Energy inevitable for growth in South Asia

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The leaders of business community and have reiterated the need tap energy potential in South Asia which is must for maintainable growth and economic revival.

These observations surfaced in a seminar titled, Energy Cooperation in South Asia Commitment and New Dimensions organized by SAARC CCI in New Delhi in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

After inaugurating the seminar, Gireesh B. Pradhan, Secretary Ministry of New and Alternative Energy, India emphasized for energy cooperation and stressed a shift towards alternative energy.

Mr. Vikramjit Singh Sahney, President Saarc CCI said that un-interrupted supply of energy at affordable price was needed to sustain this economic growth.

The region is faced with 50 thousand MW of electricity which needs collective efforts to transform South Asia from an energy-starved to an energy efficient region.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tariq Sayeed, former president of SAARC CCI said that South Asia has 150,000 MW of hydropower potential and .5 million MW solar and wind power potential but the region was faced with 50,000 MW shortfall.

Since the energy demand in the region would be doubled by 2020, there was dire need to invest in energy related projects, said Sayeed.

Mr. P.S. Bami, President India Energy noted that 300 million people only in India had no access to electricity despite the fact that India had more potential of energy production against energy demand.

Business leaders and energy exports including Mr. Kosala Wikramanayake, Mr. Subodh Kumar, Dr. Arbind Prasad, Mr. Mollah Amzad, Mr. Mr Ashish Khanna, Mr Nitya Nanda, Gyanendra L. Pradhan, and Mr. Kanwar Muhammad Javed Iqbal also spoke on the occasion.


Nepal says enhanced regional connectivity to resolve all problems

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Ambassador of Nepal to Pakistan Bharat Raj Paudyal on Friday said enhanced regional connectivity can resolve all the problems and address the issue of poverty.

He said that volume of trade between Pakistan and Nepal is not satisfactory which can be boosted by enhanced linkages and information sharing between the government organisations and business communities.

Mr. Paudyal said this while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) comprising founder president Samina Fazil, President Farida Rashid and others. Deputy Chief of Mission D.P. Bhandari was also present on the occasion.

The Ambassador said that women can play important role in expanding the canvas of regional cooperation through different initiatives.

Craft is one of the best tools for females to generate income which also leads to exposure, outreach and impact, said Bharat Raj Paudyal.

He said that single country exhibitions on regional level will provide opportunity to artisan women to share experience and feel part of a larger community. Such initiatives will help preservation of traditional skills, he added.

The envoy assured full support and participation by Nepalese businesswomen in upcoming Islamabad Women Expo 2013. He also welcomed the plan of IWCCI to hold Saarc Business Women Conference.

At the occasion, Samina Fazil said that businesswomen of both countries need to enhance ties. Collective effort can improve regional ties and create a sense of familiarity in region which will benefit Saarc states, she said.

Farida Rashid said that many Pakistani women want to showcase their products in Nepal for which they need guidance and opportunities which will help attain goal of peace and prosperity.

Empowering women in South Asia has always been a challenging issue which need serious efforts by all the players, she demanded.

Kashmir: Craving for peace

By Mushtaq A. Jeelani

On Saturday October 27th, 2012, the people of Kashmir all across the world observed 65th anniversary of Indian occupation of Kashmir as a Black Day. It was exactly 65 years ago, on October 27th, 1947, when the Indian troops invaded and occupied a sovereign nation of Jammu and Kashmir by deceit. The government of India proclaimed that her forces would help to restore normalcy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and allow the people to exercise the right of self-determination in accordance with their freely expressed will, unhindered by any threat of internal disorder or external aggression.

Fraudulently, India did the exact opposite. Those who have followed developments in Kashmir know that the ongoing struggle for freedom began in 1931 when people came out in open revolt against then autocratic and tyrannical regime; they had nearly succeeded in over-throwing the regime when India stepped in 1947 to take over the tyrant disposed regime, faced with stiff resistance from the locals against the occupation India transformed Kashmir into a purely military camp, killing hundreds of civilians.

The first war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir broke out in 1947. In 1948 India took the Kashmir issue to the United Nations Security Council, which constituted a special commission the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan with the mandate to independently investigate the matter and help the contending parties reach a negotiated settlement. The most important outcome of the deliberations were two resolutions passed by the Security Council on August 13th, 1948 and January 15th, 1949 respectively, calling upon the governments of India and Pakistan to hold a free, fair and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices in order to enable the people of Kashmir to decide whether they wanted to join India or Pakistan.

This was followed by commitments on part of the Indian leadership to allow the people of Kashmir to determine their future. In a statement to the Indian parliament on February 12th, 1951, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said: We had given our pledge to the people of Kashmir and subsequently to the United Nations. We stood by it and we stand by it today. Let the people of Kashmir decide.

Failing to legalise its occupation, on August 9th, 1953, New Delhi arrested then prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir and popular leader Sheikh Abdullah in a coup détat the occupying forces killed more than 1,500 defenceless Kashmiri civilians to silence the massive revolt against its occupation. Since then, India has tried to gradually strengthen its grip over the occupied region by means fair and foul unmindful of its constitutional commitment about the future status of the occupied state.

To this date, the people of Kashmir continue to be deprived of their inalienable right of self-determination and also the UN Security Council resolutions have remained unimplemented.

1987s rigged elections and Indias refusal to honour her commitment about the right of self-determination pushed the people of Kashmir from passive resistance to militancy against state-sponsored terrorism.

Since October 1989, Kashmir has become the most highly militarised zone in the world; more than 700,000 Indian soldiers are deployed there. During 23 years, the occupying Indian forces have killed more than 100,000 civilians many more scarred and wounded, to silence the peoples demand for justice, respect for human rights, and the right of self-determination. They continue to carry out arbitrary detention, summary executions, custodial killings, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, rape, sexual exploitation, torture and fake encounters. The United Nations Childrens Fund, UNICEF estimates that there are as many as 100,000 orphans in Kashmir. Also, more than 800,000 are suffering from PTSD and various kinds of mental disorders. Generations of Kashmiris have grown up under the shadow of the gun; not a single family is unaffected; property worth hundreds of millions of dollars has been destroyed and the suffering and devastation continues unabated that has inflicted loss of life and destruction on an unprecedented scale, sadly drawing no significant attention from the international community.

Further, Indian forces operate under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), also known as black laws, which give them wide-ranging authorisation to arrest, search, and shoot without questions. Impunity has become a licence for the Indian occupation forces to wreak havoc with the lives of Kashmiris. The deliberate and unprovoked attacks and other patterns of abuse have all become too frequent to report. No perpetrator has ever been prosecuted in a real manner, despite the fact that such crimes have been widely documented by many international human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

In March 2011, Amnesty International published the report A Lawless Law on administrative detentions under the PSA. The report documented the various ways in which the use of the PSA violated international human rights law. This new briefing reviews the impact of the PSA on the human rights of individuals in J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] since the publication of that report. It finds that despite legal and policy developments, Amnesty Internationals key human rights concerns with the PSA and its application remain unchanged: the PSA is still a lawless law.

The status of the state of J&K has been politically controversial for decades. Since 1989, there has been a turbulent political movement in the Kashmir Valley for self-determination and independence given the political context in J&K, the PSA was used to detain, among others, political leaders, lawyers, and individuals who challenged the state through political action or peaceful dissent. The report found that the PSA provides for arbitrary detention, which violates the right to liberty under human rights law binding on India. Furthermore, the report found that state authorities also used the PSA to facilitate other human rights violations, including incommunicado detentions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (other ill-treatment) in custody, and detention on vague grounds. Amnesty International found that, in some instances, the PSA was used as an informal justice system, that is, to secure the long-term detention of individuals instead of charging and prosecuting them in a court of law, Amnesty International report: Still a Lawless Law published October 13th, 2012.

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, told reporters in New Delhi on Friday Mach 30th, 2012, at the end of his two-week mission to India: Evidence gathered confirmed the use of so-called fake encounters in certain parts of the country [India]. Where this happens, a scene of a shoot-out is created, in which people who have been targeted are projected as the aggressors who shot at the police and were then killed in self-defence. He further added: The high level of impunity that the police and armed forces enjoy, due to the requirement that any prosecutions require sanction from the central [Indian] government something that is rarely granted.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should make human rights a central part of his discussions with government officials during his visit to India… to press the Indian government to address serious human rights violations, such as extrajudicial killings, abuses in conflict areas, and widespread torture… Ban should in particular press the Indian government to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. The law provides effective immunity to soldiers responsible for serious human rights violations and has led to widespread abuses in Jammu and Kashmir… Ban should also call for the repeal of archaic sedition laws that have been used to silence peaceful dissent, Human Rights Watch April 25th, 2012.

The Kashmiri Association of Parents of Displaced Persons (APDP) has been protesting for several years about finding more than 10,000 missing persons. These people could have been targets of militants, or of the Indian army, or both. After the discovery of unmarked graves in north Kashmir, APDP now, suspects many more unmarked graves exist in other areas of Kashmir.

The [Jammu and Kashmir] state human rights commissions investigation of 38 sites in north Kashmir and the discovery of 2,730 unmarked graves was a good first step for providing justice to the victims, Human Rights Watch said. While the government maintains that most of the bodies are those of unidentified Pakistani militants, many Kashmiris believe that victims of fake encounter killings or enforced disappearances may also have been buried in those graves. Although the government has promised a thorough inquiry, a credible investigation is impossible without the cooperation of the [Indian] army and federal paramilitary forces, which hide behind the immunity provisions of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act [AFSPA] and other laws, Human Rights Watch World Report 2012.

The International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances defines enforced disappearances as the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.

The convention grants all persons directly harmed by an enforced disappearance, such as family members of the disappeared, a right to know the truth regarding the circumstances of the enforced disappearance, the progress and results of the investigation and the fate of the disappeared person.

The convention prohibits states from claiming a lack of resources to justify refusing to investigate a possible enforced disappearance by placing a duty on states to guarantee those resources. Security cannot justify refusal to release information related to enforced disappearances. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance.

The fact remains that India is a signatory to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, but enforced disappearances continues to be an explicit state policy for over 20 years absolute disregard for International law?

For the past 23 years, the occupation forces have been using rape as a weapon of war against civilians in Kashmir a deliberate military strategy to punish or dehumanise the women and persecute the entire population for demanding the right of self-determination like in Darfur, the former Yugoslavia and many others areas in recent memory. The effect of rape is being felt by women, children, men, wives, husbands, family structures and communities.

Moreover, under the Rome Statute, rape is an international crime, identified as both a war crime and a crime against humanity, but in Indian-administered Kashmir it continues to be the state policy designed to silence the people of Kashmir.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs promise of zero tolerance of human rights violations by the armed forces has been challenged by the zero accountability of the perpetrators of mass abuses against civilians in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The Hindu, Indias national daily, in an Op-ed Siddharth Varadarajan questions the so-called zero tolerance promise: This is not zero tolerance, Mr. Prime Minister – The Central [Indian] governments professed commitment to human rights is worth nothing so long as it wont allow the soldiers indicted for murdering innocent civilians in Kashmir to be prosecuted for their crimes And, in the context of the recent exposé of fake encounters, they reveal a pattern of impunity that ordinary Kashmiris will be condemned to endure until India gets a Prime Minister brave enough to put a stop to it the promise of zero tolerance of human rights violations is just an empty slogan.

Unfortunately, the international community is turning a blind eye to gross and systematic human rights abuses in Indian-administered Kashmir. It is high time the world community help India to understand that violence is not and cannot be the answer to popular demands for justice, freedom and the right of self-determination. A plebiscite under the United Nations supervision to determine the future status of Kashmir is the only answer to resolve the issue. The world community can demand an immediate end to widespread human rights violations in Kashmir, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The 15 million people of Kashmir are craving for peace. They want a just and dignified peace that guarantees total freedom from foreign occupation and alien domination. Their struggle to achieve the right of self-determination will not extinguish until India and Pakistan accept its exercise by the people of Kashmir.

The perception that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan is totally unfounded. Kashmir is not a territorial or bilateral issue. It is about the future of 15 million people with their own history of independence; their own language and culture. Indian and Pakistani bilateralism has totally failed to resolve the Kashmir issue: the 65 years of on-again and off-again bilateral dialogue: one step forward, two steps back is an explicit explanation that the Kashmir issue has nothing in common with Indian, Pakistani bilateralism! The people of Kashmir are tired of an endless process that has not produced an outcome; furthermore, they have lost complete faith in the bilateral process of India, Pakistan and their ability to resolve the issue.

The right of self-determination is the cornerstone of the United Nations system that underpins the contemporary international order. Its unquestioned acceptance has been established by core international instruments including the Charter of the United Nations, the two Covenants on Civil and Political and Economic, Social and Cultural rights and the declaration adopted by General Assembly resolution 1514.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights imposes specific obligations on all nations not only in relation to their own population but vis-à-vis all people, who have not been able to exercise, or have been deprived of the possibility of exercising their right of self-determination. It urges nations to take positive action to facilitate the realisation of, and respect for the right of people to self-determination.

Effective exercise of a peoples right of self-determination is an essential pre-requisite for the genuine exercise of other human rights and freedoms. Only when self-determination has been achieved can a people take the measures necessary to ensure human dignity, the full enjoyment of all rights including political, economic, social and cultural progress without any form of discrimination.

The conflict in Kashmir is a political and human tragedy and the world community, including India and Pakistan, have overlooked this critically important human dimension of the issue. The Kashmiris demand is simple and in accordance with international law: implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions for a plebiscite to determine the future status of the disputed region in a peaceful and democratic way. Whatever the outcome, it will be impartial and binding for all the three parties the people of Kashmir, India and Pakistan.

The unprecedented sacrifices and suffering experienced by the people against this volte-face in terms of death and destruction, life and property, torture and persecution, rape and repression over the years, particularly during the past 23 years, is much too great to go unrewarded. The Kashmiri freedom movement is now entering in its twenty-forth year with firm and unwavering courage and determination in the face of unspeakable suffering and injustices to achieve the right to self-determination. The ground reality is very encouraging as the people are determined to achieve freedom, therefore, the struggle is in full momentum and the demand for a UN supervised plebiscite is at an all-time high.

It is high time India realised the fact that control over a region alone does not mean sovereignty over a chunk of land. It is the people who make up a nation and if they are perpetually alienated, any territorial supremacy achieved through brute force alone can never guarantee long-term peace.

The International communitys help can encourage India and Pakistan to transform the Kashmir issue from being a bone of contention to a bridge of understanding for lasting peace and prosperity of South Asias billion plus people. A peaceful solution of the dispute will help to bring stability in the South Asian region, including in Afghanistan and eliminate a potential threat of another major war. This would further help lay the foundation for a new era of coexistence between India and Pakistan.

The cause for which the people of Kashmir are struggling is a just one, and deserves support from all those who cherish peace and justice.

Mushtaq A. Jeelani is Executive Director of Toronto-based Peace and Justice Forum, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, dedicated to protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and international justice.

No Peace in Asia till Kashmir resolved, Says Waza

Srinagar, MTT News Desk: Senior APHC Leader and Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League (JKPL), Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, has said that the permanent peace in South Asia is not possible without resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris aspirations.

Mukhtar Waza while addressing party workers during a daylong meeting at party headquarters at Srinagar Wazirbagh, stressed that the United Nations could play a constructive role in facilitating meaningful engagement and dialogue between Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris for final resolution of the dispute.

People of Jammu Kashmir are principle stake holders in the dispute and any settlement of the dispute on Jammu Kashmir should satisfy the aspirations of the people, Waza said.

Peaceful resolution of the dispute of Jammu Kashmir is in the interests of enduring regional peace and stability in south Asia besides in the interests of economic development in the region, he said.

He stressed upon India and Pakistan to start a meaningful dialogue process, as the dialogue process in the way by which Kashmir issue could be resolved. He said that by this issue kashmiri people are suffering from last 63 years and were badly affected.

He appealed the United Nations to impress upon India to revoke the draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the territory, withdraw its troops and release all the illegally detained pro-liberation leaders and activists including youth and minor boys.

Meeting was attended by senior Peoples League leaders activists including, Mohd Maqbool Sofi, Imtiyaz Ahmad Reshi, Parvez Ahmad Dar, Molvi Shaheen, Syed Hilal, Rouf Kashmiri, Imran Ahmad, Farooq Ahmad Dar and district president Srinagar Gulzar Ahmad Katjoo.

Indian ambitions in Afghanistan and beyond

By Brig. (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja: Although Indias borders are not contiguous to Afghanistan, it has always vied to maintain friendly ties with Afghanistan and to keep Pak-Afghan relations frosty. To India, ties with Kabul mean new trade routes, access to Central Asias vast energy reserves and a way to stave off the rise of Islamic militancy. It gives an opportunity to India to undermine Pakistan, as it nurtures its super power aspirations by expanding its regional influence. According to informed sources, Indian intelligence officials working in Afghanistan disguised as diplomats have a vast network to destabilize FATA and Baluchistan. Besides the Indian Embassy in Kabul, India have consulates in Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat. India also opened 70 training camps all along Pakistans western border where Tajiks, Uzbeks, Chechans, Arabs and dissidents from FATA and Baluchistan are funded, trained, equipped and launched into selected regions of Pakistan. Bulk of RAW assets is deployed in Afghanistan.

India is the 5th highest donor in Afghanistan and has invested $2 billion in Afghanistan for various development works and has built highways in the western deserts of landlocked Afghanistan dependent upon Pakistan for exporting and importing its goods. India built Delaram-Zaranj Highway so as to bring Afghanistan-Iran into an economic and strategic alliance and to isolate Pakistan. India invested $100 million in building Chahbahar Port and after Iran built a road to connect the port to Afghan border, India connected it with Delaram-Zaranj Highway. India has also invested over $136 million in construction of Ring Road Highway in Helmand province that will connect Chahbahar with Kabul. Work is underway to link Chahbahar by railway line with Hajipak in Afghanistan. The envisaged road/rail connectivity will allow landlocked Afghanistan an alternative outlet and thus reduce Afghanistans dependence on Pakistan and reduce latters leverage over former. Like USA and China, India too is desperately seeking access to energy rich Central Asia and Caspian Sea region and hence has larger stakes in Chahbahar-Kabul connectivity.

Other important project of India is laying of transmission lines providing Uzbek electricity to Kabul. In addition, hydroelectric Salma Dam and new parliament building in Kabul are also significant Indian projects. India is also helping in agriculture and mining. More than hundred Afghan owned small development projects are being implemented by India. It offers free medical care and medicines in clinics across the country. Its medical missions in Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif provided free treatment for 350,000 Afghans in 2009-10. In the field of education, India provides 2000 scholarships to Afghans annually for schooling and training in Indian institutions. It has provided teachers and professors in English and other languages for Afghan educational institutions.

On October 4, 2011, New Delhi and Kabul signed an agreement on strategic partnership which has further cemented their relations. Besides imparting training to the Afghan police and other administrative organizations, RAW rejuvenated KHAD and renamed it as RAAM and also helped in setting up Central Directorate of Intelligence. Indian military has now been assigned to train ANA as well. India is assiduously working to win the hearts and the minds of the Afghans. Indian influence in Afghanistan increased so profusely that the former sacked NATO-ISAF Commander Gen McChrystal blurted out bluntly that While Indian activities largely benefit the Afghan people; increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani countermeasures. His straight talk may have become one of the reasons of his sudden ouster.

India has invested huge amount and undertaken multiple development projects in Afghanistan to create pro-India sentiments among the Afghan youth and to build anti-Pakistan sentiments. India is now looking forward for socio-politico-military-economic returns. It is greedily eying at Afghanistans vast reserves of iron, copper, cobalt and gold and Indian companies have already been invited by Kabul to tap one trillion dollars worth of minerals.

India remains haunted with the memory of five-year Taliban rule in Afghanistan during which Indian presence in that country had almost terminated and Islamabad-Kabul relations were at their best. Since mid nineties, India pursued anti-Taliban and pro-Northern Alliance (NA) policy. The NA leaders were treated as state guests whenever they visited India and were well entertained and their needs were met. The Indian military with the blessing of Iran provided military hardware, repair of Soviet built Mi-17 and Mi-35 attack helicopters and training facilities to NA soldiers to battle the Taliban. Indias military provided intimate guidance and support to NA forces when they launched attacks in October 2001. Indian lobbyists in USA convinced George W. Bush administration to marginalize the Afghan Pashtuns from all government departments including security forces and to bring non-Pashtuns on the centre stage. This action was necessary to enable India to rapidly gain influence in all the sections of the Afghan society.

The NA members are beholden to India for its invaluable support it had lent to their cause when they were out in the blue. President Hamid Karzai who had received his education in India has never missed an opportunity to praise India and to demonize Pakistan. The present arrangement therefore suits India the most. Under no circumstances India would like these happy tidings to end and anti-India Taliban to return to power.

India has not confined its activities to Afghanistan only but is also busy making inroads in Central Asian Republics (CARs) and has made appreciable progress. Indian military is interacting with Tajikistan security forces and is providing funding for upgrading of airbases and has constructed a military hospital and logistic depot. India inked an agreement with Tajikistan in 2007 enabling its IAF to establish itself at Ayani airbase near Dushanbe and Farkhor airbase close to northern Afghanistan border. It has parked Mi-17 attack helicopters at Ayani base and has also leased Russian jets, already stationed at the base. It has a squadron of MiG 31 jet fighter bombers at Farkhor base. The two airbases have given an option to IAF to strike Pakistan from the rear.

Indias biggest worry is the post 2014 scenario. It knows that Karzai is unpopular even within his own clan and the ANSF is still not operationally fit enough to confront the Taliban challenge at its own. India is also unhappy over US parleys with the hard-line Taliban and its efforts to induce them to share power. In concert with Israel and hawkish elements within USA opposed to the draw-down plan, India has been making hectic efforts to dissuade Obama administration to call off the exit plan and stay on till Karzai achieves complete stability and control over the country. It has been inculcating fears into the minds of the policy makers in Washington that early withdrawal would open the way for extremist Taliban to regain power and Pakistan to recover its influence in Afghanistan. It has been propagating about the possibility of Russia-China, Afghanistan under Taliban-Pakistan-Iran-some Central Asian States block coming into being, with drastic ramifications for US strategic and economic interests in the region. Likewise, it is hobnobbing with Russia, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan for a possible grouping in case an anti-Indian regime comes to power in Kabul. It is owing to Indo-Israel efforts that the draw-down plan has been modified and it has been decided in principle to leave behind a size-able counter terrorism force under the garb of advisers and trainers and to retain five military bases till 2024.

Pakistan must not agree to the US suggestion of granting prime role to India in Afghanistan and should parry US pressure and coercive diplomacy. Pakistan through skillful diplomacy should stay relevant in the endgame by retaining its links with friendly Taliban and other Afghan groups. It is in the interest of Pakistan to seek timely withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Pakistan can assert only if its home front is united and institutions are mutually supporting.

The writer is a retired Brig, a historian, a columnist and a defence analyst.

Remembering a Black Day

Intent upon paralyzing the infant state of Pakistan, barely two and a half months old then, the forcible occupation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir by India on 27 Oct 1947, truly marks the birth of a great tragedy.

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Water Terrorism

Pak-India friendship is the most essential and almost inevitable element for a long lasting and deep rooted peace in South Asia. The present warlike scenario along the Pak-India borders can adopt an altogether different look if the two countries put aside all their differences, ignoring the past and simply keeping in view the regional betterment. Some people might call this situation nothing but a day dreaming but dreams are the foundation of reality. The Indian premier Dr. Man Mohan Singh in one of his recent statements has expressed his willingness regarding the friendly relationship between the two neighbouringcountries. He has very strangely given a different colour to his traditional approach towards Pakistan that the investigation process regarding the Mumbai blasts must not hinder the peace process between the two countries. In other words he has supported the stance of Pakistan that the non-state actors should not be allowed to mar the efforts for good relationship between two countries. This change in the behaviour of the Indian prime minister is something very positive and admirable. The people of Pakistan are expecting from him the same gentleness in the solution all other deep rooted conflicts. The river-water issue is one of the most grievous problems which would never let the twocountries come close to each other if not timely and properly taken care of. India is curtailing the down stream water coming towards Pakistan by making dams at various points; and all this is being done in violation of the Indus Water Treaty.

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Remembering the past – 12th May 07 & MQM



By Nadia Khan

On 12th May 2007 with the help of press & electronic media, the real face of MQM was exposed. Some analysts say that PTI Chairman, Imran Khan’s unsuccessful efforts to try Altaf Hussain in British courts under cross-countries terrorism charges could have barely exposed him than the collective efforts of media, with courageous coverage, had brought in limelight the way Karachi based ethnic group, MQM operates & manhandles its political opponents.

Upon the orders of an army dictator, with complete support from intelligence agencies -once MQM used to blame those for all evils- blocking the arrival of Chief Justice Ifthikhar Chaudhry at Karachi airport had resulted huge political damage for Altaf Hussain. To minimize the damage, MQM had crafted a video presentation…

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