Archive | Pakistan & Kashmir

India’s Bloodless War against Pakistan

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By Sajjad Shaukat for Veterans Today

Although India has been targeting the civilians and military personnel near the border of Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir by continuously violating the Line of Control, yet India has, also, been waging the bloodless war against Pakistan by stopping the water-flow of rivers to Pakistan.

Unlike the past wars, being fought through the traditional armies with tanks and machine guns, the arena of war has changed, encompassing all the spheres. In the modern era, electronics have made it difficult for the military to serve as the automatic dominant sphere in every war, covering all the land, sea and space domains. Now, war with non-lethal weapons can be more harmful in damaging the interest of a rival country or enemy. It will be conducted in non-war spheres, entailing non-military means and tactics as part of the new warfare.

New technology is being utilized by the new warriors to carry out all forms of financial, network and media attacks. Most of these attacks are of non-military-types, yet they can be completely viewed as equal to warfare actions. In other words, bloody warfare has been replaced by bloodless warfare as much as possible.

Judging in these terms, New Delhi’s construction of several dams and new plans for more dams in the Indian Occupied Kashmir is part of its most dangerous scheme of bloodless warfare, being conducted against Islamabad in order to further harm all political, economic, financial and social spheres of Pakistan.

It is notable that in March, 2011, speaking in diplomatic language, Indus Water Commissioner of India G. Ranganathan denied that India’s decision to build dams on rivers led to water shortage in Pakistan. He also rejected Islamabad’s concerns at water theft by New Delhi or violation of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, assuring his counterpart, Syed Jamaat Ali Shah that all issues relating to water would be resolved through dialogue. However, ground realties are quite different from what Ranganathan maintained.

Besides other permanent issues and, especially the dispute of Kashmir which has always been used by India to malign and pressurize Pakistan, water of rivers has become a matter of life and death for every Pakistani, as New Delhi has been employing it as a tool of terrorism to blackmail Pakistan.

In this regard, Indian decision to construct two hydro-electric projects on River Neelam which is called Krishanganga is a blatant violation of the Indus Basin Water Treaty. The World Bank, itself, is the mediator and signatory for the treaty. After the partition, owing to war-like situation, India deliberately stopped the flow of Pakistan’s rivers which originate from the Indian-Held Kashmir. Even at that time, Indian rulers had used water as a tool of aggression against Pakistan. However, due to Indian illogical stand, Islamabad sought the help of international arbitration. The Indus Basin Treaty allocates waters of three western rivers of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan, while India has rights over eastern rivers of Ravi, Sutlej and Beas.

Since the settlement of the dispute, India has always violated the treaty intermittently to create economic crisis in Pakistan. In 1984, India began construction of the Wullar Barrage on river Jhelum in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

In the past, the issue of Wullar Barrage has also been discussed in various rounds of talks, being held under composite dialogue process between the two rivals, but Indian intransigence has continued. In the mid-1990s India started another violation by constructing the Baglihar dam on the Chenab River. In 2005, Pakistan had again sought the World Bank’s help to stop construction of the Baglihar dam. Although WB allowed India to go ahead with the project after a few modifications, yet it did not permit the interruption of the agreed quota of water flow to Pakistan.

In 2008, India suddenly reduced water flow of the Chenab River to give a greater setback to Pakistan’s autumnal crops. Islamabad on September 17, 2008 threatened to seek the World Bank’s intervention on the plea that New Delhi had not responded to its repeated complaints on the issue appropriately. But, India did nothing to address the problem.

It is mentionable that India has been using water as an instrument to pressurize Islamabad with a view to getting leverage in the Pak-India dialogue especially regarding Indian-Held Kashmir where a new phase of protests against the Indian illegitimate occupation has accelerated. In this respect, the then Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said on February 8, 2010 that Pakistan’s case on Kashmir and water was based on truth, and the government would fight it with full strength.

Indian diplomacy of bloodless war could also be judged from some other development. Online reports suggest that New Delhi has secretly offered technical assistance to the Afghan government in order to construct a dam over Kabul River which is a main water contributor to Indus River.

In fact, India wants to keep its control on Kashmir which is located in the Indus River basin area, and which contributes to the flow of all the major rivers, entering Pakistan. It is determined to bring about political, economic and social problems of grave nature in Pakistan.

In this context, China Daily News Group wrote in 2005: “Another added complication is that in building a dam upstream of Pakistan, India will possess the ability to flood or starve Pakistan at will. This ability was witnessed in July of 2004 when India, without warning, released water into the Chenab River, flooding large portions of Pakistan. The history of conflict between these two nations makes it possible for New Delhi to use nature as a real weapon against Islamabad.”

According to an estimate, unlike India, Pakistan is highly dependent on agriculture, which in turn is dependent on water. Of the 79.6 million hectares of land that makeup Pakistan, 20 million are available for agriculture. Of those 20 million hectares, 16 million are dependent on irrigation. So, almost 80% of Pakistan’s agriculture is dependent on irrigation.

Notably, many of Pakistan’s industries are agro-based such as the textiles industry. Besides, 80% of Pakistan’s food needs are fulfilled domestically. Thus an interruption of water supply would have broad-ranging effects. For example, when the country suffered a drought from 1998 to 2001, there were violent riots in Karachi.

It is noteworthy that half of Pakistan’s energy comes from hydroelectricity, and at present, our country has been facing a severe crisis of loadshedding which is the result of power-shortage in the country. During the recent past summers, people in a number of cities like Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad etc. lodged violent protests against the loadshedding, culminating into loss of property and life.

It is of particular attention that Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif warned on February 10, 2015 that although the electricity shortage in the country would be overcome within two to three years, the scarcity of water is another issue looming in the country.

While, Pakistan has already been facing multiple challenges of grave nature coupled with phenomenon of terrorism like suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings etc., committed by the militants who are being backed by Indian secret agency, RAW. As part of the double game, based in Afghanistan, US-led CIA and Israeli Mossad are also in connivance with RAW and the militant outfits such as ISIS and are supporting acts of terrorism in Pakistan like Syria and Iran.

In this connection, as part of the latest wave of terrorism, at least 26 people were killed and several others injured in a suicide blast near Arfa Karim Tower on Ferozpur Road in Lahore, today (In the afternoon of July 24, 2017). Details regarding the casualties are still coming.

However, New Delhi also employs water as an instrument by increasing its scarcity, making life too often miserable for Pakistanis with the ultimate aim of creating poverty which could produce more terrorism in turn. And, India is likely to deepen differences among Pakistan’s provinces over various issues which are directly or indirectly related to water.

It is worth-mentioning that in January, this year even the US administration has initiated the process for peacefully resolving the water dispute between India and Pakistan—the latest dispute which concerns two hydroelectric power plants—Kishanganga and Ratle, which India is building on the Indus rivers system.

In this backdrop, after a pause of two years and ‘water war threats’ from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan and India on March 20, 2017 resumed talks in Islamabad over the water issues with Pakistan welcoming the development, but vowing to defend its rights with ‘full zeal and vigour’. The two-day talks of Indus water commissioners of the two countries marked the first formal engagement between the arch rivals, during the Mod-led India. Under the Indus Waters Treaty, New Delhi is bound to hold such meetings with Islamabad. Notably, last year, Premier Modi had threatened to revoke the water accord with Pakistan.

Nonetheless, since the 9/11 tragedy, international community has been taking war against terrorism seriously, while there are also other forms of bloodless wars, being waged in the world and the same are like terrorism. Political experts opine that modern terrorism has many meanings like violent acts, economic terrorism etc., but its main aim is to achieve political, economic and social ends. In these terms, India’s bloodless war against Pakistan amounts to water terrorism.

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Why Controversy over JIT Accelerates?

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Image result for Sharif PAKISTAN PHOTO

By Sajjad Shaukat

Deliberately created controversy over the Joint Investigation team (JIT) set up on April 20, 2017 by the Supreme Court (SC) to probe the business dealings of the Sharif family abroad in connection with the Panama Papers’ verdict accelerated on June 12, this year, when the JIT team told the SC that some governmental departments have shown reluctance in handing over relevant records.

Media reports said that the JIT informed the Supreme Court of Pakistan that some state institutions are tampering the record and creating impediments in its way, besides threatening some members of team.

Earlier, the JIT has submitted a report in the SC with in relation to difficulties, hurdles and pressure on it during the course of its investigations.

In its report, the team of investigators alleged Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman and executive director of record-tampering and non-cooperation.

The JIT also accused Intelligence Bureau (IB) personnel of threatening JIT member, Bilal Rasool, and trying to hack Rasool and his family’s Facebook accounts. It alleged that IB personnel were seen near the residence of Bilal Rasool on May 24, where they also threatened his servant.

According to these reports, “The JIT asked the SECP for record of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and all past inquiries against Sharif family. But, the SECP denied any inquiries held against Sharif family in the past, while a witness told that the SECP chairman directed not to search the record of inquiries…The SECP chief also ordered tampering of record of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and Executive Director Ali Azeem changed it from past dates. Azeem was also nominated by the SECP chairman for inclusion in the JIT to sabotage investigations.”

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also accused of pressurizing JIT member, Irfan Mangi. In this regard, these reports further said, “The NAB issued a show cause notice to Mangi on April 25, 2017 for his deputation in the anti-graft body in 2004, and asked to submit an explanation in 15 days.

The investigation team also accused the government of leaking details of JIT correspondence with concerned institutions—the case has been asking witnesses to testify in their favour—“The chairman of Ittefaq Group directed Tariq Shafi to visit PM House before his appearance before the JIT, wherein he was asked to submit a statement according to their directives.”

It was pointed out that the leaking of secret correspondence to media was aimed at making investigations controversial—and “making information public this way raises concerns for witnesses’ security.”

The court expressed its concern that the JIT will not be able to complete the investigation within the timeframe of 60 days, if obstacles are created in the probe.

However, some politicians and media analysts are creating uncertainty in the country by making the JIT controversial through their irresponsible statements.

Everyone knows that the three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan had finalized the members of the JIT, while, its members have been selected by the apex court entirely on merit by taking cognizance of their impartial and clean record.

And, Pakistan People’s Party has already rejected the Joint Investigation Team, formed by Supreme Court over the issue of the Panama leaks. In this respect, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah have stated that if all the five judges declared Qatari letter as a false one, there was need to form the JIT. He further said that JIT should comprise Supreme Court judges—the court cannot investigate in such matters and has to depend on other departments which are bound to assist the apex court.

Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan have again said that the JIT cannot investigate Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif family’s offshore wealth since Nawaz Sharif remains in power, as all the concerned departments are under the control of the prime minister. He has also given a call to his party workers to be prepared for street protests, if the ruling party tried to attack the premises of the Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, all the politicians of the country must take note of the fact that the JIT has not been formed by the government, but the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and it would monitor the proceedings of the team on weekly basis. Hence, leaders of the ruling parties and those of the opposition parties must have trust in SC as well as the JIT.

Notably, the SC’s verdict on the Panama case was divided—3-2 among a five-judge bench, with the two judges—Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed had given ruling against PM Nawaz Sharif, saying he should be disqualified, while the other three Judges Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan had said in their verdicts that a JIT should be formed in this regard.

It was in this background that the Supreme Court asked the JIT to trace and investigate the money of the prime minister and his children.

The case had started after the documents, leaked from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm, which disclosed that Nawaz Sharif’s daughter and his two sons owned offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and used them to buy properties in London.

In this regard, the Supreme Court had begun investigation regarding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif family’s offshore wealth after opposition leader Imran Khan filed a petition in the apex court.

Although the name of the prime minister is not directly mentioned in the Panama documents, yet, his addresses to the people, clarifying his own position, as pursued by PML-N top leaders’ outspoken statements had further complicated the case. However, Supreme Court had ruled that there was insufficient evidence of corruption to remove Nawaz Sharif from the office of prime minister. Therefore, it ordered a further inquiry about his money trail.

In is mentionable that in its verdict, the SC had quoted, “The Godfather behind every big fortune—there is a crime”. Some analysts and politicians had interpreted the renowned quote as an indication of Sharif family’s corruption.

Nonetheless, Imran Khan had appreciated the verdict of the five-member bench of the Supreme Court regarding the formation of the JIT. Now, the SC has to give its final verdict in light of the JIT investigation. Hence, leaders of the ruling parties as well as those of the opposition parties should not make the JIT controversial. In this connection, some recent statements of the leader of

the ruling party shows that they are deliberately creating controversy over the JII, as stated by Imran Khan. In this respect, media speculations and rumour-mongering are also likely to impact negatively on the functioning of the JIT. This practice must also be abandoned.

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35 Civilians Injured After Indian Forces Clash with Protesters in Kashmir

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35 Civilians Injured After Indian Forces Clash with Protesters in Kashmir

At least 35 civilians were injured after clashes broke out between protesters and security forces across the Indian-controlled Kashmir, police and witnesses said Tuesday.

The protests erupted after police raided Southern Bahmnoo village, police Inspector-General Muneer Ahmed Khan said. Witnesses said troops blasted and destroyed three civilian homes during the fighting, Star Tribune reported.

Khan said three people were killed during the fightings and soldiers were searching for the body of a fourth militant in the debris. At least six police and soldiers were injured in the fighting.

The gunfight triggered intense clashes after hundreds of civilians marched near the site to help the trapped militants escape.

Government forces fired bullets, shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the march by rock-throwing protesters who were chanted slogans like “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom.”

At least 35 civilians were injured and five among them were reported to have sustained bullet wounds.

In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have displayed open solidarity with anti-India forces and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against the militants.

The anti-India protests and clashes have persisted despite the Indian army chief warning recently that “tough action” would be taken against stone throwers during counterinsurgency operations.

India and Pakistan control part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence or merger with neighboring Pakistan. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting and the ensuing Indian crackdown.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep among the region’s mostly Muslim population and most people support the cause against Indian rule despite a decades-long military crackdown to fight the armed rebellion.

India has accused Pakistan of arming and training the kashmiri forces, which Pakistan denies.

Kashmiri groups have largely been suppressed by Indian forces in recent years and public opposition to Indian rule is now principally expressed through street protests.

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Journalists Increasingly Unsafe in the Indian Subcontinent

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  • Journalists in India.
    Journalists in India. | Photo: Reuters
India and Pakistan headed the list with seven of the professional journalists killed in the last six months.

The Indian subcontinent as a whole today stands on the cusp of being a danger zone for journalists, as the region witnessed the murder of over 10 journalists in the first half of 2017.

RELATED: Indian Metro Praised for Including Transgender Workers

India and Pakistan headed the list with seven of the professional journalists killed in the last six months; with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Maldives added one casualty each.

The year started with sad news for India as the dead body of a Jharkhand-based journalist was recovered in Hazaribagh in the first week of the year.

Hari Prakash, 31, whose body was found on Jan. 2, on a roadside was missing for some days. The family members of Hari, who was a law graduate working for a Hindi daily, alleged that he was kidnapped and later killed.

More bad news was awaiting the families of media professionals as a Bihar-based journalist was shot dead at a Samastipur locality on Jan. 3, by some
unidentified assailants. Brajesh Kumar Singh, 28, received serious injuries to his head and died on the spot. It was the third assassination of a journalist in Bihar within a year after Rajdeo Ranjan and Dharmendra Kumar Singh were killed in 2016.

The third and fourth incidents involving the murder of working journalists were reported in Madhya Pradesh. Shyam Sharma, 40, who worked for a local evening newspaper, was stabbed to death in the Anshul neighborhood of Indore on May 15. Shyam received multiple injuries and died on the spot. Meanwhile, the local police have arrested two suspects for their alleged role in the murder.

Kamlesh Jain, 42, was shot dead in his office in the Pipliyamandi locality of Mandsaur on the evening of May 31. Kamlesh was rushed to a nearby hospital, where the attending doctors pronounced him dead. According to the police on duty, two people entered Kamlesh’s office and one of them shot him. The culprits quickly fled from the location on motorcycles.

Working for Nai Dunia, a Hindi daily, the journalist had recently exposed a few local people involved in illegal liquor trades through a number of roadside Dhabas, or restaurants. He was also threatened with dire consequences a few days before his death. The police took prompt action and arrested two individuals.

Various journalists organizations from Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh along with Journalists’ Forum Assam, Indian Journalists Union, National Federation of Newspaper Employees, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, International Federation of Journalists and others, expressed serious concerns over the murder of the journalists and asked the responsible authorities to find and arrest the culprits.

Condemning the assassinations of Shyam and Kamlesh, the IFJ commented, “two murders in nearly two weeks illustrate the dangerous conditions
that journalists in India are facing.” The global media group called on Indian authorities to immediately and thoroughly investigate these murders and bring those responsible to justice.

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In a recent statement, the IFJ, representing over 6,00,000 journalists in 140 countries, disclosed that 93 journalists were killed in 2016 around the world. Iraq witnessed the highest number of journo-killings (15); followed by Afghanistan (13); Mexico (11); Yemen (8); Guatemala, Syria, and India (6), and Pakistan (5).

Pakistan lost three professional journalists and a media student to assailants in the last six months. Muhammad Jan, who was working for an Urdu newspaper in Baluchistan province, was shot on Jan. 12, and later died from his wounds. A television reporter, Abdul Razzaque was gunned down on May 17 in Punjab province and another news channel reporter Bakshish Ellahi was shot dead by unknown gunmen on June 11, in Peshawar.

Meanwhile, a student of journalism, Mashal Khan, fell prey to an angry mob in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on April 22, over the alleged blasphemy
charge against him.

The CPJ called on Pakistani authorities to investigate all the killings related to media personnel. The New York-based media rights group also expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan, where four media workers namely Mohamad Amir Khan, Zinullah Khan, Abdul Latif and Ghani were killed in a suicide attack on May 17 in the Jalalabad locality.

Later two more media people, Mohammed Nazir and Aziz Navin, died in a Kabul blast on May 31.

Infamous for many atheist bloggers’ deaths, Bangladesh witnessed the murder of one rural reporter in the Sirajganj locality. Abdul Hakim Shimul, who used to work for Dainik Samakal, was shot dead on Feb. 2, while he was covering the clashes between two factions of the Awami League ruling party. Bangladesh Manobadhikaar Sangbadik Forum strongly condemned the assassination.

Relatively peaceful Myanmar reported one murder in the first half of 2017. Wai Yan Heinn, 27, a Rangoon-based weekly editor was killed on April 16. The reason behind the attack was yet to be confirmed.

Along with local media outlets, the RSF urged the Myanmar authorities to identify and bring the culprits to justice immediately.

The Paris-based media rights group expressed concern that the investigation had gone slowly in last year’s murder on Dec. 13, of Soe Moe Tun, reportedly for exposing illegal loggings in his locality.

Benjamin Ismaïl, the former head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, recently commented that Soe’s family was still waiting for justice, but in vein.

A small nation like Maldives drew the attention of international media recently with the sensational murder of a prominent journalist and human rights defender. Yameen Rasheed, 29, who remained an outspoken critic of corruption and human rights violations on the island nation, was stabbed to death on April 23 in the capital of Male, putting the country on the list of risky nations with growing intolerance toward free information flow.

India’s other neighbors including Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tibet have not reported any incidents of journo-killings in the last six months. In contrast, India has emerged as one of the worst places for working journalists, where they are attacked deliberately and justice is rarely delivered to their bereaved families.

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The Drone War: Understanding Who Must Die From Above

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Photo by Debra Sweet | CC BY 2.0

In late October of 2016, I took a break from reading for my various social science courses to work for a couple of hours at my work-study job at the Vassar College Athletics Communications Office. On this particular day, I had to provide commentary and audio for a video stream of the game which is played live online, largely for parents and family members of the players. At halftime, the parents of someone on the team approached my boss to talk, and in this conversation, one parent casually commented that the other loved to watch their child play while in their office at General Atomics. General Atomics, the defense contracting company which, among other things, manufactures the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper, the two most-used military drones.

This chance meeting with a General Atomics employee speaks to the larger context of drone warfare as well as the logics behind it. This person could, through a video image and the sound of my voice, be transported from an office in California to a sports field 3,000 miles away. At the same time, General Atomics was producing and selling military drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the U.S. military to be used in locations across the world, thousands of miles away, while being controlled remotely in places such as Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.

In the context of the game stream, one is completely aware of the rules of the contest and the bounds of play, the participants are numbered and their names are listed, they are in uniform, and their actions are occurring within a clear set of guidelines and norms. No one is trying to speculate on the loves, hates, future plans, or deep-seeded beliefs of players based on the footage. Further, the contest is projected with my description and the assistance of statistics and information provided by a team of people there, who know the athletes, and the coaches, and can hear and see close up what is occurring. In the other context, the U.S. military takes control over decisions of life and death in places they do not and cannot understand, making decisions based on their understandings of patterns of life and metadata from thousands of feet in the air. There are not rules to what they are seeing, there are no uniforms, and there is rarely information in any fashion from people who are physically present. Instead, it is just the video, being watched from thousands of miles away, as people are targeted for death.

How do we begin to understand an outlook where an un-narrated stream of a sporting event would be self-explanatorily difficult to understand, but similar video footage gathered by unmanned aerial vehicles is sufficient to understand who below must die? The perceptions and lenses that enable this outlook must be picked apart in order to comprehend (and begin to resist) the pull of drone warfare.

Drone-use has become the United States’ preferred way of waging war. Unmanned aerial vehicles are piloted remotely from thousands of miles away providing both surveillance in near-constant streams, and the ability to drop bombs. Through this new means of violence, Americans are not vulnerable, and are instead separated physically from the violence and death. The U.S. drone campaign is waged almost entirely in secret and without the hindrance of laws, international or domestic. The U.S. Executive and the various military and intelligence agencies involved are able to forward the drone war with unilateral power, with U.S. sovereignty extending globally.

In a short time in early 2016, the United States “deployed remotely piloted aircraft to carry out deadly attacks in six countries across Central and South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, and it announced that it had expanded its capacity to carry out attacks in a seventh,” the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer explains. Drone bombs kill people not only in “hot war zones” like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, but also in Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Pakistan.

A myriad of ethical and moral problems arise in the face of this new way of killing engaged in the United States. The dominant institutional justification for drone-use, as outlined by former President Barack Obama and others involved, asserts that the strikes of drones are safer, smarter, more efficient, more accurate, and cost less lives (American and otherwise) than the methods used in traditional warfare.  They are the civilized way of waging war. Over the course of his eight years in office, Obama repeatedly asserted that he was not “opposed to all war” but instead “opposed to dumb wars,” one of which being the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. He contrasted drone-use with “conventional airpower or missiles” and “invasions of these territories” saying that drones are more precise, cause less civilian casualties, and do not “unleash a torrent of unintended consequences” such as causing people to see the U.S. as an invading and occupying force.

However, an engagement with the realities of drone warfare proves these notions to be false. Instead of being ethical, drone-use has unleashed an often indiscriminate volley of bombs on thousands of people in many countries, and drone violence has become a go-to answer to the problem of American existential fear of terrorism.

This is displayed in the continuous and repeated failure of unmanned aerial vehicles and their operators to differentiate friend from foe, supposed-target from civilian. The lack of capacity (or care) to discriminate between people is repeatedly seen, whether it be in the 2011 murder of a Yemeni governor, the first Obama approved Yemeni strike which killed 14 women and 21 children, the first drone attack in Pakistan which left two children dead, the 2013 bombing of 12 Yemeni people in a wedding party, or the murder of American teenager Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi while failing to kill the bomb’s target.

We are left in a present where the call for this somehow ‘ethical’ way of war becomes more and more enticing and normalized as the drone war rages on in the early days of the administration of Donald Trump with no end in sight.

The faith in powerful institutions and U.S. technological ability that enables the view of drones as ethical, as demonstrated by the General Atomics employee, is clearly astronomical. This discourse doesn’t just enable an acceptance of the usage of drones, but an acceptance based on the claim that drones do not kill people but save lives. The new biopolitical and theopolitical sovereignty seen in U.S. drone-use is vulnerable because drones are constantly making mistakes. This is evidence of the incredible strength of the perception of U.S. sovereignty as all-moral and all-knowing, the belief in drone technology as mythically powerful, and the Orientalist view of people in the Middle East and Africa.

However, the indefensible imperial reality of drone violence also reveals that if these produced narratives are weakened, a different understanding of the drone war may emerge. This view could be one that elicits horror, shame, and revulsion, as well as profound fear of the state. But it could also be purposed to weaken the state apparatus that wage drone warfare.

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France: Macron’s Election Victory, Will Discrimination against the Muslims Continue?

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The centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected French president by defeating the ultra-nationalist and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election, held on Sunday (May 7, 2017). Macron of the independent En Marche party won 23.75 percent votes and Le Pen of France’s National Front party won 21.53 percent votes.

The election victory of Macron has been hailed by his supporters and the ongoing President of France François Hollande, including various leaders and politicians of the Western World, especially Europe. The US President Donald Trump also congratulated the president-elect Emmanuel Macron and said, “I look very much forward to working with him”

His emphatic victory has brought huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain’s vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump’s election as US president.

In his victory speech, the president-elect Macron said that he would unite a divided and fractured France. He stated “I will work to recreate the link between Europe and its peoples, between Europe and citizens.”  Macron added that the world was watching and “waiting for us to defend the spirit of the Enlightenment, threatened in so many places”.

While, Macron who favours globalization, sees France’s way forward in boosting the competitiveness of an open economy.

The far-right candidate Le Pen had vowed to defend France against the forces of globalization and declared that now was the time to free the French population from arrogant elite. On April 24, this year, Le Pen had continued to emphasize the anti-immigrant and anti-globalization views and she denounced the efforts of the mainstream parties to keep her out of the presidency. She continuedhostility to the European Union, NATO and wanted to shield French workers by closing borders, quitting the EU’s common currency, the euro, radically loosening the bloc and scrapping trade deals.

It is notable that three days before the first round of France’s presidential elections, held on Sunday (April 23, 2017), a French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on April 20, 2017 when a gunman wielding a machine gun leapt out of a car and opened fire on the Champs-Elysees, Paris’s most famous boulevard. Via its Amaq news agency, the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) claimed that the attack was carried out by “Abu Yousuf al-Baljiki (the Belgian) and he is one of the Islamic State’s fighters.”

French President Francois Hollande said that he was convinced the “cowardly killing” on the Champs Elysees boulevard was an act of terrorism.

Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old French national who was shot dead by the police was identified as the attacker. Prosecutors said that a note defending ISIS fell out of his pocket, although there was no previous evidence of radicalization.

After the shooting, the three main candidates canceled campaign events and instead made televised statements in which they competed to talk tough on security and vowed a crackdown on ISIS.

The incident brought issues of terrorism, the French Muslims, security and immigration back to the forefront of the campaign. Marine Le Pen demanded the closure of all Islamist mosques, repeating her call for Europe’s partly open borders to be closed. Le Pen also called Macron “weak” on terrorism and ISIS, as terror-incident of Champs-Élysées had drawn renewed attention.

The fact of the matter is that the French president-elect Emmanuel Macron will maintain the US-led status quo in the world and will further advance the Israeli agenda against Russia, China, Syria, Pakistan etc, and the Muslims, while further advancing the international forces of globalization, controlled by the wealthy Jews and the elite class at the cost of small countries and the poor class.

In this regard, Gil Hoffman, under the Caption “Emmanuel Macron’s Israeli Ties”, Gil Hoffman and Michael Wilner, under the title Macron Fights for France’s Jewish Vote had already pointed out Macron’s connections with Israel by writing in Jerusalem Post.

In this respect, Haaretz an Israeli newspaper (www.haaretz.com) reported on April, 23 and 24, 2017, “In a race…Macron, a pro-European Union ex-banker and economy minister…received slightly more votes than Le Pen…Speaking on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Moshe Kantor described Le Pen as “dangerous” and added that “the 48-year-old National Front leader recently made comments against the historic record of the Holocaust which makes her no less dangerous than her Holocaust-denying father who she has tried to hide…Le Pen recently called for banning the wearing of the kippah in public and for making it illegal for French nationals to also have an Israeli passport.”

Therefore, three days before France’s presidential elections, shooting at Champs-Elysees-Paris-famous Boulevard was conducted by the Israeli secret agency Mossad through ISIS to ensure the victory of the pro-Israeli Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the election.

It is mentionable that Macron did not mention, as to how he will eliminate ISIS, while all other candidates have vowed to destroy the ISIS. It further creates doubt about her Israeli links.

Unlike several of his opponents on the left and right, Macron has avoided making pronouncements against Muslim dress codes and discriminatory laws which are, in fact, being applied against the Muslims in France.

Regarding France’s Presidential election and the French Muslims, The Washington Post, under the caption, “Anti-Muslim rhetoric permeates French presidential election campaign”, wrote on April 18,2017, “For some, the French presidential election will alter the course of a troubled nation steeped in economic and social turmoil…In a country that remains under an official “state of emergency” following an unprecedented spate of terrorist violence in the past two years, the election also has become a referendum on Muslims and their place in what is probably Europe’s most anxious multicultural society.

Before the election’s first round of voting Sunday, each of the five leading contenders—from across the ideological spectrum—has felt compelled to address an apparently pressing “Muslim question” about what to do with the country’s largest religious minority. Marine Le Pen…has made her answer crystal clear. In February, in the same speech, she decried “Islamist globalization,” which she called an “ideology that wants to bring France to its knees…While Le Pen’s diverse array of opponents do not all share her extremity…each seems to agree that, when it comes to Muslims, something needs to be done…“I want strict administrative control of the Muslim faith,” announced François Fillon, the now-disgraced mainstream conservative candidate, in a January campaign speech.

By contrast, Emmanuel Macron, the popular independent candidate, has spoken frequently of what he considers the urgent need to “help Muslims restructure the Islam of France.” The far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has condemned Islamophobia, ultimately wants to stamp out “all communitarianisms” and has reiterated what he calls the “urgent” need to “put an end to the misappropriation of public funds attributed to private denominational education…With many of the devastating terrorist attacks perpetrated by French or European passport-holding militants affiliated with or inspired by the Islamic State, public opinion has grown increasingly suspicious of the Muslim population that has existed in this country for centuries… Despite the intricate diversity of that population, there is widespread anxiety that if either Le Pen or Fillon is elected, things could get significantly worse.

Both candidates probably would move quickly to advance crackdowns on veils, mosques and Muslim community organizations in the name of state secularism… Few French Muslims see a candidate in the running who would change a status quo that many view as unsustainable… Hakim El Karoui, the author of a widely circulated 2016 report on Islam in France…a Paris-based think tank said, said, “the strict anti-terrorist stance adopted by the Socialist administration of President François Hollande—who famously persecuted the “burkini” last summer has undercut the desire among French Muslims to support the left in the 2017 election…The right has always been against Muslims and immigrants….Chief among the concerns many Muslims harbor is over the so-called state of emergency…Since its imposition, French authorities have been permitted to carry out upward of 4,000 warrantless searches on French homes, and likewise have placed more than 700 people under house arrest. But many Muslims say they have been targeted unlawfully. According to France’s Collective Against Islamophobia (in French, CCIF), an advocacy organization committed to fighting discrimination, more than 400 French Muslims reported having their homes searched for no clear reason in 2016. Approximately 100 of those also were placed under house arrest, while nearly 30 were asked to leave the country.”

Nevertheless, a majority of the Muslims in France and other Islamic country have shown pleasure over Macron’s election triumph, because, they considered him better for the French Muslims than the fanatic Le Pen. However, it is wishful thinking of the Muslims who do not know the secret strategy of the US and Israel and their anti-Muslim war.

Remember that when Barack Obama won the presidential election on November 4, 2008; a wave of wishful thinking prevailed over the Muslims, including the Islamic countries that he is Muslim and would protect the interests of the Muslims. Since his campaign for the US Senate in 2004 and during the presidential election, his political opponents raised questions about his citizenship. Some said that Obama secretly practices Islam.

These claims in the public expanded during Obama’s pre-presidency and according to the Pew Research Center, 17% of Americans believed him to be a Muslim in a 2012 poll.

A wave of jubilation had been noted all over the world on January 20, 2009 when American President Barack Obama took oath. His first address had indicated a positive change in the US foreign policy. In this respect, most of the political experts had hoped that he would rectify the blunders, committed by his predecessor in the name of phony war on terror.

Addressing a crowd at Cairo University on June 9, 2009, while speaking optimistically in relation to the issues of Muslims like the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, President Obama had said, “To the Muslim World, we seek a new way forward, based upon mutual interest and mutual respect”, and “based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.” Several times during the hour-long speech, members of the audience shouted, “We love you.”

A majority of the Muslims hoped that President Obama would resolve the issues which were affecting the Islamic World.

Similarly, while accusing President Bush’s policies in South Asia and recognizing interrelationship between war on terror in Afghanistan and dispute of Kashmir, Obama had stated on September 25, 2008, that if elected, he would encourage India and Pakistan to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and resolve the Kashmir problem to reduce nuclear dangers in South Asia—so that Islamabad could fully concentrate on fighting terrorism.

Quite contrary to his commitments, Obama not only set aside the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, but also the Kashmir issue. Instead, during his first visit to New Delhi, on November 6, 2010 President Obama announced the measures, America would take regarding removal of Indian space and defence companies from a restricted “entities list”, and supported Indian demand for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, including membership of four key global nuclear nonproliferation regimes.

Ignoring the solution of Kashmir dispute which like Syria, remains a nuclear flashpoint between Pakistan and India, America started backing Indian hegemony in Asia to counterbalance the presumed threat of China.

And as part of the double standards, while preferring New Delhi at the cost of Pakistan—despite, Indian violations of various international agreements and its refusal to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), CTBT and Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Washington signed a pact of nuclear civil technology with New Delhi in 2008. During President Obama’s visit to India, on January 25, 2016, the US and India announced a breakthrough on the pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology.

Following his predecessor’s fake global war on terror and his anti-Muslim policies in its worst form, President Obama who created ISIL, used it and Al-Qaeda, including their affiliated outfits through CIA and Israeli Mossad to secure the illegitimate interests of Israel. If the double game of President Bush (The Senior) and George W. Bush franchised Al-Qaeda on global level, President Obama’s dual policy franchised both Al-Qaeda and ISIS as part of the anti-Muslim campaign and left no stone unturned in advancing the agenda of the Zionists, Israeli lobbies and the neoconservatives.

However, the September 11 tragedy was fully manipulated by Israel who had joined the Bush’s anti-war terrorism enterprise so as to target Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan in particular and other Muslim countries in general. For this purpose, extremist Jews also got the services of some radical Hindus to continue their anti-Muslim campaign. In this connection, by availing the international phenomena of terrorism, Indo-Israeli lobbies which are collectively working in America and other European countries have been exploiting the double standards of the US-led West regarding terrorism and human rights vis-à-vis China, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen etc.

Overtly, like Bush, President Obama had repeatedly stated that Muslims are moderate and Islam is a religion of peace, but covertly, he followed the agenda of the Bush to secure the Zionist-shaped policies.

Learning no lesson from the US and NATO’s longest war in Afghanistan, facing defeatism in that country, Obama continued state terrorism and extrajudicial killings of the Muslims through illegitimate drone attacks, CIA-torture cells, sectarian divide and violence on the basis of Shia and Sunni—assisting undemocratic forces such as the return of a military strongman in Egypt by toppling the elected government, and like Iraq, his policies created more collapsed states such as Libya, Syria, Yemen etc., which opened the door for Al-Qaeda and ISIL activists, coupled with total failure to convince Tel Aviv to abandon “settlements,” or to end delaying tactics in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the perennial humiliations of the Palestinians.

Since September 30, 2015, various unexpected developments had frustrated Israel and America. In this respect, Russian successful airstrikes on the ISIS targets in the northern Syria and Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, its coalition with Iran, Iraq, the Syrian army-the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Lebanon-based Hezbollah in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, retreat of the CIA-supported rebels and mercenaries after their failure to topple the Assad government, proving links of Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and ISIS with America and Israel, Putin’s clear-cut statement, indicating the Zionist regime in the US and  Israel for their “phony war on ISIS” surprised the Israel-led America and some European countries who wanted to oust the Assad regime.

As a matter of fact,  the agents of Mossad who are in collaboration with the CIA sympathizers, Syrian rebel groups and the ISIL militants arranged terror attacks in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, San Bernardino, Nice, Munich, London, St. Petersburg (Metro train) and in Stockholm. While, a gunman who went by the nickname Black Jesus was identied—39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, making militant comments on social mediakilled three white men in downtown Fresno, California, on April 18, 2017 and fired at another before he was taken into custody while shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” as the Fresno police stated.

All these were false flag terror attacks, as the US and Israel wanted to obtain their covert aims against Russia and the Muslims. Mossad had also provided the US President Donald Trump with an opportunity to exploit various terror assaults to win the US presidential election and to reunite America and Europe, as a rift was created between America and its Western allies, especially Europe on a number of issues, including NATO.

And, President Donald Trump had left no stone unturned in implementing anti-Muslim policies, while speaking openly against the Muslims and Syrian immigrants.

Earlier, taking note of various developments and some other ones such as reluctance of NATO countries to support America’s fake global war on terror, acceptance of Syrian refuges by the European countries, especially Germany and the EU rule to boycott goods produced in Israeli settlements on the West Bank, Israeli Mossad which was in collaboration with the vulnerable CIA operatives arranged terror attacks in Paris on the night of November 13, 2016. As part of the double game, these terror assaults were conducted by these secret agencies, particularly Mossad which was in connivance with the ISIS terrorists who used the home-grown terrorists of France.

French President Francois Hollande who declared emergency in the country had said, “It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh against France…France would act with “all the necessary means, and on all terrains, inside and outside, in coordination with our allies, who are, themselves, targeted by this terrorist threat.”

Israel succeeded in its sinister designs, Europe was put on high alert and Paris attacks were being taken as assaults on the whole continent. Afterwards, France started airstrikes on the ISIS targets in Syria.

ISIS which is being driven out of its areas of territorial control in Iraq and Syria by the Russian-led coalition and the so-called Western-assisted alliance has hundreds of French-speaking fighters, which have claimed responsibility for several terrorism-related assaults.

France which has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks mostly perpetrated by young men who grew up in France have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

In France, around five million Muslims are living—roughly 7.5 percent of the population—the largest share of any country in Europe.

At least two million Muslims have French citizenship. The Muslim community is made up of immigrants from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and a small population from South Asia

Historically, the immigration started in 1960-70s and consisted mainly of “economic migrants,” who filled the blue collared jobs which the native French did not want. However, their second and third generation is educated, but ostracized from the mainstream French society.

Muslims came to France following France’s colonization of North Africa. The current relationship between the French state and its Muslim population is based upon discrimination, because Muslims are being considered as an underclass—was conditioned by the twin legacies of imperial history and economic exploitation.

Unlike other colonies, Algeria was officially considered a part of France, meaning that Algerian Muslims could come freely to France to live. Once there, however, they faced systematic and often brutal repression.

Antagonism with a subject Muslim population is written into France’s political structure: the current constitution—which established the Fifth Republic — was designed to resolve the state crisis provoked by Muslim resistance to colonialism.

When General De Gaulle called for constitutional reform in 1958, he did so precisely in order to shore up presidential authority, weakened by the upheavals of the Algerian war of independence.

There are also some other purposes behind creation of xenophobia against the Muslims in France.

Firms sometimes made prayer rooms available to their employees, a startling difference from today, when the private sector is collaborating with the state to eradicate manifestations of Islam in every sphere outside the home.

French perceptions of Muslims and Islam changed significantly over the past decade. Since 9/11, a number of terrorist attacks in Europe and in France in particular led to an increase in debates, such as “Clash of Civilizations”, “Islamisation of Europe” and the “Islam problem.” It has, thus resulted in dividing the French society between “us” and “them.”

In the pretext of the fear of Muslims and Islam, growing in Europe, France has enacted a number of laws to maintain the so-called “secularism” of the French society. In this context, the controversial ban on the traditional veil, worn by Muslim women is notable. France has banned the traditional veil in public areas, considering it to be a symbol of “oppression” against women. Consequently, women, wearing veils cannot enter universities, banks, hospitals, offices etc., thus making it difficult for Muslim women to avail public facilities.

Head scarves and other religious traditional dresses have been banned in schools. This has, mainly, affected Muslim children, while, proposals for discontinuation of substitute for pork and “Halal” (Permitted in Islam) food in school cafeterias are also being voiced.

Many Muslims, however, find these laws part of discrimination, which have further broadened the divide between the Muslim community and the Christians.

Besides, the Muslim youth is facing discrimination in employment opportunities. In this regard, “Muslim Diaspora” is twice more likely to work in factories than the rest of French force. They are also underrepresented in executive positions.

It is noteworthy that another false flag terror operation-the Charlie Hebdo incident has also put Muslim population under greater scrutiny. Violence against Muslims increased twofold after the incident. As regards the incident, on January 7, 2015, two Islamic militants attacked the office of French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and killed 13 people on January 9, 2015, two brothers namely Said and Cherif Kouachi suspected for the incident were killed in a shootout with Police—in a hostage-taking situation, at a signage company in Dammartinen-Goele where some people were also targeted.

Thus, the gunmen killed total 17 persons. Mossad manipulated the anti-Muslim approach of France, and indirectly used these Algerian Muslims for the terror attack through ISIS. Afterwards, Mossad’s connections with Charlie Hebdo episode had been proved by many senior writers, analysts and social media bloggers—a video titled “Did Mossad Do Charlie Hebdo” prepared/uploaded by www.brothernathanaelchanne.com is worth-watching. In fact, besides creating differences between Christians and Muslims, Zionist groups and Mossad used the episode to punish France on recognizing Palestinian state and to desist other EU countries to avoid such approach on Palestinians. However, the magazine had continued to print anti-Muslim publications, under the pretext of freedom of speech, thus creating resentment in the Muslim community. Similarly, one of the most confrontational debated books of 2015 has been, “Submission” by Michel Houellebecq, which portrays France being ruled under Islamic law by 2022. The book thrives on paranoia of the European society towards Islam and Muslims.

As part of discrimination, radicalized Muslim inmates are detained separately from the rest of the inmates. The second and third generation Muslim youth which has been brought up and educated in France, is faced with an “identity crisis,” despite being a French Muslim in a society which is unwilling to accept them as truly French. This lack of identity which has been exploited by the Mossad and some CIA agents, forced a number of the French citizens (Muslims) to fight in Syria against the Assad regime.

As regards the discriminatory treatment with the Muslims,  Under the title, “French police abuse Muslims under emergency laws-Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International report physical and psychological abuse as raids target Muslim minority”, Aljazeera multimedia network wrote on February 4, 2016,  “France has carried out abusive and discriminatory raids and house arrests against Muslims under its current state of emergency…stigmatising those targeted, including children and the elderly…Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International published separate research…pointing to cases where excessive force had been used, leading to human rights violations including violence…Those targeted said the police burst into homes, restaurants, or mosques; broke people’s belongings; threw Qurans on the floor; terrified children; and placed restrictions on people’s movements so severely that they lost jobs and income, or suffered physically…ISIL’s claim[For terror attacks] triggered a backlash-not just in France, but across Europe and elsewhere- as Muslim communities were collectively punished…France has a responsibility to ensure public safety and try to prevent further attacks, but the police have used their new emergency powers in abusive, discriminatory, and unjustified ways, said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher at HRW, calling for an immediate end to warrantless searches and house arrests…This abuse has traumatised [Muslims] families and tarnished reputations, leaving targets feeling like second-class citizens…In one house raid, HRW said, police broke four of a disabled man’s teeth before they realised he was not the person they were looking for…In another case, a single mother’s children were transferred to foster care following a raid…Freedom, equality and fraternity have been badly damaged in the weeks since the November attacks.”

On August 29, 2016, Nick Riemer, under the caption, “The Roots of Islamophobia in France” wrote on the website https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/08/burkini-ban-islamophobia-valls-france-secularism-islam/, “Children have watched as their parents are dragged from their beds by heavily armed police…Mosques have been violently ransacked by the police. Worshippers are humiliated and degraded, including through the use of police dogs. Around twenty mosques have simply been closed, and more will soon be shuttered. Political organizations with Muslim links have also been threatened with closure; demonstrations, including, including pro-Palestinian ones…Muslims appealing for asylum find themselves even more vulnerable than residents. The government delivers anti-Islamic broadsides while destroying refugee camps in Calais and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the French have blessed the European Union’s deal with Turkey on refugees, under which Syrian refugees arriving by boat on Greek islands are deported to Turkey.

In pursuing these policies, French politicians have knowingly ignored the fact that long-standing and state-sponsored Islamophobia, combined with military activity in Muslim countries, has only encouraged extremism. The political classes have refused to recognize how their economic and social policies fuel the alienation that drives people to join groups like ISIS. A ferocious escalation of Islamophobic propaganda from all quarters of French culture and politics accompanies these measures. According to Abdellali Hajjat and Marwan Mohammed, the construction of the ‘Muslim problem’ over recent years constitutes one of the main vectors for French and even European elites’ unification” across the political spectrum.”

A website http://www.middleeasteye.net/essays/muslim-and-french-2084594508 pointed out on August 8, 2016Laïcité went from being a constitutional principle to becoming an ideological weapon used to justify the social death sentence against Muslims in France…Several primary school children were either physically assaulted by their teachers or school principa…such a story did not move the minister of education, Mrs Najat Vallaud Belkacem, who not only refused to condemn the school personnel’s violence against a child but further stated that they had acted according to the procedures in place. This cynical position was confirmed a few weeks later when the international media turned its attention to a new witch hunt against Muslim students…Western Muslims, and particularly French Muslims whose country has become the laboratory of Islamophobia…are the clear indicator of how well our democracies are doing.

The recent drift toward authoritarian regimes, the rise of fascist discourse in not only US politics but also in most of Europe, the acceptance of regimes of exception like the current state of emergency in France, pre-emptive prosecution in the US or the capacity for the UK government to deport a person or stripping citizenships while people are abroad should worry us; not because they are applied against people we may disagree with but because we leave it to the state to decide alone without any accountability and look away when minorities are being put under increasing pressure. But once you create a precedent, you seldom go back. In the case of France, a concept keeps steering violent debate about Muslims.Laïcité is a constitutional principle granting the French state’s religious neutrality and that there is no official religion in France. Proclaimed in 1905, it put a clear separation between the state and the church. Laïcité was seldom debated until Muslim immigrants who were once invisible sociological subjects reduced to mere statistics became a visible part of French society.”

Recall, just after the September 11 tragedy inside the United States, chauvinism and extremism were deliberately developed among the Americans through media and statements of high officials of the Bush Administration. President Bush used the words, “crusade against the evil-doers”, adding to the perception that the ongoing ‘different war’ against terrorism is actually a war against the Muslim countries. Inside the US, suddenly, every Muslim found himself divested of his nationality. Arrests, detentions and harassment of the Muslims by the CIA and the FBI were other steps which still continue. Israeli atrocities on the Palestinians were brushed aside.

Learning no lesson from the drastic aftermath and the implications of the post-9/11 tragedy, some irresponsible politicians, rulers, writers and think-tanks of the Western countries, especially Europe, including their media are repeating similar anti-Muslim chauvinism which has, particularly, been accelerated in France after the Paris attacks of November 13, 2016 and those occurred afterwards. They have been misguiding their general public by creating prejudice against the Muslims.

They are propagating the so-called threat of Islamophobia. In one way or the other, the Muslims are being persecuted in the US and other Western countries, particularly in Europe. Especially, France shows the anti-Muslim phenomenon of the post 9/11 tragedy in its worst form.

In this regard, scholars of international affairs agree that “foreign affairs are too foreign” to the citizens of a country. Renowned scholar Prof. Hoslti opines that “issues and situations” have “influence on public opinion” which in turn “influences the objectives and actions.”

So, fault cannot be laid on the general masses, a majority of whom does not have much time to go in-depth. Hence, they are swayed by emotions, stereotypes and prejudices created by the political leaders who keep on manipulating any crisis for their own self-interests with the sole aim of getting their sympathies to increase their vote bank. There are equal strong pressures from religious and nationalist forces in wake of global war on terror which is dividing the world on religious lines.

Nonetheless, owing to the irresponsible approach of the Western leaders, far right-wing parties and “Stop Islam” movement in the West, especially in Europe are becoming popular by largely attracting their people. Amid a migrant crisis, sluggish economic growth and growing disillusionment with the European Union, right-wing parties in a growing number of European countries have made electoral gains. The right-wing parties range across a wide policy spectrum, from populist and nationalist to far-right neofascist.

But, some other developments such as criticism of the controversial Turkish-EU refugee deal by a number of human rights groups, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), after the referendum (Brexit) on June 24, 2016, prospects of Scotland and some other countries for separation from the EU, and the divide between the elite class which run multinational companies with the direct or indirect control of the Jews and the general masses who are suffering from multiple problems in wake of differences on the refugee crisis, Syrian war, Greece’s weak economy, violent protests and strikes against the labour laws in France in 2016 in favour of the employers at the cost of the employs etc.—the chances of European Union’s disintegration which will give a greater blow to the US-Europe alliance against Russia the “Stop NATO protests” in Europe were quite opposite to the Israeli secret interests.

Besides revival of the fake global war on terror, Israeli-led America also got the support of its Western allies (NATO) against Russia in relation to Syrian civil war, and as part of the double game and secret strategy, American jet fighters and those of its Western coalition started targeting the ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

Notably, backing out from his earlier statements, American President Trump has changed his policy regarding Europe and NATO. In this connection, he stated on April 13, 2017 that US relations with Russia may be at “an all-time low” and declared a new-found faith in NATO, suggesting the alliance was “no longer obsolete”. Besides, the White House said on May 21, this year, that US President Donald Trump will attend a summit of leaders of NATO nations on May 25 in Brussels.

Undoubtedly, international terrorism is the by-product of the US-led Western intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the proxy war being waged in Syria.

We may conclude that despite the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election of France, discrimination against the Muslim will continue in France in particular and other Western countries in general.

Posted in France, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on France: Macron’s Election Victory, Will Discrimination against the Muslims Continue?

Distortion of History: BSNs Observe Black Day

NOVANEWS

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By Sajjad Shaukat

In order to pollute the minds of the patriot people of the Baluchistan province against the

federation of Pakistan, every year Baloch Sub Nationalists (BSNs) observe March 27 as a black

day on alleged annexation of Kallat state with Pakistan in 1948.

During this very day, shutter down strikes in small and far-flung areas of Balochistan and

demonstrations of small attendance by exiled BSNs take place. As these hostile elements, while

following the foreign agenda of the anti-Pakistan countries distort the historical facts; the Baloch

must need to know the actual perspective about accession of Kallat state with Pakistan.

No doubt, Baloch leaders and people of Balochistan played a vital role in creation of Pakistan,

and ultimately succeeded under the leadership and guidance of Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali

Jinnah in achieving Pakistan as an independent state. In fact, Balochistan is an integral part of

Pakistan with a history of supporting Resolution of Pakistan-1940, which envisaged creation of a

separate homeland for Muslim majority areas of the Sub-continent, as the Baloch had strongly

opposed plan of the united India.

Unfortunately, there are still been certain dissident elements which not only opposed the idea of

Two Nation Theory-the fundamental ideological base for creation of Pakistan, but also left no

stone unturned in polluting the minds of the innocent Baloch by distorting the history of

Balochistan’s accession to Pakistan. In reality, before the independence of Pakistan, the

territories which are now consolidated into the province of Balochistan did not constitute a

settled province. Apart from Quetta District that was administrated under civil law, the rest of the territory was under Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). The then government of British India constituted a special body of tribal elders known as “SHAHI JIRGA” for consultation by

Assistant Governor General (AGG) on local issues relating to British Balochistan.

On June 29, 1947, “SHAHI JIRGA” of the British Balochistan as representative body of AGG along with elected members of Quetta Municipal Body unanimously passed a resolution of forming part of Pakistan. The State of Kalat had customary over lordship on the princely states of Kharan,

Makran and Lasbela. As these three states decided to join Pakistan in March 1948, the Khan of

Kalat (KoK) also acceded with Pakistan on March 27, 1948. The brother of KoK Shehzada

Abdul Karim of Kakat having mustered 130 tribesmen started insurgency in 1948 which never

took off ground and the matter was brought under control.

Regretfully, Baloch Sub Nationalists (BSNs) distort history of accession of Kalat with Pakistan

and give reference of the so-called insurgency of 1948 by brother of KoK, whereas the document

of accession of State of Kalat with Pakistan was signed by KoK himself as legitimate ruler of

State of Kalat.

Notably, as a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader

Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on

December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province.

However, these elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation, and do

not favour separation of the Balachistan, as they have rejected the case of separatists, being

projected by anti-Pakistan powers.

Even a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 212, had disclosed

that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan. This

survey has also proved that some external entities have been conducting acts of sabotage in the

province by backing the minority groups.

As regards the deteriorating situation of Balochistan and the missing persons, everyone knows

that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Salvation Front (BSF) and their affiliated

outfits, including another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for

secession of the province gets logistic support from American CIA, Indian RAW, and Israeli

Mossad. In the past few years, these militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and

the security personnel in the province. They also massacred many persons through suicide

attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. Therefore, they are responsible for

dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings in the province. On a number of occasions, these

insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. A majority of the disappeared

individuals are also in the detention centers (Farrari Camps) which are being run by foreign-

assisted Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) who want to continue old system of feudalism in the

province so as to maintain their status, prestige and influence at the cost of people of the

province.

It is mentionable that India, US and Israel have been internationalizing the Balochistan issue in

accordance with their secret goals. In this respect, in connivance with the Baloch separatist

leaders who have taken refuge in Switzerland, Sweden, US and London, these foreign elements

use media, various NGOs and human rights organizations for false propaganda against

Pakistan’s security  agencies in relation to extrajudicial killings, mutilated bodies and the missing persons.

Nevertheless, during this vary day, it is also of particular attention that since, the government of

the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of reconciliation process, many militants and their leaders have surrendered their arms and

decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province.

Besides, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by

the successful military operation Zarb-e- Azb which has also been extended to Balochistan where peace has been restored. But, it is misfortune that based in Afghanistan; external secret agencies such as CIA, RAW and Mossad have, again, started subversive activities in Balochistan. As part of the double, game, these agencies are using the separatist elements and terrorist organizations like the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL), the Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur- Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA), including other similar outfits in creating unrest in Balochistan, as recent terror attacks in the province has proved.

Now, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is their special target. Taking cognizance of historical facts, the idea of observing Black Day must be denounced by all the segments of society, while the majority of the Baloch has already rejected the call for shutter down strike. But, these anti-Pakistan aims of the separatist elements also needs to be countered by our own historians, analysts and media persons by giving true perspective of history and denouncing the hostile elements who distorting the facts in order to advance their vested interests.

These internal entities of Pakistan must point out that People of Balochistan, especially the youth are very loyal and patriotic Pakistanis who believe in unity and sovereignty of the country. They cannot be misled by elusive designs of greedy leaders who plan to observe March 27 as Black Day.

Particularly, media must proactively project the role of Baloch leaders in creation of Pakistan

and in defending the state of Pakistan. For the purpose, talk shows must be held giving correct

perspective of historical records by explaining the process of accession of State of Kalat with

Pakistan and internal rift between KoK and his brother.

Our own intellectuals must indicate that insurgency of 1948 which started by Shehzada Abdul

Karim of Kakat never took off, because it was not supported by other realist Baloch leaders, and

it was based on misguided thoughts suggested by few Indian Congress leaders. The aim was to

destabilize Pakistan by creating militancy in Balochistan.

Returning to our earlier discussion, last year, Baloch Sub Nationalists and Baloch Salvation

Front called for a shutter down strike in Balochistan on March 27 to observe it as Black Day.

Since it is the date of legal accession of State of Kalat with Pakistan, therefore, the strike call was

based on negative contemplation and wicked designs to misguide the Baloch, especially the

youth. In order to obtain the foreign agenda against Pakistan, these hostile elements who distort

the history, want that every year, this Black Day should be observed.

 

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

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Distortion of History: BSNs Observe Black Day

An Open Letter to the Army Chief

NOVANEWS

Image result for Kashmiri RESISTANCE LOGO

– Kavita Krishnan

Dear General Bipin Rawat,

You have warned Kashmiri civilians that if they fail to cooperate with Army operations, the Army will not hesitate to fire on them. You have added, for good measure, that not only those who pelt stones but even those who raise anti-India slogans or display anti-India flags will be likewise treated as “terrorists.”

By doing so, you have admitted that the Indian State is at war with the people of Kashmir. You have admitted that contrary to the claims of the Indian State based on election participation, ordinary Kashmiri civilians are not supportive of the Indian State or Indian Army.

Why do Kashmiri youth and women pick up stones, raise anti-India slogans and obstruct Army operations against militants? Is it simply because they are brain-washed by Pakistan? To find an answer, I read about Waqar Ahmad Moharkan (http://kashmirreader.com/2017/02/21/5-months-jail-psa-20-firs-waqar-loved-india/) and what put a stone in his hands and an azaadi slogan on his lips.

Waqar, now 24 and facing a slew of cases relating to last year’s uprising, says that he “loved India once” but “the word India now makes me mad…I was living in a dreamland till I met with reality of their brutality.”

During a curfew break in the 2008 protests, Waqar went out on his bike to buy milk, and was stopped at a petrol pump by CRPF troopers. “I greeted them politely. I told them curfew has been lifted and I had to buy milk. There were about 12 of them there. They encircled me and beat me up with lathis and gun butts. One of them thrust the barrel of his gun into my mouth so that I wouldn’t shout,” and declared that all Kashmiris were “traitors and Pakistanis.”

He says, “When they finally stopped I got up, parked my bike and for the first time in my life picked up a stone and threw it at them with all my strength and all by myself I said ‘hum kya chahte, azadi.” He then sought out stone throwers to learn the art of stone pelting.

I also read about 13-year-old Saqib in this (https://kafilabackup.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/kashmir-fft-report.pdf) enquiry report into the 2010 mass uprising. Saqib – much like every Kashmiri child I and other members of a solidarity team that visited Kashmir in November 2016 met – was very sure that azaadi for him means self-determination, a choice made between India, Pakistan or an independent Kashmir, a historical commitment that he insists India owes the people of Kashmir.

The team members probed how Saqib imagined azaadi: “What possibly could azaadi mean to Saqib? A major criterion emerges a little while into the conversation: azaadi means in part, to be free of “Major Sharma”, the local army commander who made it a regular routine to swagger into Saqib’s school in the company of other soldiers from his unit – all displaying lethal firearms – to threaten children that they should participate in protest demonstrationsonly at enormous risk to their lives.”

General Rawat, it seems from these testimonies that the stone-pelting Kashmiris are being produced, not by Pakistan, but by the very presence of Indian armed forces in the Valley. The report https://kafilabackup.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/kashmir-fft-report.pdf cited above estimates that there are 90,000 Indian armed persons deployed in Kashmir (for a population of 5 million) on counter-insurgency operations alone (not counting those on patrolling, guard duty, on the Pakistan border and in artillery and air-defence units) – “already close to the number that the British Raj needed in terms of European administrators and military officers in order to control 300 million or so Indians.” The actual number may be much higher: “People in Kashmir believe that there is probably one armed person of the Indian Army and paramilitary for every 12 of them .” Why are Indian Army and paramilitary forces present in such concentration among Kashmiri civilians, if not to suppress and subjugate the will of a civilian population?

Will the fear of being killed by your troops deter Kashmiri civilians from protesting? To the people of Kashmir, it is hardly news that they may be killed during civilian street protests. In 2010, for instance, 112 Kashmiri civilians were killed over 4 months when CRPF and police fired at civilian protests and funeral processions across the Kashmir Valley. Last year, over 100 Kashmiri civilians protesting on the streets have been killed, 1178 received pellets in their eyes (52 of them were blinded, 300 including 150 minors partially lost vision) and 4664 persons received bullet injuries in different parts of the bodies. When Kashmiris know that they can be killed even for demonstrating on streets or mourning in a funeral, why would they be deterred by your threat that they may be killed while obstructing an Army operation against militants?

The sad truth is that you have only given voice to a policy that the Indian State has already been following – and it hasn’t worked. The official line of the Indian State used to be that they are out to “win hearts and minds” of ordinary Kashmiri people while cracking down on “terrorists.” A commentator, writing in robust defence of you, has reminded of the doctrine attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, “If you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.” (https://scroll.in/article/829668/counterpoint-general-rawat-has-only-stated-the-obvious-about-fighting-fire-with-fire-in-kashmir). Well, most Kashmiris will tell you that India has held them by the balls for decades and has still failed to win their hearts and minds.

Many Indians feel that to question the presence of the Indian Army and its right to use lethal force against anti-Indian Kashmiris amounts to an intolerable insult to the patriotic soldiers who are being killed in the Valley.

Can we pause and ask ourselves – how much do we really care, as a country, for the soldiers drawn from amongst the poorest Indians? They are a useful stick with which to beat up dissenters and questioners. They die – and their deaths allow us to be self-righteously and aggressively ‘patriotic’ at their cost. If any of them – like BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav – dares to complain about the indignities to which soldiers are subjected, he is treated just as ruthlessly as other dissenting citizens are treated http://indianexpress.com/article/india/bsf-cancels-tej-bahadur-yadavs-vrs-denies-wifes-claim-of-his-arrest-4504980/.

The Armed Forces of any country are meant to fight wars against enemies. Civilian discontent against a State and even civilian demands for self-determination, for azaadi from a State, have to be recognized as political not military issues. When our political masters refuse to recognize – let alone solve – the political question of Kashmir, they demand that our soldiers risk their lives and peace of mind to suppress the will and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Is this just?

I’m sure you’re aware that of the alarming suicide and fragging rates among Indian soldiers http://www.oneindia.com/feature/suicides-graver-than-enemies-armed-forces-1487700.html. When reasons for these are discussed, one possibility is rarely ever admitted – the fact that being asked to kill and commit atrocities for a cause that you know in your heart is unjust, puts an incredible strain on the human mind and spirit.

For the sake of the Kashmiri people – but also for the sake of Indians deployed in the Armed forces – surely it is time we recognize the Kashmir issue as a dispute; demand a political solution; and seek withdrawal of Indian Army and paramilitary forces from civilian areas of Jammu and Kashmir as a necessary first step towards resolution of the dispute? 

Posted in India, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on An Open Letter to the Army Chief

Pakistan Shrine Attack Kills Sparks Fierce Crackdown

NOVANEWS
  • A man mourns the death of a relative who was killed in a suicide blast at the tomb of Sufi saint Syed Usman Marwandi.
    A man mourns the death of a relative who was killed in a suicide blast at the tomb of Sufi saint Syed Usman Marwandi. | Photo: Reuters
The bombing at the famed Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in southern Sindh province was Pakistan’s deadliest attack for two years.

Pakistani security forces killed at least 39 suspected militants Friday, a day after the Islamic State group claimed a suicide bombing that killed more than 80 worshippers at a Sufi shrine, the biggest in a spate of attacks this week across the country.

RELATED: 4 Indian Soldiers, 4 Militants Dead in Kashmir Gun Battles

The bombing at the famed Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in southern Sindh province was Pakistan’s deadliest attack for two years, killing at least 88 people and highlighting the threat of militant groups.

The security response was swift.

“Over 100 terrorists have been killed since last night and sizeable apprehensions also made,” the military said in an operations update on Friday evening.

“Terrorists will be targeted ruthlessly, indiscriminately, anywhere and everywhere. No let up,” an armed forces spokesman added in a tweet.

With authorities facing angry criticism for failing to tighten security before the shrine bomber struck, analysts warned that the wave of violence pointed to a major escalation in Islamist militants’ attempts to destabilize the region.

“This is a virtual declaration of war against the state of Pakistan,” said Imtiaz Gul, head of the independent Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad.

ANALYSIS: No Country for Women: India Enters 2017 with ‘Mass Molestation’ 

With pressure growing for action, Pakistan demanded that neighboring Afghanistan hand over 76 “terrorists” it said were sheltering over the border.

The bombings over five days have hit all four of Pakistan’s provinces and two major cities, shaking a nascent sense that the worst of the country’s militant violence may be in the past.

A series of military operations against insurgent groups operating in Pakistan had encouraged hopes that their leaders were scattered.

“But this has led to a degree of complacency within our civil-military leadership that perhaps they have completely destroyed these elements, or broken their back,” Gul said.

If so, that impression has been shattered in recent days.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Pakistan Shrine Attack Kills Sparks Fierce Crackdown

The Afghan Connection of Terrorism in Pakistan 

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat for Veterans Today

Pakistan’s Armed Forces have broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operation Zarb-e-Azb, which has also been extended to other provinces of the country. While, Pakistan’s law-enforcing agencies, especially primary intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts. But, the new wave of terrorism which started in the beginning of this year, having connection in Afghanistan has, again, enveloped Pakistan.

In this regard, at least 88 people were martyred and 343 were injured on February 16, this year when a suicide bomber attacked the crowded Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Sindh province of Pakistan. 

Terrorist organisation, the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.

On February 15, three suicide bombers targeted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the adjoining tribal areas leaving around seven people dead. One of the incidents occurred in Peshawar where a suicide bomber riding a motorbike hit a vehicle carrying civil judges, while two other suicide bombers blew themselves up at separate locations in Mohmand Agency.

At least 13 people were killed on February 13, this year when a suicide bomber struck outside the Punjab Assembly on the Mall Road in the eastern city of Lahore during a peaceful protest of the chemists and pharmacists against a new law.

The affiliated faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA) took responsibility for the deadly suicide bombing in Lahore.

Terror attack in Lahore coincided with the incident in Quetta-the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, where at least one policeman was killed and five people were injured on February 13, 2017 in an explosion occurred on Sariab road.

Besides, more than 24 people had been killed in an explosion which ripped through a crowded marketplace in Parachinar Kurram tribal agency on January 21, 2017. Soon after the incident, Afghan-based TTP claimed responsibility for the blast in Parachinar.

At least 65 people were killed when a blast struck at the shrine of the Sufi saint Shah Noorani in Balochistan’s Hub Tehsil on November 12, 2016. ISIL had accepted responsibility for the attack via Amaq, its affiliated news agency.

Earlier, the affiliated group of the TTP, TTP-JA took responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing in Quetta, which killed at least 74 people on August 8, 2016 in a assault at the government-run Civil Hospital.

However, the suicide bombing at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is the worst single attack since the TTP militants massacred about 150 students at an army school in Peshawar in December 2014. Pakistan’s military and civil high officials strongly condemned the attack and recent terror attacks by pointing out their connection in Afghanistan.

In this respect, a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that senior Afghan diplomats were summoned to the General Headquarters (Of army) over the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Pakistan and asked to ensure that immediate action was taken against the Pakistani terrorists living in safe havens in their country.

The army, which took the lead in dealing with Afghanistan over the terrorist sanctuaries there, had soon after the Sehwan shrine attack announced closure of the border crossings with Afghanistan citing security reasons.

According to the statement of the DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor, on February 17, 2017, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa appealed to the nation to stay calm by saying, “our security forces shall not allow hostile powers to succeed…each drop of nation’s blood shall be revenged, and revenged immediately…no more restraint for anyone.”

Gen. Javed Bajwa had called Gen John Nicholson, commander of the US’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan through telephone to protest continued acts of terrorism in Pakistan perpetrated from Afghanistan, saying that they were testing Pakistan’s policy of cross-border restraint.

Gen. Bajwa told Gen. Nicholson that recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan had been claimed by terrorist organisations whose leadership is hiding in Afghanistan, and asked him to play his role in “disconnecting this planning, direction, coordination and financial support”.

In a terse message, during the conversation with Nicholson, Gen. Bajwa also informed him of the list of 76 “most wanted” terrorists handed over to Afghan authorities earlier—operating from Afghan territory or hand them over to Pakistan for trying them over their involvement in terrorism.

Taking note of the terror assault in Sehwan, including the recent ones, Pakistan Army targeted a training camp of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and militant hideouts located close to the Pak-Afghan border in areas adjacent to Mohmand and Khyber agencies.

In a similar message to Kabul, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz called Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar to call for strong action against JuA and terrorist’s sanctuaries in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Office of Pakistan said that Afghanistan had been asked to address concerns about presence of terrorist groups on its soil, which are behind the latest wave of terrorism in the country.

It is notable that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, while addressing a press conference on February 17, this year claimed that the suspects involved in planning and carrying out the Feb 13 suicide bombing on a protest at Lahore’s Charing Cross (Mall Road) belonged to Afghanistan. Sharif also announced the arrest of the facilitator of the attacker, Anwar-ul-Haq who he said belonged to Fata’s Bajaur Agency which neighbours Afghanistan. The suspect’s confessional statement was aired during the briefing. The suspect stated, “I was associated with Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and they trained me”, adding that he has visited Afghanistan around 15 to 20 times.

The police officers involved in the investigation into the incident of Mall Road, Lahore revealed that Jamaat-ul-Ahrar is an offshoot of the Tehreek-i-Taliban.

Nevertheless, Pakistan has been hit by a series of terrorist attacks since Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) announced its ‘Operation Ghazi’. The Afghanistan-based JuA had in the announcement also hinted at unification of TTP splinter groups.

As regards the terror assault on the Police Training College in Quetta, IG FC Major General Sher Afgun had informed the press that the attackers acted on directions from Afghanistan and the initial investigation suggested that the terrorists were affiliated with the outlawed Lashkar-e- Jhangvi Al Almi militant group. He elaborated, “We came to know from the communication intercepts that there were three militants who were getting instructions from Afghanistan.”

Notably, as part of the dual strategy, CIA, RAW and Mossad are in connivance with the Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) and other terrorist groups. With latest capture of six NDS supported terrorists in Balochistan, the number of NDS backed terrorists arrested and killed by Pakistani intelligence agencies has crossed over 126. These external secret agencies are particularly supporting the TTP which is hiding in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan. Reportedly, Mullah Fazlullah led TTP was being prepared to carry out a fresh wave of terror activities inside Pakistan, as the latter has become center of the Great Game owing to the ideal location of Balochistan.

Located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, Balochistan’s Gwadar seaport is close to the Strait of Hormuz from where more than 17 million barrels of oil passes every day. Its location among South Asia, the oil-rich Middle East, and oil and gas-resourced Central Asia has further increased its strategic significance. Besides, Balochistan’s abundant mineral resources irritate the eyes of the US, India and Israel which intend to weaken Pakistan for their collective aims, as the latter is also the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.

In case of Balochistan, every Pakistani knows that the militant outfits like ISIS and separatist groups like the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and their affiliated groups, including Jundollah (God’s soldiers) and Lashkar-i-Janghvi which have been creating unrest in the Balochistan get logistic support from RAW and Mossad with the tactical assistance of CIA. In the recent years, these terrorist outfits massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. These externally-supported insurgent groups had kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan including Iranian diplomats. They have claimed responsibility for a number of terror assaults, including those on Shias in Balochsitan and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan.

As a matter of fact, like Syrian war, as part of the dual strategy of their countries, CIA, RAW and Mossad are especially using ISIS terrorists who are behind the latest blasts in Balochistan to obtain the covert aims of their countries against Pakistan, China and Iran.

It is of particular attention that arrest of the Indian spy Kulbushan Yadav in Balochistan has exposed Indian undeclared war against Pakistan. While addressing a joint press conference with the then Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rasheeda and former Director General of ISPR Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa said on March 29, 2016, “Kulbushan Yadav’s arrest is a rare case that does not happen very often.” He disclosed that Yadav was an active officer of the Indian Navy prior to his joining RAW. He also served as a scrap dealer and had a jewelry business in Chahbahar, Iran, after he joined RAW in 2013.

A video was also shown during the press conference in which Yadav confessed that he spied for India. Yadav admitted that he was assigned with the task to create unrest in Karachi and Balolchitan by stating, “I supported the individuals who worked to destabilize Pakistan…I promoted the criminal mindset that was there in Balochistan.” Another task assigned to him was to target the Gwadar Port. Yadav also confessed—funding Baloch separatists along with other terrorists. During investigation, RAW agent Yadav admitted that during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s security agencies uncovered another ring of Indian spies in the country, working as under covert agents, found involved in subversive activities to destabilize Pakistan. In this connection, on November 2, last year, Islamabad disclosed that five Indian diplomats who were serving at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad found to be part of the RAW spy network and were involved in subversive activities by facilitating and funding terrorism. They were declared as persona non grata and expelled from the country.

Undoubtedly, almost all the terrorists or terrorist groups and insurgency in Pakistan, especially have their connection in Afghanistan. The porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is frequently used by human and drug traffickers, criminals and terrorists. Their easy access through unguarded porous border provides opportunity to miscreants to cause havoc inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. For effective counter terrorism measures strong border, control management is vital at Pak-Afghan border. But, Afghan rulers are using delaying tactics in this respect.

Taking cognizance of the anti-Pakistan intruders, Pakistan’s army had decided to build a fence along the border, and to control the border crossings. The strategic project of 1,100-kilometre-long trench with the cost of Rs14 billion which was initiated along Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan by Frontier Corps in 2013 has been completed last year. In the next phase, the project will be extended to the entire long border with Afghanistan which had opposed this plan.

While, from time to time, controversy arises between Afghanistan and Pakistan when Afghan officials refused to recognize the Durand Line which is the 2640 kilometer long and porous border, situated between both the countries.

The issue again came to the limelight on June 12, 2016 when Afghan security forces started unprovoked firing at Torkham border crossing, resulting in injuries to more than 16 Pakistani citizens, including the martyrdom of some Pakistani security personnel. The aim was to stop Pakistan from construction of a gate.

Durand Line has not been drawn by Pakistan, but it was declared border line by British representative Sir Durand and Afghan Ameer Ghazi Amanullah Khan in 1919. People of Pakistan’s province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (Tribal Areas) opted to join Pakistan in 1947. So, it is a declared border line and Afghan government has no right to object on any construction along with the Durand line.

There is no doubt that escalation of tension at Pak- Afghan border is deliberately engineered by the elements opposed to peace talks and improvement of bilateral relations between Islamabad and Kabul.

Pakistan is committed to tackle the problem of terrorism mainly emanating from Afghanistan. Therefore, the effective border management becomes imperative to control all the terrorism-related infiltrations, drug smuggling etc.  Moreover, effective border management will also facilitate both countries to come out of blame game, as it would offer a strict check on both sides to counter the free movement of terrorists and drug mafia lords, who are the important factors of deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and its obvious backlash on Pakistan.

Besides, Afghan peace and reconciliation process is a reality despite of its slow pace and continual interruptions. The positive trajectory of constructive relations between Islamabad and Kabul raised alarm-bells amongst the US-led adversaries who are attempting to affect the progressive Pak-Afghan relations through smear and sinister scheming.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have previously suggested many initiatives to resolve their differences. However, as fast as these solutions had emerged, they have disappeared due to lack of follow-up. Afghanistan and Pakistan have no other option, but to cooperate and resolve their differences through political and diplomatic dialogue. And there is a huge lack of trust between the both sides. Hence, it is imperative for both the countries to develop a framework for strategic dialogue, focused on short, medium and long term solutions. As a trust building initiative, an effective border management mechanism will be beneficial for the two countries. Such an establishment will also plug in many loop holes, being manipulated by the terrorist outfits to conduct cross border terrorism.

We may conclude that besides the previous terror-events, the recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan have connection in Afghanistan.

Posted in Afghanistan, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on The Afghan Connection of Terrorism in Pakistan 

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