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Archive for March, 2019

Christchurch massacre By Asif Haroon Raja

Christchurch massacre

Asif Haroon Raja

 

“The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery.” – 

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gruesome massacre of the Muslims in the two mosques in Christchurch, third largest city of New Zealand on March 15, has sparked horror and has shocked the world. Although New Zealand is considered as one of the safest countries in the world, Christchurch itself has a history of Far-Right violence. Several attacks had taken place in the past since the 1980s.

Australian born gunman Brenton Tarrant mowed down 41 worshippers offering Friday prayers in Al-Noor Mosque, killed ten in another mosque in Linwood and injured 50 including women and children. Among the martyred, nine were Pakistanis including two (father and son) who grappled with the assassin and tried to snatch his gun. After exhausting ammunition of his two semi-automatic guns marked with logos, the assassin brought his third gun from the trunk of his car and kept firing on the dead and injured to make sure none survived. The visiting Bangladesh cricket team had a narrow escape. Remorseless Brenton and his 3 accomplices were arrested and produced before the court on the following day.

 

The maniac Brenton espouse anti-immigrant and Islamophobia ideology. Obsessed with Far-Right and Neo-Nazi ideology, he uploaded a 74-page manifesto describing the Muslim immigrants as a threat to western culture and his motivation for his actions. He was planning this attack for two years and had informed all concerned about his intentions. Inspired by Norwegian Far-Right terrorist Anders Breivik, believing in white supremacy and considering Donald Trump as his hero, his objective was to scare away immigrants in New Zealand.  He video-recorded the entire grisly episode.

Morbidity of the wanton slaughter has horrified all and sundry and everyone is describing the killer as a monster. Visibly disturbed PM of New Zealand Jacinda Arden dubbed it as the darkest day. Wearing black clothes, she condoled and consoled the bereaved families and the Muslims in Christchurch. The PM of Australia called the gunman a violent extremist, but failed to call it a ‘terrorist attack’. UNSC held a one-minute silence to express grief. However, Trump initially refused to denounce the carnage and denied that white extremism is the rising threat. On New Zealand PM’s insistence that he should express sympathy for the Muslims, he changed his stance but still didn’t term Brenton a terrorist.

Brenton’s place of origin Australia has a dark history of pursuing repugnant racist migration policies for almost two centuries and where white fascism is scaling new heights. Australia will need to do more to recognize its legacy of racist violence against non-white populations.  

This grisly incident is a big slap on the face of the US-led western world that has been constantly demonizing Islam and the Muslims and branding them as terrorists. Western leaders have been equating Islam with fascism. It is this fixated mindset which kept the Global War on Terror (GWOT) confined to the Muslim world only.

Tragically, Buddhists kill Muslims in Burma, Christians kill Muslims in Afghanistan, Middle East, Africa and the West, Hindus in Kashmir, Jews in Palestine. Still, Muslim is branded a terrorist.  If a non-Muslim kills, he is described as a mentally disturbed shooter; if a Muslim kills even in self-defence, he is a terrorist. Two set of laws are in vogue in the USA and in Europe. White perpetrators of violence are seen as individual acts owing to mental illness. In the case of Muslims, violence is explained as the clash of civilization and all Muslims and Islam are blamed. Radicalism has been tagged to Islam only.   

A German Muslim scholar when asked to give his views on terrorism and Islam, he said:  “Who started the 1st world war? Not Muslims!! Who started the 2nd world war? Not Muslims!! Who killed six million Jews in the Holocaust? Not Muslims!! Who killed 20 million Aborigines in Australia? Not Muslims!! Who dropped bombs upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Not Muslims!! Who killed more than 100 million Indians in North America? Not Muslims!! Who killed over 50 million Indians in South America? Not Muslims!! Who took away about 180 million chained African people in ships to the USA as slaves and 88% of them died and were thrown overboard into the Atlantic Ocean? Not Muslims!!”

The US, Western Europe, Israel and India dub all Muslims as extremists and terrorists without defining terrorism. If a non-Muslim does something bad, it is crime. If a Muslim commits the same crime, he is termed as a terrorist. They justify the demonization of Islam and Muslims under the caption of ‘freedom of expression’. However, the Holocaust cannot be doubted or criticized. The rise of racism and fascism in the non-Muslim countries have not been taken seriously. These curses are more rampant in the USA, Western Europe, Israel and India. Hatred against Muslims has been systematically injected on the basis of false perceptions and misconceptions about Islam.       

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the UK had voiced serious concern over the migration of refugees from Syria and Libya and said it must be stopped. The refugee influx, an unprecedented rise of Far-Right parties in Europe, UK’s Brexit and incident of San Bernardino and Paris attacks in 2015 have given a toxic rise to Islamophobia and hate crimes. The Far-Right and well-funded Islamophobic network have espoused blatantly racist ideas. Muslims are seen as the enemy ‘within’. So-called educated elite are in the lead to dehumanize the Muslims. Discriminatory policies such as a ban on hijab, veil, and on mosque minarets and restricting freedom of speech and religious practices are in practice.  

Islamophobia has become a real danger to the foundations of democratic order and values in Europe. It has also become the main challenge to social peace and co-existence of different cultures, religions, ethnicities in Europe. Everyday life of a Muslim in Europe be it at school, workplace, mosque, transportation or on streets is in constant danger.

Racism is more entrenched in Europe than in the USA since it has a colonial history in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Even after decolonization, racist ideas and practices have persisted. Europe used anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric and blamed them for Europe’s economic woes to make electoral gains in 2010. The British National Party, Wilder’s Party in Holland and Sweden’s Democrats made political gains. The latter gained power on the anti-Muslim campaign.  

In the USA, Islamophobia and Orientalism is more recent which gained currency after the 2nd world war when the power of European nations declined and the USA emerged as a superpower. Closeness with Israel was another factor. The threat of Islamic fundamentalism was coined after the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. Neocons-Likud alliance shaped the Jihadist threat in the 1980s. After the fragmentation of USSR and demise of Communism in 1991, Communism was replaced with Islam as the major threat to the New World Order and Capitalism.

It was in the 1990s that Far-Right in the USA began to engage with Islamophobia and surged up after 9/11. The American Far-Right collaborated with European Far-Right and both developed a common global counter Jihadist narrative and movement. Crimes against the Muslims in the USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Western Europe and now in New Zealand, have risen alarmingly but their crimes have never been labelled as terrorism. Far-Right in Europe has gathered strength because of the weakness of the Left and Centre-Left.

In the USA, both the Republicans and Democrats have promoted racism, fascism and have supported the war on terror. Both have made use of racist policing to help consolidate national security state and promote US imperialism from the era of cold war to the war on terror. 9/11 was a false flag operation and GWoT launched in October 2001 was a cover plan to achieve geostrategic and geo-economic objectives. George W. Bush Junior initiated the war on terror without defining terrorism. He and his team of neocons coopted NATO, India and Israel and excluded the Christians, Jews and Hindus from terrorism. Their guns were focused against Islam and the Muslims only. Except for North Korea, all the listed targets in the axis of evil were Muslim countries.

Barak Obama further ratcheted up the hatred against Muslim countries. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were targeted on fake charges. Trump has given a fillip to the rise in anti-Muslim feelings in the West since he has all along been spewing venom against them. He scapegoated the immigrants to distract the attention of the American working class from joblessness, lack of healthcare and other social inequities. Corporate media has not only fanned Islamophobia and racism but also endorsed Trump’s rhetoric on white supremacy. The US security apparatus, hawks in the two political parties, universities and think tanks have also been fueling Islamophobia and promoting gun culture.

In the last 18 years, Muslims have been disliked, hated and brutalized. Several Muslim countries have been destroyed, prosperous cities ruined, millions of Muslims killed, millions widowed, orphaned, crippled and rendered homeless. Marooned people of Syria and Libya were left with no option but to migrate to other countries. They have now become a monstrosity for the Far-Right nationalists in Europe and USA.

The gory game of bloodshed and mayhem was played with the help of hired proxies and puppet Muslim regimes. The world at large let the crusaders kill and maim the Muslims at will, myopically imagining that it will make the world safe and secure. Today, the whole world is turbulent and much more unsafe than what it was prior to 9/11. 

The US has used maximum force in Afghanistan but has failed to subdue the Taliban whom they used to call terrorists, but today it is holding direct peace talks with them and bending over backwards to convince them to arrive at a political settlement and let the US troops exit with honour. The US in its quest to seize control of oilfields and to establish Greater Israel by changing the boundaries of the Middle East has bloodied the whole region and turned it into a vortex of chaos.

Once ISIS was created by CIA in 2006 in Iraq to fight Al-Qaeda and then was used in Syria to topple Bashar Al- Assad regime, large numbers of white Jihadis veered toward this newly formed caliphate in 2014-2015. The phenomenon of white Jihadis is attributable to rampant gun culture in the USA and western countries and the arrogant attitude of the elites. Since then, chickens have come home to roost. Terrorism has now seeped into Europe and in the USA.

After 9/11, successive regimes in the USA have been claiming that terrorism is the major threat to the integrity of the USA as well as to global peace. However, the fact is that gun violence poses a much bigger threat to the USA than terrorism. Since 2001, 406,496 Americans were killed by guns in the USA in comparison to 3380 killed worldwide due to terrorism. In the USA, Jihadists killed 45 people since 9/11. All shootings in schools were perpetrated by white men and boys. Ironically when an American Muslim was found involved in San Bernardino, it was quoted to justify launching war on terror and homeland security.    

Christchurch tragedy has left the Muslims residing in western countries terrorized and traumatized. It has once again brought to light that terrorism has no religion, colour, race or gender and has no boundaries. Instead of focusing only on the Muslim world and blaming Muslims to be solely responsible for terrorism, the US and Europe need to introspect and carry out unbiased appraisal to determine as to who is responsible for triggering terrorism which has spread to every nook and corner of the world. They must admit that the growing threat of Far-Right terrorism has not been taken seriously since their entire attention has remained focused on Islamic radicalism.

Terrorism is the common enemy which needs to be collectively defeated under a well-thought-out strategy. It needs an integrated fight and united approach by the whole international community.  

If the world is to be made peaceful, and a secure place to live, the US, Israel and India, the three strategic partners in crime and the West will have to do away with double standards and hypocrisy. They must change their policy of violence and injustice and instead take the path of peace. While the bloody war on terror must end, Islamophobia must be replaced with a policy of co-existence, inter-faith harmony and amiability.

The US and the West must recognize the growing threat of Far-Right, racism and fascism, and initiate steps to eradicate these menaces at the earliest. The gun culture must be radically reformed. The two oldest disputes – Palestine and Kashmir – are probably the root cause of the growth of extremism in the Muslim world. These must be speedily resolved.  

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defence analyst, columnist and author of five books. He is Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS, and Member Council TJP. asifharoonraja@gmail.com   

 

 

 

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India Accelerated Atrocities and Oppressive Tactics in Kashmir By Sajjad Shaukat

 

India Accelerated Atrocities and Oppressive Tactics in Kashmir

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

There is a co-relationship of Indian oppressive tactics in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and war-like posture against Pakistan, as the extremist government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led the Indian fundamentalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has directed the Indian security forces to accelerate atrocities in the IOK, want to obtain various sinister designs, especially to suppress the Kashmiris’ war of liberation and to win the general elections 2019 at the cost of Pakistan.

People of Conscience Around The World Please Wake-Up

Indian Army’s Crime Against Humanity in Indian Occupied Kashmir-Blinding of Kashmiri Kids

Indian Army Pellet Gun Blinding of Young People-Turning Normal Vision Youth to Blind Invalids

Please Read Key Article in TIME

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Pellet guns cause severe eye injuries …
aljazeera.com

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India sends eye specialists to Kashmir …
bbc.com

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What pellet guns have done to …
dawn.com

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Indian pellet guns in occupied Kashmir …
dawn.com

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An Epidemic of ‘Dead Eyes’ in Kashmir …
nytimes.com

Image result for Pellets Eyes Kashmir Indian Army

Pellet Gun Victims in Kashmir Suffer …
time.com

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Scarred and blinded for life: Brutal …
India today.in

Image result for Pellets Eyes Kashmir Indian Army

Pellet Gun Victims in Kashmir Suffer …
time.com

 

Following the false flag Pulwama terror attack in the IOK, which killed 44 Indian soldiers on February 14, this year, Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted pre-emptive air strike near the town of Balakot, close to the border with Pakistan’s sector of Kashmir on February 27, 2018, while claiming that IAF fighters targeted the camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and killed 350 militants—the outfit whom New Delhi blamed for the Pulwama attack. Next day, in response, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) launched aerial strikes at six targets in the IOK and shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was released as a gesture of peace and handed over to the Indian authorities.

 

Without any investigation and evidence, Indian high officials and media started accusing Islamabad, saying that the attackers had come from Pakistan to stage the assault.

 

Pakistan’s Prime minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Office spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal and Director General of Pakistan Army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj-Gen. Asif Ghafoor strongly rejected false allegations of Indian media and government, which linked the Pulwama terror assault to Islamabad.

 

Taking cognizance of Indian blame game and war-like posture, offering cooperation and another chance at a dialogue over the Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on February 19, this year that Pakistan will take action, if New Delhi shares any actionable evidence, concerning the suicide bombing in the Pulwama area. But, Indian extremist rulers rejected any cooperation with Islamabad and have continued threatening diplomacy against Pakistan.

 

In this regard, in a televised address on February 27, 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his country is ready to cooperate with New Delhi into the investigation of the February 14 suicide bombing, claimed by Pakistan-based armed group, JeM which was banned by the government. He called for talks with India and hoped better sense would prevail so that both sides could de-escalate.

 

Meanwhile, journalists who visited the targeted site of Balakot and a video released by Islamabad exposed India’s false statements that IAF fighters targeted the camp of JeM and killed 350 militants. Despite the demand of Indian opposition parties and some responsible media entities, Indian top civil and military officials have failed to provide any evidence or video regarding government’s claim in this connection.

Besides, by creating jingoism in India and war hysteria against Pakistan, Indian extremist Prime Minister Modi’s government has continued propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Indian security forces have also intensified shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) and compelled Pakistan Army to give a matching response.

 

It is notable that during the period of nature, the law of jungle was the order of the day, as the powerful could kill the weak mercilessly. In the modern era, India has been following the similar law of the jungle in its refined form by employing barbaric tactics in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) in order to suppress the war of liberation which continues unabated by the Kashmiris who are demanding their genuine right of self-determination as recognised by the UN resolutions.

 

In the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, many Kashmiri people, including students have been arrested and attacked and their shops looted by the Hindu extremists. Young people have been charged with sedition for criticizing the Indian Army, and Indians are lashing out at Pakistani civilians, including Bollywood actors.

 

Since the last 71 years, the Kashmiri people have been endeavouring for an end to India’s illegal and bloody occupation. Atrocities being inflicted by the Indian forces on the Kashmiris have increased manifold particularly under the rule of Hindu fundamentalist party BJP. The amount of torture, killings and rapes perpetrated on Kashmiri people by Indian army personnel has already crossed all the thresholds of brutalities. Every day, incidents of gashing of eyes, chopping off vital body-parts, use of ever-new methods of persecution during unending curfews speak volumes for India’s state-sponsored violence on Kashmiris.

 

Even India-based human rights watchdogs and some veteran politicians in India are now fully convinced that grave acts of brutality are being committed by occupation forces in Kashmir. Recently, talking in a gathering organised under aegis of Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) South Asia, ex-external affairs minister/BJP leader Yashwant Sinha candidly termed India’s wrong policies in handling Kashmir as “bundle of confusion”. He also admitted that “India has lost people of the valley emotionally” owing to Modi’s doctrine of brutality to suppress Kashmiri people.

 

Despite complete closure of the IOK for the foreign/local human right watchdogs and international media, the sporadic clippings and footages display the Indian army’s devilish acts of torture and carnage. As a rare show of moral support, United Nations Human Rights Council, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights and human rights set-up of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation also issued reports in 2018, pointing out grave violations of human rights by the occupation forces in the IHK.

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, Indian media in league with Indian deep state has been vociferously blaming Pakistan and its primary intelligence agency ISI for all the unrest in the IOK, while, the ongoing ‘Intifada’ is an entirely local uprising as retaliation from the suppressed Kashmiris against Indian occupation spanned over 70 long years. Meanwhile, Removal of Hafiz Saeed’s name by the US from its 2018-NDA list and his release orders by the Pakistani court have further frustrated the Indian media to spit fire against Pakistan and commit more atrocities on the Kashmiri Muslims.

It is mentionable that to pay homage to the martyrs in Kashmir and determination to the struggle of Kashmiri people, 5the February (2019) was observed with full support from the Kashmiris, living abroad and Pakistani media. The hallmark was the presence of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in London to lead the efforts of the international community at the international level. Protests and seminars were organized by Kashmiris and Pakistanis in Europe, North America and important capitals of the world.

 

However, under new BJP-Modi strategy being executed in the IOK, a complete genocide of the Kashmiri people is being carried out to change the demographic structure of the IOK in utter defiance of international human rights laws. More bloodshed is feared in the days ahead due to use of brutal force and extra-judicial killings of innocent Kashmiris by Indian military and paramilitary troops.

 

Spill-over of purely indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiris to the other insurgency-infested states especially Khalistan, Mizoram and Assam is very much on the cards for India.

 

Nevertheless, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounters.

 

Notably, in the recent past, social media proliferated the viral video of 22-year-old young woman namely Ishrat Muneer Bhat (resident of Dangerpora, Pulwama district). Her bullet-riddled body was found in Sugan, Dragged village, Shopian district on January 31, 2019. She was doing Masters at the Indira Gandhi National Open University and was killed by the Indian Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAS). Besides similar tragic events, her killing is the latest barbarity of the Indian LEAs which are now also not sparing the womenfolk in their bloody game of crushing the Kashmir movement.

 

Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.

 

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces”.

 

In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir. The report said, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has, in turn, facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred one 100,000 people. More than 8,000 disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”

 

In this context, the European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the Indian Held Kashmir.

 

It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of mass graves without markers. In this respect, in August 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves.

 

Foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW. In the recent past, more unmarked graves have been discovered.

 

Some online authentic sources suggest that recent wave of Kashmiri ‘Intifada’ has witnessed repression of Indian armed forces; large numbers of the dead and injured have been youngsters. The pellet guns used by security forces have damaged the faces of 1600 people and more than 1100 people have partially or wholly lost their eyesight making 2016 as the year of dead eyes.

 

In 2017, reports also disclosed that in the IOK, Indian security forces have also used chemical weapons against the Kashmiri civilians in violation of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In development on July 4, 2017, the Indian Army had destroyed houses in Pulwama and killed 3 Kashmiri civilians. Upon recovery of the bodies, it was discovered that they were burnt beyond recognition.

 

Sources report that the Indian Army is emulating Israeli tactics by using white phosphorus bombs to destroy houses of Kashmiris suspected of harbouring Mujahideen. The same tactics were used by Israel during its attacks on Gaza and it seems that these weapons have been provided by Israel to India for use in the IOK.

 

In fact, Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. New Delhi reached to a conclusion that the only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments and particularly the Modi regime are trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien rule.

 

Failed in suppressing the Kashmir movement, Indian central government imposed President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir which started from December 20, 2018. The main purpose was to accelerate atrocities on the Kashmiris who are demanding their genuine right of self-determination.

 

Taking note of the recent war-like situation between Pakistan and India, especially, Russia and some Arab countries, including Turkey and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern over tensions between the two neighbouring countries, and have offered their mediatory roles between both the nuclear countries for de-escalation.

 

Unfortunately, New Delhi which has refused the mediatory role of any country is still showing its intransigence to resolve the Kashmir issue with Islamabad by neglecting the fact that Kashmir remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the neighbouring countries.

 

It is worth mentioning that the organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on February 26, 2019, condemned India’s incursion against Pakistan, urging the two countries to exercise restraint and avoid any steps that could endanger peace and security in the region. On the same day, in an emergency meeting, the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir expressed grave concern at the rising tensions in South Asia and strongly condemned the recent wave of repression, killing of innocent civilians, and frequent incidents of rape perpetrated by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.

 

In this connection, concluding the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the OIC, held in Abu Dhabi on March 1-2, 2019, a resolution was passed, which condemned the Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir and reaffirmed its unwavering support for the Kashmiri people. It reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir remained the core dispute between Pakistan and India. The resolution also reminded the international community of its obligation to ensure implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The OIC member states adopted another resolution which expressed grave concern over the Indian violation of Pakistani airspace; affirmed Pakistan’s right to self-defence; and urged India to refrain from the threat or use of force. The resolution on regional peace and security in South Asia also welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s renewed offer of dialogue to India and the goodwill gesture of handing over the Indian pilot. However, it also proved Pakistan’s diplomatic victory over India.

 

It is noteworthy that Indian Prime Minister Modi’s extremist party-BJP had got a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014 on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans. Therefore, a double game has become the BJP strategy to win the Indian general elections in 2019.

 

Undoubtedly, we can conclude that by exploiting the false flag terror attack at Pulwama, Indian Prime Minister Modi has intensified war-hysteria against Pakistan. New Delhi’s main aim is to deflect the attention of the international community from the new phase of Kashmiri ‘Intifada’, while in this regard; pressure has been mounting on the Modi government both domestically and internationally to resolve the dispute of Kashmir with Pakistan. As the struggle of Kashmiri people has entered into crucial phase with increasing frustration of New Delhi, India accelerated atrocities and oppressive tactics in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

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Pakistan Lived Up To Its Public Commitment, Says NO to War By Ishaal Zehra

Pakistan Lived Up To Its Public Commitment, Says NO to War

After Indian strike inside Pakistani territory, Islamabad vowed a solid response

Ishaal Zehra

Cynthia D. Ritchie truly depicts the psychology of Modi Sarkar (government) when writes ‘when in trouble: distract, defer, deflect – all part of India’s predictable Political Posturing, which requires a sophisticated, unexpected response from Pakistan.” With elections just around the corner, Modi was badly losing his support and to restore some semblance of popularity he ought to do something anti-Pakistan coupled with the usual rhetoric. Pulwama false flag operation was designed to create a casus belli for propaganda and action against Pakistan.

Ensuing, the much-condemned incident which took lives of more than 40 Indian CRPF soldiers, the Indian army staged a drama on February 26th proclaiming to carry out a surgical strike inside Pakistani territory. This much-trumpeted action was just a violation of Pakistani air space over Azad Jammu & Kashmir and nothing much as claimed by the Indian media. The Indian Air Force’s Mirage 2000 aircraft which came inside the Pakistan air space in the hours of darkness hastily escaped after PAF’s fighter jets came roaring. Although the violation took place in Poonch Sector’s Bala Kote along the LoC, the area is being confused (deliberate misinformation by Indian media) with Bala Kot which is a famous town in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The world should not get carried away with the Indian propaganda. They had tried to entice Pakistan into a conflagration and thoughtlessly passed the control of the conflict to Pakistan as a right to retaliate in self-defence. Next, Pakistan did what it was supposed to do. The very next day, Pakistan Air Force clapped back by engaging 6 non-military targets across the line of control only to substantiate its capability, will and resolve towards safeguarding its country, with no intent to escalate the war. Unsurprisingly the IAF jets hastily intruded the Pakistani air space, thus crossing the line of control inside the Pakistani territory where two of them were hit by the ingenious fighter pilots of Pakistan Air Force. The lone surviving Indian squadron leader who was able to eject was subsequently taken under custody by the Pak army. Pakistan PM Khan later announced to send back the Indian PoW Squadron leader Abhinandan to his home country as a peace gesture.  

We are Real Pakistan

 

 

 

 

 

Many believe that the Pulwama attack was merely an election ploy by the sitting Indian government. The aftermath was of course beyond their imagination. They perhaps had thought they would sensationalize the Indian public with a fake surgical strike sort of performance they did earlier and sweep the upcoming elections. But this time it didn’t go as planned. Pakistani PM Imran Khan was loud and clear when he said, “… the Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim”, suggesting the Indian account was “for domestic consumption” in the run-up to imminent elections. But interestingly he is not the only one pointing out that an escalating conflict with Pakistan plays well for Modi and his nationalist BJP in the polls. West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee and opposition party president Rahul Gandhi are also sceptical at the timings of Pulwama attack and accused the Modi administration of wanting to instil war hysteria in Indian public for their own benefit. Many other Parliamentarians have also openly accused PM Narendra Modi of orchestrating the Pulwama Attack. Where one politician Wamin Mishra, has gone as far as saying that Modi knew about the attack 9 days in advance and he has proof to back his claim.

Ironically, a Reuter’s survey result also validated with the claims made against the BJP government. The said survey showed a marked uptick in support for PM Modi in the immediate aftermath of the 14 February attack. He was, after all, swept to power in 2014 at least partly thanks to the image he portrayed of himself as a strong leader. Much disturbing were the brags by the ruling BJP Party Karnataka Chief who proudly swaggered that this India-Pakistan war stunt should make them win 22 out of 28 seats in elections.

 

IMRAN

If things weren’t bad enough, the Indian media played its part in escalating the already grave situation by spreading sensationalism and arousing negative emotions in the masses. “Banning Pakistan is not the focus now, destruction of Pakistan is. Anyone who lectures non-violence and peace now should be painted black and slapped by everyone on the streets…” and “We want pieces… not peace”, type of statements only served the radical BJP government who is already accused of using violence for political gains as part of an electoral strategy associated with Hindu nationalism. Those who dare to question the government regarding India’s own follies and failures are branded as traitors and are asked to go to Pakistan if they are Muslims by chance. Former Test cricketer and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu faced the wrath of so-called nationalists after he argued that an act of terrorism committed by few individuals does not mean the entire country is the culprit and war is no solution.

It must be surmised that Pakistan is not pushing the environment towards war rather it was pushed to an edge where it had to even the score. The world should understand that Pakistan as a nation was forced into a situation where it had to act in response to make India aware of its capabilities, will and resolve to defend its homeland. Even being at a better off position at the moment, Pakistan still doesn’t want war. Now, it’s time for India to revisit her radical policy and have a realistic approach. The International community should also intervene to resolve the core issue of Kashmir, not just the LoC violations. As this is the only way to absolute peace in the region. This attack may have boosted the Modi led government, but it isn’t likely to prevent more terrorist activity in Kashmir. As ex-CM IHK Mehbooba Mufti has been claiming since the Pulwama attack that the reasons behind this attack are domestic and not external. Advice to Indian masses would be to do not give in to this forced war hysteria imposed on them by those sitting at the realm of power and let peace be victorious.

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Indian air intrusion night 25/26 February 2019

Indian air intrusion night 25/26 February 2019

Background Information. The intelligence agencies of India USA, Israel and the puppet government in Kabul (RAW, CIA, NDS) duly supported by MI-6, Mossad and BND based in Kabul have been targeting Pakistan from Afghanistan as well as Iran from 2003 onward to destabilize, denuclearize, de-Islamize and Balkanize Pakistan. The collaborating agencies have been making use of paid proxies and hybrid war to achieve their objectives. Pakistan security forces after fighting the war on terror for 15 years finally succeeded in chucking out all terrorist groups and restoring peace. Today Pakistan is in a much stronger position to deal with internal and external challenges which have dismayed India and its strategic partners.

Pre-Pulwama Attack Situation

India is highly perturbed over the fast-changing regional scenario which is going in favour of Pakistan and is against the interest of India. Despite India’s best efforts to scuttle CPEC, it is making good progress. Game-changing CPEC has disrupted India’s plan to isolate Pakistan. The US-Taliban peace talks in which India has no role, while Pakistan is playing a key role has upset India. The US plans to strike a peace deal with the Taliban and arrive at a political settlement. The US-NATO troops intend to exit from Afghanistan, which will pave the way for the Taliban to regain power. That would mean decrease if not the termination of Indian influence and increase of Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan.

The gulf between Pakistan and the Arab Gulf States in the aftermath of the Yemen crisis in 2015 had been quickly filled up by India by getting close to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and UAE. The void has now been filled and bitterness removed after the change of government in Islamabad and quiet diplomacy of Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Much to the disappointment of India, old camaraderie between Pakistan and KSA-UAE has been restored. KSA, UAE and Qatar have extended generous financial support and oil on deferred payment to help the new government led by Imran Khan to tide over its economic crisis.

China is continuing to consolidate its strategic relationship with Pakistan and to bolster CPEC. The USA found itself stuck in Afghanistan and wanting to exit safely and honourably is waving an olive oil to Pakistan and extending an offer of a free trade agreement. Amidst the happy tidings for Pakistan, planned high profile visit of Crown Prince M. Bin Salman to Pakistan and then to India and the expected Saudi investment of $20 billion together with setting up of an oil refinery at Gwadar seaport to further boost up CPEC alarmed India. Visit of Afghan Taliban to Islamabad on 17th, hearing of Kalbushan case in ICJ on 18th, crucial meeting of FATF on 18th  for which India was lobbying to put Pakistan in the blacklist, and PSL matches taking place in Karachi-Lahore were other important events in that timeframe.  

Internally, Narendra Modi is facing heavy criticism from the public since he has been unable to fulfil the tall promises he made to the people of India. Instead of uplifting the GDP above 11% as boasted by him, the GDP has dropped below 7% and devaluation of bigger currency notes and taxation have affected the small businessmen and farmers. His extremist policies against the minorities in India and craze to promote Hindutva have declined his popularity and minimized his chances to get re-elected. In Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), Kashmiris have got alienated and Kashmir is fast slipping out of the hands of India owing to oppressive policies of BJP government.

Moreover, the atrocities of Indian security forces are now being noticed with concern by the international community, the UN and even the saner elements in India. Modi is feeling frustrated that he has failed to overawe Pakistan through his aggressive tactics, keeping the Line of Control hot by carrying out repeated violations (300 in 2016, over 1900 violations in 2017 and that many in 2018), resorting to water terrorism and hurling threats to break Pakistan into four pieces. Much to his distress, the electoral loss of BJP in five states has panicked him.

 

 

 

It was in the backdrop of series of upsetting developments for Modi when seen in context with approaching elections in India in May 2019 that it was apprehended that he might resort to some sort of misadventure with a view to infuse fresh life into his election campaign, distract the attention of the world from IOK, find an excuse to further step up ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Muslims, change the demography of Kashmir Valley, drum up old narrative that Pakistan is abetting terrorism in Kashmir and isolate Pakistan diplomatically. It became all the more crucial because of the planned visit of Crown Prince on 16-17 February.

Pulwama Attack

On 14 February, a suicide bomber rammed his car filled with explosive into the military convoy in Pulwama (part of Jammu in IOK) killing 40 Indian CRPF soldiers. Within minutes of the occurrence, India blamed Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Pakistan without even carrying out preliminary investigations.

Possibilities Open

  1. False flag operation by India.
  2. Indigenous suicide attack by Mujahideen.
  3. Pakistan sponsored attack.

False Flag Operation. India has mastered the art of false flag operations and has been using it frequently to project itself as the victim of terrorism (attack on Indian Parliament in 2001, Mumbai attacks in 2008, Pathankot and Uri attacks in 2016). Indian leaders utter lies without any qualm and have been consistently cooking up fake stories to malign Pakistan. Need for engineering an attack was felt by the BJP to garner the votes of Hindu Far Right, to dampen the visit of Crown Prince in Pakistan and to colour his perceptions. Most probably.   

Indigenous Attack. The way the Kashmiris are being oppressed, killed, maimed, tortured, raped and humiliated since 1989 by Indian forces and are being denied the right of self-determination gives them a strong cause to resort to the extreme measure of suicide attacks. Even the children and girls throw stones at the Indian soldiers and do not fear them. Adil was among the many who were detained, tortured and made to rub nose on the floor. This option is probable but doesn’t suit India.

Pakistan Sponsored Attack. Pakistan draws no benefit and stands to lose on all accounts particularly when its national policy and strategy is defensive, and has shown extraordinary restraint in the face of Indian indiscriminate firing along the LoC causing deaths and injuries to a large number of civilians. Pakistan has paid a heavy price in controlling terrorism, it is making concerted efforts to get itself out of the FATF grey list and its main focus is on improving the economy. Hence this option is unviable and ruled out but suits India the most.

Orchestrated War Hysteria

From February 14 onward, Indian media stimulated a calculated hysteria duly augmented by BJP hawks. Drums of war were drummed and slogan of ‘teach Pakistan a lesson’ was loudly chanted. Options of how best to avenge the attack in Pulwama were openly discussed on Indian media channels. Kashmiris were hunted all over in Jammu and Indian cities, killed, thrashed and girls kidnapped. The state machinery backed up the goons belonging to RSS, BJP, Shiv Sena and other extremist Hindu groups. Additional 12000 troops were inducted into the already saturated Kashmir Valley to further tyrannize the Kashmiris.

It was owing to jingoism of India that the Crown Prince delayed his visit to Pakistan by one day and visit of the Taliban to Islamabad was also cancelled. Highly successful visit of the Crown Prince to Islamabad followed by failure of Modi to extract a statement from the visitor advising Pakistan to rein in Pakistan-based terrorist groups allegedly involved in Pulwama attack thoroughly disappointed him.

Failure of UNSC to blame and condemn Pakistan, rejection of Indian accusation against Pakistan in Pulwama attack by Turkey, and Trump desisting from pointing a finger at Pakistan further upset Modi. Wholehearted support of Indian Sikhs to the marooned Kashmiris added to Modi’s woes.

Since Modi had stirred up the emotions of Hindu extremists to a high pitch and they were baying for Pakistan’s blood, he was left with no option other than undertaking some kind of a token strike inside Pakistan to pacify them. Weighing the pros and cons of each option short of war and with no human cost, it was decided to opt for air option against a civilian target under the garb of striking an imaginary training camp of JeM.           

Pakistan’s Readiness

Contrary to Modi’s warmongering and irresponsible statements, PM Imran Khan gave a balanced and mature response by offering peace and dialogue and at the same time curtly stating that “Pakistan will not think to react but will react”. Chairing the NSC meeting, he authorized the military to react with full force whenever attacked. Gen Bajwa made it clear that the Pak Army’s response will be beyond Indian expectations and will stun India. The message was loud and clear; “don’t mess up with nuclear Pakistan”! In a meeting between the Army and PAF chiefs on 25 February, they expressed satisfaction over the operational preparedness of armed forces for a befitting response to any Indian aggression.

All the three services, as well as the air defence, carried out necessary preparations to face the possible Indian threat. The PAF started flying combat air patrols (CAP) in a rotation along the eastern and northwestern borders. 

Sensing the ugly mood, Pakistan Foreign Minister expressed his apprehensions to his counterparts of other countries that India is up to something nasty and it must be restrained from undertaking a military venture against nuclear Pakistan since it will have horrendous consequences.

Indian Air Intrusions

On the night of 25/26 February, one of the CAP observed Indian jets flying towards Lahore-Sialkot border. Although it turned back when challenged, I guess it was probably a deception to distract attention from the main strike. The next batch of jets was observed by another CAP along Okara-Bahawalpur front across the border which was also a diversion. The 3rd   heavy batch of Mirage-2000s was next spotted by the CAP approaching Muzaffarabad sector-Kiran Valley. They crossed the LoC from Tangdhar salient opposite Balakot sector and penetrated 4-5 miles at 0345 a.m. When challenged by the CAP, the jets flew back in haste at 0350 a.m. after jettisoning their payload of 4 bombs at Jabba. The bombs fell at a deserted place causing no human casualty or damage to property except for uprooting some pine trees. It was not an attack on any military target but an intrusion which sought a civilian target.

Claims made by India. True to its tradition, India has claimed that the attacking jets successfully targeted JeM camps in Balakot, each bomb weighing 1000 kg and in their 21 minutes operation, they killed 350 militants and destroyed a madrassa supposed to be a training centre of JeM. The claim is preposterous, fictitious and entirely based on a figment of imaginations. This claim is similar to the one invented after the fake surgical strike conducted in AJK in September 2016, which has not been proved to this date. Indians are foolishly celebrating the fabricated victory and deriving a vicarious pleasure.

DG ISPR Press Briefing. The DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor conducted an elaborate press briefing today and with the help of slides, he exposed the fake story woven by India. He has extended an open invitation to the local and foreign media persons as well as diplomats to accompany him to the scene of occurrence and see for themselves and to interview the locals whether any area had been bombed/strafed by jets and whether there was any trace of human blood, or any evacuation or burial of dead bodies was carried out, and whether there was a single brick found from the debris where the bombs had landed. He stated that the Pakistan military’s response will come definitely and will be different and will surprise India.

Pakistan’s Response

Indian incursion has united the divided society and the polarized political parties. A large number of rallies have taken place in various cities to denounce Indian aggression. The nation has gelled together to face the Indian challenge squarely. The National Assembly and all the provincial assemblies have censured the blatant intrusion of Indian jets and have extended their full support to the armed forces. The PM chaired the NSC meeting today in which it was decided that a credible response will soon be given at the time and place of our choosing. After the joint parliament session tomorrow, a meeting of National Command Authority will be held.

Until and unless Pakistan gives a hard-hitting response, it will encourage India to undertake similar air violations on the pattern of ground violations in Kashmir. On the diplomatic front, we should make a similar noise as is being done by Indian media and their leaders.

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, Member CWC PESS. asifharoonraja@gmail.com   

           

                      

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