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Archive for July, 2015

NAWAZ SHARIF’S METRO BUS IN CANALS OF VENICE: PORK BARREL PROJECT & A BOONDOGGLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project not waterproof

 
 
 

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: Some newly constructed metro bus stations, worth millions of rupees, could not withstand the heavy monsoon showers on Tuesday and were flooded with rainwater.

The worst affected bus stations were Peshawar Mor, Centaurus, 7th Avenue, Kutchery and Shaheed-i-Milat stations where water flowed down the staircases and dripped from the ceiling, inundating the stations.

MNA Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, while talking to Dawn, attributed the construction flaws to corruption and the hasty execution of the project.

“The rains exposed the poor performance of the Punjab government which started running the service before the work had been completed,” he said.

He said that water could be seen seeping into the concrete, on the elevated road from Saddar to Faizabad and people are afraid that it could cause a big disaster.

The MNA said that the Leh Nullah Expressway, proposed by him, was the best project to control flooding in the nullah but the PML-N government instead chose to waste billions on their own projects.

“The metro bus project reeks of corruption. The first spell of monsoon rains has exposed the poor quality of construction material used,” he said. The administration was forced to shut down the elevators and escalators but buses continued to run.

Iqbal Hussain, a passenger waiting at Centaurus, said that while the metro bus service was a positive initiative by the government, the contractors completed the project in haste. “Look at how much water is dripping from the ceiling,” he said.

A janitor said: “The maintenance staff is doing their best to pump the water out, but there should be some proper arrangement at the entrances to prevent rainwater from entering.”

A resident of Sector F-6, Mohammad Ali, said: “The government spent billions of rupees on the project but could not ensure proper drainage. Action should be taken against those negligent officers, who were in charge of the construction work.”

The water accumulated at the stations was finally drained several hours later.

A senior Capital Development Authority (CDA) official, requesting anonymity, passed the buck to the administration in Rawalpindi, stating that the CDA is not responsible for drainage at the bus stations.

“The project was executed by private firms, under the supervision of Commissioner Zahid Saeed, so he should be questioned about construction flaws,” he said.

Commissioner Saeed, who is the project director for the metro bus, told Dawn that he travelled along the bus route, accompanied by former MNA Hanif Abbasi and did not find any serious problems.

He said water accumulated in the commercial area at the back of the passport officer near Peshawar Mor rather than the underpasses and machinery had been sent to drain the water. He rejected the claims that the metro bus construction caused water to enter the market.

The Commissioner also did not accept that metro bus management was responsible for water entering the Centaurus Station.

“The Centaurus station was flooded because water accumulated in the underpass and there was no drainage near the green belt on the Blue Area side,” he said.

At 7th Avenue, Shaheed-i-Milat and two other bus stations, he said, water leaked from the joints of the fibreglass ceilings.

“These are not serious issues and will soon be resolved,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2015

 
CHECK LINK FOR VIDEO AND PICS – http://www.dawn.com/news/1193096/
 

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THE NATIONAL SCENE– ​The​ politician-judiciary alliance and the politician-bureaucracy alliance are the Main Hurdles

 

 

imgres

 

 

 

Main Hurdles:
​The​ politician-judiciary alliance and the politician-bureaucracy alliance.

Very practical on paper, I dare say. However in the field this cannot work for two simple reasons​:
The​ politician-judiciary alliance and the politician-bureaucracy alliance.

Both the institutions have been drastically politicized by the politicians and in time of need will naturally defend their benefactor. Perceptual bias against the army will encourage this tendency. The country, in the final analysis is run by the Patwari and Thanedar and they both fall under bureaucracy. The judiciary has a dismal record of performance for the last so many decades. A legal system that is so manipulable that it cannot quickly try and punish a currency smuggler, cannot be expected to do much. However the same system will be very swift in pursuing the army for its actions, particularly those proposed by yourself. A judicial system that can proceed against the army for Lal Masjid matter and some others in the same category, will not desist from pursuing the matter in a similar fashion, after the formation of national government.

Tragically, all the institutions of state are being run as personal fiefdoms except the armed forces where the service chiefs despite being very powerful in their respective domains do not grossly misuse their powers and remain within a certain boundary. There is no central nervous system to coordinate the functions of various organs. The clear manifestation of this is evident in current situation in the country from Jiwani to Khunjrab. The thugs rule the country and consider plunder their birthright, literally. The state machinery aids them in their pursuits, the lawyers aid them in the courts and on the streets, the police aid them in the police stations, the legal system aids them by delaying the run of the trial proceedings, the watchdogs aid them by hiding their follies and the international system aids them, first by accepting them as political refugees and then by looking away from their money laundering.

Equally tragically the army was so much negatively portrayed by the vested interest and foreign inimical elements that it was only a miracle that some of its esteem has been restored through Zarb e Azab.

Tragic it was that the sitting Prime Minister chose to side with a known anti-state propagandist in preference to an important state institution.

Tragic it was that the parliament stuck together to ward off effects of political agitation and never has stuck together for the people and the state institutions.

Tragic it is that a constitutional amendment empowering military courts to try and punish has been suspended from action by the judiciary upon agitation by a known anti-state activist. With such examples in our national life, it would take a lot more to give protection to the army for taking actions that you propose.

The first and foremost that has to be ensured is that the judicial system will not entertain any proceeding against the army for the steps that you have suggested. The only way that I see it happening is through providing a constitutional role to the armed forces (the army) for taking into hand matters that threaten national security while of course following a procedural path. These matters could be so diverse as external aggression, internal destabilization, sleeping with the enemy, financial terrorism, using threatening language against the state or its institutions, baseless propaganda against the state or the society, and so many others. Inaction on the part of the elected government to tackle the matters agitated would then pave the way for more direct action that would be unquestionable at any forum.

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Reform Act of 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6944677-big-thief-stealing-a-lot-of-money

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Reform Act of 2015*

1. No Tenure / No Pension: Parliamentarians collect a salary while in
office but should not receive any pay when they’re out of office.

2. Parliamentarians should purchase their own retirement plans, just
as all Pakistani do with life insurance etc.

3. Parliamentarians should no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Their pay should be linked to the CPI or 3%, whichever is lower.

4. Parliamentarians should lose their current health care system(
foreign countries medical treatment) and participate in the same
health care system as the Pakistani people.

5. Parliamentarians with tainted records, criminal charges &
convictions, past or present should be summarily banned from the
parliament and fighting election on any pretext or the other.
6. Parliamentarians should equally abide by all laws they impose on
the Pakistani people.

7. All contracts with past and present Parliamentarians should be void
effective 1/1/15 .The Pakistani people did not make this contract with
them. Parliamentarians made all these contracts for themselves.

8.Serving in Parliament is an honor, not a lucrative career. The
Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve
their term(s), then go home and back to work.

9.No surrender of subsidies like LPG by citizens unless all subsidies
available to MPAs and MNAs withdrawn including subsidised food in
Parliament canteen and free accommodation in the parliamentary lodges

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only
take three days for most people in Pakistan to receive the message.
Don’t you think it’s time?

 

Forward this msg to a minimum of twenty people on your contact list;
and in turn ask each of them to do likewise.

In three days, most people in Pakistan having email will have this message.
This is one idea that really should be passed around.

 

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Could India’s Military Really Crush Pakistan? By Walter C. Ladwig III Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

Could India’s Military Really Crush Pakistan?

 

India’s conventional military superiority over Pakistan is exaggerated.

Walter C. Ladwig III

July 2, 2015

Following a raid by Indian special forces into Myanmar early this month, increasing attention has been given to the prospect that India might use similar means against Pakistan to pressure it to end support for anti-Indian militant groups. India’s on-going military modernization and headline-grabbing increases in defense spending have already raised concerns that it threatens to upset the delicate conventional military balance in the region and make military action a more attractive prospect for New Delhi. Taken at face value, there appears to be some validity to this line of thinking. Indian defense spending has doubled in real terms since 1997, growing at an average of 6.3 percent per year. The Modi announced a further 11 percent hike, raising the 2015–2016 military budget to $39.8 billion. Moreover, India is presently the world’s largest buyer of conventional weapons, with upwards of $100 billion expected to be spent on modernizing its defense forces over the next decade.

Consequently, a number of scholars and analysts have suggested Indian military modernization is threatening Pakistan’s conventional deterrence and pressuring Islamabad to embrace battlefield nuclear weapons as a tool of self defense. Yet, this line of thinking overlooks the fact that the Indian military is beset by obsolete platforms. Moreover, a pair of key structural factors mitigate whatever advantages India may be gaining through military modernization: terrain is not conducive to rapid successes in areas of significant strategic value, and in the most likely conflict scenarios, India is unlikely to achieve the strategic surprise necessary to make a limited offensive succeed. Consequently, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for deterrence failure.
Deterring State-Sponsored Terrorism with Conventional Force
Since the mid 2000s, the Indian Army has explored changes to its force structure and concept of operations to enable short-notice offensives of limited duration that would seek to make several small thrusts to Pakistan to quickly seize and hold territory. Termed “proactive strategies,” the aim is to rapidly mobilize division or smaller sized formations to carry out retaliatory conventional strikes that would deter or punish Pakistan for its links to terrorist groups, while simultaneously pursuing narrow enough aims to deny Islamabad a justification to escalate the clash to the nuclear level. In particular, the Indian Army seeks a rapid mobilization and offensive action by division or smaller sized formations who would seek to punish enemy forces or seize territory in a limited offensive of short duration.
Unsurprisingly these efforts have not been well received in Pakistan, whose leaders view the country’s conventional armed forces as the cornerstone of their strategic deterrent capability. Consequently, in recent years, a number of Pakistani analysts have sounded warnings about the Indian military’s alleged growing quantitative and qualitative advantages, alleging that Islamabad’s inability to keep pace with New Delhi’s military build up has increased the pressure to expand Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to include low-yield warheads and short-range delivery systems. These concerns have been echoed in Washington, D.C. A number of researchers at think tanks, including the  the Congressional Research Service, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Hudson Institute appear to share the beliefs of the Stimson Center’s Michael Krepon that Pakistan’s recent embrace of the utility of tactical nuclear weapons and broader Pakistani efforts to enhance the quality and quantity of their nuclear arsenal is a result of “India’s growing conventional capabilities and its more proactive military plans.”
Despite the seemingly dramatic increases in its defense spending, the Indian military—in particular the Army—faces numerous capability shortfalls that would hinder military operations against Pakistan. The large number of obsolete tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery pieces, not to mention critical shortages of ammunition and air-defense assets, raise serious questions whether India can undertake large-scale military operations at all, let alone whether ongoing defense modernization really is sharply shifting the conventional balance in its favor. Although Indian defense spending has gained attention worldwide, much of that money has been spent merely replacing obsolete weapons and equipment.
The most visible manifestation of the “hollowing out” of the Indian Army occurred in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, when then Army chief General Deepak Kapoor reportedly was forced to admit to the country’s political leadership that the Army “was not ready for war” with Pakistan in retaliation for the terrorist attacks.

 

Consequently, deterring Pakistani support for terrorism via conventional punishment faces a number of obstacles, including a lack of sufficient numerical superiority in the conflict zone, unfavorable terrain for a quick offensive and a lack of strategic surprise that could offset these other two factors.
Balance of Forces
Since the end of the Cold War, the manpower balance between the two armies has hovered around a 2:1 ratio in India’s favor. However, just 18 of the army’s 36 divisions are stationed in the states bordering Pakistan, fifteen of which are infantry divisions, with only limited offensive power. In contrast, 18 of the Pakistani army’s 22 divisions—including both of their armored divisions—are deployed in provinces adjacent to the international border. If we account for the estimated 70,000 Pakistani soldiers that have been temporarily redeployed to confront the Pakistani Taliban, India’s manpower advantage at the theater level at the start of any crisis would be 1.2:1.
The conventional wisdom amongst some defense analysts is that an attacking force requires a minimum of a 1.5:1 superiority in forces at the theater level to succeed. However, an attacker would likely seek a larger advantage, on the order of 2:1, before initiating offensive operations and those seeking a decisive outcome would want still higher force ratios in their favor. In any instance, India’s local force advantage is not decisive. Although in a longer conflict India could bring its numerical superiority to bear, the military has numerous shortfalls of ammunition and equipment that make a struggle of more than a few weeks duration unlikely. For example, as of August 2014, the Army lacked ammunition to undertake more than twenty days of “intense fighting” with less than seven days of reserves of key stocks of artillery ammunition, anti-tank missiles and a “critical shortage” of ammunition for its main battle tanks that would run out after ten days, hardly enough time for additional forces to make a difference.
In terms of equipment for ground combat, Pakistan appears to have partially closed a nearly 2:1 gap in tanks that India possessed in the early 1990s, to the point where India’s advantage is just over 1.15:1. However, this modest edge is undercut by the fact that Pakistani armored units are primarily stationed in the vicinity of the international border, while India’s are primarily based in central India.                 
Main Battle Tanks: 1992-2014
Moreover, it is alleged that large numbers of the Indian army’s fleet of tanks are nearing obsolescence and unable to operate at night, while their modern replacements are unsuited for operations in the desert regions around the international border. Unsurprisingly, some Indian defense analysts have suggested that their army requires at least 1,500 modern tanks to gain a conventional edge.
The major shortcoming for Indian forces seeking to undertake a short-notice offensive is their lack of mobile artillery to provide fire support to advancing units.  Political scandals and bureaucratic red tape have left the army with just 10 percent of the self-propelled artillery its mobile armored brigades and divisions require, constraining the kind of bold thrusts a limited aims offensive would require. A recently announced plan to acquire 814 mounted gun systems will address some of this shortfall, but the byzantine nature of Indian weapons procurement and a history of repeated artillery acquisition failures makes it unknown when, if ever, these weapons will actually find their way into service.
Geography

 

The 2,900 kilometer long Indo-Pakistani border is characterized by diverse and varied terrain that has differential impacts on military operations. In Kashmir, the landscape is mountainous and heavily forested. When combined with a lack of wide roads, the movement of vehicles and large military formations is significantly hindered. Depending on the time of year, it is possible to conduct large-scale military operations across the Line of Control (LoC) in the areas of south Jammu and the Kashmir valley. However, difficult terrain and under-developed transport infrastructure, in the words of one scholar, “makes swift, deep penetrations unlikely, if not impossible, in the face of even minor resistance.”
A second section of the border running from Southern Jammu and Kashmir through the Punjab down to Northern Rajasthan is marked by a near continuous line of concrete irrigation canals that stretch for 2,000 kilometers. Not only does this network of canals and their tributaries form an obstacle in its own right, they have been turned into defensive fortifications with the addition of large pilings of soil, concrete bunkers, minefields, and fortified gun emplacements. Securing a bridgehead and mounting a cross-canal assault against a dug-in opponent will be a time consuming and bloody affair.
The third section of the international border, where the Sindh and Punjab meet, is often described as Pakistan’s major point of strategic vulnerability because the country’s primary north-south transportation artery runs extremely close to the international border. However, that historical risk has been significantly alleviated by the construction of a largely parallel highway on the western side of the Indus River. Although this region lacks the extensive fortifications described in the northern Punjab, the presence of irrigation canals and a major river constrain the available axes of advance and allow defenders to fight from prepared positions.
The southernmost sections of the international border, consisting of the flat, barren deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat are extremely suitable for mechanized military operations, however they lack significant strategic value.  Moreover, on the Pakistani side of the border areas of the harsh desert have been left empty to provide a natural buffer-zone that allows defenders to trade space for time as they readied a counter-attack.
Absence of Strategic Surprise
In a future clash in which India would wish to employ a pro-active strategy against Pakistan, the Indian Army is unlikely to achieve strategic surprise in a manner that would allow it to overcome the previously discussed constraints of numbers and terrain.
As the status-quo power in the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, India has little incentive to launch a surprise attack. Consequently, under the most likely conflict scenarios, Pakistani forces will not be caught off guard, but will have a warning period in which they can mobilize their forces. A large-scale act of terrorism within India that is linked to Pakistan is by far the most probable trigger of conflict. That being said, given that the infiltration of Pakistani forces into Kashmir preceded the 1965 and 1999 wars, a future Pakistani government’s decision to do the same cannot be ruled out as a proximate cause of conflict. In either case, the Pakistani government will have prior warning about the imminent commencement of hostilities, either because scenes of terror are playing out on international television or because they were actively infiltrating troops into Indian territory.
Indian response time will also provide a buffer for Pakistan to respond. Based on the aftermath of the 2001 and 2008 terrorist attacks, the Indian army would require several weeks before it could hope to initiate military operations. Although reducing mobilization time is a key aspect of the “pro-active” strategies, offensive forces have not been pre-deployed in the border region, nor will the army’s efforts reduce the amount of time the country’s political leadership requires to deliberate before choosing to employ military force.
With 80 percent of the Pakistani Army’s divisions based in provinces adjacent to the international border—the majority of which are forward-deployed in defensive positions—Pakistan’s military is postured to repel an Indian attack. Additionally, it has taken steps in recent years to improve its crisis response capability so that it can capitalize on any warning it receives. Given the previous discussions of the terrain advantages accruing to a defender in Kashmir and the Punjab, even a partial mobilization of Pakistani forces is likely to present a significant obstacle to a limited offensive.
Were the Indian Army to seek to launch a short-notice, limited offensive, the twin constraints of geography and lack of strategic surprise suggest that under the most likely scenarios, India would have parity at best in the number of troops they could bring to bear in the early days of a conflict. In a conflict of several weeks duration, the army could leverage its larger numbers by shifting forces from East to West, but that would require a longer period of fighting than most analysts believe is possible before outside powers intervene to force a resolution to the crisis or the Indian Army runs out of ammunition. Moreover, a major shift of troops or the opening of multiple fronts beyond the Line of Control in Kashmir would signal to Pakistan that the conflict was not limited and short-duration, but full-scale war with the attendant nuclear escalation risks. None of this suggests Indian political leaders would have a high degree of confidence that a limited offensive would quickly achieve its objectives at minimal risk.
The main alternative to crossing the LoC on the ground in force is reliance on long-range punishment strikes.  These could be carried out by manned aircraft or missiles. The problem facing a bombardment strategy is that achieving a decisive result and limiting escalation are necessarily in tension: the targets that are of lowest escalation risk are also those of least value.  If India were to opt for attacks on high-value militant assets in Pakistan proper, such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s massive headquarters in Muridke, or, as some suggest, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) facilities linked to terrorist groups, it may succeed in imposing significant costs on Islamabad and Rawalpindi, but a significant military response would be guaranteed. In contrast, the most limited target available would be terrorist training camps in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. However, these targets are likely to be unsatisfactory for several reasons. First, Kashmiri militant groups have diversified across Pakistan which means there is no guarantee that the group suspected of responsibility for a specific terrorist attack would be vulnerable to retaliation in Pakistani Kashmir. Moreover, following news of a major terror attack, anti-Indian terrorist groups—even those unconnected to the event—are likely to go into hiding for a period of time, leaving identified camps unoccupied. Finally, since India does not possess heavy bombers, the ability of fighter jets or missile strikes to significantly damage terrorist bases is open to question.
It may be possible to reduce escalatory pressure on the Pakistani government by strictly confining strikes to the disputed territory of Kashmir, avoiding a direct confrontation with Pakistani military assets and inflicting very limited civilian casualties.mNevertheless, the Pakistani government will likely face strong domestic pressure—from both the military, radical Islamist groups, and a nationalistic public—to mount a response to an Indian attack. The optimistic case is that confining the strikes to Pakistan administered Kashmir—rather than internationally recognized Pakistani territory—will prevent Pakistan from horizontally escalating the conflict beyond Kashmir, thus keeping the clash from escalating vertically into full-scale war.
Limited strikes on a limited number of targets in Kashmir may prevent a conflict from escalating but, for reasons described above, this is likely to result in military action that is of symbolic, rather than substantive, nature, designed to assuage the anger of the Indian public rather than inflict meaningful harm on terrorist networks. Ultimately Indian military leaders may have to accept, if they haven’t already, the very unpleasant reality that what is essentially a political problem—Pakistan’s continued desire to wrest Kashmir away from India and its army’s pathological hatred of “Hindustan”—may not be amenable to a strictly military solution.
Conclusion
The Indian government has demonstrated an increased willingness to use force in an environment where headline grabbing increases in the Indian defense budget and a high-profile military modernization program are already alarming observers who worry that this could undermine the conventional military balance maintaining South Asia’s “ugly stability.” While on their face these concerns have validity, upon deeper examination, it is clear that, modernizing or not, the Indian military is capable of bringing far less force to bear in a limited conflict with Pakistan than most people realize. As a result, it is unlikely that Indian policymakers would conclude that they can either achieve strategic surprise against Pakistan necessary for a successful ground incursion or carry out highly-effective air strikes with little escalatory risk, each of which is a necessary condition for military operations to be authorized. Consequently, claims that India’s growing military power justifies Pakistan’s pursuit of tactical nuclear weapons, lack a firm foundation. South Asia remains an unstable region of the world, but the Indian military is not a source of that instability.
 

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The Battle of Badr – 17th Ramadan: A turning point by Aftab H.Kola

 

 

 

Polaris

Our Polaris:

Our Beloved Muhammad (SAW)

The Battle of Badr – 17th Ramadan: A turning point

 

by AFTAB H. KOLA

Source: timesofoman.com

The seventeenth Ramadan is a reminder of the battle of Badr — the first major battle fought against the enemies of Islam. This decisive battle laid the foundation for the Islamic State (not to be confused with ISIS) and made Muslims a force to reckon with in the Arabian peninsula.  A very important fact for all people to understand is that Islam is the religion of peace and that it is neither imposed nor forced on anyone, as clearly stated in the Holy Quran itself. It is a universal fact that history does not record one single episode in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) compelled any human being to convert to Islam. His character and conduct enticed people towards Islam.

 

This peaceful attitude of Islam is quite evident in that Muslims were ordered not to fight unless they were attacked, as Allah says: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress limits, for Allah loveth not transgressor”. (Al Baqarah 190).

 

It is clear from this verse that there is neither compulsion nor transgression in Islam except against the oppressors who harass and fight the Muslims. In other words, Muslims are ordered to fight to defend themselves but they should not be transgressors, for trans­gressors are hated by Allah. We have seen many so-called international writers taking the verses from the Holy Quran which talks of fighting but intentionally avoid the preceding and the following verses, which give the context of the entire clause.

 

When talking about the great battles of Islam, we should look deep into them in the light of this fact; namely that Muslims were not transgressors; they only fought against the oppressors.

 

The Battle of Badr took place on Ramadan 17, in the second year after the emigration of the Prophet (PBUH) from Makkah to Madinah. The Mus­lims were able to vanquish their enemies in this battle in which Allah separated truth from falsehood and it became known as the Battle of Separation. This established the power of the Muslims.

 

Badr is the name of the spot at which the battle took place, and is situated in the south-west of Madinah, and was a meeting point between Madinah Road and the road used by the caravans coming from Syria to Makkah. It is a plain that is bordered by hills and mountains and is known for the abundance of date palms and water wells.  The majority of its people now belong to the Harb tribe.

 

During the Prophet’s time, Badr was a watering station at which the caravans used to get water for their camels, and there used to be a market there once a year.  Historians say the cause of the battle was that when the Quraish of Makkah were returning from Syria, the Prophet (PBUH) sent two of his companions to get news of them. They reached a place called Alhawra and waited there until Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, leader of the caravan, arrived, after which the two scouts hurried back to Madinah and informed the Prophet (PBUH).

 

The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have told his followers to go after the caravan, but no one was compelled to do so. He then departed with a contingent of just over 300 men (313), and they had between them only two horses and 70 camels.

 

The man who was left behind in Ma­dinah to lead the prayers was Ibn Umm Maktum, and the army consisted of both immigrants (Muhajirin) numbering 86 and supporters (Ansar) of the Awas and Khaz­raj tribes. The Prophet (PBUH) divided the army into two detachments: the Muhajirin led by Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) and the supporters under the leadership of Saad ibn Muadh (RA).

 

The contingent set off from Madinah until they reached a place called Safra, from where the Prophet (PBUH) sent two of his companions out to scout around and bring him intelligence reports.

 

Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Quraish trading caravan, changed course and headed for the coast and thence to Makkah which the caravan reached safety. But be­fore that he had already sent a messenger to Makkah to ask for help to rescue the car­avan. The Quraish prepared a contingent of 1,300 warriors, which had 100 horses and an unknown number of camels. Commanding their army was Aba Jahl.

 

At Juhfa, they received a new message from Abu Sufyan telling them that the car­avan was safe and that they should return to base. But when the men were just about to start the return journey, Abu Jahl, in his ar­rogance, told them not to turn around. He incited and exhorted them to war, and with the exception of 300 members of the Bani Zahrah tribe, the rest of the contingent obeyed his command. The 1,000 men marched on, but when the Banu Hashim also wanted to return to Makkah, Abu Jahl refused them permission. The men reached a hillock situated at Upper Adwa, bordering the Badr Val­ley.

 

The Prophet (PBUH) learnt that the Quraish army was on its way, and he understood the gravity of the situation. He realized that a confrontation was inevitable. But the important thing was that it all depended on the attitude of the Ansar, because they had promised him they would protect him as long as he was in Madinah and there was no reference to any place outside it.

 

But the Ansar, under the command of Saad ibn Muadh (RA), were men of integrity and loyalty, for, when the Prophet (PBUH) asked them of their opinion, they made an apt reply and told him that he should fight the nonbelievers and Allah would be with them. Whereupon the Prophet (PBUH) broke the news that Allah had promised victory for them. Thus, the Muslim army moved and hurried to the well of Badr, to be the first to arrive. When they reached there, Habab ibn Al Mundhir (RA) advised the Prophet (PBUH) that they should fill all the wells except one, near which a trough should be built, and used only by the Muslims for their drinking water. The Prophet (PBUH) accepted the advice and approved the plan.

 

The numerically superior legion of the nonbelievers arrived, and when the Prophet (PBUH) saw the huge army he raised his hands in supplication to Allah and be­seeched His support and salvation. Thereupon, Allah sent him a revelation to the effect that He was with them, and that He would fill the nonbelievers’ hearts with fear and trepidation. Allah made it known to the Prophet (PBUH) that He was sending down His angels to help him. A few men of the Quraish, among them Hakim ibn Huzam and Utbah ibn Rabiah, thought of returning home, but Abu Jahl, incited the nonbelievers to fight. Then the fighting started, and within a short time it began to intensify.

 

Three of the Quraish noblemen, Utbah ibn Rabiah, his brother Shaibah, and Al­ Walid ibn Utbah, asked for a sword contest, and suffered defeat at the swords of Hamza (RA), Ali (RA), and Ubaydah ibn Al-Harith (RA). This was a bad omen for the nonbelievers. They attacked the Muslims ferociously, but the Muslims were steadfast and resisted them.

 

In a narration by Ibn Ishaq, it is said that the Prophet (PBUH) told Abu Bakr (RA) that Archangel Jibraeel had taken the reins of his horse and led him. Thereupon, the Prophet (PBUH) ordered a counter-attack against the nonbelievers. He advised his men that whoever fought sincerely and died in the course of duty would be admitted to Paradise.

 

The Muslims fought hard and the angels came to their aid, and that was when signs of failure and tension in the ranks of the enemy began to show. Abu Jahl and Umayyah ibn Khalaf were among the first casualties.

Then followed Al-As ibn Al­Mughira, Abu Albahtari ibn Hisham, and others among the Quraish stalwarts — sev­enty in all. Another 70 were taken prisoner by the Muslims, among them Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle (who had gone to the battlefield halfheartedly), Utbah ibn Abi Muit, Nadhar ibn Al-Harith, their standard-bearer.

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