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Category — India

Indian official terms Pakistan ‘Terroristan’ in UNGA

by Muhammad Saleh Zaafir in The News, Sept 23, 2017
UNITED NATIONS: India reacted at lower level with obnoxious remarks to the statement made by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday where he highlighted Indian brutalities in the Indian Held Kashmir (IOK) and grave human rights besides other subjects.

Indian reply came through Ms. Eenam Gambhir, a first secretary in the Indian permanent mission to the UN, who described Pakistan as ‘Terroristan’ and a land of ‘pure terror’ that hosts a flourishing industry to produce and export global terrorism.

In a no-holds-barred speech at the United Nations General Assembly, India’s representative said it was extraordinary that the state which protected Osama Bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should have the gumption to play the victim.

India was exercising its right to reply after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raised the Kashmir issue at the UNGA. Diplomatic sources told The News that Pakistan will also exercise the right of reply to the Indian observations.

Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj will make statement on behalf of her country on Saturday (today). “By now, all Pakistan’s neighbours are painfully familiar with these tactics to create a narrative based on distortions, deception and deceit,” Gambhir said, asserting that efforts at creating alternative facts do not change reality.

“In its short history, Pakistan has become geography synonymous with terror,” she said. “Playing on the country’s name, which means ‘land of pure’, she said the quest for a land of pure has actually produced ‘the land of pure terror’.

Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan’, with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism,” she said. Gambhir noted that Pakistan’s current state can be gauged from the fact that Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, a leader of the United Nations-designated terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Tayiba, was now sought to be legitimised as a leader of a political party.

She said Pakistan’s counter-terrorism policy was to mainstream and upstream terrorists by either providing safe havens to global terror leaders in its military towns, or protecting them with ‘political careers’.

“The state of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always remain an integral part of India. However much it scales up cross-border terrorism, it will never succeed in undermining India’s territorial integrity,” she said.

Attacking Pakistan, Gambhir said having diverted billions of dollars in international military and development aid towards creating a ‘dangerous infrastructure of terror’ on its own territory, Pakistan was now speaking of the high cost of its terror industry.

“The polluter, in this case, is paying the price,” she said. “Even as terrorists thrive in Pakistan and roam its streets with impunity, we have heard it lecture about the protection of human rights in India. The world does not need lessons on democracy and human rights from a country whose own situation is charitably described as a failed state,” Gambhir said.

“Terroristan is in fact a territory whose contribution to the globalisation of terror is unparalleled. Pakistan can only be counseled to abandon a destructive worldview that has caused grief to the entire world. If it could be persuaded to demonstrate any commitment to civilization, order, and to peace, it may still find some acceptance in the comity of nations,” she said.

An official from Pakistan while talking to The News here said foul-mouthing by an Indian official couldn’t alter facts about India on ground. Instead of mending its approach Indians are engaged in using obnoxious language which is unbecoming of a diplomat, he added.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/232031-Indian-official-terms-Pakistan-Terroristan-in-UNGA

September 23, 2017   No Comments

Indian High Commission seeks prisoner’s release by Pakistan

Report in Dawn, September 21st, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The Indian High Commission has sought release of an Indian convict who has served his five-year sentence.

A petition filed by the commission was taken up by Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq on Wednesday. However, the IHC bench withdrew the petition after objections raised by the registrar office that the power of attorney was not properly signed and relevant parties were not nominated as respondents.

Advocate Malik Shahna­waz Noon, the petitioner’s counsel, said he would re-file the petition after making necessary changes.

The Indian national, Rafiq Jutt, was apprehended by Pakistan Army in 2008. He was sentenced to five-year imprisonment in 2012 after a trial.

Advocate Noon maintained that the convict was Muslim and belonged to the Indian state of Gujarat. He visited Pakistan on a valid visa in 2008 when Pakistan Army apprehended him. Mr Jutt was tried under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act.

During his imprisonment, the Indian national has been kept in different jails. Presently, he is confined in Karachi’s central jail.

He was awarded sentence on March 8, 2012 which expired on March 7 this year.

Advocate Noon said that since Mr Jutt had completed his sentence and now the authorities had no concern with him, he might be released.

The advocate said that as Mr Jutt was an Indian citizen, the matter directly came under the interior ministry which had the authority to arrange his release by ordering the Sindh home secretary.

Among other grounds, Mr Jutt had an ailing mother back home and there was no person to look after her as his wife was compelled to work at a farm as a labourer due to his imprisonment, the advocate said, adding that Mr Jutt has a nine-year-old son.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359073/indian-high-commission-seeks-prisoners-release-by-pakistan

September 21, 2017   No Comments

250 Hindus convert to Islam in Thatta: report in The Nation, Sept 16, 2017, 6:02 pm

As many as 250 people from Hindu families on Saturday converted to Islam in Chohar Jamali area in Thatta’s District Sajjawal.

As per details, around 250 people of Hindu Sami family converted to Islam during a ceremony held in Chohar Jamali area in Thatta’s District Sajjawal.

The ceremony was organised by renowned trader Abdul Aziz Memon, which was attended by large number of political, social and religious personalities.

Those who converted to Islam include males and females. Gifts including Ajrak, clothes, grocery and financial help were also distributed among those who converted to Islam.

Construction of mosque and madarassa in the area were also announced on the occasion. http://nation.com.pk/national/16-Sep-2017/250-hindus-convert-to-islam-in-thatta

September 18, 2017   No Comments

After Trump, now Brics: By Imtiaz Alam in The News, Sept 7, 2017

The writer is a senior journalist.
As the country’s top ambassadors meet in Islamabad to contemplate Pakistan’s response to President Trump’s recently announced policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation seems almost complete with the naming of UN-designated terrorists which operated from Pakistani soil for the first time in the Xiamen Declaration of the 9th Brics Summit in China.

Where will the envoys draw the line this time compared to the last time they had met for such a consultation and had recommended certain policy inputs that they thought would help them sell a revised and consistent foreign policy the world would be, at least, ready to listen to?

Brics – a forum of the fast-growing developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – has expressed its: “concern on the security situation in the region and the violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates including [the] Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, TTP and Hizbul-Tahrir”.

With this declaration, Islamabad could stand isolated globally on the issues of ‘cross-border terrorism’ that Pakistan has now, at least at the policy level, pledged to curb and has also decided to not to let its territory be used for terrorism against other countries since the unanimous passage of the National Action Plan. But let’s not forget that the ‘leakage’ of the quite known views expressed by former foreign secretary Ayaz Chaudhry in the National Security Committee of the cabinet is also said to have contributed to the ouster of the Nawaz Sharif government.

For India, this declaration is a big diplomatic achievement since its efforts to get Pakistan-based banned (and renamed) LeT and JeM included in Brics’ Goa Declaration was frustrated by China last year. Much earlier, the UN Security Council had designated JeM and LeT as terrorist organisations in 2001 and 2005, respectively. It is indeed good to recall that the same terrorist groups were also mentioned in the Amritsar Declaration of the 6th Ministerial Heart of Asia Conference on Afghanistan in December 2016; the declaration was endorsed by Pakistan and China as well.

However, Islamabad continued to take solace in blaming both Afghanistan and India for allowing and using Afghan soil for a proxy war against Pakistan. Indeed, both Islamabad and Rawalpindi were right in their allegations against both the aforementioned countries with regard to backing the TTP and other renegade terrorist groups for terrorism across Pakistan, but the Pakistani state could not absolve itself of not being equally tough with the ‘good Taliban’. But somehow, despite an apparent shift in policy – as repeated by both successive civil and military leaderships – to not to differentiate between ‘good and bad’ Taliban and not to let any terrorist groups use Pak territory for terrorism against any other country, we continued to take flak from international community on the footprints of these groups being seen to be behind various acts of terrorism.

These groups continue to exist under various pseudonyms and the camouflage of ‘welfare’. Amid a treacherous metamorphosis, they are now becoming the bulwark of fascism at the cost of the civil society, and are sanctified as the guardians of our ‘ideological frontiers’. In a delayed, flawed and self-serving ‘de-radicalisation’ process, they are defining the national narrative on a broad range of policy issues, including jihad, Islamisation (in reality, sectarianism), foreign relations and internal and external security policies. In fact, more than challenging India and checking its brutal suppression of the Kashmiri struggle, such groups pose a much greater threat to Pakistan’s internal security and inter-faith harmony.

The change in the Chinese position on Pakistan-based militant outfits has come after India and China came to an agreement over a 73-day military faceoff on the unsettled Dokalam area close to the Sikkim sector claimed both by China and Bhutan; the latter is now not very inclined to lay claim on the territory and is expected to mend fences with China to, perhaps, keep equi-distance from the two joint neighbours. Indian Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping were to meet at the sidelines of the Brics Summit for what Indians described as “forward looking” discourse to put Sino-Indian relations on the “right track”, according to the Chinese side. The Brics Summit was in fact on ‘emerging markets and developing countries dialogue’ for their greater role in the global market, but it was taken over by the crisis created by the test of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea, something that can make Beijing-Washington relations reach a very tenuous situation.

President Trump’s sabre-rattling apart, Brics has come firmly against tougher sanctions or retaliation against North Korea and has, instead, asked for direct dialogue with Pyongyang. For Beijing, the Korean Peninsula’s security is more important than the Indo-Pak conflict. Moreover, they are no more enthusiastic to compensate for our extended security agendas or conflicts with our neighbours. They want us to focus on CPEC and engage with neighbours the way they are doing with India; the Sino-Indian model of economic cooperation is presented as a blueprint for negotiating border disputes.

For Pakistan, Kashmir remains a principal issue and we have learnt that the Kashmiri democratic struggle no more requires ‘guest fighters’ who now bring a bad name to their genuine aspirations. Jihadis for Kashmir are a liability and counter-productive. They are, rather, a threat to the safety and cohesion of our civil society. Pakistan can never sell its narrative to the world and will remain in jeopardy with the Haqqanis or LeT or JeM in its closet in any way.

On Afghanistan, Brics has very strongly expressed its desire for an end to the conflict and asked for a political resolution of the unending conflict through available mechanisms, including bilateral, trilateral, quadrilateral, multilateral and also Moscow and Istanbul initiatives. We must respond to the American overtures and Afghan President Ghani’s speech on this Eid offering “comprehensive political talks” since in his view “peace with Pakistan in our national interest”.

It is also in Pakistan’s national interest to have cordial relations with Afghanistan. We have lost so much for our Afghan policy for far too long, including all those ‘friends’ that we had helped too long. It is a no-win policy and must be drastically changed in favour of an Afghanistan that ensures peace within and at its borders with us.

To Pakistan’s relief, Brics has also included the TTP in its list of terrorists; that provides a ground for a quid pro quo. For that, we will have to revisit our Afghan policy and attitude towards the Haqqani Network. Indeed, it is not our job to sort out the Afghan Taliban or the Haqqanis, but we cannot also provide them any relief by endangering our own country at the same time. As they now claim to have captured more than 40 percent of Afghan territory, they must find their own way.

If at all our facilitation is required for a political reconciliation in Afghanistan, we should be willing to do our bit – however limited or effective it might be. Our national interest is in keeping our north-western and eastern borders secure and not letting proxy wars destabilise us. Why doesn’t Pakistan follow the advice of the Chinese president to have peaceful neighbourly relations with all neighbours and let all the countries of the region join hands against terrorism and against any support to any terrorist group against one another? It is time the Foreign Office told the power players to get over the hangover of Gen Zia’s destructive policies, which Pakistan can least afford now.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/228268-After-Trump-now-Brics

September 7, 2017   No Comments

The wall of BRICS: op-ed by Khurram Husain in Dawn, Sept 7, 2017

The writer is a member of staff.
IF you hide from reality for long enough, you can land up in a place from where it is next to impossible to find your way back. Something like that may be happening to Pakistan, where for more than a quarter century, our state has come to be virtually held hostage by a reality that we have been denying in almost every forum around the world. This reality is that within Pakistan, as a matter of official policy, violent militant groups have been nurtured, trained, supported and nestled within the general population for use as assets in an underground geopolitical game that we have tried to play in the region.

This history has been told so often, within and outside Pakistan, and evidence of the official patronage that these groups and their larger milieu enjoys has now mounted to such levels, that it has become an act of wilful schizophrenia to actually deny it now. Where exactly does one even begin to explain this to those who remain unaware of this fact even today, and resistant to really internalising its import?

For years, we have found different rationales to either justify or explain this away. Most recently, when the BRICS countries pointed to three specific groups in Pakistan and labelled them as terrorist entities, they were only echoing what the UN Security Council had done more than a decade and a half ago. Still the line came up that ‘these groups are already proscribed in Pakistan’, as a rationale or soft justification for the fact that the groups not only exist, but operate freely and openly, propagate their literature in society, operate giant administrative operations, and in some cases, are actually being mainstreamed into society as bona fide political parties.

What does proscription actually mean in Pakistan when the same members of the group in question need only start another organisation under a different name and carry on business as usual? One need only take a close look at what happened to the case against the Lal Masjid cleric who less than a decade ago had taken up arms against the state, and triggered a confrontation that actually resulted in the deaths of scores of military personnel. The case fell apart (take a look sometime at how this happened), and the cleric in question continues to live and preach openly in the same mosque. How did this come about if some form of official support was not available to him?

Another line told us that we need not worry. The countries that are crying foul over this situation are biased against us, and need to be perceived more as enemies than allies. Now we have China, we were told, which will stand by us and has no intention of similarly wagging a finger at us on this point. And with China we have CPEC, which is our road to future prosperity, something we have believed for generations now is given by a big brother, not earned through one’s own smarts and hard work.

Well now China has added its voice to the list of those countries pointing out that the presence of militant groups in Pakistan is a problem. To add meat to the proposition, they point to a “comprehensive approach in combating terrorism”, to include countering radical ideologies, halting the movement of terrorist fighters as well as their recruitment, interdicting their finances and much more. This is a heavy menu, and notice that all of what the BRICS declaration is committing to is within the framework of the United Nations, and an extension of what other leading powers in the world have already been saying for many years.

If anybody out there thought that somehow the emergence of China on the global stage, and its growing stakes in our neighborhood as well as others, along with its creed to not interfere in the ‘internal affairs’ of other countries, meant that finally we would have a free pass to engage our great game fantasies without let or hindrance, they ought to be in for a rude shock. The person who is still spinning the words to mean something other than what they say is like that person who has lived so long with his or her lies that they are unable to find their way back to reality.

Everything in the declaration shows that the BRICS countries, that include Russia and China, will not advance an alternative set of norms to those around which the Euro-American world order is constructed. To combat terror financing, for example, they seek to work with the UN resolutions and the Financial Action Task Force that has for years been pointing out the vulnerability of the Pakistan financial system to being used by designated terrorist groups because the latter operate with impunity in Pakistan.

Yes there have been huge successes in our own war against terror. Groups like the TTP have been pushed out of Swat and North and South Waziristan, and the sacrifices made by Pakistan’s soldiers in the course of this fighting have been admirable and deserve commendation. Yes, the security situation has improved from a decade ago, although much ground remains to be covered.

And yes, let’s also add that much of the finger-wagging from the West, particularly America, is in bad faith. America is not losing the war in Afghanistan because of Pakistan. America is losing the war for the simple reason that no sooner had the fighting commenced in earnest in Afghanistan, it lost its focus and went barrelling into Iraq instead. All else is detail.

But there is a reason why Pakistan has had such a difficult time getting the world to recognise this simple reality: because we have been lying to ourselves and our allies about the nature of our involvement in this war all along. If Abbottabad didn’t establish this, surely the death of Mullah Mansour on Pakistani soil, with Pakistani credentials in his pocket, did. https://www.dawn.com/news/1356010/the-wall-of-brics

September 7, 2017   No Comments

Pakistan needs introspection on BRICS: by Zulfiquar Rao in Daily Times, Sept 7, 2017

The writer is a sociologist with interest in history and politics.
Many in Pakistan were surprised when the association of five major emerging national economies Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) declaration from its meeting in Xiamen, China on September 4, 2017 included Pakistan-based terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), Haqqani Network, and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) as the entities which have threatened the peace and stability in the region. Pakistan formally rejected the BRICS’ declaration saying there’s no space left for terrorist outfits in the country following its military operations against terrorist organisations; although there aren’t many buyers of this assertion. Pakistan further reiterated that the country itself has been the victim of terrorism as thousands of civilians and military men lost their lives in the fight against terror.

Both political commentators and the government saw the declaration with an element of surprise because in the past, China had been obstructing any move by India to directly or indirectly implicate Pakistan and to designate some of the key leaders of the terrorist outfits based in Pakistan as a global terrorist and a threat to regional peace. However, the fact the declaration mentioning names of these outfits had been signed by China too, speaks volumes about the limits of the sensational perception among Pakistanis of their so called deeper-than-ocean and higher-than-Himalayas friendship with China. Locally, it feels more shocking as government of Pakistan and a number of policy experts had not expected this, especially in the backdrop of recent Sino-Indian border skirmishes and consequent diplomatic tensions between them.

However, what makes the declaration even more significant is that it has echoed some of the points of the new US policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, that President Trump had recently announced, which had already upset Pakistan and led to postponement of scheduled diplomacy visits between the US and Pakistan. From Pakistan’s point of view, certainly, to an extent, one can say that the new US policy has favored India’s stance, offered India a greater role in Afghanistan, and scapegoated Pakistan for US’s own failures in Afghanistan. Yet, the argument is incapable of rubbishing the views shared by the US, EU, and many of neighboring countries that Pakistan’s government’s actions and military offensives against the terrorist outfits are only selective and without much regard to regional peace and stability.

This is precisely what Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary had warned about the participants of a high level meeting on national security that then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had chaired last year in early October. The Foreign Secretary had shared that despite Pakistan’s counter diplomatic efforts to India’s avowed plans to render Pakistan diplomatically isolated, the country found no eager recipients of its counter narrative across the world’s most influential capitals, and that a diplomatic isolation may be imminent if Pakistan didn’t act against Masood Azhar, JeM, Hafiz Saeed, LeT and Haqqani Network.

Unfortunately, the forewarning from the Foreign Secretary got buried under the farcical ‘Dawn-leak’ scandal, which was no more than a news story of that meeting in a newspaper. But the military establishment created so much of ruckus through media men and TV channels aligned to its narrative that civilian led democratic government had to find respite only in constituting a joint investigation committee on that news story and forget insisting on acting against terrorist outfits indiscriminately.

Situation one year after proves that unless Pakistan acts its part well first, none of its friends like China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey can help it in diplomatic success or survival beyond their own interests and limited clout. Pakistan requires a policy shift in national security perception and foreign policy principles. For instance, Pakistan must learn not to transform what are actually its diplomatic and political disputes with other countries into militaristic ones. Letting anti-Afghan and anti-US Taliban operate from Pakistan not only tarnishes Pakistan’s image but also triggers tit-for-tat acts from Afghanistan side, which is witnessed in the form of anti-Pakistan Taliban and other similar forces finding refuge inside Afghanistan. Similar is the story vis-à-vis India in the form of its support for Baloch separatists and anti-Pakistan Taliban inside Afghanistan, which is a response to terrorists using Pakistani soil to infiltrate into India and inflict death and destruction there.

So the kind of diplomatic isolation facing Pakistan can only be averted if its national security policy and foreign policy principles start revolving around and aiming at social and economic well-being of its people. Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan will follow, and it can better pitch its legitimate claim over Kashmir as Pakistan switches to more pro-peace approach. Pakistan must be warned: with empty coffers and empty stomachs fed with jingoistic narrative it will risk inviting more troubles and miseries than success and prosperity for itself as a state and people therein.http://dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/07-Sep-17/pakistan-needs-introspection-on-brics

September 7, 2017   No Comments

School closure impacts 300 Sikh students: report in The Nation, September 07, 2017

PESHAWAR – As many as 300 students, mostly belonging to the Sikh community, have been denied access to education as the only school they were enrolled at has been closed at the behest of the owner of the property.

The affected Sikh students were enrolled in the private school, located in the Mohallah Jogan Shah area of the provincial capital Peshawar, and the school has been closed at the behest of the owner of the property, said a government handout on Wednesday.

This privately owned school has been closed down due to a tenancy dispute between the school owner and the landlord, the handout added. The concerned sources, however, said that the affected school was not in the jurisdiction of the Elementary and Secondary Education Department (ESED) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

While taking notice of the issue, the ESED has assured the Sikh community of their support and offered them admissions for their children in the government-run schools in the vicinity.

According to details, the ESED has seven schools in the area and one of which is at the walking distance from the closed schools said an official of ESED.

The ESED welcomes all the affected students, including those from the Sikh and Hindu communities of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, to study in any of these government schools, he said.

The KP government provides free education, textbooks, and uniforms to all students without any discrimination on the basis of caste and creed.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Education Department inculcates no tolerance policy on religious discrimination in schools and imparts this philosophy to teachers during their induction training.

The department in the upcoming enrollment drive across KP will focus on particularly inviting children from other religious communities to integrate into mainstream schools where they are provided with a level playing field to prosper. http://nation.com.pk/national/07-Sep-2017/school-closure-impacts-300-sikh-students

September 7, 2017   No Comments

China’s Himalayan Climb-Down: edit in The Wall St Journal

A three-month standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in a remote corner of the Himalayas ended this week with both sides agreeing to withdraw. Beijing is claiming victory, but this is face-saving bravado. New Delhi successfully repulsed a Chinese attempt to assert control over the disputed region.

In June China quietly began construction of a road across the Doklam Plateau, an area that Indian ally Bhutan also claims. The area overlooks the Siliguri Corridor, a stretch of territory 27 kilometers wide at its narrowest point that leads to the country’s landlocked northeastern states. The Indian government was understandably alarmed because the new road would allow the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to move tanks and artillery within striking range of the corridor, also known as the “Chicken’s Neck.”

Lightly armed Indian troops entered the disputed area in mid-June, bringing the Chinese road construction to a halt. Some 300 soldiers from each side camped about 100 meters from each other.

Beijing demanded that Indian forces withdraw unconditionally and kept up a barrage of threats and maneuvers. The Indian government remained largely silent, appealing for a diplomatic solution.

The PLA regularly crosses the Himalayan frontier to expand its area of control and poses as the victim when challenged. These tactics are similar to those used by the Chinese Navy in the South and East China Seas, where it seeks to intimidate other claimants to islands and waters.

In 1962 China and India fought a brief border war after Chinese forces built a road across the disputed area of Aksai Chin. The PLA routed the Indian Army in that conflict. Over the past few months, Chinese officials and state-run media promised to teach India another lesson if it didn’t withdraw from Doklam.

India is better equipped to resist Chinese pressure today because it is a nuclear power and has considerable conventional forces near Doklam. The strategic vulnerability of the Chicken’s Neck also stiffened its resolve.

But the key difference was India’s willingness to wait out China rather than moving more of its forces into disputed areas, as it did in 1962. Unable to blame India for a military clash, Beijing had little choice but to open talks.

On Monday India got the resolution it wanted, an agreement that both sides would withdraw and China would cease its road-building. The bulldozers left along with the PLA troops.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves most of the credit for the positive outcome. It chose to make its stand on high ground morally and militarily. As a responsible great power, New Delhi refused to be drawn into escalation by Beijing’s bellicose rhetoric. India’s deft handling of the dispute shows that principled resistance can face down China’s creeping aggression.https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-himalayan-climb-down-1504221994

September 1, 2017   No Comments

JuD leaders challenge detention: Report in Dawn, August 31st, 2017

LAHORE: Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and its four other leaders have challenged in the Lahore High Court the last orders for their detention issued by the Punjab government.

A writ petition filed through Advocate AK Dogar states that the Home Department issued the impugned orders on July 28 last under section 1 of section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order, 1960 detaining the petitioners for a period of next 60 days.

The petition states that a representation against the detention was submitted to the home secretary on Aug 3 but no action has been taken so far. It pleads that there is no evidence whatsoever that the petitioners are planning to spread chaos in the country or that they have planned violent demonstrations.

It says the government in the impugned detention orders has only shown apprehension against the petitioners. However, it pleads, under the law no presumption and assumption can give rise to any apprehension unless it is supported by some piece of evidence.

It argues that an order of preventive detention has to satisfy the requirements laid down by the Supreme Court in many judgments but in the instant case, blatant violation of laws has been committed by the government.

The petition pleads that imprisonment without trial and conviction is prima facie unlawful and unconstitutional. It further states the government detained the petitioners to please India and America. Courts in past declared detention of JuD leaders illegal as the government failed to prove its charges, it says and requests the court to set aside the detention orders for being issued without lawful authority.

The other petitioners are Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain.

In response to previous petitions by the JuD leaders, the government had taken a stance before the court that no violation of law was made in issuance of the detention orders against the petitioners.

The government said JuD and its allied organisation (Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation) had been kept under observation on the basis of a report sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And in the light of that report, the government had reasons to believe that JuD and FIF were engaged in certain activities which could be prejudicial to peace and security and in violation of Pakistan’s obligation to the United Nations Security Council resolution, it said. https://www.dawn.com/news/1355004/jud-leaders-challenge-detention

August 31, 2017   No Comments

Musharraf’s N-technology disclosure embarrassed Pakistan

by Iftikhar A. Khan in Dawn, August 12th, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The disclosure made by retired General Pervez Musharraf in his 2006 autobiography that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan transferred sensitive nucl­ear material to North Korea had come as a big embarrassment to the country, an official of the Foreign Office said on Friday at a meeting of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

The disclosure had forced the Foreign Office on the defensive and left it with no choice but to regurgitate the standard response that Pakistan was firmly against nuclear proliferation, the additional secretary said.

Foreign diplomats viewed the statement with scepticism and disbelief, he added.

The Foreign Office reply came in response to a question by Senator Farhatullah Babar as to what was North Korea’s official reaction to Pervez Musharraf’s revelation in his memoir, In the Line of Fire, that a clandestine proliferation network operating from Pakistan had transferred nearly two dozen centrifuge machines, a flow meter and some special oils to North Korea.

“Had such an irresponsible disclosure been made by a civilian minister or a bureaucrat, he would have been sent to the gallows, but Musharraf got away with it because he was a general,” Senator Farhatullah observed.

The official reaction to Pervez Musharraf’s disclosures would help this committee better understand “the nature and depth” of Pakistan-North Korea relations, he added.

The committee was also briefed on Islamabad’s relations with Tokyo and the government’s position on territorial disputes in the Strait of Malacca.

The meeting, chaired by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, was attended by Senators Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Shibli Faraz, Dr Karim Khawaja, Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and Farhatullah Babar.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1351042/musharrafs-n-technology-disclosure-embarrassed-pakistan-foreign-office

August 13, 2017   No Comments