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

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

Written By: Maryam Razzaq

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


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

 

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


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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 
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08
August

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


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


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


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


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


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

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08
August

Written By: Ayesha Farooq

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

 

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08
August
AFIC Receives International Award for Best Health Care Services

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


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


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

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

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


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


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

 

08
August
Air Chief Awarded Turkish Legion of Merit

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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

08
August
Congratulations Chinese PLA on 90 Founding Day.

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08
August
COAS Visits Heavy Industries Taxila

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

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08
August
COAS Greets International Football Players

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Senator John McCain

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

 

Senator Lindsey Olin Graham

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

 

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Senator Elizabeth Warren

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

 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

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

 
07
August
CJCSC Addresses Commissioning Parade at Pakistan Naval Academy

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


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


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


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


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

07
August

Written By: Tahir Mehmood

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

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

 

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


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


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

 

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


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


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

 

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


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


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


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

 

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07
August

Written By: Abid Latif Sindhu

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

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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Nations are nations because of their ideology or the ideological history. This is based on historical proverbs of people which transcend into metaphors. These metaphors then weave the narratives of a nation.


We need to review and re-orient our national security proverbs and metaphors toward new threat attractors. Threat perception alone being a sinew of intelligence will not do; it is going to be our Interactive Geometry which will save the day.


Remember hope alone is not a strategy. Yuval Harari in his recent books, Sapiens and Homo Deus, defined that how history of past and future, both can be pitched together to accrue paradigmatic metaphors to move forward, and write the future.


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


Pakistan, India and China's convention on climate change is the sine qua non for all three. The permanent smog of Beijing, the million of malnourished infants in India and an alarming rise in the number of carcinogenic ailments in Pakistan are indicators of clear damage to our climate. We all are linked through strategic Himalayas, and therefore, the locus of effect resides there. Our academia, security experts, scientists and strategists should be the track two (if not 1.5) between their countries to help policy makers in not only containing the threat which is near, real and clear, but also help them in identifying the algorithms of Interactive Geometry, where actually the threat resides.

 

The writer is a freelancer having a military background and regularly contributes for national dailies on issues related to national security, strategy and foreign policy. He is also a Ph.D scholar at National Defence University.

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07
August

Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed

Instead of cramming the lesson the teachers ought to lead the children to apply their own minds and build progressively on understanding and self-learning.

Early education is generally limited to elementary level up to 6th grade. It should be aimed at promoting creativity and curiosity for onward learning and instilling awareness, love and respect for knowledge, life and environment. It should be holistic towards creating positive mannerism, sound character, good citizenry and objective scholarship. Instead of cramming the lesson the teachers ought to lead the children to apply their own minds and build progressively on understanding and self-learning.
Early education provides a foundation for learning and character building. It should cover a number of objectives like:


• Providing fundamental learning skills in a progressive manner;
• Igniting longing and quest for learning by connecting with the reality around;
• Prizing creativity and innovation by relating the lessons with every day experiences that relate to the physical environment and processes;
• Building character by individual attention and promoting self-esteem by playing up children’s achievements;
• Imparting knowledge of good behavior, polite manners, and civic sense; and
• Building awareness and care of environment and biodiversity.
I intend looking at a few important aspects of the subject to drive home the importance of the early years’ education.

 

earlyyearedu.jpgCharacter
Character is a crucial factor of success in life. It is often treated in an amorphous manner and variedly related only to moral and religious dimensions. Moral and religious dimensions are crucially important but character is a ubiquitous attribute of human personality. Character cannot be instructed down the throat verbally. It is energized and strengthened by promoting self-esteem of every child during early years’ education through recognizing every achievement of every child. It may be a lesson, a problem-solving, a hand of help offered to someone, good behavior, or an activity done well in the play area, athletics, drama or whatever. The self-esteem built in a child puts him on self-rolling wheels and drives him/her faster and faster on his/her own road to success in life.


A child with self-esteem charters his/her own course to excellence. He or she becomes his/her own task-master to exert the best and not to stay short of the best effort. To me this aspect is most important in early education but is often not handled effectively. Role modelling is a crucial aspect of character building and it encompasses the role of society in general but parents and teachers in particular.


Creativity

Creativity and innovation are supreme attributes of mankind which have catapulted it to ever-increasing heights of knowledge and technology. These attributes need to be preserved and promoted in the children during the early years’ education. Children are born inquisitive and start asking questions from parents soon after they start speaking. Curiosity and creativity are two sides of a coin.


First blow to innate curiosity and creativity is nearly mortally delivered in our culture when parents do not answer every question rationally and foreclose enquiry by referring to the metaphysics of God’s will. In that sense the whole universe is created by God but what is observed in the universe relates to physical processes and concepts which ought to be rationally explained to the questioning children for their curiosity and creativity. It is very likely that parents might not have rational answers to all the questions a child might ask, it is better to defer the answer till they have found the rational explanation.


Whatever level of creativity remains preserved in the school entering children is commonly lost in the early schooling process. Every child may have different level of creativity and preserving and promoting it would require individual attention. Individual creativity should not be smoothened at the edges by promoting a uniform or group behavior which amounts to nearly snubbing the most important attribute of a child in the tender years.


The curricula should offer a variety of choices so that each child could resonate with what excites his curiosity and capacity to excel and acquire the self-esteem. I would like to give an example from my own observation of my school going children of Palo Alto High School conducting 9th to 12th grade education adjacent to Stanford University where I myself was a doctoral student; it had 44 choices spanning across academics, sports, practical wisdom, hobbies, skills, arts like drama, dancing/ballet, music, painting etc. which allowed ample opportunity to children to serve their creativity and excel in the chosen fields. There is no doubt that creating diversity of choices requires larger resources not only of funds but more importantly of teachers but the schools could at least create awareness for extracurricular pursuits by the students.


Jews constitute only 0.19% of global population but have 20% share in all the Nobel prizes awarded to-date. A Jewish child has 105 times more chances than a non-Jewish child to be a Nobel Laureate later in life. Jewish children ask questions like all other children, the difference is only that their parents never fail to give them rational answers. If they do not know the answer they find out and feed the child’s curiosity. I recall meeting a Jewish child Christopher of only 4 years age who played with my children. I quipped to him that Christopher Columbus had discovered America and what was he going to discover. He responded a planet perhaps and then quickly added that no, all the planets in the solar system had already been discovered. Most Jewish children are led to follow Einstein as their role model from the early childhood. As they grow up they actively start major research projects right from elementary years in their parents’ garages. Looking at the national level the state of Israel has the highest per capita innovation in the world and numerous important health related technological breakthroughs originate there. It all starts with supplying rational answers to growing up children.


Impact on National Development
Every child provides a distinct brick in the building of a nation. The individual weaknesses add up to shaky and weak structure. Although we do verbally recognize that children are future of our nation but we don’t invest in their future by lopsidedly restricting only about 2.5% of the national budget to education. That too is skewed towards higher education. We need not only to double the budget but soon quadruple it with greater emphasis on early years’ education. It will be more cost-effective given the value of human resource in the present era of knowledge and technology.


The USA was shaken when the Russians put the first ever spacecraft Sputnik in space in 1957. There were immediate calls for review of U.S. defence and national education system. Three months later they created the Advanced Research Projects Agency and increased the education budget and put a focus on early education. They introduced three lanes among students completing 6 years elementary school and joining the 7th grade in mathematics and physical sciences called Honor, A and B Lanes. Honor lane picked the gifted, the creative and those with marked curiosity in mathematics and science. They were then put on a fast track to develop national strength in scientific innovation as they grew up.


Foundation Years of Early Schooling
Foundation years of early education are of crucial importance. I shall again cite from my own experience in Australia. My son joined the Kindergarten class in Fort Queen’s Cliff Elementary School about 60 miles south of Melbourne. A few days later I went to meet his teacher and found her highly qualified and experienced with PhD in education. I curiously asked her about the number of PhD teachers in the school and her answer stunned me. They had only one PhD in the school and interestingly assigned her to the Kindergarten class. If the KG is sound, the children are put on the wheels lubricating the learning tracks. We would perhaps do it the other way round by assigning the most qualified to the senior most class. It provides a good food for thought and underscores the crucial importance of the early years’ education.


Problem Solving Motivation
I will share another example from my own experience. My children attending Stanford Elementary School used to bring a homework sheet in mathematics and science always having 10 questions. The first question was so attractively simple that the children would pick up the pencil and start solving it right away out of self-motivation. The second question had a variance but once the first question was solved it created a natural base for the second and so on till the 9th question. These nine questions progressively clarified the subject. The last question actually could not be solved and it was meant purposely to stretch children's thinking and drive home the point that knowledge was still growing at its edges and there was need for ongoing innovation.


Teaching of Science
I will say a few words about teaching of science. Science is not being taught properly during early education in Pakistan like in many other developing countries. This was the identification made by a group of some fifty Nobel Laureates who recommended that proper science teachers should be created by the developed world and sent to the developing countries to train the local science teachers. They also concluded that teaching science effectively was essential for the economic development of the poor countries.

In knowledge economy you sell the idea and make money. Most of the technology giants followed their ideas from a young age to the global fame. I want to give another example to drive the point home. Marchant Taylor Boys School in London suburbs takes 7th graders and prepares them up to high school. It has a New Design Centre with 6 workshops equipped with computer aided designing/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) hub and eleven 3-D printers. They expose the 7th graders to develop robots, drones and e-cars using the edges of technology. I mentioned this to highlight the nature of the time that we are passing through where children can perform innovation hitherto unknown at an early age.


Science should not be taught as a mere textbook. Mathematics and Physical Sciences have a number of concepts and theories which need to be thoroughly understood for clear visualization of the subject. Some of the concepts intersect interdisciplinary boundaries and understanding a concept clears up the bigger field beyond the specific discipline. While at Stanford, I once picked up a book on “teaching of physical concepts of science in schools” from a garage sale. It was published in 1970. This book was specially written for training of science teachers for school level curricula. I discovered this treasure through serendipity that served me beautifully for clearing and understanding of various concepts in science even though I was midway in my PhD in mathematical physics. I had only a bookish account of those concepts but these became clearer and I developed a feel of the phenomena after reading this book. That is how the book would clear the concepts of the potential science teachers who would then pass on not only the knowledge but feel of the scientific concepts to school going children.


Living in Harmony with Nature and Environment
Elementary school is the right age to instill living in harmony with nature and environment. The last hundred years of rapid industrialization has increased stress on life. It has threatened the environment by causing climate change bringing in its wake prolonged droughts and devastating floods. The older generation is not a good model to emulate in this respect and the younger generation ought to be taught the preservation of environment and biodiversity for their proactive role. Health and sanitation are also very important. The younger generation should be exposed to the need and ways of improving health and sanitation and to become the change makers for a better future. They need to connect with healthy habits and the important role sports play in building character as well as health. The father of our only Nobel Laureate, Dr. Abdul Salam, believed that healthy body had healthy mind and the young Salam got the first prize of the healthiest baby in the whole district of Jhang when he was one year old. Good health among many other things led to the ground breaking unification of the electromagnetic and weak interactions later in his career that got him the Prize.


Exposure to Innovation
The information revolution that we are passing through has brought about a new form of economy called Knowledge Economy. The children that breathe the air of information revolution are much more at home and capable to learn the developments in technology. We need to expose them to the breakthroughs so that they move with the future of innovation and advancement. In industrial economy one makes a product and makes money by selling it. In knowledge economy you sell the idea and make money. Most of the technology giants followed their ideas from a young age to the global fame. I want to give another example to drive the point home. Marchant Taylor Boys School in London suburbs takes 7th graders and prepares them up to high school. It has a New Design Centre with 6 workshops equipped with computer aided designing/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) hub and eleven 3-D printers. They expose the 7th graders to develop robots, drones and e-cars using the edges of technology. I mentioned this to highlight the nature of the time that we are passing through where children can perform innovation hitherto unknown at an early age.


Training of Teachers
In our country teaching is often undertaken less as a profession of choice but often as a last resort. Sometimes it is taken as a temporary staging activity till other plans. The quality of teachers determines the quality of the graduating students. It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of teachers’ training. They need to be better placed socially in life with better terms and packages for greater motivation and converting teaching into a profession of choice.


I will briefly refer to the work of Dr. Jim Heckman, Nobel Laureate in economics, and others: They hold that the strong foundational skills built in early years education lead to self-reinforcing motivation to learn. Brain complexity is molded during childhood which has a lasting impact on intellectual capacities. Early foundation of high level cognitive processes that strengthen fluid abilities of memory, reasoning, speed of thought and problem solving are crucial for acquiring new knowledge. Dr. Heckman goes on to emphasize that rate of return to human capital development follows a steeply dipping curve. The return is highest in the pre-school and early education years. The quality of early education leading to the healthy brain development is essential for the socio-economic development of any country.


Strong Moral Grounding in Early Education Years
It is essential to lay a strong base of moral foundation in the children both at home and in the schools. In this respect role modelling is more effective than mere lecturing. It is of utmost importance to objectively design and structure the curricula to avoid stultifying the young brains before they develop the understanding of the subject. An objective view of the religious history and the need of the emphasis that Islam places on Ijtihad to understand and interpret cannons in true letter and spirit during changing times needs to be given due importance. True knowledge knows no religious boundaries and is created by God and we need to pursue it in the spirit of the teaching of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), that we should seek knowledge even if we have to go to China for learning it. This very clearly signifies the importance of knowledge disregarding the boundaries of religions.


Conclusion
God created humans as supreme being with the highest learning abilities compared with any other form of life. It is for this reason that the human children take the longest in achieving intellectual and physical maturity to lay a solid foundation for learning process while spared from other distractive chores of living. Early education years provide the most impressionable and formative period of the lifelong learning journey. It is well-nigh impossible to overemphasize the importance of the early years’ education. I am not a resourced specialist in this subject and my thoughts on this subject are an ensemble of my experiences and observations as an involved parent in varying conditions of various schools and countries including that of our own.

 

The writer holds a PhD degree from Stanford University, California USA. He is a former Federal Secretary and has been CEO/Chairman of OGDCL and Chairman NEPRA.

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07
August

Written By: Prof. Sharif al Mujahid

A new breed of so-called intellectuals and researchers have started targeting core facts/ideas related to creation of Pakistan. Their assertions are intended to create doubt and confusion especially in the mind of young generation. The only objective of such deceptive themes could be hitting Pakistani nationalism. There is a need to be mindful of such falsity and propaganda.

Of all the myths spread about Pakistan, one of the greatest is that relating to the “Qaumi Tarana” by Jagan Nath Azad, a Hindu poet. J. N. Azad brazenly claims that he was asked by Quaid-i-Azam on August 9 to write the “Tarana” and he had submitted it before August 12/14. He also claims that it was played out by Radio Pakistan Lahore.


The present article seeks to investigate how far contemporary evidence sustains and supports J. N. Azad’s claim and credit. At the time of Pakistan’s birth, J. N. Azad was an unknown man and worked for the Hindu extremist paper, Milap, a legatee of the “Shuddhi (re-conversion)” and “Sangathan (consolidation)” movements of the mid 1920’s initiated and patronized by Swami Shraddhanand. “Shuddhi” was meant to convert the Indian Muslims and Christians into Hindus again and “Sangathan” to strengthen the Hindu muscle power. Both were extremely anti-Muslim and they caused an uproar and riots all over the subcontinent which Dr. Ambedkar, the All India Scheduled Castes Federation leader, records in his definitive work, Pakistan or Partition of India. Despite the fact that the naive Muslims were zealous enough to carry Swami Shraddhanand over their shoulders to the minber of the Delhi Jama Masjid at the peak of the Non-Cooperation days, yet the Swami continued to be anti-Muslim for which he paid with his life at the hands of a Muslim devotee Abdul Rashid. Incidentally, Gandhi condemned the Swami’s murder but the Ali Brothers did not. To return to J. N. Azad. He was the son of Tilok Chand Mehroom and he migrated to Delhi during partition. Professor Saeed Ahmad of Lahore, formerly of Hailey College of Commerce, Lahore, has compiled a book called Visitors of Quaid-i-Azam (Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore, 1985), who saw him for personal and political reasons during 1942 to 1948. He doesn’t mention J. N. Azad, among Quaid’s visitors during the period. Dawn used to list Quaid’s interviews and meetings with leaders and others since he was nominated Pakistan’s Governor General in mid 1947, but J. N. Azad doesn’t figure in those entries. In his book, Quaid-i-Azam Bahesiat Governor General (2010) which went into two editions, Qayyum Nizami made assertion in the appendix on J. N. Azad’s “Qaumi Tarana” in which J. N. Azad has been asked personally by the Quaid (Qayyum did not explain reasons as why Quaid should pick an unknown prejudiced Hindu poet) to do the “Tarana” and Azad also claims that it was played out on Radio Pakistan Lahore. This last fake claim must be immediately laid to the door since J. N. Azad’s “Tarana” doesn’t figure in Mah-e-Nau in its list of items put out by Radio Pakistan Lahore every month and was published by Pakistan’s Ministry of Information.


The pioneering study in Urdu was authored by Qayyum Nizami who was a Minister of State in Z.A. Bhutto’s first cabinet (1971-1977) and a columnist in Nawa-i-Waqt and some other leading newspapers. In any case, it was in this work that J. N. Azad received his first dose of publicity. Prof. Ahmad Saeed tells me that while utterly unknown in 1947, J. N. Azad came to the notice of Urdu literary circles in 1977 during the Iqbal Centenary Conference at Lahore to which J. N. Azad was invited for his work on Iqbal. And this was J. N. Azad’s first formal induction with Pakistan’s literary circles.


In a word, this "Tarana" may be termed utterly pedestrian. Nothing awe inspiring even on the face of it. How could it be when J. N. Azad was utterly bereft of the awe-inspiring vision of Pakistan? After all he was a prejudiced Hindu poet, working in an extremist Hindu Daily and engaged in writing articles opposing Pakistan tooth and nail, day and night. How could he become a Pakistani inspired poet over-night, as if at the touch of Midas? By no means could he have conceived the dream of Pakistan, what it stood for the subcontinent, for the world at large and the people who chose to live in the Pakistani tangent. Others tried to catch on such as The Times (London), the leading British Daily in its editorial on August 15, hailing Pakistan’s emergence as the creation of a new centre of “Islamic inspiration and thought” but not a rabid opponent such as J. N. Azad. After all, he was altogether consumed by his snowballing rabidness and bitterness towards Pakistan. Jinnah had explained and dilated upon all the Islamic thought and inspiration aspects and much more throughout the Pakistan struggle period and one can dare say that J. N. Azad had not even read a fraction of what Jinnah had dreamt, said, and hoped.


Thus, all said and done, the "Qaumi Tarana" by J.N. Azad is a myth of gargantuan proportions that must be laid to rest in oblivion now and forever. To add, there is a need to be watchful of the lobby that continuously works on the agenda to create doubts about core values/ideas/facts related to Pakistan. This is done in the name of so-called 'independent research and inquiry' but that has inbuilt anti-Pakistan agenda. This propaganda aims at negatively targeting the minds of Pakistan's youth and new generations and to create doubts about Pakistan Movement, Pakistan's Founding Fathers, and the very raison d'être of Pakistan – the Two Nation Theory. It is incumbent upon older generations and intellectuals to counter such negative assertions that are spread in Pakistan in the name of research and intellectual pursuit.

 

The writer is HEC Distinguished National Professor, has recently co-edited Unescos History of Humanity, vol. VI, and edited In Quest of Jinnah (2007), the only oral history on Pakistan’s founding father.
Afghan MoD’s Response to Operation Khyber 4 Unwarranted: DG ISPR

Afghan MoD’s response to Operation Khyber 4 is unwarranted and runs counter to Pakistan Army’s efforts for better Pak-Afghan coordination and cooperation. The information about Operation Khyber 4 has been shared (twice verbally and in written) with Afghan Forces as well as Resolute Support Mission, and ODRP.

Pakistan Army looks forward for trust based security coordination and cooperation for fight against common enemy. Rhetoric of blames and suggestive allegations are agenda of forces working against order and peace in the region which should be avoided.

(PR-369/2017-ISPR July 19, 2017)
 
07
August

Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha

Till the 1930s, the All India Muslim League (AIML) was a moderate Muslim party which was to an extent pro-goverment and also an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity, as long as the region’s Muslim community was treated as a separate polity requiring certain special legislative concessions, and maybe even a distinct state of its own within the larger Indian federation.


Jinnah’s re-entry into politics in 1936 and his elevation as the League’s leading man saw him pulling the party staunchly towards a more centrist position. From here on he began to define India’s Muslim community more emphatically as a distinct cultural and political entity. At the end of the Second World War, Britain’s hold over its colonial territories was weakening and it was finally decided by the colonial regime that an election should be held so that a government of Indian political parties be formed.

 

anelection.jpgThe federal and provincial elections of 1945-46 became vital for the League. Its stature and membership had grown after Jinnah’s re-entry, but it was still not sure whether it was being taken as the only major political mouthpiece of Indian Muslims. Apart from the Indian National Congress (INC), which refused to accept the League as a major Muslim party, various radical Muslim outfits and mainstream Islamic parties too disputed the League’s claim of being the only serious representative of the Muslims of India.


But exactly what was the League now asking for? What gets entirely missed today is the fact that the League was envisioning a separate country which, though, having a Muslim majority, would also become home to India’s other minorities.


A number of lower-caste Hindus (especially in the Bengal) had joined the League. It was in Bengal where the League’s leaders talked the most about forming a separate country in which there will be no discrepancies made on the basis of caste and creed and where those communities which were in a minority in India and (including those Hindu groups who were being ‘exploited and oppressed by the higher-caste Hindus’) would be treated fairly and granted every opportunity to follow their cultural and economic aspirations.


The League in this respect was responding to INC’s accusations of it (the League) being a Muslim communal party. The INC had positioned itself as an Indian nationalist outfit. Though it was largely popular among the Hindus of the region, it also had in its fold many prominent Muslim leaders. Many of these INC Muslims had been active as pan-Islamists during the Khilafat Movement (1919-24). The INC also had the backing of mainstream Islamic parties such as the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Hind (JUIH) and the more radical Islamic groups such as the Majlis-i-Ahrar-i-Islam (Ahrar). These groups dismissed the League’s call for a separate Muslim-majority state because they (the Islamic groups) considered the League to be made up of ‘fake Muslims’ (even ‘apostates’) hell-bent on trying to disperse the unity of the Muslims of India.


Even till the early 1940s the leadership of the League wasn’t quite sure exactly what its status was among the sizeable Muslim minority of India. In 1944, Jinnah, while talking to reporters in Bombay, was lamenting that even though his opponents in INC were doing much to undermine the League’s influence among the region’s Muslims, more damage in this context was being done by certain Muslim politicians and outfits.


Confessional religious parties such as the JUIH and radical outfits such as the Ahrar were staunchly opposed to the creation of a separate Muslim homeland. These groups believed that the Muslims of India were a significant minority (approximately 30 per cent at the time) and (thus) would be in a position (after independence from the British) to carve out a more powerful role for themselves in India. They also claimed that the League’s Muslim Nationalism was a construct based on the European idea of the nation-state and that Islam cannot be confined within the boundaries of geo-political nationalism.


Till the early 1940s the League had performed poorly in most elections held in India’s Muslim-majority provinces. Bengal and the Punjab had the largest Muslim populations. The party had been routed in the Punjab in the elections held there in the 1930s. During the 1945-46 election, the INC’s aim was to win a majority in most provinces that could press its claim to form a government at the centre. The League’s goal was to win the polls in Muslim-majority provinces so as to claim to be the largest Muslim party and thus assert its demand of carving out a separate state from areas where the Muslims were in a majority.


The situation in the Punjab was tricky. Even though 57 percent of the Punjab’s population was Muslim, the League had badly lost the previous elections in this province. Another defeat in the Punjab was guaranteed to deliver a decisive blow to Jinnah and his party. The INC understood this well and went all out to defeat it in the Punjab. The province was under the electoral dominance of the Unionist Party – a large outfit mostly headed by Muslims belonging to the landed elite and influential pirs. The party also had some wealthy Hindu leaders in its fold.


In the last major election in the province (in 1937), the Unionists had won 95 seats (out of a total of 175). The Congress had bagged 18 whereas the League had managed to win just one seat. To guarantee another thrashing of the League in the Punjab, INC’s ace strategist, Sardar Patel, and the party’s foremost Muslim leader, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, immediately went about constructing a solid anti-League arrangement.


The INC, apart from contesting the election from its own platform (of Indian Nationalism), was also backing the Unionists in areas where the latter was expecting a tough fight from the League. Patel dispatched a check of Rs. 50, 000 (a hefty sum in those days) to Azad whose job it was to coordinate with anti-League groups such as the JUIH and the Ahrar. The Ahrar enjoyed support among the Punjab’s Muslim petty-bourgeoisie. It, along with JUIH, provided the INC with fiery clerics (mullahs) who went around denouncing the League as a party of ‘British agents’, and ‘fake Muslims’. The Unionist Party on the other hand claimed that it alone was the true representative of Punjab’s Muslim majority. Jinnah, who had till then been repulsed by populist political tactics, met with the Punjab League’s President, Khan of Mamdot, to chalk out a strategy to counter the ruckus being raised by the INC with the help of the Unionists, the Ahrar and the JUIH.


Mamdot’s men first brought in hundreds of members of the League’s student-wing, the All India Muslim Students Federation (AIMSF) from various parts of India. These also included members of the AIMSF’s women’s wing. College and university students (both male and female) belonging to the AIMSF were dispatched across the Punjab in groups and asked to hold small rallies in the cities, villages and towns of the province.

 

The voter turnout was high on the day of the polls. The Unionists were expected to win the bulk of the seats, followed by the INC. But the results shocked the INC and the Unionists. The League managed to win 73 seats (out of 175). The Unionists could only bag 20. The INC won 51 and the Sikh Akali Dal, 22. The Ahrar failed to win even a single seat. The League bagged the largest share of the total Muslim vote (65%). Just 19% of the Muslim votes went to the Islamic parties. However, INC, the Unionists and the Akali Dal managed to form a wobbly coalition government in the Punjab, the League finally managed to augment itself as India’s largest Muslim party.

They were to explain the League’s manifesto as a fight against economic exploitation and a struggle to create a separate Muslim nation-state where there will be economic benefits for all and religious harmony. To counter the fiery denouncements being issued by members of the Ahrar and the JUIH, the League managed to win the support of a breakaway group of JUIH leaders who had disagreed with their party’s policy of siding with the INC. Led by Islamic scholar, Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, this batch of JUIH renegades successfully began to counter the theological arguments (against a separate Muslim nation-state) being leveled by the anti-League clerics and ulema.


The League was also armed with a rather radical manifesto, penned by a member of the Indian Communist Party, Danial Latifi. A vivid Marxist ideologue, Latifi (and some other Muslim members of the communist party) had joined the AIML in the Punjab. In the manifesto which he authored for the League, Latifi undermined claims made by the INC and the anti-League Islamic parties. Latifi wedded ideas of Muslim economic advancement (through meritocracy) to Mohammad Iqbal’s idea of ‘spiritual democracy.’ According to the manifesto, the League would promote policies that would benefit and encourage the enterprising economic spirit of the Muslim middle-classes, and at the same time protect the Muslim masses from the oppression of the Hindu, Muslim and British Colonial elites. Latifi also expressed the League’s idea of a Muslim state as an organ that would eventually transcend and resolve religious differences in the region because (according to the manifesto) a Muslim-majority state (or a state constructed by a minority community in India) was inherently more equipped to appreciate religious plurality and diversity than a state dominated by a large Hindu majority.


Another last minute attainment that Jinnah and his party managed to achieve was the support of the influential pirs of the province. Punjab’s pirs had been associated with the Unionist Party, but just as the elections drew near, many of them were convinced by the League’s leadership to switch sides.


The voter turnout was high on the day of the polls. The Unionists were expected to win the bulk of the seats, followed by the INC. But the results shocked the INC and the Unionists. The League managed to win 73 seats (out of 175). The Unionists could only bag 20. The INC won 51 and the Sikh Akali Dal, 22. The Ahrar failed to win even a single seat. The League bagged the largest share of the total Muslim vote (65%). Just 19% of the Muslim votes went to the Islamic parties. However, INC, the Unionists and the Akali Dal managed to form a wobbly coalition government in the Punjab, the League finally managed to augment itself as India’s largest Muslim party. The League also did well in two other Muslim-majority provinces. It won 113 (out of 230) seats in the Bengal, and 27 (out of 60) in Sindh. The results fast-tracked the party’s demand for a separate state. And after winning the provincial election in another Muslim-majority region, the NWFP (in early/mid-1947), the party finally managed to carve out Pakistan from the rest of India (August 1947).

 

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

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07
August

Written By: Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed

Despite the fact that Pakistan was established on August 14, 1947 as a result of understanding reached between Quaid-i-Azam, Gandhi, Nehru, Baldev Singh, Lord Mountbatten and others on June 3, 1947, India has never accepted Pakistan from the core of its heart. Seventy years have passed, yet the Indian leaders, who have been at the helm of affairs, believe that a time will come when Pakistan will be no more on the world map. They have been encouraged in this regard from the events of 1971 when the East Pakistan was converted to Bangladesh because of follies of Pakistani rulers and Indian machinations. Indian rulers want to repeat the same story in case of the present Pakistan. Keeping in view the long historical background of the present Pakistan, this is their misconception. It would be better for the Indian government and the intellectuals to understand the realities of Pakistan, otherwise, they will be living in a fool’s paradise. They do not understand that the Pakistanis of the Indus region are of different type of people who are maintaining their traditions, history, culture and heritage for more than five thousand years. Their attitude of life, and on life, is different from what the Indians believe. The Indian governments also believe that Pakistanis are actually the Indians, which, as a matter of fact, is not the case. For the last two thousand years, the Pakistanis have always been a martial race who ruled or dominated many parts of present India or Hindustan. That is why the Muslim historians always divided India into two regions – Hind and Sindh. The present structure of Pakistan and Hindustan is a creation perfectly according to the perception of Muslim historians and Muslim rulers for the last one thousand years.


Pakistan is the cradle of old Indus Valley Civilization. The Aryans came here during 2000-1500 BC settled by pushing the Dravidians southward. This is the land which provided atmosphere to the third Aryan generation to compile first Hindu religious book – Rig Veda followed by other three books of the Hindu religion in the areas of the present Hindustan regions. This is the land where Alexander the Great came and left his long lasting influences. It was from here that these influences spread to various regions of Hindustan. Gandhara civilization is another milestone of the history of Pakistan. This is the land which accepted political Islam immediately after its rise in the Arabian Peninsula. This is the land where Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (997-1030) established his great empire which included the present countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and four present Central Asian countries. The old Gandhara civilization merged into the Ghaznavid civilization which provided special bent to the Muslim civilization. This is the land where the Muslim culture and civilization flourished under the Ghaznavid rulers for about two hundred years (997-1192) with its Persian flavor in the Central Asian direction. This is the land wherefrom Sultan Shahabuddin Ghori extended the Muslim rule to the whole of Northern India in 1192 up to present day Bangladesh. This is the land which provided base to Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak, first Sultan of Delhi during 1206-1210 to establish his rule from his base of Lahore. This is the land wherefrom the Delhi ruling dynasties – Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Afghans, and lastly the Mughals – emerged to dominate Delhi and the whole of India. These are the facts which the present rulers of India should understand and extend their hand of friendship towards Pakistan which genuinely believes in building good relations with India. India should stop the bickering which it is doing both internally and externally to destabilize Pakistan. Otherwise, the Indians would be in trouble if they do not understand the arguments of logic, culture, civilization and facts of history.


What the Indians are doing presently is not a new thing. The founders of modern India like M.K. Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and others have also been doing the same despite the fact that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, made them realize a number of times about the genuine feelings of the majority Muslims of the subcontinent, especially with reference to areas of the present Pakistan. But all these efforts went in vain. In this article some of the facts twisting and misleading the attitude of Gandhi during the Pakistan Movement and while dealing with Jinnah have been pointed out. These are the facts which should open the eyes of the intellectuals and writers of modern Pakistan and India.


In this direction, first instance was witnessed after when the All India Muslim League was able to organize biggest Muslim Conference at Lucknow on October 15-17, 1937 in which not only the Muslim League leaders but the Chief Ministers of all the majority Muslim provinces of the Punjab, Bengal, Assam, Sindh also participated and entered into contract with Jinnah that from henceforth the whole of Muslim India would be one against the coming Hindu Raj. Leaders from NWFP (KP) were also present in this session. By this biggest gathering of the Muslims, Gandhi, Nehru and other Hindu leaders felt threatened. Gandhi and Nehru, feeling themselves as the God Fathers of Hindu India, entered into dialogue with Jinnah in order to get explanation as to why the Muslim League was going on this drive of a separate path. Gandhi’s dialogues and correspondence was the most misleading and was against many facts. In his effort to befool Jinnah, Gandhi tried to give twisted assurances to Jinnah, but Jinnah could not be deviated from his path. As a matter of fact, Gandhi had felt antagonized by Jinnah’s address at the Lucknow session of AIML of October 1937 which he, in his letter of October 19, 1937 described as “a declaration of war”, but which Jinnah, in his reply to Gandhi on November 5, 1937 called “purely self defence”.1 Gandhi also cajoled him that “it is the cry of a friend not of an opponent”.2 This was another effort to sidetrack Jinnah from the path of saving the Muslims’ future. Describing his acquaintance with Jinnah since Gandhi’s return from South Africa in 1915 when Jinnah welcomed him, Gandhi tried to twist the facts. In this way Gandhi expected that Jinnah should have blind faith in Gandhi and should not worry about the Muslims' future in India. But Jinnah was the leader who could not be befooled by Gandhi.


Next effort was when at the start of Second World War (1939-1945) in September 1939, Jinnah started his drive of terming the Congress Raj in the six Hindu majority provinces as the Hindu Raj, Gandhi vainly tried to plead to Jinnah that the things were not as such. Jinnah, in a number of research reports, prepared by the independent observers and the Muslim League leaders, established that Congress rule, as a matter of fact, was a Hindu Raj, leading their resignations in November 1939. When Indian National Congress under Gandhi tried to give twist to the facts projected by Jinnah by starting a non-violent movement, Jinnah managed to arrange “Day of Deliverance” on December 22, 1939 in which not only the Muslims but Sikhs, Christians, Scheduled Caste Hindus and other minorities equally participated. Jinnah’s viewpoint was also proved by the British Government. In November 1939 a hectic debate took place on the alarming situation in British India in the House of Lords in which a number of members of the House of Lords participated. Giving the policy statement in this connection Lord Zetland, the Secretary of State for India, explained that in terms of its political behavior the Indian National Congress functioned as if it was a “Hindu organization”. Thus it were not only the Muslim League or other smaller parties representing various minorities which termed the Congress as a Hindu body, but the British Government also termed it as such. Mahatma Gandhi took a strong note of this and said that he was shocked at Lord Zetland’s statement by which the Congress was termed as a Hindu organization. Gandhi expressed his amazedness about these expressions emanating from responsible position of the Secretary of State.3 Thus the Muslim viewpoint was substantiated by the British Government in the British Parliament. By observing the “Day of Deliverance,” history was put on a different path, which led to road to Pakistan.


There is a long list of misleading efforts by Gandhi, especially since March 23, 1940 when the Pakistan Resolution was passed at Lahore by the All India Muslim League under Jinnah’s guidance and leadership. Hindu press, wrongly led by Gandhi, tried to mislead the Muslim people which was not allowed by Jinnah and his colleagues at the All India Muslim League. There are a number of instances in this regard with reference to Cripps Offer 1942, Gandhi-Jinnah Talks 1944, Simla Conference 1945, Cabinet Mission proposals, and others.


I will content myself only to the last days of the transfer of power. Even when under the June 3, 1947 Partition Plan, the things were settled how to establish Pakistan in August 1947, Gandhi chose a different way to mislead and misrepresent the Muslim case of Pakistan. On June 7, 1947 Lord Ismay submitted his note to Lord Mountbatten in which he conveyed results of his talk with Gandhi last night.4 Ismay felt that these suggestions of Gandhi were “different” from what Mountbatten had previously thought of them.5 Gandhi had suggested to the Viceroy that the latter should “speak to Mr. Jinnah in the following sense” on these four issues: 1) Referendum in the KP (NWFP) should be abandoned because of forthcoming bloodshed; 2) Provincial government of Dr. Khan Sahib should not be dismissed; 3) Action on the June 3 Plan should be suspended; and 4) New tri-partite agreement between Congress, Muslim League and the British Government should be concluded by replacing the Partition Plan.


This plea of Gandhi, as a matter of fact, was a deviation from what has already been accepted under the June 3 Plan of Mountbatten which required sincere and honest implementation. The purpose of Gandhi’s new suggestion was to confuse the issues and to avoid the referendum in the NWFP because the Khan Sahib's Ministry was not ready to hold the referendum on account of the emergence of pro-Pakistan popular sentiments in the province. Instead of accepting the popular verdict of the people of NWFP, the Congress wanted to postpone or resort to different recourse so that some time could be gained until the pro-Pakistan sentiments subsided. Gandhi also encouraged Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan to float his idea of a Pathan state.


Mountbatten wanted to proceed by the Partition Plan of June 3 in an honest way, but Gandhi was demanding that this Partition Plan should not be fairly implemented, because, according to him, in politics fairness does not exist. For this purpose Gandhi wrote letter to Mountbatten on June 27/28, 1947 and complained that it was a “mistake” on the part of Mountbatten that he treated the Congress and League on equal basis in settling the June 3 Plan.6 Gandhi even charged: “I pointed the initial mistake of the British being party to splitting India into two.”7


All these suggestions were dismissed by Jinnah and the British Government. By implementing the Partition Plan in most of the manners, Pakistan was established on August 14, 1947.


Gandhi has passed away. But his policy of not accepting Pakistan from the core of the Indian heart is continuing. The present Indian leaders and intellectuals, and historians are advised to come forward and accept the reality of Pakistan so that good relations between the two countries are built up, so that the cause of peace in the region is well served. If the Indian governments do not realize their misconception and do not accept the fact of Pakistan as a reality, the region as a whole will remain affected.

 

The writer is Ex-Director, National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, and Professor at Quaid-i-Azam Chair (NIPS), Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad.

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1 Times of India, June 16, 1938.
2 Indian Annual Register Jan-June 1938, p. 360.
3 Indian Annual Register 1939, Vo. II, pp. 38-39.
4 Transfer of Power, Vol. XI, p. 285.
5 Transfer of Power, Vol. XI, p. 285.
6 Proceedings of Viceroy’s 16th Miscellaneous Meeting, Thursday, June 5, 1947 in MSS. Eur. Mountbatten Papers, F. 200/106, British Library (OIOC), London.
7 Times of India, June 28, 1947.

 
07
August

Written By: Mehboob Qadir

That is so unfair of the U.S. and not what friends do in our part of the civilized world. The thought that Kashmiris were a small price to pay in the bargain is sadly misleading. Meanwhile the U.S. might like to remember that Indians have thousands of years of experience in statecraft and can play one superpower against the other with perfect ease.

Over 20,000 gun pellet blinded Kashmiris, thousands of women raped as a state policy of coercion and thousands upon thousands killed in fake encounters and buried in mass graves by the Indian Security Forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) do not matter as they cannot generate whopping amounts of dollars for the U.S. nor create millions of jobs, as President Trump claimed after his recent KSA visit. Further, mass persecution and state genocide of Kashmiris is not such a nice subject for a pally pally talk with Modi and his Indian chums in various nooks and corners of the White House, the U.S. Congress and some insidious but paid think tanks. It requires real character and a hang-over free mind to call a spade a spade which there are few and far between among those around. Grave human rights violations in IHK can be taken care of at some other opportune time, meanwhile let UN HR Council hum and haw about it, they seem to prefer.

 

usindiaconverging.jpgThe White House had since long been infested by political practitioners who care less about human and moral issues than economic and security interests. Trouble with the U.S. leadership had been a serious absence of the historic perspective and present one beats the rest by miles in this absolutely essential quality of statesmenship. If the U.S. leadership had a reasonable grasp of even the recent world history they would never have invaded Afghanistan; they could not have overlooked Kashmir dispute at the cost of four wars between India and Pakistan and the resultant current nuclear stand-off, too. They would have realized and admitted long ago that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program seeks to specifically deter Indian aggression against itself and not for any regional hegemony or fictional Islamic supremacy. We are not the kind of hungry wolves looking for prey in others' meadows. We grow plenty not only to feed ourselves but also living on subsistence since centuries on our western borders. These simple facts should have been apparent to even a scarecrow or a tin man but the U.S. statesmen. They have repeatedly and most remarkably ignored these facts and have chosen to pickle in their self-manufactured jar of apprehensions. This behavior and policy approach has been counter-productive for regional peace and stability.

 

Historically U.S. arrogance and insincerity with allies repels her friends and it disregards sane advice to the rue and regret of its people. U.S. leaders have consistently shown a peculiar cerebral vacancy in articulating international relations, in that they have never been able to balance a superpower’s global responsibility against its instinctive aggression and search for prestige. This mismatch or rather Cyclops’ single eyed vision has created enormous miseries for the affected countries and for decades.

Kashmiris' historic but singularly peaceful struggle for self determination in the face of brutal Indian repression is extremely commendable. Those who seek to suppress and choke this rising tide of popular resistance are deceiving themselves. It is a widespread and lasting resentment against atrocious Indian occupation which has seeped into three generations of Kashmiris and has become an inseparable part of their conscious psyche. Such an irreversibly embedded but sizzling yearning cannot be eliminated by state brutality, wholesale coercion and mass decimation of people as is being done. It is a driving ideology and not a piece of real estate to be painted, demolished or rebuilt at will. India has imported kinetic materials from Israel to mow down Kashmiri activists but failed to seek wisdom why they have utterly failed to eliminate Palestinian freedom struggle? You have to see slings and brick bats wielding young but determined Kashmiri boys and girls fearlessly opposing fully armed and protected Indian Security Forces’ contingents firing their weapons straight into the protesters, in the streets of Srinagar to believe what sort of a motivation it is. This is a storm of a different sort building up which can shake the very foundations of the Indian Union. That is in nobody’s interest in the region.


Trump administration declared Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as global terrorist ahead of Modi's visit to curry favor with the BJP hardliners in India. Fine, go ahead and take your friend to the precipice, but is that part of your global design? It is well known that U.S. now prefers to franchise her global aggression but staking out a subcontinent is quite preposterous. See what one of their leading geo-political strategist has to say about the U.S.: “The United States doesn’t need to win wars. It needs to simply disrupt things so the other side can’t build up sufficient strength to challenge it” (George Friedman, The Next 100 Years, P.5). And, “Psychologically the United States is a bizarre mix of overconfidence and insecurity. Interestingly this is the precise description of adolescent mind…” (P.28),.George Friedman further observed that “America like Europe in Sixteenth Century is still barbaric (a description not a moral judgment). Its culture is unformed. Its will is powerful. Its emotions drive it in different and contradictory directions” (P.30). He was describing U.S. way of thinking in 2010, which strikingly resembles the way presently being displayed.

 

As far as Afghanistan is concerned please remember road to Kabul passes through Khyber Pass and not Connaught Place New Delhi. Pakistan has the will and skill to help U.S. and Afghanistan out of their difficulty in that country, but you have to first put your cards on the table. A romantic desire to be there alone is erroneous like hammering a stake in the marsh to build a perch. Ignore Pakistan which you may but at the risk of peace that should be close to hearts of every one. Afghan Pashtuns are averse to foreign masters let alone Indians whom historically they have never considered their equals. Therefore, exercise caution in believing those who might lead you on to those illusive fairy meadows and bolt once the demons attack.

However, this time again U.S. would end up in the same manner as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Historically U.S. arrogance and insincerity with allies repels her friends and it disregards sane advice to the rue and regret of its people. U.S. leaders have consistently shown a peculiar cerebral vacancy in articulating international relations, in that they have never been able to balance a superpower’s global responsibility against its instinctive aggression and search for prestige. This mismatch or rather Cyclops’ single eyed vision has created enormous miseries for the affected countries and for decades.


Vietnam has just shown signs of some recovery from devastating U.S. military intervention more than fifty years ago. Afghanistan would take generations to recover from the comprehensive socio-economic destruction inflicted by repeated U.S. invasions. U.S. ignored the sound advice not to rock that basket and are paying very dearly for the blunder of following Brzezinski, ever since. Problem with pied pipers is that they lead you into the fairy lands but forget to tell you what to do when demons attack. Brzezinski did show the path into Afghanistan to defeat the Soviet Union but forgot to chisel a strategy of disengagement. It could not be very far when people in Washington might begin to wonder again why so much loathing in Pakistan and among Kashmiris or for that matter Indian Muslims against U.S.? Then it would be too late to fix the blame on present U.S. administration for finding a just solution to this core issue of regional peace and stability.


The present U.S. administration in league with Modi's BJP has very thoughtlessly embarked upon one of its most destructive games U.S. has ever played. They are bulldozing a perfectly legitimate and political popular movement by Kashmiri people towards a stonewall. Both are busy manufacturing and forging connections to link the movement with global terrorism by picking off its leaders and painting them black as terrorists. Once done these men of great influence would be forced to resort to non-political or kinetic means. Kashmiris will naturally link up with more than twenty other separatist movements active in India, and then foreign terror organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIL, thanks to BJP’s unthinking mistreatment of Muslims in India, likely to find space for themselves in the bloody fray that will ensue and quickly spin out of control. The present administration may go ahead and do it by all means. That will be the beginning of the end of this newest favorite India. This time around U.S. would not have Pakistan as the convenient dummy to shoot at. Blame yourself and the mad urge to destabilize the entire subcontinent hoping secretly to distract China or contain her inevitable rise to the world stage by guinea pigging India. That is so unfair of the U.S. and not what friends do in our part of the civilized world. The thought that Kashmiris were a small price to pay in the bargain is sadly misleading. Meanwhile the U.S. might like to remember that Indians have thousands of years of experience in statecraft and can play one superpower against the other with perfect ease.


As far as Afghanistan is concerned please remember road to Kabul passes through Khyber Pass and not Connaught Place New Delhi. Pakistan has the will and skill to help U.S. and Afghanistan out of their difficulty in that country, but you have to first put your cards on the table. A romantic desire to be there alone is erroneous like hammering a stake in the marsh to build a perch. Ignore Pakistan which you may but at the risk of peace that should be close to hearts of every one. Afghan Pashtuns are averse to foreign masters let alone Indians whom historically they have never considered their equals. Therefore, exercise caution in believing those who might lead you on to those illusive fairy meadows and bolt once the demons attack.

 

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(The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.)
 
07
August

Written By: Shahid Javed Burki

President Donald Trump’s on-going policies towards the established global economic order go beyond the dismantling of the rule-based system of world commerce. Increased protectionism is not the only price the world will pay for the election of November 2016 as a result of which Trump took over the American presidency. In the first six months of his residence in the White House he has inflicted a number of injuries to the old system. His moves cover a number of areas – among them the role of the state, the United States’ fiscal system, and international migration.


The unexpected rise of Donald Trump to the pinnacle of political power in the United States has been explained in several different ways. The developments that caused Trump to gain the office of the United States presidency also affected other parts of the Western world. Five months before Trump was elected, voters in Britain pushed their government to leave the European Union. The British voters' decision introduced a new word in politics – Brexit – and upended the economic order that had been built over several decades. There was general agreement among scholars and policy analysts that much of the political upheaval in the Western world was caused by the unexpected consequences of globalization. This was the process that allowed the almost unconstrained flow of capital, information, goods and commodities across national borders. Sometimes it also permitted to movement of workers who would leave the economies where jobs were scarce and incomes were low to those in which opposite was the case. There was large-scale migration of people from the less developed world to those that were richer and offered opportunities that were not available at home. People from Mexico and Central America flooded into the United States. North Africa and the Middle East pushed hundreds of thousands of people into Europe.

 

dismantlingtheold.jpgNot only people could move but companies also left their homes and moved to the places where well-trained workers were relatively cheap and labor market regulations were weak and therefore, more accommodating of those who owned capital. These moves were facilitated by the information revolution. Production processes could be divided and located in places that were more friendly. Responding to these developments, Apple for instance assembled its popular items in China from the components made in a dozen countries in East Asia. The designing of the various products, of course, was undertaken in Seattle in western United States. The largest market for what the company produced was in America. Apple produced large profits which it did not keep in the United States. Hundreds of billions dollars were parked in such tax-friendly countries as Ireland.


Globalization, in other words, was a highly disruptive process. It produced winners as well as large numbers of losers. Those who lost turned to politics to express their resentment and also with the hope that they could follow the leaders who would be able to turn the clock back. The result, as already indicated, was Brexit in the United Kingdom and the rise of Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the United States presidency. The “leavers” in Britain wished to bring back policymaking from Brussels to London. Trump gained attention by promising to make “America great again.” It also became clear that the anger that drove voters towards seeking desperate remedies for their situation will not go even when their economic conditions improved. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report, based on a survey of 95,000 households is the latest evidence that 2015 was a good year for the United States’ economy.


However, dry statistics don’t always produce strong political trends. The widespread anger that resulted in the election of Donald Trump did not abate and the pressure on Trump to adopt unorthodox approaches to economic management did not ease. In at least three areas, Trump adopted policies that deviated in fundamental ways from what had resulted in the creation of U.S.-dominated global economic and political order. The new administration had a different view of the role government could play in economic matters. It withdrew support from the institutions that had supported the old order. It gave up on a rule-based system of global trade. Some of what Trump promised to do – and some of what he began to follow once he was in office – was firmly embedded in the Republican Party’s economic philosophy. And it took steps to reduce, if not totally stop, the arrival of foreigners into the country.

 

As Krugman points out, international trade is governed by rules – rules America helped to put in place. Breaking the rules will lead to other countries doing the same. The result would be a trade war. And it’s foolish to imagine that America will win such a war.

In explaining what happened to the economy, the Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman argued that the Obama administration had the reverse of the traditional trickle down approach favored by the political right. There was an element of trickle-up economics in that administration’s response to the Great Recession. “Much of the stimulus involved expanding the social safety net, not just to protect the vulnerable, but to increase purchasing power and sustain demand. And in general the Obama-era policies have tried to help families directly, rather than showering benefits on the rich and hoping that the benefits trickle down.”


Trump’s policies would further aggravate the weaknesses in the United States’ economy. A weakened U.S. will not be good for the global economy. Economists such as Lawrence Summers have begun to worry that the United States' economy has entered the phase of what they term as “secular decline.” This is the consequence of a number of factors, among the aging of the population, not enough resources committed to education and training needed by an economy that was rapidly moving away from the traditional sectors, and neglect of physical infrastructure. The new administration will need to work on developing a new economic development paradigm.


The United States will need to develop a system of governance that caters to the basic needs for all citizens. The country has tended to give greater attention to individual action rather than the role of the state in having people provide for themselves. The enormous amount of effort devoted by the political right to do away with the system of health delivery that came to be called “Obamacare” is a good example of this belief about governance and the limited role that should be assigned to the state. The angry white men who provided the base on which Donald Trump was able to build his campaign had two contradictory demands. They wanted a limited state and yet a state that provided them income support through programs such as the Social Security system and health-care through state-subsidized Medicare program. In other words, the role Trump would like the government to play will not deliver economic goods to his political constituency. Instead, it will increase even more the share of the rich in national wealth. With this approach in place, his sojourn in the set-up may not last for very long.


International trade is the second area in which the Trump administration is bringing about immense changes. The policies being pursued are meant to bring back the jobs America had lost to the world. According to the news site Axios, Trump is “hell-bent” on imposing punitive tariffs on imports of steel and solar panels, claiming that other countries are taking advantage of America. This was the central theme of his campaign. Axios reports that the White House believes that Trump’s political base likes the idea of a trade war and “will love the fight.” But would such an approach win jobs for Trump’s supporters? Not necessarily for at least three reasons. First, a great deal of modern commerce is in intermediate goods – goods that make other goods, such as the components that go into the making of Iphones and Ipads. A tariff on steel may save steel jobs but will hurt jobs in the industries that use the product such as that manufactures of automobiles. In fact, trade and trade policy have little effect on total employment. They affect what kind of jobs are available in the economy but not much the total number. Then, as Krugman points out, international trade is governed by rules – rules America helped to put in place. Breaking the rules will lead to other countries doing the same. The result would be a trade war. “And it’s foolish to imagine that America will win such a war. For one thing we are far from being a dominant superpower in world trade – the European Union is just as big a player and capable of effective retaliation. Anyway, trade isn’t about winning and losing: it generally makes both sides of the deal richer, and a trade war usually hurts all the countries involved.”


Then there is the question of allowing foreigners to enter the country. During the campaign, Trump promised to build a wall all along the border with Mexico to keep out the Hispanic population. This was a popular move since there was widespread belief among the people who were attracted to the Trump candidacy that the migrants from Mexico and Central America had taken away the jobs the white, non-college educated population would have performed. The other migration-related promise by Trump concerned Muslims. Trump said that, if elected, he would ban the entry of all Muslims into his country. This also resonated well with one segment of the American population – people who were concerned that non-Christian migrants were hurting the old value system. Upon taking office, Trump issued an executive order that would have banned the entry of the citizens from seven Muslim majority countries in the Middle East. The order was challenged in the courts and declared to be unconstitutional. A revised version was issued but met the same fate in the lower courts. The administration appealed to the Supreme Court which upheld the order but in a restricted form.


How will history treat the Trump era? The answer will come later but the signs are clearly visible that his policies would have far reaching impact on existing international liberal political and economic order.

 

The writer is a former Caretaker Finance Minister of Pakistan. He also served as vice-president at the World Bank.

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07
August

Written By: Najam-ud-din Shaikh

As I write this article on the 20th July, it initially appeared that despite Secretary Tillerson’s best efforts the impasse between the grouping of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain on the one hand and the state of Qatar was continuing. Tillerson’s aide, commenting on the efforts Tillerson made over a four day period shuttling between capitals and even concluding a U.S.-Qatar agreement to eliminate financing of terror, acknowledged that no solution had been arrived at and that the Americans expected no near term resolution.1 According to this briefing the Secretary had left “behind proposals with the “Saudi bloc” and with Qatar including a common set of principles that all countries can agree to so that we start from... a common place.”2


More recently however it seems that a via media has been found. Without withdrawing their 13 demands the combination of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced that at their meeting in Cairo on July 5, it had been decided that 6 principles should be proposed to Qatar. These principles, according to a briefing for UN correspondents by Saudi Arabia's U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, included commitments to combat extremism and terrorism, prevent financing and safe havens for such groups, and suspend all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence.3 Another conciliatory note was struck by the Ambassador when he said that “while stopping incitement to violence is essential, but closing Al-Jazeera might not be necessary.”4 In effect the 13 demands initially framed can be deemed to have been dropped.


So there is a good chance that Qatar will accept these principles as a basis for discussion and negotiation and the rift in the ranks of the GCC will be repaired at least temporarily.


What has been the effect of the stand-off and the cutting of ties between Qatar on the one hand and the Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt combined? It has pushed Qatar to rely on Iran and Turkey for food supplies and for the use of Iranian air space to keep its Airline operational. It had to cope with the return of Qatari nationals ordinarily resident in these countries to Qatar creating a major humanitarian problem. These will not be easily forgotten even when Qatar returns to the fold.


Who should one hold responsible? What impact does this have on the so-called alliance of Muslim countries with the USA that was theoretically cemented during President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May. In making Saudi Arabia the first country he visited Trump sought to highlight his interest in joining with Muslim countries to counter terrorism by such organisations as the ISIS and Al-Qaeda. But he also focused on labelling Iran as the source of terrorism. In his speech, President Trump said “From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.” Mr. Trump told dozens of Muslim heads of state, “It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this very room.”5 At the joint press appearance with his Saudi counterpart Tillerson said, “Iran continues its hegemonic activities in this region in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, and its support of Hezbollah in Lebanon. And until Iran shows its willingness to be a good neighbor, I think is the words that were used by many, that shows its willingness to cease its enablement of the kind of destabilizing activities that go on, their payment of foreign fighters, their payment of militias to go into other countries and destabilize those countries, then Iran will not have a place around this table that was set today.”6


Clearly Saudi Arabia had achieved from the Trump visit what it had desired – a labelling of Iran as the villain of the peace and an American alliance with the Muslim countries that Saudi Arabia had brought together. It should be noted that what Trump claimed to have achieved in addition – Saudi agreement to buy $110 billion worth of U.S. arms and $400 billion in investments in the USA and Saudi Arabia turned out to be no more than agreements on paper. Bruce Riedel says, “There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts… What the Saudis and the administration did is put together a notional package of the Saudi wish list of possible deals and portray that as a deal. Even then the numbers don’t add up. It’s fake news".7


It does not require much research to come to the conclusion that while waging an expensive war in Yemen and pursuing the vision for 2030 the Saudis are not going to have the funds available to make investments of $400 billion in the foreseeable future.


Why did it go further and choose to use the opportunity to settle old scores with Qatar. The answer to my mind lay in the encouragement they received from President Trump – an encouragement that ignored the close ties Qatar had assiduously built with the USA and which included hosting the airbase at which more than 10,000 American personnel were based and which was critical for the American air operations in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan.


It has now become clear that the current row began when the Qatar’s official account was hacked and aggressive statements were attributed to Qatari Amir. Ostensibly this prompted the June 5 severing of links by the Saudi-led group. A careful perusal of the reports published in the American media show that the hacking of the site was allegedly orchestrated from Washington by UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba.8 While he has denied this categorically,9 it has been confirmed by other reports that quoting American intelligence sources have made the same assertion.


Ambassador al-Otaiba has been over time perceived as one of the most well connected Ambassadors in Washington. His contacts with Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and the man to whom Trump has entrusted the Middle East diplomacy are well recognised as are the contacts he appears to have developed with such Trump advisers as Steve Bannon. It would be reasonable to assume that he used these contacts to prompt the Trump tweets branding Qatar a terrorist state.


It is also clear that Tillerson and Mattis both have been strongly opposed to allowing these elements to determine policy and it seems that his tweets notwithstanding Trump has decided to give Tillerson the authority to determine policy on this issue. It is true however that Trump still cannot resist making statements that are out of line. In a recent interview to Christian Broadcasting Network, he underplayed the importance of the base in Qatar claiming that “If we ever had to leave, we would have 10 countries willing to build us another one, believe me, and they will pay for it.”10


He also suggested that he had differences with Tillerson but maintained that “Rex is doing a terrific job but he and I had a little bit of a difference only in terms of tone.”11


It is this mixed messaging that has created problems and will continue to do so.
In the meanwhile, we also have to look at the situation within Saudi Arabia. It does seem that there was a certain amount of discomfort at the removal of Mohammad bin Nayef from the line of succession. The royal family did get the approval of the appropriate bodies and as has been the practice in the past the family will stick together to ensure the stability they all need but it will bear watching as the new Crown Prince marches ahead with both the Vision 2030 and the war in Yemen.


For the time being at least it would seem that the plans for the Islamic army have either been abandoned or will be in cold storage.

 

The writer is a former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the USA and Iran is now the Head of the Global and Regional Studies Centre in the Institute of Business Management, a Karachi based University.

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1 UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials, The Washington Post, July 18, 2017.
2 Ibid.
3 Arabs Urge Qatar to Accept 6 Principles to Combat Extremism, Dawn, July 19, 2017.
4 Ibid.
5 In Saudi Arabia, Trump Reaches Out to Sunni Nations, at Iran’s Expense, The New York Times, May 21, 2017.
6 Tillerson press appearance with Saudi FM, May 21, 2017.
7 The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news, Bruce Riedel, Brookings, June 5, 2017.
8 UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials, The Washington Post, July 16, 2017.
9 Ibid.
10 Trump says US has alternatives to Qatar’s Al Udeid airbase, The National Dubai, July 14, 2017.
11 Ibid.

 
07
August

Written By: Usman Ansari

Concepts of ‘generational improvement’ and social mobility essentially outline how successive generations should aim for better life than their predecessors with improved living standards and status, are heavily tied to access to good quality education. Furthermore, should a good quality education be unobtainable due to lack of financial resources and/or lack of suitable educational facilities, the lower class of society finds itself permanently locked in a cycle of poverty. These factors may exist due to various reasons all over Pakistan, but are especially pronounced in Balochistan that has suffered sustained lack of opportunities if compared to other provinces. For a number of reasons literacy rate is extremely low in Balochistan.

 

pnservingnation.jpgPakistan Navy is fully aware of this situation in Balochistan being an established military force across the entire coastal area in Balochistan. PN has therefore, expended considerable effort to improve educational facilities and prospects for the Baloch youth in the coastal areas and has improved recruitment opportunities for the young Baloch students to have a successful career in Pakistan Navy. Pakistan Navy also runs education facilities that provide both free education and has reserved seats in these institutions for the local students. These institutions not only serve the immediate and long term aspirations of the local communities to achieve an element of generational/social mobility but bring them into the mainstream of Pakistani society as well as increasing the Pakistan Navy’s talent pool from which to potentially draw recruits.


One of Pakistan Navy’s flagship educational projects is Cadet College Ormara (CCO). CCO is a major educational facility in Balochistan in support of federal government initiatives to improve education in the province, and is providing education from Class VIII to HSSC level. CCO facilities include full range of academic, accommodation, administrative, and recreational (including a swimming pool), and prayer facilities amongst others to support the full range of educational and extracurricular needs of students. CCO is undoubtedly a standout education facility as four batches of 60 cadets made up the initial intake, making the present number of students approximately 260. Perhaps more important than the facilities themselves; however, are the efforts to widen access to CCO to all levels of local society in which fifty percent of seats are reserved for the Baloch students who are provided free education as well. Of the current student intake, 109 cadets at CCO are the local Baloch students.


The inclusion of cadets in CCO’s intake is notable as the scheme has been revived exclusively for Baloch candidates in which all expenditures, i.e., education, boarding/lodging, messing, and others are borne by government of Pakistan. Under the scheme 25 Baloch candidates will be selected each year to undergo studies from Class VIII to HSSC. Should they complete this course of study and get recommended by the ISSB, they will then be cleared to join Pakistan Naval Academy as PN cadets. This gives them the opportunity to not only have good education, but the opportunity for a career as well, something perhaps equally important in a region where employment opportunities to suit a higher level of education are limited. Additionally, it is ensured that the scheme is available to students from humble backgrounds who otherwise are unable to avail such opportunities.


These schemes will be indispensible in setting up local students with a chance to have successful careers. However, there is no escaping the fact that a sound primary education is the key giving children the initial chance to make the best of their abilities. Unfortunately due to financial constraints, Montessori level education is beyond the reach of many parents who also struggle to provide their children with a primary level education. To overcome this constraint, the Bahria Foundation has established subsidised educational facilities to provide students with the firm foundation from where they may progress, starting from Montessori level. These include Bahria Model College Ormara (BMCO), Bahria Model School Gwadar (BMSG), Bahria Model School Jiwani (BMSJ), and Bahria Model School Turbat (BMST). It is worth looking at these schools individually as they have been established recently.


BMCO was established in 2004 to offer classes from Montessori as a primary school, but has since become a college offering classes to HSSC and is affiliated with the Quetta Board. Of the current 650 students, 500 are local Baloch students, which indicates that BMCO is one of the main educational facilities in Ormara. Pakistan Navy is further supporting the BMCO by providing pick and drop facilities for students and staff besides providing staff and financing the running of BMCO. Bahria Model School Gwadar (BMSG) runs classes from Montessori to Class IX, and was established in 2010 to provide subsidised education to local Baloch children. 417 students currently registered at the school are entirely locals, with the eventual aim to increase this to 1,000 when the new school building currently under construction is completed. This will also allow provision of education up to intermediate level. New building will feature a library, science laboratory, plus indoor and outdoor sports facilities. Not only will BMSG evolve into a standout educational facility for the port and surrounding region, but is also set to become a significant employer in Gwadar. Running costs of the school are presently being met by grant from Pakistan Navy though students also pay a nominal fee.


Towards the western coast at Jiwani, Bahria Model School Jiwani (BMSJ) was established in 2012 where students from Montessori to Class IV are allowed addmissions. All the 163 students presently enrolled at the school are locals, and its running cost plus salaries are being met by Pakistan Navy. The newest of Pakistan Navy run educational facilities is Bahria Model School Turbat (BMST) that was established in 2015 to provide education from Montessori to Class III for the 159 students presently enrolled. The school building is being constructed in phases with ten classrooms and associated facilities presently available, but will eventually be expanded to offer college level education.


Considering the small population of the towns in which the above schools have been established, (with only Gwadar and Turbat approaching anywhere near 100,000 residents, and the others far fewer), they offer an important avenue for the long term advancement of the local population over and above the existing educational facilities already present. Certainly in the smaller towns, such as Jiwani and Ormara, the schools established by Pakistan Navy are the only quality educational facilities making them all the more important. Considering Ormara is Pakistan Navy’s operational base it stands to reason that much of its development efforts are focused there. Therefore, Pakistan Navy has also endeavoured to support existing schools at Ormara City. These include the Government Boys High School Ormara, Government Girls High School Ormara, and Government Middle School for Boys Ormara – Pakistan Navy is providing assistance such as furniture, stationery, teachers and maintenance of the school buildings. Additionally, a serving naval officer (a Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander), is also appointed as the principal of Government High School Ormara. Children from the coastal strip in Balochistan are also the beneficiaries of the Chief of Naval Staff 'Sponsor a Child Scheme' whereby students from humble backgrounds can be sponsored to allow them to benefit from free education at Bahria Model Schools, and some may also be eligible for provision of books, stationery, uniform, and shoes. 129 students are currently benefiting from this generous scheme. Not all efforts are restricted to the coastal strip however, a scheme is in place to reserve two seats for Baloch students and one from Dera Bugti at the prestigious Cadet College Petaro (CCP) in Sindh.


Efforts to increase the educational opportunities for Baloch students are not just confined to Balochistan. Having been the main focus of naval activity since independence, Karachi has by far used the most naval facilities, and this also includes Bahria Model Schools. To take advantage of these educational facilities, and avail them for the use of Baloch students, a scheme has been put in place to provide free (fully funded) education. Pakistan Navy meets all boarding/lodging, and educational costs to 10 Baloch students per year in Karachi from Class VIII to HSSC. Presently there are 30 students that are benefiting from the scheme, and upon completion of their studies they will have the opportunity to join Pakistan Navy. In recognition of the need to nurture the talents of local Baloch students to their fullest and allow them to reach their full potential, access to higher education has also been taken care of through reservation of places in Bahria University. One place each has been reserved in the MBA and BBA programmes at the university’s Karachi campus. Those selected for these places are spared tuition and associated fee. Furthermore, one place each is reserved in the MBBS and BDS Departments at Bahria University Medical & Dental College. As a service to the nation at large, its efforts to support education in Balochistan are an excellent example of Pakistan Navy serving the nation at land as well as sea.

 

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07
August

Pakistan Army has launched Operation Khyber IV on July 16, 2017 against terrorists in Rajgal Valley of Khyber Agency. This ongoing operation has been launched under Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad .The operation is aimed at clearing the 250 square kilometers area of Rajgal Valley from the terrorists, secure areas up to international border with Afghanistan, eliminate terrorists’ hideouts, and establish writ of the state. The operation will also create conditions for safe return and peaceful rehabilitation of Temporary Displaced Persons (TDPs) from Rajgal Valley. Approximately 500 TDPs families are waiting for the return to their homes that they once had to flee from due to terrorists. A Division plus size force including troops from the Special Services Group (SSG) are taking part in the operation. These troops are being supported by Artillery, Pakistan Army Aviation and Pakistan Air Force. So far the operation is progressing as per plan and most of the area has been cleared from the terrorists. Thickly forested Rajgal Valley is surrounded by high mountain peaks ranging from 12000 to 14000 feet, dominates eight mountain passes, and is considered one of the most difficult terrains in the entire Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

khyberfourelim.jpgOperation Khyber IV is a continuation of overall military campaign that was adopted in 2008-9 to squeeze the terrorists from multi-directions and clear all areas from terrorists. As part of this military campaign, Bajaur, Swat, Mohmand, Kurram, South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Khyber Agency and parts of Orakzai Agency infested with terrorists had been cleared. Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched on June 15, 2014 to clear North Waziristan and Operation Khyber I, II and III were launched to clear Khyber Agency.


Rajgal Valley is bordering Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan and is located next to the international border. The growing presence of Daesh (ISIS) in Afghanistan and particularly opposite Rajgal Valley, necessitated launch of the military operation to secure the left over areas up to international border. There were intelligence reports of movement across the border by various terrorist organizations including Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), Lashkar-e-Islam (LI), Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and their growing nexus with Daesh elements present inside Afghanistan. According to reports, the suicide bombing in Parachinar on June 23, 2017 was also linked to these elements. The information regarding launch of Operation Khyber IV were shared (twice verbally and in writing) with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and forces of Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Pakistan Army has always endeavored for trust-based security coordination and cooperation to fight against common enemy and expects Afghan and foreign forces to respond and share their burden of responsibility.


Pakistan Army troops in line with their tradition of matchless courage, competence and sacrifice, have once again been able to clear this difficult and treacherous terrain. Spinkai Top dominating Sparai Pass, Star Kille, Brekh Top and adjacent areas have been cleared of terrorists. A substantial cache of weapons and ammunition have been captured and IEDs cleared. Many terrorists have been killed, injured and few managed to flee across the border towards Afghanistan to their safe havens. Pakistan Army has also suffered few casualties including martyrdom of Sepoy Muhammad Yasir and Sepoy Abdul Jabbar. However, with every shaheed, the resolve of Pakistan Army gets further strengthened to fight this battle till the end, finish the remnants of terrorism from Pakistani soil, and obtain enduring peace.

07
August

Written By: Brig M. Asim Iqbal

Pakistan Gallery” is named after our beloved motherland, being the first-ever dedicated resource hub of its kind in the country which showcases the scenic beauty, cultural diversity and rich history of Pakistan. It was commissioned on October 17, 2015, on the eve of the “1st Commandants Reunion” and formally inaugurated by Havildar Habib Ullah, 20 FF (the workforce behind the Gallery) on July 20, 2016.


The Gallery is housed in a Victorian Era building of Army School of Logistics, Kuldana (Murree), representative of the graceful architectural aesthetics of that period. Famously known as “British Infantry Lines”, some 150 years back, Kuldana was a hub of recreational activities of British Army owing to its pristine location. They carved some essence of England in Murree, making Kuldana their home away from home. There is a long scroll of British Regiments that camped here. Prominent amongst those were, Bedfordshire Regiment, Devonshire Regiment, West Yorkshire Regiment, Gordon Highlanders, Cameroon Highlanders and so on. There still hangs mist of nostalgia from a bygone era over Kuldana. Many 19th century buildings have been preserved in their original state and their graceful style is a living testimony to the historical architecture of that period. Constructed without bricks and cement, this building was also built in stone and bonded with lime mortar. This 125 years old building, which had dilapidated over the years; was painstakingly restored by a dedicated team of officers who circumvented numerous challenges through round-the-clock supervision in order to bring out the true elegance of its original structure. The team of my volunteer workers included; Lieutenant Colonel Sajjad Haider, Major Sufiyan Ali, Maj Tehseen and Havildar Habib Ullah.

 

storyofpakgal.jpg"Pakistan Gallery" houses five sections. The first section embarks on a journey of Pakistan Movement, which encompasses our national heroes, founding fathers and the world's largest migration during partition of subcontinent. It leads to the Reading Room (second section) which not only has a nice collection of pictorial books on Pakistan but also an interactive touch screen with ample data bank available for research on Pakistan. Next hall takes you through Pakistan History (third section), setting out from inception of our country and a journey through the first 50 years, it finally brings you to "Amazing Pakistan”. Next is the Culture and Beauty of Pakistan (fourth section). The hall has been partitioned into cubicles, featuring the beauty and culture of provinces from north to south including AJK, FATA and Islamabad regions. It also offers a fascinating look at the adventure and conventional sports, wildlife and different facets of the Pakistan Defence Forces. Various handicrafts and souvenirs have also been displayed in their respective provincial cubicles. The last wall titled "Roshan Pakistan" has been placed facing the “Infant Pakistan” wall to enable the viewer to draw an "at-a-glance" comparison of the country’s journey over seven decades through resilience and determination. Visitors can view local history, Beauty and Wildlife of Kuldana on the last wall (fifth section) before exiting the Gallery. Absorbing details mentioned with handmade models of "Kuldana Leopard" and "Pakicetus" (extinct species of Whales’ Ancestral family) concludes the gallery tour.


I carried motivation of establishing Pakistan Gallery since long. Having seen length and breadth of Pakistan and few countries around the world, I claim with confidence that “there is no place on earth like Pakistan, that offers such diversity of terrain and culture within 804,000 sq km”. Let me now share with my readers the making of this Gallery. The project was conceived and took off in October 2014. Considering the architectural merit and significance of the building, “restoration” was preferred over a simple “renovation” and the project was taken up as a special challenge owing to its unique characteristics”. The dimensions and design of the building advocates that it might have been a “multipurpose hall”, which was built in 1889, when “1st Battalion The Bedfordshire Regiment” (present, 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment), camped here at Kuldana. Over the last century, layers of cement have been plastered on the original stone walls, and several coats of paint applied to the wood. A lot of planning and effort went into reversing some of these damaging interventions and alterations to the original edifice. After initial deliberations with experts, most of the work was undertaken by the team of Army School of Logistics, including unskilled and skilled craftsmen. Since the team did not have any project expert, there were times when we were guided by some dedicated consultants who offered specialised advice on structural design, lights and interior on need basis.

 

storyofpakgal1.jpgIt is worth mentioning that the “Reading Room” (Section 2) was constructed in 2015 to connect 125 years old rooms on either side. The architecture and design of new construction was matched with centurion old structure, respecting the original building layout. Stones were retrieved from similar aged buildings to construct walls of Reading Room and today it is hard to make out that both the constructions are hundred years apart. Other worth mentioning features of restoration are that doors and windows have been preserved in their original shape, including handles and bolts. It’s only that windows were shifted on outer side of the bay to create more space for models and display objects. The entrance (Section 1) had original wooden floor and false ceiling which was restored with months of manual work. Later, a false ceiling was added to the sitting room and third room (Sections 2 and 3). Choice of material (PVC) was guided by its matching value with the structure and its light weight. Glass wool was placed between the CGI sheets and PVC panels to not only reduce the effects of condensation, but also to make it sound-proof and fire-resistant. The sitting room has double-glass for better temperature insulation.


Niches on the walls of Section 3 and 4 were carefully uncovered to bring out structural originality. The wooden flooring in this portion followed the same pattern used in the British period. A four inches space has been created between the wooden floor panelling and the cemented floor. The individual panels are screwed to the wooden mesh beneath. Moreover, all wood work has been chemically treated for water proofing. The stone walls had lost their attractiveness due to seasoning and plastering effects over the years. These had to be restored by chemical treatment. As minor functional modifications; partitions and walls were created in the middle of Section 3 and 4 to create more space and add to the display area. Choice of lighting for the gallery was a highly technical matter and was resolved after consulting scores of lighting experts. Finally, it has been kept barely minimal and simple for practical reasons. Images have been thematically arranged according to colours and motifs of respective provinces.


ASL gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Mr. Arshad, Mr. Farid Nasim and Mrs. Huma Ahmed for their structural designing; Mr. Bashir, for treating stone walls, Mr. Khuzaima for treating wood work and Mrs. Hina Mahboob for designing. In the absence of any dedicated budget for the project, contributions were sought from senior/old students of Army School of Logistics. Moreover, few field formations also contributed in the form of financial donations and unique images. Contributions for Pakistan Movement section came from Mr. Yousaf Salah Ud Din and Iqbal Salah Ud Din (grandsons of Allama Iqbal) through “Dabistan-e-Iqbal”. Text and captions of the entire gallery were contributed by Hira Binte Asim. The photographers who contributed to the Gallery include Mr. Gulraiz Ghauri, Mr. S.M. Bukhari, Mr. Yasir Nisar, Mr. Fahad Mahmood, Colonel Dr. Imran Rashid, Maj Irfan Barcha, Colonel Nadeem, Mr. Abrar Cheema, and Mr. Ali Jan. Another interesting fact is the cheapest display picture was costing Rs. 10,000 and the expensive ones Rs. 1,20,000; making it an expensive deal for the Gallery. Our panel of patriotic photographers donated their pictures free of cost, thus reducing the budget by millions of rupees.


Pakistan Gallery has been visited by notable dignitaries like present Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem, Lt Gen Sadiq Ali, Lt Gen Ghayur Mehmood, Lt Gen Qazi Muhammad Ikram, and Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed. Local and foreign delegations, students and tourists also continue to add to the number of visitors. Needless to say that this project would not have been possible without relentless efforts of our soldiers and civilians who made a truly dedicated team under Havildar Habib Ullah.

 
07
August

Written By: S.M Hali

Pakistan got its independence on August 14, 1947 through the efforts of selfless leaders like Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, Allama Iqbal and numerous others although they were opposed tooth and nail by the Hindu leaders of the subcontinent and some obdurate Muslim leaders. Independence would not have come about and the British Raj in the Indian subcontinent would have continued unabated for a few more decades if the Second World War had not weakened the Empire, providing pro-independence movements the desired impetus to be rejuvenated. The Hindus and Muslims, two main communities residing in India had separate agendas. Hindus were the original inhabitants of the subcontinent while the Muslims came as invaders and became rulers till the British dominated them. The Hindus, in majority, desired to take over the reins from the British and suppress the Muslims to avenge nearly ten hundred years of subjugation. The Muslims knew that departure of the British would only mean a change of rulers while the Hindus would be more brutal than the British. Hindu leaders like Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru aligned themselves with the British attempting to impede the creation of Pakistan or in the worst case scenario, accede to a truncated Pakistan, which would not survive long and could be gobbled up by India. Lord Mountbatten, the last Indian Viceroy and a close friend of Jawaharlal Nehru, Jinnah’s nemesis, according to the Beaumont Papers, swayed Cyril Radcliff in shifting the final Pak-India boundary to India’s advantage like reassigning Gurdaspur to it, providing ground access to Kashmir. In 1947, Christopher Beaumont was private secretary to the senior British judge, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, Chairman of the Indo-Pakistan Boundary Commission; Beaumont Papers were made public in 1992 by his grand nephew and heir.

anewdawnsmhali.jpg
The partition, promulgated in the Indian Independence Act 1947, resulted in the dissolution of the British Empire and a mass exodus of humanity, displacing up to 12.5 million people in the former British Indian Empire, with estimates of loss of life up to a million, since marauding bands of Hindu and Sikh fanatics set upon the refugees with equally depraved Muslims retaliating this side. The violent nature of the partition created an atmosphere of mutual hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan that plagues their relationship till this day.


Mountbatten-Nehru-Radcliffe triad’s surreptitiously provided India with a land link to the Valley of Kashmir, enabling it to physically occupy the Valley, resulting in the First Kashmir War of 1947-48, creating the core issue of Kashmir, which has become a festering sore and flashpoint between the two nuclear weapons equipped states. The partition deal also included the division of state assets comprising the British Indian Armed Forces, the Indian Civil Service and other administrative services, the Indian Railways, and the Central Treasury. Pakistan did not receive even an iota of the assets assigned to it which led to major problems for the fledgling state. In 1971, due to Pakistan’s own follies and Indian machinations, East Pakistan was severed and after a bloody war, became Bangladesh.


Seventy years since partition, if one were to review the state of affairs in the erstwhile subcontinent, one can see that India is firmly traversing the path of democracy. Bangladesh, after an initial period of turmoil, strife and bloody coups, has settled down on a democratic route. Pakistan was unfortunate that it lost both Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder and Quaid-i-Millat, Liaquat Ali Khan, his able successor in the initial years. Their replacements were virtual pygmies, lacking both vision and statesmanship, resulting in constant military takeovers, which further stifled the process of democratization. Myopic policies turned Pakistan a dependent ally of the U.S., which used and abused Pakistan depending on its own agenda. Britain, the mother country, which should have taken an interest in the unresolved problems it had left behind at the time of partition, has remained oblivious to them and has been toeing the U.S. line in the region.


Today, by the ongoing war on terror, double digit inflation and a collapsing economy, devastated through constant power outages, lawlessness and unemployment, Pakistan is far from the vision of Iqbal, Liaquat and Jinnah. Pakistan needs continuous efforts to realize the dream of its Founding Fathers.


It was perhaps in this scenario that Faiz Ahmed Faiz, in his memorable poem “Yeh wo seher to nahin” (This is not that dawn…), commented on the partition:
This blighted dawn, this darkened sun.
This is not the dawn we had waited for…
The night's burden has not diminished,
The hour of deliverance
for the eye and the heart has not yet arrived.
Face forward! For our destination is not yet in sight


Faiz leaves us with a ray of hope. Currently we have a democratic set-up, which has taken up cudgels, on behalf of the people who have bestowed their confidence in it to lead them out of the morass we are presently in. It may itself have been bogged down in the quagmire of corruption charges but it is heartening that democratic means are being adopted to deal with the situation.


Doubting Thomas gave Pakistan only a couple of years to survive. The breakup of the Eastern wing proved the naysayers right but since then Pakistan has come a long way despite its detractors planting impediments in its path to progress.


It is pertinent to quote neutral sources as testimony to Pakistan’s progress. Tariq Al-maeena, in his op-ed titled ‘In the eyes of the beholder’ carried by Saudi Gazette of July 12, 2017, provides such a testament. The erudite scholar states: Pakistan has been listed among the next 11 countries that along with the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a high potential of becoming among the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.


In the last five years, Pakistan’s literacy rate has grown by 250 percent, the largest increase in any country to-date. According to a poll organized by the Institute of European Business Administration, from 125 countries, Pakistanis have been ranked the “fourth most intelligent people” across the globe. The Cambridge exams of both A and O levels have been topped by Pakistani students and this is a record yet to be broken. The world’s youngest certified Microsoft Experts, Arfa Kareem and Babar Iqbal, are from Pakistan. The seventh largest pool of scientists and engineers come from, you guessed it, Pakistan. The fourth largest broadband Internet system of the world is in Pakistan.


Pakistan is the first and only Islamic country to attain nuclear power. It is also known for having some of the best-trained Air Force pilots in the world. The country’s missile technology is one of the best in the world. The country has produced a large quantity of various types of missiles since it has become a nuclear power. It also has the sixth largest military force in the world.


In cooperation with China, Pakistan has produced the PAC JF-17 Thunder aircraft, a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation “JF-17” by Pakistan is short for “Joint Fighter-17”.


It has also constructed the world’s largest warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province. Tarbela Dam is the world’s largest earth-filled dam and second largest dam overall. The Karakoram Highway (KKH), connecting China and Pakistan, is the highest paved international road in the world. The Khewra Salt Mine, the second largest salt mine in the world is in operation in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The world’s largest irrigation network is present in Pakistan. It serves 14.4 million hectares of cultivated land. The irrigation system is fed by water from the Indus River.


Land of some of the oldest civilizations (Indus Valley and Mohenjo-daro), Pakistan is a multilingual country with more than 60 spoken languages. It is the sixth most populated country in the world and the second-most populous Muslim-majority country. It also has the second-largest Shia population in the world. The Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951 runs the world’s largest ambulance network. The country also proudly claims of the world’s youngest civil judge, Muhammad Ilyas.


Pakistan is one of the biggest exporters of surgical instruments in the world. About 50 percent of the world’s footballs are made in Pakistan. Nestle Pakistan is one of the largest milk processing plants which generates huge revenue every year.


Among its natural wonders, Pakistan has the highest mountain ranges in the world. The world’s second highest and the ninth highest mountains, K2 and Nanga Parbat respectively, are in Pakistan. The Thar Desert is among the world’s largest sub-tropical deserts. The world’s highest polo ground is in Shandur Top, Pakistan at a height of 3,700 meters.


In 1994, Pakistan became the first country of the world to hold four World Cup titles tournaments in different mainstream sports simultaneously. The sports included cricket, hockey, squash and snooker.
The Lonely Planet, a global tourist guide, has listed Pakistan as being tourism’s “next big thing for more years than we care to remember. But world media headlines always send things off the rails.”


The septuagenarian country faces numerous challenges. Foremost among them is the scourge of terrorism. It goes to the credit of its armed forces that through military operations like Rah-e-Nijat, Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, the blight of terrorism has been met head on and the country is on the path of eradicating terrorism and extremism.


It is an uphill task, which necessitates Herculean effort to clean the Augean Stables. The entire nation has to be on board to tackle this issue, which has shaken the roots of some mighty powers. Every Pakistani must resolve to unite to defeat the twelve headed Hydra of terrorism and deny space to the terror mongers.


On this Independence Day, let us resolve to take the bull by the horns and tackle the myriad problems audaciously. Waiting for the government to resolve the burning issues will not redeem us. Every citizen of Pakistan has to chip in since it is our very survival which is at stake. Various political parties need to sink in their differences and unite to resolve the issues.


Pakistan can still come out of the abyss it is steeped in by focusing on the growth of its economy and indulging in trade and commerce with its neighbours on an equal footing. The progress of ASEAN, SCO and the EU should serve as examples for emulation where neighbours share the strengths and opportunities of each other, bringing prosperity to all. There is much to take pride in the advent of Pakistan and with the development of mega projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistan is expected to rise to its true potential of economic development and take its rightful place in the comity of nations.

 

The writer is a Former Group Captain from Pakistan Air Force who served as Air and Naval Attaché at Riyadh (KSA).

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07
August

Written By: Tanveer Shahid

The spirit of human relief turns into a national commitment when it comes to render assistance in one’s neighbourhood or across the oceans. Navies, across the globe, are by default well-suited to render Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Operations (HA&DR).

Not only at home but across frontiers also, contribution of the men in uniform in combatting disasters, soothing human pain, mitigating losses and resurrecting from the ruins have been enormous. Given the organisational forte in terms of operational capacity, quick mobilisation, technical wherewithal, trained manpower and resources, armed forces globally are amongst the first to join civil administration to deal with disasters. Extending humanitarian assistance beyond borders, achieved predominantly by navies, reflects the colourful shades such as human compassion, international responsibility, interstate goodwill, bilateral cooperation, exchange of warmth at the masses’ level, projection of power and gunboat diplomacy.


More recently, the floods of 2017 in Sri Lanka also emulated the hands-in-glove humanitarian assistance and relief efforts of the Sri Lankan armed forces, and Pakistan Navy, representing Pakistan’s wholehearted and swift support to bandage the human suffering.

 

carriyingnatioethos.jpgHow do armed forces comprehend and embark on humanitarian assistance? The United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) defines it as “aid to an affected population that seeks, as its primary purpose, to save lives and alleviate suffering of a crisis-affected population, to be provided in accordance with the basic humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality.” Humanitarian assistance interfacing the armed forces and civilian administration, especially when conducted in international domain, needs to be well regulated. The UNOCHA internationally issued guidelines on use of armed forces in humanitarian operations; ‘Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster Relief’ (1994 Oslo Guidelines) establish basic framework for use of military in international disaster relief in peacetime. In any localized international humanitarian operations, the country involved may define its operational guidelines for civil-military coordination and related aspects for successful relief efforts.


Recent history is punctuated with the initiatives of militaries around the world to assist the humans and provide relief in disasters – be it the cyclone of Bangladesh in 1991, hurricane ‘Mitch’ in Central America in 1998, earthquake of Indian Gujarat in 2001, Indonesian tsunami in 2004, hurricane ‘Katrina’ of the U.S. in 2005, earthquake in Northern Areas of Pakistan in 2005, the UK floods in 2007; the earthquake of China in 2008, the earthquake of Haiti and the devastating floods of Pakistan in 2010, or the devastation in Japan in 2011. Recalling a few ones from the unfortunate long list of disasters, we could appreciate that the yeoman spirit of the forces – be it army, navy or air force – and the humanitarian response in disasters and natural calamities has been exponentially moving up the spiral. Land and air forces strenuously commit themselves when it comes to challenge the destruction within a state or in case of purely a continental disaster.


In Pakistan, the distressing earthquake of October 2005 that perished around 73,000 lives leaving more than 3 million homeless; or the devastating floods of August 2010 that drowned around 1,800 to death and affected over 20 million are amongst the tall testimonies of national spirit, professionalism and selfless service of the Armed Forces of Pakistan. Pakistan Army proficiently spearheaded the relief and rehabilitation efforts of the forces. Pakistan Air Force remained commendable in the aerial support role. During these testing times, and in fact at any juncture of disaster along the coast or at sea, Pakistan Navy has remained thoroughly active in Sindh and Balochistan. The 5-R sequence of disaster relief operations – Rescue, Relief, Recuperation, Rebuild and Rehabilitation – has been thoroughly lived by the Armed Forces in unison with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), district administrations, and NGOs.


The spirit of human relief turns into a national commitment when it comes to render assistance in one’s neighbourhood or across the oceans. Navies, across the globe, are by default well-suited to render Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Operations (HA&DR) beyond horizons, besides essentially projecting their national maritime combat power. It is estimated that more than 44 percent of world’s 7.5 billion population lives within a hundred-mile arc of the seas. Various other factors also answer to ‘whys’ of this international HA&DR suitability of navies, such as mobility, prompt deployment, operating capability with no reliance ashore; onboard structure of medical support, strategic and tactical lift capability through onboard (organic) helicopters (and/or ground vehicles), logistic support and composite C3 (Command, Control and Communication) outfit. Notably, the naval forces are self-sustaining and exclude requirement of additional logistical burden in areas where infrastructure is already in shambles or severely impaired.


While littoral states continue to focus on developing the combat power of their navies for strategic and diplomatic roles, their national Maritime Doctrines articulate HA&DR as one of their core objectives. Growing HA&DR capability has become an important area, besides the mainstream combat growth of a navy as a vital instrument of national power. Whereas a maritime doctrine may dictate regional maritime environment, cardinal principles guiding naval outlook in national perspective, strategic and operational modus-operandi of the application of maritime power in war and peace, a doctrine equally spells out various dimensions of HA&DR operations in national and international perspectives.


Pakistan’s maritime combat strength entails Pakistan Navy being the country’s maritime backbone as defenders of maritime frontiers, a maritime shield; and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), a paramilitary maritime Law Enforcement Agency, a maritime ombudsman, working under the Ministry of Defence and patronage of Pakistan Navy. Pakistan’s strategic thought is developing significantly through naval cooperation and diplomacy unveiling the shadowed maritime outlook. The development of Gwadar Port, the gateway of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, expanding of ports and offshore infrastructure, increased focus on fishing industry, growing merchant shipping activity vis-a-vis development of combat strength of Pakistan Navy and maritime law enforcement capability of PMSA, testify the promising and focused national maritime strategy.


Building up from a modest start after independence Pakistan Navy today is a modern, balanced and potent maritime force with its regional outlook. As its military objectives, Navy seeks to protect maritime interests of Pakistan, deter seaward aggression, safeguard Sea Lines of Communication (or maritime corridors) and maintain international cooperation for good order at sea. Along with naval roles, the Chief of Naval Staff, being the Principal Maritime Advisor to the government, superintends growth of national maritime sector. Navy, thus holds a number of significant core objectives amongst others: to effectively maintain and grow combat power and its operating force; to undertake effective naval diplomacy; to develop coastal cities and coastal communities heralding nation-building role of the Armed Forces; and, to undertake HA&DR operations at home or abroad duly aligned with the state’s diplomatic aspirations.


Internationally, Pakistan Navy had been carrying out proactive and wholehearted response during the HA&DR operations particularly after the East-Asian tsunami of 2004, rescue of MV Suez from pirates in 2011, conduct of Humanitarian Operations in evacuating the stranded Pakistanis and foreign nationals in Yemen in 2015, and extending assistance to Sri Lanka in May this year.


During the devastating onslaught of tsunami in 2004 over South East Asia, originating in the sea off Indonesia and spreading to its north and west, Pakistan Navy ships (PNS) NASR, an auxiliary tanker, and TARIQ, a Type-21 destroyer, extended humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The ships and their resources were put to the service of governments of the affected countries for evacuation and relief of the stranded tourists/locals from islands. Pakistan, through Navy, continued the humanitarian, diplomatic and logistic assistance by sending a Type-21 frigate and an auxiliary – PNS KHAIBAR and PNS MOAWIN – with ample relief goods to Indonesia and Sri Lanka. These vessels had three helicopters, a Pak Marines detachment, naval doctors, and paramedics. Besides, relief goods – medicines, medical equipment, food supplies, tents, and blankets – were sent in enormous quantities to the affected populace in friendly countries.


Operation Umeed-e-Nuh, a Pakistan Navy operation against piracy, was launched in June 2011 to rescue MV Suez, attacked and taken hostage by Somali pirates. PNS BABUR, a Type-21 TARIQ class frigate that was deployed on counter-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden, was tasked to provide all necessary assistance to Panama-flagged ship against the pirates. The Navy had dispatched teams of Naval Special Forces troops, medical teams and food provisions onboard PNS BABUR. The ship was successfully rescued; however, due to the merchant ship’s deteriorated operational and material state, the crew needed additional help from Pakistan Navy as the ship was unable to maintain its floatability. PNS ZULFIQUAR, a sword class destroyer, was then tasked to group with PNS BABUR to safely evacuate the crew. Employing naval helicopters, 22 crew members, including 11 Egyptians, 6 Indians, 4 Pakistanis and a Sri Lankan were safely rescued and brought to Pakistan for onward journey to their respective homelands. The operation was globally an estimable blend of operational and humanitarian operation.


In 2015, Pakistan Navy carried out another successful HA&DR operation during the war-like circumstances in Yemen. The evacuation mission was a civil-military combined effort by Pakistan to extract and evacuate overseas Pakistanis from the war-torn areas of Yemen. The situation in Mukalla, located 480 km east of the major port of Aden, had become critical after Al Qaeda fighters stormed the city. Through a discreetly planned mission, the evacuation effort was launched from the Ash Shihr Port. PNS ASLAT, a sword class combatant, safely evacuated 148 Pakistanis and 35 foreign nationals, including 11 Indians, 8 Chinese and 4 Britishers, two naval ships, PNS ASLAT and PNS SHAMSHEER safely evacuated not only 190 stranded Pakistanis in Yemen but 55 foreign nationals of China, India, Philippines, UK, Indonesia, Syria, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Bangladesh, Romania, Qatar, Ethiopia and Germany. This particular operation was applauded by the international community and reinforced affability with the states whose citizens were evacuated, generating global goodwill – with India in particular.


Lately in May this year, in the aftermath of severe floods in Sri Lanka, Pakistan Navy extended all-out men and material support in coordination with the Sri Lankan authorities to the flood affected local populace. PNS ZULFIQUAR performed as the base camp for Navy HA&DR. Pakistan Navy Search and Rescue teams, reached the remote areas of countryside in the affected districts. The medical camps were established in rural districts of Colombo. In addition, dry ration, fresh water and edibles were distributed amongst the displaced families. Ship’s Disaster Response Teams comprising the Special Services Group (Navy) and Pakistan Marines provided assistance in close coordination with the Sri Lankan Navy to earn the goodwill for Pakistan and the emblem of the Armed Forces.


The humanitarian operations strategy of PN has been consistently up ladder in terms of HA&DR design, scope, capacity and reach apropos its amassing stature as a regional force and growing international collaboration. Given the forward posture, inherent mobility, and highly flexible nature of a Navy with diverse capabilities, naval forces in general, and Pakistan Navy in national perspective, remains to be the force of choice for international HA&DR missions. In order to bolster their HA&DR capabilities, navies tend to acquire naval platforms that are particularly well-suited to conduct HA&DR operations without compromise on fleet strength engaged in traditional naval warfare missions. For instance, bigger auxiliaries, a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ship or similar family of platforms can conveniently reach the debris-littered shores in clear advantage against mainstream warships or auxiliaries. The LPD is normally capable of carrying a number of helicopters and along with its landing craft can land relief supplies and manpower faster.


Building on relationships forged in times of calm, Pakistan Navy continues to mitigate human suffering as the precursor of offshore efforts, in a proactive fashion to respond to disaster crises. As a maritime nation with a robust maritime capability, the sea remains amongst best mediums for Pakistan to carry national goodwill, promote soft diplomacy, project naval power, nurture bilateral friendships and extend helping hand to mankind across the oceans as a responsible nation. And, imperative use of navies in international HA&DR operations affirms the effective role the military plays in undertaking the humanitarian relief activities besides defending one’s homeland. Since Independence, preserving and floating on the collective resolve of nationhood, Armed Forces continue to march with and for the nation to be safe, secure and smiling – be it peace or war.

 

The writer is a freelancer, a maritime and defence professional.

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07
August

Written By: Ahmed Quraishi

In the nine years between 2001 and 2010, India border guards killed 900 poor Bangladeshi peasants. The intransigence of Indian officials sitting thousands of miles away in New Delhi is the main cause of this political and humanitarian tragedy.

Felani Khatun was 15 years old. An Indian soldier took aim at her. She was far away. She was killed on the border between India and Bangladesh. Her dress got stuck in the barbed wire. It was 6 a.m. Her dead body kept hanging on the border wall until 11 a.m. That is when India’s Border Security Force (BSF) patrol came to remove the body.


Did they know they killed an unarmed teenage girl? Wait until you read the full story.


The story of India’s border disputes with Bangladesh is bizarre by all standards of geography, history and politics. But the main cause is political intransigence on the part of the larger power, India. Indian officials have the political capital and geographic size to make the necessary deals to establish peace. Yet, it seems India thrives on battering its smaller neighbors and keeping them in a state of controlled chaos.


Many scholars argue it is unfair to blame New Delhi for the disputes. India is locked in border troubles with all its nine neighbors. But the case of Bangladesh is different. It clearly shows India bears considerable blame for instability in the region.


The border clashes between the two countries are more troubling because India helped create Bangladesh in 1971. [Short background: India unilaterally invaded Pakistan, with the help of a terror proxy militia created and trained by India, through successful PSY OPS, exploiting Pakistan’s political and linguistic fault lines, in an unprovoked invasion across international borders. A war of opportunity.]

The concept of ‘Hindu nationalism’ has worked somewhat, but is not enough. The Hindi-speaking ruling elite of New Delhi realizes this. What India needs is permanent enemies, sources of eternal evil, a concept that could further unite Indians beyond religion and state identity. This is where Bangladesh comes handy.

Considering India’s role in creating Bangladesh, relations between New Delhi and Dhaka should have been good enough to resolve border disputes. Instead, the India-Bangladesh dispute is an example of India’s inability to maintain peaceful borders with neighbors like Bangladesh that want to have good relations with India.


The border region where teenage girl Felani was killed has an interesting history that predates the independence of both countries. It goes back to the days of the Mughal emperors in India and the maharajas whose feudal holdings dotted the subcontinent.


Both countries share 4,100 km long border. It zigzags across some of the most difficult terrain on earth. It was hastily drawn by colonial power Britain in 1947 just as Pakistan and India were about to become independent. It was British diplomats and officers who did it. And just like the mess they created in Kashmir, Junagarh, and Hyderabad states in the North and West, it was no different in the East. There are about 162 border enclaves that lie on the wrong side of the India-Bangladesh border, 51 belong to India but lie inside Bangladesh, and 111 belong to Bangladesh but lie inside India.1


Dhaka and New Delhi are expected to have signed a deal to resolve this issue by July 31, 2017. But this is not where the problem ends. India has fenced nearly 70% of its border with Bangladesh. The stated Indian objective is to stop illegal Bangladeshi migration to India.


Indian Designs
But, how big of a problem this migration is? By most accounts, it is not such a huge problem, certainly not one that would force India to fence Bangladesh.


This is not a huge problem for India, but it did become one in the Indian state of Assam, where the Assamese and the Bengali ethnicities do not get along. The Assamese also have a problem with the Indians and India. Some of the Assamese are fighting India for independence. To placate them, the Indian Baboos [plural for Baboo, a civil servant in Hindi] came up with a novel idea: target the Bengali migrants from Bangladesh to show the Assamese that India protects their interests. The Indian Baboo came down from New Delhi guns blazing. India erected a fence, and boxed the Bangladeshis in from three sides. The fourth side is the sea, the Bay of Bengal, which floods every year.

 

Felani’s scream must have resonated in those open fields near the border. You can only hear chirping of birds at that time in the paddy fields. Hers must have been the scream of a scared child. The Indian soldiers in the distance were alerted by the cries of a child. They know that only poor Bangladeshi civilians cross the border. Granted they do this illegally, but the screams of a child could have forced the Indians to restrain their guns, at least this once. For the sake of a child. But they didn’t.

So, essentially, India has trapped the Bangladeshis between the fence and the sea.


Aside from the problem in the State of Assam, Bangladeshi migration is not big enough a problem for Indians to go for the drastic measure of erecting a fence on two-thirds of their border with Bangladesh. This is not the U.S.-Mexican border, where prosperity lies on one side and crime on the other. Indian regions adjoining Bangladesh are struggling with their issues of development, poverty, and distribution of resources. There is little prospect of a mass Bangladeshi migration to the Indian Dream, which remains largely confined to the make-belief world of Indian cinema, plus a handful of pockets of prosperity, mostly in the north and the northeast, where Hindi is spoken.


India’s Permanent War
The Indian fencing of Bangladesh border lays the groundwork for a permanent issue of hate between the two nations that could erupt later in war.


And this brings us to another problem in India: nationalism. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, religious fanatics are promoting a single Indian identity. Few outside India know that a country the size of India, ruled by minority northern Hindi-speaking upper-caste Indians, never existed in this region before. The credit for the modern Indian state goes to the British. They left behind a large political entity with dozens of ethnicities, languages, and religions. No one in the subcontinent had any extensive experience managing this type of a state. Of course, the Indians are doing just that for seven decades now, with fair results.


Since it is difficult to unite 28 Indian states (excluding Jammu & Kashmir, which is a disputed territory pending settlement in UN Security Council) by the identity of the Indian state, the Modi government is using Hindu religious extremism as a uniting factor. For purposes of image enhancement, the Indian government and media refer to this religious fanaticism by the term “Hindu nationalism”, a softer version of the term Hindu extremism.


The concept of ‘Hindu nationalism’ has worked somewhat, but is not enough. The Hindi-speaking ruling elite of New Delhi realizes this. What India needs is permanent enemies, sources of eternal evil, a concept that could further unite Indians beyond religion and state identity. This is where Bangladesh comes handy.


Bangladesh is part of what could be called the Indian Triangle of Evil: Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. The Indian Tri-Evil. The three represent sources of permanent threat in the Indian strategic doctrine. And the Indian military establishment has fought major wars in the three theaters, the only major wars India has known. India has fenced its borders with two, and is working on bolstering its border defenses with China.


‘Hate Bangladesh!’
Bangladesh is not a threat to India. But it is a handy enemy. Shooting and killing poor unarmed Bangladeshi migrants has helped placate the nation of Assam which wants out of the Indian state. So, the logic goes, if the Bangladesh Card is helpful in Assam, why not erect Bangladesh as a threat to unite other Indians? Why not use Bangladesh as part of the Pakistan-China-Bangladesh evil triangle of enemies to unite the State of India?


What supports this theory is the contempt that New Delhi has for Bangladeshis. The Indian disdain and scorn for Bangladeshis is historical, religious, and surprisingly, economic.


The arrogant Hindi-speaking ruling elite of New Delhi considers Bangladeshis easy to manipulate, and sees the Bangladeshi record in improving its economy and military as a likely future challenge to India that needs to be nipped in the bud.


The Indian arrogance is not misplaced. Between 1966 and 1972, India used the people of Bangladesh against each other with ease. It recruited many Bangladeshis in a terror militia, the Mukti Bahini, and then used them to kill other Bangladeshis. Thousands of Bangladeshis were killed at the hands of other Bangladeshis under this strategy. This success has given India confidence that it can always use and abuse Bangladesh.


Bangladeshi Felani Khatun
As India goes into negotiations to resolve the question of 162 enclaves, there is a glimmer of hope that New Delhi might apply the same reconciliatory approach to its wider issue of border management with Bangladesh. The early signs are not encouraging, though. A Human Rights Watch report accused Indian Border Security Force of killing 900 Bangladeshis between 2001 and 2010.


Felani was not one of them. She was killed a year after that report, on January 7, 2011.
Her father, Nurul Islam, belonged to South Ramkhana village in Bangladesh, located along the Indian border.


His father died due to extreme poverty when Nurul Islam was young. The area had little communication with the rest of Bangladesh. The closest population centers were across the border, in India. So, as a kid, he and his mother crossed the border into Assam in India.
Occasionally, they returned to the village to meet relatives.
Friday, January 7, 2011, was one of those days.
The well-known Bangladeshi human rights organization, Odhikar, documented the cold-blooded murder of Nurul Islam’s teenage daughter by Indian security. Here is an excerpt:


“On 7th January 2011, at approximately 6 in the morning, Nurul Islam’s daughter, 15 year old Felani Khatun, was shot and killed by the Indian BSF. According to Nurul Islam, an eye-witness to this killing, he and Felani were crossing into Bangladesh, by climbing over a barbed-wire fence using bamboo ladders, through the vacant space between number 3 and 4 S pillars, which are adjacent to the 947 main pillar of the Kitaber Kuthi Anantapur border. In order to do this they had made a deal with two Indian smugglers, namely Mosharaf Hussein and Buzrat in exchange of 3,000 Indian Rupees. While they were crossing the fence, Felani’s clothes got tangled in the barbed-wire, which frightened her and caused her to scream in panic. In quick response to her scream, the BSF on patrol opened fire at them. Felani was shot and killed, but her father managed to escape. The body of the deceased teenager hung on the fence till 11 a.m. that morning; subsequently, 5 hours later the BSF brought down Felani’s body and took it away. About 30 hours after the incident, on 8th January, 2011, following a flag meeting between the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Indian BSF, Felani’s body was returned to the concerned authorities in Bangladesh. On 9th January, 2011 at about 7 in the morning the body was then sent to Kurigram District Hospital by Sub Inspector Nuruzzaman of Phulbari Police Station, for post-mortem. After completion of the postmortem at the Kurigram District Hospital, the body of the deceased was handed over to her maternal uncle Hanif Ali, by the police on the same day. At approximately 10 p.m. that night, Felani’s body was buried in the back yard of her home.”


Felani’s scream must have resonated in those open fields near the border. You can only hear chirping of birds at that time in the paddy fields. Hers must have been the scream of a scared child. The Indian soldiers in the distance were alerted by the cries of a child. They know that only poor Bangladeshi civilians cross the border. Granted they do this illegally, but the screams of a child could have forced the Indians to restrain their guns, at least this once. For the sake of a child. But they didn’t.
India shows no mercy to Bangladeshis. Felani’s story is the story of Bangladesh.

 

The author is a researcher, television host, and writer.

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

 

Pakistan Army Shall Protect Civil Population against Unprovoked Indian Aggression at all Costs

newspakarmyshalprtect.jpgOn the death anniversary of Kashmiri hero Burhan Wani Shaheed on July 8 when Kashmiris all over the world were protesting against Indian attrocities, Indian Army initiated unprovoked firing across LOC in Rawalakot Sector, targeting innocent civil population in village Tetrinote, Manwa, Satwal and Chaffar with mortars and rockets fire, resulting in death of 5 innocent citizens induding four women and an old man while injuring another five people including three young girls.

 

Pakistan Army befittingly responded on July 9 causing substantial losses to men and material. Two Indian Army posts firing on innocent civilians have been destroyed and four Indian soldiers killed. Pakistan Army shall protect civil population against unprovoked Indian aggression at all costs.

(PR-350/2017-ISPR July, 9, 2017)
 
07
August

Written By: Jennifer McKay

Over in the Tochi Valley, the new Golden Arrow Montessori School has been opened in Degan for some very excited children who attended the opening in their best and brightest clothes. This is such a significant step for the area and has received great support from the community. And nearby at Boya, a new Women’s Vocational Centre has been opened. When I met with women in Boya during my visit, they were extremely excited about getting a new centre soon. Word has it they are now very happy indeed and enjoying the opportunities the Centre provides. Pakistan Army has changed the milieu from terrorism to peace in North Waziristan.

It is difficult to align the constant U.S. mantra that Pakistan is ‘not doing enough’ in the war against terrorism when we take a look at just what has and continues to be done. To say that the mantra is unreasonable and extremely disappointing is an understatement. So many lives have been lost in Pakistan in a long battle to defeat the scourge of terrorism, much of which has emanated from events in Afghanistan.


Operations across all seven tribal agencies, in Swat, throughout Karachi and the rest of the country, and now Khyber-IV to drive out the last remnants of terror groups in Rajgal Valley have cost many lives but cleared the areas and terrorist attacks have reduced enormously. Pakistan is fencing the border but, like so many other initiatives, this is facing resistance from Afghanistan.


Pakistan continues to both fight any pockets of resistance and at the same time move ahead with resettlement of displaced families, rehabilitate and reconstruct areas damaged by fighting. My recent articles have focused on North Waziristan, where the scale of peace building and progress in reconstruction and rehabilitation has been astounding. The work continues across the agency at a rapid pace and will continue for some time.

wazirstanatpeacethree.jpgAs North Waziristan transits from a humanitarian operation to long-term development, it is worthwhile looking at the most recent achievements, and the challenges that lie ahead that could hinder sustainable progress.


In the past two months, the Army has opened Razmak for local tourism and it has been hugely successful. The long term potential, assuming the tranquil and beautiful environment is managed sensitively, is limitless. The weather changes throughout the year and this small hamlet enjoys four seasons; though sometimes in the course of a few hours. Sitting at an altitude of just over 6,600 feet, and with mountains rising up to 11,000 feet, it is today an oasis of tranquility amongst the pine trees and lovely old buildings. A total surprise in Razmak was when I visited the new 'coffee shop' serving cappuccino, latte and assorted delicious treats. This for sure is going to be popular with visitors.


During the occupation and administration of the area by the British it became known as “Little London” due to the resemblance with an English village. When the British finally departed the area after partition and skirmishes with the local tribes, they left behind some lovely old architecture, and a cantonment that even today, maintains the style of an English village.


In more recent history, Razmak came under attack from the Taliban with rockets landing in the cantonment. Among the targets was the Razmak Cadet College, established in the old British barracks in 1978. These attacks, and the kidnapping of several students, led to a full evacuation of all students for five years until peace prevailed. Today, the students are back, living and studying in their beautiful campus amongst the pine trees and quiet calm on this old hill station.


The area around Razmak is rich in minerals that will provide extensive opportunities for future industry and prosperity for the local communities. However, I must add a word of caution. Mining companies will need to protect the environment to ensure that this magical place does not lose its charm and clean environment.


The drive to Razmak from Miranshah along the new road is scenic and provides glimpse of rural life as it gradually winds its way into higher terrain past hillside compounds, small farms and villages. A stop off at historic Alexandra Fort built by the British in the early 1900s gives a magnificent 360-degree view of the area. A hiking trail follows the road up to the top for those who feel energetic. Inspirational quotes to encourage hikers dot the trail and, for those who are feeling a bit weary, seats and tables are located at scenic points. This is becoming a popular visit point for locals who drive there from Miranshah and Mir Ali to enjoy a picnic. The area has its own microclimate and the weather changes rapidly. During my visit, within the course of an hour, the weather changed from bright, hot sunshine to approaching rain and a sudden drop in temperature. And just a few days before, snow had fallen on Alexandra Fort.

Unless realistic and substantial efforts are made across the border in Afghanistan to defeat terrorist groups there and bring sustainable peace, and to prevent terrorists from entering Pakistan, no matter what Pakistan does on its side, it will be like clapping with one hand.

Pakistan Army has constructed a new building for the Political Agent at Dosali, an area between Miranshah and Razmak, to replace one destroyed during the fighting. This will enable the government officials to provide more effective services to the communities in the area.


Over in the Tochi Valley, the new Golden Arrow Montessori School has been opened in Degan for some very excited children who attended the opening in their best and brightest clothes. This is such a significant step for the area and has received great support from the community. And nearby at Boya, a new Women’s Vocational Centre has been opened. When I met with women in Boya during my visit, they were extremely excited about getting a new centre soon. Word has it they are now very happy indeed and enjoying the opportunities the Centre provides. Pakistan Army has changed the milieu from terrorism to peace in North Waziristan.


And as another sign of the new normalcy, families were able to celebrate Eid in their own villages. Pakistan Army arranged five festivals in different areas across the agency with enthusiastic participation of local communities.


Recently, an education seminar was arranged by the civil servants in the region. This was a great opportunity to engage the local communities in discussions about building literacy and the importance of education. Parents are particularly keen to get their boys and girls into schools and are very supportive of education plans for North Waziristan.


Many other projects are under way and every month, a new facility, a road, an infrastructure component, opens for the public to make life easier. So things are certainly progressing well. But there are still development challenges ahead. The Army continues to do outstanding work, building on the massive achievements to date. However, the job is not theirs alone.


The Government needs to move forward on the FATA reforms and set a clear path for the future. To do this, they need to take the people along with the discussions so that they are comfortable with the process to integrate FATA into mainstream Pakistan, but without losing their culture. The transition period will be lengthy and complex so it should be started as soon as possible and with full engagement of all the stakeholders. More funds need to be ploughed into the area for facilities and upskilling of services to prepare for integration. But at the same time, the reconstruction and rehabilitation must continue till completion.


One area that has been sensitive is the matter of compensation for houses destroyed or damaged in the military operations. The Government promise was for PKR 160,000 for a damaged house, and PKR 400,000 for a destroyed house. This arrangement was not only for North Waziristan, but also for entire FATA. The Community Loss Compensation Program was originally envisaged as a more holistic program which would have provided a range of support and capacity building and training services to accompany the compensation. However, a change in the methodology diluted the additional benefits. The important issue though, is that all those who have suffered loss, are compensated as soon as possible.


While many have already received their payments, some are still waiting in parts of the FATA. This is an issue for the Government that should be attended to as soon as possible. The assessment teams, which include civilians and military personnel, carry out their work on the instructions of the FATA Secretariat once an area is de-notified. One thing that must be borne in mind is that basic facilities and infrastructure must be restored before an area is clear for families to return. The Army has made massive steps in fulfilling these needs and the majority of families have been able to return.

 

It is critical that the external assistance provided by UN and INGOs is aligned with the prioritised needs as determined by the people themselves, FATA Secretariat, and the Army. It should be sustainable so that when the project funding runs out, the communities are able to continue with the progress envisaged in the project documents.

It is unlikely that PKR 400,000 will meet the cost of rebuilding some houses so the capacity building and training component would be an added benefit to assist in building back better. Donors are encouraging the government to include this additional benefit.


The international and local aid community has contributed to a number of programs to help the returning TDPs. The World Food Program (WFP), with the support of their donors, has provided returning families with food packages for a six-month period while they resettle.


The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is coordinating the humanitarian assistance. OCHA Head of Office for Pakistan, Ms. Heli Uusikyla, visited North Waziristan recently to assess progress on UN funded activities and identify gaps where further support can be provided. On her return she spoke highly of the work being done by the Pakistan Army in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process. She also provided some insights into future UN assistance. Ms. Uusikyla noted, “USD 5.3 million have recently been released from UN funds for NGO projects to be implemented in the FATA, focusing on girls education, health, water and sanitation, and shelter support.” OCHA is also working with other UN partners, donors and INGOs to provide a coordinated transition to development.
There is one important need that is yet to be fulfilled; that of children who have lost one or both parents whose families are unable to properly provide for them. Because of the social environment, women-headed households find it particularly hard to earn an income to provide for their families. These vulnerable children must not be forgotten. It is a challenge for poor families across the country. Most find that they have no option but to send their children to madrassas mainly because they will receive free meals and accommodation. This places these children at high risk of falling prey to any fundamentalist ideas.


The Army has closed all madrassas in NWA and although this is a major step towards maintaining peace and defeating extremism, it leaves fewer options particularly for women-headed households who are unable to support their children, and for orphans. This is an opportunity for the people of Pakistan to show compassion and support efforts to meet the needs of these children through the provision of a safe and happy environment that will provide house, ‘parents’, comfortable accommodation, nutritious food, and health facilities, along with a good education. This will not only boost education and keep these children safe, it will give new hope to this area.1


Moving from the first phase – humanitarian assistance – to the longer-term development assistance, can be a slow process. While some donors are keen to support FATA, including North Waziristan, there have been delays in approvals. Even when the Army and other authorities are comfortable with the security situation, the internal organisational security processes for UN agencies, donors and INGOs can be a barrier. However, all the stakeholders are working together to find solutions and to proceed with assistance on a prioritised basis.


It is critical that the external assistance provided by UN and INGOs is aligned with the prioritised needs as determined by the people themselves, FATA Secretariat, and the Army. It should be sustainable so that when the project funding runs out, the communities are able to continue with the progress envisaged in the project documents. Too often, when project funding runs out and the aid agency departs, the situation becomes static or falls into disarray. This is not specific to Pakistan or FATA, it is a known challenge around the developing world.


But the biggest challenges ahead is a regional one. What happens in Afghanistan will certainly have an impact on Pakistan, particularly in the FATA.


A recent bipartisan high profile U.S. Senators' delegation led by the chairman of U.S. Armed Services Committee, John McCain (R) and including Lindsay Graham (R), Elizabeth Warren (D), David Perdue (R), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D) visited Pakistan recently. Senator McCain has been one of the more positive voices for Pakistan but following this visit, the signs have been less encouraging. During the visit, the delegation met with Foreign Affairs Adviser, Sartaj Aziz for what was reported as positive and engaging discussion. The delegation also met Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.


A highlight of the visit was a trip to South Waziristan to view the progress in reconstruction and rehabilitation, part of which has been funded by USAID. Senator McCain is one of the few U.S. Senators or Members of Congress who has made regular visits to Pakistan and made an effort to understand the issues in the tribal areas. But this time, despite very positive encouragement when in Pakistan, once the delegation visited Afghanistan after leaving Pakistan, the tone changed. The “Pakistan must do more” mantra reappeared. On arrival in Afghanistan, Senator McCain said about Pakistan at a press briefing, “We have made it very clear that they will cooperate with us particularly against the Haqqani network and against terrorist organisations”. He went on to say that, “If they don’t change their behaviour, maybe we should change our behaviour towards Pakistan.” Senator Lindsey Graham was quoted by the Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer’s office as saying, “Pakistan will be rewarded if it changed its policy and punished if it didn’t.”


Despite almost a trillion dollars spent by the U.S. on their war in Afghanistan, and large amounts by its allies, the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate across the country. The Taliban are in control of large swathes of the country and ISIS has moved in. It does seem that Afghanistan accepts no blame for the situation despite enormous corruption, unhealthy and shaky political alliances, and a failure of policies. That Afghanistan has failed to halt the spread of ISIS within its borders is of great concern to Pakistan. The proximity of ISIS in some areas of Afghanistan particularly in regions such as Achin, Nangarhar and Tora Bora near the Pakistan border is alarming.


India’s footprint in Afghanistan continues to grow and the U.S. National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018 indicates that it may grow even more through the strengthening U.S.-India alliance. The NDAA sets a time limit of 180 days to develop a strategy for enhanced defence cooperation with India. Pakistan can only wait and see what that might mean. Also in the wing is the new U.S. policy for Afghanistan, which is believed to include a tougher stance on Pakistan. Another sign of a more aggressive U.S. stance against Pakistan is the recent announcement that the U.S. will not honour its commitment to reimburse Pakistan for the outstanding $350 million from the Coalition Support Fund. Of this, $300 has been reprogrammed elsewhere and the remaining $50 million will be withheld.


As Pakistan awaits the announcement of the U.S. intentions in the region, it can only be hoped that it will do nothing to destabilise the outstanding achievements for peace in North Waziristan and all the FATA. Unless realistic and substantial efforts are made across the border in Afghanistan to defeat terrorist groups there and bring sustainable peace, and to prevent terrorists from entering Pakistan, no matter what Pakistan does on its side, it will be like clapping with one hand.

 

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

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

 

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