Friday, January 25, 2019

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#Pakistan - #Sahiwal killing: Government disappoints victim Khalil’s brother

Victim of Sahiwal shooting Khalil’s brother, Jaleel has alleged that President Arif Alvi had invited the family for meeting in Islamabad but the President left for Karachi without meeting.
Talking to media police continued roaming in the streets of Islamabad with our family and in the end we were informed that the President and Chairman Senate have left for Karachi and Balochistan respectively.
Jaleel alleged the government has disappointed them, “we are being made a fun’.
He said what government wants from us, adding that police have limited them to the house in the name that VIPs were coming to meet them.
“We are asked to give statements at 3:00 am in the night, they are making our fun,” he added.
Jaleel went on to say the ministers statement had hurt them, while they were unaware of the JIT findings.
Four people including Khalil, his wife and daughter and their driver were killed in an alleged CTD encounter in Sahiwal last week.
The JIT has found found no links of Khalil's family to terrorism, saying that CTD mishandled the situation.

#Pakistan - OP-ED - #PTI govt and photo-ops

 Mawish Moulvi

If it’s not on social media, did it even happen? Official Twitter accounts and Facebook pages of the government, as well as those belonging to MNAs and MPAs of the opposition, often publish photographs as evidence of something they did or something another individual/political party failed to do. From official meetings with foreign representatives to the battle against encroachments, everything is systematically photographed and tweeted. Quite often these photographs are picked up by local news channels and turned into hourly headlines, causing the new government to be both applauded and mocked. But irrespective of the reactions, the camera keeps on clicking.
Since forming the federal government, PTI has strategically used photographs to both document their actions and keep the public engaged. The camera is there when our Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (despite heading for the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly session) stands in an immigration line, at the Islamabad International Airport, like all the other passengers; PTI tells the people to pause and watch their men challenge the status quo. When the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi waits behind two men at a buffet dinner the camera goes click again, and the photo of the head of our state is shown as proof of equality superseding all else in Naya Pakistan.
As actions always speak louder than words, almost anything and everything is photographed to make a political statement. One can’t forget the old saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ Look and see: PTI is not making false promises, it is translating those promises into visible change. And thus, when Sindh Governor Imran Ismail is fined for speeding in the federal capital, a photograph is taken and shared on social media even before the payment can change hands. Consequently, it becomes evident that there is one rule of law for all in Naya Pakistan. No one will be spared. However, as someone who has worked as a photojournalist, I can safely say that a photograph never tells the complete story.
Not everything should be considered a political opportunity. There is a time and place for pictures.
The pictures, when circulated by the party itself appear as carefully crafted compositions behind which there is no truth. But this is only one way of looking at the photo ops. Yes, there are perks our ministers enjoy of which the party will never take pictures. But there is nothing surprising about this. They are ministers holding positions of immense power after all. The difference between them and the common people can never be completely erased. Yet, PTI is attempting to blur the lines when possible – even if it is momentarily. They are trying to inculcate the idea of a united Pakistan in the face of deep monetary divides. The exercise may be completely futile, but it is worth a try. Even Da Vinci was called mad when he first proposed the idea of humans flying in the air. Nonetheless, there are instances when PTI’s needs for pictures crosses ethical boundaries.
A recent photograph of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar holding a bouquet next to a child who lost his parents in the Sahiwal attack was not received well by the public. Social media users were displeased because the child was fast asleep. The CM’s visit was exposed as a disastrous photo op. But it wouldn’t have been any better if the child was in fact awake or the flowers were toys. Using someone’s pain and personal tragedy for political mileage it despicable. Nonetheless, it has now become the norm for politicians to take pictures with those who have lost a loved one while offering their condolences. PTI alone is not to be blamed.
Leaders of PMLN and PPP visiting family members of a martyred solider or civilians who lost a brother to a bomb blast also take similar photographs. The camera must click because if it’s not on social media, did it even happen? And if there is no picture documenting the event, then there will be criticism about how the government/politicians couldn’t be bothered to visit those grieving.
We live in an age where being seen and heard in public via (social and/or mainstream) media wins more than half the game. With the divide between reality and the two dimensional version of events created for social media platforms (like Facebook and Twitter) fading away, we have reached a point where the current moment matters less that the comments and retweets to come. While photographs are important for making an impact, political parties need to draw a line somewhere. Not everything should be considered a political opportunity. There is a time and place for pictures.
When it is a matter of life and death, solidarity cannot go hand in hand with publicity. Imagine being photographed in your worst moments; that is simply cruel. Humanity needs to outweigh politics, and for this, I ask all politicians to end this trend of taking photographs with those grieving the loss of a loved one. A simple press release stating your visit in such cases will always be sufficient. Don’t give into the habit of making a spectacle.

Pakistan’s A-100 MLRS And Deterrence Equation For South Asia – OpEd

By Syeda Saiqa Bukhari
Pakistan inducted A-100 rocket in Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) into its arsenals, boosting the strength of Artillery Crop on January 4, 2019. The missile system was indigenously developed by Pakistani scientists and engineers. MLRS which comprise of two main elements: rocket munitions and a self-propelled platform to carry and launch those rockets, designed to disrupt enemy’s mobilization. MLRS is unguided rocket against enemy position in artillery minded sense.
The media wing of the armed forces, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that this rocket is a highly effective and potent for interdiction that can effectively disrupt enemy’s mobilization and assembly. Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, presided over the induction ceremony, paid rich tributes to scientists and engineers for indigenously develop A-100 rocket which shall augment the existing conventional fire power capabilities of Pakistan Army.
While addressing at the ceremony, he emphasized Pakistan Army’s resolve to strengthen conventional forces to meet challenges of full spectrum threat. Pakistani defence industry had maintained steady progress in the recent times and had contributed to defence of Pakistan. This missile system is another addition in the deterrence equation of South Asian region.
In the South Asia context, mutual hostility and unresolved disputes between India and Pakistan create instability and insecurity. The induction of nuclear weapons into the national defense structures of both states in 1998 has brought an era of dynamics of nuclear politics. Nuclearisation brought the concept of deterrence in the region. The deterrence equilibrium in South Asia is viewed as an assurance for peace and stability in the region. The strategic significance of nuclear weapons in the South Asian security equation is undeniable because these weapons reduce the chances of limited conflict between the two hostile states. Pakistan as a responsible nuclear weapon state has never been in competition with India in terms of size, scope and efficiency of is conventional or strategic capabilities. Hence, equilibrium of nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan is the underpinning of South Asian strategic stability.
Recently, India’s doctrinal policy shift and its objectives ultimately forcing an arms race in the region. Pakistan is obliged to rely on the employment of nuclear weapons owing to conventional military asymmetry. India’s aggressive limited war ‘Cold Start’ (CSD) left no choice for Pakistan but to introduce Short Range Ballistic Missile ‘Nasr’ (TNW).
Indian Offensive Military Doctrine which is specifically designed to undermine Pakistan’s conventional capability and occupy its small territory which could be used as a significant tool in post conflict negotiation by initiating surprise attack from eight different fronts by the Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs).
Pakistan developed TNWs to deter India’s conventional military superiority. It is well known that conventional asymmetry between India and Pakistan is continuously widening with the passage of time. India also allocated huge budget for its military which defiantly have ramifications for Pakistan. Pakistan cannot afford arms race with India for the purpose of conventional military parity, consequently Pakistan developed such a capabilities (TNWs) which could deter India’s conventional military superiority. Pakistan views SRBM as a stabilizing addition to the prevailing deterrence equation. Pakistan considers the nuclear weapons as last resort weapons which are only meant for deterrence and their use can only be contemplated as a last resort.
Recent Indian weapons modernization and force posturing is viewed as a threat to the strategic stability of South Asian region. India’s air defence system the latest addition of S-400 system also has the ability to disturb the regional strategic stability. S-400 is a long range surface to air missile system and has the ability to access aerial targets up to 400 km away. It has the potential to counter threats from ballistic missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and aircraft.
To counter Indian doctrinal change, military modernization and proactive military strategy of launching limited conflict and capture some territory of Pakistan adopted Minimum Credible Deterrence with Full Spectrum Deterrence. Now this A-100 missile rocket is also made foe conventional deterrence.
Although, initiation of conventional war, for certain extant will remain a conventional conflict but beyond certain level no one can say that it will remain limited conventional war. It can lead to a nuclear holocaust. It will have series of implications. If India is insisting for operationalizing its Cold Start Doctrine against Pakistan than India will also have to pay for the severe implications at conventional as well as strategic level. No one knows the adversary redlines.Pakistan in recent years has been trying to modernize its forces as per demands of the contemporary security challenges. Induction of A-100 MLRS into Pakistan army will give it the utmost superiority to overcome conventional threats coming from Indian side. It allows Pakistan artillery corps to keep an eye on enemy’s mobilization and prepare them for any Indian military adventure. Induction of A-100 system also affects the surprise element of Cold Start Doctrine. This system makes Pakistan capable to meet the needs of deterrence against the conventional and unorthodox threats. Interestingly, MLRS computerized fire control system enables a reduced crew, or even a single soldier to load and unload the launcher. Furthermore, The MLRS offers a devastating physical and psychological effect on the enemy, covered with high explosion, anti-personnel or chemical warheads as needed.
Lastly, sophisticated technology and long-range ballistic missile development has not only made Pakistan more determined to acquire similar capabilities to counter Indian threat but also to ensure credibility of its nuclear deterrence. Long history of military confrontation, the growing asymmetry and disparity in South Asia has accelerated the process of mastering the latest sophisticated conventional and nuclear technologies. Therefore, both South Asian nuclear states have developed enough nuclear capable warheads, bombers and ballistic and cruise missiles.
So far Pakistan has been doing great overall three domains, Air, Sea, and land, in terms of meeting the needs of deterrence against the conventional challenges.

#Pakistan - #PPP - Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari turns 29, thanks everyone for birthday wishes - @BakhtawarBZ 🎊🎂🎊🎈#HappyBirthDayBakhtawarBZ

Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, daughter of Muslim world's first female Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, has turned 29 years old today.
Born on January 25, 1990 to Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto enjoys the stature of being the first child born to a sitting female Prime Minister. She is the eldest of Benazir's three children.
A strong exponent of human rights, Bakhtawar studied at the prestigious University of Edinburgh and graduated with a Masters with honours MA(Hons) in English Literature. She plays an eminent role in furthering education at the renowned educational institution Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology founded by her mother in 1995.

Bakhtawar also established her own non-governmental organization known as 'Save the Flood and Disaster Victims Organization' for early recovery response to those impacted by natural calamities in Pakistan.
Furthemore, she is an avid adventurist who's fond of paragliding, archery and other adventure sports.

Bakhtawar, on the occasion of her 29th birthday, took to Twitter to express gratitude to everyone who wished her.