17 October 2013

Enemies of Malala

Jalees Hazir

Any attempt to take a closer look at the campaign around Malala is enough to qualify you as a Malala-hater and an apologist for terrorists. This simplistic ‘either-you-are-with-Malala-or-against-her’ formulation makes it impossible to have any meaningful discussion on the subject. What if I’m with Malala but against her exploitation by the international establishment?

It would take a crooked soul to hate the bright and courageous schoolgirl from Swat who refused to bow down to the tyranny of militants blowing up schools and murdering innocent people in her area, and kept the flame of education alive among the girls in her neighbourhood. And it would take an even more crooked soul to apologise for those who attacked her and for the militants who kill innocent citizens and blow up schools in the name of Islam.

Even the religious leaders who are otherwise soft on militants cannot bring themselves to say anything against Malala or justify the attack on her. So why should we allow the utterances of a lunatic fringe, that vilifies the person of Malala and threatens to attack her again, to define the contours of this important discussion? It only serves to deflect attention from the real issues at hand and the hypocrisy of those promoting her as a brand for their foul motives. Can we talk about the story of Malala’s ascent as a celebrity without any reference to the context in which it takes place? I don’t think so.

Isn’t it a bit more than just strange that the entire international establishment has been so moved by the misfortune of a schoolgirl from Pakistan that they have virtually adopted her? The same international establishment, complete with Gordon Browns and Obamas, the EU and the World Bank, the mainstream western media and glamorous celebrities, does not bat an eyelid as it lords over the murder and displacement of thousands upon thousands of school-going girls and boys around the world.

In her meeting with Obama, Malala asked him to stop the drones that have killed a large number of innocent children, women, old people and non-combatants, killings that he personally authorises every Tuesday. Perhaps she should have also asked him to stop arming, aiding, training and abetting the militant groups (very much like the militants who shot her) that are killing and displacing children like her in Syria. But then she is just 16. One hopes that with time she would come to understand that those honouring her with awards and accolades for standing up to tyranny are the biggest tyrants on the face of this earth today.

Obviously she doesn’t know that those applauding her courage preside over a barbaric imperialist machine that has spawned the very forces that blew up her school and tried to kill her, that even today these leaders mouthing platitudes about peace are busy creating these violent monsters and unleashing them on hapless populations in countries that resist their imperial ambitions. She obviously doesn’t know that those fawning over her in interviews and splashing her on their magazine covers are complicit in these unforgivable crimes against humanity, covering up the muck of their governments and inventing enemies that don’t exist. With her hypocritical newfound mentors cultivating her with a missionary zeal, the danger is that she might never know their dark side that they keep hidden behind their high offices and deceptive rhetoric, their expensive suits and plastic smiles. The danger is that her inspiring example would be co-opted in the narrative of the empire, her truth used to fuel falsehood.

It has been reported that Edelman, a top PR firm that counts Microsoft and Starbucks as its clients, is managing Malala and some of the top names in the field are working on the campaign that is clearly designed to fit into the narrative of the empire; a narrative that justifies the barbaric atrocities committed by the imperialist machine in the name of humanitarian intervention. Malala is being projected not as a victim of the agents of violence sponsored by the imperialist machine and its Middle Eastern proxies that she is, but as a victim of a ‘barbaric Pakistani society’ where schoolgirls who wish to continue their education are shot; a perfect justification for the white knights in shining armours to intervene militarily and save millions of Pakistani girls who, if we were to believe the campaign, are shot down for wishing to go to school.

For the US and its rich imperialist allies, manipulating perceptions of citizens in their countries is not something new. Emotions are whipped up, insecurities unleashed, entire civilisations demonised, events staged and stories cooked up to attack poor countries. It would be silly to think that the hype being created around the story of Malala by the same machine that brought you blockbusters like Saddam Hussain’s weapons of mass destruction and the use of Sarin gas by the Assad regime, Iran’s nuclear program and Gaddafi’s biological arsenal, is guided by any real feeling for the bravery and determination of a Pakistani schoolgirl. Is it just a coincidence that everyone from Madonna to Angelina Jolie, Beckham and Brown, Obama and the Queen of England, the EU and the UN, the World Bank and the IMF, the powerful players of the imperial tragedy now showing all over the globe have discovered Malala as if on cue?

Friends rooting for the Nobel peace prize for Malala were disappointed that she didn’t win it. They didn’t stop to question the credibility of a prize that has been exposed as a tool in the hands of the same imperial machine, aimed at feeding the false narrative of the empire and influencing individuals and events in a manner that suits the rich and the powerful. The fact that Malala didn’t win it actually goes in her favour. It indicates that those entrusted with the task to manage her haven’t been able to cultivate her to the extent that she starts mouthing whatever they tell her. May God give her the strength to stay safe from their evil machinations!

The writer is a freelance columnist.

This article was first published in 'The Nation' newspaper on 14 October 2013.

List of Pakistani children killed by US drone strikes

Would the world have known Malala Yousafzai's name had she been killed by a US drone strike? Chances are, probably not.

A total of 3,613 people have been reportedly killed in 376 US drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. Every drone strike is authorized by the US President and carried out by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

A study from Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute finds that the number of Pakistani civilians killed in drone strikes is “significantly and consistently underestimated" and that as many as 98% of those killed by drone strikes are civilians.

Below is an incomplete, and growing, list of known Pakistani children killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan. The list is organized age-wise in ascending order.

Name | Age | Gender

Ayesha | 3 | female
Sohail | 7 | male
Syed Wali Shah | 7 | male
Maezol Khan | 8 | female
Noor Aziz | 8 | male
Noor Muhammad | 8 | male
Noor Syed | 8 | male
Shoaib | 8 | male
Talha | 8 | male
Asadullah | 9 | male
Khalilullah | 9 | male
Saifullah | 9 | male
Wajid Noor | 9 | male
Hizbullah | 10 | male
Alam Nabi | 11 | male
Shehzad Gul | 11 | male
Muhammad Salim | 11 | male
Wilayat Khan | 11 | male
Ismail | 12 | male
Khalid | 12 | male
Kitab Gul | 12 | male
Luqman | 12 | male
Salman | 12 | male
Baacha Rahman | 13 | male
Darvesh | 13 | male
Ilyas | 13 | male
Jannatullah | 13 | male
Najibullah | 13 | male
Ziaur Rahman | 13 | male
Bakht Muneer | 14 | male
Jamshed Khan | 14 | male
Nimatullah | 14 | male
Numair | 14 | male
Qari Alamzeb | 14 | male
Rahmatullah | 14 | male
Shahbuddin | 15 | male
Shahjehan | 15 | male
Shaukat | 14 | male
Ameer Said | 15 | male
Azizul Wahab | 15 | male
Fazal Wahab | 16 | male
Gul Sher Khan | 15 | male
Inayatullah | 15 | male
Mashooq Jan | 15 | male
Noor Mohammad | 15 | male
Shabir | 15 | male
Abdul Waris | 16 | male
Adnan | 16 | male
Hayatullah Khan Mohammad | 16 | male
Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
Muhammad Tahir | 16 | male
Muhammad Yaas Khan | 16 | male
Muhammad Yunus | 16 | male
Ihsanullah | 16 | male
Inayatur Rehman | 16 | male
Shafiullah | 16 | male
Shakirullah | 16 | male
Siraj | 16 | male
Sultanat Khan | 16 | male
Tariq Aziz | 16 | male
Yahya Khan | 16 |male
Zabihullah | 16 | male
Zaheeruddin | 16 | male
Ziauddin | 16 | male
Abdul Wasit | 17 | male
Abdus Samad | 17 | male
Iftikhar | 17 | male
Ikramullah Zada | 17 | male
Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
Naeemullah | 17 | male
Nawab | 17 | male
Qari Sharifullah | 17 | male
Rahatullah | 17 | male
Saeedullah | 17 | male
Sanaullah Jan | 17 | male
Wali-ur-Rahman | 17 | male
Ziaur Rahman | 17 | male
Naeem Khan | ? | male
Naeemullah | ? | male
Nasir Khan | ? | male

06 October 2013

The Pakistani Judiciary's Anti-Terrorism Failings

"It’s not terrorism until the explosives blow up."

So said an anti-terrorism judge in Quetta while releasing a terrorist on bail who had been arrested by the Frontier Corps with over 70 kilogrammes of explosives in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

An honest, competent and independent judiciary is in Pakistan's interests. However, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. When it comes to rising crime, lawlessness and terrorism in Pakistan, the Pakistani legal system, especially the Pakistani judiciary, unfortunately, is part of the problem. Every fruit tree is judged by the fruit it yields. Needless to say, the fruit yielded by the Pakistani judicial system is for all to see.

At a time, when countries and legal systems across the world are further empowering and increasing the capaciy of their intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the Pakistani judiciary is engaged in undermining and limiting the power of Pakistan's intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, who are fighting crime, lawlessness and terrorism with one hand behind their backs (held by the Pakistani judiciary, and particularly the Pakistan Supreme Court). Today, things have come to such a pass that prior to undertaking any intelligence or law-enforcement operation, Pakistani intelligence and law enforcement agencies have to worry about being summoned before the superior judiciary, being insulted and grilled, even arrested and prosecuted, and having their actions overturned. This not only lowers their morale but, more importantly, reduces their effectiveness.

Recently, the Supreme Court ordered the Frontier Corps to be withdrawn from a previously lawless area in Balochistan, which the FC had pacified, on the grounds that the civil administration should deal with the improved law and order situation there. Result: the FC withdrew but instead of the civil administration, criminal gangs, banned outfits and terrorist groups stepped into the vacuum resulting in a rapid escalation of crime, lawlessness and terrorism. This example shows an utter lack of appreciation of the ground realities by the Supreme Court vis-a-vis security matters. Civil government in Balochistan is either non-existent, corrupt or inept. The Supreme Court should have known this, but didn't. In law, ignorance of facts is as unacceptable and dangerous as ignorance of the law.

The irony is that while the Supreme Court is busy ordering the withdrawal of security forces from the restive areas of Balochistan, the inhabitants are increasingly demanding Army rule, which is generally perceived to bring with it greater peace, stability and economic prosperity.

At one time there were nearly 100 Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) terrorists in Quetta's jails. The LeJ is notorious for targetting the minority Shia Hazara community in and around Quetta. Yet not a single one was convicted. One by one, they were released by the courts due to lack of evidence.

Two factors contribute towards the Pakistani judiciary's failure to control crime, lawlessness and terrorism: (i) flaws in the Pakistani judiciary's attitude; and (ii) flaws in the Pakistani legal system.

I. Flaws in the Pakistani Judiciary's Attitude

Firstly, the problem lies in the Pakistani judiciary's inherent hostility and cavelier attitude towards law enforcement and intelligence agencies. In order to prove their judicial credentials, or compensate for lack thereof, the Pakistani judiciary overcompensates by being aggressive towards the law enforcement and intelligence agencies. This is also due perhaps to the Pakistani judiciary's underlying sense of collective guilt for, generally, failing to deliver justice to the people of Pakistan for over 65 years. When justice is delivered, it is often too little too late, reminding one of the old adage: "justice delayed is justice denied."

Hostility towards Pakistan's intelligence agencies, armed forces and law enforcement agencies has been a particular hallmark of the hyperactive and suo moto-wielding Supreme Court of Pakistan under Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. A case in point is the Missing Persons' case. Under Articles 4, 9 and 10A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, due process is the fundamental right of every Pakistani citizen and person for the time being in Pakistan. No government agency has the right to arrest and detain any person without due process. No one has the right to kill another unless in execution of a death sentence imposed by a court of law.

However, the State and law enforcement agencies do have the legal right to kill in self-defence. They do have the legal right to kill when under attack. They do have the legal right to kill when war is being waged on them, on the Pakistani people and the Pakistani State.

Every murder or death in Balochistan cannot be blamed on law enforcement agencies, which the Supreme Court seems to be doing. Balochistan is a tribal society where tribal vendettas are common. People were being murdered in tribal vendettas in Balochistan before Balochistan even became part of Pakistan. Are we to believe, as perhaps the Supreme Court believes, that all tribal vendettas and murders have come to a halt in Balochistan after the creation of Pakistan?

Also, foreign-backed terrorists organizations like the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and the Balochistan Republican Army (BRA), founded by the KGB in the 1980s and now being funded and supported by Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies (and some claim even the CIA), are carrying out ethnic-cleansing and terrorism through targetted killing of non-Baloch and pro-Pakistani Baloch people in Balochistan. Even those killed and dumped by the BLA or BRA are blamed on the intelligence agencies. In such circumstances, where foreign powers are engaged in a murderous and bloody great game in this region, for the Pakistan Supreme Court and judiciary to blame Pakistan's own intelligence and law enforcement agencies for every death in Balochistan is highly irresponsible, reckless and dangerous. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is Pakistan's first line of defence, albeit an invisible one. Yet the ISI has become the favourite punching bag of the Supreme Court. There have been occasions when statements coming from the Supreme Court could have been been mistaken for those coming from the Indian Foreign Ministry. No other apex court in the world interferes with and undermines national security in the manner that the Supreme Court is doing. Never in US history has any CIA official been summoned by the United States Supreme Court. Under the Supreme Court, however, summoning of ISI officials is a common occurrence. This is also dangerous because it reveals the identity of ISI officials, which ought to be held secret. In 2011, the US withdrew its CIA Station Chief in Pakistan when his identity was revealed in a case filed in the Pakistani courts.

A glaring example of the Chief Justice exceeding his constitutional authority and limits occurred on 5 November 2012 when, speaking to the National Management Course in Islamabad, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that the Supreme Court possessed “absolute authority” concerning matters of national interest, adding the concepts of national security and stability had changed as arsenal strength could not assure it anymore. The CJP when on to add, "Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles, tanks and armory as a manifestation of hard power available at the disposal of the state.”

In other words, the Supreme Court was assuming for itself the role of the ultimate arbiter of Pakistan's national security. This statement by the Chief Justice was unconstitutional, being contrary to the scheme of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, under which the constitutional role of the Supreme Court is limited to that of interpreter of the Constitution and ultimate adjudicator of disputes, and not the ultimate authority on national security. The Pakistani Constitution does not envisage nor confer upon the Supreme Court the responsibility for Pakistan's defence and national security. Indeed, under the Constitution, the Supreme Court does not figure anywhere in matters of defence and national security. Only three institutions should collectively determine national security: (i) Parliament; (ii) the Federal Government; and (iii) the Armed Forces.

What then to make of this statement by the Chief Justice? Firstly, the Hon'ble Chief Justice seems to have forgotten a key judicial norm that judges do not speak other than through their judgments. The CJP and all judges should refrain from making speeches and public appearances. To do so is against judicial norms. Under the Supreme Court, an alarming new trend is the issuance of press releases by the Pakistan Supreme Court. Why is there a need for the Supreme Court to issue press releases? The only thing a court should release, indeed be allowed to release, are judgments.

Earlier on the same day, in a speech to army officers at General Headquarters, Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had stated: “No individual or institution has the monopoly to decide what is right or wrong in defining the ultimate national interest.” Referring to off-the-cuff remarks made by Supreme Court judges from the bench during the trial of cases, Kayani stated: "As we all are striving for the rule of law, the fundamental principle that no one is guilty until proven, should not be forgotten,” he said. "Let us not prejudge anyone, be it a civilian or a military person and extend it, unnecessarily, to undermine respective institutions." Kayani added that "any effort which wittingly or unwittingly draws a wedge between the people and Armed Forces of Pakistan undermines the larger national interest."

Kayani's remarks were clearly a well-deserved rebuke to the Supreme Court by the Army Chief. However, it was not just the Army that felt that the Supreme Court was exceeding its constitutional jurisdiction. In an article titled "Courting Trouble", the renowned and widely respected Pakistani journalist, Syed Talat Hussain, rightly observed:
"The Supreme Court of Pakistan seems to be tying itself in knots. Some recent developments suggest that the learned judges’ exuberance is creating legal, political and administrative complexities to which even their collective wisdom might not provide workable solutions."
He went on to observe that the Supreme Court's handling of the situation in Balochistan appears "to have raised fundamental questions about the implications of the judiciary’s handling of sensitive challenges."

The Missing Persons' case is a prime example of the Supreme Court engaging in reckless popular grandstanding and playing to the public gallery at the expense of national security and, indeed, justice. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's unbridled and excessive exercise of suo moto powers, particularly vis-a-vis interference in executive authority and law enforcement functions is tantamount to an abuse of process and authority as well as judicial misconduct.

II. Flaws in the Pakistani Legal System

Pakistan's legal system, particularly its criminal justice system, is based, by and large, on the British colonial legal system, which itself was based on the English legal system. On paper, Pakistan has one of the world's most sophisticated legal systems. Over the years, Pakistan has attempted to improve an already sophisticated legal system by cutting and pasting laws from developed Western countries.
(i) Corruption and inefficiency

Like parliamentary democracy, which requires a literate population to function successfully, a sophisticated legal system requires a sophisticated administration to deliver. For example, Pakistan's evidentiary laws presume an effective, competent and honest police investigation, evidence-gathering and prosecution system. Tinker with this presumption and the system fails to deliver. Pakistan lacks an effective and honest police force and has a flawed evidence-gathering and forensics system and a weak prosecution. All this results in a general failure to prosecute terrorists successfully.

(ii) Weak laws

Also limiting anti-terrorism investigators is the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and the Qanoon-e-Shahadat (Law of Evidence) Order, 1984 that make police testimony inadmissible, and in the absence of other witnesses, any case against terrorists collapses. This law fails to take into account that when law enforcement agencies raid a terrorist hideout, the only witnesses are the law enforcement personnel.

Pakistan's anti-terrorism laws are weak and its anti-terrorist courts operate like mainstream courts, applying the same standards of evidence that ordinary courts apply. This defeats the very purpose of setting up anti-terrorism courts.
The Pakistani legal system's failure in identifying and bringing terrorists to justice boosts the morale of terrorists.

A judge cannot escape responsibility, indeed, culpability if he unleashes a murderer of innocents onto civil society who then goes on to kill innocents again. Unfortunately, this is a daily occurence in Pakistan's flawed judicial system, where criminals and terrorists are being unleashed upon society because the judge didn't seem to think that the prosecution had proved its case.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan would do well to heed the voices of the Shia Hazaras rising from the Quetta Valley and the Pakhtuns rising from the valleys of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. They are demanind a state institution to step in and rescue them from their lawless environments and it's not the Pakistani judiciary they're calling.

Postscript: After the above article was published, Dawn newspaper, in its 19 October 2013 edition, reported that 722 suspects rejoined terrorist groups after acquittal.

01 August 2013

Strategic Significance of Pakistan

Ralph Braibanti

The critical role of Pakistan as a factor in international stability and global politics can only be appreciated when it is placed in the context of a global resurgence of Islamic identity. The pre-eminent characteristic of Pakistan is its Muslim episteme. When established in 1947 in the name of Islam it was the most populous Muslim nation in the world. While the secession of Bangladesh in 1971 reduced it to second place after Indonesia, it remains one of the most conspicuously fervent of the fifty-four member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that declare themselves constitutively Islamic. The invocation of Islam as its raison dÕetre places Pakistan as one of the few nations, along with the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia founded explicitly on religious doctrine rather than by historical accident or colonial invention. A realistic assessment of its role in the world requires a survey of its ideological universe - Ummah - the global commonwealth of Muslims.

The last fifty years of this century have been indelibly stamped by the remarkable resurgence of Islam as an international political force. The end of empire released powerful energies which had been suppressed by colonialism. The effect of this explosion has been both global and profound; benign and sinister. Since the creation of Pakistan and the establishment of Israel a year later, scarcely a week has passed without the world's attention being called to Islam. These activities have spanned the spectrum of the human condition: mass migration, war and peace, oil blockades, boycotts, political development and political disintegration, famine and plenty, catastrophe and relief, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, hostage-taking, boundary disputes, destruction of mosques, aggression and secession. These events cover the globe: from Palestine to the Philippines, from Kashmir to Kuwait, from Cyprus to Chechnya, from Bangladesh to Bosnia, from the Central Asian Islamic republics to Morocco and the Sahara, from Turkey to Brunei and Yemen. Pakistan has been critically involved in almost all of these episodes.

The greatest migration in history was the exchange of 11.5 million people between India and Pakistan in 1947 accompanied by the massacre of another half a million. The migration of 3.5 million Afghan refugees into Pakistan from 1979 to 1987 was almost as disruptive. The separation of Bangladesh was, until the dismemberment of the Soviet empire in 1991, the only successful secession of the post World War II era. Three wars with India over what is essentially a boundary dispute bloodied with ethnic cleansing in Kashmir, and now continued turbulence and terrorism based in part on drug distribution and in part on the presumption of the development of nuclear weapons capacity.

The position of Muslim nations and the perception of Islam as an international political force has changed in the last half century. The 54 predominantly Islamic states constitute one-third of the membership of the United Nations. Muslim minorities, including that of the United States, are becoming influential political forces. In fact, the political recognition of Muslims is beginning to equal their bulk as a quarter of the world's people.

Another development of profound significance is the new attitude of Christianity toward Islam. Mainstream Christianity has abandoned its missionary zeal and exclusionary views of other religions. These new attitudes, elucidated in a series of Vatican documents, Ecclesiam Suam (1964), Lumen Gentium (1964), Nostra Aetate (1965) are deftly, brilliantly, almost poetically summarized in a series of brief essays by Pope John Paul II in Crossing the Threshold of Hope. This view of Islam is shared by mainstream Protestantism as well. A dramatic symbol of this new recognition of Islam was the investiture in May 1996 of Dr. Asad Husain of Chicago, by the Vatican with the Order of Merit of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. This papal order was founded in the 11th century for the protection of Jerusalem against Muslims This was the first time in history that a Muslim was thus honoured.

While there are profound theological differences between Islam and Christianity, there are also significant complementarities. For example, social harmony between Christians and Jews has always been a central tenet of Islam. That harmony became discordant largely because of competition between Islam and Christianity for conversion of the world as epitomized by the Crusades. More recently, the competition has been exacerbated by the Jewish seizure of Palestine and unequivocal Western support of Israel led by the United States.

Taken as a whole, the significance of these developments is astounding. They represent a reversal of sentiments deeply imbedded in the West for more than a thousand years. This new sentiment provides a philosophical underpinning and emotional climate which is encouraging a new partnership between the West and Islam. No longer is it Islam against the West, but Islam and the West co-operating in political action against the decline of civilization. In this new era of inter-civilizational understanding Pakistan plays a crucial role.

Unlike any other Muslim nation, Pakistan has a complicated web of relationships with the entire world of Islam (Ummah). It is a mistaken notion to think of Pakistan exclusively in the context of South Asia or the South Asian subcontinent. Having fragmented from that subcontinent with no exclusionary topographical boundaries separating it from the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan and the disputed area of Kashmir, that assumption is easy to make. But it is erroneous. The topographical barriers separating Pakistan from its western and northern neighbours - Afghanistan, Iran and China - are much more formidable, but the cultural affinities are greater still. Afghan-Pushtu culture oversteps the Durand Line. Baluch-Brahui tribal culture is found in the Baluchistan of Pakistan and in the Baluchistan of Iran.

These links with its western neighbours existed long before pre-partition India. Indeed all the boundaries in the area, such as the Durand Line, the Radcliffe Boundary and the McMahon Line were drawn to satisfy colonial interests; not to delineate ethnic/linguistic/cultural identities. The relationship with Afghanistan, always fraught with difficulties, has been woven into a denser web in consequence of Pakistan's pivotal role in the Soviet-Afghan War. The links with Turkey and Central Asia have historical roots. The Muslims of the subcontinent absorbed, as Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi has so poignantly written, "layers of immigrants from Arabia, Iran, Central Asia and the Afghan mountains; the greatest impact was made by the Central Asians, because they seem to have been the most numerous and also because the ruling dynasties were overwhelmingly Turkish." Qureshi states that the painting of such artists as Chugtai and poets such as Hali, Iqbal and Ghalib all have an Iranian flavour. He quotes the "great thinker" Shah Waliu'llah who suggests that the Muslims of India were travellers in a strange land dreaming of the roses, nightingales, cypress forests and running springs of Iran and Central Asia. This romanticized view of the wellsprings of Pakistani culture was reinforced by the separation of Bangladesh in 1971 and the emergence of strengthened bonds with the Islamic states to the West.

Roughly 30 percent of Pakistan's population is Shiite and the second largest concentration (after Bombay), of Parsis (Zoroastrians of Persian origin) is to be found in Pakistan. The economic and political facet of this cultural affinity takes form in the Economic Cooperation Organization established in 1993 by ten contiguous states - Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and the six Central Asian Islamic Republics. It supersedes the entity known as Regional Cooperation Development (RCD) formed in 1964 by Turkey, Iran and Pakistan which was never very effective. This new organization (ECO) holds greater promise than the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation of 1983 (SAARC). The latter has been crippled by the relatively overwhelming size of India and fear that India's conduct defines a hegemonic propensity of ultimate danger to Pakistan. The relative success of the Economic Cooperation Organization and the failure of SAARC are institutional reflections of the tighter linkage of Pakistan with Central Asia than with the subcontinent. The connections with the Arabian Peninsula are also significant. Changing the name of the industrial city of Lyallpur to Faisalabad after Saudi Arabia's late monarch, Saudi Arabia's financing the International Islamic University in Islamabad and the King Faisal Mosque, one of the largest in the world, are but a few symbols of the Arabian connections. The training of large numbers of Mujahideen (freedom fighters for religion) in Pakistan to fight in the Afghan-Soviet war, and the participation in that war of Saudi Arabian fighters has had a curious aftermath. Many of these warriors, left without a cause, are now in Bosnia along with Iranian mercenaries. Some are said to be in an underground resistance movement against the Saudi regime. If this is so, it thrusts Pakistan ever more deeply into the maelstrom of international Muslim political activities.

The valiant efforts of Pakistan to deepen the Islamic nature of its polity have been especially appreciated in Saudi Arabia. The detailed research and published writings of Maulana Syed Abdul 'Ala Maudoodi (1903-1979) and the organization he headed, Jamaat-i-Islami, have been admired. It is of some significance that Maudoodi was the first recipient of Saudi Arabia's King Faisal International Prize for his contributions to Islam. The regime of President Zia-ul-Haq was also respected for its efforts to deepen the Islamic component of the political system.

The millions of Pakistanis working in the Gulf States help the Pakistani economy by their remittances. Pakistan sends one of the largest delegations of hajjis performing the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Membership in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has been an important source of moral, political and sometimes financial support for Pakistan. A distinguished Pakistani barrister, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, served a term as its Secretary-General. Earlier a Pakistani, Umer Chapra, headed the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) which controlled Saudi public finances. The network of connections with the non-Muslim West is equally extensive. While Pakistan has experimented with indigenous political systems such as Basic Democracies under Ayub Khan and Nizam-i-Mustafa (Way of the Prophet) under Zia-ul-Haq, its political structure is essentially that of the British parliamentary system, to which a variation of American judicial review has been grafted. Parliamentary debates are printed in English; proceedings of Pakistan's provincial High Courts and the Supreme Court are conducted and decisions are printed in English. English is the medium of instruction in universities and in training centers for the civil service. Pakistan, along with South Korea and Vietnam, was one of the three largest recipients of American foreign aid in administrative reform, agricultural development and especially during the Afghan-Soviet war, of security assistance.

This reliance on English language and western structures is unmatched in the Muslim world. Only Jordan can be said to have a similar condition. Pakistan's Islamic polity embraces the Qur'anic mandate of respect for non-Muslim minorities, especially 'Ahl al-Kitab' (the 'People of the Book', i.e. Christians and Jews). From 1960 until his retirement in 1968, a devout Roman Catholic, A.R. Cornelius, was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A Roman Catholic minority, largely of Goan ancestry and based in Karachi is led by Joseph Cardinal Cordeiro. The valuable properties of the Catholic and Anglican as well as other churches, although in some cases unused, have never been threatened with expropriation Parsis are similarly regarded with respect. While typically their interests are in business rather than government and politics, they have occasionally served as cabinet ministers or as ambassadors.

The capacity of Pakistan to sustain some fifteen major disarticulations in polity, power, and structure and still preserve a national identity is a phenomenon one is tempted to explain by recourse to the supernatural Pakistan which has been pummelled by external events (three wars with India, secession of Bangladesh, 3.5 million Afghan refugees) and disrupted by internal fissures (4 periods of martial law totalling 27 years and ethnic violence in Sindh) to a degree which no other state established since 1945 has suffered. In this respect it stands as an exemplar of a nation whose adversities "common sense" might suggest make its viability impossible. Yet its continued existence defies the reality induced by such speculation. The enormity and persistence of these difficulties and the resilience of the nation in absorbing and somehow surviving them must be regarded with awe if not admiration.

The relationship of Pakistan and the United States, while not unblemished by occasional disagreements, has been stable, amicable and constructive for nearly half a century. Pakistan was linked to the United States by the Mutual Defence Treaty of 1954 as well as by membership in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1954. Further bonds were forged by the Baghdad Pact, in 1955 first known as the Middle East Treaty Organization (METO) and, after the withdrawal of Iraq, as the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). In 1959 Pakistan and the United States signed the Bilateral Agreement of Cooperation which provided for assistance to Pakistan if victimized by aggression. There have been several dramatic manifestations of Pakistan's loyalty to the United States. In the late 1950s Pakistan allowed the construction of a then secret air base in Peshawar, from which U-2 intelligence aircraft made reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union. It was not until 1960 when one of the U-2 pilots, Francis Gary Powers, was shot down and captured in the Soviet Union that the nature and extent of this intelligence operation was revealed. Hafeez Malik, in a careful study of the U-2 incident, finds that the United States was able to increase its list of identifiable Soviet targets from 3,000 to 20,000 as a result of this surveillance. Pakistan's fidelity in preserving the secrecy of this operation was not without risk to the martial law regime of Ayub Khan. The Soviet Union was incensed by this action, and announced that Peshawar was marked on its war maps for bombing.

Although political agitation in Pakistan was sedated by the effectiveness of martial law, there was during this period a small but influential group of intellectuals more favourably disposed to the Soviet Union and China than was official government policy. Mian Mahmud Ali Qasuri, a distinguished barrister and Rabia Sultana Qari, the first Muslim woman to become a barrister on the subcontinent, although not Communists, were among such dissidents. Perhaps the most influential intellectual of this persuasion was the renowned poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz whom the Soviet Union decorated with the Lenin Peace Prize. When Faiz was arrested in 1959 China lodged an official protest. Several political groups such as the National Awami Party, the Awami League and the Jamaat-i-lslami, led by the influential cleric, Maulana Maudoodi, were also becoming active dissidents.

An uncommonly spectacular instance of Pakistan's fidelity was the secret mission of Henry Kissinger to Beijing in 1971. Kissinger, while in Pakistan, was said to be ill and was ostensibly motored to Nathiagali, a hill station, to recuperate. In fact, a look-alike made the motor trip in a car identical to the one Kissinger would have used. Meantime Kissinger was driven to Chaklala airport near Islamabad by Sultan Mohammed Khan, the secretary-general of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. From there he embarked on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane for Beijing where he met with Foreign Minister Zhou En-Lai and arranged for President Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972. Fewer than five people were aware of this extraordinary caper until several days later.

Pakistan played a critical role in the historic defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. It risked its own stability by accepting 3.5 million Afghan refugees and by serving as a conduit for arms shipments from the United States to the Mujahideen. It has not yet recovered from the aftershock of this enterprise. Much of the drug traffic, smuggling, and terrorism can be attributed to this role in the Afghan crisis. In a nation whose religious ideology places a premium on the loyalty and steadfastness of friends, whether personal or political, Pakistan finds it difficult to comprehend the United States indifference to the Kashmir issue, its double-standard towards nuclear proliferation in South Asia, and its reluctance to repay the cash payment made for the purchase (with no delivery) of F-16 fighter aircraft.

It was earlier suggested that the resurgence of Islam as a political force in the world presents us with what will be the 21st century's most important political problem. We shall have to deal with this in our foreign policy. But we shall also have to confront it as a national problem, as Muslims are now the second largest religious group in the United States and are becoming a widely recognized political force. Pakistan can help us understand this phenomenon in a unique way. Pakistan is one of the few countries which has a long history of reconciling Islamic and non-Islamic values, of interpreting in English a moderating Islam in the context of western culture. This unique reconstruction (some would say modernization) of Islam began with the work of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) in pre-partition India. His orientation is revealed in the name of the institution which he sought to establish: Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, which ultimately became Aligarh Muslim University. This reconstructive or modernist orientation is continued in the work of Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) the Muslim poet-philosopher regarded as the creator of the concept of a separate Islamic state on the South Asian subcontinent. His Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam is a classic in modernist interpretations of Islam. The pre-eminent Pakistani historian, Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi, was preoccupied for several years with articulating Islam to modem constitutionalism. His book, The Future Development of an Islamic Polity is a brilliant analysis marked by clarity and comprehension of other political systems. The point of view of the founding father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was in the same tradition - Islamic to be sure, but not militantly Islamic. Rather it was reconstructionist, progressive and modernist.

But Pakistan has also struggled with the opposite of the modernist views. I refer to the extensive writings of Maulana Maudoodi and to the decade (1979-1988) when General Zia-ul-Haq's Nizam-i-Mustafa tried to construct a polity closer to Maudoodi's ideals. The combined results of both the modernist and non-modernist activities is astounding. In sheer volume and intellectual content Pakistan has produced the largest English language body of written exposition of Islam as it relates to Western political thought to be found anywhere. Despite excursions into a more militant, less reconstructionist emphasis from time to time, Pakistan remains a source of adaptation, reconciliation, of Islamic and non-Islamic polities. This reservoir of understanding, especially when reflected in attitudes and policies of Pakistan's government can be of help to the United States in dealing with the global resurgence of Islam.

The portrayal of Pakistan here is that of a Muslim state which is truly unique. It is a state closely connected with both Persian and Arabian culture as well as with Central Asia and Turkey. Its subcontinental genesis links it also to Britain by virtue of 200 years of the British Raj and its membership in the Commonwealth. Its post-independence alliances with the United States give still another dimension to its global contacts. It would be an error to dwell on Pakistan's immersion in the larger orbit of Islam and its connections with the English-speaking world to the exclusion of its relationship to the subcontinent, from which it is, after all, a detached fragment. The 13 percent of the population of India which is Muslim is one factor which links Indian Muslim and Pakistani interests.

To be sure the bonds of kinship are slowly fading; two generations of Pakistanis have never been to India. Yet it is the threat from India which is the primary determinant of Pakistan's security policies and is the most likely source of regional conflict which could easily become nuclear. The rhetoric of Hindu extremist groups in India calling for the expulsion of all Muslims to Pakistan exacerbates the tension. The massacre of Muslims in Bombay after the ascent of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Maharashtra professing anti-Muslim sentiment is an example of rhetoric becoming reality. Demolition of the Babri Masjid (Mosque) in Ayodhya and of scores of other mosques is further evidence of this attitude. The percentage of Muslims holding civil service, police, judicial appointments or selected positions in legislatures, always in the low single digits, sinks lower each year. That proportion is now between 1 and 2 percent although the Muslim population of India is 13 percent. Moreover the India of today is not the India of Mahatma Gandhi or Rabindranath Tagore at the time of partition in 1947. The ideology which they both espoused - ahimsa (non-violence), swadeshi (indigenous manufactures; cottage industries) and the Gandhian philosophy of satyagraba (political action based on non-violence) was the regnant idiom of its time. It captured the imagination of the masses and led to the end of British rule. Gandhi believed in a secular India which would respect and protect all religions, including Islam. His swadeshi movement placed great reliance on cottage industries and village self-government through the panchayati-raj, an institution prescribed by Article 40, Directive Principles of State Policy, Constitution of India. He favoured this pattern of development over high technology, large-scale industrialization and bureaucratic centralization. That Gandhian ideology commanded the admiration of the whole world. Swadeshi became the precursor of the appropriate technology movement later developed by E. F. Schumacher Ahimsa profoundly influenced the non-violent resistance movement of Martin Luther King in the United States. Now both the whole fabric and the separate strands of the Gandhian ethical system are hardly given rhetorical expression, let alone put into practice in India.

Yet it is the India of Gandhi which remains in the American imagination and distorts at every angle our impressions of India and hence our view of Pakistan. Modern India unambiguously regards itself as the dominant power in the region. It has waged war with China, three wars with Pakistan, occupied the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, annexed the Portuguese enclave of Goa, seized the princely Muslim state of Junagadh, annexed the Himalayan state of Sikkim, exerts political control over Nepal and Bhutan, intervened militarily in Pakistan's civil war which established Bangladesh, intervenes in the Tamil-Sinhalese violence in Sri Lanka, continues to conflict with Pakistan over the boundary of the Siachen glacier and is adamant in its refusal to implement a series of United Nations resolutions starting in 1948 calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir. In view of these well-defined instances of hegemonic impulse there can be little wonder about Pakistan's concern that its security technology should match India's. In his autobiography, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, analyzed the strategy of the United States to bring India and Pakistan together as a buffer against China. He deftly characterized the Pakistani view of India, "The idea of becoming subservient to India is abhorrent and that of cooperation with India, with the object of promoting tension with China, equally repugnant."

Like Kashmir to the east, Afghanistan to the west is a likely source of regional if not international conflict. The zigzag boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan, plotted by Sir Henry Mortimer Durand in 1893 paid little heed to ethnic/linguistic factors. The formidable, hostile mountains of the border area are penetrated by hundreds of narrow passes, most of no utility for more than single file movement. The notable exception is the Khyber Pass famed in history and legend by the Anglo-Afghan wars and by Rudyard Kipling. For centuries Afghans moved freely in picturesque camel caravans across a border which had no meaning to them. Afghan nomads (powindahs) spent the winters with their herds on the lowland plateaus of the Northwest Frontier Province and returned to their mountain grazing in the summers. Pakistan's reception of Afghan refugees during the Soviet-Afghan war was merely an extension on a vastly enlarged scale of the powindah tradition.

The defeat of the Soviets left Afghanistan a torn country ruled by tribal or regional chieftains (khans). Hundreds of Islamic militants from several Muslim countries remain behind in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Training camps for militants, centers for the distribution of arms to other Muslim countries as well as smuggling and drug operations have been established. Amir Taheri reports that the Mujahideen have established autonomous "Arab emirates" in Paktya and Kunar provinces bordering Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and in the narrow panhandle, Wakhan, a buffer between Tajikstan and the remote tribal enclaves, Chitral and Gilgit. Gilgit has been part of Jammu and Kashmir since its annexation in 1863 by Maharaja Rambir Singh. It, together with Hunza, Nagar and Skardu, now comes under the jurisdiction of the Pakistan Ministry of the Northern Areas and Kashmir. It has a 24-member elected legislative council one of whose members is chief advisor to the principal administrative officer who holds the rank of commissioner and normally is appointed from the Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP). Chitral now is a district of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) thus regularizing its rather ambiguous status as a former princely state. That ambiguity was commented on by the eminent geographer of the subcontinent, O.H.K. Spate: "The 'no man's land' nature of this transitional area is emphasized by the doubtful status of Chitral, administratively grouped with the NWFP but with a shadow of Kashmiri suzerainty, imperceptibly dropped - or lost to sight in a larger crisis - with the formation of Pakistan."

The strategic significance of Gilgit and Chitral was long ago suggested by Lord Ronaldshay's comment that they were "listening posts... in the vast system of natural defences which keep silent and eternal watch over the teeming plains of Hindustan." That description is as valid, perhaps more valid, today as it was one hundred years ago. Muslim extremists in the three Afghan provinces (Paktya, Kunar, Wakhan) are often referred to as Arab Afghans or Wahhabis. The latter is an obvious reference to Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of militants are scattered throughout the Peshawar area. Pakistan admits its inability to control the activity in Peshawar. This is nothing new. The tribal areas of the Northwest Frontier Province have always been on the fringe of central government control, whether British or Pakistani. The hostile mountain hideouts of the Arab Afghan feudal chieftains in the Afghan provinces are inaccessible in the winter. Even during the rest of the year they have been able to successfully resist intrusion by outsiders. Pakistan admits that only a massive all out military campaign would have any effect, and even that is doubtful. The entanglement of Pakistan and Afghanistan is further tightened by trade routes. Landlocked, mountainous Afghanistan depends on Pakistan's well-developed road network - the 4-lane Karachi-Peshawar Indus Highway and the 6-lane Lahore-Peshawar Motorway - and, to a lesser extent, its railroads to import and export goods through the seaports of Karachi and Gwadar on the Arabian Sea and strategically placed on the mouth of the Persian Gulf. The significance of Pakistan's western border was prophetically described nearly half a century ago by Spate: "Of the many grave problems confronting Pakistan none is more pregnant with difficulty and danger than that of the Frontier, more especially should it not remain localized. The whole future of Pakistan may well depend on a viable solution of this damnosa haereditas."

However, by far the most serious bone of contention is the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Although both India and Pakistan agreed in principle to a United Nations resolution in 1948 calling for a plebiscite, India has refused to implement that instrument until Pakistan withdraws its forces from the northern third. The cease-fire line, supervised by United Nations forces is now known as the Line of Control (LoC). Pakistan refuses to withdraw its forces until India does so. India insists on keeping some of its forces in place even if Pakistan complied. It relies on a provision of the U.N. resolution which called on the withdrawal of the "bulk" of Indian forces Pakistan has established a separate entity, Azad Kashmir, in the area it controls. India is adamant in the view that Kashmir is an integral part of India and considers the matter closed. Some 1.5 million Kashmiri refugees live in Pakistan and nearly half a million are scattered throughout the world. The flight of Muslims and the in-migration of Hindus has changed the demographic composition somewhat. The latest census lists some 65 percent Muslim as compared with 76 percent in 1947. Three wars have been fought over Kashmir; tens of thousands of Kashmiris have been killed, tortured or raped as the Indian army tightens its grip on the area. Terrorism escalates to alarming dimensions. No end seems in sight. The threat of the use of nuclear weapons appears ever more real as both India and Pakistan are resolute in their claims. The region of which Pakistan is a part is the most unstable in the world. The phenomenal population explosion in Pakistan (250 million projected by 2025), poverty, ethnic rivalries, especially in Karachi, widespread violence are all problems not likely to be resolved in the near future. Nuclear proliferation is likely so long as the question of Kashmir is unsettled. The rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party in India with its anti-Muslim rhetoric is foreboding. Pakistan's relations with China which have resulted in nuclear technology transfer accentuate the strategic difficulties.

There is some reason for optimism in reviewing current United States Congressional understanding of Pakistan's pivotal position in world politics. In 1985, the Foreign Assistance Act, in an amendment sponsored by Senator Larry Pressler (R., S.D.) cut off aid to Pakistan unless the President certified that Pakistan "does not possess a nuclear explosive device". This certification was valid until 1990 even though the CIA reported that Pakistan was developing nuclear capability. This caution was ignored because of Pakistan's critical role in the Soviet-Afghan war. Waivers of the Pressler Amendment were extended until 1991 because of Pakistan's strategic importance and despite further evidence that it was developing nuclear bombs which could be delivered by F-16 fighter aircraft. With the end of the Afghan war, Pakistan appeared less important, and aid was halted in 1991. The nuclear proliferation issue became more tangled by the fact that Pakistan previously had purchased 28 F-16 fighter planes for which Islamabad paid $658 million but withheld a payment due in July 1993. After being thwarted twice by threatened filibusters, Senator Hank Brown (R., Colo.) succeeded in 1996 in getting an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act passed which alleviated somewhat the strained U.S.-Pakistan relations caused by the non-delivery of the F-16's. The Brown amendment while not repealing the Pressler Amendment, allows the United States to sell the aircraft to other countries and return the $358 million to Pakistan. Plans are now well advanced to sell the planes to Poland. It has not yet been determined whether the refund to Pakistan will include accumulated interest. A refreshing aspect of the five years of debate on the F-16/nuclear proliferation issue was the appeal to fairness. It seemed to Senator Brown and others that it was dishonourable to receive payment from Pakistan and not deliver the goods or refund the money. This was not ethical business practice and was all the more repugnant when applied to a nation which had been a friend of the United States for nearly half a century. As early as 1994 Congressman Lee Hamilton (D., Ind.) Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee criticized the double standard applied to India and Pakistan. India has developed nuclear weapons, refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and was not denied aid. Hamilton related this to the Kashmir issue. He regarded the area as "the most likely place for the outbreak of a nuclear conflict." He advocated persuading Pakistan and India to work towards a nuclear-free zone in South Asia. The Brown Amendment was supported by the White House and signed into law as part of the Foreign Assistance Act as amended in 1996. This partial resolution of the F-16 issue puts Pakistan-U.S. relations back on a track of understanding from which they were derailed since 1991.

The intricate web of connections of nuclear non-proliferation, the tinder box of Kashmir, and equity in relations with India and Pakistan were accurately reflected in Congressional debates. They confirm unequivocally the potential dangers in the Pakistani "heartland." The issues of Kashmir and nuclear proliferation are closely related. While no solution to the Kashmir problem is in sight, there is evidence that the United States recognizes it as an important security problem. The members of Congress who supported the Brown amendment understand Kashmir's significance and for the most part are sympathetic to Pakistan's claims. President Clinton in an address to the United Nations on September 27, 1993 and in a letter to Kashmiri Americans dated December 27, 1993 made clear that peace in Kashmir was essential for "even small conflicts can threaten to take on murderous proportions". But these are merely glimmers of possible change in U.S. and U.N. policies. Forceful action to enforce pertinent U.N. resolutions has not yet been taken. There is not yet the perception that human rights violations are as horrendous in Kashmir as in Bosnia and that the injustice of India's continued tyrannical rule is of the same order as Israeli treatment of Palestine.

The critical geopolitical position of Pakistan recalls the views of Sir Halford J. Mackinder, Professor Karl Hausholer and Admiral Alfred Thomas Mahan. It was Mackinder. writing in 1904 who first used the expression "geographical pivots of history. He advanced the idea of the "heartland" i.e. that whoever controls a central strategic or pivotal area, controls the surrounding, area, the range of control expanding in concentric circles. These ideas profoundly influenced Karl Haushofer, an army major general then professor of geography at Munich University. Haushofer was introduced to Adolf Hitler by Rudolf Hess. Haushofer's theories influenced Hitler but eventually Hitler ignored his advice and sent him to a concentration camp. Haushofer's son, Albrecht, an art historian who had also written on geopolitics, was imprisoned participation in a conspiracy to overthrow Hitler and was executed by a firing squad. Shortly thereafter, his father committed suicide. Admiral Mahan advanced the same notion in terms of seapower - whoever controls the sea has influence if not control over adjacent landmasses. The precipitous decline in the respectability of geopolitics during and after the Second World War was due in part to the repugnance toward anything associated with Nazi doctrine or behaviour. Haushofer's early influence on Hitler was widely regarded as the ideological paradigm for Hitler's grand design of conquest. The fact that Haushofer was banished for advising against the German invasion of the Soviet Union did not lift the stigma. Later, nuclear warfare with the possibility of long-range destruction seemed to minimize the need for actual control of areas of land or sea. The geopolitical explanation of global strategy can be carried too far. The Mackinder-Haushofer paradigm was extremist in the sense that it did not take other factors such as climate and human behaviour into account. Ellsworth Huntington, a pioneer in analyzing geographical influences on human development, labels the Mackinder-Haushofer theories "fallacious". The blemish of their association with Nazi policy is evident in Huntington's criticism. Writing during the height of Hitler's power, he groups the Mackinder-Haushofer paradigm with the racist theories of Houston S. Chamberlain and Count Joseph A. deGobineau. In recent years there has been a marginal renewal of interest in the influence of geography on politics. The awareness of the criticality of "chokepoints" or "flashpoints" has contributed to this new interest.

It is neither prudent nor accurate to label this development as geopolitics. The simple term "political geography" as developed by Isaiah Bowman as early as 1921 is a more useful and accurate designation. In the past decade a growing number of analysts of international politics such as Paul Kennedy, Ewan Anderson, William Pfaff, Saul Cohen, Jack Child have turned to classical geography for some explanation of contemporary issues. The rising incidence of low intensity non-nuclear conflicts in which control of pivotal areas of land and sea is critical also contributes to a reassessment of geography. Pakistan fits perfectly into a politico geographic paradigm. The geographic arc embracing Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan to the west and Kashmir to the east may well be the next source serious of conflict in the world. It may originate in the west, in the east or in both places at once. The disintegration of the Soviet Union- has created a geopolitical vacuum in Central Asia. The resurgence of Islam in the six Central Asian republics has provoked competing ambitions of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for influence in the area. The continued instability of Afghanistan and the dangerous ethnic violence in Pakistan increase the danger. Pakistani relations with China are friendly and cooperative; both share a distrust of India. In any event, Pakistan is at the epicentre not only by virtue of geography, but also because of its history, religion, culture and ethnicity. Whatever fire may emerge from this tinderbox, Pakistan will be a pivot. Perhaps the source of conflict or perhaps a mediating influence. Whatever the future holds, the United States must recognize the strategic significance of Pakistan.

Ralph Braibanti, Ph.D., L.H.D. is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Duke University. One of the first Americans to study Pakistan, his first research trip was forty years ago. He was the first president of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, when it was established in 1973. An abbreviated version of this article was the keynote address at the Fourth Annual Joint Meeting of the Pakistani American Congress and the United States Senate and House of Representatives Caucus on Pakistan, Washington, D.C., 5 June 1996.

Back-Channel Lessons

Shamshad Ahmad

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s back-channel initiative has given rise to a flurry of speculations and anxiety in the country. The media on both sides of the border is running wild with assumptions of all sorts. With a narrow tunnel-vision overview of the India-Pakistan relation’s history and little comprehension of the intricacies of the regional as well as global dynamics, commentators of all sorts are spreading uncertainty if not confusion. While some are drawing doomsday scenarios with a likely sell-out on Kashmir, others see an India-Pakistan ‘peace’ around the corner.

What is being ignored in the process is that back-channel diplomacy is never an upright or honourable conflict-resolving mechanism and is only an unofficial means of communication between states or other political entities used as an alternative to the regular diplomatic channel of communication. The back-channel diplomacy is used when two or more adversaries wish to engage in secret dialogue often through informal intermediaries or through a third party with the purpose of brokering a ‘shady deal’ or understanding on sensitive issues escaping the media gaze and public attention. The modality may be well-motivated, but the ends at times are controversial, if not mala fide.

The back-channel has mostly been used by the US in communicating with its adversaries or brokering ‘peace’ between its allies and friends in pursuit of its own larger global agenda or interests. Two glaring examples in contemporary history are US-brokered peace processes that culminated into the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel in 1978 leading to the normalisation of relations between the two countries in January 1980 and the Oslo Accords in 1993 between PLO and Israel, providing for the creation of a Palestinian interim self-government called Palestinian National Authority (PNA) with the responsibility of administering the West Bank and Gaza Strip to be vacated by the Israeli forces.

If experience is any lesson, secret deals negotiated in back-channels are never lasting and rarely guarantee honourable solutions for the weaker side. Both the Camp David and Oslo Accords, if anything, further divided the Arab world and eventually resulted into the assassination of Egypt’s President Anwar el-Sadat in 1981 and PLO Chief Yasser Arafat in 2004 through suspected poisoning. The final settlement of the Palestinian issue as well as durable peace in the Middle East are nowhere in sight.

In our own case, the notorious US-brokered NRO deal as well as General Pervez Musharraf’s dubious out-of-the-box Kashmir deal again under US pressure were also the product of back-channel diplomacy carried out for motivated reasons and self-serving interests of the players involved.

The NRO’s immediate casualty was Benazir Bhutto, the key player in the deal. She was assassinated in December 2007 in Rawalpindi under most tragic circumstances. The other main casualty were the people of Pakistan, who after Benazir Bhutto’s tragic and never-to-be investigated murder were subjected to a long spell of loot and plunder by the NRO-based government. The people have still not recovered from that legacy of disaster and hardship.

Musharraf’s back-channel on Kashmir was also no less than a disaster. After his October 1999 military coup, in order to remain relevant to Washington’s post-9/11 agenda, he made a u-turn in his India policy and abandoned Pakistan’s principled stand on Kashmir. His out-of-the-box Kashmir solution was nothing, but legitimisation of the ‘status quo’ that in itself is the problem, not a solution.

Earlier in the aftermath of 9/11 tragedy, while the US was launching its anger-driven military campaign in Afghanistan, India tried to take advantage of the global anti-terror sentiment. After staging two successive attacks, first on the Kashmir State Assembly building on October 1, 2001, and the second on India’s Parliament building in New Delhi on December 13, 2001, in a blatant show of brinkmanship, it moved all its armed forces to Pakistan's borders as well as along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Pakistan was blamed for both the incidents without any investigations or a shred of evidence. South Asia was dragged into a confrontational mode. Intense pressure from major powers averted what could have been a catastrophic clash between the two nuclear-capable states.

Since then, the India-Pakistan peace process has remained hostage to India’s opportunistic mindset and the vagaries of the region’s geopolitics. As part of its sinister campaign, India has been implicating Pakistan in every act of terrorism on its soil and has kept the dialogue process hostage to its policy of redefining the India-Pakistan issues. It blamed Pakistan for successive attacks on a train in Mumbai in July 2006, Samjhota Express in February 2007, Indian Embassy in Kabul in July 2008, and finally the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, which like the earlier ones are also now alleged to have been staged with ulterior motives.

Indeed, with Varma-Mani disclosures of the reality of two major incidents, the New Delhi Parliament attack in December 2001 and the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, the back-channel would, perhaps, be the best forum for both sides to rise above the blame game. The challenge for them now is to overcome their mistrust and return in good earnest to the composite dialogue that remains suspended since last year. It is primarily in this context that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s back-channel initiative should be seen.

But any expectations in India to be able to nudge Pakistan to pick up the threads from where they were left in General Musharraf’s ‘back-channel’ diplomacy would just be wishful thinking. No matter what the Indians expect or say, the PML-N is committed to a principled position on Kashmir and cannot afford any secret deal on this issue. Nawaz Sharif knows that there is but one fair, just, legal and moral solution to Kashmir which was provided by the United Nations, and which both India and Pakistan mutually accepted.

The wishes of the Kashmiri people will have to be ascertained impartially, in conditions of freedom from military coercion. This is the crux of the Kashmir issue. On other issues, Nawaz Sharif cannot ignore India’s illegality in Siachen and its ongoing water terrorism in Occupied Kashmir by building dams and reservoirs on Pakistani rivers in violation of the Indus Waters Treaty. Trade with India requires a level playing field.

The government must build a national consensus on our India policy, which would require transparency and domestic confidence-building through genuine “debate and consensus” in parliamentary chambers, not in shady back-channels. It will only strengthen its hands and reinforce Pakistan’s negotiating position in any dialogue with India.

The writer served as Foreign Secretary of Pakistan from 25 February 1997 to 17 February 2000.

This article was published in 'The Nation' newspaper on 30 July 2013.

22 July 2013

False Flags

Humayun Gauhar

Truth has a bad habit. It comes out sooner or later. It is rare for a truth to come out so quickly though. One did when an Indian official claimed that an official of the investigation team had told him that the attacks on India’s parliament and in Mumbai were the handiwork of India itself. Such nefarious operations are called false flags – doing something yourself and planting the flag of another country to divert suspicion and justify undertaking another nefarious activity in the works.

India planted Pakistan’s flag on both operations. A prejudiced world lapped it up immediately. Now India could strengthen its anti-terrorism laws and make them more demonic. It did just that. ‘Conveniently’ too, the police officer investing the earlier Samjhota train massacre of over 50 Pakistanis and the murder of Indian Muslims in a textile town was ‘accidentally’ shot in the back during the Mumbai melee. Both false flags served India well.

By indulging in terrorism on its own land and people to justify a future objective, India confirmed that state terrorism that begets non-state terrorism is alive and well. Since then India’s terrorism in Kashmir and other areas against peoples wanting independence continues unabated. Many have been killed or hanged, rape has increased and homes destroyed by this largest ‘democracy’ in the world that we are asked to admire and emulate. Not that India’s crimes mitigate the crimes of other states. All states are like that. State terrorism has always been the standard operating procedure of governments of elites, for elites, by elites and of local and foreign hegemons to cow down a people. Rape does that most effectively for shame and disgrace breaks a people’s will. It’s no different in the animal kingdom: when a gang of monkeys takes over a parliament of monkeys the first thing they do is rape the males and females to stamp their authority over them and spread their genes. Mankind is still there. It may have progressed scientifically but has put much of this knowledge to terrorist use because societally it has progressed hardly a jot. All we have done is move from the natural jungle to the concrete jungle. Human behaviour remains akin to monkeys despite God trying His best to make humans of us. Only the sugarcoating has changed.

According to well-worn tradition, the Indian foreign office’s response was unexceptional: the Indian official has since denied his statement, it said. This too is standard operating procedure and shouldn’t be taken seriously until there is a full and transparent international investigation. In all likelihood the official was threatened and withdrew his statement – standard operating procedure again.

The Mumbai story was a sailor’s yarn. The terrorists sailed from Karachi in motorised rubber dinghies to Mumbai right through a joint naval exercise of the Indian navy and customs. Some landed on a quiet beach while others docked at Mumbai’s main pier, some young men disembarked bearing crates, hailed taxis, drove to their destinations buying food and alcohol along the way right under the nose of the Indian police and did the deed. Tell me another.

Without cogent evidence that Pakistan was behind the attacks, many suspected that it was a put up job. Of course ‘believers’ without a rational answer trashed them as ‘conspiracy theorists’. “How can a government kill its own people,” they asked. Naive simpletons, they don’t know how demonically governments work. They don’t know that governments are not burdened by morality or principles but only by self-interest. Human casualties are just statistics. History is replete with government stupidities driven by immorality and lawlessness. Morality, laws and principles are for the ruled. For rulers they are flexible. Ubiquitous national interest is often confused with a government’s and even a ruler’s self-interest. How else would civilisations, empires and states crumble? Our governments have done many stupid things too which is why we are in the pathetic state we are in, but they’re not so stupid as to do something that would so quickly bring opprobrium upon them and so obviously suit India. The age-old question “Who benefits from a crime” is easily forgotten by the self-hating mentally colonised whose intellectual pretentions are based on dislike for their societies for not aping western social and political norms to which they are enslaved. It now transpires that Indian governments are more stupid than ours.

This is not the first time that India has planted false flags. Just before Clinton’s Indian visit he was debating whether to swing by Pakistan or not because of its new military ruler when five Sikhs were killed in occupied Jammu. India immediately fingered Pakistan to stop Clinton’s visit. Unfortunately he did come like a king-emperor – a visitation, really. We allowed him to lecture us on state television, independent television then not being allowed by the democrats who preceded the ‘dictator’ who allowed them afterwards. It later transpired that the Sikh massacre was India’s work. After 9/11, America cozied up to the same ‘dictator’ in a perfect demonstration of flexibility of ‘principles’ and utter hypocrisy. Suddenly, the hated ‘dictator’ became the biggest photo-op in the world.

America leads the way in false flag operations. Many Americans suspect that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job to justify the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and later Iraq. Guantanamo Bay became a gulag. Technically outside American territory it was thus beyond US laws where suspects could be tortured wantonly. Homeland Security was born. The Patriot Act was enacted to strengthen anti-terrorist laws, just what India emulated.

After the London attacks came the anti-Terrorism Bill. Both countries started rendering suspects to other obliging countries to torture suspects and extract information and confessions from them, true or false. States that make laws can easily break them ‘legally’.

The Abbottabad caper was not a false flag but was it based on a falsehood? Many Americans claim that Osama bin Laden died of Marfan syndrome in November 2001 in Afghanistan after being treated in the American Hospital in Dubai by CIA doctors. They say America wanted to create the justification to scuttle from an unwinnable war in Afghanistan by claiming that the purpose had been served with the killing of bin Laden. America did announce the pullout soon after the Abbottabad caper. What fuels suspicions further is that Osama’s body wasn’t displayed. The excuse: it was too gruesome a sight. Since when did ‘gruesome’ bother governments when they have to prove something? Wasn’t televising the hanging of Saddam, the dead bodies of his sons and the televised slaughter of Gaddafi gruesome? Don’t tell me that you really believe that one of Saddam’s hangmen could smuggle in a mobile phone, video his execution and record the abuse and invective rained down on him without occupying America knowing it and allowing it to be televised? Or that US surveillance didn’t identify Gaddafi’s convoy, bomb it, tell their ‘rebels’ where he was hiding, let them proceed with his slaughter and then put his body on display for days in the cold room of a department store, all televised? If you do you’ve got to be worse than naive, a gullible automaton programmed to lap up anything dished out by America. States can be demonic and do satanic things. They dance with the Devil.

Don’t take our partially ‘leaked’ Abbottabad Commission report seriously. The purpose was to demonise our army. Can a commission of slaves really acknowledge the perfidy of its masters? They can only play along and divert attention from the truth by placing much of the blame on themselves while fingering their masters somewhat to create false credibility.

Why do our governments always turn the other cheek, as do our hegemon appeasers? Why did we offer to send our ISI chief to India after the Mumbai attacks? Why did we say we were involved in Mumbai? Whose governments are our governments anyway? Is our foreign office a fiction, good only for issuing denials, reacting and giving statements and briefings? You only have to read and hear some of our retired sit-on-the-fence ambassadors, a few exceptions notwithstanding, to know what material they are made of. What kind of people do we make our ambassadors? Our political ambassadors are usually worse. How could sycophants be better?

In perennially bending over backwards we have not become a ‘soft state’ but a government of softies. Our Ka’aba and Qibla have changed from Mecca to Washington. We worship the Golden Calf. All our leaders want is that the small trickle of money coming their way from America and its tools like the IMF continues and they can cling to power to continue looting us. We take inadequate and inaccurate media reports and western journals as gospel truth. The real truth is entirely absent.

Only when we develop our human capital and arm it with the latest education will we develop economically. Our subjugators will be waiting at our door just as they are waiting at China’s door, indebted to it to their gills. Can’t you see how their economic sovereignty has diminished? Their military sovereignty persists but for how long because without economic sovereignty military sovereignty soon diminishes too. Remember the Soviet Union that broke into pieces despite its 28,000 nuclear warheads and fearsome military might because its economy had failed?

The writer is a political analyst.

This article was published in the 'Pakistan Today' newspaper on 21 July 2013.

05 July 2013

Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's warning to Afghanistan

When Pakistan came into being on 14 August 1947, Afghanistan opposed its creation. Afghanistan was also the only country that opposed Pakistan's membership of the United Nations in September 1947. It refused to recognize the Durand Line as the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan even though it had been recognized as the official frontier between Afghanistan and British India by the Afghan King, Amir Abdur Rehman Khan in 1893 and Pakistan, being the successor state of British India, became the successor state to the 1893 Agreement.

During the 1970s, it transpired that Afghanistan was promoting separatism and fanning ethnic nationalism in Pakistan's Balochistan and North-West Frontier Provinces. In a speech delivered during a visit to the North-West Frontier Province, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave the following stern warning to Afghanistan (translated from Urdu):
"The Pakistani nation is one. In Pakistan, there are four provinces. If there is talk of [ethnic] nationalism only in Pakistan, then why not talk of [ethnic] nationalism in Afghanistan? Why do they say of Afghanistan that it is one nation? Do only Pathans live in Afghanistan? No. In Afghanistan, as you know, reside Uzbeks, reside Hazaras, reside Turkmans and reside Parsis. So then, there are five to six nations over there. But over there they don't talk of those five or six nations. Four nations here? And how many nations are there in India? In India, are there 25 nations? How many nations in America? 50 nations? Because there are 50 states over there? And in India, there are 14 states. So are there 14 nations? No. In Pakistan, there are four provinces, but the nation is one. Nation is one. And if there are four nations in Pakistan, then in Afghanistan there are also four to five nations. Because over there are also Hazaras and Turkmans, so divide it. If they think they can divide Pakistan because Pathans live here, Baloch live there, so where Pathans live divide them on one side and where the Baloch live divide them on that side. Firstly this division cannot take place because, as I said, Pathans are spread all over the country. Baloch are spread all over the country. So where will the division take place? But if division has to take place, then why does division not take place in Afghanistan, India and other countries? Is all this division just for Pakistan? So the Hazaras and Turkmens over there, make them into Hazaraistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Parsistan, as over there also exist four, five and six nations. So divide them as well. But all this is enmity against Pakistan. They have created an enmity against Pakistan. And they cannot succeed in their ill-conceived designs under any circumstances. Not under any circumstances can they succeed insha'Allah..."

"As far as the question of Afghanistan is concerned, Afghanistan keeps on trying to mislead these people, to prod them into rebellion. I want to tell Afghanistan that this territory is the territory of Pakistan and, insha'Allah, will remain forever a part of Pakistan. Here our Pathans are happy. If our Pathans were unhappy, then maybe you could say that these Pathans are not happy and the Pathans in Afghanistan are happier than them. In Afghanistan, there are 5 million Pathans. In Pakistan, there are 10 million Pathans. The Pathans of Afghanistan still come to Pakistan. Why do they still come to Pakistan? If the Pathans of Afghanistan are happy over there then why do they come to Pakistan? In two months, 20-30,000 Afghan Pathans have come to Pakistan. I want to ask, if Pathans are happy over there in Afghanistan, then what need do they have to come to Pakistan? Afghanistan should take heed. These actions, these mischiefs will not succeed. We will give our lives for our country. We are ready to give any sacrifice for our country."

15 June 2013

Historical Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat, Balochistan burnt down in terrorist attack by Balochistan Liberation Army

The Residency before the attack

The historical 121-year old Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat, Balochistan was burnt down after a terrorist attack carried out by the foreign-backed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in the early hours of 15 June 2013. A local policeman, Bijjar Baloch, who was trying to protect the Residency was also martyred in the terrorist attack. After the attack, the building caught fire and was severely damaged and only the stone structure remains intact. The rest of the building, including its wooden structure and furniture, has been largely burnt down in the ensuing fire.

After the attack, thousands of local residents of Ziarat carried out a protest and chanted slogans against the BLA and an atmosphere of mourning pervaded Ziarat.

The Residency, where the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, spent the last days of his life, was constructed by the British in 1891-92 at a cost of Rs. 39,012. In 1975, the Government of Pakistan declared it a National Monument and, in 1978, it was officially named as the "Quaid-e-Azam Residency". Located at an altitude of 7,200 ft., the Residency lies in the midst of the world's second largest juniper forest, which was recently added to UNESCO's list of the world's protected biosphere reserves. Made of stone and wood, it was originally meant to be a sanatorium and was later converted into the summer residence of the Political Agent and, later, that of the Governor-General.

The Residency had been damaged and renovated twice before. Once in the 1990s, due to a fire caused by an electrical short circuit and, later, due to the 2008 earthquake. After the earthquake, the Pakistan Army volunteered to repair and renovate the Residency using its own funds, which it did at a cost of Rs. 26 million. The renovation and restoration work was carried out by the Pakistan Army's Corps of Engineers led by Brig. Tariq Mehmood. The Pakistan Army also established 25 schools and 6 basic health units in the earthquake hit areas of Ziarat. The 600,000 strong Pakistan Army had donated their one-day salary for the earthquake victims of Ziarat and the repairing and renovation work of the Residency was also carried out using these funds.

The Residency after the attack

According to senior journalist Ejaz Haider, BLA terrorists from Harnai/Shahrag carried out the attack. They chanted anti-Pakistan slogans and left behind paper flyers containing BLA propaganda. Also, according to the initial report of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan presented to Pakistan's National Assembly on 15 June 2013, the attackers removed the Pakistan flag and replaced it with the BLA flag.

The attack has been carried out by BLA terrorists on one of the most prominent symbols of Pakistan in Balochistan. It is an attack on Pakistan and all Pakistanis. It is a brazen assault on Pakistan's history, heritage and ideology. It should be a wake-up call to those supporting the appeasement of these BLA terrorists. There should be no appeasement of terrorists who are hell-bent on damaging Pakistan. Both the Provincial and Federal authorities need to take a sterner stance against BLA and other terrorist organizations in Balochistan.

This attack should also been seen as an attempt to undermine the newly-elected provincial government of Balochistan led by Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch, which includes nationalist parties, including the National Party and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. Also, a major Baloch nationalist party, namely the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) led by Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal, took part in the 2013 General Elections. The participation of nationalist parties in Pakistan's General Eletions indicates their rejection of the separatist and extremist agenda of the BLA and this attack by the BLA could be an attempt to undermine the progress made in bringing Balochistan's nationalist parties and nationalist politicians into the mainstream of Pakistani politics.

It is is imperative that both the Provincial Government of Balochistan and the Federal Government of Pakistan carry out a thorough investigation and bring the perpetrators of this crime to swift and exemplary justice. An inquiry also needs to be carried out against the authorities responsible for the protection of the Residency and those officials found negligent or wanting in their duties should be punished.

The Residency must also be restored to its original architectural splendour, although the loss to the original wooden structure and furniture is irreparable. The blueprints are there:


Lastly, if the BLA terrorists and their foreign sponsors think that this attack will demoralize or weaken the resolve of the Pakistani nation, they are mistaken. Such attacks only strengthen the determination of 180 million Pakistanis to protect their motherland at all and any cost. This attack has rekindled the flame of patriotism all across Pakistan, including Balochistan. The BLA and their kind will be defeated and Pakistan will outlive its attackers.

10 May 2013

A Poem by Ahmed Faraz: "Khud Ko Taqseem Na Karna Mere Saray Logo"

Ahmed Faraz



Ab mere dusray bazu pe wo shamsheer hai jo
Is se pehle bhi mera nisf badan kaat chuki
Usi bandooq ki goli hai meri simt ke jo
Is se pehle bhi meri shah-rag ka lahu chaat chuki
Phir wohi aag dhar ayi hai meri galyun mein
Phir mere shehar mein barood ki boo pheli hai
Phir se "tu kaun hai?" "mein kaun hoon?" aapas mein sawal
Phir wohi soch, mayan man-o-tu pheli hai
Meri basti se parey bhi mere dushman hongay
Par yahan kab koi aghyaar ka lashkar utra
Ashnaa haath hi aksar meri jaanib lapkey

Mere seeney mein mera apna hi khanjar utra
Phir wohi khauf ki deewar, tazabzub ki fiza
Phir hui aam wohi ahl-e-riya ki baatein
Nara-e-hub-e-watan, maal-e-tajarat ki tarah
Jins-e-Ajzaan ki tarah, deen-e-Khuda ki baatein
Is se pehle bhi to aisi hi ghari ayi thi
Subh-e-wehshat ki tarah sham-e-gharibaan ki tarah
Is se pehle bhi to paimaan-e-wafa tootay thay
Sheesha-e-dil ki tarah, aina-e-jaan ki tarah
Phir kahan ahmeri hoton pe duaon ke diye
Phir kahan shabnami chehron pe rafaqat ki rida
Sandali paon se mastana ravi rooth gai
Marmari haathon pe jal-bujh gaya angaar-e-hina
Dil nashin aankhon mein furqat zada kaajal roya
Shaakh-e-bazoo ke liye zulf ka baadal roya

Misl-e-pairahan-e-gul phir se badan chaak huwe
Jaise apnon ki kamanon mein hon aghyar ke teer
Is se pehle bhi hua chand muhabbat ka du-neem
Nok-e-dashna sey khinchi thi meri dharti pe lakeer
Aaj aisa nahi, aisa nahi honay dena!
Aye mere sokhta jaano, mere pyaare logo!
Ab ke ger zalzaley aaye to qayamat hogi!
Mere dil geer mere dard ke maare logo!
Kisi ghasib, kisi zaalim, kisi katil ke liye!
Khud ko taqseem na karna mere saray logo!

Ahmed Faraz (1931-2008) was an Urdu-language Pakistani poet

13 April 2013

Role of the Pakistan Armed Forces in the Development of Balochistan


The 653-km long Makran Coastal Highway (N-10) in southern Balochistan,
constructed by the Pakistan Army's Frontier Works Organization (FWO)


The overwhelming majority of development projects carried out in Balochistan province since 1947 have been undertaken either by the Federal Government of Pakistan or the Pakistan Armed Forces, particularly the Pakistan Army. The reason for this has been the domination of Balochistan's provincial government and politics by tribal chiefs, or sardars, who have deliberately kept Balochistan's population economically weak and illiterate in order to prevent them from challenging the status quo, which sustains the political and economic power of the sardars.

Pakistan's Balochistan province spans an area of 347,190 sq. km. (134,050 sq. m.), which constitutes approximately 44% of Pakistan's total land mass. Its population of approximately 10 million constitutes only 5% of Pakistan's total population. This gives Balochistan a population density of only 29 persons per sq. km. These factors should be taken into account while assessing development in Balochistan. Due to its relatively small population, any given development project in Balochistan has a proportionately higher socio-economic impact and return when compared to a similar development project in any other province of Pakistan.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of development projects undertaken in Balochistan by the Pakistan Armed Forces, the majority of them by the Pakistan Army in the last 10 years:

1. Army Recruitment


4,000 recruits from Balochistan were inducted into the Pakistan Army on 29 October 2010 in simultaneous ceremonies held in Quetta, Khuzdar, Sibi, Sui and Zhob

Between 2009 and 2013, the Pakistan Army recruited 10,082 youths from Balochistan into its ranks.

This was done by the following relaxation in recruitment rules for the youths of Balochistan:
* Education induction as soldiers from 8th Class instead of Matric in all arms/services except Technical arms
* Height 5’- 4” instead of 5’- 6” and chest 74-79 cm instead of 78-83 cm except trades in which height and chest is required more than 5’- 6” and 78-83 cm
* Age 26 years instead of 23 years and FA/FSc grade ‘D’ instead of grade ‘C’ for enrollment as a clerk
Currently, 15,000 soldiers from Balochistan are serving in the Pakistan Army. This number does not include officers, nor those from Balochistan serving in the Pakistan Navy and Air Force. Thus, at least 15,000 families from Balochistan have representation in the Pakistan Army. According to the Population Association of Pakistan (www.pap.org.pk), the average household size in Balochistan is 6.7, therefore, 100,500 people from Balochistan have either a father, son, brother or husband in the Pakistan Army. This is significant if we take into account the fact that the total population of Balochistan is only 10 million.

2. Establishment of Educational Institutions

The Pakistan Armed Forces have established the following educational institutions in Balochistan (in alphabetical order):
* Army Institute of Mineralogy (AIM), Quetta
* Army Public School, Loralai
* Army Public School, Sibi
* Army Public School, Zhob
* Balochistan Institute of Marine Sciences (BIMS)
* Balochistan Institute of Technical Education (BITE), Quetta
* Balochistan Public School, Sui (BPSS)
* 2 Fauji Foundation Education Schools
* 1 Fauji Foundation Vocational Training Centre
* FC Public School, Barkhan (600 students)
* FC Public School, Bolan
* FC Public School, Chaman
* FC Public School & College, Dera Bugti
* FC Public School, Fazal Chak
* FC Public School, Kohlu (1200 students)
* FC Public School & College, Loralai
* FC Public College, Naukundi
* FC Public School & College, Nushki
* Chamalang Beneficiary Education Programme (CBEP)
* Garrison Degree College, Quetta
* Gwadar Institute of Technology (GIT)
* Military College Sui (MCS)
* Quetta Institute of Medical Sciences (QIMS)
The above does not include the numerous Pakistan Army establishments across Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan that have admitted thousands of students from Balochistan for education and training.

3. Establishment of Hospitals

The Pakistan Armed Forces have established the following hospitals and medical centres in Balochistan (in alphabetical order):
* Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Quetta
* 1 Fauji Foundation Medical Centre
* FC Hospital in Quetta
* PNS Darmaan Jah, Ormara (100-bed hospital established by the Pakistan Navy, the first and only hospital in Ormara)
* 50-bed Hospital in Sui (constructed by the Pakistan Army)
4. Area Development Projects

The Pakistan Army has undertaken the following development projects in Balochistan (in alphabetical order):
* Chamalang Coal Mine Project, District Loralai
* Dera Bugti Development Project
* Dukki Coal Mine Project, District Loralai
* Kassa Hill Marble Project, District Loralai
* Kohlu Development Project
* Musa Khel Mineral Development Project
* Panjgur Date Farming Project
* Ziarat Development Project
5. Infrastructure Projects

The Pakistan Army's Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has constructed the following infrastructure projects in Balochistan:
* 653-km Makran Coastal Higway (N-10) from Karachi to Gwadar
* 180 metre long Lakpass Tunnel 27 km from Quetta on N-25 National Highway with approach road of 5.3 km
* 35-km Peri-Gabd section of Makran Coastal Highway (N-10)
* New Gwadar International Airport Package-A Site Protection Works -18 KMs
* 38-km Gwadar-Pleri-Jiwani section of Makran Coastal Highway
* Upgradation, widening and construction of Surab-Basima Road
* 448-km Nag-Panjgur-Hoshab Road Project
* Design and construction of Mangi Dam and 108-km Water Conveyance System
6. Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Projects

The Pakistan Army has established the following water, sanitation and irrigation projects in Balochistan:
* Augmentation of Water Sanitation Scheme (WSS), Kohlu Town
* Water Sanitation Scheme (WSS), Lasezai
* Water Sanitation Scheme Naseebabad to Brohi Killi Faiz Muhammad
* Rehabilitation of Water Sanitation Scheme, Malikzai, Kohlu
* Water Sanitation Scheme, Sahib Khan
* Water Sanitation Scheme Barily (Kishari Thal (Maiwand)
7. Sports Projects

The Pakistan Army has established the following sports facilities in Balochistan:
* Garrison Sports Complex, Quetta
The above facts highlight the positive role played by the Pakistan Armed Forces in the development of Balochistan province and should dispel many of the myths and propaganda against the Pakistan Armed Forces, particularly the Pakistan Army, vis-a-vis Balochistan.