10
June
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June 2016(EDITION 6, Volume 53)
 
Written By: Tahir Mehmood
We never give up, and never quit,” were the words used by Chief of Army Staff while talking to wounded soldiers of operation Zarb-e-Azb. But these are not mere words – these depict unwavering resolve of a proud nation and its valiant armed forces....Read full article
 
Written By: Masood Khan
The full title of One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. These appellations manifest that One Belt, One Road is the revival and rejuvenation of the ancient Silk Road but the new....Read full article
 
Written By: Farrukh Khan Pitafi
People like Ajit Doval do not even hesitate to publicly admit they plan to interfere in the internal matters of their neighbours and have no qualms about exporting state sponsored terrorism in countries like Pakistan. Elsewhere....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Huma Baqai
Pakistan was named as one of the nine pivotal states whose future evolution would not only determine the fate of the South Asian region but also affect international stability, said historian Paul Kennedy. The emerging dynamics of the region....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Kamal Monnoo
Like it or not, Pakistan’s defence budget always attracts a lot of attention both from the United States of America (USA) and India: the USA, because its important interests are engaged in Pakistan and the surrounding region,....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand
The first nuclear weapon test was conducted by the United States of America on 16 July, 1945. Within 15 years of this test, three bigger countries i.e., the UK, the Soviet Union and France had also exploded their first nuclear devices. Four....Read full article
 
Hilal Desk
Captain Akash Rabbani's battalion was given responsibility to clear off village Boya (North Waziristan) from the terrorists. While completing the assigned tasks, he led his men from the front and embraced martyrdom on July.....Read full article
 
Written By: Ejaz Haider
There was a time, not very long ago, when cricket meant a five-day Test match. The teams wore white and used a red ball. They strategized on the basis of the five-day play. Every day would have on-field drinks breaks, a lunch break....Read full article
 
Written By: Adiah Afraz
My first memory of Abbottabad Cantonment is being woken up with a jolt by the sound of a scolding. Now, being woken up with a jolt by the sound of a scolding wasn’t an anomaly....Read full article
 
Written By: Jennifer McKay
The global humanitarian system, which provides life-saving assistance, is in need of a major overhaul. Countless organisations around are doing incredible work, including some very small local....Read full article
 
Written By: Sharif al Mujahid
Among the young Muslim leaders that got catapulted to the pinnacle of fame and popularity during the late 1930s and the early 1940s, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung was unique – and among the most distinguished. He belonged to a princely....Read full article
 
Written By: Malik Muhammad Ashraf
The changing climate patterns and global warming caused by carbon emissions pose a formidable threat to dwellers of the earth. Though there is a growing consciousness about this potential weapon of mass destruction but regrettably....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Tughral Yamin
Popularly known by the initials TM, Brig Tariq Mehmood made a name for himself as special operations man. During his military career, spanning nearly three decades, TM was always involved in action. Decorated multiple times for gallantry....Read full article
 
Written By: Omair Alavi
Did you know that Squash legend Jahangir Khan holds the world record of most successive wins (555) in any sports in the world? Would you believe that Javed Miandad’s last six off Chetan Sharma at Sharjah was Pakistan’s first....Read full article

 
Written By: Dr. Armeela Javaid
Acne, a skin disorder that mostly affects about eight out of ten teenagers at some point of adolescence, is a long-term skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin....Read full article
 
Written By: Hamza Muhammad
One fine evening our principal called some of our Aitchison College (Lahore) boarders and informed us of a trip from Lahore to Swat and the barren mountains of war stricken Waziristan: areas where military operations had either....Read full article
 
 
 
As a fully vibrant and formidable force Pakistan Navy has always come up to the expectations of the nation in defending the maritime frontiers of Pakistan.....Read full article
 
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited Turkey to witness multinational military exercises "EFES." Along with a contingent of Pakistani Armed Forces, troops from Turkey, U.S. UK, Belgium, Saudi Arabia....Read full article
 
The Convocation Ceremony of 45th Pakistan Navy Staff Course was held at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore on May 13, 2016. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, graced the ceremony as Chief Guest and conferred Masters Degrees.....Read full article
 
10
June

Written By: Hamza Muhammad (Aitchison College, Lahore)

One fine evening our principal called some of our Aitchison College (Lahore) boarders and informed us of a trip from Lahore to Swat and the barren mountains of war stricken Waziristan: areas where military operations had either stopped or were ongoing against Taliban. I considered it an opportunity to find answers to the questions boggling my mind regarding the operations against militancy. We were accompanied by Col. Majid, an amiable and affectionate personality, throughout our journey. Once we were given different precautionary warnings to avoid mishaps, an escalating sense of foreboding started to creep in. We were to enter those areas which were full of dangers and soldiers from Pakistan Army were combating them with no care for life or comfort – their only prize was a peaceful Pakistan.

avisttoswat.jpgWhen Queen Elizabeth II visited Yousafzai state of Swat, she called it Switzerland of the East. That’s where we were going first.
By 2009, militants were well entrenched in Swat. They had started implementing their own version of Sharia in tehsil Kabal, Matta and Khawazakhela. They had their courts which they called ‘Islamic’ courts, punishing people as per their desire. Defiant locals were hung in public so that their reign of terror could be established. It was then that Pakistan Army came into action and cleared the heavenly Swat from these insurgents. However, this was only made possible after offering huge sacrifices.


We were warmly welcomed by the officers of Pakistan Army in Khwazakhela including Colonel Salman, Lieutenant Colonel Farrukh and Major Humayun. The situation in Swat is far better now than we expected. Visiting a golf course and museum was not something we expected at a place which had seen a lot of devastation lately. The Rehabilitation Centres set up in Swat for the brainwashed children by Taliban is a laudable step. This may not only remove evil thoughts from their minds but it might turn them into a major asset for the future of our society.


Initially, from Swat we planned to go straight to Miranshah (North Waziristan) but nature had planned something different for us. For refuelling, our helicopter had to land at Kohat. We received the news of unpleasant weather in Miranshah thus we stayed there longer. Even though our stay was not planned earlier yet at an hour’s notice, all the arrangements for our stay and lunch were made smoothly. It was then that the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of South Waziristan Agency came all the way from Wana to welcome us and host us a dinner. Before the dinner, he briefed us about the situation in Waziristan. The Army Mess in Kohat and the facilities they were providing in the cantonment were splendid at such a remote place. This opened up our eyes to the reality that our forces are well organized everywhere – on as well as off the field.

 

avisttoswat1.jpgThe next day was very tiring; starting our journey from Kohat visiting Bakka Khel Camp, Miranshah and Wana. Baka Khel Camp is one of the TDPs’ (Temporary Displaced Persons) camp. As a result of the operation Zarb-e-Azb, approximately 900,000 displaced people were registered by the authorities. Approximately 20,000 were living in this camp. Financial support, relief goods and food packages were being distributed among those living in the TDP camp.


There also were mobile medical units. “The medical camp is open for us 24/7,” said a TDP in the camp when I inquired. Apart from the medical camp, arrangements for schooling of the children were also made. Most of the teachers were temporarily displaced themselves. Arrangements were also made by the Army to deal with the harsh weather. In the camp, we met a family who named their son after the operation – Azb Khan. It was good to see smiles on every face.


Miranshah, capital of North Waziristan Agency, was our next stop. Sitting in the Operations Room (Ops Room), from where the whole operation Zarb-e-Azb is being conducted, was something we hadn’t imagined. The operation is named after one of the seven swords of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) – Azb, which the Prophet (SAW) used in the battles of Badar and Uhud. The intensified operation included airstrikes targeting militants' training facilities, hideouts and other infrastructure.
Pakistan Army has seized a huge amount of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) which could last for 17 years if five of them are used every day. The number of weapons they captured from the tunnels and graves left our eyes wide open. Their estimated cost is around $300 million. From where did these terrorists amass such a huge amount? Are they getting aid from the foreign agencies? Some of our questions still remain unanswered.


You might have never heard of a four story tunnel in present day Miranshah which was dug without any modern machinery. The four storey ‘Arab Tunnel’ is a reflection of the pyramids, which was full of explosives and the equipment for making weapons. Imagine 250 CNG cylinders full of explosives, disposed off by brave bomb disposal squads of Pakistan Army.


The Miranshah market was where the militants got all the explosives and weapons. Most of the militants had their headquarters in the market, next to civilian shops.
Our last and final destination of the tour was Javed Sultan Camp in Wana; South Waziristan Agency’s headquarters. Major General Javed Sultan was the GOC who got martyred while fighting this war. Visiting the Archive Gallery and looking at the weapons seized from Taliban was not something new for us after visiting Miranshah.


The Shawal Valley is on the Pak-Afghan border. It is the last hideout of the Taliban in the area. Located on a high altitude, covered by thick forest on all sides, the valley has a very difficult terrain, indeed. Soon, it will also be cleared by Pakistan Army.


Places like Miranshah and Wana where jirga’s (tribal assembly of elders) decision is most bonafide should have changed by now. However, due to some political reasons, the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) system is still in practice there which was adopted from the time British ruled this area. The local people are not given their full rights. There is no proper education and transport system and most importantly no life security is assured to them. In these areas, people keep illegal weapons for their defence which are sometimes used in the most unfortunate ways. “After 68 years of independence, we have got our freedom now,” commented the people of Wazir tribe when a road was constructed in their territory by Pakistan Army. Before this road was constructed, they had to pass through the belt of Mehsud’s who would rob their trucks. In these areas, tribal rivalries are perennial. Most of these people are still unaware of better side of the life.


After meeting soldiers deployed in operational areas away from their families, our perceptions altogether changed. Now, I strongly believe that Pakistan Army is a true symbol of national unity and it does not only belong to people wearing “khaki” but to every common man who loves Pakistan. And, of course, Pakistan Army is fighting against terrorists to secure us a peaceful present and prosperous future.

By 2009, militants were well entrenched in Swat. They had started implementing their own version of Sharia in tehsil Kabal, Matta and Khawazakhela. They had their courts which they calld ‘Islamic’ courts, punishing people as per their desire. Defiant locals were hung in public so that their reign of terror could be established. It was then that Pakistan Army came into action and cleared the heavenly Swat from these insurgents. However, this was only made possible after offering huge sacrifices.

*****

 
10
June

Written By: Dr. Armeela Javaid

Acne, a skin disorder that mostly affects about eight out of ten teenagers at some point of adolescence, is a long-term skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. It can occur at any age, affecting virtually everyone at some point in their lives. Many people think that acne is just pimples, but a person who has acne can have any of these blemishes: blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules (what many people call pimples), cysts and nodules.


Understanding Normal Skin and Age Related Changes
Small sebaceous (fatty) glands lie just under the skin surface. These glands make oil (sebum) that keeps the skin supple and smooth. Tiny pores on the skin allow the sebum to come on the skin surface. These pores also allow the hair to grow through them.

 

acnenomore.jpgDuring teenage the body makes much more sebum due to hormonal changes of puberty which stimulate the sebaceous glands. As a result, the more sebum you make, the more greasy your skin would be and hence acne at its worst.


Acne can appear on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms and buttocks. Studies have shown that people with bad acne can have negative psycho-social impact such as low self-esteem, depression and self-doubting.


Acne and Permanent Scars
Sometimes people get dark spots or scars when the acne clears. One can prevent these scars by getting it treated by a dermatologist. Treating acne before cysts and nodules appear can prevent scars from forming.


Many effective treatments are available – not just oral but many skin treatments can cure, control and prevent permanent damage to the skin.

 

                                             Grades of Acne
Mild-to-Moderate Acne
Acne appears when a pore in our skin clogs. This clog begins with skin becoming thicker along with dead skin cells. Normally, dead skin cells rise to surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. But in case of acne the cells become trapped inside the pore and we see them as the blackheads and whiteheads (comedones). In many cases, acne does not progress beyond this mild to moderate stage.


Moderate-to-Severe Acne
Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, (p. acnes,) also make their way inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, with a lot of oil and dead skin cells, the bacteria find perfect environment for multiplying very quickly. As a result, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen). With inflammation, the spots become larger and filled with pus (pustules). If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.


Adult Onset Acne
A growing number of women after the age of thirty experience different form of acne like Perioral Dermatitis, Rosacea etc.

 

                                      What Makes Acne Worse?
• The progestogen-only contraceptive pill may make acne worse.
• In women, the hormonal changes around the monthly cycle may cause a flare-up of spots.
• Thick or greasy make-up may possibly make acne worse. However, most make-up products do not affect acne. One can use make-up to cover some mild spots. Non-comedogenic or oil-free products are most helpful for acne-prone skin types.


• Picking and squeezing the spots may cause further inflammation and scarring.
• Sweating heavily or humidity may make acne worse. Direct exposure to heat may contribute to blocking of pores.


• Some medicines can make acne worse. For example, phenytoin (which some people take for epilepsy) and steroid creams and ointments that are used for eczema. Do not stop a prescribed medicine if you suspect it is making your acne worse but do consult your doctor. An alternative may be an option.
• Anabolic steroids (which some body builders take illegally) can make acne worse.

 

                                        Some Myths About Acne
• It is a misconception that diets high in sugar and milk products make acne worse but research only supports that food with low glycemic index may worsen acne in few patients.
• Acne is not caused by poor hygiene. In fact, excessive washing may make it worse.
• Stress does not cause acne. But may aggravate it.
• Acne is not just a simple skin infection. The cause is a complex interaction of changing hormones, sebum, overgrowth of normally harmless germs (bacteria), inflammation, etc. You cannot catch acne – it is not contagious.
• Acne cannot be cured by drinking lots of water.
• Some people believe that acne cannot be helped by medical treatment. This is not true. Treatments usually work well if followed correctly.

 

                                Skin Care for People with Acne
You can reduce your acne by following these skin care tips from dermatologists:
• Do not wash more than normal. Twice a day is normal for most people. Use a mild soap and lukewarm water (very hot or cold water may worsen acne.) Do not scrub hard when washing acne-affected skin. Do not use abrasive soaps, cleansing granules, astringents, or exfoliating agents. Use a soft washcloth and fingers instead. Excess washing and scrubbing may cause more inflammation and possibly make acne worse.
• Antiseptic washes may be beneficial but not essentially needed.
• You cannot clean off blackheads. The black tip of a blackhead is actually skin pigment (melanin) and cannot be removed by cleaning or scrubbing.
• Some topical acne treatments (described below) may result in dry skin. If this occurs, use a fragrance-free, water-based moisturising cream. Do not use ointments or oil-rich creams, as these may clog the pores of the skin.
• Wash twice a day and after sweating. Perspiration, especially when wearing a scarf, veil, hat or helmet, can make acne worse, so wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
• Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge or anything else can irritate the skin.
• Be gentle with your skin. Use gentle products, such as those that are alcohol-free. Do not use products that irritate your skin, which may include astringents, toners and exfoliants. Dry, red skin makes acne appear worse.
• Scrubbing your skin can make acne worse. Avoid the temptation to scrub your skin. Visiting a Dermatologist’s office to get a gentle Hydrafacial is a better idea.
• Rinse with lukewarm water.
• Shampoo regularly. If you have oily hair, shampoo daily to prevent acne on forehead. This helps specially in acne on forehead.
• Let your skin heal naturally. If you pick, pop or squeeze your acne, your skin will take longer to clear and you increase the risk of getting acne scars.
• Keep your hands off your face. Touching your skin throughout the day can cause flare-ups.
• Stay out of the sun and tanning beds. Tanning damages your skin. In addition, some acne medications make the skin very sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, which you get from both the sun and indoor tanning devices.

 

                            Will Acne Return After Treatment?
Once the spots have cleared, acne commonly reappears if the treatment is stopped. Therefore, after the spots have gone or are visibly reduced, it is advised to carry on with a maintenance treatment to prevent acne from flaring up again.


Maintenance treatment is usually with either topical acne creams as prescribed by your dermatologist or with the procedures like Microdermabrassion and HydraFacial and Blue and Red Light therapy.


How Do Dermatologists Treat Acne?
Today, there are many effective acne treatments. This does not mean that every acne treatment works for everyone who has acne. But it does mean that virtually every case of acne can be treated.


When to See a Dermatologist
If you have a lot of acne, cysts, or nodules, the mild medicines mentioned above may not work. If you want to have clearer skin, you should see a dermatologist. Dermatologists offer the following types of treatment:


o HydraFacial: It cleans the skin, removes the dead skin, takes out the black and whiteheads and remove excessive oil and skin debris clogged in the pores
o Laser and Other Light Therapies: These devices reduce the p. acnes bacteria. Your dermatologist can determine whether this type of treatment can be helpful.
o Chemical Peels: You cannot buy the chemical peels that dermatologists use. Dermatologists use chemical peels with great caution to treat two types of acne – blackheads and papules.
o Acne Removal: Your dermatologist may perform a procedure called “drainage and extraction” to remove a large acne cyst. This procedure helps when the cyst does not respond to medicine.
o Comedo Extraction: It may temporarily help those with comedones that do not improve with standard treatment.
Dermatologists can help treat existing acne, prevent new breakouts and reduce your chance of developing scars. Today, virtually every case of acne can be successfully treated.

 
10
June

Written By: Omair Alavi

Did you know that Squash legend Jahangir Khan holds the world record of most successive wins (555) in any sports in the world? Would you believe that Javed Miandad’s last six off Chetan Sharma at Sharjah was Pakistan’s first ever victory in a Cricket tournament featuring multiple teams? Isn’t it still impossible to accept that the short-in-height goalie Mansoor Ahmed was the architect of twin Hockey wins in 1994? Just imagine a world of sports without Pakistan and there isn’t much left – the men in green were champions of Squash, Snooker, Hockey and Cricket in 1994 – and that’s where things went south.


Cricket – Genius in Whites; Hopeless in Tights!
There was a time when Pakistan’s Cricket team was one of the most feared in the world; Mushtaq Muhammad instilled the belief of winning in the Test side and Imran Khan carried the torch forward. Even in the limited overs arena, Pakistan’s pacers and spinners were a threat. From Waqar Younis’ deadly yorkers to Wasim Akram’s magnificent swing; Inzamam-ul-Haq’s ferocious shots and Saeed Anwar’s elegant drives; Saqlain Mushtaq’s deceptive bowling to Mushtaq Ahmed’s magical deliveries, Pakistan ruled the world literally in 1992 and carried on well in the 90s under Wasim Akram’s astute captaincy.


Then in two different eras – late 90s and in 2010 – Pakistan cricket was hit by fixing scandals – match-fixing and spot-fixing respectively – and things weren’t the same. Pakistan’s most successive off-spinner of this millennium Saeed Ajmal was banned for illegal action, wonder-boy Yasir Shah was suspended for taking a banned substance and Misbah-ul-Haq was limited to Test matches only. The result of these decisions saw Pakistan sink badly in ODI rankings as Muhammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Azhar Ali failed to understand how to make the ODI team perform better. Even in T20, inconsistent performance and Chairman PCB Sheheryar Khan’s persistence with Shahid Afridi saw the green shirts get kicked out of the World T20 even before the quarter finals began.


On the other hand, Misbah-ul Haq and his Test team continued to make Pakistan proud and at the moment they are placed at number 3 in the world. Even in his 40s, Misbah-ul-Haq is doing wonders, equaling the then-fastest Test century record and smashing back to back tons against Australia. He is aided in his quest for the best by Younis Khan who has now become the highest run-getter for Pakistan in Test cricket. Their dedication shows that anything is possible even if the odds are against you. If they can achieve their best in Tests, why can’t the youngsters follow their example in limited overs?


The answer to that is simple – the PCB management is to be blamed for selecting the wrong guys and then giving the impression that they have done their best. How can a bunch of cricketers, who were never automatically selected in the team themselves, could pick a perfect squad? How can Pakistan field a final XI when most of the players are those who have been tried, tested and have failed. With Inzamam-ul-Haq as the Chairman of Selectors, one hopes that the current team manages to rescue Pakistan’s ODI team from the 9th position and take them higher in the rankings so that they don’t have to qualify for the World Cup in three years’ time. One hopes that sanity prevails in the corridors of power and Sarfraz Ahmed be appointed ODI captain as well, because that seems more logical than persisting with Azhar Ali who is chiefly responsible for the ODI team’s debacle.

sportsait.jpg
Hockey – Wonder Years, Years Away!
Once upon a time Pakistan was considered one of the most powerful nations in Hockey; they were behind the inauguration of the Hockey World Cup, the Champions’ Trophy and other events. Players from Pakistan were considered epitome of success and they were given names like The Flying Horse (Samiullah) or their movements – Islah’s Dash – were made part of the hockey dictionary. Their successors won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1984 – the last time Pakistan achieved that – and after that, there was a journey that features more sadness than happiness. Besides reaching the podium in 1992 Barcelona Games, winning the Asian Games in 1990 and 2010, the World Cup in 1994 and the Champions’ Trophy the same year, Pakistan hockey has achieved less, lost more.


Despite producing great players like Shahbaz Ahmed Senior, Shahid Ali Khan, Mansoor Ahmed, Qamar Ibrahim, Rehan Butt and Sohail Abbas to name a few, the journey downwards has been painful. First it was the tenure of President Qasim Zia and Secretary Asif Bajwa (former player who was never an automatic choice in the team) and later under the duo of Akhtar Rasool-Rana Mujahid, Pakistan Hockey team failed so badly that they finished last in the World Cup 2010, didn’t qualify for the next edition and for the first time since 1948, they will not be taking part in the Olympic Games because the Federation’s short-sightedness and the players’ lack of international exposure combined to flatten the once-mighty image of Pakistan Hockey.


The problem with the standard of hockey in Pakistan is easily rectifiable. The Federation must send the teams abroad for Test Matches and the players should be allowed to play international leagues thus turning professional like the cricketers. The infrastructure back home should be upgraded and more blue turfs should be laid for youngsters. The stamina of Pakistan’s hockey players, the Asian style of hockey and the laidback approach is what has stopped Pakistan from progressing in its national game. Furthermore, the Federation versus Olympians approach is also something that needs to be addressed because whoever the secretary is, he brings his own team and those who don’t get a chance turn against him – except for a few seniors like Samiullah and Islahuddin who believe that being honest to oneself can bring back glorious days of Pakistan Hockey.


Squash – Gone With the Legends
Just like the Indian subcontinent was ruled by the Mughals centuries ago, the world of Squash was dominated by the Khan dynasty of Pakistan. From the early 50s till the late 90s, Pakistan ruled the squash court through Hashim Khan, Azam Khan, Roshan Khan, Qamar Zaman, Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan. From British Open to World Open, each trophy was won by Pakistan during the Golden Era and at times both the finalists in these events belonged to us, such was the dominance of Pakistan. And then, with the decline of Jansher Khan, Pakistan took a huge dip towards the rock bottom and hasn’t been able to achieve the lost glory again.


Youngsters like Aamir Atlas, Danish Atlas and Maria Toor have brought glory to Pakistan but they have mostly won tournaments featuring either regional players or where the top-ranked ones didn’t appear. How can the situation improve is beyond anyone’s comprehension because in squash, courts are available but players aren’t. The problem with the new generation is that they don’t seek advice from their seniors (Jansher Khan and his nephews Aamir and Danish aren’t on talking terms) and they also don’t listen to their coaches (Rehmat Khan’s tips were instrumental in making Jahangir Khan a champion – no one listens to him nowadays). The legendary players predict that Pakistani flag will once again be raised in World Open and British Open but in order to think that big, the players must also sacrifice their lifestyle and follow the regimen made world-famous by their predecessors.


Olympics – Yesterday’s Pride
Pakistan first ever medal came in 1956 olympics at Melbourne, the hockey team won the silver medal. It was in the same event that the ‘Flying Bird of Asia’ Pakistan’s Abdul Khaliq stunned the world with his speed but sadly, despite being in top form and better than many international athletes, he failed to qualify for the finals. Four years later he was past his prime and the man who won countless gold medals in Asian Games, International Military Track and Field Championships, and held Asian record during the 50s failed to win an olympic medal for his country.
Nonetheless, Pakistan won a gold medal in hockey in 1960 at Rome along with a Bronze in Wrestling, which was followed by one more Silver in 1964 Tokyo (Hockey), Gold (Hockey) in 1968 Mexico City and Silver (Hockey) in 1972 Munich. Four years later, Pakistan Hockey team Bronze at Montreal; boycotted the Games in 1980 (due to the USSR’s occupation of Afghanistan) and emerged victorious 4 years later at Los Angeles with their last Gold Medal to date. Syed Hussain Shah won a Bronze Medal for his country in 1988 at Seoul, a feat that was equalled by the Hockey team in Barcelona, 1992.


Since then Pakistan has not won a single medal in Olympic Games; the quality of athletes is one of the reason for this decline, the pathetic performance of the federations and associations being the other. There was a time when 62 athletes participated in the Olympics for Pakistan; the number kept on decreasing to 20 in 1968, and was just bettered by 21 in both 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. Incidentally, Pakistan hasn't qualified for any sport so far this year and the list of athletes may comprise of wild card entries only, which will be a new low for Pakistan. All the blame must be shared by two factions of Pakistan Olympic Association. These factions must be tried for their lack of vision because not being part of the mega event once will stick to Pakistan no matter how much glory the athletes achieve in coming years.


Snooker – Poor Man’s Way to Make Pakistan Proud
Just imagine a Pakistan where video games would be the most favourite pastime of the youth; the places where youngsters wasted their time and money were named Arcades and Arenas. Thankfully due to the far sightedness of a few marketing individuals, snooker tables were set across the country in the 90s which gained popularity after cueist Muhammad Yousuf won the World Snooker Championship in 1994. Afterwards, players from all over the country began to take interest in a game that didn’t require them to sweat, break a bone or play with a partner. Many youngsters – mostly from humble backgrounds – began to achieve brilliance in the game and in the new millennium; Pakistan emerged as one of the leading countries in amateur snooker.


Not only that, the country managed to become popular as host of many international events; even when teams refused to visit Pakistan due to security issue, cueists from all over the world gathered in Pakistan for the coveted snooker events in the country. Thanks to the craze of playing snooker, Pakistan managed to produce many players who have done the country proud. Be it Muhammad Asif who won the World Snooker Championship in 2012 or his contemporaries who have done exceedingly well in the last few years, the future of this game is safe in Pakistan. It seems to be the only game in which lady luck and hard work are both on Pakistan’s side.


The Verdict
No infrastructure for games exists in Pakistan and until and unless the situation improves, we might not be considered for even wild card entry and that would be really shameful for the land of Imran Khan, Jahangir Khan and Shahbaz Ahmed Senior. Pakistan has given the world many sportsmen, some of whom are representing other nations like cricketers Usman Khawaja (Australia), Imran Tahir (South Africa), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe) to name a few. Cueist Saleh Muhammad became an Afghani after not being treated well in Pakistan and same can be said of Bridge Master Zia Mahmood, who lives and represents America but still considers Pakistan his home.


There is also Aisam-ul-Haq who represents Pakistan in tennis internationally and has done the country proud on many occasions but that’s because he comes from a tennis family and doesn’t get any kind of support from the Pakistan Tennis Federation. Whatever he has achieved in his decade-and-a-half long career has been due to hard work, his international coaches and his will to do well. The situation is bad for sports in Pakistan and while security issues were an excuse in the past, non-professionalism and lack of interest are the factors that are destroying sports in the country now.

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10
June

Written By: Dr. Tughral Yamin

May 29, this year marks the seventeenth death anniversary of one of the most celebrated soldiers of Pakistan Army – Brigadier Tariq Mehmood.

 

Popularly known by the initials TM, Brig Tariq Mehmood made a name for himself as special operations man. During his military career, spanning nearly three decades, TM was always involved in action. Decorated multiple times for gallantry, TM had to his credit two Sitara-i- Juurat (SJ), a Sitara-i-Basalat (SBt) and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz Military (SI M). To honour his memory, Pakistan Army has created a special memorial for him at one of the entrance gates of the Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi – a unique distinction bestowed upon a man, who always led from the front.

 

brigtm.jpgTM was serving as Commander of the Special Service Group (SSG), when he died in 1989 due to malfunctioning of his parachute during a free fall display at Army Aviation School Rahwali, near Gujranwala. The display marked the graduation of army aviation pilots, who had just won their flying brevets. The SSG men were jumping from Mi-17 helicopter and not from a C130. After his main chute failed to deploy, his legs got entangled in the ropes and he couldn’t activate the reserves. A friend Lieutenant Colonel Waseem ur Rehman Qureshi saw TM jump to his death. Waseem was part of the SSG free fall team and was the first one to rush to see his commander and was dismayed to find that he had not survived the fall. The reminiscences of the sad incident brings back painful memories. To Waseem, TM symbolises the best qualities of a soldier and a commander.


TM was born on October 8, 1938 at Multan. His father was a professor and taught at Government College, Asghar Mall Rawalpindi. After completing his intermediate education from Gordon Christian College, Rawalpindi in 1956, he went to Lahore and graduated from Government College in 1959. He was also a member of Government College cricket team captained by Javed Burki. After graduation he went to Peshawar to study Law at University of Peshawar, but left to join the Pakistan Military Academy in 1960. He graduated from PMA in 1963 and was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion of the Baloch Regiment in 1960. As a young officer he opted for the newly raised Special Service Group (SSG). After completing the rigorous special operations training, he was posted to the 1st Commando Battalion (Yaldram), where he served with Shaheen Company.

brigtm1.jpgIn 1965, TM opted out of the advance course with US Army Special Forces to become part of the covert operations in occupied Kashmir. He won his first SJ for his acts of bravery during Indo-Pak War of 1965. TM was promoted to the rank of Major in 1970 and was stationed in Peshawar as the commandant of the famous Parachute Training School. In 1971, Mehmood volunteered to go to East Pakistan to participate in the war there. In one memorable operation TM led his men to evict the insurgents holed up in Dhaka Airport. After 34 hours of intense fighting, TM’s men were able to clear the airport and the surrounding area.


TM saw action during the insurgency in Balochistan in the 1970s. In 1979, he was promoted to Colonel, and in 1982, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and made the Commander of the Special Service Group. In 1984, he was involves in leading a riposte against the Indians, who had surreptitiously occupied the Siachen glacier. Throughout the 1980s, the SSG and ISI were closely collaborating to support the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

 

 

brigtm12.jpgOn September 5, 1986, Pan Am Flight 73 was hijacked in Karachi. In a bold action TM led an SSG team to free the Airline from terrorists. The hijackers opened fire, killing and injuring some passengers but eventually all of them were apprehended and many lives were saved. The Pan Am incident brought TM to public prominence. During 1987–88, he led operations against criminals in Sindh.


Stocky and gruff TM was a man of few words. He believed in action and literally died with his boots on. TM is admired and idolised by the men who served under him. They still are awestruck by his personality and vouch that they could have gone to the very gates of hell under his command. Waseem, his platoon mate and friend, chokes back tears when he talks about him. He praises his wife Iffat for her fortitude and perseverance. She brought up her children in the best traditions of a military wife after the untimely departure of her great soldier husband.


TM lives in the hearts of his men and will always be remembered as a soldiers’ soldier. He occupies the place of prominence in the pantheon of Pakistani martyrs. His memory will not be dimmed by time and age.

The writer is a retired Brigadier and PhD. Presently he is Associate Dean Centre of International Peace & Stability (CIPS) at the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) Islamabad.

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10
June
45th Convocation Ceremony of Pakistan Navy Held in Lahore

“As hegemonic and domineering mindset solidifies in our neighborhood, we cannot be oblivious to threats to our Sovereignty and National Security” – Naval Chief

The Convocation Ceremony of 45th Pakistan Navy Staff Course was held at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore on May 13, 2016. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, graced the ceremony as Chief Guest and conferred Masters Degrees in War Studies (Maritime) to 50 graduates from Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force and 18 officers from allied countries including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri-Lanka and Turkey.The Naval Chief while addressing on the occasion highlighted that our geographic location is an area of immense important at the global level. This is evident from the near permanent presence of Extra Regional Forces driven by economic and security interests. He further said that as hegemonic and domineering mindset solidifies in our neighbourhood, we cannot be oblivious to threats to our sovereignty and national security. The ceremony was attended by a large number of distinguished civilian guests and senior officers of the Armed Forces of Pakistan.

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10
June
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COAS Visits Turkey to Witness Military Exercises “EFES-2016”
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited Turkey to witness multinational military exercises "EFES." Along with a contingent of Pakistani Armed Forces, troops from Turkey, U.S. UK, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Azerbaijan also participated in the joint exercises. Turkish President held a separate meeting with the COAS, General Raheel Sharif and thanked him for Pakistan's participation and his presence for witnessing the exercise which he said, will enhance the existing close friendly ties between Pakistan and Turkey especially between the two Armed Forces. Turkish President also praised Pakistan Army's accomplishments in operation Zarb-e-Azb and contributions towards regional peace and stability. COAS appreciated Turkish Armed Forces for an outstanding conduct of the exercise of such magnitude and scope.

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10
June
COAS Visits Naval War College, Lahore

As a fully vibrant and formidable force Pakistan Navy has always come up to the expectations of the nation in defending the maritime frontiers of Pakistan.

 

General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff visited Naval War College, Lahore and addressed participants of the course. COAS address focused on prevailing geo-strategic environment, security challenges and opportunities for Pakistan. He said Pakistan Navy has a proud history of valor and sacrifices. As a fully vibrant and formidable force Pakistan Navy has always come up to the expectations of the nation in defending the maritime frontiers of Pakistan. He also said that with first hand war experience, operational employment, and state of combat readiness, ‘our Armed Forces are fully capable and prepared to respond to the entire spectrum of threat.’ COAS particularly appreciated close coordination between the three services and acknowledged the support of the entire nation in achieving successes during Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

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10
June

“We never give up, and never quit,” were the words used by Chief of Army Staff while talking to wounded soldiers of operation Zarb-e-Azb. But these are not mere words – these depict unwavering resolve of a proud nation and its valiant armed forces. The undaunted spirit that symbolize Pakistani nation has been recognized by the entire world. It was the very solid grit and gravel of nation’s foundations that compelled a contemporary foreign scholar to admit, “Pakistan – A Hard Country”. This we have proved through offering blood and sweat under all circumstances, irrespective of enormity of challenges.


Pakistan has a peculiar geo-strategic location and a history of its very creation. These factors have always caused opportunities as well as serious threats to our security and progress. We withstood these in the past and are fully capable to thwart all challenges that we face today.


On our eastern borders, we have a neighbor that is ever hegemonic and aggressive in her designs. It has not been able to reconcile with the history of partition of the subcontinent. It has always been vigorously pursuing the prefix ‘Maha (grand)’ with its names and projects. India’s defence budget gives ample evidence of her expansionist designs. Indian armed forces’ upgradation programs, outreach to Indian Ocean, lust and yearn towards Central Asia, Middle East and to somewhat remote Africa, strategic alliances with implied malafied intent towards South China Sea etc. are few glimpses of India’s future designs. It is making futile efforts to encircle Pakistan from east, west and southern sea. In the north, its nefarious adventure in Siachen was checked in a way that it has become a rotten wound. However, no such dreams and actions deter Pakistan. We are fully ready to meet all challenges of any nature and type.


On Pakistan’s western borders, the challenges posed are of complex nature. On the one hand Pakistan Armed Forces are valiantly fighting the forces of terrorism and extremism. Operation Zarb-e-Azb has achieved unparalleled successes. The last bastions of terrorism in Waziristan have been over-run, and their terror infrastructure uprooted and destroyed. However, on the other hand, our expectations from brotherly Muslim countries to not to allow their land for any sort of terrorist activity inside Pakistan leave much to be desired. The terror networks using foreign soil not only attack the border adjacent areas, but also plan and execute terror attacks deep inside Pakistan. Pakistan has also asked all power players a number of times to take actions against terrorists group inside their own jurisdiction. However, in the garb, Pakistan’s sovereignty is violated sporadically which is highly detestable and un-called for once Pakistan itself is heavily engaged in war against terror. Pakistan is committed to international obligations but equally sensitive to its national honour, sovereignty and prestige.


Nothing should deter us to defend our interests, prestige and sovereignty!
Pakistan is an abode of 200 million resilient people. Pakistan Armed Forces are known for their professionalism and enormous sacrifices. Pakistan’s security and prosperity is our top priority. We are fully committed and fighting for world’s peace. We have challenges and limitations, but our spirits are undaunted. Our resolve is firm, our faith is strong and our will is unconquerable.
“We never give up, and never quit.”

10
June

Written By: Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The changing climate patterns and global warming caused by carbon emissions pose a formidable threat to dwellers of the earth. Though there is a growing consciousness about this potential weapon of mass destruction but regrettably very little has been done in concrete terms to prevent this impending disaster. Environmental scientists believe that if these emissions are not reduced or controlled, the global temperature might register a rise between 1.1 to 6.5 centigrade by the end of the 21st century, causing secondary effects like changes in patterns of precipitation, rising sea level, altered patterns of agriculture, increased extreme weather conditions and expansion in the range of tropical diseases etc. The major contributors to the global warming are US, China, Russia, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan and Korea.

 

globalwar.jpgThe effects of global warming are already being felt not only by small and developing countries in the form of flash floods but also by the affluent countries as well in the shape of harsh weather, hurricanes and severe flooding of the settled areas. In view of the dangers posed by global warming the countries of the world concluded a treaty known as United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, committing themselves to work collectively to limit average global temperature increases, the resulting climate change and to cope with whatever impacts were inevitable. However, no substantial headway could be made in this regard.


Realizing the inadequacy of the provisions of the convention regarding reductions in gas emissions, another agreement known as Koyoto Protocol, which binds the developed countries to observe emission reduction targets, was concluded in 1997. The first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1st January 2013 and will end in 2020. Regrettably the US did not ratify the protocol and Canada withdrew from it in 2012. The second commitment period has also not been given legal cover as a growing number of countries including Australia, the US, Japan, New Zealand, Belarus, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Norway, Switzerland and Russia remain reluctant to commit to these targets. The developing countries have not been given any binding targets but they are still under the obligation to reduce their emissions. As is evident, despite the known and acknowledged threats posed by global warming, the industrialized nations are not fulfilling their obligations properly and remain oblivious to impending dangers posed by the climate change.


Environmental scientists and experts advocate two pronged strategy to deal with the problem of global warming i.e. adaptation to global warming and climate change mitigation. Adaptation to global warming is a response to global warming related to minimizing the vulnerabilities of social and biological system to the climate changes and consequently offsetting adverse impact of the phenomenon. It is believed that adaptation is particularly important for the developing countries since they are more prone to the effects of climate change. But the dilemma is that adaptation is inextricably linked to social and economic development and might entail costs in billions of dollars which is beyond the capacity of most of them. Though in recognition of this aspect the donor countries promised to contribute $100 billion to the Green Climate Fund for developing countries for the purpose but they are not forthcoming to fulfil their commitments and pledges.


The adaptation approach believably needs to be complemented by Climate Change Mitigation also characterized as reduction in green house gas emissions. It is contended that none of the two approaches can succeed without each other. However, the costs involved are estimated to be astronomically high, beyond the resources and capacity of the developing nations. Therefore logic demands that the industrialized nations which are responsible for emission of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere leading to global warming and consequent climate changes, must not only address this issue seriously but also help the developing nations in coping with the consequences of global warming. It requires concrete actions and commitment by the entire comity of nations, especially the developed countries as rightly pointed out by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address to UN General Assembly saying, “we need to respond with common but differentiated responsibility to the threat posed by climate change. Partisan interests must not stand in the way of an ambitious and collective commitment to halt and reverse the damage done to our planet.”


Pakistan is already reeling under the impact of climate change that caused worst floods in 2010 and this year that badly affected 23 districts in Punjab, 5 in Gilgit Baltistan and 10 in AJK causing damage to the infrastructure and crops worth billions of dollars. The most worrying factor is that these floods now have become almost an annual feature. The experts believe that if these floods keep devastating Pakistan with the frequency with which they have done in the last five years, the economy of the country might as well collapse. Pakistan’s problems, related to floods etc, have been further aggravated by continuous deployment of forces in Siachen Glacier. Indian forces in 1984 violated all international norms and sneaked into Pakistani territory. Since the Indian forces are not only occupying this glaciated terrain but also causing a havoc to ecological balance of the entire area. There are numerous reports on adverse climate change due to massive Indian military activity in this region. Ironically, Pakistan’s efforts for a peaceful resolution of the issue and withdrawal of forces have met a cold response from India. Reportedly Indian military is the biggest hurdle in resolution of this vital issue which is not restricted to military domain only but can be a harbinger of climatic catastrophe.


Dealing with the climate change related issues therefore needs top priority, commitment and putting together an effective and imaginative strategy in the context of adaptation to the impact of climate change, simultaneously launching an awareness campaign on the environmental issues and sensitizing the business and industrial communities with regard to their obligations in maintaining the health of the environment. Pakistani media which is relishing the freedom of expression and contributing to the national effort on the political and economic fronts also has a national obligation to sensitize the public about the gravity of the situation and highlight at the international level the predicament that Pakistan faces due to the climate change, with a view to strengthening government efforts to mobilize necessary technical and financial assistance that is required to cope with the environmental challenges.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If the developing countries also fulfil the obligation to reduce their emissions, the earth could be saved from becoming a dead planet

*****

Pakistan’s problems, related to floods etc, have been further aggravated by continuous deployment of forces in Siachen Glacier. Indian forces in 1984 violated all international norms and sneaked into Pakistani territory. Since the Indian forces are not only occupying this glaciated terain but also causing havoc to ecological balance of the entire area. There are numerous reports on adverse climactic change due to massive Indian military activity in this region. Ironically, Pakistan’s efforts for a peaceful resolution of the issue and withdrawal of forces have met a cold response from India. Reportedly Indian military is the biggest hurdle in resolution of this vital issue which is not restricted to military domain only but can be a harbinger of climatic catastrophe.

*****

 
10
June

Written By: Sharif al Mujahid

(On the occasion of 72nd death anniversary of Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung that falls on June 25)

 

Among the young Muslim leaders that got catapulted to the pinnacle of fame and popularity during the late 1930s and the early 1940s, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung was unique – and among the most distinguished. He belonged to a princely state (Hyderabad, Deccan), yet he rose to prominence as one of Muslim India’s few front rank leaders. He literally herded the somnolent Muslims in the princely states into the surging Muslim political mainstream; he fashioned a political platform for them in the All India States’ Muslim League; above all, he helped to cause a measure of interaction and integration between the Muslims of British India and those of the princely India, in respect of their long-term political goals and aspirations. For the first time he articulated eloquently the Muslim grievances in the Indian States; he aggregated and processed their demands; he built-up incrementally and assiduously British Indian Muslim interest in their problems and support for their resolution. The most sought-after speaker in the Muslim League camp, he was in demand everywhere and all the time. His addresses in Urdu after closing of the All-India Muslim League sessions were listened to with rapt attention as Jinnah’s were in English. And when he died rather suddenly on June 25, 1944, he was widely mourned throughout the subcontinent.

 

nawabbahdur.jpgAt the time of his death, Bahadur Yar Jung was barely 39 years old. He was born in 1905 in a family of Panni Pathans who had originally come to India along with Ahmad Shah Abdali in the mid-18th century. First settled at Bara Basti in Jaipur state, his forefathers had later migrated to Hyderabad (Deccan) during the time of Sikandar Jah early in the 19th century, and subsequently received honours (with titles and jagirs) for their distinguished services during the Maratha wars.


Named Bahadur Khan at birth, Bahadur Yar Jung had little by way of formal schooling. His mother had died when he was hardly seven and his father when he was barely eighteen. The management of the jagir and the clearance of his father’s debts amounting to some five hundred thousand rupees, an astronomical amount at the time, fell upon his young shoulders. But sheer hard work, steely determination and an adroit management of affairs enabled him, finally, to achieve the impossible in barely eight years.


After accomplishment of this initial vexatious task, he felt like offering his immense gratitude to Almighty Allah: he went on Hajj. The return journey took him on an extended tour of the Middle East and Afghanistan, marking a significant landmark in his life and career. He came into live contact with the problems and plight of the people in the Muslim heartland, his travels helped him to widen his mental horizon, accentuate his interest in the region, and introduce him to some of the leading figures in the Middle East. With accredited leaders such as Mustafa Nahas Pasha (President of Egyptian Wafd), Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt, and Al-Haj Emin el-Hussaini (the Grand mufti of Jerusalem), he became well acquainted. And, with them, for several years, he kept up a regular correspondence, diagnosing and discussing the ailments of the Muslim people, and exploring the way out of their current predicaments.
To the public platform Bahadur Yar Jung came through his profound lectures on the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He began giving them regularly in the late 1920s, reaching and interacting with a vast multitude, and becoming extremely popular among the Hyderabad’s intellectual elite. In 1930, the Nizam conferred on him the title of Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung, having listened to one of his addresses, and in recognition of his deep knowledge of Islam, and his inherent penchant for oratory.


By then, as well, the Nawab’s fame had spread far and wide, resulting, literally, in “a flood of invitations from many parts of India”. Inspiring, as were his speeches, he kept vast audience spellbound for hours on end. Those of us who have had the good fortune of listening to him during the late 1930s and early 1940s, as I have, could never erase the exhilarating experience. It was indeed a rare treat to listen to them. In terms of fluency, diction, style and presentation, as well as the contents of his speeches, he was a class unto himself.


Bahadur Yar Jung began his public life in Hyderabad. He founded the Majlis-i-Tabligh-i-Islam in 1927 to counter the Arya Samajists in Hyderabad, enlisted and trained a missionary corps, organized a campaign for Tabligh and converted some five thousand people to Islam. The number of people who turned to Islam through his indirect influence runs to about 20,000. Second, he joined the Khaksar movement and organized it in Hyderabad. Third, in the late 1930s, he joined the Majlis-i-Ittihad-ul-Muslimin, becoming its President in 1939, and took upon himself the more difficult task of organizing it at the grass root level. And, finally, in 1939, Bahadur Yar Jung founded the All India States’ Muslim League, after coming in close touch with Jinnah and the Muslim League.


As noted earlier, Bahadur Yar Jung was attracted to the Khaksar movement, founded by Allama Inayatullah Khan Mashriqi, but only for a while. During its most critical phase, in the tragic aftermath of the March 19, 1940, firing in Lahore and the subsequent ban on the organization in the Punjab, Bahadur Yar Jung stood steadfast by it. However, subsequent to a Khaksar’s dastardly attack on Jinnah on July 20, 1943 he realized that, instead of strengthening and bolstering Muslim ranks, Allama Mashriqi’s policies had caused division and dissension among them. He, therefore, left it for good in November, 1943.


By the late 1930s, Bahadur Yar Jung had caught the eye of Jinnah, then feverishly engaged in the herculean task of effecting unity among disparate Muslim ranks and organizing Muslims on the Muslim League platform, of evolving a uniform All-India policy for the entire Muslim India, and of making the claim of a pan-Indian Muslim constituency and a ‘third force’ in India’s body politic a fait accompli. But, in view of Jinnah’s inability to speak in Urdu to vast crowds, he needed a leader of impeccable integrity and outstanding ability, who could carry the League message to the remotest corner in the subcontinent. And for this, his choice inevitably fell on Bahadur Yar Jung. And how superbly apt was the choice became all too evident before long.


By founding the States’ Muslim League in 1939, his greatest contribution was to get the Muslims of Indian States associated for the first time with the politics and policies of Muslim India and the Muslim League. Besides, the States’ Muslim League fought for the protection of the legitimate rights of the Musalmans in the various states, including their language and culture. Only because of Bahadur Yar Jung’s vigorous efforts and his extensive tours, the States’ Muslim League became popular with the Muslims in the princely states such as the States’ Congress was with the Hindus. And from 1940 onwards the sessions of all India States’ Muslim League came to be held along with the sessions of the Muslim League, after its conclusion.


Although Bahadur Yar Jung was a State subject and as such had no locus standi in the deliberations of the All India Muslim League (which concerned itself with British India), yet he was always there on hand at the League sessions, to explain its viewpoint and, since 1940, to elucidate the Muslim demand for Pakistan. Among his addresses, his December 26, 1943 address, after the conclusion of the last League session at Karachi, is by far the most outstanding. It has often been invoked while discussing the role of Islam in Pakistan. Jinnah was, of course, present on the occasion.


Great indeed were the services rendered by Bahadur Yar Jung to the cause of the Muslim League and Pakistan. His was the voice that had inspired millions upon millions to swell the League’s ranks. His were the arguments that had induced thousands of Muslims to vote for the League in most of the by-elections to Muslim constituencies between 1938 and mid-1944, especially in the four crucial by-elections that were fought in the Khan Brothers’ dominated North West Frontier Province in 1943. This tour of the Frontier he had undertaken after he had read Jinnah’s reply to Sardar Aurangzeb Khan, who had earlier sent a message of sympathy to Jinnah on the murderous, but luckily, unsuccessful, attack made by a Khaksar on the latter’s life. Therein Jinnah had told the Frontier leader, “Until such time as the League comes out triumphant in the Frontier my wounds would not be healed”.


Bahadur Yar Jung was an extremely persuasive speaker. This first became exceedingly evident when he had to bring the infuriated Khaksars to reason in March 1940. The Khaksars had come in clash with the Punjab Government on March 19, 1940, barely three days before the League’s session was due to meet in Lahore. Provoked by police excesses, the Khaksars had launched upon a sort of civil disobedience movement, with the situation getting worse every day. There were even talks of postponing the session, but Bahadur Yar Jung would not listen to anything of this sort. He took upon himself the task of pacifying the enraged Khaksars and creating a proper climate for the holding of the historic League session where the “Pakistan” resolution was to be adopted.


By all standards, Bahadur Yar Jung was a brilliant orator. The first time he spoke at Aligarh’s famous Strachey Hall, he spoke till 3 a.m., and still the audience showed no sign of restlessness or boredom. At the League’s Allahabad session (1942) when Bahadur Yar Jung appealed for funds, no less than Rs. 125,000 were contributed on the spot. At the next League session at Delhi (1943), he spoke till 4 a.m. and on his appeal for funds, the large contingent of women in the audience gave away all their jewelry amounting to some ten lac rupees. The Quaid was, of course, hugely overwhelmed by their generous response; but, characterically, insisted upon the jewelry being returned to their owners. But the vexatious problem was: how? No one knew which one belonged to whom. And in Lahore, he alone could have pacified the enraged Khaksars who were in such an extremely agitated mood.


Bahadur Yar Jung’s activities and popularity, however, caused alarm to the power brokers in his own native state. Instead of turning to the King’s Kothi (Nizam’s palace), the Muslims had come to look to Mahdavi Manzil (Bahadur Yar Jung’s residence) for both guidance and inspiration. In order, therefore, to curb his activities, the Nizam issued an edict prohibiting jagirdars from taking part in politics.


In response, Bahadur Yar Jung coolly and characteristically returned his titles and surrendered his jagir. Politics, which paved the way for Muslim empowerment and welfare, meant for him much more than power and belf. Even so, it did mean for him a good deal of hardship, but, again, characteristically, he remained undaunted to the last breath of his all- too-brief a life. This episode and this posture made him the first Muslim League leader to renounce titles and surrender his jagir for a political cause – a step which other League members would take after the adoption of the ‘Direct Action’ Resolution by the All India Muslim League Council at Bombay on July 29, 1946.


Although a very selfless and sincere man himself, Bahadur Yar Jung had quite a few opponents in Hyderabad and elsewhere. During the last years of his life, he was a victim of intrigue and malice; he was also prohibited from making any public speech in Hyderabad itself. He also died in extremely suspicious circumstances: it is widely held that his Huqqa was poisoned. Although the Muslims all over the subcontinent were agitated at these reports, no proper inquiry was held. Nor did the Ittihadul Musslimin demand an inquiry till three years after his death when Syed Qasim Rizvi became its President. “In him, Islam and the Mussalmans have lost one of their staunchest and sincerest workers,” said Jinnah in his condolence message.


His death was, of course, mourned throughout Muslim India, and his absence was acutely felt during the rest of the Pakistan movement, especially during the 1945-46 general elections, when the fate of Muslim India hung in the balance.


To keep the memory alive, the first wave of immigrants from Hyderabad after its traumatic fall, were imaginative and committed enough to set up an academy named after him, in Karachi. Besides organising functions on his death anniversary and on national days, the Bahadur Yar Jung Academy has a well-stocked library and has had an extensive publishing programme. And this pro-active institution stands as a continuing tribute to this stalwart in our national pantheon.

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.
 
10
June

Written By: Jennifer McKay

The global humanitarian system, which provides life-saving assistance, is in need of a major overhaul. Countless organisations around are doing incredible work, including some very small local ones, and thousands of dedicated and courageous humanitarian workers are deployed unarmed and often at great risk in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. But the system is failing, creaking under the pressure of outdated thinking, inefficiencies, rapidly increasing need and a shortage of funds.


Currently, one billion people are living in conflict zones, and 130 million people are displaced by conflict and disasters. This includes displacements in Pakistan where disasters and complex emergencies, and the wars in Afghanistan, have placed enormous burdens on the country and its citizens. Not all who are in need of assistance, in the various global hotspots are being reached so the need for more funding and structural and system reform for greater efficiency and accountability is clear and urgent.


Governments need to take responsibility. But humanitarian organisations like UN agencies, INGOs and NGOs must also aim to do better. Kristalina Georgieva, Vice President of the European Commission, co-chair the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Finance, in a recent opinion piece on the panel’s findings wrote: “We found evidence of competition between aid organisations in what resembles an over-crowded marketplace. Turf wars – where each organisation tries to position itself as the best implementer and therefore more deserving of donor funds – duplicate efforts and sap precious energy.”

 

reformingglobal.jpgIn an attempt to address some of the most challenging and contentious issues, the World Humanitarian Summit was held in Istanbul in late May 2016 under the chairmanship of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. Following three years of UN-led global consultations and preparations, up to 9,000 participants from 173 countries, including Heads of State and Government officials from 55 countries, and representatives of UN agencies, ICRC, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, International and National Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs and NGOs), private sector, and individuals, gathered in Istanbul for the two day event. The highly respected frontline organisation, Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), withdrew at the last minute stating, “We no longer have any hope that the WHS will address the weaknesses in humanitarian action and emergency response, particularly in conflict areas or epidemic situations.”


Participants attended a dizzying array of plenary sessions, round tables, special briefings, side events and social activities over the two days to focus on five key themes: Prevent and end conflict; Respect the rules of war; Leave no one behind; Working differently to end need; and, Invest in humanity. These are each big topics and hundreds of documents and submissions were generated by various organisations in the three years leading up to the Summit to push highlight the many issues.


A key over-arching theme of the Summit was “Putting People at the Centre”. This seems a little absurd. Surely that is exactly what is, and should always be, what humanitarian assistance is all about. But it is inherent in the humanitarian system to complicate everything with jargon and warm and fuzzy (meaningless) statements. Governments, donors, and organisations were asked to commit to action. But commitments made at such global events are often non-binding. This was made clear in the small print of the footnote to one of the key communiqués on commitments which stated: “This Communiqué is not legally binding and does not affect the signatories’ existing obligations under applicable international and domestic law. Rather, the signatures below reflect the high-level political commitments of the Member States represented.” As we have seen in almost every humanitarian crisis in the past, there is a vast difference between a pledge and funding or change actually materialising.


The UN was hoping for a further USD15 billion to meet the gap in needs for life-saving humanitarian assistance on top of the USD25 billion in the past year. The majority of overall funding, around USD19 million, goes to the UN ‘family’ of agencies such as WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF, and UNDP, rather than being disbursed more inclusively. Unfortunately, although some donors pledged money for various needs at the Summit, mostly this appears to be more a reallocation of existing funding rather than new money.


Many aid professionals have questioned for some time whether funds are being efficiently spent, or whether a better and more equitable distribution of aid funding should be implemented, particularly in relation to localisation of aid. For example, if a donor provides money to a UN agency to help a crisis-affected community, that agency may engage an INGO as implementing partner, who may in turn engage a local NGO to do the groundwork. At each level, an administration fee and project management fee is deducted, meaning that only a portion of the original funding gets to local level. Globally, less than 0.4 percent of donor funding goes directly to local NGOs so the direct assistance to communities in need is greatly reduced. Local organisations are among the first local responders, have a better understanding of the needs and ground realities, and have the trust of the people, but are marginalized by the system. Localisation of aid will help organisations reach more people faster by removing one or two layers of paperwork, delays and costs, thereby providing more funds for the affected population.


A so-called ‘Grand Bargain’ aimed at improving direct funding to local organisations, and for donors to commit to more flexible, multi-year funding, with less burdensome reporting requirements, in exchange for major agencies committing to greater transparency and collaboration and reduced management costs, achieved mixed results. But donors and some key UN agencies and other large organisations did make a commitment that up to 25 percent of funding would go to local NGOs by 2020. This will be a huge change if it really happens and would have positive implications here in Pakistan, too. However, it is also only proper that at the same time, local organisations strengthen their own processes, capacities, reporting and accountability procedures.


One of the big disappointments of the Summit was the absence of leaders from the G7 countries and the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Only Germany’s Angela Merkel made an appearance. This is a little like throwing a big party and the coolest kids on the block who you really wanted to be best friends with, didn’t turn up. Perhaps these world leaders felt that complex humanitarian problems are not resolved in a two-day event where no pre-agreed intergovernmental commitments were in place and no specific actions had been identified to achieve real change. Whatever the reasons, Ban Ki-moon admitted his disappointment at the absence of the world leaders. His sentiment was echoed by the host nation, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who referred to their absence as both “disappointing” and “quite upsetting”.


Another big topic that was originally expected to be on the agenda when all this kicked off three years ago was that of UN reform and accountability. Somehow this was swept under the carpet along the way and never made it to Istanbul. The UN Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, former UK Government Minister Stephen O’Brien said in an interview with IRIN in October 2015 that “the UN doesn’t have to change”. Many would beg to differ with Mr. O’Brien. The UN and its agencies sit at the top of the pyramid of humanitarian organisations so it has a huge duty to humanity to do all it can to streamline and improve its systems and set the example for all.


Accountability and transparency should be at the very heart of humanitarian assistance. This includes all forms of accountability – financial, aid effectiveness, and especially accountability to affected populations. Some aid experts pointed out that the word ‘accountability’ was rarely heard at the Summit. Despite claims about accountability, some major donors have complained that UN organisations do not fully account to them for how funds are spent. Even the actual cost of the Summit remains a UN secret. The UN has constantly refused to provide an answer. To the astonishment of the media at the opening press conference, UN Under Secretary and Relief Chief Stephen O’Brien responded when asked about the cost of the Summit that the question was “not appropriate or relevant at all”.


So, was the World Humanitarian Summit a success? Many participants felt there were steps forward in a number of areas. But many aid experts are skeptical as to whether or not commitments will translate into real change to relieve the suffering of millions. The advanced unedited version of the ‘Chair’s Summary’ released at the end of the Summit, is a masterpiece in UN jargon and obfuscation. Words and phrases like ‘aspire’, ‘affirmed’, collaboratively’, ‘resolved’, ‘underscored’, ‘pursue a new approach’, ‘strengthen’, are peppered throughout the document. In the closing paragraph of the Summary, Ban Ki-moon states, “The Summit is a point of departure to act, but there must also be a destination–a point where our action will have helped to transform the lives of millions of people around the world.” A final report will be presented to the UN General Assembly in New York in September so perhaps by then we will find out where the destination will be.


Much of the world focus at the moment is on Syria and Iraq, and the growing refugee crisis that is now affecting Europe. There is no doubt that the horrors being inflicted upon the people in these two countries must be addressed. But many other countries have had to cope with similar situations for years and hosting millions of refugees but they have mostly been forgotten. Pakistan is one of these countries. At the Summit, Pakistan’s Minister for SAFRON, Lieutenant General (R) Qadir Baloch, highlighted how Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees for almost 40 years and at the enormous cost to the country. He made a plea that the country’s needs should not be forgotten.


Another topic that seemed forgotten at the Summit was civil-military coordination in disasters. The Summit seemed to be weighted more towards conflicts like Syria and Iraq where various militaries are combatants in the conflict, therefore, their role as a humanitarian provider would be contentious. But in natural disasters of the type experienced in Pakistan, the military is one of the key humanitarian responders providing rescue and relief services, and life-saving assistance including food, shelter, water and sanitation, and healthcare. This is also the case in major disasters in most other developing countries, and also in developed countries–military takes a lead role, working with, then handing over to the civilians. So why does their perspective not count when discussing humanitarian affairs?


The Pakistan Armed Forces have long been admired for their humanitarian response in the numerous disasters that have struck the country. If they are not considered a ‘stakeholder’ in humanitarian assistance, then it is a one-sided picture. The attempted alienation of the military’s humanitarian role by certain UN and other organisations in Pakistan during the 2010 floods caused costly and life-threatening delays to millions of people. These issues were highlighted in the lessons learned on the 2010 floods and should never happen again. While it is not easy for military and civilians to work together due to different mandates and guidelines, it is the role of the NDMA to coordinate between the two to ensure that all those affected by disasters, have the best assistance possible. We must consider the role of military and include them in discussions as a key stakeholder, not just as a ‘service provider’, in all aspects of humanitarian response to disasters and complex emergencies in Pakistan.


Pakistan has been a recipient of substantial international humanitarian assistance in recent years. Without this help, the suffering of affected communities in the 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods, would have been even greater. Few countries can handle crises of such scale alone. The future direction of the global humanitarian system will have an impact on whatever large-scale disaster the country faces next, so let us hope that the real change needed will occur before that time comes.

The writer is Australian Disaster Management and Civil-Military Relations Consultant, based in Islamabad where she consults for Government and UN agencies. She has also worked with ERRA and NDMA.

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10
June

Written By: Adiah Afraz

My first memory of Abbottabad Cantonment is being woken up with a jolt by the sound of a scolding. Now, being woken up with a jolt by the sound of a scolding wasn’t an anomaly for an eight-year-old back then, but this time there was a difference. The sound of the scolding was not coming from a mother reminding a little girl that she was getting late for school. Instead it was coming from somewhere outside the four walls of the house and was being broadcasted over a microphone.


“Why are you acting like a four legged duffer, Saab (Sir)?” said an authoritative voice over the microphone.
“And you, the Saab in the last row, stand erect like a soldier and do not slouch like a sick chicken.”


“What is this?” I ran to my mother. “Who is this man and who is he yelling at?”
“It’s in the parade ground next doors,” said my mother putting a glass of milk in front of me. “Young army cadets are getting training, and this is their instructor disciplining them. Get used to it baby. You will hear it every day now that we live in this house.”

 

dothycry.jpgI remember being a little confused by this explanation. I couldn’t put it in words then, but if I were to verbalize my feelings now, I would probably want to know how was it not cruel for young men to be scolded like that so early in the morning. Poor young men who were not living with their mothers, but far away, and were up and about parading in the cold when the rest of the world slept in their warm beds. And more importantly, how did the psychology of the army cadets react to this kind of tough love.
Do they cry?


“I am sure you are not an idiot, Saab (Sir),” said the voice again.
Idiot? And Saab?
My eight-year-old mind could not quite fathom this paradoxical pair of words. Because in my mind you could either be an idiot or a Saab, but being both together at the same time was quite an accomplishment!


“It teaches them discipline,” my father explained to me one evening as we walked by the parade ground. “And they learn to respect their teachers even years later when they become officers themselves and their instructors are left behind doing the same job over and over – training batch after batch of young cadets. Giving them their first taste of discipline through the toughest physical training there ever could be!”


We stopped walking and stood by the parade ground to have a look at the cadets. The sun was about to set and the cadets-in-training were taking some kind of a break. All we could see was a lot of human forms sprawled in the dug up periphery of the parade ground and snoring their noses away as if there was no tomorrow.


“How can they sleep like that?” I asked my father fascinated as I watched the autumn leaves fall on the criss-cross of limbs strewn across the muddy ground.


“They are tired,” said my father. “It’s a blessing to be young and to sleep like that.”
“Isn’t their instructor going to scold them now?” I asked imagining a large man standing over the sleeping cadets and asking them, “Why are you sleeping like that Mr. Idiot Sir?”
I don’t remember what my father said in reply to that, because this is what happens to memories when they get older with time. You remember in images and your images are weaved together with the narrative of thought.


My father was not an army man. He was a bureaucrat whose job required him to be relocated to a new cantonment every few years. It was 1985 and Abbottabad was our new home now. We lived in a spacious house right behind the Mona Lisa Restaurant, and the parade grounds and their happenings soon became a regular feature in our lives.


They say Abbottabad has changed remarkably ever since but what I remember of that beautiful, scenic, picture perfect small military town is, its rain washed pine trees, its fairy tale huts and bungalows, the winding roads, slopes and hills, and of course the cadets.
“Where do they all come from?” I remember asking my father on our first weekend out. “There are so many of them.”


“Look at their hair,” my brother pointed out. “Is it true that they put an inverted bowl over their heads and ask the barber to shave off every hair that falls below it?”


“That’s what they say,” chuckled my father. “But you never know if it’s true.”
We soon became accustomed to seeing army uniforms everywhere. There were parades, and bagpipes and exercise grounds and then there were those evenings when the cadets came out in droves in plain clothes to enjoy their time out. But even without a uniform you could spot a cadet from miles away.
The most curious thing about those cadets was that they sat very straight, looked very straight and almost always never smiled. Their inscrutable, impenetrable eyes did not have a flicker of emotion, and they looked past you as if you didn’t exist.


It must be the morning scolding from the big man with the microphone, I thought, must have sapped their sense of humour.
It was years later that I realized that it was not the morning parade that gave these young men this air of sombreness. It was probably that sense of being custodians of a nation’s honour that made them so intense. Because unlike us, these young men in their professional training are not groomed to pursue self-serving, self-sustaining career paths that cater to their personal needs first and those of others later, or may be never. But rather being groomed to be a cadet in the Pakistan Army means to be entrusted with years of tradition of discipline and resoluteness to serve the country. To cultivate the honour and the courage to brave the war zones so that an ordinary Pakistani can sleep in a warm bed, comfortable in the assurance that he is safe.


The perceptions of an eight-year-old have changed much over the decades. Times have changed. With a growing realization of seeing the enemy within, the sense of security of the past has changed. As news of war and combat reaches us in our metropolitans and the untold stories of brave soldiers fighting to protect us are finally told, the question I had asked myself years ago still reverberates in my mind.
Do they cry?


These brave men of the military, when they send off their brothers to the conflict zones, when they fight with them side by side, and share a meal, a story or a joke… or a memory from back home that brings a flicker of longing to their hearts.


Do they cry?
When they see a bullet mark its target, or a cloud of smoke that blinds their eye, when they walk ahead to pick up in their arms the remains of what once was a human friend, a companion of years. When they bury their own and do so with a renewed sense of love for their country, and a new resolve to give their own lives away.


Do they cry?
And that’s when in my mind’s eye, I try to imagine what it must be like for those impenetrable eyes to be clouded by tears. And that’s when my imagination does the most unexpected trick and I see a flicker of a smile beyond an imperceptible hint of tears, as one uniformed man says to the other.
“Don’t be an idiot Saab. Save the tears for an idle day.”

The writer is a columnist, an Oxford graduate and an English language teaching professional.

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10
June

Hilal Desk

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THE PRICE WE PAID

Captain Akaash Rabbani Shaheed

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Captain Akash Rabbani's battalion was given responsibility to clear off village Boya (North Waziristan) from the terrorists. While completing the assigned tasks, he led his men from the front and embraced martyrdom on July 15, 2014.

 

Captain Asfand Yaar Shaheed

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Captain Asfand Yaar, another brave son of Pakistan, sacrificed his prime youth while fighting for peace. On September 18, 2015 a group of terrorists entered Pakistan Air Force Base Peshawar, and martyred at least 16 people while they were offering prayers. This brave soldier volunteered to take part in operation and without caring for his own safety led from the front. He killed many terrrorists before embracing martyrdom.

 

Captain Umair Abbasi Shaheed

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He was chasing the terrorists fleeing from Shawal Valley (North Waziristan) towards unguarded Afghan border. In a close quater battle, he killed many of them. During the encounter he was severely injured and embraced martyrdom on February 27, 2016.

 

Sepoy Behram Shaheed

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To rid the Tirah Valley (Khyber Agency) of terrorists, Sepoy Behram Shah set new examples of courage and sacrifice. While being seriously wounded, he kept advancing towards the terrorits’ hideout and managed to kill them. He succumbed to the wounds on March 15, 2015, and achieved the glory of martyrdom.

Over 500 Martyrs in Zarb-e-Azb only

Over 2000 Wounded

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Sibgha Fatima plays on the grave of her father Capt. Mujahid Basheer, who embraced Shahadat while fighting against terrorists. Life will go on, but Sibgha will ever miss her father’s love.

 

 HAPPILY BACK HOME 

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Found A New Job

I am Shaista Gul, for years I remained unemployed, which was a constant burden on me and my family. Last year, I got the chance of my life. It came to my knowledge that Pakistan Army is providing free vocational training. I went there and put my heart and soul. The Army instructors were very good. Later Pak Army also gave me a job. Today I very proudly feed my old parents and children. Through many such projects, the local youth of Waziristan is employed on various jobs. This has changed our way of life a great deal.

 

 twoyearzab2.jpgI Got My New Books

Hi, my name is Gul Pari Khan. I live in the famous town of Miranshah, North Waziristan. I am ten years old and I started going to school in TDPs Camp. Taliban never allowed us to go to schools. Even my brothers were often taken away from school to terrorists’ hideouts for IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) training. Now I am back and have found a new girls school near my home. This has been built by Army. I have got my new books for free. One army officer came to our school and gave these books to all of us. I heard they are doing the same in other schools. I am learning day and night to be a doctor.

We also have an internet connection in our school. It is my pastime to learn to decorate homes. I love life, peace and beauty.

I am a girl from new Waziristan!

 

ESTABLISHMENT OF CADET COLLEGES

FATA have remained under developed throughout the known history and even after independence. The persistent un-conducive environment and lack of awareness strengthened the roots of militancy and adverse law and order situation in the area. If one singular reason is to be identified as the root cause of this weird template, lack of education stands out to be the core contributory factor. Pakistan Army, fully realizing the importance of education, has opened many schools and colleges in FATA. The establishment of Cadet College Wana and Cadet College Spinkai (Waziristan) are a manifestation of this strategy. A large number of cadets have passed out from these colleges and are undergoing higher education in professional colleges and universities of Pakistan.

 

The Nation’s War

Ahmer Bilal Soofi (Former Federal Minister/Lawyer)

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Pakistan Armed forces, its Officers and Jawans are fighting this war to enforce the Constitution throughout territories of Pakistan and in doing so they are laying down their lives gallantly to uphold their oath. Let's honor them. The nation should rise up together to honor its defenders.

 

Sarah Tareen (Film Maker)

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I support the troops of Pakistan Army as they fight to protect the motherland and to defeat the enemy within the state. Our soldiers are brave and committed in safeguarding the nation and fulfilling the responsibilities to civilians and victims of terrorism.

 

Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed (Scholar)

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The people of Pakistan have faced serious challenges along the borders with Afghanistan after 9/11. The Pakistan Army as defenders of the borders has taken the brunt and in the process lost thousands of its soldiers. The very fact that in spite of a lack of clear governmental policy in how to deal with the violent militants, the Army has continued to perform its duties unflinchingly and has shown its extraordinary commitment to Pakistan. It is now undertaking major operation in NWA which is a great challenge. The leadership in the Army must never lose sight of the moral high ground and must immediately turn its attention to affecting a long-term solution to ensure peace and stability in the region where people have suffered immeasurably for the last decade. It must give priority to the hundreds of thousands of people, now displaced, with compassion, wisdom and justice. My prayers are that the Army brings peace and prosperity in Waziristan; an area whose people I served as Political Agent and who I grew to love and respect.

 

Amir Zia (Journalist)

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Operation Zarb-e-Azb is not just to eliminate the scourge of foreign and local terrorists and establish writ of the state in North Waziristan, but it is for the very soul of a moderate, enlightened and progressive Pakistan in line with Quaid-e-Azam's vision. It demands complete unity in our ranks. It calls for unwavering and unconditional support to our valiant soldiers, who remain Pakistan's first and the last line of defence.

 

Kiran Khan (Sportsperson)

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May Allah protect our soldiers who are participating in operation Zarb-e-Azb, and who are fighting against those who have unleashed terror against innocent citizens of Pakistan. Of course, brave soldiers of Pak Army are fighting the war for peace and sovereignty of our country.

 

Javed Miandad (Legendary Cricketer)

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We have full confidence on the defenders of our borders. I salute you all and would love to dedicate all my successes and the achievements to our brave troops who are participating in operation Zarb-e-Azb.

 

Ali Moeen Nawazish (Youth Ambassador)

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This has been a watershed and landmark moment in the history of our country. The state finally acted against the menace which has plagued us for the last decade. It is important that the success of this operation continues and we form a narrative of patriotism as per our constitution. We must expand this brilliant effort to counter not only the militant but also the ideological extremists. Pakistan Army had achieved unparalleled successes against terrorism.This mission must continue as it is doing today. We need to bring back the days when our schools didn't need security guards and our children could play on the streets. Our future and our country's future depends on this.

 
10
June

Written By: Ejaz Haider

There was a time, not very long ago, when cricket meant a five-day Test match. The teams wore white and used a red ball. They strategized on the basis of the five-day play. Every day would have on-field drinks breaks, a lunch break and a tea break. A match could be won, lost, or drawn. It was a leisurely affair.


Then came the one-day international, a 50-over game. ODIs were initially played in white kits with a red ball, just like Test cricket. In walked Kerry Packer. He revolutionised the format, bringing in international players, coloured kits, on-field cameras, relaying live the matches on TV channels and getting sponsors. This was the beginning of big money, different rules, fierce competition, bigger crowds, and millions of viewers. ODIs were quick affairs compared to a Test. Usually played over 7 hours, they began attracting far bigger crowds. The pace is much faster and the strategies very different from a Test match.


The great commercial success of ODIs ultimately led people to come up with a yet faster format of the game: Twenty20. T20 is an even more explosive format than the ODI with one team trying to restrict and bowl out the other while the batting side needs to go big on its shots and score as high as possible. Boundaries are common. In fact, the batsmen play to score boundaries. The format witnesses big shots. The crowds roar.

 

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It was not long before teams began to select players according to their temperament and fitness for the three formats. While some players are good for all the three formats, every side now has specialists. It is highly unlikely for teams to include a technically-sound Test batsman, who scores slow and steady, in a T-20 side. The time a batsman would take to play himself in a Test match is about the entire time his side will have in a T-20 to finish their innings.


There’s a lesson in this for the military, too. Not only is war changing, it has, like cricket, different formats now, each very different from the other and each requiring different types of training and leadership. Put another way, there’s no one type of war and specialisation in one type is unlikely to be useful in fighting another, different kind of war.


Consider.
Since the time of Napoleon, and later in the World Wars, militaries trained for interstate, industrial war. Large-scale, army, corps and division-sized movement of infantry, mechanised infantry, armour, artillery, including self-propelled artillery, and supporting elements. Wars were fought along and across large fronts and axes. With the advent of air power, ground troops and movements were supported by the air arm. The air forces not only fight against other air forces, they attack targets in enemy territory, perform interdiction and, very often, close air support operations. This necessitated air-ground coordination, with the air arm degrading the lines of communication to the enemy’s front by operating in the rear and ground troops engaging the enemy frontline through aggressive manoeuvres. This formed the basis of the U.S. military’s Air Land Battle Doctrine in the 80s and 90s.


But the world, as also war, has changed. In fact, today’s war contains several nonlinear wars. The U.S. military’s Full Spectrum Operations doctrine is an acknowledgement of that. The doctrine seeks to dominate all dimensions of the battlespace: terrestrial, maritime, subterranean, NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical), psychological and cyber space. Equally, kinetic force and activities at different levels of war are just one aspect. Wars are now fought at the socioeconomic and political levels, too. Confronting the adversary (or adversaries) at those levels requires strengthening elements of national power other than the military itself, though we shall confine ourselves to the military in this space.


Before the U.S.-led and initiated GWOT kicked off after the 9/11 attacks, the Pakistani military trained for fighting against India in a known terrain. It has always been a disciplined, cohesive force but its capacity, training and doctrines were more WWII type than a force configured for modern changing scenarios. It was, and to a large extent still is, labour-intensive. Its maintenance budget, at about USD7 billion, is slightly high as a percentage of the country’s GDP but much less than what most modern militaries spend. The country’s economy, weak and riddled with structural problems, does not have the industrial and R&D base which can help the military move towards becoming capital and technology-intensive.


When troubles began in the northwestern borderlands, the army was ill-prepared for deployment to those areas and fighting a different kind of war. More than a decade down the road, the army has learnt many of its lessons the hard way. It has lost officers and men and continues to fight in those areas and lose more, though it has become far more adept at handling the elusive groups it has to fight.


Yet, it needs to do much more and better in terms of equipment acquisition, training, planning and doctrines. A better industrial and R&D base would have helped it more, but that is hard to come by.


While the world thought that future wars will be about developing techniques to fight terrorist groups and insurgents, developments in the region and beyond indicate that interstate war is not entirely obsolete. This means the military will have to train for both the formats: fighting an interstate war as well as training for small-unit operations. Add to that other formats like cyber and robotic warfare and we have entered an era like none before.


Going by the example with which we began, this means not just one military that can fight one kind of war. We need militaries within a Military that specialise in fighting different kinds of wars. The Pakistani military took more than a decade to learn to fight elusive adversaries. Its fighting edge has become sharp. But is it also as sharp in terms of fighting a large-scale war?


The nuclear dimension has not only introduced missilery and force reconfiguration (strategic commands), it has also put the weight of C4I2 requirements on the military. As and when Pakistan decides to deploy its strategic assets, it will be subjected to the requirements of safety and security of its deployed assets, including countering physical and cyber attacks. Modern militaries are putting a huge premium on enhancing cyber capacities. In our neighbourhood, Iran is reported to have invested heavily in cyber war and might have acquired the capability to neutralise the communication channels of armed and surveillance drones. In simple words that means one can neutralise and crash a drone without having to shoot it down.


It should be obvious that cyber war will require a different kind of soldier, perhaps civilians who can form an integral part of the military and enhance its capacity.
How does one face these challenges? First and foremost, economy is crucial. Without a robust, growing economy, nothing is possible. Within the ambit of that comes education, a growing industrial base and R&D. Since Pakistan’s inception, we have gone about securing ourselves the wrong way, focusing too much on the kinetic and ignoring those elements that are a prerequisite for a strong military. That must change.


It’s a bad time for good advice. Normally, doing this would require respite from war. That is unlikely. Pakistan is fighting at multiple levels. But despite this situation, this can be done if we pursue policies that help us to reach out to the neighbours and create mechanisms for crisis management. That’s another topic, however.

 

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

Twitter: @ejazhaider

There’s a lesson in this for the military, too. Not only is war changing, it has, like cricket, different formats now, each very different from the other and each requiring different types of training and leadership. Put another way, there’s no one type of war and specialisation in one type is unlikely to be useful in fighting another, different kind of war.

*****

While the world thought that future wars will be about developing techniques to fight terrorist groups and insurgents, developments in the region and beyond indicate that interstate war is not entirely obsolete. This means the military will have to train for both the formats: fighting an interstate war as well as training for small-unit operations. Add to that other formats like cyber and robotic warfare and we have entered an era like none before.

*****

 
10
June

Written By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand

The first nuclear weapon test was conducted by the United States of America on 16 July, 1945. Within 15 years of this test, three bigger countries i.e., the UK, the Soviet Union and France had also exploded their first nuclear devices. Four years later in 1964 China joined the nuclear club. Subsequently for several years the dominance on nuclear weapons remained within the hands of big five nations. In 1969 this elite nuclear club devised the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to restrict the spread of nuclear weapons to other nations of the world. Very strict control was exercised on the design and manufacturing technology of an atomic bomb and to a large extent this was successful. Not only was the design kept under covers but the sale of technical materials and electronic components which could be used to build a bomb were also strictly controlled for all countries which were not signatories of the NPT.

 

whyroumer.jpgThe acquisition of nuclear weapons is strictly dictated by the geopolitical situations of countries and the threat perception that prevails with them. Israel being a small country surrounded by several larger Muslim countries of the Middle East felt a need to develop its own nuclear bomb for its defence or dominance in the Middle Eastern arena. In December 1966, Israel is supposed to have developed its first nuclear device. In an agreement with USA, Israel refrained from exploding its atomic bomb.


Three countries of the world, India, Pakistan and Israel have not signed the NPT. In spite of the restrictions imposed on transfer of technology, equipment and materials, India made its nuclear bomb and exploded it on May 18, 1974. Lukewarm and short lived sanctions were imposed on India as a result of this first attempt to nuclearize South Asia. Pakistan was still in shock of losing the East Pakistan which had become Bangladesh. A naked and blatant armed intervention from India had resulted in the division of the country. The political leadership was quick to realize that the future survival and growth of Pakistan depended upon the acquisition of nuclear weapons of its own to balance the heavy odds in the conventional forces which existed against it. A concerted effort was launched in earnest to establish all the infrastructure needed to arrive at this objective. In 1983, Pakistan successfully conducted its first cold test of a nuclear device. From then on, a development of the nuclear weapons program proceeded at a brisk pace and several designs werefinalized after elaborate cold testing. On the 12th and 13th of May 1998, India once again disturbed the peace in the sub-continent with a series of five nuclear explosions. The seismic stations around the world, however, confirmed only one successful nuclear test. The two weeks following this second nuclear test, the Indian parliament resonated with belligerent speeches made by the political leaders and the Prime Minister of India. The prevalent theme was that of ultimate and total domination of Pakistan, undoubtedly resulting from a position of unchallenged power in the sub-continent. On the May 28, 1998, about two weeks after the Indian tests, Pakistan responded with its own six successful nuclear explosions which reverberated around the world and were picked up by all the seismic centers from Australia to Europe and in the USA.


Pakistan had been following a policy of nuclear peace in the sub-continent since the creation of its Atomic Energy Commission in 1955. The geopolitical situation and threat to its existence forced the country to adopt nuclear weapons program purely for its survival and as a deterrence against the formidable power build up across its eastern borders. As this was the first instance of a Muslim state acquiring nuclear status, the West immediately began to worry about the spread of nuclear technology to other Muslim countries. After 9/11, the world was vastly changed in its outlook towards Islam. The threat of violence and terrorism which began from the Palestinian insurgency in Israel to the spread of Al-Qaeda’s influence around the world also enhanced the apprehensions about Pakistan’s nuclear materials and weapons falling into wrong hands.


In Pakistan, years before the May 1998 explosions, an effort was launched to establish a command and control system within the country to ensure the safe custody of all fissile and other radioactive materials as well as to keep all types of nuclear weapons in ultimate safety. Being the youngest nuclear state, Pakistan was at an advantage to learn from all the existing command and control systems in the developed world and improve upon them for its own adoption. Necessary legislation was promulgated and different institutions were put in place for the implementation of nuclear safety perimeters. Three essential levels of the command structure in Pakistan are:


1. The National Command Authority (NCA): Established in 2000, the NCA is the highest decision making body for nuclear command and control. It has ten members with the President, the Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff at the apex. It has two committees:


a) The Employment Control Committee (ECC) is responsible for policy making during peace time and deployment of strategic forces during war time. It is also responsible to evolve nuclear doctrine from time to time, establish the command hierarchy and policy for authorizing the use of nuclear weapons. This committee also is responsible for an effective command and control system to safeguard accidental and unauthorized use of nuclear weapons.


b) The Development Control Committee (DCC) is responsible for exercising technical, financial and administrative control over strategic organizations involved in the nuclear program. This committee also oversees the development of strategic weapons program.


2. The Strategic Plans Division: It has the responsibility of formulating the policy for nuclear weapons/materials, strategy and doctrine for the assistance of the National Command Authority. It also is responsible for implementation of the decisions of the NCA and operational plans for deployment of strategic forces. It also facilitates day to day running of the administrative, budgetary and security matters of all strategic organizations.


3. The Services’ Strategic Forces Command: Raised from all the three services which have their own respective strategic force commands. Although the NCA exercises the overall strategic operational control, the respective three strategic forces are responsible for daily and tactical operational control of nuclear weapon delivery systems. This operational control includes technical, training and administrative control over missiles and aircrafts that would be used to deliver nuclear weapons.


The decision making in the NCA for the launch and use of nuclear weapons is based on a two/three man rule for authorization, use, assembly and launch of nuclear weapons. No single individual in any part of the institutional hierarchy is in a position to initiate a nuclear strike or operate a nuclear weapon on his own. All contingencies including:


a. Takeover of the government or military forces by extremist individuals.
b. Simultaneous elimination of the entire command and control hierarchy thereby creating a dangerous vacuum in the system to facilitate a takeover of nuclear weapons, are duly catered for through contingency plans in place.


Pakistan’s most modern Computerized, Command, Control, Communication, Surveillance, Intelligence and Information system is considered to be one of the most effective systems in the world. During last ten years, the country has seen extreme pressure from terrorist insurgency with attacks on airports, airbases, city centers, big hotels, civil establishments and even the General Headquarters of the Army. During all these years of turmoil the command and control system of nuclear weapons withstood the tests of time. Not a single gram of nuclear material has been misplaced. All weapon systems ranging from the small tactical NASR which is a 60 km range light weight nuclear missile, to the colossal Shaheen-II or Shaheen-III MRBM having weights in excess of 25,000 kgms and ranges upto 2,750 km have remained secure in the custody of the armed forces strategic commands. In contrast, the world has already witnessed several instances of safety failure in other countries which have resulted in the theft of several kilograms of fissile material uranium 233. This fissile material was lost from the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (USA) many years ago and could be used to build a few nuclear devices. The accidental drop of a nuclear weapon from a bomber of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) off the coast of Spain is an event of not very long ago. There have been serious lapses of safety of nuclear power plants resulting in core melt downs at Chernobyl and Fukushima.

 

The Rumour Games
Hideous Propaganda Against Pakistan’s Nuclear Program

The political planners and strategists of the world, who resent the rise of Pakistan as a significant nuclear power, remain busy in extrapolating and forecasting the quantity and growth of fissile material and weapons in our country (fig. 1). These forecasts naturally raise eyebrows among the political circles in the West. Resultantly, voices are raised doubting the efficacy of Pakistan’s command and control structure. This keeps happening from time to time when it is desired to put political pressure on Pakistan. The nullifying of the Cold Start Doctrine of India with the induction of the NASR tactical weapon has recently perturbed the friends of our neighbors. The successful test firing of Shaheen-III in 2015 has also not been taken very well with some of our Western friends.

 

 whyroumer1.jpgThe Washington Post, which in the past has an antagonistic track record against Pakistan, has published the range of influence of Shaheen-III specifically covering the west of our country (fig. 2). The idea is to alarm Israel and its friends, although, Pakistan has never had any aggressive designs against any country in the world. Our nuclear weapons program exclusively caters for the threat we face from our eastern neighbour. The step wise increase in the range of our ballistic missiles beginning from Ghaznavi and going upto Shaheen-III has been dictated by the Indian missile basis being gradually shifted from east Punjab to south India and now finally to the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.


Since the creation of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in 1955, the country was totally focused on the peaceful application of nuclear technology to the enhancement of its cotton and wheat production and to the provision of effective diagnostics and treatment of cancer patients in its Nuclear Medical Centers. India drove a wedge between Pakistan’s two wings resulting in the breakup of the country. The nation was still in shock when the sub-continent was rattled with the first nuclear explosion at Pokhran in Eastern India and close to the Pakistan border in May 1974. Our belligerent eastern neighbor kept up a relentless pressure on Pakistan with multiple armed intrusions into Azad Kashmir and also across the international border. The sneaking into Siachin Glacier during winter and capturing some strategic heights in order to threaten the communications of the Pakistan Army in this henceforth peaceful region was itself a very serious violation of the line of control in northern areas. All the above mentioned events continued to mount pressure on Pakistan. Ultimately there was no option left for this peaceful country but to launch its own nuclear weapons program for its survival and defense. In face of several armed provocations, extreme restraint was exercised by Pakistan which did not opt for the demonstration of its nuclear prowess. On 12th& 13th May 1998, India once again exploded five nuclear bombs (four of which failed to perform) to stamp its dominance on the sub-continent. Now was the time for Pakistan to respond and it did so with its own six successful nuclear tests on the 28th& 30th May 1998 in Chaghai and Kharan. Pakistan’s missile program moved ahead with success quickly outclassing the Indian delivery options.


Having found its nuclear weapons program neutralized, India proceeded with its nefarious designs of trying to destabilize Pakistan both through further enhancement of its military potential – raising additional armoured divisions under the Cold Start Doctrine, as well as funding and arming terrorism in Pakistan through the Afghanistan border. The NASR tactical weapon system put the Cold Start Doctrine to a cold end. The resultant decade of internal destabilization which Pakistan faced gallantly, came to an end with great sacrifices of the Pakistan’s Armed Forces and the civil society of the country. Facing frustration at the hands of Pakistan’s defense planners and brilliant scientists, India could do nothing more but launch a vicious campaign casting doubts on the safety and security of its nuclear weapons and materials. This propaganda found favor with the West also. The Washington Post and several other elements of their media joined hands to raise a hue and cry that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program would become the third largest in the world by 2020. The recent stalling of military aid to Pakistan by the American Congress is a demonstration of the fact that this propaganda has influenced the American Government also. The Indian lobbies have become very active in casting doubts on the safety and security issue scaring the west that these weapons would become a threat to their society if they fall into the hands of terrorists. Such a notion is readily swallowed in Europe and America which have both experienced terrorists strikes. It has realized beyond all doubts that Pakistan has the most modern and time tested Command and Control system in the world. Conveniently, the developed world forgets its own lapses in nuclear security, be it the theft of its fissile material, the accidental dropping of its nuclear weapons from the bombers of the Strategic Air Command, the melting down of the reactor at Chernobyl or the pollution of the international waters in the Pacific with the unfortunate Fukushima nuclear power plants’ meltdown.


Pakistan will continue to match the threat to its existence from time to time. It will never be cowed down either by Indian military and nuclear advancements or by Western pressure, may it be economic or moral. It will however, always be upper most in the mind of Pakistan’s defense planners to ensure the safety and security of all its nuclear materials and nuclear weapon systems under all circumstances and at all times. It remained so in the past, it will remain so – fully intact and operational in future, too. We owe it to the world.

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 DPhil 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.
Beyond the clouds of false alarms and negative propaganda, nuclear safety is Pakistan’s established capability and top most consideration

*****

The Indian lobbies have become very active in casting doubts on the safety and security issue scaring the west that these weapons would become a threat to their society if they fall into the hands of terrorists. Such a notion is readily swallowed in Europe and America which have both experienced terrorists strikes. It has realized beyond all doubts that Pakistan has the most modern and time tested Command and Control system in the world. Conveniently, the developed world forgets its own lapses in nuclear security, be it the theft of its fissile material, the accidental dropping of its nuclear weapons from the bombers of the Strategic Air Command, the melting down of the reactor at Chernobyl or the pollution of the international waters in the Pacific with the unfortunate Fukishima nuclear power plants’ meltdown.

*****

During all these years of turmoil the command and control system of nuclear weapons withstood the tests of time. Not a single gram of nuclear material has been misplaced.

*****

 
10
June

Written By: Dr. Kamal Monnoo

Like it or not, Pakistan’s defence budget always attracts a lot of attention both from the United States of America (USA) and India: the USA, because its important interests are engaged in Pakistan and the surrounding region, and India, because she has gone to war three times with Pakistan since 1947. However, when making a historic assessment of the Pakistani defence budget over the years, the matter should really be looked at and evaluated from the perspective of our own security concerns, both external and internal. And it is in this context that we have to maintain a careful balance between the ever present financial constraints of a struggling Pakistani economy and the growing challenges on national and regional security. On the one hand we have to be mindful of what the Indians are doing to beef up their defence spending and on the other hand also be aware of the reality that Pakistan is in the midst of a war on terror since 2001; a war that has cost the nation dearly in terms of personnel, material and finances, and more importantly a war that has yet to be taken to its logical conclusion: defeating the enemy within and outside.

defbudget.jpgIndia recently (in February 2016) announced its 2016-17 fiscal budget and defence got $51 billion, 2.25% of India’s GDP. In real terms though the Indian defence budget would be even higher since pensions, border forces, and nuclear warheads (missile development are not included in this amount). In comparison (as per analysis released by Pakistan Ministry of Defence) Pakistan’s defence budget is the lowest in the region. It spends roughly the same allocation as a percentage of GDP (2.30%), but we all know that Pakistan’s GDP is much smaller than that of India; about one eighth. Last year, India overtook Germany to rank at number 8 in the list of countries with the highest military expenditure. It spent more money on national defence than countries like Germany, Brazil, South Korea, Italy and Canada. Pakistan on the other hand ranks at number 27 on the Global Index of Defence Budgets and in 2015-16 spent about $7 billion on its military budget. By the year 2020, India is expected to emerge as the third-biggest country in terms of defence-related expenditures, behind the USA at number 1 and China at number 2. It is expected to spend a whopping $70 billion in the year 2020 on Military Power Projection leaving Pakistan so far behind that it would be virtually impossible for Pakistan to even dream of matching the Indian spendings, in the process leaving it more and more vulnerable against a stockpile of military power developing on the not so friendly eastern side of its borders.


The thing is that with India’s economy expanding at a much higher pace than Pakistan’s – India’s GDP is growing at 7%, whereas, Pakistan’s GDP growth still hovers around 4% mark – and given that the existing Indian economy is already nearly 8 times the size of Pakistan’s economy, essentially in economic terms India virtually adds one whole of Pakistan’s total economic turnover to its economy every year. The next question which then arises is: are India’s armed forces also expanding in the same proportion, i.e. adding to their military might every year equivalent to the whole of Pakistan’s annual defence budget? The answer is: Yes.


India is frantically building and inducting aircraft carriers, Su-30MKI jets, artillery guns, stealth destroyers, stealth frigates, conventional and nuclear submarines, various offensive and defensive missile systems, military satellites, new mountain strike corps, attack helicopters and much more every year. Agreed that Pakistan’s economy in comparison to its Indian counterpart has serious size limitations, but in wake of such weapon frenzy by India, it will be foolhardy to sit idle and not work on developing a credible defence to safeguard its sovereignty.


So naturally in response Pakistan’s Defence Ministry would be looking at a higher allocation in the coming fiscal budget 2016-17, as it plans to acquire and mobilize a new weapon system and with Zarb-e-Azb in full swing it needs more funds to tackle the prevailing law and order and security situation within the country. In addition, the nuclear development program requires continuous resource allocation because one must not forget that Pakistan tested in response to India’s tests, as otherwise given India’s conventional superiority plus nuclear weapons would have become an unacceptable threat to Pakistan amidst an environment of distrust and unresolved issues between the two countries. While, given the asymmetric power situation, Pakistan is unlikely to provoke India but then again India on the other hand has a Cold Start Doctrine that means a sudden strike by it against Pakistan if there is a terrorist attack in India and by the way it will be India that determines whether or not it was sponsored by Pakistan! Threat of war aside, a focus on our necessary defence needs also means that it allows us to maintain strategic stability in our relations with India as well as Afghanistan since there is a conscious realization here that our very own internal stability and prosperity depends on regional stability.


The so called mantra of 70% defence budget is nothing but a pack of lies or display of sheer ignorance. In fact, Pakistan’s defence budget ever oscillates between 15 to 18% for many years. A country’s defence spending depends on a combination of different factors that include: war or the perceived risk of war; security environment such as military expenditure incurred by neighbours; the momentum of the regional arms race; attitude of neighbours, meaning they are friendly or hostile; geo-strategic considerations; and last but not the least, availability of economic resources. Pakistan too has to factor in all these elements when deciding what it needs to spend on its defence. Contrary to the general perception, Pakistan’s defence spending (in purchasing power terms) as a percentage of its GDP and in relation to the various new tasks now shouldered by the Pakistani military, has actually been registering a decline; especially when viewed in proportion to the additional responsibilities the armed forces have had to assume in recent years – taming extremism, countering terrorism, overcoming destabilizing missions of foreign agencies, fighting separatists, protecting civilians, fighting resultant destruction from natural disasters and calamities, and rooting out corruption. Divide the available resources between the funds required in supporting operations against all these new challenges and the total allocation appears rather meagre.


The dilemma being that while the economic managers don’t have much fiscal space to play with, Pakistan’s current high security needs obviate any possibility of curtailing defence expenditure, which already are quite constrained. In fact, with high internal risks and mounting external pressures both on our eastern and western borders, security will need more funding. All indications suggest that India is now in the process of developing a nuclear missile shield. If this happens, it won’t be a defensive arrangement as the name might suggest but an offensive deployment of radars and ballistic missiles designed and deployed to take down incoming missiles at a far-off distance; thereby neutralizing our strategy of off-setting conventional warfare disadvantage by developing nuclear deterrence. With so much at stake, it is imperative that we do not fall behind in securing our national defence and at least the gradual pace of increase in our security/defence expenditure should continue at any cost. In this backdrop, the myth of 70% and maligning of Pakistan Defence Budget appears to be enemy’s trick. It is far off from reality and evidence. Those who fell in the trap of 70% and malign Pakistan defence forces can be called naïve in good faith only – if not friend of the enemy!

The writer is an entrepreneur and economic analyst. He can be reached at

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10
June

Written By: Dr. Huma Baqai

Pakistan was named as one of the nine pivotal states whose future evolution would not only determine the fate of the South Asian region but also affect international stability, said historian Paul Kennedy. The emerging dynamics of the region are indicative of the same.


The power dynamics of the South Asian region is changing at an unprecedented pace. The emerging power assertiveness of China, the equation between Pakistan and China and perhaps Russia and a westward looking India, is bringing about a paradigm shift in the politics and power equation of the region. The Indo-US military alliance is also changing balance of power in the region. To add to all this is the new Iran, economically de-strangulated and displaying political pragmatism after a very long time. This becomes more significant in the backdrop of a very unstable Middle East, and a conflict entangled Saudi Arabia.


Pakistan after a very long time is showing independence of foreign policy. The policy of self-abnegation is changing. Pakistani foreign policy was always a story of constraints and compulsions, the shift is towards options and choices being exercised with caution. Pakistan is trying to balance its relationships both between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and also with China and the United States. The transition is not easy as expectations are of subservience but the response is an assertive and independent policy focusing more on the national interest of Pakistan than any other consideration. In the past, the U.S. especially has been looking more for submission and compliance than co-operation.

 

pakforeignpolicy.jpgThe new independence of action, yet to be recognized more fully is both refreshing and challenging. Some observers may think China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, in which Pakistan has emerged as a frontline state, is a contributing factor. Although it has changed the power and economic dynamics of the region that are a major trigger. It is Pakistan’s relation with China, Russia and Iran that will bring diversity and options in Pakistan’s foreign policy choices. These countries, if Pakistan plays its cards right, will give foreign policy decision independence to Pakistan. Pakistan is now moving away from the western bloc to the eastern side. On the other hand, Pakistan-Russia relations are also on the mend.


Pakistan for the last two decades has been embroiled in conflicts. It had to deal with both their operational dimensions and its aftermath. This continues to be the case.


The emerging new realities of the region that include the shifting of the economic fulcrum from the west to the east, is perhaps a very pertinent development. It may change the future prospects of Pakistan. It is of course CPEC, Pakistani commitment to tackle terrorism and corruption at all levels and Pakistan exercising restraint in the commitments it used to give to the Saudi Arabia in the past. Also a genuine display of desire by Pakistan to improve relations with Afghanistan and to contribute towards peace building in the conflict-torn country.
Pakistan is gradually progressing towards better regional dynamics. However, Pakistan-India relations continue to hamper progress. In fact, the recent revelation that include RAW’s involvement to sabotage the CPEC is indicative of Indian nefarious designs in the region. Soon after the launching of the CPEC, a special cell was established in the RAW with allocation of a huge sum of money amounting approx. $300 million to scuttle this mega-project.


To further add to this, the RAW is actively involved with pro-Indian Afghan Intelligence Agency NDS, by providing weapons, money, training and other logistical support for subversive activities in Pakistan. The recent apprehension and confessional video statement of RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav, vindicates Pakistan’s position.


Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations
The Pakistan-Afghanistan relations are not a simple linear equation. They have been hostage to India’s maneuvering in Afghanistan. The regional proxy war between Pakistan and India in Afghanistan and the U.S. desire to counter Chinese and Russian influence in the region also complicate the situation. The U.S. constantly sends confused signals to Pakistan. Duplicity of action is more on the U.S. side. In the beginning of 2016, Chief of U.S. and NATO troops Lieutenant General Mick Nicholson categorically stated that targeting the Haqqani Network was no longer the focus of United States’ counter-terrorism operations in Pakistan, but later in the year the U.S. demanded the exact opposite from Pakistan. The Afghan policy on Taliban is also confused.


Pakistan is constantly criticized for cultivating Taliban leadership, the same is done by both Afghanistan and the U.S. behind Pakistan’s back. Indian involvement and the U.S. actions in Afghanistan lack transparency, complicating the conflict matrix of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.


U.S. Defence Secretary, Ashton Carter in a recent meeting with senior Pakistani military leaders categorically said, “I must tell you, I am a friend of India. We try to be a trusted partner of India.” India in return for this endorsed the U.S. stand on South China Sea island dispute with China by reaffirming “importance of the freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region including the South China Sea.” The Indo-U.S. alliance is complicating the power equation of the region even more.


The Indian press has also reported that Ashton Carter has conveyed to the Indians that the U.S. has given up on Pakistani cooperation to stabilize Afghanistan and wants India to play a larger role there.


India-US Nexus
The US wants its trade with India to grow multifold and be close to the levels of U.S.-China trade. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal informed the Indian lawmakers that ‘the U.S.-India bilateral trade has grown by a factor of five over the last 15 years, to over $ 100 billion and wants to increase it by another fivefold.’


On the defence front the strides made in recent times are even more gigantic. The defence trade between the U.S. and India has risen from some $300 million to over $14 billion during the last 10 years and it is growing. There is no doubt that the U.S. is investing in a long term strategic partnership with India. Senator Warner after introducing the U.S.-India Defence Technology and Partnership Act, categorically said, “The bill bestows upon India the status it deserves as a partner in promoting security in Asia and around the world.”


The U.S. is also considering to sell India the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missiles – the world’s most advanced – that can destroy tactical ballistic missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction, advanced cruise missile and aircraft. After a decade of shifting gradually towards the U.S., India is set to abandon all norms of non-alignment, sovereignty and autonomy in return for closer military ties. The Modi government has pursued vigorously the three foundational defence agreements, the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had opposed it, suggesting it undermined India’s policy of non-alignment. The crux of the matter is that India has openly allied with the US to counter the strategic convergence between Pakistan, China and perhaps also Russia.


On the other hand, the US-Pakistan relationship seems to be a repeat of what it was like in February, 2007, under the Bush administration where David Sanger’s article created the ground for Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to Pakistan, with the mantra of ‘Do More’, and concerns over Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda and insistence upon military action in Waziristan. Fast forward 2016, after a gap of nine years, The New York Times and Washington Post are at it again. The New York Times editorial captioned “Time to put the squeeze on Pakistan”, squarely blamed Pakistan for the mess in Afghanistan. The only difference is this time the US government has distanced itself from the public and the Congress outcry by saying that its relationship with Pakistan is important and vital.


However, the talk needs to be substantiated with actions on the ground, which seem to be missing. The issue of F-16, Shakil Afridi and lopsided policy on the nuclear issue and the latest drone attack in Balochistan are self-evident. Moreover, the signals of once again trying to minus Pakistan from the peace process in Afghanistan are not indicative of what is being said. The efforts Pakistan is making in Operation Zarb-e-Azb have not been mentioned in the recent narrative about Pakistan.


India-Saudi Arabia Relations
India is also cultivating closer ties with Saudi Arabia and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the UAE and Saudi Arabia within a year, responding to calls in India that the country should insert itself in the broader geopolitical dynamics of the region, involving both Iran and Saudi Arabia. This allows India to counter Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations, but perhaps more importantly, new alliances of US-India and Saudi Arabia-India is in the making; seemingly at the expense of Pakistan. The US-India and India-Saudi Arabia defence and economic collaboration is impressive and growing, and both have strategic implications for Pakistan.


The year 2015 witnessed the historical strategic rapprochement between India and Saudi Arabia. The balance of power in South Asia is determining new global equations. The convergence between Saudi Arabia and India & US and India is more obvious than others and of interest and concern to Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Modi, amongst other objectives, would like to build its ties with Saudi Arabia to isolate Pakistan. Just before the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Riyadh announced sanctions against four individuals and two organizations in Pakistan involved in financing terrorist operations – was this done to please India? The trade and investment ties between the two countries are growing robust. Saudi Arabia is amongst the top five trade partners of India. It is also the largest supplier of crude oil to India. The trade volume between Saudi Arabia and India touched USD 39.4 billion in 2014-2015. In 2012, Saudi Arabia came to India’s rescue by increasing oil exports to compensate for the dwindling supplies from Iran; post-US sanctions on Iranian oil industry. There are nearly 3 million Indians in Saudi Arabia making up the largest expatriate community.


To add to all this, Modi was conferred with the highest civilian honour by the Saudi King, on which even the Indian Muslim community has reservations. Notwithstanding, Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are deep rooted. We will have to remain engaged and not leave any friendship vacuum for India. Pakistan is a natural moderator in any intra-Muslim countries conflict.


Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabian Triangle
India is trying to balance its relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia, however, the convergence that it has with Saudi Arabia has gained a lot more depth. Moreover, Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Hoonardoost’s statement that Iran is willing to become a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is self-explanatory of the scheme of the things to come. The balance, India is trying to achieve, has been achieved by Pakistan. Pakistan foresees the natural convergence of interest between China, Iran and Pakistan. Pakistan and Iran have stakes in peace in Afghanistan. An unstable conflict-ridden Afghanistan has security implications for both Iran and Pakistan. There is an obvious trilateral convergence of interests between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.


In fact the Indian design to destabilize Pakistan, through Afghanistan as a result of which Afghanistan remains conflict-prone, goes against the interests of both Pakistan and Iran. Willliam Dalrymples’ so called deadly triangle comprising India, Pakistan and Afghanistan can be countered by an emerging triangular relationship between Pakistan, Iran and China, and by giving peace a fair chance.


Notwithstanding the above, courting of Iran by India is viewed with concern as to where it could lead to in coming years. However, this factor should not be viewed as a sole threat to Pakistan; neither should this new relationship with India turn relations into Iran-Pakistan a zero-sum game. If Pakistan and China categorically say that CPEC corridor is not against any country and even India should become part of it, Pakistan should walk its talk when reacting to the recently signed agreement to develop Chabahar Port related infrastructure, availability of approximately $500 million for these projects and India’s economic charm offensive in the region.


Chabahar and Gwadar can complement each other rather than be in competition. Moreover, it is not practical for China to use Chabahar, nor has China shown any desire to cultivate it.


Iran is a very mature and pragmatic country, it may welcome the investment India wants to make in building up its port, as any country would, but it cannot erase from its memory the fact that very conveniently the same India had taken a velvet divorce from Iran, when it wanted to pursue the Civil Nuclear Deal with the U.S.. 2004 to 2014 is a lost decade in terms of Iran-India relations, a time when Iran desperately needed friends. In fact, India had also dumped Russia in pursuance of modernizing its armament and creating convergences with the west.


As for Afghanistan, Pakistan has on more than one occasions categorically said that it is committed to Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process. Pakistan believes that Afghanistan has complete independence of economic action but of course, no strategy should be conceived and followed as a counter to Pakistan’s initiatives.


Anybody who understands the ground realities would vouch for the fact that Chabahar is at best an option and not an alternative. It in no way undermines the importance of Gwadar Port.


In addition to it, India initiated Chabahar in 2003, inked in 2015, the logistics cash fluidity and the infamous Indian red-tapism are serious issues. Whereas, Gwadar would be operational in 2017. Moreover, last but not the least, India does not have the money muscles, China does. Pakistan accepts Chabahar with graciousness; it’s not a threat, if Pakistan continues to work on the Gwadar Port and CPEC with speed and commitment.


Pakistan should continue positive engagement with Iran and work on its becoming a part of One Belt, One Road initiative. Iran can be a part of it in spite of Chabahar. There is a natural convergence between the three countries i.e., is China, Pakistan and Iran. But for that, Iran must also cater for Pakistan’s sensitivities. It is but natural that Indian presence on Pakistan’s western border gives birth to suspicion and anxiety.


However, among other things, Pakistan and Iran should also learn from Chinese pragmatism. For years, Pakistan was in a strategic relationship with the US, sometimes even at the expense of China. However, China never held it against Pakistan and raised its concerns, if any, strictly through private diplomacy. This has a lesson for both the countries to avoid any public skepticism and ill-feelings in public.


Pakistan’s Role and Importance
The collaboration between U.S., India and Iran to stabilize Afghanistan, something touted by both U.S. and India, and also being welcomed by a very pro-Indian Afghanistan is unnatural. The desire to subtract Pakistan from the equation is unreal. It has not worked in the past and it would not work now. Bush tried exactly this. He de-hyphenated the India-Pakistan relation to address the Afghan situation and failed miserably. Later the relevance to bring Pakistan in the equation dawned on all. But, once again the U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter sees wisdom in replacing Pakistan with India. However, India strategically cannot contribute towards building peace in a country it uses to instigate violence in Pakistan. India wants to hold Afghanistan hostage to its designs in the region to hurt both Pakistan and China. The soft power thrust is a charade it very successfully uses to further its objective both against Pakistan and China


The security and economic dynamics of foreign policy for Pakistan and China stand intertwined. Pakistan’s focus has shifted from just geo-politics to geo-economics. This is in itself a major paradigm shift. The economic objectives that Pakistan has set for itself have direct stakes for peace and stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and improved relations with Iran and Russia. Pakistan is fast becoming a country investing in the politics of economy of growth, regional integration and peace. Pakistan energies are now geared towards neutralizing all conflicts inside its territory and improving relations with its neighbours to cultivate the atmosphere of peace. Can we say the same for India, with the rise of the RAW activities in Pakistan to sabotage CPEC; unprecedented investment in arm purchase and desire to alter the naval balance of power in the region?


The U.S. supporting all this is also indicative of the Indo-U.S. alliance geared towards promoting the Cold War dynamics in the region including arms race, pitching one state against another and working to curtail Chinese influence in the region – not a recipe for peace. The U.S. and Afghanistan, both are hostage to Indian lobbies, the cost of this is very high for Pakistan, but it is higher for the U.S. and Afghanistan, too. It’s costing 4 million dollar per hour for the U.S. tax payers, and this has gone on for 14 years. The cost for Afghanistan is the very ‘peace’ itself.

The writer is an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences, IBA. She is also associated as a foreign and current affairs expert with Radio Pakistan and a private TV Channel.

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The power dynamics of the South Asian region is changing at an unprecedented pace. The emerging power assertiveness of China, the equation between Pakistan and China and perhaps Russia and a westward looking India, is bringing about a paradigm shift in the politics and power equation of the region. The Indo-U.S. military alliance is also changing balance of power in the region. To add to all this is the new Iran, economically de-strangulated and displaying political pragmatism after a very long time. This becomes more significant in the backdrop of a very unstable Middle East, and a conflict entangled Saudi Arabia.

*****

 
10
June

Written By: Farrukh Khan Pitafi

People like Ajit Doval do not even hesitate to publicly admit they plan to interfere in the internal matters of their neighbours and have no qualms about exporting state sponsored terrorism in countries like Pakistan. Elsewhere where no safety net exists it continues its bullying habits. A recent example is Nepal which was almost choked to death because Indian government did not agree with the country’s constitutional choices. And India still enjoys incredible amount of international goodwill because of its growing market, demographic dividend, entrepreneurship and the efforts of Modi’s predecessors. But that is where the fairy tale ends.

 

Pakistan lives in a rough neighbourhood. And it is mainly due to constant Indian belligerence that the ride has so far been so rough for the young country. From the very inception Indian state has used every element of power to undermine Pakistan and to force its hand. From the dire predictions about Pakistan’s future to the fall of its eastern wing, India did whatever it could to make things difficult for the new country. Unbridled hate is a sickness that when not cured in time can change the state and the society beyond recognition. And while India has used its considerable soft power and charm to project its neighbours, especially Pakistan negatively, it has done little to cure itself of this sickness.


With the election of Narendra Modi as Indian Prime Minister, a feat that looked impossible only a few years ago, things have taken a turn for worse. Narendra Modi is both a product and a symbol of what is wrong with India today. Even though the spadework of an economic revival and growth was done by people like Dr. Manmohan Singh, like Gustav Stresemann in post-WWI Germany, such options were too timid and monotonous for the people of India. Like Nazi prejudices, the extremist tendencies that existed in the Indian society since the very outset and were consolidated in the shape of Hindutva ideology during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s rule, broke surface in 2014 national elections and made their way to the very top.
While Modi’s restless efforts to make India a bit more intolerant bore fruit by bringing to him the ultimate prize – the premiership of India, for other hawks in his party it was merely a beginning of a journey of inspiration. Like Modi’s true Gujarat model where violence against Muslims claimed countless precious lives and thrust Modi to national stage, hawks within the BJP and its allied Sangh Pariwar find it the easiest route to success. So as a consequence Indian state and society are irreversibly morphing into most lethal and unstable versions of themselves.


Along with Modi came his advisors and ministers like Ajit Doval, Arun Jaitley, V.K. Singh and Manohar Parrikar, two-bit snake oil salesmen hell bent on retaining their posts through every means possible. In their presence Indian national discourse, already so muddied by the country’s hawkish media, got further radicalized. So today’s India has acquired an imperial hubris without actually earning the status or capacity of a great power. Hence the country’s self-image is drastically different from the objective reality or what it is to become in due course. From now on you can expect it to be more belligerent, even openly hostile, thinking it has already arrived on the world stage. And it has too; only not in the shape it was expecting to.

 

indiadesprete.jpgNarendra Modi’s face is a constant reminder to the world that a man accused at the very least of looking the other way when extremists burned citizens from a minority community to death under his rule can become the Prime Minister of world’s largest democracy. Hardly the correct marketing mascot you would expect to have. But Indian electorate chose him over other far more palatable options because India today wants to be ‘great’ without actually going through the necessary motions and evolutionary processes. A quick fix if you please. It needed a strongman, tough on its neighbours and aggressive in pursuit of perceived Indian national interest. But while India is not there yet, its choice threatens to be irreversible given how quickly the Sangh Pariwar is changing the social fabric and risks losing the soft power it had acquired by selling the image of a pluralistic democracy for decades. But more of that a bit later.


Today India is well placed in Afghanistan to create more trouble for us. It has sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. In the intervening period it has also enhanced its lobbying capacity in the western capitals to such an extent that Islamabad finds it difficult to make its case there. It has used its media muscles and whispering campaigns to heighten wartime paranoia within our country ensuring that we keep fighting among ourselves and never unite to face the common threats. To the extent that India has even monopolized cricket to make it virtually impossible for us to bring international sporting events back to our country.


Today if you express these concerns on any of open forums like social media, Indian cyber trolls take a minute in reaching you to disabuse you of any notions of parity between the two countries. We are told that India has moved on, it has become something and Pakistan cannot even match. But beneath all this hubris and arrogance lies the age old petty mindedness mired in the cold war mentality where every Pakistani failure is considered India’s gain. From Indian triumph over Pakistan in international cricket tournaments to capturing space left behind by struggling Pakistani foreign policy in America, Europe and the Arab world, India celebrates every small victory as if it is the ultimate purpose of being. And yet this unhealthy obsession with Pakistan is India’s undoing as it keeps it firmly anchored in mediocrities of her initial life.


There is no doubt that Indian bureaucrats and diplomats have played the field well. But that has been made possible because of Indian soft power and legacy of previous governments which is now under constant pressure. The country is rapidly weaponizing and building partisan alliances. It basks in the reflected glory of China, at once trying to project itself as the socialist polity’s partner and the counterweight. It uses fancy ideas like its Cold Start Doctrine to threaten its immediate neighbours. People like Ajit Doval do not even hesitate to publicly admit they plan to interfere in the internal matters of their neighbours and have no qualms about exporting state sponsored terrorism in countries like Pakistan. Elsewhere where no safety net exists it continues its bullying habits. A recent example is Nepal which was almost choked to death because Indian government did not agree with the country’s constitutional choices. And India still enjoys incredible amount of international goodwill because of its growing market, demographic dividend, entrepreneurship and the efforts of Modi’s predecessors. But that is where the fairy tale ends.


Indian society under Modi government is at risk of going flat and losing pluralistic nuances created by the so called Nehruvian consensus. Two core Indian values of democracy and secularism are at loggerheads today. And this state of affairs is not lost on the world. Reports about cow vigilantes, forced and bribed conversions, rapes and hate crimes have all eroded the country’s moral leadership. And such incidents are only a few initial signs of RSS sponsored growing Indian intolerance. Despite best efforts of well-placed Indian diaspora these devastating trends have not been hidden from the world. The New York Times alone has written a number of editorials on the matter. Recently eight U.S. senators and 26 members of the House of Representatives, many of them consistently pro-India, have written an indicting letter to Indian government on the very subject.


One of the election promises of Modi campaign was that his government would bring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country. Owing to the above mentioned negative trends and state of the world economy that promise is still far from being fulfilled. Despite India’s best efforts it is nowhere near becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Its attempts to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group has met stiff resistance. In desperation Narendra Modi has done what he does best. Converting each international interaction for his personal domestic projection as an international statesman. As we were reminded during Modi’s U.S. and UK visits nothing could be farther from truth. There are people who only work with him because he is India’s elected leader. Meanwhile domestically his supporters and allies are making free and open discourse, once hallmark of Indian polity, impossible. It seems more and more unlikely that electorate will vote Modi out in next general elections. As the free space and dissent in India shrinks the world will gradually but increasingly notice the change.


For Pakistan the biggest risk was that a power drunk Modi government would inhale its own propaganda about its infinite power and start a nuclear war. Fortunately, we have Pakistan’s own defence capabilities and deterrence safeguards to stop India from initiating a full scale war. What it has chosen to do in the face of such limitations is to wage a cold war against Pakistan. As the arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav within Pakistani territory reminds us that it would leave no stone unturned to destabilize us. But as our nation has already shown true grit in fighting terror for over a decade, our job today is relatively easy.


Pakistan today is on the mend. The country’s biggest problem since independence is its economic sovereignty. With China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and other similar trading opportunities knocking at our door, the dream of financial independence seems achievable at last. India naturally has sought to sabotage such projects through covert operations. But that too is as much an opportunity as a challenge. What we need is a meticulous cataloguing of such excesses. The time for advocacy will come a bit later when Pakistan has developed enough economic muscle to merit serious global attention.


Meanwhile apart from the economic aspirations, Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and its democratizing polity have equipped it with effective tools that will eventually overtake Indian propaganda campaigns. As India slowly goes in the wrong direction Pakistan can stick to the correct path by building a truly pluralistic, informed and enterprising society. Basing these, a true democracy will be Pakistan’s soft power. That is why India often finds ways to cast aspersions on our government’s civil-military harmony and quality of democracy. As India’s desperation to be great unleashes the Frankenstein’s monster within, we can take solace in the fact that our country’s defence is in able hands and we are on the right track. Once institutions are strengthened in Pakistan, the great irreversible Indian meltdown would become more evident to the world in contrast. We need national harmony and unity like never before.

The writer is an Islamabad-based TV journalist.

tweets @FarrukhKPitafi

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10
June

Written By: Masood Khan

The full title of One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. These appellations manifest that One Belt, One Road is the revival and rejuvenation of the ancient Silk Road but the new routes are much larger in scale and outreach. Such a composite and, at the same time, sprawling initiative is unprecedented in the history of the world. It aims to connect Asia, Africa, Europe and the oceans and seas surrounding these continents, around China's growing global economic clout. China would help finance and build infrastructure networks that would develop Eurasian land bridge, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea as the connective nodes. This vision is couched in China's overarching policy axiom "development equals security". China estimates that once OBOR runs its full course it would bind 4.4 billion people in 65 countries in multiple, intricate and interdependent relationships.

 

 

onebeltone.jpgThe primary purpose of this initiative is to foster connectivity by strengthening and expanding trade and investment arteries, promoting financial integration and increasing Chinese people's interactions with citizens of other countries. Highways, railways, ports, airports, pipelines, telecommunication hubs and industrial zones are being built all over the world with the Chinese help.


China has thus presented a new model in international relations for conducting business among major powers: cooperation and connectivity leading to a spillover of peace and prosperity; rather than competition, exclusion and confrontation.


The OBOR initiative is strong, robust and credible because it commits tangible resources to support and sustain it. China's policy banks have announced that they would finance the projects whose initial cost is estimated to be at least one trillion dollars. China has already invested hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure projects in more than 60 countries. China's economic geography is therefore trans-continental and transoceanic. The new OBOR is supported by China-led multilateral development banking system in the form of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund. Chinese efforts to mainstream its currency, Renmenbi, as international currency are paying dividends, thanks to China's well-woven web of currency swap arrangements with dozens of nations across continents. What is more, China has been succeeding in its efforts. This new architecture, however, overtime will compete with the Asian Development Bank and the Bretton Woods Institutions.


The question in the policy and academic circles is whether OBOR is a win-win, inclusive economic enterprise or China is seeking strategic influence through it. Both dimensions are relevant – the economic in the the short-term and the strategic in the long run. The latter will be a product of the former. OBOR's intent is geo-economic; its cumulative impact would be geo-strategic. Power configurations would alter!


OBOR will benefit China for sure. Since the turn of the century, the leadership of the Communist Party of China has been trying to spur economic growth in its western and southern provinces to bring them at par with the eastern provinces. This goal is now being pursued vigourously under the rubric of OBOR. It is also true that China over the years has accumulated excess capacity in industry, manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure that is going abroad. This is precisely what the western national and multinational corporations have been doing for years – taking their abundant expertise abroad for investment.


In the past decade, China has been deeply wary and concerned about its encirclement in the East Asia where it was constantly challenged by its neighbours in the north – Japan and ROK – and Vietnam and the Philippines and other ASEAN countries – in the south, all backed by the US. China would not cede its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region, and in fact has become more assertive on the disputed islands issue. It desperately needed to look for alternatives.


From 2008 to 2012, before the launch of OBOR, Chinese leaders and academics strongly hinted that they were working on conceptualizing a Go West policy, among others, to balance the United States' pivot or rebalance to Asia. The U.S. influence in Central Asia was tenuous, Russia and China were bound together through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Europe was not overtly hostile to China, and Africa welcomed China's investments. China had already constructed oil and gas pipelines originating from Central Asian states to China. Pakistan emerged as a strong, potential conduit for direct access to the Middle East through land route for developing a reliable, alternative corridor for energy security. During a crisis, these new routes would enable China to bypass the chokepoint of the Malacca Strait.


As the new Silk Road would pass straight through Central Asia, still considered by Russia as its sphere of influence, would China's ingress into this region on this scale disrupt Russia's arrangements and cause disaffection in Moscow? The answer is no. Russia sees clear advantages in China's deeper economic and strategic ties in Central Asia which should help it deal more securely with the U.S. and Europe, stave off Western forays into Central Asia, and fight Islamic extremism in its own territory. Of course, as OBOR progresses, Russia's influence in the region could be affected.


Does OBOR signal that China has unfurled its grand strategy to become world's preeminent engine of growth and a new strategic kingpin? The answer is that China already is indispensable for world markets but its strategic influence is evolving and would be shaped in great part by a successful implementation of OBOR.

 

 

onebeltone1.jpgEurope welcomes OBOR as a whole but the European Union hopes that decisions would be taken by Brussels on behalf of the entire EU, and China would not transact with EU members bilaterally. The EU also fears that China's inroads in the Central and East European nations under the framework of CEE + 1 would erode its own influence in the regions. In the years to come, the EU would try to persuade Beijing to assimilate OBOR into the framework of the EU-China Strategic Partnership and European Maritime Security, as an extension of its European Union Neighbourhood Policy. But it would have only limited success because many European countries like to deal with China individually and directly.


The U.S. would strive to slow down the juggernaut of OBOR by such instruments as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, but the tired and overstretched western economies, or their parliaments, will not be able to cough up critical amounts for new infrastructure projects in the three continents earmarked by China.


In the meantime, China would like to beef up supporting mechanisms of OBOR – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures (CICA), as well as pare back opposition to Beijing within ASEAN.


Now let us turn to the Indian Ocean.
The most visible and palpable impact of the OBOR in regard to the Indian Ocean is the announcement to build the Gwadar Port as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). India is neuralgic about this development. Shayam Saran, India's former Foreign Secretary wrote, if OBOR succeeded, India would be "consigned to the margins of both land and maritime Asia." India's worries stem from two sources: CPEC and the Maritime Road, and the latter, en route, projects its linkages to the ports of Chittagong, Kolkata, Colombo and Karachi. Sri Lanka has signed an agreement with China on Colombo Port City Project. China will build a deep-water port and a special economic zone in Kyauphyu in Myanmar. This perturbs India. For years, India has been considering the Indian Ocean as its exclusive backyard lake and considers that these developments would undercut its influence vis-a-vis other littoral states.


India has taken several steps to secure its position. To begin with, it has criticized China for launching OBOR as a unilateral, national initiative and urged it to transform it into a regional or international cooperative initiative to enhance connectivity. It has also objected to CPEC passing through the Gilgit-Baltistan territory. On the other hand, it has joined AIIB with a proviso inserted in its Charter requiring the agreement of the parties to the conflict in regard to projects in the disputed territories. India is also conveniently using Sri Lankan ports developed by China and has invested in Iranian Chabahar to counter Gwadar, and access Central Asia through Iran and Afghanistan. India has shown scant enthusiasm for the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor, the corridor being promoted by China, but has floated an idea for a direct India-China Silk Route Corridor (ICSRC) connecting Xinjiang with Ladakh. In fact, India would first try to develop its own geo-strategic, maritime realm and then absorb the BCIM in it. Its desired realm would include the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, the Mekong-Ganga corridor, a prong passing through Myanmar's Rakhine province, and connecting to the Sittwe port. This network could then be looped with Sri Lanka's Trincomalee and Iran's Chabahar.


This all looks good on paper and surely ambition permeates these aspirations but India does not have China's ingenuity and resourcefulness to accomplish these goals. Since China's Belt seemingly renders India helpless and China's Road makes it insecure, India would invest even more heavily in its conventional and strategic military capabilities. Indian Navy will grow exponentially. Indian response to China also includes an attempt to rename Asia-Pacific as the Indo-Pacific region, among others, to create legitimacy for its presence in the South China Sea. India's investment in armaments, with the backing of the U.S., would make the Indian Ocean much more unstable and volatile. This could also threaten to erode China's vision of a global community of shared destiny.


India believes that it owns and dominates the Indian Ocean and that the United States' naval presence at Diego Garcia is largely symbolic, leaving pretty much to India to patrol the high seas from the Gulf of Aden to the Malacca Strait. It only grudgingly recognizes the role and presence of other navies, including Pakistan's.
But there is a new player in the Indian Ocean – China – which in 2008 dispatched its flotilla for UN Security Council-mandated anti-piracy operations off the Gulf of Aden. India has hyped Chinese submarines' "visits" to the Indian Ocean and development of Hambantota and Gwadar worry India to create a justification for its tests of submarine launched, second strike capable, long range intercepter missiles in the Indian Ocean. Apparently, and disingenuously, India's concerns extend to the eight Chinese Yuan-class conventional submarines for Pakistan, and nuclear armed missiles on Pakistan's ships. Besides the US and India, Australia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, France and the United Kingdom will have a role in the Indian Ocean, in varying degrees.


China would enter into the Indian Ocean slowly and steadily but in a self-effacing manner so that it is not perceived as an extra-regional power. But its real competition is with the United States' world class navy, which China could outcompete in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in the next two decades. Until that time, China would meticulously avoid gratuitous projection of its blue water strengths, though it has demonstrated them amply and credibly.


India would remain restive and the U.S. would continue to redeem it. As Economist, in its article "A Suitable Boy?" published in its April 16 issue, points out, the U.S.-India Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement opens up new avenues for cooperation between the two nations in the Indian Ocean and enables India to acquire U.S. made "long-range patrol aircraft and drones, maritime helicopters, aircraft carrier technology and anti-submarine gear." This, the magazine argues, India needs in part to counter Chinese built "network of bases…. extending from Myanmar to Pakistan to Djibouti."


Against this backdrop, Pakistan has some stark choices. I underline ten priorities.
First, Pakistan has to implement the CPEC as a strategic project. And this is already being done. Necessary measures are being taken to provide security to Chinese personnel, entities and assets. We have to continue to combat terrorism, because that too undercuts CPEC, and allay Chinese concerns regarding the activities of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). This is already being done quite effectively.


Second, the people of Pakistan have to give broad ownership of the CPEC. In that context, repeated attempts to build political consensus are a must, as we have seen in the recent past. The government and various political forces have crafted a semblance of consensus. And, as we know, consensus building is not a one-off exercise. It needs to be continuously nurtured. It requires constant engagement and endeavour. This too I believe is happening.


Third, by embracing the CPEC and Gwadar, Pakistan has also opted for its strong naval presence in the Indian Ocean. That necessitates a stronger Pakistan Navy for protection of the sea lanes carrying our as well as international merchandize and for general maritime security. This task, as Pakistan Navy knows, would require more naval assests and related infrastructure. While China would be there to safeguard its own interests in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, Pakistan, which up to now has been largely oriented as a land and air power, would have to build its conventional and strategic naval muscle proportionately. Pakistan's full spectrum deterrence will not be complete without a triad vis-a-vis India, including a symmetric and credible naval component. The stronger a country's economy is the stronger security cover it would need to protect and maintain it. Pakistan has a narrow window to buttress its naval capabilities. The opportunity will vaporize fast if we think that this task belongs to the distant future.


Fourth, Pakistan has to fight off a fierce battle against espionage and subversion on its soil. There would be a thick precipitation of spy networks, from friends and foes alike in varying degrees, along the coastline and Gwadar itself is a target. Indian commander Kulbhushan Yadav's clones will continue to proliferate. Both Pakistan and China know that. Deeper cooperation and a more effective strategy are therefore required to combat this menace.


Fifth, a comprehensive mapping and oceanographic survey of our maritime sector and marine resources should be expedited to develop our coastal economy so that it can support the mega-project of CPEC. The National Institute of Oceanography should be activated and this kind of effort should be led by Pakistan Navy, with the full support of the concerned ministries and parliament. We have to think of Pakistan's coastal economies supplementing and augmenting the land-based economy; and of weaving together the entire coast encompassing Gadani, Ormara, Pasni, and Jiwani.


Sixth, since 95% of Pakistan's freight trade is seaborne, it is necessary to equip Karachi and Bin Qasim ports with modern technology, enhance dredging capacity, and improve their management to make them competitive regionally. This work is already being done in collaboration with China but it needs more emphasis, and a newer orientation.


Seventh, while Pakistan strives to create national harmony and a peaceful neigbourhood, it should lend a helping hand in stabilizing the situation in the Middle East and the Gulf Region. The old order is fragile and new levers for equilibrium have to be explored by regional states.


Eighth, one of the weakest point in Pakistan's foreign policy today is limited exposure to Africa. To be a CPEC, OBOR and Indian Ocean nation, Pakistan should reach out to Africa, which is an upcoming continent, and set up common platforms with Africa's emerging economies.


Ninth, Pakistan should further consolidate its all weather friendship and strategic cooperative partnership with China. It should simultaneously develop and maintain good relations with the U.S., Russia and Europe and littoral states in the Indian Ocean. Instead of a unilinear approach, it should pursue a multi-angular foreign policy to reduce competition and confrontation in the Indian Ocean and to ensure the success of CPEC.


Finally, Pakistan should not implement the CPEC and hook up to the OBOR by clinging to a mindset based on past constructs of failure. Pakistan's economy, CPEC, and Pakistan's state have turned a corner. We, Pakistanis, tend to oscillate between megalomania and appeasement. The megalomaniac says we should conquer the world; the appeaser whispers that we should surrender, unconditionally, to whoever hurls a howl at us. Our calling as a nation is for neither of these choices, because we have to build a progressive, democratic and prosperous state harking to the aspirations of its 200 million people devoted to the ideals of peace and amity.
Last year, after President Xi Jinping's visit to Pakistan, an astute Indian analyst wrote that the "historic Chinese thrust to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean via the Gwadar Port, if it is allowed to succeed, will transform the geopolitics of the entire region phenomenally" and make Pakistan "one of the most coveted real estates in global politics...." The onus is on us to make Gwadar and CPEC a success and to believe in our destiny as a pivotal state.

The writer is Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad and a former Ambassador to the United Nations (in both New York and Geneva) and China.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From 2008 to 2012, before the launch of OBOR, Chinese leaders and academics strongly hinted that they were working on conceptualizing a Go West policy, among others, to balance the United States' pivot or rebalance to Asia. The U.S. influence in Central Asia was tenuous, Russia and China were bound together through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Europe was not overtly hostile to China, and Africa welcomed China's investments. China had already constructed oil and gas pipelines originating from Central Asian states to China. Pakistan emerged as a strong, potential conduit for direct access to the Middle East through land route for developing a reliable, alternative corridor for energy security. During a crisis, these new routes would enable China to bypass the chokepoint of the Malacca Strait.

*****

India is also conveniently using Sri Lankan ports developed by China and has invested in Iranian Chabahar to counter Gwadar, and access Central Asia through Iran and Afghanistan. India has shown scant enthusiasm for the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor, the corridor being promoted by China, but has floated an idea for a direct India-China Silk Route Corridor (ICSRC) connecting Xinjiang with Ladakh. In fact, India would first try to develop its own geo-strategic, maritime realm and then absorb the BCIM in it. Its desired realm would include the Adnaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, the Mekong-Ganga corridor, a prong passing through Myanmar's Rakhine province, and connecting to the Sittwe port. This network could then be looped with Sri Lanka's Trincomalee and Iran's Chabahar.

*****

Indian response to China also includes an attempt to rename Asia-Pacific as the Indo-Pacific region, among others, to create legitimacy for its presence in the South China Sea. India's investment in armaments, with the backing of the US, would make the Indian Ocean much more unstable and volatile. This could also threaten to erode China's vision of a global community of shared destiny.

*****

By embracing the CPEC and Gwadar, Pakistan has also opted for its strong naval presence in the Indian Ocean. That necessitates a stronger Pakistan Navy for protection of the sea lanes carrying our as well as international merchandize and for general maritime security. This task, as Pakistan Navy knows, would require more naval assets and related infrastructure. While China would be there to safeguard its own interests in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, Pakistan, which up to now has been largely oriented as a land and air power, would have to build its conventional and strategic naval muscle proportionately. Pakistan's full spectrum deterrence will not be complete without a triad vis-a-vis India, including a symmetric and credible naval component. The stronger a country's economy is the stronger security cover it would need to protect and maintain it. Pakistan has a narrow window to buttress its naval capabilities. The opportunity will vaporize fast if we think that this task belongs to the distant future.

*****

One of the weakest point in Pakistan's foreign policy today is limited exposure to Africa. To be a CPEC, OBOR and Indian Ocean nation, Pakistan should reach out to Africa, which is an upcoming continent, and set up common platforms with Africa's emerging economies.

*****

 

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