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The Men at the Borders.. Can you spare a moment for them? – Fahad Malik

The Men at the Borders..

Can you spare a moment for them?


Pakistan is in a useless battle, and in a cycle of sufferings from last 12 years, and the rebellious waves caused destruction in every corner of the country. Civilians, including children, women, girls schools, Forces Headquarters, Airports, Mosques, streets, Govt. & private properties, everything was under attack. That all destruction stopped progress of country, bankrupted the economy of Pakistan and above all the image of Pakistan at international level was severely damaged. Civil administration was helpless before the terrorists. They controlled many areas, made them their base camps, started oppression against the local population, and announced to spread their evil activities to the other parts of the country. So, there was no other way except to start a final blow against the terrorists. Just before the Ramadan, Pakistan Army started a decisive operation against terrorists, in the North Waziristan, which was the voice of every patriotic Pakistani.

228480_52133596For a country, the biggest proud is there defensive institutions, and their armed forces who are actually considered as a sign of terror and fear for the opponents of nation & the state. But the strength & courage of those forces is doubled, when their people are standing shoulder to shoulder and all the personal or political interests are above anything to defend nation and to support their military. Exactly that unity and that support is needed by our Men, when in the present circumstances they are defending their borders and also fighting against the biggest threat to the state, Taliban Militants in Zarb-e-Azab. This is the moment, when it is the responsibility of political parties, religious groups, and civil society to support their forces in every way, until the last terrorist is killed, until the last bullet is fired, and Pakistan is decontaminated from terrorists. Our forces are in the state of war, they need your prayers, they need their nation to stand with them, because battles are not won with weapons, but with the unity, not with the arms, with the hands, prayers..

Stand.. Stand up with them, and let the world know, let the international community know, that we are peaceful people, and are against terrorists, this is the right time to maintain unity, to be under one flag, they are in war with terrorists, and we, we can beat the nefarious intentions of Taliban with our alliance. It is the time to express solidarity with Pakistan Army, it is the time to support them. Its almost 40 days now, but have you ever thought, that this is Ramadan and your soldiers are fighting in the holy month in the state of Roaza? Have you ever stopped for a while at your Sehar & Iftar and thought how they are managing their Sehri’s and Iftaaris? No. You never did, you never will. Because you live in an AC room, and you don’t know how Roaza goes in a battle field. You are used to Iftar on a table, with your family around, you don’t know how it feels to Iftar alone, just with water in a battle field.. No I don’t ask for anything, neither they’ll. I am just asking to put up your hands and pray for their safety. I just ask to say a word for them. Say a line, in their support, defend them when they are being criticized in front of you, make a poster, write a line, light up a candle for them, be on their side, that would be enough. That would be adequate from your side. Honor them with anything you can do for them. Because, they are awake, for your peaceful sleep.



-Fahad Malik

Physically 20 years old, thinker, writer, a computer science student, by subjects, Member of Abrar-ul-Haq’s Youth parliament, Philanthropist, crazy about Sufism, Learner, Coffee hollick, night owl, a wandering lost soul, out in search of something, that is yet to be discovered. Facebook.com/Fahad4014

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Political Turmoil & Media Biases against the Security Agencies By Sajjad Shaukat

                           Political Turmoil & Media Biases against the Security Agencies

                                                            By Sajjad Shaukat



Political turmoil, uncertainty and chaotic situation persists in capital city of Islamabad, asPakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) by Dr. Tahirul Qadri continue AZADI (Freedom) and INQILAB (Revolution) long marches after having converted their protests into sit-ins (DHARNAs) have placed tough conditions, demanding resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of PML (N) and top ministers. The protesters have virtually brought life to stand still in Islamabad after implementing their rebuking slogans to move into Red Zone where security has further been tightened.


The stakes appear to be getting high with every passing day, because, on the one hand, the protesting groups are getting edgy, impatient and vibrant, hoping that more people will join them. On the other hand, delayed strategy of the ruling party, PML (N) to accept the demands of PTI and PAT resulted into loss of precious time and failure to bring a peaceful political solution through dialogue. Commissions and Committees launched at such a belated stage are finding it difficult to create and manage a thaw in the tension ridden situation.


In this regard, leaders of the political parties like PPP, Jamaat-e-Islami and MQM including some other prominent political figures and government’s top officials have tried to defuse the tension through dialogue, emphasizing both the rival parties to show flexibility to reach some peace agreement, but could not yet succeeded. A hope was again created when PPP’s co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and leaders of various political parties, but his efforts also produced no results.


While the Imran Khan displayed a greater flexibility when he altered his demand of prime minister’s resignation, saying, the PM Nawaz can hold his post after a month, once the investigation of poll’s rigging is completed. But the ruling party rejected the demand, remaining stern to its stance. Meanwhile, the National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution, demanding supremacy of the constitution and law, rejecting the unconstitutional demands of PTI and PAT including the resignation of the Prime Minister Nawaz and the dissolution of the National Assembly. In their fierce speeches, leaders of PML (N), PPP and ANP including other ones, also said that they would oppose any move which could derail democracy in the country.


Although impartial politicians are still hopeful, and continue talks between the ruling party and the leaders of the long marchers, yet no breakthrough seems to occur. In these tense circumstances, some politicians and most of the media anchors have continuously been misguiding the general masses by pointing out that the ongoing system of democracy can be derailed, and martial law can be imposed in the country.


Unfortunately, certain media houses, analysts and commentators played a very negative role in projecting the entire gamut of political standoff between the government and the protesting parties. Instead of acting as a redeemer, allowing the public to take a sigh of relief, media took clear positions to support the wishes and promoting the agenda of their employers, while creating sensationalism, giving biased comments and remaining unruly, noisy and rowdy in their overall conduct. The viewers were at pains to see these media analysts, offering their comments and favoring their sponsoring agencies and influencing authorities. Their obvious and slanted views enabled the viewers to quickly understand that they were trying to payback to their sponsors. This is nothing, but selling one’s intellect for few pennies or for other petty gains of personal advancement and fame.


By manipulating the political turmoil, created by the politicians, particularly media anchors, especially those working with Geo/JANG Group insinuate that Pakistan’s Armed Forces and intelligence agency, ISI are behind Tahir-ul-Qadari and Imran Khan’s long marches, and sit-ins in Islamabad. The commentators and reporters like Asma Jehangir, Ansar Abbasi, Tariq Butt, Wasim Abbas and Ahmed Noorani appear to have ganged up against Army and ISI, and are trying to score points against these security agencies by accusing these esteemed national institutions without any evidence. However, while speaking in the tone of foreign entities, such elements are hostile to Army and ISI, and leave no stone unturned in depicting these security agencies in bad light.


Undoubtedly, democracy has displayed its success in the west, but, it has proved to be fruitless in Pakistan. Therefore, it is generally said that “any instrument can be misused.” Pakistan’s politicians and media have always claimed that they nourish democratic ideals, but, we could not establish this system on a strong footing due to irresponsible approach of our political entities and media.


Past experience proves that our political parties have worked on undemocratic principles like hostility for the sake of hostility, formation of alliances and counter-alliances to win the elections. Much time is wasted in retaliation against the previous government instead of fulfilling the promises, made with the voters during election campaign. So, they forget the real aim of public mandate by resolving the economic and social problems of the masses. In this context, they also misguide the general masses by forming extreme opinion among them towards their opponents. In fact, concentration of wealth in few hands has created a privileged class of landowners and industrialists who contest elections winning the same against each other again and again.


It is noteworthy that in 2011, during the Memogate case, some political entities and media commentators were saying that martial law will be imposed in the country. The then Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani stated, “The Pakistan Army has and will continue to support democratic process in the country.” As Army was acting upon the principle of non-interference in political affairs, therefore, the previous government completed its tenure.


At this critical juncture, Pakistan is facing multi-faceted crises. And our Armed Forces are successfully obtaining their objectives in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) through military operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorists who had challenged the writ of the state, and had frightened the entire nation by their terror-acts. So Armed Forces are already committed in Zarb-e-Azb and have no intention to get involved in political issues. Political disputes need political solutions or political compromises with give and take. They sincerely desire political stability and economic viability in Pakistan. They support all peaceful efforts to resolve internal conflicts and condemn violence as well as acrimonious propaganda against them.


In this connection, taking note of the ongoing crisis and rumors, DG of Inter-Service Public Relations, Major General Asim Bajwa impartially stated on August 20, “The buildings in the Red Zone (Islamabad) are symbols of state and must be respected. He, also added, “All issues should be resolved through dialogue…all the stakeholders to hold result-oriented dialogue in the interest of the country and its people.” 


Nonetheless, the protesting groups have challenged the moral authority of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Now, the premier has to show political acumen to handle the situation and prove his worth as a leader. In this respect, Pak Army and ISI fully support the government by openly rejecting the baseless allegations that the prevailing political mess has been orchestrated by the former. Therefore, sense must prevail upon those who tend to shift the blame on Army and ISI, as and when they fail in resolving the serious issues.


Now, situation in Islamabad is getting serious and so is the case of political temperature. According to latest reports, stalemate has deepened between the PTI-PAT and the rulers, and they remains firm on their stands—after the PTI launched movement of civil disobedience, and presented resignations of its members (Parliamentarians) in the National Assembly.


Time is running out. Hence, in wake of this unresolved crisis, demonstrating patience and tolerance, the rival parties should find out the solution in national interest with meaningful negotiations. And media has a great responsibility to remain neutral by offering balanced views, ensuring objective reporting and making efforts to show maturity, while commenting, analyzing and reporting high profile issues and matters, having involving national stakes. Instead of showing media biases against the security agencies by exploiting the political turmoil, our media must realize its responsibilities, especially when the country is faced with an extra-ordinary challenge like the one, being experienced in Islamabad.


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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Appeasement taken as sign of docility

Appeasement taken as sign of docility

Asif Haroon Raja








Nawaz Sharif addressed the UN Assembly on 27th and in that he jogged the memory of the UNSC by reminding it of its responsibility to resolve the 66 year old Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions. He also called upon the international community to play its due role for the realization of the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people and let them decide their future through a plebiscite organized by the UN. Nawaz thus rekindled the age-old stance of Pakistan, which Gen Musharraf had gratuitously sabotaged in 2003 to please India and USA. Nawaz’s statement on Kashmir was not to the liking of India. It had been lobbying hard to restrain him from re-enacting the UN resolution stance smothered by Musharraf.

Known for doing its homework, India on one hand had intensified diplomatic efforts to woo Nawaz after he took over power in early June 2013, and at the same time prepared ground to paint Pakistan and freedom movement in Kashmir in black through carefully planned false flag operations and hate offensive. The first of its kind was the deliberate heating up of Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir in early January 2013. The incident of beheading of two Indian soldiers allegedly by Pak soldiers was drummed up and dragged on for quite some time. Hostile reaction to the death of Indian RAW agent Sarabjit Singh in April 2013 in the form of killing of Pakistani national Sanaullah Ranjay in Jammu jail tensed Indo-Pak relations. The LoC was one again heated up in August on the pretext that five Indian soldiers had been killed deep inside Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) by Kashmiri terrorists dressed in Pak uniforms and backed by Pak Army.

From August 2013 onwards, hardly a day has passed when Indian occupation forces didn’t violate 2003 peace agreement in Kashmir by resorting to unprovoked firing and killing civilians and soldiers. Just a day before Manmohan’s address in the UN Assembly on 28thSeptember, another terror attack was stage-managed on a military target in Samba. Samba incident, coupled with previous incidents equipped Manmohan with sufficient grist to lambast Pakistan during his speech in the General Assembly. He dubbed Pakistan as an epicenter of terrorism and accused it of abetting terrorism in IOK. He also repeated India’s age-old stance that Kashmir is the integral part of India.

Manmohan continued with his laments when he met President Obama on 29 September. He had nothing else to talk except for bad mouthing Pakistan and painting India as the victim of terrorism. Receptive Obama not only shared his concerns compassionately but also approved his boxful of lies without being given shred of evidence. Manmohan’s invectives were meant to put Nawaz on the defensive during his meeting with him on the sidelines of the UN Session on the 30th. Indian foreign minister added to the disinformation campaign by giving lies-filled interview to anti-Pakistan VOA.         

Musharraf caused greatest damage to the cause of Kashmir by allowing India to fence the LoC, bridling Jihadist groups, pushing aside UN resolutions on Kashmir and suggesting out of box four-point formula to resolve the dispute. However, ZA Bhutto too had harmed the Kashmir cause during Simla talks in 1972 by agreeing to convert ceasefire line in Kashmir, demarcated on January 1, 1949 into LoC and accepting Indian suggested policy of bilateralism. Concept of LoC encouraged India to focus on converting it into permanent border between two Kashmirs at a later date. Bilateralism enabled India to rule out third party intervention. Gen Musharraf was fully geared to sell off Kashmir by agreeing to implement India’s suggestion of making LoC a permanent border and making the border soft so as to allow two-way trade and facilitate movement of Kashmiris across the border. To that end, bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad was introduced.  

By early 2007, 90% work had been completed through backdoor diplomacy pursued by Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri and Advisor Tariq Aziz. Sudden eruption of lawyer’s movement after the sacking of Chief Justice Iftikhar by Musharraf in March 2007, which put Musharraf on the back foot, derailed the process. But for India’s chronic habit of haggling and suspicion, the unholy deal might have materialized by end 2007. Lawyer’s movement proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Kashmiris and Pakistan, but India lost the chance of century to legalize its hold over two-thirds Kashmir. Indian leaders are yearning to re-start the backchannel diplomacy and to pick up threads from where discussion on Kashmir had been abandoned in 2007. Zardari regime made no efforts to remove the stigma of terrorism pinned on Kashmiris or to revive the resistance movement but he didn’t promote Musharraf’s wonky out-of-box concept. 

Nawaz is no less a lover of India than Musharraf and Zardari. Ever since he took over, he has been bending over backwards to win the affections of lame duck Manmohan who will be off the Indian political radar for good after next elections in India due in May 2014. He nostalgically recalls that he had developed deep understanding with Vajpayee. He naively believes that Vajpayee’s historic bus yatra to Lahore in February 1999 had brought the Kashmir dispute to near resolution point, but before the final leap could be undertaken to ink the momentous treaty, Musharraf incapacitated the progress achieved by stepping into Dras-Kargil. He is eager to restart the dialogue with India from where the process broke off in 1999. I reckon, Nawaz has a memory lapse. No sooner Vajpayee had returned to New Delhi, he blurted out that Kashmir is the Atoot-Ang of India and there can never be any compromise on it. Manmohan also reiterated the same stance in his September 28th speech. It implies that the standpoint of the two mainstream political parties on Kashmir is the same.

If so, one wonders why our leaders continue to chase rainbows and hope against hope that India would change its position. Why they have so much faith in composite dialogue which started in 1997? Except for some futile CBMS like people-to-people-contact and trade, no progress could be made on any of the disputes of Kashmir, Siachin, Sir Creek and water. One fails to understand why our leaders are so naïve and myopic to repeatedly come under the magic spell of Indian leaders and get duped? What is their compulsion, and if there is any, why don’t they share it with the people rather than misleading them and leading them up the garden path that friendship with India would not only solve core issues but also make Pakistan prosperous?

If India unscrupulously cooks up stories, engineers false flag operations, insults Pakistan, makes false allegations and threatens Pakistan and whips up war hysteria, why our elected leaders do not pick up courage to call a spade a spade and expose India’s terrorism against Pakistan and massive human rights violations in IOK? Pakistan’s apologetic and defensive policy pursued in the vain hope of appeasing ever belligerent India has proved very costly. It has allowed India to carryout one-sided propaganda and to blame Pakistan for the sins committed by India’s rogue elements against Pakistan. In our quest for peace with India, our leaders have gone an extra mile to please fire-breathing and hate-mongering Indian leaders and in the process have compromised the security, honor and dignity of the country.

Our policy of appeasement is taken as a sign of docility and weakness and exploited. Friendship with India should not be at the cost of losing Kashmir and our dignity and sovereignty of the State. Pakistan will have to make its political, diplomatic and media policies pragmatically offensive to match Indo-US-western-Jewish propaganda spiteful onslaughts duly complemented by segment of our own media.  

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

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