12. PAKISTAN AT THE CROSSROADS, Imtiaz Alam.The News International Dec, 28, 03 The critics of the Joint Statement of Pakistan and India can be divided in two categories: The one who base Pakistan’s own existence and identity as juxtaposed to a ‘Hindu India’, and those who want to make a political capital out of their opposition to General Musharraf’s peace initiative, regardless of its positive implication on their struggle for democracy. The anti-India ir-rationalists will not agree to even a most favourable solution to Kashmir, nor will they ever agree to even a most fruitful relationship with India since they have become a prisoner of their own ideology that has failed to guide Pakistan find its own positive existence and its relationship with its twin-brother. Their opposition to the Joint Statement is rooted in their chauvinist ideology and rejection of dialogue, in preference for violent means, even if Pakistan is totally isolated and faces most horrendous consequences. They have built empires and immense clout they fear will vanish if reconciliation went too far- which it must. With an irredentist view on Kashmir, they want to use it as a bogey to keep people of Pakistan a hostage to their vested interests. The religious right that as a class opposed creation of Pakistan, although divided on its attitude towards India, does not accept Pakistan even as a nation-state and wants to zealously defend its gains it once made by collaborating with the state apparatuses in the business of jihad and co-manufacturing of ideology. The other critics are just being expeditious, such as PML-N that has the distinction of initiating the Lahore process. Militarization of civilian mind is now becoming a hurdle, rather than a support base, in the way of efforts by the armed forces to harmonize its corporate interests with new geo-strategic realities. Those who are fighting for democracy and wants to keep armed forces out of politics cannot oppose the effort to resolve conflict through peaceful means since the hegemony of garrison over civil society, besides endogenous factors, is rooted in maintaining a perpetual conflict with India. Indeed, Pakistan was carved out of British India to allow the people of Muslim-majority regions to shape their own nationhood in a separate nation-state. While addressing his last meeting with the Muslim League in Delhi the Mr.Jinnah asked the Muslims of India to live as loyal citizens of India, he declared Pakistan to be a state of all its peoples, regardless of their religion during his address to the first session of the Constituent Assembly in Karachi. Rather than basing Pakistan’s entity in conflict with India, he vowed to have friendly relations with India as existed between Canada and America. Such was his vision. As opposed to Quaid’s democratic vision, the nation building took an authoritarian course to allow the domination of Mohajir-Punjabi interests over others, on the one hand, and garrison over civil society, on the other. The legitimacy for this power structure was sought by vulgarizing the ‘two-nation’ theory, which had served the purpose of partitioning India, as ‘ideology of Pakistan’ and internationalizing the external by inculcating anti-India spirit into the national-body of Pakistan. How could the two-nation theory be extended to Pakistan, after the partition and massive but tragic migration? Nor could Pakistan have any endogenous justification for its existence out of an exogenous factor of India. Consequently, deviating from Quaid’s vision, neither did Pakistan become a republic, nor evolve a positive, affirmative and dynamic self-image, rooted in thousand of years of existence of its federating units across the Indus Valley Civilization. Pakistan was neither an aberration of history, nor a by-product of British conspiracy, as perceived and brushed aside by pseudo Indian secularists. It is based on solid foundations of its people, who wanted to have a separate homeland, and was created out of the mutual agreement of the epoch-making historical forces that decided the fate of the subcontinent in its struggle for self-determination. Unfortunately, the Indian notion that Pakistan will not survive and Nehru’s nationalism that adopted and extended Monroe Doctrine to India’s small neighbours reinforced the paranoia of a fear-stricken state of Pakistan. India’s hegemonic expressions and hostility also facilitated Pakistan seek its identity in anti-India notions and ideological justification and support from elsewhere to counter-balance an adversary. This dialectic set into motion mutually reinforcing chauvinist and aggressive ideologies that have kept relationship between the newly independent nations a hostage to adversity. Consequently, the differences were turned into conflicts and wars were fought to perpetuate disputes. Even if efforts were made to resolve them through negotiations they were not meant to build a sound edifice of friendship on whose strength such intractable disputes as Kashmir could be resolved. Historically, the basis of this Punjabi-Mohajir nexus or Mullah-military alliance and hegemony of garrison have been eroded. The Punjabis are now more confident, as compared to Northern India left behind by South and is inclined to make use of Pak friendship for greater gains from regional trade, to gain than lose in friendship with India. Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to mend fences with India were a reflection of this Punjabi maturity. Mohajirs now seek privilege by forging exclusivity, rather than Muslim fraternity. And the armed forces are now inclined to see the survival of their corporate interests by scuttling their extended security agendas. The arms race had entered a stage where it could not be sustained, nor could cross-borer terrorism be any more allowed since it had backfired rather than make India bow. India has its own no less small reasons to find peace with Pakistan, besides the compulsion of politicians to respond to a much larger peace constituency than hate. This time around, after Pakistan has rightly bid farewell to arms, no debate will be useful, nor will negotiations be fruitful, unless placed in the context of friendly Indo-Pak relation and grater collective good of the South Asian region. More than Kashmir, Indo-Pak relations remained a hostage to the enmity generated by the partition. It is the liberation of Indo-Pak relation from the captivity of hostility that can create a soil of mutual confidence, strengthened by mutually beneficial cooperation across South Asia and beyond, that can help overcome historically rooted disputes in a process of reconciliation. The ideas of South Asian customs, economic and monetary union and collective security are so much inspiring and mutually useful that border disputes will disappear with the softening of borders while respecting the sovereign entities, and allowing the Kashmiris and so many other disposed peoples to realize their aspirations. The logic of hostility will have to be turned over into the logic of fraternity. But for South Asia to become a really dynamic region, it is India that should exhibit greater understanding for Pakistan’s and other smaller nations’ legitimate interests since it is a greater stakeholder than the others. What is no les important is that the Muslims in India and Hindus in Pakistan will never become first-rate citizens unless Indo-Pak conflict is resolved and it must be understood by the religious right in Pakistan, if it has any concern for its Muslim brothers who are almost equal to their numbers in Pakistan The composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan in February should be viewed in this broader perspective, rather than skewed down to partial preferences of the two sides. A new perspective, a new environment and a new logic are needed to inform the interlocutors. The ideologies of adversity and diplomacy of stalemate will have to be abandoned in favour of understanding, flexibility and accommodation. We live in a ruthless world of unilateralist, globalisation and militarization and cannot survive, nor find a respectable place in this world of great imbalances, without first putting our own South Asian house. Those who do not understand it will learn it on their own peril after the loss of this opportunity. The crux of the matter is that: There cannot be a new beginning for the Kashmiris without a good beginning between India and Pakistan, and there cannot be any beginning for South Asia without a friendly relationship between the twin-brothers of subcontinent. This was true on 9/11 and this is even more pressing today, after the two assassination attempts at the COAS-President Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan is at the crossroads. The fight between the terrorists and the Musharraf administration has entered a crucial phase. As President survives, a defiant MMA, some dub as Mullah-Military Alliance, sheds its phony radicalism to legitimise LFO and a COAS as President, leaving Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) crying foul. Emerging victorious, General Musharraf has yet to face the bigger challenges, just not a coalition of terrorists aiming their guns at him, but also how to find a modus operandi with India and satisfy the world over nuclear controls. A tremendous agenda indeed! Will he or will he not? Thank God two very serious attempts on his life have failed, but the third may not oblige the good luck of the President. The issue is not of a security lapse, as is being suggested by most analysts, it is essentially of strategic and systemic nature. Nor is it an issue of the person of General Musharraf, who indeed is at the centre of everything that Pakistan endeavours to or still avoids to grapple with. The principal threat to Pakistan’s security is from the religious extremists of jihadis of all hues, regardless of their sect or origin and the front they are engaged in, the state once unleashed. The children of jihad have now turned against their patrons. This is not an issue of betrayal by one side or the other. The relationship of the state and the jihadis has transformed from that of allies into adversaries. Who is to prevail is the question? And there is, and there will not be, a limit to this war on all fronts and by all means. Such is the irony of history. If the state is serious enough, since the jihadis mean what they are to do, it will have to first set a new direction against religious extremism in all its manifestations, clean up its own house (from the security establishment and intelligence agencies to think tanks, educationists to propagandists, clerics to nuclear scientists), track down each one of the terrorists, their sanctuaries, support bases and allies wherever they are and in whatever position they are placed. You have best of the intelligence, best of the records and best of the connections. They only need to be and can be updated with the help of those who are still on the pay roles. After all, these jihadi proxies and their ideologues have been providing religious sanction to and cheap fodder for the sins of the security establishment that allowed for too long the emergence of the militant challenger to the state. How about revealing all the records: who got what in exchange for making these poor guys a sacrificial goat? That will bring down these high priests of jihad from the heights of religious pedestal and expose the crime they have committed against the most poor of our younger generation misled by them in the name of jihad, for largesse and what not. The fight against terrorism can’t be fought the way the state has been fighting, to so reluctantly meet the exigencies of 9/11 without the unity of mind and heart. It has to be done in our own interest and our own survival, and not on American biddings. But the state can’t do it all alone. It’s a war against the war of secrecy that cannot be fought without the support of the people and fighting against both the cause and symptom of the disease. You have to do it now and in a surgical way, before they finally succeed in bringing this country to ruin as they did to Afghanistan, besides inviting their American friends to complete the task of being pushed back to the medieval age they relish so much in the name of reviving a ‘great tradition’. The compromise the MMA has reached on LFO while accepting the sitting COAS as President may be a retreat of the religious right, whose sole focus was on Musharraf leaving his job as COAS, it can both help and disrupt. Obliged by the facilitation by the establishment, both by providing the space for a backlash on the reversal of pro-Taliban policy and making elections in Pashtun belt a one-way affair for the religious right, the MMA saw a new partnership beneficial to its post-jihad role. After all, all these decades most of the components of MMA, except Fazalur Rehman, have been in the service of the powers that be, from destabilising the moderate elected governments and providing both Islamic sanctity and cheap fodder to the state-sponsored jihad to build their own reactionary empires. If the MMA has taken the course of mending its fences with its real mentors, it will have to understand the limits of its role as a parliamentary outfit, that is incompatible with its flirtation with jihad and jihadi forces, and a junior partner in power, rather than to subvert the nation-state from within. But it’s Catch-22 situation. The MMA would be inclined to capture the center stage of opposition to Musharraf’s moderate policies in the illusion of expanding its appeal by beating about the bush of ‘betraying Kashmir Jihad’, pseudo anti-Americanism and ‘sell-out of nuclear programme’ (or sell out by those who sold nuclear secrets or components?). It would like to enjoy both the worlds: Governments in NWFP and Balochistan and opposition at the centre, despite betraying the democratic and liberal ARD that remains in the dock. It’s good to separate the religious right from the terrorists. But will it stop providing ideological cover and patronage to the jihadis who may take their cover? The compromise will effectively serve the purpose of the extremists, if the MMA is not persuaded to stop its backing to the terrorists and the PPP and the PML-N are kept in the wilderness to provide the religious right a walkover at the national level. It’s a very contradictory, but interesting, situation. While the MMA joined hands with Musharraf to get out of the blind alley and consolidate its gains in power, the ARD is excluded from creating a power-equation in which the religious right could have been reduced to an auxiliary position (MMA wins against the ARD but at the cost of democratic principles). After losing the battle on the supremacy of the constitutional and democratic rule, due to the betrayal of a greedy MMA, the ARD will find it difficult to oppose Musharraf’s moderate policies as opposed to MMA that may even force the democratic alliance to fall in line with its radical rhetoric (a win-win situation for MMA.) The fact of the matter is that Mullah-Military Alliance once suited the establishment, but its continuation may end up in the final defeat of the last efforts to save Pakistan from falling into the hands of extremists. In the meanwhile, three most important challenges will be steering Musharraf in his eyes. The unease with our cooperation in the war against terrorism on the Afghan front is becoming too serious an issue. Indeed, renewed efforts are being made to clean up our frontier regions. But this clean up is organically linked to the clean up in the whole country, including the Capital and Rawalpindi where both attempts at the COAS took place within two weeks and in the vicinity of GHQ. It is also linked to the jihad in Kashmir, establishment have been sponsoring, at the cost of the indigenous struggle of the Kashmiris and the APHC. As Musharraf moves ahead with his peace initiative with India, he will have to complement Vajpayee’s solution on the basis of humanity with the complete cessation of cross-border infiltration. The irony of the situation is that the same elements who were sponsored for the jihad in Kashmir are also among the coalition of terrorists who are after his life. As if not enough, the Iranian revelations have brought new pressures on Pakistan’s nuclear programme. What if the nuclear weapons fall into the hands of extremists, if Musharraf goes, the world asks? The institutional guarantees, besides verifiable measures, may (or may not) save the skin, but for how long? Again, Pakistan’s nuclear programme is linked to India’s. Why cannot there be a nuclear-safety regime for South Asia, besides evaluating a collective security system for South Asia? All these things can fit into a South Asian Economic Union, including a solution to the Kashmir dispute. It is indeed a long order of challenges to our nation, Musharraf or no Musharraf, and we must accept them and set a new course for ourselves. There is no escape.
These writings prove that the mind set of some Pakistani are in right direction though so late. One doesn’t have to travel beyond our neighbours once a part of undivided India to take a look at the reverse scenario where Muslims are in absolute majority.
Complementary to the fact that Muslims are not the only minority in India. Is the fact that Muslims are not in the minority only in India. Is it coincidental that their aggressive tendencies have brought them on collision course with many majority communities as in Cyprus. Burma. The Philippines, Lebanon, Nigeria and now Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia etc? Shouldn’t the community introspect why it is treated like a “foreign body” in so many nations?
Indian Muslims should not identify themselves with the misdeeds of their ideological forefathers. The sermon “humanism for Hindus and Islam above everything for Muslims, “is a futile prescription for peace. India indeed possess a wonderful capacity to forget and forgive. The British left the Indian shores not as enemies but as friends in 1947. One million domiciled French were issued a clear threat by the Muslim Algerian militia, FLN (Front Liberation de Nationale), to choose between a “suitcase and coffin” after Algeria gained independence in 1964 by a plebiscite allowed by Charles de Gaulle. Pakistan was by forcefully expelling and decimating the Hindus and Sikhs by using the official machinery of the police and the armed forces. Ethnic cleansing was repeated in Kashmir in India and Bangladesh and this prove that the problem is not with Muslim intension, but capacity. As 200 million Arabs cannot tolerate 5 million Jews occupying 0.20% land space. Wherever Muslims are in a minority they are living as equal citizens, but wherever Muslim are in a majority Minorities are under stress.
One should remember that for Partition Hindus were forced to part with what has been legitimately their land from time immemorial. They did not go for a civil war to expel Muslims to Arabia or Iran with which most Muslims ideologically associate themselves. Unlike Jews who left Europe to establish Israel in their Holy Land’ Muslims extracted hard real estates out of Indian territory in proportion matching to their population. But they in fact had a better deal. Not only because they expelled Hindus and Sikhs from what became Pakistan but also because a sizeable portion of them continued to remain in India. There are more Muslims in India that in today’s Pakistan.
Inspired by Allama Iqbal’s Islamic dream, Chaudhary Rehmat Ali had envisioned “Pakistan” in 1933 a few years before Savarkar ascended to the Presidency of Akin Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha in 1937. But still there is a glaring fact. Hindu Mahasabha at the zenith of its popularity did not command even four percent of Hindu vote.as an overwhelming majority of Hindus remained wedded to the Gandhian Congress. But with all its of “secularism” Congress could not attract more then four percent of Muslims. An overwhelming majority of whom spontaneously responded to Jinnah’s call of “Ladke lenge Pakistan (we shall wrest Pakistan by direct action)” However. On August 15.1947 on the streets of Lahore the slogan altered to “ Hanske Libya hair Pakistan. Ladke lenge Hindustan (we have wrested Pakistan as child’s play. Now we’ll wrest India through war) Pakistan has continued to fight for the realization of this pipe dream ever since.
The Muslim refusal of living with Hindus in an undivided country did not stem from the fear of Hindu majoritarianism. Rather it was a refusal to live as equals with Hindus over whom they had lorded for centuries. Muslims wanted political superiority. Muslims doggedly preserve their “identity” both inwardly and outwardly they themselves end up working against a harmony.
Their apathy to family planning. hygienic life conditions. modern education, Women’s liberty. Even polio vaccination etc. is really egregious. And common people would negatively respond to these things instinctively even if few educated Muslims could come forward for it. Insistence on beard, Skullcap, Urdu madrasa and mosque is only bringing them regression in real terms. These are some of the confessional fact that Muslims will have to seriously ponder about. Will they join the race of who reaches 7th century CE fastest or look into the future? Speaking about education. Employment, Social adjustment with Hindus, Family planning and political realism, these things can come about not through appeasement.
The political discourse matters, and explains a good deal. But there’s something beneath it, something we don’t want to look in the face: namely that in India, as elsewhere in our darkening world, religion is the poison in the blood. Where religion intervenes, mere innocence is no excuse. Yet we go on skating around this issue, speaking of religion in the fashionable language of ‘respect’. What is there to respect in any of this, or in any of the crimes now being committed almost daily around the world in religion’s dreaded name? How well, with what fatal results, religion erects totems, and how willing we are to kill for them/ And when we’ve done it often enough, the deadening of affect that results makes it easier to do it again. What happened in India has happened in God’s name. So India’s problem turns out to be the world’s problem. The problem’s is God.
On January 22, 2004 Pakistani President defends stand on madarasas as criticism that his government had failed to reform Islamic schools blamed for inculcating religious extremism and inciting militancy. In another recent report, the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank sharply criticized Musharraf for failing to carry out a pledge more than two years ago to reform madarasas and contain the growth of Muslim extremist networks. It said that whatever measures had been taken so far had been largely cosmetic.
13. FREEDOM OF JOURNALISM FREEDOM OF JOURNALISM IN PAKISTAN. Daily Time. January 25,2004 In an interview to CNN, President Pervez Musharraf, on a question regarding a Pakistani journalist Khawar Mehdi Rizvi reportedly detained by the authorities, said that he has “no sympathy whatsoever” for Mr Rizvi since “he was trying to bring harm to my country and he’s the most unpatriotic man”. Mr Musharraf’s statement about the detained journalist—at one point he casually said that he (Mr Rizvi) “must be in jail”—betrays an attitude that is deeply worrying on many counts. Consider. Mr Rizvi was arrested in Karachi on December 16 along with two French journalists. The trio was reportedly investigating claims of Taliban activity in Quetta. While the two French journalists were charged with violating the terms of their visas and, having pleaded guilty to the charge, were released and asked to leave Pakistan, Mr Rizvi’s whereabouts remain unknown. The government has been issuing contradictory statements alternating between denying that Mr Rizvi is in custody and admitting that he is. Mr Rizvi has not been charged so far, though it seems that the government agencies picked up all three after determining that they were “faking” their footage of Taliban activity in Quetta. Be that as it may, Mr Musharraf needs to consider certain issues. The first relates to habeas corpus, which forms the bedrock of modern political and social life. A civilised state vows, through an acceptance of habeas corpus — in conjunction with fundamental rights and due process of law for every citizen — that it shall not illegally detain anyone. In the case of Mr Rizvi, as in many other such cases past and present, the government of Pakistan has repeatedly violated this commitment to its citizens. This practice is unacceptable. Second, if Mr Rizvi is guilty, and this is purely for a court of law to decide, this fact has to be proved through due process of law. And due process means both transparency as well as the right of the accused to defend himself. No one, and this includes Mr.Musharraf, can condemn him or any other accused without a trial or before a trial has taken place. Neither can the citizens accept the absurdity of PTV showing footage of the detained journalist while the Federal Investigations Agency denies holding him in response to the habeas corpus petition filed by Mr.Rizvi’s brother on December 30 at the Sindh High Court. Three, even if Mr Rizvi has been picked up for reasons of national security, he cannot be denied his basic legal and other rights. Once the state decides to move against a citizen, the act automatically brings into operation all relevant laws governing detention and other legalities that follow an arrest. It was only on January 11 that an interior ministry spokesperson admitted that Mr Rizvi was under detention and would appear in court “when it is essential”. But he refused to specify which security agency was holding him, saying this was “premature.” The high court’s order on January 20 that Mr Rizvi be produced before the court has also fallen on deaf ears.
We are also troubled by Mr Musharraf’s reference to Mr.Rizvi as someone who was “trying to bring harm to my country”. The use of the possessive pronominal implies the country belongs to Mr Musharraf and he has deemed fit to not only condemn Mr Rizvi before a trial has taken place but considers him an outsider bent on harming something that belongs to Mr Musharraf. Clearly, if this logic and the attitude it reflects is allowed to persist unchallenged, it would end up shrinking the space for dissent. Mr Musharraf’s government has increasingly come under scrutiny on the issue of freedom of speech. We hope that, in keeping with his own vision of a modern, progressive Pakistan, Mr Musharraf would do the right thing — allow Mr Rizvi a free trial. If he is then found guilty, he must be punished. But he cannot be condemned unheard.
- NUCLEAR BLACKMARKET NETWORK
The Economist bared Western thinking on this issue-which is of significance for India in understanding what is happening in Pakistan. Talking about a possible Indo-Pak war, the newsmagazine wrote in its June 1, 2002 issue; “If Pakistan lost in the war with India and if the losing toppled General Musharraf, America could lose a vital link in the war against terrorism.” With such thinking dominating the Western approach to the subcontinent, what is it that can be expected from Musharraf” Any intelligent ruler in Pakistan would think the best way to ensure his own continuance is to keep Osama and Mullah beyond the reach of the American special forces operating in his territory even as he makes timely noses about fighting terrorism. And that is what General Musharraf is doing even as he seeks to give a democratic face to his military based regime in a structure where effective power now stands transferred to the military establishment for all times to come.
What the Economist says about post-Musharraf Pakistan, further strengthens this conclusion; “A post Musharraf Pakistan, humiliated by India, might well swing the other way. Osama would only be too happy to have exchanged a ramshackle haven in Afghanistan for a new one in a friendly, nuclear armed Pakistan.” In effect, if President Bush is following the logic of the Economist, he should be imagining how he is being taken for a ride by his own group of advisers who are suggesting such a surrender to the blackmail that the Pakistani dictator is proposing. Now we know why he rattles his nuclear sward often; it is not really meant against India but against America that must keep him fed permanently while he promises action to nab the terrorists with no real intention to act. Put simply, America is under nuclear blackmail by its supposedly closest ally.
Intervening in Pakistan as it did in Afghanistan, a restructuring of the jihadi state is necessary to protect this worldview. So long as America dithers from doing that, the situation will not improve.
American scholars like Stephen Cohen revealed as the dream of a Muslim world with Pakistan as the center has been a long time objective. Joining like Malaysia, Indonesia, Parts of Philipines, Central Asia and southern parts of Rusia and West Asian and African nations is the Pakistan’s Jihadis strategy.
Another American scholar, Jessica Stern, had warned her country a year before the decisive attack on the World Trade Centre. “These schools (the madrasas) encourage their graduates, who often cannot find work because of the lack of practical education, to fulfill their spiritual obligation by fighting against Hindus in Kashmir or against Muslims of other sects in Pakistan.”(Foreign Affairs, Nov-Dec 2000). She quoted the jihadi leader as claiming that “we wouldn’t stop even if India gives us Kashmir-we’ll(also) bring jihad here. We want to see a Taliban-style regime here.” She had cautioned American policy makers that “America must do more than scold” Pakistan. Even after the jihadis proved their capacity to penetrate American electronic perimeter, US policy still remains confined to scolding.
For India as much as for the world there are other danger sings written on the Islamic walls. Bangladesh is perceptibly sliding into the danger zone. The Far Eastern Economic Review has said this in its summer(April 200) issue; “This nation of 130 million people is slowly moving away from its tradition of moderate Islam. And the government seems powerless and unwilling to stem the tide, which includes growing attacks on moderate Muslims and the dwindling Hindu population from 30% in 1947 to 10% in 2003.” The Far Eastern Economic Review report had pinpointed the 64,000 madrasas as a potential political time bomb” and exporters of Islamic revolution.” The Review had warned; “Neighbouring India and Burma are also at risk, while the Western world cannot afford to be complacent either.” This was after the 9/11 events.
And what about the situation in Pakistan itself and the attitude of even the elitist Pakistani after 9/11? A survey published as recently as May 2002 in the prestigious Fortune magazine reminded its readers in the corporate and political world of America that “a Gallup poll found that 82% of urban Pakistanis hailed Osama bin Laden as a freedom fighter. ”The magazine quoted Mazahar Husain, a counter-terrorism investigator as saying “Several of the more than 50 radical groups currently operating in Pakistan have links to Al-Qaeda, Osama is not alone. He is a big organization, in every city, in every district here.”
The American administration may be betting on General Musharaf but the ground realities are quite different. The Fortune report says that Al Badr “is still operating in Pakistan even though a year has passed since the group’s leader announced that jihad has become the foremost duty of the Muslim community against US, Israel and India.’ The Americans have again been fooled by the Pakistan President’s steps to cut off funds to the terrorist organizations by freezing their bank accounts. The Fortune investigations showed that eight billion US dollars coming Pakistan through the hundi route, the non banking, concealed pipeline that is run by a smuggler-fundamentalist complex. Why, even Pakistan’s own central bank borrowed 4.4 billions dollars from “certain sources in Dubai” –euphemism for the underworld connection. Now we know why people like Dawood are important for the Pakistan establishment.
The Fortune report on Pakistan’s pretension is highly instructive; “A country that professes to be any ally of the US in its war on terrorism but probably harbours more terrorists than any place on the earth.” Its investigations have let it to conclude that Pakistan is “unable to control thousands of jobless jihadis whose anger is fuelled by religious fundamentalists.” Its economy is on the brink of collapse, as 100 billion dollars have already been taken out of that country by its military-fundamentalist complex.” Were these American news papers spreading a one sided version? The answer is “no”. In its special issue on the anniversary of the 9/11 event, the Time magazine studied the elitist Pakistani teenagers from wealthy families, studying in best schools. It projects one such, Sana Shah, aged 16, studying in a prestigious girl’s school in Lahore, with an English background, and a peace activist who has visited New York after 9/11 event. The report in the magazine says after describing her, how she and her friends have moved towards fundamentalism and admired Osama. “As Islamic militancy spreads in Pakistan, she feels she is being to take a side. And she doesn’t think she has chosen America’s.”
Time magazine quotes an American instructor Mary Neilsen who studied Islam and went to mosques to generate within her sympathetic response to Islam’s perceived feeling of wrongdoing against it by the West. After all her one year long effort, which included lot of ecumenism, Neilsen says; ”Muslim fundamentalism scares the hell out of me.” After all this experience of Americans and others, it is legitimate to ask: why are our secularists ignoring these warnings?
Conventional thinking in the West has always tended to equate India with Pakistan. This may be on account of not wanting to be seen “to till” in favour of one against the other. Given the wide disparity between the two countries in political’ economic’ military and civilizational terms. This perhaps compounds the “original sin”. Westen packaging of proposals to sort out problems in the South Asian region inevitably stress pressing development needs; history of hostility between the two largest countries in the region; inherent dangers stemming from both of them possessing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them; and the potential of “sub-conventional” terrorist acts escalating into a unclear conflict. The summation of the situation is that it posits a dangerously unstable equilibrium.
Remedies proposed ’however’ are more often that not, worse then the disease. They usually tend to overlook the convoluted nature of Indo-Park relations. Suggestions made range from enlarging the process—as well as the context—of the dialogue so as to invest it with greater credibility, to bringing about changes in the overall bilateral relationship. According to western interlocutors’ this would make it easier to pursue solutions over time. The unstated premise is that the international community needs to play an important role in facilitating such a dialogue. Act as a hedge against conflict escalation’ and explore the possibility of creating a South Asian security framework which can help stabilize the WMD component of South Asian security.
Pakistan has been skilful in exploiting vulnerabilities inherent in such thinking. It has time and again employed clichés to obscure the truth. Facile claims that Pakistan’s current focus is on maintaining political stability’ economic viability and internal security are hence regularly made. Also that , Pakistan now prefers dialogue to conflict, and is willing to discuss all issues, including Kashmir, with India. Pakistan claims to oppose terrorism and to have acted against and prevented “non-state actors” from infiltrating across the Line of Control. It welcomes greater US involvement so as to ensure more stability in the region and also offset Pakistan’s conventional “force imbalance “ vis-a vis India. The impression conveyed is of an embattled Pakistan fighting “a mythical Indian threat” seeking US guarantees to ensure its security.
India is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious fabric within a constitutional, democratic and federal framework while battling threats such as terrorism. So if US believes it has a role to play in ensuring peace in the region, it cannot allow itself to be blinded by the immediacy of its needs and requirements. It should put an end to its pursuit of Musharraf as America’s “great white hope” in the battle against “jihadi” terrorism. On Sept. 19, 2001 he declare in a domestic audience that the situation facing Pakistan and the opportunist alliance effected by Prophet Mohammed with the Jewish tribes of Medina to defeat his enemies. The implication is that “theirs” was a temporary alliance with America or India for a limited goal. Billion doller aid is eventually likely to go to Islamist insurgents, undermining the war against terror. It may be appropriate to pay heed to what French journalist, Bernard Henry Levy claims to have recently unearthed the involvement of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, the state establishment and its nuclear scientists in aiding and abetting the Al-Qaeda to go nuclear.
A reports (23.12.03) followed a lengthy investigation by nuclear inspectors and American and European intelligence agencies which apparently found that Pakistan’s nuclear secrets were leaked. The spokesman also said that the “debriefing sessions” reported in the media were held with junior scientists of Khan Research Laboratories, founded by Qadeer Khan. Western agencies said the laboratory leaked nuclear secrets to some countries. The nuclear establishment is under the control of the military intelligence.
The spokesman distanced the government from the leak of nuclear secrets, saying: “Pakistan is a responsible nuclear country and its command and control system can be compared with such systems of advanced nuclear countries in the world.” “There might have been some stray cases of collaboration with low level scientists of Khan Research Laboratories, as alleged by the West, but such cases of alleged collaboration don’t reflect on the government’s involvement with some countries having nuclear ambitions,” he clarified.
Senior officials said President Musharraf had expressed his dismay over the handling of such a sensitive issue. “He may intervene to put an end to the smear campaign being carried out by a section of the press about Pakistan’s nuclear programme, which is of a defensive nature,” an official said, meanwhile, finance ministry officials were concerned about the impact the intelligence report would have on Pakistan’s attempts to gain international aid.
Officials are trying to convince donors, particularly Japan, to resume $500 million aid that was suspended in May 1998 after Pakistan conducted nuclear tests. Earlier on Tuesday, there were reports that Pakistan had barred its nuclear scientists from going abroad since a probe was being carried on in the country. An official said the scientists had been told to remain in the country till further notice. “They can go abroad only with official permission,” he added.
Chinese is changing, as they are being hurt considerably by Islamic terrorism in Xinjiang, where Uighur separatists, trained by the Taliban and by Pakistan based outfits, are very active Xinjiang is important to China not just geographically as a gateway to central Asia, but also economically, since it is rich in natural resources like oil and gas. The three evils as the Chinese call it – extremism, separatism and terrorism – are linked closely to Pakistan. China has also helped Pakistan to acquire its nuclear capabilities.
NUCLEAR BLACKMAILER IS IN TRUP. From different source.
The clandestine nuclear weapons programmes of Iran, Libya and North Korea were all fuelled by the Khan Research Laboratories in Kahuta in north Pakistan a London weekly reported today.
“Dramatic evidence from Iran and now Libya reveals a clandestine and stretching from North Korea, Malaysia and China to Russia, Germany and Dubai. Yet one country more then any other stands accused of easing this proliferation. In the network of illegal radioactive trade all roads point to Pakistan. More precisely. They lead to the Khan Research Laboratories in Kahuta in north Pakistan, the Observer stated in a special report.
In a letter couriered to the IAEA in October 2003, the head of Iran’s atomic energy organization acknowledged that Iran had been trying to develop facilities for weapons-grade uranium for 18 years with foreign aid. The designs of machines called centrifuges were identical to those in Pakistan, which themselves are derived from designs that Khan had allegedly stolen from The Netherlands in the 1970s.
“There is no chance that Khan and the others could have engaged in transfer of nuclear technology to foreign countries without the knowledge and approval of the government”, says Frank J.Gaffney, President of the Centre for Security Policy, Washington DC.
The Pakistani military was responsible for the programme. It was an authoritarian regime, and the technology transfers were part and parces of foreign policy, not pure commercial transaction,” Gaffiny told The Telegraph. The scientists at the KRL are kept under tight surveillance by the army and the intelligence agency both within Pakistan and during their visits abroad. However, some non-proliferation experts believe the transfer of nuclear technology from Pakistan may have involved both state-sponsored as well as personal initiatives of scientists. “The technology transfer to North Korea had to be state-approved because the payment was missiles,” says Leonard Spector, Deputy Director of the Center for Nonproliferation studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Washington DC.
Khan was born into a modest family in Bhopal, India, in 1935 and emigrated to Pakistan in 1952, after some communal riots. The Bhopal-born Pakistani nuclear scientist has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
India had tested its first atomic bomb in the Pokhran desert in 1974 and Pakistan was desperate to play catch-up. Khan told the then leader of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that if given the funds, he could make the first ‘Islamic bomb’.
Known for his virulent hatred for all things Indian, Khan doggedly pursued the task of building the infrastructure required for an A-bomb. Khan who graduated from the University of Karachi before moving to Europe for further studies in West Germany and Belgium, took a job at a uranium enrichment plant run by the British-Dutch-German consortium Urenco in the ’70s. In 1976, Dr Khan returned to Pakistan to head the country’s nuclear programme with the support of Z A Bhutto.
A.Q. Khan. Revered as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb is implicated in the proliferation of weapons in Iran. According to the report. During India’s first nuclear test, He was working in Holland for an Anglo-Dutch-German nuclear engineering consortium called urenco. Through his work there’ Khan became aware of secret blueprints for two types of uranium enrichment centrifuges. One based on rotors made of aluminium and another based on a highly-strengthened alloy of steel. According to the report. Khan went on to steal the blueprints and a list of Urenco suppliers. With the blessings of the then Pakistani Government. He established the Khan Research Laboratories near Islamabad and with the help of the Chinese went on to secretly develop the country’s bomb.
Khan who once said that all western countries are enemies of Islam, had fundamentalist sympathies and is known as the Godfather of the Islamic bomb. Evidence has now emerged from Iran and Libya that Khan’s programme may be the source of the greatest level of nuclear weapons proliferation since the cold war.
UN inspectors who have recently visited a number of facilities in Libya discovered large amounts of aluminium centrifuge parts that had ‘all the hallmarks of the Urenco designs’ stolen by Khan. Pakistan used these to enrich uranium before later turning to the more complex steel centrifuges. It is believed that rogue scientists from Pakistan, motivated by million dollar payouts, were helped by German middlemen and Sri lankan businessmen based in Dubai. The middlemen are believed to have secured items for Iran from European, Asian and north American companies, the Observer said.
Till the end of last year, Pakistan furiously denied any of its nuclear technology had been ‘exported’. But it now accepts that ‘certain individuals might have violated Pakistani laws for personal gain’. Last month, Pakistan announced it was questioning four of its scientists over the sale of nuclear secrets, including Abdul Khan, but western officials fear little will come out.
South Korean spies reportedly discovered the transactions in 2002 and that summer US spy satellites photographed Pakistani cargo planes loading missile parts in North Korea. Pakistan has denied such a deal, but pressure is mounting for Musharraf to clamp down. Reports have also emerged of Pakistani nuclear scientists visiting Myanmar. It is clear that the extent of black market in nuclear weapons technology is only just beginning to emerge, the report said.
Pakistani authorities have detained a key aid to A.Q. Khan for questioning as they investigate reports of the possible transfer of nuclear technology to Iran. The detention came hours after Pakistani President admit that it faced serious accusations of spreading terrorism and nuclear technology. “We have to assure the world that we are a responsible nation and we will not allow proliferation of nuclear weapons,’ as he declare in Parliament.
Pakistani President admit that its nuclear scientists had sold nuclear secrets abroad, as it appear that some individuals were involved for personal financial gain. He added “I am not denying anything because we are investigating; we have sent teams to Iran and we are in contact with the IAEA”. He vowed ‘stern action’ against violators’, we will move against any violator “because they are enemies of the state”.
Musharraf shouldn’t play games about terrorism. The US for the first time in 08.03.03 publicly questioned him. Bush administration official said “He is an important ally, we will be with him if he acts. If he plays games then there will be problem.” What problem? What action can take by US against Pakistan? They also added “We are in a new day, Pakistan has to make strategic changes, not tactical ones.”
The Cato Institute, a US think tank close to the Republicans last month went further. Its policy brief said: “Islamabad should have been placed at the center of the(axis of evil)”.
On 22.01.04 Pakistani President said the fight to root out Islamic militancy in Pakistan would be long and hard, but there was no danger of his country’s nuclear weapons falling into extremist hands. How can he assure it to the world community? He used to say that one thing with confident in one time and next day he changed his version as suite for him and accused others or give some example to cover up his countries actual feature. But how long he will be success? One day truth will shine. He called for a “Jihad against extremism”, said there was no cause for concern that militants would get access to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. “Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal assets.. are under very strong custodial controls,”. There is no danger of our nuclear assets falling into extremist hands.” If it fallen to the hand to terrorist then he can give and excuse as he has given now regarding transfer of its technology to other countries. As some individual has done it to for their personal gain, we will find them, in the mean time arsenal will use to kill the enemy of the Islam, means all other than sunni Muslim. Worries about nuclear security in Pakistan have been fanned by a police probe into suspicions that several of the country’s top scientists may have sold nuclear know how to Iran. Two Dutch ministers said the same technology may also have found its way to Libya and North Korea. What else is necessary to get it by the extremist?
Pakistani investigators have made an independent confirmation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) allegation that nuclear scientist Dr.A.Q Khan had direct ties with international black market dealers who sold non-peaceful nuclear technology and hardware to Iran and Libya, and offered similar deals to Syria and former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, well informed officials have said. “To show its commitment and international responsibility to nuclear proliferation, Pakistan has assured the IAEA of strong legal action against the culprits,” said a senior official, who confirmed that Dr Khan has been advised to stay home. Officials said that while the real identity of many traffickers of nuclear secrets, mostly Europeans, is yet to be established, Pakistani investigators and IAEA have no doubt that at least two senior Pakistani nuclear scientists were the main “sources of supply” for the nuclear black marketers who principally operated out of Dubai. Pakistani investigators have been told while the nuclear black marketeers arranged continued practical support from the senior Pakistani nuclear scientist for Iran, the deal for Libya got stuck because of Col Qaddafi’s decision a few years ago to freeze his programme, but no progress was made with Syria and Iraq after some initial contacts in mid nineties. “They are shrewd nameless operators who routinely change their identities, not like Pakistanis who operated upfront,” according to an informed official, who said that Pakistan failed miserably in preventing Dr Khan from seeking publicity unlike other countries where the nuclear scientists are kept from public glare. “Not many years ago when the father of an extremely successful Chinese nuclear programmer died the Peoples Daily carried a three-line story on its inside page,” the official recalled while disclosing that since 1988 Dr Khan spent about Rs 50 million to finance media events eulogising his role as Father of Islamic Bomb. “Money trail is one solid piece of evidence,” said one official. “But most importantly the governments of Iran and Libya have exposed the racket. They made no attempt to hide their sources as if they wanted to settle score with Pakistani scientists.” A senior official, familiar with the nuclear investigation, said that the initial observations from the IAEA, against some Pakistani scientists was so damning that President Musharraf decided to personally confront Dr A Q Khan in the last week of November last year. “For the first time ever I saw tears in the President’s eyes, who thought that it was the worst ever breach of the nation’s trust,” recalled a presidential aide, who said the president wanted to listen to Dr Khan’s side of the story, but he literally had no defence. Dr.A.Q.Khan later had extensive debriefing sessions with the ISI chief Lt Gen Ehsanul Haq and Commander Strategic Planning and Development Cell Lt Gen Khalid Kidwai. Pakistani investigators said that they have strong reasons to believe that misusing a benign government authority for peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran, Dr A Q Khan authorised transfer of related information, including blue prints, names of third party contacts to Iranian authorities. He later helped Iran produce centrifuges for the uranium enrichment in early nineties. Pakistani officials have privately acknowledged that the recent events exposed highest levels of negligence, financial impropriety and security lapses at the Khan Research Laboratory, the nation’s most sensitive nuclear installations throughout the nineties. “Successive army chiefs and the heads of various military intelligence services looked the other way as insiders volunteered information about all sorts of problems in the highest echelon of the KRL bureaucracy,” said one official source. “It was a no-question asked regime for the KRL,” said a nuclear scientist who had spent 30 years in the country’s nuclear programme. “Dr Khan was never supposed to answer or explain his most frequent trips. He spent billions of dollars without any check.” Several Pakistani nuclear scientists guessed that Pakistan must have spent close to US $10 billion on the programme since early seventies, but no one in the country can give the exact amount as no accounts for this largest expenditure in the nation’s history were ever maintained. “It was no secret that big chunks of procurements are made through companies directly or indirectly operated by the son-in-law and the Dubai-based brother of Dr.Khan,”said a retired military intelligence official. “It is a matter of record that for his daughters wedding the top nuclear scientist imported an exclusive US $400,000 Teflon Tent from Florida. He gifted BMWs and houses to his daughters. At one time he got so excited that he gifted a house in Islamabad to his palmist.” Another retired senior ISI official said that the Agency had several dossiers on corruption at the KRL. “Complaints start pouring in late eighties and Gen Hamid Gul was the first ISI chief to receive specific reports of corruption at the highest levels of KRL in 1988,” said the former ISI official “One of our top nuclear scientist met Gen Gul to ring the warning bell.” The same ISI source said that Gen Hamid Gul’s successor Lt Gen (Retd) Kallu had penned first report on corruption at the KRL for a former prime minister who choose to ignore that for fear of retribution from the army. Dr A Q Khan’s visits to Iran were in the full knowledge of the ISI as its then chief Lt Gen Asad Durrani, like his boss Gen Aslam Beg, was among the main proponents of Pakistan-Iran defence cooperation. “If Gen Durrani didn’t know what was going on between the KRL and the Iranian scientists in 1991 and 1992, then it was terrible miss for the ISI,” the former ISI source said. Several Pakistani officials argue that the fact that Iranian money in exchange for the nuclear technology landed in the personal accounts of two Pakistani scientists and stayed there for several years is the biggest proof that it was a rogue operation planned and executed by nuclear black marketers in collusion with Pakistani scientists. Well-informed Pakistani officials said that after holding information on financial impropriety to the tunes of hundreds of millions of dollars at the KRL for several years, Dr A Q Khan was first confronted with evidence by the previous ISI chief Lt Gen Mahmoud Ahmad in 2001, on whose recommendation President Musharraf ordered his transfer from the KRL. “Even at that point the president decided not to further investigate the corruption charges or to prosecute Dr Khan,” said an official. Several Pakistani officials informed that aides to the president are still divided on the nature of action to be initiated against Dr Khan. “President is all out for the prosecution, but many aides think that deserting Dr Khan from his present cabinet position is enough to send a strong message,” a senior official said. Speaking at the National Defense university in Washington on Feb 12, President Bush proposed a seven point programe to “stop the spread of deadly weapons”. Bush proposed that by next year, all states should sign an International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) “additional protocol” as a condition for seeking equipment for their civilian nuclear programmes. The protocol considerably expands IAEA’s ability to detect clandestine nuclear activities. “The world must create a safe, orderly system to field civilian nuclear plants without adding to the danger of weapons proliferation,” he said, describing the absence of such arrangements in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) as a”loophole which has been exploited by nations such as North Korea and Iran” He called upon the IAEA board of governors to create a special committee on safeguards and verification to improve the organisation’s monitoring and enforcement potential of nuclear non-proliferation obligations of member states. “No state under investigation for proliferation violations should be allowed to serve on the IAEA board of governors-or on the new special committee,’ he said. INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED THE NEWS REPORT, “Imtiaz Alam, Jan. 28,04. Not so amazing is the reaction of religious and political society to the ‘debriefing’ of our most revered nuclear scientists as the security establishment desperately works over time to limit the damage caused by the indefensible: Proliferation of nuclear know-how or technology by some of our scientists, as revealed by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iranians, Libyans and North Koreans and our own investigations now having conclusively fixed the responsibility. This had to happen, and much is still in store, under a covert programme that lacked transparency, accountability and credible control. Nuclear proliferation by Pakistan, in the first place, was not acceptable to the world, crossing the Rubicon, by proliferating to other ‘rogue states’, tantamount to an invitation to takeout our nuclear deterrent and turn the nuclear weapons into a security risk for Pakistan. Then why is this hue and cry? Crime is heinous, to say the least, and, still worse, the bigger crime is to make it a national cause out of the scoundrels being built as national heroes (Sic!). Buck can’t be passed over to other proliferations, although it may slightly help share the burden with other non-state proliferations, nor will it be stop at some unscrupulous scientists who breached the trust. Matter warrants a serious and thorough review and such ironclad measures and fool-proof guarantees that can ensure confidence in what General Musharraf is repeatedly arguing for: Unimpeachable custodial controls against proliferation. But the damage has been done and Pakistanis will have to pay the price, even if they satisfy the world for the time being and succeed in their damage control efforts. The price can be of two types in nature: One, that does not spare any breach, be it by the scientists or big bosses of our national security, and allows credible and verifiable, may be even intrusive, controls that satisfy IAEA and an international community that is much bigger than a close-club of five recognised nuclear powers under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which both Pakistan and India are not signatories. Two, depending upon further investigations and our conduct, a partial, and may be a complete, rollback, if not now, at some latter stage for which a case is now being built, thanks to Pakistanis irresponsible conduct and a wider perception about their behaviour that falls in the category of a “rogue state” they are trying hard, although in bits and pieces, to change since 9/11. The past sins of Pakistanis security establishment and covert enterprises—ranging from nuclear proliferation to state-sponsored terrorism—are becoming an albatross for their belated but legitimate efforts to steer clear and develop a credible conduct for a state under scrutiny on more than one strategic count. Rooted in the past, when Pakistanis willingly fitted into the classic mode of a “rogue state”, this is a harder task to beg for forgiveness for the past misconduct and, on that vulnerable ground, ensure the credibility of future behaviour without compromising the strategic sovereignty and security. In the given situation, after Iran and Libya have surrendered their nuclear programmes to IAEA’s and international community’s scrutiny and eventual rollback, the focus is now on unearthing and busting what IAEA chief Al Baradei has described in following terms: “An atomic black market has been born, propelled by a very sophisticated intelligence network. One country draws up the plans, other produces the centrifuges that are then transported by boat from a third country—and the final destination could be anywhere.” Warning of an atomic war, he has said that “nuclear arms are falling into the hands of unscrupulous dictators and terrorists” and “there is no certainty that they won’t be stolen sabotaged or subject to accident”. Unlike India’s, Pakistan’s nuclear programme, both in its origin and under the current shadow of scrutiny, falls into a category that will attract greater focus of international suspicion and investigation. Limiting Pakistanis own investigations to the “selfish motives” of individual scientists may help only to an extent but not absolve Pakistanis from taking much deeper and greater overhaul of their covert programme. Entering into an overt and transparent stage will require both strategic and structural changes, besides taking precautionary measures at the regional and international levels. Four measures, besides others, are more urgent and can’t be postponed. First, Pakistan must reveal the whole truth and hide no skeletons in its cupboard, even if the army has to book some of its officers- retired or may be still in service. It will alleviate doubts and limit further suspicions. The accountability has to be complete and across the board, sparing no holy cows. Second, accept and enforce safety and export-control measures that can satisfy the international community, before it unilaterally enforces its mandate. Third, nuclear proliferation at the level of subcontinent or South Asia can, and should, be handled by a mutual nuclear-safety regime in context of collective South Asian Security, rather than repeating our very noble proposal for a nuclear-free zone in South Asia. Fourth, agreeing to the strategic partnership in nuclear and other related fields, including nuclear missile defense system, offered by the US to India and also to Pakistan that will also carry some stricter export-control regime. As the Musharraf administration is faced with yet another Herculean task of saving the bottom-line of its nuclear programme, the civilian reaction in defense of the proliferations is making it difficult for the state to make possible an otherwise not an impossible task. The civilian mind, especially its religious and political variants, has been militarized over the decades and is reacting without taking into account the impending dangers and the consequences that can even jeopardize our existence as a people and as a nation-state. What do these protesters and mourners want? Defending the “right” to export nuclear technology (?), some of our retired generals have been pleading in the wake of sanctions slapped on Pakistan after we had exploded the device (Sic!). What the hell these scientists were doing by selling nuclear technology: A crime against humanity while making Pakistan vulnerable to foreign dictates. How are these scientists defendable, or their patrons in the security apparatuses, one may ask Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, PML-N, Lahore and Rawalpindi Bar Associations and also the protesting families? One understands the reaction of the MMA whose components have been thriving and thriving on the wages of the sins of our unscrupulous establishment and now feel out of the job after the guardians of our national security were left with no option but to change track. This is not just the person of General Musharraf the ARD is somewhat right in protesting against. This is the matter of the state and its survival that cannot afford an expedient treatment—Musharraf or no Musharraf. The national interests warrant a thorough and complete investigation into all those shady businesses, including nuclear proliferation and terrorism that have brought Pakistan to such a pass. Keeping the investigations, and its findings, a state secret will not help the state and its future. All such matters that fall in the category of “rogue conduct” must be investigated by a more powerful commission than we ever had, such as Hamoodur Rehman Commission; a truth commission which unearths that has been dirty and a reappraisal commission that sets the new direction for a state respected by its citizens and the world at large. It’s time to establish transparency, accountability and good governance in all their ramifications and in all spheres, including our untouchable sacred cows of security apparatuses.
TOP PAK NUCLEAR SCIENTIST SACKED Jan. 31, 2004 (Reuters).
The weekly Friday Times said in an editorial.
Pakistan sacked top nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan as scientific adviser to the Prime Minister today amid a probe into the sale of nuclear technology to Iran and Libya a Government official said. A government statement said Khan had” ceased to hold the office” of Special adviser to the PrimeMinister on the strategic programme, which Hold the status of federal minister. ”Yes, he has been removed from this Post,” the official said.
Khan’s removal is a sensitive issue in Pakistan, where he is revered as The “father” of the country’s and the Islamic worlds atomic bomb. The military repeated Musharrafs assertions that any illegal proliferation was carried out by rogue scientists without official involvement. “The government condemns and distances itself in categorical terms from individual acts of indiscretion in the past. ”But Pakistani experts and western diplomats doubt whether top scientists could have traded secrets abroad without the knowledge of senior military and intelligence officials. Pakistan has questioned Khan, several of his colleagues and former military officers in recent week after a UN nuclear watchdog began investigation links between Pakistan’s nuclear programme and those of Iran and Libya. Hours after government’s decision to remove Khan. The military said security had been enhanced for the founder of the country’s nuclear programme. “It is done because the government is concerned about his security. ”Major General Shaukat Sultan, top military spokesman said “There are allegations and things are under investigation… that why his security has been enhanced.”
Western diplomats have said Pakistani scientists might also have should Nuclear technology to North Korea. The Pakistani investigation is nearing a Conclusion
Musharrf said earlier this month it appeared Pakistani scientists had sold nuclear abroad and that he would deal harshly with anyone found guilty “because they are the enemy of the state.” His critics say the military as a whole should be held accountable not the odd scientist or mid-ranking offcer who migh have know about any black market nuclear secrets trade.
“He (Musharraf) has omitted to note the most critical factor… the unaccountable status of the Pakistan army as the guardian of the nuclear programme and its overbearing control of civil society.”
ADMITS OF SELLING NUKE SECRETS.
A.Q. khan has confessed to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and N.Korea, but authorities have yet to decide if the national hero will go on trial, officials said today. He is the main suspect in a two month individuals passed on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons secrets to third countries. Seven suspects are still under investigation, but senior former military and intelligence officials- who experts say must have know about khan’s activities-are not being questioned.
“He (khan) has admitted these things, said a military official on condition of anonymity, referring to allegations khan peddled nuclear secrets to Iran. Libya and North korea during the late 1980 and early 1990s. “It has yet to be decided whether he goes on trial or not”. Intelligence sources said the evidence against khan was strong enough to formally charge him, and included a statement from a key middleman in dubai that could prove damning.
His lavish lifestyle, minutely detailed in the English-language local media, may also be used against him. But western diplomats and analysts say a trial would open a “Pandora’s box” for Pakistan and in particular its powerful military, which was likely to be implicated in any case.
The intelligence community also believes khan’s daughter may have gone abroad with material that could compromise the military. The 69-year-old khan has been kept under 24-hour watch and has yet to speak publicly since the probe began.
UN nuclear watch dog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, found evidence pointing to Pakistani involvement in Iran nuclear programme.
Designs used in Libyan and North Korean nuclear programmes are also believed to have come from Pakistan. The international community hopes the probe will help expose a global network of secret nuclear proliferators amid fears sensitive technology could fall into the hands of terrorists.
The decision to single out khan marks a major turnaround in Pakistani policy. In January, 2003 the government rushed to his defence, dismissing as” concocted and fabricated speculation” newspaper reports linking him to illegal proliferation.
“Whatever reason the government given to justify its actions, the nation will consider it a step toward completion of the American agenda in this region” the Nawa-Waqt daily wrote. But senior officials say that public opinion may swing behind the government if Khan’s guilt can be proved beyond doubt. Khan was a key architect of Pakistan’s atomic programme from the 1970s up to the first nuclear tests in 1998. The programme was developed in response to India’s.
The Pakistani military said at the weekend that no illegal proliferation had occurred since the establishment of the National Command Authority, which controls Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, in February, 2000. It added that Pakistan would not curtail its nuclear weapons programme as a result of the investigation.
On February 4, 2004, he accepted full responsibility for all leaks of Pakistani nuclear data and sought clemency from President Pervez Musharraf. In a speech that was broadcast all over Pakistan, Khan accepted full responsibility for all the nuclear proliferation activities which were conducted by him during the period in which he was at the helm of affairs of the Khan Research Laboratories. This is just a day after Dr Khan allegedly said that Musharraf himself was involved neck-deep in nuclear proliferation.
It is now known that he also offered this technology to the highest bidder, not just Pakistan. Khan had learnt not just to enrich uranium, but himself as well. The clues to his vast wealth were the lavish weddings of his daughters allegedly costing $one million each. Ironically, both his daughters are now divorced.
In the shadowy nuclear mafia, Khan’s notable ‘customers’ were Colonel Gaddafi of Libya, Iran and the North Koreans. Of course, the million-dollar question is whether a certain Osama bin Laden was among them.
There was much resentment over Khan’s alleged scientific prowess. Many pointed out that he was a metallurgist, not a nuclear physicist, and that all his research was stolen from Western sources.
Known for his fits of temper, there is speculation that his own colleagues, fed up with his self-promotion, blew the whistle on his illegal nuke bazaar.
Ultimately, what brought about Khan’s downfall was September 11. It was only after that the Western powers woke up to the dangers of proliferation and began leaning on Pakistan to clean up its act. The ultimate irony is that while the Indian ‘Father of the A-bomb’ – A P J Kalam is now the president of his country, his rival counterpart may now live out his life in disgrace.
A FLAWED PROLIFERATOR OR HERO?
It’s not just the row of vintage cars that distinguishes Abdul Qadeer khan’s ochre villa on one of Islamabad’s most affluent streets, it’s the glass box opposite where government spies sit round-the–clock watching anyone who ventures near. They are but a small detail of the security and surveillance entourage that for years has surrounded Qadeer Khan and his every movement, and the house is one of several palatial villas he owns in the capital. Has confessed to clandestinely selling Pakistan’s nuclear expertise via black marketers to a rogues gallery of states: Iran, Libya and North Korea.
“This is a very painful experience for us, because he’s been seen as a national hero ,”a senior government official said today, after Khan’s confession was made public. “But national heroes have their tragic flaws.”
Khan contribution to Pakistan’s nuclear programme was the procurement of a blueprint for uranium centrifuges, which transform uranium into weapons-grade
He was charged with stealing it form the Netherlands while working for Anglo-Dutch–German nuclear engineering consortium Urenco and bringing it back to Pakistan in 1976.
Khan’s enemies deride him as little more then a metallurgist who stole.
“He’s a metallurgist, not a nuclear scientist as widely advertised…He has certainly not made any outstanding invention,” said Pervez Hoodbhoy, professor of physics at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam university. On his return to Pakistan, Khan was put in charge of Pakistan’s uranium enrichment project.
Khan contribution to Pakistan’s nuclear programme was the procurement of a blueprint for uranium centrifuges, which transform uranium into weapons-grade fuel nuclear fissile material. He was charged with stealing it form the Netherlands while working for Anglo dutch-German nuclear engineering consortium Urenco and bringing it back to Pakistan in 1976
By 1978, his team had enriched uranium, and by 1984 they were ready to explore a nuclear device, he told Pakistan’s The News daily in a 1998 interview. The project is credited with ultimately leading to Pakistan’s first nuclear test explosion in May1998.
Khan’s aura began to dim in March2001 when President pervez Musharrf, reportedly under US pressure, removed him form the chairmanship of the Khauta Research Laboratories (KRL) and made him special adviser on strategic and KRL affairs.
But Pakistan’s nuclear establishment had never expected see its most revered hero in the dock. The move was prompted after Islamabad received a letter in November from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raising claims that Pakistan scientists were the source of sold-off nuclear knowledge to Iran.
Hoodbhoy said the accusations against Khan were plausible. “He’s a man who does things for profit. He operates in a milieu where the sharing of such things is not regarded badly.” Khan and his KRL associates appear to have traded nuclear information with Sri Lankan and German brokers based in Dubai, officials familiar with KRL have said.
“Khan and the group was mostly responsible for bringing resources for Pakistan’s nuclear programme from outside particularly through a Dubai based group of international brokers,” the official said requesting anonymity. While they were dealing with these brokers, the suspicion is that they may have passed on nuclear know how to these brokers, who then passed it on to Iran and Libya.
Khan himself said in a speech to the Pakistan Institute of National Affairs in 1990 that he had shopped around on world markets while developing Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
15. REPORT FROM PAKISTAN & INTERNATIONAL Both currents of opinion are uncomfortable with the line that the Pakistani government was wholly innocent of any involvement with the illicit transfers; these were the work of “individual scientists” driven by “personal greed”. A strong case exists for full disclosure and accountability—especially if nuclear controls are to be durable in South Asia and the world is to learn lessons from the past. But it is equally important to question the equation between nuclear weapons and security. Nuclear weapons are not rational instruments of war. These mass-annihilation weapons are meant to be used against non-combatant civilians — in violation of all rules of warfare. Nuclear weapons have no strategic “positive” value of their own. They can at best play a negative role — via deterrence. Deterrence is a gravely flawed doctrine. It assumes a symmetrical understanding of what constitutes “unacceptable damage”, and complete mutual transparency about two adversaries’ capabilities and doctrines. It requires that there be no accident, strategic miscalculation, or panic response, no unauthorised use, no leaks. These assumptions are clearly unrealistic. In practice, deterrence has never provided lasting security. Nuclear weapons possession does not necessarily improve a nation’s military power or ability to compel an adversary to behave in a certain way. Thus, the mightiest nuclear state failed to prevent China from entering the Korean War. The US also had to beat an ignominious retreat from Vietnam. The USSR did the same from Afghanistan. British and French nukes did not affect the Suez war. Nor did Britain’s nuclear armaments prevent Argentina from crossing swords with it over the Falklands. In fact, not having nuclear weapons might give one greater protection vis-a-vis the nuclear powers. Whether or not nuclear weapons will be used is determined by politics. World opinion wouldn’t support their use against a non-nuclear state. The time has come to face the plain truth. The nuclear proliferation danger is real — everywhere. Huge quantities of enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium routinely pass through civilian nuclear facilities the world over. Plutonium, only 5 to 8 kilos of which is enough to make a Nagasaki-type bomb, is traded in amounts such as tonnes between Japan and Europe alone. There are large quantities of MUF (“material un accounted-for”) in the world’s reprocessing facilities. The IAEA admits this. There are willing proliferators too in the former Soviet Union in the shape of hundreds of unemployed nuclear scientists. IAEA inspections cannot take care of all of these sources of leaks. Yet they are the sole physical controls on global movements of nuclear materials. The proliferation danger will remain so long as nuclear weapons and power-generation programmes exist. There is no method of eliminating the danger — short of total nuclear disarmament and shift to non-hazardous power technologies. Pakistan’s and India’s ultimate interest lies in global nuclear disarmament. In the short run, it lies in tighter controls and nuclear weapons reduction. US experts like Michael Krepon recently told the US Senate foreign relations committee that material to make “dirty bombs” could be easily procured from poorly guarded labs in India and Pakistan; both countries are “very vulnerable” to leaks. The Bomb and its makers have brought disgrace to South Asia. The Bomb is no asset for Pakistan or India. It’s a liability. The sooner we rid ourselves of it, the better.
WHETHER A COUNTRY INCAPABLE OF GUARDING NUCLEAR SECRETS CAN BE TRUSTED WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS?
Some European countries are of the opinion that Pakistan’s position with regard to its nuclear capability must be discussed at length at the UN Security Council.
According to a report in The News, these European members of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) apex board want to raise in the UN Security Council what they describe as the core question: “Whether a country incapable of guarding nuclear secrets can be trusted with nuclear weapons”.
Eleven EU countries represented at the 35-member IAEA board are – Denmark, Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain (full members) and Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (EU accession countries).
Quoting a diplomatic source, the report said that the EU members are against Washington’s paradigm of unilateralism in handling the sensitive issue like nuclear proliferation, and plead that the UNSC should play a key role in such problems.
According to the report, even European countries, including the UK and France, that have applauded the Pakistan government’s handling of the nuclear scientists, are raising the above mentioned question. They plead that multi-lateralism, which is the cardinal principle of the “EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)”, should be put to practice with its full force in the context of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
Presently, the report adds, Europeans are engaged in such consultations surreptitiously. However, the trepidation of the web of authorised EU spokespersons in Brussels is conspicuous, as they are still following the policy of ambivalence in answering several questions on this issue. The Irish Presidency of the EU in Brussels is struggling hard to get answers to the questions on this issue sent by the EU accredited journalist, even after two weeks.
In several background briefings in Brussels, European diplomats have called for invoking the European Union (EU)’s “Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”.
Ignoring Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s demand that probe on European countries and individuals indicated in the IAEA documents should also be expedited, the European diplomats are increasingly asking whether Pakistan can be trusted with nuclear weapons, the report claims.
The EU countries also intend to raise the issue at the forthcoming meeting of the IAEA board of governors in Vienna on March 8. The meeting is scheduled to discuss a report on the IAEA’s verification of nuclear programmes in Iran and Libya. IAEA Director General Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, according to the source, is engrossed in finalising the report that he would send to the IAEA board of governors over the coming week.
“The issue of investigations on Pakistani scientists’ alleged involvement in nuclear trafficking will also be touched during discussion on the director general’s report on the IAEA’s verification of nuclear programmes in Iran and Libya,” a source in Vienna confirm.
WHLIAM J.BROAD AND DAVIDE. SANGER written from Washington on Feb,4,04: About two weeks ago, a 747 air craft chartered by the US government landed at Dulles airport here carring a single place of precious cargo: a small box containing warhead designs that US officials believe were sold to Libya by the underground network linked to Abdul Qadeer Khan. The warhead designs were the first hard evidence that the secret network provided its customers with far more than just the technology to turn uranium into bomb fuel. Libyan officials have told investigators that they bought the blueprints from dealers who are part of that network, apparently for more than $ 50 million. Those blueprints, along with the capability to make enriched uranium. Could have given the Libyans all the elements they needed to make a nuclear bomb. What the Libyans purchased, in the world of an American weapons expert who has reviewed the programme in detail was both the kitchen equipment “and the recipes”.
Experts familiar with the contents of the box say the designs closely resemble the warheads that China tested in the late 1960s and passed on to Pakistan decades ago. US officials are still studying the designs flown out of Libya, to determine whether, in fact, they are complete. There is no evidence, the officials say, that the Libyans Actually produced the warheads, much less sufficient nuclear fuel. The Libyan nuclear programme was just getting started, although Mohamed El-Baradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said recently:” It was simply a matter of time”.
US officials emphasise that they have no evidence that the Pakistani government itself was aware of the sales, and they wave aside recent accusations by Khan’s allies that President Pervez Musharraf was himself aware of the transactions. But some experts inside and outside the government say it is difficult to believe that Pakistan’s nuclear secrets could have been exported without the knowledge of some in the military and the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, especially since some shipments were made on Pakistani military aircraft.
Whoever was responsible, the warhead design appears now to have been a sought-after prize of the network of nuclear middlemen and part producers that US officials say is being broken up. ”Ever since the Libya revelation last month, there have been a lot of detentions and some arrests,” one US official said. NET YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE
IMTIAZGUL FROM PAKISTAN
Abdul Qadeer Khan made a dramatic personal apology for leaking nuclear secrets, the latest twist in a proliferation scandal stretching from Libya to North Korea on 04/02/04.
During the rare 40-minute meeting with Musharrf, Khan also submitted a petition of mercy and request clemency in view of his services to the nation, an official statement said.
“The nuclear scientist took responsibility for pilferages that took place when he was in charge of the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) until his retirement in 2001,” the statement, which was issued after the meeting said.
Later, in a televised statement Khan said;” It is with deepest sense of sorrow, anguish and regret that I have chosen to appear before you in order to atone for some of the anguish and pain that has been suffered by the people of Pakistan on account of the extremely unfortunate events of the last two months.” The investigation has established that many of the reported activities (by several Pakistanis pointed out by the International Atomic Energy Agency-IAEA) did occur and the deals were inevitably initiated at my behest,” he said.
Qadeer Khan said during the course of the investigation, he voluntarily admitted that much of the reported activities were true “for which I offer my deepest regrets and unqualified apologies to a traumatized nation.’” It pains me to realize that my entire life’s achievement of providing foolproof security to my nation could have been placed in serious jeopardy on account of my activities which were based in good faith but on errors of judgment related to unauthorized proliferation activities “he said.
“I also wish to clarify that there was never ever any kind of authorization for these activities by the government. I take full responsibility for my actions, ”the silver-haired scientist added. Speaking in English. Khan also took full responsibility for his actions and sought pardon for causing so much trauma to the nation since November, last year. An official statement earlier had said that Khan had realized that his activities. Which were in clear violation of various Pakistani laws, could have seriously jeopardized Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities and put the nation at risk.
The nuclear scientist was placed under house arrest. Khan’s meeting with the president and the request for clemency, however, triggered an adverse reaction by opposition parties.
Families of four detained KRL officials also rejected Khan’s reported requests for clemency and the TV statement.
“These statement have been extracted under duress, We simply do not accept them,” said Aisamul Haq, the younger brother of Islamul Haq, one of Khan’s aides who is still in custody.
“If the government is right, it must allow Qadeer Khan to appear on an independent and live media forum to explain the situation, ”Shafiq wife of another official demanded. The Islamic opposition pounced on the government’s treatment of Khan, saying he had been treated as a scapegoat and had only been hounded by the authorities because of pressure from the US.
I don’t think people like A.Q. Khan should be tried. He is national hero. He has developed the (nuclear) programme,” said Qazi Hussain Ahmed.
Pakistan originally denied its nuclear secrets and technology had been leaked. Either officially or by individuals. But it launched a probe in November after the IAEA provided evidence pointing to Pakistan’s involvement in Iran’s nuclear programme.
PAKISTAN PRESIDENT RULES OUT INTERNATIONAL SUPERVISION OF NUKE PROGRAMME.
Pakistan president said It would not hand over documents to UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA. This is a sovereign country. No document will be given. No independent investigation will take place here.
Musharraf warned local journalists not to speculate further on the military’s role in peddling nuclear secrets, saying it would not be in the national interest. In his confession, Khan took full responsibility for the scandal, absolving the government and his fellow scientists of any blame.
But western diplomats doubt the could have acted alone in leaking nuclear know how and hardware Pakistan’s nuclear programme, seen at home as a vital deterrent to India, has been under military control for most of the past 28 years.
Musharraf said documents from more than two months of investigations would not be handed over, although he did not rule out cooperation with the IAEA if its officials wanted to travel to Pakistan to discuss the case in more detail.
When asked what Khan’s motivation was for illegally peddling nuclear secrets abroad. Musharraf replied: ”Money, obviously.” He also explained why Khan had been given so much independence in his pursuit of a nuclear bomb from the 1970s.
“One cannot be that intrusive for fear that what you desire may not be accomplished. They were the complexities of the time. He repeated earlier statements that khan, and not the government or the military, were to blame. “All the proliferation unfortunately was under the supervision and orders of A.Q. Khan. No government official or military man was involved.”
He said former army chiefs, Generals Aslam Beg and Jehangir Karamat, had been questioned but were cleared.
SLEUTHS IN RACE TO SHUT NUKE ‘SUPERMARKET’
Antonlaguardia, Ahmed Rasid and Alec Russell. Vienna/Lahore/Washington.Feb-6,04.
Intelligence agencies and nuclear inspectors are racing to close a vast international nuclear ‘supermarket’ that has secretly supplied Iran, Libya, North Korea and perhaps several other countries for more than a decade.
The extent of the Pakistan based network became clear last night as a leading UN official said there was still an urgent need to “dry up the source”.
The “Supermarket”, run by AQ Khan, was the most dangerous phenomenon in proliferation for many years,” said Md.Elbaradei, the head of the IAEA the UN’s nuclear watchdog. This is an area where we can not act alone. We need the co-operation of intelligence agencies and governments. I expect everybody to chip in.”
Despite Khan’s confession that he was at the center of the operation, few believe that the uncovering of the network will stop the lucrative black market in nuclear designs, technology and components. Western intelligence agencies face alarming uncertainties. Are similar networks in operation? Which countries have already bought Pakistani nuclear technology?
American sources said there were “suspicions” Syria or Saudi Arabia were clients of Khan’s network. They said Iran appeared to have bought more technology than it declared.
Middlemen bought parts from half a dozen countries; Japan, Malaysia, South Africa, Germany and at least two other European countries. The components were ostensibly meant for industrial purposes but were then assembled to make gas centrifuges to enrich uranium for atomic bomb-making. Experts compared the process to selling design for a kit car and providing help in buying the parts around the world.
George Tenet, the director of the CIA, said the credit for uncovering the network belonged to his organization and M16, using old-fashioned espionage techniques.
“First we discovered the extent of the hidden network,” he said. ”We tagged the proliferators. We detected the network stretching across four continents offering its wares to countries such as North Korea and Iran. Working with our British colleagues, we pieced together the picture of the network, revealing its subsidiaries, client lists, front companies, agents and manufacturing plants on three continents.”
Despite the growing scale of the revelations, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan after his public confession to “unauthorized proliferation activities”.
Islamabad declared the scandal over, sticking to its claim that Khan had acted on his own, rather than with Pakistani military co-operation, as is widely suspected.
Musharraf said he would not hand any documents about the scandal to UN inspectors. “This is a sovereign country,” he said. “No documents will be given. No independent investigation will take place here.”(The daily telegraph)
AQ KHAN GAVE CENTRIFUGES TO NORTH KOREA, ADMITS PERVEZ MUSARAF.
Pak president has confirmed that disgraced nuclear scientist AQK provided North Korea with centrifuge machines and their designs, Kyodo news agency said on 24.08.05. He admit publicly for the first time about Khan’s clandestine transfer of nuclear technology, asked about reports that Pakistan told Japanese government officials that Khan had given North Korea about 20 centrifuges, Musharraf was quoted as saying: “Yes he passed centrifuges parts and complete. I do not exactly remember the number.”
Plotted by AQ & Osama
Pakistani nuclear scientists led by A.Q.Khan have armed Osama with nuclear weapons in their efforts to bring about an ’American Hiroshima’, according to a sensational new book.
PAK IS MOST ANTI-AMERICAN COUNTRY IN WORLD: US STUDY
Notwithstanding its cooperation with the US in the war against terrorism, Pakistan is probably the “most anti-American country” in the world right now, ranging from the radical Islamists on one side to the liberals and Westernized elites on the other side,” according to the Congressional Research Service(CRS).
K Alan Kronstadt, who is in charge of analyzing Asian Affairs for the CRS, attributes the assessment of the depth of Pakistan’s anti-Americanism.
Adding to US concerns about Pakistan’s domestic political developments, Kronstadt says, are increasing signs of “Islamisation” and anti-American sentiments.
While Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf “vowed” in August 2003 to “finish off extremism,” he notes, Pakistan’s Islamists routinely denounce Pakistani military operations in western tribal areas, resist government attempts to reform religious schools that teach militancy and harshly criticize Islamabad’s cooperation with the US government.
In another report on Pakistan, updated till January 28, 2005, Kronstadt says “Pakistan’s powerful inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) is suspected of involvement in drug trafficking.”
In March 2003, a former US Ambassador to Pakistan told a House International Relations Committee panel that the role of the ISI in the heroin trade during 1997-2003 was “substantial.”
“Reports indicate,” says kronstadt, “that profits from drug sales are financing the activities of Islamic extremists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir. Pakistan’s counter narcotics efforts are hampered by lack of full government commitment; scarcity of funds; poor infrastructure; government wariness of provoking unrest in tribal areas; and acute corruption.”
TIME FOR PAK TO WALK DEMOCRACY PATH: US
Asking Pakistan to make ‘inroads’ on democracy, the US has said it had made it clear that there should be free and fair elections there in 2007.
“Yes, Pakistan has to make inroads on democracy. We have been very clear (on that),” secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said in an interview on the public Broadcasting Network.
Asserting that the US has made significant progress with Pakistan, Rice said before 9/11 attacks it had the ‘‘losest’’relationship with the Taliban and was ready to be taken over by extremists.
“It was a country through which extremists transited all the time and used as a base of operations into Afghanistan and, of course, into Kashmir. It had terrible relations with India.”
Pointing to the improved Indo-Pak relations, she said president Musharraf made clear that extremism had no place in Pakistan and wanted better relationships with India. “You have a Pakistan that will have elections in 2007 and we’ve been clear that we believe those elections need to be free and fair, “Rice said adding these were sweeping changes which should not be underestimated.
“I can remember sitting there before Sept-11th and trying to convince the Pakistani foreign minister that they had to do more about the Taliban. It was very clear to me that I wasn’t getting through,””Rice said. ““So again, it is awfully important in these great historical sweeps to step back and look at where you were and where you’ve come…”
On whether democratic India had a better chance for economic success than China, Rice said: “I think the kind of creativity that is demanded of people and the freedom to let people do what they do best really does only come in free societies.”
“I don’t for a moment underestimate the tremendous steps China has made on the economic front. No one should diminish what China has achieved, but when China looks round Asia, it is going to see that it is mostly a democratic continent as well,” Rice said.
PAK FORCES HIDING OSAMA:CIA CHIEF
The first published interview with new US Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) Director Porter Gross; which appeared this past week in Time magazine, contained a bombshell that exploded with barely any notice.
To the ritual question-when will we get osama Bin Laden? Goss gave a fair from ritual answer.
“That is a question that goes for deeper than you know,” Goss began. “WE have some weak links” that make it impossible for now to get bin Laden, he explained, pointing to “the very difficult question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states.”
“I have an excellent idea of where he is, “Goss added. The CIA boss was delivering a clear message to the “weak link”-Pakistan.
According to sources, there is mounting evidence that the Pakistani military, along with ISI, is nurturing its deep ties with Islamist extremists including those sheltering the al-Qaeda leadership and leaders of the Tabilan.
Retired CIA officer Gary Schroen, who served for 20 years in that area. In an interview with Daily Times said, “He’s(Osama) hiding in Pakistan in the northern tribal areas above Peshawar. The US government and the US military are not authorized by the Musharraf government to enter there unilaterally,” he said.
LOSING MY RELIGION
by Nandita Kathpalia Baig
To be honest, I don’t know if I would have ever thought so deeply and be so concerned regarding what I am going to write about if my husband’s great-grandfather hadn’t been a Muslim, due to which my children today bear a Muslim surname. Actually, their birth certificates say they are Hindu because if you get into the math of it, that is the dominant religion in their lives. I wasn’t born into a religious family. Nor was my husband. I remember going to church with my domestic help. In Sanawaar, where I studied, we attended assembly at the chapel and sang hymns along with bhajans. But it was more ceremonial, not religious. I can’t remember the first time I went to a temple but I have always believed in God. And this God of mine doesn’t belong to any particular religion.
So, when my son, aged six, shortly after 9/11, came to me and gingerly asked, “Mama, am I a Muslim?” I was stumped. I told him that he was 3/4th Hindu and 1/4th Muslim. That was, once again, my own insecurity about the world we live in. When queried why he had asked me this question, he said, “In school the kids discussed 9/11 and they believe that Muslims are very bad people and I don’t want to be one of them”. I told him that there are people of all religions who inhabit this world and bad people don’t belong to a particular religion. On another occasion, he told me that some kids said they didn’t know he was a Muslim. They said they hated Muslims. So, he immediately gave them the 3/4th, 1/4th formula and all was well at least for now. Subsequently, he has made a small temple in his room with lots of little idols of Hindu gods and goddesses. What disturbs me is that I don’t remember at age six plus even having these sorts of discussions with my friends. Where is the knowledge and understanding that we are humans first and religion, however important it might be to some, should remain in the private domain?
In reality it never happens and people will fight on religious line in future also.
PAK HATE BOOKS UNDER US LENS, EXTREMIST view:
Islamic Pakistan’s state-sponsored bigotry and hatred of other religions in catching the attention of the US policy makers following a raft of articles in the American media about the intolerance the country’s formal education system is breeding. Reports of continued teaching of prejudice in Pakistan was a matter of “serious concern” and US is having “ongoing discussions” with Islamabad in the subject. US Govt. Specifically on the issue of textbooks and language that might, upon reading it, able and inciteful or would cause people to perhaps lash out with violent actions,”.
Disparaging references to Hindus, Christians and Jews in Pakistani school curriculum. Some of the material taught in pak schools includes describing Jews as tightfisted money lenders, Christians as vengeful conquerors, and Hindus as devious and cowardly people. Such passages remain in the test books despite Pak regime’s promise to clean up the act.
Remarkably, the state sponsored distortions are taught in Pakstan’s westernized public schools and not in the much reviled madrassas experts point out. “The idea that madrassas are the root of all problems relating to extremist thinking is not correct,.”says C Christine. Recent report which suggest that the root cause of extremist thinking may well be Pakistan’s state sponsore narrative has forced US Govt. To take a stand on the issue.
PAK SC RULS MADRASSAS ON WRONG COURSE.
A three member bench of the Supreme court headed by CJ said unregistered madrassas do not teach a curriculum suitable to prepare students for mainstream life.
UK UNVEILS TOUGH CODE FOR FOREIGNERS.
Britain has announced a tough new “code of unacceptable behaviour”, which will govern entry into the country for non-UK citizens, in a hardening stance on immigration and border controls post 7/7.
Home secretary Charles Clarke published the grounds on which foreigners considered to be promoting terrorism can be deported or excluded from the UK. Foreigners, whose behaviour directly or indirectly threatens public order, national security, or the rule of law, could henceforth be arbitrarily frog marched out of Britain.
South Asia observers said that even though the new code would chiefly affect Islamist radicals right wingers of every religious hue, including American televangelists and saffron preachers could theoretically be barred from entering the UK. Civil liberties campaigners said the new code for foreign nationals appeared to reveal the extent to which the UK is “losing all its values.”
The new list of unacceptable behaviour will apply to extremists using any means including writing , preaching, running a website or using a position of responsibility. Foreigners could be deported if they were suspected of fomenting terrorism or seeking to provoke others to terrorist acts; justifying or glorifying terrorism; fomenting other serious criminal activity or seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts; fostering hatred which may lead to “intra-community violence” in the UK; advocating violence in support of particular beliefs; expressing; extreme views that are in conflict with the UK’s culture of tolerance.”
The toughened rules will include a new database, to be drawn up to list foreign-born radicals applying to visit the UK or those who are already here. Those named by the global database will face automatic vetting before being allowed into the UK. The database will list “unacceptable behaviour.” This will include previously published articles in the media and previously delivered speeches or sermons.
PAK MADRASSAS NURSERIES OF DESTRUCTION.
Speakers at UN session on human rights seek ban on institutions run by religio-political parties. 57th session of the UN Sub-Commission on the promotion and protection of Human rights sought a ban on madrassas run by Pakistan, describing them as “nurseries of death and destruction”. The session was held in Geneva. The madrassas and the terrorist infrastructure continues to thrive in Pakistan despite public statements of the ruling military establishment, the speakers pointed out.
They stressed that “unless these were dismantled and sustained international pressure brought upon the state, which sustains and nurtures this evil, the world would continue to suffer the threats of global terrorism.”
Quoting Andrew Troehllein, the South Asia project director of the International Crisis Group a Brussels-based NGO, one of the speakers, said many among these religious schools still preached “insidious doctrine that foments the sectarian violence in Pakistan. All this is done under the direct supervision of Jamaaat-e-Islam(JEI) and the most radical groups within the Muttahida Majlis Ami(MMA). The madrassas run by JEI have been the “production units” of Jihadis for over three decades, the glaring examples being terrorist outfits like Hizbul Mujahideen. It was pointed out the JEI has been very vocal in pushing Muslim youth, in general, and Pakistanis, in particular, towards jihad. Unfortunately, these madrassas act contrary to Islamic preaching and taint the image of Pakistan. Even the perpetrators of the London blasts, though British citizens, fell prey to the indoctrination imparted by these Pakistani madrassas,” said a paper presented by a participant, Arif Aajakia. Yet another participant Zafaar Iqbal Khan, in his paper, pointed out how many of the Pakistan-based terror outfits were attempting to draw their ideological foundation from Islam by distorting the religion.
“This is a blatant distortion of a great religion like Islam. Islam is a religion of peace, which strictly forbids the killing of innocents. In the same manner, suicide, as has been held by thousands of Islamic scholars throughout the world, is strictly forbidden in Islam”.
A number of speakers also pointed out that there was a direct link between al-Qaeda and Jei. They also noted that most of the Taliban were trained in madrassas run by JEI and other religio-political parties. Mullah Umar was himself a student of one such madrassa run directly by these religio-political parties, yet another speaker told the UN session. Seeking an international ban on the JEI and the religio-political parties which are running these madrassas, the participants also appealed to the international community to ensure that liberal and progressive political parties emerged from the grassroots level of the Pakistani middle class so that “the feudal political system” that has ruled that country all these years can end.
The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based NGO reported that hundreds of militants were detained-but then released. Militant groups re-formed under new names, most madrassas never registered and militant leader continued to operate openly. It teaches intolerance against different sects and religions. Even in public schools, text books glorify jihad and warn children to be vigilant against dangerous enemies of the state. “Intolerance is deeply ingrained in the country’s culture,” says Mariam Abou Zahab, a French expert on Pakistan.
A retired US diplomat Dennis Kux says “The Pakistan government is playing a double game”.
DOCTOR WARNS ISLAM OF ITS ILLS.
(New Yark Times)
Dr.Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.
In an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al-Jazeera television on Feb-21, 2006, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel.
In the interview, sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Quran for 14th centuries.
She said the world’s Muslims, whom she compares unfavourably with the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence.
Sultan said the world was not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism, a battle that the forces of violent, reactionary Islam are destined to lose.
“I believe our people are hostages to our own beliefs and teachings,” she said in an inter view this week in her home in a Los Angeles suburb.
Sultan, 47, wears a prim sweater and skirt, with fleece-lined slippers and heavy stockings. Her eyes and hair are jet black and her modest manner belies her intense words; “Knowledge has released me from this backward thinking. Somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs.”
Perhaps her most provocative words on Al-jazeera were those comparing how the Jews and Muslims have reacted to adversity. Speaking of the Holocaust, she said, “The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling.”
She went on. “we have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people.”
She concluded, “Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.”
“The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilizations,” sultan said.
“It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belong to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between barbarity and rationality.”
She said she no longer practiced Islam.” I am a secular human being.
Group: Saudis conduct worst crackdown on Christians in decade BP News: Jun 3, 2005 By Staff WASHINGTON (BP)—
Saudi Arabian police have made a wave of arrests of Christians since May 27, constituting the “largest crackdown” on followers of Christ in the Muslim-dominated country in the last decade, according to a Washington-based human rights organization. International Christian Concern reported it had learned of 46 confirmed arrests in the Middle Eastern country through June 1. The arrests included eight Indian nationals who were taken into custody May 28, according to ICC. It also has confirmed reports of police ransacking the houses of Christians and destroying Bibles, ICC reported. Regular Saudi police and Muttawa religious police have carried out these actions, according to the ICC. Baptist Press requested comment June 3 from the information office of the Saudi embassy in Washington, but none was provided prior to the deadline for this article. Saudi Arabia is listed by the U.S. State Department as one of the world’s most severe violators of religious freedom. Last year, the State Department placed Saudi Arabia on its list of “countries of particular concern” for the first time. The CPC designation is reserved for governments that have “engaged in or tolerated systemic and egregious violations of religious freedom.” The ICC and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom have both criticized the Bush administration for failing to take action as a follow-up to the designation of Saudi Arabia as a CPC. The president is required to take specific actions -– from diplomacy to economic sanctions — against governments designated as CPCs. “The inaction of the world’s leader in promoting freedom is reprehensible and risks breaching the line of irrelevance on matters of religious freedom and human rights,” the ICC said in a written release. “This latest crackdown on Christians is inexcusable and highlights the oppressive regime under which all religious minorities live and work in Saudi Arabia.” For years, the State Department has said religious freedom “does not exist” in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government prohibits all forms of public religious expression except Wahhabism, an extreme interpretation of Islam, and it finances activities overseas that express hatred and, in some cases, violence toward non-Muslims and out-of-favor Muslims, according to the USCIRF. Saudi police confiscate hundreds of Bibles yearly at border crossings and in raids on Christians, then burn or desecrate them, the Saudi Institute reported May 20. The latest actions by Saudi police came after the United States was accused of desecrating the Koran, Islam’s holy book, at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba. Newsweek magazine published an article in its May 9 issue reporting a Koran had been flushed down a toilet at the Guantanamo Bay center. Ensuing riots in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan resulted in at least 17 deaths. The U.S. military denied the report, and Newsweek later retracted its article. ICC provides aid to persecuted Christians overseas, trains pastors under repressive regimes and does advocacy work with the federal government. The USCIRF is a bipartisan, nine-member panel that makes policy recommendations on international religious liberty issues to Congress and the executive branch. The Saudi Institute identifies itself as an independent, Washington-based organization that provides information on Saudi Arabia.
MINORITIES IN SOUTH ASIA by K.N.Panikkar
The increasing infringement of the rights of minorities in the countries of South Asia during the last two decades has been a matter of considerable concern. The success of fundamentalist forces to gain access to state power in varying degrees of control and thus to exercise influence over the government have brought about a social and political climate inimical to the interest of the minorities. At the same time liberal support which is crucial for the well being of the minorities had become substantially weaker and uncertain. The partition of the subcontinent had already undermined the sense of security the minorities had enjoyed and had jeopardized the social peace which characterized the community relations. The momentum acquired by fundamentalism during the last two decades has worsened the situation. In fact, the history of minorities in South Asia is a history of increasing discrimination and deprivation and undermining in the process the historical tradition of living together, even if with differences. This experience naturally foregrounds the question about the rights of the minorities and the safeguards necessary to ensure them. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted in 1966 had laid down that in those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language. The above prescription by the Covenant underlines the cultural rights of the minorities which is indeed critical, but not exhaustive in fully defining the South Asian experience. For the debilities from which the minorities in the countries of the region suffer from are not limited to the cultural; they are as much victims of social and economic discrimination. Whether minority as a category based on religion, language, ethnicity etc would fully encapsulate the problems faced by such groups, therefore, becomes doubtful. Moreover, the minorities, whatever their constitutive factor, are not homogenous entities, but highly differentiated groups, socially, culturally and economically. In other words the category of minority is a totalizing concept, reflective only of partial social reality. When the question of minority became a political issue during the national movement, although internal differences were sought to be erased, the limitations of the concept was not altogether overlooked. Yet, minority as a category became part of the political practice and discourse. It raises the question as to how a minority is constituted. Constitution of Minorities The numerical strength is a necessary, though not a sufficient condition for the constitution of a minority. A group with numerical disadvantage may exist without experiencing itself as a minority, either politically or socially or culturally. The constitution of a minority is primarily contingent upon two factors. First, the self perception of the group as a minority in relation to other groups in society on the basis of certain experienced disadvantages and second, discriminatory or hostile treatment meted out by the majority. In this context the role of the nation state becomes quite central. The minority consciousness develops and legitimized when discrimination, if not persecution, is experienced. A community ‘begins to perceive itself as a minority when it feels disadvantaged in the context of the nation state; and the claim for minority rights gets strengthened when a case of discrimination’ is convincingly made . The formation of the minority through such a process is integral to politics and the exercise of power, regardless of the system in which they are practiced. In the light of this it is arguable that minorities did not exist in pre-colonial South Asia . Surely, different religious groups did exist, but they were neither culturally nor politically disadvantaged nor victimized. For in matters of patronage discrimination on the basis of religion was not pursued by medieval governments, headed either by Hindu or Muslim rulers. Such a policy of non-discrimination was rooted in the social reality of commonly shared quotidian life experience anchored in mutual accommodation and respect. As a consequence, although different religious groups existed with different religious and cultural practices, there were no minorities. The minority was the creation of popular politics during the colonial period. The colonial manipulation of religious division in South Asia considerably contributed to the process by which the minorities came to be constituted as a distinct group. The infamous British policy of pitching one community against the other was at the root of the anxiety articulated by the minorities when the anti-colonial struggle gained momentum. Sir Syed Ahamad Khan’s call to the Muslims to keep away from the Indian National Congress led national movement was an _expression of this anxiety. In a future political set up guided by democratic principles, it was feared, that the minorities would be deprived of power and privileges. However flawed such a perception of democracy might be the fact remains that it contributed to the internal consolidation of Muslims and also led to distancing themselves from other communities. In the name of allaying this apprehension, colonialism created safeguards in the form of separate electorates which only helped to increase the chasm between the communities. Every step for constitutional reform undertaken by colonialism reinforced community consciousness to such an extent that by the time the British decided to withdraw from India they left behind a society of warring communities. Hence the communal carnage at the time of independence which not only left permanent scar on the psyche of both the communities but also vitiated inter- community relations. The ways in which the interests of the minorities were to be safeguarded figured prominently in the debates over the constitution in both India and Pakistan. While political representation on the lines provided by the colonial rule was not favoured by the nationalist elite, the claim for cultural rights and religious freedom were considered necessary. Therefore, provision was made in articles 25 to 30 of the Indian Constitution for the protection of cultural rights and religious freedom of the minorities. Their political rights were assured by the secular- democratic character of the polity. In Pakistan, Mohamad Ali Jinnah declared in his speech to the Constituent Assembly that, ‘you may belong to any religion or caste or creed, there is no discrimination between one community and another, we are starting with this fundamental principle that we are citizens of one state.’ Following this principle the 1973 constitution provided for religious freedom and protection of minorities. Thus both India and Pakistan pledged to respect cultural plurality, religious freedom and political equality. However, in practice these principles were often violated or even discarded. The distribution of minorities in South Asian states was such that the members of almost all religious denominations were present in one state or the other which created a peculiar chemistry of minority consciousness. The Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsees in India; the Hindus and Christians in Pakistan and Bangladesh and Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka have minority status. Such a situation led to reciprocity in the treatment of minorities and safeguarding of their rights. The idea of reciprocity had found articulation during the debate over minority rights in the Constituent Assembly in India. Participating in the debate Mahavir Tyagi who later became a member of the Nehru Cabinet, had suggested that consideration of minority rights should be postponed until Pakistan’s stand on this question became clear. Responding to it, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, had asserted that the rights of the minorities should be absolute rights. They should not be subjected to any consideration as to what another party may like to do to the minorities within its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, after independence reciprocity has been the dominant principle which influenced the treatment of minorities in South Asian states. The way the minorities are treated in one country finds a resonance in another. The extra territorial identity attributed on the basis of religious belonging often leads to reprisals against minorities and their institutions. When the Hindu fanatics destroyed the Babri Masjid in 1992 Hindu temples became targets of attack in both Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Pakistan one Hindu was killed and several others were injured and at least two dozen temples were destroyed in scattered incidents of violence against the community. In Bangladesh reprisals took place at a national scale .This in turn led to revenge against the Muslims in India. This extra –territorial identification has considerably vitiated the condition of the minorities. Most unfortunately the minorities are constantly called upon to prove their patriotism, be it at the time of war or at the time a cricket match. The extra- territorial identity has made the minorities extremely vulnerable in all South Asian states. A letter to the Editor in the widely read English newspaper Dawn, decried the popularly shared notion that by ‘virtue simply of being Hindu, they may be willing to work as Indian agents to the detriment of Pakistan. In other words, their patriotism is to be doubted. This way of thinking deserved to be discarded not only because of its validity is dubious, that its persistence invites fiction to become reality, but because Indian seduction is something which many Pakistani Muslims may also be susceptible. Pakistani Hindus pose much less of a threat to our national integrity than some Muslim forces currently operating in the country do.’ This statement is also true of the Hindus and Muslims of India. Despite the exemplary record of the Muslims in almost all walks of life the Hindu fundamentalists continue to question their patriotism and loyalty to the nation. Attitude of the State In all South Asian states minorities are relatively poor. One of the reasons for their plight is the indifference and neglect of the state. A good example of this attitude of the state is reflected in the minority’s share of government employment, which in almost all cases does not match their numerical strength.. It is possible that disabilities historically inherited like the relatively limited access to modern education and poorer social position might have contributed to it. But fifty-eight years is a sufficiently long period to overcome these disadvantages. In India the representation of Muslims in government administration is abysmally low. Among the central government employees the Muslims constitute only 4.41 per cent. The situation in the state governments is slightly better with the Muslims accounting for about six percent. But these percentages are drastically reduced in superior cadres. In class IV employees the Muslims constitute 5.12 percent, in class II three percent and class I only 1.61 percent. Muslims also suffer from similar disability in other fields of economic activities. The situation prevails in other South Asian countries is not substantially different. In Pakistan discrimination against non-Muslims is quite apparent. In the army, for instance, non-Muslims rarely rise above the rank of a colonel and even they are not assigned to sensitive positions. It is so in the civil service also .That state has not found a way to ensure their legitimate share in governmental opportunities is a matter which adversely affects social relations. Although the minorities are constitutionally entitled to equal rights, in actual practice this principle is not always respected. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh had begun as secular states where no discrimination on the basis of religion would be tolerated. Mohammad Ali Jinnah had envisioned Pakistan as a secular state where ‘Muslims will not be Muslims and Hindus will not be Hindus, not in a religious sense, but in a political sense, as citizens of a secular, democratic Pakistan’. Bangladesh when it came into being was fashioned as a secular republic. But both these countries soon changed track to adopt Islam as state religion which automatically placed the minorities in a disadvantageous position. Naturally what followed was discrimination against the minorities in political practice. In Pakistan, for instance, franchise rights are limited for the minorities. The non- Muslim voters can elect only ten members to the 217 seat lower house of parliament. Moreover, they can only vote for their co-religionists. In the upper house which is more powerful the minorities have no representation. The democratic rights of non-Muslims are thus severely restricted . The minorities have been protesting against this discrimination and restriction . The Pakistan government has enacted a series of laws which are particularly repressive for the minorities. For instance, the Blasphemy law enacted in Pakistan in 1986 which provides for punishing those who offend the Koran with life in prison and death penalty for those who insult the Prophet. Since its enactment, dozens of Christians have been killed for having slandered Islam, 560 people have been accused and 30 are awaiting trial. The law is often invoked by the fundamentalists in pursuit of their conservative agenda. Using it for settling personal vendetta and for appropriating property are also quite common . The religious affairs minister, Ejaz ul Haq admitted that in the last 18 years the law has been abused. From 1927 to 1986 there had been only 7 cases of blasphemy, but from 1986 to 2005, 4000 cases have been reported. The Christians who indulge in theological debate and discussions have born the brunt. The death of John Joseph, the Bishop of Faislabad, who took his life to protest against the case of Ayub Masih’s death sentence for blasphemy, has sharply brought out the iniquity of the law . An unfortunate consequence of the law is that it discourages, even prevents, critical enquiries into theological matters. The protests organized by the minorities were of no avail. The laws enacted for the prevention of terrorism in India has been extensively used to terrorise the minorities. The majority of those who have been arrested and jailed under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Preventive) Act [ TADA], 1985 and Prevention of Terrorism Act [ POTA], 2001 belong to minorities. In Gujarat those arrested under POTA are almost entirely drawn from the Muslim community. They have been kept in jail without trial and subjected to inhuman treatment and severe torture. The Hindu fundamentalist organizations in India like the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad have been trying to impose an unofficial blasphemy law in an effort to curb critical religious thought and secular cultural interpretation of tradition. Those who have been engaged in such efforts have been intimidated and even physically attacked. An exhibition based on multiple texts of Ramayana put up by a cultural organization of Delhi was attacked and dismantled, the paintings of M.F.Hussain was disfigured for attempting an unconventional interpretation of Goddess Saraswathi, Deepa Mehta, a film maker was not permitted to shoot a film on Hindu widows and a series of other incidents have taken place during the last few years. These incidents caught the public eye because prominent people were involved in them. But intimidation and coercion impinging upon the human rights of the minorities are fairly widespread. Such tendencies are manifest among the Muslims also. A liberal Muslim theologian in Kerala, Chekannur Maulavi, was abducted and murdered by fundamentalists. Attack on Minorities In all South Asian countries minorities have been subjected to physical intimidation and attack which over the years have become so well organized that they have assumed the character of a program. In India, the Sikhs, Muslims and Christians have been the targets of attack by the members of the majority community. As a sequel to the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 thousands of Sikhs were killed and their property was plundered all over the country. Even after twenty years and a dozen or so enquiries those who were responsible for the crime have not been brought to book. The attack on Muslims and Christians by the Hindu fundamentalist groups are far too many to recount. These attacks are characterized by two main features. First, overt and covert support of the government and secondly, popular participation cutting across caste and class lines. These tendencies clearly manifest in the carnage unleashed by the Hindu fundamentalists against the Muslims in Gujarat . The collusion of the government and fundamentalist forces have led to a near anarchic situation for the minorities in Bangladesh. In a submission before the Human Rights Commission Bina Rai Biswas, an activist from Bangladesh, gave a graphic account of the atrocities to which the minorities are subjected. According to her the violence against the minorities ranged from burning alive to death, gang rape of children and elderly women, attack on temples, churches and orphanages, looting, unlawful and forced land grabbing and eviction and forced conversion to Islam . Many of them were left with no other alternative but to migrate, mostly by using illegal means. In Sri Lanka too the Christian and Muslim minorities have been the targets of physical intimidation and attack . One of the strategies of fundamentalists to marginalize the minorities is to cast them in the role of the enemies of the nation. Several methods are adopted for this purpose. Among them their demonization through a reinterpretation of their role in history has had an abiding impact. The Hinduisation and Islamisation of history in India and Pakistan respectively undertaken with the connivance of the governments is a part of this agenda. The main purpose of the rewriting of history and the revision of textbooks promoted by fundamentalist forces in these countries has been to achieve this objective. In India it is a major project of Hindu fundamentalism which was sought to be implemented through the government agencies like the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR). By establishing through the reinterpretation of history on the lines of P.N. Oak and N.S.Rajaram the Hindu civilisational character of Indian past the minorities are located as outsiders whose presence is at best tolerated but not welcome. A series of historical events are invoked from the invasion of Mohamad Gazni to the rule of Aurangazeb to demonstrate the historical wrongs the minorities have done to the nation. The political sense the fundamentalists made out of the demolition of Babri Masjid was that it rectified a historical wrong committed by the Muslims. And many more are yet to be rectified. History thus serves as an ideology of Hindu fundamentalism to exorcise the minorities from the body politic. The carnage in Gujarat was preceded by a long process conscientisation of the Hindu Samaj about the wrong done to their ancestors by the minorities. The Islamic states of Pakistan and Bangladesh have also reordered their history which impinges upon the religious freedom of the minorities. Reviewing the textbooks prescribed in Pakistan the Institute for Sustainable Development Policy and the Human Development centre have examined the textbooks used in Pakistan. These reports point out how in the name of history ‘students are forced to read a carefully crafted collection of falsehoods, fairy tales and plain lies’. The school curricula are clearly biased against and hostile to the minorities. The Hindu, for instance, ‘rarely appears in a sentence without the adjectives ‘conniving’ or ‘manipulative’. Moreover the textbooks are so designed that the Hindus are forced to learn about Islam and Islamic rites, even if they do not so desire. Given the discrimination and relative backwardness the minorities suffer, although in varying degrees in different states, a course of action from within which would ensure the well-being of the minorities is called for. Understandably the ongoing response is not univocal but polyphonic; it betrays a variety of tendencies. A powerful attraction is minoritarianism which promotes a genre of politics based on internal consolidation of the community. Another tendency, particularly when faced with the pressure of majoritarianism and the aggression associated with it, is to resort to militancy. Both these tendencies are reinforced by ghettoisation which is initially adopted as a means of self- defense. Ghettoisation, however, has very deleterious social, psychological and political consequences. What induces the minorities to congregate in Ghettos is a sense of uncertainty and fear which breeds communalism and violence. In states like Uttarpradesh and Gujarat in India Ghettoistion has taken place so extensively that internal ‘borders’ have come into being, demarcating residential areas of different communities. The fundamentalist forces which thrive on the religious obscurantism and cultural backwardness of the communities spare no effort to encourage these tendencies which keep them bound together and isolated. At the same time the state, because of political reasons, tends to compromise with the fundamentalist forces and thus help perpetuate the influence and leadership of obscurantist forces. In these circumstances the minorities in South Asia require a new deal, both from the state and civil society. The state should ensure equality, both in principle and in practice and should create conditions to enable their economic and cultural advancement. At the same time the civil society should realise the importance of recognizing the rights of minorities in a democracy and evolve methods for defending them. The minorities on their part have to chart out a path different from community consolidation, social obscurantism and political isolation. In such a course of action the emphasis should be on realizing the rights of citizenship through struggles for secularism and democracy. It would involve a rejection of religious leadership, without necessarily rejecting religious faith, and authoritarian and communal political ideologies and practices. The future of minorities in South Asia would depend upon the success of such a struggle. In conclusion, let me go back to where I had started. I had begun by referring to the importance of intervention for influencing the state and the civil society to protect the rights of the minorities. The state has not been the best guarantee of minority rights; instances of vacillation are not wanting, nor occasions when the intervention of the state went against the interests of the minorities. The rights of the minorities, be it in the field of education, employment or cultural freedom, can not be safeguarded without the active support of the state. If the state is indifferent or hostile the minorities can hardly progress, even survive. Therefore it is importance to ensure that the state remains secular. At the same time the consciousness of the civil society is a crucial factor in the well being of the minorities. Enough has happened in the countries of South Asia during the last two decades to suggest that the society is vulnerable to religion centered populist propaganda. A consequence of this has been the marginalization of the minorities in public space and the denial of civic opportunities to them as has happened and continue to happen in a state like Gujarat. This is an extremely grave matter which impinges upon democratic practice. The discrimination that minorities face is, therefore, not a problem of the minorities alone; it is a democratic problem. It is imperative that the struggle for the rights of the minorities should be integral to the struggle for democratization, secularization and for social justice. In conclusion, let me go back to where I had started. I had begun by referring to the importance of intervention for influencing the state and the civil society to protect the rights of the minorities. The state has not been the best guarantee of minority rights; instances of vacillation are not wanting, nor occasions when the intervention of the state went against the interests of the minorities. The rights of the minorities, be it in the field of education, employment or cultural freedom, can not be safeguarded without the active support of the state. If the state is indifferent or hostile the minorities can hardly progress, even survive. Therefore it is importance to ensure that the state remains secular. At the same time the consciousness of the civil society is a crucial factor in the well being of the minorities. Enough has happened in the countries of South Asia during the last two decades to suggest that the society is vulnerable to religion centered populist propaganda. A consequence of this has been the marginalization of the minorities in public space and the denial of civic opportunities to them as has happened and continue to happen in a state like Gujarat. This is an extremely grave matter which impinges upon democratic practice. The discrimination that minorities face is, therefore, not a problem of the minorities alone; it is a democratic problem. It is imperative that the struggle for the rights of the minorities should be integral to the struggle for democratization, secularization and for social justice. [This is the text of Keynote address delivered to the workshop on the Condition of Minorities in South Asia held at Delhi from 16 to 19 September 2005]
While no seminary in Pakistan is willing to admit that the three London bombers ever contacted them, intelligence personnel in Pakistan accept that all three came to Pakistan between November last year and February this year. Muhammad Siddiq Khan (30) and Shehzad Tanweer (22) are said to have stayed in Lahore or other cities of the Punjab. Haseeb Hussain (18), the youngest of the bombers, is believed to have visited Karachi. Six months after their return from Pakistan they committed the acts of terrorism that may change Europe more than the tragedy of 9/11. In these six months they are presumed to have learnt from an expert how to make explosives in accordance with the instructions in captured Al Qaeda manuals. The police in Pakistan have gone looking in the cities where the spoor of the terrorists has led them: Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh and Kamalia. Four men have been reportedly arrested on suspicion from the last three cities while at least one person has been detained in Lahore. The international press has moved in and is looking for stories to file. In the coming week, a lot of negative light will shine on Pakistan and its private-sector religious institutions. With India claiming to have proof of terrorist training camps in Pakistan, and Kabul complaining of infiltration by “Pakistani” Taliban warriors, Islamabad will be on the defensive. Worse, the 24 Taliban (three of them Uzbeks and one Sudanese) killed inside Pakistani territory last week by US forces have been given an emotional burial in North Waziristan attended by thousands of local tribesmen. Meanwhile, the army has once again gone into the Tribal Areas looking for new infiltrators, said to belong to Al Qaeda, after failing to catch Abdullah Mehsud, who began his killing spree in Pakistan after being released by the Americans from the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison last year. The police have gone to the cities in Punjab known for their links with Al Qaeda and its ancillary militias, now banned but functioning under new names. That all was not well with our security measures was made clear by President Pervez Musharraf when, addressing senior police officers last week, he asked them to go after the banned but still functioning “renamed” militias. He came across as admitting that this was something he did not know and had had just been briefed about. (One can’t imagine how an IG will approach the supreme leader of the Lashkar with handcuffs even if President Musharraf specifically orders him to do so, which is unlikely.) The truth is that at least three terrorist-jihadi organisation (whose members tried to kill him earlier) have functioned quite openly, and a usually sympathetic Urdu press has been referring to them freely after realising that the government did not mind such reporting too much. At least one leader in Lahore steadily appears on the pages of the Urdu press with statements condemning President Musharraf’s “pro-US and pro-India” policies. So powerful is his “renamed” organisation that he invites opposition politicians to his impressive gatherings at a new venue in the city, which the Punjab government has allowed him. Another “leader”, personally close to Osama bin Laden, has never left the comfort of his luxurious house in Islamabad. Although he has been “picked up” periodically, he has never been de-commissioned. In the meta-history of jihad in Pakistan the big seminaries have been used by Islamists organising terror in the name of Islam. Although Al Qaeda is supposed to have stayed away from sectarianism, its allies in Pakistan have indulged in it, opening other jihadi “contacts” to public view. A number of those leading Karachi’s Darul Ulum have been killed in the sectarian tit for tat. During this internal war, Karachi’s reputation as a training camp of international terrorists has been revealed: not only have the Indonesian bombers been facilitated here, but also hundreds of Pattanis of Thailand. The future map of Thailand was said to have been decided at Multan Road in Lahore by the jihadi leaders that President Musharraf presumably referred to while talking to the policemen. In Europe, the centre of Islamist extremism has been the mosque, not so much the seminary. The Hamburg Cell “19”, which attacked the United States in 2001, fell under the spell of a Moroccan cleric at the city’s Al Quds mosque. From there they were directed to Pakistan. All of them were ‘facilitated’ by Al Qaeda’s ancillary Islamists while on their way to Afghanistan under the tutelage of Al Qaeda’s Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the main planner of 9/11, who lived for many years in Karachi directing funding from Kuwait. DW (German) TV on Sunday showed a documentary by Mohamed Sifaoui, a French Muslim journalist, who penetrated Al Qaeda in Paris and London, revealing the dangerous extent to which the UK had allowed itself to become vulnerable to terrorism. In Paris, there were three mosques (including one dedicated to Pakistanis) in 2003 that spawned GIA-type terrorists. He talks of Karim Bourti, an Algerian who took his training in Pakistan so much to heart that he dressed in Pakistani clothes. Unfortunately, in this account, Pakistan steadily featured in the background as some kind of global launching pad for Al Qaeda’s projects. The three bombers who visited Pakistan seem to have followed a set route. One thought that the terror highway of Pakistan had been closed effectively after President Musharraf revamped the ISI and closed down the camps where jihad and terrorism had exploded in terrible chemistry during the 1990s. That is why there is bound to be public resentment at the way the world will pry into the Islamist interstices of an “enlightened and moderate” Pakistan. But that is also why it is in Pakistan’s own national interest to clean up the “facilitating” organisations that pretend that their project is spiritual when in fact it is mercenary. *
WHO DESTROY NALANDA UNIVERSITY IN BIHAR?
“The book “Tabakat-i Nasiri” is held in very high esteem both in India and Europe. Firista and others refer to it as an excellent work of high authority: Anquetil du perron calls it a “Precious work”. And Elphinstone mentions it as a work of the highest celebrity. Stewart in his History of Bengal, follows it very closely, and considers it is ‘a very valuable book”. (Ref. The History of India- As told by its own Historians’ by Sir H.M. Elliot and John Dawson, vol.II.P-264)
Let us return to the history of Muhammad Bakhtiyar. When he came back from his visit to Sultan Kutubuddin and conquered Behar, his fame reached the ears of Rai Lakhmaniya and spread throughout all parts of Rai’s dominions. A body of astrologers, Brahmans, and wise men of the kingdom, came to the Rai and represented to him that in their books the old Brahmans had written that the country would eventually fall into the hands of the Turks. The time appointed was approaching; the Turks had already taken Behar and next year they would also attack his country, it was therefore advisable that the Rai should make peace with them, so that all the people might emigrate from the territory, and same themselves from contention with the Turks. The Rai asked whether the man who was to conquer the country was described as having any peculiarity in his person. They replied, Yes; the peculiarity is, that is not standing upright both his hands hang down below the knees, so that his fingers touch his shins. The Rain observed that it was best for him to send some confidential agents to make enquiry about that peculiarity. Accordingly confidential agents were dispatched, an examination was made, and the peculiarity was found in the person of Muhammad Bakhtiyar. When this was ascertained to be the fact, fost of the Brahmans and many chiefs(sahan) went away to the country of Sanknat, and to the cities of Bang and Kamrup, but Rai Lakhmaniya did not like to leave his country.(ibid p.308).
Next year Muhammad Bakhtiyar prepared an army and marched from Behar. He suddenly appeared before the city of Nudiya with only eighteen horsemen, the remainder of his army was left to follow, Muhammad Bakhtiyar did not molest any man, but went on peaceably and without ostentation, So that no one could suspect who he was. The people rather thought that he was a merchant, who had brought horses for sale. In this manner he reached the of Rai Lakhmaniya’s place, when he drew his sword and commenced the attack.” Libid 308-309)
At this time the Rai was at his dinner and golden and silver dishes filled with food were placed before him according to the usual custom. All of a sudden a cry was raised at the gate of his palace and in the city. Before he had ascertained what had occurred, Muhammad Bakhtiyar had rushed into the palace and put a number of men to the sword. The Rai fled bare footed by the rare of the palace, and his whole treasure, and all his wives, maid servants, attendants and women fell into the hands of the invader. Numerous elephants were taken and such booty was obtained by the Muhammandans as is beyond all compute. When his army arrived, the whole city was brought under subjection, and he fixed his headquarters there.” (ibid. p-309)..
Rai Lakhmaniya went towards Sanknat and Bengal, where he died. His sons are to his day rulers in the territory of Bengal. When Muhammad Bakhtiyar had taken possession of the Rai’s territory, he destroyed the city of Nudiya and established the seat of his government at Lakhnauti.(ibid p309)
It is said by credible persons that he (Bakhtiyar) went to the gate of the fort of Behar with only two hundred horse, and began the war by taking the enemy unawares. In the service of Bakhtiyar there were two brothers of great intelligence. One of them was named Nizamu-d-in and the other Samsum-u-din. The compiler of this book met Samsum-u-din at Lakhnauti in the year 641H(1243A.D.) and heard the following story from him. When Bakhtiyar reached the gate of the fort and fighting began, these two wise brother were active in that army of heroes.
“Muhammad Bakhtiyar with great vigour and audacity rushed in at the gate of the fort and gained possession of the place. Great plunder fell into the hands of the victors, most of the inhabitants of the place were Brahmans with shaven heads. They were put to death. Large numbers of books were found there, and when the Muhammadans saw them, they called for some persons to explain their contents, but all the men had been killed. It was discovered that the whole fort and city was a place of study(madrasa). In the Hindi language the word Behar(vihar) meand a college.” (Tabakat-i-Nasiri, p306).
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said Washington “can make sure that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is secure,” even as he expressed
grave concern over the deteriorating situation in the militancy-stricken country.
At a White House press conference to mark his first 100 days in office, Obama expressed confidence about US control over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, perhaps through military-to-military cooperation, in the face of extremist advances in the country. In the process, he also hinted that Washington had contingency plans to handle the situation if it went out of Islamabad’s hands.
Asked if he could reassure the American people that, if necessary, America could secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and keep it from getting into the Taliban’s hands, Obama replied: “I’m confident that we can make sure that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is secure, primarily, initially, because the Pakistani army, I think, recognizes the hazards of those weapons falling into the wrong hands.”
The carefully calibrated reply referring to primary security appeared to suggest the US has secondary back-up plans in the event of any exigencies, something the intelligence analysts’ community has long considered inevitable.
When the reporter followed up to seek a more precise answer, asking if in the worst case scenario, the US military could secure the nuclear weapons, Obama responded crisply: “I’m not going to engage in hypotheticals of that sort. I feel confident that that nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands. Okay?”
The exchange was punctuated by a suo motu expression of concern about the situation in Pakistan by the US President, not because it was about to be overrun by Taliban, he said, but because the civilian government was very fragile and was not delivering basic services and governance, which was providing space for extremists.
It was a surprisingly blunt vote of no-confidence in a civilian government whose leader is about to embark on a visit to Washington next week. There has been speculation in some quarters that Washington is not averse to another military takeover if the civilian government does not assert itself over the extremists.
Blog: Is Pakistan heading for an Islamic Revolution?
Obama also referred to what has now become a mantra for his administration: Pakistan should stop worrying about the non-existent military threat from India and tackle its own home-grown extremism.
“On the military side, you’re starting to see some recognition just in the last
few days that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided, and that their biggest threat right now comes internally,” Obama said, adding, “we want to continue to encourage Pakistan to move in that direction, and we will provide them all the cooperation that we can.”
The President seemed to be referring to the reported movement of some 6000 Pakistani troops from the border with India to its western areas recently, even as he made the case for a large civilian and military aid package for Pakistan that Congress is going to take up in the next few days, ahead of the visit to Washington DC next weekend by President Asif Ali Zardari. The 6000 troops were moved to the Indian border in the aftermath of the Mumbai massacre, so essentially the Pakistan military has returned to the pre-Mumbai configuration.
There is strong pressure on Pakistan from Washington to deploy regular troops rather than its constabulary or para-military in the battles against extremists, but Islamabad is said to be desisting, holding out for greater military aid and equipment to carry out the task.
There is considerable tension between the two sides on this issue, and a perceptible lack of trust in Washington about Pakistan’s claims that it is routing the extremists and re-established control in the territories it has lost to them. The suggestion here is that Pakistan is shadow boxing to ensure the U.S aid package gets through and its military is yet to get rid of its India fixation.
Iran hangs 13 Sunni rebels as ‘enemies of God’
AFP 14 July 2009, 12:25pm IST
TEHRAN: Iran hanged 13 rebels on Tuesday from the shadowy Sunni insurgent group Jundallah who were accused of being “enemies of God” for a string of attacks, the official IRNA news agency reported.
The insurgents were executed in prison in the restive southeastern border city of Zahedan, epicentre of a Sunni Muslim rebellion against the Shiite regime in Tehran.
“Thirteen members of this group were hanged this morning,” provincial judiciary chief Ebrahim Hamidi was quoted as saying.
The rebels were accused of being “mohareb” (enemies of God) and of “kidnapping foreigners, killing innocents and of carrying out terrorist acts for the Jundallah group,” IRNA said, quoting a local judiciary statement.
State media had announced on Monday that 14 members of Jundallah (Soldiers of God) would be publicly executed on Tuesday.
“After last minute consultations, the executions were carried out in a prison,” Hamidi said.
The media had also reported that Abdolhamid Rigi, brother of Jundallah leader Abdolmalik Rigi, was one of the rebels to be executed. Hamidi said Abdolhamid Rigi was not among those hanged on Tuesday but would be executed later this week.
Zahedan is the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan and is home to a sizeable ethnic Baluchi population.
Jundallah has claimed repeated attacks against Iranian government targets in the province which lies on a major trafficking route for narcotics destined for Europe and the Gulf.
In the latest major strike, Jundallah claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on a Shiite mosque in Zahedan in May that killed 25 people, saying it was a revenge attack for the hanging of members of the Baluch minority.
Human rights group Amnesty International had urged the Iranian government to halt the executions, charging that the rebels had not received a fair trial.
JINNAH & DIVISION OF INDIA
Mohammad Ali Jinnah has had a contested and confused relationship with the country he created. Left to an adoring following in Pakistan and equally impassioned detractors in India, the clear-headed lawyer who never missed a cue has been reduced to a jumble of contradictions that mostly cancel each other out. Sterile and uncharitable depictions of one of modern South Asia’s leading politicians might not have withstood the test of history if they did not serve the nationalist self-projections of both India and Pakistan.
The lanky M A Jinnah is etched in the Indian popular consciousness as the villain bent upon wreaking revenge for his repeated political failures by dividing the country and instigating the shedding of innocent blood.
Consequently, Indians have rarely asked how a nationalist ideology committed to the unity of the country came to be so effectively sabotaged by one individual. It remains to be seen how far the uproar over Jaswant Singh’s recent book, describing Jinnah as a great Indian nationalist, helps in addressing this issue.
Across the divide in Pakistan, Jinnah’s negative standing in the Indian nationalist pantheon has fuelled his positive portrayal as a revered son of Islam, even an esteemed religious leader (maulana), who sacrificed everything to safeguard Muslim interests in India. Some have even suggested that Jinnah, never known for his religiosity, underwent a metamorphosis in his 60s and became a devout Muslim. There is no evidence of the Quaid-e-Azam becoming more religious in the twilight of his life.
A skilled arbitrator respected by his peers at the Bar, Jinnah imagined himself as bridging the communitarian differences which in his opinion were the biggest obstacle to India winning freedom. Like a professional arbitrator, he argued the conflicting brief of his diverse Muslim constituents to the best of his ability. A politician whose sights were set on wresting power from the British at the centre, Jinnah had to contend with the different pulls and pushes of Muslim politics in the provinces.
What kept changing were the requirements of local, provincial and all-India politics under successive constitutional reforms. While seeking to reconcile the divergent interests of his constituents in Muslim-majority and minority provinces, Jinnah knew that an agreement with Congress covering the whole of India would have to be found once the British conceded power at the centre. As the Muslim spokesman, he had hoped to negotiate a constitutional arrangement based on an equitable sharing of power between Congress and the Muslim League, representing Hindus and Muslims respectively. Congress’s insistence on the unity of the ‘nation’ and refusal to share power at British India’s unitary centre paved the way for Partition.
It is often said that Jinnah “made history” against overwhelming odds. Even “great men” make history under certain constraints. If there has been a bit too much focus on the history Jinnah made, there is still much to be said about the history that made Jinnah. Eager to score points against his opponents, the suave barrister adapted his methods to new political realities without losing sight of the goals that had animated his public career since its inception.
An anglicized and moderate politician of the liberal ilk, Jinnah would recoil at his battered image in secular and democratic India. But he would find cold comfort in his portrayal as a fervent Muslim in Islamic and militarily authoritarian Pakistan. As a politician who knew the importance of playing to the gallery, Jinnah did make references to Islam that might appear to undermine his vision for a Pakistan “based on the highest principles of honour, integrity, fairplay and justice for all”. But he did so without accepting the narrow-minded definitions the mullahs and their sympathizers tried to impose on its teachings with regard to women and minorities. Jinnah’s Islam was neither reactionary nor bigoted; he hailed the Prophet of Islam, for “laying the foundations of democracy”. Asserting the compatibility of Islam and democracy did not mean consigning the constitutional future of the country to ideas dating back 1,300 years.
“I know of no religion apart from human activity,” the Quaid-e-Azam had written to Mahatma Gandhi in January 1940, as it “provides a moral basis for all other activities.” Jinnah’s broad humanistic outlook and vision for the subcontinent has been distorted in Pakistan, if not wholly forgotten, due to the political gamesmanship of authoritarian rulers and self-styled ideologues of Islam. Instead of the supremacy of the rule of law that Jinnah strongly advocated, anarchy prevails in large swathes of Pakistan.
With the Muslim majority itself divided along class, regional, sectarian and ideological lines, the minorities are facing persecution from peddlers of religion. As well as local land mafias exploiting the loopholes in the legal system of a country founded paradoxically enough by one of the subcontinent’s greatest constitutional lawyers and champions of minority rights.
Ayesha Jalal teaches history at Tufts University and is the author of ‘The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan’.
Osama bin Laden killed(CIA was correct) (From AP News)
Bin Laden killed in US raid on Pakistan hideout by Special Forces at Abbottabad compound, near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
He was mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks and the world’s most wanted man, has been killed in a US operation in north-western Pakistan. “Justice has been done,” the US president said in a statement that America has been waiting a decade to hear. A US official said Bin Laden had already been buried at sea.
Bin Laden resisted the attackers and was killed along with three other men in a firefight. The operation lasted 40 minutes. The dead included his most trusted courier, who carried his messages to the outside world, and one of his sons, according to reports.
A woman also died, according to some reports. It is not clear whether she was one of his four wives. He used to use natural Viagra to fulfill his four wife’s desire.
Senior administration officials said the body would be handled according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls for burial within 24 hours.
There had been years of speculation that Bin Laden was hiding in the remote tribal areas of Pakistan or across the border in Afghanistan. But the town where he was found, Kakul, lies a short distance from Islamabad and is home to the country’s main military training institution, the Pakistan Military Academy.
The fact that Bin Laden was killed in a urban area of Pakistan will raise questions about how the six-foot-four fugitive, one of the most famous faces in the world, managed to survive there for so long.
Obama praised Pakistan for its “close counter-terrorism co-operation”. But officials said the US was the only country that knew in advance of the operation.
An official with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence declined to comment other than to say that it was a “highly sensitive intelligence operation”.
The dramatic news closes one chapter in the global turmoil sparked by the September 11 attacks on America that killed 3,000 people in 2001. The event triggered the war in Afghanistan, was used as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq and inflicted grievous damage on America’s moral authority after the CIA torture of al-Qaida suspects and the detention of more than 700 people at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.
The death of the Saudi-born fugitive is likely to have a major impact on US foreign policy in south Asia, where almost 100,000 soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan and CIA drones have been pounding al-Qaida targets in north-west Pakistan.
There may be political repercussions at home. Hundreds of people gathered outside the White House before midnight to celebrate, singing The Star-Spangled Banner and chanting “USA, USA”.
Despite the massive resources America devoted to the “war on terror”, as the Bush administration termed it, Bin Laden has remained at large for almost a decade.
Obama’s big break came last August when the CIA learned of a location where Bin Laden may have been hiding: a tree-lined, high-walled compound near Abbottabad, a town in the foothills of the Himalayas two hours’ drive north of Islamabad.
In February the CIA confirmed that Bin Laden was hiding in the compound, part-owned by his courier. On closer examination it appeared to be a custom-built hideout.
US officials said two American helicopters were involved but one crashed and had to be blown up.
Obama, seeking to avoid an air of triumphalism, adopted a dignified, low-key tone during his announcement. “Tonight I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.” He said the death would not mean an end to the violence and predicted al-Qaida would continue to pursue attacks.
Bin Laden’s death sparked a frenzy of speculation on al-Qaida’s future. Experts have debated for many years how important the leader is to the organisation. Some argued that because Bin Laden promoted decentralised fighting, with individuals acting on their own initiative, his death would make little difference. Others insisted Bin Laden and the other top al-Qaida leaders such as al-Zawahiri were crucial to the continued existence of the group.
Though Bin Laden was an icon for many, his message of violence had been increasingly rejected across the Islamic world. From around 2005 repeated polls indicated flagging support for him personally and for his organisation.
The events of this spring, which saw popular mobilisation across the Arab world under slogans of democracy and pluralism, have been seen by many analysts as evidence of al-Qaida’s increasing marginalisation and the failure to achieve its key strategic aim of radicalising large masses of population to lay the basis for the establishment of a new caliphate – a Muslim state governed only by Islamic law.
It is easy to give power but difficult to give wisdoms the deceases suffer by Pakistanies since its inception and killed 30 lakhs people in Bangladesh in 1971 in the name of Islam. It is simply a thought of a mad man with perverted philosophy of this modern time. Ethnic cleansing enslavement is going on in different Muslim country in this systematic way.
MUSLIM VOICE IN INDIA
The views by Arif Mohammed Khan on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan is very appropriate to give in details. As he’s was the first Muslim voice of reform in India. He emerged on the scene at a time when Indian Muslim society was sunk in obscurantism and inertia and showed no desire to struggle out of its medieval grooves. The unwholesome influence of clergy had made them view modern education as incompatible with and hostile to religion.
The abortive uprising of 1857 and the cleric call to jihad made Muslims target of British wrath and reprisals. Sir Syed as a judicial officer served the government during the crisis but the aftermath of disturbances deeply impacted him.
He wrote: ‘‘I reflected about the decadence of the Muslim community, and came to the conclusion that modern education alone is the remedy of the ills they are suffering from. I decided on a strategy to disabuse their minds of strong communal belief that the study of European literature and science is anti-religion and promotes disbelief.’’
The objectives of Sir Syed, born in early 19th century (October 17, 1817), were educational and social reforms; he had no desire to dabble in religion. But all his initiatives were opposed in the name of religion.
Describing his dilemma, Sir Syed said: ‘‘We were keen to avoid any discussion of religion, but the problem is that our behaviours, social practices and religious beliefs are so mixed up that no discussion of social reform is possible without provoking a religious controversy.’’ Frustrated with the clergy, he added, ‘‘When urged to give up something harmful, they say it has religious merit and when asked to do something positive they assert it is prohibited by religion. So we have no options but discuss the religious context to push our agenda forward.’’
With this objective, he launched the Mohammedan Social Reformer journal in July 1884. To use his own words, the journal ‘‘played crucial role in fighting the fanaticism that has pushed the community into abyss of ignorance.’’ The journal focused on modern education and social and religious reforms.
The school at Aligarh was launched in 1875. For its success, this project depended wholly on public donations. Sir Syed made notable personal contributions and went overboard in his fund collection drive. He organized lotteries, staged drama and felt no hesitation to visit any place, including red light areas, to collect money. He gratefully acknowledged the help he received and made special mention of Hindus who gave money and material support and did a great favour to the whole (Muslim) community.
The college finally emerged as a University in 1920, 22 years after Sir Syed had breathed his last in 1898. It was a living testimony of the success of Aligarh movement. However, the story shall remain incomplete if no mention is made of the hostility and opposition of the Muslim clergy that Sir Syed faced till he died and still persists in certain quarters.
The intensity of opposition can be understood from the comments of Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi in his book ‘Islamiat aur Maghribiat ki Kashmakash’ written more than 60 years after Sir Syed’s death. Maulana says: ‘‘The education mission of Sir Syed and his advocacy of Western civilization became correlatives and caused apprehensions and doubts in the minds of people. A wave of opposition took hold of the religious circles and his movement met with a simultaneous call for its boycott.’’
First Sir Syed was targeted when he shared food with the British and defended his action in a signed article. The opposition became fierce during his stay in London. Sir Syed responded through a memorandum saying: ‘‘The terrifying call of Kanpur, the lyrical satire of Lucknow, the idle tattle of Agra and Allahabad, the fatwas of Rampur and Bareilly and the snide remarks of holy men of Delhi grieve me not. My heart is overflowing with the idea of welfare of my people and there is no room in it for any anger or rancor.’’
Conscious of cleric hostility Sir Syed offered not to have any role in matters of religious instruction in the college and invited leading clerics to prepare the syllabus. Maulana Qasim Nanotvi and Maulana Yaqoob of Deoband shot down the proposal saying they cannot associate with an institution which will have Shia students on the campus.
Maulana Hali in his biography of Sir Syed says that 60 maulvis and alims had signed fatwas accusing Sir Syed of disbelief and apostasy. There was total consensus among the Indian clerics, only divine approval was missing. Maulvi Ali Bakhsh did the needful and traveled to Mecca and Medina on the pretext of pilgrimage and secured a fatwa calling for beheading of Sir Syed if he repented not and persisted with his plan to establish the college.
Sir Syed was a visionary who pursued his dream ignoring all opposition and aptly remarked, ‘‘I know what they know not and I understand what they understand not.’’ History has proved that he was right and the clergy, as always, utterly wrong.
(Written by Arif Mohammed Khan a former Union minister)