A revolution?

By Marvi Memon

These days there is a lot of talk about revolution and a change of system. I see it as a control-alt-delete button on the keyboard. A clean up action of sorts where a new benchmark of what is acceptable in politics needs to be set up. The constitution is fine. So is parliamentary democracy. The problem is that no one sticks to the system. How does one ensure zero tolerance for wavering from the system? Simple — by ensuring that when there is a wavering from set rules, people are punished according to rules.

There is a common joke going around Islamabad these days: hang a few hundred politicians and this country will be fine. What this seems to suggest is that the politicians are the core problem. I feel that the responsibility lies on the politicians to govern since they are responsible for the fate of millions.

What should one expect from politicians? That they will make good laws and implement them. That they will create an Islamic, social welfare state. That they will rule in an egalitarian way. That if they have clean water to drink themselves, they won’t sleep until they have found a way to provide each Pakistani with clean drinking water too. That if they have access to education and basic health units, they will ensure that each Pakistani has the right to education and health facilities too. And until we don’t give the basic amenities to the poor, we have no business wasting each other’s time politicking.

There is a long list of revolts, rebellions, and revolutions in world history. They happen when people reach the peak of the minimum acceptable level of humiliation and are ready to turn out those responsible for their misery. Read more of this post

Must Watch: Takmeel-e-Pakistan: A Resolve, A Duty, A Destiny

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Why Pakistan Armed Forces are Indo-centric?

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Sultan M Hali:

India has never accepted Pakistan’s existence and always considered the division of Bharat a cardinal sin. The members of the Indian Congress had initially agreed to the partition with the understanding that the fledgling nation would barely survive a few weeks. Enough impediments had been placed in its path to ensure its destruction. The mass exodus of Muslims from India headed towards Pakistan and freedom but was set upon by marauding hordes of extremist Hindus and Sikhs, who looted raped and massacred the refugees. Pakistan’s share of the assets both in terms of finances, machinery and weapons was not handed over to the new state.

To tighten the screw on Pakistan, Kashmir, Hyderabad, Junagadh and other Muslim states were annexed through forceful occupation. In all this turmoil, one institution remained a thorn in India’s side and that was the Pakistan Army. Bedraggled and under-equipped, the Pakistan Army mostly comprised stragglers, who had themselves barely escaped from the mad frenzy of the communal rioters. It goes to the credit of Pakistan’s founding fathers, Quaid-e-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan, who thwarted the machination of the Indian Congress, which wanted the Indian armed forces to remain undivided under one on Commander-in-Chief after the departure of the British. The duo of Quaid and Liaquat saw through the macabre Congress stratagem since it would have left Pakistan undefended and at the mercy of the Indian malevolence.

Congress did not want Pakistan to have separate defence because it wanted Pakistan to crumble and beg to be taken back into the fold of united India or failing which, India would gobble up the fledgling Pakistan. After Independence, our founding fathers organized the Armed Forces and deputed them to protect the incoming refugee caravans. The first test for the army and air transport elements of the air force came when India occupied Kashmir. It was baptism under fire but Pakistani Armed Forces despite being outnumbered and ill equipped and devoid of directions from their British Commanders, did well to liberate a sizable portion of Kashmir from the clutches of Indian occupation and would have unshackled the rest of the Valley if India did not approach UN for a ceasefire and agreed to the UN Resolution calling for a plebiscite to settle the Kashmir issue. Pakistan Armed Forces went to war twice more in 1965 and 1971 and nearly in 1999 at Kargil but the Kashmir issue remains unresolved.

Pakistan Army may have committed the folly of upsetting the applecart of democracy by usurping power four times, for which they are answerable to the people of Pakistan and the current dispensation in the Army is trying to make amends. As far as India is concerned, it partly realized its dream of dismembering Pakistan, when it stage-managed the turmoil in 1971 and ultimately severed our eastern wing from us. It has tried similar tactics in the western wing too. Operation Meghdoot (1984) to capture Siachen; Operation Brasstacks (November 1986-March 1987) in which General Sunderji had grand designs of dismembering Pakistan at its narrowest belt opposite Rajasthan; Operation Parakram (December 13, 2001 – June 10, 2002) when belligerent India amassed its troops on its borders with Pakistan; following 26/11 Mumbai attacks, India contemplated surgical strikes. These Indian adventurisms were thwarted by the vigilant Pakistani Armed Forces, backed by a credible nuclear arsenal. Ultimately, in December 2009, Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor croaked that India has developed, modified and tested the Cold Start Strategy to take on Pakistan with conventional weapons before the nuclear weapons can be deployed or launched.

If anyone still has doubts why Pakistan’s Armed Forces are Indo-Centric, they should listen to Indian Army’s musings. Its 19th Chief of Army Staff, General Ved Parakash Malik, who in his Observer Research Foundation discourse of January 2010k titled ‘India’s Strategic Culture and Security Challenges’ spills the beans: “We must realize that our enemy is not Pakistan or its civil society. It is the Pakistan Army.” He qualifies his conclusion by claiming that “Our major security problem with Pakistan currently is terrorism. Experts in India and abroad have no doubt that the 26/11 Mumbai incident originated in Pakistan, and like most such incidents in the past, it was encouraged and supported by the ISI, which works under the Pakistan Army. Even Dr Manmohan Singh said, there is enough evidence to show that, given the sophistication and military precision of the attack, it must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan.” Dr. Manmohan Singh would be better advised to look for the sophistication and military precision provided by agencies closer to home.
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|Salam-Pakistan| A Message to Pakistani Youth

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This video is dedicated to Pakistani Youth. They have to come forward now to protect their Liberty, their everything, that is Their Pakistan. Their elders had sacrificed for them and now they have to sacrifice for their children. No one from outside will come to make Pakistan stronger and Prosper. Outsiders will only come to destroy Pakistan. It’s time now to wake up, come forward n take the challenge of making Pakistan as one of the Greatest countries of the World-as Quid e Aazam dreamed for it.

Pakistanis should not sit relaxed in their homes and enjoy the looting being done with their beloved country by the corrupt dacoits (Politicians). They have to admit that this country was created after a very hard and a very long struggle and since its creation, it has been protected by giving enormous sacrifices.

Pakistan belongs to Pakistanis, and Pakistanis have right to live and govern Pakistan. Nobody should be allowed to come from outside and hijack Pakistan, because it was made only for PAKISTANIS. Rest of everyone should pack their luggage and go back from where they have come.

We Pakistanis need true and sincere FRIENDS not evil MASTERS !!!!

Long Live Pakistan
Death to its Enemies, whoever they are.

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A maturing Pakistan

Shahzad Lodhi

To change is to get mature. This is as true as change is constant. The fact of the matter is that time spares no body and only those survive who realize the change and align themselves with the new requirements. Pakistan is passing through a change which may give it a new look altogether in times to come. With apology to all those who see a weaker or a divided Pakistan in view of the rapid changes and political turmoil the country is passing through, a new vibrant Pakistan is in the making.

The ongoing controversy over the appointment of judges heightened by the official notification has been fully debated in the media. It has not only sent shock waves among the saner elements but has in many ways raised questions about the mode of governance and the motivating factors behind such misadventures. Perhaps such a stir was long over due to set the ball rolling for a rethink of the whole range of the modus operandi of centers of powers in the past.

Fortunately, there seems a silver lining in this apparently disturbing scenario, thanks to a rejuvenated judiciary and dedicated Armed forces. Political parties by and large have been unable to steer the ship of state clear out of stormy weather. But credit must be given to the media which has played a balancing role in not only educating the people but also trying to show things in true perspective. True that our media needs a code of conduct that may keep its newly acquired freedom in certain limits its positive role in raising awareness and educating general public is undisputed. There were days when only one state television used to run in Pakistan. Reporting was done in accordance with the then government’s directives. Now according to estimates at hand more than one hundred tv channels are operating while growth is expected to be seen in coming years. Media has helped people to form and reform their social and political beliefs. It has given an encouragement to a common man to stand for his rights and condemn injustice in the society. Education of the masses is a must to progress and our media has fortunately done this job well. Civil society is seen standing against inequality and corruption as social evils. It is now believed that those holding public offices are accountable and answerable for everything they do And if something negative is reported against them in the national press, they will have to explain it before 17 crore people of Pakistan with whom the ultimate power rests. Read more of this post

The American, Indian and Israeli threat

When we say , Americans are destined to disarm Pakistan of its crucial nuclear arsenal ,means that Americans policy making has been hijacked and commandeered by Indian and Israeli lobbies.


One can appreciate easily that , Pakistan is being forced to fight the American war in Afghanistan , and the beginning point will be North Waziristan , which US thinks is the stronghold of those Taliban elements who are loyal to afghan Taliban. Amidst, political and economical turmoil inside Pakistan, the political elite of Pakistan is highly prone to plunge into the trail of total catastrophe, which can only be avoided, if the politics of dollars is replaced with politics for national interests. The champions of democracy will not amend their purpose, rather it is Pakistani people who are to decide something.

Dr Haroon Iqbal:

The most devastating part of current impasse in Pakistan is that it has been deprived of a vibrant political will and resolves to reach the solutions of major problems which the country is facing in the wake of war on terror, which is approaching the ditch of war of attrition for a country like Pakistan.

From day one, the American strategy was focused at bringing Pakistan army, face to face, with the Afghan Taliban to attain two objectives, firstly to divert the striking power of the Afghan resistance forces and secondly to indulge Pakistan army into a vicious mess, leading to annihilation of its organizational infrastructure and thus removing the most credible hurdle in the way of the Americans to ultimately denuclearize Pakistan. When we say , Americans are destined to disarm Pakistan of its crucial nuclear arsenal , ,means that Americans policy making has been hijacked and commandeered by Indian and Israeli lobbies. Pakistan’s nuclear capability indeed, is founded on the concept of credible deterrence, necessary to maintain peace and stability in the south Asian region. Both of these lobbies (Zionist and Indian) have burrowed through the organizational structure of the American policy making institutuions.In this regard, the Indian ploy of using American shoulders to sting Pakistan is relatively a new phenomenon, a tactic, they have learned from their Israeli brethren. Right from congress, to senate and finance department to national security, Indian Americans or NRI’s have assumed key positions, and in this capacity, remain very close to the den of American policy making apparatus. So we should not forget that when we talk about American policy in Afghanistan, or Pakistan, the Indian factor, working behind American strategy has attained a growing role. The recent example is Kerry Lugar bill( now law), which was passed by congress, where the majority members are pro Indian, or belong to Israeli lobby. Another important factor is the collaborative venturism of the two lobbies, Indian and Israeli, having two faces but same body, and two bodies with one soul. Both of them have a common agenda and a common strategy, i.e. both of them believes in expansionism, religious extremism under cover of sham secular norms, with hidden fascist cum secular extremism.

The most disgusting of these are their religious fascism, where other faiths and religions are totally unacceptable for them. Under cover of civilian aid, Kerry Lugar bill was focused at declaring Pakistan army a rogue, terrorist army and Pakistan a terrorist state. The idea is simply reflecting the deep seated desire of the Neocon American establishment to weaken Pakistan army, in their bid to denuclearize Pakistan. Now, even a lay man can sort out, who will be the ultimate beneficiary if Pakistan denuclearises?The Indian strategy is very obvious now , and that is two way i.e. using the friendly American hand to meddle in the security matters of Pakistan on one side and the weapon of diplomatic impasse on the other. Pakistan’s ambassador in US Mr. Hussein Haqqani has strong ties with most of the congressmen and it is a matter of concern that how was the secret letter by Mr Haqqani to ISI, leaked to Indian media, if pro Indian congressmen were not involved? Both India and Israel are feeding and breeding on American fodder to be able to exploit, the bloody turmoil inside Pakistan, which itself is a product of their dirty intrusion in this country. Read more of this post

Roots of anti-Americanism in Pakistan

Daily Mail

Robert  Gates was less than candid when he said that anti-Americanism was a real problem for Washington because “We clearly left them in the lurch when we turned our backs on Afghanistan in 1989-90.” The negative public perceptions about the US are based not on any single event, but on past experience spread over decades. It would be simplistic to maintain that only one incident, despite its extraordinary gravity, could have led to the unpopularity of the US in this country. There is a widespread perception that successive US regimes have let down Pakistan, that Washington has behaved more as a master than ally and that whatever promises it makes, when it needs Islamabad’s services, are forgotten once Pakistan has lost importance in its geo-strategic aims. There is also a perception that American policies, influenced by a strong Zionist lobby, have harmed the Muslim world in general. It is a matter of historical record that despite its avowed commitment to democracy, the US has supported one military dictator after another since 1958, as they were considered to be more pliable than an elected government. Washington invariably looked the other way as the people of Pakistan struggled for democracy. Under Ayub, hundreds of people were put behind bars as they fought for the restoration of their democratic rights or protested against several inequities like press censorship, unjust labour laws, the widely unpopular One Unit, and the absence of equal opportunities for the people of East Pakistan.

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THE SALE OF PAKISTAN

Only the Air-Condition Pakistani class could think of such a wheeze and get away with it. Who says our leaders are brain dead? May Allah continue to shower His blessings upon the Zardari/Bhuttos, the Sharifs and all their hanger ons! Amen.

“Islamabad has established an extraordinarily welcoming investment environment that financiers will find hard to resist. The government’s Corporate Agriculture Farming (CAF) policy — spelled out on the Board of Investment’s website — effectively legalises foreign land acquisitions. It permits state land to be purchased outright or leased for 50 years, and allows investors to determine the size of their acquisitions (with no upper ceiling). These features apply to a broad range of agriculture from crops, fruits and vegetables to forestry and livestock farming.”

What a brilliant idea! Sell the most fertile parcels of state land to the oil saturated Arabs [the Saudis, the Emiratis and the assorted dung heads of Arabia] pocket your commission and live happily ever after in the Disney world of Dubai and the fleshpots of London’s Edgeware Road/Park Lane. As to the landless, sweating masses – turn them into Talibans, a la Swat style and get the Americans to keep them in their place by ‘droning’ them.

Only the Air-Condition Pakistani class could think of such a wheeze and get away with it. Who says our leaders are brain dead?  May Allah continue to shower His blessings upon the Zardari/Bhuttos, the Sharifs and all their hanger ons! Amen.


Putting the country on sale

The Nation, Jan. 31, 2010.

For those of us who had thought that the scheme of leasing out a million acres of agricultural land to foreign investors had been shelved by the government, the statement of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week served as a rude awakening. Shamelessly reaffirming his government’s commitment to go ahead with the sinister plan, he gave odd justifications for going ahead with it. He was in Dubai for a meeting of Frie-nds of Pakistan who are supposed to help us in this time of need. The Arab countries that have expressed interest in this unethical land grab, obviously have a poor sense of friendship. The message they, as well as the other so-called friends, are sending out is that when a friend is in need, exploit the friend and get a good price for his family silver.


One has yet to see anything worthwhile coming out of this motley group of countries that have created yet another club for the avowed purpose of helping out Pakistan in consideration of the price it has paid for fighting terrorism and to strengthen the now not-so-new democracy. Going by the Foreign Minister’s recent statement, it seems that the club serves the interests of the generous prosperous friends more than those of the one going around the globe with a begging bowl. Knowing the desperation of the beggar friend whose functionaries do not miss an occasion to register their economic helplessness and to plead with servile eyes and tones for some charity, these so-called affluent friends seem to be finding good bargains for whatever is to be grabbed in the state of Pakistan. All in the name of friendship of course.

It is surprising that after the treatment meted out to us by our best friend and ally, we still have a stomach for these so-called friendships, and as if one were not enough, we are willing to follow the tunes of this assortment of pied
pipers.


The government, instead of relying on such fickle friends, should be focusing on the wealth of resources at its disposal waiting to be managed properly.
After all, that is what it is there for. Or does the democratic government
believe that its sole purpose is to stay afloat in the short term, even if it means auctioning the country’s vital resources in a grand loot sale? Certainly, something better is expected of a democratic government.

In a ridiculous attempt at justifying the scheme, the Foreign Minister has now informed us that the land that the government intends to lease out is not owned by anyone. By that he means that the land is not owned by any private
individual. But does that mean that these precious acres are lawaris? Does he not know that land not owned by any private individual is owned by the state of Pakistan and is therefore collectively owned by the people of Pakistan?
Does he not know that the government is entrusted with looking after this land and not to sell it off to greedy friends mouthing sincerity? Does the government have no obligation to find ways of util-ising the invaluable resource for the betterment of the people it claims to represent?

To further expose his poverty of vision, the Foreign Minister said that the land to be leased out is not under cultivation and therefore we should not object to handing it over to the foreign investors who will pump in the
resources to cultivate it. Is it the best our democratic government has to offer us? If investors from distant lands with no tradition of agriculture can come and cultivate it, it should not be difficult for Pakistanis to do it, what with an agricultural heritage and knowledge going back to pre-historic times. Instead of wasting government funds on retrogressive schemes like the Benazir Income Support Programme that make beggars of able-bodied citizens rather than helping them stand on their feet, couldn’t the government spend them on helping landless farmers cultivate the land that it wants to throw away to foreign investors?

It is very unfortunate indeed that the government would insist on pushing such a hare-brained and patently nefarious scheme down our throats at the insistence of its dubious friends. But then, it is not just one nut in the
machine that the government is mowing down Pakistan and its citizens with. Whether it is for loans taken from the foul international financial institutions or for aid that it hopes to get from its best friend under the Kerry-Lugar Act,
or for crumbs it hopes to collect from the so-called Friends of Pakistan, the government is willing to compromise the well-being of the people in whose name it governs the country.

To be fair, the present government is only partially responsible for this state of affairs. In recent times, all successive governments have followed the same path. Whether it was the ‘Islamic’ dictatorship of Ziaul Haq or the quasi-democratic governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif that followed, or the moderate-dictatorship of Musharraf or the Q-government that he gave birth to, those at the helm of affairs have shown a similar poverty of
vision when it comes to managing the country’s economy and the abundant resources at their disposal. They come with new mantras and programmes, but beneath the shallow surface, nothing changes on this count. Those in charge of the future of the Paki-stani people have shown a propensity to become willing partners in their exploitation at the hands of investors, states and multilateral financial institutions. Together, this evil partnership has made a rich land poor, turning its gold to dust.

Granted that the present government has inherited much of this legacy from its predecessors, there is still no excuse for continuing with it, especially when the cost has become too high for the people of Pakistan to bear. More
than millions and billions of dollars that the government is breathlessly running after, what is actually required is a political vision that appreciates the true worth of this land and its people.



Going gaga over grain


By Michael Kugelman
Dawn News, Sep. 17, 2009.


Last May, while Pakistan’s military was waging its offensive in Swat, Islamabad officials were simultaneously launching another offensive in the Gulf: a charm offensive to secure investment in Pakistani farmland.

Appearing at ‘farmland road shows’ across the region, the investment ministry representatives depicted Pakistan’s soil as the perfect solution to the Gulf nations’ food insecurity.

Such efforts have paid off for Islamabad (and according to media reports, more shows have been staged in recent days). Pakistan’s farmland is an increasingly popular target for wealthy, food-importing nations who, because of the volatility of world food markets, are taking food security matters into their own hands. These states (and also private investors) aim to buy or lease farmland overseas, grow their own crops and export them back home.

Given their lack of transparency, the details surrounding these investments are sketchy and the facts elusive. In Pakistan, uncertainty reigns over the exact amount of land made available to investors, the quantum of land sold or leased so far, and who is in fact doing the investing.

Still, even without these details, there is strong evidence to suggest that the race for Pakistan’s farmland — if not halted prematurely by farmers’ opposition or investor change-of-hearts — could trigger droves of land deals, acute resource shortages and even political strife.

Islamabad has established an extraordinarily welcoming investment environment that financiers will find hard to resist. The government’s Corporate Agriculture Farming (CAF) policy — spelled out on the Board of Investment’s website — effectively legalises foreign land acquisitions. It permits state land to be purchased outright or leased for 50 years, and allows investors to determine the size of their acquisitions (with no upper ceiling). These features apply to a broad range of agriculture from crops, fruits and vegetables to forestry and livestock farming.

Land investors flock to countries with strong legal protections. Cambodia’s government has reportedly established a national land concession authorising public land to be allocated to foreigners — and the country is now experiencing what the BBC describes as an ‘epidemic of land-grabbing’. Conversely, in India, foreign companies are banned from owning farmland — and considerably fewer investors have come calling.

Pakistan, like Cambodia, provides the legal cover farmland investors look for. However, the CAF goes beyond legal protections. It also offers generous financial incentives such as 100 per cent foreign equity; exemptions on land transfer duties; and customs-duty-free, sales-tax-free agricultural machinery imports.

Legal protection and financial incentives — what more could a foreign land investor in Pakistan want? Security, of course, and Islamabad purports to have this covered as well, through the formation of a 100,000-strong security unit. Pakistan’s government is so serious about concluding land deals that it has offered to deploy a force almost a fifth the size of the army to protect investors’ new holdings.

A rash of foreign land acquisitions in Pakistan would deepen the country’s resource crisis. Pakistan already suffers widespread water shortages, and could be water-scarce by 2020. However, supplies could dry up much sooner if enormous quantities of water are siphoned off to support large-scale, water-intensive agricultural production schemes.

To understand the scale of Pakistan’s water shortages, take a look at Aquastat, the FAO’s water statistics database. Of all the nations most often associated with relinquishing farmland, only one — Kenya — has less water availability per capita than Pakistan’s 1400 cubic metres. In fact, of the nearly 200 countries listed in the database, only 35 have less water than Pakistan — many of them the parched countries of the Gulf that are seeking the water-laden farmland they lack at home.

Indeed, quests for overseas farmland are water hunts as much as they are land hunts. Yet investors are seemingly so seduced by Islamabad’s legal and financial inducements that they disregard the fact that Pakistan’s water supply can barely sustain its own farming, much less that of immense foreign agribusiness projects.

Pakistan’s water and energy shortages could also limit the possible benefits accruing from the deals, including better technology, more employment and higher crop yields. With limited energy to operate upgraded farm machinery, and limited water to irrigate cropland, farming job prospects could suffer and talk of increased yields could become irrelevant.

Land deals could mean not just compromised small-holder livelihoods but also widespread displacement. Not surprisingly, critics argue that big land acquisitions could spark violent responses and mass political unrest. Such predictions may be premature — other than in Madagascar, opposition has been relatively localised — but they are not far-fetched in Pakistan.

Here’s why. According to the World Food Programme, 77 million Pakistanis are already food-insecure, and many of them live in the country’s most volatile areas. Foreign land holdings could cause a flare-up of this food vulnerability powder keg at the worst possible time. During the height of last year’s global food crisis, Pakistan imposed export bans to keep domestic food prices down.

According to a report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the UAE — which hopes to grow rice and wheat in Pakistan — then requested blanket exemptions from these bans.

Islamabad eventually relaxed export restrictions on Basmati rice. So a politically explosive scenario — such as the UAE trucking rice out of a drought-stricken or war-ravaged Pakistan and exporting it back to the Gulf while hungry locals look on — is not at all unrealistic. Throw that investment-protecting security force into the mix, and things could get really ugly.

Furthermore, there are long-standing rifts between Pakistan’s rural poor and its wealthy, landholding elite. Scores of huge land acquisitions — particularly if they displace poor labourers — would exacerbate these class-based cleavages.

Ominously, the Taliban’s actions in Swat reveal a new ability to exploit class divisions by pitting landless farmers against their landlords. Militants may well use farmland acquisitions as a pretext for fomenting a fresh class revolt in Punjab, the fertile, populous province coveted by the Taliban and reportedly ground zero for the farms race in Pakistan. Such a thought is enough to make one wonder if those farmland road shows are really worth the effort.

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Innocence is a crime: Sincerity is a sin

Innocence and sincerity are no more admirable traits of a human character; they are simply a sin and a crime. A sincerely innocent person is always rewarded with the violation of his basic human rights. This world of modern temperament never lets an innocent and sincere person live a life of calm and peace; he is always exploited and abused. The people of Pakistan are also being punished and penalized for the sins of innocence and sincerity.

In fact they are peace loving by nature, calm by temperament and loving by creed. That is why most of the time they are unable to understand the hidden cruelties and the concealed conspiracies. Recently there came on the surface a friendship movement, with the name of ‘Aman Ki Aasha ‘means ‘A desire for Peace’. The organizers of this movement claim that it is supported by different NGOs and media-men of Pakistan and India. The aim and object of this movement is to struggle for a closer and cordial relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

It is really a very serene type of effort and surely a very sublime kind of struggle which would be appreciated and admired by most of the Pakistani people but at the same time they would be doubtful regarding the fruitfulness of such adventurous efforts. It is a tradition and culture of India to crush relentlessly every effort done by the people of Pakistan for the promotion of peaceful relations between the countries. In the first week of January, an invitation was sent to different politicians, journalists and other eminent people of Pakistan from different walks of life by India International Centre IIC New Delhi. They are requested to participate in a conference which is going to take place on 10th January in New Delhi. In the introduction note the organizers say; ‘India and Pakistan have, for the last 62 years, seen many ups and downs in bilateral relationship. The November attacks on Mumbai completely hijacked the scenario and brought the relationship between the two countries to breakdown point. This was further intensified by the war hysteria whipped up by the religious right wing in both the countries. The conference is being organized to mobilize the peace activists and peace groups.’ There would be different speakers from throughout the world .talking on different topics.

The names of the speakers and their topics are also mentioned in the invitation. The eminent speakers from Pakistan include Mrs. Sherry Rehman, Dr.Aisha Siddiqa, Mrs.Madeeha Gohar, Asma Jahangeer, Iqbal Haider, Siraj Malik Abrar, Senator Hasil Bizenjo and so many others. The general topic of the conference is ‘A Road map toward peace’. On the second day of the conference the speakers would express their thoughts on a very heart rending type of topic,’ The Issue of Autonomy: Kashmir and Balochistan’. Unfortunately most of the speakers chosen to speak on this topic belong to Pakistan. The Indian organizers have very tactfully entrapped the Pakistani scholars to comment on a topic which is nothing but a pure negation of the basic ideology which Pakistan has always been projecting and following. The Kashmir issue has neither any comparison nor any similarity with Balochistan. There is a very clear and obvious difference between these two regions; Balochistan is Pakistan but Kashmir is not India. The Balochis are always ready to sacrifice their lives for their motherland Pakistan; the Kashmiris are never willing to waste their precious lives for India.

Kashmir is a bone of contention but Balochistan is the heart and soul of Pakistan. The Kashmiris are a neglected nation not only from the Indian government but also from the so-called Indian peace promoters who are never ready to raise any voice for the helpless and voiceless Kashmiris; Balochistan is a land which is always taken care of by the people of Pakistan and the government of Pakistan. Recently announced Balochistan Package is the brightest example of the value and worth of Balochistan.

It is true that somewhere in the past the people of this area could not be facilitated and accommodated according to their expectations but now the situation is altogether changed. New projects of development and progress are in process; new funds have been allocated; the young Balochis are being offered so many attractive services in the Pakistan army, new colleges and universities and other educational institutions are being established. It is strongly hoped that within a very short period of time, Balochistan would be leading other provinces in prosperity and progress. In short Balochistan has no similarity with Kashmir.

It is a bitter truth that India is always in a habit of deforming the facts. Simply look at the words stated in the invitation issued by India International Centre IIC New Delhi, ‘The November attacks on Mumbai completely hijacked the scenario and brought the relationship between the two countries to breakdown point’, these sugar coated words are a double-edged sword of propaganda and nothing else.

Pakistan is now-a-days facing the worst shortage of river waters; the shortfall in the production of electricity and the drying lands have shattered the whole social and economic fiber of Pakistani .This situation is the result of the construction of the Baghliar dam and the Krishan-Ganga Hydro Power Projects by India The government of Pakistan had been protesting against these water projects but the government of India never paid any heed to this protest. And certainly these projects were started and completed a long time before the Mumbai Attacks. Pakistan has nothing to do with the so-called Mumbai attacks and with the ‘framed terrorist Ajmal Qassab, so it were not the Mumbai attacks which brought the relationship between the two countries to breakdown point , the story of worsening relationship goes back to the past.

Conferences, seminars and symposiums are civilized and courteous weapons of this modern age. These weapons are designed for the ‘wise’ people whose wisdom is so meek that they are never able to feel the cruel sharpness of a sword because they are impressed by its flashy brightness. Then there comes a time when they realise that the brightness of the sword was for their eyes and the sharpness for their throats. Such ‘wise’ people are called the Innocents; and they could never live long because their innocence is soon rewarded with death penalty.

–Ali Sukhanver

Remembering the Quaid

It is with a deep sense of gratitude but, sadly, mixed with an acute feeling of remorse and anguish that the people of Pakistan today view the 133rd birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and the country that he created for the Muslims of the subcontinent. With a single-minded resolve and conviction and unmatched brilliance and advocacy, he was able to bring home to the opponents of partition that Muslims were a nation apart in every sense of the word, in religion, in culture, in outlook on life, and would not countenance the dominance of the Hindu majority when the British had packed up and left India.

The people of Pakistan, while they are beholden to the Quaid for giving them an independent homeland are, at the same time, remorseful at what they – to be more exact, their leaders – have made of that priceless gift. It has been a turbulent 62 years, with rare but short spells of smooth sailing. There have been constitutional crises, inroads of bureaucracy into the political domain, and, the worst of all, periodic military coups, upsetting the democratic applecart hardly when the wares were beginning to get arranged. No more needs to be said in elaboration of these misfortunes except that the internecine bickering split up the original country into two, aided and abetted by a hostile neighbour. Pakistan, instead of marching ahead and finding a respectable place among the advanced nations of the world, as the Quaid had visualised, has regressed in aspects that provide fundamental structure of a modern Islamic democratic society.

The scenario today is scary but the fault lies with turning away from the principles that underlay the concept of the separate state. We escaped Hindu domination but find ourselves under American overlordship! If one can manage to avoid being robbed and killed in the process, suicide bombing or even the thought of it would ruin one’s dream of a peaceful and secure life. Despite a hardworking, intelligent workforce, we have failed to make use of the plentiful resources nature has endowed the country with. Highly productive projects, like Kalabagh Dam, have been abandoned at the altar of provincial narrow-mindedness. The stored waters would have virtually freed us of the worries about irrigation needs and power shortages. The concept of federation, instead of getting entrenched, remains fragile. There has been loot and plunder with gay abandon. The feudal mindset ruling the country has neglected education, the kingpin of progress and prosperity. The result: growing poverty. Things might appear hopeless, but all is not lost and the situation can be turned around in a matter of years. The need of the hour is a leadership fired with the imagination of serving the masses in a selfless manner, uplifting them from the dungeon of ignorance and indigence, bringing them in the mainstream of life and keeping the national interest supreme.—The Nation

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