Tag Archives: Indo-Pak

Pakistan Army Chief Raheel Sharif Warns India of ‘Unbearable Cost’ of War

RAWALPINDI:  Pakistan’s army chief Raheel Sharif has described Kashmir as the “unfinished agenda of the Partition” and threatened an “unbearable cost” of a “short or long” war.

Speaking at an event in Rawalpindi on Sunday, General Sharif said: “Let me reiterate that our armed forces stand fully capable to defeat all sorts of external aggression.”

The comments were seen as a direct response to Indian Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhaag saying last week that India has to be prepared for “swift, short nature of future wars” because of frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan and its “new methods” used to keep Jammu and Kashmir on the boil.

The Pakistan Army Chief said: “If the enemy ever resorts to any misadventure, regardless of its size and scale – short or long – it will have to pay an unbearable cost.”

Saying that innocent people were “subjected to injustice, atrocities in Kashmir”, General Sharif said: “Enduring peace is not possible without a just resolution of Kashmir. The issue can no longer be put on the backburner.”

The time had come, he said, for Kashmir to be resolved “in line with UN resolutions.”

The Pakistan army chief was speaking at an event to mark the 1965 war with India.

Read more » NDTV
See more » http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pakistan-army-chief-raheel-sharif-warns-india-of-unbearable-cost-of-war-1214940

The Quest for Political Identity in Jammu Kashmir

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar N Khan

Prior to the emergence of modern state, during the monarchy the subjects of monarchs had little say in their relationship with the state. Over time, the concept of citizenship and identity developed, with the principle that citizens were not just residents of a given territory, but were members of a political community with a particular identification and recognition. Civil, political, and social rights became associated with citizenship, differing by country in the balance among these and in their scope.

Different simulations of the appropriate relationship between a state and its citizens are exemplified in different systems, which legitimize these models based on their preferred political ideology. All regimes have formal institutions that reflect their ideological claims. But central to these identifications, besides having differing ideologies is the element of political identification, because modern day nation states in global north have kept religion as a private and personal matter and have set forth a “political doctrine” where citizens are equal before the law without prejudice to the their spiritual beliefs. Social scientists have established several different methodologies to understand how identities are formed and why they become politically prominent. Whether identity groups are politically important, and whether people act politically based on group membership, depends on a variety of factors, such as whether a group has a pre-existing sense of itself: it must be an existing reality with both historic ties and a forward-looking agenda. It must have some felt grievance, and it seems to need political identity to be recognized as a distinct unit. When it comes to conflict in Himalayas where the State of Jammu Kashmir comprised of different regions, with inhabitants of different ethnicity languages and religions; the factor of political identity seems more prominent and dominant in the decades long strife in the region. Historically the ethnic, religious and linguistic groups living in the State of Jammu Kashmir have a shared history of living together in peace and harmony over the centuries. This “Peace and harmony” was, however, shattered by the religiously charged atmosphere of 1947, when both India and Pakistan attained their independence under the umbrella of Two Nations Theory. Although India rejected the concept of Two Nations Theory and vowed for the secular and political identification but over the years religious identity has been a dominant insignia across the Radcliffe Line.

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Towards Understanding South Asia – A Comparative Study of Kashmir Conflict in Regional and Global Perspective

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar Niaz Khan

The State of Jammu Kashmir has been at the vanguards in India-Pakistan relations since the abrupt withdrawal of Great Britain from sub-continent and formation of two States. Since 1947 Pakistan and India have gone to war thrice, Kashmir perceived to be the main dispute. In 1999 Kargil crisis again brought both newly nuclear rivals to brink of war. The then US administration led by President Clinton intervened promptly and timely negotiated to deescalate the overwrought situation when both were at fighting an impromptu war at the peaks of Kargil in Jammu Kashmir. After US led war against terrorism in Afghanistan (2001), the genre of global politics exclusively transformed and it also influenced the South Asia and anywhere else in the world. Due to the changing global political scenario and new fronts of confrontation after the end of cold war, both India and Pakistan advanced their bilateral relations during the Musharraf and Vajpayee’s regimes in their respective countries. Back door diplomacy led them to take some sort of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) including a direct bus service across the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed State of Jammu Kashmir. South Asian politics of guns and arsenals was replaced by composite dialogues, negotiations, reconciliations, sports and exchanges of cultural, intellectual, academics and musicians. But all this could not last long due to absence of a democratic system in Pakistan and history of mistrust among the rivals. Musharraf regime, which was already fragile and lacking public support, became weaker due to his confrontation with judiciary in Pakistan in the first quarter of 2007. The unfortunate and untimely death of Benazir Bhutto was a blow in the forthcoming regional politics of South Asia. As a result of February 2008 general elections in Pakistan, Musharraf lost the power but successive governments of President Zardari and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not show mature judgments on various key issues regarding the future of South Asia including the resolution of Kashmir conflict. On the other hand victory of Hindu nationalist BJP led by Narindra Modi in 2014 general elections in India altered the corridor of Indian politics and secularism. Even the major party to the conflict could not stand for the “Ownership Building Measures” and trusted the CBMs which was a colossal error on behalf of Kashmiri leadership across the LOC.

Continue reading Towards Understanding South Asia – A Comparative Study of Kashmir Conflict in Regional and Global Perspective

Pakistan’s exports to India rise 27%

By India Blooms News Service

Delivering a key-note address at the two-day annual conference on ‘Normalising India-Pakistan trade’ being organised by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) here, Bansal said: “Consequent to the trade liberalisation measures, bilateral trade between the two countries increased from US$ 0.6 billion in 2004-05 to US$ 1.9 billion in 2011-12.”

“Between 2010-11 and 2011-12, Pakistan’s exports to India rose by 27% from US$ 333 million to US$ 422 million. Further, Pakistan’s exports to India during April 2012 to January 2013 registered a 50% increase over the same period in the previous year – to US$ 475 million from US$ 320 million,” he said.

The important items imported from Pakistan include dates, cement, woven cotton fabrics, petroleum oil, organic chemicals, and plastics.

Bansal said: “We are very happy to note that Pakistan’s market access to India has improved considerably- indicating that there are no non-tariff barriers. India has also reduced its sensitive list by 30%.

“There should not, however, be any room for complacency- we will have to continue to take trade facilitating measures that will increase imports from Pakistan to much greater heights.”

Bansal said as India and Pakistan move towards normalizing their bilateral trading regimes, there will be new trading opportunities for both countries.

“There is a large untapped trade potential between the two countries, and various estimates suggest that potential trade could vary between 0.5 to 20 times of actual trade.

“A large part of this has been taking place through informal channels – largely through third countries- and goes unaccounted for. But I am sure that as both countries move towards normal trade relations, with the removal of the trade barriers and the subsequent reduction of trade costs, a significant part of informal trade will shift to formal trade channels,” he said.

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Confessions of a war reporter

Confessions of a war reporter – June 2001

By Barkha Dutt

During the Kargil War, Barkha Dutt’s was a familiar face on the television screen, bringing live action on the Star News channel. But she was not telling us the complete story. Now she does.

I had to look three times to make sure I was seeing right. Balanced on one knee, in a tiny alley behind the army’s administrative offices, I was peering through a hole in a corrugated tin sheet. At first glance, all I could see were some leaves. I looked harder and amidst all the green, there was a hint of black – it looked like a moustache. “Look again,” said the army colonel, in a tone that betrayed suppressed excitement. This time, I finally saw.

It was a head, the disembodied face of a slain soldier nailed onto a tree. “The boys got it as a gift for the brigade,” said the colonel, softly, but proudly. Before I could react, the show was over. A faded gunny bag appeared from nowhere, shrouded the soldier’s face, the brown of the bag now merging indistinguishably with the green of the leaves. Minutes later, we walked past the same tree where the three soldiers who had earlier unveiled the victory trophy were standing. From the corner of his eye, the colonel exchanged a look of shard achievement, and we moved on. We were firmly in the war zone.

It’s been two years since Kargil, but even as some of the other details become fuzzy, this episode refuses to fade from either memory or conscience. A few months ago, I sat across a table with journalists from Pakistan and elsewhere in the region, and confessed I hadn’t reported that story, at least not while the war was still on. It had been no easy decision, but at that stage the outcome of the war was still uncertain. The country seemed gripped by a collective sense of tension and dread, and let’s face it – most of us were covering a war for the first time in our careers. Many of the decisions we would take over the next few weeks were tormented and uncertain. I asked my friend from Pakistan, listening to my anguish with empathy, what he would have done in my place? He replied, “Honestly, I don’t know.”

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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

Indo-Pak spy war: Military Intelligence staffer caught stealing information for Pakistan

By Wichaar Desk

NEW DELHI: A staffer associated with Military Intelligence unit has been caught in a joint operation by the Army and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials for allegedly stealing and trying to pass on classified information to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.

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If there is a birthday present Pakistanis and Indians can jointly give Manto, it is to admit the reality of the problems he spelt out in his writings on partition

Curator of a hollowed conscience

By: Ayesha Jalal

Saadat Hasan Manto, whose birth centenary is being celebrated in Pakistan and India today, once remarked that any attempt to fathom the murderous hatred that erupted with such devastating effect at the time of the British retreat from the subcontinent had to begin with an exploration of human nature itself.

Continue reading If there is a birthday present Pakistanis and Indians can jointly give Manto, it is to admit the reality of the problems he spelt out in his writings on partition

Sindhis as ‘an Indo-Pak bridge’

Across the Wagah : An Indian’s Sojourn in Pakistan

by Mohammad Ali Mahar, Austin, TX

… an interesting book, ‘Across the Wagah : An Indian’s Sojourn in Pakistan’. The author of the book, Maneesha Tikekar, a Marathi professor, spent almost all her time in Pakistan — which was not more than only a few months — in Islamabad. However, her study of the life in Pakistan is astounding, to say the least. Even though the book has other areas dealing with different parts of Pakistan, including Sindh, the following piece exclusively deals with Sindh.

“During the British rule, Sindh was reduced to the backyard of the Bombay Presidency. It remained poor and backward except for Karachi whose prominence increased after Sindh’s separation from Bombay. Sindh’s fortunes changed little after the creation of Pakistan for, it has been made to play the second fiddle to Punjab.

Contours of the Sindhi society have been shaped by three major forces; a handful of biradaris like Chandios, Jilanis, Talpurs, Khuhros and Bhuttos; powerful landlords, waderas, whose stories of exploitation of women and repression of the poor farm labour, haris abound in Sindh; and the Pirs of Hala and the most (in) famous Pir of Pagara. Urban Sindh has been dominated by mohajirs. Ethnic conflict in the southern province of Sindh between indigenous Sindhis and Urdu-speaking mohajirs, claimed hundreds of lives during the 1990s. Traditionally the Sindhi Muslim was poor, backward and uneducated and the middle class barely existed. At the time of independence Sindh ‘was beset with extremes of wealth and poverty. Since the creation of Pakistan Z.A. Bhutto was the only Sindhi leader who had stirred the masses so deeply that they rose above biradari links and voted for him and his party. The disciples of Pir of Pagara are reported to have said, sir Saeen da, vote Bhutto da meaning ‘our life is for the Pir but vote for Bhutto’.

Hindu-Muslim relations in Sindh were cordial and they have survived the trauma of the partition. It is the Sindhi Sufi tradition that bound the two together. Sufi poet saint Shah Abdul Latif is revered by both Muslims and Hindus alike. Despite the fact that Pakistani establishments kept the communal equation unsettled in Sindh, the bonds between the two communities have not been snapped altogether. If along with the Mumbai-Karachi ferry service, Munbao-Khokrapar (Rajasthan-Sindh) rail link is also revived as proposed by India in October 2003 as a part of the package of confidence building measures between the two countries, then it will be a double bonus to the Sindhi community living on either side of the border. Saeed Naqvi, a noted Indian journalist describes Sindhis as ‘an Indo-Pak bridge’.”

One may or may not agree with the observations made in the above piece, it is interesting to know how the world sees us, Sindhis.

August 20, 2010

New Delhi sees Pakistan as a strategic partner

by Jwaed Naqvi

May 31st, 2009

NEW DELHI: India saw Pakistan as a potential strategic partner and wanted Islamabad to mend fences with New Delhi, Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna has said, offering again to join the hunt with Pakistan for terrorists.

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