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Archive for category Ishaal Zehra

COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa Makes It to the List of Worlds’ Most Powerful by Ishaal Zehra

COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa Makes It to the List of Worlds’ Most Powerful – What it means to be in the Forbes’ annual ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People

Ishaal Zehra

 

 

 

There are nearly 7.5 billion humans on planet Earth, but the chosen 75 men and women make the world turn, claims the Forbes Magazine. Forbes’ annual ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions, as per their analysis, mean the most. Apparently, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa is included in those 75 people who have made up to the list, by superseding his slice of 100 million people in the world and double of this figure in Pakistan.

His designated crown ‘selected few most powerful persons’ for his efforts in begetting peace in the U.S. ally state by fighting away the terrorist groups present in the area, in addition to managing a complex relationship with India on its eastern border. Two years into his tenure as the head of the world’s sixth largest Army, Qamar Javed Bajwa has established himself as a mediator. The rift between India and Pakistan is improving, partly thanks to his efforts.

To compile the ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People, the magazine considered hundreds of candidates from various walks of life and measured their power along four dimensions. First, it was checked whether the candidate has power over lots of people. Next, the financial resources controlled by each person was assessed. Then, their power in multiple spheres was calculated. Forbes maintains that there are only 75 slots on the list, so being powerful in just one area is often not enough. Hence their picks project their influence in myriad ways. Lastly, they made sure that the candidates actively used their power.

To calculate the final rankings, a panel of Forbes editors ranked all of the candidates in each of these four dimensions of power, and those individual rankings were averaged into a composite score.

 

 

 

 

General Bajwa is a newcomer to the list along with 16 others on the list this year, including Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud – the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who is thought to be the fulcrum around which the Middle Eastern geopolitics moves for the next generation. Other new members include Jerome H. Powell – chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Darren Woods – CEO of Exxon Mobil, Moon Jae-in – President of South Korea and Robert Mueller – Special Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa was appointed as the 10th Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan by the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in December 2016.

He was commissioned on 24 October 1980 in 16 Baloch Regiment, which has produced three out of the sixteen army chiefs in the past — General Yahya, General Aslam Baig and General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

General. Bajwa is a graduate of National Defence University, Islamabad, Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, (Toronto) Canada, Naval Post Graduate University, Monterey (California) in the USA. He has also served as an instructor at School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta and Command and Staff College, Quetta and NDU, Islamabad.

Prior to being appointed as the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army, General Bajwa served as the Inspector General Training and Evaluation from 2015–16 and as a field commander of the X Corps from 2013 to 2015 which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control. In addition, he also served as a peacekeeper in the UN mission in Congo as a Brigadier and served as the brigade commander in 2007. Forbes also cited former Chief of Indian Army Staff General Bikram Singh’s annotations regarding the Pakistani Chief. In fact, General Bajwa has served in Congo under General Bikram Singh who was all praises for Bajwa’s performance.

The Chief of Pakistan Army Staff has vast experience in the military field, especially in significant areas such as Baltistan and Kashmir. His approach towards Pakistan’s arch rivals and neighbours India remains passive yet firm which makes him a composed General ready to act with a clear mind rather than being impulsive. He has remained professional and away from politics throughout his term in the army which also adds to his qualities as a true military general.

This year’s list comes at a time of rapid and profound change and represents our best guess about who will matter in the year to come. Forbes magazine placed Chinese President Xi Jinping at the top of the list while placing Russia’s Vladimir Putin as the second most powerful man of 2018. Reducing the US President Donald Trump to number three position in the list of most powerful personality. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel was ranked fourth in the list, making her the most powerful woman in the world.

 

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Timings and Reasons Behind The Rise of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement Ishaal Zehra

Timings and Reasons Behind The Rise of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement

Ishaal Zehra

 

 

 

The politicians, in general, welcomed the decision of apex committee to hold talks with Manzoor Pashteen, the face of Pashtoon Tahafuz Movement, despite all his unparliamentary language as this is how democracy and life works. The jirga was founded under the supervision of KP Governor Zafar Iqbal Jhagra and had the support of the military leadership which presumes that some of the demands of the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement are genuine and they need to be addressed within the framework of the constitution of Pakistan.

In contrast, one of the PTM leader Mohsin Dawar tweeted that the time is not right for the negotiations. The tweet further said that “PTM participated in a Jirga called by Pukhtoon elders for negotiations. The PTM has asked for some time before it responds to the Jirga. During this time, PTM will consult with its ‘supporters’ and also deliberate upon the fact that who exactly PTM should negotiate with, However, PTM believes that the current atmosphere is not ideal for negotiations…”

This statement from PTM raises many suspicions on the adherence and veracity of the whole movement. The jirga was called by the Pashtun elders, meaning by their own people. The foregoing raises an automatic question as to who are these supporters with whom the PTM leadership has to seek advice from. Making it all murkier was a social media video from PTM’s Lahore jalsa which showed the jalsa mediators not allowing the Pakistan national flag inside the jalsa premises and raising anti-state & anti institutions slogans instead. This show of anti-nationalism has taken away many liberal supporters from this movement while Manzoor was held accountable publically on this act of betrayal on his count. Negotiations are a must in any political struggle. And their avoiding of this opportunity actually brings to light their hidden intentions.

Initially, Manzoor Pashteen and PTM demanded the immediate arrest of former SSP Rao in the murder case of a Pashtun youth, Naqeebullah Mehsud, in Karachi. But with the passage of time, PTM gained momentum and their demands increased. Removal of landmines, information about missing individuals and reconciliation was demanded in their Lahore rally. What raised the alarm bells in minds was PTM’s demand to seek an international guarantee if the state of Pakistan decides to negotiate with them, and signs an agreement.

There is an enormous war of words going on in the social media between Pashteen’s friends and those who are sceptical about his real intentions and his ever-increasing demands. Some pictures of Pashteen have been shared from the year 2016 where he is seen holding the Pashtunistan flag. These pictures were published in “Pashtun Times” which is a news site hosted in the United States.

Eagle-eyeing the supporters of PTM, there are doubts that movement has embarked upon an agenda which is more than Pashtun rights and welfare. Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Nazir Butt expressed deep reservations that the anti-state slogans being chanted by PTM are being exploited by those foreign powers which were unhappy with the return of peace and stability in the region. Pakistan’s high echelons though realize that there are some genuine grievances of the local Pashtun population and it is important to engage their leadership, however, the strategic community also continue to see the NDS and RAW attempting to use these grievances for larger regional agenda. And these suspicions are supported by solid reasons.

The diplomat reported Qari Saifullah – an Afghan militant, in an exclusive interview, affirming that some local Afghan government officials turn a blind eye to the militants by, for example, not hindering their crossing into Pakistan. At least one other source, however, claimed that local Afghan officials do more and support such TTP groups with money and weapons also. The fact that Ustad Fateh of TTP was residing in the remote Chawgam area of Afghanistan’s Kunar district, who was later killed in a drone strike had staged cross-border incursions at least every month or so, in particular into the Pakistani tribal agency of Bajaur, adds weight to Saifullah’s claim. Linkage of Qari Fateh has also been established to the suicide bomber, who on February 3 blew himself up in the Swat valley of Pakistan, claiming the lives of at least 11 Pakistani Army soldiers, as reported by Reuters.

Franz Marty says that though Pakistani belief about RAW (Indian intelligence agency), and the Afghan intelligence agency, NDS nurturing the TTP group and others, could not gain much traction or international attention, still allegations of involvement of intelligence services should be treated with suspicion, especially in this part of the world which is rife with conspiracy theories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The twitter trend shows that a huge chunk of foreign support Pashtun Movement is enjoying comes mainly from the Afghan and Indian diaspora or sponsored interest groups sitting abroad. Most of whom are engaged in a psychological war, fueling the info net with cropped information and videos from old times, deliberating them to Pashtuns. Recent was the Afghan Cultural Attaché in Washington’s embassy. Mr Majeed Qarar was seen exhibiting selective outrage against violations of human rights. He is neither concerned about the horrendous crimes against humanity being committed in Afghanistan by the Afghan National Army and allies nor is he bothered with Indian brutality in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Although his words are not taken seriously in the journalists’ world where he is regarded as a racist psychopath who has little respect for the dignity of his title. However, this episode has compelled the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to draft a composite social media usage policy for its staff.

This all is coming at a time when Pakistan army has buried Taliban in the mountains away from Pakistan and is working fervently with their proposed border management system. With the fencing all over the Pak-Afghan border, the Taliban’s threat of coming back into Pakistan from Afghanistan will be dealt with once and for all. The process will be difficult and hard but once done, a mechanism will be evolved to facilitate trade between Pak-Afghan border, believes the corps commander Lt Gen Nazir Ahmad Butt. He added that the government is determined to address the genuine problems of tribesmen and ensure that they get livelihood sources at their doorsteps. And the majority of Pashtuns believe in what he said.

 

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Baluchistan is not East-Pakistan nor Sikkim By Ishaal Zehra

Baluchistan is not East-Pakistan nor Sikkim

Ishaal Zehra

 

Balochistan Is The Heart Of Pakistan: Speaker Balochistan Assembly

 

 

Switzerland has rejected the request of the exiled leader of the banned Baloch Republican Party (BRP) Brahumdagh Bugti to seek political asylum after more than seven years. A week earlier, she also imposed a lifetime entry ban on the prominent exiled Baloch leader and Bugti’s brother-in-law, Mehran Marri. A source in the Swiss government confirmed that Brahumdagh Bugti’s asylum application was turned down because of his links with the banned Baloch Republican Army (BRA). The rejection letter clearly illustrates these allegations with reference to the “incidents of terrorism, violence and militant activities”.

At the same time, some two hundred Baloch separatists, including 15 commanders, renounced violence and laid down their arms at the hands of Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa at a ceremony held at FC Headquarters Turbat last month, taking the toll of those ‘shunning the violence’ and submitting to the writ of the state, to a high figure of eight thousand.

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistani Map 1947

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India has been lately obsessed with the idea of liberating Baluchistan. For the same, she is found supporting any and every source she can find. Though practically she knows she can’t, still by giving inflated hype to their paid agents like Naila Baloch and Mama Qadeer they try to diverge attention from their own misfortunate afflictions of on-going freedom movements of Khalistan, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Assam and specially Kashmir which has gained universal attention in the near past.

Bugti had been living in Afghanistan prior to leaving the country for a Middle Eastern state and from there he flew to Geneva. It was also reported that Bugti had, on September 19, 2016, formally asked the Indian government to grant him an asylum and Indian nationality so that he could live in India and move around the world to campaign against Pakistan.

The report was later denied by India and the BRP, but, just four days later, the news turned out to be correct and Bugti officially announced that he would apply for Indian citizenship for himself and his family.

To tell the truth, Modi cannot create an independent Baluchistan no matter how hard he tries.  Maximum what India can do is to create some unrest with his spies from intelligence agency like Kulbhushan, who is already in Pakistani custody and is being prosecuted against the charges of fomenting terrorism and sabotage in Baluchistan. Ignoring all pieces of evidence, India, still maintains that Jhadav was kidnapped from Iran last year, however, Pakistan upholds the claim that the RAW agent was caught inside the boundary of the country and is found guilty of conducting espionage activities in Pakistan. To make her point India has propagated the interview of Mama Qadeer as an evidence, where he parroted that Kulbhushan was kidnapped from Iran by some criminal gang and later handed over to Pakistan. Interestingly, this Mama Qadeer himself was never deemed a patriot unlike most of the Baluch people, many of whom are the greatest patriots Pakistan has ever known.

Mama Qadeer Baloch is a Baloch separatist leader who rose to prominence in 2013 when he marched from Quetta to Islamabad to highlight disappearances in Balochistan and was in the news for a few years till around 2015. Ironically, his only achievement in life was also given an Indian perspective when he was referred to as the Gandhi of Baluchistan for this long march. Though he did not went missing like the people he did the effort for, however, he’s been unheard of since then. Living in a self-exile in Afghanistan, Mama Qadeer isn’t renowned or too well-known in Pakistan even. Sponsored by India, he is infamously acknowledged for bashing the government in his separatist speeches. He belongs to the sort of people who sell themselves to cheap popularity by doing about anything just to stay in the news.

What he and his controller, Modi, both have to realize is that Baluchistan is not East Pakistan, moreover, unlike East Pakistan, there’s no separatist movement in Baluchistan. Historically, a lot of things went horribly wrong in Baluchistan which we do understand. The royal Baloch tribes disapproved the ordinary Baloch population to progress in education, enlightenment and socio-economic uplift. The reason behind this cruel approach was the fear that education, enlightenment and economic progress would end their Sardari system, but that was the past. Today’s Baloch is broad-minded, intelligent and progressive. He loves education, he loves his country and he loves his country mates. Though there is a widespread discontentment, there is no popular support for the breakaway movement.

 

The chances of Baluchistan breaking away are slim for many reasons and CPEC is one of them. China has already invested heavily in Gwadar, while Russia also considers Gwadar as the channel to exert her influence in the Indian Ocean. With this international attention, the chances of Indian dream coming to reality becomes quite grim. The chief minister of Baluchistan best represented the desires of thousands of Baloch people when he said that “Citizens of Baluchistan do not want any more bloodshed. They are patriots and want development”. These historical words were said by him while addressing the ceremony organized by Baloch insurgents who laid down their arms in Turbat.

 

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Fading Popularity of Modi Gone Wasted by Ishaal Zehra

Davos: Another Shot to Upkeep the Fading Popularity of Modi Gone Wasted

by

Ishaal Zehra

 

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his Davos debut at this year’s World Economic Forum’s (WEF) opening session. Speaking in Hindi, he touted the ease of doing business in India to world leaders and global CEOs, also calling for countries to unite to tackle what he called the three big challenges that the world faces – “climate change, terrorism and a rising threat to globalization with powers of protectionism”.

“Come to India,” said Modi, “If you want wellness along with wealth, wholeness along with health and peace with prosperity.” In India, he said, “democracy, demography and dynamism” are shaping development and growth that is inclusive.

But all the ostentatious speech impelled by huge words and even bigger promises went vain. To his dismay, hours before Modi’s Davos spiel, WEF published its Inclusive Development Index-2018 findings which actually rated India far below her neighbours Pakistan and China.

The Inclusive Development Index (IDI) is an annual assessment of 103 countries’ economic performance that measured how countries performed on eleven dimensions of economic progress in addition to the GDP. India was accordingly ranked at the 62nd place among emerging economies, much below China’s 26th position and Pakistan’s 47th.

The IDI is a project of the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Economic Progress. It aims to inform and enable sustained and inclusive economic progress through deepened public-private cooperation, thought leadership and analysis, strategic dialogue and concrete cooperation. In simpler terms, it actually indicates whether growth is actually leading to broader equality and improved quality of life for households.

Indian media claims that Modi had quite a packed visit, presenting investment opportunities to every tom, dick and harry he happened to meet. Though Modi elaborated well his speech or what may be called a success story, typically one used by a salesperson, the data given by the WEF proves the economic conditions in India otherwise.

As if the IDI report wasn’t enough to hamper the investors ‘would be’ temptations after hearing what heaven India will prove to them, a periodic report by Yale and Columbia Universities in collaboration with the WEF ranked India among the bottom five countries on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2018, stooping down 36 places from 141 in 2016. While India is at the bottom of the list in the environmental health category, it ranks 178 out of 180 as far as air quality is concerned. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says that India’s low scores are influenced by poor performance in her Environmental Health policy objectives. Deaths attributed to PM2.5, a dangerous particulate in the air, have risen over the past decade and are estimated at 1.6 million annually. These PM2.5 particles are known to produce severe respiratory and cardiovascular illness.

Further, the annual Oxfam survey revealed that 67 crore Indians, comprising the population’s poorest half, saw their wealth rise by just 1% in 2017. As stated in a new survey report ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth’ by international rights group Oxfam, India’s richest 1% garnered as much as 73% of the total wealth generated in the country in 2017. CEO of Oxfam India, Nisha Agrawal believed that it is rather alarming that the benefits of economic growth in India continue to concentrate in fewer hands. “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system… The growing divide undermines democracy and promotes corruption and cronyism”, she said.

The report’s findings are in line with those of similar studies including the one published by renowned economists Lucas Chancel and Thomas Piketty last July. These reports actually give credence to the theory that the rich have disproportionately benefited from liberalization while others have been left struggling, observes The Wire, an Indian web publication.

Some argue that this brandishing by Modi at the WEF was deemed necessary both, to portray India as a growing and promising economy to the world as well as to lift his own moral as the circumstances at home are definitely not backing him. Though like all Indian leaders before him, he spoke of his country’s diversity – of how democracy was its strength, of how it sought consensus and unity in politics at home and abroad – in reality, the Modi government has consistently fallen short of these goals which he bragged about at the Davos.

All the success stories and brags about being the business heaven is spurious and fabricated. Prime Minister Modi is faking it out and loud. Just like his popularity in the social media. Bloomberg, the US media company, did an investigative piece on how the Facebook’s political unit is enabling the dark art of digital propaganda. It claims that the company helped develop the online presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who now has more Facebook followers than any other world leader. India is arguably Facebook’s most important market, with the nation recently edging out the US as the company’s biggest. The number of users there is growing twice as fast as in the US, it further states.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The authors observed that India has become a hotbed for fake news, with one hoax story last year that circulated on WhatsApp lead to two separate mob beatings resulting in seven deaths. The nation has also become an increasingly dangerous place for opposition parties and reporters. In the past year alone, several journalists critical of the ruling party have been killed. Hindu extremists who back Modi’s party have used social media to issue death threats against Muslims or critics of the government, they wrote.

Interestingly, hoax news is used by Prime Minister Modi and his board of advisories to come up with any plan they want to. It actually gives them room to generate a raw public appeal. This appeal really works at the times when his aura gets weak and he needs a good public support. Likewise, some bad incident is always blamed at Pakistan to arouse public feelings at home and then some sort of drama is orchestrated to make them believe that PM Modi is the only “Macho Man” who can teach Pakistan a lesson and withstand China’s bullies effectively. May it be the spurious claims that India’s Special Forces had conducted some surgical strikes across the Line of Control, inside Pakistan to avenge the URI attacks (which again was fabricated a while ago) or the swaggering of Doklam standoff with China.

Modi’s popularity has declined and needs a boost before the next general elections in India. The damage done is far too serious that a plan was hatched to overdose the public with an orchestrated media campaign to arouse their patriotic spirits. The latest in the sequence was the book launch by Nitin Gokhale, who happened to be a confidant of Ajit Doval – Modi’s NSA. The book called, “Securing India- The Modi way” tried hard to sensationalize the supposed surgical strikes through fiction by code-naming the activity as “Op X”. The writer claimed so many weird things about this hypothetical operation which actually never happened thus was not verified by any independent source. The book also touches Doklam episode, so-called revamping of New Delhi’s policy towards China and Pakistan, India’s renewed global policy focus on the Middle East and Modi’s focus on Indian diaspora worldwide. In a nutshell, the book is an engineered attempt on the part of Ajit Doval through Nitin Gokhale’s flatterer pen to lionize Mr Modi as a “brand India product” for upcoming elections.

The media campaign was further extended with the release of a documentary on these imaginary surgical strikes. Interestingly, Modi and his aides are thriving their success story on something so lame which even their own countrymen and colleagues never validated, leave Pakistan and international community aside. So much so that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and other politicians and actors were dubbed “anti-national” for raising valid demands of incriminating evidence of such strikes.

Abraham Lincoln

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

 

Modi may have been so far able to goof up his own people with such gimmicks and foul plays but the international community is not gullible Indians, a majority of whom are living below the poverty line and are probably not educated enough to distinguish dark from sunny. All the recent reports are vocal of Modi’s misleading promises and tall claims about how India has been converted into a haven for foreign investors and businessmen. May it is the recent report by Human Rights Watch or the WEF findings, all are sceptical to Modi’s gigantic claims. So far, he has been successful with his media campaign at home, but it’s time to see if he can manage to fool the world with his fallacious aura.

 

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