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Archive for June, 2016

Pakistan and Syria:Centers of the Great Game

                                       Pakistan and Syria: Centers of the Great Game

                                                         By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Hans J. Morgenthau opines, “The true nature of the policy is concealed by ideological justifications and rationalization. Therefore, the ideology provides a mask behind which the ulterior motives are concealed…there is a close relationship between interest and ideology…the annexation of the backward states by Great Britain and France as their colonies was described as educating, civilizing and humanitarian mission, a sort of white man’s burden, while the real objective was economic exploitation of the former. Annexation was an act of imperialism. But to disguise it humanitarian ideology was advanced…one of the significant aspects of ideology is that it can be described as a cloak for real foreign policy objective.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palmer and Perkins write, “Just as power became the instrument of ambitious nationalism and state’s leaders, it has now become the tool of ideologies…ideologies, in fact, are futile source of international conflict…they can be used to obscure the real facts of a situation or the real motives of ambitious leaders.”

 

Karl Mannheim also uses ideology in this sense by saying, “In this form the ideas are more or less conscious disguise of the real nature of a situation.”

 

Hitler and the Nazi Party had come to power with the avowed purpose of conquering colonies and foreign lands for the Germans. They must have a “living space”-‘Lebensraum’ as the Nazis called it for the “living surplus German population and find raw materials and markets for German industrial goods”.

 

Religious fervour inspired by ‘Hitlerite’ Germany, which was supported by the country’s industrial and financial magnates, wanted to establish its domination first over Europe and then over the entire world.

 

Similarly, after the 9/11 tragedy, by using the ideologies of colonialism and neo-imperialism (Indirect control), the US-led Western allies attacked and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, while compelling other Muslim countries and Pakistan to join Bush’s phony war on terror. Under the cover of freedom and democracy, the aim of democratizing Afghanistan and the Middle East was propagated by the United States. But, the real motive behind was to get control over the gas and oil of Central Asia, the Caspian Basin, Iraq and other countries of the Middle East. The pretexts of Osama Bin Laden and Weapons of Mass Destruction were also used in case of Afghanistan and Iraq respectively with a view to rationalizing the objective. While Bin Laden had denied his involvement in the 9/11 catastrophe and no WMDs were found in Iraq.

 

Influenced by the Zionist planners, Bush’s family, some neoconservatives and the Jews who are well connected to oil and energy companies wanted to enhance their business interests in the pretext of rooting out Islamic militants or terrorism. Under the mask of the so-called war on terror, they also planned to destabilize the Muslim countries to obtain the sinister designs of Israel.

 

When during the regime of the President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan initiated the construction of Gwadar deep-seaport in Balochistan province in March 2002 with Chinese assistance, sirens went off in the capitals of some European countries, especially the US, India and Israel which took it as a threat to their global and regional plans.

 

Located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, Balochistan’s Gwadar seaport is close to the Strait of Hormuz from where more than 17 million barrels of oil passes every day. Its ideal location among South Asia, the oil-rich Middle East, and oil and gas-resourced Central Asia has further increased its strategic significance. Besides, Balochistan’s abundant mineral resources irritate the eyes of the US, India and Israel which intend to destabilize Pakistan for their collective aims, as the latter is also the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. However, development in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan has shifted the gravity of the Great Game of Central Asia to Pakistan.

 

In fact, Pakistan considers that peace in Afghanistan is a guarantee of peace in Pakistan, therefore, has been striving for the same in utter sincerity. Enemies of Afghanistan and Pakistan—India and the US do not intend to see the peace and prosperity in the region. Sadly, Islamabad’s dominant role in Afghanistan’s peace process under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) has been sabotaged by the ill-wishers. Killing of the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur by the CIA-operated drone attack in Balochistan has badly derailed Afghan dialogue process and violence is likely to surge in Afghanistan. It seems that a dual game is on to pressurize Pakistan to bring Afghan Taliban either for the dialogue or to take action against them. US, India and Israel have built a hostile nexus for the Great Game and are pressurizing Pakistan by limiting its choices.

 

In this regard, trust deficit has deepened between Pakistan and the America. Therefore, on June 10, this year, a high-level delegation of the US visited Islamabad and met Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif and Adviser to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Adviser separately.

 

During the meeting, expressing his serious concern on the US drone strike in Balochistan as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, Gen. Raheel Sharif highlighted as to how it had impacted the mutual trust and was counterproductive in consolidating the gains of Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists. He elaborated, “All stakeholders need to understand Pakistan’s challenges-inter-tribal linkages and decades-old presence of over three million refugees—blaming Pakistan for instability in Afghanistan is unfortunate—target TTP [Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan] and its chief Mullah Fazlullah in their bases in Afghanistan— Indian RAW and NDS [Afghan National Directorate of Security] are fomenting terrorism in Pakistan.”

 

Meanwhile, on June 12, 2016, Afghan security forces started unprovoked firing at Torkham border crossing as part of the double game of the anti-Pakistan entities.

 

However, RAW-Mossad-CIA backed, the Afghan NDS is inflicting harm to Pakistan. With latest capture of six NDS supported terrorists in Balochistan, the number of NDS assisted terrorists arrested and killed by Pakistani Intelligence agencies has crossed over 126. These foreign agencies are also assistine the TTP which is hiding in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan. Reportedly Mullah Fazlullah led TTP is being prepared to carry out a fresh wave of terror activities inside Pakistan, as the latter is center of the Great Game.

 

Particularly, CIA, Mossad and RAW which are well-penetrated in the ISIS and TTP are using their terrorists to destabilize Tibetan regions of China, Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan and Pakistan’s Balochistan by arranging the subversive activities. In this connection, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is their special target.

 

The long and porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is frequently used by the CIA-Mossad backed drug traffickers, criminals and terrorists to cause havoc inside Pakistan and Afghanistan.

 

It is notable that in response to the $46-billion Pak-China project of CPEC, Washington broadly supported New Delhi and Kabul, signing a deal with Iran for a transport corridor, opening up a new route to Afghanistan via the Iranian port of Chabahar. In this context, during his visit to Tehran, on May 23, 2016, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a deal to develop Iran’s Chabahar port. India will spend $500 million on the project. Chabahar—located about 1,800 kilometres south of Tehran—is more than just a port with an adjoining free trade zone. But, CPEC is much bigger and viable project then Chahbahar.

 

Notably, on June 13, 2016, a Chinese newspaper, Global Times has blamed India for damaging the prospects of Gwadar by investing in Chahbahar to isolate Pakistan; however, it will not succeed in its designs. The paper elaborated, “Pakistan’s Sindh Province saw a bomb attack against Chinese engineers and small-scale protests against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) recently. Meanwhile, the Pakistani government claimed that anti-CPEC activities by foreign forces have been busted in Baluch Province. At the Beijing Forum held in Islamabad in late May, countries including the US and Japan have shown concerns over CPEC construction and even bluntly criticized the China-Pakistan friendship. CPEC is a significant part of the Belt and Road initiative, which is not only a domestic strategy of China to open up its central and western regions, but also Pakistan’s domestic development plan as well as regional integration.”

 

Nevertheless, the establishment of CPEC between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China will connect Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing would also build an international airport at Gwadar, while the roads infrastructure in Gwadar would link the communication network of rest of the country to facilitate transportation of goods.

 

When Gwadar seaport becomes fully operational, it would connect the landlocked Central Asian states with rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans, giving China’s short and easy access to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

 

The recent India-Iran-Afghanistan agreement to develop a trade route from Chabahar to Central Asia has been portrayed by Indian commentators as having changed the historical Great Game for control of the connection between South and Central Asia through Afghanistan. But, the project will remain a dream, as with the collapse of the inter-Afghan negotiations, Afghanistan is likely to witness a further escalation of conflict and chaos. It is also due to unrest in Afghanistan that the US-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline did not start.

 

In 2009, Pakistan and Tehran had signed the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project without New Delhi, as the latter was reluctant in this context owing to its pro-US tilt. Since then, it has been named as the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project. The US had previously threatened Pakistan with sanctions, if it went ahead with the project.

 

America and Israel are seeing the Chabahar project with suspicion. To bolster its strategic contest with China and Russia, the US is moving towards a military alliance with India. America which is backing Indian hegemony in Asia, especially to counterbalance China is supplying New Delhi latest weapons, arms and aircraft. During President Barack Obama’s second visit to India, the US and India announced a breakthrough on a pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology, as agreed upon in 2008. During Indian Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to America, President Obama strongly assured him to favour India’s membership in the coming meeting of the Nuclear Supplier Group. Earlier, Washington also pressurized the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) to sign an accord of specific safeguards with India. America had already contacted the NSG to grant a waiver to India for starting civil nuclear trade on larger scale.

 

But, the US-Iran ties could again become hostile, if new sanctions are imposed by the US Congress or differences arise over Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah or Israel. Although Iran’s nuclear issue has been settled, yet Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called it American historical blunder, and is still acting upon a war-like diplomacy against Tehran. If the pro-Israeli Donald Trump becomes American president, he would thwart the US-Iran relationship to secure Israeli dominate in the Middle East.

 

Now, Islamabad which has ignored the duress of Washington is convincing Tehran to start the implementation of the IPI project. In the recent past, high officials of Iran and Pakistan have met in this respect.

 

Taking note of US anti-Pakistan schemes, besides China, Pakistan has also cultivated its relationship with the Russian Federation. In 2010, Russian President Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan’s bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which includes Russia, China and four Central Asian Republics as permanent members. Putin remarked that Pakistan was very important partner for Moscow in South Asia and the Muslim world. In various summits, the SCO leaders displayed strength against the US rising dominance in the region and military presence of NATO in Afghanistan, near Central Asia, and are moving towards security cooperation.  After participating in the Summit of the SCO in 2015, Pakistan and Iran got permanent membership of the SCO which is seen as anti-American club.

 

Nonetheless, due to Balochistan, Pakistan has become center of the Great Game. Therefore, CIA, RAW and Mossad have planned to accelerate acts of terrorism in the country.

As regards Syria, the country is another centre of the Great Game. In case, we see the resources of natural gas reserves in the whole Persian Gulf region, the motives of the CIA-led Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar in financing with billions of dollars to the opposition rebel groups, the Islamic State group (ISIS or ISIL) in Syria are to occupy the natural gas and oil of the Middle East.

 

Many analysts say that Russia supplies Europe with a quarter of the gas. America and its European allies which are now involved in the Syrian war want to end European dependence on Russia. American President Barack Obama has openly said to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.

 

According to Charis Chang, “Before the Syrian civil war, two competing pipelines put forward by Qatar and Iran aimed to transport gas to Europe through Syria…Qatar’s plans were first put forward in 2009 and involved building a pipeline from the Persian Gulf via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. It was hoped the pipeline would provide cheaper access to Europe, but Syrian President Bashar al Assad refused to give permission for the pipeline to go through his territory…failed pipeline bidder Qatar and Saudi Arabia funded anti-Assad rebel groups between 2011 and 2013.”

 

Turkey which is another NATO member and is also involved in Syrian civil war still supports the plan of the US-led Europe regarding the gas pipeline from the Middle East—Syria to Europe.

 

  1. William Engdahl writes, “In July 2011, Syria, Iran and Iraq signed a gas pipeline energy agreement…take three years to complete in the midst of the NATO-Saudi-Qatari war to remove Assad. The pipeline would run from the Iranian Port Assalouyeh in the Persian Gulf, to Damascus in Syria via Iraq territory…Lebanon’s Mediterranean port where it would be delivered to the huge EU market…the agreement would make Syria the center of assembly and production in conjunction with the reserves of Lebanon…the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline agreement ignited the full-scale Saudi and Qatari assault on Assad’s power, financing al Qaeda terrorists, recruits of Jihadist fanatics willing to kill Alawite and Shi’ite “infidels” for $100 a month and a Kalishnikov. The Washington neo-conservative war-hawks in and around the Obama White House, along with their allies in the right-wing Netanyahu government, were cheering from the bleachers as Syria went up in flames after spring 2011.”

 

Engdahl further writes, “Today the US-backed wars in Ukraine and in Syria are but two fronts in the same strategic war to cripple Russia and China and to rupture any Eurasian counter-pole to a US-controlled New World Order. In each, control of energy pipelines, this time primarily of natural gas pipelines—from Russia to the EU via Ukraine and from Iran and Syria to the EU via Syria—is the strategic goal. The true aim of the US and Israel backed ISIS is to give the pretext for bombing Assad’s vital grain silos and oil refineries to cripple the economy in preparation for a “Ghaddafi-”style elimination of Russia and China and Iran-ally Bashar al-Assad. In a narrow sense, as Washington neo-conservatives see it, who controls Syria could control the Middle East. And from Syria, gateway to Asia, he will hold the key to Russia House, as well as that of China via the Silk Road. Religious wars have historically been the most savage of all wars and this one is no exception, especially when trillions of dollars in oil and gas revenues are at stake. Why is the secret Kerry-Abdullah deal on Syria reached on September 11 stupid? Because the brilliant tacticians in Washington and Riyadh and Doha and to an extent in Ankara are unable to look at the interconnectedness of all the dis-order and destruction they foment, to look beyond their visions of control of the oil and gas flows as the basis of their illegitimate power. They are planting the seeds of their own destruction in the end.”

 

It is of particular attention that according to the retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, a memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years, starting with Iraq and moving on to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. In an interview, Clark said that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region’s vast oil and gas resources.

 

However, Russian-supported coalition and Assad’s forces have retaken several territories from the control of the rebels and the ISIS terrorists who are on flee. Recently, Russian-backed Iraqi forces have recaptured the city of Fallujah. It is due to skillful diplomacy of the President Putin that very soon, Syria will be liberated from the hold of the Israeli-led Western powers, including some Arab countries. 

 

On the other side, Pakistan’s Army and primary intelligence agency ISI are very strong, as they have almost eliminated the CIA-RAW supported TTP and ISIS terrorists in Balolchistan and other areas of the countries. They will castigate the conspiracy against Pakistan, China and Russia.

 

Although Pakistan and Syria will remain the centers of the Great Game, yet owing to a prolonged war in Afghanistan, proxy wars in Syria and other vulnerable countries like Libya, Yemen and Somalia in wake of the mounting threat of terrorism and rapid increase in the cost of these conflicts which are bringing about multiple internal problems, America and its allies will lose the Great Game.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic_pak@hotmail.com

Courtesy Veterans Today

 

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The genesis of corruption by Tahir Kamran

The genesis of corruption
Tahir Kamran

 

June 19, 2016 

Is a corruption-free Pakistan possible?

 

 

 

A few days back, an old acquaintance asked me about the future pattern of Punjab politics in the wake of a scam as big as the Panama Leaks. I told him nothing is likely to effect any change in the existing pattern of Punjab politics. Not a single parliamentarian has raised a voice or threatened to depose the current rulers because ‘the first family’ has off-shore companies and the source of capital invested is shrouded in obscurity.
Of course it is corruption. But then isn’t that the way of life in the land of the pure? If it is an art, we have perfected it; if it is a science, we have excelled in it. More worryingly, we have accorded legitimacy to corrupt practices. In fact, we celebrate both corruption and the corrupt.
In the Victorian era, man was defined as a symbol of masculinity, white (read Caucasian) and rational with values derived from the Christian faith. If we try to define Pakistani ‘man’, corruption has to be an essential trait that he is bound to carry in order to qualify as ‘man’. He also has to be yaran da yar, (friend of friends) which means a real ‘man’ shows no respect for any law or regulation when it comes to his friends, cronies or sidekicks.
Thus in our case, violating the law or even constitution for that matter symbolises how powerful someone is. For the poor, corruption may be a means of climbing the social ladder but for the rich and affluent, corruption is the means to express power.
Another acquaintance jestingly said the other day that he has tried to make a payment of a few dollars to get his name included in the list that has emerged out of Panama Leaks. I asked him why he did that, knowing he wasn’t serious. He replied that it was a sign of ‘respectability’; it becomes damn easy to marry off a daughter to a boy from a good family if you can affirm your wealth.
Historians (particularly Edward Gibbon) have inferred from the past that when wealth becomes the principal determinant of the values that society respects, the fall of that society becomes inevitable. The same happened with the Romans and they fell, never to rise again. The generation of wealth and even more so its distribution should be carried out through mutually agreed regulations, which the Romans started flouting with impunity, and hence their fall.
For the poor, corruption may be a means of climbing the social ladder but for the rich and affluent, corruption is the means to express power.
Indeed, it needs no less than a miracle for any nation/civilization to rejuvenate itself. China can be put forth as one rare example. But it too will have to go a long way to match the sole super power, USA.
Another of my friends says, “corruption and Pakistan are like two peas in a pod”. His observation seems sweeping, yet it cannot be easily denied. The first and foremost cause of corruption was embedded in the cataclysmic event of Partition. This is depicted in the relevant chapters from the works of Ilyas Chattha, Urvashi Butalia, Yasmin Khan and Vazira Zamindar. Such events as the partition of India are no less than the upheavals of history bringing about the tectonic shift in the established norms of sociology and culture.
As a consequence of an event of such magnitude, usually a break from the past (though selective) is intended which causes rupture in the centuries-old tradition. The process of evolution which is usually gradual and steady is markedly disrupted. Such disruptions tear the affected people apart from the socio-cultural norms and practices which have hitherto defined their collective ethos. Every one, in such a scenario, is running for life. En masse relocation and genocide, such as were concomitant to partition, gave a big blow to the sensibility that binds people together.
Many living the life of relative deprivation in united India saw Pakistan as a land of opportunities, and came to the newly-founded country for economic gains. In the newly established state of Pakistan, regulatory structures were not in place to check any arbitrary practice aiming to amass wealth or to grab property. Thus the people who could, did all that was possible to secure wealth. Partition catapulted many from rags to riches. These sort of sudden changes contravene the smooth and gradual process of evolution, which people find really hard to come to terms with.
Another cataclysmic event was secession of East Pakistan, which gave a big jolt to the morale of the people. The trust in the future of the country was considerably undermined, a ripe situation in which corruption could proliferate.
Unfortunately Pakistan’s politics, right from the outset, was marred by inconsistent transitions. One political order was substituted by the other, with the two having hardly anything in common. Hence, the transition was abrupt and instantaneous. Political compromises of the oddest kind were made merely for personal gains. Characters like Ghulam Muhammad, Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan did not allow institutions to germinate and blossom. The will of the people was not sought, in the first place; if and when elections were held, non-political actors wielded more power than the elected ones.
Therefore, institutions remained weak and their fate uncertain. Religious ideology was deployed for self-legitimisation with disastrous consequences. In such a scenario, when state institutions were weakened beyond measure, corruption flourished rampantly.
Such political choices made by the Pakistani elite conjured up a social fabric which was amenable to practices which were corrupt to the core. I do believe that a social movement spearheaded by the intelligentsia can stall that trend. But Pakistan’s history fails to register the existence of any social movement aimed at raising awareness among the people about such an issue of wider significance. So, thus far, there is no hope for a corruption-free Pakistan.

 

 

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Economic Hit Men- Weapon of Choice By Saeed Malik.

 

 

Economic Hit Men- Weapon of Choice 

 

By Saeed Malik.

18 June 2016

 
For about fifty years now, the weapon of choice for the world’s primary power, to bring lesser states to heel, is through economic war. And within economic war, the chief weapon of use is that of economic Hit Men, and the overt use of the army to invade countries is the weapon of the last resort.
 
The chief ally of the hit men in the country to be subverted is the corrupt leadership of that country.
 
And the methodology used by the hit men is basically to encourage the leadership of the target country to over-spend on large projects, mostly infra-structure; and get this country under debt to the extent, where it no longer has the capacity to repay the same.
 
This is the time at which the principal power which has either advanced the major portion of the loans, or facilitated the same, has many options open to it to demand its pound of flesh.
 
Many countries in the world, at one time or another, have been subverted in this manner.
 
This is exactly where Pakistan will be standing in two years from today when the repayment of our loans becomes due, without us having the means to repay the same.
 
This is not a matter of speculation. It is purely a mathematical equation. We know how much we will have to pay back; we can also calculate from available figures, Pakistan’s capacity to pay back. According to most projections, the earnings of the country will fall short of the payments due.
 
 In other words Pakistan will be bankrupt.
 
We should be under no illusion that when Pakistan cannot repay its loans, it will not be treated kindly by the creditors.
 
It can quite easily be predicted, what Pakistan will then be forced to give in to the demands of the creditors, or face economic sanctions, which it will not be able to withstand for more than six months to a year.
 
What we will have to give up is:
 
a. Our nuclear assets. If the U.S and some of its allies could contemplate going to war against Iran, whose bomb lay some years in the future, it will be a fool who thinks that our nuclear assets and capacity will not be the first target of our creditors.
 
b. The second target will be our China corridor. The pivot to China is the most momentous shift in U.S defense policy since WW2, whereby priority has been shifted from the defense of Europe to the containment of China. The China corridor will serve to loosen the noose around China’s neck. If any one thinks that Pakistan will be allowed to do this, he must be stupid. And if any one else thinks that China will go to war with the U.S over CPEC, he should consider himself twice as stupid.
 
c. Baluchistan, will be severed from Pakistan. The reasons for this are many, but the primary reason is that India has to be built up as a credible counter weight to China. This cannot happen till such time Pakistan has the capacity to keep India distracted from the role crafted for it. So it will suit the powers that be, that Pakistan be left a rump state.
Our political leadership is not bothered about this scenario, because it is a willing tool of the economic hit men in partnership with whom Pakistan is being pushed to the edge.
 
The real tragedy however is that our Generals, the only ones with the capacity to save us from our fate, are adamantly refusing to see the end game.  
 
What makes this tragedy greater is that our Generals are failing to appreciate this not because they they do not have it in their heads to do so, but because their hearts seem to have given way when the heart was most needed.
 
For eight years now they have seen death gather at the gates of their country, and having the power to move on behalf of their country, they have preferred to take the veil. They have allowed their country to resemble a badly managed brothel, rather than move and cut short its agony and disgrace.
 
I am posting a talk by John Perkins in three parts. I urge you all to see it. But those of you who may be averse to seeing long video talks, should at the very least try and see the first link from minute 5.30 to minute 8.30—just three minutes.
 
And for God’s sake, instead of diffusing your energies in all directions, ask about our national debt and its  implications–ask every General in uniform that you know. Ask because it  is teetering at the edge, and for us there is no tomorrow.
 
 

 

 
 
Preview YouTube video Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

 
 

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
 
 

Preview YouTube video Confessions of an Economic Hit Man – Part 2/3

 
 

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man – Part 2/3
 
 

Preview YouTube video Confessions of an Economic Hit Man – Part 3/3

 
 

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man – Part 3/3
 
 

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Confucious Institute: A Symbol of Pak-China Friendship

 
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
wa salli `ala nabiyyihi Muhammadin wa `ala aalihi wa saahbihi ajmaa`een

Hadith:
‘Utlub il ‘ilma wa law fis-Sin.


The Prophet (SAW) said,
“Seek knowledge even in China,”



Hadith HASAN MASHHÛR – “fair, famous.” Note: Applied to a hadith, the term mashhûr refers to a type of ahad narration that has five to nine narrators at each link of its chain and is therefore nearly mass-narrated (tawatur). Note that this is not an index of its authenticity as a mashhûr hadith may be either sahîh, hasan, or da`îf. Also, the label of mashhûr is sometimes given to merely famous narrations which are not nearly-mass-narrated.

Narrated from Anas by al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Imaan and al-Madkhal, Ibn `Abd al-Barr in Jami` Bayaan al-`Ilm, and al-Khatib through three chains at the opening of his al-Rihla fi Talab al-Hadith (p. 71-76 #1-3) where Shaykh Nur al-Din `Itr declares it weak (da`îf). Also narrated from Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud, Jabir, and Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, all through very weak chains. The hadith master al-Mizzi said it has so many chains that it deserves a grade of fair (hasan), as quoted by al-Sakhawi in al-Maqaasid al-Hasana. Al-`Iraqi in his Mughni `an Haml al-Asfar similarly stated that some scholars declared it sound (sahîh) for that reason, even if al-Hakim and al-Dhahabi correctly said no sound chain is known for it. Ibn `Abd al-Barr’s “Salafi” editor Abu al-Ashbal al-Zuhayri declares the hadith hasan in Jami` Bayaan al-`Ilm (1:23ff.) but all the above fair gradings actually apply to the wording: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”

 

al-Mizzi said it has so many chains that it deserves a grade of fair (hasan)

The first to declare the “China” hadith forged seems to be Ibn al-Qaysarani (d. 507) in his Ma`rifa al-Tadhkira (p. 101 #118). This grading was kept by Ibn al-Jawzi in his Mawdu`at but rejected, among others, by al-Suyuti in al-La’ali’ (1:193), al-Mizzi, al-Dhahabi in Talkhis al-Wahiyat, al-Bajuri’s student Shams al-Din al-Qawuqji (d. 1305) in his book al-Lu’lu’ al-Marsu` (p. 40 #49), and notably by the Indian muhaddith Muhammad Taahir al-Fattani (d. 986) in his Tadhkira al-Mawdu`at (p. 17) in which he declares it hasan.

Al-Munawi, like Ibn `Abd al-Barr before him, gave an excellent explanation of the hadith in his Fayd al-Qadir (1:542). See also its discussion in al-`Ajluni’s Kashf al-Khafa’ under the hadith: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim,” itself a fair (hasan) narration in Ibn Maajah because of its many chains as stated by al-Mizzi, although al-Nawawi in his Fatawa (p. 258) declared it weak while Dr. Muhammad `Ajaj al-Khaatib in his notes on al-Khatib’s al-Jami` (2:462-463) declared it “sound due to its witness-chains” (sahîh li ghayrih). Cf. al-Sindi’s Hashya Sunan Ibn Maajah (1:99), al-Munawi’s Fayd al-Qadir (4:267) and al-Sakhaawi’s al-Maqaasid al-Hasana (p. 275-277).

Image result for China Pakistan Logo
 

Confucious Institute: A Symbol of Pak-China Friendship

Times of Islamabad

 

The all-weather and time-tested friendship between Pakistan and the Peoples Republic of China seems to be almost a rare phenomenon in modern day diplomacy in terms of ascendancy of relationship between the two countries in a rather shorter span of time.

The diplomatic relations between the both countries were established on May 21, 1951 after Pakistan recognized China on January 4, 1950.

In mere 65 years’ time, these ties are now being often termed by both as taller than Himalayas, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey and stronger than steel.

And these assertions are mere not rhetoric as they are very much based on the facts and ground realities. Over the decades, they were fostered on institutions to institutions and people to people as well as at the grassroots level forging deeper understanding and goodwill.

The purview covered various fields of fields of activities and the academic realm was no exception.

In this respect, the province of Sindh did not lag behind. A Confucious Institute was established at the University of Karachi in 2013 as part of collaboration with Sichnan University.

Confucious was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of the Chinese history.

At Karachi University this Institute is offering certificate programmes in Chinese language and culture accredited by the Hanbem headquarters China.

A Dean of Karachi University, Prof. Dr. Khalid Iraqi, informed that the Confucious Institute here has two directors- one from China and the other is from Pakistan whereas six instructors have come from China.

He said that in a major move, Karachi University has introduced Chinese language as a subsidiary subject at the undergraduate level and the enrollment at present is 22 students which has been termed as a good beginning.

The Director of the Confucious Institute at the University of Karachi, Moin Siddiqui, informed that certificate courses of various levels- I, II, III and IV, are being offered, The duration is four months and the current enrollment is 375 students.

Siddiqui said that the University of Karachi has introduced from January this year, Chinese language as a subsidiary subject for its Honours programme and currently 22 students are studying.

He stated that the Confucious Institute of Karachi University is also offering its services for conducting Chinese classes in other academic institutions in the metropolis.

Siddiqui informed that two classes each are being run at the Preston University and the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi.

The number of students enrolled at Preston University is 75 whereas that at the IBA Karachi is 55.

Chinese classes at the Latif Ibrahim Jamal (LEJ), University of Karachi, have been planned and these would be started by July this year.

There is also a move for the initiation of the students and the faculty exchange programme, he added. Siddiqui apprised that with regard to the Confucious Institute at the University of Karachi an agreement with the Chinese Government was reached in November 2013 and the classes commenced two months later.

This very programme is going ahead at the University in a very smooth and successful manner.

It will certainly expand further like the very close relations between Pakistan and China besides fostering goodwill and understanding among the people of the two countries.

In Pakistan two other Confucious Institute are currently operating. Besides, University of Karachi, they are located at NUML in Islamabad and the Agriculture University Faisalabad. At the global level there exist over 500 Confucious Institute in 133 countries around the world.

With the successful launch of the mega China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), there would be also need for expanding the number of Confucious Institutes in Pakistan.

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United in Nominating Living Saint Abdul Sattar Edhi to Recieve the Nobel Peace Prize

The day I met Abdul Sattar Edhi, a living saint Sixty years ago, Abdul Sattar Edhi, 82, gave up everything to devote his life to helping Pakistan’s poorest. Here, Peter Oborne hails a truly selfless spiritual sage. Abdul Sattar Edhi, who has established homes across Pakistan for the mentally ill Abdul Sattar Edhi, who has established homes across Pakistan for the mentally ill  In the course of my duties as a reporter, I have met presidents, prime ministers and reigning monarchs. ADVERTISING Until meeting the Pakistani social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, I had never met a saint. Within a few moments of shaking hands, I knew I was in the presence of moral and spiritual greatness. Mr Edhi’s life story is awesome, as I learnt when I spent two weeks working at one of his ambulance centres in Karachi. The 82-year-old lives in the austerity that has been his hallmark all his life. He wears blue overalls and sports a Jinnah cap, so named because it was the head gear of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. No Pakistani since Jinnah has commanded the same reverence, and our conversations were constantly interrupted as people came to pay their respects. Mr Edhi told me that, 60 years ago, he stood on a street corner in Karachi and begged for money for an ambulance, raising enough to buy a battered old van. In it, he set out on countless life-saving missions. Gradually, Mr Edhi set up centres all over Pakistan. He diversified into orphanages, homes for the mentally ill, drug rehabilitation centres and hostels for abandoned women. He fed the poor and buried the dead. His compassion was boundless. He was born in 1928, when the British Empire was at its height, in Gujarat in what is now western India. But he and his family were forced to flee for their lives in 1947 when the division of India and creation of Pakistan inspired terrible communal tensions: millions were killed in mob violence and ethnic cleansing. This was the moment Mr Edhi, finding himself penniless on the streets of Karachi, set out on his life’s mission. Just 20 years old, he volunteered to join a charity run by the Memons, the Islamic religious community to which his family belonged. At first, Mr Edhi welcomed his duties; then he was appalled to discover that the charity’s compassion was confined to Memons. He confronted his employers, telling them that “humanitarian work loses its significance when you discriminate between the needy”. So he set up a small medical centre of his own, sleeping on the cement bench outside his shop so that even those who came late at night could be served. But he also had to face the enmity of the Memons, and became convinced they were capable of having him killed. For safety, and in search of knowledge, he set out on an overland journey to Europe, begging all the way. One morning, he awoke on a bench at Rome railway station to discover his shoes had been stolen. He was not bothered, considering them inessential. Nevertheless, the next day an elderly lady gave him a pair of gumboots, two sizes too large, and Mr Edhi wobbled about in them for the remainder of his journey. In London, he was a great admirer of the British welfare state, though he presciently noted its potential to encourage a culture of dependency. He was offered a job but refused, telling his benefactor: “I have to do something for the people in Pakistan.” On return from Europe, his destiny was set. There was no welfare state in Fifties Pakistan: he would fill the gap. This was a difficult period in his life. Shabby, bearded and with no obvious prospects, seven women in rapid succession turned down his offers of marriage. He resigned himself to chastity and threw all of his energy into work. He would hurtle round the province of Sindh in his poor man’s ambulance, collecting dead bodies, taking them to the police station, waiting for the death certificate and, if the bodies were not claimed, burying them himself. Mr Edhi’s autobiography, published in 1996, records that he recovered these stinking cadavers “from rivers, from inside wells, from road sides, accident sites and hospitals… When families forsook them, and authorities threw them away, I picked them up… Then I bathed and cared for each and every victim of circumstance.” There is a photograph of Mr Edhi from this formative time. It could be the face of a young revolutionary or poet: dark beard, piercing, passionate eyes. And it is indeed the case that parts of his profound and moving autobiography carry the same weight and integrity as great poetry or even scripture. Mr Edhi discovered that many Pakistani women were killing their babies at birth, often because they were born outside marriage. One newborn child was stoned to death outside a mosque on the orders of religious leaders. A furious Mr Edhi responded: “Who can declare an infant guilty when there is no concept of punishing the innocent?” So Mr Edhi placed a little cradle outside every Edhi centre, beneath a placard imploring: “Do not commit another sin: leave your baby in our care.” Mr Edhi has so far saved 35,000 babies and, in approximately half of these cases, found families to cherish them. Once again, this practice brought him into conflict with religious leaders. They claimed that adopted children could not inherit their parents’ wealth. Mr Edhi told them their objections contradicted the supreme idea of religion, declaring: “Beware of those who attribute petty instructions to God.” Over time, Mr Edhi came to exercise such a vast moral authority that Pakistan’s corrupt politicians had to pay court. In 1982, General Zia announced the establishment of a shura (advisory council) to determine matters of state according to Islamic principles. Mr Edhi was suspicious: “I represented the millions of downtrodden, and was aware that my presence gave the required credibility to an illegal rule.” Travelling to Rawalpindi to speak at the national assembly, he delivered a passionate denunciation of political corruption, telling an audience of MPs, including Zia himself: “The people have been neglected long enough. “One day they shall rise like mad men and pull down these walls that keep their future captive. Mark my words and heed them before you find yourselves the prey instead of the predator.” Mr Edhi did not distinguish between politicians and criminals, asking: “Why should I condemn a declared dacoit [bandit] and not condemn the respectable villain who enjoys his spoils as if he achieved them by some noble means?” This impartiality had its advantages. It meant that a truce would be declared when Mr Edhi and his ambulance arrived at the scene of gun battles between police and gangsters. “They would cease fire,” notes Mr Edhi in his autobiography, “until bodies were carried to the ambulance, the engine would start and shooting would resume.” Mr Edhi eventually found a wife, Bilquis, but his personal austerity was all but incompatible with married life. When the family went on Hajj, a vast overland journey in the ambulance, he forbade Bilquis to bring extra clothes, because he was determined to fill the vehicle with medical supplies. Reaching Quetta in northern Baluchistan, with the temperature plunging, he relented enough to allow her to buy a Russian soldier’s overcoat. Later on, when their children grew up, Mr Edhi would not find time to attend his daughter’s marriage. But Mr Edhi’s epic achievement would not have been possible but for this inhuman single-mindedness. Today, the influence of the Edhi Foundation stretches far outside Pakistan and Mr Edhi has led relief missions across the Muslim world, providing aid at every international emergency from the Lebanon civil war in 1983 to the Bangladesh cyclone in 2007. There are no horrors that Mr Edhi and his incredibly brave army of ambulance men have not witnessed, and the numerous lives they have saved. The story of Mr Edhi coincides with the history of the Pakistan state. More than any other living figure, he articulates Jinnah’s vision of a country which, while based on Islam, nevertheless offers a welcome for people of all faiths and sects. Indeed, the life of Mr Edhi provides a sad commentary on the betrayal of Jinnah’s Pakistan by a self-interested political class. One evening, as the sun set over Karachi, I asked Mr Edhi what future he foresaw. “Unless things change,” he said, “I predict a revolution.” Peter Oborne’s film on the Edhi Foundation can be seen in ‘Unreported World: Defenders of Karachi’

 

Courtesy:the Guardian,UK Abdus Sattar Edhi-A Living Saint

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