Saturday, 30 April 2011

Zardari ensures second term!

Zardari ensures second term!

By Aijaz Ahmed

The political landscape of the country is going to be altered soon as the PPP and PML-Q have finally reached a deal with the blessings of the chief of the country’s top spy agency with a Lahore based business tycoon and a top builder of the country being one of the guarantors!

Observers believe that the ‘deal’ will certainly bring political stability in the country, which will ultimately restore the trust of the business and the investors. However, they also believe the deal will make way for change in Punjab’s political landscape as well.

The umpteenth ‘political wonder’ was finalized late Thursday night at presidency where Ch. Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi along with few colleagues had a formal meeting and dinner with President who also happens to be Co-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The new element of the meeting whispered by sources at the Pakistan’s Capital Hill was an inventory list from the Presidency side. Sources are ready to bear all burden of the list that is being revealed and according to them the ISI Chief General Ahmed Shuja Pasha was the strongest witness and a wheeler-dealer of the agreement.

Details of the agreement are the same, which Indus Herald has already revealed with one minor addition that Ch. Pervaiz Elahi will be appointed deputy prime minister and an amendment to this affect will be made accordingly. The top builder of the country and Chief of Bahria Town, Malik Riaz was guarantor from the Presidency side while Lahore based business tycoon Ch. Siddique was present as a guarantor from Q league side, sources added.

Although, the deal in itself is being considered as yet another political achievement of Mr. Zardari even in the worst political situation, the real achievement he secured in the deal is second Presidential term for him. PML-Q has agreed to support his candidature in the next presidential elections at completion of the current term and the move is fully backed by present military leadership including the ISI chief, sources added.

‘The situation in the country needs continuity at top level, and also a person who understands army point of view beside having a backing from Europe and also from a strong US lobby is suitable’, sources say adding that he (Zardari) is the one who refuses to completely bow down to US demands in the present situation and that has created and strengthened mutual trust between the Pak Army and President Zardari. Army wants him to stay for another five years and thus the demand was made part of the agreement at the last minute, and was ensured to be agreed by ISI Chief, sources claimed.

Some of the points included in the deal indicate the reason why UK had interest in the alliance, and thus the efforts made by them have succeeded, sources also observed.

In the second round of the political parlays and to further discuss some minor details of the deal, Ch Shujaat had another meeting with President after Jumma Prayers at the Presidency and this time Faisal Saleh Hayat, a former PPP stalwart and presently Parliamentary leader of the party in National Assembly replaced Pervaiz Elahi to discuss his own grievances and reservations with the president.

Confirming the meeting, Farhat Ullah Babar, the presidential spokesman observed that ‘current political situation of the country was discussed during the meeting. The meeting was held in the context of over all political reconciliation in the country and realignment of political forces. Such meetings will also take place in the future’, he added.

Giving the actual context of the meeting, the sources and the witnesses of the meeting observed that the peer from Jhang, a remote and less developed district between the central and southern Punjab had reservations against his former party colleague for certain personal and other reasons. Both former colleagues and rivals had a warm handshake and held detailed discussion on his reservations. Both were at ease and in friendly mood when the meeting ended sources observed. Mr. Hayat was assured that PPP would not field Begum Abida Hussain against him as a candidate, while he will not pursue his case on rental power and other energy issues in return, sources confided.

Although, both the parties have agreed to enter in a marriage of convenience they still harbor mutual mistrust and have formed committees to keep a vigilant eye on each other.

The way, PPP handled Nawaz Sharif and put him in the political isolation has made the PML-Q think twice and Choudhris could not have blind trust in Mr. Zardari. Thus they insisted to sign a formal agreement on the pattern of charter of democracy (CoD) said a PML-Q leader. The charter will be signed in front of the national media, he added

As obvious, PML-N feels heat from the new alliance, as its government in Punjab may become a casualty. The besieged PML-N in its bid to end the political isolation has embarked on a new game plan. The PML-N just before the deal is being signed rushed to the nationalist political parties of Sindh having strong rivalries with the PPP. The PML-N delegation led by Zulfiqar Khosa, a Sardar from Dera Ghazi Khan had political deliberations with Mumtaz Bhutto, the famous talented cousin of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The younger Bhutto left Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed alone just few days after ZAB was hanged till death by military dictator Zia.

Ever since, BB was martyred at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi, Mumtaz Ali Bhutto is trying to become his political and legal heir. He warmly welcomed Punjab’s leadership and assured full support. ‘We will support every political party struggling to make Pakistan stronger and prosperous’, he observed after the meeting.

Political observers are taking PML-N’s move a desperate attempt to teach a strong lesson to former ally and a partner in the Charter of Democracy in its political strong hold and power base, the Sindh province. However, they are not sure that the move will be taken as a wise and a sharp one by Sindhi voters, as they have already discarded Junior Bhutto many times, they believe.

Pakistan accuses US of 'negative propaganda'

Pakistan accuses US of 'negative propaganda'

The Pakistan Army has accused the United States of waging a campaign of "negative propaganda" over its role in the war on al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

Its claim was made in a military statement criticising comments by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) had maintained a relationship with the Haqqani network – one of the deadliest factions in the Taliban's Afghan insurgency.
During a visit to Pakistan on Wednesday, Admiral Mullen said continuing links between the ISI and the Haqqani network, which attacks Nato troops in Afghanistan from safe havens in North Waziristan, are a cause of "continuing strain" in relations between the two countries.

"Haqqani is supporting, funding, training fighters that are killing Americans and killing coalition partners. And I have a sacred obligation to do all I can to make sure that doesn't happen," he told a television interviewer.
Relations between the two countries deteriorated significantly earlier this year following the arrest of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot dead two men he believed were trying to rob him as he drove his car through a Lahore suburb. There has been disagreement too over an increase in missile attacks in North Waziristan by American Predator drones.

In a statement released by Pakistan's military spokesman, its chief of army staff, General Ashfaq Kayani was quoted rejecting criticism of its commitment to fighting militants.

According to the statement, "the Pakistan army's ongoing operations are a testimony of our national resolve to defeat terrorism. He (Kayani) strongly rejected negative propaganda of Pakistan not doing enough and Pakistanarmy's lack of clarity on the way forward."

Pakistan's Persian Gulf balancing act

Pakistan's Persian Gulf balancing act

BY ARIF RAFIQ, APRIL 28, 2011 Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 9:03 PM Share

As revolutions and counterrevolutions spread across the Middle East, regional heavyweights Iran and Saudi Arabia are troubled by the potential for domestic instability and the survival prospects of their respective allies. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, along the outer perimeter of the greater Middle East, the political class and military-intelligence establishment are comfortably nestled in the verdant foothills of the Himalayas, home to the nation's capital and army headquarters. Despite the seemingly infinite troubles afflicting Pakistan, in the short-to-medium term, political change is only likely to occur within the game of musical chairs among its power elite.

Pakistan's power brokers, however, are watching changes in the Middle East, particularly in the Persian Gulf region, with great interest. For the governing coalition leader, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and its adversary-overlord, the military-intelligence establishment, the Persian Gulf is home to major sources of energy and rent, such as remittances and economic aid, as well as critical diplomatic and military allies.

Turmoil in Bahrain and elsewhere has also inflamed the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. And Pakistan -- a Saudi ally, an Iranian partner, and possessor of one of the region's strongest militaries -- is positioned to exploit Iranian and Saudi concerns about threats to the balance of power by extracting concessions from both energy-rich countries.

Earlier this week, Pakistan's de facto foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, met in Riyadh with Saudi heavyweights, including Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, Interior Minister Naif bin Abdul Aziz, and National Security Council Secretary General Bandar bin Sultan. Riyadh is now courting the PPP, after having shunned it since it came to power in 2008. The Saudi foreign minister pledged to expedite the completion of a GCC-Pakistan free trade agreement, which would aid the fledgling Pakistani economy. Earlier in March, Prince Bandar visited Islamabad, met with Pakistan's civilian and military leadership, and offered the PPP-led government oil on deferred payment. He reportedly secured Pakistani pledges to put two army divisions on standby for deployment to Saudi Arabia. This alleged Pakistani commitment - which is likely much less than reported, but has not been denied by the military -- follows a recruitment drive by the Fauji Foundation, a Pakistani military welfare organization, for hundreds of retired security personnel to serve in the Bahrain National Guard.

Pakistan's military-intelligence establishment has also sought a security pact with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Recent short-term security deals with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia could advance the prospects of such an arrangement. Beginning with the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) in the 1950s and continuing with the Economic Cooperation Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization today, Pakistan has been keen to join regional multilateral organizations to offset the Indian economic and military threat, though these attempts have yielded minimal returns. However, declining Saudi confidence in the ability and willingness of the United States to stand by it could push it further into Pakistani (and Chinese) arms.

Pakistan's increasing alignment with the Saudi-led Sunni bloc has angered Iran. Tehran summoned the Pakistani charge d'affaires to express its unhappiness with the recruitment of retired Pakistani security personnel to serve in Bahrain to quell the revolt. Late last week, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari sent close aide Interior Minister Rehman Malik to Tehran to address Iranian concerns.

While Pakistan's partnership with Saudi Arabia is more robust than its ties with Iran, Islamabad cannot afford to alienate the latter, an increasingly key economic partner. Iran exports electricity to Pakistan -- which currently faces a major energy shortage -- and has provided it with oil on deferred payment. Energy-starved Pakistan also hopes to complete a pipeline importing natural gas (its largest fuel source) from Iran's South Pars field by 2014. Though there are considerable hurdles blocking the completion of an Iran-Pakistan pipeline, Pakistan needs to at least maintain the pretense of an Iranian natural gas option so as to not overleverage itself with the more viable route that crosses over Afghanistan, where the Pakistani military is engaged in a complex fight to muscle its way into the presidential palace. If Pakistan made it clear that its only major natural gas option was the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan pipeline, then the Karzai government and Obama administration could use Pakistani dependency for security along the supply route through Afghanistan to weaken its resolve to support Afghan insurgents.

Tehran and Islamabad have also agreed to work to quadruple bilateral trade to $4 billion by 2016. And the PPP-led government has pushed forward plans to connect Pakistan to Europe through a rail link that will cross Iran into Turkey, an emerging economic powerhouse. Tehran can withhold economic cooperation, but its ability to punish Islamabad is limited. Indeed, Tehran is more likely to match Riyadh's concessions to Islamabad, rather than withhold aid and curb trade. Hit by United Nations-imposed economic sanctions, Iran is keen to export natural gas to Pakistan, giving the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment's considerable maneuverability vis-à-vis security cooperation with the Saudi-led Sunni bloc. Still, the Pakistani military, which is largely agnostic toward partnering with Iran, would benefit from Tehran's endorsement of a political settlement that includes the Taliban, undercutting a potential Iranian-Indian entente over Afghanistan, such as what existed in the 1990s.

For Pakistan to maximally gain from the Saudi-Iranian crisis, it will have to perform a deft balancing act. Islamabad cannot afford a breakdown in relations with Riyadh or Tehran. And if tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia grow, especially in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's eastern al-Sharqiyyah province, pressure on Pakistan to choose between the two powers will also likely increase. Pakistan's optimal risk-reward ratio will come from moderate levels of tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, enough to keep benefits flowing to Pakistan without a high likelihood of having to make a painful choice between the two partnerships.

Arif Rafiq is president of Vizier Consulting, LLC, which provides strategic guidance on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues. He writes at the Pakistan Policy Blog (

Petraeus would helm an increasingly militarized CIA

Petraeus would helm an increasingly militarized CIA

By Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe, Published: April 28

Gen. David H. Petraeus has served as commander in two wars launched by the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. If confirmed as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Petraeus would effectively take command of a third — in Pakistan.

Petraeus’s nomination comes at a time when the CIA functions, more than ever in its history, as an extension of the nation’s lethal military force.
CIA teams operate alongside U.S. special operations forces in conflict zones from Afghanistan to Yemen. The agency has also built up a substantial paramilitary capability of its own. But perhaps most significantly, the agency is in the midst of what amounts to a sustained bombing campaign over Pakistan using unmanned Predator and Reaper drones.

Since Obama took office there have been at least 192 drone missile strikes, killing as many as 1,890 militants, suspected terrorists and civilians. Petraeus is seen as a staunch supporter of the drone campaign, even though it has so far failed to eliminate the al-Qaeda threat or turn the tide of the Afghan war.

But if Petraeus is ideally suited to lead an increasingly militarized CIA, it is less clear whether he will be equally adept at managing the political, analytical and even diplomatic dimensions of the job. His nomination coincides with new strains in the CIA’s relationship with its counterpart in Pakistan, and a chaotic reshuffling of the political landscape in the Middle East. If confirmed, he would be the CIA’s fourth director in seven years.

“I think in a lot of ways Gen. Petraeus is the right guy for the agency given the way in which the operational side of the house has really increased” since the Sept. 11 attacks, said Andrew Exum, a military expert at Center for a New American Security, who has also served as an adviser to Petraeus’s staff. “Having said that, I think where Gen. Petraeus will struggle will be looking at the broader global responsibilities of intelligence.”

For Petraeus, Pakistan is likely to be a particularly nettlesome trouble spot. A series of recent ruptures — including the arrest of a CIA contractor in Pakistan — have undermined cooperation against al-Qaeda and prompted threats by Pakistan to place new limits on drone strikes.

Petraeus has been a frequent visitor in Islamabad with key players, including Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani and intelligence director Ahmed Shuja Pasha. But he has engendered the resentment of Pakistani officials because of his demands that they do more against the Afghan Taliban. Many of them believe he is too transparently ambitious — a criticism that he has at times faced among his peers in the United States.

During an interview late last year in Islamabad, a high-ranking Pakistani intelligence official repeatedly referred to the U.S. commander as “Mr. Petraeus,” refusing to acknowledge his military rank.

“I call him Mr. Petraeus because he’s less of a general and more of a politician,” the official said, alluding to rumors that Petraeus might run for president. The Pakistani official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the interview dealt with sensitive intelligence matters between Pakistan and the United States.
Petraeus seems unlikely to encounter significant opposition from Capitol Hill. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will consider the nomination, signaled support for Petraeus but stopped short of a formal endorsement.

“He is clearly a very accomplished officer and familiar with the parts of the world where many of the threats to our security originate,” Feinstein said in a statement. But being a military commander “is a different role than leading the top civilian intelligence agency,” Feinstein said, adding that she would “look forward to hearing his vision for the CIA.”
Petraeus’s nomination triggered some grumbling among CIA veterans opposed to putting a career military officer in charge of an agency with a long tradition of civilian leadership.

Others voiced concern that Petraeus is too wedded to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — and the troop-heavy, counterinsurgency strategy he designed — to deliver impartial assessments of those wars as head of the CIA.

Indeed, over the past year the CIA has generally presented a more pessimistic view of the war in Afghanistan than Petraeus has while he has pushed for an extended troop buildup.

“The question is, what does [the administration] want the intelligence service to be?” said a former senior CIA officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Are they going to have a civilian intelligence service or is it going to be a giant counterterrorism center?”

Obama administration officials said that Petraeus would retire from the military to take the CIA job. Even so, a U.S. official close to the general said he is likely to view running the agency largely through the prism of his experience as a wartime commander.

The official said Petraeus would likely make frequent visits to CIA stations around the world, and defer to the Director of National Intelligence on Washington-based issues such as budgets and big-ticket technology programs.

Petraeus has spent relatively little time in Washington over the past decade and doesn’t have as much experience with managing budgets or running Washington bureaucracies as CIA predecessors Leon E. Panetta and Michael V. Hayden. But Petraeus has quietly lobbied for the CIA post, drawn in part by the chance for a position that would keep him involved in the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen.

As top commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, Petraeus has relied heavily on CIA and special operations forces to capture and kill mid-level and senior insurgent leaders. But he has insisted that the targeted strikes be a part of a broader and more comprehensive counterinsurgency campaign — putting him at odds with advocates of a more surgical approach, including Vice President Biden.

Petraeus, 58, is intensely organized and has relied on a network of trusted advisers, many with biographies similar to his own, with stints in combat units, graduate school and teaching at West Point. CIA veterans said it would be a mistake for Petraeus to arrive with an entourage. “If you look like you’re coming in to fix us and show us how to do things,” one former official said, “the antibodies start rejecting the transplant.”

Staff writer Walter Pincus contributed to this report.

Will Pakistan erupt like Egypt?

Will Pakistan erupt like Egypt?
By David Ignatius, Published: April 30

Think of Pakistan for a moment as the equivalent of Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt. Both countries have strong militaries and weak civilian governments. Both are nominally America’s partners in the war against al-Qaeda, but both chafe at U.S. pressure. In each nation, the street is buzzing with talk of the nation’s shame and humiliation under American hegemony.

In Egypt, this pressure cooker led to a revolution whose loudest slogan was “dignity.” The same upheaval could spread to Pakistan, and given the strength of Islamic extremism there, it would have devastating consequences. Meanwhile, the relationship between Islamabad and Washington becomes more poisonous by the week.
What’s behind this dysfunctional relationship, and what, if anything, can be done to repair it? Is there a way to encourage greater Pakistani independence and confidence without rupturing ties with the United States?

International affairs are sometimes more like a playground fight than a gathering of diplomats in striped pants. Countries feel “disrespected” in the same way as kids on urban streets; they worry about “losing face,” they sometimes place national honor before pragmatic interests. They talk past each other, as was the case for years between Mubarak and a string of U.S. presidents. And then things blow up, and people wonder why it happened.

Here are four recent snapshots of the miscommunication that is the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. Each suspects the other of bad faith, as these examples show, but the larger picture is one of persistent misunderstanding. Consider:

l Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, went to Washington last month to see CIA Director Leon Panetta and patch up a feud over the arrest of CIA contractor Raymond Davis and U.S. drone attacks. Pasha lost face at home by coming to Washington, but the meeting seemed to go well. The day he left, the U.S. launched a big drone attack in North Waziristan that a Pakistani intelligence official described as an “FU.”

l Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, traveled to Pakistan two weeks ago to try his hand at mending fences. On the way, he stopped in Afghanistan and got a hair-raising briefing about ISI connections with the Haqqani network — a Taliban faction that is America’s main adversary in eastern Afghanistan. During two news conferences, Mullen unloaded on the Pakistanis. The Pakistanis were miffed at being chastised in public.

l Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, the Pakistani army chief of staff, met last year with Richard Holbrooke, the late special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kiyani was carrying an underlined copy of Bob Woodward’s book “Obama’s Wars,” whose revelations included some sharp criticism of Pakistan by top U.S. officials. “Mr. Ambassador, can you tell me how this happened?” demanded Kiyani.

l And then there are the drone attacks: In its frustration with Pakistan, the administration sharply increased its Predator strikes over North Waziristan last year. But a Pakistani military official says that in the 118 drone attacks they counted last year, only one al-Qaeda “high-value target” was killed. Meanwhile, the Pakistani public seethed at what it saw as a violation of sovereignty.

When you ask administration officials about the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, people just shake their heads in exasperation. They see a country beginning to crumble at the seams.

Maybe Pakistan needs a popular revolution, like Egypt’s, where people demand a stronger role in determining their future. But it’s hard to see this working out to the advantage of anyone at this point, except perhaps Osama bin Laden. And it might put Pakistan’s nuclear weapons up for grabs.

One way to bolster Pakistani sovereignty, short of such an uprising, would be for Pakistan to take a stronger role in ending a Taliban insurgency that is driving Washington and Islamabad nuts. A Pakistani intelligence official outlined to me a “framework for negotiations.” The Pakistanis would demand of Taliban groups with which they have contact — and yes, that includes the Haqqani network — that they meet U.S. requirements for a deal by rejecting al-Qaeda, halting fighting and accepting the Afghan constitution.

For Taliban groups that refuse this peace framework, says the Pakistani intelligence official, there will be “military therapy.”

There’s no way of knowing if the Pakistanis could deliver. But by putting them to the test — and granting their role in the region’s future — the United States might at least speak to the national yearning for dignity and independence. This relationship doesn’t need a divorce but maybe a little separation — to break a potentially ruinous cycle of mutual disrespect.

Taliban video to recruit militants

Taliban video to recruit militantsk

India’s subversive activities in Pakistan using Afghan soil

India’s subversive activities in Pakistan using Afghan soil

Asif Haroon Raja

PM Gilani accompanied by Gen Kayani visited Kabul at a time when a visible thaw has occurred in Pak-Afghan relations. Karzai has repeatedly expressed his keenness to remove misgivings and to establish friendly ties with Pakistan since dawn of 2010. He wants Pakistan to play its role in finding an amicable solution to Afghan problem. While agreeing to establish tension-free cordial ties, the visitors gave proofs of Afghan and Indian subversive activities in Balochistan. The hosts were pressed to give an undertaking that in future the Afghan government would not allow Indian interference in Balochistan or any other part of Pakistan. Presence of certain undesirable elements in Afghanistan since the establishment of Northern Alliance heavy regime of Hamid Karzai has been the cause of sour relations between the two neighbors. Afghanistan-Pakistan constructive dialogue is possible only after Afghan rulers make a solemn pledge that it would not allow Afghan soil to be used by India for launching covert operations against Pakistan.

While Pakistan has always vied to maintain cordial and tension free relations with Afghanistan and has never tried to exploit its land lock handicap, successive regimes in Kabul have traditionally treaded hostile path towards Pakistan and have remained inclined towards India. Pakistan’s softness towards Afghanistan has stemmed from commonality of religion and centuries old cultural ties. It was only during the Taliban rule that Pak-Afghan relations were friendly and Indian influence had waned.

Afghanistan is currently in deep trouble since it is an occupied country and ruled by a puppet regime installed by USA. Resistance forces are engaged in Jihad against occupation forces duly supplemented by US trained Afghan National Army which is non-Pashtun heavy. Unlike in 1980s when Pakistan was supporting Afghan Mujahideen to push out occupying Soviet forces, this time Pakistan stands on the side of occupiers and is acting as the conduit to provide logistic support to 152,000 strong ISAF in Afghanistan.

Pakistan position is very dicey since non-Pashtun Afghans have a grudge against Pakistan for having helped Taliban in capturing power in 1996. The Taliban are resentful that Pakistan had ditched them in their hour of crisis and sided with their enemies. The current regime friendly to India strongly suspect that Pakistan is assisting Taliban and hence is hostile to Pakistan. The US-NATO have its own set of grievances against Pakistan because of which it treats Pakistan less as an ally and more as an enemy country. Pakistan is up against massive covert war launched by its adversaries having common objectives against Pakistan. India having no role in war on terror is having the best of everything at the cost of Pakistan.

Faced with multiple challenges, Pakistan is still trying to maintain friendly ties with USA, Afghanistan and India. Since Afghanistan is faced with multiple challenges, Pakistan doesn’t want to add to its woes and is keen to help solve Afghan imbroglio. Stable, friendly and peaceful Afghanistan is in the overall interest of Pakistan. Despite its friendly overtures, Afghan government in the tight grip of USA and India is creating extreme problems for the national security and internal stability of Pakistan. The Indian Embassy in Kabul and string of Pakistan specific Indian consulates are involved in training and launching of terrorists and saboteurs into Pakistan.

India desires that Pakistan should open its land route through Wagah border to Afghanistan for two-way trade so that it could flood Afghanistan’s markets with Indian goods and thus in the name of reconstruction grab Afghan market and resources. The Indians know that they can reach the coveted riches of Central Asia only through the land route passing through Pakistan and Afghanistan since air business is unfeasible. India has been making strenuous efforts to expand its influence in Afghanistan since 2002. Governed by this strategy, it has been siding with Karzai and now when India has established itself firmly in Afghanistan, it has become that much easy for it to carryout subversive activities against Pakistan, particularly when it enjoys complete blessing of USA. The latter has helped India in gaining a foothold in Afghanistan and gradually expanding it.

It is unfortunate that today very few recall the huge sacrifices made by Pakistan in the 1980s when Afghanistan had been forcibly occupied by Soviet forces and none had come forward to contest Soviet aggression. Had Pakistan under Gen Ziaul Haq not put Pakistan’s security at stake and not stood up to Soviet challenge and not given full support to the Mujahideen, Afghanistan would have become a satellite of Soviet Union dancing to the tunes of Moscow. The latter had embarked upon massive Sovietization program to shatter Afghan’s Islamic identity, culture, customs, traditions and historical heritage.

Who doesn’t know the pathetic fate of Muslim Central Asian states which were brutally traumatized and their rich culture and identity demolished by Russia? But for Pakistan’s role, history of the globe would have been different since Soviet Union would not have fragmented. It was because of Pakistan’s principled stand that it had to inherit innumerable problems from which it is suffering to this day. In 1980s, Pakistan faced the brunt of KGB-KHAD-RAW-AlZulfiqar sabotage and subversion for over a decade. Now it is facing CIA-RAW-RAAM-Mossad-MI6 covert war as well as drone war since 2004.

It is an undeniable fact that Karzai regime has offered Afghan soil to anti-Pakistan intelligence agencies to indulge in cross border terrorism against Pakistan. The saboteurs, arms, ammunition, explosives and funds are all being funneled into Pakistan from Afghanistan to aid anti-Pakistan forces in Balochistan and FATA, which are fighting security forces and indulging in acts of terrorism. This inflow is not possible without the active collusion of Afghan government. How is it possible to barge into someone else’s house through your house without your permission?

The security situation of Pakistan has aggravated to such an alarming extent that it is no more possible to tolerate Afghanistan’s collusion in subversive activities in Pakistan. The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan who have suffered the most on account of cross border terrorism from Afghanistan are writhing in agony. They are blaming provincial governments for failing to provide them security and for their docility towards adversaries of Pakistan. Their pent up anger has reached a boiling point which may spin out of control anytime.

It has been seen that despite all our goodwill and cooperative gestures, Karzai regime has continued to maintain a hypocritical attitude because of which our efforts have proved fruitless. It is high time that our rulers should come out of their mode of one-sided appeasement and convey firmly to Karzai regime to stop allowing Afghan soil as a launching pad for India to harm Pakistan. We should also review our Afghan policy without further loss of time. If we continue with our policy of ignoring unconcealed foreign interference particularly in Balochistan, it would embolden Indians to continue with their dual policy of extending a hand of friendship as well as stabbing us in the back.

Who will reshape the Arab world: its people, or the US?

Who will reshape the Arab world: its people, or the US?
Phase one of the Arab spring is over. Phase two – the attempt to crush or contain genuine popular movements – has begun
Tariq Ali, Friday 29 April 2011 21.00 BST
Article history

The patchwork political landscape of the Arab world – the client monarchies, degenerated nationalist dictatorships and the imperial petrol stations known as the Gulf states – was the outcome of an intensive experience of Anglo-French colonialism. This was followed after the second world war by a complex process of imperial transition to the United States. The result was a radical anticolonial Arab nationalism and Zionist expansionism within the wider framework of the cold war.

When the cold war ended Washington took charge of the region, initially through local potentates then through military bases and direct occupation. Democracy never entered the frame, enabling the Israelis to boast that they alone were an oasis of light in the heart of Arab darkness. How has all this been affected by the Arab intifada that began four months ago?

In January, Arab streets resounded to the slogan that united the masses regardless of class or creed: "Al-Sha'b yurid isquat al-nizam!" – "The people want the downfall of the regime!" The images streaming out from Tunis to Cairo, Saana to Bahrain, are of Arab peoples on their feet once again. On 14 January, as chanting crowds converged on the ministry of interior, Tunisia's President Ben Ali and his family fled to Saudi Arabia. On 11 February the national uprising in Egypt toppled the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak as mass rebellion erupted in Libya and the Yemen.

In occupied Iraq, demonstrators protested against the corruption of the Maliki regime and, more recently, against the presence of US troops and bases. Jordan was shaken by nationwide strikes and tribal rebellion. Protests in Bahrain spiralled into calls for the overthrow of the monarchy, an event that scared the neighbouring Saudi kleptocrats and their western patrons, who can't conceive of an Arabia without sultans. Even as I write, the corrupt and brutal Ba'athist outfit in Syria, under siege by its own people, is struggling for its life.

The dual determinants of the uprisings were both economic – with mass unemployment, rising prices, scarcity of essential commodities – and political: cronyism, corruption, repression, torture. Egypt and Saudi Arabia were the crucial pillars of US strategy in the region, as confirmed recently by US vice-president Jo Biden, who stated that he was more concerned about Egypt than Libya. The worry here is Israel; the fear that an out-of-control democratic government might renege on the peace treaty. And Washington has, for the time being, succeeded in rerouting the political process into a carefully orchestrated change, led by Mubarak's defence minister and chief of staff, the latter being particularly close to the Americans.

Most of the regime is still in place. Its key messages are the need for stability and a return to work, putting a stop to the strike wave. Fevered behind-the scenes negotiations between Washington and the Muslim Brotherhood are continuing. A slightly amended old constitution remains in force and the South American model of huge social movements producing new political organisations that triumph at the polls and institute social reforms is far from being replicated in the Arab world, thus not posing any serious challenge, until now, to the economic status quo.

The mass movement remains alert in both Tunisia and Egypt but is short of political instruments that reflect the general will. The first phase is over. The second, that of rolling back the movements, has begun.

The Nato bombing of Libya was an attempt by the west to regain the "democratic" initiative after its dictators were toppled elsewhere. It has made the situation worse. The so-called pre-empting of a massacre has led to the killing of hundreds of soldiers, many of whom were fighting under duress, and permitted the ghastly Muammar Gaddafi to masquerade as an anti-imperialist.

Here one has to say that whatever the final outcome, the Libyan people have lost. The country will either be partitioned into a Gaddafi state and a squalid pro-west protectorate led by selected businessmen, or the west will take out Gaddafi and control the whole of Libya and its huge oil reserves. This display of affection for "democracy" does not extend elsewhere in the region.

In Bahrain, the US green-lighted a Saudi intervention to crush local democrats, enhance religious sectarianism, organise secret trials and sentence protesters to death. Bahrain today is a prison camp, a poisonous mixture of Guantánamo and Saudi Arabia.

In Syria the security apparatus led by the Assad family is killing at will, but without being able to crush the democratic movement. The opposition is not under the control of Islamists: it is a broad coalition that includes every social layer apart from the capitalist class that remains loyal to the regime.

Unlike in other Arab countries, many Syrian intellectuals stayed at home, suffering prison and torture, and secular socialists like Riad Turk and many others are part of the underground leadership in Damascus and Aleppo. Nobody wants western military intervention. They don't want a repeat of Iraq or Libya. The Israelis and the US would prefer Assad to stay as they once did Mubarak, but the dice are still in the air.

In Yemen, the despot has killed hundreds of citizens but the army has split, and Americans and Saudis are trying desperately to stitch together a new coalition (as in Egypt) – but the mass movement is resisting any deals with the incumbent.

The US has to contend with an altered political environment in the Arab world. It is too soon to predict the final outcome, except to say it is not over yet.

Academicians issue White Paper: Karakoram University den of criminals

SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2011
Academicians issue White Paper: Karakoram University den of criminals
Special Report

THE allegations of corruption and serious crime on campus have forced faculty members of the Karakoram International University (KIU) to make their voice public against the corrupt administration finally, saying that the KIU has become center of favoritism, corruption and unlawful activities in Gilgit-Baltistan.

“The Academic Staff Association KIU has issued a White Paper against the corrupt ‘regime’ of KIU, which is hereby attached with the supporting documents,” says Muhammad Shahnawaz, chairman KIU Academic Staff Association (ASA), in an email to The Terrorland group blogs. It also includes a statement and a pile of text and scanned files.

The KIU is the only university for the over 2 million population of Gilgit-Baltistan, a region which has no representation in the Pakistani federation (parliament) and is being ruled by the federal government on ad-hoc basis since 1947.

It says that Vice-Chancellor Dr. Najma Najam has put the KIU's existence in danger as there are “worst examples of favoritism, corruption and unlawful activities” on campus and there is no-one to take action against the accused and her team members.

“After taking over the charge of office, sitting Vice-Chancellor (Dr. Najma Najam) has illegally appointed a gang as Assistant Deans to gain undue support for her activities,” Mr. Shahnawaz said in the statement. “The Voice-Chancellor has completely bulldozed the prescribed procedures by appointing deans on ad-hoc basis since 2009.”

Dr. Najma Najam, who also 'heads' the ISI psychological warfare cell, faces charges of plagiarism besides attack on a female student, Nasira Parveen , with co-accused Dr. Ahsanullah Mir, Assistant Professor Manzoor Ali, Karim Khan, Dr. Salma Durrani, Dr. Muhammad Ramzan and others.

Assistant Professor Manzoor Ali is currently 'plagiarizing' a PhD thesis at the Physics department, Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad besides being 'involved' in the murder of Shila, killing of a father and daughter in Hunza and many more 'honor-related' crimes in Gilgit. Locals allege that Prof. Manzoor Ali is working for the ISI, misusing his social position as president of the Ismaili Regional Council. "He is involved in the first 'blasphemy' case in Gilgit, just see his statement," said a foreign-educated local, requesting not to be named.

"A leader is there to save their people but Manzoor Ali is there to kill innocent people and be a part of the 'ghairat' (honor) brigade of the ISI to get promotion. Shia, Sunni and Ismaili all are Muslims, and they can't even imagine of committing blasphemy in normal conditions. This is a conspracy to Talibanize and polarize our peaceful society," the local added.

"In the guise of teachers, there are also some hardcore criminals, but out of terror no body can say anything to them," said a female student. "They can attack me directly or indirectly and run my life if I said something about on campus harassment in the presence of a female VC."

KIU female students become target of 'ISI agents' on campus
The Terrorland blogs have been exposing the inhuman activities of the ‘criminals on campus’ for over a year. “And now the truth has come out from the horse’s mouth," said a local journalist. "We can’t publish it in our newspaper. But The Terrorland can… and I know like some cheap journalists and media organizations, The Terrorland Team would not take credits with drumbeats!”

“Until the admin and its puppets among the teachers are suspended and FIRs are registered against them, the reputation of the university couldn’t be restored,” said a KIU staffer on condition of anonymity. “These people are actually agents of intelligence agencies who are playing with the lives of students, unfortunately, female students are their special target.”

While talking about Nasira’s case, the staffer said: “Everybody knows it was a big, big conspiracy against Habib (Sulemani) and people know how the agencies hire boys to make scandals about female family members of potential rivals. The criminals on campus have put the future of our nation in jeopardy.”

The university management issued appointment letters to their near-and-dear-ones not to the candidates who were recommended by members of the selection board. The statement said Rs. 5 million firewood allowance was allocated for the year 2010-2011, however, it was not fully granted to the staff.

The KIU Treasury was being run on ad-hoc basis for last four years and there are huge financial irregularities as the Vice-Chancellor and her powerful gang is misusing the Pakistani and foreign government funds. It said all tenders and contracts had been given to their relatives and favorite people as a part of the ‘collaborated’ corruption.

VC Dr. Najma Najam with 'gang' members Registrar
Dr. Ahsanullah Mir and Assistant Professor Manzoor Ali
The statement said that science laboratories, despite being well-equipped, were not functional. “The present regime of the university totally ignores the rules of HEC and also set aside the previous Syndicate’s approval regarding leave for higher studies.”

"Closing of GARNET (Gems Cutting laboratory) is illegal," the statement said.

“Gilgit-Baltistan is famous for gems and closing of this lab shows that the KIU admin is enemy of education and the people. The VC, Registrar and others must be removed as soon as possible,” a man dealing in precious stones remarked.

The anxiety among the students, academic staff, parents and in the corridors of power is increasing day by day... “No mater what happens, no one can remove Dr. Najma or Dr. Ahsan from the posts of VC and Registrar. They're the most influential people in the region,” said an official. "

Shahid Gilgiti contributed to this report. Images via Google. If anyone has to clarify a point feel free to write us.—The Terrorland Team

US to use Afghanistan as base of drone attacks in Pakistan PTI | Apr 30, 2011, 03.47pm IST

US to use Afghanistan as base of drone attacks in Pakistan
PTI | Apr 30, 2011, 03.47pm IST

WASHINGTON: US is shifting its terror-killer drones from Pakistan to Afghanistan after Islamabad asked it to shut down UAV bases on its territory, but America has vowed to continue hitting militants based in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Pakistan has asked CIA to remove its personnel from the Shamsi airbase, about 350 km southwest of Baluchistan's capital Quetta, where some of the drones are based, 'New York Times' reported quoting senior American officials.

"The withdrawal has not occurred but is expected soon," the official said adding that the drone attacks would then be flown out of Afghanistan where some of them are already based.

But even after shifting, the Predators and Reapers, top US military commander, Admiral Mike Mullen, in a private meeting in Islamabad last week told Pakistan's powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that CIA would not reduce the drone strikes until Pakistan launched a military operation against the Haqqani network in North Waziristan.

As tensions mount between the two nations, 'The Times' said the appointment of General David H Petraeus as America's top spy chief could further inflame relations as Pakistan military does not regard him as a "friend".

The usually secretive Kayani, has made little secret of his distaste for Petraeus, calling him a political general.

Petraeus has privately expressed outrage at what American officials say is the Pakistani main spy agency's most blatant support yet for fighters based in Pakistan who are carrying out attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.

Repairing the frayed ties between the CIA and Pakistan's military-run agency, ISI, will be difficult, American officials say.

"In its current form, the relationship is almost unworkable," said Dennis C Blair, a former American director of national intelligence. "There has to be a major restructuring. The ISI jams the CIA all it wants and pays no penalties."

Terrorists safe havens in Pak a challenge: Pentagon

Terrorists safe havens in Pak a challenge: Pentagon

WASHINGTON: Continued presence of terrorist safe havens and role of certain "actors" in Pakistanremains a challenge in the war against terror, a US defence official has said.

"The concern about the role of safe havens in Pakistan and the role of actors in Pakistan, including the Haqqani Network, the Afghan Taliban who are located primarily, the leadership is located either in the south or in the north around Peshawar, that remains a significant challenge," a senior defense official said at a Pentagon briefing.

Pentagon has sent its six-monthly report to the Congress on progress made in Afghanistan, the official said, adding that the United States is looking for continued and increased cooperation with the Pakistanis on the border.

"As we've seen it some areas; other areas we've seen it doing very well in some areas; other areas it's gotten better; other areas we're seeking much more improvement. That's something that we continue to look at very closely. It's certainly an area of strategic risk," the official said.

"At the same time, given the progress that we've made in areas that we've put our effort into over the last 18 months ... are we through that success on the ground able to mitigate that?"

One of the keys is the fact that some of the people who are coming in to reintegrate were in Pakistan before, the official said adding that there was a recent ceremony in Kandahar where a group of about 40 or 50 Taliban fighters appear to have come in and reintegrated.

"So as we see more and more of the numbers are still small, but the numbers appear to be increasing, and that's the kind of thing that can mitigate against a risk of those existing safe havens. But it's still going to be a huge challenge."

In its report on 'Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan' submitted to the Congress, the Pentagon said there are significant hurdles to reaching the vision of pursuing a long-term US-Pakistani strategic partnership based on a foundation of "mutual interest, mutual respect, and mutual trust guides a whole-of-government, civilian-military effort."

"The history of US-Pakistani relations is fraught with negative perceptions on both sides, leading many in both countries to see the others' pursuit of strategic objectives as being driven by transitory national security interests," the report said.

Islamabad talks urge efforts for greater cooperation

Islamabad talks urge efforts for greater cooperation

* AJK prime minister urges to keep channels of communication open between the India and Pakistan

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: High level policy makers from India and Pakistan welcomed the resumption of a dialogue between India and Pakistan at all levels and urged both governments to follow up the spirit of cooperation and friendship demonstrated at Mohali with innovative, bold and actionable confidence building measures (CBMs) between the two countries.

A delegation comprising of senior Indian diplomats, legislators, journalists, reporters and academics discussed a range of issues with prominent Pakistani opinion leaders, ranging from bilateral dialogue, Kashmir issue, terrorism and the role of the media in Indo-Pak relations at The Islamabad Dialogue, organised by the Jinnah Institute from April 28 to April 29. The conference was part of Jinnah Institute’s leading initiative on peace building through Track II diplomacy between India and Pakistan. Jinnah Institute partnered with Delhi based think tank Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR) for the Islamabad Dialogue.

Jinnah Institute President, Sherry Rehman, highlighted the gains made through the track II dialogue process between India and Pakistan and urged more frequent interactions between members of civil society at the track II level so that they can continue to feed into and inform the official bilateral dialogue.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, observed that the unresolved Kashmir issue is a constant hurdle in the establishment and continuation of good relations between India and Pakistan. He urged participants to keep channels of communication open at all levels since dialogue was the only tested means of conflict resolution. Kashmiri delegates called for an end to human rights violations in AJK.

Baijayant Panda, member of the Indian Lok Sabha, said that the lack of peace in South Asia and the strained relationship between India and Pakistan has stymied economic growth in the region. He said that improving trade relations will help normalise the overall relationship between India and Pakistan. Aziz Khan and Humayun Khan both agreed that the peace process should proceed in increments, but remain uninterrupted. Salman Haider and General Durrani said that Kashmir is central to the peace process and needs an inclusive dialogue involving all stakeholders in both parts of Kashmir.

The participants strongly condemned terrorism in South Asia. Pakistani participants agreed that terrorism posed a serious challenge to the country. Teesta Setalvad, a renowned human rights lawyer from Mumbai, noted with concerns the rise of extremism in India.

Center for Dialogue and Reconciliation Executive Director, Sushobha Barve, emphasised the need for continued engagement between civil society in India and Pakistan through track II and III dialogues. Riaz Khokhar and Mosharraf Zaidi noted with concern the shrinking constituencies for peace amongst young people in India and Pakistan. They flagged this as a potential threat to peaceful relations in the future and urged both countries to work towards curbing this negative trend.

Nasim Zehra, veteran journalist and the Hindu Strategic Affairs Editor Siddharth Vardarajan, chaired a panel on the role of the media in the Indo-Pak conflict. The participants stressed the need for professionalism and responsibility in their reportage on Indo-Pak affairs. The News Editor, Muhammad Maalick, urged the opening of the Indian airwaves to Pakistani media and news channels to provide an appropriate counter-narrative.

Pakistan-India ties: To break the ice, demilitarise Kashmir, by Umer Nangiana

Pakistan-India ties: To break the ice, demilitarise Kashmir
By Umer Nangiana

Parliamentarians, mediapersons, bureaucrats, academia, former diplomats and peace activists from India and Pakistan have emphasised on measures to ensure uninterrupted talks, demilitarisation of Kashmir and no-war pact between the two nuclear states of the South Asian Subcontinnet.

They discussed promotion of regional cooperation and host of other contetious issues at a two-day ‘Islamabad Dialogue’, organised by two non-government organisations – the Jinnah Institute and the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, New Dehli – to welcome dialogue between India and Pakistan.

Welcoming the recent agreements on granting Most Favored Nation status for India and the removal of non-tariff barriers for Pakistan, the participants suggested that “a liberalised bilateral trade regime was of urgent importance and must be pursued vigorously”.

They agreed that terrorism should not be used as an instrument of policy. Sectarian and communal bias in the functioning of the agencies and institutions of the state were unacceptable and must be discouraged. They also stressed the need for an increased interaction between judges, members of bar councils and investigation agencies of the two countries. Media should maintain professional standards when reporting on bilateral issues.

They also called for giving highest priority to human rights in Kashmir. New Delhi and Islamabad should facilitate a dialogue between representatives from all parts of Jammu and Kashmir reflecting all shades of political opinion as part of an inclusive peace process. Former Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Haider and former ISI chief Gen (retd) Asad Durrani said that Kashmir is central to the peace process and needs an inclusive dialogue involving all stakeholders in both parts of Kashmir.
Jinnah Institute president, MNA Sherry Rehman highlighted the gains made through the Track II dialogue process between India and Pakistan and urged more frequent interactions between members of civil society.

Baijayant Panda, a member of the Indian Lok Sabha, said that lack of peace in South Asia and the strained relationship between India and Pakistan has stymied economic growth in the region.

Aziz Khan and Humayun Khan agreed that the peace process should proceed in increments, but remain uninterrupted.

Participants condemned terrorism in South Asia. Pakistani participants agreed that terrorism posed a serious challenge to the country. Teesta Setalvad, a renowned human rights lawyer from Mumbai, noted with concern, the rise of extremism in India.
Former secretary foreign affairs Riaz Khokhar and columnist Mosharraf Zaidi, noted with concern, the shrinking constituencies for peace among young people in both the countries. They flagged this as a potential threat to peaceful relations in the future and urged both countries to work towards curbing this negative trend.

The dialogue concluded with a joint resolution, proposing measures including consideration of a no-war pact, a peace treaty between the two countries and the renunciation of the use of violence, in any form, by either country.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2011.

India helping other nations in conducting polls: U.S. official

India helping other nations in conducting polls: U.S. official

Lauding Election Commission of India, a top U.S. official has highlighted that India is now using its expertise and excellence to help conduct polls in other parts of the globe.

“With India we have sought to highlight its excellence in administering elections,” Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, said in a speech.

India, she said, mobilises thousands of civil servants to help administer its domestic elections for over 730 million voters.

“The Indians are now sharing their expertise with other nations like Nigeria, where the electorate just went to the polls in a historic Presidential election that saw significant improvements over 2007 elections despite incidents of violence,” Otero said.

“India also just sent experts to Egypt, whom we hope will have its first successful free election soon,” she said, adding that South Africa has a similarly impressive history of breaking the yoke of apartheid and establishing a strong democracy in Africa.

Early this year, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a telephonic conversation with External Affairs Minister, sought India’s expertise in conducting free and fair elections in Egypt.

India has sent quite a number of electronic voting machines to Egypt.

Reap the democratic dividend in Kashmir

Reap the democratic dividend in Kashmir
From ANI

New Delhi, Apr 30: Despite vocal calls by various militant groups and separatist Kashmiri leaders, the first four phases of polling in the local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed a voter turnout of nearly 80 percent.

Defying all expectations, almost 90 percent of the electorate turned up for voting in the separatist stronghold district of Kupwara during the first round of polling. The elections have, by and large, been peaceful.

This seems to be a significant turnaround after the violent protests last summer which brought the urban areas of Kashmir Valley to a standstill. Those protests were then portrayed by many commentators as an indictment of the Indian "occupation" of Kashmir.

To understand the significance of these voting figures, consider this fact. Very few Sarpanch and Panch constituencies in Kashmir Valley actually went to the poll during the last Panchayat elections in 2001. Polling took place in 208 out of 2348 constituencies in Baramulla, 152 out of 1695 constituencies in Kupwara and 53 out of 759 constituencies in Srinagar.

No poll was held in any of the 1022 constituencies of Badgam. The terrorist violence was at its peak in the state at that time, and the calls given by the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Hurriyat Conference, invoked enough fear in the minds of the candidates and the electorate to keep them away from the polls.

This turnaround, from 2001 to 2011, is a direct consequence of the decline in militancy in Kashmir. While militancy, which was essentially rural in nature, has been effectively pacified by the security forces, this has led to a change in tactics by the separatists.

Since 2008, the separatists have shifted their focus to protests, shutdowns and demonstrations --- often involving organised stone-pelting against the security forces --- in the urban areas of Kashmir Valley. The urban bias of the media coverage, both national and international, has resulted in presenting a rather lopsided picture of the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

Many Indian commentators welcome the high participation of Kashmiris in the local polls as a vindication of Indian democracy and a proof of Kashmiris' disposition to be a part of the Indian Republic --- a de facto referendum in India's favour.

In contrast, most Kashmiri commentators, including the mainstream political leadership of the state, are guarded and often opposed to openly making any such proclamations. In fact, their stock answer is to dissociate these elections from the larger "Kashmir problem".

This somewhat unconvincing but partially true explanation is driven by two fears. Firstly, if the mainstream political leadership of the state claims victory after the high polling percentage in initial rounds, it may lead to a concerted blowback from the separatists and militants to derail the future rounds of polls.

It is indeed prudent to make any claims after all the phases of elections conclude successfully in June.

The second, and the more damaging apprehension, is based on the experience in the aftermath of successful assembly and parliamentary polls of 2008 and 2009 respectively.

After more than 60 percent voters participated in those elections, the Indian State claimed that all was well in Kashmir and sat on its haunches. No political or economic steps were initiated by the Centre to build upon the hope generated by those elections. Many people fear the same complacency from the Centre again, if these elections are universally acclaimed to be a sign of a normal Kashmir.

Notwithstanding the above, all elections are inherently political in nature. These Panchayat elections have reinvigorated the political process at the grass root level in the state. It is not a secret that despite its public stance, the Jamaat- e- Islami is contesting these elections in a big way.

Even if it is conceded that people have not explicitly voted in favour of India by turning out in such vast numbers, by defying the unequivocal call of the separatists for poll boycott, they have certainly raised serious questions against those who claim to be the real representatives of the Kashmiris.

These elections vindicate the findings of the Freedom House-UNHCR's Freedom Index for 2010 where Kashmir was rated higher on both Political Rights and Civil Liberties than Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and even Pakistan. PoK was in fact rated as "Not Free" by the Freedom House.

These elections provide an opportunity for India to educate the many international experts who tend to take the name "Azad Kashmir" (The Free Kashmir) for PoK rather literally, while pillorying India for its policies in Kashmir.

Successful Panchayat elections are not an end in themselves. However they do provide an opportunity for Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to regain his political and administrative credibility, which stands diminished in the last two years.

The challenge for Mr. Abdullah is to build upon this success, devolve greater financial and administrative powers to these local bodies, politically engage the newly elected leaders, and closely involve these new stakeholders in governance.

The release of an additional grant of nearly Rs 1000 crore, held back by the Centre due to absence of elected local bodies, will provide the state government with greater resources and flexibility to deploy these resources via these newly-elected local bodies.

It is nobody's claim that successful Panchayat elections will solve the Kashmir problem. But, if followed up with bold political steps and imaginative administrative measures, these elections can provide a platform for what an average Kashmiri needs during the summer of 2011: peace, security and normalcy --- and a chance to lead a regular socio-economic life.

Attn: News Editors/News Desks: Sushant K. Singh heads the National Security programme at the Takshashila Institution and is editor of Pragati - The Indian National Interest Review. By Sushant K. Singh

Now Geelani opposes stone pelting, says it achieved nothing

Now Geelani opposes stone pelting, says it achieved nothing

Srinagar, April 30 (IANS) Hardline senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has appealed to the youth not to pelt stones at security forces in Kashmir as the octogenarian leader realized "the failure of stone pelting to achieve any results".

Addressing a gathering in north Kashmir Bandipora town Friday, Geelani said: "Religious debate about the relevance of stone pelting notwithstanding, we have realized stone pelting yielded no contribution to the freedom struggle last year.

"Instead, we lost 118 youth in last year's unrest."

Geelani said since no contribution was made towards the cause of freedom through stone pelting, youth should not hurl stones at the security forces or security bunkers here.

He also condemned the death of a local driver in a hospital here Thursday after being injured in a stone pelting incident in north Kashmir Baramulla town.

The driver was caught unawares when youth were pelting stones at security forces in Baramulla town.

Police here confirmed he had been injured because of the stone pelters.

Baramulla has been a hotbed of separatist sentiment in north Kashmir.

The youth of the town, especially those living in the old town there, have earned an unenviable reputation for indulging in stone pelting on flimsy grounds.

Police and other security forces have been trying to address the alienation of the town's youth by organizing sports events, interactive sessions, debates, tours etc.

The state government, headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, has asked the centre to depute an additional 70 companies of paramilitary forces comprising 7,000 men to the state.

The step is seen as part of the state government's concern to ensure peaceful holding of this year's Amarnath Yatra and also address apprehensions that stone pelting might erupt again this summer.

Kashmir has not seen a peaceful summer since 2008.

There was the Amarnath shrine land row agitation in 2008, Shopian alleged double murder and rape agitation in 2009 and the bloody summer unrest in 2010 in which 110 youth died in clashes between unruly mobs and the security forces.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Kashmiri protest against Pakistani Kashmir policy

Kashmiri protest against Pakistani Kashmir policy
Dr Shabir Choudhry 29 April 2011

Kashmiri thinking and actions are changing. For past many decades they were brainwashed to protest only against India; now this is fast changing and true sons of Jammu and Kashmir do not shy away to criticise and protest against wrong policies of Pakistan.

On 28 April 2011, different Kashmiri parties protested outside Pakistani High Commission in London against Pakistan’s wrong Kashmir policy and fraudulent occupation of Gilgit Baltistan. Pakistani governments fooled people for too long by claiming that they took control of Gilgit Baltistan as a result of the Karachi Agreement which was allegedly signed by President of Azad Kashmir and Minister of Pakistan Mushtaq Gurmani on 28 April 1949.

Later on President of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Ibrahim Khan, more than once, revealed that he never signed any agreement regarding Gilgit Baltistan. What this means is that Pakistani presence in Gilgit Baltistan is illegal and is based on fraud and lies; hence all subsequent actions are null and void.

People of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan have started a campaign against the Pakistani occupation and their illegal presence in that region. Protest marches and seminars have been held in various parts of the world, including Pakistan, Gilgit Baltistan, England and Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

The London protest was arranged by JKNIA, which was also attended by KNP and UKPNP. However, icing on the cake was participation of some liberal minded and peace loving Pakistanis, who believe people of Jammu and Kashmir have right to live with respect and dignity and decide their future without any fear and intimidation.

Among the Pakistani protestors was Imtiaz Ul Maqsood, President of Friends of Kashmir National Party, who said: ‘As a Pakistani I love my country and Kashmiri people should also have right to love their country. I would like Kashmir to join Pakistan, but that decision must be taken by the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and if they want to live as an independent country I will respect their decision.’

He further said, ‘It is very difficult to find time in London on a working day for a demonstration, yet I am here to express my solidarity with oppressed and forcibly divided people of Jammu and Kashmir. I had to leave many important tasks related to my work, bought my own ticket and came here to give this message to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that we care for you. We will support you even if you don’t want to join Pakistan; and demand government of Pakistan to respect fundamental rights of all Kashmiris living in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.’

Another Pakistani Ejaz Pracha, Secretary General of Friends of KNP said: I am a peace loving person and want to see peace and stability not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in Pakistan and entire South Asia. We cannot have peace if we still promote violence and do not resolve all disputes by a process of dialogue.’

He further said, ‘I am from Khyber Pahktoon Khawa province, as a result of violence and extremism I have witnessed death and destruction in my province and in other parts of Pakistan. As a student of history I know disputes could not be resolved by promoting violence and by use of guns’.

He said, ‘When governments commit human rights abuses and oppress innocent people, all civilised citizens must speak out to protest against these actions. I believe when wrongs were done to the people of East Pakistan, if people of West Pakistan had, at that time, spoken out against that then it was possible that East Pakistan might have been still part of Pakistan. I have learnt that people are denied of their fundamental rights in Gilgit Baltistan and in Azad Kashmir, but situation is worse in Balochistan and we all have to speak out against the situation there.’

Noman Khan, a student from Khyber Pahktoon Khawa province said, ‘History we were taught in Pakistani schools told us that Gilgit Baltistan was part of Pakistan; and now after associating myself with Friends of KNP I learnt that these areas are part of State of Jammu and Kashmir. I love my country and people of Kashmir have right to love their country and I support them in their struggle.’

Those protesting outside the Pakistani High Commission on this occasion shouted various slogans. I told Kashmiri people not to shout derogatory slogans as we do not intend to insult the Pakistani nation, and annoy ordinary Pakistanis who have no control over the Kashmir policy of the Pakistani elite.

One Kashmiri nationalist was going to shout a known derogatory slogan: Kashmir ki azadi kay do shaitan – eik India dosra Pakistan, meaning two devils have encroached our independence – one is India other is Pakistan; I immediately stopped him by saying that we need to win minds and hearts of those who occupy us and this kind of language will not help us.

Thankfully, this Kashmiri leader listened and refrained from shouting this slogan; however people shouted other pro Kashmir and pro independence slogans. Someone suggested that we should also shout slogans against India. Another person said, but this protest is against Pakistani policies on Kashmir, especially in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, so why shout against India; and he looked towards me for support.

I said, India is also occupying our land and people are struggling and suffering there, so if people want to shout slogans against India they have every right to do that. So people started shouting ‘India and Pakistan out of our Kashmir’ and ‘Foreign forces out of Kashmir’.

It was a good show, especially when we consider that it was a working day. I was happy to see some of my old colleagues Mohammed Younis Trayabi, Mohammed Asim, Sadeeq Mirza, Najib Afsar, Mehmood Kashmiri and others. Abbas Butt and Usman Kayani among others ensured that people did not use foul language and there were no other problems.

However, it was sad to note that the Pakistani media in London totally boycott this protest. They are very keen to cover protests taking place outside the Indian High Commission, even when turn out is less than 20. They even provide wide coverage to protests against Pakistan arranged by Pakistani parties, but they have no interest to project grievances of people of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. No wonder Kashmiri and Pakistani parliamentarians do not want to say anything that could annoy the Pakistani establishment, hence no media coverage.

Cynthia Chandran on behalf of ANI and Nawaz Majid on behalf of Daily Kashmir Express and another non Kashmiri journalist covered the protest and helped us to promote our cause. The Pakistani media, perhaps, does not know that the modern technology has empowered people to send their message across the thousands of people via email, twitter, texts and Face - book debates. Their action of the Pakistani media has not created any goodwill, if anything; it has sent a negative message.

I salute all those who came out to protest against injustice and oppression. They also had other commitments but they thought it was their jihad to speak truth and expose wrongs perpetrated in name of religion and brotherhood. Their action is better than those who are sitting on the fence and fear of losing rewards and protocol from Pakistani establishment.
Writer is Head Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir
View my blog and web:

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

We will protest against Pakistani injustice, Dr Shabir Choudhry

We will protest against Pakistani injustice, Dr Shabir Choudhry
London 26 April 2011

Kashmir National Party leader Dr Shabir Choudhry said 28 April is an important date in modern history of Kashmir, as it was on this date Pakistani government illegally usurped areas of Gilgit Baltistan.

KNP leaders said Pakistani authorities have hitherto fooled people of Jammu and Kashmir, including people of Gilgi Baltistan that they took charge of these areas after an agreement with Azad Kashmiri President Sardar Ibrahim Khan.

However, Sardar Ibrahim Khan more than once exposed this lie that he did not sign any contract or deal with the Pakistani authorities with regard to future of Gilgit Baltistan, hence Pakistani occupation of these areas is illegal and against the expressed wishes of the local people.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said Kashmir National Party will take part in the demonstration outside Pakistani High Commission in London to protest against injustice and exploitation of Pakistan. This demonstration is organised by Kashmir National Independence Alliance.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said we will support this action of KNIA even though we are not part of this Alliance. He said we support our brothers who are fighting for their rights on the Indian side of the divide, but our struggle is on the Pakistani side of the LOC; and we expect our brothers on that side to understand that we are also occupied and they should express their solidarity with us.

Mr Imtiaz Ul Maqsood, President of Friends of Kashmir National Party said, ‘I will also join the protest to show solidarity with people of Jammu and Kashmir. People of Jammu and Kashmir, including people of Gilgit Baltistan should be treated with dignity and respect; and they must be given unfettered right of self determination to determine their own future.’

Imtiaz Ul Maqsood said, ‘People of Pakistan are increasingly becoming aware of Pakistani policy on Kashmir, and wish to see peace and stability in South Asia which can only come about if the Kashmir dispute is resolved according to wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.’ He said he and his Pakistani friends will take part in this protest to show that we care for them. He said we cannot turn clock of history back apart from expressing remorse on wrong doings of Pakistan, but in future we will stand with our Kashmiri brothers and assure them that our support is unconditional.

Details of demonstration are as follows:
Time: 12 – 2pm
Date: 28 April 2011
Venue: 34 -36 Lowndes Sq, London, SW1X 9JN

Issued by Dr Shabir Choudhry
Tel. 07790942471 Email:

Saturday, 23 April 2011

UN Resolutions and an Independent Kashmir

UN Resolutions and an Independent Kashmir
Dr Shabir Choudhry

From my PhD research which will be published soon.

It should be noted that the UN Resolution of 21 April 1948, stated that it was for 'The people of Kashmir to decide in a fair and impartial plebiscite if they want to accede to India or Pakistan'. In other words the people of Kashmir had only two options available to them whether to join India or Pakistan, the option of independence was not offered to them. This is largely because the ‘The Jammu and Kashmir Question’ or ‘India and Pakistan Question’, as it was later called, was represented by the officials of India and Pakistan. Officials of both countries presented the case as it suited their national interest with little or no care for the people of Kashmir.

But when the Commission reached the Sub Continent and had the opportunity to meet the Kashmiri people, even though the officials of the both countries all the time shadowed them, they opened the door for an independent Kashmir.

Whereas the Resolution of 21 April 1948, stated that the people of Kashmir could only accede to India or Pakistan, the Resolution of 13th August 1948 said that the "future status of the state shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people...."

The phrase "future status" could mean the following:
1. Accession of the State to India;
2. Accession to Pakistan or
3. An independent Kashmir.

Fearing the possibility of an independent Kashmir, The Pakistan Foreign Office, in a letter to the Security Council, enquired if the words 'future status' could mean an independent Kashmir. The reply was that the Kashmiri people could have an independent Kashmir if that was the majority decision. After receiving this reply, the Pakistan government decided to suggest an amendment to this resolution. It was unfortunate that the Pakistan government in its letter to General A. G. L. McNaughton, President of the Security Council, dated 28 December 1948, wrote to propose a change in this clause:

Paragraph 1 (A) reads,

For the words "the future status of State of Jammu and Kashmir" substitute the following:

"The question of the accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan. 20

As a result of this request the next resolution which was passed on 5 January 1949, read like this:

'The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite'.

Despite this important change in the Resolution, General A. G. L. McNaughton after intensive interaction between the both governments, in his report in December 1949, still proposed the following:

"To determine the future of Jammu and Kashmir by the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, to take place as soon as possible". 21

Pakistan once again wrote him a letter and asked for a change that was made in the Resolution of 5 January 1949. What this meant was that the government of Pakistan, in principle, was prepared to accept the whole of the State going to India in the event of the plebiscite going against Pakistan; but was not prepared to accept the State of Jammu and Kashmir becoming an independent if the people voted in favour of this option.

It must be noted that under the Security Council Resolution, Pakistan had to withdraw all of her troops from the State, and India only had to withdraw 'bulk' of her troops. This could mean that India could have had 49% of her troops present in Kashmir and with Sheikh Abdullah at the helm of political affairs the result of the plebiscite could well have gone in India’s favour.

Even those writers who are regarded as pro Pakistan seem to agree that if the proposed plebiscite had taken place while the Indian troops, whatever their number, were present and Sheikh Abdullah was in charge of the Kashmiri administration the outcome of the Plebiscite would have gone against Pakistan. Sheikh Abdullah was the most popular leader and the atrocities committed by the Tribesmen sponsored by Pakistan were still fresh in peoples mind. Perhaps Pakistan, realising this eventuality, was not too keen in pulling out her troops from Kashmir.

But it is demoralising and disappointing to note that Pakistan too was interested in territorial gains and was not really concerned about the welfare of the people or the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. Had welfare of the Kashmiri people and principle of self determination being Pakistan's first priority, then perhaps the government would have acted differently and:

1. Would not have changed the title of the case from 'The Jammu and Kashmir Question' to 'India and Pakistan question';

2. Would not have limited the choice of the Kashmiri people to accession to India or Pakistan.

Pakistan's policy regarding Kashmir still has not changed. Pakistani government officials talk about human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir, and rightly so because India is guilty of human rights violations, but what about the rights of the people living in Gilgit Baltistan?

These people oppressed and deprived of fundamental human rights. They don't have even those limited rights enjoyed by people in Azad Kashmir. If the Pakistan government is sincere with the right of self determination of the Kashmiri people, then she should not be imposing any restrictions on them by saying that they cannot remain independent. Time and again they very openly opposed the idea of an independent Kashmir.

Pakistan pay lip service to Kashmiri people's right to self determination, and yet gives them only a limited choice of either joining Pakistan or India. This in practice means only one choice - accession to Pakistan, as the majority of the Kashmiris have rejected India's claim on Kashmir and openly declared their unwillingness to join India.

The point is that the Kashmiri people's right to determine their own future must not be circumscribed or limited. For whatever reason, if Kashmir has to accede to Pakistan, the decision must be voluntarily made by the people, not imposed on them.

Under the terms of the Resolution of 13th August 1948, the cease- fire became effective on the 1st January 1949. On 5th January 1949, the second Resolution was passed which was supplementary to the Commission's resolutions passed on the 13th August 1948.

In the view of many writers and commentators, the nature of Kashmir dispute changed with the passage of this Resolution. From then onwards it was no longer a question of right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people; rather the Kashmiri people, according to the Resolution, would be given a limited choice to decide if they wanted to become Indian or Pakistani; thus implying that it was a territorial dispute between the two countries, not a right of self determination as acknowledged in the UN Charter. 22

Writer is Head Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir

View my blog and web:

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Kashmir And The Partition of India

Kashmir And The Partition of India
The politicians and the personalities involved in the partition of India, and legal position of Jammu and Kashmir State on 15th August 1947
VDM Verag Dr. Müller (2011-04-20)

Book language:

The work also looks at the partition of India in detail. Special attention was given to the role of Mountbatten – his appointment, his power and influence in deciding the most delicate matters. His personal friendship with Nehru and his dislike of Jinnah had an important effect on the whole process of partition. There were other important and influential personalities like Gandhi, Patel, V.P. Menon and Edwina Mountbatten, who had close contacts with, and influence over Mountbatten and Nehru. Another controversial area worthy of detailed analysis was the Radcliffe Award, the delay in its announcement and its effect upon the cost of independence to the people of the Indian Sub- Continent.
Despite detailed research, logical discussion and an analytical approach, there still remain some grey areas and a number of uncertainties. It would be erroneous to claim that my research has discovered the whole truth regarding the partition of India; perhaps the whole truth will never be known, as many of the characters involved are no longer alive. But I have tried to shed new light on many areas, and developed new themes in some aspects of the partition of India.
Publishing house:
VDM Verlag Dr. Müller
By (author):
Dr Shabir Choudhry
Number of pages: 504
Published at: 2011-04-20
Category: Comparative and international political science

Price: 79.00 €

Saturday, 16 April 2011

‘Liberate Muzaffarabad first and not Srinagar’

‘Liberate Muzaffarabad first and not Srinagar’
Dr Shabir Choudhry 16 April 2011

It is an offence to support Indian cricket team in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir; and those who supported the Indian team in the recent World Cricket Cup, especially when they played Pakistani team in the semi finals were arrested for this ‘crime’. Two stalwarts of National Awami Party from Dadyal, district Mirpur, namely Imran Shahzad and Naheem Iqbal Khawaja were arrested for supporting the Indian team.

Kashmiri nationalists are very angry over this, and people are expressing their anger against Pakistan and their oppressive policies. Secretary General of Kashmir National Party, Yasin Anjumm while commenting on this intolerable situation said: ‘Liberate Muzaffarabad first and not Srinagar’.

In the past some Kashmiri parties groomed and supported by Pakistani secret agencies gave this slogan and policy to the people of Pakistani side of Jammu and Kashmir that they should first liberate Srinagar. By implication it meant that only Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir is occupied (Pakistani side of Kashmir is free) and only that should be liberated.

This policy was not only illogical, but it was also given by those who occupy two regions of Jammu and Kashmir; and their aim was to divert attention away from their own crimes and use sentiments of people of Jammu and Kashmir to promote a proxy war. Net result of this erroneous and out of place policy was enormous damage to the Kashmiri struggle, and despite death of more than fifty thousands men, women and children, rapes, imprisonments, custodial deaths, misery and suffering of people we have not moved one inch forward.

Despite the above, Pakistani secret agencies and their agents in Pakistan and Kashmir still want to pursue the same redundant policy. They want to promote Kashmir as a religious dispute, and to them it could only be resolved by use of gun, even though its use has brought havoc to the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and nearly brought India and Pakistan to a full scale war.

Last week my first cousin Mohammed Iqbal Choudhry died in London. He was a successful businessman and a decent human being. His death is a big loss to us all. My other cousin who is a Public Prosecutor in London came to my house with her husband for condolences. Her husband, Choudhry Arshad Mehmood, is highly educated man with no interest in politics or the Kashmiri struggle. But before he left he gave me a big surprise by asking me: ‘brother when are we going to get independence from Pakistan?

I said to him before we reach that stage where a nation can get independence we need to understand true nature of the Kashmir dispute, and develop our consciousness of being enslaved and occupied on both sides of the Line of Control. However, it is encouraging to note that more and more educated people are now realising that the Kashmir dispute was created by Pakistan; and it is the Pakistani establishment which is the biggest obstacle in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

I further said people of Jammu and Kashmir need to understand the game plan of the Pakistani ruling elite; and they need to know that this selfish and egocentric people have no love for people of Jammu and Kashmir. They want to use the Kashmir dispute to advance their own agenda; and divide people in name of religion, ethnicity and region.

Both my cousin and her husband said they have developed consciousness of being Kashmiris because of the attitude and discrimination of some Pakistani people. Now we realise that we are Kashmiris and in the recent census (in Britain), for the first time, we crossed Pakistan in the ethnicity column and put our ethnicity as Kashmiri.

To me this was a step forward. If this trend continues and people of Jammu and Kashmir understand the real situation and real culprits who have back stabbed our movement then they will start their struggle against injustice, oppression and occupation.

In this context I remember Baba Jaan a leader from Gilgit Baltistan who said to KNP delegation to that region: ‘We are part of the Kashmir dispute, but all regions are occupied and we all have to struggle against those who occupy us. India is an occupier on that side and people are struggling against them. We have no problem from India on this side, so our struggle cannot be and should not be against India. Our struggle should be against the country which has its big boot on our neck. We don’t want any lessons from anyone that we support this or that struggle, or adopt this ideology or that ideology; our first priority is to remove that big boot from neck that we can breathe.’

What Baba Jaan said makes a lot of sense. What India is doing on that side is wrong, of course, there is a large army and human rights abuses taking place, but people are resisting the Indian rule and they get support from people of Jammu and Kashmir on this side, from Pakistan, from OIC and many other sources. Above all we DO NOT stop them to fight the Indian rule there. We don’t urge them to stop fighting those who inflict pain and suffering there; but unfortunately we people on the Pakistani side of Kashmir DO NOT get the same right to resist those who occupy us and plunder our resources and do injustice to us.

When oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir living on the Pakistani side of the divide raise their voices against the Pakistani occupation and injustice, even people of the Indian side of Kashmir criticise us, as they think the resistance should be against India only; and they want everyone to concentrate on the problems which they face.

That strategy is wrong and out of step with reality. This policy or strategy was designed by secret agencies of Pakistan and passed on to some Kashmiri organisations; and it is sad that these Kashmiri organisations might forget to follow Quran and Hadees but they very faithfully follow policies of the secret agencies of Pakistan, hence complicating the Kashmir dispute even further.

Pakistani Occupied Kashmir, known as Azad Kashmir or free Kashmir is a slave of ruling elite of Pakistan which has mortgaged national pride and sovereignty of their country to the Americans and some other countries for the sake of some material and political gains. Pakistani ruling elite has worked very hard to bring Pakistan to its present situation where the country is in chaos and no one seems to be safe and future of Pakistan as a nation state is very bleak

Despite very serious economic and political problems, raging civil war in various parts and uncertain future, Pakistani establishment ensured that their grip on Gilgit Baltistan and POK remains firm. They have Kashmiri collaborators and opportunists to help and further fortify the Pakistani rule in these regions.

They should know whether people of Jammu and Kashmir get two options or three options to determine their future, under the UN Resolutions, which Pakistan likes to talk about give people the right to join India and propagate in favour of that as well. Some people of the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir openly speak in support of Pakistan, hoist Pakistani flag and burn the Indian flag and they are not arrested for that, however, they are severely punished for using violence to advance their agenda.

Corrupt and oppressive system which does not allow people to even support a cricket team could not be expected to let people have equality and right of expression in their colony. They have not learnt from their past mistakes. It was the wrong and oppressive policy of Pakistani ruling elite which resulted in fall of Dhaka, independence of Bangladesh and surrender of more than 90 thousand soldiers. It is wrong policy of the ruling elite which has forced people to pick up gun against them in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan.

Surely it is their wrong policy which has turned people of Jammu and Kashmir against Pakistan and their oppressive and unjust rule; and if there is a plebiscite in near future vast majority will vote in favour of United and independent Jammu and Kashmir. It is because of this reason the Pakistani ruling elite want to ensure that the Kashmir dispute is not resolved, as it has become a bread and butter for some.
Writer is Head Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir
View my blog and web:

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Kashmiri militants watch talks but ready to fight

Kashmiri militants watch talks but ready to fight
By Kamran Haider
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan | Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:16am EDT
(Reuters) - Militants on the Pakistan side of divided Kashmir say they will give new talks with India a chance but they have little faith they will succeed and believe it is only a matter of time before they will have to fight again.
For now, many of them are engaged in peaceful pursuits such as small businesses, teaching or social welfare, and they face severe Pakistanirestrictions on crossing the so-called Line of Control (LoC) separating Pakistani and Indian Kashmir.
"We have not given up arms, jihad, but are just giving another chance to talks," Abdul Aziz Alvi, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in Pakistani Kashmir, told Reuters.
The JuD is an Islamist charity which the United Nations says is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, one the main militant groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir and blamed for a 2008 attack on the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people.
"If India does not understand the language of negotiation, then guns will start speaking," Alvi said as he was attending a protest rally against Indian plans to build dams in its part of Kashmir.
India and Pakistan last month agreed to restart comprehensive talks which were called off by India after the attacks on Mumbai by militants based in Pakistan.
Mostly Muslim Kashmir has been at the heart of rivalry between the neighbors since British-ruled India was divided into independent India and Pakistan in 1947.
The Himalayan region, which both countries claim in full but rule in part, was the cause of two of the three wars they have fought since then.
India has long accused Pakistan of fomenting an insurgency in which nearly 50,000 people have been killed since it broke out in 1989. Pakistan denies the charge.
The bitterness generated by the dispute has an impact far beyond Kashmir's snow-capped mountains and lush valleys, including inAfghanistan, where many analysts say India and Pakistan are waging a proxy war.
India supports the U.S.-backed Kabul government while Pakistan, worried about hostile neighbors on both borders, secretly backs the Taliban in the hope of eventually ensuring a friendly Afghan government, analysts say.
Since 2002, the Kashmir militants' movement over the LoC has fallen significantly, partly because India has fenced the previously porous frontier but also because Pakistan has imposed tough restrictions on the movement of the fighters.
"There's been a huge impact. Previously, about 50 mujahideen (Islamist fighters) used to cross to occupied Kashmir a month, now hardly five are able to do so," said Abu Huzaifa Kashmiri, a member of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen militant group, who now runs a hotel in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir.
Pakistan has always denied arming the militants and sending them to fight Indian forces but the plight of Kashmir's Muslims is an emotive issue in Muslim Pakistan and all governments have trumpeted their political support for the separatists in what it calls Indian-occupied Kashmir.
But Pakistan has been under U.S. pressure to stop militant attacks into India and with the talks with India set to resume, it is keeping the militants on a short leash.
"Their activities are under watch," said a security official in the region said.
But some militants have gone rogue and the chances of another attack in India, which could not only scupper the talks and even raise the prospect of a clash between the nuclear-armed neighbors, is possible.
"There are chances that some rogue elements come out and conduct operations like Mumbai, but the (militant) leadership does not seem ready for any confrontation with the (Pakistani) establishment," said defense analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.
"It has to be seen how the militant leadership and establishment control these rogue elements."
A senior militant commander, who declined to be identified, said the failure of India and Pakistan to settle the dispute would ultimately benefit the militants.
"The breakdown of the talks will give impetus to our movement and justify our argument that India is not serious about resolving the issue but uses talks to drag it out."
Uzair Raza, a militant from Indian Kashmir, sitting in a tea-shop in the Manikpiyan refugee camp on a Pakistani bank of the Jhelum River, said hundreds of new fighters could be raised if necessary.
"If we are not free, our land is occupied, then why should we care about peace? We'll fight for our rights," he said.
Tens of thousand Kashmiris have migrated to Pakistan from Indian Kashmir since the insurgency began. Many, like Naseema Bibi, 50, say they will not go home until they get "freedom."
"I don't mind begging here but I'll not live under India's slavery," said Bibi, who runs a vegetable shop in the camp near Muzaffarabad.
(Editing by Chris Allbritton and Robert Birsel)