Wednesday, 8 June 2016

India’s Dream List for Pakistan

In a June 3 article by Kriti Upadhaya and Rahul Deans the authors have outlined and suggested a policy that India could follow to destroy Pakistan (http://swarajyamag.com/world/a-new-non-diplomatic-approach-for-pakistan). The reasoning behind the need for such a strategy is that according to them normal diplomacy has failed and that Pakistan has chosen the path of “Islamization and radicalization’ while India has chosen ‘liberalization”. They do not say anything about the Hindutwa wave sweeping across India with rabid Hindu mobs on the rampage and nor do the mention how even history is being distorted in this radical fundamentalist drive. Even the present government in India is backed by radical Hindu organizations. Apparently the authors have never visited Pakistan and have relied on lurid reports and writings that ignore Pakistan’s open society and values.
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Unfortunately for them and for India’s policy makers the authors while suggesting a policy to destroy Pakistan have unwittingly unveiled the exact covert policy that India is following against Pakistan. Even dummies can now understand why India does not want to discuss restraint regimes and why it drums up and even pretexts to avoid talks. How can you opt for dialogue if you are acting against all that the dialogue is supposed to resolve. The arrest of a RAW spy active in Baluchistan exposed Indian designs and covert activities. Now these two authors have confirmed in the form of suggestions what India should be doing to Pakistan—except that India is already deep into the very policies being advocated.

Read Full Article Here: India’s Dream List for Pakistan

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Understanding The Significance of Peace in Afghanistan

Mortar attack on Shigal Tarna garrison, Kunar Province“A great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they are realities and are often even more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are’.  Machiavelli
Pakistan’s Afghan policy can be summed by Machiavelli’s quote “The people often deceived by an elusive good, desire their own ruin, and unless they are made sensible of the evil of the one and the benefit of the other course by someone in whom they have confidence, they will expose the republic to infinite peril and damage”.

Read Full Article Here: Understanding The Significance of Peace in Afghanistan

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Staring into the Abyss

Pakistan has had a busy month so far. Pick up any newspaper, international or domestic, and you will see the chaos that engulfs the nation. Chaos, that refuses to go away. Chaos, which to a large extent is self created and self-perpetuated. The apparent lack of realization about the future of this nation is both, horrifying and sobering.
 Bilateral relations with most strategic and vital countries continue a nose dive. Meanwhile, India continues to chart its course to become a global super star. Its ascent, from slum dog to millionaire, all but guaranteed. India through sheer hard work and nationalist pride has started an effective strategy of isolating Pakistan amongst the comity of nation. The fact that the United States considers India an important and ‘equal’ ally is naturally a great help in this course of action. The Indian encirclement of Pakistan is all but complete.

Read Full Article Here: Staring into the Abyss

Friday, 22 April 2016

The issue in Okara

Oh dear! The latest move by General Raheel Sharif has certainly thrown a spanner in the dapper dog’s anti-military agenda. Just as they had started to build a case about how the big bad Khakis corruption has never been dealt with, the naughty general has gone ahead and started cleaning his own house. Now, how will the single malt whiskey with a line of cocaine movers and ‘script’ shapers of Pakistan, pay this month’s rent. Simple, by ignoring it all together, and focusing on another new ‘issue’ with the hope that this will shift the focus back onto their ‘fight against the khaki oppressors’.
The new buzzwords circulating amongst this lot, ladies and gentlemen are Okara, peasants, tanks, and land grabbing.  For them the situation in Okara is not yet another clear example of the Nawaz regime’s use of disproportionate force to quell citizens when they protest but, is instead a reason to band together as warriors who will take on the country’s military. The reason for them banding together is also mind boggling.

Read more: The issue in Okara

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The World needs to look the other way

Is Pakistan making its defence capability more potent? Is it investing in its nuclear capacity? The answer to both these questions is YES! They are, but if you are an avid viewer of Fareed Zakaria’s prominent show ‘GPS’ you’d definitely be of the view that Pakistan is the only country buffing up its military and nuclear might and its authorities may be too incompetent in protecting its nuclear arsenal.
What Zakaria ignored was that the uranium stockpiles Pakistan has are used for both civil and military uses. Having recently announced a mid-century energy vision, the country plans to use most of its uranium to produce electricity, not weapons. The allegations on the security of the nuclear programme were also baseless. Pakistan has the strongest nuclear security and safety framework in the world. The International Atomic Energy Agency has so much confidence and respect for Pakistan’s nuclear safety and security culture that it is now using Pakistan’s Center for Nuclear Excellence as a regional hub to train others in the norms of safety and security adopted by Pakistan.

Read more: The World needs to look the other way

Friday, 15 April 2016

India’s terror tactics: a looming threat to stability in Pakistan

The rampant rise in extremism, escalating poverty, a dismal energy sector and the mounting debt, if aren’t problems enough for the state to tackle, India’s constant strong arming and its terror tactics sure provides us with more reasons to get entangled in.
India’s interference in Balochistan
Ever since the re-emergence of insurgency in Baluchistan, Pakistan has been complaining about Indian involvement and in the recent past some dossiers were also shared with the UN and US. The information though seemed to fall on deaf ears as the international community was quick to respond on the request of the Indian government regarding the Pathankot attack, yet conveniently ignored the hard proofs submitted by the Pakistani government.

Read more: India’s terror tactics: a looming threat to stability in Pakistan

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Obama’s Legacy

In a recent interview with the Atlantic, Barack Obama declared that Libya was his biggest mistake. An admission that is being peddled by the corporate media, as some sort of proof that Obama is the anti-Bush.
libya
The arrogance and lack of genuine acknowledgment about the loss of life as result of his ‘mistake’ in Libya shows the perverse sense of entitlement that makes up the American political class. How lovely that President Obama has time to reflect on his legacy. It’s a luxury that is certainly not available to the people of Libya. It just boggles my mind that the president of United States, Nobel PEACE Prize recipient and all, was so incredibly short sighted, that he staged a regime change in a nation without having a contingency plan. It’s not like he didn’t have advisors warning him, because he did. He created the chaos in Libya simply because he felt that the people of Libya deserved American style democracy.

Read More: Obama’s Legacy

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Decoding New Delhi

Once again the anti-peace lobby in the sub continent is hard at work writing one sided articles in an effort to ensure that dialogue between Pakistan and India remains a fantasy.
Opinion pieces with a hawkish tone seem to have become the bread and butter of western ‘experts’ which demand childish things out of Pakistan and its military. Instead of writing from a point of bringing real peace between the two nuclear armed nations they seem to be intent on making sure that these two sides never sit together. The favorite theme seems to be to try and demonize the Pakistan military and paint a picture that it is in reality, one of the best kitted terrorist outfit that the western world and its allies has ever seen. Such is the frenzy of hatred within these scholars of ‘world peace’ for Pakistan that any attempts at even sounding balanced seems to have gone out of the window. The article in the Indian Express by Christophe Jafferlot, senior research fellow at CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS, Paris, and a non resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Pakistan bashing, is another innuendo filled piece of garbage. He frames his op-ed on the question on whether Masood Azhars ‘protective custody’ reflects a new policy at the top of the Pakistan army.

Read more: Decoding New Delhi

Monday, 8 February 2016

Lord of the ‘fellowships’; Malik Siraj Akbar

spy-vs-spy-without-bombsAfter taking a hiatus it seems that the Pak-Phobes lobby (PP for short) [1] at theHuffington Post is at it again. Once again they’ve launched the comical Malik Siraj Akbar.
His latest blog post is once again illustrating that his ‘fellowships’ have not been able to improve upon his lazy and ill-researched writing. In his latest entry, Mr. Akbar talks about the death of terrorist Manan Baluch, and the IDP’s. Everything that he writes about as ‘fact’, is in fact, not. Perhaps if the Carnegie centre for ‘peace’ could confer a fellowship in comedic fiction based research on the poor chap than maybe his posts would make more sense.
He starts his post solemnly mourning the loss of terrorist leader Manan Baluch, followed quickly by introducing the Baluchistan National Movement (BNM) to his readership. In it he describes the movement as ‘a political party that opposes Balochistan’s [what it bills as ‘forceful’] annexation with Pakistan and calls for a free homeland for the Baloch people.’ This is an interesting description as unexpectedly Mr. Akbar has shown his support for the Kashmiri and Palestinian people and their struggle for a separate homeland.

Read more: Lord of the ‘fellowships’; Malik Siraj Akbar

Friday, 29 January 2016

Bridging the Gaps in the CPEC

PAKISTAN-CHINA-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY
The democratically elected government of Pakistan has been largely successful in controlling political instability. It is all set to complete its constitutionally mandated term if it gains credibility of the general public. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government sailed off with its economic agenda by ushering in the big of deals, contracts and understandings. This started changing the image of Pakistan as a failed or failing state. The leadership has worked hard to furnish ideas; be it the promise of revitalizing the energy issue through a sustainable mix, serving the growing population, pacifying inflation, drying down the dengue epidemic, addressing the menace of polio, stimulating foreign diplomacy efforts especially with the neighboring nations, establishing order in the education circuit, devising strategies in the health portfolio or bringing overwhelming investment through its strong relations. Shortfalls remain especially in the education and health sectors and overall governance capacity.

Read more: Bridging the Gaps in the CPEC

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Afghan quadrilateral talks

This Monday, senior diplomats from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States met in Islamabad to lay the groundwork for a new round of peace talks with the Taliban. There has been a sense of urgency with regards to pushing for another round of talks as the Taliban have seized large sections of Afghan territory in the past few months. Therefore, the presence of both American and Chinese officials at the meeting was seen as a signal of importance of the negotiations.


Earlier news reports had suggested that the Taliban representatives and Afghan officials could meet sometime during the first-half of January, however, the meeting on Monday seemed as much about trying to smooth over months of tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan as about any real prospect of a change of heart by the Taliban. After the meeting, the officials released a statement saying that another planning session would take place in Kabul, the Afghan capital, next Monday. During the opening remarks, Sartaj Aziz, the senior foreign policy aide to Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, said that Pakistan was committed to furthering the Afghan reconciliation process. More importantly, he addressed the Afghan government’s demands to take military action against the irreconcilable elements with the Taliban by stating that the use of force against such elements cannot precede the offer of talks to all the groups. He rightly pointed out that it would be counterproductive to set any preconditions before the talks commence.

Read more: Afghan quadrilateral talks

Talks with the Afghan Taliban: Critical timelines

Earlier this week, reports emerged that COAS Gen Raheel Sharif will travel to Afghanis­tan in the last week of the current month for talks with the Afghan government on modalities for resumption of the reconciliation process. Gen Sharif was initially expected to visit Kabul before the Heart of Asia meeting in Islamabad on Dec 9, but tensions in the relationship prevented the visit from taking place. However, During President Ghani’s visit to Pakistan, the two countries agreed to end the blame game and restart the reconciliation process from where it had been suspended in July following the disclosure of Mullah Omar’s death. The resumed process would function under a new quadrilateral framework also involving China and US, which in the earlier version acted as observers.


As the four countries wait for settlement of details, the timing and sequencing of the resumed reconciliation process, contacts with militant groups are already under way for convincing them to join the talks. Senior Afghan officials have expressed hope through their recent statements that Gen Raheel Sharif’s visit will not only provide an impetus to efforts for resurrecting a waning peace process but also help mend fractured ties between the two neighbors. An official belonging to the Ghani administration stated that the visit would have two dimensions; focusing on improving bilateral relations, but more importantly exploring options for talks with the Taliban.

Read more: Talks with the Afghan Taliban: Critical timelines

Sunday, 24 January 2016

The evolving nature of our security crisis

Earlier this month, the Islamic State claimed it was responsible for an attack on a Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province. In a statement translated by the US monitor Site Intelligence, the “Khorasan Province of the Islamic State” said three of its members had attacked the consulate in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan. Afghan officials said seven members of the security forces were killed in the attack. In the State Department’s online announcement of the new designation of the group as a “foreign terrorist organization,” it described ISIL-K as being based in the “Afghanistan/Pakistan region and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban.”
Jamat-ud-Dawa
Nangarhar is home to a number of insurgent groups and criminal gangs who benefit from the province’s proximity to the Pakistan border. Insurgent attacks are not uncommon in Jalalabad. ISIS has established a presence in Nangarhar, having fought the Taliban in recent months for control of at least four border districts. The attack came two days after Islamabad hosted a meeting of representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US to discuss ending the Taliban insurgency.

Read more: The evolving nature of our security crisis