Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

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Missing you already!

March 19, 2009

Departure of A "HERO"

Departure of A "HERO"

Fatima Bhutto (http://pakistankakhudahafiz.wordpress.com)

Pakistan has become a very unusual place. In Lahore, the heart of Pakistani cricket, the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in broad daylight by masked gunmen carrying guns and rocket launchers, because you never know when a rocket launcher will come in handy during an urban attack. The government had been warned of a potential terror threat but, true to form, ignored it. After killing eight people, mostly policemen, and wounding several others including the foreign cricketers, the gunmen ambled leisurely away. They were caught on CCTV camera calmly mounting their motorcycles and surveying the scene before deciding they had other places to be. 

Immediately the cacophony of ludicrous claims hit the media. “The attack is to ruin our [the ruling party’s] image,” bellowed Raja Riaz, a Pakistan People’s Party hack. Er, no. “The motive was to damage the state of Pakistan and end cricket here,” said Imran Khan, head of the Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Er, no. The Pakistan cricket team are perfectly capable of ruining the state of cricket in the country on their own; masked gunmen are not required, thank you very much. Incidentally, on Monday night local police attacked the offices of Khan’s party brandishing Kalashnikovs and pistols. It’s probably not a coincidence that Khan has been openly critical of the Zardari government.

It’s fear. That’s what it is. It’s the state of a nation at war with itself. When vigilantes armed with sophisticated weaponry can attack a team of cricket guests (and there are no guests more esteemed in south Asia) in the middle of the afternoon, what they’re telling you is that no one is above the reach of the terror that has taken over Pakistan. It’s startling how adept this government has been at losing control of law and order, leasing out Pakistan’s stability for an increased role in the war on terror in preparation for the troop surge in Afghanistan, and generally running the country to rot.

“Droned” is a verb we use now in Pakistan. It turns out, interestingly enough, that those US predator drones that have been killing Pakistani citizens almost weekly have been taking off from and landing within our own country. Secret airbases in Balochistan – what did we ever do before Google Earth?

The PPP-led government, hailed as being “democratic”, capitulated to the Pakistan Taliban’s demands for sharia law in the Swat Valley in February. There was no vote, no referendum, nothing. The government, tired of fighting those pesky militants who’ve been burning down Sufi shrines and local girls’ schools, just declared that a part of the country would be ruled no longer by federal law, but by a myopically interpreted and Taliban-approved “Islamic” code. And verily it shall be.

We’ve just had senate “elections”. Of course, there are no actual elections involved: the ruling party puts forward winners and they end up in parliament. On Monday, in a shock move, President Asif Ali Zardari’s former attorney, who defended the erstwhile criminal on corruption and murder charges, was made chairman of the senate. What a gas!

Meanwhile, with Delhi still beating war drums over the November Mumbai attacks, our former dictator/president Pervez Musharraf travelled to India recently, and there he warned our neighbours of an all-out war should they strike Pakistan. He also let us know that he is ready to return to the call of political duty. Outsiders might be confused at this change in the situation – what’s he doing there? Didn’t he resign in August? Here’s the beauty of it all: Musharraf’s re-emergence has many middle-class Pakistanis excited and hopeful. Is he back?! A series of op-eds in a local English newspaper (not highly censored because no one reads them) was titled “Why I miss Musharraf”. When a dictator tickles your fancy, you know something has gone very, very wrong.

So, the mood in Pakistan is one of confusion. How did we come to this? How do we get out?

On the eve of spring, it is the same problems that blight the country’s poor – there is no electricity, there is no potable water, and food inflation continues to rise. The newspapers warned us this week that “load shedding” in the summer will be some 15 hours long, which is not that bad considering the fact that we’re sitting in darkness for 12 hours a day now. Pakistan has long missed its millennium target goals of eradicating polio, largely because we can’t keep the electricity going long enough for the vaccines to be properly refrigerated, so they keep going bad. And we’re a nuclear country, a grossly corrupt one at that.

The press censorship continues unabated with future threats of an absolute blackout on any criticisms of the government safely enclosed within the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act that the parliament is currently sitting on. The bill, which imposes jail sentences from three months (for having an email account not registered in your real name) to the death penalty, and criminalises the acts of “spoofing”, “spamming” and “character assassinating”, will apply to the width and breadth of the country and to any person, regardless of nationality or citizenship. It will crack down on all objectionable – the definition of what is objectionable is typically vague – messages sent via, but not limited to, “electrical, digital, analogue, magnetic, optical, biochemical, electrochemical, electromechanical, electromagnetic, radio electric, and wireless technology”. So any subversive content found on cell phones, computers, or toasters will soon be illegal. Your head should be spinning by now.

Pakistan is in a dire situation. Religious extremism, violence and a faltering economy have made the state of affairs here decidedly grim. Joe Biden and John Kerry see American dollars as the only way of helping Pakistan stave off extremism; but Yankee aid donations and senatorial money will not help us now. It is estimated that President Zardari and his late wife, Benazir Bhutto, stole between $2bn and $3bn from the country’s treasury during their two previous stints in power. Now Zardari has claimed his personal wealth to be somewhere in the ballpark of $1.8bn. Nawaz Sharif, leading coalition partner and head of the Pakistan Muslim League, declared his fortune to be not as grand, at only $1.4bn. You do the maths.

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Obama, Oil & Pakistan

January 22, 2009
Region Of Concerns

Region Of Concerns

January 22, 2009 

America’s military policy is following its foreign policy which follows the smell of oil. Forget freedom and democracy. That’s for fools. Pakistanis are fooling themselves if they think President Obama will be able to change this. Let’s pray he does. The Karachi-Torkham-Afghanistan supply route and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline means that U.S. will have to take effective control of Balochistan, Gwadar and Karachi. This will also help deny Iran and China any stake in their own pipelines across Pakistan. America can’t do this by going to war with a strong Pakistani military. Destabilization is part of the plan, with some margin for unintended consequences. Now you understand the game. By

Ahmed Quraishi | Wednesday, 21 January 2009.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Publicly, America’s most immediate challenge after the government change is Afghanistan and Pakistan. Privately, in Washington’s power corridors, it is oil. Oil, and not al Qaeda, is threatening to knock America off global leadership. President Obama takes over a country whose global economic leadership is threatened by dwindling oil reserves and a dogfight over whatever remains. Oil is running out, fast. And the remaining oil, including new reserves, lie in other people’s lands, closer to Russia, China, Europe and other powers. America’s global supremacy rests on an economic system based on easy access to oil. If someone else gets that oil, America loses. Jon Thompson, an American oil veteran ExxonMobil Exploration Company’s former president, has written in June 2003 that by next decade the world will need 80% more oil than we have today to keep the world going. Luckily for President Obama, his predecessor, George W. Bush, has done an excellent job in: One, securing new oil, and, Two, warding off threat from other oil hungry powers. Under the guise of spreading freedom and democracy, Bush’s eight years saw the biggest expansion of American military bases across the world. And the trail follows the smell of oil. This riddle is as mysterious as the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. America’s foreign policy was also adjusted to follow the footprint of oil, going where the oil is, be it Angola, Sudan/Darfur, Central Asia, Russia, Colombia, Georgia, Venezuela, and of course Iraq. Somalia is fast becoming the latest battlefield in this secretive global dogfight over oil and transport routes.

In the words of veteran American oil industry correspondent William Engdahl, ‘U.S. military and foreign policy was now about controlling every major existing and potential oil source and transport route on earth […] One superpower, the United States, would be in a position to decide who gets how much energy and at what price.’ The Taliban government was not an enemy of America. It sent delegations to United States and lobbied for U.S. State Department’s attention. Its removal was decided much before 9/11, according to Pakistan’s former top diplomat Niaz Naik, who was told so explicitly by U.S. officials in July 2001. Taliban fell out of favor because they put terms and conditions on the pipelines that American oil giants planned to construct on Afghan territory. Taliban were replaced by U.S. oil consultants Zalmay Khalilzad and Hamid Karzai. Pakistan was and continues to be the next target. U.S. diplomatic meddling has already disturbed the natural progression of the Pakistani government system, leading to instability and creating local players who look to America for support. U.S. military intervention is softening up the country through regular missile attacks and drone flights. The last time this method proved effective was in Iraq during the 1990s.

The chatter in the U.S. think tanks and media about Pakistan’s division along ethnic lines has never been this high. Pakistan has to be subdued in order for American energy and military transport lines to become secure. America needs to secure Pakistani transport routes from the sea to the Afghan border. Balochistan is an interesting case. Destabilizing this Pakistani province disturbs Iran’s plans to lay down pipelines to Pakistan and beyond. The instability also helps destroy China’s chances of using Gwadar, the new Pakistani port city overlooking oil-rich Gulf, to dock its commercial and naval ships. In fact, the entire area between Gwadar and the Sino-Pakistani border is up in insurgencies of all sorts, known and unknown. This is the same route that a future Chinese oil pipeline is supposed to take, linking China to oil supplies from Africa and the Gulf. This entire area was peaceful before 2005, until meddling by unknown actors began from the U.S.-controlled Afghan soil, exploiting Pakistani internal problems. The United States is playing a big role in ‘softening’ Pakistan. It is trying to pitch the country’s elected governments against the military to reduce the military’s ability to decide Pakistani interest on Afghanistan, China and India. Outside meddling is easy thanks to Pakistan’s weak political and government structure. Stopping American intervention in Pakistan, while continuing the cooperative relationship, is the biggest challenge facing President Obama. Will he do it? The facts on the ground are not encouraging. After gaining unprecedented access inside Pakistan – both diplomatically and militarily – it is doubtful that an Obama administration would scale back U.S. gains. Pakistan will have to tell the U.S. that it has legitimate security and strategic interests in the region and that it cannot allow the U.S. to decide those for Pakistan. This includes the shape of the future government in Kabul, the expansion of the Indian role in the region, and the relationship with China. Obama’s Washington has to understand, respect and work with Pakistani interests and concerns. Any other type of relationship won’t work. President Obama needs to wean his policy planners off the idea of reproducing the pliant regimes Baghdad and Kabul. Those things require war. And President Obama doesn’t want another war, does he?

This post is taken from the following:-

http://pakistankakhudahafiz.wordpress.com/2009/01/22/oil-obama-and-pakistan/

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Obama & Challenges!

January 22, 2009

President Of United States Of America "Barrack Hussein Obama"

President Of United States Of America "Barrack Hussein Obama"

The bar of challenges has been moved up high for Obama and now there are more chances for him to fail than pass. (I hope it’s not the way I predict!)

American’s have always played politics of the future and in my opinion Obama is just another pawn of America’s dirty politics. He has good motives but I am afraid that they would fade away with the passage of time in the dust of house of congress. It’s known that motives are not constant and fortunately/ unfortunately they change with the prevailing circumstances. With American Presidency being a seat where black has turned into white and white has into turned black for a century, the chances seem to very vague.

In addition to this, U.S Presidency is not a one man show. It involves a share of many other authorities and we cannot forget the former President Bush who can still influence things through his friends within congress. Whether Obama has been pushed on top of the board for a huge success or for a massive failure is a trillion dollar question.

Its amusing to see that without even doing anything Obama has been granted a status of a hero. The real test hasn’t even started. The level of expectation is high for Obama, with too much at stake and too little time. Fumbles and tumbles are on bets for sure.

There is no doubt that speeches of Obama are very inspirational and he has said what a common person wanted to hear. By showing interest in economy, Guantanamo bay, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and the resolution of Kashmir he has no doubt won support of nearly all ethnicities. However, history tells us that the campaign promises are forgotten as soon as the campaign is over. I am afraid of what is coming next for the world. Either it would be cheers of joy or it would bow head in disappointments (yet again!). The posture of newly elected President Obama and his selected administration team in Washington show that they mean business. The recent executive orders have clearly proved it.

Lets us all hope, that the future holds the best for all us.

AHEAD!!!!

AHEAD!!!!

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“Gaza Strikes” , a disguise ?

January 2, 2009

question-markSince strike began on Gaza a thought has been going through my mind again and again. In fact, I have discussed it with few of my close friends and they are of the same view as I am. So I thought I would share it here on my blog and see what responses to I get….

I think Gaza strikes have started all of a sudden to create a distraction from the current Pakistan and India crisis. This can be for a few reasons:-

• An attempt to take away the attention from India (after the blunder of Indian Planned Mumbai carnage ).

• To distract Pakistan in order to effect its readiness towards any surgical strikes by India.
 
• May be, to give India time to come up with some fresh false allegation or may be one more Indian planned carnage on Indian soil.

• Finally, may be Israel is just trying to show its might on innocent civilians.

The possibilities are endless……

I don’t know how much I am right or wrong on this but its just a thought.  Pakistan should keep its guard stiffer than ever, although Indian government is saying that they are not looking for a war, can we trust them ?