05
October
October 2017(EDITION 10, Volume 54)
 
Written By: Maria Khalid
Pakistan’s contributions to the global war on terror are matchless and phenomenal. In the last 16 years, thousands have lost their lives in the country’s fight against the world’s most notorious terrorist groups. On the internal front, Pakistan Army launched ....Read full article
 
Written By: Lt Gen Talat Masood (R)
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been one of the most discussed and written topics in Pakistan. It has been subject of great interest and also apprehension by friends and foes of Pakistan. Few enterprises have been viewed so dramatically different as CPEC.....Read full article
 
Dr. Nazir Hussain & Amna Javed
The national narrative depicts the consensus and resolve of the nation for its future progression and sets the direction for its role in the regional and global dynamics. It describes a nation’s prized values and norms through history and paves the way for future direction.....Read full article
 
Written By: Hussain H. Zaidi
Like it or lump it, the institutions of higher learning in Pakistan are increasingly becoming susceptible to religious extremism. The 2015 Safoora Chowk carnage, the shocking death of Mashal Khan at the hands of his fellow students, and the recent....Read full article
 
Written By: Waseem Iftikhar
Before theorizing structural violence, Johan Galtung talked about Personal or Direct Violence. Defining violence he argued that, “Violence is present when human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations....Read full article
 
Written By: Raheel Suleman
Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan constituting 44% of Pakistan’s total land mass, is susceptible to environmental hazards such as tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, heat waves, cold waves and droughts.....Read full article
 
Written By: Zarrar Khuhro
There is no shortage of commentary and outrage on the horrific atrocities being perpetrated on the Rohingyas. Hunted by a malevolent regime that specializes in ethnic cleansing, the Rohingyas are being subjected to pogroms, rapes and summary executions aimed at forcing them....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Rizwana Karim Abbasi
What purpose did Short Range Nuclear Weapons (SRNWs) or Tactical Nuclear Weapons (TNWs) play in the history of nations’ security policy? Why did the U.S. make the TNWs during the Cold War? Did this weapon introduce stabilizing or destabilizing effects? During the ......Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Zafar Mehmood
In the midst of slow socio-economic growth, negative export growth and rising unemployment, Pakistan has signed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with China as a part of its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. OBOR is not merely a trade connectivity route, it has a pro-development.....Read full article
 
Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid
Complete unanimity of views on the basics of a polity between the lender and his chief lieutenant is a phenomenon that seldom occurs. For instance, it did not in the case of Gandhi and Nehru, Soekarno and Nasir, Naguib and Nasser, Ben Bella and Boumediene. But it did.....Read full article
 
Written By: Maryam Razzaq
China has been a time-tested friend of Pakistan and it acknowledges Pakistan’s historical recognition of China’s republican transition in 1949. While people of both countries enjoy traditional eastern cultures, their state-to-state relations are cemented at an even deeper....Read full article
 
A two week long joint exercise DRUZBA 2017 between special forces of Pakistan and Russian Armies started in Minralney Vody, Russia. The opening ceremony was attended by senior military officials of special forces of both countries. The joint exercise will focus on counter terrorism....Read full article
 
Written By: Brig Syed Wajid Raza (R)
During Operation Rah-e-Nijat, after initial phases, search and cordon operations began in South Waziristan Agency. In Kotkai area search began in a house located at the end of the village, that stretched along the highroad, over a hill point.....Read full article
 
Written By: Muhammad Yusuf Malik
Launch ceremony of the book “Kashmir Crisis (Unresolved Issue of Muslim Ummah) Opinions & Analysis” written by Mr. Omar Mohammad Nazzal Al Armouti was held at Amman, Jordan on August 16, 2017. The event was attended by approximately 600 individuals from all walks.....Read full article
 
Written By: Maj Umar Ismail Sajid Garewal, Lt Col Shaukat Naeem Khan & Lt Col Muhammad Farid
akistan’s journey with UN peacekeeping began in July 1960 when first Pakistani contingent was deployed in Congo. Since then, Pakistan has contributed more than 160,000 troops in 41 UN missions in 23 different countries. 144 Pakistani peacekeepers including 23 officers have sacrificed their lives while.....Read full article
 
Written By: Capt Ali Ahmed Malik
"Because I don’t fit in your definition of normal," throwing pebbles in the water, gazing at the horizon, with his thoughts at unrest, being at par with the oceanic waves in front, his words disappearing in the sound of splashes, still being the only sound making sense to his fiancée’s ears. He continued "Someday I may meet your standards of being normal", as he sat facing her.....Read full article
 
Report by: Asif Sohail
After determined and successful conclusion of Pakistan Army’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists in North Waziristan and ongoing successful Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, it became imperative to demonstrate before the world that peace has been restored and the.....Read full article

 
Written By: Omair Alavi
Cricket may not be the national sport of Pakistan but it is celebrated as one, considering it is one of those sports where Pakistan has excelled in all formats. During the last few months, Pakistan has emerged as one of the leading cricket teams – Misbah-ul-Haq held the Test Mace last.........Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed
Biologically speaking, life started when some complex chemical molecules in the primordial soup in high energy environment of the hot deep-sea plumes mimicked a biological cell and divided into two. Biological division of a cell is the starting and crowning point of life. Progressively.....Read full article
 
Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha
The Pakistan cricket team hasn’t played a Test match against India since 2006. India considers Pakistan to be an unsafe place to tour and has often accused Pakistan of facilitating ‘terrorism’ in Kashmir. Pakistan accuses India of the same, especially after .....Read full article
 
H.E. Mr. Muhammad Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi. During the meeting, matters related to regional security with emphasis on human rights violations by.....Read full article
 
H. E. Mr. Martin Kobler, German Ambassador to Pakistan met Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ on September 21, 2017. Issues of mutual interest including security situation were discussed. The ambassador said that ‘Germany is grateful to Pakistan for its fight against.....Read full article
 
Lieutenant Arsalan Alam Satti Shaheed was buried with full military honours after namaz-e-janaza in his native town Ghell, New Murree. He embraced shahadat while he was participating in Operation Khyber IV in Rajgal Valley....Read full article
 
Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman NI (M), Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force held meetings with the government and military officials of Azerbaijan during his official visit to the brotherly country.......Read full article
 
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, visited parents of Lieutenant Arsalan Alam shaheed on September 25, 2017 at his village near Murree who embraced shahadat at ....Read full article
 
Pakistan Navy conducted the premier Maritime Security Workshop (MARSEW) on the theme “Secure Seas – Prosperous Pakistan” at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore. MARSEW continued from September 11-25, with the aim to create maritime awareness, enlighten the participants.....Read full article
 
Colombo Defence Seminar 2017 was held at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) from August 28-29, 2017. The seminar, which was initiated as an annual forum in the year 2011 by the Sri Lankan Army, has grown into an internationally accepted round-table for interaction on matters pertaining to national....Read full article
 
Around 75 participants of National Security Workshop headed by Maj Gen Samrez Salik, HI (M), DG ISSRA (Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis), National Defence University visited Gilgit. The participants were briefed in HQ FCNA about the role of FCNA in Gilgit-Baltistan....Read full article
 
Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) inducted and commissioned two Ex-U.S. Island Class policing ships – Pakistan Maritime Security Ship (PMSS) Sabqat and PMSS Rafaqat. These ships, after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, have undergone complete overhaul....Read full article
 
The Pak-China Joint Air Exercise “Shaheen-VI”, commenced at Korla Air Base, China in the month of September 2017. PAF contingent comprising combat pilots, air defence controllers and technical ground crew participated in this bilateral exercise. JF-17 Thunder, Mirage....Read full article
 
There is a palpable sense of resurgence and normalcy in all fields of our social life owing to great sacrifices of our men in uniform. Men in red track suits have also not lagged behind to bring back peace and élan to project soft image of Pakistan.....Read full article
 
05
October

Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha

The Pakistan cricket team hasn’t played a Test match against India since 2006. India considers Pakistan to be an unsafe place to tour and has often accused Pakistan of facilitating ‘terrorism’ in Kashmir. Pakistan accuses India of the same, especially after capturing an Indian spy in 2016 who confessed of funding and facilitating terrorist groups in Balochistan and Karachi.


India’s concern that Pakistan is unsafe for cricket is ironic because never has any Indian cricket squad been threatened with violence in Pakistan; whereas it was in India that the Pakistani cricketers were threatened in 1999, 2013 and then again during the 2016 T20 World Cup held there.

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One of the most prominent examples in this respect stretches back to Pakistan’s 1999 tour of India where it played 3 Test matches. This was Pakistan’s first Test tour of India after 1987. The relations between the two countries had nosedived in 1998 when both the governments conducted multiple nuclear tests.


In January 1999, a 16-men-squad captained by Wasim Akram landed in New Delhi. The players had not even left the city’s Indira Gandhi Airport when reports of a possible attack on the team’s hotel began to circulate. Newspapers had earlier quoted some members of a Hindu nationalist group in Delhi who said they would storm the hotel where the Pakistani players were to stay and put them back on a plane to Pakistan.


Even though the players managed to make it to the hotel, Shiv Sena activists entered the stadium in Delhi (which was to host the second Test) and dug up the pitch, destroying it completely. Then as the Pakistani players flew to Chennai to play the first game, a Hindu nationalist outfit asked the spectators to stay away from the game because they were going to release hundreds of poisonous snakes in the stands.


After the police closely inspected the stands, the Pakistan’s squad reached Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium to play the team’s first Test match in India after 11 years. The stands were packed with people, even though security personnel could be seen on the concrete gables above the stands and outside Pakistan team’s dressing room.


The pitch had some grass on it but seemed good for batting. Akram won the toss and elected to bat. Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi opened the batting for Pakistan. But with the score at 32, Afridi was squared up by a zippy Srinath out-swinger and caught by Ganguly at first slip. At 41 Pakistan lost Anwar and then quickly collapsed to 91 for 5.


Yousaf Youhana (later Muhammad Yousaf) and wicket-keeper Moin Khan stabled things a bit for the tourists and took the score to 154 when Yousaf was trapped LBW. Moin was joined by Akram and both pushed the score to 214 before India managed to dislodge Moin for a gritty 60. However, Pakistan were eventually bundled out for just 238 an hour before the close of the first day’s play. In this hour Indian openers struck a quick 48.


Pakistan got its first breakthrough in the first session of the second day’s play when Akram removed the stylish Laxman with the score at 67. 67 for 1 soon became 71 for 2 when Akram also removed the second opener, Sadagoppan Ramesh. Almost immediately, prodigious off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq got the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, caught by Saleem Malik. India was now tottering at 72 for 3. Azharuddin went at 103 but Dravid and Ganguly managed to stem the rot and pushed the score past 150 when Dravid fell, padding up to a straight one from Saqlain.


Ganguly’s fifty and some last minute hitting from Sunil Joshi helped India reach 254 (all out), gaining a 26 runs lead. Saqlain picked up five wickets. In its second innings, Pakistan lost Saeed Anwar early and at the end of the second day’s play Pakistan were 34 for 1, just 8 runs ahead.


After the day’s play Akram was quoted by Indian newspapers as saying that Pakistani players were still receiving threats of violence but the team had decided to just concentrate on playing cricket. On day 3 of the Test, Ijaz Ahmed was sent packing very early but Inzamam-ul-Haq and the 20-year-old Shahid Afridi added a quick-fire 92 for the fourth wicket, both sprinting past their fifties in style.


With the score at 139, Inzamam fell but Afridi continued to score freely. He soon posted his first ever Test century. But when Afridi lost his wicket with the score at 279, rest of the batting collapsed. Pakistan were all out for 286. India had 271 to chase with two days of the Test remaining. Now favorites to win the Test, India’s chase began disastrously. Rippers from Akram’s fellow fast bowler Waqar Younus removed the Indian openers cheaply. At the close of the third day’s play, India were reeling at 40 for 2. On day 4, Pakistan reduced India to 82 for 5 by lunch. The Pakistani players were jubilant and enjoyed their lunch. But Akram told a BBC reporter that the political and sporting pressure on his men and him was immense. But now they were sensing a win.


However, after the lunch break, as Tendulkar and Mongia went about repairing India’s innings, Pakistan began to slightly panic. The pair first took India past 150 and then 200. Soon, India just needed 52 to win with five wickets still in hand.


Tendulkar was playing brilliantly; middling the ball and making the Pakistani bowlers (suddenly) look rather ordinary. He quickly reached his century. Mongia began playing his shots as well but with the score at 218 he tried to loft Akram out of the ground but only managed to sky the ball towards Waqar who ran in and held the most important catch at mid-off.


Joshi came in and just blocked, letting a Tendulkar do all the scoring. The pair took the score past 250. Then at 254 India just needed 16 to win and it still had four wickets in hand. Surely, Pakistan was staring at defeat now? It seemed that way until Tendulkar tried to lift Saqlain over mid-on for a boundary. The ball seemed to hang high in the air for ages. Akram ran in and placed himself underneath it and cupped it successfully. A deafening silence descended over the packed stands.


Just two runs later, Pakistan grabbed another two quick wickets, leaving India 14 to get and with just one wicket in hand. The tables were being turned. Srinath and Prasad added two runs and India now needed 12. But Saqlain produced a jumpy off-break to Srinath which the batsman went back to defend. He was successful, but the ball hit the ground and rolled back to hit the stumps. Pakistan won.


It was the most esthetic victory for a team under threat of violence. Even though Pakistan lost in Delhi it came back to post a win in Kolkata. Pakistan’s manager, Shahryar Khan later wrote that this was the tensest and most stressful series he had ever been a part of. He added that relations between the two teams were cordial but the crowds (especially in Delhi and Kolkata) were hostile and threats of violence from Hindu nationalists never stopped. But Pakistan managed to come out the better side.

 

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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05
October

Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed

Biologically speaking, life started when some complex chemical molecules in the primordial soup in high energy environment of the hot deep-sea plumes mimicked a biological cell and divided into two. Biological division of a cell is the starting and crowning point of life. Progressively thereafter, the high energy environment led to the explosion from simple single-cell life to complex multicellular forms that include mammals. There are over a trillion cells in the human body and the growth in the growing years and ageing in waning years still takes place at the cell level through healthy division, sluggish division or mutation as the case might be.


When a fertilized egg cell divides at the starting point of conceptual life, slight imperfection in division known as mutation causes genetic variations leading to a wide array of biodiversity. The body remains youthful as long as the adult cells continue to divide efficiently. However, brain cells do not divide as the production of new cells could result in the loss of memory. The synaptic connections continually reformat that maintains the brain health and function. This reformatting takes place during sleep at night and deeper the sleep, better is the mending of the brain. Similarly, cells of the heart muscles also do not divide, possibly because the fresh cells created might not be strong enough to contract to the required extent as the old cells for sustaining the required pressure in the blood vessels. It is now considered that about 3% of the heart cells do divide but that is not enough to repair the damage suffered in a heart attack. If a way could be found to induce the heart cells to divide, it could lead to the repairing of the damage to the heart suffered in an heart attack without any surgical intervention. Rest all cells in the body continue to divide during the life. Progressively with age, cells become sluggish or stop to divide that causes ageing. The retired cells reside next to the active cells which in due course become sites for inflammation that causes myriad problems and damages to the body tissues.

 

It is interesting to know that the optimal level of food is a touch towards starvation than to overeating. When the stomach is empty with a long gap after eating the food, the growth hormones are stimulated which promotes healthy cell division that checks or slows ageing. This condition can be achieved by intermittent fasting for about 16 hours. In practice it is comparable with religious fasting, except that in intermittent fasting one could take simple water any number of times to avoid dehydration.

Human Growth Hormones (HGH) operate at cell level and stimulate active cells to prolong their life of efficient division. The body produces its own growth hormones which provide a good index of ageing in advancing years. Although, one could take HGH as supplements also but this is not as effective in prolonging youthfulness as the body’s own energized growth hormones.


The central idea of this article is that there are ways through which one could stimulate body’s own growth hormones. This secret was revealed during the biological experiment of the procreation of the sheep ‘Dolly’ in 1996 by a team of British scientists. They picked two genetically different types of sheep and started with an egg cell of one sheep but enucleated it by removing the nucleus, leaving only the proteins inside the cell membrane. Then they took the differentiated adult cell from the mammary gland of the second sheep and inserted the nucleus of this adult cell into the enucleated cell of the other sheep. They were trying to grow the clone of the sheep that had provided the adult cell. Cloning of a mammal from its adult cell had never been achieved before this experiment.


During the course of the frustrating experiments, hundreds of attempts led to no breakthrough as the adult cell did not start dividing to replicate life. What they observed in these failed attempts provides a very intelligent clue to the secret of the cell division. When there was excessive protein food around the adult cell nucleus, the cell would grow bigger and bigger, become sluggish and not divide. On the other hand when there was too little protein food, the adult cell became emaciated and died. When they accidently hit upon the optimal level of the protein food, the miracle happened and the cell started dividing that led to the development of 'Dolly'. The sheep lived about six years and produced 5 lambs.


These observations provided an evidence that excessive food protein or very low food protein suppress growth hormones leading to lethargy, inactivity or death of adult cells in human body. It points to the secret of finding an optimal level of food protein to stimulate the health of the body cells. The individuals who consume excessive food suffer from inactive cells which becomes the cause of various health issues and faster ageing. The starvation on the other hand causes early death of body cells leading to the loss of muscles and bone mass that advances the process of ageing.


It is interesting to know that the optimal level of food is a touch towards starvation than to overeating. When the stomach is empty with a long gap after eating the food, the growth hormones are stimulated which promotes healthy cell division that checks or slows ageing. This condition can be achieved by intermittent fasting for about 16 hours. In practice it is comparable with religious fasting, except that in intermittent fasting one could take simple water any number of times to avoid dehydration. Translating it into a daily routine the requirement can be achieved if one takes the last meal of the day along with the required amount of water in the late afternoon at say 5p.m. and the only second meal of the breakfast at 9a.m. Except these two timed meals one observes intermittent fast. Apart from energizing growth hormones it has other spectacular health effects. Between 5p.m. and sleep, say at 9p.m., the food gets digested and there is no need for the heart to continue to pump the blood into stomach during the sleep. When one goes to sleep with all the food digested, the heart, kidneys and the brain all can sleep at night. The sleep is undisturbed and one gets up very fresh the next morning. This quality of sleep is conducive to synaptic reformatting and the repairs in the brain. This routine can improve health, check or slow ageing and increase active hours adding vitality to life.


As a general guide, eating moderately especially in advancing years is a recipe for better health. Most health issues arise from eating excessively especially the unhealthy food. We heard a golden rule from the elders to stop eating, leaving some appetite unsatisfied. Energizing body's own growth hormones is an effective way to slow down ageing and prolong healthy life. Although the humanity continues to make spectacular advances for treating diseases there ought to be sufficient development for promoting a style of life that supports good health in the first place. A flurry of fads, exacerbated by the globally connected social media, often sponsored by vested interest-groups continue to add confusion to what to eat and how much to eat. An intelligent recourse to eating less and selectively would save resources, increase food security and above all promote health and extend useful life span adding to the well-being of the human society. Eating less is the end secret.

 

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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05
October

Written By: Omair Alavi

Cricket may not be the national sport of Pakistan but it is celebrated as one, considering it is one of those sports where Pakistan has excelled in all formats. During the last few months, Pakistan has emerged as one of the leading cricket teams – Misbah-ul-Haq held the Test Mace last year while Sarfraz lifted the ICC Champions Trophy by defeating arch-rival India a few months back. Naturally, the followers of Pakistan cricket team were anxious to see their players in action at home, and the issue was resolved by the Pakistan Cricket Board in general and Najam Sethi in particular who convinced the best players in the world to visit Pakistan and set an example for others to follow. Let’s analyze the World XI tour and find out how it will help Pakistan cricket in coming days.

 

The security was excellent and the players and the officials felt at home in Lahore. Had there been a lapse in security, things would have gone haywire but thanks to the Pakistan Army and Law Enforcement Agencies, everything happened according to their plan.

The Matches
First Match: The World XI won the toss and elected to field in the first match of the series; Pakistan had a shaky start as they lost their swashbuckling opening batsman Fakhar Zaman for 8. However, Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam took the score forward and when the former was dismissed for a 34-ball 39, the team total was 130 for 2 in 14.1 overs. Hard hitting from the experienced Shoaib Malik and an entertaining 52-ball 86 by Babar Azam saw Pakistan post 197 runs on the board for the loss of 5 wickets. The World XI started well but with Rumman Raees, Sohail Khan and Shadab Khan in the form of their lives, the visitors could only score 177 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs. Captain Faf du Plessis and Darren Sammy managed to top score with 29 runs each and although Sammy was there until the end, he couldn't save his team from going one-down in the three-match series.


Second Match: Then there was the second match where the World XI looked better prepared than the hosts. Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed elected to bat first and thanks to Babar Azam's 45, Ahmed Shehzad's 43 and Shoaib Malik's 39, the hosts posted a healthy score of 174 for the loss of six wickets. The visitors managed to reach the target on the penultimate delivery of the match, thanks to a quick-fire 19-ball 47 not-out by Thishara Perera; although Hashim Amla scored 72 runs off 55 deliveries and remained not-out, Perera's innings changed the momentum and helped the World XI level the series with a 7-wicket win. Pakistani fielders couldn't take the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd and dropped many catches, resulting in a loss that could have been a victory.


Third Match: Pakistan outclassed World XI in the grand finale of the Independence Cup; the visitors managed to win the toss and elected to field but the decision cost them the series as Ahmed Shehzad struck 8 fours and 3 sixes in his 55-ball 89. Babar Azam ably supported him and continued his golden run with the bat with a 31-ball 48. Chasing 184 to win the match and the series, the World XI faltered in front of the much-improved bowling and fielding display from the hosts. David Miller and Thishara Perera were the only ones to show some resistance with 32 runs each; due to the failure of the rest of the team, the World XI managed 150 runs for the loss of eight wickets, losing the match by 33 runs. Hasan Ali was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for 28 runs.


The Positives
Breaking the Barrier for Good!
For more than 8 years, Pakistan’s Cricket team has been playing its home series away from home because international teams didn’t think it was a safe place to visit and play. There were a few instances where international teams such as Zimbabwe visited Pakistan for T20 and ODIs but that wasn’t enough to convince the best in the world. That’s one of the reasons why the ICC was approached with the idea for the Independence Cup – independence from being ignored, independence from being isolated and independence from being dictated to play away from home. The best players in the world agreed to visit Pakistan led by South African captain Faf du Plessis and the rest is history. The Sri Lankans currently playing Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates also have agreed to visit Pakistan for the T20 Internationals and their tour is subject to security clearance. The West Indians might also visit Pakistan later in the year and if that happens, cricket will turn out to be the eventual winner.

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International Level Coverage and Security
The grand finale of the Pakistan Super League was a disappointing affair as international broadcasters refused to travel to Pakistan and the host nation had to rely on local broadcasters who couldn’t take the pressure of international level coverage. However, in the matches between Pakistan and the World XI, the coverage was at par with any international sports channel. The greenery of the stadium was televised as green (pun intended) while the players really looked like international cricketers donning the Pakistan jersey. The security was excellent and the players and the officials felt at home in Lahore. Had there been a lapse in security, things would have gone haywire but thanks to the Pakistan Army and Law Enforcement Agencies, everything happened according to their plan.


Dream Come True for Most Players
UAE may be Pakistan’s home away from home but playing in front of the local crowd has a different feeling. From the current team only Sarfraz Ahmed, Sohail Khan and Shoaib Malik had played in front of local crowds in Pakistan before the World XI series. The rest of players who made their debut after 2009 felt proud as well since the cheering of the local crowd, their involvement, their appreciation is what cricketers around the world long for. Add to this the outstanding performance of youngsters making their debut at home and you get to see a fancy picture of Pakistan Cricket where everyone is a match-winning individual with the potential to give tough time to anyone, anywhere, anytime.


Youngsters Who Perform, Get Praised
The Independence Cup helped Pakistanis know what the whole world knows and that’s the fact that Babar Azam is a world-class cricketer. He may have missed scoring a century in the series but his consistency helped Pakistan coming out as the better team. Thanks to his 89 runs in the grand finale, Ahmed Shehzad ended the series as the second highest scorer – 171 runs to Babar Azam's 179. Shoaib Malik strengthened the middle-order with his gutsy innings and scored 94 runs in the series at a strike rate of 188. That was the best from the entire Pakistan side.


As for the bowlers, Rumman Raees emerged as one of the leading The top T20 bowler in the world, Imad Wasim took two wickets, the same number of wickets were taken by Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan. The crowd appreciated Hasan Ali’s celebration style and loved watching young sensation Shadab at home, something they termed priceless after the series.


The Negatives
Multiple matches, Multiple Venues
As a top cricket nation, Pakistan went into seclusion after the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. The Board’s decision to restrict international cricket to Lahore for logistics purposes was understandable but then it should have hosted just one match instead of three. There are many cricket crazy cities in Pakistan including Karachi, Multan, Faisalabad etc. and hosting matches in those cities would have been like giving importance to their residents. The Multan stadium is outside the city and would have been ideal to host the match(es) as would have been Karachi’s National Stadium where the last complete Test hosted in Pakistan was held. The more the venues, the better the message would have been to the international community.


Ticket Fiasco
Pakistan Cricket Board blundered by pricing the tickets high and they had to admit to the fiasco as the series progressed. Even the visiting team’s captain was surprised to see that the stadium wasn’t full in the first match and the Board’s overconfidence is to be blamed for that. Many of the tickets were not available at the designated banks but that’s something that has been part and parcel of Pakistan Cricket, be it in the 1980s or 2010s. One hopes that the next time when an international team visits Pakistan, such issues would not arise due to better handling.


Overall, the PCB deserves full appreciation for making this mega event a success. Pakistan won, Cricket won; and Peace won!

 

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05
October
Pakistani Athletics Team Wins 4 Gold Medals in Indoor Asian Games

newspakateletewins.jpgThere is a palpable sense of resurgence and normalcy in all fields of our social life owing to great sacrifices of our men in uniform. Men in red track suits have also not lagged behind to bring back peace and élan to project soft image of Pakistan to the whole world. In the recently concluded indoor Asian Games at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, three out of four flying horses of Pakistan Army helped Pakistani Athletics Team win 4 gold medals in 400 meter relay race. This feat was achieved after almost 3 decades; last time was when a Pakistani policeman secured a gold medal in 1990 Asian Games for Pakistan. Gunner Nokar Hussain, Lance Naik Mehboob Ali and Sepoy Nishat Ali also won silver medals in Islamic Solidarity Games in February 2017.

 

Army Sports Directorate, since then pinned hopes to win a gold medal at continent level games, which they did. This is second gold medal won by Pakistan Army at continent level games in less than two years. First being won by Sepoy Muhammad Afzal in triple jump in 1st Youth Asian Games 2015. Though, during this time Pakistani athletes have won many medals in different events but winning gold medal at Asian Games and World/Olympic games has its unique flavor. When the green flag flies higher than the rest and national anthem is played, patriotic emotions are electrified and work as a fillip for others to perform equally well.

05
October
Pak-China Joint Air Exercise ‘Shaheen-VI’

newspakchinjointexc.jpgThe Pak-China Joint Air Exercise “Shaheen-VI”, commenced at Korla Air Base, China in the month of September 2017. PAF contingent comprising combat pilots, air defence controllers and technical ground crew participated in this bilateral exercise. JF-17 Thunder, Mirage, F-7PG and ZDK aircraft from Pakistan Air Force along with People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s J-8, J-11, JH-7 and KJ-200 AWACS aircraft took part in the air exercise. The exercise further strengthened the working relationship between both the Air Forces and helped in learning from each other’s experiences.


Pakistan Air Force emphasizes on the combat training of its air and ground crew and regularly undertakes air exercises with Air Forces of friendly countries. “Shaheen-VI” is the sixth in the series of joint air exercises with PLAAF, which is conducted each year in both countries on alternate basis. PLAAF contingent participated in “Shaheen-V” which was conducted in Pakistan last year.

 

 

 
05
October
Pakistan Maritime Security Agency Inducts Two Island Class Ships

Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) inducted and commissioned two Ex-U.S. Island Class policing ships – Pakistan Maritime Security Ship (PMSS) Sabqat and PMSS Rafaqat. These ships, after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, have undergone complete overhaul in the USA prior to being sold to the PMSA.

 

newspakmartimesec.jpgPMSA is a maritime Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) raised in 1987 under the ambit of Ministry of Defence and is akin to coast guard agencies of the world. The Agency is mandated to safeguard good order against criminal activities like poaching, smuggling, narco-trafficking within maritime expanse of Pakistan. The Agency functions with patronage of Pakistan Navy, and it undertakes a number of benign operations also at sea including search and rescue, prevention of marine pollution, protection of fishermen and assistance to other state departments.


Induction and commissioning ceremony for the new ships was held at Karachi on September 22, 2017. Vice Admiral Tayyab Ali Dogar was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Senior military, government officials, and U.S. Consul General also attended the ceremony. Director General PMSA, Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar addressed the gathering and acknowledged the government’s efforts and support of Pakistan Navy in optimising operational resources of PMSA to safeguard the maritime security compulsions and CPEC imperatives. This will add a great deal to the security fiber not only for the CPEC but for all maritime zones of Pakistan.


DG PMSA, Rear Admiral Raja Jamil Akhtar said that in light of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), PMSA’s importance and responsibility has increased manifold. To fulfill these challenges, PMSA has been working aggressively on resource-building and fleet expansion. These Island Class ships are equipped with latest technologies and capabilities that enable them to effectively undertake patrolling, surveillance, search and rescue, and other law enforcement operations.


With these 2 ships, a total of 5 modern ships have been inducted in the PMSA fleet during this year. Earlier this year, 3 maritime patrol ships from China – PMSS BASOL, HINGOL and DASHT have been inducted to existing fleet of Shanghai Class corvettes being operated by PMSA for constabulary and benign operations in the maritime zones of Pakistan. A number of PMSA platforms are under construction at Karachi shipyard and in China. The biggest ship Kashmir, weighing 1500 tonnes, is under construction and would soon join PMSA fleet enhancing maritime security capability of Pakistan. DG PMSA said that PMSA also suggested that they plan to improve upon the present aviation wing of 3 fixed-wing Defender aircraft.

05
October
National Security Workshop Participants from NDU Visit HQ FCNA
newsnationalsecwork.jpgAround 75 participants of National Security Workshop headed by Maj Gen Samrez Salik, HI (M), DG ISSRA (Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis), National Defence University visited Gilgit. The participants were briefed in HQ FCNA about the role of FCNA in Gilgit-Baltistan. In a question-answer session, Commander FCNA, Maj Gen Saqib Mehmood Malik briefed the participants regarding operational readiness of the troops. The participants were highly appreciative of FCNA for the role it is playing in development/uplift of Gilgit-Baltistan besides fulfilling operational obligations along with efforts for ensuring peace and stability in the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

05
October
Colombo Defence Seminar 2017

newscolombodefseminar.jpgColombo Defence Seminar 2017 was held at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) from August 28-29, 2017. The seminar, which was initiated as an annual forum in the year 2011 by the Sri Lankan Army, has grown into an internationally accepted round-table for interaction on matters pertaining to national, regional and international security. This year 87 delegates from 17 countries participated in the seminar in different capacities. President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Maithripala Sirisena was the chief guest for inaugural session.


The seminar served as an audience for providing intellectual connectivity amongst those who seek strategic, sub-regional, regional, and global partnerships by assembling noticeable national and international scholars, think-tanks, and diplomats around this particular theme. The seminar was designed with sequenced sessions comprising presentations, panel discussions, and participant-oriented group discussions to optimize the discourse and to enhance knowledge on the entire gamut of “Violent Extremism” and its influence on global peace.


Three members delegation from Pakistan headed by Brig Shahzada Shahid Nawaz (accompanied by Col Sajjad Ali, DA) participated in the discussion, whereas Lt Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt, Commander 11 Corps represented the COAS at the seminar as special guest. Mr. Muhammad Abbas Hassan was invited by SLA as lecturer on extremism-based issues related to West Asia.

05
October
Maritime Security Workshop 2017

Pakistan Navy conducted the premier Maritime Security Workshop (MARSEW) on the theme “Secure Seas – Prosperous Pakistan” at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore. MARSEW continued from September 11-25, with the aim to create maritime awareness, enlighten the participants on vast maritime potential of Pakistan and its significance for overall economic growth of the country.


Stretched over two weeks, Maritime Security Workshop comprised one week of on-campus activities and one week visits of Pakistan Navy installations and units at Karachi, Creeks and Coastal areas and other national maritime installations/setups.

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The first phase of the workshop included on-campus discussions on maritime potential of Pakistan, the maritime environment, blue economy, and national maritime policy and strategy. During this phase of the workshop, an array of prominent speakers dilated upon various aspects of maritime security through seminars, presentations of research papers, table- top discussions and other interactive sessions. A brief overview was also given to the participants on the under development, "Maritime Doctrine of Pakistan". The speakers included Former Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral M. Asif Sandila, Vice Admiral Asaf Humayun (R), Vice Admiral Iftikhar Rao (R), Rear Admiral Pervaiz Asghar (R), Commodore Obaidullah (R), Commodore M. Azam Khan (R), Dr. Salman Shah, Dr. Ali Sultan, Ahmer Bilal Soofi and Dr. Zafar Jaspal.


During the second week the workshop participants visited Pakistan Navy installations and units at Karachi, Coastal and Creeks areas for orientation and familiarization. The members visited Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW), HQ Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) and Sindh Fisheries Department. The participants also had a sea trip on board Pakistan Navy destroyer and later briefed on Pakistan Navy’s command structure and coastal as well as Creeks area defences. Tour of Gwadar Port and briefing on the in-progress CPEC maritime related projects constituted high point of the visit. The delegation also visited Naval Headquarters Islamabad and was briefed on Pakistan Navy’s roles and tasks in safeguarding the sea frontiers of Pakistan.


The closing ceremony of Maritime Security Workshop (MARSEW) was held at Pakistan Navy War College Lahore on September 25, 2017. The President of Pakistan, Mr. Mamnoon Hussain was Chief Guest on the occasion. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah was also present at the ceremony besides senior civil and military dignitaries.


Speaking on the occasion the Chief Guest lauded efforts of Pakistan Navy in organizing the ground-breaking event and termed it as reflection of “forward looking” leadership of Pakistan Navy. He underscored the importance of oceans in twenty first century and specifically appreciated Pakistan Navy for its significant role towards protection of sea frontiers and development of maritime infrastructure. He said that Pakistan Navy should be given ample resources to spearhead initiatives which shall contribute in overall growth of the country.


While praising Pakistan Navy’s efforts and initiatives for ensuring maritime security, the President highlighted that the indispensable and historical contribution of Pakistan Navy in protecting and advancing the cause of national maritime sector cannot be overstated. He further added that Pakistan Navy’s initiative of Maritime Security Workshop will pay rich dividends in terms of understanding of maritime sector and the widespread responsibility of Pakistan Navy.


Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zakaullah thanked all the participants for their enthusiastic participation in the workshop. The Naval Chief also appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Navy War College for arranging the maiden Maritime Security Workshop and desired such workshops be organized in future as well. Commandant Pakistan Navy War College, Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas also gave a brief rundown on the workshop activities. The participants were later awarded certificates by the Chief Guest.


Conducted under the banner of "Secure Seas – Prosperous Pakistan", the two week long maritime security workshop was attended by parliamentarians, bureaucrats, academicians and representatives from media and senior officers from the Armed Forces of Pakistan. The members of the delegation expressed satisfaction over Pakistan Navy's operational preparedness, progress on CPEC and Gwadar Port projects and nation-building efforts and highly lauded Pakistan Navy’s strenuous efforts and initiatives for safeguarding the maritime interests of Pakistan.

05
October
COAS Visits Parents of Lieutenant Arsalan Alam Shaheed

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, visited parents of Lieutenant Arsalan Alam shaheed on newscoasvistimurre1.jpgSeptember 25, 2017 at his village near Murree who embraced shahadat at newly established Pakistani border post in Rajgal, Khyber Agency on September 23. COAS offered fateha at grave of the shaheed and interacted with the great family. While paying tribute to shaheed Lieutenant Arsalan Alam, COAS said, “Army and the nation is proud of their shuhuda who have rendered supreme sacrifices in the line of duty. Lieutenant Arsalan Alam being the only son of family with three sisters preferred his country over himself and his family. No power can harm us till the time we have such valiant sons of soil and their brave parents in Pakistan.” He further said, “On the contrary, some people/hostile agencies from abroad are trying to destabilize our country and also criticize Army. They fear Army being a hurdle to achieve their nefarious designs.” COAS also said, “Pakistan Army shall continue to perform in the best interest of the country and will stand by with the nation against all challanges. Pakistan’s enemy is our enemy. Use of force is the prerogative of state alone.” COAS also stated that we shall restore peace and rule of law, whatever sacrifices it may cost.

05
October
Air Chief Visits Azerbaijan

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman NI (M), Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force held meetings with the government and military officials of Azerbaijan during his official visit to the brotherly country.

 

newsairchiefazerbaijan.jpgAt the start of the visit, the Air Chief laid floral wreath at the grave of the national leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev and his wife Zarifa Aliveva. Later on, he met with Mr. Yaqub Eyyubov, 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Colonel General Kamaladdin Heydarov, Minister of Emergency Situation of Republic of Azerbaijan. During the meetings, Air Chief underlined the importance of expanding mutual cooperation and resolved to take it to further heights. He talked about Pakistan’s support to Azerbaijan on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and reiterated that Pakistan would stand with Azerbaijan in the hour of need. He also thanked the Azerbaijan government for their support to Pakistan on the burning issue of Kashmir.


The Air Chief also called on Lieutenant General Ramiz Tahirov, Air Force Commander of Azerbaijan in his office. Both dignitaries remained together for some time and discussed matters of professional and mutual interest. The Air Chief pledged to meet the timelines of the contract for the provision of Super Mushshak aircraft to Azerbaijan. Moreover, he also discussed the prospects of training Azerbaijan Air Force personnel at PAF institutions.


Later in the day, the Air Chief visited Military Academy of Armed Forces of Azerbaijan to deliver a lecture on “Application of Airpower in Asymmetric Warfare”. Addressing the audience, the Air Chief said that air power with its basic characteristics emerges as the best option in asymmetric warfare and its unique attributes and capabilities provide a wide array of opportunities for application in this form of warfare. He also highlighted PAF’s pivotal role in the fight against terrorism and said that PAF, in synergy with armed forces, had successfully rooted out the menace of terrorism from the country. He further said that although Pakistan had suffered the most in the war against terrorism, yet it had not diminished its resolve to fight for ensuring peace in the region.

05
October
Heroes Die Young

Lieutenant Arsalan Alam Buried with Full Military Honours

newscoasvistimurre.jpgLieutenant Arsalan Alam Satti Shaheed was buried with full military honours after namaz-e-janaza in his native town Ghell, New Murree. He embraced shahadat while he was participating in Operation Khyber IV in Rajgal Valley against the terrorists. The officer had repulsed attack by the terrorists bravely before he received a bullet on his forehead and embraced shahadat. He was the only son of his parents.

Commander 10 Corps, Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza, General Officer Commanding 12 Division, Major General Azhar Abbas and large number of Army and civilian dignitaries attended namaz-e-janaza of the shaheed. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Army presented guard of honour. Floral wreath from COAS was also laid on the grave of shaheed.

 

 

 

 

05
October
German Ambassador Meets COAS
newsgermanambas.jpgH. E. Mr. Martin Kobler, German Ambassador to Pakistan met Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ on September 21, 2017. Issues of mutual interest including security situation were discussed. The ambassador said that ‘Germany is grateful to Pakistan for its fight against terrorism’ and assured of his continued efforts in improving bilateral relations between the two countries.

 

 

 

 

 

Members of Defence Committees of Senate and National Assembly Visit GHQ

newsmerdefcome.jpgA delegation comprising members of Defence Committees of the Senate and National Assembly headed by Senator Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum (R) visited GHQ on September 18, 2017. The delegation laid wreath at GHQ’s Shuhada Monument and was given a detailed briefing on evolving security environment including situation on the borders and Pakistan Army’s efforts for peace and security. The delegation also had an interactive session with Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The session concluded with a resolve to continue our struggle against the menace of violent extremism through a synergetic, whole-of-the-nation approach based on the principle of ‘collective potential and shared responsibility’.

 

05
October
President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Calls on CJCSC
newscjscazadkashmir.jpgH.E. Mr. Muhammad Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi. During the meeting, matters related to regional security with emphasis on human rights violations by Indian forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir came under discussion. President Azad Jammu and Kashmir praised the resolve of Pakistan Armed Forces to deter and defeat any aggression by India against Azad Kashmir.

 

 

 

 

 
CJCSC Attends “Pacific Chiefs Defence Conference 2017”

General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, attended “Pacific Chiefs of newscjscpeacfic.jpgDefence Conference 2017” at Victoria, Canada from September 4-6. The Conference was titled, “The Future Security Environment, Challenges, Complexity and Cooperation,” and attended by Chiefs of Defence Staff of 25 countries from around the world. The core areas discussed during the Conference included: 'Trends in the Indo-Asia Pacific, Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism and Peace Support Operations.'

During the discussion on 'Trends in Indo-Asia Pacific', three major concerns: Demography, Water Security and Climate Change were identified. Chairman highlighted the issues being faced by Indus Water Treaty and the existing challenges faced by the mechanism to resolve water issues. On the sidelines of the Conference, the Chairman held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from seven different countries. During the meetings, matters of mutual professional interest with particular reference to global and regional security environment, were discussed. All the dignitaries remained appreciative of the high professional standards of Pakistan Armed Forces and their valued contributions in regional peace and stability. They also acknowledged the sacrifices made by Pakistan in war against terrorism.

04
October

Written By: Muhammad Yusuf Malik

Launch ceremony of the book “Kashmir Crisis (Unresolved Issue of Muslim Ummah) Opinions & Analysis” written by Mr. Omar Mohammad Nazzal Al Armouti was held at Amman, Jordan on August 16, 2017. The event was attended by approximately 600 individuals from all walks of life including ministers, members of Jordanian parliament, think tanks, diplomatic community and Pakistani community, making it one of the biggest gatherings in Amman for any book launch.


This is the first ever book written by a Jordanian/Arab author in Arabic language on Kashmir crisis and the first book that has a comprehensive chapter of striking similarities between Palestine and Kashmir issue duly depicted through pictures. The book has been organized in three parts covering historical perspective, opinion of key influential figures and pictorial coverage of the issue, adequately addressing all the concerns of a general reader. Dignitaries present at the launch ceremony appreciated the efforts and dedication of Mr. Omer Muhammad Nazzal Al Armouti for publishing quality work on Kashmir issue for the orientation of Arab world.

 

jourdnaniaauthor.jpgMr. Armouti visited Kashmir till Line of Control (LoC) to interact with Kashmiri refugees, Kashmiri top leadership including the President and Prime Minister to have first-hand knowledge of the ground situation.


His Excellency Mr. Dr. Nabil Al Sharif, Ex Minister of Information condemned human rights violation in Indian Occupied Kashmir and appreciated the effort of Mr. Armouti in projecting Kashmir cause through his book.


His Excellency Mr. Zeid Ul Muhaisan, President Pakistan Graduate Club mentioned that Kashmir and Palestine issue must be resolved for peace in the region.


His Excellency Mr. Marwan Fauri, member of Global Moderation Forum said, “This is where our role at the world forums for mediation appears which is to defend every humanitarian issue by means of intellectual and cultural tools. Our role will be complementary to all international organizations and bodies that seek to delight mankind, bring justice and achieve peace in Kashmir.”


His Excellency, Senator Lieutenant General Dr. Ghazi Tayyab (R), Member of Congress voiced his concern over recent sufferings of Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir and hoped that this book written by Mr. Armouti would help in reviving the Kashmir issue.


Colonel Muhammad Yousaf Malik, from Embassy of Pakistan mentioned that in the recent uprising, after the killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016, there are serious human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir with a prolonged curfew. Mosques, schools, markets, telephones, internet and hospitals are closed. In the last one year, Indian security forces have killed more than 190 Kashmiris, wounded around 21,000 and blinded more than 1200 by use of pellet guns. It has been declared as the first biggest blinding activity of the human history by human rights organizations.


Mr. Omer Muhamamd Nazzal Al Armouti said, “The book will project Kashmir issue to the international community especially the Arab World.” He also mentioned that sufferings of people he had seen during his visit to Kashmir could not be explained in words.


His Excellency Lieutenant General Shafaat Ullah Shah (R), Ambassador of Pakistan to Jordan said, “Recent human rights’ violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir are serious in nature and deserve special attention of international community. The book written by Mr. Armouti will help in reviving the Kashmir issue in the Arab World.”

 

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04
October
A two week long joint exercise DRUZBA 2017 between special forces of Pakistan and Russian Armies started in Minralney Vody, Russia. The opening ceremony was attended by senior military officials of special forces of both countries. The joint exercise will focus on counter terrorism operations, hostage and rescue, and cordon and search operations. The joint exercise will enhance and further strengthen military ties between both the countries and share Pakistan Army's experience in the war against terrorism.

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04
October

Written By: Brig Syed Wajid Raza (R)

During Operation Rah-e-Nijat, after initial phases, search and cordon operations began in South Waziristan Agency. In Kotkai area search began in a house located at the end of the village, that stretched along the highroad, over a hill point.


The house stood on steep slopes terminating at the bridle path, connecting few more houses at a distance. The fences rounded a solid gate, few carts painted green, stood in a shed. Within the house the paths were straight and a foot bridge over a stream had been built with handrails.


Once search commenced and while passing through the house, a well-dug 60 metre long tunnel inside the house was discovered that ultimately opened towards Tankzam river, overlooking the steep banks of the river.


The zigzag tunnel inside the house consisted of a threshing floor, unsophisticated outhouse, a crude bathhouse and a number of large brick curves having semicircular façade. These separated the course of tunnel; beside, it had in course of construction two rounds 20 metres apart that created space for a group to conference.


Similar fidayeen camps were discovered in various parts of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Swat Valley and, Malakand Division; drawing around 90% of Pashtun fidayeen and later number of non-Pashtuns also grew in various camps.


In South Waziristan Agency, fidayeen camps were especially set up to train suicide bombers in abandoned schools, or in houses of hardcore militants of North and South Waziristan, Orakzai, Bajaur and Mohmand Agencies.


The most prominent camps in South Waziristan Agency included: Kotkai, Nawazkot, Deeley, Karama, Kazha Pangha, Barwand, Karikot, Ladha and Tangay. In Swat these were set up in Charbagh and Peochar. In Orakzai Agency: Galjo and Ferozkhel; in Mohmand Agency Chinaari and Mohammad Ghat.
The fidayeen camp in Kotkai area was one of the most organized camps, run by Qari Hussain, a senior Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) member, popularly known as “Trainer of Suicide Bombers”. The Kotkai, was also hometown of Hakeem Ullah Mehsud, Amir of TPP.

 

intosusidecamp.jpgA lot of material was recovered from these fidayeen camps, suggesting Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) on drills of continuously switching the location for the purpose of security, organization under Rahbars (guides), instruction on the strength of each camp that varied from 30-35 fidayeen, procedure of coming in and out and guards on each camp. However, no one was allowed to leave the camp area after Isha prayers.


The adults and juniors had different camps. Adult camps had trainees from age 16 years and older, while the junior camps had fidayeen from seven years to maximum 15 years of age.


The dates and months appended on the black boards or in attendance rolls of various camps suggested that training was conducted during good weather and away from the reach of law enforcing agencies. The writings on black boards recorded two languages, Pushto or Urdu.


However, some camps trained inmates for sensitive missions, where adults were trained to wear suicide jackets during sensitive missions; trained not to surrender rather blow themselves up, should such eventuality occur.


The training material contained weapon training of AK-47, Indian-made Light Machine Guns, 12.7 mm guns, 14.5 mm guns, 82 mm mortars, 75 mm Recoilless Rifle, Russian SPG-9, Chinese Single Barrel Rocket Launcher and myriad forms of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).


The trend of recruiting children increased after military operations, as adult suicide bombers found it increasingly difficult to hit their targets. Therefore, children were seen more recruitable simply for being children.


Few trainees were retrieved by their parents and few left the camps at their own as revealed in the registers maintained by the Rahbars.


The records recovered from the camps suggested a network of recruitment mostly from the kinship or family friends of children. Majority of children were recruited from Madrassas being prime recruiting ground, streets or from low-income neighbourhoods brought by a network linked to the relatives, family friends and guardians of children.


However, many suicide bombers were attracted to these camps due to curiosity, proximity of the camps to villages and towns, unemployment or under-employment, poor academic options (most dropped out of school early), boredom, lack of entertainment or adventure through the network of recruiters.


The network of recruiters lured the children by offering a path out of boredom and drudgery of poverty that would promise them of ending all their problems. They are shown scenes of paradise, where rivers of milk and honey flowed, in exchange for giving up their lives.


Such a lax interpretation is contrary to Qur’anic message of peace, tolerance and mutual respect and certainly denies the persistent disaggregation and contextualization of an element of defining a supreme concept of human activities to be an ideological warfare, while it seems least to do with gaining deeper understanding of religion as faith (Iman).1


The militants exploited religious laxity of the concept with blurred persuasion without deep and intrinsic connections with concept of jihad, which is not only a religious obligation, but emphasizes all human endeavours for betterment of humanity, community, personal and collective.


In the camps, the ideological differential was motivating factor based on themes, such as atrocities against Muslims, taking revenge of helpless Muslims whose daughters and sisters are dishonoured by non-Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq and incitement of stories like Muslim women languishing in the prisons of infidels.


In the camp, Rahbars perfected the art of inflaming passions through all means, listing a litany of recognizable political grievances to ignite these passions, professing unhurried mutilation of infidels siding with the infidels.


Most lectures consistently emphasized on the religious permissibility of suicide attacks against non-Muslims and even their Muslim allies. In many sermons, atrocities against Muslims were argued, since Pakistan Army and other security forces are working in collaboration with the United States, hindering jihadist activities; therefore, suicide bombings against the army, security forces and even all government employees were in accordance with the injunctions of Islam.


Similarly, killing of Shias with suicide attacks or any other means was accorded in the lax religious injunctions. For this purpose, references were given from Holy Qur’an, Hadith, decrees of religious scholars, citing of the precedent of famous commanders and companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Khalid bin Walid. Stories of past suicide bombers were told to new fidayeen who had appeared in dreams saying that they were in jannat (paradise).


Lectures were adroitly prepared that satisfied fidayeen that innocents killed in suicide attacks are martyrs, and therefore, fidayeen would indeed be awarding shahadat to them. There were discoveries of videos of previous bombers planning their operations; but post-blast scenes were not shown as the images of carnage could have demoralized the recruits.2


The training material was carefully prepared. It helped to radicalize fidayeen to such an extent that they competed for the chance to be launched, preferably against Americans and Pakistan Army.


The fidayeen were pampered for winning jannat for giving up life for Allah in exchange. They would enter jannat as soon the explosive detonated, whose pain is not more than a prick and in afterlife they would recommend seventy people to be placed in jannat. Therefore, fidayeen were treated superior to other jihadists – for their supreme sacrifice for Allah.


Camp routine was very carefully programmed; starting from tahajjud (night vigils), recitation of the Holy Qur’an until fajar (morning prayers), breakfast, training of driving and maneuvers on cars and motorcycles and preparation for vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIED) to be used for suicide bombing.3


In the evening, besides recitation of the Holy Qur’an, they received lectures on Jihad and watched jihadist videos on a DVD player to be followed by mesmerizing emotional speeches by Rahbars like Qari Hussain. Every sermon contained countless references from Holy Qur’an and Islamic history to conclude the need of imposing Shariah as the way forward to justify armed struggle.


The two most well-known books in the camps were Islam aur Fidai Hamlay (Islam and Suicide Attacks), written by Mufti Abdul Bashar Qasmi, and Fazail-e-Jihad (Virtues of Jihad), written by Maulana Masood Azhar. However, famous lessons were from numerous stories narrated for an hour before going to sleep.
The targets are given only by the Amir (head of TTP for example) to Rahbar and fidai, who leaves behind either a note or “video wills” before departure; to be released after the mission or given to their families. The fidai before attack must take bath, shave his pubic hair, wear clean clothes (not new), recite Qur’anic verses until the actual blast.


The fidai is trained to follow the instructions of Rahbar, who takes the fidai to predetermined target either a few days before the attack, or on the actual day. As per recorded procedure, the fidai reserves the right to disobey Rahbar if he changes the venue of the attack, attempts to hand him over to another handler, or asks him to attack an impossible target or one that will result in too few casualties (less than 10), however, there is an exception to VIP targets.


The fidayeen are given code words, for example, assassination code of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was “the meal is ready”. The fidai is asked to recite Ayat-ul-Kursi or a verse from Surah-e-Yaseen as it is believed that he would be invulnerable to law enforcement detection.


The fidai on the instructions of Rahbar, pulls the ring of the striker sleeve. However, intoxication is not generally administered to fully motivated fidayeen and sermons of Rahbars revealed that there was no abnormal physical reaction of fidayeen such as sweating, dry mouth, restlessness, heart palpitations, or abnormal movements of the body.


However, some fidayeen were found anxious either due to fear or being puzzled about missing their targets, such as detonating their explosives was either early or too late. This could be due to intoxication as during raids a large quantity of syringes were recovered from the camps.


As per the recorded procedure, Rahbar visits the family of suicide bomber if close in the vicinity and normally no compensation is paid contrary to the general public’s perception. However, there have been cases where extremely destitute parents of fidayeen were given a small amount of financial assistance, therefore, posthumous compensation package is largely a myth.

 

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1 This is albeit Holy Qur'an prohibits such actions. Verse 4:29 reads “O you who believe! Do not consume your wealth in the wrong way-rather through trade mutually agreed to, and do not kill yourselves. Surely Allah is Merciful toward you.” Verse Al-Anam 6:151 reads “and take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law”.
2 Militants filmed actions of Fadiayeen, kidnapping of soldiers, journalists and diplomats and torturing and brutally killing of innocent civilians. They also filmed slaughtering of soldiers in the hands of teenagers.
3 IEDs are basic technique of preparing suicide bombers or vehicle borne suicide bombers. It is a product of reckoning cycle of human mind and militants’ gained expertise in making IEDs with magnetic field, sound, photo electric cell, delay action charges and collapsible circuits to produce effects from waves through blast pressure, fragmentation and incendiary. In Pakistan militants used conventional high explosive (HE) charges, commercial explosives like Wabox and Wabonite, Home Made Explosive (HME) made of urea, soap, diesel and unexploded ordinances (UXOs), like mines, rockets, artillery and motor blinds with plastic explosive to prepare suicide bombers and IEDs.

 
04
October

Written By: Maryam Razzaq

Interview with Dr. Zhang Daojian,Head of Confucius Institute Islamabad

China has been a time-tested friend of Pakistan and it acknowledges Pakistan’s historical recognition of China’s republican transition in 1949. While people of both countries enjoy traditional eastern cultures, their state-to-state relations are cemented at an even deeper level to harmonize the geo-strategic policies affecting the geo-political situation. The sincerity and loyalty to national interests of each other, reflected and exhibited at different forums of world, is a testimony of the everlasting cordial relations between the two countries.

 

pakchinafriend.jpgThe start of new era in the shape of CPEC ushering the financial and developmental activity in recent past has been the result of trust, confidence and belief between the two nations. CPEC will be instrumental in exchange of ideas, technical expertise, elevating the quality of life and above all, fusion of culture in the shape of language, values and way of life. The major barrier of effective communication i.e. language has been amply addressed and for this purpose Confucius Institute Islamabad was established in 2005, through collaboration of Hanban Headquarter, Beijing Language and Culture University, and National University of Modern Languages. It is the first Confucius Institute in the Islamic world which has won the award “Confucius Institute of the Year” four times, “Individual of the Year” twice, and also won “Confucius Institute Pioneer Prize” in 2015. It was also honored as the “Model Confucius Institute” in 2016. The main job of Confucius Institute is to teach Chinese language and promote Chinese culture in Pakistan. Not only it is a center for teaching but also a center for cultural exchange in Pakistan.


While Pakistan congratulates China on celebrating its 68th National Day, Dr. Zhang Daojian, Head of Confucius Institute Islamabad was interviewed to represent a common view of Chinese on this auspicious occasion especially with reference to people of Pakistan.


Q: Pakistan and China have the most cordial and strengthened relations at state-level. How do you see people-to-people relations between the two nations?
In the past five years, I have spent most of my time in Pakistan and so, I can say with conviction that people of Pakistan are the most welcoming and kind people I have ever known. In China, we call Pakistan as, “Iron Pakistan”. In Chinese language, this phrase is used to describe the most loyal and most faithful friends who will never betray each other. To promote the people-to-people communication between Pakistan and China, our Confucius Institute organizes a Summer Camp of around 100 campers to visit China every year. Also, I believe that the individual-level relations and people-to-people contact between Pakistan and China is destined to further improve with the actualization of CPEC.


Q: With CPEC fully operational, how do you see cultural fusion between the two nations?
I would like to use the phrase “cultural communication” rather than “cultural fusion”, because “fusion” seems to make two cultures become one. The facts are not like that. Communication means bilateral benefits. Communication enriches both cultures instead of fusing them into one. With CPEC’s operationalization, our ties will further deepen and contact will increase manifold, which is why we shall put in extra effort to shorten the time needed for cultural adaptation. Language teaching is one of most effective ways to solve the problem.

 

pakchinafriend1.jpgQ: How do you see the future of Pak-China friendship under the changing geopolitical settings?
I personally see the future of Pak-China friendship rising from higher than the Himalayas to higher than the skies. We have a famous proverb in China that says, “Cope with shifting events by sticking to a fundamental principle”. I believe, one fundamental principle of China’s foreign policy is to sustain Pak-China friendship. You can read it in the announcement from different Chinese leaders on the relationship between Pakistan and China. Now, with the promotion of CPEC, the ties in politics, economy and culture between two countries have greatly improved. We understand each other better and trust each other more than ever before. So I believe that in the future, Pak-China friendship will further strengthen. So even though, leaders change regularly in both countries, the friendship will never change.


Q: Pakistan and China’s growing economic and security ties have been criticized by few regional and international players. In your view what are the challenges?
Any great project comes with a lot of challenges. We have a saying in Chinese language that “a tall tree catches the wind”. I think the challenges emerge from all sides, the international actors and their interests, the cultural and language barriers, the problem of interest distribution and so on. But, in my opinion, we should listen to the critics and do research to promote the CPEC for its ultimate success. Challenges will not cease to exist so we basically need to be vigilant, make predictions and try to avoid the likely mistakes.


Q: Besides sound economic policies, which other factors, particularly cultural, have helped in China’s phenomenal economic growth?
That’s a very good question. Allow me to explain in cultural terms that what led China to develop its economy so fast. Chinese people have a great tradition of ‘home-state feelings’, which is the feeling and enthusiasm that leads you to love your country and hometown and family members. When the Chinese work hard to earn money, they don’t do so for themselves but for the whole family, their hometown and the country. Chinese wouldn’t waste their money rather they’d spend on someone in dire need of it. If one becomes successful in economy, he would like to leave the big cities and come back to his hometown to help the town fellows. That’s one of the reasons why Chinese people’s wealth accumulation develops so fast.


Q: Chinese civilization is one of the oldest civilizations. How do you see issues of terrorism, violence, and instability at regional and global level? And what measures do you suggest for a peaceful future?
I believe lack of communication and poverty are two of the main reasons for these problems. We should make efforts to eliminate poverty and increase the international communication and exchanges in political, economic and cultural fields. Pakistan and China set a great example to the whole world by close cooperation in these areas. CPEC is the project collaborated by both countries to increase economic activity and eliminate poverty. Confucius Institutes (CIs) aim to increase cultural communication between two countries. At present, there are four CIs in Pakistan and more are expected to be launched soon. I hope the CIs play a role in clearing misunderstandings and improving understandings. Meanwhile, NUML set up a branch in Xinjiang Normal University, NUML International Center of Education (NICE) which is functional now. Such Institutes are bridges to communicate between countries. We need more bridges.


Q: Decades of Pak-China strategic partnership are a thorn in the enemy’s eyes. What would you like to say on that?
I believe that Pak-China friendship will not harm anyone else’s interests, and we won’t be anyone’s enemies. The wisdom of both countries can deal with any problem. Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit, peaceful co-existence) are Chinese government’s fundamental policy. Therefore, maybe some countries are hostile to Pak-China relations, we should make clear that we are peaceful powers, and we’d like to promote co-prosperity in the region and the world.


Q: CPEC is already termed as a “Game Changer” for the region, what more, in your opinion, can Pak-China friendship do for the wellbeing of the region?
There is no doubt that CPEC will bring benefits for all interested parties. China and Pakistan envisage making the region stable and prosperous. We wish to improve the economic conditions of Pakistan and China as well as the region. Both countries are willing to share CPEC facilities with international partners in order to fetch common benefits and improve people to people contacts.


Q: How has your experience been living in Pakistan?
It’s quite pleasant and memorable. As you know I live here and consider Pakistan as my second home. I love it and enjoy my life here. Everybody is very kind to me. Whenever someone comes to know, I am a Chinese, they would call me “brother” and take photos with me. Pakistani people are very kind and loving. Let me share a story. This January, when I went to Wagah Border with my family members, I met a middle-aged Pakistani man who didn’t speak much English. I was parking my car and he was in his van. He was very happy to see a Chinese around and so he hugged me. Then he asked me if I had had lunch to which I said, no. What happened next really moved me. The man went back to his van without a word and brought some Naans (bread) to us. I knew that was his lunch so I refused at first but as he insisted, I took his food. That is a great example of what I have experienced in Pakistan. And I want the world to know how kind these Pakistanis are.


Q: On a lighter note, Pakistani and Chinese cultures are already amalgamating, how close do you see our Chinese foods to the actual Chinese food? Also, what is your favorite food from Pakistan?
It’s a very interesting question. There are four major Chinese cuisine: Shangdong Cuisine, Sichuan Cuisine, Cantonese Cuisine and Jiangsu Cuisine. I like them all but my favorite is my wife’s cooking, which is quite personalized. The Chinese food in Pakistan is very special and localized, for example in Chinese food, we seldom use curry but in Pakistan curry is used a lot. The Pakistani food in China also has to make some changes to meet the local taste. Globalization and localization indeed go side by side.


My favorite Pakistani food is Barbecue. It’s really amazing. I visit some Barbecue restaurants regularly. Sometimes, I feel myself just like a greedy child when I sit before the delicious mutton. I keep telling myself to eat less else I would put on weight but the mesmerizing smell of the Barbecue makes me fall prey to the temptation. Lassi is my favorite Pakistani drink. I have loved it since my first days in Pakistan.


Q: On China’s 68th National Day which also marks 66 years of Pak-China friendship, what message would you like to give to the people of China?
Long Live Pak-China Friendship! Pakistan is developing very fast, I have witnessed it! Please come to Pakistan to create a new life! Start your new career here! Start your new Business here!

 

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04
October

Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid

Complete unanimity of views on the basics of a polity between the lender and his chief lieutenant is a phenomenon that seldom occurs. For instance, it did not in the case of Gandhi and Nehru, Soekarno and Nasir, Naguib and Nasser, Ben Bella and Boumediene. But it did in the case of Jinnah and Liaquat.


Thus, in conformity with the Quaid’s concept, Liaquat visualized Pakistan as “a State where there will be no special privileges, no special rights for any one particular community or any one particular interest. It will be a State where every citizen will have equal rights and equal opportunities. It will be a State where people will have equal privileges…”


This he affirmed on August 11, 1947 while moving a resolution for approval by the Constituent Assembly of the design of Pakistan’s national flag, adding, “As I visualize the future constitution of Pakistan, it will stand for Freedom, Liberty and Equality of all the citizens of the Pakistan State.”


And by these principles, Liaquat had stood to the end of his all-too-brief tenure. For instance, during the debate, when Sris Chandra Chattopadhyay, the leader of the Congress Party in the (first) Constituent Assembly, remarked that Pakistani nationals were only Hindus or Muslims, Liaquat checkmated him, saying, “I say we are both, I do not see any contradictions in this statement. You can be the nationals of a State, with equal rights, equal privileges and equal responsibilities and yet remain Muslims and Hindus.”

 

quidemillat.jpgDespite mounting pressure from the extremists, Liaquat opted for a progressive interpretation of Islam, an interpretation which was acceptable even to the foremost spokesman of the Left in Pakistan’s formative years – Mian Iftikharuddin. Those who cavil at the sovereignty clause in the Objectives Resolution would do well to have a look at the actual wording and the context. It says, “Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through the people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust…”


Whether or not, the members of the Constituent Assembly were clear on some issues, they were quite explicit in resolving that if Pakistan were to become an “Islamic democracy”, it should be by the choice of its citizens. This explains why the Resolution recognizes the people – all the people, and not the followers of any particular faith – the vehicle of the authority delegated by God to the state of Pakistan.


No wonder the Resolution speaks of or refers to “the people” in four clauses and lays emphasis on the rights of the people, the representation of the people, the prosperity of the people, their place in the comity of nations, and the exercise of power and authority by the chosen representatives of the people. Thus, the Resolution tends to be people-oriented. But this salient feature has generally lain ignored in most recent discussions on the Resolution.


As in latter day discussions, the main objection to the Resolution raised by the critics relates to the statements “that power is derived from God”, which they characterise as a “theocratic” approach. The speeches by Liaquat Ali Khan, Mian Iftikharuddin and Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar sought to clear their doubts and clarify their “misunderstanding.”


Now which religion and which people in the world do not affirm the sovereignty of God Almighty/Ultimate Reality over the entire universe? What, however, is more important is that, as Liaquat argued, “All authority is a trust, entrusted to us by God for the purpose of being exercised in the service of man, so that it does not become an agency for tyranny and the selfishness.” Moreover, “that authority has been delegated to the people and none else, and it is for the people to decide who will exercise that authority”.


Furthermore, the Resolution affirms that “the State shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people.” “This”, argued Liaquat, “is the very essence of democracy, because the people have been recognized as the recipients of all authority and it is in them that the power to wield it, has been vested.”


And when all power and authority are vested in the people, the question of the establishment of a theocracy does not arise. For, as Liaquat argued, “In its literal sense, theocracy means the Government of God; in this sense, however, it is patent that the entire universe is a theocracy, for is there any corner in the entire creation where His authority does not exist? But, in a technical sense, theocracy has come to mean a government by ordained priests, who wield authority as being specifically appointed by those who claim to derive their rights from their sacerdotal position…. Such an idea is absolutely foreign to Islam. Islam does not recognise either priesthood or any sacerdotal authority, and therefore, the question of a theocracy simply does not arise in Islam. If there are any who still use the word theocracy in the same breath as the polity of Pakistan, they are either labouring under a grave misapprehension, or indulging in mischievous propaganda.


In this context, a perusal of what Mian Iftikharuddin said on the occasion is both enlightening and rewarding: After felicitating Liaquat for bringing in the Resolution, the Mian Sahib said, “The objections that have been raised by the members... on this Resolution relate to the statement that power is derived from God. It has been said that it gives the constitution a theocratic approach. Sir, I assure the members... that the wording of the Preamble does not, in any way make this Objectives Resolution any more theocratic, and the more religious than the Resolution or the statements of fundamental principles of some of the modern countries of the world. We know, Sir that the constitutions of many countries start, if not with exactly the same, at least by somewhat similar words. Ireland is not the only country that I know of having the constitution which starts with somewhat similar words about God. Practically every country of the British Empire derives its authority through the agency of the King from God. It is always mentioned, the King Emperor, by the Grace of God, and, so on. The members need feel no more nervous than do the subjects of British Empire or the citizens of the Irish Free State on the wording of the Resolution.”


The more important thing, however, is that in the ideological controversy engulfing the new state, Liaquat opted for a sane, balanced and constructive approach, an approach that induced a broad consensus. And much to the consternation of the extremists, he opted for democracy as against theocracy. Interestingly, the Resolution received extensive attention in the Western scholarly circles.
To quote Professor Grunebaum, “On the theoretical level at least, as good an integration of traditional and Western ideas has been reached in this document as one might reasonably expect.” To him, the attempted bridging of the gap between the Muslim tradition and the Western idea of the nation-state deserves the greatest attention (Modern Islam). Likewise, renowned Professor Wilfred Cantwell Smith has commented favourably and extensively on the Objectives Resolution (Islam in Modern History).


Finally, what Liaquat aspired to accomplish was succinctly spelled out in his address: “…We want to build up a truly liberal government where the greatest amount of freedom will be given to all its members. Everyone will be equal before the law, but this does not mean that his personal law will not be protected, we believe in the equality of status and justice…. At present our masses are poor and illiterate. We must raise their standards of life, and free them from the shackles of poverty and ignorance. So far as political rights are concerned, everyone will have a voice in the determination of the policy pursued by the government and in electing those who will run the State, so that they may do so in the interests of the people. We believe that so shackles can be put on thought and, therefore, we do not intend to hinder any person from the expression of his views…. In short, we want to base our polity upon freedom, progress and social justice…”


For those of our esteemed intellectuals who find the references to Islam in the Resolution a little problematical, it is pertinent to remember the ideological environment of the period in which the Resolution we are trying to dissect, analyse and interpret today, was formulated. It was already a bipolar world, smitten by the gathering Cold War, symbolized by the Berlin Blockade and the Berlin Wall (soon to be raised). The great ideological divide had warped simple and long familiar words (such as freedom, liberty, equality, democracy, state, sovereignty, justice, and tyranny) with ideological overtones. Hence, these concepts had to be qualified to mean what they actually stood for.


Hence, when the Resolution talks of the principles of democracy, etc. within an Islamic context, it was giving notice that what was meant was not the standard Western type nor the Soviet brand of people’s democracy, but a sort of “Islamic democracy” which, while retaining the institutional appurtenances of a democratic structure, is congruent with Muslims’ ethos, aspirations and code of morality. And, as Mian Iftikharuddin argued, “no one need object to the word ‘Islamic’”.

 

The writer is HEC Distinguished National Professor, who has recently co-edited UNESCO’s History of Humanity, vol. VI, and The Jinnah Anthology (2010) and edited In Quest of Jinnah (2007); the only oral history on Pakistan’s Founding Father.
 
04
October

Written By: Dr. Zafar Mehmood

In the midst of slow socio-economic growth, negative export growth and rising unemployment, Pakistan has signed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with China as a part of its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. OBOR is not merely a trade connectivity route, it has a pro-development agenda and outlook for all its 68 participant countries having population of over 4.4 billion and 40% of the world GDP.


For CPEC to play its role in powering the intended socio-economic transformation, adequate and efficient production structures and infrastructures must be in place. In this context, one of the key components of CPEC is the establishment of special economic zones (SEZs) in Pakistan. SEZs are expected to provide an impetus to stimulate economic activity along the trade corridor. Thus, well-planned SEZs are considered hugely important in achieving sustained and inclusive socio-economic growth. China and Pakistan are planning to establish nine SEZs in Pakistan. It is worth noting that at present there are about 3000 SEZs in 135 countries, which have created 68 million direct jobs with more than $500 billion worth of trade-related production.

 

awinwinprop.jpgLearning from Foreign Experience
Global experience suggests that SEZs are an important source for diversification of the economy, reduction in regional disparities, clustering of economic activities for complementarity generation with local industries, skill development of local labor force, transfer of technology and dissemination of know-how, promotion of ancillary industrial activities, development of local entrepreneurship, creation of competition, attraction of local and foreign direct investment, especially towards under-privileged regions, generation of employment, promotion of exports, and last but not the least, ease of administration and management.


SEZs are generally self-contained in the procurement of raw materials (from local and international markets), power generation, mitigating pollution, sewage treatment and support services. They practically have everything from transportation to cultural and educational facilities. So, they are perceived to provide significant insulation from the uncertain external/outside environment.


Laws and regulations of SEZs are different from generally applicable laws and regulations in the rest of the country. SEZs are generally duty-free enclaves for both trade and manufacturing. Several fiscal and regulatory incentives are offered to investors within these zones by national, provincial and local governments. Nonetheless, international experience suggests that decision to invest in SEZs is rarely based on financial incentives alone; indeed such incentives are not the key to SEZs’ success that may attract weaker firms. Success factors for them include efficient and cost effective infrastructures, and governance (or absence of over-intrusive governance) that distinguish them from other parts of the country. Success of SEZ inspires rest of the economy, encouraging more effective provision of public services and infrastructure, and forcing the policy makers to introduce economic reforms to achieve what was not achieved before.


Thus, successful SEZs introduce structural change throughout the country relatively quickly through a combination of linkages and demonstration effects with local industries. As a result of leaping up value chains and triggering positive externalities, they create economic space for their entry into basic and intermediate manufacturing. Too often, SEZs generate and allocate resources for socio-economic uplift of the adjoining areas for their acceptability by the locals.


In the end, it is worth noting that despite gainful role played by SEZs worldwide, in some countries the zones have been criticized for being less legal and socially protective for workers, misusage of allotted land for real estate speculation and tax evasion. International experience suggests that the main reason as to why SEZs fail is “rent-seeking” by interest groups, exploitation of incentives and other benefits, weak governance, bilateral disputes, regulatory issues, lack of a dispute resolution mechanism, etc. To avoid such problems and to ensure effective management, countries assign decentralized decision-making roles to private-public partnership arrangements of SEZs with inclusiveness of local communities and institutions.


Existing SEZs and Industrial Estates in Pakistan
Virtually every district headquarters of Pakistan has an industrial estate or area having infrastructures and offers incentives of various natures: The Punjab has 26 industrial estates, whilst Sindh, Balochistan and KP, have 30, 7 and 12 industrial estates, respectively. Some of these are successful, while others are unsuccessful, because they are established in remote areas lacking necessary skilled workforce or basic amenities for workers.


Some big cities also have industrial clusters on the basis of their strength in skilled workforce, raw materials, support institutions and deep historical links with local and global supply chains. These clusters include: sports and surgical clusters in the city of Sialkot, textiles cluster in Faisalabad, fan cluster in Gujrat and engineering cluster in Gujranwala to name the major ones.


Existing SEZs in Pakistan include: (1) Karachi Export Processing Zone (Karachi); (2) Risalpur Export Processing Zone (Risalpur); (3) Sialkot Export Processing Zone (Sialkot); (4) Gujranwala Export Processing Zone (Gujranwala); (5) Khairpur Special Economic Zone (Khairpur); (6) Rashakai Economic Zone (Rashakai-Mardan, M1); (7) Gadoon Economic Zone (Gadoon-Amazai Swabi); and (8) Hathar Economic Zone (Hathar-Haripur). In addition, there are some Industrial Parks in Pakistan: Rachna Industrial Park (Lahore), Marble City (Lahore), and Textile City (Port Qasim).


Some of the newly established industrial estates are: Value Addition City (Sheikhupura-Faisalabad Expressway), M-3 Industrial City (Faisalabad), and Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park (M-2 Lahore).
For peculiar reasons, Chinese companies are not interested in investing in the existing industrial estates of Pakistan. They are only interested in SEZs to be exclusively established for them along the trade corridor.


Chinese Interest in Pakistani SEZs
China, as one of the pioneering and successful countries in establishing SEZs, has been showing keen interest in investing in SEZs that Pakistan has committed to establish exclusively for Chinese companies. In fact, back in 2001, a joint-venture between a Pakistani company and a Chinese company has established a successful industrial park near Lahore. Since 2002, this company has been producing and assembling electrical and electronic products including refrigerators, deep freezers, washing machines, air conditioners, microwave ovens, televisions, and laptops.


Despite this successful venture, some interest groups in Pakistan are creating an impression that China intends to relocate its private industries that have lost their competitiveness, either because of rising labor costs or that the industrial technology has become obsolete in China. They claim that for this purpose, China is promoting the idea of establishing exclusive industrial zones in Pakistan, where its industries can be relocated and benefit from the policy incentives and business environment. Another perspective is that, given the new stage of development in China, it does not want to provide policy support to such industries anymore and that is why it intends to relocate its old industries. Still another viewpoint shows that with huge surplus Chinese companies in any way want to invest closer to their markets provided they get desired skills, infrastructures, as well as conducive work and business environment.


Private investors from Chinese SEZs are accustomed with special economic policies and flexible governmental measures, allowing them to utilize economic management system that is more attractive for foreign and domestic firms to do business than in the rest of mainland China. In SEZs, investment is conducted without any authorization of the Chinese central government. SEZs offer tax and business incentives to attract foreign investment and technology. So the challenge for Pakistani policy makers is to provide corresponding, if not better, incentives, infrastructure and business environment to Chinese investors than they are used to with at home. It is pertinent to note here that in May 2010, China designated the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang as a Special Economic Zone, which is going to compete with Pakistani SEZs, to be established exclusively for Chinese companies and also with existing industries in Pakistan. To attract Chinese investors to establish industries in Pakistani SEZs, some extra measures and effort is required to provide them with fiscal incentives, the most cost-effective and efficient infrastructures and support services as well as investor-friendly governance.


Pakistan, on its part, is anxiously looking for foreign investment and technologies to apprehend high and sustained export-oriented growth to generate employment. Pertinent questions arise, whether Pakistan is ready to welcome such industries? And, once Chinese companies establish themselves in SEZs, will there be any global market to sell goods produced by SEZs’ firms or will they penetrate Pakistani markets and displace local industry? Despite desperate need for foreign investment, my suggestion is to develop a well thought and focused scheme for SEZs to welcome Chinese companies that should create pro-inclusive sustained growth, subject to minimum socio-economic costs. This should ultimately achieve our long term goals of gaining access to new and modern technologies as well as penetrating international markets. So, a policy challenge is to prepare local workforce, infrastructures and institutional systems, and mechanisms in Pakistan to attract and welcome Chinese investors to reap maximum and sustained benefits.


Government-Proposed Pak-China SEZs
Keeping at front the Memorandum of Understandings signed by the governments of China and Pakistan, Pakistani government has proposed following nine SEZs to be established in all five provinces along with industries:


1. Rashakai Economic Zone: (M-1, Nowshera): Fruit/food/packaging/textile stitching/knitting.
2. China Special Economic Zone Dhabeji: Type of industry will be determined at feasibility stage.
3. Bostan Industrial Zone (near Quetta): Fruit processing, agriculture machinery, pharmaceutical, motor bikes assembly, chromite, cooking oil, ceramic industries, ice and cold storage, electric appliance, and halal food industries.
4. Punjab-China Economic Zone, (M-2, Sheikhupura): Mix industry.
5. ICT Model Industrial Zone (Islamabad): Feasibility studies yet to be carried out.
6. Development of Industrial Park on Pakistan Steel Mills Land (Port Qasim): Feasibility studies yet to be carried out.
7. Bhimber Industrial Zone: Feasibility studies yet to be carried out.
8. Mohmand Marble City: Feasibility studies yet to be carried out.
9. Moqpondass SEZ (Gilgit-Baltistan): Marble/granite, iron ore processing, fruit processing, steel industry, mineral processing unit, and leather industry.


Under the CPEC project, the government has proposed mineral economic processing zones besides above nine SEZs in four provinces. In Punjab, proposed Minerals Economic Processing Zones include Salt Range (antimony) and Chiniot (iron ore). In Sindh, Thar (coal) and Lakra (coal). In KP Dargai (chromite), North Waziristan (chromite), Kurram (antimony), Waziristan, (copper), Chitral (antimony), Besham (iron ore, lead), Nizampur (iron ore) and Mohmand (marble). In Balochistan, Khuzdar (chromite, antimony), Chaghi (chromite), Qila Saifullah (antimony, chromite), Saindak (gold, silver), Reko Diq (gold), Kalat (iron ore), Lasbela (manganese), Gwadar (oil refinery) and Muslim Bagh (chromite).


Strategic Directions for SEZs
Tenets of SEZs
Economic characteristics of SEZs in Pakistan should be represented by the following tenets:
1. Investment, in general, in SEZs should be by the Chinese companies, but they should be encouraged to have joint partnerships from Pakistani investors. This will ensure sustainability of SEZs.
2. Target value added activities and link them with the existing industry clusters in Pakistan.
3. Target niche industries, where production concentration in minute parts of a long international value added chain would yield high export returns.
4. Goods produced in SEZs will be principally for foreign export markets but up to a certain percentage can be exported to the Pakistan territory.
5. All services to SEZs may be provided by the government on cost-recovery basis but preferably government should engage a private company for the purpose.
6. Role of government should be limited to making legal and infrastructure arrangements.
Additional Proposals for SEZs’ Structure
Earlier, I reported a list of the government proposed SEZs along with industrial activities. In addition to these, I suggest some industrial activities that are more practical and hopefully will enable to reap more benefits. Keeping in view the interests and absorption capacity in provinces, I propose the following specific industries to be incorporated in SEZs:


• Balochistan: Fish and marine, dry fruit processing and packaging industries, water resource management technologies.
• KP: Focus on small turbines producer industries and their allied industries.
• The Punjab: Solar power plant producing industries and allied industries, engineering-based small and medium industries, technology producing industries, and food products producing industries. Establish Agricultural Technology Park near Faisalabad and link it with agricultural technology producing companies in a SEZ near Faisalabad.
• Sindh: Windmills producing industries and allied industries, packaging industry, plastic and petrochemical industries.


For the above SEZs and industries, each provincial government must ensure: skills, infrastructures, and institutions to be required by SEZs. Furthermore, link all SEZs with NUST Industrial Technology Park being established with assistance from China. This will not only fulfill research and development needs of the guest industries but will become a source of attraction for high-end production industries.


Proposed Policy Stance and Measures

Given their importance, development of SEZs should be made part of the overall growth strategy of Pakistan. Only in this way shall we be able to achieve the goal of pro-inclusive and sustained growth. If Pakistan has to offer virtually everything to attract foreign investors in SEZs, it should reciprocally secure benefits for the country. To begin with, Pakistan should make a careful choice of industries to be invited in SEZs, develop a system where targets with a timeline are effectively monitored to meet agreed export and local employment targets; encourage Chinese firms to produce intermediate inputs to be exported internationally or to non-SEZ companies in Pakistan. If firms produce finished products, they should be primarily for the export market. Besides, ensure that exports from SEZs should also aim at Chinese markets and not just the markets of the third world countries and negotiate with China to secure duty free status to all exports originating from SEZs. Pakistan should promptly conclude special trade agreement for SEZs in addition to the existing bilateral free trade agreement and create a synergy/complementarity between Pakistani and Chinese SEZs for mutual advantage.


To attract Chinese investment to meet our cherished national objectives, provide competitive fiscal incentives, efficient infrastructure and conducive business environment, of course, subject to performance committed in the contract. In addition, following specific measures need to be provided:


1. Start organizing SEZ workshops with potential industrial leaders in China and Pakistan to develop an agreed-upon set of rules of engagement with respect to how these zones should operate to ensure greater success.

2. SEZ planners should then organize roadshows to mobilize potential investors to promote SEZs.
3. Promote SEZs as incubators of good practice and self-containment, supported by good infrastructure and service provider firms. Preferably government should use a private firm to develop and manage the SEZ, while the government should be an active player in improving transport, electricity, water, telecommunications, waste disposal, and other infrastructure to link SEZs with global and local markets.
4. Ensure, as far as possible, that firms are established in SEZs complements and not substitute local industries. This is because SEZ companies producing similar goods and benefiting from privileged incentives will displace Pakistani firms in the international market.
5. Streamline storage, transportation and packaging industries for export of fruits, vegetables and fresh flowers.
6. Link SEZs with well-known skill and technology development institutions of the country.
7. Accord complete and secured property rights protection to ensure sustainability as well as attraction of Chinese firms who would then like to transfer technology and produce innovative goods.
8. SEZs should establish such activities as day care center, school facility, clinic, housing colonies, shopping center, restaurants, etc.
9. Do not allow the lessee of the land in SEZs to use land other than the pre-specified purpose.
10. Prepare and modernize domestic small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in the provision of ancillary businesses and locate them near to SEZs.
11. Allow duty-free import of new machinery and equipment to establish Chinese enterprises in the SEZs. Provide 100% tax holidays only to export and innovative products producing firms for first ten years, followed by 50% for next ten years provided the companies show the set performance and modernize their technologies.
12. Chinese investors, who wish to relocate their industry out of Pakistan, should pay some pre-defined service charge. This is to discourage the footloose investment, where investors enjoy the benefits and soon after leave the country.
13. Provide a mechanism for single-window clearance for SEZ companies.
14. Provide a mechanism for resolving matters concerned with labor, pollution authority, etc.
15. Provide full rights of hiring and firing any employee in SEZs. Investors will be free to set their pay packages and terms of work. Government should not intervene in such decisions. Investors should be, however, required to observe all the employment and social protection conventions and laws set by the International Labor Organization and other global organizations. A Committee comprised of SEZs administration and local authorities should be set-up to oversee observation of internationally accepted rules and laws. The Committee will try to resolve all disputes amicably. Alternatively, a time-bound dispute resolution mechanism should be established for the satisfaction of parties involved in the disputes.
16. Preference will be given to Pakistani and in particular local labor, but in case expertise is not available in Pakistan, Chinese workers can be hired.
17. Ensure that (dry or sea) port and market access through efficient transportation system is available. This will guarantee just-in-time availability of raw materials as well as delivery of produced goods.
18. Local transportation may be handled exclusively by Pakistani transport companies or joint Pak-China companies who need to be bounded by certain regulations for the provision of cost effective and smooth flow of cargoes coming in and going out of SEZs.
19. Create a special cadre of customs officials and staff who can facilitate SEZs’ trade on efficient basis, especially minimizing time involved in various procedures. By cutting delays, bureaucratic hurdles and corruption trade costs will be cut down for export-oriented industries.
20. Every zone should have its own power generation facility and provisions be made that WAPDA supplies are available on immediate basis in case of a breakdown of SEZ’s electric plant. Also make full provision of gas, petroleum and other utilities at internationally competitive rates.
21. Skills' gap often frustrates SEZ firms because then they have to devote an unproductive amount of time to micro-managing staff. So Pakistan urgently needs to prepare its workforce to bridge any potential skills' gap.
22. All ministries must work harder, better, and smarter to ensure speedy implementation of SEZs’ projects to seize the upcoming opportunities.
23. All the provincial and federal governments should work together as ‘one team’ for the success of the SEZs.
24. Last but not the least, foolproof security should be guaranteed by all provincial and local administrations for the safety of SEZs and their workforce.

 

The writer is a Professor of Economics at School of Social Sciences and Humanities at NUST, Islamabad.
 
04
October

Pakistan’s contributions to the global war on terror are matchless and phenomenal. In the last 16 years, thousands have lost their lives in the country’s fight against the world’s most notorious terrorist groups. On the internal front, Pakistan Army launched indiscriminate and effective operations to deal with terrorism and crush anti-state elements in order to ensure peace and stability. The resolve and will to fight terrorism began at home and was then extended to the external front with the commitment to eliminate terrorism jointly with the international community. Pakistan is a major contributor and partner of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces since the 60s and since then a large number of participants have delivered their services ranging from humanitarian assistance to hardcore security operations. National Counter-Terrorism Centre, Pabbi is another example of our expertise in combating terrorism where multilateral and bilateral training exercises with various friendly countries have been held. The recently conducted joint counterterrorism exercise between Pakistan and Russia in the mountains and forests of Minralney Vody (Russia) by Special Forces from both countries is evidence of our will and desire to collaborate for regional peace and security. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s recent visit to Afghanistan is another sincere effort by Pakistan to not only find a peaceful and durable solution to Afghanistan’s imbroglio but also expand cooperation to ensure regional security.


Internally, in a region that has suffered through the conflict continuum that caused turmoil and turbulence for several years and passed through various phases, the cricket match played between Pakistan XI and the UK Media XI comes as a reassurance of peace and stability, not only to the nation but also to the international community. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa appositely commented that the event highlighted the resilience shown by the people of the area during difficult times when it was under militants’ control. It is heartening to see peace being restored in North Waziristan and other Agencies of the FATA that have seen years of unsparing violence.


Our desire for regional peace was also highlighted in the recent 72nd UN General Assembly session. It was amply emphasized to the world leadership that having suffered and sacrificed so much due to our role in the global counterterrorism campaign, it is especially galling for Pakistan to be blamed for the military or political stalemate in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister of Pakistan unequivocally enunciated: "We are not prepared to be anyone's scapegoat. Taliban 'safe havens' are located not in Pakistan but in the large tracts of territory controlled by the Taliban in Afghanistan.”


2017 is again a manifestation of our resolve to collaborate and the nation’s continued rejection of terrorists as we continue moving forward towards a peaceful Pakistan. Despite enormous internal challenges including unpredictable acidic behavior of our traditional enemy on eastern borders in the form of continuous ceasefire violations and other escalatory provocations, Pakistan Armed Forces are fully deployed and conducting operations along Pakistan-Afghanistan international border. Martyrdom of 22 years old Lieutenant Arsalan in Rajgal Valley along Afghan border and many more are priceless contributions for peace. Our commitment towards regional and global peace is unwavering, and beyond doubts. No nation has done for peace what Pakistan has offered in form of sacrifices and unparalleled successes against terrorism.


It is time for others to “Do More”.

04
October

Written By: Zarrar Khuhro

International politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power”
– Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations

 

There is no shortage of commentary and outrage on the horrific atrocities being perpetrated on the Rohingyas. Hunted by a malevolent regime that specializes in ethnic cleansing, the Rohingyas are being subjected to pogroms, rapes and summary executions aimed at forcing them to flee their homes and villages. To prevent their return, Myanmar’s army, security forces and militias are burning their villages and planting landmines. These mines have also led those fleeing the carnage having their limbs blown off, making an already uncertain life as a stateless refugee even more challenging.


Along with the actual offensive, a propaganda campaign has also been launched with recently created Myanmarese social media accounts alternately maligning the Rohingyas as ‘terrorists’, blaming them for their own woes and sometimes even out rightly denying the atrocities being perpetrated on them.


There are few buyers of this malicious campaign, and by and large the international community has spoken with one voice, condemning the Myanmarese regime which has in the past used similar tactics against other ethnic minorities such as the Shan and Karen.


But condemnation will have very little effect on the Myanmarese regime which, thanks to its already moribund economy and insular nature, is largely immune to sanctions and censure.


More importantly, Myanmar’s greatest advantage is that it finds itself at the center of the geopolitical games being played by countries including those which share borders with Myanmar: India and China significantly… both of which have been careful to not condemn Myanmar’s actions and have even extended diplomatic support. This puts us in a situation where we ought to see this crisis in context of geopolitical compulsions as well as plight of Muslim brothers. It is a complex issue that demands much deeper understanding than mere sloganeering.


Pakistan’s all-weather friend China’s position is affected by several geopolitical and economic compulsions: a minor one is that China is wary of ethnic tensions at home and is thus loath to create a precedent (by supporting the Rohingya cause) that could later be used against it in, for example, the Tibetan context.


The major factors, however, are purely economic and geostratregic, both factors that have recently gained greater impetus due to China’s massive OBOR project, along with China’s ongoing attempt to export industrial overcapacity to neighbouring countries.


It also so happens that the Rakhine province is at the center of Beijing’s investments in Myanmar, with Chinese investments in Rakhine alone totaling up to several billion dollars.


Smack in the middle of the Rakhine state’s coastline on the Bay of Bengal, a consortium led by China’s CITIC Group has proposed taking a 70 percent to 85 percent stake in the $7.3 billion deep sea port at Kyauk Pyu. Here the commercial and strategic interests interlink, as the port is a key link in China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, serving as part of a larger passageway aimed at connecting China’s Southwestern provinces to the Indian Ocean and thus farther afield to Africa, where China has growing interests, and onwards to the Mediterranean. Kyauk Pyu is also the starting point for oil and gas pipelines that cross Myanmar to reach China’s southern Yunnan province. China also plans to build an industrial park and a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Rakhine where Chinese companies will be located. China is also the number one destination for Myanmar’s exports, followed by Thaiolans, China and then Japan. Besides these, defence collaboration between China and Myanmar are deep and well spread in many areas.


None of this means, however, that China can take Myanmarese goodwill for granted and in fact it is only recently that relations have warmed after a rather rocky patch.


During the previous Thein Sein administration in Myanmar, the $3.6 billion Myitsone dam project, a massive Chinese investment, was suspended after Thien declared it to be “against the will of the people.” There have been public protests against other Chinese projects as well, such as the Letpadaung mine in the northwestern town of Monywa, where locals have accused Chinese builders of land grabbing and environmental damage. Given the controlled nature of Burmese society and the all-pervasive hold of the security establishment, allowing such protests was almost certainly meant to send a message to Beijing.


Congnizant of the perils of too much Chinese dependency, the Commander-in-Chief of the Burmese Army (known as the Tatmadaw) recently visited both Japan and India, with the latter now providing the Tatmadaw with training in peacekeeping and endorsing Myanmar’s bid to join UN peacekeeping operations.


In return, the Tatmadaw has also endorsed India’s Act East policy and committed to strengthening the relationship with Japan. Given the general state of Sino-Japanese relations and the increased cooperation between Japan and India – both countries are jointly investing in Myanmar and ports along the Indian Ocean – this is clearly an attempt by Myanmar to hedge its bets and take advantage of the regional competition it finds itself to be in the center of.


So here then is another reason for China to support Myanmar: if they do not, then Yangon will inevitably lean towards another major Asian power and Chinese rival: India.


Acting East
At a time when Myanmar was facing near universal condemnation on the Rohingya issue, crucial diplomatic support came in the form of Indian PM Modi’s much-trumpeted visit to Myanmar. Dispensing even with token shows of concern for the Rohingyas, Modi went on to talk about ‘extremist violence’ in the Rakhine state instead. Now, there is certainly an ideological element at play here, given Modi’s right-wing Hindutva credentials. Crucial support is being given to the aforementioned Myanmarese anti-Rohingya social media campaign by right-wing Indian twitter, with BJP officials going so far as to post fake stories and pictures aimed at labelling the Rohingyas as terrorists and infiltrators. The Indian government went so far as to tell its Supreme Court that “Many of the Rohingyas figure in the suspected sinister designs of ISI/ISIS and other extremists groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives in India including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in sensitive areas of the country,”


In tandem, right-wing Indian channels such as Republic and Times now have been mounting sustained media campaigns aimed at demonizing the Rohingyas.


Aligning with ideology are India’s interests: during the rule of Indian PM Narasimha Rao, India framed a ‘Look East’ policy aimed at bolstering relations with its eastern neighbours, partly in an effort to curtail Chinese influence in the region. With the advent of OBOR, the policy has transformed into ‘Act East’, and it just so happens that the first country that comes into view on India’s East… is Myanmar.
India-Myanmar bilateral trade stands at about $2 billion dollars, which is dwarfed by comparison with China-Myanmar trade standing at $25 billion, but is likely to increase following Modi’s visit. In addition to this, the Rakhine province is also the starting point of the $484-million Kaladan multi-modal transport projects that aim to connect Mizoram to India.


India has also already completed work on Sittwe Port, at the estuary of Kaladan river in Rakhine, which is to be a crucial link in this network.


There is no doubt that China.
has vital stakes in Myanmar, but given the importance New Delhi is attaching to this initiative, and Myanmar’s own need to secure as many allies as possible, the Sino-India competition does play to the advantage of Myanmarese reigme. Adding insult to injury, the U.S. is playing traditional spying games in the whole crisis. The net result will be that the Rohingyas find themselves at the bottom of the list of the worlds’ dispossessed. The hard realities of global power plays mean that there is no major country that will be willing to go beyond heartfelt condemnation and expressions of sympathy, and even then, none of these voices are those who are heard and taken seriously in Yangon.


The West is already in a mess, the Rest constructing new roads, and the Rohingya Muslims’ future in a perpetual limbo!

 

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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04
October

Written By: Waseem Iftikhar

Before theorizing structural violence, Johan Galtung talked about Personal or Direct Violence. Defining violence he argued that, “Violence is present when human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations are below their potential realizations, or the actual is lesser than the potential”(Galtung, 1969). By this, he implied that any hindrance, physical or psychological, that forces an individual to perform below his true potential is in fact violence. In event of direct violence, the actor who commits the act of violence is clearly visible or can be singled out. In event of structural violence however, which also creates social injustice, it is hard to apportion the blame on any single individual since the structures or organizations etc. are so arranged as to create harmful effect. Galtung further argues that although the subject who violates an object may not be visible directly for pointing finger, nonetheless violence does occur.

 

structvoilance.jpgDevelopment of peace studies in the 20th century has added paradigms of positive and negative peace. Absence of direct violence can create a visible calm, Galtung called this negative peace. To the contrary, positive peace can only be obtained when both direct as well as structural violence is absent. Development of these paradigms convinced policy makers to take serious note of issues such as human rights, environmental concerns as well as economic well-being. John Burton has called this approach more inclusive of human needs (Burton, 1993). Movement or displacement of resources from one region to another and in process creating shortage of production or depriving more deserving region is also a form of structural violence. A classic example of one such problem in Pakistan is water and it is one of the most serious issues that needs immediate policy attention by the government.


As shown in Figure 1, water as a source of conflict has multiple interlinked dimensions. Long term policy vacuum leads to issues such as floods, energy shortage and contaminated water causing disease and even death. Most of the conflicts generated by water are thus far latent, simultaneously becoming protracted, demanding immediate attention.



As per Indus Water Treaty between Pakistan and India, Pakistan receives water from three western rivers i.e., Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, whereas India agreed to utilize water from Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. Although all these rivers originate in Indian Occupied Kashmir and India, Indus River Systems gave Pakistan 80.52% (167.2 billion Cubic meters) of water, while India got 19.48% (40.4 billion Cubic meters) of the total water.

 

structvoilance1.jpgDams and reservoirs can be used to supply drinking water, generate hydroelectric power, increase the water supply for irrigation, provide recreational opportunities, and improve environmental ecology. In past almost 50 years, USA has built 6575 dams, India 4291 dams (planning another 2500 dams by 2025) and China has been able to build more than 22000 dams. Pakistan in same time has been able to build and operationalize 154 dams (ICOLD). These statistics show great amount of institutional negligence and lack of consensus on part of policy makers. One of the structural fallouts of shortage of dams is that resultantly electricity has to be produced at an exorbitant cost using oil. While it costs Pakistani Rupees 1.02 per unit for hydropower energy, price goes up to Pakistani Rupees 12.0 per unit when produced through oil operated power plants. The excessive amount of money paid every year in shape of electric bills by the consumers is more than the total cost of Kalabagh Dam which has not been built for over two decades due to absence of political consensus. This economic violence caused by excessive electric bills translates into higher cost of this costly production and provision of electricity results into increased commodity prices. Resultantly, poor can’t afford to buy basic necessities of life, which brings this concern to the domain of structural violence. Energy shortage is shared through load shedding. Long hours of darkness in hospitals cause delay in patients’ treatment resulting in deaths, hence, the end product of absence of institutional policy is death of a human being for which no visible subject can be blamed. A survey conducted by three Dutch scientists shows reduced glacial activity causing an 8% reduction in flow of water in Indus River alone by 2050 and, along with Brahmaputra River, these rivers with less water are likely to cause food security issues affecting more than 60 million people (Walter W. Immerzeel). Unless Pakistan creates enhanced storage capacity and actionable plan, it is likely to fall into the category of Water Scarce nation from Water Stressed nation. An agriculture-based economy cannot sustain itself with current rate of population growth and diminishing water availability. Topping the list of basic human needs, food insecurity is in itself violence and needs to be taken care of through structural egalitarianism.


Closely linked to dams is the excessive amount of criticism leading to potential conflict when neighboring countries build or plan to build dams on water channels with water belonging to Pakistan under the water treaties. While water is wasted by Pakistan due to structural failures with millions of gallons of useful water ending up in the Arabian Sea. Afghanistan in connivance with India has planned to build 12 dams on Kabul River with a combined capacity of 25%; more than one of the major Pakistani dams, Mangla Dam. On the other hand, former Pakistani Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif criticized India’s plan to construct 53 power projects and seven dams on rivers dedicated for Pakistan. Water issue has generated conflict both vertically and horizontally: vertical conflict inside the country due to absence or weakness of policy structures, while horizontally against the neighbors, who in turn blame Pakistan for not using water optimally for energy production. Structural violence on issue of water thus seems to cross geographical boundaries besides initiating violence within its own bounds.


Drinking water in Pakistan is not painting any encouraging picture either. A 2010 study by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources shows that out of the 14000 water sources monitored across Pakistan, 82% were providing water which is unsafe for human health and only 18% were found fit for consumption resulting in death of almost 250,000 children every year due to water-borne diseases. This factor was substantiated by another study carried out by National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS) in 2013, which has given an alarming rate of only 17% households who use desperately needed additional water filtration treatment before drinking water. Absence of water, a very basic necessity of life (structural violence), is consistently resulting in alarming number of deaths (direct violence).


Figure 2 above shows a nexus between structural violence and water in Pakistan. As defined by Galtung, six dimensions of structural violence have been elaborated while on the right side, the issues generated by water and perpetuated by absence of credible policy and weak structures have been depicted. Implications of structural violence are applicable to almost every single case of policy failure.
Construction of dams besides eliminating structural violence on the issue will solve Pakistan’s energy problems, ensure clean drinking water, help in environmental upgradation, assist canal systems and consequently defensive capability and agricultural growth, prevent water wastage and floods and ensure better relations with neighbors. A more egalitarian structure of the society is the only solution to resolution of this intractable conflict in Pakistan.

 

The writer is a PhD scholar at National University of Sciences and Technology, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS).

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04
October

Dr. Nazir Hussain & Amna Javed

The problems and challenges Pakistan has faced over the last 70 years and the way the nation has responded, many critics have described Pakistan as the ‘most resilient nation.’ Therefore, Pakistan must be built as a modern, progressive and democratic Muslim state, which plays a constructive role in the national, regional and international peace, progress and prosperity.

The national narrative depicts the consensus and resolve of the nation for its future progression and sets the direction for its role in the regional and global dynamics. It describes a nation’s prized values and norms through history and paves the way for future direction. It is a common perception that a state cannot go on surviving for long without a strong national narrative. For Pakistan, the national narrative is more important because not only is the state geo-strategically important for the international politics but inwardly there is a dire need to face a multitude of challenges with determination. Therefore, this article explores on one side, the importance of national narratives and on the other side, it takes on a journey of the Pakistani national narrative; its history, present and a possible future.


The notion of attaining any narrative is not easy and it has to go through a course of its own time. No state is made perfect with a cohesive set of agendas. Some states have ideologies, norms, values, which are cohesive while most do not. History has witnessed many states rise from a point of nothingness solely based on narratives. It took the U.S. more than one hundred years to become a cohesive state after the American Revolution. More than that, after the Great Wars, Germany and Japan were two states which had to rebuild their entire system and structure from the scratch and they had to develop a consensus and a set of ideas regarding their future. From being battered states, they now are considerably pervasive and rather important part of the world system. Furthermore, China is another great example of how a state, which once struggled with notions, doctrines and narratives came to get bigger and transformed its structure and institutions with the best of their abilities to become the leading economic power in the world. Turkey is another example where the mixture of religion, democracy and economic development has changed the country's status and helped achieve world ranking in the economic hierarchy.


Considering the situation which Pakistan has been facing in the wake of enormous difficulties in the economic, security and political spheres, it also faces a fluctuating national narrative. The basis of the national narrative was seen in the address of August 11, 1947 by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. But the same address has so many other dimensions to it which perhaps were never readily incorporated within the course of action. There was the sound idea of supremacy of the institutions and the check and balance between the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive, and the idea of democracy in its real sense. The question of a strong center vis-a-vis provincial set-up along with the muddled democracy, which began to reign afterwards, was the first time when the lines got blurred. Moreover, the quest of being an exemplary nation-state for the rest of the world has still become largely overshadowed by the issues of governance, corruption and terrorism.


The events which followed became the basis of national narrative but not national consensus particularly in the domain of domestic politics and social culture. A road down the history lane shows the initial fluctuation when the first Martial Law was imposed which in a way changed the entire politico-culture value system with the onslaught of ‘Islamic Modernism.’ Though the first industrialization gave impetus to socio-economic modernization but the controversial presidential election and its outcome left a scar on the national psyche. Z.A. Bhutto came into power and swayed for a more ‘liberal and socialist’ approach in politics. However, he through the ‘Gulf Bonanza’ brought socio-economic dividends and linked the country with its Islamic/Arab roots. The country seemed to be moving on a democratic path with socialist leanings. However, this got muddled when the new regime launched religious narratives which took its toll on the state. The political and religious polarization left unending marks on the national psyche. This was poles apart from what Jinnah had initially intended for; a modern and progressive Muslim state.


Much more than the socio-political manifestations, the state was going from having civilian governments to Martial Laws, which added to the nuisance. The following years with highly volatile democratic governments between Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto only added to the political divide. At a juncture like this, the idea of nation-building through national narrative became far off because altogether the fissures were not just among political parties or provincial governments but went beyond the civil-military, right-left and between institutions. The common Pakistani was confused because there was no unanimity in any idea or discourse.


And when 9/11 occurred and the ruling regime placed Pakistan with the U.S., things got even more complicated. Because in President Zia’s time, the idea of scavenging the USSR away from Afghanistan by utilizing the non-state actors was celebrated and suddenly in the next millennium they were being shunned. While conservatism was being avowed, his notion of ‘enlightened moderation’ and ‘Pakistan first’ further confused the nation. The Pakistani nation got divided between the so-called ‘jihadist’ to ‘de-jihadist’ narratives.


There were the manifestations under which the nation-building, political and institutional system and the overall narrative and structure of Pakistan became haunted by inter-institutional strife, corruption, terrorism and a lack of not just good governance but also personal identity. And when President Musharraf left, there was again a vacuum even though that narrative struck certain cords which blunted the state. The ‘day-after’ scenario was much worse because there may have been democratic values emerging on the horizon once again but there was no unified narrative on which there could be a cause of cohesion.


In 2014, terrorist attack on the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar again jostled the fabric of the nation and from there onwards the era of a new narrative began. Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched to wipe out the terrorists and their networks followed by Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad to show national resolve against terrorism. The national consensus was built to root-out terrorism, make Pakistan a peaceful and safe place. The launching of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and its ownership taken by the civil-military leadership points towards the national resolve to economic progression and social emancipation. Pakistan’s neutrality in the politico-military conflicts of the Muslim/Arab world points to the fact that we are not global Islamic masonries but ‘Pakistani Muslims.’


Seventy years after Pakistan’s independence, the pre-requisite for solidity in the national narrative is stronger than ever. In order for the nation to become a strong entity and the state to step forward in its political and strategic power-play in the region and even in the international sphere, there needs to be an investment in a narrative which involves each and every missing piece of the puzzle. It all begins from the first right step and in this case it is imperative that Pakistan adopts its ideology in the perfect manifestation. In Quran, the Lord Almighty has claimed in Surah Ale-Imran that the perfect way of life is the one which is balanced. In this sense there is nothing more balanced than the idea of ‘Islamic moderation’, which is that depiction of the Islamic injunctions that support social justice, well structured freedom, adherence to social norms and values, yet flexible enough to adapt changes, and promotes tolerance, mutual co-existence through power of rationality.


Then the idea of a strong nation and a stronger narrative is crucial for national political consensus. Pakistan is a state with an active multi-party system, which means that more than one opinion exists which gives off the idea that there might be a lack of consensus on more than one issue. While all of this amounts to the spirit of democracy, building a national political consensus that does not divide the nation, the public opinion and the institutions, is mandatory. As political parties are the entities which shape and reshape the public opinion and while complete unanimity is neither possible nor even normal, there should be an ideal amount of consensus on the core national concerns like foreign policy matters and security issues.


All of this also amounts to harmonizing the national institutions without harboring any ill-will among them. Pakistan has often faced the challenges of civil-military, civil-judiciary, and bureaucratic tussles, which have caused various cracks in the structure. These need to be curbed because only then a unanimous and sound narrative can come into existence.


For any state and nation, the ‘human value’ is highly important because if there is a disgruntled and hopeless population, no nation can move forward. Thus there is a need to increase the Human Resource Development in Pakistan which amounts to an increase in skilled manpower. Nations get resilient when provided with manpower which is skilled for its military, economy and other relevant fields. It would open up more opportunities for the youth in the future as there will be more avenues to explore. This entails harnessing the youth bulge which is one weapon which almost every nation has but only those nations come out strong that utilize this force and connect it to a future which is solid.


All of this can be done if Pakistan further invests in education. This is one side that has been ignored and not marketed as it should be. Without sound structure of education, the narrative building can never be fully achieved. This is an idea that leads to economic progression which is something that Pakistan and its narrative need more than ever. Initiatives like CPEC are a step closer to this achievement and it must be furthered by giving the entire country its due share.


Then there is the idea of national self-reliance, which is given in terms of building a solid national narrative. We must understand that though we have friends in the international arena that would help and aid us militarily and economically, it is important to highlight that 70 years ago Pakistan was built by its own medium, credence and legacy which were self-reliant then, and so should be now. This self-reliance could not just build a narrative but could build a nation because it is not just important for our identity but also for our economic standing.


Finally, three points are must for the national narrative which is agreeable and covers all: a proactive foreign policy, national identity and the re-construction of discourse. The need for a proactive foreign policy is necessary in the ordeal of building a discourse. Pakistan needs a policy based on larger interests and strategic relevance. Then the need for national identity is imperative for Pakistan and its discourse. Unless there is no understanding of our identity through history, policies, ideology and interests, there will be much confusion and a lot of hostility between each faction of the state. It should be remembered that we are Pakistani Muslims and not the global holy warriors. With an identity there can be unity and with that there will be solidity. All of this can come out as a result of de-construction and then the re-construction of the discourse which surrounds itself with the national narrative.


Grounded in these basic features, the discourse and the national narrative of Pakistan can come out as one which is profound. It will be one that can instill patriotism which is grounded in rationality while rationality is grounded in nationalism.

 

Dr. Nazir Hussain is Director School of Politics and International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, and Amna Javed is a freelancer based in Islamabad.

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04
October

Written By: Capt Ali Ahmed Malik


You never seem normal," looking at his impassive face, Sara said in an inquiring tone.


"Because I don’t fit in your definition of normal," throwing pebbles in the water, gazing at the horizon, with his thoughts at unrest, being at par with the oceanic waves in front, his words disappearing in the sound of splashes, still being the only sound making sense to his fiancée’s ears. He continued "Someday I may meet your standards of being normal", as he sat facing her, "Although that is a rare possibility"


"When are you going to return to my life, rather our life?" eyes wide open, focused ears longing to hear the words that were never coming, she gently pushed her hair blowing in her face due to the Shore wind.


"When my battle scars would heal," it was very evident from the tone that he wasn’t exactly present in the moment.
"Why haven’t they healed already?"
"They aren’t meant to."
"You scare me often."
"Do I?"
"Don’t you see? While I am talking to you I mostly feel that ...."
"That you are talking to the walls."
"Emotionless walls."
"Time, my dear, is the answer."


Gazing at his face with her questioning eyes, she thinks of what she might hear this time as he breaks the silence, "I can’t forget May 13, 2013. We were on the move to reach our igloo before sunrise. It was 0200 hours, six of us, tied together with ropes, battling the harshness of weather, at 19000 feet in minus 35 degrees Celsius outside our windbreaker suits with freezing oxygen rupturing our chests, the blowing wind picking up snow and hitting us hard with it making one or two of us fall every now and then. It was perilous but we were hopeful until....’’ He throws another pebble into water, his face still unreadable, eyes speaking volumes of emotions. She starred at them, wondering what would happen next. He wouldn't speak much but when he did, he wouldn’t let any other sound make any sense to her; waves showing the unrest of ocean, his eyes showing his...


Afraid of what she might hear, she gathered courage to utter, ‘‘What happened there?’’
"We walked on the snow mass, 6 to 8 meters apart tied with ropes, that’s what we soldiers do up there but it isn’t always firm snow. I saw it. The gust of wind struck the one next to me this one time, and imbalanced he fell. As he hit the ground, the snow wasn’t strong enough to sustain the impact. It was a thin layer of ice he was standing upon, which cracked wide open and there he went inside the crevice. Before I could brace myself against the snow, I felt a jerk and followed him through. If it was not for the wits of the ones behind me, I wouldn't be here today.’’ His tone had just turned more magical, she didn’t want him to stop now, although it wasn’t the talk she longed for on this particular day. He continued. "They hit the snow with crampons which is normal practice to cater for such eventualities in the glaciers. Bracing themselves against the snow, they pulled the rope. Luckily, I didn’t go inside deeper, was on the edge and could climb back. My buddy, however, needed to be pulled out. He was 8 meters deeper than me, hanging with the same rope we all were tied with. I made efforts to move out which were successful. It was the resolve which kept us going. We pulled him out. One of his ribs were broken, which was revealed later. He had struck something harder down there or may be it was the jerk he received initially due to the tightened rope. We weren’t even half way to our igloo. It were us, who had to reach the igloo at night to relieve our comrades who were already present there and ready for the move back the next night having completed their tenure up there." Ali looked at the horizon, sun going down among clouds. The sea now becoming peaceful but he isn’t. "In the middle of a place where there are no signs of life, a fallen comrade besides you suffering with pain, others with a dying morale to see him in that condition, looking at each other to do something that would take away the pain. Hopeless yet hopeful eyes starring at you, I can’t tell you how lonely you feel. Imagine the people you never think of living a life without, think of one of them with his head in your lap, groaning, restless and you are helpless. You wait for some miracle to deal with this or wish for being in a dream you would soon wake up from. These moments shape you, whether or not a miracle takes place. When you come out of the situation, you are never the same as you were moments ago."


"What... like... tell me... what happened then," said Sara, failing to utter the right words.
"Some other day perhaps, we should go home now. I have to go meet someone," he said, getting up from the boulders they were sitting on. He always used to say, "Don’t stop me when I have to go. I won’t."


She wished she could just heal his scars, just bring him back to life and stay with him till eternity, in her world... the world he didn’t belong to anymore. He would always tell her, "Soldiers having experienced combat shouldn’t be questioned why they are the way they are." They got up, walked on the shore silently towards parking area where vehicles were parked.

 

amongheroes.jpgWalking on wet sand, hand in hand, gazing at sunset among clouds, contemplating nature, two other worldly souls though together were miles apart. Waves would come every now and then; touching their feet and making them feel the magic of ocean. The melody of quiet air was breathtaking. They walked slowly, occasionally uttering a word, "Winds up there are not quite friendly," he smiled through the words. She also faked one to hide the pain, she knew he wasn’t with her but with his comrades, the ones he always wished more to be with.


"I would be leaving tomorrow," he spoke again.
"I am aware."
"I confess that I am going to miss you."
"Can’t... you stay?," she said, well aware of the answer she was going to receive.
(After a pause) "I just wish I could!"
"We had promised to be together, no matter what happens."
"I remember and own my promises."
"Stopping you would be selfish, I know. I just wish things were different."
"But they aren’t...."
"But, what about me. When would I come to know your depths? Loving a soldier is a terrible mistake they say, I think they are right."
"You think or you want to think like this?" He smiles back.


"Not telling someone who wishes to know every little thing about you, not letting someone heal you as they can’t just see you hurt, leaving them to wait for times that may never come. Isn’t it unfair," she pauses and looks down, "I shouldn’t be saying this," she murmurs.


"You can have my diary, I am somewhere in the entries and blank pages. I will give it to you before leaving. I need not say that I trust you."


A smile rips through her eyes brimming with tears as she says, "You are my favorite mystery; I bet I will crack you one day." Both laugh.
(Two Days Later)


She sat in her room with a diary in her right hand opened across her eyes covered with glasses. She had already opened the entries written in the month of May 2013.


"Naik Ikhtiar Shah has always been one of my bravest soldiers and best companions of this journey to Siachen. His sense of humor, encouraging words to his fellows and his juniors and his dedication towards his military service is something I shall always remember. When I go back from here, I believe I will always cherish my memories of these lifeless glaciers capping Himalayas. Naik Shah was a tall man, measuring more than 6 feet in height. Whenever there was snowfall, I would always see him with a shovel in his hand, removing snow from the door of our igloo at a mid camp where I stayed with him for about a week or so before I could finally move further up. This snow if not removed in time can turn out to be a death trap. If a part of body gets exposed to the same snow, it can result in frostbite which can ultimately result in imputation. Life up here calls for iron nerves."


"He was lying with his head in my lap. Above 19000 feet, in the vast mysterious glaciers offering no mercy to anyone, temperature nearing –50 degrees, cold winds gusting past us, a few among us reciting verses from Holy Quran, wishing for a miracle to rescue us as I could see him fading away in my arms. I have never had such a situation in my life before. Military life can really challenge you in ways you can never expect. A few were rubbing his chest, putting pressure on his chest to make sure he kept breathing. We had no doctors to help him recover. All we had with us were life saving injections and an unparalleled faith in Almighty. We injected him with the hope of keeping his blood circulation active."


"How is he feeling now Ali?," called Capt Irfan, the sub-sector commander, on wireless.
"Sir! He will make it Insha Allah," I replied.
"Be aware of the deteriorating weather, a snow storm is expected soon, you have to make up to your post before first light. All the best."
"Roger sir."
Half-an-hour passed by, feeling like a century. He opened his eyes gently. It was as if life was returning to all of us. I still wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t survived.
"Shah, wake up buddy, lets do it again," his mate, Naik Irfan spoke with a determination.


Shah looked at our faces, most of which were grim by now, however, smiling at their buddy with whom they had already lived so many stories of valor and devotion. I waited for him to show some movement. He lifted himself up with difficulty as I helped, and he hugged me as he got up, "Thank you sir for not giving up on me."


"I am so proud of you Shah! Now brace yourself, you have to reach back to your camp before weather gets worse," I could not utter one more word.


He looked at me, the expression was priceless.
It was his turn to speak, "Irfan, I will lead on the way back."
"You stubborn idiot, obviously you will," Irfan replied smilingly.
"We lifted our packs, the journey of our guides from mid-camp ended here. We were to meet guides coming from our next destination who had to escort us there. While we were helping Shah recover, the guides from our next post had alread reached our location having heard our conversations on wireless. We hugged our buddies, said our goodbyes, waved and moved on."


"Ikhtiar Shah and his comrades made to their camp successfully while we also reached our destination before the first light. I was informed on wireless that he was taken to CMH Skardu the following morning on a helicopter where he was treated for a fractured rib and many bruises. However his life was out of danger. While I write these lines, I am accompanied by a section of soldiers, hailing from different regions of Pakistan, who are up here at Siachen with the sole purpose of serving Pakistan against all odds."


And the mystery started to unfold onto her as she continued to read through the pages. The reason why he was so different started to become clear. His experiences were not that of an ordinary man and so wasn't his courage. Every word she read made her more proud of the man; the soldier of this country, the guardian of this motherland!

 

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04
October

Maj Umar Ismail Sajid Garewal, Lt Col Shaukat Naeem Khan & Lt Col Muhammad Farid


srvingthepeace.jpgPakistan’s journey with UN peacekeeping began in July 1960 when first Pakistani contingent was deployed in Congo. Since then, Pakistan has contributed more than 160,000 troops in 41 UN missions in 23 different countries. 144 Pakistani peacekeepers including 23 officers have sacrificed their lives while performing UN peacekeeping duties around the globe. At present, Pakistan is the 4th Largest Troops Contributing Country (TCC) with 7653 (all ranks) deployed in seven different UN missions. UN-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is one of such missions where Pakistani troops are actively participating in a peacekeeping mission.

 

“Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in its material and moral support to the oppressed and depressed people of the world and in upholding the principles of UN Charter.”

(Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah)

 

Contributions of Pakistani Contingent UNAMID for Peace in Northern Darfur, Sudan

 

Maj Umar Ismail Sajid Garewal

Darfur meaning “Land of the Fur” is a region in Western Sudan. Darfur was an independent sultanate for several hundred years incorporated into Sudan by Anglo Egyptian Forces in 1916. Darfur covers an area of 493,180 sq km (190,420 sq miles). Islam is followed in the region and the populace is divided into two communities namely Arabs and Africans, which are further divided into many tribes scattered all over Darfur. Africans are primarily sedentary farmers while Arabs are nomadic herdsmen. The basic dispute between African and Arab communities revolves around power and resource sharing.


The recent conflict in Darfur began in February 2003, when two armed groups Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) took up arms against government for allegedly neglecting the region and oppressing black Africans in favor of Arabs. The government also responded to attacks by carrying out a campaign against rebels which later was termed as ethnic cleansing against Darfur's non-Arabs. The conflict resulted in massive killings of unarmed civilians and caused the ouster of 2.5 million people from their homes as IDPs. Darfur is divided into five federal states which are also the operational zones/commands of UNAMID: Central Darfur, North Darfur, South Darfur, East Darfur and West Darfur.

 

srvingthepeace.1jpg.jpgPAKBATT-5 pursued UN mandate with full devotion and has successfully achieved significant results in Kutum sub-sector with untiring efforts of 10 months. Pakistani troops stabilized the situation through a combination of efforts which include aggressive patrolling, engaging communities’ leadership and introducing inter-community dialogue in the area which is being pursued by the government authorities with full zeal. Besides UN mandate, PAKBATT-5 has left no stone unturned to assist the locals/IDPs. Therefore, Pakistani contingent enjoys very good reputation among the populace. PAKBATT-5 has conducted a number of CIMIC activities and welfare projects on regular basis like: hosting inter-community harmony workshops, provision of water in villages and schools, establishment of medical camps and distribution of free medicine on regular basis, frequent visits to local schools for distribution of stationery items and interaction with children, frequent lectures are arranged for locals on health care, organising recreational events like sports tournaments, renovation of schools and hospitals, organising cultural and religious festivals for locals and celebration of Eid with IDPs etc.


Kutum sub-sector was considered to be the most hostile region in Darfur due to rebels’ activities. Since 2005, no high level official delegation from UNAMID or GoS had visited the Kutum region. After arrival of Pakistani contingent and efforts put in by PAKBATT-5 for stabilizing the situation for restoring peace, a number of high level officials/delegations from UNAMID, GoS and different international NGOs have been visiting Kutum since November 2016, which includes Ambassador of Germany, Ambassador of Switzerland, First Vice President of Sudan, Head of World Food Programme, Head of World Health Organisation and Joint Special Representative and Deputy Joint Special Representative of UNAMID. All of them acknowledged and appreciated the efforts and contributions of PAKBATT-5 for bringing peace back in the region which remains the potential flash point of UNAMID.


Now the peace is prevailing in the region and PAKBATT-5 has provided the populace a platform for durable peace, protection of human rights, economic upliftment through harvesting, promotion of social and moral values and most importantly improved the conditions of locals for bringing an end to the humanitarian crisis. The progress made by PAKBATT-5 in these challenging conditions is a source of pride for Pakistan.

ENABLERS OF UNAMID

PAKISTAN ENGINEERS COMPANY (PEC-9)

Lt Col Shaukat Naeem Khan

Pakistan Engineers Company-9
Pakistan Engineers Company was deployed in this mission on December 21, 2007 and its 9th rotation completed its deployment on March 13, 2017. It’s a multi-role outfit, entailing all engineer trades and various other arms. Mandate of PEC is to provide engineer support in the areas of mobility, survivability and general engineering in order to conduct horizontal and vertical constant and maintenance tasks to support overall mission mandate of the military component.

 

srvingthepeace2.jpgConstruction of Airport Ring Road
Airport Ring Road is 10 km long all-weather track which has been constructed to assist movement of patrolling vehicles and security personnel along the perimeter of airport which caused hindrance in the past due to loose and boggy sand. It had always been a cause of concern for security authorities resulting in overall setback of the security paraphernalia.


The 10 km long road has been successfully completed over a period of 3 months. It was a cumbersome task involving collection of material from quarry sites and water over long distances. Engineering practices were ensured for optimum quality.


Ardamata Valley Flood Protection Works
It is one of the most significant works carried out by PEC-9. This project has turned out to be a significant confidence building measure between UNAMID and GoS. Construction of 1 km gabion wall and excavation of 1.2 km diversion channel will protect the metalled road connecting El Geneina Airport and IDPs camp during flash floods of rainy season.


The project was completed over a period of 1 month. Quality of work, speed of execution and cooperation was highly appreciated by Head of Office, Commander Sector West, Senior Mission Support Officer and Government of Sudan. Local community also appreciated the efforts of PEC-9.

 

MINE AWARENESS DAY

UN international day for mine awareness and support was organized on April 3, 2017 under overall responsibility of PEC-9 in collaboration with ODO at Al Geneina camp. The event was organized in memory of mine victims of Darfur in general and El Geneina in particular. It aimed at educating the people of UNAMID and El Geneina regarding hazards and precautions against UXOs, mines and IEDs. The day was celebrated by organizing a friendly football match between UNAMID and Al Geneina team. Overall impact of the event was remarkable and was appreciated by all.

 

Hosting of SW Volley Ball Tournament

A volleyball tournament was organized by HQ SW for which main responsibility was assigned to PEC-9. PEC-9 ensured most professional standards and a very colorful event display. HoO appreciated the efforts and acknowledged them whole heartedly.

 

Easter Day Celebrations

Christians celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers and the ringing of church bells. Similar arrangements were made for celebrating Easter Day in Pakistan Engineers Company at El Geneina on April 16, 2017.

 

A Case of Meaningful CIMIC Project by Pakistan Army Engineers-9, UNAMID

Sortoni IDP camp is located in northern Darfur and holds more than 20,000 IDPs. For this huge number of people there was only one mosque with temporary arrangement of CGI sheet roof and a stony floor. Renovation of this mosque was a long outstanding demand of IDPs. Pakistan Engineers Company took over the task to renovate this mosque and completed it in a short duration of two weeks.

 

During the execution it was ensured that good engineering practices were followed and no compromise on quality was accepted. Proper curing was carried out of each cemented work. Additional anchorage of roof was installed to save it from huboobs which are frequent in this part of the region. With the contribution from Contingent HQ, a number of additional works have been carried out which include construction of cemented floor of the mosque’s main hall, construction of 2 cupboards and gifting Holy Qurans for the mosque.

 

The mosque is a sacred place for the Muslims to perform their religious obligations. By providing this facility to grief-stricken populace of the Sortoni IDP Camp, Pakistan Contingent has provided a source of internal peace to the community, a true WHAM campaign.

Contributions of UNAMID Healers

Lt Col Muhammad Farid

Since the beginning of UNAMID in 2008, Pakistan Army Medical Corps is shouldering the responsibility of establishment and maintaining the only Level III Hospital of the hybrid mission at Nyala, Darfur. Pakistan Level III Hospital is the highest level of military medical facility available to the military and police troops serving in Darfur as well as the national and international civilian staff of United Nations employed in UNAMID. Pakistan Field Hospital-I was the pioneer of this skilled, advanced and highly professional healthcare set-up. Currently, Pakistan Field Hospital-9 is performing the assigned responsibilities since March 2017 in the most befitting manner.


Pakistan Level III Hospital is very well recognized for extending quality medical services for the utmost care and well-being of the dependent clientele and is rightfully acknowledged as “The UNAMID Healers” across the mission area of responsibility. The hospital has always been appreciated at all levels for exhibiting skilled professionalism and accomplishment of the assigned mandate in the most appropriate manner in the stipulated time-frame. Pakistan Military Field Hospital has set standards of excellence to be followed and acquired by medical set-ups of various countries performing duties in UNAMID.


The outfit of Pakistan Level III Hospital is fully equipped with latest primary care, multi-disciplinary specialized care, advanced surgical services, dental services, mental health services, intensive care unit and skilled Aero-Medical Evacuation Team (AMET) duly augmented with modern pathological and radiological diagnostics. tele-medicine, workshops, seminars, clinico-pathological conferences and contributions to the national and international journals in the form of well-researched scientific articles are the hallmark of this international hospital and a sound proof of the devotion and hard work put in by the officers and men employed in this well-reputed facility over the years.

 

srvingthepeace3.jpgBesides looking after the national and international civilian and military personnel of UN, Pakistan Level III Hospital also provides medical care to a large number of Sudanese population on humanitarian grounds to win the hearts and minds of the general public. The hospital has treated many accident cases, complicated medical cases and other emergencies of serious nature of the civilian local population completely free of cost who were not able to get the medical facilities outside due to lack of resources and expenses. The hospital always remains committed in provision of quality medical care, and clientele satisfaction with leading values in the pursuit of ever-rising professionalism.


The hospital has given treatment to more than 82,000 patients in the outdoor department and more than 11000 surgeries have been performed during a period of less than 9 years since August 2008. The number of patients given dental treatment, indoor treatment and rehab treatment is quite significant. Similarly, a large number of diagnostic facilities for the patients have been provided by the Radiology and Pathology departments of the hospital. A total of 34,805 internally displaced personnel (IDPs) of Sudan have also been treated at Pakistan Level III Hospital as a goodwill gesture.


Pakistan Level III Hospital, over the years, has earned huge respect and honour for the country and army in the civilian and military circles of United Nations and Sudan. The professional excellence of Pakistan Army Medical Corps has been acknowledged throughout the mission and UN Headquarters. The impressions imprinted by this hospital on the hearts and minds of the patients and visitors will surely last for long and they will always cherish the memories of their interaction with the staff as has been expressed by many in the past on various occasions.

 
04
October

Report by: Asif Sohail


After determined and successful conclusion of Pakistan Army’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists in North Waziristan and ongoing successful Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, it became imperative to demonstrate before the world that peace has been restored and the government’s writ has been established in the troubled areas. By organizing a T20 match in Miranshah, Pakistan Army has conveyed a message to the entire world that it is determined to bring international sports back to Pakistan.

peacewinconduct.jpg
Beginning of normal sports activity was due after the clearance of the area from mines and IEDs etc. left by the terrorists in North Waziristan. On instructions of the COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) arranged a T20 Cricket match Peace Cup 2017 between Pakistan XI and UK Media XI. ISPR invited UK Media XI which was already on a visit to Pakistan to play the match. The UK Media XI comprised of journalists, lawyers, businessmen and academicians. Pakistan Cricket Board also joined in Army’s efforts and released its players to form Pakistan XI. Renowned former and current cricketers including Inzamam-Ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Yasir Hameed, Junaid Khan, Umer Gul, Mushtaq Ahmed, Riaz Afridi, Wajahatullah Wasti and couple of others were part of the Pakistan XI. The match was played in the newly built picturesque Younis Khan Stadium, Miranshah on September 21. The British team was led by Daily Mail journalist Peter Oborne while Inzamam-Ul-Haq led Pakistani XI.


COAS’ decision was hailed by every passionate follower of the game and general public alike. Pakistan has been deprived of international cricket after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March 2009. However, Army took a bold initiative and invited Australian Army cricket team to play friendly matches in Pakistan in 2016. These matches were played in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and other cities. They enjoyed their tour thoroughly and in Lahore the Australian players danced on the beat of the drums and showed their solidarity with Pakistanis; a great sports loving nation. Similarly, holding of the PSL final and three ODIs against the World XI in the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, wasn’t possible without the security cover provided by Pakistan Armed Forces. Despite the match being organized at short notice, it was telecasted live by Pakistan television and thousands of jubilant tribesmen from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and schoolboys gathered to watch the match in the stadium. Their presence in the stadium spread an unequivocal message across the globe that Pakistan Army’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad has not only restored confidence of the people living in the tribal areas but also provided them a healthy activity to enjoy and rejoice in a peaceful environment. The participation of the British players in the match also reflected their confidence in their hosts, Pakistan Army.


Though the visitors lost an entertaining T20 match, they won the hearts of locals who came to watch the match in large numbers. It was a day of pomp and ceremony which was presided over by Commander Peshawar Corps Lt Gen Nazir Butt and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra. National anthems were played, flags waved and dances performed. The players from UK amply expressed their zeal and fervor on this occasion. “It is a unique experience of being flown in a military helicopter and then playing with international stars,” said opening UK batsman Crispin Blunt who is also a Conservative member of the British Parliament and former chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. “It’s been a great, exciting, historic day with British and Pakistani flags flying side by side. And it is wonderful that peace has returned to Waziristan,” said UK captain Peter Oborne. He added, “On this day we must also remember all the soldiers and civilians who died to make this peace possible.”

peacewinconduct1.jpg
Organizing Peace Cup match in Miranshah which was once the hub of terrorist activities reflects Pakistan Army’s unflinching resolve and determination to restore peace in Pakistan. “This place used to be the hub of terror,” said Lt Gen Butt. “A few years ago the children could not go to school. Today they have an opportunity to study and secure their future.” The match has spread a strong message across the globe that peace has indeed been restored not only in FATA but also across the entire country.

 
04
October

Written By: Dr. Rizwana Karim Abbasi


What purpose did Short Range Nuclear Weapons (SRNWs) or Tactical Nuclear Weapons (TNWs) play in the history of nations’ security policy? Why did the U.S. make the TNWs during the Cold War? Did this weapon introduce stabilizing or destabilizing effects? During the Cold War, nuclear weapons indeed remained central to the U.S. strategy of dissuading Soviet aggression against the U.S. and its allied nations. The U.S. invented diversified platforms that could carry nuclear warheads, thus crafting a complex countermeasure strategy and detailed operational plans to guide the use of these weapons in the event of a conflict with the former Soviet Union and its allies. Due to cost-effectiveness of this weapon, both the nations developed thousands of these to deploy outside their own territories. For example, the U.S. had over 7000 weapons deployed in Europe and about 2000 in the Pacific. Soviets also deployed these weapons at nearly 600 bases, with some located in Warsaw Pact nations in Eastern Europe, some in the non-Russian republics.


It is significant to mention here that the fundamental purpose of deployment of this weapon by the U.S. in the battlefield was against the advances of advarsaries’ conventional forces and proxies in the Western Europe. This was the U.S. signalling to the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact that any aggression or conventional move could invite nuclear retaliation. Nuclear learning curve remained consistantly changing during the Cold War in regard to the size and strucure of both strategic and non-strategic nuclear forces in response to transforming nuclear technologies and evolving threat spectrum.

 

It appears that NATO will continue to maintain this full range of capabilities as long as nuclear weapons exist and to deter and defend against any threat. This is why the New START Treaty was silent on limiting or banning these weapons. Although neither the U.S. nor the Soviet Union had used these weapons during the peak time of Cold War, however, despite the end of the Cold War, the TNWs still continue to play a role in the United States’ extended deterrence in Europe to have stabilizing effects in their strategic competition.

Later, the former Soviet Union broke America’s nuclear supremacy and monopoly, which had certainly helped regulate the intensity of war. Thus, based on their technological capabilities, both the nations realised there could be no victory in the nuclear domain. The introduction of new conventional technologies, such as ballistic missile defences and missile interceptors, reduced the role and utility of these weapons globally and indeed modified the U.S.’ behaviour. The U.S. later began to reduce these forces in the late 1970s with the number of operational non-strategic nuclear warheards declining from more than 7000 in the mid 1970s to below 6000 in the 1980s to fewer than 1000 by the middle of 1990s. In 1991, the then U.S. President, George H. W. Bush ordered to withdraw all land-based TNWs from overseas bases and all sea-based TNWs from U.S. surface ships, submarines and naval aircraft. Resultantly, the U.S. dismantled approximately 2,150 warheads from land-based delivery systems. Later, in 1991, NATO decided to reduce by about half the number of weapons for nuclear capable aircraft based in Europe which led to the withdrawal of an additional 700 U.S. air delivery nuclear weapons. TNWs were removed from bases in Korea and Europe by 1991 and 1992 respectively as a result of reduced threat in the backdrop of Soviet disintegartion.


Despite its superior conventional force, the TNWs still loom large in NATO’s deterrent policy against potential existential threats. Each nation still possesses thousands of these weapons deployed with their troops in the field, aboard naval vessels and aircraft. For example, the U.S. has approximately 760 non-strategic weapons with some deployed in Europe and the remaining in the U.S. Russia also possesses nearly 1000-6000 warheads for non-strategic weapons in its arsenals at present. It appears that NATO will continue to maintain this full range of capabilities as long as nuclear weapons exist and to deter and defend against any threat. This is why the New START Treaty was silent on limiting or banning these weapons. Although neither the U.S. nor the Soviet Union had used these weapons during the peak time of Cold War, however, despite the end of the Cold War, the TNWs still continue to play a role in the United States’ extended deterrence in Europe to have stabilizing effects in their strategic competition.


A question now arises that why did Pakistan include Short Range Nuclear Weapons (SRNWs) in its inventory? What is the purpose of these low yield weapons and how long would Pakistan rely on them? As a result of the Indian crafting the Cold Start Doctrine (based on offensive orientation thereby maximizing the probability of a limited war to achieve limited objectives in short time, thus denying Pakistan the opportunity to climb the escalation ladder), Pakistan crafted a re-balancing strategy to address Indian aggression, brinkmanship or punitive actions. Pakistan thus chose to include SRNWs in its inventory. Pakistan opted for countermeasure strategy to prevent such eventuality by denying India a space for war. Pakistan’s development of short-range missile, Nasr (60-70 km) is not meant to wage a limited war against India, but to prepare for such an eventuality thereby signalling to the adversary strong and punitive retaliation and reducing the probability of any kind of aggression or limited war. The short range Nasr is a quick response system to deter evolving threat at the limited level. Therefore, the Cold Start Doctrine appears to be offensive whilst Nasr is a defensive system designed to uphold deterrence and strategic stability in South Asia and prevent a major or limited war. Second, the development of Nasr as a low-yield battlefield weapon can therefore, also be seen as an instrument for nuclear peace in South Asian deterrence stability disrupted by India’s Pragati/Prahaar short-range nuclear capability. Third, the political considerations with regard to Nasr's development remain consistent with Pakistan’s credible minimum deterrence posture. Thus, aim of inclusion of this strategic platform in existing inventory was to increase value of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent force. Pakistan’s highly modest and comprehensive nuclear weapons program, Nasr is a part of Pakistan’s all-range counter measure capabilities, directed to outweigh Indian pressure from strategic to sub-strategic level. By preventing war, it makes peace secure and region stable and Pakistan’s deterrence credible. The TNWs have taken away Pakistan’s stress in terms of Indian brinkmanship, bullying, punitive action and any kind of major aggression in the conventional realm. Four, Nasr has proven to be a cost-effective tool for Pakistan against conventionally stronger India.


Five, it is a centralised weapon and weapon of last resort. Hypothetically speaking, in response to present Indian belligerent policies, Pakistan should have placed this weapon on high alert and under the field commanders. However, being a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan has shown restraint and patience. This gives credence to peace credentials of Pakistan. It seems that SRNWs have created more space for flexible response and counter-force targeting options. There are reservations at the global level that if Pakistan delegates these weapons to field commanders to use these low range missiles during a crisis situation, this will create risk of prompt employment. Pakistan’s centralized command and control, non-deployment of its SRNWs due to.


geographical contiguity and proximity between India and Pakistan immediately rule out these risks. In a fair assessment, Pakistan’s low yield weapons neither will be deployed in forward location, nor power will be delegated to field commanders unless India compels Pakistan in that direction. Pakistan has highlighted that these weapons will be used as a last resort unlike the U.S.’ strategy of first resort during the Cold War to outweigh Soviet proxies in Western Europe.


Opinion is divided that Pakistan may behave irrationally or employ these weapons (in definitive patterns of behavioural rationality). Contention here is that rationality relates to the states’ preferences. Sometimes, one state’s rational act is irrational for the adversarial state. Thus, it is very hard to judge Pakistan’s preferences under enormous pressure and during a war-like situation. Apparently, it seems that Pakistan’s strategy could be to make a highly calculated move during war-like situations. However, in response to any irrational and irresponsible Indian move, risks attached to SRNWs may not be discounted. India reportedly seems to employ massive retaliation in response to a nuclear attack (even low-yield), anywhere, within or outside its territory at any level. Nevertheless, India’s possession of the capability to institute a graduated response with its short-range nuclear capable missiles such as short range Prithvi, Dhanush and Pragati/Prahaar cannot be discounted.


India's No First Use (NFU) that is publicly undeclared posture received no consideration in Pakistan from the outset. New debate on Indian NFU suggests that India may transfer from NFU to First Use (FU) force posture and it may embrace pre-emptive, damage limiting counterforce strikes. Such nuclear romanticism would increase nuclear risks by forcing both the states to increase nuclear readiness by pulling the warheads and missiles off the recessed posture. Therefore, the development of Nasr, specific to India’s development of battlefield nuclear weapons and Cold Start Doctrine, becomes part of Pakistan’s deterrence capability without which its deterrence credibility could be completely undermined.


Finally, Nasr’s development falls within the broader contours of Pakistan’s declarations on credible minimum deterrence. It does not imply numerical expansion in deterrence forces. The increase within Pakistan’s deterrence capability would be in proportion to India’s planned expansion. This may, however, not exactly be within the parameters of weapon-to-weapon competitive strategy practiced during the Cold War. Whether Pakistan would practice recessed deterrence or follow the ready-arsenal strategy for some of its deterrence forces would depend on the prevailing strategic dynamics. Nevertheless, use of the SRNWs in the battlefield from any side carries the potential to escalate the dynamics of conflict perilously, thus leaving high prospects for nuclear exchange. It can be suggested that SRNWs would only induce caution and result in a stalemate thereby injecting rationality in both states’ strategic behaviour even during peace times. Pakistan has to be extra cautious in taking a decision to employ SRNWs. India, a so-called larger democracy, may provoke Pakistan towards a prompt employment and resultantly it could back off to declare Pakistan as a pariah state in the comity of nations. India will stand responsible for any such conventional move that intends to invite regional nuclear holocaust. Consideration on this paradox must be established at the highest strategic level.

 

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

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04
October

Written By: Raheel Suleman


The ceaseless contributions of Pakistan Army have successfully restored peace and stabilty in Balochistan.

 

Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan constituting 44% of Pakistan’s total land mass, is susceptible to environmental hazards such as tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, heat waves, cold waves and droughts.


A number of devastating calamities have hit the province in the recent past. Some of the ruinous events have been as follows: floods in 2000, 2010, 2011 and 2012; cyclone in 2007 and drought in 2000.

 

thehertone.jpgDuring these natural calamities, Armed Forces of Pakistan remained at the forefront to rescue and rehabilitate masses where needed.


On January 17, 2017 continuous heavy rains and snowfall broke the twenty years’ record and caused widespread flooding across three districts of Balochistan. Government of Balochistan declared emergency in Qilla Saif Ullah, Qilla Abdullah and Kalat Division. Pakistan Army responded immediately in this exigency and started undertaking airborne operations in affected areas in coordination with District Government Quetta and PDMA Balochistan.


Deputy Director Admin, Relief and Planning PDMA Balochistan Naveed Ahmed remarked that 'situation was out of control in many flood affected areas of Balochistan, especially in Ziarat, Muslim Bagh and Kalat regions, nevertheless Pakistan Army on emergency basis assisted PDMA in transporting food and non-food items to the affected areas. In this regard four helicopters of Pakistan Army and Government of Balochistan started relief activities from Khalid Aviation Base, thanks to Pakistan Army that we managed to provide relief to flood-affected people of Balochistan and thus saved thousands of lives'.
On September 24, 2013, Awaran District of Balochistan was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale with five aftershocks on September 28.

 

Awaran which was once a stronghold of foreign-sponsored militants is now free from these misguided anti-state elements. Those ugly environments and violent mindset has changed. The entire credit for this mind-shift goes to WHAM (Winning Hearts and Minds) Operations by Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan, especially the massive rescue and rehabilitation operations, conducted by Pakistan Army, during the last floods are unforgettable.

Awaran District is home to nearly 300,000 people. Of them, some 125,000 were affected by the earthquake. According to the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority’s (ERRA) estimates, 375 persons were killed and 825 got injured and about 25,000 houses were destroyed.


With just about 3.3 % of its total land under cultivation, Awaran is one of the most underdeveloped districts of Balochistan. Awaran District makes a lopsided triangle on the map between three important highways: the RCD Highway, the Coastal Highway, and the (projected) Motorway (M-8). With 12 hours of travelling time, Karachi is the closest city from Awaran.


Like in previous such calamities, Pakistan Army, along with the Frontier Corps (FC), Balochistan, promptly reacted to the situation as requested by the government of Balochistan. Even though the FC components located in the area were themselves struck by the earthquake as much as was the civilian population, yet they were the first ones to respond to the situation.


The Army units were moved from Khuzdar and Karachi. Initially, the Army and FC troops distributed their own rations (about 500 tons), tents, blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses, bed sheets, clothing, cooking utensils, bathroom items, such as buckets, medicines, and other commodities of common use. Later, collection points were established in Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and, collected goods were distributed among the affected people of Awaran district.

 

The Army units were moved from Khuzdar and Karachi. Initially, the Army and FC troops distributed their own rations (about 500 tons), tents, blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses, bed sheets, clothing, cooking utensils, bathroom items, such as buckets, medicines, and other commodities of common use.

The relief work continued even during the Eid days. About 2,500 Army personnel and 1,000 FC personnel were part of the relief efforts. Army developed a good interface with the provincial government, the ERRA, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), and Pakistan Air Force (PAF).


By the end of the Eid holidays, 24 relief sorties of C-130 and 240 helicopter sorties had flown, completing over 526 flying hours.


Army established a field hospital in Awaran and six mobile medical camps at far-flung localities. Over 8,000 local patients were treated, 7,000 tons of food items delivered and 37,000 tents were distributed by the Army besides thousands of school books, stationery items and sports gear. This in other words meant a colossal relief and rehabilitation operation spread over an area of 182 kilometres.


As a matter of fact, Pakistan Army has transformed into an impressive and inspiring nation-building force, which remains on call of the nation for defence against external threats, security against internal threats, and human security against non-traditional threats like the environmental disaster of Attabad Lake and Gayari in Gilgit-Baltistan to floods in Thatta and Badin, and earthquake in Awaran District.


Moreover, when Balochistan suffered from nature's wrath in 2010, 2011 and 2012, engulfing major parts of the province with devastating floods, it demanded a national response. Pakistan Army responded quickly and conducted numerous rescue operations. The Army’s performance was reflecting the careful planning, optimal utilisation of resources, sharp foresight, and bold leadership that is hallmark of Pakistan Army. It helped in controlling the damage to a large extent thereby saving not only lives, but also the means of livelihood. In some ways, these events led to a shift in the previously held negative opinion of the Pakistani Armed Forces due to enemy propaganda.


During the monsoon floods in Balochistan in recent years, according to several media reports, Pakistan Army deployed over 2,000 troops and roughly 100 plus helicopters. Dozens of military doctors and paramedical staff were sent to affected areas. An entire fleet of army aviation flew numerous sorties round-the-clock to transport relief goods to the affected areas and to bring the sick and injured back to base hospitals. Where helicopters were unable to access, troops carried relief goods on their backs and were able to reach them in time.


Pakistan Army troops donated rations from their own quota to distribute among the affectees, and also donated one day’s salary to the relief fund. Helicopters were instrumental in providing timely rescue and provision of supplies. Several Army relief camps were set up to help people who had lost their homes and livelihood in the floods. According to a careful estimate, Pakistan Army rescued over 80,000 people during these operations.


Even in the 2012 floods in Balochistan, Pakistan Armed Forces were recognised for having played an unrelenting role in relief operations. They established relief camps and medical camps in the close vicinity of the affected areas. To provide safe drinking water in the flood affected areas they set up 10 water filtration plants. Army doctors treated more than 25,000 patients in medical camps and mobile medical units in all flood affected districts for providing instant medical assistance. Efforts were also made to pump out flood water from the affected areas.


There were times when a segment of Balochistan population was misled by shear negative propaganda sponsored by foreign intelligence agencies against Armed Forces of Pakistan. However, as the famous saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed, Pakistan Army came to the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of people of Balochistan. That tide of mistrust has changed into relationship of love, confidence and trust. Awaran which was once a stronghold of insurgents is now free from the anti-state elements – thanks to the timely and massive rescue and rehabilitation operations by the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
Tides have changed indeed!

 

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04
October

Written By: Hussain H. Zaidi


To what extent have our academic institutions been responsible for the growth of religious extremism or radicalization? And how effective they have been in responding to the challenge thrown up by the menace? Since schools, colleges, and universities do not operate in a vacuum — rather they constantly interact with other institutions, we need to have a holistic view of the problem.

Like it or lump it, the institutions of higher learning in Pakistan are increasingly becoming susceptible to religious extremism. The 2015 Safoora Chowk carnage, the shocking death of Mashal Khan at the hands of his fellow students, and the recent attempted assassination of an MQM MPA, all bear the blood-stained footprints of educated youth gone berserk in the name of faith. While some may dismiss the on-campus extremism threat as no more than a kerfuffle, it has caused the shafts of anxiety and fear run through society.
Why is extremism casting a pall over campuses? Were the perpetrators of the attacks, such as the aforementioned, simply knocked dead by a foul ideology? Or is there something more to the growing radicalization? What does this fatal trend prefigure? And how the malady is to be treated?

 

detoxfying.jpgThe Britannica Encyclopedia defines a radical as a person who desires extreme change of the entire social order or part thereof. It follows, therefore, that radicalization is the process which seeks to turn the social order upside down. Radicalization not only represents a potent challenge to the social order, the former is also, in large measures, occasioned by the contradictions inherent in the latter. Thus it seems in order to expatiate upon the concept of social order as the starting point of our discussion.


A society, like an organism, is a complex of various components: institutions, roles, statuses, beliefs, norms, and values. The interaction among these components constitutes the social order. The edifice of social order rests on shared expectations that the members of a society hold towards one another. These expectations stipulate that certain norms and standards, having their sanction in law, morality, or simply utility, would be observed and certain others shunned. The failure to fulfil these shared expectations gives a jolt to the social order.

 

It follows that the radicalization of the Pakistani society cannot be set down to a single cause; rather it is a function of multiple factors acting in tandem. Therefore, de-radicalization requires a holistic approach taking into account all the factors which have contributed to the growth of extremism. Besides, since campuses are part of society, focusing only on them to the exclusion of other institutions will not be of much avail.

Social order is maintained through both formal and informal institutions, such as the state, academia, media, and family. Each institution has methods at its disposal to keep the social order intact. The state has both carrot — distribution of power, wealth and other resources; and stick — law, police, agencies, courts. The media have the power to inform, educate, and form opinion. They not only present the facts but also interpret them and thus reconstruct the social reality. The growth of the internet and the electronic media has ratcheted up the role of the fourth pillar of the state in maintaining social order. Family is the nursery in which the individual starts internalizing social norms and values. During the formative years of every person, family exercises greater influence than any other institution. Related to family is the peer groups, the circles in which an individual moves. Academic institutions mould as well as build on what a person has acquired from the family. Together with the family, they are the principal source of biases and prejudices that an individual has on his mind.


These institutions of social control have a dual role. They may strengthen the social order and they may weaken it. Academic institutions may broaden the student’s mental horizon, and may foster in him the habit to think critically and objectively; at the same time, they may hobble critical thinking and intellectual development and may promote a regressive outlook on life. The media may be a powerful source of information and social harmony but they may become an agent of disinformation and anarchy.
The social order is constantly being challenged by counter values, beliefs and behavior patterns. The institutions must help the social order to adjust itself to these social and cultural changes. The ability to grapple with this challenge depends on two factors: the strength and outlook of the institutions and the enormity of the counter values.

 

It is vital that critical thinking is promoted in academic institutions. Instead of being merely an instrument of earning degrees, education should also serve as an instrument of problem solving in a constructive way. Emphasis should be placed on fostering the spirit of enquiry and skepticism among students, so that they can think and decide for themselves rather than blindly subscribe to various narratives on and outside the campus.

To what extent have our academic institutions been responsible for the growth of religious extremism or radicalization? And how effective they have been in responding to the challenge thrown up by the menace? Since schools, colleges, and universities do not operate in a vacuum — rather they constantly interact with other institutions, we need to have a holistic view of the problem. Therefore, the questions may be reframed as: To what extent have our institutions been responsible for the growth of religious extremism or radicalization, and how effective they have been in responding to the challenge thrown up by the menace? Since schools, colleges, and universities do not operate in a vacuum — rather they constantly interact with other institutions, we need to have a holistic view of the problem.


Radicalization in case of Pakistan is driven by an apocalyptic ideology or narrative. The ideology sees a perennial conflict between Islam and opposing forces or ideologies. Since these forces are perceived to be dead set on annihilating Islam, the two can’t co-exist. One must crush the other. A secondary assumption is that the anti-Muslim elements — governments, multinational enterprises, international NGOs — are bent upon obliterating Islamic culture and values in the name of freedom of expression, human rights and fundamental liberties. The narrative makes it obligatory upon every Muslim to fight the evil forces to frustrate their “nefarious” designs.

 

During the formative years of every person, family exercises greater influence than any other institution. Related to family is the peer groups, the circles in which an individual moves. Academic institutions mould as well as build on what a person has acquired from the family.

Another assumption considers Pakistan to be the only ideological state in the contemporary world that was created for the propagation of Islam; as such it was meant to be the center of Muslim unity. However, regrettably, instead of making tangible progress towards Islamization, the society was westernized, secularized and vulgarized. It became a hotbed of corruption, obscenity, and injustice. The country, therefore, must be purged of such baneful influence by setting up an “Islamic” society — by force if need be.


The narrative also provides for repudiation of “alien” doctrines, rituals and moral standards. Hence, those who profess a different creed or practice a different moral standard are looked upon as an incarnation of evil. All such wicked or impious people have to be reformed — by preaching or by force — or eliminated.


Where did this narrative come from? To be sure, the narrative always existed in an attenuated but essential form in Pakistan. One of the factors that inordinately delayed constitution-making was the split on the place that religion would hold in the country’s political system. The constitution makers responded by making Islam the state religion and incorporating certain Islamic principles into the fundamental law of the land. These “Islamic features” of the constitution, however, have never satisfied the clergy and similar minds for being inconsistent with their basic narrative.

 

The growth of the internet, particularly social media, has provided a powerful platform to express the disillusionment and connect with extremist organizations. The extremists have been remarkably adroit in the use of the internet.

The narrative, which has manifested itself time and again in both sectarian and non-sectarian bloodbath, gained wide currency with the involvement of Pakistan in the Afghan war precipitated by the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. For the exponents of the narrative, the war could not have provided a more convincing instance of an ideological entity spearheading the warriors of Islam (the mujahideen) in facing and finally defeating a mighty pagan empire. Regrettably, the war narrative was sponsored by the state.


The Afghan war and its aftermath threw up some serious challenges for Pakistan’s social order. It made for the “Kalashnikov culture” to take root in the country, as lethal weapons were made available easily and cheaply. Later, these weapons were used for sectarian violence. The “jihadi” factories set up in the north-western part of the country made our already “lawless” tribal areas a hotbed of militancy, where militants from any part of the world could find refuge. Recruitment of youth in large numbers to fight alongside their Afghan brothers contributed in the main to our young generation’s fascination with the holy war. Private armies or lashkars began to raise their head. Textbooks eulogized jihad as the foremost virtue of every Muslim, without cautioning that only the state, and not private individuals or organizations, was competent to declare the holy war.


The post 9/11 United States’ invasion of Afghanistan, which pulled down the “Islamic” regime of the Taliban, and the 2003 Iraq war, further strengthened the narrative that Islam was in grave danger and that a beleaguered Muslim community must fight fire with fire. Since the Pakistan government had sided with the “enemies” of Islam, the obligation of jihad upon non-state actors became even greater. The holy war should be directed not only against non-Muslims but also the members of the faith who had gone astray — the state, followers of other sects, liberals, etc. The rise of Daesh, which unlike al-Qaeda, was able to carve out a territory for itself and put in place a khilafat, added further luster to the so-called jihadi narrative.


Other forces have also been at work. Successive governments failed to deliver the goods to the people. Massive corruption in high places — part fact, part fiction — a creaky, old legal system, economic mismanagement, dearth of employment opportunities, all combined to make the people disillusioned with the “moth-eaten, corrupt, rotten to the core” system. The young educated generation being more sensitive and having greater expectations than the rest has borne the brunt of the disillusionment. The growth of the internet, particularly social media, has provided a powerful platform to express the disillusionment and connect with extremist organizations. The extremists have been remarkably adroit in the use of the internet. Social media have certain advantages over the mainstream media. They are easy to use and cost little. One can reach an immense audience as well as engage with the target groups or individuals.


Regrettably, the academic institutions have failed to equip their students with the intellectual strength to counteract this narrative. This is for the reason that critical thinking is by and large short shrifted in these institutions — from schools to universities. The students of higher education institutions are more likely to be swept off their feet by the toxic narrative. Unlike junior students, they are not under the watchful eyes of their parents. They have an unrestricted access to the social media. Then there is a sense of power that comes with age. The greater the sense of power, the more irresistible is the urge to upset the applecart of the social order.


Radicalization cuts across social classes. The radicalized may not even be religious to begin with. However, they do have some grievances against the system and need an outlet to give vent to the same. The root and branch remedy offered by radical organizations are a Greek gift for the youth: fatal but fascinating.


It follows that the radicalization of the Pakistani society cannot be set down to a single cause, rather it is a function of multiple factors acting in tandem. Therefore, de-radicalization requires a holistic approach taking into account all the factors which have contributed to the growth of extremism. Besides, since campuses are part of society, focusing only on them to the exclusion of other institutions will not be of much avail.


To begin with, the state must continue to demonstrate its unequivocal commitment to fighting the militancy. Until the onset of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in 2014, such commitment was manifestly lacking. Taking the militants head-on has been of vital significance. It has sent out the message both within and outside the country that the state would not tolerate extremism in any shape or form. Thanks to Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Radd-ul-Fasaad and ancillary military operations, peace has returned to the tribal areas, which once had the dubious reputation of being an epicenter of global terrorism.


The state’s commitment to weed out militancy is important for combating radicalization for at least two reasons: In the first place, actions speak louder than words. When government institutions are seen to be going all out against militant outfits, the society’s inclination towards extremism and radicalization is held in check. In the second place, the decimation of terrorist networks, together with choking their funding, denudes the militant organizations of their capability to recruit people to their cause and subsequently provide them weapons and training.


Such networks, however, are not restricted to a particular region; they are spread in different parts of the country. Therefore, continuous action against such networks is required. The National Action Plan (NAP) also provides that militant outfits and gangs will not be allowed to operate in the country. Accordingly, the Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, launched earlier this year all over the country, aims at “indiscriminately eliminating the residual/latent threat of terrorism.


Since radicalization is the offspring of a diabolical ideology, counter narratives and discourses need to be publicized. Such narratives may, inter alia, (a) highlight the progressive interpretation of Islam and the high value that it attaches to the right to life of all human beings, Muslims as well as non-Muslims; dispel the notion of an inherent antagonism between Islam and other creeds; emphasize the importance of religious tolerance and moderation; state in so many words that jihad can only be declared by the government and that too in special circumstances; and exhort the young generation to put its trust in knowledge and learning rather than violence and extremism as the gateway to success and glory.


As part of propagating the counter narratives, not only the madaris or seminaries may be reformed but the curricula of mainstream academic institutions needs to be revised as well so that they become a powerful agency for inculcating tolerance and moderation among students. The media should avoid presenting the militants as heroes, promoting religious extremism in any form, or enthroning the militancy. Regulating the social media will be much more challenging, because of its peculiar characteristics. However, whatever can be done must be done. The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 provides the government with a legal instrument to regulate the cyberspace. The Act outlaws the use of cyberspace to cause unrest, commotion, or public disorder. The activities covered include hate speech (inter-faith, sectarian or racial); glorification of terrorism; and recruitment, funding or planning for terrorism. The institutions responsible for implementing the Act, the PTA and FIA, need to shore up their online vigilance.


It is vital that critical thinking is promoted in academic institutions. Instead of being merely an instrument of earning degrees, education should also serve as an instrument of problem solving in a constructive way. Emphasis should be placed on fostering the spirit of enquiry and skepticism among students, so that they can think and decide for themselves rather than blindly subscribe to various narratives on and outside the campus. The system of rewards that is in vogue in academic institutions ought to place a high premium on the students’ ability to question the basic assumptions, which they take for granted as a matter of course. The students imbued with the habit of critical thinking are less likely to be swept off their feet by extremism than others.


While the government may keep a strong watch on the institutions of higher learning, a word of caution is in order. Increased campus security, frequent questioning of the youth, restricting their freedom of movement, and police presence may further alienate the youth. A better device will be to gather intelligence about teachers and students in a subtle way without raising their hackles.


Finally, increased employment opportunities and alleviating socio-economic deprivation are also important. The former will make the students optimistic of finding a job after their studies are over. The latter will shore up their trust in the present system. On both accounts, extremist tendencies will be dampened.

 

The writer regularly contributes in national print media.

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04
October

Written By: Lt Gen Talat Masood (R)


China and Pakistan have been cooperating closely at the strategic and political level since the middle of 1960s. China has also been a major supplier of military weapons and hardware to Pakistan and the cooperation in the defence field has been growing as U.S. distances itself from Pakistan and gets closer to India. It is in the economic field that the two countries are embarking on a major journey. And CPEC is a clear manifestation of this giant stride in economic collaboration.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been one of the most discussed and written topics in Pakistan. It has been subject of great interest and also apprehension by friends and foes of Pakistan. Few enterprises have been viewed so dramatically different as CPEC both within country and abroad. Described as a “game changer” – the most wonderful gift that China could give to Pakistan. The diehard opponents have described it as another version of East India Company. These versions aside, it is important to look at this extremely important project more objectively and assess its value for Pakistan and China.


China and Pakistan have been cooperating closely at the strategic and political level since the middle of 1960s. China has also been a major supplier of military weapons and hardware to Pakistan and the cooperation in the defence field has been growing as U.S. distances itself from Pakistan and gets closer to India. It is in the economic field that the two countries are embarking on a major journey. And CPEC is a clear manifestation of this giant stride in econimic collaboration. For Pakistan it would be a project that will bring the highest foreign investment in form of loans and grants.


The CPEC essentially aims at building Pakistan’s energy capacity and constructing national highway linking China’s Southern Xinjiang via Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gwadar seaport. Its other essential feature is the modernization and upgradation of the port and the channel.


Initially the CPEC constituted fifty-one projects having a total value of $46 billion that has since been upscaled to $56 billion and the figure keeps going up. Both countries are of the view that successful completion of these projects will strengthen the economy and contribute towards Pakistan’s internal stability. Balochistan that has remained a highly neglected and underdeveloped province should be the main beneficiary of CPEC. In addition, it should re-energize Pakistan’s economy as projects materialize. And China expects that CPEC should boost the economy and well being of Xinjiang province with an overall positive impact on its Western region.

 

Despite India’s attitude and U.S.’ reservations, China and Pakistan have repeatedly emphasized that CPEC is not directed against any country and is essentially meant to improve the economy of two countries with its associated positive fallout on the political stability of the region.

Initially, Pakistan allowed China to define the parameters and contents of CPEC. It was understandable as its main component is the development of Gwadar Port and the route that links China’s West with the Indian Ocean reducing its proximity to the sea.


Pakistan needs to finalize its priorities in the implementation of the project that have remained largely unattended. It goes to the credit of the Chinese that two third of the projects relate to energy as it is a critical impediment in Pakistan’s industrial, agricultural and overall development. There has been criticism of the government that the terms of the Chinese loans have been high and will create problems of repayment. The government, however, maintains that the loans extended to them are on concessional terms and are highly favorable. As regards the loans to the private sector these have been governed by international market rates, which is the normal practice.


Although not that widely known, Pakistan has imposed on China some politically expedient projects such as the Orange Line. The under construction rapid transit line built as part of Lahore Metro, is considered as an extension of CPEC. However, the Punjab Government claims it is being financed separately.


Pakistan is expected to earn five billion dollars in transit fee annually from CPEC and this would progressively increase as the facilities and infrastructure improve.


What has not been a subject of serious discussion is that nearly 70% of the energy projects contracted with China are coal fired in the private sector. Pakistan’s energy capacity based on coal is being increased from 119 Megawatts to 10,000 Megawatts. Another important factor is the condition of the plants that are being supplied to Pakistan. Whether this will multiply Pakistan’s environmental problems and how is it being addressed are genuine concerns. Coal would be transported in open wagons polluting the environment.


Chinese claim that soon they would be converting their coal plants on the principle of “super critical technology” which is presumed to be a clean coal extraction technology. But this will be in the future, provided China is able to master the technology and integrate it in its production plants.


China as of now is switching over to cleaner technologies – solar, wind and hydropower projects although coal still remains the major source of energy.


We also need to seriously plan on the Human Resource Development. Is there a strategy to have Pakistanis associated with Chinese engineers and managers so that they benefit from this invaluable experience as CPEC projects pass through various phases of implementation? The Pak-China working groups should be professionally manned and truly representative so that they could take right decisions and monitor the program effectively.


China and many countries have introduced the concept of industrial parks. Pakistan should take a cue and set up a few along the CPEC route to build interest and understanding of modern technologies, products and processes.


To foster better understanding and greater confidence in the success of CPEC, we have to take the people into confidence. The CPEC website is too general and vague. It has to be more professional and reflect the precise implications of each major project. This will prevent the enemies of Pakistan and China from spreading false rumors about it.


U.S. and more so India have been opposed to CPEC and trying to create several hurdles in its implementation. It is an open secret that Indians are supporting dissident elements within Balochistan and in other provinces of Pakistan to subvert the project and create misgiving about it. Opposition by India is a clear manifestation of its designs. It cannot see Pakistan and China benefit from the project economically, also enhance their strategic profile and get closer politically. India’s frustrations also emanate from the geographic reality that it does not have the advantages that Pakistan enjoys being placed so centrally at crossroads of Central Asia, South Asia and proximity to the Middle East. By contrast, India’s access by land remains restricted to Burma and Bangladesh. Despite India’s attitude and U.S.’ reservations, China and Pakistan have repeatedly emphasized that CPEC is not directed against any country and is essentially meant to improve the economy of two countries with its associated positive fallout on the political stability of the region.

 

The writer is a retired Lieutenant General from Pakistan Army and an eminent scholar on national security and political issues.

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18
September
September 2017(EDITION 09, Volume 54)
 
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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.

pullupthebomb.jpg

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.

 pullupthebomb1.jpg

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

glorioussepday1.jpg

■ 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.

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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.

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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.

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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"

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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.

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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

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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.

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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…’

 

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

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.

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

 

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 s