My Views

Lahore Tremors

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Pakistan, Reality Check, Society, State, Terrorism by dullar on March 6, 2009

The aftermaths of 3/3 are slowly unfolding. And what is worst hit that cricket itself. Pakistani cricket is doomed for many years to come. Like the security personnel who have become shaheed protecting the Sri Lankan team, cricket is also going to pay its part of that shahaadat. It was yet another nail in the cricket’s coffin, and jihads have hit that nail very hard. What was conspired, has already happened in Lahore or Pakistan but its shockwaves have travelled east and we are frightened more than shocked.

The same home minister who took the charge of home affairs after the 26/11 tragedy and resolved to provide a secure and free environment to the citizens of this country who were already shaken to the core by the ghastly act, has now seems to be succumbed under the pressure. He dont want to divulge the secuirty forces to secure our cricketing avenues for the IPL. After people of this country faced the Mumbai challenge with grit and sensibility and never allowed fear to overpower our freedom, home ministry is giving signals of fatigue, more so after the Lahore attacks. Experts has cited many parellels betwen 26/11 and 3/3, but one point where two incidents stray apart is the way Indian side is seen to be going at backfoot as far as assuring for security for the sport in near future. Cricketers and cricket stadiums have always been a kind of potential target for the terrorists. The danger of same is now more real in South Asia which is already bleeding with many terrorist attacks in many major cities. The ideal way to deal with all this should be to increase the security cover, gather intelligence about the whereabouts of terrorists and their activities, and put a brave public face in the national and international media so that the public sentiments should not be hit byt the jihadi terror agenda.

A vibratnt, democratic and strong state should never put hinderances on the freedom of its people. State should gather its resources to provide best security ot its citizens. It should not shy away from such responsibility citing lack of security forces, be it General elections or IPL. Postponement of IPL for the already discussed reasons would amount to a failure of Indian state in more than one sense. It will also give signals as how government is going to provide security for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

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Troubled Neighbours

Posted in Foreign Policy, India and World, Pakistan, Relations with neighbours, Terrorism by dullar on February 27, 2009

The latest developments in east has added to the worries of India, who is already having tough time dealing with its western state and non state actors. Mutiny by Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR) might have dangerous consequences for not only Bangladesh and its government but entire South Asia. The episode has shown some deep seatd fissures within and acrosss the security establishments. The mere size and the unity that the lower rank officers and soldiers of  BDR has shown during the whole operation indicates towards a long standing anguish and frustations inside the ranks of force. Their main demand was low salaries and inferior service conditions vis-a-vis the Bangladesh army. They also voiced their anger against the control that Bangladesh army exercise over BDR. Although Sheikh Hasina government has done a visibly decent  job by pressurising the mutiniers through warnings of strong lawful actions. Matter is soon expected to be over albeit with many important lessons.

The internal conditions of Pakistan are also in a rapid flux, both politically and strategically. With latest judicial decision of barring Sharif brothers of contesting polls, the political environment is very much heated up and there are many allegations on the incumbent government of influencing the judgement. In the north and west the situation is, as always, grim. The influence of taliban and many fundamentalist outfits is slowly gripping up. On one hand where Pakistani government has shown undesirable weakness in compromising the internal security and democracy in the SWAT valley, Obama administration is sooner or later going to increase its military influence on the western and northern frontiers adjoining Afghanistan.

Where does India’s role lie in all this series of so called dangerous developments in our neighbourhood. India can no longer afford to wash away its responsobilities as the largest democracy in world and biggest country in South Asia, by merely declaring everything happening in the neighbouring countries as their internal affairs. The poison that is spreading in east as well as west is slowly going to cross the borders in a more visible manner. We are already facing fundamentalist terrorism in its worst form. Even international community expects India to play a major and proactive role in such related matters. Sheikh Hasina’s goverment’s friendly relations with India should be capitalised in a better way. BDR’s mutiny has some very deep security concerns for India as we share a long boundary with Bangladesh and BDR is the guard of Bangladeshi borders. As far as Pakistan is concerned we have been seriously pursuing the case of 26/11, but a more broder policy is required to deal with Pakistan and its uncontrollable non state actors. We have to get our equations more straight and aligned with US in this matter. In Afghanistan as well, time has come when we increase our presence beyond humanitarian and reconstruction areas.

Military funding in Pakistan

Posted in India and World, Pakistan, Terrorism by dullar on January 18, 2008

In order to understand how military operates in Pakistan, one of its important aspect is the funding of military oerations. Its been evident that seeing the proportions and dimensions of its activities, be it internal security, ensuring security across north-west border along Afghanistan, fightning insurgency in Baluchistan, and aiding the millitancy in Jammu & Kashmir the military in Pakistan cant be funded wholly by the internal resources, thanx but no thanx to its economy’s condition. So money flights in Pakistan for its military activities across the border in form of aids. US, China, Middle East Islamist countries, especially Saudi Arabia are the foremost in aiding Pakistan, of course for their own objectives. According to an estimate Pakistan got a sum of around 58 billion USD from 1950 to 1999. It has been further aided heavily by US after 9/11 in the name of fighting the taliban and Alqaeda  in Afghanistan. Its been to everybody’s guess that how efficiently Pakistan and it military spending all this aid. But the results have their own story to tell. Military has been highly incompetitive as far as above stated objectives are concerned. Containment of cross border terrorism, internal security condition, popularity and credibility of army among civilians has been at its all time low.

Dealing the mater, this article cites some of the enlightening reasons for the Pakistan Army’s dire conditions, which have brought much miseries to people at large there-

“…….Extensive research shows that when governments luck into unearned cash (which economists call ‘rents’) from oil or other resources, the healthy links that bind them to their citizens are often severed. Freed from relying much on taxes, governments spend the money arbitrarily. Citizens, left untaxed, feel less motivation to monitor things carefully. The result is corruption, misrule and a host of other ills.

Rents paid for natural resources are bad enough. But ‘strategic rents’ — earned by a country for its role in the foreign policies of other states — are even more damaging. Military aid by definition entrenches the militaries that get it, making them less responsive to civilian control. Pakistan’s military has grown enormously powerful over the years, resistant to democratic checks and highly entrenched in every aspect of the country’s commercial, civil and political life… …” (more)

Possible solutions for above mentioned problems cant be arrived at so easliy, but there can be few broad starting points- Credible elctions next month under neutral, foreign authorities’ monitoring; seperation of army affairs from civilian affairs,as General Kayani has hinted,(see previous post); pro-active involvement of people and media in scrutinising the daily affairs of government and the military activities; China and India playing an increased role in ensuring peaceful neighbour.

Neighbour’s Nightmare

Posted in India and World, Insight, Pakistan, Relations with neighbours, Terrorism by dullar on January 17, 2008

Disturbing news from the India’s western neighbour are coming more frequently than ever. With Musharraf’s
loosing grip over the affairs of the country, people given up there trust in the polity and the military, civil
liberties curtailed to their new low, the situation in Pakistan is really grim. The military is seen as unable to the
danger that is bubbling under its western and northern borders. The terrorist activities backed by the Al Qaeda, and
the taliban groups are bleeding the army like never before. Its been yesterday that a fort has been seized by the the
terrorist groups from control of army in the north-west of the country. Army was too demotivated or lacked the power
to tackle the dullheadedness of the armed terrorists. Again few groups of millitia that had been trained by the ISI
have turned their guns to the mentors. Now when Musharraf was under pressure from US to curb the cross border
terrorism that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were fomenting in Jammu and Kashmir and Afghanistan before 9/11,
the activities of training millitants have tobe slowed and lowered down by ISI. Now the monsters reared by them are
up inthe arms against their own establishment when these blood-thirsty monsters did not find a outlet for their long
reared killing habits.

Internal political and military reforms are the need of hour in Pakistan. But seeing the attitude of Musharraf, who
is not ready to give away his powers, whose unpopularity is all time high in Pakistan, and demoralised military the
hopes are grim. Although the elections are due on 18th Feb but there are few takers as far as their transparency is
concerned. General Kayani is trying to bring back some
discipline
to armed forces in his own subtle ways. Armiy personnels are strongly advised to remain away from the
political and civil affairs of the country. But country is far from the day when armed forces will mind only their
own affairs.

Pakistan being a country which hold nuclear weapons, there has been growing concerns across the world about the
security of the same. With growing influence of terrorist activities in the country and army loosing grip over
internal and border security, al qaeda pose the most potent threat to not only Pakistan’s security but also of
whole world. Although Musharraf dont want to
be dictated by Washington
as far as the secutiry of its nukes is concerned, but world community definately have
some credible responsibilities inthis matter. Pakistan’s nukes cant be taken as its own internal matter. This is
one of the main agenda of various candidates in US Presidential election campaign. World has a very close interest in
the security and peace in Pakistan. One of ways of ensuring that is to create strong international pressure on the
establisments in Pakistan to ensure credible and transparent election process. India seems to be silent in the matter
but it would not suit its long term interests.

Military in kashmir – In or Out

Posted in Internal Security, Jammu & Kashmir, Terrorism by dullar on April 8, 2007

The issue of troops withdrawal means different to different sections of India. For political parties it is a new event that will open new ground for allegations and counter alegation. Congress is believed to be forced by its parteners in the J&K government coalition. For secutrity establishments, this is a security issue. For people of J&K it entails relief from tyranny of military, and for the rest of people the feelings are mixed. For the time being central government is taking a round about poistion on the issue and have deffered issue by putting up a mechanism to suggest the course of action.

The arguments that are given in the favour of troop withdrawal are: 1) Given the fact that there is reduction in the level of militancy in valley, the number of troops that are stationed there are more than what is required. The process is already going onfor last 3 months in a phased manner. 2) Military is a mechanism which is trained to deal with security issues, and by training not equipped to deal with civilians. This has led to a great anger among the people in valley which have complained about the atrocities of military. It is agreed that military is doing its job, and the conditions in the area are such that, its hard to make out the difference betwen civilians and terrorist under certain circumstances. There are also allegations of rape, and disguised murders against the military. The human rights situation is on the lower side of expectations.3) The political parties like PDP, Hurriyat are demanding the withdrawal and they to a certain extent can be understood as will of local people.4) Given the peace process that is going on with Pakistan, which has declared the J&K issue as the biggest bone of contention between the two counteries, policy establishments on this side of border are demanding a change of posture upto a particular degree. 5) Other options like replacing military with para military troops can also be exercised and army as such is not required in such huge numbers.

The arguments against the whole process of withdrawal are: 1) The matter of security and peace are supreme and can never be jeopardised under any curcumstances. 2) Though there is a decrease in militancy in valley, but troops are required to secure our long borders with Pak, PoK, and China. 3) There is increased activity of jehadi groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Their presence in PoK can also not be negated under any circumstances. 4) Peace process with Pakistan do involve the long term and credible path, and the Pakistan also have equal responsiblity that they help the process move forward. It is required that they ensure that the cross border terrorism should be checked with firm hand. 5) Increased jehadi activity inside Pakistan has indicated that things are going out of control of Pakistan as well. Attacks on Musharraf, presence of al-qaeda in the northern areas of pakistan also are new matters for concern for India.5) Th issue of troop withdrawal needs an across the party discussions and a minimum concensus is needed to arrive at before any long term step is taken.This exercise is absent till now. But new mechanism as suggested by PM is welcome. 6) PDP shuld not be allowed blackmail the coalition government in J&K. 6) Consultations in a broad manner shoud be carried out with the local NGOs as well.

The ultimate goal of government should be unbreachale security of country, welfare of people, and not-at-all compromising stances with Pakistan in the peace process.

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