Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

FP Analysis: The Population Bomb

May 3, 2013

By Enum Naseer
FOR PAKISTAN

It is simple economics: resources are scarce and wants are unlimited. The problem of allocation gets more serious when population growth is unchecked- as is the case in Pakistan. It is confusing hence, that no one has taken the pains to voice the issue in the mainstream media; no political party mentioned it in its rallies; no slogans or chants went further than the usual clichés. While the future leaders and the public busy themselves with the task of wooing and being wooed, the population bomb ticks away. The promises and plans, albeit optimistic and hopeful, evade the population issue almost strategically. It is as if the fact that the unrestrained population growth will have an undesirable impact on the distribution of resources like food has gone unnoticed. Or more so perhaps, the problem has been brushed under the carpet for fear that it may give rise to an uncomfortable debate?

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PAKISTAN SHAMED!!

March 13, 2013

By Ghalib Sultan
Area 14/8

The picture on top says it all. A mob in the background and an exultant youth in the foreground with smoke, fire and burning homes all around. This was the scene in the heart of Lahore when Christian homes were set on fire because of alleged blasphemy by a Christian who had already been booked under the Blasphemy Law by the police on the complaint of a Muslim. The mob that went on the rampage looting and burning homes was apparently venting their rage. No one died and no injuries were reported but Pakistan’s image was destroyed beyond repair-collateral damage from the point of view of the bigoted and the intolerant but a mortal blow to Pakistan for those whose heads hung in shame.

Now that the smoke has blown away, compensatory payments made to those who lost everything, the rebuilding process begun and some arrests made a clearer picture is slowly emerging. The Police advised the people to run for their lives hours before the mob arrived and they ran-the men, the women, the aged and the children all ran for their lives in all directions away from their homes leaving everything behind. Why did the police do this-to facilitate looting and burning, to save lives or because they did not want or could not face down the mob to protect lives and property? If the Police had advance information did this information flow upwards and if it did was it ignored? And if it did not then why not?

There are credible reports that the mob came prepared for their grisly task—with sticks, stones, gasoline cans etc. If so then this was no spontaneous venting of rage. This was a well planned event for which a large number of people had been mustered and prepared. If this was planned then who was behind it?- those who wanted the land on which the colony was built?- or those who had political motives and wanted to undermine the political administration in Punjab or was it a combination of both?. The land mafia would have known the consequences of such an atrocity and it is unlikely that they actually believed that the land would fall in their lap after the pillage. The political motive is more plausible and is also borne out by the fact that after the attack on the Christians some apparently counter attacks were organized on the pride and joy of the Punjab government-the new Metrobus system.

The Punjab government moved quickly to limit the damage and to begin rehabilitation work. An inquiry has also been ordered and arrests made. No doubt that there has been political fall-out but on the positive side people have rallied in support of the Christian community and against the forces of bigotry and intolerance that exist in society. There have been many previous incidents of this kind but never has exemplary punishment been awarded to deter such behavior. In the final analysis the blame must also go to people who are ready to undertake such criminal and reprehensible behavior.

Tacstrat Analysis: The Haqqani question

March 1, 2013

Tacstrat Analysis

Many analysts have taken up various positions on the subject of the United States, Pakistan and the controversial Haqqani Network. Tough calls have demanded that Pakistan be declared a rogue state, all aid suspended to the country and sanctions imposed. Others digress and say sanctions on Pakistan did not really work. Not only did Pakistan successfully test its nuclear capabilities, the economic toll of the sanctions nearly led to the breaking up of the small state. Unemployment rose exponentially, political tensions led to the overthrow of a democratic government and resulted in a military leadership that ruled over the country for another 9 years. Setting aside the age-old debate on whether sanctions really do work, one must accept the fact that sanctions, in Pakistan’s case, are not a pragmatic option.

As recently as March 1, the United States government has flexed its muscle over the Iran-Pakistan pipeline deal and implied, with strong undertones, that Pakistan should avoid any activity that would invite sanctions. Realistically speaking, the United States in unlikely to impose any such sanctions, over Iran OR the Haqqani Network.

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WHO SPEAKS FOR PAKISTAN?

February 11, 2013

By Ghalib Sultan
Area 14/8

Lahore hosted diplomats and other foreign dignitaries including the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey at the launch of the new metro bus mass transit system. The launch ceremony went well and Lahorites hoped and prayed that the metro bus is a success and serves the masses. Unfortunately not everyone thought it was a great step forward. A former Chief Minister chose that occasion to run down his successor and the bus project. A minister termed the project ‘illegal’ as it was without federal approval and hinted at a corruption probe. Again this was timed with the launch event because such misgivings were never voiced in all the months that it took to complete the project. It is an election year and there is political polarization of the worst kind but shouldn’t the country take precedence over politics? In our ambition to outdo each other in proving loyalties to parties should Pakistan be publicly run down?

The present government is completing its 5 year tenure and the country is gearing up for elections. A caretaker government should take over soon. The Judiciary is functioning. The Military is doing its job. Politicians are busy doing what they do before elections-run down each other and extol their own virtues. The Tahirul Qadri intervention is being taken in stride for what it is-part of the political power play. Suddenly we have voices-responsible voices-talking about conspiracies by mysterious quarters to delay elections and prolong the caretaker arrangement. What does this say about Pakistan? That we cannot have elections? That we do not want to have elections? That we are doing what we do best-running down our own institutions? That,having made all the preparations,including setting up of an election commission,we now want to scuttle all that and start afresh? How does all this help our image?

Pakistan is in the grip of terrorist violence. There are economic problems. The government has problems in delivering governance. There is internal security and instability. Is any of this a surprise and reason enough to tell the world that we are failing,that there is no hope,that we are falling apart and that we cannot protect our assets because our security apparatus is penetrated by our enemies? Pakistan is in an area that has seen four decades of violence. Its policies have been framed by an authoritarian structure that has now been sidelined. The people want democracy and they want policies that create internal and external harmony. They will brook no interference from those who have other agendas. If this government has had difficulty in delivering all this then it has surely created the space for the next government to deliver. Isn’t this what we should be projecting to our people and the world? Shouldn’t we be focusing on what has actually been achieved?

Are we looking beyond our petty rivalries and vendettas at the bigger picture taking shape around us? The Arab Spring,Iran’s struggle,the US plans for the Pacific and its relationship with India and the South East Asian States,China’s growing power,a Russia that is consolidating ,an Afghanistan that may stabilize and the ‘new silk road’ idea. There are vast opportunities and challenges for Pakistan if we can understand and exploit our strengths instead of forever moaning and groaning about our problems and weaknesses.

Area 14/8: Who will provide affirmative action in India?

February 8, 2013

Area 14/8

Consumed with weapon purchases, maritime capabilities and external threats from China and Pakistan, India has it seems neglected to peek at the state of affairs within its own boundaries. In the past few months, multiple incidents infringing the right of freedom of speech have occurred which has prompted writer Salman Rushdie to smear India with his “cultural emergency” allegation.

Although Rushdie’s credibility is uncertain and his agenda equally debatable, his accusation rings of the truth. India’s cultural intellect, its writers, poets, film makers and artists are being censured if their opinion and expression does not conform to the mainstream perceptions of India. Recently, a Tamil film called Vishwaroopam was condemned by Muslim religious groups in Tamil Nadu since it projected Muslims in a negative light. The government decided to ban the release of the film claiming that they lacked sufficient police forces to monitor all cinema houses for riots. Vishwaroopam’s producer, Kamal Haasan was so disillusioned that he threatened to leave India for a secular state abroad. Eventually, he agreed to cut some scenes from the film.

Elsewhere, renowned sociologist, Ashis Nandy, was attacked for insulting unprivileged classes by drawing links between corruption and “other backward classes, scheduled casters and scheduled tribes” at the Jaipur Literary Festival. A case was registered against him by Rajpal Meena, Chairperson of the SC/ST Rajasthan Manch, and subsequently, he was charged with the Prevention of Atrocities Act.

The controversial Salman Rushdie also made headlines when he accused the West Bengal government of deliberately hatching a plan to prevent his participation in Kolkata Literary Meet for the promotion of his new novel, “Midnight’s Children”. Even last year, protests and death threats had compelled him to cancel his visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival.

There are many other instances where unconventional news or statements have been targeted. India ranked a shocking 140th out of 179 countries on the Press Freedom index, issued by Reporters Without Borders. Reporter Soorinje would attest to this fact. He was arrested for multiples offences including criminal conspiracy, rioting with deadly weapons and using criminal force on a woman with the intention of outraging her modesty. Soorinje’s report on an attack on a birthday celebration involving Muslims at a homestay in Mangalore had held right wing extremists Hindu Jagarana Vedike responsible. Similarly, two women were arrested in last November when they Facebook comments offended followers of Bal Thackeray.

India should not be singled out for rising social discontent over freedom of speech. There are many such cases present in modernized societies too. The real issue concerning India is why the government chooses to be a part of this oppression? This is the government which likes to highlight itself as a democratic pluralistic nation where people of different religions, ethnicities, races and social statuses reside in harmony.

The government uses the maintenance of law and order as a justification for its extreme measures. But is law and order code for protecting parties’ mandate? In West Bengal similar to Tamil Nadu, people believed extreme steps were taken by the government to prevent any ill-will with Muslim voters. Are these infringements on the freedom of speech a political game only? Politicians may indeed be using cultural intellectuals as easy targets to keep the public distracted from pressing issues like poverty and unemployment.

It may not be just that the government is afraid of extremists; it may even share the same sentiments. Many state officials include hardliners like members of the Bharatiya Janata Party( BJP) sparking suspicions about state-sponsored terrorism. India’s Home Minister admitted to the involvement of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and BJP in promoting terrorism within the country and placing the blame on minority communities. Just recently, BJP was very vocal in banning Pakistani writers from attending a literary festival in India.

Freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Indian Constitution under Article 19. However, this freedom is subject to certain limitations such as “public order”, “decency or morality” and “security of the State”. The Supreme Court seems to be maintaining a low profile in controlling the government’s outbursts of actions. In Nandy’s case,for example, it stayed the arrest but also supported the state’s response saying that an “idea” is capable of inflicting harm.

Indian has failed to implement affirmative action. Since the government is not longer impartial, it is now up to the masses to reclaim their right to the freedom of speech.

Rev. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi

January 24, 2013

Written by BALDEV SINGH
ZoneAsia-Pk

Dear Oprah,

I am writing this letter because I think of you as an enlightened person. This letter is about the statements you made during the show you dedicated to the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. During that show, you compared Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King with Mahatma Gandhi.

In one of your statement you said something like “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s sacrifice.” Oprah, what about those countless unknown and unsung heroes, who preceded Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. They too suffered hardships and sacrificed their lives for freedom and justice for the black people. As a matter of fact, black people revolted against slavery and started struggling for freedom the moment they were captured in Africa and the chains of slavery were put around their necks. Since that moment black people have expressed their suffering, sorrow, helplessness and burning desire for freedom and justice through their songs. That is the reason why black people have contributed so much for the creation and development of new music.

The mentality or thinking, which was responsible for slavery, made it sure that the history of slavery and their struggle for freedom and justice is not known to the world. And if this story has to be told, then it must be told the way that “mentality” wants it to be told. There are people even today who think that slavery was benign and slaves were happy and contented with their situation. These people also justify colonial rule by saying, “It was necessary to civilize the uncivilized.” On the contrary, it is our conviction that a civilized man doesn’t deny another man’s humanity. He doesn’t enslave another man or subjugates another man in any form or manner- politically, economically, socially and religiously.

Deliberate efforts have been made to blot out the history of slavery and black peoples’ struggle for freedom and their contribution to human society in all walks of life. For instance, you go to any major city in the USA, you find all sorts of museums, but you don’t find the one about slavery. The US Congress was very enthusiastic about Jewish holocaust museum in Washington D. C. However, the same Congress has been unwilling so far to establish a museum about slavery. Moreover, what about a holocaust museum of native Americans, the Indians? Whereas Jewish holocaust took place in Europe, the slavery of blacks and the genocide of the native people took place in the USA. I leave it for you to draw your own conclusion. However, I believe that it takes moral courage to look into the eyes of evil and not just empty moral rhetoric.

The emergence of independent Africa had a major positive impact on the “black civil rights movement” in the United States and the anti apartheid movement in South Africa. It boosted the morale of these movements and brought worldwide recognition to Dr. Martin Luther King and Mr. Nelson Mandela. That’s why, who knows how many “great men” were lynched in the United States and how many were tortured to death in solitary cells in South Africa before Dr. Martin Luther King and Mr. Nelson Mandela, respectively.

During that show, you compared Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King with Mahatma Gandhi. I think your information about Mahatma Gandhi is probably based on the writings of European and Hindu “myth makers” (historians). Had you known the truth about Mahatma Gandhi, you wouldn’t have said that Dr. Martin Luther King was following the policy of the great Mahatma Gandhi.

I think it is disgraceful to compare Dr. Martin Luther King with Mahatma Gandhi. For example, whereas Dr. King represented the aspirations of all black people, Mahatma Gandhi represented the interest of only high caste Hindus who constituted 10-12% of the Indian population. Whereas Dr. King appealed to all Americans to rise above their prejudices of race, religion and gender to form a just society, Mahatma Gandhi was the mastermind behind the partition of India into two nations, one Hindu and the other Muslim. Here are some facts about Mahatma Gandhi.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in the state of Gujrat in Baniya caste whose occupation is business. After obtaining a law degree from England he returned to India. However, after a short stay he decided to move to South Africa where he thought he could make more money. A large number of Indians from Gujrat State were brought to South Africa as indentured servants. Being a caste conscious Hindu, he looked down upon the natives. He used to say:

I can see why a white man discriminates against an African, but why against us. We Indians have the same values, the white man has.

Besides his law practice he worked for the British army recruiting Indians during the Boer War and the Zulu rebellion. He was the commander of an ambulance corps made up of Indians.

The Bolshevik revolution of 1914 in Russia inspired worldwide nationalist movements against colonialism and dictatorships. To sabotage Indian national movement, the British colonists brought Gandhi to India. What the “myth makers” don’t tell is that the Indian National Congress Party, which was later controlled by Gandhi was set up under the patronage of the British Government and it was dominated by high caste Hindus, who constituted only 10-12% of the Indian population. Anybody who was considered a threat to the interest of the British or high caste Hindus was thrown out of the party. The high caste Hindus, who had control over the Indian economy, also wanted to usurp political power after the departure of the British. But there was one formidable obstacle in their path to achieve this objective. And that obstacle was the Muslim majority states of Punjab, Bengal, Sindh, Blouchistan and Northwest Frontier.

To exclude these Muslim dominant states from the Indian union, the Hindu leaders of Congress Party headed by Gandhi started making provocative statements to instill doubt and fear in the minds of Muslim population that their future in independent India under the control of Hindu majority was not safe. Muslim leaders started asking for constitutional guarantees to safeguard their future, which the Hindu leaders were not willing to provide.

Frustrated, Muslim leaders asked for partition of the country to create a Muslim state. They did not see the trap that “high caste Hindus” had laid for them. They fell into that trap without realizing the impact their demand would have on the future generations of people of the Indian subcontinent. The stage was set for the partition of India into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. Gandhi and his associates congratulated each other for accomplishing their objective while holding Muslims responsible for the partition of the country. This is the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi for which future generations of Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis would pay dearly, God knows for how long!

The cruel and deceitful nature of Gandhi was revealed when he counseled Hindu and Sikh refugees, who came to see him in April 1947, after they were driven out of their homes following a terrible massacre of Hindus and Sikhs in the Ravalpindi area of Punjab. Gandhi asked them to go back to their homes, as he exhorted them that he wouldn’t accept the partition of the country. He kept repeating like a parrot, “I won’t allow the partition of the country. The country would be partitioned only over my dead body.” You can imagine the level of his depravity, because his Congress Party had already accepted with his blessing the partition of the country as a condition for Independence. And a few months later on August 15, 1947 the Indian union was divided in two nations, one Muslim and the other Hindu.

The claim that Gandhi won freedom for India peacefully without shedding a drop of blood is the biggest fabricated lie of the 20th century.

Up to the start of World War II, the British government categorically rejected the demand for the independence of India in the immediate future. However, the situation changed dramatically after the war. The war was so devastating to the British power that their government found it impossible to build the infra structure and economy of the homeland while coping with the growing national liberation movements in the colonies. The British government wisely decided to grant freedom to its colonies.

It wasn’t Gandhi’s movement which drove the British out of India, it was the impact of second world war, which made it impossible for the British to hold on to their Empire. Shortly after the independence of India, other colonies in Asia, Africa and Caribbean gained their independence peacefully. So what is so unique about India’s independence? Had there been no World War II, India would still be a British colony!

The other story that the “myth makers” do not tell is that the Independence of India was marked by one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century. Two Indian states, Punjab and Bengal, were partitioned at the time of independence causing untold suffering and loss of life and property. In Punjab almost all the Hindu and Sikh population of about five millions were forced to leave their homes and properties on the Pakistan side where their ancestors had lived for hundreds of years. Similarly, about five million Muslims were forced to vacate their home and properties on the Indian side.

In the ensuing communal frenzy and carnage, may be as many as one million people perished and thousands of women were kidnapped and raped. About one third of the population of Punjab was engulfed in the inferno created by the independence of India. Of the total population of about five and half million Sikhs, about 40% were rendered homeless due to Independence. The population of Bengal was much higher than that of Punjab and you can imagine the human suffering there! The claim that Gandhi won freedom for India peacefully is a cruel joke on Punjabis and Bengalis.

To my knowledge only in two places, the United States of America and Ireland, the force of arms drove out the British colonists. Everywhere else the British freed the colonies peacefully. On what ground it is claimed that Gandhi won freedom for India peacefully without shedding a drop of blood.

The claim that Gandhi worked for the uplift of Dalits (untouchables) is also a myth.

Gandhi was a Hindu revivalist, who upheld every aspect of Hinduism including the caste system, which is the essence of Hinduism. His writings, speeches and statements confirm this.

I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it. Harijan, 1933.

I believe in Varnashrama (caste system) which is the law of life. The law of Varna (color and / or caste) is nothing but the law of conservation of energy. Why should my son not be scavenger if I am one? Harijan, 3-6-1947.

He (Shudra, low caste) may not be called a Brahmin (uppermost caste), though he (Shudra) may have all the qualities of a Brahmin in this birth. And it is a good thing for him (Shudra) not to arrogate a Varna (caste) to which he is not born. It is a sign of true humility. Young India, 11-24-1927.

According to Hindu belief, he who practices a profession which does not belong to him by birth, does violence to himself and becomes a degraded being by not living up to the Varna (caste) of his birth. Young India, 11-14-1927.

As years go by, the conviction is daily growing upon me that Varna (caste) is the law of man’s being, and therefore, caste is necessary for Christians and Muslims as it has been necessary for Hinduism, and has been its saving grace. Speech at Trivandrum, (Collection of Speeches), Ramanath Suman (1932).

I would resist with my life the separation of “Untouchables” from the caste Hindus. The problem of the “Untouchable” community was of comparatively little importance. London Round Table Conference 1931.

I call myself a Snatana man, one who firmly believes in the caste system. Dharma Manthan, p 4.

I believe in caste division determined by birth and the very root of caste division lies in birth. Varna Vyavastha, p 76-77.

The four castes and the four stages of life are things to be attained by birth alone. Dharma Manthan, p 5.

Caste means the predetermination of a man’s profession. Caste implies that a man must practice only the profession of his ancestors for his livelihood. Varna Vyavstha, p 28, 56, 68.

Shudra only serves the higher castes as a matter of religious duty and who will never own any property. The gods will shower down flowers on him. Varna Vyavastha, p 15.

I have noticed that the very basis of our thought have been severely shaken by Western civilization which is the creation of the Satan. Dharma Manthan, p 65.

How is it possible that the Antyaja (outcastes) should have the right to enter all the existing temples? As long as the law of caste and karma has the chief place in the Hindu religion, to say that every Hindu can enter every temple is a thing that is not possible today. Gandhi Sikshan, Vol. 11, p 132.

The caste system can’t be said to be bad because it does not allow inter-dining and inter-marriages in different castes. Gandhi by Shiru, p129.

If the Shudar (low caste) leave their ancestral profession and take up others, ambition will rouse in them and their peace of mind will be spoiled. Even their family peace will be disturbed. Hind Swaraj.

The superiority of caste and race is deeply imbedded in the psyche of upper caste Hindus irrespective of their upbringing or the level of education or the place where they live. For example, in the words of a socialist leader, Madhu Limaye, “Nehru practiced both racism and casteism, despite his modern upbringing and outlook” (Telegraph, Calcutta, November 21, 1987).

In a revealing passage about his “making”, Nehru wrote, “Behind me lie somewhere in the sub-conscience, racial memories of hundred or whatever the numbers may be, generations of Brahmins. I cannot get rid of that past inheritance” (Jawaharlal Nehru, An Autobiography, (1936), Delhi, 1980, p 596.).

Sir V. S. Naipaul is a Nobel laureate in literature. His Brahmin ancestors were brought as indentured servants to Trinidad long time ago. He grew up in Trinidad and has spent most of his life in England. In his earlier work An Area of Darkness, 1964 he was unforgiving of India. Later the “Brahmin” in him stirred up and came out spewing hatred and venom. He condoned the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in June 1984, when Indira Gandhi ordered a military attack on the Golden Temple complex on the day when thousands of Sikh pilgrims had gathered there to celebrate the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (A Million Mutinies Now, 1990). In 1992 he justified the destruction of a 400 hundred-year-old mosque (Babri Masjid) by Hindu mobs lead by Bhartiya Janta Party (a fascist Hindu party) because of the mistreatment of Hindus by Muslim rulers centuries back in the past. He has become the darling of Hindu fascist organizations.

Mahatma Gandhi, whose Baniya (Vaisha) caste is two steps lower than the uppermost Brahmin caste, was a vigorous defender of the caste system.

“The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has disadvantages. ………Caste creates a social and moral restraint……I can find no reason for their (castes) abolition. To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma (caste system). I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it” (Harijan, 1933).

Gandhi’s calling “Untouchables”, as Harijans is a cruel joke on the Untouchables by an insensitive and depraved man.

Harijan literally means “child of God”. However, in India this label is used for the illegitimate children of temple girls (anchoress) fathered by priests. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the leader of the Untouchables, vehemently opposed Gandhi’s use of Harijans for the Untouchables. Recently, Ms Mayawati, a leader of the Untouchables asked rhetorically, “If we are Harijans then what are the upper castes like Nehru, Gandhi and Patel? Are they bastards?”

That Gandhi was an “apostle of peace” is not true.

Gandhi was a “Hindu revivalist” and “Hindu politician” combined in one, who used nonviolence as a tool for political objectives. He used to coerce others to concede to his demands by threats of “going to fast unto death”. He was no pacifist as is shown by his stand on the issue of Kashmir.

“One naturally thought that he would offer a nonviolent solution to the Kashmir issue and raise his moral stature. But no! He proved to be a false prophet. Seervai has documented that nonviolence with him was a political weapon. (H. M. Seervai, Partition of India, Legend and Reality, Bombay, 1989, p 172-173). He sanctioned the use of armed forces and laid the foundation of Kashmir problem which continues to haunt the subcontinent till today” (Sangat Singh, The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 258.)

According to Seervai, in a meeting with Viceroy Lord Wavell on August 27 1946, Gandhi thumped the table and said, “If India wants bloodbath, she shall have it and that if bloodbath was necessary, it would come about in spite of nonviolence.” Wavell was dumbfounded at these words coming from the mouth of “apostle” of nonviolence.

Gandhi was a very cunning man. He was not satisfied with the title of “apostle of peace”, he also wanted to project himself as a holy man, which for a Hindu required the practice of celibacy. He was a married man and proclaimed to be celibate at a relatively young age under forty. However, he used to test his celibacy by asking young girls to lie over him to find out whether he was in full control of his sexual feelings. I leave up to psychologists and psychiatrists to analyze what was in Gandhi’s mind and what happened to the emotions of those poor girls! He was always surrounded by women.

So what is Gandhi’s legacy to mankind?

The obvious one is the partition of subcontinent into “Hindu India” and “Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh”. These three nations are a “living hell” for minorities. For example, India which claims with pride to be the biggest democracy in the world has killed more Indians in the last fifty years than the British colonists killed in 300 years. More than 95% of those killed by Hindu governments are Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Dalits (Untouchables). While the populations of these countries are groaning under the weight of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, ignorance and disease, India and Pakistan have built nuclear weapons. The next nuclear war will most probably be fought over the disputed territory of Kashmir in spite of the fact that neither India nor Pakistan has ever asked the Kashmiris what they want.

That Hindus are peace loving people and coexist peacefully with non-Hindus is also not true.

When Taliban destroyed Lord Buddha’s statue in Afghanistan, there were worldwide protests against this heinous crime against humanity. The most vociferous demonstrations and protests were held in India. However, how little did the Hindu mobs realize that the first damage to the statue was done by Hindu rulers of Afghanistan during the frenzy of Hindu revival? Buddhism flourished as a major religion in India for several centuries. During the Hindu revival, Buddhists were given three choices like Jews and Muslims during the Spanish Inquisition. Either convert or leave the country. Large number of Buddhists fled to neighboring countries. Those who resisted were killed, Buddhist monasteries were destroyed, monks were murdered, and nuns were raped. Buddhist literature was burned and their religious centers were converted into Hindu centers. The famous place in Bihar State where Lord Buddha is supposed to have received his light (knowledge) is still under the control of Hindus in spite of the protests of international Bhuddist community.

The “myth makers” keep repeating that Hindus have lived peacefully with Muslims, Christians and others for hundreds of years. What they don’t tell you is that during that period Muslims or the British ruled over the Indian territory. But look at the attitude of Hindus towards non-Hindus when Hindus were the rulers? During the revival of Hinduism they eradicated Buddhism from the land of its birth. All other progressive movements, which opposed the caste system were either crushed or subverted.

Immediately after independence in 1947, the so-called secular and liberal Hindu rulers lead by Jawahar Lal Nehru adopted an Indian Constitution, declaring “Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains” as Hindus with the stroke of a pen. Sikhs have been protesting against this heinous crime ever since. No Hindu leader worth the name has ever protested against this abominable injustice to the minorities. Imagine! How would the minorities react if the US Congress were to pass a law declaring all minorities as Christians?

The word Hindu is not found in any Hindu religious text or any other ancient writing. People who lived on the western side of Hindu Kush (killers of Hindus) mountains gave this name to the natives of India. The word Hindu means black, slave, robber, thief and a waylayer.

From my discussions with Americans about the caste system over the years, I have the impression that most of them think that caste system is like segregation or apartheid. Caste system may look like segregation or apartheid on the surface, but if one were to scratch the surface one would find that the Brahmnical caste system is the worst oppressive and exploitative system that exists on planet earth. Slavery and segregation in America and apartheid in South Africa have ended in a relatively short period, but the heinous caste system, which has been practiced in India for thousands of years, is still going strong. It is because the caste system was invented, taught, practiced and ordained by the Brahmnical (Hindu) religion.

Under segregation and apartheid the black people were denied their rights and had very few opportunities for advancement in comparison to white people. However, a black person under those circumstances could become a doctor, a teacher, and a minister or choose whatever occupation was available to them. Whereas the caste is stamped on you the moment you are born. There was no escape from this watertight multistory building with no stairs or ladder. You are born and die in the same caste, no matter how good or bad a person you are.

For example, a person born in a scavenger’s family would also be a scavenger in spite of his great intelligence. He couldn’t choose any other occupation. So a scavenger’s descendents remained scavengers for thousands of years. This destroyed the creativity of the Indian population. No wonder the Hindu civilization, which is as old as the Chinese civilization has made insignificant contribution to the development of human society in comparison to the Chinese civilization.

It is a mistake to think that Nazism was the product of Hitler’s sick mind. The roots of Nazism lie in the Hindu caste system. European colonists were intrigued by the Hindu caste system. They were astonished how Brahmins, who formed about 5% of India’s population, were able to exploit the rest of Indians for thousands of years by asserting their caste and racial superiority. The British used the same Brahmnical strategy, they proclaimed their racial and intellectual superiority over Indians to control their vast Empire in India. At the pinnacle of British rule, there were only about 200,000 British personnel in India. Who you think managed the Empire? They were the brown-Englishmen (subjugated Indians) who managed the Empire.

European writers like Max Muler were also fascinated by the Hindu caste system. They admired the way the Brahmins maintained the caste and racial superiority over thousands of years. Why shouldn’t the Europeans assert their racial and intellectual superiority the same way over black, brown, tan and yellow people? So people like Max Muler planted the seeds of racial superiority on the European soil. Others like him nurtured the seedlings, and the plants came into full blossom under Hitler. It is no coincidence that the Nazis used swastika, a propitious Brahmin symbol, as the emblem of the Nazi party.

I am willing to debate these issues with any one, anywhere, and on any stage.

Authors Note: An article Gandhi as a racist by Dr. Velu Anamlai (USA) published in Sikh Virsa, June 1997, was consulted for writing this letter.)

Ready, Steady, Go! : Re-visiting the Indo-Pak arms race

November 30, 2012

Tacstrat Analysis

In a world of shrinking economies and rising deficits, it is still interesting to see India spike its defense budget by 17%. It is reportedly investing in air, naval and ground facilities like fighter planes, aircraft carriers, missiles, sub marines and helicopters.

Indian generals would support this move for various reasons. Indigenous ordnance projects for manufacturing tanks and aircrafts have been unsuccessful causing the armed forces to rely heavily on antiquated Russian artillery and weapons. As a rising Asian power, India has to compete with neighboring powers for a share in the global market and at the same time guard itself from hostile forces. Its economy has been prospering and with a strong democratic setup, India can afford to boost its defense capabilities.

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Tacstrat: Getting Waziristan Right

November 27, 2012

Tacstrat Analysis

North Waziristan figures prominently on the entire terrorism scene. Every terrorist or would be terrorist arrested indicates some kind of direct or indirect link to North Waziristan making it a point of convergence for anyone contemplating a terrorist act. All reports confirm the presence of Afghan Taliban personified by the Haqqani Network, the ‘Pakistan Taliban- Tehrik Taliban Pakistan and an assortment of Chechens, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Arabs and even Western origin people in North Waziristan together with kidnappers, drugs and weapon smugglers and criminals from Pakistan who go there to rest and recuperate after their latest venture and before the next one. The outreach from this area into the urban centers of Pakistan links it to various extremist militant outfits that are ready to do whatever is required for a price and with the added benefit of furthering their own ethnic, sectarian, political or resource gathering agendas. It goes without saying that there may be, and probably is, external exploitation of this complex situation. This cauldron of criminal, subversive, insurgent and militant activity is the single most important reason for Pakistan’s image worldwide as the epicenter of terrorism and for the economic decline fuelled by a destabilized internal security situation. The combined threat that this situation poses now threatens Pakistan’s existence as a state.

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Kashmir- the violence never abated

November 19, 2012

By Sajjad Shaukat
Tacstrat

In the modern era, various forms of state terrorism continue by the Israeli armed forces on the Palestinians. While with the backing of Burmese military regime and the covert assistance of Hindus, recent bloodshed of the minority Rohingya Muslim community at the hands of the Rakhine extremist Buddhists in Burma (Myanmar) presents another such example. Similarly, during the Bosnian War (19921995), Serb forces slaughtered more than 10,000 Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and buried them in the unamed mass graves. That genocide was repeated in Kosovo where several men and women were murdered.

While, these atrocities are still fresh in the minds of every Muslim, but with the official backing of the government, massacre and harassment of Muslims by the Indian military including paramilitary troops in the Indian-held Kashmir has become a permanent feature.

In this regard, instead of granting the people their genuine right of self-determination and holding plebiscite in the controlled territories of Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolutions, various sorts of state terrorism have become part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has manifested in brutal tactics such as crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

In this respect, in its report released on October 13, 2012 about detentions under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) 1978, Amnesty International disclosed under the title, PSA Still a Lawless Law that despite pressure on Indian government, the PSA has not been reviewed and amended. Therefore, new records are being made by Indian law-enforcing agencies and security forces in human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir.

In its previous report, Amnesty International has pointed out: The Indian governments disregard for human rights in Jammu and Kashmir means that in practice people reportedly died in custody and that the whereabouts of the disappeared persons continue to be unknowngovernment forces continue to commit serious violations of humanitarian lawthe Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers to shoot suspected lawbreakers, and to destroy structures suspected of harboring militants or arms.

Notably, after visiting more than 50 villages, similarly Citizens Council of Justice (CCJ) published a report in Srinager in September, 2012 on human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir. On the basis of its survey, research and analysis, the CCJ report under the caption, Atrocity and Suffering revealed that a total of 502 people were either murdered or enforcedly disappeared, 2048 individuals were physically tortured, 6888 were subjected to forced labour and 40 people were killed in custody by Indian Security Forces. 234 Mosques and 700 civilian properties worth 103.8 crores were destroyed in the garb of anti-Mujahideen operations, while after being released from jails freedom fighters, faced different detention periods.

But it was a limited survey, as All Parties Hurriyet Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir disclosed that from 1989 to 15 October 2012, there have been deaths of 93,274 innocent Kashmiris, 6,969 custodial killings, 117,345 arrests and destruction of 105,861 houses. Indian brutal security forces have orphaned over 107, 351 children, widowed 22,728 women and gang raped 9,920 women in the Indian held Kashmir.

Over the two decades of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch has documented several failures to ensure protection of human rights. It has called for the repeal of those laws which provide the armed forces with extraordinary powers to search, detain, and use lethal force, leading to numerous human rights violations. They also provide immunity for security forcestheir prosecutions, even where the facts are well established, are rare.

In the recent past, Kashmir Quarterly also reported, Indian Forces killed a number of citizens, torched mosques, shops and houses in various parts of the valley. As a result, there were protest demonstrations in many cities. Troops desecrated the central Srinagar mosque and tortured worshippers whom they found inside.

It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of Baramulla, Bandipore and Handwara. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of single and mass graves without markers. In this context, in the last few years, rights groups discovered nearly 3,000 unnamed graves in the various districts of Kashmir.

It is mentionable that in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves. The report indicated 2,156 unidentified bodies which were found in mass graves in various regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have disclosed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.

Recently, Chinas leading News Agency Xinhua has unearthed more gruesome details on world-stunning unmarked graves in Poonch of the Indian occupied Kashmir. It pointed out the statement of Sofi Aziz Joo, caretaker of a graveyard as saying, Police and Army used to bring those bodies and direct me to bury them. The bodies were usually bullet-ridden, mutilated, faces disfigured and sometimes without limbs and heads.

While, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and rights groups have stated that more than 10,000 people have disappeared, accusing government forces of staging fake gun battles to cover up killings. They also revealed that suspected persons had been arrested and were murdered through arbitrary executions, and then buried in unmarked graves.

Besides, on June 28, 2010, BBC reported, three men went missing in Indian-administered Kashmir in Aprilbut their bodies were discovered near the Line of Controla senior officer of the Indian army had kidnapped them by offering them jobs as porters. The troops later informed the police that they had killed three militants. Kashmirs law minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar says there have been several proven cases of fake encounters in the past 20 years.

BBC explained, There are hardliners in the Indian Army and intelligence agencies, who think that by raising the bogey of infiltration and gun battles near the border they can create terror among people and also put pressure on Pakistan.

It seems that non-condemnation of Indian massive human rights violations and non-interference for the seettlement of this issue by the so-called civilized international community, especially the US have further encouraged New Delhi to keep on going with its atrocities on the armless Kashmiri masses. Ignorence of the dipute by them involves the risk of nuclear war between Pakistan and India.

Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. New Delhi has reached a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with them. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris to maintain their alien rule.

However, despite the employment of various forms of massacre and harassment in the Indian occupied Kashmir, the war of liberation by the Kashmiri people will continue until they get their legitimate right of self-determination. If New Delhi could not suppress the movement in the past, it could also not do so in present and future.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

No routes for NATO beyond 2014

July 16, 2012

By Shaiq Hussain

ISLAMABAD – As the United States and Pakistan inch closer to sign a vital agreement on the “formalisation of NATO supplies”, Islamabad has refused to accept the US demand for the long term use of these supply lines through its soil beyond 2014, a deadline set by Washington for the withdrawal of bulk of its troops from Afghanistan.

The Obama administration had been urging Pakistan for months to accede to its demand for the prolonged use of NATO routes so that Washington could meet the needs of its military bases in Afghanistan in terms of provision of goods, including food and oil, for coming months and years, a period that could stretch to decades.

However, Islamabad expressed its inability to accept this US demand as it finally unblocked the NATO supplies a few days ago after keeping them closed for over seven months in the wake of NATO strikes on Pakistani border posts in November. “However, despite the refusal by Islamabad regarding the acceptance of American demand for the long term use of NATO supplies, which are also called Ground Lines of Communications (GLOCs), the Obama administration is more than happy over the unblocking of supplies to Afghanistan, which will save it now from the millions of dollars’ in losses that it had to bear while using the alternative route through Russia and Central Asian states,” said a diplomatic source on Sunday, seeking anonymity. He said another important matter that the two sides had discussed for long was the matter of security of the NATO supply lines after their reopening. He added that the US was asking Pakistan to provide security to NATO supplies in both settled and Tribal Areas, but Islamabad had agreed to do that only in settled regions.

A Pakistani official refused to comment on Islamabad’s refusal to accept the US demand for the long term use of its soil for NATO supplies to Afghanistan. However, he confirmed that Pakistani security forces would provide the GLoCs with proper security in settled areas. He said both sides were close to signing an MoU on the formalization of NATO supplies once consensus was reached between Islamabad and Washington. He said under the MoU, the US would not use the NATO supply trucks for the provision of arms and ammunition to the international forces in Afghanistan. “Scanners would be installed at Pakistani ports for the detection of lethal supplies through GLoCs,” he said. He said as per the agreement, Pakistan would not charge any fee for NATO supplies, but the US had agreed to help Pakistan in carpeting the roads and highways which were in dilapidated conditions after being used for years by heavy NATO vehicles.