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America, NATO and Russia: Why War and Not Peace? by Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

America, NATO and Russia:  Why War and Not Peace?


Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher wrote in Critique of Practical Reason, imperative of a moral human conduct requires to “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means”.


Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.


The on-going war syndrome between America, NATO and Russia typifies what can go wrong when human thinking evolution is restricted to imaginary temptations and compulsions of animosities. Often myth of war is manifested in self-interest and its evolution becomes unquestionable on the rational screen of reason and moral values. We see immature leadership surrounding conditions of egoism and primacy of will to clarify the reality of warfare. As of this moment, there is no emerging war on the ground,  alleged “aggression” or dynamic syntax of compelling move to unleash war either by Russia against Ukraine or Russia vs. America and NATO. Rationally speaking, the myth of contemporary ground warfare is incomprehensible to an outsider. The mass media propaganda appears to set the psychological conditions of “Russian war” and “aggressions” without realizing its real-world affects, it spreads frightening waves of fear and hatred across the globe.

Is the media propaganda a weapon of conquest of human minds, soul and future-making? The imaginary foresight of any futuristic war captions the secret of unknown and unthinkable. All wars have consequences. The global humanity is not over with the aftermath of even the 2nd WW as books, live stories and movies are constantly haunting the human intellect – what were the motives of the 2nd WW and why did Europeans killed each other in millions and destroyed the human habitats. Those who had planned and carried out the war atrocities have long disappeared to be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

Scott Ritter (is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD): “What War with Russia Look Like”                        (Global Research: 01/11/2022): explains the irony of current affairs:

If the U.S. tries to build up NATO forces on Russia’s western frontiers in the aftermath of any Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia will then present Europe with a fait accompli in the form of what would now be known as the “Ukrainian model.” In short, Russia will guarantee that the Ukrainian treatment will be applied to the Baltics, Poland, and even Finland, should it be foolish enough to pursue NATO membership.

Is there an Irony of Political Wickedness and Paradox of Egoism?


If you know the nature of warmongering, you will certainly know yourself from the annals of formative history. Are we, the People of the 21st century knowledge-based age detached from the Nature of Things – who we are and where we are?. How would one rationalize the role and actions of NATO in a global theater of strategic interests? The history of NATO and its plans and ideological motives are equally distorted and disfigured on the global screen of reason, honesty and accountability. NATO lost its importance by siding with the US for its invasion and participation of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. The current tensions draw divergent and conflicting perceptions and order of wisdom to analyze its short and long terms impacts.

NATO and Russia: towards a new Cold War. – The Mackenzie Institute

All political configurations carry much evil and much good in any rational optimistic outlook. Russia embarked on massive military buildup on the Ukrainian border to endanger its security. Its impact is alarming to most NATO allies assuming an imminent attack on Ukraine. Not so, deny most Russian officials, it is an exercise on Russian territory. America –led NATO believes it as a challenge to its vulnerability and strategic presence in the region. How to analyze the intentions in a knowledge-based strategic foresight? True knowledge is always benevolent not concealing or retaliating. America and NATO reacting to a tense situation requiring logical clarification of hidden intentions. If time and history are a reference point, those obsessed with invincible armies cannot solve the emerging political crises.

Is Russia exercising its own right to hold usual military drills? There is no alleged “aggression” or any hostile acts performed so far against the Ukraine sovereignty.  America and West Europeans are keen to strike a balancing act by stationing their troops to the adjacent East European countries to remind the Russian of any consequences if they strike at Ukraine. If we are open to adaptability and an enlightened fortitude and respect for state’s sovereignty, could Russia be helping Ukraine to strengthen its strategic capacity and telling the US-led NATO to be aware that Russia has strong defensive capacity in all emerging unusual situations.  Russia, NATO and America cannot possibly be participants to a self-destructive formula. Rationality finds it hard what Russian can or will gain if Ukraine is attacked. Is it a puzzle game launched by the policy makers on both sides of the iron curtain?

Often crises have multiple spillover agendas. President Putin and President Zellensky of Ukraine could be meeting at Beijing Winter Olympic this week. Both know well their future survival lives in peace and harmony, not in conflict-making or conflict-keeping. German Chancellor and French President Macron are active to bring the both sides to some diplomatic resolution. President Endogen (Turkey) has offered Russia and Ukraine to hold peace talks in Ankara. Could America-NATO be surprised if Putin and Zellensky come to a meeting of mind and sign a diplomatic peace agreement?  Both nations share an enriched geography and history together. Could we witness the coming of a new age of relationship between Russia, Ukraine and America-led NATO when even most exemplary political vigilance could be liable to unusual surprises?


Leader of Reason to Think before They Act

The voices of reason are loud and clear as global humanity cannot suffer the penalties of tyranny and war-mongering.  It is wasting our time and consuming our precious thoughts and energies for man-made insidious cruelty. We, the People live in a splendid Universe in which planet Earth floats ordained by the commands of God. We are moral beings unlike animals that possess the eyes, ear and other senses but cannot draw logical conclusion from their senses. We, the People draw rational results what we see and what we hear, therefore, we are different, and we cannot act or live animals. There is a moral sense of spirituality and humanity to co-exist in harmony with the rest of all creations on this Earth. Modern wars represent sadistic and cruel minds to undermine human rights, dignity and life. They destroy all that is built over the ages that we call human civilizations. All of the Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) reveal the truth of “Trust” – human beings took to be responsible and be at peace with the Nature of Things.  Any favorite perversion would contradict this Trust and embark on killing and destruction of human habitats as history has witnessed during the Two WW, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and ongoing in Yemen. This TRUST and its reminder are explicitly mentioned in (The Qur’an, Chapter 33: 72):


 “We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth; And the mountains but they refused; To undertake it, being afraid thereof: But man undertook it; He was indeed unjust and foolish.”   


The Earth is a living entity and is meant for us – the human beings. We, the People wonder who else except God created life, the Earth and the living Universe floating in space well balanced and functional since time immemorial. Who else other than God determined the Earth spinning of 1670 km per hour? Who else than God ordained it to orbit the sun at 107,000 km per hour?  And who else than God made it to spin at 28,437 km per hour at the equator? (https://www.newscientist.com/question/fastearthspin/#ixzz7C8p37S9X).    Be aware that earth average distance to the Sun is about 93 million miles (105 million km); the distance of Moon from Earth is currently 384,821 km equivalent to 0.002572 Astronomical Units and if the distance between the Earth-Sun or the Earth-moon were ever to change, there will be no sign of life or habitats left on Earth.

We, the People, wish to rejoice truth, not evil. We, the people of the world enjoin focused minds and imagination to articulate a new world of One Humanity, brotherhood and peaceful co-existence amongst all, free of hatred, fear, wars, encroachment and animosity. We, the people of the globe possess understanding – how to change the egoistic and embittered insanity of the few hate-mongers and warlords into equilibrium of balanced relationship between Man, Life and God- given living Universe in which we reside all.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Lambert Academic Publications, Germany, 12/2019.

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The Sharifs and Zardaris have ruled and looted Pakistan for decades, and plundered its treasury by Anjum Saher

The Sharifs and Zardaris have ruled and looted Pakistan for decades, and plundered its treasury


Anjum Saher





This article is an eye opener for the sleeping masses of Pakistan.

The Sharifs and Zardari’s who ruled this country for decades, plundered its treasury

and now have Pak army and the Judiciary are their next target.

The group headed by the convict Zardari and the absconder N Sharif consist of a bunch of traitors.

They attacked the supreme court of Pakistan in the past. The attack was organized

by Shehbaz Sharif, creating a  dark page in the History of Pakistan Judiciary authored by Sharif family.

They took out a procession against the supreme court , during which a child was killed.

 The protest was against the Supreme Court historical decision, disqualifying N Sharif for life.

 Recall,”  Mujhe Kiyun Nikaala.”

  • Following his father’s footstep, his daughter Maryam (Calibri Font queen) recently led an attackon NAB, damaging the building and trying to threaten the judges.
  • The  threatening  phone call to Justice Abdul Qayum by Shehbaz sharif, asking for severe punishment to shaheed Benazir Bhutto
  • The attack on Supreme court  judges ( by Talal Choudhry on the behest of his Paymasters), comparing the judges  to the Idols in the  
  • The THREAT  to Pakistan Army by Zardari, “Hum Aapki eent se eent baja daingay.”
  • Both Sharif and Zardari and their cohorts are leading a movement  to defame the Judiciary and the Pak army.
  • The masses of Pakistan should be reminded of the atrocities being committed by these two groups and their associates,
  • Achakzai, Fazlur Rehman and others. 
  • Backstabbing Pakistan—
  • Mir Jaffer uz Bengal , Mir Sadiq uz Deccan, 
  • Mir Ayyaz Sadiq uz Lahore
  • Nang-e-Millat Nang-e-Deen Nang-e-Watan.
  •  Indian – Israeli Agents and Traitors attacking our Armed Forces — – Traitors Onslaught









































Muslims of the Subcontinent have still not forgotten the treachery committed by MIR SADIQ OF DECCAN & MIR JAFFAR OF BENGAL which paved the way for the rule of East India Company over Indian Subcontinent and similar act of treachery committed by MIR SADIQ of DECCAN which led to the fall of ruler of Hyderabad Deccan.

Unfortunately, another shameless traitor MIR SADIQ alias MIR AYAZ SADIQ has surfaced from the land of Lahore on the behest of yet another certified convicted criminal NAWAZ SHARIF the most corrupt person who ruthlessly plundered Pakistan and fled to London , declared as Proclaimed Offender by High Court Islamabad . Now this known Indian Agent who operates under instructions of RAW along with his group of Crooks, Corrupts , Criminals are trying their best to pave the way to make Pakistan subservient to an Indian hegemony destabilizing Pakistan and its Armed Forces with their treacherous movesIt is earnestly requested to all that it is incumbent upon all loyal Pakistanis to raise their voice against all such enemy sympathizers.   operating under cover of being Pakistani got to be treated as Enemy Agents responsible for harming the national interest be brought to justice as soon as possible. 

The Narrative of National Dacoits Movement (PDM) comprising of those who ruthlessly plundered the country and Baqiat of those who openly opposed creation of Pakistan and generations old agents of Hindus is deliberately designed to harm the interest of Pakistan and its Armed Forces , facilitating, and strengthening the Indian, Israeli stance to isolate Pakistan in the world. Thus, our Armed Forces are the prime target of these anti-state elements to weaken Pakistan.


  • Ai Khuda In Haram Khors  Aur Indian Agents Ko Is Mulk Sa Naist o Nabood Kar Da. They Have Plundered Our country.
  • Haram Khors Have Brought Pakistan on its Knees
  • Ai Mera Allah – Un Haram Khoron Ko Tabah Kar Da Jis Na Hamara Mulk Ko Loota Ha.


Those who agree as detailed above, are requested to kindly circulate in their circle of Family & Friends to apprise them as well of nefarious designs of Plunderers & Anti State elements in Pakistan.

Editor’s Note-This article was filled with emotions and the pain Pakistanis are feeling. We are indebted to the author who freely expressed his emotion. Pakistanis are emotional by and large. We had to edit this article heavily, as it was written in a free form. 

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Indo-Pakistan & Indo-China flare-up

Indo-Pakistan & Indo-China flare-up


Asif Haroon Raja

Indo-Pakistan antagonism

India and Pakistan became independent countries in 1947 but India till to-date has not reconciled to Pakistan’s existence. Kashmir which was left behind by the outgoing British as an unfinished agenda of Partition has remained a bone of contention and has bedeviled their relations. India has been defying UN resolutions giving right of self-determination to the Kashmiris on one pretext or the other for the last 72 years. Each and every Pakistani leader extended a hand of friendship but was spurned by India.

The already tense and strained relations between the two arch rivals flared up after India blatantly abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of Indian Constitution on 5 August and made the disputed Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) integral part of India. Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh were declared as the two newly created Indian Union Territories.

What it implied was conversion of Line of Control (LoC) in J&K and Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh into permanent borders. Both Pakistan and China rejected India’s claim saying it is in complete disregard of the UN resolutions and international and bilateral agreements. New Delhi, however, hastened to state that the new arrangement didn’t affect the status of LAC with China.

Fascist and Hindutva loving Narendra Modi couldn’t have gambled to take this perilous step to annoy two nuclear powers in its immediate neighborhood without a wink from USA and Israel, both having their axes to grind. He had already taken on board Arab Gulf States.

Modi couldn’t have locked down 9 million Kashmiris in IOK for 10 months and subjected them to horrendous oppression without the support of his patrons. Promulgation of anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC law in December 2019 followed by new domicile law to change the demography of Muslim dominated IOK were part of the bigger design.

Megalomaniac Modi’s madness didn’t end here. India’s civil and military leaders started hurling threats of annexing Azad J&K (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). A new map was circulated showing AJK-GB part of India, and Aksai Chin in occupation of China, as part of Ladakh. Taking into account the Indian force level of 950,000 regular and paramilitary forces in IOK, the threats carried weight.

The chain of events taking place in quick succession following the subjugation of IOK were part of the overall game plan conceived by Indo-US-Israeli nexus to place India at a higher pedestal in the region.   

Reasons which impelled Modi to initiate risk-filled acts:

  • Pakistan couldn’t be denuclearized; conversely, it managed to keep its missile and nuclear programs safe and secure and further fortified them.
  • Plans to bleed, demoralize and exhaust Pak Army and paramilitary forces through massive covert war backfired and the Army emerged more strong and robust.
  • Billions of dollars spent on the proxies and propaganda war to destabilse and discredit Pakistan were washed out after Pak Army, Frontier Corps and Sindh Rangers managed to break the spine of foreign funded terrorist groups operating in FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and urban Sindh.
  • Fencing of western border and now the southern border on fast track by Pak Army have given a lethal blow to RAW-NDS sponsored cross border terrorism from Afghanistan and Iran.
  • Afghanistan where India has invested $ 3 billion so as to consolidate its influence and to pose a twin threat to Pakistan’s security has almost slipped out of its hands since Taliban’s return to power is a foregone conclusion.
  • Noting the ever rising fervor of freedom movement in IOK, it had become clear that sooner than latter Kashmir, which India had illegally annexed in October 1947, will breakaway. 700,000 occupation forces deployed in the Kashmir Valley since 1990 couldn’t extinguish the flame of liberty. This was exceedingly worrisome for Indian leadership.
  • Unlike the pliant regimes of PPP and PML-N that could be easily swayed or pressured by US and India, the incumbent regime led by Imran Khan is not pursuing an outright policy of appeasement, and is repeatedly naming Modi regime as fascist and racist regime which is anti-peace with expansionist designs.
  • CPEC which is the flagship project of China’s Belt-and-Road-Initiative (BRI) has shaken the global ambitions of USA, Israel and India wanting to dominate the world. CPEC has not only welded together China and Pakistan as iron brothers, but has opened avenues for China to become the leading economic power of the world and for Pakistan to become self-reliant. This is unacceptable to the Indo-US-Israel nexus.
  • The US is desperate to pullout from Afghanistan safely where it spent over $2 trillion without achieving any of its objectives. It is also keen to retain a toehold in the country, or else establish a military base in the near vicinity. Ladakh as a base fits the bill wherefrom it can easily monitor China, Iran, Pakistan and Middle East. The three strategic partners are nurturing this wish.
  • Failing to subdue Pakistan through bloody proxy war, low intensity conflict along the LoC, and water terrorism, and then failing to disrupt development of CPEC through acts of terrorism, or to spoil China-Pakistan relations through propaganda war, India schemed to absorb whole of J&K in two or three phases in line with Gen Bipen Rawat’s policy of limited war.
  • GB has more value for India since its seizure is the only other way out left to block CPEC, which originates from Kashgar in China and enters Pakistan at Khunjarab in GB. Another sour point for India is Pakistan’s plan to build Diamir-Bhasha dam in GB as part of CPEC project, which will be detrimental to India’s plan to make Pakistan water scarce. India has built 24 water storage dams on three rivers flowing into Pakistan from IOK.
  • Allowing USA and Israel to establish military bases in Ladakh and making it a strong military garrison will not only ward off threat from China to Ladakh, but Ladakh will also provide shortest and only route to India to approach GB, scuttle CPEC, and pave way for taking back Aksai Chin.
  • With GB in the bag of India, Pakistan-China contiguity will get dislocated.
  • Another possible reason of abrogating the special status of IOK was to provoke Pakistan to launch an offensive across the LoC, as it had provoked Gen Yahya to declare war against India on the western front on 3 December 1971, thereby allowing India to once again declare Pakistan an aggressor and itself a victim of aggression, and after gaining sympathies of the world, launch counter offensive in GB-AJK.
  • Last but not least, both the US and Israel have been baiting and goading India to lock horns with both Pakistan and China by playing upon boastful India’s penchant to become a global power. Both have been milking India by selling most expensive armaments.

India calculatedly upped the ante

With these considerations in view, India first carried out a false flag operation in Pathankot on 14 February 2019, in which 40 Indian CRPF soldiers were sacrificed. India backed by USA and some European nations promptly blamed Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Pakistan. Purpose was to garner Hindu votes for Modi’s re-election in May 2019 by fomenting war hysteria against Pakistan, defaming Kashmiri freedom struggle, preparing grounds for blacklisting Pakistan by FATF, and above all creating justification for launching a surgical strike.

On 22 February, twelve Indian Mirage-2000 took part in the air intrusion on an imaginary hideout of JeM in Balakot to avenge the deaths of Indian soldiers. Vigilance and forceful chase by PAF jets forced the intruders to fly back in panic and hastily drop 3 Israeli supplied Spike missiles in a deserted hillock causing no damage.

Pakistan’s befitting response

Although Indian mission was a complete failure, PAF gave a befitting response on the night of 26 February. The attacking jets locked three high value targets (Command HQ, Brigade HQ, ammunition dump) deep inside IOK, but under the policy of restraint, hit vacant areas in close vicinity of intended targets. Gen Rawat survived by the skin of his teeth, but a loud message was conveyed not to mess with nuclear Pakistan.

These strikes were followed by an air duel on 27th morning in which PAF jets struck down one Su-30 flown by Israeli pilot and one MiG-21 flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan of IAF and captured the latter after he ejected. Another Indian helicopter with its crew was downed by panicky Indian air defence.

Pakistan also responded to India’s plan to strike 8 targets inside Pakistan by Brahmo cruise missiles by deploying its missiles to hit 16 Indian cities. It took the heat out of Indian jingoism and temporarily broke the escalating cycle of violence.

Amalgamation of IOK by India

Notwithstanding the series of humiliating setbacks suffered by India, Modi’s re-election once again pumped him up to implement his fascist agenda which he couldn’t accomplish in his first term.

What encouraged ultra-supremacist Modi to change the status of IOK, maintain aggressive posture along the LoC in J&K, to continue brutally oppressing Kashmiris in IOK in contravention of 4th Geneva Convention, refuse to lift curfew in spite of the Covid-19 and mounting world pressure was his hope that he will be able to deflate the spirits of freedom fighters in 4-6 months by killing Kashmiri leaders, putting young boys in torture cells, raping women, jailing all political leaders, closing down their shops and businesses, and disrupting phones, TV and internet.

The other reason which comforted him was the raised troop level to 9,50,000, enabling Indian Northern Command (INC) to enforce lockdown with impunity, maintain defensive balance and have sufficient forces for offensives in GB and AJK at an opportune time.

While snatching the special status of IOK, Modi either discounted the Chinese factor, or was assured by his benefactors that China would not react due to its contracting economy for the first time in last 40 years, brewing tension in South China Sea, USA backed Taiwan reiterating its independent status, trade war with USA, the US recognizing Tibet as independent state, Trump blaming China for spreading Covid-19, and threatening to cut all ties, CIA sponsored protests of liberals in Hong Kong (HK) funded by National Endowment for Democracy based in Washington, and Trump’s pledge to revoke special status of HK in reaction to new extradition bill for criminals promulgated by Beijing.



Map Courtesy:Pakistan Defence



What emboldened Modi to absorb IOK was Pakistan’s frail economic conditions together with internal political polarization. He saw it as an opportunity to exploit and seize the moment. 

The other possibility that cannot be ruled out is that in case current corona pandemic is US inspired and was China centric, it would have been assumed by the trio that China would be too engrossed in fighting the virus and will have little heart for any external adventure.

The US having declared China as its number one enemy is otherwise clamoring to emasculate China by stunting its economic and military growth through pampered India bloated as a counterweight to China and pivot of Indo-Pacific region.

With Ladakh under its belt, it became easier for Indian INC to execute a military operation in GB and annex if not whole, at least part of it through which CPEC passes. There would be still enough forces to undertake one main and two auxiliary efforts in AJK.

Indian military had stepped into Siachin Glacier in 1984 with an eye on GB and to monitor Karakorum Highway. RAW has been using that platform to stir political trouble in GB with the help of Balwaristan movement.

To undertake an offensive in GB, Indian military speeded up construction of 260 km long road along Shyok River to connect it with Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) near Karakorum Pass in last October under the plea that it was well inside the LAC. DBO, situated 8 miles away from Karakorum Pass was upgraded from a company-size post into a brigade-size military garrison with an airbase in 2019. This is what alarmed and spurred China to defeat India’s dangerous designs before it was too late.  

To be continued


Brig.Gen(Retd)Asif Haroon Raja

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, former Defence Attaché’ and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches’ in Cairo, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Center, Member CWC PESS and of Veterans Think Tank, and Member Council TJP. [email protected]  


To be continued


The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, former Defence Attaché’ and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches’ in Cairo, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Center, Member CWC PESS and of Veterans Think Tank, and Member Council TJP. [email protected]  



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Indian liberalism is a historical myth that must be countered if we want to understand our society

Indian liberalism is a historical myth that must be countered if we want to understand our society

We continue to believe that what is happening today is simply an aberration and long to return to a past that did not exist.

Mar 09, 2020 · 06:30 am

Sanjay Srivastava

The last few years have been particularly noticeable for remembering dead and ageing parents. Not just any common garden variety ones, of course, but a very specific kind. These are the parents who, apparently, bequeathed a tolerant, liberal and non-majoritarian India to their children. They embraced religious diversity, resisted various forms of bigotry and promoted the values of constitutional morality. They instilled in their progeny the importance of imagining a post-colonial republic where differences of class, caste, religion and ethnicity would be unequivocally erased.

In media articles and social media outpourings, these parents – narrators of a tryst with destiny – are sorely missed. Over the past six years, everything that the immediate ancestors dreamt of has been, apparently, upturned. In around half a decade, centuries of Indian tolerance – the aforementioned parents being its clearest exemplars – has been wiped out.

The romance of Indian liberalism, fed by the ever-nourishing rivers of historical myth-making of recent origin, needs to be countered if we are ever to undertake the task of taking a good hard look at ourselves – and our parents. Liberal ancestor worship does not serve us well. It certainly does not allow for an understanding of the nature of Indian society either over the longue durèe or in the recent past.

The good Muslim syndrome

The most fundamental aspect of our recent past is that our parents were not particularly committed to the values of religious tolerance that they are frequently credited with as a pre-Modi phenomenon. Their relationship with their Muslim co-citizens was premised on a specific set of circumstances.

Firstly, it had to do with Muslims “knowing their place”. Muslims were to act as mascots of Hindu India’s tolerant culture, rather than exercise an identity that might assert equality with members of the majority community. This was the condition of Hindu contextualism where “secular India” was deeply rooted in the values and public symbolism of Hinduism. Our public functions began (and still begin) with lighting lamps, ships were launched by breaking coconuts and we sang (and now sing with greater fervour) Sanskrit hymns at various national occasions as if these were areligious markers of post-colonial identity.

That is the world our parents grew up in and subscribed to: the “good Muslim” was the one who knew his or her place in a society marked by Hindu contextualism. Even Nehru, perhaps one of the very few who might have understood the meaning of genuine multiculturalism, was not able to counter these tendencies.

Eliding caste

Secondly, there was no India of our parent’s generation that seriously engaged with the caste question. Rather, if we have now come to believe that our parents decried casteism – and that its resurgence is linked to the break-down of their culture of liberalism – this is an entirely spurious view, nurtured by a very Indian culture of filial obligation.

Men and women of an earlier generation – the first and second generation of post-Independence parents – were as deeply casteist as their apparent antithetical contemporary counterparts. What was true of the earlier generation was that – like the Left parties – they pronounced that “in their circles” caste was not a problem.

There is a very common refrain among many now in their seventies and eighties that as school-going students, they had no idea about the caste of their fellow students. This does not, of course, prove that India of the 1950s and ’60s was not marked by caste hierarchies. Rather that in our parents’ generation, there was no occasion for encountering it as those among whom they moved were uniformly upper-caste. The comforts of caste-homogenous social circles ensured that there was no necessity of thinking about caste as a problem. This might only have been the case if different castes encountered each other in the same social milieu.

A soft bigotry

The fact of the matter is that neither was our parents’ time one of a golden age of tolerance and constitutional morality nor is it the case that we have now – in a space of six years! – dramatically changed. The first perspective is misplaced filial obligation and the second is a simplistic understanding of social and cultural change.

Our parents practised bigotry of a quiet sort, one that did not require the loud proclamations that are the norm now. Muslims and the lower castes knew their place and the structures of social and economic authority were not under threat. This does not necessarily translate into a tolerant generation. Rather, it was a generation whose attitudes towards religion and caste was never really tested.

The loud bigotry of our times is no great break from the past in terms of a dramatic change in attitudes – is it really possible that such changes can take place in such few years? Rather, it is the crumbling of the veneer of tolerance against those who once knew their place but no longer wish to accept that position.

The great problem with all this is that we continue to believe that what is happening today is simply an aberration and that we will, when the nightmare is over, return to the Utopia that was once ours. However, it isn’t possible to return to the past that was never there. It will only lead to an even darker future. And, filial affection is no antidote for it.

Courtesy [email protected]


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Overview of the recent history of Sudan

Overview of the recent history of Sudan

Asif Haroon Raja



General spectrum

Sudan had remained a colony of the British for 56 years after which it gained independence on January 1, 1956. Located in northeastern Africa, it shares a border with Egypt to the north, Libya to the northwest, Eritrea and Chad to the east, Central African Union to the southwest, and Chad to the west. The Red Sea is in the southeast. After the independence of South Sudan in 2011, that part has also become its 7th neighbour in the south. Sudan has had troubled relations with many of its neighbours. The internal security situation of all the neighbours of Sudan is far from satisfactory.

Sudan is a huge country between Northern and Central Africa which, prior to the independence of South Sudan, was the continent’s largest country. Its position has long drawn the attention of outsiders, and once facilitated the birth of powerful empires and city-states. Since declaring independence from the United Kingdom, Sudan has struggled to manage its expansive territories and ethnic-regional divisions. Khartoum, the country’s capital, can be viewed as a relatively isolated city-state that must command the vast spaces and people that surround it. Such a mentality helps explain Khartoum’s disastrous management of the country’s various rebellions and insurrections.

Until recently, the country’s leadership has preferred to adopt a belligerent approach to dealing with the country’s many outstanding conflicts. Since Sudan’s borders do not fully align with its various ethnic groups, its internal ethnic conflicts have fueled regional conflict as well. Ethnic groups in the western Darfur region spill over into neighbouring Chad, driving the two countries to wage proxy warfare against each other for years by arming and financing rebels’ intent on revolution.

Sudan’s proximity to the Middle East — as well as the application of Sharia by Jafar Numeri and its cultural and religious makeup — allowed it to build ties with powers there. After Osama bin Laden was banished by Saudi Arabia, he had stayed in Sudan under Gen. Omer Al-Bashir before shifting to Afghanistan in early 1991. Thereon Sudan was kept under close watch. Sudan has been viewed by USA and Egypt as extremely important to their interests in Africa and the Middle East.

First military rule. The British Parliamentary democracy in Sudan lasted until November 17, 1958, after which a group of army officers, headed by Lt Gen Ibrahim Abid established a military regime and dissolved all political parties. This regime was overthrown in the wake of the October 21 Revolution in 1964. The new government reverted to the multi-party system, but this arrangement lasted for only five years.

Rule of Jafar Numeri

Once again a group of 9 military officers led by Col Jafar Numeri proclaimed a new revolution on May 25, 1969, and outlawed all political groups. He ended the civil war in South Sudan raging since 1955 after he conceded measure of autonomy to the southern province in 1972. Southern Sudan with its capital at Juba, populated by animists and Christians held a grievance that it was marginalized by North Sudan. Christian Churches and Monks in South Sudan treated the animists as Christians and kept up with their efforts to Christianize them. Once the oil was discovered in 1978 in South Sudan, Numeri hastened to redraw provincial boundaries so as to place oilfields under the effective control of the Central Government.












Economic heart-burnings of the Southerners against Northerners, Sharia laws, abolishing of South Sudan’s autonomy and redrawing of boundaries by Numeri led to the second civil war in South Sudan in 1983. Col John Garang belonging to South Sudan and a Christian led the SPLM insurgency. Neighboring Ethiopia extended support and sanctuaries to SPLA and became a conduit for the supply of arms to the rebels wanting to make oil-rich South Sudan independent.

Numeri was deposed in a coup in April 1985 by Defence Minister Gen. Abdul Rahman. He was also C-in-C armed forces and had been appointed by Numeri a month earlier. He went into exile to Egypt and returned in 1999 to take part in 2000 presidential elections but lost. He died on May 30, 2009.

Rule of Gen Omar El-Bashir

Gen Omar Bashir seized power in 1989 after he led a successful coup against Gen Rahman and the elected, but increasingly unpopular, prime minister of the time, Sadiq al-Mahdi. (Mahdi had served as elected PM from 1966 to 1967, and 1986 to 1989). The country ruled by Gen Bashir remained at war in the South for over two decades and also had to contend with the foreign supported tribal war in the western state of Darfur in 2003 and the two southern states of Kordufan and Blue Nile in 2011.

Division of Sudan

The peace agreement with SPLM ended the civil war in South Sudan in 2005. Autonomy was granted and a pledge for holding a referendum on independence in next 6 years was given. John Garang was sworn in as Vice President and a new constitution framed. However, Garang couldn’t enjoy the fruits of power and he died in a plane crash in August 2005. Salva Kiir Mayardi succeeded him. In October that year, an autonomous government was formed in South Sudan with Juba as its capital. In the referendum held in January 2011, the southerners opted for full independence.

With lingering rebellion in the three states, together with Gen Omer al-Bashir getting indicted for war crimes against humanity by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Darfur had left little room for Bashir to obstruct or delay the division of the county in July 2011.

Sudan’s economyIt became weaker after Omer al-Bashir ascended to power. The economy became increasingly turbulent following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, which, up until then, had represented an important source of foreign currency, because of its oil output. The devaluation of the Sudanese pound in October 2018 led to wildly fluctuating exchange rates and a shortage of cash in circulation. Removal of wheat and electricity subsidies at the behest of IMF hit the lower classes badly. Long queues for basic goods such as petrol, bread, as well as cash from ATMs became a common sight. Sudan has around 70% inflation, second only to Venezuela.

The downfall of Gen. Omer al-Bashir

On 19 December 2018, a series of demonstrations broke out in several Sudanese cities, due in part to rising costs of living and deterioration of economic conditions at all levels of society. The protests quickly turned from demands for urgent economic reforms into demands for President Gen. Omer al-Bashir to step down.

In January 2018, large protests started on the streets of Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, in opposition to the rising prices of the basic goods including bread. The protests grew quickly and found support from different opposition parties. Youth and women’s movements also joined the protests.

In August 2018, the National Congress Party (NCP) backed Gen. Bashir’s 2020 presidential run, despite his increasing unpopularity and his previous declaration that he would not run in the upcoming elections. These measures led to rising opposition from within the party calling for respect of the constitution, which prevented Gen. Bashir from being reelected. Sudanese activists reacted on social media and called for a campaign against his nomination.

On 22 February 2019, Gen. Bashir declared a yearlong state of national emergency and dissolved the national and regional governments, replacing the latter with military and intelligence-service officers. The next day he appointed his chosen successor, Mohamed Tahir Ayala, as Prime Minister and former intelligence chief and Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf as first Vice President.

Amid Sudan’s ongoing economic crisis, President Bashir reshuffled the government twice and the ruling NCP endorsed him to run for another term in 2020. Sudan made no meaningful measures to provide accountability for past or current abuses in conflict zones or other serious human rights violations. It didn’t cooperate with biased ICC which had levied charges against the president and four other men, of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur.

The protests reached a climax on 6 April, when demonstrators occupied the square in front of the military’s headquarters to demand that the army force the president out.

On the weekend of 6–7 April, there were massive protests for the first time since the declaration of the state of emergency. On 10 April, soldiers were seen shielding protesters from security forces, and on 11 April, the military removed Gen. Bashir from power in a coup d’état after his 30 years rule.

The takeover by Transitional Military Council (TMC)

Following Gen. Bashir’s removal from power, and takeover by a seven-member TMC led by Lt Gen Awad Ibn Auf on 11 April, 2019, street protests organized by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) and democratic opposition groups continued, calling on the ruling TMC to “immediately and unconditionally” step aside in favor of a civilian-led transitional government, and urging other reforms in Sudan. Negotiations between the TMC and the civilian opposition to form a joint transition government took place during late April and in May but stopped when the dreaded Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and other TMC security forces carried out a massacre in the capital city of Khartoum on 3 June. Unrest in Northern Sudan engulfed almost the whole of the country in turmoil.

Chain of events after April 11, 2019

On the evening of 12 April 2019, Auf announced his resignation following intense protests. He handed over his seat to Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, the army’s inspector-general, to succeed him. The protesters were “jubilant” upon hearing this announcement as he was one of the generals who reached out to the protestors during the sit-in.

On 13 April, talks between the military and the protestors officially started. This came following announcements that the curfew imposed by Auf was lifted, that an order was issued to complete the release of those who were jailed under emergency laws issued by al-Bashir. It was also announced that National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) Chief Salah Gosh had resigned. Amnesty International asked the military coalition to investigate his role in protesters’ deaths.

On 14 April it was announced that TMC had agreed to have the protestors nominate a civilian Prime Minister and have civilians run every Government ministry outside the Defense and Interior Ministries. Another announcement was made that Auf had been removed as Defense Minister and that Lt. Gen. Abu Bakr Mustafa had succeeded Gosh as chief of NISS.

On 15 April, TMC announced that “The former ruling NCP will not participate in any transitional government,” despite not being barred from future elections.

It was also announced that the TMC was undergoing restructuring, which began with the appointments of Col. Gen. Hashem Abdel Muttalib Ahmed as army chief of staff and Col. Gen. Othman al-Hussein as deputy chief of staff.

On 16 April, the TMC announced that in response to the demands of the protestors, the nation’s three top prosecutors had been sacked.

On 17 April, ousted president Gen. Bashir was transferred from house arrest in the Presidential Palace to solitary confinement at Kobar prison in Khartoum, a prison notorious for holding political prisoners during Gen. Bashir’s time in power. Two of Gen. Bashir’s brothers, Abdullah and Al-Abbas, were also arrested.

On 18 April, crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands demonstrated to demand civilian rule. The demonstration was the largest since Gen. Bashir was deposed. Protest leaders also announced plans to name their own transitional council in two days’ time if the military junta refused to step aside.

On 20 April, it was reported that officials had found suitcases full of Euros, US dollars, and Sudanese Pounds in Gen. Bashir’s home (totalling around $6.7 million). Parliament Speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omar was placed under house arrest. The secretary general of the Islamic movement Al-Zubair Ahmed Hassan and former parliament speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Taher were also among those arrested in relation to these suitcases.

On 21 April, head of TMC promised to hand over power to the people. Nevertheless, protest leaders broke off talks with the military authorities the same day—saying that the military junta was not serious about transferring power to civilians and that the junta was composed of remnants of al-Bashir’s Islamist regime—and vowed to intensify demonstrations.

Meanwhile, as a result of strikes at oil companies in Port Sudan, landlocked South Sudan‘s oil exports were paralyzed.

On 27 April, an agreement was reached to form a transitional council made up jointly of civilians and military, though the exact details of the power-sharing arrangement were not yet agreed upon, as both sides wanted to have a majority. The military also announced the resignation of the three TMC members Lt. Gen. Omar Zain al-Abideen, Lt. Gen. Jalal al-Deen al-Sheikh and Lt. Gen. Al-Tayeb Babakr Ali Fadeel, who had submitted their resignations on 24 April.

On 7 May 2019, 21 former officials who served in al-Bashir’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in South Darfur were arrested after attempting to flee the country.

The military and protesters agreed on 15 May to a three-year transition period to civilian rule. The protest movement insisted on a transition period of at least three years was needed to wash away the effects of Bashir’s rule and to ensure free and fair elections.

The two sides also agreed on the structure of a new government – including a sovereign council, a cabinet and a legislative body. But soon after, TMC scrapped all of these agreements on 3 June and said fresh elections would be held within nine months.

The TMC’s head said they had decided to “stop negotiating with the ‘Alliance for Freedom and Change’ (AFC) and to cancel what had been agreed on”.

Negotiations collapsed when a military crackdown on 3 June left dozens of protesters dead. 118 people were killed, 70 were raped and hundreds were injured in the Khartoum massacre as a result of Sudanese armed forces storming a camp and opening fire on protesters. Security forces also opened fire on protesters inside medical facilities. Security forces dumped bodies of some of the killed protesters in the river Nile. Much of the country was then shut down by an open-ended strike called by the opposition.

On 8 June, the SPA warned of a wide campaign by the TMC of arresting and disappearing political activists or threatening to kill them. The SPA called for activists to strictly follow the methods of nonviolent resistance in their campaign of civil disobedience and workplace strikes.

A 3-day general strike and nationwide civil disobedience campaign were carried out from 9–11 June. The SPA estimated 60–95% of pupils’ and teachers’ absences from primary and high schools; 67–99% closure of municipal and national bus transport; 84–99% blocking of flights; 98–100% blocking of rail transport; 64–72% bank closures; 86% closure of retail markets; 60–94% closure of electricity, heating, oil and gas stations; 57–100% non-publication of newspaper publishing; 47–90% of medical services were closed, but free emergency medical care was provided; 90–100% of private and state legal services were shut down. Internet was shut down. Women were at the forefront of the demonstrations and one named Kandaka, meaning Nubian queen, led the chants.

On 12 June, the TMC agreed to release political prisoners and the FCA agreed to suspend the general strike. The two sides also agreed “to resume talks soon” about forming a civilian government. The FCA prepared a list of eight civilian members for a 15-member transitional governmental council, including three women.

On 13 June, TMC spokesperson stated that “some” security force members had been arrested over the 3 June massacre and that eighteen persons belonging to two different groups planning coups against the TMC, had also been arrested.

On 29 June, TMC security forces raided the headquarters of the SPA.

On 30 June, the 30th anniversary of Gen. Bashir’s coup d’état, twenty thousand people protested in Khartoum and elsewhere around Sudan to call for civilian rule and justice for the 3 June massacre. Ten people were killed during the demonstrations and 181 people injured among which 27 suffered gunshot wounds. Tear gas, live ammunition and stun grenades were used against protestors in Khartoum. 10 security personnel were also wounded. The military seemed reluctant to hand over power to civilians.

On July 01, three bloodstained bodies were found in Omdurman.

International response

The violence of the government’s reaction to peaceful demonstrations sparked international concern.

Most African and western countries backed the protesters.

The governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE pledged $3 billion in aid to the military authorities, which was not welcomed by the protestors. Former urged discussions between the two sides, but not directly condemned military violence. Along with UAE and Egypt, Riyadh perhaps feared the protests could inspire similar events to take place on home turf.

The TMC’s Vice President, Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, flew to Saudi Arabia last month to meet the crown prince Mohamed Bin Salman, promising to stand with the kingdom against threats and continue sending Sudanese troops to help the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

The African Union (AU) suspended Sudan from its membership until a civilian-led transitional authority was established.

The UN started removing all non-essential staff from Sudan but China and Russia blocked moves to impose sanctions.

The US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, condemned the Khartoum violence, calling it “abhorrent”.


Ethiopian PM Abiy and AU made an effort to mediate a truce by suggesting 5-member civil majority government for a 3-year transition period. Finally, mediation of Ethiopia and AU succeeded in brokering a deal on July 5.

Landmark deal

On July 5, a landmark deal was signed between ruling TMC and the protest leaders to put an end to months of political unrest that had cost 136 lives since June 3, and had paralyzed life in the capital city. After two days of negotiations, the power-sharing deal was brokered by the mediating Ethiopia and AU. The two sides agreed to establish a sovereign council with rotating military and civil presidency for a period of 3 years and 3 months. The final draft will be inked on 8 July. The ruling body would include six civilians including five members from the protest group and five from the military. During the transition period, the first 21 months will be presided by the military and the next 18 months by the civilians. The deal sparked celebrations and the people took to the streets to rejoice the deal. The deal has been welcomed by UAE.

Other troubled areas

The civil war in South Sudan

Just two years after gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan got engulfed in a power struggle which claimed the lives of tens of thousands of the population. According to UNHCR, over 2.3 million got displaced. It has become Africa’s biggest refugee crisis. It accounts for 14 per cent of the total number of displaced persons, second only to Syria which accounts for 40 per cent.

The conflict began as a feud between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and to then-Vice President Riek Machar. It soon spiralled into fighting among several factions, engulfing the country in ethnic violence and eventually producing a devastating humanitarian crisis.

Hunger and disease racked the country and millions fled to neighbouring countries. Human rights abuses, mass rape and potential war crimes have been documented on both sides of the conflict.

An estimated 383,000 people have died as a result of five years of civil war in the world’s youngest country. The death toll was highest in 2016 and 2017 after a power-sharing agreement brokered in 2015 fell apart. Another peace agreement was signed in September 2018, but South Sudan is still the most dangerous country where aid workers dread to step in. The conflict has damaged the country’s economy, contributing to soaring inflation and there is a risk of famine.

Conflict in Darfur

The War in Sudan’s western region Darfur is a major armed conflict that began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel groups began fighting the government of Sudan. A decade after the disastrous war, there is no end in sight. The intensity of the conflict has diminished since its early years, but most of Darfur is still extremely dangerous. There are 2.5 million displaced persons in camps and 2 million affected by the conflict, all dependent upon international humanitarian assistance.

Since early 2003, Sudanese government forces and militias called “Janjaweed” have been engaged in an armed conflict with rebel groups SLM and JEM. Sudanese government forces and the Janjaweed militias have waged a systematic campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against civilians who are members of the same ethnic groups as the rebels. Hundreds of villages have been burnt and destroyed, causing tens of thousands of civilian deaths, displacing millions of people, and raping and assaulting tens of hundreds of women and girls.

Sudanese forces blocked UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur, UNAMID, peacekeepers and aid groups’ access to displaced people and conflict-affected areas on several occasions.

For more than two years, the government and JEM and SLM declared a unilateral cessation of hostilities in Darfur mediated by AU. However, after the beginning of the nationwide protests against the Gen. Bashir’s regime, they declined to engage with the government and voiced their support for the popular uprising. In a meeting facilitated by Chadian President Idris Deby, the TMC and two armed groups agreed to uphold a ceasefire in Darfur.

Conflict in Kordofan and Blue Nile States

War erupted in the two southern states in 2011 soon after the independence of South Sudan. The fight is going on between RSF and Nuba mountains based rebels of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) that are better armed and adept in the fighting. There are little prospects of peace. The conflict has displaced 230,000 people to relief camps and caused heavy casualties.

Over seven years into the armed conflict in Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile, the government and armed opposition have failed to agree on modalities for supplying life-saving aid to civilians in need.


Sudan hosts refugees and migrants from the region and received nearly 200,000 more refugees from South Sudan, bringing the total over 770,000. Authorities have deported Eritreans, often without giving them an opportunity to apply for asylum. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees from Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile live in camps in Chad, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The writer is a retired Brig. Gen, a war veteran, defence analyst, columnist and author of 5 books. He served as Defence Attaché Egypt and Sudan from 1986 to 1989 and also was Dean of the Corps of Military attaches’ in Cairo. [email protected]





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