08
January

The Perils of Coercion

Written By: Amir Zia


Out of this much touted figure of USD 33 billion, which Mr. Trump claims that the U.S. gave to Pakistan, USD 14.6 billion were on account of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). The fact is that Pakistan spends more under this head than what it receives from Washington. The remaining USD18.8 billion comprised around USD 8.0 billion in security and military assistance, while the remaining USD 10 billion plus amount falls under the category of economic assistance disbursed through the USAID. Even out of this USAID amount, three-fourth goes back to the United States as consultancy and advisory fee. According to economic experts, the average annual U.S. assistance Pakistan received over the last 15 years is not more than USD 650 million an year, which remains less than one percent of the country’s budget.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s unapologetically brash, reckless and undiplomatic tweets are sending “virtual” tremors across the globe, or at least a part of it. In just the first three days of 2018, Mr. Trump used his private Twitter account to call Pakistan – once seen as the key U.S. ally in the war against terrorism – “a liar and a cheat,” threaten North Korea that he has “a much bigger” nuclear button and to take his animosity towards the American press to a new level by announcing “the most dishonest and corrupt media awards of the year.”


As a business tycoon and television personality, Mr. Trump could certainly afford to thrive on controversies. He could bulldoze rivals in political, business, media and social circles, using and abusing the social media without the worry of any wider consequences. But exercising similar tactics as president of the world’s most powerful nation is tantamount to upsetting the applecart and introducing an element of dangerous unpredictability and uncertainty in the international politics.


Yes, before Mr. Trump, it was unimaginable that a U.S. president would be taking to Twitter in a rash and impulsive manner to insult, abuse and threaten other states instead of opting for considered, careful, calculated and responsible diplomacy. Not anymore. And ironically, his blunt, unconventional and confrontationist style is defining and leading the U.S. foreign policy now.


Twitter Tirade
Mr. Trump’s New Year’s Twitter tirade against Pakistan, in which he accused Islamabad of playing a double game with Washington, remains unwarranted, thoughtless and damaging in the overall fight against extremism and terrorism. It marks a new low in the often rocky relationship of these two uneasy allies who have a history of working closely together as well as witnessing prolonged periods of estrangement.

Pakistan is the world’s only country that defeated terrorists without any foreign assistance, establishing the state writ even in those remote parts of the country where it never existed before. Pakistan Armed Forces successfully cleared terrorist safe havens including from North Waziristan in successive operations at huge sacrifices.

Yet, at least on part of Pakistan, both its civil and military leaders have been consistent in efforts to maintain friendly ties with Washington. To date, this desire of working with the United States has not changed.

Yet, at least on part of Pakistan, both its civil and military leaders have been consistent in efforts to maintain friendly ties with Washington. To date, this desire of working with the United States has not changed.


Director General Inter Services Public Relations Maj General Asif Ghafoor asserted in his various media interactions that Pakistan considers the United States as a friend and an ally and wants it to succeed in Afghanistan. But “a third force” has been trying to create misunderstanding between the two countries, he said referring towards the negative role played by the hostile neighbor i.e. India. The military spokesman, however, said that in case of any U.S. action against Pakistan, the armed forces would respond according to the aspirations of the people. This position underlines the fact that Pakistan’s desire of peace and friendly relation should not be taken as its weakness or lack of will to protect its national interests.

 

theperilsof.jpgPakistan’s civil and military leaders have reacted in a measured and mature manner to the recent provocation by Mr. Trump and other top U.S. officials in recent weeks and months.


The flawed and inconsistent U.S. approach in its dealings with Pakistan was highlighted by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton way back in April 2009 in these words; “(we) have a history of kind of moving in and out of Pakistan.”


Clinton explained how the militancy in Pakistan was linked to the U.S.-backed proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. “… we then left Pakistan [after the collapse of Soviet Union]... We said okay fine you deal with the Stingers that we left all over your country... you deal with the mines that are along the border and... by the way we don't want to have anything to do with you... in fact we're sanctioning you... So we stopped dealing with the Pakistani military and with ISI and we now are making up for a lot of lost time,” she told a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, while discussing the Obama administration’s foreign policy at that time.


Stating the Obvious
Mr. Trump’s administration is committing the same mistake of blaming, abandoning and victimizing Pakistan as pointed out by Hillary Clinton in 2009. This has been the continual flaw of U.S. policymakers, who time and again ditched their time-tested and dependable ally, creating more problems than solutions.


However, even before the Trump juggernaut came into motion, at various levels a sustained propaganda campaign had already been launched against Pakistan in Washington and other Western capitals, which accused Islamabad of not doing enough to help the U.S.-led NATO forces achieve victory in the war-ravaged Afghanistan.


These allegations mainly stem from the fact that despite spending trillions of dollars in its longest ever war, the United States and its allies failed to achieve their goals in the land-locked Central Asian state. Pakistan was made a scapegoat to divert attention from the policy and military failures of the U.S.-led NATO forces.


Washington’s growing strategic relations with India that included the controversial nuclear cooperation treaty of 2008 – which fundamentally reversed more than 50 years of U.S. non-proliferation efforts – also played a role in the gradual widening of trust deficit between Pakistan and the United States. The preferential treatment given to India by the United States, which also gave New Delhi a freehand in Afghanistan allowing it to use the Afghan soil to fan terrorism in Pakistan, also became one of the main bones of contention.


Changing U.S. Priorities
However, while blaming Pakistan for the Afghan mess, the U.S. decision-makers seem to deliberately overlook the way their successive governments kept changing goalposts in Afghanistan.


President George W. Bush vowed in 2002 to make Afghanistan a modern democratic state – invoking the memories of Marshall Plan – but then going full steam into Iraq, neglecting the Afghan mission. President Barrack Obama in 2009 promised to focus on narrower goals that included defeating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban by a military surge and then pull out and leave “a good enough” Afghanistan. The cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s strategy was to work with Pakistan and it’s military to defeat the Al-Qaeda and its likes. But when Mr. Trump announced his Afghan policy on August 21, 2017, he ruled out pulling troops out of Afghanistan, announcing more boots on the ground and insisting that Pakistan must “do more” or face possible sanctions. Mr. Trump’s decision to stay and “fight to win” is another major policy shift in which the U.S. administration has decided to use coercive approach against Pakistan not just to put the blame of its failure on Islamabad but to directly suck it in the Afghan conflict – which successive Pakistani leaders have successfully been resisting so far.


Myth of $33 Billion
The U.S. administration, however, is building pressure on Pakistan to do its bidding, underlining its rash approach and failure to understand – by design or default – the complexities of Afghanistan.


Mr. Trump in his provocative New Year’s Tweet claimed that the United States “foolishly” gave “Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.” This statement itself exposes either the deliberate twisting of facts by the U.S. president or his lack of understanding.


Out of this much touted figure of USD 33 billion, which Mr. Trump claims that the U.S. gave to Pakistan, USD 14.6 billion were on account of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). The fact is that Pakistan spends more under this head than what it receives from Washington. The remaining USD18.8 billion comprised around USD 8.0 billion in security and military assistance, while the remaining USD 10 billion plus amount falls under the category of economic assistance disbursed through the USAID. Even out of this USAID amount, three-fourth goes back to the United States as consultancy and advisory fee. According to economic experts, the average annual U.S. assistance Pakistan received over the last 15 years is not more than USD 650 million an year, which remains less than one percent of the country’s budget.


Ignoring Facts
While unreasonably blaming Pakistan for its Afghan woes, the U.S. leadership completely ignores the fact that no other country assisted the United States the way Pakistan did in the war against terrorism.
Pakistan is the world’s only country that defeated terrorists without any foreign assistance, establishing the state writ even in those remote parts of the country where it never existed before. Pakistan Armed Forces successfully cleared terrorist safe havens including from North Waziristan in successive operations at huge sacrifices.


In order to address the concerns of Kabul and U.S.-led NATO forces regarding the alleged cross-border infiltration, Pakistan has started fencing its more than 2,600-kilometer long frontiers with Afghanistan, establishing new posts and introducing the border management system. But these measures are not being matched by Afghanistan, which in a bizarre manner, is opposing the fencing and the border management system. The Afghans and the U.S.-led forces also are doing little to monitor or man the international border to check the flow of terrorists from Afghanistan into Pakistan.


The Afghan Taliban have managed to gain ground in many parts of Afghanistan because the U.S. led forces failed to put boots on the ground, while the Afghan Army lacks the capacity and ability to stand on its own against this indigenous resistance movement.


Pakistan also has been urging Kabul for the repatriation of millions of Afghan refugees, which will help in curbing the narcotics trade as well as fighting terrorism. Pakistan has also offered for intelligence sharing time and again for prompt action against terrorists.

 

These allegations mainly stem from the fact that despite spending trillions of dollars in its longest ever war, the United States and its allies failed to achieve their goals in the land-locked Central Asian state. Pakistan was made a scapegoat to divert attention from the policy and military failures of the U.S.-led NATO forces.

In a nutshell, the blame game will lead Pakistan and the United States nowhere in the fight against terrorism. By targeting and victimizing Pakistan only the narrative of terrorists and extremists is being strengthened which remains a bad omen in this war. The U.S. belligerence will also strengthen those political and religious forces in Pakistan which firmly stand opposed to any cooperation with the United States in the war against terrorism.


Main Bulwark
Pakistan Armed Forces and state institutions serve as the main bulwark against terrorism and extremism in the region. They are not just holding together this nation of more than 200 million people but also stopping the tide of extremism from spreading across South and Central Asia.


Any attempts to weaken or damage these institutions would not just throw Pakistan into an unprecedented turmoil and aggravate an already dangerous situation in Afghanistan, but plunge the entire South Asia including India into a chaos, where religious, sectarian and ethnic fault-lines run deep and wide.


The United States’ myopic policies of blaming Pakistan, which has rendered huge sacrifices in the war against terrorism, will lead the two countries nowhere. The solution lies in cooperation, building trust, addressing Pakistan’s concerns regarding Afghanistan and helping resolve its unresolved issues, including the protracted Kashmir dispute with India.


On many fronts Pakistani and U.S. interests converge. There are more reasons to cooperate in the fight against extremism and terrorism than to confront. But it should remain clear that while Pakistan and its people desire close and friendly relations with the United States and all neighbours, it will stand up for its core national interests come what may.

 

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

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

Twitter: @AmirZia1

 
09
January

امریکی پالیسی کے بدلتے رویے

تحریر: جاوید حفیظ


ایک نقطہ نظر یہ بھی ہے کہ افغانستان میں مکمل امن سے وہاں سپر پاور کے عسکری وجود کا جواز ختم ہو جائے گالہٰذا اصل ہدف یہ بھی ہو سکتا ہے کہ تھوڑی بہت بدامنی بھی چلتی رہے مگر غیرملکی افواج کا جانی نقصان نہ ہو۔ بظاہر یہ دونوں متضاد ہدف لگتے ہیں تو پھر افغانستان میں سپر پاور لمبے عرصے تک کیوں رہنا چاہتی ہے۔ بظاہر جو اب یہ ہے کہ افغانستان سے غیرملکی افواج کا یکدم انخلاء وہاں طاقت کی رسہ کشی اور سول وار کو جنم دے سکتا ہے۔ مگر اصل ہدف سی پیک کے ساتھ ساتھ پاکستان اور ایران کے ایٹمی پروگرام اور اثاثوں پر کڑی نظر بھی ہو سکتا ہے۔

امریکی وزیردفاع جیمز میٹس نے دسمبر کے آغاز میں پاکستان کا دورہ کیا اور اہم شخصیات سے ملے۔ اس اہم دورے پر تبصرہ کرنے سے پہلے یہ ضروری ہے کہ سیاق و سباق کو سمجھا جائے۔ قارئین کو صدر ڈونلڈ ٹرمپ کی اگست 2017کی تقریر یقینا یاد ہو گی جس میں من جملہ دیگر امور کے اصل تخاطب پاکستان سے تھا اور صریحاً ہم پر الزام تھا کہ اربوں ڈالرز وصول کرنے کے باوجود ہم مغربی سرحد کے آس پاس ایسے نان سٹیٹ ایکٹرز کو پناہ گاہیں مہیا کرتے ہیں جو افغانستان جا کر امریکی فوجیوں کو قتل کرتے ہیں۔ اس تقریر میں امریکی صدر نے پاکستان کو وارننگ بھی دی تھی کہ اپنی پالیسی درست کرے ورنہ امریکہ اپنی پالیسی بدلنے میں حق بجانب ہو گا۔

amrikipolicy.jpg
آپ کو یاد ہو گا کہ اپنی انتخابی مہم کے دوران صدر ٹرمپ نے افغانستان سے امریکی فوجیں نکالنے کے عزم کا برملا اظہار کیا تھا۔ اب سوال یہ پیدا ہوتا ہے کہ وائٹ ہائوس میں آنے کے بعد انہیں یوٹرن کیوں لینا پڑا اس کی بڑی وجہ یہ تھی کہ افغانستان کے حالات میں مزید بگاڑ آ رہا تھا۔ ملک کا تقریباً نصف حصہ طالبان کے زیراثر آ چکا تھا۔ افغان نیشنل آرمی اور دیگر سکیورٹی فورسز کے خلاف حملے بڑھ رہے تھے۔ امریکن ملٹری کے انخلاء کے بعد عین ممکن تھا کہ اشرف غنی حکومت دھڑام سے گر جاتی اور ویسے بھی ایک سپر پاور کے لئے کوئی بھی قابل ذکر ہدف حاصل کئے بغیر اس طویل ترین جنگ سے پسپائی بڑی ندامت والی بات ہوتی لہٰذا فیصلہ کیا گیا کہ افغانستان میں امریکن فوج کی تعداد قدرے بڑھا دی جائے اور دوست ممالک سے بھی فوجی بھیجنے کی اپیل کی جائے۔ تقریر کا ایک نقطہ یہ بھی تھا کہ اب فوجی انخلاء کے لئے کسی ٹائم لائن کا اعلان نہیں ہو گا اور فیلڈ کمانڈرز کو بروقت اور فوری فیصلہ کرنے اور ایکشن لینے کا اختیار دیا جائے گا۔ صدر ٹرمپ کی اس اہم تقریر کے بعد پاکستان پر دبائو بڑھنا قدرتی امر تھا۔


گزشتہ دو تین ماہ میں امریکہ کی جانب سے کئی اہم شخصیات نے پاکستان کے دورے کئے ہیں۔ ان کے خیال میں افغانستان میں امریکہ کے اہداف حاصل نہ کر سکنے کی بڑی وجہ پاکستان کی نیم دلانہ مدد ہے مگر امریکی لیڈر شپ کا یہ تجزیہ حقائق کے برعکس ہے۔ پاکستان نے دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ میں سب سے زیادہ قربانیاں دی ہیں۔ ضرب عضب کی کامیابی کے بعد مغربی سرحد کے قریب نان سٹیٹ ایکٹرز کا وجود تقریباً ختم ہو چکا ہے۔ اب پاکستان سے ڈومور کا مطالبہ مناسب نہیں لگتا۔


صدر ٹرمپ کی تقریر پر پاکستانی لیڈر شپ کا ری ایکشن ظاہر ہے ناراضگی والا تھا۔ امریکی وزارت خارجہ نے اپنا مؤقف سمجھانے کے لئے سفارت کار بھیجنے کا عندیہ دیا تو پاکستان نے انہیں مشورہ دیا کہ وہ فی الحال آنے کی زحمت نہ کریں۔ آرمی چیف کا کہنا تھا کہ ہمیں آپ کے اعتماد کی ضرورت ہے مالی امداد کی نہیں۔


امریکی صدر ڈونلڈٹرمپ اپنی سیمابی شخصیت کے لئے مشہور ہیں۔ کبھی بھی یقین سے ان کے اگلے قدم کا اندازہ لگانا مشکل ہوتا ہے۔ اسی طرح سے جنرل جیمز میٹس اپنی سخت گیری کی وجہ سے مشہور ہیں۔ صدر ٹرمپ نے جب انہیں وزیردفاع لگایا تو بہت سے لوگوں نے اس بارے میں اپنے تحفظات کا اظہار کیا تھا۔ امریکہ میں انہیں کئی عجیب قسم کے القاب دیئے گئے ہیں جو انٹرنیٹ پر دیکھے جا سکتے ہیں۔ 2003میں عراق پر حملے کے وقت جنرل میٹس نے امریکی فوجیوں کو حکم دیا تھا کہ بظاہر نرم خوئی کا مظاہرہ کریں۔ پروفیشنل سولجر کی طرح کام کریں اور جو بھی عراقی ملے اسے مار دیں۔ یہ ایک غیرمعمولی اور عجیب قسم کی کمانڈ تھی۔
اب سوال یہ ہے کہ محفوظ پناہ گاہ کی تعریف کیا ہے۔ پاکستان میں اب بھی دوملین کے قریب افغان مہاجرین ہیں، کیا ان کے گھر یا کیمپ محفوظ پناہ گاہیں ہیں۔ اگر فرض کریں ایسا ہے تو پاکستان تو کئی سالوں سے مہاجرین کی باعزت واپسی کے لئے کوشاں ہے لیکن افغانستان میں بدامنی یا انٹرنیشنل کمیونٹی کی عدم دلچسپی آڑے آتی رہی ہیں۔ یہ عمل کئی مرتبہ شروع ہوا ہے مگر پھر رک جاتا ہے، یا سست روی کا شکار ہو جاتا ہے۔
اسی طرح سے بارڈر کنٹرول کا مسئلہ ہے۔ پاکستان عرصے سے کوشاں ہے کہ بارڈرز پر خاردار تاریں لگا کر آنے جانے کے راستوں کو محدود کر دیا جائے۔ روزانہ ہزاروں لوگ اس بارڈر کو کراس کرتے ہیں۔ اگر سب کے ڈاکومنٹ چیک کئے جائیں اور آنے جانے کے لئے ویزہ لازمی ہو تو دہشت گرد آسانی سے بارڈر کراس نہیں کر سکیں گے۔ پاکستان کی اس بارڈر فینسنگ کی تجویز پر مزاحمت ہمیشہ کابل کی طرف سے آئی۔ امریکہ اور نیٹو ممالک نے بھی اس تجویز میں زیادہ دلچسپی نہیں دکھائی۔ بارڈر کنٹرول کے بغیر دونوں جانب سکیورٹی خدشات رہیں گے۔ پاکستان نے اب یہ کام خود شروع کر دیا ہے۔ مگر ڈھائی ہزار کلومیٹر پر دھاتی باڑ لگانا یا خندقیں بنانا ایک طویل کام ہے۔
اِس حقیقت سے کون صرفِ نظر کر سکتا ہے کہ جب افغانستان کا نصف حصہ طالبان کے زیراثر ہے تو انہیں پاکستان میں پناہ گاہوں کی کیا ضرورت ہے۔ حقانی نیٹ ورک کی عددی قوت دو تین ہزار سے زائد نہیں۔ وہ لوگ اب پاکستان میں نہیں ہیں تو ساڑھے تین لاکھ افراد پر مشتمل افغان آرمی اور دس ہزار غیرملکی افواج اُن پر غلبہ کیوں نہیں پا سکتے۔

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ایک نقطہ نظر یہ بھی ہے کہ افغانستان میں مکمل امن سے وہاں سپر پاور کے عسکری وجود کا جواز ختم ہو جائے گالہٰذا اصل ہدف یہ بھی ہو سکتا ہے کہ تھوڑی بہت بدامنی بھی چلتی رہے مگر غیرملکی افواج کا جانی نقصان نہ ہو۔ بظاہر یہ دونوں متضاد ہدف لگتے ہیں تو پھر افغانستان میں سپر پاور لمبے عرصے تک کیوں رہنا چاہتی ہے۔ بظاہر جو اب یہ ہے کہ افغانستان سے غیرملکی افواج کا یکدم انخلاء وہاں طاقت کی رسہ کشی اور سول وار کو جنم دے سکتا ہے۔ مگر اصل ہدف

CPEC

کے ساتھ ساتھ پاکستان اور ایران کے ایٹمی پروگرام اور اثاثوں پر کڑی نظر بھی ہو سکتا ہے۔ سی پیک پر امریکہ اور انڈیا دونوں کے تحفظات ہیں۔ ان کے نزدیک یہ اقتصادی سے زیادہ سکیورٹی منصوبہ ہے۔ انڈیا نے کہہ دیا ہے کہ وہ افغانستان میں فوج نہیں بھیجے گا۔ انڈیا بخوبی واقف ہے کہ کوئی بھی غیرملکی فوج کبھی بھی افغانستان کو لمبے عرصے کے لئے کنٹرول نہیں کر سکی لہٰذا انڈیا کا رول اقتصادی ترقی کے منصوبوں کے ذریعے خیرسگالی پیدا کرنا اور پھر اس افغان خیرسگالی کو پاکستان کے اندر اپنے مذموم عزائم کے لئے استعمال کرتا رہے گا۔

 

امریکہ کی نئی سکیورٹی سٹریٹجی کا حال ہی میں اعلان ہوا ہے اور یہ بڑی حد تک صدر ٹرمپ کی سوچ کی عکاس ہے۔ ''امریکافرسٹ'' اس پالیسی کا موٹو ہے۔ امریکی صدر کا خیال ہے کہ قوت کے ذریعے امن قائم ہو سکتا ہے۔ اس پالیسی میں انڈیا کا رول اہم ہے۔ انڈیا کے علاوہ جاپان اور آسٹریلیا نیلے سمندروں میں امریکہ کے مرکزی حلیف ہوں گے۔ یعنی چین کے گرد گھیرا تنگ کیا جائے گا۔ اس سے سی پیک کی اہمیت مزید بڑھ جائے گی۔ اس پالیسی میں پاکستان سے ایک مرتبہ پھر مطالبہ کیا گیا ہے کہ نان سٹیٹ ایکٹرز کے خلاف کارروائی کرے۔


پاکستان 1950کی دہائی سے امریکہ کا قریبی حلیف رہا ہے۔ ہمارے ہاں یہ احساس بھی پایا جاتا ہے کہ امریکہ اپنا کام نکلوا کے نظریں پھیر لیتا ہے جیسا کہ سوویت افواج کے افغانستان سے انخلاء کے بعد ہوا۔ یہ بات درست ہے کہ پاک امریکہ تعلقات میں اتارچڑھائو آتے رہے ہیں۔ دونوں کو ایک دوسرے سے گلے شکوے رہتے ہیں لیکن دونوں ایک دوسرے کے لئے اہم ہیں۔ پاکستانی برآمدات کے لئے امریکہ سرفہرست ہے۔ آئی ایم ایف یا ورلڈ بینک سے مدد درکار ہو تو وہاں بھی امریکہ کا اثر رسوخ ہے۔ بہت بڑی پاکستانی کمیونٹی امریکہ میں رہائش پذیر ہے۔


امریکی تعلیمی ادارے اور ریسرچ اب بھی دنیا میں ٹاپ پر ہیں۔ اقوام متحدہ میں امریکہ کی نمایاں پوزیشن ہے۔ امریکہ اور یورپ کا تعاون دونوں کا قد کاٹھ بڑھاتا ہے۔ دوسری جانب افغانستان میں موجود امریکی فوجی دستوں کے لئے مختصر ترین سپلائی روٹ پاکستان ہی ہے۔ افغانستان میں امن کی تلاش میں بھی پاکستان کا رول رہے گا اور ہمیں مدد کے لئے پھر کہا جائے گا۔


پاکستان اور امریکہ کے درمیان شکوک و شبہات کی خلیج موجود ہے۔ دونوں طرف سے کوشش ہونی چاہئے کہ یہ خلیج وسیع تر نہ ہونے پائے۔ امریکہ سے پچھلے دنوں دو تین اہم بیان آئے ہیں۔ وزیرخارجہ ریکس ٹلرسن نے ایک بیان میں کہا ہے کہ پاکستان ہمارے لئے بہت اہم ہے مگر میں پاکستان کے ساتھ بات چیت انجوائے نہیں کرتا۔ ایک اور بیان میں کہا گیا ہے کہ نان سٹیٹ ایکٹرز پاکستان کے کسی قطعہ اراضی پر قبضہ بھی کر سکتے ہیں جبکہ ہمیں معلوم ہے کہ ایسا آج کے حالات میں ممکن ہی نہیں جب تک نان سٹیٹ ایکٹرز کو سپرپاور کی پوری مدد حاصل نہ ہو۔ میری نظر میں یہ بیان پاکستان کے لئے بالواسطہ وارننگ ہے اور صدرٹرمپ کی اگست والی تقریر کا تسلسل ہے۔


امریکی وزیردفاع نے پاکستان میں وزیراعظم شاہدخاقان عباسی، آرمی چیف اور ڈی جی آئی ایس آئی سے ملاقاتیں کیں اور ان ملاقاتوں میں ''ڈومور'' کا مطالبہ ضرور ہوا ہو گا۔ یہ قطعاً ضروری نہیں کہ پاکستان امریکہ کے الزامات سر جھکا کر تسلیم کر لے۔ ہمیں اپنے خدشات انڈیا کے رول کے حوالے سے بیان کرنا چاہئیں اور اس وزٹ میں ایسا ضرور ہوا ہو گا۔ اگر انڈین انٹیلی جنس کا تخریبی رول پاکستان میں افغانستان کے راستے جاری رہتا ہے تو سی پیک سکیورٹی پراجیکٹ بن سکتا ہے۔ دونوں ممالک کو کھل کر بات کرنا ہو گی دوطرفہ تعلقات میں بہتری دونوں کے مشترکہ مفاد میں ہے۔

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07
February

With Kashmir , Forever!

Published in Hilal English

Written By: Sardar Masood Khan,

President Azad Jammu and Kashmir

At a deeper level, the rallies and demonstrations and the popular sentiment displayed on the day goes on to show that Pakistan is not complete without Kashmir and Kashmiris have not yet acquired their political persona because of India’s occupation of one part of the territory and its opposition to a diplomatic solution to the dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions or a negotiated settlement. On this day therefore the dark tragedy of Kashmir is re-enacted in all cities, townships and villages of Jammu and Kashmir, in Pakistan and all over the world. The horrors of Indian oppression and human rights violations in IOK captured in vivid and excruciating imagery, shown on that day, should shake the conscience of the world.

Every year, on February 5, the people of Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora communities abroad mark Kashmir Solidarity Day. On that day we form a human chain to show our support for our brothers and sisters, and indeed our fellow citizens living under Indian occupation across the Line of Control. We also organise conferences and demonstrations to condemn Indian occupation forces’ atrocities in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and to renew the pledge of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan to sustain the freedom struggle until the people of Kashmir get their right of self-determination mandated by the United Nations Security Council. A joint session of the AJK Parliament is held in Muzaffarabad which is addressed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan symbolising Pakistan’s full solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and at the same time demonstrating Pakistan’s locus standi as a party to the dispute and as custodian of Kashmiris’ rights in the United Nations and other international bodies.

 

On the Kashmir Solidarity Day, we also remind the United Nations to implement its own resolutions on Kashmir.

At a deeper level, the rallies and demonstrations and the popular sentiment displayed on the day goes on to show that Pakistan is not complete without Kashmir and Kashmiris have not yet acquired their political persona because of India’s occupation of one part of the territory and its opposition to a diplomatic solution to the dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions or a negotiated settlement. On this day therefore the dark tragedy of Kashmir is re-enacted in all cities, townships and villages of Jammu and Kashmir, in Pakistan and all over the world. The horrors of Indian oppression and human rights violations in IOK captured in vivid and excruciating imagery, shown on that day, should shake the conscience of the world.

withkashmirforever.jpg

Resentful, the Indian media lashes out at Pakistan, as well the people of Azad Kashmir and IOK, and spreads rumours, falsifications and fabrications in regard to the history of the Kashmir dispute. Some observations are being made to set the record straight.

 

It is a well-known fact that India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Viceroy Lord Mountbatten promised a plebiscite to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, even before the United Nations made that determination very clearly in its several resolutions. Less cited are Mahatma Gandhi’s remarks on Kashmir on the eve of his assassination by a Hindu extremist. He said, “If the people of Kashmir are in favour of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so... they should be left free to decide for themselves... if I could have my way... and everybody listened to me, we would not be sending our army as we are doing now.”1 But Indian leaders first reneged on their solemn promises to Kashmiris and Pakistan and then went on to violate the UN Security Council resolutions proscribing a free and impartial plebiscite to be held under UN supervision.

 

India’s attempt to annex Kashmir with its federation is artificial and that is why, even after the passage of seventy years, the cities, towns and villages of the Indian Occupied Kashmir resonate with the slogans: What do we want? Azadi; and Pakistan zindabad. Kashmir never was and will never be a part of India, especially after its brutal massacres of Kashmiris and trampling of their rights over the decades. India has failed to absorb Kashmir in its polity despite its toxic array of coercion and blandishments because the region does not belong to it historically and legally.

India, in the international forums, tries to spread a fallacious story that it had accepted Resolution 47 of April 21, 1948 which required Pakistan to withdraw its troops from Azad Kashmir, but as Pakistan did not do so, it did not implement subsequent UNSC resolutions on the plebiscite. During my recent visit to the UK, I was told by community leaders that some elements, apparently encouraged by Indians, had circulated a petition claiming that Pakistan was responsible for the non-implementation of the UN resolutions. This is a patented and standing Indian position that they have been using in the UN to shift responsibility, but with no success. The other purpose of such falsehood is to sow seeds of doubts within the Pakistani and Kashmiri communities in order to divide them and to nurture disaffection against Pakistan. Some gullible and ill-informed community members may fall prey to such disinformation campaigns.

 

The fact is that several resolutions after Resolution 47 were passed by the Council to address the issue of withdrawal of troops, not just by Pakistan but also by India in a synchronised manner. The decision crystallised in Resolution 98 (1952), adopted on December 23, 1952 which asked both India and Pakistan to demilitarise while permitting them to retain a limited number of forces on each side of the ceasefire line to maintain law and order. For Pakistan the number of troops to be retained was 3,000 to 6,000 and for India 12,000 to 18,000. Pakistan endorsed the proposal but India declined to do so under one pretext or the other and thus effectively scuttled the demilitarisation process.

 

India’s intransigence on the issue was recorded by Sir Owen Dixon, United Nations Representative for India and Pakistan, in his report to the Security Council in which he said: “In the end, I became convinced that India’s agreement would never be obtained to demilitarisation in any form or to provisions governing the period of plebiscite of any such character, as would in my opinion, permit the plebiscite being conducted in conditions sufficiently guarding against intimidation and other forms of influence and abuse by which the freedom and fairness of the plebiscite might be imperilled.”2 This is a very definitive indictment.

 

Another myth being peddled by pro-Indian elements is that the Kashmiris would be content with the status quo–making the Line of Control permanent–if only Pakistan would let go. It is counterintuitive to think that hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris starting from 1931 and 1947 would give lives merely for acquiescing the Indian aggression and perpetuating occupation of their homeland; as we know, thousands were forced to migrate because of a mass exodus in Jammu masterminded and executed by the Maharajah, the Indian Government and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)’s violent extremists. Besides, the Indian establishment knows that it enforced an artificial separation between Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir through its aggression and occupation of one part of the territory on October 27, 1947.

 

Our message to India is to stop the carnage in IOK which would have serious consequences for centuries for the entire region. It should return to dialogue and diplomacy, multilateral or trilateral (that includes Kashmiris), to find a political solution of the dispute. India’s state sponsored terrorism would never solve this problem as history has shown.

Rivers, mountains and people join and connect Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir naturally. These relations predate 1947, as Lahore, Rawalpindi and Sialkot were intertwined with Srinagar, Poonch, Baramula and Jammu. Psychologically, the people of the areas now constituting Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir always saw each other as one people; and that is why, even before Pakistan came into being, on July 19, 1947 at the residence of the founding president of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, mainstream Kashmiri leaders decided that the state would accede to Pakistan, and went on to liberate part of its territory called Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

 

India’s attempt to annex Kashmir with its federation is artificial and that is why even after the passage of seventy years, the cities, towns and villages of the Indian Occupied Kashmir resonate with the slogans: What do we want? Azadi; and Pakistan zindabad. Kashmir never was and will never be a part of India, especially after its brutal massacres of Kashmiris and trampling of their rights over the decades. India has failed to absorb Kashmir in its polity despite its toxic array of coercion and blandishments because the region does not belong to it historically and legally.

Kashmir is not a chess game. It is an issue that impinges on the very identity of 20 million people living in a land that is 85,000 square kilometres. Freedom and self-determination are their inalienable rights. With their blood and through their voices, they have given a message to India and the international community: Kashmiris’ will to freedom will not be crushed. They won’t allow India to make them captives and aliens in their homeland which is being plundered by the occupiers and whose demographic composition is being altered through manipulation.

 

Here on this side of the LOC, we remain determined that we would steadfastly persevere in our endeavours to give our fellow Kashmiris fullest diplomatic and political support. In Azad Kashmir, along the LOC, our courageous civilians and valiant personnel of Armed Forces are embracing martyrdom. Pakistan does and would continue to fight and survive proxy wars unleashed on Pakistan by India.

 

The people and leadership of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan pay tribute to the heroic Hurriyet leaders–Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah and Asiya Andrabi–who are holding the emblem of liberty high despite Indian repression, incarcerations, torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment. We salute the resilience of Kashmiris who have given huge sacrifices and have vowed to continue their peaceful struggle for self-determination.

 

Our message to India is to stop the carnage in IOK which would have serious consequences for centuries for the entire region. It should return to dialogue and diplomacy, multilateral or trilateral (that includes Kashmiris), to find a political solution of the dispute. India’s state sponsored terrorism would never solve this problem as history has shown.

 

To the international community, we would say that it is obligatory for them to move beyond realpolitik. Economic and commercial interests of major powers and promotion and protection of human rights could and should move in tandem.

 

The writer is the President of the State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and former Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York and Geneva.

 

1     Quoted by Dr. Stanley Wolpert in a paper read at the International Kashmir Peace Conference held in Washington D.C. on July 23-25 and published in Beyond the Blame Game: Finding Common Grounds for Peace & Justice in KASHMIR, p.99.

2         Security Council Document S/1971, para 52.

 
07
February

The Growing Indo-Israel Nexus

Published in Hilal English

Written By: Vice Admiral

Taj M. Khattak (R)


Amid growing global concerns and increase in cyber security incidents and threats, both in frequency and intensity, it makes sense to share best practices to promote security but given their visceral common animosity towards Pakistan and a litany of past attempts to carryout pre-emptive strikes on our nuclear installations, any military dimension of co-operation in cyber security poses a clear threat to Pakistan. We therefore need to keep a sharp eye on how many fronts is Indo-Israel cyberspace relationship building up using terrorism and ‘online extremism’ as an excuse for common threat.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently visited India to mark the 25th anniversary of normal diplomatic ties between the two countries. The Israeli Premier’s visit soon after India’s vote against UN General Assembly’s resolution on U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, and just six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel, is indicative of strong emerging relations between the two countries.

 

India had recognized Israel in 1950 and allowed it to open a consulate in Mumbai in 1953 but its foreign policy goals and alliances, such as support for Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), being a member of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), near total dependence on former Soviet Union during Cold War for its defense needs and a strong desire to counter Pakistan’s influence with Arab states, came in the way of upgrading its diplomatic relations to ambassadorial level.

 

On an ideological plane also, Indian National Congress, the dominant political party, opposed full diplomatic relations due to its perception that state of Israel was based on religion and as such analogous to Pakistan. Not surprisingly, therefore, it was during BJP government, riding on the wave of Hindu extremist sentiments, that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made the historic first visit to India in 2003 and their relations, especially in defense, have been in ascendency ever since. How far Pakistan’s foreign policy of being ‘more Arab than the Arabs’ in its antagonism with Israel, even after some of them had established normal diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, helped India and Israel to come closer to each other, is now a moot point.

 

In recent years, Israel has become the second biggest exporter of arms to India after U.S., which averages over USD 1 billion a year. Netanyahu tried to salvage ‘an anti-tank missile deal for 8000 missiles and associated launchers to the Indian army worth USD 850 million which was put on hold a few months before the visit. The missile, code named ‘Spike’, is a fourth generation weapon system. It is operationalized in more than fifteen armies of the world and under evaluation in another six countries. Pakistan’s anti-armor weaponry, ‘Bakhtar Shikan’ is second generation missile based on Chinese HJ-8 system–a 1980s design but modified since then.

 

Mr. Netanyahu led a delegation of 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies, largest ever taken by him on a foreign visit and drawn from areas such as agriculture, water, cyber security and healthcare. A total of nine memorandums of understandings (MoUs) were signed in oil and gas, space, air transport, films, homeopathic medicine, solar energy, investment sector and cyberspace. India, in an era of high speed and high intensity i-cloud computing, big data analytics and artificial intelligence, and as a growing economy, should be well within its rights, to pursue enhanced cyber stability and script and adopt rules of the road. Under normal circumstances, there should be no harm if India engaged with tech companies in Israel’s booming startup ecosystem in ‘Silicon Wadi’, to domestically replicate Israel’s success in incubating the world’s most sought after startups in cyber security.

 

Also, amid growing global concerns and increase in cyber security incidents and threats, both in frequency and intensity, it makes sense to share best practices to promote security but given their visceral common animosity towards Pakistan and a litany of past attempts to carryout pre-emptive strikes on our nuclear installations, any military dimension of co-operation in cyber security poses a clear threat to Pakistan. We therefore need to keep a sharp eye on how many fronts is Indo-Israel cyberspace relationship building up using terrorism and ‘online extremism’ as an excuse for common threat.

 

The failure of Group of Government Experts (GGE) to reach any consensus in the debate on how international law could apply to use of information and communication technologies by states and creation of norms in cyberspace under the aegis of UNO, has added to the uncertainty and anxiety. One analyst has described the present moment as the ‘golden age of espionage’ since cyber warfare is nonlethal, un-attributable with plenty of space for deniability, and can pass almost completely unpunished.

 

The world woke up to realism of cyber warfare when the Stuxnet malware which infected Iran’s nuclear program in 2007, was traced to an intelligence unit of Israel Defense Forces (IDF), trained by an elite and secret program known as Talpiot. A recent story in The New York Times left enough room for speculations that failures in recent North Korea’s missile firings could also be due to reasons ‘other’ than technical shortcomings. South Korea’s cyber defense curriculum emulates Talpiot program to train its cyber warriors. Indian media has hinted at co-operation in this training program.

 

The Talpiot program was introduced in 1970s and has since become a benchmark in cyber security training and produced a generation of cyber experts. These experts have progressed and established some of Israel’s most successful technical firms like CyberArk and Fireglass. In 2015, UK entered into cyber security research project with Israel and launched a domestic talent drive based on Talpiot to build up capacity. Within Israel it is acknowledged that no other military unit has had more of an impact on the State of Israel than Talpiot nor will any unit have in the years ahead.

 

A brief study of some cyber warfare incidents in recent years indicate how ‘almost anything’ can precipitate a major cyberattack crisis. In Estonia in 2007, for example, a relocation of a wartime memorial in Tallinn led to tensions in diplomatic relations between Estonia and Russia, followed by attacks on websites of ministries, banks, political parties with an aim to paralyze Estonian society. In Saudi Arabia in 2012, a group of hackers blamed the government for crimes and atrocities in Syria and Bahrain and attacked Saudi Aramco damaging over 30,000 computers in order to disrupt Saudi oil exports. South Korea in 2013 experienced cyberattacks ostensibly in retaliation to UN sanctions against North Korea for which it held U.S. and South Korea responsible.

 

India has progressed in cyber warfare and is keen to bolster its offensive capability as well as upgrade its security architecture for a more robust defense. Last year, India embarked on aggressive ‘digital diplomacy’ and entered into an extensive cyber agreement with Russia on the sidelines of BRICS summit and also concluded a framework agreement with U.S. Pakistan has a huge gap between its capability and capacity in cyber warfare. Our vulnerabilities in transport system, power grid, banking operations and functioning of bourses and the possibilities of sabotaging of national elections to create nationwide unrest and chaos needs to be addressed to discourage cyber-attacks.

 

In evolving responses, our technical expertise will have to be dove-tailed with diplomatic responses where Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be involved as an instrument of policy and response. To be effective, however, it should be in possession of precise information for removal of malicious computer codes from specific servers instead of generalized accusations–a strategy followed by U.S. in 2014 during cyber-attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment and the subsequent fallout.

 

With the passage of time, it is becoming evident that ‘pre-emptive strikes’ in any future war may well occur in cyberspace to cause disruptions in country’s vital networks and infrastructure and on a scale far more than hitherto fore. The growing Indo-Israel nexus in cyberspace is a dangerous development for which we have to be ready.

 

The writer is a retired Vice Admiral of Pakistan Navy and eminent expert on national security issues.

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