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Archive for April, 2018

Gathering dark clouds By Asif Haroon Raja

Gathering dark clouds

Asif Haroon Raja

Muslims of East Bengal were the worst affected region during the British rule and had ardently yearned for Pakistan to free themselves from the cruel clutches of the Hindu-British combine that had turned them into serfs. Birth of Pakistan was seen as a miracle of the 20th century. Its survival under extreme odds was indeed a bigger miracle.

Pundit Nehru had eyes on East Pakistan (EP) soon after the birth of Pakistan. Links were established with Bengali political leaders to sow seeds of misgivings in their minds. India had a hand in the 1953 language issue which created bad blood between the people of East and West Pakistan. Influential Hindu minority in East Pakistan particularly Hindu intelligentsia, businessmen, teachers and professors were to play a key role in poisoning the minds of Bengalis. It took India 24 years to subvert the minds of Bengalis, who were in the vanguard of Pakistan movement, influence them to hate West Pakistan and to consider India as their friends.

Illegal occupation of two-thirds Kashmir by Indian military became a bone of contention between the two arch-rivals. After India failed to defeat and destroy Pakistan armed forces in the 1965 Indo-Pak war and all its ground and air attacks were grounded, it decided to break up Pakistan using an indirect strategy of initially weakening it from within through subversion and political destabilization and then using the military instrument. East Pakistan located 1000 miles away from West Pakistan with no ground linkage and surrounded by India from three directions was chosen as a target and for the achievement of its objective, Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was taken on board in 1963. His six-point plan was a route to secession.

The conspiracy to create Bangladesh was stepped up by newly created RAW in 1968. It helped Mujib and his team of conspirators to create Mukti Bahini, intensify Bengali nationalism and sweep the 1970 elections. A plane hijacking drama was engineered in January 1971 and the incident was used as an excuse to sever east-west air flights to isolate EP. Pakistan had to use long circuitous air route via Colombo to reach Dacca.

After the postponement of Constituent Assembly inaugural session at Dacca on 01 March 1971, Mujib adopted an uncompromising defiant posture. He let the Mukti Bahini carry out systematic slaughter and rape of West Pakistanis and pro-Pakistan Bengalis and created a state within the state. To stop his madness, Gen Yahya was impelled to launch a military operation, which led to province-wide civil war.

Isolated and outnumbered Pak forces recaptured all the lost towns and restored order in a record time of less than two months. Indira Gandhi had however made up her mind to dismember Pakistan and she not only thwarted all reconciliatory attempts made by Pakistan but tasked Gen Manekshaw to organize guerrilla war in EP and then wage a war. 59 training camps were established for 2, 80,000 rebels. Indian soldiers dressed in civil clothes assisted them.     

It took India nine months to create desired conditions to launch its military in November 1971. The former Soviet Union that had signed Treaty of Friendship with India in August 1971 extended full support to India in this venture. USA, Israel, Afghanistan and some Arab countries supported India, while China was contained by Soviet forces. Since the separation of EP was a pre-planned international conspiracy, none came to the rescue of Pakistan when it was being brutally vivisected. On December 16, 1971, the eastern limb was severed and Bangladesh created.

RAW started making inroads in Sindh and in Baluchistan from 1973 onward by supporting Sindhu Desh movement and Baloch insurgency. It also maintained contacts with ANP in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Saraikis in Multan-Bahawalpur regions and Balwaristan movement in Gilgit-Baltistan. 5th columnists, nationalist politicians and disgruntled elements were also kept in the loop. The purpose was to stoke provincialism and induce the people of the smaller province to rebel against Punjab. The Baloch insurgency in the 1970s was fully supported by RAW. Likewise, Al-Zulfiqar was also extended full support from 1980 till 1994. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After 9/11, India got a real chance to carry out yet another 1971  surgical operation. This time a new band of conspirators ganged up with India to weaken Pakistan internally through sabotage, subversion and propaganda, discredit, isolate and denuclearize it and then further fragment it into four parts. Operation Blue Tulsi launched by the adversaries in 1994 to disable Pakistan’s nuclear program was given a fillip through the war on terror to bleed Pakistan. This was reinforced by fifth generation war to demonize Pakistan and its premier institutions.

The conspirators used Afghanistan as the base of operation and started weaving a web around Pakistan in 2002 to destabilize it and economically weaken it through covert operations. In the last 15 years, their proxies have inflicted 75,000 human casualties and caused an economic loss of $123 billion. The sold-out media has helped in polarizing the political parties, dividing the society, demonising the incumbent government and creating uncertainty. Their exterior manoeuvre has isolated Pakistan and spoilt its image despite Pak military’s outstanding performance in the war on terror.

‘Get Pakistan’ operation assumed urgency after the inauguration of CPEC in 2015 which has all the ingredients to make Pakistan socially integrated, politically stable, economically and militarily strong and self-reliant. The conspirators have now become desperate to either scuttle CPEC or else dismember Pakistan.

The conspirators have thus far not been able to achieve their sinister objectives despite inflicting thousands of cuts on the body of Pakistan and its people. The bloody operation has not reached its logical end due to nuclear deterrence and Herculean resistance put up by Pakistan armed forces, ISI, and the people.

India-US defence relations in recent years have moved along an upward trajectory. After the US signed the civil nuclear deal signed in 2008 and gave India access to Nuclear Suppliers Group, the two countries signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum, Maritime agreement and Strategic Communications agreement in 2015, which were China and Pakistan specific. On December 8, 2016, USA designated India as its major defence partner with a view to expanding bilateral defence cooperation between both nations. This was announced by visiting US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter in Delhi. The designation has placed India among the closest allies and partners of US.

Encouraged by the USA, India has subjected Pakistan to multi-dimensional overt and covert wars as under:

  1. India’s RAW in collusion with NDS and CIA is involved in biggest ever proxy war against Pakistan from the soil of Afghanistan.
  2. India’s 7,50,000 security forces having converted Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) into an open prison are breaking all records of human rights violations and barbarities against the Muslim Kashmiris.
  3. Operation ‘All Out’ has been launched in IOK to systematically eliminate Kashmiri youth. Hindu Pundits and retired armed forces persons are being settled in IOK to change the demography of Kashmir.
  4. India with the help of USA after tying the hands of Pakistan and restraining it to provide arms to the freedom fighters has been exerting pressure on Pakistan to stop extending political and moral support to Kashmiris and forget Kashmir.
  5. To hide its massive human rights violations in Kashmir, India constantly accuses Pakistan of abetting terrorism in IOK.
  6. The Indian military has under a calculated design kept the Line of Control and Working Boundary in Kashmir hot through almost daily ceasefire violations inflicting casualties on soldiers and civilians. Over 400 firing incidents have taken place in last 3 months killing 18 civilians. Indian Army Chief Gen Bipen has admitted that it’s being done to maximize pressure on Pakistan. Another purpose behind constant firing across the de-facto border is to hide its massive human rights violations in IOK and to distract attention away from its illegal and brutal occupation of Kashmir.   
  7. Water terrorism unleashed by India to make Pakistan dry is part of the overall scheme to force Pakistan to bend to its dictates. Rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi have been dried up, while water flow in Rivers Jhelum, Chenab and Indus reduced.
  8. India has now started persistently harassing Pakistan diplomatic staff and their families in New Delhi.
  9. India is an important player in the hybrid war launched against Pakistan to destabilise it politically, weaken its economy, foment discontentment, and create cleavages in the society, unrest, uncertainty and chaos.
  10. In collaboration with the USA, India is making all-out efforts to internationally isolate Pakistan, blacklist it and put it under sanctions.
  11. India is also systematically encircling Pakistan by placing its military in IOK and Siachin, establishing itself in Afghanistan, gaining operational control of Chabahar port in Iran, gaining access to Duqm port in the Gulf of Oman and forging close ties with the Arab Gulf States.
  12. India has hung the sword of Cold Start doctrine over the head of Pakistan and is hurling threats of surgical strikes and limited war.
  13. India is goading and inciting USA to carry out drone attacks in FATA, Baluchistan and also in urban centres against suspected hideouts of terrorists.

Since August 2017, Pakistan has been in the eye of the storm in the US. President Trump and his administration have been on a rampage to punish Pakistan for the US own failures in Afghanistan, constantly portraying it as a security state harbouring extremists and terrorists. The US is hurling warnings and threats to Pakistan to dismantle alleged safe havens of Haqqani network and Afghan Taliban on its soil and to help the US in winning war in Afghanistan. No amount of explanations has mellowed the anger of Trump administration and it is hell-bent to penalise Pakistan for its uncommitted sins. The allegations made on the country are baseless and mischievous and at best, questionable. The US has failed to provide proofs to substantiate their accusations.

After putting Pakistan on notice and suspending $ 900 million close support fund, the US then decided to put Pakistan in the grey list of countries financing terrorist groups and then pave the way to blacklist it. Pakistan was accused by the US of non-compliance of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules and regulations on terrorism financing.

The joint motion moved by USA and UK in the FATF meeting last March was thwarted by China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Pakistan has gained a temporary reprieve for next three months because of several steps it had taken to control money laundering in the last few months and its impressive results achieved in controlling terrorism. Even Pakistan’s closest friends like China and the Gulf States were finding it difficult to defend Pakistan on the issue of terrorism as was evident in last FATF meeting where the great majority of 37 members had voted against Pakistan.

Suspension of military aid by the US surprisingly did not come as a shock to Pakistan’s civil and military leadership. On the contrary, US got a kick in the teeth when Pakistan reacted calmly, calling the US a friend who always betrays. The US was told that Pakistan doesn’t need US aid but wants its sacrifices and achievements in the war on terror to be acknowledged. Pakistan has made it clear that it hasn’t spared any terror group and all terror groups are now based in Afghanistan.  

While Pakistan has flushed out all the terrorist groups in FATA and settled areas of KP, in Afghanistan, there are 21 terrorist groups and the latest addition is Daesh (Khurasan chapter). Sanctuaries of Pakistan focussed TTP, Jamaat-e-Ahrar, Lashkar-e-Islam are well-known and communicated to the Afghan government and Resolute Support Group Commander. The US has not eliminated any or has helped Pakistan in fencing the western border, or in extraditing the Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan since 1979 that have now become a security hazard. Resolution of these three aspects will greatly resolve the issue of illegal cross-border movement and terrorism and will restore peace in Af-Pak region. Sadly! Peace in Afghanistan goes against the imperialist interests of USA or India.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They say “every dark cloud has a silver lining”. In its 70-year turbulent history, Pakistan has been continuously subjected to conspiracies. Ongoing conspiracy woven in 2001 is much more dangerous than the 1971 international conspiracy. There is a reason to believe that the political imbroglio which is enfeebling the economy is foreign abetted. Although this country is engulfed by a few hydra-headed problems and has been labelled as a failing state, its resilience has been a prominent feature of these seven decades of existence. Prophets of doom had predicted that Pakistan will not exist beyond 2017. Therefore its survival amidst all the speculations is by far its biggest success. Undoubtedly, Pakistan will weather the storm and will come out stronger than before.

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence, security and political analyst, columnist, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

 

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CALL THE CABAL BY ANY NAME—IT RULES OVER AMERICA By Commodore Tariq Majeed PN (Retd)

Facing the Enemy Effectively Requires Knowing his Real Identity and Capability

Awareness Brief-AB-02-18, Thursday, 29 March 2018, 11 Rajab 1439

CALL THE CABAL BY ANY NAME—IT RULES OVER AMERICA

Commodore Tariq Majeed PN (Retd)

 

“Some of the biggest men in the U.S. in the fields of commerce and manufacturing know that there is a power so organized, so subtle, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” 1

                                              Woodrow Wilson (US President 1912-20)

 

Why US Foreign Policy turns out to be against National Interest  

          Woodrow Wilson‘s comments belonged to the early years of the 20th century. By the close of the century, the adherents of that subtle power had gained control over all the vital fields of national life in America. That subtle power rules over America and employs the American state organs and the people for its own exclusive ends.

Without comprehending this fact, US foreign policy’s failures and misconceived and questionable moves that critically harmed the national interest, in the last several decades, cannot be understood. Why did US invade Iraq in March 2003 while it had been confirmed that Iraq had no involvement in the 9/11 terrorism in America, and UN inspectors had declared that Iraq had no nuclear weapons and had no plan to develop them? Iraq had already suffered crushing defeat by US and NATO forces in the Gulf War, 16Jan-28 Feb 1991, and posed no threat to US.

Why is the US doggedly pursuing a clearly flawed policy in the war in Afghanistan that is being fought for over 15 years now, and shows the US losing it continuously?

Pakistan has never harmed US interests. In fact, it has always loyally complied with US dictates foregoing its own interests. But, US bears an unrelenting enmity toward Pakistan, does not care even when its policies harm Pakistan’s vital interests and every now and then publicly demonstrates its hostility to Pakistan; the question is, why?

A Cabal Controls Planning and Conduct of US National Policies

Until a few years ago, it was a “conspiracy theory” to say that governmental policies in the United States were made by a secret clique that was pursuing a specific agenda of its own interests which were clearly harmful to US interests. It is this agenda that required the US to devastate Iraq by military invasion in 2003, that keeps the war by terrorism in Afghanistan going, multiplying destruction and fuelling disintegration, and it is to fulfil this agenda that the US targets Pakistan as an enemy state.    

The phrase “conspiracy theory” is well known, but not so its definition, because it suits its originators that way.  Its definition is actually simple and straightforward. Any explanation of an event or issue that differs from and challenges its explanation given in unison by the official establishment and the mainstream media is called a “conspiracy theory” by these two entities and those who echo their views.

The facts presented here highlight the bizarre reality that an exclusive group of people united in their ideological beliefs and their ambitious goals and commanding the major instruments of power dominates the conduct of national policies in America.

Its discussion in public was still taboo. However, the notion—which indeed is a reality—is finding its way through diverse channels to the people’s eyes and ears in America and abroad. There is also ever-growing writing by American academic researchers and political and military analysts on this alarming issue. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Cabal is that of Zionist International Jewry

In saying “there is a power so organized, so subtle, so complete, so pervasive” Woodrow Wilson did capture the essence of the weird characteristics of this power. But he left out its most important characteristic, that the ‘subtle power’ is International Zionism.    

Writers in referring to this ‘subtle power’ have used a variety of names:  Pro-Israel Lobby, Jewish Lobby, The Israel Lobby, Zionist Lobby, Organized Jewry, The Order, The Elite, The Invisible Government, America’s Secret Establishment, All-Judaan, Illuminati, a Cabal, Neoconservatives (or Neocons). These names can be found in the books of American authors, some of which are listed in the bibliography.

However, the name that befits it best is Zionist International Jewry, (Zinjri, for short), because its command group consists of non-believing, anti-religion ethnic Jews who belong to different countries and adhere to Zionism. The creed of Zionism vehemently opposes God, His prophets, divine religion, and social and moral values based on religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ample Writing Exposing the Zionist Cabal

Author of Who’s Who of the Elite, Robert Ross, says: “There have been dozens of very good books written since the beginning of the 20th century on this subject, but they remain rather obscure because the Elite conspires to suppress them,2 True. Keeping the public unaware of its existence has been Zinjri’s key strategy for acquiring power. Nevertheless, sufficient literature on this forbidden topic exists that gives a full exposé of this elusive entity and its sinister goals. It also throws light on Zinjry’s command group that wields almost unchallenged power in the international sphere. The US Elite is a part of Zinjri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Robert Ross. About his book, published in July 1995, Ross says, “It is to alert the public of the existence and activities of the Elite, and to encourage active participation by all concerned citizens to stop the takeover of the US, and the rest of the world by the Elite in their efforts to form their Global Union (formerly called the New World Order).” Global Union’s other title is One-World Government, also found on the Internet.

Ross looks into the membership and working of three major interlinking Elite organizations, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Trilateral Commission (TC), and Bilderberg Group (BB). The book lists hundreds of names of prominent persons, (including US presidents), in politics, finance, industry, business, media, science and technology, academia, intelligence, military. The three bodies pursue a common long-term program, as directed by Zinjry.   

Paul Findley. A former congressman, Paul Findley, was probably the first front-rank politician to alert his countrymen to the dominant power Israel’s Lobby had attained in the US Congress and the Administration.  His 1985 book, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, is an eye-opener on this subject. He writes:

 Over the years the pro-Israel lobby has thoroughly penetrated this nation’s governmental system, and the organization that has made the deepest impact is the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to whom even the President of the United States turns when he has any vexing political problems.4 It is no overstatement to say that AIPAC has effectively gained control of virtually all of Capitol Hill’s action on Middle East Policy. Almost without exception, House and Senate members do its bidding, because most of them consider AIPAC to be the direct Capitol Hill representative of a Political Force that can make or break their chances at election time.5

Alfred Lilienthal. In his 1965 book, ‘The Other Side of the Coin, he makes this profound statement that is as true today as it was in 1965: “While most Americans do not understand Zionism this has not prevented many Jewish organizations from weaving Zionist goals, doctrines and public statements into their daily agenda.” 6 In many of the other countries, the political and military leaders and the intellectuals are victims of the same design.

Henry Ford I. Renowned American industrialist Henry Ford was not only innovative but also exceptionally observant and analytical. He became aware of the Zionist danger to America and wrote a series of articles in 1920-21 warning Americans about it. These were later published as a book titled, The International Jew. Summing up his in-depth study, Ford wrote in 1920, twenty-eight years before the creation of Israel:

 

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Jewry is the most closely organized power on earth. It forms a State whose citizens are unconditionally loyal wherever they may be and whether rich or poor. The designation of this State, which circulates among all the countries, is All-Judaan. Its means of power are Money and Propaganda.7

Book, The Transparent Cabal. Added to the strong evidence of Zionist dominance over US national policies is a remarkable case study of how the Zionist cabal pushed the US into war against Iraq.  

         Details of the role played by the most hard-line component of the Israel lobby in leading the US to war [against Iraq] are found in this scrupulously researched book by Dr Sniegoski.8

     The book’s title, The Transparent Cabal, is intriguing. Cabal by definition is: A number of persons secretly united and using devious and undercover means to bring about an overturn or usurpation especially in public affairs.9 Explaining the title, the author says:

                    The book has been entitled The Transparent Cabal because the Neoconservatives have sometimes been referred to as a cabal. By implying secret plotting, the aim of such a term is often to make the whole idea of Neocons influence appear ridiculous. For while the Neocons represent a tight group devoted to achieving political goals, they have worked very much in the open to advance their Middle East war agenda. Thus, unlike a true “cabal,” characterized by secrecy, the Neoconservatives are a “transparent cabal.10

More Light on Neocons Perfidy.  Mentioned below are some excerpts from the book that throw more light on the Neocons’ perfidious nature:   

“What Sniegoski is challenging is the management of American  foreign policy by extreme Zionists.”                                           (page xiii)                                 

“What is most impressive about Sniegoski’s study is its rigorous demonstration of the persistence with which Neoconservative ‘policy-advisers’ have pushed particular agendas, driven by their strident Zionism, over long periods of time.”                                           (page xi)

 

                “The Neoconservatives quite openly publicized their war agenda both before and after Sept 11, 2001. Like a “cabal,” the Neoconservatives have worked in unison to shape major policy.”                                 (page6)                                                                                                         

                “Over the years, the Neocons had developed a powerful, interlocking network of think tanks, organizations, and media outlets outside of government with the express purpose of influencing American foreign policy. By the end of the 1990s, the Neocons developed a complete blueprint for the remaking of the Middle East by military means, starting with Iraq.”                                                                                     (page 6)

                                

To Recognize this Reality is Crucial for the Ruling Authorities     

This section is primarily addressed to Pakistan’s rulers, policymakers and the other authorities responsible for the country’s security. But, it is of equal importance for the ruling authorities of all Muslim countries. The ‘Reality’ to be recognized, as explained in this document, is, that:

■ A Cabal of Zionist International Jewry (Zinjry) rules over the United States and makes the national policies, including foreign policy, in pursuit of its own aims, which, in fact, go against the US national interest.

■ The Zionist Cabal is pursuing global aims, which the policymakers must identify because these aims include disintegration of Muslim countries. Its “complete blueprint for the remaking of the Middle East,” which outlines the scheme for breaking up Saudi Arabia, is being implemented.

Pakistan is a prime target of the Zionist Cabal. Let there be no doubt about it. It is for this purpose that Neocons manoeuvred to tie Pakistan down militarily with Saudi Arabia—a move, which, if not reversed quickly, will cause grievous harm to Pakistan in both political and strategic terms.

The complete blueprint that also targets countries beyond the Middle East was actually published in a Hebrew document in early1980s.   

Recognizing its vital importance, French scholar Roger Garaudy included it in his 1983 book. I reproduced it in an awareness brief, titled, The Zionist Scheme to Break up Muslim Countries, and circulated it first in Aug 2003, then in Jan 2016. Apparently, the concerned authorities ignored it. It is hoped they will now give it the attention it deserves.

The writer is an analyst of international and national affairs.

 

Notes:     

  1. Sutton, p.2; Quoted from Quigley’s book, Tragedy and Hope.
  2. Ross, p. xi.       3.   Ross, p. ii.   4.   Findley, p. 27.  5.   Findley, p. 25.
  3. Lilienthal, p.13. 7.  Ford, p. 261.      8.   Sniegoski, p. viii.
  4. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.             10. Sniegoski, p. 6.

 

Bibliography

―Garaudy  Roger. The Case of Israel: A Study of Political Zionism, London,  

    Shorouk International, 1983.

Findley, Paul. They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront

    Israel’s Lobby, Westport, Connecticut, Lawrence Hill & Company, 1985.

Ford I, Henry. The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem, Umma

    Publishing House, Karachi, 1970, first published in 1920.

Lilienthal, Alfred M. The Other Side of the Coin, The David-Adair Company,

    New York, 1965.

Quigley, Carroll. Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time,

    The Macmillan Company, New York, 1966, Paperback – March 1, 2014.

Ross, Robert Gaylon, Sr. Who’s Who of the Elite—Members of the:

    Bilderbergs, Council on Foreign Relations & Trilateral Commission,

    Spicewood, Texas, published by RIE, First Printing – July 1995.

Sniegoski, Stephen J.  The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda,       

    War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel. Enigma Editions,    

    Norfolk, Virginia,  2008.

Sutton, Antony C.  How the Order Creates War And Revolution, Australia,        

    Veritas Publishing Company Ptv. Ltd. 1986.

 

 

 

Tariq Majeed

Email: dilbedar@yahoo.com

 

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Pakistan: Home to the Mystifying Cultural Heritage By Ishaal Zehra

Pakistan: Home to the Mystifying Cultural Heritage

Ishaal Zehra

Spring is back in Pakistan. And so is the exclusive Defence Day Parade which is annually held on March 23rd to mark the Pakistan Resolution Day. The day when all the Muslims of the sub-continent agreed upon to fight for a country which they can call ‘home’. At this time of the year, one can catch quite a glimpses of colours and smiles all around Pakistan.

Peace has returned to the country and so is the tourism. Credit goes to the Pakistani nation which stood resilient, fully supporting the military in their operations against militancy. The resolve this nation showed during these hard times is reaping rewards now. Pakistan, who lost her tourists to other regions of Asia is fast becoming famous around the tourism circle for her magnificent beauty and charm she offers to the visitors.

 

Pakistan day parade starts with zeal and vehemence. The capital city Islamabad roars with jet thunders rehearsing for the main day Parade from the mid of March. Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan lies on the Potohar Plateau, one of the earliest sites of human settlements in Asia. The word Islamabad means ‘the city of Islam.’ Famous for its greenery, peace and cleanliness, Islamabad is highly developed and is ranked second most beautiful Capital city in the world. Apart from the natural beauty and huge green forests, Islamabad is also famous for the Faisal Mosque – the largest mosque in South Asia and sixth largest in the world. The mosque is a major tourist attraction and is referred as a contemporary and influential feature of Islamic architecture.  The trek trails of Margalla hills offers a breathtaking experience to the trekkers.  Other places worth seeing in this city include Lok Virsa Museum, Rawal Lake, Pir Sohawa, Islamabad Zoo, Pakistan Museum of National History and Saidpur village beside many others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Courtesy-http://blogs.epakistan.com/pakistan-a-land-of-cultural-diversity/

 

 

 

Pakistan has a very rich cultural heritage. The variety Pakistan offers is a true delight for the tourists and necropolis fans. The latter especially will not be disappointed. Starting from the ancient settlement of Taxila in the western outskirts of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of South Asia. Taxila was a centre of learning and is considered by some to have been one of the earliest universities in the world.  The archaeological sites of Taxila include buildings and Buddhist stupas from the 5th century to 6th century AD. The main ruins of Taxila are divided into three major cities, each belonging to a distinct time period. These ruins reveal the pattern of urban evolution on the Indian subcontinent through more than five centuries. Sirkap is the citadel of the ruined cities. It was a planned city with a multicultural population. When you visit Sirkap you can see the interesting style of masonry up till 6th century when the city was destroyed by the White Huns. Julian is a 300 meters easy climb you will see a well-preserved monastery and the main stupa beautifully decorated with the statues of Buddha and other deities.   The local guide will explain all the important aspects of the monastery and Stupa. Julian was the place where Sanskrit script was invented and it was a well-known college in its times (2nd to 6th century AD).

Nearly everyone on Earth is familiar with the Great Wall of China – well the Ranikot Fort is Pakistan’s answer to its much better known Chinese counterpart. But the Great Wall of Sindh is not a protective barrier like the Great Wall of China. Rather, the walls form the outer defence system of the fort of Ranikot. Within the outer walls there are three inner forts named Miri Kot, Sher Garh and Mohan Kot – and together they constitute what is generally regarded as the largest fort anywhere in the world.

Ramkot Fort is a major landmark of Mangla city. The fort, located on the top of a hill and surrounded by River Jhelum from three sides, presents a picturesque landscape. To approach the fort, you have to take a boat from the water sports club at the Mangla Dam for an almost 10-minute ride, would reach the northern extremity of the reservoir. Here, you will find a gigantic fort structure located on the summit of the hill. A short but steep climb uphill takes you to the fort.

Built between the 15th and 18th centuries, the Chaukhandi Tombs now form a remarkably well-preserved necropolis that often attracts curious visitors and archaeologists alike, but the area is not without foreboding legends.  The tombs at Chaukhandi are renowned for being one of the most haunted sites in the region, and visitors are particularly warned against entering the graveyard at night. Avoiding the tombs at night isn’t bad advice, haunting or otherwise, because the details and drawings on these fascinating artifices are clearly best experienced in the broad light of day. A fact for which many visitors are likely very thankful.

From around the 14th century through to the 18th century CE, the Thatta region was inhabited by local royalty who used Makli Hill as their communal burial site. Hindu, Islamic, Asian, and other styles can be picked out among the collection of tombs, which have been split into four distinct periods of creation corresponding to the ruling society of the time. Some of the tombs have tall columns, while others are decorated with sweeping arches. Altogether, the hill is like some sort of archaeological dreamscape.

In the town of Thatta, there is famous Shahjahani Mosque, also known as Jamia Mosque of Thatta, with its beautiful architecture. This mosque was built in 1647 during the reign of Mughal King Shah Jahan. The mosque is considered to have the most elaborate display of tile work in South Asia and is also notable for its geometric brickwork – a decorative element that is unusual for Mughal-period mosques. The mosque has overall 93 domes and it is world’s largest mosque having a huge number of domes. It has been built keeping acoustics in mind. A person speaking at one end of the dome can be heard at the other end when the speech exceeds 100 decibels.

The Mohatta Palace is a museum located in Karachi. It was built in the posh seaside locale of Clifton by Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta, a Hindu Marwari businessman from modern-day Rajasthan in India, in 1927. The architect of the palace was Agha Ahmed Hussain. Mohatta built the Palace in the tradition of stone palaces in Rajasthan, using pink Jodhpur stone in combination with the local yellow stone from Gizri. The amalgam gave the palace a distinctive presence in an elegant neighbourhood, characterized by Indo-Muslim architecture which was located not far from the sea.

Takht-i-Bahi, the most prolific religious and ceremonial complex of the Gandhara Civilization, is rightly known as the jewel of Pakistan’s cultural heritage.  A visit to Takht-i-Bahi -Throne of Origins- offers a chance to explore the history of the Gandhara Civilization. Takht-i-Bahi is also referred to as the Monastery of Kanishka, the great Kushan King, who ruled Gandhara in the 2nd century CE and was famous for his military, political and spiritual achievements. It was first excavated in 1836, and numerous items were recovered, including coins from different periods. Most of the statues are now on display at the Peshawar Museum, which contains the largest collection of relics of the ancient Buddhist civilizations. Some of the most valuable pieces of Gandhara sculpture, now found in European museums, were originally recovered from Takht-i-Bahi.

 

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With the list extended to Mohinjodaro ruins, which was one of the largest and most advanced cities in the world during its time, to the Baltit Fort and the lunar landscape, a mud volcano and bizarre rock formations of the Hingol National Park, the list seems unending. How to not talk about the Muslim Sufi Shrine in Multan, the mystical branch of Islam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

People say that, in Thailand, Scotland or Morocco, you find the most hospitable people in the world. Well, clearly, they haven’t been to Pakistan. Whereas it’s true that these countries are very hospitable, Pakistanis bring it to the next level. While the people of Pakistan come from a variety of distinctive ethnic groups and speak a number of different languages, they share at least one thing in common: a uniquely gregarious nature. In this country, you are the guest, which means that the locals strive for you to have the best possible time in their country or region. The hospitality can even be overwhelming – for your trip to Pakistan, prepare yourself for the majestic treat.

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The Untold Story of John Bolton’s Campaign for War With Iran By GARETH PORTER  

The Untold Story of John Bolton’s Campaign for War With Iran

Everyone knows Bolton is a hawk. Less understood is how he labored in secret to drive Washington and Tehran apart.

By GARETH PORTER • 

In my reporting on U.S.-Israeli policy, I have tracked numerous episodes in which the United States and/or Israel made moves that seemed to indicate preparations for war against Iran. Each time—in 2007, in 2008, and again in 2011—those moves, presented in corporate media as presaging attacks on Tehran, were actually bluffs aimed at putting pressure on the Iranian government.

But the strong likelihood that Donald Trump will now choose John Bolton as his next national security advisor creates a prospect of war with Iran that is very real. Bolton is no ordinary neoconservative hawk. He has been obsessed for many years with going to war against the Islamic Republic, calling repeatedly for bombing Iran in his regular appearances on Fox News, without the slightest indication that he understands the consequences of such a policy.

His is not merely a rhetorical stance: Bolton actively conspired during his tenure as the Bush administration’s policymaker on Iran from 2002 through 2004 to establish the political conditions necessary for the administration to carry out military action.

More than anyone else inside or outside the Trump administration, Bolton has already influenced Trump to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. Bolton parlayed his connection with the primary financier behind both Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump himself—the militantly Zionist casino magnate Sheldon Adelson—to get Trump’s ear last October, just as the president was preparing to announce his policy on the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He spoke with Trump by phone from Las Vegas after meeting with Adelson.

It was Bolton who persuaded Trump to commit to specific language pledging to pull out of the JCPOA if Congress and America’s European allies did not go along with demands for major changes that were clearly calculated to ensure the deal would fall apart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although Bolton was passed over for the job of secretary of state, he now appears to have had the inside track for national security advisor. Trump met with Bolton on March 6 and told him, “We need you here, John,” according to a Bolton associate. Bolton said he would only take the secretary of state or national security advisor, whereupon Trump promised, “I’ll call you real soon.” Trump then replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with former CIA director Mike Pompeo, after which White House sources leaked to the media Trump’s intention to replace H.R. McMaster within a matter of weeks.

The only other possible candidate for the position mentioned in media accounts is Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general who was acting national security advisor after General Michael Flynn was ousted in February 2017.

Bolton’s high-profile advocacy of war with Iran is well known. What is not at all well known is that, when he was undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, he executed a complex and devious strategy aimed at creating the justification for a U.S. attack on Iran. Bolton sought to convict the Islamic Republic in the court of international public opinion of having a covert nuclear weapons program using a combination of diplomatic pressure, crude propaganda, and fabricated evidence.

Despite the fact that Bolton was technically under the supervision of Secretary of State Colin Powell, his actual boss in devising and carrying out that strategy was Vice President Dick Cheney. Bolton was also the administration’s main point of contact with the Israeli government, and with Cheney’s backing, he was able to flout normal State Department rules by taking a series of trips to Israel in 2003 and 2004 without having the required clearance from the State Department’s Bureau for Near Eastern Affairs.

Thus, at the very moment that Powell was saying administration policy was not to attack Iran, Bolton was working with the Israelis to lay the groundwork for just such a war. During a February 2003 visit, Bolton assured Israeli officials in private meetings that he had no doubt the United States would attack Iraq, and that after taking down Saddam, it would deal with Iran, too, as well as Syria.

During multiple trips to Israel, Bolton had unannounced meetings, including with the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, without the usual reporting cable to the secretary of state and other relevant offices. Judging from that report on an early Bolton visit, those meetings clearly dealt with a joint strategy on how to bring about political conditions for an eventual U.S. strike against Iran.

Mossad played a very aggressive role in influencing world opinion on the Iranian nuclear program. In the summer of 2003, according to journalists Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins in their book The Nuclear Jihadist, Meir Dagan created a new Mossad office tasked with briefing the world’s press on alleged Iranian efforts to achieve a nuclear weapons capability. The new unit’s responsibilities included circulating documents from inside Iran as well from outside, according to Frantz and Collins.

Bolton’s role in a joint U.S.-Israeli strategy, as he outlines in his own 2007 memoir, was to ensure that the Iran nuclear issue would be moved out of the International Atomic Energy Agency and into the United Nations Security Council. He was determined to prevent IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei from reaching an agreement with Iran that would make it more difficult for the Bush administration to demonize Tehran as posing a nuclear weapons threat. Bolton began accusing Iran of having a covert nuclear weapons program in mid-2003 but encountered resistance not only from ElBaradei and non-aligned states, but from Britain, France, and Germany as well.

Bolton’s strategy was based on the claim that Iran was hiding its military nuclear program from the IAEA, and in early 2004, he came up with a dramatic propaganda ploy: he sent a set of satellite images to the IAEA showing sites at the Iranian military reservation at Parchin that he claimed were being used for tests to simulate nuclear weapons. Bolton demanded that the IAEA request access to inspect those sites and leaked his demand to the Associated Press in September 2004. In fact, the satellite images showed nothing more than bunkers and buildings for conventional explosives testing.

Bolton was apparently hoping the Iranian military would not agree to any IAEA inspections based on such bogus claims, thus playing into his propaganda theme of Iran’s “intransigence” in refusing to answer questions about its nuclear program. But in 2005 Iran allowed the inspectors into those sites and even let them choose several more sites to inspect. The inspectors found no evidence of any nuclear-related activities.

The U.S.-Israeli strategy would later hit the jackpot, however, when a large cache of documents supposedly from a covert source within Iran’s nuclear weapons program surfaced in autumn 2004. The documents, allegedly found on the laptop computer of one of the participants, included technical drawings of a series of efforts to redesign Iran’s Shahab-3 missile to carry what appeared to be a nuclear weapon.

But the whole story of the so-called “laptop documents” was a fabrication. In 2013, a former senior German official revealed the true story to this writer: the documents had been given to German intelligence by the Mujahedin E Khalq, the anti-Iran armed group that was well known to have been used by Mossad to “launder” information the Israelis did not want to be attributed to themselves. Furthermore, the drawings showing the redesign that was cited as proof of a nuclear weapons program were clearly done by someone who didn’t know that Iran had already abandoned the Shahab-3’s nose cone for an entirely different design.

Mossad had clearly been working on those documents in 2003 and 2004 when Bolton was meeting with Meir Dagan. Whether Bolton knew the Israelis were preparing fake documents or not, it was the Israeli contribution towards establishing the political basis for an American attack on Iran for which he was the point man. Bolton reveals in his memoirs that this Cheney-directed strategy took its cues from the Israelis, who told Bolton that the Iranians were getting close to “the point of no return.” That was the point, Bolton wrote, at which “we could not stop their progress without using force.”

Cheney and Bolton based their war strategy on the premise that the U.S. military would be able to consolidate control over Iraq quickly. Instead, the U.S. occupation bogged down and never fully recovered. Cheney proposed taking advantage of a high-casualty event in Iraq that could be blamed on Iran to attack an IRGC base in Iran in the summer of 2007. But the risk that pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq would retaliate against U.S. troops was a key argument against the proposal.

The Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were also well aware that Iran had the capability to retaliate directly against U.S. forces in the region, including against warships in the Strait of Hormuz. They had no patience for Cheney’s wild ideas about more war.

That Pentagon caution remains unchanged. But two minds in the White House unhinged from reality could challenge that wariness—and push the United States closer towards a dangerous war with Iran.

Gareth Porter is an investigative reporter and regular contributor to TAC. He is also the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear ScareFollow him on Twitter @GarethPorter.

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Rights of Minorities: Pakistan Elected Lower-Caste Hindu Woman to Senate By Sajjad Shaukat By Sajjad Shaukat

Rights of Minorities: Pakistan Elected Lower-Caste Hindu Woman to Senate

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

At the beginning of March, this year, a Hindu woman from a lower caste-Dalit has been elected to the Senate for the first time in Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

Image result for Krishna Kumari a human rights activist and member of the Pakistan Peoples Party

 

Image result for Krishna Kumari a human rights activist and member of the Pakistan Peoples Party

Image result for Krishna Kumari a human rights activist and member of the Pakistan Peoples PartyImage result for Krishna Kumari a human rights activist and member of the Pakistan Peoples Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krishna Kumari a human rights activist and member of the Pakistan Peoples Party was elected as a senator on March 3, 2018, and a Taliban-linked cleric was defeated.

 

Krishna Kumari told The Associated Press: “I feel delighted; this was unthinkable for me to reach the Senate.”

 

Every year, on August 11, Pakistan officially observes the National Minorities Day honour the services and sacrifices, rendered by religious minorities for the country over the years. This very day also recognizes the contribution and sacrifices of minorities in the creation of Pakistan and nation-building.

 

It has always been the endeavour of the Government to safeguard fundamental rights, safety, security, honour, life, liberty and prosperity of minorities in line with the historic speech of founder of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah at the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. In his speech, Quaid-e-Azam said, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

 

It is notable that in accordance with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam, the Constitution of 1973 protects the real rights and interest of minorities, living in Pakistan.

 

In 2014, Shahid Mairaj, the Dean of the Cathedral stated in his message, on August 11, “The governing principle is to let people of every faith live in peace as they choose, and understand that the state belongs to everyone. This country is our mother, and it is a duty for all of us to help it to advance and flourish.”

 

In this regard, Member Punjab Assembly and minorities’ leader Najmi Saleem had remarked, “Minorities in Pakistan have exactly the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens”.

 

Minister Incharge for National Harmony Dr. Paul Bhatti said, “The Minorities Day provides us with an opportunity to renew the pledge for the promotion of tolerance and interfaith harmony as in a pluralistic society, there can always be a divergence of opinion on a number of issues, but these differences can be solved through interfaith harmony which means a cooperative and positive interaction between people of different religions, traditions, faiths, and spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at all levels.”

 

He acknowledged by pointing out, “Many steps have been taken by the Government for the protection and promotion of minorities like the reservation of 5 percent quota in Government jobs/services, enhancement representation in the parliament, declaration of August 11 as the Minorities Day, including observance of optional holidays and celebration of the festivals of minorities at official level”.

 

A Sikh leader, Sardar Bishan Singh have shared similar thoughts and pointed out that all citizens of Pakistan worked together for the growth of the country.

 

It is mentionable that the Ministry of National Harmony was formed after the devolution of Ministry of Minority Affairs to acknowledge the sacrifices and services of minorities to promote peace, patience and tolerance for creating an understanding and brotherhood among the people of different schools of thought.

 

However, since the formation of Pakistan, minorities are contributing in every sphere of life and their political involvement is also worth appreciating.

 

While, India which claims an arch secular state has surprised the world because of continued attacks on other minority groups, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs, including Hindus of lower-casts such as Dalits-the untouchables.

 

Unlike India, where religious minorities are being targeted by the Hindu fundamentalist outfits like the ruling party BJP, RSS, Shiv Sena etc., all the minorities such as Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists enjoy fundamental rights in Pakistan, including all other rights of the citizenry in Pakistan.

 

Nevertheless, Pakistan which came into existence on the basis of Islamic principles to provide respect and protection to all the segments of society is giving full safety to all the minorities as mentioned in the Constitution. Besides other minority groups, particularly Christians are not only serving in the armed forces but are also working in other departments. Without any discrimination by the Muslims, all the minorities, including Hindus also run their own business and are working in private sectors.

 

The commendable role played by our heroes from minorities in the nation-building like Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry (Fighter pilot, Human Rights Activist), Brig (R) Simon Shroff, Chief Justice Alvin Bobby and Robert Cornelius (4th CJ of Pakistan) might be cited as an instance.

 

Particularly, Rana Bhagwandas was the first Hindu and the non-Muslim who was appointed acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan for a few days in 2005 and 2006, during the absence of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry from the country. He was again appointed as acting Chief Justice of Pakistan during the judicial crisis in 2007. After retirement from the Supreme Court, Bhagwandas was appointed as the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) chairman in November 2009.

 

There have been numerous non-Muslims who have risen to the rank of Brigadier; and in 1990, the first Christian promoted to the Rank of Major General was Julian Peter who commanded the 14th Div in Okara Cantt. Capt. Hercharn Singh, the first Sikh as Commissioned Officer in Pakistan Army.

It is of particular attention that although Diwali or Deepavali is the spiritual festival of Hindus, yet every year, it is also celebrated in Pakistan, as tens of thousands of Hindus are living in this country.

 

Diwali festival is commemorated in entire Pakistan. Especially, in Sindh where a majority of Hindus live, Muslims also participate in Diwali celebrations and give gifts sweets and flowers to their Hindus friends.

 

We can conclude that victory of a Hindu woman from a lower caste Dalit in the Senate election proves that there is no discrimination against the religious minorities in Pakistan, while all religious minorities, including Hindus, are quite safe in Pakistan.

 

 

 

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