Tag Archives: Soviet Union

Gorbachev warns of ‘new cold war’

Ex-USSR leader Gorbachev: World on brink of new Cold War

The world is on the brink of a new Cold War, and trust should be restored by dialogue with Russia, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said.

At an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Sunday, Mr Gorbachev said the West had “succumbed to triumphalism”.

He expressed alarm about recent Middle Eastern and European conflicts.

Tensions have been raised between the West and Russia over Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union.

More than 4,000 people have died in fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, who seized control in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in April.

A fragile ceasefire has been in place since September, but elections in rebel-held areas last weekend have prompted fears of a return to full-scale conflict.

Courtesy: BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29966852

Sneak peak at Russia’s ‘under renovation’ Arctic base

Kotelny Island is a nondescript piece of frigid wasteland of no particular note. Except hosting a military base-in-the-making, the first of many from which Russia plans to project its military might to and across the Arctic. RT visited with the Navy.

The island is the largest in the Novosibirsk Archipelago, located in the Laptev Sea off the eastern Siberian coast. Back in the soviet days the military deployed an observation post and a radar station on the Kotelny Island, but with the fall of the country all the troops were withdrawn, leaving behind only a civilian meteorological station.

But now, after decades of desolation, the former military base is being rebuilt. Last year sailors and engineers of the Russian Northern Fleet began construction works, cleaning up rusty barrels and broken vehicles abandoned on the island and constructing a landing strip so that supplies could be airlifted rather than air-dropped.

Read more » RT
http://rt.com/news/188712-arctic-russia-military-base/

New post-Soviet alliance to launch 2015: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the new post-Soviet alliance with Belarus and Kazakhstan is set to launch in 2015, with hopes that Ukraine will join the union.

The final pieces were in place for the 2015 inaugural launch of the Eurasian Economic Union, Putin said following talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow on Tuesday.

Read more » Press Tv
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/12/24/341740/postsoviet-union-to-launch-2015-putin/

Pakistan: A vanishing state

By Shabbir Ahmad Khan
Both empires and states fail or collapse. Examples include the Roman, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Mughal and British empires. From the recent past, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Sudan are the best examples. Professor Norman Davies, in his book Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations recounts the history of 15 European states which disappeared. Professor Robert Rotberg, in his book When States fail: Causes and Consequences provides empirical description on a state’s failure. Similarly, the Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine publishes a list of failed states each year, on which Pakistan ranks 13. Pakistan’s score is just 13 points below that of the most failed state in the world, Somalia, and just five points below that of Afghanistan, which is at number seven on the list.Why do empires and states fail or fall? There are a number of factors for state decline, including social, economic and political. The most common factor is global; it includes intervention by external political agents or forces. In such situations, the empires or states first fail to cope with the new challenges and later collapse. There is a new challenge before Pakistan, which no state in history has ever faced. Today, the world community is unified against religious extremism of any kind and a nuclear Pakistan is heavily convulsed by internal violence linked to religious extremism. After World War II, colonial powers gave independence to many nations, including Pakistan, with a clear rationale or prime motive. At a very critical juncture in history, if states lose their rationale, they lose their right to survive. Pakistan is passing through a critical juncture of her history. If she loses her rationale, she loses her right to exist.Two questions are important to answer the above-mentioned query. Who creates states and what is their rationale — i.e., the cause of their birth? More than 140 states got independence after the two world wars. The winners of the wars designed the world map by decolonising nations. The process of giving self-rule to new states was intentional and purposeful. British rulers, in congruence with the US, wanted to split India for their long-term interests in the region. In my opinion, Pakistan — the same way as the state of Israel — was created as an independent state to guard Western interests in the region. In both times of war and peace in history, Pakistan proved herself as the guardian of vested interests of Western powers. In return, Pakistan also got the liberty to do a number of things, including attaining nuclear capability. Throughout history, Pakistan changed herself with the changing demands of the West to fulfill her utility and her indispensability.

Thus, a militant, extremist, rigid and nuclear Pakistan was in the larger interests of Western powers, particularly to contain the Soviets and its allies, i.e., India. Now, the Western world has changed its policy towards the region where Pakistan is located and has demonetised its political currency by putting immense pressure on the country to change her course accordingly. But Pakistan seems reluctant.

Continue reading Pakistan: A vanishing state

Who says countries are permanent?

Ayaz AmirBy Ayaz Amir

Islamabad diary

We should know this more than others. The Pakistan of 1947 is not the Pakistan which exists today, one half of it having broken away to form another country. I served in Moscow in the seventies and nothing seemed more solid or permanent than the Soviet Union, a mighty power which cast a shadow far and wide. Who could have thought that in a few years’ time it would fracture, leaving a trail of small, independent republics behind?

Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall was two countries. Now it is back to being one. Czechoslovakia was one country then. Now it is two. In the UK, of all places, the Scots, or a goodly part of them, are demanding independence. A referendum is set to decide this question in 2014.

After the fall of the Soviet Union it seemed as if American pre-eminence was an assured thing, lasting for the next hundred years. Bright-eyed scholars announced not just the closing of an era but the end of history. As hubris goes, this had few equals. There were other Americans who said that reality would be what America wanted it to be. Yet American power has declined before our eyes, nothing more contributing to this than the wars President Bush ventured upon in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Clash of civilisations was another phrase current just ten years. Something of the sort has happened but not in a way that the US could have intended. Wouldn’t the Taliban, wouldn’t Al-Qaeda, define their struggle as a clash of civilisations?

Ten years ago in a Jamaat-ud-Dawaah mosque in Chakwal (not far from my house) I heard one of their leaders talking of America’s eventual but sure defeat in Afghanistan. I thought his rhetoric too fanciful then. It sounds much closer to home now.

I have just read a longish review of Norman Davies’ ‘Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations’. This book should be required reading for anyone concerned about the future of Pakistan. For the lesson it emphasises is that history does not promise progress. All it promises is change. Nothing is fixed, all is movement, nations rising and falling, the old disappearing to make way for the new, the new in turn becoming the old and morphing into something else – the philosophy of Heraclitus and Hegel, even of Marx.

Continue reading Who says countries are permanent?

What to Do About Pakistan

BY C. CHRISTINE FAIR

With an “ally” in a state of perpetual dysfunction, it’s time for Washington to reconsider its options: containment or benign neglect.

Excerpt: …. “At long last, it seems, various agencies of the United States government have come to the conclusion that Pakistan cannot be changed. Islamabad’s behavior in the region will remain staunchly pegged to its antipathy toward New Delhi. It will pursue policies that threaten the integrity of the Pakistani state for no other reason but the chimerical objective of resisting the obvious rise of India, while clinging to the delusion that it is India’s peer competitor — despite obvious and ever-growing disparities. Finally, Americans are asking what Pakistanis have long concluded: How can the United States and Pakistan have any kind of positive relationship when our strategic interests not only diverge but violently clash?…….While some may view these offerings as unreasonable, reckless, dangerous, and irresponsible, it is equally fair to ask whether Washington’s decades of policies toward Pakistan have been unreasonable, dangerous, and irresponsible? Moreover, what good have they accomplished? While many policymakers and analysts are willing to bank everything on the gamble that Pakistan is too dangerous to fail, we should be willing to consider what failure would mean and the inherent costs and benefits of this happening. After all, when the Soviet Union fell, none of the worst fears materialized. And Pakistan is hardly the Soviet Union” ….

Read more »Foreign Policy (FP)

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/06/21/what_to_do_about_pakistan?page=0,1

India and Pakistan can never be Good Friends

By Saeed Qureshi

Mark my words Pakistan and India can never be good friends. Their coexistence as peaceful neighbours will remain doomed as long as either Pakistan is further dismembered or India is fragmented into many states like the Soviet Union way back in 1989.

India and Pakistan will never be able to sort out their mutual disputes and hammer out their amicable resolution. There is no precedent in the past that they finally found a mutually acceptable solution or agreement: be it the demarcation of borders, the apportionment of water from rivers flowing down into Pakistan or the paramount Kashmir issue.

There is no record of accomplishments for the two neighbours liberated from the British colonial yoke in 1947 of sitting down and coming up with a recipe of veritable peace and friendship. India will not give up her hold on Kashmir, nor will Pakistan or Kashmiri nation relinquish or forego their claim about holding a pledged plebiscite to elicit the local population’s opinion as to which country they would prefer to join. Indian deems Kashmir as an integral part of Indian federation while Pakistan’s standpoint is that Kashmir is a disputed territory whose final status has yet to be determined by the people of Kashmir though a referendum.

The three wars, in 1948, 1965, and 1971 followed by brief skirmishes in Kargil in July 1999 have failed to bring about change of hearts on both the sides. The fact is that primarily it is Pakistan that would be the major beneficiary of the illusive settlement of the outstanding issues between India and Pakistan. For that matter, India would not let Pakistan off the hook lest it can move forward on a course of stability, progress, and prosperity.

India’s military intervention in Bangladesh in 1971 led to the dismemberment of Pakistan …

Read more >> Upright Opinion or click the following link;

http://saeedqureshi42.blogspot.com/2010/07/india-and-pakistan-can-never-be-good.html

Pakistan: What to do about religious fundamentalism?

By Farooq Tariq, Lahore

Courtesy: Links Internatioal

Let’s deal with the ISI and the Pakistan military and let’s go recruit these mujahideen. Here is a very strong argument which is… it wasn’t a bad investment to end the Soviet Union but let’s be careful with what we sow… because we will harvest.” – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 23, 2009.

October 28, 2009 — Once again Pakistan has become the focus of world attention. Every day there is news of the latest suicide attack or military operation, with killings, injuries and the displacing of communities. Recently schools were ordered closed for more than a week. Even children talk about death and suicide attacks.

With more than 125 police checkpoints in Islamabad, it has become a fortress city. Lahore and other large cities are suffering the same fate: there are police road blockades everywhere. After each terrorist attack authorities issue another security high alert and set up additional barriers. How ironic that, until recently, officials and the media described these “terrorists” as Mujahideen fighting for an Islamic world.

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Why there is so much of noise against Kerry-Lugar bill?

by: Iqbal Tareen

There is so much of noise against Kerry-Lugar bill as if this was the first time ever Pakistan is receiving any assistance without strings attached. From the days of Baghdad Pact to SEATO, Ayub Khan’s rule to Zia’s satanic era to recent 9 years of Musharraf’s dictatorship Pakistani state, security forces, business, and urban citizens have been benefactor of begged and borrowed prosperity. It doesn’t matter who do we receive an assistance from whether it is World Bank, Friends of Pakistan, EC, Saudi Arabia, or even from Japan and China it has not been without the nod of either USA or “Soviet Union”.

Continue reading Why there is so much of noise against Kerry-Lugar bill?

Is the left wing struggle divided on ethnic lines?

By Shakeel Nizamani, Calgary, Alberta

After the fall of Soviet Union, many left-wing workers (accustom to comparing themselves as KHAHORI of SHAH) who used to convince simple folks by telling the fairy tales of flowing rivers of milk and honey in communist countries became so demoralized that either they became MULLAH or MAWALI and some even are basking under the sun of their former arch enemy-U.S.A.

Though some old guards sticking to their guns and believe that Marxism is still relevant and prophesy that it will make a come back.

Some Sindhi left-wing nationalists do see these Pakistan left-wing ideologues as usurper. Is the left wing struggle is also divided on ethnic lines?

05/12/2007