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Archive for January, 2017

Azerbaijan’s Growing Military Cooperation With Pakistan By Fuad Shahbazov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azerbaijan’s Growing Military Cooperation With Pakistan

 

 

Azerbaijan and Pakistan have a unique political relationship that has surpassed territorial boundaries and geographical distances. Pakistan was among the first states to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence following the 1991 Soviet collapse. Today, Pakistan is the only country that has not established diplomatic relations with Baku’s main foe, Armenia. The bilateral strategic cooperation between these two countries embraces the economic, cultural, political, and especially defense fields. Taking into account their close ties, the current level of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan needs to be emphasized. While Azerbaijan’s defense industry has strategic relations with various countries, Baku has been seeking ways of expanding military cooperation with Pakistan in particular over the last years.

Given the Pakistan’s status as a nuclear power, combined with its dynamic military muscle, military cooperation can be seen as another fundamental building block of the bilateral relationship. The two countries signed a defense agreement in May of 2003, which allows Azerbaijani military staff, in particular special force units, to take part in annual military drills along with Pakistani armed forces. As a part of the agreement, Azerbaijani naval personnel participated in the biggest Pakistani-led multinational exercise, AMAN-2013, held in March 2013 in the Arabian Sea. In addition to this, Pakistan and Azerbaijan are planning to hold bilateral military exercises, according to comments from Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his official visit to Azerbaijan in October 2016.

Beyond joint exercises, military and defense cooperation between Azerbaijan-Pakistan takes the form of continuous dialogue in high-level meetings, as well as military agreements such as the military cooperation agreement that was signed in February 2014 in Islamabad. The same document was updated in 2015 and 2016, during the Working Group Meetings in Baku and Islamabad, respectively.

 

Azerbaijan, which has been locked into a long-term bloody conflict with Armenia for more than a decade, considers the further development of its defense industry as a main priority. Baku, which enjoys Pakistan’s full diplomatic support with regards to the conflict, is also looking to Pakistan as a source of military hardware.

Azerbaijan is eyeing the JF-17 Thunder (also known as the FC-1 Xiaolong), a multi-functional aircraft that was jointly developed by Pakistan and China. Although Azerbaijan has expressed interest in importing the JF-17, no formal deal has been reached yet. Nevertheless, the Pakistani Ministry of Defense was invited to demonstrate the JF-17 at the 2016 Azerbaijan International Defense Exhibition (ADEX-2016) for the first time. During the exhibition, Minister of Defense Industry Yavar Jamalov repeatedly showed interest in importing new fighter jets. In the same year, Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub Eyyubov attended the International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), where he reiterated his government’s interest in buying new aircraft. Currently, the Azerbaijan Air Forces operate mainly MiG-29, Su-25, and MiG-21 aircraft.

The JF-17 aircraft had been produced as an affordable and modern replacement to French-made Mirage III and F-7 interceptors. Pakistan had long been trying to find countries to buy the JF-17 in order to reduce the per-unit cost the Pakistan Air Force pays. Thirteen countries have so far expressed interest in purchasing the JF-17 aircraft, including Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Algeria and Sudan. As The Diplomat has noted previously, “the lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat jet, jointly developed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, sells at an attractive price point, with a unit cost of just around $15-25 million.” According to Pakistani media, in addition to the JF-17, officials in Baku may also seek to purchase MFI-395 Super Mushshak trainer jets.

The main reason driving Pakistan-Azerbaijan politico-military cooperation is the fact that Baku is still dealing with an unresolved territorial conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijan’s government does not try to hide the fact that it wants to muster all possible backing in order to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In the case of Pakistan’s own territorial dispute with India, Baku “fully supports the settlement of the Kashmir problem based on the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council,” as President Ilham Aliyev said during a joint press conference with Sharif in Baku.

Despite differences between their militaries and defense industries, Azerbaijan-Pakistan military cooperation makes a significant contribution in terms of regional security. Both countries are concerned about border security and the growing threat of global terrorism.

With Azerbaijan having apparently seriously rekindled its interest in purchasing JF-17 Thunder aircraft, it’s likely that in 2017 a significant deal will be reached. Beyond that, Azerbaijan is looking to start the joint production of small firearms, guided munitions, and anti-tank missiles. Even though the Azerbaijani defense industry was established in 2005, it has shown significant development over the past decade. The country does manufacture the well-known Istiglal sniper rifle, which has been used by Pakistani special forces since 2012.

There is no doubt that Pakistan will try to make additional inroads into the defense market of Azerbaijan, as it is economically and strategically important for Pakistan to find new means to export aircraft, missile systems, tanks, and other kind of military vehicles. In this, Azerbaijan will be a willing partner.

Fuad Shahbazov (@fuadshahbazov) is Expert Adviser at the Baku-based Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan Republic

 

Credits Photo:Courtesy-https://i.ytimg.com/vi/fXyglz6PoaA/maxresdefault.jpg

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Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda exposed: The facts

Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda exposed: The facts

 

Richard_Dawkins_Islam

Original Guest Post

by Jai Singh

There is currently increasing journalistic scrutiny of the atheist British scientist Richard Dawkins and his ally Sam Harris’ statements about Islam and Muslims. In December 2012, the Guardianpublished an excellent article highlighting the acclaimed physicist Professor Peter Higgs’ accurate observations about Dawkins’ pattern of behaviour when it comes to religion in general; Professor Higgs (of “Higgs Boson particle” fame) has forcefully criticised Dawkins. More recently, superb articles by Nathan Lean in Salon (focusing on Dawkins), Murtaza Hussain for Al Jazeera (focusing on Dawkins, Harris etc) and Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian (mentions Dawkins but focuses predominantly on Harris; also see here) have received considerable publicity. Readers are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the information in all of these articles.

Before I address the issue of Richard Dawkins, it is worthwhile highlighting some key information about his ally Sam Harris. As mentioned in Glenn Greenwald’s extensively-researched Guardianarticle, Harris is on record as a) claiming that fascists are “the people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe”, and b) stating “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim”. Furthermore, bear in mind the following paragraph from a previous Guardian article about Harris: “…..But it tips over into something much more sinister in Harris’ latest book. He suggests that Islamic states may be politically unreformable because so many Muslims are “utterly deranged by their religious faith”. In another passage Harris goes even further, and reaches a disturbing conclusion that “some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.”

Richard Dawkins’ “atheist anti-religion” agenda has noticeably become increasingly focused on Islam & Muslims; his online statements (recently including his Twitter account ) have now become so extreme that a great deal of them are essentially indistinguishable from the bigoted, ignorant nonsense pushed by the English Defence League leadership and the main US-based anti-Muslim propagandists such as Robert Spencer etc.

In fact, as Nathan Lean’s Salon article mentioned, the following very revealing information recently surfaced: It turns out that Dawkins has publicly admitted that he hasn’t even read the Quran even though (in his own words) he “often says Islam is the greatest force for evil today”. Mainstream Islamic theology (including the associated impact on Muslim history) is not based solely on the Quran, of course, but Dawkins’ admission is indicative of a number of major problems on his part. So much for the credibility of Richard Dawkins’ “scientific method” in this particular subject. It goes without saying that this also raised questions about exactly which dubious second-hand sources Dawkins has been getting his information on Islam and Muslims from, if he hasn’t even taken the normal professional academic steps of reading the primary sacred text of the religion he has also described as “an unmitigated evil”. Not to mention the question of Dawkins’ real motivations for his current fixation with Islam and Muslims.

Well, it appears that some answers are available. It certainly explains a great deal about Richard Dawkins’ behaviour. In the main part of this article beneath the “Summary” section below, I have listed 54 anti-Islam/anti-Muslim statements posted by Richard Dawkins on the discussion forum of one of his own websites. (The list of quotes also includes embedded URL links directly to the original statements on Dawkins’ website).

Summary of Richard Dawkins’ actions

1. There is a direct connection to Robert Spencer’s inner circle. As confirmed by the URL link supplied by Richard Dawkins in quote #11, Dawkins has definitely been using that cabal’s anti-Muslim propaganda as a source of “information” for his own statements; Dawkins specifically links to the “Islam-Watch” website, which is a viciously anti-Muslim site in the same vein as JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna (both of which were the most heavily cited sources in the terrorist Anders Breivik’s manifesto). More pertinently, as confirmed by this affiliated webpage, the core founders & members of that website include the currently-unidentified individual who uses the online alias “Ali Sina”. This is the same fake “atheist Iranian ex-Muslim” who is a senior board member of “SIOA”/“SION”, an extremely anti-Muslim organisation whose leadership is formally allied with racist white supremacists & European neo-Nazis and has even organised joint public demonstrations with them. “Ali Sina” himself was also cited by Breivik in his manifesto.

Note that the SIOA/SION leadership inner circle includes: a) AFDI and JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer, an ordained Catholic deacon who has been proven to have repeatedly made false statements about Islam & Muslims and has publicly admitted that his actions are heavily motivated by his (unilateral) agenda for the dominance of the Catholic Church; b) AFDI and Atlas Shrugs’Pamela Geller, who is now on record as advocating what is effectively a “Final Solution” targeting British Muslims, including mass-murder; c) the English Defence League leadership; and d) David Yerushalmi, the head of an organisation whose mission statement explicitly declares that its members are “dedicated to the rejection of democracy” in the United States. Furthermore, Yerushalmi believes that American women shouldn’t even have the right to vote.

Extensive details on “Ali Sina” are available here. Quite a few of the quotes in that article are horrifying. Bear in mind that this is the person whose website Richard Dawkins has publicly cited and promoted. “Ali Sina” is on record as making statements such as the following:

“Muhammad was not a prophet of God. He was an instrument of Satan to divide mankind so we destroy each other. It is a demonic plot to end humanity.”

“I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin. It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”

“Muslims, under the influence of Islam lose their humanity. They become beasts. Once a person’s mind is overtaken by Islam, every trace of humanity disappears from him. Islam reduces good humans into beasts.”

[Addressing all Muslims] “We will do everything to save you, to make you see your folly, and to make you understand that you are victims of a gigantic lie, so you leave this lie, stop hating mankind and plotting for its destruction and it [sic] domination. But if all efforts fail and you become a threat to our lives and the lives of our children, we must amputate you. This will happen, not because I say so, but I say so because this is human response. We humans are dictated by our survival instinct. If you threaten me and my survival depends on killing you, I must kill you.”

“Muslims are part of humanity, but they are the diseased limb of mankind. We must strive to rescue them. We must do everything possible to restore their health. That is the mission of FFI [“Faith Freedom International”, “Ali Sina’s” primary website]. However, if a limb becomes gangrenous; if it is infected by necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), that limb must be amputated.”

[Addressing all Muslims] “But you are diseased. You are infected by a deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a limb infected by flesh eating disease, you are now a threat to the rest of mankind…..Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway? Does it mean you are moderately diseased?”

“But there was another element in shaping his [Muhammad’s] character: The influence of Rabbis. Islam and Judaism have a lot in common. They have basically the same eschatology and very similar teachings…..These are all secondary influences of Judaism on Islam. The main common feature between these two faiths is their intolerance. This intolerance in Judaic texts gave the narcissist Muhammad the power to do as he pleased…..How could he get away with that? Why would people believed [sic] in his unproven and often irrational claims? The answer to this question is in Judaism. The Rabbis in Arabia had laid the psychological foundations for Islam among the tolerant pagans…..The reasons Arabs fell into his [Muhammad’s] trap was because of the groundwork laid by the Rabbis in Arabia.”

“Muhammad copied his religion from what he learned from the Jews. The similarity between Islamic thinking and Judaic thinking is not a coincidence.”

“By seeing these self-proclaimed moderate Muslims, I can understand the anger that Jesus felt against those hypocrites whom he called addressed, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

“In Christianity, it wasn’t the religion that needed to be reformed but the church. What Jesus preached was good.”

“The image portrays the words of Jesus, “the truth will set you free.” That is my motto…..After listening to this rabbi, I somehow felt sympathy for Jesus. I can now see what kind of people he had to deal with.”

2. After Nathan Lean and Glenn Greenwald published the aforementioned Salon and Guardianarticles, both “Ali Sina” and Robert Spencer rapidly wrote lengthy articles on their respective websites defending Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. It would therefore be constructive for Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris to publicly clarify if they welcome or reject “Ali Sina” & Robert Spencer’s support. It would also be constructive for Dawkins and Harris to publicly clarify the nature and extent of their involvement with “Ali Sina” & Robert Spencer.

3. Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim narrative (including the stereotyped caricature and his own convoluted strawman arguments) is essentially identical to the hatred-inciting, theologically-, historically- & factually-distorted/falsified propaganda promoted by Far-Right groups such as the English Defence League and especially the owners of JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna. This is clearly not just a coincidence, considering Dawkins’ online sources of [mis]information.

4. Richard Dawkins is now on record as making a series of extremely derogatory statements in which he bizarrely refers to Islam (a religious belief system) as though it were a conscious, sentient entity (see #5, #32, #36, #49). The nature of those statements suggests that Dawkins is actually referring to Muslims. (Also see #7).

5. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly defending Sam Harris, including Harris’ claims about Muslims and Islam (see #42, #43).

6. Richard Dawkins is now on record as enthusiastically praising the Dutch Far-Right politician Geert Wilders (see #50).

7. Richard Dawkins is now on record as publicly claiming that “communities” has become code for “Muslims” (see #18) and that “multiculturalism” in Europe is code for “Islam” (see #19).

8. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly praising & defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali (see #20, #26, #50). Hirsi Ali has been proven to have fabricated aspects of her background/experiences (as confirmed by the BBC). Hirsi Ali is also on record as revealing the full scale of her horrific beliefs, including the fact that she sympathises with Anders Breivik and blames so-called “advocates of silence” for Breivik’s mass-murdering terrorist attack.

9. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly promoting the Far-Right conspiracy theory that British police avoid prosecuting Muslims due to fears of being labelled “racist” or “Islamophobic” (see #1, #24, #28, #45). Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller’s closest European allies, the English Defence League leadership, are amongst the most vocal advocates of this ridiculous conspiracy theory.

10. Richard Dawkins is now on record as explicitly describing himself as “a cultural Christian” (see #54).

11. Richard Dawkins is now on record as proposing what is basically an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy, specifically in terms of Christians vs. Muslims (see here and here. Also see #16). This raises questions about exactly how much support Dawkins has secretly been giving to certain extremist anti-Muslim individuals/groups, or at least how much he is personally aware that these groups are explicitly recycling Dawkins’ own rhetoric when demonising Islam & Muslims.

12. Richard Dawkins is now on record as exhibiting very disturbing attitudes towards the British Muslim Member of Parliament Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and the British Muslim Independentjournalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, including repeatedly making highly offensive claims that they are “tokens” with zero qualifications for their respective jobs and are in positions of seniority/influence solely because they are “female, Muslim and brown/non-white” (See #25, #29, #30, #31, #35, #53). Dawkins clearly shares the EDL leadership’s noticeable hostility towards Baroness Warsi in particular; furthermore, note Dawkins’ sneering “open letter” to Baroness Warsi (see #29), and also note the fact that the EDL leadership recently published a similar “open letter” to Baroness Warsi on their main website, written by an unidentified anonymous author.

13. Richard Dawkins has published a lengthy diatribe by Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller/EDL ally/SIOE co-founder Stephen Gash.

14. Richard Dawkins has enthusiastically republished a large number of viciously anti-Muslim comments originally posted on the discussion thread of a Telegraph article written by Baroness Warsi. Dawkins claimed that the only reason he was reproducing these comments on his own website was “because the Telegraph is apparently censoring them”.

15. Despite the claims of Richard Dawkins’ defenders that he is an “equal opportunity offender” in terms of his criticisms of various organised religions, the aforementioned 54 quotes speak for themselves and Dawkins’ real pattern of behaviour is self-evident. Amongst other things, it raises the question of whether Dawkins was already perfectly aware that the anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda he is basing his statements on originates in members of Robert Spencer’s extremist inner circle and their respective hate websites (which would have very nasty implications about Dawkins himself), or whether Dawkins has been astonishingly incompetent about researching his sources of “information”.

16. Further information on Richard Dawkins’ other activities targeting Islam & Muslims is available here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Examples of statements by Richard Dawkins:
#1: [Quoting: “No I don’t think it was racist to feel that way. If you saw a European mistreating his wife in public wouldn’t you feel the same? “] “Of course. In that case I might have called a policeman. If you see a Muslim beating his wife, there would be little point in calling a policeman because so many of the British police are terrified of being accused of racism or ‘Islamophobia’.”

#2: “Religion poisons everything. But Islam has its own unmatched level of toxicity.”

#3: “Religion poisons everything, but Islam is in a toxic league of its own.”

#4: “…..But let’s keep things in proportion. Christianity may be pretty bad, but isn’t Islam in a league of its own when it comes to sheer vicious nastiness?”

#5: [Quoting: “He blamed ‘radical stupid people who don’t know what Islam is,’”] “They are certainly stupid, but they know exactly what Islam is. Islam is the religion that wins arguments by killing its opponents and crying ‘Islamophobia’ at anyone who objects.”

#6: “This horrible film deserves to go viral. What a pathetic religion: how ignominious to need such aggressively crazed defenders.”

#7: “Muslims seem to suffer from an active HUNGER to be offended. If there’s nothing obvious to be offended by, or ‘hurt’ by, they’ll go out looking for something. Are there any other similar examples we could think of, I wonder, not necessarily among religious groups?”

#8: “Paula’s letter in today’s Independent (see above) will doubtless provoke lots of fatuous bleats of “Oh but Islam is a peaceful religion.””

#9: [Quoting: “But it has nothing to do with islam.”] “Oh no? Then why do the perpetrators, and the mullahs and imams and ayatollahs and ‘scholars’, continually SAY it has everything to do with Islam? You may not think it has anything to do with Islam, but I prefer to listen to what the people responsible actually say. I would also love it if decent, ‘moderate’ Muslims would stand up and condemn the barbarisms that are carried out, or threatened, in their name.”

#10: “What is there left to say about Sharia Law? Who will defend it? Who can find something, anything, good to say about Islam?”

#11: [Quoting: “needed to respect other religions”] “That word ‘other’ worries me and so does ‘respect’. ‘Other’ than what? What is the default religion which makes the word ‘other’ appropriate? What is this ‘other’ religion, which is being invoked in this high-handed, peremptory way. It isn’t hard to guess the answer. Islam. Yet again, Islam, the religion of peace, the religion that imposes the death penalty for apostasy, the religion whose legal arm treats women officially as second class citizens, the religion that sentences women to multiple lashes for the crime of being raped, the religion whose ‘scholars’ have been known to encourage women to suckle male colleagues so that they can be deemed ‘family’ and hence allowed to work in the same room; the religion that the rest of us are called upon to ‘respect’ for fear of being thought racist or ‘Islamophobic’. Respect? RESPECT?”

#12: “All three of the Abrahamic religions are deeply evil if they take their teachings seriously. Islam is the only one that does.”

#13: “Yes, Christians are much much better. Their sacred texts may be just as bad, but they don’t act on them.”

#14: “Quite the contrary. I think the problem [with Islam] is with the MAJORITY of Muslims, who either condone violence or fail to speak out against it. I am now praising the MINORITY who have finally decided to stand up for peace and nonviolence.”

#15: [Quoting: “Actually I think linking to every video this bigot releases does look like an endorsement, even if it’s unintentional. Why not link to some news items by some other right wing bigots the BNP or the EDL, they’re always banging on about Islam so it should qualify.”] “I support Pat [Condell]’s stance on Islam. It is NOT based on racism like that of the BNP, and he is properly scathing about so-called ‘Islamophobia’.”

#16: “After the last census, Christianity in Britain benefited, in terms of political influence, from the approximately 70% who ticked the Christian box, whether or not they were really believers. With the menacing rise of Islam, some might even be tempted to tick the Christian box, for fear of doing anything to boost the influence of the religion of “peace””.

#17: [Quoting: “What sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the name of justice,” Mosammet’s father, Dorbesh Khan, 60, told the BBC.] “What sort of justice? Islamic justice of course.”

#18: “Just as ‘communities’ has become code for ‘Muslims’, ‘multiculturalism’ is code for a systematic policy of sucking up to their often loathsome ‘community leaders’: imams, mullahs, ‘clerics’, and the ill-named ‘scholars’.”

#19: “Forgive me for not welcoming this judgment with unalloyed joy. If I thought the motive was secularist I would indeed welcome it. But are we sure it is not pandering to ‘multiculturalism’, which in Europe is code for Islam? And if you think Catholicism is evil . . .”

#20: “I don’t think this is a matter for levity. Think of it as a foretaste of more serious things to come. They’ve already hounded Ayaan Hirsi Ali out of Holland and their confidence is growing with their population numbers, encouraged by the craven accommodationist mentality of nice, decent Europeans. This particular move to outlaw dogs will fail, but Muslim numbers will continue to grow unless we can somehow break the memetic link between generations: break the assumption that children automatically adopt the religion of their parents.”

#21: “I said that Islam is evil. I did NOT say Muslims are evil. Indeed, most of the victims of Islam are Muslims. Especially female ones.”

#22: “Whenever I read an article like this, I end up shaking my head in bafflement. Why would anyone want to CONVERT to Islam? I can see why, having been born into it, you might be reluctant to leave, perhaps when you reflect on the penalty for doing to. But for a woman (especially a woman) voluntarily to JOIN such a revolting and misogynistic institution when she doesn’t have to always suggests to me massive stupidity. And then I remember our own very intelligent Layla Nasreddin / Lisa Bauer and retreat again to sheer, head-shaking bafflement.”

#23: “Apologists for Islam would carry more conviction if so-called ‘community’ leaders would ever go to the police and report the culprits. That would solve, at a stroke, the problem that has been exercising posters here. ‘Community’ leaders are best placed to know what is going on on their ‘communities’. Why don’t they report the perpetrators to the police and have them jailed?”

#24: “Presumably we shall hear all the usual accommodationist bleats about “Nothing to do with Islam”, and “It’s cultural, not religious” and “Islam doesn’t approve the practice”. Whether or not Islam approves the practice depends – as with the death penalty for apostasy – on which ‘scholar’ you talk to. Islamic ‘scholar’? What a joke. What a sick, oxymoronic joke. Islamic ‘scholar’!
It is of course true that not all Muslims mutilate their daughters, or approve it. But I conjecture that it is true that virtually all, if not literally all, the 24,000 girls referred to come from Muslim families. And all, or virtually all those who wield the razor blade (or the broken glass or whatever it is) are devout Muslims. And above all, the reason the police turn a blind eye to this disgusting practice is that they THINK it is sanctioned by Islam, or they think it is no business of anybody outside the ‘community’, and they are TERRIFIED of being called ‘Islamophobic’ or racist.”

#25: “Apologies if this has already been said here, but “Baroness” Warsi has no sensible qualifications for high office whatever. She has never won an election and never distinguished herself in any of the ways that normally lead to a peerage. All she has achieved in life is to FAIL to be elected a Member of Parliament, twice (on one occasion ignominiously bucking the swing towards her party). She was, nevertheless, elevated to the peerage and rather promptly put in the Cabinet and the Privy Council. The only reasonable explanation for her rapid elevation is tokenism. She is female, Muslim, and non-white – a bundle of three tokens in one, and therefore a precious rarity in her party. You might have suspected her lack of proper qualifications from the fatuous things she says, of which her speech in Rome is a prime example.”

#26: [Quoting: “Muslim extremists have called for Aan to be beheaded but fellow atheists have rallied round, and urged him to stand by his convictions despite the pressure.”] “For one sadly short moment I thought the ‘but’ was going to be followed by ‘moderate Muslims have rallied round . . .’ Once again, where are the decent, moderate Muslims? Why do they not stand up in outrage against their co-religionists? Maybe Ayaan Hirsi Ali is right and “moderate Muslim” is something close to an oxymoron. How can they not see that, if you need to kill to protect your faith, that is a powerful indication that you have lost the argument? It is impossible to exaggerate how deeply I despise them.”

#27: “There are moves afoot to introduce sharia law into Britain, Canada and various other countries. I hope it is not too “islamophobic” of me to hope that the “interpretation” of sharia favoured by our local Muslim “scholars” will be different from the “interpretation” favoured by Iranian “scholars”. Oh but of course: “That’s not my kind of Islam.””

#28: [Quoting: “Richard, I really dislike disagreeing with you. However, female genital mutilation is not really based on Islam. My wife is from Indonesia and I have asked around and none of them know of anyone who does that in their country. From all that I have read and seen, it seems like it predates islam and is mostly found in Africa and to a lesser extent the Middle East.”] “Even if you are right (and I am not necessarily conceding the point) that FGM itself is not based on Islam, I strongly suspect that the British police turning a blind eye to it is very strongly based on islamophobophobia – the abject terror of being thought islamophobic.”

#29: “Dear Lady Warsi
Is it true that the Islamic penalty for apostasy is death? Please answer the question, yes or no. I have asked many leading Muslims, often in public, and have yet to receive a straight answer. The best answer I heard was from “Sir” Iqbal Sacranie, who said “Oh well, it is seldom enforced.”
Will you please stand up in the House of Lords and publicly denounce the very idea that, however seldom enforced, a religion has the right to kill those who leave it? And will you stand up and agree that, since a phobia is an irrational fear, “Islamophobic” is not an appropriate description of anybody who objects to it. And will you stand up and issue a public apology, on behalf of your gentle, peaceful religion, to Salman Rushdie? And to Theo van Gogh? And to all the women and girls who have been genitally mutilated? And to . . . I’m sure you know the list better than I do.
Richard Dawkins”

#30: [Quoting: “Blimey Richard! This really has got up your nose, hasn’t it? Your comments are usually a great deal more measured. It’s not exactly uncommon for a Minister to “rise without trace”. I think we can all agree that our political system is “sub-optimal” to put it politely. Tokensim is one possibility (though if the Tories were really just after the muslim vote its interesting that they opted for a female muslim token).”] “I didn’t mean to suggest that the Tories were after the Muslim vote. I think they know that is a lost cause. I suspect that they were trying to live down their reputation as the nasty party, the party of racists, the party of sexists, the Church of England at prayer. More particularly, the ceaseless propaganda campaign against “Islamophobia” corrupts them just as it corrupts so many others. I suspect that the Tory leadership saw an opportunity to kill two, or possibly three, birds with one stone, by elevating this woman to the House of Lords and putting her in the Cabinet.
I repeat, her [Baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s] qualifications for such a meteoric rise, as the youngest member of the House of Lords, are tantamount to zero. As far as I can see, her only distinction is to have stood for election to the House of Commons and lost. That’s it.
Apart, of course, from being female, Muslim, and brown. Like I said, killing three birds with one stone.”

#31: “Baroness Warsi has never been elected to Parliament. What are her qualifications to be in the Cabinet? Does anyone seriously think she would be in the Cabinet, or in the House of Lords, if she was not a Muslim woman? Is her elevation to high office (a meteoric rise, for she is the youngest member of the House of Lords) any more than a deplorable example of tokenism?”

#32: “I too heard Paul Foot speak at the Oxford Union, and he was a mesmerising orator, even as an undergraduate. Once again, Christopher Hitchens nails it. It is the nauseating presumption of Islam that marks it out for special contempt. I remain baffled at the number of otherwise decent people who can be seduced by such an unappealing religion. I suppose it must be childhood indoctrination, but it is still hard to credit. If you imagine setting up an experiment to see how far you could go with childhood indoctrination – a challenge to see just how nasty a belief system you could instil into a human mind if you catch it early enough – it is hard to imagine succeeding with a belief system half as nasty as Islam. And yet succeed they do.”

#33: “Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If ‘moderate’ Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit, wouldn’t you think it should have been easy enough to find enough ‘moderate’ Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are ‘moderate’ Muslims so thin on the ground?”

#34: “It is almost a cliché that people of student age often experiment with a variety of belief systems, which they subsequently, and usually quite rapidly, give up. These young people have voluntarily adopted a belief system which has the unique distinction of prescribing execution as the official penalty for leaving it. I have enormous sympathy for those people unfortunate enough to be born into Islam. It is hard to muster much sympathy for those idiotic enough to convert to it.”

#35: [Quoting: “Why do any media outlets keep repeatedly inviting her [Yasmin Alibhai-Brown] (excluding more capable, intelligent, qualified guests) as if she is some kind of authority or expert on anything at all?”] “Do you really need to ask that question? Media people are petrified of being thought racist, Islamophobic or sexist. The temptation to kill three birds with one stone must be irresistible.”

#36: [Quoting: “I’m surprised nobody has acknowledged the elephant in the room — namely, multicultural appeasement of Islam. The fact that (a) the paper was accepted, and (b) it took only five days to get accepted, suggests that there’s something funny going on here. Could it be that the referee of the paper was a subscriber to the popular opinion in Britain that anything associated with Muslims short of murder in broad daylight is somehow praiseworthy and something to be encouraged?”] “Yes, I’m sorry to say that is all too plausible. Perhaps the Editor decided it would be “Islamophobic” to reject it.”

#37: [Quoting: “I seem to remember a very bright young muslim lad”] You mean a bright young child of muslim parents.

#38: “Oh, small as it is, this is the most heartening news I have heard for a long time. What can we do to help these excellent young Pakistanis, without endangering them? If, by any chance, any of them reads this web site, please get in touch to let us know how we might help. If anybody here has friends in Pakistan, or elsewhere afflicted by the ‘religion of peace’ (it isn’t even funny any more, is it?), or facebook friends, please encourage them to join and support these brave young people.”

#39: [Quoting: “The obvious question is: who cares, are we saying when it was a catholic school it was ok and a Muslim school is worse.”] “Yes. It is worse. MUCH worse”

#40: [Quoting: “I was even accused of having converted and married into another religion. But I wasn’t worried as I’m a true Muslim,” says the feisty young woman.”] If only she were a bit more feisty she would cease to be a Muslim altogether – except that would make her an apostate, for which the Religion of Peace demands stoning. Indeed, you’ll probably find she’d be sentenced to 99 lashes just for the crime of being feisty.”

#41: [Quoting: “Disgusting and hideous as this practice is, I think the article makes it quite clear that it’s not limited to any one religion or community. It’s common to Christians, Muslims, Hindus, yezidis and many others.”] I just did a rough count (I may have missed one or two) of the named victims Robert Fisk mentioned. As follows:
Muslim 52
Hindu 3
Sikh 1
Christian 0
But of course, Islam is the religion of peace. To suggest otherwise would be racist Islamophobia.”

#42:
“Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris’s article quoted above, and whether or not he is right about the NY mosque, the following two paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating.
Richard”
[Quotes Sam Harris] “The first thing that all honest students of Islam must admit is that it is not absolutely clear where members of al Qaeda, the Taliban, al-Shabab, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hamas, and other Muslim terrorist groups have misconstrued their religious obligations. If they are “extremists” who have deformed an ancient faith into a death cult, they haven’t deformed it by much. When one reads the Koran and the hadith, and consults the opinions of Muslim jurists over the centuries, one discovers that killing apostates, treating women like livestock, and waging jihad—not merely as an inner, spiritual struggle but as holy war against infidels—are practices that are central to the faith. Granted, one path out of this madness might be for mainstream Muslims to simply pretend that this isn’t so—and by this pretense persuade the next generation that the “true” Islam is peaceful, tolerant of difference, egalitarian, and fully compatible with a global civil society. But the holy books remain forever to be consulted, and no one will dare to edit them. Consequently, the most barbarous and divisive passages in these texts will remain forever open to being given their most plausible interpretations.
Thus, when Allah commands his followers to slay infidels wherever they find them, until Islam reigns supreme (2:191-193; 4:76; 8:39; 9:123; 47:4; 66:9)—only to emphasize that such violent conquest is obligatory, as unpleasant as that might seem (2:216), and that death in jihad is actually the best thing that can happen to a person, given the rewards that martyrs receive in Paradise (3:140-171; 4:74; 47:5-6)—He means just that. And, being the creator of the universe, his words were meant to guide Muslims for all time. Yes, it is true that the Old Testament contains even greater barbarism—but there are obvious historical and theological reasons why it inspires far less Jewish and Christian violence today. Anyone who elides these distinctions, or who acknowledges the problem of jihad and Muslim terrorism only to swiftly mention the Crusades, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, the Tamil Tigers, and the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma, is simply not thinking honestly about the problem of Islam.”

#43: [Quoting: “I am newish here (and not planning to stay). Could someone please just set my mind at rest by confirming whether or not this poster is the real Prof. Dawkins. I really, really hope not. I used to have respect for him and I supposed that, being a busy man, he would never have time to come here, and therefore could not be held responsible for all the bigotry, against believers in general, and Muslims in particular, which gets aired here in the guise of Reason. If this really is him, then I guess he can’t disassociate himself from it and from the charge of providing a platform for bigots and haters. If it’s really you, Prof. Dawkins, you should be ashamed of yourself.” Quoting his own comment: “Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris’s article quoted above, and whether or not he is right about the NY mosque, the following two paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating. Richard”] “You mean the Koran and the Hadith don’t say what Sam claims they say? I’m delighted to hear that, but can you substantiate it? I do hope you can, then we can all sleep easier. If, on the other hand, Sam is summarising Islamic scriptures accurately, why should I be ashamed of myself for simply quoting Sam’s accurate summary?”

#44: “Some critics have suggested that Paula should fairly have quoted, in equal measure, from Islamic scriptures. Since she was responding to a specific question set by the Washington Postabout ‘religious and moral considerations’, it was appropriate for her to concentrate on the religions that dominate the readership of the Washington Post, namely Christianity and Judaism. However, it would be an interesting exercise for one of our Koranically-informed readers to undertake a matching article drawing on the scriptures of the ‘Religion of Peace’. Which of the ‘great’ monotheistic faiths will win First Prize for bloodthirsty nastiness and ethnic cleansing zeal?”

#45: “I have it on the authority of a London schools inspector that the reason the police do not prosecute is that they are afraid of being accused of racism or “Islamophobia.” In the words of the police officer quoted in this article, they “don’t want to alienate communities.” You might as well refrain from prosecuting child rapists because you don’t want to alienate the pedophile community. If arresting these vicious hags really were “islamophobic” (or course it isn’t), I’d be proud to be called islamophobic.”

#46: “Most Muslims don’t do honour killings, but the vast majority of honour killings are done by Muslims, loyally practising their faith and following what their religion has taught them is the right and proper thing to do.”

#47: [Quoting: “Given what the Palestinians have been through in the last 40 years, expecting polite grace & dignity at all times might be a little optimistic.”] “And you think these people were Palestinians? Or were they just Muslims?”

#48: “Islam is surely the greatest man-made evil in the world today, and I think I’d feel a tiny bit more secure against the menacing threat of Islam and Islamic faith schools, under the Tories than under Labour”.

#49: [Quoting Steve Zara: “Now, it seems like the Cartoons were designed to be quite offensive. That was the artistic intention. Putting aside any judgement on that, wouldn’t it have been more interesting if the cartoons had been designed to be hardly offensive at all, in the style of the UK atheist bus campaign. It would have make those claiming insult and offence look very silly indeed.”] “..…The Westergaard cartoon implies nothing more offensive than that Islam is a violent religion, a fact that was amply demonstrated by the response to it. Part of the problem, as many here have pointed out, is that Islam expects special treatment: expects to be allowed to take disproportionate offence, far beyond that assumed by anybody else on Earth.”

#50: “I have just watched Fitna. I don’t know whether it is the original version, but it is the one linked by Jerry Coyne. Maybe Geert Wilders has done or said other things that justify epithets such as ‘disgusting’, or ‘racist’. But as far as this film is concerned, I can see nothing in it to substantiate such extreme vilification. There is much that is disgusting in the film, but it is all contained in the quotations, which I presume to be accurate, from the Koran and from various Muslim preachers and orators, and the clips of atrocities such as beheadings and public executions. At least as far as Fitna is concerned, to call Wilders ‘disgusting’ is surely no more sensible than shooting the messenger. If it is complained that these disgusting Koranic verses, or these disgusting Muslim speeches, or the more than disgusting Muslim executions, are ‘taken out of context’, I should like to be told what the proper context would look like, and how it could possibly make any difference.

To repeat, Wilders may have said and done other things of which I am unaware, which deserve condemnation, but I can see nothing reprehensible in his making of Fitna, and certainly nothing for which he should go on trial. Like the film of Theo van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, the style of Fitna is restrained, the music, by Tchaikowski and Grieg, is excellently chosen and contributes to the restrained atmosphere of the film. The horrendous execution scenes are faded out before the coup-de-grace; all the stridency, and almost the only expressions of opinion, come from Muslims, not from Wilders.

Why is this man on trial, unless it is, yet again, pandering to the ludicrous convention that religious opinion must not be ‘offended’? Geert Wilders, if it should turn out that you are a racist or a gratuitous stirrer and provocateur I withdraw my respect, but on the strength of Fitna alone I salute you as a man of courage, who has the balls to stand up to a monstrous enemy.”

#51: [Sarcasm] “How dare you interfere with their culture? Obviously these people should be allowed to follow their own customs, without interference from Islamophobic imperialists. In any case, I expect only SOME women will be stoned for the crime of being raped. And even they will almost certainly deserve it, as they surely wouldn’t have been raped if they hadn’t shown an inch of bare wrist or ankle, or if they hadn’t left the house unaccompanied by a male relative.”

#52: “I am not in favour of banning the burqa, because I am not in favour banning any style of clothing. But I think Pat is right to compare the burqa with a Ku Klux Klan hood or a swastika armband (which shouldn’t be banned either). I think he is right to speak of Islamic fascism, I think he is right to condemn the use of the word ‘Islamophobia’….I think Islam is probably the greatest of all man-made evils in the world today. It takes courage to speak out against it. Pat has that courage. He will be making enough enemies among the Islamofascists. I prefer not to encourage them by attacking him from the other side. “

#53: “For a while now I have carried on a sporadic, and more-or-less friendly, correspondence with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. I continually try to provoke her with the horrors of Islam, in order to persuade her to leave it. She roundly condemns the bad bits of Islam, but I wonder where there are any good bits for her to retreat to. I am becoming increasingly curious. Are there ANY good things about Islam at all?”

#54: “I find it hard not to resent the implication of Comment 36645 by oao. I obviously refer to Christianity, by default, more than to Judaism (or Islam) because I am a cultural Christian, writing in a cultural Christian country (Britain) with an eye to a larger audience in another (more than merely cultural) Christian country (USA).”

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Pak-India Water Dispute Accelerates By Sajjad Shaukat

Pak-India Water Dispute Accelerates

Sajjad Shaukat

 

Pakistan is a grave victim of water scarcity, because of being on lower riparian in relation to the rivers emanating from the Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK). India has never missed an opportunity to harm Pakistan since its inception; it is creating deliberate water shortages for Pakistan with the aim to impair Pakistan agriculturally. Historically, India has been trying to establish her hegemony in the region by controlling water sources and damaging agricultural economies of her neighbouring states. India has water disputes with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Indian extremist Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has given the concerned departments to continue construction of dams has ordered diverting water of Chenab River to Beas, which is a serious violation of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960. Therefore Pak-India water dispute has accelerated.

 

 

 

 

 

In this regard, an article By: Zofeen T. Ebrahim, Joydeep Gupta (Co-Authors) under the caption, “India resists World Bank move to resolve Indus Water Treaty dispute”, published in The Third Pole and reproduced-updated by a Pakistan’s renowned daily on January 6, 2017 is notable.

 

Zofeen T. Ebrahim and Joydeep Gupta wrote, “India has asked the World Bank not to rush in to resolve a dispute with Pakistan over the Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects. Indian officials told a World Bank representative in New Delhi on January 5 that any differences over the projects can be resolved bilaterally or through a neutral expert. Pakistan has objected to the projects–being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir–on the grounds that they violate the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) between the two countries. After India rejected the charge, Pakistan has gone to the World Bank–the designated IWT mediator.”

 

 

1 The Indus Waters Treaty was signed on September 19, 1960 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan.

 

They indicated, “Islamabad has also asked the United States (US) government to intervene, and has added the component of water security to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement. Of the rivers in the Indus basin, the Indus and the Sutlej start in China and flow through India before reaching Pakistan. The other four rivers–Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Beas – start in India and flow to Pakistan”.

 

The writers pointed out, “The Kishanganga project is on a tributary of the Jhelum, while the Ratle project is on the Chenab. The State Department in Washington has already said it wants India and Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues bilaterally, a route favoured by India.”

 

Zofeen T. Ebrahim and Joydeep Gupta elaborated, “As the dispute flared up, the World Bank had recently suspended all proceedings–the setting up of a court of arbitration or the appointment of a neutral expert. On January 5, World Bank representative Ian H Solomon met officials of India’s External Affairs and Water Resources ministries in New Delhi in an effort to break the deadlock.The Indian delegation, led by Gopal Baglay, Joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, made a detailed a presentation on the two projects to support their argument that neither project violated the IWT. After the meeting, a government official told journalists that the Indian side had described the objections raised by Pakistan as “technical”, and therefore they would be best resolved by a neutral expert.”

 

They wrote, “Pakistan has dismissed this suggestion earlier, and is seeking a full court of arbitration. The World Bank had agreed to a court of arbitration and then to the appointment of a neutral expert, leading to objections by both countries. That was when both processes were suspended. Explore: World Bank pauses dam arbitration to ‘protect Indus Waters Treaty.’ At the January 5 meeting, Solomon did not raise any question on the designs of the two projects, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. Instead, he explored ways to resolve the dispute. With nothing decided, the World Bank official is going from New Delhi to Islamabad to continue this effort. The official added that India is fully conscious of its international obligations and is ready to engage in further consultations to resolve the differences regarding the two projects. Under the IWT, India is allowed only non-consumptive use of water from the three western rivers in the Indus basin–Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.”

 

The co-authors mentioned, “The Kishanganga and Ratle projects are on the western rivers. They are run-of-the-river hydropower projects that do not hold back any water, though Pakistan’s objection is about the height of the gates in the dams from which water is allowed to flow downstream. The three eastern rivers–Ravi, Beas and Sutlej–are reserved for the use of India. Meanwhile, in Pakistan. The Pakistani government approached the World Bank last September, saying the design of the Kishanganga project was not in line with the criteria laid down under IWT, and sought the appointment of a court of arbitration. Since the Kishanganga project has been going on for years, the “inordinate” delay by Islamabad to approach the World Bank would give India more time to complete its projects, Jamait Ali Shah, former Indus Water Commissioner on behalf of the Pakistani government, told thethirdpole.net”.

 

Their article pointed out, “However, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar wrote to the World Bank on December 23, stressing that it was not withdrawing its request to set up a court of arbitration. This was followed by a call from the outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry to Dar, saying that the US would like to see an amicable solution to the transboundary water row. Karachi-based newspaper…quoted diplomatic observers in Washington to say, “seriousness of this dispute, particularly the fear that it may harm the treaty, forced Mr. Kerry to make this call.”

 

The writers explained, “For a while now Pakistan has also wanted to bring China into the picture. At the sixth meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the CPEC which was held in Beijing on December 29, a special group on water storage was formed to pre-empt any “severe water crisis” impacting economic and food security of Pakistan, an official statement said. After a Chinese delegation visits Pakistan later this month, the JCC – the highest policy-making forum of the CPEC – may consider including the Diamer-Bhasha dam into the CPEC agreement. Planned at an estimated cost of around USD 15 billion, if Pakistan succeeds in getting the dam financed under CPEC, planning and development minister Ahsan Iqbal would consider it a “landmark achievement”. Both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have refused to lend money to Pakistan for this hydropower project. Pakistani experts react leading lawyer and former federal law minister, Ahmer Bilal Soofi termed the inclusion of water security into CPEC essentially a |political choice for Pakistan and China” though the issue does not “squarely fall within the otherwise commercial mandate of CPEC”.

 

Zofeen T. Ebrahim and Joydeep Gupta wrote, “Speaking to thethirdpole.net, Soofi said Pakistan and China need to exchange notes on a “contradicting state practice of India as an upper riparian to Pakistan and a lower riparian to China, that will help both the states to confront India.” He further added that Pakistan should raise its voice at an international level that “India’s building of reservoir and fully utilising the water storage capacity under the treaty poses a serious threat to Pakistan in particular backdrop of India’s present posturing as it improves India’s capability to manipulate water flows into Pakistan.” This was echoed by former commissioner Shah who said the international community should be duly briefed about the “dilution of the violation of the provisions of the treaty” by India. At the same time, he said both countries should continue to work closely and quietly to resolve the grievances and find a middle ground”.

 

They added, “The recent stance by India where it “lobbied aggressively and influenced” the World Bank, he feared, had further undermined the already “fragile” treaty. “The WB needs to take the right action–which is to act as arbitrator in this matter, as it has done before,” pointed out water expert Simi Kamal.The reason why the IWT, 74 pages long with 12 articles and 8 annexures and has no expiry date, has worked so far, she said was partly because the Bank acted as a third party. “The Bank needs to maintain this role and not back off now, when its arbitration role is most required in the face of a belligerent Indian government.”

 

According to the writers, “Kamal further said the solution lay not in the pause by the Bank “or for hawks to call for dismantling the treaty”, but for both governments to act responsibly and for the Bank to play its role in “containing adventurism by either government–in this matter the Indian government”. Shah also felt when Pakistan plans to proceed with such cases, it never does its homework thoroughly and therefore always appears the weaker party. The same was endorsed by noted economist Kaiser Bengali when he told thethirdpole.net that he found “the intellectually deficient and politically inane manner in which Pakistan has been pursuing the matter”, criminal. Bengali had little confidence in the Pakistan IWT team. He said, “It has no strategy on dealing with water issues with India. Pakistan’s chief negotiator for more than a decade and a half had limited intellectual capacity to lead on such a strategically life and death issue,” he said”.

 

They indicated, “He said Pakistan keeps harping on the “spirit” of the agreement. “Four decades after a treaty is signed, what matters is the letter of the print, not the spirit of the time when the document was signed.” Bengali believed India was not violating the letter of the agreement. “India has been building power plants on western rivers, but not diverting any water”. Nor, he said, were Pakistan’s contentions on the design “substantive enough to warrant a full scale confrontation”. He also observed, like Shah, that differences can and should be resolved in a more “low key” manner. He feared that since India was not violating the treaty per se, if Pakistan does take the latter to court, it will meet the same fate as the Baglihar Dam case of 2007”.

 

Zofeen T. Ebrahim and Joydeep Gupta maintained, “While Indian officials maintain that they are sticking to the IWT, the government has hardened its stand in recent months after attacks on Indian Army camps in Kashmir by suspected militants. (Read: South Kashmir’s role in anti-India struggle) New Delhi had earlier said it was setting up a task force to examine what projects it could undertake in the three western rivers of the Indus basin under the ambit of the IWT. In the last week of 2016, the government announced that the task force would be headed by Nripendra Mishra, principal secretary to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

 

Nevertheless in light of the above article, it is mentionable that since the 9/11 tragedy, international community has been taking war against terrorism seriously, while there are also other forms of bloodless wars, being waged in the world and the same are like terrorism. Political experts opine that modern terrorism has many meanings like violent acts, economic terrorism etc., but its main aim is to achieve political, economic and social ends. Judging in these terms, Pak-India water dispute which has become serious needs special attention of the US and other major powers, as India remains stern on her illegitimate stand in this respect.

 

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Uproar over Missing bloggers By Asif Haroon Raja

Uproar over Missing bloggers

Asif Haroon Raja

The recently approved Pakistan Electronic Crime Act by the Parliament and promulgation of cybercrime law specifying punishments to the wrongdoers operating in the world of media with absolute callousness have alarmed the dissidents and made them cautious. In the last 12 days, five social media activists including blogger Salman Haider have gone missing from Islamabad and Lahore. The other four are Waqar Goraya, Amir Saeed, Ahmad Raza and Samar Abbas (President of Civil Progressive Alliance). Their supporters are suspecting that they have been kidnapped to gag their freedom of speech on social media. A large number of human rights activists and some political leaders staged protest rallies in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi on January 10, demanding speedy recovery of missing media activists and trial of those who had kidnapped them. The well-known liberals espousing right of freedom of speech were Tahira Abdullah, Dr, Farzana Bari, Pervez Hoodbhhoy, Afrasiab Khattak, Akhundzada and Farhatullah Babar. The electronic media is making hue and cry, completely ignoring the fact that the five missing persons particularly Salman had been spewing venom against Islam, religious beliefs, and the govt. For the last few years, liberal fascists and extremist seculars have been relentlessly fanning germs of hatred in the society through social media. Although the strength of so-called enlightened and progressive segment is very small, but they have taken full advantage of social media free of restrictions to impose their anti-Islam and anti-state thoughts on the people of Pakistan and to mislead them.

Salman is in the vanguard of hate mongers. He had opened three twitter and Facebook accounts, namely Bhainsa (buffalo), Mochi (cobbler), Roshni (Light). He was posting anti-government, anti-institutions and anti-Islam noxious posts on these accounts. All his posts were highly toxic. Large numbers of complaints had been registered against him demanding the closure of these injurious accounts and taking strict action against the culprit (s). The operator of these dubious accounts was however too cunning to get caught. He would keep changing the names of his accounts to remain safe from the hand of the law. He had hired the services of a cyber expert, who helped him in keeping his identity hidden. It took the investigating agencies lot of time and effort to trace the operator Salman operating the three accounts.

Salman projected himself as an intellectual and a poet, but it was gathered that he was employed as a teacher in Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi. It implied that he had been injecting hatred in the minds of students. Further investigations revealed that it was not only Salman but a whole network involved in clandestine activities and was operating from abroad. Most of the operators are based in foreign countries. The goal of this network is to give strength to anti-Islam lobbies/groups in Pakistan and it is also in collusion with separatist groups in Baluchistan.

The United Nations and international human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch voiced concern about the disappearances. Human Rights lawyer Jibran Nasir has filed an application with Supreme Court requesting judicial intervention. Vested groups linked with social media and certain political parties are making noise over the missing five activists and pressurizing the government to locate them at the earliest. They are also highly upset over the dismissal of a columnist writing articles against premier institutions in English newspaper. He is now fanning poison through social media from abroad. Earlier on, they had made a lot of noise over putting columnist Cyril on ECL on account of writing a slanderous article in Dawn newspaper which was a breach of security. Instead of taking him to task for writing a fake story whether fed to him or at his own, the government was grilled for the security leak.

 

 

 

Hussain Haqqani, the former ambassador in Washington, is among the sympathizers of dissident bloggers and he is expressing his deep anguish over their disappearance. He was the manufacturer of infamous Memo which he had presented to the then CJCSC Admiral Mike Mullen in October 2011. The Memo was a certificate to harness Pakistan’s military establishment, place the ISI under Ministry of Interior, open up nuclear program and then roll it back, and to allow the NATO to barge in freely into FATA. Another fascist liberal and pro-India journalist Imtiaz Alam who recently was in the forefront to promote Indian theme of ‘isolation of Pakistan’, has the brashness to write in his article “Wages of freedom in a state of inquisition” in The News dated January 12, 2016 that the Memo was manufactured by Gen Kayani and Lt Gen Shuja Pasha to divert attention from the humiliation of “Get Osama bin Laden stealth Mission” on May 2, 2011. He forgets that by then the fallout effects of the Abbottabad episode had settled down. He also ignores the fact that the US and not Pakistan was humiliated on account of stabbing its close ally in the back. But for Kayani-Pasha pro-active stance, Haqqani would not have abandoned his office of the ambassador. Later on, when the noose of Supreme Court had tightened around his neck, President Zardari and PM Gilani helped him to flee to the safe shores of USA. Since then, he has been spitting venom against Pakistan.

Tariq Fateh based in Canada is another poisonous snake. About two months ago, he had visited a university in East Punjab (India) and while delivering a lecture to the students he spoke in favor of RAW and against Kashmiri Mujahideen. Some students got so angry that they gave him a sound thrashing. Fateh retweeted in favor of Salman after he went missing. These like-minded enlightened liberals support each other’s point of view and share their posts/tweets with fervor. In order to become the darling of the West, these liberal fascists go to any length to earn the goodwill of their western paymasters. They are deliberately provoking the Islamists and elbowing them to lose their patience so that they could make their threatening remarks as an excuse to cry out that their lives are in danger and hence should be granted asylum in western countries. The West, particularly UK has traditionally welcomed traitors, rebels and anti-Islam persons with open arms. The possibility of Salman going underground after learning that his accounts have been traced and quietly sneaking out to seek asylum abroad cannot be ruled out.

The supporters of Salman are straining their lungs and making all out efforts to portray Salman as innocent, tolerant, civilized, enlightened and peaceful. They are trying to inculcate an impression that he and his four comrades have been picked up by the intelligence agencies. This kind of propaganda has also remained in fashion in Baluchistan where few dozen missing Baloch were shown as few thousands. Later on, it was found that most of the missing persons had joined BLA, BRA, and BLF and were residing in Farari camps established in the hills in interior Baluchistan, or in Afghanistan. Some who tried to escape and return home were brutally killed and their mutilated bodies were dumped on the roadside and the blame was put on the Frontier Corps/intelligence agencies. Indian propaganda machinery assisted by pro-Indian and anti-Army lobbies in Pakistan drummed up the issues of missing persons, mutilated bodies and mass graves to hide the crimes of 7.50 lacs Indian security forces in Indian occupied Kashmir, where they are breaking all records of state terrorism against hapless Kashmiris since 1989.

Incurable Imtiaz Alam has recalled the issue of missing persons while shedding tears over the disappearance of anti-state bloggers and has felt no shame in mentioning that the ISI and IB are involved in the racket and none else. Since the SAFMA he heads is entirely funded by RAW, he dare not make a mention of this outfit whose involvement in Baluchistan since 2003 has now been revealed in full details by the arrested RAW agent and serving naval commander Kalbushan Yadav. Concrete proofs have been handed over to the UN and the US by Pakistan. Instead of carrying out self-accountability and reforming himself, Imtiaz wants to reform the ISI. He is least concerned about ‘All Dark’ side of RAW but wants a darker side of ISI quashed. He has cleverly fused the issue of missing persons in Baluchistan (separatists) with the disappearance of five social activists, implying slyly that the kidnappers in both cases are common.   

Bhainsa account which had remained offline for two days has once again been opened but all the lethal posts have been deleted. The last post on this account indicated that Pakistan’s elite Cyber Force has taken control of this page. It was stated that henceforth the said account would indulge in healthy criticism and post pro-Pakistan and constructive posts. The purpose is to mitigate the venom of earlier posts.   

The Ulemas have sought harsh punishment for the secular blogger Salman and his gang for deriding and besmirching Islam and religious beliefs and terming Islam as ‘bloody Islam’. They have taken exception to the blogger’s statement that ‘Islam and Pakistan can go to hell’, and for censuring the seven pillars of Islam. The Ulemas say that renunciation of even one pillar discards a Muslim from the fold of Islam. Taking strong notice of their blasphemous and anti-state utterances, Ulemas have urged the government that a case against the culprits should be registered under constitutional clauses 29ABC and 298 and their cases referred to the court for trial and award of exemplary punishment.

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

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India’s Glass House : List 100 Liberation & Secessionist Movements in India by Sardar Zafar Mahmud Khan




  • Khalistan Freedom Movement.

  • Assam Separatist Movements.

  • Dravida Nadu.

  • Indian Occupied Kashmir Liberation Movement

  • Naxalite–Maoist insurgency.

Additional Information on Secessionist Movements in India

by

Sardar Zafar Mahmud Khan

Here is a list of just some of these separatist movements;

1. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)

2. United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)

3. Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)

4. Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF)

5. Dima Halim Daogah (DHD)

6. Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)

7. Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)

8. Koch-Rajbongshi Liberation Organisation (KRLO)

9. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

10. Karbi People’s Front (KPF)

11. Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)

12. Bircha Commando Force (BCF)

13. Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)
Banner of the UNLF

Banner of the UNLF (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14. Adivasi Security Force (ASF)

15. All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)

16. Gorkha Tiger Force (GTF)

17. Barak Valley Youth Liberation Front (BVYLF)

18. United Liberation Front of Barak Valley

19. United National Liberation Front (UNLF)

20. People’s Liberation Army (PLA)

21. People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK)

22. The above mentioned three groups now operate from a unified platform,
india kerala boat people

india kerala boat people (Photo credit: FriskoDude)

23. the Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF)

24. Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)

25. Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)

26. Manipur Liberation Tiger Army (MLTA)

27. Iripak Kanba Lup (IKL)

28. People’s Republican Army (PRA)

29. Kangleipak Kanba Kanglup (KKK)

30. Kangleipak Liberation Organisation (KLO)

 

31. Revolutionary Joint Committee (RJC)

32. National Socialist Council of Nagaland — Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)

33. People’s United Liberation Front (PULF)

34. Kuki National Army (KNA)

35. Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA)

36. Kuki National Organisation (KNO)

37. Kuki Independent Army (KIA)
English: Location of Jammu and Kashmir in India

Kashmiris dont think of themselves as Indians.English: Location of Jammu and Kashmir in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

38. Kuki Defence Force (KDF)

39. Kuki International Force (KIF)

40. Kuki National Volunteers (KNV)

41. Kuki Liberation Front (KLF)

42. Kuki Security Force (KSF)

43. Kuki Liberation Army (KLA)

44. Kuki Revolutionary Front (KRF)

45. United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF)

46. Hmar People’s Convention (HPC)

47. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

48. Hmar Revolutionary Front (HRF)

49. Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA)

50. Zomi Revolutionary Volunteers (ZRV)

51. Indigenous People’s Revolutionary Alliance(IRPA)

52. Kom Rem People’s Convention (KRPC)

53. Chin Kuki Revolutionary Front (CKRF)

54. Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)

55. Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC)

56. People’s Liberation Front of Meghalaya (PLF-M)

57. Hajong United Liberation Army (HULA)

58. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) – NSCN(IM)

59. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) – NSCN (K)

60. Naga National Council (Adino) – NNC (Adino)

61. Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)

62. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)

63. International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)

64. Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)

65. All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF)

66. Bhindrawala Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK)

67. Khalistan Liberation Army (KLA)

68. Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF)

69. Khalistan Armed Force (KAF)

70. Dashmesh Regiment

71. Khalistan Liberation Organisation (KLO)

72. Khalistan National Army (KNA)

73. National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)

74. All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)

75. Tripura Liberation Organisation Front (TLOF)

76. United Bengali Liberation Front (UBLF)

77. Tripura Tribal Volunteer Force (TTVF)

78. Tripura Armed Tribal Commando Force (TATCF)

79. Tripura Tribal Democratic Force (TTDF)

80. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

81. Tripura Liberation Force (TLF)

82. Tripura Defence Force (TDF)

83. All Tripura Volunteer Force (ATVF)

84. Tribal Commando Force (TCF)

85. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

86. All Tripura Bharat Suraksha Force (ATBSF)

87. Tripura Tribal Action Committee Force (TTACF) Socialist Democratic

88. Front of Tripura (SDFT)

89. All Tripura National Force (ATNF)

90. Tripura Tribal Sengkrak Force (TTSF)

91. Tiger Commando Force (TCF)

92. Tripura Mukti Police (TMP)

93. Tripura Rajya Raksha Bahini (TRRB)

94. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

95. Tripura National Democratic Tribal Force (TNDTF)

96. National Militia of Tripura (NMT)

97. All Tripura Bengali Regiment (ATBR)

98. Bangla Mukti Sena (BMS)

99. All Tripura Liberation Organisation (ATLO)

100. Tripura National Army (TNA)

101. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

102. Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT)

103. Mizoram

104. Bru National Liberation Front

105. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

106. Arunachal Pradesh

107. Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF)

108. Left-wing Extremist groups

109. People’s Guerrilla Army

110. People’s War Group

111. Maoist Communist Centre

112. Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)

113. Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Janashakti Other Extremist Groups

114. Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT)

 

Reference

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