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Naveed_Bhuutto Monday, December 17, 2012 02:03 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Pak-China relations are deep-rooted[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]A year-long celebration of Pak-China's 60 years of relations would bring even closer the two peoples[/I]

Ms. Wang Qianting, Bureau Chief for Pakistan of China Radio International (CRI), has said that Pakistan-China friendship was deeper than ocean and higher than mountains.

She was addressing as guest of honour at a special function jointly organised by Radio China Listeners Club (RCLC), Pakistan-China Friendship Association, Malik Saad Shaheed Sports Trust (Regd) Pakistan, on the eve of 60th anniversary celebrations of Pakistan and China relations at the Frontier Model School & College for Girls, Peshawar.

Members of the Chinese delegation, Provincial Minister for Higher Education Qazi Muhammad Asad, Minister for Livestock and Cooperatives Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Secretary-General Pakistan-China Friendship Association (Khyber Chapter) and President of Radio China Listeners Club Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani, Director Frontier Model School Khawjah Waseem, Principal of the School and Secretary of the Trust Amjad Aziz Malik and students attended the function.

In her fluent Urdu, Ms. Wang Qianting said the year of 2011 was being officially declared by both countries as the year of friendship and the function was part of the bilateral relations activity. "I have read much about the people living here who were famous for their hospitality and brotherhood," she added. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, she said, was a symbol of friendship between the two neighbours and that is why I was eager to visit here. I loved the way people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa treated me, she added.

A year-long celebration of Pak-China's 60 years of relations would bring even closer the two peoples, she said and added, Sino-Pak cultural exchange and development of CRI-DX Council would also be beneficial to our ties. She disclosed that she also has a Pakistani name "Musarrat" which means “joy” and can also talk even in Pashto because of her love with Pakistan and its people.

Ms. Wang Qianting stated that Pakistan-China Friendship Centre which was established by government of People's Republic of China and donated to Pakistan as symbol of friendship was one of the proofs of our love for each other. Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China were established in May 1951 and since both countries are enjoying friendship at all walks of life and most beautiful part of these relations are peoples-to-peoples contact and twining of some Pakistani cities with Chinese cities.
She assured the girls students that steps would be selected so that they could also learn Chinese language. Ms. Wang disclosed that there was tremendous goodwill and trust between the two countries and they can move towards economic integration.

She disclosed that China Radio International (CRI) was established in 1941 and now working in 61 different languages, including Urdu programme with Chinese language class. The CRI has so far completed 2400 hours duration of its programme, including many on establishing international brotherhood.

She said in last 60 years the two countries have developed a relation of trust and belief and both have great respect for each other. She said while celebrating the 2011 as year of friendship, both the countries will hold a series of commemorative activities covering fields like politics, economy, culture, education, sports and etc. She said CRI has many listeners in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and we give them great importance. In future many educational and cultural programmes would be aired besides students-to-students visits would be conducted. Haji Hidayatullah Khan and Qazi Asad also spoke on the occasion. They said that different functions in this regard should be arranged by government as well as private organisations, schools, colleges and universities to further strengthen our friendship.

They said that warm welcome presented by the people of Pakistan to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during his recent visit to Pakistan was an ample proof of our unbreakable ties.

Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani, Secretary-General Pakistan-China Friendship Association who is also President of Radio China Listeners Club in his Welcome address mentioned about the Pakistan-China relations and role of mass media in development and strengthening of these relationship. He also mentioned about Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign countries (CPAFFC) China and its special relationship with Pakistani counterparts and positive effect on strengthening the relationship at the people’s level. He specially mentioned that Urdu Service of CRI completed 48 years of broadcasting this year, and CRI delegation will also visit Pakistan for their interaction with its listeners.

Gilani also mentioned that Chinese diplomatic mission in Pakistan extended their message of good wishes for this function and plan of other celebrations of Pakistan-China friendship keeping in view the specially relationship of this Province with China. Peshawar and Abbottabad are sister cities with Urumqi and Kashgar and Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa is officially declared as friendly province with Xinjiang Autonomous Region in 2008.

He also mentioned about recently held South Asian Friendship Forum in Sri Lanka which was attended by South Asian Friendship associations with China and from China CPAFFC Vice-President Feng Zuoku, Director-General Ms. Wang Tong, Asian Division Mr. Zhang Peng along with other friends from CPAFFC attended the event.

Gilani also mentioned that CPAFFC President Chen Haosu will be visiting Pakistan this year which will be an important part of these celebrations. Pakistan-China Friendship Association will arrange special function to welcome the honourable guest. Later, special gifts and books were exchanged from both sides.

[B]Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani[/B][/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Monday, December 17, 2012 02:04 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Moving Away from the 'Nuclear Precipice'[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

Surely no philosophical discourse is needed to understand or agree that nuclear weapons are never meant to be used.[/I]

Once driving on a busy New York street a few years ago, I was struck by a bumper sticker with a strange message. It read: “One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.” This appeared rather childish if not an ultimate understatement. But taken literally, the message spoke volumes about the nuclear precipice. It will indeed take only one, just one, nuclear weapon, to ruin our day with no other day to follow.

Surely no philosophical discourse is needed to understand or agree that nuclear weapons are never meant to be used. They are only a means of 'deterrence' and to an extent seem to have served this purpose during the peak Cold War period. But one must also agree that the risk of a nuclear catastrophe will continue to loom until the universally acclaimed goal of 'Global Zero' is accomplished.

The Cold War is over, yet tens of thousands of nuclear weapons developed as a means of 'deterrence' remain in arsenals around the world. Together the US and Russia alone possess more than 95 per cent of the world's nuclear weapons. Their command and control systems are still tuned to permit immediate launch. The situation elsewhere is no less alarming.

Woefully, beyond rhetoric, there has been no progress towards a nuclear weapon-free world. The current global nuclear order inspires no-confidence in the nuclear disarmament or non-proliferation agenda which is being followed in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner with scant commitment to the overarching goal of “general and complete disarmament” as envisaged in Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

If global disarmament is beyond reach today, it is only because the multilateral system is being used to legitimise the strategic interests of only the selected few. Partial efforts at arms reduction and arms limitation do not amount to disarmament. They only take the focus away from the imperative of a nuclear weapon-free world with the major nuclear weapon states telling the world that their nuclear weapons with limited reductions will stay forever while others should do without them – a situation that amounts to telling people not to smoke while you have a cigarette dangling from your own mouth.

Unless a fundamental change is brought in this approach to global security, there is no prospect for a global consensus on disarmament in pursuit of a nuclear weapon-free world. President Obama understands the reality and has admitted that he may not live long enough to see a nuclear-free world, and that the US will maintain a nuclear arsenal “as long as these weapons exist”. This sums up the entire disarmament scenario.

Even the famous 'Gang of Four' consisting of four veteran US policymakers, Henry Kissinger, William J. Perry, George P. Shultz and Senator Sam Nunn as a bipartisan Quartet of individuals with impeccable credentials as 'Cold Warriors,” while questioning the very concept of nuclear 'deterrence' justify that “as long as nuclear weapons exist, America must retain a safe, secure and reliable nuclear stockpile primarily to deter a nuclear attack and to reassure our allies through extended deterrence.”

In an extraordinary series of widely published essays since 2007, the Quartet has been pursuing a determined campaign for global attention to the fact that our world today is “on the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era.” According to them, the accelerating spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how, and nuclear material has brought us to a tipping point where reliance on nuclear weapons even as a means of deterrence is becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective.

While suggesting development of effective strategies to deal with daunting new spectrum of global security threats, the Quartet also consider the US and Russia have no basis for maintaining a structure of deterrence involving nuclear arsenals in ways that “increase the danger of an accidental or unauthorised use of a nuclear weapon, or even a deliberate exchange based on a false warning.” In stating this, they however seem to leave unstated what uses the US nuclear stockpile might have other than deterring a nuclear attack. It appears by applying different yardsticks to different situations, they have chosen a “safe, secure and reliable” nuclear arsenal over a “safe, secure and peaceful” world.

In building their case for non-nuclear deterrence based on conventional weapons, the four former US policy-makers have argued that during the Cold War, nuclear deterrence was useful in preventing only the most catastrophic scenarios but did not deter the Soviet moves into Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. Nor were the numerous crises involving Berlin, including the building of the Wall in 1961, or major wars in Korea and Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. In the case of the Soviet Union too, its nuclear weapons did not prevent its collapse or regime change.

In their view, the US and Russia were “lucky” that nuclear weapons were not used during the Cold War, and the world today had better not continue to bet its survival on continued good fortune with a growing number of nuclear nations and adversaries globally. The Quartet's broad conclusion outlined in its latest essay this March is that “nations today must move forward together with a series of conceptual and practical steps toward deterrence that do not rely primarily on nuclear weapons or nuclear threats to maintain international peace and security.”

The Quartet's most important, indeed insightfully realistic conclusion is the recognition that for some nations, nuclear weapons may continue to appear relevant to their immediate security. According to them, there are certain undeniable dynamics at play-for example, the emergence of a nuclear-armed neighbour, or the perception of inferiority in conventional forces – that if not addressed could lead to the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and an increased risk that they will be used. In their view, some nations might hesitate to draw or act on the same conclusion unless regional confrontations and conflicts are addressed. This requires redoubled effort to resolve these issues.

Interestingly, this assessment is of direct relevance to the India-Pakistan nuclear equation, the only one to have grown up in history totally unrelated to the Cold War and rooted in their legacy of unresolved conflicts and confrontations. This aspect together with a number of nuclear and strategic restraint measures mutually applicable to India and Pakistan found adequate reflection in the outcome of the latest round of a Track Two process called Ottawa Dialogue held at Stanford University's Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, California, from July 6 to 8, 2011.

The Ottawa Process is sponsored by prestigious academic institutions and comprises a distinguished group of academics and retired senior civil and military officials from both India and Pakistan. The Palo Alto meeting hosted by former US secretary of state George Shultz welcomed the recent resumption of high-level India-Pakistan dialogue and formulated an elaborate list of nuclear and other CBMs for presentation to the two governments before their foreign ministers meeting in New Delhi in on July 27.

The idea was to assist the official (Track One) process between the two nuclear-capable neighbours, with a history of conflicts and confrontations, in developing a mutually acceptable framework of nuclear restraint and stabilisation measures, including nuclear risk-reduction measures. Last year, they had made similar recommendations to the two governments which already seem to have found way in their expert-level discussions on “implementation and strengthening of existing arrangements and identification of additional mutually acceptable measures to build trust and confidence and promote peace and security.”

The new list includes a wide range of confidence building measures that could be implemented not only to prevent an accidental launch of nuclear weapons and escalation of conflicts between the two countries but also to stabilise their broader relationship through mutual confidence building and restraint measures. These also include conventional military CBMs/restraint measures and steps to encourage people-to-people engagement.
The Cold War is over, yet tens of thousands of nuclear weapons developed as a means of 'deterrence' remain in arsenals around the world. Together the US and Russia alone possess more than 95 per cent of the world's nuclear weapons.
The Ottawa Group was mindful of the fact that some of the proposed CBMs cannot be undertaken in the absence of stability in other aspects of the relationship but they can, at least, contribute to the creation of a “virtuous cycle;” an atmosphere in which progressively more ambitious steps can be taken in all fields of confidence-building. In the ultimate analysis, however, India and Pakistan representing the most uneasy nuclear equation in today's world will have to move beyond CBMs and purposefully get involved in conflict resolution.

Pakistan's longstanding proposal for Strategic Restraint Regime involving nuclear and missile restraint, conventional balance and conflict resolution will go a long way in promoting nuclear and conventional restraint and mutual stabilisation. Likewise, non-induction of ABMs and other destabilising systems could also serve as an arms limitation measure. Arms reduction could follow in due course later as the two sides build up trust and confidence.

Steady improvement in their relations requires fundamental changes in the way they deal with each other. A clearer framework of principles is needed on the basis of which to organise future relations. India, being the biggest country in South Asia, must lead the way by discarding hegemonic designs in the region.

Both countries also need an informed public dialogue on the subject of the implications of a nuclear conflict in South Asia, and of the opportunity costs which attend the continuation of an uncontrolled nuclear rivalry. Such a dialogue must include discussions on the need and modalities for addressing the underlying causes of their outstanding disputes.

For both India and Pakistan, peace and prosperity must now become the strategic priority. Mutual renunciation of the use of force for settlement of their outstanding disputes, including the Kashmir issue will ensure a stable and peaceful neighbourhood conducive to harnessing the region's vast untapped economic potential.

[B]Shamshad Ahmad
The writer is a former foreign secretary.[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Monday, December 17, 2012 02:05 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]LIBYA (Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]The African Union does not support the Nato-led military campaign targeting Col. Gaddafi's forces.

Capital: Tripoli
Area: 1759540 Sq km
Hottest place of the world: Al Azizia situated in Sahara Desert in Libya
Location: In the North Mediterranean Sea, in the South Chad, in the East Egypt and in the West Tunisia and Algeria.

Historical background: Kingdom of Libya gained independence from British and French military administration in 1951. The past bleak picture changed dramatically after 1959 with the discovery of vast reserves of oil and gas in the south. In 1969 Col. Gaddafi toppled King Idris in a military coup, the name was given “Al-Fataha Revolution”. In 1973 Gaddafi declared a “Cultural Revolution” at the grassroots level in the country like, people's committees in hospitals, schools and other work places. In 1973 Libya assumed control over the disputed Aouzou Strip in northern Chad, in the Tabesti Mountain a 70,000 sq km region thought to be rich in uranium.

In 1994 Libya returned the Aouzou strip to Chad. In 1981, the US shot down two Libyan aircraft which challenged its war planned over the Gulf of Sirte, claimed by Libya as its territorial water in Mediterranean Sea. In 1984 United Kingdom broke off diplomatic relations with Libya after killing of British policeman in Tripoli. In 1986, United States bombed on Libyan military bases in urban areas of Tripoli.

In December 21, 1988 Lockerbie incident took place. In 1992, UN imposed sanctions on Libya in an effort to force it to hand over for trial of two Libyans involvement in the blowing up of a Pan Am flight 103 airline over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988.

In 1999, Libyan Government agreed to hand over Lockerbie suspects for trial in the Netherlands under Scottish Law. United Nations sanctions suspended and diplomatic relations with the UK were restored. In January 31st, 2001, special Scottish Court in the Netherlands found over of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdul Baset Ali Mohammad Al-Megrahi was guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment and other accused was not guilty and freed.

In August 2009, Al-Megrahi was freed from Scottish prison on humanitarian ground. In 2004, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Libya. In February 2009, Gaddafi was elected chairman of the African Union. In August 2009 Libyans had celebrated 40th anniversary of “Al-Fatha Revolution” at this occasion the chief guest was Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Anti-government move was started in Libya on February 15, 2011. By February 18, most of Benghazi the country second largest city was controlled by the opposition. Protests had spread to Tripoli by February 20.

An interim Government in opposition to Col. Muammar Gaddafi's continued rule was established in Benghazi on March 26, 2011. On March 19, 2011, operation Odyssey Dawn began establishing a No Fly Zone in Libya. In such a bleak scenario, a South Africa-led African Union peace initiative seems to be the best option to end hostilities in the country.

The African Union does not support the Nato-led military campaign targeting Col. Gaddafi's forces, and South African President Jacob Zuma has recently stepped up efforts to broker a peace deal, because both the countries have deep cordial relations.

Another development a United Nations peace envoy to Libya Abdul Elah Al-Khatib is suggesting a ceasefire in the country, to be followed by the immediate creation of a transitional authority made up equally of the government and rebels while excluding Gaddafi and his son.
“Arab Spring” –
eight months on

Tunisian-inspired rebellions have sparked unrest in numerous nations including Libya, where rebels celebrate the “end of Kadhafi era”

Former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia in January, is sentenced to more than 66 years in prison in absentia. Nation looks to rebuild its economy under interim leader Beji Caid Essebsi. 1st elections since Ben Ali's departure postponed to October 23.

Murder and corruption trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, who stood down in February, is adjourned until September 5.
Ruling military council pushes back parliamentary polls, originally scheduled for September, by up to two months.

President Bashar al-Assad refuses to step aside, ignoring international pressure to end a bloody 5-month crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, which has cost the lives of at least 2,200 people according to rights groups. Thousands of civilians flee to Turkey and Lebanon.

Shiite-led democracy rallies crushed by authorities and troops from other Gulf nations from mid-March.
King supports proposals for political reform following “national dialogue” but Shiite opposition stays it will boycott next month's by-elections.

Nation announces early parliamentary elections for November 25. Monarchy pursues reforms in response to partly-quashed protests inspired by the Arab Spring. Voters approve proposal to limit powers of King Mohammad VI in a July 1 referendum. New constitution to give greater role to prime minister and grant more public freedom.

Uprising sparked by rising living costs. State of emergency lifted 19 years after it was introduced.

Protesters still call for better salaries, job prospects and housing despite a series of political reforms announced by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

After four decades in power Moamar Kadhafi refuses to leave power despite an increasingly bloody revolt, leading to the death of one of his sons and the arrest of another on charges of crimes against humanity. Nato-backed rebels celebrate the end of “Kadhafi era” as they enter Tripoli.

Protest against President Ali abdulah Saleh intensify as southern secessionists and tribes loyal to sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar join movement. Saleh, wounded in a shell attack by tribesmen in June, seeks treatment in Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda steps up suicide attacks.

[B]Abdul Rasheed[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:17 AM

[I][B][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Karachi is Crying[/SIZE][/CENTER][/B][/I]

[I]To bring peace in Karachi is everybody's wish, but nothing will be achieved without moving in the right direction.[/I]

Karachi's recent violence has exposed a weak and disorganized state of affairs in the city. Karachi being a commercial hub means a lot to Pakistan's economy. Our national economy cannot remain unaffected if this largest city is not peaceful.

Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan with an estimated population of around 20 million. Karachi contributes about 55% to Pakistan's GDP, that is, about US $98 billion, projected to reach $130 billion by 2015 provided peace is restored in the city and its suburbs. All national and international surveys, reports, and analyses confirm that Karachi is the mainstay of Pakistan's economy. Of course,
Karachi's high share in GDP is due to its large industrial base. Karachi has 15,000 formal industrial units in its five industrial zones while there are 360 markets spread all over the city. It is estimated that the daily loss to the national GDP is Rs 2 billion for every hour that Karachi remains non-operational. Violence has forced several established businesses to close permanently. About 40% of businesses are on the verge of collapse because of the recent unrest in Karachi.

Karachi is facing civil war-like situation immaturity and short-sightedness on the part of the political parties have triggered violence in the city. PPP has a vote bank in Karachi, but as a party it has a limited influence. Responsibility in many ways lies with the MQM, because it has the ability to implement its decisions. Meanwhile, a serious threat to MQM's control of the city is emerging, as Pashtun population now is in close parity. It's hard fact and MQM has to realize.

July has been a bloody month. However, this is not the first time when the city has been subjected to ethnic-bloodbaths. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) walked out of the federal and provincial governments and this was a message that peace between the various power-brokers in Karachi would be affected. What happened afterwards Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain invited the army to initiate an impartial crackdown on criminal elements, in Karachi irrespective of their political affiliations, to free the metropolis from the grip of armed terrorists.

Addressing MQM activists at the Lal Qila ground in Karachi, Hussain said that the government was duty-bound to contain the seemingly unending killing spree in Karachi.

“[Apart from Rangers] we want the army to take control of Karachi (and launch a crackdown). If they feel that anyone from the MQM is involved (in criminal activities), that person should be arrested,” he said. However, he cautioned the army and Rangers against targeting the MQM alone. “If anyone from the PPP or ANP is found to be involved (in such activity), they, too, should be apprehended,” he said.

The Awami National Party (ANP) has opposed the restoration of the local bodies system of 2001 in Karachi and Hyderabad and the implementation of the commissio-nerate system in the rest of Sindh, terming the move “undemocratic”.

“The ANP considers separate systems for Karachi and Hyderabad and the rest of Sindh as an unannounced compromising step of the government to pave the way for creating a Mohajir province,” ANP President (Sindh) Shahi Syed said while speaking at a news conference at the Mardan House.

He said his party always offered unconditional support to the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in order to strengthen democracy but it was ignored by the latter in spite of the fact that it was also a coalition partner of the PPP.

A report issued by the Human was quite expected. Over 100 people were killed in a strike that followed the decision. Public transport was badly affected and innocent citizens were indiscriminately killed by sharp shooters of major political parties which mobilise people on the grounds of ethnicity and linguistic identity.

When the events of early July settled, the peace between MQM and Government was again shaken; PPP leader, Zulfiqar Mirza inadvertently expressed his views against Altaf Hussain. Mirza also made some sweeping and irresponsible remarks against the mohajirs who arrived in Karachi after the partition. The statement unfortunately resulted in further violence and killings of innocent people and the loss of private and public property.

With the unofficial alliance of all non-Muhajir representatives and MQM's breakaway factions operating under the guise of Sunni Tehreek, there is a greater likelihood of street battles erupting and getting out of control. PPP controls the federal agencies such as the Rangers and FC but further escalation of violence and tension will have an adverse impact on the democratic and consensual decision-making. Given the current configuration, MQM is rightly worried about being pushed into a corner. But then it cannot totally absolve itself of the responsibility as it was and remains a major actor in Karachi's politics and governance. Karachi's economy cannot function without the inclusion of
Now it is not simply a turf war between drug-peddlers and their racketeers; it has taken a new turn wherein hand grenades are being hurled, rockets are being fired and decapitated bodies are being found in gunny bags.
Rights Commission of Pakistan said that a total of 1,139 people were killed in the city during the first six months of the current year and 490 of them fell prey to targeted killings on political, sectarian and ethnic grounds.

HRCP chairperson Zohra Yusuf, sharing the statistics, observed that a continuous surge in targeted killing reflected the government's inefficiency to handle the situation that was deepening the sense of insecurity among the citizens. She was of the view that the government was not taking decisive action against culprits to appease its coalition partners.

According to the HRCP report, 65 women were killed during the first half of the current year — 24 by their relatives and 26 by unknown assailants. It said that four of the victims were burnt to death, three died on railway tracks; two were killed by robbers and another two by Lyari gangsters. Three women fell victim to honour killing and one was killed by police, it stated.

Separately, the report said, 37 men lost their lives in the ongoing Lyari gang warfare over the past six months. Among the 56 victims of ethnic strife 51 were men and one woman, the rest being children.

According to the report, of the 490 victims of targeted killings, 150 were apparently killed for their association with various political, religious and nationalist parties, 56 for their ethnic background and eight on sectarian grounds.

The statistics show that 250 people killed in the city during the period did not have affiliation with any political party. A total of 139 such killings had been reported during the other communities given the interdependence of economic and social forces. The transport business is largely operated by the Pathans so they simply cannot be isolated from the power matrix and decision-making. As the second largest community, they also have a right to claim their share.

Violence and killings will not change this. The Pakhtun population of Karachi cannot be washed away or, more appropriately, done away with. The Pakhtuns also should not get their rights by indulging in bloodshed. Their struggle has to be political. Of late, it seems, though, as if they have decided to fight their way through, and this will only lead to massacre.

Besides the political settlement, which is the first step towards peace, the state machinery has to be improved to maintain order. The Karachi police is now good for nothing. During Benazir Bhutto's second tenure, it actively played its role to curb violence in the city, which eventually tormented the MQM. Consequently it had to pay a heavy price for that. The hundreds of criminals it had arrested were released from jail through various political deals, some during Nawaz Sharif's second tenure and later through Musharraf's patronage. They came out and methodically killed police officials involved in operations against them and forced others to run away.

These different organisations have deep-seated grudges. So, no one in the police can afford another onslaught on them, and the police is content as being silent spectator. This situation is further worsened by the fact that its personnel are now heavily infiltrated by party sympathisers, largely affiliated with the MQM and other parties. The police is no longer an independent and unbiased organisation to maintain peace in the city.
It has taken an ugly ethnic colour, and the political power-brokers in the city are supporting one or the other warring group. By the looks of it, no law exists in our country. Innocent people are being killed every day.
The Rangers that have been permanently deployed in the city have little knowledge and understanding of the situation as they have lesser interaction with the common man. The police has much more understanding of the social setup and the current state of affairs in the localities prone to violence. The Rangers by its design are not for peace keeping, but should only be employed in emergencies. Their continuous deployment would result in sad and violent incidents such as the killing of the young man in broad daylight. Ever since that gruesome incident, the Rangers feel depressed and are somehow ineffective.

Now the authorities have come up with another alarming decision; the deployment of the Frontier Constabulary in the city. This organisation is almost wholly Pakhtun and trigger-happy. Their induction at the moment Karachi is smouldring is grossly unwise, if not malevolent.

We have described the problem, now we have to look for the solution? One, the MQM has to recognise and come to terms with the new realities of Karachi. This will help it in accepting a political settlement with other communities. Two, Pakhtuns and other ethnicities must have the possibility of getting political representation.

The way to do this is to divide Karachi into five or eight districts with their own local councils. This will allow different ethnicities to have a say in running their day to day affairs. One community having control over all of Karachi through a metropolitan corporation will always be a conflict-ridden body.

Third, the police force, in fact the entire law enforcement mechanism that includes the judiciary and the jails, needs to be built up brick by brick. Relying on the Rangers – who should be withdrawn from the city – or the FC and ultimately the army, could at best be short-term measures. The police has to take control for the law and order to be maintained.

As always, Karachi needs democratisation of power; and robust accountability mechanisms and strengthening of the state as the mediating agent between diverse interests and lobbies. There can be no other alternative to a responsive local government, a municipal police and effective law-enforcement agencies. The notions of cosmetic, brutal “clean-up” operations are recipes for failure for they cannot change underlying imbalances in the state and society. The democratic option is clear. The major political parties will have to agree on a common agenda for reform and negotiate it.
The 141st Corps Commanders' Conference was held at General Headquarters. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired the meeting.

Among other issues, the participants also discussed the security situation in the Country in general and Karachi in particular. The Forum expressed concern over the law and order situation in Karachi and its ramifications / implications on National economy and expected that the measures recently undertaken by the Government would help redress the situation.

An army intervention has never resulted in systemic changes. Karachi is no exception. Above all, it belongs to its resilient, inventive citizens who want peace, security and opportunities. Ending violence in Karachi and creating equitable opportunities should, therefore, become a top priority of political parties. Otherwise, they may fail us once again.

corresponding period of the previous year.

About the victims of targeted killings on political grounds, the report suggested that 77 activists belonged to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), 26 to the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), 29 to the Awami National Party (ANP), 16 to the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H), seven to the Sunni Tehrik (ST), nine to the Ahl-i-Sunnat Wal-Jamaat (ASWJ), two to the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and one each belonged to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), PML-Functional (PML-F), Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) and Punjabi-Pakhtun Ittehad (PPI). Four members of the banned outfit Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan were also killed on political grounds, it said.

The HRCP report observed that in the first six months of 2010, the figures of targeted killings were comparatively low as 109 people had fallen victim to the menace with 34 belonging to the MQM-H, 22 to the MQM, 11 to the PPP, 16 to the ANP, four to the ST and three each belonging to the JI and SSP. The other parties lost one or two of their activists during the period.

According to the statistics of other violent crimes, the report said 123 people were killed on account of personal enmity during the first half of the current year as against 113 reported in the corresponding period of the previous year.

A total of 41 policemen have been killed so far this year compared to 32 gunned down last year in the city, the report said..

[B]Adeel Niaz[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Thursday, December 20, 2012 01:20 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Reforming the UN Security Council[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]The importance of the role of the UNO can be gauged from the very fact that it has averted the outbreak of third world war so far.[/I]

The United Nations is the only Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) that is primarily responsible for the maintenance of Peace and security and has the membership of almost all the sovereign states. Its success can be gauged from the very fact that so far it has managed to avert the outbreak of the third world war. The proposed reforms of the United Nations is a buzzword in international politics. The need was felt because of the emergence of new geo-political realities such as:

1. Cold War
2. Emergence of a large number of sovereign States as the result of Decolonization
3. Humanitarian Crisis such as Genocide in Rawanda in 1994 and Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia in 1995.
4. US preemptive attack on Iraq in 2003 on the pretext of anticipatory self-defense through unilateral interpretation of article 51 of the charter.
5. The Charter needs to reflect the changes that have taken place in international Politics over the years such as:
a. Article 23 mentions Taipei based “The Republic of China” instead of Beijing based “People's Republic of China”
b. The disintegration of the USSR is also not reflected as instead of mentioning Russian Federation, Union of Soviet Socialist Republic is mentioned.
c. The charter allows the member states to take action against the 'Enemy States' – Article 53, 77 and 107 - (Germany & Japan because they were in the enemy camp during the Second World War!!!)

The proposed reforms are divided in two categories – of the Security Council in particular and of the UN in general. I would highlight the reforms of the UNSC in this article.

The UN Charter, article 24, gives the Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international Peace and security and 'in discharging these duties the UNSC acts on behalf of the member states. Moreover, it has the unique authority to adopt binding decisions under chapter 7 and has monopoly over the use of force. It can also suspend the membership of the defaulting member. Most of all, the permanent members (P-5) have the VETO power.

Currently, there are 5 permanent Members – China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States - and 10 non-permanent members. The non-permanent members are elected for 2 years. The geographical representation is distributed as follow:

1) 3 Seats for the African Group
2) 2 Seats for the Asian Group
3) 1 Seat for the Eastern Europe and 2 for Western Europe
4) 2 Seats for the Latin America and Caribbean Region

The proposed reforms need to encapsulate solutions of five key issues i.e. categories of membership, Veto, Regional representation, Size of the Council, its working methods and relationship between the UNSC and UNGA.

The charter was first amended in 1965 when 4 non-permanent members were added and the total membership rose to 15 from 11. Now Germany, Japan, India and Brazil claim to become new permanent members of the UNSC on the basis of their contributions to the UN budget and peacekeeping efforts. These countries formed a G-4 Block. This move led to the demand from other countries from Asia, Africa and Latin for balanced geographical representation.

Meanwhile, a group of like-minded formed an informal 'Coffee club' to counter the expansion of UNSC membership. Its members are Italy, Pakistan, Canada, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, turkey, Indonesia and Argentine etc. Their claim was rooted in article 24 which states that the UNSC acts on behalf of all the member states. Therefore they proposed that instead of creating more centers of powers (Veto Powers), the focus of the reforms should be to make it more efficient body capable of pursuing global priorities. Later on it was metamorphosed into United for Consensus Group (UfC).

Now both the groups counter each other and want to proceed with their respective agendas. These attempts merit careful scrutiny of the facts.

The first problem was to identify and adopt the procedure required to amend the Charter. Since any reform proposal entails Charter Amendment. Therefore it has to be adopted in accordance with the Article 108 which mandates that a resolution should be adopted by the 2/3rd members of the UN membership and ratified by the 2/3rd plus all the permanent members of the UNSC. It means if it is vetoed by even one member, it will not be adopted even if the remaining 191 countries say 'Yes'! The reason to identify that why such a rigid system of amendment is in place is not far to fetch. Actually the framers of the Charter insulated themselves against any prospective amendment that would eventually take away their 'Veto' Status.

At this point, I want to apprise my readers regarding the voting procedure of the General Assembly in order to enable them to appreciate the sophistication of the moves and counter moves made by both the groups.

a. Article 18 explains the voting at the UNGA. It says that each member has one vote and it divides the issues into two categories: Important questions – to be decided by 2/3 majority of the Members Present and Voting – and other question – by the simple majority of the members. It means if 100 members are making up any session, an important question will require 2/3rd of the members present and voting and not of 193 (total membership of the UN)
b. However, the charter could only be amended through article 108 which stipulates even stricter criteria. It mandates that for amendments to come into force 2/3rd of the entire membership will adopt it and further, ratification is required by 128 members including all the permanent members!!!
c. Article 109 lays the procedure for calling the General Conference of the Members of the UN which is 2/3 of the entire membership (128 members) and any 9 Members of the UNSC .But for giving the proposed amendment legal effect, ratification by 2/3rd majority is required including the concurrence of all the permanent members (the Veto power comes into play).

Interestingly, the G4 Countries first attempted to make their way through article 18 in which 2/3rd majority of Present and Voting is the threshold but they were successfully countered by the UfC. The UfC adopted the position that since the expansion of UNSC has charter amendment implications therefore it has to be adopted in accordance with article 108 and not 18.

The first half-baked attempt was made by Mr. Raza Ali, the then President of UNGA, in 1997. It is popularly known as Raza Ali formula. He proposed inclusion of 5 permanent members and 4 non-permanent members – total 9. The proposed distribution of the new permanent members was, one each from the developing states of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean and two from the industrialized States. This formula created a lot of controversy over the role of the President of UNGA and eventually he had back off.

In 1998 a mature move was made when the G-4 Countries attempted to have a framework resolution adopted in accordance with article 18. But as explained earlier, the UfC proposed that in order to establish a legal way out, the voting threshold could be establish in accordance with article 18(3) that stipulates that the UNGA will decide the voting threshold of additional questions according to simple majority present and voting. In simple words, it means that if any dispute arises regarding voting threshold the General Assembly can decide the issue through a simple majority. Consequently the proponents backed off.

Now since the reform agenda has to be taken up in accordance with article 108, the main hurdle in the way of G-4 countries is the position maintained by the African Union (AU) that wants 2 permanent seats with veto power. They basis of its claim is the historical neglect of the African continent and also there is no veto power in the entire continent. It is crucial for the G-4 to win the support of African Union in order to meet the threshold of 108. In 2005, they introduced a draft resolution which proposed new permanent members without veto power. But this move failed.
Let us analyze the positions of different stake holders:
a. The G-4 countries are seeking increase in both permanent and non-permanent membership. They are in favour of having the right to veto but they maintain that the veto right, however, should not be a hinderance to the UNSC reforms.
b. The UfC opposes the further expansion in the permanent members of the UNSC as it negates the basic principle of the charter of 'Sovereign equality of all the States.' It proposes expansion of non-permanent members from 10 to 20 and the members are eligible for re-election.
c. The position of AU is referred to as 'Ezulwini Consensus' that is to have 2 Permanent seats with veto power and full privileges and 5 non-permanent seats.
d. One of the main hurdles is the divergent interests and the positions of the leading players i.e. P-5 (Permanent 5).
i. The US supports inclusion of Japan and lately, India.
ii. Russia is opposing veto power for new permanent members.
iii. China waits the emergence of consensus but it attends the informal meetings of UfC.
iv. France and UK has endorsed the G-4's position.
v. NAM supports the expansion in the non-permanent category.
vi. OIC supports the reform proposal that will ensure representation of the Islamic Ummah.

In a nutshell, as long as the AU maintains its demand of being granted the right to veto to the new permanent members, success for G-4 would be a far cry. At present, according to some estimates, the G-4 enjoys the support of 50 to 60 members and 60 to 70 opposes it whereas 60-70 are undecided and forms the critical mass whose support can turn the tables.

At the end it is pertinent to mention that now the issue revolves around number game. If the G-4 manages to get the support of 128 countries including the concurrence of all the veto powers, it will win and the structure of international system will get a radical transformation that will necessitate massive readjustment by the world community at large.

Muhammad Azmat Farooq (CSP)[/B]

wannabe Friday, December 21, 2012 10:38 PM

US-Israel Nexus and Iran
[CENTER][B]US-Israel Nexus and Iran[/B][/CENTER]

According to analysts on the Middle East, if Iran goes nuclear, Israel would no longer be able to continue its ambiguous nuclear policy and will have to declare its nuclear weapons.

Muslim World Paradise turned Inferno
Saturday, September 01, 2012

Also, it may ignite a nuclear warfare in the region which will ultimately pose existential threat to Israel. Despite the close alliance between the US and Israel, there appears a dissonance on Iran's nuclear programme. Israeli leadership dismissed the chances that sanctions would now deter Iran or convince it to give up its nuclear programme. It called for stringent actions against Iran by the US, that may include a military or aerial strike.

In March this year, in his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, US President Barack Obama, while referring to Iran's ambitions to acquire nuclear technology said: “No Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime…that threatens to wipe Israel off the map.... A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel's security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States.” He also quoted former President of the US, Theodore Roosevelt: “Speak softly but carry a big stick”. This was not only an unequivocal proclamation of the US present stance on Iran but can also be viewed as a warning to the country against its hard-line anti-US and anti-Israel stance.

Primarily, the likely acquisition of uranium enrichment technology or nuclear weapon technology by Iran, in particular, is what rang alarms in the US and Israel about a decade ago. President of Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has been explicitly following an anti-US agenda. Adopting austerity measures at home, the leader is determined to face every economic challenge posed by the US or the international community in the wake of its missile technology and civilian nuclear technology programme. The cost of the sanctions against Iran is 133 million dollars per day. Although, Iran has yet not acquired “nuclear or atomic weapon”, for the US, the nuclear Iran in the Middle East, while strengthening anti-US and anti-Israel elements threatens its greater policy interests in the region. On the other hand, Israel views nuclear Iran an existential threat to the Jewish state.

The US, so far, exercised diplomatic pressure and placed economic sanctions to deter Iran from acquiring and advancing its nuclear programme and warned Iran of grave consequences if the country chose not to abandon its nuclear ambition. Also there have been vociferous reminders that the US would never settle for nuclear-armed Iran and a military attack would be the last resort. However, the recently proposed sanctions were vetoed by China once again.

Apart from nuclear issue, the influence that Iran enjoys over the Strait of Hormuz is also a cause of concern to the US now. About 20 per cent of the world oil trade is done through the Strait of Hormuz. In wake of warnings and threats of a military attack by the US last year, Iran, in turn, had threatened to block the Strait for trade. On the one hand, it alarmed the Israeli policymakers and on the other, it provoked the US to send its aircraft carriers towards the Strait.
Pakistan had been shown the big stick that Obama administration virtually carries in conformity to Roosevelt's saying and issues are yet to be settled between the two states.
The US interest in the region, however, is not limited to Iran. China and Pakistan are also correlated as the two countries enjoy greater stakes and strategic and geographical influence in southern part of Asia. Afghanistan as a matter of fact has already bowed to the US policy interests. Of late, Pakistan had been shown the big stick that Obama administration virtually carries in conformity to Roosevelt's saying and issues are yet to be settled between the two states. China while gaining greater strategic and economic leeway through Gwadar port into the Indian Ocean appears to be a potential threat to the US interests. On the other hand, Pakistan continues to pursue Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project apparently in defiance of the UN sanctions on Iran. Also, Iran continues to extend its role in Balochistan. The Iran-Pakistan cooperation and the emerging pattern of maritime politics in Indian Ocean extending to Strait of Hormuz, including China as one of the major players would be detrimental to the US ambitions. Together, this poses policy challenges to the US.

Israel on its part has been pursuing a policy of nuclear opacity since 1981 when the country had successfully obliterated Iraqi nuclear reactors. The then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin had announced that 'Israel, under no circumstances, would allow enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction against Israel. The country would defend its citizens, in time, with all the means at its disposal.' Since then, Israel had pursued a tacit nuclear prgramme, however, Iran's nuclear ambitions posed a challenge to Israel's nuclear weapons technology. According to analysts on the Middle East, if Iran goes nuclear, Israel would no longer be able to continue its ambiguous nuclear policy and will have to declare its nuclear weapons. Also, it may ignite a nuclear warfare in the region which will ultimately pose existential threat to Israel. Despite the close alliance between the US and Israel, there appears a dissonance on Iran's nuclear programme. Israeli leadership dismissed the chances that sanctions would now deter Iran or convince it to give up its nuclear programme. It called for stringent actions against Iran by the US, that may include a military or aerial strike. Although Israel has assurances from the US of a military strike if all else fails, the country is planning to opt for a unilateral military action against Iran in self-defence.
Although Israel has assurances from the US of a military strike if all else fails, the country is planning to opt for a unilateral military action against Iran in self-defence.
Israel, reportedly has established an “Iron Dome” last year. It is a mobile missile-defence system capable of detecting and destroying short-range missiles in flight. The system made by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence System is designed to counter rockets with ranges of up to 44 miles and provides a cover against Israel's declared enemies, Hamas and Hezbollah. Some reports suspect a possibility of a similar system being used by Israel against Iran if needed in future.

Lately, Iran tested a more accurate short-range missile capable of striking land and sea targets underscoring its capability to hit naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz if attacked. The successful tests not only alarmed the US and Israel but apparently ignited the already tense situation. A time when election competitors of Barack Obama are proclaiming support to Israel in launching a military strike against Iran, public opinion in the US largely going against Obama's policy over Iran, it appears difficult for the Obama administration to keep “speaking softly” no matter they have been showing the big stick as well. The policy of engagement with Iran, diplomatic pressure and restraint may not appear to be working but that is the only feasible option, for a military strike against Iran would be detrimental for both the US and Israel.

*Nabiha Gul is a researcher and analyst on international affairs and an IR professional.
Email: [email]coldpath1@gmail.com[/email]
Nabiha Gul

wannabe Friday, December 21, 2012 10:40 PM

A US – led Syria and Beyond…
[CENTER][B][COLOR="Navy"][SIZE="6"]A US – led Syria and Beyond…[/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/CENTER]
From the Geneva recommendations to the six-point peace plan proposed by Kofi Annan, nothing was endorsed with consensus.

Muslim World Paradise turned Inferno
Saturday, September 01, 2012

It is interesting to highlight that both the drafts had a common agenda which favoured a democratic transition at the cost of dismantling authoritarian rule. For this purpose, the notion of a government of 'national unity' (which allows the opposition and those already in the government to share power) was presented. This clearly indicates that the US isn't ready to back a complete 'regime change' and wants to maintain some of the institutions in Syria which will have to abide by its standards of 'human rights'

The Syrian massacre has flooded the news items all around the world. It's been a year since Obama administration, for the first time, called on President Bashar al-Assad to step down and let Syrians have their right of self-determination. However, the obdurate dictator turned a deaf ear to this call. The clash between the 'regime loyalists' (supporters of Assad) and myriad rebel factions has claimed thousands of lives in Syria for almost seventeen months. The roots of this ongoing civil war can be traced to Benghazi, Libya, where Muammar Qaddafi refused to surrender in front of the rebels. His forces were ready to fight and what they couldn't resist was the 'overreached' retaliation by NATO which had entered the conflict on behalf of the rebels. China and Russia allowed the resolution which gave NATO such sweeping powers to pass, but Russia along with South Africa criticised NATO's role after the death of Qaddafi. This dispute in the UN Security Council created an unpleasant atmosphere as there was a disagreement between the members at a time when an agreed response to violence in Syria had to be chalked out. It was Russia which insisted on quelling the pressure from Assad's regime and including the president while deciding any future political set-up for Syria. This was the reason for the appointment of Kofi Annan (the UN-Arab League joint envoy to Syria) in February 2012 who worked on ''mission impossible” (as he himself quotes it). After failing to devise an 'agreed' plan, for a political transition that did not explicitly require Assad's departure, Annan has now resigned. The persistent efforts of Washington to dislodge Assad through negotiations have failed utterly, especially after the resignation of Kofi Annan. The US blames Russia and publicly denounces it for purporting a dictatorial regime. On the other hand, Annan blames the Security Council giants (big western states) for name-calling Russia and China. Other than the obviously disgruntled, Moscow and Beijing, the US shouldn't ignore Brazil, India and South Africa which are also in the list of dissenters this time. All four of them are established democracies.

From the Geneva recommendations to the six-point peace plan proposed by Kofi Annan, nothing was endorsed with consensus. It is interesting to highlight that both the drafts had a common agenda which favoured a democratic transition at the cost of dismantling authoritarian rule. For this purpose, the notion of a government of 'national unity' (which allows the opposition and those already in the government to share power) was presented. This clearly indicates that the US isn't ready to back a complete 'regime change' and wants to maintain some of the institutions in Syria which will have to abide by its standards of 'human rights'.

Moreover, there is an unattended question which inquires about the composition of Syrian opposition factions. The most ripe option is that of 'rebels' being fed by Washington's Gulf allies, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. With the infiltration of al-Qaeda jihadis, increased involvement of Turkey, influx of arms and intelligence support from the US, Assad is likely to depart especially after the defection of Syrian Prime Minister, Riad Hijab. There is nothing better for the US other than deciding an abominable fate like that of Qaddafi for Assad or pushing him behind the bars like Hosni. However, the focus is now on the post-Assad Syria that is a more daunting task, orchestrated a decade ago.

US General Wesley Clerk, former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Europe, is on record informing US journalist Amy Goodman that within weeks of the terrorist atrocity on 11th September 2001, the then Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld wrote a memo describing “how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran," (after invading Afghanistan). This seems to be somewhat 'real', but delayed plan in the wake of all that is being done to carve out the fate of Syria. However, the failure in Iraq and the 2006 Israeli defeat in Lebanon has compelled the US to alter the old 'core strategy' of direct occupations. It has now embarked upon the mission of encouraging destabilisation, clandestine operations and feeding civil strife in the targeted regions.

With the infiltration of al-Qaeda jihadis, increased involvement of Turkey, influx of arms and intelligence support from the US, Assad is likely to depart especially after the defection of Syrian Prime Minister, Riad Hijab.
Syria is the latest victim in the grip of a bitter conflict in which al-Qaeda-type terrorists have established a foothold similar to the one in neighbouring Iraq. It nurtures armed thugs and terrorists being indirectly supported by the US. The long Turkey-Syria border is one of the main routes for smuggling armed men and weapons into Syria. The Syrians represent the heart of what Jordan's King Abdullah called the “Shia crescent”: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It is the opposition of this crescent against Israel which irks Washington and the 'advocates' (Egypt and Jordan) of Israel in the Arab world. Lebanon was bombed and invaded in a US-backed Israeli invasion in 2006, but was repelled by Syrian-backed Lebanese resistance led by Hezbollah. Efforts are now also being made by Saudi Arabia to weaken Hezbollah, the Shi'ite organisation that is being backed by Iran. Iraq is disintegrated and bleeding heavily, with daily sectarian terrorist atrocities. Iran is the target for which Israel and the US are blood-thirsty in order to ensure Israel's hegemony in the region. The post-Assad Syria driven by 'US aspirations' will not only be worse than Iraq, but will also allow the accomplishment of anti-Iranian proxy war under the US, Saudi, Qatar leadership, with the easy consent of Britain, France and Israel.

Not to forget what the naïve rebels who initiated the peaceful uprising wanted — a democratic transition 'without' any foreign intervention no matter how well-intentioned it might be. A ceasefire and political adjustment can include the rebels into the process of negotiation, who are being deliberately turned into terrorists. The idea of militarisation is still strongly condemned, even by the democratic organisations in Syria. The Syrians must accept the fact that they are still not the decision-makers of their country. A glittery illusion from the U.S in the name of human-rights has turned their homeland into a battlefield tilting in favour of Israel.

Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

wannabe Friday, December 21, 2012 10:42 PM

An ill – piloted muslim world

Palestine is tired and has given up. Iraq is still burning. Afghanistan has yet to breathe peace. Kashmir stands disillusioned. Lebanon is simmering. Libya has been tamed. Egypt and Syria are being chiseled anew. Pakistan is on ICU resuscitation. Iran is on notice. The Muslim world could not be more chaotic and more helpless. Surely these are critical times for the Muslim world.

Muslim World Paradise turned Inferno
Saturday, September 01, 2012

I remember in the 1980s as he orated against the Soviet Union, President Reagan often quoted from Thomas Paine's Common Sense with his vision of a United States great enough "to begin the world over again.” Indeed, one of his Republican successors did it. President George W. Bush did begin the world all over again. But he turned it upside down. No wonder, we are today living in a difficult and turbulent world.

The ideological polarisation of the cold war in two rival blocs, the East and the West has given way to a new configuration of power in the form of unipolarity unleashing its own security challenges and problems for the world at large. The world now stands divided between the “West and the Rest” and as before, between two unequal halves, one embarrassingly rich and the other desperately poor. While the West is endowed with abundance of wealth and affluence, the
“Rest” that comprises mostly Third World countries representing the overwhelming part of humanity languishes in poverty and backwardness.

Unfortunately, all is not well with the Third World. Most developing countries suffer from serious governance and rule of law problems rooted in their authoritarian and non-representative political culture. Some of them are mired in perpetual intra-state or inter-state conflicts. What is even more disturbing is that the world's two largest regions, Africa and South Asia, both rich in natural and human resources, are the biggest victims of poverty and violence. Both continue to be the scene of endemic instability as a result of conflicts and hostilities, unresolved disputes, unaddressed historical grievances, and deep-rooted communal and religious estrangement.

And the Muslim world is in no better shape. It represents the tragic story of “Medusa”, the ill-piloted French naval ship in the 19th century that ran aground because of its incompetent captain's blunders and his dependence on others for navigational guidance, leaving behind a sordid tale of helplessness, death and desperation. The Medusa's wreck is still out there, lying stuck on the West African coast, and isn't going anywhere. Like Medusa's wreck, the mastless Muslim world is just lying there, aimlessly floating with no one to steer it out of the troubled waters.

The Muslim world is in crisis. Representing one-fifth of humanity with a global land mass spreading over 57 countries, and possessing 70 per cent of the world's energy resources and nearly 50 per cent of world's natural resources, the Muslim world should have been a global giant, economically as well as politically. Rich in everything but weak in all respects, it represents only five per cent of world's GDP. As a non-consequential entity, it has no role in global decision-making, or even in addressing its own problems.

Though some of them are sitting on world's largest oil and gas reserves, the majority of Muslim countries are among the poorest and most backward in the world. Poor and dispossessed, Muslim nations emerging from long colonial rule may have become sovereign states but are without genuine political and economic independence. With rare exceptions, they are all at the mercy of the West for their political strength and survival and are politically bankrupt with no institutions other than authoritarian rule. They have no established tradition of systemic governance or institutional approach in their policies and priorities.

Every ingredient of political life in these so-called sovereign states has been faked; sovereignty is not sovereignty, parliament is not parliament, law is not law, and the opposition parties are as corrupt and wasted as the ruling parties. Even the independence following the colonial powers' handing over of the reins of government to local rulers was not true independence. Other than being members of the United Nations, they remain virtual colonies of the West with no sense of freedom or dignity.

They have no bone, no muscle and whatever wealth they possess, is being exploited by the West. The rulers in today's Muslim world, ironically, without exception, are at the mercy of the US for their political strength and survival, and are responsible for the current political, economic and military subservience of their countries to the West. Their lands and resources remain under “protective” military control of their “masters”, who are also the direct beneficiaries of their oil proceeds and investments.
And the Muslim world is in no better shape. It represents the tragic story of “Medusa”, the ill-piloted French naval ship in the nineteenth century that ran aground because of its incompetent captain's blunders and his dependence on others for navigational guidance, leaving behind a sordid tale of helplessness, death and desperation.
Peace is the essence of Islam and yet the Muslim nations have seen very little of it, especially after the Second World War. Some of the Muslim states are home to foreign military bases, while others have allowed foreign forces to use their territory freely and even to carry out their “operations” at will. There are others selflessly engaged in proxy wars on behalf of others and in some cases against their own people. The tragedies in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq and Afghanistan represent the continuing helplessness of world's Muslims.

Since 9/11, Islam itself is being demonised by its detractors with obsessive focus on the religion of individuals and groups accused of complicity or involvement in terrorist activities. Islam is being blamed for everything that goes wrong in any part of the world. With violence and extremism becoming anathema to the world's high-and-mighty, Muslim freedom struggles are being projected as the primary source of “militancy and terrorism.”

Global terrorism is now being used to justify military occupations and to curb the legitimate freedom struggles of Muslim peoples. Muslim issues remain unaddressed for decades. Palestine is tired and has given up. Iraq is still burning. Afghanistan has yet to breathe peace. Kashmir stands disillusioned. Lebanon is simmering. Libya has been tamed. Egypt and Syria are being chiseled anew. Pakistan is on ICU resuscita tion. Iran is on notice. The Muslim world could not be more chaotic and more helpless. Surely these are critical times for the Muslim world.

What aggravates this dismal scenario is the inability of the Muslim world as a bloc to take care of its problems or to overcome its weaknesses. Its rulers have mortgaged to the West not only the security and sovereignty of their countries but also the political and economic futures of their nations. Despite material affluence in a few oil-rich countries, there is a widespread sense of political and economic deprivation in the Muslim world. These are all a dreary phenomena for which the rulers of the Muslim world alone are responsible. Thanks to our obscurantist mindset, we have done nothing to secure our future in this alarmingly chaotic world.

It makes no sense in dwelling nostalgically on Islam's past and “lost” glory. For us, the steady erosion of Islamic polity and power, Muslim world's stumbling lurch into western colonialism, and now, total political, economic, social and technological backwardness should be stark reminders of the historical magnitude of the failures of Muslim leadership. We cannot entirely blame the West for the Muslim world's institutional bankruptcy, its political and intellectual aridity, its deficiency in knowledge, education and science and technology, its aversion to modernity and modernisation, and its growing servility to the West.

On its part, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that groups together the fifty-seven Muslim states has no role whatsoever in global decision-making. It is naïve to expect the OIC to bring any change to the Muslim world which remains alien to peace, democracy, science and technology, socio-economic development, rule of law, equality, women's empowerment, tolerance, harmony, moderation, fraternity and brotherhood.

The OIC is merely an inter-governmental organisation and cannot be expected to do things that only governments of sovereign states can do. It has neither the credentials nor any operational capacity to be the panacea for the ills of its member-states. Though its ideological basis gives it a unique character, it remains seriously handicapped by the absence of regionality and complementarity in its geo-strategic, political and economic interests.

We just had yet another OIC summit in Makkah last month coinciding with the 26th and 27th day of Ramadan. The only special feature of the event was its consecrated timing which may have not only brought about a new spirit for the otherwise totally non-consequential Muslim world but also given a much needed opportunity to its self-serving rulers for availing themselves of their presence at the holiest Islamic soil to do some compunctious soul-searching while begging forgiveness for the sins they have committed in mortgaging to the West not only the security and sovereignty of their countries but also the political and economic futures of their nations.

Muslim leaders are good at oratory promising to their subject paradises on earth. But the problem is that their self-centred visions will not bring change to societies that are among the most illiterate and most backward. Thanks to our obscurantist mindset, we have done nothing to secure our future in this alarmingly chaotic world. Societal mindsets will change only with political, economic and social advancement of the people. This requires, not 'Oh I See' proclamations but tangible actions at national levels for rationalisation of socio-economic priorities through reallocation of resources with high quality education and scientific knowledge becoming the top most strategic priority in individual Muslim states.

Things will not change unless the Muslim world fixes its fundamentals and puts its house in order. Angels will not descend to help or salvage it. Ironically, they have been busy helping the West. It must take control of its own destiny through unity, mutuality and cohesion within its ranks. Its wealth and resources now being exploited by the West should be used to build its own strength and for its own socio-economic well-being.

The key to reshaping the future of the Muslim world lies in its political and economic independence and military strength with each Muslim nation opting for peace and democracy, and for knowledge and technology as top priority. Only governments rooted in the will of the people, and sustained by stable and accountable institutions can lead the way to genuine and healthy transformation of their societies. Each one of them will have to revamp existing mindsets and opt for peace, progress and harmony through genuine democracy and good and accountable governance.

Shamshad Ahmad
The writer is a former foreign secretary.

wannabe Friday, December 21, 2012 10:44 PM

The United Nations and Maintenance of International Peace and Security
[CENTER][SIZE="6"][COLOR="Navy"]The United Nations and Maintenance of International Peace and Security[/COLOR][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[SIZE="4"][COLOR="Sienna"]Despite the failures of the UN and its inherent shortcomings, it is difficult to imagine a world without such multilateral organisation in which the values of peaceful coexistence through political independence, mutual self-respect and territorial integrity of each country, at least, exist on paper.

The United Nations — a successor of the League of Nations — was created in an attempt to reform the contemporary international political order. The outbreak of Second World War convinced the world leaders that the failures of the League of Nations to contribute towards creating a strong international order, with wider acceptability across the globe and that was well placed to address the global problems, sparked the outbreak. After going through the devastation of the war and facing the chain reaction of bloodshed, violence, brutality, hunger, and migration, the victors of the war decided to improve upon the botched experience of the League and thereupon the United Nations was created.

The United Nations officially came into existence when the Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the US and by a majority of other signatories on 24 October 1945 — the day now known as the UN day. The framers of the charter attempted to make the international system more fluid and flexible to respond to the challenges that could potentially threaten 'international peace and security'. The other motive was to freeze the contemporary status quo to ensure their supremacy and to perpetually outcast the 'axis powers — Germany, Japan and Italy — who fought against the allied powers — America, the Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Explicit references to these states, in the form of 'enemy states' could be found in Articles 53 and 77 of the Charter.

The purpose of the UN as per Article 1 of the Charter is:
1. To ensure international peace and security and to take collective measures to that effect;
2.To develop friendly relations among nations;
3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of economic, social, cultural and humanitarian character;
4. To be a centre for harmonising the actions of nations these common goals.
A cursory look at these objectives will reflect the main purpose of the UN — maintenance of international peace and security. In pursuance of these objectives, the principles to conduct inter-state relations have been mentioned in the Article 2, which, interalia, states that the member states must resolve their difference peacefully and shall 'refrain' from using 'force or threat of using force'. This article also restricts the UN to 'intervene' in matters which fall directly 'within the domestic jurisdiction' of the states. This, however, does not preclude the UN from taking action under Chapter VII of the Charter and enforcing its decision upon any state.

The creation of the UN has prompted the debate over the successes and failures of the UN with arguments on both sides abound. Those in favour argue that the UN system has successfully prevented the outbreak of Third World War. Whereas critics support their arguments pointing towards the opaque proceedings on the Security Council — the main decision making body with the powers to enforce its decision under Chapter VII. In order to evaluate the performance of the UN system, first, it is pertinent to understand the infrastructure and the working.

The UN comprises six organs: The General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the Secretariat headed by the UN secretary general. The Security Council has 15 members — five permanent also known as P-5 and 10 non-permanent members with two-year term each. The issues on which the Council deliberates upon are classified into 'procedural' and 'non-procedural' or 'substantive'. The vote on procedural question requires concurrence of any nine members whereas on substantive issues concurrence of nine members including the concurrence of P-5. A negative vote of any P-5 member is called 'veto'. Interestingly, the very question whether any issue is procedural or substantive is itself a 'non-procedural' question and can be 'vetoed'. The proceedings of the Council mostly take place in informal consultations and among the P-5. The lack of transparency is the biggest criticism on its working that is entirely indefensible.

The General Assembly is the true democratic organ in which each of the 193 members of the UN enjoys one vote. Under Article 10, the General Assembly can deliberate upon any issue that comes under the charter except those that are already under discussion in the Council (Article 12) and has the authority to frame 'recommendations'. To a cynic, the assembly is only a debating club as the meaningful actions take place in the Council. However, objectively speaking, the assembly has weight of its own and it is not possible to endlessly resist an issue on which unanimity prevails in the assembly. It has moral authority of its own which is gaining legal leverage under the international law as the time passes. For instance, the 'uniting for peace' resolution has authorised the assembly to take action when the Council is deadlocked.
Since the Security Council comprised all the five powers that have the right to 'veto' any 'non-procedural or substantive question, therefore the Council often became hamstrung due to deadlock among the P-5.
The Secretariat is headed by the secretary general with the powers to conduct recruitments. This is the apex of the international civil service.

The International Court of Justice is the main judicial body to conduct mandatory dispute resolution provided the parties submit to its mandate. It also offers advisory opinion when any question is referred to it by the assembly or the council. The specialised organs can also request an advisory opinion 'on legal questions arising within the scope of their activities'. (Article 96)

The Trusteeship Council has now outlived its utility when the last territory, Palau, has been granted independence in 1993. It's another reason why the whole UN system needs reformation.

The creation of the UN was a different and a far better experiment in international politics than the League of Nations because of various reasons. The League failed because:

1. The responsibility of maintaining international peace and security was not well defined between the Assembly and the Council;
2. The major powers like the US never joined the League and the USSR joined in 1934 only to be expelled in 1939 over its attack on Finland;
3. The world powers were never interested in maintaining durable peace;
4. Decision making was done through 'principle of unanimity' which means every state, big or small, had equal voting rights. This proved highly defective as it invested with the small states, power to wreck the world peace, when it did not have the capacity to maintain it. Therefore, a small power could irresponsibly hamstring the entire organisation;
5. It was dominated by the Anglo-French powers in the absence of the US and the USSR that could have balanced the representation and effect;
6. It was the result of Treaty of Versailles that created a façade of peace which actually proved to be imperialistic in character and therefore, was in nately fragile and short-living.

In contrast, the UN proved to be a meaningful and result-oriented endeavor, aimed at rectifying the shortcomings of the League. Its success, so far, can be gauged by the fact that it is, at least, effectively eschewing the outbreak of another world war. Moreover, many innovative instruments have been developed by the UN such as 'Peace Keeping', 'Pacific Settlement of Disputes' through various means including the International Court of Justice, and hierarchic division of responsibility of maintaining world peace — primary of the UN Security Council and residual of the General Assembly, and finally yet importantly, by securing global economic and social reforms under ECOSOC through specialised and subsidiary organs like World Health Organisation (WHO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations Education and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and International Atomic Energy Commission, etc.

Coming back to the main question, maintenance of peace and security, the Charter delegates this responsibility to three different organs: the Security Council with primary responsibility under Article 24, the General Assembly with residual or secondary responsibility under Article 10 and finally, the secretary general under Article 99.


The high hopes of the framers of the Charter soon fizzled out when the differences between the two super-powers grew to an unbridgeable extent. The world was divided into two major power blocs — the communist bloc and the capitalist or the western bloc. Since the Security Council comprised all the five powers that have the right to 'veto' any 'non-procedural or substantive question, therefore the Council often became hamstrung due to deadlock among the P-5. In this scenario, the General Assembly's resolution, Uniting for Peace (377) was a major breakthrough that enabled the assembly to step-in where the Council faltered. It happened during the charismatic stewardship of Mr. Daag Hammarskjold. The Korean question was brought before the Assembly when the Soviet representative boycotted the proceedings of the Council and it was the assembly that authorised the 'Congo Mission'.

The objective analysis of the UN will reveal that there is much to be proud of and a lot remains to be done to enhance its efficacy and effectiveness. It has absorbed the influx of the de-colonised nation-states and has survived the rigours of the cold war and the post war unrestrained uni-polarity. It has promptly acted during Kosovo crisis and actively checked the Serbian aggression; managed to put an end to apartheid in South Africa; swung into action to address the situation in Darfur, etc.

The UN has also helped developing nations obtain funding projects through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, also known as the World Bank. A related UN agency, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) promotes international cooperation on monetary issues and encourages stable exchange rates among nations. Since the end of the cold war, the UN has become increasingly involved in providing humanitarian assistance and promoting improvements in the health across the globe. The UN has provided relief during humanitarian crises caused by international conflicts, and has responded to the emergencies caused by natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and wars. The millennium development goals (MDGs) have mobilised the attention, will and resources of the world towards creating a world with better health standards and a sanguine future.

The failures, on the other hand, are also numerous. Primarily the conflict resolution mechanism, particularly at the Security Council has often resulted in a deadlock among the P-5 due to vested interests. The UN has yet to learn how to resist the 'pull' of the US national interests. Many pressing geographical disputes such as Palestine and Kashmir are lying pending even though the world knows who is at fault and to what extent?

Pakistan highly values its association with the UN and has played a very robust role in the entire UN system that far exceeds its actual size and potential. We have joined the non-permanent club of UNSC seventh time. Our high value presence in this most important multilateral forum is in line with our foreign policy due to regional and global geo-political realities – Kashmir issue being the single most important agenda item.

To conclude is to reiterate that despite the failures of the UN and its inherent shortcomings, it is difficult to imagine a world without such multilateral organization in which the values of peaceful coexistence through political independence, mutual self-respect and territorial integrity of each country, at least, exist on paper and these norms themselves could impose a check upon the big powers’ ambitions.

Mian Farooq Kashif
The writer is Washington based research scholar of international politics and diplomacy

wannabe Friday, December 21, 2012 10:46 PM

Pakistan from Welfare State to Security State
[CENTER][SIZE="6"][COLOR="Navy"]Pakistan from Welfare State to Security State[/COLOR][/SIZE][/CENTER]
Stephen Cohen in 'The Future of Pakistan' opines that the generals of the Pak army know “that the country is falling behind its peers, notably India, yet there is no consensus as to what has to be done.” Cohen continues that there is also a “remote prospect of an army-led transformation of Pakistan, one in which the generals became true revolutionaries, perhaps along the lines of the Turkish army years ago, or more recently, the Indonesian army.”[/SIZE][/COLOR]

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Pak army is learning, albeit grudgingly, that a one-dimensional National Security Strategy singularly focused on 'defence' cannot guarantee the longevity of the Pakistani nation-state. One 'D' may have length but has no depth, width or height. Our future depends on three Ds, not one. They are: defence, development and diplomacy. The 'Future of Pakistan' has become a hot favourite both within and outside Pakistan. Experts – and groups of experts – are undertaking detailed scenario analysis weighing a whole host of hypotheses and trying to branch “potential outcomes from them”. Experts – and groups of experts – are “analysing possible future events by considering alternative possible outcomes.” The most frequently debated scenarios are:

The Failed State Scenario: For the past seven years, Fund for Peace, the Washington-based think-tank, has been publishing the Failed States Index. As per the Index, the top-three 'failed states' are Somalia, Chad and Sudan. Somalia hasn't had an effective government since 1991. Economic growth is stuck at under three per cent and the economy is dependent on foreign remittances and the informal sector. The Somali National Army (SNA) consists of 4,000 soldiers and is in no position to rein in widespread anarchy. Additionally, the Somali National Army has failed to keep the northern clans from declaring independence. Can Pakistan become Asia's Somalia? Our economic and governance indicators are moving in that direction except for Pakistan's army, the 617,000 strong, disciplined force. Pakistan will not become Asia's Somalia for as long as the Pak army remains an undivided, disciplined entity.

Balkanisation: Yugoslavia was a country. No more. Yugoslavia split into Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia. Josip Tito, from 1943 till his death in 1980, served as the supreme commander of the Yugoslav People's Army (YPA) holding the rank of marshal of Yugoslavia. Marshal Tito, with 620,000 active duty personnel of the YPA under this command kept, Yugoslavia intact. Within eleven years of Tito's death the YPA clashed with Slovenia Territorial Defence in the Ten Day War. The weakened YPA then took on Croatian forces of independence. And then came the Bosnian War. Can Pakistan become Asia's Yugoslavia? Pakistan will not become Asia's Yugoslavia for as long as the Pak army remains an undivided, disciplined entity.

A theocracy: In 1979, Iran adopted a theocratic constitution and became Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran. Saudi Arabia has been al-Mamlakah al-Arabiyah as-Su udiyah since the Kingdom was founded in 1932. Can Pakistan become a theocratic state? Pakistan, unlike Iran and Saudi Arabia, is essentially a multi-faith society and the probability of Pakistan becoming a theocracy is very, very low.

Muddling through: If Pakistan isn't going to fail or disintegrate then the probability is high that we will just muddle through – “continue despite confusion and difficulties.” Some experts have also hinted at a 'democratic consolidation' but an almost certain deterioration in almost all elements of national power including economics, social and political but muddle through nevertheless — at least for the foreseeable future.

Stephen Cohen in 'The Future of Pakistan' opines that the generals of the Pak army know “that the country is falling behind its peers, notably India, yet there is no consensus as to what has to be done.” Cohen continues that there is also a “remote prospect of an army-led transformation of Pakistan, one in which the generals became true revolutionaries, perhaps along the lines of the Turkish army years ago, or more recently, the Indonesian army.”

In essence, the Pak army plays the central role in almost every future scenario and the one indicator to be watched is the army's public image and its internal cohesion. The future, they say, “is much like the present, only longer”. Others say that the future will be “exactly like the past only far more expensive and far more chaotic.”

Dr Farrukh Saleem

12:01 PM (GMT +5)

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