Tag Archives: Friendship

On World Peace Day, a new song shows friendship transcends Pakistan-India ire

‘Na Rokay Koi,’ sung by Ali Aftab Saeed, gels well with a sweet video directed by him and Aarti Shrivastava

This International Peace Day, singer Ali Aftab Saeed and Indian filmmaker Aarti Shrivastava have worked together to bring to us a new anthem of Pak-India friendship, titled ‘Na Rokay Koi’.

Through this musical medium, Ali and Aarti have told a simple story of two college friends who parted ways to return to their home countries.

But a wedding convinces Zahra, the friend from Pakistan, to reunite with her Indian friend. Leaving a note for her father, she packs up and heads out to the other side of the border.

Indo-Pak peace: Pak orders release of all Indian fishermen

KARACHI – SINDH: Pakistan has ordered the release of all Indian fishermen imprisoned in the country. According to the Interior Ministry, all imprisoned fishermen in Pakistan will be released along with their ships, adding that the process will begin soon. …

Read more » The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-84908-Pak-orders-release-of-all-Indian-fisherm

Beyond Borders, a journey of friendship between India and Pakistan by Shariq Ali

The village was small and the entire community was tied together like a family, with common cultural values and traditions evolved over hundreds, if not thousands of years. They were farmers and knew very well as to how to work in the fields and love and sing together, but had poor understanding of the political realities of their times.

One day, they saw the sunset as one community but at the dawn, realized that the village is divided by an invisible line created not by Hindus and Muslims, but by few British advisors called Radcliffe commission. And so was the territory of 88 million people of the subcontinent. ….

Read more » ValueVersity

China is not eager to jump in Afpak conflict

– Analysis: China to keep Pakistan embrace at arm’s length

By Sui-Lee Wee

BEIJING: (Reuters) – Pakistan, facing a crisis with the United States, has leaned closely to longtime partner China, offering its “all-weather friendship” with Beijing as an alternative to Washington.

But Pakistan will be disappointed if it hopes to replace American patronage with the same from China.

While China does not welcome the U.S. presence near its border, it wants stability on its western flank and believes an abrupt withdrawal of Washington’s support for Pakistan could imperil that. It also does not want to upset warming relations with India by getting mired in subcontinent security tension.

Maintaining that delicate balance, China will continue supporting economic cooperation with Pakistan but go slow on defense cooperation. While outwardly all smiles and warm pledges of friendship, China will quietly keep things at arms length.

“I think they see what’s going on in the U.S.-Pakistan front at the moment as reason to tread very carefully,” said Andrew Small, a researcher at the German Marshall Fund think-tank in Brussels who studies China-Pakistan ties and often visits both countries.

“They are taking extra care to make sure that what’s going on in the relationship is correctly understood, not reflecting any willingness to rush in or fill the gap or exploit differences.”

Pakistan’s brittle relationship with the United States, its major donor, has turned openly rancorous. Washington accused Pakistan’s powerful ISI spy agency of directly backing the Afghan Taliban-allied Haqqani network and of providing support for a September 13 attack on the U.S. mission in Kabul. ….

Read more → Reuters

Pakistan Preparing to Defend itself?

– Is Pakistan Preparing to Defend Herself?

by Meinhaj Hussain

The global economic downturn appears to be never-ending. Political unrest is acute around the world. The lack of respect for international law has never been greater. Nations are arming despite the downturn and doing so at a rate that does not suggest modernization or replacement. With all said and done, this could still not spell imminent danger. But with China arming Pakistan with such urgency as to forgo its own defense needs, something appears to be happening behind secure doors, walls, guards, wire-fences and surveillance cameras.

The Chinese military-industrial complex has been busy over the last two decades at full throttle, attempting to catch-up to the West. There have been many stumbling points, including a frustrating inability to produce quality turbo-fan engines for her fighters, the loss of top Electronic Warfare (EW) and airborne radar scientists and rivalries between different corporatocracies.

However, in 2011, China has finally reached a position where it can begin to see itself as comparable to the West in key aspects such as technology, expertise and military capability.

At the critical juncture where the successful J-10B is to enter mass production and produce a dazzling plane deploying AESA radars and other advanced military technology, we find a strange occurrence. China has dedicated its J-10B production to meet Pakistan’s pressing needs. Such a level of cooperation and collaboration is unparalleled in modern history. Not even the United States has been willing to act in a similar fashion with Israel.

The Soviet Union and United States have long had allied states but have never sacrificed their own defense needs for its allies in a similar manner. China is not only willing to send J-10Bs, 58 odd planes of which are being produced for Pakistan with special customization as per the requirements of the Pakistan Air Force, but is also handing 50 new JF-17 Block IIs with stealth technology and possibly AESA radars.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Navy (PN) is slated for brand new submarines at financing that is beyond friendship prices and rates. Again, China’s latest submarine the Type 043 Qing Class, yet to be inducted into the Chinese navy and the pride of China’s technological and engineering elite, is being manufactured for Pakistan.

Six odd submarines, which are among the largest conventional vessels manufactured by humanity thus far and closer to the displacement of nuclear submarines, capable of firing nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and possibly a single ballistic missile are also part of a rapid program to transform the Pakistan Navy. The submarines are technological on par with anything the West can or has built with regard to conventional submarines. These behemoths and technological marvels are built on technologies that has taken over 20 years for China to develop including Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) that allows submarines to stay submerged for weeks and (possibly) pump jet propulsion, a propulsion system yet to be implemented even in Western conventional submarines. …

Read more → grandestrategy

Pakistan and China: Two Friends Hit a Bump

By MICHAEL WINES

BEIJING — This is officially the Year of Pakistan-China Friendship, and in a four-day visit to Beijing last week — the third in just 17 months — Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, proclaimed that the two best friends “are like one nation and two countries.” Chinese officials were reported to have presented Mr. Gilani with 50 fighter jets as a welcome gift.

So it raised eyebrows when this week the two nations politely disagreed over whether Mr. Gilani had given the Chinese a gift that would be hard to mislay: an entire naval base, right at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Pakistan’s defense minister, Ahmad Mukhtar, who accompanied Mr. Gilani on the state visit, announced the deal after Mr. Gilani returned home on Saturday.

“We have asked our Chinese brothers to please build a naval base at Gwadar,” a deepwater port on Pakistan’s southwest coast, he told journalists.

Moreover, he said, Pakistan had invited China to assume management of the port’s commercial operations, now run by a Singapore firm under a multidecade contract.

On Tuesday, however, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, disagreed, saying the port had neither been offered nor accepted.

“China and Pakistan are friendly neighbors,” she said at the ministry’s twice-weekly news conference. “Regarding the specific China-Pakistan cooperative project that you raised, I have not heard of it. It’s my understanding that during the visit last week this issue was not touched upon.”

Some analysts were at a loss to explain the discrepancy.

“Maybe there were some discussions between the two sides when Gilani was up in China last week, bearing on some kind of future Chinese stewardship of the port,” said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, in a telephone interview. “Maybe there was some speculative discussion. Perhaps the Defense Ministry simply got its signals wrong.”

We’re seeing a lot of incompetence in the Pakistani government these days,” he added. ….

Read more : The New York Times

via BrownPundits

Interview with Pratap Mehta on Pakistan

Pratap Mehta: Pakistan’s Perpetual Identity Crisis

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a political theorist and intellectual historian based in New Delhi, is leading us through another reflection on the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan.

The reconsideration of partition is a critical, current existential question not only for South Asians, but also for Americans who watch the continuous outrages from Taliban and CIA sanctuaries inside Pakistan. It’s a question on many levels — terrorism, geopolitics, ethnicity and religion — but, Pratap Mehta says, “it’s fundamentally the question of the identity of a country.”

In his telling of the partition story, the contemporary reality of Pakistan grew out of a failure to answer a core challenge of creating a nation-state: how do you protect a minority? It’s Mehta’s view that the framers of the modern subcontinent — notably Gandhi, Jinnah & Nehru — never imagined a stable solution to this question. He blames two shortcomings of the political discourse at the time of India’s independence:

The first is that it was always assumed that the pull of religious identities in India is so deep that any conception of citizenship that fully detaches the idea of citizenship from religious identity is not going to be a tenable one.

The second is that Gandhi in particular, and the Congress Party in general, had a conception of India which was really a kind of federation of communities. So the Congress Party saw [the creation of India] as about friendship among a federation of communities, not as a project of liberating individuals from the burden of community identity to be whatever it is that they wished to be.

The other way of thinking about this, which is to think about a conception of citizenship where identities matter less to what political rights you have, that was never considered seriously as a political project. Perhaps that would have provided a much more ideologically coherent way of dealing with the challenges of creating a modern nation-state. – – Pratap Bhanu Mehta with Chris Lydon at the Watson Institute, April 12, 2011.

Unlike many other Open Source talkers on Pakistan, Pratap Mehta does not immediately link its Islamization to the United States and its1980s jihad against the Soviets. Reagan and his CIA-Mujahideen military complex were indeed powerful players in the rise of Islamic extremism in Pakistan, he agrees, but the turn began first during a national identity crisis precipitated by another partition, the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Suddenly, Mehta is telling us, Pakistan could no longer define itself as the unique homeland for Muslims in the subcontinent. In search of identity, and distinction from its new neighbor to the east, Pakistan turned towards a West Asian brand of Islam, the hardline Saudi Wahhabism that has become a definitive ideology in today’s Islamic extremism.

Mehta is hopeful, though, that in open democratic elections Islamic parties would remain relatively marginalized, that despite the push to convert Pakistan into a West Asian style Islamic state since 1971, “the cultural weight of it being a South Asian country” with a tradition of secular Islam “remains strong enough to be an antidote.”

Click here to listen Radio Open Source interview with Pratap Mehta, it is much more in depth than the text summary

Courtesy: http://www.radioopensource.org/pratap-mehta-pakistans-perpetual-identity-crisis/

Indo-Pak Youth Festival for Peace: LAHORE FEB 2011

– “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding” – Albert Einstein.

Youth make- up one fifth of the South- Asian demography. Most often we see youth as victims or perpetrators of violence. History is witness to the fact that youth as members of an ever changing, dynamic and energetic group in societies play a crucial role in transforming conflict ridden societies into democratic and peaceful societies. This is a critical mass which needs to be involved when it comes to transformation of violent relationships, structures, attitudes and behaviors towards peace building.

Continue reading Indo-Pak Youth Festival for Peace: LAHORE FEB 2011

Real target of Mumbai terrorists is to destroy Pakistani peace bid

by Tarek Fatah

Only time will tell whether these Islamists succeed or whether the good people of India–Hindus and Muslims –can see through this provocation and embrace the hand of friendship extended by Zardari.

The mayhem in Mumbai had barely subsided when I received the first e-mail suggesting the terrorist attacks had been carried out by agents of Mossad–Israel’s military intelligence- -masquerading as Islamic terrorists to give Muslims a bad name. Alex James of Toronto forwarded a news item claiming, “India’s Internal Security Police are now holding and questioning an identified Israeli Mossad agent, who had been in communication with some of the alleged terrorists in India two weeks before the BLACK OP attacks took place.”

As ridiculous as this may sound, chances are countless Muslims are deluding themselves into believing that it is not their co-religionists who are responsible for the savagery let loose on India, but some hidden hand that is part of a U.S.-Zionist conspiracy against Islam.

If there was an intelligence agency whose fingerprints can be spotted all over the crime scene, it appears to be Islamist rogue elements from the .., hell-bent on disrupting a marked improvement in India’s relations with neighbouring Pakistan. For two decades, the ISI has been the de facto government in Pakistan, toppling regimes, aiding the Taliban, giving cover to al-Qaeda fugitives and running a business empire worth billions of dollars.

In July, the new democratically elected government in Islamabad led by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) attempted to bring the ISI under civilian control, but under threat of a military coup, had to perform a humiliating about-face within 24 hours.

Then last Sunday, Pakistan’s foreign minister announced the political wing of the ISI that was responsible for rigging elections and blackmailing politicians had been disbanded, saying, “The ISI is a precious national institution and wants to focus on counterterrorism activities.” It seems the foreign minister had spoken too soon. Within hours of his announcement, the BBC reported that an unnamed senior security official had contradicted the statement.

While the ISI-PPP tussle for control of the country’s intelligence network was going on behind the scenes, on Tuesday, the president of Pakistan, Asif Zardari, threw a bombshell that caught the Pakistan military establishment off guard. Speaking to an Indian TV audience, Zardari announced a strategic shift in Pakistan’s nuclear policy. He startled a cheering Indian audience, saying Pakistan had adopted a “no-first-strike” nuclear-war policy. This apparently did not go down well within Pakistan’s military establishment that has ruled the country for decades using the “Indian bogey” to starve the nation of much-needed development investment in order to put the huge military machine on a permanent war footing with no war in sight. Immediately, the military commentators denounced Zardari.

Zardari also borrowed a quote from his late wife, who once said there’s a “little bit of India in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistan” in every Indian. “I do not know whether it is the Indian or the Pakistani in me that is talking to you today,” Zardari said.

While most Pakistanis welcomed the new air of peace and friendship, the country’s religious right was upset.

Just a month ago, the founder of one of Pakistan’s most feared armed Islamist groups had accused Zardari of being too dovish toward India, and criticized him for referring to militants in Indian-held Kashmir as “terrorists.” Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),a major militant group fighting in Indian Kashmir, described Zardari’s comments as “a clear violation and digression from the consistent policy of Pakistan.”Then Wednesday, the so-called “Deccan Mujahedeen” struck against India with the clear aim of triggering a Hindu backlash against the country’s minority Muslims, with the obvious danger to Pakistan-India relations.

Most security commentators agree the Deccan Mujahedeen is merely a tag of convenience and that behind this well-planned terror attack lies the secret hands of the LeT. The same LeT that had warned Zardari to desist from warming up to India.

Only time will tell whether these Islamists succeed or whether the good people of India–Hindus and Muslims –can see through this provocation and embrace the hand of friendship extended by Zardari.

In the meantime, Muslims around the world will also have to decide whether to enter the 21st century and distance themselves from the doctrine of armed jihad, or embrace these haters of joy and peace.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tarek Fatah is author of Chasing A Mirage: The Tragic illusion of an Islamic State (Wiley).

Courtesy : The Calgary Herald

Source – http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=6e142936-e33f-4e0a-9bb0-4d4b183daa7c