Sunday, August 23, 2015

NA-122 Verdict; MQM Resignations; India-Pakistan Talks Cancellation; Trump Phenomenon

Will Pakistan NA-122 re-poll order boost Imran Khan and PTI? Is this a big setback of PMLN and Sharif clan in Lahore? Is Reham Khan preparing for significant leadership role in PTI?

Did Pakistan do the right thing by refusing conditional talks with India at the NSA level? How will this affect prospects for peace in South Asia?

Has Nawaz Sharif snubbed MQM leadership by ignoring their complaints during his Karachi visit? How will it impact Karachi?

How will Donald Trump fare if nominated as Republican candidate for president in 2016 US general elections? Can he become president and govern?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam and analyst Riaz Haq discuss these questions.

PTI Win in NA-122; India-Pakistan Talks Off; MQM Resignations; Trump Phenomenon from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Scotland Yard Confirms Document Linking MQM to RAW

Ex RAW Chief on Agra Summit and Kashmir

Pakistan Opposition Indicts But Supports PMLN Government

Trump For President

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel

VPOS Vimeo Channel

VPOS Dailymotion Channel


Syed Qasim Abbas said...

why is the video removed

Riaz Haq said...

SQA: "why is the video removed"

It was removed by my colleague by mistake. It's now been reposted.

Riaz Haq said...

Hindustan Times on stalled India-Pakistan diplomacy:

Modi’s Pakistan policy seems to stem from the belief that keeping Islamabad on a leash through hardened rhetoric and enforcing a circumscribed dialogue is the way to go. The problem is that it achieves little beyond beefing up his domestic legitimacy. For one, it does not guarantee an end to terror attacks. Clearly India’s threats and a massive retaliation to cross-LoC firing last autumn has not deterred Pakistan from pushing terrorists into Gurdaspur or using artillery against civilians in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has been steadily expanding its nuclear weapons programme and feels able to continue with sub-conventional warfare without too much of a cost. Modi’s coercive tactics have not altered that calculus significantly yet as the increased attacks in J&K suggest. In fact, the principal reason why Pakistan is keen on resuming dialogue with India, is not because it quakes at the neighbour’s military might, but because it sees engagement as a mechanism to contain escalation if a major terrorist strike does happen – a tool India has now deprived itself of.

Riaz Haq said...

#Russia-#Pakistan Mi-35 Contract Could be Expanded For More Helicopters/ Sputnik International … via @SputnikInt

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The contract on the delivery of four Russian Mi-35 helicopters to Pakistan could be expanded, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov said Tuesday.
"It all depends on money. Pakistan has stated that it has the financial means for 10-12 helicopters of this type, but negotiations are ongoing," Kabulov told RIA Novosti.
Moscow and Islamabad are discussing possible supplies of Russian defensive weapons to Pakistan, Kabulov added.
"Pakistan has an interest in other Russian weapon systems. Negotiations are underway. We are talking about defensive systems," Kabulov told RIA Novosti.
In March, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain announced Islamabad's intention to expand military-technical commerce with Russia with the purchase of Mi-35 gunships.
In August, a contract for four Mi-35M transport and attack helicopters was signed by Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and Pakistan's Ministry of Defense, according to a spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Islamabad.
The Mi-35M (NATO Designation Hind-E) is an upgraded export version of the Mi-24V multipurpose assault helicopter, developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant.

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Ben Carson, the Islamophobe, an unworthy beneficiary of the affirmative action and race-based quotas. #Islamophobia …

...And let’s not forget the affirmative action policy at the university that took in to consideration his race, socio-economic status and other factors in determining his admittance....

Two decades later, the Ben Carson running for President of the United States is hardly recognizable from the one who so sat next to me on the panel at WSU and so eloquently spoke of the need to support and nurture the potential of poor and minority youths. Nor do we hear the words of the man who so eloquently praised the work and sacrifice of civil rights icons such as Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and even lesser well known black pioneers in science and invention.
On a national stage today, when the country badly needs to hear the inspiring and affirmative words of a man who managed to successfully navigate the traps of a harsh and often unforgiving ghetto, reinforced by institutional and structural racism personified in bad schools, red lining, an absence of work and neighborhood and police violence, all we hear from Carson is the self-righteous carping of a politician who claims he has the gravitas to lead the world, but comes across as someone with an embarrassingly superficial understanding of public policy and who is submerged in the politics of complaint and the art of victim blaming.
Indeed, it was only three weeks ago when he had the audacity to go to Ferguson, Missouri and tell an audience of beleaguered black residents looking for words of hope and inspiration, that racism was not a problem in their region and that Michael Brown; the 17-year-old unarmed black youth killed by a white police officer after a confrontation over him walking in the street, was a “bad actor.” And for good measure he called the grassroots police reform effort “Black Lives Matters,” “bullies” and “sickening.”
He has attacked President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which has provided healthcare to more than 16 million previously uninsured Americans; most of them poor, many minorities, as “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

Riaz Haq said...

Explore the Beauty of #Kashmir. WSJ reporter hears common refrain: "THIS ISN’T #INDIA. This is Kashmir” via @WSJ

“THIS ISN’T INDIA. This is Kashmir,” a fellow passenger told me as we landed at the Srinagar airport. Now, as if cued by the scenery—striking alpine vistas of snowcapped mountains surrounding a vast lake fringed with lotus flowers and terraced Mughal-era gardens—my taxi driver says the same thing. It’s a statement I’ll hear repeated many times during my two-week visit, expressing a popular belief that Kashmiris want to live in an independent state, free of India and Pakistan. Beyond politics, it also recognizes a fundamental truth: Kashmir is culturally distinct from the rest of India.

The last time I set foot here was more than 20 years ago—long before 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, when the idea of Western tourists seeking beauty in Sufi shrines, mosques and other Islamic sites wasn’t unusual. Shortly after my visit, an American tourist was shot and killed in the streets of Srinagar’s old city; the following year six European and American tourists were kidnapped from a mountainous region popular with trekkers. Violence here peaked in the early 2000s, when President Clinton called Kashmir “the most dangerous place on earth.” A tourism industry that had been the envy of all Asia was shut down by a protracted conflict that left tens of thousands of Kashmiris dead and more than half a million Indian troops here on high alert.

Recently, however, a new peace has taken hold in Kashmir. Though there have been no grand political compromises or history-making treaties, things are fast returning to normal. The number of civilians killed annually in terrorist attacks, which often exceeded 1,000 during the worst years of the conflict, has shrunk to fewer than 35 for each of the past five years. And most of these attacks have taken place far from Kashmir’s tourist trail. Tourists from other parts of India and abroad are starting to flock here, drawn to a place immortalized in Bollywood blockbusters and travelers’ tales as a kind of earthly paradise. Looking across the city from the garden of the Vivanta Dal View, a luxury hotel built in 2012 on a mountainside above the lake to cater to this new wave of tourists, I begin to understand why. As the sun sets over the Himalayas, the lights of the city flicker below. An ancient fort is visible in the distance, and songs from dozens of mosques echo in the brisk night air. Today is Shab-e-Barat, a Muslim holiday traditionally celebrated by song and prayer sessions that last through the night. Unlike any other state in India, Kashmir—or Jammu and Kashmir, as the region is officially called—has long been a majority Muslim place, with a language and culture that owe as much to Iran and Central Asia as they do to the Indian subcontinent to the south.

Riaz Haq said...

Donald #Trump for President, in #America or in #India. #Trump2016 via @htTweets …

‘If the US doesn’t elect Trump, he should come to India and become our president,’ said a local bigot. He predicted, ‘With his fantastic ability to flaunt his prejudices, his narrow-mindedness, his contempt for minorities, his jingoism, his wealth and his hair, he’ll be a great inspiration for many of our political leaders.’