Sunday, April 13, 2014
http://sana.sy/President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday the intellectual war and attempts to abolish or replace identity are one of the gravest aspects of the colonial aggression targeting Syria. President al-Assad was speaking during a meeting with the teaching staff and post-graduate students at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Damascus. The Arab region is originally based on an ideology of correlation between Arabism and Islam, the President said, "which makes adherence to this principle one of the most important factors for restoring intellectual and social security to Arab societies." The West has sought to abolish this ideology so as to dominate the region and the role of Arab countries. Having failed to do so, the President said, the West turned to play on concepts to alter the essence of the ideology. President al-Assad said the intellectuals and academics have a role to look into concepts and furnish them with clear-cut meanings to confront attempts to market different meanings that seek to empty ideologies of their content," which risks a loss of belonging and deviation from principles causes for which we have been struggling for decades." Syria is targeted, not only for its weighty geopolitical position, but also for its pivotal role in the region and the sway it has on the Arab street, the President said. He indicated that the war against Syria is an attempt to control its sovereign decision and have it weakened to reverse its policies that meet the aspirations of the Syrian people and are out of pace with the US and Western interests in the region which, the President said, explains the emergence of the Israeli factor that has a major role in backing terrorist groups. President al-Assad said the crisis in Syria is passing through a turning point on the military side due to the continuous achievements of the army and armed forces in the war against terrorism, and on the social front in terms of national reconciliations and a growing popular awareness of the aggression's goals. The Syrian state seeks to restore security and stability to the main areas rocked by terrorism before turning to strike pockets and dormant cells. There had been dialogue during the meeting about the importance of universities, as well as scientific and strategic studies' research centers in providing the state with qualified cadres.
Both are home to some of the oldest civilizations on earth, and both are primarily non-Arab states in a mostly Arab region. In the 1950s, David Ben-Gurion’s Israel and Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi’s Iran were bastions of secular nationalism; the shah pushed authoritarian modernization, while Ben-Gurion advanced a form of nonreligious Zionism. Only after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran did radical Islam all but eclipse this secular brand of politics. It held on for much longer in Israel but is now under threat. Both Iran and Israel are now entering potentially challenging new stages in their relations with the outside world, and particularly with the United States. Over the last seven years, United Nations Security Council resolutions have imposed sanctions on Iran with the aim of halting its nuclear program. For years, Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad railed against the “Great Satan.” But even if Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is still opposed to reforms, it appears that some officials inside Iran have finally realized that continued intransigence and bellicosity will beget only more sanctions and catastrophic economic consequences. As the winds of change blow across Iran, secular democrats in Israel have been losing ground to religious and right-wing extremists who feel comfortable openly attacking the United States, Israel’s strongest ally. In recent months, Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, called Secretary of State John Kerry “obsessive and messianic,” while Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economy minister, labeled Mr. Kerry a “mouthpiece” for anti-Semitic elements attempting to boycott Israel. Israel’s secular democrats are growing increasingly worried that Israel’s future may bear an uncomfortable resemblance to Iran’s recent past. For more than three decades, Iran’s oil wealth has allowed its religious leaders to stay in power. But sanctions have taken a serious economic toll, with devastating effects on the Iranian people. The public, tired of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s bombastic and costly rhetoric, has replaced him with Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist who has promised to fix the economy and restore relations with the West. But Mr. Rouhani’s rise is in reality the consequence of a critical cultural and demographic shift in Iran — away from theocracy and confrontation, and toward moderation and pragmatism. Recent tensions between America and Russia have emboldened some of Iran’s radicals, but the government on the whole seems still intent on continuing the nuclear negotiations with the West. Iran is a land of many paradoxes. The ruling elite is disproportionately made up of aged clerics — all men — while 64 percent of the country’s science and engineering degrees are held by women. In spite of the government’s concentrated efforts to create what some have called gender apartheid in Iran, more and more women are asserting themselves in fields from cinema to publishing to entrepreneurship. Many prominent intellectuals and artists who three decades ago advocated some form of religious government in Iran are today arguing for popular sovereignty and openly challenging the antiquated arguments of regime stalwarts who claim that concepts of human rights and religious tolerance are Western concoctions and inimical to Islam. More than 60 percent of Iranians are under age 30, and they overwhelmingly believe in individual liberty. It’s no wonder that last month Ayatollah Khamenei told the clerical leadership that what worried him most was a non-Islamic “cultural invasion” of the country. As moderate Iranians and some of the country’s leaders cautiously shift toward pragmatism and the West, it seems that many Israelis are moving away from these attitudes. In its 66 years, Israel has seen its share of ideological shifts from dovish to hawkish. These were natural fluctuations driven mainly by the country’s security situation and prospects for peace. But the current shift is being accelerated by religion and demography, and is therefore qualitatively different. While the Orthodox Jewish parties are currently not part of the government, together with Mr. Bennett’s Jewish Home, a right-wing religious party, they hold about 25 percent of seats in the Knesset. The Orthodox parties aspire to transform Israel into a theocracy. And with an average birthrate of 6.5 children per family among Orthodox Jews (compared with 2.6 for the rest of the Jewish population), their dream might not be too far away. By contrast, Iran has a falling birthrate — a clear indication of growing secularism, and the sort of thing that keeps Ayatollah Khamenei awake at night. The long-term power of these demographic trends will, in our view, override Iran’s current theocratic intransigence and might eclipse any fleeting victories for liberalism in Israel. Israel’s shift toward orthodoxy is not merely a religious one. Since the vast majority of Orthodox Jews are also against any agreement with the Palestinians, with each passing day, the chances of reaching a peace deal diminish. Nor is time on the side of those who want to keep seeing a democratic Israel. If Israel continues the expansion of settlements, and peace talks serve no purpose but the extension of the status quo, the real existential threat to Israel will not be Iran’s nuclear program but rather a surging tide of economic sanctions. What began a few years ago with individual efforts to get supermarket shoppers in Western countries to boycott Israeli oranges and hummus has turned into an orchestrated international campaign, calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli companies and institutions. From academic boycotts to calls for divestment on American university campuses to the unwillingness of more and more European financial institutions to invest in or partner with Israeli companies and banks that operate in the West Bank, the “B.D.S.” movement is gaining momentum. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently called B.D.S. advocates “classical anti-Semites in modern garb.” In the past, Israel could rely on Western nations and especially the United States to halt such initiatives, but as the fabric of Israel’s population changes, and Jewish populations in the West become less religious and less uncritically pro-Israel, the reflex to stand by the Jewish state, regardless of its policies, is weakening. Moreover, as Western countries shift toward greater respect for human rights, the occupation is perceived as a violation of Western liberal norms. A new generation of American Jews sees a fundamental tension between their own liberal values and many Israeli policies. This, coupled with the passing of the older generation and a high rate of interfaith marriage among American Jews, means the pro-Israel lobby will no longer be as large or as united as it used to be. While American presidents from Lyndon B. Johnson to Barack Obama have declared that the United States’ commitment to Israel flows from strategic interests and shared values, in a generation or two, interests may be all that’s left. An opposite shift is occurring in Iran’s diaspora. An estimated five to seven million Iranians live in exile. Their economic, scientific, scholarly and cultural achievements are now well known in the United States thanks to people like the eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. They are increasingly establishing themselves as a powerful force advocating a more democratic Iran and better relations with the United States. Just as a united Jewish diaspora once helped the new state of Israel join the ranks of prosperous, industrialized states, Iran’s diaspora could one day play a similar role for a post-theocratic Iran. One of Israel’s most popular singers, the Iranian-born Rita Jahanforuz, laments on her recent album, “In this world, I am alone and abandoned, like wild grass in the middle of the desert.” If Iran’s moderates fail to push the country toward reform, and if secular Israelis can’t halt the country’s drift from democracy to theocracy, both Iranians and Israelis will increasingly find themselves fulfilling her sad prophecy.
http://voiceofrussia.com/The United Nations Security Council has gathered for an urgent, open format session, to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine at Russia's request at 04:00 am Moscow time on Monday (08:00 pm GMT), Russia's Permanent Mission to the UN says. Ukraine's UN envoy Yuriy Sergeyev also takes part in a Security Council meeting.
Russia's Sergei Lavrov will visit China next week and the crisis in Ukraine will top the agenda in talks with President Xi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi
We don't yet know who the next president of Afghanistan will be. But there are good omens:•The recent Afghan vote, its outcome still unresolved, was substantially cleaner than the corruption-filled, ballot-box-stuffing 2009 election of President Hamid Karzai. •When the results are totaled, whoever wins won't be Karzai. Last weekend, Afghan voters turned out in massive numbers, despite the looming threat of Taliban attacks. They waited in long lines, in the rain, at schools and mosques. Many polling places ran out of ballots and had to be resupplied. Some voters trekked from Taliban-controlled villages to cast ballots in the greater security of nearby cities and towns. They all shared one thing: determination. They would not be denied their right to vote. "We showed the world we are a democracy," Karzai told the nation in an evening address. So they did. And they also showed the world that there's much work still to be done to secure the entire country from the barbaric Taliban. Afghan officials declined to open 956 of a planned 7,168 polling stations because they were located in regions that soldiers and police couldn't secure. The Taliban are "stepping up their campaign of terror," Time magazine reports. The election? "The Taliban are not especially interested in who wins: Bullets and bombs, not ballots, are their ticket to power." That raises the possibility that, with the U.S. approaching substantial if not total withdrawal from the country, the invidious Taliban ultimately will win Afghanistan. Afghanistan still needs U.S. military help to tamp down the Taliban. The country's fragile democracy can't yet stand on its own. But, to Washington's frustration, Karzai has thumbed his nose at this reality. He refused to sign a security agreement that would allow several thousand U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan to carry out anti-terrorism operations and help train Afghan forces after a planned allied troop withdrawal at the end of the year. He refused, in other words, to help the next president, the next government of Afghanistan, prevail against the Taliban. Luckily, each of the three leading presidential candidates has pledged to sign the security agreement. We'd expect a done deal on the new president's first day in office. The next president of Afghanistan still faces monumental challenges to boost the economy, tame the terrorists and curb rampant government corruption. But let's not overlook a decade of progress. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, James Dobbins, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, ticks off hard-won gains: The size of the Afghan economy has more than quadrupled, with GDP reaching $19.1 billion in 2011, up from $4 billion in 2002. Longevity has increased by 20 years to over 62 years in 2012 from 42 in 2002, an extraordinary improvement. Literacy has more than doubled to nearly 30 percent in 2012 from 12 percent in 2003. With nearly a third of all Afghans currently in school, including more than four million girls, the literacy rate should double again in the coming years. Another stirring sign of change: Some 300 women were on the ballot for provincial council seats, more than ever before. For the first time, a woman ran for vice president. These huge gains, however, are reversible. The Taliban have been subdued, not defeated. When not launching disruptive attacks, they bide their time, waiting for the American drawdown that President Barack Obama long ago telegraphed. For lack of a security agreement with Karzai, Obama has threatened the "zero option" — leaving no American troops after 2014. But leaving Afghanistan now is a sure way to invite the Taliban back to power. Such a move would squander a decade of American sacrifice and leave Afghanistan vulnerable to a terrorist takeover, as the next president of Afghanistan will surely tell Obama.
Partial results in Afghanistan's crucial presidential election show a tight race between ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah has received 41.9 percent of the votes counted so far and Ghani has 37.6 percent. The chairman of the Independent Election Commission, Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani, warned that the front-runner could easily change. The results released Sunday are for 10 percent of the vote in 26 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. They represent a little over 500,000 of the 7 million ballots cast. Abdullah, who came in second in the disputed 2009 election, had 212,312 votes. Ghani had 190,561 and former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul trailed with 49,821 votes. Full preliminary results are due April 24. A runoff in May could be necessary if no candidate gets a majority.
Though no major act of terrorism occurred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the announcement of truce by outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), there was no stop to sporadic attacks on the law enforcement agencies and incidents of targeted attacks on well-off people. Official sources revealed that a total of 10 explosions, including one suicide attack, took place in March only in Peshawar. About 14 people were killed and 43 others wounded in the terrorist acts, but TTP did not claim responsibility for these incidents while it continued to engage in negotiations with the government. Compared to the previous few years these incidents look nominal, still it is a matter of concern for the investigators as to who is involved in the terrorist acts when TTP has already announced a ceasefire and Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) of Khyber Agency has been engaged in operation. The suicide attack was made on a police party on March 15 at Batatal area of Sarband in the suburbs of Peshawar where 12 people were killed and over 30 injured. However, most of the other bomb blasts were intended for extortion purpose in different localities. Some of the houses like that of former provincial minister and industrialist Haji Mohammad Javaid were attacked twice within a short span of time, but the attackers are yet to be traced and arrested. According to police sources, the attackers have been using the name of the banned organisation and demanding millions of rupees as donation, and those refusing to accept such demands have to face the wrath of terrorists in the shape of bomb blasts at their houses. Most of those who came under attack are running some kind of business, but they avoid giving applications to police for registration of cases or nominating anyone in FIRs in the relevant police stations. For the police, the extortion cases are now a routine and crime of a normal nature because of the repeated huge blasts in the past. The investigators rarely bother to take small blasts seriously and treat them as a routine matter, and thus prefer to close the files by submitting the traditional investigation reports. These sabotage acts have scared the business community and the traders are repeatedly appealing for taking appropriate steps for protection of people. They are of the opinion that police have given a free hand to criminals and failed to arrest the extortionists. “We do not accept the police version that extortionist groups have been busted, as none of them are produced before the anti-terrorism court,” said Haji Sharafat Ali Mubarak, president of Anjuman-i-Tajiran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while talking to this reporter. The business community, he said, was very much worried as the government was not serious about provision of protection to the working class. He said that the government employees were also facing serious problems due to the threats sent to them for payment of extortion money. “The government has passed security ordinance and directed the traders to arrange private security for their personal protection in addition to installation of closed-circuit television cameras at the working places and avoid allowing customers unless they were fully searched, but we are not ready to accept such laws,” he said. Mr Mubarak said that the traders were regularly paying taxes to the government and it was duty of the rulers to ensure security to the people otherwise masses would stop paying taxes. In the face of such laws, he said, no one could run business rather they would defy the law in a state of compulsion. Giving an example, he said that there was only one four-star hotel in Peshawar and the law was meant for five- or four-star hotels, but police were applying it to the ordinary hotels to mint money. However, he appreciated the checking of tenants in rented buildings and said that traders were ready to extend full cooperation in implementation of the law in residential colonies so that suspected people could be checked. He asked the government to stop harassing the business community in the name of security law and fulfil its prime responsibility of ensuring protection to the people at all costs. Former information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that the government had badly failed to protect lives of people and it was trying different tactics for saving its own skin, but people of the province knew about everything. He said that innocent people were killed, kidnapped and forced to pay huge extortions and as result they were leaving the province for safer places. The government, he said, should provide protection to the people otherwise a sense of deprivation and insecurity would spread among them. However, police spokesman Jalaluddin rejected the comments about the police’s failure and said that several groups of attackers and extortionists had been arrested so far and produced before the relevant courts for awarding them punishment according to the law. The gangs, he said, were busted in the areas of Hayatabad, Yakatoot, Peshtakhara, Faqirabad and Bana Mani, but it was a human society and nobody could totally purge it from criminals. The gangsters, he said, used to cash the name of proscribed organisations, but in fact they had no association with them. In most of the cases, he said, Afghan nationals had been found involved in such cases while in others the relatives had been arrested plotting to mint money. The accused persons are habitual criminals who have no sympathy even for relatives and their only purpose was to accumulate wealth. About the bomb blasts and grenade attacks on houses, he said that the society was full of such things due to the prevailing disturbed situation. He said that crackers were easily available in the markets for different celebrations, but terrorists were using them for their own motives. When contacted, Peshawar SSP (investigation) Masood Khalil said that the explosive devices were China-made and the people had been using them in case of enmities. He said that checking of imported items was the duty of the relevant departments. He said that police were trying their best to stop criminal acts like explosion, but it was impossible to deploy police at every place.
Asia Bibi will emanate before the Honorable Mr. Justice Sardar Tariq Massod and Mr. Justice Abdula Sami Khan for final arguments.But in spite of this milieu and a history of alike blasphemy cases against Christians, Asia and CLAAS are still optimistic that the verdict will go on her way. She has continuously moaned her virtuousness and if the judges’ core their judgments on the facts of her case, rather than political and Islamic extremist pressure, she should be freed.
Director CLAAS UK, Nasir Saeed, is asking the global community and Christians all over the planet to pray for Asia and a progressive conclusion for her situation. He said: “We are optimistic that justice will prevail and that Asia will be cleared of all charges. However, we need the prayers of the international church and Christian supporters so that the judges can be free of all pressure from Islamic extremists and make a just decision according to the facts, and fearing God. We also need prayers for asia, so that she remains strong in her belief in Christ, and had faith that she will be freed.” - See more at: http://www.christiansinpakistan.com/date-fixed-for-the-next-court-trial-of-asia-bibi/#sthash.IFELfK8e.dpuf
The Express Tribune
shiapost.comAt least two Shiite Muslims were shot martyred by state sponsored terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhagvi at Quetta’s Saryab Road Youif Terminal stop after they were pulled out from a bus of Al-Taqiq Musafir Coach on Saturday, The Shia Post reported. The terrorists belonging to Ramzan Mengal group killed the two Shiites of Hazara community after their identification. Bodies of both martyrs were shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH)l, latter were also shifted to Imambargah Nichari. Both martyrs were identified Najeebullah aged 32 years and Jumma Khan aged 55 years. Jumma Khan was grandfather of Muhammad Nabi. Imran Qureshi, the Superintendent of Police Sariab Road said that armed militants singled out two members of Shia community from a passenger bus and opened fire on them from a very close range. He said one person was killed on the spot while the other succumbed to his wounds on his way to hospital. The attackers sped away on their motorcycles after the firing. “The incident as an act of targeted killing,” Qureshi said. The passenger bus was preparing to leave for Karachi when intercepted by militants, he added. The new killings came as Pakistanis laid to rest Ghulam Haider, a Shia Muslim doctor shot dead by unknown gunmen while on his way home in the port city of Karachi on Friday. In a similar act of violence on April 10, two Shia Muslim doctors, identified as Qasim Abbas and Haider Raza, as well as Shia lawyer Waqar Shah and a young man were assassinated by unknown attackers in Karachi. Pro-Taliban militants target Shia Muslims in Pakistan on a regular basis, attacking doctors and lawyers as well as religious gatherings. The country’s Shia leaders blame the government for failing to provide security for the Muslim minority. Islamabad has also come under fire by Human Rights Watch. The New York-based group has urged Pakistan to hold accountable those responsible for ordering and participating in the deadly attacks on Shias.
The increasing murders of Shias in Karachi add sectarian violence to the already existing criminal and political violence spiralling out of control in that city. On Wednesday a 50-year-old Shia doctor was gunned down outside a hospital while three Shia seminary students were also killed and two injured by gunmen on a motorcycle, all in the Gulistan-e-Johar area. On Tuesday a Shia homeopath was killed, and yesterday a prominent lawyer was murdered. While Karachi remains torn by political and criminal turf wars, mostly for control of extortion revenues from businesses, sectarian strife adds its own grisly aspect to the carnage. Criminal and political turf wars are closely intertwined; police allege that their attempts to catch criminals are almost always thwarted by powerful politicians or officials demanding the release of the accused or that investigations be dropped. Things were bad enough when the police only had the. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to deal with. Now the multiplicity of political forces vying for control in the city and makes the police's task almost impossible. Given the broader context of sectarian and religious strife in the country, the murder of Shias amounts to a creeping genocide that has been ongoing for almost two decades. Karachi is home to numerous religious communities and sects, but many people from minority denominations are finding it impossible to live in the city any more because sectarian killers deliberately target them, as opposed to criminals and political thugs who can be paid off. The bombing in Abbas Town in March 2013 that killed 50 and injured hundreds of people in a primarily Shia neighbourhood showed the extent to which Shias in the city are under threat and the hatred sectarian killers carry. Their goal is to eliminate a large minority population completely, since the Shia community is unlikely to give in to forced conversions and marriages the way many members of the Hindu and Christian communities are reportedly forced to do. Karachi suffers because minority communities have been a part of the economic and social fabric of the city for generations. Their increasing flight reduces Karachi's cosmopolitan outlook that is a magnet for investors, and also deprives the city of thriving business communities that have established economic benefits for the city. The Ahlesunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) openly advocate the murder of Shias. Neither has been taken on by the government in their strongholds in Punjab. While Karachiites are used to criminals and have learnt to deal with them, sectarian killers cannot be bargained with. Political and criminal elements in Karachi will require a broad strategy to be dealt with. Sectarian killings are deeply tied to the country's other problems and must be dealt with urgently before Pakistan's commercial and financial hub is brought to its knees.
Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, calling the terrorists as ‘private army’ of the incumbent government, said the present rulers are intent on confrontation among the national institutions. Addressing a press conference through video link from Canada, Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri said the government is adopting extremely humiliating attitude towards Pakistan’s armed forces—that has been the track record of the present rulers. Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, a prolific author with 1200 books to his name, asserted Pakistan Army was being sullied with former president Pervez Musharraf being turned into a scapegoat. Replying to a query regarding former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s treason trial, Dr. Qadri noted he was not opposed to the opening of case against the former general; instead, he wanted the case to start from October 12, 1999, not November 3, 2007. He added all those involved in subverting the constitution should be brought to book. The founder of Minhaj-ul-Quran started his press conference by announcing to organize mass demonstrations across the country on May 11, the day when the present government will celebrate its one year in power.
Pakistan’s first communist party was actually formed in India (!). The Communist Party of India (CPI) was of the view that the newly created country (Pakistan) was ripe for a communist revolution due to the fragile nature of the country’s politics and economics at the onset of the partition of India in 1947. The CPI sent a number of its Muslim members (led by Marxist intellectual, Sajjad Zaheer), to Pakistan for the purpose of fostering ties with labour leaders, students and leftist politicians and to prepare the ground for a communist revolution in Pakistan. ‘Entryism’ — originally a Marxist concept (honed by Soviet communist leader, Leon Trotsky) in which dedicated members of a small communist party were encouraged to infiltrate strong progressive and/or socialist ‘bourgeoisie outfits’ to gain direct access to a larger polity — was also explored. Zaheer formed the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) in 1948 in Kolkata and then shifted the party to Pakistan. The party began organising itself in both wings of the country (East Pakistan and West Pakistan). As planned, it also forged links with labour leaders and trade unionists and gave shape to an active student organisation, the Democratic Students Federation (DSF). The latter not only became the party’s student-wing, but also the country’s leading student outfit at the time. As a strategy the student group and the labour unions were not officially proclaimed to be wings of the CPP but had secret CPP workers at the helm of these organisations. CPP was Leninist in orientation. Due to lack of developed bourgeoisie capitalism and the consequential absence of a strong urban proletarian base in the newly formed country, CPP tried to implement the Leninist idea of triggering and guiding a communist revolution through a small, well-trained and dedicated group of intellectuals and workers (like the Russian revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin, had done in Russia in 1917). Interestingly (and ironically) Leninist and Trotskyite concepts such as of forming a select group of revolutionary elite and of Entryism would both be eventually embraced and incorporated by such anti-left religious parties as the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI). Equally interestingly, though the CPP was active in organising industrial workers and peasants for the purpose of creating a communist uprising, it tried to hasten the revolutionary process in Pakistan by unwittingly getting involved in the ambitious plan of a military coup by Major-General Akbar Khan. Major-General Akbar was a popular personality in the Pakistan Army and had fought in Pakistan’s first war with India in 1948 (over the Kashmir issue). He was offended by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan’s decision to end the protracted war (in 1949) and began planning to overthrow the government. Akbar had also been an avid admirer of Turkey’s Kamal Ataturk and was given to outbursts against the government in gatherings. He had befriended Sajjad Zaheer and some Marxist intellectuals and progressive poets (such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz), with whom he began to discuss his idea of pulling off a ‘progressive-nationalist coup.’ After recruiting some officers from the military and the police, Akbar approached his friends in the CPP and asked them to help him streamline his post-coup government through the CPP and the influence that the party had at the time over progressive/leftist student groups, labour unions and the intelligentsia. However, in 1951 some officers that Akbar had recruited spilled the beans and Akbar’s planned coup was nipped in the bud by the government and the military. Akbar, his wife, poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and dozens of officers and CPP members (including Sajjad Zaheer) were arrested, tried and thrown in jail. The CPP was banned. Though initially given long jail terms, by the mid-1950s however, the failed coup-makers were pardoned. Sajjad Zaheer and those who had come with him from India were deported back to India. The remaining CPP leadership went underground and used its student-wing, the DSF, as a front organisation. In 1954 the DSF too was banned. But the party continued to operate in a more clandestine manner as many CPP members (through Entryism) continued to function secretly within progressive parties like the Azad Pakistan Party and the National Awami Party (NAP). The NAP had risen to become the largest leftist party in the country in the 1960s. Though it was largely made-up of progressive Pakhtun, Baloch, Sindhi and Bengali nationalists, most of its Punjabi and Mohajir members belonged to the CPP who were operating from within NAP. CPP’s Entryism also saw it infiltrating the time’s largest leftist student group, the National Students Federation (NSF). 1960s was also a period when ‘socialist sectarianism’ in the communist world came out into the open as the world’s two major communist powers, the Soviet Union and China, suffered a major political and ideological rift. As a consequence, communist parties all over the world split into pro-Soviet and pro-China (Maoist) factions. NAP suffered the same fate when in 1967 the pro-Soviet faction became NAP-Wali and the pro-China faction became NAP-Bhashani. The CPP operating within NAP and NSF also experienced a split. Its pro-Soviet members moved into NAP-Wali (that was the larger faction), whereas its pro-China members either joined NAP-Bhashani or Z A. Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). However, some pro-China CPP members also formed their own organisations, like the militant Mazdoor Kissan Party (MKP). Inspired by the beginning of the Maoist ‘Naxalite’ guerrilla movement in India and Mao’s ‘Cultural Revolution’ in China, MKP activists, led by Pakhtun Maoist, Afzal Bangash, travelled to Hashtnagar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda District and began to arm and organise the peasants against the local landlords. MKP’s movement was crushed in 1974. The CPP continued to stick to its policy of Entryism and functioning within mainstream progressive parties and student groups. It was active against the Zia dictatorship in the 1980s, working inside parties like the PPP, Awami Jamhoori Party, NSF, etc. However, as enthusiasm for leftist ideologies began to wane in the late 1980s and the Soviet Union began to suffer from grave economic problems, the CPP’s decision to give up its policy of Entryism and exist as it had in the early 1950s came a tad too late. It could not retain its original shape and sheen and became increasingly marginalised. What’s more, not only did it continue to experience splits and further marginalisation, it completely failed to update its narrative and historical and dialectic understanding of international and local economic and political affairs and their socio-political consequences in a very different post-Cold War and then post-9/11 world. However, though the CPP’s existence in the country’s mainstream political scene was short- lived, it threw up an impressive number of Marxist activists who went on to drive a series of left-wing political and student parties, trade and labour unions and progressive publications.