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Archive for category Under Sajjad Shaukat’s Magnifying Glass

Zionist-led Double Game has Taken the Pak-US Relations on Backtrack By Sajjad Shaukat

Zionist-led Double Game has Taken the Pak-US Relations on Backtrack

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

Although the former presidents of the United States George. W. Bush and Barack Obama were secretly acting upon the Zionist-led double game as part of the South Asian policy, yet President Donald Trump clearly exposed America’s double game in South Asia. 

 

Despite the repeated assurances of Pakistan’s military and civil leadership that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are well-protected and are under tight security arrangements, having well-coordinated command and control system, a deliberate propaganda campaign against the safety of these weapons keeps on going by the US, India and some Western countries who are acting upon the Zionist agenda to ‘denuclearize’ Pakistan as the latter is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Besides, some other developments such as America’s pro-Indian and pro-Israeli policies, and anti-Pakistan, anti-China, anti-Russia and anti-Iran diplomacy are also part of the Zionist-led double game of the US who is in collaboration with India and Israel. Particularly, Washington which is in connivance with New Delhi and Tel Aviv has been destabilizing Pakistan politically and economically.

 

In this regard, a few days after the US cancelled USD 300 million in military aid (The so-called Coalition Support Funds) to Islamabad, accusing the latter of failing to rein in the terror groups operating from its soil in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the former CIA chief who along with the US Joint Chief of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford had arrived on an official visit to Islamabad met with Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on September 5, this year.

 

In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that Qureshi highlighted that the priority of the new government was socio-economic development and for the success of people-centred agenda and economic reforms, an enabling regional security environment was imperative. He said improving relations with neighbours was a priority, in an apparent reference to strained ties with India and Afghanistan, which often accuses Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists to conduct cross-border attacks. Qureshi also reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue efforts for promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

 

The statement elaborated: “The two sides agreed that present conditions in Afghanistan were conducive to intensifying efforts for a political settlement. They underscored the need for the Taliban to seize the opportunity for talks in response to the Afghan President Ghani’s offer for an unconditional dialogue…Mr Pompeo stated that the US fully supported the reform agenda of Prime Minister Khan and wished the government success in its implementation…Mr Pompeo conveyed the US desire to work with Pakistan in furthering the shared objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

 

At the same time, reviving the US old blame game regarding cross-border terrorism, Pompeo emphasized upon Islamabad “to do more” at the meeting.

 

The international community knows very well that Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, including Karachi and Balochistan province.

 

But, like the previous diplomats of America, Mike Pompeo’s statement shows an unrealistic and contradictory approach towards Islamabad, as Zionist-controlled elements control the foreign policy of the US. Overtly, American high officials remark that they seek stability in Pakistan, but covertly, they continue to destabilize it to obtain the illegitimate interests of Israel.

 

Pakistan’s new Prime Minister who knows Zionist designs and American double game has vowed to review Pak-US relations. In this respect, Qureshi had said: “The disconnection between Washington and Islamabad was addressed in the meeting with Pompeo as both sides agreed to reset the two-way linkages.”

 

After meeting Pompeo, next day, addressing the Defence and Martyrs Day ceremony and hinting towards the US, Prime Minister Khan said: “The country will not be part of anyone else’s war, rubbished the myth of a civil-military divide in the country…We both [civil, military] have a common goal and that is to take this country forward.” He “saluted the valour and sacrifices of the armed forces, which stood strong against all odds in the aftermath of the 9/11 and the unconventional war that followed, to safeguard the interests of the country.

 

Addressing the ceremony, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said:  “Our forces and nation have rendered sacrifices in the war against terrorism…Our houses, schools and leaders were attacked. Efforts were made to weaken us internally.” Noting that more than 70,000 Pakistanis were martyred and injured in this war, the army chief vowed to collectively fight this menace of terrorism.

 

Gen. Bajwa added: “The country passed through a very difficult phase during the past two decades and the war is still continued.” He also said that the continuity of democracy was necessary for the country.

 

After visiting Pakistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to India where US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was already present.  Pompeo and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met separately on September 6, 2018, before joining top defence officials for talks.

 

Taking to the media, Swaraj remarked, “India attaches the highest priority to its strategic partnership with the United States. We see that the United States is our partner of choice. Pompeo said the U.S. values its relationship with India and noted we fully support India’s rise.”

 

Mattis and Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sithataman also met separately before joining the other two leaders. Sitharaman in her opening remarks stated: “Defense cooperation has become one of the most significant dimensions of the countries’ relationship. We have acquired various advanced defence platforms from the U.S. We are thus partners in building defence capability in the broadest sense of the term.”

Mattis said:  “Today our partnership has become one of the most consequential in the region and in the world.”

 

There are sticking points, however, including the purchase by India of Iranian oil and the Russian S-400 ground-to-air missile system, which could trigger US sanctions on India.

 

Pompeo told reporters “talks were ongoing on whether to grant waivers for India from U.S. sanctions on Iran — India’s second-largest oil supplier — and Russia. Our effort here is not to penalize great strategic partners like India.

 

Pompeo and Mattis later met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and conveyed Trump’s support for “India’s role as a leading global power and regional security provider.”

 

  1. Raja Mohan, one of India’s top foreign policy analysts and the director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, opined that US-India ties have strengthened immensely over the past couple of decades, and Trump has ramped up diplomatic pressure on India’s main rivals, Pakistan and China, earning him plenty of goodwill.

 

In fact, the agenda for Indo-US talks included previous key issues such as anti-terrorism, maritime security and particularly countering China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean and the region.

 

Strategic analysts remark that there are no permanent friends and enemies in international politics because of friendship and enmity change in accordance with the states’ interests which are of primary importance.

 

After having a strong relationship with the United States for more than 60 years, a rift has occurred in Pak-US ties which are moving on backtrack because of a number of reasons, and Pakistan has been further strengthening its relations with China. It has also inclined towards the Russian Federation which also needs the latter. Particularly, the US-led secret strategy which is part of the Zionist-led American double game compelled Pakistan to fortify its relations with Russia. 

 

In this connection, an agreement has been signed on August 7, this year between Pakistan and Russia for the training of Pakistani troops in Russia, decided at the culmination of the first meeting of joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC) in Islamabad. Pakistan’s defence ties with Moscow are growing strong with each passing day and this pact has opened new avenues of cooperation between the two countries. A desire from both sides has already been seen in the near past in boosting economic and political relationships. Obviously, these moves are seen with suspicion by the US and India, including Israel. The fact of the matter is that American President Donald Trump’s pro-Indian strategy and anti-Pakistan policies have forced Islamabad to find new alliances.

 

Earlier, America announced to stop military training programmes with Pakistan. In this respect, Western media said: “The U.S. has stopped financing military training in the U.S. for Pakistani soldiers…The effective suspension of Pakistan from the US government’s International Military Education and Training program (IMET) will close off places that had been set aside for 66 Pakistani officers this year.”

Pakistani officials warned it could push their military to further look to Russia and China. Pakistan’s Chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, Senator. Mushahid Hussain called the American move “wrong and counterproductive” and stated: “The U.S. is repeating past mistakes through a failed policy of trying to bully and browbeat Pakistan with such shortsighted sanctions.”

 

On August 3, this year, the US Congress had approved a $716 billion defence authorization bill to cut Pakistan’s defence aid from $750 million to $150 million. The Senate passed the conference report on National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill then was sent to president Trump seeking his assent. Last year, US defence bill had authorized a significant aid of $700 million for Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund that had been reduced afterwards. The defence policy bill backed President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military and sidestepping a potential battle with the White House over technology from major Chinese firms.

 

It is notable that in an interview with CNBC television on July 30, 2018, the US Secretary of State Pompeo had warned on that any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s new government should not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders. Pompeo explained that the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, but there was “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan.

 

Islamabad has dismissed America’s concerns that any new International Monetary Fund bailout for the nation would be used to repay Chinese debt as “totally wrong”.

 

It is mentionable that soon after the victory of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the general elections of 2018, China agreed to further US$ 2 billion loans to aid its foreign currency reserves, something which cites trust in the new government. The then Chairman of PTI, Imran Khan emphasized close ties with Beijing and the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This came timely, as Pakistan has continued to face strained relationships with the US government, and did not want to rely on the IMF for a bail-out. Chinese announcement caused Pakistan’s rupee to jump the most in nearly a decade, as Khan was likely to take power with an economy in chaos. Beijing has stepped up to reinforce a geopolitical alliance which shapes the South Asian nation’s policies towards the US and India which are following a secret strategy of Israel against Islamabad. The gesture showed to Pakistan’s overwhelming reliance on China as a source of financial, diplomatic and military support at a time when US President Donald Trump has cut military aid to Islamabad.

 

Besides China, Prime Minister Imran Khan is also strengthening Pakistan’s relation with Russia, Iran and Turkey which are facing the US sanctions.

 

As regards Pak-Russian ties, in this connection, Pakistan’s Army chief Gen. Javed Bajwa arrived in Russia for a two-day visit on April 24, this year. It was General Bajwa’s first visit to Russia.

 

The statement of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, “Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Russia…where he met with Commander of Russian Federation Ground Forces Colonel General Oleg Salyukov at the Kremlin Palace…During the meeting, the Russian ground forces commander acknowledged achievements of Pakistan Army in the fight against terrorism and contributions for regional peace and stability. Colonel General Salyukov said that Pakistan is a geo-strategically important country and Russia is keen to expand its existing bilateral military-to-military cooperation…The COAS thanked the Russian commander and said that Pakistan reciprocates desire of enhanced bilateral military engagements. General Bajwa said that Russia has recently played a positive role to help resolve complex situations in the region.” 

 

 

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However, during the meetings between the top military and security leadership of the two countries, Pakistan and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to intensify and expand bilateral military cooperation.

 

In his meeting with the Gen. Qamar Javed, Russian Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleg Salyukov said his country was interested in expanding the existing military cooperation with Pakistan. Gen Bajwa, too, expressed Pakistan’s desire to enhance bilateral military engagements with Russia.

 

The two countries had in February, 2018 agreed to set up a military cooperation commission for promoting military cooperation. Both sides had signed a defence cooperation agreement in November 2014 and later inked military-technical cooperation accord, which allows arms trade between the two countries and cooperation in weapon development, in October 2015.

 

The press service of the Russian Security Council reported that in their meeting, “issues of bilateral military cooperation in information security and countering international terrorism were studied.”

 

The army chief’s trip was preceded by the visit of National Security Adviser retired Lt. Gen. Nasser Janjua to Russia. His meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev resulted in an understanding that the security cooperation between the two countries needed a boost.

 

Islamabad, Moscow and Beijing share the common opinion that the presence of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan failed to restore stability in the country.

 

Speaking to Chief of General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Gen Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov, Gen. Bajwa stated; “Russia supported Pakistan’s efforts towards reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan” and it was “willing to play a role towards that end.” He noted that Pakistan welcomed any initiative which could bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and the whole region would benefit from it.

 

Notably, in 2002, the 7th meeting of the Pakistan-Russia Consultative Group on Strategic Stability was held in Moscow. The two sides had discussed matters of mutual interest relating to international issues, including arms control, nonproliferation and counter-terrorism. On May 12, 2011, Islamabad and Moscow agreed to promote trade, investment and joint projects particularly in energy, infrastructure development, metal industry and agriculture. Russia has shown a special interest in energy projects. A working group of both countries had met in October 2011 to explore cooperation in this sector. Islamabad is interested in Russian investment in its oil and gas sectors as well as in heavy industries.

 

Russia has offered Pakistan counter-terrorism equipment. The package includes 10 MI-17 helicopters of unarmed configuration. When Russian military Chief Col-Gen. Alexander Postnikov visited Pakistan in May 2011, he discussed with the former Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani—the possibility of expanding defence ties by holding joint military exercises, exchanging trainees and trainers and selling and buying weapons. Moscow has also offered to sell Sukhoi Superjet 100, a modern aircraft with a capacity of up to 95 passengers, while up-gradation of Pakistan Steel Mills by Russia is being finalized. In the recent past, it was the first time that joint military exercises were conducted between the two countries in Pakistan.

 

In 2011, Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and remarked that Pakistan was a very important partner in South Asia and the Muslim world for Russia. In the recent years, besides, various annual summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which includes Russia, China and four Central Asian states including Pakistan and Iran, on 16 August 2007, in their summit, the leaders of the SCO displayed strength against the US rising dominance in the region and military presence in Afghanistan, near the region of Central Asia.

 

 

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It is noteworthy that on June 9, 20, Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. President Putin stated that Pakistan is an important partner for Russia in South Asia and congratulated the then Prime Minister Sharif on Pakistan’s full membership to the SCO. Putin elaborated, “Russian-Pakistani relations have been constructive and mutually beneficial…our relations are developing in many areas, and our trade has increased.”

 

In a major development, Russia has offered its support for Pakistan’s entry into a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), of which Russia is a leading member.

 

The disqualified Prime Minister Sharif who thanked the Russian Federation for supporting Pakistan’s full membership in the SCO, said, “The SCO gives us a powerful platform for partnerships to promote peace, build trust and spur economic development for shared prosperity…it helps us all combat terrorism…expansion of the SCO has taken place at an opportune time, as China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative has transformed the global economic landscape…in Pakistan, we are diligently implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a flag of the OBOR.”

 

In this context, to bolster its strategic contest with China and Russia, the US is moving towards a military alliance with India. America which is backing Indian hegemony in Asia, especially to counterbalance China is supplying New Delhi latest weapons, arms and aircraft.

 

During ex-President Barack Obama’s second visit to India, the Washington and New Delhi had announced a breakthrough on a pact which would allow American companies to supply India with civilian nuclear technology, as agreed upon in 2008. During Indian Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to America, President Obama had strongly assured him to favour India’s membership in the coming meeting of the Nuclear Supplier Group. Earlier, Washington also pressurized the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) to sign an accord of specific safeguards with India. America had already contacted the NSG to grant a waiver to India for starting civil nuclear trade on a larger scale.

 

During his trip to the USA, Prime Minister Modi’s first meeting with the American President Donald Trump held on June 27, 2017. Both the leaders pledged to work together to boost their respective economies and other fields. Besides, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi pledged to deepen defence and security cooperation, building on the US’s recognition of India as a major defence partner. The president also thanked India for seeking a $2 billion arms deal with the United States for 22 naval surveillance drones.

 

Trump said, “The relationship between the United States and India is very, very strong and very, very powerful.” While, ignoring ground realities that the US-led Israeli Mossad and Indian RAW are sponsoring terrorism in Asia and Western countries, in the joint statement, Trump hailed pledges of closer cooperation between India and the United States, especially in the fight against the Islamic State group (Also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh). 

 

As a matter of fact, since the occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO forces, the country has become centre of the intelligence agencies such as CIA, RAW and Mossad which are in connivance to obtain the covert designs of their countries and some Western countries against Russia, China and Pakistan, including Iran. Under the cover of fighting terrorism, these foreign agencies which are also in collaboration with Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) support the militants of ISIS and Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their linked outfits which have been conducting terror-assaults in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the secret strategy of the US-led countries. Besides, these terrorist groups are weakening Tibetan regions of China and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan through subversive activities.

 

Apart from Islamabad, the US has also accused Iran and Russia of assisting the Taliban in Afghanistan. The main purpose of Washington is not only to pacify their people and justify the unending war in Afghanistan but also to fulfil the secret strategic designs of the Zionist Jews against Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran.  Trump has so far focused on outreach to China, India’s strategic rival, as he also initiated a trade war with China.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

It is worth mentioning that Washington and New Delhi do not want to see peace and prosperity in the region. Sadly, Pakistan’s dominant role in Afghanistan’s peace process under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) has, deliberately, been sabotaged by the killing of the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur in the CIA-operated drone attack in Balochistan. After the incident, Afghan Taliban leaders refused to participate in the US-sponsored talks with the Afghan government. While, in the recent past, with the help of Pakistan, a series of meetings were held in Islamabad and Kabul among the representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US to develop an understanding for the earliest possible resumption of stalled talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban with view to ending nearly 17 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan.

 

During the sixth Heart of Asia Conference which was held in the Indian city of Amritsar on December 3 and 4, 2016 proved fruitless in achieving its goals due to the secret diplomacy of the US, India and Afghanistan owing to the blame game, especially of New Delhi and Kabul against Islamabad. In his opening remarks, following American secret diplomacy in Asia, in his frenzy and ferocious speech, Indian Prime Minister Modi had lashed out at Pakistan on terrorism as the central subject of the moot.

 

Speaking in the Indian tone, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also accused Pakistan of providing sanctuary to terrorists and cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan.

 

Addressing the conference, Russian envoy Zamir Kabulov had rejected the Indian and Afghan allegations against Pakistan. He stated that Afghanistan is the pivot of the conference and the agenda of the conference should not be hijacked. He added that being friends and supporters, we should avoid the blame game and work together. He also said that Pakistan’s Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz’s speech at the conference was friendly and constructive.

 

Earlier, due to the double game of the US and failure of the QCG, China, Russia and Pakistan held secretary-level trilateral talks in Moscow on December 27, 2016, and discussed regional stability, including the restoration of peace in Afghanistan. The meeting also discussed anti-terrorism cooperation amid growing influence of the ISIL in the region and a peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

 

It is mentionable that the American President Trump has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal and is following war-mongering diplomacy against Tehran by toughening sanctions, while Israel is also doing the same against Iran. Hence, Iran could abandon the US-backed India-Afghanistan Chabahar project and could join the CPEC project.

 

Notably, in the recent years, unbridgeable trust deficit existed between Pakistan and the United States owing to America’s double game with Islamabad. But, President Trump’s flawed strategy in South Asia, based upon anti-Pakistan moves, has taken the Pakistan-US ties to point of no return.

 

During the heightened days of the Cold War, despite Pakistan’s membership of the US-sponsored military alliances SEATO and CENTO, including Pak-US bilateral military agreement, America did not come to help Pakistan against India which separated East Pakistan in 1971.

 

After the end of the Cold War, the US left both Pakistan and Afghanistan to face the fallout of the Afghan war 1. By manipulating the nuclear programme of Islamabad, the US imposed various sanctions on Pakistan.

 

But, after the 9/11 tragedy, America, again, needed Pakistan’s help and President George W. Bush insisted upon Islamabad to join the US global war on terror. Pakistan was also granted the status of a non-NATO ally by America due to the early successes, achieved by Pakistan’s Army and country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) against the Al-Qaeda militants.

 

Within a few years, when the US-led NATO forces felt that they are failing in coping with the stiff resistance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, they started accusing Pak Army and ISI of supporting the Afghan Taliban. They constantly insisted upon Pakistan to do more against the militants and continued the CIA-operated drone attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas by ignoring the internal backlash in the country.

 

Reviving the double game as part of anti-Pakistan strategy, President Donald Trump stated in his tweet on January 1, this year, “The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

 

Weeks earlier of this tweet, while, unveiling national security strategy, Trump had said, “We make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.”

 

In his speech on August 21, 2017, while announcing the US new strategy regarding Afghanistan as part of the policy in South Asia, President Trump, particularly, singled out Pakistan for criticism. Using tough words against the US ally Pakistan, Trump revived the old blame game of his predecessors Bush and Obama regarding the cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan by saying Washington could “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations”, and threatened to target the terrorists’ sanctuaries in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Trump stated, “We have been paying Pakistan billions of dollars, at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists we are fighting…that must change immediately.”

 

Regarding Pakistan’s regional rival India, Donald Trump added, “We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan…We want them to help us more with Afghanistan.”

 

Meanwhile, on January 5, 2018, the US suspended $255 million of military aid to Islamabad as a condition to do more against terrorism.

 

Taking cognizance of the latest tweet of President Trump, Pakistan’s civil and military leaders, including all the mainstream political parties united against the US aggressive stance against the country and offered a stark response to Trump’s false accusations. The then Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif remarked, “Terrorist sanctuaries are present in East Afghanistan. It is from these safe havens inside Afghanistan that terrorist attacks are being launched on Pakistan…The claim by Trump regarding the funds, if we account for it, they include reimbursements too for the services rendered by Pakistan…Our land, roads, rail and, other different kinds of services were used for which we were reimbursed.”

 

According to the earlier statement of the ISPR, “Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa stated that “Pakistan was not looking for any material or financial assistance from the USA but trust, understanding and acknowledgement of our contributions…peace in Afghanistan is as important for Pakistan as for any other country.”

 

While encouraged by the US President Trump, Indian Prime Minister Modi is flowing aggressive diplomacy against Pakistan, and India has continued shelling in Pakistani side of Kashmir which remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the neighbouring countries.

 

And various other developments such as Russia-Iran-Turkey alliance to fight the ISIS, and US decision to dispatch more troops in Afghanistan etc. are equally notable.

 

Nevertheless, taking note of the Zionist-led US double game, the new government of Pakistan led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is further fortifying country’s relations with Beijing, Moscow, Tehran and Ankara. Especially, he will prefer Russia and China over America.

 

It is also of particular attention that two days after the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s transit visit, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is reaching Islamabad on Friday (September 7, 2018) on a three-day visit. Besides meeting his Pakistani counterpart, Mr Wang is likely to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and president-elect Arif Alvi during his stay in Islamabad to have discussions on bilateral issues with a focus on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.

 

We can conclude that the Zionist-led double game has taken the Pak-US relations on the backtrack, and in future, the Russian-led China-Pakistan-Iran-Turkey alliance will emerge.

 

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

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

Courtesy Veterans Today

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Pakistan: Home to the Mystifying Cultural Heritage By Ishaal Zehra

Pakistan: Home to the Mystifying Cultural Heritage

Ishaal Zehra

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Intensive Economic Crisis Threatens India’s Federal Union By Sajjad Shaukat

Intensive Economic Crisis Threatens India’s Federal Union
By

Sajjad Shaukat

 

One of the important causes of the disintegration of the former Soviet Union was that its greater
defence expenditure exceeded to the maximum, resulting into economic crisis inside the country.
In this regard, about a prolonged war in Afghanistan, the former President Gorbachev had
declared it as the “bleeding wound.” However, militarization of the Soviet Union failed in
controlling the movements of liberation, launched by various ethnic nationalities.
Learning no lesson from India’s previous close friend-the former Russia, Indian fundamentalist
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leader of the extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is acting
upon the similar policies. Modi has remained obstinate in his policies to make India an economic
power, implementing aggressive strategy against Pakistan and China, including other South
Asian countries, increase in defence budget and escalation of arms race which has given a blow
to regional balance of power.
However, intensive economic crisis has started threatening India’s federal union which
comprises 36 states and seven union territories. Acceleration of the economic crisis has not only
increased poverty in India, but also resulted in to multiple problems and crimes which have
exposed the myth of so-called “Incredible India.”
In this respect, India figures among top 10 countries where highest number of rapes are taking
place every year. In 2015, as per National Crimes Record Bureau, 34,651 rape cases were
registered in India. The year also witnessed registration of over 327,000 all sorts of crimes
against women.
The counterfeit drug industry is estimated to be worth $200 billion a year and has been defined
as the “The crime of the 21st century.” India leads the 75% of counterfeit drugs supplied world
over. For Dr Pascoal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the figures show
that “India lost three million girls due to female infanticide.”
Indian farmers are paying the price of apathy of Indian government to their sector. Past three
decades have witnessed an alarming increase in the suicides of Indian farmers and farm workers
which stands around 300,000 since 1995.  
In this context, a former Manipur state policeman told journalists that he had been involved in
more than 100 extrajudicial executions in the state between 2002 and 2009. The Supreme Court,
hearing a case related to over 1,500 extrajudicial executions in Manipur, ruled that armed forces
personnel should not enjoy “blanket immunity” from trials in civilian courts.
India constitutes 40% of the world’s 800m malnourished population and the highest rate of
underweight children. 17% of India’s total population is undernourished. According to official
statistics, 29% of children below the age of five are underweight in India. How can it be that
close to 60 million Indian children are underweight even though India is a member of the G-20,
the group of the economically most powerful countries in the world?

India has by far the largest electricity access deficit; exceeding 300 million people out of the 1.2
billion people worldwide.

Besides, India is becoming a nightmare for journalists, lawyers and human Rights activists, as
Hindu extremists under Modi have unleashed terror against them. In the 2017 World Press
Freedom Index, India sank three places to position 136 (least free). The 2017 India Freedom
Report, published in May by media watchdog The Hoot, spoke of “an overall sense of shrinking
liberty not experienced in recent years”. It counted 54 reported attacks on journalists, at least
three cases of television news channels being banned, 45 internet shutdowns and 45 sedition
cases against individuals and groups between January 2016 and April 2017. In October 2016,
“the Kashmir Reader”, a prominent English-language newspaper, was asked to stop publication;
it returned to newsstands in December.
India has become world’s 2nd ‘most racist’ country, which has also exposed the myth of Indian
claim of secular state and the largest democracy.
It is noteworthy, on October 16, 2017, in an article, under the caption, “Sleepless in Modi’s
economy,” which was published by the daily Dawn, Delhi-based Indian journalist Latha Jishnu
wrote, “Who is sleeping well in India in these days of economic gloom and the terrifying spectre
of joblessness that is spreading across the country? It’s an intriguing line of inquiry sparked by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s astounding response to worries articulated in public by elder
members of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as economists and commercial
organisations. There are some people who sleep well only after they spread a feeling of
pessimism. We need to recognise such people…a decline in growth to 5.7 per cent in the last
financial quarter was unwarranted since it had fallen to much lower levels below that during the
previous Congress rule. Modi is right about that. But his response is revealing of the way he and
the BJP regime deal with criticism even within the party…Firstly, it uses fudged facts—the
decline in the growth has been consistent over six quarters—and neatly sidesteps inconvenient
truths (such as the lowering of growth rates by everyone from the IMF to the Reserve Bank of
India). However serious the issue, the doctrine of denial and deflection relies on ad hominem
attacks and uses the abrasive language of the hustings to demolish critics. Above all, the rhetoric
is dangerously delusional and sinks to ludicrous levels as when the BJP party chief claims the dip
in growth rate is due to ‘technical reasons’ without explaining what these could be. As growth
rates dip and industries fold up, unemployment remains a terrifying prospect for young India…
From being the poster boy of the big economies in 2015 when it was the world’s fastest-growing
big economy India is turning into a laggard, problem child whose fundamental deficiencies are
coming into the spotlight. These deficiencies have been made worse by the economic disruption
caused by the chaotic demonetisation exercise last November and the near standstill resulting
from the GST, a poorly planned and implemented national tax system. If one needed a strong
pointer to the consequences one has to look…Modi’s home state Gujarat where entrepreneurs are
pulling the shutters on industry and putting their money into speculative finance…The growth
rate of 5.7 pc in the second quarter of the 2017 financial year is not a bad thing as Modi claims,
but as Yashwant Sinha, a former BJP finance minister, reminded Modi uncomfortably in a recent
newspaper article, the current figures of growth are all based on statistical fudge by changing the
methodology for calculating the GDP. If the earlier method was used, the actual growth rate in
the last quarter would be a mere 3.7pc!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It further pointed out, “Sinha’s article encapsulates what economists have been pointing out over
the past year. “Private investment,” he says, “has shrunk as never before in two decades,
industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big
employer of the work force, is in the doldrums, exports have dwindled, sector after sector of the
economy is in distress.…So who is sleeping well in India?…Admittedly, there are deep structure
problems in the economy which have resulted in the economic mess. But what is also undeniable
is that Modi’s capricious economic policies, such as the pointless demonetisation exercise,
coupled with his government’s inability to implement the long planned GST—it has been in the
making for 16 years—have come as severe blows to the economy and the hopes of a
demographically young country. Joblessness is looming large over India keeping awake millions
of desperate young people who are finding jobs disappearing at an alarming rate. In industry
after industry, from banking to capital goods, in premium sectors such as IT, the job losses are of
staggering proportions….For much of this year, farmers have been kept awake by policies that
are positively inimical to their well-being, forcing them to agitate continuously, regardless of the
bullets and indifference they have met with. So while economists, industry experts and
government official slug it over the figures of economic decline and job losses, academics,
parents of the young and society in general are losing sleep over the fallout: the strains on the
social fabric of India which has been rent by Hindutva politics. As violent young men,
presumably of no fixed occupation, roam the streets looking for soft targets to vent their rage,
cattle traders of the minority community and the untouchables of Hindu society have already
seen their livelihood disappear in the name of religion. The official crackdown on abattoirs has
had a serious impact on the economy with export of leather goods, an important foreign
exchange earner, taking a beating.”
It is notable that Indian defence expenditures have no bounds. In the past decade, India has spent
billions of dollars on purchases of arms, planes, radars and ships from the US, Russia, Britain,
Germany, Israel and France including other western countries.
In the recent past, in its report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
disclosed that India is the world’s largest recipient of arms.
It is mentionable that India test-fired its longest range surface-to- surface nuclear ballistic missile
Agni-5 on December 26, this year, which is capable of striking a target of more than 5,000 km
away. The missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tone. It can target almost all of
Asia including Pakistan and China and Europe, while, the Agni-6 is reported to be in early stages
of development, with a strike-range of 8,000-10,000 km.
Nevertheless, New Delhi has initiated a deadly arms race and also compelled Islamabad and
Beijing to follow the suit.
While, an estimated 30 major armed insurgency movements are sweeping across India, reflecting
an acute sense of alienation on the part of the people involved. Broadly, these can be divided into
three broad categories; movements for political rights i.e. Assam, Kashmir, South India and
Khalistan, movements for social and economic justice i.e. Maoist (Naxalite) and North-Eastern
states and movements based upon religious grounds like that of Laddakh. Tamil Nadu is another
area where separatist movements are haunting federation of India.

And, illiteracy, poverty and lack of economic opportunities have fueled the natives’ demand for
autonomy and independence.
Notably, Indian Minister of External affairs Jaswant Singh who served the BJP for 30 years was
expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan) and echoing
the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence.” While
pointing out the BJP’s attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote: “Every Muslim that lives in
India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his
book, if such a policy continued, “India could have third partition.”
Nonetheless, poor economic policies, heavy defence spending, neglected social development,
growing serpent of radical Hinduism and pressure politics are just few triggers of these
secessionist movements, while Modi’s flawed policies have culminated into intensive economic
crisis which threatens India’s federal union. Consequently, like the former Soviet Union, these
policies will culminate into disintegration of the Indian union.

 

Acknowledgements -1

 

 

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Pakistan Day 23 March, 2017

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Pakistan Day

23 March 2017

Mubarak to Global Pakistanis:

Under Protection of الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ:

Be Warned All Enemies

No Earthly Power Can Harm it

Pakistan Day Demands National Unity

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Although the Pakistan day is being celebrated every year on March 23, yet this time, this very day has come at a time when Pakistan stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing internal and external challenges and threats to the national security of the country, which demands selfless national unity among all the segments of society.

 

The 23rd of March 1940 was a watershed in the history of the Sub Continent when All India Muslim League passed the Resolution in Lahore for the creation of an independent state. Now, it is popularly called as Pakistan Resolution. Earlier, in his address to the Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930, the idea of a homeland for Muslims in their majority areas had been envisioned by the poet Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal and had become the aspiration of Indian Muslims.

 

In fact, the British colonialists in connivance with majority Hindu population had manipulated and targeted Muslims through every possible way. In that background, Muslims started the struggle for a separate state.

 

Prior to the Lahore session of Muslim League, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had specified to this historical congregation of the Muslims, the watch-words of ‘Faith, Unity and Discipline’ which were not only necessary for waging the battle for an independent homeland, but also for present Pakistan. So, while struggling against the enemies, the essence of these watch-words is the unity which is the real spirit of the Pakistan Resolution.

 

However, it was due to the selfless practical unity among the Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam that Pakistan became a tangible reality. But that unity started declining after passing through various crises, and the result was the separation of East Pakistan in 1971, as the India manipulated differences between East Pakistan and the West Pakistan.

 

However, the 23rd March which is celebrating by every Pakistani as the Pakistan Day, has come at a time when Pakistan is facing multiple threats of grave nature, which are not only worrying all the citizens but are also creating division between the rulers and the opposition parties including rival politicians, taking the country towards anarchy.

 

The Pakistan Day has come at a time when Pakistan’s security forces have been facing a different war, while the enemy is also different, which employs subversive activities of various kinds which also include internal and external challenges. In these terms, Pakistan is in the state of new war, being waged by the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies against terrorists. In this respect, our Armed Forces have almost obtained their objectives in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) through military operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorists who had challenged the writ of the state and had frightened the entire nation by their terror acts. In Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi and other parts of the country including tribal areas our security forces and law-enforcing agencies have broken the terror networks and restored peace by eliminating and capturing terrorists. Unlike the past, peace has, especially, been restored in Balochistan and Karachi.

Besides, Pakistan launched a nationwide military operation codenamed Radd-ul-Fasaad earlier this year, which includes broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab and other cities of the country, while continuing the ongoing operations. The move came after a series of deadly bombings across the country all through February, which killed hundreds of civilians.

 

According to various news releases of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan’s security and law enforcement agencies have killed and arrested more than 600 suspects, terrorists and their facilitators, including capture of huge cache of arms and ammunition in a crackdown across the country, especially Punjab as part of the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad. The ISPR disclosed that some suspected terrorists were killed during an exchange of fire with security personnel. It said some Afghan nationals and RAW agents were among the arrested suspects.

 

Nevertheless, during this very day, it is also of particular attention that since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of the reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province. However, civil, federal and provincial governments are making strenuous efforts to restore complete peace and order in the province. For this purpose, a paramilitary committee has also been formed by the ruling party to hold negotiations with the disgruntled elements. And the former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif also supports political settlement—general pardon to the insurgents in Balochistan, so that, development works including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which would bring unlimited benefits to the province and its people must be completed. Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa continues the same policy.

 

Unfortunately, it is because of lack of solidarity among our politicians, leaders, and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by destabilizing the country which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. In the past few years, nefarious designs of some foreign secret agencies like Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which have tactical support of American CIA can be gauged from a number of anti-Pakistan developments such as their support to insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, separatism in Balochistan and targeted killings especially in Karachi coupled with subversive acts all over the country.

 

Pakistan which has become a special arena of this different war and has faced terror activities such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, ruthless beheadings of the innocent people, assaults on security personnel and prominent religious figures. Besides blowing children schools and attacking the female teachers in order to deny education to girls, the terrorists, particularly of the Afghan-based Indian-backed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also targeted mosques, Imambargahs, mausoleums, temples, Churches and disgraced dead bodies. Their pitiless acts resulted into killings of several persons in Pakistan. Although terror attacks have been reduced, yet RAW, CIA, and Mossad which are based in Afghanistan and are in connivance with the terror outfits like TTP, Daesh and other similar militant groups—their affiliated outfits have again started these acts of sabotage in Pakistan.

And it is also due to lack of national unity that Pakistan is also facing multi-faceted crises such as load shedding of gas and electricity, soaring prices, unemployment, crimes, lack of health facilities, and dependence upon the US-led developed countries, IMF and World Bank for financial aid.

 

Externally, Pak Army and Rangers are, boldly, responding to India’s unprovoked firing at the Line of Control in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot and other sectors. While the fundamentalist party BJP led by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda. In this context, BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, a staunch promoter of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) stated on July 12, 2014, that India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution.

 

Meanwhile, in response to the new Indian Army Chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat’s statement of January 3, 2017 about the so-called “surgical strikes” in Pakistani side of Kashmir, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 5, 2016 rejected claims by his Indian counterpart Gen. Bipin Rawat about “so-called surgical strikes” and their possible recurrence. Gen. Qamar Bajwa made it clear that “Pakistan Armed Forces were fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

 

As regards the unity, no doubt, it was displayed among all segments of society, after the TTP massacred 132 school children at Army Public School and College in Peshawar on December 16, 2014—as the situation warranted bold and firm decisions to deal the menace of terrorism, especially the threat of the TTP and its banned affiliated groups which are still conducting subversive activities in Pakistan. In this regard, the government, encouraged by the resolve of public opinion responded prudently and lifted the moratorium on death penalty awarded to the criminals according to law. Taking note of the delicate moment, on January 2, 2015, political and military leaders agreed on a draft of legislative measures which paved the way for the establishment of special military trial courts. It was unanimously agreed that the 20 points (National Action Plan) enunciated in the All Parties Conference (APC) Resolution of December 24, 2014, shall be acted upon expeditiously—the bill as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment has been enforced soon after its approval from the parliament. Now, special military courts have been established and the ruthless terrorists facing death penalty are rapidly being hanged. In this context, National Action plan must also be fully implemented to defeat the terrorists.

 

In fact, it is a war of every patriot Pakistani against terrorists, as the enemy is different, and it cannot leave the security forces alone to wage this different conflict of history. In this context, Pakistan Day demands the cooperation of every citizen, politician, and religious leader with the security forces and agencies to defeat these merciless terrorists.

 

While emphasizing national unity against terrorists, the former Army Chief and the present one Gen. Bajwa has stated the We will continue to go after the inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination.

 

Taking cognizance of the present critical situation, Pakistan Day demands selfless national unity which must be shown practically. This significant day demands that our political leaders must pledge that they will not manipulate their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. In this connection, a blind dedication to one’s own race, tribe and creed should not be allowed to create hatred in one group against the other. They must avoid exploiting the ongoing thorny issues in order to increase their vote bank at the cost of the integration of the country. If any controversy arises, it can better be settled in consonance with the constitution. For this aim, in order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, some of our political leaders, media houses and human rights groups must also stop manipulating any crisis against Pak Army and country’s primary secret agency, ISI whose image are deliberately being tarnished by the external plotters.

 

True and selfless unity against the foreign enemies requires that our rulers and leaders of other political parties and must create national cohesion among various segments of society. Particularly, our electronic media should give a matching response to the malicious propaganda of the US-led some western countries including India and Israel which are distorting the image of Pakistan, its army, and ISI.

 

Especially, on this very day, media must also project a soft image of Pakistan by highlighting national heroes and tourism sights of the county.

 

Nonetheless, at this crucial time, Pakistan’s survival lies in selfless national unity and strong cohesion as at present, even a layman can note that our country is in chaos and it seems as if there is a “war of all against all” in the sense of ‘Hobbesian state of nature.”

 

On the occasion of Pakistan Day, we must follow the essence of the Pakistan Resolution in real terms by displaying selfless unity in practical terms, which is not possible unless the government, the opposition leaders, civil societies and media owners including all other segments of society pledge to sign a charter of integration which is very necessary to pull the country out of the ongoing serious crises and threats.

 

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

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

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Tragic Memory of the Peshawar School Attack By Sajjad Shaukat

           RAW & Mossad Officers Should Hug Their Children:

No Professional Intelligence Agency of any Nation Would Launch Such a Bestial Attack. Pakistani Intelligence, ISI knows who were the masterminds behind APS Attack on Kindergartners and Middle Schoolers. Pakistani ISI does not forgive or forget, they get even. Stay tuned.       

Tragic Memory of the Peshawar Army Public School Attack

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

In one of the bloodiest ever terror attacks in Pakistan, six Taliban militants mercilessly killed at least 141 people, including 132 children and nine staff members of the Army Public School and College in Peshawar, on December 16, 2014. They also burnt a lady teacher alive. After eight hours operation, Pak Army’s commandos cleared the school area, and six militants were killed.

 

On the same day, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the ghastly act at the Peshawar school.

 

The tragic loss of the lives of innocent children moved the entire world deeply. Every Pakistani said that shame on these terrorists who considered innocent children as their enemies and martyred them through brutal tactics.

 

APS-Remembrance

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the then Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif including leaders of various political and religious parties strongly condemned the heinous attack at the Peshawar school. PTI Chief Imran Khan called off the December 18 (2014) countrywide shutdown, and also decided to cooperate with the government against terrorism.

 

However, after that inhuman gruesome tragedy, the question arose as to what measures required to eliminate terrorism from the country.

 

In this context, the former Army Chief Gen. Raheel accompanied by DG ISI rushed to Kabul on December 17, 2014. Resources suggested that during his meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the ISAF commander, he presented evidence of the Peshawar massacre’s linkage with TTP sanctuaries in Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. He also asked the extradition of the TTP chief of Mullah Fazl Ullah and handing over to Pakistan.

 

In fact, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where external secret agencies, especially Indian RAW  and Mossad are sending logistic support to Baloch separatist elements and TTP insurgents in Pakistan. In the recent years, especially TTP’s militants and its affiliated banned groups conducted many terror activities in various regions of the country as part of the scheme to create a chaotic situation in the country. Hence, RAW and Mossad also used TTP terrorists in relation to the attack at the Peshawar School.

 

There arose the need for immediate execution of outstanding cases of the death penalty to terrorists. In this respect, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif revoked the ban on capital punishment in terrorism cases. The nation also expected that politicians should show no politics on the blood of innocent children. For the purpose, leaders of all the top political parties including PTI Chief Imran Khan attended a meeting of the parliamentary parties convened by Prime Minister Sharif after the deadly attack at a school in Peshawar. Setting aside his differences, Imran Khan ended PTI’s 126-day sit-in at Islamabad to give a clear message that the whole nation stands united against terrorism. However, all the leaders unanimously decided to form a parliamentary committee to chalk out a “Plan of Action” in seven days which would be approved by the political and military leadership.

In this connection, on January 2, 2015, besides the chiefs of almost all the political parties and military top officials agreed on a draft of legislative measures which paved the way for the establishment of special military trial courts. It was unanimously agreed that the 20 points National Action Plan (NAP) enunciated in the All Parties Conference (APC) Resolution of December 24, 2014, was being acted upon—the bill as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment was enforced soon after its approval from the parliament. Special military courts were established and the ruthless terrorists facing death penalty had been hanging.

 

In this respect, the role of the Armed Forces is appreciating in uprooting the terrorists from their so-called safe havens. But inability and evident reluctance on the part of political leadership remains a major contributing factor affecting the implementation of NAP in its true spirit.

 

It may be informed that in January 2015, apex committees were formed to expedite the implementation of the National Action Plan. 15 committees and sub-committees were set up; however, no plausible developments were witnessed. Ironically, the inability on the part of the government was covered with mere verbal statements in relation to NAP implementation.

 

Unfortunately, a full-scale activation of National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) remains in limbo even after seven years of its creation. Lack of allocation of resources for NACTA in the last annual budget, non-framing of service rules for the authority etc. make NACTA a real midsummer night dream. Interestingly, NACTA’s budget stands at Rs. 92 million a year of which Rs.63 million goes into the salaries of the staff. What kind of an effective role will be registered by the authority and who may be blamed for such state of affairs?

 

The debate may be generated over all twenty points of NAP to highlight the progress and performance of the government with respect to its implementation.

 

Focusing on Madrassa reforms, it may be projected that government has yet to come out with an authentic and final figure about the number of Madrassas, existing in the country. Reforming their syllabus and controlling their finances seems a wishful thinking.

 

On the performance of judiciary, it may be highlighted that over the past four years, more than 14,115 persons in terrorism-related cases were acquitted and 10,387 were granted bail, only about one hundred hanged.

 

Since ill-gotten money provides oxygen to the terrorist networks and other mafias working against the interest of the state, it appears that the civilian leaders lack the political will to block the supply of illicit money to the terrorist networks, despite the fact that no government can defeat terrorism without plugging the illicit money to the terror networks. In all the provinces, there are strong politicians, government cronies who have become ‘untouchables’ for the anti-graft drive. It would be a challenge for the prime minister to allow the state institutions to bring all corrupt to book whether they belong to the ruling party or to the opposition.

 

It may be highlighted that some federal ministries are taking steps in the right direction, but the pace is quite slow. Interior ministry’s prepared rules and regulations for International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs), local NGOs, policy draft over arms licenses etc. remains non-implemented.

 

Civil society is raising concerns over the slow pace of implementation and narrow scope of the Plan’s progress. Reportedly, members of NAP-Watch Pakistan, an alliance of over one hundred noted citizens and experts were grilled by the government in their first annual report to be made public on 24 Dec 2015 report.

 

Lamentably, the extremist organizations, their sympathizers, and supporters are still finding time and opportunities to mischievously target Law Enforcing Agencies and people of Pakistan. Ironically, after TTP, a newer and more formidable menace in shape of ISIS is raising its head in the region. Recent terror attacks by these outfits especially in Balochistan might be cited as an example.

 

In this connection, the nation must press the political leadership to realize the task and fully implement the NAP. To supplement the gains of the military operation Zarb-e-Azb, there is a need to declare 2016-17 as the year of the complete implementation of NAP. The government should be encouraged to end its nap on NAP. The focus should be on NAP and its implementation.

 

It is regrettable that still, some political entities are creating controversy about the National Action Plan which is an essential part of Pakistan’s war against terrorism, as it has co-relationship with the military operation Zarb-i-Azb which has broken the backbone of the militants. In order to conceal their corruption, they are criticizing the NAP.

 

These hostile entities should know that corruption is the essence of terrorism. Therefore, people want that this menace must be eliminated from the country as part of the overall war against terrorism.

 

In this regard, on June 10, 2015, while showing the progress of the Zarb-e-Azb, the then Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif said, “Terrorists have been cleared from their strongholds in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency and fight now is moving into last few pockets close to Afghan border.” He laid emphasis on “continuation of the operations till elimination of the last expected and probable terrorist groups and sanctuaries.” While addressing a ceremony of the golden jubilee celebrations the 1965 war regarding Pakistan’s victory and defeat of India, Gen. Raheel again stated on September 6, this year that the operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched at a time when terrorist networks had solidified in the country, and the Armed Forces had been fighting an untraditional war for the past many years, elaborating, “our success is the result of our martyrs and ghazis—in Karachi and Balochistan, peace has returned, where militants have been surrendering their arms.” He reiterated his resolve to eliminate “abettors, financiers, sympathizers, and facilitators” of terrorists at all costs.

 

Notably, while heading a meeting of high-level apex committee, (Of civil-military high officials) on September 10, 2015, regarding overall progress on implementation of NAP against terrorism, Prime Minister Sharif stated that provincial governments were following its several provisions accordingly, however, attention should be paid to other points as well.

Nevertheless, in order to dismantle the terror-financing networks, elimination of corruption is an important part of Pakistan’s National Action Plan, devised to counter extremism in the country following the Peshawar school massacre of children. Similarly, reforming the religious seminaries is also its key part.

 

Nonetheless, the tragic memory of the Peshawar School Attack will remain fresh in the minds of people, as the mass murder of children is a manifestation of the most barbaric face of the Taliban insurgency led by TTP. While taking solid measures, counter-terrorism strategy or the Action Plan must be enacted and implemented completely, without losing more time. And, this different war needs a unified front of all the segments of society, which is essential to defeating the ruthless enemy of Pakistan, including their external agents.

 

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

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

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