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Mr. Modi– do not court apartheid Israel in my name

I have never quite known the exact inflections to the label “World’s largest democracy” ??? that is accorded to my country, India.  Does it mean (a) that the Government is the most democratic? Or does it mean (b) that India is the most populous country that has a democratically elected government? The first interpretation would imply faith in the Indian state while the second interpretation, taken to its logical conclusion, would point to a faith in the Indian people who have over the years continued to opt for this form of government with all the known caveats of such a form being limited, class-based and often ineffectual.

Last week as hundreds of people exercised their democratic right and demonstrated in solidarity with their Palestinian sisters and brothers at the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, the Indian state violently attacked the unarmed, nonviolent demonstrators, injuring several and arresting several more.  But in doing so, it also settled once more the question of where the democratic impulse of a country truly lies: in its people, never in its state.

Why did the newly elected Modi government, fresh from an overwhelming electoral victory, risk exposing the steel fist behind his velvety rhetoric of ‘development’ and ‘acchhedeen’ [good days]?

Because a relationship with the Israeli state was worth a few wounded protesters.

New Delhi demo

New Delhi demo

India today provides the largest market for Israeli military equipment, accounting for nearly 50 % of Israel’s weapon’s sales.  The military business between the two nations is worth around US$9 billion.

Where so much money is involved can love be far behind? An extensive survey done by the Israeli foreign ministry in 2009 found that India surpassed the US in its ‘sympathy’ for the Israeli state.  According to this report “58% of Indian respondents showed sympathy to the Jewish State. The United States came in second, with 56% of American respondents sympathizing with Israel.”[1] Even if this single survey is close to accurate, it indicates that nearly half of India’s population does not currently sympathize with Israel.

India-Israel Relationship: The Anticolonial Legacy

Both India and Israel as nation-states were born a year apart from each other, but under radically different circumstances.  In 1947 India gained her independence from two hundred years of British rule through a massive anti-colonial movement of ordinary people.  The state of Israel was born in 1948 through the organized ethnic cleansing of 531 Palestinian villages, which forced 750,000 Palestinians into exile and more than 13,000 Palestinians dead with Britain playing midwife to this process.

Due to the radically different processes of their births, people who played leading roles in the anti-imperialist upsurge in India saw the argument for a Zionist state for what it was: an operation in dispossession and violence.  So Gandhi, commenting on British mandate of 1923, said:

My sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long companions. Through these friends I came to learn much of their age-long persecution. They have been the untouchables of Christianity. The parallel between their treatment by Christians and the treatment of untouchables by Hindus is very close. Religious sanction has been invoked in both cases for the justification of the inhuman treatment meted out to them. Apart from the friendships, therefore, there is the more common universal reason for my sympathy for the Jews.

But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justic

Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war [World War I]. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.

Thus, when the UN General Assembly voted on the Partition of Palestine in 1947, the newly born nation-state of India proudly voted against it.   Vijay Lakshmi Pandit was the Indian ambassador to the UN.  It was not coincidental that she was also one of the first women to become an UN Delegate and imprisoned several times by the British, a veteran of many street fights against colonial rule.

But it would be wrong to designate this gesture of solidarity towards Palestine as an act of generosity by the Indian State.  Instead, we ought to see the behavior of this generation of State leaders as acts of a group of politicians who had not yet coalesced themselves fully as a unified ruling class over their people.  Coming fresh from an insurgent mass anti-imperialist movement, the dust of their street fighting days still clung to their administrative robes and their distance with civil society was yet to be fully consolidated.

The international context too was very different that allowed such acts of solidarity to blossom.   Inspired by a wave of anti-imperialist struggles in Africa and Asia, fighters against oppression and racism in one country backed similar fights by their sisters and brothers elsewhere.  Israel was for example not invited to the 1955 Bandung Conference in Indonesia in respect of the protest of Arab states. Also, despite the post–War American state’s pugilist defense of Zionism, Indian people could never forget the tremendous solidarity ordinary American people showed for the freedom struggle in India.  The leading African American labor leader A. Philip Randolph, was one amongst many voices, who argued that “Negroes should back India” because the “freedom of the people of India” was “intimately tied up with the freedom of the Negro people of America.”[2] Similarly, Jawaharlal Nehru, as a leader of the anti-imperialist struggle in India, was one of the founding members of the League Against Imperialism (1927) alongside the leading internationalists of the era such as the Algerian freedom fighter Messali Hadj, J. T. Gumedi of the African National Congress and Albert Einstein.[3] (Nehru was less than perfect in his ‘anti-imperialism,’ it must be noted, when it came to India’s relationship to Kashmir).

It is precisely due to this global context of internationalism and solidarity that it is easy to identify the outliers: political forces that propagated the most vicious forms of nationalism, racism and tried from the outset to tie the broad interests of a anti-colonial mass movement to the narrow class interests of a State.

In India these were the Hindu nationalists who had earned their political colors through virulent anti-Muslim propaganda and violent anti-Muslim riots.  Their leader V. R. Savarkar, a founder figure for the present day BJP and RSS, was noted for his admiration of Adolph Hitler, his incitement towards pogroms against Muslims and—his admiration and support for Israel.  Indeed, his latter day admirers have correctly identified him as the “Hindu counterpart of a Zionist” for Savarkar from the very start “defined the Hindus as a nation attached to a motherland, rather than as a religious community”. [4]

India: From Anti-Colonialism to a Nation-State

The generation of anti-imperialists who took the helm of the Indian government soon realized that the class interests of the State were rarely going to coincide with the mass interests of the people, and as defenders of the State they began to learn to act as “special bodies of armed men placed above society”.  Thus the same Nehru who had stridently backed India’s UN vote against Israel in 1947, asked for Israel’s military support in his sub-imperialist war against China in 1962.  Of course, Nehru’s learning process as the guardian of State power had been aided by his brutal campaign against the Communist led peasants in Telengana, instructing the Indian Army to raze villages in Nagaland and shoot demonstrators in Kashmir, all the name of Indian ‘Unity’.[5] The Indian State was now beginning to tower over the past legacy of anti-imperialism and its own people.  It should thus come as no surprise that in a statement in 1954, Nehru recognizing the process in which Israel was established said that he would not “be a party to a resolution which stated that the creation of Israel was a violation of international law”.

And yet despite this uneven history, through the seventies and eighties, the Indian state was more noted for its pro-Arab profile than its backing of Zionism.  Things began to change from the late eighties due to three prominent factors:

First, the triumph of neoliberalism worldwide through the eighties meant that Global financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank could now impose punitive debt-regimes on the countries of the global South.  This required pliant national governments who would readily do their bidding and quell any protests from the people of these countries.  This also meant that the national ruling classes of these countries signed on to a project to defend and kowtow to US imperialism in general terms as the US army provided the firepower behind the paper contracts of the IMF.  This new re-orientation of these countries towards the US went hand in hand with a recalibration of their diplomatic ties with the US’s greatest ally: Israel.  In the case of India, the timeline for these processes could not be clearer: India signed on to economic liberalization in 1991.  In 1992, the Indian state re-established formal diplomatic ties with Israel.

Secondly and closely related to the developments above, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Stalinist regimes of Eastern Europe were important factors in this process of global realignment.  The fall of the USSR and its satellites engendered a triumphalist rhetoric that capitalism had won against ‘Socialism’ and all of its contending ideological barriers.  For those of us who grew up in India in the shadow of the Naxalite movement of the late sixties and with posters of Leila Khaledin our rooms, we witnessed a rapid replacement in public culture of anti-colonial or anti-capitalist icons with newly manufactured icons of a synthetic ‘Indian’ nationalism whose anti-colonial roots had been surgically removed.  Instead of the Bollywood hero of the forties who fought the British or the Bollywood hero of the seventies who fought the capitalist bosses, we had the new Bollywood hero who spent summers in Switzerland and always had the key to cosmopolitanism close at hand:  a can of Coca-Cola.  The political project of an US-led world order was thus not merely secured economically through bodies like the World Bank and the IMF, but also culturally through the creation and circulation of such images in the mass media.

Thirdly, the new “India” that came to be born in this era of neoliberal restructuring of the economy and the cultural milieu had a very specific enunciation.  The new muscular neoliberal nationalism was suffused very deliberately with the strong colors of majoritarian Hindu nationalism.  In the name of the nation, a frenzied Islamophobic campaign was whipped up by the Hindu nationalists precisely as the economy was being liberalized which ended in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and violent pogroms against Muslims.  The wave of nationalism culminated in the electoral rule of the Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, from 1997 to 2004 riding on the wave of an intense anti-Pakistan political rhetoric.  All of this had the effect of drawing the Indian state further closer to its new Zionist friend.  After all, for the Hindu nationalists, Israel had done what they aspired towards: a successful ‘containment’ of its Muslim population through either outright ethnic cleansing or political disenfranchisement.   The Israeli newspaper Haaretz correctly surmised: “Relations between Israel and India tend to grow stronger when … India experiences a rightward shift in anti-Muslim public opinion or in leadership”. [6]

From the River to the Sea

As I write this piece, Israel has moved in ground troops to Gaza after its twelve-day campaign of heavy bombardment, 80% of the casualties of which has been civilians.  Meanwhile, the Indian government has refused any discussion of this genocidal assault on a captive population, claiming India has “diplomatic ties with both nations and any discourteous reference to a friendly country would affect relations.” [7]

I am no longer surprised that this is the position of the Indian State—for it is now headed by a man who rose to political prominence over the systematic massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 and on the basis of promises to deliver to big business a healthy supply of cheap labor. He hopes to bind the Indian state more firmly to the Israeli apartheid state through the poisonous tendrils of Islamophobia and the networks of military profits.

But what is a state to do when the people it claims to represent go against its interests?

In 2012 Indian academics, students and social justice activists took up the call of Palestinian civil society to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel. [8]  This is of course a result of the internationalization of BDS as a movement across the globe.  But it is also due to the work of activists in India who have over the years consistently raised the question of Palestinian freedom and linking it to wider questions of US imperialism and the collusion of the Indian state.  These were people who had already witnessed the horror of anti-Muslim pogroms in their own country in 1992 in Mumbai, in 2002 in Gujarat.  They had seen the burning bodies and heard of the targeted rapes.  So they were very clear on the need to fight Islamophobia both within the borders of India and without.

New Delhi demo

New Delhi demo

Thus when Israel started bombing Gaza on July 8, people started mobilizing for their Palestinian brothers and sisters across several Indian cities. Several organizations gathered at the Israeli Embassy in the capital New Delhi to protest the massacre in Gaza.  Kavita Krishnan, a leading feminist and the President of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, told me:

We had reached the Embassy and sat outside the gate, raising slogans. And the Delhi police went berserk. They did not just remove us from the premises, they seemed to take personal offence at pro-Palestine slogans. So when four policewomen were dragging me away and I raised a slogan, one of them hit me on the mouth with her helmet. They used batons on the protesters (mostly students) and detained around 70 of us all day in a police station. The station house officer at the police station told other activists and lawyers who intervened that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs had been on their case for allowing a protest at the Israeli embassy!

…with BJP [in power], its cadre are trying to distort history and portray solidarity with Palestine as somehow ‘anti national’ and ‘pro-terrorist’! In fact, for India to side with Israel in this brutal massacre, is to do violence to the spirit of India’s own anti-colonial legacy.

As an immigrant who has been away for two decades from her country, I often wonder what images I ought to convey to my young daughter when she asks me about my land.  Should it be the indigo Passport that I hold in my hand as I cross international borders? Is it the face of the newly elected Prime Minister that only brings back for me memories of another genocide? Or is it the tricolor flag that I see people wave on ritual days to orchestrate difference with others?

After last week’s protests all over India in support of Palestine, I know I can tell my daughter that my country lies waiting in the defiance of its people and in the new histories that they are now writing of borderless solidarity.


[2] Gerald Horne, The End of Empires: African Americans and India (Temple University Press, 2008).

[3] Vijay Prashad, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (The New Press, 2008).


[5] Perry Anderson, The Indian Ideology (Verso: 2013).




Posted in India, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Kashmir: Martyrs’ Day is Alive

By Sajjad Shaukat

The Martyrs’ Day, known as Youme Shuhada-e-Kashmir is observed on July 13 every year on both sides of the Line of Control and all over the world by the Kashmiris to pay homage to 22 Kashmiris who were martyred in 1931 to free Kashmir from the brutalities of despotic Dogra rulers. The day is the milestone in the history of Kashmiri struggle against foreign occupation.

However, the history of Dogra rule (1846-1947) in Kashmir is replete with tyrannous treatment, meted out to the Kashmiri Muslims by Dogra forces. Under the Dogra rule, they were leading so miserable life that it was difficult to differentiate them from beasts. Slave labour, heavy taxes, capital punishment for cow slaughter, and living under constant terror was order of the day.

In this regard, Yousaf Saraf in his book, ‘Kashmiris Fight for Freedom’ calls it “free forced labour” and “instead of donkeys and horses, Kashmiri Muslims were used for transportation of goods across the far-flung areas.” Atrocities of the Dogra regime could also be judged from the book of Sir Walter Lawrence, ‘The India We Served’. While describing the pathetic picture of the Kashmiris, he writes, “Army was employed in forcing the villagers to plough and sow, and worse still, the soldiers came at harvest time and when the share of the state had been seized” and “there was very little grain to tide the unfortunate peasants over the cruel winter.”

On April 19, 1931, the ban of Eid Khutba (Sermon) ignited widespread demonstrations in the Jummu city for a number of days. It was followed by desecration of the Holy Quran at the hands of Dogra forces, which resulted into outrage among the Muslims throughout the state. In Srinagar, people gathered in Jamia Masjid to denounce this blasphemy. One such get-together was held in Khankah-e-Muella Srinagar, which was addressed by prominent Kashmiris. When the meeting was concluded, a youth, Abdul Qadeer, pointing his finger to the Maharaja’s palace, raised slogans “destroy its every brick.” With the accusation of sedition, he was arrested forthwith. Abdul Qadir was to be tried in the court but due to large public resentment, the court was shifted to Central Jail Srinagar.

On July 12, 1931, in response to the shifting of court, intense public protests were held throughout the city. The next day, on July 13, 1931, thousands of people thronged the Central Jail Srinagar to witness the in-camera trial of Abdul Qadeer. As the time for obligatory prayer approached, a young Kashmiri stood for Azan. The Dogra Governor, Ray Zada Tartilok Chand ordered soldiers to open fire at him. When he got martyred, another young man took his place and started Azan. He was also shot dead. In this way, 22 Kashmiris embraced martyrdom in their efforts to complete the Azan. The people carried the dead and paraded through the streets of Srinagar, chanting slogans against Dogra brutalities. Complete strike was observed in the city, which was followed by weeklong mourning. This incident shook the whole state and the traffic from Srinagar to Rawalpindi and Srinagar to Jammu came to halt from July 13 to 26, 1931. The 22 martyrs are buried in Martyrs’ Graveyard at Khawaja Bazar, Srinagar.

Consequent upon these brutal killings, the Kashmiri leadership realized the need to form a political party, Muslim Conference (MC) with a view to waging struggle for their freedom. Later, in 1934, state’s first elections were held and MC won 10 out of 21 seats, and after two years in 1936, it succeeded in getting 19 out of 21 seats. Indian Congress was upset with this situation and tried to create division in the ranks of Kashmiri leadership. Afterwards, on July 19, 1947, MC passed a resolution to merge Kashmir with Pakistan, considering the geographical proximity—majority of Muslim population (77%), language and cultural relations of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ironically, despite a lapse of 66 years, Kashmiris are still struggling and sacrificing to achieve their alienable right under the UN resolutions for the plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir Valley is one of the most heavily militarized regions in the world with Indian 7 million armed security forces which are perpetrating various forms of state terrorism on the innocent Kashmiris. Since 1989, a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against the Kashmiris has been manifested in brutal tactics such as crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, from January 1989 to December 2013, there have been deaths of 93,984 innocent Kashmiris, 7,014 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests, 1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed,  1,07,466 children orphaned and  10,086 women gang-raped/molested.

Indian brutal securities forces have continued these atrocities—extrajudicial killings in way or the other.  From January 1 to June 15, 2014, there have been deaths of 54 innocent Kashmiris, 09 custodial killings, 3438 arrests, 08 destruction of houses or buildings, 02 women widowed, 03 children orphaned and 34 women gang-raped/molested.

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers to shoot suspected persons.”

In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.

It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of mass graves without markers. In this regard, in the last few years, rights groups discovered nearly 3,000 unnamed graves in the various districts of Kashmir. In this respect, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves. The report indicated 2,156 unidentified bodies which were found in mass graves in various regions of the Indian-held Kashmir.

Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.

In its report China’s leading News Agency Xinhua has unearthed more gruesome details on world-stunning unmarked graves in Poonch of the Indian occupied Kashmir. The report revealed the statement of Sofi Aziz Joo, caretaker of a graveyard as saying, “Police and Army used to bring those bodies and direct me to bury them. The bodies were usually bullet-ridden, mutilated, faces disfigured and sometimes without limbs and heads.”

While, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and rights groups have pointed out that more than 10,000 people have disappeared, accusing government forces of staging fake gun battles to cover up killings. They also revealed that suspected persons had been arrested and were murdered through arbitrary executions, and then buried in unmarked graves.

It seems that non-condemnation of these Indian massive human rights violations and non-interference for the settlement of this issue by the so-called civilized international community, especially the US have further encouraged New Delhi to keep on going with its state terrorism on the armless Kashmiri masses. Ignorance of the issue by them involves the risk of nuclear war between Pakistan and India.

Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. New Delhi reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien rule.

It is notable that dialogue between India and Pakistan took place on a number of occasions, but produced no outcome, prolonging the agony of the subjugated people of the occupied Kashmir due to Indian intransigence.

Nevertheless, observance of Kashmiris’ freedom struggle during the Martyrs’ Day every year is reaffirmation of the fact that Kashmiris will continue to fight against Indian illicit occupation. In this context, Youme Shuhada-e-Kashmir is an ideal day for Kashmiris to seek inspiration to take their war of liberation to its logical end. At this time of distress, the people of Pakistan’s side are sharing the grief of Kashmiri freedom lovers. Pakistan also observes Youme Shudaha-e-Kashmir on July 13, launching a protest against the oppressive polices of Indian occupation, which have continued against the hapless Kashmiris.

Nonetheless, on July 13, all over the world, Kashmiris renew their pledge to continue the ongoing war of liberation for the accomplishment of their right of self-determination and for the independence of Kashmir from the despotic Indian rulers who continue state terrorism in the Indian-controlled Kashmir like the Dogra rulers. Therefore, Martyrs’ Day is alive today.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power


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Pakistan: Controlling Media for Elimination of Terrorism



By Sajjad Shaukat

Terrorism is based on symbolic strategy to communicate connotative meanings by conveying the message to different segments of society and administrative echelons that terrorists are powerfully dangerous, deadly and treacherous. Hence, the terrorists select sensitive targets like airports, women, children and lone bread-earners of a family, Police officials, judges and others representatives (Personnel) of the law enforcing agencies, security forces and so on.

In case of Pakistan, it is openly stated that terrorists are not invincible, and that they can be eliminated through power of the state, coupled with collective efforts of various entities of the country.

For the purpose, contents of media reports must be properly monitored and strongly censored prior to broadcast. Media must follow a code of conduct and journalistic ethics, as envisaged by the profession of journalism and in accordance with the national interests. The official or self-control mechanism, related to the war against terrorism is essential for the Pakistani media, particularly for the TV channels. Media must project that state is more powerful than the misled bands of terrorist outfits.

In this regard, the electronic media should not buy the panic-ridden messages of the militants, portraying them as the most dangerous and powerful elements who will play havoc with the targeted victims. Rather, the media should indicate that terrorists are weak and fragile; therefore, they undertake heinous missions stealthily. Media must exploit their vulnerabilities by projecting their true worth.

Especially, our media must be fully controlled in order to conduct successful counter-terror operations, and should be used as a support element of the state. It should not be allowed to conduct selective coverage of events such as showing mutilated bodies, severely injured people, destruction of property and brutally smashed scenes of surrounding.

Live coverage of operation should not be permitted. If, it is allowed, it should be specifically authorized by the highest level of command or administration and should be used only, when it is beneficial to Pakistan’s national interests or positive projection of our own image.

It is notable that in the recent past, the electronic media recklessly failed to demonstrate sense of censor, showing maturity in live coverage of the Karachi Airport operation against the militants. In this context, certain information including move of own echelons, different steps or techniques, used by own forces, supervision of operation by a particular tier of command, arrival of higher officials and reports submitted to Army’s high command etc. were required to be strongly censored, as the same information was also made available to terrorists through live coverage. Live coverage of security personnel moving in a particular direction was utterly irresponsible, as such movements were part of the operation, the outcome of which was yet to be decided. The operation was to proceed in different phases to imbalance and eliminate the terrorists. This required media to show sustainable patience, calmness, self-control and forbearance. A line must be drawn beyond what media should not be allowed to operate and make noise.

Irresponsible media coverage creates misperceptions and demoralizes own forces. This also entails conducting proper training of media reporters and anchors which must be ensured by media houses.

Besides, in crisis situation, lives are at risk. In this connection, media should not disclose names of victims, vital locations, forces, weapons, used and tactics adopted. It is also duty of media to create and maintain sense of hope among domestic audience, especially when the operation is still going on.

There should be an effective media controlling body to monitor and direct the media to engage in media coverage of sensitive installations such as airports, air bases and other security outfits.

Nevertheless, it is better that during counter-terrorism operations, media must be fully controlled and kept out. This will help all tiers of command to maintain their effectiveness against the terrorists, and achieve their objectives. Simply speaking, if media is controlled, the terrorism can be easily eliminated.

Every one knows that during this different war against terrorism, Pakistan is passing through a very crucial moment. In this context, besides other terror-attacks at various places of the country, massacre of the innocent Shia pilgrims in Balochistan, attack on Karachi Airport and suicidal assault on the Security Force at Boya, which occurred within 24 hours prove the fact that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jahngvi (LeJ), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and other separatist outfits like the Baluch sub-nationalists have connections with one another. They are behind several terror-attacks and sectarian violence, as assisted by American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad. These insurgent groups are responsible for human rights violations in Baluchistan and other places of Pakistan. Undoubtedly, these internal banned outfits have a nexus with a single aim to destabilize Pakistan at foreign behest. Their foreign masters synchronized these cowardly acts in darkness to hurt Pakistan domestically, regionally and internationally. Question arises, who are the real beneficiary—only those who move strings of traitors living in Pakistan. However, we must unite against our true enemies.

While claiming responsibility for Karachi Airport assault by the TTP after recovery of Indian-made weapons, ammunition and chemical syringes from the militants clearly indicates that Indian RAW is directly involved in all terrorist activities in Pakistan. In this drastic development, should we always remain silent to keep the so-called Aman ki Asha (Desire for peace) with New Delhi alive?

In fact, TTP which is fulfilling the sinister designs of Pakistan’s external enemies was playing the double game like its foreign masters. It orchestrated Jirgas of the tribesmen just to gain strength and time to resolve their own internal differences. At the same time, they conducted brutal attacks against Pakistan’s strategic installations and assets to obtain nefarious aims to malign us in international community and destabilize our commercial hub, Karachi. We must not tolerate this any longer.

It is mentionable that the military operation, “Zarb-e-Azb” against the militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) has rapidly been making progress, as the jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed militants’ hideouts, and Pak Army has been recapturing the areas, controlled by the TTP. So far, armed forces have killed several militants, destroyed their bomb-making factories and forced more than 40 insurgents to surrender before the Army. The operation is successfully achieving its objectives due to the fact that the entire Pakistani nation—civil society, political parties, media houses and opinion builders fully supported military operation against terrorists and their bases in NWA. No doubt, the progress of the operation is very encouraging, showing sense of hope and optimism that a broad-based military operation will annihilate the terrorists, smashing their safe havens in North Waziristan regions.

But, despite this cooperation which shows national unity for the North Waziristan operation, our media needs responsibility for elimination of terrorism in the country. In this respect, official press briefings are earnestly essential, as their absence would add to chaos and state of uncertainty, allowing media to act without any direction, and requisite restrain or responsibility. A mechanism must be prepared to control media affairs (especially when any operation is going on) through designated officials.

Again, live coverage of an event should be sparingly done and efforts must be made to support the state organs—law enforcing agencies and the security forces. Media must not be allowed to glorify the terrorists through their irresponsible and careless reporting. Therefore, it is correct to construe that proper control over media which is the key to eliminate terrorism is need of the hour. Let us do it before it is too late.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations


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US caused rise of jihadist forces


Women marching in support of Afghan revolutionary leader Taraki.

When Western politicians and pundits point the finger of blame at the people of the Middle East for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, it is especially insulting. It is US foreign policy that has led to the rise of jihadist forces. Cases in point are the examples of Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq.


First, let’s take Iran. How did the Islamic Republic come into being? Let’s go back to the CIA’s first large scale operational success, the 1953 coup.  This is at a time when, thanks to its 1906 Constitutional Revolution, the country had a parliamentary system. In April 1951, Mohammad Mossadegh, a nationalist leader, was elected prime minister. Britain called for, and the United States supported, a worldwide embargo of Iran’s oil. Mossadegh was demonized by the imperialist media. Time Magazine called Mossadegh a “mad man.”

The CIA and the British MI6 developed a comprehensive plan called Operation AJAX. The mastermind of the plot was CIA Middle-East agent, Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of President Teddy Roosevelt. The plot involved organizing right-wing military leaders and financing groups of criminal elements. Street riots of bands of thugs were staged, offices of newspapers loyal to Mossadegh were burned, and the parliament was attacked. Then, the CIA-designated generals arrested Mossadegh and declared Martial Law. The Shah was put on the throne as a tyrant with absolute power.

The Western media celebrated the CIA coup. The New York Times wrote: “underdeveloped countries with rich resources now have an object lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid by one of their number which goes berserkwith fanatical nationalism.”

Following the coup, the client state unleashed a wave of arrests, torture and executions. Before the coup, the leftist Tudeh Party had been the largest organized force. The nationalists were also strong and well-organized. But now, any opposition to the Shah’s regime was repressed with extreme brutality.

Still, despite all the repression, there was bound to be resistance to the Shah’s dictatorship. And this resistance led to the revolution of February 1979. But by the time of the revolution, the left and the secular nationalist forces had been crushed, so the revolution was led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Islamic Republic is not an ultra-reactionary force like Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIL. But in a country where the left used to be the strongest organized force, thanks to the CIA coup, only the clergy was in position to win power in 1979.


In Afghanistan, the US role in the rise of Islamic forces was not indirect. The US organized and funded them. Afghanistan had a communist-led social transformation, what is called the Saur Revolution. In April 1978, the government tried to crush the country’s main communist party, the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan, and arrested almost its entire leadership.

An uprising by the lower ranks of the military freed the popular party leader, Nur Mohammad Taraki. On April 27, the PDPA and progressive members of the Afghan military overthrew the monarchy of Zaher Shah. Two days later, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in celebration. Many waved the red flags of the PDPA, a party with close to 50,000 members that had wide popular support in the cities.

In a country of less than 20 million, 200,000 peasants received land from the PDPA government. The revolutionary state set up extensive literacy programs. The government trained many teachers, built schools and kindergartens and instituted nurseries for orphans. By 1985, there had been an 80% increase in hospital beds. The government initiated mobile medical units and brigades of women and young people to go to the undeveloped countryside and provide medical services to the peasants for the first time.

Afghanistan made tremendous progress during this era. But the era came to a quick end. Immediately following the revolution, the CIA organized counter-revolutionary forces. Washington formed and funded a militia of mercenaries supported by feudal landowners. This militia called itself the Mujahedeen. The Carter administration called them “freedom fighters.”

Al Qaeda and other jihadists militias today trace their roots to the Mujahedeen. The US organized them, trained them and funded them. Osama bin Laden was one of the leaders of the Mujahedeen. The Mujahedeen carried out a terror campaign in the countryside, torturing and murdering teachers, doctors and women who worked outside of the home.

Western media coverage of developments in Afghanistan was simply that the Soviet Union invaded to expand its so-called empire. But the Soviet Union had no intention of conquering Afghanistan. The Afghan government insistently requested Soviet military assistance and the Soviets only reluctantly agreed to do so. Zbignew Brezhinski, at the time Carter’s national security adviser, later revealed that US support for the Mujahedeen started in July of 1979, months before the Soviet intervention.

The huge cost of Soviet military involvement in Afghanistan, their arms race with US imperialism and a shift to the right in the leadership, resulted in the Soviet Union pulling troops out of Afghanistan in 1989.

But the revolutionary Afghan government did not collapse when the Soviets pulled out. Supporters of the regime fought bravely against a better-armed and well-funded force. It wasn’t until 1992, three years later, that the Afghan government fell to the Mujahedeen. Then the rival factions of the Mujahedeen started fighting each other. In 1996, the Taliban, a faction formed from some Mujahedeen fighters, took power with backing from Pakistan’s ISI. The Taliban gained control of most of Afghanistan. When the Taliban took over, Washington moved to work with them. It was only after Sept. 2001 that the US made the Taliban its enemy. And to this day, the misery of the Afghan people continues thanks to the U.S. occupation.


Modern Iraq came into being in the aftermath of World War I with the Sykes-Picot agreement. The former Ottoman provinces of Basra, Baghdad and Mosul became the new British mandate of Iraq. The country was ruled by a British-installed monarchy, and continued to be occupied by British military bases.

But on July 14, 1958, a military rebellion led by Abd al-Karim Qasim and the Free Officers movement turned into a country-wide revolution. The revolution put an end to colonial domination and marked the beginning of Iraq’s real independence.

Over the next three decades, the US applied many tactics to weaken and undermine Iraq as an independent country. After Iraq completed nationalizing the Iraqi Petroleum Company in 1972 and signed a defense treaty with the USSR, the US added Iraq to its list of “terrorist states.”

Washington supported the more rightist elements within the post-revolution political structure against the communist and left-nationalist forces. For example, the US backed the overthrow and assassination of President Abd al-Karim Qasim in 1963. And Washington applauded the suppression of the left and unions by the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party governments in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the 1980s, the US encouraged and helped to fund and arm Iraq, under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, in its war against Iran. Iraq was not a client state but the US wanted to weaken the Iranian revolution and the Iraqi state both. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger summarized the real US attitude about the war: “I hope they kill each other.”

And then there was the so-called first Gulf War in 1991, when the US destroyed much of Iraq. More than 88,500 tons of bombs were dropped on the country. The civilian infrastructure throughout the country—water, power, phone and sewage systems, food and medicine production, storage facilities, schools and hospitals, roads and bridges, and more—were targeted, often many times over.

The sanctions on Iraq were the most comprehensive in history; in reality, it was a blockade of the country that was to last for 13 years, killing more than 1 million people, half of them children under the age of five. The sanctions lasted through the presidencies of Bush I, Clinton and Bush II, up to the 2003 invasion,

Still, the desired goal of regime change was not achieved. It became clear that regime change could only be accomplished by a military invasion. After a major public relations campaign, US and British forces invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003. The entire government and state apparatus was disbanded, from the military to the government ministries to the state-run food-distribution and health-care systems.

The occupying forces ripped apart the social fabric of the country. They deliberately promoted ethnic and religious conflicts to weaken resistance. As a result, while most Iraqis primarily identified themselves as Iraqis prior to the occupation, now the occupiers have created a deep divide between Shiite and Sunni.

What finally worked for the occupiers was not military victories. It was General Petraeus’ so-called surge strategy. It wasn’t so much the actual surge of the troop numbers, however. It was putting a number of former resistance fighters on the US military payroll. Up to that time, by supporting Shiite militiamen connected to the Iraqi government, the US had effectively promoted a campaign of ethnic cleansing by US allied Shiite forces against the Sunni population, who were killed in the thousands and forced out of their homes and neighborhoods. Al Qaeda forces had also done the opposite, massacring the Shiite and destroying their holy sites. Now, fighting for their community’s survival, significant numbers of resistance fighters accepted the US offer to become part of the military.

One of the reasons that ISIL has made such impressive gains is that the military did not fight them. And the military did not fight them because much of the rank and file and the officers see Maliki as a sectarian Shiite, not as the prime minister of Iraq.

There are many other examples of the US weakening independent states in the Middle East, the most recent being Libya. Also, Israel has consistently played a key role in weakening left and nationalist Arab governments and forces.

So, on the question of why Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise, we should give credit where it’s due: The U.S. government.

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Pakistan: Begging is a Social Curse


By Sajjad Shaukat

Although begging is very common in the less developed countries, yet in case of Pakistan, it is

free, having no restriction. It has turned into a profession and is not only for the poor, disabled,

invalidated and injured people, but is owned as a choice by many who believe that begging is a

thriving business. Presently the administration seems unconcerned as the social evil of begging

flourishes under their nose.

Begging which is a social curse is not caused by poverty; rather it reflects a predisposition, an

attitude and an outlook, which entails use of disguising tricks to emotionally exploit the public.

The aim is to fleece money. The menace of begging has become a spot of dirt on the face of the

Muslim community throughout the world. It is regrettable that the Muslims are ridiculed and

criticized because of this increasing curse. In this context, in October 2012, while talking in a

Lebanese TV-talk show, Swedish-Algerian Journalist Yahya Abu Zakaria said, “In accordance

with the European law for support of religions and cultural diversity, the state provides Muslims

with funding, and the managers of the mosques steal those funds and every mosque in Europe

However, we can witness that as the holy month of RAMZAN commenced with religious spur,

spiritual drive and an inner urge to seek Allah’s blessing and enhance holy devoutness, an

alarming upsurge in the number of beggars surfaced in every market and public place.

Deplorably, begging has emerged as a profession, having correlation with divine months, sacred

events and sanctified occasions. Beggars fully understand that people of Pakistan driven by their

Islamic values and religious obligations offer charity with generosity and kindness during holy

month of RAMAZAN. They also know the public belief system especially among God fearing

wealthy and well to do families that magnanimous donations and charitable funds, given to the

poor during RAMZAN would enable them to obtain Allah’s endorsement (RAZZA). Hence, they

flood the marketplaces, busy streets and scuttled squares to get their share of charity.

In this regard, the philanthropists perceive that beggars are poor, while the professional beggars

artfully fleece money, using different pretexts and employing unique guises. The beggars usually

resort to emotional exploitation of innocent people by observing the psyche of the latter. Public

generally misperceive that poverty is the main cause of begging, whereas beggars use religion

as a ruse or excuse to beg. Therefore, many beggars become fake pious persons with tall claims

of spiritual strength and ability to ensure spiritual healings against psychological abnormality.

Others simply extend their begging hands before every passerby, depicting their poverty ridden

The former president of South Africa and Nobel Prize winner for peace, Nelson Mandela, the

late once said, “Poverty is not by accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is manmade and can be

removed by the actions of human beings.

Islam clear denounces the menace of begging. In this context, our Holy Prophet (PBUH)

loathed the culture of begging and introduced the system of ZAKAAT to help the needy with

respect and honor. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) also said that on the Day of Judgment, the beggar

(professional) will not have flesh on his face. This indicates the extent of the Holy Prophet

(PBUH)’s abhorrence for begging. But, despite this, beggars are being encouraged by the public

and the government in one or the other way, in most of Islamic countries, especially Pakistan.

There is an old maxim, ‘The beggars are not choosers, but, in fact, ground realities show, ‘The

It is our misfortune that the profession of begging is heaving and surging in Pakistan and there

is no official or administrative check on it. In this connection, the most alarming development

is that there are rumours and unconfirmed media reports that terrorists are also using the

symptomatic disguise of beggars. Some analysts remarked that Tarnole (Rawalpindi) suicide

attack against services and agencies’ vehicle was undertaken by a man, dressed in beggar’s

clothing. The attack resulted into martyrdom of two senior Army officers (Colonels). Hence,

there is the need to control the increasing numbers of beggars in the country.

Some reports and surveys also suggest that there are some ‘mafia groups’ which are behind

the beggars, and use them in collecting money through this menace. Moreover, under the guise

of beggars, some cases of theft have also come to the limelight. According to a sociologist,

“begging darkens all the qualities of a person {Beggar},” could positively be utilized for the

In order to check the begging, Pakistan’s religious scholars (Ulemas), sociologists and media

must play their role because, it has become a social curse, which is resulting into other related

problems, affecting other fields of the society.

These internal entities must propagate that in case of Pakistan, begging is free for all

phenomenon. And has turned into a profession and is not only for the poor, disabled, invalidated

and injured people, but is adopted as a choice by several persons who believe that begging is a

By showing the true picture of the beggars, these entities must educate those wealthy persons

who are always willingly to fulfill the desires of the former. They must point out that begging

is not caused by poverty; rather it reflects an idiosyncrasy and a position which involves use

of disguising tricks to emotionally manipulate the public psyche, with the sole aim to collect

Nevertheless, increasing number of beggars on the roads, street, market and public places present

awkward scenes which tarnish the national image of Pakistan in the comity of the civilized

nations, while the millions are deceived by the beggars.

Again, terrorists using beggars’ disguise become more lethal, as people tend to approach

beggars, without fear to offer charities. Particularly, media and civil society must denounce

begging, while administration—Police and other Law-enforcing agencies must check

uncontrolled begging and undertake measures to provide ZAKAT to the needy by discouraging

downtrodden way of making money (begging). The government needs to take necessary steps,

and special squad be established to undertake the job. Strict action must also be taken against

the ‘mafia groups’ which are backing the beggars in order to obtain money.

Nonetheless, if not curtailed in time, the begging which is a social curse which in turn, brings

about ill-measurable social evils is likely to continue by giving a greater blow to Pakistan.

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Pakistan: Feel pain and Assist the IDPs



By Sajjad Shaukat

While the military operation, “Zarb-e-Azb” against the militants in North Waziristan Agency

(NWA) has rapidly been making progress, as the jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed

militants’ hideouts, and Pak Army has been recapturing the areas, controlled by the Tehreek-e-
Taliban Pakistan (TTP). So far, armed forces have killed several militants, destroyed their bomb-
making factories and forced more than 30 insurgents to surrender before the Army.

The operation is successfully achieving its objectives due to the fact that the entire Pakistani

nation—civil society, political parties, media houses and opinion builders fully supported

military operation against terrorists and their bases in NWA. No doubt, the progress of the

operation is very encouraging, showing sense of hope and optimism that a broad-based military

operation will annihilate the terrorists, smashing their safe havens in North Waziristan regions.

However, the operation has another vital dimension, having extraordinary demands for the entire

nation including political parties, religious groups, media houses, philanthropist communities,

economically sound individuals and social workers to feel the pain of the Internally Displaced

Persons (IDPs), coming from NWA, and extend maximum assistance to the government and the

semi-government agencies which are engaged in accommodating the IDPs and facilitating their

temporary settlements in the camps especially prepared for the purpose.

Unfortunately, the exodus of IDPs into settled areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other

regions is coupled with multifarious issues, as massive departure of families including innocent

civilians, women, children and elderly ones along with their personal belongings and animals

pose pathetic scenes in the sizzling heat and rough weather conditions.

It is heartening to know that with the start of the North Waziristan operation, certain volunteer

outfits quickly moved towards the expected routes of migrating crowds, offering them drinking

water, food and some relief to protect them from the scorching heat.

In this regard, Pakistan Air Force provided thousands of food packets to the IDPS, Ex-Service

Men dispatched first consignment of relief goods—eatables, drugs etc. Meanwhile, ISPR

said that initially, 454207 IDPs from NWA have been registered so far at Saidgai registration

point. Six ration distribution points have been established for IDPs, 3 at Bannu, 2 at DI Khan and

one at Tank. Detailed distribution of 4473 Tons of ration for 40000 families commenced from

June 25. Each Ration bag carries 20/80 Kg of Atta as per size of the family, cooking oil 5 Litre,

Dall 9 Kg, Date 1 Kg, and tea 1 Kg. 32 Relief goods collection points have been established by

Army in all major cities of the country for collection of donations. Earlier, the army donated one

day salary for relief to the IDPs. According to latest statement of the government, the number of

the IDPs from North Waziristan’s tribal region is likely to go up to 700,000.

It is good sign that IDPs are already being helped by the federal and provincial governments

including political and religious parties. But we must appreciate Malik Riaz of Bahria Town who

gave Rs.50 crore with promise to provide food and prepare shelters to the migrated persons of

the North Waziristan areas. He has announced to give shelter to the 100000 IDPs.

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Collective Wisdom for North Waziristan Operation


By Sajjad Shaukat

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy in the US homeland, American government,

opposition, media and public had become one by showing collective wisdom, because the

country was at war against the non-sovereign entities, popularly called terrorists.

When the Pakistan Government decided to launch the ongoing military operation “Zarb-e-Azb”

against the militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took

the nation into confidence through parliament and senate, asserting that Pakistan would not be

allowed to become safe havens of terrorists. He further stated that military operation would

continue till achievement of ultimate objectives. Earlier, DG, ISPR Directorate, Major-Gen.

Asim Saleem Bajwa stated, “On the directions of the Government, Armed forces of Pakistan

have launched the operation against foreign and local terrorists…who had been waging a war

against the state of Pakistan by disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our

economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property…with the support of the entire

nation, these enemies will be denied space across the country.” On June 16, 2014, Chief of Army

Staff, General Raheel Sharif also pointed out, “Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been launched with

the objectives of rooting out terrorists, eliminate their sanctuaries in NWA and rid the country of

Since June 15 when the military operation started, the jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed

militants’ hideouts in North Waziristan, and killed more than 300 insurgents including foreign

militants, while Pak Army has also started ground offensive which has successfully been

achieving its goals. Recently, several militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have

been killed and more than 20 surrendered before the Army.

Although Pakistan’s media, politicians, leaders of religious parties and general masses are

showing solidarity with the armed forces, which could be judged from the countrywide protests

and rallies in support of the North Waziristan operation, and assistance to the Internally

Displaced Persons (IDPs), yet incorrect impression is being created by some propagandists like

political parties—JI and JUI (F) that the government and the Army were not on the same page

regarding militancy, counter-terrorism and the military action in NWA. They are spreading

rumours that the present operation was started on the US pressure.

Meanwhile, some elements are also manipulating the statement of the former DG ISPR, Maj-
Gen. Athar Abbas who said on July 1, this year that the decision to launch a full scale operation

against terrorists in North Waziristan had been taken by the military leadership in 2010, but

it could not be initiated due to the indecision of the former Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez

It is notable that during the Chicago Summit, and when DG of Inter-Services Intelligence

agency, Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam met with CIA Director David Petraeus in 2012, some internal

and external entities, especially the US media were spreading disinformation that the two spy

chiefs agreed on joint operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and had named the planned

offensive in North Waziristan as operation, “Tight Screw.”

It was owing to the rumours spread by external media, and also unfortunately by our internal

political parties and media that reports of military operation in North Waziristan caused a lot of

panic among the majority of locals who had begun fleeing the area.

Taking cognizance of the baseless media reports, on August 17, 2012, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez

Kayani categorically dispelled the speculative reporting in foreign media regarding joint

operation in North Waziristan. He reiterated, “We might, if necessary, undertake operation in

NWA, in the timeframe of our choosing and requirements” as “determined only by our political

and military requirements. It will never be a result of any outside pressure.”

Earlier, while stressing upon national unity, Gen. Kayani especially stated on June 9, 2011,

“Any effort to create division among important institutions of the country is not in national

interest…the people of Pakistan whose support the army has always considered vital for its

operations against terrorists.”

While dispelling the misperception about the military operation in North Waziristan, DG, ISPR

Major-Gen. Asim clarified on June 27, this year, “It is solely a Pakistan Army operation and not

a joint Pak-US military offensive”, adding that “Pakistani security forces are capable of doing

However, it is our misfortune that certain political parties and religious groups in pursuance

of their political interests appear to have lost sight of collective wisdom which is essential for

obtaining national goals by fighting and eliminating the scourge of terrorism.

Now, a broad-based operation has been launched to smash terrorists’ hideouts in North

Waziristan areas and flush out all militants from Pakistani soil. This envisages provision

of consummating public support, backing by political parties, media and civil society. The

government has to maintain its resolve to eliminate terrorism, using assorted counter-terrorism

strategy, whereas politicians must maintain order by postponing rallies, train marches, relegating

politics of protest and deferring party programmes to hold political meetings.

In this respect, violent brawls between Punjab Police and members of Pakistan Awami Tehreek

(PAT) in Lahore, on June 17, which led to live firing and killing of innocent people including

women is absolutely deplorable and inappropriate. But, in wake of the present operation against

the militants, there is a need to remain peaceful, and render all available assistance to the

government so as to thwart all game plan of terrorists rather than opening new conflicting façade

Nevertheless, collective wisdom requires that the nation must remain united as the military

operation continues against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency. For this purpose, local dissent

and protests must be postponed to show solidarity with the rulers as well as the armed forces.

No doubt, media, political parties, religious scholars and civil society deserve appreciation for

showing cohesive harmony during testing times of the military operation. In this context, the

concerned authorities must prepare comprehensive plan to engage with media for its further

favourable support to the operation. Initial success of unity among different segments of society

must be capitalized by offering detailed briefings to media about progress of the operation and

Particularly, IDPs which are already being helped by the federal and provincial governments

including political and religious parties, and other renowned persons like Malik Riaz of Bahria

Town must further be accommodated—and those trapped in war zone be rescued by bringing

them to safe areas. Government must reach out to public of North Waziristan areas with a sense

of deep compassion and sympathy.

At this critical juncture, political parties and religious leaders must postpone their schedules of

train marches, protest rallies, political meetings, and show-off congregations till the objectives of

military operation are achieved. In this regard, postponement of train march by Sheikh Rasheed

Besides, violent police action against members of PAT, which resulted into killing of innocent

people including women, must be thoroughly investigated, and responsibility must be fixed

against all tiers of command and levels of the administration.

As the TTP-led terrorists had accelerated their anti-social, undemocratic and un-Islamic

practices, therefore, people from all segments of life wanted that a handful of terrorist elements

must not be allowed to dictate their agenda and to impose their self-perceived ideology on the

majority of Pakistanis. So, the right hour has come that Pakistan’s media, politicians and leaders

of religious parties must show solidarity with the armed forces by also rejecting the propaganda

of these zealots against the security forces in relation to the ongoing military operation in North

Nonetheless, nation must be united in the face of threat posed by terrorism. The success of

the military operation and defeat of the terrorists will become assured, if the ruling and the

opposition parties including all the segments of society display practical unity not only with one

another, but also with the armed forces, which is also necessary to maintain order at this sensitive

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

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Thousands Call for ‘No War’ as Japanese Govt Authorizes Re-Militarization


Reinterpretation of Constitution marks dramatic shift from decades-long pledge to pacifism

- Lauren McCauley

Thousands demonstrated outside the prime minister’s office in Tokyo in Monday against the remilitarization of the country. (Screenshot via Ruptly TV)Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday announced that despite public opposition the government of Japan was re-authorizing the military, marking a dramatic shift from the nation’s decades-long pledge to pacifism.

In a meeting Tuesday, the government Cabinet approved a reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, permitting Japan to now exercise the right to “collective self defense.” The post-World War II document forbids the use of force in all cases except when the nation comes under direct attack, outlaws war as a means to settle international disputes, and disallows maintaining armed forces with war potential.

According to The Asahi Shimbun, the reinterpretation of the document broadens the definition of “individual self-defense” to include “the defense of allies,” now allowing military force to be used on collective security operations sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council.

By reinterpreting Article 9, rather than changing the document altogether, Abe avoids having to hold a national referendum on a constitutional change.

Ahead of the announcement, roughly 10,000 people protested outside the government offices in Tokyo on Monday, calling for Abe’s resignation.

“Stop war. Stop Abe,” they shouted while wielding placards and banging drums, theAssociated Press reports. “Protect the Constitution!”

One demonstrator reportedly set himself on fire to protest the remilitarization.

“Can we really keep peace by sending young people to a distant battlefield?” protester Yoshiki Yamashita said during the demonstration, which carried on into Tuesday. Abe has cited China’s military expansion and missile and nuclear threats from North Korea as the reason behind the reinterpretation.

As the Japan Times reports, the country is now permitted to come to the aid of an allied nation if:

The attack on that country poses a clear danger to Japan’s survival or could fundamentally overturn Japanese citizens’ constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

There is no other way of repelling the attack and protecting Japan and its citizens.

The use of force is limited to the minimum necessary.

The U.S. is expected to welcome their ally’s turn away from pacifism. The U.S. has made repeated calls for Japan expand their security operations, the Japan Times reports, and the two countries are expected to “revise by the end of the year their guidelines for defense cooperation.”


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Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister

Narendra Modi

By Graham Peebles

The landslide victory of Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in May 2014’s parliamentary elections does not bode well for the 800 million or so Indians living in destitution, or the 120 million minority Muslims in the country, or the Adivasi (indigenous) people and Dalit groups sitting on resource-rich land in Orissa, Jharkhand and elsewhere.

Modi may well come from a humble background but his loyalties lie firmly with the corporations of India, not the chai wallahs working the train station at Vadnagar in Gujarat State, like his father once did. And certainly not the Adivasi families being forced from their homes to make way for multinational bulldozers, or the marginalized millions on the fringes of India’s cities who live in tin shacks with no sanitation or healthcare, where children play alongside open sewers and women work on mountains of refuse collecting Chinese plastics for a few rupees a day.

A dangerous lurch to the extreme right

Modi is a far right Hindu nationalist whose election suggests India is entering its most sinister period since independence, as Indian author Pankaj Mishra put it. Hindu nationalism is an exclusive club made up of upper-caste Hindus who form the ruling elite; it is of course closed to the devout worshipers from the lower castes. Modi’s BJP openly promotes the ideal of an India run by and for Hindus. It is “quite open about its belief in the Hindu India… where everybody else lives… as second-class citizens”. Modi’s rise to electoral stardom is a “terribly sad thing and something to be ashamed of”, says Arundhati Roy.

The man and his message was polished, packaged and sold like any other fizzy brand, with advertised promises of economic revival and goodies galore.

Modi’s election campaign was the most expensive ever staged in India, funded as all these political games are by the men with the money. The billionaires and millionaires, the rupee resplendent corporations that own India – her sacred putrid rivers, the forests and bauxite rich mountains, the media, the schools, hospitals and water ways. That is, everything of value, catalogued within the business portfolios of a tiny few, while the majority starve, defecate in public, are violated, exploited, ignored.

Nobody knows the precise cost of the new prime minister’s campaign: it is estimated to have exceeded Rs 5,000 crore – that’s about USD 840 million. The man and his message was polished, packaged and sold like any other fizzy brand, with advertised promises of economic revival and goodies galore. “Can a massively funded and aggressive media campaign make people choose a particular leader?” asks Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University. The answer, she says, “Sadly, seems to be yes.”

No limits are placed on spending by political parties, except what’s in their bank accounts. The BJP staged a media blitz, saturating the television and the press with images and sound bites from their charismatic candidate. He received “nearly 7.5 times more coverage [2,575 minutes] than Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi [his leading opponent] during prime time” viewing, according to the Hindu newspaper. Massive exposure facilitated by the corporate media that avoided asking probing questions, or “pointing to some of the clear dishonesty in the claims made about his success in Gujarat”, says Professor Ghosh. Such are the benefits of being in bed with the corporations. Big business rightly saw in Modi someone who would deliver all the benefits they have become used to.

Divisive, violent, prejudicial

A sign of Modi’s extreme prejudicial leanings is the disturbing fact that he is a lifelong member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). According to Mishra, this is “A paramilitary Hindu nationalist organization inspired by the fascist movements of Europe, whose founders believed that Nazi Germany had manifested ‘race pride at its highest’ by purging the Jews.”

Set up in 1927, the far right group admires Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler, whom they openly praise. Outlawed by the British Raj, the RSS had been banned three times since independence. It was a former member of the RSS, Nathuram Godse, who murdered Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 for being too soft on Muslims. Traditionally dominated by upper-caste Hindus, the extreme group has led many vicious assaults on minorities, especially Muslims.

As Chief Minister of Gurjarat, Modi presided over a brutal Hindu pogrom against the state’s Muslim community in 2002. Over 1,000 (many put the figure much higher) lost their lives, and many women were raped, in riots that “began after a train with Hindu pilgrims was set on fire in Godhra, killing 59 people. Since then Muslims and other minorities in the state have been marginalized and silenced, terrorized into submission. “Muslim families and individuals are increasingly ghettoised, finding it impossible to buy or rent accommodation in dominantly Hindu areas,” says writer Zahir Janmohamed. Young Muslim men cannot find work and suffer police intimidation and violence. They are denied bank loans and “intercommunity social mingling, particularly between young men and women, is frowned upon”. It is a picture of social division, prejudice and injustice.

While it’s unclear what part Modi played in the pogrom of 2002, what is apparent is that when Hindu mobs roamed the streets looking for Muslims to kill and rape, he did very little to stop them. In 2005 the American government felt the evidence against him was strong enough to deny him a US diplomatic visa.

Economic recipe for disaster

India has witnessed GDP growth of up to 9 per cent per annum since the economic reforms of 1991; it now sits at around 3 per cent. Liberalization, globalization and privatization are the cornerstones of this process, which has involved the transfer of support from the poor to India’s corporations, triggering, among other calamities, a plague of farmer suicides – 19,000 according to the Lancet killed themselves in 2010 alone. It has been resource-led growth, based mainly on the extraction of natural resources, cheap labour (including children) and foreign investment. While a small number (15 per cent of the population, perhaps) have slipped into the ranks of the middle class, the chief benefactors have been the corporations and the already wealthy who have become extremely rich. India boasts 60 dollar billionaires plus 153,000 millionaires, and 800 million – 60 per cent of the population – living on less than USD 2 a day. Over half the population has no sanitation and defecates in public and 43 per cent of children are malnourished. It is an unjust and shameful economic system that facilitates such inequality.

An internal armed conflict from the northeast of the country to Karnataka state in the southwest, along with the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Adivasi and Dalit people, has been the major consequence of the race for resources, together with an enormous dam building programme and the construction of ‘Special Economic Zones’ (SEZ). Since Independence it is estimated that as many as 65 million people (excluding those displaced through armed conflict) have been displaced in India, mostly due to “development” projects.

Modi’s approach in Gujarat showed him to be in line – in many ways way over the line – with the government’s divisive development policies: promote and incentivize big business “through all sorts of explicit and implicit subsidies, keeping wages low and suppressing any workers’ action; repression of popular movements; and cracking down on dissent”, says Professor Ghosh.

Consumer nirvana

The desire for material delights has been sown firmly into the minds of India’s young population – two-thirds of which is under the age of 35 – and Modi has scratched away at the itchy insatiable surface promising consumer heaven. “The good days are coming” was his theme tune, with a ‘B’ side being “We need a corrupt Congress-free India” and “Give me a massive mandate”. Sounds like the predictable rallying call of politicians worldwide – no wonder nobody trusts them.

Hundreds of millions of Indians (not the 800 million who can barely eat) have seen no benefits from market liberalization and are denied the chance to shop. They have been seduced by Modi’s saccharin-laced images of a consumerist future, where “skyscrapers, expressways, bullet trains and shopping malls proliferate”, and the army of poor is hidden away in the slums and rural India, to quietly die.

Along with the Bollywood brigade, the young voted for Modi, seeing him as the one to package and deliver their designer trainers, smartphones and essential cosmetics – the “long-awaited fruits of the globalized economy”. However, because the adopted development model is undemocratic and fundamentally flawed, based as it is on an unwavering belief in the market economy, rewarding the rich, excluding the poor and victimizing minorities, “he actually embodies its inevitable dysfunction”. It is a model that aggravates desire, creating discontent and fear – the essential ingredients of social upheaval and conflict.

True democracy, which is based on participation, equality, freedom and the rule of law, is denied. But then India is far from being a democratic nation: “there isn’t a single institution anymore which an ordinary person can approach for justice: not the judiciary, not the local political representative… all the institutions have been hollowed out and just the shell has been put back”, says Arundhati Roy. The comical catchphrase, “the world’s largest democracy”, has little meaning when the voice of the people is consistently and brutally suppressed and the caste system dominates all areas of life, particularly in rural areas where most people live, while the country is run by a group of elite Hindu men. “We’re a country whose elite is capable of an immense amount of self-deception,” says Roy.

As millions worldwide respond to the tone of the times and demand freedom, justice and a new, fairer civilzation, we ask: is Modi of the time? Is he the kind of man who will be able to empathize with the people; does he possess the vision and imagination needed to create a new way of living; is he kind and inclusive?

In a detailed document published in Wikileaks, Michael S. Owen of the US consulate in Mumbai, said: “In public appearances Modi can be charming and likeable. By all accounts, however, he is an insular, distrustful person… He reigns by fear and intimidation than by inclusiveness and consensus, and is rude, condescending and often derogatory. He hoards power… and has an abrasive leadership style.”

At a time when the world needs new ideas, politicians who can listen, are inclusive and tolerant, who long to cooperate and understand others and themselves, at such a time India has a man at the helm rooted in the ideological Stone Age, who , as Mishra put it, “resembles the European and Japanese demagogues of the early 20th century”.

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Target China by F. William Engdahl


Target China by F. William Engdahl

…by  Cara  St. Louis



“Step-by-step, just as with the boiling of frogs, Washington has been turning the heat up on China since about 2005. Today it is dangerously close to a boil.

It is not too late for China but its people and leaders must have absolutely no illusions about the ruthlessness and determination of their adversary, the elite policy circles of the Anglo-American axis.

The book you are about to read details how US policy circles increasingly plan to mortally wound and eventually kill China’s economic wonder.” (Engdahl, Target China).

F. William Engdahl, Geopolitical Analyst, Lecturer, AuthorF. William Engdahl, Geopolitical Analyst, Lecturer, Author

So says F. William Engdahl, one of today’s pre-eminent geopolitical analysts, who has spent years studying China and the west’s vendetta upon that country.

Target China is about to make its debut in English. Engdahl accounts for the whole strategy: everything from currency and debt manipulation to the all-out attack by Monsanto, which ultimately isn’t what we think it is. It’s much worse than that.

In other words, the brutally effective full spectrum dominance attack that has been honed to a fine ‘art’ and is now turned as a deadly accurate cultural and social water cannon upon any population in the path of what the ravenous powers desire. The good news? Engdahl is a master at taking the overwhelmingly complex and making it understandable to Everyman.

It is profoundly important to understand this mechanism as it is as often used on the United States population itself as on any other country. One can easily, after reading this book, turn around and face the nation and be horrified by the absolute similarities. It is, after all, The Weapon. Why would anyone be immune?

The US, in what might be considered both a move of desperation and of inestimable greed, backed China into a corner, forcing them to buy dollars — buy the debt. The US used this leverage to fund the invasions of the Middle East. “A perverse, unholy alliance was developing between the sole hegemonic superpower United States and the world’s fastest growing economy, China. Washington never intended for China to massively revalue. It was a bluff, a pressure point.”

Also, China became an importer of oil as of 1994, a turn of events which has never situated a country well. Thus they demonstrated a weak spot, a point of leverage and blackmail. Couple this with the enormous demand for cars in China and a insatiable hunger is born; a hunger which we imagine must be fed. It is a shame China walked into the same trap so many others did in just the last few decades.

However, China had the means to go looking for oil, which it found in Africa. Not only has China established good relations with many African nations but they have offered an alternative to the slavery imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. This has not gone down well with the Oilmen and the Banks. One of the richest strikes was found in Dafur, which would be funneled toward the Sudan via a pipeline and, as Engdahl put it, “it was time to draw the noose around the neck of Sudan.” Much of the turmoil and confusion in Africa has had to do with strangling China’s attempts to do business there.

“In November 2006, Beijing hosted an extraordinary summit of 40 African heads of state. They literally rolled out the red carpet for the heads of among others Algeria, Nigeria, Mali, Angola, Central African Republic, Zambia, South Africa and Sudan.

China signed an oil deal, linking the Peoples’ Republic of China with the continent’s two largest nations – Nigeria and South Africa. China’s CNOC would lift the oil in Nigeria, via a consortium that included South African Petroleum Co. giving China access to what could be 175,000 barrels a day by 2008. The $2.27 billion deal gave state-controlled CNOC a 45% stake in a large off-shore Nigeria oil field. Previously, Nigeria had been considered in Washington to be an asset of the Anglo-American oil majors, ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron.

The US Senate adopted a resolution in February 2006 that requested NorthAtlantic Treaty Organization troops in Darfur, as well as a stronger UN “peacekeeping” force with a robust mandate. A month later, President Bush also called for additional NATO forces in Darfur. The aim was to gain NATO control on China’s huge new oil potential.”

Well, you get the idea. This story is one of the primary scenarios of the 20th century.

Hands off our rice?Hands off our rice?

” Over the past thirty or more years the most dramatic change in the food consumption in the history of China has taken place. The change has occurred slowly such that most Chinese consumers greeted new products from mostly American food outlets as a tasty modern alternative to traditional Chinese food. Today this subtle destruction of the nutritional content of the Chinese diet has manifested in a crisis of explosive dimension.”

As with any other infiltration of a nation by Pirate Corporate America, one saw the rise of ambassadors such as KFC, McDonalds’s and Subway. However, these were just the first wave of troops off the landing craft at D-Day. The real tanks and assault weapons arrive flying the flag of Monsanto. It is on this front that utter control of feeding a population is wrested away from the country itself.

Since our bodies never recognized any of the above as ‘food,’ but rather as foreign invaders…well, any time Monsanto shows up it’s disastrous news for agriculture and health. This is becoming very well-documented thanks to these sorts of observations. Monsanto has actually introduced a form of rice which may eliminate the Chinese single-handedly.

Engdahl examines the effects of this destabilization and physiological assault strategy on China in detail, even referring to this as the new Opium War. Since this is a standard war tactic now, it behooves us to walk through this by the numbers with him.

“The deadly or crippling Anglo-American Pharmaceutical drug system has been developed over decades to use medical drugs to literally weaken whole populations, referred to by them as “herds.” The entire vaccine and drug industry almost without exception in the US, UK and Switzerland and Japan has been developed since World War II as a vital part of the eugenics agenda of the Rockefeller family circles of the Anglo-American establishment. Responsible persons concerned with the future health of the Chinese people would do well to examine this highly strategic form of warfare.” 

Yes, Engdahl did say that the pharmaceutical industry refers to us as ‘herds.’ Could that be all we need to know? Maybe, except that the rest of his analysis here is as deep and unexpected as the rest of this material. This is not the stuff one reads every day. His research has taken him down amazing paths.

‘Aldous Huxley stated already back in 1961:

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of

Aldous Huxley striking the famous one-eye pose we see so often in these circles.Aldous Huxley striking the famous one-eye pose we see so often in these circles.

making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”


Today the West is fully in that “next generation or so.” It must be understood that Huxley was not merely a writer.

He was part of a tight-knit group working secretly with CIA director Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower’s Special Advisor for Cold War Strategy, Nelson Rockefeller, under sponsorship of the private Ford Foundation, on a top secret “mind-control” project called MK-Ultra, which created the 1960’s LSD, drug “hippie revolution” in the US as a project of ultimate social control experimentation.

Dr. Humphrey Osmond, Timothy Leary, author Ken Kesey and others were involved in the secret CIA experiments together with leading pharmaceutical companies.’

CIA techniques introduced into the human population presently targeted for control — the grand experiment results from the USA, now an electro-magnetic concentration camp — packaged in the most effective missile to the next target. Engdahl is explicit in detailing the deep ways this is done here and abroad and to what aim.

Production and distribution of these pharmaceuticals, under their various names and disguises, in China? You do the math.

“China today, because of its dynamic economic growth and its determination to pursue sovereign Chinese national interests, merely because China exists, is becoming the Pentagon new “enemy image,” now replacing the false “enemy image” of Islam used after September 2001 by the Bush-Cheney Administration to justify the Pentagon’s global power pursuit. The new US military posture against China has nothing to do with any aggressive threat from the side of China. The Pentagon has decided to escalate its aggressive military posture to China merely because China has become a strong vibrant independent pole in world economics and geopolitics.”

Andrew Marshall, mentor of Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld...what a claim to fame. Andrew Marshall, mentor of Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld…what a claim to fame.

China spends about 10% of what the US does on the military. “The new US military posture against China has nothing to do with any aggressive threat from the side of China. The Pentagon has decided to escalate its aggressive military posture to China merely because China has become a strong vibrant independent pole in world economics and geopolitics.”

The Pentagon is after China. End of story. The plan is referred to as String of Pearls.

“The architect of the Pentagon anti-China strategy of Air-Sea battle is Andrew Marshall, the man who has shaped Pentagon advanced warfare strategy for more than 40 years and among whose pupils were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Since the 1980s Marshall has been a promoter of an idea first posited in 1982 by Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, then chief of the Soviet general staff, called RMA, or ‘Revolution in Military Affairs.’ The best definition of RMA was the one provided by Marshall himself:

“A Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is a major change in the nature of warfare brought about by the innovative application of new technologies which, combined with dramatic changes in military doctrine and operational and organizational concepts, fundamentally alters the character and conduct of military operations.” 

To interrupt China’s strategic ties with its geographical partners in an effort dubbed ‘The String of Pearls,’ by the Pentagon is Job One. Corporations approaching some of these countries are “hand-picked by Washington to do the most harm.” Failing that, sanctions of all kinds are being imposed on friends of China. The fact that they are geographically joined with China matters not in the least. The Navy is deploying its mightiest ‘recon# and surveillance along this so-called string of pearls. This is one hell of an all-out effort under way simply to stop one nation from succeeding economically. The details, so carefully and engagingly laid out in Target China, are staggering…and important.

Not left out, of course, is that well-oiled social engineering monolith, Hollywood, and its nefarious cousin, the so-called media. This weapon is being used, as always, to full effect.

“Since President Woodrow Wilson openly enlisted the cooperation of Hollywood film makers to create propaganda to stir war fever among Americans, Hollywood and US media have been intimately linked with shaping consensus for US national strategy. By 2012 that combinationwas being turned to slowly make the Peoples’ Republic of China into what in perhaps a few short years would be portrayed as the new “Hitler Germany” adversary. The US Pentagon and the military industrial complex, together with the elites at the New York Council on Foreign Relations and other select organizations of power brokers, developed a form of culture and media warfare which China was very susceptible to.”

Coincidentally, two major newspaper publishers in London did the very same thing at the behest of The Tavistock Institute in order to bring a British population had no quarrel at all with Germany into WWI. Hmmmm….. Well, on with our tale.

The following discussion is deeply interesting: which revolutions do Google executives brag about being at the helm of? Where have they and their arms and outlets played a significant and strategic role in bringing down leaders and governments? They never try to hide these things but we are trained to attend to the mainstream media and one will not find the truth there. Does China, in fact, have a reason to be suspicious of Google and Facebook and Twitter and youtube and….

The reality is that China faces a situation today that it has never faced. On top of a three-decade long hurtle into wealth and prominence on the world stage, China now faces the wrath of the established territory holders. Arguably there may only be one but it uses all the nations as arms to get what it wants, which is everything.

Fair enough. The discussion around China is an opportunity that cannot be missed for it will be in seeing and understanding this example that the world can be shaken awake and save itself from the Ravenous Beast. Additionally, the idea of a ‘counter-pole’ to totalitarian power rocking the world today is an intriguing one.

Engdahl concludes Target China by asking an important question: “What then shall we do?” as Tolstoy expressed it. He then pursues some thinking on the matter, including a look at what brought down the first Roman Empire. He highlights the Achilles Heels of China, the EU and the US, for after all, the west does have an Achilles Heel, and Engdahl knows what it is. Get this book!

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