Tag Archives: U.S

“War on terror” gravy train!

by Omar Ali

My take on the Pak army’s current position oscillates between Taqi’s opinion and the opinion of Dr. Manzur Ejaz. I was fully behind Dr. Manzur Ejaz this morning. But its getting late at night and I just saw Kamran Khan and so maybe its time to put on a more pessimistic hat…

Rationally, Dr. Saheb is one hundred percent right. The army has a huge stake in Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan’s economy has no future if we are in a state of near-war and proxy war with India, Pakistan’s economy has even less of a future if NATO regards Pakistan as an enemy instead of an ally. India’s economy is growing rapidly. Peace will allow Pakistan to attach on India’s growth. Given its lower population density, reasonable infrastructure in Punjab and Karachi, relatively homogeneous heartland,and favorable location (Iran-India pipeline, central Asian transit trade, easier to ship things from Karachi to East Punjab than it is to go via Gujarat, etc.) Pakistan can actually start making serious money relatively quickly and that means the army will make money. China is also focused on economic growth and trade between India and China is exploding. Pakistan can get a share in all that. The peace dividend, in other words, is real and almost immediate.

Meanwhile, the jihadis are certifiably insane and are already a huge threat to the Pakistani state. America, NATO, Japan, Korea, all will pay good money to go after them and the job will take so many years, the army has no reason to worry that its “war on terror” gravy train will dry up anytime soon. Socially, Pakistan is not really ready for Jihadists rule. The jihadis have absolutely no workable program for a modern state….the case for ditching the jihadis and making peace with India seems open and shut. (Of course, INDIA may not cooperate either, but we are focusing right now on what the Pak army is thinking).

So are there some reasons to doubt this rational analysis?

1. The army may calculate (miscalculate in my opinion, but who said they cannot miscalculate?) that peace with India will deprive them of their ability to keep everyone else in Pakistan under their thumb. Or (even more stupidly) that it will deprive Pakistan of its reason for existence.

2. Some geniuses in NDU spend their life looking at rivers on the map and writing position papers about how Pakistan will shrivel and die if we don’t “have Kashmir”. Outsiders tend to think this his just the usual institute of strategic studies bullshit, but I have yet to meet an army officer who did not wholly or partly believe this.All sorts of other gory details about evil devious Hindu Brahmans and their determination to eat every last Muslim baby are added as needed. Again, outsiders tend to think this is “just propaganda” and expect that the army can distinguish between genuine maniacs like Babu Bajrangi and mainstream Indian politicians, but maybe the outsiders are giving the army too much credit? As you may know, even senior army officers seem to believe this propaganda by the time they have had a few drinks. This is an old hazard in the world of propaganda: the propagandists tend to fall for their own propaganda, especially when they live in some echo chamber where alternative views don’t get in anyway.

3. Some in the army and its “think tanks” (Shireen Mazari?) may think that it is more rational to destroy India before it becomes a serious power, and they may imagine that their BFFs in China actually want the same. It does’nt matter if Wen Jia bao doesnt actually think in these terms. What matters is that Shireen Mazari and General Tinpot bahadur imagine that the Chinese want this to happen. Dr. Manzur Ejaz is a sane person, but far too many Pakistani army officers are listening to Zaid Hamid and Ahmed Qureshi, not Dr Manzur Ejaz. What if they take those nutcases seriously?

4. The problem of true believers. Again, outsiders tend to think that Islam and the whole neo-wahabi paradigm are basically means to an end. Tools used by the Pak army to get its goodies, just like Republican candidates use evangelical Christianity. But what if a lot of people in high places actually believe that Allah is waiting for them to unite the Ummah and lead it in its eternal struggle against the infidels?

5. There is the issue of some events that don’t make a lot of sense if the jihadi option is actually being shut down: the determined refusal to launch frontal propaganda against the jihadis; the fact that ISI mouthpieces are constantly working to stir up anti-American and anti-Indian feelings and spreading confusion about the jihadi menace; The attack on Mumbai and the determined effort to present it as some kind of Indian plot;The mysterious survival of all senior jihadi leaders; Masood Azhar; Daood Ibrahim; Ahmed Saeed Shiekh; Haqqani network; Fazlullah, etc. And the line taken by army spokesmen like Kamran Khan; Shireen Mazari….too many loose ends…

5. Finally, there is the issue of nutcases. Every nation has some maniacs who need to be kept in asylums or employed in low level police jobs or as prison guards in Texas. If this kind of person makes it to some place where they can plan another attack on Mumbai, then all bets are off.

Dr. T has mentioned the Nazis. The sophisticated, highly civilized German nation ruined Germany and all of Europe in 12 short years of Nazi rule. At some level, Hitler’s initial actions seemed rational. Rationalists fully expected that he would also know where to draw the line. They were proven terribly wrong. What if the true believers are not thinking of means but ends?

I look forward to being proved wrong.

Courtesy: CRDP, Fri Jan 1, 2010

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

A military coup in Pakistan?

Restive generals represent the backers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda – bad news for the war next door.

by: Tarek Fatah

Courtesy:  Globe and Mail

A military coup is unfolding in Pakistan, but, this time, there is no rumbling of tanks on the streets of Islamabad. Instead, it seems the military is using a new strategy for regime change in Pakistan, one that will have adverse consequences for Western troops deployed in Afghanistan.

Continue reading A military coup in Pakistan?

Pakistan on course to become Islamist state, U.S. experts say

McClatchy

A growing number of U.S. intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials have concluded that there’s little hope of preventing nuclear-armed Pakistan from disintegrating into fiefdoms controlled by Islamist warlords and terrorists, posing a greater threat to the U.S. than Afghanistan’s terrorist haven did before 9/11.

Continue reading Pakistan on course to become Islamist state, U.S. experts say

Kerry-Lugar Aid Bill, A Step in the Right Direction, says World Sindhi Congress

World Sindhi Congress Calls US Congressional Aid Bill to Pakistan, ‘A Step in the Right Direction’

Protection of common Peoples Must be Made Part of Future Checks and Balances

LONDON, The World Sindhi Congress joined many civil society groups in praising the decision of the US congress to promote regional peace and civil society in Pakistan by conditionally allocating civilian and military aid to Pakistan, based upon the Pakistani government’s adherence to democratic principles and international human rights agreements. The ‘S.962 Enhanced Partnership to Pakistan Act of 2009’, also known as the Kerry-Lugar Bill, was signed last week by President Obama, and authorizes the five-year allocation of US $7.5 billion dollars to Pakistan for civilian, educational, technical and capacity-building purposes. Furthermore, this bill incorporates new checks and balances designed to ensure the proper distribution of the money for civilian government, and deter the appropriation of the funds by Miltary establishment…

As representatives of the global Sindhi community, World Sindhi Congress deeply appreciates Senator Kerry and Senator Lugar for their efforts in safeguarding the rights of oppressed nations and other religious minorities in Pakistan by introducing a bill that upholds the fundamental human rights of citizens and demands an end to the disappearances of dissidents…

Continue reading Kerry-Lugar Aid Bill, A Step in the Right Direction, says World Sindhi Congress

Pakistan : A new social contract

Dr. Manzur Ejaz
Dr. Manzur Ejaz

A new social contract – by Dr Manzur Ejaz

– Wichaar

The battle for an independent judiciary was the latest in this regard where emerging forces prevailed over the old ones. Many such battles are going to be fought to bring into force a new social contract

I knew a retired US general who was a decorated Vietnam War veteran. His wife had a long-term illness and his one unmarried daughter, living with him, had Down’s Syndrome. The general single-handedly took care of his sick wife and daughter. Whenever I visited him, he cooked a delicious meal for us. He died several years ago, leaving me with an agonising unanswered question: why did the general never use his connection with the army to obtain personal benefits like getting household help, which he genuinely needed?

My inquiries show that except for a very few who become politicians or go into business, my general friend represented the majority of retired US generals, some of whom had played extremely important roles in conflicts and/or policy making. While in service, they never thought of using that power to tinker with the domestic political, legal or social system.

However, in military intervention-prone countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, the armed forces really believe that power flows from the barrel of the gun. Officers in such countries believe that they deserve all the privileges and that they are above law. Although they do not command militaries as powerful as those of the United States, they gain more power and comforts than American or European military officials.

What is the basis for this behavioural difference?

To put it simply, officers in the Third World grow up in societies where everyone, capable of oppressing others is doing so. The ruling classes, whether feudal lords, industrialists or bureaucrats, suppress the common people. Even a petty Chaudhry or Numbardar of a village acts like a Pharaoh in his own little sphere. The lowest of the lowest in the class hierarchy does the same thing within his family. Therefore power is constantly wielded at every level of society.

American and European societies were much like the developing world for a long time. However, attitudes changed with commercialisation and industrialisation. The industrial north of the US was against slavery while the agrarian south wanted to hold on to it. The division is still there because the economic base has not changed.

What changes when the economic base changes?

Basically, every society, agrarian or industrial, has an unwritten social contract, which becomes the basis of the individual’s position, human rights in society and the legal system. In an agrarian society, social relations are based on layers of a power structure where the individual has no identity or rights. No one represents himself or herself: everyone is part of a family, tribe or community. Using power to better your narrow family, cast or group is considered legitimate behaviour. In this backdrop, the economically powerful, the bureaucrats and the military become coercive groups where common citizens have no effective rights.

In Europe and America, as society changes through commercialisation and industrialisation, the old social contract starts losing its effective force. The new social contract does not emerge for a long time and society remains in flux and transition. This was the situation in the 19th century, when it was said that the old social contract had lost its force. Since the new contract had not emerged, ethnic, nationalist, regionalist and religious ideologies filled the gap. Pakistan and many developing countries are passing through this stage right now, for which there is no quick fix.

Institutions in transitioning countries are in disarray and competing with each other to maintain their traditional position. The recent conflict between the military establishment and civilian political forces over the Kerry-Lugar Bill is just a continuation of the intense struggle that had started towards the end of 1970s and had resulted in the removal of the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government in 1977 and the second Nawaz Sharif government in 1999.

Similarly, the religious side is trying to hold on to its privileged position in the midst of emerging secular institutions. One can trace a conflict between the old and the emerging institutions in every aspect of society.

Additionally, as the social contract based on commercialisation or industrialisation takes shape, how we define individuals or human rights is also changing. Unlike the feudal era, the new society guarantees certain basic rights to every individual the way we see it in the industrial societies of the US, Europe or even Japan. Pakistani society has been struggling since the 70s to reach that stage. Naturally the status quo forces have been fiercely resisting these changes.

The battle for an independent judiciary was the latest in this regard where emerging forces prevailed over the old ones. Many such battles are going to be fought to bring into force a new social contract. The process is going to be slow and difficult because the economic base is not changing very fast. Nevertheless, the emergence of a new social contract is inevitable, where it will be taboo for generals to intervene in the political process and gain unlimited power.

The writer can be reached at manzurejaz@yahoo.com

October 20th, 2009

http://www.wichaar.com/news/294/ARTICLE/16826/2009-10-20.html

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?

SAPAC Inaugural becomes Congressmen’s Town Hall Meeting and Sindhi Katchahry (Gathering)

By Khalid Hashmani

Washington DC, September 16, 2009 – Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) was inaugurated in Washington DC. This is a milestone step for the Sindhi American community that community hopes will help in restoring and preserving Sindhi Rights. The inaugural session was very well organized and in fact turned into a Congressmen’s Town Hall meeting and Sindhi Katchahry, which is a traditional village gathering where village elders and town folks share their hopes, concerns, and sorrows. The meeting was held at the Washington Court Hotel near the US Capitol Bulling. The moot was addressed by Congressman Gary Ackermann, Congressman Brad Sherman, Selig Harrison, and Marvin Weinbaum. The guests were welcomed by Dr. Maqbool Halepota and Munawar Laghari, President Director of SAPAC respectively. After formal addresses, a lively Town Hall meeting (Sindhi Katchahry) was held with Congressman Sherman and Sindhi participants. The meeting was admirably moderated by Leila Agha and Hanne Bursch.

Continue reading SAPAC Inaugural becomes Congressmen’s Town Hall Meeting and Sindhi Katchahry (Gathering)

100 days of AfPak

by Rafia Zakaria

DAILY TIMES LAHORE
In the absence of ideology as the basis for selling the war to the American public, the Obama administration is likely to turn to cost-effectiveness as a marketing tool. The paltry aid commitments currently being promised to achieve the task of saving the flailing Pakistani state and revamping the Afghan army both lend credence to this argument.

Continue reading 100 days of AfPak

Weird 9/11 Facts

The end with the font is real, you have to try it!!!!!
1) New York City has 11 letters
2) Afghanistan has 11 letters.
3) Ramsin Yuseb (The terrorist who threatened to destroy the Twin Towers in 1993) has 11 letters.
4) George W Bush has 11 letters.
5) The two twin towers make an “11
This could be a mere coincidence, but this gets more interesting:
1) New York is the 11th state.
2) The first plane crashing against the Twin Towers was flight number 11.
3) Flight 11 was carrying 92 passengers. 9 + 2 = 11
4) Flight 77 which also hit Twin Towers, was carrying 65 passengers. 6+5 = 11
5) The tragedy was on September 11, or 9/11 as it is now known. 9 + 1+ 1 = 11
6) The date is equal to the US emergency services telephone number 911. 9 + 1 + 1 = 11.
Sheer coincidence..?! Read on and make up your own mind:
1) The total number of victims inside all the hi-jacked planes was 254.  2 + 5 + 4 = 11.
2) September 11 is day number 254 of the calendar year. Again 2 + 5 + 4 = 11.
3) The Madrid bombing took place on 3/11/2004. 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 = 11.
4) The tragedy of Madrid happened 911 days after the Twin Towers incident.
Sheer coincidence..?! Read on and make up your own mind:
Now this is where things get totally eerie:
The most recognized symbol for the US, after the Stars & Stripes, is the Eagle. The following verse is taken from the Holy Quran.
For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced: for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah and there was peace.”
That verse is number 9.11 of the Quran.
Still unconvinced about all of this..?! Try this and see how you feel afterwards, it made my hair stand on end:
Open Microsoft Word and do the following(TRY THIS FOR REAL)
1. Type in capitals Q33 NY. This is the flight number of the first plane to hit one of the Twin Towers.
2. Highlight the Q33 N
3. Change the font size to 48.
4. Change the actual font to the WINGDINGS try it, it’s not a joke you will really see something that will shock you
Scary Huh??

Courtesy and Thanks: WinterKiss –  http://www.bladi.net/forum/138121-weird-9-11-facts/

Partnering With Pakistan

asif_smileBy Asif Ali Zardari, Islamabad
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan looks forward to a new beginning in its bilateral relationship with the United States. First, we congratulate Barack Obama and the country that had the character to elect him, and we welcome his decision to name a special envoy to Southwest Asia. Appointing the seasoned diplomat Richard Holbrooke says much about the president’s worldview and his understanding of the complexities of peace and stability and the threats of extremism and terrorism. Simply put, we must move beyond rhetoric and tackle the hard problems.

Continue reading Partnering With Pakistan

Jeay Sindh Leader Bashir Qureshi appeals World to help liberate Sindh

Bashir Qureshi
Bashir Qureshi

(Editor’s Note: Bashir Qureshi is a Sindhi nationalist leader, he heads his own faction of Jeay Sindh Quami Mahaz (Long Live Sindh National Front) based on ideology of late G.M. Syed who called for independence of Sindh from Pakistan in 1970s. G.M. Syed was founder of movement for independent  Sindh into a separate country he called “Sindhudesh”, that means land of Sindh. Qureshi lives in Karachi, originally hails from a small city of Larkano district called Rato Dero. He became prominent when he was student leader in early 1980s at Tando Jam University, where he was studying. It is not confirmed that he completed his graduation from there or not because he was frequently arrested and remained in jail for several years.)

On January 5th, 2009  Syed’s birth day was observed in his ancestral native village called Sann.
Few passages of speech made by Bashir Khan Qureshi, Chairman JSQM are taken from Sindhi newspaper “Awami Awaz” (means voice of people) are given below;

G.M. Syed is an ideological leader not only of Sindh but of globe, Syed considered Pakistan’s creation precarious not only for people of this country but for world at large”. This reality is now established universally that Pakistan’s existence is precarious not only to region but world at large.

We consider meaning of Pakistan as Punjabistan. Madeleine Albright, the former U.S. Foreign Secretary of State/Minister, said openly that “Pakistan is a Migraine for the world”. International Community committed error by not accepting G.M. Syed’s advice, and now this same mistake should not be repeated again, to get rid of religious extremism, international community should support Sindhis, Bashir Qureshi said.
“We Sindhis, though are stronger than Balochistan in terms of ideology but in fighting and resistance Balochs are far ahead than us. We demand end to operation in Balochistan and fully support independence of Balochistan, and further demand freedom and independence of all nations who have separate existence, he (Bashir Qureshi) said

The Birth Anniversary of G.M. Syed was attended by some five thousands men & women on January 5, coverage of the event widely reported on January 6th 2009.

Background: At present there are four major groups/parties following into the political footsteps of late Jeay Sindh group led by Bashir Qureshi called JSQM is considered to be successor of G.M. Syed’s movement and most popular among its Jeay Sindh’s workers.

Other groups are JSQM-Areesar Group and Jeay Sindh Mahaz-Junejo Group, the fourth group is led by Syed’s own family called Sindh United Party (SUP), it is led by G.M. Syed’s grandson Syed Jalal Shah, who is a former member of Sindh Assembly and Deputy Speaker & acting speaker of Sindh provincial assembly. SUP has moved from demanding separation of Sindh to provincial autonomy of Sindh while remaining into Pakistan’s framework. Where as other three groups still demand independence of Sindh.

President Obama spent 3 weeks in Sindh

Obama’s College Trip to Pakistan

At a fundraiser in San Francisco, Ca., Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., claimed he had more world experience than his rivals, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and introduced a new bit of biographical information.

“Foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain,” Obama said, according to the Huffington Post.

“It’s ironic because this is supposedly the place where experience is most needed to be Commander-in- Chief. Experience in Washington is not knowledge of the world. This I know. When Senator Clinton brags ‘I’ve met leaders from eighty countries’ — I know what those trips are like! I’ve been on them. You go from the airport to the embassy. There’s a group of children who do native dance. You meet with the CIA station chief and the embassy and they give you a briefing. You go take a tour of a plant that [with] the assistance of USAID has started something. And then — you go.”

“You do that in eighty countries,” Obama said, “You don’t know those eighty countries. So when I speak about having lived in Indonesia for four years, having family that is impoverished in small villages in Africa –knowing the leaders is not important — what I know is the people…I traveled to Pakistan when I was in college — I knew what Sunni and Shia was [sic] before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

This last part — a college trip to Pakistan — was news to many of us who have been following the race closely. And it was odd that we hadn’t hear about it before, given all the talk of Pakistan during this campaign.

So I asked the Obama campaign for more information.

Apparently, according to the Obama campaign, In 1981 — the year Obama transferred from Occidental College to Columbia University — Obama visited his mother and sister Maya in Indonesia. After that visit, Obama traveled to Pakistan with a friend from college whose family was from there. The Obama campaign says Obama was in Pakistan for about three weeks, staying with his friend’s family in Karachi and also visiting Hyderabad in Southern India.

April 08, 2008

Courtesy: ABC News website

Source – http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/04/obamas-college.html

Madeleine Albright calls Pakistan “International Migraine”

Pakistan, an international migraine, says former US Secretary Madeleine Albright

WASHINGTON: Counting many elements, including terrorism and nuclear weapons, in Pakistan as causes of international worries, a former top US official has described the South Asian country as an “international migraine”. ( Watch )

“…my own sense is Pakistan has everything that gives you an international migraine. It has nuclear weapons, it has terrorism, extremists, corruption, very poor and it’s in a location that’s really, really important to us.

Continue reading Madeleine Albright calls Pakistan “International Migraine”

Pakistan: Tales from the thinktank

Tales from the thinktank
A brilliant analysis of Pakistan incorporates past and present politics, says Mohammed Hanif
• Mohammed Hanif
• The Guardian,
• Saturday October 11 2008
In the introduction to his third book on Pakistan, Tariq Ali quotes a friend who asked if it wasn’t reckless to start a book about the country when the dice were still in the air. Ali’s reply: he would never have been able to write anything about Pakistan if he had waited for the dice to fall. Ali has had an uncanny record of foreseeing the way things are going. In his 1969 book Pakistan: Military Rule or People’s Power he foretold the imminent break-up of Pakistan, a shocking prediction at the time which came true within two years. In the 80s, Can Pakistan Survive? caused outrage within the Pakistani establishment, but two decades later, on the cover of every current affairs magazine and in every TV talk show, not only is Pakistan being branded the most dangerous place on earth but it has even been suggested that the world’s end is being planned there.

Continue reading Pakistan: Tales from the thinktank

Pakistan is like former Yugoslavia, US policy makers are scared by the prospect of its dissolution

 

A Manhunt or a Vital War?

 

By ROBERT D. KAPLAN

THE rising violence in Afghanistan and fractious political situation in Pakistan have become leading issues in the American presidential campaign and the debates between the candidates. Indeed, after seven years of war in the region, it’s time to ask a very impolite set of questions:

Continue reading Pakistan is like former Yugoslavia, US policy makers are scared by the prospect of its dissolution

Munhji Dil Moen-Jo-Daro- Aror Jo Massat- Qurban Ali Kangle Jo Rooh

By Khalid Hashmani

Washington DC — The Pakistani community of the greater Washington DC area once again witnessed a unique event aimed at bringing two founding nations of Pakistan, Sindhis and Punjabis, to better understand each other. The occasion was the formal introduction of “Amar Kahanian”, translation of several short stories of great Sindhi writer Amaar Jalil published by Dr. Manzur Ejaz from Fairfax, Virginia, USA. The function was held in Fairfax, Virginia on Saturday, 24th November and attended by several members of Sindhis, Punjabis, and other Pakistanis.

In addition to reading of beautiful story “Arror Da Massat” (Aror Jo Massat), Dr. Ejaz gave a short briefing on the activities and programs of “Wichaar” that includes a very impressive Web site and publishing books in Punjabi. He said that Sindh and Punjab have from time immemorial lived side by side and shared a wealth of common culture and literature. Lately, for some right and wrong reasons, the two communities are moving away from each other. He expressed his belief that renewing cultural and literary relationship has great potential for eliminating many misunderstandings. He added that the great Sindhi and Punjabi poets from 12th to 18th centuries, Sachal Sarmast, Buleh Shah, Shah Abdul Latif, Wasris shah, and others shortened many cultural gaps between the two communities and it is time again to renew those links again. Dr. Ejaz, who himself has a mastery of both Punjabi and Sindhi languages, explained the plans of “Wichaar” to further this objective. He said, Wichaar web site has been frequently translation of Sindhi articles into Punjab and vice versa and has become very popular with those who are interested in Punjabi and Sindhi literature. On the publication side, the first book “Amaar Kahanian” was published last last and another Sindhi book that will contain Punjabi translation of short stories by Nasim Kharal is under preparation. The second phase will include translation of two Punjabi books into Sindhis. He said that one of the challenges that “Wichaar” faces is lack of volunteer translators and computer linguist computer experts and any help provided to Wichaar in those contexts will be a great boost to increase the opportunities for literary exchange between Sindhi and Punjabi communities.

During Question-and- answer session, a proposal was made that it will bring Sindhi and Punjabi communities much closer if instead of using Gur-Mukhi or Shah-Mukhi (Persian) scripts, it makes much greater sense to adapt the Sindhi script in Punjabi literature. Another member of audience said that the Sindhi script is a rich script and just like rich array of sounds in Sindhi language, it coves all sounds of the Punjabi language. The Sindhi script has been existence for more than a century and has been the language of the court system and government of Sindh for many years. This step will be a great boost to national integration in Pakistan and help in creating a true national language as Siraiki, Balochi, Pushto, and Urdu too can easily be adapted to the Sindhi script.

The “Amaar Kahanian” book contains the following 11 stories:

Punjabi Name — Sindhi Name

Aror Da Massat — Aror Jo Massat

Tarikh Da Kafan — Tarikh Jo Kafan

Addam Di Maa — Adam Ji Maa

Ik Doar Da Matam — Hik Doar Jo Matam

Mera Dil Moen-Jo-Daro — Munhjo Dil Moen-Jo-Daro

Eis Jaal Which — Hin Jaaria Mei

Qurban Ali Kangle Di Rooh — Qarban Ali Kangle Ji Rooh

Dil Di Dunya — Dil Ji Dunya

Mera Putar Menhdi — Munhjo Puta Menhdi

Barnes Street Da Ghundaa – Barness Street Jo Ghundo

Dharti Di Dhoar, Asman De Tare — Dahrti Ji Doar, Asman Ja Sitara

Visit http://www.wichaar.com to learn more about the mission and objectives of Wichaar Publishers.

May 10, 2010

Pakistan: Doctor Released After 2 Years

By SALMAN MASOOD

A Pakistani-American doctor has been released after being held by the authorities for more than two years, the local news media reported. Dr. Safdar Sarki, an advocate for greater autonomy for Sindh Province, was taken to a hospital in Quetta after the provincial government of Baluchistan withdrew weapons charges against him. Dr. Sarki, who lives in Texas, was arrested during a visit to Karachi in February 2006.

The police in Baluchistan did not announce his arrest or any charges until last October. Pakistan’s Supreme Court identified him as one of the people held in a secret detention system.

May 2, 2008

Courtesy: The New York Times

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/02/world/asia/02briefs-DOCTORRELEAS_BRF.html?ex=1210478400&en=c3e44deef1bd1bbe&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Criticism of Nuclear Agreement False and Frivolous

by: Ram Jethmalani

For quite sometime critics of the Nuclear Agreement have been frightening the Government that the people of India intensely resent it. This is just not true.

Truth can only be established if the House is dissolved and the deal becomes the only issue at the next election. My own understanding is that this canard emanates from those who are hoping to corner the votes of those who hate America but for reasons totally unconnected with the deal. The Times of India Poll published only this morning fortifies my opinion. 93% welcome the deal. Conceding that the Poll is not conclusive, the criticism by the Left, the BJP and some other parties must be exposed as false, frivolous and vexatious.

The main criticism is based upon the Act of the US Congress called the “Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006”. It is said that this legislation is binding on the US President and it negatives the provisions of the Nuclear Agreement. The US President has explained that most of its clauses are advisory and whatever binding effect they have, is on the U. S. Administration and not India. The latter is only bound by its obligations under the Agreement. The Constitutional relationship between domestic legislation and a treaty entered into by the President is wholly misrepresented out of ignorance or intentional suppression of truth. The position is thus described by well known text book in its latest edition. It needs to be reproduced.

Treatise on Constitutional Law –

Substance and Procedure – Third Edition –

Ronald D. Rotunda John E. Nowak

6.7 Conflicts Between Treaties and Acts of Congress

While treaties as well as federal statutes are the supreme law of the land, the Constitution provides no solution for the dilemma arising when provisions of a self-executing treaty conflict with acts of Congress. In Whitney v. Robertson the Supreme Court addressed the issue of modifying a treaty by subsequent acts of Congress. The case involved a dispute arising between the United States and the Dominican Republic over the terms of a sugar trade treaty to which the two nations were parties.

The Court stated that constitutionally treaties and legislative acts are equal, both being the supreme law of the land. When the treaty and statute relate to the same subject, the courts will always endeavor to construe them so as to give effect to both, if that can be done without violating the language of either, but if the two are inconsistent, the one last in date will control the other…

Acts of Congress passed after the date of the treaty, the Court held, control over the treaty terms. Similarly, a self-executing treaty is valid as domestic law and takes precedence over a federal law enacted earlier. The last expression of the will of the sovereign controls.

This puts an end to most of the arguments conjured up by the not too honest critics. The Act doubtless reiterates the Non-Proliferation policy of the Government of the United States of America. The Nuclear Weapons Power have persuaded all the countries of the world except four to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The Act is a bold attempt to make an exception for India. The reasons for making this singular and extraordinary exception are clearly spelt out by the Act. These are –

1. India has demonstrated responsible behaviour with respect to the Non-Proliferation of technology related to nuclear weapons and the means to make them;

2. India has a functioning and uninterrupted democratic system of government;

3. Agreement for civilian cooperation will strengthen the Non-Proliferation mechanism in place and restrain the making and spread of nuclear weapons.

4. That the cooperation to be extended to India will isolate and weaken the States that sponsor terrorism and terrorist groups which are on the look out for nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

5. Strong bilateral relations with India are in the national interest of the United States.

6. The two Nations share common democratic values and the potential for increasing and sustaining economic engagement.

7. Commerce in civil nuclear energy with India has the potential to benefit the people of all countries.

8. The cooperation to be extended to India represents a significant change of American policy relating to business with States which have rejected the NPT.

9. Indian democracy should feel flattered by this magnificent statement of reasons for exceptional treatment of India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has accused the termination of long period during which we were treated as international outcasts with whom no nation will trade in nuclear fuel and technology sorely needed for its economic growth and industrial survival.

It is true that India has agreed to dissuade and prevent Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons capability and the capability to enrich uranium or reprocess nuclear fuel. It is certainly not in the interest of India and the world at large that a government which openly declares as its objective the destruction of a Member of the United Nation which has been granted full recognition by India should acquire the power to carry out its diabolical designs. Search for vote banks should not blind our politicians to the stark reality that half of the worlds organized terrorism, represented by Hizbollah is created and financed by ruling clerics of Iran. Iran has an ancient civilization and India is a friend of the people of Iran but the current government is an international horror.

Besides Iran is a signatory to the NPT and without a serious breach of International Law it cannot renege on its obligations. This part of the bargain is our constitutional duty under Article 51 of our basic law. This is not subservience to the U.S.A.

Dr. P. K. Ayanger, the former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission seizes on Article 2 of the Nuclear Agreement which reads as under:-

Article 2 : “The parties shall cooperate in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of this agreement.

Each party shall implement this agreement in accordance with the respective applicable treaties, national laws regulations and license requirements, concerning the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”

He concludes, and in this he is joined by my dear friend Arun Shourie, that we have bound ourselves by the Hyde Act, this is manifestly absurd. The Article only provides that each party shall implement the Agreement in accordance with the respective applicable treaties national laws etc. etc. As explained above the treaty overrides the national law. Moreover the Hyde Act is not the national law of India. Even if the Hyde Act were to bind India, the Article speaks not of the entire Act but only its provisions concerning the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Incidentally Dr. Kakodkar, the current Chairman of the A.E.C. and Dr. Chidambaram, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government have made no such criticism and raised no such absurd inference from Article 2. India has no intention to violate any provision concerning use of nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes. It is time we clearly understand what we intend to achieve by this Agreement. We are admittedly starved of nuclear fuel and new technology for production of the fifty thousand megawatt of electricity which are needed to light our homes and offices and run our industries and public services.

We will be able to trade and, by ordinary commercial activity, acquire what we need from the U.S. as well as the forty five countries that constitute the Group of suppliers. This is being done on the assumption that India is not going to detonate a nuclear bomb in the foreseeable future. But India has not given up this right in perpetuity. If and when the changed International Scenario compels this action we can exercise our sovereignty. The other party in exercise of its own sovereignty may well decide to terminate the exceptional business relationship forged by the Agreement. At that moment we will be in the same situation in which we are today or perhaps a much better situation because we would have sufficient reserves to see us through the remaining life of our reactors or we might have already solved our energy deficit problem.

I have no doubt that a situation in which we are compelled to explode one or more nuclear devices is not likely to arise at all. We expect no nuclear attack from Pakistan nor indeed from China.

It is well to draw the attention of the Left to the Joint Declaration issued by the Governments of India and China during the visit in November 2006 of President Hu Jintao of China. It is a long document and, therefore, reference may only be made to two extremely important paragraphs No. 27 and 39:-

“27. Considering that for both India and China, expansion of civilian nuclear energy programme is an essential and important component of their national energy plans to ensure energy security, the two sides agree to promote cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, consistent with their respective international commitments. As two countries with advanced scientific capabilities, they stress the importance of further deepening cooperation bilaterally as well as through multilateral projects such as ITER and enhance exchanges in the related academic fields……

39. Energy security constitutes a vital and strategic issue for producing and consuming countries alike. It is consistent with the common interest of the two sides to establish an international energy order, which is fair, equitable, secure and stable, and to the benefit of the entire international community. Both sides shall also make joint efforts, bilaterally as well as in multilateral fora to diversify the global energy mix and to increase the share in it of renewable energy sources. Global energy systems should take into account and meet the energy needs of both countries, as part and parcel of a stable, predictable, secure and clear energy future. In this context, international civilian nuclear cooperation should be advanced through innovative and forward-looking approaches, while safeguarding the effectiveness of international non-proliferation principles.”

This declaration evoked no criticism from the Left or any body else and yet the declaration records that India is under an obligation not to breach or dilute the effectiveness of the International Non-Proliferation infrastructure that the nuclear powers including China have created for the rest of the world.

The Chinese secured from us a written promise not to manufacture or to explode a nuclear bomb. If this involves surrender of sovereignty we were deprived of it by the Chinese in November 2006. It is immoral to attribute it to the USA in July 2007.

We can rest assured that if India is faced with the danger of nuclear aggression any bomb that we explode will be a legitimate act of defence which doubtless is a peaceful purpose by reason of the 51st Article of U N Charter.

Scientist P.K. Ayanger then treats us to another absurd ipse dixit. He declares that the Agreement is a total gain for the Non-Proliferation lobby and India gets nothing except a big Zero. Then like a megalomaniac he claims that the Indian Scientists have much better technology than the Americans. We can help them rather than that they help us. This to me sounds like the thirteenth stroke of a clock which not only discredits itself but tells us that the mechanism of the clock has gone hay wire.

The greatest gain is coming together of the two great democracies of the world. We are now partners not merely in a war against terrorism because two years ago we decided on expansion of the frontiers of democracy and the rule of law. However, because of the terrible mistakes on both sides India and United States which should have been friends and allies had drifted apart. Both countries have significantly changed their foreign policy by harmonizing it with the values of their domestic Constitutions. As partners we have a right to offer sage advice to each other. We both might accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols, give up the Security Council veto cut back on military spending and substantially increase social spending. Jointly we might fulfill the dream of Gandhiji that India will be the conscience of humanity relying on its arsenal of spiritual force rather than weapons of mass destruction.

Courtesy: Sindhishaan magzine, 30th August 2007

DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN

Iqbal Tareen’s speech in front of White House, Washington, DC on June 3, 2007.

Mr. Tareen, presented profile of forces, which are the constant threat to freedoms and democracy. He said regimented, small, clandestine, narrowly focused, and power-hungry extremist forces, which can’t ordinarily capture power without disruptive and chaotic conditions will always be found working against establishment of democracy.

These forces are eager to collaborate with military and bureaucracy (Nation’s most powerful institutions) to act as a conduit creating desired conditions to overthrow elected governments. Under representative governance, these forces remain hyper-active, distasteful, and demeaning to elected governments and are quick to unite with dictatorships to backdoor into power.

Although smaller in numbers but these forces are usually concentrated in population clusters and are located in large cities or in strategically important geographic locations. Through the power of disruption these forces can lock-down major industrial cities thus wreaking a massive logistic and economic havoc on any nation.

Mr. Tareen categorically pointed to MQM and religious extremist groups, which play out this role in Pakistan. He said “MQM was created by Zia-ul-Haq as a counter balancing force against influence of Pakistan Peoples Party. Its one-point agenda was and remains to dilute constituencies of all pro-democracy forces especially the one of Pakistan Peoples Party in province of Sindh”

He said “Arming of MQM and its enforcement terrorism against peaceful citizens of major cities of Sindh ensured suppression of any uprising that might have occurred after the execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. MQM was nurtured and groomed by General Aslam Beg, financed by moneys of notorious dons and bankers, and graduated into power by General Musharraf”

He reminded all those who were present in the rally how supporters of dictatorship distributed sweets and candies at the death of first Pakistani democracy under Z. A. Bhutto. It also distributed sweets celebrating fall of 2nd democracy under Benazir Bhutto, and it organized Nimaz-e-Shukranas when 3rd democracy under Mian Nawaz Sharif was ousted.

He challenged everyone present to prove if MQM had ever mobilized mass opinion against any dictatorship in Pakistan. He said that “As a matter of fact MQM has remained permanently embedded into Pakistani dictatorships”

Mr. Tareen said that MQM AND DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. ONE CAN’T SURVIVE WITHOUT FALL OF THE OTHER.

Expanding on his thoughts, he said “Whenever there is a representative government in Pakistan, MQM demeans and rejects rule of democracy as a rule of Choudhries, Khans, Sardars, and “Waderas”. If you look into MQM’s track record, it has always teamed up with the worst kind of Choudhries, Sardars, Khans and Waderas when serving their client dictators”

He said that “May 12th Massacre” saw a glimpse of a new kind of lord, which is most ferocious and merciless than Pakistani nation has ever seen. He called them “Shaderas” who planned, executed, condoned, and praised the May 12th Massacre in Karachi. Explaining the term coined by Mr. Tareen, he said Shaderas are new breed of city (Shahar) waderas. On May 12th, MQM Shaderas declared exclusivity on city of Karachi. They declared Karachi as their “Jaagir” by denying right of entry to Pakistan’s Chief Justice and hundreds and thousands of his supporters.

Describing a historic irony, Mr. Tareen said “Before rise of MQM, citizens of Karachi stood like a rock facing dictatorship of Ayub Khan. Today Karachi has been placed on the wrong side of history. Not by choice but by terror. Karachi deserves freedom from fear and tyranny. Witnessing Aaj TV and GEO trashed by street scavengers; when we see Pakistan’s oldest and leading newspaper Dawn poured in blood; when we see opposing members of the media coming under MQM-Musharraf fire, we know Karachi is yearning for freedom”

Addressing citizens of Karachi in Urdu, he said “Karachi, we can hear you loud and clear. Your calling for rescue from ransom and intimidation has touched millions of hearts in Pakistan and around the world. Once again you want to lead the nation to a new dawn of freedom from fear, tyranny and dictatorship. You want to join millions of your brothers and sisters in this holy struggle to restore individual and collective dignity in Pakistan”

He continued addressing in Urdu and said “My brothers and sister of Karachi, the moment has arrived to break your silence. Break away from the chains to claim your rightful place in history. Just remember MQM  and democracy in Pakistan are mutually exclusive. There is only MQM between you and your freedom”

Addressing President Bush and facing White House he said “Mr. President you know this era will end and it will end soon. The new dawn will bring democracy and freedom to 160 million Pakistanis. It is up to you to decide whether you want to side with weak dictator or 160 Million Pakistanis? He added “Siding with the people you can seal US-Pakistani friendship until eternity”

Pro-Democracy Groups succeed in getting restrictions on US Aid tied to democratic reforms in Pakistan

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

Those Pakistanis and their friends who stand for real democracy and non-partisan & independent judiciary would be pleased to know that yesterday US Congress passed a bill that puts pressure on General Musharraf and his cronies for real democracy.

The following are the key points from the recently passed bill that is expected to be signed by President W. Bush.

* Congress withheld $50 million until Secretary of State can certify that democratic rights and independent judiciary has been restored in Pakistan. The areas include are freedom of assembly and expression, releasing political detainees, ending harassment and detention of journalists, human rights defenders and government critics, and restoring an independent judiciary.

* Approved US Administration’ s earlier decision to deliver $200 million annual cash payment through USAID (and hopefully directly to Civil Society organizations) instead of direct payment to the Pakistan government. These funds will be directed to specific projects for the direct benefit of Pakistani people.

* Withheld a part of $250million military aid to counter-terrorism and law enforcement activities. According to newspaper accounts suggest that the language of the bill is such that it will make it difficult that money to acquire F-16 jets and naval equipment.

The Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC, which has very little representation of Sindhis and Baluchis, expressed unhappiness over these changes. According to a newspaper, one ironic comment from an embassy official said that “the government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan were not happy with such conditionality. ” As if Pakistani people are very happy with the status quo and the destruction of independent judiciary. The details can be read in all leading newspapers including Washington Post at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR20071219 02502.html

21 December, 2007


Army Rule Prevents Pakistan from becoming a Nation

Seminar in Washington DC

By: Khalid Hashmani

Once again, Washington DC witnessed another interesting and informative session. The “Pakistan and Its Army: A Changing Relationship? ” event was held on Friday, September 28, 2007 and organized by the South Asian Program of Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The key panelists at this event included Shuja Nawaz, author of “Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its army, and the wars within” and Colonel (ret) David O. Smith, Country Director for Pakistan in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Policy).

Mr. Shuja Nawaz, who is writing a new book on Pakistan Army, comes from a Pakistani military family and is a brother of a former Chief of Staff of Pakistan Army. He began with the statement that “Pakistan is a country that is still struggling to become a nation”. With the separation of half of the country in 1971, a divide between religious and moderate segments of Pakistan has allowed military to rule Pakistan.

He said that although the country was created in the name of religion, the founders of Pakistan were unanimous that it was not to be a religious state. The power of military has grown mainly on account of fear and relationship with India. In the past, people had utmost respect for Army and considered it a strong non-corruptible institution but with time people has come to see it as a one of the root causes of country’s problems. The successful military rules have left national institutions so weak that these institution cannot even work during civilian governments. He said that Army does not have any close relationship with religious elements or attached to a particular ideology. He called Army’s rule as “controlled form of democracy” in which a Parliamentarian form of government becomes more like a de-facto Presidential form of government. He criticized the increasing involvement of Pakistani military in running businesses and industries and said these involvements often lead to decisions that are counter to national interests.

Mr. Nawaz tried to convince that present day military is changing as it is no longer predominantly from the three districts of Punjab. He said that the current trends show that its composition mainly comes from those who are from large urban areas. To emphasize that Army is no longer a Punjabi Army he said that the recent figures show that recruits are being hired in all provinces. It is only after I questioned him about the numbers of native Sindhis and native Baloch in Army that he conceded that many of these recruits may have come from those families that migrated from India, Punjab, and Pakhtonwa and are now settled in Sindh and Balochistan.

Talking about the perception that Pakistan should adopt the Turkish model where military has a special role, Mr. Nawaz said that such a model is not going to work because neither the Pakistan Army is as homogeneous nor the people of Pakistan are passive any longer.

Comparing the past and current financial burdens imposed by military, he said that in 1965-70 period, Pakistan spent about 2.8% of GDP on military and in 1970-75, it grew to 4% compared to only 3% that went to the “development” expenditure. He added that today only 14% of all revenues remain available for investment on the social needs.

Talking about one of a critical “governance” changes that has occurred in Pakistan since the start of military rule was in the “warrant of Precedence”. Before Ayub Khan, the senior most military position was at the 20th position in the order of precedence and now the Chief of Staff is at the number one (1) position. He commented that not even periodic civilian regimes have tried to change this order precedence.

Mr. David Smith, started his remarks by saying that he was proud to have attended the Pakistani Army Staff College in Quetta. He said that like the US military, Pakistan Army too is ill prepared to deal with insurgency type of warfare as it requires decentralization in decision making, creativity, and taking risks. He added that “centralized” system has roots in the South Asian culture (from father to his son – to his son –) and poses the greatest challenge in successfully introducing serious changes. Citing an example from his stay the the Quetta staff college, he said that he was impressed with many things but felt that his fellow student did not show much creativity. Often in certain exercises, even though the students were told to think on their own and come up with own solutions, invariably, students came up with the “cookbook” solutions.

In the Question-Answer session. a member of audience citing the recent event where 280 soldiers including officers and one Lt. Colonel surrendered to insurgents without firing a single shot, asked if the Pakistani Army has lost its will to fight against stronger adversary. One of the panelists responded that the actual facts have not come out in public so we do not know the real story and added that newspapers quote some soldiers as saying that they could not fire on fellow Muslims because if they died in the return fire, they would not go to heaven. To which, another member from audience said, that such stories do not make sense as soldiers from the same Army did not hesitate in firing on and killing innocent Baloch men, women, and children who too were Muslims. In conclusion a panelist said that he would agree that we really don’t know who is being recruited and who is joining Pakistan military.

29 September, 2007

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups,