Supporters of Baloch Separatists in London

By Sajjad Shaukat

Continued subversive acts in the province of Balochistan, arranged by the anti-Pakistan forces coincide with malicious propaganda against the country and its security agencies.

In this regard, the main aim of India, US and Israel is to internationalise the Balochistan issue in accordance with their secret agenda. In this respect, in connivance with the Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in Swizerland, Sweden, US, London and some other western countries, external hostile elements use media, various NGOs and human rights organisations for false propaganda against Pak Army and countrys Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) including Frontier Corps (FC) in relation to the extrajudicial killings and disappeared persons. As part of their campaign, secret agencies like Indian RAW, American CIA and Israeli Mosssad which are well-penetrated in these foreign entities also arrange demonstrations and protests abroad to distort Pakistans image.

Besides rallies in some western countries, in 2012, a demonstration was held outside the United Nations in Genva on the occasion of the 19th Session of UN Human Rights Council to condemn the human rights violations in Balochistan. The demonstrators accused Pakistans security and intelligence agencies of extrajudicial killings. Apparently, the demonstration was organised and led by Mehran Baloch, Balochistans representative at the UN and Noordin Mengal, but, in fact, it was arranged by the anti-Pakistan NGOs, human rights groups and Indo-Israeli lobbies with American covert help.

For these sinister aims, London has become hub of anti-Balochistan collusion and activities, where the self-exiled leaders of separatist Baloch groups have been living in highly expensive flat. Sources suggest that they have been found to be holding secret meetings with the Indian diplomats. These Baloch separatist leaders have very costly vehicles and regularly visit US, Dubai and Oman. They get anti-Pakistan propaganda material printed in London and use different channels to distribute it in various parts of Balochistan. They obtain tickets for their frequent foreign visits from an Indian travel agent in London, who reportedly receives payments from the Indian High Commission. Indirectly, Indian RAW sends money for all their financial expenses.

However, on July 31, 2011, with the assistance of external elements, a rally was organised by Baloch Human Rights Council in UK, in front of the US Embassy in London, which raised false accusations such as inhuman torture and extrajudicial murder of the Baloch intellectuals by the Pakistani security agencies, while blaming ISI for the disapeared persons.

On August 3, 2011, the former ISPR spokesman, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas, while rejecting human rights groups reports about Balochistan as a conspiracy against Pakistan, called for probing the funding of these organisations as this could be traced back to those forces which want to destabilise Pakistan.

Meanwhile, again, Baloch activists staged a demonstration in London in front of US Embassy on March 4, 2012 to express their gratitude to three American Congressmen, Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert and Steve King who tabled a bill before the US Congress in February, calling for the right of self-determination for Balochistan, while raising similar allegations against Pakistans security institutes. American government distanced itself from these Congressmen, but the move had clandestine support of some US officials. The resolution has encouraged Baloch separatist groups who are now actively lobbying the lawmakers of the European Parliament for a similar move.

Now, it has become usual practice in London. And under the leadership of Hyrbyair Marri, and especially with Indian support including other external elements, anti-state Baloch militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), Balochistan Republican Army (BRA), and other similar outfits will launch a protest demonstration against Pakistan on March 30, 2013 at 10 Downing Street, London. But this time, as part of propaganda, the scheme intends to draw maximum attention of the international media to allegedly show that Pakistani state atrocities in Balochistan continue unabated, and Islamabad has occupied Balochistan. The protest rally will move from the Pakistani Embassy to the 10 Downing Street. New Delhi has secretly instructed to the Indians to participate in the rally along with anti-Pakistan banners and placards. The protesters will again blame our countrys security agencies for the missing persons, dumped dead bodies, extrajudicial killings etc. in Balochistan.

Recently, Supreme Court, federal and provincial governments have been taking serious notice of the aggravated law and order situation of Balochistan, particularly with reference to the disappeared people. In this backdrop, question arises as to why situation of Balochistan is deteriorating, and where are the missing persons of the province?

The facts behind human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings, dumped bodies, the missing persons and aggravated law and order situation of the province is that militant groups like BLA, BLF, BRA and Jundollah (Gods soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of Balochistan gets arms and ammunition from CIA and RAW. Their militants kidnapped and massacred many innocent people who include teachers, professors, lawyers, Shias and the security personnel in the province. Many persons in Balochistan have also been killed in suicide attacks and bomb blasts, planted by these foreign-backed outfits. On a number of occasions, these insurgents groups claimed responsibility for their criminal activities. In the past few years, they kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. Besides targeting Punjabis and other ethnic minorities in the province, they also arranged subversive acts in the Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. In this respect, Tehran had directly named CIA for funding of terrorist attacks.

A majority of the disappeared individuals are also in the detention centres (Farrari Camps) which are being run by Baloch feudal lords (Sardars). With the assistance of US-led India and Israel, these Sardars are fighting for their so-called prestige, status and influence, and want to continue old system of feudalism in the province.

It is mentionable that Pakistans civil and military leadership has repeatedly disclosed that militants along with huge cache of arms are being sent to Balochistan from Afghanistan. In the recent past, Rehman Malik pointed out that during his trip to Afghanistan, he emphasised upon President Hamid Karzai to close Baloch training camps. In that background, Brahmdagh Bugti and some other Baloch so-called nationalists left Afghanistan and went to some western countries. In his latest statement, Rehman Malik revealed that there are links among BLA, Jundollah, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan which have been weakening Pakistan and Balochistan.

Especially, on July 23, 2008, Brahmdagh Bugti told the BBC that they had the right to accept foreign aid and arms from anywhere including India. During the above mentioned session of the UN in Geneva, Baloch so-called leaders Mehran Baloch, Dr Allah Nazar Baloch and Hyrbyair Marri, while interacting with foreign media and addressing meetings stated that for the independence of Balochistan, they would also welcome help from India. Like Americans, they also opposed Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project. Notably, by rejecting US growing pressure and defying the threat of sanctions, on March 11, this year, Pakistans President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the gas pipeline project with Iran.

Particularly, Balochistans mineral resources and geo-strategic location with deep Gwadar seaport, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia have further irked the eyes of the US and India because China has already invested billion of dollars to develop this seaport. It is due to multiple strategic designs that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008 seeks to dismember both Pakistan and Iran. In this connection, foreign supporters of Baloch separatists have accelerated acts of sabotage in the province through their affiliated-militants, as recently Pakistan has handed over the control of Gwader seaport to China. Therefore, propaganda campaign against Islamabad has also been intensified by the external entities. In this context, nefarious arrangements for the pre-planned rally which will be executed on March 30, 2013, is being made on larger scale by anti-Pakistan forces, especially India.

Nonetheless, in response to the Baloch separtists protest, the best way is that patriot Pakistanis; living in London must arrange a similar rally on the same day with pro-Pakistan cards, banners and national flags so as to display to the media that we are all united to castigate the foreign conspiracy against Balochistan.

It is notable that a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 2012, disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan. This survey has proved that some external entities have been conducting subversive acts in the province by supporting the minority elements, and are inciting the other Bloch persons for independence of Balochistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs.

Follow the essence of the Pakistan resolution

By Sajjad Shaukat

The 23rd of March 1940 was a watershed in the history of the Sub Continent, when All India Muslim League passed the Resolution in Lahore for the creation of an independent state. Now, it is popularly called as Pakistan Resolution. Earlier, in his address to the Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930, the idea of a homeland for Muslims in their majority areas had been envisioned by the poet Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal, and had become the aspiration of Indian Muslims.

As a matter of fact, the British colonialists in connivance with majority Hindu population had manipulated and targeted Muslims through every possible way. In that background, Muslims started struggle for a separate state.

Prior to the Lahore session of Muslim League, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had specified to this historical congregation of the Muslims, the watch-words of Faith, Unity and Discipline which were not only necessary for waging the battle for an independent homeland, but also for present Pakistan. So, while struggling against the enemies, the essence of these watch-words, is unity which is the real spirit of the Pakistan Resolution. However, it was due to the strong unity among the Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam that Pakistan became a tangible reality. But that unity started declining after passing through various crises, and the result was separation of East Pakistan in 1971.

The 23rd March which is celebrating by every Pakistani as the Pakistan Day, has come at a time when Pakistan is facing multiple threats of grave nature, which are not only worrying all the citizens, but also putting the very integration of the state at stake.

Unfortunately, it is because of lack of solidarity among our politicians, leaders and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by destabilising the country. In the past few years, nefarious designs of secret agencies like American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad can be gauged from a number of anti-Pakistan developments such as their support to insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, separatism in Balochistan and targeted killings especially in Karachi coupled with subversive acts all over the country. In fact, the US-led India and Israel is creating unrest in Pakistan through their spy agencies which have deployed their collective networks throughout Pakistan. These elements are supporting violent acts in our country on daily basis. Notably, the US seems determined to shift Afghan war to Pakistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, as Obama administration has already started a covert war against Pakistan where these foreign secret agencies are also assisting their affiliated militants and agents with money and weapons.

Besides, American double game with Islamabad, pressuring the latter to do more against the militants by ignoring the internal backlash, drone strikes on FATA, threat of sanctions regarding inauguration of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, accusation of cross border terrorism, perennial propaganda about Talibanisation of the country, Pak Army, countrys intelligence agency, ISI including Indias distortion of Pakistans ideology, its history, violations across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir etc.clearly show future aims of the US, India and Israel which want to denuclearise Pakistan.

It looks that the ongoing deteriorated situation is not being grasped by the general masses and even the political leaders at large, who abruptly change their opinion without logic. Therefore, they become unintentional victimbenefiting the external plotters who seek to weaken Pakistan by creating a rift among the political groups, divided on ethnic and linguistic lines. These foreign enemies also seek to create a division between the political leaders on one side, while Pak Army and ISI on the other.

It is regrettable that on the one hand, countrys multiple crises indicate that Pakistan is rapidly advancing towards a failed state due to the sinister designs of the external forces, while on the other, our media, particularly most of the TV channels conduct controversial debate between politicians and commentators, contesting internal politics. Besides our media, so-called human rights groups and NGOs are also following the propaganda of the external elements. In this regard, sometimes, these entities manipulate memogate scandal, sometimes case of the missing persons and sometimes Mehrangate issue in maligning Pakistan Army and countrys superior agency. In this context, let us know the example of the missing personsa majority of these people include those people who were either kidnapped or killed by foreign-backed secret agents and their affiliated insurgent groups. Many of the disappeared persons also went to Afghanistan for Jehad purposes, while some of them joined the Jehadi groups inside Pakistan.

Nevertheless, like the anti-Pakistan enemies, our internal entities have ignored the sacrifices of these security agencies against terrorism. Now, they have started a new practice of taking some cases to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, without knowing the fact that it is likely to demoralise the armed forces and ISI which are essential for maintaining the integrity of the country.

It is our misfortune that at this critical hour, while situation demands selfless unity, both our media anchors and some politicians exploit every terror-incident or negative development against Pakistan. While, it was owing to the non-interference of army that the civil government completed its tenure, but these media commentators kept on targeting countrys key security institutions in one way or the other. As regards the forthcoming elections, on renowned TV channels, our politicians oppose their rivals for the sake of opposition. Accusation and counteraccusations have become their routine practice. In this respect, they opine as to what the people want, but conceal as to what people actually need? Especially, it seems that a majority of Pakistans media anchors and human rights organisations are on the payroll of external enemies.

While Pakistans economic crisis has accelerated, bringing about other-related problems like loadshedding of gas and electricity, unemployment and soaring prices of products.
Today Pakistan stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing internal and external threats to the national security of the country. Besides, people of Pakistan, its security forces and intelligence agencies are coping with suicide attacks, bomb blasts, sectarian violence and target-killings including sporadic battles with the militants in the tribal areas.

At this critical moment, the 23rd March demands true national unity. We can also deduce it from the statement of Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who, while taking note of the present critical situation, repeatedly stressed upon national unity. Kayani especially explained on June 9, 2011, Any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the country is not in national interestthe people of Pakistan whose support the army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists. Recently, he has again emphasised upon unity.

This significant day demands that our political leaders must pledge that they will not manipulate their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. In this context, a blind dedication to ones own race, tribe and creed should not be allowed to create hatred in one group against the other. They must avoid exploiting present thorny issues in order to increase their vote-bank at the cost of security agencies. If any controversy arises, it can better be settled in consonance with the constitution. For this aim, in order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, our political leaders, media and human rights groups must also stop manipulating any crisis against Pak Army and ISI whose image are deliberately being tarnished by the external plotters.

True unity against the foreign enemies requires that our rulers and leaders of other political parties and must create national cohesion among various segments of society. Particularly, our electronic media should give a matching response to malicious propaganda of the US-led some western countries including India and Israel which are distorting the image of Pakistan, its army and ISI. Pakistans TV commentators must openly disclose the collective connivance of CIA, RAW and Mossad regarding their support to subversive acts inside our country and against Pak nukes.

No doubt, at this crucial time, Pakistans survival lies in selfless unity and strong cohesion as at present, even a layman can note that our country is in chaos and it seems as if there is a war of all against all in the sense of Hobbesian state of nature.

We must follow the essence of the Pakistan Resolution through real unity which is not possible unless the government, the opposition leaders, civil societies and media owners pledge to sign a charter of integration which is very necessary to pull the country out of the ongoing serious crises.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

Pakistan Iran gas pipeline politics

By Faheem Belharvi

Despite bitter opposition from the US and warnings of economic sanctions, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad on 11 March 2013 officially inaugurated construction work of a delayed $7.5 billion gas pipeline. The ceremony, which the President’s office described as a ‘big event’, was held in the Iranian border city of Chabahar. Both Presidents were accompanied at the ground-breaking by delegations comprising ministers, top officials as well as representatives of several Arab states.

Pak Iran gas pipeline is one of the important historic deals of the world especially in Pak and Iran horizons. The project will bring economic prosperity and opens new avenues of relationship between both the countries. Basically, Pakistan is energy stricken country and its growing economy failed to generate revenue requirements. Hence, it is need and necessity of the time to import cheap energy from neighboring country Iran in order to meet energy requirements and lessen our debt burden. The pipeline project will prove to be as the permanent energy bailout package for our energy deficiency.

The other impacts of this project could be; opening up new avenues of economic prosperity, extends business, commerce and trade activities and enhancing cultural relations with a country that has contributed so much, to our history, languages, literature, art and architecture. Meanwhile, tourism and sports activities will also increase which ultimately brings both countries closer.

Although the pipeline projects formal completion date is December 2014, a detailed feasibility plan is still being worked out and the source of funding is yet unclear. In July 2011, President Ahmadinejad has offered to fund construction of the 761 kilometers inside Pakistani territory. Iran declared at the time that it had laid the pipeline on its side to within 50 kilometers of Pakistans border. But the Iranian offer has to be taken with a good meanwhile, Irans economic difficulties are rapidly mounting. Chinas largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, has backed out from its earlier commitment.

In June of that year, members of the opposition benches in the Balochistan Assembly exhibited unprecedented unity and passed a resolution seeking royalty for the province in the proposed multi-billion dollar IP gas pipeline project. Further, the assembly also demanded Balochistan`s representation in the IP talks, free gas for adjacent populations, a 100 per cent job share and a major share in any royalty. It is added that, there is no constitutional or legal guarantee that royalty in any form, including security, jobs or gas, will be supplied to the people of Balochistan.

Islamabad cannot deny the fact that Balochistan represents 44 per cent of the country`s landmass and shares strategically significant coasts and border areas with the energy-rich Middle East, through Iran.

Pakistan took a firm stand on the issue. In this regard last week, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, addressing a joint press conference with her Swedish counterpart, said that Pakistan was committed to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. She also laid to rest any doubts that a Chinese bank’s decision to back off from funding the project would affect plans to import gas from Iran. She said: “There are multiple sources available and this is a very viable project.”

For Pakistan the IP gas pipeline project is its energy lifeline for the future as it will provide the cheapest and most suitable fuel for power generation. According to an estimate that, the gas to be supplied by Iran would help generate around 4,000MW of electricity, besides providing job opportunities in the backward areas of Baluchistan and Sindh.

Anyhow, US factor again mounted pressure on Islamabad to forego with the project, otherwise sanctions could be imposed on Pakistan. In this connection, Hillary Clinton said that the Turkmenistan pipeline was a better alternative, predictable and would avoid business with Iran and added that embarking on the construction of a Pak-Iran pipeline is in violation of the Iran Sanctions Act. She said, “We all know what the consequences of that law are.” Else the U.S shall isolate itself away from a goal that is truly important, the fight against global terrorism.

On March 7, another US Departments spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, spoke on the subject and said: The proposed deal will violate UN sanctions laws. She acknowledged that Pakistan has a lot of unmet energy requirements. The US, she added, was aware of these requirements and has been working in close partnership to find better ways to meet these needs.

But Pakistan totally rejected American stance since Iran-Pakistan pipeline project is vital to her flourishing economic and meeting future energy requirement.

Another factor which need serious attention that fast friend of Pakistan Saudi Arabia is not very pleased over the Pak-Iran project. The Saudi attempt to create divisions and distrust with a neighboring country is plainly insidious and deserved a response from Pakistans leaders one no less firm than the one delivered to the Americans. The Saudi plan is just as unworkable as the TAPI pipeline, which the US is pushing as an alternative to the IP pipeline. TAPI would run through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. But with Afghanistan likely to be embroiled indefinitely in civil war after 2014, only a wild idealist can believe that a pipeline traversing its hostile and intractable terrain could provide secure oil supplies.

Let us hope the next elected national government would have to complete this Peace Pipeline Project with vision, will and capability to make up for the last decades and move fast to lift the society and the state to higher levels and scrupulously work for the development of the country development and welfare of the people. Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline can prove to be the starting point of a new era of peace and prosperity for the entire region. US and others opposing western countries should stop playing power politics with the developing and under developing countries in the name of nuclear proliferation . They should not forget US-India nuclear deal before yelling against Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project.

Rs one billion defamation suit filed against Malik Riaz

Rawalpindi, MTT News Desk: Colonel (Retd) Tariq Kamal, Secretary General of Pakistan Ex-servicemen Society has a defamation case against former Chairman of Bahria Town Malik Riaz seeking Rs one billion in damages.

Raja Khurram Ali Khan, District Judge West has accepted the petition and summoned accused on April 04 to clarify his position.

Colonel Tariq moved court seeking damages after the respondent levelled serious allegation against him in a TV programme on the alleged corruption in the Bharia Town.

In his petition Colonel Tariq said that he is a retired serviceman enjoying respect as an upright person in the society and holding senior appointments in different welfare organisations.

He said that it was the reputation of Mr Riaz that forced Tehrik-i-Minhajul Qurran founder Tahir-ul-Qadri to refuse to meet him before the long march towards Islamabad in January.

Malik Riaz again cheated nation by announcing to lure USD 45 billion investment from UAE which proved to be another lie, he added.

The petitioner said that Malik Riaz who embezzled Rs 200 billion in the DHA scam is now out to deprive masses of their hard-earned money by announcing a JV with an American builder in Karachi.

He said that courts and institutions should take note of the activities of the accused and ensure safety of life and property of masses.

First Pakistani Ambassador to Kosovo presents Letter of Credence to Kosovo President

Pristina, Kosovo, MTT News Desk: The President of the Republic of Kosovo Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga here today received the Letter of Credence of H.E. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat, the first Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the Republic of Kosovo, resident in Ankara, Turkey.

It was an historical occasion as Mr. Shaukat became the first Pakistani Ambassador accredited to Kosovo. Pakistan formally recognized the Republic of Kosovo in December last year which was followed by a visit of President of Pakistans Special Envoy in January this year. After the presentation of credentials ceremony, President Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga and Ambassador Haroon Shaukat held a meeting and discussed ways to promote bilateral relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Shaukat conveyed special greetings from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to President Atifete. The newly appointed Ambassador reiterated his resolve to work very closely with the Kosovo friends to create a new chapter of special ties with tangible cooperation in the commercial field.

President of Kosovo expressed her gratitude to Pakistan upon their recognition of independence. She said this move by Pakistan was welcomed by the people of Kosovo as Pakistan is an important country having strategic importance. She termed the appointment of Ambassador Haroon Shaukat as a major step towards further consolidating Pak-Kosovo relations in all fields. The Pakistani Envoy said Pakistan granted formal recognition to Kosovo as an independent State in support of the aspirations of the people of Kosovo for independence.

Earlier, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Enver Hoxhaj, Minister for Economic Development Mr. Besim Beqaj and other senior officials of the Kosovo Government received the new Ambassador. The hosts expressed their great appreciation for the recognition of Kosovos independence by Pakistan and evinced keen interest to consolidate relations at political, economic and cultural fields.

The Kosovo Foreign Minister proposed to start exchange of scholarship for students of Pakistan and Kosovo.Mr. Shaukat reiterated Government of Pakistans resolve to develop close and brotherly ties with Kosovo. It was agreed to create necessary facilitative framework for promoting commercial relations, encouraging and protecting investments and avoidance of double taxation. Opportunities for collaboration between the two countries in the economy, trade and education fields were discussed.

During his stay in Kosovo, Ambassador Shaukat also held meetings with the President of Chambers & Commerce and leading businessmen. Mr. Shaukat termed the private sector as engine of growth and said his Government will be happy to create interface between the private sectors of Kosovo and Pakistan.

As a country that is aligning its policies and standards as per EU criteria, Kosovo is one of the best countries for Pakistani investors and could be a hub for Pakistans commercial activities for EU in general and Balkans region in particular.

Consul General Istanbul Dr. Yusuf Junaid and Press Attaché of the Pakistan Embassy in Ankara Mr. Abdul Akbar also accompanied the Ambassador.

SECP makes online filing of returns mandatory

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has made it mandatory for all listed companies to file documents, returns, accounts and applications, meant to be filed with the SECP, or the Registrar, through SECPs eServices online filing facility.

The SECP issued a notification in this regard on March 13, 2013. The requirement shall come into effect after two months of the date of notification. The requirement has also been made applicable to companies which filed their last statutory documents through eServices or will file any statutory document through eServices from the date of applicability of the notification. Earlier, this requirement was only applicable to companies which had been incorporated through eServices online filing facility.

The online filing has been made mandatory to move towards automated regulatory regime of the SECP, in line with the objective of providing services with efficiency and in minimum possible time. eServices filing facility is an easy and hassle-free mode of submission for companies to make statutory filing, coupled with an added feature of smaller fees as compared to manual/physical filing.

The relevant notification has been placed on the SECPs website. The notification shall, however, be applicable to the filing of documents, returns, accounts and applications for which eServices online submission mode is available.

Air Commodore M.M.Alam (1935-2013)

Tribute by Brig. (Retd) Usman Khalid

Air Commodore M.M.Alam with F-86 Sabre fighter that shot down five Indian aircraft in one sortie.

This is the third time I am writing a tribute for a departed friend. The first time it was the death of an icon Mr Justice Safdar Shah when I wrote under the title of Death of Hope. The legal fraternity did not rise up against General Zia ul Haq at that time in response to the call of Mr Justice Safdar Shah. But it did rise to the occasion in 2007-2009 when General Musharraf dismissed the Chief Justice and many more judges of the Supreme and High Court. It would be no exaggeration to say the defiance of Mr Justice Safdar Shah set the stage for defiance of Musharraf by the legal profession. Today, hopelessness has given way to hope and Mr Justice Safdar Shah has emerged as an icon of standing up for justice and rule of law.

The second time it was the death of my dear friend Major General M. Imtiaz Ali, Defence Advisor (Minister) in the first cabinet of Benazir Bhutto, who is an unsung hero who very few people know as the real father of the missile programme of Pakistan. But he also played an important role as Military Secretary to Prime Minister Bhutto in doing the right thing in the face of diverse political pressures. Most of what he did will for ever remain outside public gaze but there is one thing of importance that I will reveal now as it concerns Air Commodore M.M.Alam who died on 17 March 2013. Alam was my course mate (6TH JSPCTS) and a life long friend. He is more than an icon; he became a legend in his life time a symbol of fearless valour. He shot down five Indian aircraft in one sortie in less than a minute a world record. If I remember correctly the total number of Indian aircraft he shot down during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War was fourteen (14).

Air Commodore M.M.Alam hailed from East Pakistan. His family migrated from West Bengal in 1947. He would often tell his friends that when travelling from Calcutta to Dhaka, young boys took great pride in overwriting the names of cities on milestones in Urdu. It was taken for granted, he would tell, that Urdu would be the common language of both East and West Pakistan. But then politics came in the way. It was considered prudent by Bengali politicians most of who spoke Urdu at home and could not read or write Bengali, to demand that Bengali be a state language. He was one Bengali who was Pakistani first and was completely at home in West Pakistan among brother officers. He always stressed that it was the need of Bengali Muslims more than West Pakistanis to be accepted as a part of the mainstream. He has since been proved right. Separated from West Pakistan Bangladesh is being Hinduised and is in danger of becoming absorbed by India.

Recognising the foreign enemy is an essential part of crystallising national personality. Some times, recognising the internal enemy is even more important in order to preclude subversion. In East Pakistan, the Hindu minority were the obvious potential fifth column but because of the practice of caste apartheid by them its role was confined and limited. But in West Pakistan that minority was the Qadiani community which had supported the PPP led by Mr Bhutto in 1971 Elections. Upon assumption of office Prime Minister Bhutto had appointed a Qadiani as the Naval and Air Force Chief. General Tikka was the Army Chief but the next senior most General in the Army was a Qadiani. I remember that we often used to joke that the country was one heartbeat away from being taken over by the Qadianis. M.M.Alam had a direct and personal experience of what that meant. There was an attempted coup détat by middle rank officers against Bhutto Administration in 1972. Air Marshal Zafar Chaudhry, the Air Force Chief at the time, felt so threatened by the widely revered, popular and outspoken M.M.Alam that he included his name among those involved in the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case. Alam was arrested and put behind bars in an Air Force cell. There was an outcry in disbelief and Alam had to be released.

I had met M.M.Alam again in Ankara (Turkey) where I was the Principal Staff Officer to General Akhtar Malik in CENTO and he was commanding the first Mirage Squadron which was being ferried from France to Pakistan via Turkey. I had remained in touch with Alam ever since. When he got on the wrong side of the Air Chief he came to see me at my house in Gulistan Colony in Rawalpindi. I went with him to General Imtiaz who was then MS to the Prime Minister. He listened attentively to Alam, asked us to wait in his office and went to see the Prime Minister. He came back after several minutes and asked who would be a good Chief of the Air Force. Alam named Air Commodore Zulfikar who was the senior most but was on leave pending retirement, (LPR). We left not knowing what might be the decision. The next day the news was splashed all over that the Air Marshal Zafar Chaudhry had been relieved and Air Marshal Zulfikar promoted and appointed Air Chief. Clearly, General Imtiaz had tied all the loose ends.

There were four witnesses of that event. Prime Minister Bhutto, General Imtiaz and Air Commodore Alam are all dead. I am the only one alive. If I do not tell the story the truth would never become known. I have to tell this story because M.M.Alam was much more than just brave. He was a true Mujahid who stood up against the internal as well as the external enemy. He never married and his legacy is not children or property. In his later years he was a true Muallim, who never tired of speaking what others are afraid to speak about. Sheikh Mujib was a traitor who was an enemy collaborator as bad as Mir Jaffer of Bengal and Sadiq of Deccan. We secured our freedom from British rule because we called Mir Jaffer and Sadiq as traitors. Bangladesh would get deeper into the clutches of India if its people did not put Sheikh Mujib alongside Mir Jaffer and Sadiq. More important, if Sheikh Mujib continues to be celebrated as a hero and liberator, there will be more of them in Baluchistan, Sindh and elsewhere in Pakistan.

Why doesn’t Government establishes Writ in Karachi

By Saeed Qureshi

How many more dead bodies, the human draculas want to devour in Karachi? Why the government does not restore its write in troubled Karachi? The governments of both Sindh province and the federal are unconcerned spectators to see the bloodletting mayhem going on. The murderous mafias and monstrous gangs have divided Karachi into various zones and maintain their merciless sway on these.

Their operatives freely and daringly loot the banks, grab the land, occupy the houses, trade in narcotics and lethal drugs and force the business community to pay them the demanded sums of money. If they refuse they are kidnapped, tortured and killed.

The people of Karachi have been living through this nerve-shattering situation for a decade or so. The outlaws challenge the government law-enforcement agencies and kill the policemen and intelligence operatives with impunity. Many prominent social activists and public figures engaged in the service of the people have been eliminated. There is a hair-raising escalation in the bloody feuds in Karachi and there seems to be no let up in that savagery.

The latest gruesome murder is that of an academic, Professor Sibte Jaffar ostensibly for sectarian vendetta. The callous assassin refuse to acknowledge that the deceased professor besides being a Shia faithful, was also a human being and had a family to support. Prior to that grisly assassination, the Director of Orangi housing project and a highly dedicated social figure Perveen Rehman was gunned down. Are the sectarian mafias getting too strong as to wrest the control from the police and law enforcement agencies and kill anyone on their own bidding?

The government with its resources and a huge network of police, rangers and army has remained aloof and from its silence one would be tempted to infer that the power wielders and the political parties could also be behind this tattered social peace in Karachi. One of the strident reasons that would deter the people from voting for the PPP and its coalition partners is the governments utter failure to protect the lives of the citizens and save businesses of this country from killers and extortionists.

On daily basis headless or tortured corpses are found in various areas of Karachi. Businesses and industrial activity is grinding to a standstill as a result of the specter of horror let loose on Karachi by the heinous criminals stalking in the length and breadth of Karachi. There is no check on them and no conscious or planned operation has been launched to stem this macabre piling of dead bodies of the human beings.

Elections apart, the most pressing need is to stop the killer gangs and dangerous mafias from killing the people at free will or in mutual fight for controlling their delineated zones in Karachi. Is Karachi a city becoming like Beirut where similar horrendous environment was in vogue for years together? Even in Baghdad, where sectarian bad blood between Sunnis and Shias has been rife for ages, is no match to Karachis worsening spectacle. Karachi is not a war zone like Syrian cities yet life is equally unsafe in this city as in Kabul, Damascus and Aleppo.

Karachi is burning and the social and business life is turning into ashes due to the utter apathy and callous indifference of the authorities. Who else can bridle these raging orgies of human blood and an avalanche of civil war and from turning this largest city into a killing-field? I have no hope. Let us not wait for the elections as that would take a couple of months more and one can only shudder how many precious lives would be lost by that time.

Even elections cannot be held peacefully in such a dangerous and unstable environment as the rival parties could use the goons to either snatch votes, coerce the voters for the candidate of their choice. There could be shooting and gun battles and kidnapping of the voters on the polling stations. Such sinister happenings could jeopardize the pristine objective of fair and free elections.

The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat.

Bangladesh and Pakistan

By Prof. Dr. Sajid Khakwani

Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma (Myanmar) to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. The capital (and largest city) is Dhaka, which is the hub of all cultural, political and religious affairs. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal.

It is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the D-8 and BIMSTEC(Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sector Technical and Economic Cooperation), and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Bangladesh is a unitary state (governed as one single unit ) and parliamentary democracy. Direct elections in which all citizens, aged 18 or over, can vote are held every five years for the unicameral parliament. Currently the parliament has 345 members including 45 reserved seats for women, elected from single-member constituencies. The Prime Minister, as the head of government, forms the cabinet and runs the day-to-day affairs of state. While the Prime Minister is formally appointed by the President, he or she must be an MP who commands the confidence of the majority of parliament. The President is the head of state but mainly a ceremonial post elected by the parliament. The Constitution of Bangladesh was drafted in 1972 and has undergone 14 amendments. The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court. Judges are appointed by the President.

Bangladesh pursues a moderate foreign policy that places heavy reliance on multinational diplomacy, especially at the United Nations. In 1974 Bangladesh joined both the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations and has since been elected to serve two terms on the Security Council in 19781979 and 20002001. In the 1980s, Bangladesh played a lead role in founding the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in order to expand relations with other South Asian states. Since the founding of SAARC 1985, a Bangladeshi has held the post of Secretary General on two occasions.

Bangladesh enjoys relatively warm ties with the People’s Republic of China which has, particularly in the past decade, increased economic cooperation with the South Asian nation. Between 2006 and 2007, trade between the two nations rose by 28.5% and there have been agreements to grant various Bangladeshi commodities tariff-free access to the Chinese market. Cooperation between the Military of Bangladesh and the People’s Liberation Army is also increasing, with joint military agreements signed and Bangladesh procuring Chinese arms which range from small arms to large naval surface combatants such as the Chinese Type 053H1 Missile Frigate.

A major source of tension between Bangladesh and India is the Farakka Dam. In 1975, India constructed a dam on the Ganges River 18 km from the Bangladeshi border. Bangladesh alleges that the dam diverts much needed water from Bangladesh and adds a man-made disaster to the country already plagued by natural disasters. The dam has had terrible ecological consequences. There are so many other sources of tension between the nations. India has voiced concerns about anti-Indian separatists and Islamic militants. The same two factors are bone of content in between Pakistan and India. India has ever disliked country for all the neighboring countries.

Bangladesh is among the countries most prone to natural floods, tornados and cyclones. Also, there is evidence that earthquakes pose a threat to the country. Evidence shows that tectonics have caused rivers to shift course suddenly and dramatically. It has been shown that rainy-season flooding in Bangladesh, on the worlds largest river delta, can push the underlying crust down by as much as 6 centimeters. Bangladesh is now widely recognized to be one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Natural hazards that come from increased rainfall, rising sea levels, and tropical cyclones are expected to increase as climate changes, each seriously affecting agriculture, water & food security, human health and shelter. It is believed that in the coming decades the rising sea level alone will create more than 20 million climate refugees. Bangladeshi water is contaminated with arsenic frequently because of the high arsenic contents in the soil.

Being members of OIC Pakistan & Bangladesh are two brother countries. The people of both of the countries are one nation and have very strong bonds of Muslim brother hood. Pakistan and Bangladesh are part of Sub-Continent; due to this territorial relativity both of the countries have almost same interests to meet and same challenges to face. Especially Pakistan & Bangladesh are not in the good books of India. In several times India has given tuff times to the both of the brother countries and these two countries have very good and ideal relations with China. So with the same interests and same challenges, same enemy and same friend are some of the so many common matters of friend ship between Pakistan and Bangladesh.

3 Indian soldiers injured in fighting with Mujahadeen

Srinagar, MTT News Desk: In Occupied State of Jammu & Kashmir (OSJK), at least three Indian army soldiers are critically injured in a fight with Mujahadeen e Kashmir in Srinagar district.

The Mujahadeen conducted an attack on Indian army in Nowgam area on the outskirts of Srinagar on Thursday morning, officials said.

They said the injured personnel were rushed to the hospital and search operations have been launched against Mujahadeen e Kashmir.

India is occupying OSJK since 66 years through use of its military. The Kashmiri never accepted Indian occupation and since then, struggling for the right of self-determination.

Kashmir is an un-resolved part of dividing Hindustan into India and Pakistan. The people of Kashmir want to join Pakistan while India is trying to force them to become part India using its armed forces.

Hundreds of thousands of innocent Kashmiris are killed by Indian army so far, while 10s of thousands of Kashmiri women were raped by the same Indian army.

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