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Showing posts from 2009

Threats to the survival of Pakistan Friday, 18 December 2009 Dr. Khurshid Alam As a political worker I feel Pakistan has three biggest threats to its survival as a state. I used the word survival because political doctors have already diagnosed us as a failed State and failed government. Now do we have the acumen to answer to the question posed by Dr. Tariq Ali,” The death of a State… Can Pakistan survive?” Sixty-two years history of Pakistan is always of grave concern to every one, whether it will survive or not? Initially we were completely bombarded by state media that India is bent upon to destroy this ideological Islamic state. The propaganda was so forceful that we had no option but to believe. The hatred was a part of our educational curriculum. With the passage of time the history proved contrary to what we taught, soon it was realised that the real threat to Pakistan is the ruling clique. The logic of disint

The Pakhtun, the Taliban and Imran Khan

Saturday, 19 December 2009 Hate for the US is the problem of Imran Khan or his anti-Pakhtun allies. It is not the problem of the people of FATA. Their problem is occupation of their land by the international jihadi gangs. There are clear signs that the people of FATA are cooperating with the Americans in liberating their land from the jihadi occupation Farhat Taj This is in response to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s recent declaration that he is ready to mediate and start negotiations with the Taliban to secure a peace agreement if the government is willing to guarantee that it would not scrap the peace deal with them under US pressure. He made this offer in an interview with Dr Moeed Pirzada on a private TV channel. By now Imran Khan stands fully exposed that he is one of the forces of darkness — the jihadi generals like Hamid Gul, the Jamaat-e-Islami and other pan-Islamists like the Deobandis, neo-Wahabis and Akhwan ideologues. Together they have give

Sanskrit singalong Language learning is easy if you start to learn it at a young age, they say. But unfortunately people hardly follow India’s classical language, Sanskrit, as it is hardly taught at primary level. At higher level too, the language is taught via the tedious grammar translation method. With an aim of popularising Sanskrit among youngsters, a Sanskrit teacher has penned Sanskrit rhymes, on the lines of nursery rhymes, for children. Varsha Sarda, a Sanskrit enthusiast, has come up with the novel idea of Sanskrit rhymes in a book form along with its audio CD. Her book called Moda Sanskritam will be launched on Wednesday. Moda Sanskritam contains 11 jingles or rhymes along with illustrations. She deliberately has not provided translation, so that one can learn it the natural way. “I want kids to learn the language without the usual translation method. They can


B.RAMAN There can be no effective counter-terrorism without effective counter-penetration and counter-sanctuaries techniques and capabilities. 2.Penetration refers to one’s capability to penetrate the set-up of a terrorist organization to collect human and technical intelligence about its future plans. The impressive success rate of the unmanned Drone flights of the US in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan since August,2008, spoke of a significant improvement in the penetration operations of the US intelligence community in their continuing fight against Al Qaeda and the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. 3. Similarly, the impressive number of instances of detection and neutralization of indigenous and Pakistan-sponsored terrorist cells by the Indian intelligence community and police during 2009 was the outcome of an improvement in their penetration operations----after the series of explosions in the urban areas organized by the so-called Indian Mujahideen

Displaced Minorities in Pakistan Need Blankets and a Livelihood as Bitter Winter Sets In

Displaced Minorities in Pakistan Need Blankets and a Livelihood as Bitter Winter Sets In "We have been assured by the Social Welfare department that these families will be registered as IDPs next month. But in the meantime, we have to cater for their winter needs," said Herdyal Singh, UNITED SIKHS Aid coordinator based in Peshawar. 29th Dec, 2009, Peshawar, Pakistan: Minorities who have taken shelter in Peshwar after escaping from the Taliban regime with only their ‘shirts on their backs’, feel the biting winter cold as night temperatures drop to -4C and they are in urgent need of blankets, warm clothes and a source of livelihood. UNITED SIKHS Aid project volunteers have rehabilitated nine of these families by helping them set up small businesses in the regions of Peshawar, Hassan Abdal, Rawalpindi and Nankana Sahib. In all, there are 24 Sikh families who have been uprooted from the NWFP region and have still not received any government relief because they are not regis

A milestone year ends for Swiss banking secrecy

Dec 30, 2009 - 17:12 How it will evolve in 2010 will depend on the stance taken by the government and the Swiss voters, two experts told Official stance Switzerland has decided to refuse the automatic exchange of information. Administrative assistance is granted on a case by case basis in response to specific requests and justified. “Fishing expeditions” – where tax authorities request information without having grounds for suspicion - are prohibited. The exchange of information is limited to taxes covered by the relevant double taxation agreements. Under existing laws, banking secrecy obliges banks to keep information about their clients confidential, except in cases of criminal investigation. The idea is anchored in legislation passed in 1934 after the global turbulences caused by Wall Street's 1929 crash. 2009 Milestones February - UBS is authorised by the Swiss authorities provide the United States with the identity of 255 customers it helped evad


B.RAMAN Ships from the Chinese Navy patrolling the seas on anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden area for over a year now could not go to the rescue of De Xin Hai a Chinese bulk carrier with a Chinese crew of 25 members transporting coal which was hijacked by a group of Somali pirates 400 miles North-East of Seychelles and taken to the waters off Somalia in October last. 2. Their demand for ransom was initially resisted by the Chinese. How can China, which views itself as a power on par with the US, pay ransom? The Government-controlled media in China gave its people very few details of the hijacking, but those, who had been following the incident through the Internet, were certain that the Chinese would not cave in. They were hoping and expecting that the Chinese Navy would emulate the example of the US, Dutch and French Navies, whose special forces had rescued their seamen from the custody of the pirates during 2009. The US Navy’s Sea Air Land Commandoes (SEAL) had rescue


B.RAMAN The year 2009 ended with two attacks by suicide bombers on processions to mark the culmination of the period of Muhurrum observed by the Shias of Pakistan. Fifteen persons were killed in the first incident at Muzzafarabad, the capital of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), on December 27. Forty-two were killed in the second incident in Karachi on December 28. 2. Sectarian clashes between Shias and Sunnis occur frequently in the Northern Areas consisting of Gilgit and Baltistan, where the Shias constitute the largest single sectarian group. To counter the growing influence of Shia sectarian organizations such as the Tehrik-e-Jaffria Pakistan and its militant wing called the Sipah Mohammad, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had over the years encouraged and helped Sunni extremist organizations such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) to set up a presence in the Gilgit area. This has led to periodic clashes between the two communities. 3. The

INTERVIEW: Baluchistan and the Af/Pak War

An Interview with Ahmar Mustikhan By STEWART J. LAWRENCE US news reports about the widening war in the “Af-Pak” region have made increasing reference to the presence of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Baluchistan, a Texas-sized swath of territory located in southern Pakistan. Yet Americans remain surprisingly unaware that Baluchistan is home to an insurgent movement that is not aligned with either Al-Qaeda or the Taliban and that has fought for national independence from Pakistan for more than 60 years. In this exclusive interview conducted on December 27, noted Pakistani Baluch journalist, Ahmar Mustikhan, founder and director of the American Friends of Baluchistan, spoke with me about the current regional conflict and about Baluchistan’s appeal to the West for military and diplomatic support for its struggle. SL: The Obama administration has been pressuring Pakistan to allow the US to launch drone and Special Forces attacks on th

China floats anti-pirate hub idea

BBC A senior Chinese naval officer has suggested that China establish a permanent base in the Gulf of Aden to support its anti-piracy operations. Rear Admiral Yin Zhou's proposal was posted on the defence ministry website. Mr Yin said supplying and maintaining the fleet off Somalia was challenging without such a base, and said other nations were unlikely to object. China's navy currently has no overseas bases, but there are calls in the media and web forums for this to change. The proposal comes after a Chinese cargo ship and its crew of 25 were rescued from Somali pirates on Monday, amid reports that a $4m (£2.5m) ransom had been paid to their kidnappers. 'Appropriate' The Chinese navy has already been patrolling the Gulf of Aden for more than a year, protecting cargo vessels that are increasingly threatened by pirates based on Somalia. Yin Zhuo, a prominent spokesman on naval matters, made his suggestion to establish a permanent base in the area during

India 2009: Steadfast in a Turbulent World

. By T.P.Sreenivasan Today, January 2009 looks like it was a long time ago. Although India was in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in history, it seemed capable of contributing to the restoration of calm after the storm in the global community. The world was excited about the election of Barack Obama, who promised change, including an escape from the global economic and financial crisis. India was preparing for an election, whose outcome was uncertain, but there was some expectation that the Congress would come back to power in a weak coalition. India-China parleys on the border were taking place intermittently and high level contacts were common between the two countries. The excitement over the signing of the nuclear deal was tempered by some apprehensions about the nuclear policy of the Democrats, but there were assurances of continuity. Iraq war was abating and the Afghan front was not too critical. An increasingly assertive Russia was finding its way to work out a new

India's Contingency Plan: Breaking up of Baluchistan

Rajiv Malhotra I agree with the analysis below. (AFGHANISTAN: INDIA'S CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR "THE DAY AFTER" )By Dr. Subhash Kapila . I have been writting for over a year that India is foolishly relying upon USA to secure itself against the AfPak talibanization threat. Most of the denial mode is based on: emotional weakness to consider scenarios that are unpleasant, the euphoria of "incredible India" that the stock market does not want to spoil, the Bollywood and cricket bubble in which india's middle class and elite want to remain blissfully intoxicated. The article below brings much needed realism. I would add two more points to it: 1) USA's departure might in fact INCLUDE a Pak deal in which it seems that US withdrawal is a "victory" because Pak army has "agreed" to "protect" US interests on its behalf. In other words, US might announce that it has outsourced t

The announcement of Balochistan package

Hafeez Hassan Abadi Source: Daily Tawar Newspaper Translated by: Archen Baloch The issue of Baloch and Balochistan has now attained the attention of entire world community. And it seems that the thinking of world community, towards Baloch issue, is taking a new form and shape. Baloch nation, once punished by British Empire by dividing Balochistan land into parts for being patriotic and liberalist who defied death to depend their homeland, has compelled world into thinking of new perspectives to address the new requirements and apprehensions, that if a nation adores its identity and homeland in either way, whether in love or hate, is far better than the hired slave, who is all set to do anything for its interests. Despite being a polarized and backward nation, Baloch are struggling to defend every inch of their homeland to the last drop their blood, even with desperate conditions, the courage, with which it’s confronting two powerful countries, has drawn the attention towards a