Tag Archives: paradigm

Pouring oil over raging fires

By Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

When a person, in his opening lines, terms the May 28, 1998 Chaghai nuclear explosion as historic, it creates misgivings about the purpose of that write up. Mr Usama Nizamani in his article “Gwadar: an emerging paradigm for Pakistan and the region” (Daily Times, March 19, 2013) did just that. Celebrating any nuclear explosion as historic is a downright insult to the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s victims. It is analogous to celebrating ‘small pox’ and ‘Black Death’ as a blessing for mankind. A nuclear explosion that killed a mountain and adversely affects those living there can only be trumpeted as historic by those bent on destroying the world.

Nizamani then lauds the “subsequent development of various precise, improved and successful delivery systems — in order to deter immediate and inter-continental conventional military threats to the country.” Deployment systems, especially in the hands of trigger-happy persons and institutions only make nuclear weapons exponentially dangerous. Giving fancy names like Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS) does not make nuclear weapons any more attractive than Vanity Fair ads would make Black Death or small pox.

The writer considers handing of Gwadar to China as “better late than never” and hopes that the “economic and strategic window of opportunity created by handing over of Gwadar port to China” will unfold new “strategic and economic horizons.” He conveniently overlooks Baloch resentment but then the Baloch concerns are of no consequence to those who see Balochistan as terra nullius. Support for Gwadar’s exploitation amounts to subscribing to the establishment’s approach of the systematic elimination of the Baloch. It also helps empower those who abet and collude in atrocities against the Baloch people.

Continue reading Pouring oil over raging fires

Pakistan has had so many “moments of reckoning” but here is another – By Najam Sethi

Matters are coming to a head in Pakistan. The deadlock in US-Pak relations over resumption of NATO supplies is veering towards confrontation. And the confrontation between parliament-government and supreme court-opposition is edging towards a clash. The net losers are fated to be Pakistan’s fledgling democracy and stumbling economy.

Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee for National Security has failed to forge a consensus on terms and conditions for dealing with America. The PMLN-JUI opposition is in no mood to allow the Zardari government any significant space for negotiation. COAS General Ashfaq Kayani is also reluctant to weigh in unambiguously with his stance. As such, no one wants to take responsibility for any new dishonourable “deal” with the US in an election year overflowing with angry anti-Americanism. The danger is that in any lengthy default mode, the US might get desperate and take unilateral action regardless of Pakistan’ s concern. That would compel Pakistan to resist, plunging the two into certain diplomatic and possible military conflict. This would hurt Pakistan more than the US because Islamabad is friendless, dependent on the West for trade and aid, and already bleeding internally from multiple cuts inflicted by terrorism, sectarianism, separatism, inflation, devaluation, unemployment, etc. Indeed, the worst-case scenario for the US is a disorderly and swift retreat from Afghanistan while the worst-case scenario for Pakistan is an agonizing implosion as a sanctioned and failing state.

Continue reading Pakistan has had so many “moments of reckoning” but here is another – By Najam Sethi

Pakistani expert develops innovative neurology method

by Suhail Yusuf

KARACHI: A Pakistani scholar has devised a non-invasive way to sense brain pressure which could significantly change the current paradigm of neurological care of those suffering from brain injury or disease.

Monitoring intracranial pressure (ICP) is the most important thing to assess brain injury, hemorrhage (internal blood flow), tumors and other neurological problems. But current methods to measure this pressure are highly invasive – requiring a neurosurgeon to drill a hole in the skull to place a pressure sensor or catheter inside the brain – and are thus restricted to the very severe cases.

Pakistani scientist, Faisal Kashif has devised a non-invasive technology for ICP monitoring in his PhD thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. The method is based on processing available clinical signals using a mathematical model of relevant physiology. It provides real time estimates of ICP and cerebrovascular impedance, the latter is an indicator of brain’s ability to maintain its blood supply.

“ICP is a key neurological vital sign and is affected in several brain pathologies – even in concussions and migranes – and this non-invasive method could help in monitoring a vastly larger pool of patients,” said Kashif. He further added that unlike the invasive approaches which require a neurosurgical facility, the non-invasive method can also be applied in emergency-care settings where most trauma patients are first brought. Having access to ICP in a timely manner can guide doctors to provide life-saving interventions. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

Trading with the enemy. – By Najam Sethi

The granting of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to India has confounded certain long-established political and ideological vested interests. The story of why Pakistan denied this status to India for two decades and why it has relented today is worth telling because it sheds light on a critical dimension of Pakistan’s “national security doctrine”. ….

Read more » The Friday Times

Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo demanded that two more districts should be carved out of Karachi. The city should comprise districts West, East, South, North, Ibrahim Haidery, Lyari and Malir

A new awakening

By: Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

The notion that the PPP leadership could treat Sindh as its fiefdom has been challenged by the Sindhi people. The more than a week long protests against decisions having a negative impact on Sindh are enough to indicate that PPP can no more take Sindh for granted. Anybody who thinks he alone knows what is in Sindh’s interests is now bound to be challenged in Sindh’s streets by the local population asserting its right to be consulted.

Read more: → Pakistan Today

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Ayaz Latif Palijo (Bolta Pakistan – 8th August 2011)

Courtesy: → Aaj TV News, (Bolta Pakistan with Mushtaq Minhas and Nusrat Javaid – 8th August 2011)

via → Chagatai Khan  → YouTube

Pakistan: The Power of Intelligence Agencies

by Hassan N. Gardezi

Excerpt;

Preamble – The discovery of Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad and his killing by US commandos has raised serious concerns about the performance of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. The country’s interior minister Rehman Malik, besieged by allegations of incompetence and complicity went on the defensive, pleading that his government was not aware of Osama’s whereabouts until the US attack on his fortified mansion on May 2. He insisted that it was just a case of accidental failure of Pakistani intelligence agencies, similar to the failure of the US intelligence to detect the perpetrators of 9/11 as they planed their attacks within America.

While giving a briefing on the Abbotabad incident to the in-camera session of both houses of parliament on May13, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, chief of the Inter-services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), also reportedly admitted the “failure” of his agency, offering to resign from his post while adding that it was “not intentional” failure. ….

…. It will be naive to conclude that these happenings in Pakistan are accidents of history or failures of the country’s ruling elite who do not know what they are doing. These incidents and other events which have brought Pakistan to where it stands today are part of the logical unfolding of the paradigm of governance adopted consciously and purposefully by successive governments of Pakistan since the inception of the state in 1947. More on this later, but what is pertinent to note here is that the core of this ruling paradigm is the political use of Islam, the essence of the Islamist enterprise. In this respect the present governing establishment is in competition with the militant Islamists, not in conflict.

To read complete article → SOUTH ASIA CITIZENS WEB

Chronicles foretold – By Najam Sethi

– The cold-blooded torture and murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad by “invisible agencies” roused the journalists of Pakistan to unite and demand an independent and credible commission of inquiry to unearth the facts and punish the perpetrators. A media “dharna” outside parliament in Islamabad was aimed at securing an independent supreme court judge to head the inquiry instead of Justice Agha Rafiq, the chief justice of the Federal Shariat Court, nominated by President Asif Zardari.

Two questions arose. First, why did the media unite in such an unprecedented manner in this case when it didn’t do so in the case of the sixteen journalists so far killed this year in Pakistan? What was so particularly frightening or significant about this murder that compelled the media to stand up and be counted? Second, why did President Zardari originally pick a “Zardari-loyalist” to head this commission? Was this aimed at shielding any slip up or criminality on the part of the PPP government? And if it wasn’t, who was President Zardari trying to shield and why?

The answers are straight forward enough. Saleem Shehzad had recorded his problems with the ISI and left a testament indicting it if he was harmed. He was writing a book exposing the inroads into the armed forces and ISI made by retired or serving officers sympathetic to Al Qaeda’s violent ideology. Such exposure was deemed irrevocably embarrassing to the national security establishment. It explained the lack of preparedness on the part of the military to defend and protect itself — as evidenced in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Abbottabad in recent times. It also confirmed the fears of the international community about the security of the nukes, triggering scenarios of pre-emptive action against them in the event of their seizure by rogues allied to Al Qaeda. When Saleem Shehzad went ahead and published his book, he had to be silenced.

That, at least, is the media’s perception of what happened to him and why. Thus the media banded together to demand accountability so that the same fate did not befall any other journalist. If this perception was wrong, an independent commission of inquiry should have been able to establish the innocence of the ISI and redeem its credibility. If it was right, the ISI had to be chastened and cleansed of such elements. What is wrong with this way of thinking? Indeed, when an attempt is made to hide the facts behind a stooge commission, such suspicions and perceptions take deep roots and protests are inclined to become more widespread and violent. If President Zardari hadn’t finally heeded the journalists’ threat and appointed Justice Saqib Nisar to head the commission instead of Mr Agha Rafiq, the media was all geared up to announce a blackout of all government news and military press statements and advice.

Much the same sort of trouble for the government and military may be forecast for another commission of inquiry pledged by parliament to uncover the truth behind the Abbottabad debacle. In this case, too, the military seems to have leaned on the weak PPP government to desist from seriously inquiring into the mishap because it would deeply embarrass the “national security establishment” and conceivably jeopardise its “strategic relationship” with its Pentagon counterpart in the United States.

In both instances, however, there is one critical factor that threatens to derail the unholy nexus between a weak government and an arrogant military that are clutching at each other for protection. That is the opposition lead by Nawaz Sharif. The PMLN stood solidly with the fearful media in the first instance and will back the outraged public in the second. No less significantly, the sympathies of the newly independent judiciary are with the media, opposition and public. This is an inherently unstable and precarious situation. Where do we go from here?

The military has no option but to press the strategic “Paradigm Reset” button. The media and judiciary have joined the stake holders’ club. The military must realize that it is no longer capable of “managing” or “manipulating” or “blackmailing” the twice-bitten opposition to do its bidding blindly. The media too has been empowered by a wave of “citizen-journalists” who cannot be repressed. There are 20 million internet users in Pakistan and 4 million Facebook freaks and Tweeters. This organic new species had defied the dictators of the Middle East and smashed their censors. It is destined to do the same in Pakistan.

The situation is fraught with dangers of unmanageable upheaval. The military must adjust its sights accordingly. If, for example, the US were to launch any new unilateral action that outraged the Pakistani media, opposition and public, the military would be caught in the eye of the storm. It won’t be able to resist the public pressure but it also wouldn’t like to be savaged by America. Thus it could be the biggest loser in the game. Forewarned is forearmed.

Courtesy: Friday Times

via Wichaar

Where we are —Yasser Latif Hamdani

As a long-term ally of both the US and China and having a shared past with India, Pakistan can either be doomed by history or use it wisely to create a state that exists for the benefit of its people

Obama’s warming up to India has not gone down well with our super patriots, and rightly so. Despite 40 odd years of service to the US and now a decade-long alliance that has cost Pakistan many a life and limb, the US has now established a long-term strategic paradigm in South Asia, which sees India as a close ally and Pakistan as a nuisance at best.

Instead of going back to the drawing board and trying to understand why it is that we are increasingly unable to compete with our eastern neighbour, our super patriots have invented another self-defeating narrative. They want us to engage another 50 years in another mini-cold war around an imagined zero-sum game that pits Pakistan and China against the US and India. Even if the Americans were naïve enough to hold such ‘strategic’ hogwash as a legitimate view, neither the Indians nor the Chinese are going to buy into it. Contrary to what a naïve New York Times columnist recently wrote, the Indians know that the big truck their friend in Washington owns has a flat tyre and no spare.

This is the Asian century and enough people in India realise it, which is why there will be no confrontation between China and India — at least any confrontation that mirrors the Soviet-US clash. China is rising and the US is, at best, a fading power, in a position very similar to the British Empire after the Second World War. It will continue to be an important power like Britain but its sole superpower status has irrevocably been shaken. As it grows more multicultural, the melting pot will become less effective and consequently a more fractured polity is likely to hold the US back in the future. India therefore is more likely to play both sides instead of blindly jumping into bed with the Americans. Our response therefore should be similarly cautious.

That we have not thought things through is apparent even from our approach to China. There is little or no recognition in Pakistan that China’s might is derived not from its military but its economic might. Yet how many of our institutions of higher learning have programmes in Chinese language, culture and law? None. It is not enough that Pakistan will become a conduit of energy for western China and, subsequently, an international trade route. Pakistan must realise that it will be important to China only if it remains internally stable, united and moderate. For this to happen, Pakistan must choose a pragmatic path to international geo-politics. It can no longer fool itself with some Pan-Islamic ambition and pursue a policy of Muslim interests. Our military establishment’s cynical flirtation with Islamist groups is dangerous given the Islamist rebellion in some parts of China.

Pakistan faced the full force of Chinese pressure on the Lal Masjid issue where Chinese citizens were attacked by a band of brigands who were, for the most part, seen as a ‘strategic asset’ by our establishment.

Pakistan must realign itself internally to face external challenges and seize opportunities. The reason Pakistan was respected and sought after by the Americans in the 1950s, 1960s and some part of the 1970s was because we were ideologically soft but economically and socially a strong state. By the 1980s onwards, Pakistan has been ideologically hard but economically and socially a very weak state. In doing so we have not only alienated the Americans but our trusted friends such as the Chinese and the Turks. If things continue as they are, even the Saudis will leave us in the lurch.

If — and this is an almost impossible task — Pakistan can roll back project Islam of the Ziaist variety, which requires a major overhaul of our laws, education and media, and can present itself as a moderate, democratic and internally stable state, Pakistan is ideally placed to profit from the changing global economic and political scenario. As a long-term ally of both the US and China and having a shared past with India, Pakistan can either be doomed by history or use it wisely to create a state that exists for the benefit of its people. The latter course will not only keep Pakistan united but will allow it to become one of the most prosperous nations of this century.

However, none of this can be done if ‘independent’ courts in Pakistan sentence to death a mother of five for alleged blasphemy. In the coming days, brace yourself as the entire world condemns us for our barbaric treatment of women, and rightly so. We must make up our minds. Are we going to be a medieval dystopia that is a pariah country like the Islamic Republic of Iran — which is absolutely the worst place to live in, I can assure you — or are we going to be a normal state that the world can do business with? Those of you who question the abolition of the Blasphemy Law on religious grounds must be reminded of what a wise man once said, “Is this the first time in the history of legislation in this country that this council has been called upon to override Musalman Law or modify it to suit the time? The council has overridden and modified the Musalman Law in many respects.” The wise man in question was our founding father, Mr Mohammed Ali Jinnah. He had also cautioned against the misuse of the original Blasphemy Law — Section 295 of the Penal Code — by saying, “We must also secure this very important and fundamental principle that those who are engaged in historical works, those who are engaged in the ascertainment of truth and those who are engaged in bona fide and honest criticisms of a religion shall be protected.” …

Read more : Daily Times

An old paradigm!

by: Omar Ali

IF this is true (one never knows in this dirty business) then its bad news for Pakistan. Some people think its mostly bad news for the Americans and feel delighted at that, but I am one of those who thinks its actually worse for Pakistanis. Because it means the old ISI paradigm is alive and well and that paradigm is going to lead to a new and much bigger Afghan war and eventually to war with India. The whole thing is based on the mistaken notion that India is a soft target and will never cross the ISI’s red lines. Unfortunately, the ISI’s own pets will cross all red lines and will force India, Iran, Russia and NATO to cooperate against Pakistan and win or lose, that will not be pleasant.

For more =>Pak Rebuffs U.S. on Taliban Crackdown

Courtesy: CRDP, Dec 14, 2009