Monday, July 27, 2015

Pakistan Judicial Commission Report; Recurring Floods; ISIS Threat; Japan Re-Militarization

How will judicial commission report impact Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI)? Will there be a split in PTI? Will it hurt Imran Khan’s and his party’s popularity? Will Nawaz Sharif and his PMLN colleagues behave badly after the report?

Is a new political party emerging in Pakistan with many disgruntled members of existing parties? Is the Pak military behind it? What will such a party look like?

Why are there recurring floods in Pakistan almost every year? Meting glaciers? Heavier monsoons rising from increasing fresh water layer in Bay of Bengal? What can or should be done about it?

Monsoon Movement Across South Asia Source: BBC

Who will fill the vacuum left in Afghanistan by US troop withdrawal? Taliban? ISIS? Al Qaeda? Afghan government?

Why is Japan militarizing? Is it to counter rising China? How will it impact Asia? Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam ( and Riaz Haq (

Pakistan Judicial Commission Report; Recurring Floods; ISIS Threat; Japan Re-Militarization from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Pakistan Judicial Commission Report; Recurring... by ViewpointFromOverseas

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

PTI Dharna

Musharraf Treason Trial

Pakistani Glaciers Growing, Not Melting Away

Afghan-China-Pakistan Trilateral Initiative For Afghanistan

Post Cold War Lineup: Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-US-Japan

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel

VPOS Vimeo Channel

VPOS Dailymotion Channel


Riaz Haq said...

The Government of Japan will replace the weather surveillance radar in Karachi with a grant of 1.95 billion Yen (approx Rs 1.6 billion).

For this purpose, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Hiroshi Inomata signed and exchanged notes with Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Muhammad Saleem Sethi on Wednesday. A grant agreement on the details of implementation of the project was also signed between JICA chief representative Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki and EAD Joint Secretary Syed Mujtaba Hussain.

Four (Islamabad, Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan and Rahimyar Khan) out of seven meteorological radar systems in Pakistan were established under the grant of Japan. These four radars observe the precipitation of about 80% of the country. Among them, the existing Karachi radar system established in 1991 has played an important role in monitoring meteorological phenomena in the southern area and tropical cyclones which are formed over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

However, with the passage of time and despite maintenance, the installed radars are losing their relevance to modern technology. In the wake of these imminent challenges, it is pertinent to shift from this analogue system to modern digital Doppler mode radar. The new radar will have a 450km radius of information processing for consumption of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

This will help the PMD monitor the movement and development of severe weather systems to prepare more accurate and timely weather forecast and to warn coastal areas in Sindh and Balochistan. Forecast for international shipping and aircrafts’ traffic will also be improved. The Doppler mode is essential in achieving more accurate forecasting and longer forecast prediction times.

This project is the first priority of the National Multi Hazard Early Warning System Plan which was a part of the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) formulated through Japan’s assistance in 2012. In accordance with the NDMP, Japan has been extending assistance such as replacement of the meteorological radar in Islamabad and installation of the Flood Forecasting System in collaboration with UNESCO. The project agreed on Wednesday is expected to have synergies with these ongoing and completed projects assisted by Japan.

At the signing ceremony, Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata expressed the hope that this project contributes to protecting more lives and properties from future natural disasters.

He also said, “Japan will continue to work together with Pakistan to make this country disaster-resilient, making good use of experience and expertise Japan has gained from many disasters in the past.”

JICA chief representative Kawasaki while commenting on the significance of the project said, “Since Japan also has faced persistent natural disasters and overcome it in our long history, Japan should lead and strengthen disaster management in the world based on our knowledge and experience as well as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which is one of the fruit of the 3rd UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.”

The Government of Japan committed in November 2013 that it would provide 1.6 trillion Yen (approximately $16 billion or Rs 1.4 trillion) of public and private finance over a period of three years from 2013 to 2015 to developing countries, which include Pakistan, to counter climate change. The project agreed on Wednesday forms a part of this commitment.

Khushroo said...

Why doesn't Pakistan use a weather surveillance satellite system? RISAT (Radar Imaging Satellite) is a series of Indian radar imaging reconnaissance satellites built by ISRO. They provide all-weather surveillance using synthetic aperture radars (SAR).

The RISAT series are the first all-weather earth observation satellites from ISRO. Previous Indian observation satellites relied primarily on optical and spectral sensors which were hampered by cloud cover.

Riaz Haq said...

Khusroo: " Why doesn't Pakistan use a weather surveillance satellite system? "

PakSat 1R satellite has synthetic aperture radar (SAR) but this feature is not for weather forecasting. It's for all-weather surveillance.

Pakistan MET dept, like NOAA, uses overlays of weather satellite images and earth-based doppler radar station for weather forecasts.

Riaz Haq said...

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had “solid information” about the alleged involvement of former DG ISI Lt Gen (retd) Zaheerul Islam in the 2014 ‘Dharna’ show to destabilise the government yet he avoided proceeding against the spymaster to avoid any civil-military tension, it has been learnt.

Credible government sources told The News that the prime minister, in the presence of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, had directed the-then DG ISI Gen Zaheer to get the situation defused but he did otherwise.

These sources said that the PM had also discussed this situation with the army chief General Raheel Sharif, who unlike the former spymaster has been fully cooperative with the government and did not support any move to destabilise the elected constitutional government.

During those days, some of Nawaz Sharif’s associates had advised him to proceed against Zaheerul Islam but he exercised maximum restraint and remained patient. According to one source, the PM was of the view that his action against Gen Zaheer might increase uncertainty to the advantage of those who wanted to dent the democratic and constitutional rule.

Although, much was speculated by the media including a report saying that the army chief had sought Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation, in reality General Raheel has been fully cooperative in helping to defuse the tension and bringing the situation back to normal.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had recently named the former DG ISI for his alleged role in destabilising the Nawaz Sharif government through the PAT-PTI sit-ins.Khawaja Asif said that General Zaheer had pushed up the ‘London Plan’ conspiracy against the government. In a TV interview, the minister said that the 2014 London Plan against the Nawaz Sharif government was the work of two former ISI chiefs — Lt General (retd) Shuja Pasha and Lt Gen (retd) Zaheerul Islam.

According to the defence minister, Gen Zaheer had a grudge against the government for its stance on the Geo issue. To settle his personal grudge, Khawaja said, Gen Zaheer had hurt the national interest. Khawaja, however, said that the situation was handled well by the prime minister, who remained patient.

In September last year, Reuters had also reported that weeks of mounting anti-government protests in Pakistan had been enough to convince five of the powerful Lt Generals (believed to have retired now) that it was time for them to step in and force the embattled Nawaz Sharif to resign.

The five corps commanders were though not named by the Reuters, it was claimed that top generals had met in the garrison city of Rawalpindi at the end of August as demonstrations raged in Islamabad.

It was reported, “At the tense four-hour conclave, Pakistan’s democratic process was once again in peril, with the military pondering another intervention in a country that has seen power change hands more often through coups than elections.”

Reuters further said, “But army chief Raheel Sharif decided the time was not right to overthrow the civilian leadership, and moved to quell any disagreement in his ranks by overruling the hawks and declaring the crisis must be solved through politics, not force.”

Riaz Haq said...

Hundreds dead in #India #Pakistan #Bangladesh #Myanmar from #Monsoon2015 floods …

Yangon (AFP) - The toll from flash floods and landslides in Myanmar after days of torrential rain is likely to spike, the UN warned Sunday, as monsoonal downpours brought misery to thousands across the region.

At least 27 people have been killed and more than 150,000 affected by flooding in Myanmar in recent days, with the government declaring the four worst-hit areas in central and western Myanmar as "national disaster-affected regions".

Scores have also perished in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam following floods and landslides triggered by heavy seasonal rains.

Rescue work in Myanmar has been hampered by continued downpours and the inaccessibility of many of the remote regions worst hit by the deluges.

The United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Sunday it had been informed by the Myanmar government's Relief and Resettlement Department that at least 156,000 people have been affected by the floods.

But that figure was likely to be "significantly higher" because many areas "have still not been reached or reported on by assessment teams," the agency warned.

OCHA said the official death toll of 27 was also likely an underestimate.

"As further information becomes available, this figure is also expected to increase," the statement said.

Seasonal monsoon rains have also brought death and destruction to other Asian nations.

In Pakistan, flooding has killed 81 people and affected almost 300,000 in the last two weeks. Flash floods in western India have killed 26 people while the Press Trust of India said at least 20 people died over the weekend in a landslide in Manipur state which borders Myanmar.

In Vietnam's Quang Ninh province 14 people have been killed in flooding while 36 people have perished in landslides in Nepal.

Two of the worst affected areas in Myanmar are the remote western states of Chin and Rakhine.

The Myanmar Red Cross Society said 300 homes in Rakhine had been destroyed or damaged, with around 1,500 people evacuated to shelters.

"The figures are expected to increase in the coming days as Red Cross assessment teams access remote areas of Rakhine affected by the flooding," the agency's head Maung Maung Khin said in a statement released Sunday.

Rakhine already hosts some 140,000 displaced people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, who live in exposed makeshift coastal camps following deadly 2012 unrest between the minority group and Buddhists.

State media also reported that the Chin state capital Haka had been rocked by landslides over the weekend destroying 60 homes, a number of key roads and seven bridges.

The Global New Light of Myanmar carried photographs showing collapsed homes in a town which the paper reported had been "left cut off from surrounding areas".

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

I'm sorry: #UK Ex PM #Blair takes blame for #Iraq War, Creation of #ISIS. #BlairWarCriminal via @MailOnline

Former PM makes the confession after 12 years of refusing to apologise
Blair says he is sorry for his conduct which has now led to 'hell' in Iraq
Says there is an element of truth that the war caused the rise of ISIS
Comes after Lord Blunkett revealed he had challenged Blair about the war

Tony Blair has finally said sorry for the Iraq War – and admitted he could be partly to blame for the rise of Islamic State.
The extraordinary confession by the former Prime Minister comes after 12 years in which he refused to apologise for the conflict.
Blair makes his dramatic ‘mea culpa’ during a TV interview about the ‘hell’ caused by his and George Bush’s decision to oust Saddam Hussein.

Riaz Haq said...

Why #ISIS has potential to be a world-altering revolution — How can it be stopped? #terrorism #Syria … via @aeonmag

‘Virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue…’

Maximilien Robespierre, On the Principles of Political Morality (1794)

As pundits and politicians stoked the recent shootings in California into an existential threat; as French troops were deployed in Paris; as Belgian police locked down Brussels, and US and Russian planes intensified air attacks in Syria following yet another slaughter perpetrated in the name of the so-called Islamic State, it was easy to lose sight of a central fact. Amid the bullets, bombs and bluster, we are not only failing to stop the spread of radical Islam, but our efforts often appear to contribute to it.

What accounts for the failure of ‘The War on Terror’ and associated efforts to counter the spread of violent extremism? The failure starts with reacting in anger and revenge, engendering more savagery without stopping to grasp the revolutionary character of radical Arab Sunni revivalism. This revival is a dynamic, countercultural movement of world-historic proportions spearheaded by ISIS, (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). In less than two years, it has created a dominion over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres and millions of people. And it possesses the largest and most diverse volunteer fighting force since the Second World War.

What the United Nations community regards as senseless acts of horrific violence are to ISIS’s acolytes part of an exalted campaign of purification through sacrificial killing and self-immolation: Know that Paradise lies under the shade of swords, says a hadith, or saying of the Prophet; this one comes from the Sahih al-Bukhari, a collection of the Prophet’s sayings considered second only to the Qu’ran in authenticity and is now a motto of ISIS fighters.

This is the purposeful plan of violence that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s self-anointed Caliph, outlined in his call for ‘volcanoes of jihad’: to create a globe-spanning jihadi archipelago that will eventually unite to destroy the present world and create a new-old world of universal justice and peace under the Prophet’s banner. A key tactic in this strategy is to inspire sympathisers abroad to violence: do what you can, with whatever you have, wherever you are, whenever possible.

To understand the revolution, my research team has conducted dozens of structured interviews and behavioural experiments with youth in Paris, London and Barcelona, as well as with captured ISIS fighters in Iraq and members of Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria). We also focused on youth from distressed neighbourhoods previously associated with violence or jihadi support – for example, the Paris suburbs of Clichy-sous-Bois and Épinay-sur-Seine, the Moroccan neighbourhoods of Sidi Moumen in Casablanca and Jamaa Mezuak in Tetuán.

While many in the West dismiss radical Islam as simply nihilistic, our work suggests something far more menacing: a profoundly alluring mission to change and save the world.

In the West, the seriousness of this mission is denied. Olivier Roy, usually a deep and subtle thinker, wrote last month in Le Monde that the Paris plotters represent most who flock to ISIS; they are marginal misfits largely ignorant of religion and geopolitics, and bereft of real historical grievances. They ride the wave of radical Islam as an outlet for their nihilism because it’s the biggest and baddest countercultural movement around. And how else could one explain a mother who abandons her baby to die butchering innocents in San Bernadino who never did her harm?