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Indo-US-Afghan collusion hinders peace by Asif Haroon Raja

Indo-US-Afghan collusion hinders peace

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pakistan’s strained relations with India-Afghanistan

Pakistan’s bilateral relations with its eastern and western neighbours severely deteriorated after Narendra Modi led BJP took over power in June 2014. From 2015 onwards the two arch rivals have been engaged in low-intensity war. The Line of Control and Working Boundary in Kashmir has been kept bloody and on the boil by India. Terrorism in Baluchistan and FATA that had been controlled has been reinvigorated by India. She is resorting to covert war, water terrorism and hybrid war in collusion with Afghanistan. Nefarious activities of the duo are fully backed by USA and Israel.

Indian Prime Minister Modi used anti-Pakistan slogans for rallying the support of radicalized Hindus during the last state elections in India and later for national elections. He blamed Pakistan to hide his internal weaknesses and socio-economic failures. Ashraf Ghani-Abdullah Unity Government in Kabul has also constantly blamed Pakistan to camouflage its failure of establishing its writ in eastern and southern Afghanistan.

Despite the baseless allegations, the Pakistani ruling elite continues with its efforts to engage both the neighbours constructively for regional peace and prosperity and has considered the policy of appeasement as the best option to keep the two antagonists as well as the USA in good humour. Though Islamabad did its best to engage constructively with both New Delhi and Kabul, yet it failed due to Modi’s domestic political priorities and President Ghani’s internal political and security challenges.

RAW-NDS collusion

The bloody terrorist attacks in Lahore in February 2017 followed by another attack on a Sufi shrine in Sindh sponsored by RAW-NDS forced Pakistan to launch Operation Raddul Fasaad to complement Operation Zarb-e-Azb to destroy the terrorist sanctuaries located on Afghanistan-Pakistan border as well as sleeping cells in urban centres and to nab facilitators and handlers. In addition, Pakistan intensified its border management undertakings. The two main border crossings at Torkhum and Chaman were closed and border management improved to prevent infiltration.

In April 2017, Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesperson of the Tehreek-e-Taliban’s (TTP) splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, surrendered to Pakistan Army. He claimed that RAW and NDS were supporting terrorist groups by imparting training and providing funds, weapons, equipment and intelligence to subvert the internal security of Pakistan. Pak Army is now fencing the entire length of western border much to the chagrin of USA, India, Afghanistan, the three states sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. Concurrently, Islamabad is endeavouring to convince the Taliban to hold talks with Unity regime in Kabul.

BJP’s hate-filled politics

The biggest problem while dealing with New Delhi is the prevalent xenophobic domestic Indian political atmosphere. From 2017 till May 2019 elections, Premier Modi used warmongering as a tactic for mustering the support of radicalized hawkish Hindu voters and to win the elections comprehensively. With this objective, his party adopted a vicious policy against the Indian Muslims. 

The BJP’s hate-filled politics against the minorities, particularly the Muslims, due to which lynching of Muslims and low-caste Dalits for eating beef and slaughtering and trading in cattle had risen, adding to the anxiety of India’s 170-million-strong Muslim population, didn’t dent BJP vote bank or the popularity of Modi among near 80% Hindus. Under Modi, several cities with names rooted in India’s Islamic Mughal past have been re-named, while some school textbooks have been changed to downplay Muslims’ contributions to India. The trend of marrying Muslims girls by Hindus is on the increase and so is the process of Hinduization. 

Kashmir imbroglio

Kashmir is the bleeding wound of India where its 750,000 are pinned down since 1990. After the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in July 2016, Indian security forces and the RSS gangs unleashed a reign of terror and employed all sorts of horribly cruel tools including pellet guns to crush the movement. The innocent Kashmiris have been persistently suffering from the brutality of the Indian armed forces. After Pulwama incident, the level of atrocities has increased. Despite the worst type of state terrorism and human rights abuses, the Indian civilian and military law enforcement agencies have failed to restore the writ of the state in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). The demoralization among the lower ranks has set in as was seen in 2004-05 and cases of suicides are multiplying.

Modi has made plans to rob IOK of its special status by revoking Article 370. He also has devious plans up his sleeves to change the demography of IOK by settling Hindu Pundits, Indian retired officers and soldiers and Kashmiri refugees; and also to carry out ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri youth or force them to leave IOK. 

Kulbushan discomforts India

Another major irritant which has greatly upset India is the arrest of Indian Naval Officer, Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav on March 3, 2016, in Baluchistan. He had been working for RAW at Chahbahar since 2003. The death sentence awarded to him by the military court in 2017 has further disturbed RAW and Indian hawks. Kulbushan admitted that he was involved in terrorism and other subversive activities and had established big networks in Baluchistan and Karachi. Indians have been seeking his release but Pakistan has not relented. This could be one reason for India’s constant browbeating tactics and refusing to talk with Pakistan.

Hindutva

The other reason is BJP’s penchant for Hindutva. The resumption of a dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad is not acceptable to the preachers and followers of Hindutva.

India’s leniency toward Hindu terror groups

While India has all along accused Pakistan of abetting terrorism without providing a shred of evidence and has constantly pressed Pakistan to punish the proscribed groups like Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e Taiba and Jamaatud Dawa, allegedly involved in terrorism in India and IOK and has succeeded in blacklisting them, India has always been lenient towards its own Hindu terrorists groups which over 1000.

On June 13, the Bombay High Court granted bail to the accused – Dhan Singh, Lokesh Sharma, Manohar Narwaria and Rajendra Chaudhary, who were in prison since 2013. Four Hindu suspects, who were prime accused in the 2006 terror bombing case that killed 37 people in a Muslim town of Malegaon.

The serial bomb blasts near a mosque had also injured 100 people. Local police initially arrested nine Muslims, accusing them of engineering blasts. But, when the probe was shifted to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it concluded that the blasts were carried out by the Hindu extremists.

In connection with another terror attack in Bhopal in 2008, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and former Lt Col Srikanth Purohit were arrested in connection with the incident. Both of them are out on the bail. Thakur recently won parliamentary elections, she contested on the ruling BJP ticket, from Bhopal.

Swami Aseemanand (real name Naba Kumar), linked to RSS is an ideological mentor of BJP. He and three other co-accused Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary were blamed for three terror attacks. All four who had confessed their crimes were acquitted early this year by an anti-terror court in Haryana in the February 18, 2007 bombing of the Samjhota Express that left 86 people dead, mostly Pakistanis. Last year Aseemanand was among five men acquitted in the 2007 blast in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid. In 2017, he was acquitted in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. An Indian court has now ordered the release of four Hindu suspects, who were prime accused in the 2006 terror bombing case in Malegaon.

It has now been amply proved that the much-publicized Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, was an in-house affair. Till today, India has consistently blamed Pakistan and has refused to open dialogue until and unless Pakistan agrees to keep terrorism over the issue of Kashmir.

Books written on this subject – namely ‘Betrayal of India’ by Elios Davidson, ‘The Attack on Mumbai’ by Vir Sanghvi, and ‘’The Siege’ by Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrien Levy have laid bare the truth that it was a joint venture of RAW-Mossad and CIA to discredit Pak Army and Kashmiri movement and to get Pakistan declared a terrorist state. And yet India has never been questioned. Same is the case with false flag operation in Udhampur, Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama, all engineered to hide the cruelties of India in IOK and to dub the liberation movement in Kashmir as Islamic radicalism duly supported by Pakistan.

Pakistan has ample proofs

With Kulbushan and Ehsanullah have divulged the entire racket of RAW-NDS against Pakistan with its tentacles spread from Iran, Pakistan’s coastal belt to Afghanistan, what more proof is needed to prove that the duo backed by the USA are the real source of instability in Af-Pak region and much-maligned Pakistan is the victim of terrorism.

India’s jingoism

The biggest problem while dealing with New Delhi is the prevalent jingoistic domestic Indian political atmosphere. Premier Modi, during the last year state elections campaign, used warmongering as a tactic for mustering the support of radicalized hawkish Hindu voters. The BJP secured a majority in the important state elections and constituted its governments. The campaign, however, amplified anti-Pakistan feelings in Indian society.

BJP’s landslide victory

Modi led BJP surprised the world by bagging 303 votes in the Lower House of 543. The BJP’s main rival Congress, couldn’t win a single seat in 13 states and five union territories. Congress managed to secure 52 seats only which was an 8-seat improvement over last elections. Rahul Gandhi – the great-grandson, grandson and son of three premiers, even lost his own seat in Amethi, a family bastion but managed to win a seat in Kerala. Congress BJP’s landslide win has crushed the Gandhi dynasty’s comeback hopes. Rahul tamely threw in his towel after the election results were announced.

Modi’s victory attributable to Pakistan bashing

Modi achieved a landslide victory because of his Pakistan rhetoric, aggressive policies against Indian Muslims and Kashmiri Muslims, and lies and false promises and not on performance. He won despite being likened to Hitler, a compulsive liar and a “gutter insect”, alleged corruption in a Rafael defense deal, the desperate plight of farmers, the lackluster economy and humiliations suffered at the hands of Pakistan in September 2016 on account of fake surgical strike, and then in the aftermath of stage-managed Pulwama attack in February 2019. In fact, killings of over 40 soldiers in Pulwama on February 14 incensed the Hindus, escalated Hindu extremism and further bolstered BJP’s votes.

 

 

 

 

The air intrusion in Balakot on February 27 was a complete fiasco since the Mirage 2000s with Israel-made Spyke missiles could uproot few pine trees only, but Modi helped by Indian media claimed it as a roaring success, falsely claiming destruction of Jaish-e-Muhammad camp and killing over 300 militants. He roared, “Wherever the terror groups and perpetrators may hide, our security forces will flush them out and punish them. Every drop of blood of our slain soldiers shall be avenged.”

These high-sounding rhetoric made the Indian public ecstatic and hysteric. Exploiting their sentiments, Modi named himself as the Chowkidar (Watchman) and the only who can defend India and make it great.

 

Indo-Afghan hostility hinders peace  

Surely, the continuity of such collusive nefarious activities of NDS-RAW would not be tolerable for the sake of dialogue process. Although the Afghan Unity Government constantly levels baseless allegations against Pakistan to camouflage its own failure, yet Islamabad is determined to engage Kabul for cordial bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

India has inflicted tens of thousands of cuts on the body of Pakistan and has openly expressed her desire to break Pakistan into four parts, and yet Pakistani leadership is bending over backwards to resume dialogue with India which has been wholly unproductive due to Indian intransigence and deep-rooted hatred.

Will Modi fulfil his promises? 

Now that Modi is firmly in the saddle, will he fulfil his unaccomplished promises? Will he be able to make India Great as claimed by him? Will he be able to tackle the economy and unemployment which has surged up particularly among the women? Will he create a higher number of jobs needed? Can he address wealth inequalities? The agriculture industry is also in an awful state. Drought, low prices of agriculture products and heavy debts have driven thousands of farmers to commit suicide. The country’s waterways are filthy and India is home to 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities. Open latrines and millions sleeping on footpaths are other unresolved problems. Religious minorities – including India’s 170 million Muslims – are terrified and feeling insecure.

Will he continue persecuting the minorities or balm their wounds to integrate the heterogeneous society which is an ethnic museum? Will he exploit his brute majority to revoke Article 370 and make IOK integral part of India, or allow the Kashmiris their right of self-termination? Will he continue to tread on the beaten path of jingoism, whipping up war hysteria and keeping the people mesmerized in a mythical world in pursuit of his mission to make Pakistan a compliant state, and become a world power, or else adopt a saner approach and adopt a reconciliatory approach in the overall interest of South Asia?

India has once again shown her mindset by trying to influence FATF to blacklist Pakistan. China, Turkey and Malaysia thwarted the baleful move. India can never achieve her ambitions by beating war drums and adopting a confrontationist approach.   

It is most unfortunate that the US-Israel-Afghan-India nexus is a collection of spoilers who have chosen the path of hostility, which is bound to lead to catastrophic results. Sudden rise in temperature in the Persian Gulf stoked by the USA has added to the gravity of the situation. Conversely, Russia-China-Central Asian Republics-Pakistan and ASEAN vie for co-existence, peace and collective prosperity and are placing their hopes in BRI and CPEC.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered a great deal on account of wars imposed by outsiders in Afghanistan and making Pakistan a frontline state. Both earnestly need peace. No peace is possible in the region without the resolution of the dispute in Kashmir and end of the war in Afghanistan. Therefore, it’s imperative that Russia, China, Turkey, Iran should play a constructive role in resolving the two issues.

Modi seems to have climbed down the high horse he was riding and has asked Pakistan to rebuild trust and develop enabling environment for progress in ties. This whiff of fresh air has come in response to two letters written by Imran Khan. He, however, once again reiterated that for cooperative ties, it was important to build an environment free of terror, violence and hostility. Coming months will indicate the seriousness of Modi’s apparent desire for re-engagement. 

To conclude, the mistrust hinders constructive engagement. Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan need to appreciate the usefulness of the connectivity between the neighbours for the prosperity of their people. All three should disperse the clouds of distrust and hatred and build trust, bring in amity and cooperation. Enduring peace and stability in South Asia hinge on the resolution of the long-pending dispute of Kashmir and end of the war in Afghanistan.

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, member CWC and Think Tank Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society, member Executive Council Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan. asifharoonraja@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

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The attack on the Chinese Consulate: Main Target is Pak-China CPEC Project By Sajjad Shaukat

INDIAN INTELLIGENCE AGENCY 

RAW TERRORISM IN PAKISTAN

Background Reading

KARACHI – Indian intelligence RAW is alleged to be behind the terrorist attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi.

Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) In-Charge Raja Umar Khattab on Saturday said Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was behind the attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi.

“Such an attack could not be executed without reconnaissance. An investigation is underway to find out from where the terrorists arrived,” he said while talking to media.

Umar Khattab said the presence of commander of the proscribed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) Aslam alias Acchu in India was being investigated.

The BLA had claimed responsibility of the attack on the Chinese consulate and Aslam was the mastermind behind it. Aslam is currently being treated at Max Hospital in New Delhi. He had fled to India immediately after being injured in an operation by the Pakistani forces in Balochistan’s Sibi district.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The attack on the Chinese Consulate: Main Target is Pak-China CPEC Project

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Pakistan’s security forces successfully foiled an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on November 23, this year.

 

In the exchange of firing, two policemen were martyred, including two civilians, as three gunmen tried to enter the consulate around 9:30 am but were intercepted by security guards at a checkpoint.

 

Karachi Police Chief Dr Amir Shaikh said, “Three suspected suicide bombers were killed before they were able to enter the facility as forces successfully foiled the attack…They could not even get in the compound. They tried to get into the visa section…The men came to the consulate in a car which was loaded with explosives.”

 

The clearance operation was initially led by a female Police Officer Assistant Superintendent of Police Suhai Talpur. Her courage has been greatly appreciated by the top officials of Pakistan.

 

On the same day, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “All staff members of the Chinese consulate remained safe in the attack…It was a cowardly attempt by terrorists.”

 

The Director-General of the Inter-Services Publication Directorate (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor also confirmed by saying, “Terrorists attempted to enter Chinese consulate. Rangers and police have got control. Three terrorists killed. All Chinese are safe”. He also stated, “Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed grief at the martyrdom of two policemen in the attempted attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi’s Clifton area, hailing their sacrifice for the greater cause of protecting the citizens.”

 

While ordering an immediate inquiry regarding the assault on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack, terming it as a conspiracy against Pak-China economic and strategic relations. He stated, “The elements and motives behind this attack should be uncovered…the nation is proud of the prompt action of the Rangers and police…who were martyred foiling the attack.”

 

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry condemned the assault on the Chinese consulate in Karachi and labelled it a “conspiracy”, targeting Pakistan-China socioeconomic and strategic ties.” He added, “Such incidents cannot hinder the friendship between the two neighbours.”

 

Almost all the leaders of the mainstream political and religious parties condemned the foiled assault on the Chinese consulate in Karachi and hailed the role of the security forces in this respect.

 

Besides, the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ambassador Geng Shuang stated on the same day of the incident, “China strongly condemned the attack on its consulate in Karachi all consular staff and their families were safe following the shooting…We highly appreciate the efforts of the Pakistani side…The Chinese embassy in Pakistan has extended condolences over the martyrdom of two Pakistani policemen and said any attempt to undermine China-Pakistan friendship is doomed to fail…the attack would not affect Beijing’s commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which seeks to connect its western province Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, in Balochistan….China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners.”

 

It is notable that a separatist group of the Balochistan province, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility of the failed terror attempt on the Chinese consulate in Karachi through a tweet.  However, such claims of responsibility have no material value because all such anti-state elements always try to score numbers when an incident like this occurs.

 

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media and reliable sources disclosed that mastermind of the terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi—Aslam alias Achu is a commander of BLA and is currently receiving medical treatment at Max Hospital in the Indian capital New Delhi.

 

Undoubtedly, it shows the connections of the Indian secret agency RAW in relation to the failed attempt at the Chinese consulate of Karachi.

 

In another terror-related incident, on the same day, at least 35 people were killed and 50 wounded in a blast in Kalaya area of lower Orakzai district in Hangu.

 

It is significant that armed forces of Pakistan have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad which have also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan. And Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting several terror attempts. But, in the recent past and during the election-campaign of 2019, blasts in Balochistan and other regions of the country, including the latest ones in Hangu and especially at the Chinese consulate in Karachi show that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage especially to destabilize Pakistan and to damage the CPEC which is their main target— particularly of India and America.  

 

Notably, the assassination of religious clear Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the “Father of the Taliban” on November 2, this year in Islamabad was part of the same scheme to weaken Pakistan, also since Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.

 

It is mentionable that during the successful four-day visit of Premier Khan to China, Beijing on November 2, 2018, reportedly agreed to provide USD 6 billion in aid to cash-strapped Pakistan to minimise its dependence on an IMF bailout package. A loan of USD 1.5 billion is also expected to be offered, along with an additional package of USD three billion for CPEC. The loan and the investments were reportedly part of the USD six billion packages. According to the joint statement, released on November 4, 2018, the two sides also signed fifteen Agreements/MoUs on a range of bilateral issues.

Pakistan and China also agreed to trade in their local currencies in an effort to reduce dependence on the US dollar. Particularly, Pakistan will save more than 12 billion dollars annually by importing goods in its local currency.

 

It is noteworthy that it is the first time in the history of Pakistan that on November 20, 2018, the government led by P.M Imran Khan refused to accept tough conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a financial bailout package. Besides, other tough conditions such as a further increase in power tariffs, the imposition of more taxes and so on, especially, the condition of sharing details related to Chinese financial assistance was also rejected. In fact, IMF is controlled by America, which has always imposed tough conditions to release loans in order to further destabilize Pakistan by targeting the general masses.  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

In this regard, repeated threats of the US President Donald Trump and top American officials to Islamabad and other moves like suspension of latter’s aid were part of the same scheme to thwart the CPEC.

 

The fact is that Indian lobbies which are well-penetrated in the US administration and Europe, research centres, think tanks and so-called human rights groups utilize the media tools in defaming Pakistan internationally. Especially, Indian RAW is availing the opportunity of the US-led organized propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Now, CPEC is a special target of these hostile entities.

 

The reality is that when Gwadar seaport becomes fully operational, it would connect the landlocked Central Asian states with the rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase the volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan like the Suez Canal which changed the destiny of Egypt when Israel returned it to the former. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Gwadar project which is the backbone of the CPEC will uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, including developments in other provinces by providing thousands of employment opportunities, particularly to the less developed areas by redressing their grievances. The resulting prosperity in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan would damp the separatist sentiments of the people, which the hostile elements, supported by the US, India and Israeli do not want. Therefore, these entities and their media describe the CPEC in negative terms.

 

As a matter of fact, since the occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO forces, the country has become the centre of CIA, RAW and Israeli Mossad which are in connivance to obtain the Create in our bonds of genuine friendship, where we can uphold each other’s rights and stand up for justice, even if we are to be witnesses against ourselves, against our children, and against our parents. Let not nationalism of one nation be the cause of injustice to any nation. Give us the courage to stand up for righteousness with the people who are rich and powerful and who possess compassionate and loving hearts to work for the poor, the destitute, the hungry, and the homeless of not only this country but of any country in any part of this world. Give us family values and a sense of responsibility to fight the crimes and drug abuse that are harming our youths and neighbourhoods.cover designs of their countries and some Western countries against Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran. Under the cover of fighting terrorism, these foreign agencies which are also in collaboration with the Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS), support the militants of ISIS and Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their linked outfits which have been conducting terror-assaults in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the secret strategy of the US-led countries. Besides, these terrorist outfits are weakening Tibetan regions of China and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan through subversive activities.

 

Notably, on March 24, 2016, Pakistan’s security forces disclosed that they arrested the serving agent of RAW in Balochistan. During investigation and in a video, shown on Pakistan’s TV channels, RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav confessed that “he was the agent of RAW” and “during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” project. Yadav admitted that he spied for India and was “assigned with the task to create unrest in Karachi and Balochistan.”

 

Nevertheless, one must evoke as to who could be the prime beneficiary of such an action against the Chinese in Pakistan. These are those elements who do not want to see Pakistan– China cooperation which has put the country on the road to progress.

 

In this connection, P.M. Imran Khan’s very successful visit to China and the advancements in the CPEC are of great distress and discomfort for those who do not want to see such initiatives, taking place between the two countries. In simple words, this attack at the Chinese consulate was an attack on the CPEC and Pak-China friendship.

 

It is worth mentioning that Karachi, the financial capital of Pakistan, reportedly has a number of sleeping cells being operated by RAW, NDS and other hostile intelligence agencies. It is evident that the terrorist was part of these sleeping cells. Pakistan’s investigation units and intelligence agencies have already pointed out that such cells are being operated by RAW, NDS and other hostile agencies in Karachi.

 

In the recent years, these anti-Pakistan secret agencies have been conducting frequent attacks on the Pakistani forces and Chinese manpower working in Pakistan as well as on projects being completed under CPEC is going to change the fate of the people of this region especially Pakistan.

 

China and the US are pitched against each other on a trade war. Asia and especially this region, is the economic future of the world, have gained the attention of the world powers. This is the reason, why America has been spending billions of dollars just to stay in Afghanistan, despite the tremendous reverses being faced by the Americans. This interest goes to the extent where the US is now ready to even negotiate with their biggest adversary, the Taliban, just to maintain their presence in Afghanistan under the nose of China and Pakistan.

 

India being the collation partner of the US has opened 22 consulates in Afghanistan to counter the economic prosperity of Pakistan and CPEC and for working hands in glove with the NDS to generate unrest in Pakistan through sabotage and terrorism.

 

It means that being the future economic hub, this region; particularly Pakistan could face more terrorism-related events in the coming days. So, it is in their collective interests that both Islamabad and Beijing should remain focused on their economic goals and remain steadfast to meet similar future challenges.  

 

Again, it is pointed out that initial operation at the Chinese consulate was led by a female Police Officer ASP Suhai Talpur, which proves that Pakistani girls and women folks are on the forefront to defeat evil designs of CIA-RAW-NDS nexus.

 

Related image

 

Police Officer ASP Suhai Talpur

-who led the operation against Indian RAW trained ISIS terrorists, infiltrated from Afghanistan in Sindh

 

We can conclude that the CPEC is the main target of the foiled attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi.

 

Note: I have updated my similar article.

 

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

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

 

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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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