Obama’s White House: on-the-fly zone – Dr Mohammad Taqi

The US and the allies may call the military campaign what they want but the no-fly zone, for all practical purposes, is an act of war and the fact of the matter is that Qaddafi himself is the endpoint in this war that cannot be circumvented

Geostrategic planning and global leadership has been likened by the old grandmasters of US foreign policy to a grand chessboard, where the strategy is contemplated several moves in advance, with an eye on the endgame. But the knee-jerk responses of Barack Obama’s administration to the rapidly unravelling situation in the Middle East and North Africa give an impression that he and his team are playing chequers, albeit in a manner as erratic as Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, if not more. From dithering on the US role in Egypt to weeks of waffling about Libya before actually jumping on the no-fly zone bandwagon, it seems like the White House is literally an on-the-fly zone, making up policy as it goes along.

As the western intervention in Libya entered its fourth day, it appears that President Obama may have allowed himself and the US to get sucked into a very messy situation in yet another Muslim country. Mr Obama had stated a couple of weeks ago that Qaddafi must “step down from power and leave”. Just when the Tomahawk missiles were being unleashed on Libya, Vice Admiral William E Gortney said at the Pentagon that Qaddafi himself is not a target, but his safety could not be guaranteed. Speaking on Sunday morning talk shows, Admiral Mike Mullen took the line that the Libyan dictator must “make decisions regarding his future in the country” but reiterated that the goal of the attacks was not to oust him. Taken at face value, these comments appear somewhat innocuous and are designed to placate the war-weary American public but they also reflect the confusion and bickering within the various factions of the Obama administration. …

Read more : Daily Times

Bhagat Singh Anniversary in Brampton, Canada

Every year the Indo-Canadian Workers Association marks the anniversary of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom at the hands of the British Raj (on March 23, 1931). This year’s commemoration will be held on Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m. at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada. He was quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, converting it to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Singh gained support when he underwent a 64-days fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners. He was hanged by British Raj government on 23 March 1931.

The organizers of the event hope many of Indo-Pakistani- Bangladeshi-Canadians will be able to attend to pay the tribute and respect to this great hero of the Indian sub-continent (South Asia).

Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani : A shining and twinkling star of the history of Sindh

By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom

23rd March 1923 is that glittering day in the glorious history of our Sindh when a worthy son was born to a proud and blessed mother, Cjetthi Bbai. This great son of a gifted mother grew up to help in changing History of our Motherland, Sindh, in particular and sub-continent of India, in general. He proudly sacrificed his life so that the lives of his kinsmen and countrymen will never again be spent in ignominious chains and demeaning fetters.

In the glorious History of our beloved Mother Sindh, there have been countless noble and worthy children of Jeejal Sindhrree, who had laid down their lives for the Freedom, Emancipation, Enlightenment and Effervescence of this venerable dhartee – land of our ancestors.

Sindhis had also been in the forefront in the valiant struggle against slavery, subjugation, oppression and tyranny. Remember the history that after Ashoka, for hundreds of years sub-continent of India were colonised, enslaved and terrorised by the brutal invaders. Gone were the independence, self-respect and peace of the peace-loving, secular-minded, Sufi and spiritual people of Sindh and India as a whole.

And, when turbulences become Tsunamis and the going gets tough, the pain and agony becomes unbearable and the ship flounders and is about to sink, the Helmsman, high above in Heavens, sends His worthy and noble, brave and valiant, true and real captains and helmsmen who, with His Help, take control of the wallowing and crippled ship.

In the 1940s, the ship of sub-continent of India was in dire straits and sinking! Mahatma, a courageous man, a veritable leader, pleaded to his countrymen to Rise, Stand Up and Be Counted! Thus began the Civil disobedience movement, throughout the sub-continent, against the British Raj. Mahatma Gandhi’s call was answered by everywhere in India, including Sindh. In 1942, Gandhiji started the “Quit India” Movement with a slogan and appeal to the entire people of the sub-continent, “Do or Die.”

People of Sindh gave whole-hearted support to that Movement. One such valiant and courageous young man was mitthrro suhnno Saaeen Hemu Kalani, a young man still in his teens.

Today, we pay our humble tributes to a valiant young man, a filial son of Mother Sindh, who did not even enter into his second decade of life on Earth, when he and his comrades proudly answered Mahatma Gandhi’s call and went on streets demanding the ouster of the Colonialists from Sindh and rest of India.

Shaheed Hemu Kalani, has just turned nineteen, but, there was a mountain of anger and anguish rising within him against the disgraceful and dishonourable Raj and an Ocean of longing, yearning and craving raging within him to bring the tyrant oppressors and the infamous tormentors, the Colonial Raj down.

There was a train loaded with Tanks, Guns, Bullets, Bombs and Arms and Ammunition, together with the Armed Personnel, and soldiers, heading towards Sindh to contain the disturbances and civil disobedience movement in Sindh. Young Hemu and his comrades, decided to derail the train. With hastily collected simple tools, started to dismantle the fish plates from tracks of the Railway and unplugging their nuts and bolts.

Inexperienced, naïve, simple young men were not able to successfully cripple the Railway tracks as the colonial forces came after them. Hemu Kalani saved his comrades by asking them to run for their lives. In his brave efforts to save his comrades, Hemu was caught by the soldiers of colonial Raj, hand-cuffed and imprisoned.

He was brutally tortured in the prison to name the rest of the comrades who were with him on that fateful day when they tried to derail the train. He was also asked to name his comrades for his freedom. He screamed in agony, suffered in pain, but did not divulge any name of his comrades. This valiant son of Sindh stood firm on his convictions and beliefs. Despite pleas and appeals from his mother to viceroy, Hemo was sentenced to death by the colonial Court and subsequently sent to gallows on 21st Januray, 1943. At the age of only nineteen years, Hemu attained Martyrdom, Shahadat! Hemu Kalani Shaheed who will always remain a shining and twinkling star on the bright and brilliant sky of Sindh. We salute Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani for his struggle and Martyrdom for the freedom of Sindh.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 22 March, 2011.

The military’s risky game – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Each time an-anti American spell is created, the religious right becomes stronger and bolder. It may not have fatally bitten the deep state directly but it has created havoc with Pakistan’s economy

It is likely that Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies have been involved in whipping up the Raymond Davis case and then getting him released on quasi-legal grounds. Now, the military has put its foot down to stop drone attacks after several years of silent acquiescence. The push-back against the Americans could be a smokescreen to attract the anti-American fervour of the nation’s public and eventually enter North Waziristan (NW), but the rhetoric may further empower the religious right and extremist groups.

Pakistan’s ‘deep state’ — that is what some people have started calling the sum total of the military and its agencies — has been playing the anti-American game through the religious right and wandering patriots like Imran Khan to pursue its policy objectives. Seemingly, the strategy has worked in the short-run but the monster of religious extremism and irrational nationalism has been growing and taking on a life of its own.

It is reasonable to assume the highest levels of US leadership would have contacted the Pakistan military’s top brass and ISI chief to have Raymond Davis released immediately after his arrest. Obviously, not only did the military refuse to intervene but it also prompted its media auxiliaries to hype up the matter. Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and other religious parties, keen to provide some kind of political cover to the Taliban and other jihadi groups, picked up the issue and created anti-American street hysteria in Pakistan. Arguably, the deep state may have done this to assert itself against its American partners, some cynics saying this was a ploy to get more money.

The sudden release of Raymond Davis has probably come after the outstanding issues were resolved. We know what amount of diyat (blood money) was paid to Fahim and Faizan’s families but we have no information on what the deep state got in return. We do not want to belabour this point too much because the Pakistan military may have very genuine issues that the US was not listening to, and using the Raymond Davis card meant protecting the state’s interests. But, immediately after the Davis deal, the US foolishly caused the death of citizens who were holding a jirga in Datta Khel. Pakistan’s military chief reacted sharply and, according to recent reports, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has begun patrolling the Pak-Afghan border to repulse future drone attacks.

Pakistan’s military may have been genuinely angered by US ungratefulness; the dust from the Raymond Davis case has not yet cleared and the US has bombed citizens in an area where anti-Americanism is already a serious threat to the establishment. However, it is hard to believe that Pakistan will begin shooting down US drones to stop the attacks that it has silently condoned and cooperated with for years. Due to economic and other needs, Pakistan is not in a position to alienate the US to the extent that it is perceived as a hostile force. …

Read more : Wichaar

The gains by ISI / Pakistan seem to be too much to digest. A retired Brig is all praise for Kiyani.

Admiral Mullen’s Secret Deal

How the Pentagon Supervised Raymond Davis’ Release and How the CIA Took Its Revenge

By SHAUKAT QADIR

[Please note : The writer is a retired brigadier and a former president of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute.]

On February 23, at a beach resort, Gen Ashfaq Kiyani, Pakistan army’s chief assisted by a two star officer met with Admiral Mike Mullen, US Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, assisted by Gen. David Petraeus, and three other high ranking officials, to find a military-diplomatic solution to untangle this web that CIA operatives had spun around both governments. This has been a fairly consistent tradition. On every occasion when relations between Pakistan and the United States have soured (a not infrequent occurrence) the militaries have remained in contact and, invariably, have found a way forward.

The day after this meeting, a military officer posted at the US Embassy in Islamabad travelled to Lahore and met Davis in Kot Lakpat jail. Within 48 hours of this meeting, almost 50 individuals associated with the Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP), including Pashtuns, Punjabis, and some foreigners (nationalities unknown, though one of them is said to be an Aryan) who had been in contact with Davis were arrested. Presumably, Davis ‘sang’, though probably to only a limited degree, on instructions.

Within the same period, a large number of Americans, estimated at between 30 to 45, who had been residing in rented accommodations (like Davis and his associates who had killed a motorcyclist while unsuccessfully attempting to rescue Davis) outside the Embassy/Consulate premises in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, and Quetta left for the US. It is safe to conclude that these were either CIA, Black ops, or associated personnel from security agencies like Xe.

The intelligence business is broadly divided into two categories: human intelligence, known as HUMINT and electronic intelligence, known as ELINT. The latter has numerous subdivisions: SIGINT (Signals intelligence, also known as COMINT; communication intelligence), Imagery intelligence etc. It appears, therefore, that the deal struck between the military leadership included a shut down of CIA’s HUMINT operations in Pakistan, retaining only ELINT, Davis would ‘sing’, within limits, of course, and only then could Blood Money be negotiated for his release. And the US would be bled in that final deal also so as to ensure the safety and the future of the immediate families of both Davis’s victims.

At the height of the debate on the question of Raymond Davis’ immunity from trial for murder, this writer emphasized that Pakistan could not release him without a trial. A trial took duly place and, in accordance with prevalent law in Pakistan, the next of kin of the deceased young men, pardoned Davis in return for ‘Blood Money’. However outlandish this law might seem to those peoples whose countries have their based on Anglo-Saxon principles, such is the law in Pakistan and so there was nothing underhand in what transpired.

Amongst analysts and journalists there were basically two opposing responses to his release, though there was (and is) an occasional sane voice to be heard, throughout the saga. One category of people had been arguing since Davis’ arrest that he should be granted immunity since Pakistan, given its precarious economy, weak government, and the prevalent security situation, could not afford to fall afoul of the US. For this factionhis release through the judicial system was the next best outcome of the disastrous mistake that had been committed in arresting him!

The opposing view was that it is time and more, that Pakistan asserts its sovereignty and national pride to ensure that Davis is awarded no less than his due: the death penalty. It is ironic that the bulk of those who held this view are all supporters of the imposition of Islamic laws including those on blasphemy, Blood Money (the law that ensured Davis’ pardon), and a host of other issues and, even after Davis’ release under these laws, any attempt to get rid of such laws would be opposed by them, tooth and nail.

While the accusations leveled by the prosecution that the families of Faizan and Faheem, the two men killed by Davis, were coerced into accepting the deal offered to them in exchange for their pardoning Davis, is a pack of nonsense, since the entire family was under the active protection of the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, there is absolutely no doubt that the ISI (and, therefore, GHQ) assisted in brokering the deal. In fact, I would be very surprised if both families had not been continuously advised by fairly senior-level representatives of the ISI as to what and how much they should ask for. ….

Read more : Counterpunch

Mourning and Grieving Baloch nation while Pakistan celebrates its 23th March: Report

Balochistan: 23 March perhaps a day the Pakistani’s celebrate their “First Resolution Day” but 23 March 2011 brought mourning and grieving for Baloch nation, as such two bullet riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons were found from Vinder, District Hub. ….

Read more : frontierindia.org

Threat to Durga Mata Temple Nagarparkar, Sindh

Today, Pakistan is facing terror as it has in-dignified its own roots. Any nation who adopts an alien culture is bound for no peace. This is time to accept the roots. Hindus are indigenous people of Pakistan and Hindu temples and their culture is part of Pakistan’s cultural heritage. Hence all Pakistanis, especially Muslim Pakistanis should help preserve this heritage. People of Durga Mata Temple, Village Choryo, Taluko Nagarparkar, District Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan are demanding help to preserve their temples, heritage & culture.

You Tube

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Human Rights Commission of Pakistan requests your urgent intervention in the following situation

Description of the situation:

It has been brought to the knowledge of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) that extraction of granite in district Tharparkar, Sindh is posing a threat to a highly revered Hindu temple which is also a part of our precious cultural heritage. According to media the path leading up to the Durga Mata Mandir, situated on a hill in Nagarparkar, has been destroyed after a contractor used heavy machinery and dynamite to extract granite. This affront to a heritage site had greatly encumbered pilgrims who had visited the temple to celebrate their annual Shivratri Mela last month. Many of these pilgrims had come after a long journey from Nepal and India.

HRCP urges the Sindh government to take immediate notice of this important matter that relates to the preservation of the religious and cultural heritage of a Sindhi Hindu community. It is a basic right of every community to freely practice its religious rituals and preserve its religious heritage.

In a wider context, old temples that are located in Tharparkar are an integral part of Pakistan’s cultural and archeological heritage and must be preserved as a treasure that also asserts the identity of a religious minority. In fact, the threat to the Durga Mata temple should underline the need to preserve and protect many archeological sites that certify the cultural diversity and values of tolerance and brotherhood in this ancient land that is now Pakistan.

Action requested

* Extraction of granite from this area should immediately be stopped

* Concrete and urgent steps should be taken to preserve all cultural and religious heritages of all communities living in Pakistan

* Immediate special measures should be taken for the preserve Durga Mata Mandir

A tribute to Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani

Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani. [امر شهيد هيمون ڪالاڻي], who took active part in the SWARAJ SENA [سوراج سينا] to fight against British Crown and gave his life for self rule [سوراج]. He is our hero, whom we have forgotten and even given up to write on, though he deserves enough to be paid heed and tribute. Martyred Hemu Kalani, who is our hero and freedom fighter. The year 1942 was an era of socio-political upheaval, Quit India Movement was in the torrents and British Raj was very much angry on the freedom fighters for their movements.

Hemu Kalani had executed by British Raj authorities in Sukkur jail on 21 January 1943. On 26 January 1943, Jawaharlal Nehru, who later became Prime Minister of India, paid tribute to Hemu Kalani in these words; “My mind traveled to sindh where a few days ago a young boy Hemo aged 20 was sent to scaffold by a martial law court for the offence of tampering or attempting to tamper with railway lines. This execution struck me as something which will have far reaching consequences all over India , especially among the youth. The blood of Hemu and others will long stand witness.”

After two years, when Jawaharlal Nehru Nehru was came to Karachi, Sindh 1945 he especially visited Sukkur and met with the mother of Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani and had paid tribute to this hero of Sindh. There is a huge statue of Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani at Lok Sabha (federal Parliament)  in Delhi in front of deputy speaker chamber. There are several roads, streets and schools in Mumbai, Ullhas Nagar (Sindhu Nagar)  and other cites that are named on Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani to pay tribute to this hero of Sindh and sub-continent.

Shaikh Ayaz had written his immortal opera in the background of freedom fighters and Bhagat Singh remained the most inspiring man for Ayaz. So for the Hemu Kalani is concerned, we have been hearing the name by the nationalists and especially from the activists of Jeay Sindh. They used to make speeches and deliver the names of the heroes of Sindh.

The role of Jeay Sindh remained active in this regard, the youth followed them and some booklets were also published, when Jeay Sindh was at its peak; the party boosted up their heroes and sang songs for those.

People do not know about Hemu more, they just have heard the name; no concrete material is provided, he should be worked out and published.

“We urge minister of tourism and culture to make his memorial, preserve his home and inscribe a road. Invite Tekchand Kalani to visit Sindh to inaugurate that road and memorial. His brother tekchand’s last wish is to see Sindh before death.”

We would also request to Teckchand, the brother of Hemu should also write his memories and get his memories published not only in a book form but on the internet also.