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Archive for August, 2018

China Counters Indian Influence in South Asia By Sajjad Shaukat

China Counters Indian Influence in South Asia

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Under the caption “Chinese investment in Bangladesh rings India alarm bells, Beijing deepens ties across South Asia billion infrastructure loans”, a news item was published in the Financial Times on August 7, 2018. Its summary is:  “China has invested $3.7bn in Bangladesh to built a 6 km long bridge over Padma River which will link north and south Bangladesh by road and rail. India is disturbed over Chinese growing influence in South Asia where it funded similar projects in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the Maldives. It is ringing alarm bells in India which surrounds Bangladesh on three sides and considers itself as Dhaka’s principal ally. India should be concerned, given the role China is also playing in other countries which surround it. In Pakistan, Beijing is planning to spend $60bn on roads, railways and power plants as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which will give China access to the sea via Gwadar port on Pakistan’s south coast. In the Maldives, it has signed a trade agreement and has been handed a contract to build a new airport that was originally granted to the Indian company GMR Infrastructure. In Sri Lanka, it has taken control of the southern port of Hambantota after Colombo was unable to repay the money it borrowed from Chinese state-backed lenders to build it.”

 

In fact, China is countering Indian influence in South Asia, as New Delhi has planned to establish its hegemony in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this regard, the fast-growing economic power of China coupled with her rising strategic relationship with the Third World has irked the eyes of Americans, Israelis, some Western countries and particularly, Indians. Owing to jealousy, America desires to make India a major power to counterbalance China in Asia.

 

America which is backing Indian hegemony in Asia, especially to counterbalance China is supplying New Delhi latest weapons, arms, and aircraft. During President Barack Obama’s second visit to India, the US and India announced a breakthrough on a pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology, as agreed upon in 2008. Besides, America also announced $4 billion of new initiatives aimed at boosting trade and investment ties as well as jobs for the Indians. During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to America, the then President Barack Obama strongly assured him to favour India’s membership in the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), Earlier; Washington also pressurized the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) to sign an accord of specific safeguards with New Delhi. America had already contacted the NSG to grant a waiver to India for starting civil nuclear trade on a larger scale. In the recent past, during the meeting in Washington, the US President Donald Trump also gave the same assurances to Modi.

 

 

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By availing the US secret diplomacy, in the pretext of the presumed threat of China, India has been trying to establish her dominance in South Asia.

 

Historically, India has continued interventionist and hegemonic policies vis-à-vis her neighbours through its secret agency RAW. Besides supporting separatism in East Pakistan which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and continued assistance to the separatist elements of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, New Delhi occupied Sikkim, subdued Bhutan, sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka, and has been teasing Nepal.

 

As part of the double game, India has also been making a cordial relationship with the small countries of South Asia with a view to colonializing them gradually. For example, during the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to New Delhi, India and Bangladesh on April 8, 2017, signed 22 agreements in the fields of defence cooperation, civil nuclear energy, space and cyber security among others, following bilateral talks between Indian Prime Minister Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart. Both the countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) through which India would extend a line of credit of $500 million to support Bangladesh’s defence-related procurements.

 

India is planning to counteract China’s influence in Sri Lanka. In this respect, two different stories in published in Indian media, need attention.

 

In this context, on April 27, 2017, on a website, LiveMint.Com, Elizabeth Roche under the title, “India renews Sri Lanka ties to counter China influence in South Asia” wrote, “India moved to cement closer economic ties with Sri Lanka in a bid to negate the growing influence of strategic rival China in the Indian Ocean region and South Asia. A pact on economic cooperation was signed in the presence of visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his host Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The leaders welcomed the signing of the memorandum of understanding for Cooperation in Economic Projects, which outlines the agenda for bilateral economic cooperation in the foreseeable future”, an Indian foreign ministry statement said without giving details—Both sides expressed their commitment to ensuring that this mutually beneficial agenda is expeditiously implemented.”

 

Roche explained, “Analysts said this move by India was aimed at warding off increasing Chinese influence in South Asia which India considers its sphere of influence. In recent years, China has tried to co-opt Sri Lanka and the Maldives into its ambitious. One Belt One Road initiative—a programmes to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids across Asia, Africa and Europe—Given the subsequent hiccups in the neighborhoods first policy or placing—a deterioration of ties with Pakistan and strains in India-Nepal ties for instance—Modi seems to be looking at a new framework of ties with India’s neighbours with the aim of countering Chinese influence, Mansingh said. The new formula includes an element of strong economic cooperation, he said, pointing to India announcing the extension of a $4.5 billion line of credit for development infrastructure and other projects in Bangladesh and another $500 million for defence hardware purchases for Dhaka during the 7-9 April visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India.”

 

Similarly, Indian media and websites gave much coverage to an article, published by German TV Channel (Which also publishes online news items) under the title “India Nips at China’s Heels in Race to Collect Lanka Port Assets” written by Iain Marlow and Saket Sundria, April 26, 2017.

 

Iain Marlow and Saket Sundria wrote, “India is looking to invest in a colonial-era Sri Lankan oil-storage facility as it seeks to further its naval interests in the Indian Ocean and push China back in the process. A unit of state-owned Indian Oil Corp., the country’s largest refiner, is set to help fund the $350 million development of an 84-tank facility at the strategically located Trincomalee port on Sri Lanka’s east coast. India and Sri Lanka are also discussing setting up a refinery in the island nation, according to Shyam Bohra, managing director of Indian Oil’s subsidiary Lanka IOC. The talks come before a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi. Still, India’s interests in the Sri Lankan port are probably more strategic than economic, part of its effort to displace hefty investment coming into the country from China and preserving a key gateway to the Indian Ocean. China is expanding both militarily and economically in the region, and its submarines have docked previously in Colombo. Lanka IOC is managing the 15 tanks and a lubricant blending unit. The governments of India and Sri Lanka have agreed in principle to jointly develop part of the tank farm…The Sri Lankan government has suggested that Lanka IOC retain 74 of the 84 reconstructed tanks through an equal joint venture with Ceylon Petroleum Corp., Chandima Weerakkody, Sri Lanka’s minister of petroleum resources development said by phone. The other 10 would be handed back to Ceylon Petroleum, he said… Shyam Bohra, managing director of Indian Oil’s subsidiary Lanka IOC said…Lanka IOC is open to the joint development of the tank farm. Something should definitely happen because we are very keen to see to it that the facility is developed, However, Weerakkody…the minister compared India’s investments unfavourably to China’s. India should expedite their projects that they engage in, he said. Chinese investments—they are pretty quick. India’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment. If India’s investments materialize, the historic but relatively obscure port could become a hub for New Delhi, whose navy must go around Sri Lanka as it crosses from ports on India’s west coast in the Arabian Sea to those on the east coast in the Bay of Bengal. But New Delhi’s plans would almost certainly be worth far less than Beijing’s ambitious infrastructure-building in Sri Lanka. China has already built a port at Hambantota in Sri Lanka’s south in a move that alarmed Indian observers.”

 

Iain Marlow and Saket Sundria further wrote, “Beijing has also invested heavily in Gwadar, a port in Pakistan that serves as the terminus of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

 

As regards Nepal, on Nov 28, 2016, a memorandum was forwarded by the Greater Nepal Nationalist Front (GNNF) to the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on facts, which disqualify India for attaining permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC). The memorandum pointed out that “these days India is vying for a permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat. Greater Nepal Nationalist Front (GNNF) would like to register…reservations against Indian candidature for a permanent seat in the esteemed UNSC.”

 

It said, “Nepal has been a victim of Indian hegemonic and high handed mentality. India imposed a blockade against Nepal…why was India annoyed with Nepal? Because the people of Nepal did not heed Indian advise on promulgating a Nepalese Constitution. India refused to accept the mandate of the people of Nepal as the constitution was approved by more than 90% vote of the Constituent Assembly. India continues to illegally occupy 60000 square Kilo Meters of Nepalese territory.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this context, on March 25, 2017, ABC News conducted a talk programme/interview with Mr Phanidra Nepal (Mr PN) Chairman of Greater Nepal Nationalist Front, and Dr Bishnu Dahal. In the programme, the discussion was carried out on the need to change Nepal’s foreign policy so that Kathmandu can maintain an equal level of relations with both Beijing and New Delhi. Mr PN said, “Border blockade, unrest in Madhesh, growing anti-India sentiments, excessive Indian interference in internal affairs of Nepal is largely the consequence of our faulty foreign policy and diplomacy…None of the current crises being faced by Nepal is an overnight development, rather these were expected long time ago due to India dependent policies of our country, but Nepalese leaders have failed to read the writing on the wall. China has never opposed maintaining good relations with India but India always managed to alienate Nepal from China. Most of the Nepalese leaders are guided by selfish motives and they try to climb an easy ladder to power through India. This is one of the main reasons that Nepal is subjected to undue Indian pressures, harassments and humiliations. Nepal will have to bear some economic hardship in the short term, but it can lessen all difficulties and achieve a sustainable growth in the long term if it adopts Chinese funded mega projects especially OBOR [China’s One Belt One Road] to reduce dependency on a single country, i.e. India. India is worried about visits of Greater Nepal’s campaigner Phanindra Nepal to China and through diplomatic channels may express her concerns.”

 

In this connection, in an article, under the caption, “Nepal leader vows to revive Chinese dam project, open to review pact over Nepalese soldiers in India”, Debasishroy Chowdhury wrote on February 25, 2018: “The campus was a US$350 million gift from China, which built it in two years and handed it over last year to the paramilitary force, which plays an important role in checking Tibetan refugees from entering Nepal. “Apart from the bricks and mortar, they brought everything from China. All the fittings, the furniture, everything,” says a visibly impressed Shrestha as he points to the overhead projector and the desks in one of the many classrooms. “This entire campus in just two years, imagine the level of efficiency…As a new government takes power in Kathmandu, this widening rift puts it on the cusp of a geopolitical transformation as Nepal seeks a hedge in China to counterbalance India’s traditional dominance.”

 

Nevertheless, India’s endeavour to alienate Nepal from China will not succeed, as a majority of the Nepalese is aware of this duplicity of New Delhi.

 

Regarding the Maldives, David Brewster pointed out on February 8, 2018: “Maldives opposition leaders, such as former president Mohamed Nasheed, are pushing for India to again intervene to restore democracy. However, Delhi’s biggest worry about the Maldives is not the current threat to democracy, but its tilt towards China, especially the possibility that Beijing may establish a naval and airbase there.” 

 

In the recent past, under the title, “Cold War between China and India”,  Jamshed wrote,

“Evidently the relationship between China and India has been strained due to border disputes and economic competition…However, both the countries are in the race to influence the region due to its geo-strategic location…The Global Times said in a recent editorial, “India has a strong desire to control all South Asian countries. It regards the region as its backyard. New Delhi is particularly sensitive to any endeavour by small South Asian states toward independence and autonomy, especially ties with other major powers. All small South Asian nations want to extricate themselves from India’s excessive leverage.” Particularly in the case of the Maldives, India has some very alarming type of fears and apprehensions with reference to the increasing Sino-Maldivian closeness. On request of the Maldivian government, China has consented on doing co-operation in the construction of a port in Northern Atoll. Moreover, last year on 8th December 2017 a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was also signed between the Maldives and China during Maldivian President Abdulla Yasmeen’s four-day visit to Beijing. By signing this agreement, the Maldives became the second South Asian country after Pakistan to sign an FTA with China. This deal also proved a ‘stunning blow’ for India. Earlier in August 2017, the Maldives permitted three Chinese warships to visit the country, though India had expressed its strong resentment over the decision. Same is the approach of India towards the countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmar and even towards Bangladesh. Whereas, China also wants to have its presence as well as influence in the region.”

 

An analyst wrote, Nepal maintains cordial ties with all its neighbours. Since it is one of the less developed countries in the region, it is interested in seeking investment for its economic development. Kathmandu intends to diversify its economic interdependence and develop its reliance on all the South Asian countries for resources and development. Nepal and Bhutan can be a big source of hydropower for neighbours. Bhutan and Maldives view regional economic cooperation as a strategy to bring about economic self-reliance and mutual prosperity. Bhutan aims to improve air links and telecommunication between member states. The Maldives, on the other hand, is interested in joint economic ventures, and in achieving greater liberalization of its economy. China’s observer status in SAARC was a product of the push from Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. China is investing in several infrastructure projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor in South Asia. It is also investing in mega projects in Sri Lanka and the Maldives and enjoys cordial relations with Nepal.”

 

Besides, as part of the double game, based in Afghanistan, CIA-led Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad are also destabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan through terrorism-related attacks and are giving a greater setback to the collective efforts of Russia, China and Pakistan which want peace and stability in Afghanistan.

 

Nonetheless, China is successfully countering Indian influence in South Asia. New Delhi will have to understand that maintaining hegemony in the region through negative planning is a bad idea in the 21St century. If India has to create a positive role, she will have to lend a hand to its Chinese investment in Bangladesh and other South Asian countries.

 

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

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

 

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Nawaz had already made a Plan by using Dr Saif who prepared RTS Programme-  *For the last one month – A pitched battle to stop Imran Khan*.

Where Nawaz Sharif’s Election Rigging Via RTS Failed. Delay in Results were Nawaz Sharif’s Software Manipulation.

Nawaz Sharif had already made a Plan by using Dr. Saif who prepared RTS Programme

 

*For the last one month – A pitched battle to stop Imran Khan*.

*Imran Khan is the death sentence to corrupt politicians, journalist, bureaucrats, judges & businessmen*. They all have to fight together to stop him coming into power. 

By Ahmad Jawad

A very well planned strategy to create doubts about Imran Khan’s victory has been executed in last one month with variable Time & space. 
*Reham Khan* tasked to launch personal attacks portraying Imran Khan as a bad character, bad husband & other serious allegation to taint his image.  
*Iftikhar Chaudhry* tasked to refresh old Sita White case. 
*Hamid Mir, & Shaukat Siddiqui* tasked to make elections doubtful blaming role of ISI. 
*General Asad Durrani* book co-authored with former RAW Chief launched with perfect timing to discredit Army to rescue Nawaz Sharif. 

*Nawaz Sharif blamed ISI for Mumbai attacks* to highlight the uncontrolled role of establishment in Pakistan. 
*NAB made a surprise attack on Metro Peshawar* just a few days before Elections to create an impression of corruption in KP. Metro Multan was conveniently ignored despite serious allegation even by Chinese authorities. 
*Hameed Haroon* attempt to discredit elections citing the role of ISI at International Media. It was a deadly attempt but backfired. 
*IA Rehman, Saleem Safi, Talat Hussain, Shahzaib Khanzada* & likes of them constantly tried to malign decisions of Judiciary & NAB to support Nawaz Sharif. 
*Hussain Haqqani* became highly active internationally to malign establishment to create the impression of its linkage with Imran Khan. He even reached out to Reham Khan. 
*Kulsum Nawaz* illness was used to gain variable time advantages for Sharif’s movements. 
*Suicide attacks* in KP against ANP, MMA & PTI. Strangely no attack against PMLN or PPP. 
*Few lean Jalsas of Imran Khan* were projected as a change in public opinion. 
In the last, *confusion being created that Imran Khan would not be PM or his margin of victory will be small*. 
Such media warfare has never been witnessed in the history of Pakistan. *Almost all major political parties on one side with one common target to stop Imran Khan from winning*. 
*Imran Khan is the death sentence to corrupt politicians, journalist, bureaucrats, judges & businessmen*. They all have to fight together to stop him coming into power. 
*Foreign agenda* will suffocate if Imran Khan comes to power. 
It’s last decisive battle but the fight will continue for next 5 years. Every evil of status quo got together to stop Imran Khan. *In last 40 years, the first time it is not a battle between PPP & PMLN*! 
it was just PTI against PMLN, PPP, MMA & ANP. 
That’s the strength of Imran Khan, he got every rat out of its hideout to expose the real face of rats. 
Unfortunately, PTI own Media Cell was too naive to such challenges and became almost nonexistent and irrelevant to counter such disinformation. *Luckily, Social Media by PTI volunteers & general public took charge of such ferocious Media attacks and battled well*.  
Such is the *strength of Imran Khan* that he alone knocked down hostile: 
-*Political opponents*.
-*Foreign agenda & funding*. 
-*Media conspiracies* & agenda. 
 
*Nation must share the burden he has taken for our generations*.

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Pakistan Think Tank

Uncommon Thought

 Author » Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D. » You’re currently reading “Pakistan: Towards Understanding the Challenges of Political Change and Future-Making”5 August 2018

Pakistan: Towards Understanding the Challenges of Political Change and Future-Making

Imran Khan

[Photo: Imran Khan by Jawad Zakariya.]

By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.Editor’s NoteOn July 25th, the people of Pakistan voted to break from the historically corrupt slate of candidates and voted in Imran Khan as Prime Minister. Khan is a retired cricket star who was not known for his team work, but that is a skill he will desperately need if he is to shift Pakistan onto a new track. While the people have voted, the power centers in the country are not being graceful losers. Instead, there have been credible threats against his life. Further, his party did not capture enough seats to control the parliament. Khan will need the continued participation and pressure of the people, as well as the skills of a seasoned statesmen, to steer Pakistan in a different direction.

Are the New National Elections a Prelude to Change?

People have spoken out loud and quite logically, Imran Khan is the elected candidate to lead a futuristic system of political governance. To discard the incurable resentment against the former indicted criminals turned politicians, the people of Pakistan have rejected them at the ballot box. The July 25 national elections under a caretaking non-partisan government were a history-making event in Pakistan. Had this happened some sixty years earlier, Pakistan could have been a leading model of democratic norms, social and economic cohesion and political stability for other nations in Southwest Asia. Instead, the so called Pakistani politicians – former neo-colonial landlords – were masters of lies and deception; inept and greedy egomaniacs who stole time and opportunities from the young and educated generations. They robbed the people of the opportunity to foster political change and productivity that would make Pakistan a stable nation.  While other progressive nations of the world encouraged participation and paved favorable opportunities to enlist an educated and intelligent generation of youth, Pakistani political leaders were naïve, indifferent, and guilty of plunging the nation into a moral and intellectual abyss.  None of the Islamic parties appear to have any worthwhile activism in the outcome of the elections. Have they succumbed to be impotent for the future?

Imran Khan, the newly elected would be Prime Minister wants to build a New Pakistan – a highly promising ideal and slogan under unusual political circumstances.  Pakistan desperately needs a new constitution and a new political system of governance, to advance a socio-economic and political integration between all the culturally diverse people in Punjab, Baluchistan, Pakhtoonva and Sindh. Pakistanis lost East Pakistan to India and surrendered in 1971 because they were foolish, corrupt and leaderless. The national integration, security, end to foreign aid and strategic cooperation, and political cohesion of the country must assume priorities over other major policy agendas.  To dispel history’s malicious ironies, Imran Khan will need to widen the scope of his thinking and strategic planning to encompass the prevaling political realities of Pakistan. Khan should be open to listening and learning all the time.

What Needs to be Changed?

Nothing is normal in today’s Pakistan.  Institutionalized corruption is a favorite perversion to attract people’s support for new ideals of change and anti-corruption psychology.  Most indicted criminals like Nawaz Sharif, Bhuttos, Zardrai – all wanted to serve the noble ideals of political fairness, honesty, socio-economic stability, human rights and law and justice. The problem was, none of them had such qualities in their own lives and characters. How could they have given to others what was not part of their own life and possessions? One cannot combine wickedness and righteousness in one human character.  To make Imran Khan comparatively a credible candidate for genuinely soft approaches to articulate a new and sustainable combination of cultural thinking, ideals and strategies for a New Pakistan, it is imperative Mr. Khan must know and fully comprehend the nature and scope of the sickness that continued for decades to rob the nation of its due opportunities for change and future-making. He needs to understand that there has been a deliberate  pillaging to the wealth and potential of Pakistan, and this has resulted in massive destruction of the socio-economic, moral, intellectual and political infrastructures of the nation. None of the former criminals were punished visa-a-vis their crimes against the nation. Mr. Khan does have first–hand knowledge and observations of lot of such accumulated pillage over the decades..

Mr. Khan appears to be patriotic person with immense know-how and abilities; however, he must realize rebuilding a nation is not an individual task but requires the collective efforts of wide range of thinkers, intellectuals, planners and expertise to work as a team and undertake proactive progressive assignments from top to bottom, not the other way in Pakistan. The dishonesty underlying Pakistan’s political landscape is nothing new or unknown.  Allow this conscientious author to ask: WHO IS NOT CORRUPT IN PAKISTANI POLITICS?   If you get a chance to read “Pakistan: Enigma of Change” (series of articles -1999 onward in Media Monitors Network, USA), and “Pakistan: Leaders who could not Lead” (10/2007, Media Monitors Network, USA;  “Pakistan: Leaders who stabbed the Nation”, 2010;  “Pakistan : Anatomy of Turbulent 68th Independence Day”, “Pakistan in Quest of Navigational Change” (2014), by this author, you should have no rational problem understanding the realities of today’s sadistic politics of Pakistan.

Towards the Imperatives of Change and Reconstruction

For over 70 years, Pakistan had no viable system of political governance corresponding to the moral, intellectual and political genius of the masses. The ruling elite and the people lived in conflicting time zones generating wide gulfs of mistrust, worsened by foreign influence, corruption, military dictators, and disdainful politicians lacking a sense of honesty and accountability.  They were deaf to reason and lacked a conscience necessary to serve the public good. How do you change such a filthy and stinking piles of socio-political culture whereby all the well known thugs and criminals have looted the resources, lifelines and positive energies of the people just for their own good?  Mr. Khan must face the existing realities to THINK of the future or he will become part of the piled garbage – a junk history of the nation. He must enlarge the scope of proactive thinking and enlist people of knowledge, intellect moral and professional caliber and those without any stains on their conscience to help him carve a beginning for a new future.  He must be careful not to include any pathological liars and interlocutors who were part of darkest chapters of Pakistan’s contemporary history. In parliamentary governance, Imran Khan with 115 seats at the National Assembly would require 22 more elected members to have 137 numbers for a political governance. There should be no horse-trading if he is to successfully enact an innovative strategy to build a New Pakistan.  It will be imperative to put all those egoistic rulers of the past out of business. Their cumulative dishonesty underlying the failure of politics was clear and obvious.  Perhaps, educated and intelligent Pakistanis living abroad could be more helpful to Imran Khan if he is serious about developing a New and people-oriented 21st century democratic Pakistan. Often historical errors of judgment and mistakes are irretrievable. If truth and logic has its place in the future-making of New Pakistan, it must have a new Constitution, Presidential system of political governance, a non-partisan strong community of law and justice, retrained elite in the civil services, independent foreign policies and constantly changing and progressive strategies to plan for the future and make it happen out of the planned ideas and workable ideals. Experts and intellectuals who deal with future-making must know the weaknesses of  a non-productive socio-economic culture, highly corrupted civil elite and strength of the role of the masses for a durable future.  Nothing will change or happen on its own without any critical thinking and prompt diagnostic action with proper follow-up methods of meeting the end purpose.

To change and enhance political reformation and developing a new presidential form of governance, Imran Khan would urgently need a coalition of well educated, intelligent and honest proactive people of the younger generation to build a foundation of ideas and ideals and workable strategies based on refined plans for future-making. It is apparent that after this highly contested election, the nation will not accept normalcy of having previous indicted thugs, criminals and killers as part of the solution for future-making. Imran Khan must be careful not to indulge in melodramatic claims for the future; it could undermine his political future without making it happen on the ground. He should not rely on party loyalists or other seasonal collaborators, but those enriched with a sense of honesty and an obligation to work as a team and usher in a collective plan of action for change and progressively sustainable results. Political powerhouses must be connected to the thoughts and aspirations of the masses and be of service to them. The corrupting force of foreign aid must be stopped in order to implement a strategy of self-reliance and development of Pakistans own resources and socio-economic strength. Pakistan could be a progressive nation if there is no systematic corruption and if proactive plans for change are implemented honestly to make the difference. Nations are not built by chance or by the few, but by collective thinking and action plan to make the future happen. Then we must monitor its progress continuously with fullest accountability for the policy outcomes. Good judgments and logical pursuits seek rational and balanced strategies to ensure collective progress and accountability, lack of such imperatives eventually find failure, imbalance and treachery to the ideals of nation-building. Given his sense of proclaimed honesty and clean political character, Mr. Imran Khan must know the 21st century requisites of creative and effective leadership and must not allow ego turned into a kind of cancer that could consume the self and indulge in perversion of the challenging realities of Pakistan’s future-making.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012. His forthcoming book is entitled: One Humanity and The Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution

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Radicalization trends in South Asia Brig (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Radicalization trends in South Asia

Asif Haroon Raja

Geostrategic Importance of South Asia

South Asia is house to around 1.5 billion people who represent one-quarter of the world’s population; with a high growth rate of population. and scarcity of resources collectively creates opportunities for socio-political, and economic instability resulting into conflicts.

This vast region is sandwiched between the great mountain chains and the Indian Ocean. In the north and northeast, it is surrounded by mighty Himalayan mountain ranges, while in the north-west by the Karakorum, the Hindu Kush and Makran ranges. In the east, it is enclosed by Purvanchal Hills and Bay of Bengal, while in the south it penetrates into the Indian Ocean and in the south-west by the Arabian Sea.

Politically the entire South-Asian region has witnessed convulsive politics in the last seven decades. The causes are mainly religious, linguistic, castes, ethnic and economic disparities and uneven resource distribution. Another cause of political turbulence is mutual suspicion and mistrust and a lack of confidence in each other’s motives and intentions.

The disputes among South Asian countries have remained an area of unresolved and dangerous conflict involving external powers, arms proliferation and ethnic and religious hatred that go back to the evolution of India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the countries that form South Asia.

 

Due to its strategic location and natural wealth, the region has acquired a very important position from a geostrategic point of view. While India taking advantage of her size, diplomatic clout, military power and economic strength, has all along striven to dominate South Asia, external powers such as Russia, USA and China in their quest for geostrategic and geo-economic ambitions, seek to engage South Asian countries as well as with neighboring regions rich in energy resources.

 

The politics of violence and extremism in South Asia is mainly the result of faulty national policies and interference of external powers. The region’s vast potential is hostage to unresolved inter-state conflicts, mostly left behind by Britain and now being exploited by India which considers itself to be the successor of former colonial power which ruled and plundered the resources of this region for 200 years. The USA which filled the power vacuum after 1947 has also been meddling into the affairs of South Asia in its quest for attainment of global ambitions.

Indian Factor

One reason behind South Asia’s backwardness and rise in extremist tendencies is the imperialist designs of India which has all along aspired to create mythical Akhand Bharat. While dealing with neighbours much smaller in size, resources and military strength, India is always in a mood to bully, to terrorise and to dictate terms.

The favourite means employed by India to make the defiant neighbour bend to its dictates are diplomatic pressure, economic blackmail, military coercion and application of the military instrument. It also resorts to sabotage and subversion abets insurgency and uses Kautylian tactics such as propaganda war, disinformation, deception and false flag operations.  

India’s Contribution to ISIS

India has trained RAW in this game and over a period of time, it claims to have excelled in the art of disinformation campaign, espionage and subversion. There is no country in its neighbourhood which has not been jolted by India through immoral methods, be it Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Tibet.  Pakistan has suffered the most at its hand and continues to endure.

SAARC which could have played a big role in the economic development of South Asia is in limbo due to Indian unilateralism.

Editor’s Note: Indian Intelligence RAW has also sent fighters to ISIS on pre-condition they attack Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frenetic modernization of Indian armed forces and India’s expansionist designs have compelled the South Asian states to spend a sizeable part of the budget in upgradation of defence capability.   

 

Lackadaisical Role of Governments

 


In addition, instead of promoting unity and integration (both at national and regional levels) it led to ethnic solidarities and identification with religion and culture.

Role of Masterminds

Terrorism grows enormously when powerful nations do injustice with the developing nations by gobbling up their resources or keeping the weaker nations under their thumb through neo-colonization. The easiest way is to buy the loyalties of the ruling class of the third world, which readily toes the dictated line of the Masterminds to stay in power and get out of sync with the public. Humanity has been trapped by Criminal Masterminds which is causing Global Poverty and Artificial Global Famine.

Poverty Exploited

Deliberately injected poverty in selected countries/regions pave the way for breeding grounds for the youth to deflect towards Global Terrorism and Global Crimes. Poverty and famine tend to make the poverty-stricken people to do anything for little money for their survival. Masterminds can easily find them, twist them including their beliefs/faiths and forcefully use them according to their own desire.

In every targeted country after 9/11, proxies were hired to create disturbances and topple regimes. Hired mercenaries were from the derived class. The purpose of this gory drama on part of the Masterminds is to rob the wealth of the globalized world in stages.

Wars fought on fake narratives

Masterminds also fool their citizens and create a scenario to prove that war is inevitable and war must be fought at all cost. Hidden motive behind all wars is to run their war-related businesses and become richer than ever before.

Many wars in the past were based on lies. Warmongers fooled their own citizens, e.g. Vietnam War, Gulf War on the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. EBOLA, SARS, AIDS & Chicken Pox could be biological weapons to wipe out people in other parts of the world as well as creating artificial famine. 

Americans have lived under the broken umbrella of an empire controlled by 1% dirty rich that cares not to protect the overwhelming majority. They live under the auspices of a regime that spends half of the common people hard earned tax dollars on phoney wars, illegal foreign occupations and excessive militarism at home. Tens of thousands are lucky to afford the bare necessities of life.

Israel in the Middle East and India in South Asia are the cat paws of imperialist USA. The jingoistic trio is committing worst human rights abuses and state terrorism. 

 

Grave Threats Faced by South Asia

The South Asian region currently faces a grave security threat due to increasing extremism and terrorist activities. The politics of violence and extremist trends in South Asia can be linked to the contradictions arising as a consequence of faulty national policies.

The nature and political economy of the states have been instrumental in creating the current crisis. The South Asian states tend to operate in the interests of a coalition of classes and ethnic groups, thereby influencing development policies and the distribution of resources. The pace, content and dynamics of the uneven development patterns in South Asia are among the predominant causes of violence in the region.

Besides the failure of transition to modernity among these South Asian states, political culture has also led to ethnic solidarities and identification with religion and culture.

Interference from external powers and from neighbouring and extra-regional elements (both governments and independent groups) has given a dangerous tilt to the existing volatile situation.

With the marked rise of extremism and increasing terrorist activities, particularly in the past decade, South Asia is among the regions in the world with the highest annual number of fatalities caused by terrorist violence. Ethnic, ideological and political conflicts pose a serious threat to stability and interstate relations.

Each state faces multiple concerns ranging from fundamentalists to ethnopolitical violence, which is consolidating along with the worsening socio-economic conditions.

The situation has become all the more dangerous and alarming in the wake of nuclearisation of two arch-rivals India and Pakistan and unresolved Kashmir dispute which has become a nuclear flashpoint. Indo-US-Afghan-Israel nexus offensively poised against nuclear Pakistan fighting an internal war on terror and confronted with economic and political challenges finds itself in a dangerous situation but is determined to deal with any military adventure squarely.  

 

War on terror initiated by the USA to make the world safe and secure has intensified extremism and terrorism and today the world has become more unsafe and insecure.

 

Causation of Growth of Extremism

 

Terrorism and the rise of extremism have been occurring in South Asia for a variety of reasons, including perpetration by tyrannical and aggressive regimes and rebel groups, social injustice, ideological contradictions, religious beliefs and foreign interference. However, deteriorating socio-economic conditions, government policies and outside interference in all South Asian countries have been the primary factors responsible for the rise of extremism in the region. Terrorism and its political consequences have directly and visibly affected interstate relations in South Asia and have also led to destabilization in the region.

Main Causes. The main causes of Extremism are appended below:

 

Poor economic growth along with high population growth has led to the problems of mass unemployment, hunger and income inequality.

 

The economic inequalities and deprivation have created frustration and insecurity among the masses, leading to an increasing criminalization of society in which there are available targets for exploitation by the extremist elements in and outside the governments.

 

Along with the deteriorating economies of South Asia, governmental policies have accentuated the extremist trend in all these states.

 

Extra-regional actors are primarily responsible for the ongoing wave of terrorism and rising extremism.

 

The extremist trends have been boosted in the South Asian countries due to the interference by the neighbouring and extra-regional countries in the internal affairs of the states.

 

The separatist and ethnic movements have also been supported from across the border, by the governments or any particular group, for its interests.  

 

The Bangla national movement in 1971, which resulted in the partition of Pakistan and formation of Bangladesh, could not have succeeded without the physical military intervention of India aided by the former Soviet Union.

 

Sri Lanka too is an old victim of Indian machinations and Tamil Tigers insurgency was Indian manufactured. Similarly, the Maoists in Nepal are known to have collaboration and sponsorship from India.

 

The Kashmiri freedom movement in India has received only moral, political and diplomatic support from Pakistan since its hands have been tied by new laws on terrorism. Indian forces are breaking all records of state terrorism and human rights to quell popular unarmed uprising seeking the right of self-determination.  

 

Pakistan has a bagful of concrete evidence of India’s RAW deep-rooted involvement in Baluchistan, FATA and Karachi. Indian leaders have often bragged about it and are threatening Pakistan to break it into four pieces. Besides covert operations, India is resorting to water terrorism to make Pakistan dry.

 

Governed by mutual strategic interests, India is being fully supported by the USA, Israel, the West and Afghanistan to destroy Pakistan.

 

 

The Growth of Extremism in Pakistan

 

There were several factors and events that have led to extremism, sectarianism and terrorism in Pakistan. These factors include:

 

  • The early demise of Quaid-e-Azam and murder of Liaqat Ali Khan resulted in a leadership crisis, which persists to this day.

 

  • Uneven development of provinces and growth of regionalism gave rise to fissiparous tendencies and strengthened centrifugal forces in smaller provinces.

 

  • Insensitivity and callous attitude of the elites towards the deprived class bred resentment.

 

  • Selective accountability and pro-rich judicial system added to the frustration of the have-nots.

 

  • Corruption in all government, judicial and police departments eroded moral turpitude and scruples.

 

  • Unresolved Kashmir dispute and State terrorism of India against Kashmiris heightened Jihadi tendencies.

 

  • Western hatred towards Muslims and hounding and persecution of religious elements dubbed as terrorists intensified anti-US feelings.

 

  • Promotion of western values and demeaning of Islam by liberals, sharpened secular-Islamist divide.

 

  • Divisive education system provided unequal opportunities for social growth.

 

  • The impact of regional events like the Iranian revolution, Afghan Jihad and emergence of Taliban.

 

  • Impact of Freedom Struggle in Kashmir and Palestine issue.

 

  • Unresolved Kashmir dispute which has resulted in three major wars and several local conflicts and has led to the nuclearization of South Asia.

 

  • To counter Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, the United States supported and sponsored Pakistan and also the Jihadi groups during the period 1979-1989, which in post-1990 period became a threat for the security and stability of Pakistan.

 

  • After Soviet withdrawal and diminishing of US interests in the region, Pakistan was left in a complete lurch for dealing with the menace of terrorism and extremism spread over the decade of its war against Soviets.

 

  • With the 9/11 incident, Pakistan once again became a frontline state in the war against terrorism. The renewed interference by the US in Pakistan and Pakistan’s support against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan once again aggravated the extremist and anti-US elements, having extensive implications on the internal security situation.

 

  • The US initiated war on terror in Afghanistan was purposely fomented in Pakistan with ulterior motives to destabilize, secularize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan.

 

  • Unstable Afghanistan was used as a base of operation to achieve the objectives against Pakistan through massive covert war and hybrid war.

 

Way Forward

 

War is not an option in which economy dies again and again, BUT Love is, which starts with forgiveness as mentioned in the Quran, (Ref: Al_Quran_041:035).

South Asian countries should assume the responsibility for internal reforms, avoid extremism and confrontation and ensure economic and social development, through ensuring respect for human right and paying special attention to human resource development programs.

 

The West particularly the United States should seek to resolve all political disputes that become breeding grounds of terrorism, reject equating Islam with terrorism and assist the Muslim world in poverty alleviation and socio-economic development.

 

Socio-economic problems and human security issues need to be accorded the highest priority by governments, as these are the main cause of frustration among the masses and particularly among the educated and unemployed youth, who become easy recruits for radical organizations which involve them in their terrorist activities. In addition to individual state efforts to deal with extremism, a concerted regional effort is also required as the problem has an additional external dimension to it.

There is no shortcut to eradicating regional problems since they are the result of a consistent and gradual failure of the state to deal with the issue of public security and grievances, and also the failure of society to curb tendencies of extremism and intolerance. Without formulating a comprehensive approach to deal with the issue of extremism at the state, society and regional level, the menace of radicalism cannot be eradicated.

There is dire need to address root causes of extremism and terrorism by providing an equitable social and economic order and just judicial system at the global level.

It is time for Global World to wake up and be careful from Mastermind Criminals/Terrorists and prevent humanity from those by joining Global Unity without any discrimination of Religion, Race, Sect, Gender, Color, Nationality, Rich, Poor, Young or Old etc. Otherwise, they could be next in line.

To Protect World from Criminals/Terrorists which is causing Global Poverty and Artificial Global Famine as well, we must understand Criminal Masterminds, and we must find the roots of all Crimes, starting from Mother Womb till the Grave.

It is not Wealth (Gold or Silver etc.) or Power which can save the Global World. Allah seized Qaroon, Pharaoh, and Hamaan and many more, for their crimes against humanity and nothing could save them, not even their wealth, power, or people, etc., (Ref: Al_Quraan_029:039). The World didn’t end there, but it re-developed after a Great Revolution.

One sure way of curbing extremist tendencies is China’s policy of peace and friendship and connectivity through One Belt One Road project of which CPEC is the fulcrum, for collective growth and development of the region.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saudi-Pakistan Bilateral Relations, Maintaining A Close Friendship                                                             By Sajjad Shaukat

   Saudi-Pakistan Bilateral Relations, Maintaining A Close Friendship

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Having a strong foundation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are maintaining a close friendship with each other, which covers religious, strategic, military and economic interests of a great magnitude.

 

People of Pakistan have a strong attachment to Islam. Hence, they enormously respect Saudi Arabia as the origin of Islam, where the two holiest cities Mecca and Medina are situated. Millions of Pakistanis visit Saudi Arabia each year for pilgrimage of Hajj and Umrah.

 

Historically, since its inception, Pakistan has maintained cordial ties with Saudi Arabia. Pakistan has played a significant role in the overall development of Saudi Arabia. It has been training Saudi military personnel. In this regard, during the 1970s, Islamabad signed defence protocol with Saudi Arabia, under which Pakistan Armed Forces were dispatched to Saudi Arabia to impart professional training. A majority of the officials of the Armed Forces are being sent there on deputation.

 

As regard the strategic side, since the 1950s, Pakistan’s all successive governments have assured Riyadh that whenever there is a threat to Saudi security, Islamabad will come to its help. In this respect, throughout the 1970s, Pakistani troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia near the Israeli border. In 1979, the siege of Ka’aba and the Great Mosque (Al-Haram Mosque of Mecca) was ended with the assistance of Pakistan’s special military forces. During the 1980s, an extraordinary number of Pakistani troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia, especially for internal security of Saudi Arabia. Similarly, during the Gulf War of 1990-91, thousands of Pakistani troops were dispatched to Saudi Arabia for the defence of that country. At present, Pakistan is one of the 41 members of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) which is being headed by Pakistan’s former army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical depth of relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia could be judged from the pre-partition of the Sub-continent. In this connection, in April 1940 when the Crown Prince Saud bin Abdul Aziz paid a visit to Karachi, he was warmly welcomed by leaders of the Muslim League, including MAH Ispahani, MA Maniar and Karim Bhai Ibrahim, that laid the foundation of Pak-Saudi ties. The Crown Prince was accompanied by a large delegation, including his five brothers, Faisal, Saad, Fahd, Mansoor and Abdullah. In 1946, Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan) sent the Pakistan movement delegation led by Ispahani, including Begum Jahanara Shah Nawaz, to the United Nations. While the Indian National Congress team was obstructing Muslim League envoys’ engagements, Prince Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, who was leading the Saudi delegation, came to their rescue. Saudi Arabia invited Ispahani and his colleagues to the official reception in honour of all other UN delegations at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Prince Faisal then introduced the members of the Pakistan Movement to other delegates, and thus, they explained their struggle for a separate homeland.

 

When Bangladesh suffered severe famine in 1943, Riyadh responded to Jinnah’s appeal for humanitarian aid. King Abdul Aziz sent the first foreign donation amounting to £10,000.

 

After the creation of Pakistan, Arab merchants who had been settled in Indian seaports of Mumbai and Calcutta migrated to Pakistan, particularly Karachi. In 1954, King Saud took Karachi, the then capital of Pakistan by naming Saudabad town in his name, while laying the foundation stone for a housing scheme there. King Faisal was equally respected by the Pakistanis and their government, naming a key Karachi road, Shahrah-e-Faisal, a vital airbase after his name. Similarly, Lyallpur, a city in central Punjab, was also named as Faisalabad in his honour. The Faisal Mosque in Islamabad was constructed after a $120 million grant from Saudi King Faisal. However, all these facts show a major interest on the part of Saudi Arabia in a non-Arabic speaking Muslim nation.

 

In 1965 and 1971, Saudi Arabia supported Pakistan in the two wars with India. It stood directly behind Pakistan on the post-1971 War-related issues like return of PoWs and non-recognition of Bangladesh. It has always favoured Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.

 

During the 1970s, Saudi leadership responded to the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s request for financial assistance in order to respond to India’s nuclear ambitions after the first Pokhran test.

 

In 1980s, during the military intervention of the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Pakistan saw it as a direct threat to its own security and supported Afghan Mujahideen in their war of independence. Riyadh fully favoured Islamabad’s efforts, as it considered Pakistan’s security as its own security. Saudi Arabia delivered almost half of the multi-billion-dollar aid to Pakistan.

 

In May, 1998, when after the nuclear tests, sanctions were imposed on Pakistan by the United Sates and some other Western countries, Riyadh supplied oil to Pakistan free of cost for several years. In this regard, Saudi Arabia provided 50,000 barrels of oil per day to Pakistan for a year; amounting to about one-sixth of Pakistan’s total oil imports on deferred payment.

 

In March, 2014, Saudi Arabia donated $1.5 billion unconditionally to Pakistan as a gift to help Islamabad shore up its foreign exchange reserves, meet debt-service obligations and undertake large energy and infrastructure projects.

 

Apart from agreements for mutual cooperation in various fields, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed exemplary working relationships in the field of weather and climate. Pakistan decided in July, 2017 to send its two climate change experts to Saudi Arabia to help it establish a climate change centre and numerical model of predictions of severe weather.

 

Now, over two million Pakistanis employed in Saudi Arabia send home remittances amounting to nearly four billion annually. The Kingdom is the largest market of the Pakistani manpower worldwide, with its embassy in Islamabad issuing 30,000 visas every month.

 

At present, Saudi-Pakistan bilateral relations are based on mutual respect and consideration of each other’s problems and peculiar circumstances. Their ties have never been a one-way relationship. Pakistan has always stood by the Saudi Arabian nation in times of war and peace and has always reciprocated in the same terms.

 

Although Pakistan is an atomic power, yet it has serious security concerns, especially due to Indian aggressive designs. In the recent past, Riyadh turned down Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal for a defence pact when he last visited Saudi Arabia. The trip of Kingdom’s defence minister, Mohammed bin Salman to Islamabad just four days after that of the Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir might be cited as instance, as Riyadh understood Pakistani apprehension.

 

While, terrorism and extremism are a common concern for the Kingdom and Pakistan, particularly after the emergence of the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL). Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have suffered heavily owing to terrorism. Both the countries share common goals to eliminate extremism in their countries.

 

And from time to time, visits of their countries’ leaders and top officials, including various delegations display that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia seem determined to continue their strong relations in future. In this respect, in March 2016, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif had visited Saudi Arabia. They held meetings with the Saudi rulers. Likewise, Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid a visit to Riyadh on June 12, 2017, where they met Saudi leadership.

 

Nevertheless, we may conclude that Saudi-Pakistan bilateral relations have a strong foundation, as the two countries are maintaining a close friendship which is likely to be continued in future.

 

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@yahoo.com

 

 

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