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Archive for category INDIA-AN EVIL NATION

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy and Current Challenges By Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy and Current Challenges

Asif Haroon Raja

Overview

Pakistan has, since birth, been faced with one crisis after another. The tense geopolitical environment created by hostile India and unfriendly Afghanistan was the motivating factor which impelled our leaders to accord preference to security over developing institutions and strengthening the economy. Security concerns governed our foreign policy.

Pakistan joined Western pacts mainly to find an umbrella to mitigate its security concerns. But the US never became a trustworthy and sincere ally, as was the case of former the Soviet Union with India. The western pacts proved elusive when Pakistan was truncated in 1971.

India had been working upon East Bengal since 1948 with the aim of subverting the minds of Bengalis and poisoning their minds against people of West Pakistan through an orchestrated subversion plan. It wanted to disprove Two-Nation theory. India in collusion with the former-the Soviet Union and supported by several other countries hatched the gory plan of the dismemberment of Pakistan. After nine months insurgency, Indian military jumped in to cut Pakistan to size and create Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi chortled that Two-Nation theory had been sunk into the Bay of Bengal.

In the aftermath of 9/11, another international conspiracy was hatched to dismember Pakistan. This time the conspiracy was much larger in scope and more dangerous in intent. Pakistan was to be befriended and then cut into four quasi-states. In this, India is being supported by USA, Afghanistan, Britain, Israel and the West in general. The tools in use are TTP, BLA, BRA, BLF, MQM and segment of media bolstered by bloggers, foreign paid NGOs and international media. Daesh is the latest group added to their arsenal.   

The goals are to destabilize, de-Islamise, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan using covert means and psychological operations.

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan was made to fight terrorism on its soil, then accused of harboring terrorists in safe havens in FATA and aiding cross border terrorism in Afghanistan, occupied Kashmir and India, and then constantly pressed to do more. The terrorist groups in FATA, Baluchistan were funded, equipped and trained to fight and exhaust Pak security forces. MQM was funded and its militants trained in India to make Karachi lawless.

India and Afghanistan were projected as victims of terrorism and Pakistan as an incubator of terrorism. The covert war launched from Afghan soil in 2002 has incurred a loss of 60,000 fatalities, injuries to tens of thousands, destruction of property, $ 118 billion financial loss and immense social trauma.

Pakistan has come under a foreign debt of $70 billion.  

The US imposed War on Terror has heightened ethnicity, sectarianism, extremism, provincialism, political instability, economic fragility and moral degeneration of society as a whole.

As a result of these frailties, Pakistan which is a nuclear power with robust armed forces that are second to none has abundant resources and resilient manpower, it has become vulnerable to foreign coercion, manipulation, and aggression.

Of all the crisis faced by Pakistan in its 70 years history, the present one is perhaps the most dangerous, both in terms of its nature and its possible consequences. Without a doubt, Pakistan is in the vortex of grave dangers and the country today stands at the cusp of survival and disaster. The Titans that have marked Pakistan as a target are impatient to fragment it. 

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy

Having given the background and overall geopolitical environment, I shall now discuss the five stages through which Pakistan’s foreign policy has moved forward to confront multiple challenges.

Quaid-e-Azam MA Jinnah had spelled out Pakistan’s foreign policy soon after the birth of Pakistan in these words:

 “Our objective should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbors and with world at large. We have no aggressive designs against any one. We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world.” 

Our foreign policy is one of the friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair-play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter.” 
Pakistan opened diplomatic relations with all the countries of the world except Israel owing to Palestinian dispute.  Successive regimes made concerted efforts to normalize relations with India but failed because of unresolved Kashmir dispute and India not reconciling to the existence of Pakistan. In its desire to become the unchallenged big power of South Asia, India whipped up a frenzy against all its neighbors. It applied multiple pressures on Pakistan and went to war thrice so as to force Pakistan to accept its hegemony and become its vassal state.

Pakistan in search of security and recognition

Pakistan started its journey as a nonaligned nation and remained the member of Non-Aligned Movement from 1947 till 1954. In the first 15 years of Pakistan’s life, the founding leaders remained deeply engrossed in establishing credentials of Pakistan’s statehood in the face of massive propaganda of India that Pakistan was a monstrosity. It was described as a transient phenomenon and Indian economic wizards had given six months life to Pakistan. International recognition was sought and obtained in those agonizing years. 

In its formative years, Pakistan attached importance to relations with Muslim countries and championed Muslim causes. Its efforts to build Muslim unity couldn’t make any headway. It cultivated special ties with Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan joined Western pacts

Aggressive posturing of India, its expansionist designs and intentions to absorb Kashmir, together with Afghanistan’s enmity, former USSR’s heavy tilt towards India, deepening economic crisis in early 1950s, sense of isolation, and the UN and Commonwealth failing to resolve the Kashmir dispute were some of the reasons which impelled Pakistan to join the US created SEATO and Baghdad Pact/CENTO in 1954/55. Thereon, its foreign policy was governed by the US interests.

Pakistan became part of the US defensive arc stretching to Iran and Turkey to contain the spread of communism in South Asia and the Middle East. Pakistan did so despite the fact that it had no direct clash with USSR, and had to pay a heavy price for it. When Pakistan acted as a conduit in 1971 to bring China closer to the USA, it further antagonized Moscow and it decided to teach Pakistan a lesson.

Alignment with the USA however, helped Pakistan in improving its economy and defense capability phenomenally during the 10-year Ayub’s golden era.

Tilt towards China

After the Indo-Sino border clash in 1962, in the wake of Moscow, Washington and the West providing arms to India at the cost of disturbing the regional military balance, Ayub Khan started tilting towards China and Russia. This move was seen as an act of defiance by the USA and it decided to penalize him. The US discriminatory attitude was discernible in the 1965 War with India when it stopped extending economic and military assistance including the supply of spare parts, whereas Russia kept supplying arms to India.

It is believed that both ZA Bhutto and Sheikh Mujib were cultivated to trigger agitations in both the wings to bring down Ayub regime and then pave the way for the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971.

Southwestern Asian Identity and policy of Bilateralism

After the 1971 tragedy, ZA Bhutto scrapped SEATO pact and membership of Commonwealth stating that those had proved worthless. He then tried to carve out Southwest Asian identity so as to draw economic strength and security from oil rich Arab States. This tilt towards the Gulf States brought in financial bonanza and job opportunities for Pakistan in the 1970s and also gave an opportunity to Pak military to make inroads into the GCC States. Saudi Arabia never hesitated to extend financial support to Pakistan in its testing times.

Another change in Pakistan’s foreign policy was affected by the Simla agreement in 1972 which led to the policy of bilateralism and non-alignment. Ceasefire line in Kashmir was renamed as LoC and Kashmir issue put on the back burner. India however, maintained its belligerent policy and carried out the nuclear test at Pokhran in August 1974, which impelled ZA Bhutto to go nuclear.

Afghan war (1980-1989)

Pakistan-US relations nosedived when Pakistan under Gen Ziaul Haq was put under sanctions in April 1979 by Carter regime on account of suspicion that it was pursuing nuclear program covertly. However, the Afghan war in the 1980s once again made Pakistan a close ally of USA and was bestowed with $3.5 billion assistance and F-16 jets.

Pakistan had to face Russo-Afghan-India nexus and Al-Zulfiqar terrorism (militant wing of PPP). The Afghan war brought Pakistan coolness in Pak-Iran relations but brought Afghanistan under Mujahideen very close to Pakistan. Both talked of providing strategic depth to each other.

Pakistan’s challenges in Post-cold war era

After the breakup of USSR in 1991 and end of Cold War era, Pakistan was faced with multiple foreign policy issues. The US abandoned Pakistan, imposed sanctions on it under Pressler Amendment and befriended India.

Pakistan was up against Indo-US-Israeli nexus geared toward destroying Kahuta plant.

The other issue was the fallout effects of the Afghan war in the form of Kalashnikov and drug cultures, the load of 3.5 million refugees, the radicalization of the society and sectarianism fomented by Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The other was the armed uprising in occupied Kashmir which forced India to pump in 750,000 security forces to quell the insurgency and to propagate that Pakistan was abetting it.

Pakistan had to bear with the domino effect of Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988).

And lastly, nuclear explosions by the two arch rivals in May 1998. Pakistan’s external climbed up. These challenges made the democratic era weak and uninspiring. Despite being repeatedly betrayed, Pakistan didn’t deem it fit to diversify its foreign policy and kept its hopes alive to get into the good books of USA.

Impact of 9/11

9/11 changed the global politics and Pakistan was once again befriended by the USA and made a coalition partner to fight the global war on terror as a frontline state. Pakistan for a second time shifted all its eggs in the basket of USA.

Between 2004 and 2008, Indo-Pak relations improved as a result of the peace treaty and resumption of dialogue, giving rise to optimism that core disputes will be resolved. Euphoria died down after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 when India blamed Pakistan. Indo-Pak relations have hit rock bottom after Modi led BJP regime espousing Hindutva came to power in June 2014.

Ongoing fast changing global dynamics and ever growing strategic partnership between USA and India has impelled Pakistan policy makers to revisit the foreign policy and suitably modify it to meet the future challenges.

Pakistan’s current challenges

India has not reconciled to the existence of Pakistan and strives to reduce it to the status of a Satellite State.

India is a strategic partner of the US, Israel, Afghanistan and is the darling of the west. The trio is pursuing common objective of destroying Pakistan.

India is making concerted efforts to destabilize Pakistan through covert war, encircle Pakistan by consolidating its presence in Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics (CARs), building North-South Corridor linking Mumbai with Bandar Abbas; and connecting Chabahar with Afghanistan-CARs.

India is working hard to isolate Pakistan by tarnishing its image and spoiling its relations with Afghanistan, Iran, Gulf States and the US.

Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute but India stubbornly maintains that it is its integral part well knowing that the Kashmiris hate Indians and want freedom at all cost.

To keep Pakistan on the defensive and force it to forget Kashmir, India is playing terrorism card, Baluchistan and Sindh cards, and water terrorism to bend Pakistan on its knees.

India’s Cold Start doctrine is aimed at offsetting Pakistan’s strategic nuclear doctrine and executing it at a time when the bulk of Pak forces had got pinned down in designated restive areas.

The upturn of Pakistan’s sunk economy and its image, control over energy crisis and terrorism coupled with development works and fast progressing CPEC have increased the anxieties of India. To give vent to its frustrations, it is carrying out unprovoked firing across the LoC and working boundary in Kashmir relentlessly.

For all practical purposes, Pakistan has fallen from the grace of USA and time is not far when it will be once again be ditched and put under harsh sanctions.

Indo-US-Israel agenda of disabling Pakistan’s nuclear program, or as a minimum curtailing its minimum deterrence capability remain unchanged.

Afghanistan under Hamid Karzai remained aligned with India and hostile to Pakistan. Afghan Unity government under Ghani-Abdullah is far worse.

Pak-Iran relations are frosty and practically, Iran is more close to India and Afghanistan.

Net outcome in 2017

Pakistan foreign policy makers are faced with perpetually hostile India, near hostile Afghanistan, and the changed attitude of the US. Washington has callously whipped Pakistan under its ‘do more’ policy and is now hurling warnings. It’s heavy tilt towards India is a matter of anxiety for Pakistan.

Iran nurtures grouses on account of Pakistan’s closeness with Saudi Arabia, and for sending Gen Raheel to Riyadh to head 41-member Sunni Muslim States Alliance.

Warmth in a relationship with the GCC States has diluted because of Pakistan not agreeing to send troops to Saudi Arabia to ward off the threat from Yemen. Saudi-Qatar tiff is another challenge faced by Pakistan since it cannot afford to take sides.

Pakistan has been deliberately kept politically unstable by making it play the game of ladder and snake so that it remains economically dependent. It was pulled down whenever it grew economically strong. That is why it has been lurching from one crisis to another in its 70 years checkered history.

Pakistan can ill-afford political disharmony and disunity at this critical juncture when black clouds are hovering over its horizon.

Geopolitical realities

Pakistan is faced with multiple threats of Indo-US-Afghan covert war, India’s Cold Start Doctrine, the US Af-Pak doctrine, and Hybrid war and all these threats have now become menacing.

The threat to its security has heightened after the signing of three Indo-US defense agreements in 2016 and the US openly expressing its enmity against Pakistan and love for India.

India is getting unnerved on account of high-intensity freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir, which is slipping out of its hands and is endangering the unity of India. India has no other choice except to keep persecuting the Kashmiris ruthlessly, keep the LoC on fire and to diplomatically place Pakistan on the back foot.

Muslim Pakistan, laced with nuclear/missile power and now getting economically strong due to CPEC is unacceptable to USA, India, and Israel. The trio may go to any extent to disrupt CPEC.

Pakistan is faced with the threat of two-front war from east and west, inauspicious southwestern backyard, vulnerable seacoast, not so friendly Gulf States, together with the internal war on terror and internal war on terror

Pakistan’s viable nuclear cum missile capability deters India from waging an open war.

Nuclear factor has compelled India to resort to indirect strategy to weaken Pakistan from within through unrelenting covert war, discredit and isolate it through propaganda and diplomacy, extract its nuclear teeth clandestinely, and then apply the military instrument through Cold Start doctrine.

Having tried out all possible means short of war, the only other option left with enemies of Pakistan is to create political chaos and logjam, paralyze the government machinery and then trigger civil war as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Many are suspecting a game plan behind the current political imbroglio.

The success of $21 trillion One-Road-One-belt projects of China hinges on successful completion of CPEC. In view of China’s ambition to become leading economic power and its heavy economic stakes in CPEC, it is bound to come to the aid of Pakistan whenever its security is threatened.

Pakistan is a target and not an ally of USA. Earlier Pakistan gets out of the enchantment of USA, better it will be.

Inferences

Any expectation of goodwill and empathy from India, Afghanistan under Ghani and USA, which in pursuit of their common objectives have been inflicting tens of thousands of cuts on the body of Pakistan and its people, will be foolhardy.

The newly appointed Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in consultation with the new PM Khaqan Abbasi, CJCSC Gen Zubair Hayat, and Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa need to revisit the foreign policy at the earliest to make appropriate changes after correctly identifying friends and foes and accordingly diversifying the policy to meet the upcoming challenges.

Foreign policy instead of being defensive, apologetic and reactive, should be infused with dynamism and pro-activeness.

The change in foreign policy should not be abrupt, but gradual and orderly without violent fluctuations. The change should be akin to autumn changing into winter, or winter into spring.

While maintaining a working relationship with the USA, Pakistan should draw closer to China, Russia, Central Asia, SCO, and ASEAN.

Pakistan should work hard to bring Iran in the loop of China-Russia peace-talks initiative, possibly draw in Turkey and conjointly work to restore peace in war torn Afghanistan.

Pakistan must strive to establish a friendly regime in Kabul.

Surging Afghan Taliban and not the corrupt and inept unity government in Kabul toeing Indo-US agenda should be kept in the loop.

Pakistan should continue to play a mediatory role in the Iran-Saudi ideological rivalry and in Saudi-Qatar tiff to narrow down their differences and also allay the misperceptions of Gulf States on account of Yemen crisis. It will be unwise to call back Gen Raheel and detach Pakistan from 41-member Muslim Alliance.

CPEC should be made use of as a strong magnet by our foreign policy makers to attract as many nations from Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe to ward off Indian inspired threat of isolation.

Gwadar-Chahbahar economic rivalry should be converted into an opportunity to complement each other’s strength.

Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan. Comprehensive and pragmatic Kashmir policy should be devised to keep the cause of Kashmir alive.

Conclusion. While many developing countries have raced ahead, Pakistan is still struggling and has neither become an Asian tiger or a secure country. Political parties are behaving irresponsibly and are advised to shun politics of agitation and division and promote the concept of “Unity in Diversity”. Strong and united home front is the best defense against internal and external challenges.

 

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defense and security analyst, columnist, author of five books. He is Director Measac Research Centre, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Editor-in-chief “Better Morrow’ magazine, editor of website group ‘The Patriots’. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

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India’s Toilet Troubles The Wall Street Journal

How Trump’s America Really Perceives India.

Despite Narendra Modi’s Un-Solicited Hugs of Rudeness

 

Hundreds of millions of Indians are not in the habit of using toilets, partly due to a lack of latrines.

This shortfall in basic infrastructure means that people use the great outdoors to relieve themselves. That leads to child deaths, stunting and various diseases which is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it one of his many missions to make more of India what New Delhi is calling ODF—short for open defecation free.

A story in The Wall Street JournalFriday outlined how something as simple as building toilets has become surprisingly political and challenging in some villages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some numbers to help explain India’s toilet troubles.

  • 33.5 MILLION

    The number of toilets built under Mr. Modi’s program since 2014, according to a government website that posts a running tally.

  • 110 MILLION

    The number of toilets India aims to build by 2019.

  • 60%

    The proportion of Indian households with access to toilets, according to the Indian government.

  • 157 MILLION

    The number of Indians who live in cities without improved sanitation, according to Water Aid.

  • 158,296

  • The number of Indian villages that have declared themselves open-defecation free. India has a total of 640,000 villages.

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‘Rejection of Discord and Disharmony’ Taking out bad to worst dudes Humayun Gauhar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan Today                                                         Sunday 26th February 2017

 

‘Rejection of Discord and Disharmony’

 Taking out bad to worst dudes

 

Humayun Gauhar

 

Are we witnessing the last days of Nawaz Sharif? I don’t know so perilous is our situation and so perfidious have our ruling classes become. It can be said with a certain modicum of confidence though that we are witnessing the beginning of the end. How long it takes is anyone’s guess.

 

Whether Nawaz Sharif stays or goes matters little in the long sweep of things. His departure will cause temporary titillation to many and fuel our loquacious chattering class and chai khanas, but then what? Another election? In this odious system, we will only get another Nawaz Sharif or Asif Zardari. So?

 

The question that matters most is: are we witnessing the end of our putrid, loathsome political system that throws up gangsters, plunderers, and killers? If that is so, then there is much to celebrate for change for the better is better than no change at all. Hopefully, it will be a change toward a just and egalitarian system that would rid us of this huge gang of thieves who have not only occupied every lever of government but of business and agriculture as well and everything that comes with them. All — repeat all — institutions and regulatory bodies have collapsed: you only have to meet or even see their heads and you will believe me even though they are unbelievable.

 

The good thing that may come out of Nawaz Sharif’s departure is the process of change to another system. That means changing the Constitution that has been reduced to a joke by repeated governments, legislatures and unelectable goofs masquerading as politicians. That’s all very well, but how can change take place that is good and lasting? Who will do it? The army? Forsooth. They have tried it four times before and not only fallen flat on their faces every time, shining stars and all, but created and left behind many of our greatest problems for us to suffer. Our biggest problems are our political leaders: remember that Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain are all creatures of the army, as are many others. So are the Taliban, Afghan, and Pakistani, as too numerous other terrorist groups. So too the vice-like economic and political embrace of America that has put us into neo-colonialism. Now, fittingly, the army is left to clean up its own mess, to put it politely. Yes, he who makes a mess should clean it too.

 

 

Ajit Doval, Head of India’s RAW Spreads Terror in Pakistan

Image result for Ajit Doval Terrorist Subversive Promotor

 

 

What compounds our problems is that many if not most of these terrorist groups have been taken over by our neighbours to the left of us and to the right of us. To the front of us across the seven seas is our greatest ‘ally’, financier and ‘banker’ of last resort that also uses these neighbours against us. Even worse, they also run many of our politicians in power and outside, media, academia and what have you. All this destabilizes Pakistan further. Worse still, the place is crawling with Indian, Afghan and American spies, many of whom are Pakistanis to boot. Many of our terrorists are foreigners too.

 

Whose fault is it? Squarely our governments and only our governments for not recognizing right from wrong, for not knowing what is good for us and what is not. It also lies on us the people for getting inveigled into repeatedly ‘electing’ and tolerating such misleading ‘leaders’ and accepting this alien political system that works not for them but for their oppressors. That’s called ‘democracy’ Pakistani style, a ‘democracy’ that only creates civilian dictatorships worse than military dictatorships.  

 

So who can change the system? As world history shows, it has to be “we the people”, if necessary at the point of a sword.

 

To top it all, there is the Panama scandal that has embroiled Nawaz Sharif and family in plunder and corruption untold. It has been so embarrassing for us that our prime minister, his wife, and children, defended by their courtiers and courtesans like well-trained hounds, that one feels loathe talking about it to foreigners. But talk we must, if nothing else because that’s all we seem to be good at. Thus a desperate people are coming up with all sorts of bizarre but diverting theories. The best is: will Nawaz Sharif lose or will the Supreme Court? If it is the latter then Pakistan loses and we will be left with no civilian institution at all, only the army but for how long without a strong civilian government to back it?

 

Meantime, Pakistan’s economy is in a steep nosedive from which pulling up is becoming very difficult if not already impossible. But remember that ashes are a necessary precondition for a phoenix to rise.

 

In all this multifaceted mess Pakistan has reached the inflection point, to put it mildly. No wonder that the military has finally been forced to do what the ‘elected’ governments despised doing: go after terrorists of all ilk countrywide. Thus the military has launched an operation to root out this menace through the length and breadth of Pakistan. They call it, confusingly, ‘Raad ul Fasaad’ which is better spelled ‘Rudd ul Fasad’. ‘Raad’ (or ‘Rudd’) means ‘rejection’ and the Quranic word ‘Fasad’ means discord and disharmony. So it means, literally, ‘Rejection of Discord and Disharmony’.

 

But it’s not so simple. You cannot get rid of Fasad without getting rid of ‘Fitna’ that causes Fasad. ‘Fitna’ literally mean mischief-maker or mischief-makers. That means getting rid of economic terrorism, people or groups or countries that enable, finance, help, and give refuge etc. to terrorists in their personal and official capacities. That includes Pakistanis and foreigners, individuals, organizations, and governments local and foreign. In Pakistan, our Fitnas are our governments and politicians, many of our seminaries and sermon-spewing mullahs in mosques, some journalists in print and television, academia, the bureaucracy and yes, many people in the military, though it seems the last are declining. And many others.

 

When they launched anti-terrorist operations in the mountains and countryside, apart from Karachi, they would have known that many terrorists would melt away into the cities, as too India and Afghanistan. But fighting guerilla wars in cities is another kettle of fish. It could cause great destruction and loss of innocent civilian lives. Just look at Aleppo and Mosul: all rubble. 

 

Some wiseacres say that the launching of the countrywide military operation is a hidden coup — a coup behind a veil. Good, because the usual upfront coup will come to a cropper as usual, not because the army as a whole lacks patriotism but because of lack of understanding of how to run a complicated and diverse country like Pakistan. They’re not trained for it.

 

A useful coincidence is that the army will also be conducting the much-delayed countrywide census beginning next month from March. Perfect time for it not only to count all citizens but also to check all abodes for hidden weapons and terrorists.

 

I’ll not even try to address the mindless question whether the “army and the civilian government are on the same page”. Patently they are not; else either the prime minister or at least his interior minister would have announced the operation. The prime minister is wasting time gallivanting in Turkey; the interior minister is nowhere to be seen. The prime minister was obviously not even asked; he was just informed and there was precious little he could do about it. That is the fruit of dereliction of duty.

 

To underline how wonky our priorities have become, most people are taken up with the irrelevant question of holding the final of the cricket Pakistan Super League in Lahore. What will that prove? It will require the waste of time of many law enforcement personnel apart from a colossal waste of money that could be better used in improving the human condition. They think that it will prove that Pakistan is not a terrorism-prone country. Tell that to the sailors. Yes, it will further bloat a lot of already bloated egos and prolong many a job of the unfit, that’s all.

 

To be sure what’s happening in Pakistan is not in a vacuum. It is part of the great global change that is taking place, the shift of the political, military and economic center of gravity from east to west. Which side the camel sits on and what color the new skin the Leviathan takes remains to be seen, but at the risk of sounding racist, it could be yellow and the world could be eating with chopsticks in the not too distant future. I love China and the Chinese.

 

humayun.gauhar786@gmail.com

 

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Conflict & Justice Why India’s minister of women thinks we need to accept marital rape

Brides display their hands painted with henna during a mass wedding ceremony in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.

Credit:

Amit Dave

 

 

 

 

NEW DELHI, India — One in every four Indians is illiterate, and one out of every five lives below the poverty line. Many in the country are deeply religious.

These qualities turn ominous when they make it easier to get away with raping a woman in her own home.

While laws on domestic violence and rape exist in India, rape in the domestic sphere remains unacknowledged. India is one of the few countries in the world that have yet to criminalize marital rape, despite studies and statistics that show a terrifyingly high incidence. Earlier this month, the explanation for this oversight came from an unexpected source.

“The concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context,” said Maneka Gandhi, the minister for women and child development, in response to a question posed to her in Parliament, “due to the level of illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament, etc.”  

 

Gandhi could not be reached this week to clarify what she meant.

But she was repeating, word for word, the Indian home minister’s answer to a similar question last April. The government officials seem to be saying that too many Indians aren’t ready to believe rape can happen within a marriage. Critics consider that idea laughable.

“The illiteracy and poverty arguments are foolish. Doctors face violence, judges face violence, lawyers face violence,” said Monika Joshi, a legal consultant with Maitri, an NGO that works with vulnerable women including victims of domestic violence. “[Former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] R. K. Pachauri sexually harassed an employee, isn’t he educated?”

Mallarika Sinha Roy, a professor of women’s studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, pointed out that given the high frequency of marital rape found by multiple studies in India, it is unlikely that the crime is limited by economic status.

More from GlobalPostA student suicide is forcing India to talk about caste

“Illiteracy and poverty being cited as rationalization [to not criminalize marital rape] will not hold to reason, because many people belonging to those sections are more vulnerable to rape,” said Roy. “Poverty has nothing to do with people’s level of understanding of sexual violence, particularly women who actually every day show incredible substance and acumen in surviving.”

And if the government’s citation of India’s social customs and values refers to a higher moral standard that would somehow prevent marital rape, social workers find that the reverse is more likely. According to Joshi, who is also a social worker, customs that teach both boys and girls that consent isn’t relevant in a marriage have in fact forced women to accept marital rape as a norm.

“Women never use the word ‘rape’ when they talk about their husbands. They say ‘he was forceful and I didn’t like it, but I just lay there because I did not want to be beaten,’” said Joshi.

The social values that expect women to provide sex after marriage also expect them to abstain from sex before. India’s controversial and recently outlawedtwo-finger test” was, before 2014, an accepted test of a rape victim’s habituation to sex. Some have interpreted the government’s citation of “values” as a reference to the difficulty of proving rape against a married, sexually active woman.

Women protest in New Delhi against virginity tests in India’s Madhya Pradesh and Kerala states, July 29, 2009.

Indira Jaising, a prominent human rights lawyer at the Indian Supreme Court, pointed out that these moral standards on premarital sex cannot apply under judicial consideration.

“Courts are accustomed to dealing with rape of sexually active women in the case of a stranger perpetrating the rape, so why should there be a problem with married women?” she said. 

While sex is considered a spouse’s right in India — denying it is grounds for divorce — it’s not one that trumps a woman’s rights over her own body, Jaising said. The ministry’s reference to “religious beliefs” making marital rape impossible therefore rings hollow.

“The constitution does not visualize a situation where two rights conflict, there is always a way of giving full effect to both rights. There can be no conflict between the right to practice religion and the right to bodily autonomy for a woman, they must coexist. No religion sanctions rape, be it of your own wife.”

Yet acknowledging marital rape is considered a threat to the very concept of marriage, considered a “sacrament” in India. Joshi, however, insists that criminalizing marital rape will only strengthen the institution.

“When we teach people that respect and equality is important, that marriage is trust, it will strengthen the institution of marriage, not break it,” she said. 

Reference

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India: The New Face of Global Terrorism

 

 

 

Research and Analysis Wing of India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Congressman: Declare India a Terrorist State, Congratulates Council of Khalistan on It’s 11th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, October 8 — “The United States must declare India a terrorist state,” said Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) in a Congressional statement on October 6. He cited a recent statement by Kuldip Nayar, a member of the Rajiya Sabha, the upper house of India’s Parliament, that a Pakistani attack on the village of Doda was an act of retaliation for India’s actions in the Pakistani state of Sindh. “Nayar, a veteran journalist and former Indian Ambassador to the United Kingdom who is now a member of the upper house of India’s Parliament, admitted that India is a terrorist state,” Congressman Towns said. “How long will it take for America to admit it?” “Unfortunately, Mr. Nayar’s remarks ignore another aspect of Indian state terrorism: the tyranny it has inflicted on the Sikhs, the Christians of Nagaland, the Muslims of Kashmir, and others,” Representative Towns said. The Indian government has murdered more than 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, over 200,000 Christians in Nagaland since 1947, about 60,000 Muslims in Kashmir since 1988, and tens of thousands of Assamese, Manipuris, Tamils, Dalits the aboriginal people of South Asia), and others. Over 50,000 Sikhs have “disappeared” and thousands languish in Indian jails, some since 1984. In November 1984, the Hitavada newspaper reported that the Indian government paid the late Governor of Punjab, $1.5 billion to foment state terrorism. Recently, the VHP, an organization affiliated with the ruling BJP, publicly endorsed the rape of four nuns in Madhya Pradesh. “In this light, the United States must declare India a terrorist state,” Towns said. “We must then impose all the sanctions that we impose on a terrorist state. This will be a good step towards ending the terrorism and restoring freedom to all the people of South Asia,” he added. Congressman Towns also took note of the anniversary of the Sikh Nation’s declaration of an independent Khalistan and the formation of the Council of Khalistan. “I congratulate the Council and its President, Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, on this important occasion,” he said. “The Sikhs have a history of self-rule,” Representative Towns said. “They ruled Punjab from 1765 and 1849 and were recognized by most of the world’s major countries. They were promised an independent state at the time of India’s independence,” Towns said, “but were given false promises to keep them within India’s artificial borders. Not one Sikh representative has ever signed the Indian constitution to this day, 51 years later,” he said. “Now the Sikhs seek to reclaim their national status.” “When the Serbian dictator institutes a campaign of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Bosnia or Kosovo, we recognize that this is a clear example of a government which is destroying liberty, not upholding it,” Towns said, “yet when India commits genocide against Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, and others, many members of this House proudly defend it as ‘the world’s largest democracy’,” he said. “On behalf of the Sikh Nation, I thank Congressman Towns for his comments,” said Dr. Aulakh. “India has spent over a billion dollars to foment state terrorism. I thank Congressman Towns for exposing this brutal regime. Leaders like Ed Towns are helping to bring freedom closer for all the people of South Asia,” he said.

Anniversary of Council of Khalistan

WASHINGTON, October 6 — Wednesday, October 7 marks the eleventh anniversary of Khalistan’s declaration of independence and the founding of the Council of Khalistan. The Council of Khalistan serves as the government pro tempore of Khalistan. It leads the peaceful, democratic, nonviolent struggle to liberate Khalistan from Indian occupation. The Council of Khalistan has made the Western world aware of the plight of the Sikh Nation, preserved Sikh history, assisted asylum applicants, exposed the atrocities of the Indian government and the betrayal of the Sikh Nation by the Akali government, produced more written material than any other Sikh organization, and consistently promoted the cause of Sikh freedom. “We are very proud of our achievements over the past eleven years,” said Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, President of the Council of Khalistan. “No other Sikh organization has been a consistent voice for the well-being of the Sikh Nation for so long,” he said. “We could not have done it without the support of the Khalsa Panth,” he said. “We thank the Sikh Nation for supporting us for eleven years and I ask for your continued support until the job is done.” Because of the efforts of the Council of Khalistan, the U.S. Congress has been made aware of the plight of the Sikh Nation. When Prime Minister Vajpayee came to the United Nations in New York, he was blasted in Congress by Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) Towns noted the flyer circulated at the demonstration, which said that “the Indian government’s main mission is Hindu, Hindi, Hindustan. There is no room for Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, or Christians. A religiously intolerant government can never be democratic.” He called for a plebiscite on independence in Punjab, Khalistan. On October 2, U.S. Congressman John Doolittle (R-Cal.) issued a statement condemning the rape of four nuns in Madhya Pradesh. “This terrible incident shows that it is not safe to be a member of a religious minority in Hindu India,” he said. “India’s claims of secularism and democracy are suspect.” He urged Congress to “maintain pressure on India until all the people of South Asia are free” and called for “self-determination for all states throughout the subcontinent.” Congressman Towns also made a statement noting the remarks of Sharad Pawar, the Leader of the Opposition in the Indian Lok Sabha (Parliament) that India could go the way of the Soviet Union. “Pawar said that India’s missiles should not make it overconfident about keeping the country together,” Congressman Towns said. “The decline of India is inevitable, Mr. Speaker, for many of the same reasons that doomed the Soviet Union,” Towns said. “I think I speak for most of us here when I say that I hope it happens in a peaceful way like the Soviet breakup did. Otherwise there is the danger of another Yugoslavia in South Asia.” All three statements mentioned Dr. Aulakh and the Council of Khalistan. The Indian government has murdered more than 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, over 200,000 Christians in Nagaland since 1947, almost 60,000 Kashmiri Muslims since 1988, and tens of thousands of Assamese, Tamils, Manipuris, Dalits, and others. The U.S. State Department reported that the Indian government paid over 41,000 cash bounties to police officers for killing Sikhs. The police have abducted more than 50,000 young Sikhs, tortured and murdered them, then their bodies were declared unidentified and cremated. The only way for the Sikh Nation to live in peace and progress is to free Khalistan.

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