07
August

Waziristan at Peace (Part III)

Published in Hilal English

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.

 
07
August

India’s Never-ending Border Disputes: The Fencing of Bangladesh

Published in Hilal English

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

Carrying National Ethos and Goodwill across Oceans

Published in Hilal English

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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10
January

ہارٹ آف ایشیا کانفرنس میں بھارت کا منفی رویہ

تحریر: محمد اکرم ذکی

سابق سیکرٹری جنرل و وزیر مملکت وزارت خارجہ۔پاکستان

آف ایشیا کانفرنس میں پاکستان کے مشیر خارجہ کوہوٹل سے باہر نہ آنے دینا سفارتی آداب کی خلاف ورزی سے کہیں بڑھ کر حبس بے جا میں رکھنے کا مجرمانہ فعل ہے۔ اس فعل سے بھارت نے واضح طور پر اپنے اسی جارحانہ پیغام کو ایک مرتبہ پھر دہرایا ہے۔ دشمنی پر مبنی جو پیغام وہ تسلسل کے ساتھ پاکستان کو دے رہا ہے اور پاکستان خطے کے وسیع تر مفاد میں امن اور دوستی کی خواہشات کو مقدم رکھے ہوئے ہے۔ بھارت کے ساتھ خوشگوار تعلقات کا خواب دیکھنے والے مقتدر حلقے کی آنکھیں اب کھل جانی چاہئے اور انہیں اس تلخ حقیقت کا ادراک کرلینا چاہئے کہ پاکستان کی ترقی، استحکام،امن اور سب سے بڑھ کرپاکستان کے وجود کو بھارت کی جانب سے حقیقی و سنگین خطرات درپیش ہیں اور بھارت پاکستان کے خلاف اپنے مذموم عزائم کی تکمیل کی خاطر کسی بھی حد تک جاسکتا ہے۔ پاکستان کے خلاف جارحانہ و دشمنانہ کردار کی ایک بڑی وجہ یہ بھی ہے کہ بھارت اب علاقائی بالادستی کے خواب سے آگے بڑھ کر دنیا کی بڑی طاقتوں میں شمولیت کے پروگرام پر عمل پیرا ہے۔ اس مقصد کے حصول کے لئے وہ نہ صرف اپنی جنگی اور ایٹمی صلاحیت کو مسلسل بڑھا رہا ہے بلکہ خطے کے تمام ممالک کو اپنی تابعداری میں لینے کی کوشش بھی کررہا ہے۔بڑی جنگی طاقتوں میں اپنا شمار کرانے کے لئے بھارت نے جوہری پروگرام کو وسیع کرکے امریکہ ، جاپان اور آسٹریلیا سے جوہری معاہدے کئے ہیں۔نئے نیوکلیئر ڈاکٹر ائن کے تحت اپنی تینوں افواج کو ایٹمی صلاحیت سے لیس کیا ہے ۔ کسی بھی بحری فوج کے پاس ایٹمی قوت کی موجودگی اس حوالے سے زیادہ خطرناک سمجھی جاتی ہے ،کیونکہ اسے مارک کرکے نشانہ بنانا مشکل ہوتا ہے۔ سلامتی کونسل میں مستقل نشست،خطے پہ بالادستی و اجارہ داری اوربڑی طاقتوں میں شماربھارت کی ایسی خواہشات ہیں کہ جن کی تکمیل کی راہ میں وہ پاکستان کو رکاوٹ سمجھتا ہے۔ اس رکاوٹ کو ہٹانے یا ختم کرنے کے لئے بھارت پاکستان کے خلاف ایک باقاعدہ پروگرام پہ کاربند ہے۔

 

hartofasia.jpgاس پروگرام میں پاکستان کو داخلی و خارجی سطح پر عدم استحکام کا شکار کرنا، پاکستان کو تنہا کرنا، تعمیر و ترقی کے دروازے بند کرنا، خطے کے ممالک کے ساتھ تعلقات میں بگاڑ اور بالخصوص دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ میں پاکستان کی قربانیوں کو نظرانداز کرانے کے لئے الزامات کا لامتناہی سلسلہ جاری رکھنا شامل ہے۔ پاکستان کے خلاف اس بھارتی پروگرام کو اگر امریکی حمایت حاصل ہے تو یہ کوئی اچنبھے کی بات نہیں۔ سوویت یونین کے ٹوٹنے کے بعد امریکہ نے اپنا مرکزی حریف چین کو قرار دیا اور اپنی پالیسی ترتیب دی جس میں بھارت کو چین کے مدمقابل لانا شامل تھا۔ اس پالیسی کے تحت امریکہ نے بھارت کے ساتھ بڑے دفاعی و جوہری معاہدے کئے ۔ 2001ء میں صدر بش نے بھارت کے ساتھ میزائل ڈیفنس سسٹم معاہدہ کیا۔ 2005میں نیوکلیئر ڈیل اور اس کے علاوہ بے تحاشہ اسلحہ دینے کے معاہدے کئے۔ اب امریکہ اور بھارت نے ایک دوسرے کے بیسز استعمال کرنے اور لاجسٹک امداد کے معاہدے کئے ہیں۔ بھارت چین کے خلاف امریکہ سے تعاون پر مبنی پالیسی کی قیمت پاکستان مخالف پالیسی میں امریکی حمایت و مدد کی صورت میں مانگتا ہے۔ چنانچہ پاکستان کے خلاف بھارتی جارحانہ و دشمنانہ رویے پہ عالمی خاموشی باعث حیرت نہیں ہونی چاہئے۔


پاکستان کے خلاف بھارت کے عزائم حالیہ دور حکومت یا موجودہ عشرے میں جارحانہ نہیں ہوئے بلکہ قیام پاکستان کے بعد سے ہی بھارت پاکستان کی سلامتی کے خلاف سرگرم تھا۔ پاکستان پر جنگیں مسلط کیں۔ پہلے کشمیر پہ قبضہ کیا، پھر مشرقی پاکستان کو الگ کرنے میں اپنا گھناؤنا کردار ادا کیا ۔ پاکستان کے پانیوں پر قبضے کی پالیسی اختیار کی۔ کشمیر میں ظلم و ستم کے پہاڑ ڈھائے۔ آزادئ کشمیر کے لئے جو تحریک اٹھی تو اسے دہشت گرد قرار دیا۔ نریندر مودی حکومت کے آنے کے بعد بھارتی کردار جارحانہ نہیں بلکہ بے نقاب ہوا۔ نریندر مودی نے بھارتی پالیسی کو واضح اور عیاں کیا۔ یہاں تک کہ پاکستان کو دولخت کرنے کا اقبال جرم بھی سینہ تان کر سابق مشرقی پاکستان میں کیا۔ پاکستان کو تقسیم در تقسیم کرنے کی دیرینہ بھارتی خواہش کو عملی جامہ پہناتے ہوئے مودی نے بلوچستان اور گلگت بلتستان کی آزادی کی بھی باتیں شروع کردیں۔ دہشت گردی کے نام سے پاکستان کے خلاف واویلا کرکے پہلے دباؤمیں رکھنے کی کوشش کی۔ جب پاک افواج نے دہشت گردوں کے خلاف فیصلہ کن آپریشن ضرب عضب شروع کیا تو بھارت نے ایک جانب مشرقی سرحد پر بلااشتعال فائرنگ اور شیلنگ کا سلسلہ وقفے وقفے سے شروع کردیا تو دوسری جانب لائن آف کنٹرول پر بھی جارحیت شروع کردی۔ اسی پر ہی اکتفا نہیں کیا بلکہ افغانستان کے ذریعے مغربی سرحد پر بھی پاک فوج کو مصروف کرنے کی کوشش کی۔ یہ پاک فوج کی پیشہ ورانہ مہارت اور اعلیٰ صلاحیتوں کا ہی مظہر ہے کہ بھارت کی جانب سے بیک وقت کھولے گئے کئی محاذوں پر افواج پاکستان نے دشمن کو دندان شکن جواب دیا۔ اجیت دوول ڈاکٹرائن کہ ’’پاکستان میں گھس کر اسے تباہ کرو‘‘ کو عملی طور پر پاک فوج نے اپنی مؤثر حکمتِ عملی سے توڑا ہے۔


مودی حکومت نے پاکستان کے خلاف دوسرا بڑا محاذ سفارتی سطح پر کھولا ، جس کا مقصد عالمی برادری میں پاکستان کو تنہا کرنا ہے۔ اس مقصد کے حصول کے لئے پاکستان کے تمام دوست جن میں چین، سعودی عرب، ایران، عرب امارات، افغانستان، وسطی ایشیائی ریاستیں وغیرہ شامل ہیں، ان تمام ممالک سے بھارت نے نہ صرف تجارت اور تعلقات کو فروغ دیا ہے بلکہ پاک چین اقتصادی راہداری منصوبے کے خلاف چین میں جاکرا حتجاج کیا ہے۔ اسی طرح پاکستان کو توانائی کے بحران میں مبتلا رکھنے کے لئے پہلے پاک ایران گیس پائپ لائن منصوبے میں سے نکل کراسے ناکام بنانے کی کوشش کی اور پھر ترکمانستان، افغانستان، پاکستان، انڈیاگیس منصوبے میں شامل ہوکر افغانستان سے پاکستان کے اندر دراندازی میں اضافہ کردیا۔ پاک افغان کشیدگی بڑھانے کے جہاں دیگر مقاصد ہیں وہاں ایک بڑا بھارتی مقصد یہ بھی ہے کہ ترکمانستان، افغانستان، پاکستان، انڈیا منصوبہ بھی کھٹائی میں پڑے۔ اگر کامیاب بھی ہو تو بھی پاکستان کی توانائی سپلائی لائن افغانستان میں بھارتی پیر کے نیچے رہے۔ اسی طرح بھارت نے سعودی عرب اور عرب امارات کے ساتھ کئی معاہدے کئے۔ بھارت نے بہار میں سرمایہ کاری اور ایران، افغانستان، بھارت کوریڈور بناکر وسطی ایشیائی ریاستوں تک رسائی کا وہ منصوبہ شروع کیا،جس میں پاکستان شامل نہیں ، حالانکہ وسطی ایشیائی ریاستوں کا سہل اور محفوظ راستہ پاکستان افغانستان سے گزرتا ہے۔ جس طرح پاک افغان تعلقات میں خرابی کے لئے بھارت افغانستان میں سرگرم ہے، اسی طرح پاک ایران تعلقات میں خرابی پیدا کرنے کا بھی کوئی موقع ہاتھ سے نہیں جانے دیتا ۔ اسلامی جمہوریہ ایران کے صدر حسن روحانی پاکستان کے دورے پر پاک چین اقتصادی کوریڈور میں شامل ہونے کی خواہش لے کر آئے تھے۔ عین اسی وقت کلبھوشن کا معاملہ سامنے آیا اور ایسا پہلی مرتبہ ہوا کہ بھارت نے نہ صرف کلبھوشن کو اپنا جاسوس تسلیم کیا بلکہ فوری طور پر اس کی فیملی کے افراد بھی میڈیا پر لے آیا۔میڈیا کے ذریعے تاثر یہ دینا مقصود تھا کہ پاک چین اقتصادی راہداری کے خلاف ایران اور بھارت ایک ہیں، حالانکہ بلوچستان کے معاملے پر پاکستان اور ایران ایک جبکہ بھارت اور اسرائیل مخالف صفحہ پر موجود ہیں، جبکہ گوادر اورسی پیک کا بنیادی تعلق بلوچستان سے ہے۔ جس طرح پاکستانی بلوچستان میں بھارت مداخلت کررہا ہے اور یہاں بغاوت کا بیج بونے کی کوششوں میں مصروف عمل ہے ، اسی طرح ایرانی بلوچستان کے خلاف اسرائیل سرگرم ہے اور اس مقصد کے لئے بھارتی زمین استعمال کررہا ہے۔حال ہی میں اسرائیلی صدر نے بھارت کا طویل ترین دورہ بھی کیا ہے۔چنانچہ سی پیک میں شامل ہونے کی ایرانی خواہش کا نہ صرف چین نے خیر مقدم کیا بلکہ پاکستان نے بھی اسے خوش آئند قرار دیا۔ یہی وجہ ہے کہ چند روز قبل سی پیک کی آفیشل ویب سائٹ کی افتتاحی تقریب میں چین اور ایران کے سفیروں نے خصوصی شرکت کی۔


سی پیک کو ناکام بنانے اور اس کی سکیورٹی مشکوک کرنے کے لئے دہشت گردانہ حملے جاری ہیں۔ چین سے گوادر کے لئے پہلے برآمد ی قافلے کی روانگی سے چار روز قبل پولیس ٹریننگ سکول کوئٹہ میں دہشت گردی کا اندوہناک سانحہ پیش آیا۔ برآمدی قافلے کے گوادر پہنچ جانے کے اگلے روز اور گوادر کی افتتاحی تقریب سے محض ایک روز قبل دربار شاہ نورانی میں خودکش حملہ ہوا۔ دہشت گردی کے دونوں واقعات میں بھارتی عنصر براہ راست ملوث پایا گیا ہے۔ اسی طرح پشاور، فاٹا، کراچی و ملک کے دیگر شہروں میں پیش آنے والے سانحات کا سرا افغانستان میں موجود کالعدم تنظیموں سے جاملتا ہے ۔ جو بھارتی چھتر چھایا میں پاکستان کے خلاف دہشت گردی کا بازار گرم کئے ہوئے ہیں۔ علاوہ ازیں پاک فوج کے جوانوں نے اسی عرصے میں آبی حدود کی خلاف ورزی کرنے والی سب میرین کا راستہ روکا اور پاک فضائی حدود کی خلاف ورزی کرنے والے ایک بھارتی ڈرون کو بھی مار گرایا۔


تیسرا قبیح عمل مقبوضہ وادی میں ریاستی طاقت کے حیوانی استعمال کی صورت میں بھارت سرانجام دے رہا ہے۔ مقبوضہ وادی میں برہان وانی کی المناک شہادت کے بعد کشمیری نوجوانوں کی جو تحریک آزادی کے نعرے کے ساتھ اٹھی اس کو کچلنے کے لئے بھارت ظلم و جبر کی تمام حدیں پار کرچکا ہے۔ وانی کی شہادت کے بعد بیسیوں نوجوان شہید، سینکڑوں نوجوان، بچے، خواتین پیلٹ گن کا نشانہ بن کر اپنی بینائی کھوچکے ہیں۔ نوجوان بچیاں، مستورات لاپتا ہیں۔ سینکڑوں نوجوان، طالب علم زیر حراست ہیں۔ بجائے اس ظلم پر شرمندگی محسوس کرنے کے بھارت مقبوضہ وادی میں آزادی کی اس تحریک کو بھی پاک بھارت مسئلہ بنا کر پیش کرنے میں مصروف عمل ہے۔


پیش کردہ حالات و واقعات اتنے پرانے نہیں ہیں کہ جو اس سے قبل کسی عالمی یا علاقائی فورم پر پاکستان کی جانب سے پیش نہ کئے گئے ہوں۔ ہارٹ آف ایشیا کانفرنس میں بھارت کی جانب سے سفارتی آداب کی خلاف ورزی سے بڑھ کر مجرمانہ رویہ اپنانے کی وجہ یوں بھی سمجھ میں آتی ہے کہ بھارت’’الٹا چور کوتوال کو ڈانٹے ‘‘ کے مصداق اپنے جرائم پر پردہ ڈال کے پاکستان کو ’’مجرم‘‘ثابت کرنے پر کمربستہ ہے۔ شائد یہی وجہ ہے کہ پاکستانی مشیر خارجہ کو حبس بے جا میں رکھا نہ تو انہیں ترجمان سے ملنے دیا گیا اور نہ ہی گنے چنے موجود پاکستانی صحافیوں سے۔ حالانکہ ابھی نریندر مودی کو پاکستانی حکمرانوں کی میزبانی سے لطف اندوز ہوئے پورا ایک سال بھی مکمل نہیں ہواتھا۔


ضرورت اس امر کی ہے کہ سب سے پہلے ہم خود یہ باور کریں کہ بھارت کی پاکستان دشمنی ایک حقیقت ہے۔ پاکستان کو بھارت کی جانب سے مستقل، طویل المدت اور سنجیدہ خطرے کا سامنا ہے ۔ جس سے نمٹنے کے لئے عسکری ، سیاسی قوتوں کے ساتھ ساتھ سول سوسائٹی ، میڈیا کو بھی اپنا مستقل اور ذمہ دارانہ کردار ادا کرنا ہوگا۔ پاکستان کو مربوط، جامع ،مستقل اور طویل المدت پالیسی اپنا نی ہوگی۔ سول ملٹری قیادت کو مشترکہ حکمت عملی اپنانی ہوگی۔ دشمن کا مقابلہ کرنے کے لئے عسکری قوت کو مضبوط سے مضبوط تر کرنا ہوگا۔ سول انتظامیہ و پولیس کے ذریعے اندرونی انتشاریوں سے سخت رویہ اپنا نا ہوگا۔ بھارتی میڈیا ایک بمبئی سانحہ کو لے کر دنیا میں پاکستان دشمنی کا ڈھول پیٹ رہا ہے جبکہ ہمارا آزاد میڈیا سمجھوتہ ایکسپریس، مالگاؤں کویاد کرنا تو درکنار اے پی ایس، سانحہ چارسدہ یونیورسٹی، کوئٹہ کچہری حملہ، پولیس لائن حملے ودیگر بیسیوں ایسے سانحات کو فراموش کرچکا ہے جن میں بھارت براہِ راست ملوث تھا۔ ہمارے میڈیا کو بھی سلامتی کے امور میں قدم بہ قدم ملک و قوم کی ترجمانی کرنی ہوگی۔ بیرونی ممالک میں موجود ہمارے سفارتخانوں کو بھی موثرانداز میں اپنا نقطہ نظر دنیا پر واضح کرنا ہوگا، اور دنیاکو یہ باور کرانا ہوگا کہ پاکستان میں جاری دہشت گردی کی سرپرستی بھارت کررہا ہے اور پاکستان دہشت گردی کے خلاف جنگ میں بیش بہا قربانی دے رہا ہے۔ عمومی طور پر بھارت کے حوالے سے ہماری پالیسی ردعمل یاسستی کا شکار رہتی ہے مگر اب اس بات کی شدید ضرورت ہے کہ ردعمل سے نکل کر سفارتی و سیاسی محاذپر پیش قدمی کریں۔ بھارتی رعونت اور جارحیت کے خلاف ایک جامع، مربوط اور طویل المدت پالیسی ترتیب دیں جس پر صبر و تحمل سے عمل پیرا ہوکر بھارتی عزائم کو ناکام بنایا جائے۔
(آمین)

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ضرورت اس امر کی ہے کہ سب سے پہلے ہم خود یہ باور کریں کہ بھارت کی پاکستان دشمنی ایک حقیقت ہے۔ پاکستان کو بھارت کی جانب سے مستقل، طویل المدت اور سنجیدہ خطرے کا سامنا ہے ۔ جس سے نمٹنے کے لئے عسکری ، سیاسی قوتوں کے ساتھ ساتھ سول سوسائٹی ، میڈیا کو بھی اپنا مستقل اور ذمہ دارانہ کردار ادا کرنا ہوگا۔

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