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SatIre: Khabristan Today

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IntervIew: Dr Ayesha Siddiqa

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Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014

edITorIal Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor

Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

Shahab Jafry

Asher John

Joint Editor

Associate Editor

Chief News Editor

How clueless in Islamabad?

Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287273 Fax: 051-2818125 Web: Email:

TTP, Pakistan and India

The need to defeat terrorism


eSPITe the ominous happenings in and around Karachi airport earlier this week the PML-N leadership remains wedded to the idea of talks with the TTP. While the army plans airstrikes to finish off the militants in Fata the government keeps the door for parleys open. There is a tendency in some of the party leaders to find a scapegoat for the crimes committed by the terrorist network. Shahidullah Shahid has owned the attack on Karachi airport which besides killing twenty four innocent people is leading to negative economic consequences for the country while TTP’s rising star Khorasani has owned the firing on the ASF camp with as much equanimity as he had displayed

when announcing the decapitation of 26 FC soldiers. Last year, Fazlullah had similarly claimed that his men had executed the blast that killed Maj Gen Sanaullah Niazi. The militants’ apologists, however, are intent on putting the responsibility of the former’s misdeeds on someone else. One can understand people like hafiz Saeed blaming India for the terrorist attack, but what remains incomprehensible is that Ch Nisar too should be in the same company. he first insisted that the attackers in Karachi seemed to be foreigners and then reverted to the Indian origin of the weapons in their possession, leaving little doubt about what he was hinting at. The sooner the poppycock

about the TTP’s avowed patriotism is stopped the better. Whether the terrorist network employs Uzbeks or Pakistanis as tools matters little. Similarly, whether its minions use American, Israeli, Chinese or Indian weapons is beside the point. To try to exonerate the TTP is outright disrespect for thousands of innocent Pakistanis, both civilian and military, who fell victim to the network’s attacks. The PML-N government needs to concentrate on defeating terrorism and extremism. It has to meanwhile improve its ties with neighbours to be able to fulfil the task efficiently. Those mollycoddling the TTP should learn a lesson from what is happening to Iraq and Syria. g

To Russia with love This involves the whole region


he Pak-Russian arms thaw is encouraging news. Frozen since the sixties, the defence cooperation with Moscow has come at a crucial time for Pakistan, and carries potential implications that go beyond the realm of military hardware. First of all, Russian technology will benefit our forces in a number of ways, particular in term s of cost-benefit ratio. Anybody who has done arms deals with Washington knows the high cost and maintenance charges that are always part and parcel of American weapons. And the MI-35 is a good start – a multipurpose carrier used for deployment, attack, med-evac, reconnaissance, etc. And its earlier hind version was known for its dominance in areas just like the rugged FATA hills where the TTP insurgency is based. Already our Cobras, originally meant for India-specific deterrence, have been qualitatively degraded in this fight, and could do with replacements. No wonder there is fury in the Indian press. But there is more to it than the helicopter. Moscow, under Putin, is in the process of reasserting itself on the outside world, particularly Washington and its NATO allies. In that process it has taken a number of aggressive positions, especially in the Levant and eastern europe, where Russia and friends have been able to blunt western


advances. And in forging new allies, Putin has firmly embraced the old Soviet Andropovian doctrine – Russian strengths (oil and weapons) in return for a working relationship. And for obvious reasons, Pakistan is especially interesting to Russia. The Americans are about to leave Afghanistan, and the regional power calculus will shift again. Too many players are involved, and good terms with Islamabad will be crucial to exercise influence. Interestingly, military exchanges with Russia also imply more business with China down the road. Moscow and Beijing have deep military cooperation, and offer select jointly built aircraft to special friends. Of course, Islamabad’s economic gurus understand well that when the Sino-Russian arms market opens, so does a lot of other commerce that can benefit all economies concerned. There is no final word on the deal yet, but the diplomatic posturing is clear. The foreign office would do well to look into this matter very carefully. The anger in India might not mean much, but there will be angry friends too. Russia’s proximity with the Iranians will upset the Saudis, which immediately brings the matter of Riyal-politics to contend with. A helicopter deal is about to test the diplomatic maturity of an entire region. g

Plenty, apparently


N hindsight, it would have taken a Ch Nisar, no less, to do what he did, both prior to and after the Karachi airport attack. Let’s start from where he started mattering, to the prime minister, no less. Remember the talks with the Taliban policy was something of a turnaround? The PM had hinted military action himself, and then surprised everyone, including the assembly and the brass, by embracing the Nisar doctrine at the last minute, literally. In a way, this typifies Nawaz’s way of doing things – first there’s indecision, then there’s paralysis, and finally a strong liking for an abstract idea. And more often than not, such back-and-forth wastes precious time, which in turn allows ‘other’ players to make their presence felt. A classic example was letting things turn sour over the recent Geo incident. But back to Ch Nisar. The talks have gone on for some months and despite a superficial ceasefire, the only thing tangible they could achieve was a select prisoner release in favour of the Taliban. Yet the N-clique refused to revise its position, and only grudgingly accepted unilateral military strikes as “same page” policy. even so, as time went on and the Nleague drew criticism for leveraging APC unanimity to legitimise its own core, religious-right constituency, Nawaz & Co refused to revise policy, with the result that differences with the military increased, so did N’s own isolation, and a sense of detachment from the people. By the time of the Karachi airport attack, though, it seemed the

whiteLies Apollo

only people still favouring talks were Maulana Sami and Ch Nisar. And that the two seem hesitant to change their position even after the incident betrays a divorce from reality that might have an audience in Akora Khattak, but simply cannot be allowed in the country’s most sensitive corridors of power. Perhaps Mian sb has had just such a realisation of late. And perhaps that explains the chatter in the capital, that the prime minister might have chosen a more rational mindset to lend his ear to. Certainly, the airport attack would not have pleased the prime minister. And it wouldn’t have helped matters that his interior minister was not taking any calls, allegedly, during the attack. And when came time to explain matters, Ch Nisar simply uttered the old ‘outside forces’ and ‘foreign hands’ excuses. There is still no mention of the T-word. It is true that insurgencies are proxy battles carefully stoked, and funded, by foreign, hostile elements. But the government is advised that instead of always pointing fingers abroad, it must first put its own house in order. And the way the N government has tried to deal with the TTP threat has not been very impressive. It must overcome its indecision and paralysis immediately, and understand that the threat level has gone up several notches since the botched talks began. And now, following Karachi, it can spread like a cancer through the length and breadth of the country if urgent, and necessary, steps are not taken to nip this evil in the bud in North Waziristan. g

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Before you go on and talk about how the League is a party of the rich (it is, though) you should know that in the recent budget, they levied new taxes on luxury items like Birkin bags and other hideous items made from ostrich and crocodile skin. This has had the swish set upset. Why, God, WHY? Till someone else pointed out (not many from the set is particularly bright) that they have never bought their bags from abroad and bring it in their luggage. Phew! Close call. g

********** HoW to solve a problem like the Benazir Income Support Program? Makes sense. Is popular. But is the previous regime’s brainchild. The League thought about banning it but the donor agencies would have none of it. The League then thought about renaming it, only to realise it would require legislation and the PPP and its allies might block it through the Senate. Meanwhile, the hapless former-PPP-now-PML-N senator who has been entrusted the programme isn’t being treated like a boss by his mandarin-in-chief. The secretary in question won’t even meet the man. He even wrote to the prime minister on the issue several times but to no avail. Apparently the aforementioned civil servant is in the good books of an all-powerful bureaucratic don who is in the Sharif’s inner circle. g


Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014


Long on words, short on action A cause for concern for the N-league The reaction of the international media to the Karachi carnage is predictable but nonetheless noteworthy. indian as well as western commentators surmise that the jihadists that Pakistan’s Deep State had nurtured over the years as a cornerstone of its india centric security paradigm have turned against their erstwhile mentors. Pakistan’s former ambassador to Washington, husain haqqani, who over the years has metamorphosed from being a card holder Jamaat-e-islami to a born again liberal writing in the indian express, claims that the Pakistani establishment has deliberately disregarded Jinnah’s call to The writer is Editor, Pakistan Today. keep religion out of the business of the state. he advises Prime Minister Sharif to embrace Jinnah’s vision of india-Pakistan hile the country is literally ties. burning at the hands of the Notwithstanding the dire warnings and terrorists, our political elite criticism of the international commentarati is engaged in a war of words as well as our own, need for introspection – quite oblivious to the clear on the part of our leadership, both civilian and present danger. and military, cannot be over emphasised The enigmatic interior minister Ch here. Nisar Ali is quintessentially long on words it is being claimed ad nauseum in the and short on action. he has put the entire media that the military and civilian leaders blame of the monumental security lapse at are not on the same page. even PkMAP the Jinnah terminal Karachi on the (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awaji Party) chief shoulders of the Sindh government. Mehmood Khan Achakzai, a leading According to him the Sindh government government ally, while taking part in the had been warned six times about the debate on the budget in the National security loopholes at the cargo/ViP Assembly has cited clouds threatening terminal of the Karachi airport. The Sindh democracy. government has washed its hands of he has urged the two Sharifs (Nawaz accepting any blame by glibly claiming that Sharif and General Raheel Sharif) to give a responsibility of the airport lies with the clear message to the world that Pakistan is federal government. a democracy and its military and civilian Both the Sindh chief minister and the leadership is on the same page. interior minister are right. it was an if the military and civilian leadership is enormous security lapse for which the not on the same page, where lies the rub? federal and the Sindh government cannot Apparently three issues are cited as the absolve themselves of the blame. major bone of contention between Nawaz Nisar Ali Khan has been boasting for Sharif and the COAS, whom he handpicked over a year now of his seamless security only six months back. plans. But NACTA (National Counter Firstly, the government’s policy of Terrorism Authority) that he announced procrastination on a full-fledged operations with much fanfare is yet to be functional. against the TTP and its asinine insistence it exists only on paper, thanks to the for talks from a position of weakness is legal wrangling of officials of the interior cited as a major source of friction. ministry itself. So far as the octogenarian Secondly, it is widely claimed that that the Sindh chief minister is concerned he is too government went back on its promise to let busy serving his masters to even notice former dictator Musharraf go abroad once security lapses in the name of VViP culture. he was indicted. in the process it’s nothing personal, Karachi, with a but the military simply population of over 10 cannot brook one of its ‘Notwithstanding the dire million inhabitants, has former chiefs being warnings and criticism of become a haven for booked for high treason. mafias and terrorists of The last straw is the iSi’s the international all hues and colour. The spat with Geo television commentarati as well as our MQM supremo Altaf network. it is claimed own, need for introspection hussain, not entirely that the government above board himself, has tilted in favour of the on the part of our been correctly warning media group rather than leadership, both civilian for years about the defending its premier megapolis being infested intelligence chief. and military, cannot be with Taliban sleeper On all three counts over emphasised here’ cells. Sharif, in the last few The islamic weeks, is seemingly Movement of Uzbekistan making efforts at has accepted responsibility for the attack damage limitation. Although Sindh high on Karachi airport. it is almost surreal that Court allowing Musharraf to go abroad is Uzbeks, who stick out like a sore thumb still subject to appeal, but now it is more among Pakistanis because of their likely that he will be allowed to travel to distinctive ethnic features, could move with meet his ailing mother in Dubai. impunity in Karachi, armed to the teeth. This will give a face saving to Sharif Obviously it is not possible without that his government indicted him, but the local help. The gunmen who attacked an former strongman has been allowed by the ASF (Airport Security Force) training camp courts to leave the country. Such a deal is the very next day they raided the Jinnah not anathema to our political culture. After terminal escaped into Pehlwan Goth, a all the Sharifs cut the mother of all deals shanty town next to the airport. Obviously with Musharraf in December 2000 to be the area is a safe abode for terrorists exiled en masse to Saudi Arabia. in this sense it is also a monumental Geo channel has been put off the air for intelligence lapse on part of the premier 15 days by PeMRA (Pakistan electronic military intelligence apparatus whose job Media Authority) on a complaint filed by description is to nab the terrorist before the iSi through the defence minister. they strike. But unfortunately they were Khawaja Asif, notoriously famous for his also caught napping or perhaps too busy. acerbic comments against the military, now

Arif NizAmi


‘Despite rampant terrorism devouring the state, the government’s approach towards combating it obstinately remains tentative’

belatedly claims after the damage has been done that he believes the punishment to the news channel is too late and too little. Despite rampant terrorism devouring the state, the government’s approach towards combating it obstinately remains tentative. Of course long and frequent meetings between the civilian and military leadership indicate that there is some agreement on the COiN (counter insurgency) strategy between them. But the prime minister is somehow still unable to lead from the front. he has made numerous forays abroad. But what stops him from visiting the tribal belt to buck up the troops? his critics claim that he wants to maintain a back channel with the TTP to keep Punjab relatively safe from their wrath. Probably the criticism is misplaced. however, lack of initiative bordering on a vice regal style of governance is somehow becoming a hallmark of Sharif. Apart from mega projects like bullet trains, motorways

and Chinese funded coal fired projects, nothing excites him. it seems sometimes he is simply burnt out. People in Pakistan are used to leaders who are visibly busy doing their mandated job. his opponents, slowly but perceptibly coming out of the wood works and coalescing against him, are filling the vacuum created by his aloof and withdrawn style. Only in one year after the general elections the opposition has ganged up against him. The PTi chief imran khan, who still claims he is committed to democracy, has had extremely successful rallies in the heartland of the Sharifs. This should be cause for immediate concern for the PMl-N and its leadership. g

‘Probably the criticism is misplaced. However, lack of initiative bordering on a vice regal style of governance is somehow becoming a hallmark of Sharif. Apart from mega projects like bullet trains, motorways and Chinese funded coal fired projects, nothing excites him. It seems sometimes he is simply burnt out’ 03


cover sTory: fighT or flighT?

The enemy within We need real democracy, not its pantomime humayun gauhar

The writer is a political analyst. He can be reached at:


he prime duty of a government is to protect the state, its citizens and their properties. This is the most important fundamental principle of governance. When a government fails to discharge its prime duty it loses the justification to exist. Our government has failed utterly in discharging this prime duty on many fronts. Last week’s terrorist attack on Karachi airport and a pilgrims’ bus in Balochistan are recent proof. Its national security policy lies in tatters. There is absolute absence of rationality and common sense and the presence of wonky priorities. The excuse that it is protecting what it calls democracy is poppycock. They are protecting a mirage conjured up by a hypocritical constitution that works for the rich at the expense of the poor and is unable to dispense real pro-people, truly representative democracy or justice justly, in time and cheaply. What they are really doing is supporting a system that works for them but not for the people. This is disloyalty most foul. Result: Pakistan is being slaughtered at the altar of fake democracy. Its continuity is based on the dynastic principle where the oppressed are regularly forced ‘elect’ their oppressors to oppress them further. We need real democracy, not its pantomime. Continuing with this pantomime in the hope that it will become real is suicidal. This government or that doesn’t matter. It’s the system, and if it doesn’t collapse first Pakistan will. It’s as simple as that. Seen from this perspective we are going


in the right direction – systemic failure. The Karachi airport attack by terrorists of the banned TTP-IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) raises many questions. The ASF (Airport Security Force) soldiers did the job they are paid for admirably and held back terrorists till the rangers and army (who else) arrived to take positions and kill them. But ASF and CAA bosses and the government need to be asked: 1. Why didn’t the ASF provide equal surveillance and security to the airport’s entire perimeter, particularly its entry and weak points? Do the ASF bosses know the difference between a potato and a bomb that they call ‘bum’? 2. Why did the Sindh government and the ASF ignore repeated warnings of a possible terrorist attack on the airport? Now

‘Why did the Sindh government and the ASF ignore repeated warnings of a possible terrorist attack on the airport? Now the federal and Sindh governments are playing an unseemly blame game. They are both to blame’ the federal and Sindh governments are playing an unseemly blame game. They are both to blame. 3. Why did it take around 20 hours to try and rescue seven workers trapped in a burning, partcollapsed cold storage in the cargo area? The reason we are hearing is shameful: they wouldn’t allow fire tenders in because of ‘VIP movement’. If so, it betrays our governments’ priorities: the pomp and protocol of VIPs takes precedence over the lives of citizens, a massive failure of government’s prime responsibility. They should drown in shame but they don’t have any. The beseeching of waiting relatives getting desperate calls from the trapped workers didn’t affect them. Only the estimable efforts of

express TV anchor Shahzaib Khanzada and the offer of property developer Malik Riaz to send his machinery catalysed the authorities to start rescue operations, but too late. They didn’t even use fireextinguishing foam, which all airports should have. This is certainly an issue over which our trigger happy Supreme Court should take suo motu notice. 4. Why was the nearby habitation, called Pehalwan Goth (Wrestlers’ Village), from where the TTP terrorists entered, not cleansed and watched assiduously? It’s common sense. The official excuse that it is an old settlement infested by drug peddlers insults our intelligence and exposes their lack of common sense. 5. Why were high-rise buildings allowed near the airport from where terrorists can fire missiles? 6. It is alleged that the terrorists carried Indian arms and medicines. even if India gave them the weapons to destabilise Pakistan further, how did they get all the way from our borders hundreds of miles from Karachi or get through Karachi’s port authorities? If they were bought from the underground global arms bazaar, how did they get to Karachi? Don’t we have check posts along the way? 7. Why can’t they stop money flow to terrorists? To not upset their paymasters? 8. Why didn’t they set up Chinese scanners along all routes that check people and goods? On the facetious grounds that they are bad for health? In truth, they were rejected because they ruined their ‘business’ of bribe taking of billions from smugglers that is divided all the way up. Parliament is worse than useless: the Supreme Court should again take suo motu notice. 9. Narendra Modi’s main charge against Pakistan is fostering terrorism in India to which Nawaz Sharif’s reply was inadequate. Instead of accusing India of fostering terrorism in Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif sends a poorly worded syrupy appeasing letter to Modi but forgets to present him a dhoti as a goodwill gesture as he did a sari to his mother. Appeasement of Pakistan’s enemies is Nawaz’s forte.

10. Why hasn’t our foreign office protested with the Uzbek government? 11. how did foreigners get into our country? Our border security processes are worthless. 12. Why has no one been sacked yet or transferred to a post more suited to his talents? The less said the better about our Civil Aviation Administration (CAA). It failed to rescue seven workers trapped in the cold storage and let them burn to death. Now CAA bosses will burn in hell. They gave higher priority to VIP movement. ‘Movement’ also means bowel evacuation. This is what our ‘VIPs’ are good at. The CAA must have been searching for Muslim showers instead of fire tenders. The responsibility for this callous

‘After months of the government’s muchvaunted Karachi operation to wipe out criminals we taste the bitter fruit of appeasement. In reality they are negotiating terms of surrender from a position of weakness and wasting precious time instead of eliminating terrorism countrywide’ manslaughter lies on the heads of CAA and ASF bosses, fake VIPs and their odious upstart ‘protocol’. ‘VIPs’ come to such scenes for photo ops and delay operations fatally. Their job was earlier, to prevent such things from happening. They failed miserably. What was the point of the Sindh chief minister and flunkies going there? Only to be seen to be ‘caring’ on TV? hypocrites. Then came Asif Zardari’s adopted brother to divert attention and make a silly statement. Why send the interior minister to Karachi, and that too the day after, when he had already failed to provide security? he should have been sent packing instead. Stupid protocol is more important than the lives of citizens. This is beyond ignominy. While Nawaz Sharif could go to Karachi to meet injured GeO TV anchor hamid Mir, he couldn’t call on the grieving relatives of the Karachi Airport deceased. They hold no importance for this fake democrat born of the army’s womb while a TV anchor does because he belittles the army. The TTP, with whom Nawaz Sharif would hold talks, took responsibility for the attack, as did the IMU. The attack started at 11.10 pm on June 8 and went on till late the next afternoon, when flights were restarted. hardly had three hours passed when terrorists attacked the ASF hostel in nearby Pehalwan Goth. Flights were closed again. ASF soldiers and rangers sprung into action and chased the terrorists away, their bosses later

testing our credulity by claiming that it wasn’t an attack, just firing. The gods wept. The TTP claimed responsibility for this too. The job of the rangers is to patrol and protect our borders against intruders. The army’s job is to protect Pakistan from enemies without and within. If the government also becomes an enemy within, God help it. It certainly is not the army’s job to protect or liberate airports or mosques where terrorists have created a state within a state. When it has to, it signifies government failure. After months of the government’s much-vaunted Karachi operation to wipe out criminals we taste the bitter fruit of appeasement. In reality they are negotiating terms of surrender from a position of weakness and wasting precious time instead of eliminating terrorism countrywide. When you negotiate with a banned terrorist organisation that doesn’t recognise the state and its constitution allowing more people to be killed and properties destroyed, you give them legitimacy, violate the constitution and commit high treason under Article 6. You then imply that you actually agree with the terrorist’s creed. Giving legitimacy to terrorists by calling them stakeholders and talking to them is perfidy of the worst kind. Our confused politicians are party to this perfidy by agreeing to negotiate with terrorists in last year’s All Parties Conference. The blood of our people is on their hands. Often governments have to choose between two evils. A wise government opts for the lesser evil; a bad one chooses the worse and takes his country down in flames, thinking that this is valour. Rulers need to be ruthlessly realistic, not mindless dreamers whose romanticism is based on false bravado. Their dreams soon turn into nightmares. If the Prophet (PBUh) had been hot-headed and unrealistic the treaty of hudaibiya would not have been signed and the Muslims wouldn’t have won. It is less bad to lose a few and protect the many than lose the many and everything with them. half a cake is better than none. You are free to follow valorous dreams and go down fighting, but you are not free to foist them on your people whom you are sworn to protect, a responsibility they have given you in trust. Finally, the army is launching a mini operation, but only in North Waziristan and perhaps the rest of the tribal areas. Big deal. The terrorists have reached every nook, cranny and neighbourhood of the country, even the houses of the rich and powerful. The operation has to be countrywide if we are to be rid of terrorism once and for all. The government and military will have to be of like mind. If not, Nawaz Sharif may well find himself turfed out yet again. If there can be no terrorist attack in America after 9/11, why can’t there be in Pakistan? g


Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014

Security situation after Karachi Sort out the TTP now or prepare for a worse 2015 ShAhAb JAfry The writer is Associate Editor, Pakistan Today. He can be reached at


he Karachi airport incident has shifted focus back to the possibility of a comprehensive military operation in North Waziristan. The TTP main body, not some splinter group opposing talks, claimed responsibility. This one was for hakeemullah, said Shahidullah Shahid, while reiterating the Taliban grudge that the government’s offer of talks was insincere, and the military continued targeting their personnel and positions. Quite smartly, though, the TTP left the option of talks still open, which has led to some confusion in Islamabad. Initially there was little doubt about a tough military response. Gen Raheel has been clear about hitting back, and only recently ordered sorties into North Waziristan, killing dozens of militants. But the interior minister did not help matters. First, as usual, he went mum. And when he talked he deliberately avoided the T-word, accusing internal and external elements instead. As if the situation wasn’t already confusing enough. The other great advocate of talks, the PTI, broke fresh ground and criticised the TTP directly, even though it did not rule out talks either. But Ch Nisar has made no official comment about the future of negotiations of which he was perhaps the principal architect. And he’s distanced himself from the press. The Sunday press conferences are over, and word is that the prime minister, not too impressed by the results of the Nisar doctrine, is keeping a strange distance. But again, no official clarifications. Things have changed Things have, no doubt, changed since the talks first began. According to COIN officials, differences relating to talks triggered sensitive rivalries within the TTP conglomerate, which agencies were able to turn into a decisive split within the Mehsuds, the principal

fighting force of the TTP. But a lot remains to be explained, especially after Karachi. According to the government, the Mulla Fazlullah group, which also heads the TTP, was for talks, and entered into a temporary ceasefire. It distanced itself from all attacks during this period, blaming them on runaway elements no longer part of TTP-proper. But now that they have owned the Karachi strike, with Shahidullah Shahid promising “hundreds more”, does going back to talking to Fazlullah’s shurabecome a sovereign government? Then, again, there is the question of the military. how long before its patience runs out, as repeatedly questioned in the press, and it takes matters in its own hands? And does a unilateral strike roll back the prospect of talks altogether? “The military will only strike recalcitrant elements that have shown they can’t be reasoned with”, said Gen (r) hameed Gul, former ISI chief, head of the ex Servicemen Society, and part of the multi-party Difa-ePakistan Council that advocates conservative, centre-right politics. “The lesson of history is never fight your own people. If you must, make it quick and short. And the army realises it cannot continue with this mistake”. Talks must still be favoured, according to Gen Gul, even after the Karachi attack. Taliban groups that continue with attacks must be made examples out of, no doubt, but they must not be allowed to derail progress with groups that are more responsive. It is also more urgent than ever to secure fata because the Americans are about to leave, and they are visibly trying to install India as the region’s proxy power in times to come. And even if New Delhi might have some reservations with such a role, it will not miss any chance to make things difficult for Pakistan. It has already been pretty active in Afghanistan. Also, with an on-and-off operation for years, which ends in truce every time, Gen Gul believes it is time to end the fight once and for all. each time talking ended the fighting, the Americans killed a key member of the Taliban, provoking

them into more bloodshed. “From Nek Mohammad to Baitullah Mehsud to Waliur Rahman to hakeemullah, they clearly played the spoiler role”, he added. “Now we must be very careful about our priorities. We need peace, not an unending war that is forever linked with Afghanistan”. But the government did not adopt the right approach to talks. Their way has been secretive, and they did not take the military along. The “same page” slogan, he said, is false. “If they really were on the same page why were they poles apart on the Geo incident?” And the media hasn’t helped. In times of war, the media’s reporting arm adopts a more responsible posture than peace times. But some of the local media’s coverage of the insurgency has been wrong. “The charge that the Taliban are separatists, for example, is false”, he added. “They do not want to create another state or break away”. This is an uprising, in other words, where some grievances can be addressed, on both sides, and elements that continue with violence should be repaid in kind, and with authority. “This is a bloody, messy, dirty war, and the media must be careful not to portray false positions”. And the Karachi incident, despicable as it was, was merely the “last gasp” of renegades within the insurgents, predominantly Uzbeks and breakaway Mehsuds, and will fizzle out eventually. “A good way to know who to target is to get those willing to talk to identify those bent upon more war”. And the PTI Otherwise the ruling party’s fiercest critic, the PTI was able to find rare common ground with the N-league over the issue of talks. Initially there was a clear convergence of interest. Both parties had lobbied on talking the insurgency to an end, as opposed to fighting it. And both seemed eager to avoid a strong backlash in urban centres, where militant proxies have holed up for blowback operations. hit them in the mountains and they will spread in the cities, Gen Gul cautioned, defending former chief Gen Kayani’s statement that about a 40 per cent decrease in insurgent activity

can be assured at best. And the national security strategy paper won the government more PTI points. “It had been in the works for some time, but we must credit the government for taking it forward”, said Asad Umar, central senior vice president of the PTI. “But the operational implementation was very weak, very unimpressive”. This is where a divergence emerged once again in PTI and PML-N’s positions. Firstly, PTI did not understand the timeline. Why was it, Umar asked, that an issue cooking for ten years, with crystallised unanimity following the APC, sat unattended for another four months? Why the delay in the prime minister’s decision making process? Then when the dialogue began the PM promised to monitor it every week, but no such follow up ever took place. Then there is the habit of not taking stakeholders along. The inclusion of PTI’s Rustam Shah Mohmand in the talks committee, for example, came as a surprise to the party. Nobody was consulted, and the KPK government, which is a natural stakeholder, is regularly kept out of the loop. Such tendencies exhibit what Umar calls “intellectual confusion” within ruling party ranks. It might have an understanding of what it wants, like talking to militants, but has no idea about which tactics to employ. And the way forward, according to the PTI, is pretty clear. “The Karachi attack actually reinforced our position”, he added. “There are clear differences within the Taliban. Those willing to talk and those opposed are being segregated. And we must talk to those who are willing”. But that still does not explain the Fazlullah puzzle. his flagship group was the most prominent among those ready to talk. But he orchestrated Karachi, and is still willing to talk. So how can there be a guarantee of no more about turns? “Our mandate is very clear”, insisted Umar. “We deliberately used these words in our manifesto: disengage, isolate, eliminate. Distance pro talks groups, isolate the rest, and then eliminate troublemakers”.

But, again, even if these arguments broadly justify what must be done, they are very poor on how it must be done. “I’d like to ask those still advocating talks to name one group from the TTP that is willing to talk, can be identified, and accepts the constitution”, Dr hasan Askari Rizvi, prominent analyst and commentator, told Pakistan Today. “If there were any real possibility of talks, then the government would have done it by now. In all this time there has only been one direct contact with the Taliban, and that was two months ago. If you cannot hold talks, how can you have a framework for talks?” Facts, according to Dr Rizvi, paint a different picture than one PTI and PML-N would like to see. The security situation has continuously worsened everywhere except Punjab. Karachi, despite successive operations, is still very unstable, and the airport attack exposed its lack of security. The Taliban, meanwhile, have grown confident over this government’s first year in office. And things may have come to the point where government inaction might prompt the military to act on its own. “That would be a major embarrassment for Nawaz Sharif”, added Dr Rizvi. “So far the army has given preference to civilian endorsement of its strikes, but Nawaz is not willing, he seems suffering from very serious political paralysis”. And the longer N procrastinates, the more he decreases his own relevance. The talks were never intended to be open ended. The military would not have given it beyond Ramzan, since the Americans are leaving, and the emerging border vacuum makes it important to secure the tribal area by Sept/Oct. “The talks issue will not linger much longer”, he said. “either the military will force the civilian government to opt for action, or it will go its own way, claiming retaliation against attacks. If the TTP is nor sorted out now, ’15 will be a very messy year for Pakistan. Yet the government, especially the interior minister, remain silent, and probably very confused. g

Limitations of air strikes T A ground incursion will be needed

Aziz-ud-din AhmAd

The writer is a political analyst and a former academic.

he army on Wednesday expressed resolve to intensify airstrikes against the militants. As before, the strikes are supposed to be in retaliation for a major terrorist attack, this time on the Karachi airport. There is a perception that as criminals in the tribal areas cannot be brought to justice through due process of law, air strikes need to be resorted to as punishment whenever they commit any grave act of terrorism. North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Khyber are the three agencies which were chosen this year for reprisals. There is a need to realise what the

airstrikes can achieve and what they can’t. The least that strikes conducted on the basis of real time intelligence can do is to degrade the abilities of the militants. The most they can do is to take out the militant leadership. The strikes alone cannot however establish the writ of the state, which requires the physical occupation and control of the tribal areas by the army, leading to the setting up of an effective civilian authority and a subsequent withdrawal of the troops to the barracks. A review of this year’s strikes would indicate that it is futile to hope that the punishment inflicted on the militants would

act as a deterrent leading to a cessation of attacks inside the tribal areas and the country at large. The recurrence of terrorist acts within days of the air attacks indicates that these fail to deter the militants from committing acts of terrorism. Airstrikes with F-17s have an element of surprise. When undertaken on the basis of sound and timely intelligence these can destroy terrorist facilities in remote and inaccessible areas without incurring any loss on the part of the troops. Continued on next page ...



cover story: fight or flight?

Karachi airport attack

Understanding the bigger picture

Arif AnsAr The writer is chief analyst at PoliTact, a Washington-based futurist advisory firm ( He can be reached at:, and on Twitter at: @ArifAnsar


s the concentration of Pakistan and the world was focused on the Karachi airport attack, alarming questions were raised once again. some of these are concerning the next phase of the campaign against extremists. In essence the query relates to the future direction of the campaign against terror, now that its tentacles are spread all over the landscape without respect of the nation-state confines. Tragically, whenever the subject of extremism is discussed in Pakistan, it’s in the context of Afghanistan and India. However, the issue of extremism has a wider context. Just look at what took place in northern and western Iraq this week when a number of cities were lost to the Islamic state of Iraq and sham (IsIs or IsIL), an offshoot of AQ. To deal with extremism in Pakistan obviously the local and regional dynamics and lessons would have to be kept in mind. Equally important is to keep in perspective the emerging western strategies.

When dealing with any complicated issue, it is critical to look at the emerging patterns and trends first, not the outcomes, and then develop their strategic implications. The current atmosphere of fast moving change, and the breaking news and elections cycles, forces institutions and individuals to deal with the short-term, and extra efforts have to be devoted to long-term thinking about what is taking shape. so let’s start with the bigger picture. Three particular interrelated sequential phenomena have combined to create a highly combustible situation in the Middle East and beyond. One of them is obviously the wider campaign against extremism, which has now morphed with Arab spring related uprisings. The third tangent is the growing tensions between Us and Russia, and China and Us, which has created circumstances resembling the global power tussles of the past. PoliTact has previously presented in this space the debate on the various causes that produced each of these variables. The reasons and the future direction of these factors are up for much discussion, and are interpreted differently in various regions of the world. similarly, international media sources and various centres of intellectual thinking, often present a checkered understanding of the progress of the war against terror. It is by no means over and actually just beginning to take off. It is now truly taking the form of non-state actors versus state actors frame.

‘The critical differentiating factor in Iraq has now come to be the air power, and future Afghan resistance to Taliban will also have to rely heavily on this. A point also emphasised by the Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani at a talk recently hosted by the Atlantic Council via Skype’ Many of the western supported governments are at the front end of this assault by nonstate actors. What took place in Iraq this week is a prime example of the predicament. In the aftermath of the Us withdrawal, Iraq has remained mired in escalating sectarian tensions and wider rifts between Iran and sunni Arab states. In case of syria, a new differentiation has emerged; moderates and extremists. Moderates in syria are those sunni liberal fighters that want Assad government to go and have the backing of key Gulf states, including the west. Extremists in syria are of two types; sunni extremists are the AQ inspired groups while shi’a extremists constitute Hezbollah, which has the backing of Iran and syria. One of the most important lessons of syria is that Assad regime would not have survived without the urban warfare skills of Hezbollah and technical advice from Iranian Quds force.

Furthermore, Russian influence in the security council also played a key part in holding off foreign military intervention in syria. In the south Asian region, sunni non-state actors (Afghan Taliban and TTP) are also on the assault in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. In the aftermath of the Us/NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, the country is the most vulnerable of the three. With all the differences, Afghanistan’s situation is peculiarly similar to that of Iraq, where Iraqi Us trained forces either abandoned or were overrun by IsIs. This has raised the prospect of Us air strikes or direct Iranian involvement in Iraq to stop the advance of sunni extremist forces. The critical differentiating factor in Iraq has now come to be the air power, and future Afghan resistance to Taliban will also have to rely heavily on this. A point also emphasised by the Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani at a talk recently hosted by the Atlantic Council via skype. In a similar discussion organised by the Atlantic Council and the Centre for American Progress with Afghan presidential candidate Dr Abdullah Abdullah on June 12, PoliTact raised a comparison between the present situation of Iraq and the future of Afghanistan. Dr Abdullah stated that Afghanistan is different than Iraq because the people have rejected Taliban and their ideology. Moreover, he added the lesson of Iraq is that sectarian policies will not work in any place. Lastly, he made an important point that to prevent an Iraq like

dilemma, the legitimacy of the government and its policies, rule of law, and provision of services to the masses, are equally important. The lack of governance and corruption are perhaps the main causes behind what triggered the Arab Awakening. These symptoms are amply visible in Pakistan as well. While the majority does not agree with the agenda of extremists, the secular governments of these regions have failed to deliver benefit to the people, and now stand at the precipice of either collapse or vying for status quo. This is occurring at a time when the west is looking for partners to continue to fight against extremists, as it retrenches to deal with more strategic state adversaries, such as China and Russia. Meanwhile as the economies of these terror inflicted states crumble, they need western support to fight, as they aspire for stabilisation that is not attainable. This has created a highly tumultuous environment for the states in question. They can hardly gain credibility when they continue to fail to deliver to the masses and appear to be western lackeys. This in turn reinforces the message of the extremists and thus creates a vicious cycle. Just as the west is ‘moving on’ in the campaign against terror, the associates of AQ are resurging. This does not bode well for the weak states that are balancing western pressure to tackle extremism and provide services for the masses at the same time. Economic prosperity only follows peace, while war and peace do not exist simultaneously. g

Limitations of air strikes ...Continued from previous page

The targets during the strikes conducted over the year were militant hideouts, facilities and dumps of ammunition. These have also supposedly led to the elimination g of some of the TTP commanders. Unlike drone attacks, however, the airstrikes have failed so far to take out any prominent TTP leader. The attacks do cause setbacks but do not deter determined and motivated terrorists from continuing their activities. Despite the shock and awe effect of the airstrikes it remains doubtful if these have acted as a disincentive against militant attacks on civilians or military personnel. The target of the air attacks being limited, the large body of the militants spread over several distant places and also living among the civilian population remains by and large unaffected. The militants move away to safer places, where they lie low for a while before taking up their terrorist mission once again. The first strikes this year were conducted in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency in the third week of February and continued for three days. These led to the killing of about 80 suspected terrorists, though officially 15 deaths were confirmed. A considerable


number of those killed were Uzbeks. The attacks were conducted within days of the TTP issuing a video showing 23 decapitated FC men. The army maintained that those targeted in airstrikes were also involved in an attack on a cinema in Peshawar and the killing of an army officer in the city. Hours earlier the army had said over 100 soldiers had been killed by the TTP in the last five months. The strikes in Khyber Agency on April 24 were supposed to target the militants who were involved in the Islamabad sabzi Mandi blast and an attack on policemen in Peshawar. 35 suspected militants and eight civilians were killed in the action. A bomb factory and two hideouts were reportedly destroyed. There was no respite meanwhile to the terrorist activities. In the weeks that followed, attacks on polio vaccination teams continued, a blast in Peshawar killed nine policemen, another injured 19 cops, a political agent’s convoy was hit by a blast in Hangu, six troops were killed in another incident of the type in Kurram. To crown it all, a Judge and 10 others were killed in blasts and firing by militants inside an Islamabad court. A limited airstrike was conducted by military helicopters in south Waziristan

towards the end of April. This was again described as an act of reprisal against an incident a day earlier, when three security personnel, including an army officer, were killed in a bomb blast. As the TTP terrorists failed to be disciplined by these strikes, another round of air attacks was initiated in North Waziristan between May 21 and 23. As IsPR put it, the air attacks were in retaliation for the killing of “a large number of civilians and security forces personnel” by terrorists in Fata, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi. This time airstrikes took a toll of at least 73 suspected local and foreign militants. Numerous militant hideouts and bases were reportedly destroyed. Five top militants were reported to have been killed but their names were not given out. As before, the airstrikes caused panic with reportedly 58,000 tribesmen fleeing from the agency in fear of a fuller ground offensive that did not take place. The last airstrikes in the series were conducted in Khyber Agency’s Tirah Valley on Tuesday, leading to 25 suspected militants killed. These too were needed as the earlier strikes had failed to put an end to terrorist activities.

The airstrikes promised on Wednesday will produce no different results. While these will degrade some of the TTP’s capacities they will not establish the writ of the state in North Waziristan or Khyber. Terrorist attacks on innocent people and troops performing their duties will continue as before. The desperation on the part of the TTP could lead it to undertake even more audacious acts. What is required now is to move beyond the airstrikes. What is needed is for the army to move into North Waziristan, the hub of all terrorism in the country and a haven for thousands of Uzbeks, Chechens, Chinese, and Arab terrorists. It should meanwhile seek the help of the Ahmadzai Wazir tribes, the Dawars and the friendly Gul Bahadur group. The ground operation supported by airstrikes should eliminate all terrorist groups allied with al Qaeda in one way or another. With part of the Waziri tribesmen having taken shelter in Afghanistan and part in Bannu and the adjoining areas, the local population would suffer the least from the operation. Pakistan will be a secure country after the NW agency is cleared of the local and foreign terrorists and the command and control centers of a dozen terrorist networks are destroyed. g

NWA operation – now or never? C M YK

Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014

When all pieces are in position for the sweep Mian abrar

The writer is an Islamabad based journalist. He can be reached at


hough recent troop movements suggest a fullfledged operation across North Waziristan Agency (NWA) is on the cards, confusion prevailing among top government ministers and the prime minister’s house reflects that despite military preparedness and pressure from uS and Chinese governments, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is still undecided about when the army should move in. A military operation in NWA has been a long standing demand of the international community, led by the uS, whose legislature has also made its aid to Pakistan conditional with the operation against terrorist networks active in the tribal belt. however, demands made by the top Chinese leadership in meetings with chief of army staff general Raheel Sharif during his recent China visit, fresh pressure from President obama and the linking of aid package by uS congress with army action in NWA has somehow changed the thinking in the federal capital. North Waziristan is a hotbed of terrorism, where the government’s writ is seen nowhere and the area is ruled by militants related to various groups, including the haqqani network, hafiz gul Bahadur, and other factions of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). During the army chief’s tour, the Chinese leadership conveyed serious concerns about the recent wave of attacks carried out by terrorists in China. Beijing has also urged the army chief for an operation in NWA. It is largely believed that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the militant outfit responsible for fresh terrorist attacks in Chinese cities of Kunming and urumqi, has bases and training camps from where the Muslim minority guerrilla fighters of ETIM are trained to launch attacks into China. under the command of the new chief of army staff, general Raheel Sharif, the army looks determined to rout out terrorists. The incidents of beheading of 23 FC men, who had been held captive, shook the

rank and file of the armed forces and an unprecedented response was witnessed soon after the incident. Around 85 militants including top commanders of TTP were killed in shelling by Air Force jets. This attack was followed by more strikes and now the TTP leadership is on the run as most of its top-notch and most feared commanders have either taken refuge in Afghanistan or in villages along the Pak-Afghan border. According to sources familiar with the tribal belt, the army is speeding up efforts for an operation in NWA. The forces have blocked all routes leading to Afghanistan and there is strict focus in checking cross border infiltration and attacks. Security officials say the army is fully prepared for implementing any order by the civilian government, including a full-fledged operation. Army tanks have reached sensitive destinations, while cobra helicopters are ready for an attack from Dera Ismail Khan. Talking to Pakistan Today, Colonel (retd) Khalid Munir, a known defence analyst, said that an operation may succeed now but it could not get rid of terrorism in across country. “The situation has changed significantly and militants have moved to settled areas. Any operation may only help end terrorism by 10-20 per cent. Militants have reached other areas of the country and now it’s not a piece of cake for the government,” he added. however, the retired army officer agreed that the operation would help remove the bases of these terrorists, who have developed a huge infrastructure across the agency. “Yes, this operation may help Pakistan seal its borders, remove all the bases used by terrorists and also get rid of their training centres. But

‘Under the command of the new chief of army staff, General Raheel Sharif, the army looks determined to rout out terrorists. The incidents of beheading of 23 FC men, who had been held captive, shook the rank and file’ a massive cleanup is needed as the menace of terrorism has expanded to settled areas,” he said. he confirmed that the army had geared up its movements in the agency and troops may move anytime if the civilian government approves an operation. In order to delay the operation, Colonel Khalid said a 64-member jirga from North Waziristan also called on governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi and Corps Commander Peshawar. They requested that any impending operation be delayed. he said the jirga was led by Sher Mohammad, the grandson of a prominent tribal elder Faqir Mohammad, who had waged jihad against the British rule some seven decades back. he said the jirga requested the governor and corps commander to delay any action into NWA for at least 15 days. however, he added, that the governor and corps commander Peshawar told the jirga to expel all foreign militants from the area first. Col Khalid expressed disbelief that the jirga was not in a position to get foreign fighters expelled from the agency. on the other hand, hafiz gul Bahadur, the commander of another militant group who had recently revoked his peace treaty with the government, has also extended his

deadline for the tribal people to evacuate NWA. Initially, he had announced a 10-day deadline, which has now been extended. A curfew was clamped on Friday night and troops were asked to prepare for moving forward. however, the final decision about any operation has to be taken by the federal government, Colonel Khalid added. There are also reports that around 9,000 tribal people have already migrated to Afghanistan, where they are being hosted by the Afghan government and each is being paid a stipend of Rs3000 per month. general (retd) Talat Masood, another defence expert, said that it was Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who had to decide on the NWA operation. he said that the army was ready but the premier looked confused. “Without a nod from the civilian government, the army will not move for the operation,” he said. Asked whether the Army Chief general Raheel Sharif may take the unilateral decision for the operation, as was the case recently when he ordered troops to retaliate in NWA, general Talat Masood said that there was a huge difference between retaliatory action and a full-fledged operation. “The army chief can order unilateral retaliatory action if troops are attacked. But this does not mean he would go for an operation in the sensitive area of North Waziristan. he will never take responsibility for the operation, which may take any turn,” he said and added that the civilian leadership would have to take the responsibility itself. he also said that Nawaz Sharif was perhaps worried about possible retaliatory action by militants across the country, especially in Punjab where his party is ruling. he expressed his doubts over the

‘According to sources familiar with the tribal belt, the army is speeding up efforts for an operation in NWA. The forces have blocked all routes leading to Afghanistan and there is strict focus in checking cross border infiltration and attacks’ possibility of an army operation into NWA, stating that it seemed that the army would carry on its retaliatory action against militants. “No immediate operation is on the cards in NWA,” the retired army general added. Asked whether the uS had linked its aid to Pakistan to put further pressure for the operation, he said there was nothing new about making uS aid conditional with the operation. “This clause was invoked years ago by uS legislature. In order to make the aid possible, the uS president has to overrule the constitutional clause every year,” he said and added that Pakistan needed to decide on its own whether it wanted to get rid of terrorism or it wanted to continue with militancy. “In fact, we are facing a huge internal threat. one of the measures to get rid of this internal threat is an army operation to flush out militants. But half-hearted retaliatory actions would not do any good. You would have to get your soil cleaned of these militants once and for all,” he asserted. he said that the indecision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was proving disastrous. “Prime Minister Sharif would have to take a final decision soon as it’s already late,” concluded the retired general. g



Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014


a new chapter for human rights in South asia Building a solid mechanism for protection

Luavut Zahid Luavut Zahid writes about all the injustices she sees, whether they’re directed towards people, or the planet. She can be found writing about crisis response and disasters just as easily as she’ll pen a piece about the mistreatment of women and minorities. She can be reached at:, and she tweets at: @luavut.


owards Protection for all” are the words that started it all. The regional Initiative for south asia Human rights Mechanism, in collaboration with Bytes for all, kicked off the Forum asia in Lahore on June 9, 2014. Their main focus was simple: to address the different problems faced in trying to assure human rights for all, and to outline the many avenues that can prove to be promising in the future. Consisting of afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, sri Lanka and Maldives, the region is home to an assorted set of people. From vibrant cultures to religions that take all kinds of shapes and forms, to languages that help forge and cement these identities even further — to say that it is a mixed plate would be an understatement. despite the fact that this area has been extremely dynamic and diverse, its people have ironically always failed to accept their differences and live together with peace and harmony. It’s dire time that steps be taken to address some of the more crucial problems because this area is also home to a quarter of the world’s population. Marginalised groups, including women, children, and religious and sexual minorities are constantly under threat and have trouble getting by. The role played by SAARC The Forum asia conference highlighted the origins and involvement of the south asian association for regional Cooperation (saarC) in the region. saarC has functioned under the guidelines provided by the Non-aligned Movement and the Charter of the United Nations since 1985. In terms of


human rights it has tried to play a role in helping tackle prostitution, augmenting child welfare, promoting democratic systems, and combating issues related to drugs, food security, health issues, etc. In particular the saarC social Charter reinforced that there’s a great need for the different countries to band together and promote freedom and fundamental human rights. south asia is currently losing to Europe, americas, south East asia and even africa and arab states when it comes to the protection and promotion of human rights. To put this into perspective: the situation in south asia is worse than arab states, this should be taken into context with the fact that only recently saudi arabia declared freethinkers terrorists through legislation. It’s high time that the region developed a proper policy to deal with the gap in terms of human rights. There needs to be a coherent mechanism put into place that ensures that human rights are guaranteed for all irrespective of their cast, creed, religion, language, etc. all biases and prejudices need to be tackled in a systematic manner so that they are significantly reduced and curbed at some point. Not only will this lead to greater

‘Despite the fact that this area has been extremely dynamic and diverse, its people have ironically always failed to accept their differences and live together with peace and harmony. It’s dire time that steps be taken to address some of the more crucial problems because this area is also home to a quarter of the world’s population’ peace and stability in the region but it will also result in great social and economic benefits in the long run as well. The main problem Under the regional Initiative for south asia Human rights Mechanism, a forum has been developed for sub-regional cooperation and consultations. The first session took place during 2010 and it was soon followed by another one in the subsequent year. The forum puts together minds from the civil society that are focused on trying to figure

‘Human rights advocates are routinely persecuted and routinely perish. Within Pakistan we’ve seen countless people fall victim to the tyranny and suppression of those that cannot understand or tolerate a more liberal point of view, one which supports human rights for all. Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti are the obvious names that come to mind because of their stance against the blasphemy law, and it is the same law that resulted in the death of Rashid Rehman simply because he chose to defend someone accused of the crime’ out what leads to the disparity of respect and dignity in these societies along with possible measures that can be taken to bring the same societies out of their detrimental condition. It was research undertaken by the regional Initiative that helped outline the commonalities in between these different nations. Not only do several of the countries involved suffer from severe paranoia and distrust in terms of their neighbours and other south asian members, there’s also a huge problem of communities within the nations not getting along at all. The common identities and challenges were outlined by afrasiab Khattak who focused on peace, security, democratic development and governance. This was followed by I a rahman, General secretary of HrCP, who talked about human rights in south asian states. and the final piece of the puzzle was added by Professor rashool Bakhsh raees when he elaborated on the saarC initiative and the potential for building peace and strengthening democracy. Through their presentations the common string amongst these countries ties them together through terrorism, illiteracy, poverty, inequality, unemployment, extremism, marginalisation of minorities, violence against women, misogyny and homophobia. The workshop also introduced regional mechanisms and the regional initiative on a south asian mechanism for human rights. Following which dr Mizanur rahman, Chairperson National Human rights Commission, Bangladesh, spoke about the linkages between national and regional protection systems. His analysis looked into common grounds which could prove to be useful. This was followed by Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson National Commission on the status of women, Pakistan, and his demonstration on how a national protection system for women should pan out, along with the kind of expectations we should hold from a regional human rights mechanism for

it to be successful. Muhammad Tehseen offered a different take by allowing the audience to get a better idea of a human rights defender’s perspective. Human rights advocates are routinely persecuted and routinely perish. within Pakistan we’ve seen countless people fall victim to the tyranny and suppression of those that cannot understand or tolerate a more liberal point of view, one which supports human rights for all. salmaan Taseer and shahbaz Bhatti are the obvious names that come to mind because of their stance against the blasphemy law, and it is the same law that resulted in the death of rashid rehman simply because he chose to defend someone accused of the crime. south asia is additionally plagued with trans-border human rights violations. In the context of India and Pakistan this has led to many fisherman losing their lives or simply ending up in the other country’s jail with no recourse or resource to help them. while India is fast on the track to development, it’s progress is resulting in massive chaos when it comes to climate change for all the nations involved, including Pakistan that only ranks at the 135th spot. The link is clear The event further outlined the role of international human rights systems in promoting human rights and democracy as presented by dr ali Qizlibash which was followed by Gayatri Khandhadai’s presentation on which regional mechanisms are currently working, and how different models can lead to long term benefits. Be it their problems or their progress, these countries are, simply put, tied together for better or for worse. what this basically means is that working together is the only way out for them when it comes to the problems they’re facing in terms of their environment, economics and their societies. The UN can only do so much because of the proximity problems it faces in terms of not just distance but also context. Given all these problems it’s the need of the hour to develop a system under which these countries can come together. domestic institutions cannot deal with the problems that have such a multifaceted air to them. and international institutions cannot sweep in and save the day simply by making a declaration that no one wants to adhere to (case in point: Kashmir resolution which is yet to be conducted). when the problems are this intertwined, the solutions will also have to follow the same route. regional mechanisms will prove to be the main ingredient in ensuring that this doesn’t turn into a half-baked situation. g


Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014


Oppressed, they name is woman True for Pakistan at least


by Mb

he Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s population currently stands at around 180 million people. Out of those 180 million people, 47.5% are female. 70 to 90% of that 47.5% population suffers abuse at the hands of men and a solidly patriarchal society of Pakistan.

fundamental rights listed in the 1973 constitution. Post-Zia, gender-bias became a legality-free area. It has been a long uphill ride since then. With the onset of Pervez Musharraf’s government, there were some fairly liberal reforms seen in the overall structure of Pakistani society, but clearly politicians have more pressing agendas than stopping acid attacks on women.

There are no legal safeguards that protect this gross number of people from the litany of abuses (acid attacks, underage marriages, genital mutilation, and honour killings). There are no laws in place for domestic abuse. Marital rape is not considered a crime under the Constitution of Pakistan. On 29 January, 2010, President Zardari signed the ‘Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill 2009’. In addition, more bills were passed, making acid attacks, vani, watta-satta, swara and marriage to Holy Quran as criminal acts. The battle for women’s rights is far from over. Men keep finding new and creative ways to work around the laws. They indulge in genital mutilation and shaving of the head or eyebrows to humiliate women. A mob in Sialkot dragged a 60-year-old woman and shaved her head for apostasy. Blasphemy laws are clear-cut and simple and have no leeway. So if someone is ‘inconvenienced’ by a woman, it is that simple to accuse them of blasphemy and have them hanged or arrested or have them humiliated in the multifarious ways they see fit. There are no definitive laws in place for such barbaric acts and attitudes. There are also no tangible land or property rights for women — most assets are controlled by men, by virtue of culture and some religious safeguards. Interestingly, Pakistan considers blasphemy and accessing YouTube a crime. Also interestingly, the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and High Courts of Pakistan does not extend to certain areas, according to Article 247 and Article 248, under the existing 1973 Constitution. That means that you can beat and rape a woman in your household without penance. You can also have a piece of state where the laws don’t apply. But you cannot access YouTube or exercise freedom of thought or fly kites.

In 2009, PPP’s Domestic Violence Protection Bill passed the National Assembly but failed to pass in the Senate. The Council of Islamic Ideology objected, saying it will ‘increase divorces’. Of course a lot of the legal problems (including the CII itself) are a product of the Zia era. Gender equality was specifically guaranteed in 1973 constitution – but Zia banned women from participating and being spectators of sports and promoted ‘purdah’. He suspended

Gallup reveals no improving insight, even though literacy rates are improving. 63% Pakistanis agreed, according to Gallup, that a boy’s education is more important than a girl’s.

67% think men are better politicians than women. Sadly, 82% of women respondents believed that prosperous women should raise their voices to support the rights of poor women.

Is there an end in sight? Is Pakistan going to move towards a better future for women? Perhaps, we can only hope. Perhaps we can look up to these beautiful women who have continued to give us hope that if women raise their voice, if they are not silenced by the men who want to oppress and dictate their futures, they will receive just as many opportunities to thrive and they will prove that they are just as capable to succeed as any man in any country.

From L-R Hina Rabbani Khar – Pakistan’s first female foreign minister Kishwer Naheed – a literary giant among men in her time Mukhtara Mai – rape survivor and female rights’ activist Marvi Memon – politician and businesswoman Shaista Ikramullah – politician, diplomat and author Perveen Rehman – social activist (murdered in 2013) Nusrat Bhutto – politician, wife of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Noor Jehan – prominent singer and actress Abida Perveen – folk singer, lauded for qawwalis and sufi songs Asma Jahangir – lawyer, female rights’ activist. Ismat Chughtai – author and outspoken feminist Benazir Bhutto – first female PM of a Muslim country Sana Mir – captain of Pakistan’s women cricket team Naseem Hameed – marathon runner Rana Liaquat Ali Khan – forerunner in Pakistan movement Maryam Nawaz Sharif – chairperson PM’s Youth Programme Fehmida Mirza – first female Speaker National Assembly Malala Yousafzai – survived Taliban attack, education rights’ activist Perveen Shakir — poetess Nasira Iqbal – ex-High Court justice Tehmina Daultana — politician Majida Rizvi – lawyer, human rights’ activist Fatima Jinnah — politician Sherry Rehman – diplomat Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy – Oscar winning documentary filmmaker 09


IntervIew: Dr AyeshA sIDDIqA

The military’s millions Making sense of their priorities By ShahaB Jafry


ew outside the military understand its working system’s nuts and bolts, especially its financial mechanism, better than Dr Ayesha Siddiqa. Her bestseller, Military Inc, found few admirers in the forces, but none of the numerous challenges to its authenticity could hold ground, and she remains an acknowledged expert on the subject. And since she’s also an active political and social commentator, and occasionally contributes

‘This is right up her alley. Surely if they are firing more bullets and bombs and flying more sorties than peace time, their cash flow would increase manifold. And the coalition support funds and foreign military aid packages notwithstanding, would they not really need more from the budget? They go on about it long enough’ comments to our features, we turn to her to make sense of the military’s present position. This is immediately post-Karachi (airport attack). The world on the street is that the army is out for blood. But the government, and its right leaning friends and foes, might still want to talk. There is urgent need to end the insurgency, one way or the other. People are dying, security is terrible, and the economy is suffering. It is the last feature that we want to talk to her about. Now, it’s no secret that wars wreck


economies – businesses shut down, capital flies, investors run away, etc. But what about the military? How do its investments change in wartime? This is right up her alley. Surely if they are firing more bullets and bombs and flying more sorties than peace time, their cash flow would increase manifold. And the coalition support funds and foreign military aid packages notwithstanding, would they not really need more from the budget? They go on about it long enough. “Their accounting process is very fuzzy”, she says, not too impressed by it, apparently. “Cost calculation in the military is a very complicated process. And more often than not these figures can be stretched to mean a lot of things”. while calculating expenses, for example, it is difficult to know where to draw the line in some cases. You can never tell, she explains, if some numbers owe really to war on terror related losses, lack of governance, or pure corruption. Very wrong priorities It doesn’t help that the military remains a conventional behemoth, whereas the needs of counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare of the 21st century variety requires a different kind of outlook and way of functioning. The cost structure is further confounded by military’s sense of priorities, especially regarding hardware. Talking about F-16 imports from Jordan she sites military research regarding insurgencies in Vietnam, Korea, east Pakistan, etc, concluding that ultimately tanks and aircraft have very limited value in COIN operations. Considering our own example in FATA, she says the F-16 is a multipurpose dog-fight, air superiority aircraft. But its advanced features are of very little

value in waziristan, for example, where our biggest present threat comes from. “For our purposes, the JF-17 thunder serves the purpose adequately, so why must such huge investments be made?” she says, before explaining where the money is better spent. “For COIN, a different structure needs to be put in place. Investments need to be geared towards police and paramilitaries. But we have seen no such investment in the last 14-15 years”. Conventional militaries are meant to counter an enemy fighting a traditional war. For insurgencies, a very different

‘Considering our own example in FATA, she says the F-16 is a multipurpose dog-fight, air superiority aircraft. But its advanced features are of very little value in Waziristan, for example, where our biggest present threat comes from’ approach is needed. And unless the military transforms itself, especially its spending priorities, it will continue wasting a big bulk of its budget money. eventually it will put more undue burden on the development budget? Karachi, Waziristan, etc At a time when the Karachi attack is all the rage in the local and foreign press for its audacity –country’s largest, busiest airport, investment loss – she takes it as a routine matter. But wasn’t it a slap on the face of a government staking its position on talking to the Taliban? “when have they not slapped?” she asks, almost

surprised that I think so. “And what was so special about Karachi? It was not a particularly extraordinary operation on their part. The Mehran base and GHQ attacks were far more audacious”. There is a lot of sense in that argument. Back then the hits were not only fiercer, they were also a bigger bolt from the blue, a surprise that militants are acquiring such strength. But now the surprise factor is gone. The fact that bomb blasts and suicide hits can occur anytime, anywhere is now part of the national psyche. And again, if you ask her, it’s not that those who should do something about it have not done anything. It is that they have used their energies in very wrong, nonproductive enterprises. The militant threat is no longer at a point where it can be controlled by public gestures like dialogue, or even threat of military action. Going forward, she says, the common sense approach is to clean up the Punjab and Sindh heartland, which is now teeming with hardline militants. And, of course, many are not just tolerated, but still supported by agencies. ”Here’s an example”, she says. “Suppose you need to guard your house. You put a magic lock on the front door, then pile up furniture against it just for good measure. But you leave the back door wide open. Is that smart security?” Again, I’m unable to disagree. So, the way I understand her so far, a pragmatic way forward should be investing out of a more bulky to a more agile fighting force, bolster police and paramilitary and clean up militant proxies in Punjab and Sindh? But what about the military smelling blood? what about chatter that a unilateral operation might be closer than we think? “Nonsense”, she says. “what makes you think that the army

wants an all out operation there? If it did you would have seen it some time ago. So far it has engaged in limited strikes, and lost its own men also”. Rather than thinking in terms of a sweep, she believes the army’s energies are better spent in reprioritising its strategies and calculations. “For example, non-state actors should really not be employed in matters of foreign policy”, she says, referring to Hafiz Saeed going active when the prime minister visited India recently.

‘So, the way I understand her so far, a pragmatic way forward should be investing out of a more bulky to a more agile fighting force, bolster police and paramilitary and clean up militant proxies in Punjab and Sindh? But what about the military smelling blood? What about chatter that a unilateral operation might be closer than we think?’ “He is clearly their boy. And he was clearly used for a reason”. Going by her take, then, it is not just the cost structure of the military that is riddled with loopholes. Its way of functioning, too, has lagged behind both modern day demands and Pakistan’s own particular situation. Spending priorities must improve, of course, but so must the army’s way of doing business. And the old method when the Deep State employed proxies and ran militias can no longer do. g


Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014 11


Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014


Can pakistan ever accept its mistakes? It wasn’t me

Fraudian slip

The author felt like blaming the readers for this article. Yes, it’s your fault. You can let the author know it’s actually someone else’s fault at:


he frequency with which a Pakistani will happily shift the blame off of their shoulders and apply it elsewhere is quite a feat in itself. From our failed exams to our status as a nation stuck in perpetual almost failed status — it’s never us, it’s always someone else. What prompts Pakistanis to become obsessed with playing the victim is beyond all logical and normal capacity. When a child is young and falls ill the first thing a

mother comes up with is “it’s an evil eye”. Which is true because people actually carry germs of envy within their eyelashes, so anytime you see someone blinking really fast around your babies, be afraid, moms, be very afraid. When the baby grows a little older and become a young adult, the same mother is found lamenting numerous things. When the child misbehaves he/she could be like the father, or the dadi, or a number of relatives that the mother isn’t quite fond of. It can be the entire planet’s fault but her own that her ward acts like Satan’s spawn most days of the week. “Haaye, kis par chala gaya hai ye?” Well, ladies, the answer could be: you. Yes, the likelihood is that since you’re the person responsible for a child’s primary socialisation, the child is acting precisely the way you do. But it doesn’t stop there, does it? And it isn’t really restricted to mothers or their children. You get passed over for a job? It’s a woman’s fault who wooed the boss. You weren’t able to finish a project on time, it’s obviously the electricity’s fault and not yours (despite the fact that you should’ve known how to plan around a power crisis). Your shoe broke while you were walking on the road? Blame the sun and the heat for ridding your shoe of its essential glue. We will spend hours, days, months and years, countless moments in absolute terror, wondering where and when someone will strike. We have no way of saving ourselves from the agony and horror caused by people who want to do us wrong. We’d rather not accept that perhaps we are lazy, idiotic and refuse to take initiative. It is because we are incapable of handling our own mess that we continuously fall into the traps set by other countries, the neighbour’s buri nazar, and any other

‘What prompts Pakistanis to become obsessed with playing the victim is beyond all logical and normal capacity. When a child is young and falls ill the first thing a mother comes up with is “it’s an evil eye”. Which is true because people actually carry germs of envy within their eyelashes, so anytime you see someone blinking really fast around your babies, be afraid, moms, be very afraid’ grand conspiracy we can come up with. The most ironic example of this is the recent attack on Karachi. Two different TTP factions have come forward and taken responsibility for the things they’ve done. They’ve clearly outlined their motives i.e., to avenge hakimullah Mehsud’s death and to make a statement against the strikes in Waziristan. however, accepting that the TTP is the clear-cut culprit isn’t as easy as we’d like to think. For instance, if we admit that yes, the TTP really do hate us enough to try and destroy everything in this country, we’ll then need to look at why. While we’re

examining the why of the situation, we’ll obviously come across the fact that we as a nation helped give birth to the TTP. And once we do that we’ll have to own up to the fact that Pakistan doesn’t always play nice, it isn’t always (and mostly never) the victim, and that it has a longstanding role in the destruction of a neighbouring country (nope, not India, the other neighbour). When we’re faced with cases of violence against women we don’t skip a beat before pointing fingers at India. “At least we don’t hang out girls from trees” comes a reply. We do however bludgeon them with bricks till they die. A couple of days from now people will be talking about how the TTP is ruining everything for Pakistan, about how this nation of innocent monkeys is being targeted repeatedly. how the international community thinks we’re only about violence and terrorism, while we’re not, truly. It would be brilliant if those people could explain how they always get away with saying “it wasn’t me” so very often. Why does the responsibility end once you’re done ensuring that the world knows that you in specific aren’t a terrorist/chauvinist/murderer/psychopath ? What about the growing number of cases, sans TTP memorabilia, that prove that Pakistan is precisely what the world thinks it is: an unsafe place for anything that can be called human. g

‘If we admit that yes, the TTP really do hate us enough to try and destroy everything in this country, we’ll then need to look at why. While we’re examining the why of the situation, we’ll obviously come across the fact that we as a nation helped give birth to the TTP’

The goat and the shepherd there’s a woodpecker, wolf and bear as well


ver the recent past there has been (almost) unanimous consensus that roger Federer is the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) in tennis. records of 17 major titles, 302 weeks as world number one and many others are flaunted to present Federer’s case as the GOAT. everything seemed well wrapped up and in the pocket until the goat met the shepherd: rafael Nadal. Last Sunday Nadal won his 14 th major title at roland Garros and is three short of Federer now. he also leads the overall ATP Masters 1000 titles with 27; Federer has 21. Nadal also has an Olympic Gold medal and four Davis Cup titles to Federer’s zero each. Most crucially for the goat-shepherd rivalry, the Spaniard has beaten the Swiss 23 times in their 33 meetings and has won 9 of their 11 Grand Slam meetings. The goat’s “goatness”


comes into serious question here. Furthermore, it needs to be considered that most of Federer’s 302 weeks as world number 1 and 17 major titles came between 2003 and 2007, where his toughest competition was Andy roddick, Lleyton hewitt, Marat Safin, an aging Andre Agassi and a teenaged Nadal, who was still finding his feet outside clay. Case in point: A much improved Andy roddick barely clung on to the top ten after 2008, while he won a major and was the World Number One in 2003. The shepherd meanwhile has had to deal with the goat throughout his career, not to mention the likes of Novak Djokovic (Woodpecker) and Andy Murray (Wolf). The goat has a losing head to head record against the wolf, and might have one against the woodpecker as well once his career is done. With Wimbledon coming up next Sunday, the tournament has a lot of bearing on not only the goatness and shepherdness, but also the peckerness and wolfness of tennis. especially since pecker now has Becker, and has been without a major for a year and a half. The wolf is the defending champion. The shepherd’s nine French Open titles seem to skew his number towards clay (but apparently the goat’s nine hard

court majors don’t). A third Wimbledon title would make Nadal the only man in the history of the sport to win at least three majors on all three surfaces. Four of the woodpecker’s six majors have come Down Under. Although a title at roland Garros to complete a career grand slam is what he really craves, he would need majors elsewhere as well, to bolster his credentials as one of the all time greats of tennis. The wolf would want to add to his two major titles and a third would put him among the contemporary best players. A successful Wimbledon defence would give him three out of the recent eight majors, with three other held by the shepherd, one each by the woodpecker and bear (Stan Wawrinka). The bear would want to prove that he is not a one slam wonder, and that he can be successful on surfaces other than hard and clay as

well. A Wimbledon triumph for the bear would maybe see him usurp the goat’s place in a new Big Four of tennis. For the goat, this might just be the last chance to add to his record major titles. A win over the shepherd en route to Wimbledon title might put the GOAT debate to bed. 18 majors might be too many for the shepherd to chase down. A win for the shepherd, though,

would make his case even stronger. 18-14 or 17-15, those are the numbers we are looking at in case of a goat or a shepherd win respectively. g The writer runs a Facebook page called I Hate Federer and has never picked a tennis raquet in his life. All side effects of reading The Horizontal Column are the readers’ own headache.


Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014

satire: Captioned

Where on earth did you pull out all those numbers from?

I have absolutely no idea

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets Finance Minister Ishaq Dar following the budget announcement for next fiscal year.

14 Grand Slam titles. Zero toothpaste advertisements.

We were involved in the Karachi airport attack. And no, we are not funded by India. Will someone please believe me?

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah addresses a press conference following the Karachi airport attack.

I can’t believe, with all the armed forces, Boko Haram still continues to terrorise Nigeria

You, tall boy in white, why aren’t you repeating after me?

Taliban are our enemy

Taliban are our enemy

Touché! True. How are the negotiations with TTP going by the way?


Taliban are our enemy Taliban are our enemy

Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain with Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. 13


The age of bombs

Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014


The evolution of terrorism BasharaT hussain QizilBash The writer is an academic and journalist. He can be reached at


errorism is the buzzword in the world because a wave of terror has swept from America to Asia and Africa for quite a while now. This is not the first wave of terror; in fact, there have been quite a few. However, with the motives of terrorists being highly complex, it has been difficult to even agree to a universally accepted definition of terrorism. The history of terrorism is often traced to Jewish terror groups ‘Zealots’ and ‘sicarii’, which tried to liberate the Promised Land of Palestine from the roman yoke in the first century AD, whereas, the earliest use of the term ‘terrorism’ is associated with the Jacobin rule (1793-94) during the French revolution, when robespierre and his associates let loose a ‘reign of Terror’ throughout France. surprisingly, modern terror of “guns and bombs” as we know it, today, started in the third quarter of the nineteenth century, ironically, with the rise of the ideas of democracy and nationalism. incidentally, this period also coincided with the heyday of naked capitalism and colonialism in europe, causing some thinkers such as Karl marx and Nicolai Bakunin to demand active participation of masses in the political governance. As the european ruling classes refused to reform, the marxists began to advocate the use of violent means to overthrow the rotten political order in europe. By the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century two broad strategies adopted by the terrorists came to the fore. one group advocated the formation of a small elite band of revolutionaries, who would be willing to risk their lives by attempting to assassinate individual economic and political personalities in the capitalist countries to ignite the necessary spark for the working classes to start popular revolutions. The other group disagreed because it felt that the initiation of popular revolutions could result in largescale bloodshed; instead it thought that the existing oppressive governments could be overthrown just by the selective killing of kings, prime ministers, etc. Consequently, the russian Czar Alexander ii, the empress of Austria-Hungary, the italian King Umberto, the French President Carnot, a British secretary of


state for ireland, etc were murdered by terrorists to bring about the political change. in the process, the russian Czardom became the worst target of terrorists which can be imagined from the fact that just one of its regions witnessed three thousand acts of terror in the year 1907. Probably no one country has witnessed so much terror in one year as did Czarist russia in 1907; nonetheless, it cannot be denied that terrorism has terrorised much more people and states in our time than any other time in history. The question arises whether there is any possible solution to this hydra-headed menace or not? statesmen and politicians, particularly in the West argue that if states become democratic in the true sense of the word then the terroristic tendencies cannot grow. This argument is based on the assumption that terrorism grows as a reaction to authoritarianism in which difference of opinion is silenced through coercion, leaving no room for dissenters except to resort to terror tactics to make their voices heard. Hence, the need of a democratic culture which allows openness, tolerates difference of opinion, ensures civil liberties and furnishes peaceful ways and means for human expression of all hues. in other words, democracy is touted as an antidote to terrorism. in Pakistan, this approach was articulated by Bilawal Bhutto, the young co-Chairman of the PPP, who, in the aftermath of the tragic assassination of his mother Benazir Bhutto at the hands of terrorists said, “Democracy is the best revenge”. other leaders in the world, especially in the West, also strongly feel that democracy is the best answer to terrorism and that is why there have been worldwide calls of “democracy promotion” and “regime change” against those states which are considered to be authoritarian and oppressive. it seems as if there is an intriguing relationship between terrorism and democracy which has been investigated in great detail by Professor Leonard Weinberg of the University of Nevada in his groundbreaking research entitled, “Democracy and terrorism—friend or foe”. According to the noted scholar, samuel Huntington, the modern world has so far witnessed three waves of democracy in which large number of countries turned from nondemocratic to democratic rule: 1828 to 1926, 1943 to 1962 and 1974 to date. interestingly, all these waves of democracy have been also accompanied by corresponding waves of terrorism. With a few exceptions, the countries that emerged as democratic polities also became frequent victims of terrorism - the primary thrust of which was to bring about bloody revolutions meant to topple the capitalist system and the bourgeois state.

Historically, the terrorists before World War i were mostly the leftwingers, however, between the two World Wars, the terrorists turned out to be largely the rightwingers such as the ones in Japan, who resorted to wide scale killing of democratic politicians including a prime minister, who, the terrorists felt were an obstruction in Japan’s imperial ambitions in China and east Asia. it was such right-wing terrorists whose violent actions also undermined the italian democracy and ushered in an era of fascism in the1920s. The second wave of democracy heralded an era of national independence movements for the peoples of Asia, Africa and the middle east from the colonial subjugation of Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. This wave for democratic selfdetermination witnessed terror campaigns by ‘nationalist terrorists’ such as the mau-mau in Kenya, the eDKA in Cyprus, the irgun and LeHi in israel against Britain whereas the National Liberation Front (FLN) in Algeria and the Viet minh in indo- China resorted to terrorism against the French imperialists. it was during this second wave of democracy that the world witnessed in what Walter Laqueur’s phraseology is called ‘the age of terrorism.’ This terrorism has been mind-boggling in the sense that not only the terrorists attacked governments but also fought pitched battles among themselves. Unlike the past waves of terror which had a clear pattern of objectives, there is no discerning pattern of causes in ‘the age of terrorism.’ The terrorists operating in different countries and regions have had

varied motives. The Palestinian groups resorted to terror to bring the Palestinian issue to limelight. other areas of the middle east saw the growth of religiously motivated groups, which advocated the use of militant means against all those, who did not subscribe to their brand of ideology. These groups targeted governments, fellow countrymen as well as foreign governments. such groups were also instrumental in the proliferation of trans-national terrorism. in south and east Asia, the motivation for terror acts has been either ethnicity, regional separatism or religious extremism. Combined together, this terrorism weakened the governments of the day. Although there is no example in which the terrorists took over the state nonetheless in some cases such as Turkey, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, they did create enough chaos to undermine democracy and facilitate military take-overs. Another eye-opener of this research is the fact that over seventy percent of the terrorist attacks that have occurred around the world between 1970 and 2010 targeted those countries that had democratic governments including Britain, Us, india, etc. Yet another paradox of terror-democracy relationship is the so-called ‘Arab spring’ of 2011 that was greeted with great enthusiasm by both the champions of democracy in the West as well as the Qaeda leaders, who are the key promoters of terrorism. Does this mean that democratic states are soft targets for terrorists? The findings of researches in this regard have produced conflicting results for different regions. The

‘According to the noted scholar, Samuel Huntington, the modern world has so far witnessed three waves of democracy in which large number of countries turned from non-democratic to democratic rule: 1828 to 1926, 1943 to 1962 and 1974 to date. Interestingly, all these waves of democracy have been also accompanied by corresponding waves of terrorism’

Norwegian political scientist Jan oskar engene while analysing the acts of terror in the West european countries between 1950 and 2000 concluded that “terrorism does not seem to be positively related with freedom. it is not the countries with the highest level of freedom that get the highest levels of terrorism. rather terrorism seems to be related to lower levels of freedom.” A somewhat similar research was conducted by James Piazza across nineteen middle eastern countries. To his enquiry that “Will promoting democracy in the middle east reduce terrorism, both within middle eastern countries and among countries that are the potential targets of middle eastern- based terrorists groups?”, the answer is a big ‘No’. Professor Weinberg also highlights that the argument that strong authoritarian rule results in terrorism is actually untrue and cites three cases in support of his assertion. one, there is no domestic terrorism in North Korea. Two, there was very little internal terrorism in saddam’s iraq whereas under a democratic system this country is being torn apart by terrorist violence. Three, the erstwhile soviet Union under the iron grip of stalin experienced no terrorism from private groups but the situation is quite the opposite there since its disintegration in 1991. Having studied terrorism’s relationship with democracy and authoritarianism, i think it is difficult to derive a general principle for its containment because different people in different parts of the world react differently to democracy and authoritarianism. The above mentioned analyses with regard to Western europe and the middle east have clearly highlighted this anomaly. The remarks of Norwegian scholar Tore Bjorgo that strong governments whether democratic or authoritarian are less susceptible to terrorism than weak regimes seems a realistic option to tackle terrorists. g


Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014


At the 'End of History' still stands democracy The problem in today's world isn't just that authoritarian powers are on the move but that many existing democracies aren't doing well either

FrancIs Fukuyama


Wall Street Journal

wenty-five years ago, i wrote the essay "the end of History?" for a small journal called the national interest. it was the spring of 1989, and for those of us who had been caught up in the big political and ideological debates of the Cold war, it was an incredible moment. the piece appeared a few months before the fall of the Berlin wall, right about the time that pro-democracy protests were taking place in Beijing's tiananmen Square and in the midst of a wave of democratic transitions in eastern europe, Latin America, Asia and subSaharan Africa. i argued that History (in the grand philosophical sense) was turning out very differently from what thinkers on the left had imagined. the process of economic and political modernisation was leading not to communism, as the Marxists had asserted and the Soviet Union had avowed, but to some form of liberal democracy and a market economy. History, i wrote, appeared to culminate in liberty: elected governments, individual rights, an economic system in which capital and labour circulated with relatively modest state oversight. Looking back at that essay from the present moment, let's begin with an obvious point: the year 2014 feels very different from 1989. Russia is a menacing electoral authoritarian regime fuelled by petrodollars, seeking to bully its neighbours and take back territories lost when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. China remains authoritarian but now has the second-largest economy in the world, as well as its own territorial ambitions in the South and east China Seas. As the foreign-policy analyst walter Russell Mead recently wrote, old-fashioned geopolitics has returned big time, and global stability is being threatened at both ends of eurasia. the problem in today's world isn't just that authoritarian powers are on the move but that many existing democracies aren't doing well either. take thailand, whose frayed political fabric gave way last month to a military coup, or Bangladesh, whose system remains in thrall to two corrupt political

machines. Many countries that seemed to have made successful democratic transitions—turkey, Sri Lanka, nicaragua—have been backsliding into authoritarian practices. Others, including recent additions to the european Union like Romania and Bulgaria, are still plagued by corruption. And then there are the developed democracies. Both the U.S. and the european Union experienced severe financial crises in the past decade, which meant anaemic growth and high unemployment, especially for young people. though the U.S. economy has now started to expand again, the benefits haven't been evenly shared, and the country's polarised and partisan political system hardly seems a shining example for other democracies. So has my end-of-history hypothesis been proven wrong, or if not wrong, in need of serious revision? i believe that the underlying idea remains essentially correct, but i also now understand many things about the nature of political development that i saw less clearly during the heady days of 1989. when observing broad historical trends, it is important not to get carried away by shortterm developments. the hallmark of a durable political system is its long-term sustainability, not its performance in any given decade. Let's consider, to begin with, how dramatically economic and political systems have changed over the last two generations. On the economic front, the world economy saw a massive increase in output, roughly quadrupling between the early 1970s and the financial crisis of 2007-08. though the crisis was a large setback, levels of prosperity throughout the world have increased massively and on all continents. this has come about because the world has been knit together in a liberal system of trade and investment. even in communist countries such as China and vietnam, market rules and competition dominate. Huge changes have taken place in the political sphere as well. in 1974, according to the Stanford University democracy expert Larry Diamond, there were only about 35 electoral democracies, which represented something less than 30% of the world's countries. By 2013, that number had expanded to about 120, or more than 60% of the total. the emergence of a marketbased global economic order and the spread of democracy are clearly linked. Democracy has always rested on a broad middle class, and the ranks of prosperous, property-holding citizens have ballooned everywhere in the past generation. wealthier, bettereducated populations are typically much more demanding of their governments—and because they pay taxes, they feel entitled to hold public officials accountable. Many of the world's most stubborn bastions of authoritarianism are oil-rich states such as Russia, venezuela or the regimes in the

Persian Gulf, where the "resource curse," as it has been called, gives the government enormous revenues from a source other than the people themselves. even granting the ability of oilrich autocrats to resist change, we have since 2005 witnessed what Dr. Diamond calls a global "democratic recession." According to freedom House, which publishes widely used measures of political and civil liberties, there has been a decline in both the number and the quality of democracies (integrity of elections, freedom of the press, etc.) over the past eight consecutive years. But let's put this democratic recession in perspective: while we may worry about authoritarian trends in Russia, thailand or nicaragua, all of these countries were unambiguous dictatorships in the 1970s. Despite those thrilling revolutionary days in Cairo's tahrir Square in 2011, the Arab Spring doesn't look like it will yield a real democracy anywhere but the country where it started, tunisia. Still, it is likely to mean more responsive Arab politics over the long haul. expectations that this would happen quickly were extremely unrealistic. we forget that following the revolutions of 1848— europe's "Springtime of Peoples"—democracy took another 70 years to consolidate. in the realm of ideas, moreover, liberal democracy still doesn't have any real competitors. vladimir Putin's Russia and the ayatollahs' iran pay homage to democratic ideals even as they trample them in practice. why else bother to hold sham referendums on "self-determination" in eastern Ukraine? Some radicals in the Middle east may dream of restoring an islamist caliphate, but this isn't the choice of the vast majority of people living in Muslim countries. the only system out there that would appear to be at all competitive with liberal democracy is the so-called "China model," which mixes authoritarian government with a partially market-based economy and a high level of technocratic and technological competence. yet if asked to bet whether, 50 years from now, the U.S. and europe would look more like China politically or vice versa, i would pick the latter without hesitation. there are many reasons to think that the China model isn't sustainable. the system's legitimacy and the party's ongoing rule rest on continued high levels of growth, which simply won't be forthcoming as China seeks to make the transition from a middle-income country to a high-income one. My end-of-history hypothesis was never intended to be deterministic or a simple prediction of liberal democracy's inevitable triumph around the world. Democracies survive and succeed only because people are willing to fight for the rule of law, human rights and political accountability. Such societies depend on leadership,

organisational ability and sheer good luck. the biggest single problem in societies aspiring to be democratic has been their failure to provide the substance of what people want from government: personal security, shared economic growth and the basic public services (especially education, health care and infrastructure) that are needed to achieve individual opportunity. Proponents of democracy focus, for understandable reasons, on limiting the powers of tyrannical or predatory states. But they don't spend as much time thinking about how to govern effectively. they are, in woodrow wilson's phrase, more interested in "controlling than in energising government." this was the failure of the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, which toppled viktor yanukovych for the first time. the leaders who came to power through those protests—viktor yushchenko and yulia tymoshenko—wasted their energy on internal squabbling and shady deals. Had an effective democratic administration come to power, cleaning up corruption in Kiev and making the state's institutions more trustworthy, the government might have established its legitimacy across Ukraine, including the Russian-speaking east, long before Mr. Putin was strong enough to interfere. instead, the democratic forces discredited themselves and paved the way for Mr yanukovych's return in 2010, thus setting the stage for the tense, bloody standoff of recent months. india has been held back by a similar gap in performance when compared with authoritarian China. it is very impressive that india has held together as a democracy since its founding in 1947. But indian democracy, like sausage-making, doesn't look very appealing on closer inspection. the system is rife with corruption and patronage; 34% of the winners of india's recent elections have criminal indictments pending against them, according to india's Association for Democratic Reforms, including serious charges like murder, kidnapping and sexual assault. the rule of law exists in india, but it is so slow and ineffective that many plaintiffs die before their cases come to trial. the indian Supreme Court has a backlog of more than 60,000 cases, according to the Hindustan times. Compared with autocratic China, the world's largest democracy has been completely hamstrung in its ability to provide modern infrastructure or basic services such as clean water, electricity or basic education to its population. in some indian states, 50% of schoolteachers fail to show up for work, according to the economist and activist Jean Drèze. narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist with a troubling past of tolerating antiMuslim violence, has just been elected prime minister by an impressive majority in the hope

that he will somehow cut through all the blather of routine indian politics and actually get something done. Americans, more than other people, often fail to understand the need for effective government, focusing instead on the constraint of authority. in 2003, the George w Bush administration seemed to believe that democratic government and a marketoriented economy would spontaneously emerge in iraq once the U.S. had eliminated Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. it didn't understand that these arise from the interaction of complex institutions—political parties, courts, property rights, shared national identity—that have evolved in developed democracies over many decades, even centuries. twenty-five years later, the most serious threat to the end-ofhistory hypothesis isn't that there is a higher, better model out there that will someday supersede liberal democracy; neither islamist theocracy nor Chinese capitalism cuts it. Once societies get on the up escalator of industrialisation, their social structure begins to change in ways that increase demands for political participation. if political elites accommodate these demands, we arrive at some version of democracy. A second problem that i did not address 25 years ago is that of political decay, which constitutes a down escalator. All institutions can decay over the long run. they are often rigid and conservative; rules responding to the needs of one historical period aren't necessarily the right ones when external conditions change. the natural human tendency to reward family and friends operates in all political systems, causing liberties to deteriorate into privileges. in these circumstances, the rich tend to get richer not just because of higher returns to capital, as the french economist thomas Piketty has argued, but because they have superior access to the political system and can use their connections to promote their interests. no one living in an established democracy should be complacent about its survival. But despite the short-term ebb and flow of world politics, the power of the democratic ideal remains immense. we see it in the millions of poor people desperate to move each year from places like Guatemala City or Karachi to Los Angeles or London. even as we raise questions about how soon everyone will get there, we should have no doubt as to what kind of society lies at the end of History. g Mr Fukuyama is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the author of "Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalisation of Democracy," which will be published on October 1 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 15



Sunday, 15 - 21 June, 2014



‘Best of Sunny Leone’ CD found at Karachi airport following terrorist attacks



Our SpeCial COrreSpOndent

‘Best of Sunny Leone’ CD was found at Jinnah International Airport on monday a day after the terrorist attack on the airport, Khabaristan Today has learnt. experts believe that the CD further strengthens the suspicion that India was involved in the Karachi airport attack. Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar believes that Sunny Leone’s presence confirms India’s hand in attacks. “The Sunny Leone CD confirms what I have been saying all along, that a foreign hand was behind the Karachi attack. Now do I

Still can’t believe someone else could terrorise my Karachi: Altaf Bhai



Our altaf Bhai COrreSpOndent

uTTAHIDA Qaumi movement (mQm) Chief Altaf Bhai was in tears after being told that terrorists had taken over Jinnah International Airport according to sources privy to Bhai. Bhai was distraught and in disbelief that someone else could terrorist his city, sources told Khabaristan Today. “I cannot believe it. Not only

does someone else do my job, but they do it in such a way that it is completely out of my league,” Altaf Bhai said adding that, “We have had our targeted killings, the boris and whatnot, but to see someone else take over

an international airport in my hometown is painful to watch.” Bhai believed that the attack had thrown down the gauntlet to him and mQm. “I have been clamouring for secularism, despite having nothing to do with secularism because I never wanted mullah terrorists taking over my space. And that is precisely what has happened now,” Bhai said. “We are going to take the Karachi airport attack as a challenge, and see if we can go one better,” he concluded. g

really have to name the hand now that we have the CD?” Nisar said while talking to Khabaristan Today. “I have been saying for months that my brothers, the Taliban, cannot do such a thing and now it is confirmed that Sunny Leone and her country are the true terrorists. Taliban’s name is just being used to malign Islam,” Nisar added. Information minister Pervaiz rashid unveiled India’s actual plot. “It is in the best interests of India to terrorise Pakistan and wants an Islamist regime in Islamabad. TTP taking over Pakistan is in India’s best interests. modi wants Islamism in the Indian subcontinent,” he said. Senior journalist Talat Hussain was seen dancing with joy when he

was told about the CD. “I knew it! I knew it! Well I did not actually know it, but I had to pretend that I did. obviously Sunny is an Indian agent and the CD confirms the suspicions of a lot of people,” he said. When asked about the possibility of the CD being the possession of a Pakistani, Hussain said, “Well do you think Fazlullah would carry a Best of Sunny Leone CD around with him? What nonsense! I mean sure he might enjoy bits and pieces in his alone time, but he would not carry it around in his pocket while carrying out a terrorist attack.” Sunny Leone could not be reached despite being called multiple times for questions by our correspondent. g

Mush’s name removed from ECL in time for FIFA World Cup knockout stage

Wednesday’s drone attack most popular strike of all time: report North WaziristaN Our drOne COrreSpOndent


CCorDING to a report titled, “Stop Whining about Drones” released yesterday, Wednesday’s drone strike that hit a Haqqani network compound near miranshah was the most popular drone strike of all time. The report says that no drone strike had


ever received such a positive response in the history of drone strikes. The author of the report, who prefers to remain anonymous because of the general negative perception of drone strikes, said, “I think people are generally growing tired of all the nonsense that has been said about drone strikes over the past few years. We went six months without any drone strikes, to facilitate the socalled negotiations, and yet there was no reduction in terrorism.” The author believed that the Karachi attack had proved to be the differential. “Drones cause significantly less collateral damage than airstrikes. There is basically no better way to curb the militants. This latest drone strike happened three days after the Karachi incident, which in a way has changed the perception about drones at least for the foreseeable future,” she added. g

Karachi Our SpOrtS COrreSpOndent


ormer President and Chief of Army Staff General (retd) Pervez musharraf’s name has been removed from the exit Control List (eCL) by the Sindh High Court (SHC) just in time for the FIFA World Cup knockout stages. SHC’s verdict came on Thursday, June 12, saying that musharraf could leave in 15 days. It is pertinent to mention here that the Knockout Stage (round of 16) starts on June 28, and would feature the team that tops Group A, which is expected to be Brazil. musharraf is a huge fan of Brazil

and can’t wait to see Neymar in action again. Talking exclusively to Khabaristan Today following Brazil’s opening match against Croatia, he said, “Brazil’s win over Croatia has basically sealed the group for them. Thankfully the SHC has given its verdict in my favour and now I can watch Brazil live on 28th taking on either Spain or Holland.” It is important to mention here that the court reserves the right to throw musharraf’s name back in the eCL should Brazil fail to qualify for the next round. “oscar and Neymar will ensure that it does not happen,” the former president of Pakistan said. g

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