Pak Afghan media war in the 1970s.

Published on: 24/10/2018 | Comments: No comments 

.. by Rahmat Karim Baig

The period that is uppermost in my mind about the state of Pak- Afghan relations in my youth has left an indelible trace when our sources of information were only News papers and Radio. At that time there was no TV channel. I listened to radio news bulletin of Radio Pakistan and Radio Kabul. There used to be a high level toxic propaganda from Radio Kabul against Pakistan and its policies with special reference to Pakhtoons in the then NWFP and fabricated stories of atrocities by Islam Abad against the rights of her Pakhtoon population inside Pakistan border. It was done in Pushto and Dari as well as in Urdu.

There was one hour Urdu program from Radio Kabul which broadcast popular Urdu songs mixed with poisonous propaganda against the state of Pakistan and in reply to this anti Pakistan movement of Kabul, Radio Pakistan Peshawar also broadcast a Pushto program where two names are still in my mind= Mr. Panda Khan and Mr. Shar Pasand Khan who made all out efforts to ridicule the efforts made in Kabul in collaboration with New Delhi.

The Kabul authorities did all for Pakhtonistan and all the propaganda was carried out continuously to instigate the Pakhtoon population in Pakistan and the fabricated stories of the usurping of their social rights. This was a part of the efforts of the man who was called Sarhadi Gandhi and to Intelligence sources he was referred to in code word of ? Red Star? who shuttled between Kabul and Delhi but refused to come to Pakistan. He was on self imposed exilement. Then in 1973 Sarhadi Gandhi decided to come back after completion of his mission and was welcomed back at Torkham border and I saw the stalwart old man with unusual long nose, sitting on a truck, reached Qissa Khawani Bazar and delivered a speech about his decision to return to Pakistan where all members of his family lived peacefully, but he made a will that after his death his dead body was to be buried at Jalal Abad, not in Pakistan which was carried out. Guess why did he make the answer is he did not like Pakistan and he refused to be a Pakistani but what is your idea about such a character and his efforts ?? .. Prof Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral 24 Oct 2018

FATF blackmail and Pak-US ties

Published on: 09/03/2018 | Comments: 1 comment 

.. by Raza Muhammad Khan

DURING her recent visit to Pakistan, Lisa Curtis raised Washington?s concerns about gaps in Pakistan?s anti-terrorist financing controls and fund-raising by militants. This message was superfluous, as the US had already decided to punish Pakistan through the FATF, as part of its new ?strategy?, which posits that the US can win the Afghan war, by getting tough with Pakistan. This action has further infuriated most Pakistanis and added to the alienation of the US in Pakistan. Ms Curtis is known in South Asia for her bias in favour of India and her association with Hussain Haqqani, the former Pakistani Ambassador in the US, who now makes a living by demonising his own country. Though Haqqani is wanted by Pakistani courts for ?waging war against Pakistan? and ?hatching criminal conspiracy? against the State, he is now a Director at the Hudson Institute, which receives US government funding, among others.

Persistent hostile US actions against Pakistan at the FATF and elsewhere, could please the Afghan rulers, as they absolve them of their incompetence; or India, as they enable it to conceal its atrocities in Kashmir, but they are damaging the Pak-US relations beyond repair. During his latest testimony before the US Armed Services Committee, General Votel, Commander of the US Central Command, was candid to appreciate Pakistani actions to ?expand border control mechanisms and efforts to improve paramilitary security capabilities?. He acknowledged Pakistan?s sacrifices in the war against terrorism, maintained that Pakistan?s cooperation remained imperative for the success of the US policies and hinted at ?positive indicators from Pakistan??. While repeating some old allegations, he admitted that cross-border terrorist attacks between Pakistan and Afghanistan hinder both countries? abilities to coordinate on border security. He also termed the military-to-military relationship with Pakistan as valuable. While some of these statements indicate a better comprehension of the regional milieu by the US DoD, its actions are constrained by a fallacious and prejudiced strategy at the top, that is slowly but surely going to end the Pakistan-US partnership. When this happens, it will immensely benefit the terrorists on either side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Going back to the FATF drama, it is important to trace its genesis. The LeT, which supported the Kashmir cause and the UN Resolution on Kashmir, were blamed by India for the terrorists attack on its Parliament in 2001 and thereafter the Mumbai bombing in 2008. The US named the LeT, as a terrorist organization in December 2001, pursuant to Executive Order 13224. In 2014, the US amended LeT?s designations to include Jama?at-ud-Dawa (JUD), a popular charity cum preaching foundation, as an alias organization of the LeT. US persons or entities can?t engage in any transactions with such persons and entities. Under UNSC Resolution 1267 of 2001 and 1822 of 2008, the UN listed Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, as a terrorist for his alleged association with LeT and Al-Qaeda in December 2008. Some details of these accusations, oddly termed as ?narrative?, have also been provided by the UN on its website, but these are not substantiated by any evidence.

Since 2012, the United States has offered a US $10 million? reward for information about Hafiz Saeed?s involvement in terrorism. Such information, if any, has not been shared with Pakistan. Pakistan banned the LeT in 2002, the JUD in 2005 and took over control of the Saeed?s other charity foundations on 14 Feb 2018. It must be noted that US law is not valid in Pakistan and Islamabad is only obliged to follow the UN Resolutions, under which arrest of Hafiz Saeed is not an obligation without any proven crime or evidence. Doing so will be a violation of Pakistani laws and human rights. Under UN Resolutions, Pakistan is required to freeze the financial assets of Hafiz Saeed, which it has done, though Hafiz Saeed has repeatedly denied his association with any terrorist?s attacks. Under US pressure, Pakistan has been detaining and placing Saeed under house arrest, off and on, under ?Maintenance of Public Order? as there are no charges against him in Pakistani courts. Pakistan has been requesting for credible evidence against Saeed from India since 2008, but New Delhi has failed to provide this, so far. Thus, any US and Indian concerns over the freedom of Pakistani court verdicts, to release Saeed due to absence of proof, are unwarranted and are a meddling in the internal matters of Pakistan.

Through these actions, the Indo-US nexus is openly using the UN, and now the FATF to tarnish Pakistani image, hurt its economy and dilute the Kashmiri?s struggle for self-determination, promised to them by the UN. The UN is mandated to address the root causes of terrorism and not its symptoms. It needs to implement its resolutions on Kashmir, shun its support to foreign occupations and censor violations of human rights in India. While doing so, it might designate Modi as a terrorist for ordering the killing of thousands of Indian Muslims, innocent Kashmiris and Pakistanis. The US is further embroiling itself in South Asian conflicts by siding with India and linking Kashmir with the events in Afghanistan, which is clearly reckless. Will any one in the Trump team has the mettle to admit this simple reality and make a course correction in its disastrous South Asia policy?

The change might include black listing India at the FATF for terror financing to sabotage the CPEC, abetting terrorism in Balochistan, FATA and Sindh, money laundering through MQM London and dissipating Pakistani efforts to manage its western borders. While Pakistan must strengthen its own banking and financial laws, as outlined in the NAP, it need not worry too much about the FATF, as it is neither a formal international organization, nor can it invite legal or penal proceedings. Like in the past, any future extortion through the FATF should strengthen our will and resilience to survive, besides making us more self-reliant.

? The writer, a retired Lt Gen, is former president of National Defence University, Islamabad.


Pak Army shoulders heavy duties

Published on: 14/11/2017 | Comments: No comments 

By: Prof Rahmat Karim Baig

Pakistan is hemmed in by hostile neighbours? from the very beginning,? on the one hand for its ideology and on the other for its geography and due to the negative attitude of? India and Afghanistan we have had? to keep a standing Army? plus civil Military Forces to carry out day night vigilance along our borders.

The eastern border was given much importance due to belligerence of India but in the west we had presumed that Kabul will not commit any kind of hostile activity? just for the sake of mischief but despite that prepossession they resorted to economic interference in the shape of smuggling of foreign goods as they foresaw an economic juggling with the fragile financial position of a newly born state with little knowledge of commerce and trade, would do much serious damages as expected by Hindu businessmen who had been predicting that Pakistan will not be able to reach economic stability for Muslim inefficiency in managing financial issues and so it will collapse.

This interference in our trade, as far as I remember, began at Landi Kotal where a juicy business of foreign and illegal goods? was developed and reached such heights that smugglers from Punjab came to Landi Kotal and smuggled Japanese electronic gadgets, fabrics, cigarettes, perfumes and all kind of luxury items were made available and that ?business hub was later?? shifted to Bara, near Peshawar city and then it was moved to other centres within the country.

The goods came via Karachi port and under a mutual? transit agreement, were allowed to go to Afghanistan? through Torkham and then smuggled back into Tribal territory to Pakistan that caused great loss to our custom revenue.? So the role of vigilance by para military Forces, on the western border required to be enhanced and then? was doubled to oversee the border movements of the Afghans and the smuggling activities of the trading? people.

Since the Pak-Afghan border from Chitral to the western most tip of Baluchistan is said to be more than? 2400 km long? and mostly hilly and porous regions, populated with Azad tribes who are not under Pakistani Law but had their own home made maze of labyrinths that was suitable for them but harmful for Pakistan, its Law and order situation and revenue sources. The Army had to deal with a situation for which they had to be trained again and again to cope with smuggling? mafias.

The soldiers are so trained that they could live in very inhospitable conditions. Long ago at? Boroghil border, Jawans of Chitral Scouts were stationed for summer? border duty and in October when I visited that region I had no option as a tourist but to go to the camp of the Jawans. They were most friendly and did? me great honour? compared to the conditions? of their out post at great height. I studied their courage, agility, capacity of adaptation to the harsh conditions and was proud to have such Jawans of high moral and patriotic zeal for the defence of their mother land.

The gist of? the story is that our soldiers are performing in very hard conditions on the borders facing dangerous situations about which a common man knows very little. It must be? known to all of us that in the conditions that we are facing now? it is important to have good soldiers with good weapons to beat any onslaught from either side and at the same time develop? defence technology to keep abreast with the volatile scenario that is being imposed on us. I am very proud of Pak Army. Pak Army Zindabad .. Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral 14 Nov 2017