Saturday, September 21, 2019

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Video Report - CrossTalk on Israel’s elections: Bye-bye Bibi?

Video Report - Can the US guarantee Gulf security?

Video Report - Joe Biden Calls For Release Of Transcripts On Trump’s Call With Ukraine President | Hardball | MSNBC

Video Report - #CNN reporter fact-checks conspiracy theory involving #Biden and #Ukraine

Music Video - NOOR JEHAN - GHAZAL - 'Tere Pyar Mein Ruswa'

Music Video - Chandani Raatain - Noor Jahan

Birth Anniversary Of Noor Jehan Being Observed

The birth anniversary of renowned singer of sub-continent Noor Jehan is being observed on Saturday (September-21)

The birth anniversary of renowned singer of sub-continent Noor Jehan is being observed on Saturday (September-21).
Melody Queen', Noor Jehan was born in 1926 on this day in Kasur. She had also performed as an actress in film industry.
Her famous films included Chan Wey, Dopatta, Mirza Ghalib, Qaidi, Baaji and Khandaan.
She sang in several languages including urdu, Punjabi and Sindhi, and recorded over 10,000 songs in her career.
She received the Life Time Achievement Award twice, besides achieving the highest Pakistani civilian awards Pride of Performance, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
She died on December 23, 2000 as a result of heart failure and was buried in Karachi.

Video - #AgyaBilawal #PakistanPeoplesParty - Ab Agya Bilawal Phir Se Chalega Teer #BilawalBhuttoZardari

Video Report - Qamar Zaman Kaira press conference

Video - Najam Sethi on Indo-Pak Trade & Relations

For Pakistan’s own good, it should stop worrying about Indian Muslims


Seventy-two years after Partition, Pakistan continues to define itself through India.

Since the creation of Pakistan would lead to a large number of Muslims staying back in India, the founders of Pakistan wondered about the rights and well-being of Indian Muslims. They propounded the “hostage theory” whereby Pakistan’s treatment of Hindus and Sikhs in the country would depend on how India treats its minorities.
An Independent India, on the other hand, always believed in granting equal rights to its minorities because it’s the right thing to do, it’s what its Constitution says, and not because it fears the repercussions for Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan.
India did not want to define itself through Pakistan.
But, 72 years after Partition, Pakistan seems as obsessed as ever with the perpetual need to justify the two-nation theory. It is one thing for Pakistan to worry about Kashmiris, given its dispute with India over territorial claims on Kashmir. But what territorial claims does it have on Assam that it is worried about the NRC process there?
Ever since India decided to change the status of Jammu & Kashmir as a union territory under its own constitutional scheme, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been going on and on about Hindu nationalism in India. He often makes the point that religious minorities are better off in Pakistan than in India. He makes Pakistan sound like a secular state, and India a majoritarian one. Regardless of who wins here, Pakistan is doing itself a disservice by making such a comparison in the first place. It is making its self-image incumbent upon India.
This renewed concern for Indian Muslims in Pakistan is not a fallout of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on 5 August 2019. In December 2018, Imran Khan told Baloch students in Islamabad, “The way Muslims are treated today in India has made people realise now why Pakistan was born.” Does he realise how insecure and unsure the Pakistani nationhood looks with a statement like that? Seventy-two years after Partition, Pakistanis are now realising why Pakistan was born?

Nauseating schadenfreude

As Narendra Modi rose to power in 2014, some Pakistani friends told me, “Achcha hua! Secular nakaab utra (Good, India is taking off its secular veil).” It’s as if they were happy that Indian secularism was threatened by Modi’s rise. How else would the two-nation theory get a spring in its step?
The trouble with the two-nation theory is that it does not seem to have a historical end-date: Not 1947, not 1971, not the Lahore Declaration and not even 5 August 2019. The two-nation theory seems to be an argument that refuses to end. The Partition continues.
Since 2014, the Pakistani schadenfreude over Hindu nationalism in India has been nauseating. It’s as if some Pakistanis are waiting with bated breath to hear of yet another case of a Muslim being lynched in India. It’s as if they are watching a spectator sport and are about to scream, ‘Two-nation theory won!’ I wonder if someone is even maintaining a score.
The rise of Hindutva in India since 2014 has definitely been a factor in determining how the Pakistani government sees India. With Modi as the Prime Minister, India-Pakistan peace seems even more impossible for Pakistan.
Imran Khan is now taking it to a new level. He’s started sounding like an opposition leader in India, ranting against Hindutva. The Nazi-inspired RSS is carrying out a project of Hindu supremacism, he says, and Modi wants to establish a Hindu Lebensraum. After they are done with Muslims, they will “come after” Dalits and Sikhs, he warned a Sikh delegation in Pakistan. Ironically, around the same time, there was a controversy over the alleged forced conversion of a Pakistani Sikh girl.

A specious concern

It does Indian Muslims no favour when Pakistan worries about them. It only makes things worse for them, reinforcing the Hindu nationalist narrative of Indian Muslims being ‘Pakistanis’. If Pakistan really cares about Indian Muslims, it should stop talking about them. Pakistan’s concern for Indian Muslims is specious and serves its own need for validation. Pakistan and Pakistanis must ask themselves what this says about their national self-identity, which still depends on the plight of Indian Muslims.
Look at Bangladesh, a country that does not use India to define itself. The result is that Bangladesh, once a basket case in the region, is today racing ahead of both India and Pakistan in its development indicators, economic growth and job creation. Confident nations don’t feel the need to define themselves in comparison to others. When Pakistan’s science minister Fawad Chaudhry celebrates the crash landing of an Indian mission to the moon, the joke is on him, and his country.

To Pak Media's Questions On Kashmir, UN Gives "Clear Opinion"

 "Our capacity is related to good offices, and good office can only be implemented when good offices is accepted," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
The United Nations on Wednesday indicated its acknowledgement of the Indian stance that Jammu and Kashmir is a bilateral issue and said dialogue between India and Pakistan is an "absolute essential element for the solution". India had reiterated its stand on Jammu and Kashmir at the UN Human Rights Council last week and accused Pakistan of attempting to "politicise" the forum with "hysterical statements with false narratives". On Wednesday, asked by the Pakistani media about a "solution to this crisis", United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "Our capacity is related to good offices, and good office can only be implemented when good offices is accepted, and on the other hand it is related to advocacy and the advocacy was expressed and advocacy will be maintained".
"I will go on with the clear opinion that human rights must be fully respected in the territory and I go on with a clear opinion that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an absolute essential element for the solution," he added.
Last week, following yet another effort by Islamabad to flag Kashmir at the UN Rights Council meeting, India said: "We should call out those who are misusing this platform for malicious political agendas under the garb of human rights".
Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, expressing his opinion about a possible "genocide" in future.
Strongly rebutting his claims, the foreign ministry said, "Some Pakistani leaders have gone as far as calling for jihad to encourage violence in Jammu and Kashmir and third countries, in order to create a picture of genocide which even they know is far from reality". Since August, Pakistan has been unsuccessfully flagging the Centre's move to end special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate it into two union territories at various international forums.
Days after the government's announcement, at a closed-door meeting held at the UN, the participating nations -- barring China -- had sided with India, agreeing that the changes in Jammu and Kashmir were an internal matter.

In Pakistan-Held Kashmir, Growing Calls for Independence

In Pakistan-controlled Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the simple fact of the region’s name — with azad meaning free — is a declaration that Kashmiris here enjoy a liberty denied to their kin across the border, in the Indian-held portion of the disputed territory.
But even in Pakistan-held Kashmir, the message has been clear, residents say: No talk of independence will be allowed.
As an Indian crackdown on the other side of Kashmir has led to massive civil unrest and new calls for a Kashmir free from either India or Pakistan, local activists and officials say a parallel security operation is being pushed inside Pakistan.
Pakistan has long prided itself on being a champion for Kashmiris, who are predominantly Muslim. And the government has chastised India for suppressing calls for freedom in the portion of Kashmir that New Delhi controls.
But New York Times journalists who were granted rare access to Azad Jammu and Kashmir in recent days found a toughening Pakistani security response to a growing independence movement here.Residents say the upwelling is rooted in fears that their ability to reunify has been slowly slipping away ever since India increased its control of the divided territory and Pakistan did little to stop it other than to offer negotiations that India refused.
The Pakistani crackdown also has another focus, locals say: As outrage over India’s move to end Kashmiri autonomy last month has galvanized militants, Pakistani officials fear they could face international sanctions if they don’t rein in the armed groups.
On both sides of the border, Kashmiris are expressing frustration that no one is on their side.
“Both countries have gone to war over Kashmir. But Kashmiris have never had a voice in any of these disputes,” said Abdul Hakeem Kashmiri, a prominent journalist in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-held Kashmir.
“We love the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani people, but we have our own culture. And people know what the unspoken red line is: independence,” Mr. Kashmiri said. Pro-independence demonstrations that once attracted dozens of protesters are now attracting thousands, residents say. In one case this month, some 5,000 Kashmiris tried to march to the Indian border in Poonch district in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, local police officials said. Protesters charged at Pakistani security officers while chanting, “We want freedom on this side and we want freedom on the other side,” and “Foreign oppressors, leave us alone.” Police batons cracked into the protesters, halting their advance and leading to scuffles that left 18 demonstrators and seven Pakistani police officers wounded, officials said. The protests were barely covered in Pakistani media, and mobile phone and internet were cut off for awhile in the area. One military general dismissed the demonstrators as “Indian agents.”
Despite appeals from the political leadership of Pakistan-held Kashmir to stop marching to the border area, Kashmiris say they plan to press on. They have called for massive protests on the border with India on Saturday and in early October that are expected to be the biggest demonstrations yet.
“The independence struggle on both sides of the border is being suppressed,” said Anam Zakaria, the author of “Between the Great Divide: A Journey Into Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.”
“There is a frustration that they have been on the front line of the conflict and are pawns in this greater game between India and Pakistan,” she said.
Last month, India stripped the autonomy from the portion of Kashmir it holds and strengthened New Delhi’s hold on the territory, detaining local politicians and activists and imposing a curfew and communications blockade that has entered its second month.
The protests are channeling civilian anger at the “line of control,” the de facto border that splits Kashmir between India and Pakistan, slicing through valleys dotted with wildflowers and pine trees, down the middle of rivers and through entire towns.
Sheep graze over the heavily mined boundary. Shepherds accidentally cross it, oblivious to its contours, only to be shelled by Indian or Pakistani soldiers, or detained.The line demarcates the point where, in 1947, Indian forces repelled invading Pashtun tribal fighters that Pakistan drew from its border area with Afghanistan — the beginning of a longstanding Pakistani strategy to use militant proxies to weaken its neighboring rivals.Originally, the line of control was meant to be temporary, with plans for a referendum that would allow Kashmiris to choose whether to join India or Pakistan. That vote never happened, and now, after decades of fighting, many Kashmiris fear that the temporary boundary will become a hard border, dividing the territory permanently.
“Kashmiris are trying to take their fate in their own hands. We realize that we can only rely on ourselves,” said Haris Qadeer, a young Kashmiri who joined the protests and whose newspaper in Muzaffarabad was shut down in 2017 for its pro-independence stance.
“The line of control is what separates us, it is what makes us refugees in our own country,” Mr. Qadeer said.
The police force used against protesters this month was a “preventive measure,” said the president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Masood Khan, saying that the police response was restrained compared with that used by Indian forces on the other side of the line, who he said at times open fire on protesters trying to cross the border, resulting in serious injuries. “There is a high degree of tolerance for dissent. There is an overwhelming pro-Pakistan sentiment in Azad Kashmir and Indian-occupied Kashmir,” Mr. Khan added. But Kashmiri nationalists are forbidden in government. Elected officials like Mr. Khan must sign a declaration before they can run for office stating that they “believe in the ideology of Pakistan” and in Kashmir’s eventually accession to become a formal part of that country.
Some here say that Pakistan’s response is also rooted in the fear that militants the Pakistani security forces once mobilized to fight India in Kashmir are gearing up again right as Pakistan faces the threat of international sanctions if it does not crack down on terrorist groups. One former Kashmiri militant said he was angry at what he saw as a hypocritical betrayal by Pakistani officials, who recently shut down the border after pushing various militants to cross it in the 1990s. The militant, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal by the authorities, said Pakistan’s military had “polluted” the Kashmiri cause by using the issue as a rallying cry for various terrorist groups in Pakistan to fight India, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, which took part in later attacks against India’s parliament in 2001 and in Mumbai in 2008.
“We were freedom fighters, made up from the Kashmiri people. But then Pakistan pushed groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba on our movement. People began to confuse our struggle for freedom with a desire for terrorism,” the former militant said.Under heavy international pressure to cut links to militants, Pakistan is squeezing the jihadists who once operated freely in Muzaffarabad city, a nerve center for anti-Indian groups, locals say.
In Muzaffarabad, the local office of Hizbul Mujahedeen, a leading faction in the deadly insurgency that wracked Indian-held Kashmir in the 1990s, has been shuttered by officials since May.
“Jihad had once become a way of living,” said Manzoor Gilani, the former chief justice of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Now, “not every Tom, Dick and Harry can stand up and say they will go for jihad,” Mr. Gilani added. “The jihadists are now styled as terrorists. They served the interests of Pakistan at one time, but now Pakistan feels it was a bad way of doing business.”
But with India moving unilaterally to finalize its grip on Kashmir, some residents say Pakistan has chosen the worst time to shift gears.
Abdul Rashid Turabi, the former head of Jamaat-e-Islami, believed to be the political arm of the militants Hizbul Mujahedeen, insisted that his group still hoped for peace. “That and dialogue are the priorities,” he said in an interview.
But he added that time was running out for a diplomatic solution to the crisism, and that many here were unwilling to hold back.
“Narendra Modi is driving people to jihad, not me,” he said, referring to India’s prime minister.
Other residents were less restrained.
“The only solution is war,” said Muhammad Arshad Abbasi, a shopkeeper in Chakothi, one of the last border towns before the line of control. “It has been 70 years, and what has talking with India achieved? There is no way other than jihad.”

Pakistan among 10 violent places in world

Iceland continues to top the Global Peace Index (GPI) as the world's most peaceful place.
Pakistan has slipped two places on the annual global index on peacefulness, finishing at 153 among 163 countries. The index was released on the occasion of the International Day of Peace on September 21. It's also known as World Peace Day.
In its annual report, the Institute for Economics and Peace presented a comprehensive data-driven analysis on peace, economic value, trends and how to develop peaceful societies.
The Sydney-based think-tank said the global peacefulness improved slightly in 2019. But overall peacefulness has deteriorated 3.78 per cent since 2008.
While Iceland continues to top the Global Peace Index (GPI) as the world's most peaceful place, Afghanistan has replaced Syria as the most violent place.
India, together with the Philippines, Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan are the nine countries with the highest climate hazard risk.
India also has the seventh-highest overall natural hazard score in the world.