live off politics, nor did he intend to make a profession out of it. This reminds me of what Khasa Subba Rao, editor of the Indian Express, once wrote about Jinnah. About the turn of the century, when Jinnah had already established himself at the bar, he was asked as to why he was not taking active part in politics. Jinnah's reply was characteristic of the man who would later be acknowledged as the most incorruptible politician in the country. He said that he was awaiting the day when he had saved up enough (and he named a figure, considered enormous at the time) to afford to involve himself in politics since he did not want to live off nor make a profession of politics

 

abdulaharoon.jpgLike Jinnah, again, he financed his political activities out of his own personal funds. More significantly, he contributed generously to meet in part the running of the party he was involved with. Thus, in one of his last letters sent posthumously, he told Shaikh Abdul Majid, “... you know very well that I have no more funds left and the Working Committee of the (Muslim League) Assembly Party, except a very few, none yet sent in their help, though they had promised to do so. As yet I have been financing all the expenses of the Muslim League Branch here.”


Along with political activities, Haroon had helped to build institutions in the education, health and social welfare sectors that would make groups and communities become self-contained and self-sustaining in terms of their dire requirements. And he liberally opened his coffers to dole out huge sums to finance a good many social causes. Nor did his philanthropy know any bounds when it came to alleviating the sufferings of the poor, the indigent and the needy. And this continued unabated till his last breath. Simultaneously, he also built several institutions for them. From July 1941 to late April 1942 – that is, during the last ten months of his life – he had given away a princely sum of Rs. 88,961 to charities, which would be equivalent to about Rs. 10 million at current prices


Today there are in Pakistan tycoons and industrialists who are a lot more affluent than Haji Abdullah Haroon, and yet how many of them have involved themselves in promoting education, health, religious charitable institutions, orphanages and such other activities, designed to alleviate the lot of the poor and accelerate social development.


Inter alia, I feel the beneficiaries and legatees of Haji Abdullah Haroon also need to emulate his example. At his forty-seventh death anniversary commemorative meeting at Karachi in 1989, I had suggested that a trust be set up with a sum amounting to the par value at current prices of his total charities during the last ten months of his life, that the proceeds from it be utilized to set up a research centre after his name, and that this centre should sponsor meaningful research studies not only on his life and times, but also on Sindh and Pakistan. Such a research centre, I feel, would be a more befitting tribute to Haji Abdullah Haroon than mere commemorative meetings and anniversary articles once in a year. The Abdullah Haroon Foundation on the lines of Carnegie or Rockefeller Foundation would hopefully break new ground and bids fair to become a trend setter in Pakistan. That suggestion, I feel, needs to be taken seriously. Since it sits well with his role model posture in advancing social causes materially, and helping the indigent, and the disadvantaged to become job worthy, skilled and financially self-sufficient, and cease to be a burden on the society.


As hinted earlier, Haroon’s politics were ancillary to his campaign for the human resource development of the community. And once he had securely established himself in business, which he did by the late 1890s, he became increasingly engaged in civic activities in Karachi. Later, he became pro-active in major political organizations – the Indian National Congress (1917), the All India Khilafat Committee (1919-29), Sindh Provincial Political Conference (1920-30s), the All Parties Conference (1928), the All Parties Muslim Conference (1930-34), the Azad Sindh Conference (1930), and the Muslim League (1937 ff.)


His electoral defeat early in 1937 led him to wind up the Sindh United Party which he had set up along with Sir Shahnwaz Bhutto, father of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1936 to fight the provincial elections. While Bhutto opted for a government job and a safe sanctuary in Bombay, Haroon undauntedly chose to face the music at Rome. He decided to barge, once again, into all-Indian politics – a decision at once momentous and fateful.


The emerging political scenario was obviously unchartered and unpredictable, yet he was determined to canalize the miniscule Sindhi political elite towards playing its due part in all India politics. He had the vision and the imagination to see the problems of Sindh through an all-India prism, and to establish organic linkages between Sindh and the larger pan-Indian Muslim community, and mainstream Muslim politics, encompassed by the AIML. He, therefore, joined the Muslim League in 1937, established contacts and rapport with its top leadership at Lucknow in October 1937, and organized it at various tiers in the province. Assisted by Shaikh Abdul Majid and Pir Ali Muhammad Rashidi, he was able to successfully organize the First Sindh Provincial Muslim League Conference in Karachi, early in October 1938.


In terms of the themes discussed and the standing of the participants, it was an all-India moot, except for its nomenclature. Presided over by Jinnah, it was participated by a galaxy of Muslim leaders drawn from the NWFP to Hyderabad (Deccan), from Bombay to Bengal – such as Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Nawab Ismail Khan, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Begum Mohamed Ali, Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad, Raja of Pirpur, Maulana Jamal Mian of Farangi Mahal, Syed Ghulam Bhik Nairang, Maulana Abdul Hamid Badayuni, Nawab Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani, and the premiers of the Punjab and Bengal – Sir Sikander Hayat Khan and Fazlul Haq. Such a galaxy had never assembled at a provincial moot before. Indeed, it read like a who’s who of Muslim India at the moment.

 

abdulaharoon1.jpgHere, Haroon who was chairman of the Reception Committee, called the shots. His welcome address, which set the tone and tenor for the conference, was uncharacteristically radical and militant: it commended an ideological goal. Unless adequate safeguards and protection for minorities were duly provided, declared Haroon, the Muslims would have no alternative but “to seek their salvation in their own way in an independent federation of Muslim states,” warning that, “We have nearly arrived at the parting of the ways and… it will be impossible to save India from being divided into Hindu India and Muslim India, both placed under separate federation”.
Interestingly, the main resolution at the conference was cast in Haroon’s mould. Though diluted in the Subjects Committee deliberations at the insistence of Jinnah himself who was characteristically not too keen to show his hand prematurely before Muslims were fully organized and public opinion galvanized behind the ideological goal, the resolution yet retained enough of its clout to become a trend setter and to warrant attention.


Briefly stated, the concept of separate Muslim nationhood was spelled out not merely in political and immediate terms, but on an intellectual plane, laying down in categorical terms the ideological basics and bases of that nationhood. This was also the first time that the Hindus and Muslims were officially pronounced by the Muslim League as two distinct nations. It called for “the political self-determination of the two nations known as Hindus and Muslims.” This explains why Coupland had singled out Haroon as having made a significant contribution, leading to the partition demand.


In perspective, then, the Sindh Conference resolution sought to break new ground; it was truly epochal. Indeed, it represented not only the penultimate step to, but also prepared the ground for the adoption of the Lahore Resolution at the Muslim League session in March 1940. And herein lies the significance of Haji Abdullah Haroon as a trend-setter in modern Muslim India’s politics, and as a “shaper” of history in a larger sense.

The writer is HEC Distinguished National Professor, who has recently co-edited UNESCO's History of Humanity, vol. VI, and The Jinnah Anthology (2010) and edited In Quest of Jinnah (2007); the only oral history on Pakistan's Founding Father.
 
12
April

Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha

Amost remarkable thing happened to me at this year’s Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) where I had been invited to be part of two sessions.


After coming out of the second session (in which I was a panelist with famous Pakistani scientist and author, Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy), I was met by three young men, one of who wanted me to sign a copy of my book, End of the Past that he had bought at the festival.


As more young folks approached me with their copies of the book, one of the three young men kept saying: ‘Sir, I am relative of Bashir Ahmed.’


I kept glancing over my shoulder to see who on earth was constantly repeating these words on the right of me: ‘Sir, I am relative of Bashir Ahmad….’


Finally, I turned around to ask who Bashir Ahmad was. The young man, in a simple white shirt and a faded pair of denims, got a tad louder after finally getting my attention: ‘Sir, Bashir Ahmad, camel man….’


As I was trying to figure out who this ‘camel man’ was, and at the same time, signing copies of my book, the two men who were with him excitedly announced: ‘Boss, Bashir Ahmad, camel driver, who go to America….’


As it turned out, standing there with me with a wide smile was a young relative of Bashir Ahmad – the poor Pakistani camel cart driver who, in 1961, had ended up as a state guest of the US Vice President in Washington!


Not many people remember him today. And yet, back in the day, for many months, he was constantly mentioned in newspapers across Pakistan and the United States.


At the time, Bashir Ahmad lived in a rundown house made of dried mud in a shanty town in Karachi’s Railway Colony. According to his relative (who was actually the son of one of Ahmad’s cousins), Bashir was making Rs. 2 a day carrying goods for small traders on his camel cart, when, in 1961, his cart got stuck on Karachi’s Drigh Road (present-day Shahrah-e-Faisal).


This happened due to a large number of people who had gathered there to watch the motorcade of the visiting American President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Bashir was going towards the Saddar area when his journey was halted and he (and his camel), eventually became part of the gathering.

 

anunlikelystate.jpgAs Johnson’s motorcade slowly drove by, Jonson noticed a camel’s neck and face hovering over the cheering crowd. He immediately asked the chauffeur to stop the car.


This was 1961 and security protocols for VIPs were a lot lax than what they became decades later.
Famous Urdu author and columnist, Ibrahim Jalees, was also there. In a column of his, he explained how Johnson hurried out from the open-top limousine and began to swiftly move towards the camel.


He was followed by three Pakistani policemen, two American security agents (in suits), and at least half a dozen American and Pakistani reporters who were accompanying the motorcade.
The gathered people began to clap and Johnson waved back as he continued to walk towards the camel. The people blocking Bashir’s view parted when Johnson reached the spot.


It is only at this point that Bashir came to know what was transpiring. With the help of a few onlookers, Johnson conversed with Bashir. According to Jalees, after exchanging pleasantries with Bashir, and admiring his camel, Johnson said to the people gathered there: ‘you all come to Washington and see us there….’
To Johnson’s surprise, Bashir enthusiastically replied: ‘Yes, yes, I come, meet you.’

 

Johnson flung open his arms (as if wanting to embrace Bashir) and exclaimed, ‘wonderful!’ Then he zeroed-in on him and both had a 10-minute chat, facilitated by some Pakistani reporters who became on-the-spot interpreters for the Vice President.
The next day, photographs of Johnson speaking to a camel cart driver named Bashir appeared in Pakistani and American newspapers. But the story began to fade away after a month or so.


Two months later, Ibrahim Jalees wrote another column in which he urged the US government to invite Bashir to Washington so that ‘a true people-to-people contact’ can be established between the US and Pakistan.
After his unprompted bump-in with Johnson, Bashir had gone back to driving his camel cart. However, about four months later, he received an official invite from Johnson and the Readers Digest magazine to visit the US. He was stunned. He had never been on a plane and didn’t even have a passport!


The government of Field Marshal Ayub Khan encouraged the initiative and immediately prepared Bashir’s passport on urgent basis. The government then provided him with an airline ticket paid for by the American Embassy.
Bashir spent four weeks in the US. There he met the US Vice President and his wife. While attending a state dinner thrown in his honour, Bashir was urged to make a speech. He agreed and made a speech (in Urdu).


He told the guests at the White House: ‘my friends in Karachi thought I would die of a heart-attack when travelling on a plane. Well, even if I had died, I would have passed away on my journey to meet a good friend.’
America’s LIFE magazine reported that during the state dinner, Bashir opted to have rice the way he did back home: with his hands. Seeing this, the guests at the dinner also decided to put aside their spoons and forks, and used their hands to dig into their plates of rice.


Bashir also visited Johnson’s ranch in Texas where he was gifted a pick-up van by Ford Motors. Bashir’s visit was extensively covered by the US and Pakistani media.
On his return to Karachi, Bashir retired his camel and began to use the truck to conduct his business.
When Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of American President John F. Kennedy, visited Pakistan in early 1963, Bashir was invited by Ayub Khan to a lunch he was hosting for the American first lady at his residence in Karachi.


Bashir arrived wearing a smart sherwani and a Jinnah cap. He also brought with him his then retired camel!
The camel was tugged in and parked in one corner of the vast garden of the residence. Here, the US first lady was given a ride on Bashir’s camel.


By 1965, Bashir’s celebrity status had eventually begun to fade. He vanished from the pages of the newspapers. But he did manage to earn a bit more money with his truck, even though (according to the young relative of his that I met in Karachi), Bashir continued to reside in his mud house in Railway Colony, though the relative also hinted that Bashir did move to a ‘better place’ in the early 1970s.
However, he also informed me that the fame which Bashir had received created tensions between his relatives and him and when (in 1973), he fell upon hard times, he sold off his Ford truck.


By now the Ayub regime had fallen, and Bashir’s pleas for assistance fell on deaf ears. Even the press which had once turned Bashir into a ‘people’s diplomat,’ ignored him.


According to the relative, Bashir passed away in 1977 and with him, so did a remarkable episode of spontaneous public diplomacy.
Later in the evening at the Karachi Literature Festival, I wanted to invite the relative for a cup of tea. But amidst the dozen or so young men and women around me, I suddenly lost sight of him.


I asked a friend to find him, but he just wasn’t there anymore. A man joked he must have gone out to get his camel. But a young woman immediately put him in his place by saying: ‘I am sure that camel certainly has more humanity and intelligence than you will ever have!’

The writer is a Pakistani journalist, cultural critic and satirist. He is the author of a detailed book on Pakistan’s ideological, political & social history, called ‘End of the Past.’
 
12
April

Written By: Ahmed Quraishi

Pakistan’s western neighbourhood has seen foreign military interventions that have destabilized the region, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the great-power competition over Iraq, Iran and now Syria. Recently, violent extremism and terror groups that exploit ethnic, religious and sectarian fault lines have emerged as a direct threat to the integrity and stability of the countries in the region.

 

We in Pakistan are not immune to these threats. India is exploiting chaos in our western neighbourhood to create additional problems for us. In February, seven Indian companies were in a list of 51 found in a

 

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European Union study to be the largest suppliers of components in explosives used by ISIS terror group in Iraq and Syria. India is interested in fomenting ISIS rise in Afghanistan to replace the disintegrating TTP and BLA as top proxy terror threats to Pakistan. New Delhi moved immediately to court Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates last year hoping to exploit alleged reports of discord between those countries and Pakistan over Yemen (the reports proved to be exaggerated). And in March, India was caught red-handed using Iranian soil to stoke terrorism in Balochistan, Karachi and the Punjab. All of this shows that Islamabad needs to remain engaged in the Gulf and the Middle East to secure its interests.


Luckily for us, we do not have to bear this burden alone. For the first time in decades, there is a reasonable opportunity that Arab and Muslim countries can take charge of their collective security to defeat terrorism and extremism, stop attempts to redraw borders, and prevent internal collapse in the name of ethnicity and religion.


The formation of the Islamic Coalition is a major step forward for Arab and Muslim nations. There is a realization that the people of the region should take charge of their security and not rely on outside powers for their security. After all, if we face similar problems, we might as well work jointly to find solutions that work for us.


Moreover, Western approach to fighting extremism and terrorism has resulted in a gigantic mess. It is time that Arab and Muslim countries step up and find solutions that keep the best interests of the people of the region at heart.


Why the Coalition?
There is a new trend underway in the region. The Gulf Security Council, the Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, are all moving steadily toward military coalition building. Major member countries in the newly-formed Islamic Coalition (#Islamic Coalition on social media) feel threatened by the rise of violent extremism in the name of ethnicity and religion, and the rise of shady terror groups capable of challenging the state.

 

pakandislami1.jpgThere is also a region-wide resentment at the role of the West in spreading chaos and terrorism. Rightly or wrongly, suspicions persist that the West and major powers support the disintegration of the Middle East into smaller warring states created on ethnic, religious or sectarian basis.


Major Arab and Muslim nations that are spearheading the new coalition building in the region have something interesting in common: they were staunch allies of the United States during the Cold War and later the War on Terror. These countries — Turkey, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Egypt, and Pakistan — continue to have close working relationships with Washington, but the security component of these relationships has weakened. These countries harbour strong grievances on the role of the West in spreading chaos in the region. Analysts in Egypt and Saudi Arabia have publicly accused the West of trying to redraw the map of the region by fomenting ethnic, religious and sectarian strife. The media in Egypt, in particular, has been vocal in accusing the West of attempting to turn the country into another Libya or Syria. Turkey accuses world powers of supporting Kurdish separatism. We in Pakistan saw the United States and NATO botch the Afghan mission and create space for the TTP, BLA and Indian terrorism. Gulf states blame the U.S. for turning Yemen into a failed state.


Until recently, Arab and Muslim countries complained but took no action. This changed after the regime collapse in Egypt, where the Gulf States succeeded in working with the Egyptian military to stop a fast descent into Libya – and Syria-style chaos. The American and European approach, playing Egyptian groups against each other, appeared to prolong the crisis in the country and fan the flames of separatism and extremism.


The Gulf intervention in Egypt emboldened the decision makers. Saudi Arabia realized that, should Egypt collapse like Libya, Iraq and Syria, then Gulf States are next. This led to dire warnings from senior Saudi leaders to the West: help us clear the mess in the region or we will do it alone. In fact, in December 2013, the Kingdom’s ambassador to the UK published an op-ed in the New York Times titled, ‘Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone’. Talking tough, the Saudi envoy said his country enjoyed good relations with the West but that major policy differences forced a rethink in Riyadh.


All of this brings up one central point: The Islamic Coalition is the result of an idea circulating in power corridors from Morocco to Pakistan, that like-minded countries of the region should take charge of their security.


Can the Islamic Coalition Work?
The moment the Islamic Coalition was announced in December 2015, many questioned its motives and objectives. The idea faced what appeared to be organized opposition from within and outside the Middle East. Major powers that flexed their military muscle in the region for nearly a century would feel unease at a military alliance that could lessen region’s dependence on the West for security. But despite doubt and ridicule, the coalition is moving faster than most expected.


In February, the coalition managed to hold the largest military exercise in the Middle East, titled, North Thunder, with militaries from twenty countries participating. And in March, the first meeting of the chiefs of staff of the Islamic Coalition was held to chalk out a long term plan of action. Interestingly, the number of countries jumped for this meeting from 34 to 39, as more Arab and Muslim nations showed interest in the alliance.


The North Thunder drill created a sense of camaraderie and helped coalition forces and commanders understand each other. And the first meeting agreed to set up a command centre in Riyadh, lay out the internal workings of the coalition, and pave the way for the first meeting of the ministers of defence in coalition member states, which will be the third major step in coalition’s evolution.


It is clear now that the Islamic Coalition will take decisions unanimously, and that each member in the alliance has the space to decide the level of political and military participation, and that the coalition will operate within the parameters of international law.


The operations centre in Riyadh will work on four key areas in order to counter terrorism and extremism: Intellectual, Financial, Military and the Media.


A handout after the meeting of military commanders from member states on March 27 appeared to show that a high level of understanding has been reached between member states on how to take the alliance forward.


The handout said that the centre of the new alliance has been tasked with:
1. Coordinating and developing communication methodologies between member states to counter terrorism.
2. Coordinating and developing media campaigns.
3. Coordinating military efforts.
4. Monitoring terror activities in the region and worldwide.

 

pakandislami2.jpgIt is obvious that the Islamic Coalition is moving forward, developing understanding and procedures along the way. The jump in the member states from 34 at the time of announcement to 39 in the first meeting of military commanders shows growing acceptability in the region and within the ranks of GCC, Arab League, and OIC. Oman, a GCC member that did not join the Islamic Coalition in December, changed course and participated in the North Thunder drills in February.


A common factor between key member states of the emerging alliance is their developing ties with Russia and China. Traditional American allies like Egypt, UAE, KSA, and Pakistan are expanding ties with Moscow and Beijing. The differences between Turkey and Russia over Syria are transient. Ankara had improved relations with Russia and China considerably before ties soured over Syria. And GCC leaders, who disagree with Moscow’s policy in Syria, nevertheless maintain close working relationship with Putin. The Saudi king is expected to visit Moscow this year.


Is the Alliance Sectarian?
Iran, Iraq, and Syria have not been invited to join the alliance but Saudi officials and other coalition members have not ruled it out once the outstanding political disputes between Iran and several members of the coalition are resolved.


The emphasis here is on the political, not sectarian, because each one of these major Muslim nations and Iran have a political conflict of a serious nature that requires resolution and needs to be addressed by both sides. Most of the conflict centres around charges that Iran is meddling in other Muslim countries. Major Muslim countries like Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, and the Gulf States, make this charge. However, Tehran denies it and insists it wants constructive engagement with all.


A retired Saudi General, Anwar Majid Ashqi, head of the Middle East Centre for Strategic Studies in Riyadh, is on record on December 15, the day the Islamic Coalition was announced, to have said that Iran can join the alliance once the disputes end. In March, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said that his country is ready to turn the page with Iran if Tehran changes its behaviour.


There is hope. It is important to recall that Saudi Arabia sent a special representative of the King to congratulate President Hassan Rouhani when he was elected. Former president Ahmadi-Nejad and late King Abdullah had also made headway in Iran-Saudi rapprochement. There is no reason why this can’t be repeated once the political disputes are resolved.


Iraq and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States are gradually improving their relationship. And it is noteworthy that, while many Arab countries have suspended diplomatic ties with Iran, Baghdad continues to enjoy full diplomatic relations with all Arab and Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia.
As for Syria, and for all practical purposes, it is considered a failed state where the civil war is yet to decide the national will. Syria’s seat is also suspended in the Arab League.


The charge that the Islamic Coalition becomes a ‘Sunni alliance’ in the absence of Iran appears inaccurate and exaggerated. This is not the first time that Arab and Muslim countries create a military coalition sans Iran. In 1991, two dozen Arab and Muslim nations were part of the anti-Iraq military coalition. Interestingly, Syria, Iran and of course Iraq were excluded even then for political reasons and yet no one charged the alliance of being sectarian.


Many existing supporters and members of the Islamic Coalition do not belong to the majority Sunni sect of Islam. Oman, which follows a distant branch of Shia sect, participated in the North Thunder drills in Saudi Arabia. Morocco, whose royal family follows another branch of the Shia sect, is not only a member of the Islamic Coalition but the country has its own issues with Iran and had cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2009. Azerbaijan is predominantly Shia country that supports the Islamic Coalition and is contemplating a military role.


Additionally, the Speaker of Lebanon’s parliament, Nabih Berri, who leads the Shia political party, Amal, has criticized Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrullah for excessively anti-Saudi statements and, on March 22, called for a resumption in Iran-Saudi ties. Lebanese media has reported that Berri sees the Islamic Coalition as a positive step.


The Islamic Coalition does not appear to be sectarian. It is a good step forward, where Iran can also join later once Tehran and other Arab and Muslim countries resolve their political differences and resume normal relations. Sectarianizing the coalition is not only incorrect and inaccurate but plays into the hands of powers that would like to see this experiment in indigenous regional security aborted.


Pakistan’s Role in Islamic Coalition
The Islamic Coalition is evolving, and its scope is multifaceted. But it is clear that major Muslim nations, like Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and UAE are the military core of the alliance.
The role of member states, including Pakistan, will evolve as the coalition evolves its structure and operations. Like all member states, Islamabad will be protecting its core national interests as it defines its role within the coalition.


Pakistan has traditionally trained many militaries in the Middle East. During times of crisis, from international sanctions after nuclear tests to aid and rehabilitation after the historic 2005 earthquake, the Middle East acted as Pakistan’s natural depth. Our largest Pakistani diaspora and our energy supplies make Pakistan’s western neighbourhood of vital strategic interest to Pakistan.


While it will be good to see Iran, Iraq and Syria eventually join the Islamic Coalition, it is up to those countries and other key members of the coalition to resolve their political differences. Pakistan should pursue its own interests, which lie in strengthening the Islamic Coalition and achieving greater military cooperation between Arab and Muslim nations to secure the region and ensure collective security.

The author is a researcher, journalist and a public policy commentator. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The charge that the Islamic Coalition becomes a ‘Sunni alliance’ in the absence of Iran appears inaccurate and exaggerated. This is not the first time that Arab and Muslim countries create a military coalition sans Iran. In 1991, two dozen Arab and Muslim nations were part of the anti-Iraq military coalition. Interestingly, Syria, Iran and of course Iraq were excluded even then for political reasons and yet no one charged the alliance of being sectarian.

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All of this brings up one central point: The Islamic Coalition is the result of an idea circulating in power corridors from Morocco to Pakistan, that like-minded countries of the region should take charge of their security.

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The North Thunder drill created a sense of camaraderie and helped coalition forces and commanders understand each other. And the first meeting agreed to set up a command centre in Riyadh, lay out the internal workings of the coalition, and pave the way for the first meeting of the ministers of defence in coalition member states, which will be the third major step in coalition’s evolution.

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12
April

Written By: Taj M. Khattak

In the early 1960s, visitors waiting for a boat at Kiamari basin would toss a coin into the clear sea and young boys from nearby localities would dive and recover it from the bottom in no time. It was both fun and a small source of earning for the lads in less inflationary times. Those pristine environments have long been devastated as the amount of unmanaged plastic waste into the sea, commonly known as plastic waste leakage, has reached crisis proportion and already caused significant economic and environmental damage.
Normally, environmental degradation is a trade-off with growth and prosperity, but in our case much degradation has taken place without corresponding benefits in terms of economic prosperity. We have faced a situation where for years consumer demand for disposable plastic products has been growing far more rapidly than corresponding enactment of waste management infrastructure. The sluggish growth of this infrastructure has spawned two problems – scale of waste collection which has not shown an upward trend and disposal of collected waste within the system.


The oceans cover three fourth of the planet Earth which means that for every living person on land, there is approximately five hectares of ocean. This ratio leads mankind to a flawed assumption that oceans offer unlimited capacity for waste dumping. In the past, damage to economy and environments was caused from such sources as storm water, inadequate waste management systems of processing chemicals in industrial zones and nutrient run-off from agriculture, but now-a-days, plastic pollution is emerging as a serious threat due to sheer volume, ubiquity and extra-ordinarily long life of plastic products. While plastic products themselves have short useful lives, the longevity of plastic molecule enables it to travel across territorial waters and exclusive economic zones.


Researchers are of the view that some plastic products retain their original recognizable form even after 400 years from the time it was dumped into the sea. Last year, ‘Science’ – a highly respected peer-reviewed journal, warned that unless steps are taken soon to deal with this threat, oceans would contain one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish by 2025. Over 80% of land based discarded and not well managed plastic ends up in sea while 20% of leakage originates from ocean based mercantile marine sources.


This is a dreadful scenario in view of increasing evidence that micro plastics can affect physiology of a host of organism and potentially compromise their health. Studies have established a linkage between plastic waste in oceans with liver cancer, and endocrine dysfunction in fish. Plastic ingestion can also affect fertility in female and reproductive tissues in male fish. Other reports suggest that plastic even affects

 

lugworms, amphipods and other organisms at the very bottom of ocean food chain. The complex toxicology of plastic substances is a problem, not only for marine life but also for global fish industry, which provides nearly 15% of world’s dietary protein, employs 55 million people and is valued at approximately USD 220 billion.

 

oceancontre.jpgMore developed western economies have developed waste management systems commensurate with their growth patterns and controlled movement of plastic from land to oceans. Such measures and strategies, however, are non-existent or are in rudimentary form in less developed countries like Pakistan. Our problem is compounded further by lack of public awareness and relegated priorities of health issues in the public sector. There is a dire need to push up collection of discarded plastics to higher levels and improve post-collection treatment and stoppage of leakage into the ocean.


There are many areas in which public interest can be generated to stop plastic and other waste from entering the oceans. These include mass media programmes in electronic and print media to highlight negative impact of waste dumping on economy, health, dilution of aesthetic and environmental value of coastal areas and harms to overall productivity of ocean. Taken singly and in isolation, these reasons might not provide sufficient impetus for concerted action but since sea is inherently connected and integrated, a collective perspective can serve as a strong catalyst for collaborative approach.


Interestingly, perfect plastic material has not been produced so far though scientist community is aware that any solutions today must be path-dependent for the future. Large-scale use of waste-to-energy technologies like gasification, pyrolysis (thermo chemical decomposition of organic material at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen) and incineration (with energy recovery) might solve existing pollution problems to an extent but it could decelerate long term prospects of development of plastics which offers higher-residual-values at the end of their life cycles.


Threat from plastic pollution cannot be wished away since it is extensively used in modern economies and moves through supply and demand chains to support global enterprises. The user benefits of plastics are wide-ranging and will continue to drive economic and industrial growth both in developed and emerging economies. Worldwide plastic production is projected to increase from its current quantum of 250 million metric tons to approximately 380 metric tons in the next decade.


This increase is due to accumulative effect of population and economic growth, upward resource intensity and unprecedented dominance of plastics as the multi-purpose material for economies across regions. Inevitably, higher production of plastics and its greater use also means more leakage of its waste into the oceans. Its residual life and value depends on how the plastic is used which is one of several criteria in plastic industry. This makes it difficult for any single user in value chain to determine full-life-cycle benchmarks and subsequent degradation/destruction strategies. Some estimates suggest that by year 2025, double the quantity of plastic will reach the sea than what is being dumped at present. It therefore makes sense to adopt both a local and a regional approach for the effort to be effective and result orientated.


There are two aspects of the problem – one which deals with what is to be done with plastic already dumped into the sea and the other how to stop transportation of plastic waste from land to sea. While Pakistan may not have the capacity to do much about plastic in the oceans, we can certainly focus on land-based solutions to prevent its leakage into the ocean. In our context, stopping plastic products from ending up in the sea would be a better and cost effective solution rather than the expensive option of treating it after it has been dumped into the sea.


An effective strategy should include knowledge about origins of ocean plastic debris and how it reaches into the sea – and any significant difference in pattern of our coast along warranting different solutions and approaches. Also under consideration should come various ‘leakage – reduction’ solutions and their cost benefit curves. We need to analyze what can be done to trigger implementation of leakage-reduction measures in the short, medium and long term as well as ponder over cornerstones of concerted regional programmes to address the issue.


This effort will obviously require funding which should be possible through typical project-financing mechanisms involving public, private and multinational sectors. In many countries private sector has played an important role in catalyzing public and private investment by strategically reducing capital costs and investment risks. Such models of cost effective waste management can be examined to see if they are replicable in our context.


Adopting an appropriate financing approach along with the need for political commitment, location specific data and analysis, and civil society pressures like recent ‘light on capital’ individual efforts in Karachi at garbage collection should yield some result underpinned by a strong understanding of possible solutions to handling uncontained waste management near waterfronts and their economics.


Such drives should serve to accelerate existing initiatives, exploring new possibilities and increased private sector commitment on ‘ocean smart’ measures geared totally towards reducing leakage of plastic into the ocean. Viable and immediately implementable solutions should be embraced as soon as possible as evidence of environmental and economic damage is mounting and any further loss of time will only aggravate the situation.

The writer is a former Vice Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
11
April

Written By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand N.I., H.I., S.I.

One of the largest deposits of coal in the world was discovered in the Thar Desert in 1988. Drilling for water resulted in accidental discovery of coal. The Geological Survey of Pakistan conducted test drilling and came up with a coal field 160 km in length and approximately 60 km wide with coal reserves of 175 billion tons.


The coal was young lignite coal with a low ash and sulfur content. The first serious attempt at mining was made by Shen Hua mining company of China. Several drilling holes were attempted to ascertain the underground structure and hydro geology of the area and identify the thickness and depth of various coal seams. Several blocks were created in the coal field with areas ranging from 64 to 100 sq km each.

 

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Detailed closely spaced drilling resulted in valuable exploration data which would subsequently be required for the exploitation of the coal reserves. These studies revealed occurrence of water aquifers at depths of 85 and 125 metres below the surface. The first aquifer is fed from rain water permeating through the sands of the desert while the second aquifer is fed from the Arabian Sea which has extended across the flatlands of Rann of Kutch as a result of rise in sea level due to global warming. It is precisely these aquifers which have prevented the mining of coal since its discovery 28 years ago. The principal coal seam sits 60 metres below the lower aquifer (Fig. 2).

 

thebreathrouh1.jpgAt several places in the world there are large coal deposits which have been rendered uneconomical to mine due to the presence of water aquifers. With the depletion of oil reserves and the increase in prices of oil several universities in the world began to research on a method which would make it possible to utilize such coal. In 2005, as a result of this massive effort the technology of Underground Coal Gasification was evolved. It became commercially viable with the introduction of Horizontal Directional Drilling using Magnetic Guidance Systems.


Underground Coal Gasification
thebreathrouh2.jpgAt Thar Coal Field a series of gas wells were established using vertical drilling rigs. The gas wells are lined with special steel pipes and reach the bottom of the coal bed from the surface. The coal is at an average depth of 175 metres. In Fig. 3 the black band at the bottom of the gas wells is the principal coal seam at Thar accounting for 80% of the total coal. Its thickness ranges from 4 metres to 11 metres. This line of gas wells is called a face and is about 500 metres in length. During gasification process it yields 11.25 billion cubic feet of coal gas equivalent to 4.5 billion units of electricity. Several such faces operate in parallel to generate power at the UCG Project.


The first well A1 is pressurized with compressed air injection. The inherent water in the coal seam is expelled from the bottom of the well. The coal is then ignited and compressed air injection drives the fire at the bottom of the coal seam through the horizontal tunnel established by the HDD machine to the next series of wells (Fig. 4). High temperature, presence of oxygen from the air and steam produced from the water of the coal due to the heat of ignition are the three conditions responsible for production of coal gas. The coal gas comes out from the production wells. The gas consists of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane. This raw gas contains impurities such as ash, tar, sulfur and moisture. A purification process in an elaborate chemical plant (Fig.5) removes all the impurities to deliver clean and dry gas fit for power production.

 

thebreathrouh3.jpgPurified coal gas is delivered to the power station at the UCG Project at Block-V Tharparker. Power generation commenced on May 28, 2015 and is continuing to date. The power station presently has a capacity to generate 10 MW of electricity. This capacity can be enhanced to 1000 MW or beyond depending upon the quantum of funding to the project. (Fig. 6)

 

All over the world coal gas is considered as a very valuable commodity. In China which is the largest producer of the coal gas in the world, the characteristics of coal are similar to those at Thar. Most of the coal gas is being produced in Inner Mongolia. It is considered a waste of resources to burn coal gas for power generation especially when a high value addition can be obtained by utilizing this precious resource for the production of Diesel, Methanol, Pharmaceuticals, Rayon and Fertilizer etc. (Fig. 7)

thebreathrouh4.jpg
An ideal utilization of Underground Coal Gasification would be to exploit the full potential of Thar coal and the establishment of a vast chain of chemical industries to manufacture several of the products that coal gas can yield. Single complex in South Africa (Sasol) is yielding 160,000 barrels of high quality diesel from coal gas at $ 25/barrel. With the interest of the government, Thar is visualized as the leading economy driver of Pakistan in the years to come.


With the hard work of Pakistan’s elite scientists, engineers and technicians a world class facility for power generation in Thar coal fields, has been established. This project became a reality due to extensive research and innovation of the technical team. The project was approved for 100 MW with a completion time of 2 years. However due to partial release of funds in 6 years since its initial approval the first power generation of 10 MW commenced in 2015. Power generation from coal is invariably associated with environmental pollution. The main characteristic of Underground Coal Gasification process has made it possible to produce electricity without atmospheric pollution. The carbon dioxide emitted from the gas engines can be conveniently compressed and stored into underground cavities resulting from the consumption of coal during the process of gasification. Carbon credits will be claimed as and when the project attains its full potential. Since this project has been conceived by a very capable scientific team, all the safety, environmental and economic aspects have been seriously built into the design.


The exhaust gases from the coal gas engines, which are emitted at temperatures exceeding 500oC are utilized to generate steam and drive a steam turbine generator to give additional 20% electricity (Fig.8).


The overall efficiency of the project as a result of cogeneration becomes 52%. This compares very favourably with the most efficient power plants in the world. The total capital expenditure on the power project comes to $2.2 million per MW. The capital cost of gas generation is $1.1 million per MW and the remaining $1.1 million per MW is the cost of gas purification and power plant. With enhanced scales of power generation these costs will come down to much lower levels (Fig.9)

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With the elimination of coal mining UCG becomes the cheapest power project per MW. The cost of electricity produced can be around 6 cents per KWh when the power generation capacity is less than 100 MW. For larger capacity the unit cost can come down by 30% approximately.


Considering the environmental friendliness, low Capex (Capital Expenditure) and low unit cost Underground Coal Gasification is undeniably the best option for the vast coal reserves in Thar. With the full backing of the Government of Sindh and the Federal Government an economical and reliable solution can be found to the deficiency of power and gas. Expenditure on import of fuel and fertilizer can also be minimized using coal gas.

 

The writer is an eminent scientist who led the team of scientists and engineers to conduct Pakistan's Nuclear Tests at Chagai in May 1998. He did his masters in Physics with academic “roll of honour” from Government College Lahore in 1962 and later did his D. Phil in Experimental Nuclear Physics from the University of Oxford in 1966. He was later appointed Chairman of NESCOM in 2000. On joining the Planning Commission of Pakistan he was responsible for conceiving and implementation of the Reko Diq Copper Gold Project and the Underground Coal Gasification Project at Thar Coal Fields.

 

 
11
April

Written By: Brigadier Syed Wajid Raza

Mujahida Hussain Bibi, well known as Bibi Sahiba in the Jatha, met martyrdom in the Battle of Chirikot-Degear Defile in 1947, that for all reasons turned fierce.


She was part of the charging group to be martyred tale, when she was injured with a bullet and took her last breath leaning over a stone on October 7, 1947 during Pakistan’s Kashmir War, 1947-48. Eccentric, that no one – least of all herself was ever able to decide why she should have elected to partake in freedom fight and register as a female soldier.


Shaheed Mujahida Hussain Bibi, belonged to a noble Rajput family of Thorar, District Poonch (Azad Kashmir). Registered as regular Sepoy (Mujahida) in the 5th Azad Kashmir Regimental Force (5 AKRF) led by Captain Sher Khan in the basin of Himalayas and became first female recipient of Sitara-e-Jurat in the history of Pakistan.


Chaos in princely state Kashmir started brewing in 1930, after revolt against Maharajah became people’s resistance in 1946, picked momentum in the spring of 1947, and reached its climax in the summers; making Kashmiris’ fight for their denied right of self respect; or else century old struggle of liberation against regime, where social, economic and political rights had been snatched, and above all dignity and identity of its people.


In 1946, before partition, a strong force of Maharajah State Forces stationed at the Garrison of Poonch had marched suddenly into the towns and villages and whole of the people’s property, real or personal, was seized by them. The Muslims of the State were only to fall victim to this iniquitous policy of Maharajah.
The last year of British India turned to be turmoil of sordid reaction of the few princely states' to independence of Subcontinent, that untroubled Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir, Maharajah Hari Singh, ascended to the throne in 1925, led from his majestic palace to be poorly decisive in the world’s greatest partition.


The army of State of Jammu and Kashmir, J&K Dogra regiments consisted of one cavalry regiment and twelve infantry regiments with extra garrison companies. They built forts, posts, police stations and became symbol of oppression in Kashmir after quelling many expeditions in the Kashmir territory that often proved to be ferocious including suppressing of one rebellion in the 1830s.


The people’s struggle of Kashmir was unique in its origin that people demonstrated traditional heritage and singular pride in organizing the freedom fight in groups of platoon and company strength, later to be regimented into Azad Kashmir Regular Forces (AKRF). This had foresight to discipline bands or else could become ganged groups in later years.

 

mujahidahassain.jpgThe creation of Pakistan in the hinterland where rested centuries old bondage of people over historical and cultural crossroads, turned to be resource of people’s hopes that generations dreamt of liberation. The dramatic turn of events by the middle of September 1947 had gripped the mode of the people.


5th Battalion had been continuously in action against Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Forces to rebel government machinery of Maharajah that could not conceive of there being any real communication or sympathize with people to be treated respectable in any manner. Indeed there was a tax on every hearth and every window. Every cow, buffalo and sheep was taxed and even every wife.


The revolt in August 1947 testifies of indifference opposing Leggan (oppressive taxation) by the Maharajah, where his forces fired upon demonstrations chanting slogans in favour of Kashmir joining Pakistan.
After shoot out at Srinagar Jail and one-sided trial of Abdul Qadir, the turmoil prevailed across. British troops when called upon to assist Maharajah were no different in use of atrocious manner of suppression to be followed by Indian forces.


Small level encounters had already begun with regular air strafing over towns and villages, in a hope to relieve the besieged towns. This was turning into a pauper’s protracted war of world’s most regimented insurgency.


J&K forces with support of Indian forces planned sweeping operations to contain resisting battalion’s support coming from the fertile valleys, indeed the crucial source of supplies and recruitment, which more often than not ran through mountain passes. One such pass was Chirikot-Degear Defile.


Poonch garrison reinforced with brigade strength was ready to assault Azad positions. As the frequency of incursion and battalion’s counter raids increased, positions of Chirikot overlooking Poonch turned to be the stumbling block for attackers.


The 5th Battalion held the attack, now had been closed at Chirikot-Degear Defile and for all reasons to be fierce. The stiff resistance of the 5th Battalion had prolonged it to five days stand off, during which hand-to-hand encounters were frequent.


The defile turned to be centre of gravity for opposing sides. 6th Sudhnuti Regiment (6th Battalion) under Captain Munawwar Hussain Khan reinforced the forward positions. However an important portion of defile had been occupied and its loss would be of opening bottle flushing the wrath downtrodden into valleys.


The defile needed to be counter attacked from three directions; one to be led by 6th Sudhnuti Regiment (6th Battalion), second by Captain Sher and third by Lieutenant Bostan Force of 5th Battalion, of which Mujahida Hussain Bibi was a part.


Day’s long air strafing made the movement difficult leaving no choice but to infiltrate in small groups. All groups infiltrated into their predestinated rendezvous most falling behind the lines of enemy.


The rolling down of squads one after another surprised the enemy and unnerved to the extent that they lost momentum of attack. Bibi Sahiba’s squad positioned at far end of defile spotted rushing columns approaching the defile to reinforce the toe edge of defeated force. This could have been a severe blow to 5th Battalion.


The squad had few .303 British rifles and not many black-powder rounds and other had .303 rifles made in the tribal areas of somewhat British Lee-Metford type with fifty odd cartridges of smokeless powders. Most of the squad had swords and long sticks fixed with spears of local crude blacksmith.


The squad had positioned behind a hill protruding from the slopping, but turning spur with end slope less forested over which located was a pimple on the feature. The matrix of time turned to be the critical ingredient for opposing sides. Delay in reinforcement meant defeat of attackers and victory for the Battalion.


Bostan force realizing the threat decided to engage advancing columns with his shrilling tactics, impression of assembling of force more than or of their well-matched strength behind the pimple. Having fired few rounds squad’s two persons would crawl from the rear of pimple, taking circle and firing one or two shoots at the tucked down reinforcing columns and would quickly join back their squad after a circular movement.
They found overhanging boulder in the rear to find some protection against blazing artillery fire and strafing aircrafts. This continued for hours till sun was blazing over every feature to expose the movement of squad.


As the daylight poured over the feature, the blazing machine guns took more than half of the squad. The advancing columns in groups distanced to be close to the squad from various directions. The squad was losing its soldiers, but winning the most important asset for its battalion – “the time” much needed for their mission.


The hush and rush of night had passed and the cold, clear light of dawn stole over every feature. Night noises of bangs and cries had been calmed by nature and splendour of dawn – it was time. With few rounds in the chambers of rifles and swords in hands, the squad charged.


Bibi Sahiba was part of the charging group to-be- martyred tale that witnessed mountains of Himalaya standing large, white and pure against the cloudless sky, when she was injured with a bullet and took her last breath while leaning over a stone at 0500 hours on October 7, 1947.


The race against time had been won with blood. The counter attack succeeded and groups pursued enemy all the way to Poonch and captured few light machine-guns, rifles and a sizable quantity of ammunition that helped to shoot down one of the strafing aircraft. Bibi Sahiba in recognition of her act of exemplary courage and valour was awarded Mujahid-i-Hydri (now having equivalence with the operational award of Sitara-e-Jurat).

The freedom struggle of Kashmir left behind assortment of people’s sacrifices, stories, their origin and their dreamy tales about freedom. This is the story of “Mujahida Hussain Bibi” of 5th Jatha, now 5th Battalion, Azad Kashmir Regiment, the first female of Pakistan awarded with Sitara-e-Jurat.

*****

 
11
April

Written By: Sadaf Jabbar

Chinese Names, Titles and Introductory Expressions

One of the most interesting aspects of Chinese culture is that it has retained its values and hierarchy system inherited from Confucius philosophy and it is deeply rooted in Chinese culture and civilization even today. Due to this profound impact on Chinese society, they take care of many things while addressing people such as age, gender, work place, social status, position/rank etc.

 

Chinese culture has a long history of using family names to represent the origin of family or clan. An ancient text documented the Chinese family names in the book of Classical Chinese Literature “Bai jiā xìng” or "the hundred most common family names". Among more than one billion population in China, 90 percent Chinese people belong to these 100 family names. Around 60 percent of the population in China has only 19 family names. Li, Wang and Zhang are the three most common family names in China which make up 6.93%, 6.49% and 6.19% respectively. According to a survey conducted by “Chinese Ministry of Public Security” on April 24, 2007, the ten most common family names are“ (wáng)” “ (li)” “ (zhāng)” “ (liú)” “ (chén)” “ (yáng)” “ (huáng)” and “ (zhào.)" Wú ( ), and Zhōu ( ).

 

 While the names of Chinese people begin with family name, the other part of the Chinese name is the given name which is usually composed of one or two characters. An example of a full Chinese name is: Family Name + Given Name. Zhāng + Lí huā

 

As we know Chinese language is a non alphabetic language, its earlier forms were pictographs of concrete objects or phenomena such as sun, moon, fire, water, wood, plants, field, sky, nail, person, male, female etc. The simple concepts were communicated through pictures but as time passed there emerged the need to express more abstract and complicated ideas as the pictures were not able to serve the purpose of communication anymore. Therefore, Chinese people developed the system of representing ideas and concepts through characters. The characters which are being used today are the simplified forms and made up of character components called radicals. It is very interesting that the same concept is reflected in the names of Chinese men and women, e.g. generally Chinese females have the radicals related to flower (艹), female (女) or jade (王) in their names whereas the names of males have the radicals related to tree (木), person (亻), etc.

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Common Titles

The most commonly used gender specific titles “Sir” and “Madam” are represented by “先生 xiān shēng” (Mr.) and “女士 nǚ shì” (Ms.) respectively. Chinese women marital status is indicated by using terms nǚshì or tàitài. In Chinese society, addressing people by their professional title at workplace environment is considered polite and conveys respect. Usually the title follows the family name, for example the word for teacher is “lǎo shī” and if you want to call a teacher, the family name comes first and then lǎo shī, e.g. wáng lǎo shī, lǐ lǎo shī. Some of the titles including lǎo shī is gender neutral and is used for both males and females. Similarly the word for General Manager is zǒng jīnglǐ, e.g. wáng zǒng jīnglǐ or wáng zǒng (jīnglǐ can be omitted).

 

Note: *The words containing dotted u (u) vowel are difficult to pronounce as this sound (u) doesn’t exist in Urdu and English e.g. nu, lu

Note:

In Chinese language only one word “shì (shir)” is used to express “is/am/are” which connects two nouns. e.g. I am (wo shì), you are (ni shì), he/she is (tā shì).

*Chinese language makes frequent use of measure words to indicate the quantity of a noun.

The writer teaches Chinese Language at NUML, Islamabad. She has studied Chinese Language from Tongji University, China.
 
11
April

Written By: Dr. Rizwana Abbasi

Empirical record shows that nuclear weapons have not been employed after 1945. However, in many crises and wars in history, there were possibilities when nuclear weapons could have been used without fear of retaliation. But, states did not use the nuclear use option, even at the higher cost on the theatre of war. This happened despite the existence of many supporting variables that might have prompted employment of nuclear bombs, such as: widespread nuclear weapons in states’ possession internationally; states’ technical efficiency in regard to operationalization of such weapons; transfer of nuclear weapons from old to new proliferators with asymmetric power balance; the centrality of nuclear weapons in states’ national security policies and their strategic doctrines; states’ distinct strategic cultures/traditions and unique politicACal systems and; more significantly, absence of legal prohibition towards possession and use of nuclear weapons. To fully understand the question as to why nuclear weapons have not been used since 1945, Tannenwald in her prize winning account, Nuclear Taboo and T.V. Paul in his Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons have revised this debate more persuasively and comprehensively than the others cited and commented on.


The more embracing and comprehensive explanation of this non-use puzzle is based on the conventional or realpolitik argument that is based on material factors such as existence of nuclear weapons and ‘deterrence’. Tannenwald believes that deterrence is an important but insufficient part of this explanation for non-use. She challenges the realists’ idea that non-use of nuclear weapons is not only based on material factors (‘state level policy assessment and consideration about nuclear use based on “non-norms” factors: such as fear of escalation of war; retaliation; the military utility of nuclear weapons; weapons availability; and the costs and feasibility of nuclear weapons and their alternatives’) or deterrence. She believes that the normative aspect provides a more convincing explanation for this debate. Her well researched explanation based on constructivist approach is that normative ideas about morality and legitimacy have led to the development of a collectively held, self-reinforcing norm of non-use of nuclear weapons, or a nuclear weapons taboo. She built the argument that taboo (a stringent norm – that is unbreakable) not only constraints the behaviour of nuclear weapon states but also constitutes their identities and interests as civilized nations. Thus, Paul relegates the tradition of non-use of nuclear weapon to an informal norm, for him norms can be modified over time – and does not give much weight to constructivists’ norms-based approach. For him deterrence, the fear of the impact of use of nuclear weapons, and the reputational issues for states arising from the use of nuclear weapons are important in this debate.


The present writer’s contention, drawing upon Tannenwald’s and Paul’s investigation is that ‘taboo’ may be the correct explanation and that the term gains credence because no state has used nuclear weapons from 1945 to the present even under compelling circumstances. To the present writer’s understanding, ‘taboo’ was certainly established by the United States of America, but there were some significant attributes that explicitly or implicitly contributed to the establishment of this taboo. These are guided by and based on U.S.’ national security interests and material factors. Thus, my contention is that a single approach or cultural/normative aspects alone cannot explain the taboo talk. Amalgamation of both material and non-material or ideational factors can explain this question of non-use more clearly.


In the first place, realist and neo-realist theorists argue that states (rational, unitary actors) are primarily concerned with their own survival in the international order; the great powers have dominated the system, and anarchy has been the key ordering principle that has structured states’ behaviour. Thus, it is fair to assume that the two superpowers’ national security interests and their strategic gains remained uppermost in the bipolar world. One, nuclear competition/arms race between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union in 1950s helped them achieve bomb efficiency and sufficiency to maintain their doctrinal force posture and preserve deterrence credibility. The former Soviet Union broke America’s nuclear supremacy and monopoly that certainly regulated the nature of war. Two, the U.S., and the Soviet Union were two leading global powers and they desired to maximize their global political influence. Thus, based on their technological efficiencies and capabilities, they realized that there can be no victory in the nuclear domain. Moreover, the two superpowers had to transcend their power beyond their regions. Thus, they preferred peace/settlement over confrontation/war. Three, the U.S. wanted to establish a favourable world order by preaching peace and minimizing violence. Four, introduction of new conventional technologies, such as Ballistic Missile Defence and missile interceptors, reduced the role and utility of these weapons globally that indeed modified the U.S. behaviour.


Secondly, neo-liberal approach articulates that institutions contribute substantially to the world of politics, especially in the area of state cooperation and behaviour. During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union believed that the new patterns of international politics were based on multilateral institutions, which help states see one another through the lens of shared interests. Thus, on the policy side, non-proliferation arrangements were initiated at the system level by the superpowers during the Cold War through negotiations which were somehow successful till 1991. The two bipolar blocs, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact, played a considerably important role in placing constraints on states’ nuclear behaviour through incentives and alliances. The establishment of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was initiated as a system level arrangement based on President Eisenhower’s address to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on December 8, 1953.


After President Kennedy’s prediction in 1963 that “15 to 25 states would obtain nuclear weapons by 1975,” the U.S. opened discreet channels of communication with the Soviet Union, the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (ENDC) and its NATO allies. Thus, negotiations on disarmament brought the two superpowers together to draft another arrangement to prohibit further nuclear weapons proliferation. Subsequently, the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was finalized and was opened for signature in 1968 that came into force in 1970, with a range of obligations on the Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and Non-Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS) based on three bargaining pillars – non-proliferation, right to peaceful use of nuclear technologies and disarmament. Later the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and export control regimes were introduced that tend to give an important status to the NPT and overall non-proliferation efforts.


In 1961, President Kennedy’s administration sought to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons and to develop more flexible and conventional alternatives. The initiatives that were initiated during the Cold War, such as introduction of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), arms control arrangements, Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Soviet Union in 1972, and extension of nuclear states negative security assurances to non-nuclear states in 1978 also contributed to resilience of this taboo. These formal and informal treaties and regimes that are directed to promote non-proliferation laid down the concealed and robust foundation for nuclear taboo, thereby containing states’ behaviour not only towards development of nuclear weapons and arms control, but they also promoted the spirit of non-use. The purpose of these arrangements was to establish a rule-based mechanism against proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world and create trust among states.


Thirdly, constructivist approach based on ideational factor thus helps one to endorse Tannenwald’s taboo debate. The former two models based on political and self-interest grounds helped modify states’ normative and social behaviour during the Cold War. President Truman’s contribution by assigning non-military or political role to nuclear weapons was based on fear factor or horrendous consequences of use of nuclear weapons. Strategic thinkers’ contribution based on their scientific inquiry at the RAND; such as, Bernard Brodie, Thomas Shelling, Albert Wohlstetter, Henry Kissinger and Herman Kahn; injected vigorous strategic thinking at the political and strategic levels on the role of the nuclear weapons hence verifying the fact that there is no victory in the nuclear war. Indeed, American reputation was widely damaged due to employment of nuclear weapons that certainly set the new discourse/direction in regard to the role of the U.S. as a leading power in the world order. In parallel to this, the fear factor and consequences of use of nuclear weapons generated human rights debates, civil society movements, anti-nuclear weapons pressure groups in the U.S. and Europe. In this process, common public perception in the West was much more developed with respect to the horrific effects resulting from the use of nuclear weapons, and an increased sense of responsibility at state level had emerged in this respect.


Resilience and Fragility of Taboo in the Present Century: Resilience of Taboo
In the first place, it goes without saying that slower proliferation of nuclear weapons, contrary to Kennedy’s prediction – that was widely anticipated – has not come to pass yet. Two, discernible decline in number of arsenals between the U.S. and Russia has strengthened non-proliferation framework and spirit towards disarmament. Three, the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995 and the treaty’s membership that has reached up to 190 states, are hallmark developments. Four, the introduction of New START by President Obama, announcement of diminishing role of nuclear weapons in the U.S. national security policies, Global Zero Movement and President Obama’s efforts are great steps towards the survival of taboo talk. Five, arrival of smarter conventional technologies such as Global Prompt Strikes (GPS), missile anticipators and shifting power centres, global integration/interdependence and regionalism have reinforced the spirit of non-use taboo, thereby minimizing the utility of nuclear weapons.


Fragility of Taboo
However, the taboo remains fragile in the present century. The taboo holds no legitimacy and there is no legal prohibition on possession and use of nuclear weapons. Thus, the taboo talk demands a new nuclear taboo against proliferation of nuclear weapons via major fixes, thereby plugging the gaps that exist in institutional arrangements and agreements directed to promote non-proliferation. The major institutional arrangement with highest membership within the non-proliferation regime is the NPT that requires major improvements.


Despite its successes, the regime has failed in achieving its desired goals based on its three pillars which constituted a grand bargain. One, under the NPT, five countries are recognized as NWS, while the rest of the Treaty’s signatories are regarded as NNWS and barred from acquiring nuclear weapons. Such an arrangement has raised global criticism against this regime’s efficacy and it underscores great powers’ interests. Two, there is a problem of non-universal nature of the NPT that needs to be addressed. Three, another issue is that in Articles III and IV, the vaguely defined Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has been used to give waiver to states to transfer nuclear technology. Arguably, the U.S. waiver (2008) to India and U.S.-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) have evidently damaged the essence and spirit of the taboo by complicating regional politics between India and Pakistan. Thus, it goes without saying that India’s and America’s shared interests have created regional imbalance and mistrust. States’ interests at the system level are indeed damaging the set institutional norms, thereby making regional politics highly complicated. Against this backdrop of existing realities such as: the growing reliance of India and Pakistan on nuclear weapons; absence of an arms’ control regime; non-existence of CBMs; existence of ambiguous doctrinal strategies and contingency plans; and aggravated arms’ race in South Asia powerfully advocate the fragility and vulnerability of taboo.


Four, no progress has been made in the implementation of Article VI prescribing disarmament by the NWS. In particular, the NPT extension conference referred to Article VI of the NPT and obligations of the NWS to pursue efforts in good faith towards total elimination of nuclear weapons. Five, export control regimes, particularly the NSG, are under immense stress against the backdrop of globalization, rising demand for energy security in developing countries of Asia and shifting global energy trends from fossil to non-fossil fuel – especially clean energy. Thus, the NPT clauses on non-proliferation and peaceful uses require major changes.
The taboo against use would remain under strain until and unless we establish a new taboo against proliferation of nuclear weapons. To strengthen the new taboo, it is imperative that we universalize the non-proliferation regime/agreements and arrangements, hence relating them to the states’ behaviour at the domestic level.


Pakistan and Nuclear Taboo (Non-Use)
How resilient is the taboo in Pakistan’s context? I have investigated the extent to which Pakistan’s security considerations and its nuclear behaviour were factored into the regional strategic environment/thinking or global non-proliferation regime/norms; and to what extent non-material/ideational attributes/factors would have an impact on Pakistan’s use or non-use decision?


Pakistan’s nuclear behaviour is motivated by two main factors. First, it is India-centric Pakistan’s behaviour, which became evident after 1965, is more adequately explained by the realist model: the threat to its security arising from its immediate neighbour, India, and the actions of India towards the acquisition of a nuclear capability which appears to be the main motivation behind Pakistan’s own drive towards acquiring a nuclear capability in response. Pakistan wars with India in 1965 and 1971, when it received no help from its allies, led it to rely less on alliance systems and to turn instead to self-help. Pakistan was left with no choice but to acquire nuclear weapon capability after the Indian so-called Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE) in 1974, which challenged the strategic equation in the South Asian region. India’s unconditional hostility and its tests again in 1998 changed Pakistan’s cautious and restrained nuclear policy into one of weaponization. Pakistan thinks strategically and realistically when its national security and survival is threatened. Pakistan’s policy decisions in relation to nuclear weapons, its doctrinal strategies, contingency plans are directed to neutralize Indian actions, its conventional and non-conventional postures and operational plans directed toward Pakistan. However, Pakistan is vigilant on Indian conventional and non-conventional defence build-up, its contingency plans and future policies. Pakistan has included tactical nuclear weapons in its inventory to counter Indian Cold Start Doctrine, thus minimizing probability of war in the region.


Second, it was found that Pakistan’s behaviour is influenced by the non-proliferation regime which in the long term failed to secure Pakistan’s cooperation. We cannot deny the fact that on normative ground, though from the outset, Pakistan sought to be aligned with the global community, particularly the U.S., sometimes on bilateral grounds and on other occasions as a part of trilateral or multilateral alliances. Pakistan’s behaviour in the period from the early 1950s to the mid-1960s, shows its cooperation based policy when it was a part of global alliances such as Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). Pakistan refrained from nuclear weapons development in this period and relied instead on international alliances.


In 1974, on normative grounds, Pakistan had proposed to establish a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) in South Asia; and in 1978, it proposed to India a series of measures which it rejected. These included a joint Indo-Pakistan declaration renouncing the acquisition and manufacture of nuclear weapons, mutual inspections by India and Pakistan of nuclear facilities, simultaneous adherence to the NPT by India and Pakistan, and simultaneous acceptance of IAEA’s full-scope safeguards. However, all these proposals were rejected by India.


In its national security interest, Pakistan decided not to sign the NPT: First, it has serious reservations about the structure of this Treaty that maintains a division between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states on selective basis and has led to arguments that the NPT is primarily focused on safeguarding the interests of the P-5 states. Second, the NPT has made no progress towards disarmament, thus perpetuating the crisis of trust. Third, the NPT did not offer any incentive to Pakistan towards safeguarding its national security interests against existential threat coming from India. Fourth, the NPT failed to constrain states’ behaviour that legitimize and maximize their absolute gains thereby compromising the spirit of the Treaty. The Indo-U.S. nuclear deal is a significant case in point. Fifth, there exist considerable ambiguities and confusion between the clauses on non-proliferation and right to peaceful use of nuclear technologies that put substantial pressure on the applicability of the NPT in the 21st century.


On Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), Pakistan insists that negotiations on all four items agreed to in the Shannon Mandate of 1995, be pursued simultaneously. Pakistan proposes: One, the FMCT needs to be a non-discriminatory and universally verifiable treaty. Second, it does not agree with the term “cut-off” as it does not cover the existing stockpile/fissile material. Third, the FMCT should be conceived as a legitimate disarmament measure, not devoted merely to the goals of non-proliferation. Four, non-inclusion of existing stockpiles of fissile materials puts Pakistan in a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis its adversary, India. Five, Pakistan believes that the U.S.-India nuclear deal and the NSG’s special waiver to India have unquestionably given India an advantage.


There are many reasons for Pakistan not to take a unilateral approach to signing the CTBT: One, it is unclear whether India would follow suit, given its intention to build hydrogen bombs. Two, Pakistan will not be recognized as a nuclear weapons state by the world community even if it signs the CTBT. Three, Pakistan may not secure substantial support for its peaceful nuclear programme, unlike India. Finally, if Pakistan were to join and quit because of India’s possible tests, such a reversal would have a huge costly strategic impact on Pakistan.


Being not a member of the NPT, Pakistan has instituted a laborious and robust export control and nuclear security regime. Pakistan follows the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540; it is a party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety; the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism; the Container Security Initiative, and the IAEA’s Incident and Trafficking Database. Moreover, Islamabad has established its independent regulatory authority – Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority – that works closely with the IAEA.


While, in general, the arguments presented here subscribe to this viewpoint, the reality in the case of South Asia is that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by two rival powers has in fact had a stabilizing effect on a volatile region. India and Pakistan have fought three major wars before they gained a nuclear deterrence capability. Nuclear deterrence has prevented both a full conventional war and a nuclear war. U.S. mediation has strengthened the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons which demonstrates the relevance of the constructivists’ arguments here. For example, two major crises (Brasstacks in 87–88 and the Kashmir crisis in 1990–91), as well as the Kargil crisis in 1999 and the long period of armed confrontation following the attack on the Lok Sabha in December 2001 have been resolved or contained through U.S. mediation (that is not guaranteed in the future).


It is possible that the U.S. would not have intervened had both states not been nuclear armed. Equally, U.S. mediation might not have been accepted by the parties – principally by India, which rejects third party mediation in most cases – had not the risks of nuclear conflict been very great. Thus, it is argued that the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons has been recognized globally, but it still holds weak recognition in the South Asian context because of regional complexities and distinct political direction of two new nuclear weapon states. India is focused on projecting power beyond the region, whereas Pakistan is focused on maximization of its own security.


The problems of the state of Pakistan in the context of use and non-use cannot be explained based on ideational factors such as norms/identity/culture or dealt with in isolation from problems related to regional strategic environment or problem within the non-proliferation system. One, Pakistan and India are developing countries and their societal factors cannot be compared with the super and great power of the world; two, illiteracy rate and level of tolerance and human right debates are fairly weak in these societies; three, there are no strong indigenous civil society movements and public awareness on the consequences of employment of nuclear weapons; four, distinct politics directions of India (seeks global role) and Pakistan (maximization of security) is delaying the peace process; five, both countries are not willing to compromise on the Kashmir issue.


Therefore, the argument generates a further debate: to fully understand Pakistan’s nuclear policy, the Indian case must also be considered. To alter Pakistan’s behaviour, it is necessary to change India’s behaviour first. To change India’s behaviour, there is a need to change the behaviour of the NWS overall. This is why it is only a change in the behaviour of states at the system level that can lead to a change in the behaviour of states at a regional level. A change in regional behaviour would lead to a change in Pakistan’s behaviour internally.


In the regional nuclear setting of South Asia, nuclear competition and mistrust is not bilateral, but triangular. India reacts not only to Pakistan but also to China. China supports Pakistan, but also has an uneasy relationship with the United States, which views it as a potential enemy. Therefore, the conclusion of this debate does not support the hypothesis that the solution in South Asia lies in bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan or Pakistan’s behaviour on non-use phenomenon can be modified internally or on cultural basis. The argument is that the security dilemma of South Asia is sufficiently deep-rooted on realist thinking in both countries (India and Pakistan), and the prevention of risks and tensions between India and Pakistan is sufficiently problematic. This requires international institutions’ intervention and the non-proliferation regime itself to play a role in possible conflict resolution and to prevent use of nuclear weapons in crises and wars.


Today’s global problems are sufficiently complex and interrelated that require global solutions based on a multilateral and collective approach. International institutions need to be strengthened to counter the emerging threats to global security. In the future, if states operate in isolation and solely according to self-interest, the interests of all assuredly will suffer. Cooperation is possible in case in which gains are shared equitably. Thus, there is an urgent need to revive the non-proliferation regime and engage the non-NPT states in the full spectrum of non-proliferation and disarmament standards and obligations.


Within this debate, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons development cannot be understood without taking into account this remaining puzzle: why a similar taboo does not exist against proliferation of nuclear weapons; why has one not emerged and why is one not recognized? Why did states find it difficult to institute a codified, stringent norm or a taboo against the proliferation of nuclear weapons? Unless there is a stringent prohibition of proliferation of nuclear weapons, the chances of moving towards total elimination or a global zero are low. A new taboo against proliferation will help secure the existing taboo against use and would pave the way to establish the ultimate and decisive step of a taboo against the possession of nuclear weapons.

The writer is a PhD in International Security and Nuclear Non-Proliferation from University of Leicester, UK and is on the faculty of NDU, Islamabad. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
11
April

Written By: Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal

The fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington D.C. on March 31 and April 1, 2016. Nuclear Security Summit 2016 Communiqué stated: “The threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism remains one of the greatest challenges to international security, and the threat is constantly evolving.” More than 50 world leaders participated in the Summit. They expressed their commitment to advance a central pillar of President Barack Obama’s Prague Agenda, i.e. “preventing terrorists from obtaining and using a nuclear weapon.” The participants in the Summit ensured to the international community to safeguard nuclear and radiological materials from ending up in the hands of terrorists. Indeed, it is a sign of relief in the age of asymmetrical warfare.


Although the issues discussed in the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) were broad based and not country specific, yet Pakistan received proportionately greater attention in the international media. The encouraging fact is that many international organizations, including International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reputed American think tanks, in their published reports during the preceding weeks of 2016 NSS acknowledged the practical efforts of Pakistan to ensure the safety and security of its nuclear material and facilities. In addition, the 2016 NSS provided an opportunity to Islamabad to highlight its creditable nuclear material and facility safety and security record and demand for the end of the discriminatory Nuclear Supplier Group restraints on nuclear equipment and technology transfers to Pakistan. Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs categorically stated in the Nuclear Security Summit: “Pakistan has strong credentials to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export control regimes, on non-discriminatory basis.” It is because, it maintains a safe, secure and effective nuclear program.


The NSS process resulted in the establishment of a nuclear security regime, i.e. patchwork of many treaty commitments, bilateral and multilateral initiatives, and informal rules. The following discussion is an attempt to answer the two interlinked questions. Has NSS process succeeded in constituting a reliable nuclear security regime? What is Pakistan’s approach towards the NSS process?
Significance of Nuclear Security Summit Process

neuclearsecsum.jpg
Today, nuclear and radiological terrorism is not a theoretical risk. That the terrorist groups may cause nuclear havoc is a realistic threat. During the last week of March 2016, Belgium media reported alarming news that: “Two of the Brussels suicide bombers secretly filmed the daily routine of the head of Belgium’s nuclear research and development program and considered an attack on a nuclear site in the country.” On March 30, 2016, President Barack Obama wrote in an opinion piece in The Washington Post: “Of all the threats to global security and peace, the most dangerous is the proliferation and potential use of nuclear weapons. That’s why, seven years ago in Prague, I committed the United States to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and to seeking a world without them.” He added: “Given the continued threat posed by organizations such as the terrorist group we call ISIL, or ISIS, we’ll also join allies and partners in reviewing our counterterrorism efforts, to prevent the world’s most dangerous networks from obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapons.” On April 5, 2009 in a speech at Prague, President Obama while describing nuclear terrorism as “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security,” promised to initiate “a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.” In the following year he launched the NSS process.


President Obama’s commitment for the safety and security of nuclear infrastructure and material resulted in the process of nuclear security summits. The NSS provided a forum for high-level meetings during which heads of state/government deliberated for the implementation of restrictions to secure nuclear weapons, fissile material, and nuclear facilities. Precisely, the primary objective of the NSS was to improve nuclear security that prevents terrorists from sabotaging nuclear facility as well as prevent them from making and detonating a nuclear weapon/dirty bomb.


President Obama convened the first NSS in Washington, D.C., on April 12 and 13, 2010, to discuss how better to safeguard weapons-grade plutonium and uranium to prevent nuclear/radiological terrorism. It was reported that: “in the run-up to the 2010 summit, Obama’s team asked summit participants – like dinner party guests – to each bring a “house gift” when they showed up. Instead of bottles of wine or bouquets of flowers, these house gifts were pledges to take concrete action on nuclear security, such as removing HEU or signing on to one of the conventions. While many participants opted to effectively “re-gift” commitments they had already planned to make, others took significant new steps, and almost all fulfilled their pledges.” The second summit held in Seoul, in March 2012 had further strengthened the gift approach by announcing a series of “gift baskets,” or joint commitments by several states, to goals that included preventing nuclear smuggling and improving control of nuclear information. The third NSS held in the Hague in 2014 received a more serious response, i.e. “Two thirds of participants signed the Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation Initiative. Under it, states agreed to treat IAEA guidelines as minimum standards for domestic law, and to request peer reviews of their nuclear security rules, providing a mechanism by which states could better assure the public and the international community that they were sufficiently protecting materials and facilities.” (The Atomic Science Bulletin, March 2016) The commencement of nuclear security summit had invigorated a serious discourse on the subject of nuclear terrorism. The tangible outcome of the process is that more than a dozen countries were cleared of HEU and signed on to the key international conventions.


The 2016 NSS had experienced constructive as well as distrustful happenings. It included a special session on responding to urban terrorist attacks — and a simulation of how to handle the threat of imminent nuclear terrorism. It created an action plan for nuclear security under the auspices of five international organizations: the IAEA, the United Nations, Interpol, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. In this context, the primary role was assigned to IAEA. According to the Nuclear Security Summit 2016 Communiqué: “We reaffirm the essential responsibility and the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in strengthening the global nuclear security architecture and in developing international guidance, and its leading role in facilitating and coordinating nuclear security activities among international organizations and initiatives and supporting the efforts of states to fulfill their nuclear security responsibilities. We welcome and support the Agency in convening regular high-level international conferences, such as the December 2016 international conference on nuclear security including its ministerial segment, to maintain political momentum and continue to raise awareness of nuclear security among all stakeholders.” Notwithstanding these optimistic conclusions, the pessimistic fact was that the Russian Federation, where some of the largest stockpiles of civilian nuclear material and second largest nuclear arsenal in the world remain, had chosen to boycott the 2016 NSS.


Importantly, the fourth and final NSS brought the process to an end on April 1, 2016. Despite the conclusion of the NSS process, the issue remains debatable, whether all high-risk nuclear and radiological materials and facilities are rigorously protected from theft or sabotage. “The Nuclear Security Summits have had a positive effect, but the strategic goal of developing an effective global nuclear security system remains unachieved,” the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an anti-proliferation watchdog, claimed on March 23, 2016. Perhaps, the four Nuclear Security Summits did not end completely the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism. Tons of materials that terrorists could use to make dirty bombs even today remain deeply vulnerable to theft. Conversely, the encouraging concrete accomplishment is that these summits have created a realization of the threat at the highest level, which entailed various measures/initiative to prevent the misuse of nuclear material by the terrorist organizations. The nations with nuclear wherewithal have identified many areas in which cooperation and better security could help further diminish nuclear and radiological threats through the participation in NSS process. Precisely, “The Summits have also strengthened the nuclear security architecture at national, regional and global levels, including through broadened ratification and implementation of international legal instruments regarding nuclear security.


Pakistan’s Cognizance to Nuclear Safety and Security
Since 1960s, Pakistan has been endeavoring to utilize nuclear energy for its economic prosperity. Accordingly, today, it is included among a few technologically advanced countries that have been successfully using nuclear energy for power generation, boosting agriculture products – wheat, cotton, etc. – yield and in medical center for curing cancer patients. In addition, Pakistan is also employing nuclear technology for solidifying its defensive fence. Despite serious opposition by international community and destabilizing economic sanctions by United States-led Western nations; Pakistan has been maintaining its advanced nuclear program.
Pakistan’s advanced nuclear program necessities the establishment of a robust safety and security apparatus to prevent the nuclear and radiological terrorism. It has not only indigenously institutionalized safety and security system but also has continuously been upgrading it with the assistance of neutral international institutions. Today, its export controls are consistent with those being implemented by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, and the Australia Group. Moreover, the international community has acclaimed its Export Control Act of 2004.


Islamabad regularly participates in the international forums to cooperate with the international community to impede the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism. Consequently, Pakistan’s nuclear installations are very much secure. It was reported that the IAEA has recorded 2,734 nuclear incidents worldwide, including five in India, but “not a single accident or breach happened in Pakistan.” Similarly, the Harvard Kennedy School Report released on March 21, 2016, revealed that: “US officials have reportedly ranked Indian nuclear security measures as weaker than those of Pakistan and Russia.” The report concluded that Pakistan’s nuclear security arrangements were stronger than India’s.


Pakistan assigned great importance to the safety and security of nuclear materials, nuclear facilities and nuclear weapons. Recently, therefore, it ratified an important nuclear security accord – a 2005 amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). It requires states party to provide appropriate physical protection of nuclear materials on their own territory. Islamabad had participated in the four Nuclear Security Summits with a sense of objectivity. During the previous three NSS, the Prime Ministers led its delegations. Premier Nawaz Sharif announced to lead Pakistani delegation to participate in the fourth NSS. Unfortunately, due to terrorist attacks in Lahore on March 27, 2016, he cancelled his planned visit to the United States to attend the NSS. Consequently, Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, led the delegation to the fourth NSS.
Pakistan’s engagement with the NSS process was guided by four key principles: first, the NSS should not lead to new or parallel mechanisms; rather, it should help strengthen the existing arrangements. Second, the NSS should not put any additional obligations on the participating countries. Third, the NSS should maintain focus on the civil-nuclear fuel cycle, without venturing into weapons programs, which remain the sovereign prerogative of all nuclear weapon states. Fourth, NSS-related commitments, as agreed by participating states in the form of communiques and other outcome documents, would remain voluntary in nature and be guided by the states’ domestic and international obligations.


Conclusion
The critical examination of NSS process reveals the truth that Global Zero movement for the total elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth is not a realistic objective in the prevalent anarchical international society. Conversely, the safety and security of nuclear material, nuclear facilities and nuclear weapons is not only imperative for global security but also a realistic agenda. Therefore, the primary objective of NSS process should not be allowed to degenerate after President Obama leaves office in January 2017.
The international security is a shared responsibility and thereby the global consensus is imperative for an effective enforceable system for securing nuclear materials to protect the world from dangers of nuclear and radiological terrorism. The participants rightly pronounced in Nuclear Security Summit 2016 Communiqué: “Countering nuclear and radiological terrorism demands international cooperation, including sharing of information in accordance with States’ national laws and procedures. International cooperation can contribute to a more inclusive, coordinated, sustainable, and robust global nuclear security architecture for the common benefit and security of all.” Hence, instead of ‘discriminatory approach’ in the nuclear realm, ‘universal approach’ shall be adopted in engaging the sovereign nations to ensure the safety and security of nuclear material and facilities.

The writer is Associate Professor at School of Politics and International Relations. Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
11
April

Written By: Amir Zia

This high-profile arrest has provided a rare opportunity to Pakistan to turn and counter the Indian propaganda tide. India’s state-sponsored terrorism should be presented in its historical context – starting from its illegal occupation and oppression of the Himalayan region of Kashmir and direct involvement in the tragic events of the former East Pakistan in 1970-71. All these decades, India continues to support and sponsor terrorism in one form or the other in various parts of Pakistan. Yes, Yadav and likes him have been igniting violence and terrorism for a long time.

 

New Delhi has already officially acknowledged that Yadav was linked to its armed forces, though it claims that he was an ex- Indian Navy officer and has nothing to do with the RAW. The Indian story of feigning ignorance about the reason of Yadav’s presence in Pakistan does not hold ground in the wake of its demand of counselor access to him.

 

The recent arrest of an Indian Research & Analysis Wing’s (RAW) agent from Balochistan reminded me of an insightful discussion I had with the late veteran Baloch nationalist leader Abdul Razik Bugti on January 20, 2005.


“The 1970s Balochistan insurgency was leftwing-inspired, which had foreign connections,” Bugti said on that cold, quiet evening in Quetta when asked to explain the difference between the guerrilla fighters of yesteryears and of today. “The current wave of militancy is narrow nationalist and mainly driven by foreign sponsors.”


Bugti – a middle class politician – knew the inside-out of the Baloch nationalist movement. He became part of it in the early 1970s as a young, idealistic youngster and suffered torture, jail and many years exile in Afghanistan because of his political beliefs. On return to Pakistan in 1988, Bugti joined the mainstream politics and emerged as a powerful critic of the oppressive tribal system, highlighting the rights of the downtrodden and the oppressed.


“The militants of 1970s usually fought with old, outdated or crude weapons and almost without money. Yet, their outlook was broad and they weren’t narrow-minded nationalists. Many non-Baloch Marxists were part of that insurgency, which had pockets in almost all the ethnic groups of Pakistan,” said Bugti, who at the time of this interview was the spokesperson of Balochistan provincial government.


“But the narrow-nationalist militants of today are a different breed,” he said. “Their agenda is sabotage for the sake of sabotage at the behest of handful of tribal chiefs and their foreign sponsors. They have no dearth of money and modern weapons and are paid monthly salaries often in foreign currency…. They even have carpets and (power) generators in their camps – a thing unheard of in any guerrilla struggle.”

 

theuglythe.jpgThose were the times when the then military-led government of President Pervez Musharraf had been moving full-steam for the completion of Gwadar Port and had allocated massive development funds for Balochistan – Pakistan’s largest but most under developed province. It was also the time when many regional and international players resumed efforts to destabilize Balochistan with the help of a few disgruntled tribal chiefs, who always saw education, development and progress working against their vested interests.


These foreign-sponsored insurgents initially targeted security forces, government installations, power supply grid and the natural gas installations in a sporadic manner. But soon they upped the ante and tried to take out the high-value targets. A crucial blow came when three Chinese engineers, working on Gwadar Port, were killed in a bomb explosion in May 2004.


By early 2005, militants were firing rockets at Pakistan’s largest Sui Gas Field on almost a daily basis. They also slammed rockets at nearby smaller gas fields and tried to destroy the natural gas pipelines and wellheads by detonating explosives. Dera Bugti District and its nearby Mari area became the most volatile parts of the province that finally led to a sustained operation against insurgents for the restoration of peace and order in the province.


Bugti had been challenging powerful tribal chiefs, including Nawab Akbar Bugti and Nawab Kheir Bux Marri, since he returned to Pakistan. He also supported the military action against foreign-sponsored insurgents, saying that only development could weaken the “oppressive tribal system and help modernize the society.”


No wonder that this passionate critic of the archaic tribal system and opponent of narrow-nationalism was martyred by terrorists on July 27, 2007 – barely 200 metres from the Chief Minister’s House in Quetta. The tribal chief-dominated Balochistan Assembly – unofficially called the House of Lords because of the dominance of chieftains – refused to offer condolence prayers for Bugti, who despite being in the government, was never accepted by the provincial ruling elite because he belonged to the middle class. However, Bugti’s analysis still hits the bull’s eyes nearly a decade after his assassination, which was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).


Since 2005, the foreign-sponsored acts of terrorism remain part-and-parcel of the security challenge emitting from Balochistan. The Afghan territory is increasingly being used by all shades of militants – from religious extremists, including the so-called Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qaeda and its foreign and local affiliates, to the secular anti-Pakistan nationalist element.


While many foreign countries sponsor proxies and small shadowy terror groups, the Indian footprint remains the strongest among them. According to the Pakistani security agencies, two Indian consulates – Kandahar and Jalalabad – are working overtime to foment violence and instability in Pakistan. A section in the Afghan government – especially during the days of former Afghan president Hamid Karzai – facilitated Indian intelligence and also directly harboured anti-Pakistan terrorist groups. This practice continues even now.


After the surge of terrorism in Balochistan in the last decade or so, our security forces have successfully contained the situation in recent years. But when the epicenter of terrorism and militancy remains across the Pak-Afghan border and is financed, fomented and sponsored by India, it remains a challenging task to root-out this monster for good.


Therefore, the arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav, an in-service officer of the Indian Navy and a RAW agent, should not come as a surprise. The Indians have a long history of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan and disclosures made by the Indian agent – whose arrest was disclosed on March 24 – only proves what our security forces have been saying for years. Yadav wasn’t just on an espionage mission but orchestrating terror activities through proxies in the nationalist, ethnic and sectarian terror networks operating in Balochistan and Karachi.


His arrest is a huge success for Pakistan, which despite being the victim of terrorism from across the border, is being accused by India of fomenting violence. In fact, India exploited the post 9/11 war on terrorism though an organized propaganda campaign as it attempted to sideline the core disputes between the two countries, including the thorny Jammu & Kashmir conflict, and to give centrality to the issue of terrorism in a skewed manner.


India, while accusing Pakistani non-state actors for the alleged terrorist activities on its soil, is trying to isolate Pakistan internationally. The hardline Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi only escalated these efforts as it attempts to mislead and rally Washington and other important international players against Pakistan.


In contrast to the aggressive Indian propaganda, Pakistan so far has not been able to effectively present its case before the international community that focuses on the price which it paid fighting the homegrown extremists and terrorists on the one hand and those sponsored by neighbouring countries – especially India – on the other.


Will the arrest of RAW’s terror mastermind Yadav help Pakistan to change this perception and put things in their correct context? This is a simple but crucial question for the Pakistani authorities.


According to Sarfraz Bugti, interior Minister of Balochistan government, Pakistan’s stance regarding Indian-sponsored terrorism has been “vindicated.” “Indian intelligence has been involved in destabilising our country using Balochistan’s soil and luring Baloch fighters and fuelling sectarian violence,” he told reporters in Quetta while disclosing Yadav’s arrest.


Few days later, Director General ISPR Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa showed the world the on-camera confessional statement of the Indian agent in which he presented details about the role of India in fomenting violence and terrorism in Pakistan.


New Delhi has already officially acknowledged that Yadav was linked to its armed forces, though it claims that he was an ex- Indian Navy officer and has nothing to do with the RAW. The Indian story of feigning ignorance about the reason of Yadav’s presence in Pakistan does not hold ground in the wake of its demand of counsellor access to him.


The Indian Express in its March 27th issue quoted an anonymous Indian diplomat as saying that “this is, by far, the most high-ranking official – even if he retired some years ago – who has been arrested on Pakistani soil, that too in Balochistan.” Many Indian diplomats expressed surprise as why India in the first place acknowledged that Yadav had any connection with the Indian armed forces. The paper further said that “whenever Pakistan has raised the issue of Indian involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan, India denied it. The only time it found a mention in the official documents was in the Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement of July 2009.”


The Sharm-el-Sheikh statement – issued after the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with PM Yousaf Raza Gilani – only mentioned that “Pakistan has some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas.”


New Delhi has moved briskly to block any information about Yadav and his family from being reported in the press. The road outside Silver Oak building in upmarket Powai, Mumbai – where Yadav’s family lives – thronged with people including reporters and curious onlookers once the reports of his arrest hit headlines, Indian media says. However, his family members and neighbours have strictly been told not to talk to the press.


Does the world need any bigger proof of India’s state sponsored terrorism?
This high-profile arrest has provided a rare opportunity to Pakistan to turn and counter the Indian propaganda tide. India’s state-sponsored terrorism should be presented in its historical context – starting from its illegal occupation and oppression of the Himalayan region of Kashmir and direct involvement in the tragic events of the former East Pakistan in 1970-71. All these decades, India continues to support and sponsor terrorism in one form or the other in various parts of Pakistan. Yes, Yadav and likes him have been igniting violence and terrorism for a long time. However, through deceit, guise and lies, Indians have been almost successful to make the world believe of their peaceful intentions.


The Pakistani leadership must use each and every world forum to tell the Pakistani side of story objectively and forcefully. It should not allow opportunities to slip by as happened a number of times in the recent past both on the bilateral and multilateral forums. Even the three dossiers submitted at the office of the UN Secretary General on India’s state terrorism in October 2015 proved a whimper due to the mishandling in their presentation and lack of follow-up. This should not happen with Yadav’s case.


Washington and the other western powers – which are only pressurizing Pakistan to do more to combat terrorism, ignoring the ground realities by design or default – must also take into account the role of India in complicating the situation both for Pakistan and the entire region by supporting terror networks. India’s plans to establish its hegemony by destabilizing neighbours are a bad news for world peace in this nuclear-armed region. The world powers must act to rein in India and its mad lust for dominance. India’s huge economic market must not be the only criteria for defining relations in South Asia.


But while we can try to draw attention towards India’s state-sponsored terrorism internationally, the bigger and important task is how well Pakistan is prepared in dealing with the direct or indirect Indian threat? Our Armed Forces need all the support from our civilian leadership, media, academia and intellectuals to counter both the internal and external challenges faced by Pakistan.

The writer is an eminent journalist who regularly contributes for print and electronic media.

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After the surge of terrorism in Balochistan in the last decade or so, our security forces have successfully contained the situation in recent years. But when the epicenter of terrorism and militancy remains across the Pak-Afghan border is financed, fomented and sponsored by India, it remains a challenging task to root-out this monster for good.

*****

Washington and the other western powers – which are only pressurizing Pakistan to do more to combat terrorism, ignoring the ground realities by design or default – must also take into account the role of India in complicating the situation both for Pakistan and the entire region by supporting terror networks. India’s plans to establish its hegemony by destabilizing neighbours are a bad news for world peace in this nuclear-armed region. The world powers must act to rein in India and its mad lust for dominance. India’s huge economic market must not be the only criteria for defining relations in South Asia.

*****

 
11
April

Written By: Masood Khan

Pakistan is facing four serious external challenges, which need to be addressed very carefully. Any approach to handle them must pass through two exacting crucibles – security and economic development.


The first challenge is our relations with India. Pakistan has been trying hard to start a dialogue process with India since the signing of the Simla Agreement, which essentially relegated the issue of Jammu and Kashmir to the bilateral plane. We insist that the issue is international in character on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir passed in the late 1940s and 1950s. India brushes them aside and wants to confine the issue to the bilateral realm and then snow it under a straggle of disparate agenda items. Besides, dating back to the 1990s, India has wrongfully but deliberately equated the struggle for freedom and self-determination in Jammu and Kashmir with terrorism. Political dissent, in any form, is terrorism in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. In the meantime, India has benefitted from our lukewarm and irresolute projection of the Kashmir issue at the international forums since 1972, though this too has, to their chagrin, helped to keep it alive up to this day.


India has a long-term policy on Kashmir and its relations with Pakistan. On Kashmir, it would delay any substantive engagement with Pakistan and in the meantime keep altering the ground realities in Kashmir to create conditions for the integration of the territory with India and to crush aspirations for liberty amongst the people of Jammu and Kashmir. After failing to subdue Pakistan post-1971, it decided to undermine Pakistan from within. Pakistan's nuclear capability has created a strategic parity with India. A war with a nuclear Pakistan would be fatal for India. Despite its some half-hearted, pious pronouncements made occasionally about Pakistan for political respectability, it has deployed its intelligence operatives to penetrate political parties in Pakistan, pit one political force against another, fuel tensions among state institutions, and plan, finance, abet and back subversion and terrorism on our soil. India is pursuing a constant war of attrition against Pakistan. In addition, it has made it a mission to isolate Pakistan internationally and demonize it as an irresponsible, extremist and insecure state. The fact that all this has not happened so far does not mean that India would stop trying, or Pakistan in any sense is invulnerable.
Our policies towards India are value-driven, short-term and reactive; and hence a bit myopic. We oscillate between strategic machismo and fawning appeasement. This is not an adequate preparedness and response strategy. What we should understand is that, realistically speaking, India would not abandon its strategic designs vis-a-vis Pakistan. We should not count on India ever agreeing to normalize relations with Pakistan on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect and resolve outstanding disputes. This will have to wait. India is ready to shelve Kashmir and other divisive issues without any definitive solutions. The international community will continue to show understanding for the Indian stance and nudge Pakistan to move in the same direction.


Against this background, we should keep taking a firm stand on our principled position on Kashmir and other related issues. We must not allow the international dimension of our equation with India to go weak or vaporize. Pakistan is too big, too significant to assume a subservient role in Pax Indica, as per the Indira doctrine. For our part, there should be, therefore, no incremental capitulation on principles. We must remember that our time would come. Despite the stalemate we have with India, we should try to find solutions on water distribution issues. The levers of dialogue and engagement should be shifted to us. India right now makes us beg for talks that we know would yield no result and because India is not in a position to make any concessions. India's procrastination is part hubris part strategy. We should manoeuvre out of this rigmarole. Similarly, Pakistan should be in the position to deal with the periodic escalation in a manner that it does not spiral out of control. Pakistan's nuclear umbrella will not allow India to launch any ill-conceived conventional misadventure against us. But, in our interest, we should know when to lower the temperature. All state levers should be leveraged to counter India's sub-conventional, fourth generation warfare against Pakistan. In this context, the strengths of our media and civil society need to be consolidated and for that we have to rethink and finesse our current approach. We need a semblance of stability on our eastern border to maintain our security to keep developing economically. The best way to achieve our goals is to refine our defence capabilities to maintain their effectiveness and credibility, as well as to keep developing our economy until it reaches the top twenty bracket.


Afghanistan too poses vexing challenges for Pakistan. We should continue to invest in the peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The four-nation group has worked swiftly and made good progress by coming up with a roadmap. For the time being, this addresses one problem – that of mistrust between Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it does not bring a key interlocutor – Afghan Taliban – to the negotiating table. It would always be difficult to persuade them to forswear violence and pursue diplomacy. The trust between Afghan Government and Taliban is fragile and transient. President Ashraf Ghani is keen to move Afghanistan towards stability but there are political forces bigger than him that would be activated any time to undermine the process or strain relations with Pakistan. Afghan leaders quite often tend to speak testily to Pakistan like Americans and Indians are wont to do. Despite these risks, we should persevere in our present policy of promoting engagement, because this is the right thing to do, but not put ourselves in a position where we are blamed for its failure. Whoever becomes the next US President – a Republican or a Democrat – it is unlikely that the Administration would fund and beef up its military and security presence at the previous levels in Afghanistan barring a major catastrophe. It is probable that the US for all practical purposes may disengage and Afghanistan may plunge into yet another civil war. Pakistan should prepare for that scenario, even if it seems a bit hypothetical at the moment. Pakistan needs a strategy to deal with the likely fresh inflows of refugees and economic migrants and a spike in illicit economy. Pakistan should not ever overestimate its capacity to deal with such a scenario. On the contrary, Pakistan should always strive to keep the regional and international engagement on Afghanistan alive so as to hedge against possible, and obvious, risks. In the meantime, Pakistan should focus on getting maximum Afghan cooperation to manage and regulate porous Pakistan-Afghan border and strengthen strong economic linkages and stakes between the two countries.


It seems that the Middle East is imploding and this trend would continue for some time. The ultra-extremist, violent wave in the region and external interventions to fix its problems are exacerbating tensions. The order cobbled together last century in the Middle East is unravelling and crumbling. Pakistan has so far followed an astute policy of equidistance and impartiality. We should try to look at the region through the economic lens instead of religious or ideological prisms. The unity of the Ummah won't be achieved politically for the time being. It can, however, be fostered through economic interdependence. Pakistan has to take steps to keep it immune from the influence of Da'ish, which is a new fitna, and save its soil from a sectarian and denominational warfare, indigenously nurtured on externally sponsored.


Pakistan's relations with the US are back on track. The two countries are willing to expand their economic, trade and educational ties, and cooperate on Afghanistan and counter-terrorism. However, under strong Indian influence, Washington has been putting pressure on us to curb and curtail our nuclear programme, both qualitatively and quantitively. But this for sure is not going to happen. It is so queer that the US is more vocal than India on the lethality of the so called tactical nuclear weapons that Pakistan has developed for its self-defence. India is in fact quite blase and dismissive about them, because it knows the US is doing advocacy on its behalf effectively. It has been our constant, and legitimate, demand with the US and its allies to end nuclear discrimination against Pakistan and create space for Pakistan's relationship with the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export control regimes. But we should not sound desperate for this because we have found alternate ways to meet our nuclear energy requirements. This effort of ours vis-a-vis international nuclear community may continue as a low key, while we should concentrate on other benefits that we can get from a stable relationship with the US. In our relations with the US, the nuclear track should be kept separate from our growing bilateral economic and defence ties.


I have highlighted four pressing challenges for Pakistan but the real strength in our policies would emerge from consolidation of our advantages by maintaining the robustness of our ties with China, implementing projects, in a timely manner, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), strategizing to attract investment for industrial development, and leveraging the strengths of our estimated 10-million strong diaspora community. It goes without saying that the home front is the most critical in expanding and raising the overall level of education, producing a new generation of corporate leaders, and reforming our governance structures to make them more productive, representative and responsive.

The writer is Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad and a former Ambassador to the United Nations (in both New aand Geneva) and China.
India is pursuing a constant war of attrition against Pakistan. In addition, it has made it a mission to isolate Pakistan internationally and demonize it as a irresponsible, extremist and insecure state. The fact that all this has not happened so far does not mean that India would stop trying, or Pakistan in any sense is invulnerable.

*****

All state levers should be leveraged to counter India's sub-conventional, fourth generation warfare against Pakistan. In this context, the strengths of our media and civil society need to be consolidated and for that we have to rethink and finesse our current approach. We need a semblance of stability on our eastern border to maintain our security to keep developing economically. The best way to achieve our goals is to refine our defence capabilities to maintain their effectiveness and credibility, as well as to keep developing our economy until it reaches the top twenty bracket.

*****

 

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