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India a regional wild bull Asif Haroon Raja

India a regional wild bull

Asif Haroon Raja

India occupies a unique position in the South Asian region by dint of occupying nearly 72 percent of the land surface in South Asia, being a home of 77 percent of the region’s population, and accounting for nearly 75 percent of the regional economic output. It has the third largest Army (1,325,000) in the world and its economy is ranked 10th strongest ($2.0 trillion). Notwithstanding its political, economic and military prowess, India is viewed as a hegemonic power by all her six neighbors – from Bangladesh in the east to Pakistan in the west, from Nepal and Bhutan in the north to Sri Lanka in the south since all the six South Asian States have suffered at the hands of India.

Indian political scientist (late) Dr. Bhabani Sen Gupta wrote in the India Today April 30, 1984, “The Indian elephant cannot transform itself into a mouse. If South Asia is to get itself out of the crippling binds of conflicts and cleavages, the six neighbors will have to accept the bigness of the seventh. And the seventh, that is India, will have to prove to the six that big can indeed be beautiful.” India instead chose to become a wild bull suiting her inner chemistry.

Drunk with power, India would not hesitate to attack a country if it were in her interest to do so and if she felt that the other side was too weak to resist. Indian leaders are staunch followers of infamous Chanakya (author of Arthasastra during Chandragupta rule) and they feel no penitence in implementing the deceitful policies of their Guru to undermine the neighboring countries in pursuit of their geo-economic interests. Believing in the dictum ‘everything is fair in love and war’, they befriend the enemy of the neighbor, carryout false flag operations, create misgivings through propaganda war, anarchy and destabilization through covert operations and put their sins in the basket of others.

RAW is notorious for conducting clandestine operations in the neighborhood. Once India fails to assert its authority through coercion, it then projects itself as the big brother to draw brotherly respect from younger brothers. Its behavior as a big brother however leaves much to be desired. Rather than earning respect by behaving maturely and generously, it behaves arrogantly and expects one-sided respect and concessions. It has believed in the policy of taking all and giving nothing in return. It considers unilateral concessions as its birthright.

By the virtue of its size, economic potential and military power, India claims a regional leadership position for herself, while her South Asian neighbors accuse her of exercising hegemony. Her neighbors that have been repeatedly bitten have reasons to complain. India has frequently resorted to military force in the region and is the initiator of terrorism. It befriended Mukti Bahini in East Pakistan and then treacherously split Pakistan into two in 1971. India ousted the Ranas in Nepal and put King Tribhuvan on the throne in 1950. India pressed him to sign a treaty of peace and friendship that is viewed by many Nepalese politicians as imperialist. India trained the Tamil Tigers to kick-start a rebellion in Sri Lanka in 1983 which raged till 2009. India restored Prime Minister Gayoom’s rule during the attempted military coup in Maldives in 1988. India didn’t spare even Bangladesh which she helped in gaining independence in 1971 and pitched Chakma rebels (Shanti Bahini) against Gen Ziaur Rahman government and subsequent regimes. Hasina Wajid, daughter of Mujibur Rahman is in India’s best books. To please India and hurt Pakistan, she has undertaken farcical trials of aged Jamaat-e-Islami leaders allegedly involved in war crimes during 1971 war and some have been hanged.

 

 

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In terms of forcible seizure and land grab, India has occupied Muslim-majority J&K (October 1947), Muslim-ruled Hyderabad (1948), Portuguese-administered Dadra & Nagar Haveli (1954), and Goa, Diu & Daman (1961), and Buddhist-ruled Sikkim (1975) through a surfeit of vicious and fraudulent means, often discounting people’s wishes. For instance, an opinion poll by CSDS in 2007 showed that 87% of people in the Kashmir Valley didn’t want to live under India. And yet, India, the so-called largest democracy in our world, has no wish to hold such a referendum in the occupied territories.

In violation of the UN Resolutions and pledge given by Nehru, India stubbornly clings to the occupied territory and claim it as integral part of India. In order to retain her illegal occupation, India has stationed 750,000 occupying forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir and has subjected the hapless Kashmiris to a reign of terror. To keep Pakistan restrained from voicing concern and seeking a plebiscite, India waged a massive proxy war in FATA and Balochistan in 2003 which is still continuing and is now resorting to water terrorism. India has water disputes with Bangladesh and Nepal.

The neighbors see India as an overbearing oppressor and a rogue, which uses her territories to dump poor quality Indian goods while putting unnecessary restrictions to exporting their goods into India. SAARC has not progressed essentially because of India’s efforts to set rules of tariffs in accordance with her wishes and to monopolize the trade. All SAARC members trading with India suffer from trade deficit.

India’s policies remain myopic and short-sighted, if not self-centered and often lethal. She has failed to wipe out the pervasive negative perceptions held by all her regional neighbors. So far, from Bhabani Sen Gupta’s utopian view, India has become a regional wild bull, if not an elephant or even worse. And no one likes such a beast! Truly, the stamp of a regional hegemon is written all over India’s face. As a matter of fact with the resurgence of the Hindutva fascist forces in the national politics of India, she has the potential to become a regional pariah. And that is an ominous sign for the entire region! Just as the United States of America and Russia are hated today in many countries globally for their hegemony, so is India in South Asia.

India being an imperialist power and ruled by 2.8% Brahman rulers wants to become super power of South Asia and a world power. This ambition is essentially driven by the myth of Mahabharata, fanaticized by every Brahman. Not only Brahman leaders behave callously towards the neighbors, their behavior towards minorities in India is also atrocious. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and even low caste Hindus have suffered a great deal at the hands of Hindu extremists. India’s oppressive policies have given birth to dozens of insurgencies.

Indigenous freedom movement in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) has become a bleeding wound for India and a cause of embarrassment that despite deploying such a large force in a small Valley and using excessive force, rape and torture as tools to crush the movement for over 22 years, it has failed to extinguish the flame of liberty. Maintenance of 750,000 security forces since 1989 in IOK is a huge drain on India’s economy. So is the burden of 700,000 troops employed to fighting dozens of insurgencies/separatist movements in various parts of India.

India considers Pakistan as the lone obstacle in the way of her imperialist ambitions. India’s dangerous plan conceived after 9/11 in 2001 to denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan through proxy war has run into difficulties because of NATO’s and ANA’s inability to defeat Afghan Taliban and ISAF’s withdrawal. Increasing intimacy between USA and Pakistan as well as between new Afghan regime and Pakistan is happening at a time when Indo-Pakistan relations are sailing through choppy waters. This change in the outlook of USA trying to remove the distrust accumulated over a period of time and to rebuild friendly ties with Pakistan is vexing India. Not knowing how to disrupt growth of Pak-US and Pak-Afghan ties, India is continuing to play the terrorism card.

After heating up the LoC in Kashmir and working boundary in Sialkot sector together with abortive false flag operations, RAW in concert with elements within Afghan NDS, is using runaway Fazlullah and Khurasani to carryout terror attacks against soft targets inside Pakistan to cause maximum pain. Attack on Army Public School Peshawar was masterminded by RAW. Now targets of similar nature including DHAs and Askari colonies are listed as future targets. Several terror attacks in Balochistan in quick succession are link of the same chain to build up pressure on Pakistan and force the Army to give a breather to the FATA militants and get deflected towards the eastern border. The US must be firmly told to discipline the wild bull if it is serious in getting rid of the scourge of terrorism. At the same time, Pakistan should impress upon other South Asian States that if they desire to live as independent respectable nations and want to progress, they will have to find ways and means how to tame the wild bull.   

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran/defence analyst/columnist/book writer, Member Executive Council PESS, Director Measac Research Centre, Member Board of Governors TFP.asifharoonraja@gmail.com   

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Why India Continues Cross-border Shelling? By Sajjad Shaukat

                                    

 

 

 

Why India Continues Cross-border Shelling?

                                                          By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Since October 6, this year, India accelerated cross-border shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary (WB) and killed several innocent persons including their animals inside Pakistan. It compelled tens thousands of the residents of the villages to migrate to safe areas, with their livestock and other belongings.

 

In this regard, spokesman of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj-General Asim Bajwa said that Pakistan Rangers and troops “befittingly” responded to “unprovoked firing” by Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) and military troops. He also clarified that Pakistan’s Armed Forces are fully prepared to meet any aggression.

 

Regarding these constant violations, Pakistan government has lodged a strong protest, and also raised the issue with the UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan, asking for a visit of the observers to the affected areas.

 

Meanwhile, in India where Pakistan is accused of starting the skirmishes, leader of the fundamentalist party BJP and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi is reported to have given a free hand to the Indian forces to go on aggressively with the violations. While, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff convened a meeting of the National Security Commit­te on Oct 10, this year, and discussed the recent ceasefire violations by India at the LoC and WB.

 

It is notable that by acting upon a preplanned scheme, Indian soldiers crossed over the LoC in Kashmir on January 6, 2013 and attacked a Pakistani check post, killing one Pakistani soldier and injuring many troops. Contrarily, on December 24, 2013, New Delhi agreed for the meeting of Directors-General Military Operations (DGMOs) of both the countries, who met in Pakistan, and discussed specific measures strengthening the bilateral ceasefire mechanism across the LoC.

 

While, Islamabad and India had on November 25, 2003, agreed to observe ceasefire along all areas of WB, LoC and the Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Pakistan military indicated that Indian hostility has gradually increased since 2010 making lives of civil population living in closer vicinity of the LoC and WB difficult. Indian troops committed 86 ceasefire violations in 2011, 230 in 2012 and 414 in 2013. But, Indians have again resorted to unprovoked firing for about 224 times on both LoC and WB and killed several people on the Pakistani side this year.

 

In this context, military officials further elaborated that Indian perennial escalation across the LoC and WB is according to a deliberate plan. So question arises as to why India continues cross-border shelling inside Pakistan.

 

In fact, by promoting Hindu chauvinism on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans, extremist party, BJP won a landslide victory in the India elections 2014 by defeating the Congress. Now, BJP-led Prime Minister Modi has been implementing its party’s agenda against Pakistan. In this context, recent upsurge in skirmishes across the LoC and WB is also linked to upcoming elections in Indian occupied Kashmir, as BJP again wants to make Pakistan a scapegoat. Therefore, the border violations, accompanying hostile statements by Indian leadership are aimed at motivating support base before the elections, and even the expected delay in polls in Kashmir would provide more time to the Indian side to hype up sentiments at the cost of Pakistan. The BJP government is looking at winning a majority in the Kashmir assembly so that it could fulfill its manifesto pledge of revoking the special status, given to Kashmir under Indian constitution’s Article 370, and to strengthen its measures to annex the area.

 

As regards Indian covert aims, BJP rulers are trying to divert attention of international community from the Kashmir dispute, while, Kashmiri leaders and Pakistan have been keeping this issue in limelight.

 

In this connection, terming the support and advocacy of the right to self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmi (J&K), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), stressed for settlement of the Kashmir issue, and offered Pakistan’s readiness to endeavor for the same through negotiations. He also reminded the international community of its pledge for holding “plebiscite” in the Indian-held Kashmir, and resolves the issue in accordance with UN Charter. The speech generated appreciations from the political circles of Pakistan and Kashmir as well. It is also acknowledged that the speech is true reflection of sentiments of the people of Pakistan, who believe that peace and prosperity in south Asia is inter- linked with solution of core dispute of Kashmir between Pakistan and India.

 

Islamabad’s successful attempt at the UNGA seems to have irked Indian political, diplomatic and journalist circles. Under the growing frustration, a notoriously controversial journalist affiliated with the Indian NDTV namely Barkha Dutt engaged Pakistan’s prime minister’s special advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and managed to create a controversy through aggressive posture to make him concede that Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s meeting with the Kashmiri leadership in New Delhi was ill-timed, and affected secretary level engagements with Pakistan. No doubt, Barkha-Aziz episode has been projected, because under the pretext, India cancelled secretary level talks with Islamabad.   

 

Moreover, Indian media created an impression that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by highlighting Kashmir issue made an effort to improve relations with military establishment in the backdrop of the protesters of the sit-ins led by PTI and PAT. It also generated controversy of gray relations between political and military echelons of Pakistan. By increasing cross-border shelling, New Delhi also wants to create pressure on Islamabad and the Armed Forces in wake of present political turmoil—and military operation Zarb-e-Azb which successfully continues against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency.

 

It is of particular attention that BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swami stated on July 12, 2014 that India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution. Responding to the withdrawal of the US-led NATO forces from Afghanistan, he remarked, “Americans will hand over Afghanistan to Taliban and go…India should send at least 200,000 troops to Afghanistan.”

 

In these terms, Indian hawks think that in the aftermath of the withdrawal of NATO, they will keep their anti-Pakistan network in Afghanistan by harming the genuine interests of Pakistan which shares geographical, cultural and religious bonds with the former, and is determined to bring peace and stability there.

 

Now, as part of its blame game, India has intensified unprovoked firing at the LoC in Kashmir and WB in Sialkot to delay the Pak-India peace process, without caring for latter’s nuclear weapons.

 

Undoubtedly, every Indian government due to international pressure found it easy to make false pledges that it was willing to engage in peace process to resolve all issues like Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, Water and especially main dispute of Kashmir with Islamabad. But, New Delhi earnestly endeavored to find excuses and pretexts to cancel peace talks, while shifting the blame to Pakistan. For example, in 2002, under the pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, India postponed the dialogue process. Again, in 2008, India cancelled the ‘composite dialogue’ on the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks.

 

Particularly, on May 27, 2014 Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Prime Minister Sharif in the oath-taking ceremony proved faultless, because Modi raised baseless issues of terrorism as pre-conditions to advance the Pak-Indian dialogue. He said that slow pace of trial against the terrorists of the Mumbai 26/11 terror case; being held in Pakistan is main hurdle.

 

But, Indian prime minister ignored the fact that on July 19, 2013 the Indian former home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

 

Notably, in the recent past, United Nations Military Observer Group India and Pakistan in New Delhi was asked to vacate official accommodation, claiming that its role had become irrelevant.

 

It is also mentionable that Pakistani business community is agitated by the High handedness of Indian authorities in India, whenever they participate in trade exhibitions. As per visa protocols of year 2012, both India and Pakistan are bound to give business visa “Exemption from Police Reporting.” Recently, Pakistani delegation members were fined $ 40 per participant for missing Police reporting during trade exhibition (Alishan Pakistan), held at New Delhi from 11-14 September 2014. Besides this, no relaxation is being granted by Indian authorities in issuance of visa to Pakistani businessmen. Element of non-cooperation and aggressiveness towards Pakistan is significant in conduct of Indian authorities after the arrival of Modi regime in power.

 

Nonetheless, we can undoubtedly conclude that India continues cross-border shelling inside Pakistan so as to obtain multiple designs against the former.

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

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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India’s Election Remakes our World by Martin Wolf, Financial Times

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Excerpt:

 “First, India has shown yet again the signal virtue of democracy: the peaceful transfer of legitimate power. That this is possible in such a vast, diverse and poor country is an inspiring political achievement……

Second, Indians have rejected the dynastic politics of the Congress party, which, alas, brought to a sad end the distinguished public service of Manmohan Singh, a man I have known and admired for four decades……

Third, Mr Modi truly is a self-made man……Indians have chosen a man who promises to improve their lives. He is not chosen for his origins. That is testimony to India’s transformation over the past quarter of a century…..

This election might prove to be a big step towards the economic modernisation of India that was relaunched in 1991. But this round of reforms will also be far harder than those were…..Mr Modi remains an enigma. He is a man of action, a nationalist and a committed member of the Hindutva movement. It is hard to believe he would match Mr Singh’s emollient reaction to Pakistan’s promotion of terrorism. It is impossible to know what he might mean for India’s communal relations. Nobody knows either how far he feels obliged to the business people who funded his campaign

 

The captioned article in today’s FT is excellent and points towards the same issues that our policy makers should be focussing on .

India’s Election Remakes our World

By Martin Wolf

Modi must accelerate economic progress to benefit the vast majority, not just the elites

©Ingram Pinn

An Indian economist, has written to me that India’s recent election is “the most momentous election in world history”. I disagree: the elections of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were more significant.

But the idea is not absurd. India’s population is 1.27 billion. Soon it will overtake China as the most populous country. If the election of Narendra Modi were to transform India, it would transform the world.

It is already possible to identify at least three ways in which the Indian election is remarkable.

FirstIndia has shown yet again the signal virtue of democracy: the peaceful transfer of legitimate power. That this is possible in such a vast, diverse and poor country is an inspiring political achievement.

Second, Indians have rejected the dynastic politics of the Congress party, which, alas, brought to a sad end the distinguished public service of Manmohan Singh, a man I have known and admired for four decades. The most important Congress-led government since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru was that of Narasimha Rao in the early 1990s, under whom Mr Singh served as reforming finance minister. If Mr Modi succeeds, it will be because he builds on that foundation. Congress still has the best chance of being the strong secular party India needs, but only if it liberates itself from its dependence on the Gandhi family.

ThirdMr Modi truly is a self-made man. Even though his party won just 31 per cent of the vote, he has gained an overwhelming majority in the lower house. He has done so by promising to spread the perceived successes of Gujarat to the rest of the country. There is debate in India over whether Gujarat is the model it is alleged to be. Yet that is not the main point. What matters more is that Indians have chosen a man who promises to improve their lives. He is not chosen for his origins. That is testimony to India’s transformation over the past quarter of a century.

The outgoing government is condemned as a failure. Yet, as Shankar Acharya, former chief economic adviser to the Indian government in the 1990s, points out, “economic growth has averaged 7.5 per cent a year, the fastest in any decade in Indian history. This rapid growth in gross domestic product has raised average income . . . by nearly 75 per cent in real, inflation-adjusted rupees.” This sounds good. But, he adds, it also hides the truth.

Growth slowed sharply over the past three years “because of the cumulation of bad economic policies”, while consumer price inflation has risen to between 9 and 11 per cent over the past five years. At the same time, Mr Acharya says, the government’s policies became steadily worse. He points to exorbitant spending on subsidies for oil, food and fertilisers, wasteful entitlement programmes, exorbitant pay settlements and huge fiscal deficits. Other failures include the refusal to lift disincentives to employment, crony capitalism, capricious regulation, retrospective taxation, excessive jumps in food procurement prices and corruption.

Mr Acharya argues that all this has contributed to a daunting legacy: a failure to create jobs for the 10 million young people entering the job market each year; stagnation in manufacturing; inadequate infrastructure; huge overhangs of incomplete projects; vulnerability of agriculture due to water stress; badly run entitlement programmes; the weakening of the country’s external finances; and further deterioration in the quality of governance itself.

Mr Acharya is a sober analyst of Indian economic realities, who worked closely with Mr Singh in the 1990s. His damning assessment is persuasive. Yet India can surely do better. The latest estimates suggest that GDP per head is just a tenth that of the US, and half that of China. It must be possible for this country to catch up even faster.

Mr Modi has above all been elected to accelerate development. But if one recalls the failure of his Bharatiya Janata party’s “India shining” campaign of a decade ago, he must do so in ways seen to benefit the vast majority of the population, not just its elites.

It is not clear whether Mr Modi can rise to such big challenges in this vast and complex country. His motto – “less government and more governance” – has caught the public mood. Yet it is not clear what this will mean in practice.

An analysis by JPMorgan suggests that in fact “there is a remarkable convergence of broad economic thinking” between the two main parties. The difference, if so, might be more in implementation, an area Mr Modi’s supporters also stress. This suggests that the goods and services tax (a national value added tax) might be put into effect, investment projects might be accelerated, energy prices might be liberalised, shares in public enterprises might be sold – albeit without full privatisation – and fiscal consolidation might be accelerated.

This would be to the good, but probably not enough to bring about the needed acceleration of growth and jobs generation. Vital further reforms would be in employment regulation, education and infrastructure, with a view to making India a base for labour-intensive manufacturing. With Chinese wages rising, this is a plausible ambition. Improvement in the administration of law is crucial. Agriculture needs big advances, including a more modern supply chain. The states need to be forced to compete with one another for people, capital and technology.

This election might prove to be a big step towards the economic modernisation of India that was relaunched in 1991. But this round of reforms will also be far harder than those were. It is not now just a matter of pulling the state out of the way. It is more about making the government an effective and honest servant of the Indian people. This challenge is possibly an order of magnitude more daunting than those Mr Modi once overcame in Gujarat.

Mr Modi remains an enigma. He is a man of action, a nationalist and a committed member of the Hindutva movement. It is hard to believe he would match Mr Singh’s emollient reaction to Pakistan’s promotion of terrorism. It is impossible to know what he might mean for India’s communal relations. Nobody knows either how far he feels obliged to the business people who funded his campaign. But one thing is sure: India has a new game. Pay attention.

 

Read more: http://www.terminalx.org/2010/12/threat-of-hindu-saffron-terror-to-india.html#ixzz32xITqUqU

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Indian Diplomat’s Arrest Exposed US Double Game

 

 During his visit to India in 2010, US President Barrack Obama signed multiple agreements with New Delhi in various fields such as $10 billion in trade deals and creation of more than 50,000 US jobs besides the measures, America would take regarding removal of Indian space and defence companies from a restricted “entities list”, and supported Indian demand for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council including membership of four key global nuclear non-proliferation regimes. Owing to these agreements, India has also been purchasing C-17 and F35 aircrafts along with latest defence-related arms and equipments from Washington. In February, 2011, America had pressurised the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) to sign an accord of specific safeguards with India. It permits New Delhi a broad atomic cooperation, while superseding the IAEA regarding transfer of nuclear equipments and technologies. These arrangements also entail enrichment and reprocessing items under the so-called cover of IAEA. In this regard, Washington also contacted the Nuclear Suppliers Group in order to grant a waiver to India for starting civil nuclear trade on larger scale. Setting aside the Indian irresponsible record of non-proliferation, defence agreement signed between the US and India on July 20, 2011 as part of the deal about civil nuclear technology, agreed upon by the two countries in 2008 has raised new alarms on global and regional level. But, in that respect, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged India to be more assertive in Asia, saying that as American ally, the country should play more of a leadership role. On the other hand, while showing US paradoxical approach towards Pakistan, Ms. Hillary remarked, “New Delhi could also help promote trade links in violence-wracked South Asia, which would bring prosperity and peace to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan…Pakistan must do more to tackle terror groups operating from its territory being used for attacks that destabilise Afghanistan or India.” The United States seems determined to keep around 10,000 troops and some military bases in Afghanistan permanently after the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2014. Besides, US has also planned to maintain Indian role in Afghanistan to complete its hidden agenda. In this connection, the former US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta said on October 26, 2012 that India has vital role to play in Afghanistan and it will be helpful for peace and stability in the region, adding, “Our new defence policy hinges upon this strategy.” In fact, by concealing its double game with India, under the pretext of strategic partnership— by boasting Indian defence and its role in Afghanistan, America wants to fulfill multiple designs so as to counterbalance China, control the energy resources of Central Asia, and to weaken Pakistan, Beijing, Iran and Russia.

 

But, US double game with India exposed on December 12, 2013 when Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, the Indian Deputy Consul General in New York was arrested on charges of visa fraud and lying to US authorities on a visa application about how much she paid to her housekeeper (an Indian national). She was arrested right in front of her daughter’s Manhattan School, handcuffed and driven to Police Search Station for completion of investigation process. Page 1Indian government, media and general public felt the pain of collective shame and sense of culpability as their female diplomat was subjected to harsh search, generally meant for dangerous criminals and people of shady character. Her shrieking screams and strident assertions about ‘diplomatic immunity’ fell on deaf ears and she was made to bear the vulgar blow of humiliation, while undergoing awful process of cavity search. Indian media disclosed, “She was subjected to a humiliating strip search and kept in a cell with drug addicts.” She was released on $ 250,000/-bail, as she pleaded not guilty on all charges levelled against her—surrendering her passport and avowing to report to Police Station in New York on weekly basis. One simply feels sad with a sense of remorse and emotional empathy on her ordained disgrace on US soil where her diplomatic immunity has been rudely dilapidated. India has quickly reacted against such a treatment of their diplomat demanding an unconditional US apology. They have also asked the US to withdraw all cases against the diplomat, while undertaking retaliatory steps to withdraw concessions from US diplomats in India. As a protest in relation to the ill- treatment of the lady diplomat, Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde called her treatment unacceptable. He cancelled his meeting with the senior US Congressional delegation. Other parliamentarians including the governing Congress party Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also refused to meet the delegation. While, Indian media projected ugly scenes of removing security barriers placed before US embassy in India, while Indian public, intellectuals, analysts and high officials expressed their anger and emotional outbursts towards US for maltreating their diplomat. However, diplomacy and maintenance of international relations suggest that civilized norms and refined customs be observed to maintain dignity and decorum entitled to other states and their diplomats. Unfortunately, the US, overwhelmed by power motives, have developed callous and cold-hearted attitude towards sensitivities of the Third World countries. Body search and cavity search of an Indian female diplomat by US authorities reflects its high-handedness. Indian bold assertions and emotional reaction appears to be justified, while the entire episode suggests to US to reexamine its deteriorating trends in diplomacy. US media and certain officials have branded Indian reaction as a revengeful tactics, without realizing that Indians are justified in their reaction to denounce violation of diplomatic immunity by US officials. Their demands for unconditional apology and withdrawal of case against their female diplomat are also legal and politically accurate. US should show greater sense of magnanimity and compassion by extending a word of apology to India and by withdrawing the case against Devyani Khobragade. This will help US improve its image and prestige. Meanwhile, her hastily-transfer to India’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York has widely been reported as a bid to ensure her full immunity. Particularly, South Asian media should project that Washington must be aware of cultural esteem, attached to female honour in South Asia including India. Ms. Devyani Khobragade represents Indian educated middle class and her body or cavity search, handcuffing and investigation badly ripped off her personal dignity which certainly needs to be restored at all costs. Indian determination as expressed by Indian prime minister and foreign minister to get her back and restore her decorum seem praiseworthy. How far will the Indians go to restore the modesty of their female diplomat, get an unconditional apology from US and convince the latter to withdraw the case against Devyani, will also prove the audacity of Indian leadership. Regional media should also emphasize that diplomats posted abroad must respect the local laws and avoid indulging in any activity which may cause them embarrassment, shame and guilt. It appears as if Ms. Devyani Khobragade was not prudent enough to respect US laws which led to such a messy row between India and America. She was entrapped in a messy tangle which caused her trouble. But one feels pity on poor female diplomat. Surely, national interests will finally prevail to settle such an irritant between New Delhi and Washington. Notably, Indians are basically intriguing in nature and do not believe in forgiving or forgetting, especially when openly humiliated and publically disgraced. They keep the vendetta alive even after the resolution of any dispute, political row and diplomatic irritants. Their subjective grooming enables them to maintain calm while remembering the pain of the past ill- treatment. As Indian security removed barricades from the US embassy, the role of Indians seemed personified carrying emotional frenzy and belligerence to impress upon US to return their woman free of any case and also extend an apology in this respect. Nonetheless, after the maltreatment of its lady diplomat, the right hour has come that Ne Delhi must know that America which is playing double game with India, watches its own strategic interests, and is not going to prove a trustworthy friend on permanent basis. History proves that the US has always betrayed Pakistan and so it will do with the Indians. In this context, after using Islamabad in its previous Afghan war against the former Russia, Washington left Islamabad to face the fallout of that war. In the near future, along with Pakistan, Indians will face the fallout of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. So, instead of increasing its defence budget at the cost of poverty-stricken people, and pursuing war-like diplomacy against Pakistan by fulfilling American covert aims against China and Iran, India must better develop peaceful relations with these countries by resolving all disputes including Kashmir issue, which are essential for regional stability.

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

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com 

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USA responsible for making Pakistan most dangerous country

USA responsible for making Pakistan most dangerous country

 by

Asif Haroon Raja

 

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The US leaders and media often cite Pakistan as the most dangerous country in the world. If it is true, it didn’t attain this status at its own. Outsiders are responsible for making Pakistan a nursery of terrorism, or epicenter of terrorism, as recently described by Manmohan Singh, or the most dangerous country. Ironically, the ones responsible for converting a law abiding and peaceful country into a volatile country are today in the forefront censuring it. Till the onset of Afghan Jihad in 1980, Pakistan was a moderate and nonviolent country. It did suffer from the pangs of humiliation for having lost its most populous East Pakistan and  grieved over non-resolution of Kashmir dispute pending since January 1948 UNSC resolution. Both wounds had been inflicted upon Pakistan by its arch rival India. Pakistan had to perforce go nuclear in quest for its security because of India’s hostile posturing and nuclearisation.

 

Invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet forces in December 1979 brought five million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. These refugees disturbed the peace of Frontier Province and Balochistan where bulk got permanently settled. 2.8 million Afghan refugees have still not returned to their homes and besides becoming an economic burden, have posed serious social and security hazards. Foreign agencies carrying an agenda to destabilize Pakistan have been recruiting bulk of terrorists from within them.

 

Once the US decided to back proxy war in Afghanistan, CIA commissioned thousands of Mujahideen from all over the Muslim world and with the assistance of ISI, motivated, trained and equipped them to assist Afghan Mujahideen in their fight against Soviet forces. Large number of seminaries imparting religious training to the under privileged children were tasked to impart military and motivational training as well and prepare them for Jihad. FATA and Pashtun belt of Balochistan contiguous to Afghanistan were converted into forward bases of operation from where young Jihadists were unleashed. For next nine years the youth were continuously recruited and launched to fight the holy war against evil empire. Saudi Arabia became the chief financer of Jihad. It provided heavy funds to Sunni Madrassahs only. ISI took upon itself as the chief coordinator of the entire war effort while CIA restricted its role to providing arms, funds and intelligence only.

 

The whole free world led by USA enthusiastically applauded the heroics of holy warriors and none cared about astronomical fatalities and critical injuries suffered by them. The maimed for life, widows and orphans were patted and told that it was a holy war fought for a noble cause and huge rewards awaited them in the life hereafter. The single point agenda of the US was to defeat the Soviet forces with the help of Muslim fighters. Not a single soldier of any country including Pakistan took part in the unmatched war between a super power and rag-tag, ill-clothed and ill-equipped Mujahideen.

 

None bothered about the ill-effects this long-drawn war will have upon this region in general and Pakistan in particular acting as the Frontline State. Although Pakistan was only supporting the proxy war and was not directly involved, but it remained in a state of war and it faced continuous onslaughts of KGB-RAW-KHAD nexus as well as attacks by Soviet trained Afghan pilots and soldiers in the form of air assaults, artillery barrages and missile/rockets attacks.  Throughout the nine-year war, Pakistan faced twin threat from its eastern and western borders. By virtue of occupation of Wakhan corridor by Soviet troops, USSR had become immediate neighbor of Pakistan and had hurled repeated threats to wind up training centres and stop meddling in Afghanistan or else be prepared for dire consequences. Moscow’s age-old dream of reaching warm waters of Arabian Sea through Balochistan haunted Gen Ziaul Haq, but he stoutly held his ground. Pakistan’s relentless support ultimately enabled the Mujahideen to achieve the miracle of the 20th century. They defeated the super power and pushed out Soviet forces from Afghanistan in February 1989.

 

All foreign Jihadists who had come from other countries were not accepted by their parent countries. They had no choice but to stay put and get settled in Afghanistan and in FATA since they had collectively fought the war and had developed camaraderie with the Afghans and tribesmen. The US who had enticed and displaced them and used them as cannon fodder to achieve its interests was morally bounded to resettle them. It was honor bound to help Pakistan in overcoming the after effects of the war. FATA that had acted as the major base for cross border operations deserved uplift in socio-economic and educational fields. Afghanistan required major rehabilitation and rebuilding after its devastation. Nothing of the sort happened.

 

The US coldheartedly abandoned Afghanistan, Pakistan and Jihadists and instead embraced India which had remained the camp follower of Soviet Union since 1947 and had also partnered Soviet Union in the Afghan war and had vociferously condemned US-Pakistan proxy war. This callous act opened the doors for religious fanaticism and militarism. Pakistan suffered throughout the Afghan war and continues to suffer to this day on account of the debris left behind by Soviet forces and proxy war. By the time last Soviet soldier left Afghan soil, Pakistani society had got radicalized owing to free flow of weapons and drugs from Afghanistan and onset of armed uprising in occupied Kashmir.

 

Pakistan’s efforts to tackle the fallout effects of the war got seriously hampered because of harsh sanctions imposed by USA under Pressler Amendment in October 1989 and political instability throughout the democratic era from 1988 to 1999. Besides, Iran and Saudi Arabia started fuelling sectarianism in Pakistan throughout 1990s in a big way. Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan and Majlis-e-Wahadat ul Hashmeen were funded by Iran and Sipah-e-Sahabha Pakistan, now named as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (Sunni Deobandi) were supported by Saudi Arabia, which gave rise to religious extremism and intolerance and sharpened Shia-Sunni divide. Masjids and Imambargahs as well as religious clerics were incessantly attacked by the zealots of two communities. Threat of sectarian violence that had become menacing in Punjab in 1997-1998 had to be dealt with sternly. But the Punjab Police operation had to be curtailed because of severe pressure from Human Rights activists and NGOs on charges of extra judicial killings. Resultantly, the disease remained uncured.

        

Unseating of democratically elected heavy mandate of Nawaz Sharif led government by Gen Musharraf and the latter opting to ditch Taliban regime and to fight global war on terror at the behest of USA energized anti-Americanism, religious extremism and led to creation of Mutahida Majlis Ammal (MMA), an amalgam of six religious parties, which formed governments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. MMA on the quiet nurtured extremist religious groups that were also funded by foreign powers.

 

The fact that after 9/11, the US chose Pakistan to fight the war as a Frontline State is a clear cut indication that Pakistan at that time was viewed as a responsible and valued country and not a dangerous country. However, Pakistan’s nuclear program was an eyesore for India, Israel and USA. The planners had made up their minds to intentionally create anarchic conditions in Pakistan so that its nukes could be whisked away under the plea that it was unstable and couldn’t be trusted.

 

The initial attempt towards that end was to first allow bulk of Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders and their fighters to escape to FATA from Afghanistan and soon after forcing Pakistan to induct regular troops into South Waziristan (SW) to flush them out. This move created a small rivulet allowing terrorism to seep into FATA, which kept gushing in because of RAW led and CIA backed covert war at a massive scale and turning the rivulet into a river. Likewise, another rivulet was created in Balochistan. Concerted and sustained efforts were made to destabilize FATA and Balochistan and gradually sink Pakistan in sea of terrorism. Six intelligence agencies based in Kabul kept sprinkling tons of fuel on embers of religious extremism, sectarianism, ethnicity and Jihadism.

 

The US instead of helping in resolving Kashmir dispute misguided Gen Musharraf to forget about UN resolutions and float an out of box solution and try and resolve the dispute in accordance with the wishes of India. In order to woo India, Musharraf gave it in writing that he will not allow Pakistan soil to be used for terrorism against any neighboring country including India. While making this commitment unilaterally, he committed the fatal mistake of not imposing this condition on India. To further please USA and India and make the latter agree to sign peace treaty, he bridled all Jihadi groups engaged in Kashmir freedom struggle as well as in sectarianism. He also allowed India to fence the Line of Control. These moves did please India but angered Jihadis and sectarian outfits and in reaction, they hastened to join Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and turn their guns towards Pak security forces dubbed as mercenaries of USA fighting US war for dollars.

But for phenomenal clandestine support by foreign powers to the TTP in the northwest and to the BLA, BRA and BLF in the southwest, extremism and terrorism could have got controlled after major operations launched in Malakand Division including Swat, Bajaur and SW in 2009 and minor operations in other tribal agencies. The disarrayed network of TTP was helped to get re-assembled and regrouped in North Waziristan and that of Maulana Fazlullah in Kunar and Nuristan in Afghanistan. As opposed to good work done by Pak security forces in combating and curbing terrorism in Pakistan, the US-NATO forces operating in Afghanistan along with Afghan National Army kept making one blunder after another and in the process kept sinking deeper and deeper into the quagmire. Rather than correcting their follies, they chose to make Pakistan a scapegoat and declared it responsible for their failures. Rather than doing more at their end, they asked Pakistan to do more which was already doing much more than its capacity.

 

Since the aggressors underestimated their enemy they took things too lightly. Their intentions lacked sincerity and honesty and their stated objectives were totally different to their actual unspoken objectives which were commercial in nature. Above all they had no legitimate grounds to destroy a sovereign country and uproot its people which had played no role in 9/11. As a result, rather than devotedly fighting to win the war in Afghanistan, the assailants got deeply involved in drug business and other money-making schemes. The ruling regime led by Hamid Karzai became a willing partner in such shady businesses. American security contractors, defence merchants, builders and intelligence agencies started multiplying their wealth and lost their moral and professional ethics. Other than materialistic ventures, they got more involved in money-spinning covert operations against Pakistan, Iran, China and Middle East than in fighting their adversary. Taliban and al-Qaeda combine took full advantage of their self-destructive activities and opening of the second front in Iraq. After regrouping and re-settling in southern and eastern Afghanistan, they started striking targets in all parts of the country. War in Iraq helped al-Qaeda in expanding its influence in Arabian Peninsula and turning into an international organization.

 

The US has made a big mess in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Libya and is now making another mess in Syria. It has lost the confidence of its most allied ally Pakistan by mistreating and distrusting it. Having lost on all fronts because of its tunnel vision and mercantile greed, it now wants the most dangerous country Pakistan to ignore the raw deal it gave all these years and to not only help ISAF in pulling out of Afghanistan safely but also to convince the Taliban to agree upon a negotiated political settlement. At the start of the Afghan venture, Pakistan was chosen by Washington to ensure success and in the endgame Pakistan is again being relied upon to bail it out of the mess. In the same breadth, the US is unprepared to cease drone attacks in FATA despite repeated requests that drones fuel terrorism. It is still focused on carving a lead role for India in Afghanistan. It is not prepared to stop its interference in internal affairs of Pakistan or to dissuade India from destabilizing Balochistan. Whatever socio-economic promises made are futuristic in nature and tied to conditions. US media and think tanks continue to demonize Pakistan. Its tilt towards India is too heavy and prejudicial behavior towards Pakistan conspicuous.

 

As a result of the US skewed policies with ulterior motives, Pakistan is faced with the demons of ethnicity, sectarianism, Jihadism, religious extremism and terrorism. While TTP is aligned with about 60 terrorist groups, in Balochistan there are more than two dozen terrorist groups. In Karachi, other than armed mafias, political parties have armed wings and are involved in target killings. Rangers and Police are engaged in targeted operation in Karachi and are producing productive results. 150,000 troops combating the militants in the northwest enjoy a definite edge over them. Major parts of Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary, Levies and Police are fighting the Baloch separatists and sectarian forces targeting Hazaras and have contained anti-state forces. All major cities are barricaded with road blocks and police piquets and yet terrorists manage to carryout acts of terror. The miscreants are fighting State forces with tenacity because of uninterrupted financial and weapons support from foreign agencies. Once external support dries up, their vigor will wane rapidly and sooner than later they will give up fighting.

 

With so many grave internal and external threats, most of which were invented and thrust upon Pakistan by foreign powers and duly exacerbated by meek and self-serving political leadership, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s hands remained full. He has saddled the COAS chair for six years and during this period he had to face many a critical situations. It goes to his credit that he handled each crisis competently, astutely and honorably. During his eventful command, he tackled the challenge of terrorism, which he rightly described as the biggest threat to the security of Pakistan, boldly and produced pleasing results. Above all, he kept the morale of all ranks in the Army high and earned their respect and admiration. The list of his achievements is long and I have been highlighting those in my articles off and on. His successor has so far not been named but whosoever replaces him will find it difficult to fit into his shoes. I am sure he will breathe more freely and relax once he retires on November 29, 2013. We thank him for his laudable contributions and wish him sound health and happiness in all his future doings. Let us hope and pray that this senseless war comes to an end at the earliest, putting an end to chirping tongues deriving sadistic pleasure in describing Pakistan as the most dangerous country.

 

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist, historian and a researcher. asifharoonraja@gmail.com 

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