Parliament Sends Signals of change In Mindset Towards Womenís Rights.
Women Parliamentarians Demonstrate Commitment and Ability To Serve Women.
The legislative history on women’s rights issues has all those dark, grey and bright patches. There have been repeated attempts and continued efforts by women and men parliamentarians for reform of existing laws and new positive legislation for women. The efforts went along determined struggle by women’s rights groups and activists for long years against discriminatory laws and customary practices. Though women of Pakistan have reached a milestone on 12-13 December 2011, when three important bills, Prevention of Anti-Women Practices, 2011, Bill, Acid Control and Acid Crimes Prevention, 2011, Bill, and The Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2011 were passed by the Senate, there is a long way to go and the major challenge in the future would be to see how women parliamentarians and women’s rights movement ensure that women of Pakistan in all professions, groups and classes and in all age-groups, benefit from these laws and the de jure equality for women is transformed into de facto equality. More emphasis now needs to be shifted towards strict enforcement and implementation of these laws. There gulf between 1999 and 2011 is 12 years long. Something must have happened during these twelve years which led to the Parliament’s change of heart towards women’s rights issues; and something must have happened even before these 12 years and even so on prior to that. Things usually get clearer if seen in historical perspective because what happened on 12 December 2011 did not transpire in one day or a single year. There was a build-up of events to this momentous occasion, and it has a history of continuous efforts by women’s rights movement and women in political parties for several decades. Women in political parties and in suc- cessive governments always undertook bold initiatives. They faced enormous challenges and tough resistance from various quarters whenever they tried to make some legislative contribution in legislatures. Women’s rights activists have been waging a glorious struggle for realization of women’s equal status and rights in society since long through agitation on streets, research and advo- cacy and through extensive lobbying with decision-makers and legislators. Past seven years (2004-2011) are mon- umental in the context of legislative upsurge on crucial women’s rights issues. This is unprecedented in Pakistan’s legislative history that seven progressive and positive laws to cover specific areas of women’s lives came in during just seven years. After a legislative drought for almost 28 years the breakthrough was made through the enactment of law on ‘hon- our’ killings in 2004; in 2006, came the Protection of Women, Act, amending two Hudood Ordinances; in 2009, the DVB was passed by the National Assembly (since it lapsed and could not become law so far, therefore it has not been counted in the tally); in 2010, two laws came in on preventing and criminalizing the offence of sexual harassment of women and; in the pres- ent year, 2011, came these three laws – on customary practices, acid attacks and women in distress. There is no denying the fact that some of these, and may be all of these laws, have shortcomings – some of which are of serious nature – but, these can be and must be removed and reformed in future. Several precedents are available in this regard, e.g. the Section 310A, which was inserted in 2004 in the Criminal law (Amendment), 2004, has been substantially improved in the Prevention ofAnti- Women Practices Act, 2011. It is necessary to connect the present success with the efforts and successes made in the past for clarity of perspectives and vision. We will focus on recording of major events with brief comments in the next columns, which we believe, had a great impact on bringing about present development. MFLO 1961 The first and major progressive legislation on women in Pakistan was the promulgation of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance (MFLO) in 1961. The MFLO was based on the recommendations of the Commission on Marriage and Family Laws, set up in 1955. The recommendations were accepted in a diluted form. The primary aim of MFLO was to discourage polygamy and regulate divorce. The law also ensured the right of inheritance of grand children (the relevant section was struck down by the Federal Shariat Court in a judgment in 2000.
August 1999: It was sheer disap- pointment and frustration for human rights activists sitting in the visitors’ galleries of the Senate of Pakistan to witness the ‘killing’ of a resolution, moved by some concerned Senators to condemn – just to condemn – the murder of a young woman, Saima Imran, who was killed in the name of ‘honour’ at her lawyer’s chamber in Lahore in April 1999. The chairman Senate did not allow even debate on the resolution and it was quickly dis- posed of. Though the resolution was originally supported by 25 Senators, only four of them, notably Senator Iqbal Haider, objected to and opposed this ‘unceremonious killing’ of the resolution. December 2011: The Senate unani- mously passes two important bills, Prevention of Anti-Women Practices, 2011, Bill, and Acid Control and Acid Crimes Prevention, 2011, Bill on 12 December 2011, with several law-makers in the august House favouring the bills and even asking for harsher punishments for the offences than prescribed in the bills. This time, human rights activists and women MPs from several political parties sitting in the House and lob- bies, as well as, those who were pres- ent outside the Parliament House and elsewhere and everywhere in Pakistan were happy and jubilant over the success of these bills. There were smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes. On 13 December, 2011, The Senate also passed ‘The Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2011’, another pro-women legislation to provide legal and financial assistance to the women languishing in jails by amending “Women in Distress and Detention Fund Act, 1996.
The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 The Foreign Marriages Act, 1903 Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 West Pakistan Rules Under The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 West Pakistan Family Court Act, 1964 West Pakistan Family Court Rules, 1965 Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Act, 1976 Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Rules, 1976 The Hudood Ordinances, 1979 Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984 (Law of Evidence) The Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951, partially amended in 2001 Amendments in Family Courts Act for khula etc. in 2002. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2004 (on ‘honour’ crimes) Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, 2006 Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2010 (on sexual harassment) The Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010 Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment)Act, 2011 The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act, 2010 The Women in Distress and Detention Fund (Amendment) Act, 2011 Major laws concerning women: at a glance.
The appeal against the judgment is pending with the Supreme Court’s appellate bench) and provided for procedures and much needed documentation of marriages and divorces. Despite the good ‘intentions’ to provide protection to women in the realm of family law, the law, along with the others contin- ues to have lacunas that discriminate against women and did not measure up to the expectations of the women who had struggled on its behalf. Commissions set up in 1975, 1985 and 1994 all proposed further recommen- dations, some of which were incorporated into the law sporadically, including amendments in MFLO, 1961 and West Pakistan Family Court Act, 1964; but no attempt was made to address the issues comprehensively. Amendments made to the Family Courts Act in 2002 proved to be a lot more positive. Concrete and welcomed changes were made to make it easier for women to get a ‘khula’ within a specified time- period, and courts are now mandated to complete a case of divorce and other related issues such as maintenance and guardianship within six months. Several minor and a few important amendments have been made into family laws at various points of time. However, the period between 1976, when the Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Act, 1976 came, and 2004, when the law concerning ‘hon- our’ crimes was made, is around 28 years. Almost all the Acts mentioned above still require major reform. Aurat Foundation and recently the NCSW have prepared a set of recommendations to reform them. In addition, the personnel laws of religious minorities are subject of serious neglect and they must also be looked into and reformed in consultation with the representatives of their communities.
In 1977, the elected government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was toppled by the Chief of Army Staff General Ziaul Haq.
Who during his long dictatorial tenure of eleven years gave extremely discriminatory and derogatory laws in the name of religion. The Hudood Ordinances, 1979, comprised the following five ordinances: 1. The Offences Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979 (this deals with offences of theft and armed robbery); 2. The Offences of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979 (this deals with offences of rape, zina (fornication/adultery), abduction of women); 3. The Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979 (this deals with crime of qazf (false accusation of zina); 4. Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979 (this deal with use/trafficking of drugs; con- sumption of alcoholic beverages) and; 5. Execution of the Punishment of Whipping Ordinance, 1979 (this deals with the mode of executing the punishment of whipping). The Ordinances prescribe two forms of punishments: Hadd which literally means the ‘limit’ and has been defined as punishment ordained by the Holy Quran and Sunnah and; Tazir which literally means ‘to punish’ and includes any punishment other than Hadd. Requirement for the imposition of the Hadd were/are that the accused must be an adult (18 years for a male or 16 for a female or puberty); the accused confess to the crime or there must be eye-witnesses to the crime; two eye- witnesses are required for all crimes, except in the cases of zina (adultery or fornication) and zina-bil-jabr (rape), four eye-witnesses are required and; the witnesses must be adult Muslim males (the testimony of Muslim females or non-Muslims – male or female- is not accepted against a Muslim accused), but they can also be non-Muslims (male and female) if the accused is a non-Muslim. Some of the Hadd Punishments were/are: stoning to death for zina (adultery/fornication) by adult married Muslim; 100 lashes for zina (adultery/fornication) by adult non- Muslim or adult single Muslim; stoning to death for rape by married Muslim; 100 lashes plus any other punishment including death for rape by adult non-Muslim or adult single Muslim; 80 lashes for drinking of intoxicating liquor by adult Muslim; amputation of the right hand (on 1st offence) and amputation of the left foot (on 2nd offence) for theft from an enclosed space of goods of more than a specified value. Dictator Ziaul Haq also promulgated Qanun-e-Shahadat, 1984 (Law of Evidence) which made a woman’s testimony half as that of a man or ‘testi- mony of two women was considered equal to one man’s testimony’. From 1999 to 2002 There was no Parliament from 1999 to 2002, after the overthrow of Nawaz Sharif’s elected government by Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf. Constitution was also held in abeyance. General elections were held in 2002 and the 12th National Assembly came into existence. The Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951, was partially amended enabling children of Pakistani women to citizenship in 2001, but their foreign spouse were still barred from acquiring Pakistani citizenship. Amendments in Family Courts Act were also made in 2002 to ensure that women get ‘khula’ within a specified time-period. Restoration and enhancement of reserved seats for women in national and provincial assemblies and the Senate was the landmark event during this period; 17% seats were reserved for these assemblies; 33% seats for women were reserved in the local government system. This may be noted here that the reservation of seats for women was a constitutional provision in the 1973 Constitution which lapsed with the gen- eral elections in 1988. As a result of this affirmative action measure in 2002, thousands of women were elected at the local level and the proportion of repre- sentation of women in national and provincial assemblies rose to nearly 20% changing the overall complexion of Pakistan’s elected Houses. The first significant step in breaking the glass ceiling and achieving a critical mass of women’s political representation had been taken with a long-lasting impact. From 2002 to 2007 The foundation of the new wave of gender-based legislation was laid down primarily by women parliamentarians in the 12th National Assembly, the Senate and the four provincial assemblies with the complete support of mainstream women’s rights and human rights organizations, including Aurat Foundation, WAF, HRCP, SAP- PK, AGHS, Shirkat Gah, SPO, SDPI, Sungi and PILER. The centre-stage, however, was managed and run by women legislators across political parties. Several prominent male support- ers in their respective parties were also supporting them, in addition to the National Commission on the Status of Women which had also been set up in 2000. The performance of women legislators in the 12th National Assembly was amazing. Though a majority of their legislative efforts did not suc- ceed, these were important because they, in fact, led to the results being witnessed today. The records of the 12th National Assembly show that Ms. Sherry Rehman (PPPP) and others from her party moved the only Private Members Bill in 2003 titled “The Protection and Empowerment of Women Bill, 2003”; in 2004, Ms. Sherry Rehman also moved a bill on addressing the issue of ‘honour’ killings. But, meanwhile, an official bill on ending ‘honour’ killing was moved in the House, on 30 July, 2004. The bill, on which Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar, Advisor to PM on Women’s Development was working for quite some time in collaboration with Aurat Foundation did not have both the provisions on Qisas and compensation, which were part of the private bill as well as the draft bill which was prepared by Ms. Shahla Zia (late). However, since the author of this article was privy to the efforts being made in this regard, it could be said that Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar, Ms. Mehnaz Rafi and Ms. Kashmala Tariq from the ruling party (PML-Q) tried their best even till the last moment to get both these positive amendments incorporated in the bill. They failed due to strong resistance from some quarters in the government and party. The official bill was passed by the National Assembly on 26 October 2004. Among important private members bills moved during the second year included: the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2004 (Amendment in 366-C), by Ms. Mehnaz Rafi (PML- Q); the Uplift and Welfare of Women Bill, 2004, by Ms. Samia Raheel Qazi (MMA); the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2004, and the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2004, by Ms. Kashmala Tariq (PML-Q) and; ‘The Family Court (Amendment) Bill, 2004, by Ms. Mehreen Anwar Raja (PPPP). In 2005, general focus has been to legislate for uplifting women’s status and ending grave discriminations against them. Important bills moved during 2005 were: the Equality of Opportunity for Women Employment Bill, 2005; the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill, 2005; and the Hudood Laws (Repeal) Bill, 2005, moved by Ms. Sherry Rehman; the Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2004, the Offence of Zina Enforcement of Hudood (Amendment) Bill, 2005, and the Offence of Qazf Enforcement of Hudood (Amendment) Bill, 2005 by Ms. Kashmala Tariq; the Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2005 (twice moved), the Establishment of the Office of Wafaqi Woman Motasib Bill, 2005, the Senior Citizens Bill, 2005, by Ms. Mehnaz Rafi; the Protection of Serving Women Bill, 2005 (twice moved), the Inheritance for Women Bill, 2005, the Economic Stability of Women Bill, 2005, the Hudood Laws Effective Enforcement and Protection Bill, 2005, by Ms. Samia Raheel Qazi. Other bills of sig- nificant nature for women were: the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2005, and the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2005, by Ms. Beelum Hasnain (PPPP); the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2005, by Ms. Samina Khalid Ghurki (PPPP); the Prohibition of Marriage with the Holy Quran Bill, 2005, and the Dowry and Bridal Gifts Restriction Bill, 2005, by Dr. Farida Ahmad Siddiqui (MMA); and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2005, Ms. Rubina Saadat Qaimkhawani (PPPP). In 2006, the fourth year, the National Assembly passed the official bill ‘The Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2006, moved by the government on 21 August 2006. PPPP, MQM and ANP supported the bill. MMA (an alliance of six religious parties) opposed it and the PML-N abstained from the voting. The bill drastically amended two of the Hudood Ordinances, the Zina and Qazf Ordinances. Some of its salient features were that it separated the Hadd and Tazir offences/punishments; rape (zina-bil-jabr) was separated from for- nication/adultery and shifted to the PPC from the Zina Ordinance; the offence of fornication (all sex outside marriage) was inserted in the PPC as separate sections (496B & 496C) with imprisonment up to five years and fine up to ten thousands rupees; procedure for complaint of zina & qazf changed; and simultaneous imposition of Qazf made possible. During the same year (2006) Ms. Mehnaz Rafi also moved a bill “the Offense of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) (Amendment) Bill, 2006”, to reform the Qazf Ordinance. In the meantime, Ms. Kashmala Tariq brought another bill to further reform the Hudood Ordinance through her bill titled “the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hadd) (Amendment)
Musharraf moved from house arrest to police custody Ex-miliary ruler initially put under house arrest after his detention on charges stemming from the sacking of judges when he was in power.
Agence France-Presse in Islamabad.
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf was moved into police custody after being arrested yesterday, an unprecedented move against a former army chief of staff ahead of key elections.
A magistrate ordered him under house arrest for two days, but hours later he was moved to police headquarters over the sacking of senior judges while he was in power, a humiliation for a man who was preparing to stand for election next month.
It is the first arrest of any former chief of the Pakistani army, considered the most powerful institution in the nuclear-armed country, which has been ruled for around half its 66-year existence by the military.
One day after an Islamabad court ordered his arrest, the 69-year-old yesterday surrendered to a magistrate, who designated his home a sub-jail and told him to reappear before an anti-terrorism court in two days time.
Live TV footage showed Musharraf arriving at court dressed in a shalwar kameez and waistcoat, flanked by police.
Upon his return home to the smart Chak Shahzad suburb, Musharraf took to Facebook to say he would fight the charges.
“These allegations are politically motivated and I will fight them in the trial court, where the truth will eventually prevail,” he said in a statement. But in the afternoon, he was moved by police from his fortified villa to Islamabad police headquarters.
There were conflicting reports about when or whether he would return home, with some supporters suggesting he may stay in police custody until he next appears before an anti-terrorism court in two days’ time.
“General Musharraf has been shifted to police headquarters for investigation,” a senior police official said, refusing to provide any further details.
A spokesman for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) initially said he had been put on a two-day remand at home, but said later that the general could stay in the police headquarters until his next hearing.
The arrest order relates to Musharraf’s decision to sack judges when he imposed emergency rule in November 2007, a move that hastened his downfall.
Despite various promises to appeal, Musharraf’s legal team said no judges were available to hear their requests and voiced fears that bail may not even be sought on the grounds that it could be turned down.
Commentators say it is clear that Musharraf is finished politically. On Tuesday he was disqualified from contesting the elections, to mark the first democratic transition of power after a civilian government completes a full-term in office.
His case also presents complications for the army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, who may have to decide whether to intervene to protect Musharraf, sparking a new conflict with the judiciary, or watch him be prosecuted. If Musharraf is sent to prison, it would be the first time an army chief has been put behind bars in the country’s 65-year history.
Political analyst Hasan Askari warned that any arrest or trial risked overshadowing the elections, set to mark the first democratic transition of power after a civilian government has completed a full term.
“The judiciary is overdoing it. It should show some restraint. It can grant bail now and take up the case after the election, which should be our primary objective,” he said.
Musharraf’s supporters say the arrest order was nothing more than a settling of scores.
Additional reporting by Associated Press.
ISLAMABAD — Exiled former Prime Minister of Pakistan and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif was deported on Monday to Saudi Arabia hours after his return to Pakistan from seven years in exile.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is arrested upon his arrival at Islamabad’s airport, September 10, 2007. Then he was deported to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, an intelligence official said. [Reuters]
Sharif has been put on an Airbus A310 plane of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and deported by the government to Saudi Arabia, the DAWN NEWS said.
Sharif’s flight arrived at the airport on a flight from London early Monday morning. A high-level delegation of the government tried to negotiate with him, offering two choices: to be deported or jailed.
Sharif was later arrested by the police on corruption charges and taken away by a helicopter.
Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz on Saturday urged Sharif to honor his exile agreement and not to return to Pakistan before completing 10 years.
However, Sharif said that his exile was only for five years and insisted on returning to Parkistan.
Sharif, twice elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan, served two non-consecutive terms. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2000 on charges of hijacking and terrorism after General Pervez Musharraf staged a bloodless coup in the country. The Pakistani government agreed to commute his sentence from life in prison to exile in Saudi Arabia for 10 years.
TAPI is tricky…perhaps China will invest and ensure security. The Chinese are already investing billions in Pak to develop Gwadar port, so as to have a back up to the Malacca straits for transport of oil. There are too many competing interests. India is however unlikely to support anything funded by China which develops Pak.
Something less well known is the plan for an undersea pipeline between Iran and India, bypassing the security issues of TAPI.
|Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe||on: January 17, 2016, 08:51:59 PM|
The Definition of Insanity Is U.S. AfPak Strategy
The central problem confronting the United States in the region is no longer al Qaeda or the Taliban. It’s the Pakistan Army.
By Dhruva Jaishankar
October 16, 2015
The Definition of Insanity Is U.S. AfPak Strategy.
The first was President Barack Obama’s announcement that the United States will decelerate its military drawdown from Afghanistan. Instead of preserving only a small force of about 1,000 troops, the new plan will station 9,800 in the country until 2016 and 5,500 into 2017. Their mission will be limited to training Afghan forces and supporting counterterrorism operations. This will help promote, in Obama’s words, an “Afghan-led reconciliation process” leading to a “lasting political settlement” that will make Kabul “a stable and committed ally.”
If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. The new policy is at best a band-aid and — given the likely cost in blood and treasure — not a pain-free one. David Galula, the French military scholar who is the ideological godfather of the U.S. counterinsurgency, understood years ago that support from a neighboring country could easily sustain an insurgency. The U.S. mission in Afghanistan cannot succeed as long as the Pakistan Army continues to tolerate and sponsor the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, and other terrorist groups. The U.S. intelligence community has been saying precisely that for years.
At one level, Obama appreciates the problem. “Sanctuaries for the Taliban and other terrorists must end,” he said on Oct. 15, adding that he would discuss the matter with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when he visits Washington next week. The White House and the U.S. foreign-policy establishment still believe that Islamabad just needs to be convincingly persuaded about the merits of cracking down on terrorist organizations.
But let’s cut the crap. The central problem confronting the United States in the region is no longer al Qaeda or the Taliban. It’s the Pakistan Army, which has always pursued its own objectives over those of the country it is meant to defend. The Army has a 40-year history of supporting terrorists against Afghanistan, India, and (more recently) Americans. Even in the absence of a smoking gun, there is little doubt that the Army and its intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, sheltered Osama bin Laden and protected Taliban leader Mullah Omar. This policy of supporting terrorism has been driven by a warped ideology, political imperatives, and corporate interests. The Army has long used Islamism and imagined foreign threats to consolidate its political primacy and shore up its commercial interests, which range from cement to telecommunications.
Sharif offers little help. Anti-government protests engineered by the Army in 2014 forced him to relinquish foreign and security policy to the military, in what many Pakistani commentators described as a “soft coup.” Today, few seriously believe that the prime minister calls the shots in Islamabad.
Why does the United States shy away from confronting Pakistan about its continued export of terrorism? The simple answer is nukes.
Why does the United States shy away from confronting Pakistan about its continued export of terrorism? The simple answer is nukes. Pakistan has been steadily increasing fissile material for its nuclear stockpile and now produces enough for between 16 and 20 warheads per year. Its justification was initially New Delhi’s nuclear program, except that India produces material for only around 5 warheads per year. India has a stockpile of an estimated 90 to 110 warheads in reserve; Pakistan is thought to have between 110 and 130 (though some experts believe it’s possible “to calculate a number twice this size”). But it’s not an arms race if only one party is racing.
Since seeking nuclear parity with India now has little credibility as an excuse, Pakistan has resorted to several flimsy reasons to justify its nuclear expansion. The one that gained the most traction blames an Indian Army doctrine, Cold Start, which would have involved punitive incursions into Pakistan following a terrorist attack. The Indian Army certainly considered Cold Start in 2004 — but the Indian military or government never formally adopted it. Pakistani strategists, many with ties to the military, have also blamed India’s defense spending, military modernization, and even its purportedly belligerent rhetoric as reasons for Islamabad to rely on nuclear weapons to compensate for the growing disparity between the two countries. These have never been more than convenient pretexts for a Pakistani nuclear arms buildup.
The real reason for Pakistan’s nuclear expansion isn’t India — it’s for blackmailing the United States. So fearful has Washington been of Pakistan’s nukes being sold, stolen, lost, sabotaged, or accidentally used that during George W. Bush’s administration, it reportedly spent as much as $100 million trying to secure the arsenal. Since 2001, the Pakistan Army has also received more than $20 billion in military support from the United States, even as it has continued to support groups like the Haqqani network that have killed hundreds of Americans. This is the greatest shakedown in history.
What makes this ploy all the more brilliant is that the blackmail victim doesn’t even realize it. Take the second major AfPak development of the week. According to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius and the New York Times’s David Sanger, the White House is considering relaxing controls on Pakistan’s access to civilian nuclear technology, equipment, and fuel in exchange for promises that it will limit its nuclear weapons program. (The White House has publicly downplayed the possibility of a deal.) As Ignatius hints, such an agreement is closely linked to Pakistani cooperation on Afghanistan, possibly a sweetener for Pakistan to bring the Taliban back to the negotiating table.
But even dangling the offer of “nuclear mainstreaming” — as advocates of the policy have described it — is an awful idea. Its the Iran deal part IIForget for a moment that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism or that such a deal risks incentivizing bad behavior. The deal also continues the long track record of the United States raising Pakistani expectations and then not delivering, a history of disappointment that has long fanned anti-Americanism in the country. A nuclear agreement of this kind will face resistance from within the U.S. government, not to mention Congress, given Pakistan’s history of duplicitous nuclear proliferation. Even then, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the powerful 48-nation international nuclear cartel of which the United States is a member, will almost certainly veto it.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that Islamabad will keep its end of the bargain. Washington would be helping Pakistan in the near term in exchange for a long-term commitment to limit its nuclear program, a promise that Islamabad has shown no prior interest in keeping. Ultimately, energy-starved Pakistan has far more to lose from its continued nuclear isolation than the international community has to gain from such a deal. The onus therefore is on Pakistan to show its bona fides — come clean about its past proliferation activities, stop supporting terrorism as a state policy, and adopt a stabilizing nuclear posture — before nuclear mainstreaming can even be considered. Finally, if such an agreement were to be realized, it would rock U.S. relations with India, which — despite a far better proliferation track record — had to jump through a number of legal, procedural, and political hoops between 2005 and 2008 to be allowed to import civilian nuclear technology, fuel, and equipment. The immense goodwill for the United States in India that was generated by that deal would be lost overnight.
The proposed agreement to mainstream Pakistan’s nuclear program and the failure to address the Pakistan factor in Afghanistan are, in Trump’s parlance, just dumb, dumb, dumb. The White House seems completely removed from South Asia’s political and security realities. It’s quaint, almost funny, that U.S. officials and experts still worry about a “rogue commander” with “radical sympathies” seizing control of a Pakistani nuclear bomb. The Pakistan Army radicalized and went rogue many years ago.
1. The US cannot keep a force there indefinitely, at some point we have to withdraw. Afg managed quite well without US forces in the past and will survive in the future too. Do we have any clear objectives that need to be met before we withdraw ?.
2. Its not clear to me, what our mission might be. At present even though we may control Kabul and a few big cities, the Talibs control much of the countryside. So apart from possibly providing law and order in Kabul, its not clear what else we are doing.
3. Training the Afg military seems silly to me. The indigenous Taliban do quite well without any US military training, who BTW we are unable to beat with all our superior training and weapons. Similarly, training the Afg military is not much use, unless we plan to give them advanced weapons or technology. The Afg rag tag army is no worse than the Taliban. The wars in that part of the world are fought with simple weapons and grit.
4. The only one who benefits from US presence are the Pakistanis, who extort protection money.
5. If the US withdraws, and another attack on the homeland is traced back to Afg, that would be the time to consider all options again.
6. The fear that the US vacuum will be filled by undesirable characters is to me a bogus. There are already undesirable characters in Afg/Pak, whom we don’t control. Let them fight it out. Our current presence is not likely to prevent any undesirables from getting a foothold. ISIS is already making inroads and the Taliban are fighting them. So unless we plan to align with the talibs, we should get out.
Afghan Soil Being Used Against Pakistan: DG ISI.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Published : January 01, 2010 Author : Makhdoom Babar Sultan
Ø See A Comparison Between India’s evidences and Pakistan’s proof of Indian terrorism inside Pakistan
South India’s Vaigai Chemical Industries and Indian Ordnance Factories provide arms and explosives to terrorists in Pakistan. Evidence of Indian-origin combustible chemicals has been found in western Pakistan. The mysterious fire that gutted Karachi’s business district is not possible without the use of such material. India has already launched a two-front secret war against both China and Pakistan.