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Archive for category Pakistan’s Hall of Shame

THUG LIFE IN THE IDIOTS REPUBLIC AN EYE OPENER By Simon Templar

 

 

THUG LIFE IN THE IDIOTS REPUBLIC AN EYE OPENER

By Simon Templar

 
The level of public debate is so ill informed in this self-styled fortress of Islam, that if it were not so painful to the educated eye, it would be hilarious.
Illiteracy has been chosen as the best opiate to keep the masses ignorant and at bay by the cunning who are the gleeful beneficiaries of Pakistan kleptocratic so called system.
An exaggerated focus on the lofty, historic principles of a great religion is the other great diversion to keep the masses occupied as the ruler’s loot and plunder.
In a country where every steel mill owner drives sports cars and expensive SUVs, the Pakistan Steel Mills remain shut, bleeding billions of rupees a year.
Does anyone even remember how on the momentous return to full democracy, Asif Zardari plundered $350 million in cash from the PAK Steel Mills using front man Riaz Lalji?
This is what crippled the industrial giant within six months of Zardaris being elected.
Democracy was indeed the best revenge!
A money launderer and Tax Evader as Finance Minister will only appoint similar smaller thugs and facilitators to be the head of Federal Tax Service, The National Bank and the Securities Commission.
The national Airline is being purposefully bled, mal-administered and run into the ground to promote Air Blue owned by Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
A relative bodybuilders son is leading the export charge, resulting in declining exports year on year for the last three years
Another relative]s son is in charge of the power ministry, he has given the gift of 12-hour power cuts in rural areas.
Zardari’s Power Base Sind Provincial Assembly has passed a law against anti corruption efforts, he wishes for his loot and plunders to go on unimpeded.

So happy, nay gleeful is this corrupt  lot that they are all joyfully marrying the first loose, ambitious woman that they can lay hands on, Power Minister Khwaja Asif has married Kashmala Tariq, Zardari – Ayan Ali and Ishaq Dar- Marvi Memon

The PML-N lot seem to have a thing for Musharraf’s erstwhile cheerleaders!
Ancient heritage sites are being destroyed to build expensive bus & train tracks giving tremendous kickbacks
Nothing has been done to moderate or regulate the proliferation or activities of religious  Madrassahs across the country
Journalists are openly on the take, peddling blatant falsehoods on TV and in print for a fist full of dollars.
Lie loud, hard and repeatedly and the buffoons will believe you!
There is no mention of population control and the government cannot even carry out a census conclusively
Polio, eradicated around the globe, still rears it’s ugly head in the land of the pure, with medical teams and nurses attempting to administer drops regularly shot at and killed.
While still struggling to produce enough electricity despite all claims, the looming water crisis is not even mentioned by anyone!
The elected wizards making lofty claims have not been able to build a single major dam in the last four decades.
Courts cases drag on for years and decades, but no one thinks of having more judges and an improved legal system to provide effective, transparent and speedy justice
Production of poultry, eggs, sugar, cement, banking, telecom, cars, milk, meat, oil and steel is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few hundred families, all connected to politics, all growing fabulously rich.
The poor turn to prostituting their daughters, selling their sons and killing themselves such is their misery in this cruel callous system
The government is inefficient to the point of being useless and dispensable.
Even the simple task of garbage collection in this country of 200 million illiterate souls is being done by Turkish companies connected to the ruling family. Payments and kickbacks both being made in dollars abroad!

Every single state enterprise being run by this country’s immoral, shameless ,  corrupt, complicit bureaucrats are inefficient and loss making to the point of being redundant.

 
Civil servants are little more than servile, slimy facilitators, bowing and scraping as they obsequiously pleasing their political masters while feeding off the few grubby crumbs thrown their way.
Yet this blighted lot, the masses want democracy!
 
Dear sirs, who will explain to these morons, that this is NOT a democracy, it is elected KLEPTOCRACY.
Democracy means transparency, efficiency, accountability, service delivery, social development and nation building
If this creaky structure is to carry on, if this geographic entity is to survive with its current borders, it needs a strong man at the top with a few determined good men to sort it out.
Ban and banish anyone who has ever held elected political office over the last 50 years, bring back looted money, empower the civil servants, and clean the mess up.
This is the last chance,  the final hope before this leaky ship goes under, either do it now or rename this blighted land:
“The Idiots Republic of Al-Bakistan”
The writer is a Geostrategic analyst based in Brussels

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ARCHIVE ARTICLE: Gen.Raheel Sharif is reluctant to act on the ‘National Security Breach’ by the Sharifs By Dr. Shahid Qureshi

Raheel Sharif is reluctant to act on the ‘National Security Breach’ by the Sharifs

By

Dr. Shahid Qureshi

I am wondering why Raheel Sharif is reluctant to act on the ‘National Security Breach’ by the Sharifs, currently occupying the Prime Minister House of Pakistan. I have said it before, Sharifs and Zardaris are criminals and would never have hesitated for a single moment to crucify you, had there been any breach within the ‘armed forces or security institutions’. So don’t worry about your post-retirement image as you will not be judged with ‘good guy or bad guy’ image. You will be judged whether you acted at the right time or not.
 
I am sorry to say on the issue of Dawn News Group planted story against Pakistan’s national interests and your indecisive approach is not helping the country. Those who are responsible for this national security breach should have been arrested under the Army Act and put on trial without a moment’s delay. The rest of the criminal mafia would have been running for shelters but your indecisive approach is fueling their confidence that they can get away with it. I would never trust Nisar Ali Khan or Shabaz Sharif let alone you are entertaining filthy Ishaq Dar at your House. I would have checked my crockery and all metallic objects.
 
You must understand that you are not dealing with law abiding politicians but corrupt criminals in disguise of dodgy democracy. People are wondering if you got the hard balls to deal with them or you are just looking in crystal ball about the day of retirement? You are under oath and responsibility to protect the national interests of Pakistan even one minute before you move on.
 
Nawaz Sharif is an Indian asset and continues to play Modi’s games. There are countless occasions when Nawaz Sharif damaged the interests of the state of Pakistan at national and international stages. He and his cronies have humiliated the armed forces of Pakistan and ISI countless times to please the Indians. The whole Sharif empire is built on ‘stolen metals’ bought from gypsies and stolen railways tracks. They have come a long way to the highest office in past 40 years while you were moving from one cantonment to another with your bags, kids and baggage.
 
You got only one RAW agent, Indian Navy officer Kubushan Jadav code name ‘Monkey’. Indian Prime Minister Modi is responding to Pakistan via Nawaz Sharif ‘you got my Monkey but I have Zoo in Raiwind and Islamabad’ with monkeys, donkeys and foxes. I am sure you know that all assets are at work now?
 
Nawaz – Modi both are testing Pakistan Army as part of sinister agenda. Nawaz Sharif and Narender Modi are two sides of the same coin as both want to stretch the armed forces of Pakistan to its limits. Obviously, India is not alone as media reports suggest the US is behind this latest escalation at Line of Control and inside Indian Occupied Kashmir.
 
I wrote sometimes ago that wealth and assets of Pakistani elite and politicians have become a security threat. Panama Leaks and offshore assets of Nawaz Sharif are the last straw on the camel’s back. The corrupt mafias of Pakistan and India who supported Nawaz Sharif and Narender Modi also have an interest in creating a distraction and hype in both countries.
 
The fact of the matter is that Indians have the highest numbers with Swiss accounts and some of those account holders are backing Modi regime too. Panama Leaks are growing beyond the borders of Pakistan.
 
Keep Karachi and Pakistan bleeding is the sinister plan against Pakistan launched by the Indians with the full support of its friends and assets in ruling politicians from Nawaz Sharif, Asfand Yar Wali, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Altaf Hussain, Farooq Sattar and Asif Zardari. The constant obstructions and hurdles created by the political leadership of MQM-A, PPP Zardari Group, PML-N Ishaq Dar Group are putting lives and limbs at risk of security services, police and soldiers, who are fighting foreign-backed agents and terrorists in Pakistan especially Karachi. All the three parties in power have proved links and interests with foreign agencies and countries. Crimes of MQM-A are heinous and there is no excuse for any politician to ignore the pains and grief they have caused to the families of journalists, religious scholars, students, police, army, and Rangers personnel.
 
The state terrorism inflicted in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on 28th October 2016 by Punjab Police, a mercenary force of Sharifs, has provided images and videos to the Indians to respond and undermine current Kashmir uprising against Indian Occupation. Nawaz Sharif and his brother have provided ‘shelling and beating of common people images and videos’ to the Indian occupying forces in Held Kashmir to justify their illegal actions. Punjab Police is shelling even when there is no one there like its a funny business. This is how assets work. Any doubt?
 
The fact of the matter is that if Israelis and Indians are hands in glove in supporting terrorism in Pakistan and conspiring to disintegrate by using all ‘assets’ why Pakistani politicians and military establishment are in denial to accept that Nawaz-Modi marriage is toxic or their multi-billion dollar businesses abroad are more important than 200 million Pakistanis?
 
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is a senior analyst with BBC and editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as an analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), Turkish TV, LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015, March 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He is a PhD in Political Psychology and also studied Law at a British University)

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Prosecutor Pushes for Indictment of South Korean President in Samsung Scandal

S.Korea Prosecutor Ready to Indict Impeached President Ms.Park:

Pakistan Supreme Court Sits on Nawaz Sharif Panama Case Judgement 

Prosecutor Pushes for Indictment of South Korean President in Samsung Scandal

FEB. 28, 2017

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Ms. Park’s presidential powers have been suspended since the impeachment vote in December. The Constitutional Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether she should be reinstated or formally removed from office. Even if she resumes the presidency, her five-year term ends in February, after which she can face criminal charges.

On Monday, Ms. Park’s lawyer, Yu Young-ha, rejected the special prosecutor’s findings, saying his investigation was “politically biased” and “lacking in fairness.” He called the bribery allegation “an absurd fiction.”

But on Monday, Mr. Park, the special prosecutor, who is not related to Ms. Park, said his team found enough evidence that Ms. Park and her confidante, Choi Soon-sil, conspired to collect bribes from Samsung.

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On Feb. 28, he indicted Lee Jae-yong, the third-generation scion of the family that runs Samsung, on charges of giving or promising $38 million in bribes to Ms. Park and Ms. Choi. He also added a bribery charge to the case against Ms. Choi, who is already on trial.

Mr. Lee offered the bribes in return for political favors from Ms. Park, most notably government support for a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015 that helped him inherit corporate control of the Samsung conglomerate from his incapacitated father, Lee Kun-hee, the prosecutor said.

Acting on Ms. Park’s order, her aides forced the government-controlled National Pension Service, a major shareholder at the two Samsung companies, to vote for the merger, though it was opposed by many minority shareholders and devalued the pension fund’s own stocks there, the prosecutor said.

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A protest against President Park in Seoul on Saturday. The special prosecutor also said that Ms. Park should face a criminal charge of abusing official power over a blacklist of artists. CreditJung Ui-Chel/European Pressphoto Agency

On Monday, Samsung denied the special prosecutor’s findings.

“Samsung has not paid bribes nor made improper requests seeking favors,” it said in a statement. “Future court proceedings will reveal the truth.”

On Monday, Mr. Park, the special prosecutor, said that the president should also face a criminal charge of abusing official power, saying she conspired with aides to blacklist thousands of artists, writers, and movie directors deemed unfriendly to her government and exclude them from government-funded support programs.

Ms. Park also fired three senior Culture Ministry officials who had been reluctant to discriminate against some of the 9,473 names on the list, the prosecutor said. She demoted and later fired another senior ministry official who had angered Ms. Choi, her friend, by investigating allegations of corruption involving her family, the prosecutor said.

While blackballing unfriendly artists, Ms. Park’s office ensured that pro-government civic groups received special favors, he said.

It asked the Federation of Korean Industries, which lobbies on behalf of Samsung and other big businesses, to provide $5.9 million for those groups between 2014 and 2016, the special prosecutor said. Some of those groups, like the right-wing Korea Parent Federation, have held noisy protests in downtown Seoul calling the critics of Ms. Park “commies.”

Besides Samsung, scores of other South Korean companies were found to have made payments to two foundations controlled by Ms. Choi. But on Monday, the special prosecutor did not recommend further actions against them, and state prosecutors had earlier said that those companies were coerced to donate and were not engaged in bribery.

Ms. Park has repeatedly denied any legal wrongdoing, insisting that she was framed by hostile political forces and that she was not aware of any criminal conspiracy by Ms. Choi. She said she only let Ms. Choi edit some of her speeches and run her personal errands.

On Monday, the special prosecutor said Ms. Park and Ms. Choi had 573 phone conversations between April and October last year using cell phones issued under borrowed names. Of these calls, 127 took place between September, when Ms. Choi left for Germany, and October when she returned home to be arrested.

The prosecutor accused Ms. Park of impeding his investigation. She refused to be questioned by his investigators and also did not allow them to search her office. As a result, he said his team could not fully determine what she was doing at her residence for seven hours in April 2014, when a ferry loaded with hundreds of schoolchildren sank, killing more than 300.

Ms. Park said she was working at the time, getting reports on the disaster. But she has been haunted by lurid rumors, some of them claiming that she was having a romantic encounter or undergoing plastic surgery.

On Monday, the prosecutor said a cosmetic surgeon gave Ms. Park at least five simple face-lifting operations at her residence between 2013 and 2016. Even unlicensed people visited her there to give her nutritional shots and help her with kinesiotherapy and reiki, a form of traditional healing. But investigators could not find evidence that such things took place on the day of the ferry disaster.

Reference

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Pakistan’s bloopers Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan’s bloopers

Asif Haroon Raja

Inconsequential Western Pacts

In search for security in the face of India’s belligerence and dangerous designs together with Afghanistan’s hostility, Pakistan blundered to join SEATO and CENTO in 1954 and earned the hostility of Afghanistan, former Soviet Union and China. India took these western pacts as an excuse to make a U turn on Kashmir issue.

The defense pacts helped Pakistan under Ayub Khan to develop its economy and defensive capability, but the pacts were designed to contain communism and not to provide security against India or to help in resolving Kashmir dispute. These pacts proved inconsequential during the wars with India in 1965 and 1971 and played no role in preventing truncation of Pakistan in 1971.

Despite the fact that Pakistan played a key role in the China-US détente in 1971, enabling USA to withdraw its forces from Vietnam, the US always kept India above Pakistan, knowingly that India was aligned with Soviet Union.

Supply of arms by the US and western countries to India after the Indo-Sino border clash in 1962 impelled Pakistan to lean on China since arms provided by the two rival camps had tilted the military balance in favor of India. This shift irked USA.  

War against Soviets and Fallout Effects

Pakistan again blundered to let the US make FATA a launching pad and use Jihadis as proxies to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan in 1980s in return for $3.5 billion economic/military assistance spread over 5 years. Although the Jihad directed by the ISI achieved its goal of ousting the Soviets from Afghanistan, but Pakistan had to suffer at the hands of nexus as well as that of Al-Zulfiqar throughout the 10-year war.

The Afghan Jihad gifted Pakistan with drug and Kalashnikov cultures which militarized the society and intensified sectarianism. It also bred misgivings in Pak-Iran relations.  

Instead of rewarding Pakistan for the huge price it paid to defeat a super power and for paving the way for the US to become sole super power, it was not only left high and dry by self-serving USA but also punished for pursuing nuclear program, which it had ignored till 1989, by imposing harsh sanctions in 1990. Worst was Indo-US embrace in 1991 followed by Indo-Israel alignment, giving shape to Indo-US-Israel axis, which raised the specter of Islamic bomb.

Sanctions under Jewish AIPAC inspired Pressler Amendment weakened Pakistan’s economy, multiplied its debt, impacted the democratic era (1988-1999) and handicapped Pakistan to combat fallout effects of Afghan war.

The only positive outcome of the bloody war was the completion of nuclear program under Gen Ziaul Haq, which was otherwise not possible. It raised the stature of Pakistan among the Muslim world. Fear of bomb in the basement prevented India under Rajiv Gandhi from converting Indian Exercise Brass-tacks into full-fledged war in 1986/87. Likewise, war over Kashmir in 1990/91 in the wake of armed uprising in Indian occupied Kashmir was also averted due to nuclear factor.  Benazir rather than fulfilling American agenda of rolling back nuclear program enhanced missile program.

In the First Gulf War in 1991, while Egypt got its $7 billion external debt waived off without deploying a single soldier, as a reward for legitimizing the US-NATO intervention in the Gulf, Pakistan got nothing despite deploying over 10,000 troops in Saudi Arabia because of the then Army chief’s pro-Saddam statements which annoyed Saudi Arabia and USA. 

Pakistan’s support to the Taliban from 1996 till September 2001 antagonized Northern Alliance (an amalgam of non-Pashtun Afghans under Ahmad Shah Masood) and brought them under the influence of Iran, India, West and Russia.

War on Terror after 9/11

Pakistan once again blundered after 9/11 by ditching friendly regime of Taliban in Afghanistan at the behest of Washington and befriending untrustworthy USA that had left Pakistan in a lurch during its testing times.

Pakistan learnt no lesson from the repeated betrayals and happily accepted all the demands of USA under the fond hope that this time it will not deceive and will compensate for its past wrongs by making Pakistan prosperous in return for fighting the US imposed war on terror on its soil. But the US had a fixed agenda of disabling Pakistan’s nuclear program covertly, separating Baluchistan and making Pakistan a secular state. Gen Musharraf and not Pakistan was made the darling of the west.  

Pakistan after earning the animosity of Taliban on account of its full support to the US to occupy Afghanistan also antagonized the tribesmen of FATA when the Army launched an operation in South Waziristan (SW) in 2003 at the bidding of USA to flush-out Al-Qaeda and its supporters.

Pakistani Taliban started a guerrilla war against the Army and in December 2007 formed Tehrik-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) under Baitullah Mehsud with tentacles in all the seven agencies of FATA.

The Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban believing in one ideology are in collusion and pursue shared goal of establishing Islamic Emirate. The two entities had however divided their areas of responsibility; Taliban confining their fight in Afghanistan against occupying forces and their collaborators and the TTP fighting against Pak security forces. Their partner Al-Qaeda remained operative on both sides of the divide. Haqqani network aligned with Taliban headquartered itself in North Waziristan (NW) and remained friendly toward Pakistan till their ouster in June 2014. 

The TTP was hijacked by foreign agencies in its formative years and was heavily funded, equipped and trained to fight Pak Army and to convert Swat, Bajaur, SW and NW into fortresses.

Annoyed by Musharraf regime’s decision to impose ban and freeze funds in 2002/03, Kashmir focused Jihadi groups and other militant groups veered towards TTP. By 2013, an amalgam of over 60 militant groups had come under the wings of Hakimullah led TTP in NW.

TTP leaders had pledged allegiance to Taliban supreme leader Mulla Omar in 2008 and had accepted him as Ameerul Momineen. Their pledge remained intact till mid 2014 after which many pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakar Baghdadi since they had got a wind of death of Mulla Omar in April 2013 which was intentionally kept secret.

Syria-Iraq based ISIS has made inroads in Afghanistan with the help of India and has established itself at Nangarhar and is in collusion with Khalid Omer Khurasani led Jamaat-e-Ahrar, an offshoot of TTP and with Fazlullah. The two had fled from Mohmand Agency and Swat to Afghanistan after the military operation Rah-e-Rast in 2009. Fazlullah was nominated Ameer of TTP after the death of Hakimullah in early 2014. 

Operation Zarb e Azb launched in June 2014 succeeded in pushing out all militant groups including HN from their last stronghold in NW. All the runaway TTP leaders and fighters have been given sanctuaries by NDS and RAW at Nuristan, Kunar and Nangarhar from where they are undertaking cross border terrorism inside Pakistan. HN is fighting its war from eastern Afghanistan, its traditional stronghold.  

The US, India, Afghanistan, Israel, NATO strategic partners based in Kabul since November 2001 have been constantly weaving plans and conspiracies to harm Pakistan. They have been fueling terrorism in Pakistan with the help of their paid proxies in FATA, Baluchistan and Karachi and at the same time pressing Pakistan to do more.

Unable to stabilize Afghanistan after fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda for 15 years, both Kabul and Washington are blaming Pakistan for its failures. The duo wants Pakistan to fight elements of Afghan Taliban and HN, supposedly in FATA and Baluchistan, and to force them to lay down arms and sign their drafted agreement.

Field commanders of Taliban movement disfavor peace talks since they have suffered the most. After forcing USA to pullout bulk of ISAF troops in December 2014, they have gained a definite edge over the ANSF supported by a small US-NATO force and initiative is in their hands. 29 districts are in their full control and 34 districts are being contested. They don’t want to come to terms with collaborators who have plunged the country into the vortex of vices which they had eliminated during their 5-year rule. They don’t want an agreement on dictated terms and without meeting their basic demands.  The Taliban and HN feel that Pakistan is once again siding with their opponents to undermine their sacrifices. In its bid to please the US and unpopular unity government in Kabul, Pakistan is fast losing whatever goodwill Taliban have for it.

India has successfully brainwashed all segments of Afghan society and poisoned their minds against Pakistan. There is widespread hatred against Pakistan both at government and people to people levels.

Destabilized Afghanistan suit USA and India since it enables both to retain their presence and continue with their covert operations.

Entry of Russia in Afghan Affairs

After China, Russia has begun to slowly make inroads into Afghanistan. Its entry in Afghan affairs is likely to change the dynamics of Afghan imbroglio.

The newly emerging politico-economic axis of Russia-China-Central Asian Republics-Pakistan which is drawing strength from CPEC is likely to grow stronger if Iran and Turkey, both resentful of USA joins it.

There are reports that Russia is supplying arms to the Taliban to tackle the threat from the ISIS, aspiring to establish Khurasan State. Russia is also pleading the Taliban case in the UN for taking off their names from the blacklist. The Taliban have exuded confidence in the Russia-China-Pakistan grouping to pursue peace in Afghanistan.

Supply of arms to the Taliban by Russia is worrisome for Kabul and Washington. After all, Moscow has not forgotten and forgiven the perverse role of USA in its fragmentation. Provision of stingers to the Mujahidin in 1988 had forced the Soviets to hasten their exit from Afghanistan. To avenge its humiliation, Russia may be aspiring to make Afghanistan a graveyard of USA. This wish is achievable if it supplies surface to air missiles to the Taliban, enabling them to contest the airpower. If so, it will make the position of 12000 strong Resolute Support Group based in five military bases tenuous.          

Pakistan’s Responses

Pakistani leaders have been dancing to the tunes of America, myopically thinking that by abiding to its dictates, Pakistan will remain safe and so will be their power and wealth. Lure of dollars and fear of USA were other factors which made the weak-kneed and morally corrupt rulers to stick to their policy of appeasement. They made no change in this self-defeating policy despite suffering colossal human and financial losses. 

While the US has spent $1.7 trillion in Iraq war, and over $1 trillion in war in Afghanistan including $104.1 billion in its reconstruction, it grieves over $20 billion given to Pakistan in the last 15 years, 50% of which is CSF (close support fund – repayment of provisions and services provided by Pakistan). As against this meagre assistance, Pakistan has incurred an economic loss of $118 billion in fighting the war and has also suffered 60,000 fatalities.

Excessive tilt of USA towards India as exhibited by Indo-US economic, defence and civil nuclear deals, revelations made by Raymond Davis in January 2011 about American dangerous agenda, stealth raid in Abbottabad in May 2011 followed by Memo scandal in October and deadly assault on Salala in November that year, do more mantra, condition based aid and stoppage of CSF brought no change in Pakistan’s US centric foreign policy.

India’s open ended belligerence when seen in context with ever growing Indo-US collaboration culminating into 3 military agreements in 2016 and the US outright biased stance against Pakistan having a direct bearing on security of Pakistan forced our policy makers to lean more heavily upon China and to get closer to Russia.

Tiding over energy crisis, righting economic indicators, curbing terrorism and above all CPEC have helped in improving the overall economic health and image of Pakistan and instilled confidence in the rulers to confront internal and external challenges more confidently.

However, the US enchantment that was at the verge of fizzling out has been reinvigorated by Donald Trump’s telephonic chat with Nawaz Sharif. He showered heaps of praises upon him and Pakistan, referring him as a terrific guy, rating Pakistanis among the most intelligent people, amazing and exceptional. These accolades coming from the most freakish and bigoted US President astounded all and sundry. Anti-Nawaz and anti-Pakistan elements were expecting a roughshod treatment from loudmouthed Trump. His unexpected tributes and exclusion of Pakistan from the banned Muslim States has made Nawaz and his team rapturous and they are still in a state of ecstasy. Idea of getting out of the US spell has been shelved.

While the Muslim world is tense and scared, Pak leadership is relaxed and appears to be all set to once again get duped and fall into the deceptive trap and get bled. They are optimistic that the US under Trump will not betray Pakistan and will be more friendly and cooperative in addressing socio-economic and security concerns. This confidence has been further bolstered by friendly chat of Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa with US Secretary Defence Mattis and US Commander in Afghanistan Gen John Nicholson, both admiring Pakistan’s sacrifices and role in war on terror and wanting a holistic review of Pak-US relations.   

Future Challenges

The challenges faced by Pakistan are however far from over. Up to 80% success has been achieved against terrorism which had become an existential threat to the existence of Pakistan. The current government deserve credit for giving a go-ahead to intelligence driven operations in NW, Baluchistan and Karachi, and the national action plan. However, the Army, Rangers, FC and ISI deserve special applause for achieving spectacular results in all the three troubled regions.

100% results couldn’t be achieved due to safe havens provided to the runaways of TTP in Afghanistan, backing to BLA, BRA and BLF in Baluchistan by foreign agencies, and obstacles created by Sindh administration in Karachi. All random acts of terror in Pakistan emanate from Afghanistan.

On the economic front, notwithstanding upturned macro-economic indicators, bullish stock exchange, healthy foreign exchange reserves and fast-paced development works, constantly increasing debt burden is a matter of anxiety. Not so satisfactory progress on 20-point NAP needs acceleration.  

Management of western border by Pakistan is not to the liking of Kabul and India since it will curtail cross border terrorism. This process as well as return of Afghan refugees, rehabilitation of displaced persons and FATA reforms must continue without any letup. Likewise Rangers operation in Karachi must reach its logical end at the earliest.  

Success in war on terror, economic turnaround, CPEC, and Russian support have defeated India’s plan to isolate Pakistan and to get it declared a terrorist state. Although Pakistan today stands on a stronger wicket, agenda of Indo-Afghan-US nexus against Pakistan remain unchanged.

Till 2008, Russia was anti-Pakistan and pro-India. Change in regional dynamics has brought a thaw in Pak-Russia relations and the latter is now keen to develop stronger economic and defence ties with Pakistan. Russia is mindful of the Afghanistan based Daesh and wants Pakistan’s cooperation to build a firewall against the emerging threat. For this reason, Russia is taking deep interest in Afghan affairs and has cultivated ties with Taliban much to the chagrin of Kabul regime and Washington. Russo-China-Pakistan grouping aimed at restoring peace in Afghanistan and CPEC has once again enhanced the importance of Pakistan. Friendly regime in Kabul is a geostrategic necessity for Pakistan.    

Recommendations.

Pakistan policy makers will have to play their cards shrewdly and configure the foreign policy best suited to guard Pakistan’s national interests. While keeping USA and EU in good humor and engaged in mutually beneficial economic/military cooperation, but without compromising core interests and dignity, efforts should be made to further expand economic/military cooperation with Russia, draw it towards CPEC and to make Pakistan member of Eurasian Economic Union.  Besides veering Iran into CPEC, Gwadar port should augment Chahbahar port. Land, air, maritime and internal security must be strengthened to ward off external threats and treacherous designs. Focus should be on getting rid of foreign crutches and instead strengthening own economic legs by drawing full benefits from the emerging opportunities provided by CPEC so as to make Pakistan politically, economically and militarily self-reliant.

The writer is retired Brig, war veteran, defense analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, DG Measac Research Centre. asifharoonraja.gmail.

Additional Reading from

Geo-Strategic Significance of Pakistan

1- INTRODUCTION:

Pakistan is located at a region which has great political, economic and strategic location. It has been hub of activities of great powers for last 20 years. It has witnessed intervention of three great powers i-e Britain, USSR, and USA. Its significance was further enhanced during cold war when it becomes ally of US policy of containment of USSR and now the post cold war era has witnessed its significance particularly after the events of 9/11.

2- PAKISTAN GEOGRAPHICALLY LOCATION:

Location: Southern Asia lies between 24 and 36.75 northern latitude and between 61 and 7505 eastern longitude.
Area: 7, 96000 sq.km.
Towards north apart from the state of Kashmir is china. It shares 400 km long boarder with china.
Towards north Tajikistan though no boarder but a narrow strip as Wahkhan strip separate the two.
Towards east, Punjab-Rajasthan boarders which is 1650 km long
Towards west, Afghanistan border of 2250 km.
Towards south, Arabian sea / Indian Ocean. Coastal belt is about 700 km.
Pakistan significance is enhanced as it lies near the Persian Gulf where 65% of the world’s oil is produced.

3- STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE:

a) Proximity of great powers:

Pakistan is located at the junction of great powers. In its neighbor’s one world power Russia and the other emerging power china lies. Any alliance among world powers enhances its significance. This factor has been utilized by Pakistan after 9/11. Security and business are two main US interests in the region while Pakistan is playing a front line role in the war against terrorism. Apart from this US interest in the region to contain the growing china, nuclear Iran, terrorist Afghanistan and to benefit from the market of India. Today the political scenario of the region is tinged with preemption policy and US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran’s nuclear program, India’s geopolitical muscles (new strategic deal with US) to gain hegemony and to counter the rise of china. Which has earned all the qualities to change unipolar world into bipolar world? In all these issues, Pakistan is directly or indirectly involved especially after al-Qeada operations. The American think tank has repeatedly accepted that war against terrorism could never be won without the help of Pakistan. Pakistan has rigorously fought and an ongoing operation in Waziristan is also targeting the suspected Taliban in the bordering area.

b) Gateway to central Asia-(oil and energy game):

Central Asia is the center stage of new Great games. Western quest for resources- oil and energy resources in the central Asia. After USSR decline, new quest started which is as manifested by politics of oil. Pakistan is located very close to the oil rich Middle Eastern countries. The belt started from Iran and extended to Saudi Arabia. Thus, Pakistan can influence shipment of oil. Iran is struggling to export its surplus gas and oil to eastern countries, Qatar, Pakistan and Turkmenistan pipeline projects highlight the position.

In the energy scarce world, Pakistan is located in the hub of energy rich countries i-e Iran and Afghanistan: both are energy abundant while India and China are lacking. China finds way to Indian Ocean and Arabian sea through Karakoram highway,

c) Significance as a Transit economy:

Pakistan has the potential to develop transit economy on account is its strategic location, land locked Afghanistan now at the phase of reconstruction finds its ways through Pakistan. China with its fastest economy growth rate of 9% us developing southern provinces because its own part is 4500 km away from Sinkiang but Gwadar is 2500 km away. Moreover, Pakistan offers central Asian regions the shortest route of 2600 km as compared to Iran 4500 km or turkey 5000 km. Gwadar port with its deep waters attracts the trade ships of China, CAR and south east Asian countries., also the coastal belt of Balochistan can provide outlet to china’s western provinces to have access to middles eastern markets with the development of coastal highways and motorways.

d) Important link in the chain of Muslim countries:

If we look at the map of Muslim countries, Pakistan occupies a central location. Towards west of Iran, china extends to North Africa. Thus it can actively participate in the activities of Muslim world-economic development, transport of resources and above all combat terrorism.

e) Only Muslim country with nuclear capability:

In the region Pakistan is the only Muslim country having nuclear capability which has great influence on the political, socio-economic activities in the region and the maintenance of status quo in the region.
f) China’s link to the Middle East:

Pakistan is the only direct and shortest link between China and the Middle East. Imagine the impact of China on the Middle East, if this link is fully functional. Gwadar Port located in proximity of Arabian Gulf and Central Asian Republics provide it unique opportunity to serve both. Pakistan needs to capitalize on them through better diplomatic ties with Arab states and CARs. It is therefore anticipated that oil reserves and other resources of CARs would gradually become the focus of world attention in coming years. However, in case of “exports to and from CARs” a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is must. The port will also help in promoting trade with Gulf States possessing 63% of world’s oil reserves and will prove instrumental in promoting trans-shipment essentially of containerized cargo besides unlocking the development potential for hinterland. The most important factor that makes Gwadar Port strategically unique is the location with respect to other major ports in the region, which are all located on the other side ofthe sea. Gwadar port being towards north can easily provide services and facilities to CARs, Afghanistan and China.

g) Reduce Indian hegemony in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean:

India has a shared interests with the U.S. and NATO in the subjection of Pakistan. Pakistan would cease to be a client state of the U.S. or a manageable state, because of a likely revolution that would occur in the scenario of a broader war in the Middle East against Iran or a far larger Eurasian war involving China and Russia. Nuclear weapons in the hands of such a revolutionary government in Islamabad would be a threat to Indian national security, NATO operations in Afghanistan, and Israel. It is in the shared interests of the U.S., NATO, Israel, and India to neutralize such a strategic and tactical threat from emerging in Pakistan. This is why NATO has underpinned the objective of balkanizing Pakistan and why the U.S. has talked about taking over Pakistani nuclear facilities via the U.S. military. The subjection of Pakistan is also territorially and militarily to the advantage of New Delhi, because it would eliminate a rival and allow India to gain territory that in the view of many Indians was lost with the partition of India in 1947.

4- CONCLUSION / ANALYSIS:

Geo strategic means the importance of a country or a region as by virtue of its geographical location. Stephen Cohn describes this importance “while history has been unkind with Pakistan, its geography has been its greatest benefit.”

Pakistan is a junction of south Asia, west Asia and central Asia; a way from resource efficient countries to resource deficient countries. The world is facing energy crises and terrorism. Pakistan is a route for transportation and a front line state against terrorism. Moreover Pakistan has been traditionally ally of emerging economic giant; china. So in the vague of any change in world politics, Pakistan’s geo-strategic significance would further be enhanced.

 

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Sharif family has owned London flats since ’90s: BBC report BY HAMID KHAN WAZIR


Pakistan Today

Sharif family has owned London flats since ’90s: BBC report

BY HAMID KHAN WAZIR

PTI Spokesman Naeemul Haq says PM will have to surrender before the law of the land The news report by BBC Urdu regarding Sharif family’s London flats has helped the claims of Pakistan.

The news report by BBC Urdu regarding Sharif family’s London flats has helped the claims of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who now say that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been left with no option but to surrender before the law of the land.PTI Central Secretary Information Naeemul Haq, in reaction over the BBC Urdu report, has stated that the report has completely exposed the lies of the premier before the nation.He said that the PM could have avoided this humiliation had he not lied before the nation.The BBC Urdu report says that the properties owned by the Sharif family in London’s upscale Park Lane neighborhood were purchased in the 1990s and there has been no change of ownership since then.According to official documents available withBBC Urdu, the four flats were purchased in the name of the Nielsen and Nescoll companies.

 

 

 

 

Naeemul Haq said that Nawaz Sharif has wasted nine months to provide cover to his lies.

“The PM lied on the floor of the Parliament and before the nation; he changed his lawyers time and again to conceal his lies in the apex court,” he added.

Naeemul Haq said that despite efforts by the ruling party, they have failed to hide the truth from the public.

He said that Nawaz Sharif has no way to escape accountability, adding that the premier and his family did not take those who published Panama Leaks to the court. He said that PTI will see whether the family will sue BBC Urdu for its report.

According to the documents, an official record of companies doing business in the United Kingdom reveals that when Hassan Nawaz established Flagship Investment Ltd in 2001, the address he provided at the time of registration of the company was that of his Park Lane apartment.

According to the report, Neilson and Nescoll purchased the following flats:  Flat 17 on June 1, 1993; Flat 16 on July 31, 1995; Flat 16A on July 31, 1995; and Flat 17A on July 30, 1996. There has been no change in ownership since then.

After the Panama Papers were published, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son, Hussain Nawaz, had accepted the family’s ownership of Nielsen and Nescoll.

Hussain had said: “The Park Lane apartments in London are ours, two offshore companies, Nielsen and Nescoll, own these flats and I am the beneficial owner of these companies, working under a trust held by my sister Maryam Nawaz Sharif.”

Flat 12A is owned by Flagship Investment Company since 2004. Hassan Nawaz is the director of Flagship which was created in 2001, the report added.

 
 
 

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