Archive for January, 2009

For a new Pakistan

January 24th, 2009

The Westminster model of parliamentary democracy has been a dismal failure in Pakistan because of the frequent martial laws and the blatant manipulation of the Constitution. For Pakistan to become a viable state it will have to restructure its political system. Devolution of effective political power and greater autonomy to the federating units will have to be the two fundamental ingredients of any future political structure. Over the years, the unchallenged Centre has become increasingly weak and incoherent.

Pakistani society is going to press for more political liberties. Pakistan needs to foresee the political dictates of coming times. Initiating dynamic changes is always better than becoming victims of the effects of changes that are circumstantial.

The recent upsurge of civil society and of the upcoming middle class is extremely noticeable. This growing segment of Pakistan’s population is more educated and dislikes excessive state control. For lasting harmony the common man will have to be taken on board and made an effective stakeholder in the destiny of Pakistan.
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Global power struggle and us Part I

January 19th, 2009

From the 70s to date Pakistan has often been on the centre stage in the global power struggle and its role has always benefited the USA immensely. One such role was played when Pakistan brought about President Richard M Nixon’s visit to China in Feb 1972. Nixon’s visit to China helped USA contain USSR in the cold war era and also effectively neutralised the then growing Chinese nuclear threat.

In 1969, President Nixon decided that direct diplomatic contact with China ought to be established and the adverse relations between USSR and China must be used to the advantage of the USA. By Sept 1970, after numerous efforts made by USA to contact the Chinese leadership had failed miserably, Henry Kissinger decided to exploit Pakistan’s excellent relations with China.

On 25 October, 1970, at the White House, President Nixon formally requested President Yahya Khan to convey to the Chinese leadership that the USA was desirous of establishing full diplomatic relations with China and would like the Chinese to agree to receive a high level delegation from USA. Assurances were also conveyed that the issue of Taiwan will not be raised during the suggested visit. Nixon’s message was conveyed by Yahya Khan to Prime Minister Chou en Lai. Since no reply came through a similar American message was repeated to the Chinese leadership by President Yahya Khan on 5 January, 1971.
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Express News’ Siyaasi Log with Masood Sharif 17th Jan 2009

January 17th, 2009

NOTE: The following media is in the Urdu language and NOT in English.

Masood Sharif Khan Khattak on Express News Siyaasi Log 17th Jan 2009. This is an interview about India Pakistan relations. Other people on the show include Major General (Retd) Jamshed Ayaz Khan, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif and Indian Journalist Amit Baruah, editor of Hindustan Times.

The topics discussed are Mumbai attacks, denouncing terrorism, military, terrorism, India-Pakistan ties and the future prospects of peace and war between the two nuclear powers.

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Global power struggle and us Part II

January 17th, 2009

The late 1970s saw a series of Soviet-propelled political changes in Kabul. In April 1979, elements from the 40th Soviet Army Group deployed at Bagram near Kabul. This was followed on Dec 24 by a full-scale Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s riposte to the invasion was spearheaded by the ISI. The heroic Mujahideen put together by Pakistan and the Pakhtun tribes of the NWFP had managed to stop the advance of the Soviet Army.

ISI-CIA relations entered a new phase. The ISI played the lead role while the CIA provided backup support in terms of funds and weapons. The Soviets began to realise that they were fighting a losing battle. Informal talks for a Soviet withdrawal had started as early as 1982. The Geneva Accords were signed in 1988.

Had Pakistan not engaged the Soviet forces within Afghanistan they would have consolidated the Afghan occupation in a few weeks and have certainly made a dash to the Arabian Sea. The USA and its allies would have had to fight the Soviet forces and thus start a third world war.
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Global power struggle and us Part I

January 16th, 2009

From the 70s to date Pakistan has often been on the centre stage in the global power struggle and its role has always benefited the USA immensely. One such role was played when Pakistan brought about President Richard M Nixon’s visit to China in Feb 1972. Nixon’s visit to China helped USA contain USSR in the cold war era and also effectively neutralised the then growing Chinese nuclear threat.

In 1969, President Nixon decided that direct diplomatic contact with China ought to be established and the adverse relations between USSR and China must be used to the advantage of the USA. By Sep 1970, after numerous efforts made by USA to contact the Chinese leadership had failed miserably, Henry Kissinger decided to exploit Pakistan’s excellent relations with China.

On 25 October, 1970, at the White House, President Nixon formally requested President Yahya Khan to convey to the Chinese leadership that the USA was desirous of establishing full diplomatic relations with China and would like the Chinese to agree to receive a high level delegation from USA. Assurances were also conveyed that the issue of Taiwan will not be raised during the suggested visit. Nixon’s message was conveyed by Yahya Khan to Prime Minister Chou en Lai. Since no reply came through a similar American message was repeated to the Chinese leadership by President Yahya Khan on 5 January, 1971.
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The new South Asia

January 3rd, 2009

Pakistan and India will never go to war again because if they do both will become history. The notion expressed by some Indian and international think tanks claiming that, while India will not be totally destroyed in any nuclear war, Pakistan will be completely annihilated is a fallacy. Let it be said in unambiguous terms that both, Pakistan and India, will perish if a nuclear war breaks out on the Subcontinent and from the ashes of that war will emerge many smaller countries based on blood borders. Therefore, pragmatism must now prevail over emotions emerging from history and religion.

In the envisaged new South Asia it should be possible for all citizens of South Asia to travel freely within South Asia for trade, business, commerce and tourism thus generating colossal mutually gainful activity. Is this impossible over a reasonable time span if pragmatism takes over now?

Don’t the Germans, British, French and other Europeans travel freely in Europe today despite some of them having fought each other bitterly in WWII, just 65 years ago? What atrocities did the Germans not perpetrate when they occupied France and Poland? Do we now see any signs of that bitterness in the present generations of France, Poland and Germany? No.
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