Monday, February 18, 2019

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#Pakistan - 'No one is telling me when I can leave', Asia Bibi speaks from protective custody

By Alex Williams

A Christian woman held in protective custody since being cleared of blasphemy in Pakistan last year says she has no idea when the green light might be given, allowing her to finally leave the country.
Asia Bibi, who was moved from Islamabad to Karachi after a legal challenge to her acquittal was dismissed, has spoken via phone to one of her daughters.
According to a friend quoted by The Times, the 47-year-old said: "No one is telling me when they will release me and send us abroad."
The newspaper says Ms Bibi is being stopped from completing her asylum paperwork while authorities put pressure on her to refrain from criticising Pakistan during media appearances once she leaves.

It is understood the mother-of-five intends to be reunited with her children in Canada - which has already offered her sanctuary.
Pakistan has previously insisted that Ms Bibi is technically free to leave, despite concerns that her departure is being deliberately delayed.
One senior official told The Times: "Bibi will leave soon once the documentation process is completed and we get the green lights from the host country."
Ms Bibi spent eight years on death row after being convicted of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. She always denied any wrongdoing.
Her acquittal last October prompted protests by hard-line Islamists, who claim she should be publicly executed.

After Iran, Afghanistan corners Pakistan over terror dealings

The permanent mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations has complained about Islamabad’s dealings with the Taliban in violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty.
 Just a day after Iran accused Pakistan of supporting the suicide bombers that killed 27 Revolutionary guards on Wednesday, Afghanistan has protested against Islamabad to the UN Security Council.

The permanent mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations has complained about Islamabad’s dealings with the Taliban in violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty. In a letter dated 15 February, Chargé d’affaires of Afghan Mission Nazifullah Salarzai wrote to President of the UN Security Council about Islamabad bypassing Kabul in its dealing with Taliban. 

“These engagements, which are taking place under the pretext of support for peace efforts in Afghanistan, are void of any degree of coordination and consultation with the Government of Afghanistan,” as per the official letter a copy of which is available with Times Now.
Afghanistan complained that Pakistan government invited a Taliban delegation for a high-level meeting which will be attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The decision is deeply regrettable as it seeks to recognise and legitimise an armed group (Taliban) that poses a security and stability threat to Afghanistan,” Salarzai said. 
On Saturday, Iran's Revolutionary Guards has accused "Pakistan's security forces" of supporting the perpetrators of the recent suicide bombing in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan in Iran that killed 27 troops on Wednesday, reported the news agency AFP.
The remarks by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari were aired by the Iranian state-owned broadcaster hours before the funeral was held.

Iran presses Pakistan, vows 'fiery revenge' after bombing

Iran says it has given Pakistan the “necessary warnings” to take urgent action to prevent terrorist groups based on its side of the border from freely crossing into Iran and orchestrating attacks.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi's remarks Monday at a weekly news briefing in Tehran came after a car bombing killed 27 members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) last week.
“It is not tolerable for us that the government and the army of Pakistan cannot prevent this mischief and acts of terror from inside their soil,” he said. 
On Wednesday, an explosives-laden car rammed into a bus carrying IRGC members on a road in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, which also injured 13 people.
The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group, which is based in Pakistan and has known links to al-Qaeda and Saudi Arabia, claimed responsibility for the assault.
Qassemi did not rule out action through the United Nations and other international organizations should direct negotiations with Pakistan fail to resolve the issue.
“Intensive negotiations have been held between Iran and Pakistan over the past days and Pakistan has been given the necessary warnings about the principles that it needs to adhere to,” he said.
“As far as I know, I don’t think any action has yet been taken through the UN. We will work directly for now,” he added.
Terror team planning new attack dismantled 
Meanwhile, the IRGC said Monday that it had captured some members of the team behind the bombing, including three terrorists ready to blow up 150kg of explosives.
IRGC forces, acting on clues by intelligence agents, raided several houses in Saravan and Khash on Sunday night, and arrested those hiding there, the IRGC said in a statement.
“In this successful operation, three terrorists were arrested and 150 kilograms of explosives ready for use and 600 kilograms of explosives being prepared for attacks were discovered along with some quantities of weapons and ammunition,” it said.
"The arrested terrorists were the same elements who had procured, directed and backed up the car used by the suicide bomber in the recent criminal attack on the Khash-Zahedan road," it added.
'Fiery revenge awaiting terrorists'
Earlier in the day, Iran's Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri warned that a “fiery revenge” awaits Jaish ul-Adl and other terrorist groups funded by regional Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“If a group is holed up in Pakistan using Saudi and Emirati money, carrying out such acts of terror by sending in some people, they should know that the flames of the Iranian nation’s revenge will burn them to ashes,” the general asserted.
General Baqeri said Pakistan needed to put more effort into securing its borders with Iran, which stretches beyond 1,000 kilometers.
He said although Iran has secured large chunks of the border, some parts are left open by the Pakistani side and are being used by terrorist groups to freely roam between the two countries.
General Baqeri said the Pakistani army had already started an anti-terror operation using Iranian intelligence.
“It is possible that this effort won’t be effective but we will keep the pressure and continue negotiations with Pakistan until we make sure this terrorist group is eradicated from Sistan and Baluchestan,” he added.

Iran Arrests Militants Linked to Suicide Bombing Near Pakistan Border

Last week's attack, which killed 27 members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was perpetrated by Jaish al Adl, a Sunni group which seeks greater rights for Iran's Baluchi minority.
Revolutionary Guards have broken up a group of militants in southeast Iran who were linked to a suicide bombing that killed 27 guards near the border with Pakistan last week, the Corps said on Monday.
"Last night, a terrorist cell was identified and destroyed in an operation," the Corps said in a statement carried by the semi-official Tasnim news agency. Three militants were arrested and explosive material was seized from houses in the cities of Saravan and Khash, it said."They were linked to the suicide bombing attack last week. The Corps will continue its efforts to take revenge over the deadly terrorist attack," it said.
The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Shi'ite Muslim Iran says militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and have repeatedly called on the neighboring country to crack down on them.
Iranian authorities also accuse regional rival Sunni Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of financially supporting militant Sunni groups that attack Iranian forces. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE deny backing such militants.

#PulwamaTerrorAttacks - China Is Now Pakistan's Partner in Jihadist Terror

Beijing blocks international efforts to sanction Pakistan's Islamist terrorists, who foment insurgencies on India's borders and export their violent, deeply anti-Semitic jihad to the West. This is why.
On 14 February 2019, a 20-year-old suicide bomber, identified as Adil Ahmed Dhar, rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. It was one of the deadliest terror attacks in three decades, killing 44 and critically injuring many others.
A Pakistan-based jihadi terrorist group, Jaish-e-Muhammad ("Army of Muhammed"), claimed responsibility for the attack.
Founded in 2000 by Maulana Masood Azhar – a portly and bespectacled radical Islamist cleric – at the behest of Pakistan’s military establishment, Jaish-e-Muhammad has close financial and operational links with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba - and anti-Shia groups such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi/Sipah-e-Sahaba-e-Pakistan. Its formal aim is to force India out of Kashmir for the entire region to become part of Pakistan, but it has a long history of using jihadist ideology to organize terrorist attacks across the world. The group's prime mentor is Pakistan, but a world superpower has also got its back: China.
Much before Masood Azhar founded the Jaish-e-Muhammad, he was a part of the radical Islamic group called Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. As its member, Masood Azhar travelled to Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Kashmir, Britain and other parts of the world, spreading hardcore jihadist ideology, seeking funds and recruiting young people as jihadists.In the mid-1980s and early 1990s, Masood Azhar and other purveyors of radical Islam, supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, launched a genocide in the Kashmir Valley, an ethnic cleansing pogrom in which tens of thousands of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits were targeted, massacred, and driven out of their homes. Nearly 350,000 of them fled the valley; today, there are only 2764 Hindus left there. As Amy Waldman of the New York Times writes:
"The Pandits' story is one of the tragic and often overlooked footnotes of a conflict that has claimed perhaps 60,000 lives. The Pandits were the elite of Kashmir, filling the medical and education professions. India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a Kashmiri Pandit... But in the early 1990s, most Pandits were driven out." The tentacles of these terror networks, however, are not restricted to Kashmir. They extend far beyond, using the mass media - especially the internet - to spread their militant jihadist ideology. There are accounts of young British Muslims, fascinated by his vitriolic jihadi speeches against India, the U.S. and the West, listening to his sermons over and over again, a classic stage in radicalization. One report tells how women, listening to his sermons, are moved to tears and give away their jewellery for the cause of jihad.
As the editor of the magazine Sadai Mujahid ("Voice of the Mujahid"), Masood Azhar extolled the virtues of jihad in Afghanistan and then later in Kashmir. Through his books – Ma’arka ("The Struggle"), Faza’il Jihad ("The Virtue of Jihad") and Tuhfa-e-Saadat ("The Gift of Virtue") – he spewed vicious hate and called for jihadi militancy in the name of Allah.
In his book Yehud Ki Chalees Bimariyan ("Forty Diseases Of The Jews") - considered to be "the most anti-Semitic book in the Urdu language" - Masood Azhar declared, "Judaism became another name for those beliefs, ideas, and practices which were invented by Satan." He calls Jews "the cancer seeping into all of humanity" and provokes "real" Muslims "to challenge the Jews in the battlefield of jihad."
Notwithstanding his extremism, Masood Azhar was warmly welcomed by Britain’s leading Islamic scholars. He addressed gatherings in some of Britain’s most influential mosques in the early 1990s, speaking about "jihad, its need, training and other related issues," and telling them that a large proportion of the Koran had been devoted to "killing for the sake of Allah."
A BBC investigation revealed that Azhar, in a speech titled "From Jihad to Jannat (paradise)," told the audience that "the youth should prepare for jihad without any delay. They should get jihadist training from wherever they can. We are also ready to offer our services." He is considered to have been the first Islamist preacher "to spread the seeds of [the] modern jihadist militancy in Britain."Among the earliest recruits as a suicide bomber for the Jaish-e-Muhammad was a 24-year-old Briton from Birmingham: Asif Sadiq. Nearly two decades ago, on Christmas Day 2000, using the pseudonym Mohammad Bilal, he drove a car packed with explosives into an Indian army outpost, killing nine soldiers.
Over the past two decades, as Jaish-e-Muhammad, supported by Pakistan’s military establishment, spawned insurgency in Kashmir and other parts of the world, its terror footprint increased dramatically.
Its supporters and graduates have been involved in numerous acts of terror: the kidnap and beheading of the American journalist Daniel Pearl; the 2005 London underground bombings; an attempt to blow up a transatlantic airline through liquid bombs; the bombing of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly; an attack on the Indian Parliament; an attack on the Indian embassy in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan; an attack on the Pathankot airbase and on the Uri army camp – to name a few. Consequently, its members have been on the terror watchlist of most of the world’s intelligence agencies.
In October 2001, the United Nations designated it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization; two months later, in December 2001, the U.S. followed suit. Following reports that the U.S. State Department was considering declaring Jaish-e-Muhammad a foreign terrorist organization, the group transferred its money to low-profile supporters to hide its assets.
In 2002, due to pressure from the United States, the Pakistan government imposed a ban on Jaish-e-Muhammad. But this ban existed only on paper. The Pakistani military establishment continued to work closely with the jihadi group informally, and the group continued its activities by changing its name to Tehreek Khudam-ul-Islam. Later, when the new organisation was banned in 2003, the group started to operate as the Al-Rahmat Trust, a "non-political," "charitable," "community organization." The United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, India, Russia, the UAE and several other countries have banned the Jaish-e-Muhammad.
However, despite being the mastermind behind terrorist activities including murder, kidnapping, and soliciting for a global war on the U.S., UK, Israel and India - Masood Azhar, once detained by the Indian authorities, is now a free man in Pakistan. Although he was detained in "protective custody" (a house arrest with all necessary facilities) for a few months, he was released for "lack of evidence."
He reportedly lives in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, in a 6.5-acre Madrassa located close to a Pakistani army post in the Punjab province. In many instances, the Pakistani military establishment has treated him like a celebrity. He holds rallies, sharing the dais with Pakistan’s military generals and politicians, and gives lectures in which he calls to "destroy India."
Despite volumes of evidence – news reports, academic studies, intelligence reports – the United Nations Security Council has failed to put Masood Azhar on its 1267/1373 list of banned terrorists.
Why? China.
A permanent member of the UN Security Council, Beijing has consistently vetoed the UN Security Council efforts to get Masood Azhar on its list of banned terrorists. In 2018, 14 out of 15 members of the Security Council, including Saudi Arabia, supported putting Masood Azhar under the UN sanctions list. China – as a permanent member of the UN Security Council with the power to prevent the adoption of a substantive draft council resolution, regardless of otherwise unanimous international support – was the only member to block it.
That Pakistan is a fertile ground for terror networks is a well-known fact. But why would China tacitly support jihadi terrorists?
On paper, China reiterates its "commitment" to fight terrorism. However, keeping India distracted – by requiring it to deal with terrorism and its aftermath - is in China’s interest. China regards India as a potential challenger for strategic and economic leadership in Asia, and is committed to quashing those ambitions. Implicitly supporting terrorism and insurgency in India is the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to accomplish this task.
China therefore has a vested interested in insurgencies targeting India's territorial integrity. Its International Institute for Strategic Studies published a policy document in 2009 arguing that China should make an effort to break India into 20 to 30 independent states with the help of "friendly countries" such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.That China vetoes Masood Azhar from being on the sanctions list and supports Paresh Baruah, the leader of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), an insurgency group in the North Eastern state of Assam, further provides evidence of China’s intention to keep India distracted by insurgent terrorism.
China's appeasement of Masood Azhar strengthens India’s case against Pakistan as the hub of global terror groups. But Beijing has good reason to play on Pakistan's side.
By blocking Azhar as a UN designated terrorist, China - which has, on several occasions, explicitly stated that it wants to be Pakistan’s "all-weather strategic partner"- has gained Pakistan’s subservient loyalty. In this case, blocking Azhar, a person close to Pakistan’s military, is a powerful symbolic gesture and token of support for Pakistan in times of trouble. Masood Azhar is just a pawn in China’s larger geo-strategic game.
In return what China gets is a Pakistani government willing to prostrate itself in front of the Chinese. Such posturing is evident in the Pakistani ambassador to Beijing’s sycophantic declaration that the relationship between the two countries is ‘"higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, stronger than steel, dearer than eyesight, sweeter than honey."
This subservience – and desperation – to challenge India’s growing power in the global arena is reflected in Pakistan offering the Gwadar port to China to use as a naval base. The Gwadar port is an alternative to sea routes from Africa and West Asia through the South China Sea. China has pledged to invest $51 billion in an economic corridor that runs across the entire length of Pakistan, connecting the Gwadar port to China’s Xinjiang region. China also gets access to Pakistan’s natural resources.
Pakistan is also China’s port of call for support and mediation with groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In the past, Pakistan supported China in the OIC against Beijing’s crackdown on its Muslim Uighur community, which includes concentration camps and the demonization of the Uighur community as "terrorists." Pakistan has also loyally supported China at the Non-Aligned Movement’s meetings regarding its aggressive conduct in the South China Sea.
Strategically, China uses Pakistan to counter Indian power in the region, while Islamabad gains access to civilian and military resources to balance Indian might in the sub-continent – and to desperately needed funds.This "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" agreement between China and Pakistan is one of the key reasons why terrorist organizations such as Jaish-e-Muhammad are able to bypass international sanctions, cultivate insurgent movements and get away with terrorism.
That Beijing, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is complicit in abetting terrorism by protecting a murderous jihadi who has committed crimes against humanity, in contravention of the UN's own principles, exposes the deep faults in the international system. And it exposes the hypocrisy of a superpower like China.
The only way to force rogue states like Pakistan to end their support for jihadi terrorist activities is by sanctioning terrorist groups and their international sponsors. And if economic and political sanctions don't work, then, perhaps military options would.

#Balochistan: Over 9,000 schools without sanitation

 According to provincial education department documents obtained by DawnNewsTV on Friday, 9,247 government-run schools in Balochistan have no facility for drinking water while 9,838 schools do not have toilet facilities.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has taken notice of the deteriorating condition of government schools and directed all concerned deputy commissioners to visit schools and basic health units with the objective of improving social indicators.
An official handout quoting the chief minister said the deputy commissioners should submit reports to the provincial government regarding the schools they visit.
As per the documents, the province has over 13,000 primary, middle and high schools with an enrollment of 899,383 male and female students.
Additionally, the documents show that over 7,900 schools in the province do not have boundary walls, while there are 5,296 ‘one room, one teacher’ schools.
Despite the allocation of Rs2 billion for the construction of washrooms and the provision of missing facilities to government schools, fiscal budgets for the past two years (2016-17 and 2017-18) had lapsed, a well-placed officer of the provincial planning department told DawnNewsTV.
The Balochistan government has already declared education an emergency in the province and implemented Article 25A of the Constitution to make sure that out of school children attend school.
The article states: “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to 16 years in such a manner as may be determined by law.” This article was incorporated into the Constitution through its 18th amendment.
Over 1 million children are still out of school in the province.

Pakistan Based Terrorism And Suicide Bombings Against India Raising Ugly Head Again – Analysis

By Dr Subhash Kapila
Pakistan-based and Pakistan-reared terrorism and suicide bombings against India targeting Kashmir Valley have again raised their ugly heads in February 2019 which again brings into central focus the despicable permissive roles of Pakistan primarily and China for impeding in United Nations in successive years the designation of JeM chief Masood Azhar as an ‘International Terrorist’.
The above manifested itself in horrific brutality in the dastardly Vehicle Borne IED suicide bombing in Pulwama in South Kashmir Valley against buses ferrying CRPF forces to Srinagar resulting in loss of 44 CRPF soldiers’ lives and many injured in its wake. Pakistan based JEM claimed credit for this dastardly suicide attack on Indian police forces maintaining law and order in Kashmir Valley.
Till the time of writing this Paper no official condemnation or condolences have emanated either from Pakistan or China. Media reports of both countries surveyed do not yield any such basic adherence to diplomatic norms. Their studied silence will be belatedly explained as that Pakistan and China were awaiting more detailed reports on the perpetrators of this suicide bombing.
Noticeable also in India is that till the time of writing this Paper no condemnations have emerged from Saudi Arabia and the UAE who have recently bailed out Pakistan with financial largesse to obviate Pakistan’s dependence on IMF bailouts. This becomes more telling in view of the fact that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince will be first visiting Pakistan and then India this month
In marked contrast, the United States, Russia, Israel and France and nearly all of the South Asian countries have condemned this suicide bombing and expressed remorse and sympathy with India. In United States many Senators and Congressmen have come out in condemnation.
Besides Pakistan and China’s permissiveness in adopting stands which encourage Pakistan based terrorism and suicide bombings targeting India, noticeable also is the lack of outright and unequivocal condemnation of Pulwama suicide attacks by the Indian media so-called mainstream political leaders of Kashmir Valley. These leaders have been critically calling on India for peace talks with Pakistan but not vocally critical on Pakistan Army’s ISI destabilising activities amongst their midst or being critical of China for shielding JeM Terrorist Chief, Masood Azhar from being named by the United Nations as an ‘Internationalist Terrorist’.
The foregoing generate serious implications for Pakistan and China both in their bilateral relationships with India and also their direct/indirect complicity in fostering disruptive and hostile intended activities which all right thinking Indians can only construe as direct challenges to India’s sovereignty and integrity.
Arising from the permissive policy attitudes of Pakistan and China on Pakistan based and Pakistan Army sponsored terrorism and suicide bombings against India, serious challenges to India’s National Honour, Sovereignty and Integrity have now to be met head-on and cannot continue to be shelved under the carpet vainly hoping that Pakistan and China will effectively change their permissive mindsets on this aspect.
Pakistan will not change its terrorism stripes as it has tasted the heady success of Islamic Jihad in Afghanistan against the Former Soviet Union and now led to believe that United States pressures on Pakistan by President Trump did not work and the United Sates ultimately seeks Pakistan’s help in relation to another Pakistan Sponsored terrorist grouping of Afghan Taliban.
Pakistan believes that its successes in Afghanistan can be replicated against India with particular reference to Kashmir Valley. Pakistan’s ISI has for decades attempted to turn Kashmir Valley into India’s Vietnam but could not do so. The simple reason is that the bulk of the Kashmir Valley people with exception of the hard-line fringe elements and the ambiguity of Kashmir Valley politicians, the bulk of the people are not with the Separatists or inclined towards Pakistan. This was evident in the 1965, 1971 and the 1999 Wars inflicted by Pakistan on India.
In view of Pakistan’s continued persistence in adversarial modes against India more manifested in recent statements by new Pakistan PM Imran Khan and his over-ambitious Foreign Minister Qureshi, no political space exists for any departure from India’s policy on Pakistan since 2014.
In fact, India needs to put into place a more hard-line approach to the present regime in Islamabad which because of political expediency has ‘synchronised’ its India-policy more markedly with that of the Pakistan Army Generals sitting in Rawalpindi.
Pakistan’s resort to asymmetric and now hybrid warfare strategies against India need to be met with equal if not more telling responses from India with more devastating effect in vulnerable areas of Balochistan, Sindh, Frontier Areas and Gilgit-Baltistan. Because if for Pakistan terrorism and suicide bombings against India by the ‘Snakes it has Reared in its Backyard’ is Pakistan’s game then India needs to play Pakistan’s game.
China’s intentions towards India have never been “Benign”. The China-Pakistan Axis against India is now fully in play for some time. China for its own national security interests and safeguarding the Eastern Flank of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passing through India’s Kashmir under Pakistan Army Occupation has deliberately synchronised its aims with those of the Pakistan Army convergently, and which includes Pakistan based terrorism and suicide bombings against India.
India should realise that there is no such things as the ‘Wuhan Spirit’ misguidedly propagated so by the Indian Foreign Policy Establishment.  China along with Pakistan will continue to be decidedly adversarial to India and should figure high in India’s military threat perceptions.
Coming to the Kashmir Valley and its turbulence exploited by Pakistan Army ISI through terrorism, suicide bombings and stone pelting paid youth to thwart security forces counter–terrorism operations, time has come to ‘Trifurcate J& K State into three Union Territories of Jammu., Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. Thereafter, the Kashmir Valley has to be “sanitised” of all separatists, Terrorists, politicians with divided loyalties and local militant sympathisers with a heavy hand. If need be such politicians be externed from Kashmir Valley for the duration that the Valley can be sanitised.
Trifurcations will lead to better administration, effective and localised counter-terrorism operations with better intelligence. Kashmir Valley for some time needs Governmental approaches which are security-centric and not political process-centric. That can be resumed when sanity dawns on the fringe elements.
India’s own domestic house needs to be put in order where Opposition parties’ leaders flock to Lahore or to Beijing or to Kailash Mansarovar for parleys with India’s adversaries for petty political gains. National Security issues cannot be politicised and nor can National leaders of the Opposition be visually siting at events decidedly Anti-Indian as at the ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’seditious event at JNU.
India’s liberalism cannot overlook the serious seditious activities generated within India by those bent on destroying the Indian State. Where will be Indian liberalists if India itself stands destroyed, India’s judiciary and Parliament need to bring and enforce strict laws on sedition in case of terrorism and Anti-Indian activities?
The Indian media should also desist in giving prominence by including known Anti-India baiters especially from Kashmir Valley as this may be good for raising TRPs but harmful for India’s security.
Concluding, it needs to be stressed that in relation to Pakistan’s terrorism and suicide bombings against India and so encouraged by China in shielding Pakistan-based Terrorists Chiefs at the United Nations, it is time India resets its relations with these countries. No space exists for reconciliation or appeasement. India to defend its own National Honour must stand FIRM and adopt matching counter-measures and for this India’s War Preparedness on a fast track can no longer be ignored.

Why the Pakistani deep state sponsors terrorism in India


Peace with India would be very expensive for the Pakistani army and come in the way of its idea of Pakistan.

What does Pakistan gain out of sponsoring terror attacks in India? A strategic advantage yes, but what for? Here are some answers.
1. Permanent hostility: The use of terrorism makes sure India-Pakistan peace remains a distant possibility. There is the familiar pattern of terror attacks taking place whenever the two countries are close to even beginning a process of bilateral negotiations.
Exactly a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan in 2016, the Jaish-e-Mohammed carried out a terrorist strike on the Indian air base in Pathankot. When the 26/11 Mumbai attacks took place in 2008, the Pakistani foreign minister was in Delhi. Pakistan’s then president Asif Ali Zardari had just made a remarkable statement that Pakistan was willing to adopt a ‘no first use’ policy for its nuclear warheads, just like India. The Kargil invasion in 1999 had similarly laid to waste the Lahore Declaration signed by the two countries with much hope.
It is clear from the pattern that the Pakistani deep state does not want a rapprochement between the two countries. They know it won’t be possible for the Indian leadership to conduct bilateral negotiations after a terror strike due to domestic pressure.
2. Army with a state: Pakistan, it is often said, is an army with a state. Dissident Pakistani author Husain Haqqani often reminds us: “Pakistan inherited one-third of British India’s army but only 17% of its resources. That propelled the army into the driver’s seat in defining Pakistani nationalism.”
But civilian politicians often try to take over the driver’s seat. To win this argument, the Pakistani army has to demonstrate its relevance. For that to happen, India must appear belligerent and ever hostile towards Pakistan. Low-intensity sub-conventional warfare aka terrorism achieves that purpose.
In her landmark book Military Inc, Pakistani scholar Ayesha Siddiqa has documented how entrenched the Pakistani army is in major sectors of the economy. It must be the world’s only army that sells cement, clothes, meat, insurance and what have you. Its prime interest, though is real estate. If the civilians got the better of the military, Rawalpindi’s parallel economy would be hurt, affecting how many plots a general gets after retirement.
In the 72 years of its existence, Pakistan has been governed by military rulers for 33 years. When it’s not possible to have army rule, they like the civilian government to be their puppet – like the current one.
3. Avenging 1971: It is difficult to meet a Pakistani who harbours bitterness against India for its role in liberating Bangladesh in 1971. Pakistanis understand it was their own government’s unwillingness to share power with East Pakistanis, and its own army’s ethnic chauvinism that resulted in losing the eastern wing of the country. India was merely the accelerator.
But for the Pakistani army, 1971 wasn’t just about Bangladesh. It was also the humiliation of the Pakistani army, which had to surrender to the Indian Army with 93,000 prisoners of war.
“Whether or not we would like to acknowledge it, the humiliation of 1971 has had a defining impact on the psyche of the Pakistani military and its approach towards India ever since. It would be ahistorical to not view its current policy towards India and Kashmir as not being influenced by that deeply entrenched feeling of humiliation,” says Happymon Jacob, a Delhi-based scholar of Pakistan.
Be it in Indian Punjab or Kashmir, the Pakistani army wants to avenge the humiliation of 1971.
4. National identity crisis:  Addressing Baloch students in Islamabad in December, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “The way Muslims are treated in India has made people realise why Pakistan was born.”
It’s remarkable that a Pakistani prime minister feels the need to justify the creation of Pakistan 71 years after it happened. To solve the national identity crisis, Pakistan needs the glue of an enemy, and hence the permanent hostility produced through terrorism.
Pakistani nationalism is thus a continuing contest with India – or a thousand-year war, as the late Pakistani leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto once said.
Anti-Indianism in Pakistan is rooted from its very birth, when the Indian leadership was seen as having conceded to Pakistan against its will and then doing everything it could to destabilise the new country. Pakistani military propaganda has always presented India as wanting to destabilise and destroy Pakistan.
This narrative was confirmed by 1971, which also complicated Pakistan’s national identity crisis. If Hindus and Muslims were separate nations, why did Bengali Muslims separate from Pakistan? It thus became all the more important to foment and support ethnic tensions in India.
5. The Great Game: This last week, three countries blamed Pakistan for terror attacks on their soil: India, Iran and Afghanistan. Pakistan’s terror infrastructure is global. It began with Pakistan’s training of mujahideen at the behest of the US to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan. After the Soviet defeat in 1989, the terror infrastructure was diverted towards Kashmir. History is repeating itself today — as the US is exiting Afghanistan, terrorism in Kashmir is again going up.
The Pulwama attack killing at least 40 paramilitary troops has taken place at a time when the western powers have agreed to come to the negotiating table with Pakistan’s proxy in Afghanistan, the Taliban. The world needs Pakistan to deal with the Taliban and ensure a stable Afghanistan. There couldn’t be a better moment for Pakistan to internationalise Kashmir and put pressure on India. This is also why New Delhi’s talk of ‘isolating Pakistan’ is wishful thinking aimed at the domestic audience.
It’s noteworthy that the Jaish-e-Mohammed, whose links with the Taliban are well known, has revived itself in Kashmir only in the last two years, as the US has turned its attention from the region and Pakistan felt more secure in Afghanistan.
India is thus willy-nilly part of the ongoing Great Game in the region. New Delhi exerts its weight in Kabul in retaliation, which makes Pakistan feel further threatened. Pakistan also accuses India of orchestrating violence in Balochistan through the Afghan border.
6. Kashmir: Liberating Kashmir from India has always been central to Pakistani nationalism. It’s a violation of the two-nation theory. Given Pakistan’s claim over all Muslim-majority areas in Partition, Pakistanis say they should have got Kashmir. It is the unfinished business of Partition, it is the Valley from where Pakistan’s rivers flow.
Liberating Kashmir militarily failed in 1965 and in Kargil in 1999, leaving them with terrorism as the only option. Both those wars gave Pakistan a bloody nose. Today, Pakistan’s Kashmir cause is more an excuse for anti-Indianism. When Pakistan could foment rebellion in Indian Punjab it did, and in Kashmir it finds a fertile ground in New Delhi’s alienation of its own Kashmiri Muslim citizens.
Kashmiri alienation is only the ammunition, the terror groups are the gun. The one pulling the trigger is the Pakistan army. The country where Osama bin Laden was found comfortably ensconced doesn’t really have much plausibility in its denials.

Kashmir attack: is terror group JeM pushing India and Pakistan to the brink of war?

Kuldip Singh

  • Pakistan-based Jaish e-Mohammed (JeM) has for years sought to end India’s sovereign hold on Jammu and Kashmir
  • The ruling BJP is facing tremendous pressure to take a tough line on Islamabad
  • Thursday’s attack on Indian troops in the Kashmir Valley by the Pakistan-based Jaish e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group seems to have been strategically timed and meant to convey a message, ostensibly on behalf of Pakistan. 
  • The Trump administration has been bent on a military withdrawal from Afghanistan and leaning on Pakistan to pressure the Taliban in peace talks. Pakistan is hosting a meeting next week in Islamabad between the Taliban and the United States before the next round of negotiations in Qatar at the end of the month.It is likely Pakistan may use this opportunity to convey a subtle message, as it has done in the past, that it can get away with periodic attacks in Kashmir.
JeM has for years sought to end India’s sovereign hold on Jammu and Kashmir.
Just two months after the September 11 attacks in the United States, the JeM attacked India’s parliament in New Delhi. Experts suggest the US asked India not to retaliate militarily as it would have affected its deployment across several bases in Pakistan for operations in Afghanistan and lead to Islamabad mobilising the army for its own mission instead of helping the US seal the Afghan border.
Now, Pakistan is also likely to reiterate to the US the pet narrative that militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is a “home-grown disaffection” and cite reports that the car packed with bombs that killed Indian troops was driven by a local youth, Adil Ahmad Dar.
Overall, the situation highlights the strategic limitations of the US and other nations in forcing Pakistan to abandon militant groups. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the attack and strongly rejected insinuations it is linked to the incident.
It is also possible that with India-Pakistan relations in deep freeze, and the US in talks with the Taliban for a withdrawal from Afghanistan, the JeM wants to push India and Pakistan to the brink of war. It needs to be noted that the JeM, which has close links with the Taliban, carried out attacks inside Pakistan after former President Pervez Musharraf agreed to help the US military in the aftermath of September 11. Its attacks included two failed assassination bids on Musharaf in 2003. It was only later that the JeM was rehabilitated by Pakistan’s Army so it could be used against India. The car bombing on February 14 was quite similar to those carried out by the Irish Republican Army or militants in Afghanistan or Iraq and is possibly a hint of things to come. While car bombs have been rare in Kashmir, it is not the first time the JeM has used them. It deployed them twice in 2000 in Srinagar, albeit with limited success.
In October 2001, JeM militants rammed the main gate of the Legislative Assembly building, killing 23. Thwarting such attacks would not only require excellent intelligence on men and materials, but also mean restricting traffic movement and exhaustive checks of vehicles – disrupting everyday life in Jammu and Kashmir during a crucial election period. India has already indicated it would stop all civilian traffic during the movement of troop convoys. The ruling BJP, claiming to be more nationalistic and “muscular” than other political parties, is facing tremendous pressure to take a tough line on Pakistan. It could again launch “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control but Pakistan is likely to be prepared.
The other option is an attack using combat aircraft or armed drones on militant training camps. However, the problem is that Masood Azhar is based around Bahawalpur – and any aerial attack across the international border could lead to escalation. An attack across the de facto border known as The Line of Control may abate public sentiment – but will not punish the actual culprits.
There are many hawks in India who are recommending full-scale military action against Pakistan. But there are a few things to consider when contemplating full-scale war with Pakistan.First, India lacks the conventional forces overmatch over Pakistan that would allow it full control over the escalation ladder. If the element of surprise fails, Indian troops could get bogged down and there is the potential for escalation. Secondly, Pakistan’s fear of being quickly overwhelmed may encourage it to rapidly raise the stakes with nuclear threats.Thirdly, keeping an Indian attack limited may also not be a priority of Pakistan. It would, on the contrary, be keen to escalate the conflict to a level where the threat of nuclear war becomes imminent and the international community is forced to intervene. This could allow Pakistan to “internationalise” the Kashmir conflict – it administers part of Jammu & Kashmir (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) but insists most residents want either independence or to be under Islamabad and not New Delhi’s control.
Lastly, the Pakistani army does retain the potential to wreak some limited amount of damage on the Indian side of the border and the economic and stability cost to the border states would be debilitating. If the ruling BJP limits itself to economic and diplomatic measures only, it may suffer in elections. With opposition parties piling on pressure to act, the government may have to undertake some kind of punitive action – the outcome and benefits of which cannot be predicted. Right now, by indicating “the armed forces have been given full liberty to decide the time, place and mode of retribution”, the government seems to have outsourced the problem of a credible response to the armed forces.

Bilawal Bhutto extends felicitations to the newly-elected office-bearers of Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ)

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has extended felicitations to the newly-elected office-bearers of Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), Larkana Union of Journalists (LUJ) and Sukkur Union of Journalists (SUJ) assuring them PPP’s unflinching support for the cause of freedom of press and promotion of democratic culture in the country.
In his separate felicitation messages to newly-elected Presidents Ashraf Khan of KUJ, Sarkash Sadhayo of LUJ and Asif Lodhi of SUJ along with other office-bearers, the PPP Chairman said that his Party has fought for the freedoms along with journalist community for two generations and the collaboration continues in the third generation.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pledged that PPP will continue to be the torchbearer of the nation’s struggle for democracy and democratic culture where all the freedom rights enshrined in the Constitution for every segment of the society are well-protected and promoted without any intrusion or violation by anybody.