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Archive for category India Promoting Subversion in Pakistan Via Afghanistan

September 28: “Surgical Strikes”, Indian Blinding Pellets Atrocities in Kashmir By Sajjad Shaukat

September 28: “Surgical Strikes,” Indian Army Blinding Pellets Atrocities in Kashmir 

By Sajjad Shaukat

On September 18, 2016, Indian media had said that four “fidayeen,” highly-trained militants who were carrying guns and grenades stormed a base in Uri, close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and killed at least 17 soldiers in one of the most deadly attacks on security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in two decades. The four attackers were killed by the army, as an Indian army officer told the BBC.

 

 

 

 

After the Uri episode, without any investigation, India’s top civil and military officials, including their media started propaganda against Pakistan by accusing that the militants who target the Uri base came from Pakistan’s side of Azad Kashmir and the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba controlled by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were involved in it. Under the mask of the Uri base assault, India started mobilization of troops near the LoC to wage a limited war with Pakistan, while considering surgical strikes on the Azad Kashmir.

In this regard, a senior Home Ministry official and a spokesman of the Indian army allegedly said, “It is clearly a case of cross-border terror attack…the militants infiltrated across the Line of Control from Pakistan before attacking the base in Uri.”

 

 

 

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh called Pakistan “a terrorist state” and army Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said that troops were “ready to give a befitting response.”

In this respect, Pakistan rejected allegations that it was involved in the assault at the Uri base. Pakistan Foreign Office representative Nafees Zakaria stated, “India must probe the assault before pointing towards others…they immediately blame Pakistan before any investigation. We reject this.” He added, “Putting the blame on Pakistan was an old strategy of India.

The Adviser to the then Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz categorically rejected India’s “baseless and irresponsible” accusations against Pakistan following the attack on Indian troops in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), calling it a “blatant” attempt to divert attention from the fast deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in the Indian held Kashmir since the death of Burhan Wani.”

In fact, with the help of Indian intelligence agencies, especially RAW, India itself arranged and orchestrated the drama of the Uri base attack not only to defame Pakistan, but also to achieve a number of sinister aims.

Since the false flag terror attack at a military base in Uri, the BJP-led Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has intensified war-hysteria against Pakistan. After deployment of heavy arms and weapons on the LoC, Indian forces have increased troops and continued shelling in Pakistani side of Kashmir. And Pakistani troops are giving a matching response to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC.

Meanwhile, the then Indian Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhaag had claimed on September 29, 2016 that Indian Army conducted surgical strikes inside Pakistan’s side of Kashmir on the September 28, 2016.

Indian officials stated that the strikes targeted areas close to the LoC, where they believed militants congregate for their final briefings before sneaking across the LoC.  An Indian security source stated that the operation began with Indian forces firing artillery across the frontier to provide cover for three to four teams of 70–80 commandos from the 4th and 9th battalions of the Parachute Regiment at several separate points of the LoC.  Teams from 4 Para crossed the LoC in the Nowgam sector of Kupwara district, with teams from 9 Para simultaneously crossing the LoC in Poonch district—the special forces teams had travelled 1–3 km on foot, and had begun destroying the terrorist bases with hand-held grenade and 84 mm rocket launchers. The teams then swiftly returned to the Indian side of the Line of Control, suffering only one casualty, a soldier wounded after tripping a land mine.

But, the myth of Indian surgical strikes was exposed, when in a statement, DG of Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt. Gen, Asim Saleem Bajwa said, “The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by India to create false effects. This quest by Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross border fire as surgical strike is a fabrication of truth.” He repeatedly stated that Pakistani troops have been giving equal response to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC.

Differences also arose between Indian civil and military leadership—as to how cover the falsehood. In this regard, Indian Prime Minister Modi and country’s Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh had decided to prepare a ‘fake video’ of surgical strikes so as to pacify the Indian public, media and the opposition parties.

Online sources suggest that opposition parties in the Indian Congress also demanded to show proof of the surgical strikes, while in the Indian public and politicians demanded the resignation of Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhaag. In these circumstances, Gen. Dalbir Singh had retired as the Army chief and Gen. Bipin Rawat took over the charge as army chief.

Indian media reported that the “appointment of the new Army chief had ignited a political debate with the Janata Dal United (A political party of India), calling it the 1983 emergency-like situation. While, the government had linked the appointment with security reasons in context with Pakistan, China, and terrorism, the Congress party has described the appointment as whimsical cherry picking.”

It is notable that Indian Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat on May 4, this year hinted at retaliatory action against Pakistan, while India blamed the latter for the killing and mutilation of Indian army soldiers across the LoC, despite, Pakistan repeatedly rejected New Delhi’s false allegations.

In this connection, Gen Rawat, while referring to the earlier incident stated, “The Indian army has beefed up its counter-infiltration postures near the LoC…Terrorists are trying to infiltrate.

Like each year, infiltration will commence. We are taking measures. We have beefed up our counter-infiltration postures.”

However, in response to the Indian threat, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 5, 2016 rejected claims by his Indian counterpart about the “so-called surgical strikes” and their possible recurrence. According to ISPR, Army Chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa made it clear that “Pakistan Armed Forces were fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

In the recent past, during his visit at the LoC, Gen. Bajwa stated that Pakistan’s armed forces are fully prepared to defend the country against any aggression.

It is noteworthy that the representatives of The Washington Post and The New York Times, who visited the villages adjoining LoC in the disputed Kashmir region, had reported that the people they met there told them that there were no surgical strikes.

In this context, Indian Express wrote on October 5, 2016, “Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam attacked BJP even as he continued to face flak from several quarters for suggesting army’s surgical strikes could be “fake” Unfazed by the heat, even from within his party, Nirupam fired a fresh salvo accusing BJP of trying to extract political mileage out of the national security issue with eyes set on ensuing elections in the state to be held next year.”

It is mentionable that since July 8, 2016 against the martyrdom of the young Kashmir leader Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in wake of continued sieges and prolonged curfews, Indian forces have martyred several innocent persons who have been protesting against the martyrdom of Burhan Wani.

In wake of new phase of uprising in the Indian Held Kashmir, pressure on the BJP-led Indian government of Modi has been mounting both domestically and internationally to resolve the issue of Kashmir with Pakistan. But, under the directions of the Modi government, Indian security forces continue atrocities on the innocent Kashmiris.

Nevertheless, IOK has been witnessing an unprecedented movement and open rebellion against illegitimate occupation of India. Over 200 people have been martyred and 22,000 injured due to ruthless repression of Indian armed forces since 2016—a large number of the dead and the injured have been youngsters.

The pellet guns used by security forces have damaged the faces of 1800 people and more than 1200 people have partially or wholly lost their eyesight since 2016. Reportedly, Indian army has also started using chemical weapons and smell shelling against innocent protesters in the Indian-controlled Kashmir.

For the last six months, life in IOK has remained mostly paralyzed due to continual curfews.  Besides the prolonged curfew, media blackout has also been imposed cutting off the communication channels. Squeezed by the brutal oppression at the hands of Indian Armed forces, the youth have lost patience and through “mob resistance”, they are creating problems for occupied forces. “Wanism” has become leading spirit of their third Intifada in Indian Occupied Kashmir.  

Indian forces are also using stage managed incidents to kill Kashmiri youth and gag their voice /demand for independence. An alarming increase in such staged dramas has been witnessed these days, as Indian media extends coverage to any activity to blame Kashmiri freedom activists and Pakistan. 

Apart from the oppressive activities, the Delhi government in collaboration with State coalition government led by Mehbooba Mufti is engaged in making demographic changes on lines of Israeli model of building residential ghettos (Sainakbastiyan)/ industrial zones to settle Hindu Pundits and other communities. In this regard, land was procured in Sri Nagar and Annat Nag to build two towns each in these areas. Reportedly, over sixty thousands families are to be settled in these towns.   

Off late, in another smear attempt, New Delhi is contemplating to abrogate Article 35A of the Indian constitution unilaterally, without undergoing the formality of obtaining concurrence from the IOK government/legislature. Article 35A is part of the executive order issued by the president of India called Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954. The president issued this Order on 14 May 1954 under Article 370 of the constitution of India to legitimize the Indian occupation of IOK. The article prohibits a non-J&K resident from buying property in the State and ensures job reservation for Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) residents.

Jahangir Iqbal Ghanie, Jammu and Kashmir’s Advocate General, told a newspaper that three petitions have challenged the article in the Indian Supreme Court, but in the two other petitions, no notice was issued to the state government. A bench headed by Justice J S Khehar will hear the petitions challenging Article 35A in October 2017.  Earlier the top court had favoured hearing of the matter by a five-judge constitution bench to determine, if Article is ultra vires of the Constitution or if there is any procedural lapse. The court had said that a three-judge bench will hear the matter and refer it to a five-judge bench if necessary.

The issue has also triggered an unlikely camaraderie. Perhaps for the first time in decades, political parties cutting across the political spectrum in the Valley are on the same page, as they all want to preserve Article 35A. Joint Resistance Leadership comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik asked the Kashmir bar associations, Kashmiri diaspora all over the world to hold peaceful protest demonstration against “conspiracies” to scrap the state subject law as the issue is a “matter of life and death” for people of J&K. Reportedly, IOK Chief Minister and opposition parties have also objected to any tinkering with the article.

Most people believe this is the Centre’s design to change the demographic character of the Muslim majority state. Some fear that the centre might entice the Hindus to buy land and property in Jammu, Samba and other districts. That will change the demographic character of the Jammu region as well. Such a sit will result in another mass uprising and Indian Held Kashmir will become Palestine, where life will become an everyday fight for survival.

Some feel that move to abrogate Article 35A will have huge ramifications on the ground as the article was included in the Constitution top reserve IOK peoples land rights. Keeping for UN General Assembly’s annual session, being held in late September, some felt that the timing of the move is quite crucial, as New Delhi wants to trigger violence in the valley through provocating the people on abrogation of 35A and killing innocent Kashmiri people in fake encounters to project to the world that such activities are externally instigated. 

There is also a sinister campaign to target APHC leadership by implicating them in financial scams and link it to terror funding by Pakistan. It is clear ploy to create a wedge between APHC old guards and youth of Kashmir.

As a matter of fact, under the cover of the false flag operation at the Uri base, New Delhi’s main aim was to continue war-mongering diplomacy against Pakistan and to deflect the attention of the international community from the new phase of Kashmiri Intifada in wake of pressure which has been mounting on the Modi government both domestically and internationally to resolve the issue of Kashmir with Pakistan in wake of differences between Indian security forces which have been deployed at the LoC.

While, differences existed between Indian security forces on the increase of troops—a renowned newspaper of Pakistan and some online sources disclosed that a serious rift has been reported from the Line of Control region between Indian Army officials and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel.

Nonetheless, India orchestrated the drama of the terror attack at the Uri base to obtain various sinister designs against Pakistan in the Indian Held Kashmir where Indian atrocities continue unabated, while the myth of its surgical strikes inside Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir was clearly exposed.

 

Indian Army Atrocities and Barbarism in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?

A bloody summer of protest in Kashmir has been met with a ruthless response from Indian security forces, who fired hundreds of thousands of metal pellets into crowds of civilians, leaving hundreds blinded.

by 

The Guardian, UK

 

For the past month, while the attention of the world has been fixed on every dramatic twist in the US presidential election, the renewal of armed conflict between India and Pakistan has barely touched the headlines. In the past few weeks, the two nuclear states have, between them, killed two dozen civilians and injured scores of others in exchanges of artillery fire across the disputed border – known as the “line of control” – that divides Kashmir into parts controlled by India and Pakistan.

The latest flare-up in the long-running war of attrition between the two countries comes on the heels of a bloody summer of protest and repression in Kashmir that has now been erased from memory by the banging of war drums in Delhi and Islamabad. Since July, when the killing of a young militant leader sparked a furious civilian uprising across the Kashmir valley, the Indian state has responded with singular ruthlessness, killing more than 90 people. Most shocking of all has been the breaking up of demonstrations with “non-lethal” pellet ammunition, which has blinded hundreds of Kashmiri civilians.

In four months, 17,000 adults and children have been injured, nearly five thousand have been arrested, and an entire population spent the summer under the longest curfew in the history of curfews in Kashmir.

All this has been quickly forgotten in the past two months. On 18 September, a small group of jihadi fighters, widely believed to have come from Pakistan, staged a commando raid on an Indian army camp near the northern Kashmir town of Uri, killing 19 Indian soldiers – the deadliest attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir in two decades. Indian politicians quickly blamed Pakistan, which the country’s home minister described as a “terrorist state”, while Pakistani leaders made the implausible claim that India had staged the attack itself to distract from the protests in Kashmir.

The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, who came into office promising to take a harder line with Pakistan, announced that “those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished”. At the end of September, India retaliated with what it called a “surgical strike” against alleged militant camps in Pakistan-controlled territory, which, according to an army statement, “caused significant damage to terrorists”. Pakistan denied the attack ever took place – claiming that there had been nothing more than the usual exchange of fire across the border. Meanwhile, an ugly war of words continued to escalate in TV news studios, some of which were refurbished as pop-up war rooms.

Since then, the relationship between the two countries, which is at the best of times characterised by varying degrees of hate – depending upon the political temperature in Kashmir – has soured to the point where both are now suddenly finding spies in each others’ diplomatic missions. A tit-for-tat nearly every day, on TV, on social media, in ambassadorial corps – even in the realm of culture, where India has effectively banned Pakistani actors from working in Bollywood, and Pakistan has banned the screening of Indian films in cinemas. According to recent reports, civilians caught in the crossfire have been evacuated, hundreds of schools shut, and local residents pressed into service to ferry supplies to troops stationed high in the Himalayas. As always, the victims of the artillery duels have been the civilians living on either side of a border that did not exist until the middle of the 20th century.

In the war of words that has followed the bloodshed in Uri, the brutal oppression of protest in Kashmir has been largely ignored. Indeed, the Indian state, aided by a near-militaristic TV news media, has used the Uri attack and its aftermath to cover up a surge of killings, maimings and blindings in one of the longest-running conflicts in the world. This is the story of the bloody summer that Kashmiris have endured – and of why they will not forget it.


On 8 July, a militant rebel leader, Burhan Wani, was shot dead by Indian armed forces and police in a remote Kashmir village. The killing sparked a series of spontaneous demonstrations and protests, which, in a matter of days, turned into a reinvigorated popular revolt against India’s dominion over this disputed state.

Wani’s path to militancy began in another one of Kashmir’s bloody summers – back in 2010, when Indian security forces killed 120 protesters. Wani, who was then 15 years old, is said to have joined a small group of homegrown militants after he and his brother were humiliated and abused by Indian soldiers. Over the next few years, he became Kashmir’s most famous militant commander, and acquired something of a cult following among young Kashmiris, who saw him as a symbol of resistance against Indian occupation. Wani was a new breed of militant: unlike the first generation of Kashmir separatist fighters in the early 1990s, he did not cross over into Pakistan; he didn’t use a nom de guerre, and he amassed a huge following on social media, where he issued brazen challenges to the Indian state. It was therefore no surprise that thousands attended Wani’s funeral in his hometown of Tral – or that those who could not get there organised their own funeral services across the Kashmir valley.

As Kashmiris took to the streets, police and paramilitaries were deployed in large numbers across the region. Thousands of young protesters charged at the armed forces with stones and slogans demanding freedom. Indian forces responded with lethal effect, firing bullets, CS gas, and metal pellets into the crowds. In less than four days, nearly 50 people were killed and thousands injured. More people took to the streets to protest against these killings, and the Indian forces and Kashmiri police killed and injured more of them. A cycle of protests connected to the funerals of those protesters were, in turn, fired upon, resulting in yet more killings and blindings. By the end of July, India was faced with a full-scale popular revolt in Kashmir.

An Indian policeman aims a pellet gun towards Kashmiri protesters in Srinagar in July.
 

 An Indian policeman aims a pellet gun towards Kashmiri protesters in Srinagar in July. Composite: Syed Shahriyar/Syed Shahriyar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The most recent figures put the number of dead at 94, including a young Kashmiri academic who was battered to death by Indian soldiers, and an 11-year-old boy, whose body, riddled with hundreds of pellets, was found on the outskirts of Srinagar, the joint capital of Kashmir, in mid-September. Shockingly, more than 500 people, most of them young, were shot in the face with the pump-action “pellet guns” that the Indian forces routinely use to suppress protests. These weapons discharge hundreds of small metal pellets, or birdshot, capable of piercing the eye.

As the uprising continued, the armed forces, by their own admission, fired nearly 4,000 cartridges at stone-throwing demonstrators, crowds protesting against police brutality, and even onlookers. This means that they sent, by one recent estimate, 1.3m metal balls hurtling towards public gatherings predominantly made up of young unarmed people.

Children as young as four and five now have multiple pellets in their retinas, blinding them partially, or fully, for life. At the start of September, doctors at Kashmir’s main hospital reported that on average, one person had their eyes ruptured by pellets every other hour since 9 July. “It means 12 eye surgeries per day,” one doctor told a local newspaper. “It is shocking.”

On 12 July, the fourth day of the protests, the state government, which is run by a controversial coalition between Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a local ally, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), finally issued its first official statement on the use of the so-called “non-lethal” pellet guns. A spokesperson for the government, representing the PDP, described its position to the media: “We disapprove of it … But we will have to persist with this necessary evil till we find a non-lethal alternative.”

There is no recorded instance of a modern democracy systematically and willfully shooting at people to blind them

At first, the statement appeared as a typical soundbite, the sort of thing that officials must compose and recite with studied ambiguity for the press – the “government version”, as its known. But I was struck by its cavalier defence of state violence and brutalisation. It was obvious that this was not the spokesman’s personal view; it was a clear articulation of the intent of the Indian state in Kashmir: we have no choice but to shoot people in the eyes.

This was an unprecedented expression of state violence. There is no other recorded instance of a modern democracy systematically and wilfully shooting at people to blind them. At the end of August, according to data obtained by one of India’s national newspapers, nearly 6,000 civilians had been injuredand at least 972 of them had suffered injuries to their eyes.

According to official records at SMHS, the main hospital in Srinagar, 570 people sought treatment after their eyeballs were ruptured by metal pellets. Ophthalmologists at the hospital performed more surgeries in three days – from 10 to 12 July – than they had in the past three years. Many of the wounded were protesters, but not all. Not one of them deserved to be robbed of their sight.

By 14 August, as India prepared to celebrate its Independence Day, Kashmir was under a near total blackout. I briefly lost touch with my parents, as the state cut off all telephones and the internet. I was reminded, once again, of the lines of the late Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali, which still echo 20 years after he wrote them: “The city from where no news can come / is now so visible in its curfewed night / that the worst is precise.” Just before the shutdown, I had talked to my youngest sister over WhatsApp – she was a little girl in the 90s, when Kashmir witnessed the first rebellion against Indian rule. “I’d never imagined my [three-year-old] child would see everything that I saw as a child,” she told me.

Rebellion against India’s rule over Kashmir is neither new nor surprising – and the brutality of the state’s response is equally familiar. In the 1990s, India came down hard on a widespread uprising in the Kashmir valley – killing, torturing, disappearing, and imprisoning thousands. Some estimates put the number of people killed since 1989 at 70,000. Some 8,000 non-combatants are thought to have been disappeared, and 6,000 are believed to have been buried in mass graves. Human rights reports have identified thousands of cases of torture, including shocking techniques such as “simulated drowning, striping flesh with razor blades and piping petrol into anuses”. According to a 2012 report in the Guardian, government documents revealed that one group of security agents had “lopped off the limbs of suspects and fed prisoners with their own flesh”.

In southern Kashmir, four girls, aged between 13 and 18, were shot in their faces as recently as last week

Years later, very little has changed in the Indian state’s response to the demand for self-determination from the people of Kashmir. In a matter of four to five weeks this summer, Indian troops, with a clear mandate to be unsparing, wounded over 10,000 people. One of the youngest – five-year old Zohra – was admitted to a hospital in Srinagar with lacerations to her abdomen and legs. Fourteen-year-old Insha was in the family kitchen when a swarm of pellets pierced her face. She has lost vision in both eyes. In southern Kashmir, four girls, aged between 13 and 18, were shot in their faces last week. The prognosis for the youngest of these, 13-year-old Ifra Jan, “is not good”, a doctor said. It is doubtful that these little girls posed a threat to the military force – estimated at 700,000 soldiers and police – stationed in Kashmir.

As the showers of metal pellets were unleashed upon protesters, bystanders and homebound schoolchildren, hospitals in Kashmir began to resemble scenes from the great wars of the 20th century. Rows of beds with blindfolded boys and girls on them, parents waiting anxiously, doctors and paramedics in attendance around the clock. On occasion, police and spies also infiltrated the wards to compile profiles of the injured, in order to place them under surveillance after their release. The wounded were brought in by the dozen, like birds in the hunting season.

All of this was incomprehensible, even to longtime observers of violence in Kashmir. One of the largest military forces on the planet could not be waging a war against seeing. Perhaps a few aberrations, a crowd-control tactic gone woefully wrong – one hoped so, but the numbers kept piling up, eye after mutilated eye popping up on the screens of phones and computers, as journalists began to publish their reports.

As none of the powerful men who run Kashmir from Delhi expressed qualms about the blinding of children, it became clear that in its hubris the Indian state had decided that snatching vision from a few hundred young people was a fair price to pay for keeping Kashmir in check. Perhaps itself blinded by a strain of arrogance peculiar to occupying powers, it continued to pummel a subject population into submission.


The phrase Raqs-e-Bismil, used in mystic Persian poetry to denote the passion of the devoted, translates as the “dance of the wounded”. In the slaughterhouse of the Kashmir valley, even the grievously injured – with pellet-scarred eyes or broken limbs – have remained defiant. “We have even got some patients whose guts are perforated and they are asking when they can go back and join the protests,” one doctor reported.

Two-and-a-half decades of rebellion in Kashmir have hardened the indifference of India’s political and intellectual classes to the human cost of the country’s repressive tactics in the valley. Amid rising nationalist fervour, any sense of the basic rights of a suffering population has been eroded or vanished entirely. The hostility now appears to be total, unbridgeable, and for those on the receiving end, unbearable. Powerful TV studios urge the state to be more aggressively macho, while actively suppressing or distorting news from Kashmir. One prominent newspaper ran an online poll about the continued use of the pellets that had wounded and blinded so many Kashmiris – a clear majority voted in support. Eminent columnists speak calmly of the need for “harsh love” toward civilian protesters to rationalise the state’s ruthless response. And the Twitter account for a government initiative, Digital India, posted a poem calling for the army to murder Kashmiris until they surrender.

As images from Kashmir began to circulate on the internet – despite frequent attempts to block communications, including at least one midnight raid on the offices of a local newspaper, and a blanket ban on one English daily, the Kashmir Reader – pictures of the wounded emerged by the dozen, many of them looking as though they had ruptured fruits where their eyes should have been. On the second day of the protests, more than 50 people were admitted to the main hospital in Srinagar. Medics and parents were desperate to save vision in at least one eye for those who had been shot, attempting to extract the jagged and irregular pellets. “This only happens in a war-like situation,” a surgeon sent from Delhi later said.

A Kashmiri protester who was shot by Indian security forces in Srinagar, in July 2016.

 A Kashmiri protester who was shot by Indian security forces in Srinagar, in July 2016. Photograph: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

The protocol for the use of these crowd control weapons is to aim at the legs to disperse demonstrators. But it seems that the paramilitaries and the police have been deliberately firing into faces. Some may only have minor wounds, some will suffer limited loss of vision, some will lose one eye, some both, and some will be impaired for life, but the pitiless assault on protesting adolescents forces us to ask one question: is the Indian state happy to blind a generation?

It is inconceivable that policy mandarins in Delhi or their advisers in Kashmir could be unaware of the destructive power of “non-lethal weapons”. Earlier this year, the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations and Physicians for Human Rights published a report titled “Lethal in Disguise”. “Pellet rounds”, it stated, “cause an indiscriminate spray of ammunition that spreads widely and cannot be aimed …” They, therefore, “are not only likely to be lethal at close range, but are likely to be inaccurate and indiscriminate at longer ranges, even those recommended by manufacturers for safety”.


Many countries have banned police from using ammunition meant for hunting animals. The multidirectional spray of pellets was designed to catch prey in flight. But many countries have continued to use them as a means of force to control civilian demonstrators.

In Israel, security forces often deploy lethal and “non-lethal” ammunition against Palestinian protesters, and crowd-control weapons have blinded at least five young Palestinians in the last two years. The use of rubber bullets by police was banned in the Spanish region of Catalonia in 2014, after at least seven people were blinded by them on the streets of Barcelona.

In 2011, months after the uprising in Tahrir Square that toppled an Egyptian dictator, a young police lieutenant, Mohamed el-Shenawy, became infamous for firing pellets into the eyes of protesters against Egypt’s military government. His exemplary skill at blinding civilians earned him the nickname the “Eye Sniper”, and his notoriety as a symbol of ongoing state brutality eventually led to a three-year jail sentence.

Will India prosecute its own eye snipers? Or outlaw the use of these weapons?

In the country’s present hypernationalist mood, every kind of other is a suspicious figure, a ready-made scapegoat for any failure that befalls the politicians determined to make India great again: the secessionist Kashmiri, the impure Dalit, the traitorous beef-eating Muslim, the woman who speaks her mind, the anti-national journalist, the dissenting writer. Any voices who might call for a ban on these “non-lethal” guns are certain to be ignored. To the contrary, ministers and police, and their demagogues and cheerleaders, have continued to advocate the use of both pellets and bullets against protesting crowds in Kashmir: unruly cattle must be reined in at any cost.

Because Kashmiris have become accustomed to the violence inflicted on them – as they are to the indifference of the world – when pellets were first sprayed at protesters in the heated summer of 2010, most people processed this as nothing more than a new misfortune; just another element of the war in Kashmir. If one were to draw a diagram of the assaults inflicted on Kashmiri bodies over the decades, hardly a single part would remain unmarked: in the 1990s, when the violence was at its worst, the eyes were spared; now they seem to have become a favourite target. The victims of such tactics, consciously and not, cultivate reserves of tolerance for pain, but also a capacity to remember.

I remember, too. I grew up amid the darkness of the late 80s and early 90s. I remember that most of us teenagers innately understood that being abused, slapped, or beaten with batons and rifle butts by an Indian trooper was a bit of a joke when compared to the horrors that others endured in the dungeons of Kashmir. (One of the most notorious torture centres, Papa II – a colonial-era building on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar – was refurbished and redecorated, and served as the stately residence of the late pro-India politician Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. His daughter, as the current chief minister, now presides over the brutalisation of another generation of Kashmiri youth.)

I remember that the war in those years taught us to treat corpses and shrouds as reminders of passing time, which was measured for the young in massacres and assassinations. I recall, too, the tragic rupture in the Kashmiri body politic when an atmosphere of fear and loathing forced out the Kashmiri Pandits – a Hindu minority that had cohabited with Muslim Kashmiris for centuries – in an almost overnight exodusmany of them targeted and killed by separatist militants. Sanjay Tickoo, who runs an organisation for the welfare of Kashmiri Hindus, says: “Over the past 20 years, we estimate that 650 Pandits were killed in the valley.” I don’t know what happened to Sunil and Rajesh, my childhood mates from the primary school we all attended near an idyllic river bend in Verinag in south Kashmir.

Growing up, I experienced a brutal, bleak time, as India’s response to the uprising included the grotesque policy of “catch and kill”, under which combatants and non-combatants alike were dispatched in summary executions or tortured to death. And yet, I don’t remember such a vengeful assault on ordinary people as we are seeing now. Buoyed by a belligerent nationalist at the helm in Delhi, the security forces on the ground perhaps feel emboldened to unleash a more widespread cruelty.

In 2013, an affecting photo essay by journalist Zahid Rafiq in the New York Times documented a few of the stories of those who had been blinded by pellets. It remains a grim testament to the darkness in Kashmir – even though the blindings at that time, amid hundreds dead, did not attract too much notice. At the time, hardly any Indian civil society group or human rights organisation thought fit to speak up about such a wicked crime. The wanton demonisation of the Kashmiri Muslim, a project that some media organisations in India take particular pleasure in, was perhaps fully realised even then. It certainly is now, when thousandsfed on a daily diet of nationalist fury, take to social media to celebrate the killing, maiming, and blinding of young Kashmiris.


That the government in Kashmir – a collection of local elites comprising career politicians, technocrats, and chancers loyal to India – considers pellet guns a “necessary evil”, might make us feel grateful. At least they acknowledge the “evil” part – perhaps to address their own guilty consciences.

A few days into this summer’s uprising, the Kashmir Observer, a local English-language daily, reported that the local government had deployed a fleet of brand new ambulances to securely ferry visiting VIPs to picnic spots in the valley. This was while protesters were being killed, maimed and blinded – and while the ambulances carrying them to hospitals were coming under fire from security forces.

Victims of police shooting who have been blinded in one or both eyes in hospital in Srinagar.

 Victims of police shooting who have been blinded in one or both eyes in hospital in Srinagar. Photograph: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images

An ophthalmologist at the main hospital in Kashmir told the Indian Express in July: “For the first time the foreign bodies are irregular edged, which causes more damage once it strikes the eye.” Irregular, sharp edges? I had assumed that the pellets fired at protesters – like rubber or plastic bullets, were round discoid things. It turns out that there exist different kinds of pellets, and in 2016, some Indian forces are using the jagged variety – which inflict greater damage to flesh and eyes alike, and which doctors say is far more difficult to remove.

How did India get here? How is it all right for a constitutionally democratic and secular, modern nation to blind scores of civilians in a region it controls? Not an authoritarian state, not a crackpot dictatorship, not a rogue nation or warlord outside of legal and ethical commitments to international statutes, but a democratic country, a member of the comity of nations. How are India’s leaders, thinkers and its thundering televised custodians of public and private morality, all untroubled by the sight of a child whose heart has been penetrated by metal pellets? This is the kind of cruelty we expect from Assad’s Syria, not the world’s largest democracy.

Historically, such an inhuman response to an uprising – to mass dissent – has been the province of empires and tyrants. A modern democratic nation rarely unleashes such violence, except upon victims whom it does not regard as its own people. It is quite clear that for India and its rulers, Kashmiris have been subjects and not citizens for as long as Kashmiris have refused Indian rule. You do not shower projectiles that target eyes and viscera on a people you consider your own. In snatching away the vision of Kashmiri children, the Indian state has decisively announced that it has only one message: you must be servile and submissive, and if you refuse, we will unleash our fury.

With a hubris derived from its might and military dominion over Kashmir, the state convinces itself that it has the power to inflict blindness. In no time, then, it blinds itself too – to the character of democracy that is its central founding principle. The harsh repression of Kashmiri protests, the Nobel prize-winning Indian economist Amartya Sen declared in July, is “the biggest blot on India’s democracy”.

It is hard not to see this mood of brutality connected, at the very least in its tenor, to the larger register of extreme violence, by both state and non-state actors, that has come to be normalised over the last couple of decades.

There has been some dissent in India. Journalists, activists, even some politicians, have written elegiac columns and essays on the savage response to the rebellion in Kashmir. They have implored their government to cease the brutality, to be kind, and to talk to Kashmiris. But it appears that the Indian government, clouded by a newfound chauvinism and a hunger for votes, is in no mood to listen to the nation’s voices of sanity. In August, only a few days after Indian forces in Srinagar murdered a 21-year-old cash-machine watchman by firing 300 pellets into his body from close range, the Indian prime minister used a speech on Kashmir to taunt Pakistan over its own atrocities against separatists in the province of Balochistan, where the Pakistani army has inflicted forced disappearances and summary executions on the Baloch people. “Pakistan forgets that it bombs its own citizens using fighter planes,” he said. But Modi chose to forget that his own forces had, by then, killed scores of young Kashmiris.


We need to interrogate the circumstances that have led to the deliberate blinding of hundreds of young people at the hands of armed forces in Kashmir, before this too is forgotten. As some of the wounded have begun to heal, some accounts have suggested that the damage may have been less severe than initially feared – that perhaps many of those who underwent eye surgery will regain “some vision” in at least one eye. This might make one feel better – relieved that its not worse – but there is something wrong with that kind of moral reckoning, akin to the Indian security officials who continue to maintain that pellet guns must be used because the alternative would be worse. One security official told an Indian news website that pellet guns had actually “saved lives”: “It is unfortunate that there have been eye injuries but the pellets are less lethal than getting hit by bullets.”

So we might ask: what if the armed forces stationed in Kashmir had fired live bullets instead? Imagine the death toll! But this doesn’t compute: in 2016, the security forces have already killed nearly 100 civilians. Is that an acceptable number?

In a year or two, as India, and Pakistan, continue to harp on their territorialist positions, there will arrive a season of surface calm – a “return to normalcy” – in Kashmir. People will shop, marry off their children, and celebrate an uncurfewed Eid. They will also welcome tourists in their blighted land.

But when this new generation of freedom-seekers grows up into blinded, maimed, adulthood, they will carry our guilt-ridden consciences for us. They will remember more than they have seen. They will certainly remember the country that did this to them.

 

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Pakistan’s Foreign Policy and Current Challenges By Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy and Current Challenges

Asif Haroon Raja

Overview

Pakistan has, since birth, been faced with one crisis after another. The tense geopolitical environment created by hostile India and unfriendly Afghanistan was the motivating factor which impelled our leaders to accord preference to security over developing institutions and strengthening the economy. Security concerns governed our foreign policy.

Pakistan joined Western pacts mainly to find an umbrella to mitigate its security concerns. But the US never became a trustworthy and sincere ally, as was the case of former the Soviet Union with India. The western pacts proved elusive when Pakistan was truncated in 1971.

India had been working upon East Bengal since 1948 with the aim of subverting the minds of Bengalis and poisoning their minds against people of West Pakistan through an orchestrated subversion plan. It wanted to disprove Two-Nation theory. India in collusion with the former-the Soviet Union and supported by several other countries hatched the gory plan of the dismemberment of Pakistan. After nine months insurgency, Indian military jumped in to cut Pakistan to size and create Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi chortled that Two-Nation theory had been sunk into the Bay of Bengal.

In the aftermath of 9/11, another international conspiracy was hatched to dismember Pakistan. This time the conspiracy was much larger in scope and more dangerous in intent. Pakistan was to be befriended and then cut into four quasi-states. In this, India is being supported by USA, Afghanistan, Britain, Israel and the West in general. The tools in use are TTP, BLA, BRA, BLF, MQM and segment of media bolstered by bloggers, foreign paid NGOs and international media. Daesh is the latest group added to their arsenal.   

The goals are to destabilize, de-Islamise, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan using covert means and psychological operations.

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan was made to fight terrorism on its soil, then accused of harboring terrorists in safe havens in FATA and aiding cross border terrorism in Afghanistan, occupied Kashmir and India, and then constantly pressed to do more. The terrorist groups in FATA, Baluchistan were funded, equipped and trained to fight and exhaust Pak security forces. MQM was funded and its militants trained in India to make Karachi lawless.

India and Afghanistan were projected as victims of terrorism and Pakistan as an incubator of terrorism. The covert war launched from Afghan soil in 2002 has incurred a loss of 60,000 fatalities, injuries to tens of thousands, destruction of property, $ 118 billion financial loss and immense social trauma.

Pakistan has come under a foreign debt of $70 billion.  

The US imposed War on Terror has heightened ethnicity, sectarianism, extremism, provincialism, political instability, economic fragility and moral degeneration of society as a whole.

As a result of these frailties, Pakistan which is a nuclear power with robust armed forces that are second to none has abundant resources and resilient manpower, it has become vulnerable to foreign coercion, manipulation, and aggression.

Of all the crisis faced by Pakistan in its 70 years history, the present one is perhaps the most dangerous, both in terms of its nature and its possible consequences. Without a doubt, Pakistan is in the vortex of grave dangers and the country today stands at the cusp of survival and disaster. The Titans that have marked Pakistan as a target are impatient to fragment it. 

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy

Having given the background and overall geopolitical environment, I shall now discuss the five stages through which Pakistan’s foreign policy has moved forward to confront multiple challenges.

Quaid-e-Azam MA Jinnah had spelled out Pakistan’s foreign policy soon after the birth of Pakistan in these words:

 “Our objective should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbors and with world at large. We have no aggressive designs against any one. We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world.” 

Our foreign policy is one of the friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair-play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter.” 
Pakistan opened diplomatic relations with all the countries of the world except Israel owing to Palestinian dispute.  Successive regimes made concerted efforts to normalize relations with India but failed because of unresolved Kashmir dispute and India not reconciling to the existence of Pakistan. In its desire to become the unchallenged big power of South Asia, India whipped up a frenzy against all its neighbors. It applied multiple pressures on Pakistan and went to war thrice so as to force Pakistan to accept its hegemony and become its vassal state.

Pakistan in search of security and recognition

Pakistan started its journey as a nonaligned nation and remained the member of Non-Aligned Movement from 1947 till 1954. In the first 15 years of Pakistan’s life, the founding leaders remained deeply engrossed in establishing credentials of Pakistan’s statehood in the face of massive propaganda of India that Pakistan was a monstrosity. It was described as a transient phenomenon and Indian economic wizards had given six months life to Pakistan. International recognition was sought and obtained in those agonizing years. 

In its formative years, Pakistan attached importance to relations with Muslim countries and championed Muslim causes. Its efforts to build Muslim unity couldn’t make any headway. It cultivated special ties with Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan joined Western pacts

Aggressive posturing of India, its expansionist designs and intentions to absorb Kashmir, together with Afghanistan’s enmity, former USSR’s heavy tilt towards India, deepening economic crisis in early 1950s, sense of isolation, and the UN and Commonwealth failing to resolve the Kashmir dispute were some of the reasons which impelled Pakistan to join the US created SEATO and Baghdad Pact/CENTO in 1954/55. Thereon, its foreign policy was governed by the US interests.

Pakistan became part of the US defensive arc stretching to Iran and Turkey to contain the spread of communism in South Asia and the Middle East. Pakistan did so despite the fact that it had no direct clash with USSR, and had to pay a heavy price for it. When Pakistan acted as a conduit in 1971 to bring China closer to the USA, it further antagonized Moscow and it decided to teach Pakistan a lesson.

Alignment with the USA however, helped Pakistan in improving its economy and defense capability phenomenally during the 10-year Ayub’s golden era.

Tilt towards China

After the Indo-Sino border clash in 1962, in the wake of Moscow, Washington and the West providing arms to India at the cost of disturbing the regional military balance, Ayub Khan started tilting towards China and Russia. This move was seen as an act of defiance by the USA and it decided to penalize him. The US discriminatory attitude was discernible in the 1965 War with India when it stopped extending economic and military assistance including the supply of spare parts, whereas Russia kept supplying arms to India.

It is believed that both ZA Bhutto and Sheikh Mujib were cultivated to trigger agitations in both the wings to bring down Ayub regime and then pave the way for the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971.

Southwestern Asian Identity and policy of Bilateralism

After the 1971 tragedy, ZA Bhutto scrapped SEATO pact and membership of Commonwealth stating that those had proved worthless. He then tried to carve out Southwest Asian identity so as to draw economic strength and security from oil rich Arab States. This tilt towards the Gulf States brought in financial bonanza and job opportunities for Pakistan in the 1970s and also gave an opportunity to Pak military to make inroads into the GCC States. Saudi Arabia never hesitated to extend financial support to Pakistan in its testing times.

Another change in Pakistan’s foreign policy was affected by the Simla agreement in 1972 which led to the policy of bilateralism and non-alignment. Ceasefire line in Kashmir was renamed as LoC and Kashmir issue put on the back burner. India however, maintained its belligerent policy and carried out the nuclear test at Pokhran in August 1974, which impelled ZA Bhutto to go nuclear.

Afghan war (1980-1989)

Pakistan-US relations nosedived when Pakistan under Gen Ziaul Haq was put under sanctions in April 1979 by Carter regime on account of suspicion that it was pursuing nuclear program covertly. However, the Afghan war in the 1980s once again made Pakistan a close ally of USA and was bestowed with $3.5 billion assistance and F-16 jets.

Pakistan had to face Russo-Afghan-India nexus and Al-Zulfiqar terrorism (militant wing of PPP). The Afghan war brought Pakistan coolness in Pak-Iran relations but brought Afghanistan under Mujahideen very close to Pakistan. Both talked of providing strategic depth to each other.

Pakistan’s challenges in Post-cold war era

After the breakup of USSR in 1991 and end of Cold War era, Pakistan was faced with multiple foreign policy issues. The US abandoned Pakistan, imposed sanctions on it under Pressler Amendment and befriended India.

Pakistan was up against Indo-US-Israeli nexus geared toward destroying Kahuta plant.

The other issue was the fallout effects of the Afghan war in the form of Kalashnikov and drug cultures, the load of 3.5 million refugees, the radicalization of the society and sectarianism fomented by Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The other was the armed uprising in occupied Kashmir which forced India to pump in 750,000 security forces to quell the insurgency and to propagate that Pakistan was abetting it.

Pakistan had to bear with the domino effect of Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988).

And lastly, nuclear explosions by the two arch rivals in May 1998. Pakistan’s external climbed up. These challenges made the democratic era weak and uninspiring. Despite being repeatedly betrayed, Pakistan didn’t deem it fit to diversify its foreign policy and kept its hopes alive to get into the good books of USA.

Impact of 9/11

9/11 changed the global politics and Pakistan was once again befriended by the USA and made a coalition partner to fight the global war on terror as a frontline state. Pakistan for a second time shifted all its eggs in the basket of USA.

Between 2004 and 2008, Indo-Pak relations improved as a result of the peace treaty and resumption of dialogue, giving rise to optimism that core disputes will be resolved. Euphoria died down after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 when India blamed Pakistan. Indo-Pak relations have hit rock bottom after Modi led BJP regime espousing Hindutva came to power in June 2014.

Ongoing fast changing global dynamics and ever growing strategic partnership between USA and India has impelled Pakistan policy makers to revisit the foreign policy and suitably modify it to meet the future challenges.

Pakistan’s current challenges

India has not reconciled to the existence of Pakistan and strives to reduce it to the status of a Satellite State.

India is a strategic partner of the US, Israel, Afghanistan and is the darling of the west. The trio is pursuing common objective of destroying Pakistan.

India is making concerted efforts to destabilize Pakistan through covert war, encircle Pakistan by consolidating its presence in Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics (CARs), building North-South Corridor linking Mumbai with Bandar Abbas; and connecting Chabahar with Afghanistan-CARs.

India is working hard to isolate Pakistan by tarnishing its image and spoiling its relations with Afghanistan, Iran, Gulf States and the US.

Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute but India stubbornly maintains that it is its integral part well knowing that the Kashmiris hate Indians and want freedom at all cost.

To keep Pakistan on the defensive and force it to forget Kashmir, India is playing terrorism card, Baluchistan and Sindh cards, and water terrorism to bend Pakistan on its knees.

India’s Cold Start doctrine is aimed at offsetting Pakistan’s strategic nuclear doctrine and executing it at a time when the bulk of Pak forces had got pinned down in designated restive areas.

The upturn of Pakistan’s sunk economy and its image, control over energy crisis and terrorism coupled with development works and fast progressing CPEC have increased the anxieties of India. To give vent to its frustrations, it is carrying out unprovoked firing across the LoC and working boundary in Kashmir relentlessly.

For all practical purposes, Pakistan has fallen from the grace of USA and time is not far when it will be once again be ditched and put under harsh sanctions.

Indo-US-Israel agenda of disabling Pakistan’s nuclear program, or as a minimum curtailing its minimum deterrence capability remain unchanged.

Afghanistan under Hamid Karzai remained aligned with India and hostile to Pakistan. Afghan Unity government under Ghani-Abdullah is far worse.

Pak-Iran relations are frosty and practically, Iran is more close to India and Afghanistan.

Net outcome in 2017

Pakistan foreign policy makers are faced with perpetually hostile India, near hostile Afghanistan, and the changed attitude of the US. Washington has callously whipped Pakistan under its ‘do more’ policy and is now hurling warnings. It’s heavy tilt towards India is a matter of anxiety for Pakistan.

Iran nurtures grouses on account of Pakistan’s closeness with Saudi Arabia, and for sending Gen Raheel to Riyadh to head 41-member Sunni Muslim States Alliance.

Warmth in a relationship with the GCC States has diluted because of Pakistan not agreeing to send troops to Saudi Arabia to ward off the threat from Yemen. Saudi-Qatar tiff is another challenge faced by Pakistan since it cannot afford to take sides.

Pakistan has been deliberately kept politically unstable by making it play the game of ladder and snake so that it remains economically dependent. It was pulled down whenever it grew economically strong. That is why it has been lurching from one crisis to another in its 70 years checkered history.

Pakistan can ill-afford political disharmony and disunity at this critical juncture when black clouds are hovering over its horizon.

Geopolitical realities

Pakistan is faced with multiple threats of Indo-US-Afghan covert war, India’s Cold Start Doctrine, the US Af-Pak doctrine, and Hybrid war and all these threats have now become menacing.

The threat to its security has heightened after the signing of three Indo-US defense agreements in 2016 and the US openly expressing its enmity against Pakistan and love for India.

India is getting unnerved on account of high-intensity freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir, which is slipping out of its hands and is endangering the unity of India. India has no other choice except to keep persecuting the Kashmiris ruthlessly, keep the LoC on fire and to diplomatically place Pakistan on the back foot.

Muslim Pakistan, laced with nuclear/missile power and now getting economically strong due to CPEC is unacceptable to USA, India, and Israel. The trio may go to any extent to disrupt CPEC.

Pakistan is faced with the threat of two-front war from east and west, inauspicious southwestern backyard, vulnerable seacoast, not so friendly Gulf States, together with the internal war on terror and internal war on terror

Pakistan’s viable nuclear cum missile capability deters India from waging an open war.

Nuclear factor has compelled India to resort to indirect strategy to weaken Pakistan from within through unrelenting covert war, discredit and isolate it through propaganda and diplomacy, extract its nuclear teeth clandestinely, and then apply the military instrument through Cold Start doctrine.

Having tried out all possible means short of war, the only other option left with enemies of Pakistan is to create political chaos and logjam, paralyze the government machinery and then trigger civil war as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Many are suspecting a game plan behind the current political imbroglio.

The success of $21 trillion One-Road-One-belt projects of China hinges on successful completion of CPEC. In view of China’s ambition to become leading economic power and its heavy economic stakes in CPEC, it is bound to come to the aid of Pakistan whenever its security is threatened.

Pakistan is a target and not an ally of USA. Earlier Pakistan gets out of the enchantment of USA, better it will be.

Inferences

Any expectation of goodwill and empathy from India, Afghanistan under Ghani and USA, which in pursuit of their common objectives have been inflicting tens of thousands of cuts on the body of Pakistan and its people, will be foolhardy.

The newly appointed Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in consultation with the new PM Khaqan Abbasi, CJCSC Gen Zubair Hayat, and Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa need to revisit the foreign policy at the earliest to make appropriate changes after correctly identifying friends and foes and accordingly diversifying the policy to meet the upcoming challenges.

Foreign policy instead of being defensive, apologetic and reactive, should be infused with dynamism and pro-activeness.

The change in foreign policy should not be abrupt, but gradual and orderly without violent fluctuations. The change should be akin to autumn changing into winter, or winter into spring.

While maintaining a working relationship with the USA, Pakistan should draw closer to China, Russia, Central Asia, SCO, and ASEAN.

Pakistan should work hard to bring Iran in the loop of China-Russia peace-talks initiative, possibly draw in Turkey and conjointly work to restore peace in war torn Afghanistan.

Pakistan must strive to establish a friendly regime in Kabul.

Surging Afghan Taliban and not the corrupt and inept unity government in Kabul toeing Indo-US agenda should be kept in the loop.

Pakistan should continue to play a mediatory role in the Iran-Saudi ideological rivalry and in Saudi-Qatar tiff to narrow down their differences and also allay the misperceptions of Gulf States on account of Yemen crisis. It will be unwise to call back Gen Raheel and detach Pakistan from 41-member Muslim Alliance.

CPEC should be made use of as a strong magnet by our foreign policy makers to attract as many nations from Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe to ward off Indian inspired threat of isolation.

Gwadar-Chahbahar economic rivalry should be converted into an opportunity to complement each other’s strength.

Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan. Comprehensive and pragmatic Kashmir policy should be devised to keep the cause of Kashmir alive.

Conclusion. While many developing countries have raced ahead, Pakistan is still struggling and has neither become an Asian tiger or a secure country. Political parties are behaving irresponsibly and are advised to shun politics of agitation and division and promote the concept of “Unity in Diversity”. Strong and united home front is the best defense against internal and external challenges.

 

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defense and security analyst, columnist, author of five books. He is Director Measac Research Centre, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Editor-in-chief “Better Morrow’ magazine, editor of website group ‘The Patriots’. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

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Video Confession of Indian Spy Gulbhushan Yadav

 

Video Confession of Indian Spy Gulbhushan Yadav

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISLAMABAD: The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released on Tuesday a confessional video statement of Indian spy agent Kulbushan Jadhav admitting to foment terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi.

He was arrested red-handed by law-enforcement agencies in the first week of the current month while infiltrating into Pakistan from the Saravan border area of Balochistan with Iran.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following is the full text of his voluntary confession shown at a press conference jointly addressed by Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid and ISPR Director General Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa at the Press Information Department.

“My name is Commander Kulbushan Jadhav and I am the serving officer of Indian Navy. I am from the cadre of the engineering department of Indian Navy and my cover name was Hussein Mubarak Patel, which I had taken for doing some intelligence gathering for Indian agencies.”

“I joined the National Defence Academy in 1987 and subsequently joined Indian Navy in Jan 1991 and subsequently served in the Indian Navy till around December 2001 when the Parliament attack occurred and that is when I started contributing my services towards gathering of information and intelligence within India.”

“I live in the city of Mumbai in India. I am still the serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement by 2022 as a commissioned officer in Indian Navy after having completed 14 years of service by 2002.”

“I commenced intelligence operation in 2003 and established a small business in Chabahar in Iran as I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004 and having done some basic assignments within India for RAW.”

“I was picked up by RAW in 2013 end. Ever since I have been directing various activities in Balochistan and Karachi at the behest of RAW and deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi, I was basically the man for Mr Ani Kumar Gupta who is the joint secretary of RAW and his contacts in Pakistan especially in Balochistan Student Organisation.”

“My purpose was to hold meetings with Baloch insurgents and carry out activities with their collaboration.”

“These activities have been of criminal nature, leading to the killing of or maiming of Pakistani citizens.”

“I realize during this process that RAW is involved in some activities related to the Baloch liberation movement within Pakistan and the region around it.”

“There are finances which are fed into the Baloch movement through various contacts or various ways and means into the Baloch liberation (movement) and various activities of the Baloch liberation and RAW handlers go towards activities which are criminal, which are anti-national, which can lead to maiming or killing of people within Pakistan and mostly these activities were centred around of what I have knowledge is of ports of Gwadar, Pasni Jewani and various other installations, which are around the coast damaging various other installations, which are in Balochistan.

“So the activity seems to be evolving and trying to create a criminal sort of mindset within the Baloch liberation which leads to instability within Pakistan. In my pursuit towards achieving the set targets by my handlers in RAW, I was trying to cross over into Pakistan from the Saravan border in Iran on March 3, 2016, and was apprehended by Pakistani authorities while on the Pakistani side and the main aim of this crossing over into Pakistan was to hold (a) meeting with Baloch separatists in Balochistan for carrying out various activities, which they were supposed to undertake and carrying backwards the messages which had to deliver to Indian agencies.”

“The main issues regarding this were that they were planning to conduct some operations within the next immediate (near) future so that was to be discussed mainly and that was the main aim of trying to coming into Pakistan.”

“So that moment I realised that my intelligence operations have been compromised on my being detained in Pakistan, I revealed that I am an Indian naval officer, and it is on mentioning that I am Indian naval officer, the total perception of the establishment of the Pakistani side changed and they treated me very honourably and they did utmost respect and due regards and have handled me subsequently on a more professional and proper courteous way and they have handled me in a way that befits that of an officer and once I realised that I have been compromised in my process of intelligence operations, I decided to just end the mess I have landed myself in and just wanted to subsequently move on and cooperate with the authorities in removing complications which I have landed myself and my family members into, and whatever I am stating just now, it is the truth and it is not under any duress or pressure. I am doing it totally out of my own desire to mention and come clean out of this entire process which I have gone through last 14 years.”

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Indian RAW agent Kulbushan Jadhav sentenced to death

Indian RAW agent Kulbushan Jadhav sentenced to death

 

 

RAWALPINDI: Indian RAW Agent Kulbushan Jadhav who was arrested from Balochistan on espionage charges, has been sentenced to death through a Field General Court Martial, the ISPR said Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has confirmed death sentence awarded by the FGCM under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA).

According to an ISPR press release, Kulbushan Sundir Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016, through a Counter-Intelligence Operation from Mashkel area of Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage actives in Pakistan.

Jadhav was believed to be an on-duty officer for the Indian Navy.

“The spy has been tried through Field General Court-martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded death sentence. Today, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa has confirmed death sentence awarded by FGCM.

“RAW agent Commander Kulbushan Jadhav was tired under GGCM under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of official Secret Act of 1923.”

“The FGCM found Jadhav guilty of all charges. He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by RAQ to plan, coordinate and organize espionage/sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi,” said the press release.

 

Pakistan sentences Indian spy Kulbushan Yadav to death

Reference:By News Desk
Published: April 10, 2017

Pakistan on Monday sentenced Indian spy Kalbushan Yadav to death.

“Indian RAW Agent / Naval officer 41558Z Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a Counter Intelligence Operation from Mashkel, Balochistan, for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

“The spy has been tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded death sentence. Today COAS, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has confirmed his death sentence awarded by FGCM.

Analysis: Kulbhushan Yadav’s RAW move

Yadav was tried by FGCM under section 59 of PAA 1952 and Section 3 of official Secret Act of 1923. FGCM found Yadhav guilty of all the charges, the statement added.

Further, Yadav confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to plan, coordinate and organise espionage/ sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.
The accused was provided with defending officer as per legal provisions.

Army chief vows to pursue Kulbhushancase to finish

Yadav, an Indian Navy commander, and agent of the RAW, was arrested in a raid near the Pak-Afghan border town of Chaman in March last year. He was earlier posted at Chabahar port in southeastern Iran where he lived with his wife and two children and possessed a genuine Indian passport but with a fake name, Hussein Mubarak Patel.

The bilateral dialogue process between Islamabad and New Delhi was suspended after Yadav’s arrest.  Yadav, in a video confession circulated shortly after his arrest, admitted to carrying out subversive activities inside Pakistan for India’s premier intelligence agency.

Peace process with India seemingly suspended after Yadav’s arrest

India had sought consular access to Yadav, however, Pakistan refused its request.

Pakistan believes that India is using covert means to foment violence in the country with an aim to undermine the multi billion dollar ‘one belt, one road’ initiative of China. The recent surge in terrorist attacks in the country has once again brought the India intelligence agencies’ role in backing the terrorism in Pakistan to the spotlight.

Security officials claim that RAW was using certain militant outfits operating out of Afghanistan to carry out terrorist attacks in the country. The current Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is considered to be the architect of this policy called ‘offensive-defensive’ that advocates a policy of supporting proxies to create trouble inside Pakistan.

 

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Importance of the Baloch Cultural Day By Sajjad Shaukat

Importance of the Baloch Cultural Day

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year on March 2, Baloch Cultural Day is being celebrated with the aim to highlight and promote the diversified and rich Balochi culture. The importance of this very day could be judged from the fact that it is being commemorated not only in various districts of the Balochistan province but also throughout the country besides in Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai, Muscat, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and India. The Visionary Group of Gwadar, involved in developing, construction and social services in Balochistan, has taken the initiative of highlighting and promoting Balochi culture and language beyond the borders of Pakistan.

 

Various shows including musical programmes are being organized in various cities and towns of
Balochistan, Sindh and Balochi speaking districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

 

On the occasion, various processions of youth, students and people from all walks of life would be taken out from various parts of the provincial capital of Balochistan with the distinctive Balochi dress, turban, and embroidered dresses.

 

A celebration of the said event started during 2011. Baloch community in Pakistan and abroad organizes various programmes to highlight different shades of Baloch culture/traditions. Appreciable media coverage of various programmes also gets coverage in local and domestic media.

 

The strong traditions and cultural values are important to Baloch people and have enabled them to keep their distinctive ancient cultural identity and way of life with little change to this day.

 

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9 hours ago
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 The culture and traditions of the Baloch have historically been passed down from mother to daughter and from father to son. Baloch people have preserved their traditional dress with little change over the centuries. The Baloch men wear long shirts with long sleeves and loose pants. The dress is occasionally accompanied by a pagh (turban) or a hat on their heads.

 

Last year, various musical, cultural and literary ceremonies were held in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan in connection with the Baloch Culture Day—ceremonies were also organized in other countries where Balochs are residing, including Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai, Muscat, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and India. In Quetta, a huge ceremony to mark Baloch Culture Day was held at Balochistan Arts Council which was attended by hundreds of people, including women and children dressed in the typical Balochi dress. Cultural and musical shows were held at Arts Council in which youngsters and children exhibited their talent by singing Balochi songs and performing a Balochi dance. “This is a big day for us. We are excited and proud of our culture and tradition which teach us, love, tolerance, and bravery”, said Ibrahim Rakhshani, a 28-year-old young man wearing a Balochi turban and trouser with typical Balochi shoes. Yar Muhammad Badini, a Baloch intellectual and researcher says, Balochi literature is the best way to understand Baloch people and their culture. “Balochi culture and language have its own uniqueness and richness which needs to be promoted in the country,” he stressed, adding, that Baloch people besides in Pakistan were also residing in different other countries particularly in Iran, Afghanistan, Oman, East Africa and Turkmenistan. “Baloch woman dress is also recognized as national woman dress of Oman,” he added. However, he does not seem satisfied with the efforts of the government to promote Balochi language and culture in the country. “Balochi language is one of those languages which is struggling hard for its survival and needs the immediate focus of government,” he added. Meanwhile, Baloch Culture Day was also celebrated in other towns of Balochistan, including Nushki, Turbat, Gwadar, Mastung, Chagai, Sibi, Naseerabad and Jaffarabad where different musical and cultural shows were organized to mark.

 

During this very day, it is also of particular attention that since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province, peace has been restored in the province.

But, it is the misfortune of Pakistan that foreign-based entities have again started terror attacks in the country, especially Balochistan. In this regard, at least 88 people were martyred and 343 were injured on February 16, this year when a suicide bomber attacked the crowded Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Sindh province of Pakistan. 

 

At least 13 people were killed on February 13, 2016, when a suicide bomber struck outside the Punjab Assembly on the Mall Road in the eastern city of Lahore during a peaceful protest of the chemists and pharmacists against a new law.

 

The affiliated faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA) took responsibility for the deadly suicide bombing in Lahore.

 

While, terror attack in Lahore coincided with the incident in Quetta-the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, where at least one policeman was killed and five people were injured on February 13, 2017, in an explosion occurred on Sariab road.

 

At least 65 people were killed when a blast struck at the shrine of the Sufi saint Shah Noorani in Balochistan’s Hub Tehsil on November 12, 2016. Terrorist organization, the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

Besides other terror attacks of the recent past, earlier, the affiliated group of the TTP, TTP-JA took responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing in Quetta, which killed at least 74 people on August 8, 2016, in an assault at the government-run Civil Hospital.

 

In this respect, a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that senior Afghan diplomats were summoned to the General Headquarters (Of army) over the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Pakistan and asked to ensure that immediate action was taken against the Pakistani terrorists living in safe havens in their country.

 

The army, which took the lead in dealing with Afghanistan over the terrorist sanctuaries there, had announced the closure of the border crossings with Afghanistan citing security reasons.

 

According to the statement of the DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor, on February 17, 2017, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa appealed to the nation to stay calm by saying, “our security forces shall not allow hostile powers to succeed…each drop of nation’s blood shall be avenged and avenged immediately…no more restraint for anyone.”Pakistanis do not forgive or forget, they get EVEN.

 

Gen. Javed Bajwa had called Gen John Nicholson, commander of the US’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan through a telephone call to protest continued acts of terrorism in Pakistan perpetrated from Afghanistan, saying that they were testing Pakistan’s policy of cross-border restraint.

 

Gen. Bajwa told Gen. Nicholson that recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan had been claimed by terrorist organizations whose leadership is hiding in Afghanistan, and asked him to play his role in “disconnecting this planning, direction, coordination and financial support”.

 

In a terse message, during the conversation with Nicholson, Gen. Bajwa also informed him of the list of 76 “most wanted” terrorists handed over to Afghan authorities earlier—operating from Afghan territory or hand them over to Pakistan for trying them over their involvement in terrorism.

 

As regards the terror assault on the Police Training College in Quetta, IG FC Major General Sher Afgan had informed the press that the attackers acted on directions from Afghanistan and the initial investigation suggested that the terrorists were affiliated with the outlawed Lashkar-e- Jhangvi Al Ali militant group. He elaborated, “We came to know from the communication intercepts that there were three militants who were getting instructions from Afghanistan.”

 

Notably, as part of the dual strategy, CIA, RAW, and Mossad are in connivance with the Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) and other terrorist groups. With the latest capture of six NDS supported terrorists in Balochistan, the number of NDS backed terrorists arrested and killed by Pakistani intelligence agencies has crossed over 126. These external secret agencies are particularly supporting the TTP which is hiding in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan. Reportedly, Mullah Fazlullah led TTP was being prepared to carry out a fresh wave of terror activities inside Pakistan, as the latter has become the center of the Great Game owing to the ideal location of Balochistan.

 

It is of particular attention that arrest of the Indian spy Kulbushan Yadav in Balochistan has exposed Indian undeclared war against Pakistan. While addressing a joint press conference with the then Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rasheeda and former Director General of ISPR Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa said on March 29, 2016, “Kulbushan Yadav’s arrest is a rare case that does not happen very often.” He disclosed that Yadav was an active officer of the Indian Navy prior to his joining RAW. He also served as a scrap dealer and had a jewelry business in Chahbahar, Iran, after he joined RAW in 2013.

 

A video was also shown during the press conference in which Yadav confessed that he spied for India. Yadav admitted that he was assigned with the task to create unrest in Karachi and Balochistan by stating, “I supported the individuals who worked to destabilize Pakistan…I promoted the criminal mindset that was there in Balochistan.” Another task assigned to him was to target the Gwadar Port. Yadav also confessed—funding Baloch separatists along with other terrorists. During the investigation, RAW agent Yadav Gulbhushan admitted that during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s security agencies uncovered another ring of Indian spies in the country, working as under covert agents, found involved in subversive activities to destabilize Pakistan. In this connection, on November 2, last year, Islamabad disclosed that five Indian diplomats who were serving at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad found to be part of the RAW spy network and were involved in subversive activities by facilitating and funding terrorism. They were declared as persona non grata and expelled from the country. 

 

Undoubtedly, almost all the terrorists or terrorist groups and insurgency in Pakistan, especially Balochistan have their connection in Afghanistan. The porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is frequently used by human and drug traffickers, criminals and terrorists. Their easy access through unguarded porous border provides an opportunity to miscreants to cause havoc inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. For the effective counter-terrorism measures strong border, control management is vital at Pak-Afghan border. But, Afghan rulers are using delaying tactics in this respect.

 

Taking cognizance of the anti-Pakistan intruders, Pakistan’s army had decided to build a fence along the border and to control the border crossings. The strategic project of the 1,100-kilometre-long trench with the cost of Rs14 billion which was initiated along Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan by Frontier Corps in 2013 has been completed last year. In the next phase, the project will be extended to the entire long border with Afghanistan which had opposed this plan.

While, from time to time, controversy arises between Afghanistan and Pakistan when Afghan officials refused to recognize the Durand Line which is the 2640 kilometer long and porous border, situated between both the countries.

 

During his visit to Quetta, the former Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif on April 15, 15 warned foreign forces and spy agencies against destabilizing Pakistan by supporting insurgents in Balochistan. Gen. Raheel elaborated, “Army will continue supporting the Balochistan government till terrorism is wiped out…those found involved in funding and facilitating terrorists will be dealt with iron hands.”

 

Now, the Baloch people know about a foreign conspiracy against Balochistan. A majority of the Baloch persons have understood that Balochistan’s mineral resources and geo-strategic location with deep Gwadar seaport, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia have further annoyed the US and India because China has already invested billions of dollars in developing this seaport. It is due to multiple strategic designs that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008 seeks to dismember both Pakistan and Iran.

 

They are well aware of the fact that with the tactical support of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, Indian RAW has continuously been assisting the Baloch separatist groups and Baloch Sub Nationalists to conduct subversive acts—and using terrorist elements in Balochistan to threaten Chinese interest in the development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. And, Afghanistan has become a hub from where external secret agencies have been funding and arranging subversive activities in other parts of Pakistan—particulrly in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups at the cost of Pakistan, China and Iran. In the past few years, they abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan.

 

It is mentionable that as a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province. These elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation and have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by foreign forces which are destabilizing Pakistan by supporting anti-state elements in Balochistan.

 

Notably, in the recent years, Pak Army has made strenuous efforts to develop the infrastructure in Balochistan by providing the people employment opportunities to bring the Balochis in the mainstream of the country. For this purpose, the army has not only established schools and colleges in Balochistan but also set up technical and industrial institutes in the province, besides giving military training to the youth.

 

Various development projects and progressive works, undertaken by Army in Balochistan are Military College SUI Balochistan, Balochistan Public School at SUI, Quetta Institute of Medical Sciences, Gwadar Institute of Technology, Chamalang Beneficiary Education Program, Balochistan Institute of Technical Education, Army Institute of Mineralogy, Assistance to Ministry of Education Balochistan, Baloch Youth Enrollment in Pakistan Army, Dera Bugti Development Projects, Development Projects Kohlu and Nasirabad Division, and Pakistan Army Assistance in Development of Road Networks including Assistance to Ministry of Education Balochistan, Provision of Free Gas & Water, Construction of 50 Bed Hospital at SUI, Chamalang, Musa Khel & Dukki Coal Mines, KASSA Hill Marble Project, Dates Farming at Panjgur, Garrison & Musa Sports Complex, Free Medical Camps, Earthquake 2008 and Pak Army Relief & Rehabilitation Efforts, Flood 2010 and Pak Army Relief & Rehabilitation Efforts, and many other similar projects and provision of services.

 

Nevertheless, army’s positive steps will increase the income of the Baloch youth and reduce their dependence on sardars who are working on the agenda of some foreign powers. Now patriot Balochis have come to know that Pak Army is neither mercenary nor occupying force; while external-backed insurgency has hampered the growth and development of the province. They also know that the province lacked engineers and skilled workers. In this respect, measures of Pak Army have been ensuring local enterprise, local manpower and local skill among the Balochis.

 

In 2011, I had visited Balochistan along with other journalists. I saw a number of institutes, set up by the army, and these were providing especially technical training to thousands of Balochis. I had also a trip to far-flung areas of the province and witnessed various mega projects and mineral sites. I was greatly surprised that no military operation is going on in Balochistan as propagated by the foreign elements. People told me that some subversive events are taking place by the minority separatist elements so as to create instability in the province.

No doubt, army’s progressive role through numerous schemes and projects for the development of Balochistan will change the fortune of the Baloch people very soon, which is likely to castigate the foreign conspiracy against the province.

 

It is worth mentioning that Balochistan had been hit in the past by some phenomenally devastating calamities like floods of 1950, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1992, 2000, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the drought of 2000 and cyclone of 2007. The real saviors of people of Balochistan were Armed Forces and FC which quickly responded to the call of duty by extending helping hand to fellow countrymen, conducted exceptionally dangerous rescue missions and provided relief to the victims. Similarly, on September 24, 2013, Awaran district of Balochistan was hit by an earthquake. Pakistan Army and FC promptly acted as asked for by the government. Although FC personnel located in the area were equally struck by the earthquake, yet they were the first ones to respond to the situation. And the Army units hastily moved from Khuzdar and Karachi.

 

Nonetheless, the every Pakistani must celebrate the Baloch Culture Day with full zeal by giving importance to the Balochi traditions.  The occasion must be utilized by highlighting positive developments taking place in Balochistan as a result of a harmonious relationship between political and military authorities vis-à-vis Baloch culture traditions.

 

 

 

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