Can Malala’s Noble Deeds Make Her the Youngest Achiever of Nobel Peace Prize?

October 9th 2012 witnessed a vicious incident when Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head in an attempted murder by the Taliban group. One year down, the Pakistani teenager stands confident of her actions to support her country’s young girls by protesting for the education system to flow freely for them. Malala continues to shine despite the deadly attack by terrorists and she is likely to become the youngest winner ever of the Nobel Peace Prize, report The Atlantic Wire and Time World.


By winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala would accompany those recipients who are on the list of Nobel Peace winners, starting from Médecins Sans Frontières in 1999 to Muhammad Yunus in 2006.
Malala says that peace and education are inseparable, as without one you cannot possess the other. “I hope that a day will come when the people of Pakistan will be free, they will have their rights, there will be peace and every girl and every boy will be going to school,” she told the BBC in an interview.

The youngest Peace Prize was embraced by Tawakul Karman, who was 32 while receiving the award. If Malala wins the Nobel Peace Prize, she will be the second ever Pakistani laureate, the third female Muslim laureate, and definitely the youngest one to achieve the prestigious award. Most importantly, it would further strengthen her approach towards educating young girls and she would become an inspiration to Pakistani women and also the entire world.  


Before becoming a global symbol of children’s education, Malala too, like everybody else, was suppressed by the Taliban dominance and terrorist stir.The young Pakistani’s thoughts on Taliban’s next attack on her are praiseworthy. She says, “It seemed to me that everyone knows they will die one day. So I should do whatever I want to do.”

Recently, when a Pakistani radio station asked Malala if she thought she deserves the prize, she said, “There are many people who deserve the Nobel Peace Prize and I think that I still need to work a lot. In my opinion I have not done that much to win the Nobel Peace Prize.”


Kashmir: the demons of war return

штат Джамму и Кашмир полиция Джамму и Кашмир индия пакистан индия

After the holiday season standstill relations between India and Pakistan have sharply deteriorated. The mysterious cruel killing of the two Indian military men in the state of Jammu and Kashmir reminded the world of the “oldest conflict on the UN agenda”. While Delhi and Islamabad are blaming each other for violating the truce, the conflict escalation threatens to upset the fragile status quo along the ‘Control line”, which is one of the most explosive borderlines in the world.

The disfigured bodies of the two Indian military who guarded the post at the border with Pakistan in the Mendhar sector and died on Tuesday under unclear circumstances, became a grim reminder of the fact that the demons of war sometimes return in the relations between India and Pakistan. Mysterious and unstoppable they come back to claim new victims. Each side has its own truth, its own view of the conflict, compiles its own list of victims, the true number of which nobody really knows at this point. Besides the official wars, there is an undeclared war in progress. And each side sticks to its own myths in this war.

The standoff between India and Pakistan, which has the dispute over Kashmir at its basis, with all the rejection of compromise and violence today appears irrational if not meaningless and leads to a dead end. And all this is not simply due to the fact that there can be no winners and defeated in this standoff – everybody would lose. And the fact that both sides have nuclear weapons forces the world to freeze in tension again and again when the word “Kashmir” comes up, which points at one of the most beautiful and at the same time hardest to access places on Earth.

It appears that owning the mountainous Kashmir which is poor in natural resources and has a severe climate can give little benefit to India: its military and economic significance is not that great. In reality, the territory of Kashmir presents little value for Pakistan as well. But why then are both sides engaged in this tug-of-war game on the «Roof of the World» risking to fall into the abyss?

In reality the issue at stake is not only and not as much the territory as the state ideology of each country. It is the ideology that raises the stakes so high and prevents the sides from compromising their principles. In reality, it is the historic argument between the two concepts that lie in the basis of the two states that used to be one at some point in the past. The Pakistani concept of the «two nations» opposes the Indian concept of «one nation».

The founding fathers of modern India Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi were Hindu, but they wanted it to be so that in their country not only Hindus, which were the majority of the population, but also representatives of other ethnic groups, religions and cultures could have a worthy life. This principle lies at the core of the theory of «one nation» or «one happy family of nations», which according to the plan of Nerhu and Gandhi the Republic of India was to become.

In his turn, the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah believed that there were differences between the Hindu and the Muslims, which prevented them from living together. Jinnah sincerely believed that only in their own Islamic state could the Indian Muslims receive equal rights and realize themselves fully. This is how the theory of the «two nations» was born – of the Hindu and the Muslims.

If today one can for a minute imagine that the separatists’ dream could come true and Kashmir would split from India that would bury the idea of the «united family» of nations, which is at the basis of the ideology of democratic secular India. If the events were to develop along that menacing scenario, the entire existence of the Indian federation would be under threat. Nobody would allow that.

And here a comparison to Russia is called for: if during the two Chechen wars that started after the collapse of the USSR the so-called advocates of «independent Ichkeria» realized their plan and created an independent state, it would have been a lethal strike at the Russian Federation.

It was no surprise that India from the very beginning supported the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya and never voiced any doubts about that. The situation Moscow found itself in from the very beginning appeared very familiar to the Indians – similar to that in Kashmir.

Kashmir found itself a hostage of the half a century long fight between the two state ideologies, the Indian and the Pakistani. And that remains the main cause for the demons of war to continue to torture that part of the world, the land and the mountains of which are soaked with blood. And the anticipated resetting of the relations between the two countries keeps giving way to the shootings and terrorist attacks, the war of symbols and gestures, as it happens today.

Pak Cricket Board chief sends Thackeray ‘get well soon’ message

Pakistan‘s cricket board chairman Zaka Ashraf on Thursday sent a “get well soon” message to Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, who is in critical condition in Mumbai.

The health condition of the Shiv Sena chief turned critical Wednesday night.

“I have sent a message of get well soon to Mr Bal Thackeray,” Ashraf said.

“Our religion and our Prophet Mohammad taught us that we should wish everyone good health and life and following that I have wished him well and sent him a bouquet,” Ashraf was quoted as having said by Pakistani media.

Thackeray has demanded that the Indian government cancel next month’s tour by the Pakistani cricket team.

The 86-year-old said that sporting ties should not revived until Pakistan brings the perpetrators of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to justice.

However, the Indian government earlier this month gave the go-ahead for a tour of two Twenty20 and three one-day internationals to commence in December-January — the first between the arch-rivals in five years.


The Pakistan Cauldron – Book Review

The Pakistan Cauldron | Pakistan made easy, in four parts

The world is perhaps on tenterhooks about the safety and security of Pak’s nukes under the looming threat of Pak military/ISI raised/supported terrorist groups stealing or getting control of them. But James P Farwell in his new book The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination and Instabilityargues that while Pakistan may be a dysfunctional country, its military is disciplined and ruthless in its efforts to protect its nuclear arsenal. 

Set in four parts, the book in part one examines A Q Khan’s activity and Musharraf’s calisthenics to silence Khan and to protect Pakistan’s nuclear secrets as well as his ‘communications strategy and tactics’ attempted for Pakistan’s interests. It must also be noted that during Musharraf’s tenure, when Pakistan received substantial arms and monetary aid from the US for fighting against the same terrorists which Pak army/ISI has been covertly supporting, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal grew significantly with Chinese assistance.
The second part of the book dwells on careers of and conflicts between Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf as well as events related to her assassination. Part three looks at factors, fallouts and the mystery of Benazir’s assassination and the fourth part titled A Nation on the Brink deals with the aftermath.
Assessing the historical legacy and influence of Bhutto, the book brings out that Pakistani intelligence did  not hesitate to lie and even plotted to assassinate its own prime minister and it uncovers the truth about the attitude of Pakistan’s intelligence community to her return to Pakistan in 2007 and what they most feared. In fact, what the book explains about Pakistani power players’ use of  communication to compete for power and consolidate their grip on power, is nothing but the rampant and frequent use of lies, half-truths and repeated denials.
Depicting the dynamics that are in play in Pakistan’s current constitutional controversy that has led to former Prime Minister Y R Gilani’s indictment [charge-sheet], which are blowbacks from Pak army’s anger at President Zardari for being too pro-American, it may be the only book so far that [a] shows how the culture of conspiracy operates,  using the Raymond Davis controversy and the attack on bin Laden to illustrate the odd-ball dynamics of this political culture; [b] examines US-Pakistani relations strategically and explains what makes Pakistani politics tick, including how the nation’s weak identity and culture that breeds conspiracy theory, assassination, and a sense of betrayal functions.  
Farwell’s background as a national security expert and a political consultant enables him to explain and assess the impact of the bin Laden raid and how that has affected Pakistani politics. 
Observing that what is transpiring currently is the outgrowth of over five decades of Pakistani politics, the book provides insights into why Pakistan -US cooperation has become so difficult. 
With the author also being an experienced litigator, the book evaluates how President Pervez Musharraf mishandled the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. It does this by using an entertaining approach: creating a ‘Dictator’s playbook’ for damage control and cover-up.
Raising the issue of Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai attack, the author comments that Pakistan’s ‘India-phobia’ is self-defeating and that the exposure of ISI training and sponsoring Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba for the 26 November 2008 attack was a signal event affecting the strategic communication mentioned earlier. It is this strong connection between the ISI and Lashkar that Pakistan simply cannot afford to acknowledge and may remain a pending bane in India-Pakistan relations, even if the integrated border check-post linking both Punjabs has begun functioning.  A recommended read for those studying Pakistan.
Author: James P.Farwell
Publisher: Pentagon Press | 2012
Price: Rs 795

Indian Army Chief vs Pak Army Chief – Who’s More Powerful?

As India’s Army Chief General VK Singh walks out after years of service that ended up with an age row causing serious damages to his integrity, there is political chaos in our neighborhood that has always lived under the fear of military coup of his democratic government. The world is keenly watching over the developments in Pakistan, wondering if history will be repeated as rumors spread of another military coup in the making under Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan army, Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Indian army chief had made this quite clear that it’s not for an extra year in office but for his honor and dignity that he is fighting. At the end of this prolonged battle between the government and the army chief which in fact has affected the morale of the army itself, it has learned that there is some kind of a compromise formula on the horizon as the General said that he has not though of taking recourse to legal action yet.
The history of Independent Pakistan has seen many military coups and the country has been under military rule for several decades – during 958 – 1971, 1977 – 1988, 1999 – 2008.
It was in 1958 the first military coup that rocked the Pakistani politics when its Pakistani President Major General Iskander Mirza decided to dismiss the country’s Constituent Assembly and the government of Prime Minister Feroz Khan Noon. He appointed army commander-in-chief General Ayub Khan as the Chief martial law administrator who after thirteen years disposed Mirza and appointed himself President.

The latest of military overthrow was in the year of 1999 and this famous coup which is much familiar to the modern world was orchestrated the then army chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf who foiled Sharif’s attempt to dismiss him after his return from Sri Lanka managed to rule the Muslim State from 1999 to 2008.

While the question of power can only seen in different contexts in India and Pakistan, unlike its arch rival, the India military has been kept under solid civilian control. On the other hand, Pakistan had always veered towards an authoritarian style of rule and thus paved way for decades of military rule in the country. Despite the fact that the country failed to protect its civilian interests by having a strong government elected by the people, it should be noted that armed forces are the only effective and successful modern institution in Pakistan as everything else – the police force, the government, the judiciary, the civil service etc – proved failures over the years.

Kayani, who was trained in different military schools in the United States, became the first ever ISI chief to become the army chief of the country in 2007.  Called the soldier’s soldier, Kayani’s apolitical and professional image often makes him the invisible centre-of-gravity. He turned down President Zardari’s proposal to sent ISI Chief to India to initiate talks after the 26/11 and there are many similar incidents to be cited to show his supremacy over the political class in Pakistan. While the power of army chief is can be said unlimited in Pakistan, the system continues to survive in its own peril.

China Seeks Military Bases in Pak’s Restive Tribal Region

China has expressed an interest in setting up military bases in Pakistan’s volatile tribal area or the Northern Areas, close to the restive Chinese province of Xinjiang, to counter the activities of extremists, according to a media report.

The Chinese desire is aimed at containing the growing terrorist activities of Chinese rebels of the al-Qaeda-linked East Turkestan Islamic Movement, The News daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying.

China Seeks Military Bases in Pak's Restive Tribal Region

The Chinese rebels want an independent Islamic state and are reportedly being trained in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

China’s wish to have a military presence in Pakistan was discussed at length by the political and military leadership of both countries in recent months as Beijing has become more concerned about the Pakistan’s tribal belt serving as a haven for radicals, the report said.

“Beijing believes that similar to the American military presence in Pakistan, a Chinese presence would enable its military to effectively counter the Muslim separatists who had been operating from the tribal areas of Pakistan for almost a decade and carrying out cross-border terrorist activities in the trouble-stricken Xinjiang Province,” the report said.

There were three high-profile visits from Pakistan to China in recent months – by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, President Asif Ali Zardari and Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

The Pakistani visits were reciprocated by a visit to Islamabad by Chinese Vice Premier Meng Jianzhu.

This visit was prompted by two bomb blasts in Kashgar city of Xinjiang on July 30 and 31 that killed 18 people, the report said.

The blasts provoked senior government officials in Xinjiang to claim for the first time in recent years that the attackers were trained in ETIM camps being run by Chinese Muslim separatists in Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal region.

The report contended that Beijing believes the Chinese rebels operating from the Pakistani tribal areas are well connected to Al Qaeda, which trains them and provides funding.

“Therefore, Pakistan and China, which have been cooperating for a long time in the field of counter-terrorism, have intensified their efforts to nip the evil of terrorism in the bud, especially after the Kashgar blasts,” it said.

In the aftermath of the May 2 raid by US troops that killed Osama bin Laden in his hideout in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad that Islamabad started playing its “China card aggressively, perhaps to caution Washington against pushing it too hard”, the report said.

Shortly after the raid, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani travelled to Beijing too seek support for Pakistan.

Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, who accompanied Gilani, said on May 21 that whatever requests for assistance the Pakistani side made, the Chinese government was more than happy to oblige, including agreeing to take over operation of the strategically located but underused port of Gwadar upon expiry of a contract with a Singaporean government company.

Mukhtar had further said that Pakistan had asked China to begin building a naval base at Gwadar, where Beijing funded and built the port.

“We would be grateful to the Chinese government if a naval base is constructed at the site of Gwadar for Pakistan,” he said in a statement.

‘We are Trained to Hate India': Pakistani Students

Young children in Pakistan are taught to hate India, says a group of Pakistani students at a workshop conducted by the Sociology Department of Mumbai University. Their visit to the Indian city on a mission of promoting the practice of harmony and bonding among the youngsters of both nations is a positive move which should be appreciated.

'We are Trained to Hate India': Pakistani Students

“Once hating India was seen as true patriotism. We were trained to hate India but now we feel that there is an urgent need to stress on peace,” Sitara Jabeen, an MPhil student in Peace and Conflicts Studies at the National Defence University, Islamabad told DNA in Mumbai. “There is a group in Pakistan that is involved in terrorism, but the rest of us feel the same pain when India or any other country is attacked,” she said. “Pakistan is as much a victim of violence at the hands of terror outfits as India,” says Sidra Tariq who pursues MPhil in International Relations at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad.

Arshi Saleem Hashmi, a professor from the same university, said “stereotypes are kept alive by a lack of understanding between groups of people. One way to shatter them,” she added, “is by engaging the youth of both the countries. The bonding of the youth can break that deadlock.”

Lahore based architect and youth activist, Hina Anwar Ali mentioned the cultural and demographical similarities of Pakistan and India and he pointed out how the youth can work as a centre of peace process between the two countries.
On the other hand, it is not a new allegation against Pakistan’s education system. Jabeen’s statement points out the fact that empowerment of terror in Pakistan have not just quickly taken place. According to a recent study by U.S. government had exposed how Pakistani schools cultivate discrimination and intolerance of other religions. The report stated that the very perception of non-Muslims is as ‘enemies of Islam,’ and nearly all teachers have the same view.
There are so many arguments on the growth of terrorism in Pakistan. Many arguments on what Pakistan schools teach their children reveal that the official textbooks prop up hatred against India, especially Hindus. The text books on Pakistan studies and social studies are the main controversial teachings where the history has been misrepresented and turn to corrupt the harmony with India.

Pak Schools Foster Hindu Hatred: U.S.

Text books in Pakistani schools foster hatred and intolerance of minorities, the Hindus in particular and teachers view these groups “as enemies of Islam,” a U.S. government report has said.

“Pakistan and Social Studies textbooks are rife with negative comments regarding India and Great Britain, but Hindus are often singled out for particular criticism in texts and in interview responses,” said the report. This intolerance and prejudice also extends to other minorities like the Christians and Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslims but are not considered so by the Pakistani constitution.” The Islamisation of text books, the Commission has said began under the army rule of late dictator Zia-ul-Haq who courted Islamists to support his rule.

Though in 2006 the government announced plans to reform the curriculum, this has not been done under apparent pressure of hardliners, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in a report made public today. The Commission in its 139-page report said that though Pakistan was envisaged as a moderate state where minorities would have full rights, but three wars with India and appeasement of hardline clerics by successive weak governments had led to steady radicalisation of the society.

The Chairman of the Commission Leonard Leo warned “the teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow, weakening religious freedom, national and regional stability, and global security.” “Although an unbiased review of history would show that Hindus and Muslims enjoyed centuries of harmonious co-existence, Hindus are repeatedly described as extremists and eternal enemies of Islam. Hindu culture and society are portrayed as unjust and cruel, while Islam is portrayed as just and peaceful,” USCIRF said in its report.

Maharashtra has spent Rs 16 crore on Kasab so far

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the Pakistani gunman who unleashed terror in the city along with his nine associates, is still bleeding state coffers three years after he killed more than 100 people on November 26, 2008.

The state home department has since spent Rs 16.17 crore on accommodating the terrorist at the Arthur Road jail, including constructing a special cell, deploying forces from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and on his safety, food and medical treatment.

The expenditure does not include legal fees paid to the special public prosecutor and his team. The state is taking a stock of Kasab’s expenses in the wake of the third anniversary of the 26/11 attacks.

“So far, there are no changes in the way we are going to treat him in the future. We continue to spend on Kasab since his security is a prime concern. To ensure adequate healthcare, we incurred a treatment cost of Rs 26,953 since 2008,” said an official from the state home department.

Ten terrorists had attacked various locations in the city on 26/11, killing more than 100 people and injuring several more. While Kasab was caught alive, the others were gunned down by the police. After the trial in a special court, sessions court judge M L Tahilyani sentenced Kasab to death. The order was upheld by the high court on February 21, 2011. Since then, the state has been ensuring that in the process of giving him a fair trial, Kasab gets food, accommodation and adequate medical facility.

So far, Rs 5.29 crore has been spent on setting up a special cell for Kasab, who was shifted into it after state authorities found existing safety arrangements within the prison inadequate for a high-profile criminal. The expenditure on the deployment of ITBP has been Rs 10.87 crore; another Rs 27,520 has been spent on food and Rs 26,953 on medicines. “The cost of food has been steadily rising but we are able to keep it roughly about Rs 25 per day,” said the official.

5.3 crore spent on Kasab’s special cell

Ten terrorists had attacked various locations in the city on 26/11, killing more than 100 people and injuring several more. While Kasab was caught alive, the others were gunned down by the police. After the trial in a special court, sessions court judge M L Tahilyani sentenced Kasab to death.

The order was upheld by the high court on February 21, 2011. Since then, the state has been ensuring that in the process of giving him a fair trial, Kasab gets food, accommodation and adequate medical facility.

So far, Rs 5.29 crore has been spent on setting up a special cell for Kasab. The expenditure on the deployment of ITBP has been Rs 10.87 crore; Rs 27,520 has been spent on food and Rs 26,953 on medicines. “The cost of food has been steadily rising but we are able to keep it roughly about Rs 25 per day,” said the official.

Upkeep Monitor

Total state spend on Kasab

* Rs 5.29 crore on constructing a special cell

* Rs 10.87 crore on deploying forces from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police

* Rs 27,520 on food

* Rs 26,953 on medicines

India will Fail in Kashmir as U.S. in Afghanistan: Imran Khan

It was a real show of power from the cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan who with his 100,000 flag-waving supporters rallying near the Minar-e-Pakistan monument, saw himself establishing as a real force in Pakistani politics.

Talking up the issue of the rights of Kashmiris at the heavily electrified political rally, he said the Indian Army will fail in Kashmir as the U.S. army did in Afghanistan. “Did the Americans succeed in Afghanistan? Is the Indian Army more powerful than the U.S. Army? When the Americans couldn’t succeed, how can you succeed with 700,000 troops that are involved in excesses?,” he asks as the crowd cheered.

“No army has been able to solve any country’s problems at any time,” he said demanding that the Indian troops should be withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir. The chief of Tehreek-e-Insaf also asked Hindustan to give the people of Kashmir their right to self-determination. He said his party would “stand with the Kashmiri brothers and speak for their rights at all forums”.

Khan who founded his political party 15 years ago is trying hard to translate his fame into votes. Focusing on the core issues in the country such as corruption, lack of education, rising prices, inflation and unemployment, the cricketing legend is expanding his political base ahead of the 2013 general election. A poll conducted by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center back in June sees Khan as the most popular political figure in Pakistan.

Previous Older Entries



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,611 other followers