Tuesday, August 20, 2019
09:54 AM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > General > News & Articles > The News

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #31  
Old Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Iqbal ka Shaheen
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: All lands are God’s and they are all our homeland too
Posts: 69
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Samurai is on a distinguished road
Arrow Recognising US duplicity

Shireen M Mazari

It is difficult to understand how the US expects the Pakistani state to continue giving it unflinching support on the war against terrorism when it uses every opportunity to challenge its policies --both external and internal -- and undermine its legitimate right to sustain a credible defence capability. Just when the Pakistani state thought it would now have access to US weapon systems, especially the F-16s, out comes the news that the US Congress is questioning this deal worth $5 billion. The pretext this time is that it needs to know how Pakistan will prevent China from having access to advanced US technology and whether there has been such a diversion already of US technology in Pakistani hands.

A short memory span seems to afflict the US Congress, given that Pakistan has not received advanced US military weapon systems and technology for decades now. In fact, we have suffered severe problems because of the now old weapons systems that we had acquired from the US because of the problem of spares and because some of those systems like the Cobra helicopters were unable to function effectively in our terrain conditions. Additionally, how can we, as a nation, forget the money we lost in a previous F-16 deal when we got no planes and no money back either? Instead, we received wheat and soya beans. Perhaps this negative Congressional response should be an advanced warning to us to recall how we got burnt last time by our "ally", the US. Our long-term answer to weapons acquisition in order to sustain a credible capability lies in seeking more indigenisation and cooperation with other states, with perhaps European suppliers to act as a short to medium term option. Perhaps we need to focus more on other delivery systems as well. Are the F-16s really that vital, given all the other long-term costs? And, given the new US-India strategic partnership, will we get advanced weapons systems in the F-16s or will we get systems that are just a tad less advanced than what India acquires? Let us also remember that buying the F-16s bolsters the US defence industry by bringing in vital funds so it is not as if the US does not benefit from these sales.

Even before the Congress moved against the F-16 deal, the last Rice visit to Pakistan should have been an eye-opener as to the treatment being meted out to the most critical state in the war against terrorism. Although domestic reports of this visit drew attention to the issue of democracy and elections, according to Jane's Intelligence report of July 6, Rice also focused on the nuclear issue. Despite clear evidence of India's proliferation record at the level of the state and in spite of Pakistan's laws on export controls and strong command and control structures (Pakistan is one of the few states, if not the only one, that has made public a detailed picture of its National Command Authority), Rice continued to express so-called US concerns over Pakistan's previous proliferation.

This now becoming absurd and farcical, since one cannot continue to dig up the past ad infinitum. Otherwise the US, France, Norway and Britain would be far guiltier of proliferation to Israel, and if the past was to continue to be dredged then where would post-1945 Germany be in terms of acceptability as a major European player? And while all these states have been guilty of omissions at the level of the state, Pakistan's proliferation issue has never been state-centric -– being focused on one Pakistani individual along side a group comprising Europeans and Asians. So the US needs to end its farce of using the A. Q. Khan issue to deny Pakistan a nuclear deal similar to the one given to India.

At the same time, perhaps Pakistan needs to examine whether it really wants to go for a civilian nuclear deal with the US because in Pakistan's case it will have extremely intrusive measures that may undermine our weapons capability in the long run. We would be far more susceptible to increasing demands and access relating to our weapons capability. In any event, Pakistan needs to take stock of whether we have really been suffering by not gaining access to US civilian nuclear technology? Somehow, the answer would not be in the positive.

According to Jane's, Rice also referred to the Iran nuclear issue with Pakistan, with an expectation that Pakistan would also adopt the Indian position on Iran. That would clearly be against our national interest because we need to continue to support Iran's right to acquire nuclear energy even as we sustain our principled position on the obligation of states to stand by their treaty obligations. Of course the US has no time for principles these days as it flouts one international treaty after another. The US Supreme Court verdict on Guantanamo Bay showed how far the Bush Administration had flouted all norms of justice and international law.

This is not to say that we should not exploit the opportunity we have vis-a-vis the US because of our essential role in the war on terrorism. But our cooperation should come in a more equitable fashion with clearer quid pro quos and greater transparency. The US and its various governmental and associated NGOs should not get unhindered access to the resources and lay of the land. Clearly, our cooperation with the US will always be issue-specific.

Equally important, we need to focus more strongly on our commitment to multilateralism and the UN. In this connection, we should be active on the issue of the new UN Secretary General. It is ironic that at present it is the Muslim World that offers the most competent potential women candidates from Asia. Iran could really catch the US on the back foot by nominating Shireen Ebadi, but we would also be projecting ourselves very favourable by pushing for Dr Maleeha Lodhi's candidature. Win or lose, she would give a positive global projection not only of Pakistan, but also of the capabilities of the Pakistani woman. Whatever one's micro level disagreements, it is in the interest of the Pakistani woman to support Dr Lodhi who lacks nothing in competence and professional capabilities. Her candidature in itself would be good for Pakistan.

Of course, the US is playing a devious game here also because it wants to have a Polish candidate for the secretary-general's position, so it is letting the Asians fight it out initially. But in the face of a female candidature, it would be hard pressed to press ahead with its covert intent. As for the Indian candidate, the UN can certainly do without yet another UN bureaucrat as secretary-general. Pakistan has always played an active role in international forums, especially the UN, and in the present global milieu, bolstering the role of multilateralism is essential for it. And what better way to project the Muslim World favourably than by pushing for a female candidate. Every rapidly developing state has its share of problems but we need to rid ourselves of our psychological confidence deficit.
__________________
The sign of an infidel is that he is lost in the world,
The sign of the believer is that the world is lost in him
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Samurai For This Useful Post:
kashif ali tipu (Saturday, January 31, 2009)
  #32  
Old Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Iqbal ka Shaheen
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: All lands are God’s and they are all our homeland too
Posts: 69
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Samurai is on a distinguished road
Exclamation The Indian-Israeli terror nexus

By Shireen M Mazari

The present situation in the Middle East shows the desperate need for the UN to include state terrorism within any international convention on terrorism. Israel's unleashing of its military might against the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian people and against the hapless Lebanese state shows most starkly the terrorism a state with massive military resources can unleash.

With US President Bush and his faithful sidekick Tony Blair, continuing to declare their absurd refrain of Israel's "right to defend itself", the international community has been reduced to a frustrated spectator to this latest act of Israeli terrorism. If ever there was a true reflection of unilateralism, it is this ability of the US to undermine all efforts at multilateral diplomacy and international peace and security.

Apart from the historic record of Israel to kill Arabs at will -- after all who can forget the massacres of Sabra and Shatila and the almost daily target killings by the Israelis of Palestinians -- the efforts by Israel and its defenders to rationalise the present military onslaught against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians has absolutely no legal or moral justification. A state cannot be allowed to massacre civilians at will in response to the actions of a non-state actor. As for the notion of 'collective punishment' -- if that is to become part of international state behaviour, then there will be total anarchy in the world. Already the US, with its unilateralism and notion of 'coalitions of the willing' is reducing the international system into an anarchic one making existing international law and norms of inter-state behaviour almost irrelevant. If the Israeli notion of collective punishment is accepted then even more chaotic scenarios can result. If, for example, a Pakistani soldier is kidnapped or killed by an Afghan, should the Pakistani state have the right of collective punishment and move it's military into Afghanistan? By such perverse logic, it really depends on who is more powerful, not who is right.

If Israel continues to get the indulgence it is getting from the US and its European allies -- one really wonders how much more sufferings the Palestinians will have to endure in order to pay for Europe's Nazi guilt -- it may well become more adventuristic and widen the conflict to Syria and Iran. Iran has already given a commitment to defend Syria against Israeli aggression and probably the only thing stopping Israel so far is the element of the unknown with regard to Iran.

There is also a wider plan of the US-Israeli combine to eventually break up what are seen as "strong" Muslim states. Iraq is already slipping into a divisive, ethno-sectarian civil war and since 9/11 the US has sought to undermine the Saudi ruling family. There are some in the US who think a Shia Arab state carved out of Eastern Saudi Arabia (where the bulk of the oil also lies) and southern Iraq could be a counter to Iran. This is as bizarre as it is untenable, but then logic and rationality have not always held sway in the US. As for Jordan, the Israelis along with the US have been thinking of this "third option" -- that is, annex the West Bank, push Palestinians into Jordan creating a Palestinian state there, as a way out of their dilemma of having to accept the reality of a viable Palestinian state. So far the Jordanians are holding their ground as the chaos increases around them.

Meanwhile, as Israel finds itself free to conduct its terrorism in the region, India is seeking to assume a similar role in dealing with Pakistan although so far it has restricted its actions to verbal barbs only and to "postponing" the peace process -- such as it was -- although there are mutterings of "hot pursuit". The reason for Indian 'restraint' is not humanism but South Asia's nuclear reality. So let us once more thank those who persisted against all odds in giving the Pakistani nation its nuclear deterrence. This should dissuade India from its efforts at brinkmanship -- a strategy it employed rather unsuccessfully in December 2001.

Equally important for Pakistan should be the realisation of the fragility of the peace process despite Pakistan's major moves towards conflict resolution. Not only were these never reciprocated by the Indians, India used the first opportunity it found to halt the process itself. Despite no proof and despite some members of the Indian cabinet insisting that the Mumbai blasts could be the work of Hindu extremists, the Indian leadership and its compliant media lashed out against Pakistan. It seems the Indian psyche has not moved out of its traditional hostile mode towards Pakistan and that is why it was probably finding the peace process increasingly uncomfortable. After all, the atmospherics had gone on long enough; it was time to move substantively on conflictual issues and India is not ready for that, as reflected in its continued use of state terrorism in Occupied Kashmir.

This is also a good time for Pakistan to reassess the direction of this peace process, seeing as how vulnerable it remains to Indian sabotage. Was there anything substantive that has been lost in the present postponement? If not, then what was the worth of this process? Peace cannot be sustained by one party alone. While Pakistan was showing good intent and commitment to anti-terrorism, India was busy in covert actions against Pakistan -- primarily through Afghanistan. Despite all the evidence, Pakistan decided not to go public on the India-Afghan linkages to the BLA -- which has offices both in the centre of Kabul and in New Delhi. Nor have we made much of a noise about the presence of Indian Special forces in Afghanistan, despite ample evidence, including intercepts, to suggest Indian efforts to intervene in our border provinces. All this so that the peace process does not get derailed. (Some among

our political elite even made offers which run contrary to our policies -- as happened on the FMCT.) Now India has derailed the process with accusations and histrionics to hide the fissiparous tendencies within itself.

Of course, now that the UK has declared the Balochistan Liberation Army a terrorist organisation, Pakistan should take up the issue of India and Afghanistan's support for it more vigorously, especially since India is a strategic partner of the US and Afghanistan is still in the control of its NATO-US 'liberators'.

As for the Arab World, their sheer helplessness, despite their economic power, is a disgrace. They have failed to translate their economic strength into political and military prowess, and so remain subject to the political, psychological and military terrorism from the West and Israel. Is it any wonder the Arab street continues to become more radicalised? And the anger and frustration is spreading to Muslim civil societies beyond. In the final analysis, state terrorism has to be condemned, irrespective of the power of the perpetrating state.
__________________
The sign of an infidel is that he is lost in the world,
The sign of the believer is that the world is lost in him
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old Friday, August 11, 2006
Iqbal ka Shaheen
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: All lands are God’s and they are all our homeland too
Posts: 69
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Samurai is on a distinguished road
Default

A Muslim's shame and outrage
Shireen M Mazari

The angry helplessness keeps growing as one watches the murder of the Lebanese people by the criminal Israeli state, aided and abetted by the US. Clearly, the will of the international community has been effectively thwarted by the US, at the UN Security Council, which wants Israel to continue to kill Lebanese and Palestinians till its murderous appetite is sated. How much blood of these hapless peoples will have to be spilled before the Israelis are satisfied? The world will only know when the US, supported by its continuing faithful sidekick Blair of Britain (this is what Brittania has been reduced to!), allows a ceasefire resolution to go through in the UNSC. Of course, judging by the past record, this satiation of the Israeli appetite for Arab blood will only be temporary, but it will allow some breathing space, literally, to the Lebanese and Palestinian people.

That one powerful state can prevent the whole world from providing some succour to the victims of a rogue state and can reduce international law to nought shows the fragility of an international system premised on law and basic rules of conduct in peacetime and in war. But of course, post-9/11 Muslim and Arab blood has become cheap and the US itself has shown its penchant for depriving Muslims of even the most basic of human dignity –be it in Qila Jhangi, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib or Bagram.

So the rage continues to build across the world, but especially in Muslim civil societies. As a Muslim I am angry not only at the US and Israel but also at the Muslim states which have shown a total lack of courage and will to challenge the lawlessness of the Israeli-US combine which is resulting in the murder of countless innocents in Palestine and Lebanon. With all its combined economic and military potential and capabilities, the Muslim World has shown an amazing degree of haplessness in the face of the Israeli military aggression. A lack of unity and parochial interests has made the OIC, for all intents and purposes, the Organisation for Immobilised Countries. One by one each can be victimized at will it would appear -- especially within the Arab World. Yet Article II (A:4&6 and B:4) of the OIC Charter provides its members with legitimate grounds for intervention in Lebanon.

An emergency meeting of the executive committee of this ineffectual body will take place in Malaysia on August 3, but it would have been more appropriate if an OIC envoy had paid a visit to Beirut at least two weeks earlier. Even in symbolic terms it would have given a feeling to the Lebanese that they had not been abandoned by the Muslim World. As it is, as a Muslim I watched in vain to see a timely high profile visit from a Muslim leader to Beirut even as representatives of European countries arrived in that besieged capital. And as a Muslim I have been reduced to shame to see the damning silence of the Muslim World in the face of the continuing killings of Arabs by the Israelis and in the face of the impassioned pleas of the Lebanese leadership. Earlier, in Rome, Fuad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, in a voice trembling with emotion, listed the unending record of Israeli aggression against the Lebanese state as Condoleezza Rice stood unmoved and determined to indulge Israel's killing spree, and Kofi Annan showed his bureaucratic mindset which circumscribed his condemnation of Israeli aggression in Lebanon. This should be one reason why a UN bureaucrat should never be made Secretary General of the Organisation. Watching this Rome press conference was a source of pain and anger not only at the impunity of the US -- which continued to rationalize Israel's aggression against innocent civilians --but also at the absence of the Muslim states' voices of protest. A few whimpers is all one continues to hear but no challenge to the Israeli killing spree.

Are the Muslim states' really so helpless in the face of Israeli aggression and killing? We, who are so ready to kill each other, have been frozen into inaction as the brave nation of Lebanon faces the might of a murderous Israel. Or is it our internal differences that prevent us from unifying into a source of power and strength? Is this what the Ummah has been reduced to? I also wonder whether the civil societies in Europe felt the same rage and frustration as Hitler proceeded unhindered in his murderous designs and leaders like Britain's Chamberlain acquiesced at Munich?

As a so-called moderate or "westernised" Muslim I resent the unhindered targeting of Muslim states by the powerful and their allies -- especially the US and Israel. And, in this context, I cannot help but admire those amongst us who have the courage to fight for the just cause of Palestine and the battle against Zionist aggression. But as an ordinary Muslim who has never seen the need to wear my religion on my sleeve, I am also frustrated at the continuing loss of political and social space to the extremists in our midst, because of the sheer ineffectiveness of the mainstream Muslim political leadership to defend the rights of the Muslims and to protect the Muslims from the killings at the hands of rogue and criminal states.

The force of the Bush Administration's unilateralism is all-pervasive. In the Middle East it is allowing a bloodbath of the Arabs. Closer to home it is giving cover to India's proliferation record and seeking to provide India with a legitimate cover for its LIC operations against Pakistan by seeking to give Indian forces legal access into Afghanistan under the guise of "international peacekeepers". It seems there are no limits to the US pursuing its unilateralist agenda just as there are no effective limits on Israel's murderous designs within its own neighbourhood.

The Muslim states of the Middle East are being ripped asunder and Rice has the nerve to proclaim that these are the birth pangs of a "new Middle East"! The foundations of a subjugated Arab world are being built on Arab blood, especially that of its future generations --given what seems to be the special targeting of children in Lebanon and Palestine. I suppose the US logic in allowing Israel its killing spree, and obstructing international calls for an immediate ceasefire is to let as many of the next generation of Lebanese and Palestinians be killed as is possible so that eventually there are few left to fight the tyranny of Israel and its expanding occupation of Arab lands.

The voice of the Muslim states has been muted effectively. But the voice of the Muslim people cries out loudly. As a Muslim, I see us besieged from without and from within and as the carnage continues against the Palestinians and Lebanese my sense of outrage at Israel and the US is juxtaposed by my shame as part of the Muslim Ummah
__________________
The sign of an infidel is that he is lost in the world,
The sign of the believer is that the world is lost in him
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old Friday, August 11, 2006
Iqbal ka Shaheen
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: All lands are God’s and they are all our homeland too
Posts: 69
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Samurai is on a distinguished road
Default

The war of terrorisation
Shireen M Mazari

Five years on from 9/11, what the Muslim World is beginning to witness is the transformation of the war against terror into a War of Terrorisation of Muslim polities and Muslim civil societies -- and all this under the continuing guise of the war against terror. We saw the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Bagram, and we meekly accepted the US and its allies' explanation of this as mere 'collateral damage'. We have been witnessing the continuing flagrant violation of international law, with total impunity, in the treatment of the incarcerated Muslims in Guantanamo Bay but the sole super power has claimed for itself a role that is not subject to any international norms.

The US invasion of Iraq rid the world of the Saddam dictatorship, which had previously been bolstered by the US and its European allies as it used chemical weapons against its own people and Iran. But in the process the Iraqis have been increasingly terrorised and torn apart by sectarian divides and violence and abuse as a result of the invasion as well as at the hands of the invading American and British forces. The rape and pillage of Iraqis by US forces has become so routine that it seems to have lost its shock value. That the US has failed to condemn its soldiers who joined the action in Iraq for the sole purpose of 'killing Iraqis' shows the terrorisation agenda of the 'coalition of the willing'.

The invasion of Iraq dissipated the war against terror, but the Israeli killing sprees in Gaza and now in Lebanon have surely altered the whole nature of this war itself. If it was not clear at the time of the Iraq invasion, the Israeli attack against Lebanon should leave no room for doubt that the Bush-Blair combine, alongside the murderous state of Israel, are conducting a war of terrorisation meant to subdue Muslim states and civil societies into submission to their global agendas. The present targets are the Arab states and societies as well as Iran and the pretexts are created to suit the situation. So Hamas's kidnapping of an Israel soldier provided the rationalisation for what had already become ongoing violence against the Palestinians in Gaza since the electoral success of Hamas. The kidnapping by Hamas was itself in desperate response to this violence by Israel, especially when it targeted innocent civilians picnicking in Gaza. And now Israel has gone beyond all norms of civilised state behaviour with its targeted assassinations and its grabbing of Hamas elected political leaders as prisoners. Supported by the Bush-Blair combine, Israel clearly feels it is not subject to any international laws and norms of state conduct.

As for Lebanon, to see the Hizbollah's kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers as the start of the present crisis is nonsensical. Not only has Israel continued to occupy Lebanon's Shebaa Farms area, it has violated the Lebanese border at will since it withdrew its occupation forces from Southern Lebanon in May 2000. It had also stepped up its policy of assassination of Lebanese, in Lebanon, belonging to groups opposed to Zionist expansionism and it has continued to carry out unprovoked firing to kill innocent Lebanese in southern Lebanon. Through all this, Israel has refused to give any information of the mines it had laid in southern Lebanon. Just days before the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers by Hizbollah, Israeli forces had violated the Lebanese border and carried out their usual firing attack against the people of southern Lebanon. What has galled the Israelis and the Bush-Blair combine has been the ability of Hamas and Hizbollah to respond and stand their ground against Israeli aggression.

The war of terrorisation has seen a challenge from these forces of the Muslim world even as the Arab states have adopted a deafening silence, signalling a helplessness and submissiveness to the Bush-Blair combine. Even as Muslim civil societies have had to face the horror of Israeli attacks against innocent Lebanese, Blair has had the nerve to carry out a tirade against Muslims in a speech delivered to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles last week. While British diplomats and the US government are trying to seek a ban on the truth about the Israeli horrors in Lebanon by pressurising the Arab media into submission, Blair actually has the audacity to declare that in the media coverage, there is no "understanding of the Israeli predicament". How many innocent Arab lives have to be sacrificed to push forward an understanding of the "Israeli predicament" Mr. Blair? For how long will the Arabs have to pay for the sins of the Nazis? And if the truth be told, surely it is the US that is preventing democracy in Palestine, not the so-called 'Muslim extremists', Mr Blair, or are you going to wear your convenient blinkers while Arabs face slaughter at the hands of the Israeli military machine? And who is actually carrying out the "slaughter of the innocent and doing it deliberately" in Lebanon and Palestine? Israeli forces aided and abetted by the Bush-Blair combine.

Who has given Blair the right to speak on behalf of what he calls 'moderate Muslims' in the first place? No, clearly there is another insidious war going on and that is a war of terrorising the Muslims into accepting the new US-UK agenda, which seeks submissive Muslim states and polities around powerful core states like Israel and India.

Yes, India is an integral part of the new emerging doctrine of coalitions of the willing and core states. That is why India has responded obediently to the US government's call for the banning of the Arab electronic media since the truth will further ignite Muslim civil societies. And that is why US Assistant Secretary of State Mr. Boucher, in his statement from New Delhi, appeased India by declaring willy-nilly that, "some of the groups that have designs against India still have pieces in Pakistan". What exactly he meant by 'pieces' in this context is not clear, but then coherency has never been a strong point of the present US Administration. The point is that the US has once again shown that if push came to shove it would always back India against Pakistan. So, of course, no mention was made of India's now-established support for terrorists in Pakistan.

For Pakistan it should now be clear that it has to fight its own war against terrorism for its own national interest -- regardless of how the US-led war on terror transforms into a war of terrorisation. But Pakistan must also realise that no matter how far it goes in the sacrifices it makes in life and limb for the international war against terror, it will periodically face politically-motivated accusations from those it is assisting. Even more important, Pakistan is perhaps one of the few Muslim states that can hold its own against any war of terrorisation -- if it can overcome its psychological confidence deficit. At the end of the day the war between extremists and moderates has to be fought by us, within the ummah, but the war of terrorisation that is targeting Muslims is increasing the odds against the forces of enlightenment and moderation.
__________________
The sign of an infidel is that he is lost in the world,
The sign of the believer is that the world is lost in him
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old Thursday, March 01, 2007
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Olive is on a distinguished road
Default

Threat nuances against Pakistan



By Shireen M Mazari
It seems the US is not prepared to give the Pakistani leadership any decent respite from its "do-more" mantra in relation to Afghanistan. And as NATO/ISAF continue to show an inability to deal with the resurgent Taliban threat, which is increasingly becoming more of a Pashtun resistance, the proclivity to blame Pakistan for their failures increases. So we have had Dick Cheney now visit us and demand that we do more, while from Washington President Bush has also, if US media reports are to be believed, threatened Pakistan with his inability to stop discriminatory legislation if we are not seen to be "doing more" on the Afghan front. As usual, loyal Britain has added to this mantra, through its Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Beckett, who happened to be visiting Pakistan at the time of the Cheney stopover. And as if that was not enough poisonous hot air for us, the present US-compliant Canadian government also added to this rather tedious refrain.

Of course, if Bush is to be believed that he cannot control what happens in a Democrat-dominated Congress, then whether or not Pakistan "does more" will not impact the discriminatory legislation against Pakistan, so the issue is moot. However, we should pay serious attention to what is happening presently in our region, especially with the massing of US troops rather close to Pakistani waters. After all, the American aircraft-carrier, USS John C Stennis, is anchored about 120 nautical miles off the coast of Pakistan. Now the US may claim that this has nothing to do with Pakistan and that it is not even threatening Iran, but the reality is different. That there is a most serious and direct threat being staged against Iran by the US is a given, but let us look at the implications of this particular carrier for Pakistan. Clearly, it is a veiled threat of use of force, which can be to either pressure Pakistan further on Afghanistan, or to compel it to refrain from any adverse (for the US) action in case of an attack against Iran.

That the USS Stennis's position is contrary to the UN Charter is also equally clear. Article 2(4) of the Charter states: "All member states shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…." Although the USS Stennis is in international waters, it's positioning is threatening for Pakistan. In UN debates on the issue, the positioning of such carriers close to merchant sea-lanes, as notified by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), is seen as a clear threat of use of force. So Pakistan needs to take up this issue with its "ally" before things get further complicated, especially in terms of a growing US belligerency against Iran -- and the possibility of a similar belligerency against Pakistan.

It is in this context that Pakistan needs to ensure that it does not get drawn into any configuration with Muslim states that could be perceived as a US-crafted or inspired emerging bloc against Muslim states hostile to the US. That is why the statement decrying the use of force against Iran that came from the meeting of the seven Muslim foreign ministers in Islamabad last week was extremely timely and necessary. However, from Pakistan's perspective future meetings of this group will serve a better purpose if Iran, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon are, included since Middle East peace requires their support and therefore their inputs. After all, Muslim states cannot behave like the US and impose "solutions" on states without even talking with them. Also, including Bangladesh would also seem to be an added plus, given its commitment to UN peacekeeping and the centrality of the Muslim World to it. In any event, given that out of the group of Muslim states that met in Islamabad, four had established relations with Israel -- that is, Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt and Jordan -- many are construing this meeting, no matter how incorrectly, as an attempt to widen the recognition of Israel to include those holding out like Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. These are unnecessary misperceptions that can be removed if the group is expanded to include the critical Middle East-Gulf players.

In the context of Iran, the diplomatic openings made between Saudi Arabia and Iran, no matter how tentative, need to be encouraged. In contrast, the report in a Pakistani newspaper, citing Kuwaiti sources, that the UAE and other Gulf states had agreed in principle to allow Israel to use their airspace in the context of an attack on Iran needs to be countered -- through the media, if it is only a report, and through diplomacy if there is any truth in it. In the latter case, it would be a lethal adventurism for such states who would surely suffer a major fallout of any attack against Iran.

On Iran itself, there are so many contradictory statements coming out from the US that at the end of it the only thing that seems to be clear is that the US is seeking regime-change in that country and the nuclear issue is simply one pretext. While some amongst the US leadership want Iran to roll back all its nuclear advances, Condoleezza Rice has recently declared that Iran only has to suspend, not reverse, its nuclear programme. Meanwhile, the Europeans are also saying different things, with Britain and Germany most vociferously opposing Iran. While all this posturing is going on, reports are now being confirmed that the US is funding dissident Iranian groups, especially in Iranian Balochistan where it is lending support to the Balochistan United Front of Iran. It is within this context that one has to see the attack against the bus filled with Revolutionary Guards recently in Sistan. For Pakistan again, this raises serious issues because it could also lead to US support for Pakistan's dissident Baloch groups and terrorists.

It is interesting to note that the US and EU have yet to declare the BLA a terrorist group -- although the UK has now done so. In a more quid pro quo approach, shouldn't Pakistan demand that the US and EU move to declare the BLA a terrorist group before they continue with their nauseating "do more" refrain for Pakistan? Why is the US so hesitant in taking such a step, unless it is to use this as a source of pressure for Pakistan?

Whichever way we look at developments in our own neighbourhood, it is apparent that even if Iran is the primary target for the US and its potential coalition of the willing, Pakistan will also be targeted -- even if only as necessary "collateral damage". That is why we need to proactively ensure that this design is thwarted and we are not willy-nilly compelled to become an unwilling "ally" in what will be a self-destruct scenario for us. Already we are paying a heavy price for the blinkered military-centric policies of the US and NATO in Afghanistan. We cannot afford to do the same in the Iran-Gulf context. Let us use our not-insufficient means to proactively chart a more viable course externally.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old Thursday, March 01, 2007
Sureshlasi's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: Best Moderator Award: Awarded for censoring all swearing and keeping posts in order. - Issue reason: Best ModMember of the Year: Awarded to those community members who have made invaluable contributions to the Community in the particular year - Issue reason: For the year 2007Diligent Service Medal: Awarded upon completion of 5 years of dedicated services and contribution to the community. - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: پاکستان
Posts: 2,282
Thanks: 483
Thanked 3,058 Times in 760 Posts
Sureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to all
Post An OIC awakening?

By Shireen M Mazari

The OIC Secretary General recently made a reference to the possibility of an OIC peacekeeping architecture. The OIC may finally be getting something right in its new activism since even before anything substantive has happened, many external actors are already expressing their opposition covertly -- often using NGOs within Pakistan which are leading this proactivism. Clearly, this implies a recognition that if the Muslim World manages to get its act together and evolves a united approach to the problems confronting it, it can actually achieve results. This may not always be in consonance with the self-serving interests of major powers and hence their trepidation at a substantive awakening of the OIC.

However, Muslim states must equally be aware of the sensitivities of all OIC members and any move that may be seen as an effort to create cliques within the Organisation will jeopardise political initiatives before they can become operational. Equally, OIC activism cannot be directed against any one member of the Organisation or even perceived as being such. That is what the forthcoming meeting in Islamabad of "like-minded Muslim states" to arrive at an operational blueprint of President Musharraf's OIC initiatives has to guard against. After all, Muslim states cannot afford to be part of any US-desired bloc against Iran. In fact, if OIC solutions are to be found to the conflicts afflicting the Muslim World in West Asia, then Iran has, of necessity, to be part of the solution. This requires dialogue which includes Iran and the Arab World, and in this regard Saudi Arabia's tentative interaction with Iran should point the way. After all, if the Arab World is prepared to interact and talk to Israel -- the enemy for many of them -- then it should have no hesitancy in dialoguing with Iran. Similarly, Iran also needs to realise that it needs to move towards confidence building within its immediate neighbourhood to deny US and Israel operational space.

Nor is it just the isolation of Iran within the OIC collectivity that needs to be avoided. We need to be equally careful not to leave out very central Muslim states, especially states that have been in the forefront of international peacekeeping operations, like Bangladesh, when we are seeking a new pro-activism from within the OIC. After all, why limit the notion of "like-minded states" to a mere seven when others could also be invited to expand the consensus within the Muslim collectivity. Here, Iran also needs to be co-opted -- even if it means getting them to participate as observers so no one feels compromised or neglected. After all, we are not seeking to create a bloc within the OIC to oppose other OIC members -- as the US is seeking.

Coming back to the OIC collectivity's efforts to awaken itself from its decades of stupor and actually think about an OIC peacekeeping framework, this is a critical need of the hour. There are two dimensions that can be operationalised within the concept of OIC peacekeeping. First, at an overall macro level, the OIC should ask all its member states to earmark certain contingents of its national military for use in aid of other Muslim states -- preferably within the framework of the UN, but also within the regional context of the Arab League or even the African Union. Presently, the European states have begun doing this more frequently -- operating under a UN mandate but outside of the Blue Berets, acting instead as a European force.

A second peacekeeping/peacemaking action that can be contemplated by the OIC is to put together an OIC force, composed of states outside of West Asia but including perhaps states like Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh to name a few, for Iraq. Such a force can only become operational contingent upon three necessary conditions:

• One, such a force is accepted or requested by the Iraqi government and all other warring Iraqi factions.

• Two, a UN mandate is forthcoming.

• Three, the present occupying forces of the 'coalition of the willing' depart.

There are those who fear that such a move would be providing the US an exit strategy and result in the killing of Muslim forces. However, the point here is that the US has to be made to leave Iraq if we are to see the retention of a united Iraq. So, whether or not such an OIC move may provide the US and its allies with an exit strategy is not the main issue. Rather, the primary issue is to stabilise Iraq as a united state so that the instability that is spiralling in the region is arrested.

In terms of funds and capabilities, despite widespread views to the contrary, the OIC is well-equipped with both. What has so far been lacking is the political will to move collectively by overcoming misperceptions and conflicts within the collectivity. It seems this will is now being generated and the Pakistani leadership's proactivism, along with the outreach by Saudi Arabia, must be sustained. The positive Saudi and Egyptian interventions to resolve the intra-Palestinian conflict and the Palestinian factions' response to this, shows that such moves are not only needed, they are being sought to fill the vacuum in these conflict zones which has allowed extra-regional powers to occupy space with their negative policies.

Presently, the proliferation and force build-ups by extra-regional powers in West Asia, especially the Gulf region, threatens to destabilise and perhaps set afire the whole neighbourhood. Even more dangerous are American ideas of redrawing borders to cut the larger Muslim states "down to size". Therefore, the need for evolving a broad consensus amongst the OIC members, even while intra-OIC disputes prevail -- is no more a choice but a necessity. Such a basic consensus can also provide a more conducive environment for conflict resolution amongst the OIC members themselves.

Also, as part of what seems to be a new proactivism on the part of the OIC, it would be desirable to add a stronger civil society context to this Organisation. With a greater involvement of women activists, academics, analysts and media personnel, the potential for fighting obscurantism and extremism in our own societies will multiply as groups lend support to governments and other groups across states. So far, the OIC has been devoid of active civil society involvement, which has led to its neglect by the Muslim people at large. For too long, the Muslim World's disunity has worked to the advantage of the major powers. But now this disunity is proving to be debilitating for the Muslim World across national divides. That is why a new awakening is no more an option or a luxury but a matter of survival.



The writer is director general of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad. Email: smnews80@hotmail.com
__________________
ஜ иστнιπg ιš ιмթΘรรιвlε тσ α ωιℓℓιиg нєαят ஜ
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old Thursday, March 01, 2007
Sureshlasi's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: Best Moderator Award: Awarded for censoring all swearing and keeping posts in order. - Issue reason: Best ModMember of the Year: Awarded to those community members who have made invaluable contributions to the Community in the particular year - Issue reason: For the year 2007Diligent Service Medal: Awarded upon completion of 5 years of dedicated services and contribution to the community. - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: پاکستان
Posts: 2,282
Thanks: 483
Thanked 3,058 Times in 760 Posts
Sureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to all
Post A challenge on two fronts

By Shireen M Mazari



Somehow it did not come as a surprise to find yet another outburst against Pakistan by an American military man in Afghanistan who reasserted the US's right to violate Pakistan's sovereignty through hot pursuit and bombings, all in the name of "self-defence".

The Foreign Office spokesperson stated she was "surprised" that so much fuss was being made over a statement "by a colonel-level official." However, the surprise is that Pakistan has placed itself in a position where a low ranking official can make such a provocative statement in the first place. Clearly, Pakistan's verbal rejections of these US claims have been paid no heed to by its allies in Afghanistan, with the result that within Pakistan no one is convinced of the government's resolve not to allow these challenges to its sovereignty. Now, such verbal rejoinders, when they are not followed by punitive action against the offending forces that challenge Pakistan's sovereignty, have lost all meaning. The growing perception is that the writ of the government in terms of safeguarding our territorial sovereignty can be challenged at will by US and NATO forces and our citizens can be taken into custody by these forces with no regard for Pakistan's laws or sovereignty -- and certainly no regard for international law, but that has never been an issue for the Bush Administration.

There is now a pattern to such events. First, we have the wrongful action, then its defence by the wrongdoers and finally someone rushes over to try and appease the leadership of Pakistan -- as happened this time round with the hurried visit of Robert Gates. But Gates himself revealed the condescending and abrasive approach the US has towards Pakistan when, having arrived early, he refused to wait for his Pakistani counterpart and instead simply took off to meet the President. Obviously Gates was not concerned about diplomatic niceties regarding Pakistanis!

There are those in Pakistan who actually feel that the Pakistan government should continue making these verbal rejoinders even as the US and NATO continue to violate our sovereignty with impunity, as this is the only way to keep the tribals under pressure and that in any case there is little Pakistan can do in terms of concrete action to stop these incursions. This is dangerous logic because it also sends a message to the Pakistani citizens of the tribal belt that their government can do nothing to protect them from foreign military action on Pakistani soil. This can hardly be conducive to bolstering the writ of the state in these areas -- just when the Pakistani state is trying to open up the area and bring it into the mainstream!

The Pakistan military has to move beyond mere rhetoric and demonstrate its will to defend its territorial integrity in the face of a challenge by US/NATO forces as also by locals seeking to defy the law of the land. So some punitive action has to be undertaken to restore the government's credibility within the domestic polity.

This issue of credibility is very central, especially these days, to ensuring that the writ of the state is not challenged at will through violent means by anyone -- no allied states and no subnational groups. The credibility of the state to ensure that the law of the land is enforced and that our territorial integrity will not be compromised is being seriously eroded not just by the actions of the US and NATO but also by events unfolding domestically.

Take the case of the occupation of the Children's library by students of the Jamia Hafsa. Here was a situation where the law had been clearly violated on two counts at least: One, by the illegal construction of the Madrassah and, two, by the occupation of the library. Yet the state showed a growing temerity in dealing with the law breakers and eventually the latter won a negotiated settlement whereby the state backtracked on its policy of ridding the capital of illegal construction including of mosques and Madrassahs -- a decision supported by the Council of Islamic Ideology which declared such illegally constructed mosques as "un-Islamic." Yet, wielding sticks and probably stashing more lethal weapons, those who sought to challenge the law and the state seemed to have held sway.

From this compromise by the state, what message has gone out to the majority of civil society? That if you can show an ability to threaten to use violence to get your way, you can break the law and have the state negotiate a compromise with you, regardless of the weakness of your case. Contrast this with the way the protest by teachers of the OPF is being ignored by all and sundry. With the state showing no respect to this profession, how can we expect our educational standards to improve? The relevant minister, according to press reports, refused to come out of Parliament to talk to these teachers. Should they also have undertaken a similar occupation a la Jamia Hafsa style to get the state to give them serious attention? And what of the young girl from Sindh and her family who are seeking public redress, to the gang rape inflicted on this minor, in terms of arrests of the rapists? How have the offenders managed to get bail for what is a non-bailable offence? As this poor, grief stricken family mounts a public protest in Karachi, who will pay heed to their legitimate grievance, given that they wield no physical or political power -- only a moral high ground?

The President has correctly stated that idealism cannot prevail in a non-ideal environment and as we know the political-military environment that prevails at any given time in any part of the world is not ideal. But it is in these environments that states have to assert their writ to ensure the safety of civil society and to send a clear cut message to all its citizenry that it will not allow anyone to break the law with impunity and that it will protect the rights of all its citizens and the territorial integrity of the country.

There is a discomfiting similarity between the US/NATO incursions into our territory and their defiant statements, and the actions and statements of the lawbreakers in the Jamia Hafsa incident. Both are challenging and seeking to undermine the writ of the state of Pakistan and in both instances, the state seems to have cowed under -- despite rhetoric to the contrary. Could it be that there is an unholy alliance of aims between the two diverse groups of challengers to the writ of the Pakistani state in order to weaken the state from within?

The religious extremists wish to weaken the state in the hope of establishing their vision of an "Islamic" state -- and the Jamia Hafsa incident has certainly had a negative impact on the standing of the mainstream, moderate religious parties like the Jamaat, within civil society at large -- while the US intent of targeting our nuclear assets indirectly has never been hidden; but both know they must first undermine the authority of the state. Ironically, at one time both these two groups were allies in fighting a jihad against the Soviets and Communism! Is there a covert and unholy alliance once again? After all, stranger things have been known to happen in our world.



The writer is director general of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad. Email: smnews80@hotmail.com
__________________
ஜ иστнιπg ιš ιмթΘรรιвlε тσ α ωιℓℓιиg нєαят ஜ
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old Friday, March 16, 2007
Sureshlasi's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: Best Moderator Award: Awarded for censoring all swearing and keeping posts in order. - Issue reason: Best ModMember of the Year: Awarded to those community members who have made invaluable contributions to the Community in the particular year - Issue reason: For the year 2007Diligent Service Medal: Awarded upon completion of 5 years of dedicated services and contribution to the community. - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: پاکستان
Posts: 2,282
Thanks: 483
Thanked 3,058 Times in 760 Posts
Sureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to allSureshlasi is a name known to all
Default Fitting the ominous pieces together

By Shireen M Mazari

The Pakistan-US relationship is revealing its inherent dialectic at an almost spiraling pace. Almost everyday, the US fires a new salvo against Pakistan which has the latter coming out with damage control statements -- which are increasingly becoming meaningless given the almost immediate contradiction in terms of US actions along the international Pakistan-Afghanistan border accompanied by statements from Washington. There is a growing seriousness to the way in which various events are linking up and the pattern could not be clearer. Many of us had been predicting the possibility of an US ingress into Pakistan with the latter's nuclear assets being the long-term target. Also, with US military journals suggesting the redrawing of the borders of the larger Muslim states, Pakistan needs to realise that its tremendous contribution to the war on terror notwithstanding, it would come under increasing US fire and pressure. That is what is now beginning to happen.

By first identifying recent developments, one can then trace out some increasingly obvious patterns. Amongst the important recent developments are:

* The introduction of bills before the US Congress, making aid to Pakistan conditional upon US presidential waivers/certifications on a whole set of issues ranging from nuclear proliferation, terrorism and secularism.

* Following this, US defence officials' statements before the US Congress in which they have claimed that the US has all the authority it needs to indulge in hot pursuit into Pakistani territory. Despite claims to the contrary by the hapless Pakistan Foreign Office, the US has asserted this right by indulging in such actions, including bombing Pakistani territory with all the collateral damage that ensues, and killing or kidnapping Pakistani citizens with impunity. As some of us have been reiterating, for Pakistan verbal claims to the contrary have lost all credibility and it will have to take some symbolic punitive action against all ingresses across the international border into its territory to put to rest US claims of rights over our sovereign territory.

* Even more threatening has been the response to this claim by some US Congressmen who are seeking to advise their government to strike even further into Pakistani territory to attack "munitions' factories". Of course this could be an open-ended action against our strategic assets.

* Then there are US efforts to poison the Pakistan-Iran relationship, to not only undermine the pipeline project but also to destroy any strategic understanding that may evolve between these two important Muslim states. This is an important policy goal for the US, which is also seeking to destabilise Iran covertly through support for the separatist Iranian Baloch movement based in London. The recent spate of terrorist attacks in Sistan (Iranian Balochistan) are part of this covert operation and has led to suspicions in Iran that Pakistan may be allowing the US access for such a nefarious design. While this is totally incorrect, unfortunately perceptions can sometimes create a false reality, which has a dangerous multiplier effect. Iran needs to realise that Pakistan has its own problems vis-a-vis the BLA and the US, since the latter, most questionably, has refused so far to declare the former a terrorist organisation despite Britain having done so. Interestingly enough, the EU has also not done the needful and Pakistan needs to question US and EU long-term intent towards Pakistan.

* The stationing of US naval strike forces in close proximity to Pakistan's coastal waters and commercial routes -- again a form of pressure through a threat of use of force which such positioning implies.

* There is also the "coincidental" EU action aimed at undermining Pakistan's trade by closing access to EU markets through a refusal to sign an FTA with Pakistan while seeking one with India. The timing is certainly interesting.

* Finally, there is the use of Pakistani writers, along with US and European media persons, to orchestrate the imagined links that still prevail between religious extremists and segments of the Pakistan military! This, of course, not only bolsters suspicions about the Pakistan military abroad, it also seeks to create cleavages between the military and civil society in Pakistan, as well as within the military itself. It is in this context that one can view the recent international and now Pakistani launch of Zahid Hussain's book "Frontline Pakistan". To create credibility it was first feted in Britain -- since we still maintain a colonial hang-up in terms of giving more credence to all things foreign. The usual commentators praised the work -- Seymour Hersh and Ahmed Rashid, the doyenne of the West in terms of his histrionics about Talibanisation and Islamic extremism. One had hoped that Zahid would rise above his desire to play to the Western gallery, but it seems the temptations are simply too great.

Despite claims to the contrary, the book shows little signs of serious research and relies a great deal on his earlier columns. Since he is unable to identify most of his crucial "exclusive interviews", one cannot be blamed for assuming that many of these may be figments of his own imagination since the book is full of contradictions. He cannot decide whether to praise President Musharraf for being a "moderate and pragmatic" man who took on the extremists, or condemn him as being a "doyen of the jihadists and their allies". In fact, this contradiction regarding his assessment of President Musharraf runs right through the book as does his confusion over whether there is an imminent threat or not to Pakistan from the extremists. Some absurdities also abound such as a claim that people in shalwar kameez stand out as Pakistanis in Jalalabad! The book has many such contradictions and factual confusions, but that will not matter to the Western audience which is the prime target for the book. Unfortunately, like some others in this land, as Ayaz Amir pointed out last week, in our rush to curry favour with the US and Europe we pay scant regard to intellectual honesty. After all, we can disagree on the notion of national interest, but let us be honest to ourselves at least.

So one can see the pattern that is being enforced by the US and its allies within and outside of Pakistan: Discredit and pressure Pakistan on all fronts -– including undermining its relations with Iran -– while fomenting dissent from within through Pakistani sources. That is why there is a growing confluence between statements and actions coming out of Washington, US forces and from Europe -– and what is actually happening on the ground in the triangle of Pakistan-Iran-Afghanistan.

What is the desired end result? To undermine Pakistan politically and militarily within the region, and eventually target its strategic assets, so as to create a permanently compliant Pakistani state which allows the targeting of other powerful Muslim states of this region. Pakistan has always been seen as a spoiler by the West because of its commitment to Muslim causes and its self-belief and innate confidence that it matters -– regardless of the problems that may beset it at any given time. That is why we were able to achieve our nuclear capability –- against all odds. That is not acceptable to the US and its allies in the emerging global environment. So the increasingly overt threats and negative policies targeting Pakistan even while the latter is expected to continue being the frontline state in the war on terror.

__________________
ஜ иστнιπg ιš ιмթΘรรιвlε тσ α ωιℓℓιиg нєαят ஜ
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old Thursday, March 29, 2007
A Rehman Pal's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Karachi
Posts: 163
Thanks: 41
Thanked 41 Times in 22 Posts
A Rehman Pal is on a distinguished road
Default Confronting neo-imperialism

Confronting neo-imperialism
By Shireen M Mazari


Dated: 28 March 2007


Iran seems to be capturing headlines on a number of issues -- but underlying them all is the strong sense of Iranian nationalism and commitment to defending its sovereignty. This has not sat easy with the US and Europe, at a time when there is a resurgence of a neo-imperial mindset within these states. Take the incident of the British sailors arrested by Iran in its territorial waters. This is not the first time that this has happened. In June 2004, six British marines and two sailors were taken into custody by Iran after they had ventured into Iranian territorial waters in the narrow Shatt al-Arab waterway.

To hear the British media and government it would appear as if Iran had done something illegal but the fact is that it is Iran's right to protect its territorial waters especially against threatening vessels which UK naval vessels are, given the military build up in the Persian Gulf and the warlike posturing by the US and its British ally in the coalition of the willing that invaded Iraq. Not for one moment did the British contemplate that their sailors could have strayed or deliberately gone into Iranian waters -- after all the British cannot make such mistakes, despite historical record to the contrary. There is an arrogance that smacks of imperialism in the way the British have been demanding the sailors' release instead of an admission that their men could be in the wrong. As for Iran, are they adopting too uncompromising a posture? Not when one sees how the US is building up its naval strike forces in the Gulf -- and not when one sees the Iran nuclear issue in the UNSC with resolutions imposing sanctions. North Korea, which defied international law and opted out of its NPT commitments, was dealt with in a more conciliatory fashion with dialogue as the preferred option -- through the device of the six-party talks. Why can't a similar model be created for dialogue with Iran, which has not opted out of the NPT and still seeks to deal with the nuclear issue within the IAEA rather than the UNSC's politicised framework? Perhaps because Iran is a Muslim state, and one which has expanded its regional influence to challenge the US and Israel?

In any event, within this milieu, Iran's "hard line" is understandable especially in the context of the British sailors because Iran has experienced an earlier trauma when the US guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes shot down a civilian Iranian airplane on a regular flight to Dubai -- Iran Air Flight 655 -- killing 290 innocent people, including 66 children. At the time, the Vincennes was in Iranian territorial waters, but such niceties of international law that maintain a semblance of order in a system of sovereign states are hardly a matter of concern for the US, which seems to regard collateral damage in terms of foreign civilian lives as a mere statistic.

In the present scenario relating to the arrested British sailors, what is equally disturbing is the manner in which the EU has also demanded that Iran release the British sailors immediately. Surely, they should first verify the situation because if the Iranian position is correct, then its actions are justifiable. Instead, the EU has adopted a rather imperial tone in the manner in which it addressed the sovereign state of Iran. But then there is a resurgence of imperialism presently and countries like Pakistan and Iran are being targeted. In the case of Pakistan, we have been told that our market is too small for the EU to sign a Free Trade Agreement, which they are seeking with India, but they are not prepared to give us the exemptions given to states like Bangladesh. So we are in a lose-lose situation on this count. On the political front also, the EU Parliament allowed the founding member of its Friends of India to become the Rapporteur on Kashmir and present a highly biased and in places absurd report on this conflict. Notwithstanding the revelation of Pakistan and the Kashmiris' limited diplomatic-political abilities, the final product from Emma Nicholson could not have been otherwise but that the EU Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee found this acceptable makes one wonder what the EU's intent is towards this region.

However, perhaps the starkest reflection of the rising tide of US-EU neo-imperialism has been the taking over of the ISAF command in Afghanistan by NATO, in 2003. Although we are told ad nauseam that NATO's presence in Afghanistan has UN legitimacy but the record shows otherwise. The UNSC, through Resolution 1386 of December 2001, sanctioned the International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan (ISAF). As stipulated in the Bonn Agreement of December 2001, the progressive expansion of the ISAF mandate was approved through follow-on UNSC resolutions.

So how did NATO get into ISAF? Did the UNSC initiate NATO's involvement or did NATO present a fait accompli to the UN Secretary General. What is available on record is that NATO's Secretary General informed the UN Secretary General, through a letter dated 2 October 2003, that on 11 August 2003 NATO had assumed "strategic command, control and coordination of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)." This was followed by another letter from the NATO SG to the UN SG informing the latter of the North Atlantic Council's agreement on a "longer-term strategy for NATO in its International Assistance Force (ISAF) role in Afghanistan. These communications were forwarded to the UNSC. So effectively NATO presented the UNSC with a fait accompli.

It was in the face of these developments that the UNSC passed Resolution 1510 on 13 October 2003 in which it acknowledged the 6 October NATO SG's letter as well as communication from the Afghan Minister for Foreign Affairs and authorised the expansion of the ISAF mandate. But nowhere is there any reference to NATO's role in Afghanistan. So is NATO really in Afghanistan because of UNSC resolutions or because its members, through their North Atlantic Council decided to get a new foothold in Asia?

Given the continuing European-Atlantic membership of NATO, its operations can only be legitimate in the area of its membership -- and that also require a UNSC authorisation -- except in the case of collective self-defence as defined by Article 5 of the NATO Charter. The North Atlantic Council may have decided to expand NATO's vision and operational area but this does not legitimise, internationally, out-of-area operations. That NATO has the military capability while the UN may be lacking this is not the issue here, since one is focusing on the question of international legitimacy. In any case, the UN can be given more teeth if the members are prepared to do so and make effective Articles 43-47 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, including the provisions relating to the creation of a Military Staff Committee.

Meanwhile, effectively we now have Europeans and Atlantic states making decisions relating to the Asian region and this has far reaching consequences for all Asian states in the long run. If this is not neo-imperialism, then what is?
__________________
REBEL
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old Thursday, March 29, 2007
A Rehman Pal's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Karachi
Posts: 163
Thanks: 41
Thanked 41 Times in 22 Posts
A Rehman Pal is on a distinguished road
Default Hitting rock bottom

Hitting rock bottom
By Shireen M Mazari


Dated: 21 March 2007

We have hit rock bottom at all levels -- from the political to the sports field. And it appears that only a non-Pakistani, the late Bob Woolmer felt the shame strongly enough to suffer an untimely death. But let us begin with the horror of the physical abuse of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, the chasm between the actual restrictions that continued to persist regarding his person and his family and the official disclaimers to the contrary. In all this, the sight of those who are supposed to uphold the law and protect the citizens actually mauling the Chief Justice and his wife revealed the sorry state of the law enforcement bureaucracy. Violence is clearly endemic in them and certainly no ordinary citizen will feel safe now -- the little that they may have done so earlier. But what has been the state's response? A few inquiries but no rolling of the heads yet. Not that that should have been needed in the first place. Surely the shame of this incidence should have compelled the senior Islamabad police officials and interior minister to have resigned out of a sense of basic decency. Instead, no expression of regret was even heard from these folk.

As if the physical abuse of the CJ was not enough of a national disgrace, we saw the police run amok in what was clearly a pre-planned and officially ordered -- at what level is the real question -- assault on the Geo and The News offices. The apology from the President was a gracious gesture and the rush to the scene of the crime by the information minister and a day later by the prime minister was a clear reflection of their desire to disassociate from this ugly incident. But then there is the glaring question of who ordered the attack, because it was clearly on the orders of someone? Are there people who can order such violence with the top leadership not only kept in total ignorance but also damaged considerably? It is unbelievable to now be told that the top cop involved in the attack has disappeared!

The violence perpetrated by the police certainly has had an impact. After all, the ordinary person can now see how threatened he is at the hands of the very people who are paid out of taxpayer money to protect him/her. The fear that is being spread across the land with regard to police violence seems to be a deliberate policy. After all, it was not just Geo that suffered at the hands of the Punjab police. The Lahore High Court building was a target also, with lawyers earning the wrath of a police force that has obviously gone mad. We know the brutal reputation of the police in terms of blackmail, harassment, corruption and so on -- but seeing them with rocks and sticks initiating violence is a terrible sight. What was the difference between the police on rampage in Islamabad and Lahore and the lawbreakers who hold the government to ransom with the power of lethal sticks?

Of course, no force is used against such lawbreakers. Instead all the force is reserved for those who seek to peacefully protest or those who seek to fulfil their mandate of reporting such protest. What a place we live in. Certainly enlightenment and moderation have no place within our law enforcement set up. And no heads have rolled in the Geo case either -- although in any civilised and decent society, the interior and information ministers would have resigned. In this context, the less one says of the law minister, the better since his violence and abusiveness is becoming legendary. Never mind the ridicule that that brings upon this poor country.

Talking of resignations, it was a pleasant surprise to see the PCB chairman offering his resignation after the cricket fiasco the Pakistani nation has had to undergo. But why did the good doctor take up a position for which he was clearly not suited? As for the team, clearly the selectors played favourites and we got the results the state deserved – but not the nation which is starved for heroes and asks very little from them. Inzimam has resigned from ODIs, but he needs to be removed altogether. With others of his ilk, he is now focused more on proselytising for the faith and that is admirable but then he must leave cricket to those fully committed to it. Why are we not able to have professional set ups for professional tasks? No sporting great has a say in any of our sports boards which are run on personal whims and fancies. That is why we have hit rock bottom in squash, hockey and cricket -- not to mention the sorry state of other sports like tennis. It is not that the talent is lacking; it is simply our refusal to have professionals run things. Instead, retired bureaucrats, of both varieties, are seen as the answer to all our ills -- quite forgetting that they are probably responsible for these ills in the first place.

Nor is it just sports. Look at what we have done to our national carrier -- PIA. Once known as a leader in its field, we have managed to reduce it to the bottom of the heap, with the EU ban being the final insult. Despite the loyalty of the ordinary Pakistani, especially from the diaspora, who continues to fly the national carrier out of choice, those managing this "golden egg" have continued to let things rot. Perhaps it is a deliberate ploy to allow its sale to some Gulf enterprise -- and we would not know the Indian component in such an enterprise -- but it is reflective of the sorry state of affairs we confront today.

We allow external powers to abuse us at will while the state abuses the nation in a similar fashion. There is nothing new in what has been happening recently to what happened with the so-called democratic civil set ups earlier. The judiciary and media were targeted then, as they are now. The US abused us then and it is doing so today. Pressler dictated US policy towards Pakistan for decades and now we are seeing a replay of this with the US Senate having passed a bill which will make aid to Pakistan conditional on Presidential certification. The House had already passed this bill and the issues on which certification of compliance has to be given range from nuclear-related issues and the GoP's commitment to secular public schools.

Even as we hit rock bottom on all fronts, there is a resignation in the face of events. After all, will we never see things changing? Every time hopes are raised and then they come to naught. There was a glimmer of hope before the 2002 elections on many fronts, but post the elections it seems to have become "business as usual". Are we destined to suffer through repetitive cycles despite our many developed strengths and despite a most passionate nation? What have we done to suffer those who bring disrepute to the state and nation and those who use violence against those they are meant to protect? Who will be the first to accept collective responsibility for state institutions going awry?
__________________
REBEL
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
development of pakistan press since 1947 Janeeta Journalism & Mass Communication 14 Wednesday, November 11, 2015 11:03 AM
Pakistan's Lessons from its Kargil War 1999 Sumairs Pakistan Affairs 7 Saturday, December 11, 2010 11:00 AM
PAKISTAN Press, Media, TV, Radio, Newspapers MUKHTIAR ALI Journalism & Mass Communication 1 Friday, May 04, 2007 02:48 AM
indo-pak relations atifch Current Affairs 0 Monday, December 11, 2006 08:01 PM
international news agencies Muhammad Akmal Journalism & Mass Communication 0 Tuesday, June 06, 2006 11:33 PM


CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of CSSForum.com.pk (unless CSSForum.com.pk is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.