India's North-West neighbour; Pakistan
Let us turn away from Middle East, Ukraine and Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine, which has repeatedly insulted Prophet Mohammed, Islam and Muslims, and continues to do so. Even his Holiness the Pope came out strongly against the so called freedom of press in USA and Europe. It is rubbish. In all these places it is a corporate interests who control media, actually all means of commutation and anyone violating the self-imposed censorship is removed straightaway.
My impression of Paris posting in mid-1970s is that it was the most policed city and state in Western Europe. Even then, as soon as you registered in a hotel, the Concierge i.e. gatekeeper would inform the local police station. West is quite free to insult its gods and goddesses and their religious leaders.
The word Sharif was used for the ruler of Hejaz, the custodian of Mecca and Medina and those who belong to that family .Usually the use the word Sharif before their name, like some of the Prime Ministers in Jordan is common. The British allowed ibn Saud, a rustic chief of wild and uncultured tribes after World War I to come in place of Sharif Hussain, the great-grandfather of King Abdulla II of Jordan, direct descendants of Prophet Mohammed. Those Muslims or Ashraffs who come from well-connected Arab, Turkic, Persian and Afghan families look down upon converts to Islam, especially in the subcontinent. Ashraffs are as bad as Brahmins .More later.
It so happens that the military ruler, Gen Raheel Sharif and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, both have Sharif as surnames. Nawaz Sharif's family originates from, Batala from a blacksmith family. He was propped up by another East Punjab origin General Zia ul Haq from Jalandhar. However, both Sharifs seem to be on the same page as far as the implosive internal situation in Pakistan is concerned.
Let us take that as a positive development and forget small street agitators ,conspirators , petty shopkeepers and street ruffians from towns and villages who have been thrown up into positions of power and as members of Parliament, provincial assemblies and even as ministers in New Delhi. To satisfy the jingoist tendencies of Indian population, especially 31% of people who voted for BJP, Modi's government have shown enough determination and even cussedness in replying to various incursions from Pakistan, especially in Jammu and Kashmir.
The ignorant and usual suspects who come and speak on Indian TV channels and Indian diplomats, who have done a posting in Pakistan or perhaps a Muslim country with little knowledge of Islam and its history, cultural, educational and scientific heights talk of all Muslims and Muslim states as if they are ignorant and monolithic . The Muslims created science, technology, culture, education, and many empires which ruled large territories under the Arab caliphates, Ottoman empires and various empires in Hindustan including the last Mogul Empire.
If Pakistan is an anti-India profession, as I once told a Turkish Prime Minister, Indians because of pernicious creation of Pakistan to guard Western oil pumps and fields in Middle East, a task which was taken over by the new bully on international arena Washington, Indians instead of hitting the creator of this state, the cause of the state UK, USA Saudi Arabia I, instead hate the effect ie Pakistan. Those who have done one or two postings in Islamic countries are like blind men feeling an elephant and describing it as a whole. The author has served in more than half a dozen Muslim countries from Middle East, North Africa, West Africa, Turkey and Caspian and has travelled extensively in most of these and other countries Muslim countries. The knowledge about Islam and Muslim countries in India including Indian diplomats who are brainwashed by UK, USA and media persons is harmful and against long-term interests of India.
I am enclosing two articles by my favourite Pakistani journalist Khaled Ahmad, who very clearly explains the changes which have come about in the thinking of Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister and the military chief Gen Raheel Sharif. The so-called Indian empty heads on TV channels and those writing in Indian media should recognise the changes brought about in the world following the stand-off between Russia and USA. Anglo-Saxons have always been against Indian interests so far, along with some other European countries ,Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries .India should look at the possibilities of solving our problems with Pakistan and, if necessary, by putting aside the problem of Jammu and Kashmir and go on to other differences between the two countries.
Do not forget that during Mogul Empire, merchants from Delhi and Lahore could go with Hundis (letters of credit) to Ottoman capital Istanbul, Safavid capital Tehran and Sehbani Ozbeks bazaars of Bukhara and Samarkand and carry on business as usual. During Mogul Empire fruits from Central Asia used to be brought to the fruit markets of Delhi. Why cannot that be restored again and begin the restoration of good relations between Asian countries to initiate an Asian century for peace and progress. Without peace there can be no development, the slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
K.Gajendra Singh.19 January, 2015
The enemy within
Written by Khaled Ahmed |
Last month, the chief of the Pakistan Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, spoke to the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute on "Security Outlook 2025: National Security and Defence Transformation", and stated: "In contemporary geopolitics, the battles are no longer between state and non-state actors but with supra-individuals, those individuals who exploit both the national and international space for their desired objectives. These supra-individuals have the capacity to manipulate networks, organisations and state institutions to create waves of instability and create discord at the centre of the state institutions. Explosions are still a viable tool of war, but implosions are the new defeat mechanisms."
Who are these supra-individuals endangering the nation-state and the world? He didn't use the word supermen, as it has been squeezed of meaning somewhat by cinema, where flying men come to the help of beleaguered humanity. He definitely meant leaders who arouse violence, the one instinct all individuals are gifted with, but which is suppressed by a civilisation rising dazed from world wars conducted by supra-individual leaders.
Did the general refer only to leaders who create inter-state conflict? He also said Pakistan's enemy was "within" rather than "without" — he "lives within us and looks like us". One can name a few supra-individuals — unfortunately all Muslims today — killing Muslims and causing inter-state conflict. One can also look at the leaders within Pakistan who exercise personality cult and can be placed in the category of supra-individuals. In all cases, violence is the hallmark of their identity.
The birth of the violent supra-individual is unavoidable. Religion helps in his nurture. In the organised state, he takes his flock and occupies a sequestered space where he can mould his followers' conduct without being challenged. Because he uses violence, he gets into trouble with the organised state sooner or later, is attacked in his stronghold, after which he kills himself like Hitler in the last face-off with the law. His followers remain loyal and embrace death; such is the power of the supra-individual.
In the unorganized state — General Sharif called such states "polarized" — he is almost irresistible and causes dysfunction. "Due to increased polarization," he said, "governments are unable to protect their people and national security."
After World War II — which produced supra-individuals on both sides of the conflict, like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, etc — democracy in Europe tried to prevent the rise of the charismatic leader. But the masses, living under democracy, never really suppressed their appetite for the "redeemer" type of leader who would bring about the "big change". Where democracy falters and the state becomes weak through the loss of its writ, the redeemer promising "change" with "violence" makes his appearance, calling it "revolution". No one listens to my favourite economists, Surjit S. Bhalla and Ijaz Nabi, saying that any significant change comes only from high growth rates, not revolution.
Even when pledging peaceful "protest" under the constitution, the "redeemer" uses a language full of violence. The peaceful protest invariably produces physical violence, a transition from verbal to physical, which has been recognised as a norm in politics. In Pakistan, most religious leaders tend to use "verbal" violence as sanctioned by Islam according to their lights. Frequently, it is followed by acts of great violence, including beheadings, the favourite mode of righteous punishment among Muslims these days.
In Pakistan, probably the most verbally violent leader in the recent politics of "peaceful protest" was the great religious leader, Allama Tahirul Qadri of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek. His cult followers agitated in Lahore and became violent. The administration lost its head and retaliated with bullets. The new normal is that you let the protesters inflict some damage and take it passively. Qadri was so violent in his speech that he damaged his heart nerves haranguing his flock, and
is now ill.
On the other hand, Imran Khan uses a lower grade of verbal pyrotechnics, but his followers, less subject to control, take the cue and become greatly agitated. His crowds always look like getting out of hand and are scary for an administration charged with the task of drawing the sting of "sit-ins". Do the supra-leaders want violence, or is it the fault of the administration that forces their followers to become violent?
All commentators at some point concede that cult leaders want dead bodies on the ground as part of their planned rise to power. Is violence a needed ingredient of the politics of showdown threatened by deadlock? Gone are the days when leaders stepped down after feeling they had become unpopular. These days, most third-world states fail to deliver and become unpopular within six months. (Pardon me, but nowadays this happens in Europe too, especially to leftists like Hollande, who promise more "delivery" than is possible.)
The pattern in Pakistan is: hit the streets, become violent, disrupt the economy, scare the normal citizen into neutrality, and then expect the "arbitrator", the army, to step in and ask the elected government to leave. Politicians have developed a conditioned reflex and probably never really want to rule when they try and topple each other from power. Clearly, they prefer the army to "arbitrate", without really wanting the next election too much. When the army decides to stay a decade in power, they simply join its government. Most of them have this background.
The Muslim redeemers in Nigeria, Somalia and Iraq are not really very different. They routinely behead fellow Muslims, but they have learned the trick from our redeemers like Hakimullah Mehsud and Fazlullah. The army knows this and their commander, General Sharif, wants to tell the truth about people who are "within us and look like us".
The state in Pakistan has become weak after decades of irredentism and asymmetrical war. In Afghanistan, the weak state produced warlords; in Pakistan, it has produced supra-individuals like Qadri, Khan, Altaf Hussain of the MQM, Hafiz Saeed of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and, less visibly, Malik Ishaq of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Muhammad, Ahmad Ludhianvi of erstwhile Sipah Sahaba, and Muhammad Ilyas Qadri of Dawat-e-Islami. An inspired Mumtaz Qadri can kill a governor and then dictate terms from the death cell as retired judges of the high court plead for his honourable release.
The supra-individual of Pakistan mobilises massive amounts of money and multitudes. They are well organised, funded by people who want change not written in the constitution. Some funding will come from the Gulf region, if you are willing to behead the Shia. But grabbing property and rentals will fill the coffers too, as the local administration shows less and less interest in confronting violent mobs that look increasingly like the Taliban.
General Sharif's statement is an extraordinary diagnosis. His predecessor, Ashraf Kayani, caused a national double-take when, towards the end of his last extension, he conceded that Pakistan was "threatened from within". He didn't go into as much detail as the morally more courageous current commander has. Will the Pakistan army follow up on its latest "threat perception"? Pakistanis, helpless in the face of the supra-individuals, will be forever grateful.
The writer is consulting editor, 'Newsweek Pakistan'.
Pakistan Military Chief General Raheel Sharif on Internal terrorism and Peace with India
LONDON/RAWALPINDI - Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has stressed the need for regional peace and better ties with India, urging negotiations between both the countries on an equal level.
Speaking at International Institute for Strategic Studies in London on Friday, General Raheel Sharif emphasized on the settlement of Kashmir dispute for establishing long-term peace in the region.
He said that Pakistan was now focusing on war against terrorism which was aimed at uprooting extremism from the country very soon.
Gen Raheel said that National Action Plan (NAP) was a comprehensive long-term strategy to address extremism and terrorism in the country with the government doing best for its implementation.
The army chief said the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan against terrorists was making good progress.
The COAS said that there were no favorites, all terrorists of any kind were being hit, according to ISPR Director General Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa's tweet on social media.
Gen Raheel said that the relations with Afghanistan were improving, adding "We are working for stability in the region.
He said that longstanding Kashmir issue has to be resolved for long-term peace, stability in the region, Pakistan wants peace, but with dignity and honour.
He said that the world needs to understand our environment.
"Our cooperation with United Kingdom (UK) in security and social sector is growing.
About return of Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) from North Waziristan Agency, the army chief said the world should help in dignified resettlement of TDPs.
Earlier, during his visit to Royal Military Academy and Royal College of Defence Studies in London, the army chief said that the Peshawar massacre has united the whole nation, adding the political and military leaders of the country were working together against terrorism.
During his visit to London's Royal Military Academy, the army chief met Pakistani cadets under training at the academy.
General Raheel urged Pakistani cadets to become team leaders and to bring honour to the country.
General Raheel also visited Royal College of Defence Studies and presented Pakistan's stance on security challenges and terrorism.
He said Pakistan was determined to work against terrorism.
The Pakistani High Commission in London also held a reception in the army chief's honour in which British Defence Minister Michael Falcon, members of parliament Lord Tariq Mahmood, Saeeda Warsi, Lord Nazir Ahmad, Khalid Mahmood and members of European parliament Dr Sajjad Kareem and Amjad Bashir and leaders of local Pakistani community participated.
In his address to the reception ceremony, General Raheel said the entire nation has united after the Peshawar massacre, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country that left 150 dead including 132 schoolchildren.
He said the operation against the terrorists was continuing and that several areas have been cleansed of terrorists.
The army chief said that Pakistan's relations with Afghanistan were improving and that Pakistan's political and military leaders were working together to root out terrorism from the country.
The Pakistani community congratulated the army chief on successful UK visit.
2,000 TERRORISTS KILLED IN
ZARB-E-AZB SO FAR
Director General Inter Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa has reiterated the Army's resolve to ensure writ of the state in Bajaur and North Waziristan agencies at all costs by wiping out terrorists.
Addressing a think-tank of Royal United Services Institute in the United Kingdom, he said effective military operations are under way in these agencies to purge the areas of terrorists.
He said the security forces have so far killed 2,000 terrorists in North Waziristan Agency while 200 soldiers embraced martyrdom in operation Zarb-e-Azb and 800 others sustained injuries.
The ISPR director general said the army chief has clearly directed to carry out operation against terrorists without any discrimination.
Bajwa said even the United Nations has acknowledged the achievements of Pakistan Army against terrorists in the operation Zarb-e-Azb.