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Pakistan India Relations
Pakistan India Relations
Soon after their independence, India and Pakistan established diplomatic relations but the violent partition and numerous territorial disputes would overshadow their relationship. Since their independence, the two countries have fought three major wars, one undeclared war and have been involved in numerous armed skirmishes and military standoffs. The Kashmir dispute is the main center-point of all of these conflicts with the exception of the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
There have been numerous attempts to improve the relationship—notably, the Shimla summit, the Agra summit and the Lahore summit. Since the early 1980s, relations between the two nations soured particularly after the Siachen conflict, the intensification of Kashmir insurgency in 1989, Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests in 1998 and the 1999 Kargil war. Certain confidence-building measures—such as the 2003 ceasefire agreement and the Delhi–Lahore Bus service—were successful in deescalating tensions. However, these efforts have been impeded by periodic terrorist attacks. The 2001 Indian Parliament attack almost brought the two nations on the brink of a nuclear war. The 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, plotted by an Indian Army officer which killed 68 civilians (most of whom were Pakistani), was also a crucial point in relations. Additionally, the 2008 Mumbai attacks carried out by Pakistani militants resulted in a severe blow to the ongoing India-Pakistan peace talks.
Born out from the furnace of animosity, India and Pakistan, the twin brothers have a history of unique relations. There is much in common between Republic of India and Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The diplomatic relations developed soon after independence but these relations did not ensure good friendship. The blaming process started soon after the inception of Pakistan when during the world’s biggest mass migration both states were unable to provide security to minorities. At that time there were 682 princely states and their future was to be decided according to their own will. Junagadh and Kashmir are two of these states which are still a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Junagadh was composed of 88% Hindu Majority with a Muslim ruler named Nawab Mahabat Khan. The ruler voted for Pakistan but India did not accept it on the plea of heavy Hindu majority. The other reason projected by India was that the state of Junagadh was encircled by Indian state and giving it to Pakistan would contradict the two nation theory. The stand of Pakistan was on the basis of the Muslim ruler and the maritime link of Pakistan with junagadh coastal line.
One the other hand, the ruler of Kashmir, Hari Singh, wanted to join India but the majority of Muslim population was in the favour of Pakistan. Maharaja Hair Singh made a “stand still agreement” with the Government of Pakistan. However, the rumoures spread in Pakistan that Mahraja Hari Singh was going to accede with India. The forces of Pakistan invaded in Kashmir in 1947 and Hari Singh asked India for help. Indian Armed forces violating the provision of their constitution entered into the jurisdiction of Kashmir. In 1947, Pakistan acquired Azad Kashmir and India captured state of Jammu and Kashmir. Both of these parts are being held by the same countries which occupied these states forcefully.
1965 and 1971 Wars:-
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistanand India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the firsthaving been fought in 1947. The war began following Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. The five-week war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in aUnited Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration.
1971 was a black year in the history of Pakistan as she lost its eastern wing as India intervened to favour Bengali people and seized the Qasim part. 90, 000 Pakistani soliders surrendered in Bangladesh. In July 1972 P.M India Gandhi and PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto met in Indian Hill station of Simla and signed an agreement to return 90, 000 Pak personnel, and that India would get its captured territory in the west. They also agreed that from then on, they would settle their disputes through peaceful bilateral negotiations. Eventually, the trade relation restarted in 1976 but the Afghan crisis of 1979 again disrupted the peaceful process started in 1976.
Pakistan supported Taliban and India favoured Soviet Union. India was also worried about US military aid to Pakistan, Pakistan’s purchase of arms from us and the advancement in her nuclear programme. The change in leadership brought a new era of relation between the two rivals. In Dec 1988 Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and Rajiv Gandhi resumed talks on different issues melding cultured exchange, civil aviation and not to attack each other nuclear facilities. At that time BB said.
“Burry the Hatchet; we have had enough of it. Let’s start a new chapter. India has a new generation leadership. Rajiv & I belong to a new generation. We have some kinship. He father was assassinated and so was my father. He lost his brother and so have I we both can start from clean state.”
In 1997, high level talks were resumed after 3 years. Prime Minister of India and Pakistan met twice and foreign secretaries conducted 3 rounds of talks in which they identified 8 outstanding issues to focuss. These 8 issues were
• Kashmir issue
• Water crisis
• Sir creek issue
• Rann of kutch
• MFN status
• Siachen issue
• State sponsored issue
• Nuclear Deterrence
In September 1997 the talks broke down on structural issue where as in May 1998 the situation became harder because of nuclear experiment conducted by Pakistan. The environment further became deplorable when Indian Air lines Flight IC 814 was hijacked in 24 Dec 1999. The plan landed in Lahore for refuelling but the final destination was Kandhar, Afghanistan. Rivalry increased when attack was conducted on Indian parliament on Dec 2001. India blamed Jash-e-Mohammad for that act. The Samjhota express carnage of 18th February 2007 added fuel to fire. The series of blaming each other started again where as Pakistan tried to project cordial relations.
In Nov, 2008, a series of ten co-ordinated attacks were committed by terrorist which began across Mumbai which is the Indian financial capital and the largest city. The attack was started on 26 November 2008 and ended on 29 November 2008. In these attacks 173 people were killed including 35 foreigner where as 38 were wounded. India blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba and gave evidences that weapon, candy wrappers, telephone sets and branded milk Packets used by the terrorists belonged to Pakistan. But it was also found that the terrorist were drunk as the Lashkar-e-Taiba elements did not drink, and were speaking Hyderabadi language. Additionally, Hermant Kurkure was the first man to be murdered in that attack. He was the man who was on the hit list of Indian Dons because he arrested General Parohit, who was the master mind of Samjhota Carnage. Another reason was that Obama Discussed to solve Kashmir issue to bring stability in the South Asian region. This attack was done to divert his attention. The lok sbha election could not be ignored as the current government needed the Pakistan card to flame the sentiments of Indian masses.
In spite of this deteriorated situation Pakistan did not give up to create friendly atmosphere. Currently, the government of India is not that much brutal. Recently Indian minister of state for external affairs said they were not worried about Pakistan purchasing of armaments but if these weapons will be used against India, they were ready to fight. In addition, Pakistan nukes were unsafe.
Bit recently the statement of Indian Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor regarding his army’s capacity to fight on two fronts, upset a lots of people in Pakistan. This also shows that there is a conflict of interest between Indian army and Indian Government.
India and Pakistan must work jointly to coeate a peaceful atmosphere. Sharing a long border with common geographic importance can increase to their worth if the joint venture is adopted.
Pakistan has, in principle, decided to grant Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. This is an important step in improving trade ties between the two countries. India has already granted MFN status to Pakistan and recently also dropped its objection to Pakistan’s request for market access to the European Union at the World Trade Organisation forum. Both steps will help create the environment for Pakistan and India to begin to explore new avenues for bilateral trade while overcoming the thorny issues that dominate mainstream discourse. It is time for Pakistan and India to focus on identified doables including moving to a negative list approach in tariff lines. During the most recent commerce secretary, commerce minister and foreign minister level talks, an effort has been made to create institutional mechanisms and prepare a road map to make the peace process irreversible and structured and create an enabling environment for bilateral trade. Other proposals such as the trade of electricity and petroleum products between the two countries are also under discussion and one hopes that the feasibility, scope and modalities of such trading will be seriously considered.
With the granting of MFN status, India and Pakistan entering into a mutually agreed preferential trade arrangement to promote trade by extending tariff concessions on products of export interest to both countries has become a real possibility. Up until now, India’s contention was that Pakistan should first honour its existing international commitments like granting MFN status to India as per the Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area before exploring new trading regimes. Now that we may be about to cross this bridge, we can look ahead to greater cooperation on trade, which can certainly help lay the groundwork for movement on the more tricky issues.
Success is never achieved by the size of our brain but it is always achieved by the quality of our thoughts.
Pakistan Iran Relations
Pakistan Iran Relations
Apart from being a neighbour, Iran is the only country with which Pakistan has “had age-old relations, based on cultural, ethnic, and spiritual links”. Pakistan shares over 900 kilometres common border with Iran. Traditionally Pakistani frontiers with Iran have always been peaceful, safe, and secure.
Since 1947: -
Since Iran had its security concerns from the expansionist designs of former Soviet Union and an uneasy relationship with Arab world, therefore, emergence of a none-Arab Muslim country on its neighbourhood provided her reprieve and reinforced its security. Whereas, Pakistan, otherwise agonized of Indian aggression and hostile Afghanistan, took Iran as its strategic partner that was amply demonstrated by Iran during 1965 and 1971, Indo-Pak wars. It also militarily assisted Pakistan in the initial days of its independence. Both became partners of Western backed defence pacts during the initial days of the cold war.
First Pakistani Premier Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan visited Iran in 1949 and Iranian Shah reciprocated that in 1950, as the first foreign head of a state. It is worth mentioning that, Pakistani National Anthem was played first time in the honour of Shah Iran in 1950. In a way there established a relationship of interdependence between both brotherly Islamic countries right from the inception of Pakistan. Thereafter both countries maintained their bilateral relationship in an atmosphere of Islamic brotherhood and as good neighbours, with mutual acceptability. Along with Turkey, Pakistan and Iran established Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), an inter-governmental organization for socio-economic development in the member countries in 1964. The organization was renamed as Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in 1985 and its membership increased to ten in early 1990s by including Central Asian States and Afghanistan. In either of its form, the organization further reinforced the bi-lateral and multi-lateral relationship between Iran, Pakistan, and other regional Muslim countries.
Following the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, Pakistan was the first country, which recognized Revolutionary Iranian Government. Pakistan sent a high-level delegation under Foreign Minister to assure Iran that, it intends further cementing its traditional relations with the later. It welcomed the Islamic Revolutionary Government in Iran. President General Ziaul Haq was among the first few heads of states, who visited Iran as a good will gesture in 1980 and again in 1981.
During Iran-Iraq war, Pakistan made hectic efforts to negotiate a deal between two Islamic countries to end the war. Indeed, Pakistani suggestions later became the basis for ending the war in 1988. Moreover, Pakistan provided morale and diplomatic support to Iran even during the critical stages of the war that annoyed Iraq and Arab world with it. Pakistan also persuaded Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to normalize their relations with Iran that at times was viewed with suspicion by these countries. Moreover, it convinced United States not to become hostile to Iran on the issue of its hostages. US indeed wanted to launch a physical attack on Iran to end the crises of its hostages in Iran. Unfortunately, both countries developed minor divergences over the interim setup in Afghanistan upon withdrawal of Soviet Union and later on the issue of the support to Taliban by Pakistan and Northern Alliance by Iran and India. Considering these differences, Iran did not support Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir, once the later was presenting a resolution in United Nations on Human Rights violations in Kashmir in 1996. It was a serious setback to Pakistani efforts and India which had already developed its relations with Iran, got an opportunity “to fish in trouble waters,” for its own strategic interests. Thereafter, Indian spying agency RAW, made inroads into Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan for causing internal destabilization, which is continuing unabated even today.
On its part, Pakistan however, continued maintaining its brotherly relations with Iran. Pakistan always has persuaded Iran on a number of occasions for the reconciliation to shun the differences. Pakistan also tried to convince Iran that the enemies of both have spread these misperceptions, may be for the time being portraying as their friend. It whole-heartedly supported Iranian viewpoint on the issue of its controversial nuclear programme. Through a progressive reconciliation and diplomatic efforts, both countries come closer to each other in last few years. Regretfully, on October 18, 2009, a suicide attack allegedly of Jundallah militant group killed over forty people including senior commanders of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Sistan-o-Balochistan.
The people and the Government of Pakistan strongly slammed the attack and shared the grief and sorrow of the Iranian people over the massive loss of innocent lives. Regretfully, immediately after the terrorist attack, a number of Iranian leaders and high-level officials including supreme leader pointed fingers at Pakistan. Pakistan Government however strongly negated its involvement in the attack and assured Iran for an all out support to trace and punish all those responsible for the attack if found on Pakistani soil. The incident however deteriorated the steadily improving relationship between two brotherly Muslim countries. Nevertheless, an unanalyzed allegation from senior Iranian leadership has provided a serious setback to the sincerity of Government and the people of Pakistan. Indeed, after the Mujahedeen’s interim Government and later Taliban’s taken over of Afghanistan, India was practically evicted from that soil. Thereafter, it needed some space for the promotion of militancy in Pakistan. This was only possible by creating a rift in the bilateral relationship of Iran and Pakistan, who over the years, have been considering Afghanistan as their ‘strategic rear’, of course not on physical terms. Yet, the concept perhaps misled both in 1990s, once they were endeavouring to secure their respective interests.
Now once that phase is over, there is a need to learn from the past for a positive move forward through consensus building. Under the changed global environment, there is a need that both countries to forget past annoyances and “forge a new long-term common vision reflecting their common security and economic interests.” The fleeting rip in the Pak-Iran relations has no sound basis, thus can be revamped through enhanced interactions at all level including by the masses from both sides. Indeed, the renaissance of cultural and religious affinities between Iran and Pakistan would go a long way. For this purpose, both need to ban the fissiparous forces persuading both or any of them. Mutual trust deficit, prevailing over the years has to be restored on priority. Both need to realize the looming threats around them and in the regional and global context. Presence of the extra regional forces in their neighbourhood, otherwise friendly to none, provides them yet another cause for the convergence.
Pakistan has publicly defended Iran’s right to nuclear technology. Some American analysts also suspect Pakistani scientists employed by the Pakistani military of helping Iran acquire nuclear technology, although Pakistan officially denies any involvement. Henry Sokolski, former deputy for nonproliferation policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, explained in 2003 that “the notion that Pakistan wasn’t involved is getting less and less tenable.” Since then, inspectors have found in Iran’s possession documents from Pakistani scientist Dr. A.Q. Khan detailing how to shape uranium for nuclear warheads, while in 2004 then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf officially pardoned Dr. Khan for his sale of nuclear technology. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service published in 2005, Dr. Khan “could not have functioned without some level of cooperation by Pakistani military personnel, who maintained tight security around the key nuclear facilities, and possibly civilian officials as well.” On March 15, 2010, Pakistan rejected a US media report asserting that Khan provided nuclear related information and material, including drawings, centrifuge components, and a list of suppliers, to Iran. Abdul Basit, a spokesman for the Pakistani Foreign Office, described the claims, published by the Washington Post, as "yet another repackaging of fiction, which surface occasionally for purposes that are self-evident."
Over the past several years, Pakistan has increasingly called for peaceful reconciliation on the international nuclear standoff, despite increasing concern from the UN and Washington.
The two countries initiated significant cooperation in the energy sector in 1991, when Iran began negotiating an oil deal with Pakistan and Qatar. This initial collaboration, however, was limited and did not progress meaningfully. Iran again attempted negotiating with Qatar regarding the construction of gas pipelines to Pakistan in 1995, however was unsuccessful. Cooperation regarding energy has nonetheless increased since the 1990s and helped provide the foundation for a more thorough bilateral trade network between Iran and Pakistan in recent years. By 2005, Pakistan was actively seeking Iranian investment in bilateral trade and energy cooperation.Pakistan and Iran have deepened their economic partnership to such an extent that, in a joint statement issued in May 2010, the two countries expressed satisfaction with an increase in bilateral trade, which surpassed $1.2 billion in the previous financial year. In 2009, Pakistan increased its non-oil exports to Iran by 80 percent, reaching $279 million. Similarly, Iranian non-oil exports to Pakistan increased by 11 percent, totaling $278 million for the year. Despite this growth, Karachi Chambeer of Commerce and Industry President Abdul Majid Haji Mohammad said the lack of a banking system remains a major obstacle to Iran-Pakistan trade.
Since 2005, Islamabad has increasingly turned to Tehran to supply Pakistan’s growing energy needs. In August 2008, Iran agreed to finance a robust energy project that would allow Pakistan to import 1,000 megawatts of electricity to overcome its power shortage. The project, a $60 million endeavor, consists of running a 100-kilometer electric line to help augment the 40 megawatts of electricity Pakistan already receives daily from Iran. In April 2010, Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mashallah Shakeri spoke before the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stressing Iran’s commitment to economic relations with Pakistan. According to the envoy, Iran intends to supply the 1,000 megawatts to Pakistan at a discounted rate.
Iran and Pakistan have long discussed the construction of a 2,600-kilometer, $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (IPI) that would pump gas from Iran’s South Pars field to Pakistan and India. Tentative talks on the pipeline began in 1994, however tense political relations between India and Pakistan frustrated realization of the project. International concern over Iran’s nuclear program further delayed agreement and in November 2007 Iran and Pakistan accused India of hesitating because of pressure from the United States. In February 2010, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki accused the US of interfering with the planned pipeline by attempting to sway New Delhi away from the IPI. Indeed, Washington has repeatedly urged India not to follow through with the deal while Iran faces sanctions for its nuclear enrichment program. Both Russia and China have taken significant interest in the pipeline, with Russia’s Gazprom offering to help supply oil and China holding talks with Iran and Pakistan in 2008 to replace India in case New Delhi chose to reject the partnership.
In May 2009, Iran and Pakistan signed a purchase agreement stipulating that Iran will initially transfer 30 million cubic meters of gas to Pakistan per day, with the volume eventually increasing to 60 million. The deal, to which India was not a party, ensures gas supplies to Pakistan for a period of 25 years. On June 13, 2010, the two sides formally concluded the $7.5 billion agreement over the objections of US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, who cautioned that although the “US understands that Pakistan faces [a] major energy crisis... new sanctions on Iran can impact Pakistan.”According to a previous Pakistani Petroleum Ministry statement in May 2010, “the capital cost for the Pakistan section is estimated at 1.65 billion dollars…[and] the first gas flow is targeted by end 2014” with Iran completing the project ahead of schedule.
During a July 30, 2009 interview with the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency, Dr. Ashfaq Hassan Khan, a former economic advisor in Pakistan, insisted that while economic ties between Iran and Pakistan should expand at all levels, cooperation in the energy sector is vital for Pakistan. Khan further expressed his view that the planned Iran-Pakistan pipeline would likely greatly benefit both countries.
Iran-Pakistan cooperation on transportation issues expanded greatly in August 2009, when the two inaugurated an international freight rail line from Islamabad to Istanbul via Tehran. The line is a “pilot project” of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), a Central Asian trade bloc. Although Iran and Turkey already enjoy extensive rail cooperation, transportation ties with Pakistan are weaker. According to Director of Pakistan Railways Shafiqullah Khan, Islamabad and Tehran are seeking outside credit to resolve differences in rail gauge in order to regularize rail service between the two. Officials expect to begin regular freight service along the 6,500 km line in August 2010.
In February 2010, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif called for the creation of an economic free-trade zone among Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and other Islamic countries. During a celebration of the 31st Revolution Day of Iran, Sharif noted that “deep, friendly relations exist between Pakistan and Iran and it is the need of the hour that socio-economic cooperation should be promoted.”
Iranian and Pakistani officials, in February 2010, signed the first memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries on cross border trade. The MoU was penned during the two countries’ first joint committee meeting on border trade in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Balouchestan province. Iraj Hassanpour, the head of Sistan and Balouchestan's trade organization, stated that “[b]ased on [the] MoU, [the] two countries are bound to hold public and specialized fairs at their common borders and in [the] capital of Sistan & Balouchestan province, Zahedan, and Quetta in Pakistan." Both sides also decided to establish large storehouses to facilitate the storage of trade commodities at their border customs.
Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa, a Pakistani advisor to the prime minister on information technology, has called for increased collaboration between Iran and Pakistan in telecommunications. During a June 2010 conversation with Iran’s ambassador to Pakistan, Mashallah Shakeri, Khosa expressed his belief that increased bilateral activity in the sector has the potential to increase regional economic development and security.
Iran has developed deep economic and political ties with Pakistan, an ally of the United States and a nuclear neighbor. In 2007, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz, said that Pakistan shares extensive ties with Iran “based upon faith, belief, joint history and culture. Expansion of cooperation in the fields of trade and investment can further strengthen the bilateral ties.” Iran and Pakistan cooperate in a number of trade groups and agreed in June 2008 on a list of 300 tradable items in an effort to stimulate economic relations. Iran is active in the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)—a trade and investment group that includes all of the central Asian countries, founded by Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. Additionally, both Iran and Pakistan also hold observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)—an Asian regional economic and security group. China and Russia are reportedly considering inviting Iran and Pakistan to full membership in the SCO so as to participate in resolving the conflict in Afghanistan. "In the current global context, the top priority is finding a solution to the Afghan issue," Secretary-General Muratbek Sansyzbayevich Imanaliev said during a news conference in Beijing in February 2010.
Pakistan has helped encourage trilateral trade with Iran and Turkey in commercial goods and development of infrastructure beyond the programs administered by regional organizations such as the ECO.
Iran has involved itself in the political and military instability in Pakistan’s Afghan and Iran border regions. In June 2009, the Iranian Embassy in Pakistan donated $250,000 as humanitarian aid for Pakistan’s unstable Swat province. In a statement, the embassy said that "Iran denounces terrorist acts in Pakistan's northern areas and announces its readiness to renew support for peace and stability in Pakistan." In July 2009, Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mashaallah Shakeri called on the Pakistani government to secure the release of Heshmatollah Attarzadeh Niyaki, an Iranian diplomat kidnapped by gunman in Peshawar in 2008. While speaking before the Iranian parliament in July 2009, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki stated that he believed “that the current situations [in western Pakistan] are improving…criminal acts [have been] reduced and controlled in [the] last year.” Mottaki further indicated that Iran had received a good degree of cooperation from the Pakistani government in implementing new security measures on the border.
Speaking in July 2009, Former Interior Minister and Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party Sherpao Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao praised an Iraqi security forces raid on a People's Mujahedin of Iran camp located north of Baghdad. Iranian authorities reacted warmly to news of the raid, which targeted a militant Iranian exile group hostile to the Islamic Republic. Sherpao explained his support for the raid by stating that no country should permit its territory to be used for hostile acts against another sovereign state. He further added that "Iran is our brotherly country and we always want Iran to prosper."
In August 2009, Iran took part in a meeting of the “Friends of Democratic Pakistan.” During the summit, which was held in Turkey and largely focused on the security situation in Pakistan, Foreign Minister Mottaki discussed the importance of bilateral ties with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The two also spoke about the need to combat terrorism and establish stability in Pakistan, with Mottaki adding that he considers Pakistan-Iran-Afghanistan relations to be an “appropriate model” for regional conflict resolution.
The two countries’ ‘brotherly’ relations were threatened in October 2009 following attacks against the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGС) in Sistan-Baluchistan province. President Ahmadinejad publically accused “certain officials in Pakistan” of involvement in the attacks.Tehran further demanded the extradition of Abdolmalek Rigi, the chief of suspected terrorist group Jundallah. Pakistani officials denied any involvement in the attacks, rejecting Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar’s accusation that Jundallah received financial aid from Pakistan. Pakistan subsequently released 11 Iranian security officers accused of illegally crossing the border. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari met with Najjar in Islamabad a week after the attacks. Zardari stated that the attackers “were the enemies of both countries” and vowed to cooperate with Iran in their capture. At the beginning of November 2009, however, the IRGC accused Pakistan of releasing the leader of Jundallah immediately before the October 18 bombing in Sistan-Baluchistan, thereby implicating the Pakistani government in the attacks. According to the deputy head of the IRGC, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the Jundallah leader, Abdolmakel Rigi, “was arrested on September 26 in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. But he was released after an hour with the intervention of the Pakistani intelligence service.” In March 2010, upon receiving assurances from Islamabad that authorities would take measures to improve security in the area, Iran reopened its border with Pakistan. Iran had closed the border to trade four months prior in response to the October IRGC attack.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran Hassan Qashqavi said in January 2010 that the Pakistani government should take serious measures to stem terrorist activities across the border of the two countries. According to the minister, "the Pakistani government is expected to live up to its promises and take more serious measures to stem the terrorist and evil activities.” The same month, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official claimed there is a hidden agenda behind the recent destabilizing measures on Iran's eastern borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
On January 16, 2010, officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran met to discuss regional security and terrorism, agreeing on a joint framework for cooperation in tackling political volatility in the area. The three agreed that regional stability and security could only be advanced through sincere adherence to the principle of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that "it is important to consult amongst ourselves so that we are on the same page and we have closer positions on different issues that confront our neighborhood." A joint declaration from the meeting called for Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran to coordinate efforts to combat extremism as well as drug and weapons smuggling. The ministers also raised Iranian concerns regarding the expanded presence of US forces in Afghanistan. A day after the meeting, the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan, Mashallah Shakeri, announced that the third Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan summit will be held in Tehran in the near future.
In January 2010, Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi insisted that Iran considers durable security and stability in Pakistan to be of paramount importance to Iranian interests.Referencing recent efforts by Tehran to establish sustainable security in Pakistan, Rahimi stated that "Iran believes that comprehensive expansion of ties with Pakistan plays a major role in materializing the interests of the two countries and the region." He called for the fortification of the Iran and Pakistan’s common borders and added that "terrorist groups should not be allowed to disturb security of the two countries' border regions."
During the first Meeting of the Heads of Interpol of the Economic Cooperation Organization, held on June 29, 2010, Interior Minister Nijjar urged the association’s members to collaborate more closely on security issues. The minister proposed the creation of a regional police headquarters and encouraged more rapid sharing of information on criminal investigations.
Ambassador Shakeri has said that Iran is determined to continue its involvement in Pakistani development despite ever-increasing security challenges. In a February 2010 message commemorating the 31st anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the ambassador noted that "Pakistan, in its capacity as a Muslim neighbor, has a special status in the macro-strategy of the foreign policy of Iran, with durable security, stability and all-round development of Pakistan being Iran's desire."
During a six-day visit to Iran in February 2010, Pakistani National Assembly Speaker Fahmida Mirza met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. Mirza and Larijani issued a joint statement calling for the expansion of ties between Pakistan and Iran in the political, economic, and cultural spheres. Iran and Pakistan also agreed to increase their parliamentary cooperation on global issues at international bodies. In addition, the two countries underlined the need to adopt a comprehensive political approach in the campaigns against terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime.
During an April 2010 appearance before the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Iranian Ambassador Shakeri reaffirmed his country’s commitment to aiding Pakistan deal with its internal turmoil, saying that "Iran is fully aware of the problems currently facing Pakistan and our prime goal is to bring Pakistan out of the prevailing crisis.”
According to a May 2010 joint statement following a meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran Seyed Ameer Mansoor Borghei'e and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Iran and Pakistan support efforts by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to achieve national reconciliation in his country. The two countries further agreed to continue cooperate to help and achieve sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
Areas of disagreements and competition/divergences:
The two countries did have, until the recent past, areas of disagreements and competition also which, over all, could be put as under:
i. Pakistan's support to the Taliban in Afghanistan before 9/ 11. ii. US involvement in Afghanistan and in the region.
iii. Pakistan US strategic collaboration in Afghanistan since 9/11. iv. Pakistan's close relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Sheikhdoms.
v. Divergence of policies on the Persian Gulf.
vi. Pakistan's claim as the "Fortress ofIslam".
vii. Iran's support to the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. viii.lran's growing relations with India and Russia.
ix. Sectarian problem in Pakistan.
x. Quest for CARs.
Analysis of Relations:
Overall, the genesis of cooperation between the two countries revolved around the following focal points:
i. Common faith, geography, culture and traditions.
ii. Similar economic and political outlook.
iii. Identical strategic thinking, and defence cooperation particularly during the cold war, and after the Islamic Revolution.
iv. Like mindedness on most of the matters relating to the Muslim world.
v. Common bilateral, regional, and international approach.
vi. Homogeneity of stands on regional and international problems.
vii. Convergence of interests on Nuclear Non-Proliferation, (NNP), matters.
viii. Extension of political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmir liberation struggle.
ix. Harmonious position on the establishment of the New International Economic Order, (NIEO).
x. Desirability of the existence of multi-polarity in the regional and world politics.
Success is never achieved by the size of our brain but it is always achieved by the quality of our thoughts.
Pakistan – United States relations refers to bilateral relationship between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the United States of America. Pakistan came into existence just as the cold war was starting. The world was split into two camps soviet and US. Infant Pakistan and India had to pick their camps. The United States established diplomatic relations with Pakistan on October 20, 1947. The relationship since then was based primarily on U.S. economic and military assistance to Pakistan. Pakistan is a Major non-NATO ally of the United States. The history of Pakistan–American relations has been defined as one of "Roller Coaster"
When Pakistan was formed in 1947, she needed both economic (due to initial problems) and military (Indian threat) assistance for its survival. In the early 1950’s the US had delineated a program known as Marshal Plan which aimed at the recovery of Europe and extending assistance to various Asian countries. After Partition, Liaqat Ali khan (1st PM) was invited by Soviets and Americans. He chooses sanity over inhumanity and visited US, thus strengthening PAK-US relations. India established relations with Soviets.
On 19th May, 1954, Pakistan signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the U.S; also Pakistan joined SEATO in 1954 to contain the expansion of communism in South East Asia. This membership of SEATO committed Pakistan fully to the Western block. In 1955 and alliance, the Baghdad Pact, was formed between Britain, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan (its name changed to CENTO). Between 1954-65 Pakistan received military assistance of 1.5 billion dollars and around 3 billion dollars of loan.
The U.S extended unlimited military support to India during Sino-Indian border clash in 1962. Pakistan protested against it but U.S paid no heed to the protest of Pakistan although India was not the ally of U.S but was Pakistan. When India attacked Pakistan in 1965, it frequently used American weapons against Pakistan. Pak US relations suffer a set back when US places arms embargo on both nations, knowing well that Pakistan was totally dependent on US arms and India did not use any US arms. Soviets speeded up arms supplies to India.
Pakistan gained air superiority by using US supplied F-86 Sabers and F-104 Star fighters. Pakistan’s old enemy King Zahir ensured safety of Pakistan’s Western borders, allowing Pakistan to remove it troops from that border. Iran opened her airfields to Pakistan Air force. China moved her troops close to Indian border but US stopped supplies forcing Pakistan to sue for peace offered under Soviets. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the U.S. chooses not to provide Pakistan with military support as pledged in the 1959 Agreement of Cooperation. This generated a widespread feeling in Pakistan that the United States was no longer a reliable ally.
President Richard Nixon used Pakistan's relationship with China to start secret contacts with China which resulted with Henry Kissinger’s secret visit to China in July 1971 while visiting Pakistan. during the wars of 1971 US gave no military assistance to Pakistan being a member of SEATO and CENTO. President Nixon told Pakistan 7th Fleet is on its way. Now after 25 years declassified documents revealed that US delibratly wanted to break Pakistan to appease India. It was the time when Pakistan realized that US can support India against China but cannot support Pakistan against India thus Pakistan withdrew from SEATO in 1972 and CENTO in 1979.
Pakistan-US relations became strained once again in 1976-77. When pakistan desired to acquire nuclear technology. America vigorously opposed Pakistan’s attempt to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful and domestic purposes. In 1977 Carter administration in Sept.1977 cut off the military and economic assistance to Pakistan. Also, Carter visited India and Iran but not Pakistan.
Pakistan feeling betrayed by the US decided to move away from US block. venturing first into NAM(non aligned movement) then in OIC and finally started making friends with soviets. Soviets started setting up steel mills in Pakistan and supplied some military aid (Mi-8 etc). Pakistan moved on the road to socialism under Bhutto. US believed that pakistan was slipping to the other side, given the fact that Bhutto was a big Landlord it was a total misconception. US grew hostile to Pakistan. Bhutto openly challenged US in his speeches....
In 1979 when soviet forces entered in Afghanistan the tables were once again turned. That alarming situation reminded US that Pakistan is its frontline ally for securing peace in the world, so once again military and financial assistance was provided to Pakistan. Henceforth Pakistan resumed its role asAmerica’s forefront partner in South Asia and was also exempted from the Symington and Glenn Amendments for a period of 6 years ending 1987. Therefore Afghan war with the help of Pakistan led towards the end of cold war. But the end of the Cold War did not leave Pakistan in a state of peace and stability. Indeed Pakistan is still paying a huge price of its US assistance.
After10 years of partnership in Afghan Jihad, US attitude towards Pakistan started changing dramatically and in October 1990 US President George Bush refused to certify that Pakistan is a non-nuclear state and does not possess nuclear weapons nor it is engaged in their manufacture. As a result Pressler amendment was imposed on Pakistan as a punishment for its loyalty during Afghan crisis, supply of forty F-16 aircraft to Pakistan was withheld and amount of $ 1.2 billion was suspended even though Pakistan had paid for this. Instead of strengthening relations and crafting new ways of cooperation Pak-US relations went all time low especially from 1990-1993.
Afterwards some efforts were made to normalize the relations, Defense secretary William Perry paid a visit to Pakistan in January 1995. Moreover because of this visit the Pak-US defense consultative group was revived which had not met since 1990. The Clinton administration also took interest to put back relations to normal course and to revise Pressler amendment. Therefore Brown amendment came according to which embargoed military equipment worth about $368 million was released. For Pakistan the symbolic significance of Brown amendment was more important than the material benefit as after 1990 it was the first concrete step towards the normalization of relations between Pakistan and US.
The irony about US non-proliferation policy in South Asia was that India was also involved in the nuclear proliferation activities but all the sanctions, embargos and penalties were just for Pakistan. In May 1998 as a result of nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan a second set of sanctions were imposed by invoking the Pressler, Glenn and Symington amendment which prohibits military and economic assistance to any country that delivers or receives nuclear assistance. When in October 1999 President Musharraf came more “Democracy Sanctions” were enacted on Pakistan.
9/11 And The U-Turn In US-Pakistan Relations:
It was the incident of 9/11 that changed the face of US-Pakistan relations completely and once again brought the two states close to form an alliance but this time against Taliban. Pakistan's leadership without learning from their past mistakes joined hands with US and became a critical ally and is still bearing the brunt of its unremitting support to U.S.
Since 2001 till today Pakistan is fully supporting US in its war against terrorism. . Yet it has failed to achieve the status that should be given as a recompense for its sacrifices. Even after 10 years of agony, US does not show any regard to Pakistan’s significant role in curbing the militancy. Instead it has kept on accusing Pakistan from time to time and demands to ‘do more’. These kinds of US accusation harms Pakistan’s image in international community and are disliked at Pakistan’s end. Osama raid has further tensed the already cold relations between the two partners and has brought the future of US-Pakistan relations under intense consideration. Today the people of Pakistan have given even more sacrifices then the NATO/US troops in Afghanistan. Pakistani public already fed up by the mess created by Afghan war wants US to end this menace. Amidst national, economic, social, religious crisis, unstable political regime, escalating drone attacks, loss of civilian lives and news of Osama’s downfall has created trouble, which is spreading like a wild fire. The demand of ‘Go America Go’ is being chanted all across Pakistan. This shows a growing wedge between the two strategic partners. A Pakistani private channel’s survey explored that 77% Pakistanis see US as their enemy. A new survey conducted by Washington’s Pew Research Centre also shows that only 11 per cent of Pakistanis view the US and President Obama favorably.
The US- Pak relations have not proved much fruitful for Pakistan, and the nation feels betrayed by the US administrations. US wants Pakistan to become its vessal state, where all policies are made only to serve the interests of US. The government should devise such policies that ensure to safeguard our own land and people not the US interests. Therefore, it is now time for politico-military leadership of Pakistan to sit and review their policies before this unconditional assistance to US costs the lives of the entire nation. Albeit despite growing hatred towards American policies and its presence in the region the war against terrorism has now become Pakistan’s own war and therefore needs genuine concern of our government.
Present U.S.-Pakistan relations are a case study on the difficulties of diplomacy and policy making in a multi-polar world. The geopolitical significance of Pakistan in world affairs attracts attention from both India and China, making unilateral action impossible from the U.S. All the while, Pakistan remains a key factor for U.S. success in Afghanistan. The two countries have attempted to build a strategic partnership since 2009, but there remains a significant trust deficit which continues to hinder successful cooperation in combating common threats. Despite recent setbacks, both Pakistan and the U.S. continue to seek a productive relationship to defeat terrorist organizations.
As on 8 February 2011, U.S. administration is reported to suspend high level contacts with Pakistan and may also suspend economical aid.All this happened when Raymond Davis, an alleged private security contractor, was on an American diplomatic mission in Pakistan shot dead two Pakistani locals last month in what he said was in self-defense after they attempted to rob him. Pakistan acted tough on him despite U.S. demands that he be freed because he enjoys diplomatic immunity.
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson addressed senior bureaucrats at the National Management College and emphasized that the United States will assist Pakistan’s new democratic government in the areas of development, stability, and security. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations World Food Program, in Pakistan, officially announced the signing of an agreement valued at $8.4 million to help ease Pakistan's crisis.
The CIA had long suspected Osama Bin Laden of hiding in Pakistan. India and U.S. have time to time accused Pakistan of giving safe-haven to the Taliban. However, Pakistan has denied these accusations repeatedly.
On 14 September 2009, former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, admitted that U.S. Foreign Aid to Pakistan was diverted by the country from its original purpose to fighting the Taliban, to prepare for war against neighboring India.The United States government has responded by stating that they will take these allegations seriously. However Pervez Musharraf also said '"Wherever there is a threat to Pakistan, we will use it [equipment provided by the U.S.] there. If the threat comes from al-Qaeda or Taliban, it will be used there. If the threat comes from India, we will most surely use it there".
In late 2009, Hillary Clinton made a speech in Pakistan about the war against the militants where she said "we commend the Pakistani military for their courageous fight, and we commit to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani people in your fight for peace and security."
On December 1, 2009, President Barack Obama in a speech on a policy about Pakistan said "In the past, we too often defined our relationship with Pakistan narrowly. Those days are over.... The Pakistani people must know America will remain a strong supporter of Pakistan’s security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its people can be unleashed."
In the aftermath of the thwarted bombing attempt on a Northwest Airlines flight, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a new set of screening guidelines that includes pat-downs for passengers from countries of interest, which includes Pakistan. In a sign of widening fissures between the two allies, Pakistan on January 21 declined a request by the United States to launch new offensives on militants in 2010. Pakistan say it "can't launch any new offensives against militants for six months to a year because it wants to 'stabilize' previous gains made. However the U.S. praises Pakistan's military effort against the militants. Furthermore Pakistan president, in meeting with the U.S. delegation, had said Pakistan "had suffered a... loss of over 35 billion dollars during the last eight years as a result of the fight against militancy." But the President also said for "greater Pak-U.S. cooperation".
In October 2009, the U.S. Congress approved $7.5 billion of non-military aid to Pakistan over the next five years. In February 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to increase funds to Pakistan to "promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests". Obama also sought $3.1 billion aid for Pakistan to defeat Al Qaeda for 2010.
In February 2010, Anne W. Patterson (U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan) said that the United States is committed to partnership with Pakistan and further said “Making this commitment to Pakistan while the U.S. is still recovering from the effects of the global recession reflects the strength of our vision. Yet we have made this commitment, because we see the success of Pakistan, its economy, its civil society and its democratic institutions as important for ourselves, for this region and for the world.”
Between 2002–2010, Pakistan received approximately 18 billion in military and economic aid from the United States. In February 2010, the Obama administration requested an additional 3 billion in aid, for a total of 20.7 billion.
In mid February, after the capture of Taliban No.2 leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan the White House 'hails capture of Taliban leader'. Furthemore White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that this is a "big success for our mutual efforts(Pakistan and United States)in the region" and He praised Pakistan for the capture, saying it is a sign of increased cooperation with the U.S. in the terror fight. Furthermore Capt. John Kirby, spokesman for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said 'We also strongly support Pakistani efforts to secure the border region,Kirby added, noting that Pakistan has lost soldiers in that effort.'Mullen, (President Barack Obama's senior military adviser)has made strengthening "U.S. military relationship with Pakistan a top priority". The U.S. and Pakistan have a robust working relationship that serves the mutual interests of our people,' Kirby said. "We continue to build a long-term partnership that strengthens our common security and prosperity."
In March, Richard Holbrooke U.S. special envoy to Pakistan had said U.S.-Pakistani relations have seen 'significant improvement' under Obama. Furthermore he also said "No government on earth has received more high-level attention" than Pakistan.
In December 2009, President Obama stated "In the past, we too often defined our relationship with Pakistan narrowly, those days are over. Moving forward, we are committed to a partnership with Pakistan that is built on a foundation of mutual interests, mutual respect and mutual trust." This was believed to be an indirect apology to Pakistan for being treated differently and more harshly compared to both India and Israel during the Cold War period.
The Raymond Davis affair substantially deteriorated Pakistan-U.S. relations in early 2011.
Death of Osama bin Laden
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department stated that "cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding". President Obama also said during his announcement of the raid that "U.S. counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding."
According to a Pakistani intelligence official, raw phone-tap data had been transferred to the United States without being analyzed by Pakistan. While the U.S. "was concentrating on this" information since September 2010, information regarding bin Laden and the compound's inhabitants had "slipped from" Pakistan's "radar" over the months. Bin Laden left "an invisible footprint" and he had not been contacting other militant networks. It was noted that much focus had been placed on a courier entering and leaving the compound. The transfer of intelligence to the U.S. was a regular occurrence according to the official, who also stated regarding the raid that "I think they came in undetected and went out the same day", and Pakistan did not believe that U.S. personnel were present in the area before the special operation occurred.
According to the Pakistani high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan had prior knowledge that an operation would happen. Pakistan was "in the know of certain things" and "what happened happened with our consent. Americans got to know him—where he was first—and that's why they struck it and struck it precisely." Husain Haqqani, Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., had said that Pakistan would have pursued bin Laden had the intelligence of his location existed with them and Pakistan was "very glad that our American partners did. They had superior intelligence, superior technology, and we are grateful to them."
Another Pakistani official stated that Pakistan "assisted only in terms of authorization of the helicopter flights in our airspace" and the operation was conducted by the United States. He also said that “in any event, we did not want anything to do with such an operation in case something went wrong.”
Numerous allegations were made that the government of Pakistan was involved in shielding bin Laden. Aspects of the incident that have fueled the allegations include the proximity of bin Laden's heavily fortified compound to the Pakistan Military Academy, that the United States did not notify the Pakistani authorities before the operation, and the alleged double standards of Pakistan regarding the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Pakistani-born British MP Khalid Mahmood stated that he was "flabbergasted and shocked" after he learned that bin Laden was living in a city with thousands of Pakistani troops, reviving questions about alleged links between al-Qaeda and elements in Pakistan's security forces] U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham questioned, "How could [bin Laden] be in such a compound without being noticed?", raising suspicions that Pakistan was either uncommitted in the fight against Islamist militants or was actively sheltering them while pledging to fight them. A Pakistani intelligence official said that they had passed on raw phone tap data to U.S. that led to the operation but had failed to analyze this data themselves.
U.S. government files leaked by Wikileaks disclosed that American diplomats were told that Pakistani security services were tipping off bin Laden every time U.S. forces approached. Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also helped smuggle al-Qaeda militants into Afghanistan to fight NATO troops. According to the leaked files, in December 2009, the Government of Tajikistan had told U.S. officials that many in Pakistan were aware of bin Laden's whereabouts.
U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said "This is going to be a time of real pressure on Pakistan to basically prove to us that they didn’t know that bin Laden was there". John O. Brennan, the chief counter terrorism advisor to Obama, stated that it was inconceivable that bin Laden did not have support from within Pakistan. He further stated "People have been referring to this as hiding in plain sight. We are looking right how he was able to hide out there for so long." U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein stated that "it's hard for me to understand how the Pakistanis ... would not know what was going on inside the compound." and said that top Pakistan officials may be "walking both sides of the street."
Gulf News reported that the compound where bin Laden was killed had previously been used as a safe house by ISI but was no longer being used for this purpose.
Success is never achieved by the size of our brain but it is always achieved by the quality of our thoughts.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental international organization founded in Shanghaion 15 June 2001 by six countries,China,Russia,Kazakhstan,Kyrgystan,Tajiki stanand Uzbekistan.Its member states cover an area of over 30 million km2, or about three fifths ofEurasia, with a population of 1.455 billion, about a quarter of the world's total.Its working languages are Chinese and Russian.
Origin of the SCO
SCO's predecessor, the Shanghai Five mechanism, originated and grew from the endeavor byChina,Russia,Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan andTajikistanto strengthen confidence-building and disarmament in the border regions.In 1996 and 1997, their heads of state met inShanghaiandMoscowrespectively and signedtheTreaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regionsand theTreaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions.Thereafter, this annual meeting became a regular practice and had beenheld alternately in the five member states.The topics of the meeting gradually extended from building up trust in the border regions to mutually beneficial cooperation in the political, security, diplomatic, economic, trade and other areas among the five states.The President of Uzbekistan was invited to the 2000Dushanbe Summit as a guest of the host state.As the first meeting of the five heads of state took place inShanghai, the cooperation mechanism was later known as the "Shanghai Five".
On the fifth anniversary of the Shanghai Five in June 2001, the heads of state of its members and the President of Uzbekistan met inShanghai, the birthplace of the mechanism.First they signed a joint declaration admittingUzbekistanas member of the Shanghai Five mechanism and then jointly issued theDeclaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.The document announced that for the purpose of upgrading the level of cooperation to more effectively seize opportunities and deal with new challenges and threats, the six states had decided to establish a Shanghai Cooperation Organization on the basis of the Shanghai Five mechanism.
In June 2002, the heads of SCO member states met inSt. Petersburgand signed theSCO Charter, which clearly expounded the SCO purposes and principles, organizational structure, form of operation, cooperation orientation and external relations, marking the actual establishment of this new organization in the sense of international law.
Purposes and Principles of SCO
According to theSCO Charterand theDeclaration on the Establishment of the SCO, the main purposes of SCO are: strengthening mutual trust and good-neighborliness and friendship among member states;developing their effective cooperation in political affairs, the economy and trade, science and technology, culture, education, energy, transportation, environmental protection and other fields; working together to maintain regional peace, security and stability; and promoting the creation of a new international political and economic order featuring democracy, justice and rationality.
The SCO abides by the following basic principles: adherence to the purposes and principles of theCharter of the United Nations; respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, mutual non-use or threat of use of force; equality among all member states; settlement of all questions through consultations; non-alignment and no directing against any other country or organization; opening to the outside world and willingness to carry out all forms of dialogues, exchanges and cooperation with other countries and relevant international or regional organizations.
The SCO stands for and acts on a new security concept anchored on mutual trust, disarmament and cooperative security; a new state-to-state relationship with partnership instead of alignment at its core, and a new model of regional cooperation featuring concerted efforts of countries of all sizes and mutually beneficial cooperation.In the course of development, aShanghaispirit gradually took shape, a spirit characterized by mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, cooperation, respect for diversified civilizations and common development.
India currently has observer status in the SCO. Russia has encouraged India to join the organisation as a full-time member, because they see it as a crucial future strategic partner. Factors working against India joining the SCO is its long rivalry with Pakistan and its close ties to China which has also troubled ties with India resulting in the Sino-Indian War of 1962.
Additional factors working in favour of India joining the SCO are its major military presence in Central Asia, its close military ties with several Central Asian countries (especially Tajikistan and Russia) and also its deep interest in the region's energy resources. In 2010, India showed a keen interest in joining the group, “We are interested in SCO membership. It is a very important organisation concerning the region,” sources within the Indian government said. China has also shown its interest for a greater role of India in Asia club.
Iran currently has observer status in the organisation, and applied for full membership on March 24, 2008. However, because of ongoing sanctions levied by the United Nations, it is blocked from admission as a new member. The SCO stated that any country under U.N. sanctions cannot be admitted.
Mongolia became the first country to receive observer status at the 2004 Tashkent Summit. Pakistan, India and Iran received observer status at the 2005 SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 5, 2005.
Pakistan currently has observer status in the SCO. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf argued in favour of Pakistan's qualification to join the organisation as a full member during a joint summit with China in 2006. Factors working against Pakistan's joining the SCO as a member include its persistent military rivalry with fellow SCO-observer India and strained relation with Russia because of the latter's strong relations with India. China has said that it would convey Pakistan’s desire to all SCO member states. In turn, Musharraf was formally invited to the sixth summit of the SCO to take place in Shanghai in June. The Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gillani once again argued in favour of Pakistan's qualification to join the organisation as a full member.
SCO And Pakistan:-
For too long Pakistan has been woefully subservient to Western interests. By joining hands with its eastern counterparts through the SCO, Pakistan has the potential to reinvent itself as a sovereign state beholden to no foreign power, deriving inspiration from China's model of progress through its process of reinvention and self-reliance.
As Pakistan continues to demonstrate increasing capitulation to US interests, it would be beneficial to explore possibilities in enhancing the nation's already robust alliance with China. Pakistan has much to learn from China's example in improving living standards for its citizens. Rejecting the primacy of any single system, the Chinese have elegantly crafted their own form of economics by seamlessly blending free markets with Communism, insisting on modernisation squarely on its own terms. China's great leader, Deng Xiaoping has been credited with the grand achievement of lifting the largest number of people out of poverty in the shortest time ever in human history. Its dramatic economic transformation has been underlined by pragmatism and resolute political will as demonstrated by its succession of exemplary leadership. Never in history has a large economy grown as fast and for such a sustained period as China's since 1979. From 1978 to 2005 China's GDP increased from US$147.3 billion to US$2.235 trillion, representing an average annual growth rate of 9.6 percent.
With its increasing economic clout, China presents a wealth of possibilities for Pakistan and the world. Pakistan and China are hugely different yet at the same time acutely similar: both possess a population made up of diverse ethnic groups and languages; while our cities experience boom, both our rural areas remain underdeveloped.
The emergence of the SCO may play an invaluable role in helping countries like Pakistan protect and preserve their highly coveted resources, preventing Pakistan and other countries from becoming pawns in the escalating energy war. Through the SCO Pakistan has a chance to enhance its comprehensive strategic partnership with China to promote national and regional stability.
At the very least, the SCO represents an acknowledgement of the need for the East to organise itself into a cohesive political and economic force. As the world's economy sinks deeper into recession, the chance for the region to unite itself through the SCO platform presents bright prospects amidst the looming spectres of terrorism and economic collapse.
To pen the discussion off, It can be said that the SCO may have the ability to oppose the West's mendacious grab for the region's prized energy reserves. Therefore it rejected the United States' application for an observer status on the premise that the superpower shares no common borders with either China or Russia. In 2005, the SCO demonstrated its geopolitical clout when it called for a timetable for US forces to withdraw from the Central Asian bases that the Pentagon had used for operations in Afghanistan.
The organisation is likely to emerge as a formidable counterweight to NATO and can play a powerful role in helping countries protect their highly coveted resources for the benefit of the local population. The world's centre of gravity is shifting to countries that reject the West's universal claims. We are living in a period where the dominance of the world's solo superpower is coming under threat; a period of unquestioned superiority is drawing to a close. The rise of China challenges Washington's long cherished assumption of international primacy: China's global assertiveness was recently demonstrated when Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China boldly proposed for the replacement of the dollar as the main global reserve currency. China presently holds US$2 trillion worth of foreign exchange reserves and it is by far the world's largest holder of US government debt.
Success is never achieved by the size of our brain but it is always achieved by the quality of our thoughts.
The main reason for the dispute over Kashmir is water. Kashmir is the origin point for many rivers and tributaries of the Indus River basin. They include the Jhelum and Chenab rivers, which primarily flow into Pakistan while other branches—the Ravi, Beas, and the Sutlej—irrigate northern India. The Boundary Award of 1947 meant that the headwaters of Pakistani irrigation systems were in Indian territory. Pakistan has been apprehensive that in a dire need, India (under whose portion of Kashmir lies the origins and passage of these rivers) would withhold the flow and thus choke the agrarian economy of Pakistan. The Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960 resolved most of these disputes over water, calling for mutual cooperation in this regard. But the treaty faced issues raised by Pakistan over the construction of dams on the Indian side which limit water flow to the Pakistani side.
The waters of the Indus basin begin in the Himalayan mountains in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. They flow from the hills through the arid states of Punjab and Sindh, converging in Pakistan and emptying into the Arabian Sea south of Karachi. Where once there was only a narrow strip of irrigated land along these rivers, developments over the last century have created a large network of canals and storage facilities that provide water for more than 26 million acres (110,000 km2) - the largest irrigated area of any one river system in the world.
The partition of British India created a conflict over the plentiful waters of the Indus basin. The newly formed states were at odds over how to share and manage what was essentially a cohesive and unitary network of irrigation. Furthermore, the geography of partition was such that the source rivers of the Indus basin were in India. Pakistan felt its livelihood threatened by the prospect of Indian control over the tributaries that fed water into the Pakistani portion of the basin. Where India certainly had its own ambitions for the profitable development of the basin, Pakistan felt acutely threatened by a conflict over the main source of water for its cultivable land.
Soon after the partition of India the problem over water sharing from river Sutlej started between the two sides of Punjab divided by the Line of Control (LoC). As the boundary between India and Pakistan was not demarcated till July 1947, it was impractical to deal with the allocation of waters. To remedy the legal vacuum created by the partition, the chief engineers of East Punjab (Indian side of Punjab) and West Punjab (Pakistani side of Punjab) signed a standstill agreement on December 20, 1947, providing, interalia that until the end of current rabi crops on March 31, 1948, the status quo would be maintained with regard to water allocation in the Indus Basin irrigation system .On April 1, India discontinued the delivery of water from the Ferozepur headworks to Dipalpur Canal and to the main branches of the Upper Bari Doab Canal. This act was publicly criticised in Pakistan and some policy and non-policy makers even advocated for going to war to restore the water supply from the river Sutlej to West Punjab.
Indus Basin Water Treaty (1960):-
The Indus System of Rivers comprises three Western Rivers the Indus, the Jhelum and Chenab and three Eastern Rivers - the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi; and with minor exceptions, the treaty gives India exclusive use of all of the waters of the Eastern Rivers and their tributaries before the point where the rivers enter Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan has exclusive use of the Western Rivers. Pakistan also received one-time financial compensation for the loss of water from the Eastern rivers. The countries agree to exchange data and co-operate in matters related to the treaty. For this purpose, treaty creates the Permanent Indus Commission, with a commissioner appointed by each country.
The complicated origins of the Indus river system plays a key role in the water debates, as the rivers originate in and pass through a number of countries. According to the Indus Water Treaty, the following three rivers are for use by Pakistan:
1. The Indus River: originates in Chinese-controlled Tibet and flows through Jammu & Kashmir.
2. The Chenab: originates in India’s Himachal Pradesh state, travels through Jammu & Kashmir.
3. The Jhelum: rises in Jammu & Kashmir and flows into Pakistan, finally joining Chenab.
The Treaty affords India use of the following three rivers:
1. The Sutlej: originates in Tibet, flows through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab before joining the Chenab.
2. The Beas and the Ravi: originate in Himachal Pradesh state and flow into Pakistan, emptying into the Chenab.
Taking into account the flow of the rivers, the importance of the Chenab and the Indus becomes clear. The Chenab combines the waters of four rivers, the Jhelum, the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi, to form a single water system which then joins the Indus in Pakistan. The Indus River is considered to be the lifeline of Pakistani economy and livestock.
Baglihar Dam, also known as Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Project, is a run-of-the-river power project on the Chenab River in the southern Doda district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This project was conceived in 1992, approved in 1996 and construction began in 1999. The project is estimated to cost USD $1 billion. The first phase of the Baglihar Dam was completed in 2004. With the second phase completed, on 10 October 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India dedicated the 450-MW Baglihar hydro electric power project to the nation.
In the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, the construction work on the controversial 330 MW Kishen Ganga power project will start soon, after being defunct for eighteen years. Recently, the project was awarded to Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) with a timeline of seven years. The 330 MW Kishanganga hydro-electric power project involves damming of Kishanganga or Neelam River and the proposed 103 metre reservoir will submerge some parts of the Gurez valley of India. The water of Kishen Ganga River will be diverted through a 27 kilometre tunnel dug through the mountains toBandipore where it will join the Wular Lake and then Jhelum River.
Similarly, Pakistan has decided to construct a 969 MW hydro power project across the Jhelum; the country has placed the project in the hands of a Chinese consortium. Pakistan claims that the Indian dam project will violate the Indus Waters Treaty and has threatened to begin formal arbitration proceedings against India over the matter.
Pakistani writers warn that the dam will deprive Pakistan of 321,000 acres’ feet of water during the agricultural season, greatly affecting wheat production in the Punjab province and leading to crop failures. There are some warnings that the dam will adversely affect 13 million acres of irrigated land around the Chenab and Ravi rivers, forcing Pakistani farmers to change crops, and in the face of starvation, deepening Pakistan’s dependence on food imports and burdening the country's national exchequer.
Wullar Barrage/Tulbul navigation project:-
Wular Lake (also spelt Wullar), India's largest fresh water lake is located in Bandipore district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is is also one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. The lake basin was formed as a result of tectonic activity and is fed by the Jhelum River. The lake's size varies from 12 to 100 square miles (30 to 260 square kilometers), depending on the season
The Tulbul Project is a "navigation lock-cum-control structure" at the mouth of Wular Lake. According to the original Indian plan, the barrage was expected to be of 439 feet (134 m) long and 40 feet (12 m) wide, and would have a maximum storage capacity of 300,000 acre feet (370,000,000 m3) of water. One aim was to regulate the release of water from the natural storage in the lake to maintain a minimum draught of 4.5 feet (1.4 m) in the river up to Baramulla during the lean winter months. The project was conceived in the early 1980s and work began in 1984.
There has been an ongoing dispute between India and Pakistan over the Tulbul Project since 1987, when Pakistan objected that the it violated the 1960 Indus Water Treaty. India stopped work on the project that year, but has since pressed to restart construction. The Jhelum River through the Kashmir valley below Wular Lake provides an important means of transport for goods and people. To sustain navigation throughout the year a minimum depth of water is needed. India contends that this makes development of the Tulbul Project permissible under the treaty, while Pakistan maintains that the project is a violation of the treaty. India says suspension of work is harming the interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir and also depriving the people of Pakistan of irrigation and power benefits that may accrue from regulated water releases.
In February 2010 both countries started the dialogue process again and the foreign secretaries of the two countries met in New Delhi but the dialogue ended on a bitter note. Pakistan was adamant to discuss the water issue while India was stuck on discussing terrorism. At the SAARC Summit in Thimphu, the prime ministers of both countries promised to continue dialogue and as a result the foreign ministers of both countries are scheduled to meet in Pakistan. As the two countries are going to engage in dialogue on umpteen issues then they should also include the issue of water because it is going to be another future source of tension between these two countries. If needed, a few amendments to the treaty can be made but to revive or scrap the whole treaty will be a blunder. As mature nation-states both of them have to understand that the need is to resolve the contending issues and establish peace between them rather than add more problems in the already existing long list of disputes.
On 24th September,2011, The International Court of Arbitration (ICA) has ordered India to halt construction of controversial Kishan Ganga Dam.The IAC has issued this stay order on a plea of Pakistan, describing that India cannot do any construction work at place Ganga on River Neelum.The court has said in its order that Pakistan and India will have to form joint teams to monitor implementation of its verdict and no construction work is allowed over Kishan Ganga Dam.Earlier, India rejected an oath of a legal construction and prior to that on August 25, Pakistan appeared before the ICA to obtain this stay order against illegal construction of Kishan Ganga Dam.It is worth remembering here that after Indian refusal to halt its illegal construction of controversial Kishan Ganga Dam, meant to take control over Pakistan’s water supply, Pakistan decided to go to the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) to get justice.
Internal Issues of Water:-
Amidst this shortage of water, Pakistan is also confronted with a number of internal factors that amount to further strain. One columnist warned that with Pakistan's population set to jump to 250 million in just a few years' time, a shortage of water, along with that of oil, sugar, and wheat, will become a major problem. Pakistan is also estimated to be losing 13 million cusecs [approximately 368,119 cubic meters/second] of water every year from its rivers into the sea, as it does not have enough reservoirs or dams to store water. Further tensions arise from allegations of inequitable distribution of water between various Pakistani provinces. The Indus River System Authority (IRSA), which allocates water to provinces, averted a major political controversy between provinces in June 2009 by declaring that there would be no cuts in their water supply.
Consequences of Water Shortage:-
The discussion of water easily ignites popular passion because Pakistan is increasingly confronted by an impending water crisis. In early 2009, it was estimated that Pakistan is on the brink of a water disaster, as the availability of water in Pakistan has been declining over the past few decades, from 5,000 cubic meters per capita 60 years ago to 1,200 cubic meters per capita in 2009. By 2020, the availability of water is estimated to fall to about 800 cubic meters per capita. M. Yusuf Sarwar, a member of the Indus Basin Water Council, has warned that the lessening flow of water in rivers and shortage of water generally could cause Pakistan to be declared a disaster-affected nation by 2013. Dr. Muhammad Yar Khawar, a scientist at the University of Sindh, released research last year based on sample surveys that warns that less than 20 percent of below-surface water in the Sindh province, previously thought to be a viable water source, is acceptable for drinking.
Concern is growing in Pakistan that India is pursuing policies in an attempt to strangulate Pakistan by exercising control over the water flow of Pakistan's rivers. The concern is most related to Pakistan’s agricultural sector, which would be greatly affected by the building of dams and by the external control of the waters of several rivers that flow into Pakistan. The issue has a layered complexity, as three of the rivers flow into Pakistan through the Indian portion of Jammu & Kashmir, the territory over which the two countries have waged multiple wars.Pakistani columnists, religious leaders, and policymakers are increasingly articulating their concern over the water dispute in terms of a traditional rivalry against India and in terms of anti-Israel sentiment that has been fostered by the country's establishment over the years.
IBWC(Indus Basin Water Comission) Chairman Zahoorul Hassan Dahir claimed that "India, working in conjunction with the Jewish lobby" is using most of the river waters, causing a shortage of food, water and electricity in Pakistan.
In April 2008, IBWC Chairman Hafiz Zahoorul Hassan Dahir stated that India plans to construct 10 more dams on rivers streaming into Pakistan in addition to the ongoing construction of 52 new dams. "We believe that if India succeeded in constructing the proposed dams," Dahir disclosed, "Pakistan would join the list of the countries facing a severe water crisis. If we are to save Pakistan, we have to protect our waters and review our policies in Kashmir." One month later, Dahir accused India of using 80 percent of the water of the Chenab and Jhelum rivers and 60 percent of the water of the Indus.
Although bitter feelings and heated public debates are likely to persist in the years ahead, the people and leadership of Pakistan generally accept that there is nothing that Pakistan can do, especially in light of the judgment delivered in February 2007 by the World Bank-appointed neutral expert Professor Raymond Lafitte. In an editorial, the Pakistani daily The Newsobserved: "The only way to avoid problems arising is for the 1960 accord to be respected. India has, on more than one occasion, attempted to violate its spirit if not its letter, by seeking loopholes and technical flaws that can be used to its advantage. But in all this, there is also another message. The interests of the two countries are so closely linked, that they can be protected only by establishing closer ties. A failure to do so will bring only more episodes of discord, over river water, over dams, over toxic dumping in drains and over illegal border crossings...."
Success is never achieved by the size of our brain but it is always achieved by the quality of our thoughts.
Arab Uprising, A Glimmer Of Hope For A New Beginning In Middle East
Arab Uprising, A Glimmer Of Hope For A New Beginning In Middle East
The Arab uprising is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world. Since 18 December 2010 there have been revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and civil war in Libya resulting in the fall of its regime, civil uprisings in Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen, major protests in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, and minor protests in Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Western Sahara.
The series of protests and demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa has become known as the "Arab Spring and sometimes as the "Arab Spring and Winter "Arab Awakening" or "Arab Uprisings" even though not all participants in protests identify as Arab. It was sparked by the first protests that occurred in Tunisia on 18 December 2010 following Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in protest of municipal corruption and ill treatment by a local lady municipal officer. With the success of the protests in Tunisia, a wave of unrest struck Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, and Yemen, and then spread to other countries. The largest, most organized demonstrations have often occurred on a "day of rage", usually Friday after noon prayers. The protests have also triggered similar unrest outside the region.
As of September, 2011, demonstrations have resulted in the overthrow of two heads of state: Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on 14 January following the Tunisian revolution protests, and in Egypt, PresidentHosni Mubarak resigned on 11 February 2011, after 18 days of massive protests, ending his 30-year presidency. During this period of regional unrest, several leaders announced their intentions to step down at the end of their current terms. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced that he would not seek re-election in 2015, as did Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose term ends in 2014, although there have been increasingly violent demonstrations demanding his immediate resignation. Protests in Jordan have also caused the resignation of the government resulting in former Prime Minister and Ambassador to IsraelMarouf al-Bakhit being appointed prime minister by King Abdullah and tasked with forming a new government. Another leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, announced on 23 April that he would step down within 30 days in exchange for immunity, a deal the Yemeni opposition informally accepted on 26 April, Saleh then reneged on the deal, prolonging the Yemeni uprising. Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi has refused to step down, causing a civil war between pro-Gadaffi loyalists and anti-Gadaffi rebels continued. Rebels have captured most of the Libyan cities including capital Tripoli with the active military assistance of NATO especially by UK and France.
The protests have shared techniques of civil resistance in sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies, as well as the use of social media to organize, communicate, and raise awareness in the face of state attempts at repression and internet censorship.
Numerous factors have led to the protests, including issues such as dictatorship or absolute monarchy, human rights violations, government corruption (demonstrated by Wiki leaks diplomatic cables), economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, and a number of demographic structural factors, such as a large percentage of educated but dissatisfied youth within the population. The catalysts for the revolts in all Northern African and Persian Gulf countries have been the concentration of wealth in the hands of autocrats in power for decades, insufficient transparency of its redistribution, corruption, and especially the refusal of the youth to accept the status quo. Increasing food prices have also been a significant factor, as they involve threats to food security worldwide and prices that approach levels of the 2007–2008 world food price crises. Amnesty International singled out Wikileaks release of US diplomatic cables as a catalyst for the revolts. These events will continue to be magnified and accelerated by the growing role of social media. Indeed, the Arab Media Influence Report recently released by the Dubai-based News Group notes a number of significant trends:
“There are 65 million Internet users in the Arab world and the number is expected to grow to 80 million by 2012. In percentage terms, 30.8 percent of the population is online, while the global average is 28.7 percent. In August 2010, Arabic became the fastest growing language on Face book. There are 17 million Face book users in the region, larger than the number of newspaper subscribers.”
While by no means the only factor, social media will surely play a critical role as the dynamic change launched by the Tunisian fruit seller continues to play out across the region.
In recent decades rising living standards and literacy rates, as well as the increased availability of higher education, have resulted in an improved human development index in the affected countries. The tension between rising aspirations and a lack of government reform may have been a contributing factor in all of the protests.Many of the internet-savvy youth of these countries have studied in the West, where autocrats and absolute monarchies are considered anachronisms. A university professor of Oman, Al-Najma Zidjaly referred to this upheaval as youthquake.
Tunisia and Egypt, the first to witness major uprisings, differ from other North African and Middle Eastern nations such as Algeria and Libya in that they lack significant oil revenue, and were thus unable to make concessions to calm the masses.
Impacts Of Arab Uprising
Arab uprising will have deep rooted impact in Middle East and North Africa both politically and economically. As we know that in most of the countries of Middle East monarch and autocrats have the rule. The uprisings mark a watershed event, with the Arab world irrevocably changed. Essentially, the social contract governing the relationship between Arab ruling regimes and their populations is in tatters. The contract’s fundamental precept demanded popular acquiescence to regime control the suppression of their aspirations and muzzling of their voice in exchange for government guarantees of decent living conditions – the provision of jobs, housing, affordable food prices, education and health care. Over the past decade, if not longer, the social contract’s foundations began to crack. Deteriorating socioeconomic conditions and a yearning for freedom across the Arab world underscored the core flaws of this arrangement. The uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia as well as popular protests across the region are the most dramatic evidence of this new Arab awakening.
No one not even the protest organizers themselves predicted that the demonstrations would lead to the downfall of such deeply-entrenched regimes. Western governments often believed Arab regime arguments that their governments represented stability and a bulwark against either chaos or Islamist extremism. Meanwhile, many Western analysts perhaps overestimated the strength of autocratic regimes and failed to give enough credence to the “popular” side of the Arab social contract. Riddled by pervasive corruption and unable to provide even the most basic popular needs, regimes in Tunis and Cairo were ultimately brought down by their inability to fulfill their end of the bargain. Going forward, it is essential to understand that the Arab grassroots have been empowered. They are now a key factor in the region’s power equations and can no longer be ignored. Power no longer emanates solely from the top, but also resides at the popular level.
The Us-Saudi Axis
The ongoing uprisings in the Arab world today, as is clear to all observers, do not distinguish between republics and monarchies. Indeed, in addition to the republics, demonstrations have been ongoing in Morocco, Jordan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia (and more modestly in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates), despite the brutal suppression of the major Bahraini uprising by a combined mercenary force dispatched by the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council led by Saudi Arabia.
The situation in Arab countries today is characterized as much by the counter-revolution sponsored by the Saudi regime and the United States as it is by the uprisings of the Arab peoples against US-sponsored dictatorial regimes.
While the US-Saudi axis was caught unprepared for the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings, they quickly made contingency plans to counter the uprisings elsewhere, especially in Bahrain and Oman, but also in Jordan and Yemen, as well as take control of the uprisings in Libya (at first) and later in Syria. Attempts to take control of the Yemeni uprising have had mixed results so far.
Part of the US-Saudi strategy has been to strengthen religious sectarianism, especially hostility to shiism, in the hope of stemming the tide of the uprisings. The situation today is one of a struggle between the formidable US-Saudi axis, which is the main anti-democratic force in the region, and the pro-democracy uprisings.
The US-Saudi strategy is two-fold: massive repression of those Arab uprisings that can be defeated, and co-optation of those that could not be. How successful the second part will be depends on how co-optable the pro-democracy forces prove to be.
Political turmoil in the Middle East has powerful economic and financial implications, particularly as it increases the risk of stagflation, a lethal combination of slowing growth and sharply rising inflation. Indeed, should stagflation emerge, there is a serious risk of a double-dip recession for a global economy that has barely emerged from its worst crisis in decades.
Severe unrest in the Middle East has historically been a source of oil-price spikes, which in turn have triggered three of the last five global recessions. The Yom Kippur War in 1973 caused a sharp increase in oil prices, leading to the global stagflation of 1974-1975. The Iranian revolution in 1979 led to a similar stagflationary increase in oil prices, which culminated in the recession of 1980-1981. And Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 led to a spike in oil prices at a time when a US banking crisis was already tipping America into recession.
We don’t know yet whether political contagion in the Middle East will spread to other countries. The turmoil may yet be contained and recede, sending oil prices back to lower levels. But there is a serious chance that the uprisings will spread, destabilizing Bahrain, Algeria, Oman, Jordan, Yemen, and eventually even Saudi Arabia.
Even before the recent Middle East political shocks, oil prices had risen above $80-$90 a barrel, an increase driven not only by energy-thirsty emerging-market economies, but also by non-fundamental factors: a wall of liquidity chasing assets and commodities in emerging markets, owing to near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing in advanced economies; momentum and herding behavior; and limited and inelastic oil supplies. If the threat of supply disruptions spreads beyond Libya, even the mere risk of lower output may sharply increase the “fear premium” via precautionary stockpiling of oil by investors and final users.
The latest increases in oil prices and the related increases in other commodity prices, especially food – imply several unfortunate consequences (even leaving aside the risk of severe civil unrest).
First, inflationary pressure will grow in already overheating emerging market economies, where oil and food prices represent up to two-thirds of the consumption basket. Given weak demand in slow-growing advanced economies, rising commodity prices may lead only to a small first-round effect on headline inflation there, with little second-round impact on core inflation. But advanced countries will not emerge unscathed.
Indeed, the second risk posed by higher oil prices a terms-of-trade and disposable income shock to all energy and commodity importers will hit advanced economies especially hard, as they have barely emerged from recession and are still experiencing an anemic recovery.
The third risk is that rising oil prices reduce investor confidence and increase risk aversion, leading to stock-market corrections that have negative wealth effects on consumption and capital spending. Business and consumer confidence are also likely to take a hit, further undermining demand.
If oil prices rise much further towards the peaks of 2008, the advanced economies will slow sharply; many might even slip back into recession. Even if prices remain at current levels for most of the year, global growth will slow and inflation will rise.
Role of US, France and UK
US have a deep rooted political and economic interest in Middle East and North Africa. He has a strong military presence in Arabian Peninsula and Indian Ocean to protect its energy interests. Since World War II, but more diligently since the mid 1950s, the United States has followed two simultaneous strategies to exercise its control over the Arab peoples across Arab countries. The first, and the one most relevant to Arabs, was based on the early US recognition and realization (like Britain, France, and Italy before it) that Arabs, like all other peoples worldwide, wanted democracy and freedom and would struggle for them in every possible way.
For the United States, this necessitated the establishment of security and repressive apparatuses in Arab countries, which the US would train, fund, and direct in order to suppress these democratic desires and efforts in support of dictatorial regimes whose purpose has always been and continues to be the defense of US security and business interests in the region.
These interests consist principally in securing and maintaining US control of the oil resources of the region, ensuring profits for American business, and strengthening the Israeli settler-colony.Much of this was of course propelled by the beginning of the Cold War and the US strategy to suppress all forms of real and imagined communist-leaning forces around the world, which included any and all democratic demands for change in the region.
This strategy, which was formalised in the Eisenhower Doctrine issued in 1957, continues through the present. The Eisenhower Doctrine, issued on 5 January 1957, as a speech by the US president, declared the Soviet Union, not Israel or Western-supported regional dictatorships, as the enemy of the people of the Middle East. US will continue playing its role in Middle East for its economic and political interests in one way or other.
The French and the British have continued to play important neo-colonial roles in the region, economically, militarily, and in the realm of security "cooperation". They have strengthened their position by increasing their security and diplomatic "assistance" to their allies among Arab dictators. Now they have find an opportunity to reestablish their base in Middle East like US to secure pursue their economic, military and political interests in form of supporting the Rebels against the Qadafi in Libya.
On a systemic level, the Arab uprising will create a new political and economic reality in the Middle East and transform the regional balance of power. While Western influence in the region will inevitably decline as a result, the Arab revolutions also have an undeniable potential to enhance regional cooperation, reduce the appeal of terrorism and help break the current deadlock in the peace process. The great Arab hope is that Tunisia and Egypt will write a new Revolutionary and Democratic Manifesto for the Arab peoples.
• Media has emerged as a powerful tool in awareness of general public and accountability of governments in their governance.
• Center of power lies with the people.
• Government needs to solve the issues at the gross root level.
• Corruption and accumulation of wealth in few hands can lead to revolution.
• Public satisfaction and democratic system of government are integral components to success.
The killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi after being captured alive by the freedom fighters is a clear violation of international humanitarian law. While the National Transitional Council is set to formally announce Libya’s liberation, NATO has specified that it will end its armed campaign in Libya by October 31.
NATO’s air strikes on Libya have been carried out on the basis of the UN Security Council Resolution 1973. This is a binding Chapter VII resolution, which under Paragraph 4 authorises member states “to take all necessary measures…….to protect civilians and civilian populated areas.” Therefore, NATO utilised this resolution, as the legal basis for carrying out systematic air strikes on Libya for seven months. Many states, including Russia and China, have been extremely critical of the use of force in Libya, and view it as a mechanism to bring about regime change and not to protect the civilians - a norm, which as of yet has not reached the status of customary international law, but is actively promoted by the UN Secretary General’s office.
Thus, presently humanitarian intervention cannot be used as a legal basis to violate the territorial sovereignty of a State and is prohibited under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Security Council’s permanent members, like Russia and China, who are themselves confronting secessionist movements, have recently vetoed a draft Security Council resolution on Syria; on the basis of upholding the right to non-interference and in the interest of peace and security in the Middle East. Russia, China and many other emerging powers, feel that if the draft resolution had been approved, then NATO could have misused it to conduct armed operations inside Syria, as it did in Libya, on the pretext of protecting the civilians.
The Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, has recently stated: “The international community is alarmed by statements that compliance with [the] Security Council resolutions in Libya in the NATO interpretation is a model for future actions of NATO in implementing [the] responsibility to protect.”
From a human rights perspective, especially in the light of genocide and crimes against humanity recently committed in Rwanda, Bosnia and Sudan, the right of humanitarian intervention seems at first to be the right course of action. However, in practice, such a right is often exercised unilaterally or by a small group of States, acting with ulterior motives, with little regard for the interest of civilian populations, who they claim to be protecting. Many states contradictorily hold the right applicable in certain circumstances and not in other similar situations. Such behaviour is destabilising and retards international peace and security.
Recently, the principle of State sovereignty has confronted numerous challenges. Religion, globalisation, human security and international trade have all tested the norm and have facilitated its evolution in different ways. At times, this transformation has been positive, while, in other circumstances, a contrary determination can be made. However, if humanitarian intervention is to be an acceptable norm of international law, numerous safeguards have to be incorporated in international law before this right can be exercisable. This would most certainly require changes in the UN Charter and the international law governing the use of force.
Furthermore, the necessary mechanisms must be put in place to more effectively determine facts, in order to establish State responsibility. This would, in turn, require a State to contract away other forms of sovereignty that even States, which actively advocate for the right of humanitarian intervention will find difficult to agree to.
If the right of humanitarian intervention was exercisable immediately at the discretion of any State, then ‘humanitarian imperialism’ would, most probably, be the result. Then, the US conducting drones strikes and armed operations deep inside Pakistan to extirpate alleged terrorists and militants on the premise that Pakistan has failed in its responsibility to protect its citizens would become easily justifiable under international law.
Success is never achieved by the size of our brain but it is always achieved by the quality of our thoughts.
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Alexkahn (Sunday, February 16, 2014), Anam pervaiz (Wednesday, December 19, 2012), ayesha sajjad (Wednesday, December 12, 2012), desertgirl (Saturday, July 21, 2012), Engr Shahid (Sunday, December 30, 2012), Gharsheen (Thursday, December 27, 2012), ghulam rasool shah (2 Weeks Ago), inash (Sunday, February 17, 2013), NASSEEM (Sunday, August 25, 2013), Rescuer 1122 (Friday, December 28, 2012), syeda naqvi (Saturday, May 26, 2012), waqas Nawaz (Thursday, December 06, 2012)
good work bro, please tell me good book or notes covering CA completely
Thanks for this effort please discuss our new Afghan Policy in current pertinent affairs related to Pakistan India and Afghanistan and US.
If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself.
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sheemagul (Friday, September 21, 2012)
current affairs help
hi.some days ago i made a request but get no response plz help me i really need you people.i have great difficulty in current affairs and also have short time boz exam will held in feb.i regularly read down news paper from some months and Jahangir world time magazine too.but i cannt develop analytical approach.plz tell me how i develop this?and also tell if i only cover down news paper editorial it will enough?after doing this i will able to attempt
paper and get passing macks?
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NASSEEM (Sunday, August 25, 2013)
make shot notes.
This will help you to analyze your own strength of writing in a required length about the main issue. This will be your comprehensive approach in a shot form which u can write on paper n save your time by learning and revising on exam day, which is required.
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