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India is mother of terrorism

India mother of terrorism

Better late than never, Pakistan has taken a bold initiative to call the spade a spade by linking terrorism in Asia with India's state policy.http://webtv.un.org/watch/pakistan-2nd-right-of-reply-/5584625488001/

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Switzerland abdicating neutrality?

Switzerland abdicating neutrality?

Switzerland must chose its options carefully, as of now one wonders whether it is transitioning from a peaceful neutral state to a terror sponsoring state? Hopefully not! . Regretfully, it frequently behaves in a manner as if it has no respect and regard for principles governing inter-state relations and UN Charter. It beams out such signals by allowing its banks to attract ill-gotten money from across the world and now it also hosts and prompts terrorists. Stance taken by the Swiss government in response to Pakistan’s protest is against the basic spirit of neutrality. Committing hostile acts against a sovereign member state of the UN by sponsoring and facilitating separatist elements that encourages them to commit subversion and claiming neutrality can’t go together.

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Combating terror: lack of skill or will?

Courtesy The Express Tribune

[Featured image: courtesy The Express Tribune, August 10, 2016] Quetta carnage has once again underscored the international dimension of terrorism; and that no country could overcome it in isolation. Keenness to claim responsibility indicates the unending appetite of terrorist entities for larger than life projection. It is also reflective of hollowness of claims by those responsible for countering terror. Surfacing of a multi billion dollar Global scandal of manufacturing and selling fake bomb detector devices has brought forth lack of empathy for the victims of terror. Pakistan’s terrorism related sufferings in terms of loss of human lives, destruction of infrastructure and missed economic opportunities is colossal. Pakistan has launched World’s largest military effort for counter terrorism operations. However, this is not being duly acknowledged.There is a need to evolve a universally acceptable definition of terrorism to differentiate it from genuine freedom struggles, like in Kashmir and Palestine. This is time for the international political leadership to pay heed to how Pope Francis interprets terrorism. Pakistan says there are limits to how much it can do as it is already fighting multiple militant groups and is wary of a "blowback" in the form of more terror attacks on its soil. Indeed terrorism is more of a concern to Pakistan than its neighbours.

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Rewriting Afghan conflict!

In yet another rebuke to Pakistan, America has repeated the beaten line: “The US continues to be clear with Pakistan about steps it should take to improve the security environment and deny safe havens to terrorist and extremist groups,” the Pentagon said in its six-monthly report on Afghanistan sent to the Congress on June 17. The US defence secretary Ashton …

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Evolving dynamics of Afghan conflict

Last week Afghan forces pulled out of bases in Musa Qala, a strategic district of the southern province of Helmand. The commander of the Afghan army’s 215th Corps, Mohammad Moeen Faqir, said troops had been ordered to pull back from Roshan Tower, their main base in Musa Qala, as well as other checkpoints to reinforce Gereshk, straddling the main highway, one which links Kabul with the south and west. “Now that the government has withdrawn its forces from this district, we will see Kajaki, Gereshk and Sangin collapsing very soon,” said deputy provincial council member Abdul Majid Akhundzada.The outgoing commander of Operation Resolute Support and American troops in Afghanistan, General John F Campbell, paid a farewell call on Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on February 18. Campbell paid rich tributes to the professionalism and phenomenal achievements of Pakistan Army in Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He also acknowledged Pakistan Army’s efforts towards regional stability. General Raheel thanked Campbell in particular for his efforts to bring about stability in Afghanistan! Two generals reviewed the ongoing reconciliation process in Afghanistan and discussed the way forward. Though generals may think that worst of the Afghan conflict is far behind them, from a commoner’s perspectives, Afghanistan faces numerous daunting challenges.

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Pakistan’s needless martyrs by Mohammed Hanif

Courtesy International New York Times.  http://international.nytimes.com/?WT.z_jog=1&hF=t&vS=undefined KARACHI, Pakistan — According to our security analysts, the massacre of students and teachers at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda on Wednesday proves that we are winning against terrorism. A month before that, Pakistan marked the first anniversary of the Army Public School attacks in Peshawar, where more than 140 people, the vast majority …

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Afghanistan: a rudderless ship!

China has offered to host a meeting between Afghan government and Taliban, but has declined to mediate. China’s special envoy for Afghanistan Deng Xijun called the Taliban “one of the main forces in Afghanistan’s political arena.” Like Pakistan, China opposes a military solution to the Afghan conflict, and favours intra-Afghan dialogue. “We think dialogue is the only way out for Afghanistan to achieve lasting peace and stability,” Deng said. “We have difficulties and obstacles when we have in such kind of things. We have many problems and challenges ahead but if we sit down, if we talk with each other, then I think the future is bright”, he added. He reassured Pakistan of China’s continued support in addressing common challenges faced by the region. Both Pakistan and China have convergent interests and shared goals with regards to Afghanistan. A report by the ‘US Congressional Research Service’ published in October has revealed that India’s goals in Afghanistan are: to deny Pakistan strategic depth and the ability to block India from trade and other connections to Central Asia and beyond; India also wants to prevent militants in Afghanistan from attacking Indian targets in Afghanistan; it wants to prevent Pakistan from regaining “preponderant” influence in present day Afghanistan. Report added that “it (India) does not want to be saddled with the burden of helping secure Afghanistan” after the US departure. It says that Afghanistan also seeks close ties with India because it wants access to India’s large and rapidly growing economy – “but without alarming Pakistan.” Apparently intra-Afghan battles of turf shall gradually come to an end and the peace process shall resume. Peace in Afghanistan is vital for the stability of the entire region. The underlying factor for resumption of Murree process is how long President Ashraf Ghani takes to calibrate the extent and limits of his political outreach with Taliban. Extension in the tenure of foreign forces limits the chances that during next fighting season the Taliban could over run urban centres one after the other; while at the same time, it also limits the Taliban to not to finalize a political deal before at least end 2016, on the pretext of presence of foreign forces. Until then, pot is poised to keep simmering—patterns would will continue jockeying between fighting and talking seasons.

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Counter extremism: Terrorism shall follow the suit

[Featured Image: Courtesy CNN] On the eve of Haj, Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz said the terrorists have gone astray and are destroying the image of Islam. He cautioned the Muslims about the menace of terrorists using the religion’s name while sabotaging peace. He urged Muslims to strive for spreading the real message of Islam— peace, love and brotherhood. And while addressing the UNGA on September 25, Pope Francis said; “Our world demands of all government leaders a will which is effective…and thus putting an end as quickly as possible to the phenomenon of social and economic exclusion...including prostitution, the drug and weapons trade, terrorism and international organized crime….We need to ensure that our institutions are truly effective in the struggle against all these scourges”. This convergence of thought amongst the leadership of two major faiths is a healthy sign. Grand Mufti and Pope have done their bit in this direction, now the global political leadership should pick up the cues and devise a global plan of action for countering terrorism while addressing the core issues of radicalism and extremism. Though terrorism is a global phenomenon, during recent years it has converged more onto Muslim countries, including Pakistan. Menace of terrorism stems out of extremism which in turn draws its origin from radicalism. Therefore, beside terrorism, any meaningful counter terrorism effort should also focus on radicalism and extremism. While the government of Pakistan is striving to counter terrorism, countering extremism and radicalism are the weaker links in the National Action Plan (NAP). NAP evolved from the urgency of countering terrorism and thus has significant relevance in overall security matrix to address the immediate need of connecting different responses and incorporating these in a functional policy framework. However, in the process, actions focused at de-radicalization and counter extremism did not attract requisite focus. It is expected that in due course, government will come up with a comprehensive de-radicalization and counter-extremism strategies as well to complement existing provisions of the NAP.

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National [in]Action Plan

The decline in terrorist attacks because of action against militant in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency has generated an impression that NAP is performing well. But, beneath the surface there are grey areas, which came to surface during the meeting. Execution of the 20 points NAP is moving at snail’s speed, to say the least. Listing the nine weak points, the premier said a lot needs to be done as regards madrassas, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, terrorist financing, reforms in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Afghan refugees, legal amendments, the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta), religious persecution and sectarianism. The cabinet expressed satisfaction over progress in the remaining areas of the NAP. Main challenge to implementation of NAP is posed by criminalization of politics and politicization of crime. As a corollary, there is underlying fear that anti-terror laws shall be used against political workers; even if they are not used, there are ample hoax calls to portray such usage. Hence, there is an undercurrent within mid-level political cadres across the political divide to go slow on NAP. Another closely associated impediment originates from the behavior of political appointees in law enforcing agencies (LEAS); they are more loyal to their appointing personalities and less to pay master—the state/government. Confusion also prevails over what is and what is not ‘terrorism’; leaving much room for the low ranking investigators to terrorize ordinary criminal on the pretext of booking them under terror laws to fleece them; while at the same time intentionally framing weak charge-sheets against actual terrorists, either under duress or incentive. Apparently, criminal-terrorist cartels appear effective in buying time by impeding the pace of NAP implementation in view of sunset clause about military courts. Even though resorting to military courts is not an ideal way of dealing with the situation.Gains achieved by military operations would be lost if NAP implementation does not pick up requisite speed to deny space to terrorists and militants. Military actions involving the use of force should complement the government’s broader campaign to fight against extremism and terrorism, but this is not happening. Gains through military operations would be lost if NAP implementation does not improve immediately and deny space to terrorists and militants.

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Body language of Pakistan-India peace talks!

For some years a politically prompted theme had been circulating amongst Indian academicians and strategists that India should abandon bilateral talks with Pakistan for a decade or so, hoping that by then Pakistan would be so weakened that it would accept to talk to India on Indian terms. This fantasy echoing Nehru era wishful fallacy ‘that newly created Pakistan would not survive long and Jinnah would approach Nehru with his knees bent for its re-merger with greater India’ appears to have gone to the head of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His national Security Adviser Ajit Dival is still suffering the hangover of his police assignment. Emerging Modi-Doval doctrine is to impose a new bilateral regime whereby Pakistan should forget about Kashmir, water and talk about terrorism, and that too as interpreted by India. Indian external affairs minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj has a vast experience of sabotaging Pakistan-India peace process. She was instrumental in scuttling Agra Summit 14–16 July 2001, while she was Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Pakistan has rightly taken a position to follow multi-lateral route for presenting its dossiers on Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan should India shut the bilateral window on flimsy pretexts. Dialogue between India and Pakistan has never been an easy ride. Most of the agreements of strategic dimension could only come about with formal or behind the scene intervention, facilitation and or prompting of a third party. Pakistan need to revisit its policy of dying for dialogue with India, calculations indicate that there is not much that Pakistan is likely to gain from this futile approach.

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