Posts from the ‘Pakistan’s Geopolitical Importance’ Category

Aman Ki Asha or Trade Sachet?

As far as the Indian business delegates are concerned, they came, they saw and they conquered (certainly not the heart of a common Pakistani). The core issues like Kashmir and water accord were thrown on the backseats while the business interests were brought into the lime light. A couple of happy meals, photo sessions and some musical evenings in the forefront while discreet and dubious business deals in the backstage were in brief the ‘Aman ki Asha’. The Pakistan government and the Jang Group, while apparently daggers drawn against each other, were hands in hands behind the closed doors to ensure success for the juicy project. This so called peace campaign Aman ki Asha is in fact a joint venture of the Times of India (TOI) and the Jang publishing group of Pakistan.

Both the giant groups were working on this proposal for last many years and were looking for the right time for the curtain raising. The Times of India is known for its anti Pakistan write-ups, editorials and analysis; hence the collaboration of both not only raises suspicions but confirms their vested interests as well. However the TOI is one step ahead in a way that the group is going into this joint venture for a national cause for which the paper has his government‘s and the secret agency’s full support and the backing. There is strong perception that the TOI has signed in to this joint venture for; pure business interests, to put the Kashmir issue on the back burner, create misunderstanding between the political class and the establishment of Pakistan, categorically the armed forces and finally a full throttle to the cultural invasion to brain wash the Pakistanis. For these obvious reasons the Times of India doesn’t enjoy favourable reputation in Pakistan due to its negative and radical policy towards Pakistan, while on the Pakistan side people have started asking too many pricking questions about the Jang group also and that’s putting the group in a tight corner. People still wonder that how come the Jang group’s GEO channel sustain a long shut down, forced upon it during General Musharraf government’s tenure? The corroboration between the TOI and the Jang Group is in a way track three diplomacy which the owners of these two joint ventures have floated for the prosperity of their business empires.

The GEO programs are well researched and scientifically and psychologically planned, harmless from outside but carries lethal messages from inside. The popularity of the GEO channel has out rightly changed the psyche/ taste of the viewers in particular and the masses in general. The format of GEO’s programmes clearly indicates its inclination towards the Indian programs and cultural heritage which is discreetly being indoctrinated by them. The channel is eager to take lead seat and dominate the media policies at a later stage. The Jang group has some of the journalists (not all) aboard with dubious loyalties and sympathies for the foreign agencies who are known for their skill to exploit and flare up the issues. Seeing the Times of India’s track record it is too hard to believe that they would do some constructive thing to improve Indo-Pak bilateral relations. As a matter of fact the cooperation crave by the Jang group is its business objectives while the TOI has the same for further penetration in Pakistani media and political ranks for their ulterior motives and some signs were quite evident after the recent series of forums held in Pakistan.

Interestingly, in recent past the TOI and the Jang group planned to have their headquarters at Dubai but had to drop the idea with a heavy heart after the Indian government’s red signal to the TOI group since the Indians wanted to keep this joint venture directly under their thumb at all cost. The Jang group is in fact making identical moves to SAFMA which is very active to raise its voice for; peace & friends without borders, frequent visits to India and criticise Pakistani armed forces and the defence budget at every forum but if the Jang group is asked that what steps they have taken so far to highlight the burning Indian issues like Kashmir, Maoist movement, Naxalite movement, atrocities towards Dalits and discrimination towards the Muslims, Christians and the women folk then they have no answer to it. The GEO channel is known for giving extra ordinary coverage to the Indian programs, culture and showbiz.

Though on the other hand, they do telecast patriotic programs but only to earn credibility. If carefully watch, the GEO is found giving more air time to the American, Indian, European and then Pakistani events in the same order. Since last many years the VOA (Voice of America) has bought a costly slot during the prime time and frequently telecasts its publicity programs from GEO channel, which is a discreet psychological operation campaign, though no one has ever noticed or bothered about it. GEO’s role post November 26, 2008 massacre remained very dubious. Especially the hype created by this channel about Ajmal Qasab raised many eyebrows. The channel in the name of the freedom of press left no chance to malign Pakistan by trying to confirm that Ajmal Qasab was actually a Pakistan. The slogan ‘Aman ki Asha’ gives impression of a Hindi catchphrase and reflects Indian dominance. Interestingly, if carefully observed, the doves in the logo are of Indian flag ‘Taranga’ colours and logo has been designed in such a way that it looks as Lotus, which is Indian national flower used as symbol by some right wing extremist parties of India too. The likely reasons for kicking campaign Aman ki Asha off are; efforts to negate the two nation theory, to weaken the Pakistan politically and ideologically as Pakistan is the only country India fears, to keep Pakistan busy with GWOT and carryout nefarious designs under that cover, play the blame game at the fastest pace, create rift between the political hierarchy and the army command, to convince Pakistani public that Kashmir is not at all an issue for which both the nations are daggers drawn and last but not the least is to blow Balochistan issue out of proportion to put Pakistan on back foot. Currently a section of Pak media is more like lost and directionless, clearly violating all sorts of norms and ethics and professional codes while the Indian media on contrary behaving very responsible and standing beside their government in their silent war against Pakistan at every hole-in. Those who do not want the friendly relations with the Indians, under the current status-quo, are unfortunately being labelled as extremists which is a dangerous practice and will have serious repercussions in near future. It should be remembered that the Kashmir issue is still unresolved and would always remain a litmus test to gauge the Indian sincerity and as long as Kashmir and water issues are not resolved, peace in the region can not be erected on the puny pillars of Aman ki Asha, cultural exchanges and MFN statuses.

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A Discreet Conflict – An Open Agenda

By: Asif Chauhdary

A month back an article under the title ‘A Discreet Conflict’ written by one Matt McCullough was published in an online journal ‘The Majallah’. it would have been comparatively a sensible article, written by any western writer, had few queries been answered logically. For example, without having any love lost for the armed forces and much talked ISI, one is always astonished that why only these two organisations which are supposed to look after the state’s interest are always blamed and targeted and why not the discreet stakeholders like the Americans, Russians, Indians and some of the European countries aren’t blamed, who have a visible nefarious agenda? The American, Russian and above all the Indians interest and concern in the region are well known especially when the American ambassador visits Quetta unannounced. So, why to blame these two forces without any concrete proof and not to doubt even those who are manipulating the game? Very strangely, the Independence Day is celebrated by handful insurgents as Black Day and so called Baloch rebels happily killed their countrymen Punjabis and trusted friend China’s technical experts, while the Americans and the other western high profile dignitaries roam freely in the province and are not touched even?

Amazingly the nationalists display anger, for the deprivation, against the Punjabis and the armed forces who are the major contributors for the development in the province but those Sardars who sucked the Poor’s blood and kept them uneducated for decades, are still regarded as heroes? Can anyone deny that the Army has constructed the maximum roads, schools and hospitals in the Province? Will any Sardar claim that the light and gas in the province is his achievement? Fully agreed that there is 30 percent unemployment and 75 percent illiteracy but do the Nationalists have some character and morality to admit that this all is because of their Sardars, like Bugti, Mari and Mengal? No, they will not because these Sardars with the help of their Western Masters are pulling the strings of these puppets popularly known as The Nationalists.

As the writer aptly said that, “the Balochistan is important to US interests beyond pumping gas and blocking Iran and China from doing the same”, so very simple and easy to understand that who is calling the shots in Balochistan? Soon this drama of Balochistan liberation will see the drop scene when the cunning stakeholders will surface with the real motives. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

 

Iran Needs to Learn Manners

 

 

Knees are based under the belly by default and can never come before tummy. Trying it by someone would only bring desperation and humiliation and nothing else. Pakistan has a neighbour who is trying to put knees before belly so ever since the over thrown of Reza Shah Pehlvi. As it is no more a secret that we are talking of Iran, hence it is also essential to mention that the reasons for this vindictive and grudging attitude are known by a hair’s breadth to Pakistan. The rise of Islamic revolution brought no goodwill messages for Pakistan. Though as far as Pakistan is concerned, it always stretched out a brotherly hand towards Iran, may that was about the revolutionaries coming into power or Iran-Iraq war. Besides this Pakistan never meddled into the Iranian politics or its internal affairs, nevertheless, Iran invariably showed a lost sleep about Pakistan’s affairs, contrary to it.

 

If Iran could find the reasons for showing its disquiet over sectarian issue in Pakistan then the same rationales were valid for Pakistan to protest over the Sunnis plight in Iran but Pakistan while indifferent to whichever government was in power always displayed sensibleness. Pakistan never objected to the founding of Iranian cultural centers (Khana-e-Farhang) throughout Pakistan and that too in a number more than it required. Pakistan always had reasons to believe that why the Iranians have more than one cultural centers of this kind in the cities having Shia population in majority but Pakistan always demonstrated patience. It’s no more a secret that what these cultural centers (Khana-e-Farhang) have been up to in Pakistan but Pakistan has never blamed Iran for any involvement.

 

Recently the Indians have handed over a newly constructed 218-km Zaranj-Delaram highway to the Afghan government which is of strategic importance. What interest India had in constructing the road that will connect Kandhar to the Iran border is a question that Iran and Afghanistan are in a better position to answer, but Pakistan never showed any nervousness on it despite the fact that highway is defiantly likely to influence Pakistan’s strategic interests in the region.

 

The IPI gas pipeline project was approved to meet the Indian requirements but who doesn’t know that it was the India who backed out from the agreement at the eleventh hour which annoyed Iran also but at the end of the day Iran had no grievances against India while Pakistan has been asked to sit in the corner, wait and see.

 

Like Pak-Afghan border, the residents of Pak-Iran border are also living astride the international boundary. While Pakistan on Pak-Afghan border despite having great security problems never thought of erecting the wall and instead augmented the security, but Iran on Pak-Afghan border has constructed a700 kilometer long, 3 feet thick and 10 feet high concrete wall by using extra strong steel rods, alongside its border with Pakistan from Taftan to Mand, although the Baloch community of border village Sorap of western Mekran region have shown their fears about being politically and socially divided. The people were forced by the Iranian authorities to vacate the town in a stipulated time period, but Pakistan’s official stance, that Iran has the right to erect border fencing in its territory, is very much on record.

Pak-Iran relations have seen some frequent highs and lows during last three decades. Late President General Zia ul Haq apart from visiting himself once had been sending the goodwill missions to stamp out the Iranian qualms quite off and on but unfortunately no one could satisfy the pre-fixed mind Iranians. If any common man here in Pakistan is asked he would definitely call the Iranians as Pakistan’s brothers. Pakistani president late Field Marshal Ayub Khan gifted 60 Square KM area to Iran to save their Oil drainage on Pakistan side. Reza Shah Pehlvi reciprocated the gesture and started providing Pakistan subside oil in return. However, contrary to that no wonder if one hear the story of marching by the Iranian Passdarans on Pakistani flag in the presence of Pakistani diplomats as guests invited to witness the parade.

The recent Iranian elections were a unique example of rigging by Ahmadinejad gang where Pakistan had a great opportunity to create trouble for a brother country had the latter been an enemy as it is thought by the Iranians but remained indifferent to the issue until it resolved.

Iran must put his own house in order before leveling any accusation against Pakistan in the most ill-mannered and undiplomatic way as it doesn’t speak high of an Iranian leader whose own loyalties and credibility is doubted amongst his own countrymen. Before pointing any accusing finger towards Pakistan he needs to satisfy the world body about the strong Argentinean criticism on President Ahmadinejad’s decision to put forward Ahmad Vahidi as defense minister in his new 21-member cabinet. No one has forgotten that Vahidi is wanted by Argentina in connection with a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires which leveled a seven-floor Argentinean building, killing 85 people and wounded 300. It was the worst terrorist attack in Argentina.

Pakistan bagged all the blames for helping Iran in nuclear proliferation but surprisingly it is Pakistan which in return is targeted by the western and USA authorities whereas the Iranian government is simply getting just the verbal warnings by them which provides enough reasons to believe that a conspiracy to tight noose around Pakistan’s neck is being executed discreetly and no wonder if Iran is also a party to it. It is high time for the Iranians to learn the diplomatic norms. Both the countries are not having that tensed relations that they can’t even talk to clarify each others misgivings, only if India has priority over Pakistan for Iran.

 It is high time for Iran to remember one thing that, genetically knees are based under the belly by default and can never come before tummy. Trying it by someone would only bring desperation and humiliation to one and nothing else.