Our Announcements

Not Found

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

Archive for category CURRENT EVENTS

Who Was Really Behind 9/11? By Eric Margolis September 14, 2019

Who Was Really Behind 9/11?

By Eric Margolis

September 14, 2019 

A large number of Americans still don’t believe the official version of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. I am one of them.

The government and tame media version – that crazed Muslims directed by Osama bin Laden attacked New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon because they hated ‘our freedoms’ and our religions – is wearing very thin as contrary evidence piles up.

Ever since the attacks, I’ve held the belief that neither bin Laden nor Afghanistan’s Taliban were involved, though bin Laden did applaud the attacks after the fact and remains a key suspect. Unfortunately, he was murdered by a US hit squad instead of being brought to the US to stand trial. Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, was adamant that bin Laden was not behind the attacks.

So who did it? In my view, the attacks were financed by private citizens in Saudi Arabia and organized from Germany and possibly Spain. All the hijackers came from states nominally allied to the US or its protectorates.

Fifteen of the 19 were Saudis. Two came from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and one each from Egypt and Lebanon. Amazingly, during the national uproar after the attacks, little attention was focused on Saudi Arabia, a key US ally (or protectorate) even though most of the hijackers were Saudi citizens, and a planeload of important Saudis were quietly ushered out of the US by the CIA soon after the attacks.

Saudi Arabia was too important to US domination of the Mideast to point any fingers at the Saudis. The Saudi royal regime in Riyadh did not appear to have been involved – why would it since their survival and gravy train depended on US protection?

But the royal regime does not represent all Saudis, as many people believe. Saudi Arabia is a collection of tribes played off against one another by Riyadh and kept in line by the US Air Force from its bases in Saudi and a tribal force, ‘the white army,’ led by American ‘advisors.’ Saudi Arabia has little in the way of a regular army because its rulers fear coups by the armed forces such as occurred in Egypt, Iraq and Syria.

In addition, over 40,000 Americans live and work in Saudi. Another 5,000 US military personnel are stationed there. Much of the kingdom’s technology – banking, telecommunications, airports and flights, trains, military affairs, TV and radio – are supervised by foreigners. This process began in the 1920s when the British moved into Arabia and helped promote the Saudi tribe to prominence.

A sizeable Yemeni community lives in Saudi. The bin Laden family originally hailed from Yemen. Saudi also has an important Shia Muslim minority, about 20% of the population, with smaller numbers of other Muslim sects. Most important, the reactionary, ultra-rigid Wahabi religious sect still dominates the nation and royal family. The Wahabis hate Shia, calling them apostates and heretics. A similar dim view is taken of the nine million foreign workers, principally Indians, Pakistanis and other South Asians, who do all of the Kingdom’s dirty work.

Within the complexities of Saudi Society lie bitterly anti-western groups who see the nation as being militarily occupied by the US and exploited – even pillaged – by foreigners. Arabia was originally the holy land of Islam. Today, it has been westernized, occupied by US military power, and given marching orders by Washington.

While covering the Afghan War in the 1980s, I met Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a fiery nationalist leader and anti-communist who was bin Laden’s teacher and spiritual mentor.

“When we succeed in kicking the Russians out of Afghanistan,” Azzam told me, “we will go on and kick the Americans out of Saudi Arabia.” I was shocked, never having heard of Americans called ‘occupiers’. Azzam was murdered by a bomb soon after, but his words kept ringing in my ears. He thought of the Americans as many colonialists as the Soviets.

Private nationalist groups in Saudi who bitterly opposed foreign domination of their country could very well have financed and organized 9/11. But, of course, Washington could not admit this. That would have brought into question the US occupation of Saudi.

What’s also pretty clear is that Israel – at a minimum – knew the attack was coming yet failed to warn its American ‘allies.’ Israel was the chief beneficiary of the 9/11 attacks – yet its bumbling Arab foes and bin Laden were blamed for this crime.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia. https://ericmargolis.com/

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2019

,

No Comments

Imran Khan: From “Man on Container” to Prime Minister by Dr.Moeed Pirzada in Global Village Space

Imran Khan: From “Man on Container” to Prime Minister

by

Moeed Pirzada

On 18th August Imran Khan completes the first year as Prime Minister of Pakistan. His journey from days of street agitation to corridors of power offers an interesting glimpse into the man who may become one of the most important statesmen of the contemporary Muslim world, and perhaps soon a fit candidate for Nobel Peace Prize.

 

Imran

August has many important transition points in Pakistan’s history. The country was carved out of the British Indian Empire on 14th August 1947. Gen. Zia’s crash on 17th August 1988 ended a kind of dark age in the nation’s turbulent history. Imran Khan initiated his famous “dharna” (sit-in) on Constitution Avenue, Islamabad on August 2014, and four years later he took over as Prime Minister of Pakistan on 18th August 2019. PTI’s initial 21-member cabinet took its oath on 19th August and so on.

Pakistan’s Middle Class has arrived

History cannot be understood or defined without reference to key events that shape consciousness. The global order cannot be discussed without reference towards the Second World War, Bretton Woods, Vietnam, and 9/11. Russians cannot make sense of themselves without invoking the terms Bolshevik revolution, Great War, and Gorbachev. One cannot understand Modern Europe, without making sense of the French revolution.

History in Pakistan is often understood in terms of the partition, 1965 war, Students movement against Ayub Khan, Fall of Dacca, Bhutto’s nationalization, Zia’s martial law, Nuclear Explosions, Kargil, and so on. In a similar vein, Urdu word “Dharna” has now assumed a peculiar significance in Pakistan’s political psyche. Its meanings may fluctuate with all shades of opinion – good, bad, or evil – depends upon who you are talking with. But no historian will be able to deny that a ‘Naya Pakistan‘ (new Pakistan) emerged from the fossils of the old as a larva emerges from a dying caterpillar. Pakistan’s urban middle class had finally arrived with “Dharna” in August of 2014.

In August of 2014, Nawaz Sharif was sitting in Prime Minister House, and Imran Khan sat on top a container for 126 days of Dharna. In August of 2019, Nawaz is in jail and Imran Khan is Prime Minister

I say “final” because Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s agitation against Field Marshal Ayub Khan, in the late sixties was also a middle-class moment. It was inspired and led by the ideas of intellectuals like JA Rahim, Hanif Ramay and many others on the left and right of Bhutto – supported by the industrial workers of Punjab.

But as soon as Bhutto came to power the feudal nature of his mind overtook, intellectuals were brushed aside, workers suppressed, and the feudals of Sindh and Punjab soon dominated the party. But this time it is different.

Imran Khan is a quintessential representative of Pakistan’s middle class. At times because of his former celebrity status, his first marriage with Jemima Goldsmith and his house on the hilltop in Banigala, he is perceived as part of the “super-rich.” US-based analysts are often misled on this issue; few months before the 2018 elections, a respected US-based analyst compared him with Trump and thought that they both share one thing: they are rich.

But nothing is far from the truth. In 2005, I worked as a TV anchor in London with “PTV Prime” (now called Prime TV UK); we came to Pakistan to interview the then Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, and we also thought of interviewing the cricketer turned politician who was becoming known for his radical positions. We travelled on a dusty road to his newly built residence on top of the hills in Banigala. On the way, we crossed, with difficulty, a somewhat unruly, inhospitable water stream.

After the interview, Khan showed me around; from his lawns, we could barely see a few houses on the hills around. “Why do you prefer to live in this wilderness,” I asked. Khan was candid; he told me that a single Kanal in E-7 sector of Islamabad, his other choice, was for three crores (Rs. 30 million). But he and Jemima had preferred to live in a large open space. “And people will gradually come, they will follow me here, this is how areas develop” he added.

The now-famous, and controversial, Banigala residence spreads over almost 300 Kanals of land, but it cost him little more than Rs. 1 lac per Kanal when he bought it. It’s a different matter that a single Kanal in E-7 has only multiplied 3-4 times in price, but Banigala land may have increased in value ten or more times.

Fast forward 14 years: Pakistan’s first quintessential representative of its middle classes has managed to become its prime minister and through a long drawn political struggle. Ayub, Zia, and Musharraf were also middle class, but they represented their institution and were nothing without it – fish without water. Imran’s opposition also blames him for being an “Establishment stooge” – but they have chosen to believe in their own propaganda. Pakistan’s history has reached a point where the establishment needed a genuinely popular leader to deal with the world and to save the realm from total collapse.

The majestic outpouring of 25,000 plus Pakistani Americans, from all over the East coast of the United States, to catch a glimpse of Khan, at Capital One Arena, Washington in the third week of July was an expression of this popular support. Their enthusiasm cannot be understood without grasping Pakistan’s middle-class moment. In many ways, this is similar to the political change in India; Modi, despite his narrow Hindutva politics, has risen because of new middle classes who despise corruption of dynastic politics and see Modi as a harbinger of change.

Read more: What’s Next for U.S-Pakistan Relations After Imran Khan’s U.S Visit?

Whether Imran Khan succeeds or he fails, PTI progresses as a political force, or it perishes, the fact is: wheel of history has moved on. This is a new Pakistan – and challengers of Imran and PTI will not emerge from the folds of Sharif and Zardari clans. These challengers may creep out from the disgruntled forces inside PTI or its myriad allies.

Pakistan: Experiencing Durkheim’s “Anomie”

French sociologist, Emile Durkheim, had coined the term “Anomie” to describe a state of agitation in the lives of individuals and societies. Durkheim believed that when a social system is in a state of anomie, shared values and common meanings are no longer understood or accepted, and yet new values and meanings have not developed.

Pakistan, today in many ways, can be described as experiencing its moments of anomie. The political order that was thrown up by the martial law of Gen. Zia, after 1977 – and that had comfortably reenacted itself after the end of Musharraf’s benign rule – is finally coming to an end. With it all those polite values of political compromise, built around adjustments and bargaining – often referred to as “mukh mukka” – are vanishing. Old political elite led by the Sharif and Zardari dynasties and many in the administrative and judicial hierarchies took a while in absorbing this new reality, but now it’s becoming evident to them. The stage is being set for a fight unto “political death” or oblivion.

Meeting of National Security Committee starts with PM Imran Khan in chair. Defence Minister, Foreign Minister, Interior Minister, Minister for Kashmir Affairs, CJCSC, COAS, Naval Chief, Air Chief, PM AJ&K, SAPM on Info, DG-ISI & other senior officials are also present.

View image on Twitter

In August of 2014, Nawaz Sharif was sitting in Prime Minister House, and Imran Khan sat on top a container for 126 days of Dharna. In August of 2019, Nawaz is in jail more or less since July of 2018; his sons, his closest confidante, and accountant – Ishaq Dar – and many others are in self-exile. Most key leadership of PML-N – including ex-premier, Shahid Khaqan Abbassi and strongmen, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Rana Sanaullah – are in jail and many others may also land there. Nawaz’s daughter, Maryam that looked like creating waves a few weeks ago, looks isolated and rudderless.

PPP leadership is yearning to strike some old fashioned bargain not realized so far. Failure of Nawaz Sharif’s last political move when his nominee – Senator Hasil Bizenjo – failed to dislodge Chairman Senate, Sadiq Sanjarani on 1st August, despite overwhelming numbers in the Senate, reflects the ground realities of this new Pakistan. Failure in the Senate contest sends a strong “realpolitik signal” that now Nawaz and Zardari, and many others facing corruption cases will not get any reprieve from the system.

Imran Khan has successfully engaged Pakistan’s stakeholders – Saudi Arabia, UAE, China, Turkey and Malaysia – and built trust in Washington

The system is now being driven by an angry middle class and its amorphous, inchoate values. Many believe that progress has been denied to Pakistan only and only because of the corruption of its elite. Most proponents of these ideas are under thirty years of age, are unemployed or have worked at best for few years; their incomes often fall below the tax nets, and they believe things will change through strict action against the rich especially those not paying their taxes. While there are serious elements of truth in this narrative, it is not the whole story.

The country suffers from underperformance in several areas including school and college education, industrial and managerial skill sets, and so on. Concept of wealth generation through intelligent ideas, creativity, skilled workforce, and pro-business government policies is not understood. Most sections of the government bureaucracy are used to 9 am to 5 pm jobs, they have never produced a winning product and few winning policies, yet the government is hugely involved in industry and services- almost all loss-making.

If you watch Pakistani TV news and political talk shows, it appears that country has lots of wealth hidden around or abroad in Switzerland, and the government merely has to take decisive honest steps to dig it out or discover.

This is how close we were to bringing back Pakistan’s money from Swiss banks. Klasra sahab reveals how Ishaq Dar and his cronies drowned Pakistan in the sea of despair while they had a golden chance at rescuing its dwindling economy

http://m.dunya.com.pk/index.php/author/rauf-kalsra/2018-07-22/23983/58441914 

Even sober people, in Pakistan, believe that if the government manages to accomplish its declared task of collecting Rs. 5.5 trillion of taxes before the end of the fiscal year, it will achieve nirvana and rest will take care of itself. In reality, even if the government achieves its tax targets, it will only be fixing its own balance of payment problem; its expenses will still be almost Rs. 2 trillion more than its declared ability to collect.

Very little, if any debate is taking place around the questions: How will the near collapsed state of trade and commerce turn around? How will Pakistani exporters make competitive products; how the government will reduce its huge expenses, its unproductive footprint into the economy? How will the country get rid of loss-making enterprises? How can Pakistani youth be imparted meaningful skills? How will we renegotiate the bad contracts of “capacity payments” with Independent Power Producers? How do we overcome the recurring scourge of “circular debt”?

At times PTI supporters get angry when someone pointedly asks these questions. Such are now the pressures for conformity that this is perceived as a lack of patriotism or loss of faith. It reminds me of American writer, Walter Lippman’s now immortalized words: “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much”

So, while the political success so far – and it has not been a mean achievement – has depended upon the spirit of the ambitious, over-optimistic, angry young middle class, this now also carries the seed of disappointment, political instability, chaos, and failure –and if not managed well, then growing fascism.

Opposition: its strength and its weakness

Imran Khan’s opposition – mainly PML-N & PPP – could not have been in worse shape. Their key leaders are either under arrest, facing serious investigations of graft or have gone underground keeping a low profile. Yet, this fragmented opposition derives its strength from the economic crisis Pakistan now faces. In May of this year, PML-N leadership brought out a kind of white paper titled “PML-N vs. PTI.”

They compared PML-N’s last year in power (till May 2018) with PTI’s 9 months of rule on facts of tax revenue growth, current expenditure, public sector development programs (PSDP), rupee devaluation, prices of major consumer products, monthly inflation, gross public debt, foreign debt, GDP growth rate and policy rate.

Read more: Imran Khan defeated Indian agenda: US-Pak relations reestablished

PML-N leaders used data from the State Bank of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue and Ministry of Finance to blame Khan’s government for creating an absolute mess; multiplying country’s debt as a result of devaluation, reducing its GDP from around $330 billion to approximately $250 billion, destroying its industrial productivity, trade cycle, and market confidence.

The argument is that Imran as a chief executive and PTI as a party are incompetent and inexperienced; they should have rushed to the IMF in August of 2018, should have continued with import driven growth model supported through external financing and internal borrowing – and could have managed with a minimum controlled devaluation of Pakistani rupee. “The United States, China and India are all heavily leveraged, there is nothing wrong in raising public debt, as long as economy continues to grow” they argue. Some economists, many businesspeople, and diplomats of key countries also support this contention.

In July issue of this magazine, Mohammad Zubair, ex-Governor Sindh and former privatization minister in the PML-N government wrote a scathing analysis of PTI government building on the same theme. But PTI supporters, most independent economists and international institutions working inside Pakistan blame PML-N and PPP’s fiscal mismanagement, and overall bad governance, for the economic crisis Pakistan now faces.

Read more: PTI is responsible for Pakistan’s economic mess..?

Economics is far from being an exact science. Economists and bankers seldom agree with each other. It is said that if there are two economists in a room, then there are at least three strong opinions. Most economists of Pakistan have a near consensus that import and debt-driven economic growth model of PML-N (growth rates of 5-6% cited by PML-N) was not possible in the circumstances which existed in August of 2018 – when PTI took over from the interim government.

While PML-N’s critique may not be sound, and PTI government may have inherited a mess created by the 10-year mismanagement of PPP and PMLN, yet the economic crisis Pakistani citizens and businesses now face is humungous. And its effects upon general population so painful that it will continue to present opportunities to a fragmented opposition to find new leaders and stage a come-back. Khan’s government’s handling of its opponents, media and public policy issues at times is also patently unwise.

Britain tried to introduce a similar ID card through an Act of Parliament in 2006, but under growing public opposition from human rights activists, lawyers, academics, security experts and politicians it was scrapped in 2010

The government faces multiple challenges on several fronts, but it continues to open new fronts creating new enemies. For instance, the way it is dealing with traders on the issues of sales tax and national identity card is amusing.

While documenting B2B transactions between manufacturers, suppliers, and the traders makes perfect sense; Pakistan has now become the first country on the planet where any natural citizen making a purchase of more than Rs. 50,000 ($312) will have to deposit his National Identity Card (CNIC) as proof of purchase.

While government and its middle-class supporters continue to offer myriad economic explanations (streamlining taxes, increasing documentation) for this bizarre decision, the Orwellian nature of control it offers a state upon its citizens is patently obvious. In Pakistan’s peculiar political atmosphere – driven by fears of terrorism, slogans of anti-corruption and taxes – few realize that overuse of the National Identity Card, as an absolute tool of control upon citizens, is becoming ridiculous.

Undue criticism on mandatory CNIC for business and trade: Chairman https://arynews.tv/en/chairman-fbr-shabbar-zaidi/ 

Deliberating fix taxation for small traders & businessmen:

Britain tried to introduce a similar ID card through an Act of Parliament in 2006, but under growing public opposition from human rights activists, lawyers, academics, security experts and politicians it was scrapped in 2010, and all data was destroyed. But then perhaps Britain – a big perhaps –as a political and social order – has never experienced the kind of existential fears, Pakistanis continue to suffer.

Imran Khan’s challenge

PTI supporters argue that in less than 12 months, Khan government has reduced current account deficit by around 30 percent, trade deficit by 14 percent, has initiated a crackdown on money laundering, electricity, and gas theft and has pushed hard on accountability drive, has retrieved state land worth hundreds of billions and has pushed back against sectarian organizations like TLP creating an atmosphere where long-pending cases like Asiya Bibi can be amicably resolved.

They point out that Imran’s government is implementing an Rs. 100 billion development package for tribal areas (erstwhile FATA), has held peaceful elections there and launched pro-poor schemes like “Ehsas program” to provide a safety net and “Panahgah” to provide shelters for the homeless and expanded the Health Card to around 80 million Pakistanis.

And why forget he has successfully engaged Pakistan’s stakeholders – Saudi Arabia, UAE, China, Turkey and Malaysia – and built trust in Washington, earning rare plaudits from a US President and Senate. He boldly defended Pakistan against Indian aggression and then delivered peace to South Asia and the world when he gracefully returned the captured Indian pilot, Abhinandan.

Read more: Mike Pompeo to Imran Khan: ‘You were a rockstar at Capital One Arena’

Khan’s critics repeatedly argue that the prime minister has little experience and he is learning on the job. But the kind of challenges, Pakistan’s 22nd prime minister faces are unique, and there was no way he or anyone could have been trained to handle all this. As a young officer in 1797, Napoleon had no idea how to conquer Europe – he learned on the job.

Imran Khan has to fight the Sharif and Zardari clans and their supporters inside the system – including powerful media barons – because his vision of a clean “Naya Pakistan”, which he has sold to his supporters, cannot be achieved if those who savagely abused the public office are allowed back into politics –through a process of legal sanitization.

He has to fight big business, corporations, traders, and tax machinery because he has to resolve his balance of payments and has to meet his recurring commitments with the IMF. He has to deliver on Afghanistan to keep Washington in good humour to ease tensions built around FATF, IMF, and India. He has to tame Pakistan’s Jihadi spirit at a time when Modi government is deliberately creating tensions in Kashmir.

He has to court Washington while keeping Beijing close to his heart. And he has to find ways – no one knows how – to stimulate the economy, build business confidence, increase transactions, restrain FBR harassment of businessmen, collect taxes, and generate jobs. Perhaps most importantly, he has to continue telling his desperate supporters and his ruthless critics with a poker face that “good times are around the corner.”

But he has to do more to earn his place in history. At a time when minorities are being mob lynched across India, he has shown the strength to stand for Pakistan’s Hindu, Christian and Sikh minorities – his wholehearted support to Kartarpur initiative has already eased tensions across Punjab. Liberals have been miserly in not sufficiently praising him, but he has put the genie of TLP (Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan) into a bottle – though admittedly there is much more to be done.

Govt of Pakistan

@pid_gov

Prime Minister Imran Khan urges the youth to widely participate in the plantation campaign to make it a success to materialize the dream of green and pollution-free Pakistan.

View image on Twitter

He has initiated schemes for the promotion of tourism, and for “Clean and Green Pakistan” but he has to do more to secure the environment in this region. He has inaugurated Mohmand Dam, but he has to speed up work on dams and preservation of aqueous resources to save millions from a water-deprived future.

And finally, he has to find intelligent, out of the box, ways to engage Modi and Yogi Adityanath’s India driven mad by reactionary forces of Hindutva. Trump – for reasons not fully understood – has already created an impetus in this direction. If Imran Khan delivers on half of these challenges, we should demand universities in Pakistan, UK, and the US to recommend him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Moeed Pirzada is Editor Global Village Space; he is also a prominent TV Anchor and a known columnist. He previously served with the Central Superior Services in Pakistan. Pirzada studied international relations at Columbia University, New York and Law at London School of Economics, UK as a Britannia Chevening Scholar. He has been a participant in Chaophraya Dialogue, and at Salzburg Forum and has lectured and given talks at universities and think tanks including Harvard, Georgetown, Urbana Champaign, National Defense University, FCCU, LUMS, USIP, Middle East Institute and many others. Twitter: MoeedNj

Reference

, ,

No Comments

America and Pakistan in Search of Peace and Conflict Resolution By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

America and Pakistan in Search of Peace and Conflict Resolution

Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

 

Reflections on Today’s World of Politics

President Trump and young-looking Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met this week at the White House. Trump is master to transform rhetoric into reality as he did to North Korean leader. Both were trying to overcome the historic indifference and prejudice to bridge the ever-widening gaps between the reality and perceptions of the relationship. If the nation’s relationships are based on the simplicity of truth, wisdom, national interest and integrity, one could foresee political compromises as a virtue to foster friendship.  Trump’s body language signalled some positive overtures as America looks for foes and friends to end its occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan is central to this strategy to facilitate a peaceful and face-saving outcome for America militarism in Afghanistan. Truth is unchanging as it was in 2001 that George W. Bush – an emotionally disturbed and intellectually imbalanced president embarked on military intervention to invade Afghanistan to strengthen his standing before the American masses after the 9/11 events. Truth is the same today as it was almost two decades earlier that America and its NATO allies displaced and killed millions for no other reason except a preposterous and distorted version of warmongering against the poor and helpless people of Afghanistan who had nothing to do with the 9/11 tragedies.  When false assumptions go unchallenged, it breeds more reactionary forces to entrench in violence and destruction.

Bertrand Russell and Alfred Einstein Manifest (1955) called a war with H bomb might possibly put an end to the human race.”  In 2017, America tested the Mother of Bombs in Afghanistan as if it was an American state. This is how America and NATO destroyed the ancient and peaceful culture of Afghanistan. All wars are dreadful and end up in calamities with ripple effects for centuries to come. It is evidence of tragic human abnormality that American, Afghan and Pakistani could not unfold humanitarian approaches to resolve the enlarged conflict in Afghanistan. Now, Trump and Imran Khan have come to understand its reality and wisdom of reciprocal forbearance that could usher a just a viable settlement in Afghanistan. But no one should underestimate the prevalent optimistic scepticism linking Pakistan and Afghanistan to a new American policy and practice for change in southwest Asia.

If America has the political, moral and intellectual capacity to honour its commitments, it could resolve the Afghan problems via a peaceful agreement with the people of Afghan and ensuring a legitimately elected system of governance for Afghanistan. It is not the question of whether Taliban or President Ashraf Ghani’s party should govern Afghanistan, but the people of Afghanistan must have a participatory and final say in making the peace deal.  Rights of the people and political fairness must be the guiding principles to conclude a peace pact between the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Military interventions never deliver peace and social harmony but destroy all substance that should support societal progress and future-making.

Imran Khan should be careful to assess Pakistan’s own weaknesses and strength and learn from the past as to what mistakes were made in military collaboration with the US scheme of things in the region. The USAID gimmick or the loans from the IMF are not viable strategies for national progress and development. Pakistan must strengthen its domestic socio-economic and political productivity, advancements and integration. Its progress is key to international cohesion and services to the neglected masses. Khan does not appear to have expertise in political change, economic productivity and nation-building. Political corruption is cancer in society. He should encourage and engage the new generation of educated and intelligent and honest people to participate in building new public institutions, new systems of participatory governance and political accountability in all domains of affairs. Imran Khan will be wise to enlarge his circle of governance by enlisting educated and proactive visionary men of ideas and strategic experts to deliver services to the people and ensure a progressive Pakistan.

Trump to Mediate Kashmir between India and Pakistan – Will He?

As a friendly overture to softening relationship with Pakistan, Trump offered to mediate the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.  Immediately, Indian PM’ spokesperson denied Trump’s assertion of PM Modi ever asking him to discuss Kashmir with Pakistan.  In politics, argument and rebuttals could be pondered with varied logical scales. There is a contrast between what India claims to be and what Pakistan stands for and what the people of Kashmir valley aspire for. If we imply canons of rationality, it could clarify the core of fault lines between tense relationships of India and Pakistan.  If India and Pakistan are sincere to find a cure to the overwhelming cruelty, military tyranny and violations of the basic rights of the people of Kashmir, the global community will view them as leaders of peaceful future-making

For a change, Trump has sensed the rationality of restoring normal ties between the two nuclear rivals. It could help him to gain some numbers in political popularity as he did on North Korea – an unthinkable probability making it a thinkable reality for normalization of mutual relationship. Both India and Pakistan and given their competing claims cannot deny the fact that Kashmir is the focal issue to a normal future for the masses in both countries. War is madness if there are people of reason to think about the societal future and wellbeing of the people. Kashmir was never part of India even under the British Raj. In 1947 and 1949 at the UN Security Council Resolutions, the people of Kashmir were promised a referendum (plebiscite) to decide about their future whether to join India or Pakistan.  It is not the domestic territory of India or Pakistan to undo the truth about Kashmir. There is no sense to shed human blood on a precarious experiment whether India administers Kashmir or Pakistanis do. The conflict must be resolved by addressing the humanitarian problems and sufferings of the people of Kashmir. If Trump along with Russia and China could persuade both India and Pakistan to resolve the problem, it could open up a new threshold of peace and harmony in Southwest Asia.

America Needs a Safe Exit from Afghanistan

In a changing world of global thinking and friendly relationships with others, American foreign policy experts should think critically how best they could communicate to a friend in Southwest Asia and enlist urgently needed moral and practical support to pave the ways for a peaceful settlement of the Afghanistan crisis. America is a military power but its legend of invincibility has been torn apart by small groups of fighters in Afghanistan. Much of this land of ancient tribal herdsmen is in ruins, it’s the economy, political and civic infrastructures and productivity devastated by the insanity of war and civilian lives float between obsessed insecurity, daily bombings and extended graveyards. America cannot undo the history of its own ruthless engagement and strategic failure. This consequence is of its own failed strategy or no strategy at all, and not of the role of Pakistan or others. If American rational impulses are intact, its policy should focus on a multilateral approach including Pakistan, Iran, India, China and Russia to pool intellectual resources and work out negotiated settlements in Afghanistan and Kashmir. America needs to be rational and see the mirror of its prolonged involvement in a war that has consumed more than 4,000 lives of US soldiers and almost 15,000 wounded veterans. This is no excuse to reinforce aggression against the people of Afghanistan. America needs a safe exit from the prolonged self-engineered crisis.

Russia, China, India  and Pakistan Could Help America to Negotiate Peace in Asia

While individualism is a political trait, authoritarian absolutism is a political sickness and contrary to the principles of liberty and justice. America enjoins a moral and intellectual history of the making of the nation. “These are the times that try men’s soul”, wrote Thomas Paine in Common Sense (1776), the political vision and reference for the independence of America from Britain as a nation. If global common sense is the hub of rational thoughts, America under Trump has open lines of communication with President Putin and Chinese President Xi Ping. It is rational to assume that Pakistan under PM Imran Khan could facilitate an international gathering inviting Russia, China, India and America to open a dialogue for political change and conflict resolution.

 

This will be a magnanimous forbearance and proactive vision to dispel the notion of war and intransigence and to reshape a turbulent past, be it in Afghanistan or Kashmir and strengthen a legitimate purpose of peace, friendship and sustainable relationships without the tyranny of wars and violations of human rights and dignity. The ferocity of wars and violations of human rights cannot be the intelligent hallmarks of a progressive society striving to harmonize humanity and make sustainable peace as a reality for future generations.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution and international affairs with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution: Approaches to Understand the Current Issues and Future-Making. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, October 2017.

 

, , , ,

No Comments

America and Pakistan in Search of Peace and Conflict Resolution By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

America and Pakistan in Search of Peace and Conflict Resolution

America and Pakistan in Search of Peace and Conflict Resolution US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan discussed regional security issues and economic support during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC (Image by Pakistani PM office handout via Anadolu Agency)

 

Reflections on Today’s World of Politics

President Trump and young-looking Pakistani Prime Minister ImFor a change, Trump has sensed the rationality of restoring normal ties between the two nuclear rivals. It could help him to gain some numbers in political popularity as he did on North Korea – an unthinkable probability making it a thinkable reality for normalization of mutual relationship. Both India and Pakistan and given their competing claims cannot deny the fact that Kashmir is the focal issue to a normal future for the masses in both countries. War is madness if there are people of reason to think about the societal future and wellbeing of the people. Kashmir was never part of India even under the British Raj. In 1947 and 1949 at the UN Security Council Resolutions, the people of Kashmir were promised a referendum (plebiscite) to decide about their future whether to join India or Pakistan. It is not the domestic territory of India or Pakistan to undo the truth about Kashmir. There is no sense to shed human blood on a precarious experiment whether India administers Kashmir or Pakistanis do. The conflict must be resolved by addressing the humanitarian problems and sufferings of the people of Kashmir. If Trump along with Russia and China could persuade both India and Pakistan to resolve the problem, it could open up a new threshold of peace and harmony in Southwest Asia.ran Khan met this week at the White House. Trump is master to transform rhetoric into reality as he did to North Korean leader. Both were trying to overcome the historic indifference and prejudice to bridge the ever-widening gaps between the reality and perceptions of the relationship. If a nation’s relationships are based on the simplicity of truth, wisdom, national interest and integrity, one could foresee political compromises as a virtue to foster friendship. Trump’s body language signalled some positive overtures as America looks for foes and friends to end its occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan is central to this strategy to facilitate a peaceful and face-saving outcome for America militarism in Afghanistan. Truth is unchanging as it was in 2001 that George W. Bush – an emotionally disturbed and intellectually imbalanced president embarked on military intervention to invade Afghanistan to strengthen his standing before the American masses after the 9/11 events. Truth is the same today as it was almost two-decade earlier that America and its NATO allies displaced and killed millions for no other reason except a preposterous and distorted version of warmongering against the poor and helpless people of Afghanistan who had nothing to do with the 9/11 tragedies. When false assumptions go unchallenged, it breeds more reactionary forces to entrench in violence and destruction.

Bertrand Russell and Alfred Einstein Manifest (1955) called “a war with H bomb might possibly put an end to the human race.” In 2017, America tested the Mother of Bombs in Afghanistan as if it was an American state. This is how America and NATO destroyed the ancient and peaceful culture of Afghanistan. All wars are dreadful and end up in calamities with ripple effects for centuries to come. It is evidence of tragic human abnormality that American, Afghan and Pakistani could not unfold humanitarian approaches to resolve the enlarged conflict in Afghanistan. Now, Trump and Imran Khan have come to understand its reality and wisdom of reciprocal forbearance that could usher a just a viable settlement in Afghanistan. But no one should underestimate the prevalent optimistic scepticism linking Pakistan and Afghanistan to a new American policy and practice for change in southwest Asia.

If America has the political, moral and intellectual capacity to honour its commitments, it could resolve the Afghan problems via a peaceful agreement with the people of Afghan and ensuring a legitimately elected system of governance for Afghanistan. It is not the question of whether Taliban or President Ashraf Ghani’s party should govern Afghanistan, but the people of Afghanistan must have a participatory and final say in making the peace deal. Rights of the people and political fairness must be the guiding principles to conclude a peace pact between the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Military interventions never deliver peace and social harmony but destroy all substance that should support societal progress and future-making.

Imran Khan should be careful to assess Pakistan’s own weaknesses and strength and learn from the past as to what mistakes were made in military collaboration with the US scheme of things in the region. The USAID gimmick or the loans from the IMF are not viable strategies for national progress and development. Pakistan must strengthen its domestic socio-economic and political productivity, advancements and integration. Its progress is key to international cohesion and services to the neglected masses. Khan does not appear to have expertise in political change, economic productivity and nation-building. Political corruption is cancer in society. He should encourage and engage the new generation of educated and intelligent and honest people to participate for building new public institutions, new systems of participatory governance and political accountability in all domains of affairs. Imran Khan will be wise to enlarge his circle of governance by enlisting educated and proactive visionary men of ideas and strategic experts to deliver services to the people and ensure a progressive Pakistan.

Trump to Mediate Kashmir between India and Pakistan – Will He?

As a friendly overture to softening relationship with Pakistan, Trump offered to mediate the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. Immediately, Indian PM’ spokesperson denied Trump’s assertion of PM Modi ever asking him to discuss Kashmir with Pakistan. In politics, argument and rebuttals could be pondered with varied logical scales. There is a contrast between what India claims to be and what Pakistan stands for and what the people of Kashmir valley aspire for. If we imply canons of rationality, it could clarify the core of fault lines between tense relationships of India and Pakistan. If India and Pakistan are sincere to find a cure to the overwhelming cruelty, military tyranny and violations of the basic rights of the people of Kashmir, the global community will view them as leaders of peaceful future-making.

For a change, Trump has sensed the rationality of restoring normal ties between the two nuclear rivals. It could help him to gain some numbers in political popularity as he did on North Korea – an unthinkable probability making it a thinkable reality for normalization of mutual relationship. Both India and Pakistan and given their competing claims cannot deny the fact that Kashmir is the focal issue to a normal future for the masses in both countries. War is madness if there are people of reason to think about the societal future and wellbeing of the people. Kashmir was never part of India even under the British Raj. In 1947 and 1949 at the UN Security Council Resolutions, the people of Kashmir were promised a referendum (plebiscite) to decide about their future whether to join India or Pakistan. It is not the domestic territory of India or Pakistan to undo the truth about Kashmir. There is no sense to shed human blood on a precarious experiment whether India administers Kashmir or Pakistanis do. The conflict must be resolved by addressing the humanitarian problems and sufferings of the people of Kashmir. If Trump along with Russia and China could persuade both India and Pakistan to resolve the problem, it could open up a new threshold of peace and harmony in Southwest Asia.

America Needs a Safe Exit from Afghanistan

In a changing world of global thinking and friendly relationships with others, American foreign policy experts should think critically how best they could communicate to a friend in Southwest Asia and enlist urgently needed moral and practical support to pave the ways for a peaceful settlement of the Afghanistan crisis. America is a military power but its legend of invincibility has been torn apart by small groups of fighters in Afghanistan. Much of this land of ancient tribal herdsmen is in ruins, it’s the economy, political and civic infrastructures and productivity devastated by the insanity of war and civilian lives float between obsessed insecurity, daily bombings and extended graveyards. America cannot undo the history of its own ruthless engagement and strategic failure. This consequence is of its own failed strategy or no strategy at all, and not of the role of Pakistan or others. If American rational impulses are intact, its policy should focus on a multilateral approach including Pakistan, Iran, India, China and Russia to pool intellectual resources and work out negotiated settlements in Afghanistan and Kashmir. America needs to be rational and see the mirror of its prolonged involvement in a war that has consumed more than 4,000 lives of US soldiers and almost 15,000 wounded veterans. This is no excuse to reinforce aggression against the people of Afghanistan. America needs a safe exit from the prolonged self-engineered crisis.

Russia, China, India and Pakistan Could Help America to Negotiate Peace in Asia

While individualism is a political trait, authoritarian absolutism is a political sickness and contrary to the principles of liberty and justice. America enjoins a moral and intellectual history of the making of the nation. “These are the times that try men’s soul”, wrote Thomas Paine in Common Sense (1776), the political vision and reference for the independence of America from Britain as a nation. If global common sense is the hub of rational thoughts, America under Trump has open lines of communication with President Putin and Chinese President Xi Ping. It is rational to assume that Pakistan under PM Imran Khan could facilitate an international gathering inviting Russia, China, India and America to open a dialogue for political change and conflict resolution. This will be a magnanimous forbearance and proactive vision to dispel the notion of war and intransigence and to reshape a turbulent past, be it in Afghanistan or Kashmir and strengthen a legitimate purpose of peace, friendship and sustainable relationships without the tyranny of wars and violations of human rights and dignity. The ferocity of wars and violations of human rights cannot be the intelligent hallmarks of a progressive society striving to harmonize humanity and make sustainable peace as a reality for future generations.


Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution and international affairs with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution: Approaches to Understand the Current Issues and Future-Making. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, October 2017.

Categories: AsiaInternationalNorth AmericaOpinionsPeace and Disarmament
Tags: conflict resolutionIndiaPakistan

No Comments

Global Peace and Security: Why Wars on Humanity? By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.

Editor’s Note
Dr. Khawaja makes a reasoned and impassioned argument for international organizations oriented towards peace, primarily the United Nations Organization (UNO), and humanity to step forward and change direction. Clearly, we live in a time of hardening lines and increasing extremism that perpetuates destruction and chaos; primarily to deliver the “rewards” to the hands of a powerful few. Organizations oriented towards peace, order, and the protection of humanity seem either incapable or unwilling to perform the roles for which they were created.

 

 

 

It is noted that most of the organizations were created to resolve the chaos of WWII and prevent such atrocity from swamping the world in the future. Herein lies the basic flaw. These organizations are not partnerships of equals where participating nations have equal voice and power. They reflect the power of the few with the United States being the “most equal” of all in a “Lord of the Flies” world. Whether we look at the UN, NATO, OECD, or IMF, we find that the power of the United States not only overrules the voices of many but silences them as well. In fact, the Security Council of the UN has had the effect (intentional or not) to enhance the power of the US in the UN’s ability (or lack thereof) to protect populations from the predation by others. When that fails, time after time the United States has acted unilaterally in direct violation of UN dictates and rulings. Further, the US has hamstrung efforts from basic UN operation to humanitarian response by withholding its dues – a critical amount in any budget.

Adding insult to injury, the United States has determined that it will not recognize, nor be bound by, the International Criminal Court – another critical component in addressing international crimes against populations and humanity.

It is clear that if there is to be an institution where the world comes together to promote peace and justice and work towards resolving conflicts and averting disasters, it needs to either be an organization of true equals with the ability to enforce decisions, or current institutions must restructure themselves so that the collective has more power than any individual nation. There is another viable option –

Mass non-cooperation by the people to participate and support our own destruction – a rolling global strike of sorts.

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”  (Albert Einstein)

 

Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

The global systems of political governance are dominated by the power politics of the few and are fast becoming irrelevant and unrepresentative of the primary concerns and priorities of the vast majority of global humanity. Neither the UNO  or superpowers take preventive measures to protect mankind in critical situations like Myanmar-Burma (Rohingyas), Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Yemen and Palestine; global governance tends to be a fantasy than a reality under these challenges.  You wonder if the UNO has lived up to its role and the Charter-based responsibility to safeguard the people of the world from the ‘scourge of wars’, horrors of planned violence, and the resulting devastation to human cultures and habitats. All in all, it is humanity which is subjected to untold miseries, bloodbaths and catastrophic consequences that linger on for generations. There are a few who are the source of evil driving mankind to unrestrained tyranny. The Statute of the International Criminal Court states “planning and waging a war of aggression is a crime against humanity.”

The Global War Agenda against Reason

The author intends to share a critical analysis of some of the contemporary issues and to inspire global rethinking for a navigational change in the redundant structures and role of the international institutions, inept leadership, obsolete systems of power politics and approaches to peacemaking, security and conflict management. The perpetuation of fear and political chaos overwhelms the obsolete global political governance. The war-agenda has shifted actions from the Western industrialized societies to the oil-producing Arab world. The Middle East is in ruins by the ongoing sectarian warfare; indiscriminate bombing; terrorism; and destruction of life, habitats and the natural environment. Nobody can rebuild what has been destroyed by the war agenda that repeatedly sweeps through the same regions.

To us – the living and conscientious humanity- time and accountability make it clear that global systems are operating contrary to reason. Amongst all the creations on Planet Earth, humans are the only one equipped with thinking, language and intelligence to claim morality as an attribute of life and value. This reality emphasizes and differentiates us from the other creations of God. If we propel uncertainty in our thoughts and behaviour, nothing can stop us from surpassing the limit of immorality and insanity. With knowledge-based 21st-century human communications improving the possibility of global collaboration, we are not moving in a direction where human logic and truth spell out for our conduct in peaceful relationships. The impulse and actions for cruelty and sadistic behaviour are increasingly propelling alarming trends for present and future generations to be shaped by our implicit wickedness and resulting failure in global affairs. As humans, we are not thinking or moving for the unity of mankind to be at peace and harmony being the chief creation of God. Staying on this destructive path will make us something much less than our God-given potential for unity and peace.

We the People of the Universe and Tyranny of the Few

The 21st-century knowledge-based critical thought highlights unilateral absolutism as the cornerstone of superpower’s policies and practices.  David Armstrong(“Dick Cheney’s Songs of America”: Information Clearing House: 09/19/2011), points out how the US politicians view the world to be governed by the American strategic dictates:

It was published as Defense Strategy for the 1990’s…. The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming military superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful.

The Plan is disturbing in many ways, and ultimately unworkable. Yet it is being sold now as an answer to the “new realities” of the post-September 11 world, even as it was sold previously as the answer to the new realities of the post-Cold War world. For Cheney, the Plan has always been the right answer, no matter how different the questions….

Another new theme was the use of preemptive military force. The options, the DPG noted, ranged from taking preemptive military action to head off a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack to “punishing” or “threatening punishment of” aggressors “through a variety of means,” including strikes against weapons-manufacturing facilities.

Under the George W. Bush administration, America continued to pursue this approach to global affairs. Reasoned politics and safeguard of global humanity were not the purposes of such a belligerent plan. The USSR was already dismantled as a challenger and the US politicians saw the opportunity to determine the future of global mankind through militarization and occupation of the poor and vulnerable nations. Its first victim was Afghanistan, then Iraq and Libya, and onward to the whole of the Arab world. Under NATO, America continued its influential role to destabilize the USSR and former allies of Eastern Europe. There was no balancing of reason.

Where power beyond human capacity is entrusted to the few, the chances are high it will be misused against the people. The political tensions of the militarization of the globe led to oppression and miseries for the people of the world. We have not seen any tangible movement in political behaviour to lessen the unstable clash of fanaticism and evil imposed on the innocent victims of this devastating political agenda. The UNO was overwhelmed by the same scenarios of inept outcomes in situations that warranted urgent and swift humanitarian action to safeguard the civilian population in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Palestine and Kashmir. Why is the prevention of man-made tyranny, oppression and conflicts fast becoming unacceptable norms in global systems of governance?  Should the contemporary leaders of the world answer this vital question, or should it be left to the impulse of history to explain it to future generations?

To Imagine Change in the Working of the Global Institutions

The global institutions were aligned and shaped by the historical at the end of the 2nd WW, not to knowledge-based proactive 21st century of technological innovation, reason and change. Global leadership and systematic working of international political affairs are managed by wrong thinking, wrong people and wrong priorities. None seem to have the capacity to further the cause of global humanity, peace, conflict resolution and security. Humanity looks for change, but there seems to be no systematic mechanism for integrated change to ensure continuity of encompassed human thoughts, hopes and ideals for tomorrow, whether near future or distant future. Despite the sketchy illusions of freedom, democracy, human rights, liberty and justice, we are encroached, stuffed and at terrible risk of annihilation more accidental and by an error of judgment than a planned scheme of things by Man against Man. The Western political mythology enflames hatred against Islam and blames Muslim as being “terrorists.” The raging wars in the Arab Middle East are a net outcome of ignorance and lack of wisdom against Islam. Western installed puppets Arab leaders do not represent the masses. Often false propaganda, deception and prejudice are combined in a trajectory of plans to sell weapons and console the egoistic leaders as allies of the Western military alliance. This political delusion is full of inherent inconsistencies. Gary Wills (What the Qur’an Meant and What It Matters. Viking, NY, 2017), a leading American scholar explains the reality in his new book:

Our enemy in this war is far less localizable than it was in the World War 2 or the Cold War. Terror is a tool, not a country. Declaring a war on it is less like normal warfare, country versus country, there is No VE Day or VJ Day in such wars… living with fear is corrosive…the less we know about the reality of Islam, the more we will fight shadows and false emanations from our apprehension. Ignorance is the natural ally of fear. It is time for us to learn about the real Islam beginning with its source book – The Qur’an.

Global Leadership and Its Moral and Intellectual Decadence and Humanity

That conscious realization is absent from global thinking and observations of the outcomes of the major international institutions is obvious. None of the global institutions seems to reflect the sacred nature of life and the role of Man (human beings) in preserving life and its encompassing standards as the pivotal role and obligations to the planet. What is the cure to the raging indifference and emboldened cruelty toward the interests of the people of Syria, Iraq, the United States and Western Europe, and for that matter to the whole of mankind?

Remember that civilizations and humanity are not developed by the political-military-industrial complexes led by economies, or IMF operative bankers, ruling elite, speculatory stock markets, legal judgments, kings and queens, morally and spiritually decadent generations and crime-riddled authoritarian ruler. Rather, thriving civilizations are the tangible progressive outcomes of proactive intellectual and moral visions of the societal thinkers, poets, philosophers, knowledge, truth, compassion and continuous movement by man to support humanity and its natural striving for new thinking, change and progress. Politics is problematic and increasingly becoming irrational and a burden on man’s conscience. Now, it is up to the focused mind of Man and Spirit of Humanity to assume the new-age responsible leadership for a navigational change.  We the People, We the Humanity, are capable of envisaging a navigational change towards reasoned dialogue for change and a sustainable future – new proactive visions and new reformed global systems; working international institutions to unite humanity and contribute to peace, harmony, security and respect amongst the diverse fabrics of mankind.

 

All material is under a Creative Common share with attribution license unless otherwise noted.

Posted April 9, 2019, by Rowan Wolf in category “Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.“, “Militarism“, “Peace

, , , , , ,

No Comments


Skip to toolbar