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Archive for January, 2018

Pakistan-Born on Night of Power: The Miraculous Aspect of Pakistan’s Date of Birth By  The London Post

Pakistan-Born on Night of Power:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Miraculous Aspect of Pakistan’s Date of Birth

By

 The London Post
 –

By
Tariq Majeed  

 

All along the series of important events which led to the emergence of Pakistan, there were signs of divine help at critical junctures. However, there was one occasion when the Hidden Hand of divine power left such a clear imprint of its presence that no one could deny it. This was the matter of appearance of the New State on the map of the world at a pre-determined date.
 
The time chosen by Allah was most blessed in nature. It was the month of Ramazan, the day was the Last Friday, Jumuatul Widaa, the night was 27th of Ramazan, widely acknowledged as Lailatul Qadr, the time was the moment of Midnight.

Exactly at that moment when the hour clock sounded its last toll on the radio, signalling a new day and date, the birth of the State of Pakistan was announced. The date in the lunar calendar was 27 Ramazan 1366 corresponding to 15 August 1947.

It ought to be made clear that Pakistan’s Independence Day is actually 15 August. This was divine power’s decision; making it 14 August was a human decision. It should be realized that August 14 was Thursday, 26th of Ramazan, and had no special merit.

British Parliament’s Indian Independence Act of 18 July 1947 also mentions 15th of August as “the appointed day” for the birth of India and Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah took the oath of office as Governor-General on the 15th. He was aware of the significance of this date and also of the mission entrusted to this country—of becoming a model Islamic state based on Islamic economic, social and moral values.   Speaking at a public reception in Chittagong, on 26 March 1948, he said:

This biggest Muslim State came into being on 15th August 1947. It was a great day in our history. But, on this great day, it was not merely a Government which came into existence, it meant the birth of a great State and a great  Nation—one supplementing the other and both existing for each other. I can understand the limitations of those amongst us whose minds have not moved fast enough to realize that 15th of August ushered in such a State and such a Nation.

It is natural for some to think only in terms of Government but the sooner we adjust ourselves to new forces, the sooner our mind’s eye is capable of piercing through the horizon to see the limitless possibilities of our State and of our Nation, the better for Pakistan. Then and then alone it would be possible for each one of  us to realize the great  ideals of  human progress, of social  justice, of equality and fraternity which, on the one hand, constitute the basic causes of the birth of  Pakistan and also the limitless possibilities of evolving an ideal social structure in our State.1

It was on 29 June 1948 that the Cabinet under Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan “decided that henceforth Independence Day of Pakistan would be celebrated on 14th August.”2

As the Hidden Hand implementing the divine scheme of things uses earthly means, who was used as the instrument for proclaiming the pre-determined date of Partition? It was not the British government or the Hindu Congress or the Muslim League. The instrument was Mountbatten, who had been chosen for the role two years in advance.

Mountbatten leaned toward the Hindu Congress and was quite friendly with its top leaders, while toward the Muslim League and its Pakistan Plan he nourished hostility. However, divine schemes have their own ways of bringing about the desired events; a villainous character may well do something beneficial, while a benign character may turn out to be harmful.

Until the end of 1946, there was no sign that Britain would quit India anytime soon. But the year 1947 came literally with whirlwind changes. On 20 February 1947, British Prime Minister Attlee made a surprising policy statement in the Commons, announcing this historic decision:“…His Majesty’s Government wishes to make it clear that it is their definite intention to take the necessary steps to effect the transference of power into responsible Indian hands by a date not later than June 1948…” 3

This was a momentous turning point in the political situation in India. The events that followed rapidly converged on creating Pakistan. Earlier, on 18 December 1946, Attlee called Mountbatten to 10 Downing Street and invited him to succeed Wavell as viceroy in India.4 He gave parting instructions to Mountbatten:“…If by October 1 you consider that there is no prospect of reaching a settlement on the basis of a unitary government…you should report… on the steps which you consider should be taken for the handing over of power on the due date..” 5

Mountbatten reached Delhi on 22 March and was sworn in on the 24th.  From 24 March to 10 April, he held intensive meetings with Nehru, Gandhi, Liaquat and Jinnah. His mind was focused on the 1 June 1948 date, by which transference of power had to be completed. Then, abruptly his mind changed; a compelling urgency seized him. A new transfer of power plan took shape.

His voice constricted with sudden emotion, the victor of the jungles of Burma about  to become the liberator of India announced: ‘The final Transfer of Power to Indian hands will take place on 15 August 1947.’ 8

Marvellous spectacle! Conceived and directed with absolute precision by the unseen forces of divine power.

“And none can comprehend thy Sustainer’s Forces save

Him alone and all this is but a reminder to mortal man.” 9

 

References

1.   Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali: Speeches as Governor General of

Pakistan 1947-1948. Rawalpindi, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, p. 99.

2.   Letter, dated 27 August 2005, by Director National Documentation Centre,

Cabinet Division, in reply to my questions on the subject.

3.   Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon, eds. Constitutional Relations between

Britain and India: The Transfer of Power 1942-47, Vol. XI, London, Her

Majesty’s Stationery Office, first published 1983, Section 45, P. 89.

4.   Stanley Wolpert. Jinnah of Pakistan, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1984, P.304.

5.   Ibid, p. 314.

6.   Britannica, 1977, Micropedia, Vol. VII, p. 90.

7.   The Transfer of Power 1942-47, Vol XI, Item 44, p. 88,

8.   Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. Freedom At Midnight, Delhi, Vikas

Publishing House, 1976.  pp. 164,165.

9.   Qur’an Majeed, Surah 74, Ayah 31.

 

The London Post

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USA’s treacherous agenda against Pakistan by Asif Haroon Raja

USA’s treacherous agenda against Pakistan

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

 

 

The US ignores its own human rights violations and also looks the other way to massive human rights abuses committed by Israel, India, Egypt and other dictatorial regimes towing its agenda. Washington, however, has no tolerance for democratic regimes that refuse to make their countries compliant States and opt to pursue independent foreign policy best suited for their national interests. Various excuses are manufactured to bring suchlike defiant States in line. The more often dirty tactics in use are sanctions, orchestrated political turmoil and chaos, coercion, threats, proxy war, psychological operations, propaganda, regime change, and if needed, physical assault and occupation of the targeted country.

The Indo-US-Israel nexus is adept in contriving a false narrative to build a case against a country. Going by the dictum of Joseph Goebbels, the trio repeatedly utter lies and half-truths to convert falsehood into truth and convincing the audience to accept black as white. The targeted ruling regime is demonized and discredited under a well-planned media campaign to justify intervention and a regime change.

Since 9/11, the US has used proxies, terrorism, sedition, propaganda war and coercive tactics as tools to destabilize the targeted country. It has meddled in internal affairs of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Chad, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. All are Islamic countries and their peoples are all Muslims.

After enacting Osama bin Laden led Al-Qaeda drama to validate invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in October 2001, Iraq was occupied in May 2003 on fake charges of WMDs. Arab Spring was fomented by the CIA-MI-6-Mossad combine in 2011 to destabilize the Middle East and weaken stronger Arab nations. ISIS was created to incite sectarianism and help the US in changing the boundaries of Middle East and let Israel fulfil its dream of ‘Greater Israel’.

Regimes were changed in Tunisia and Egypt by inflaming street protests. Qaddafi was demonized as a monster to affect a forcible regime change. The civil war was fomented in Syria to boot out Bashar al-Assad regime but so far it has miraculously survived due to Iranian and Hezbollah support and intervention of Russia. Arab Peninsula Al-Qaeda threat was sensationalized to drone Yemen and stir civil war.

The civil war in South Sudan was further stirred up and President Gen Bashir was declared a war criminal and hounded with a view to making the task of bisecting Sudan easy. Democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood regime under Morsi was ousted from power within one year of its rule and replaced by the military regime of Gen Sisi, which up surged extremism and divided the country into religious lines.

As regards Pakistan, this is not the first time that it is on the brink of being abandoned and punished by the US. Pakistan had become a staunch ally o the USA in 1955 after joining SEATO and CENTO to contain Communism was thoroughly disappointed when the US stopped all military and economic aid for going to war against India in 1965. This act favoured India which was fully supported by USSR. But for the US betrayal, Pakistan could have clinched the victory. It impelled President Ayub Khan to tilt towards China and to write a book titled ‘Friends Not Masters” in 1967.

 

Ayub’s tilt infuriated the USA and it retaliated by fomenting protests and riots in Pakistan through Mujibur Rahman led Awami League in East Pakistan and ZA Bhutto led PPP in West Pakistan, forcing Ayub to resign in March 1969 and handing over power to Gen Yahya Khan. When East Pakistan was being annexed by the Indian military backed by USSR in 1971, the US played no role to prevent the tragedy in spite of Pakistan’s role in bringing China closer to USA which enabled US troops to exit from Vietnam. The US looked the other way when India carried out the weaponized nuclear explosion in 1974, but put Pakistan under sanctions in 1979 on the mere suspicion that it had embarked upon a nuclear program. 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan was taken on board by the USA in mid-1981 to mount a biggest proxy war against the occupying Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan faced turbulent Afghanistan in the northwest and stormy Iran in its southwestern backyard engaged in war with Iraq throughout the 1980s. Internally, it had to cope with KGB-RAW-KHAD-Al-Zulfiqar terrorism. Once Pakistan and the Afghan Mujahideen achieved the miracle of the 20th century by pushing out Soviet forces in February 1989 after paying a very heavy price, and paved the way for fragmentation of USSR and for the US to become a sole superpower, the US not only ditched them, but made India its strategic partner. President Bush senior stopped all US military and economic aid to Pakistan invoking the Pressler amendment in October 1990 charging Pakistan with crossing the nuclear red-line. In May 1998, President Clinton imposed additional sanctions invoking the Glen amendment punishing Pakistan for the May 1998 nuclear tests.

By the time the decade of the 1990s had ended, Pakistan — the most allied ally of the US during the Cold War — had become the most sanctioned country in the world after Libya. And the Kargil misadventure had carried its own penalties. And in October 1999, the US imposed sanctions related to Musharraf’s military takeover.

At about the same time even the multilateral aid agencies led by the World Bank had effectively turned off for Pakistan their concessional assistance tap on the plea that the newly independent Eastern European countries, as well as the Central Asian countries, needed the help of these aid agencies more than countries like Pakistan. Japan perhaps was the only country out of all the members of the Paris Club that had continued to donate about $500 million annually to Pakistan during the period.

Still, Pakistan negotiated the 1990s not only with composure but had waged during this period two low-intensity 10-year-long wars — one on the side of the Afghan Taliban against the Northern Alliance led by Ahmed Shah Masood and assisted by India and Iran, and the other on the side, the Kashmiri freedom fighters pitched against over 700,000 occupying Indian troops in Indian-Occupied Kashmir. At the behest of India, Pakistan was put on the watch list of terror abetting States by the USA and was accused of manufacturing an Islamic bomb likely to fall in hands of radical Arab countries. Pakistan had to bear the load of 3.5 million Afghan refugees, and cope with looming Indo-Israeli threat to Kahuta, and heightened sectarianism stoked by Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Governance became a real challenge for the elected governments of PPP and PML-N in the face of two wars and Pakistan’s economy being denied the usual quantum of international assistance and when the domestic tax-to-GDP ratio had dipped to an abysmally low point? In those critical times, Saudi Arabia came to the rescue of Pakistan which started giving oil on deferred payment. After nuclear blasts, oil was provided gratis. Foreign remittances from most of the Muslim countries, especially from the Middle East all through the 1980s and 1990s saved Pakistan from defaulting.

On the face of it, the 1990s in retrospect appear to be a lost decade in economic terms. The country had experienced a decade-long shrinking of economic growth and the three unfinished IMF programs that it had entered and exited in quick succession during this period further curtailed the growth in the name of the Fund imposed austerity.

Meanwhile, the debt-to-GDP ratio had escalated to a depressing 103%. Because of the military takeover of October 1999, even the helping hand of the IMF was not available to Pakistan, as under their respective laws both the UK and US representatives sitting on the Fund board were obliged to vote against the application of a country under military rule.

The second Afghan war that immediately followed the 9/11 brought back Pakistan in the good books of the US and it was quickly made a non-NATO ally. This was, however, a deception since Pakistan was, in reality, a target and was to be destabilized, denuclearized and Balkanized covertly.

After brewing up the war on terror in FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan, Pakistan was subjected to cooked-up allegations that it was in cahoots with the militants and that its nukes were unsafe. The hidden objective of the US was exposed in 2006 after the publication of an article in US Defence Journal titled “Blood Borders” written by Lt Col Ralph Peters. The map showed changed boundaries of Middle East, and Baluchistan a separate state.

The ‘Do More’ mantra introduced in 2005/06 was meant to brew political stabilization, bleed economy and foment insecurity. Indo-US-Israel-Western media campaign demonized Pakistan that it’s Army and ISI were supporting terrorism. Idea was to discredit the Army, brand Pakistan a terror abetting State and Pak Army/ISI rogue outfits. A narrative was built that Pakistan was collapsing, the nuclear arsenal was unsafe and its nukes might fall into wrong hands (Islamic extremists). The objective was to give an excuse to the USA to declare Pakistan a failed State and to occupy Islamabad and the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan and seize nuclear arsenal.

This notion was penned in a 2007 article published in London Guardian, titled,Bush handed blueprint to seize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal,behind which was Fredrick Kagan, member of American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The AEI’s board of trustees include war criminal Dick Cheney, warmongers Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Richard Perle, John Yoo, and Paul Wolfowitz.

 

THE JEW-BIG MOUTHS

Fredrick Kagan wrote another Pakistan focused article in 2009 in New York Times, co-authored with Brookings Institution’s Michael O’Hanlon, titled, Pakistan’s Collapse, Our Problem.” It described the complete collapse of the Pakistani government, overrun by “extremists.” It went on to describe “Pro-American moderates” within the Pakistan Army in need of US forces to help them secure Islamabad and their nuclear arsenal. Several options were given for storing the nuclear weapons safely. Various contingency plans of swooping away the nukes by the US Special Forces were also publicized.

 

Selig Harrison of the Soros funded Center for International Policy called for carving off Pakistan’s Baluchistan province not as part of a strategy to win the “War on Terror,” but as a means to thwart growing relations between Islamabad and Beijing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

InFree Baluchistan,” he explicitly called to “aid the 6 million Baluch insurgents fighting for independence from Pakistan in the face of growing ISI repression.” Giving merits of his idea he stated, “Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar in the heart of Baluch territory. So an independent Baluchistan would serve U.S. strategic interests in addition to the immediate goal of countering Islamist forces.” The US Congressmen Ted Poe and Dana R0hbachar have consistently backed the Baloch separatist agenda.

In another article titled,The Chinese Cozy Up to the Pakistanis,” Harrison stated, “To counter what China is doing in Pakistan, the US should play hardball by supporting the movement for an independent Baluchistan and working with Baluch insurgents to oust the Chinese from their budding naval base at Gwadar. Beijing wants its inroads into Gilgit and Baltistan to be the first step on its way to an Arabian Sea outlet at Gwadar.”

In line with Harrison’s suggestion, RAW placed serving Indian Navy officer Commander Kulbushan Yadhav at Chahbahar under fake name of Mubarak Hussain Patel as early as 2003. Later on, he was given $400 million by RAW to destabilize Baluchistan with the help of Baloch rebel groups, and Karachi through MQM, scare away the Chinese, gain knowledge of Makran-Karachi seacoast for amphibious landing, disrupt work in Gwadar and scuttle CPEC. Shamsi airbase was used by CIA and Blackwater to provide funds and arms to the rebels in interior Baluchistan, and for drones. NATO containers were also used for supplying arms.  

Christine Fair lamented that the US spent pumped in much more money in Baluchistan than in Iran and yet has failed to make it independent. 

Af-Pak doctrine announced by Obama regime in March 2009 followed by passage of Kerry Lugar Bill (KLB) in end 2009 authorizing $7.5 billion economic/military assistance to Pakistan spread over 5 years were Pakistan specific with a dangerous agenda of stepping into FATA and Baluchistan under the garb of hot pursuit operations, or raiding a target based on actionable intelligence, harnessing nuclear arsenal of Pakistan, clipping the wings of armed forces and paving the way for balkanization.

That would have given the US an ideal geopolitical scenario that would permanently Balkanize the country along Pashtun, Baluchi, and other ethnic minority lines, and result in a permanent Western presence inside the country. In their view, seizure of FATA would benefit American efforts in Afghanistan by depriving terrorists of the sanctuaries they have long enjoyed in Pakistan’s tribal and frontier regions.

The then Army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani rejected the idea of making Durand Line redundant and insisted on fighting independently on either side of the border based on strategy of ‘anvil and hammer’. 

Drone campaign in FATA was stepped up to stir up the Pashtun minority against the government and the Army and to breakup peace deals. $1.5 billion was allocated for Pakistani media to step up 5th generation war in Pakistan. Rabid haters of Pak Army like Hussain Haqqani and Tariq Fateh; and anti-Pakistan runaways like Altaf Hussain and his cronies, Brahamdagh Bugti, Suleman Dawood, Harbyar Marri etc were made full use of to malign Pakistan and its premier institutions. Blackwater and CIA agents were inducted in 2008-10 in big numbers to spread flames of terrorism into urban areas.

In a 2009 article by Seymour Hersh titled, “Defending the Arsenal,” high intensity suspicion and distrust of Pakistan against America was underscored. This distrust was based on America’s obsession with “defending” Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. The US had repeatedly sought joint Pak-US control of all nuclear sites. It was clear that the US under the pretense of “helping” Pakistan if ever it fell into chaos, was all along trying to ascertain the location of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons as well as the trigger assembles kept separate as a security measure.

Arrest of Raymond Davis in January 2011, CIA sponsored polio vaccine campaigning by Dr Shakil Afridi which facilitated stealth attack in Abbottabad in May 2011 to get Osama bin Laden, and the Memogate scandal in October 2011 spilled the beans. Later on, arrests of Kulbushan on March 3, 2016, and TTP key leaders Latif Mehsud and Ehsanullah Ehsan removed all doubts of deep rooted involvement of RAW and NDS in Pakistan. 

America’s continued presence in Afghanistan as well as its increasingly aggressive “creep” over the Afghan-Pakistani border has been justified under the ambiguous and omnipresent threat of “terrorism.” In reality, the true goal is to contain the rise of China and other emerging economies using the pretense of “terrorism.” China’s One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) project and particularly fast developing CPEC has unnerved USA and India and has become one of the compelling reason for the US to extend its stay in Afghanistan. The US is also making concerted efforts to make India the key player in Afghanistan.    

Pakistan-China ever growing strategic relationship in the wake of $62 billion worth CPEC, and China’s commitment to build Gwadar Seaport, with another next door  port at Jeewani possibly as a Naval Port, dams, roads, nuclear plants, and military technology, are giving nightmares to US and India. The only cards America seems to have left in its hand to counter this growing relationship are threats of destabilization, the subsequent stripping of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, and Pakistan’s Balkanization into smaller, feeble states. This option is scandalous, and reveals the absolute depths of depravity from which the imperialist powers suffer from. 

It is quite clear that the “War on Terror” is but a pretense to pursue a policy of regional hegemony with the expressed goal of containing China. This in turn, is part of a greater strategy covered in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute reportString of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China’s Rising Power across the Asian Littoral.

The corporate-financier oligarchs obsessed with their money game are quite willing to destabilize Pakistan, and risk war with nuclear overtones, and a possible confrontation with China and Russia. These oligarchs, hawks within Trump’s administration, American-Jewish lobby, Israel, India and the puppet regime in Kabul are all egging on Donald Trump to strike Pakistan and he seem to be dancing to their tunes. Since August 22, 2017, he and senior US leaders have adopted a highly belligerent posture against Pakistan. Series of threatening statements have been issued and Pakistan put on notice.

Pakistan’s response that it has done enough and will not do any more, and that it is now the turn of USA and Afghanistan to do more is rational and logical. It has rightly rejected the US paltry aid, stressing it needs respect and acknowledgement of its sacrifices, and adding that it can keep fighting terrorism at its own without American assistance. Pakistan has discontinued military cooperation and intelligence sharing with USA, and has other effective options to exercise in case the US opts for a unilateral punitive action. Pakistan’s principled stance seem to have mellowed down the jingoism of hawks in USA and they have started giving reconciliatory feelers.    

China and Russia are asserting themselves as security and economic alternatives to the US unilateralism since former two are ascending powers and USA is a descending power. Europe is still grappling with economic challenges. The Muslim world hate interventionism of USA and Israel, while majority of Americans consider Trump to be insane. The US is stuck in Ukraine and Syria, but Afghanistan is fast turning into a graveyard for USA. With its prestige badly soiled, the US is scapegoating Pakistan to hide its blunders. With no exit strategy, it is foolishly hoping that Pakistan will fight its war and convert its defeat into victory.

Asia-Pacific strategy coined by Obama has been abandoned by Trump and so is Trans-Pacific-Partnership, while the new Indo-Pacific policy still stands on slippery ground. Whereas the reputation of NATO stands tarnished, unity regime in Kabul and ANSF have become liabilities for USA. Hope of making India policeman of the region is getting dimmed. The Middle East will remain in turmoil. North Korea, Iran and now Pakistan are not getting intimidated by the US bullying tactics and are determined to face the intimidator.

2018 will be a crucial year for USA, China and Russia rearing to undercut each other, while Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran will remain vigilant to avoid getting trampled under the feet of prancing elephants.  

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Chief Editor Better Morrow magazine. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

 

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Growing Trend of Negative Coverage of CPEC in Media       By Sajjad Shaukat

Growing Trend of Negative Coverage of CPEC in Media

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

In the cyber-age, online information and interaction of peoples by the developed and the less developed countries have further increased the importance of media. Media tools which include TV channels, newspapers and websites have the power to mold peoples’ views in a positive or negative sense.

 

In this respect, terror-attacks in Pakistan’s various regions, especially in the Balochistan province and other anti-Pakistan developments cannot be seen in isolation, as these are part of the conspiracy to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

 

While, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad which have also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan. Country’s primary intelligence agency ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, including Balochistan and Karachi.

 

But, recent blasts in Balochistan and other areas of the country show that the US-led India, Afghanistan, and Israel have again started subversive acts to weaken Pakistan and to harm the CPEC. Well-entrenched in Afghanistan, intelligence agencies such as American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which are in collaboration with the Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) are using various terrorist outfits like Daesh and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their affiliated terrorist groups in order to conduct terrorist acts in Pakistan. As part of the double game, these secret agencies also support Baloch separatist elements to promote the covert agenda of the US-led entities against China and Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is noteworthy that on March 24, 2016, Pakistan’s security forces disclosed that they arrested the serving agent of RAW in Balochistan. During investigation and in a video, shown on Pakistan’s TV channels, RAW agent Kulbushan Yadav confessed that “he was the agent of RAW” and “during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” project.

 

It is notable that India was openly opposing the CPEC and China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, the US also joined New Delhi. In this context, on October 3, 2017, US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative…the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a part of which traverses Pakistan-Kashmir.”

 

Islamabad strongly dismissed the statement from the American defence chief that the multibillion-dollar road and rail network CPEC which is part of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, passes through a disputed territory of Kashmir, urging the international community to focus on blatant human rights violations and ‘heinous crimes’ committed by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and reminded the US that Washington had also participated in an OBOR summit.

 

Earlier, a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry also dismissed Mattis’ statement, saying that the OBOR plan was backed by the United Nations and that CPEC was an economic cooperation initiative.

 

In this regard, repeated threats of the US President Donald Trump and top American officials to Islamabad and other moves like suspension of latter’s aid are part of the same scheme to thwart the CPEC.

 

However, terror-attacks to destabilize Pakistan coincide with a continued propaganda campaign, launched by the foreign media against Pakistan, while, giving negative coverage to the CPEC.

 

In fact, Indian lobbies which are well-penetrated in the US administration and Europe, research centers, think tanks and so-called human rights groups utilize the media tools in defaming Pakistan internationally. Especially, RAW is availing the opportunity of the US-led organized propaganda campaign against Pakistan.

 

In this connection, much coverage was given by the external media to a report, released on April 13, 2017, by Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) which is in partnership with Mahatma Gandhi International AISBL. The subject report portrayed complete Indian negative propaganda themes about the provinces of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Balochistan and Sindh. Based on falsehood, the report also said that the CPEC is a breach of international law and is being implemented without consultation or compensation to the people of the area.

 

Undoubtedly, GB is the gateway of CPEC into Pakistan, whereby GB’s strategic and socio-economic importance has increased manifold. Like Balochistan, the region has huge potential in the trade with China, tourism, minerals, gems, precious stones, agriculture-farming and hydropower production. Therefore, GB’s people who are strengthening their association with Pakistan pays no attention to the false propaganda.

 

In this context, a blog under the caption, “Why Pakistan and China must pay heed to the growing local resistance to CPEC—Communities that are being displaced by the project are anxious–and angry” appeared on a website on July 18, 2017, written by Dr. Amiera and Dr. Nausheen H. Anwar. The blog was also republished by the Asia Times (Online) on August 8, 2017. As part of the negative coverage of the CPEC, it was reproduced several times under various titles like “CPEC: The growing resentment and resistance among poor Pakistanis can cost China dearly”, “For Pakistan, China’s huge energy investments may have serious political costs” etc.

 

Nevertheless, the blog left no stone unturned in making the CPEC controversial. It wrote: “In Pakistan, there’s no topic hotter than the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a multi-billion dollar bilateral development project…its focus on energy development is also desperately needed in a country…At least, that’s the theory. Not everyone sees the changes wrought by the CPEC so positively…with those being impacted by CPEC-funded energy projects, growing citizen mobilization in Sindh and Punjab may be turning into a political problem for Pakistan…while CPEC projects are already benefiting the national economy, the boon is less assured for those living in the project regions…Many of the residents in CPEC target areas are homesteaders, pastoralists, and small business owners…the farmer told us about ongoing resistance to a planned CPEC project that the government had thus far failed to heed. At this point, he said, they should expect violent opposition…Many Pakistanis…both in Punjab and Sindh perceive CPEC development as just another form of oppression.”

 

Anyhow, this blog indicates to how propaganda techniques are being employed by the foreign media to target the CPEC.

 

While, these external media-propagandists who also give undue coverage to the meetings and protests against the integrity of Pakistan, are particularly exaggerating the statements of those Baloch leaders who have taken shelter abroad and are fulfilling the agenda of their foreign masters against the CPEC.

 

In this respect, RAW and CIA arranged a meeting of Baloch Sub-Nationalists, SSNs (Sindhi-Sub- Nationalists) and the USNs (Uyghur Sub-Nationalists of China) on the termination of 35th Session of Human Rights Council in Geneva from 12-14 June 2017. The agenda was; planning against the CPEC/Pak-China’s interests in the region. Mehran Marri attended the conference and delivered a speech (reportedly prepared by RAW) alleging CPEC as exploitation projects and Baloch cultural genocide by Pakistan and China. Representatives of World Sindh Congress (WSC), Uyghur human rights activists, Rebiya Kadeer and Dolikun Aeysa were also present in the said conference.

 

As a matter of fact, since April 20, 2015, when the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements for cooperation in various fields, related to the CPEC, gloomy coverage of the project had already started in the external media.

 

But, it is regrettable that by following the pessimistic approach of the external media, in the recent past, some media anchors and the so-called analysts of Pakistan have also given negative coverage to the CPEC by manipulating the differences of the provincial and regional politicians. Thus, intentional or intentionally, they have encouraged the designs of the foreign entities.

 

Notably, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had led a high-level delegation to China and met Chinese President Xi Jinping and his counterpart Li Keqiang on May 13, 2017. On the same day, Beijing and Islamabad signed three agreements pertaining to the economic and technical cooperation of worth 3.4 billion Yuan for Gwadar port and East Bay expressway. In the meeting with the Chinese president, P.M. Sharif stated that the presence of all the chief ministers [of Pakistan’s provinces] shows the importance our nation gives to Pak-China ties. He added, “China is our strategic partner…The benefits of the Chinese investment of $56 billion with regards to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will soon reach the common man in Pakistan.” Chinese rulers also expressed similar feelings.

 

The reality is that 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 the volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan like the Suez Canal which changed the destiny of Egypt when Israel returned it to the former. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Gwadar project which is the backbone of the CPEC will uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, including developments in other provinces by providing thousands of employment opportunities, especially to the less developed areas by redressing their grievances. The resulting prosperity in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan would damp the separatist sentiments of the people, which the hostile elements, supported by the US, India and Israeli do not want. Therefore, their media describe the CPEC in negative terms.

 

Nonetheless, instead of following the growing trend of negative coverage of the CPEC in foreign media, Pakistan’s media should give a matching response to the malicious propaganda of the US-led India, Israel and some western countries against this Pak-China project.

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

 

 

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Strategic Dimensions:  Indian Wheat is Harmful to Afghans’ Health By Sajjad Shaukat

Strategic Dimensions: 

Indian Wheat is Harmful to Afghans’ Health

 

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

After hosting the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, India on October 29, 2017, began shipment of 15000 tons wheat to landlocked Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port, which was received in the Afghan city of Zaranj with jubilation. The consignment was the first out of the 1.1 million tons wheat committed by India for the people of Afghanistan on a grant basis and was projected in the media mainly to celebrate the launching of the newly constructed Chabahar port. India, Afghanistan and Iran agreed to operationalize the Chabahar port only a year-and-a-half ago when they signed agreements in relation to the US-backed Chabahar project to develop a trade route from Chabahar to Central Asia. The project has been portrayed by Indian media commentators as having changed the historical Great Game for control of the connections between South and Central Asia through Afghanistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afghan officials said that the rest of the consignments were expected to arrive in different stages, and were set to be completed by the end of January 2017.

It is notable that a huge quantity of wheat being supplied to Afghanistan in the name of a grant was from the old stock and is infected. Hence, it is harmful to the health of the Afghans. Due to administrative mismanagement and red-tapism in India, a large number of wheat stocks got unnoticed for years and ultimately expired.

The Indian government’s recent move of demonetization of currency notes in the country also added to further infect these already expired stocks of wheat, as the Indian farmers did not have new currency notes to purchase seeds which were earlier being provided to them from these old stocks and they ultimately used the fresh yields as seeds.

 

In this respect, Pakistan’s leading businessmen and Director Zia-ul- Haq Sarhadi in a statement issued by the Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) said in December, last year that they have once again appealed to the Pakistan and Afghan authorities to review the bilateral trade policies including transit trade to promote bilateral trade between two countries—the new Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) has become the victim of sabotage since last six years. The result was that 70% Afghan trade has been shifted to Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar—due to lack of clear export policy, India has started shifting her wheat to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) through Chabahar port of Iran—Pakistan had exported 1 to 1.5 million ton of wheat, flour and self-rising flour (Maida) annually to Afghanistan.

 

However, rather than being purely a commercial activity, Indian supply of wheat to Afghanistan cannot be seen in isolation, it has strategic dimensions.

 

In this regard, the hastily-launching of the project of Chabahar port came to a head in wake of Pakistan’s Gwadar port of the Balochistan province, becoming a focus of global attention owing to the junction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC). Therefore, in order to fulfil its so-called strategic agenda with maximum projection, New Delhi provided the wheat from its expired stocks. But, with a softer Indian image, New Delhi ignored the health of millions of Afghanis who would be using this wheat as their basic food. The issue can have serious implications for the lives of Afghanis who have already been suffering from food and health crisis since long due to continuous crisis and displacements. Notably, the issue has already been discussed in various talk shows in the Kabul News TV by Anchor Wahidullah and Ghazikhel and on Shamshad TV.

 

It is mentionable that as part of the animosity against Pakistan, the Indian government was exerting pressure on the businessmen and industrialists to hasten the move and subsidized Indian wheat which would drive Islamabad out of the Afghan markets. Besides, New Delhi gave general subsidy on farm inputs, which makes the Indian wheat cheaper as compared to Pakistan, while, India also offered a specific $50 per ton additional subsidy to exporters, thus driving the price further down.

 

It is noteworthy that Afghanistan which is in the phase of transition, moving from crisis to stability, has expressed a strong desire to join the multi-billion economic opportunity of the CEPEC, when in October 2016, Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Dr Omar Zakhilwal, emphasized upon his country’s interest in joining the CPEC. However, a year later, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s disappointing statement regarding Kabul’s joining of the Indian venture Chabahar Port, gave a setback to the earlier progressive and pragmatic approach of the Afghan nation.

 

While, as a landlocked, terrorism and militancy prone nation, Afghanistan is in desperate need of infrastructural development and uplifting its economy. Thus, if Kabul joins the CPEC, an ideal environment of trilateral cooperation can be developed in the region which can benefit all parties involved.

 

Besides, Afghanistan can, particularly, gain enormously by not only benefiting from this Chinese investment but also can have an active role of both Beijing and its strategic partner Islamabad in bringing stability and peace in Afghanistan.

 

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 the volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan and China. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans by giving easy access to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

 

In this context, CPEC is predicted to bring industrialization and investment to Pakistan, the carry-over effects of which will obviously benefit neighbouring Afghanistan also. Unlike the Chabahar project, the CPEC is the wider project, between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China. 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. The connected roads will enable Afghan businessmen and investors to access the enormous consumer markets in South Asia, thereby increasing Afghanistan’s exports and reducing the costs of imports. CPEC can bring the three nations under a common economic, commercial and industrial umbrella which, in turn, can ensure joint efforts for peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.

 

The Afghan nation must also take cognizance of the fact that Kabul is 1237 km. away from Gwadar, whereas the distance between Kabul and Chabahar is 1840 km. It means Gwadar is more suitable for Kabul, because, it is more than 600 km. nearer to it as compared to Chabahar. Gwadar is much more a beneficial route for the Afghanis with suitable logistic expenses.

American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad

Undoubtedly, CPEC is likely to prove as the game-changers in the region, therefore, based in Afghanistan, intelligence agencies such as American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad are assisting terror-outfits so as to destabilize various regions of Pakistan, especially Pakistan’s Balochistan and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan.

 

Notably, on June 13, 2016, a Chinese newspaper, Global Times also wrote that India is “damaging the prospects of Gwadar by investing in Chabahar to isolate Pakistan; however, it will not succeed in its designs.” The paper explained, “Pakistan’s Sindh Province saw a bomb attack against Chinese engineers…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.”

Another strategic dimension is that India was openly opposing the CPEC and China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, the US also joined India in this respect.

 

As part of the double game, on October 3, 2017, US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative” the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.” And the recent threat of American President Donald Trump to Islamabad, suspension of aid and encouragement of Indian role in Afghanistan are part of the covert strategic game to damage the CEPEC project. Hence, Pakistan which has already established its strategic partnership with Beijing is also cultivating a strong relationship with Russia and Iran. Thus, an alliance of Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran is likely to emerge in the near future in response to the US-Indian partnership.

 

Afghan rulers must also note that pro-Israeli President Trump is against Tehran. In this connection, addressing a regional summit in Riyadh, Suadi Arabia on May 22, 2017, President Trump accused Iran of supporting terrorism from Lebanon to Iraq and to Yemen—contributing to instability in the region. Moreover, in pursuance of Israeli hidden agenda, President Trump has also refused to certify the US-Iran nuclear deal. In these circumstances, Iran could abandon the Chabahar project and could also join the CPEC.

 

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

 

 

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Shaheen Sehbai reveals it all – The Express Tribune, Pakistan

Shaheen Sehbai reveals it all

By Monitoring Desk

Published: May 1, 2016

Shaheen Sehbai. PHOTO: FILE

Senior journalist Shaheen Sehbai has revealed that he was not shown the report in which the newspaper purported that the International Council for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) mistakenly included Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s name in the Panama Papers before it was filed.

Speaking to a panel comprising Express-News anchors Imran Khan and Gharida Farooqi, and Daily Express Group Editor Ayaz Khan after resigning as the group editor of The News on Saturday, Sehbai said his reports at The News were radically changed without his permission.

According to Sehbai, the CEO and group editor-in-chief of the Jang Group, Mir Shakeelur Rehman, was waging a battle for ‘civilian ascendancy’. He said Jang Group’s ‘Aman Ki Asha’ initiative was considered a bad move among military circles, but “we insisted
that all this was done with full knowledge of the military leadership”.

“We were ashamed of certain decisions taken by my organization and I now realize that the Jang Group promoted its own perception and angled all news according to its own need,” Sehbai said. He added that the Jang Group was facing a lot of issues for a very long time.

 

 

Shaheen Sehbai. PHOTO: FILE

 

 

 

 

Sehbai said the most recent difference between him and the Jang Group cropped up when the latter ran a story claiming that ICIJ had included Premier Nawaz’s name in the Panama Papers by mistake. “My objection on this issue was that I was neither consulted nor shown the report before publishing it,” the veteran journalist said.

“I was not told about this report at all. Such moves usually took place after midnight and usually orders from the top were accompanied by ‘suggestions’ about which news was to be accommodated wherein the newspaper,” he added.

The news report in question, according to Sehbai, was just a ‘one-liner’ correction which was followed by a letter from Daniyal Aziz and was arranged in the shape of a news report.

Things were micromanaged at his previous organization, he said, adding that orders from the top usually not only included ‘hints’ at the placement of even single-column news items but also which report was to be radically edited too.

“When editors reviewed the newspaper in the morning, they realized just how much of their news reports made it in the paper and how much they were edited out.”

Sehbai said that while Mir Shakeel claimed he was waging a battle for civilian ascendancy, “I was ashamed of the way my previous employer came out in defense of the current government.”

“Owners of the Jang Group have a clear-cut view on what sort of news reports and editorials are to appear in their newspaper. They view everything in accordance with their own perspective and print newspaper in line with their own viewpoint every day. Everything is determined by the group’s owners,” he said.

“Over the past two years, I had been facing a number of issues with the group owners. When the incident involving Hamid Mir occurred, I was with Mir Shakeelur Rehman in Dubai and I advised him not to adopt such an aggressive posture, but he said that a clash between the military and civilians is bound to happen and that I should not interfere,” Sehbai said.

“And everyone witnessed whatever happened afterward. My differences on policy matters began from that time, I kept telling him not to pursue the course of action he had chosen. The mind of Mir Shakeelur Rehman may contain a host of disparate agendas, but he had some views of his own too,” he added.

“When I joined Jang Group, talks were going on for the ‘Aman Ki Asha’ project and some people from the Times of India visited us. At that time, I explicitly told them that I would not join this effort,” the veteran journalist said.

According to Sehbai, the restriction on Geo transmission during the Musharraf regime and Hamid Mir’s attack haunted Mir Shakeelur Rehman’s mind.

“When the attack on Hamid Mir happened, he (Mir Shakeel) told me that he believed that his group was destined to control military supremacy and establish civilian ascendancy. Right after the Hamid Mir incident, I tried my best to normalize the situation,” he said.

“I even apologized on behalf of my employer, but I believe we were not entirely forgiven. During this period, other issues kept cropping up and lastly, the disclosures contained in the Panama Papers hit the media. We should have maintained a balanced approach in handling this issue, but the way my group emerged, defending the government, I was utterly embarrassed.”

“I am in Washington, facing a lot of criticism. So many people have approached me, asking what is happening with my newsgroup? I gave them their phone numbers and told them to ask the owners themselves. I have no idea what the media group is reaping or hopes to reap in return for supporting the government, except, of course, government advertisements,” he added.

Sehbai said ads in Jang Group publications completely dried up after the Hamid Mir incident and the subsequent standoff between the group and the military. “At that time, the current government had supported the group. They even tried to calm the military and told them not to entirely kill the group economically. They should have considered the truce negotiated by the government as a boon,” he said.

“I don’t know if there is a connection between the ban on the Pakistani movie ‘Maalik’ and Indian movie ‘Fan’. I have no idea. But I know this much that one film is supported by one group while the other has been released by another.”

Regarding ‘Aman ki Asha’, Sehbai said the project which began with much fanfare died off completely when the group hit bad times. “Mir Shakeelur Rehman and the Jang Group earnestly want to establish good relations with India and its film industry. They also want to establish their network in India. They want their channel to be freely viewed in India. However, their wish is yet to be realized,” he said.

“The group has so far avoided a direct civilian-military clash, but editorials and the display of news reports reflect such a situation. If there is a debate on the civilian-military relationship, the group would always advocate civilian ascendancy, even when civilian leadership is in the wrong,” he added.

“I had reduced writing reports in view of the group’s policies, and most of the times I felt that my write-ups were not welcome or I was told to incorporate a certain point of view,” Sehbai said.

“Over the past few years, I stayed away from appearing on Geo TV and they also did not call me for my views, but I was invited on other channels where I gave my views,” he added.

Regarding the impact of his move, Sehbai said: “Nothing will happen after my resignation. It will not result in any revolution. I have no illusions. My resignation would not force people out on the streets. Nothing like this will ever happen. I was contacted by a lot of my colleagues, asking me to tell them what to do. I have told all of my colleagues to continue to work if allowed to do so with complete editorial independence, if not they should decide for themselves. I believe a journalist should basically uphold the truth at all cost. “

In his resignation letter submitted earlier, Sehbai complained that the Jang Group was “unnecessarily engaged in a dangerous conflict with national institutions”.

“I feel that I can no longer sustain the moral and ethical pressure as group editor [of the News], justifying decisions which were not taken by me but which have caused immense damage to the credibility and financial stability of the newspaper,” wrote Sehbai.

“I find the policies of the newspaper lop-sided, heavily tilted politically and unnecessarily engaged in a dangerous conflict with national institutions, especially at a time when the country is at war with terrorists, their supporters and financiers, and the corrupt elements in all spheres of society who are using money looted through corruption to fight the state,” he stated in the letter.

“I may also add that in formulating and implementing these self-defeating policies, the views and suggestions of professional editors at all levels, including myself, have been consistently ignored,” the senior journalist added.

Referring to Mir Shakeelur Rehman, Sehbai wrote: “As editor-in-chief, it is your right to run the newspaper as you like, but for professional journalists, there is always a limit to which they can go along. I know many editors feel the same way, but I have decided to call it a day today.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2016.

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