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Posts Tagged ”General Raheel Sharif

THE LAST CHANCE. By FAKIR AYAZUDDIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LAST CHANCE.

  By

FAKIR AYAZUDDIN

 

 

 

 

 

    The figures showing the increase in our National debt are frightening. They show that not only are our leaders incompetent, but the reckless manner in which they have run the country to take the debt from 1500 billion at the end of Musharrafs era to 14000 billion after Zardari’ last spell, and then Nawaz has not ended his spell, but has borrowed ,18,800 billion! In just 18 months, and his term is not over yet.
A friend of mine who has been with the World bank for twenty years had the following comments on these figures.
‘Ayaz
Interesting figures.  The following points come to mind.
1. Performance under military govts  – two and half to three times better than under politicos.  Per capita income which measures people’s welfare showed consistent improvement under military govts. Stagnant under political govts. and particularly abysmal under the Bhuttos, who played with peoples expectations.  No delivery.

2. Scandalous level of debt financing under zardari.   He almost de-constructed the economy and the country.  You don’t see such rapid debt build up in peace time. Oil price increases may have contributed to no more that 25-50 pc of this increase. but nearly 900 pc increase in 4 to 5 years only shows that  our finances were in a free fall.  This can only sustain in a culture of corruption and cronyism or war.

The last line is particularly important ‘ in a culture of corruption cronyism or war. ‘
The point being that this level of debt increase can only be visited upon a State in a time of war. Gen Raheel Shareef understands well the word war. All army officers have lived with this word. And know well the cost. In lives, their lives are at the forefront. He should apply this yardstick to his decisions. In Wana his soldiers are at war. Not of their choosing, but when pushed to the wall the Pakistan Army under Gen. Raheel had to fight. This has been appreciated worldwide, and has earned him the respect of the world leadership. Gen Raheel should also realize that the actions of the politicians is as dangerous and as damaging as the Taliban. And must be tackled with the same ferocity.
     It shows how the recklessly the Zardari Government treated the State of Pakistan. Zardari has set a record of corruption and of singlehandedly destroying the economy of the country. Along with Gen Kayani, who certainly was a part of this crooked setup, for, without Kayanis tacit approval, this could not have continued.
     During this period no development of any kind, no roads, no airports no Gas/ Oil pipelines were laid. No infrastructure of any kind, the money vanished into the deep pockets of the PPP, via the Sindh Government network. The huge amounts of money– the 200 billion Rs a year that were skimmed off were added into the National Debt. None of the politicians in the opposition or the bureaucracy had the intelligence to realize the enormity of the crime. It is only the people who will continue to suffer their poverty, for their hope has been stolen from them by these rapacious politicians. The entire assembly should be branded as crooks. Even Imran Khan should be taken to task for allowing himself to become a part of this scam, just by attending this bogus assembly.
     It is now apparent that the politicians can not be allowed to govern any longer. They have continually raped the country, while making empty promises, that they had no intention of keeping. They have violated the constitution, and caused immense economic damage to the country. While giving no development of any kind.
     Nawaz Sharif is not visible in the country, neither is Shabaz Sharif. The scams are mounting, the latest is the Ship for the transport of LPG from Qatar. It has been exposed on TV that our port does not have the depth to accommodate such a large vessel, and smaller parcels of gas will have to be brought in. Strangely a company like Engro with sensible management in place could be caught in being party to such blunders. On the same level as Raja Rental. With huge amounts being paid on the contracted LPG if the delivery of the contracted amounts are not taken. These are actions that are part of the systematic rape of the country. Why is this being allowed to continue.?
    Gen Raheel should understand that we the people are powerless to stop this attack on the country, for we are told to wait for the next election. Gen Raheel should understand that there may not be a Pakistan left in 24 months time. He has to act now, for with each year another 1000 billion will be added to our burden. For him there will be no fig leaf of the constitution to hide behind. That fig leaf has been worn threadbare by the politicians, till it is now transparent and everyone can see through it. Anyone in support of the status quo is guilty of treason. This country has contract killers on the loose, unlicensed weapons are freely available– and were on hire till the recent past, but now there is such a huge number available that it is cheaper to buy. Crime does pay, and the politicians are the success story for crime.
     Gen Raheel will have to put a stop to this rot. Otherwise the country will pay a horrific price. Even Imran Khan will realise that being a part of this system will involve him in the resultant mess. How will Imran say he was not involved.?
     Gen Sahib, you must act now, in defence of the country. It is the only one we have.

 

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Terrorism: India, Undermining Pak-Afghan Stability

Terrorism: India, Undermining Pak-Afghan Stability

By

Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

 

 

Image result for CPEC Economic CorridorImage result for CPEC Economic CorridorImage result for CPEC Economic Corridor

 

 

 

 

 

In the recent years, when the US-led NATO forces felt that they are failing in coping with the stiff resistance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, they started accusing Pak Army and country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of supporting the Afghan Taliban. The high officials and media of their countries not only blamed Pakistan for cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan, but also presumed that a plot to attack the US homeland would be prepared in FATA where safe-havens of Al Qaeda exist. India avail the opportunity and also accused Pakistan of similar allegations. It is notable that Pakistan’s Armed Forces broke the backbone of the militants through military operation Zarb-i-Azb which started on June 15, 2014 in North Waziristan Agency, and afterwards, extended to some other tribal agencies—killing thousands of insurgents including foreign terrorists, while, ISI and other law-enforcing agencies captured several terrorists in various regions of Pakistan, including suicide-jackets and weapons. What the US-led NATO countries could not do in Afghanistan in the last 14

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Western Route

This route will Start from Hassan Abdal and then it will lead to Gwadar via Mianwali, Dera Ismail Khan,Quetta and Zhob.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Western Route Map

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Image result for CPEC Economic CorridorImage result for CPEC Economic Corridor
 
 
 
 
 
Image result for CPEC Economic CorridorImage result for CPEC Economic CorridorImage result for CPEC Economic CorridorImage result for CPEC Economic Corridor
 
 
 
 

 CPEC: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Western Route Map

years, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have done in one year. Taking note of the ground realities, the US and other western countries have started appreciating the capabilities of Pakistan Army and other security agencies, and are, now, recognizing the sacrifices of the country against terrorism. They also recognize the fact that there is a co-relationship of stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Highlighting inter-related regional problems in his speech at the Central SouthImage result for CPEC Economic Corridor

Asia Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif said on September 29, this year, “Practical steps are required to manage Pak-Afghan borders for gainful conclusion of the military operation Zarb-e-Azb—Afghan instability had telling effects on the region”. He stressed on all stake holders to revive reconciliation process, despite hurdles, and elaborated, “A peaceful Afghanistan can open regional connectivity—China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) benefits can be shared—it is essential for socio-economic development of the whole region”. During his recent trip to

UK, and during his interaction with the British top officials and addresses,Image result for CPEC Economic Corridor

Gen. Raheel Sharif again emphasized upon south Asian security. In this regard, he said our environment need to be understood by the world—we are fighting various terrorist groups, no new entities can be allowed to emerge—we want to finish terrorists and their nurseries, while, we also expect the international community to play its part for regional peace—terrorism is a global issue and it warrants global response—for long term success, funding of all terrorist outfits has to be checked by all—we are against use of proxies and won not allow it on our soil.” Gen. Raheel indicated that India has been continuing borderImage result for CPEC Economic Corridorviolations to divert attention of Pakistan from its war against terrorism. However, regional security is not only important for Asian countries, but also for the US and other western countries and even for the whole world. In this respect, in their recent statements, American, British, German leaders and high officials including those of other NATO countries appreciated progress of Pakistan to counter terrorism, and acknowledged the nation’s contribution towards regional peace and stability. But, it is regrettable that India is destabilizing the regional countries in general and AfghanistanImage result for CPEC Economic Corridor

and Pakistan in particular. In order to obtain its secret designs, aimed at augmenting Indian hegemony in the region, India is foiling the peace process between Afghanistan and Pakistan by managing terrorist attacks like the recent ones in Afghanistan which revived old blame game against Islamabad. In this respect, in the recent past, cordial relations were established between Pakistan and Afghanistan when Afghan President Ashraf Ghani realized thatImage result for CPEC Economic CorridorAfghanistan and Pakistan are facing similar challenges of terrorism and will combat this threat collectively. They also set up a mechanism to check infiltration of the militants through Pak-Afghan porous border. While, it is misfortune that on direction of New Delhi and like the former regime of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s present rulers have also started accusing Pakistan of cross-border terrorism. In this context, after hours of the Taliban captured Kunduz city, on September 28, 2015, during his address to the UNO General Assembly, Afghanistan’s chiefImage result for CPEC Economic Corridorexecutive Abdullah Abdullah blamed Islamabad for carrying out cross-border attacks and destabilizing Afghanistan. On June 1, 2015 President Ashraf Ghani condemned Pakistan for waging undeclared war. Despite Islamabad’s rejection of these baseless allegations, and instance on Pak-Afghan joint cooperation against terrorism, this blame game continued. In fact, in collusion with Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), Indian secret agency RAW has well-established its network in Afghanistan, and is fully assisting cross-border incursions and terror-activities in various regions of Pakistan through Baloch separatist elements and anti-Pakistan groups like Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundullah (God’s soldiers) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). In this connection, on September 18, this year, the TTP militants attacked a Pakistan Air Force camp in Badaber area, Peshawar and martyred 29 people including army personnel. In this regard, Pakistan’s civil and military sources pointed out those TTP terrorists came from Afghanistan, having connections with Indian RAW. Notably, RAW is making efforts to weaken Afghanistan, Tibetan regions of China and Pakistan, especially Balochistan by arranging the subversive activities, promoting acrimonious sense of dissent, political volatility, sectarian violence and arousing sentiments of separatism. It is mentionable that New Delhi which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, also signed a wide-ranging strategic agreement with that country on October 5, 2011. And, the then President Karzai had also signed another agreement with India to obtain Indian arms and weapons. While, under the cover of these agreements, India has further strengthened its grip in Afghanistan. By taking advantage of lawlessness in Afghanistan, India is up to its usual tirade to foment an environment by conducting terrorist attacks in that country to prove that Pakistan is creating trouble for Afghanistan. It is notable that Gen. Raheel accompanied by the DG of ISI went to Kabul on December 17, 2014. During his meeting with his Afghan counterpart, President Ashraf Ghani and the ISAF commander, he presented the evidence of linkage between the massacre of children at Peshawar school and TTP sanctuaries in Afghanistan. He also asked about action against the TTP and handing over of its chief Mullah Fazlullah to Pakistan. Nevertheless, Indian desperation in Afghanistan is increasing in the backdrop of growing engagements of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and US. Therefore, by arranging terror-assaults in Pakistan and Afghanistan, India is also thwarting the peace process between the Afghan officials and representatives of Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan, which started in Murree, Pakistan, on July 8, 2015 through a meeting, hosted by Islamabad, and in it, Chinese and American representatives, also participated. While, the US, China and Pakistan are jointly working to facilitate the process so as to bring peace both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the whole region. Moreover, New Delhi is also trying to sabotage the CPEC and is targeting growing Pak-China-Afghanistan relations. Furthermore, on the instruction of the Indian leader of the fundamentalist party BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian forces have accelerated unprovoked shelling across the Line of Control and Working Boundary, while creating war-like situation between Pakistan and India. Meanwhile, Pakistan raised the question of Indian cross-border terrorism and RAW involvement in Pakistan at the UNO forum, with strong evidence in light of open statements of Indian defence minister and prime minister who recently confirmed assistance to anti-Pakistan elements including separation of East Pakistan. Islamabad also raised the issues of Indian cross-border shelling and human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir. It is of particular attention that waging a prolonged war in Afghanistan, the US and other NATO countries have realized that after the withdrawal of foreign troops, Afghanistan would be thrown in an era of uncertainly and civil war. They realize the fact that terrorism or stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan is interrelated. Therefore, US-led developed nations which also spent billions of dollars for the development of Afghanistan have repeatedly agreed that without Islamabad’s help, stability cannot be achieved there. Unfortunately, India does not intend to see peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hence, India is undermining Pak-Afghan stability by creating unrest, and by sabotaging their cordial relations. So, the US-led developed countries must also show realistic approach by realizing that unlike India, Pakistan shares common geographical, historical, religious and cultural bonds with Afghanistan, while Pak-Afghan stability is inter-related, which is essential for their global and regional interests. Especially, America must abandon its faulty strategy in this region and double standard, and must check Indian secret strategy against Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, America, Russia and other Asian countries. Nonetheless, in order to obtain its cover aims, India has been destabilizing South Asian security which is equally essential for American and other major powers’ global interests.

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_pak@hotmail.com

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Collective Wisdom for North Waziristan Operation

Collective Wisdom for North Waziristan Operation

By

Sajjad Shaukat

 

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy in the US homeland, American government, opposition, media and public had become one by showing collective wisdom, because the country was at war against the non-sovereign entities, popularly called terrorists. When the Pakistan Government decided to launch the ongoing military operation “Zarb-e-Azb” against the militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the nation into confidence through parliament and senate, asserting that Pakistan would not be allowed to become safe havens of terrorists. He further stated that military operation would continue till achievement of ultimate objectives. Earlier, DG, ISPR Directorate, Major-Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa stated, “On the directions of the Government, Armed forces of Pakistan have launched the operation against foreign and local terrorists; who had been waging a war against the state of Pakistan by disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property; with the support of the entire nation, these enemies will be denied space across the country.” On June 16, 2014, Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif also pointed out, imgres-4“Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been launched with the objectives of rooting out terrorists, eliminate their sanctuaries in NWA and rid the country of terrorism.” Since June 15 when the military operation started, the jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed militants’ hideouts in North Waziristan, and killed more than 300 insurgents including foreign militants, while Pak Army has also started ground offensive which has successfully been achieving its goals. Recently, several militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have been killed and more than 20 surrendered before the Army. Although Pakistan’s media, politicians, leaders of religious parties and general masses are showing solidarity with the armed forces, which could be judged from the countrywide protests and rallies in support of the North Waziristan operation, and assistance to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), yet incorrect impression is being created by some propagandists like political parties—JI and JUI (F) that the government and the Army were not on the same page regarding militancy, counter-terrorism and the military action in NWA. They are spreading rumours that the present operation was started on the US pressure. Meanwhile, some elements are also manipulating the statement of the former DG ISPR, Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas who said on July 1, this year that the decision to launch a full scale operation against terrorists in North Waziristan had been taken by the military leadership in 2010, but it could not be initiated due to the indecision of the former Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. It is notable that during the Chicago Summit, and when DG of Inter-Services Intelligence agency, Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam met with CIA Director David Petraeus in 2012, some internal and external entities, especially the US media were spreading disinformation that the two spy chiefs agreed on joint operations in Afghanistan and

PAKISTAN-UNREST-US-MISSILEPakistan, and had named the planned offensive in North Waziristan as operation, “Tight Screw.” It was owing to the rumours spread by external media, and also unfortunately by our internal political parties and media that reports of military operation in North Waziristan caused a lot of panic among the majority of locals who had begun fleeing the area. Taking cognizance of the baseless media reports, on August 17, 2012, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani categorically dispelled the speculative reporting in foreign media regarding joint operation in North Waziristan. He reiterated, “We might, if necessary, undertake operation in NWA, in the timeframe of our choosing and requirements” as “determined only by our political and military requirements. It will never be a result of any outside pressure.” Earlier, while stressing upon national unity, Gen. Kayani especially stated on June 9, 2011, “Any effort to create division among important institutions of the country is not in national interest…the people of Pakistan whose support the army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists.” While dispelling the misperception about the military operation in North Waziristan, DG, ISPR Major-Gen. Asim clarified on June 27, this year, “It is solely a Pakistan Army operation and not a joint Pak-US military offensive”, adding that “Pakistani security forces are capable of doing such an operation.” However, it is our misfortune that certain political parties and religious groups in pursuance of their political interests appear to have lost sight of collective wisdom which is essential for obtaining national goals by fighting and eliminating the scourge of terrorism. Now, a broad-based operation has been launched to smash terrorists’ hideouts in North Waziristan areas and flush out all militants from Pakistani soil. This envisages provision of consummating public support, backing by political parties, media and civil society. The government has to maintain its resolve to eliminate terrorism, using assorted counter-terrorism strategy, whereas politicians must maintain order by postponing rallies, train marches, relegating politics of protest and deferring party programmes to hold political meetings. In this respect, violent brawls between Punjab Police and members of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in Lahore, on June 17, which led to live firing and killing of innocent people including women is absolutely deplorable and inappropriate. But, in wake of the present operation against the militants, there is a need to remain peaceful, and render all available assistance to the government so as to thwart all game plan of terrorists rather than opening new conflicting façade from within. Nevertheless, collective wisdom requires that the nation must remain united as the military operation continues against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency. For this purpose, local dissent and protests must be postponed to show solidarity with the rulers as well as the armed forces. No doubt, media, political parties, religious scholars and civil society deserve appreciation for showing cohesive harmony during testing times of the military operation. In this context, the concerned authorities must prepare comprehensive plan to engage with media for its further favourable support to the operation. Initial success of unity among different segments of society must be capitalized by offering detailed briefings to media about progress of the operation and other related issues. Particularly, IDPs which are already being helped by the federal and provincial governments including political and religious parties, and other renowned persons like Malik Riaz of Bahria Town must further be accommodated—and those trapped in war zone be rescued by bringing them to safe areas. Government must reach out to public of North Waziristan areas with a sense of deep compassion and sympathy. At this critical juncture, political parties and religious leaders must postpone their schedules of train marches, protest rallies, political meetings, and show-off congregations till the objectives of military operation are achieved. In this regard, postponement of train march by Sheikh Rasheed is appreciating. Besides, violent police action against members of PAT, which resulted into killing of innocent people including women, must be thoroughly investigated, and responsibility must be fixed against all tiers of command and levels of the administration. As the TTP-led terrorists had accelerated their anti-social, undemocratic and un-Islamic practices, therefore, people from all segments of life wanted that a handful of terrorist elements must not be allowed to dictate their agenda and to impose their self-perceived ideology on the majority of Pakistanis. So, the right hour has come that Pakistan’s media, politicians and leaders of religious parties must show solidarity with the armed forces by also rejecting the propaganda of these zealots against the security forces in relation to the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan. Nonetheless, nation must be united in the face of threat posed by terrorism. The success of the military operation and defeat of the terrorists will become assured, if the ruling and the opposition parties including all the segments of society display practical unity not only with one another, but also with the armed forces, which is also necessary to maintain order at this sensitive moment.

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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