10
March
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March 2017(EDITION 03, Volume 54)
 
Written By: Maria Khalid
On February 22, Pakistan Army launched yet another operation all over Pakistan after a series of deadly attacks that exacted tremendous civilian toll; a move of hostile elements against the strategic shift of the country towards peace and prosperity....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Mujeeb Afzal
On February 01, 2017, the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, presented the annual budget for the year 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. It includes allocation of 51 billion dollars for the salaries and pensions of the defence personnel and expenditure for the modernization....Read full article
 
Written By: Sylvie Lasserre
Three days after the attack on an Indian military base in Uri on September 18, 2016, the Indian media reported the arrest of two Pakistani school children living in a village within an hour's walk from the Line of Control (LoC), which they had inadvertently....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Mirwais Kasi
Pakistan-China friendship hardly finds a parallel in modern international relations as it is based on mutual respect, mutual advantages and equality and it has the potential to maximize the advantages ....Read full article
 
Written By: Ayesha Irfan
Pakistan Army launches 'Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad' across the country. The operation aims at indiscriminately eliminating residual/latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made thus far and further ensuring security of the borders....Read full article
 
Written By: Abdullah Khan
It is a long war and despite remarkable successes of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, terrorist attacks cannot be stopped completely unless some major political and security issues around Pakistan are not resolved....Read full article
 
Written By: Muhammad Azeem
Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad aims at cleansing the society from the menace of terrorism and uprooting the terrorists’ sympathizers, facilitators and remnants. This noble cause would need comprehensive and wholehearted participation of the society to achieve.....Read full article
 
Written By: Hasan Khan
The fresh wave of terrorism, particularly the deadly terrorists’ attacks in Lahore and Sehwan Sharif, has forced the government to launch a countrywide security operation against militants, their facilitators and sanctuaries....Read full article
 
Written By: Malik Ahmed Jalal
For a healthy cohesive nation, strong horizontal people-to-people linkages are needed in addition to vertical authority-to-people relationship by developing shared values and purpose....Read full article
 
Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha
After the complete fall of the Muslim empire in India in the 19th century CE, most Muslim thinkers responded to the fall rebuffing the putrefying reminiscences of their imperial past. They began to espouse certain notions of nationalism to find their place in the shifting standards of global.....Read full article
 
Written By: Osman Asghar Khan
Government policies have a major role to play in promoting economic growth, while reducing income inequality and concentration of wealth in the country. Article 38 of the Constitution requires the state to promote the social and economic well-being ....Read full article
 
Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid
The publication and accessibility to researchers of documents concerning the last decade of the British Raj call for a fresh look at the events and developments during the decade, and for a revision of the historiography of the period. They have shown several....Read full article
 
Written By: Raheel Suleman
People of Pakistan, particularly Balochistan are gearing up to celebrate momentous day of March 23, 1940 with national enthusiasm and fervour. Even those who were misguided by some disgruntled and anti-state elements have changed their hearts and minds and now.....Read full article
 
Written By: Lt Col Malik Noor Mohammad (R)
On January 18, 1983 in Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Multan, amidst people waiting to be examined or to visit their relatives, I was waiting patiently for my son. At 05:45 hours I finally got the news of his birth. No one knew the future of this baby; only.....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed
Physics is essentially the science of matter, light and energy. It deals with the processes and phenomena of the physical nature in the universe. The modern day physics is organized into classical physics, quantum mechanics, particle physics, astrophysics.....Read full article
 
Written By: Lt Cdr Nazia Iqbal
Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN-17 came to its conclusion on February 14, 2017 with spectacular sea maneuvers and Fleet Review in the North Arabian Sea, amid a joint resolve of 37 countries – “Together for Peace&rdquo.....Read full article
 
Written By: Ummar Shahzad
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has kicked off with dozens of projects under implementation in all regions of the country. CPEC is a flagship project of Chinese broader vision of One Belt, One Road (OBOR). It has been rightly termed as “Economic Game.....Read full article

 
Written By: Col Amin-ul-Haq (R)
World Cancer Day is an international day observed each year on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. The day targets misinformation, raises awareness, and reduces stigma....Read full article
 
Written By: Maj Samad Ashfaq
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as Zaire is the 2nd largest country in Africa spread over 2.3 million square kilometers i.e., almost three times the size of Pakistan. United Nations initially stepped into the country in July 1960 against external....Read full article
 
Written By: Omair Alavi
The state of sports in Pakistan has worsened during the last 20 years; some blame the local associations and federations for not doing much; others blame the lack of talent. What no one talks about is the grass root level and with that I mean the level where budding....Read full article
 
Written By: Tahir Mehmood
The little boy with the schoolbag on a shoulder was trying to catch the man moving ahead of him. The man was moving with a normal pace; a father that was to lead his son. But the son was too eager to match the pace that was little more for his tiny steps....Read full article
 
Written By: Lt Col Danish Javed
The airport lounge was full of people waiting for flights to their destinations. Three friends busy in chatting arrived at the busy lounge and started looking for a place to sit. Finally, they found seats near the escalator. These men seemed well-educated....Read full article
 
Vice Admiral Donegan, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi. Matters of mutual interest with emphasis on geo-strategic environment.....Read full article
 
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited troops on Line of Control (LOC) at Mattewala, Munaawar Sector. General Officer Commanding (GOC) briefed COAS about operational situation. While appreciating operational readiness of the troops.....Read full article
 
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was on an official visit to Qatar met Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani. The Prime Minister acknowledged Pakistan's contributions towards development and growth of Qatar. He also hailed .....Read full article
 
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Siachen and laid wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada of Gyari. He said, “We owe our independence to sacrifices of our shuhada. Nothing is nobler than laying one’s life in defence of the....Read full article
 
CAS Karakorum Ski Championship and Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup, both international events were held at the enchanting resort of Malam Jabba, Swat. Ukrainian skiers outclassed their rivals in both men and women categories at the magnificent ski slope, which ....Read full article
 
President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Mr. Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan visited Headquarters 1 Corps on January 31, 2017. President AJK was received by Commander 1 Corps Lt Gen Umar Farooq Durrani. On his arrival, President laid wreath at the Shuhada Monument. Later....Read full article
 
Diplomats from China, France and Russia visited Corps Headquarters, Peshawar and North Waziristan. The ambassadors and defence attachés were briefed about the role being played by Pakistan Army in the fight against terrorism with particular....Read full article
 
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra achieved another historic milestone when in a grand ceremony the 1000th aircraft was rolled out after complete overhaul. This event was celebrated as a major benchmark in aviation history of Pakistan. Mr. Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal.....Read full article
 
10
March

Written By: Lt Col Danish Javed

The airport lounge was full of people waiting for flights to their destinations. Three friends busy in chatting arrived at the busy lounge and started looking for a place to sit. Finally, they found seats near the escalator. These men seemed well-educated and were appropriately dressed, but at times, our perception is contrary to the reality.


“Look towards him; what is the need to wear sun glasses inside the lounge?” said one of the three young men with a cynical smile. The other two colleagues had yet not identified the person being commented upon. “What a fool to be even wearing hand gloves in this weather!” he said again, this time in a more insolent tone. “Who you are talking about?” asked the other two. He winked his eyes and pointed at a man in uniform, coming down the escalator. “What do they think of themselves in uniform?” He made a few more comments on the officer’s demeanour.


This man was an army officer named Lieutenant Colonel Kashif. He radiated pride in a starched khaki uniform with shinning stars on the shoulders and a chest decorated with medals. The officer started walking in the direction of the three colleagues and approached one of them named Ahsan. The other two looked on as Ahsan got up and hugged the officer he hadn’t met for years.


Ahsan held his old friend affectionately by the shoulders and said, “What a surprise! It is good to see you so many years after school”.
Kashif responded with equal affection, “Same here, dear friend”.
Hesitantly, Ahsan enquired, “Why are you wearing glasses? Hope everything is fine with the eyes?”
The colonel replied, “Yes, everything is fine, just lost one eye while fighting terrorists when they attacked a university in our city”.


There was pin-drop silence for a moment. Ahsan stared at him with shock and disbelief but recovered quickly and said, “I feel sorry for this loss, but dear friend you made us all proud. You and your soldiers took no time to kill those barbarians, saving us from a great human loss”.


When the truth is revealed to us and it is contrary to our perception, it jolts us from within like an earthquake. We might desire to stop the truth from unveiling itself and leaving us baffled, but when it begins to unravel it does so completely, without giving us time to gather our thoughts and composure. The same was happening with Ahsan’s colleague who had mocked the officer out of ignorance but now felt embarrassed and ashamed.


Ahsan looked at Lt. Colonel Kashif with compassion and held his right hand. But Kashif’s hand felt unusual and disturbingly unfamiliar. Ahsan looked at the hand more closely and asked the reason for wearing gloves and why his hand felt so different.


The officer smiled and said, “I lost my hand in the same battle as well”. Silence prevailed again. The officer’s replies had left Ahsan and his friends completely perplexed and dumb founded.
A few moments later, Ahsan asked Kashif where he was headed to.


“I am going back to my place of duty. My regiment is busy fighting the enemies of Pakistan and I do not want to be left out. I do not want to miss the chance of fighting the enemies of Pakistan,” the officer replied in a firm tone about his destination.


Ahsan was stunned again, “You have a big heart dear friend but I don’t understand how someone can go to the war zone again after losing an eye and a hand?”


“When your purpose is great, even life doesn’t matter; what to talk of an eye and a hand? I am ready to sacrifice everthing for the peaceful future of Pakistan,” Kashif replied with a smile on his face.


Ahsan could not believe his calmness, satisfaction, pride and conviction of purpose and felt lost for words. “I have no words to thank you sir, no expression of gratitude can do justice to your sacrifices. That was our university where the terrorists had attacked and you saved our lives”.


Now that the reality had unfolded, they felt guilty of their wrong perceptions. They very silently but firmly vowed to fight against the wrong perceptions spread around by the enemies of their motherland.

 
10
March

Written By: Tahir Mehmood

A soldier had died ‘in the line of duty’.

 

prideinanguish.jpgThe little boy with the schoolbag on a shoulder was trying to catch the man moving ahead of him. The man was moving with a normal pace; a father that was to lead his son. But the son was too eager to match the pace that was little more for his tiny steps. The father used to carry the schoolbag but not for many days as the son wanted to lower his burden. The father dreamed for the days once his son would relieve him from much worries of life… The father had gone old, and son turned into an exuberant youth. Life was filled with hope; but the hope was to die soon. The day came, and the young soldier’s casket was wrapped in the national flag. He had died ‘in the line of duty’. He fought bravely but death was the final bid for honour. The father was too old to cry aloud, but his worn-out heart was struck too deeply. He wept bitterly; but in sighs with rolling tears of silence. He had dreamed for his son to lead him in life, but his casket was leading the procession to the burial ground. He was proud to have a son like him, the pride will live with him till his remaining days; but the son’s beautiful smile had been lost forever.
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He had dreamed for his son to lead him in life, but his casket was leading the procession to the burial ground. He was proud to have a son like him, the pride will live with him till his remaining days; but the son’s beautiful smile had been lost forever.
A year ago, she was giggling, chatting, laughing and living with pride. It did not take her long after finishing her studies to marry a soldier. The soldier was a handsome lad; an enthusiast in fun and mischief, but stone-faced ‘in the line of duty’. It was customary for him to present flowers to his bride. The garlands of red and white roses made life a joy never to end. But, fairy-tales always have ‘the end’. The soldier’s grave was laden with flowers; red and white roses. He had died ‘in the line of duty’ and even not bothered to look back for a while; not even for his bride that had become so fond of him. So deceptive are the smiles and tears that bear the burdens of soldiering.

 


The soldiers are trained to die; they die willingly but their loved-ones become living-dead due to their sudden departure. The soldiers enter into the heart with a bang but leave quietly on unknown journeys never to fall back. The girl now visits the grave daily, and places garland of roses on the grave that the man once had gifted her. Her life has become an empty page of the book, nothing written on it to be read by life anymore. The soldier was her pride; both in life and in death. But the tears were unstoppable forever!
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The soldiers would always go the battle zones. Life will go on; and so would the pride and anguish. The soldiers deserve a silent prayer, a rolling tear, and a solemn remembrance by those who live on the beautiful land that was once marred by blood, sweat and tears!
The two old women were sitting side-by-side; not far away from a fresh grave. One had just lost the valued jewel of her life. A soldier had died ‘in the line of duty’. The old lady cried, wept, laughed and fainted time and again. Her sequence of anguish was changing every time but not the anguish itself. The son had died in defending the motherland. The soldier had died to keep the honour and glory of the mother and sisters. The pride was overwhelming and so was the gloom! One loves not to depart but to live together forever; but not in the case of soldiers. Their love is intense and so is the pain.

 


The second lady was weeping too, but trying hard to allay the anguish of her friend through self-assuring whispers. She wanted to utter few words but her talk was empty. Her heart was sinking as her soldier-son was too on the battlefield. It did not take long for the ‘news’ to reach. Her son had died ‘in the line of duty’, too. The two women now drag the wounded souls. The motherland is proud of the sons who sprinkled their blood to save her pride and honour. Pride resides in the bosom of the anguish!
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They were all continuously on move while chatting and laughing. The were young comrades-in-arms; the soldiers. They all looked towards the commander’s face which was grim and determined. He nodded his head silently and the soldiers moved with quick steps to cross the ridge line that brought them face-to-face with the enemy. This time they were silent but not stopping at all. Probably they could sense the fate but it was not ‘them’ to shy away from approaching death. Sooner the ‘lead’ was flying all across making many to kiss the ground forever. They fought valiantly amidst death and falling bodies of the comrades-in-arms. They silently looked at each others’ face with fainted smiles, but eyes beaming with pride; of dying for the cause much bigger than the mortal life itself. They died with a pride to live in the memory of their brothers and sisters forever!
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The nation remembers the fallen soldiers, but with diminishing pride and anguish each year. The remembrance-days are gradually celebrated with much fanfare but lack soul of the cause, pride and anguish that once defined their pristine sacrifice. The fallen soldiers are a memory that once lived on the face of the earth that today personifies life and peace; all that came not through embellished talk but blood offered silently ‘in the line of duty’.
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The soldiers would always go the battle zones. Life will go on; and so would the pride and anguish. The soldiers deserve a silent prayer, a rolling tear, and a solemn remembrance by those who live on the beautiful land that was once marred by blood, sweat and tears!

 

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10
March

Written By: Omair Alavi

The state of sports in Pakistan has worsened during the last 20 years; some blame the local associations and federations for not doing much; others blame the lack of talent. What no one talks about is the grass root level and with that I mean the level where budding sportsmen are picked, nurtured and trained before being unleashed into the sporting arena. Yes, I am talking about lack of sports facilities in schools and what can be done to improve the situation, if we are to do well in sports.

 

The state of sports in Pakistan has worsened during the last 20 years; some blame the local associations and federations for not doing much; others blame the lack of talent. What no one talks about is the grass root level and with that I mean the level where budding sportsmen are picked, nurtured and trained before being unleashed into the sporting arena. Yes, I am talking about lack of sports facilities in schools and what can be done to improve the situation, if we are to do well in sports.

Pakistan remains one of those countries where children go to schools mostly because their parents want them to. The stale syllabus doesn’t attract them and neither does the way of teaching in most of the schools across the country. However, the free periods or those allotted for outdoor activities used to be something that pulled the students towards their educational institutions, and also towards studies.


That was back in the day when all leading schools – big or small – actively participated in sports and they had teachers with an eye to spot genuine talent. Nowadays, parents prefer schools that have air conditioners in their classrooms and give no thought to the lack of grounds, sports teachers and activities that might help students become sportsmen. Had the situation been the same in the past, Javed Miandad might not have become a test cricketer, Jahangir Khan might not have held the squash racket and Sohail Abbas might not have represented Pakistan at all.


Former test cricketer and coach of Pakistan cricket team Mohsin Khan once said in an interview that until and unless the government makes it compulsory for all educational institutions to have healthy activities and grounds, the state of sports in Pakistan will remain unchanged. Mohsin Khan had represented Pakistan in the late 70s and most of the 80s and when he spoke about grass root level, he meant it considering he had been a terrific badminton player before taking up cricket. He knew how things were managed at all levels and what was the root cause of the decline in sports.

 

Matters were made worse when authorities allowed influential people to open schools in residential areas as it not only damaged our educational system but also any hope of nurturing talented individuals. These schools hardly had space for the morning assembly, thinking about sports would have been deemed criminal in such institutions

Dr. Irfan Ullah also concurs with Mohsin and believes that playing outside the comfort zone is integral for a youngster as his body develops the more he plays outside. The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in its 1948 constitution as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. Dr. Irfan explains, "Playing and learning outdoor improves muscular strength, co-ordination, balance and dexterity. It has been documented that when they took part in outdoor activities and learning children performed significantly better on achievement tests and expressed higher interest and well-being and low anger, anxiety, and boredom".

 

notgroundfor.jpgDr. Irfan explains it beautifully and one must agree with him that sports and outdoor activities contribute significantly to mental well-being as well. "Today children tend to spend most of their time indoors and live in a virtual world, when not in school (or in tuition centres). Parks and recreational grounds are also vanishing and people living in apartments do not have a lot of interaction with their natural environment. This is a cause of concern because until and unless they go out, the future generation will spend most of its time sulking indoors and learning nothing significant. School grounds, on the other hand, provide a cheap, safe and ready access to the outdoors. It is important to bring up the issue of safety in the school grounds as it is a controlled and disciplined activity. Schools are safe and cheap vis-ä-vis parks and commercial places like gyms and sports clubs."


Parents are also to be blamed here because they don’t go for proper schools, rather they opt for the ones that don’t promote outdoor activities. Unfortunately, our education system treats all students the same way and had it been upto them, the world’s fastest bowler Shoaib Akhtar might not have seen the cricket ball, let alone make Pakistan proud. Students who have the capacity to do well in sports are nowadays treated as second rate because of the ‘he plays, doesn’t study’ phenomenon that parents and teachers accept wholeheartedly. Look at the example of current Pakistan Captain Misbah-ul-Haq–he achieved what many others haven’t in Pakistan by completing his MBA and also acing in the cricket field. If he can do it, why can’t others provided we give them a chance to show their skills.


Nearly all those who were young cricket enthusiasts in the 90s remember the Lombard Under 15 Cricket World Cup that was played in England in 1996. Pakistan and India qualified for the final and both the teams had players who would go onto represent their country’s national side in the coming years. Pakistan fielded Hasan Raza (youngest test player in the world), Taufeeq Umer (future Test opener), Faisal Iqbal (Captain, stylish batsman), Kamran Akmal (future wicket keeper), Shoaib Malik (future captain, all-rounder) and Bazid Khan (future cricketer and commentator) and would have won the event had it not been for India’s Reetinder Singh Sodhi who guided his side to victory with an unbeaten 82. The competition between both the teams was tough for most of the 55 overs (in those days, limited overs matches in England had 5 overs more than standard) and any team could have won the match. This shows that 20 years back, Pakistan was on equal grounds with India and it was after that mega event that things began to go haywire on this side of the Wagah.

 

Unfortunately, our education system treats all students the same way and had it been upto them, the world’s fastest bowler Shoaib Akhtar might not have seen the cricket ball, let alone make Pakistan proud. Students who have the capacity to do well in sports are nowadays treated as second rate because of the ‘he plays, doesn’t study’ phenomenon that parents and teachers accept wholeheartedly.

According to Faisal Iqbal, the test cricketer who led Pakistan in that event, the management in general and Pakistan Cricket Board in particular is to be blamed for this decline in standard of the game. ‘I have been a cricketer all my life and have come through a system that no longer seems to be working. There used to be inter-school and inter-collegiate matches in our days that were super competitive and provided budding cricketers a chance to show their skills. Our school as well as those who participated in the event had huge grounds to practice in and it was because of that we managed to give our best performances. There were no video games, no play stations or other consoles to distract us and we only had two things to do – either study or play sports. Sadly, things have changed for the worse as not only have parents lost interest in extracurricular activities of their children, the schools have either sold their grounds (to builders) or leased them for easy money, making it difficult for upcoming cricketers to flex their muscles.’


Faisal Iqbal may have a point because all over the country, playgrounds and empty spaces where once budding sportsmen used to play cricket, hockey, football and other sports have now been replaced by shopping malls, residential complexes and/or barbed wires to ensure nothing happens to what could be a golden goose in coming days. There is no excitement left in street cricket, there is no competition left in club cricket and due to prevailing law and order situation in the country, parents confine their children to their homes rather than allowing them to go out and play.


Matters were made worse when authorities allowed influential people to open schools in residential areas as it not only damaged our educational system but also any hope of nurturing talented individuals. These schools hardly had space for the morning assembly, thinking about sports would have been deemed criminal in such institutions. In some such educational institutions, the standard of education was excellent whereas in others, it was pathetic. Not having their own facility for sports added insult to injury for the pathetic schools because some of the students might have made them famous via sports, as had been the case in the past.


With the success of Pakistan Super League’s second edition, cricket in Pakistan has sort of gotten the boost it so dearly missed. Youngsters are once again taking interest in sports, budding cricketers are being selected on merit and not on their connections and things are moving in the right direction. However, the authorities must realize that there are other sports as well in the country and in order to make players understand their potential, they must bring a law that orders schools and colleges to have a separate facility for talented students. Having 'sports day' once a year isn’t enough as no one takes it seriously; sports activities are as important as educational ones and if we want to move ahead as a country, we must give equal importance to both. After all, whenever we think of our heroes, more often than not does the image of Sami Ullah, Jahangir Khan, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram comes to mind.

 

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10
March
Roll-Out Ceremony of 1000th Overhauled Aircraft held at PAC Kamra

newsrolloutcermony.jpg

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra achieved another historic milestone when in a grand ceremony the 1000th aircraft was rolled out after complete overhaul. This event was celebrated as a major benchmark in aviation history of Pakistan. Mr. Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister for Defence Production was the chief guest at the occasion. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force also attended the ceremony. Vice President of China National Aero-technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) and other senior civil and defence officials were also present. While addressing at the occasion, the chief guest appreciated the efforts and dedication of officers and technicians of PAC Kamra for their contributions to the national cause of self-reliance in defence industry. He also lauded the role of Chinese friends for their continued and uninterrupted support and patronage. He highlighted that the Pak-China relationship has matured into a strategic partnership with more opportunities of development and professional growth. The Air Chief, while speaking on the occasion, highlighted the contributions of PAC in sustenance of PAF operations. He said, "The aircraft produced by PAC have not only saved valuable foreign exchange but also enabled Pakistan to emerge as a self-reliant country in the field of aviation". ACM Sohail Aman also appreciated the close cooperation between the aviation industries of China and PAC and said that the achievement was yet another remarkable milestone in the history of Pak-China defence cooperation. Managing Directors of Aircraft Rebuild Factory and Avionics Production Factory presented the overview and brief history of these factories, respectively. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra has emerged as a well-equipped manufacturing and service base for producing 2-seater Mushshak aircraft as well as JF-17 Jet Fighter aircraft which has become the standard workhorse of the Pakistan Air Force.

 

10
March
Diplomats Visit Corps Headquarters Peshawar and North Waziristan
Diplomats from China, France and Russia visited Corps Headquarters, Peshawar and North Waziristan. The ambassadors and defence attachés were briefed about the role being played by Pakistan Army in the fight against terrorism with particular reference to the military operations in FATA.

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10
March
President AJK Visits Corps Headquarters Mangla

President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Mr. Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan visited Headquarters 1 Corps on January 31, 2017. President AJK was received by Commander 1 Corps Lt Gen Umar Farooq Durrani. On his arrival, President laid wreath at the Shuhada Monument. Later, he held a detailed meeting with Corps Commander and discussed a number of issues relating to mutual interest. Corps Commander apprised the President about current commitments of the formation in general and Mangla Garrison in particular.

President Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan highly appreciated the role of Army in multifaceted security spectrum. He reiterated the gratitude of people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir for Pakistan Army’s continued support in the last earthquake and various other occasions of assistance in aid of civil power. The President later interacted informally with officers of the Corps Headquarters.

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Commander 11 Corps Visits Swat, Dir and Chitral

 

Conewsajk11corps.jpgmmander Peshawar Corps Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt visited Swat, Dir and Chitral. He was given detailed briefing on operational matters, progress on establishment of Swat Cantonment and relief work being undertaken including construction of Lowari tunnel. During his two days visit, he interacted with troops deployed on the forward posts and expressed his satisfaction on operational performance and morale of the troops.

10
March

Written By: Col Amin-ul-Haq (R)

World Cancer Day is an international day observed each year on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. The day targets misinformation, raises awareness, and reduces stigma.


Having emerged as a survivor of cancer myself, I decided to support cancer patients and families and established the “Hayat-e-Nau Welfare Trust”. Since its inception, the platform has been regularly utilized for organizing various events/sessions to raise cancer awareness and support suffering individuals and families. Latest in the series was “Cancer Day” which was organized at CMH Rawalpindi on February 4, 2017. There were two different programmes, one for Oncology Ward (Male & Female) and second for Paediatric Oncology. Volunteers from Army Medical College and members of CMH Nutrition Department deserve ample thanks, as they actively augmented the efforts of our Trust.

 

cancerdayrep.jpgOncology Ward
Oncology Ward was beautifully decorated with balloons and colourful buntings. Maj Gen Zahid Hamid, Commandant CMH Rawalpindi and Maj Gen Iftikhar Hussain, DG Medicine and Advisor Oncology CMH Rawalpindi were the chief guests. As the respected Commandant could not make it due to some emergency, Deputy Commandant Brig Muhammad Sarwar Khan attended the event. Other participants included cancer patients, their families, volunteers, a group of survivors, oncologists and nutritionists. Importance of the day was highlighted, followed by address from Maj Gen Iftikhar Hussain, who informed the audience about how the Army was looking after its patients including affected personnel. Candles were lit by the cancer survivors as a symbol of hope for the patients. Later, a team of volunteers/survivors along with the chief guest visited Oncology Ward to distribute gifts and informative booklets on cancer. At the end, certificates of appreciation prepared by the Trust were awarded to the volunteers by the chief guest. The event ended with Duaa by Lt Col Nadeem Paracha (Oncologist) for the recovery and well-being of all patients.


Paediatric Oncology/Family Wing
Here, Begum Maj Gen Zahid Hamid, Commandant CMH Rawalpindi was the chief guest, who had been very keen on holding such cancer awareness programmes. There were around forty young patients along with their families. Volunteers had been busy decorating this ward


for the past few days. On February 4, we spent time with the young patients and indulged in some playful activities, like face paintings etc. to cheer them up. Special cakes were prepared and cut at this occasion. Gift hampers with coloured pencils, writing pads, toys and information booklets were distributed among kids and their families. The colourful activity was a source of delight for the innocent young patients as they were happy to see so many people showing love and care for them. Overall, the event was a source of great satisfaction for the organizers as well as the participants.

 

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10
March

Written By: Ummar Shahzad

6th JCC Meeting Held in Beijing

“The economic corridor project would serve as a game-changer for the region and usher a new era of prosperity”.

(President Mamnoon Hussain)

 

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has kicked off with dozens of projects under implementation in all regions of the country. CPEC is a flagship project of Chinese broader vision of One Belt, One Road (OBOR). It has been rightly termed as “Economic Game and Fate Changer”. It will not only bring prosperity to Pakistan and China but also benefit the region at large. CPEC will open doors to immense economic opportunities for the people of South Asia and connect China to markets in Asia, Europe and beyond. The CPEC land route upto Gwadar will shorten the existing circuitous sea route of almost 16,000 kms to about 3,000 kms, greatly reducing the travelling time and economic cost. Notwithstanding the controversies being aired against CPEC, successful realization of CPEC will result in meeting the energy shortfalls, in addition to building the development and communication infrastructure.

 

cpecturnreality.jpgPursuant to the consensus reached by the leadership on promoting and developing CPEC, 6th meeting of Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) held in Beijing that reviewed the progress made so far and discussed the long term plan of CPEC. Security was also kept on agenda and relevant input was sought over the practical steps taken for the security of Chinese personnel involved in the development work. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform (PDR), Mr. Ahsan Iqbal presided the JCC meeting from Pakistan’s side, while Mr. Wang Xiaotao, the Vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), chaired on behalf of the Chinese government.


The agenda points of the meeting were:
• Progress review including long term planning for energy, infrastructure and Gwadar Port projects.
• Development of crucial short term projects for improvement of road and rail infrastructure, rehabilitation work and rail-based mass transit systems.
• Industrial cooperation and development of Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
• Disaster prevention and mitigation measures.
• CPEC security.


Progress Review of CPEC
The formal session began with progress review of ongoing CPEC projects in which main focus was laid on timely completion of Early Harvest Projects (EHPs). Minister PDR apprised the progress achieved after the 5th JCC meeting and highlighted impediments in fast track development work. Both sides concurred that, the overall progress of CPEC is satisfactory. Both sides focused on timely completion of EHPs, which would essentially help in maximizing benefits for both countries. Sector wise progress review is:

cpecturnreality1.jpgEnergy Projects
12 CPEC energy projects including Sahiwal and Port Qasim coal fired power plants and others under construction are nearing completion. A total of 8130 MW energy will reach national grid with investments of over $16 billion by 2018. JCC agreed that China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company (CET), which is a subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation, will sponsor Matiari-Lahore and Matiari-Faisalabad transmission lines projects. JCC also agreed to form a mechanism on the development of hydro projects along the Indus River including Bhasha Hydropower Project.

 

Infrastructure Projects
Satisfaction was shown on two mega infrastructure projects i.e., Havelian-Thakot section of Karakorum Highway (KKH) and Multan Sukkur Section of Peshawar-Karachi Motorway. Three short term projects including, Thakot-Raikot road (136 kms), Khuzdar-Basima road (110 kms) and upgradation of Dera Ismail Khan-Zhob road (210 kms) also came under discussion, where feasibilities have been completed and the loan requests for investment have been given to Chinese. The expansion and upgradation of Main Railway Line (ML1) from Peshawar to Karachi was declared as strategic component of CPEC. It was agreed that work on ML1 will be implemented on fast track for the realization of benefits to both strategic partners. In infrastructure, four mass transit lines including Orange Line have been approved on the proposal of provinces: The details are:


Orange Line (formally announced as part of CPEC).
Karachi Circular Railway.
Greater Peshawar Region Mass Transit System.
Quetta Mass Transit System.

 

Development Work at Gwadar Port
Gwadar Smart City Master Plan and related projects were discussed in depth. It was agreed that, early completion of Gwadar International Airport, Free Zone and social sector projects will bring a message of hope and much needed support from the local community. Construction of additional multipurpose berths at Gwadar Port including development of breakwater and dredging work is planned to commence during late 2017.


Industrial Cooperation
Substantial focus was laid on China-Pakistan industrial cooperation and a number of agreements were signed in fields of energy, steel and industrial parks. Chairman Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BOI), Mr. Miftah Ismail led conversations over industrial cooperation and proposed development of one project in each province, federal capital, FATA, AJ&K and Gilgit-Baltistan. BOI will host investors from Chinese side in early January-February to dwell upon the locations of Special Economic Zones (SEZs).


Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
JCC agreed on Early Warning System and strengthening of emergency response for the all CPEC projects.
CPEC Security
A special session was arranged for discussing security matters during JCC. Commander Special Security Division (SSD), Major General Abid Rafique apprised the forum about comprehensive security mechanism and measures taken by law enforcement agencies of Pakistan to ensure foolproof security. He apprised the house that Pakistan Army’s SSD will lead and articulate the security of CPEC. The forum was briefed about the speedy raising and operationalization of SSD and successful completion of security undertaking of First Trade Convoy from Khunjerab to Gwadar and back. It was highlighted that the Chinese need to follow security advisories inside Pakistan to ensure security. The Chinese were found eager to learn about security and were satisfied with the overall security arrangements.


The 6th JCC meeting was conducted in an atmosphere of cordiality, friendship and mutual understanding for achieving the shared vision of development of CPEC. Practical steps have to be taken for timely completion of EHPs, which would help build confidence and forestall all anti-CPEC developments for both Pakistan and China. Besides that, sharing of long term plans with all the stakeholders is a healthy sign, which has been time and again stressed upon for maintaining overall transparency of CPEC. As regards to the new projects, the Joint Working Groups of ministries/departments should plan the feasibility works at priority and ensure timely initiation of projects. Another milestone achievement was inclusion of industrial zones/SEZs in CPEC projects. Such socio-economic development through focused steps in KP, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan would ensure creation of secure enabling environment which is vital for the future of CPEC.


Chinese concerns on security need to be allayed through continuous engagement and sensitization on security environment. Realistic security assurances need to be made with Chinese as both Pakistan and China remain key stakeholders for security as shared responsibility.

 
10
March

Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed

Physics is essentially the science of matter, light and energy. It deals with the processes and phenomena of the physical nature in the universe. The modern day physics is organized into classical physics, quantum mechanics, particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, etc. It aims at observing the patterns, behaviours and consequences of the physical phenomena. Physicists often use thought-experiments and mathematical models and develop hypotheses, which on confirmation through experimentation achieve the status of scientific theories. Theories are then used for understanding the present and predicting the future results and outcomes. Physics was established as a discipline of science in Archaic Greece about four centuries BC. Pioneering works of legendary philosophers and scientists like Archimedes, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were treated as authority right till the beginning of the 17th century. Although in the intervening period Muslim scholars preserved, translated and in many important ways extended the Greek science, in essence it was a new wave of scientific revolution brought about by the liberation of mind from the religious dogmas in Europe during the course of Reformation and Renaissance preceding the 17th century that laid the base for modern physics and the 17th century came to be known as the Century of Science. Science has since then witnessed spectacular advances and has succeeded in rationally explaining many unknowns which in the past used to be attributed to supernatural phenomena.

 

surprisecountdown.jpgGlossing over the recent history, physics got a boost by the pioneering work of hitherto unknown Einstein at the start of the 20th century. He published three important papers in 1905. One of these was on photoelectric effect for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921. In this work he followed the idea of Max Planck that electromagnetic energy like light does not travel in the form of a continuous wave but in discreet packets of energy called quanta. He experimented with various metals using light of varying intensity as well as frequency (various colours of the spectrum) and produced varying streams of electrons. The second paper presented the Theory of Special Relativity which explained the relationship between space and time, and provided the mathematics for analyzing the relativistic motion close to or at the speed of light. As a precursor to Einstein's Special Relativity Theory Maxwell had, a century earlier, established that light was an interaction between moving electricity and moving magnet and was an electromagnetic wave. Einstein theorized that it would be a self-supporting wave only if it moved at a fixed speed in all reference frames. This distorted the previously held fundamentals of time and space. According to Special Relativity both time and space contract along the direction of motion i.e., the space contracts and time slows down. The moving observer himself sees no difference in his own frame of motion but another observer in a different inertial frame (frames moving with constant speed or zero acceleration) measures the relativistic changes. The magnitude of contraction was calculated using the equations already developed by Edwin Lorenz, George Fitzgerald and Henry Poincare. As an object approached the speed of light it would contract in the direction of motion to a singularity and become very heavy approaching infinity and it would be impossible to accelerate it further. No kind of matter is thus able to achieve the speed of light which serves as a fundamental limit on physical motion. Photon is a particle of light, which itself is not an object but an electromagnetic interaction, and it travels at the speed of light because it has no mass and moves at a constant speed of 3x10^8 metre/second. The speed of light is constant in all directions regardless of the fact that the light source is moving with constant speed or accelerating. Special Relativity is built on this edifice which has become a fundamental of modern physics. Having no mass, photons do not need a medium to propagate and light can travel through vacuum and that is why we see the galaxies in outer space. Einstein's ground breaking work on mass and energy equivalence by his epochal equation of E = MC2 together with Special Relativity provided another view of the impossibility of matter achieving the speed of light. As the mass approached infinity it would need infinite amount of energy to accelerate it to the speed of light. Time dilation postulated in the theory was later practically proved by sending two accurate atomic clocks on board scheduled flights eastward round the world twice and similarly placing two clocks on westward round the world flights twice and then comparing the time with an identical clock placed on the ground in USA in 1971. Time dilated and onboard clocks slowed down by a fraction of a second exactly as predicted by the Theory of Special Relativity. In his third paper published in 2005, Einstein proved the existence of atoms creating the foundation for the Standard Model.


In 1915 Einstein produced the General Theory of Relativity, which provided a theoretical model for predicting the motion of accelerating frames of motion like the galactic bodies. It provided mathematical basis to Newton’s model of calculating gravity presented a century earlier. Newton’s model gave accurate force of gravity for objects moving at ordinary speed and was not able to handle objects moving close to the speed of light. General Relativity works for relativistic motion near the speed of light and vindicates Newton's theory of gravity at slow speeds. Newton's mathematical model provided a method of calculating the force of gravity; it did not explain the origin of gravity. Einstein's General Relativity provides an understanding of the origin of gravity as a consequence of the time-space warp. Any massive body bends or warps the four dimensional (time and three space dimensions) grid giving rise to the force of gravity. The greater the mass or higher the speed, the greater is the warp and hence the force of gravity. For example, gravity on the surface of the Earth is six times that on the surface of the Moon. Gravity at the event horizon of the Black Hole at the centre of our galaxy Milky Way may be billions of times higher than at the Sun. When Einstein had originally developed the mathematical model of General Relativity, it predicted an unstable and expanding universe. Einstein, thinking that an unstable universe would be hard to believe, fudged it by adding a cosmological constant that made it unchanging. He later recanted and called it as his greatest mistake in 1929 when Edwin Hubble proved that the universe was actually expanding.


Physics witnessed a big surprise when it was discovered in 1998 that the universe was not only expanding but accelerating. The acceleration part cannot be explained by the known fundamental forces and new explanations are required posing major challenges to the physicists. Einstein's General Relativity Theory had predicted that light rays would bend as they passed by the massive bodies. This prediction was practically proved concurrently by a British team, led by astrophysicist Arthur Edington, and a German Team by observing light rays emanating from the stars behind the Sun, which normally cannot be seen, during a solar eclipse in the islands of South America in 1919. The light rays bent precisely by the amount predicted by the theory which catapulted Einstein into an unprecedented fame. From then onward this theory has passed every test and challenge. The toughest test it passed happened only recently in 2013. Einstein had predicted generation of gravitational waves in the universe from massive bodies moving at high speeds. He had predicted that a massive system of binary stars revolving around each other at very high speed would emit gravitational waves as the system dissipated its energy. He had further provided that as a result of the loss of energy and hence the mass from the generation of the gravitational waves, the time period of the revolution would keep reducing. The gravitational waves had, however, never been detected directly or indirectly till recently. A few years back scientists had identified a massive binary system only about 7500 light years away from the Earth. One of the two binary stars was a neutron star whose mass was over two times that of the Sun but it occupied a space only about 17 kilometre across. The other star was a white dwarf compressed to a small size with its mass close to that of the Sun, which is revolving around the massive twin nearly 300 times a second. Scientists thought that this massive system moving at such a high speed could provide an opportunity of putting the General Theory of Relativity to the toughest test so far by detecting the generation of gravitational waves indirectly through reduction of its time period. After painstaking observations and calculations it was established that the time period of the binary system was reducing by 8 millionth of a second every year which is exactly in line with the amount predicted by Einstein's theory. Very recently an American observatory directly detected the gravitational waves emanating from the collision of two black holes on February 10, 2016 proving Einstein right in the toughest test yet.


One of the most fascinating results of the theories of relativity is the theoretical possibility of travelling through time. Theoretically it is possible for someone to travel into the future of others left behind, by time travel. Similarly the Theory of General Relativity allows the manipulation of space-time for travelling into the past. Practically, however, it might not be possible to surmount the real challenges to time travel.


Theoretical physics is indifferent to the direction in which time flows and it is theoretically possible for the time to run backward. Maxwell's equation for the interaction between electricity and magnetism, which explained the nature of light, had a strange implication. It had two equally valid solutions: one produced 'retarded waves’, of the light, as we understand and the other 'advanced waves' which started from the destination and ran backward to the source. The latter made no sense and therefore the other solution was ignored. Over a century later American physicists John Wheeler and Richard Feynman were studying the behaviour of an atom as it emitted quanta of light or a photon. They observed that a photon is emitted by a single electron from an atom and that the atom experiences recoil as the photon leaves. They tried to explain the recoil by considering the forgotten advanced waves that travel backwards to the source. They think that two photons are involved in the self-interaction: one photon leaves the atom and is absorbed by another atom; the absorbing atom also releases another photon which reached the source atom in time to cause the recoil, through the quantum leap, by travelling back in time. This is still a speculative area of physics and could have more surprises in store!


Special and General Theories of Relativity provided classical mechanics the capacity to treat systems of motion of large galactic bodies moving at relativistic speeds. But a new branch of physics was developing at the onset of the last century which was to handle the physics of the very small, the quantum particles, which reveal the nature of matter and light. It had become quite evident to the physicists that classical physics that dealt with the certitude of motion of the heavier bodies, would not provide a handle on the probabilistic motion of the quantum particles. The probability function was presented by Schrodinger’s famous Wave Function, a bizarre possibility of all the particles could have equal probability of being everywhere at the same time. It was the act of observation or measurement that created the reality by fixing a particle. The Wave Function that gives the sum of all probabilities collapses to a definite state in the act of measurement. Known as Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty it requires that if you fix the position of a quantum particle you disturb its momentum which is needed to predict accurately its future position. Equally strange is the behaviour of the entangled particles which seemed to act like one entity even if separated over long distances. It appears that if a measurement is made on one of the entangled particles, the other knows this fact along with the outcome of the measurement instantly even though there appears no known means of communication between the two. Quantum Entanglement implies an interaction between two particles which while remaining separate act like one instantly. Nothing actually travels between the entangled particles; it is only the information that reaches there instantly. Einstein had referred to it as the spooky action at a distance. It was because of these bizarre possibilities that he had disagreed with the uncertainties of quantum mechanics saying that God does not play dice with the universe. He believed that there was a hidden reality in the quantum world that had yet to be discovered. Einstein spent his remaining life looking in vain for that hidden reality. Meanwhile, quantum mechanics, though bizarre looking, has met all experimental confirmations and has led to numerous technological breakthroughs.


With the help of classical physics and quantum mechanics, we could separately handle massive bodies as well as quantum particles moving close to or at the speed of light. All attempts to-date to integrate the mathematics of the large bodies and that of the quantum particles have broken down as there is no way yet of integrating the force of gravity with the other electromagnetic forces, weak and strong. A major conundrum is thus posed by some cosmological objects that are very large in mass but very small in size like a black hole. Classical and quantum physics together do not provide mathematics of the physics of a black hole that may have a mass of thousands of suns but the event horizon of only a few kilometres. The escape velocity from the event horizon of a black hole is so high that not even light can escape it. The time is therefore stationary at the event horizon. No information is available about what goes on inside black holes; that continues to remain a mystery to physics. It poses a new frontier for understanding the universe. Such problems cannot be solved until we achieve the unification of the gravity and non-gravity physics, which is what the so called, Theory of Everything (TOE) is loosely referred to.


Four fundamental forces (Electromagnetic, Weak, Strong and Gravity) acting through corresponding quantum particles known as gauge bosons (photon for electromagnetic, W and Z particles for weak force, gluon for strong force and yet to be discovered illusive graviton for the force of gravity) together are the cause of actions that shape and govern the universe. Electromagnetic and weak forces were unified at high energy level by Abdus Salam, Glashow and Weinberg in early 1970s and they were jointly awarded Nobel Prize for this work in 1979. The Strong and Electromagnetic interactions are unified in nature. Negative charge of an electron which forms part of electromagnetic interaction and positive charge of the three quarks of a proton which forms part of Strong interaction is perfectly balanced resulting in neutrality of the matter. However, all attempts to achieve the Grand Unification Theory (GUT) of Strong and Electro-weak interactions have remained elusive so far. Proving of GUT requires creating those particles that require very high energy levels which are not likely to be achieved in the HADRON in the near future. Meanwhile, scientists are looking beyond the unsuccessful GUT and ambitiously attempting to unite all the four forces including gravity into a Theory of Everything (TOE).


A novel concept of creating a single building block of all quantum particles hit the minds of the scientists. They visualized it like a vibrating quantum string which at different frequency and energy levels represented different quantum particles. String Theory will overcome the major limitations of quantum physics by eliminating the singularity and explaining the quantum interaction of gravity by its force carrying hyper-dimensional particle graviton when it is successfully finalized. It will be able to explain the interactions of all the four forces during the early moments of the universe before the splitting of the particles and forces. No one has seen the quantum string in any experiment but this conceptualization provides some interesting options of quantum representations. There had come about a number of String Theories which have been combined into one theory called M Theory. It postulates an 11 dimensional graviton: one of time, 3 of physical space and 7 additional curled up dimensions for quantum connection. It might be that after the Big Bang the energy level was such that the three space and time dimensions inflated, creating space and time but the other 7 dimensions remained curled up and compacted and are embedded in space and time everywhere. The string requires the seven curled up dimensions to create all the particles known to be part of the Standard Model through various patterns of vibration. Superstring Theory proposes the length of the curled up 7 dimensions to be in the order of 10-35m (close to the Planck Length) and this would require energy of particle collision in the order of 1019 GeV to detect the higher dimensions. This is about a million, billion orders of magnitude larger than can be achieved in the HADRON presently. If the extra dimensions are somehow discovered physics will change fundamentally and it will succeed in unifying gravity and non-gravity physics through the TOE that Stephen Hawking called a simple and elegant equation that will handle all interactions in the universe right from the earliest time. TOE would enable the scientists to go back in time right to the limit of know-ability at the Plank Time of 5.5x10-44 seconds after the Big Bang revealing the secrets of the early universe from presently known limit of 10-33 to the know-able limit of 5.5x10-44 seconds. The HADRON Collider has not yet been able to detect particles smaller than quarks which could explain the TOE.


Humanity has always been very curious to understand the universe, and at all times it had a leading model of some sort for its physical visualization. In 340 B.C. Aristotle gave a metaphysical model that the earth was stationary and in the centre and the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars moved in circular orbits around it. A new model was presented by Copernicus in 1514 that the sun was stationary at the centre and the earth and the planets moved around it in circular orbits, which was further advanced by Galileo about a hundred years later. Newton in the 17th Century rejected the centrality or hierarchy of any heavenly body by rejecting metaphysics and gave a rational model of the universe where all heavenly bodies obeyed the same laws of physics without any distinction. This liberated the universe from the supernatural connections and brought it in the realm of science. Einstein, by his General Relativity Theory, presented a scientific view of the universe and explained the origin and action of gravity that played a key role in shaping the universe and presented the model of the expanding universe. This remained as a guiding model till it was challenged recently in 1998 when it was observed beyond doubt that the universe was not only expanding but is accelerating with increasing speed. This model is in line with the original model developed by Einstein before his fudging it by the insertion of the cosmological constant. If Einstein had not arbitrarily made the universe stationary by inserting the cosmological constant, we would have known in 1916 what was then discovered in 1998, saving nearly 80 years for advancing physics. The acceleration of the universe is an enigma that physics has yet to find new frontiers to unfold the unknown secrets.

 

A new model was presented by Copernicus in 1514 that the sun was stationary at the centre and the earth and the planets moved around it in circular orbits, which was further advanced by Galileo about a hundred years later. Newton in the 17th Century rejected the centrality or hierarchy of any heavenly body by rejecting metaphysics and gave a rational model of the universe where all heavenly bodies obeyed the same laws of physics without any distinction. This liberated the universe from the supernatural connections and brought it in the realm of science. Einstein, by his General Relativity Theory, presented a scientific view of the universe and explained the origin and action of gravity that played a key role in shaping the universe and presented the model of the expanding universe.

Since it was established by Edwin Hubble in 1929 that the universe was expanding, scientists had been observing that farther the galaxies they could see faster were they moving away from one another by analyzing the red shift of the light reaching the earth. It was logical to think that billions of years back the universe must have been much smaller and back at zero time it would be a singularity of zero size. It is to the credit of the living giant of a physicist Stephen Hawking that he postulated the beginning of the universe in his book on “the Beginning of Time”. Einstein’s General Relativity Theory also leads to the beginning of the universe from a singularity. As all mathematical laws including the General Theory of Relativity break down at a singularity, it is not possible to predict the nature of the universe that came out of it. Friedman had also described the universe right back to the Big Bang. The time that we measure every day, the space that we encounter and the matter that we see was not there before the Big Bang. The time is passing, space is expanding but it is not known whether the matter is also changing, increasing in some unknown form like dark matter or staying constant or decreasing.


Soon after the Big Bang the universe was very hot and as it expanded the matter or radiation in it cooled which would have played a major role in shaping it. In fact even the type of particles that would have existed in the early universe was linked with the temperature. One second after its birth it would have cooled to about ten thousand million degrees, which is about ten thousand times the temperature at the center of the sun. As the universe expanded with the speed of light, nearly 3x108 m/s, after the big bang it reached a size of 1.65x10-35meters in 5.5x10-44 seconds. This is the smallest distance that is at the limit of quantum determination and is called Planck Length. For distances smaller than this that correspond to the time earlier than 5.5x10-44 seconds there is quantum confusion as defined by Eisenberg Principle of Uncertainty. So our knowable universe starts at the Planck’s Time. At this time quantum particles had not yet started separating and there existed only one unified force. From 10-37 to 10-33 all quantum particles separated creating the four fundamental forces one by one. The first to separate at 10-37 second was the force of gravity. The next was the Strong Force that separated with its particle gluon at 10-35 second. Last to separate were electro-weak interactions through their corresponding photon, W and Z gauge bosons at 10-33 second. It is for this reason that unifying the force of gravity and the strong force with the electro-weak interactions is so challenging.


If we want to study the universe from 10-33 to the limit of know-ability i.e., up to the Planck Time (5.5x10-44 seconds), we need to unify all four fundamental forces into one mathematical model. That is what is behind the global quest for a TOE. But why are we so fixated to know the secrets of the early moments of the birth of the universe, it is because by looking into the past we would be in a position to better visualize the future of the universe. Unification aims at searching the particles that were released at very early time after the Big Bang. Such particles that separated at very high energy levels require equally high energy physics to separate them. The largest particle smasher Hadron is constantly being upgraded through more and more powerful super conducting magnets to achieve speed of racing protons close to that of light which on collision create very short lived particles of interest but it is still not able to that the required level of speed of collision.


There are other models of universe competing with the Big Bang concept like the universe being a sequence of contraction and expansion instead of a time and space singularity at the start of the Big Bang. Similarly, the concept of multiverses co-existing but not interfering with one another except at the time of some cataclysmic events is full of future surprises. Looking at the big surprises in physics that continue to be discovered every now and then provides a bizarre contrast with once held view that physics had all been fully discovered. It was a result of the ongoing endeavour that the hitherto illusive Higg’s boson was discovered in 2013 at the Hadron to complete the Standard Model of physics. Higg’s boson creates Higg’s field which is responsible for giving all matter its mass. This has been an epochal development. The standard model of the constituent parts of matter that started with Dalton's theory of indivisible atoms grew to the generation of the elementary particles of protons, neutrons and electrons and finally to the latest generation model of two broad categories of particles (fermions that include quarks, compound protons and electrons) and gauge bosons. Fermions constitute the matter in the universe and the gauge bosons carry various forces or interactions. The fermions carry spin in multiple of halves (1/2) and the gauge bosons have the spin as multiple of integers. To-date 17 particles have been discovered which include 12 kinds of fermions (6 quarks and six leptons or electrons) and five gauge bosons, including the latest discovery of Higgs Boson in 2013. The quantum theory predicts a total of 18 elementary particles and the remaining particle called graviton that provides the interaction of gravity is yet to be discovered. The Standard Model therefore describes only the interaction among three fundamental forces of electromagnetic, weak and strong to the exclusion of the fourth force of gravity. The discovery of graviton would lead to the unification of all four forces into a Theory of Everything. A key particle of this model that was predicted in 1964 by Edwin Higgs among others that later came to be called as the Higgs particle remained elusive till 2013, casting doubt on the robustness of the iron-cage Standard Model that had been successful in predicting many other particles that were later discovered but the non-ending quest for Higgs particle had posed a big conundrum. Its discovery after all has nearly completed the Standard Model. Even then the Standard Model with its known particles can explain structure of at the most 5% of the material universe. The rest defies our explanation; there may also be what is called dark matter, which is sensed only by the gravitational pull on astronomical objects like the visible galaxies and also on the rays of light. The unproven supersymmetry (SUSY) theories propose the possibility that there are massive electrically neutral dark particles of mass in the order of 1019 times that of a proton which might be stable enough to seed the dark matter. No evidence of the massive particles has however been detected so far. But there is more in the universe that is not known and that is the dark energy. While drawing an energy balance scientists estimate the universe is composed of 4% normal baryonic (protons and neutrons) matter, 23% dark non-baryonic matter and 73% illusive dark energy. Physics thus faces monumental challenges to explain the dark matter and the dark energy and it is far from being complete as was once thought. Dark matter gravitates and is an object in space but dark energy presents an enigma. It does behave like gravity and is something connected with the space itself. It acts against gravity and may be responsible for accelerating the expansion of the universe which was detected through the motion of farthest galaxies. The mysterious force that might be responsible for the observed acceleration in the expansion of the universe against expectation could be the dark energy.


Dark energy's origin is still elusive. It is associated with the vacuum of the free space and causes a negative pressure in regions devoid of gravity-attracting matter and causes the empty space to inflate unlike the positive pressure that causes deflation due to attraction. Dark energy might be a fifth fundamental force that has yet to be understood and explained. Physics cannot rest on its laurels; physicists have to explain the universe that has kept its mystery still to itself. It may be interesting to recall when Max Planck was attending university towards the end of the 19th Century and was considering pursuing a career in physics or music, his physics professor advised him to pick music as theories of physics were complete and there was little left to do in this field. Lucky that he still picked physics and was later to discover that the new surprises would blow apart everything his predecessors had assumed to be true. It perhaps is truer now than it was then. Physics has never been at a brink of completeness.


The largest particle collider Hadron restarted its operation on April 05, 2015 at twice the previous power to discover how the universe works, which may enable it to discover the dark matter and perhaps the extra quantum dimensions that may prove the TOE. Will the newly achieved speed of racing particles in the Collider lead to unfolding more of the hitherto held secrets of reality should be happening in the near future? Once thought to be complete, physics faces numerous conundrums and is set to meet many surprises!

 

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.

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

 
10
March
Ukraine Dominates in Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup

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CAS Karakorum Ski Championship and Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup, both international events were held at the enchanting resort of Malam Jabba, Swat. Ukrainian skiers outclassed their rivals in both men and women categories at the magnificent ski slope, which hosted this international event for the first time in the history of Pakistan. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force and Air Marshal Asad Lodhi, Vice Chief of Air Staff who is also President of Ski Federation of Pakistan awarded the medals to the winners of different categories of these two international events.

 

50 male and 10 female skiers from Pakistan and 8 international skiers from Morocco, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Greece, Afghanistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Tajikistan participated in the CAS Karakorum Ski Championship and Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup in the scenic valley of Swat. During these events Jan Jakubco from Slovakia won 6 gold medals whereas Ivan Kovbasnyuk from Ukraine won 2 gold medals in men’s category. In women’s category Tetyana Tikun from Ukraine won 7 gold medals whereas young Pakistani skier Ifra Wali won 1 gold medal.

10
March
We Owe Our Independence to the Sacrifices of Our Shuhada: COAS

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Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Siachen and laid wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada of Gyari. He said, “We owe our independence to sacrifices of our shuhada. Nothing is nobler than laying one’s life in defence of the motherland”.


While talking to troops at Goma and Gilgit Sectors, COAS said, “We are all proud to be soldiers of Pakistan and defending it irrespective of terrain or weather difficulties”. He also said, “Despite facing internal security challenges, we are fully prepared for effective response to perpetual threat from the East”.


Later, COAS interacted with notables of Gilgit-Baltistan. COAS assured them that Army is extending full support to all initiatives aimed at ensuring the rights of GB as part of the federation.


Earlier, on arrival at Skardu, COAS was received by Commander Rawalpindi Corps Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza.

 

10
March
COAS Calls on Prime Minister of Qatar, Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was on an official visit to Qatar met Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani. The Prime Minister acknowledged Pakistan's contributions towards development and growth of Qatar. He also hailed Pakistan Army's contributions towards regional peace. He said, "People of Qatar greatly value people of Pakistan and trust their time-tested commitment for working in Qatar. He expressed his desire to learn from Pakistan Army's experience in security domain and also seek assistance during forthcoming Football World Cup in Qatar including provision of manpower.

 

newscoascallongatar.jpgThe Prime Minister also shared his desire to move forward with Pakistan on multiple fronts including cyber security, defence production and ease of travel. COAS thanked the Prime Minister for his expression and assured him all possible cooperation in the desired fields.


During his meeting with Major General Muhammed Ali Ghanim Al Ghanim, Commander Qatar Emiri Land Forces, the host appreciated Pakistan Army's professionalism and performance in ongoing fight against terrorism. He showed his interest for joint training and field exercises. Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa thanked the Commander while also assuring him to work for undertaking training cooperation. COAS also visited the Qatar Emiri Guard Headquarters and met Major General Hazza Bin Khalid Al Shahwani. COAS visited Ahmed Bin Mohamed Military College where Pakistani tri-services contingent of 166 members is imparting training.

Foreign Heli-Skiers’ Visit to ISPR

A heli-ski team comprising 38 foreigners from 12 different countries visited Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate at GHQ Rawalpindi. The team was on a week long tour to Pakistan through a joint collaboration of Training Recourse Group (TRG) and ISPR, for heli-skiing and to explore beauty of Pakistan. The team was briefed by Director General ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor about security environment in Pakistan for sports. The visitors appreciated the role of Pakistan Armed Forces in war against terrorism and improved security environment. The team also visited Northern Areas under arrangements by ISPR for heli-skiing before their departure.

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10
March
Indian CFVs Have a Design. These Will be Responded to Effectively: COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited troops on Line of Control (LOC) at Mattewala, Munaawar Sector. General Officer Commanding (GOC) briefed COAS about operational situation. While appreciating operational readiness of the troops, COAS directed that unprovoked Indian Ceasefire Violations (CFVs) be responded to effectively. He said that ‘Pakistan Army’ soldiers are known for their professional competence, motivation and selfless devotion for the defence of our motherland and are the backbone of Pakistan Army’.


COAS said, “Indian CFVs have a design. On one side it is an effort to divert the world's attention from her atrocities against innocent Kashmiris; on the other it is an attempt to dilute our response against terrorism and militancy. The targeting of civilians along LOC is deliberate and highly reprehensible. We are fully aware of Indian design and her support to terrorism in Pakistan and the region. Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadev is one such evidence of these efforts and his case will be taken to the logical conclusion”.


He also said, “Pakistan Army will perform its duty to protect people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir against all forms of Indian aggression. We will continue our solidarity with people of Indian Occupied Kashmir who are struggling for their right to self determination”.


Earlier on arrival at LOC, COAS was received by Commander Rawalpindi Corps Lt Gen Nadeem Raza.

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10
March
Commander U.S. NAVCENT Calls on CJCSC

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Vice Admiral Donegan, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi. Matters of mutual interest with emphasis on geo-strategic environment were discussed during the meeting.

Commander U.S. NAVCENT acknowledged the role of Pakistan Armed Forces in fighting the menace of terrorism.

Student Delegation Visits Gwadar

A delegation comprising 230 students and teachers of Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Lasbela educational institutes visited Gwadar. On arrival at Gwadar, the delegation was received by representatives of Army, civil administration and students of local colleges. The visiting dignitaries were given detailed briefing on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, development of Gwadar Port and different projects by Gwadar Port authorities and Gwadar development authorities.

 

Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Aamer Riaz also had an interactive session with the students and answered their queries. He also participated in a 'peace walk' along with students organized by the locals and later on hosted a dinner in the honour of visiting delegation. The initiative of Youth Exchange Programme was launched in 2015 with the aim to create harmony among the students of different provinces and provide more opportunities to the students of less developed areas of Balochistan to learn from the students and faculties of other provinces. Such visits are now a regular feature of Youth Exchange Programme.

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10
March

Written By: Lt Col Malik Noor Mohammad (R)

From a veteran’s pen who shares account of his valiant martyred son.

On January 18, 1983 in Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Multan, amidst people waiting to be examined or to visit their relatives, I was waiting patiently for my son. At 05:45 hours I finally got the news of his birth. No one knew the future of this baby; only Allah Almighty knew as He himself had written his fate.

 

chasindownthe.jpgAs he grew up, his determination to join Pakistan Army also became intense. He applied for 107th PMA Long Course and after clearing the preliminary tests he proceeded for the final test at Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB), Malir Cantonment. He had to stay there for four days as per the scheduled tests. On the third day he got seriously injured while participating in ‘group task’ test in the field; he received injury on his leg and his shin bone was affected badly. The administrative staff of ISSB decided to send him back as he would not have been able to do well in the leftover tests where complete physical fitness was required. This decision was communicated to Jahanzeb but he refused to go back and pleaded that he wanted to appear in all the tests. On his insistence he was produced before the President of ISSB Malir Cantonment Brigadier Shafqat. Before the President he said, “I would prefer to die in ISSB rather than going back home as an unsuccessful candidate”. He further said, “I would only go back if I am called back by my father”. Considering his high morale, strong motivation and enormous enthusiasm, the President allowed him to continue the remaining tests at his own risk. He had a bandage wrapped around his injured leg firmly and started taking his remaining tests. He was selected for the army, completed his training and joined 3 Frontier Force Regiment.


Much later, Major Jahanzeb Adnan joined his parent unit as Delta Company Commander in Frontier Region (FR) Peshawar to take part in the war against terrorism. 3 Frontier Force (FF) Regiment was given the responsibility to clear the terrorists from the area starting from Bara extending upto Dara Adam Khel. Major Jahanzeb Adnan initially conducted operations as a company commander and later on he was appointed second-in-command of his battalion. Besides his administrative duties he volunteered to participate in field operations. He was an exceptionally brave, highly consummate, professionally trustworthy and extremely determined officer. The spirit of sacrifice, devotion and commitment to the motherland and professional excellence displayed by him in different operations against the terrorists had always been admired by his superior commanders. While discharging his duties he participated in various operations and led his troops from the front.

 

chasindownthe1.jpgIn the last operation he conducted, he led his troops and moved to Bazargai village, a continuation of Hasan Khel village near Khikanaboo Hills. Because of increased terrorist activities in Frontier Region Peshawar, Operation Bazargai was planned as that village was being used as an operational and administrative base by the miscreants. On February 16, 2014, I received a message from my son with a request to pray for his success as he was on the move for an important operation.


Major Jahanzeb Adnan took fifty soldiers along with another field officer Major Siraj-un-Nabi. They carried out a classic march and reached near Bazargai village on February 17 at 0800 hours. As per source information terrorists were to come out on February 18 so he moved to Azakhel Dam. He was on the move throughout the day and reached Azakhel Dam at night where he carried out search operations and managed to clear Azakhel village. Without taking rest, early in the morning he moved back to Bazargai village. On reaching Bazargai, Major Jahanzeb confirmed the presence of terrorists and regrouped his troops. One party under Major Siraj-un-Nabi was sent by him to cordon off the village. Major Jahanzeb Adnan took along a few soldiers and decided to smash the terrorists himself.


When he was establishing his positions he suddenly saw a few terrorists headed by their leader, Tariq (alias Hazrat Ali), the most notorious miscreant who had been involved in many terrorist activities (including slitting throats of Pakistan Army soldiers and FC troops) entering the street of Bazargai village. Major Jahanzeb recognized him and ran towards him in order to not miss the opportunity of killing that high value target. While attacking the terrorist, he yelled, shouted and challenged him to surrender. In the process, Major Jahanzeb fired at him and the terrorist received bullet on left arm, ran for cover like the coward he was and managed to get into a shop to save his skin. During the scuffle the other terrorists fired at Major Jahanzeb who was alone at that time as his other comrades got pinned down due to intense fire. He got severe injuries but he returned fire on the other terrorists. Subsequently he managed to kill all of them.


After elimination of those terrorists, Major Jahanzeb followed the terrorist leader and entered the shop. During this encounter Major Jahanzeb also got a burst of fire by few other terrorists seeking hideout inside the same shop. He received seven bullets, one in the head and six on the body and succumbed to his injuries, embracing shahadat on the spot. He did not fall down but stood firmly on his feet with his back touching the wall. Out of fifty soldiers only he embraced shahadat and nobody else was injured. His last fight was a supreme act of valour and I am proud of my son who laid down his life in the defence of Pakistan.

 
10
March

Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid

The publication and accessibility to researchers of documents concerning the last decade of the British Raj call for a fresh look at the events and developments during the decade, and for a revision of the historiography of the period. They have shown several assumptions taken for granted during the period to be false, and several myths unfounded.


One of the myths so consistently and so vehemently propagated by the Congress’ leaders, polemicists and propagandists during the epochal 1937-47 decade was the “collusion” between the Muslim League and the British government. And when the Pakistan demand was raised in 1940, it was immediately put down as being British-inspired – as a “stumbling block” on the road to freedom. Indo-Muslim journalism, so far as the English-language press was concerned, was nebulous and exceedingly weak at the time, so that it could not really join the issue.
In so characterizing the Pakistan demand, the Hindu leaders and publicists conveniently brushed aside the cardinal fact that the Pakistan demand was anti-British, both abinito and ipso facto. After all, it was pax Britannica that had swung the pendulum towards centrepetalism, systematically and institutionally, the most for the first time in all the annals of Indian history, and that had made the nebulous concept of Indian unity a “reality” during the ninety-year (1858-1947) British imperial rule. Britain had given the subcontinent not only a unified political structure, but also a unified system of administration, justice, and education, and had turned the vast country into a “geographical entity” through a comprehensive and well-knit communication network. And for almost a hundred years, almost every British statesman had alluded to this “achievement”, which they had proudly and rightly considered as the greatest “gift” of British imperial rule in India.

 

In order to nail the Congress’ myth(s) to the counter, it would be interesting to see how Jinnah took on the British after he had tackled the “haughty” Congress and after it had taken to political wilderness in late 1939. This calls for a brief review and reappraisal of events and developments during the 1937-47 decade.

Such being the case, how could any British statesman be expected to have a soft corner for the Pakistan demand which portended the undoing of their greatest “contribution” to India in history? And, indeed, none had, as revealed in the documents and in the memoirs published since 1947. As Prime Minister Clement Attlee (and others) have since confessed, they were forced into partitioning India because, all said and done, there was really no way out, the harsh ground reality.


Even otherwise, the unity of India and an indivisible, single polity were concepts that were never at the centre of Indo-British tussle, nor at the centre of the disputations between the Indian National Congress and the imperial power. What, however, were in dispute were the pace of reforms and the quantum of self-government.


However, because the Muslim League and Jinnah were arrayed against the Congress since 1937, the Congress charge sounded plausible for a short while. More surprising, it was repeated ad nauseum even at the academic level (e.g., Ashok Mehta and Achyut Patwardhan The Communal Triangle in India, and Uma Kaura Emergence of the Demand for Pakistan), and that not in the heat of the acrimonious debate during 1940-47, but long after.


In order to nail the Congress’ myth(s) to the counter, it would be interesting to see how Jinnah took on the British after he had tackled the “haughty” Congress and after it had taken to political wilderness in late 1939. This calls for a brief review and reappraisal of events and developments during the 1937-47 decade.


Of the three main parties – the British, the Congress and the Muslim League – on the Indian political scene during 1930s and 1940s, the League represented the weakest side in the Indian political triangle. Such being the case, the League could not be expected to take on both the foes at the same time. It tried very hard to come to terms with the Congress initially, but its offer was spurned with high disdain, after the latter had become “heady” with its unexpected but spectacular success in the 1937 elections. The Muslims were kept out of the portals of power as a community; Pandit Nehru laid down a “two-forces” dictum, ruling them out as a religio-political entity; he also launched a mass contact programme to wean Muslims away from their accredited leader and organization on the basis of “bread and freedom”.


This was the background to Jinnah’s marathon campaign against the Congress which he had launched at Lucknow in October 1937. Its central theme was the exclusion of Muslims from the portals of power in the Hindu majority provinces and the Congress’ designs in the Muslim majority provinces, and a promise to restitute power to Muslims. This telling theme explains the rather astonishing response to Jinnah’s clarion call from both the Muslim political literati and the masses. Jinnah’s greatest problem at that juncture was two fold: (i) to get the Congress to recognize the pan-Indian Muslim constituency that the Muslim League claimed to represent, and (ii) to guard that constituency from getting evaporated, eroded or from being splintered into easily digestable or manageable micro-constituencies, from the Congress viewpoint.

 

If the Pakistan demand was inspired by anything, it was by the concept of the Muslim religio-political identity, which may be traced back to Shah Waliullah. If Jinnah and the Muslim League had worked in collusion with any one, it was only with the Muslim nation. That explains why the Muslims voted for the Muslim League and for Pakistan so overwhelmingly in the 1945-46 general elections.

Fortunately, for Muslim India, Jinnah’s blitzkrieg against the Congress worked incrementally. Fortunately the Muslim constituency, instead of getting eroded or splintered, became increasingly consolidated. Fortunately, for both Jinnah and Muslim India, the Congress blundered into resigning in the late 1939, upon the outbreak of the war; that it did with a view to blackmailing the British into conceding all of its demands. Fortunately, again, the British, though disturbed by Congress’ moves and motives, still stood firm, and refused to surrender to Congress blackmailing.


Against the background of this rupture with the Congress, the British needed Muslim support in the war effort all the more; they tried to make amends for ignoring the League in the past and conciliate Jinnah and the League. Thus, for the time being, there was a congruence of interest between the League and the British government. Jinnah, the strategist and master tactician that he was, knew well what permutations and combinations would pay him dividends, and he tried, as any shrewd politician in his position would have surely done, to exploit the war situation – to strike a hard bargain. The League’s resolutions during 1939-40, and his pronouncements, and his correspondence with the Viceroy during the period provide a clear indication of the aims he was pursuing at the time, and the ultimate goals that were at stake. And by his tactical moves and shifts, he was thus able to secure for the Muslims virtually the power of veto over the shape of India’s future constitutional framework. This he did in the Viceroy’s declaration of August 8, 1940.


Actually, by a fortuitous configuration of forces and events, both the British and the League needed each other at that critical juncture – to help advance their respective interests. And this is amply clear from both the utterance of Jinnah and the correspondence of Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy. In the course of his speech at the League’s Patna Session (December 1938), Jinnah had strongly refuted the allegation that the League was an ally of British imperialism, probably the most telling but hackneyed charge preferred by the Congress. He said that there could be no “greater falsehood”, adding:


I say the Muslim League is not going to be an ally of anyone, but would be the ally of even the devil if need be in the interest of Muslims. It is not because we are in love with imperialism; but in politics one has to play one’s game as on the chess-board. I say the Muslims and the Muslim League have only one ally and that ally is the Muslim nation, and one and only one to whom they look for help is God!
Nor was the Viceroy under any illusion about the League’s or Jinnah’s ultimate course of action, despite their sympathy and conditional support for British war effort at the time. In his letter to Lord Zetland on October 23, 1939, Lord Linlithgow had this to say:


The Muslim League resolution, so far as it goes, is very satisfactory. I hope we shall be able to cover Jinnah’s points... in the (House of Commons’) debate and I trust that when the time comes for me to see him I shall not find him too intransigent. I do not at the same time regard the Muslim League as necessarily something which we can hope to depend on in all circumstances. I feel pretty certain that the nationalist leaven will begin to work in that body also, at any rate among its younger members before too long and that is a factor of which count must be taken.”


And, for sure, Linlithgow was hundred per cent correct. Once the Congress had been, ‘tackled’ and had, moreover, gone into political wilderness – that is, once the Congress’ “threat” had receded – Jinnah took on the other side – viz., the British – step by step. Although the Punjab and Bengal Leagues stood for unequivocal support to the war effort, Jinnah had made the League’s support contingent on certain conditions. When those conditions were not met, he got the League to call upon Muslims not to serve on provincial or district War Committees, in June 1940.


Later, in August 1941, when the Viceroy nominated Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, Fazlul Haq, and Sir Mohammad Sadullah, the Premiers of the Punjab, Bengal and Assam respectively, on the National Defence Council, Jinnah moved swiftly, and called upon the Premiers (and other Leaguers) to resign from the National Defence Council or face disciplinary action, Sikandar and Sadullah gave in immediately, and Fazlul Haq, who tried to put up a defiant posture initially, also resigned two months later. Such Leaguers as did not heed the call (e.g., Begum Jahanara Shah Nawaz and Sir Sultan Ahmad) were expelled from the League.


In the middle of 1936, when Jinnah had begun preparing the League for the 1937 provincial elections, it was moribund, coming to life only when an all-India issue loomed large, and existed on paper for all practical purposes. He sought support wherever it was forthcoming, enlisted candidates with little discretion and devised a political machine of a sort to fight the elections. The League Parliamentary Board was weighed in favour of the pro-Congress Khilafatists, Ahrars and the Muslim Unity Board, and he himself was pledged to create a progressive “nationalist bloc” which would cooperate with the Congress and like-minded groups in the legislature. At that juncture, he represented the “radical” wing in the League; he brought the League close to the Congress and went along developing, something like a “concordat” developed between them in the U.P. and Bombay. And till after the elections he also offered the olive branch. But after elections, when the Congress spurned his offer with high dislain, offered terms to the U.P. League which amounted to “absorption” instead of “partnership”, and initiated measures for the dissolution of Muslims as a political entity, he reacted sharply. He wielded his influence with the U.P. League leadership to isolate the pro-Congress elements, bringing them in line with new League’s posture to withstand Congress’ diktat, or getting them purged. This occurred during June-September 1937, when the League went in for a confrontation with the Congress.


In the late 1941, the National Defence Council issue provided Jinnah an opportunity to show his hand in respect of the British, expose and isolate the pro-British elements, and establish his authority over them, once and for all. By then, the League was no more even a nominal ally of this or that interest or party; it was the professed ally of only one interest – that is, the Muslim nation. By the same token, the charge that Jinnah or the League was in “collusion” with the British should have sounded too hollow by then. But the Congress’ publicists indulged in them till the end, and the Congress-oriented scholars long after.


By early 1943, Jinnah felt that the League had developed sufficient muscle power to throw off its cover and come into “the open”. This is attested to, among others, by the ‘Note’ of the proceedings of the Delhi League Session (April 1943), prepared by the Intelligence Department and sent to Secretary State (MSS EUR F. 125/38; reproduced in The Transfer of Power, volume III, pp. 918-23).


Since this Note (marked “strictly secret”) represents the official British interpretation of Jinnah’s developing posture of confrontation, it is extremely instructive and relevant in interpreting and assessing the vicissitudes in his attitude and the galvanizing of Muslims under its banner.


This Note finally clinches the issue posed by the Congress’ charges of the Pakistan demand having been inspired by the British, and of Jinnah and the Muslim League working in collusion with the imperialist power. If the Pakistan demand was inspired by anything, it was by the concept of the Muslim religio-political identity, which may be traced back to Shah Waliullah. If Jinnah and the Muslim League had worked in collusion with any one, it was only with the Muslim nation. That explains why the Muslims voted for the Muslim League and for Pakistan so overwhelmingly in the 1945-46 general elections.

The writer is HEC Distinguished National Professor, who has recently co-edited UNESCO’s History of Humanity, vol. VI, and The Jinnah Anthology (2010) and edited In Quest of Jinnah (2007); the only oral history on Pakistan’s Founding Father.
 
10
March

Written By: Osman Asghar Khan

Government policies have a major role to play in promoting economic growth, while reducing income inequality and concentration of wealth in the country. Article 38 of the Constitution requires the state to promote the social and economic well-being of the people. This includes removing disparities in the earning and income of individuals. Unfortunately, the state has broadly failed in this constitutional duty. The economic managers of the country have often claimed for macro-economic stabilization, increase in foreign exchange reserves and improved tax-to-GDP ratio. But the people are always more concerned with employment, with access to high quality healthcare, education and, speedy and inexpensive justice. Whether it is 4% or 5% per capita growth in GDP, it is largely a jobless growth. It is a fact that inequality in all its manifestations is increasing in Pakistan. There is inequality of income, assets, education, health, public services, and inequality between the different regions and provinces of Pakistan. This inequality in turn retards economic growth opportunities, which means that millions of Pakistanis cannot earn a decent livelihood, and an entire generation of our youth is condemned to lead wasted lives. This inequality also breeds resentment and hate. These feelings of hate and resentment very often end up manifesting themselves in vicious acts of terror and extremism that have cost thousands of Pakistani lives. It has, therefore, become essential that we take notice of the threat growing inequality poses to our national security and that the state take steps to reduce inequality and promote economic growth.

 

inequalitypak.jpgInequality is often looked at in two ways:one is inequality of outcomes, and the other is inequality of opportunities. Equality of outcomes is somewhat unnatural because all of us have different talent and abilities. But the state must at least strive to ensure equality of opportunity, and this is where we have been failing. Ensuring equality of opportunity requires at a minimum that all citizens, particularly the children of the poor, are given access to quality education and healthcare, that they can compete for any job for which they have the necessary skills and abilities, and that all citizens have equal access to justice and an equal stake in the political process.


In today’s Pakistan, we see inequality of both outcomes and of opportunities. We see inequality in earning; while we argue whether the per capita income has increased by 4% or 5%, the earning of the average investor in the stock market has increased by close to 40%. We see inequality in access to capital, with 7% of borrowers getting 93% of the loans, while small and medium sized businesses are starved of funding and citizens cannot get mortgage finance to buy their own homes. Many poor people are unable to afford their own homes – the HBFC loses billions of rupees every year but gives out only something like 2,000 loans. On the other hand, some real estate companies are highly profitable and the beneficiaries of multiple tax amnesties. The cement prices are among the highest in the world. We see many corporate sectors making huge profits, with rates of returns above 30% in sectors such as the power sector, the banking sector, the automobile and the cement sector, but with no benefit to consumers or the workers employed in those industries. While our agriculture sector is dying, the fertilizer companies continue to be highly profitable.


While our top private schools send students to some of the best universities in the world, millions of other children are out of school, and the standard of public schooling is mostly poor. There are great disparities in the standard of healthcare offered by most public hospitals and the best private hospitals. There is a disparity between the different regions of the country; for instance, the infrastructure, the economy, the education systems and the employment opportunities in different parts of the country.


Pakistan is not alone in seeing growing inequality, it is a phenomenon seen in many different parts of the world. The divide between the haves and have-nots continues to grow deeper and wider. The shocking election results in the United States is partly a reaction against this phenomenon.


As Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has said, “Inequality is a choice” that we make because of the policies that a government promotes. The state policies must therefore address the causes of inequality. There is a need for radical reforms in our government education system. There is a need to focus on the quality of primary school education and the quantity and quality of secondary school education. There is a need to help the children of the poor. There is likewise a need for radical change in our public healthcare system, not only in the large cities of the country, but particularly in the rural districts of Pakistan.


Agriculture policy needs to be focused on increasing the productivity of our farmers.
Industrial policy must favour those sectors that create jobs. Pakistan has South Asia’s lowest rates of participation of women in the workforce. We must encourage our women to play their due role in the development of our economy.

 

There is inequality of income, assets, education, health, public services, and inequality between the different regions and provinces of Pakistan. This inequality in turn retards economic growth opportunities, which means that millions of Pakistanis cannot earn a decent livelihood, and an entire generation of our youth is condemned to lead wasted lives. This inequality also breeds resentment and hate. These feelings of hate and resentment very often end up manifesting themselves in vicious acts of terror and extremism that have cost thousands of Pakistani lives.

While we want to encourage our business community, regulation must deal with market failures, particularly monopolies and cartels, and ensure increased competition in markets where companies are highly profitable. The interests of consumers and the need to promote investment for job creation must be kept paramount. Over the last few years the corporate tax rate has been progressively lowered and yet the corporate sector has not invested more nor created the jobs needed to employ the millions that enter the labour force every year.


Trade unions must be strengthened; not to paralyze and destroy good businesses but rather to ensure a more equal distribution of power between management and labour. The minimum wage must be set at an appropriate level and enforced throughout the country.


Financial inclusion, particularly ensuring that all citizens have access to credit as well as the means to build up and get a positive return on their savings should be another focus of government policy. This means that banking policy must ensure that private banks extend their branch networks and bring down the fees that they charge for use of banking services. The state must also ensure that banking policy promotes home-ownership in the country. Regressive indirect taxes must be reduced. Greater reliance must be placed on income tax, property tax and wealth tax.


Inequality has always been a fact of human life. It would be naïve to think we can live in a perfectly equal world. There is no simple solution to reducing inequality. What is clear is that the state must take the lead in addressing this issue and must do so urgently.

 

The writer is the Honarary Consul for Ireland in Pakistan.

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10
March

Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha

After the complete fall of the Muslim empire in India in the 19th century CE, most Muslim thinkers responded to the fall rebuffing the putrefying reminiscences of their imperial past. They began to espouse certain notions of nationalism to find their place in the shifting standards of global order.
One main outlet of early Muslim nationalism in South Asia encouraged the embracement of ‘modern education’ and the sciences so that an educated and informed Muslim nation could emerge in India to face the challenges of British colonialism and the rise of Hindu nationalism.


This pursuit was academically driven by an emerging Muslim middle-class. It saw the Muslims of India as a distinct cultural unit, united by an urge to refresh its shared faith through a more rational reading of the Muslim sacred texts.

 

returinigtoidea.jpgA major element of this Muslim nationalism also undermined pan-Islamism because it believed that the ethos and social demeanor of Muslim culture in South Asia was largely separate from how Islam had evolved elsewhere. Pakistani nationalism, which emerged from this strand of Muslim nationalism, was thus inherently pluralistic. But politically it was exclusivist. Till the mid-1970s, the government and state institutions of Pakistan continued to explain Pakistani nationalism as a modernistic and progressive expression of Islam.


But some dire happenings, such as the East Pakistan debacle in 1971, split the Pakistani polity. An insistent feature of this polarization began to be expressed through certain convoluted pan-Islamist alternatives. These alternatives succeeded in prompting a popular response from a new generation of middle and lower-middle-class Pakistanis impacted by the 1971 debacle. The emerging pan-Islamic aspect of the changing notion of Pakistani nationalism was also backed by certain oil-rich Arab regimes who had seen modern Muslim nationalism as a hazard to their idea of faith and politics.


As a reaction to the mounting acceptance of this alternative version of Pakistani nationalism, the Pakistani state began to readjust the country’s ideological status quo by co-opting various features of pan-Islamism; even to the extent of forgoing many of the state’s original ideas of Pakistani nationalism. The gaps created by the gradual attrition of the original nationalist narrative began being filled by ideas which, ironically, had been shelved by the early Pakistani and Muslim nationalist intelligentsia.


The emerging alternative was opposed to the original Muslim nationalist narrative. It censured it for going against ‘Islamic universalism’. But many decades after such ideas managed to root themselves in the state and polity of Pakistan, the country was thrown in an existentialist catastrophe. For instance, many young Pakistanis today seem to be detached from the original ideas of Pakistani nationalism because as students they were bombarded by ideas of an amalgamated pan-Islamic version of Pakistani nationalism. A version which was never a part of the idea of Pakistani nationalism weaved by the country’s founders.

A refreshed version of the original notions of Pakistani nationalism just might help future generations of the country to feel more self-assured of being entities defined by their shared cultural heritage of a region that was encapsulated and bordered by coherent nationalist notions of state and society — and not as some convoluted bastion to bump-start a theological utopia from.

Many young Pakistani men and women are not quite sure what being a Pakistani today means. Does it mean being a citizen of a Muslim country which emerged along the mighty River Indus and is part of this area’s 5000-year-old history; or does it mean being a citizen of a pending universal theological idea?


Such a muddled mindset was impelled by the steady corrosion of the original idea of Pakistani nationalism, and the upsurge of a rather ambitious concept of a divergent idea of nationalism. This has also made a whole generation vulnerable to the ways of those who are now promising the same convoluted theological utopia, but through unparalleled violence against the state and its citizens.


Even though the Pakistani state now seems to have accepted the fact that much of the sectarian, ethnic and religious violence of the past many decades has been nurtured by a rather complicated and divergent version of Pakistan’s nationalist narrative (which we have been touting ever since the 1970s) there is still uncertainty about what could such a deep-seated narrative be replaced with.


I believe the solution is present in the increasingly elapsed elements of early Pakistani nationalism. A refreshed version of the original notions of Pakistani nationalism just might help future generations of the country to feel more self-assured of being entities defined by their shared cultural heritage of a region that was encapsulated and bordered by coherent nationalist notions of state and society — and not as some convoluted bastion to bump-start a theological utopia from.

 

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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The great majority of us Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).... But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed, are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan.

(Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Broadcast talk to the people of Australia, 19 February 1948)

 
09
March

Written By: Hasan Khan

The fresh wave of terrorism, particularly the deadly terrorists’ attacks in Lahore and Sehwan Sharif, has forced the government to launch a countrywide security operation against militants, their facilitators and sanctuaries.


The campaign – Radd-ul-Fasaad – having major focus on urban centers, is believed to be long anticipated and needed too; following the purging from militants the ‘peripheries’ particularly the tribal areas and adjoining districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the hard-fought military actions.


Apparently seemed to be launched as a reaction to the fresh wave of terrorism, however, well informed quarters believe that this campaign is part of the grand military strategy prepared and followed for years now. When this grand strategy was formed, the fear of militants was widespread in society. In certain areas, they were having physical control of territories and predominantly targeting personnel of security forces, law enforcement agencies and government installations.

 

The campaign – Radd-ul-Fasaad – having major focus on urban centers, is believed to be long anticipated and needed too; following the purging from militants the ‘peripheries’ particularly the tribal areas and adjoining districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the hard-fought military actions.

It was decided then to go gradual. Starting from scrubbing the crust of the earth first, denying the militants from holding any physical space before targeting the militants and their facilitators in their underground sanctuaries particularly in the urban centers of Punjab.


No doubt, by its very nature, Radd-ul-Fasaad is not going to be an easy exercise. It’s going to be tougher and more complicated as it brings the war against militants into the streets of densely populated centers.


Additionally, it’s not area specific but covering the entire country. Here the law enforcement agencies have to go deep and clear the underground sanctuaries instead of sweeping the crust.

 

radulfasadfinal.jpgIn all the earlier military offensives, the battles were limited to certain geographical areas, with options of evacuating the entire population, isolating terrorists and their sanctuaries; and more freedom to use heavy weaponry including artillery, gunship helicopters or jet fighters. Radd-ul-Fasaad has no such option of isolating the terrorists by evacuating the population. And being fought in urban streets there is limited or no option of using artillery or gunship helicopters.


So it was primarily planned to be an intelligence-based offensive, where the target was to be first identified through actionable intelligence before going and fishing them out from the midst of the populace.


However, since its launch on February 22 till date, the way this ‘final showdown’ against the-now-invisible enemy is carried out; one does not find the tempo and impetus of previously conducted operations, which were conducted in a conventional military style. It was planned to be an intelligence-based countrywide affair, in order to convey a strong message to the enemies and their facilitators, that now they can’t run or hide from a certain area to another and avoid action.

 

No doubt, by its very nature, Radd-ul-Fasaad is not going to be an easy exercise. It’s going to be tougher and more complicated as it brings the war against militants into the streets of densely populated centers.

Besides Pakistan Armed Forces, the operation also includes police and other LEAs. From initial action of police, it seemed to be the typical random ‘pakhar dakhar’ of police. From the word go, the very first impression somehow created, was that the campaign is aimed at targeting persons of a particular ethnic background or those belonging to specific areas. This unintended consequence is detrimental not only for the operation but also a negative to be exploited by the enemies of the federation of Pakistan. Particularly, Pakistan Army leadership must take notice of it and curb this practice without delay.


Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad was planned to be a precise, result oriented exercise having an element of ‘surprise’; not striking randomly or arresting people on the basis of mere doubts or having certain complexions. As of now, on many occasions we see the typical policing mentality is in the working. The way it was initiated gave an impression that the personnel of law enforcement agencies already knew where the militants and facilitators were hiding and they were just waiting for orders. The usual target areas are the slums and localities where low income or poor people are living. This police activity including intelligence setups appears good for optics or a typical police ‘karguzari’ aimed at furnishing a ‘sub-acha’ report. Terrorists and militants are not ordinary thieves or street criminals to be brow beaten by going in an utterly disorganized way or creating a chaotic situation by exercising the hit-or-miss option. The sooner we realize to re-organize our actions the better; otherwise this ‘national campaign’ may not produce the desired results. And we must make all efforts to make it a success; a final decision blow to the enemy.


By virtue of the fact that the battleground is lying deep in populations’ centers, Radd-ul-Fasaad is, no doubt, a most complicated battle. It is a test of both the political and military leadership where failure is not an option at all.


To create the desired national impact and send a strong message to the enemies; that there is no place for them to hide; the political leadership, both in government and opposition, the civil society and all law enforcement agencies have to be on the same page.


Due to sheer propaganda on ethnic persecution, by creating a rift – or a sense of rift – in the society vis-à-vis the campaign, we are reinforcing our failures to the benefit of enemies and their facilitators both within and abroad.


The current state of random and haphazard style must be shunned immediately. It has to be made a national campaign where all arms of security apparatus including the Army, Air Force, Navy and Rangers be involved in the true sense and law enforcement agencies be assisted through actionable intelligence.

 

To create the desired national impact and send a strong message to the enemies; that there is no place for them to hide; the political leadership, both in government and opposition, the civil society and all law enforcement agencies have to be on the same page.

No doubt, failure is not an option for the nation but here the success too is not an easy goal. As believed to be a ‘final showndown’ we shall be ready for a long drawn nerve wrecking exercise.


We shall be mindful of the fact that once the ‘direct or latent terrorist threats’ are eliminated, the next phase will be definitely targeting the sectarian and other extremist organizations. It is part of the grand purging strategy. As such organizations may not pose immediate or direct threat, however, they are instrumental in radicalizing the society and bringing bad name to the country. Facts are also revealing that majority of the militants who joined the terrorists or jihadi organizations were once part of different sectarian groups.


It’s going to be tough for reasons that unlike past anti-militant adventures, where heavy weapons were used, here we will be combing the entire population for picking the bad boys through sheer intelligence. For successful intelligence we need to have the confidence of the people which is possible only through winning their hearts and minds.


It has be made indiscriminate and broad based while targeting the militants and their organizations with no leniency for ethnic or political backgrounds. Otherwise, potentially, it can spoil the gains of past military offensives to the benefit of the enemy.


Moreover, the new leadership of the army has to be conscious of the fact that irrespective of which law enforcement agency is conducting the campaign, people expect results from them.


Military has to its credit the conduct of the toughest of campaign against militants and Radd-ul-Fasaad shall prove to be a culmination of all the anti-militant campaigns. So it’s a test of the new military leadership.


Of all the military operations, Rah-e-Rast – launched in May 2009 in Swat valley by former COAS Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani – was the most difficult military offensive. Militants had taken over physical control of Swat valley following a peace deal with government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


The campaign displaced almost 2.5 million people, however, within a span of three months, not only the entire valley was cleared and handed over to civilian administration, but all the displaced people were rehabilitated.


Former COAS Gen Raheel Sharif too has to his credit taking the wars to the most difficult terrains and heavily forested valleys of Shawal and Tirah in North Waziristan and Khyber Agencies by launching Zarb-e-Azb, and destroying the command and control centers of hardened militant organizations. The era of Gen Kiyani and Gen Raheel was the era of clearing the peripheries.


Today as the fighting against militants has entered the urban centers, the people have more but genuine expectations from the new commander of Pakistan Army, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa – who no doubt is new on the seat but has been on the scene for very long.

 

The writer is a senior journalist, analyst and anchor person.

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09
March

Written By: Muhammad Azeem

Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad aims at cleansing the society from the menace of terrorism and uprooting the terrorists’ sympathizers, facilitators and remnants. This noble cause would need comprehensive and wholehearted participation of the society to achieve the desired end state. Operation Zarb-e-Azb, launched in June 2014, has already achieved significant successes in fight against terrorism in North Waziristan in particular and the FATA and other parts of the country in general. With the clearance of the Shawal Valley, the last stronghold of terrorists in North Waziristan Agency, Operation Zarb-e-Azb reached its culmination, though the terrorist threat has transited to our urban areas with implicit support of few elements of the society and full backing of foreign intelligence agencies. In order to counter the threat which is imbedded in the public and lies beyond the police capacity, Radd-ul-Fasaad is the way forward to stabilize the security situation. As stated by ISPR, operation Radd-ul-Fasaad will be jointly conducted by Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Rangers and other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), focusing on the ingress of the terrorists in the society. Scope of such a large operation demands active public participation to achieve the desired results. Systematic inclusion of society in this endeavour of national significance would be of paramount importance.


During pre-partition era, the British established a well-orchestrated system of public participation in running state affairs. In comparatively settled areas, Zaildar and Lumberdari system was established for revenue collection and their appointments were also used in extending the writ of the state to the far flung areas. Village headman was de-facto state representative in the village. While dealing with the tribal society particularly in Balochistan, the British invoked the most powerful institution of Sardars and Nawabs. These tribal heads were assisted by an elaborate mechanism at every tier of tribal society, starting from the Nawab to the Chief of tribe, Muqadam, Mir, Wadera and finally, till the lowest tier of Sirtakery (village headman). Levies Force was authorized to them for enforcing the state writ within their tribal jurisdictions.


After independence, these local community based institutions lost their importance due to lack of state patronage. Politically motivated local government system could not replace this very effective lowest tier mechanism of governance, however, the potential benefits of such a system should not be lost especially in an environment demanding security consciousness. Based on my experience of serving in Balochistan and FATA, there is a vacuum of governance at the grassroot level through community participation. The proposed system shall replace the colonial system of community participation in governance and help in establishing the writ of the state. Proposed system should be fine-tuned in the existing local government system with least financial effects. This will help achieve the objectives of operation Radd-ul-Fasaad and make the gains sustainable in the long term. As envisaged, neighbourhood communities shall be created and registered at street/mohallah/village levels comprising 10-40 houses. The clusters of neighbourhood should be grouped under Ward Councilor in the existing local government system and the tier of Ward Councilor improved to include the security aspects. In addition, National Guards formed under 1973 Act, shall also be integrated in this concept.


In this concept, neighbourhood refers to a small community (10-40 houses) which is living in the same contiguous locality. The residents of this community may or may not be relatives or from the same ethnic or sectarian/religious background. Every neighbourhood member/house shall register with their mutually nominated elder. Neighbourhood elder should maintain the complete profile of his neighbourhood and record any changes within his community. He should report to his Ward Councilor in case of any unusual happening which is not in line with the NAP or government policy laid down from time to time.

optradulfasad.jpg
Responsibilities of neighbourhood elder should include maintaining profile of his neighbourhood community and submitting monthly report to his Ward Councilor for any change in profile. As the system matures, various phone applications can be developed for updates. He should also report any unusual happening in his neighbourhood to the authorities. Every house of the neighbourhood should be registered with neighbourhood elder and each house should have the following tag on his house gate:
The proposed system will help in extending the writ of the state. Neighbourhood elder, being part of the community, can keep an eye on his neighbourhood. Any unusual happening leading to an act of terrorism/human-induced disaster involving people from his neighbourhood should make him answerable to the state apparatus. LEAs will have an established contact person (neighbourhood elder) in each neighbourhood. Any household which refuses to abide by the laid down policy would be liable to questioning by the LEAs.


In the cities, neighbourhood community may not be homogeneous and may resist registration. Therefore, legislation and motivation by local leadership/LAEs will be required to make them part of this system. Ethnic/sectarian division in the society may also impede the implementation of this concept. Proposed system must ensure that special provisions are made to ensure protection of vulnerable members of the society/neighbourhood. Neighbourhood elders should be made responsible for ensuring safety of vulnerable community members living in his jurisdiction.

 

Structure of Proposed System

optradulfasad1.jpg
Implementation of this concept should involve the local community in sharing their responsibilities toward establishing the writ of the state. LEAs will be facilitated and chances of incidences like Osama Bin Laden compound going unnoticed will be minimized under the proposed system. As a pilot project, proposed concept can be introduced in Tehsil Kalar of District Rawalpindi. Being constituency of the current Interior Minister, implementation of concept is likely to be facilitated.

 

The writer is a Disaster Management scholar.

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09
March

On February 22, Pakistan Army launched yet another operation all over Pakistan after a series of deadly attacks that exacted tremendous civilian toll; a move of hostile elements against the strategic shift of the country towards peace and prosperity. The returning normalcy and sustained peace wasn’t seen as favourable by the terrorists who are on the run and exploiting the ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan to regroup and mount attacks inside Pakistan.


Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad with coordinated and clear lines of engagement will focus and advance efforts for zeroing in on terrorist infrastructure and network of terrorists throughout Pakistan. It is continuity of previous operations especially Operation Zarb-e-Azb to indiscriminately eliminate residual/latent threat of terrorism consolidating gains of operations made thus far. In the previous operations terrorist sanctuaries in FATA were destroyed and multiple successes in Balochistan and Karachi were also achieved during the same time frame. However, it seems to be an unending battle because of the enemy sympathizers within Pakistan and a confluence of external destabilizing factors that put Pakistan in a place of strategic vulnerability and disadvantage.


Although attacks are planned and the attackers are provided training in Afghanistan their sympathizers, abettors and facilitators inside Pakistan give undoubted impetus to their plans. Pakistan is making efforts to get hold of these abettors and facilitators and ensure effective prosecution of those engaged in preparing terrorists for the attacks, their training and recruitment. Pakistan is also welcoming recent proposal from Afghan authorities to take forward the mutual coordination and exchange of information for a result oriented effort against terrorism.


During Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Rangers, Frontier Corps, Police and intelligence agencies will work together in the light of National Action Plan to eliminate violence. The operation will provide the much necessary cleansing in populated areas where the terrorists had relocated during the previous operations. The nature of this operation is more sophisticated and complex as avoiding collateral damage would pose a big challenge to our LEAs. The operation envisages steps and measures that go beyond mere kinetics and will involve a sustained country-wide surge against terrorist facilitation networks.


In the meantime, denouncing the radical preachers of hate for the due course correction in order to prevent young people from embracing violent extremism and de-escalate the crises they feed off in the nearest possible term must take a stronger position in the national fabric. Terrorists, regardless of their origin, must be held accountable for destroying our social structure, killing innocent children and elders and disturbing civic infrastructure on the whole.


The ongoing operation is a reflection of Pakistan Army’s commitment to control borders and the key desideratum to bringing peace within the country and ensuring long-term stability. In the words of COAS, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, "Each drop of nation's blood shall be avenged and avenged immediately. No more restraint for anyone”. We will never let the nefarious designs of our enemies to undermine our resolve to fight back and to negatively project Pakistan as an unstable country succeed at any cost!

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09
March

Written By: Dr. Mirwais Kasi

Pakistan-China friendship hardly finds a parallel in modern international relations as it is based on mutual respect, mutual advantages and equality and it has the potential to maximize the advantages for regional countries. Pakistan-China relation has displayed durability which has adjusted itself according to changing regional and international scenarios. This bilateral relationship has undoubtedly emerged as a very strong friendship which serves as an exceptional example for the rest of peace loving nations.

Pakistan and China enjoy time-honoured and time-tested friendship which has often been termed as “higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans".Pakistan-China relations, though bilateral, yet offer opportunities for regional and international peace. Whether it is South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa or other contiguous regions, Pak-China relations in some way promote peace, prosperity and stability. In this context, the Central Asian Republics (CARs) are also attracted towards Pakistan-China partnership for obvious advantages. Pakistan-China alliance and its positive effects on Central Asian States are determined by their security needs, economic advantages, and their desire to serve as the energy corridor. This approach of mutual cooperation also strengthens the peace prospects in the entire region. Pakistan gave enhanced focus to relations with CARs in the early 1990s. Pakistan shared history, religion and ethnic affinities with these countries. Further, Pakistan also offered a natural trade route for Central Asian states to reach out the world markets; thus lower their trade and economic dependence on Russia. Pakistan also developed institutionalized arrangements to promote cooperation in the economic and commercial fields. Similarly, after disintegration of the erstwhile Soviet Union, CARs also got a pivotal position in the region. Therefore in the fall of 1992, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) expanded and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan were included as seven new members of ECO. Member states set the common objective of establishing a single market for goods and services. The ECO states have great potential for promotion of regional trade and economic development, which is yet to be exploited. Through the ECO, many schemes and projects for intra-regional cooperation are rapidly emerging. Although, currently ECO is not a customs union nor common marketplace or a close economic bloc, but with the passage of time there is a possibility for the ECO – which is basically an economic association of regional countries – to assume a political responsibility on geopolitical canvas. In any such case the growing collaborations and understanding between Pakistan, China and CARs from the forum of ECO will improve in scope and significance towards regional peace and stability.


On the other hand, the sudden disintegration of the USSR presented both challenges and opportunities for China. One of the landmarks of Chinese foreign policy is that it has been peacefully dealing with all the challenges to explore new opportunities in the Central Asian region. China not only peacefully resolved its border disputes with Central Asian countries, but it also initiated economic relations with them. Central Asia has rapidly turned into a raw material supplier for China, while China on the other hand has emerged as a supplier of finished product in the shape of machinery, chemicals and hi-tech equipment for CARs. Several free economic zones have been established for promotion of trade activities between the two sides aiming at mutual advantages. China has been assisting various Central Asian Republics in exploration of oil and gas resources and has been involved in the construction of several oil and gas pipelines connecting different channels. Beijing is also trying to expand its military cooperation with CARs, particularly, with its two immediate neighbours, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In addition, Shanghai Five forum – predecessor of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), also played a significant role in bringing China closer to the CARs and leading them towards similarity of opinions and interests on a wide range of areas aiming to explore common interests. With the rise in non-traditional threats and vulnerability of CARs to these non-state actors, the security agenda of the Shanghai Five gradually began to expand.

 

Pakistan in this regard, through Gwadar Port and the CPEC, will play the role of bridge and the shortest link between China and African states. Also due to its Islamic ideological identity and OIC forum Pakistan wins the goodwill of many Muslim African stakeholders. Pakistan and China have thus gained valuable diplomatic support of African nations to defend their international interests.

Pakistan-China friendship has also played a positive and constructive role for Central Asian States. In 1995, Quadrilateral Agreement for Traffic in Transit; a transit trade agreement was signed between Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Later, Tajikistan also became a signatory of this transit trade agreement, which stipulates effective utilization of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) for trade between Pakistan and SCO member states via Kashgar. Although the agreement is still going through a transitional phase but in years to come its scope and significance will be expanded and it will attract more countries towards it. Furthermore, Pakistan’s entry into the SCO has a positive impact not only on Pakistan-China relations and CARs, but Pakistan-Russia relations as well. The SCO has been merging the interests of all these actors on regional and international level at a great pace and has been leading towards the rise of a new military, economic and resource-rich region in the world.


Similarly, China has provided all-out assistance for the development of Gwadar deep sea port in Pakistan and due to its strategic location, Gwadar has the potential to become a gateway to Central Asia and Xinjiang. Similarly, through a road network Pakistan-China will also offer outlets to Russia towards warm waters as well. Through KKH even Iran can access China via land route from Pakistan, and, CPEC also provides an opportunity to India for access to Afghanistan, CARs and Iran via Pakistan. Pakistan and China have been working on up-gradation of KKH realizing its importance. The up-gradation of the KKH is a Pakistan-China initiative to generate north-south and east-west economic corridors. Pakistan and China's commitment to establish an economic corridor gained momentum after Chinese President's visit to Pakistan in 2015 which assured Chinese heavy investment for CPEC having the potential to achieve regional connectivity objectives.

 

The smaller states of South Asia have seen some real Indian interference and military quests since 1947. India is the only South Asian state which has fought the most wars with its neighbours. Besides that India has also been involved in water sharing conflicts with three important states of South Asia namely; Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. In addition, India not only nuclearized South Asia, but also promoted nuclear and missile race in the region.

Pakistan-China relationship also plays an important role in South-Asia, although India enjoys a little better position in the region due to its size, population and political clout. However, though India has failed to convince the South Asian neighbours to take India as an opportunity rather than a grave threat. India is seen as a problematic entity by most South Asian states and as an irritant and an unbalancing actor in South Asia because of hegemonic Indian objectives in the region. The smaller states of South Asia have seen some real Indian interference and military quests since 1947. India is the only South Asian state which has fought the most wars with its neighbours. Besides that India has also been involved in water sharing conflicts with three important states of South Asia namely; Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. In addition, India not only nuclearized South Asia, but also promoted nuclear and missile race in the region. Pakistan-China relationship became a positive balancing factor in South Asia. Even sane indian voices admit the positive balancing effect of Pak-China collaboration on the region. It has helped in maintaing nuclear balance and thus minimized conventional arms race. Such developments changed the aggressive nature of India towards its small South Asian neighbours. Since the border agreement was made between Pakistan and China the situation in Kashmir got a bit complex for India. As China became a stakeholder, it shattered the Indian dreams of gaining control over the whole of Kashmir against the will of Kashmiri masses by negating their right to self-determination.

 

pakchinfriendsjip.jpgLikewise, this bilateral relationship has relevance and significance for U.S., Africa and Gulf region as well. Pakistan-China relations with the United States of America saw many ups and downs and it's difficult to describe the nature of the relationship between Pakistan and U.S. and U.S. and China. During the Cold War era Pakistan and U.S. were allies against the communist bloc, however, Pakistan-China collaborations, which began in late 1950s, initially became an irritant between Pakistan and the U.S. Later because of Pakistan, the U.S. and China came closer. The 1990s saw strained relations of the U.S. with Pakistan and China, the main divergent factors being Chinese assistance to Pakistan in missile and nuclear sectors. However, after 9/11 Pakistan became an ally of the U.S. in the War on Terror without compromising its close links with China, and, on the other hand China emerged as one of the biggest economic partners of the U.S. while both continue to be strategic adversaries of each other and their interests do clash at various points on trajectory. Despite many diverging elements, considering U.S. relations with Pakistan and China, the significance of Pakistan and China and their bilateral relations' significance for the U.S. cannot be ruled out completely. The economic partnership between the U.S. and China, Pakistan-U.S. partnership during times of crisis and the geo-strategic importance of Pakistan makes Pakistan-China partnership significant and relevant for the U.S. The United States has also been seeking Pakistan and China's assistance in achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan and addressing climate change, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation and promotion of human rights. The U.S. seeks Chinese support particularly in Asia-Pacific, including the Taiwan Strait, South China Sea and East China Sea. Similarly, the geo-strategic location of Pakistan also attracts the U.S. because it can serve as a gateway to CARs and offers a route from energy efficient states to energy deficient states. Chinese role in the development of ports, roads and railway network facilities make Pakistan-China relations relevant and significant for the U.S. as well.


In case of Africa, Pakistan and China attach great importance and relevance to this region as well. Both China and Pakistan have been sympathetic to the African position on many international issues and they have often sided with African countries in the UN Security Council. Pakistan and China, in terms of their relations with African states have turned to a new page with better understanding and cooperation with the objective to gain maximum advantages. Currently, Pakistan and China are interacting with African states on two levels:

 

Pakistan is also vital for Persian Gulf States since most of them strengthened their ties with the emerging super power China through Pakistan. Similarly, through land route Pakistan is the easiest and shortest choice in linking the Persian Gulf region with China, coining it as gateway between them. The strategic location and construction of Gwadar Port provides transit trade and oil supplying opportunities to China and Persian Gulf States through economical and secure options.

I. Through bilateralism via diplomatic, political, social and economic sectors.
II. Through multilateralism via regional, ideological and international forums.
China in particular provides alternate options to African states, by offering them aid and assistance without preconditions and dictations. China seeks natural resources while African nations need her support to explore their resources; consequently the two sides' interests converged to explore mutual advantages. Pakistan in this regard, through Gwadar Port and the CPEC, will play the role of bridge and the shortest link between China and African states. Also due to its Islamic ideological identity and OIC forum Pakistan wins the goodwill of many Muslim African stakeholders. Pakistan and China have thus gained valuable diplomatic support of African nations to defend their international interests.


In addition to above, counter-terrorism has also enhanced the understanding between Pakistan, China and African states. Terrorism became a global problem and African nations are also suffering because of it. They keenly observe Pakistan-China role in the war against terrorism and want to follow the same strategies to eliminate safe havens of terrorists from African land. In this regard, Pakistan and China's contributions are countless; they are not only exporting arms to governments of African countries, but through UN peacekeeping mission they train the local security forces to combat terrorism. As a result, Pakistan-China relations and relevance for African nations became more dynamic and constructive contribution towards peace and stability.


Similarly, in order to comprehend Pakistan-China relations' worth for the Gulf countries, it may be concluded that their ties have been framed through bilateral and multilateral collaboration in diplomatic, security and socio-economic sectors.


Religious similarity, Pakistan’s strategic location and its identity of being a military power among Islamic states have made Pakistan a natural ally of Persian Gulf States. Pakistan, despite its economic and social problems in recent years remains the ultimate hope for many of the Persian Gulf States, particularly after growing distrust towards the western powers. Similarly, Gulf States, particularly Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries, i.e., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain, are important from economic perspective for Pakistan as they always assisted Pakistan during the time of crisis.


Pakistan is also vital for Persian Gulf States since most of them strengthened their ties with the emerging super power China through Pakistan. Similarly, through land route Pakistan is the easiest and shortest choice in linking the Persian Gulf region with China, coining it as gateway between them. The strategic location and construction of Gwadar Port provides transit trade and oil supplying opportunities to China and Persian Gulf States through economical and secure options. China’s emergence as regional economic and military power and its expertise in the high-tech sector are attracting Gulf States towards China. Both Pakistan and China significantly developed friendly ties with Persian Gulf States without getting involved in their internal differences. Pakistan and China also maintained a balance between their relations with Iran and other Arab countries which is not less than a landmark of China and Pakistan's foreign policies. Both Pakistan and China now represent themselves as time-tested, credible, cordial and capable allies of Persian Gulf states and GCC members in particular.


To conclude, it can be said that Pakistan-China friendship hardly finds a parallel in modern international relations as it is based on mutual respect, mutual advantages and equality and it has the potential to maximize the advantages for regional countries. Pakistan-China relation has displayed durability which has adjusted itself according to changing regional and international scenarios. This bilateral relationship has undoubtedly emerged as a very strong friendship which serves as an exceptional example for the rest of peace loving nations. With the development of the CPEC, the Pakistan-China alliance presents opportunities that may lead towards security, prosperity, peace and regional and international balance that makes this bilateral relation significant and relevant not only for regional actors but for the rest of the world as well.

 

The writer is Assistant Professor at Department of International Relations, University of Balochistan, Quetta.

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09
March

Written By: Sylvie Lasserre

Three days after the attack on an Indian military base in Uri on September 18, 2016, the Indian media reported the arrest of two Pakistani school children living in a village within an hour's walk from the Line of Control (LoC), which they had inadvertently crossed, having lost their way. During this attack, 17 soldiers were killed as well as the three militants. India, of course, immediately accused Pakistan, who rejected the claim saying: "No sane individual can suggest that Mujahideen carried out this attack to damage the Kashmiri cause”.


Yet, reassuring news for the families of the teenagers came out as, according to the Hindustan Times, an Indian daily, it was a mistake and the two 16 years old boys, Ahsan Khursheed and Faisal Hussain Awan, were expected to be repatriated the following day: "After careful investigation, we established that the boys said the truth and had no criminal intent," an official, under cover of anonymity, confessed to the famous daily.

 

atrocitesinkashminr.jpgHowever, the teenagers did not reappear, and a few days later, the Indian media were radically changing the story: sixteen-year-old boys became 19-year-old men who, after interrogation, reportedly guided the terrorists, although the teenagers were arrested on September 21, which was three days after the Uri attack. One knows what interrogations can be in Jammu and Kashmir... One had to accuse Pakistan, these teenagers were “perfect” to constitute the missing "proof".


Indeed, strangely, the Uri attack occurred just four days before Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 22. When one wants to kill his dog, one says that he is rabid. In fact, this is what happened: the Indian delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations represented by the Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Modi being absent, brandished Uri attack as "the worst attack on human rights" to justify the violence and atrocities committed in Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Despite the curfew, the Kashmiris regularly go out on the street, braving the Indian security forces which do not hesitate to fire. Since July, more than a hundred civilians have been killed, about ten thousand wounded, several hundreds of whom have lost their eyesight due to the pellet shots of the Indian Army, including women and children.

According to a Pakistani security report, some extracts of which were reported by the Pakistani newspaper The News, "The attack was deliberately designed and carried out by some sections of the Indian security establishment, in order to deflect perceived pressure at the UN over the Kashmir uprising". And indeed, the recent uprisings in Kashmir are totally indigenous and are conducted by a new generation of Kashmiris who have risen up against the occupation of India and demand freedom. Burhan Wani is their symbol.


Moreover, the Indian government seemed so annoyed at the perspective of its atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir appearing under the spot light at the General Assembly of the United Nations that it used illegal means to silence the human rights defenders who were to talk at the 33rd UN Human Rights Council in Geneva: On the morning of September 14, Khurram Parvez, a well-known Kashmiri human rights defender, was detained at Delhi Airport and prevented from taking his flight to Geneva. "I was stopped at the immigration desk. I told them that there was no charge against me and that therefore they could not prevent me from leaving the territory. But they replied that they knew nothing more and only carried out the orders," deplored Khurram Parvez. The following day, September 15, he was arrested at his home without charge and released two and a half months later: "They detained me illegally for 76 days before releasing me, thanks to international pressure and the decision of the High Court of Justice of Jammu and Kashmir, which stated that my arrest was illegal," said the human rights activist, who is also president of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), adding that “they were also about to arrest Parvez Imroz and Kartik Murukutla, two human rights lawyers who were travelling to Geneva as well, but on another flight. An administrative error went in their favour and they were able to take their flight and deliver their report". In fact, India had to prevent them at any cost from denouncing the atrocities committed by the Indian Army on the civilian population of Jammu and Kashmir.

atrocitesinkashminr1.jpgHuman rights abuses by the Indian Army are recurrent in Jammu and Kashmir. The population, which claims its right to self-determination, lives in perpetual fear of the army, especially since the turmoil of the summer of 2016 following the death of Burhan Wani, the young and adulated commander of Hizb-ul-Mujaheedin, killed on July 8, 2016 by Indian security forces. Here, everybody is convinced that the 22-year-old militant was murdered – as the witnesses testify – and not killed in a fight as the army claims.
On the day of the funeral, an impressive human tide, nearly 200,000 angry people, some waving the Pakistani banner, participated in the burial of Burhan Wani whose body was wrapped in the Pakistani flag although they were in Kashmir administered by India. In fact, there, some people dream of becoming a part of Pakistan. On July 15, as protest movements rumbled in the valley, the Indian state imposed a curfew that lasted 79 days. Mobile networks and the internet were also paralyzed.


Despite the curfew, the Kashmiris regularly go out on the street, braving the Indian security forces which do not hesitate to fire. Since July, more than a hundred civilians have been killed, about ten thousand wounded, several hundreds of whom have lost their eyesight due to the pellet shots of the Indian Army, including women and children. Raids in villages, arbitrary and illegal detentions, enforced disappearances, acts of torture against civilians succeed one another in the valley. Testimonies of the brutality of soldiers abound, such as this one, for example: "First the electricity was cut off, then the soldiers began to attack our house, they beat us, including my ten-year-old niece," told a man to Agence France-Presse (AFP) from his hospital bed. "During the raid, the army and the Special Operations Group (SOG) men entered the houses, ransacked supplies and beat the occupants, injuring a dozen people, including women and children. The soldiers also took some 30 young people with them to their camp where they were beaten," said the residents of a village where the lifeless body of a 30-year-old school teacher, Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, beaten to death, was found in the streets on the morning of a raid. It should be noted that the number of soldiers deployed in Jammu and Kashmir is over 700,000, which is one soldier for about 15 civilians, making it the most militarized region in the world.


How far will the greatest "democracy" in the world go in order to continue its abuses against the population without grabbing the attention of the international community? If it could hinder Khurram Parvez, who is an Indian citizen, India could not prevent Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, from attending the 33rd United Nations General Assembly, where he devoted half his speech to the violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir: "On behalf of the Kashmiri people; on behalf of the mothers, wives, sisters, and fathers of the innocent Kashmiri children, women and men who have been killed, blinded and injured; on behalf of the Pakistani nation, I demand an independent inquiry into the extra-judicial killings, and a UN fact finding mission to investigate brutalities perpetrated by the Indian occupying forces, so that those guilty of these atrocities are punished".


After Uri attack followed what India calls "surgical strikes" against Pakistan, from the other side of the LoC, that have killed dozens of innocent civilians. In fact, many villagers, including children, were hit by the Indian soldiers. On October 24, 2 people including an infant were killed. On the 28th, three people, one woman and one girl were killed; on November 19, four teenagers; four days later, eight passengers on a bus were killed and nine injured and on December 16 a school bus was targeted leaving one child dead and four injured. The killings have continued ever since.


Today, more than four months after the abduction of Ahsan Khursheed and Faisal Hussain Awan, their families are extremely desperate and still without any news. However, a glimmer of hope is beginning to emerge since an official from the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) began to speak anonymously to the Indian press. According to him, there was no evidence of guilt at the end of January and he mentioned the possibility that the boys "may have been frightened or constrained when they gave their first testimony." By the end of January, a senior official of the Union Home Ministry told The Hindu, an Indian daily: “We will decide on the fate of the two Pakistani boys in a month. So far, there is no evidence of them having guided the terrorists to the Uri camp. We are still verifying the details and their antecedents”.


Meanwhile, the elder brother of Faisal Hussain Awan, Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum, who is a medical practioner working in Lahore, is multiplying the contacts in order to try to find some providential help and get the two boys freed. As a last chance, he has written to Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. But there is still no news. Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum told Indian media that their mother could not sleep anymore, and that he had to tell her lies, like: the boys were fine, well treated and fed and kept in a juvenile centre and that he could talk to them on the phone from time to time. The truth is that they are trapped by the political game of India and that no news regarding them and their health has emerged.


As for now, brutalities and human rights violations against the Kashmiri population continue in Jammu and Kashmir, despite regular denunciations to the United Nations.

The writer is a renowned French journalist.

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09
March

Written By: Maj Samad Ashfaq

(South Kiere, DRC Congo)

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as Zaire is the 2nd largest country in Africa spread over 2.3 million square kilometers i.e., almost three times the size of Pakistan. United Nations initially stepped into the country in July 1960 against external aggression when 20,000 military personnel were deployed under the title of “United Nations Mission Operation in Congo (MONUC)”, which ended in June 1964. MONUC was renamed as United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) on July 1, 2010. South Kivu Brigade (SKB) as part of Force Component of MONUSCO, comprises Pakistan Army Units (4 Infantry Units and 1 Aviation Unit) as a dominant sub-component along with allied contingents from China, Uruguay and Egypt.


Working hand in glove, this international blend of exuberant professional outfits is committed to the sacred cause of restoring peace in South Kivu province of DRC. Joined together under the blue flag of the United Nations, these sub-units make parallel efforts to promote their respective vibrant culture and lively traditions. One such joyous occasion was when the Chinese contingent celebrated their “Spring Festival” for the Chinese New Year starting January 28, 2017 – gateway to the Year of Rooster. To express the spirit of friendship between the two neighbours since their inception, Pakistani contingent decided to celebrate the joys of Chinese brethren at their own abode, inviting them as the guests of honour.

 

brotherbeyondborder.jpgSaturday, February 4, was chosen as the day for this pulsating gathering at Adikivu Camp. Clad in uniform, traditional Chinese outfits, Pakistani shalwar qameez and all the colours of spring, the guests were given a roaring welcome by the military band of the hosts, the glorious Al Momin Ba-Waqar of the Punjab Regiment. Besides Chinese contingent members, worthy guests included the top brass of Uruguay, Egypt and Chiefs of MONUSCO civil sections as well. Escort to the venue was provided by traditional Luddi party. Pakistani gesture of sharing the joy was reciprocated by Chinese counterparts with matching fervour. Each event kick-started with the announcement made first by a Pakistani officer, followed by an equally enthusiastic Chinese lady co-host attired in traditional Pakistani dress.


In fervour and excitement, the audience got overwhelmed by the ecstatic blend of Pakistani traditional dances, dynamic acts of Kung Fu, unarmed Combat skills of personnel ex-Special Services Group, dragon dance, Bian Lian (face mask changing) and much more. The hosts took the function to a more interactive level and the spectators became the players. Funny skits, musical chair, egg and spoon race and tug of war culminating at dhamaal by all, left everyone exhilarated. Deep rooted Pak-China friendship throbbed and displayed at its peak when the whole Chinese contingent stood up and chanted “Dil Dil Pakistan”. Spirit of friendship was displayed by presenting Pakistani traditional dressing items to the winning contestants by Commander SKB, Brigadier Ansar Zafar Kazmi and Mr. Charles Frisby, Head of Office MONUSCO, Bakavu.

 

Honourable guests were then taken to the spicy cruise of Pakistani cuisine that was fully relished by the guests. The entire celebrations sparkled with the glittering colours and essence of eternal Pak-China friendship. Gratified with the sense of affection, Chinese brethren were bidden farewell amongst cheers, embraces and revels; while the day casted long lasting imprints on the minds of all participants.

Long Live Pak-China Friendship!

09
March

aman2017.jpg

Written By: Lt Cdr Nazia Iqbal

Ships of Pakistan Navy and other participating Navies of the world make an arrow formation at the conclusion of multinational exercise AMAN-17 in North Arabian Sea

 

Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN-17 came to its conclusion on February 14, 2017 with spectacular sea maneuvers and Fleet Review in the North Arabian Sea, amid a joint resolve of 37 countries – “Together for Peace”.


Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was the chief guest on the occasion. Upon arrival onboard Pakistan Navy Ship Nasr, the chief guest was received by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah.


Defence Minister, Secretary Defence, Governor Sindh, Chief Minister Sindh, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff, Sri Lankan Naval Chief, National Security Advisor to PM, ambassadors, Consul Generals, diplomats and other high ranking civil and military officials were also present on the occasion.

aman2017one.jpg
The Prime Minister was briefed on the overall conduct and operational perspective of the exercise and was given a detailed account of the sea based activities.


The chief guest witnessed different operational serials of the exercise conducted at sea by participating naval ships, aircraft, helicopters and PAF fighter jets. These serials comprised replenishment of men and material from one ship to another, Rockets Depth Charge (RDC) firing and surface-to-surface firing on pre-determined targets. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also presented an impressive fly past by various aircraft and helicopters of PN, PAF, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), and participating countries including Japanese P3C Orion aircraft. At the end, all participating ships of different countries skimmed past PNS Nasr in a column formation and presented salute to the dignitary. All the coalition ships also formed up for traditional “AMAN Formation” to signify unity and harmony amongst the participating nations against seaward crimes and maritime terrorism.

 

aman2017two.jpgExpressing his satisfaction, the Prime Minister lauded the strenuous efforts of Pakistan Navy for the successful conduct of Exercise AMAN-17, which is a manifestation of Pakistan’s policy of constructive engagement with the comity of nations for peace and stability in the maritime commons. He further added that ‘presence of such large number of foreign navies is reflective of confidence of world navies on Pakistan’. He also stated that ‘with this state of operational readiness, Pakistan Navy is fully prepared and committed to ensure seaward defence and safeguard maritime interests of Pakistan.’


37 countries participated in the Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN-17 which was conducted in two phases; the harbour phase spanned from Feb 11-12, and the sea phase from Feb 13–14, 2017. The harbour phase comprised International Maritime Conference. On the theme "Strategic Outlook in the Indian Ocean Region 2030 and Beyond – Evolving Challenges and Strategies" in which eminent scholars from Australia Brazil, Canada, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand UK and USA participated there were seminars, table talks, cross ships visits, call-ons, international band display and maritime counter terrorism demonstration. Whereas, the sea phase included practical execution of operational plans and activities finalized during harbour phase.

 
09
March

Written By: Raheel Suleman

"We are proud of being Pakistanis" All set to celebrate 23rd March in A befitting manner

 

People of Pakistan, particularly Balochistan are gearing up to celebrate momentous day of March 23, 1940 with national enthusiasm and fervour. Even those who were misguided by some disgruntled and anti-state elements have changed their hearts and minds and now raise the slogan of Pakistan Zindabad! This change did not come easy, rather it was the collective effort of civil-military leadership and, of course, the masses. The year 2017 will commemorate the 77th year of Pakistan Resolution – a great day for all of us, indeed.

 

On March 23, 1940, Lahore Resolution which is popularly known as Pakistan Resolution was presented by Maulvi A.K. Fazlul Huq at Minto Park in Lahore now renamed as “Iqbal Park”, in which it was unanimously decided to create a separate homeland for Muslims of the Subcontinent. Due to the dedicated efforts of our leaders under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and after immense sacrifices of Muslims of the Subcontinent, they finally achieved a separate homeland. Till that time Muslims were meted out step-motherly treatment by the Hindu majority. Today we are free to shape our own destiny. It gave us our identity as citizens of an independent Muslim state.

 

Authorities in Balochistan, including the military have made plans to mark the day with befitting celebrations throughout the province. There is an air of celebration in Balochistan as masses, from the depths of their hearts, acknowledge the great sacrifices of the freedom movement leaders for giving them a separate homeland.

Balochistan is the largest of the four provinces of Pakistan, covering almost 44% of the total area of Pakistan. People of Balochistan stood shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim League leadership for the creation of Pakistan.


The foundation of the Muslim League in Balochistan was laid by a young known lawyer of Balochistan, Qazi Isa. Father of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah personally visited Balochistan many times.

 

 

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It was in 1938 that Qazi Isa paid a visit to Quaid-i-Azam at Bombay on his return from studies in England and was so impressed that he accepted the invitation of the Quaid to form and organize the Muslim League in Balochistan. Quaid-i-Azam also made a highly successful four day visit to Kalat on personal invitation of Khan Mir Ahmed Yar Khan, ruler of Kalat State.


Like other parts of Pakistan, Balochistan is also geared up to commemorate the 77th year of Pakistan Resolution. Authorities in Balochistan including the military have made plans to mark the day with befitting celebrations throughout the province. There is an air of celebration in Balochistan as masses, from the depths of their hearts, acknowledge the great sacrifices of the freedom movement leaders for giving them a separate homeland.


Bebargh Marri who is a vendor in Kechi Beg area of Saryab, once a stronghold of Baloch separatists, upon being contacted quipped that those who are now living a luxurious life abroad and operating from outside against Pakistan are not loyal with Baloch people, Balochistan and Pakistan. "They are just filling their pockets by pleasing their masters and have done nothing for us," he said adding, "such fake leadership now stands fully exposed and we reject them outrightly". Marri vowed that he, along with people of the area, will celebrate 23rd March with fervour and maintained that they love Pakistan and are ready to render any kind of sacrifice for their motherland.


India is now openly supporting handpicked and so-called separatists in Balochistan, as they have invested three times bigger amount to sabotage China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as compared to the amount they spent in erstwhile East Pakistan. Fact of the matter remains that China and Pakistan's strategic initiative CPEC is a big blow to India. India felt isolated in the region after CPEC was launched as a part of greater One Belt, One Road (OBOR) to link three billion people of South Asia, Central Asia and China. It is estimated that CPEC will add 2.5% to 3% in the country’s annual growth.

 

The people of Balochistan, especially youth are all geared up to celebrate 23rd March in the most befitting manner as they celebrated the country’s Independence Day last year. A marked change is now evident in Balochistan – the mindset stands changed – this goes for all age groups, particularly the youth of Balochistan who are more than eager to serve their great motherland in the best possible manner. They now openly reject the anti -state leaders and vow to serve their country.

Double standards of our extremely shrewd neighbour stand exposed to the world. On the one hand they talk about peace process in the region, but on the other their National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who is also a former police officer has openly declared Cold Start Doctrine as a strategy against Pakistan. Despite the fact we need to enhance coordination level among provinces, we as a nation must strive hard to give a befitting response to the enemies of Pakistan by showing complete unity.


Pakistan Army with Government of Balochistan is thriving to improve literacy rate in Balochistan, for that purpose many schools of highest standards have been established by Pakistan Army in Balochistan. Over 17,000 Baloch students have been selected for education in various schools and colleges run by Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps.

 

youtofbalcoh1.jpgMs. Fazila Bugti, a resident of Dera Bugti who is a student of Pharmacy at the Balochistan University remarked that, "Pakistan Army is sincere with the people of Balochistan. "She informed that her own sister had learned technical skills from Balochistan Institute of Technical Education and was now earning a respectful livelihood for her family.


Moreover, Pakistan Army is also imparting education to over 7000 Baloch students in the schools and colleges of Federal Government administered by Pakistan Army and FC. No doubt the youth of Balochistan are second to none, they only require some guidance.


Government of Pakistan needs to form a comprehensive National Youth Policy and education must be included as the top priority. Our National Youth Policy must work on principles to make our youth grow and be resilient, to enable them to acquire skills and confidence so they can participate and contribute to the social and economic growth of the country.


In short, the people of Balochistan, especially youth are all geared up to celebrate 23rd March in the most befitting manner as they celebrated the country’s Independence Day last year. A marked change is now evident in Balochistan – the mindset stands changed – this goes for all age groups, particularly the youth of Balochistan who are more than eager to serve their great motherland in the best possible manner. They now openly reject the anti-state leaders and vow to serve their country.

Pakistan Zindabad!

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09
March

Written By: Malik Ahmed Jalal

For a healthy cohesive nation, strong horizontal people-to-people linkages are needed in addition to vertical authority-to-people relationship by developing shared values and purpose. This will ensure that maintaining social harmony and unity is not only the responsibility of the state or an authority figure, but the civic society can also galvanize to respond to the multi-faceted and multi-dimensional challenges. Fused by common values and principles – all segments of a nation state can work in unison and more effectively play their respective roles – to steer the country to its objectives.

Significance of the Question –Who Am I?
Path to self-actualization begins with the central questions – ‘Who am I and what do I stand for?’. Taking stock of one’s life path, and role within the unfolding world, a man or a woman discovers the underlying values and principles that fuel life’s direction and purpose.


In the absence of this journey of evolution, life becomes meaningless and directionless. It is then defined by imitating others or living per external expectations. The same principle applies to the individuals, organizations as well as nations. We can either be defined by events and external factors or seek own shared values (principles) that keep us united and on-path towards our collective goal. These shared values act as a nation’s ‘North Star’, guiding principles, and reminders of “What is our purpose”, amidst crises that may deflect us from our destiny. In the words of Viktor Frankl: “Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'”.


The Case of Singapore: Identifying Shared Values
In October 1988, Singapore’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong mooted “shared values”, termed the “National Ideology” at the time. The rationale was to identify what the Singaporean nation stood for or wanted to achieve as a collective. In a globalized world, how could they progress by maintaining their distinct Asian identity? It was the leadership’s understanding that in times of dissent and disruption, these values would be the cohesive glue that would cement national identity and direct collective action.

natioidenty.jpgPrime Minister Goh noted the influence of Western culture in nudging the Singaporean society towards individualism. He shared the fear that this would compromise social cohesion and ultimately undermine national security and economic progress.


This led to the formation of a committee tasked to identify values shared by all Singaporeans, regardless of ethnicity or religion. There were three guiding principles to this process:


• Identify inclusive values, so the underlying values were equally shared by all.
• Ensure that the values reflected a balance between the interests of the individual and those of the society.
• Avoid political agenda in order to ensure purity of the process and social cohesion.
The proposed values were intensely debated by the Parliament, which approved a series of shared-value statements for all citizens. Some of these shared values relevant to Pakistan are:
• Nation before community and society before self.
• Family as the basic unit of society.
• Racial and religious harmony.


The real challenge was to create ownership and inculcate these values among the citizens. While there were propositions to enforce these by law; it was ultimately decided that the most effective way to instil these values would be through education. As a result,the Ministry of Education introduced ‘Civic and Moral Education’ (CME) as part of the curriculum to promote these values.


The CME syllabus focused on respect, responsibility, care and harmony. Upholding these values is seen as intrinsic to being a Singaporean and recognized as ingredients that will prepare the youth to become able citizens, equipped to fully participate in modern life.


The Case for Shared Values of Pakistan
In a nation comprising multiple ethnic and religious groups, ideologies and priorities, it is critical to define an understanding of what we collectively stand for. This creates ownership for an inclusive future and drives collective action. This collective action was evident in the freedom movement for Pakistan when varying sectarian, ethnic, and political differences were set aside by a common value and goal of political and economic autonomy under the green and white flag.


It is our national misfortune that these values only guided till the creation of Pakistan. Losing the leadership that achieved Pakistan’s independence in the country’s infancy, and the firefighting that accompanied the new state’s creation, fostered a vacuum that prevented us from identifying and cementing our shared values as an independent nation.

 

The success of Pakistan in the world depends on its people living in harmony, unity and a sense of direction defined by their shared values. A population that enjoys upward socio-economic mobility on merit and inclusive security; not fragmentation across economic and social groups. Strong and positive people-to-people linkages as well as respect and trust in authority will propel us towards realizing the immense potential of our country. And it all begins with a serious inquiry into answering ’Who are we and what do we stand for?’.

It may be rightfully argued that ‘Unity, Faith and Discipline’ characterizes the shared value for the Pakistani state and all Pakistanis. However, these values exist in no more than empty slogans as there is limited reflection or implementation of these in our work ethic, the academic curriculum or even in our politics. Thus for all practical purposes, Pakistan is yet to take this first step towards an ideological unity and camaraderie of all its people. A prime example of our forgotten value is our national flag; green reflecting our dominant Islamic heritage, yet white that strongly advocates inclusiveness; respect and protection for the minorities – a value that is often neglected.


Our ideologues, philosophers and leaders have not actively forged shared values that can unite us. We are left with defining ourselves by what we oppose – “shadow of the other” – rather than what we stand for; actions driven by fear rather than passion for a positive identity and vision for Pakistan. The drawback of this is apparent each time there is a national crisis. Instead of collective purpose and vision guiding us, we turn insular to seek protection within our sectarian groups, ethnic tribes, and biraderi system. We may survive the crises, but not assuredly as a nation that has its destiny in its own hands. In today’s globalized world, we the people, cannot leverage our strengths externally, if there is no internal social cohesion.


A study of the particular phenomenon of fragmentation of nations shows causality with weak “horizontal linkages” between communities, which results in low social capital and trust across community boundaries and people-to-people relationship. The weakness in horizontal linkages is compensated by an over-reliance on the “vertical linkage” between citizens and the country’s prevailing authority for orienting, maintaining unity and directing collective action.


An example of strong vertical linkages to authority without shared values or horizontal linkages amongst the populace was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). As long as the Communist Party ruled with diktat and force, the system seemed stable and united. However, when the authority of the Communist Party was undermined, the entire system collapsed and USSR broke down along national, religious and linguistic lines. On the other hand, Tunisia had been ruled by two strong men since its independence in 1957. When the second ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali abdicated as a result of the Jasmine Revolution, there was a period of turmoil. The civic society collaborated to avoid disintegration in the absence of strong central authority. This required maturity by the leaders – particularly by the Al Nahda party that gave up government even after winning elections – driven by population’s adherence to shared values and purpose that overcame political self-interest. By comparison, its neighbour Libya split along tribal lines after the fall of the Qaddafi regime and to-date has not been able to coalesce as a united body politic.


Therefore, for a healthy cohesive nation, strong horizontal people-to-people linkages are needed in addition to vertical authority-to-people relationship by developing shared values and purpose. This will ensure that maintaining social harmony and unity is not only the responsibility of the state or an authority figure, but the civic society can also galvanize to respond to the multi-faceted and multi-dimensional challenges. Fused by common values and principles, all segments of a nation state can work in unison and more effectively play their respective roles to steer the country to its objectives.


When a nation is on the move, individual members may disagree on what the best route or method is, but as long as they agree on their shared values, principles and vision, they can overcome their differences on methods. However, in the absence of a clear identification, any group can be undermined or is mission thwarted by individual differences.


In the context of Pakistan, this is highly pertinent and has led to emergence of perceived fault lines: inter-provincial, civil-military and liberal-religious – rather than each group determining what they can contribute to achieving our shared values purpose.


Pakistan’s Path to Self-Actualization
What values do we collectively aspire to? What are the dreams of our Founding Fathers and our children for the kind of Pakistan we want to live in? What values live at our core; as family units, as a community and country? Without answering these existential questions, our dream and potential of actualization as a nation will remain an unfulfilled promise.


Pakistan’s current paradigm is marked by heavy government involvement, donor dependence and lack of support for social inclusion. Undertaking this journey of discovery of shared values and reinforcing them will lead to policy cohesion at all levels of the government and across the society.


The success of Pakistan in the world depends on its people living in harmony, unity and a sense of direction defined by their shared values. A population that enjoys upward socio-economic mobility on merit and inclusive security; not fragmentation across economic and social groups. Strong and positive people-to-people linkages as well as respect and trust in authority will propel us towards realizing the immense potential of our country. And it all begins with a serious inquiry into answering ’Who are we and what do we stand for?’.

 

The author is a former investment banker and an economic development expert.

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Twitter: @ahmadjalal_1

 
The great ideals of human progress, of social justice, of equality and of fraternity..., constitute the basic causes of the birth of Pakistan and also... [provide] limitless possibilities of evolving and ideal social structure in our State. I reiterate most emphatically that Pakistan was made possible because of the danger of complete annihilation of human soul in a society based on caste. Now that the soul is free to exist and to aspire it must assert itself galvanizing not only the State but also the Nation.

(Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Address, Public Meeeting, Chittagong, 26 March 1948)

 
09
March

Written By: Abdullah Khan

It is a long war and despite remarkable successes of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, terrorist attacks cannot be stopped completely unless some major political and security issues around Pakistan are not resolved. Our security forces will have to remain alert and well prepared to minimize the damage while the public will have to keep its morale up. Pakistan is the only Muslim nuclear state with the most organized Armed Forces, state institutions that function better than many in the region and a major role in regional connectivity through CPEC.

The recent wave of terror in Pakistan has jolted the nation. Questions are being raised on sustainability of gains of Zarb-e-Azb and national policies against terrorism are also being grilled. It is a natural reaction because in four days, from February 13 to February 16, terrorists carried out 12 attacks in which 129 people were killed including 103 civilians and 22 security forces personnel and 365 people were injured including 356 civilians and nine security forces personnel. Four of these twelve attacks were suicide attacks carried out in Lahore, Mohmand Agency (FATA), Peshawar, and Sehwan Sharif (Sindh).

 

Although the reaction is natural as mentioned earlier, however, if the situation is seen in an overall context then one can do a better analysis. Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies’s militancy database shows that average militant attacks in 2014 before Zarb-e-Azb were 161 attacks per month. With Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, Operation Khyber I and Khyber II in Khyber Agency, targeted operation in Karachi, intelligence based operations in mainland and adoption of National Action Plan at political level, the violence dropped to an average of 42 militant attacks per month during the last two and half years. In fact, the number of militant attacks dropped below the year 2007 when a sudden rise was seen in violence against the state after Lal Masjid Operation. The same year in December, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was formed which subsequently captured areas in South and North Waziristan and vast areas in Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

 

thewarcounties.jpgAs the current wave of violence in Pakistan is in one way or the other linked with international terrorism we can better comprehend gains of our security forces by comparing them with other countries fighting against terrorism. It is a matter of fact that during the last fifteen years, no other country except Sri Lanka could reclaim such a vast area from militants as Pakistan Armed Forces did. Pakistan also played a vital role in supporting Sri Lankan Armed Froces in defeating Tamil Tigers in Jafna. Pakistan Armed Forces set an example by clearing Malakand Division, Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, South and North Waziristan agencies. During the same period, across the border in Afghanistan the world’s best armies led by the United States were struggling to contain militant threat. Taliban spread to far long areas like Badakhshan and other northern parts of the country. Most of the rural area of our neighbouring country is practically ruled by Taliban insurgents. America and her allies failed to contain violence in Iraq which is spread across Syria and now most of the Middle East is on fire due to failure of western military interventions. Libya was also pushed into civil war by western military intervention while Yemen and Somalia are also engulfed in civil wars. In contrast, Pakistan Armed Forces can be seen distinct from the rest of the world with lots of success stories in defeating militants despite facing financial and technological constraints.


Thanks to Zarb-e-Azb, it is for the first time during the last fifteen years that no area or even a pocket of area is under militant control. Major militant groups fighting against Pakistan faced serious defections. TTP split in to at least four sub-groups, one of them is Jamat-ul-Ahrar. All these groups were flushed out from FATA and now they are operating from Afghanistan’s Kunar and Nangarhar provinces. They are being fed by anti-Pakistan forces active in the region. Unless there is sustainable peace in Afghanistan and writ of the state is established in all parts of our neighbouring country, groups like TTP, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Aalami, BLA, BRA, and others will keep flourishing and their activities cannot be completely diminished. Negative role of Afghan government and its National Directorate of Security (NDS) is one of the major impediments in this regard.


Afghan government is not serious in dialogue with Taliban and instead passes the buck on Pakistan for its own ineptness. NDS is involved in patronizing those groups which are active against Pakistani interests. It is believed that NDS is hand-in-glove with Indian intelligence agency RAW in targeting Pakistani interests. There cannot be a bigger manifestation of shortsightedness of NDS that to weaken Taliban insurgents, it kept supporting Daesh in the country. It should have been known to everyone that Daesh would not serve anyone’s interests in the longer run. It carries an agenda of destruction of everyone. Afghanistan or any other country, regional or extra regional forces who thinks they use Daesh for their interests must realize that they are actually being used by Daesh. The group is gradually strengthening its roots in Afghanistan and poses a serious threat to regional security. Its presence will drag more forces into Afghanistan, which is already facing serious law and order situation due to the presence of foreign troops on its soil.

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Although operational network of Daesh could not make a point in Pakistan but the group has found some useful local partners such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Aalami, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, Lashkar-e-Islam, and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Especially, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Aalami is providing its infrastructure in Balochistan and Sindh to the Middle Eastern group. According to sources, Daesh has an agreement with LeJ-A and other groups that information about certain high profile attacks will be passed on to Daesh to claim responsibility. The attacks on Lal Shabaz Qalander’s shrine in Sehvan Sharif, Sindh and Shah Noorani’s shrine in Khuzdar, Balochistan are prominent examples of such an agreement. Both the attacks were carried out by LeJ-A while responsibility was accepted by Daesh. Objective of such collaboration is to highlight the attacks at international level and put Pakistani government and armed forces under immense pressure. According to a PICSS security report, commanders of TTP, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Isalam and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi-Al-Aalami held a meeting in Khost, Afghanistan last year and decided that they will target Pakistan with joint efforts. It was also decided that local groups would pass on information of certain attacks to Daesh to claim responsibility. Certain attacks in Peshawar claimed by Daesh were also actually carried out by the local groups.


The spat of violence in February 2017 resembles the sudden surge in violence in January 2016 when militants carried out suicide attacks against polio workers in Quetta, Khasadar Force in Karkhano area of Khyber Agency, Bacha Khan University in Charsadda and other attacks. However, security forces managed to control the situation and overall violence in 2016 saw a further 27 percent decline in number of attacks and resultant deaths. Average militant attacks per month further dropped in 2016 from 60 to 42 which was 161 before June 2014 when Operation Zarb-e-Azb started. During the two and a half years that followed Zarb-e-Azb, the country witnessed 68 percent reduction in militant attacks, 62 percent decline in resultant deaths and 48 percent decrease in injuries.

 

thewarcounties2.jpgPattern of violence shows that capability of terrorists to frequently target security forces has significantly diminished due to Zarb-e-Azb and IBOs thus, they have resorted to hit soft targets. Selecting civilian targets create chaos in the society, and creating mistrust between people and the armed forces is one of the objectives the militants want to achieve. One of the major reasons of targeting civilians is to revive financial pipelines of militants. Pakistani security forces have dismantled kidnapping for ransom networks largely, which was providing a major source of income for militants.


It is a crucial time for Pakistani society to stand up to the threat of terrorism and not budge under pressure. It is high time for Pakistani media, civil society, political and religious leadership to guide the populace and help them stand against terrorism united.

 

It is a crucial time for Pakistani society to stand up to the threat of terrorism and not budge under pressure. It is high time for Pakistani media, civil society, political and religious leadership to guide the populace and help them stand against terrorism united.

Unfortunately, a section of our media is playing a central role in demoralizing the public in the face of terrorism. Despite apparently absolute freedom of expression, in the United States, the media downplays losses in War on Terror. There is an official ban on the coverage of funerals of dead soldiers and media cameras are not allowed in graveyards during these funerals. The objective of such restrictions is to avoid demoralizing public. In stark contrast, we demoralize our public by showing the dead and injured and their funerals, as well as live coverage of terror attacks. It has been pointed out so many times that live coverage of militant attacks should be avoided yet only occasional restraint has been seen in the practice. While analyzing propaganda videos of militants in Pakistan, one notices that a major chunk of material is obtained from video clips of Pakistani TV channels.


It is a long war and despite remarkable successes of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, militant attacks cannot be stopped completely unless some major political and security issues around Pakistan are not resolved. Our security forces will have to remain alert and well prepared to minimize the damage while the public will have to keep its morale up. Pakistan is the only Muslim nuclear state with the most organized Armed Forces, state institutions that function better than many in the region and a major role in regional connectivity through CPEC. Therefore, it attracts a variety of enemies for a number of reasons. We will have to stand up against all threats and cannot lower our guard for a single moment. Pakistan has a bright future ahead and these are testing time for the nation. Let us stand firm against all negative forces that are active against Pakistan.
Pakistan Zindabad!

 

The writer is Managing Director Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies. He is an expert on militancy and regional security.

He tweets at @Abdullahkhan333

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09
March

Written By: Ayesha Irfan

WE STAND FOR OUR NATION: COAS

 

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Each Drop of Nation’s Blood Shall be Avenged

Pakistan Army launches 'Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad' across the country. The operation aims at indiscriminately eliminating residual/latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made thus far and further ensuring security of the borders. Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Civil Armed Forces (CAF) and other security/Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) will continue to actively participate and intimately support the efforts to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country.

 

The effort entails conduct of Broad Spectrum Security/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management. Country wide de-weaponization and explosive control are additional cardinals of the effort. Pursuance of National Action Plan will be the hallmark of this operation.

 

Afghan Embassy officials called at GHQ. Given list of 76 terrorists hiding in Afghanistan. Asked to take immediate action/be handed over to Pakistan.
As part of ongoing countrywide Operation Radd-ul-Fassad, FC and intelligence agencies conducted a joint targeted operation in Killi Shah Karaiz near Loralai, Balochistan on February 22, 2017 against TTP/JuA network led by Wahab Zakhbail. 23 IEDs were recovered during the operation. Reportedly, the IEDs were transported to the area by TTP elements to target LEAs vehicles and Loralai University buses carrying students. Timely action of LEAs averted a major terrorist incident.
Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad continues across the country. Punjab Rangers conducted over 200 search operations in various areas of Punjab including Karor, Layyah and Rawalpindi. Suspected houses, madrassas and shops searched. 4 terrorists were killed in exchange of fire while over 600 suspects including few Afghans apprehended. Jihadi material and weapons were recovered. Few facilitators of Jamat-ul-Ahrar were also arrested.
Pakistan Army, Pakistan Rangers Punjab and Police established joint check posts on M-1 and M-2 (Motorway) to enhance security and surveillance.
During sanitization of village Shirrani, Datta Khel, North Waziristan Agency, Army troops recovered another huge cache of arms and ammunition which had been left behind by terrorists.

We Shall Defend and Respond

During an intelligence based operation in Mullagano area, Jani Khel, FR Bannu, 4 terrorists were killed. During an exchange of fire with terrorists an officer Lieutenant Khawar and Naik Shehzad embraced Shahadat.
IBOs and combining operations are in progress across the country including Punjab. Over 100 terrorists have been killed and sizeable apprehensions have also been made.
Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad continues across the country. Pakistan Rangers Punjab conducted search and sanitization operation in DG Khan, Rajan Pur, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Attock.
Intelligence agencies are making progress to unearth networks behind recent terrorist incidents.
No cross-border/unauthorized entry will be allowed into Pakistan from Afghanistan. Security forces have been given special orders in this regard to have strict watch all along the border.
Terrorists’ hideouts of Pak-Afghan border have been effectively targeted.

COAS said, “Army is for security of people of Pakistan against all types of threats. Nation to stay steadfast with full confidence in their security forces. We shall not let the hostile agenda succeed whatever it may cost.”

 
09
March

Written By: Dr. Mujeeb Afzal

On February 01, 2017, the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, presented the annual budget for the year 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. It includes allocation of 51 billion dollars for the salaries and pensions of the defence personnel and expenditure for the modernization programmes of the Armed Forces. These allocations represent 2.25 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product), and a 5.6 percent increase in the 2016-17 defence budget. This article is an attempt to understand the nature and targets of the new Indian budget, its meaning in the emerging strategic milieu that is demanding and according a new role to India and its impact on the already existing power disequilibrium between India and Pakistan.


The Indian defence budget for 2016-17 is higher than that of 2015-16, which was 36 billion dollars and was 1.75 percent of the GDP. The present budget would have been even higher if the expenditure on pensions, border security forces and nuclear and missile development had been included in it. Besides, the allocations for research and development and for Defence Ordnance Factories have been shifted from the Ministry of Defence to the capital budget. In spite of this shift, the capital expenditure has received an increase of 20.6 percent as compared to the previous allocations. If only pensions had been included in it, this would be 2.3 to 2.4 percent of the GDP. Despite this, the apportionment for defence in this budget is about 12.78 percent of the total expenditure of the government of India, that is 21.47 lac crore. In line with the past practice, the Army, which is perceived to be the main instrument against China and Pakistan, has received 52 percent, followed by the Air Force with 22 percent and Navy's 16 percent while 5 percent has been allocated to DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization). The upward spending on defence is a deep-rooted trend in the behaviour of the Indian state. In the 1960s, it had a defence budget of 600 million dollars and it was 2.1 percent of the GDP. Subsequently, it jumped up to 4.5 percent of the GDP; that was meant to assert India as a real strategic power at the regional and international levels. In the 1990s, the defence budget rose to 5 percent of the GDP; and in real terms it was 7.5 billion dollars. After that, its economy was on the rise by more than 7 percent and India planned to acquire capability to fight a two-front war with both China and Pakistan. During 1995-2005, the Indian defence budget grew on average over 5.5 percent annually. Its overall defence spending registered an increase of 30 percent; and in 2001, its budget was around 11.1 billion dollars. By 2012 India’s defence budget was growing by 13 and 19 percent although its GDP growth was about 7.6 percent. A significant push came in 2014, when Finance Minister P. Chidambaram announced a 10 percent increase in the defence budget and took the budget figures to $36.3 billion. India’s sustained efforts have contributed to its strategic importance. At present, it has a standing force of nearly 1.5 million personnel and its defence budget is the fourth largest in the world after the U.S., China and the UK.

 

India under the Modi administration is trying to seize the vulnerability of Pakistan to change its behaviour with reference to plebiscite in Kashmir and its demand for a fair treatment in the South Asian state system.

India, under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has witnessed a sharp rise in the Indian defence budget which is justified with the help of two emotive themes: one, it is meant to reform the accumulated obsolescence of the country’s strategic infrastructure; and two, it is to ensure the promise of autonomy and self-sufficiency in the defence production by ‘Make in India’ programme. It is argued that a large part of the Indian defence equipment is of little use for an emerging major power because it is of low quality and has aged as well. Moreover, the average infantry soldier of India is technologically at least one generation behind in comparison to his counterpart in the modern armies of the industrialized states. Therefore, its protagonists contend that if India wishes to balance both China and Pakistan and also play the role of a major power at the regional and international level, then it needs to change its old low-tech weapon systems. Additionally, it is considered essential that a major power like India should have more autonomous standing by reducing its dependence on imports; that it should achieve greater self-sufficiency in the production of sophisticated defence equipment. Consequently, successive defence budgets have provided lavish funds for domestic defence research and development as well as defence industry. In the present budget, the DRDO, which is responsible for the development of nuclear and missile systems, has received 14819 crores. This organization is involved in the development of short range 700 kms Agni-I, intermediate range 2,000 kms and Agni-II surface-to-surface missiles. It is also developing contemporary weapon-locating radar and the main battle tank (MBT), the Arjun, for the Army. In recent years, India has opened up its domestic weapons industry to foreign investment; and the foreign investment limit in the domestic defence industry has been raised from 26 percent to 49 percent. Apart from this, India is the largest weapons importer in the world; in just one year (2013), it spent $6 billion on buying equipment. India is expected to spend $100 billion over the next decade on a defence modernization programme. Its armed forces desire to get 22 Apache helicopters, 50 Chinook helicopters, 197 light utility helicopters, 135 lightweight howitzers, 6 submarines and 16 multirole helicopters for the Navy. It has already approved a project worth 13 billion dollars to increase its national defence preparedness. The Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has decided to build within India six submarines, purchase 8,356 anti-tank guided missiles from Israel, 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft with improved sensors from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and 362 infantry fighting vehicles.


India’s economy is on the rise. It has grown from a contested regional power to one of the pre-eminent regional powers along with China and Japan. It has more resources at its disposal to spend on the defence sector. Although in terms of GDP the defence spending has decreased from 2.9 percent in 2009 to 2.3 percent in 2015 – now around 2.25 percent of GDP – but in terms of resources it has reached the capacity of 51 billion dollars. The resources available to its defence institutions are more than their capacity to absorb; for example, the utilization of the defence budget in 2014-15 and 2015-16 was 95 percent and 91 percent, respectively. Similarly, it has repeatedly underspent funds that were allocated for capital acquisition; this was 11 percent in 2012-13, 9 percent in 2013-14, 13 percent in 2014-15 and 15 percent in 2015-16. At the domestic level this trend may reflect bureaucratic incompetence but at the external level it indicates the rising Indian comfort to accumulate and exert power. This trend becomes even more significant with the decline of its poverty indicators from 44 percent to 26 percent within the last twenty years. This argument should be read with the fact that India faces no immediate threat from any of its neighbours near or far from its border. It is strategically in a comfortable state and faces no threat to its survival and extended interest from within or abroad. According to the logic of power, it is moving towards domination over others. The continuous rise in the defence budget reflects this trend in the behaviour of India regionally and internationally. It has serious territorial and water disputes with Pakistan and China. In line with the logic of power it has closed the door of negotiation with Pakistan and demonstrates no particular urgency to resolve its issues with China as well. Though it is too early to declare India a major international power or even regional hegemon, its share in the international defence spending was 1 percent in 1995 and 3 percent in 2015. Notwithstanding the Indian low international strategic standing, its arrogant attitude in its relation with neighbours is a cause for grave concern.


India’s exaggerated claims of power and consequent stubborn diplomatic behaviour is the result of two developments: one, the rise of Hindu nationalists to power at the domestic level; and two, its evolving strategic cooperation with the USA at the international level. Since its independence, India has considered itself a major player at the international level. It believes that it is its legitimate right to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council like China, in order to have a meaningful role in the governance of the international system. With the leadership of its first Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, India attempted to play a major role at the international level as an opponent of the power politics and the champion of the rights of the Afro-Asian people against western economic and political imperialism. At the same time, it struggled to attain economic and strategic power to assert its claim of a major power in a forceful manner. India under Nehru and his successors exerted to achieve national cohesion on the principles of composite-culture, secularism and liberal democracy and at the international level it sought strategic autonomy by staying away from the power politics of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and USA. At the regional level, Nehru’s India wanted to impose the Delhi view of one strategic unit for South Asia and wished to keep it free from the influence of outside powers. After the Indo-China border clash of 1962, India tilted more towards the Soviet Union than the USA for technology transfer, heavy industry and sophisticated weapon systems. The Hindu nationalists challenged Nehru’s vision of India as an attempt to impose a western vision to deprive its people of their Hindu tradition and heritage. They presented the concept of Hindutva and integral-humanism based on the ethos of Hinduism that they argued were based on common blood, common laws and rites, and common culture of the Hindu people. It was argued that in the past India was subject to foreign subjugation of the Muslim invaders followed by the British imperialists because of its internal fragmentation. The Hindutva ethos is considered the only way to evolve a cohesive national identity that will provide the requisite Shakti-power to defend India. At the international level, the Hindu nationalists find the integral-humanism closer to the capitalist system. They aspire to expand their relations with the West and consider themselves the natural allies of the USA. Simultaneously, they want to increase India’s military power and assert its regional and international role. Modi government shares the view of the Hindu nationalists and wants to build a strong Indian national identity based on the ethos of Hindutva in which Hindu and Indian interests take primacy over any other consideration at the domestic and regional levels and see in the post-Cold War era an ideal opportunity to attain the rightful place for India by building closer ties with the West particularly USA. The internal and external opponents of Hindutva are advised to accept the new realities of Indian power and adjust themselves with the priorities of Hindus and India.

 

The continuous increase in the Indian defence budget is not good news for Pakistan. India remains, in terms of its strategic capabilities, the principal threat to its security. The growing conventional asymmetry between the two states undermines the regional stability and negatively impacts upon the balance of strategic deterrence.

In the post-Cold War era, the rise of China as a potential strategic power and the good performance of Indian economy are the two factors that are determining the India-U.S. relations. India perceives the U.S. as an ally in future for two reasons: one, as a possible source of modern weapon systems and technology; and two, as a power that can provide an existing strategic structure to channelize the rising Indian influence at regional and international levels. It may facilitate India’s admission into such international institutions as Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) easy and assure permanent membership of the UN Security Council. On the other hand, the U.S. looks at India as a good rising market for its goods both civil as well as military, as a balancing factor for the rising Chinese influence in the Afro-Asian countries, and share the burden of security at the regional level especially against potential strategic competition from China. The U.S. is willing to upgrade the strategic potential of India to achieve these objectives and extend active diplomatic support to India to get the membership of international institutions that may formalize the regional power status of India as a useful ally. That is the reason successive U.S. administrations especially that of Barack Obama have strongly supported India's case for the NSG and Security Council membership. At the domestic level the U.S. political elite has enthusiastically received support for the alliance with India. The U.S. Congress has passed the India "Defence Technology and Partnership Act" that provided a strong legal framework for the Indo-U.S. defence relations and formalized India’s status as a major partner of the U.S. On its part the Obama administration instituted the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and established an "India Rapid Reaction Cell" in the Pentagon to deal with bureaucratic hurdles in the way of strategic cooperation between the two states. Additionally, President Obama encouraged the coordination with India on an annual basis for the development of military contingency plans for addressing threats to mutual security interests of the two countries. India sees a great opportunity for the strengthening of its technological industrial base with the help of U.S. assistance and technology. The Indian flagship indigenous projects such as the aircraft and tanks have not been very successful; therefore, it would be happy to use facilities under the DTTI structure for the U.S.-India defence trade. The strategic cooperation with the U.S. will be difficult for India; it will generate an impression of India as a contract ally who is paid to protect the U.S. regional interest especially against China. India is internally a diverse soft-state that cannot afford to have open hostility with China and expose its national integration for others’ strategic gains. That is why it has accepted the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the U.S. that allows the two countries to access each other’s supplies, spare parts, and services from military bases and ports but has refused joint patrol of U.S. and Indian Navies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific waters. Despite certain reservations, the Indian strategic alliance with the U.S. can help India establish a regional hegemonic relationship.


The continuous increase in the Indian defence budget is not good news for Pakistan. India remains, in terms of its strategic capabilities, the principal threat to its security. The growing conventional asymmetry between the two states undermines the regional stability and negatively impacts upon the balance of strategic deterrence. The recent increase in the Indian defence budget has taken place when the Modi government has taken an increasingly belligerent stance towards Pakistan. It is repeatedly using hostile language and violent clashes are reported along the Line of Control (LOC) and the Working Boundary. The changed international strategic environment places Pakistan in a disadvantageous position. It uses to balance India in conventional term with the help of better trained manpower and western sophisticated weapon system. The U.S. tilt towards India disturbs greatly the strategic calculations of Pakistan. It is gradually finding it difficult to balance rising India with its mere 7 billion dollar defence budget and becoming more and more dependent on nuclear deterrence. The nuclear weapons are essential for the deterrence purpose and cannot be used for fighting a conventional war. In an asymmetrical conventional balance of power Pakistan is becoming more and more dependent on the nuclear weapons which limit the strategic options of a state to defend its autonomy. Therefore, military capabilities are essential for conventional defence and internal security of a state. India under the Modi administration is trying to seize the vulnerability of Pakistan to change its behaviour with reference to plebiscite in Kashmir and its demand for a fair treatment in the South Asian state system. It has refused to negotiate with Pakistan and is putting pressure through threats of hot pursuit in Kashmir in order to call, what the Indian strategic thinkers have described a nuclear bluff. At the international level, India under Modi is using its new-found economic power and closeness with the U.S. to create diplomatic difficulties on the issue of war against terrorism and is attempting to put constraints in the access to high-end technology. Though the Indian challenges are not very great at this moment but in future if the asymmetry in the economic strength continues to expand, India will be in a position to create serious problems for the security and extended national interests of Pakistan. Additionally, if the strategic tensions surge between the U.S. under President Donald Trump and China, then Pakistan will be forced to take the Chinese side and preserve its strategic alliance with China. This probability can greatly increase Indian access to the Western markets and technology and can hurt Pakistan’s strategic options.


The economic rise of India is a significant phenomenon for the regional and international political calculations. Gradually, it will have more resources available for investment in its armed forces, although it will still be treated at the international level as a trading nation and an almost insignificant strategic player. But at the regional level, its increased military muscle might create serious security risks for the sovereign existence of the medium and small states of South Asia. The states of South Asia will be forced to increase their defence budgets and look for external alliances or surrender to the Indian dictates. Pakistan, the second largest state of the South Asian state system, will face the same dilemma though at a lesser level. It will have to increase its resources and widen its cooperation with the regional powers. Before doing that, it must strengthen its domestic politico-economic and social structures and then develop alliances at the regional and international levels.

 

The writer is on the faculty of Quaid-i-Azam University (School of Politics and International Relations)

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