18
September
September 2017(EDITION 09, Volume 54)
 
Written By: Maria Khalid
In many instances technology becomes a threat affecting human minds as at least some of their issues stem from experiences they have on social media. Terrorism in its advance manifestation is targetting educated youth, especially ISIS, and manipulating them with the ideals they portray....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand
The safekeeping of nuclear and other strategic weapons has always been given enhanced attention over the storage of conventional weapons system. Since the first development of nuclear weapons more than 70 years ago, gradual development of the command and control of these very sensitive weapons.....Read full article
 
Written By: Mushaal Mullick
If anyone asks me what is Kashmir for me? I will seriously fall short of words to express my emotions. Respected readers, it is nothing but all soul for me. Today, for the very first time, I will give my most personal perspective and bond with the journey of freedom struggle of Kashmir.....Read full article
 
Written By: Anwar Ahmed
Indian war of aggression in Kashmir begun by landing her forces on October 27, 1947.Kashmir War 1947-48.Despite United Nations Security Council Resolutions, no plebiscite held in Kashmir due to India....Read full article
 
Written By: Col Azam Qadri (R)
Captain Muhammad Sarwar was the first Nishan-e-Haider in the history of our great nation. He was born in village Singhori, Rawalpindi in 1910. His father, Raja Muhammad Hayat Khan served in the British Indian Army and rose to rank of....Read full article
 
Written By: Sadia Sattar
We knew this once we were strafing the Indians. But the mission of destroying the Indians was of great strategic importance, and for that I and my pilots took maximum risk. We had been able to destroy Indian forces advancing to capture Lahore. We destroyed their tanks, guns, infantry....Read full article
 
Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha
Ever since Pakistan’s war with India in 1965, highly polarizing debates have continued to erupt concerning the nature and result of the conflict. On the one side are those who claim that Pakistan won the war, while on the other side are those who suggest otherwise....Read full article
 
Written By: Squadron Leader Usama Tassawar
“For the people on ground, if they want to know how exactly the life of a Sherdil inside a cockpit is; It’s a tight rope walk with blindfolds on. It is an absolute trust on members and they, in turn, trust the leader blindly even to doors......Read full article
 
Written By: Zarrar Khuhro
Dispensing with the hyperbole, let’s take a close look at what Donald Trump’s new Afghan policy means for the region in general and Pakistan in particular. To begin with, calling it ‘new’ would be something of a misnomer as, in broad strokes, it is a continuation of past policies.....Read full article
 
Written By: Zubair Torwali
There were no roads and people from the faraway villages had to walk all this distance. There was scarcity of rations in every house but many people did not care about that and opened their Bethaks and Hujras for the wayfarers. In the village of Chikri the locals would treat.....Read full article
 
Written By: Brig Syed Wajid Raza (R)
It was a pleasure to see young Jamal in Sialkot who had recently joined 5th Battalion of the Azad Kashmir Regiment, a composed and confident Balochi officer from the remote region of Balochistan. With every passing day, he grew humble with obvious signs indicative of brave gestures and postures....Read full article
 
Written By: Hilal Desk
OUR SACRIFICES.MARTYRS AND GHAZIS.OUR STRUGGLE....Read full article
 
Written By: Capt Faisal Siddique
The United Nations African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) is the first joint Peacekeeping Mission in UN History and so far the largest peacekeeping mission. UNAMID has been operating under UN Security Council Resolution since 2007 under UN Security Council Resolution to bring peace in Darfur. The mandate....Read full article
 
Written By: Ayesha Farooq
Imagine walking down a slum area with open sewers, foul smells and miasma of marshes where humans lay literally on the ground; alive but with a skin full of ugly sores, their limbs dilapidating and sensations in them so lost that they remain unaware while rats gnaw at their decaying limbs. How many of us will cross.....Read full article

 
Lieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jordan Armed Forces, who was on a three days official visit to Pakistan, called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman JCSC at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi.........Read full article
 
General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited Rajgal valley, Khyber Agency on August 5, 2017. COAS was given detailed briefing on progress of Operation Khyber IV in which forces have cleared over 90% of the objective area.....Read full article
 
Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah officially visited Germany. During the visit, the Naval Chief called on Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Germany, Vice Admiral Ruehle, German Naval Chief (Inspector of German Navy), Vice....Read full article
 
A seven member high level Afghan Military delegation led by Lieutenant General Muhammad Zaman Waziri, Commander 201 Corps, ANA, visited HQ 11 Corps Peshawar and held meetings with Commander Peshawar Corps, Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt. Meeting......Read full article
 
COAS highlighted the importance Pakistan accords to its relations with U.S., particularly security cooperation and efforts towards regional stability. COAS said that Pakistan has undertaken operations against terrorists of all hue and colour. He reiterated his commitment to work in close coordination with Afghan ....Read full article
 
A group of students and faculty members from University of Central Punjab spent a day visiting various military units and formations of Pakistan Army at Lahore Garrison. The program was specifically organised to enlighten students on routine.....Read full article
 
Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated all across the country with traditional fervour. Various ceremonies were arranged to mark this historic event as well as a breathtaking airshow by Pakistan Air Force....Read full article
 
Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was awarded the Legion of Merit in recognition of his services for promotion of defence ties between two air....Read full article
 
Ground Breaking Ceremonies of Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC) and 2nd Force Protection Battalion were held at Karachi. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah graced the ceremonies as chief guest. Commander Coast, Rear ....Read full article
 
Modern battlefield is likely to witness all arms and services under a fluid and demanding environment. Foregoing, operation oriented training has always been the focal consideration of Pakistan Army. Bridge/watermanship training being....Read full article
 
The program was organized to enlighten students on routine functioning of Pakistan Army and, its organizational and defence capability. Students took keen interest in compound clearing demonstration by a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), students chanted slogans of Pakistan Zindabad and applauded the swift and.....Read full article
 
18
September

Written By: Ayesha Farooq

Imagine walking down a slum area with open sewers, foul smells and miasma of marshes where humans lay literally on the ground; alive but with a skin full of ugly sores, their limbs dilapidating and sensations in them so lost that they remain unaware while rats gnaw at their decaying limbs. How many of us will cross such a path as quickly as possible averting our eyes from the dreadful sight trying our best to never be able to recall the horrendous picture? Perhaps ninety-five percent of us. How many of us will stop, inquire the reason for such a miserable state of the destitute, learn that these people have been outcast by the society due to the abominable disease they suffer from, and then leave in a state of sadness? Probably four-point-nine percent of us. How many of us will try to send a donation to help these people? May be the remaining zero-point-one percent. But who amongst us will be the one to feel so deeply hurt by the despondent circumstances that it compels us to make a key lifetime decision; of staying right there, never going back home, for the rest of our lives in order to bring a reform? Quite possibly none of us. It will take a heart of gold, spirit of an angel, courage, bravery and strength of a warrior and a level of compassion that is purely selfless. Such a combination is too rare to be found. However, one woman who belonged to a city in the erstwhile Eastern Germany, was blessed with all of these attributes and she made sure to put them to service in the best possible manner. Her name was Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau.

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Born in Germany before World War-II in the city of Leipzig, Ruth was four years old when atrocities on a smaller level began while as a teenager she witnessed the official war break out. Watching her city get bombed each day, passing by scalded and crippled bodies of people suffering inconceivable pain, she realized that if there was anything she could do to help ease the misery, it would be if she knew how to heal the wounds. There, she decided to become a doctor. Her persistent determination led her to cross the dangerous demarcation line in 1948 travelling from East Germany to West Germany to pursue education as a medical student. Once graduated, she joined the catholic order of ‘Daughters of the Heart of Mary’ where she found out from Misereor (German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation) that professional medical staff was urgently needed in some developing countries. Ruth, by then known as Dr. Pfau, gave it a thought and deduced that post-war Germany was already laying the foundation to get back up on its feet and would be able to do it without her because it had an educated youth, but she desired to be a beacon at a place where hope was dying. Thus, she decided to leave for Bombay, India. On her way, she stopped over at Karachi due to visa problems and happened to visit the slum quarters commonly called Leper’s Colony on McLeod Road where she witnessed the horrifying scenes she had never imagined before. There existed only a small dispensary made out of wooden crates surrounded by long lines of leprosy patients from adults to children, having lost every sense of dignity while their flesh became nutrition for rats and themselves been abandoned for suffering from a disease that the society considered incurable. The drains were open and sewage water mixed with garbage giving birth to unbearable stench. Ruth was appalled beyond words but was not sickened. The insufferable condition of people and the colony did not deter her for she was not an ordinary passer-by, she was the one with the heart of gold. She cancelled her plan to go to India and made a lifetime decision; to stay in Pakistan and love the most despised.


Love indeed, remained her guiding stone throughout her life as she started working diligently for patients of leprosy. Her approach was not limited to treating the patients and provision of free drugs, she focused on rehabilitating the alienated human beings to bring back in them dignity, esteem and honor that they had long been deprived of. Dr. Pfau started by reorganizing the dispensary into a proper care unit for leprosy patients, trained paramedical staff, compiled a curriculum for further trainings, gathered funds from wherever possible and most of all, preached compassion and mercy towards the patients. She ate with the patients, touched them without hesitation and made them feel human again. In the beginning when Dr. Pfau tried to involve the municipal administration she was told by a doctor that leprosy did not exist in Pakistan. Such a response clarified her concepts and she decided not to waste any of her time and begin moving forward on her mission physically and socially to build an infrastructure not only for controlling the most neglected disease but rooting it out as well. Within three years, her efforts started bearing fruit and she was able to set up an actual leprosy clinic known as Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC). At the launch of clinic, she had about a hundred families being treated. When the news of a free of cost treatment facility for leprosy spread, almost a thousand families approached MALC from different parts of Pakistan. She travelled to her home country a number of times during this time to collect funds. By the year 1968, her services had started getting attention when she was awarded ‘The Order of the Cross’ from Germany. She utilized the spotlight to attain Government of Pakistan’s support as she aspired to expand the leprosy control program thereby setting in motion a ‘National Leprosy Control Programme’ in collaboration with MALC establishing leprosy centers across the nation. From the vast mountains of Kashmir to the barren land of Balochistan to deserts in southern Sindh, she left no place deprived of her visit. Her network stretched to far off areas with her workforce manifold; from Sindhis, Balochis, Pathans, Panjabis, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and a dozen other ethnic groups worked in harmony at the leprosy centers. In the year 1996, World Health Organization (WHO) declared leprosy to be under-control in Pakistan. A breakthrough Pakistan could not have achieved had it not been for Dr. Pfau to address the issue while the local doctors remained in denial of leprosy’s existence in the country.

pradigoflove1.jpgRuth Pfau ventured on to cross newer milestones every step of her journey of love. Love that was unconditional, devout and wholesome. She embraced her crippled patients and made them forget about their deplorable state, gave them hope and made sure to convey that she loved them as persons. Leprosy being under-control did not stop her. She said in her interview to Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, “If WHO points out that leprosy is under-control, that does not mean the danger is over. We made this mistake much too often. The moment we controlled malaria, we fought the fronts, and today it is one of the most common causes of death. We also dismantled the fronts when we had tuberculosis under control, and TB has returned. We certainly do not want similar for leprosy. To this end, we have given too much, my team has often enough risked their lives to get leprosy under control. Leprosy has a very long incubation period, so we have to maintain our network for a long time”. Thus, after the leprosy control program succeeded, she started working on Leprosy Elimination Program, a rather bigger challenge due to long incubation periods of leprosy. Alongside, she started a Triple Merger strategy which was aimed at tuberculosis and blindness prevention programs for utilizing the widespread network of MALC to the full capacity. The program was further developed into Extended Leprosy Control Program (ELCP) in 2002. Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre continues to progress and today is an eight-storey hospital as well as the hub of 157 leprosy centers situated across the country.


Over the course of five decades spent in Pakistan, Dr. Pfau was awarded with numerous accolades including Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Hilal-e-Pakistan, Nishan-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Life-time Achievement Award from the Government of Pakistan and the Honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Agha Khan University. She also received various international honors such as the Damien-Dutton Award from USA, Marion Doenhoff-Prize and The Commanders Cross of the Order of Merit with Star from Germany and many others. Once she was asked whether she wanted to receive a Nobel Prize and she laughed off saying what would she do with that, for her concerns were beyond what material awards could do. Although, the general perception about humanitarians is that they have much less to give an opinion on the political system of a country but Dr. Pfau was one of a kind. Having survived one of the greatest wars the world has seen and authored several books, she was a woman vocal in her opinions without hesitation. In her interview to Tribune she said that if she had to make an electoral choice for Pakistan it would definitely not be democracy. In her words, “I was a happy 30-year-old when the Berlin Wall fell and democratic values triumphed. But democracy needs education and education is barely given any attention in Pakistan. So, I don’t know how far democracy will succeed here.”. Moreover, she revealed that the most kind to her were the men in uniform and her efforts attained recognition and support from the military rulers more than any civilian statesmen of Pakistan.


Dr. Pfau’s work did not remain limited to leprosy patients. She traveled from city to city whenever a natural calamity or a refugee crisis hit Pakistan. Be it TDPs due to operations being carried out against terrorism or those affected by earthquakes and floods, she was there for everyone. Most often, her inclination used to be to reach where no one else had been willing or able to go. In an interview to BBC when Ruth was busy helping the people affected by the deadly flooding in Pakistan in 2010, Mervyn Lobo, who traveled with her for years said, “Working with Dr. Pfau is very, very difficult, because she has such immense stamina, that I don't think anyone can match”. Despite being in her eighties, she used to visit the wards and meet the patients with the same gentle and caring attitude that she had in her yesteryears.


Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau, the woman who was an apotheosis of love in this world, breathed her last at the age of 87 on August 10, 2017 and was laid to rest in full honors of the state funeral held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on August 19. The honour, respect and love displayed by the people and state of Pakistan on Dr. Ruth’s death is also testimony to the fact that Pakistanis by nature are most loving, caring and tolerant people. This love is not bound by caste, colour or creed. Those who came to attend the funeral of Dr. Ruth, their tears and sombre gestures are a message to the world that life deeply exists in Pakistan beyond the false images of a violent country mostly created by the western media.


Through her exemplary life, she demonstrated how love can conquer what wars cannot. Pakistan not only has a lot to learn from the legendary Ruth Pfau but also is indebted to her, and while it may help to remember her more by changing labels on hospitals and streets after her name, her mission can only be accomplished when the message of love, tolerance, harmony and acceptance regardless of caste and creed will be acted upon.

 

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18
September

Written By: Capt Faisal Siddique

The United Nations African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) is the first joint Peacekeeping Mission in UN History and so far the largest peacekeeping mission. UNAMID has been operating under UN Security Council Resolution since 2007 under UN Security Council Resolution to bring peace in Darfur. The mandate of the mission includes protection of unarmed civilians, mediation of peace talks, promotion of rule of law and human rights and assistance in humanitarian activities. Major troop contributing countries include Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Egypt and Tanzania. Pakistani contingent in the mission includes two infantry battalions, one engineer company, one field hospital and one formed police unit.

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In May 2016, a Pakistani battalion (Pak Batt 3) was relocated in Kutum Sub-Sector and in August 2016, Pak Batt 5 relieved Pak Batt 3. Kutum, known as birthplace of the war in Darfur, has remained one of the most volatile areas of Darfur. The area was totally uncontrolled with no functioning government machinery. Even UNAMID troops were restricted to the camp site and often ambushed and raided along the main supply route. Under these circumstances, Pakistani Contingent was trusted by the UNAMID leadership for bringing peace in the area. Pak Batt 5 under Contingent Headquarters undertook the challenging task achieving praiseworthy and exemplary results which have been appreciated at the highest level within UNAMID and among the local government authorities and communities. The professional approach of Pak Batt 5 has brought peace in the area. Pakistani Contingent also undertook significant WHAM activities projecting soft image of Pakistan amongst the local communities under an international environment. Major activities include medical camps, renovation of mosques and schools, construction of youth centers for boys and girls, construction of women vocational training center and basic girls school, initiation of inter-community harmony dialogues and promotion of sports. The performance of Pakistani Contingent can be judged from the fact that Kutum has not seen any communal or ethnic conflict for the last one year. Government departments are now fully functional in Kutum Sub-Sector.


To commemorate successful completion of Pak Batt 5’s tenure in UNAMID, medal wearing ceremony was held at Kutum on August 7, 2017. Elegantly turned out Pakistani Contingent Pak Batt-5 (26FF Khaara Shagaaf Battalion) presented a remarkable display of military parade.


The Acting Force Commander Major General Fida Hussain Malik, Contingent Commander Brig Syed Mazhar Hussain and Mission Chief of Staff Karen Tchalian attended the medal wearing ceremony along with officials of Sudan government and large number of local community representatives attended the parade. The Force Commander, Contingent Commander, Sudan Military Commander and Mission Chief of Staff decorated officers, JCOs, NCOs and soldiers of the unit with UNAMID medals. Children and women of local community also took part in the ceremony displaying local culture and traditional exhibition. At the end of the parade, contributions for WHAM activities were made by the Pakistani Contingent which was highly appreciated by the UNAMID authorities and local community elders.


Pakistan Army is respected for its professionalism and performance within the UN Peacekeeping Operations. Pakistani Contingent in Darfur is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the name and respect of Pakistan remains in high esteem within the international community as well as amongst the local populace of Sudan.


Pakistan Army Zindabad!
Pakistan Paindabad!

 
15
September
A Day with Pakistan Army

A group of more than 800 students and faculty members from different schools, colleges and newsadaypakarmy.jpguniversities of Balochistan spent a day with military units and formations of Pakistan Army at Quetta Garrison.


The program was organized to enlighten students on routine functioning of Pakistan Army and, its organizational and defence capability. Students took keen interest in compound clearing demonstration by a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), students chanted slogans of Pakistan Zindabad and applauded the swift and effective action of the raiding party. While another contingent of 2 Light Commando Battalion displayed its skills in Austrian rapelling, seat rapelling and lizard crawl combined with demonstration of opening fire on terrorists. The demonstration was followed by artillery gunfire which destroyed terrorists’ outposts. Later, aviation fly past was held that was applauded by all students.


Garrison Commander Major General Abid Latif Khan who was also present on the occasion interacted with the students. He appreciated the zeal and enthusiasm of visiting students and said that the youth of this country are gifted individuals, who have a rich history and a bright future ahead. He further said that CPEC will open new vistas for the youth of Balochistan and with sheer hard work they can prepare themselves for the future challenges.


The students applauded the state of morale, commitment and professional competence of Pakistan Army and expressed their gratitude for being provided a lifetime experience and opportunity. Later, the students visited different stalls and took keen interest in the displayed equipment.


A large number of participants including female students showed keen interest in live firing by weapons like G-3, SMG and MP-5.

15
September
Bridge/Watermanship/Raft Training Held Near Kharian

newsbrgadewaters.jpgModern battlefield is likely to witness all arms and services under a fluid and demanding environment. Foregoing, operation oriented training has always been the focal consideration of Pakistan Army. Bridge/watermanship training being an important facet, was conducted near Kharian. All units/sub units undertook progressive and mission-oriented training while practicing tactical drills and procedures including launching/de-launching of assault bridges to enhance operational worthiness.

 

Bridge/watermanship training provided the formation an excellent opportunity to demonstrate its operational readiness and technical expertise. Commander 1 Corps, Lieutenant General Azhar Saleh Abbasi witnessed and appreciated the training standards achieved by the formation.

15
September
Ground Breaking Ceremonies of Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC) and 2nd Force Protection Battalion

newsgroundbreaking.jpgGround Breaking Ceremonies of Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC) and 2nd Force Protection Battalion were held at Karachi. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah graced the ceremonies as chief guest. Commander Coast, Rear Admiral Abdul Aleem was also present.


Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC) is being constructed with an aim to fulfill the training requirements of Special Operation Forces and special wings of own and other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Maritime Counter Terrorism domain. MCTC will house state-of-the-art training facilities including live fire shoot houses, sniper ranges, military training in urban terrain, close quarter combat ranges and simulators etc.


2nd Force Protection Battalion is an operational segment of Pakistan Marines and has been raised for protection of Karachi harbour and offshore infrastructure including sensitive installations at Karachi, anti amphibious operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.


The inauguration ceremonies were attended by a large number of Naval officers and CPOs/sailors.

15
September
PAF Presents a Stunning Airshow to Mark the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan

newspafairshow.jpgIndependence Day of Pakistan was celebrated all across the country with traditional fervour. Various ceremonies were arranged to mark this historic event as well as a breathtaking airshow by Pakistan Air Force.


The largest airshow in the history of Pakistan was held at Islamabad and Karachi on different intervals. The first airshow was held at Fatima Jinnah Park, Islamabad. Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan was the chief guest on the occasion. Defence Minister, Khurram Dastagir and Air Chief Marshal, Sohail Aman NI (M), Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force also witnessed the magnificent event. Ambassadors of friendly countries, former Air Chiefs and high ranking civil and military officers were also present on the occassion.


PAF’s fighter and training aircraft including Mirage, SAAB-2000, and Augusta-139 from PAF, while, MI-17 and PUMA helicopters from Army Aviation participated in the show. Besides PAF aircraft, world renowned aerobatic teams from our brotherly countries Turkey and Saudi Arabia also performed in this mega event. The huge crowd gathered in the lush green F-9 Park was ecstatic to see “Solo Turk” flying overhead in a thundering sound. The stunning maneuvers of this world famous aerobatics team of Turkish Air Force left the spectators spellbound. The next event was a spectacular aerobatics display of “Saudi Hawks”, 07 ship formation aerobatics team of Royal Saudi Air Force. The blue skies of Islamabad were filled with colours as this acclaimed aerobatic team displayed eyecatching drills. The spectators thoroughly enjoyed the breathtaking maneuvers of these aircraft and showed their appreciation by clapping and chanting slogans.


After the thrilling performance of “Saudi Hawks”, the indigenous JF-17 Thunder aircraft entered the arena. The spectators cheered with joy to see the spectacular maneuvers of this aircraft, rightfully called the Pride of the Nation. Moments after the departure of the roaring JF-17 Thunder, Augusta helicopters appeared on the horizon for solo aerobatics display. The show was rounded off with the Tri-Services free fall display in which the Commandos from the Special Services Wings jumped from a C-130 aircraft flying at height of 10,000 feet and safely landed at the designated places.


Another airshow was held at Sea View Karachi in which Chief Minister Sindh, Mr. Murad Ali Shah was the chief guest. F-16, P-3C Orion, Z-9, Alouette-III and Sea King helicopters presented the fly past at the venue. Afterwards JF-17 Thunder and PAF aerobatics team Sherdils presented a mesmerizing aerial display.

15
September
Students from University of Central Punjab Spend a Day at Lahore Garrison

newsstudentatlahore.jpgA group of students and faculty members from University of Central Punjab spent a day visiting various military units and formations of Pakistan Army at Lahore Garrison. The program was specifically organised to enlighten students on routine functioning of Pakistan Army, its organisation and defence capability.

 

The day-long program started with wreath laying ceremony at Yadgar-e-Shuhada to pay homage to martyrs of Pakistan Army. The students visited a field formation and had an informal interaction with officers and soldiers. Later, they also witnessed arms and equipment display including small arms’ fire at the firing ranges.

 

The program culminated with flag lowering ceremony at Wagah Border. The students applauded the state of morale, commitment and professional competence of Pakistan Army and expressed their gratitude for being provided a lifetime experience and opportunity.

15
September
Commander U.S. CENTCOM and Delegation Meet COAS

General Joseph L. Votel, Commander United States Central Command (US CENTCOM) along with his newscomandercentcom.jpgdelegation met General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on August 18. Matters of professional interest with special focus on security situation in Afghanistan were discussed.

 

COAS highlighted the importance Pakistan accords to its relations with U.S., particularly security cooperation and efforts towards regional stability. COAS said that Pakistan has undertaken operations against terrorists of all hue and colour. He reiterated his commitment to work in close coordination with Afghan Security Forces and U.S.-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) for improved security environment in Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. While referring to Afghanistan and Pak-U.S. relations, COAS said that no other country has more interest for peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan. He further said that more than financial or material assistance, we seek acknowledgement of our decades long contributions towards regional peace and stability, understanding of our challenges and most importantly the sacrifices Pakistani nation and its security forces have rendered in fight against terrorism and militancy.

 

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. David Hale was also present on the occasion.

(PR-424/2017-ISPR, August 18, 2017)
United States Delegation Headed by Commander U.S. CENTCOM Visits NWA

newscomandercentcom1.jpgUnited States’ Delegation headed by General Joseph L. Votel, Commander United States Central Command (U.S. CENTCOM), visited North Waziristan Agency on August 19. The delegation was briefed about Pakistan Army's operations in NWA and Pak-Afghan border security mechanism through enhanced surveillance measures. The delegation was also briefed about progress on the socio-economic developments including return of Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs).

 

The delegation appreciated efforts and sacrifices of Pakistan Army and local tribes for re-establishing peace and order in the area. The visiting dignitaries also realized the importance of Pak-Afghan bilateral border security coordination. Later, the delegation visited APS Miranshah and interacted with students.

 

Earlier, upon arrival at North Waziristan Agency the delegation was received by Commander Peshawar Corps, Lt Gen Nazir Ahmad Butt. Lt Gen Bilal Akbar, Chief of General Staff accompanied the delegation. (PR-425/2017-ISPR, August 19, 2017)
15
September
Afghan National Army Delegation Visits HQ 11 Corps

newsafghannatarmy.jpgA seven member high level Afghan Military delegation led by Lieutenant General Muhammad Zaman Waziri, Commander 201 Corps, ANA, visited HQ 11 Corps Peshawar and held meetings with Commander Peshawar Corps, Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt. Meeting was also attended by DGMOs of both the Armies and IGFC KP. Both sides re-affirmed their resolve to continue their fight against terrorism. Areas of mutual security mechanism were deliberated upon during the interaction. Both sides concluded that peace and stability can best be achieved through joint efforts and enhanced cooperation.

Afghan Media Delegation Visits ISPR
A nine member Afghan media delegation visited ISPR and interacted with DG ISPR. They were briefed on efforts by Pakistan towards peace and stability along Pak-Afghan Border and role of media for its rightful projection. The delegation is on a week long visit to Pakistan, visiting different places including NWA.

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15
September
CJCSC Addresses Commissioning Parade at Pakistan Naval Academy

newsnavalchieftogermany.jpgChief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah officially visited Germany. During the visit, the Naval Chief called on Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Germany, Vice Admiral Ruehle, German Naval Chief (Inspector of German Navy), Vice Admiral Andreas Krause and also visited German Naval Academy at Flensburg and German Submarine Naval Base at Eckernforde.


Upon his arrival at Federal Ministry of Defence Germany at Berlin, the Admiral was received by German Naval Chief (Inspector of German Navy), Vice Admiral Andreas Krause. A ceremonial guard with military honours was also presented to the Naval Chief on the occasion. Thereafter, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah laid wreath on German Armed Forces Memorial at Federal Ministry of Defence.


Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah called on Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Germany, Vice Admiral Ruehle in his office. During the meeting, professional matters of mutual interest and bilateral defence ties were dilated upon. Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Germany highly appreciated the role and contributions of Pakistan in spearheading various initiatives for maintaining peace and stability in the region. Both the dignitaries agreed and looked forward to further enhancing the interaction between Pakistan and Germany in the diverse fields of training, mutual visits and defence collaboration.


During discussions with German Naval Chief, various matters of mutual interest including bilateral naval collaboration, maritime security and stability, Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP), counter piracy operations, drug trafficking and various avenues to enhance inter-operability between Pakistan and German Navy were pondered upon. Naval Chief also highlighted Pakistan’s commitment and performance in fight against terrorism in general and Pakistan Navy’s efforts for maintaining regional peace and security in particular. Vice Admiral Andreas Krause acknowledged Pakistan Navy’s efforts and focused commitments in support of collaborative maritime security in the region and also hoped to extend cooperation between both the Navies in diverse fields of Naval collaboration.


During his visit to German Naval Academy, Chief of the Naval Staff was received by Flotillen Admiral Kay-Achim Shonbach, Commandant German Naval Academy. Professional matters of mutual interest came under discussion during the meeting. Subsequently, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah visited German Submarine Training Centre at German Submarine Naval Base Eckernforde, where Chief of the Naval Staff was given detailed briefings regarding Submarine Training Centre.


Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah also visited German Navy Ship and Submarine. During his visits onboard, the Naval Chief interacted with crew of the ship and submarines and lauded their operational competence.


It is expected that the recent visit of the Naval Chief will further enhance and expand defence ties between the two countries in general and Armed Forces in particular.

15
September
COAS Visits Rajgal Valley

newscoastoragalvalley.jpgGeneral Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited Rajgal valley, Khyber Agency on August 5, 2017. COAS was given detailed briefing on progress of Operation Khyber IV in which forces have cleared over 90% of the objective area. COAS appreciated professionalism of the participating troops including support of PAF in skillful targeting of the terrorists' strongholds minimising own casualties. On completion of this operation, Khyber Agency would be free of terrorists' influence thereby providing safe environment for return of TDPs and development prong to proceed.

 

Talking to officers and troops at the occasion, COAS thanked Allah for His blessings which enabled Pakistan Army to come up to the expectations of the nation in achievements against terrorism and militancy in the country. He said that with full backing of the nation we are heading towards a normalized Pakistan where writ of state and supremacy of law would be second to none and where every Pakistani whether in cities, tribal or far flung areas will be able to play a positive and rightful part in Pakistan's progress.

 

Earlier, Commander Peshawar Corps Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt and IGFC KP North Major General Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood, Commander Operation Khyber IV received the COAS on arrival in operational area.

15
September
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Jordan Armed Forces Calls on CJCSC

newscjscjordan.jpgLieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jordan Armed Forces, who was on a three days official visit to Pakistan, called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman JCSC at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi.

 

Besides security and regional issues, matters relating to enhancing the level and scope of bilateral military engagements and cooperation were also discussed. The visiting dignitary applauded the professionalism of Pakistan Armed Forces and acknowledged the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. Earlier upon arrival at Joint Staff Headquarters, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jordan Armed Forces was presented a tri-services guard of honour.

CJCSC of Jordan Armed Forces Visits LOC
newscjscjordanloc.jpgLieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Jordan Armed Forces visited Chakothi Sector. Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza, Commander 10 Corps accompanied him during the visit. On arrival he was briefed about the prevailing situation along the Line of Control. He was apprised in detail that unprovoked and constant ceasefire violation from Indian side has become a permanent feature which is causing heavy loss to civilian population and their properties. The visiting dignitary was also briefed that Pakistan is not violating ceasefire and Indian allegations against Pakistan regarding infiltration are totally false and baseless. Further, he was also briefed about the losses incurred as a result of Indian ceasefire violations at the Line of Control. He appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Army for maintaining peace at the Line of Control. He assured that his country would continue moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of freedom struggle and right of self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
15
September

Written By: Hilal Desk

OUR SACRIFICES

MARTYRS AND GHAZIS

OUR STRUGGLE

DIFA-E-WATAN BAQA-E-WATAN

THE HOPE

NATIONAL RESOLVE SELF RELIANCE

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15
September

Written By: Brig Syed Wajid Raza (R)

It was a pleasure to see young Jamal in Sialkot who had recently joined 5th Battalion of the Azad Kashmir Regiment, a composed and confident Balochi officer from the remote region of Balochistan. With every passing day, he grew humble with obvious signs indicative of brave gestures and postures. He smiled in trouble, showed strength under duress and grew brave by reflection.

 

Jamal had married in the early winters of 2016. Since their marriage Jamal and his wife had not lived together, due to his participation in war against terrorism. With the passage of time, I noticed that he had grown stouter and broader, so it was difficult to recognize the robust, smart yet slim Jamal of earlier days.

 

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His features had become more defined and had a calm, soft, and serene expression. All that struck the eye was a strong, handsome, and confident young officer. All who had known Jamal before joining army noticed the change in his thoughts and posture as something extraordinary.

 

In July 2017, Major Jamal met shahadat in a suicide attack in Peshawar. A motorcycle-borne suicide bomber hit Frontier Corps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (FC KP) vehicle, targeting Major Jamal Sheran. While serving in Special Operations Group, Jamal had conducted daring operations and he knew that things were scary, difficult and dangerous around him, but he had the conviction that winning the fight is worth the chance of losing life for Pakistan.

 

Perhaps we can never repay the debt of our proud nation to those who have laid down their lives for Pakistan and best we can do is honor their memory so that their sacrifices do not go in vain. Jamal’s mausoleum, a hospital and cadet college around it, if constructed can become beacon of hope and inspiration for hundreds and thousands who had gathered to pay homage. These institutions will defeat all ill-intended narratives of anti-Pakistan elements using rhetoric of narrow Baloch nationalism. The actual Baloch nationalism is not separate from Pakistani nationalism and, Maj Jamal's martyrdom for Pakistan is a living shining example of patriotism.

On the fateful day, the newly wedded wife of Major Jamal had hardly finished her packing as she was to join her husband to live in Peshawar, perhaps for the first time after her marriage that took place seven months earlier. Sheran Sanghoor, father of Jamal reluctantly stopped his daughter-in-law from packing, as he had been informed about his son’s shahadat. Her hopes turned into fears, while the fears of the nation were turning into hopes.

 

Sheran Sanghoor, father of Jamal was so proud that he dressed up in his best attire to receive the coffin of his son who had made him so proud. As the coffin of Jamal reached his home, a sea of people gathered to pay homage to the son of soil, who had laid his life for his beloved nation.

 

When spokesman of  TTP was taking the responsibility of Jamal’s shahadat, he forgot that he would be buried wrapped in Pakistan’s flag and a similar flag shall flutter over his grave, denouncing the enemies of Pakistan that its sons are not tired of sacrifices.

 

Ideas don't come with imagination, rather realization. Major Jamal had thought of joining Pakistan Army right from the early days in the Ketch Grammar School Turbat, a remote region that saw violence perpetrated by foreign stooges and enemies of Pakistan. Belonging to a traditional Baloch family of Mir Sheran Baloch, his father had served in the Omani Army. Jamal, after completing his higher school degree from Balochistan Residential College Turbat, joined Pakistan Military Academy with 117 Long Course in Kakul, Abbottabad in May 2006.

 

His military career had been challenging. During the Indo-Pakistan escalation in 2008 on the borders, he remained at the forefront and later the unit saw his daring actions during  Operation Al-Mizan in Bajaur Agency of FATA. On joining Frontier Corps KP, he was picked as Commander Special Operations Group, Frontier Corps. He led numerous sting operations against terrorists and enemies of the state, making him the real target of TTP and other terrorist groups.

 

While serving in Special Operations Group, Jamal had conducted daring operations and he knew that things were scary, difficult and dangerous around him, but he had the conviction that winning fight is worth the chance of losing life for Pakistan.

When young Jamal on joining Pakistan Army, moved out in streets of his village, he was often stopped by his people, and they would ask him, 'When would you grow higher in ranks and construct a hospital in the village?’ This was the one thing Jamal’s father requested in the TV interview.

 

It is difficult to conclude about a hero who was driven by destiny. In army every officer and soldier has a place to fill in and it is important in some respect whether he chooses to be or not. I know destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice, which changes with our thoughts and ideals. I have seen many unsung heroes during my service who have high aims and believe in controlling their destiny before someone else does.

 

Jamal’s shahadat is not ordinary in any manner, he defeated the narrative of enemy in service, who is bent upon conspiring in Balochistan and his shahadat is the last nail in the coffin of conspirators. He fought with the enemies of Pakistan in uniform and he continues to fight while shrouded in Pakistani flag inspiring hundreds of young Balochis to sacrifice for Pakistan.

 

When young Jamal on joining Pakistan Army, moved out in streets of his village, he was often stopped by his people, and they would ask him, 'When would you grow higher in ranks and construct a hospital in the village?’ This was the one thing Jamal’s father requested in the TV interview.

I have been in uniform for more than three decades and I know that heroism doesn’t come from taking orders, but rather it is born from the act of great Pakistani officers and soldiers who through their own willpower and courage are willing to sacrifice their lives for Pakistan.

 

Perhaps we can never repay the debt of our proud nation to those who have laid down their lives for Pakistan and best we can do is honor their memory so that their sacrifices do not go in vain. Jamal’s mausoleum, a hospital and cadet college around it, if constructed can become beacon of hope and inspiration for hundreds and thousands who had gathered to pay homage. These institutions will defeat all ill-intended narratives of anti-Pakistan elements using rhetoric of narrow Baloch nationalism. The actual Baloch nationalism is not separate from Pakistani nationalism and, Major Jamal's martyrdom for Pakistan is a living shining example of patriotism.

 

In retrospect, like nations, men also have destiny. Many conflictual states couldn’t hold against bloody attacks of terrorism and collapsed in less than a year’s time. This is only Pakistan that is faced with the combined threats of hybrid wars and fourth generational warfare for the last 16 years and is sustaining and winning. These great achievements of Pakistan in utter turmoil are indeed born of great sacrifices of its sons… of their selflessness, courage and resilience.

 

Listening to the proud father of Balochi son and other members of Jamal’s family, I felt that Pakistan has won and defeated its enemies.

 

Glorious we stood to the siege of bread

And for long we were mounted on the back of patience

The winds of autumn shall not efface

With unquenchable sighs of love we implored

As secretly he whispers to me, as loudly he whispers to me…

The eye of the star shall not be robbed away

(Omar Saleem, Libyan poet)

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A Letter to My Soldier Brother

In this hour when I make my bed to sleep, I think of you my dear brother, that you must be in some rocky area along the mountains, where you will be sleeping another night. I remember so well from our childhood days how much had you always been conscious of your comfortable sleep but you were in no way reluctant to leave these pampered habits when you decided to wear this graceful uniform. You knew it since the day one that this uniform will bring hardships and challenges for you, yet you remained adamant. I miss you, I miss your smile, the smile of your contentment, the smile of a valiant soldier, smile of a son of this sacred soil who has taken an oath to serve this nation at the best irrespective of any loss to himself. When our mother misses you, she goes to your room to see your picture in the uniform with tears in her eyes and yet she says, “I am the mother of a soldier and these are the tears of gratitude.” Our father keeps following the news from Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad and later shares his analysis with his friends in the evening with pride that his son is also a part of war against terrorism for the country.

 

My dear brother, I hope you read this letter soon, We miss you but we feel content when we pray for you and for all those who are with you there. In fact, this connection of prayers is the most beautiful thing that we have with you now. I am so sure that other soldiers’ sisters, mothers, fathers, brothers, wives and children miss them the same way as we miss you. May you and all of them be successful. Amen! May we make a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan very soon. Amen!

A proud sister,

.Asma Ishaq.

15
September

Written By: Zubair Torwali

There were no roads and people from the faraway villages had to walk all this distance. There was scarcity of rations in every house but many people did not care about that and opened their Bethaks and Hujras for the wayfarers. In the village of Chikri the locals would treat these people warmly and with impressive care. The people of Madyan, Bahrain and other villages would bring food from their houses to the village mosques where most of the wayfarers would stay. This was the time when one fell greatly in love with his people. This spirit of sacrifice and care is symbol of Pakistani people and society.

The specie of homo sapiens is resilient but not that sapient. If they were they would have curtailed the climate change which is a bigger threat to the human race than the World Wars.

 

If oral traditions are of any worth, the elderly people tell that they had never noticed such irregularities in the weather in the past. They tell stories of more snowfall each winter than we get now. They say summers were colder in the past. They warn us from their indigenous intuition not to encroach a riverbed or the territory of a stream because, they say, a river or stream will one day reclaim its territorial sovereignty.

 

Homo sapiens is a greedy specie, too. They add a greater value to land ownership. Land plays an even greater role in the lives of agrarian society. Its value becomes higher than the value of human life in many cases.

swatflood2010.jpgThis is common everywhere; and Swat is not on Mars either. If the people of Swat had learnt any lesson from the worst ever floods in the valley exactly seven years ago, they would have never reconstructed the huge barriers in the way of Swat Rivers and the tributaries which were washed away by that hair-raising and extremely unusual deluge in the valley on July 28 in 2010.

 

Exactly seven years ago, I saw the beautiful three-storeyed mosque, built on a rock at the junction of Swat River and the Daral stream in Bahrain, fall to the torrents. I saw trucks, buses and cars float on the water like paper toys. I saw the hotel opposite to the black rock in Bahrain fall like a feather, which was one of the few hotels of old Swat.

 

On the night prior to July 28, 2010, I was constantly in contact with people in the upper valleys of Kalam, Mankiyal, Utror, Kedam and Mitiltan.

 

There was one voice to everybody’s wailing. “Kalam fell”, “Mankiyal fell”, "Utror no more on earth”, “Chail Valley devastated”, so on and so forth.

 

Much havoc was done on the night of July 27. The remaining damage was done the next day. The beautiful and cleanest bazaar in Bahrain, often called the Mall Road by the locals, was deep in water, mud, sand and wood logs.

 

Soon after flood in 2010 in Swat, many humanitarian organizations rushed to this area and tried to provide basic relief to the affected people. Among state institutions Pakistan Army was on the forefront to rescue and relieve the people from this suffering. Pakistani soldiers not only saved the lives of stranded people but also provided them free rations, medical aid, timely evacuation, and later reconstructed the destroyed bridges and roads.

Seven years back, the deluge washed away the entire road from Utror to Fatehpur devastating the bazaars on the way to Kalam, Mankiyal, Bahrain and Madyan. Many villages in Utror, Kalam, Mankiyal, Bahrain, Madyan, Chail Valley and other fell to the floods. Almost all the bridges across the Swat River were washed away except a wooden bridge in Ayeen and a portion of the Red Bridge in Madyan. The side valleys of Chail, Daral, Gurnal, Kedam, Mankiyal, Ushu and Gabral, except that of Darolai and Ramet, also roared and brought huge piles of rubble of boulders, trees, shrubs, mud and sand which added to the torrent of the Swat River flowing in between high mountains.

 

The road from Fatehpur to Utror was about 75 kilometers which was completely destroyed by the floods. Almost all the bridges over the streams to villages across the Swat River were washed away. Only one bridge in Ayeen village was miraculously safe.

 

This meant people of these areas had to walk 70-100 kilometers in the rough terrain to get some food for their children from Chikri, a place where the road leaves the riverbank and runs among the orchards. Rations could be delivered to this place only as the main road of Swat was intact up to this place only. I myself was stuck at the house of a friend in Bahrain town because all the five bridges to my village across the river were no more.

 

As mentioned earlier that hilly streams roared everywhere except Darolai and Ramet. This is not because some saint or sage lived in these villages. The simple reason was that the people of these villages had stopped leasing their forests and pastures to grazers. Because of the embargo on grazing in these forests and pastures the seedlings grew into herbs, shrubs and trees covering the land which would become resistant to flash flooding.

On the morning of July 29, 2010, everybody in this 75 kilometers long valley and adjacent valleys found themselves helplessly stranded. Additionally, there were thousands of tourists stuck in Kalam, Bahrain and Madyan. They had taken refuge at the homes of the locals. Stocks of rations were soon finished as majority of bazaars were no more in existence.

 

A person from Utror had to walk for a full day to Chikri, a nearby village in Fatehpur, in order to get some food for his stranded family.

 

Many agrarian people have not given up the values of hospitality and caring. There were no roads and people from the faraway villages had to walk all this distance. There was scarcity of rations in every house but many people did not care about that and opened their Bethaks and Hujras for the wayfarers. In the village of Chikri the locals would treat these people warmly and with impressive care. The people of Madyan, Bahrain and other villages would bring food from their houses to the village mosques where most of the wayfarers would stay. This was the time when one fell greatly in love with his people. This spirit of sacrifice and care is symbol of Pakistani people and society.

 

No doubt this was a time of intense agony but we also saw proud examples of resilience, mutual help and support. This behaviour usually emerges in time of calamites and is greatly laudable. But our lack of understanding of risk reduction and disaster management leads to chaos during such natural disasters.

 

Soon after flood in 2010 in Swat, many humanitarian organizations rushed to this area and tried to provide basic relief to the affected people. Among state institutions Pakistan Army was on the forefront to rescue and relieve the people from this suffering. Pakistani soldiers not only saved the lives of stranded people but also provided them free rations, medical aid, timely evacuation, and later reconstructed the destroyed bridges and roads.

 

Afterwards many humanitarian organizations came to the area with their interventions on rehabilitation and the impressive strategies of ‘disaster risk reduction’. Along with them quite a number of international organizations started their rehabilitation work through their national implementing partners, IPs. They introduced strategies such as ‘cash for work’ and ‘food for work’. They would give cash or food to the villagers in return to their work of reconstruction of their destroyed pathways. Given the poor image of our people these strategies were fascinating but the counter impacts these ventures left on the people were of dependency and degeneration.

 

Among all these interventions the causes of the floods were never analysed. The locals would justify the havoc as wrath of Allah for their ‘sins’ whereas many opinion makers in the mainstream regarded it a certain geological conspiracy by the Americans.

 

As mentioned earlier that hilly streams roared everywhere except Darolai and Ramet. This is not because some saint or sage lived in these villages. The simple reason was that the people of these villages had stopped leasing their forests and pastures to grazers.  Because of the embargo on grazing in these forests and pastures, the seedlings grew into herbs, shrubs and trees covering the land which would become resistant to flash flooding. 

 

This area, sometimes referred to as Swat-Kohistan, is rich in precious forests and pastures. The local people usually lease these pastures to herders of sheep and goats. They graze their animals on these pastures and forests during summers. This causes irrevocable damage to the new and existing plants turning the pastures and forestlands into dust. The sustainable mitigation of the risk of floods in such areas is to grow more plants and protect the existing ones. 

 

After the floods we wished that the government would put some restriction on construction near the riverbeds and banks; or at least, the people would realize the risk. What we see is quite opposite. The people not only began to reconstruct their buildings but also encroached the riverbeds. The rehabilitation by the government was very slow. Schools and other public buildings destroyed by militants during the Swat insurgency were rebuilt but such buildings destroyed by the floods could not catch the eye of the government to date. The ruined road from Chikri to Bahrain was rebuilt but the 36 kilometers road beyond Bahrain is still in rubble causing scores of accidents each year. It is still that track which was made by Pakistan Army in 2011.

 

The writer is a journalist based in Swat.

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15
September

In many instances technology becomes a threat affecting human minds as at least some of their issues stem from experiences they have on social media. Terrorism in its advance manifestation is targetting educated youth, especially ISIS, and manipulating them with the ideals they portray in the guise of false religious obligations.


Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa while interacting with interns at ISPR urged them to be mindful and vigilant of hostile narratives on social media and to exercise prudence and deliberation in their choices."Educated youth is prime target of ISIS and affiliates, be extra cautious,” he said. The youth must be aware of their role as members of the society and avoid becoming a tool in advancing the political and religious agendas in the name of which terrorism is perpetrated. The terrorists run a protracted campaign of terrorism coupled with cyber and psychological warfare that includes targeting the youth through social media platforms. It is a timely and laudable initiative by the COAS as when we help our youth understand the reality of situations they are faced with, it validates their thoughts, and gives them the confidence and courage they need to stand up to evil they contend with. They must become part of the solution and not the victims of circumstance.


If aptly guided, our youth can truly be an asset as over 60% of our population is less than 25 years of age. There is a window of opportunity presented by the majority of youth entering their productive peak, and hence the potential to reap enormous benefits from ensuring that youth have the right opportunities, health, skills and social capital to contribute to growth productively. COAS said, “Pakistan is blessed with the most talented and vibrant youth, and the future of Pakistan belongs to them. I have full confidence and optimism that the youth will lead Pakistan to new era of peace and progress.” The COAS also urged the youth to have confidence in themselves, adhere to merit, follow rule of law, and not to look for shortcuts in life for success.


However, of immediate concern is the fact that Pakistan has to make investment in the youth now to create jobs quickly enough to absorb the large youth cohorts entering the workforce. Greater female turnout in the workforce in the recent years can either be turned into a tremendous asset; or a risk manifesting itself as a drain on growth and society rather than a dividend. Efforts are to be made to coordinate the development and implementation of the youth agenda through the creation of national youth policies to address needs of the youth. Pakistan must build on the successes and potential such as the resplendent intellectual achievements that have been made by the youth and correct the failures in order to provide them a merit based society with focus on growth.


In terms of providing safe and secure environment to our youth, COAS reiterated that Pakistan Army is committed to provide them a safe, secure and stable Pakistan and Pakistan Army is fully capable of meeting all internal and external challenges. COAS resolved and assured the youth as well as the nation that:“Pakistan Army has achieved great successes to rid the country of violence and terrorism. However for enduring peace, each one of us has to contribute our respective bit”.

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15
September

Written By: Zarrar Khuhro

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

Dispensing with the hyperbole, let’s take a close look at what Donald Trump’s new Afghan policy means for the region in general and Pakistan in particular. To begin with, calling it ‘new’ would be something of a misnomer as, in broad strokes, it is a continuation of past policies and the results are likely to be no different than what we have seen thus far – a continuation of the spiral of war, destabilization and recrimination. Even the difference in the rhetoric – which has gone from ‘do more’ to ‘no more’ – is in fact the logical culmination of existing trends in Washington’s approach towards Pakistan, which has seen a steady hardening over the years.  The U.S. assertion that it can and will target terrorists regardless of where they are based is also nothing new, as this has been standard U.S. policy for some time now.

 

So even if we ignore Trumps’ typical hardline language, the ‘new’ stance has been on the cards for some time now. However, it is important to note that while the Trump doctrine can indeed be considered as ‘more of the same’, it will in fact be a ramped up version of past practice.

 

Another central flaw in the ‘new’ Afghan strategy is that it ignores that the South Asia of 2017 is not the South Asia of 2001, or even of 2015: there are more players in Afghanistan now, and they all have their own interests and agendas. Even if Pakistan were to completely disassociate itself from Afghanistan, the Taliban problem will not go away

While in the past we have seen Washington taking a ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach… with defence and intelligence officials lambasting Pakistan and the State Department then taking a more conciliatory line, this time it’s more like ‘bad cop, worse cop,’ with the accusations being harsher and the State Department (already short-staffed to the point of dysfunction) not quite performing its traditionally diplomatic role.

 

What then can we expect to happen? For one thing,  an increase in drone strikes is highly likely to be on the cards, especially when you consider that Trump has already overseen on average one drone strike per day during his first 74 days in office (contrast that with Obama ordering a strike every 4-5 days while in office). It also cannot be ruled out that such strikes, or some other type of military action, may also  target few other locations, and a hint of this was found in General John Nicholson’s recent interview to Afghan media.

 

backtofuture.jpgAnother likelihood is that of actual ground incursions as occurred in Angoor Adda in September 2008, and this possibility becomes greater as soon as it becomes evident that the surge in troops in Afghanistan – reportedly to be no more than 4-5000 – will make little difference.

 

Writing in the Washington Post, an Afghan war veteran, Stephen Carlson writes: “Anyone who has been to Kunar or Helmand provinces knows that the equivalent of a badly understrength brigade is not a drop in a bucket so much as spit in a sieve.”

 

As U.S. frustration then increases, so do the chances of action on Pakistani territory. That the surge will not succeed is a foregone conclusion: the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan saw the Taliban crumble in the face of overwhelming U.S. airpower combined with the ground troops of the Northern Alliance. The war was considered won, prompting the U.S. to invade Iraq, which provided the Taliban with the chance to regroup and by mid-2008, George W. Bush sent in additional troops, taking the total deployment to 48,500. It didn’t work and the next year Obama was forced to continue the policy taking U.S. troop strength to around 68,000 – their highest level ever. This didn’t work either, and though the U.S. announced the end of combat operations in 2014, the sudden and swift Taliban assault on Kunduz the next year showed that the war was still very much a reality. For an investment of close to a trillion dollars (ironically the same sum that China plans to spend on the OBOR project) America has barely gained any dividends.

 

Earlier this year, the Trump administration sent a clear message of what its approach would be when it detonated a MOAB on Daesh positions in Afghanistan. This was an indication that the Trump doctrine would be more of the same, but with even less restraint than has been shown in the past. Much like Obama, Trump also initially opposed extending the war in Afghanistan, and like his predecessor, seems to have decided that the cost of complete withdrawal would be greater than the cost of remaining in the game.

 

Even the reasoning given mirrors that of Obama’s, that a withdrawal will create a vacuum that terrorists will fill.

 

The threat of sanctions and financial punishment being inflicted on Pakistan is a real one, and while this has been hinted at in the past, this time around National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton has categorically said that the U.S. could impose sanctions on Pakistani officials “who are tied to these kinds of groups, you know, in ways that they shouldn’t be.”

 

But this too is an amplification of past policy: As pointed out by Nadia Naviwala in a recent column in Dawn newspaper, “Then senator Carl Levin took the first step (towards cutting off aid) in 2015 when he successfully amended the law, requiring the United States to hold back military aid if Pakistan failed to take “sufficient action against the Haqqani network”, Amendments like this usually come from the house and go nowhere. If passed into law, they are neutered: the president can waive the requirement rather than make a determination. The Pressler Amendment fell in this category. It was waived year after year. But Levin Amendment cannot be waived. For Levin, then chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to take a hard line and succeed signalled that even sound minds in Washington are reaching for sticks instead of carrots.”

 

Naviwala also points out: “A few hundred million dollars isn’t much of a stick anymore. The China-Pakistan relationship is now worth $110 bn, with around $4 bn expected this year. And those billions come easy.” Nonetheless, the impact of U.S. pressure on international financial institutions cannot be dismissed lightly.

 

There are certain ground realities that cannot be altered, however. Talking in terms of logistical support for U.S. forces, Afghan expert and former U.S. official Barnett Rubin notes: “No matter how great President Donald Trump makes America, he cannot win the war on geography.” While the Northern Distribution Network (which re-supplied Afghanistan through the Central Asian Republics) was set up as an alternate resupply route for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, that route has now been closed, in some part due to U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine. This leaves little alternative to using the Pakistani route, making a complete breakdown in relations unlikely.

 

Another central flaw in the ‘new’ Afghan strategy is that it ignores that the South Asia of 2017 is not the South Asia of 2001, or even of 2015: there are more players in Afghanistan now, and they all have their own interests and agendas. Even if Pakistan were to completely disassociate itself from Afghanistan, the Taliban problem will not go away.

 

The Washington Post made exactly this point when, following Trumps’ speech, it ran a story titled: “Three countries undermining Afghanistan progress that President Trump didn’t call out,” and pointing to the involvement of Iran, Russia and China.

 

While Iran has traditionally been opposed to the hardline Taliban, even nearly going to war against them in 1998, the changing strategic calculus has also caused a change in Iranian policy towards the Taliban. The Taliban, looking to gain support from any quarter, have also proved responsive and both parties seem to have decided that there is room for cooperation against the U.S., at least in the short-term. These links, while often alluded to by Afghanistan watchers, came to the fore after the death of Mullah Mansour in a drone strike near Noshki, when a passport belonging to Mullah Mansour (issued in the name of Wali Muhammad) was found to contain immigration stamps showing it had been used to enter Iran some months prior, and also that he returned via the border crossing of Taftan. Carlotta Gall, among others, has published detailed stories  highlighting Iran’s growing Taliban links, and the above referred story makes for interesting reading indeed. Gall quotes several Afghan officials who allege that the October 2016 Taliban assault of the western Farah province had Iranian backing, and was guided by Iranian military personnel. Afghan intelligence officials alleged that the Taliban who assaulted Farah were trained and recruited in Iran and that the dead and wounded were taken back across the border.

 

Muhamad Arif Shah Jehan, a senior intelligence official who recently took over as the governor of Farah province told the New York Times, “The regional politics have changed… the strongest Taliban here are Iranian Taliban.” Their support to the Taliban does not seem to be focused on achieving their victory, but is more of an attempt to keep Kabul destabilized, maintain a proxy force, stymie U.S. interests in the region, maintain a check on Saudi influence and also to curb the advances of Daesh. What is certain, though, is that the regional situation points towards more, and not less, such interference in this theatre.

 

Similarly, Russia – which was recently accused by Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson of providing arms to the Taliban – also has growing stakes in Afghanistan though one can argue that the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is in fact an advantage for Russia, which thus avoids direct entanglement with a country that it has had a bitter past experience in.

 

China, for its part, does not maintain a military presence in Afghanistan as such, but has increasing economic stakes in the country, which it is matching with diplomatic outreach. For China’s One Belt, One Road project to succeed regional peace is required and the U.S. policy in Afghanistan does not seem a step towards ensuring that peace.

 

And that is because the strategy makes no mention of the concerns of neighbouring states and is not (as yet) matched by any kind of complementary diplomatic outreach. Indeed, it seems to be a step towards pitting South Asian states into a strategic competition, as is evidenced by the appeal to India to take a larger role in Afghanistan. While this can be seen as a threat aimed at making Pakistan fall in line, the likely effect is to feed Pakistan’s strategic anxieties, achieving an entirely opposite result. Given the state of relations between India and China – strategic rivalry at best and confrontation at worst – the appeal to India is also being seen as a challenge by Beijing in the constant flanking movement it is engaged in with its Asian neighbour.

 

Interestingly, this call has not caused the expected paroxysms of joy in New Delhi and perhaps one reason for the relative caution being displayed is the wording of Trumps’ appeal to India: “We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States – and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.”

 

This mirrors the kind of language Trump has used with others, far older American allies. In March this year, the U.S. president arrived in Brussels and lambasted NATO allies for “not paying what they should be paying and what they're supposed to be paying for their defence." Similar language was used for Saudi Arabia, when in April this year Trump said: "Frankly, Saudi Arabia has not treated us fairly, because we are losing a tremendous amount of money in defending Saudi Arabia.”

 

While this sort of rhetoric is tame by Trump standards, it’s not exactly the sort of thing that translates into effective diplomacy or coalition-building.

 

Yet the beginnings of a coalition can be seen, although this is more of nations opposed to U.S. policy in the region and beyond. This is evidenced by the kind of statements that have come from both Russia and China on this issue, and the ways in which their own strategic interests versus those of the U.S. and its allies. Thus far, Pakistan’s response has been uncharacteristically robust, with both civilian and military leadership being found on the near-mythic ‘same page’. Diplomatically, postponing the visit of Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells, acts as a public rebuke but cannot be the basis for sound policy. If it is grandstanding, it must also be matched with tangible contacts with the Trump administration and the various branches of American polity. However, one is not optimistic about the dividends this will bring, given the chaotic nature of the Trump administration and the antipathy towards Pakistan in Washington policy circles.

 

Instead, the single greatest impact of the Trump doctrine will be to speed up the formation of already emerging networks of alliances and groupings: apart from having the obvious result of pushing Pakistan even further into the China camp, it also sets the stage for a wider clash between Chinese and Indian interests, should the latter take Trumps’ bait. While Russia is playing a balancing game on the sidelines, its general strategic policy is not at all aligned with that of the U.S.

 

The importance of these two nations to the Pakistani position was highlighted when it was announced that Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif would visit China and Russia prior to visiting the U.S., and one hopes that this kind of strategic outreach is maintained proactively and that Pakistan’s foreign policy does not fall back into the anemic and reactive patterns of the past.

 

I would argue that a similar, if less high-profile outreach is also needed with Iran though this will  naturally have to be balanced against our relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States which are engaged in a confrontation with Tehran in the greater Middle East. Nevertheless, this may be something that the good offices of Turkey can be useful in, given the recent visit to Ankara of the Iranian military chief. Foreign relations are all about flexibility, and this is a lesson we ignore at our peril.

 

The Trump speech, while not actualized into policy just yet, is certainly a threat but also an opportunity to set our house in order. Flaws in foreign policy must be addressed to the best of our ability. Finally, Pakistani policy-making can and must be made inclusive and as broad-based as possible to be able to adapt to the multi-dimensional needs of the world we live in.

 

The writer has worked extensively in Pakistan's print and electronic media and is currently hosting a talk show on a private TV Channel.

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backtofuture1.jpg

No other country has more interest for peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan. More than financial or material assistance, we seek acknowledgement of our contributions and sacrifices, and understanding of our challenges.

 
15
September

Written By: Squadron Leader Usama Tassawar


“For the people on ground, if they want to know how exactly the life of a Sherdil inside a cockpit is; It’s a tight rope walk with blindfolds on. It is an absolute trust on members and they, in turn, trust the leader blindly even to doors of heaven or hell!”

Defining Sherdils

Precision, brinkmanship, sharp reflexes and alertness! Blend all of them together with synchronized harmony achieved through grueling training, spirit of teamwork and you have just defined: The Sherdils. Sherdils are the selected group of instructor pilots who belong to Advance Jet Training Squadron of PAF Academy, Asghar Khan. From the first call of ‘Pull- up’ to ‘Bomb Burst’, the Sherdils’ Ride is jaw-dropping; it leaves the viewers enthralled for  those  eight  minutes, no witnessing eye can afford to look away lest it misses out the splendid color-filled Sherdils’ sequence. To put an analogy in perspective, the Sherdils’ display is a formation aerobatics display, well-choreographed to milliseconds and rehearsed to perfection – where movement of the whole appears as one. The only difference is that Sherdils are meticulously matching their steps: maintaining a wing-to-wing distance of only 3 meters, at a speed of over 600 kilometers per hour in an environment of upto 6-Gs (under a gravitational force five times normal weight). That’s the finest blend of pilotability, guts, and passion seamlessly fused with aesthetics that you can't find anywhere in the world.

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Sherdils’ Legacy

The idea of formation aerobatics in PAF Academy was the brainchild of a flying instructor, Squadron  Leader  Bahar-ul-Haq,  back  in  early  70s.  After  months  of  trials and practices, a four-ship team of T-37 aircraft (nicknamed as Tweety-Bird) performed historically – first-ever aerobatics’ sequence over the skies of PAF Academy on August 17, 1972.

 

It is interesting to note that the team did not own its present name from the onset. In fact, it performed for 2 years with call-sign of its formation leader. It was entitled to the appellation – The Sherdils’ – on September 19, 1974.

 

From these humble beginnings, the Sherdils legend was born. Tweety-Bird served Sherdils for 37 years. In these four decades, it performed on various national occasions like Academy Graduation Parades, heads-of-state visits, Pakistan Day and Defence Day celebrations. Internationally, it performed in Dubai Airshow in 2007.

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In late 90s, PAF Academy had inducted the modern K-8P aircraft for jet training; in parallel to old T-37s. With the turn of the century, the idea emerged to trade T-37 with K-8P for the Sherdils’ team. The idea went through deliberation and rigorous test flights and trials.

 

In 2009, Sherdils were hurtled into the future when K-8P replaced the T-37 as the premier choice of aircraft for performing Sherdils. 

 

 

Building Upon the Legacy

Since the baton has been passed to K-8P, new chapters of splendid glory and saga of success have been added to Sherdils' resumé. Owing to K-8s bigger size, faster speed and  enhanced  agility,  the  Sherdils’  performance  looks  even  more  eye-catching and breath-taking.

 

Those few minutes are like an unforgettable treat to watch for the viewers. For the guy sitting inside the cockpit; however, the time virtually feels like an eternity. Over the years, a lot has changed in the Sherdils from display point of view; from four-ship to six-ship and now to nine-ship formation performance. Additionally, the concept of Singleton and Paired High Speed Aerobatics display coupled within the main six-ship formation display.

 

The only thing that has not changed is the professional acumen and relentless training of Sherdils' Team members. In words of the Officer Commanding Advanced Jet Training Squadron and Sherdils’ Team Leader, Wing Commander Khalid Matin:

 

Becoming a Sherdil

As pleasing as it might look from the outside, it is equally nerve-racking from the inside. Then what is the spell that Sherdils cast upon others, which makes it all happen so flawlessly without much effort? That’s where the tenacious Sherdils’ training comes in.

 

Becoming a Sherdils’ member is no easy task. In simple words, it’s not a territory meant for the faint-hearted. It requires what Sherdils’ crew room saying quotes: “Wits of a Warrior and Guts of a Gladiator”. Sherdils are selected fighter pilots from various PAF operational fighter backgrounds, having an experience of atleast a thousand hours on various fast jets. They meet stringent criteria to qualify for Sherdils’ team before the commencement of formal Sherdils’ training spanning over several months. The training goes by a step-up approach where basic level of two-ship formation is achieved for the sequence.

 

The intermediate level includes four-ship and six-ship training. All this is well-practiced at higher altitudes. As the proficiency of under training member increases, the altitude is lowered, finally down to the deck of 500 feet above ground level. An under training Sherdils’ member, Squadron Leader Usama narrates his experience in the following words:

 

“With more than 500 hours experience on K-8P, I assumed I had mastered this machine. My delusion was fractured on the very first training sortie of Sherdils. I realized that despite immense experience on K-8P, my acumen to sit in a real Sherdils’ sequence, if gauged on a scale of 1 to 10, was not even 1.”

 

Within Pakistan, Sherdils have become a symbol of national pride and cohesion. They wear their laurels well and display their proud tradition across the skies of the world. Sherdils are playing a role of ambassadors, not only of PAF, but of Pakistan itself.

 

The Sherdils’ Sequence
Sherdils’ sequence comprises basic maneuvers that every Fighter Pilot learns during his training. Performing these maneuvers as a singleton is challenging, but performing in a tight formation is a much daunting task.


The sequence begins with an initial run-in of entire 9-ship formation at over 600 kph maintaining an altitude of 500 feet AGL. As they reach the show center, on the pull-up call of leader front 6-ship pulls up for a loop whereas the rear 3-ship (Sherdil 7, 8 & 9) perform a lateral bomb burst.


As the 6-ship finish the loop and adjust for a wing over towards left side, Sherdil 8 & 9 appear at high speed charging in towards the venue at combined speed of 1000 kph. They criss-cross each other, head-on and perform a high-g turn known as carousel. After 8 & 9 clear off, 6-ship performs a parallel loop over the show center.


As the main complement exits the venue established into a steep turn to right side, Sherdil 7 makes a sneaky entry from behind the show center at 600 kph and performs a dare-devil maneuver called the tail-slide.


As Sherdil 7 finishes, the 6-ship again runs in for a barrel roll (perhaps the most difficult maneuver to perform in a formation).


As the barrel finishes, Sherdil 8 & 9 are seen dashing in towards the show center at 600 kph and 500 feet. They perform a ‘Shaheen-Break’ right overhead the show center.


This is followed by the 6-ship running in towards the show center and performing the last and arguably the most spectacular Sherdil maneuver, the Bomb Burst Loop.

 

International Appearance and Acclamation
Within Pakistan, Sherdils have become a symbol of national pride and cohesion. They wear their laurels well and display their proud tradition across the skies of the world. Sherdils are playing a role of ambassadors, not only of PAF, but of Pakistan itself.


Their yeoman service has won millions of hearts across the region. They have performed in Dubai Air Show in UAE, Zhuhai Air-Show China and Exercise ‘North Thunder’ in Saudi-Arabia.


Under the command of present Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman NI(M), PAF is expanding its international ties, Sherdils are expected to perform at well-lauded international exhibitions in 2017 as well.

Sherdils’ Team for the Year 2017

wingcomnakhalid.jpgWing Commander Matin hails from the city of Lahore. He completed his schooling from Beaconhouse Public School before joining the Government FC College Lahore. He was commissioned in the GD(P) Branch of PAF in May 1998. He is an experienced fighter pilot with over 3400 hours on various combat and combat training aircraft.

 

From 2008 till 2011, he served as Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander (Operations) at Advanced Jet Training Squadron. As Sherdils converted from T-37 to K-8P aircraft in 2009, he was selected as the pioneer ‘slot’ member of first-ever K-8P four-ship Sherdils’ team. In 2010, the then Squadron Leader Matin became the Leader of 9-ship Sherdils’ team which he continued to lead till end of his tenure in 2011. Besides leading Sherdils’ on various national events, he led the team on Sherdils’ first-ever international debut, Zhuhai Air-Show China in 2010. Wing Commander Matin is now the Commanding Officer of Advanced Jet Training Squadron with a unique and prestigious opportunity to lead Sherdils’ team for the second time.

 
sqleadermali.jpgSquadron Leader Muhammad Ali Ghous belongs to Layyah, a city in Southern Punjab. He got his education from PAF College Lower Topa. He was commissioned in PAF in November 2007. Before joining the ranks of Sherdils’ he has flown FT-6, A-5 and Mirage fighter aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 500 hours on K-8 aircraft.
 
qlleadermaqeel.jpgSquadron Leader Mirza Aqeel is from Lahore. He received his education from Fazaia Inter College Minhas Kamra. He was commissioned in PAF on March 2008. Before joining the Sherdils he has flown F-7P and F7-PG fighter aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 700 hours on K-8 aircraft.
 
waheedzafar.jpgSquadron Leader Waheed Zaffar belongs to Peshawar. He got his initial education from FG Public School Peshawar and PAF College Sargodha. He was commissioned in PAF in March 2006, he has flown F-16 and F-7P aircraft, apart from K-8 and Super Mushshak. He is a qualified flying instructor with 600 hours on K-8P aircraft.
 
shoaibahsan.jpgSquadron Leader Shoaib Ahsan Babri belongs to the historic city of Lahore. He got his initial education from Lahore and PAF College Lower Topa. He was commissioned in PAF in March 2007. Before joining the Sherdils he had a fighter flying experience of over 550 hours on F-7P and Mirage aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 1200 hours of experience on K-8 aircraft.
 
sqsyedfahad.jpgSquadron Leader Syed Fahad Babar Gillani belongs to Lahore. He got his education from St. Anthony’s High School and Government College Lahore. He was commissioned in PAF in September 2006. Before joining the Sherdils he has flown F-7P and Mirage fighter aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 680 hours on K-8 aircraft.
 
sqtaimurnawaz.jpgSquadron Leader Taimur Nawaz Khan hails from Mardan. He got his education at Army Public Schools and Colleges. He was commissioned in 2006 and has over 900 hours on F-7P. He was an instructor at an F-7P OCU. At present he is a qualified flying instructor with 750 hours on K-8 aircraft. He is with the team since 2015 and has flown Sherdils’ as No. 4 and 7. He was Sherdils’ team leader in exercise ‘Northern Thunder’ 2016 in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan Day Parade 2016. At present he is one of the solo display pilots and the deputy leader for the team.
 
squsman.jpgSquadron Leader Usman Taufiq belongs to Lahore. He got his education from Government College Lahore. He was commissioned in PAF on September 2006. Before joining the Sherdils he has flown F-7P fighter aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 500 hours on K-8 aircraft.
 
sqfarhan.jpgSquadron Leader Farhan Rana belongs to Mansehra. He got his education from PAF College Sargodha. He was commissioned in 2005 and has flown F-7P, FT-6 and A-5 fighter aircraft for 1000 hours. He has been an instructor at F-7P Operational Conversion Unit. He is a qualified flying instructor with 500 hours of experience on K-8 aircraft. At present he is one of the solo display pilots.
 

Millions of people have witnessed the Sherdils’ demonstrations and they’ve seen the pride, professionalism and dedication of this selected group of pilots and maintenance team serving Pakistan Air Force. Sherdils’ are a manifestation of the fine qualities that a fighter pilot possesses: crisp handling, perfect timing, audacity, team work and leadership.

 

People may differ in their views or pre-supposition about what they thought Sherdils are about, before they had witnessed them. However, once they see them perform, they leave impressed and unanimous on one fact, From the first call of ‘Pull-up’ to ‘Bomb-Burst’, the Sherdils’ Ride is jaw-dropping. It leaves the viewers enthralled and for those few minutes, no witnessing eye can afford to blink lest it misses out even an iota of the splendid color-filled Sherdils’ sequence. Witnessing Sherdils’ is enchanting and incredible. It has a magical charm that throws men into a state of boyish excitement and they yearn to see it all over again, one more time.

 
15
September

Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha


Ever since Pakistan’s war with India in 1965, highly polarizing debates have continued to erupt concerning the nature and result of the conflict. On the one side are those who claim that Pakistan won the war, while on the other side are those who suggest otherwise.

 

However, we now have enough academic and anecdotal sources to convincingly conclude the following: After making initial gains, the Pakistan Armed Forces were suddenly left high and dry when its ally the United States decided to impose military sanctions on both the countries. The sanctions had a harsher impact on Pakistan’s war effort because of its closer military and economic proximity to the U.S. The conflict ended in a stalemate; however, being defender a stalemate is equal to a moral victory for the defender.

 

spirithavingflow.jpgWhat has gone missing over the years is the core raison d'être behind celebrating September 6 as Pakistan’s Defence Day. It has very little to do with what takes place in the aforementioned debates on the conflict. Truth is, it was declared a special day mainly to celebrate the kind of spirit that was exhibited by the Armed Forces and civilians of Pakistan during the war – especially after an all-out attack by the Indian military on Lahore was repulsed on September 6, 1965.

 

Academic sources and eyewitness accounts which appeared after the attack show the Indian military crossing the Pakistan-India border on the western front under Major General Prasad and reaching the BRB Canal east of Lahore. Here, the Pakistani military successfully waylaid the invaders and pushed them back. The Major General had to flee the scene in his military jeep.

 

The Indian military tried again and this time after using a bridge near the village of Barki, it began its charge towards the centre of Lahore. A cousin of my late paternal grandfather who was in Lahore at the time used to tell us that when word got out that the Indian soldiers were about to enter Lahore, hundreds of civilians from almost all classes poured out from their homes to help the Pakistani combatants fight back the invasion.

 

Never again would Pakistanis unite in such a spirited manner as in September 1965 – even though we have often seen similar spirit emerging during crucial sporting events, formerly during hockey games and now during cricket matches.

Whenever I come across a debate on the 1965 War, I am surprised by the manner in which both the poles completely ignore the real essence of September 6. This essence was about the kind of resolve and spirit the Armed Forces and people of Pakistan exhibited when they challenged a much larger army without the fear of being overwhelmed.

My mother still remembers how when Radio Pakistan briefly reported the attack, my parents, grandparents and uncles ran up to the rooftop of our house in Karachi. Once there, they saw that the whole neighborhood had come out. Some had gathered in a nearby park and some, like my parents and grandparents, were standing on the roofs of their respective homes and apartment blocks.

 

Many years after I was born, I asked my parents what they were trying to achieve by coming out in Karachi when the attack was taking place in Lahore. My mother told me that it was an instinctive reaction. They felt they had to come out to exhibit their solidarity with the people of Lahore and Pakistan Armed Forces.

 

As the Indian military was making futile efforts to advance towards Lahore, embassies of various countries began to draw up emergency plans to evacuate their countries’ citizens from Lahore. In 2004 I met a Dutch man during a visit to the Netherlands whose father was posted in Lahore at the time. The father was working for a European petroleum company in the city.

 

spirithavingflow1.jpgHe told me that his father received a call from a Dutch deputation in Karachi asking him to reach any European or U.S. government outpost in Lahore for possible evacuation. The father obliged and began to drive towards a European embassy which was just a few kilometers from his house. However, what was supposed to be a short drive, turned into a much longer one because the roads and streets were jammed by people on foot, motorbikes and cars. It was as if everyone was trying to make their way to the border to fight the Indians.

 

The father did manage to reach the embassy. After waiting there for many hours, he was finally told by the embassy staff that the evacuation plans have been dropped. This happened because Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force successfully pushed back the Indian military, making the foreign embassies withdraw their evacuation advisories.

 

Never again would Pakistanis unite in such a spirited manner as in September 1965 – even though we have often seen similar spirit emerging during crucial sporting events, formerly during hockey games and now during cricket matches.

 

Whenever I come across a debate on the 1965 War, I am surprised by the manner in which both the poles completely ignore the real essence of September 6. This essence was about the kind of resolve and spirit the Armed Forces and people of Pakistan exhibited when they challenged a much larger army without the fear of being overwhelmed.

 

Pakistan was a developing country, just 18 years old when the 1965 war erupted. But compared to where it would begin to go after the war, it was a rapidly evolving nation-state and one of the most promising countries in the region. This is why so many Pakistanis came out to defend it in 1965 and why its Armed Forces displayed such valour.

Recently, while conducting research for my forthcoming third book I ventured towards a question: what made the people behave in such a selfless and bold manner during that war? After going through dozens of quotes and eyewitness accounts printed in newspapers and books, I came to the conclusion that Pakistanis at the time saw the Indian attack as an attack on their way of life.

 

They had some very good reasons to do this. In the early and mid-1960s, Pakistan’s economic growth rate was almost 6%; GDP growth rate was 7% (one of the highest in the region at the time); and its manufacturing growth was 10% of GDP. Inflation remained in check.

 

State, private and foreign investments witnessed a massive increase, triggering rapid industrialization, creating white and blue-collar jobs, the initial formation of a Pakistani urban middle-class and a manifold increase in the demand for higher education. Compared to the late 1950s, the net foreign inflow trebled to about 7% of GDP.

 

Mechanization, introduction of more effective pesticides and high-yield grain in agriculture and some land reform had begun to greatly benefit classes based in the country’s rural areas as well.

 

Socially it was a tolerant time. Religious and sectarian tensions were minimal and aggressively discouraged and subdued. And though ethnic tussles were more prominent, they were countered with equal zeal.

 

The tourism industry had begun to take shape and so had Pakistan’s film industry. Pakistanis with more liberal tastes in recreational activities conveniently co-existed with those with more conservative palates.

 

This was no Utopia. Pakistan was a developing country, just 18 years old when the 1965 war erupted. But compared to where it would begin to go after the war, it was a rapidly evolving nation-state and one of the most promising countries in the region. This is why so many Pakistanis came out to defend it in 1965 and why its Armed Forces displayed such valour.

 

There is a lesson for us all in the now elapsed spirit of this day. Nations need some very solid reasons to exhibit the kind of spirit in discussion here. These reasons have to enhance their economic and social sense of wellbeing and then safeguard it. The Ayub Khan regime provided these reasons.

 

I am a committed democrat, but I never have shied away from proclaiming that to me, Field Marshal Ayub Khan, was one of the most focused visionaries to become head of state of this country. At least till 1965, Ayub was able to largely materialize what he envisioned. This is exactly why as Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Armed Forces during the 1965 war, he enjoyed overwhelming support and outpouring of genuine patriotism. A patriotism that had nothing to do with hollow sloganeering; or the myopic idea of nationalism which has now become the unfortunate hallmark of our polity.

 

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

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15
September

Written By: Sadia Sattar


"After the 17 minutes of devastating attacks, we were low on fuel, which I had expected; 250 miles from our base at Peshawar.

We knew this once we were strafing the Indians. But the mission of destroying the Indians was of great strategic importance, and for that I and my pilots took maximum risk. We had been able to destroy Indian forces advancing to capture Lahore. We destroyed their tanks, guns, infantry and other war equipment. India’s war plans had been shattered on the very first day of 1965 war. Consequently, I told my warriors that we would recover at Sargodha base to refuel and hopefully re-arm. But fate had other plans for No.19 Squadron. Fighters from Sargodha continued the destruction of enemy for rest of the war.”

At the age of 86 the spark in his eyes and the determination in his voice, love for the motherland, from Pakistan’s first sunrise till this moment, reflected in every gesture and ardent will to serve Pakistan in every possible way was charismatically mesmerizing. The interview started with 1965 War's most debilitating and decisive Pathankot Strike and goosebumps could already be felt as the original narrative was pouring from the horse's mouth himself; the legendary, professionally adept and spirited Nosey Haider as he is fondly  known, Air Commodore (R) Sajad Haider, Sitara-e-Jurat, the war hero who was leading the Sherdils of No.19 Squadron gave incapacitating drubbing to Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) with his professional brilliance, precision and through the indomitable spirit and dauntless patriotism of falcons under his command. During the course of conversation, Air Commodore also came out with this revealing opinion that besides Pathankot’s historic strike, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) struck a devastating and decisive blow to Indian 15th Division’s juggernaut’s blitzkrieg towards Lahore on the morning of September 6. According to him, at Wagah the fierce wall of resistance by the handful of Pakistan Army’s gallant troops which were sparsely deployed and the timely PAF action which averted the capture of Lahore, has not been perceived by the concerned and media in its enormity that how Lahore was perilously threatened. Neither this crucial event merited in Pakistan’s historical war accounts of 1965 War. However, since Indian invaders suffered a collapse due to aggressive battle by our troops and air strike by No. 19 Squadron, it virtually changed the course of war by halting Indian forces’ advance towards Lahore as per their planning. Ironically, the Indian top military commanders of Western Front have unabashedly admitted with accolades of this bold war mission by PAF pilots. Recalling the Wagah Strike, Air Commodore (then Squadron Leader) Sajad Haider who led the attack shared details as:

 theeagleruled.jpg“Number 19 Squadron (Sherdils – war call-sign was Zambos) that I had the good luck to command was assigned the mission to destroy Indian artillery that was deployed across the Jassar Bridge in the Sialkot-Shakargarh Sector. One of our infantry battalion was under intense pressure and had suffered casualties as it was being directly targeted by Indian artillery guns. Significantly, in those times there was no precision guided amunition (smart bombs etc.) or modern Navigational Attack Systems to guarantee accuracy and precision in weapons delivery. All had to be done by the pilot through intricate estimation techniques. From precise navigation to arriving at the exact target location was achieved by simple map and watch. The weapon delivery was equally demanding. On that morning as we neared our assigned aircraft, I was disconcerted to see 5 inch rockets loaded instead of 2.75 inch that we had been using all along. This changed the firing parameters drastically but there was ‘not to question why’ situation and I had to swiftly devise firing profile for firing those 5 inch rockets. In consultation with my deputy it was decided to fire at very low angles and as we say ‘when you see the whites of thy enemy’s eyes.’ That was a bit dangerous but then in war things are not always done according to the peace time Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). As the leader I had to make the hard choice how best to demolish the assigned target. The tactical plan was that once we were near the Initial Point (I.P.) from target area, we would descend steeply to 50-100 feet above ground,  at tree top level, avoiding communication lines so as to disappear from Indian radars at Amritsar. That momentous morning at 9:15 a.m. hours, as we were just a few minutes away from the target area I was called by the Air Defence Commander and instructed that the C-in-C had ordered to abandon the assigned mission and immediately divert towards Attari village near Lahore and ‘search and destroy’ Indian invaders advancing rapidly towards the city of Lahore.

 

After the war we learnt that Indian high command was fully confident to capture Lahore on the same day trusting the element of surprise and superiority of numbers and weapons. Indian General Chaudhry was so confident that he even had invited many journalists including the famous BBC journalist, Mark Tully for a ‘Victory Reception’ in Lahore Gymkhana arrogating to himself the capture of the Heart of Pakistan.

 

It was tryst with destiny when F-86’s of No. 19 Squadron, trained as second-to-none, led by the most irrepressible and skilled Squadron Leader Sajad Haider were to make war history. Waving over the GT Road, between Amritsar and BRB canal they were to demolish and teach the enemy lesson of the lifetime.

 

Air Commodore Sajad Haider continued...

"What actually happened in our air strike at Wagah is unabashedly and factually recounted by none other than Indians themselves." To interpolate their accounts a few names and their acknowledgements below make incredible reading:

 

 theeagleruled1.jpgGeneral Harbakhsh Singh, GOC-in-C of the Western Command, (War Despatches), his Chief of Staff, Major General Jogindar Singh, (Behind the Scene), Lachhman Singh (Missed Opportunities) and importantly Colonel Desmond Hyde, leading the blitz against Lahore recall the devastation caused by the 19 Squadron attackers followed by fighters from Sargodha. Their comments are indelibly validated by award winning historians Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra, in these words: “No.19 Squadron from Peshawar, led by Squadron Leader S.S. (Nosey) Haider, flew a six aircraft strike mission at 9:30 a.m. hours against the leading elements of Indian army thrust towards Lahore. The leading battalion of the Division, 3 Jat Regiment, led by Col Desmond Hyde had its columns strafed and rocketed by PAF Sabres. The unit lost all its RCL guns in the attack. A troop of Sherman Tanks sent to support Hyde’s battalion was attacked from the air and incapacitated. Sabres (from Sargodha) returned and napalmed the troops through the afternoon.”

 

Major General Lachhman Singh mentions in his book Missed Opportunities, "It was about 9:30 a.m. and the enemy aircraft shot up every vehicle for about 15 minutes undeterred by fire from our troops.”

 

Similarly, 38 Brigade on the G.T. Road behind 54 Brigade lost vehicles and men due to the PAF’s deadliest air strike. The Command and Communication Headquarters were destroyed. The drubbing by Pakistan Air Force of the Indian Army dreaming to have ‘cocktails’ in Lahore Gymkhana was deeply buried in the exploding tanks full of ammunition, the RCL guns and ammunition carrying vehicles. There was dark smoke and flames billowing on both sides of G.T. Road, right up to the BRB canal.  Incontrovertibly, this strike changed the course of war by shattering Indians’ war plans on the very first day of the war. Pakistan’s 10 Division war diary and a monument near Wagah testifies the attack.

 

Air Commodore Sajad Haider mused, quoting from the Indian General’s diaries: “The C.O. of 54 Brigade retreated after the rout, (inflicted with first strike by 19 Squadron but relentlessly followed by Sargodha fighter squadrons), the brigade commander with just one sock and one shoe was found  on a bicycle  heading towards Amritsar. His 2nd-in-Command had been killed. Major General Lachhman Singh reportedly had said, "The Commanding Officer of the Indian 15 Division, General Narendra Prashad was caught in sugarcane fields on a bicycle heading for Amritsar. When presented before the GOC-in-C, he was taunted,‘Are you a General or a chaprasi.’ His cowardice and that of another two senior officers is proven as they were court-martialed and dismissed from the military service. Not long ago the famed historian Pushpindar Singh messaged me to inform that it was Major General Narendra Parshad whose flag jeep was hit by me at Wagah on the morning of September 6, 1965. He said it had been recently refurbished for Indian Museum. Sajad Haider ended the Wagah episode thus:

 theeagleruled2.jpg

 "After the 17 minutes of devastating attacks, we were low on fuel, which I had expected; 250 miles from our base at Peshawar.

 

We knew this once we were strafing the Indians. But the mission of destroying the Indians was of great strategic importance, and for that I and my pilots took maximum risk. We had been able to destroy Indian forces advancing to capture Lahore. We destroyed their tanks, guns, infantry and other war equipment. Indian war plan had been shattered on the very first day of 1965 war. Consequently, I told my warriors that we would recover at Sargodha base to refuel and hopefully re-arm. But fate had other plans for No.19 Squadron. Fighters from Sargodha continued the destruction of enemy for rest of the war.”

 

Mesmerized by his narration of Wagah Strike, I felt proud of those fearless pilots from Peshawar and Sargodha in the skies and soldiers on ground that ruthlessly fought the Indian Army and pushed them back to lick the deep wounds in perpetuity. The clock was ticking fast, I wanted to know more of Wagah Strike but I postponed it for some next occasion. I then asked this daring Falcon, who is getting older as years fly past him, yet his spirit and demeanor does not reflect it, as to how that fantastic counter air operations mission was accomplished with such dexterity at Pathankot that makes the Indians still edgy while remembering the aircraft ablaze on their base?     

 

Sajad Haider who holds that ‘life is not counting the years but the life one has put into the years’ reminisced: “After the Wagah Strike, we landed back at Sargodha. There was that natural rapture as we recounted the scenes of routing Indian advancing columns to our comrades remaining behind.  I felt elated at the spectacular shooting by the pilots and importantly a ‘Thank You Allah’ for returning unscathed. There was a call from the C-in-C, Air Marshal Nur Khan who asked about mission details. His encouraging words were like a shot in the arm. I suggested with humble restraint to use bombing against the Indian juggernaut.”

 

It was around 12 o’clock when our Station Commander came rushing inside our bunker. He handed me a Flash Top Secret signal.  It read something like: “No.19 Squadron to strike IAF airfield at Pathankot with 8 aircraft. Guns only. Destroy aircraft on the ground. Light Anti-Aircraft.” I looked back in surprise and bit of consternation at the Commanding Officer and asked, “But Sir, our target assigned by Air Marshal Asghar Khan earlier in June was Ambala, and you know we have been training day and night for 2 months for Ambala as target. Where on earth is Pathankot?” He said it was east of Shakargarh. Not being sure about the location and layout I asked the Commanding Officer to kindly get us a photo of the airfield in order to brief the formation. To arrive precisely at the altered target, we needed to carry out thorough planning. A lot of calculation had to be done to reach the target and a photograph of the airfield layout for allocation of precise targets to each formation member was imperative. We could not loiter around looking for the airfield and then deciding who targets what. In highly defended target systems with anti-aircraft weapons and enemy interceptors in combat air petrol, attackers are extremely vulnerable, as the tragedy at Halwara proved the point. No photo of the airfield was made available. Thus my briefing for the strike was simple, but ad hoc as we had to figure it all out once we arrived at the target.”

 

"At Pathankot, we arrived dead on estimated time, with 8 aircraft formation, two as top cover. Six of the pilots having done two sorties already, including recovery from Sargodha. We were 257 miles away and the combat operational range of F-86 was 180 or so miles.”

 

Sajad Haider in his customary humility continued: "Now, when people read about Pathankot Strike or Wagah Strike, usually my name appears, which is unfair and causes me disquiet.  The destruction of advancing Indians towards Lahore and the deft performance at Pathankot, Srinagar, Jammu Radar etc. was the triumph of those 20-25 years old pilots who performed beyond my expectations. I witnessed spectacular performance by them because even at our firing range in peace time in Peshawar such accuracy was rare. But this was war and they exhibited matchless precision and courage.”

 

“At Pathankot airfield, anti-aircraft, shells were bursting all around as confirmed in recent eyewitness accounts by many especially by Air Marshal Raghavendran who writes: ‘There was pandemonium. Bullets were flying all around. We all rushed to the nearest trench and dived in, not sitting and crouching as we should have been but piling ourselves flat on top of each other! we could hear and see the Pakistani Sabres going round and round, as though in range practice, and picking off all the possible aircraft, including the two MiG-21s, in spite of the anti-aircraft guns blazing away.” (The day the PAF got away, www.bharat-rakshak.com). My words to my pilots were: ‘no matter where we go for a strike, the anti-aircraft will be active. Never deviate from your target in order to avoid a shell, as being Muslims we believe that only the shell with our name on it is destined for us, none other; by ducking you may well connect the shell that has ‘to whom it may concern’ written on it,” Sajad Haider recalled with a smile.

 

The immense power of faith could be felt in each word and through each gesture. He continued:

“Before going to the aircraft, I had arranged cologned towels (mentioned by many Indian authors as a cynical gesture about hour is) to smell good just in case some of us go up and not return. Possibly it was going to be like an African black bee-hive nest that we may be subjected to. It was probable that some of us may not comeback. The morale of the people who are flying with you is gauged by the way they are flying. That day when we were emblazing the earth it was a matter of great pride for me as I saw those 7 aircraft like they were tied with a string, that’s what reflects the morale and professional excellence of your team.

 

Flight Lieutenant Arshad Sami, flying escort with missiles, recounts in his book ‘Three Presidents and one Aid’ that when I called pulling-up for attack at Pathankot, I said Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem and Allah-ho-Akbar, leader is ‘IN’ as we commenced the attacks. Thunder must have been resonating on Pathankot Base and I could feel that in Sajad Haider’s voice. For a few moments, I felt Sajad Haider was not with me, not present in his study, but flying over skies of Pathankot Base, giving instructions to his pilots while seeing burning Indian aircraft on the ground. And, then he just said, “All 8 exiting safely, was inextricably help from Almighty God.”   

 

"During my third attack I suddenly saw my number four Flying Officer Khalid Latif  seemed also diving towards the same aircraft as I was. We were on a collision course. He called me and said, ‘Leader My Shot’. I said, ‘continue’ and pulled away towards a farther target.  Because the attack was adhoc for reasons explained above, I had asked my deputy leader Flight Lieutenant Akbar’s formation of four to circle on top above AckAck (anti-aircraft) fire till I call him to enter for attack, since 8 aircraft in a circuit of 1-1/2 mile had serious chances of collisions. When I pulled up for my 4th attack, Akbar called “Leader Not Fair”. We were supposed to do maximum two attacks, but I must admit I got carried away. Immediately I called off my attack and told him to enter the attack. As I was exiting I noticed to my utter surprise my wingman Flying Officer Arshad on my right, in combat formation, amazingly flying, as I saw Pathankot air traffic control about a mile ahead where there was a C-119 standing. I called ‘C-119 ahead’. Number two said, mine leader, I said, shoot, and he shot. We were dead low and not in firing profile, but I saw his bullets land smack on the aircraft. ‘Superb shooting’ I thought.  IAF Pathankot Base was in flames as we exited after brilliant performance and valor of my team. Our top cover lead Wing Commander, Tawab called , ‘Great shooting Zambo Leader, I count 14 fires. 13 Indian aircraft were destroyed and their base pulverised’. We claimed 11 aircraft but the Indian historians quoting official IAF statistics in 2015, said that 13 aircraft were destroyed in that attack. “They say 2 were damaged but they were incapacitated for any operation). We always tried to under-claim even for the Wagah attack. Indian history itself is a testimony of PAF performance.”

 

I was once again speechless, entrenched and lost in the moments. Courage, spirit of sacrifice and patriotism cast their own spell! 

 

When I asked him the main reason behind this dazzling success, Sajad Haider described that in these short words, ‘PAF Leadership’. He then explained, “Air Marshal Asghar Khan had created a formidable fighting machine through his stellar vision and strategy and we were being led by another great commander Air Marshal Nur khan.” He then further intoned:

 

“Leadership is the most important factor behind every success. With fearless, determined, truthful, morally upright, sterling honest and skilled leadership, success is achievable in most impossible circumstances just as during 1965 War where Pakistan Armed Forces like a steel wall held back four times its preponderant adversary, and inflicted five times attrition upon the IAF. They admitted loss of 74 aircraft in 1965 and 73 in 1971 Wars. Surprised? It is their official declared record.”

 

Sajad Haider’s love for Pakistani youth is immense and the message he gave was: “Chase your dreams in pursuit of honour with passion through merit. Aim high in whatever profession you choose. Acquire education not just for degrees but to be a leader who can think critically and independently, to tell right from wrong and good from bad. Don’t be a mediocre looking for a job for mere existence. National leadership has the cardinal responsibility to provide fair turf and opportunity for the youth of a resonate nation. There is nothing worse than undue patronage and nepotism which destroys one’s mind and soul.”

 

I left Sajad Haider’s home engulfed in immense pride in heroes of Pakistan.

 

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15
September

Written By: Col Azam Qadri (R)


Captain Raja Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed (1910-July 27, 1948)

captmsarvar.jpgCaptain Muhammad Sarwar was the first Nishan-e-Haider in the history of our great nation. He was born in village Singhori, Rawalpindi in 1910. His father, Raja Muhammad Hayat Khan served in the British Indian Army and rose to rank of Havildar. He served with distinction during WW-I and was awarded with a war medal. Along with the medal, the British Government also awarded him with three squares of agricultural land in Chak 229 Tehsil Samundri. After his retirement from the British Indian Army, Raja Muhammad Hayat Khan was also appointed as the “numberdar” of his village. He passed away on February 23, 1932.

 

Since his childhood, Raja Muhammad Sarwar was fond of reading and he acquired extensive religious knowledge. The people of his village named him “Sakhi (generous) Sarwar”. The chief characteristic of his nature was piety and devotion. His other hobbies were horse riding, hunting, and playing football.

 

He started his military career in the ranks as a Sepoy. He was a self-made man who finally rose to be a commissioned officer. He joined as a recruit in Baloch Regiment on April 15, 1929 and got his initial training from the old Baloch Centre at Karachi. He served there until April 30, 1941. On April 27, 1944, he passed out as a Commissioned Officer from Indian Military Academy Dehradun and took part in World War II, where he was awarded the Burma Star.

 

After independence, Captain Muhammad Sarwar joined the Punjab Regiment of Pakistan Army. Captain Muhammad Sarwar was serving as a Company Commander in the Uri Sector in Kashmir when he was tasked by his Battalion Commander to undertake a very important operation that involved a pre-emptive attack on a well defended Indian position that was to serve as a base for further operations by his battalion. Indian Army had landed in Srinagar on October 27, 1947 and since then advanced upto Uri. Indians had plans to capture the remaining Kashmir. There was a need to stop Indian advance and save innocent Kashmiris. Young Captain Sarwar decided to volunteer for noble cause of defending Kashmir.

 

The strength of the Indian Army was more than eight Brigades in Uri Sector and they were supported by tanks and engineers. What made the task more challenging was the fact that the Indian posts were located on an uphill position and had many LMG positions and tanks in this area.

 

The Commanding Officer asked for a volunteer who can silence enemy tanks and guns by ‘surprise attack’. Captain Muhammad Sarwar said, “Sir, I will perform this duty”. Capt Muhammad Sarwar thus planned his attack with diminutive details and the essence of his success depended upon the charge with an element of surprise. This called for highest level of leadership to lead his company by example, which he did by leading the charge himself.

 

By attacking a strongly fortified enemy position under heavy machine gun, grenade, and mortar fire, he not only led his Company bravely but inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

 

Having achieved this initial foothold, he held it against several repeated counter-attacks and finally secured it as a base of future operations. In order to provide a safe passage to his battalion, he volunteered to make way for the rest of his battalion.

 

On the night of July 27, 1948 at 0300 hours, he took along six men, crawled out of his bunker to cut the enemy's barbed wire barrier to make way for his battalion to move  through this gap for further operations. He moved  stealthily and bravely, closed up to the defensive position of the Indians and was able to cut the barbed wire for his battalion to pass through. While he was waiting to guide his comrades, he was picked up by the Indians, when he was still perched up near the gap in the barbed wire, he received a direct burst of enemy's heavy machine gun fire, and was wounded badly. He however, continued guiding his battalion despite being badly wounded and eventually embraced shahadat on the spot. By that time, the battalion was able to pass through, assemble and complete its task successfully.

 

In recognition for his courage, selflessness, and bravery that was beyond the call of duty, he was posthumously awarded with the first Nishan-e-Haider.

 

Naik Saif Ali Janjua Shaheed (April 25, 1922-October 26, 1948)

naiksaifali.jpgNaik Saif Ali Janjua was born in a Janjua Rajput family on April 25, 1922 in Khandbaz (Khandhar) Tehsil Nakial, Kotli (Azad Jammu and Kashmir).

 

Saif joined the Royal Corps of Engineers in British Indian Army as a “Sapper” (Sepoy in Engineers) on March 18, 1941, while he was only eighteen years old.

Later, he served overseas for 4 years during WW II. On termination of war, his unit sailed back to the subcontinent, and remained stationed at Jullundur and Lahore.

 

After completing his service in the British Indian Army in 1947, he came back to his native town to apply his knowledge to good use and started raising a volunteer Haidari Force. He also inspired and got support of Sardar Fateh Muhammad Karailvi. On January 1, 1948, Haidari Force was further raised to a battalion strength and named as “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion” under the command of Lt Col Muhammad Sher Khan. Later on during the re-organisation phase of Azad Kashmir Regular Forces (AKRF), “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion” was re-designated as 18 Azad Kashmir Battalion. Indian forces after landing in Srinagar on October 27, 1947, advanced with the intention to capture whole of Kashmir. “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion” (18AK) of Pakistan Army comprising Kashmiri Muslims could not stay silent and joined the Azad Forces against Indian occupation. Naik Saif, being part of the battalion, participated in these operations with full zeal and fervor.

 

Saif Ali Janjua showed exceptional leadership qualities, and was promoted as a Naik, well before his time and appointed as Platoon Commander; an appointment normally given to officers or Junior Commissioned Officers. While acting as a Platoon Commander, he set personal examples in gallantry and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy at Bhudha Khanna where his platoon was given the responsibility to defend Bhudha Khanna.

 

During this period of re-organisation of freedom fighters, a major Indian offensive supported by armour, artillery, and air force to establish link-up with Poonch was gaining momentum in Mendhar Sector. A platoon of “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion”, commanded by Naik Saif Ali Janjua, was deployed on the dominant Pir Kalewa feature (6640) along the Rajauri-Bhimber Gali route. The Indians attacked with 5 and 19 Brigade at Pir Kalewa on October 20, 1948; but these attempts were repulsed every time. However, Indian Army was successful towards the right of Pir Kalewa feature and captured Naili and Sarola. The defences at Pir Kalewa were untenable and situation had deteriorated further but Naik Saif and his platoon were determined to stop Indian advance. On night October 24/25, 1948, Naik Saif inducted few more volunteers from his own village to strengthen his post. On the night of October 25/26, 1948, Indian attack by 5 Brigade Group with armour in support and occasional air strikes commenced all along the front held by “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion”. Indian Army captured Bhudha Khanna, which was defended by a platoon of B Company and then managed to isolate defences at Pir Kalewa.

 

Indians successfully moved towards the rear of Pir Kalewa feature, developed pressure on Barot Gali by 0500 hours and then launched major attack against Pir Kalewa post.

 

The Indians were allowed to move forward up to about 100 yards and then Naik Saif ordered his platoon to engage the assaulting troops with all available firepower. He led his men gallantly and continued shouting slogans of encouragement while also passing instructions. Meanwhile, a complete section had suffered heavy casualties, but Naik Saif single-handedly held the position until the arrival of reinforcements. He himself took over the Bren gun and started effectively engaging hapless advancing enemy soldiers from an open place.

 

The devotion, highest standard of bravery and exemplary leadership of Naik Saif was instrumental in forcing the enemy to withdraw. The Indians reorganised with fresh troops at 0615 hours. After air strikes, Indian artillery, tanks and mortars continually engaged the position for two hours. Then Indians resumed their attack on the post with fresh troops.  However, they again failed and were repulsed thrice.

 

Brave Naik Saif had meanwhile received severe splinter wounds in both his legs during enemy shelling but he continued firing his Bren gun. Despite his severe wounds, he also continued commanding his men effectively by encouraging and regrouping them to face renewed Indian attacks.

 

By 1500 hours, fourth Indian attempt against Pir Kalewa post had also been repulsed but enemy artillery was continuously and heavily engaging the position. The communication with Battalion Headquarters was restored during the respite in fighting and resultantly, the reinforcement was rushed towards Pir Kalewa.

 

In the meantime, gallant Saif hit and brought down an enemy aircraft with his Bren gun fire.

It was at this time when all the available ammunition at the post had been expended and the reinforcement had not reached yet. Naik Saif had suffered huge loss of blood from his wounds; however, he dragged himself around to collect ammunition from the dead and wounded, and distributed it personally to the surviving soldiers.

 

Naik Saif was reorganising and repositioning his surviving men to face another fresh wave of enemy assault, which was preceded by even heavier and intense artillery shelling, when an artillery shell hit him fatally.

 

The Indians could not succeed to capture the post despite heavy losses until brave Naik Saif Ali was alive. Due to the severe injuries, he embraced martyrdom on October 26, 1948.

 

The extreme selfless and most courageous conduct displayed by Naik Saif Ali Janjua under worst battle conditions is a unique example of chivalry.

 

On his unique selfless conduct and devotion to duty, he was awarded with Hilal-e-Kashmir (posthumous), the highest operational award of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, on March 14, 1949.

 

Government of Pakistan, on November 30, 1995 notified the equivalence of Hilal-e-Kashmir with Nishan-e Haider. Hence Naik Saif Ali Janjua became the 9th  reciepient of Nishan-e Haider.

 

Major Muhammad Tufail Shaheed (1914-August 7, 1958)

majormtifail.jpgMajor Tufail Muhammad was born in 1914 at Hoshiarpur (now part of Indian Punjab). He got his commission in 1943 and joined the Punjab Regiment. At the time of partition, he opted to come to Pakistan, and thereafter he joined Pakistan Army, and got his first posting to 1/16 Punjab Regiment (later re-designated as 13 Punjab). During his professionally exceptional career, he served on several instructional and command appointments.

 

In 1958, Major Tufail Muhammed was posted to East Pakistan as a company commander in a border militia battalion of East Pakistan Rifles (EPR). During his tenure of duty, the Indian troops infiltrated into Pakistani territory through the Pathoria Forest and captured a village in the area of Lakshmipur on the Pakistani side of the border.

 

His battalion was tasked to evict the enemy and the Battalion Commander ordered Major Tufail to launch an attack to push out the Indian troops from the village. The attack was launched on August 7, 1958. Taking cover of the darkness, he attacked the Indians by dividing his attacking force into three groups. During the assault on enemy positions, Major Muhammad Tufail was hit by three bullets, that pierced his stomach. He did not lose his wits, and using sheer willpower when he was bleeding profusely, he kept advancing towards his objective.

 

During the attack, he spotted an Indian Light Machine Gun (LMG) that was making the task of attacking force difficult and even accounted for the shahadat of another officer. After locating this gun, he closed up and threw a grenade, silencing this LMG. With fatal injuries, he crawled further towards an enemy officer, who was aiming to kill a Pakistani soldier. In a hand-to-hand  fight, Major Muhammad Tufail struck the Indian officer’s head with his own steel helmet. Despite being fatally wounded, he led the whole operation until all the area was cleared off the Indian troops.

 

By his sheer presence and leading troops from the front, this brave son of the soil kept boosting the morale of his men, who were now entangled in hand-to-hand fight, and finally Indians fled, leaving behind four dead and three prisoners.

 

By the time the operation was completed, he had lost a lot of blood and energy due to bullet injuries. At that juncture, he conveyed to his junior officer, “I have completed my duty; the enemy is on the run, you take over the command now”.

 

With the mission now completed, Major Tufail took a sigh of relief, thanked Almighty Allah, and embraced Shahadat smilingly, thus becoming immortal. 

 

For his act of bravery, showing great resilience and perseverance while leading from the front, killing an Indian commander despite being wounded in a hand-to-hand fight, something rarely displayed in war, he was awarded with Nishan-e-Haider.

 

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed (1928-September 11, 1965)

majorrajaaziz.jpgOriginally named Aziz Ahmad, Major Aziz Bhatti was born in 1928. During the period he was in Hong Kong his name stayed as Aziz Ahmad. Even the initials on the golden ring he wore had engravings of “A.A.” “As a nick name,” said his mother, “We called him Raja”.

 

In 1946, Major Aziz Bhatti was enlisted as Airman with the RIAF and within a short period rose to rank of Corporal by 1947.

 

At the time of partition, he decided to join Pakistan Army and applied for selection as an officer. He was selected for the first course to be organised and run at the Pakistan Military Academy – The First PMA Long Course. The Course started in the last week of January 1948. Gentleman Cadet Aziz Bhatti excelled and performed well in all aspects of life at PMA.

 

On the passing out parade of 1st PMA Long Course, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, was the chief guest. For distinguishing himself as the best all-round cadet, and for being the most brilliant in academics, Liaquat Ali Khan presented the Sword of Honour and the Norman Gold Medal to Gentleman Cadet Raja Aziz Bhatti. Aziz Bhatti’s Khalid Company (being Champion Company) was also awarded with the Quaid- i-Azam’s Banner.

 

It was generally accepted that of all the parades held at PMA, this happened to be the finest. There was such alacrity and power in the ‘words of command’ of Raja Aziz Bhatti, that even the spectators came to 'attention' in their seats!

 

At the time of passing out, he joined the 4/16 Punjab Regiment (now 17 Punjab) as a commissioned officer.  With only 11 months of service, he was appointed as Adjutant of the Battalion. He was later on posted to the School of Infantry & Tactics, Quetta, from where he appeared for the entrance examination for Command and Staff College. Humble as ever he asked all friends to pray for his success. As expected, his name appeared on top of the list of successful candidates. His selection for the foreign staff course at Kingston Staff College Canada was due recognition of his brilliance as officer. Leaving aside Pakistan, there was hardly any other country where an officer with such a short service was selected for that course. He was promoted to the rank of Major before he left for Canada. Very popular in the College he, as usual, distinguished himself in every test. Writing to Brig Niazi from there, he said, “My English seems to be better than that of the Britishers; my exercise books hardly have any red marks on the pages.”

 

During the Kingston Course, Major General Hayauddin (who was killed in the Cairo crash), came over from New York. When he saw results of the tests Major Bhatti had taken at the Staff College, he was immensely pleased and congratulated him. Major Aziz Bhatti passed his Canadian Staff Course with distinction.  On return, the C-in-C of the Army, General Muhammad Ayub Khan, sent him a special message of felicitations.

 

When September 1965 war broke out, Major Aziz Bhatti’s Alpha Company was deployed forward of BRB Canal. On 6th September, once Indian advancing columns in their bid to surprise Pakistanis found Major Aziz Bhatti’s men ready to receive them with unwavering will to defend Lahore at all costs. As a Company Commander, Major Bhatti chose to locate himself with his forward platoon under constant firing from Indian tanks and artillery. He resisted for six days and nights defending a Pakistani outpost on the strategic BRB Canal. A day before his martyrdom, the commanding officer had sent him word that since he had been fighting untiringly for the last few days, he should take a little rest and that another officer was being sent to replace him. Major Aziz’s reply is a reflection of extreme patriotism saying, "Do not call me back. I will shed the last drop of my blood in the defence of my dear homeland". These words serve as an inspiration for future generations of Pakistan Army soldiers and officers.

 

On September 10, while constantly observing the enemy terrain, Major Bhatti noticed some trucks speeding up at intervals behind a cluster of trees, stopping at a point for a while and then dashing back. It was evident that the enemy was again dumping ammunition and armament at that place. In the meantime, he also saw a convoy of 13 vehicles moving up.  He kept his eyes on it.  As it got close to milestone 17/18, he ordered fire. The entire convoy was destroyed, engulfed in a huge cloud of smoke. It was evident from the gunpowder what these vehicles were carrying.

 

In the afternoon, IAF aircraft made their appearance felt again, had a circle or two over the border, and went back without any action. Things then appeared quiet; no transport was visible, nor was there any sign of troops movement.

 

He had hardly slept for 15 minutes when he stood up saying. “Is it actually the sound of moving tanks, or am I imagining it?,” he asked those around him. Captain Anwar replied, “You are very right. These definitely are tanks; I’m already trying to locate them.” Major Bhatti picked up the binoculars, and managed to get two enemy tanks in view. He ordered the fire and both were knocked down. He continued to scan the area but could not observe any further movement. Nevertheless, he remained alert all the time.

 

But sooner, the enemy launched the attack with an Infantry Brigade comprising 16 Punjab and 4 Sikh Regiments, with a tank regiment and heavy artillery in their support. By 10 o’clock in the night when shelling had stopped, Major Bhatti went upstairs and called all the others over the wireless set, and then threw a flare to have an overall view of the area. By then the light emanating from enemy’s truck captured during the day, that was set ablaze by the shelling enabled them to watch the Indians. At the same time, shouts of Jai Hind were also heard. Obviously, enemy tanks and infantry had come up close to Burki Police Station. 

 

Major Bhatti now re-organised his troops on the home bank of the canal and directed the “jawans” to take position along the embankment.  He climbed up, and started surveying enemy activity in the area.

At night, the Regiment Adjutant, Anwar Muniruddin, came over to meet him. He narrated to him the episodes of previous days, recounting the enemys attacks, how they were repulsed and how they managed to pull back safely after the ammunition had been exhausted. Then he handed over his gold ring to him. “Make sure to deliver it at my place in case I am martyred,” he urged.

 

Anwar put on the ring on his own finger. Major Bhatti had been wearing it all along since his Hong Kong days. He turned to Anwar again, “You are a young officer,” he said, “You’ll one day write the history of your Regiment.  Bhatti may not be among you at that time, but one thing you must definitely keep in mind – don’t forget to mention the historic role of the artillery in this war.”

 

The last sun of Major Bhatti’s life had come up. Passing to the left of Havildar Nazir’s platoon holding position near Company Headquarters, he went up the canal bank, and started surveying the far side through his binoculars. Havildar Major Faiz Ali was lowered down the embankment due to enemy fire. He shouted, “Sir, there’s fire from that side – please come down.” “I cannot look around from that position,” said Major Aziz, “It is certainly dangerous standing here but then everything is from God! If ‘Shahadat’ is in store for me, I’ll welcome it.”

 

Soon some tanks were seen advancing towards the canal from the direction of Burki. Under their cover, infantry was also on the march.  Indicating their positions, Major Bhatti ordered fire. Off went the guns but the shells did not land where desired. He quickly passed another message.  This time the shells found the target. He was overjoyed. Two enemy tanks had been knocked down. Captain Anwar (Artillery) was directing the fire. Major Bhatti appreciated his precision. “Well done, Anwar,” he said loudly.

 

Just then, an enemy shell whizzed past Maj Bhatti, cut across a nearby shisham tree and landed on the heap of bricks, which had been dug out of the trenches and stocked there. That point was hardly a few feet away. A cloud of dust arose. His men around feared that the Major had been hit! They ran towards him but found him unscathed. “Go back to your positions immediately,” ordered Major Bhatti, “This shell was not for me; the one for me has yet to be manufactured in India’s ordnance factories!”

 

Destiny was smiling at what Major Bhatti had just uttered. He was about to raise his binoculars and scan the enemy area when an armoured piercing shot fired from an Indian tank hit him in the chest and passed through his right lung. He fell face down on the bank. Havildar Major Faiz Ali and Sepoy Aman Khan rushed to his aid but by then that highly dedicated, valorous, selfless human being, an exceptional and unique military hero had been relieved of his duty.

 

Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed (February 17, 1951-August 20, 1971)

rashidminhassh.jpgBorn in the metropolitan city of Karachi on February 17, 1951 Rashid belonged to the famous Minhas clan of Rajputs. At partition in 1947, Rashid’s father migrated from Gurdaspur (Indian Punjab) to Pakistan. Rashid had a great passion for aero-modelling and used to spend his entire pocket money buying the aircraft models especially those of fighter jets.

 

Since childhood, he wanted to join the Armed Forces of Pakistan. His school days diary records indicate the same. On  August 7, 1965 he wrote in his diary, “Today I promise from my heart that out of three defence forces I will definitely join any one.” His parents on the other hand were ignorant of his hidden passion as his father always wanted him to become an engineer. However, after seeing the eagerness of his young boy, he had no other option but to surrender to his overwhelming passion.

 

Rashid completed his O and A levels with distinction at the age of 18 and joined PAF College Lower Topa for initial training. During his days at Lower Topa, he displayed extraordinary tallent in literary activities and emerged as a promising orator. After training at Lower Topa, he joined 51st GD(P) Course at PAF Academy Risalpur in August 1969. At the Academy, his passion for flying saw no limits. He did his primary and basic flying training on Harvard and T-37 aircraft respectively and showed great promise.

 

March 14, 1971 was the historic and proud day in the life of young Rashid Minhas. On this memorable day, he earned his 'wing' and became Pilot Officer. After spending a few days with his family, Rashid went for the conversion course on T-33 aircraft at Masroor Airbase. Unaware what the destiny had in store for him, Rashid started flying training with No. 2 Squadron.

 

On August 20, 1971, around 1100 hrs, Rashid got ready to take off for his second solo flight in a T-33 jet trainer. He started his engines and completed the checks, the ground crew gave ‘thumbs up’ (signal to taxi out) and saluted him (not knowing that this was his last salute to the young warrior). As Minhas was taxiing towards the runway, his Bengali instructor pilot, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, came on the taxiway and signalled him to stop. Thinking that his instructor might want to give some last minute instructions, Minhas stopped the aircraft. Mati forced his way into the rear cockpit and seized controls of the aircraft; the jet took off and turned towards India.

 

Soon the radio at Mauripur (now Masroor) Control Tower became alive and Minhas informed that he was being hijacked. The air controller requested him to resend his message and confirm that it was hijacking. The events that followed later were the tale of great courage and patriotism. In the air, Minhas struggled physically to wrest control from Rahman; each man tried to overpower the other through the mechanically linked flight controls. The instructor wanted him to fly to India; however, the determined Rashid was not ready for it. The ferocious struggle continued for minutes and as the aircraft neared the Indian border, Rashid Minhas knew what he was supposed to do. He knew that the honour of his country was far greater than his precious life. Some 32 miles (51 km) from the Indian border, Rashid Minhas deliberately put the aircraft nose down and that made the jet to crash near Thatta.

 

Rashid Minhas rendered supreme sacrifice for the honour of the country and became a national hero. Later investigation showed that Rahman intended to defect along with the jet trainer to India to join his compatriots in Bangladesh. Minhas was posthumously awarded with Pakistan’s top military honour, the Nishan-e-Haider and became the youngest man and the only member of the PAF to win the prestigious gallantry award.

 

Citation of Gallantry Award (NH)            

The citation of Rashid Minhas Shaheed gives account of his bravery as:

“On the morning of Friday, August 20, 1971, Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, a pilot still under training, was in the front seat of a jet trainer, taxiing out for take-off. An instructor pilot from the same unit forced his way into the rear cockpit, seized control of the aircraft and having taken off, headed the aircraft towards India. With just some 40 miles of Pakistan territory remaining, Minhas had only one course open to him to prevent his aircraft from entering India. Without hesitation and living up to highest traditions of the PAF, Rashid Minhas tried to regain control of his aircraft but finding this to be impossible in the face of the superior skill and experience of his instructor, forced the aircraft to crash at a point 32 miles from the Indian border. In doing so, Pilot Officer Minhas deliberately made the supreme sacrifice for the honour of Pakistan and service to which he belonged. For this act of heroism beyond the call of duty, the President of Pakistan is pleased to award the NH to Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas”.

 

Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed (April 28, 1943-December 6, 1971)

majorshabirsh.jpgMajor Shabir Sharif Shaheed was born on April 28, 1943 at Kunjah, a small town of District Gujrat. His father, late Major Muhammad Sharif joined the British Indian Army in 1935 and retired from Pakistan Army in 1965. Major Shabir has four brothers and sisters. The eldest sister is Mrs. Khalida Saadat, brother Captain (Retd) Mumtaz Sharif, Sitara-e-Basalat, younger sister Mrs. Najmi Kamran and his youngest brother, General Raheel Sharif, the ex-Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan Army.

 

In 1950, Major Shabbir started his early education from Presentation Convent School, Rawalpindi. He was intellectually an exceptional student. While studying at Government College Lahore in 1961 he was selected for Pakistan Army and underwent training with 29th Long Course at PMA, Kakul.

 

Major Shabbir was an outstanding player of hockey, cricket, football, athletics and cycling. He was declared the best sportsman of hockey and cricket in Saint Anthony High School.

 

At the PMA, he passed out on top, winning the Sword of Honour.

In 1965 war, after the commencement and facing tough resistance, 6 FF operation was slowed down and suffered casualties. The Brigade Commander at that stage ordered 6 FF to send out a reconnaissance patrol to take a look at the deployment of Indians on and around ‘Troti’ feature. Shabbir who was originally tasked to carryout reconnaissance saw an opportunity where an artillery battery was in a state of rest and not fully alert. Seeing an opportunity, he changed his mind and instead of going back, he attacked the Gun Positions and got them into a panic, thus forcing them to either withdraw or surrender. He captured four Indian POWs and having destroyed two guns he brought along a field gun towed to a gun-tower (Shaktiman). He put his own wounded soldiers and Indian POWs in the same vehicle.

 

He returned with full information about the Indian deployments as well as captured soldiers. Operations of 10 Infantry Brigade were resumed with 6 FF again leading on the main axis with 13 Lancers in support and the other action being undertaken by 14 Punjab Regiment, which were to move on the right flank and manoeuvre, and get around Troti Feature and face towards Jaurian. These operations were a great success and the Indians panicked and ran. The Brigade took a large number of vehicles, ammunition dumps and POWs. It was perhaps the largest ever haul of men and materials in all our wars with India. Major Shabbir was awarded Sitara-e-Jurat during the War.

 

In 1971 war, at the outbreak of hostilities, a pre-emptive operation was launched to capture the Sabuna Bund in order to give greater depth and protection to the Sulaimanki Headworks. Major Shabbir not only captured that with lightning speed but held his positions against all odds.

 

During the war, a company commander from India, Major Narain Singh, had sworn before going on attack that he either would retake the bridge, or would never return. Narain Singh was also interested in defeating Shabbir Sharif, as for the last two days he had been hearing from his own men that the Pakistani side had a very tough commander with them. While the battle was going on, Narain Singh, with a few men, came very close to Shabbir’s position. "Where is Shabbir Sharif?," he called out, "If he has the courage, he should come out right now and face me like a man". Shabbir Sharif, being as hot-headed as the Singh, left his position and jumped in front of him upon the call. Perhaps, Narain Singh could not make out that it was Shabbir Sharif, as it was very dark, and he lobbed a grenade in his direction. The grenade exploded a few feet away from Shabbir and his shirt caught fire. A hand-to-hand combat followed between Sharif and Singh. After a short struggle, Shabbir managed to throw Singh on the ground and put his knee on his chest. Taking the Sten gun from his hand, he emptied it on Singh's chest. While the Pakistani soldiers came to Sharif to check whether he was all right, those accompanying Singh disappeared in the darkness.

 

The ferocious non-stop battle of December 4, 5, and 6 was an amazing feat of valour and sacrifice led by the Company Commander, Major Shabbir. At around 1100 hours on December 6 the Indians launched yet another major counter attack with tanks, preceded by an air strike and heavy artillery fire. Major Shabbir started firing on the Indian tanks with 106 mm Recoilless Rifle. While he was engaged in targeting the enemy tanks, one of the enemy tanks fired with its main gun at him, which proved fatal. Major Shabbir gave his life leading from the front and fighting until the last minute. Here was a brave man whose mere presence was a guarantee of victory. He had said this before the war, “If war breaks out this time, I will not be a witness to ceasefire”.

 

It is worth mentioning that this operation by 6FF was so humiliating for the Indians that in 12 days, they changed their General Officer Commanding, and Brigade Commanders thrice in this Sector.

He was decorated with Nishan-e-Haider for his bravery and deeds of valour.

 

Major Muhammad Akram Shaheed (September 25, 1941-December 5, 1971)

majmakram.jpgMajor Muhammad Akram Shaheed was born on September 25, 1941 in a small village named Dinga, very close to Kharian Cantonment. He got his initial education from Chakri Middle School, and then joined the Military College Jhelum. While at the Military College, he was known for his skills in playing hockey and excelled in it. He was also known for his boxing skills.

 

On July 3, 1953, he left the college and joined the Punjab Regimental Centre (then located at Jhelum) in the Boys Company of 14 Punjab Regiment. This Regimental Centre used to train boys aged 15 to 17 years for their future induction in Pakistan Army. After completing his recruit training, Akram joined 4/14 Punjab Regiment (later re-designated 8 Punjab Regiment). 8 Punjab therefore, is his parent battalion. After having served for about 8 years, Muhammad Akram applied for commission in Pakistan Army.

 

He was not selected in the first attempt; however, he made it in the second attempt and was selected in March 1961 for the 28th PMA Long Course. He passed out in October 1963. While at PMA, he led the PMA hockey team and won the inter-academy trophy beating PAF and Naval Academy teams. He was also awarded with the PMA Colour in hockey. He also excelled professionally by being the best firer in his course, thus winning the Best Firer’s Trophy.

 

On his commissioning, he joined the Frontier Force Regiment and joined a very well-known Infantry Battalion, the Fourth Frontier Force Regiment (4 FF) on October 13, 1963. All through his service, he had a good service record, and was promoted as a Major in September 1970 after attending the Military Intelligence Course.

 

In 1971, the situation in East Pakistan was getting worse because Indian troops were consistently penetrating inside East Pakistan borders, and were sponsoring an insurgency through the indigenous terrorist organisation “Mukti Bahini” to destabilise East Pakistan. It was not long after that an all-out war started in December 1971. The main objective of the Indian Army was to get control of Bogra, thereby cutting off Pakistani forces in the north from the rest of East Pakistan. The best way of getting to Bogra was through the town of Hilli. The frontal assault on the Pakistan fortifications took a huge toll on the Indian Army. In a renewed effort and further strengthening, the 20th Indian Mountain Division with strength of 20,000 men, led by Major General Lachhman Singh, comprising 66 Brigade, 165 Brigade, 202 Brigade, and 340 Brigade (all infantry units), 3 Armoured Brigade, 471 Engineer Brigade, and two artillery brigades augmented by 33 Corps Artillery attacked Hilli sector.  

 

The ground troops were aided by aerial support provided by the Indian Air Force, which had already acquired total air superiority in the East and were armed with rockets, guns, and 1000 lbs bombs. On the Pakistan side, the Area of Responsibility was with 205 Brigade, led by Brigadier (later Major General) Tajammul Hussain Malik. 205 Brigade had deployed 4 FF, 13 FF, and 8 Baloch Regiments. Major Akram was commanding Charlie Company of the 4 FF Regiment in the forward most localities of the Hilli Sector. This Company position was very vital and had blocked enemy's route of advance. His Company came under continuous Indian Army attacks duly supported by Indian Air Force, heavy artillery, and armour. Charlie Company, commanded by Major Muhammad Akram, put up a heroic resistance that earned praises even from the Indians.

 

He with his brave Company stood like a rock between the Indian forces, and Pakistani positions for over two weeks, despite the Indians outnumbered them in manpower, firepower, and total air superiority, using even helicopters, and aircraft to the best use.

 

Major Muhammad Akram and his men repulsed every successive attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the Indians. This battle was unique as it had begun before the official declaration of the Indo-Pak war and continued even after the formal surrender of troops at Dacca. The Indians on several occasions, using megaphones and shoutings at his company, asked him to surrender but Major Akram refused. However, the sense of sacrifice, valour, and chivalry was at its apex for the men of this Company but their source of strength remained embodied in the personality of Major Muhammad Akram, whose confident voice and firm orders to deal with the ever-changing situation gave him a stature of a force that raged even fiercer than any battalion. His conduct and resolve incessantly generated high spirit for all his subordinates. Each attack of the enemy on that day was repulsed. By the evening of December 5 enemy was only engaging Charlie Company positions with tanks and artillery fire.

 

It was in such a deafening and shattering holocaust of fire and fury, which had been constantly raging for about three days and steadily weakening strength of the company was pulling on to the hastily prepared defensive positions. Major Akram was personally conducting the battle from the forward defended locality. The need to solve the nuisance of tank fire became the need of the hour. At this juncture, the moment arrived, which became a classic example of highest sense of leadership, commitment and heroism. Major Muhammad Akram acted beyond the known limits of sacrifice and rose up to create a history.

 

Carrying a 40 mm Chinese Rocket Launcher, he crawled along with his runner right up to the clump where enemy tanks were positioned and sited himself at the distance of almost 100 meters from them. From this position, he engaged these tanks. With incredible precision, he destroyed three tanks. It created an immense dread in the armour column of the enemy. While adjusting the aiming sight on the fourth tank the smoke got cleared. An enemy tank spotted him, and quickly opened fire with its .50 browning. He was shot through his neck. Akram’s last words were “Hold out until last”. The bravest son of the Paltan graced the ground as a paragon of gallantry and heroism. Even after the shahadat of their Company Commander, Charlie Company was able to hold on to its positions, and foiled the Indian attempts to gain a foothold nor were they allowed maintaining momentum in their attacks.

 

For his outstanding bravery, he was awarded with Nishan-e-Haider, posthumously.

 

Sowar Muhammad Hussain Shaheed (June 18, 1949-December 10, 1971)

sowarhussainsh.jpgSowar Muhammad Hussain was born in Dhok Pir Bakhsh, near Jatli in Gujar Khan (Punjab) on June 18, 1949. He was the only son of his parents and had one sister. At the time of Indo-Pak war in 1965, Sowar Muhammad Hussain was in Devi High School in his village but the young Muhammad Hussain had been so inspired by the role of Armed Forces that he had made up his mind to join the Army.

 

As a child, and later on when he joined the army, Sowar Muhammad was fond of playing kabbadi and was good at it. He lived a simple life with clean habits.

 

He got enrolled in Pakistan Army and joined Armoured Corps as a recruit on September 3, 1966 at a young age of 17 years. On his passing out from the Armoured Corps Centre, Sowar Muhammad Hussain joined 20 Lancers. This Regiment was then stationed in Sialkot.

 

When the war broke out in 1971, Sowar Muhammad Hussain took active part in every battle which his unit was engaged in, unmindful of any danger no matter how grave was the situation. Despite his trade being a driver he always yearned to participate in active battle.

 

Sowar Muhammad Hussain was performing the duties as driver of a Dodge truck in a Squadron of 20 Lancers. On December 5, 1971, while braving intense shelling and direct fire from enemy tanks and infantry, he went from trench to trench, delivering ammunition to the 106 mm Recoilless Rifle crews, who were engaging the Indian tanks on the frontline. It was then that his vehicle got a direct hit by Indian artillery shelling.

 

Since his vehicle had been knocked out, he was assigned a new responsibility of spotting Indian tanks and then help engaging them by own 106 mm Recoilless Rifles.  He carried out this duty most brilliantly and was able to locate even well camouflaged tanks of the Indian Army. In order to do so, at times he had to stay out in the open, changing his position to know the location of Indian tanks. Through his correct target indication, own Recoilless Rifles were able to hit Indian tanks to good effect. On the following day, he went out with four fighting patrols and undertook the most hazardous missions.

 

On December 10, 1971, he spotted the Indians digging in all along a minefield laid out by Pakistan Army near village Harrar Khurd. He immediately informed the second-in-command of his unit. While having reported about this development, he on his own initiative directed accurate fire at the enemy resulting in the destruction of enemy tanks.

 

In the process, he was hit in the chest by a burst of machine-gun fire, and embraced shahadat on December 10, 1971.

 

At the time of shahadat, he was just 22 years old. Sowar Muhammad Hussain had the distinction of being the first among soldier cadre of Pak Army to be awarded with award Nishan-e-Haider for his unmatchable courage and gallant war performance.

 

20 Lancers has since been given the honour of being called 20 Lancers (Haidari) due to brave Sowar Muhammad Hussain’s actions and making his regiment the only armour regiment that has been awarded with the Nishan-e-Haider.

 

Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfuz Shaheed (October 25, 1944-December 17, 1971)

lansnaikmahfuzsh.jpgMahfuz Shaheed was born on October 25, 1944 in Pind Malikan (now Mahfuzabad), Rawalpindi district. He was enlisted in the Army on October 25, 1962. It is a coincidence that the date of birth and date of joining of Mahfuz Shaheed was October 25. After his recruit training from Punjab Regimental Centre, he joined 15 Punjab Regiment, where he was posted to the Alpha Company.

 

When war broke out in 1971, Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfuz was deployed on the Wagah-Attari Sector with his company. His company was ordered to carry out an attack on village “Pul Kanjri” from where the Indian Army had been exerting immense pressure on Pakistani troops facing them. This Indian position was quite close from the defended positions of Pakistani troops but was very heavily held by the Indians. As part of his Company’s attack, he was deputed by his Company Commander to form part of the firebase and support the attack by manning the Light Machine Gun (LMG). Therefore, he was part of that detachment that covered the move of the assaulting troops leading wave. As the attack progressed, his detachment too moved forward with the assaulting troops, until they were caught up in cross fire. This cross fire was incessant, and that too combined with all calibres of artillery shelling. His detachment kept creeping up and during this act, his companion firing the LMG embraced shahadat.

 

He got hold of this LMG and started firing at the Indians with renewed vigour and motivation, inflicting heavy casualties on them. While he was engaging the Indians, a direct enemy shell destroyed his LMG. This did not stop young Mahfuz. He had seen an enemy bunker whose automatic fire had inflicted heavy casualties on his comrades. By using his best training in the art of field craft, he closed up with enemy position, going straight for this LMG position. While he was closing up, both of his legs were injured badly by shell splinters and bullets, and he was totally incapacitated and therefore pinned down, unable to even walk.

 

Lying face down, he kept observing the battle scene and decided to go for bunker that housed this Indian LMG. Hardly fit for walking or even moving, he still gathered all his energy and resolve to go for it at any cost to avenge his fallen comrades and complete the mission of his Company. By stealthily crawling initially, he managed to close up with the LMG bunker and somehow was able to get around the rear entrance limpingly, while the Indian detachment was engaging the advancing Pakistani attacking forces. He managed to muster up all his strength, and not only pounced on the firer but he went for his neck and strangled him to death with his bare hands. Meanwhile, the other crew member, who was watching the grappling match, managed to bayonet him and got him fatally wounded, and he fell down more or less unconscious by now.  

 

His brave action resulted in capture of the Indian position in a miraculous attack, and remain one of the finest actions at tactical levels in history of the Pakistan Army. The attacking troops managed to capture this formidable position by sheer dint of the courage of Mahfuz Shaheed.

 

After the 1971 War, when the flag meetings took place, the Indian Army Commander conveyed to the Pakistani Commander that he had been in many actions in wars and real life, but he never came across someone as brave as Mahfuz Shaheed.

 

Former Army Chief, General Tikka Khan said these words in praise of Muhammad Mahfuz Shaheed, “The shaheed has set an unprecedented example for emulating by all men of the Pakistan Army. The whole nation and Pakistan Army is proud of his bravery and actions”.

 

Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed (January 1, 1970-July 5, 1999)

captcolsherkahn.jpgKarnal Sher Khan was born on January 1, 1970 in village Fujun (Nawan Kili) in District Swabi. His father, Khursheed Khan was a farmer and his mother died when he was only eight years old, in 1978. His paternal aunts brought him up. His family is deeply religious, and they say that Sher was an embodiment of piety and Islamic teachings. Karnal Sher’s grandfather Mr. Ghalib Khan had participated as a volunteer in 1948 Kashmir War.

 

When Karnal Sher Khan was born, his grandfather proposed to name him “Karnal Sher Khan”. Karnal Sher’s father objected this name but Sher’s grandfather replied that Sher Khan would accomplish what he (Ghalib Khan) could not, and that he would become a Colonel in Pakistan Army. That is how Capt Karnal Sher Khan came to be called as “Karnal Sher Khan”

 

Owing to his martial instincts, he joined Pakistan Air Force as Airman in 1988, and was declared All Round Best Airman in his batch. After the basic training, he was posted to the School of Aeronautics at Korangi, Karachi for advance training where he was awarded with “Chief of Air Staff Trophy” for his outstanding performance. In February 1991, he was posted to Risalpur as electrical fitter.

 

His mind was not at ease, and had a growing inner desire to be where the action was. With a burning desire to become an officer and be a leader in action, he decided to join Pakistan Army. The Inter Services Selection Board rejected him in his first attempt. He, however, with his persistence made it in the second attempt, and was selected for commission with 90 PMA Long Course in October 1992. He was commissioned on October 24, 1994 and joined 27 Sindh Regiment. He is remembered by his colleagues to be cheerful, and was always smiling. He established a reputation of being a highly motivated and devoted soldier. He was fondly called as Shera (lion) and was very popular among officers and soldiers/colleagues.

 

Desirous of some real action and to get away from routine, he volunteered to serve at the Line of Control in Kashmir. His request was acceded to, and he was posted to 12 NLI Battalion in January 1998.

 

He was soon deputed to defend posts in Mashko Valley in the Gultary area of the Kargil Sector. While defending these posts, he repeatedly pushed back the Indians that were far superior in numbers and modern weaponry. He dealt a severe blow to attacking Indians particularly on 8 Sikh Infantry Battalion, that was not only stopped but pushed back. He even counterattacked the enemy during day as situation demanded. He wanted to defeat the enemy even if the cost was his life. It was a surprise attack for Indian Army, as they were not expecting it. Knowing the importance of his post, Karnal Sher was not only successful in forcing the enemy to retreat but also followed them to their base camp, and embraced shahadat in the process. He killed many Indian soldiers who became fearful of his attacks and ran away. He with his twenty one comrades moved with lightning speed, fighting closely, and was able to penetrate the battalion headquarters of 8 Sikh Regiment. During the close quarter battle, he lost most of his comrades, was surrounded and ordered to surrender but decided to continue attacking and fought till his last breath. He eventually embraced martyrdom while fighting.

 

Indian authors could not stop themselves from praising the ferocious counter-attack by Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed, Nishan-e-Haider, and his men on their blocking position. Indian author Amarinder Singh in his book “A Ridge Too Far” appreciated this act of bravery as:

 

“At 0645 hours the next morning, the first counter attack by a weak platoon of twenty men came in; it was broken short of Helmet. Forty-five minutes later, the two “Sangars” (posts) manned by Naib Subedar Karnail Singh and Naib Subedar Rawail Singh holding the MMG and AGL on the forward edge of the perimeter of the Helmet defences, were both hit by the RPG rockets, killing both the JCOs. Havildar Sukhwant Singh took command and beat off the first attack. However, a much determined attack in greater strength and led by two officers was then launched. Having lost his two JCOs and suffered heavy casualties, Lieutenant withdrew to India Gate, as did Subedar Sardar Singh and his forward MMG detachment. The enemy pursued them as far as India Gate. There despite the sustained and heavy fire of Major Parmar and his men, they reached the edge of the defensive perimeter and did not falter until both of the officers had been killed. Of the two Pakistani Officers who led the attack, one, later identified as Captain Karnal Sher of 12 NLI... was awarded with Pakistan’s highest award for gallantry....” (A Ridge Too Far, Amarinder Singh, P 116)

 

After his shahadat when his body was recovered, a few Indian soldiers tried to maltreat his body, the Commanding Officer of 8 Sikh ordered them to step back, and treat him with honour as he fought bravely. His remains were later shifted in a honourable manner to Srinagar. He also stated that he should be rewarded with the highest gallantry award of Pakistan. His written citation by the Indian Commanding Officer makes not only him and his family proud but also Pakistan Army, and the Pakistani nation as a whole.

 

Havildar Lalak Jan Shaheed (April 1, 1967-July 7, 1999)

havlalakjan.jpgHavildar Lalak Jan was born in village Hundur of tehsil Yaseen, Ghizer in 1967. He received his early education from Government Middle School for Boys Hundur. Havildar Lalak Jan possessed a strong martial instinct since his childhood and to fulfill his desires, he joined Northern Light Infantry Regimental Centre as a recruit in 1984.

 

زیارت گاہِ اہلِ عزم و ہمت ہے لحد میری
کہ خاکِ راہ کو میں نے بتایا رازِ الوندی
(علامہ اقبال)
جس دھج سے کوئی مقتل میں گیا، وہ شان سلامت رہتی ہے
یہ جان تو آنی جانی ہے، اس جاں کی تو کوئی بات نہیں
(فیض احمد فیض)

نشان حیدر عزیزِ ملت
ہر ایک دل میں ہے تیری عزت
یہ مرتبہ ہے کہ تاقیامت
رہے گی زندہ تری حکایت
کہ تُو نے ہم کو حیات بخشی
رہ وطن میں شہید ہو کر
(حبیب جالب)

After successful completion of his one-year training at Bunji, he was posted to 12 NLI (Northern Light Infantry) Regiment in 1985. Havildar Lalak Jan was having smart military bearing and therefore, picked up for training as a part of special guards. Seeing his smart military bearing and disciplined conduct as special guard, Lalak Jan was included in the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Guard of 12 Division. He was later on selected to represent his battalion in Brigade commando platoon competition, where he secured the first position. In 1994, Havildar Lalak Jan was posted as weapon training instructor in (NLI) Regiment Training Centre Bunji. He remained Company Havildar Major of Jinnah Company and performed the duties of Special Guard Commander at Yadgar-e-Shuhada in the Regimental Centre. He was posted back to the unit in December 1997, and was appointed Company Havildar Major of Alpha Company.

 

In 1999 Kargil conflict, Havildar Lalak Jan was second-in-command of his post along Line of Control. During the course of war, Indian forces attacked his post many times. Havildar Lalak Jan was deployed ahead of his post as 'screens' to give   early warning as well as inflict casualites on the enemy.

 

Havildar Lalak Jan along with his two men at the 'screens' was repulsing the Indian attacks with great valour, and was able to inflict heavy causalities on the Indians with his Light Machine Gun (LMG). On July 5 around 1700 hours, Lance Naik Bashir and Sepoy Bakhmal Shah embraced shahadat due to Indian sniper fire, yet Havildar Lalak Jan stood fast alone against the advancing enemy. Meanwhile intense enemy attacks and long fight resulted in shortage of ammunition and Havildar Lalak Jan went to the dead enemy soldiers and collected their weapons and ammunition, and started repulsing the Indian attacks with more valour and vigour. By 1830 hours, Havildar Lalak Jan received one bullet of enemy automatics but refused to vacate his position. Despite his injury he was manning all the firing bays around his position simultaneously in order to paint a false picture of own manpower to the Indians. Meanwhile, he received two more bullets during the combat, but kept the Indians at bay for five consecutive days despite being outnumbered. Miraculously, reinforcement from battalion headquarters under command of Captain Kashif Khalil and Captain Ahmad arrived at about 0400 hours on July 7, 1999 and the position was restored.

 

On seeing the condition of Lalak Jan, Captain Ahmed told him to go back to the base camp as his arm was in no condition to be used. Lalak Jan told his officer that he did not want to die on a hospital bed, but would rather die in the battlefield. He told him that he should not worry about the arm. While this was going on, the Indians started shelling from a secret bunker in an adjacent hill. By that time, Captain Ahmad had taken up the command of the handful of troops. He realised that the fire was coming from a hidden bunker and directed fire towards it, but the effort was in vain. There was only one way left to counter the hidden Indian bunker; it had to be blown up from a closer range.

 

When the injured Lalak Jan volunteered for the mission, the Captain, who was of the opinion that he would do it himself, immediately rejected his plea. However, Lalak Jan persuaded him, giving him his previous landmine laying experience coupled with his mountaineering skills as the qualifying conditions for his selection for the task. The Captain agreed.

 

Lalak Jan put a bag of explosives on his back, and while shouldering an AK-47 descended the hill for the second time amidst heavy Indian shelling. Managing to avoid being seen by the Indian forces, and utilising his knowledge of the hills to take cover, he located the secret bunker and threw the explosives inside. The bunker, which was also an ammunition dump, blew up in what was probably the biggest blast ever heard in that area. Lalak Jan managed to take cover, but the Indian Army lost 19 to 20 men inside and around the bunker. The other Indian soldiers saw Lalak Jan, and opened fire on him. Surrounded from all sides by Indian fire, Lalak Jan tried to resist and return fire. This effort was in vain, and Lalak Jan embraced shahadat when a number of bullets pierced through his chest. Later, Commanding Officer of 12 NLI sent two commando forces to recover the body of Lalak Jan. The two forces were called ‘Ababeel’ and ‘Uqaab’. Ababeel provided the covering fire while Uqaab went into the destroyed enemy bunker to retrieve the body of Lalak Jan. When his body was found, Lalak Jan had his AK-47 clinched to his chest.

 

The unflinching courage and bravery of Havildar Lalak Jan and his men at Qadir Post was also acknowledged by the enemy forces attacking Qadir Post in the following words:

 

“There were no wounded and no prisoners. Nor any man abandoned his position.  It has been most gallant defense action fought to the last man last bullet”.

 

The undaunted valour and courage displayed by Havildar Lalak Jan Shaheed wrote shinning pages of history, which will remain alive as a source of motivation for  generations in profession of soldiery.

 

“And do not think of those killed in Allah’s path as dead: indeed they are alive and receive their sustenance from their Lord.They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah.”

Surah Aal-e-Imran [ 3:169-170], Al-Quran

.

The writer is a military historian and biographer.

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

 
15
September

Written By: Anwar Ahmed


Skirmishes Along Cease Fire Line (CFL)

■ Indian war of aggression in Kashmir begun by landing her forces on October 27, 1947.

■ Kashmir War 1947-48.

■ Despite United Nations Security Council Resolutions, no plebiscite held in Kashmir due to India.

■ Skirmishes along CFL continued intermittently.

■ Hostilities, skirmishes and war in Kashmir never prompted to aggression across International Borders

1st September 1965

India Prepares for War

India had not digested the creation of Pakistan and was building up war hysteria since April 1965. India moved its troops closer to Pakistani border.

■ Mr. Jay Prakash Narayan, Indian leader severely criticized Shastri's government about the way the Defense of India rules were being enforced. Shastri's government ordered to harass and victimize any Pakistani going to India. 7 Pakistanis were arrested in Kanpur on flimsy grounds who were on a visit to their relatives with valid documents.

■ While apprising the Indian Parliament on the latest situation in Occupied Kashmir, Indian Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan admitted that operation against Mujahideen by the Indian Army was proving very difficult.

Pakistani Account

■ Khawaja Shahabuddin, Central Information Minister warned India that if she continued her aggressive actions across CFL in Kashmir, Pakistani forces would be forced to retaliate.

■ At 5:19 p.m. four Indian Vampire aircraft flown from Pathankot entered Pakistan and attacked our ground troops. The vigilant Air Defenders picked the violating Indian aircraft. To their utmost surprise, the aircraft were welcomed by two F-86 Sabres flown by the brilliant Squadron Leader Sarfraz Rafiqui and Flight Lieutenant Imtiaz Bhatti. All four Indian aircraft were shot down over Chamb, killing pilots Bharadwaj, Bhagwadar and Joshi while Pathak ejected and was made POW.     

■ This thrilling encounter was personally witnessed by Air Marshal Nour Khan, C-in-C of PAF from an L-19 aircraft. To save on further humiliation meted out by PAF pilots, Indian Air Force withdrew all its 130 Vampires and 50  Ouragons from the frontline.

■ Indians tried to build up pressure at Rajauri, Mandal, Sonamarg, Uri Sectors and faced humiliation by Azad troops who stubbornly resisted the enemy pressure and took heavy toll of Indians. Whole day the Indian helicopters remained busy in shifting the casualties.

2nd September 1965

Indian PM L. B. Shastri threatens Pakistan

■ Indian COAS General J.N. Chowdhry visited Occupied Kashmir and held consultations regarding border situation with Governor Sardar Karan Singh, Premier Mr. GM Sadiq and other high ranking military officers.

■  Shastri admits that 4 Indian planes were shot down by Pakistani forces the previous day.

glorioussepday.jpg

Pakistani Account

President Ayub Khan while addressing the nation said, "Indian policy towards Pakistan and Kashmir had been set on a collision course from the very beginning. The present conflict in Kashmir is the inevitable outcome of that policy. India is warned to be responsible alone for the consequences that were bound to follow".

"Aggression will not go unchallenged", President Ayub Khan.

"Pakistan will fulfill pledge to Kashmiris", President Ayub Khan.

"Indian Army has stepped into its grave", Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan.

■ Foreign observers regret use of air force by India. ■ GHQ issued warning orders to all formations to occupy concentration areas by morning of 2nd September in case India escalated.


Force Comparison

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■ The Mujahids wiped out an entire platoon of Indian Army near Sonamarg and they continue attacking Indian positions, convoys and other installations. The Azad Kashmir Forces supported by Pakistan Army are continuing to press forward in the Chamb area. Their advance eastward remains unchecked. 15 Tanks and 150 POWs captured in Chamb area.

6th September 1965

■ India wages war across International Borders without declaration.

■ Violation of International Law.

■ War of Aggression against Pakistan by India.

"Full scale war with Pakistan"; announced in Congress meeting

PM L. B. Shastri

"We are at war. Our brave soldiers have gone forward to repel the enemy attack. The Armed Forces of Pakistan will prove their mettle. Armed with an invincible spirit and determination which has never faltered, they will give a crushing blow to the enemy".

Field Marshal Ayub Khan

British Prime Minister Harold Wilson noted Indian aggression for their invasion in West Pakistan and appealed India to halt fighting.


BATTLE ACCOUNT

India Crosses International Border: At 0400 hours Indian forces attacked Lahore. Pakistani Forces repulsed 3 pronged Indian invasion at Lahore, Sialkot from Jassar enclave and Kasur from Ferozpur.

■ Both at Wagah and Bedian front the Indian attacks were repulsed with heavy casualities. A number of Indian soldiers were made POW. Indian tanks, guns and other war equipment were also destroyed at Lahore front.

■ At Jassar, after fierce fighting, Indian troops were thrown back, recaptured southern river Ravi enclave which was held by Indian army in the morning.

Captured area was littered with knocked out tanks, vehicles, weapons and Indian soldiers' dead bodies. 200 Indian soldiers' dead bodies were physically counted, while actual count was reported to be around 800.

■ At Chamb, India suffered crushing defeat with her war equipment lying scattered for miles. 35 POWs and several tanks captured alongwith six 25 pounder field guns.

Kashmiri Mujahadeen destroyed road and two bridges near Srinagar besides disrupting Rajauri-Poonch line.

Naval Forces were ordered to occupy their pre-assigned war stations as they received information at 0630 hours about Indian attack at Lahore front.

PAF's airstrikes on the Pathankot Air Base had been the most successful air raid of contemporary history destroying 13 aircaft. Overall PAF annihilated 22 Indian jets including C-119s, Mysteres, GNATS and MiG-21s. One Mystere was shot down by air-to-air missile at Rahwali near Gujranwala.

National Morale

■ The live hearted people of Lahore watched the aerial combat between PAF and IAF with great enthusiasm. Thousands set off on the road towards the border in defence of Lahore side by side their soldiers. Many rushed towards the military hospitals for blood donation. Disregarding Indian air threat, nation flocked to cheer soldiers rushing to the borders.

7th September 1965

India threatened to extend war to East Wing

INDIAN ATTACK PUSHED BACK

■ "Indian offensive halted in Lahore, Sulemanki, Ferozpur sectors'; Indian Official Spokesperson.

■ India suffers heavy blow on all fronts. 31 aircraft destroyed today bringing the total to an embarrassing 53 and several rendered unserviceable.

President Ayub Khan applauds PAF for its brilliant performance.

■ "Only plebiscite in Kashmir can bring lasting peace'; President Ayub Khan.

■ "Kashmiris will frustrate Indian designs'; Spokesperson Revolutionary Counsel.

"Report for Duty", Orders General Musa C-in-C to all newly retired officers and soldiers.

"Victory will be ours", Malik Amir Muhammad, Governor West Pakistan.

"Pakistan will give befitting reply if India shows aggression in East Pakistan",

Abdul Monem Khan Governor East Pakistan.

"Justify Nation's Trust", Naval Chief Admiral A.R. Khan's Order of the Day to Pakistan Navy.

■ PNS Babur, Khaibar, Badr, Jahangir, Alamgir, Shahjahan and Tipu Sultan tasked to be in position 293 degrees, 120 miles from Dwarka Light House by 6 p.m. on September 7.

Major General Akhter Husain Malik conferred Hilal-e-Jurat for his extraordinary gallant actions in defence of Pakistan in Jaurian sector.

■ Fulfill pledge to Kashmiris, Ayub Khan asks U Thant, UN Secretary General.

■ "Sanctity of Holy places to be maintained", Pakistan's assurance to Sikh community.

■ China warns India of consequences.

■ Indonesia supports Pakistan's stance.

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3rd September  1965

Indian PM L.B. Shastri prepares his nation for hard days ahead, fearing more air raids

■ Fierce fighting in Chamb sector in last two days where over 500 Indian soldiers,15 tanks and other equipment were captured by Pakistan Army.

C-in-C General M. Musa visited wounded Indian soldiers at a field hospital.

Lt Col Naseerullah Babar (Later Major General) captured 30 Indian soldiers singlehandedly in Bhimber sector when he mistakenly landed his helicopter at an Indian position still not cleared by Pakistani troops. With exceptional presence of mind and resolute confidence he made Indian soldiers believe that they had been surrounded by a large number of troops when he only had a single pistol with him.

■ Three out of six Indian aircraft shot down. One aircraft flown by Squadron Leader Brij Pal Singh (later Air Marshal) made to force land at Pasrur airfield by Flight Lieutenant Hakimullah (later Chief of Air Staff) and Flying Officer Abbas Mirza and made POW, while the remaining two aircraft flew away in damaged condition.

4th September 1965

"India wants showdown this time. Wants to settle Kashmir issue with Pakistan once for all." Indira Gandhi, Indian Foreign Minister

■ "India is aggressor in Kashmir", Chinese Foreign Minister Marshal Chen Yi backs action by Pakistan.

■ INDIA IS THE AGGRESSOR — Tension caused by India alone. Pakistani troops were forced to hit back in self defence after Indian troops poured across the Ceasefire Line and pushed deep into the Pakistan controlled area': People's Daily (official newspaper of China)

■ GHQ directs formations to take necessary defensive measures against India. C-in-C General Musa visited frontline.

■ UN Chief Military Observer (UNMOGIP) Lt Gen Nimmo belies Indian claims, "Freedom fighters had ambushed an Indian military convoy at Sonamarg near Srinagar and inflicted heavy casualties. Guerilla actions all over the Indian occupied Kashmir inflicting heavy casualties".

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan ordered all naval units of the Navy to take up defensive positions off the coast. Pakistan Navy deployed its first long-range submarine PNS Ghazi for gathering intelligence and diverting threats posed by the aircraft carriers INS Vikrant, INS Mysore and INS Dehli.

■ Jaurian Sector: A platoon of FF Regiment commanded by Second Lieutenant Shabbir Sharif charged strongly held enemy position at Troti Feature. The attack met stiff resistance resulting in several casualties including 2nd Lt Shabbir Sharif. Notwithstanding reverses, 2nd Lt Shabbir Sharif took his troops out of the enemy fire. He reorganized his troops and charged again and retrieved bodies of six martyred and fifteen injured soldiers. He charged third time and drove back an Indian artillery gun with its gun-tower truck. For his outstanding leadership, chivalry and tactical brilliance, he was awarded Sitara-e-Jurat.

IAF attempt to violate Pakistani airspace foiled. 40 IAF planes chased off.

Liberation Front ambushed Indian military convoy in Rajauri sector killing 38 Indian soldiers while capturing large quantity of ammunition and making several soldiers POW.

8th September 1965

Desperate Indian Air Force targeting non-military installations

Wazirabad, Chiniot and Sargodha HOSPITAL and CIVIL COURTS attacked

■ India dropped para-troopers over Rawalpindi, Lahore, Shandara, Wazirabad, Jhelum, Sukkur, Badin and outskirts of Karachi.

■ Indian paratroopers and POWs were found to be unwilling to fight because of lack of conviction in the war.

Iran: "The people of Iran are deeply concerned otter Indian aggression against the homeland of their Pakistani brothers and are determined not to limit their reaction to mere expression of sentiment'.

Iranian Government Official announcement, (Radio Tehran)

Turkey: "If India did not immediately end its attacks against Pakistan then Turkey should break off diplomatic and economic relations with India and furnish effective support to our great ally Pakistan".

Turkish Senators Sitki Ulay and Mucip Atagi

UK: Suspends military shipment to India.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

■ Inflicting heavy losses Pakistan Army beats back enemy attack at Lahore, Sialkot and desert region.

■ 21 Indian tanks knocked out in Sialkot. Artillery guns and a number of Indian soldiers captured.

■ Public in thousands lined up to cheer Pakistani soldiers going to battlefield.

Mujahids inflict heavy losses to Indian Army. 3 miles road between Srinagar and Kargil destroyed.

Pakistan Navy takes the battle to Indian shores. Indian vital naval base and radar station at Dwarka burnt to ashes in a span of 12 hours long operation.

PAF bombers carried out accurate air attacks on IAF bases at Halwara near Ludhiana and Jodhpur. So far 70 Indian Air Force planes totaling 1/5th of IAF destroyed in last 36 hours.

glorioussepday3.jpg

5th September 1965

INDIAN WAR HYSTERIA

"INDIA WILL CONSIDER NEW STRATEGY IF PAKISTAN COMPELS THEM. WE HAVE TO BRING THIS MATTER TO AN END"

PM L.B. Shastri

President Ayub Khan highly appreciated the heroic performance of Army units operating in Jaurian.

General Musa Khan congratulated his men on Jaurian Victory. He said,

"You have got your teeth in him. Bite deeper and deeper till you destroy him".

Khwaja Shahabuddin, The Information Minister said, "Let me assure Shastri that he is deluding himself and his people if he thinks that anyone in Pakistan will hesitate to make supreme sacrifice in meeting the challenge".

■ After a whole night of fierce fighting the battle was drawn in the favour of 12 Division under Major General Akhtar Hussain Malik which captured Jaurian. It was one of the India's second vital strongholds that fell to Azad Forces and Pakistan Army. Indian Army was pushed back 18 miles inside the Ceasefire Line and own troops were three miles away from Akhnoor.

■ The Kashmiri freedom fighters engaged the Indian Army in Occupied Kashmir at a number of places and killed about 50 soldiers while many were injured.

SUBMARINE GHAZI was in position by morning to attack cruiser Mysore and her escorts which were proceeding up the west coast of India towards Bombay.

■ PAF remained alert and patrolled Bhimber Sector.

glorioussepday4.jpg

9th September 1965

India Panicks!

Serious rift between Indian PM L.B. Shastri and President Radhakrishnan over PM's act of violence against Pakistan

■ India orders arrest of 500 Pakistanis visiting their relatives on legal documents.

■ U.S. papers report Indian failure on Lahore sector due to stiff Pakistani resistance.

■ India has banned Met Office to publish weather forecast as it might favor PAF.

International Scenario

■ "Chinese government sternly condemns India for her criminal aggression and expresses firm support for Pakistan", Chinese PM Zhou Enlai.

■ "Prayer of Indonesian people for Pakistan fighting fiercely to maintain sovereignty and freedom", President Sukarno.

■ "Painful development concerns Pakistan and Turkey who are CENTO allies. Unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood exist between two nations", PM Suat Hayri Urguplu.

■ "Both sides are making many claims but when a personal chance occurs to check, Pakistanis are accurate", Peter Preston, Editor The Guardian.

Indian Defence Minister Y B. Chavan is trying to outdo Goebbels in propaganda war. Many politicians are disappointed by Chavan's account of military operations. Clare Hollingworth (The Guardian).

■ "Pakistanis have only 300 jet fighters of which according to Dehli Radio the gallant Indian Air Force has already shot down 472", Osbert Lancaster, (Daily Express).

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Pakistan Army pushed Indian troops beyond international boundary on all the three fronts with a decisive blow at Wagah and Kasur. It has tactical gains to its credit. Fighting now goes into enemy's territory.

■ On Sialkot and Gadro front all enemy attacks successfully beaten back inflicting heavy casualities on the Indians. Lt Kaleem embraced Shahadat in a hand to hand fight defending Jassar Bridge.

Mujahids ambushed Indian engineers bridge and road repair party northwest of Sonamarg.

Submarine Ghazi dominated the Bombay Naval base and did not allow Indian Navy to react at Dwarka.

PAF maintained full control of the air; Indian air bases at Pathankot and Jodhpur completely damaged as per AM Nur Khan, 28 Indian planes were destroyed in air combats, two shot down by AA guns, 26 destroyed in the air raids on Indian airfield and another 15 including 11 Canberras destroyed in the air raids and attacks on Kalaikunda airbase some 60 miles near the port town of Calcutta.

■ Song: "Mery Dhol Sipahiya Teenu Rab diyan rakhan" written by Sufi Tabassum, sung by Noor Jahan was broadcasted on this day.

glorioussepday5.jpg

10th September 1965

"Indian troops suffered considerable loss of armour in their thrust towards Sialkot from Jammu. In Kasur sector they have been forced to withdraw in the face of heavy counter attack by Pakistani forces."

Indian Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan.

Indian government divided into two groups, one led by President Radha krishnan favoring an early end to war and cooperation with UN Secretary General U Thant and the other led by PM Shastri opposing peaceful settlements.

Indian Navy is bitter about failure of IAF to prevent annihilation of the Naval and air bases in Dwarka and Jamnagar region by PAF and Pakistan Navy.

The danger of mass killing of Muslims in India is reported to be rising with the advance of Pakistan Army towards Ferozpur.

Panicked decision of Indian government to impose ban on listening Radio Pakistan and seizing of bank accounts of all Pakistani nationals, firms and companies in India.

Pakistani Account

■ "Pakistanis are steeled in their resolve not only to throw the intruder from their soil but to give a crushing blow to Indian aggression", FM Ayub Khan.

■ "Give crushing blow to enemy and those who are trying to undo Pakistan shall never succeed - Pakistan shall live forever", Miss Fatima Jinnah.

King Faisal reiterated Saudi Arabia's full support for Pakistan against Indian aggression over Kashmir conflict.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

■ Pakistan Army shot down two Indian fighter planes in Lahore sector with small arms fire.

■ Seven more Indian Centurion tanks destroyed in Sialkot sector raising the total number to 42 in this sector.

■ The Mujahideen raided heavily fortified Indian position at Maralabad in Dras sector and gave considerable damage to Indian army.

Pakistan Navy seized Indian Naval liberty of action in the Arabian Sea.

PAF fighters intercepted and shot down an Indian jet over Lahore which had come to give support to retreating Indian Army.

East Wing Lalmonirhat and Thakurgaon in Rangpur and Dinajpur Dacca districts respectively were subjected to heavy Indian bombing and strafing by IAF planes.

National Morale

■ 4 lac tribesmen declared to go to the front to fight Indian aggression.

■ 20,000 ex servicemen of Nowshera District offered their services.

■ 35 doctors from Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center left Karachi for operational areas.

■ Noor Jahan sang the evergreen song, "Ay Puttar Hattan te nai wekday"

glorioussepday6.jpg

11th September 1965

International Media Account

"India is looking for ways to end war due to heavy losses and unexpected results". There are some indications that PM Shastri's government is looking for a way to end the war on a basis that could be explained to an aroused nation."

■ Despite censorship the newspapers reported, "Initial momentum of the Indian attacks in Pakistan has begun to falter; Pakistanis regrouped and concentrating, are increasing the strength of their counter attacks".

■ The second factor operating to the disadvantage of the Indian army is that there are fairly widespread misgivings among the senior officers about the justification let alone the wisdom of going to war over Kashmir.

Quaid's Anniversary

■ Despite intense war the life in Pakistan flowed smooth and unruffled. Quaid's 17th death anniversary was observed in the usual manner.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

■ 4th Indian Mountain Division, 2nd Independent Armoured Brigade Group and an additional Tank Regiment had stood in Bhikiwind-Khem Karan area, poised for a frontal attack on Kasur. After fierce fighting Pakistan captured Khem Karan incurring heavy losses to Indian army in Kasur sector. Pakistani Forces undertook limited offensive to prevent enemy build-up towards Lahore. In a swift, short spurt, Pakistani troops captured Khem Karan. Indian command desperately ordered to push back Pakistani troops at any cost but failed.

Lahore Sector: Enemy launched as many as eight major attacks on Barki positions before the final attack on the night of 11-12 September. In the final attack, three enemy tanks started shooting Major Aziz Bhatti's position. Undeterred, Major Bhatti kept directing fire on the enemy. Two enemy tanks were shot. In the meantime, one of the shell directly hit him and he embraced Shahadat. However, none of these attacks could make any headway. Major Aziz Bhatti's troops held the ground firmly following his inspiring leadership.

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti was awarded Nishan-e-Haider for his action beyond the call of duty.

■ In Sialkot Sector enemy made a desperate bid to retrieve ground with heavy tank units. In the ensuing battle 36 Indian tanks were knocked down.

■ In Chamb-Akhnoor Sector Pakistani Forces captured another post north of Deva and consolidated their positions.

■ In Sindh-Rajasthan Sector Pakistani troops further advanced towards north and captured posts in the Gadro area.

Pakistan Navy ships maintained their supremacy at Arabian Sea after Operation Dwarka.

PAF destroyed entire fleet of MiG aircraft at Halwara. PAF also destroyed two Indian fighter-bombers (Hunter and Vampire) at Bagh Dogra Indian Air Force base in West Bengal.

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12th September 1965

"Security Council should guarantee the ceasefire line after all Pakistani troops are removed from Kashmir." Indian President

This move seen too clever by Independent Observers

■ Lieutenant Colonel Anant Singh, 7 officers and 350 soldiers of 4th Sikh Regiment surrendered in Khem Karan sector.

■ Nepal asked India not to deploy 50,000 Gurkha soldiers serving with Indian Army in the war against Pakistan.

■ His country would appreciate any advice by Turkey on how to halt the fighting and find a solution to Kashmir dispute around a conference table.

Mr. Lal Mehta, Indian Ambassador to Ankara

International Account

■ The victory now seems within Pakistan's grasp. Douglas Brown, The Sunday Telegraph

■ Indians have so far failed to make any impact on Pakistani positions in their attempt to push forward. Pakistan's smaller army but well armored and in high state of readiness is now fighting on Indian soil in two sectors of the 50 mile Lahore front. Reuters and BBC

■ PAF superior to IAF. UN Military Observer

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Lahore Sector: India made attempts to advance to Harike-Rurki road again but their attempt was foiled with heavy losses.

Sialkot Sector: Heaviest ever tank attack launched by India was repulsed and many posts were taken and POWs captured. 45 tanks and scores of heavy vehicles were destroyed taking the total tanks destroyed to 187.

■ Pakistani Forces captured a post well inside the Indian territory in the Ramgarh-Jaisalmir axis and in Chamb sector.

■ Freedom fighters killed one Lt Col, a JCO and three soldiers of the Indian Army when an encounter took place between them in the southwest of Jammu.

PAF continued to lend vigorous support to ground forces in various sectors. Destroyed 28 tanks and 123 heavy vehicles.

National Morale

■ Thousands of citizens of Dacca took out a procession to express their anger against Indian aggression. On the other hand, scores of valiant tribesmen joined the battlefield.

■ Ex servicemen from number of friendly countries made touching appeals to allow them to join Pakistan Army to fight against Indian aggression.

Jameel-ud-Din Aali wrote "Ay Watan k Sajeelay Jawano" which was sung by Noor Jahan.

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13th September 1965

East Punjab Home Minister Darbara Singh appealed to the Indian public to remain calm who are deeply panicked over Pakistani successes

■ Indian Government imposed strict reporting censorship and disallowed pressmen to visit battle areas.

■ U.S. and UK increase diplomatic pressure on Turkey and Iran to keep them from supporting Pakistan in war with India.

■ India seeks fighter jets from U.S. in the wake of heavy aircraft losses.

■ UK press reports that placing of more aircraft at tactical airfields of Pathankot, Halwara and Adampur and throwing in dozens of small scale ineffective air raids was IAF's blunder which resulted in heavy IAF losses.

■ UK newspaper 'Spectator' declares Indian war design as perfidious and ill-planned. International Scenario

■ Russia blamed America for Indo-Pakistan war.

■ Raza Shah Pehlvi, Shah of Iran announced solidarity with Pakistan and cancelled 25th year of rule celebrations besides announcing donation.

■ Indonesian Government condemns Indian aggression. Youth demands exclusion of India from next Afro-Asian conference, also set ablaze Air India office in Jakarta. Millions of Muslims took out anti-India rally.

Pakistan's Perspective

■ Pakistan's Ambassador to USA Ghulam Ahmed stated in media that"Pakistan is fully determined to crush Indian aggression".

BATTLE ACCOUNT

■ Army: Pakistani troops push back Indian advance and capture Munabao railway station.

■ In the eight days of battle, India has lost half of its total armoured strength, tank losses reached to 209 and aircraft losses to 140.

■ Pakistan Army dislodged several Indian Army attempts to advance on Khem Karan-Kasur and Jammu-Sialkot sector with heavy losses to Indian Army.

Mujahideen raided an Indian military base near Srinagar.

Navy: Submarine PNS Ghazi returned to Karachi Port for routine maintenance and necessary operational briefing.

PAF: Six Indian transport planes destroyed by PAF parked at Jammu airfield. One IAF GNAT shot down by PAF in Sialkot sector.

National Morale

■ Strong anti-India demonstrations held in East Pakistan.

■ Hindu and Christian communities of Pakistan condemn Indian aggression.

■ Govt of West Pakistan donates Rs. 2,000,000 to C-in-C's Shaheed Welfare Fund.

■ Large number of people turn up to donate blood for war victims.

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14th September 1965

The diary of Indian Maj Gen Niranjan Prasad found on Lahore front makes "sensational disclosures"

■ It revealed the existence of deep conflicts and tensions in the Indian Army, rifts among the Indian Air Chief, General Choudhry, his senior associates and bitter resentment over confused meddling by politicians. The diary bemoans the absence of any sense of purpose or direction in the orders given to Indian Army and regrets that Indian Armed Forces were being used as a pawn in the game of power politics.

U.S. President Johnson was trying to save Shastri Government from humiliation over Kashmir. He believed "extremism or some sort of anarchy" may overtake India "IF IT WERE TO FALL".

■ New Delhi diplomatic sources report deepening of crisis in Indian Government following Indian Army's poor performance against Pakistan. It says, "Every Indian knows that the government has led the country on the path of disaster".

■ Indian Air Force bombed and martyred 60 civilians in Peshawar and Kohat besides destroying mosques and hospitals.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Lahore Sector: Pakistani forces repulsed fresh enemy attempt in Maqboolpur. The enemy left behind 150 bodies and at least twice as many wounded. 5 more tanks smashed; another Indian Army officer made POW.

Gadro Sector: Forces captured yet another post. An officer with 35 soldiers made POW.

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Situation remained under control. Indian Forces'

concentration was severely neutralized by heavy artillery fire and PAF.

■ IAF lost 11 aircraft during last 24 hours. 3 were shot down by Pakistan ground forces while rest were bagged by PAF raising total IAF losses to 80.

National Morale

■ President Ayub Khan visited CMH to see wounded from the war front.

■ NA Deputy Speaker donates 25 % of his salary.

■ Arab students of Peshawar University offered to fight on the frontline.

■ People from all walks of life including 9 judges of West Pakistan High Court stationed in Lahore offered to donate blood for courageous Armed Forces.

Indian Attack Condemned: Dacca students take out big processions.

International Reports

The Observer, London: "Pakistan's success in the air means that she has been able to redeploy her relatively small army professionally among the best in Asia with impunity. Courage displayed by the PAF pilots is reminiscent of the bravery of the few young and dedicated pilots who saved this country from Nazi invaders in the critical battle of Britain during the last war." Patrick Seale.

The Guardian defense correspondent Clare Hollingworth reported from Jaurian near J&K, "Indians are short of Radar and by day Pakistani F-104 supersonic fighters can and do make reconnaissance flights with little fear of being hit".

Foreign Support

■ Medicines from students of Indonesia received.

■ Demonstrations in Turkey against Indian aggression

15th 1965 September

Stubborn Indian PM Shastri turned down ceasefire offer byUN Secretary General U Thant

Personal diary of General Niranjan Prasad revealed that India had started preparing for war in May 1965.

■ Indian Sikh community in- Birmingham UK contributed to Pakistan war fund stating that Pakistan's position is justified and moral.

■ Patrick Seale reported in London Observer that India doesn't want Great Powers to intervene in the hope to preserve status quo of her occupation of Kashmir.

ABC correspondent Roy Meloni confirmed that Indians are bombing civilian targets inside Pakistan.

■ Afghan Government shows deep concern over Indian bombings in Peshawar and Kohat. Pakistani Account

■ President Ayub Khan reiterated his resolve to defend every inch of territory.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Pakistan Army repulsed another enemy attack in Sialkot sector causing heavy losses to Indian Army. Indian 1 Corps planned to capture three pivotal positions at Badian, Chawinda and Zafarwal. After meeting tough resistance, India was forced to change plan only to fail again. Pakistani Wajahat Task Force held areas between Chawinda and eastern boundary. 22 Cavalry ex 15 Division contacted enemy at 1100 hours and knocked down three enemy tanks in half-hour long fire fight. After Chawinda, Lt Gen Harbakhsh Singh was silent on how to regroup and advance on these fronts.

■ At Pasrur, Hasri Nala (Indian) 16 Cavalry lost four tanks when came under accurate artillery and armour fire. Indians were forced to disengage and redeploy east of Hasri Nala where eight PAF Sabres strafed Indian positions.

■ Pakistan Army captured an Indian post in Gadro sector. Fleeing Indians left behind all their weapons and equipment.

Mujahideen killed 21 and injured many more Indian soldiers in Rajauri area.

■ Navy Submarine PNS Ghazi was declared 'ready' to return to sea after maintenance.

■ PAF continued heavy pounding on important targets at Srinagar, Adampur, Jodhpur, Halwara and Pathankot. PAF shot down an Indian Canberra bomber, destroyed 22 tanks and 51 vehicles in Sialkot-Jammu, Wagah-Attari and Gadro sectors.

National Morale

Rawalpindi: Women offered their services for looking after the war wounded in hospitals.

■ Pakistani community in Kuwait gave monetary donations to Pakistan embassy. Many ex-soldiers offered their services for Pakistan Army.

glorioussepday10.jpg

16th September 1965

"Plan to massacre Muslims in held Kashmir"

■ Indonesian news agency 'Antara' exposed Indian Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan's plan.

Indian body count touches 6,889 since 6th September. Losses in tanks, aircraft and armoured vehicles also increased. Most battlefields are littered with rotting Indian soldiers' corpses.

■ Once again Indian Air Force bombed civilian population in Sargodha and Peshawar causing loss of 30 innocent lives including three kids and five women.

■ "Secretary General U Thant is biased towards India. He is no longer independent and has virtually become prisoner to Indian officials at UN Secretariat", Pakistan's correspondent to UN, H.K Burki.

International Scenario

■ China, Indonesia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and New Zealand showed strong solidarity with Pakistan and denounced Indian aggression.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Indian troops launched strong attack from two directions. The attack was supported by armour and artillery which was halted by Pakistan Army with the support of PAF. Indian, Army suffered heavy losses including 36 tanks.

Wagah-Attari and Khem Karan Sector: Indian advance was repulsed by pushing them back 12 miles, seizing 6 miles of, Indian territory. PAF and artillery caused heavy damage to Indian forces.

Gadro Sector: Pakistani troops continued offensive well inside Indian territory.

Mujahideen took full control of Rajauri town an ambushed Indian military convoys.

Pakistan Navy fleet continued to patrol the Arabian Sea whereas SM Ghazi returned to hunt Indian Navy vessels off Indian coast and denied freedom of action to Indian Navy.

■ PAF Sabres shot down two IAF Hunters over Beas River.

■ PAF planes kept offensive momentum and destroyed twenty Indian tanks, military vehicles and gun in Sialkot-Jammu, Wagah-Attari, Khem Karan and Gadro sectors.

National Morale

■ Dawood Group of Industries, Burewala Textile Mills, National Shipping Lines, Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, WAPDA, Habib Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, Agriculture Development Bank, West Pakistan Cooperative Board, Ever new Film Studios, Colony Textile Mills and Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation made heavy donations to Defence Fund. The employees of these organizations also provided gift-packs to the soldiers and made blood donations.

■ Pakistani Tennis star Khawaja Saeed Hai vigorously pursued donation 

17th September 1965

IAF planes targeted Pakistani civilian train at Lahore-Narowal section near Shah Sultan, killing 20 passengers while injuring 48

Indian Foreign Office humiliated Muslim envoys of Turkey, Iran and UAE as they were called to hear a warning against their governments adopting a "partisan attitude" in Indo-Pak war.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Khem Karan sector: Pakistani Forces' accurate artillery shelling disorganized two Indian heavy concentrations for attack which resulted in destruction of 4 enemy tanks.

Sialkot Sector: Pakistan Army repulsed two-pronged enemy attack and inflicted heavy causalities on the enemy. The Indian Army lost 51 tanks and 14 guns in the fierce battle. So far Pakistan has destroyed 442 Indian tanks and captured another 17 in perfect working order.

Chamb Sector: Pakistani 4 Corps Artillery heavily bombarded Indian Forces at Butur Dograndi. Lt Gen BM Kaul stated, "One Armour Regiment which should have come to their rescue was halted by enemy firing enroute. On the other hand Indian Poona Horse and 8 Gharwal Rifles could not reach Butur Dograndi on account of close range enemy anti-tank fire". In the evening Indian Commander was left with no choice but to order 8 Garhwal to withdraw.

■ 25 Cavalry caused heavy damage to Indian Forces. Besides destroying 5 tanks, Captain Gurdial Singh ex Poona Horse, 2 soldiers ex 8 Garhwal Rifles were made POW. One Centurion tank brought in running condition by NCO ex 25 Cavalry. By sunset Indian neither 1st Armour Brigade nor 43 Lorried Brigade were capable of mounting even a limited attack anymore.

Mujahideen action in the North of Chhamb-Jaurian sector. Indians sitting in three layer concrete trenches were targeted by AK Forces and forced them to surrender.

PAF planes also bombed enemy concentrations in the Samba-Jammu sector at night as well as IAF bases at Halwara and Adampur. Diplomatic Front

President Ayub in response to UN Secretary General U. Thant's proposal, stated that Pakistan would agree to a ceasefire only if accompanied by, "effective machinery and procedure that would lead to a final settlement of Kashmir dispute."

■ General Musa paid visit to frontline troops and found them in high state of morale.

 International Support

King Faisal's brother and governor of Mecca, Amir Mishaal volunteered himself to fight for Pakistan.

■ Indonesian citizens in Arab countries asked Arab League to support Pakistan.

Foreign Media Reports

■ The British Press continues to denounce Indian aggression against Pakistan.

Evening Star of London editorial stated, "There can be little doubt this time that the responsibility for the latest outbreak of fighting in Asia lies with India".

Le Monde, an Independent newspaper said, "The Indo-Pakistan conflict, has in the first place brought to light India's extraordinary diplomatic isolation".

The Time Weekly: In the air, it was much the same story, Indian quantity and Pakistani quality.

11 Days' Battle Summary

■ Pakistan army controlled approximately 500 square miles of Indian territory in various sectors which includes 200 square miles in Akhnoor, 200 square miles in Khem Karan and 80 square miles in Rajasthan sector.

POWs: 20 officers, 19 JCOs and 530 other ranks.

PAF destroyed 41 enemy tanks, heavy guns and other vehicles.

18th September 1965

India is paying heavily for her aggression against Pakistan. So far 453 tanks destroyed, 18 captured, 106 aircraft destroyed

UN Secretary General U Thant reported on military situation to the Security Council, The ceasefire line has been crossed by Indian forces at Kargil, Tithwal, Uri, Poonch upto Haji Pir Pass. Indians crossed Jammu border in force towards Sialkot and from Amritsar and Ferozpur towards Lahore".

■ Indian Food Minster Mr. C. Subramaniam warns that India faces serious food shortage resulting in reduction in daily ration.

■ Indian Deputy Minister External Affairs, Mr. Dinesh Singh asked Rajya Sabha to break ties with Indonesia for continued anti-India demonstrations in Indonesia.

■ General Musa met troops at Lahore sector and found them in high spirit and confidence.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Pakistani Forces kept up pressure, gained more ground in enemy territory and caused heavy losses to the Indian troops.

Wagah-Attari Sector: India lost 7 tanks besides surrendering 10 Indian soldiers. Three enemy attacks were also foiled in the sector.

Khem Karan Sector: Four enemy attempts to gain ground foiled. Pakistani artillery kept on pounding Indian positions. 2 GNATs aircraft were shot down while four others were chased out by PAF.

Fazlika, Rajasthan and Akhnoor Sector: Pakistani forces consolidated gains. Rajput Fort of Kishangarh in Rajasthan was captured.

Mujahids raided Indian battalion at Rajauri sector and killed 63 Indian troops.

PAF struck deep into enemy territory at IAF Base Ambala. 4 Canberra bombers and installations in the technical area damaged.

Indian Air Force Losses

 glorioussepday11.jpg

National Morale

■ Lahoris with jubilation drove Indian Maj Gen Naranjan Parasad's jeep captured alongwith his diary followed by a procession through main streets of Lahore.

■ "Rang laye ga shaheedon ka laho" written by Tanveer Naqvi sung by Madam Noor Jahan went on air.

glorioussepday12.jpg

19th September 1965

"India had accepted the ceasefire unconditionally but we refuse to link Kashmir problem with the ceasefire"

Indian Education Minister Mr. Chagla stated in Security Council

■ Indians faced series of humiliating defeats on land and in the air by PAF.

Peter Mansfield, The Sunday Times

■ Indian POWs stated that the Indian caste system is disastrous in their Army. Officers above the rank of Major never appear on frontline. The soldiers were given orders and then left to get on with the fighting. No wonder they ran away.

Peter Mansfield, The Sunday Times  

■ "India is an out-and-out aggressor in this war". Mrs. Bandaranaike, Premier of Sri Lanka. Pakistani Account

■ The Commandant PMA while addressing the Passing Out Parade at Kakul said "with the Indian invasion on Pakistan borders, the Armed Forces have been given an opportunity to write a new chapter of the glorious history".

■ Within six hours Indians launched three air raids during visit of local and foreign journalists at Khem Karan sector which were repulsed successfully and Pakistani Commander stated, "Indian Airmen had been specially trained to miss their targets because of their lack of training and professionalism".

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector:40 enemy tanks were destroyed, 3 officers, 4 JCOs and 102 soldiers taken prisoners.

■ Despite overwhelming superiority in number and armament, Indian Army had been given a humiliating defeat and is being taught an unforgettable lesson. To avoid humiliation, Indian High Command desperately wanted to push back Pakistani forces from their territory and planned a series of attacks.

Wagah-Attari Sector: Indian forces launched two pronged full scale attacks but were beaten back aggressively. Pakistani Forces caused heavy causalities to them.

Khem Karan Sector: Two Indian counter attacks beaten back with heavy losses. In Kasur-Khem Karan sector they have been pushed back several miles inside their territory.

Chawinda: Pakistan Army has written a new chapter of glorious history. The bravery of Pakistani troops has thoroughly demoralized Indian army and they are hardly in any shape to face Pakistan Army.

Sindh-Rajasthan Sector: 150 Indians were killed and 21 taken prisoners.

Fazlika and Akhnoor Sector: Pakistani forces continue to maintain pressure on enemy.

Mujahids raided another Indian military base around six miles from Rajauri and destroyed an important bridge on the Srinagar-Bagram Road about 15 miles from Srinagar. The communication lines of the Indian troops based in Taso Maidan area have been completely cut off. In many areas of Srinagar, Indian control had been completely wiped out and they now resorted to harassing people by firing from helicopters.

PAF maintained air supremacy and continued giving support to our ground forces and also shot down an IAF Hunter plane over Sialkot Jammu sector.

National Morale

■ Writers, poets and thinkers all over Pakistan decided to donate 10 % of their income to National Defense Fund and resolved to send 5 men team of writers to each frontline to express admiration and gratitude to the Armed Forces.

 

20th September 1965

"Lahore Cantonment is our aim," Indian Army Chief

Times Magazine quoted ex-Indian Defense Minister Krishna Menon, "India was opposed to a plebiscite because she would lose it. Since 1949 India has violated four times the UN order for plebiscite".

American Time Magazine, "Pakistan's small highly-trained army is more than a match for the Indians. The PAF seems to have made a spectacular number of kills".

■ Britain's Independent TV from POW camp Kohat televised a film showing, "Indian Army is in shambles and its morale extremely low. Indian Army had shown little enthusiasm for the war against Pakistan".

Times Magazine correspondent quoted a POW Havildar of Indian 6th Light Infantry that "he had no idea he was going to be involved in open war with Pakistan when his battalion moved up to the frontier."

Pakistani Account

■ President Ayub strongly condemned the Security Council's resolution, "calling for a ceasefire without providing for a plebiscite in Kashmir"

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Pakistani Forces continue to maintain control over earlier Indian held territory in all sectors besides capturing two more Indian tanks.

glorioussepday13.jpg

Wagah-Attari sector: 12 enemy tanks destroyed raising the total to 494. Pakistani artillery guns forced Indian guns to remain silent at Fazilka, Rajasthan and Akhnoor sectors.

PAF: 4 IAF planes shot down. 110 enemy aircraft destroyed so far.

■ PAF bombers successfully carried out precision attacks on the IAF bases and installations at Ambala, Jodhpur, Jammu, Jamnagar and Halwara.

Pakistan Navy maintained dominance in Arabian Sea and ceased Indian liberty.

National Morale

■ Pakistanis cheered as one of the 4 Indian fighters burst into flames and spiraled earthwards from the clear blue sky, trailing smoke. Lahorites enjoy air combat as stated by John Chadwick from Reuters.

■ A delegation of Lebanese and Saudi ulema called on Pakistan's Ambassa-dor Hamid Nawaz and conveyed him sympathy and support of Muslims for Pakistan.

■ Government of Pakistan announced immediate monetary relief package for the families of central government servants reported missing or killed in enemy action.

glorioussepday14.jpg

2 1st September 1965

India informed UN her willingness to accept Security Council Resolution for ceasefire

PM Shastri

■ U. Thant's report to UN "It is dangerous to leave Kashmir issue unresolved".

Times Magazine special correspondent, "Pakistan's decisive victory in historical Sialkot tank battle is confirmed today".

■ 4000 Indonesian youth marched through the streets of Jakarta chanting slogans, "India is our enemy, crush India and go home India".

Pakistani Account

■ President Ayub Khan awarded 42 Jurat Awards including Hilal-e-Jurat, second highest gallantry award to Maj Gen Abrar Hussain, Brig Abdul All and Brig Amjad All Khan. Squadron Leader Khan Najeeb Ahmed also awarded Sitara-e-Jurat.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot Sector: Pakistani Forces dominated the battlefield in Sialkot sector and made more tactical gains in Khem Karan and Hussainiwala sector. In one of the encounters in the Sialkot area, 6 enemy tanks were knocked out. In Fazilka area most of the villages around the town have been evacuated by the Indians due to panic following an engagement.

11 Indian tanks and six machine guns were destroyed along with substantial quantity of ammunition were captured. Moreover, 3 enemy anti-tank guns were also destroyed.

Rajasthan Sector: Indians made an abortive bid to advance towards Dali but Pakistani forces gave them tough time and captured substantial amount of arms/equipment.

Pakistan Navy fleets remain vigilant while guarding against Indian aggression.

Vigilance of PAF remained high as their interceptors shot down an IAF Canberra bomber near Sargodha and a Hunter over Lahore. PAF damaged IAF installations at Adampur, Halwara and Jodhpur bases.

glorioussepday15.jpg

22nd September 1965

Announced ceasefire giving Indian forces sigh of relief

PM Shastri

■ 17 days wanton misadventure cost India too heavy. Pakistani forces destroyed 113 Indian aircraft, 500 tanks, 7200 soldiers killed and 1000 taken prisoners. Indian first Field Marshal Carriappa's son Flight Lieutenant K.C Carriappa's Hunter aircraft was hit over Kasur and he bailed out and made POW.

■ Indian Air Force bombed a small hospital in village Dali causing heavy losses to building, patients and innocents.

■ India jammed radio "Sada-e-Kashmir" which was broadcasting the news of Mujahideen.

Pakistani Account

■ President FM Muhammad Ayub Khan announced to accept UN ceasefire resolution, however, announced not to withdraw its troops from their present locations.

■ U.S. President Johnson assured President Ayub of his support in UN settling differences between India and Pakistan.

■ Iranian PM Amir Abbas Hoveyda announced oil supply to Pakistan.

■ Gen Musa Khan visited frontline and met the soldiers.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Khem Karan-Huseniwala Sector: Repeated Indian attempts foiled with heavy losses to both men and material, causing demoralizing effect on Indian soldiers.

Sialkot-Lahore, Fazilka-Akhnur Sectors: Pakistani forces maintained aggressive posture, destroyed 7 Indian Centurion tanks and captured one fully intact, breaking Indian soldiers' will to fight.

Wagah-Attari Sector: Pakistan Army ingress in Indian territory caused heavy damage to retaliating Indian troops.

Rajasthan Sector: Pakistani forces further penetrated and captured six more Indian posts namely, Gotaru, Bhutewala, Malesar, Rai Chandwala, Bulli Kallan and Kala Dhar Toba.

■ Attack on Dali Post: Indian radio made false claims that Pakistani Dali post had been captured whereas Indian troops were repulsed while suffering heavy losses including 5 officers, 2 JCOs and 90 soldiers as POWs to 18 Punjab Regiment. Fleeing Indian army also left 2 jeeps, 3 Dodges, 3 trucks and piles of weapons and ammunition.

Mujahideen cut off the Jammu-Srinagar road, attacked Indian convoy on/ Srinagar-Tangmurg road, blasting four out of 10 vehicles killing twenty one Indian soldiers.

Pakistan Navy fleet continued to patrol the Arabian Sea.

PAF maintained dominance in the air. In last 24 hours, PAF destroyed 11 tanks, 25 artillery guns, 39 vehicles and many ammunition dumps including Jodhpur airbase.

National Morale

■ PIA announced to resume Karachi-Dacca flights via Colombo.

■ President Ayub Khan paid rich tribute to the people of Lahore and Sialkot for their fearless response under the Indian aggression.

glorioussepday16.jpg

23rd September 1965

86 Indian Parliamentarians urged PM Shastri to order to start nuclear program to deal with China and Pakistan

■ Indian army resorted to brutal attacks on Kashmiri Muslims forcing over 2000 Muslims to cross over to AJK.

■ Indian leading newspapers urged the government to quit Commonwealth of Nations in view of inadequate British support to India during the war.

■ Indian forces launched last minute offensives to regain lost territories.

International Scenario

■ Mr. Arthur J. Goldberg, Chief U.S. delegate at UN stated at UN General Assembly that the solution of Kashmir issue will be reaffirmed with U.S. assistance.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Pakistani forces maintained their aggressive posture with close air support and did not allow Indian army any freedom of action.

Wagah-Attari Sector: A last minute massive attack was launched by Indian army with two brigades in a desperate attempt to gain territory but failed.

Khem Karan Sector: Indian army while pretending to readjust for ceasefire tried to launch a whole division but remained unsuccessful.

Rajasthan Sector: Pakistani forces repulsed Indian army attempts to capture Dali. These attacks came after the main battalion level attack of September 22, in which Pakistani army took 97 Indian POWs including 5 officers, had failed.

Mujahideen killed more than 80 Indian soldiers during last 24 hours in various clashes. It was reported that Indian army employed ten ambulances and seven military trucks to remove the dead and wounded.

Pakistan Navy units were attacked by Indian warship in high seas. During the clash PN sank an attacking Indian Frigate.

■ PAF jets while providing close support to ground forces in Wagah-Attari sector attacked and destroyed a large Indian army convoy carrying huge quantity of supplies and ammunition.

Air Marshal Nur Khan congratulated PAF on outstanding performance in the war.

National Morale

■ People of Lahore hailed and welcomed President Ayub Khan's ceasefire announcement.

■ PIA resumed its intercity service which remained suspended during the war.

glorioussepday17.jpg


Indian Aggression Blunted

Pakistan Army Fights Back: Dawn of September 6, 1965 saw Indian forces crossing international border and attacking fronts at Lahore, Sialkot and Kasur which were 14, 6 and 3 miles away from the border, respectively. While India could not capture any significant area across international border, Pakistan Army captured 1200 square miles of area in Rajasthan, over 350 square miles in Akhnoor and 16 square miles in Kotli. In Lahore sector alone, India lost over 2,000 men and nearly 5,000 were wounded. Whatever ground Indians took within first 17 hours of the battle became their final achievement; they couldn't take an inch more in next seventeen days. Indian army mounted 13 major attacks on Lahore-Kasur front and 15 major attacks on Sialkot front, besides efforts in Rajasthan and other areas. Most of these attacks were repulsed.

 Pakistan Navy Takes the Battle to Indian Shores: Pakistan Navy dominated the sea and kept the sea lanes open. Ghazi submarine denied liberty of action to Indian Navy despite the latter being equipped with one aircraft carrier, two cruisers, nineteen destroyers/frigates. PN sailors' professionalism was endorsed after successful Dwarka Operation, 200 miles away from Karachi Port. Submarine Ghazi besieged Indian Aircraft Carrier and other war ships within their ports. They were so frightened that till the end of war they did not come in open sea.

Pakistan Air Force Dominates the Sky: PAF was pitched against IAF which was 3.6 times bigger. In deadly airstrikes on Pathankot airbase, PAF annihilated total 22 Indian jets. Squadron Leader M.M Alam performed outstanding in this war. India suffered through air action, resulting destruction of 110 aircraft, 149 tanks, 600 vehicles and 60 artillery guns and damage of 19 aircraft.

Indomitable National Resolve: Pakistani nation faced the most arduous challenge in her 18th year of independence. The enemy had come with clear intent of capturing Lahore, Sialkot and Kasur. September 1965 would never be forgotten in India and Pakistan for different reasons. India had been badly bruised by China in 1962 war. Her effort to undo her humiliation from China only got compounded after her forces got severely beaten against Pakistan in 1965. Pakistani nation displayed its indomitable resilience against foreign aggression. Undeterred and unshakable, the nation surprised the enemy by deciding the war in Pakistan's favor in mere 17 days.

Indian Numerical Superiority:

 

glorioussepday18.jpg

International Support for Pakistan

■ China,Turkey, Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Iran, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand showed solidarity with Pakistan and denounced Indian aggression. "Chinese government sternly condemns India for her criminal aggression and expresses firm support for Pakistan". Chinese PM Zhou Enlai

■ "Indonesia prays for Pakistan, who is fighting fiercely to maintain sovereignty and freedom". President of Indonesia Sukarno

■ Painful development concerns Pakistan and Turkey which are CENTO allies. Unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood exist between two nations. PM Suat Hayri Urguplu

International Media Testimony of Pakistan's Victory

Time Magazine correspondent, Louis Kanar, September 22, 1965 stated, "Playing with fire by these men - from Jawan to the General Officer Commanding, as like children playing with marble in the streets. I asked the Pakistani General "How were you overpowering the Indians despite being in a small number. The officer looked at me, smiled and said, if courage, bravery and patriotism were purchasable commodities then India could have got them along with American

A journalist, Bintang Timur working with Jakarta said, "It was India who first committed military attack on Pakistan, and for this she must be condemned and Pakistan must be defended:' ■ Correspondent of The Guardian, Peter Preston, "Pakistan morally and physically had won the air-battle against the Indians. The Indians had no sense of purpose. The Pakistanis were defending their own country and willingly taking greater risks."

Daily Express, London, Donald Seaman, September 24, 1965, "Four Indian divisions and one armoured division fought non stop battle with two Pakistani divisions and one armoured division. Indian plan was to swing around Sialkot, take Lahore and cut west Pakistan in two and bring it on its knees for which India launched 30,000 troops against 9,000 Pakistani troops. Out numbered three to one, Pakistanis beat Indians to a standstill and were about to mount a counter attack in last six hours before the ceasefire when they were stopped on political grounds".

Times of India, Bombay, September 16, 1965,"It is clear from the fury with which the enemy (Pakistan) is fighting on all fronts that it has not been easy for the Indian army to advance into Pakistani territory".

Newsweek, Frank Melville, September 27, 1965,"Despite the bombings, the morale among the Pakistani jawans (which is the Hindustani for GIs and literally means' strong young men') remained extremely high. Their coolness and thoughtness under fire have paid dividends".

Top of the News, Washington, September 6-10, 1965,"The first Indian regiment that found itself face to face with the Pakistanis didn't get clobbered. They just turned and ran, leaving all their equipment, artillery supplies and even extra clothing and supplies behind".

The Indonesian Herald, September 15, 1965,"India brought up the bulk of its armoured forces in an effort to force a decision but the Pakistan Armed Forces stood like an impregnable wall and dealt a heavy punishment to the enemy columns. Who can defeat a nation which knows to play hide and seek with death? I may or may not remember the Indo-Pakistan war but I will never forget the smile full of nerve by a Pakistani military officer".

Al-Gamhoriya (Cairo) Mohammad Odah stated, "Indian military had wanted to avenge their defeat at the hands of China in 1962. It wanted to restore their prestige among Indian masses, settle the Kashmir problem with force, but Pakistan Army had frustrated all these designs.... neither Lahore nor any part of Pakistan surrendered to India."

ABC Correspondent, Roy Meloni wrote, "India was claiming all-out victory, but I have not been able to find any trace of it. Indian Air Force had been knocked from the skies by Pakistani planes".

 glorioussepday19.jpg

 
15
September

Written By: Mushaal Mullick


If anyone asks me what is Kashmir for me? I will seriously fall short of words to express my emotions. Respected readers, it is nothing but all soul for me. Today, for the very first time, I will give my most personal perspective and bond with the journey of freedom struggle of Kashmir.

 

Kashmir is a calling, a spiritual calling. Kashmir is passion, Kashmir is love, Kashmir is beauty, Kashmir is freedom.

Kashmir is my fairytale.

 

My own fairytale encounter harks back to June 2005, when I met my knight in shining armour Yasin Malik, the Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, for the very first time at a high-profile event at the Punjab House in Islamabad organized by the government in honour of the eminent Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders.

 

Yasin Malik was reciting Iqbal Bano’s ghazal ‘Hum dekhain gay’ when I entered the hall along with my mother. His rendition had a very powerful impact on me and I felt that this man was genuine and true to his cause while reciting these mesmerizing couplets of Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

 

We shall see

 ہم دیکھیں گے

Inevitably, we shall also see the day

that was promised to us, decreed

on the tablet of eternity.

 م ہے کہ ہم بھی دیکھیں گے
وہ دن کہ جس کا وعدہ ہے
جو لوحِ ازل پہ لکھا ہے

When dark peaks of torment and  tyranny

will be blown away like cotton fluff.

 جب ظلم و ستم کے کوہ گراں
روئی کی طرح اُڑ جائیں گے

When the earth's beating , beating heart

will pulsate beneath our broken feet;

 ہم محکوموں کے پاؤں تلے
جب دھرٹی دھڑ دھڑ دھڑکے گی

When crackling, crashing lightning

will smite the heads of our tormentors;

 اور اہلِ حکم کے سر اُوپر
جب بجلی کڑ کڑ کڑکے گی

We shall see…

 ہم دیکھیں گے

The man Muhammad Yasin Malik’s resolute but somber voice surely was a testimonial of Kashmiri sacrifices for freedom and it pierced through many a hearts and souls present in the audience that day, but the enchantment of his voice and flavor of words was destined to change my life for good and forever. His strong advocacy for the rights of Kashmiris that night made me his ardent fan.

 

He invited me and my mother to his signature campaign exhibition ‘Voices of Kashmir, Voices of Freedom’. This campaign went on to garner two hundred thousand signatures.

 

Before leaving for Srinagar, Yasin rang up my mother to formally bid adieu, and then he asked to speak to me.

 

I wished him all the best with his struggle and asked him if he had enjoyed his trip, Yasin said he had indeed enjoyed

 

his stay in Pakistan, and liked Pakistanis in particular for their unconditional support and love for the Kashmiris. I remember I thanked him for saying that. We were both very formal though, and then he suddenly blurted out ‘I am in love with you!’

 

Events started crystallizing rapidly over the course of the month and I realized that maybe this was my fate, my calling, that this was meant to be, as I mentioned in the beginning of this article.

 

After getting married to Yasin Malik on my journey to the Valley I finally embarked on September 6, 2009 when I witnessed the true heaven right before my very eyes. That precious moment is certainly the most unforgettable of my life. I was completely awestruck like any traveler who has caught the first glance of this magical heaven at the initial aerial view before the plane landed at Srinagar airport. My eyes were tirelessly admiring the lofty snow-capped Himalayas which seemed to reverberate the arrival of dreamland. There is a natural loveliness and serenity of the valley which is so picture-perfect, at times it feels quite dreamlike, almost touchable, yet I know that it haunts a deep melancholic inner cry. There’s a famous saying in Kashmiri that even a blind person cannot ignore the beauty of this saintly place called Kashmir.

 

It is not just in recent times that Kashmiris have suffered because of political struggle, for many centuries the inhabitants of this land have been fighting for freedom, they have reacted against the Sikhs, Dogras. Today in modern times, the occupation of India is being challenged. If you ask ordinary layman Kashmiris what they want, the reply will be loud and clear, 'We want freedom, we want azadi from India.'

 

 kashmircallingstraight.jpgIt is an echo which has resounded through centuries!

I was a bit nervous and scared when our plane landed at Srinagar airport, part of it was because of my being a newly wedded bride but mainly because I was landing at the most militarized zone in the world. But soon my fear turned into delight as I saw the whole city was out to receive us, the love was overwhelming – it was like a scene from a fairytale, thousands of young and old Kashmiris lined up in rows, with flowers and sheerni (Kashmiri traditional sweets) in their hands and some of them waving Kashmiri and Pakistani flags greeting us at the arrival gate of the airport. I was overwhelmed by the gesture of women who on my arrival at Maisuma locality sung Kashmiri folk songs (wanwun) for me.

 

Kashmiris have witnessed very few celebrations at such large scale. The usual scenes of Indian Occupied Kashmir are funeral processions, gun shots by Indian Army, blood bath of innocent Kashmiris on every street, and army curfews for Azadi rallies among other horrific scenes. This sight of happiness was indeed one of the rarest to witness in decades!

 

I still cannot forget those incredible moments when I entered Yasin Malik’s 200 year old mud house that day in the Maisuma locality in Lal Chowk Srinagar which is known as the Gaza Strip of Kashmir. It is an honour for me to live in Yasin’s house because it is the place where he was born and the same place from where the revolution of Kashmiri people started against the Dogra Raj, the house and locality has a history of revolutions to it and I breath an air of revolution through the chapters of history and feel very much attached to it.

 

It was in Srinagar that I actually realized that I was the wife of a living legend and what an honour it was to be spending my life with such a brave man. It is only in movies and novels that one comes across such heroes who are unheard of in real life and my heart was not only filled with love for him but immense respect.

 

At Yasin’s home I saw a photograph of him lying on a hospital bed. After enquiring I was told by my mother-in-law that in 1986, the police arrested him and tortured him at Red 16 Interrogation Center. Rigorous Indian torture succeeded in damaging his heart valve but could not break his will. Then came 1988, the spring of revolution in Kashmir, the rebellion pioneered by young Yasin Malik and his four friends of which two, Ishfaq Majeed and Sheikh Abdul Hamid were martyred. Yasin himself has never uttered a word about the hardships that he went through but his family, friends and close associates told me those painful stories he had to face throughout his journey. Many a times during his armed struggled they had to hide in dense forests as his life was always under threat and he along with his associates was forced to spend minus degree temperature cold nights in big sewerage pipes lying at mighty Eidgah grounds. Often, they faced hunger and thirst for several days. In 1990, Yasin was a household name in Kashmir and in one incident he had to jump from a high building to save himself from an Indian raid. He landed on high tension electricity wire shock that threw him further away. He lost hearing in one of his ears and was saved miraculously. The same year he got arrested by Indian border security forces, tortured severely and to inflict more punishment on him, he was shifted to a mental asylum in Agra, India. This continuous severe torture could have shaken anyone but Fidel Castro of Kashmir as he is popularly known in the masses, was not to get startled by oppression.

 

My father-in-law Ghulam Qadir Malik who had just retired from services shared his heart-wrenching and soul quivering experiences and was shocked to know that Yasin’s voyage for freedom had kept him in cold deserts of Ladakh and was not allowed by the Indian authorities to unite with his family for decades. Yasin, the only son of his parents was hugged by his father almost after two decades of separation that too after his retirement. Imagine a mother traveling thousands of kilometers away from her home to see her ailing son who was kept not in any jail but in a mental asylum for years. Visualize her mental, physical and emotional status when she had to see her chained son being ruthlessly beaten at Agra whose only crime was to stand against oppression, to raise voice for freedom, that too which is legitimate and recognized by the world, the UNSC.

 

And it is not that only her son was beaten, she too had to face the wrath of Indian soldiers during nocturnal and day raids. She had to protect her three daughters and their small kids from drunkard soldiers and still look firm. I have not come across such a gentle and humble lady in my whole life and I am absolutely astonished that how could she survive all these hardships for decades that too with such level of patience and fortitude. I am astounded to see my younger sister-in-law   who used to bear brunt of raids and searches and had to pass through severe torture many a times. The scars of that torture are still very much visible even after so many years.

 

There are many who have had to bear much more than that but then the story of distress and agony that a leader like Yasin Malik and his family has to bear for freedom is symbolically important as it reveals the ugly face of sham Indian democracy as well as gives us a small account of the miseries people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have to face for asking for their birth right of freedom.

 

At present, India is trying to change the demography of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370, that provides a special status to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as they are constitutionally not a part of India and demand the implementation of the UNSCRs. Besides that India is also conducting farcical elections in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir under the might of the Indian guns to essentially pass draconian laws through the puppet assemblies that provide complete impunity to Indian Occupation Forces. The abysmally low voter turnout of below 6%, the lowest in 30 years, is a tangible indication that the freedom leadership and the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have categorically rejected the sham elections, which cannot be an alternative to the right to self-determination promised to them under numerous UNSC resolutions. In this military exercise under the garb of democracy, the Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism have martyred 12 youth and injured over 200 during a violent military operation against peaceful protesters in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

 

Freedom of expression is reckoned as the basic right of every individual in today’s modern world. To vote or to boycott is the basic right of every person but to inflict torture of worst nature upon the people who boycott fraudulent elections and to restrict their movements is in itself the negation of democratic norms and rights that can only be termed as most undemocratic and uncivilized. Along with my husband the entire Kashmiri leadership has been arrested since July 8, 2016 including senior elderly Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani who has been placed in house arrest for several years; Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has been house arrested; and female Kashmiri leader Asiya Andrabi has also been arrested.  Let me add further that none of these leaders are terrorists as they are being treated and punished by the Indian State, in fact they are all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Every human life is precious and as per the Universal Human Rights Charter, every religion, every human being has right to self determination. This is an absolute truth. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This is stated in the 1st Article of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All faiths declare the unity of human beings and freedom for all.

 

The freedom movement post the brutal killing of Shaheed Burhan Wani, a poster boy and youth icon of the Kashmiri freedom struggle is gaining momentum on a daily basis. The uprising is not an incident based rebellion nor is it because of a sense of alienation, it is in fact a sentiment-based movement based on a decades long struggle. It is a bold expression of political aspiration that the Kashmiri demand is legitimate and is deliberately being criminalized by the Indian State. The home grown narrative of the Kashmiris is being hoodwinked by India’s hyper propagandistic and provocative stance that literally feeds on a daily diet of anti-Pakistan rhetoric.

 

Kashmiris are challenging India on every front. The indigenous narrative of Kashmir unnerves India the most. The struggle is a diehard romantic rebellion where every stone hurled at the Indian soldiers symbolizes a political expression of Kashmiris challenge to Indian State authorities. This is the battle between the young Kashmiris and the old doctrine of India.

 

They are killing, blinding, maiming and crippling Kashmir's young generation. In the already bleeding Kashmir, they open fire at the mourners as they don't allow men to lower bodies of their young sons into the grave. They don't allow prayers at Srinagar's historic Jamia Masjid. They don't make distinction between combatants and non-combatants. They fire at babies, kids, girls and boys. This is a war declared on unarmed people.

 

Indian forces are even attacking hospitals and ambulances. Peaceful protestors, bystanders, children and women are hit by pallets and loose their sight forever. Pellets penetrate the skin’s soft tissues, and eyes being a delicate structure are the most vulnerable to damage. Once a pallet goes inside the eye, it shatters tissues and causes multiple damages to all parts of the eye.

 

The fact is that in any conflict the first and worst victims are women and children and same is the case in Kashmir; where violence and abuse are used against women as a tool to subdue them by Indian forces to claim their authority and inflict war crimes. Women primarily have been the most terribly injured party in this decades-long conflict. She suffers as a daughter, mother, wife and sister, because most of the times she has to survive alone, after the loss of any support from her male counterpart.

 

The tales of agony of Kashmiri women do not end here. The unending conflict in Kashmir besides leaving behind widows has also left number of ‘half-widows’. The missing persons in Kashmir have left over thousands of half-widows whose husbands are missing or are in enforced disappearance.

 

Just imagine a woman who is a wife and a widow at the same time, she does not know where her spouse is: is he dead or alive? Would he ever return home or not? Now a mother, who continuously hopes to hear the footsteps of her son, is stuck in a life of a shuttle cock between hope and fear. A child who is unable to decide if he or she is not fatherless or an orphan, with curious eyes constantly glued to the door and a sister watching outside from her window with never-ending tears in search of her missing brother. These people sadly, have extraordinary titles as they face extraordinary challenges. These are the half-widows, half-mothers, half-orphans and half-siblings of the society. They have little left to say except to keep on searching for the traces of their loved ones who have entirely vanished from the face of earth.

 

The saying 'hope never dies' fits perfectly with Kashmir’s missing people's saga. In Kashmir people vanish and land in unmarked graves. There is every possible link of unidentified dead bodies being buried in various unmarked graves with the victims of enforced disappearances.

 

Our family is at the forefront of the freedom struggle. My daughter and I have personally faced Indian Forces' brutality, abuses, and attacks. I know living the life of a revolutionary means I and my family will have to endure this forced separation, torture and threats to represent the suffering people of our nation but I at times am not able to answer little Raziyah Sultana when she asks me about our failure to reach Srinagar and live with her father. During a marriage of more than 7 years, me and my husband have hardly spent 60 days together. How can I tell our little child and how can she understand that Indian democracy has confiscated the passports of her father and denied her visa to Srinagar. It is really hard to bear all this torture but then the conception of keeping ‘hope’ keeps me and my child running alive like the rest of the Kashmiris. I firmly believe that very soon that day will come when these hard times will come to an end; that one day this forced separation of hearts and souls will vanish. And people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir will walk in liberty and breathe the fresh air of freedom. And that day is not afar, that I promise you.

 

‘When dark peaks of torment and tyranny will be blown away like cotton fluff; When the earth's beating, beating heart will pulsate beneath our broken feet; When crackling, crashing lightning will smite the heads of our tormentors; We shall see…’

 

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Twitter: @MushaalMullick

 
15
September

Written By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand


The safekeeping of nuclear and other strategic weapons has always been given enhanced attention over the storage of conventional weapons system. Since the first development of nuclear weapons more than 70 years ago, gradual development of the command and control of these very sensitive weapons has been the priority of the nuclear nations of the world. In spite of these efforts several kilograms of fissile material Uranium 233, enough to build three nuclear war heads, was stolen from the Los Alamos facilities of the United States and was never traced.

 

The United States of America being the foremost nuclear weapons state witnessed the accidental release of a hydrogen bomb from under the wings of its Strategic Air Command bomber off the coast of Spain. Fortunately this weapon fell into the Atlantic Ocean without exploding. The weapon could not be retrieved.

 

In recognition of Pakistan’s perfect track record of nuclear materials and weapons safety under the most tested and trying conditions spread over a period of almost forty eight years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna sponsored a seminar and workshop in Islamabad in 2016 to share its command and control experience with the more advanced and older nuclear weapon states of the world.

In early 1979, a meltdown occurred as a result of nuclear safety failure in Unit No. 2 of the nuclear power plant situated at Three Mile Island in the United States. This disaster was so serious that it was rated at 5 on the maximum scale of upto 7 in terms of nuclear accidents.

 

In April 1986, the world witnessed meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union when its safety system failed to shut it down after a malfunction. The radioactivity emanating from the nuclear reactor spread over large areas of thickly populated Europe bringing serious health damage to the population.

 

In the year 2011 another serious nuclear accident occurred in Fukushima power reactors in Japan destroying four power plants. These power plants were hit by a Tsunami and here again the safety systems failed to control a nuclear meltdown and heating of the reactors. The consequent release of radioactivity contaminated the Pacific Ocean making fish unsuitable for human consumption upto the western coasts of the United States and Canada.

 

A serious case of theft of highly radioactive nuclear material was reported from the Durgapur Steel Plant in India.  Several steel cylinders filled with radioactive material somehow found their way into the storage of the steel plant. Taking them as steel scrap these cylinders were stolen and when implications of a spread of lethal radioactivity were realized, a search was conducted. The cylinders containing highly radioactive liquid, possibly radioactive waste, were found dumped in a public community toilet. In India, incidences of theft of nuclear materials are wide and varied beginning in the 70s and spread over three decades. Eight kgs of Uranium was recovered from thieves in Tamil Nadu and another Six kgs were stolen by S. Murthy and associates in 1998. Two kgs of Uranium was also found with thieves who stole it from Madras Atomic Power Station. A very large amount of radioactive material weighing 25 kgs was stolen from Bibi Cancer Hospital in year 2000. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported fuel rods missing from nuclear power reactor facility in India containing 57 pounds of Uranium. The theft and illegal trading of Uranium and other radioactive materials from various nuclear facilities in India seems to be an unending phenomenon with very serious implications for nuclear safety.

The United States of America being the foremost nuclear weapon state witnessed the accidental release of a hydrogen bomb from under the wings of its Strategic Air Command bomber off the coast of Spain. Fortunately this weapon fell into the Atlantic Ocean without exploding. The weapon could not be retrieved.

In early 1979, a meltdown occurred as a result of nuclear safety failure in Unit No. 2 of the nuclear power plant situated at Three Mile Island in the United States. This disaster was so serious that it was rated at 5 on the maximum scale of upto 7 in terms of nuclear accidents.

Pakistan began its quest for fissile material with the establishment of an enrichment facility in the early 90s. It has now been twenty seven years that Pakistan is producing weapons grade fissile materials and storing the same safely. The first nuclear research reactor was established just outside Islamabad in 1965 and this reactor used highly enriched Uranium as fuel. Nearly fifteen nuclear medical centers and several more research facilities for industry and agriculture also have been using medium to high potency radioactive materials continuously for the last 60 years. Burnt fuel containing high radioactive waste products has been successful and safe storage and duly confirmed as such by the IAEA inspectors at Pakistan’s first nuclear power plant KANNUP since 1969.

 

Since the year 2004, terrorism has spilled over from Afghanistan into Pakistan. The incidences of use of explosive materials and devices against human, military and paramilitary targets increased rapidly. By the year 2013, Air Force bases, General Headquarters of ground forces, airports, international hotels, mosques, parks, railway stations and variety of police training schools and educational institutions had been attacked. Remote controlled explosive devices, suicide belts and assault attacks by heavily armed terrorists were used against targets in Pakistan. It is emphatically reiterated that under this unmatched terrorist onslaught on Pakistan, not a single gram of nuclear material, nor any small, medium or large sized nuclear weapon was either stolen, damaged or destroyed. Pakistan being the youngest nuclear weapons state incorporated the best features of command and control systems of the Western nuclear powers in its own command and control system. This resulted in so far the best Command Control Communications Computers Intelligence and Reconnaissance based system for safekeeping of nuclear weapons and materials and their deployment.

 

In recognition of Pakistan’s perfect track record of nuclear materials and weapons safety under the most tested and trying conditions spread over a period of almost 48 years, the IAEA in Vienna sponsored a seminar and workshop in Islamabad in 2016 to share its command and control experience with the more advanced and older nuclear weapons states of the world.

 

In the history of our country, it has been witnessed time and again that USA exerts pressure on Pakistan by raising the bogey of the possibility of its nuclear weapons and materials falling into terrorists hands. It has happened in the past and it is happening now. How ironic that aspersions are cast on Pakistan’s command and control system, which enjoys a perfect track record, by a country which has lost fissile material from “highly safeguarded facilities”, has had nuclear power reactor meltdown and lost hydrogen bombs into the Atlantic Ocean from its strategic bombers. It is about time that this so called advanced nuclear weapons custodian looks inward and tries to improve the security of its own arsenal especially in the face of increasing terrorist incidents rather than lecturing Pakistan on nuclear safety.

 

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.
 
08
August
August 2017(EDITION 08, Volume 54)
 
Written By: Maria Khalid
Pakistan was a dream that turned into reality and has now transformed into a septuagenarian force. Jinnah’s dream was simple. His idea of a composite and integrated Muslim nationhood and the right of Muslims to have a separate state constituted the keystone....Read full article
 
Written By: Jennifer McKay
Over in the Tochi Valley, the new Golden Arrow Montessori School has been opened in Degan for some very excited children who attended the opening in their best and brightest clothes. This is such a significant step for the area and has received great.....Read full article
 
Written By: Najam-ud-din Shaikh
As I write this article on the 20th July, it initially appeared that despite Secretary Tillerson’s best efforts the impasse between the grouping of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain on the one hand and the state of Qatar was continuing. Tillerson’s aide, .....Read full article
 
Written By: Shahid Javed Burki
President Donald Trump’s on-going policies towards the established global economic order go beyond the dismantling of the rule-based system of world commerce. Increased protectionism is not the only price the world will pay for the election of November 2016 as a result of which....Read full article
 
Written By: Ahmed Quraishi
The story of India’s border disputes with Bangladesh is bizarre by all standards of geography, history and politics. But the main cause is political intransigence on the part of the larger power, India. Indian officials have the political capital and geographic size to make....Read full article
 
Written By: Mehboob Qadir
That is so unfair of the U.S. and not what friends do in our part of the civilized world. The thought that Kashmiris were a small price to pay in the bargain is sadly misleading. Meanwhile the U.S. might like to remember that Indians have....Read full article
 
Written By: Tanveer Shahid
The spirit of human relief turns into a national commitment when it comes to render assistance in one’s neighbourhood or across the oceans. Navies, across the globe, are by default well-suited to render Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Operations (HA&DR)....Read full article
 
Written By: S.M Hali
Pakistan got its independence on August 14, 1947 through the efforts of selfless leaders like Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, Allama Iqbal and numerous others although they were opposed tooth and nail by the Hindu leaders of the subcontinent and some obdurate Muslim leaders. Independence......Read full article
 
Written By: Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed
Despite the fact that Pakistan was established on August 14, 1947 as a result of understanding reached between Quaid-i-Azam, Gandhi, Nehru, Baldev Singh, Lord Mountbatten and others on June 3, 1947, India has never accepted Pakistan from the core of its heart. Seventy years have passed, yet the.....Read full article
 
Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha
Till the 1930s, the All India Muslim League (AIML) was a moderate Muslim party which was to an extent pro-goverment and also an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity, as long as the region’s Muslim community was treated as a separate polity requiring certain special legislative concessions.....Read full article
 
Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid
Of all the myths spread about Pakistan, one of the greatest is that relating to the “Qaumi Tarana” by Jagan Nath Azad, a Hindu poet. J. N. Azad brazenly claims that he was asked by Quaid-i-Azam on August 9 to write the “Tarana” and he had submitted it....Read full article
 
Written By: Brig M. Asim Iqbal
The Gallery is housed in a Victorian Era building of Army School of Logistics, Kuldana (Murree), representative of the graceful architectural aesthetics of that period. Famously known as “British Infantry Lines”, some 150 years back....Read full article
 
Hilal Desk
Pakistan Army has launched Operation Khyber IV on July 16, 2017 against terrorists in Rajgal Valley of Khyber Agency. This ongoing operation has been launched under Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad .The operation is aimed at clearing the 250 square kilometers area......Read full article
 
Written By: Abid Latif Sindhu
National security is not a very complex thing to explain. Once the atomization is done it comes to its bare elements. All the elements of national security therefore have an Interactive Geometry. Academically national security can be classified into military and non-military tinges....Read full article
 
Written By: Tahir Mehmood
Gilgit-Baltistan region defines a Pakistan that is home to high peaks, beautiful valleys, deep gorges, snow-clad glaciers, and above all an abode of people whose survival and industry give meanings to human endurance, resilience, and triumph over nature. There one finds the smiles....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed
Early education is generally limited to elementary level up to 6th grade. It should be aimed at promoting creativity and curiosity for onward learning and instilling awareness, love and respect for knowledge, life and environment. It should be holistic towards creating positive .....Read full article

 
 
Written By: Usman Ansari
Concepts of ‘generational improvement’ and social mobility essentially outline how successive generations should aim for better life than their predecessors with improved living standards and status, are heavily tied to access to good quality education....Read full article
 
Written By: Ayesha Farooq
Indescribable. The first time I walked through the uneven, crisscrossed streets of an old neighbourhood in Karachi called Mithadar, only to reach a few storey building where on the ground floor laid the person renowned globally as the greatest humanitarian in the world....Read full article
 
Written By: Maryam Razzaq
Pakistan’s Film Industry is developing by leaps and bounds, and it would be no exaggeration to call Yalghaar one of the most promising movies of the year so far. The movie by Hassan Waqas Rana not only made a big buzz in the Pakistani Box Office but also made......Read full article
 
The 107th Midshipmen and 16th Short Service Commission Course Commissioning Parade, comprising 72 Pakistani and 28 officers from friendly countries, was held at Pakistan Naval Academy PNS RAHBAR. General Zubair......Read full article
 
Delegation of U.S. Senate (Arms Committee) headed by Senator John McCain along with COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited South Waziristan Agency. The Delegation was briefed about Pak-Afghan border security including recent measures for its improvement through......Read full article
 
Ronaldinho along with his fellow international football players including Ryan Giggs, Robert Pires, Nicolas Anelka, George Boating, David James and Luis Boa Morte met General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS). COAS thanked them for their visit to Pakistan....Read full article
 
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT). Detailed briefing was given on defence production of the HIT including ongoing and future defence projects. COAS appreciated performance and commitment of the HIT towards quality production....Read full article
 
Congratulations Chinese PLA on 90 Founding Day.....Read full article
 
Keel Laying ceremony of 32 Tons Bollard Pull (BP) Tug being built for Pakistan Navy was held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). Lt Gen Syed Muhammad Owais (R),....Read full article
 
Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was awarded the Legion of Merit in recognition of his services for promotion of defence ties between two air....Read full article
 
Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology and National Institute of Heart Diseases (AFIC and NIHD) got international award in Health Care Sphere "Rose of Paracelsus".....Read full article
 
“Discipline of imparting quality operational training at Combat Commanders School has always been its hallmark and it is extremely vital for the overall war preparedness.....Read full article
 
08
August

Written By: Maryam Razzaq

Pakistan’s Film Industry is developing by leaps and bounds, and it would be no exaggeration to call Yalghaar one of the most promising movies of the year so far. The movie by Hassan Waqas Rana not only made a big buzz in the Pakistani Box Office but also made an impact worldwide. The subject of the film is both timely and close to Pakistanis’ hearts. Yalghaar (assault/attack) is based on a true story: the story of a 76-hour long military operation successfully conducted by Pakistan Army in the ‘Piochar’ region of Swat.


Yalghaar goes on to follow the lives of the young, passionate officers and soldiers who are ever-ready to sacrifice their lives for the defence of their country and safety of their people. The movie is also a tribute to the slain children of the 2014 APS Attack. It connects with the masses and eloquently portrays the criminal psychology and the nefarious designs of the Taliban to implement self-conceived agenda. The movie revolves around the lives of the soldiers who when have to choose between family and country, choose Pakistan; for the very purpose of their existence lies in the security and wellbeing of their motherland.

 

yalgharrefilm.jpgThe movie features some of the top actors of the Pakistani media fraternity, with Shaan in the lead role and others including Humayun Saeed, Ayub Khoso, Adnan Siddiqui, Bilal Ashraf, Armeena Khan, Aleeze Nasser and Sana Bucha doing justice to their characters and bearing enormous energy and patriotism ever-to-doubt the realism of the events. The powerful direction coupled with highly professional cinematography made the film a treat to watch. The movie explicitly describes the valor, will and sacrifices of our soldiers and their families to harness peace and stability in our homeland and dispels all elements of evil forces trying to plague the social fabrics of our state.


The later half of the movie is captivating to the extent that will fill one’s heart with pride, and eyes with tears. The emotions exhibited by the actors and the resonance of the background music generates electrifying effects on the viewers especially the song ‘Ay Watan Pyaray Watan’ with its concept along with lyrical splendor and rhythmic brilliance compels re-watching the movie with same zeal and interest. The movie closes with the pictures of the APS Attack victims shaking one to the core and leaving the audience spellbound for hours.


The success of this movie is a testimony of the fact that people of Pakistan cherish and acknowledge the services of their Armed Forces in combating the menace of terrorism. Yalghaar is a must-watch for anyone who wants to fathom and appreciate the price our men in uniform pay for our safety.
A few comments from the viewers are as follows:

 

Abdul Muquisit: abdulmuq.jpgWe as a nation have come a long way. The uphill task of fighting and defeating our enemies at internal front has been commendably done by our Armed Forces. The menace of terrorism has been valiantly fought and Yalghaar in this respect is a phenomenal movie which not only revives patriotism in the hearts of the viewers but also highlights the struggle and sacrifice of our soldiers.

 

Sundas Shahid: Yalghaar is a star-studded action flick with a strong storyline. Tagline of the movie depicts that for a soldier, Pakistan is above everything and nothing can stop the soldiers from fulfilling their duties. When the nation needs them, they won’t think twice even if they have to sacrifice their lives. Director Hassan Rana wants us to realize what an average soldier goes through in order to serve the country while making decisions between his duty and family whilst we comfortably live our lives.

 

Mahram Razzaq: Yalghaar is literally a treat for one’s soul. It is a movie so close to reality, the reality that we are often ignorant of. It shows how difficult the life of a soldier is and how he’d always keep Pakistan before everything. The moral of the movie is clearly narrated that while we move on to live our lives fearlessly and comfortably, one shall never forget the sacrifices our officers and soldiers make for our safety. Yalghaar has a perfect splendor of drama, romance, light comedy and action. A wonderful job done by Hassan Rana and the team!

 

Ifrah Tabassum: Yalghaar is a major feat undertaken by its makers. And they did a superb job at that; handling a huge cast and also such a sensitive topic. Bilal Ashraf’s performance was particularly commendable. I hope to see more such ventures taken up by Pakistani film industry.

 

Marium Nida: As the words say, the movie Yalghaar literally turned out to be the most anticipated movie of the year. Each and every second of the movie got the adrenaline going and the selection of cast made it better. The storyline, scenes, sequence and the direction were amazing. In a nutshell, it was an amazing experience. Keep making such kind of movies.

 

Sarim Fatmi: Yalghaar, as the name depicts, is a symbol of aggression and will to fight against the enemies of Pakistan. The movie is a fine blend of sacrifices unsung heroes of Pakistan Army have made in war on terror and the brutality of terrorists. It also highlights how our fearless military stepped in to get the people out of despair. Yalghaar has all sorts of emotions; from love, humor to action and sacrifice that are deeply rooted inside a soldier. The leading roles in the movie are of General Officers that depict the tradition of 'leading from the front'.

 

Shaheera Hassan: The movie shows true picture of how much of a price military families pay, what circumstances they face when a husband, a father or a brother goes to operational areas. All this is heart-breaking yet inspiring.

 

Khushnood Baig: Yalghaar is an amazing movie. I simply loved it. Bravo!

 
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08
August

Pakistan was a dream that turned into reality and has now transformed into a septuagenarian force. Jinnah’s dream was simple. His idea of a composite and integrated Muslim nationhood and the right of Muslims to have a separate state constituted the keystone of the demand for Pakistan. Very demanding and hard was road to freedom and was achieved after a lot of sacrifices by millions of Muslims who moved from India to Pakistan. Hindus and Sikhs went on a killing spree slaughtering men, women and children, and in some instances kept children as slaves and women as their booty. History witnessed brutality at its worst as the migration assumed staggering proportions; 15 million people were displaced and between 200,000 and 2,000,000 lost their lives in the ensuing communal violence.


Yet another challenge was managing the newborn state with almost negligible resources and a multitude of challenges. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah worked day and night and did everything which was even beyond possible. State affairs were managed well but by his passing away just one year after the creation of Pakistan we lost one of the greatest statesmen in the world.


70 years later, in our war against terrorism, we have garnered results in the form of sharp statistical decline in terror attacks. Karachi has been relatively stabilized and has seen improvement in basic law and order. Balochistan is much peaceful and stable despite being enemies’ special target ground. Since the launch of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, the army has launched various IBOs and major operations in the country. These endeavors of Pakistan Army have restored peace to a great extent.


ISIS is the new emerging threat that Afghanistan has been unable to contain due to the internal complexities and Afghanistan government being characteristically bereft of control over their territory. The foreign forces haven’t achieved much success on that front either. However, Pakistan gave a rather prompt response against this newly emerging threat and the first phase of Operation Khyber-IV completed successfully after clearance of few high mountain tops in the Rajgal Valley of Khyber Agency largely curtailing the scope of terrorist activities. In their push forward, Pakistan Army troops have cleared areas up to the international border with Afghanistan. This is also a reflection of Pakistan's commitment to deny any safe havens to terrorists on its soil, and secure the border to stop terrorists’ movements towards any side of the border. Pakistan expects the same degree of commitment from Afghanistan towards border control measures.


After curtailing the violence to a considerable extent, we are now on our path to peace, stability and progress. The CPEC, while establishing the strategic structure of bilateral cooperation, will prove to be a bridge between the engines of growth and global economic integration. The Armed Forces’ role has been pivotal in CPEC security as 15,000 military personnel have been deployed as part of the Special Security Division (SSD) by Pakistan Army, and, Maritime Security Force (MSF) by Pakistan Navy. Apart from security on land for CPEC, relevant initiatives have been taken through the maritime security agency to protect the coast as well as through Pakistan Air Force.


For Pakistan to pave way for success and evolve as a nation, every institution must do its job for grass root stability, revival and prosperity. Like Quaid-i-Azam said on March 23, 1945: "In Pakistan lies our deliverance, defence and honour…. In our solidarity, unity and discipline lies the strength, power and sanction behind us to carry on this fight successfully. No sacrifice should be considered too great. I can assure you that there is nothing greater in this world than your own conscience and, when you appear before God, you can say that you performed your duty with the highest sense of integrity, honesty and with loyalty and faithfulness.” We must find the true meaning of togetherness and vow to be truly patriotic and serve the country by working endlessly and selflessly to align it with Quaid’s ideas and ideals.

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08
August

Written By: Ayesha Farooq

Indescribable. The first time I walked through the uneven, crisscrossed streets of an old neighbourhood in Karachi called Mithadar, only to reach a few storey building where on the ground floor laid the person renowned globally as the greatest humanitarian in the world. He was a man with white beard in his old clothes having a grey hue; one that comes after several washes are given to black, he seemed frail, his eyes were gloomy, perhaps because those had been witnessed to uncountable sad experiences. His face showed an uneasiness, for he was not accustomed to lying in bed for hours, he knew people out there wait for him and it was saddening not to be with them, people who were strangers but nonetheless dear to him, watching him lie there like an ordinary person but knowing in heart he is the only person to live his identity; the one of being a human. All I could eventually utter after summoning every recollection of that day was; indescribable.This noble person known worldwide as Abdul Sattar Edhi, a messiah to all, credited his mother for who he was.edhianexception.jpg He narrated that his mother would give him two paisas every day and instruct him to spend one on himself and one on someone in need. If a day went by where he spent both on himself, his mother expressed her disappointment and anger saying, ‘You misused a needy person’s right’. Such an upbringing filled with a staunch belief in humanity, objectively asserted in all its practicality led Edhi to set up his principles. He declared that serving humanity was going to be his religion and he would please Allah by doing that. He held this conviction of his dear to him till death.After partition in 1947 Edhi started working in a charity organization that was run by memon community in Karachi, but his journey of healing the wounds of every human he could reach out to, regardless of caste, sect or religion began when being a nobody he showed the audacity to state his opinion of equal treatment for all which was in disagreement to the authorities who discriminated significantly between memons and non-memons. Edhi quit the organization without giving up on his cause and decided to establish a system of his own where a difference among the needy would not exist, where being human would be enough to be treated well. Thereafter the first donation he collected was at Jinnah’s mausoleum summing up an amount around Rs. 35000 which was more than substantial in that era. It was used for the victims of a pandemic in Karachi in 1958. Some of the amount he saved was enough for Edhi to buy an old van to use as an ambulance. He learnt ambulance service locally and from thereon drove the ambulance for all of his years to come. Never did he drive anything other than an ambulance. He liked to serve patients, for he had gone through hardships when his mother was paralysed while the entire city had only one ambulance. With absolutely nothing in his pocket but an unwavering faith in Allah Almighty, he made a resolve that he would build an entire network of ambulance services across his country. In 2000, he was recognized by Guinness Book of World Records to be running the ‘Largest Voluntary Ambulance Organization of the World’ and that was not it. Edhi received numerous national and international awards in his lifetime, from Shield of Honour to Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Peace Awards from India, London, Seoul to several others including Pakistan Civic Award and Honorary Doctorate Degrees. When he was asked why he had yet not been given a nobel prize, he said, ‘I care not least about it, it does not matter a bit. All I want is to serve humanity’Edhi was always clear in his thoughts. To him right and wrong were very well defined giving him the knack to never hesitate in stating what he believed in patently and therefore he was an exception to the nation which has long been dissolved in confusions. When Edhi was stigmatized for helping anyone and everyone without caring what victims were the followers of, he simply said that his ambulance was more Muslim than people who believed in differences. When his colleagues asked if they should respond to labels in a befitting fashion, Edhi reminded them of how important his time was, how many people had he got to provide care. He never responded to an insult, never thought of revenge, never questioned the turns in his life, for he was Edhi; an exception. He put cradles infront of all of his centres which are more than 250 in number across the country, stood against the belief that an illegal child does not deserve life and pleaded that people may leave their newborn babies in the cradles instead of killing them. He said, ‘Do not commit another sin if you have committed one already’. He called the practice illegal but not those innocent, abandoned children; gradually his theory settled in the minds of others. The ideology spread among the masses strengthened when couples started adopting children from Edhi homes. His heart had a special corner for children, all those sheltered referred to him as Abbu. He cherished his own grandchildren too but he was a man of substance who had his priorities straight. In July 1992 he was on his way to Ghotki due to trains’ collision when he received the news of his grandson Bilal’s demise. He refused to return home and told his wife to take care of the burial. His heart bled that night but he had the blood and tears of many others to wipe, for he was Edhi; an exception.He referred to his centres as home for homeless, emphasizing that at least everyone must take responsibility of bringing anyone they find who is in need of shelter. The distinction between lazy and needy had always been sharp in his mind and he made sure every case he dealt with was that of latter. He had all kinds of needy, in the midst of those who were about to die of hunger, vagrancy or depression before they knocked at his door; there were those who came only to leave behind their own parents, children or siblings. What Edhi did was to welcome them with love, care and respect and never questioned those who left their loved ones ‘how could they do it’? Karachi in the past had often been cursed due to presence of militia in its various areas a number of times in history. The city saw affliction for a long time resulting in a lot of cases about missing people, unidentifiable corpses and target killing. Each time such an incident happened Edhi ambulances would always be the first to reach the crime scene. Edhi never hesitated to do what he considered his duty. The live shooting did not turn him away rather the shooters at times would halt for him while he picked up the wounded and deceased. He carried thousands of corpses throughout his life even if those were bloated, blistered, putrefied with a dreadful odour. From sea water to manholes, Edhi went everywhere. When everyone including the family members of a dead person felt disgusted to touch the corpse considering its condition, there would still be one person to not think once before taking it in his arms, for he was Edhi; an exception. His compassion knew no sects, nor boundaries nor borders. From natural calamities to consequences of human blunders, whatever caused an emergency within Pakistan or abroad, Edhi reached out. Whether it was tsunami in South East Asia, Hurricane Katrina in USA or earthquakes in Pakistan, Edhi managed to be there for all.Heart of gold is a known phrase but what Edhi had was something purer and more precious than gold. He did not have the heart of a philanthropist or a social-activist, he had the heart of what he took pride in calling himself; a human. No words can do justice in mustering up a title better than that. He construed being human with the most painstakingly accurate conduct throughout the span of his life while the rest of the world took its humanness for granted. Breathing his last on July 08, 2016 he left the entire nation in mourning. The world witnessed that a man with white beard to be buried in his old clothes as per his will, blinded in both eyes for bequeathing his cornea, received a state funeral being saluted by highest authorities of the state, for he was Edhi; an exception.The legacy he has left behind must continue, the faith he has put in the people of his country must not be wavered. The world must know how one man taught a nation that it only takes being ordinary to become an exception. 

 

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08
August
AFIC Receives International Award for Best Health Care Services

newsaficrecieive.jpgArmed Forces Institute of Cardiology and National Institute of Heart Diseases (AFIC and NIHD) got international award in Health Care Sphere "Rose of Paracelsus".


It is an international award in medical sphere. The selection is made by European Medical Association, Socrates nomination committee Oxford UL, and Swiss Institute of Quality Standards. Their written statement about AFIC and NIHD "AFIC recommendation" is based on the excellent reputation, safe and effective treatment methods, highly professional medical staff and modern equipment for adopting "Best Medical Practices" in health care.


Commandant AFIC and NIHD Major General Safdar Abaas, SI (M) was invited to receive the award during the "Excellence in Quality Summit" held on July 3-4, 2017 in Lucerne, Switzerland. Participants were from 59 countries including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Central Asian States. AFIC was declared one of the best health care organizations.

08
August
Quality Operational Training is Hallmark of PAF: Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman

newsqualityoperation.jpg“Discipline of imparting quality operational training at Combat Commanders School has always been its hallmark and it is extremely vital for the overall war preparedness of Pakistan Air Force”, said Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman while addressing the Graduation Ceremony of 48th Combat Commanders’ Course held at Airpower Centre of Excellence (ACE), Sargodha on July 24, 2017. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was the chief guest on the occasion.


The Air Chief further said, ‘Combat Commanders School plays the most pivotal role in operational training of our combat crew’. He urged upon the graduates that it’s their responsibility to pass on to the young officers whatever they had learnt at this prestigious institution. While highlighting the importance of indigenization in PAF, the Air Chief further said that the Airpower Centre of Excellence (ACE) would soon become an icon and play a key role in various indigenization projects of PAF.


The chief guest also awarded certificates and trophies to the graduating officers who underwent a strenuous and professionally demanding course. The Chief of the Air Staff Trophy for the best Combat Commander was awarded to Squadron Leader Ali Khan while Air Officer Commanding Air Defence Command Trophy for best Combat Controller was awarded to Squadron Leader Muhammad Suleman. The ceremony was attended by Principal Staff Officers and field commanders of Pakistan Air Force.

 

08
August
Air Chief Awarded Turkish Legion of Merit

newscasawarderturkish.jpgAir Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was awarded the Legion of Merit in recognition of his services for promotion of defence ties between two air forces in an impressive ceremony held at Turkish Air Force Headquarters at Istanbul on July 18, 2017.
Earlier, on arrival at Headquarters of Turkish Air Force, a smartly turned out contingent of Turkish Air Force presented him the guard of honor.


Later he called on General Abidin Ünal, Commander Turkish Air Force. The dignitaries discussed matters of professional and mutual interests. Air Chief highlighted PAF’s key role in the ongoing counter terrorism operations in Pakistan. He also reiterated to enhance the cooperation with Turkey in the fields of security, training and Information Technology. General Abidin Ünal, Commander Turkish Air Force, lauded the role played by PAF in the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He also thanked the Air Chief for enhancing defense ties between both the friendly countries.


Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force also met Dr. Ismail DEMIR, Undersecretary for Defence Industries (SSM) during his visit.


Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was on an official visit to Turkey on the invitation of Turkish Air Force.

08
August
Keel Laying Ceremony of 32 Tons Tug Being Built for Pakistan Navy at KS&EW

newspnkeylaying.jpgKeel Laying ceremony of 32 Tons Bollard Pull (BP) Tug being built for Pakistan Navy was held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). Lt Gen Syed Muhammad Owais (R), Secretary Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP), graced the occasion as chief guest.


While speaking on the occasion, the chief guest said that “construction of 32 Tons BP Tug is in pursuance of the mission of MoDP towards self-reliance and indigenisation in shipbuilding.” He appreciated the efforts of PN and KS&EW in playing a significant role in turning this vision into reality. He also praised the KS&EW management and workforce which had consistently shown remarkable performance by executing all the projects on time.


Earlier MD KS&EW, Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah in his welcome address said, "Today marks the keel laying of second 32 Tons BP Tug, which is part of the contract awarded by PN for the construction of two similar Tugs." While presenting brief overview of ongoing construction projects being executed simultaneously at KS&EW, Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah added that new contracts for the construction of Offshore Patrol Vessel and Hydrographic Survey Vessel for PN, and Surveillance Boats for Pakistan Customs had also been signed during the month of June. He also expressed his profound gratitude for MoDP and Pakistan Navy for their contribution in the revival of this national asset. He assured that KS&EW would leave no stone unturned in meeting the expectations of nation and Pakistan Navy.


This 32 Tons BP Tug is third of the series being built at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works. The ceremony was attended by high ranking officials from GoP, Pakistan Navy, corporate sector and KS&EW.

08
August
Congratulations Chinese PLA on 90 Founding Day.

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08
August
COAS Visits Heavy Industries Taxila

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT). Detailed briefing was given on defence production of the HIT including ongoing and future defence projects. COAS appreciated performance and commitment of the HIT towards quality production. "HIT has a history of contributions to strengthen conventional defence capability of the country. No compromise shall be made towards this end irrespective of the constraints", COAS said. While expressing his satisfaction on the progress, COAS asked Chairman to expedite the ongoing projects for timely completion. COAS also assured full support to defence industry.
COAS also witnessed display of the capability and projects in hand.
Earlier, upon arrival, COAS was received by Chairman HIT Lieutenant General Naeem Ashraf. Secretary Defence Production Lieutenant General Muhammad ljaz Chaudhry (R) was also present.
(PR-368/2017-ISPR, July 19, 2017)

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08
August
COAS Greets International Football Players

Ronaldinho along with his fellow international football players including Ryan Giggs, Robert Pires, Nicolas Anelka, George Boating, David James and Luis Boa Morte met General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS). COAS thanked them for their visit to Pakistan. COAS said, ‘Pakistan is a peace and sports loving country.’ "Sports promote peace and your visit is most welcomed by all Pakistanis especially young footballers," COAS remarked. The visiting players thanked COAS for organizing their tour and the support. They said that ‘Pakistan is a beautiful country and they look forward to enjoy the trip.’

COAS also thanked Leisure League for organizing the trip in collaboration with Pak Army and promoting peace & sports.

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08
August
COAS, U.S. Senate Delegation Visit South Waziristan Agency

newscoasussanate.jpgDelegation of U.S. Senate (Arms Committee) headed by Senator John McCain along with COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited South Waziristan Agency. The Delegation was briefed about Pak-Afghan border security including recent measures for its improvement through fencing and enhanced surveillance. The delegation was also briefed on socio-economic development efforts in the Agency.

 

The delegation was flown over the Agency to view the border area, newly constructed forts/posts and development works including schools, colleges, hospitals, sports stadium, water supply schemes and roads communication infrastructure. The delegation having seen the realities on ground acknowledged efforts and sacrifices by Pakistan Army and of the local tribes for reestablishing peace and order in the area. The senators reiterated importance of institutionalized Pak-Afghan border security coordination and cooperation mechanism.

 

Later, the delegation was scheduled to visit LOC which couldn't get through due to bad weather. COAS thanked the senators for their visit and their support in socio-economic uplift of FATA.

 

Earlier, upon arrival at Wana, the delegation was received by Commander Peshawar Corps Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmad Butt, and GOC Wana Maj Gen Nauman Zakria.

 

Senator John McCain

sanmacjohan.jpgMy colleagues from United States Senate and I have had a very informative and important visit, understanding the challenges and successes, and the remaining challenges that require close coordination and assistance from us and with us. We have talked about many issues including the importance of Pak-Afghan cooperation and relationship on the border and we are confident that with the right cooperation and the right strategy we can see success here in this very long struggle.

 

Senator Lindsey Olin Graham

One of the great success stories in the last few years is the Pakistan Army’s efforts to change the FATA for the better. I cannot stress how impressed I am with what has happened in the last two years. It speaks well of Pakistan Army and the people in this region and there’s no turning back now that they have rejected terrorism and it’s upto us working together to make sure that terrorism stays out of this area.

 

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Senator Elizabeth Warren

We have learned about how Pakistan is on the frontline of fighting terrorism and how important it is to have a strong partnership with Pakistan in this fight. That is the only way we will succeed.

 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

It never crossed my mind that I’ll be visiting South Waziristan, let alone a peaceful South Waziristan, so my congratulations to the Pakistani military.

 
07
August
CJCSC Addresses Commissioning Parade at Pakistan Naval Academy

newscjsccaltonavalacadmy.jpgThe 107th Midshipmen and 16th Short Service Commission Course Commissioning Parade, comprising 72 Pakistani and 28 officers from friendly countries, was held at Pakistan Naval Academy PNS RAHBAR. General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee graced the occasion as chief guest. Upon his arrival, the chief guest was received by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah.


Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, while addressing the Passing Out Parade said, "Pakistan seeks harmonious and peaceful co-existence with all countries, especially our neighbours. However, Pakistan’s quest for peace and stability has to be in consonance with our national interest, sovereign rights and national pride. We desire to work with our allies, friends and partners to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity to the region and beyond."


Earlier in his welcome address, Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy. He apprised the audience that the commissioning term comprised 80 Midshipmen including 52 from Pakistan and 28 from allied countries. He added that 20 Cadets from Short Service Commission Officers batch are also passing out. The Commandant highlighted that cadets from Bahrain, Jordan, Maldives, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan are also undergoing training at Pakistan Naval Academy.


Later, the chief guest gave away prizes to the winners. Midshipman Ahmed Faraz was awarded the coveted Sword of Honour for his overall best performance. Whereas, Midshipman Sarmad Arif won the Academy’s Dirk, Cadet Muhammad Fazal Kabeer clinched the Commandant Gold Medal and Cadet Syed Irtaza Haider Naqvi was given Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gold Medal. Cadet Akmadov Mamet from Turkmenistan was awarded Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal.


The ceremony was attended by a large number of senior military officers, ambassadors, Defence Attachés of various countries, civil dignitaries and parents of passing out Midshipmen and Cadets.

07
August

Written By: Tahir Mehmood

Gilgit-Baltistan region defines a Pakistan that is home to high peaks, beautiful valleys, deep gorges, snow-clad glaciers, and above all an abode of people whose survival and industry give meanings to human endurance, resilience, and triumph over nature. There one finds the smiles charming, manners natural, conversations simple, and hearts unaffected by cunning and guise of modern man. Pakistanis are blessed to have a roof-top where they can rise to and converse with nature, the stars and the moons. These high-abodes give meanings to the words of struggle, triumph and glory.

He was a tourist who had wished to escape the mundane routine city life and to find comfort and solace in the bosom of high mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan. He had reached the beautiful valley of Hunza last night. There were flocks of tourists from down-the-hills-lands who had come for peace and leisure. He was sitting all alone on a barren mountain top to see the sunrise. For this he had to wake up early morning, trail through a difficult trek but that provided him the opportunity to listen the whispers of soul-refreshing morning breeze with high mountain peaks. The high barren mountain tops, the solitude and silence were mesmerizing enough to usher him gently in his innermost valleys of heart and soul. Blessed are moments when one can converse with the self; unadulterated soul search is a sublime bliss only to be experienced amidst lofty mountains and serene valleys. He felt tranquil and lost in the magic of moments. The Hunza Valley had all that for him!

 

ofthenatutre.jpgThere are seven surrounding mountain peaks that are visible from Hunza. These peaks above seven and six thousand meters include Rakaposhi, Ultar Sar, Bojahagur-Duanasir, Ghenta Sar, Hunza Peak, Diran Peak and Ladyfinger Peak. These are barren mountains in the hot summer days yet peaks covered with snow. These are surrounding the lush-green Hunza Valley that seems a magic act of the Mother Nature. The famous Hunza River is a source to the green life of the valley.


The sunrise was magical as it unveiled the naked beauty and grandeur of the mountain peaks. The peaks were looking in to the eyes of the sun with poise and grace. The proud vigorous solitude of the peaks left a deep mark upon tourist’s heart who found a reassuring strength to carry on the fight for survival. These peaks had endured the centuries of weather and climate hazards that had come to raze them to pieces, break them to pebbles and leave them as rolling stones in the path of time and destiny. Yet these were holding on with heads high, a silent calm and with an unwavering firmness. The tourist took few deep breaths, absorbed silent words of faith, resolve, courage and steadfastness against odds of time and fate. Of course, these mountains give the message to the humans to stand tall against all ills of time, suffer in silence, endure with fortitude, fight back with resolve, believe in glory, and celebrate the triumph with grace and dignity. For high mountains do not clap or crumble like boys in the streets.


After that brief yet soul-searching sojourn, the tourist eyes were gazing on the famous Altit Fort and Baltit Fort of Hunza. The towns of Karimabad, Aliabad were in sight.
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Altit Fort and Baltit Fort, both nine and eight hundred years of age respectively, overlooking the old Silk Route are the biggest tourist attractions in Hunza Valley. There, one finds the traces of old ways of kings and commons who lived in Hunza Valley. The Mirs of the valley were like other kings of the time – arbitrarily barbaric and benevolent, warriors and majestic sovereigns guaranteeing life and peace for the obedient folks, and dispensing blind justice to the dissenters. The deep-hole like dungeons and bloody rocky edges for pushing down to death are signs that cruelty is inalienable part of human nature, transforming from simplistic version to the latest version of nukes and missiles, yet the quest is on by the civilized world to follow the primeval barbaric and uncivilized!

 

ofthenatutre1.jpgAliabad and Karimabad are small size towns fully clad in green orchards comprising almost all types of fruit trees. One can just stretch a hand and grapple fine quality apples, apricots, cherries, walnuts, mulberries, peaches, pears etc. One can find these best quality fresh and dry fruits at very cheap rates in local shops. The Hunza Bazaar is not too big; rather a small shingle road defines it but it gives a semblance of calm, culture and tranquility. The local vendors share glances of respect and amiability. There are many shops that sell handicrafts, dry fruits, gem stones, ornaments and above all Salajit (a stone that is used as a medicine for vigor, energy and cure of few other ailments).


Pakistanis after surviving and winning through the dark evil shadows of terrorism have found a new expression of their freedom in travel and tourism. This is evident on the jam-packed roads leading to Gilgit-Baltistan. The roads and streets of Hunza are filled with tourist flocks from all parts of the country. Few foreigners are also seen who are mostly trekkers and climbers. There is a boom to hotel industry, yet much scope is there for new investors. The locals are very happy on this surge of tourists but sometimes they complain of garbage throwing and of noisy crowds. The local populace is proud of their calm life, peaceful culture and amenable conduct.


There is need to educate the tourists to respect the local values, maintain cleanliness, and preserve the natural texture of this beautiful valley.
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Attabad Lake and border town of Sost were his next destinations. Attabad Lake is about half-hour drive along Karakoram Highway (KKH), upstream on Hunza River and stretches over 28 kilometers in length and 100 meters in width. Those who are not familiar with the history of origin of this lake which looks beautiful on surface, take it as a source of aesthetic pleasure and natural charm. In reality, this lake is result of a catastrophe and natural calamity. It was fateful night of January 4, 2010 that a massive landslide took place and the rolling mountains completely blocked the water flow of Hunza River. Despite early warning, twenty people died on that day but thousands were to be displaced and leave their ancestral homes in days to follow. Two unlucky villages, Ayeenabad and Attabad located on the ridges were completely submerged in the water, and now traces of the habitation are visible once water level goes down. Gradually the upstream rising level of the water gulped many houses built along riverbanks by the poor people. The landslide also swept away a considerable portion of the KKH and cut-off the population up-and-down-stream. The soldiers of Pakistan Army then carried out massive relief and engineering work and reconnected the road and the people. Many of the soldiers and civilian workforce lost their lives in this effort to rejoin the badly affected local population. Those not knowing the tragic origin of this lake happily do boating on the surface of calm water that once gulped dreams of thousands without remorse. There is a need to build a monument in the memory of this tragic incident, and those visiting this lake first need to observe silence and pray for the lost lives. But alas! Nothing is as transient as human memory of tragedy and strife, and its proclivity towards fun and amusement on every dawn that follows nights of blood and evil.

 

ofthenatutre2.jpgFor every red rose of beauty and color does keep in its bosom many stories of love, union and separation.


Sost is the last border town on KKH before it enters famous Khunjerab Pass. The town has a population of around one thousand inhabitants. It has a Dry Port where Pakistani customs and immigration staff regulate the trade flow between China and Pakistan. It is very easily observed that those living in such a remote area of Pakistan are no less in their spirits and love for Pakistan. On almost every shop and house symbols of Pakistani nationalism are visible. The last Pakistani check post which is a usual destination of all tourists is almost eighty seven kilometers from Sost Bazar, therefore it is advisable to replenish all human needs at this place. Then onwards is all lone, twisting and ever gaining altitude of KKH that is captivating but bit scary with no signs of human dwellers except those travelling on the road.


On his way from Sost to Khunjerab Pass, the tourists do come across Pakistani soldiers from Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) who are found continuously on watch, well equipped and ready to open the road due to any landslide blockade. They are the custodians and carry proudly the memory of those who sacrificed their limbs and lives while cutting a road though the bosom of mighty Karakoram Range to unite the people of two friendly nations, Pakistanis and Chinese.
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He had just reached at the border check post on Khunjerab Pass. The majestic gate flanked by barbed wire demarcates the boundary line between two friendly countries, Pakistan and China. An ambience of friendship and heart-to-heart relation surrounds this highest paved international border-crossing with height above 15000 feet. Across the border on Chinese side lay the towns of Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar that serve as trading and transit hub on the old and new Silk Route. He felt absorbed in thoughts of friendship and love. It was month of June and suddenly started heavy snowfall. He was not properly clothed for this sudden change to cold weather and started shivering. His teeth rattled a bit and he looked confused to escape the situation. Then the girl standing next to him in a Chinese group of tourists stepped towards him offering a cup of coffee. She smiled and he could not refuse. The milieu changed from cold shivers to warmth of human relations based on universal values of sharing and caring. She was a professor of Sociology in a university in capital city of Chinese Xinjiang province, Urumqi. They started chatting like they had known each other for years and went on a small errand in the engulfing mist, thick snowflakes, and nature at its best. Suddenly she asked him of his views on love. His eyes darkened for a moment, shadows of deep sadness appeared on his face and then his eyes twinkled with love and he replied, “Love is more of giving than asking. Love is honesty and truth. It is a deep rooted respect that overcomes all evils germinating from human ego and vanity.” She too slowly muttered, “Love is not a grant on demand, it sprouts without spoken words in a language that needs no ornamentation. It often sows the seeds of happiness in all seasons of spring but in a field that grows the crop of deep melancholy and loneliness in remaining autumn seasons of life.” “Why so,” he enquired. “I live with my fourteen years old son who lost his father in the war,” she said in a bit acidic tone. He held her hand softly and spoke slowly, “The fate or destiny is shaped more by chance and accidents and humans are to endure, survive and carry on the journey.” With these words they both looked at their watches and realized the moment of saying goodbye had come. The snowflakes were still thick reducing the visibility to few meters. They both shook hands warmly, did manage to hold back the words that could drive them to blind alleys of tenderness. She moved swiftly and joined her group that had already crossed towards the Chinese side of the border. The visibility further reduced due to mist in the eyes of both these strangers who felt very close for a brief period of time due to universal empathy of humanity. The snowflakes grew thicker and thicker.


He had to reach back to famous Naltar Valley to spend the night.
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The Naltar Valley was as captivating as Hunza Valley, or other valleys and peaks spread over ten districts of Gilgit-Baltistan region. Today the ten districts include Gilgit, Astore, Skardu, Kharmang, Ghanche, Nagar, Hunza, Ghizer, Chilas and Diamer. These areas of Baltistan were occupied by Sikh Raja Gulab Singh in 1840 and made part of his Kashmir state; that was given legality through Treaty of Amritsar 1846 between the Raja and the East India Company. The brave people of Gilgit-Baltistan revolted against barbaric rule of Sikh Raja in 1947 after creation of Pakistan, convincingly defeated the forces of Sikh Raja, stood valiantly against Indian Army and voluntarily joined Pakistan. From those days onwards, every individual living in Gilgit-Baltistan lives and dies for Pakistan. The love for Pakistan is part of their DNA. Pakistan and its colors are visible on every shop, every house and every building in Gilgit-Baltistan. A cursory talk on any aspect of Pakistan is enough to tell the zeal and fervor of every individual to see Pakistani flag always fluttering high. These Pakistanis living amidst the high peaks know the actual meanings of loyalty, courage, survival and glory.
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Gilgit-Baltistan region defines a Pakistan that is home to high peaks, beautiful valleys, deep gorges, snow-clad glaciers, and above all an abode of people whose survival and industry give meanings to human endurance, resilience, and triumph over nature. There one finds the smiles charming, manners natural, conversations simple, and hearts unaffected by cunning and guise of modern man. Pakistanis are blessed to have a roof-top where they can rise to and converse with nature, the stars and the moons. These high-abodes give meanings to the words of struggle, triumph and glory.
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In the human spirit to explore; and, to lose, to find, lies the future.

 

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07
August

Written By: Abid Latif Sindhu

We have to have a regional framework or a convention on climate change with India and China. We may call this the strategic triangle of regional climate change. Pakistan is suffering due to massive industrialization of the neighbors. We may not share their thought and habits but we share the same wind. The commons of the region are taking a toll on us.

National security is not a very complex thing to explain. Once the atomization is done it comes to its bare elements. All the elements of national security therefore have an Interactive Geometry. Academically national security can be classified into military and non-military tinges. For all the elements of national security there is an independent threat attractor, for example food autarky can have availability of water and arable land as a threat attractor. For energy security, the rising price of furnace oil can be a threat attractor, for ethnic security the non assimilating policies can be a threat attractor, and so on. So the anatomy of threat is to be understood before venturing further down the hill. Threat is always multidimensional which can be identified even if it is invisible and abstract. Primordial instincts and the sixth sense has something to do with this, as all the living things have this inbuilt faculty, so threat be it external, internal, covert, overt, direct or indirect, has its signatures or rather the pre-signature effects. To identify threat, human brain has to be trained in emotional intelligence rather than conventional intelligence or wisdom. Threat perception is therefore a misnomer; everyone percieves as per own fears. Human brain here is tricked to think in algorithms.

 

natiosecclimate.jpgConversely speaking, territorial threat is the occupation of space or receding of space, by the entity which is threatened, from the one which is threatening. Territorial threat is a terrain comparison manifested through land, ocean, airspace, outer space, cyber space and most recently the terrain of human genome. It is not a mere SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threat) analysis, it is something much beyond; the Interactive Geometry of threat attraction. The reindeer in open will invite a predator, the fish in shallows will cling both the stinger and the hook.


The world around is not insular, after the advent of internet the iota of insularity if any had already dissipated in thin air or into a cyber cloud. An Indian author Tilak Devasher in his recent book “Pakistan: Courting the Abyss” have gone trading the traditional byline of "chickens have come home to roost", but the truth is different, situation at strategic level has not changed; threat since the Russian invasion of Afghanistan is persistant, but yes, the threat attractor has changed, the locus of application has shifted towards this side of the divide. It is not the threat perception which is required to be changed here, mitigating the chickens coming home scenario. Threat perception is a wrong call, actually it should not figure out in tackling the threat, the Interactive Geometry of threat is the vector which has to be catered because every threat passes through a phase of metamorphosis. Threat perception is a fixated concept. It keeps a people, a nation and a country tied up to ones own perception.


The four factors yearning to construct the cardinal national security of Pakistan are water, economy, education and population. All of these are somehow related to the geography and terrain of Pakistan. These threat attractors are outside the military realm of the definition of national security, but still tied up to geography and terrain, therefore has the commonality with military threat which almost always is territorial. Earlytwentieth century was a century of geo-politics at play, later at the time of Second World War, the world moved towards an era of geo-strategy being played by world leaders in different camps, who themselves were larger than the states which they were representing. After World Wars, the stage changed and the architecture moved towards geo-economics; the Marshall Plan, Pax Americana, the Bretton Woods, the Cold War and much later the disintegration of USSR were all examples of geo-economics at play.


Interestingly, we are again entering an era of geo-strategy, 21st century is the century of minerals, (not hydrocarbons), minerals are deep down in the earth, it is only a matter of how and when you dig, and dig right. That is the reason why African Congo, Liberia, Afghanistan, Australia and Pakistan etc. are beeping out the world Minerals map. Minerals are the new gold rush, the El Dorado phenomenon in the making.


Conclusively our focus therefore, should be on the preservation of all the frontiers and territories. All the territories are blanketed through the climate, the climate defines the availability of geography for any human activity. Making corollary to what we have discussed, climate is the most important factor in national security. Although climate is based on global commons, yet when the crops fail, the pandemic erupts, the drought sets in, glaciers melt and the mass movement of population takes place, then where do you find the state? Hanging somewhere in a stray of grass, may be floating down the river of eternal oblivion. That is why climate is a matter of national security. We are experiencing a campus revolution in our universities, people enrolling in droves for Ph.Ds, but the change at societal level is still not pliable. Our academics are pageants on the ramp who adopt the vocabulary of the West, and without own vocabulary of intent, bringing change is not possible.


Pakistan is facing nuclear paradox and the Stability-Instability paradox along with the Thucydides Trap, these three paradoxes lead us towards nuclear nationalism. These paradoxes are being tackled with appropriate and graduated response. The real paradox is the chlorine trap. The neighbor on the east and the emerging superpower on the north east are one of the biggest chlorine adding countries in our local atmosphere.


Chlorine is used in tanneries, cloth industry and the plastic industry. Almost everything which India and China are exporting is made up of either plastic or the refined fabric. The chlorine reacts with ozone and converts it into oxygen, thereby denuding the people from the protection against ultraviolet sun rays. The Montreal Protocol banned CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) because of the use of chlorine as the refrigeration gas. The Paris Agreement has almost failed to keep the global warming checked at 2°C above the pre-industrial levels.


Water towers of Himalayas (glacier) are melting at a much faster pace than perceived. Climate velocity has started taking place in Pakistan. Because of higher level of UVs in the atmosphere, the hogs in and around Potohar region are migrating towards Murree. The mountain people of Murree are quite disturbed because of this climate velocity. The Mountain Crow which was seen earlier at the height of 4000 ft is now seen above 5000 ft.


Soon in our cities UV alerts will also be included in the weather forecasts. The sunlight has not only acquired the bite, it is also destroying the crops and the crop patterns. Without water, wheat, rice and cotton, how will we feed the millions is a pertinent question. What number of people our Northern Areas or hill resorts can take once the exodus of taming millions moves from plains is another troublesome question.


Nations are nations because of their ideology or the ideological history. This is based on historical proverbs of people which transcend into metaphors. These metaphors then weave the narratives of a nation.


We need to review and re-orient our national security proverbs and metaphors toward new threat attractors. Threat perception alone being a sinew of intelligence will not do; it is going to be our Interactive Geometry which will save the day.


Remember hope alone is not a strategy. Yuval Harari in his recent books, Sapiens and Homo Deus, defined that how history of past and future, both can be pitched together to accrue paradigmatic metaphors to move forward, and write the future.


We have to have a regional framework or a convention on climate change with India and China. We may call this the strategic triangle of regional climate change. Pakistan is suffering due to massive industrialization of the neighbors. We may not share their thought and habits but we share the same wind. The commons of the region are taking a toll on us.


Pakistan, India and China's convention on climate change is the sine qua non for all three. The permanent smog of Beijing, the million of malnourished infants in India and an alarming rise in the number of carcinogenic ailments in Pakistan are indicators of clear damage to our climate. We all are linked through strategic Himalayas, and therefore, the locus of effect resides there. Our academia, security experts, scientists and strategists should be the track two (if not 1.5) between their countries to help policy makers in not only containing the threat which is near, real and clear, but also help them in identifying the algorithms of Interactive Geometry, where actually the threat resides.

 

The writer is a freelancer having a military background and regularly contributes for national dailies on issues related to national security, strategy and foreign policy. He is also a Ph.D scholar at National Defence University.

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07
August

Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed

Instead of cramming the lesson the teachers ought to lead the children to apply their own minds and build progressively on understanding and self-learning.

Early education is generally limited to elementary level up to 6th grade. It should be aimed at promoting creativity and curiosity for onward learning and instilling awareness, love and respect for knowledge, life and environment. It should be holistic towards creating positive mannerism, sound character, good citizenry and objective scholarship. Instead of cramming the lesson the teachers ought to lead the children to apply their own minds and build progressively on understanding and self-learning.
Early education provides a foundation for learning and character building. It should cover a number of objectives like:


• Providing fundamental learning skills in a progressive manner;
• Igniting longing and quest for learning by connecting with the reality around;
• Prizing creativity and innovation by relating the lessons with every day experiences that relate to the physical environment and processes;
• Building character by individual attention and promoting self-esteem by playing up children’s achievements;
• Imparting knowledge of good behavior, polite manners, and civic sense; and
• Building awareness and care of environment and biodiversity.
I intend looking at a few important aspects of the subject to drive home the importance of the early years’ education.

 

earlyyearedu.jpgCharacter
Character is a crucial factor of success in life. It is often treated in an amorphous manner and variedly related only to moral and religious dimensions. Moral and religious dimensions are crucially important but character is a ubiquitous attribute of human personality. Character cannot be instructed down the throat verbally. It is energized and strengthened by promoting self-esteem of every child during early years’ education through recognizing every achievement of every child. It may be a lesson, a problem-solving, a hand of help offered to someone, good behavior, or an activity done well in the play area, athletics, drama or whatever. The self-esteem built in a child puts him on self-rolling wheels and drives him/her faster and faster on his/her own road to success in life.


A child with self-esteem charters his/her own course to excellence. He or she becomes his/her own task-master to exert the best and not to stay short of the best effort. To me this aspect is most important in early education but is often not handled effectively. Role modelling is a crucial aspect of character building and it encompasses the role of society in general but parents and teachers in particular.


Creativity

Creativity and innovation are supreme attributes of mankind which have catapulted it to ever-increasing heights of knowledge and technology. These attributes need to be preserved and promoted in the children during the early years’ education. Children are born inquisitive and start asking questions from parents soon after they start speaking. Curiosity and creativity are two sides of a coin.


First blow to innate curiosity and creativity is nearly mortally delivered in our culture when parents do not answer every question rationally and foreclose enquiry by referring to the metaphysics of God’s will. In that sense the whole universe is created by God but what is observed in the universe relates to physical processes and concepts which ought to be rationally explained to the questioning children for their curiosity and creativity. It is very likely that parents might not have rational answers to all the questions a child might ask, it is better to defer the answer till they have found the rational explanation.


Whatever level of creativity remains preserved in the school entering children is commonly lost in the early schooling process. Every child may have different level of creativity and preserving and promoting it would require individual attention. Individual creativity should not be smoothened at the edges by promoting a uniform or group behavior which amounts to nearly snubbing the most important attribute of a child in the tender years.


The curricula should offer a variety of choices so that each child could resonate with what excites his curiosity and capacity to excel and acquire the self-esteem. I would like to give an example from my own observation of my school going children of Palo Alto High School conducting 9th to 12th grade education adjacent to Stanford University where I myself was a doctoral student; it had 44 choices spanning across academics, sports, practical wisdom, hobbies, skills, arts like drama, dancing/ballet, music, painting etc. which allowed ample opportunity to children to serve their creativity and excel in the chosen fields. There is no doubt that creating diversity of choices requires larger resources not only of funds but more importantly of teachers but the schools could at least create awareness for extracurricular pursuits by the students.


Jews constitute only 0.19% of global population but have 20% share in all the Nobel prizes awarded to-date. A Jewish child has 105 times more chances than a non-Jewish child to be a Nobel Laureate later in life. Jewish children ask questions like all other children, the difference is only that their parents never fail to give them rational answers. If they do not know the answer they find out and feed the child’s curiosity. I recall meeting a Jewish child Christopher of only 4 years age who played with my children. I quipped to him that Christopher Columbus had discovered America and what was he going to discover. He responded a planet perhaps and then quickly added that no, all the planets in the solar system had already been discovered. Most Jewish children are led to follow Einstein as their role model from the early childhood. As they grow up they actively start major research projects right from elementary years in their parents’ garages. Looking at the national level the state of Israel has the highest per capita innovation in the world and numerous important health related technological breakthroughs originate there. It all starts with supplying rational answers to growing up children.


Impact on National Development
Every child provides a distinct brick in the building of a nation. The individual weaknesses add up to shaky and weak structure. Although we do verbally recognize that children are future of our nation but we don’t invest in their future by lopsidedly restricting only about 2.5% of the national budget to education. That too is skewed towards higher education. We need not only to double the budget but soon quadruple it with greater emphasis on early years’ education. It will be more cost-effective given the value of human resource in the present era of knowledge and technology.


The USA was shaken when the Russians put the first ever spacecraft Sputnik in space in 1957. There were immediate calls for review of U.S. defence and national education system. Three months later they created the Advanced Research Projects Agency and increased the education budget and put a focus on early education. They introduced three lanes among students completing 6 years elementary school and joining the 7th grade in mathematics and physical sciences called Honor, A and B Lanes. Honor lane picked the gifted, the creative and those with marked curiosity in mathematics and science. They were then put on a fast track to develop national strength in scientific innovation as they grew up.


Foundation Years of Early Schooling
Foundation years of early education are of crucial importance. I shall again cite from my own experience in Australia. My son joined the Kindergarten class in Fort Queen’s Cliff Elementary School about 60 miles south of Melbourne. A few days later I went to meet his teacher and found her highly qualified and experienced with PhD in education. I curiously asked her about the number of PhD teachers in the school and her answer stunned me. They had only one PhD in the school and interestingly assigned her to the Kindergarten class. If the KG is sound, the children are put on the wheels lubricating the learning tracks. We would perhaps do it the other way round by assigning the most qualified to the senior most class. It provides a good food for thought and underscores the crucial importance of the early years’ education.


Problem Solving Motivation
I will share another example from my own experience. My children attending Stanford Elementary School used to bring a homework sheet in mathematics and science always having 10 questions. The first question was so attractively simple that the children would pick up the pencil and start solving it right away out of self-motivation. The second question had a variance but once the first question was solved it created a natural base for the second and so on till the 9th question. These nine questions progressively clarified the subject. The last question actually could not be solved and it was meant purposely to stretch children's thinking and drive home the point that knowledge was still growing at its edges and there was need for ongoing innovation.


Teaching of Science
I will say a few words about teaching of science. Science is not being taught properly during early education in Pakistan like in many other developing countries. This was the identification made by a group of some fifty Nobel Laureates who recommended that proper science teachers should be created by the developed world and sent to the developing countries to train the local science teachers. They also concluded that teaching science effectively was essential for the economic development of the poor countries.

In knowledge economy you sell the idea and make money. Most of the technology giants followed their ideas from a young age to the global fame. I want to give another example to drive the point home. Marchant Taylor Boys School in London suburbs takes 7th graders and prepares them up to high school. It has a New Design Centre with 6 workshops equipped with computer aided designing/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) hub and eleven 3-D printers. They expose the 7th graders to develop robots, drones and e-cars using the edges of technology. I mentioned this to highlight the nature of the time that we are passing through where children can perform innovation hitherto unknown at an early age.


Science should not be taught as a mere textbook. Mathematics and Physical Sciences have a number of concepts and theories which need to be thoroughly understood for clear visualization of the subject. Some of the concepts intersect interdisciplinary boundaries and understanding a concept clears up the bigger field beyond the specific discipline. While at Stanford, I once picked up a book on “teaching of physical concepts of science in schools” from a garage sale. It was published in 1970. This book was specially written for training of science teachers for school level curricula. I discovered this treasure through serendipity that served me beautifully for clearing and understanding of various concepts in science even though I was midway in my PhD in mathematical physics. I had only a bookish account of those concepts but these became clearer and I developed a feel of the phenomena after reading this book. That is how the book would clear the concepts of the potential science teachers who would then pass on not only the knowledge but feel of the scientific concepts to school going children.


Living in Harmony with Nature and Environment
Elementary school is the right age to instill living in harmony with nature and environment. The last hundred years of rapid industrialization has increased stress on life. It has threatened the environment by causing climate change bringing in its wake prolonged droughts and devastating floods. The older generation is not a good model to emulate in this respect and the younger generation ought to be taught the preservation of environment and biodiversity for their proactive role. Health and sanitation are also very important. The younger generation should be exposed to the need and ways of improving health and sanitation and to become the change makers for a better future. They need to connect with healthy habits and the important role sports play in building character as well as health. The father of our only Nobel Laureate, Dr. Abdul Salam, believed that healthy body had healthy mind and the young Salam got the first prize of the healthiest baby in the whole district of Jhang when he was one year old. Good health among many other things led to the ground breaking unification of the electromagnetic and weak interactions later in his career that got him the Prize.


Exposure to Innovation
The information revolution that we are passing through has brought about a new form of economy called Knowledge Economy. The children that breathe the air of information revolution are much more at home and capable to learn the developments in technology. We need to expose them to the breakthroughs so that they move with the future of innovation and advancement. In industrial economy one makes a product and makes money by selling it. In knowledge economy you sell the idea and make money. Most of the technology giants followed their ideas from a young age to the global fame. I want to give another example to drive the point home. Marchant Taylor Boys School in London suburbs takes 7th graders and prepares them up to high school. It has a New Design Centre with 6 workshops equipped with computer aided designing/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) hub and eleven 3-D printers. They expose the 7th graders to develop robots, drones and e-cars using the edges of technology. I mentioned this to highlight the nature of the time that we are passing through where children can perform innovation hitherto unknown at an early age.


Training of Teachers
In our country teaching is often undertaken less as a profession of choice but often as a last resort. Sometimes it is taken as a temporary staging activity till other plans. The quality of teachers determines the quality of the graduating students. It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of teachers’ training. They need to be better placed socially in life with better terms and packages for greater motivation and converting teaching into a profession of choice.


I will briefly refer to the work of Dr. Jim Heckman, Nobel Laureate in economics, and others: They hold that the strong foundational skills built in early years education lead to self-reinforcing motivation to learn. Brain complexity is molded during childhood which has a lasting impact on intellectual capacities. Early foundation of high level cognitive processes that strengthen fluid abilities of memory, reasoning, speed of thought and problem solving are crucial for acquiring new knowledge. Dr. Heckman goes on to emphasize that rate of return to human capital development follows a steeply dipping curve. The return is highest in the pre-school and early education years. The quality of early education leading to the healthy brain development is essential for the socio-economic development of any country.


Strong Moral Grounding in Early Education Years
It is essential to lay a strong base of moral foundation in the children both at home and in the schools. In this respect role modelling is more effective than mere lecturing. It is of utmost importance to objectively design and structure the curricula to avoid stultifying the young brains before they develop the understanding of the subject. An objective view of the religious history and the need of the emphasis that Islam places on Ijtihad to understand and interpret cannons in true letter and spirit during changing times needs to be given due importance. True knowledge knows no religious boundaries and is created by God and we need to pursue it in the spirit of the teaching of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), that we should seek knowledge even if we have to go to China for learning it. This very clearly signifies the importance of knowledge disregarding the boundaries of religions.


Conclusion
God created humans as supreme being with the highest learning abilities compared with any other form of life. It is for this reason that the human children take the longest in achieving intellectual and physical maturity to lay a solid foundation for learning process while spared from other distractive chores of living. Early education years provide the most impressionable and formative period of the lifelong learning journey. It is well-nigh impossible to overemphasize the importance of the early years’ education. I am not a resourced specialist in this subject and my thoughts on this subject are an ensemble of my experiences and observations as an involved parent in varying conditions of various schools and countries including that of our own.

 

The writer holds a PhD degree from Stanford University, California USA. He is a former Federal Secretary and has been CEO/Chairman of OGDCL and Chairman NEPRA.

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07
August

Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid

A new breed of so-called intellectuals and researchers have started targeting core facts/ideas related to creation of Pakistan. Their assertions are intended to create doubt and confusion especially in the mind of young generation. The only objective of such deceptive themes could be hitting Pakistani nationalism. There is a need to be mindful of such falsity and propaganda.

Of all the myths spread about Pakistan, one of the greatest is that relating to the “Qaumi Tarana” by Jagan Nath Azad, a Hindu poet. J. N. Azad brazenly claims that he was asked by Quaid-i-Azam on August 9 to write the “Tarana” and he had submitted it before August 12/14. He also claims that it was played out by Radio Pakistan Lahore.


The present article seeks to investigate how far contemporary evidence sustains and supports J. N. Azad’s claim and credit. At the time of Pakistan’s birth, J. N. Azad was an unknown man and worked for the Hindu extremist paper, Milap, a legatee of the “Shuddhi (re-conversion)” and “Sangathan (consolidation)” movements of the mid 1920’s initiated and patronized by Swami Shraddhanand. “Shuddhi” was meant to convert the Indian Muslims and Christians into Hindus again and “Sangathan” to strengthen the Hindu muscle power. Both were extremely anti-Muslim and they caused an uproar and riots all over the subcontinent which Dr. Ambedkar, the All India Scheduled Castes Federation leader, records in his definitive work, Pakistan or Partition of India. Despite the fact that the naive Muslims were zealous enough to carry Swami Shraddhanand over their shoulders to the minber of the Delhi Jama Masjid at the peak of the Non-Cooperation days, yet the Swami continued to be anti-Muslim for which he paid with his life at the hands of a Muslim devotee Abdul Rashid. Incidentally, Gandhi condemned the Swami’s murder but the Ali Brothers did not. To return to J. N. Azad. He was the son of Tilok Chand Mehroom and he migrated to Delhi during partition. Professor Saeed Ahmad of Lahore, formerly of Hailey College of Commerce, Lahore, has compiled a book called Visitors of Quaid-i-Azam (Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore, 1985), who saw him for personal and political reasons during 1942 to 1948. He doesn’t mention J. N. Azad, among Quaid’s visitors during the period. Dawn used to list Quaid’s interviews and meetings with leaders and others since he was nominated Pakistan’s Governor General in mid 1947, but J. N. Azad doesn’t figure in those entries. In his book, Quaid-i-Azam Bahesiat Governor General (2010) which went into two editions, Qayyum Nizami made assertion in the appendix on J. N. Azad’s “Qaumi Tarana” in which J. N. Azad has been asked personally by the Quaid (Qayyum did not explain reasons as why Quaid should pick an unknown prejudiced Hindu poet) to do the “Tarana” and Azad also claims that it was played out on Radio Pakistan Lahore. This last fake claim must be immediately laid to the door since J. N. Azad’s “Tarana” doesn’t figure in Mah-e-Nau in its list of items put out by Radio Pakistan Lahore every month and was published by Pakistan’s Ministry of Information.


The pioneering study in Urdu was authored by Qayyum Nizami who was a Minister of State in Z.A. Bhutto’s first cabinet (1971-1977) and a columnist in Nawa-i-Waqt and some other leading newspapers. In any case, it was in this work that J. N. Azad received his first dose of publicity. Prof. Ahmad Saeed tells me that while utterly unknown in 1947, J. N. Azad came to the notice of Urdu literary circles in 1977 during the Iqbal Centenary Conference at Lahore to which J. N. Azad was invited for his work on Iqbal. And this was J. N. Azad’s first formal induction with Pakistan’s literary circles.


In a word, this "Tarana" may be termed utterly pedestrian. Nothing awe inspiring even on the face of it. How could it be when J. N. Azad was utterly bereft of the awe-inspiring vision of Pakistan? After all he was a prejudiced Hindu poet, working in an extremist Hindu Daily and engaged in writing articles opposing Pakistan tooth and nail, day and night. How could he become a Pakistani inspired poet over-night, as if at the touch of Midas? By no means could he have conceived the dream of Pakistan, what it stood for the subcontinent, for the world at large and the people who chose to live in the Pakistani tangent. Others tried to catch on such as The Times (London), the leading British Daily in its editorial on August 15, hailing Pakistan’s emergence as the creation of a new centre of “Islamic inspiration and thought” but not a rabid opponent such as J. N. Azad. After all, he was altogether consumed by his snowballing rabidness and bitterness towards Pakistan. Jinnah had explained and dilated upon all the Islamic thought and inspiration aspects and much more throughout the Pakistan struggle period and one can dare say that J. N. Azad had not even read a fraction of what Jinnah had dreamt, said, and hoped.


Thus, all said and done, the "Qaumi Tarana" by J.N. Azad is a myth of gargantuan proportions that must be laid to rest in oblivion now and forever. To add, there is a need to be watchful of the lobby that continuously works on the agenda to create doubts about core values/ideas/facts related to Pakistan. This is done in the name of so-called 'independent research and inquiry' but that has inbuilt anti-Pakistan agenda. This propaganda aims at negatively targeting the minds of Pakistan's youth and new generations and to create doubts about Pakistan Movement, Pakistan's Founding Fathers, and the very raison d'être of Pakistan – the Two Nation Theory. It is incumbent upon older generations and intellectuals to counter such negative assertions that are spread in Pakistan in the name of research and intellectual pursuit.

 

The writer is HEC Distinguished National Professor, has recently co-edited Unescos History of Humanity, vol. VI, and edited In Quest of Jinnah (2007), the only oral history on Pakistan’s founding father.
Afghan MoD’s Response to Operation Khyber 4 Unwarranted: DG ISPR

Afghan MoD’s response to Operation Khyber 4 is unwarranted and runs counter to Pakistan Army’s efforts for better Pak-Afghan coordination and cooperation. The information about Operation Khyber 4 has been shared (twice verbally and in written) with Afghan Forces as well as Resolute Support Mission, and ODRP.

Pakistan Army looks forward for trust based security coordination and cooperation for fight against common enemy. Rhetoric of blames and suggestive allegations are agenda of forces working against order and peace in the region which should be avoided.

(PR-369/2017-ISPR July 19, 2017)
 
07
August

Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha

Till the 1930s, the All India Muslim League (AIML) was a moderate Muslim party which was to an extent pro-goverment and also an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity, as long as the region’s Muslim community was treated as a separate polity requiring certain special legislative concessions, and maybe even a distinct state of its own within the larger Indian federation.


Jinnah’s re-entry into politics in 1936 and his elevation as the League’s leading man saw him pulling the party staunchly towards a more centrist position. From here on he began to define India’s Muslim community more emphatically as a distinct cultural and political entity. At the end of the Second World War, Britain’s hold over its colonial territories was weakening and it was finally decided by the colonial regime that an election should be held so that a government of Indian political parties be formed.

 

anelection.jpgThe federal and provincial elections of 1945-46 became vital for the League. Its stature and membership had grown after Jinnah’s re-entry, but it was still not sure whether it was being taken as the only major political mouthpiece of Indian Muslims. Apart from the Indian National Congress (INC), which refused to accept the League as a major Muslim party, various radical Muslim outfits and mainstream Islamic parties too disputed the League’s claim of being the only serious representative of the Muslims of India.


But exactly what was the League now asking for? What gets entirely missed today is the fact that the League was envisioning a separate country which, though, having a Muslim majority, would also become home to India’s other minorities.


A number of lower-caste Hindus (especially in the Bengal) had joined the League. It was in Bengal where the League’s leaders talked the most about forming a separate country in which there will be no discrepancies made on the basis of caste and creed and where those communities which were in a minority in India and (including those Hindu groups who were being ‘exploited and oppressed by the higher-caste Hindus’) would be treated fairly and granted every opportunity to follow their cultural and economic aspirations.


The League in this respect was responding to INC’s accusations of it (the League) being a Muslim communal party. The INC had positioned itself as an Indian nationalist outfit. Though it was largely popular among the Hindus of the region, it also had in its fold many prominent Muslim leaders. Many of these INC Muslims had been active as pan-Islamists during the Khilafat Movement (1919-24). The INC also had the backing of mainstream Islamic parties such as the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Hind (JUIH) and the more radical Islamic groups such as the Majlis-i-Ahrar-i-Islam (Ahrar). These groups dismissed the League’s call for a separate Muslim-majority state because they (the Islamic groups) considered the League to be made up of ‘fake Muslims’ (even ‘apostates’) hell-bent on trying to disperse the unity of the Muslims of India.


Even till the early 1940s the leadership of the League wasn’t quite sure exactly what its status was among the sizeable Muslim minority of India. In 1944, Jinnah, while talking to reporters in Bombay, was lamenting that even though his opponents in INC were doing much to undermine the League’s influence among the region’s Muslims, more damage in this context was being done by certain Muslim politicians and outfits.


Confessional religious parties such as the JUIH and radical outfits such as the Ahrar were staunchly opposed to the creation of a separate Muslim homeland. These groups believed that the Muslims of India were a significant minority (approximately 30 per cent at the time) and (thus) would be in a position (after independence from the British) to carve out a more powerful role for themselves in India. They also claimed that the League’s Muslim Nationalism was a construct based on the European idea of the nation-state and that Islam cannot be confined within the boundaries of geo-political nationalism.


Till the early 1940s the League had performed poorly in most elections held in India’s Muslim-majority provinces. Bengal and the Punjab had the largest Muslim populations. The party had been routed in the Punjab in the elections held there in the 1930s. During the 1945-46 election, the INC’s aim was to win a majority in most provinces that could press its claim to form a government at the centre. The League’s goal was to win the polls in Muslim-majority provinces so as to claim to be the largest Muslim party and thus assert its demand of carving out a separate state from areas where the Muslims were in a majority.


The situation in the Punjab was tricky. Even though 57 percent of the Punjab’s population was Muslim, the League had badly lost the previous elections in this province. Another defeat in the Punjab was guaranteed to deliver a decisive blow to Jinnah and his party. The INC understood this well and went all out to defeat it in the Punjab. The province was under the electoral dominance of the Unionist Party – a large outfit mostly headed by Muslims belonging to the landed elite and influential pirs. The party also had some wealthy Hindu leaders in its fold.


In the last major election in the province (in 1937), the Unionists had won 95 seats (out of a total of 175). The Congress had bagged 18 whereas the League had managed to win just one seat. To guarantee another thrashing of the League in the Punjab, INC’s ace strategist, Sardar Patel, and the party’s foremost Muslim leader, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, immediately went about constructing a solid anti-League arrangement.


The INC, apart from contesting the election from its own platform (of Indian Nationalism), was also backing the Unionists in areas where the latter was expecting a tough fight from the League. Patel dispatched a check of Rs. 50, 000 (a hefty sum in those days) to Azad whose job it was to coordinate with anti-League groups such as the JUIH and the Ahrar. The Ahrar enjoyed support among the Punjab’s Muslim petty-bourgeoisie. It, along with JUIH, provided the INC with fiery clerics (mullahs) who went around denouncing the League as a party of ‘British agents’, and ‘fake Muslims’. The Unionist Party on the other hand claimed that it alone was the true representative of Punjab’s Muslim majority. Jinnah, who had till then been repulsed by populist political tactics, met with the Punjab League’s President, Khan of Mamdot, to chalk out a strategy to counter the ruckus being raised by the INC with the help of the Unionists, the Ahrar and the JUIH.


Mamdot’s men first brought in hundreds of members of the League’s student-wing, the All India Muslim Students Federation (AIMSF) from various parts of India. These also included members of the AIMSF’s women’s wing. College and university students (both male and female) belonging to the AIMSF were dispatched across the Punjab in groups and asked to hold small rallies in the cities, villages and towns of the province.

 

The voter turnout was high on the day of the polls. The Unionists were expected to win the bulk of the seats, followed by the INC. But the results shocked the INC and the Unionists. The League managed to win 73 seats (out of 175). The Unionists could only bag 20. The INC won 51 and the Sikh Akali Dal, 22. The Ahrar failed to win even a single seat. The League bagged the largest share of the total Muslim vote (65%). Just 19% of the Muslim votes went to the Islamic parties. However, INC, the Unionists and the Akali Dal managed to form a wobbly coalition government in the Punjab, the League finally managed to augment itself as India’s largest Muslim party.

They were to explain the League’s manifesto as a fight against economic exploitation and a struggle to create a separate Muslim nation-state where there will be economic benefits for all and religious harmony. To counter the fiery denouncements being issued by members of the Ahrar and the JUIH, the League managed to win the support of a breakaway group of JUIH leaders who had disagreed with their party’s policy of siding with the INC. Led by Islamic scholar, Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, this batch of JUIH renegades successfully began to counter the theological arguments (against a separate Muslim nation-state) being leveled by the anti-League clerics and ulema.


The League was also armed with a rather radical manifesto, penned by a member of the Indian Communist Party, Danial Latifi. A vivid Marxist ideologue, Latifi (and some other Muslim members of the communist party) had joined the AIML in the Punjab. In the manifesto which he authored for the League, Latifi undermined claims made by the INC and the anti-League Islamic parties. Latifi wedded ideas of Muslim economic advancement (through meritocracy) to Mohammad Iqbal’s idea of ‘spiritual democracy.’ According to the manifesto, the League would promote policies that would benefit and encourage the enterprising economic spirit of the Muslim middle-classes, and at the same time protect the Muslim masses from the oppression of the Hindu, Muslim and British Colonial elites. Latifi also expressed the League’s idea of a Muslim state as an organ that would eventually transcend and resolve religious differences in the region because (according to the manifesto) a Muslim-majority state (or a state constructed by a minority community in India) was inherently more equipped to appreciate religious plurality and diversity than a state dominated by a large Hindu majority.


Another last minute attainment that Jinnah and his party managed to achieve was the support of the influential pirs of the province. Punjab’s pirs had been associated with the Unionist Party, but just as the elections drew near, many of them were convinced by the League’s leadership to switch sides.


The voter turnout was high on the day of the polls. The Unionists were expected to win the bulk of the seats, followed by the INC. But the results shocked the INC and the Unionists. The League managed to win 73 seats (out of 175). The Unionists could only bag 20. The INC won 51 and the Sikh Akali Dal, 22. The Ahrar failed to win even a single seat. The League bagged the largest share of the total Muslim vote (65%). Just 19% of the Muslim votes went to the Islamic parties. However, INC, the Unionists and the Akali Dal managed to form a wobbly coalition government in the Punjab, the League finally managed to augment itself as India’s largest Muslim party. The League also did well in two other Muslim-majority provinces. It won 113 (out of 230) seats in the Bengal, and 27 (out of 60) in Sindh. The results fast-tracked the party’s demand for a separate state. And after winning the provincial election in another Muslim-majority region, the NWFP (in early/mid-1947), the party finally managed to carve out Pakistan from the rest of India (August 1947).

 

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

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07
August

Written By: Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed

Despite the fact that Pakistan was established on August 14, 1947 as a result of understanding reached between Quaid-i-Azam, Gandhi, Nehru, Baldev Singh, Lord Mountbatten and others on June 3, 1947, India has never accepted Pakistan from the core of its heart. Seventy years have passed, yet the Indian leaders, who have been at the helm of affairs, believe that a time will come when Pakistan will be no more on the world map. They have been encouraged in this regard from the events of 1971 when the East Pakistan was converted to Bangladesh because of follies of Pakistani rulers and Indian machinations. Indian rulers want to repeat the same story in case of the present Pakistan. Keeping in view the long historical background of the present Pakistan, this is their misconception. It would be better for the Indian government and the intellectuals to understand the realities of Pakistan, otherwise, they will be living in a fool’s paradise. They do not understand that the Pakistanis of the Indus region are of different type of people who are maintaining their traditions, history, culture and heritage for more than five thousand years. Their attitude of life, and on life, is different from what the Indians believe. The Indian governments also believe that Pakistanis are actually the Indians, which, as a matter of fact, is not the case. For the last two thousand years, the Pakistanis have always been a martial race who ruled or dominated many parts of present India or Hindustan. That is why the Muslim historians always divided India into two regions – Hind and Sindh. The present structure of Pakistan and Hindustan is a creation perfectly according to the perception of Muslim historians and Muslim rulers for the last one thousand years.


Pakistan is the cradle of old Indus Valley Civilization. The Aryans came here during 2000-1500 BC settled by pushing the Dravidians southward. This is the land which provided atmosphere to the third Aryan generation to compile first Hindu religious book – Rig Veda followed by other three books of the Hindu religion in the areas of the present Hindustan regions. This is the land where Alexander the Great came and left his long lasting influences. It was from here that these influences spread to various regions of Hindustan. Gandhara civilization is another milestone of the history of Pakistan. This is the land which accepted political Islam immediately after its rise in the Arabian Peninsula. This is the land where Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (997-1030) established his great empire which included the present countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and four present Central Asian countries. The old Gandhara civilization merged into the Ghaznavid civilization which provided special bent to the Muslim civilization. This is the land where the Muslim culture and civilization flourished under the Ghaznavid rulers for about two hundred years (997-1192) with its Persian flavor in the Central Asian direction. This is the land wherefrom Sultan Shahabuddin Ghori extended the Muslim rule to the whole of Northern India in 1192 up to present day Bangladesh. This is the land which provided base to Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak, first Sultan of Delhi during 1206-1210 to establish his rule from his base of Lahore. This is the land wherefrom the Delhi ruling dynasties – Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Afghans, and lastly the Mughals – emerged to dominate Delhi and the whole of India. These are the facts which the present rulers of India should understand and extend their hand of friendship towards Pakistan which genuinely believes in building good relations with India. India should stop the bickering which it is doing both internally and externally to destabilize Pakistan. Otherwise, the Indians would be in trouble if they do not understand the arguments of logic, culture, civilization and facts of history.


What the Indians are doing presently is not a new thing. The founders of modern India like M.K. Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and others have also been doing the same despite the fact that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, made them realize a number of times about the genuine feelings of the majority Muslims of the subcontinent, especially with reference to areas of the present Pakistan. But all these efforts went in vain. In this article some of the facts twisting and misleading the attitude of Gandhi during the Pakistan Movement and while dealing with Jinnah have been pointed out. These are the facts which should open the eyes of the intellectuals and writers of modern Pakistan and India.


In this direction, first instance was witnessed after when the All India Muslim League was able to organize biggest Muslim Conference at Lucknow on October 15-17, 1937 in which not only the Muslim League leaders but the Chief Ministers of all the majority Muslim provinces of the Punjab, Bengal, Assam, Sindh also participated and entered into contract with Jinnah that from henceforth the whole of Muslim India would be one against the coming Hindu Raj. Leaders from NWFP (KP) were also present in this session. By this biggest gathering of the Muslims, Gandhi, Nehru and other Hindu leaders felt threatened. Gandhi and Nehru, feeling themselves as the God Fathers of Hindu India, entered into dialogue with Jinnah in order to get explanation as to why the Muslim League was going on this drive of a separate path. Gandhi’s dialogues and correspondence was the most misleading and was against many facts. In his effort to befool Jinnah, Gandhi tried to give twisted assurances to Jinnah, but Jinnah could not be deviated from his path. As a matter of fact, Gandhi had felt antagonized by Jinnah’s address at the Lucknow session of AIML of October 1937 which he, in his letter of October 19, 1937 described as “a declaration of war”, but which Jinnah, in his reply to Gandhi on November 5, 1937 called “purely self defence”.1 Gandhi also cajoled him that “it is the cry of a friend not of an opponent”.2 This was another effort to sidetrack Jinnah from the path of saving the Muslims’ future. Describing his acquaintance with Jinnah since Gandhi’s return from South Africa in 1915 when Jinnah welcomed him, Gandhi tried to twist the facts. In this way Gandhi expected that Jinnah should have blind faith in Gandhi and should not worry about the Muslims' future in India. But Jinnah was the leader who could not be befooled by Gandhi.


Next effort was when at the start of Second World War (1939-1945) in September 1939, Jinnah started his drive of terming the Congress Raj in the six Hindu majority provinces as the Hindu Raj, Gandhi vainly tried to plead to Jinnah that the things were not as such. Jinnah, in a number of research reports, prepared by the independent observers and the Muslim League leaders, established that Congress rule, as a matter of fact, was a Hindu Raj, leading their resignations in November 1939. When Indian National Congress under Gandhi tried to give twist to the facts projected by Jinnah by starting a non-violent movement, Jinnah managed to arrange “Day of Deliverance” on December 22, 1939 in which not only the Muslims but Sikhs, Christians, Scheduled Caste Hindus and other minorities equally participated. Jinnah’s viewpoint was also proved by the British Government. In November 1939 a hectic debate took place on the alarming situation in British India in the House of Lords in which a number of members of the House of Lords participated. Giving the policy statement in this connection Lord Zetland, the Secretary of State for India, explained that in terms of its political behavior the Indian National Congress functioned as if it was a “Hindu organization”. Thus it were not only the Muslim League or other smaller parties representing various minorities which termed the Congress as a Hindu body, but the British Government also termed it as such. Mahatma Gandhi took a strong note of this and said that he was shocked at Lord Zetland’s statement by which the Congress was termed as a Hindu organization. Gandhi expressed his amazedness about these expressions emanating from responsible position of the Secretary of State.3 Thus the Muslim viewpoint was substantiated by the British Government in the British Parliament. By observing the “Day of Deliverance,” history was put on a different path, which led to road to Pakistan.


There is a long list of misleading efforts by Gandhi, especially since March 23, 1940 when the Pakistan Resolution was passed at Lahore by the All India Muslim League under Jinnah’s guidance and leadership. Hindu press, wrongly led by Gandhi, tried to mislead the Muslim people which was not allowed by Jinnah and his colleagues at the All India Muslim League. There are a number of instances in this regard with reference to Cripps Offer 1942, Gandhi-Jinnah Talks 1944, Simla Conference 1945, Cabinet Mission proposals, and others.


I will content myself only to the last days of the transfer of power. Even when under the June 3, 1947 Partition Plan, the things were settled how to establish Pakistan in August 1947, Gandhi chose a different way to mislead and misrepresent the Muslim case of Pakistan. On June 7, 1947 Lord Ismay submitted his note to Lord Mountbatten in which he conveyed results of his talk with Gandhi last night.4 Ismay felt that these suggestions of Gandhi were “different” from what Mountbatten had previously thought of them.5 Gandhi had suggested to the Viceroy that the latter should “speak to Mr. Jinnah in the following sense” on these four issues: 1) Referendum in the KP (NWFP) should be abandoned because of forthcoming bloodshed; 2) Provincial government of Dr. Khan Sahib should not be dismissed; 3) Action on the June 3 Plan should be suspended; and 4) New tri-partite agreement between Congress, Muslim League and the British Government should be concluded by replacing the Partition Plan.


This plea of Gandhi, as a matter of fact, was a deviation from what has already been accepted under the June 3 Plan of Mountbatten which required sincere and honest implementation. The purpose of Gandhi’s new suggestion was to confuse the issues and to avoid the referendum in the NWFP because the Khan Sahib's Ministry was not ready to hold the referendum on account of the emergence of pro-Pakistan popular sentiments in the province. Instead of accepting the popular verdict of the people of NWFP, the Congress wanted to postpone or resort to different recourse so that some time could be gained until the pro-Pakistan sentiments subsided. Gandhi also encouraged Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan to float his idea of a Pathan state.


Mountbatten wanted to proceed by the Partition Plan of June 3 in an honest way, but Gandhi was demanding that this Partition Plan should not be fairly implemented, because, according to him, in politics fairness does not exist. For this purpose Gandhi wrote letter to Mountbatten on June 27/28, 1947 and complained that it was a “mistake” on the part of Mountbatten that he treated the Congress and League on equal basis in settling the June 3 Plan.6 Gandhi even charged: “I pointed the initial mistake of the British being party to splitting India into two.”7


All these suggestions were dismissed by Jinnah and the British Government. By implementing the Partition Plan in most of the manners, Pakistan was established on August 14, 1947.


Gandhi has passed away. But his policy of not accepting Pakistan from the core of the Indian heart is continuing. The present Indian leaders and intellectuals, and historians are advised to come forward and accept the reality of Pakistan so that good relations between the two countries are built up, so that the cause of peace in the region is well served. If the Indian governments do not realize their misconception and do not accept the fact of Pakistan as a reality, the region as a whole will remain affected.

 

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

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1 Times of India, June 16, 1938.
2 Indian Annual Register Jan-June 1938, p. 360.
3 Indian Annual Register 1939, Vo. II, pp. 38-39.
4 Transfer of Power, Vol. XI, p. 285.
5 Transfer of Power, Vol. XI, p. 285.
6 Proceedings of Viceroy’s 16th Miscellaneous Meeting, Thursday, June 5, 1947 in MSS. Eur. Mountbatten Papers, F. 200/106, British Library (OIOC), London.
7 Times of India, June 28, 1947.

 
07
August

Written By: Mehboob Qadir

That is so unfair of the U.S. and not what friends do in our part of the civilized world. The thought that Kashmiris were a small price to pay in the bargain is sadly misleading. Meanwhile the U.S. might like to remember that Indians have thousands of years of experience in statecraft and can play one superpower against the other with perfect ease.

Over 20,000 gun pellet blinded Kashmiris, thousands of women raped as a state policy of coercion and thousands upon thousands killed in fake encounters and buried in mass graves by the Indian Security Forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) do not matter as they cannot generate whopping amounts of dollars for the U.S. nor create millions of jobs, as President Trump claimed after his recent KSA visit. Further, mass persecution and state genocide of Kashmiris is not such a nice subject for a pally pally talk with Modi and his Indian chums in various nooks and corners of the White House, the U.S. Congress and some insidious but paid think tanks. It requires real character and a hang-over free mind to call a spade a spade which there are few and far between among those around. Grave human rights violations in IHK can be taken care of at some other opportune time, meanwhile let UN HR Council hum and haw about it, they seem to prefer.

 

usindiaconverging.jpgThe White House had since long been infested by political practitioners who care less about human and moral issues than economic and security interests. Trouble with the U.S. leadership had been a serious absence of the historic perspective and present one beats the rest by miles in this absolutely essential quality of statesmenship. If the U.S. leadership had a reasonable grasp of even the recent world history they would never have invaded Afghanistan; they could not have overlooked Kashmir dispute at the cost of four wars between India and Pakistan and the resultant current nuclear stand-off, too. They would have realized and admitted long ago that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program seeks to specifically deter Indian aggression against itself and not for any regional hegemony or fictional Islamic supremacy. We are not the kind of hungry wolves looking for prey in others' meadows. We grow plenty not only to feed ourselves but also living on subsistence since centuries on our western borders. These simple facts should have been apparent to even a scarecrow or a tin man but the U.S. statesmen. They have repeatedly and most remarkably ignored these facts and have chosen to pickle in their self-manufactured jar of apprehensions. This behavior and policy approach has been counter-productive for regional peace and stability.

 

Historically U.S. arrogance and insincerity with allies repels her friends and it disregards sane advice to the rue and regret of its people. U.S. leaders have consistently shown a peculiar cerebral vacancy in articulating international relations, in that they have never been able to balance a superpower’s global responsibility against its instinctive aggression and search for prestige. This mismatch or rather Cyclops’ single eyed vision has created enormous miseries for the affected countries and for decades.

Kashmiris' historic but singularly peaceful struggle for self determination in the face of brutal Indian repression is extremely commendable. Those who seek to suppress and choke this rising tide of popular resistance are deceiving themselves. It is a widespread and lasting resentment against atrocious Indian occupation which has seeped into three generations of Kashmiris and has become an inseparable part of their conscious psyche. Such an irreversibly embedded but sizzling yearning cannot be eliminated by state brutality, wholesale coercion and mass decimation of people as is being done. It is a driving ideology and not a piece of real estate to be painted, demolished or rebuilt at will. India has imported kinetic materials from Israel to mow down Kashmiri activists but failed to seek wisdom why they have utterly failed to eliminate Palestinian freedom struggle? You have to see slings and brick bats wielding young but determined Kashmiri boys and girls fearlessly opposing fully armed and protected Indian Security Forces’ contingents firing their weapons straight into the protesters, in the streets of Srinagar to believe what sort of a motivation it is. This is a storm of a different sort building up which can shake the very foundations of the Indian Union. That is in nobody’s interest in the region.


Trump administration declared Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as global terrorist ahead of Modi's visit to curry favor with the BJP hardliners in India. Fine, go ahead and take your friend to the precipice, but is that part of your global design? It is well known that U.S. now prefers to franchise her global aggression but staking out a subcontinent is quite preposterous. See what one of their leading geo-political strategist has to say about the U.S.: “The United States doesn’t need to win wars. It needs to simply disrupt things so the other side can’t build up sufficient strength to challenge it” (George Friedman, The Next 100 Years, P.5). And, “Psychologically the United States is a bizarre mix of overconfidence and insecurity. Interestingly this is the precise description of adolescent mind…” (P.28),.George Friedman further observed that “America like Europe in Sixteenth Century is still barbaric (a description not a moral judgment). Its culture is unformed. Its will is powerful. Its emotions drive it in different and contradictory directions” (P.30). He was describing U.S. way of thinking in 2010, which strikingly resembles the way presently being displayed.

 

As far as Afghanistan is concerned please remember road to Kabul passes through Khyber Pass and not Connaught Place New Delhi. Pakistan has the will and skill to help U.S. and Afghanistan out of their difficulty in that country, but you have to first put your cards on the table. A romantic desire to be there alone is erroneous like hammering a stake in the marsh to build a perch. Ignore Pakistan which you may but at the risk of peace that should be close to hearts of every one. Afghan Pashtuns are averse to foreign masters let alone Indians whom historically they have never considered their equals. Therefore, exercise caution in believing those who might lead you on to those illusive fairy meadows and bolt once the demons attack.

However, this time again U.S. would end up in the same manner as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Historically U.S. arrogance and insincerity with allies repels her friends and it disregards sane advice to the rue and regret of its people. U.S. leaders have consistently shown a peculiar cerebral vacancy in articulating international relations, in that they have never been able to balance a superpower’s global responsibility against its instinctive aggression and search for prestige. This mismatch or rather Cyclops’ single eyed vision has created enormous miseries for the affected countries and for decades.


Vietnam has just shown signs of some recovery from devastating U.S. military intervention more than fifty years ago. Afghanistan would take generations to recover from the comprehensive socio-economic destruction inflicted by repeated U.S. invasions. U.S. ignored the sound advice not to rock that basket and are paying very dearly for the blunder of following Brzezinski, ever since. Problem with pied pipers is that they lead you into the fairy lands but forget to tell you what to do when demons attack. Brzezinski did show the path into Afghanistan to defeat the Soviet Union but forgot to chisel a strategy of disengagement. It could not be very far when people in Washington might begin to wonder again why so much loathing in Pakistan and among Kashmiris or for that matter Indian Muslims against U.S.? Then it would be too late to fix the blame on present U.S. administration for finding a just solution to this core issue of regional peace and stability.


The present U.S. administration in league with Modi's BJP has very thoughtlessly embarked upon one of its most destructive games U.S. has ever played. They are bulldozing a perfectly legitimate and political popular movement by Kashmiri people towards a stonewall. Both are busy manufacturing and forging connections to link the movement with global terrorism by picking off its leaders and painting them black as terrorists. Once done these men of great influence would be forced to resort to non-political or kinetic means. Kashmiris will naturally link up with more than twenty other separatist movements active in India, and then foreign terror organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIL, thanks to BJP’s unthinking mistreatment of Muslims in India, likely to find space for themselves in the bloody fray that will ensue and quickly spin out of control. The present administration may go ahead and do it by all means. That will be the beginning of the end of this newest favorite India. This time around U.S. would not have Pakistan as the convenient dummy to shoot at. Blame yourself and the mad urge to destabilize the entire subcontinent hoping secretly to distract China or contain her inevitable rise to the world stage by guinea pigging India. That is so unfair of the U.S. and not what friends do in our part of the civilized world. The thought that Kashmiris were a small price to pay in the bargain is sadly misleading. Meanwhile the U.S. might like to remember that Indians have thousands of years of experience in statecraft and can play one superpower against the other with perfect ease.


As far as Afghanistan is concerned please remember road to Kabul passes through Khyber Pass and not Connaught Place New Delhi. Pakistan has the will and skill to help U.S. and Afghanistan out of their difficulty in that country, but you have to first put your cards on the table. A romantic desire to be there alone is erroneous like hammering a stake in the marsh to build a perch. Ignore Pakistan which you may but at the risk of peace that should be close to hearts of every one. Afghan Pashtuns are averse to foreign masters let alone Indians whom historically they have never considered their equals. Therefore, exercise caution in believing those who might lead you on to those illusive fairy meadows and bolt once the demons attack.

 

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(The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.)
 
07
August

Written By: Shahid Javed Burki

President Donald Trump’s on-going policies towards the established global economic order go beyond the dismantling of the rule-based system of world commerce. Increased protectionism is not the only price the world will pay for the election of November 2016 as a result of which Trump took over the American presidency. In the first six months of his residence in the White House he has inflicted a number of injuries to the old system. His moves cover a number of areas – among them the role of the state, the United States’ fiscal system, and international migration.


The unexpected rise of Donald Trump to the pinnacle of political power in the United States has been explained in several different ways. The developments that caused Trump to gain the office of the United States presidency also affected other parts of the Western world. Five months before Trump was elected, voters in Britain pushed their government to leave the European Union. The British voters' decision introduced a new word in politics – Brexit – and upended the economic order that had been built over several decades. There was general agreement among scholars and policy analysts that much of the political upheaval in the Western world was caused by the unexpected consequences of globalization. This was the process that allowed the almost unconstrained flow of capital, information, goods and commodities across national borders. Sometimes it also permitted to movement of workers who would leave the economies where jobs were scarce and incomes were low to those in which opposite was the case. There was large-scale migration of people from the less developed world to those that were richer and offered opportunities that were not available at home. People from Mexico and Central America flooded into the United States. North Africa and the Middle East pushed hundreds of thousands of people into Europe.

 

dismantlingtheold.jpgNot only people could move but companies also left their homes and moved to the places where well-trained workers were relatively cheap and labor market regulations were weak and therefore, more accommodating of those who owned capital. These moves were facilitated by the information revolution. Production processes could be divided and located in places that were more friendly. Responding to these developments, Apple for instance assembled its popular items in China from the components made in a dozen countries in East Asia. The designing of the various products, of course, was undertaken in Seattle in western United States. The largest market for what the company produced was in America. Apple produced large profits which it did not keep in the United States. Hundreds of billions dollars were parked in such tax-friendly countries as Ireland.


Globalization, in other words, was a highly disruptive process. It produced winners as well as large numbers of losers. Those who lost turned to politics to express their resentment and also with the hope that they could follow the leaders who would be able to turn the clock back. The result, as already indicated, was Brexit in the United Kingdom and the rise of Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the United States presidency. The “leavers” in Britain wished to bring back policymaking from Brussels to London. Trump gained attention by promising to make “America great again.” It also became clear that the anger that drove voters towards seeking desperate remedies for their situation will not go even when their economic conditions improved. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report, based on a survey of 95,000 households is the latest evidence that 2015 was a good year for the United States’ economy.


However, dry statistics don’t always produce strong political trends. The widespread anger that resulted in the election of Donald Trump did not abate and the pressure on Trump to adopt unorthodox approaches to economic management did not ease. In at least three areas, Trump adopted policies that deviated in fundamental ways from what had resulted in the creation of U.S.-dominated global economic and political order. The new administration had a different view of the role government could play in economic matters. It withdrew support from the institutions that had supported the old order. It gave up on a rule-based system of global trade. Some of what Trump promised to do – and some of what he began to follow once he was in office – was firmly embedded in the Republican Party’s economic philosophy. And it took steps to reduce, if not totally stop, the arrival of foreigners into the country.

 

As Krugman points out, international trade is governed by rules – rules America helped to put in place. Breaking the rules will lead to other countries doing the same. The result would be a trade war. And it’s foolish to imagine that America will win such a war.

In explaining what happened to the economy, the Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman argued that the Obama administration had the reverse of the traditional trickle down approach favored by the political right. There was an element of trickle-up economics in that administration’s response to the Great Recession. “Much of the stimulus involved expanding the social safety net, not just to protect the vulnerable, but to increase purchasing power and sustain demand. And in general the Obama-era policies have tried to help families directly, rather than showering benefits on the rich and hoping that the benefits trickle down.”


Trump’s policies would further aggravate the weaknesses in the United States’ economy. A weakened U.S. will not be good for the global economy. Economists such as Lawrence Summers have begun to worry that the United States' economy has entered the phase of what they term as “secular decline.” This is the consequence of a number of factors, among the aging of the population, not enough resources committed to education and training needed by an economy that was rapidly moving away from the traditional sectors, and neglect of physical infrastructure. The new administration will need to work on developing a new economic development paradigm.


The United States will need to develop a system of governance that caters to the basic needs for all citizens. The country has tended to give greater attention to individual action rather than the role of the state in having people provide for themselves. The enormous amount of effort devoted by the political right to do away with the system of health delivery that came to be called “Obamacare” is a good example of this belief about governance and the limited role that should be assigned to the state. The angry white men who provided the base on which Donald Trump was able to build his campaign had two contradictory demands. They wanted a limited state and yet a state that provided them income support through programs such as the Social Security system and health-care through state-subsidized Medicare program. In other words, the role Trump would like the government to play will not deliver economic goods to his political constituency. Instead, it will increase even more the share of the rich in national wealth. With this approach in place, his sojourn in the set-up may not last for very long.


International trade is the second area in which the Trump administration is bringing about immense changes. The policies being pursued are meant to bring back the jobs America had lost to the world. According to the news site Axios, Trump is “hell-bent” on imposing punitive tariffs on imports of steel and solar panels, claiming that other countries are taking advantage of America. This was the central theme of his campaign. Axios reports that the White House believes that Trump’s political base likes the idea of a trade war and “will love the fight.” But would such an approach win jobs for Trump’s supporters? Not necessarily for at least three reasons. First, a great deal of modern commerce is in intermediate goods – goods that make other goods, such as the components that go into the making of Iphones and Ipads. A tariff on steel may save steel jobs but will hurt jobs in the industries that use the product such as that manufactures of automobiles. In fact, trade and trade policy have little effect on total employment. They affect what kind of jobs are available in the economy but not much the total number. Then, as Krugman points out, international trade is governed by rules – rules America helped to put in place. Breaking the rules will lead to other countries doing the same. The result would be a trade war. “And it’s foolish to imagine that America will win such a war. For one thing we are far from being a dominant superpower in world trade – the European Union is just as big a player and capable of effective retaliation. Anyway, trade isn’t about winning and losing: it generally makes both sides of the deal richer, and a trade war usually hurts all the countries involved.”


Then there is the question of allowing foreigners to enter the country. During the campaign, Trump promised to build a wall all along the border with Mexico to keep out the Hispanic population. This was a popular move since there was widespread belief among the people who were attracted to the Trump candidacy that the migrants from Mexico and Central America had taken away the jobs the white, non-college educated population would have performed. The other migration-related promise by Trump concerned Muslims. Trump said that, if elected, he would ban the entry of all Muslims into his country. This also resonated well with one segment of the American population – people who were concerned that non-Christian migrants were hurting the old value system. Upon taking office, Trump issued an executive order that would have banned the entry of the citizens from seven Muslim majority countries in the Middle East. The order was challenged in the courts and declared to be unconstitutional. A revised version was issued but met the same fate in the lower courts. The administration appealed to the Supreme Court which upheld the order but in a restricted form.


How will history treat the Trump era? The answer will come later but the signs are clearly visible that his policies would have far reaching impact on existing international liberal political and economic order.

 

The writer is a former Caretaker Finance Minister of Pakistan. He also served as vice-president at the World Bank.

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07
August

Written By: Najam-ud-din Shaikh

As I write this article on the 20th July, it initially appeared that despite Secretary Tillerson’s best efforts the impasse between the grouping of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain on the one hand and the state of Qatar was continuing. Tillerson’s aide, commenting on the efforts Tillerson made over a four day period shuttling between capitals and even concluding a U.S.-Qatar agreement to eliminate financing of terror, acknowledged that no solution had been arrived at and that the Americans expected no near term resolution.1 According to this briefing the Secretary had left “behind proposals with the “Saudi bloc” and with Qatar including a common set of principles that all countries can agree to so that we start from... a common place.”2


More recently however it seems that a via media has been found. Without withdrawing their 13 demands the combination of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced that at their meeting in Cairo on July 5, it had been decided that 6 principles should be proposed to Qatar. These principles, according to a briefing for UN correspondents by Saudi Arabia's U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, included commitments to combat extremism and terrorism, prevent financing and safe havens for such groups, and suspend all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence.3 Another conciliatory note was struck by the Ambassador when he said that “while stopping incitement to violence is essential, but closing Al-Jazeera might not be necessary.”4 In effect the 13 demands initially framed can be deemed to have been dropped.


So there is a good chance that Qatar will accept these principles as a basis for discussion and negotiation and the rift in the ranks of the GCC will be repaired at least temporarily.


What has been the effect of the stand-off and the cutting of ties between Qatar on the one hand and the Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt combined? It has pushed Qatar to rely on Iran and Turkey for food supplies and for the use of Iranian air space to keep its Airline operational. It had to cope with the return of Qatari nationals ordinarily resident in these countries to Qatar creating a major humanitarian problem. These will not be easily forgotten even when Qatar returns to the fold.


Who should one hold responsible? What impact does this have on the so-called alliance of Muslim countries with the USA that was theoretically cemented during President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May. In making Saudi Arabia the first country he visited Trump sought to highlight his interest in joining with Muslim countries to counter terrorism by such organisations as the ISIS and Al-Qaeda. But he also focused on labelling Iran as the source of terrorism. In his speech, President Trump said “From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.” Mr. Trump told dozens of Muslim heads of state, “It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this very room.”5 At the joint press appearance with his Saudi counterpart Tillerson said, “Iran continues its hegemonic activities in this region in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, and its support of Hezbollah in Lebanon. And until Iran shows its willingness to be a good neighbor, I think is the words that were used by many, that shows its willingness to cease its enablement of the kind of destabilizing activities that go on, their payment of foreign fighters, their payment of militias to go into other countries and destabilize those countries, then Iran will not have a place around this table that was set today.”6


Clearly Saudi Arabia had achieved from the Trump visit what it had desired – a labelling of Iran as the villain of the peace and an American alliance with the Muslim countries that Saudi Arabia had brought together. It should be noted that what Trump claimed to have achieved in addition – Saudi agreement to buy $110 billion worth of U.S. arms and $400 billion in investments in the USA and Saudi Arabia turned out to be no more than agreements on paper. Bruce Riedel says, “There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts… What the Saudis and the administration did is put together a notional package of the Saudi wish list of possible deals and portray that as a deal. Even then the numbers don’t add up. It’s fake news".7


It does not require much research to come to the conclusion that while waging an expensive war in Yemen and pursuing the vision for 2030 the Saudis are not going to have the funds available to make investments of $400 billion in the foreseeable future.


Why did it go further and choose to use the opportunity to settle old scores with Qatar. The answer to my mind lay in the encouragement they received from President Trump – an encouragement that ignored the close ties Qatar had assiduously built with the USA and which included hosting the airbase at which more than 10,000 American personnel were based and which was critical for the American air operations in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan.


It has now become clear that the current row began when the Qatar’s official account was hacked and aggressive statements were attributed to Qatari Amir. Ostensibly this prompted the June 5 severing of links by the Saudi-led group. A careful perusal of the reports published in the American media show that the hacking of the site was allegedly orchestrated from Washington by UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba.8 While he has denied this categorically,9 it has been confirmed by other reports that quoting American intelligence sources have made the same assertion.


Ambassador al-Otaiba has been over time perceived as one of the most well connected Ambassadors in Washington. His contacts with Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and the man to whom Trump has entrusted the Middle East diplomacy are well recognised as are the contacts he appears to have developed with such Trump advisers as Steve Bannon. It would be reasonable to assume that he used these contacts to prompt the Trump tweets branding Qatar a terrorist state.


It is also clear that Tillerson and Mattis both have been strongly opposed to allowing these elements to determine policy and it seems that his tweets notwithstanding Trump has decided to give Tillerson the authority to determine policy on this issue. It is true however that Trump still cannot resist making statements that are out of line. In a recent interview to Christian Broadcasting Network, he underplayed the importance of the base in Qatar claiming that “If we ever had to leave, we would have 10 countries willing to build us another one, believe me, and they will pay for it.”10


He also suggested that he had differences with Tillerson but maintained that “Rex is doing a terrific job but he and I had a little bit of a difference only in terms of tone.”11


It is this mixed messaging that has created problems and will continue to do so.
In the meanwhile, we also have to look at the situation within Saudi Arabia. It does seem that there was a certain amount of discomfort at the removal of Mohammad bin Nayef from the line of succession. The royal family did get the approval of the appropriate bodies and as has been the practice in the past the family will stick together to ensure the stability they all need but it will bear watching as the new Crown Prince marches ahead with both the Vision 2030 and the war in Yemen.


For the time being at least it would seem that the plans for the Islamic army have either been abandoned or will be in cold storage.

 

The writer is a former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the USA and Iran is now the Head of the Global and Regional Studies Centre in the Institute of Business Management, a Karachi based University.

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1 UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials, The Washington Post, July 18, 2017.
2 Ibid.
3 Arabs Urge Qatar to Accept 6 Principles to Combat Extremism, Dawn, July 19, 2017.
4 Ibid.
5 In Saudi Arabia, Trump Reaches Out to Sunni Nations, at Iran’s Expense, The New York Times, May 21, 2017.
6 Tillerson press appearance with Saudi FM, May 21, 2017.
7 The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news, Bruce Riedel, Brookings, June 5, 2017.
8 UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials, The Washington Post, July 16, 2017.
9 Ibid.
10 Trump says US has alternatives to Qatar’s Al Udeid airbase, The National Dubai, July 14, 2017.
11 Ibid.

 
07
August

Written By: Usman Ansari

Concepts of ‘generational improvement’ and social mobility essentially outline how successive generations should aim for better life than their predecessors with improved living standards and status, are heavily tied to access to good quality education. Furthermore, should a good quality education be unobtainable due to lack of financial resources and/or lack of suitable educational facilities, the lower class of society finds itself permanently locked in a cycle of poverty. These factors may exist due to various reasons all over Pakistan, but are especially pronounced in Balochistan that has suffered sustained lack of opportunities if compared to other provinces. For a number of reasons literacy rate is extremely low in Balochistan.

 

pnservingnation.jpgPakistan Navy is fully aware of this situation in Balochistan being an established military force across the entire coastal area in Balochistan. PN has therefore, expended considerable effort to improve educational facilities and prospects for the Baloch youth in the coastal areas and has improved recruitment opportunities for the young Baloch students to have a successful career in Pakistan Navy. Pakistan Navy also runs education facilities that provide both free education and has reserved seats in these institutions for the local students. These institutions not only serve the immediate and long term aspirations of the local communities to achieve an element of generational/social mobility but bring them into the mainstream of Pakistani society as well as increasing the Pakistan Navy’s talent pool from which to potentially draw recruits.


One of Pakistan Navy’s flagship educational projects is Cadet College Ormara (CCO). CCO is a major educational facility in Balochistan in support of federal government initiatives to improve education in the province, and is providing education from Class VIII to HSSC level. CCO facilities include full range of academic, accommodation, administrative, and recreational (including a swimming pool), and prayer facilities amongst others to support the full range of educational and extracurricular needs of students. CCO is undoubtedly a standout education facility as four batches of 60 cadets made up the initial intake, making the present number of students approximately 260. Perhaps more important than the facilities themselves; however, are the efforts to widen access to CCO to all levels of local society in which fifty percent of seats are reserved for the Baloch students who are provided free education as well. Of the current student intake, 109 cadets at CCO are the local Baloch students.


The inclusion of cadets in CCO’s intake is notable as the scheme has been revived exclusively for Baloch candidates in which all expenditures, i.e., education, boarding/lodging, messing, and others are borne by government of Pakistan. Under the scheme 25 Baloch candidates will be selected each year to undergo studies from Class VIII to HSSC. Should they complete this course of study and get recommended by the ISSB, they will then be cleared to join Pakistan Naval Academy as PN cadets. This gives them the opportunity to not only have good education, but the opportunity for a career as well, something perhaps equally important in a region where employment opportunities to suit a higher level of education are limited. Additionally, it is ensured that the scheme is available to students from humble backgrounds who otherwise are unable to avail such opportunities.


These schemes will be indispensible in setting up local students with a chance to have successful careers. However, there is no escaping the fact that a sound primary education is the key giving children the initial chance to make the best of their abilities. Unfortunately due to financial constraints, Montessori level education is beyond the reach of many parents who also struggle to provide their children with a primary level education. To overcome this constraint, the Bahria Foundation has established subsidised educational facilities to provide students with the firm foundation from where they may progress, starting from Montessori level. These include Bahria Model College Ormara (BMCO), Bahria Model School Gwadar (BMSG), Bahria Model School Jiwani (BMSJ), and Bahria Model School Turbat (BMST). It is worth looking at these schools individually as they have been established recently.


BMCO was established in 2004 to offer classes from Montessori as a primary school, but has since become a college offering classes to HSSC and is affiliated with the Quetta Board. Of the current 650 students, 500 are local Baloch students, which indicates that BMCO is one of the main educational facilities in Ormara. Pakistan Navy is further supporting the BMCO by providing pick and drop facilities for students and staff besides providing staff and financing the running of BMCO. Bahria Model School Gwadar (BMSG) runs classes from Montessori to Class IX, and was established in 2010 to provide subsidised education to local Baloch children. 417 students currently registered at the school are entirely locals, with the eventual aim to increase this to 1,000 when the new school building currently under construction is completed. This will also allow provision of education up to intermediate level. New building will feature a library, science laboratory, plus indoor and outdoor sports facilities. Not only will BMSG evolve into a standout educational facility for the port and surrounding region, but is also set to become a significant employer in Gwadar. Running costs of the school are presently being met by grant from Pakistan Navy though students also pay a nominal fee.


Towards the western coast at Jiwani, Bahria Model School Jiwani (BMSJ) was established in 2012 where students from Montessori to Class IV are allowed addmissions. All the 163 students presently enrolled at the school are locals, and its running cost plus salaries are being met by Pakistan Navy. The newest of Pakistan Navy run educational facilities is Bahria Model School Turbat (BMST) that was established in 2015 to provide education from Montessori to Class III for the 159 students presently enrolled. The school building is being constructed in phases with ten classrooms and associated facilities presently available, but will eventually be expanded to offer college level education.


Considering the small population of the towns in which the above schools have been established, (with only Gwadar and Turbat approaching anywhere near 100,000 residents, and the others far fewer), they offer an important avenue for the long term advancement of the local population over and above the existing educational facilities already present. Certainly in the smaller towns, such as Jiwani and Ormara, the schools established by Pakistan Navy are the only quality educational facilities making them all the more important. Considering Ormara is Pakistan Navy’s operational base it stands to reason that much of its development efforts are focused there. Therefore, Pakistan Navy has also endeavoured to support existing schools at Ormara City. These include the Government Boys High School Ormara, Government Girls High School Ormara, and Government Middle School for Boys Ormara – Pakistan Navy is providing assistance such as furniture, stationery, teachers and maintenance of the school buildings. Additionally, a serving naval officer (a Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander), is also appointed as the principal of Government High School Ormara. Children from the coastal strip in Balochistan are also the beneficiaries of the Chief of Naval Staff 'Sponsor a Child Scheme' whereby students from humble backgrounds can be sponsored to allow them to benefit from free education at Bahria Model Schools, and some may also be eligible for provision of books, stationery, uniform, and shoes. 129 students are currently benefiting from this generous scheme. Not all efforts are restricted to the coastal strip however, a scheme is in place to reserve two seats for Baloch students and one from Dera Bugti at the prestigious Cadet College Petaro (CCP) in Sindh.


Efforts to increase the educational opportunities for Baloch students are not just confined to Balochistan. Having been the main focus of naval activity since independence, Karachi has by far used the most naval facilities, and this also includes Bahria Model Schools. To take advantage of these educational facilities, and avail them for the use of Baloch students, a scheme has been put in place to provide free (fully funded) education. Pakistan Navy meets all boarding/lodging, and educational costs to 10 Baloch students per year in Karachi from Class VIII to HSSC. Presently there are 30 students that are benefiting from the scheme, and upon completion of their studies they will have the opportunity to join Pakistan Navy. In recognition of the need to nurture the talents of local Baloch students to their fullest and allow them to reach their full potential, access to higher education has also been taken care of through reservation of places in Bahria University. One place each has been reserved in the MBA and BBA programmes at the university’s Karachi campus. Those selected for these places are spared tuition and associated fee. Furthermore, one place each is reserved in the MBBS and BDS Departments at Bahria University Medical & Dental College. As a service to the nation at large, its efforts to support education in Balochistan are an excellent example of Pakistan Navy serving the nation at land as well as sea.

 

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07
August

Pakistan Army has launched Operation Khyber IV on July 16, 2017 against terrorists in Rajgal Valley of Khyber Agency. This ongoing operation has been launched under Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad .The operation is aimed at clearing the 250 square kilometers area of Rajgal Valley from the terrorists, secure areas up to international border with Afghanistan, eliminate terrorists’ hideouts, and establish writ of the state. The operation will also create conditions for safe return and peaceful rehabilitation of Temporary Displaced Persons (TDPs) from Rajgal Valley. Approximately 500 TDPs families are waiting for the return to their homes that they once had to flee from due to terrorists. A Division plus size force including troops from the Special Services Group (SSG) are taking part in the operation. These troops are being supported by Artillery, Pakistan Army Aviation and Pakistan Air Force. So far the operation is progressing as per plan and most of the area has been cleared from the terrorists. Thickly forested Rajgal Valley is surrounded by high mountain peaks ranging from 12000 to 14000 feet, dominates eight mountain passes, and is considered one of the most difficult terrains in the entire Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

khyberfourelim.jpgOperation Khyber IV is a continuation of overall military campaign that was adopted in 2008-9 to squeeze the terrorists from multi-directions and clear all areas from terrorists. As part of this military campaign, Bajaur, Swat, Mohmand, Kurram, South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Khyber Agency and parts of Orakzai Agency infested with terrorists had been cleared. Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched on June 15, 2014 to clear North Waziristan and Operation Khyber I, II and III were launched to clear Khyber Agency.


Rajgal Valley is bordering Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan and is located next to the international border. The growing presence of Daesh (ISIS) in Afghanistan and particularly opposite Rajgal Valley, necessitated launch of the military operation to secure the left over areas up to international border. There were intelligence reports of movement across the border by various terrorist organizations including Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), Lashkar-e-Islam (LI), Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and their growing nexus with Daesh elements present inside Afghanistan. According to reports, the suicide bombing in Parachinar on June 23, 2017 was also linked to these elements. The information regarding launch of Operation Khyber IV were shared (twice verbally and in writing) with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and forces of Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Pakistan Army has always endeavored for trust-based security coordination and cooperation to fight against common enemy and expects Afghan and foreign forces to respond and share their burden of responsibility.


Pakistan Army troops in line with their tradition of matchless courage, competence and sacrifice, have once again been able to clear this difficult and treacherous terrain. Spinkai Top dominating Sparai Pass, Star Kille, Brekh Top and adjacent areas have been cleared of terrorists. A substantial cache of weapons and ammunition have been captured and IEDs cleared. Many terrorists have been killed, injured and few managed to flee across the border towards Afghanistan to their safe havens. Pakistan Army has also suffered few casualties including martyrdom of Sepoy Muhammad Yasir and Sepoy Abdul Jabbar. However, with every shaheed, the resolve of Pakistan Army gets further strengthened to fight this battle till the end, finish the remnants of terrorism from Pakistani soil, and obtain enduring peace.

07
August

Written By: Brig M. Asim Iqbal

Pakistan Gallery” is named after our beloved motherland, being the first-ever dedicated resource hub of its kind in the country which showcases the scenic beauty, cultural diversity and rich history of Pakistan. It was commissioned on October 17, 2015, on the eve of the “1st Commandants Reunion” and formally inaugurated by Havildar Habib Ullah, 20 FF (the workforce behind the Gallery) on July 20, 2016.


The Gallery is housed in a Victorian Era building of Army School of Logistics, Kuldana (Murree), representative of the graceful architectural aesthetics of that period. Famously known as “British Infantry Lines”, some 150 years back, Kuldana was a hub of recreational activities of British Army owing to its pristine location. They carved some essence of England in Murree, making Kuldana their home away from home. There is a long scroll of British Regiments that camped here. Prominent amongst those were, Bedfordshire Regiment, Devonshire Regiment, West Yorkshire Regiment, Gordon Highlanders, Cameroon Highlanders and so on. There still hangs mist of nostalgia from a bygone era over Kuldana. Many 19th century buildings have been preserved in their original state and their graceful style is a living testimony to the historical architecture of that period. Constructed without bricks and cement, this building was also built in stone and bonded with lime mortar. This 125 years old building, which had dilapidated over the years; was painstakingly restored by a dedicated team of officers who circumvented numerous challenges through round-the-clock supervision in order to bring out the true elegance of its original structure. The team of my volunteer workers included; Lieutenant Colonel Sajjad Haider, Major Sufiyan Ali, Maj Tehseen and Havildar Habib Ullah.

 

storyofpakgal.jpg"Pakistan Gallery" houses five sections. The first section embarks on a journey of Pakistan Movement, which encompasses our national heroes, founding fathers and the world's largest migration during partition of subcontinent. It leads to the Reading Room (second section) which not only has a nice collection of pictorial books on Pakistan but also an interactive touch screen with ample data bank available for research on Pakistan. Next hall takes you through Pakistan History (third section), setting out from inception of our country and a journey through the first 50 years, it finally brings you to "Amazing Pakistan”. Next is the Culture and Beauty of Pakistan (fourth section). The hall has been partitioned into cubicles, featuring the beauty and culture of provinces from north to south including AJK, FATA and Islamabad regions. It also offers a fascinating look at the adventure and conventional sports, wildlife and different facets of the Pakistan Defence Forces. Various handicrafts and souvenirs have also been displayed in their respective provincial cubicles. The last wall titled "Roshan Pakistan" has been placed facing the “Infant Pakistan” wall to enable the viewer to draw an "at-a-glance" comparison of the country’s journey over seven decades through resilience and determination. Visitors can view local history, Beauty and Wildlife of Kuldana on the last wall (fifth section) before exiting the Gallery. Absorbing details mentioned with handmade models of "Kuldana Leopard" and "Pakicetus" (extinct species of Whales’ Ancestral family) concludes the gallery tour.


I carried motivation of establishing Pakistan Gallery since long. Having seen length and breadth of Pakistan and few countries around the world, I claim with confidence that “there is no place on earth like Pakistan, that offers such diversity of terrain and culture within 804,000 sq km”. Let me now share with my readers the making of this Gallery. The project was conceived and took off in October 2014. Considering the architectural merit and significance of the building, “restoration” was preferred over a simple “renovation” and the project was taken up as a special challenge owing to its unique characteristics”. The dimensions and design of the building advocates that it might have been a “multipurpose hall”, which was built in 1889, when “1st Battalion The Bedfordshire Regiment” (present, 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment), camped here at Kuldana. Over the last century, layers of cement have been plastered on the original stone walls, and several coats of paint applied to the wood. A lot of planning and effort went into reversing some of these damaging interventions and alterations to the original edifice. After initial deliberations with experts, most of the work was undertaken by the team of Army School of Logistics, including unskilled and skilled craftsmen. Since the team did not have any project expert, there were times when we were guided by some dedicated consultants who offered specialised advice on structural design, lights and interior on need basis.

 

storyofpakgal1.jpgIt is worth mentioning that the “Reading Room” (Section 2) was constructed in 2015 to connect 125 years old rooms on either side. The architecture and design of new construction was matched with centurion old structure, respecting the original building layout. Stones were retrieved from similar aged buildings to construct walls of Reading Room and today it is hard to make out that both the constructions are hundred years apart. Other worth mentioning features of restoration are that doors and windows have been preserved in their original shape, including handles and bolts. It’s only that windows were shifted on outer side of the bay to create more space for models and display objects. The entrance (Section 1) had original wooden floor and false ceiling which was restored with months of manual work. Later, a false ceiling was added to the sitting room and third room (Sections 2 and 3). Choice of material (PVC) was guided by its matching value with the structure and its light weight. Glass wool was placed between the CGI sheets and PVC panels to not only reduce the effects of condensation, but also to make it sound-proof and fire-resistant. The sitting room has double-glass for better temperature insulation.


Niches on the walls of Section 3 and 4 were carefully uncovered to bring out structural originality. The wooden flooring in this portion followed the same pattern used in the British period. A four inches space has been created between the wooden floor panelling and the cemented floor. The individual panels are screwed to the wooden mesh beneath. Moreover, all wood work has been chemically treated for water proofing. The stone walls had lost their attractiveness due to seasoning and plastering effects over the years. These had to be restored by chemical treatment. As minor functional modifications; partitions and walls were created in the middle of Section 3 and 4 to create more space and add to the display area. Choice of lighting for the gallery was a highly technical matter and was resolved after consulting scores of lighting experts. Finally, it has been kept barely minimal and simple for practical reasons. Images have been thematically arranged according to colours and motifs of respective provinces.


ASL gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Mr. Arshad, Mr. Farid Nasim and Mrs. Huma Ahmed for their structural designing; Mr. Bashir, for treating stone walls, Mr. Khuzaima for treating wood work and Mrs. Hina Mahboob for designing. In the absence of any dedicated budget for the project, contributions were sought from senior/old students of Army School of Logistics. Moreover, few field formations also contributed in the form of financial donations and unique images. Contributions for Pakistan Movement section came from Mr. Yousaf Salah Ud Din and Iqbal Salah Ud Din (grandsons of Allama Iqbal) through “Dabistan-e-Iqbal”. Text and captions of the entire gallery were contributed by Hira Binte Asim. The photographers who contributed to the Gallery include Mr. Gulraiz Ghauri, Mr. S.M. Bukhari, Mr. Yasir Nisar, Mr. Fahad Mahmood, Colonel Dr. Imran Rashid, Maj Irfan Barcha, Colonel Nadeem, Mr. Abrar Cheema, and Mr. Ali Jan. Another interesting fact is the cheapest display picture was costing Rs. 10,000 and the expensive ones Rs. 1,20,000; making it an expensive deal for the Gallery. Our panel of patriotic photographers donated their pictures free of cost, thus reducing the budget by millions of rupees.


Pakistan Gallery has been visited by notable dignitaries like present Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem, Lt Gen Sadiq Ali, Lt Gen Ghayur Mehmood, Lt Gen Qazi Muhammad Ikram, and Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed. Local and foreign delegations, students and tourists also continue to add to the number of visitors. Needless to say that this project would not have been possible without relentless efforts of our soldiers and civilians who made a truly dedicated team under Havildar Habib Ullah.

 
07
August

Written By: S.M Hali

Pakistan got its independence on August 14, 1947 through the efforts of selfless leaders like Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, Allama Iqbal and numerous others although they were opposed tooth and nail by the Hindu leaders of the subcontinent and some obdurate Muslim leaders. Independence would not have come about and the British Raj in the Indian subcontinent would have continued unabated for a few more decades if the Second World War had not weakened the Empire, providing pro-independence movements the desired impetus to be rejuvenated. The Hindus and Muslims, two main communities residing in India had separate agendas. Hindus were the original inhabitants of the subcontinent while the Muslims came as invaders and became rulers till the British dominated them. The Hindus, in majority, desired to take over the reins from the British and suppress the Muslims to avenge nearly ten hundred years of subjugation. The Muslims knew that departure of the British would only mean a change of rulers while the Hindus would be more brutal than the British. Hindu leaders like Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru aligned themselves with the British attempting to impede the creation of Pakistan or in the worst case scenario, accede to a truncated Pakistan, which would not survive long and could be gobbled up by India. Lord Mountbatten, the last Indian Viceroy and a close friend of Jawaharlal Nehru, Jinnah’s nemesis, according to the Beaumont Papers, swayed Cyril Radcliff in shifting the final Pak-India boundary to India’s advantage like reassigning Gurdaspur to it, providing ground access to Kashmir. In 1947, Christopher Beaumont was private secretary to the senior British judge, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, Chairman of the Indo-Pakistan Boundary Commission; Beaumont Papers were made public in 1992 by his grand nephew and heir.

anewdawnsmhali.jpg
The partition, promulgated in the Indian Independence Act 1947, resulted in the dissolution of the British Empire and a mass exodus of humanity, displacing up to 12.5 million people in the former British Indian Empire, with estimates of loss of life up to a million, since marauding bands of Hindu and Sikh fanatics set upon the refugees with equally depraved Muslims retaliating this side. The violent nature of the partition created an atmosphere of mutual hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan that plagues their relationship till this day.


Mountbatten-Nehru-Radcliffe triad’s surreptitiously provided India with a land link to the Valley of Kashmir, enabling it to physically occupy the Valley, resulting in the First Kashmir War of 1947-48, creating the core issue of Kashmir, which has become a festering sore and flashpoint between the two nuclear weapons equipped states. The partition deal also included the division of state assets comprising the British Indian Armed Forces, the Indian Civil Service and other administrative services, the Indian Railways, and the Central Treasury. Pakistan did not receive even an iota of the assets assigned to it which led to major problems for the fledgling state. In 1971, due to Pakistan’s own follies and Indian machinations, East Pakistan was severed and after a bloody war, became Bangladesh.


Seventy years since partition, if one were to review the state of affairs in the erstwhile subcontinent, one can see that India is firmly traversing the path of democracy. Bangladesh, after an initial period of turmoil, strife and bloody coups, has settled down on a democratic route. Pakistan was unfortunate that it lost both Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder and Quaid-i-Millat, Liaquat Ali Khan, his able successor in the initial years. Their replacements were virtual pygmies, lacking both vision and statesmanship, resulting in constant military takeovers, which further stifled the process of democratization. Myopic policies turned Pakistan a dependent ally of the U.S., which used and abused Pakistan depending on its own agenda. Britain, the mother country, which should have taken an interest in the unresolved problems it had left behind at the time of partition, has remained oblivious to them and has been toeing the U.S. line in the region.


Today, by the ongoing war on terror, double digit inflation and a collapsing economy, devastated through constant power outages, lawlessness and unemployment, Pakistan is far from the vision of Iqbal, Liaquat and Jinnah. Pakistan needs continuous efforts to realize the dream of its Founding Fathers.


It was perhaps in this scenario that Faiz Ahmed Faiz, in his memorable poem “Yeh wo seher to nahin” (This is not that dawn…), commented on the partition:
This blighted dawn, this darkened sun.
This is not the dawn we had waited for…
The night's burden has not diminished,
The hour of deliverance
for the eye and the heart has not yet arrived.
Face forward! For our destination is not yet in sight


Faiz leaves us with a ray of hope. Currently we have a democratic set-up, which has taken up cudgels, on behalf of the people who have bestowed their confidence in it to lead them out of the morass we are presently in. It may itself have been bogged down in the quagmire of corruption charges but it is heartening that democratic means are being adopted to deal with the situation.


Doubting Thomas gave Pakistan only a couple of years to survive. The breakup of the Eastern wing proved the naysayers right but since then Pakistan has come a long way despite its detractors planting impediments in its path to progress.


It is pertinent to quote neutral sources as testimony to Pakistan’s progress. Tariq Al-maeena, in his op-ed titled ‘In the eyes of the beholder’ carried by Saudi Gazette of July 12, 2017, provides such a testament. The erudite scholar states: Pakistan has been listed among the next 11 countries that along with the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a high potential of becoming among the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.


In the last five years, Pakistan’s literacy rate has grown by 250 percent, the largest increase in any country to-date. According to a poll organized by the Institute of European Business Administration, from 125 countries, Pakistanis have been ranked the “fourth most intelligent people” across the globe. The Cambridge exams of both A and O levels have been topped by Pakistani students and this is a record yet to be broken. The world’s youngest certified Microsoft Experts, Arfa Kareem and Babar Iqbal, are from Pakistan. The seventh largest pool of scientists and engineers come from, you guessed it, Pakistan. The fourth largest broadband Internet system of the world is in Pakistan.


Pakistan is the first and only Islamic country to attain nuclear power. It is also known for having some of the best-trained Air Force pilots in the world. The country’s missile technology is one of the best in the world. The country has produced a large quantity of various types of missiles since it has become a nuclear power. It also has the sixth largest military force in the world.


In cooperation with China, Pakistan has produced the PAC JF-17 Thunder aircraft, a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation “JF-17” by Pakistan is short for “Joint Fighter-17”.


It has also constructed the world’s largest warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province. Tarbela Dam is the world’s largest earth-filled dam and second largest dam overall. The Karakoram Highway (KKH), connecting China and Pakistan, is the highest paved international road in the world. The Khewra Salt Mine, the second largest salt mine in the world is in operation in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The world’s largest irrigation network is present in Pakistan. It serves 14.4 million hectares of cultivated land. The irrigation system is fed by water from the Indus River.


Land of some of the oldest civilizations (Indus Valley and Mohenjo-daro), Pakistan is a multilingual country with more than 60 spoken languages. It is the sixth most populated country in the world and the second-most populous Muslim-majority country. It also has the second-largest Shia population in the world. The Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951 runs the world’s largest ambulance network. The country also proudly claims of the world’s youngest civil judge, Muhammad Ilyas.


Pakistan is one of the biggest exporters of surgical instruments in the world. About 50 percent of the world’s footballs are made in Pakistan. Nestle Pakistan is one of the largest milk processing plants which generates huge revenue every year.


Among its natural wonders, Pakistan has the highest mountain ranges in the world. The world’s second highest and the ninth highest mountains, K2 and Nanga Parbat respectively, are in Pakistan. The Thar Desert is among the world’s largest sub-tropical deserts. The world’s highest polo ground is in Shandur Top, Pakistan at a height of 3,700 meters.


In 1994, Pakistan became the first country of the world to hold four World Cup titles tournaments in different mainstream sports simultaneously. The sports included cricket, hockey, squash and snooker.
The Lonely Planet, a global tourist guide, has listed Pakistan as being tourism’s “next big thing for more years than we care to remember. But world media headlines always send things off the rails.”


The septuagenarian country faces numerous challenges. Foremost among them is the scourge of terrorism. It goes to the credit of its armed forces that through military operations like Rah-e-Nijat, Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, the blight of terrorism has been met head on and the country is on the path of eradicating terrorism and extremism.


It is an uphill task, which necessitates Herculean effort to clean the Augean Stables. The entire nation has to be on board to tackle this issue, which has shaken the roots of some mighty powers. Every Pakistani must resolve to unite to defeat the twelve headed Hydra of terrorism and deny space to the terror mongers.


On this Independence Day, let us resolve to take the bull by the horns and tackle the myriad problems audaciously. Waiting for the government to resolve the burning issues will not redeem us. Every citizen of Pakistan has to chip in since it is our very survival which is at stake. Various political parties need to sink in their differences and unite to resolve the issues.


Pakistan can still come out of the abyss it is steeped in by focusing on the growth of its economy and indulging in trade and commerce with its neighbours on an equal footing. The progress of ASEAN, SCO and the EU should serve as examples for emulation where neighbours share the strengths and opportunities of each other, bringing prosperity to all. There is much to take pride in the advent of Pakistan and with the development of mega projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistan is expected to rise to its true potential of economic development and take its rightful place in the comity of nations.

 

The writer is a Former Group Captain from Pakistan Air Force who served as Air and Naval Attaché at Riyadh (KSA).

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07
August

Written By: Tanveer Shahid

The spirit of human relief turns into a national commitment when it comes to render assistance in one’s neighbourhood or across the oceans. Navies, across the globe, are by default well-suited to render Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Operations (HA&DR).

Not only at home but across frontiers also, contribution of the men in uniform in combatting disasters, soothing human pain, mitigating losses and resurrecting from the ruins have been enormous. Given the organisational forte in terms of operational capacity, quick mobilisation, technical wherewithal, trained manpower and resources, armed forces globally are amongst the first to join civil administration to deal with disasters. Extending humanitarian assistance beyond borders, achieved predominantly by navies, reflects the colourful shades such as human compassion, international responsibility, interstate goodwill, bilateral cooperation, exchange of warmth at the masses’ level, projection of power and gunboat diplomacy.


More recently, the floods of 2017 in Sri Lanka also emulated the hands-in-glove humanitarian assistance and relief efforts of the Sri Lankan armed forces, and Pakistan Navy, representing Pakistan’s wholehearted and swift support to bandage the human suffering.

 

carriyingnatioethos.jpgHow do armed forces comprehend and embark on humanitarian assistance? The United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) defines it as “aid to an affected population that seeks, as its primary purpose, to save lives and alleviate suffering of a crisis-affected population, to be provided in accordance with the basic humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality.” Humanitarian assistance interfacing the armed forces and civilian administration, especially when conducted in international domain, needs to be well regulated. The UNOCHA internationally issued guidelines on use of armed forces in humanitarian operations; ‘Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster Relief’ (1994 Oslo Guidelines) establish basic framework for use of military in international disaster relief in peacetime. In any localized international humanitarian operations, the country involved may define its operational guidelines for civil-military coordination and related aspects for successful relief efforts.


Recent history is punctuated with the initiatives of militaries around the world to assist the humans and provide relief in disasters – be it the cyclone of Bangladesh in 1991, hurricane ‘Mitch’ in Central America in 1998, earthquake of Indian Gujarat in 2001, Indonesian tsunami in 2004, hurricane ‘Katrina’ of the U.S. in 2005, earthquake in Northern Areas of Pakistan in 2005, the UK floods in 2007; the earthquake of China in 2008, the earthquake of Haiti and the devastating floods of Pakistan in 2010, or the devastation in Japan in 2011. Recalling a few ones from the unfortunate long list of disasters, we could appreciate that the yeoman spirit of the forces – be it army, navy or air force – and the humanitarian response in disasters and natural calamities has been exponentially moving up the spiral. Land and air forces strenuously commit themselves when it comes to challenge the destruction within a state or in case of purely a continental disaster.


In Pakistan, the distressing earthquake of October 2005 that perished around 73,000 lives leaving more than 3 million homeless; or the devastating floods of August 2010 that drowned around 1,800 to death and affected over 20 million are amongst the tall testimonies of national spirit, professionalism and selfless service of the Armed Forces of Pakistan. Pakistan Army proficiently spearheaded the relief and rehabilitation efforts of the forces. Pakistan Air Force remained commendable in the aerial support role. During these testing times, and in fact at any juncture of disaster along the coast or at sea, Pakistan Navy has remained thoroughly active in Sindh and Balochistan. The 5-R sequence of disaster relief operations – Rescue, Relief, Recuperation, Rebuild and Rehabilitation – has been thoroughly lived by the Armed Forces in unison with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), district administrations, and NGOs.


The spirit of human relief turns into a national commitment when it comes to render assistance in one’s neighbourhood or across the oceans. Navies, across the globe, are by default well-suited to render Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Operations (HA&DR) beyond horizons, besides essentially projecting their national maritime combat power. It is estimated that more than 44 percent of world’s 7.5 billion population lives within a hundred-mile arc of the seas. Various other factors also answer to ‘whys’ of this international HA&DR suitability of navies, such as mobility, prompt deployment, operating capability with no reliance ashore; onboard structure of medical support, strategic and tactical lift capability through onboard (organic) helicopters (and/or ground vehicles), logistic support and composite C3 (Command, Control and Communication) outfit. Notably, the naval forces are self-sustaining and exclude requirement of additional logistical burden in areas where infrastructure is already in shambles or severely impaired.


While littoral states continue to focus on developing the combat power of their navies for strategic and diplomatic roles, their national Maritime Doctrines articulate HA&DR as one of their core objectives. Growing HA&DR capability has become an important area, besides the mainstream combat growth of a navy as a vital instrument of national power. Whereas a maritime doctrine may dictate regional maritime environment, cardinal principles guiding naval outlook in national perspective, strategic and operational modus-operandi of the application of maritime power in war and peace, a doctrine equally spells out various dimensions of HA&DR operations in national and international perspectives.


Pakistan’s maritime combat strength entails Pakistan Navy being the country’s maritime backbone as defenders of maritime frontiers, a maritime shield; and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), a paramilitary maritime Law Enforcement Agency, a maritime ombudsman, working under the Ministry of Defence and patronage of Pakistan Navy. Pakistan’s strategic thought is developing significantly through naval cooperation and diplomacy unveiling the shadowed maritime outlook. The development of Gwadar Port, the gateway of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, expanding of ports and offshore infrastructure, increased focus on fishing industry, growing merchant shipping activity vis-a-vis development of combat strength of Pakistan Navy and maritime law enforcement capability of PMSA, testify the promising and focused national maritime strategy.


Building up from a modest start after independence Pakistan Navy today is a modern, balanced and potent maritime force with its regional outlook. As its military objectives, Navy seeks to protect maritime interests of Pakistan, deter seaward aggression, safeguard Sea Lines of Communication (or maritime corridors) and maintain international cooperation for good order at sea. Along with naval roles, the Chief of Naval Staff, being the Principal Maritime Advisor to the government, superintends growth of national maritime sector. Navy, thus holds a number of significant core objectives amongst others: to effectively maintain and grow combat power and its operating force; to undertake effective naval diplomacy; to develop coastal cities and coastal communities heralding nation-building role of the Armed Forces; and, to undertake HA&DR operations at home or abroad duly aligned with the state’s diplomatic aspirations.


Internationally, Pakistan Navy had been carrying out proactive and wholehearted response during the HA&DR operations particularly after the East-Asian tsunami of 2004, rescue of MV Suez from pirates in 2011, conduct of Humanitarian Operations in evacuating the stranded Pakistanis and foreign nationals in Yemen in 2015, and extending assistance to Sri Lanka in May this year.


During the devastating onslaught of tsunami in 2004 over South East Asia, originating in the sea off Indonesia and spreading to its north and west, Pakistan Navy ships (PNS) NASR, an auxiliary tanker, and TARIQ, a Type-21 destroyer, extended humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The ships and their resources were put to the service of governments of the affected countries for evacuation and relief of the stranded tourists/locals from islands. Pakistan, through Navy, continued the humanitarian, diplomatic and logistic assistance by sending a Type-21 frigate and an auxiliary – PNS KHAIBAR and PNS MOAWIN – with ample relief goods to Indonesia and Sri Lanka. These vessels had three helicopters, a Pak Marines detachment, naval doctors, and paramedics. Besides, relief goods – medicines, medical equipment, food supplies, tents, and blankets – were sent in enormous quantities to the affected populace in friendly countries.


Operation Umeed-e-Nuh, a Pakistan Navy operation against piracy, was launched in June 2011 to rescue MV Suez, attacked and taken hostage by Somali pirates. PNS BABUR, a Type-21 TARIQ class frigate that was deployed on counter-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden, was tasked to provide all necessary assistance to Panama-flagged ship against the pirates. The Navy had dispatched teams of Naval Special Forces troops, medical teams and food provisions onboard PNS BABUR. The ship was successfully rescued; however, due to the merchant ship’s deteriorated operational and material state, the crew needed additional help from Pakistan Navy as the ship was unable to maintain its floatability. PNS ZULFIQUAR, a sword class destroyer, was then tasked to group with PNS BABUR to safely evacuate the crew. Employing naval helicopters, 22 crew members, including 11 Egyptians, 6 Indians, 4 Pakistanis and a Sri Lankan were safely rescued and brought to Pakistan for onward journey to their respective homelands. The operation was globally an estimable blend of operational and humanitarian operation.


In 2015, Pakistan Navy carried out another successful HA&DR operation during the war-like circumstances in Yemen. The evacuation mission was a civil-military combined effort by Pakistan to extract and evacuate overseas Pakistanis from the war-torn areas of Yemen. The situation in Mukalla, located 480 km east of the major port of Aden, had become critical after Al Qaeda fighters stormed the city. Through a discreetly planned mission, the evacuation effort was launched from the Ash Shihr Port. PNS ASLAT, a sword class combatant, safely evacuated 148 Pakistanis and 35 foreign nationals, including 11 Indians, 8 Chinese and 4 Britishers, two naval ships, PNS ASLAT and PNS SHAMSHEER safely evacuated not only 190 stranded Pakistanis in Yemen but 55 foreign nationals of China, India, Philippines, UK, Indonesia, Syria, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Bangladesh, Romania, Qatar, Ethiopia and Germany. This particular operation was applauded by the international community and reinforced affability with the states whose citizens were evacuated, generating global goodwill – with India in particular.


Lately in May this year, in the aftermath of severe floods in Sri Lanka, Pakistan Navy extended all-out men and material support in coordination with the Sri Lankan authorities to the flood affected local populace. PNS ZULFIQUAR performed as the base camp for Navy HA&DR. Pakistan Navy Search and Rescue teams, reached the remote areas of countryside in the affected districts. The medical camps were established in rural districts of Colombo. In addition, dry ration, fresh water and edibles were distributed amongst the displaced families. Ship’s Disaster Response Teams comprising the Special Services Group (Navy) and Pakistan Marines provided assistance in close coordination with the Sri Lankan Navy to earn the goodwill for Pakistan and the emblem of the Armed Forces.


The humanitarian operations strategy of PN has been consistently up ladder in terms of HA&DR design, scope, capacity and reach apropos its amassing stature as a regional force and growing international collaboration. Given the forward posture, inherent mobility, and highly flexible nature of a Navy with diverse capabilities, naval forces in general, and Pakistan Navy in national perspective, remains to be the force of choice for international HA&DR missions. In order to bolster their HA&DR capabilities, navies tend to acquire naval platforms that are particularly well-suited to conduct HA&DR operations without compromise on fleet strength engaged in traditional naval warfare missions. For instance, bigger auxiliaries, a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ship or similar family of platforms can conveniently reach the debris-littered shores in clear advantage against mainstream warships or auxiliaries. The LPD is normally capable of carrying a number of helicopters and along with its landing craft can land relief supplies and manpower faster.


Building on relationships forged in times of calm, Pakistan Navy continues to mitigate human suffering as the precursor of offshore efforts, in a proactive fashion to respond to disaster crises. As a maritime nation with a robust maritime capability, the sea remains amongst best mediums for Pakistan to carry national goodwill, promote soft diplomacy, project naval power, nurture bilateral friendships and extend helping hand to mankind across the oceans as a responsible nation. And, imperative use of navies in international HA&DR operations affirms the effective role the military plays in undertaking the humanitarian relief activities besides defending one’s homeland. Since Independence, preserving and floating on the collective resolve of nationhood, Armed Forces continue to march with and for the nation to be safe, secure and smiling – be it peace or war.

 

The writer is a freelancer, a maritime and defence professional.

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07
August

Written By: Ahmed Quraishi

In the nine years between 2001 and 2010, India border guards killed 900 poor Bangladeshi peasants. The intransigence of Indian officials sitting thousands of miles away in New Delhi is the main cause of this political and humanitarian tragedy.

Felani Khatun was 15 years old. An Indian soldier took aim at her. She was far away. She was killed on the border between India and Bangladesh. Her dress got stuck in the barbed wire. It was 6 a.m. Her dead body kept hanging on the border wall until 11 a.m. That is when India’s Border Security Force (BSF) patrol came to remove the body.


Did they know they killed an unarmed teenage girl? Wait until you read the full story.


The story of India’s border disputes with Bangladesh is bizarre by all standards of geography, history and politics. But the main cause is political intransigence on the part of the larger power, India. Indian officials have the political capital and geographic size to make the necessary deals to establish peace. Yet, it seems India thrives on battering its smaller neighbors and keeping them in a state of controlled chaos.


Many scholars argue it is unfair to blame New Delhi for the disputes. India is locked in border troubles with all its nine neighbors. But the case of Bangladesh is different. It clearly shows India bears considerable blame for instability in the region.


The border clashes between the two countries are more troubling because India helped create Bangladesh in 1971. [Short background: India unilaterally invaded Pakistan, with the help of a terror proxy militia created and trained by India, through successful PSY OPS, exploiting Pakistan’s political and linguistic fault lines, in an unprovoked invasion across international borders. A war of opportunity.]

The concept of ‘Hindu nationalism’ has worked somewhat, but is not enough. The Hindi-speaking ruling elite of New Delhi realizes this. What India needs is permanent enemies, sources of eternal evil, a concept that could further unite Indians beyond religion and state identity. This is where Bangladesh comes handy.

Considering India’s role in creating Bangladesh, relations between New Delhi and Dhaka should have been good enough to resolve border disputes. Instead, the India-Bangladesh dispute is an example of India’s inability to maintain peaceful borders with neighbors like Bangladesh that want to have good relations with India.


The border region where teenage girl Felani was killed has an interesting history that predates the independence of both countries. It goes back to the days of the Mughal emperors in India and the maharajas whose feudal holdings dotted the subcontinent.


Both countries share 4,100 km long border. It zigzags across some of the most difficult terrain on earth. It was hastily drawn by colonial power Britain in 1947 just as Pakistan and India were about to become independent. It was British diplomats and officers who did it. And just like the mess they created in Kashmir, Junagarh, and Hyderabad states in the North and West, it was no different in the East. There are about 162 border enclaves that lie on the wrong side of the India-Bangladesh border, 51 belong to India but lie inside Bangladesh, and 111 belong to Bangladesh but lie inside India.1


Dhaka and New Delhi are expected to have signed a deal to resolve this issue by July 31, 2017. But this is not where the problem ends. India has fenced nearly 70% of its border with Bangladesh. The stated Indian objective is to stop illegal Bangladeshi migration to India.


Indian Designs
But, how big of a problem this migration is? By most accounts, it is not such a huge problem, certainly not one that would force India to fence Bangladesh.


This is not a huge problem for India, but it did become one in the Indian state of Assam, where the Assamese and the Bengali ethnicities do not get along. The Assamese also have a problem with the Indians and India. Some of the Assamese are fighting India for independence. To placate them, the Indian Baboos [plural for Baboo, a civil servant in Hindi] came up with a novel idea: target the Bengali migrants from Bangladesh to show the Assamese that India protects their interests. The Indian Baboo came down from New Delhi guns blazing. India erected a fence, and boxed the Bangladeshis in from three sides. The fourth side is the sea, the Bay of Bengal, which floods every year.

 

Felani’s scream must have resonated in those open fields near the border. You can only hear chirping of birds at that time in the paddy fields. Hers must have been the scream of a scared child. The Indian soldiers in the distance were alerted by the cries of a child. They know that only poor Bangladeshi civilians cross the border. Granted they do this illegally, but the screams of a child could have forced the Indians to restrain their guns, at least this once. For the sake of a child. But they didn’t.

So, essentially, India has trapped the Bangladeshis between the fence and the sea.


Aside from the problem in the State of Assam, Bangladeshi migration is not big enough a problem for Indians to go for the drastic measure of erecting a fence on two-thirds of their border with Bangladesh. This is not the U.S.-Mexican border, where prosperity lies on one side and crime on the other. Indian regions adjoining Bangladesh are struggling with their issues of development, poverty, and distribution of resources. There is little prospect of a mass Bangladeshi migration to the Indian Dream, which remains largely confined to the make-belief world of Indian cinema, plus a handful of pockets of prosperity, mostly in the north and the northeast, where Hindi is spoken.


India’s Permanent War
The Indian fencing of Bangladesh border lays the groundwork for a permanent issue of hate between the two nations that could erupt later in war.


And this brings us to another problem in India: nationalism. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, religious fanatics are promoting a single Indian identity. Few outside India know that a country the size of India, ruled by minority northern Hindi-speaking upper-caste Indians, never existed in this region before. The credit for the modern Indian state goes to the British. They left behind a large political entity with dozens of ethnicities, languages, and religions. No one in the subcontinent had any extensive experience managing this type of a state. Of course, the Indians are doing just that for seven decades now, with fair results.


Since it is difficult to unite 28 Indian states (excluding Jammu & Kashmir, which is a disputed territory pending settlement in UN Security Council) by the identity of the Indian state, the Modi government is using Hindu religious extremism as a uniting factor. For purposes of image enhancement, the Indian government and media refer to this religious fanaticism by the term “Hindu nationalism”, a softer version of the term Hindu extremism.


The concept of ‘Hindu nationalism’ has worked somewhat, but is not enough. The Hindi-speaking ruling elite of New Delhi realizes this. What India needs is permanent enemies, sources of eternal evil, a concept that could further unite Indians beyond religion and state identity. This is where Bangladesh comes handy.


Bangladesh is part of what could be called the Indian Triangle of Evil: Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. The Indian Tri-Evil. The three represent sources of permanent threat in the Indian strategic doctrine. And the Indian military establishment has fought major wars in the three theaters, the only major wars India has known. India has fenced its borders with two, and is working on bolstering its border defenses with China.


‘Hate Bangladesh!’
Bangladesh is not a threat to India. But it is a handy enemy. Shooting and killing poor unarmed Bangladeshi migrants has helped placate the nation of Assam which wants out of the Indian state. So, the logic goes, if the Bangladesh Card is helpful in Assam, why not erect Bangladesh as a threat to unite other Indians? Why not use Bangladesh as part of the Pakistan-China-Bangladesh evil triangle of enemies to unite the State of India?


What supports this theory is the contempt that New Delhi has for Bangladeshis. The Indian disdain and scorn for Bangladeshis is historical, religious, and surprisingly, economic.


The arrogant Hindi-speaking ruling elite of New Delhi considers Bangladeshis easy to manipulate, and sees the Bangladeshi record in improving its economy and military as a likely future challenge to India that needs to be nipped in the bud.


The Indian arrogance is not misplaced. Between 1966 and 1972, India used the people of Bangladesh against each other with ease. It recruited many Bangladeshis in a terror militia, the Mukti Bahini, and then used them to kill other Bangladeshis. Thousands of Bangladeshis were killed at the hands of other Bangladeshis under this strategy. This success has given India confidence that it can always use and abuse Bangladesh.


Bangladeshi Felani Khatun
As India goes into negotiations to resolve the question of 162 enclaves, there is a glimmer of hope that New Delhi might apply the same reconciliatory approach to its wider issue of border management with Bangladesh. The early signs are not encouraging, though. A Human Rights Watch report accused Indian Border Security Force of killing 900 Bangladeshis between 2001 and 2010.


Felani was not one of them. She was killed a year after that report, on January 7, 2011.
Her father, Nurul Islam, belonged to South Ramkhana village in Bangladesh, located along the Indian border.


His father died due to extreme poverty when Nurul Islam was young. The area had little communication with the rest of Bangladesh. The closest population centers were across the border, in India. So, as a kid, he and his mother crossed the border into Assam in India.
Occasionally, they returned to the village to meet relatives.
Friday, January 7, 2011, was one of those days.
The well-known Bangladeshi human rights organization, Odhikar, documented the cold-blooded murder of Nurul Islam’s teenage daughter by Indian security. Here is an excerpt:


“On 7th January 2011, at approximately 6 in the morning, Nurul Islam’s daughter, 15 year old Felani Khatun, was shot and killed by the Indian BSF. According to Nurul Islam, an eye-witness to this killing, he and Felani were crossing into Bangladesh, by climbing over a barbed-wire fence using bamboo ladders, through the vacant space between number 3 and 4 S pillars, which are adjacent to the 947 main pillar of the Kitaber Kuthi Anantapur border. In order to do this they had made a deal with two Indian smugglers, namely Mosharaf Hussein and Buzrat in exchange of 3,000 Indian Rupees. While they were crossing the fence, Felani’s clothes got tangled in the barbed-wire, which frightened her and caused her to scream in panic. In quick response to her scream, the BSF on patrol opened fire at them. Felani was shot and killed, but her father managed to escape. The body of the deceased teenager hung on the fence till 11 a.m. that morning; subsequently, 5 hours later the BSF brought down Felani’s body and took it away. About 30 hours after the incident, on 8th January, 2011, following a flag meeting between the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Indian BSF, Felani’s body was returned to the concerned authorities in Bangladesh. On 9th January, 2011 at about 7 in the morning the body was then sent to Kurigram District Hospital by Sub Inspector Nuruzzaman of Phulbari Police Station, for post-mortem. After completion of the postmortem at the Kurigram District Hospital, the body of the deceased was handed over to her maternal uncle Hanif Ali, by the police on the same day. At approximately 10 p.m. that night, Felani’s body was buried in the back yard of her home.”


Felani’s scream must have resonated in those open fields near the border. You can only hear chirping of birds at that time in the paddy fields. Hers must have been the scream of a scared child. The Indian soldiers in the distance were alerted by the cries of a child. They know that only poor Bangladeshi civilians cross the border. Granted they do this illegally, but the screams of a child could have forced the Indians to restrain their guns, at least this once. For the sake of a child. But they didn’t.
India shows no mercy to Bangladeshis. Felani’s story is the story of Bangladesh.

 

The author is a researcher, television host, and writer.

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

 

Pakistan Army Shall Protect Civil Population against Unprovoked Indian Aggression at all Costs

newspakarmyshalprtect.jpgOn the death anniversary of Kashmiri hero Burhan Wani Shaheed on July 8 when Kashmiris all over the world were protesting against Indian attrocities, Indian Army initiated unprovoked firing across LOC in Rawalakot Sector, targeting innocent civil population in village Tetrinote, Manwa, Satwal and Chaffar with mortars and rockets fire, resulting in death of 5 innocent citizens induding four women and an old man while injuring another five people including three young girls.

 

Pakistan Army befittingly responded on July 9 causing substantial losses to men and material. Two Indian Army posts firing on innocent civilians have been destroyed and four Indian soldiers killed. Pakistan Army shall protect civil population against unprovoked Indian aggression at all costs.

(PR-350/2017-ISPR July, 9, 2017)
 
07
August

Written By: Jennifer McKay

Over in the Tochi Valley, the new Golden Arrow Montessori School has been opened in Degan for some very excited children who attended the opening in their best and brightest clothes. This is such a significant step for the area and has received great support from the community. And nearby at Boya, a new Women’s Vocational Centre has been opened. When I met with women in Boya during my visit, they were extremely excited about getting a new centre soon. Word has it they are now very happy indeed and enjoying the opportunities the Centre provides. Pakistan Army has changed the milieu from terrorism to peace in North Waziristan.

It is difficult to align the constant U.S. mantra that Pakistan is ‘not doing enough’ in the war against terrorism when we take a look at just what has and continues to be done. To say that the mantra is unreasonable and extremely disappointing is an understatement. So many lives have been lost in Pakistan in a long battle to defeat the scourge of terrorism, much of which has emanated from events in Afghanistan.


Operations across all seven tribal agencies, in Swat, throughout Karachi and the rest of the country, and now Khyber-IV to drive out the last remnants of terror groups in Rajgal Valley have cost many lives but cleared the areas and terrorist attacks have reduced enormously. Pakistan is fencing the border but, like so many other initiatives, this is facing resistance from Afghanistan.


Pakistan continues to both fight any pockets of resistance and at the same time move ahead with resettlement of displaced families, rehabilitate and reconstruct areas damaged by fighting. My recent articles have focused on North Waziristan, where the scale of peace building and progress in reconstruction and rehabilitation has been astounding. The work continues across the agency at a rapid pace and will continue for some time.

wazirstanatpeacethree.jpgAs North Waziristan transits from a humanitarian operation to long-term development, it is worthwhile looking at the most recent achievements, and the challenges that lie ahead that could hinder sustainable progress.


In the past two months, the Army has opened Razmak for local tourism and it has been hugely successful. The long term potential, assuming the tranquil and beautiful environment is managed sensitively, is limitless. The weather changes throughout the year and this small hamlet enjoys four seasons; though sometimes in the course of a few hours. Sitting at an altitude of just over 6,600 feet, and with mountains rising up to 11,000 feet, it is today an oasis of tranquility amongst the pine trees and lovely old buildings. A total surprise in Razmak was when I visited the new 'coffee shop' serving cappuccino, latte and assorted delicious treats. This for sure is going to be popular with visitors.


During the occupation and administration of the area by the British it became known as “Little London” due to the resemblance with an English village. When the British finally departed the area after partition and skirmishes with the local tribes, they left behind some lovely old architecture, and a cantonment that even today, maintains the style of an English village.


In more recent history, Razmak came under attack from the Taliban with rockets landing in the cantonment. Among the targets was the Razmak Cadet College, established in the old British barracks in 1978. These attacks, and the kidnapping of several students, led to a full evacuation of all students for five years until peace prevailed. Today, the students are back, living and studying in their beautiful campus amongst the pine trees and quiet calm on this old hill station.


The area around Razmak is rich in minerals that will provide extensive opportunities for future industry and prosperity for the local communities. However, I must add a word of caution. Mining companies will need to protect the environment to ensure that this magical place does not lose its charm and clean environment.


The drive to Razmak from Miranshah along the new road is scenic and provides glimpse of rural life as it gradually winds its way into higher terrain past hillside compounds, small farms and villages. A stop off at historic Alexandra Fort built by the British in the early 1900s gives a magnificent 360-degree view of the area. A hiking trail follows the road up to the top for those who feel energetic. Inspirational quotes to encourage hikers dot the trail and, for those who are feeling a bit weary, seats and tables are located at scenic points. This is becoming a popular visit point for locals who drive there from Miranshah and Mir Ali to enjoy a picnic. The area has its own microclimate and the weather changes rapidly. During my visit, within the course of an hour, the weather changed from bright, hot sunshine to approaching rain and a sudden drop in temperature. And just a few days before, snow had fallen on Alexandra Fort.

Unless realistic and substantial efforts are made across the border in Afghanistan to defeat terrorist groups there and bring sustainable peace, and to prevent terrorists from entering Pakistan, no matter what Pakistan does on its side, it will be like clapping with one hand.

Pakistan Army has constructed a new building for the Political Agent at Dosali, an area between Miranshah and Razmak, to replace one destroyed during the fighting. This will enable the government officials to provide more effective services to the communities in the area.


Over in the Tochi Valley, the new Golden Arrow Montessori School has been opened in Degan for some very excited children who attended the opening in their best and brightest clothes. This is such a significant step for the area and has received great support from the community. And nearby at Boya, a new Women’s Vocational Centre has been opened. When I met with women in Boya during my visit, they were extremely excited about getting a new centre soon. Word has it they are now very happy indeed and enjoying the opportunities the Centre provides. Pakistan Army has changed the milieu from terrorism to peace in North Waziristan.


And as another sign of the new normalcy, families were able to celebrate Eid in their own villages. Pakistan Army arranged five festivals in different areas across the agency with enthusiastic participation of local communities.


Recently, an education seminar was arranged by the civil servants in the region. This was a great opportunity to engage the local communities in discussions about building literacy and the importance of education. Parents are particularly keen to get their boys and girls into schools and are very supportive of education plans for North Waziristan.


Many other projects are under way and every month, a new facility, a road, an infrastructure component, opens for the public to make life easier. So things are certainly progressing well. But there are still development challenges ahead. The Army continues to do outstanding work, building on the massive achievements to date. However, the job is not theirs alone.


The Government needs to move forward on the FATA reforms and set a clear path for the future. To do this, they need to take the people along with the discussions so that they are comfortable with the process to integrate FATA into mainstream Pakistan, but without losing their culture. The transition period will be lengthy and complex so it should be started as soon as possible and with full engagement of all the stakeholders. More funds need to be ploughed into the area for facilities and upskilling of services to prepare for integration. But at the same time, the reconstruction and rehabilitation must continue till completion.


One area that has been sensitive is the matter of compensation for houses destroyed or damaged in the military operations. The Government promise was for PKR 160,000 for a damaged house, and PKR 400,000 for a destroyed house. This arrangement was not only for North Waziristan, but also for entire FATA. The Community Loss Compensation Program was originally envisaged as a more holistic program which would have provided a range of support and capacity building and training services to accompany the compensation. However, a change in the methodology diluted the additional benefits. The important issue though, is that all those who have suffered loss, are compensated as soon as possible.


While many have already received their payments, some are still waiting in parts of the FATA. This is an issue for the Government that should be attended to as soon as possible. The assessment teams, which include civilians and military personnel, carry out their work on the instructions of the FATA Secretariat once an area is de-notified. One thing that must be borne in mind is that basic facilities and infrastructure must be restored before an area is clear for families to return. The Army has made massive steps in fulfilling these needs and the majority of families have been able to return.

 

It is critical that the external assistance provided by UN and INGOs is aligned with the prioritised needs as determined by the people themselves, FATA Secretariat, and the Army. It should be sustainable so that when the project funding runs out, the communities are able to continue with the progress envisaged in the project documents.

It is unlikely that PKR 400,000 will meet the cost of rebuilding some houses so the capacity building and training component would be an added benefit to assist in building back better. Donors are encouraging the government to include this additional benefit.


The international and local aid community has contributed to a number of programs to help the returning TDPs. The World Food Program (WFP), with the support of their donors, has provided returning families with food packages for a six-month period while they resettle.


The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is coordinating the humanitarian assistance. OCHA Head of Office for Pakistan, Ms. Heli Uusikyla, visited North Waziristan recently to assess progress on UN funded activities and identify gaps where further support can be provided. On her return she spoke highly of the work being done by the Pakistan Army in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process. She also provided some insights into future UN assistance. Ms. Uusikyla noted, “USD 5.3 million have recently been released from UN funds for NGO projects to be implemented in the FATA, focusing on girls education, health, water and sanitation, and shelter support.” OCHA is also working with other UN partners, donors and INGOs to provide a coordinated transition to development.
There is one important need that is yet to be fulfilled; that of children who have lost one or both parents whose families are unable to properly provide for them. Because of the social environment, women-headed households find it particularly hard to earn an income to provide for their families. These vulnerable children must not be forgotten. It is a challenge for poor families across the country. Most find that they have no option but to send their children to madrassas mainly because they will receive free meals and accommodation. This places these children at high risk of falling prey to any fundamentalist ideas.


The Army has closed all madrassas in NWA and although this is a major step towards maintaining peace and defeating extremism, it leaves fewer options particularly for women-headed households who are unable to support their children, and for orphans. This is an opportunity for the people of Pakistan to show compassion and support efforts to meet the needs of these children through the provision of a safe and happy environment that will provide house, ‘parents’, comfortable accommodation, nutritious food, and health facilities, along with a good education. This will not only boost education and keep these children safe, it will give new hope to this area.1


Moving from the first phase – humanitarian assistance – to the longer-term development assistance, can be a slow process. While some donors are keen to support FATA, including North Waziristan, there have been delays in approvals. Even when the Army and other authorities are comfortable with the security situation, the internal organisational security processes for UN agencies, donors and INGOs can be a barrier. However, all the stakeholders are working together to find solutions and to proceed with assistance on a prioritised basis.


It is critical that the external assistance provided by UN and INGOs is aligned with the prioritised needs as determined by the people themselves, FATA Secretariat, and the Army. It should be sustainable so that when the project funding runs out, the communities are able to continue with the progress envisaged in the project documents. Too often, when project funding runs out and the aid agency departs, the situation becomes static or falls into disarray. This is not specific to Pakistan or FATA, it is a known challenge around the developing world.


But the biggest challenges ahead is a regional one. What happens in Afghanistan will certainly have an impact on Pakistan, particularly in the FATA.


A recent bipartisan high profile U.S. Senators' delegation led by the chairman of U.S. Armed Services Committee, John McCain (R) and including Lindsay Graham (R), Elizabeth Warren (D), David Perdue (R), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D) visited Pakistan recently. Senator McCain has been one of the more positive voices for Pakistan but following this visit, the signs have been less encouraging. During the visit, the delegation met with Foreign Affairs Adviser, Sartaj Aziz for what was reported as positive and engaging discussion. The delegation also met Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.


A highlight of the visit was a trip to South Waziristan to view the progress in reconstruction and rehabilitation, part of which has been funded by USAID. Senator McCain is one of the few U.S. Senators or Members of Congress who has made regular visits to Pakistan and made an effort to understand the issues in the tribal areas. But this time, despite very positive encouragement when in Pakistan, once the delegation visited Afghanistan after leaving Pakistan, the tone changed. The “Pakistan must do more” mantra reappeared. On arrival in Afghanistan, Senator McCain said about Pakistan at a press briefing, “We have made it very clear that they will cooperate with us particularly against the Haqqani network and against terrorist organisations”. He went on to say that, “If they don’t change their behaviour, maybe we should change our behaviour towards Pakistan.” Senator Lindsey Graham was quoted by the Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer’s office as saying, “Pakistan will be rewarded if it changed its policy and punished if it didn’t.”


Despite almost a trillion dollars spent by the U.S. on their war in Afghanistan, and large amounts by its allies, the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate across the country. The Taliban are in control of large swathes of the country and ISIS has moved in. It does seem that Afghanistan accepts no blame for the situation despite enormous corruption, unhealthy and shaky political alliances, and a failure of policies. That Afghanistan has failed to halt the spread of ISIS within its borders is of great concern to Pakistan. The proximity of ISIS in some areas of Afghanistan particularly in regions such as Achin, Nangarhar and Tora Bora near the Pakistan border is alarming.


India’s footprint in Afghanistan continues to grow and the U.S. National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018 indicates that it may grow even more through the strengthening U.S.-India alliance. The NDAA sets a time limit of 180 days to develop a strategy for enhanced defence cooperation with India. Pakistan can only wait and see what that might mean. Also in the wing is the new U.S. policy for Afghanistan, which is believed to include a tougher stance on Pakistan. Another sign of a more aggressive U.S. stance against Pakistan is the recent announcement that the U.S. will not honour its commitment to reimburse Pakistan for the outstanding $350 million from the Coalition Support Fund. Of this, $300 has been reprogrammed elsewhere and the remaining $50 million will be withheld.


As Pakistan awaits the announcement of the U.S. intentions in the region, it can only be hoped that it will do nothing to destabilise the outstanding achievements for peace in North Waziristan and all the FATA. Unless realistic and substantial efforts are made across the border in Afghanistan to defeat terrorist groups there and bring sustainable peace, and to prevent terrorists from entering Pakistan, no matter what Pakistan does on its side, it will be like clapping with one hand.

 

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
July
July 2017(EDITION 07, Volume 54)
 
Written By: Maria Khalid
Primarily every country has the responsibility of maintaining peace within its geographical boundaries and holds itself accountable to keep the internal security mechanism smooth and effective. Pakistan’s decision to fight the menace of terrorism was extraordinary....Read full article
 
Written By: Lt Gen Talat Masood (R)
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was established in 2001, with the aim of countering extremism in the region and to strengthen border security. Its undeclared mission was also to act as a check against the growing influence of U.S. and NATO countries in the region.....Read full article
 
Written By: Lt Gen Tariq Waseem (R)
What is it that binds people together, year after year after year? A shared destiny, belief in a common cause, a unifying culture, cherished memories, and the strength that comes from an abiding relationship. This is the sum of a military professional’s espirit de corps, at the.....Read full article
 
Written By: Taj M. Khattak
Pakistan recently became a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) after Foreign Affairs' Advisor, Mr. Sartaj Aziz signed a ‘Memorandum of Obligations’ (MoOs) at Heads of State Summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan along with Foreign Ministers of six....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal
Since the beginning of twenty-first century the Middle Eastern nations have been encountering various subverting challenges. Militancy, domestic turmoil, struggles for regional hegemony, politics of intervention, sectarian animosity and Great Powers' interference....Read full article
 
Written By: Jennifer McKay
The Tochi Valley has had a long and colourful history. This beautiful valley, running from Bannu through Mir Ali and Miranshah, out to Degan, Boya and beyond, has seen many conflicts over the centuries. Today, it is at peace....Read full article
 
Written By: Rear Admiral Pervaiz Asghar (R)
Sea trade has been universally recognized as the principal driver of the global economy. It was however in the Indian Ocean that coastal trade as well as trans-oceanic passages are believed to have originated. This ocean is also unique in the sense that its wide expanse is enclosed....Read full article
 
Written By: Puruesh Chaudhary
Philosophers, military strategists, mathematicians and scientists have their own unique way of thinking, reasoning and inferring. It’s when that is applied in times of peace and war, it shapes our understanding of events and personalities......Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Shahid Mahmud
To survive and thrive in the coming Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled exponential-disruption, governments must proactively deal with the challenges and opportunities posed by AI. The field of artificial intelligence is making breathtaking advances.....Read full article
 
Written By: Amir Atta
This is an exciting time as we are only on the cusp of what’s to come with artificial intelligence. The next decade is set to show off the biggest change in man’s way of life since the beginning of the industrial era.....Read full article
 
Written By: Abdullah Khan
There are many types of Indian intelligence involvement in Pakistan. It has a history of launching dirty games in Pakistan and it brought the worst kind of results in 1971 when East Pakistan defected to become Bangladesh because of India’s intelligence....Read full article
 
Written By: Maj Wajiha Arshad
Women empowerment is taken in true letter and spirit in Pakistan by enhancing and improving the social, economic, political and legal strengths of the women and to ensure fair opportunities for the women in all walks of life. Ever-increasing responsibilities and lesser....Read full article
 
Written By: Hira Sagheer
It is a day like any other. The bright midday sun filters through the thick white curtains and paints the room a pale yellow hue. I say midday because that is the time I usually wake up at. I sleepily stretch in bed and turn around to look at my side where my angel......Read full article
 
Written By: Maj Azeemullah Baig
The Spanish climber Alberto Zerain, after the summit, descended safely once the rope was intact at the traverse of the Bottleneck. After reaching back at Camp-IV he preferred to go down to Camp-III. The other climbers had reached .....Read full article

 
Besides safeguarding maritime interests of Pakistan, Pakistan Navy (PN) has always been at the forefront to conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations overseas to extend support/help to international community. The resolve and commitment of Pakistan.........Read full article
 
Written By: Omair Alavi
Pakistan Cricket Team is one of its kind when it comes to world events – when the chips are down, they are the favorites but when they are the favorites, they usually exit badly. Who can forget the World Cup in 1992 where Imran Khan’s Tigers made a comeback from......Read full article
 
Hilal Desk
Hundreds of thousands of our soldiers are deployed at borders, LOC, battlefields and hard areas throughout the country. These brave men are carrying out various military operations on top of which lies Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad to permanently wipe terrorism......Read full article
 
Written By: Col Naiknam M.Baig
An emerging soldier artist defies the norms of art through his art of imperfection......Read full article
 
H.E Mr. Sun Weidong, Ambassador of China, called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi. Matters related to defence and....Read full article
 
Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Turkey on an official visit on June 20, 2017. On arrival, COAS visited Ataturk Mausoleum and laid floral wreath to pay homage to the father of Turkish nation and penned down his respects on the visitor....Read full article
 
Measures to improve security situation along the Pak-Afghan border continue. In line with the directions of COAS, phased fencing of entire Pak-Afghan border has commenced. In phase 1, high infiltration prone border areas in Bajaur....Read full article
 
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah visited Sri Lanka and called on President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Defense, Dinendra Ruwan Wijewardene....Read full article
 
A free medical camp was established in a school building at Gudai and Chillim towns of District Astore in compliance with the directions of Commander FCNA from May 12-14, 2017. Keeping in view the....Read full article
 
Commander 10 Corps, Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza visited troops deployed along LOC in Iftikharabad Sector. He reviewed the operational preparedness and expressed his satisfaction on operational readiness and vigilance exercised by forward troops. Corps Commander.....Read full article
 
10
July

Written By: Omair Alavi

Pakistan Cricket Team is one of its kind when it comes to world events – when the chips are down, they are the favorites but when they are the favorites, they usually exit badly. Who can forget the World Cup in 1992 where Imran Khan’s Tigers made a comeback from the verge of being knocked out and clinched the trophy after defeating one of the best sides in the tournament. Twenty-five years later, the same thing happened as Sarfraz Ahmed and his boys managed to win four consecutive matches to take home their first ever Champions Trophy. Was it luck, was it planning, was it due to the Holy month of Ramadan? What helped Pakistan do the unthinkable? Let’s analyze:

 

paknowruleworld.jpg

THE GOOD

Sarfraz and His Courageous Captaincy

sarfrazahmed.jpgUsually when a captain leading his side in a world event loses the first match, all his plans go awry. He tries to win by hook or by crook and that doesn’t necessarily end up as a positive step. However, in case of Sarfraz Ahmed, things ended up pretty much the way he envisioned and since he and his boys gave their 100 percent, he ended up with the trophy and becoming the World Champions.

There were occasions when Sarfraz grip on the situation loosened especially in the grand finale, such as making Fakhar Zaman bowl, continuing with Shadab Khan when any pacer would have knocked the Indians out and sending Imad Wasim ahead of himself at the crucial stage. Come to think of it, he was sending messages through these decisions to the selectors – that Imad Wasim can’t bat and bowl when the situation demands, Fakhar might become an all-rounder and that Shadab still has a lot to learn.

 

The Resurgence of Hasan Ali

hassanali.jpgA year back, had someone predicted that Hasan Ali will end up as the leading wicket-taker of Champions Trophy, people would have laughed at that person. In the last 12 months, he has not only made a place for himself in the final XI of all formats but has also defeated the ‘leftist’ mindset that was prevalent in the selection committee. They continued to use one-dimensional pacers irrespective of conditions and that's one of the reasons why Pakistani pacers weren't taken seriously by opponents. Not anymore as the biggest export of Pakistan Super League has now become a threat with his variety of deliveries. With 13 wickets in 5 matches, including the prized scalps of world’s best batsmen, Hasan Ali helped Pakistan become the Champions from rock bottom position, literally. His celebration style has also become popular amongst the fans that include commentators, opposing players and well-wishers at home.

 

The Record-making Fakhar Zaman

fakharzaman.jpgNo Pakistani since the great Majid Khan in World Cup 1975 had hit 3 consecutive scores of 50 or above in an ICC event, till Fakhar Zaman hit 2 half centuries and one match-winning century against India in the Champions Trophy. Unlike his predecessors that go back 15 years, Fakhar has a flair that reminds one of Saeed Anwar and to some extent of Aamer Sohail. He likes to score runs than play a dot ball and that mindset is what Pakistan was missing. Move over Ahmed Shehzad; step aside Awais Zia; Fakhar Zaman is here to stay. His ascent to the top order must be highlighted as the most important step in Pakistan’s success story. Not only did he rattle the opposition fast bowlers in the process of making a name for himself, he was equally efficient against spinners, notably Jadeja-Ashwin duo that remained clueless in the grand finale.

 

THE Bad

Everyone is congratulating Inzamam-ul-Haq led selection committee for sending players who went on to win the trophy for Pakistan. What they don’t realize is that all these players were selected as backups and wouldn’t have played had India not thrashed Pakistan in the first match of the tournament. Umar Akmal repeated history by being sent back from a tour just like father-in-law Abdul Qadir in the 80s – Qadir was sent back on disciplinary grounds from Australia while Umar on lacking the required fitness. How Umar managed to clear the fitness test days after being declared 'super unfit' remains a mystery but when you have Inzamam-ul-Haq judging fitness, the answer is as clear as day. The former captain had never been fit his entire career and once even asked coach Javed Miandad to exclude him from training in exchange for a 100 the other day – he managed 80 odd runs in the next Test against England, twice! With Umar Akmal’s return to Pakistan and Sarfraz XI winning the event, one thing is sure – the door of a comeback for this Akmal is closed, this time for good.
 

THE UNEXPECTED

Dropping Crucial Catches

Catches win matches; but did you know that some catches even win tournaments – Sarfraz Ahmed got reprieved off by Lasith Malinga in the all-crucial league match against Sri Lanka and made the most of it by winning the match for his country. Had that catch been held, the tables may have reversed and Pakistan might have been on its way back home, rather than moving into the semi-final and later the final. Similarly, had Fakhar Zaman’s catch not been held by Jadeja in the grand finale, Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez might not have scored quickly, considering the centurion was getting tired with every passing over. Indeed, catches do win matches!

 

Bumrah – The New Sharma!

Then there are a few catches that are held but not held at the same time – just like the 1992 World Cup in which Ramiz Raja was declared ‘not out’ off a waist-high no-ball, Fakhar Zaman was caught behind off a front-foot no-ball bowled by Jasprit Bumrah 25 years later. The error ranks on top with Chetan Sharma’s failed Yorker in the final of the Austral-Asia Cup in 1986 and cost India the match as Fakhar Zaman went on to score a century that helped Pakistan post 338 for the loss of 4 wickets in 50 overs. Yes, solid batting from Azhar Ali, Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam helped as well but had that Bumrah-ball been a legal one, India might have had the upper hand. Who knows!

 

Luck Favours the Brave

As far as one can remember, the last time Pakistan played an ODI match in a ‘positive and aggressive’ manner was way back in 2008 when they defeated India in the final of Kitply Cup under Shoaib Malik. Nine years later, Pakistan managed to play positively and saw India lose by the biggest ever margin of 180 runs. The Indian medium pacers and spinners were treated as mediocre bowlers which they proved to be in conditions that resembled any place but India. Ravichandran Ashwin looked like a different bowler with the white ball as he was belted across the park, as was Ravi Jadeja who proved to be unlucky for his own team as he first couldn’t deliver the goods with the ball, and later ran out the Indian nation’s only hope Hardik Pandya. Pakistan managed to play like tigers and we all know that when that happens, we usually end up lifting the Cup!

 
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10
July

Hilal Desk

Hundreds of thousands of our soldiers are deployed at borders, LOC, battlefields and hard areas throughout the country. These brave men are carrying out various military operations on top of which lies Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad to permanently wipe terrorism from the country. While these soldiers have vowed to sacrifice everything they have for this very homeland and its people, the nation stands with them in the fight against terrorism and has full confidence in their capabilities to defend every inch of the country. This Eid-ul-Fitr, we extend our heartiest greetings and strongest prayers to the valiant soldiers.

withlivefromnation.jpg

Eid Mubarak

jusciretnasira.jpgEid Mubarak to our valiant troops who are courageously defending our frontiers in these challenging times. Our security is being constantly threatened and attacked internally and externally by our enemies. The vigilant efforts of our Armed Forces have reduced terrorism in our country and made it possible for our citizens to breathe freely and lead their lives without fear. The stigma of being labeled as a war torn country has been removed through your unflinching sacrifices. We all pray that Allah Almighty may grant you more strength to protect our motherland. Amen!

Justice (retired) Nasira Javed Iqbal

 

sharifprofesor.jpgMy message is for those fortunate brethren who are out in the extreme cold and hot weathers to defend Pakistan all the way; who are out to stop the onslaught permanently; who have stopped the return of the dark ages at Pakistan’s frontiers; who have shunned comforts of life so that we may live in peace with our folk and families, toddlers and teenagers, women and off springs in our lovely homes and neighborhoods. To those who have made all this possible, your scarifices shall never be forgotten. Eid Mubarak!

Prof Sharif-ul-Mujahid (Eminent author and HEC distinguished national professor)

 

shahzad_nawaz.jpgMy beloved soldiers, it is my privilege to be greeting you this Eid-ul-Fitr. On this joyous day, I also wish to remind you that you are our pride manning our frontiers, celebrating Eid away from homes in remotest parts of this beautiful land with vigil, honor and courage. Do know that Pakistan is indebted to you; your people are grateful to you, and your family is not just your blood ones but also the ones who are related to you because of this common bond of love called Pakistan. God bless you. God bless Pakistan.

Shehzad Nawaz (Filmmaker, actor, singer, graphic designer)

 

asimulhaq.jpgI wish Eid Mubarak to each and everyone of you; may all of you have a very blessed Eid. You are the real heroes who put their lives on frontline each and everyday so we can live ours and breathe in a peaceful country. I would like to thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart for protecting us and providing a safety wall against all domestic and international enemies. The reason we are still on map of the world is because of you and the sacrifices you have made for us and continue to make every day. I salute you!

Aisam-ul-Haq (International Tennis player)

 

shaikjaved.jpgIn the heart of 200 million, one of the very few institutions left to be proud of is the Armed Forces of Pakistan for their credibility, courage, honesty and discipline. I salute them for fighting on so many fronts to make Pakistan safe from the evils.

Ay watan kay sajeelay jawano

Meri duwain tumharay liye hain

God Bless Pakistan Armed Forces!

Javed Sheikh (Actor, Film Director and Producer)

 

moeenali.jpgOur soldiers keep us safe and secure every day and thus we can walk safely, drive safely and live our lives doing extraordinary things. Even in times of extraordinary joy, while we celebrate our festivities on Eid day, our soldiers are sacrificing their Eid and their time with families for us. May Allah bless and protect them. Thank you for keeping us and our children safe.

Ali Moeen Nawazish (Academic, columnist)

 

bilalashraf.jpgI wish our forces a very very Happy Eid. It's because of their sacrifices and commitment to protect Pakistan that we can celebrate Eid with our families. May Allah bless our Army. Pakistan Zindabad!

Bilal Ashraf (Actor)

 

afrazadiah.jpgFor our brave soldiers who put their lives at risk so that we can sleep safe in our homes; for our courageous fighters who are away from their families and loved ones on this Eid; for our valiant heroes who choose our comfort, happiness and safety over their own. On this Eid the Pakistani nation is beholden to your courage and selflessness. With prayers, love and gratitude, a heartfelt Eid Mubarak!

Adiah Afraz (Professor, editor, writer)

 

shafqatamant.jpgAy watan k sajeelay jawano

Mere naghmay tumharay liye hain

This is not a song, these are my true feelings. I salute my brave soldiers who are defending our borders to make sure we can observe Ramadan peacefully and celebrate Eid with our families. You're always in our prayers. Keep defending this country and making us proud. God be with you!

Shafqat Amanat Ali (Singer)

 

omerayesha.jpgFestivities like Eid are one celebration that bring all of Pakistan together yet our soldiers deployed on borders and on various other missions stand alert to protect us round the clock. All throughout my childhood my grandmother would tell me stories of how strong our soldiers are and how they sacrifice important events and celebrations with their families for the safety of our nation. The immense pride I feel when I think about the sacrifices of our soldiers leaves me with a hope of a better and a stronger country for all Pakistanis. So on this Eid, let’s celebrate the dedication and patriotism of our soldiers and their families and let’s pray for their safety and security. I wish the whole nation a blessed Eid-ul-Fitr with the faith of better and peaceful days ahead.

Ayesha Omar (Actress)

 

aizaazam.jpgAs a nation that has been at war for last sixteen years now, our joyous occasions are often bittersweet. Even as we celebrate, we are reminded of our fallen soldiers and of the loved ones they leave behind. This Eid-ul-Fitr let us each take a moment to remember them once again. Pray for our martyrs and their families; pray for those still deployed defending our land with their lives; offer thanks for each day we are able to continue because of them; and never forget the debt of gratitude this nation owes them. May the Almighty accept their sacrifices and keep our motherland safe from all evils.

Aiza Azam (Professor)

 

abdulmuqeet.jpgWhile the soldiers of Pakistan Army are ever ready to respond and thwart aggression by enemy at borders, I am waiting for my turn to be selected to join them and become a member of the prestigious Armed Forces who fear none but Allah. The determination and sacrifice they offer is unmatched. The whole nation stands with them shoulder-to-shoulder and feels proud of them. Eid Mubarak from the nation to its brave sons of soil.

Abdul Muqueet (Student)

 
 
10
July
Commander 10 Corps Visits Troops Deployed Along LOC in Iftkharabad Sector

Commander 10 Corps, Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza visited troops deployed along LOC in Iftikharabad Sector. He reviewed the operational preparedness and expressed his satisfaction on operational readiness and vigilance exercised by forward troops. Corps Commander expressed his concern over continuous ceasefire violations by Indian troops targeting innocent civil population residing close to the LOC. While appreciating the indomitable spirit, he lauded the high morale of deployed troops and unflinching resolve of civil population of the area and urged for a befitting response to Indian ceasefire violations.

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10
July
Free Medical Camp Established in Gudai and Chillim

newsfreemedcamp.jpgA free medical camp was established in a school building at Gudai and Chillim towns of District Astore in compliance with the directions of Commander FCNA from May 12-14, 2017. Keeping in view the customs of this area, separate male, female and children OPDs were established. Separate medical stores were set up for male and female patients. Efforts were made in coordination with locals and civilian administration to make WHAM activity successful by displaying banners and announcements in mosques. Sufficient quantity of medicine was made available by CMH Gilgit through its own resources. Apart from medicines, hygiene kits were also distributed among families and children. Medicines of worth Rs. 0.7 Mn (approx) were provided to the patients free of cost.

FC Balochistan Conducts IBO in Quetta

newsfreemedcamp1.jpgFC Balochistan conducted an IBO in Quetta. Two wanted terrorists of BLA were tracked who got killed in exchange of fire. The killed terrorists were involved in attacking Armed Forces, target killing, kidnapping for ransom and IEDs planting in Quetta, Margate and Sangaan areas of Balochistan.

In FATA, security forces recovered huge quantity of weapons and ammunition during an IBO in village Nizkan Khel, Razin, Nazar Khel of South Waziristan Agency, Village Kaskai of Lower Dir, village Sirigal of Chitral and various areas of Dara Adam Khel. The recoveries include SMGs, Sakila gun, Missiles, 12 bore rifles, grenades, communication equipment, binoculars, ammunition of various calibres including 82 mm mortar and 12.7 mm rounds, rockets of RPG7, rounds of Draganov, switches, detonators and 14.5 mm ammunition.

10
July
Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah Meets Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister and Top Military Leadership

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah visited Sri Lanka and called on President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Defense, Dinendra Ruwan Wijewardene and top military leadership including Chief of Defense Staff Sri Lankan Armed Forces and three Services’ Chiefs in separate meetings.

 

newscnsmeetsrilankan.jpgDuring the meetings with President and Prime Minister, matters of mutual interests were dilated upon. Admiral Zakaullah highlighted Pakistan Navy’s efforts in pursuance of Government of Pakistan policies to maintain peace and security in the Indian Ocean region in collaboration with international community. The Admiral reiterated Pakistan’s continued support to Sri Lankan Armed Forces in the field of training, provision of technical manpower and expertise.


Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister acknowledged Pakistan Navy’s strenuous efforts for maintaining maritime security in the region and also expressed satisfaction over the historical bonds and defense collaboration between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in various fields including training, reciprocal visits, port calls and exercises, and, hoped for further strengthening of the defense ties and bilateral relations. The dignitaries lauded Pakistan Navy’s all out support and assistance to Sri Lankan people during the recent devastating floods and highly appreciated professional acumen and commitment of Pakistan Navy personnel displayed during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations.


The Naval Chief also met Chief of Defense Staff Sri Lankan Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunathilake, Commander of Army, Lieutenant General A. W. J. Crishanthe De Silva, Commander Sri Lankan Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne and Commander of Air Force Air Marshal Kapila Veedhiya Bandara Jayampathy.


During the meetings with military leaders, professional matters of mutual interest and bilateral defense ties were pondered upon. Military dignitaries acknowledged warm and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka based on strong foundations and historical ties and highly appreciated the role and contributions of Pakistan in spearheading various initiatives for maintaining peace and stability in the region.


Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah also looked forward to further enhancing the interaction between both the countries in the diverse fields of training, mutual visits and defense collaboration.


Earlier, upon the invitation of the Commander of Sri Lankan Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah also attended the passing out parade of midshipmen and cadets, as the chief guest, held at Naval and Maritime Academy in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, and interacted with newly commissioned officers.


It is expected that the recent visit of the Naval Chief will further enhance and expand defense ties between the two countries in general and the Armed Forces in particular.

10
July
Pakistan Begins Phased Fencing of Pak-Afghan Border

newssecpakafghanborder.jpgMeasures to improve security situation along the Pak-Afghan border continue. In line with the directions of COAS, phased fencing of entire Pak-Afghan border has commenced. In phase 1, high infiltration prone border areas in Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber Agencies are being fenced. In phase 2, fencing of remaining border areas including Balochistan will be executed. Besides fencing, Pakistan Army and FC KP are constructing new Forts/Border Posts to improve surveillance and defensibility. A secure Pak-Afghan border is in common interest of both countries and a well coordinated border security mechanism is essential for enduring peace and stability.

Pakistan Army shall continue its efforts to consolidate gains achieved in War on Terror: COAS

Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Peshawar Corps Headquarters. He was given detailed briefing on situation along Pak-Afghan border, ongoing and future operations, progress on development works and return of TDPs. COAS appreciated improved security situation and measures for better border management including fencing.

 newssecpakafghanborder1.jpgCOAS expressed his satisfaction on operational readiness of the formations and asked them to stay vigilant against all types of threat. He said that we consider Afghanistan as a brotherly neighbor and terrorists are our common enemy. The threat thus requires a trust based coordinated response rather than blame game or unwarranted skirmishes.

 

COAS said that unilateral actions like drone strike etc. are counterproductive and against the spirit of ongoing cooperation and intelligence sharing being diligently undertaken by Pakistan. Pakistan Army is capable of taking effective measures if actionable intelligence is shared. He said that our focus now is to transform our operational achievements in FATA into enduring peace and stability for which early mainstreaming of FATA, through reforms is essential and Pakistan Army fully supports all efforts towards that end.

 

COAS said that our brave tribal brothers through their support, cooperation and resolve, have enabled its security forces to succeed during the operations and now it is time for them to live a fearless and quality social life as citizens of Pakistan. COAS said that Pakistan Army shall continue its efforts to consolidate gains achieved thus far and stated that Army stands with all other institutions to get Pakistan rid of menace retarding its progress and prosperity.

 

Earlier, on arrival at Corps Headquarters, COAS was received by Commander Peshawar Corps Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmad Butt.

Our enemies shall never succeed to lower our resolve or to divide us: COAS

General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited Parachinar, Kurram Agency. COAS was briefed in detail about security situation and recent terrorist incidents. COAS interacted with local tribal elders and representatives of the sit-in. Offering newssecpakafghanborder2.jpgdua for Shuhada, COAS expressed his grief on loss of precious lives. COAS said that he was abroad and on return weather delayed his attempts to visit Parachinar. Meanwhile, Commander Peshawar Corps and IGFC were present at Parachinar and implemented directions of COAS in taking care of the victims and the affected families. He said that we as a nation have given unprecedented sacrifices in war against terrorism and we shall succeed. "Our enemies shall never succeed to lower our resolve or to divide us," COAS remarked. Appreciating FC KP and local administration for their efforts, COAS acknowledged their contributions. To date 126 brave soldiers of FC KP alone have laid their lives and 387 have got injured while performing security duties in Kurram Agency only. "FC KP is a professional force inclusive of all tribes and sects performing their duties selflessly," COAS said.
Speaking at the occasion Tribal elders expressed their full confidence and trust in Army and its leadership. "We stand with our Security Forces and our blood is for our motherland. We all are Pakistanis and Muslims," the elders remarked.
Later, COAS also met representatives of sit-in and listened to their concerns. "While administrative concerns will be pursued with the executive body, suggestions regarding security mechanism are being incorporated forthwith. We can only be effective when locals are part of the security and vigilance," COAS said.
COAS announced the following:-
* While there are clear evidences of hostile foreign hands in recent incidents, local facilitators and abettors have been apprehended who will be tried in military courts.
* Additional Army troops have been moved in Parachinar to enhance its security while FC troops are being beefed up on Pak-Afghan border to seal it effectively. Toori Razakars are also being dovetailed on check posts.
* Safe city project for Parachinar by installing CCTV cameras in line with the ones in Lahore and Islamabad will be undertaken.
* Fencing of border is already in progress. More sensitive areas of FATA are being fenced in Phase 1 while complete Pak-Afghan border including the border in Balochistan will be fenced in Phase 2.
* Firing by FC troops while handling mob situation post blast is being inquired and those responsible shall not be spared. FC commandant has already been changed. Notwithstanding the irreparable loss, four Shaheeds and injured due to firing have been given separate compensation by FC.
* Army Public School Parachinar is named after Maj Gulfam Shaheed and it will be upgraded to Cadet College in due course.
* Trauma Centre will be established at Parachinar by Army while local civil hospital will be upgraded for better medical care by civil administration.
* Government has now announced compensation for Parachinar victims at par with other such victims elsewhere in the country. All Pakistanis are equal.
* Army fully supports mainstreaming of FATA which is being pursued and its early implementation is essential for enduring peace and stability.
COAS said that Pakistan Army shall continue its efforts to bring back normalcy in the country. He said that threat continues to reside across the border in Afghanistan with ISIS gaining strength there. "We need to remain united, steadfast, prepared and vigilant against this threat which has an agenda of exploiting sectarian fault-line. "Our security forces are symbol of national integration so is our security apparatus; we are one nation. Also, a greater Pak-Afghan border coordination and security cooperation is required in this regard," COAS remarked.

Those responsible for Parachinar incidents shall be brought to law: COAS

Army is closely following the sectarian and ethnic colour being deliberately given to recent spate of incidents in the country by hostile intelligence agencies/sponsored anti-state elements. Having failed to divide us through terrorism, our enemy is now trying to target and fragment us along sectarian/ethnic lines which merit a unified national response.

Ongoing malicious campaign of enemies of Pakistan which is also unwittingly being spread on social media is highly regrettable and we all need to be cognizant of it. "For us every Shaheed/injured is equal, regardless of sect/ethnicity and indeed is a great loss.” We all are Pakistanis and Muslims who fully respect the religious rights of our Pakistani non-Muslim minorities," COAS said.

COAS has interacted with religious clergy of all sects over the last few days for their positive involvement in defeating this ongoing sinister campaign. It is assured that those responsible for Parachinar incidents shall be brought to law and victims will be compensated without any discrimination. "Alhamdulillah, we have brought security situation in country including FATA under control and shall not allow its regression at any cost," COAS said.

10
July
COAS Visits Turkey

Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Turkey on an official visit on June 20, 2017. On arrival, COAS visited Ataturk Mausoleum and laid floral wreath to pay homage to the father of Turkish nation and penned down his respects on the visitor’s book.

 

COAS visited Turkish Land Force Headquarters where he was received by General Salih Zeki Çolak, Commander Turkish Land Forces and was presented Guard of Honour. At the Turkish Land Force Headquarters, COAS was briefed on the regional security situation as well as the Turkish Land Forces and their various undertakings in the fields of training, defense production and peacekeeping operations.

 

COAS was awarded the Legion of Merit in a simple and graceful ceremony in recognition of his services for promotion of Pakistan-Turkey defense ties. Speaking on the occasion, COAS underscored the special place that Turkey enjoys in the hearts of all Pakistanis. He dedicated the award to the Shuhada of both Pakistani and Turkish Armed Forces.

 

Later, COAS called on Chief of Turkish General Staff, General Hulusi Akar and discussed matters related to regional security and the role Armed Forces of both countries play towards peace and stability. The two military leaders agreed to further enhance defense cooperation in multiple fields. Turkish military leadership was greatly appreciative of the role Pakistan Army plays against terrorism as well as in peacekeeping operations and as a factor of stability in a very volatile region.

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10
July
Ambassador of China Calls on CJCSC to Discuss Matters Related to Defence and Security

newsambaschinacjsc.jpgH.E Mr. Sun Weidong, Ambassador of China, called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi. Matters related to defence and security were discussed during the meeting. Both sides reiterated their resolve for further strengthening of this special relationship.

The Ambassador commended the professionalism of Pakistan Armed Forces and acknowledged sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism.

 

 

 

CJCSC Attends 12th Round of Defence and Security Talks in China

General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, on a three days official visit from June 14 - 17 to China, attended 12th Round of Defence and Security Talks. CJCSC had meetings with General Fang Fenghui, Chinese Chief of Joint Staff Department and Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr. Wang Yi. Chinese leadership lauded strong iron bond between the two countries and agreed to further strengthen and deepen their strategic relationship. Earlier on arrival at Ba Yi Building, a smartly turned out contingent of Chinese Armed Forces presented Guard of Honour to the CJCSC.

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07
July
An emerging soldier artist defies the norms of art through his art of imperfection

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07
July

Written By: Maj Azeemullah Baig

The Spanish climber Alberto Zerain, after the summit, descended safely once the rope was intact at the traverse of the Bottleneck. After reaching back at Camp-IV he preferred to go down to Camp-III. The other climbers had reached the summit as per their speed and timings. Alberto had reached at summit around 0300 p.m. on August 1, 2008 and the last summiteer reached by 0730 p.m. that evening. The climbers took their victory pictures at the top, completely unaware of the destroyed rope section in the traverse.

An eyewitness account of the shocking events of 2008 K2 Summit in which 11 climbers tragically lost their lives.

 

It was the first week of May 2008, when the team of famous mountaineers and climbers from across the globe started pouring in at K2 Base Camp at 5650 meters (18650 ft), after crossing the Baltoro/Concordia Glacier. The Dutch (Norit Team) were the first to arrive, then a French ski team, followed by the South Koreans, who had the largest member of climbers and Sherpas from Nepal. There was also a Serbian team, a Norwegian team, a French team, an American team, an Italian pair, members of Pakistani High Altitude Porters, a climber from Singapore along with sherpas and High Altitude Porters who joined late at the base camp and a solo Spaniard who joined for summit from Broad Peak Camp on the final push day to K2.

 

thefatalmoves.jpgExpedition teams at base camp devised their own plans and moved accordingly to establish further camps above the Advance Base Camp. After acclimatization, the next task was to store and dump equipment at higher camps for summit. Due to bad weather, the teams barely managed to fix ropes till Camp-III at 7200 meters (23,760 ft). The climbers waited almost two months for a clear weather window for the summit. There were multiple sources for weather forecast at base camp. The French climber, Hugues D’ Aubarede, predicted clear weather window by the end of July and also confirmed his stay at the base camp. Prior to this many team leaders at base camp were thinking of packing up and rolling back.


Now several joint team meetings were being held for collective efforts for the summit. Finally, the teams agreed and sat fingers-crossed to make a joint venture in terms of technical gadgets and equipment. In all these meetings the Serbian Liaison Officer, Major Sabir and I were actively involved. In the final joint team meeting, an experienced team for rope fixing and trial breaking was nominated. I, being the liaison officer with the Korean expedition had to participate actively at times, due to their language barrier. The Koreans were well equipped in terms of climbing gadgetry and had experienced Nepali Sherpas as well. At the end, all teams from Korea, Serbia, Norway, Norit, France, Italy and American International agreed for a joint venture.


Finally, the experienced and strong climbers, Nepali Sherpas and Pakistani High Altitude Porters were earmarked for the leading team under the leadership of high altitude porter Shaheen Baig. I was given the responsibility of radio communication and monitoring of dots in the scope from base camp. All the teams were excited for the summit. On July 27, 2008, the teams started from base camp. Abruzzi route was scaled by the Korean, Serbian, Norwegian and Spanish terms. On July 28, the Cesan route was adopted to ascend by the Norit Team, French Hugues and Mehrban, Italian, Irish and American International team.

 

thefatalmoves1.jpgBoth teams following different routes (Abruzzi/Cesan) had to converge on the shoulder at Camp IV (7800 m) by July 31. On July 27, Abruzzi team reached Camp-I (6000 m). The teams stayed at Camp-II (6800 m) from July 28-29 due to bad weather. On the same day, Shaheen Baig had to go down due to blood vomiting caused by suspected ulcer. The message about Shaheen Baig’s descend was radioed to base camp. At base camp, Major Sabir tasked me to evacuate the sick Pakistani porter. In response, the next morning I along with Mr. Nadir Khan (staff with Serbians) went up towards Advance Base Camp to evacuate Shaheen Baig. He was safely brought to base camp and then immediately evacuated to Skardu for medical checkup. Now, the teams at camp-III were deprived of an experienced climber i.e., Shaheen Baig, who knew exactly where to fix the rope ahead of Camp-IV in the Bottleneck. On July 30, all climbers reached camp-III (7500 m) except Mr. Lee (Korean) who had to descend due to bad health. On July 31, the remaining climbers pushed towards Camp-IV (7800 m) except Mr. Chris from USA and Miss Song Gui Hwa from Korea. They aborted their mission and I received Miss Song during night hours between Advance Base Camp and K2 Base Camp. She was stranded, exhausted and lost. Then came July 31, 2008; the green signal for the final push towards the summit in a state of high morale was passed on radio to base camp at night. In response, I exchanged best wishes for the upcoming task and boosted their morale for a safe summit.


August 1, 2008 – Final Push Towards Summit
The leading team was Sherpas: Pemba, Jumik and Pasang; Koreans: Hwang, Park and Kim; Pakistani High Altitude Porters: Karim, Hussain and Ali and later joined by Spanish solo Alberto Zerain. Once they reached Camp-IV, they started ignoring terms set at the base camp. It was decided in the joint meeting that 600 meters rope will be fixed in Bottleneck; 400 meters was promised by Norit team and 200 meters by the Italians. Once the equipment and rope was counted, 100 meters rope was found short against Italians as promised at base camp. In the joint meeting, Korean leader Kim Soo demanded 700 meters rope for Bottleneck. On Abruzzi route till Camp-IV most of the rope fixing was done by the Korean Team. Shaheen Baig, based on his experience said that 600 meters was enough for Bottleneck and everyone agreed on that. But the climbers needed Shaheen Baig (evacuated from Camp-III) who exactly knew where to fix the line above Camp-IV. The prime mistake committed was planting a line just above Camp-IV. As a result, undue delay was caused while repositioning the rope from the lower portion. In the meanwhile, remaining climbers started to marshall under the dangerous Bottleneck, putting their lives in danger. I was monitoring this cramped situation with a scope from base camp and when inquired for the delay the reply on radio was that situation was crowded under the couloir, upward pace was slow and fixing of the line in the Bottleneck remained a conundrum. The two members of American team, Eric Meyer and Frederik Strang decided to abort mission after calculating the slow pace of climbers and unnecessary exposure under ice-fall from the Bottleneck. Two more climbers from Norit team, Chris Klinke and Jellestaleman abandoned their forward move and returned to Camp-IV. The team nominated to lead started 3 hours late. All this activity of fixing rope and unnecessary delay took almost 12 hours which normally might have taken 5 to 6 hours. The overhanging 300 ft ice wall was a nightmare for climbers, who had to scale 50 degree straight up to couloir and then traverse towards summit.


First Fatality: Dren Mandic (Serbia) and Jehan Baig (Pakistan)
The slow pace and undue exposure in Bottleneck seemed to be a continuous source of frustration among climbers. A staff member named Sakhawat came to the Control Base tent and warned me of deadly consequences after observing poor progress. He further added that he has not ever seen such a jammed line and crowd under the death trap of Bottleneck. All of a sudden there was chaos in Bottleneck and at 0945 a.m. on August 1, 2008, the first tragedy was reported, when Serbian climber Dren, unclipped himself to cross Cecilie Skog, a Norwegian climber in front of him. Once he was unclipped he lost his balance and fell over 150 meters down the Bottleneck. His body was seen moving from Camp-IV. When Serbian climber Predrag Zagorac and Isoplanic along with porter Hussain turned back, they pronounced him dead after checking his pulse.


The next blunder was made when the Serbians contacted their manager at K2 Base Camp for further orders. He instructed them to bring the body down and told them to abort their attempt towards the summit. This sort of adventure should not be made at such an elevation, as it is a risk that endangers others’ lives.


There is a difference of opinion over Jehan Baig’s death. I personally believe that the loss of another life to bring a dead body above 8000 meters is not advised. He seemed to be nervous as he was already exhausted. There were six individuals including Fredrik Strang (specialist in high altitude disease) and two Serb climbers along with their porters Hussain and Mohammad Ali who went to rescue and bring the body down. Jehan Baig was with French Climber Hugues for his support to summit. Once they started to slide the body downwards wrapped in a sleeping bag, it gained speed and momentum. Jehan Baig was holding the rope tied with Dren’s body, as others were also sharing the downwards drag. The warning to be careful and safe made him more confused and after a few sudden jerks from the weight of the dead body, Jehan Baig was imbalanced over a steep gradient towards Eastern face (China face side). At 1230 p.m., the news of the second casuality was radioed. The shaken Serbians now aborted their rescue mission, wrapped the body in their country’s flag, fastened it to the mountain above camp-IV, and the rescue team started their move back to Camp-IV.


Push Towards Summit Under Death Shadows
The climbers were now scaling the Bottleneck under tremendous pressure and the unnecessary delays exhausted them. The sudden fatalities above Camp-IV also had a demoralizing effect on climbers at the outset of their attempt, but they continued their climb towards the summit. The principle rule which the climbers started to compromise on was the turn-around time. They were already late and exposed under couloir and had lost almost six hours in the Bottleneck. When the exhaustion and frustration level crossed the limits, the Spanish climber Alberto led the traverse and the rest followed him. Alberto Zerain’s pace was fast and he was the first climber to reach the K2 summit. After him was Little Pasang (Nepal) then Lars (Norwegian) followed by Kim Jae Soo, Cecilie (Norway), Miss Go Mi Sung, Park, Hwang and Jumick (Korean); the Koreans stayed at the summit till 0710 in the morning because Kim Hyo Gyeang came up late. The other climbers who followed were Chhrring, Hugues, Mehrban and Norit Team; Marco was the last one to reach the summit.


The Spanish climber Alberto Zerain, after the summit, descended safely once the rope was intact at the traverse of the Bottleneck. After reaching back at Camp-IV he preferred to go down to Camp-III. The other climbers had reached the summit as per their speed and timings. Alberto had reached at summit around 0300 p.m. on August 1, 2008 and the last summiteer reached by 0730 p.m. that evening. The climbers took their victory pictures at the top, completely unaware of the destroyed rope section in the traverse.


The biggest challenge for the climbers at the top was to descend and negotiate traverse of Bottleneck without rope. That only meant a technical climb (famous as Alpinist Style). The climbers were already over-exhausted due to unforeseen delays and weak team work. All the activity was communicated to base camp, but my only concern was timely return of the climbers and the crossing of Bottleneck. I radioed Kim Jae Soo (Korean leader) for a safe and timely descend, but then what I had feared happened; disorientation and loss of direction at the top. Down at the base camp, I yelled on radio after observing the torch lights descending in the wrong direction. At night, head lamps were visible like stars in the sky and I would direct them through radio to the actual route. High up at the top, climbers risked their lives in two ways; staying and spending the night at the top in disorientation and descending in darkness without rope in the Bottleneck. But the determined climbers decided to embrace death with honour. Their struggle increased manifolds due to the absence of rope in the traverse. The destruction of technical gadgetry and rope by serac fall trapped the climbers in the Zone of Death (above Bottleneck). The two Korean members, Kim Jae Soo and Miss Go Mi Sun managed to navigate Bottleneck in dark and reached Camp-IV. The third casualty occurred when Norwegians were crossing Bottleneck back towards Camp-IV. Rolf Bae did not go up to the summit and waited in the Bottleneck for his wife Cecilie and Lars, who were returning from summit. The three Norwegians, while descending couloir, were caught in a serac fall which struck Rolf in front of his wife and he died on the spot while Ceiclie Skog and Lars were stranded, without food and oxygen but managed to reach Camp-IV around midnight. Sherpa Pemba Gyalje battled through the traverse towards Camp IV. Sherpa Chhiring Borje clipped little Pasang Lama with his harness and did ‘free solo’ through Bottleneck safely. Nine climbers were still stuck above Bottleneck. The climbers who managed to reach Camp-IV were weak and dehydrated. The climbers trapped above Bottleneck were battling for their lives in the darkness at 8300 meters. The lone survivors were struggling against the dark slippery gradient, –40°C temperature, scarcity of food, exhaustion and disorientation. Three climbers Wilco, Gerald and Marco decided to spend the night in the open above Bottleneck.


The 61 year old French climber Hugues tried to bypass Bottleneck in the darkness and fell to his death. He was seen falling down by Cas van de Gevel who was at bottom of Bottleneck. There are myths about porter Mehrban Karim’s death. Some say he moved in the opposite direction but climbers assumed he met the same fate of falling down while trying to descend and escaping death in Bottleneck. The remaining Korean members and Jumich were missing somewhere in the Bottleneck, untraceable. The three climbers, Wilco Van Rooijen (Dutch), Marco Confortola (Italy) and Gerald McDonnell (Irish) who spent the night above Bottleneck started to descend at 0500 a.m. on August 2, 2008. On their descend they spotted the three missing Korean climbers (Hwang, Park and Kim along with Sherpa Jumich) trapped in a very bad condition and entangled in ropes. They spent 3 hours to free the Koreans but failed. Marco started to descend and Gerald opted to stay with the trapped Koreans. I communicated at Camp-IV for the possibility of rescue and then Big Pasang and Tsering Bhote were tasked to bring back the members from Bottleneck. Big Pasang reached the trapped team. He motivated Jumich and clipped him with himself. He started to move back and informed me about Gerald’s presence with the remaining Koreans. They had descended 50 meters when a serac fell and hit all the trapped climbers along with Big Pasang and Jumich. This ominous tragedy occurred in front of Tsering Bhote (Sherpa) who returned back to Camp-IV. The last two climbers, namely Wilco (Dutch) and Marco (Italy) who were still missing above Camp-IV used their satellite phones which helped in tracing the satellite coordinates. Wilco continued his descent via Cesan route and Marco opted for the Abruzzi route. I contacted the Korean leader Kim Jae Soo to organize their descent to base camp because of bad weather conditions. The teams started moving back to Camp-III and then towards Camp-II. Meanwhile, Pemba found Marco unconscious around Camp-IV. He was oxygenated and evacuated to Camp-IV. Wilco was still battling for his life and spent the night in the open while trying to descend. During the night, some lights were seen between Camp-IV and Camp-III of Cesan route. The guys at base camp managed to trace Wilco as a dot in scope and conveyed to Camp-III. Finally, Wilco reached and saw signs of life at Camp-III. The Korean and other climbers started descending. I arranged a rescue team towards Camp-I to receive the trapped and frost bitten climbers. The Koreans started their move from Camp-III and my team reached at Advance Base Camp, waiting for them. On the morning of August 3, my team with the necessary medical and rescue equipment climbed up towards Camp-I, after some time climbers were spotted approaching. On meeting, their packs were removed and we descended down.


At Advance Base Camp, they were physically checked and some climbers were treated for second-degree frostbite on their fingers and toes. We started our move towards base camp. There the injured climbers were checked and treated by Eric Meyer. Wilco and Cas were also rescued and they were treated in Norit Team mess tent. Wilco was in bad shape, snow blinded, with torn lips, blisters in mouth and frostbitten fingers and toes. That night spent at base camp was terrible. Screams of pain and mourning the death of fellow climbers made everyone full of sorrow. In the morning, chopper engine was heard roaring over Baltoro Glacier. My team prepared the landing strip and I guided the chopper pilot to land on running rotors. It was a relief when the patients were evacuated. On same evening, Italian Climber Marco was also rescued. The climber was acting abnormally and in total disorientation. He had severe sun burn and frost bite on fingers and toes. Due to pain and trauma, he avoided talking.


That evening, I wrote and nailed the names of the dead climbers up on K2 on steel dishes and cooking pot lids. On August 04, 2008, my remaining expedition members who had survived (12 out of 17) planned to move towards Skardu. They were totally exhausted and some were injured as well. The Koreans hired a military MI-17 to reach Skardu from K2 Base Camp. Marco was also heli-lifted and admitted in Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Skardu. Some patients were given treatment at CMH, Rawalpindi. After two days, all the team members were called for debriefing at Alpine Club and Ministry of Tourism in Islamabad. The meeting was presided by Secretary Ministry of Tourism and conducted by President Alpine Club Pakistan. The poor coordination, failing to estimate return time, non-adherence to basic climbing rules, relying more on high altitude porters and sherpas was discussed at length. The debriefing concluded on giving tribute to all those climbers who gave their lives for a noble cause, in the pursuit of rescuing others. On August 10, 2008, the climbers started flying back to their countries, with inspiring tales that would keep the summit spirit alive forever.

 

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07
July

Written By: Hira Sagheer

It is a day like any other. The bright midday sun filters through the thick white curtains and paints the room a pale yellow hue. I say midday because that is the time I usually wake up at. I sleepily stretch in bed and turn around to look at my side where my angel co-sleeps and is curled up like the perfect human child that he is. I smile to myself as I get out of bed already yearning for that steaming hot mug of tea my NCB (non-combatant bearer) prepares every morning for my breakfast.


Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}, Who let the dogs out {woof, woof…} I frantically look for my phone in the sheets and silence it. Who could be calling at this ungodly hour? Feeling a massive grump coming on, I take it outside. I see my husband’s name flash on the screen and swipe to pick.


Me: Hey, you almost woke up Moustafa!
Him: You guys are still sleeping?
Me: *major eye-roll*
Him: Anyway, I called to tell that I gave the NCB a week off. Signed his leave in the morning.
Me: Wait… whaaa… wh… why… wwhatt…
Him: Yeah, some emergency back home. Anyway, I have to run. See you at home.
Me: Wait… Wh… whaaa… wh… why… wwhatt…


A sharp wailing snaps me out of my stupefied sputter. For a moment, I think I am the one wailing, lamenting the loss of what feels like my right hand. But it’s coming from the other room. Perfect, the kid is up. I drag myself against will to the bedroom and hug my kid. The wailing stops. Then it starts again. It’s definitely me this time.


Who, you might ask, is this NCB? Whose imminent absence has reduced me to a wailing, sputtering mess. He is God’s greatest blessing to an Army wife in Pakistan. He is our go-to guy. He’s the guy we rely on to get things done. If one is lucky, they end up with a NCB who is a miracle walking around on two legs. He fixes our plumbing. He repairs the switches. He is there to rescue us when the pressure cooker acts up or the blender just won’t blend. He does the cooking, does the dishes, gets our groceries, goes to the laundry, supervises workers around the house and is essentially the center of our little galaxy. He’s like our very own, personalized fairy godmother and the reason why we feel like such goddamn princesses (excuse the lingo). I cannot stress enough the focal point this guy has in the life and household of an Army wife.


As I digest the news, my inner goddess comes to my aid. She takes me by the shoulders and tries to shake some sense into me. You are a strong, capable young woman, she yells in my face. It’s only house work, she says. It’s only seven days, she starts to make sense. You. can.handle.this, I nod along. WHO ARE YOU? she demands. I AM A STRONG, CAPABLE YOUNG WOMAN! I chant back. WHO CAN DO THIS? she’s fierce. I CAN DO THIS! I show her. I got this!

 

adayinlife.jpgLike a woman on a mission, I spring out of bed and start on ‘things’. First things first, wash the kid. I yank Moustafa off the bed and rush him into the bathroom. He looks too startled to protest and a little scared by my game face. I splash his face and shepherd him back into the room where I randomly pick his clothes out of the closet. Normally, I’d spend at least a good, solid fifteen minutes planning and selecting the perfect outfit but ain’t nobody got time for that today. I throw a shirt over his head, yank his shorts up to his waist and I swear I hear him wince. I whisk him off the bed, grab the comforter in my strong lady hands and haul it over the bed. There, the bed’s made. This will have to do. I gather clothes strewn across the room and dump them into the laundry basket. I do not have the time or the patience today to sort and fold clothes and put them away. Everything outside the closet qualifies as laundry. This house just got a new rule!


We hurry out into the living room and the state it is in leaves me a little dazed. It is as if a hurricane tore through it while we were asleep. Husband’s clothes heaped on a couch, Moustafa’s toys from last night scattered as far as the eye could see and a dozen other random objects I honestly believe didn’t belong to us. I tie my dupatta into a knot at my waist (you know a desi woman means business when she does that) and get to bringing some semblance of sense to this disaster zone. I zig and zag between couches, coffee table and corner tables and, if in that moment, I looked behind me I’d definitely see chemtrails. When the living room looks livable again, I leave my kid in the company of his iPad (yes, I am that mom this morning, don’t you even start with me!) and head to the kitchen.


That strong, capable woman who pulled herself together five minutes earlier after being yelled at by the voices in her head collapses in the kitchen door. Did the MOAB (Mother of all Bombs) drop down here last night while we were tucked away in bed? Because it most definitely looks like it did. There are last night’s dishes still soaking in the sink (I usually leave them for my trusted NCB to wash in the morning), pots and pans still greasy from the last cooked meal, the counter hasn’t been wiped down, the stove hasn’t been sponged off and there is a trayful of used glasses by the sink. How did this even happen, is the last thought I have before my vision turns to a black field of nothingness and I almost collapse. How can a family of three create THIS much mess in the kitchen? I wonder if we have more people living in the house whom I did not know about. I know it looks bad, but it’s just dishes, the goddess is back and she coos. Are you scared of some harmless dishes? she asks sensibly. Yes, I reply meekly before I put on my neon yellow gloves and dive elbow deep into the dirty dish galore. I visibly gag as my gloved and protected hand touches something seemingly icky. My first thought is to tear off these gloves and set the kitchen on fire so I never have to deal with this mess again. Certainly we can live off the Officers' Mess until the NCB comes back and builds me a new kitchen from scratch. The thought makes me smile. This is probably the first time I have smiled all day and it feels utterly weird. Once the dishes are done, gloves still on, I wipe the counters, scrub the stove and mop the kitchen floor. It’s time to take the trash out and as I open the bin to tie the bag, the goddess jumps off her couch and dry heaves. You can do this, she gasps. I respond with another gag attack.


Once order is restored in the kitchen and everything is clean and shiny again, I take a deep breath. Time to get started on breakfast. I whip up some eggs and make the easiest version of omelette possible and wolf it down over the sink straight from the pan. I think about making a mug of tea but then think of all the crusty tea I’d have to clean from the saucepan and decide one day without tea wouldn’t kill me. Probably. There is no way I am starting a new dirty dish pile. Oh crap, I mutter as I remember my kid who probably needs breakfast too. I whip up the same easy-omelette for him with a glass of milk.


Normally, I’d qualify for the highest civil award just for successfully feeding my kid food three times a day. Like any other wonderful toddler, he hates being fed. Our meals start with me doing everything short of a cheerleading routine to get him to eat a few bites. When that fails, and it almost always does, I resort to pleading my case. Besides being picky when it comes to his eating habits, my kid is also an expert at sniffing out my weaknesses. Today is no exception. He can sense desperation oozing out of every pore of his mother’s existence and vehemently shakes his head as soon as I enter the room with his tray. ‘No Mama, no’, he tells me. ‘Sit down here right now!!!’, I hiss through gritted teeth. The goddess and I do not have the patience today to jump through the hoops and instead jump straight to the last resort. It works and he scampers to his high chair. Thank you, God!


After feeding Moustafa his breakfast in what feels like record breaking time, I head back into the kitchen. It’s time to get started on lunch. I am still thinking on lunch options when there is a loud Ding Dong Ding. Since there is no NCB it means I get to be the lucky one to walk out in the scorching heat and open the gate for whoever it is. Yayee me! I head out and open the gate. It is the cleaning guy. Good God, I almost forgot about him since it is the NCB who supervises him. I let him in and tell him to get started on his work. I head back into the kitchen and hear Moustafa crying. Hurrying into the room I realize that I left him strapped in his high chair after breakfast. I unbuckle him and let him out and head back inside the kitchen. So where was I before I went to let the cleaning guy in? Yeah, what to make for lunch, which is quite possibly the hardest question every housewife has to deal with every single day. I settle on making pasta with some white sauce because anything with gravy would mean making roti to go with it. Which would mean kneading the dough, making little dough spheres called pairaas, rolling them flat and then cooking them. And there was no way I was getting into that mess all by myself.


Pasta means loads of cutting so I get right to it. I get all the veggies out and put the meat out to thaw. As I put the water on stove to bring it to a boil for pasta, I hear an ear-piercing shatter from the living room. I dash into the living room and to my horror the cleaning guy is standing by the coffee table, looking extremely guilty. I follow his line of vision and find the reason why. My favorite tall vase is shattered into a hundred little pieces and scattered all over the floor. I look in horror at the shattered vase and then at the cleaning guy and then back at the vase. I open my mouth to express the horror and the accompanying grief raging through my veins but nothing comes out. I close my eyes and the goddess hugs my limp frame. I open my eyes and tell the cleaning guy to gather up all the pieces. I get down on my hands and knees and gather as many pieces as I can. I take the broom myself and sweep the room once, twice and thrice just to be sure that all the pieces are taken care of since my kid spends a major portion of his day running around barefoot in the same room. Once that is taken care of, I watch the cleaning guy like a hawk while he gets the rest of the house cleaned.


Once he’s gone I am back in the kitchen, boiling pasta and cutting vegetables. That half an hour I spend prepping things is continuously interrupted by my boy and his never-ending demands. First he wants a snack. Five minutes later he’s back for some water. Hardly five minutes have passed before he calls out again from the living room which I choose to ignore. After a minute of him relentlessly calling me, I give up and head to the living room. He’s pooped, of course! Why wouldn’t he when I am literally at the end of my wits. After washing him up and putting on a fresh diaper, I head back into the kitchen and drain the over-boiled, mushed pasta. It doesn’t look that bad, the goddess assures me. I toss the vegetables, I have done a sloppy job of cutting, into a very lumpy white sauce and fold in the pasta. There, lunch and dinner and snack sorted. I dare anyone to ask me for anything else today, I dare them!
On my way to the living room from the kitchen I see my reflection in the hallway mirror and realize I have not brushed my teeth, washed my face and combed my hair. What’s worse is that I hadn’t changed before sleeping and I hadn’t changed after waking up. Truly and completely, a mess! Better wash up!
Before I can finish that thought there is a loud beep, beep outside and Moustafa rushes past me all excited and giddy. Baba, Baba he exclaims and I become conscious of the fact that it is almost evening, the husband’s back home. I have barely gotten the food off the stove and I look like trash. I peek into the living room to have proof in hand that I have been busy getting things done and of course it is back to its usual disaster-struck state. The husband strides in with Moustafa in his arms and takes one long look at me, another at the room and then back at me again. He grins, ‘Tough day?’ At least he gets it.


I fix him a plate while he changes and then iron his uniform while he eats. Once he’s done, I take the dishes into the kitchen and pull on those neon gloves again. Hello new best friend, I say to my gloves and the goddess looks sympathetic. It’s laundry next (Bleukh). After putting a load in the laundry, I get back to the ironing and by the time I am done it’s almost dinner time. In the meantime, my kid poops a total of three more times (he has an active digestive system, bless him), is fed forcefully under threats two more times and has thrown five very loud tantrums.


After dinner is eaten and the kitchen is wiped down one final time, I sink into the living room couch. This is the first time I have sat down the entire day. My legs are screaming in pain, I have a family of aches in my back and my shoulders are throbbing. I smell strongly of garlic and faintly of poop. I never got around to washing up and fixing my face and I have lost the energy to even care at this point.


I look at the sea of toys and all things random and extra which have engulfed the living room and think to myself: 1 down, 6 to go. The goddess swoons and falls dramatically off her couch.

 

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07
July

Besides safeguarding maritime interests of Pakistan, Pakistan Navy (PN) has always been at the forefront to conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations overseas to extend support/help to international community. The resolve and commitment of Pakistan Navy was evident at numerous occasions in the past including assistance rendered to Maldives and Indonesia after Tsunami in 2004, rescue of MV Suez Crew from Pirates in 2011 and successful conduct of humanitarian operations to evacuate stranded Pakistanis and foreign nationals at Yemen in 2015. Recent conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations in support of flood stricken Sri Lankan populace is also another glorious chapter of the same zeal and commitment of PN.


In the aftermath of severe floods in May 2017 which caused havoc and devastation in Sri Lanka, leaving hundreds dead and millions displaced. Realizing the gravity of the situation and with the objective to help Sri lankan people, Pakistan Navy ship Zulfiquar with embarked helicopter Alouette which was on an overseas deployment to South-East Asia was diverted to Colombo, Sri Lanka, upon the instructions of Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah. While enroute to Sri Lanka, the ship conducted search operations while remaining close to southwestern coast of Sri Lanka in order to ascertain extent of damage and spillover.


The ship carried relief goods, paramedical facilities and medicines. Upon arrival at Colombo Port, Pakistan Navy ship was received by Commander Western Naval Area Sri Lankan Navy Rear Admiral NPS Attygalle, Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan Mr. Janbaz Khan, Defence Advisor of Pakistan Colonel Rajil and other high officials of Sri Lankan Government.

 

frommaritmedom.jpgIn a ceremony, held onboard PNS Zulfiquar the same day, the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra and Commanding Officer PNS Zulfiquar Captain Faisal Javed Sheikh handed over the relief goods to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Mr. Ravi Karunanayake.


On the occasion the Sir Lankan Foreign Minister expressed his gratitude to the people of Pakistan in general and Pakistan Navy in particular for a swift response and providing valued assistance at time of need. The minister acknowledged that Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy long lasting and brotherly relations based on historical ties and Pakistan has always been forthcoming in extending support and assistance in a time of calamity.


Later, on the same day Pakistan Navy teams, in collaboration with Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Local District Administration, started Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations and established medical camps at various flood stricken rural areas.


During the 4 days operations, Pakistan Navy Search and Rescue Teams, with required technical equipment reached to the far flung areas of harsh topography, comprising marshes, swamps and unpredictable waterways in severely affected districts of Horna, Malwana, Kalutara and Raxapana to help the flood stricken populace.


Pakistan Navy teams rescued/evacuated a large number of flood stranded population from far flung villages, provided medical treatment and medicines to flood affected families, restored fresh water supply to local population by decontaminating wells, cleared roadways and passages by de-flooding marshy areas and last but not least, also provided edibles, fresh water and dry ration to displaced families, mostly women, kids and the elderly. Pakistan Navy’s ardent and unflinching support immensely helped to restore activities of life amongst the population of far flung villages. Sri Lankan political and military higher echelon acknowledged and highly appreciated Pakistan Navy’s efforts for helping Sri Lankan people in the hour of need at all forums.


Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, expressed that 'prompt and timely help to Sri Lankan people is a display of Pakistan Navy’s unflinching resolve in support of a friendly nation in times of need.'


Naval forces have an inherent capability of flexibility and reach which have been clearly manifested/employed during the HADR operations in Sri Lanka by Pakistan Navy. The current operation signifes the professional acumen and commitment of Pakistan Navy to conduct such a prompt and large scale operation involving diverse technical and professional expertise. Pakistan Navy is resolute in maintaining and delivering on its commitment to the nation and global community for providing any assistance to keep Pakistan’s flag higher. Pakistan Navy ships, flying the green flag around the globe are reflection of national character, resilience and unrelenting commitment to the humanitarian cause.

 

Public Relations Directorate (Pak Navy)
 
07
July

Written By: Maj Wajiha Arshad

Women empowerment is taken in true letter and spirit in Pakistan by enhancing and improving the social, economic, political and legal strengths of the women and to ensure fair opportunities for the women in all walks of life. Ever-increasing responsibilities and lesser opportunities in the past have always been a great challenge for Pakistani women. However, they by now have been successful in reaching almost all professional fields including politics, sports, education sector, police, judiciary, bureaucracy, business, banking, and many others. In addition, women have been actively joining military since the establishment of Pakistan. How can one forget the first lady of Pakistan Begum Ra'ana who took the lead in starting the women’s voluntary service in 1948 to support the medical and logistics for the Pakistan Armed Forces engaged in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1948. Taking the quote of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah sincerely, “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men,” Pakistan Armed Forces induct women regularly in various branches of the military.

 

thepioners.jpgBeing a proud daughter of this motherland I feel honored to be part of the women who are serving in Pakistan Armed Forces. In 2006, the first women fighter pilots batch joined the combat aerial mission command of PAF. Similarly with the induction of 13 Lady Officers’ courses in Army since 2006, a total of 405 lady officers other than Army Medical Corps are serving in various Arms/Services. In order to train these officers in handling routine office matters and to integrate them in to the overall system of the Field Army, a Junior Staff Course of 6 weeks duration was run from April 17 to May 27, 2017 in Army School of Logistics, Kuldana.


Military training in Pakistan Army inhabits a significant place in the career of an officer. Apart from physical training in order to perform their jobs competently, officers are required to communicate, write, interpret and implement effectively. The personal growth of an officer in the military is second-to-none. This growth is of course magnified depending on the training an officer undergoes before joining and during the service. The institution, Army School of Logistics, holds a rich history of training officers of Pakistan Army. In 1952, Army School of Administration was established at Kuldana. In the seventies, the formation of logistic areas and expansion in the Army underlined the need to impart formalized training to logistics staff in an organized manner. In 1974, Army School of Logistics was established at Abbottabad in addition to the Army School of Administration. In 1976, both the institutions were merged and school was re-designated as Army School of Logistics at Kuldana.


The realization of importance of Junior Staff Course was further enhanced on reaching Kuldana and getting awareness about the course we had to undergo. In 1982, Junior Staff Course was introduced to train Staff Officers. Total 28 courses were organised from 1982-1991 (1675 Officers qualified). And now it has been restarted and is being carried out exclusively for the lady officers. Aspiring to reach the level of the first female Major General, Shahida Malik, the second, Major General Shahida Badshah, and Major General Nigar Johar, the third woman in Pakistan Army to reach the rank of Army two stars, this particular course is taken to be as one of the milestones for the long journey ahead.


The 20 student lady officers who joined this course came from different Arms: the Signals Corps, the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Corps, Psychologists, Army Education Corps, Inter Services Public Relations Directorate, C4I and Judge Advocate General Branch. With this diverse background the officers didn't have much of an idea about the course as it was being commenced for the very first time for lady officers. As per student mindset I took suggestions and guidance from senior officers around, which in addition to help, further supplemented the apprehensions.


Winding roads of Kuldana, warm welcome arranged by the school and seeing old friends after a long time relieved the nerves slightly. I was fascinated after reading that Kuldana means “way or high place” in the vernacular and was also known as “British Infantry Line” in the 19th century. The British carved some essence of England in Murree, making Kuldana their home away from home. There is a long scroll of names of renowned British Regiments that camped here since 1860s. However, once the course kicked off, there was hardly a moment to take our eyes off the books and look around to enjoy the epic beauty of Kuldana as we tried to keep up with the pace of studies.


During the course of six weeks we underwent training related to staff duties, administration in field and military writing. Commandant Army School of Logistics, Brigadier Kashif Zafar and faculty guided the lady officers in a positive way and helped to cultivate a better professional understanding by organizing this course in efficacious manner. The tutorials, individual exercises and exams kept us on toes. On the way back home after long days of studies the scenic beauty of Kuldana had a soothing effect on us. Although on reaching home, we always had a long list of tasks to be done for the next day. The course made me realise how military prepares its officers for multi-tasking, acting under immense pressure and keeping the wits under control with a balanced approach. Besides hectic routine and immense pressure of studies we were able to manage time to keep up with the course.


Faculty of the school extended great support and provided opportunity to the students to visit and interact with staff of field formations and experience the real environment. These visits were even more fruitful for lady officers who seldom get the opportunity to visit formations. Moreover, these visits were educative, productive and informative. The school proudly bearing the hallmark for logisticians has endeavored to impart comprehensive knowledge of tactics and logistics base along with necessary staff work to the student officers. This has helped to improve knowledge of lady officers about the tactical and logistic problems faced in the mountains during both defensive and offensive operations. In pursuance of knowledge, a three day visit to Muzaffarabad was conducted for lady officers.


Once the last week of this course started, the idea of departing from the strong bond developed with coursemates gave jitters. The course ended imparting great knowledge and lovely memories of closing ceremony. All the lady officers successfully qualified the course and proudly received certificates with Major Tahira being awarded the first position. The group studies, late night dinners during exam preparations and joint struggles for staying awake with extra cups of tea and black coffee brought us together as never before. I personally feel honored to be a part of another pioneer course; one was the first ladies batch that passed out from Pakistan Military Academy ten years back in 2007, and, now first Lady Officers Junior Staff Course in 2017.

 

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07
July

Written By: Abdullah Khan

There are many types of Indian intelligence involvement in Pakistan. It has a history of launching dirty games in Pakistan and it brought the worst kind of results in 1971 when East Pakistan defected to become Bangladesh because of India’s intelligence and military involvement. Let’s discuss different types of Indian involvement in Pakistan.


Terror Sponsoring: India has a documented and well-proven history of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. It supported Mukti Bahini, the rebel militia in East Pakistan and eventually Pakistan was broken into two. Indian government has now officially admitted that it was not only sponsoring Mukti Bahini terrorists but also Indian forces fought alongside Mukti Bahini in the garb of Bengali fighters.1 Pakistan officially accuses India of sponsoring TTP, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and other anti-Pakistan militant groups. Former foreign secretary of Pakistan and Pakistan’s ambassador to U.S. Aizaz Chaudhry2, and many other government officials have publicly accused India of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan3.

 

theindiandirty.jpgKeeping the deniability factor in play, India has been smartly using Afghan soil against Pakistan.4 Pakistan believes that India spent huge money in Afghanistan’s civil society and academia to tarnish Pakistan’s image despite being host to millions of Afghan refugees. Hostile environment in Afghanistan helps India to use Afghan territory and resources against Pakistan. Nexus between Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Indian intelligence is a well-known fact. Recent surrender of chief spokesman of Jamat-ul-Ahrar and former spokesman of TTP Ahsanullah Ahsan revealed that Afghan NDS at the behest of Indian intelligence provides special cards and permits to anti-Pakistan militants of different groups to move freely in Afghanistan.


Most worrying factor was revealed recently in April 2017 that RAW is also sponsoring Daesh or ISIS. Although Pakistan had strong intelligence inputs that establishment of Daesh sanctuaries along its border in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces were a handiwork of RAW, but an operation by Sindh Rangers in Karachi unearthed dangerous level of involvement by RAW in the country.5 India not only provides funds, logistics and other resources to anti-Pakistan militants but it also provides medical treatment to key militant leaders. Surrendered spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan revealed that Omar Khalid Khorasani was injured in a gun fight and went to India on an Afghan passport for treatment.6 Ajit Doval, the national security advisor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is key man behind the policy of sponsoring terrorist groups. He professes the concept of fighting fire with fire. His infamous lecture of 2014 in which he advocated using militant groups for strategic goals is available on internet (link in the footnote).7 There are worrying signs that Indian intelligence under his supervision is in a process of bringing Daesh in Occupied Kashmir to counter Pakistan’s so-called influence over militant groups and freedom struggle. Recent audio messages by a senior militant commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Zakir Musa in favor of Daesh can be seen as symptoms of the strategy being pursued. Daesh’s inclusion in Kashmir theater will weaken Pakistan’s influence but it will be catastrophic in future for India itself. Since Ajid Doval became advisor to Prime Minister, this has been seen for the first time that Indian nationals have started taking part in global jihadi movements. Prior to emergence of Daesh there were rare instances where Indian citizens despite being second or third largest population of Muslims in any country were found involved in global Jihad.


Sending Own Agents: India has a history of sending its own agents and officers to carry out subversive activities in Pakistan. Many of them were caught and tried in courts. The latest example is arrest of Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) officer Kulbhushan Jadev who was arrested from Balochistan and was operating from Iran. Few years back an Indian RAW agent Surbajeet Singh died in a Pakistani jail after an attack by other prisoners.8 He was convicted of terrorism charges and was sentenced to death by Pakistani court. Prime Minister Modi’s advisor on National Security, Ajit Kumar Doval spent seven years in Pakistan as undercover agent as a Muslim and he admitted it openly.9 Another Indian agent Kashmir Singh was released by President Pervez Musharraf after 35 years in Pakistan.10 Some Muslim clerics who recently visited Pakistan were also suspected of working for Indian Intelligence.11 Who knows how many are still in the country without any detection.

 

India has a documented and well-proven history of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. It supported Mukti Bahini, the rebel militia in East Pakistan and eventually Pakistan was broken into two. Indian government has now officially admitted that it was not only sponsoring Mukti Bahini terrorists but also Indian forces fought alongside Mukti Bahini in the garb of Bengali fighters. Pakistan officially accuses India of sponsoring TTP, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and other anti-Pakistan militant groups. Former foreign secretary of Pakistan and currently Pakistan’s ambassador to U.S. Aizaz Chaudhry, and many other government officials have publicly accused India of sponsoring terrorists in Pakistan. Keeping the deniability factor in play, India has been smartly using Afghan soil against Pakistan . Pakistan believes that India spent huge money in Afghanistan’s civil society and academia to tarnish Pakistan’s image despite being host to millions of Afghan refugees.

Political Involvement: India always exploits weak points of Pakistan’s internal politics. It is practically involved in Balochistan to exploit the political rights issue of the Baloch people. As mentioned earlier that it sponsors rebel groups in Balochistan and all their propaganda material is carried without verification in Indian media. One of the major political parties MQM has also been accused of being sponsored by India. RAW allegedly provides training to MQM militants in India. Recently, political leadership of MQM Pakistan distanced itself from its founding leader Altaf Hussain on the charges of his links with Indian intelligence as well as receiving funds from RAW. It also runs training camps for Baloch rebels in Afghanistan. India was also involved in 1960s/1970s in the issue of Pakhtunistan, a proposed separate homeland for Pashtuns. One of the leaders of Pakhtunistan movement, Juma Khan Sufi has recently exposed how India was providing funds and other support for the movement.

India keeps its ties with centrifugal forces in Pakistan especially ethnic political parties. It used its influence to make Kalabagh Dam a controversial issue, which deprived Pakistan of a huge mega energy project. Pakistan is still unable to build Kalabagh Dam because ethnic politicians in KP and Sindh oppose the project publicly while privately they admit that there is no harm to any of the provinces. Pakistan also believes that India is involved in exploiting sectarian fault lines in Pakistani society.


Media Sector Involvement: Indian intelligence is also believed to be involved in exerting its influence in Pakistani media, film industry, showbiz, and other areas. Although Pakistan may not be able to prove Indian involvement in media sector at international level but Indian narrative gets very good coverage in Pakistan.

India has a history of sending its own agents and officers to carry out subversive activities in Pakistan. Many of them were caught and tried in courts. The latest example is arrest of Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) officer Kulbhushan Jadev who was arrested from Balochistan and was operating from Iran. Few years back an Indian RAW agent Surbajeet Singh died in a Pakistani jail after an attack by other prisoners. He was convicted of terrorism charges and was sentenced to death by Pakistani court. Prime Minister Modi’s advisor on National Security, Ajit Kumar Doval spent seven years in Pakistan as undercover agent as a Muslim and he admitted it openly.
Some media networks are accused of having ties with India. Aman Ki Asha project by staunch anti-Pakistan Times of India is also seen as part of Indian efforts to influence Pakistani media for its better public perception. Indian film industry has produced many anti-Pakistan movies in collaboration with their intelligence. Informed circles in Pakistan maintain that Pakistan is under ‘cultural invasion’ from India.12 There is no doubt that Indian film industry has helped India create a soft image of it not just in Pakistan but in other countries as well.

 


Indian intelligence involvement in Pakistan is far cleverer than Pakistan. It seldom leaves footprints and most of the time uses local assets to promote its interests. However, recent arrest of RAW’s officer Kulbhushan and its case now in International Court of Justice may present an opportunity for Pakistan to highlight the issue at international level with facts and proofs.


Matter of fact is that almost every country has some level of intelligence presence in neighboring countries or in countries where there are some national interests involved. However, there is a difference between intelligence presence and meddling in other country’s affairs. Unfortunately, India has used its intelligence to dent Pakistan’s geographical integrity. These are nothing but dirty games which will eventually hurt India itself as ‘what goes around comes around’ and sometimes ‘comes around big time’.

 

The writer is Managing Director Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies. He is an expert on militancy and regional security. twitter

@Abdullahkhan333

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1 "Indian Forces Fought Along Mukti Bahini: Modi". 2017. Thenews.com.pk.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/12923-indian-forces-fought-along-mukti-bahini-modi.
2 Haider, Mateen. 2015. "RAW Involved In Terrorist Activities Across Pakistan: Foreign Secretary". DAWN.COM.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1181908.
3 "India Involved In Terrorist Activities In Pakistan: FO". 2017. Thenews.com.pk.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/186742-India-involved-in-terrorist-activities-in-Pakistan-FO.
4 "Sabena Siddiqui". 2017. Commandeleven. https://www.commandeleven.com/author/sabeenasiddiqui/.
5 "Rangers Unearth Terrorist, RAW, NDS Nexus - The Express Tribune". 2017. The Express Tribune.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1381325/rangers-arrest-5-raw-affiliated-al-qaeda-terrorists-karachi/.
6 "NDS-RAW Nexus Working To Destabilise Pakistan: Ehsanullah Ehsan". 2017. Pakistantoday.com.pk.
https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/05/13/nds-raw-nexus-working-to-destabilise-pakistan-ehsanullah-ehsan/.
7 Ranjan, Pratyush. 2016. "Who Is India's NSA Ajit Doval And What Is The 'Doval Doctrine'? - News Nation".
http://Www.Newsnation.In. http://www.newsnation.in/article/146274-who-is-indias-nsa-ajit-doval-and-what-is-doval-doctrine.html.
8 Dawn.com, Agencies. 2013. "Sarabjit Dies at Lahore's Jinnah Hospital". DAWN.COM. https://www.dawn.com/news/795055.
9 "Ajit Doval – The Great Indian Spy Who Spent 7 Years in Pakistan as a Muslim". 2015. Zee News.
http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/ajit-doval-the-great-indian-spy-who-spent-7-years-in-pakistan-as-a-muslim_1837959.html.
10 Kashmir Singh released from Lahore jail - Times of India
"Kashmir Singh Released From Lahore Jail - Times Of India". 2017. The Times Of India. Accessed June 6 2017.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kashmir-Singh-released-from-Lahore-jail/articleshow/2834915.cms.
11 "Pakistan Admits Detaining Indian Clerics Over Suspected Movement, India Rubbishes Claims Of 'Unauthorised Visit'". 2017. Firstpost.
http://www.firstpost.com/india/sushma-swaraj-asks-for-update-from-islamabad-on-indian-clerics-missing-in-pakistan-3339390.html.
12 "Invasion Of Pakistani Culture". 2017. Thenews.com.pk.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/48155-invasion-of-pakistani-culture.

 
07
July

Primarily every country has the responsibility of maintaining peace within its geographical boundaries and holds itself accountable to keep the internal security mechanism smooth and effective. Pakistan’s decision to fight the menace of terrorism was extraordinary in nature and vital for regional and world peace. Pakistan has paid a huge price in last sixteen years for peace with an unwavering resolve. Pakistan Armed Forces with full backing of the entire nation offered unparalleled sacrifices and resultantly achieved phenomenal successes against terrorism. This war is yet not over and Pakistan Armed Forces in coordination with other Law Enforcement Agencies are conducting Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad with full gusto. This is our unflinching commitment to rid the country from the barbaric forces of disorder and restore complete normalcy.


Pakistan has also rendered full cooperation to other regional countries in the war against terrorism. Contrary to the spirit, sufficient evidences prove that terrorists use sanctuaries inside Afghanistan to launch/support/coordinate attacks in Pakistan. To address this issue, Pakistan has started to work on comprehensive border security measures along the entire Pak-Afghan international border including fencing; starting from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north and extending the work through Balochistan. It is in the interest of Afghanistan and ‘Resolute Support Mission’ forces operating inside Afghanistan to support such measures. The efficacy of such measures will also end the cross-border infiltration, and hence the ‘blame game’. This proves our sincerity and a pragmatic approach to ensure enduring peace and stability.


Notwithstanding above, the almost routine accusations of Kabul blaming Pakistan for ‘undeclared war of aggression’ do not hold any ground. It has been repeatedly underscored that the situation in Afghanistan results from internal factors and the intertwined security threats have far-reaching implications for regional peace and security. While Pakistan has made unparalleled sacrifices in the war against terrorism, it also has the major stakes in the peace and stability in Afghanistan. COAS in a recent statement said that while counter-terrorism efforts by Pakistan continue, it is time now for the other stakeholders to ‘Do More’. He also said, “We consider Afghanistan as a brotherly neighbor and terrorists are our common enemy. The threat thus requires a trust based coordinated response rather than blame game or unwarranted skirmishes.”


To proceed further on agenda of regional peace and stability, it is essential for Afghanistan and other stakeholders to review the failures and shortcoming in more pragmatic and realistic way. It is rationality and prudence that will serve the peace and not ‘blame game’ or whimsical aggressive posturing. Any action by anyone that undermines our efforts will be highly counter-productive and against the mutual interest of bringing peace and stability in the region. In the global arena, instead of vigorous haughty proclivity, serious efforts for peace and restraint are required to responsibly react to the emerging issues. There is a need to forge a convergence or work plan in coordination with all stakeholders to facilitate the peacemaking efforts instead of further escalating the crisis. In the current scenario, display of prudence, restraint and dialogue has a massive potential to resolve regional and global issues with a collective approach.

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07
July

Written By: Dr. Shahid Mahmud

The amount of data we produce doubles every year. In 2016, we produced as much data as in the entire history of humankind through 2015. Soon, the things around us, possibly even our clothing, also will be connected with the Internet. It is estimated that in 10 years’ time there will be 150 billion networked measuring sensors, 20 times more than people on earth. Then, the amount of data will double every 12 hours. Everything will become intelligent; soon we will not only have smart phones, but also smart homes, smart factories and smart cities. We should also expect these developments to result in smart nations and a smarter planet. Digitization of military assets, operations and processes is resulting in huge volumes of data being produced.

Why is This Critical?
To survive and thrive in the coming Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled exponential-disruption, governments must proactively deal with the challenges and opportunities posed by AI. The field of artificial intelligence is making breathtaking advances. In particular, it is contributing to the automation of data analysis. Artificial intelligence is no longer programmed line by line, but is now capable of learning, thereby continuously developing itself. Recently, Google's Deep Mind algorithm taught itself how to win 49 Atari games. Algorithms can now recognize handwritten language and patterns almost as well as humans and even complete some tasks better than them. They are able to describe the contents of photos and videos. Today 70% of all financial transactions are performed by algorithms. News content is, in part, automatically generated. This all has radical economic consequences: in the coming 10 to 20 years around half of today's jobs will be replaced by algorithms. Because of the applications of AI, we are experiencing the greatest transformation since the end of the Second World War; after the automation of production and the creation of self-driving cars, the automation of society is next. With this, society is at the crossroads, which promises tremendous prospects but also considerable risks.

 

aigovernance.jpgModern defence organizations have been striving over the past two decades to achieve Network Centric Warfare (NCW) capabilities to address low intensity conflict, especially in urban environments, so that they can leverage information technology to turn information superiority into a competitive advantage. The information technology required to enable the superiority through NCW cannot be achieved by subsystems or individual systems, but need networked, cooperating and integrated system of systems (SoS). The integrated nature of the SoS, centered on an extensive communications network, facilitates the foundation for complete implementation of NCW.


Often in the past, these organizations pioneered both the development of technology and its application. Such is not the case today. Major advances in Information Technology are being driven primarily by the demands of the commercial sector and such organizations have led the evolution towards adopting a network-centric-approach-agility that has fueled business intelligence efficiently responding to market needs. These disruptive technologies that include big data analytics, artificial intelligence, internet and dedicated cloud infrastructures are defining how governance and operations of SoS is taking place.


Having a closer look at the core disruptors, it is becoming increasing fundamental to highlight the skill set required to adopt these technologies.


Data Deluge
The amount of data we produce doubles every year. In 2016, we produced as much data as in the entire history of humankind through 2015. Soon, the things around us, possibly even our clothing, also will be connected with the Internet. It is estimated that in 10 years’ time there will be 150 billion networked measuring sensors, 20 times more than people on earth. Then, the amount of data will double every 12 hours. Everything will become intelligent; soon we will not only have smart phones, but also smart homes, smart factories and smart cities. We should also expect these developments to result in smart nations and a smarter planet. Digitization of military assets, operations and processes is resulting in huge volumes of data being produced. Since 9/11, the amount of data from drones and other surveillance technology has risen 1,600 percent. The U.S. armed forces now have approximately 8 million computing devices – a number that is expected to double by 2020.


IoT Networks
The U.S. military has begun using the latest connected technology to assist soldiers and other military professionals in warfare. In particular, it’s placing a big emphasis on the data. The armed forces are collecting data from a range of different platforms, including aircraft, weapon systems, ground vehicles and troops in the field. Once this information has been created, it’s sent to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. The latter are capable of pinpointing the most critical data for missions. The army is working with a few companies to help it integrate and use IoT solutions in daily operations. Lockheed Martin, for instance, is providing assistance on using machine learning to automate decision-making. This approach is helping the armed forces collect intelligence and identify key threats quicker and with more accuracy.


Advanced armed forces around the world are heading towards more integrated warfare approaches. The U.S. army has already implemented a classified IoT-based communication network line spanning 48,000 miles, which is being used in missile defence and battle coordination scenarios. This war fighting network merges elements of the army’s ballistic missile defence system into one central hub, which can be used to counteract threats all over the world. It takes data from hundreds of sensors, radars and satellites and translates that data into a common language for the missile defence systems to interact and engage the threat.


The AI Challenge
AI presents some alarming governance challenges. The most troubling perhaps has to do with the uncontrolled growth of deep AI or AGI in military robotics – at least 56 countries are currently developing battlefield robots. Gates, Musk, and Hawking are among those who have warned that proper governance must be placed around AI and military robotics integration or face the risk of military AI gone wild with potentially catastrophic consequences for humans. The fact that big data – and AI-centric functions – require exponential growth in data center facilities with significant capital and operational expenses. A significant risk involves computational ethics; an emerging discipline that seeks to provide machines not with “right” or “wrong” choices but with acceptable behavioral parameters within society.


What Should We be Asking Ourselves?
Government executives, military strategists, business community and the civil society have either ignored or taken AI for granted as outlook on these issues has been narrow without much consideration for their competitiveness and the impact on governance. As with other technological developments, the national leadership needs to understand the technical and socio-political landscape, evaluate the vulnerabilities, identify the value-based mechanisms, build national/organizational talent and demonstrate resilience to encourage an appropriate strategy and governance around this new element of national strength.

Capturing data, analyzing, acting and building possible future outcomes is the core function of big data analytics for the military, especially a force involved in counter-terrorism and public safety operations. However, it is of vital importance that the data collection, analytics and future forecasting functions be indigenously developed to safeguard against eavesdropping and intelligence gathering by foreign, non-allied entities. An indigenous data analytics and foresight laboratory is required to ensure independence and safeguarding against meddling from foreign influencers.

Therefore dimensions worth exploring in Pakistan’s context are:
How mature is the country’s use of big data analytics?
How pervasive is the country’s IoT deployment and analytics use?
How developed is the country’s fusion of various, previously disconnected data banks?
How proactive is the intelligence gathering and analysis of the country’s regional competitors, as well as non-traditional influencers using AI?


These three tenets should be closely observed regarding AI for effective governance:
The leadership is proactively engaged in AI strategy formulation, risk identification and oversight.
The leadership is proactively enabling expertise development and engagement of external experts to evaluate the intersection of AI with the defence’s core functions and services.
Functional and operational executives implement AI strategy collaboratively and in an integrated manner, through task forces or committees.


IoT Infrastructure
Designing, procurement and deployment of IoT infrastructure for various military-use-cases including smart metering, immersive virtual simulations for training, battlefield monitoring and awareness, unmanned systems, prevision targeting, flight-control systems, supply chain management, condition based maintenance, energy management, access control, threat detection, tactical communications, surveillance, crowd monitoring, fleet management, telemedicine, etc.


Indigenous Data Analytics and Scenario Building Futures Laboratory
Capturing data, analyzing, acting and building possible future outcomes is the core function of big data analytics for the military, especially a force involved in counter-terrorism and public safety operations. However, it is of vital importance that the data collection, analytics and future forecasting functions be indigenously developed to safeguard against eavesdropping and intelligence gathering by foreign, non-allied entities. An indigenous data analytics and foresight laboratory is required to ensure independence and safeguarding against meddling from foreign influencers.


Combat Cloud
Usually each branch of a defence force has its own infrastructure, both for connectivity and for the back-office systems. Transitioning to a combat cloud infrastructure would offer huge operational advantages, with greater ability to export both data and assets in the field for joint operations. When implemented, a combat cloud would allow information and control to move farther forward when appropriate, providing the operational flexibility to deal with a near peer targeting the national data systems.

 

The latest wave of technology governance focuses on thinking (artificially intelligent) machines that are not subservient to human input only – they can sense and make decisions on their own. AI and machine learning present unique complexities in governance that as a society we largely have not been forced to previously consider.

System Integrator
Defence sector does not inherently have the organic capacity to manage and oversee monumentally complex technology projects without diverting focus from its core functions. This is especially true in case of our regional security situation that is affected by continuous conflict, strategic national projects demanding stability, and a defence sector that is facing both internal and external covert and overt pressures. A responsible agent is needed to drive the technological evolution towards NCW (based on IoT, big data analytics and AI), manage risks across complex projects, ensure common vision, leading to a System of Systems that is greater than constituent parts. Modern defence forces, such as the U.S. military, have employed private contractors as Lead System Integrators (LSIs), to manage the development of selected SoS programs; because they accepted that the military did not have the organic managerial capability to oversee such monumental development tasks.


The New National Security Paradigm
AI is already disrupting traditional industries, e.g., the once ever-expanding Indian IT industry – addressing 15% of India’s annual exports at U.S. Dollars 100 billion – is now undergoing layoffs; cheap outsourced labor that performs routine tasks for North America (63%), the UK (13% ) and for other European countries (11%), is being eclipsed by the demand for artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data analytics, robotic process automation, etc. These technologies require highly advanced skills, and to be competitive the Indian IT firms have to either replace or reskill their workers – both require an AI and big-data ready workforce. This is not only a regional but also a global problem, where there is less need for routine transactional employees.


The defence sector faces a similar challenge, where network centric warfare will depend on Systems of Systems, which will be coordinating and communicating in battlefield scenarios via AI and IoT enabled components. Managing these systems and remaining in control of the battlefield will require field commanders who are well versed with technology and military leaders adept at technology governance. Governments will have to bank on these skills as they too will be drawn to push for higher standards of cost and efficiency management against depleting resources. One innovative approach being utilised by DARPA’s Strategic Capabilities Office looks at how soldiers in battlefield will make strategic and tactical decisions when seemingly infinite informantion will be available to them through connected swarms of sensors; the challenge being to get soldiers as much information as possible, with as much learning applied to it in the simplest and clearest way. Pilot programs in which soldiers are being trained using machine learning based tactical augmented reality computer games are already underway.
Technology governance is not a new notion, we have already gone through various adoption phases of technology governance, starting from the advent of the steam engine, to the availability of wired communication and more recently with computing machines. However, the latest wave of technology governance focuses on thinking (artificially intelligent) machines that are not subservient to human input only – they can sense and make decisions on their own. AI and machine learning present unique complexities in governance that as a society we largely have not been forced to previously consider. Advanced countries are already making significant progress in this regard, with White House Office of Science and Technology Policy having set the foundation for domestic policymaking on issues related to machine intelligence, and the UK Parliament has also released a report on robotics and artificial intelligence policy. This is a new way of informing national security paradigm.

 

Dr. Shahid Mahmud, PhD in Artificial Intelligence is the CEO and Chairman of the Interactive Group of Companies. Has a Masters degree in Defence & Strategic Studies from National Defence University; and did his engineering from NED University. Dr. Mahmud is a Distinguished Eisenhower Fellow 2016

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07
July

Written By: Taj M. Khattak

The influence of SCO in regional and global issues is also increasing slowly but consistently and is expected to grow further as the number of observer countries and dialogue partners increase. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to state that in not too distant a future, SCO has the potential to transition from its current label as a regional ‘hub club’ to a powerful cooperation forum that would deal with security and economic issues on a wider geographical space from Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe.

Pakistan recently became a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) after Foreign Affairs' Advisor, Mr. Sartaj Aziz signed a ‘Memorandum of Obligations’ (MoOs) at Heads of State Summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan along with Foreign Ministers of six member states: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Except Uzbekistan which was admitted in 2001, the others had been members of SCO since 1996 when it was first formed. Pakistan’s entry into SCO, along with that of India, had been approved in principle by member states last year at Ufa in Russia, subject to procedural formalities but they joined as full members in June 2017.

 

sconewprso.jpgSCO has a robust organizational structure where ‘The Council of Heads of States’ form its top decision making body which meets at SCO’s summit held each year in one of the member states’ capital cities by rotation. The second highest decision making body is ‘The Council of Heads of Governments’ which holds annual summits during which members discuss issues of multilateral cooperation and approve organization’s budget. The global footprint of SCO in terms of human race and economic clout is huge and can be gauged from the fact that between them the eight permanent members of SCO constitute nearly half the world’s population and a quarter of world’s GDP.


Quite appropriately then, SCO has done well to join hands with other international and regional bodies beginning with UNO where it has an observer status in the General Assembly since 2004. Likewise, it has reached out to Commonwealth of Independent States (2005), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (2005), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (2007), the Economic Co-operation Organization (2007), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2011), the Conference of Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (2014) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (2015).


In its observer’s status, Pakistan had been regularly attending SCO’s meeting since 2005 but applied for full membership in 2010, becoming the first country amongst observer members to apply for an elevated status. Both India and Pakistan are expected to speedily complete the remaining process preferably before next year’s planned Summit in Kazakhstan for their integration in the organization’s cooperation mechanism which includes regular meetings between their foreign ministers and heads of the states.


Given the state of Indo-Pak relations, simultaneous membership of SCO by these two countries must have been a difficult proposition but it goes to the credit of member states to pull it off smoothly and successfully. The accession of Pakistan and India to SCO will undoubtedly enhance its relevance both regionally and globally. Iran, which has been attending the SCO’s proceedings as an observer, could be the next country to join SCO as a full member thus adding further to its importance. Iran’s joining of SCO could happen sooner than later in view of its worsening relations with U.S. on the nuclear deal signed during former President Obama’s administration and the political re-alignment in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia.


SCO has an appropriate focus on creating improved security environments for weaker states in the region resulting from potential fallout from further instability in Afghanistan. This has been so right from its inception when in 1996 its members first signed what they called ‘Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions’ followed by another agreement the following year called ‘Reduction of Military Forces in Border Region’. There has, however, been little constructive work on the ground to prepare weaker states of the organization located on southern fringes of two geographically vast and militarily strong countries like Russia and China, to cope with fallout from Afghanistan if it slides into deeper chaos as a result of uncertain and unpredictable actions by U.S. administration – a danger which has increased ever since the incumbent U.S. President assumed power in Washington DC.


Regular summit meetings in the last few years have enhanced SCO’s status as an important and effective multilateral forum where actual issues of international policy, economy, regional security and security come under serious discussion. In contemporary global milieu, these four elements are becoming increasingly crucial to stimulate investment for economic development. Pakistan stands to gain from full membership of SCO as it will provide an opportunity to play its cards better with countries like U.S. and multilateral donors including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank where U.S. wields considerable influence and uses these forums for political gains.


The influence of SCO in regional and global issues is also increasing slowly but consistently and is expected to grow further as the number of observer countries and dialogue partners increase. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to state that in not too distant a future, SCO has the potential to transition from its current label as a regional ‘hub club’ to a powerful co-operation forum that would deal with security and economic issues on a wider geographical space from Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe.


The permanent membership status of SCO is also likely to help Pakistan in gaining greater access to resource base and energy projects within the organization’s framework. This could go a long way in shoring up its economic vulnerabilities; strengthen diplomatic standing in its interactions with other countries and overall rendering it less prone to pressure tactics by financially and militarily strong countries.


A pertinent example of such pressure tactics is the Iran-Pak gas pipeline project where Pakistan has been pressurized to shelve the project and opt instead for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports from Qatar. The U.S. Agency for International Development USAID had even engaged a consultant to assist Pakistan in reaching an agreement for a commercial deal for LNG supply from Qatar. The double irony is that even such an arrangement could also be severely impacted by ongoing Saudi-Qatar tensions, adding to difficulties in Pakistan’s endeavors to secure dependable energy lifelines so vital for our development.


Pakistan’s membership of SCO will boost several other major projects such as military and technical cooperation with Russia and strategic communication projects with China. Pakistan’s recent offer to SCO members to use Pakistan’s ports once CPEC is completed holds a lot of promise for increased commercial activity in the region and amongst SCO countries through Arabian Sea trade routes. This appears very logical given Pakistan’s focus on a trade strategy of developing linkages with neighbors, leveraging its geographical location and capitalizing on regional connectivity initiatives. Cross-border trade is especially important for land-locked countries to the north of Pakistan. Both SCO countries and Pakistan stand to gain substantially in this matrix through expansion of trade and investment as well as greater integration through road networks, rail, fiber optic cables and energy pipelines which are the hallmark of CPEC project.

 

Pakistan’s membership of SCO will boost several other major projects such as military and technical co-operation with Russia and strategic communication projects with China. Pakistan’s recent offer to SCO members to use Pakistan’s ports once CPEC is completed holds a lot of promise for increased commercial activity in the region and amongst SCO countries through Arabian Sea trade routes. This appears very logical given Pakistan’s focus on a trade strategy of developing linkages with neighbors, leveraging its geographical location and capitalizing on regional connectivity initiatives. Cross-border trade is especially important for land-locked countries to the north of Pakistan. Both SCO countries and Pakistan stand to gain substantially in this matrix through expansion of trade and investment as well as greater integration through road networks, rail, fiber optic cables and energy pipelines which are the hallmark of CPEC project.

As there is more progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Silk Road Economic Belt with Eurasian Economic Union, the role of Pakistan in regional economy and infrastructure projects will increase which in turn will have a positive impact on its standing in the SCO.


In the last two decades, SCO has gradually but steadily consolidated its place as an important international forum which is becoming difficult to ignore in current global politics. This is being acknowledged in Western capital though in the same vein they are also critical of its objectives.


Afghanistan perched on southern flank of two major members of SCO (Russia and China) and from where they perceive a threat of instability, also happens to be Pakistan’s northern flank. There is thus a commonality of interest to join hands in thwarting designs of destabilizing elements and enhancing regional security for benefit of all countries. Pakistan might find that looking at multiple options to deepen economic cooperation through use of SCO forum may well be the best remedy against a continuing threat of terrorism and violence. Pakistan would do well to utilize this platform in areas in which SCO offers the maximum dividend and has the best potential, namely greater connectivity in state-of-the-art communications, international standard rail and road network, and multi-dimensional energy corridors.


While SCO has the potential of mediating and resolving varying problems, we shouldn’t be overzealous in bringing its long outstanding disputes to this forum for resolution as this could retard progress on much needed economic integration and be counter-productive. Besides, ignoring ‘development-centric’ core interests of other member states could adversely affect the growth of SCO and reduce its relevance regionally and internationally, as indeed has happened in the case of SAARC, albeit due to an entirely different set of reasons.

 

The writer is a retired Vice Admiral of Pakistan Navy.

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07
July

Written By: Lt Gen Tariq Waseem (R)

We were staring into the impossibility of delivering to expectations, when the military’s espirit de corps intervened. From the General Headquarters to PMA Kakul to institutions and units in Abbottabad, all embraced our desires as their own, lending enthusiasm and cooperation that was unprecedented and spontaneous. One motivation guided them all – “we do not forget our veterans and we will do all we can to make the bonds that keep us together even stronger”. One event, one celebration, one day that epitomizes the collective responsibility of the military family to its enduring ethos of togetherness!

What is it that binds people together, year after year after year? A shared destiny, belief in a common cause, a unifying culture, cherished memories, and the strength that comes from an abiding relationship. This is the sum of a military professional’s espirit de corps, at the heart of the camaraderie that marks its members as part of a unique enterprise. Military men join up as strangers, arriving from disparate backgrounds and from all corners of the land. They begin to live together through all the vagaries that the demands of their solemn oath places upon them. They share great moments, reveling in each other’s joys and achievements, providing strength in their sorrows, and building around them a vast family that becomes a ‘band of brothers’ knitted together by collective experiences. When the time comes to bid farewell they merely fade away, but they can never leave. We are all soldiers for life!

 

soldierforlife.jpgRecently, I had the tremendous good fortune to witness all of this in person. The occasion was the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of 40th PMA Long Course held at Abbottabad from 5-7 May 2017. I led a three-man organizing committee tasked to arrange a gathering to celebrate the day we joined the Pakistan Army. It started off as an exploratory venture, but as time wore on it took a life of its own, drawing in some three hundred people across four generations and three continents, from age 87 years to six months old! Our ambitions for the event were propelled by the excitement that it generated amongst old friends, who not only wished to reconnect at the place of their first meeting but wanted their memories to be passed on to the following generations. As the magnitude of the task grew, so did the logistics of it. We were staring into the impossibility of delivering to expectations, when the military’s espirit de corps intervened. From the General Headquarters to PMA Kakul to institutions and units in Abbottabad, all embraced our desires as their own, lending enthusiasm and cooperation that was unprecedented and spontaneous. One motivation guided them all – “we do not forget our veterans and we will do all we can to make the bonds that keep us together even stronger”. One event, one celebration, one day that epitomizes the collective responsibility of the military family to its enduring ethos of togetherness!


The veterans of 40th PMA Long Course (May 7, 1967 - April 19, 1969) arrived at PMA, Kakul at 0930 hours on May 6, 2017 to commemorate the completion of exactly 50 years since they first entered these very same gates! A galaxy of 276 guests – the founding Term Commander, Platoon Commanders, Gentlemen Cadets, wives, children and grandchildren – were warmly welcomed behind the Main Mess, on the steps to the Rafiullah Drill Square (RDS). Out of 167 course-mates (including Naval Cadets) that formed the original batch, 126 are alive, of whom 65 attended this memorable occasion along with their families. There was an air of excitement as friends reconnected under a magical, nostalgic spell – embracing and hugging and patting each other amidst shouts of joy! The backdrop of the Main Mess served as the ideal platform to preserve the memory of this ‘Grand Gathering’ in group photographs with and without the families.

Finally, with heavy hearts and tearful eyes and leaden feet, this great family of friends took leave of each other, locking themselves in one last tight embrace, not wanting to let go. Then, they sauntered off into the distance, looking back and exchanging furtive glances, not knowing what lay in the future for them.

As the trumpets rang out, the PMA Drill Staff swung into action. The coursemates were mustered for the traditional ‘Parade’, organized into their original five platoons led by their respective SUOs (in our time 1st Pakistan Battalion comprised of five companies: Khalid, Tariq, Qasim, Salah-Ud-Din and Aurangzeb). They were then put through their paces, under the watchful eyes of the Adjutant as he sat astride his magnificent charger, and paraded around the RDS with long-forgotten skills. The Drill Subedar Major censured Tariq Platoon (the Champion in 1969) for their “poor drill”, to the amusement of the spectators and the other platoons! The families looked on from the enclosures, with rapt attention and curiosity, taking pictures and making videos. These retired and aging officers, once again perked up and became young cadets, as they proudly tried to recapture the glorious moments from the past.

soldierforlife1.jpgThe PMA Band played the same old tunes, as these “officers-turned-cadets” slow-marched up the stairs to the lilting strains of “Al Wida” in a re-enactment of their passing-out, to disappear once again into the Main Mess. Their families followed them and joined them for some well-earned ‘Hi-Tea’ and refreshments. The guests mingled around as they exchanged more memories, accomplishments and pleasantries with each other, introducing families and creating new friendships.


The guests were then divided into two groups and they embarked upon a ‘Tour of PMA’. The voyage through PMA, in fact, proved exciting as well as wistful. It was meant to be a drive-through the now massive PMA complex, but everybody demanded stops along the way to dismount from the buses to experience first-hand their respective Company Lines, the rooms they lived in, the many venues of their ‘ragging’, the Mile Track, Horse and Saddle Club, Visitors’ Centre, Museum etc. They cherished the places of their own time and admired the new structures. The officers and their families were especially mesmerized to find the original data of their time in the PMA Museum in the form of Long Roll, Rising Crescent, individual, group and company photos, the Honour Boards, memorabilia from their past, etc. In fact, the Museum took them back to their own time within a compact capsule.


The guests then arrived for the ‘Formal Commemoration Lunch’ at the imposing 3rd Pakistan Battalion Mess and relished the full-service meal, experiencing once again the formality and dignity of dining at the PMA, with its unique cooking aroma and the enthralling ambiance of their Alma Mater. During the lunch, a pictorial slideshow of their time, with the music of their own Passing Out Parade playing in the background, was projected on screens around the hall. Then, as the Course Senior, I rose up and led a silent prayer to honour the Shuhada and to remember the departed colleagues of the Course. In my address to the assembled guests, Ireminisced with the help of photographs and montages, sharing many interesting incidents from our training. I emphasized the value of this event, as a continuation of military traditions designed to foster ever greater cohesion. On behalf of the Course, I thanked Maj Gen Abdullah Dogar, Commandant PMA, and his team for extending extraordinary support to enable such an unprecedented celebration of our Golden Jubilee. Special thanks were extended to Lt Col Taimur, CO 3rd Pakistan Battalion; Maj Usman Sarwar, the Coordinating Officer; and Maj Sarfraz Ahmed, Exo Museum for their hardwork and cooperation. A standing ovation was given to two coursemates, Brig Ijaz Rasool (Retd) and Col Tahir Mumtaz (Retd), for their tireless efforts in organizing this memorable event on such an unprecedented scale. ‘Souvenirs’ were then presented by an eminent selection of Platoon Commanders, senior members and the Company SUOs to the many local institutions and units – the Baloch, Frontier Force and AMC Regimental Centres, the ASPT & MW, the MES, FWO, Topo Survey Unit, and Station Headquarters – who contributed most enthusiastically in hosting the event.


Finally, the founding Term Commander of 40th PMA Brig Azam Mirza (Retd), was invited to join me in unveiling the ‘Course Gift’ to PMA Kakul: a magnificent trophy representing the“Battle Standards of the Warriors of Islam”, a truly inspirational memento that we hope will serve as a lasting beacon for the gentlemen cadets.


The majestic ceremony came to an end around 1600 hours, with the Band playing familiar tunes as the Course departed the PMA grounds carrying with them unforgettable memories – from the past and the present.


This was not the end of the celebrations, however.
The guests reassembled at the Baloch Regimental Centre for ‘Dinner and Musical Evening’, which turned into a night of songs, dances, gaiety and fun. There was an air of informality and vitality as the families arrived at the beautifully decorated lawns overlooking the lights of Abbottabad. This was a moment for photographs and much laughter, before everyone settled down to hear Brig Ijaz Rasool (Retd) describe the year-long journey towards holding the Golden Jubilee. There were interesting facts and data, from ISSB selections to a full count of what and where each of our colleagues became, to details on attendance and financial stock-taking. The wives of our departed colleagues and of the organisers were then invited to cut the ‘Jubilee Cake’, crafted in the colours of PMA and the five companies of 1st Pak Battalion. A lavish sit-down dinner followed, served to the accompaniment of live music. Well satiated, the families joined together as they were regaled by the melodious voice of ‘Bulbul-e-Hazara’. The course mates became young again as they swayed to the rhythm of the songs, interspersed with the recounting of some light moments from the past by Brig Javed Aziz (Retd). The night wore on and not a single person was spared from taking the floor and moving to the tunes! There was much more fun in stock, but a wild storm and rain put a halt to the festivities around midnight. One surprise awaited the families as they exited the venue, however: individually packed and labelled ‘Gift Bags’ filled with especially prepared mementoes for each and every one – cadets, wives, children and grandchildren – all 276 of them!


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