Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Is Shahzad Chaudhry Right "On India"?

The Pakistan Air Force's Retired Air Vice Marshal Shahzad Chaudhry has recently penned an op-ed for The Express Tribune newspaper calling on his country to make peace with India. He argues that "India is relevant to the world", implying that Pakistan is not. Chaudhry believes that the "gap between Pakistan and India is now unbridgeable".  Chaudhry concludes his piece with the following recommendation: "It is time to recalibrate our policy towards India and be bold enough to create a tri-nation consensus, along with China, focusing on Asia to be the spur for wider economic growth and benefit".

Prime Minister Indian PM Modi Boasts of Having "56 inch Chest"


History of India-Pakistan Peace Talks:

While I completely support Chaudhry's call for Pakistan to make peace with India, I do wonder why India's Hindu Supremacist Prime Minister Narendra Modi would even seriously entertain such a thought if "India is relevant to the world" and Pakistan is not? And if Modi does agree to talks, what kind of peace would come out of such talks?  Would it be similar to Bangladesh-India peace based on client-patron relationship? Retired senior Indian officials like Shyam Saran and AS Dulat have blamed Indian security establishment for past failures to reach a peace deal with Pakistan. 

I also question Chaudhry's idea of creating "a tri-nation consensus" with India and China. Why would China agree to such an arrangement while both Asian giants are seeking to establish regional hegemony? Why wouldn't China pursue its own version of Monroe Doctrine in Asia? 

Let me expand on the above two points about "relevance" of India and Pakistan and "tri-nation consensus" with China. 

Pakistan's Global Relevance:

Chaudhry argues that "India is relevant to the world". So is Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has pursued a policy of internationally isolating Pakistan for the last 8 years. Indian diplomats and mainstream media have engaged in a concerted campaign to hurt Pakistan diplomatically and economically during this period. Even the sport of cricket has not been spared.  All of the available evidence suggests that this Indian campaign has failed.  

Pakistan PM with Other World Leaders at SCO Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Source: Xinhua

A prominent Indian journalist Shekhar Gupta has recently summarized the reasons for the Modi government's failure to achieve its objectives relative to Pakistan. Gupta argues that Pakistan is too important to be ignored or isolated by the international community. He says, "Pakistan is too big in terms of population, too powerful militarily, too Muslim, too nuclear and too well located to be isolated". 

Pakistan PM Shahbaz Sharif with President and Mrs. Biden. Source: White House

Here are some of the key points Shekhar Gupta makes in episode 1093 of his show Cut The Clutter : 

1.Pakistan is our most important neighbor. We must focus on Pakistan.

2, We can not ignore Pakistan in India because the world can not ignore Pakistan

3. The Western world has an intrinsic relationship with Pakistan which doesn't go away

4. The West does not see Pakistan as so useful to them today and yet Pakistan can not be isolated.

5. You can see all the indications that Pakistan is not isolated.

6. A lot of (Indian) TV channels say Pakistan is isolated but the evidence doesn't support it.

7. Pakistan FM visited Washington and met his counterpart Tony Blinken. 

8. Pakistan Army Chief has received a warm welcome at the US Defense Dept and met US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Bajwa matters more than the Pakistan Defense Minister. Nobody knows his name.

9. US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, a career diplomat, has visited "Pakistan Occupied Kashmir" and called it Azad Kashmir...Azad means free.

10. When the chips are down in the region Pakistan is the ally Americans reach out to.

11. The US does not want Pakistan to drift to China.

12. German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has spoken about Kashmir...the K word. She has asked for the UN to help solve the Kashmir issue.

13. Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa is not a warmonger. He wants to normalize ties with India. He wants to trade with India. He doesn't want Faiz Hameed to succeed him. He used to be the ISI chief and took credit for the Taliban victory in Afghanistan. Do the Americans have leverage here?

14. Where does Pakistan's unique power come from? Why can't Pakistan be ignored? Why can't Pakistan be isolated?

15. The Indian public needs to understand it.

16. Pakistan is too big in terms of population, too powerful militarily, too Muslim, too nuclear and too well located to be isolated.

17. Pakistan has the 5th largest population and its population is growing fast. It could soon exceed Indonesia to become the largest Muslim nation in the world.

18. Pakistan has the 5th strongest military in the world.

19. In terms of nuclear weapons, Pakistan has the 4th largest nuclear arsenal in the world.

20. Pakistan is too well located to be isolated. It has a geo-strategic location. Pakistan is the western gateway to China. Pakistan opened China's ties with the US. And then helped the US defeat the Soviet Union.

21. The factors that made Pakistan such a strong ally to the US still exist. Don't blame the Pakistanis for it.

22. India is not willing to commit to an alliance with the US.

23. Imran Khan tried to change Pakistan's foreign policy to be more like India's but he failed.

Tri-nation Consensus:

Prime Minister Modi's revocation of Article 370 and annexation of Jammu and Kashmir as Indian union territories have angered not just Pakistan but also China. Modi's actions are not only an affront to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also in clear violation of India's international and bilateral obligations under United Nations charter and the Simla Accord. China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, lays claim to the Ladakh region. It has objected to India making it a union territory.

Since Modi's annexation of disputed territories of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, China has dramatically stepped up pressure on India in Ladakh. China has increased its troop presence, killed and injured dozens of Indian soldiers and taken at least a thousand kilometers of territory claimed by India. As a result, India has had to move troops from the line of control (LoC) with Pakistan to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. 

Indian Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi summarized the situation well when he said, "China has taken our land. They are beating out soldiers. The threat of China Is clear. And the government is hiding it, ignoring it. China is preparing for an offensive in Ladakh and Arunachal. And the government of India is sleeping". 


India-Bangladesh Ties:

India's relations with Bangladesh are essentially patron-client relations. This fact became amply clear when Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina recently visited New Delhi to seek political and economic assistance from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Modi-Hasina Delhi summit was preceded by Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abdul Momen's trip to India where he said,  "I've requested Modi government to do whatever is necessary to sustain Sheikh Hasina's government".  Upon her return from India, Sheikh Hasina told the news media in Dhaka, "They (India) have shown much sincerity and I have not returned empty handed". It has long been an open secret that Indian intelligence agency RAW helped install Shaikh Hasina as Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and her Awami League party rely on New Delhi's support to stay in power. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abdul Momen has described India-Bangladesh as one between husband and wife. In an interview with Indian newspaper 'Ajkal,' he said, "Relation between the both countries is very cordial. It's much like the relationship between husband and wife. Though some differences often arise, these are resolved quickly."  Both Bangladeshi and Indian officials have reportedly said that Sheikh Hasina "has built a house of cards". 

India-Pakistan Gap: 

There's no question that Pakistan is in the midst of a major economic crisis. The country's economic performance is dismal right now. At the same time, it must be acknowledged that Pakistan, with its youngest population in Asia, has a bright future ahead if its leaders can resolve the internal political situation. 

Pakistan Population Youngest Among Major Asian Nations. Source: Nikkei Asia

In fact, Goldman Sachs analysts Kevin Daly and  Tadas Gedminas project Pakistan's economy to grow to become the world's sixth largest by 2075.  In a research paper titled "The Path to 2075", the authors forecast Pakistan's GDP to rise to $12.7 trillion with per capita income of $27,100.  India’s GDP in 2075 is projected at $52.5 trillion and per capita GDP at $31,300.  Bangladesh is projected to be a $6.3 trillion economy with per capita income of $31,000.  By 2075, China will be the top global economy, followed by India 2nd, US 3rd, Indonesia 4th, Nigeria 5th and Pakistan 6th. The forecast is based primarily on changes in the size of working age populations over the next 50 years.  

GDP Ranking Changes Till 2075. Source: Goldman Sachs Investment Research 


Economic Growth Rate Till 2075. Source: Goldman Sachs Investment Research 

Economic Impact of Slower Population Growth: 

Daly and Gedminas argue that slowing population growth in the developed world is causing their economic growth to decelerate. At the same time, the economies of the developing countries are driven by their rising populations.  Here are four key points made in the report:

 1) Slower global potential growth, led by weaker population growth. 

2) EM convergence remains intact, led by Asia’s powerhouses. Although real GDP growth has slowed in both developed and emerging economies, in relative terms EM growth continues to outstrip DM growth.

3) A decade of US exceptionalism that is unlikely to be repeated. 

4) Less global inequality, more local inequality. 

Demographic Dividend: 

With rapidly aging populations and declining number of working age people in North America, Europe and East Asia, the demand for workers will increasingly be met by major labor exporting nations like Bangladesh, China, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia and Vietnam. Among these nations, Pakistan is the only major labor exporting country where the working age population is still rising faster than the birth rate. 

Over 10 million Pakistanis are currently working/living overseas, according to the Bureau of Emigration. Before the COVID19 pandemic hit in 2020,  more than 600,000 Pakistanis left the country to work overseas in 2019. Nearly 700,000 Pakistanis have already migrated in this calendar year as of October, 2022. The average yearly outflow of Pakistani workers to OECD countries (mainly UK and US) and the Middle East was over half a million in the last decade. 

Consumer Markets in 2030. Source: WEF


World's 7th Largest Consumer Market:

Pakistan's share of the working age population (15-64 years) is growing as the country's birth rate declines, a phenomenon called demographic dividend. With its rising population of this working age group, Pakistan is projected by the World Economic Forum to become the world's 7th largest consumer market by 2030. Nearly 60 million Pakistanis will join the consumer class (consumers spending more than $11 per day) to raise the country's consumer market rank from 15 to 7  by 2030. WEF forecasts the world's top 10 consumer markets of 2030 to be as follows: China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, Pakistan, Japan, Egypt and Mexico.  Global investors chasing bigger returns will almost certainly shift more of their attention and money to the biggest movers among the top 10 consumer markets, including Pakistan.  Already, the year 2021 has been a banner year for investments in Pakistani technology startups

India's Kautilya Doctrine: 

“Every neighboring state is an enemy and the neighboring state's neighbor is a friend.”
 ― Kautilya, The Arthashastra

The name of Kautilya, meaning crooked, is invoked by former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran's book “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century”.  This invocation of Kautilya in the title of the book makes the above quote about "neighboring state is an enemy" particularly relevant to how Indian policymakers like Shyam Saran see Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

Kautilya presented a theory of international relations called the “circle of states,” or Rajamandala. It says hostile states are those that border the ruler’s state, forming a circle around it. In turn, states that surround this set of hostile states form another circle around the circle of hostile states. This second circle of states can be considered the natural allies of the ruler’s state against the hostile states that lie between them. Put more succinctly, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  

Pakistanis like AVM Shahzad Chaudhry must understand that India's foreign policy has always been and continues to be guided by the Kautilya Doctrine. 

41 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

UK team said Modi was responsible for ‘climate of impunity’ in 2002 riots, claims BBC documentary

https://scroll.in/latest/1042096/uk-team-said-modi-was-responsible-for-climate-of-impunity-in-2002-riots-claims-bbc-documentary

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0dkb144

Modi had denied allegations that he did not do enough to stop the violence.


A team sent by the British government to inquire into the 2002 Gujarat riots said that Narendra Modi, who was then the state’s chief minister, was “directly responsible for a climate of impunity” that led to the violence, a BBC documentary released on Tuesday claimed.

The documentary, titled The Modi Question, was removed from YouTube on Wednesday.

The documentary cited a report the inquiry team had sent the United Kingdom government. The documentary said that the report has never been published.

Large-scale communal violence had erupted in Gujarat in February and March 2002 after the coach of a passenger train filled with Hindu pilgrims caught fire in Godhra. Official records show that 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the riots.

Modi has denied allegations that he did not do enough to stop the riots.

The British inquiry team alleged that Modi had prevented the Gujarat Police from acting to stop violence targeted at Muslims, the BBC documentary claimed.

However, a closure report by a Special Investigation Team appointed by India’s Supreme Court to inquire into the violence said in February 2012 that there was no prosecutable evidence against Modi and 63 others. A magistrate accepted the team’s report in 2013.

On June 24 last year, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition by Zakia Jafri, the wife of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, challenging the SIT report. Ehsan Jafri was among the 69 people who were killed when a mob went on a rampage in Ahmedabad’s Gulberg Society on February 28, 2002, pelting stones and setting fire to homes.

Modi told police not to intervene, finds report
The BBC documentary released on Tuesday features a former senior diplomat, one of the investigators sent by the United Kingdom government, as saying that the violence had been planned by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The report of the British government inquiry team had said that the VHP and its allies “could not have inflicted so much damage without the climate of impunity created by the state government”.

The team also cited “reliable contacts” as saying that Modi met senior police officers on February 27, 2002, and “ordered them not to intervene” in the rioting, the documentary claimed.

‘Extent of violence greater than reported’
The British government inquiry team had also concluded that the extent of violence during the 2002 riots was “much greater than reported”, according to the BBC documentary. It said that the violence was politically motivated and the aim was to “purge Muslims from Hindu-dominated areas”.

The report said that the systematic campaign of violence had “all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing”. It alleged that “widespread and systematic rape” of Muslim women took place during the riots.

Riaz Haq said...

UK team said Modi was responsible for ‘climate of impunity’ in 2002 riots, claims BBC documentary

https://scroll.in/latest/1042096/uk-team-said-modi-was-responsible-for-climate-of-impunity-in-2002-riots-claims-bbc-documentary

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0dkb144


Jack Straw, who was the British foreign secretary at the time of the violence, told the BBC that the allegations against Modi were a “stain on his reputation”.

“These were very serious claims – that Chief Minister Modi had played a pretty active part in pulling back the police and in tacitly encouraging the Hindu extremists,” Straw said. “That was a particularly egregious example.”

In the wake of 2002 Gujarat riots, the United Kingdom government had imposed a diplomatic boycott on Modi for his alleged failure to stop the violence. It ended the boycott in October 2012.

From 2005 to 2014, Modi was also denied a visa to the United States for the same reason.

In 2013, Modi had told Reuters that his government “had used its full strength” to “ do the right thing”. In comments that had led to widespread criticism, he had compared his emotional state to an occupant of a car involved in an accident.

“Someone else is driving a car and we are sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not?” he had said, according to Reuters. “Of course it is. If I’m a chief minister or not, I’m a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad.”

Faiz Ali said...

Sir, Pakistan is getting aid whereas India gets one of the highest Foreign Direct Investments every year.They are in probably top 5 nation 2 get maximum FDI.We have basically marketed our geographic location 2 the West mainly 2 allow them 2 use us in their strategic objectives

Riaz Haq said...

Faiz: "Pakistan is getting aid whereas India gets one of the highest Foreign Direct Investments every year.They are in probably top 5 nation 2 get maximum FDI"


Yes, but it's only part of the story. Pakistan also has world's 6th largest diaspora sending home nearly $30 billion (10% of GDP) a year. What's needed is better economic management to grow product/service exports to build forex reserves.

https://www.riazhaq.com/2022/11/nearly-700000-pakistani-workers-have.html

Riaz Haq said...

#SaudiArabia Eyes Boosting #Investment in #Pakistan to Over $10 Billion. Saudis rolled over another loan of $3 billion at 4% to Pakistan for a year. Saudi Finance Minister Al Jadaan said his nation will “continue to support Pakistan as much as we can” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-10/saudi-eyes-boosting-investment-in-pakistan-to-over-10-billion

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered exploring increasing the kingdom’s assistance and investments in Pakistan, a step toward furthering relief to the South Asian nation economy reeling from deadly floods.

The Saudi Fund for Development will conduct a study on increasing the deposit in Pakistan’s central bank to $5 billion from $3 billion earlier, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported Tuesday. It will also assess the plan to increase investments in Pakistan to $10 billion, according to the same report.

The kingdom’s fund provides soft loans and grants to developing countries as a means to bolster allies and cement new relationships. The statement comes a day after the Crown Prince met with Pakistan’s army chief General Syed Asim Munir to review ways to enhance bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation.

Pakistan’s 7.375% 2031 dollar bond was indicated 0.8 cents higher at 36.1 cents on the dollar, up by the most since the start of December. The South Asian nation’s 8.25% 2024 dollar bond was indicated up 0.8 cents at 54.2 cents on the dollar. The nation’s benchmark KSE-100 Index rose 0.8% at 2:34 p.m. local time

Pakistan’s economy was strapped for funds after a gridlock with the International Monetary Fund over tax targets delayed disbursal of loan installments. The situation was made worse by floods that inundated a third of the nation and cut its growth by half. Pakistan has relied on friendly nations to tide over the crisis. Earlier this week, the nation received commitments of more than $10 billion in assistance.

The nation’s foreign exchange reserves dropped to $5.6 billion — the lowest in almost nine years and enough to cover less than one month of imports. The deteriorating economic outlook triggered downgrades, forcing authorities to announce austerity measures to reduce energy bills and save dollars.

It’s a strong commitment from Saudi Arabia, but likely to be subject to resumption of the IMF program, said Tahir Abbas, head of research at Karachi-based Arif Habib Ltd. “The investment would be in setting up a refinery in Pakistan, for which the government needs to complete modalities including finalization of refinery policy.”



Saudi Arabia last month extended another loan of $3 billion at 4% to Pakistan for a year. The Saudi government will “continue to support Pakistan as much as we can,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said at a press conference last month.

Pakistan is also looking to seek extension of a $2.1 billion from China that is due in March. About 30% of Pakistan’s foreign debt is owed to China, including state-owned commercial banks.

Wicked said...

In his latest episode of Cut the Clutter, Shekar Gupta has updated his views on this aspect. He now says that India and Paksiatn are dehyphenated. There is no competition now.

Brofessor @RiazHaq Saab, Shekhar Gupta ka latest episode dekh lijiye. Unka view thoda update ho Gaya hai.

Riaz Haq said...

Wicked: "Shekar Gupta has updated his views on this aspect. He now says that India and Paksiatn are dehyphenated"

Indian leaders' and media's obsession with Pakistan will continue to hyphenate India and Pakistan. Any talk of de-hyphenation by Indians is hypocritical.

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/indias-perilous-obsession-with-pakistan/article26925287.ece

Op-Ed By NISSIM MANNATHUKKAREN

Come Indian elections, the bogey of Pakistan has overwhelmed the nationalist discourse in the shrillest manner, with the Prime Minister and other Ministers’ relentless branding of the Congress/Opposition as ‘anti-national’ and as ‘agents of Pakistan’. Further, the Prime Minister even made an unprecedented threat of using nuclear weapons against Pakistan.

As a country born of the two-nation theory based on religion, and then having to suffer dismemberment and the consequent damage to the very same religious identity, it is obvious why Islamic Pakistan must have a hostile Other in the form of a ‘Hindu India’. But what is not obvious is why India, a (much larger) secular nation, must have a hostile antagonist in the form of Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

India Slams BBC Narendra Modi Documentary, Broadcaster Defends It

https://variety.com/2023/politics/global/bbc-narendra-modi-documentary-india-1235494550/

On Jan. 19, Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “Do note that this has not been screened in India. So, I am only going to comment in the context of what I have heard about it and what my colleagues have seen. Let me just make it very clear that we think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, the lack of objectivity, and frankly a continuing colonial mindset, is blatantly visible.”

“If anything, this film or documentary is a reflection on the agency and individuals that are peddling this narrative again. It makes us wonder about the purpose of this exercise and the agenda behind it and frankly we do not wish to dignify such efforts,” Bagchi added.

A BBC spokesperson told Variety: “The BBC is committed to highlighting important issues from around the world. The documentary series examines the tensions between India’s Hindu majority and Muslim minority and explores the politics of India’s PM Narendra Modi in relation to those tensions. This has been the source of considerable reporting and interest both in India and across the world in recent years.”

“The documentary was rigorously researched according to highest editorial standards. A wide range of voices, witnesses and experts were approached, and we have featured a range of opinions – this includes responses from people in the BJP [India’s ruling party]. We offered the Indian Government a right to reply to the matters raised in the series – it declined to respond,” the spokesperson added.

The documentary addresses the 2002 communal riots in the western Indian state of Gujarat, of which Modi was Chief Minister at the time, that left 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus dead, per official numbers. A decade later, a Special Investigation Team appointed by India’s Supreme Court exonerated Modi, saying that the leader had taken steps to control the situation.

On Jan. 18, U.K. member of parliament Imran Hussain, quoted the documentary during Prime Minister’s Questions, saying senior diplomats reported that the massacre could not have taken place without the “climate of impunity” created by Modi and that he was, in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office words, “directly responsible” for the violence.

Hussain asked U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: “Given that hundreds were brutally killed and that families across India and the world, including here in the U.K., are still without justice, does the Prime Minister agree with his Foreign Office diplomats that Modi was directly responsible? What more does the Foreign Office know about Modi’s involvement in that grave act of ethnic cleansing?”

Sunak replied: “The U.K. Government’s position on that is clear and long standing, and it has not changed. Of course, we do not tolerate persecution anywhere, but I am not sure that I agree at all with the characterization that the hon. gentleman has put forward.”

The second part of the documentary, which is due to broadcast on Jan. 24, could potentially be even more inflammatory. It “examines the track record of Narendra Modi’s government following his re-election in 2019. A series of controversial policies – the removal of Kashmir’s special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Indian constitution and a citizenship law that many said treated Muslims unfairly – has been accompanied by reports of violent attacks on Muslims by Hindus,” according to the BBC episode description.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan and #Bollywood: A broken bond. Bollywood is now far too often a mouthpiece for #Modi's #BJP and its idea of #India. The Indian film industry’s lurch to the right has done what wars couldn’t — alienated millions of Pakistani fans. https://aje.io/9pv7kh via @AJEnglish

By Salman Zafar
Writer based in Vancouver, Canada

Muslim characters are either nonexistent in Bollywood films or are used to fan stereotypes of the community as villains or as closet Pakistan sympathisers.

Meanwhile, many leading figures within Bollywood have become enthusiastic cheerleaders of this toxicity. There are over-the-top supporters of the BJP government, such as Anupam Kher, Kangana Ranaut and Akshay Kumar. Actor Vivek Oberoi released a thinly veiled promotional movie on the life of Modi in 2019 to coincide with the general elections that year.

-------
At the same time, Pakistani actors and actresses have effectively been banned from the industry. Raees in 2017, featuring Mahira Khan opposite Shah Rukh, was the last major Bollywood movie to feature someone from Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistani movies face hurdles in being released in India. The Legend of Maula Jutt, already considered one of the biggest movies in Pakistan’s history, was set for a December 30, 2022 release in India, only for that to be postponed indefinitely.

----------

Unlike a lot of other Pakistanis, my interest in Bollywood developed much later in life. I was already in my late 20s when I took the time to watch a complete Bollywood movie. I initially watched Bollywood for the melodies of the master Indian playback singers from yesteryear, such as the great Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi and Mukesh.

That morphed into an interest in old Bollywood movies — from the golden and classic ages of the industry, spanning a period from the late 1940s through the 80s. Watching these films was a regular weekend night affair for me.

This Bollywood was a melting pot of riveting stories and even better acting. Awaara (1951) carried socialist themes and became wildly popular in China and the former Soviet Union as well. The 1960s and 1970s had trend-setting movies such as the iconic Mughal-e-Azam and Ganga Jumna. Movies such as Kaala Pathar, Zanjeer and Deewar had superstar Amitabh Bachchan in his genre-defining angry young man persona, providing poignant commentary on the disillusionment within Indian society over corruption and inequality. Values — not wealth — were the virtues to aspire to. Then there was Mandi, which touched on themes of prostitution, offering biting political satire.

As the years passed by, Bollywood movies became more extravagant, reliant on glitz and glamour, exotic foreign locations and bombastic dance numbers. Stories revolving around average working-class issues are few and far between.

But with the rise of current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), I have noticed another more sinister shift in storytelling towards the right.

From an industry that celebrated religious tolerance in films such as the cult classic Amar Akbar Anthony — where the three heroes are Hindu, Muslim and Christian — mainstream Bollywood is now far too often a mouthpiece for the BJP and its idea of India. The secular ideals of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, are dead. The narrative is simple – India is Hindu, and other religions are foreign and responsible for the ravages suffered by the motherland.

This vision of India reflects in society and in Bollywood.

Moviemakers who do not subscribe to the narrative of this muscular, uber-nationalist Hindu India are at the receiving end of vicious criticism from the BJP’s support base. Actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan raised concerns over growing intolerance in India in 2015. Since then, there are regular calls for their movies to be boycotted.

Riaz Haq said...

On India… revisited
Initial responses from across the border to the piece were steadied, cautiously praiseful, and deliberate

By Shahzad Chaudhry



https://tribune.com.pk/story/2396803/on-india-revisited

Why do we write such pieces in difficult sociocultural environments? This one was based on globally acknowledged facts and carried little of my own proclivity except for framing it into a larger argument for invoking a different paradigm of engagement between three conjoined nations, not two. These make for forty percent of the global population. Naysayers and those corroded of thought soon suggested why it wasn’t possible. Most Indians wanted Pakistan to submit before Indian exclusivity. Even success needs character. The past though haunted most. They had too much invested in their past bridling them to it. In comparison, none should have a past more invested than mine in how one has looked at India. I led a service and its operations imbued with just one objective in mind — to beat India in the air with operational readiness, innovation borne out of professional excellence, and passionate devotion. Nothing of that changes even when we investigate the possibility of another paradigm which could instead usher better return to forty percent of humanity. Modi has a past too, as does the Indian nation, but shall we be held back by recriminations or hold the courage to spawn promise and hope?

It by no means only aims at changing one side’s view. If indeed a recalibration is the call it shall fall upon each to do their bit. India is no angel. Far from it. Reams have been written on how India has manipulated and exploited its relative freedom of action for more insidious motives. Kashmiris and minorities in India are a living proof of how India denies humanity its dignity. China is in focus for similar reasons in the western press. Yet, the new politics and the new economics call for newer avenues of engagement which can serve to achieve a nation’s interest. If the engagement is mutually beneficial it becomes interdependence. Diplomacy as a servant of strategy must then evaluate planks for maximum gains. At times immediate returns are shelved for long-term, sustainable goals. Anachronism (tarz-e-kuhan) will have to give way to fresher approaches (fikr-e-nau) to make it work.

Riaz Haq said...

Wicked: "Actually de-hyphenation has taken place, but the full fruits of the same would take a little time to be visible"


If de-hyphenation had already taken place as you claim, Jaishankar wouldn't be going around the world obsessing over Pakistan.


https://www.riazhaq.com/2022/09/us-pakistan-f-16-deal-indian-eam.html


“You’re not fooling anybody by saying these things," said Indian External Affairs Minister Subramanian Jaishankar to his American hosts in Washington. He was lashing out at the United States for the State Department's explanation for the $450 million F-16 "sustainment" package sale to Pakistan. Earlier, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in an announcement:


“This proposed sale ($450 million F-16 package) will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by allowing Pakistan to retain interoperability with US and partner forces in ongoing counter-terrorism efforts and in preparation for future contingency operations.” The US State Department spokesman Ned Price talked about "shared values" and "shared interests" of his country with both India and Pakistan. He also recommended that "these two neighbors have relations with one another that are as constructive as can be possible".



Responding to Jaishankar's outburst, the US State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “We don’t view our relationship with Pakistan, and … our relationship with India as in relation to one another. These are both partners of ours with different points of emphasis in each. We look at both as partners, because we do have in many cases shared values. We do have in many cases shared interests. And the relationship we have with India stands on its own. The relationship we have with Pakistan stands on its own. We also want to do everything we can to see to it that these neighbors have relations with one another that are as constructive as can be possible. And so that’s another point of emphasis.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India says no ‘conducive atmosphere’ for talks with Pakistan. Last week, #Pakistan PM Sharif had said: “I will give my word that we will talk to India with sincerity, but it takes two to tango” #Modi #Hindutva #Islamophobia #BJP @shazchy09 https://aje.io/1e0z90 via @AJEnglish

Days after Pakistan offered to hold talks with archrival India, New Delhi says the atmosphere for dialogue is not conducive yet.

“India’s position has remained clear and consistent. We desire normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in a conducive atmosphere that is free of terror, hostility, and violence,” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said during a news briefing on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for talks with India to discuss “burning issues such as Kashmir”, the Himalayan territory claimed in full by the two nuclear powers, who have ruled over parts of it since 1947.

The South Asian rivals have fought two of their three full-scale wars over the disputed territory.

“I will give my word that we will talk to India with sincerity, but it takes two to tango,” Sharif said during an interview with Al Arabiya news channel aired on Tuesday.

“My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir,” he added.

The Pakistani leader made the remarks during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, which he said could play a role in resolving the differences between the two neighbours.

Relations between India and Pakistan worsened in 2019 when Modi’s Hindu nationalist government revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which granted Indian-administered Kashmir partial autonomy.

New Delhi accuses Islamabad of providing logistical and financial support to the armed rebels fighting either for independence or for the merger of Indian-administered Kashmir with Pakistan.

Islamabad denies the allegations, saying it only provides diplomatic support to the region’s struggle for the right to self-determination.


Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary, told Al Jazeera that Sharif’s statements on the resumption of ties with India appeared to be “genuine” and that Pakistan would like to have peace and stability in the region.

“Pakistan wants to resolve all disputes peacefully. The tension that exists between the two nations is not in either’s interests,” he said.

Jilani said “terrorism” is a matter of concern for both countries equally and “only once the two sit together, they can amicably resolve the matter”.

However, the former high commissioner of Pakistan to India, Abdul Basit, believes any headway in the relations between the two nations looks unlikely.

“Pakistan-India relations are in a cul-de-sac. Breaking deadlock and talks for the sake of talks will be more of the same,” he told Al Jazeera.

In February 2021, the two countries renewed a two-decade-old ceasefire pact along the 725km (450 miles) Line of Control, the de facto border that divides Kashmir between the two nations. But bilateral talks have stalled since India’s Kashmir move.

Vivek Katju, a former Indian ambassador, said Sharif’s interview made it appear as if Pakistan was ready to engage with India without caveats before a change in sentiment as shown by the PM office clarification.

“India’s position has remained consistent on relationship with Pakistan,” Katju told Al Jazeera.

“What struck me was that whatever the Pakistani prime minister said in his interview, it was all nullified by the subsequent statement from his office, putting the condition of reversal of Article 370.”

Riaz Haq said...

BBC - Riots a stain on Narendra Modi, says former British foreign secretary Jack Straw - Telegraph India

https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/riots-a-stain-on-narendra-modi-says-former-british-foreign-secretary-jack-straw/cid/1910953


The Gujarat riots of 2002 are a “stain” on Narendra Modi, former British foreign secretary Jack Straw has told a two-part documentary, India: The Modi Question, that is being shown on BBC2.

The first part was transmitted on Tuesday, January 17, and the second part will go out next Tuesday, January 24.

Introducing the programme, the BBC told viewers: “The programme contains scenes you may find upsetting.”

It summed up: “This series tells the story of Narendra Modi’s troubled relationship with India’s Muslims.”

During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Imran Hussain, the Labour MP for Bradford East, confronted Rishi Sunak: “Last night, the BBC revealed that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office knew the extent of Narendra Modi’s involvement in the Gujarat massacre that paved the way for the persecution of Muslims and other minorities that we see in India today.”

Hussain went on: “Senior diplomats reported that the massacre could not have taken place without the ‘climate of impunity’ created by Modi and that he was, in the FCDO’s words, ‘directly responsible’ for the violence. Given that hundreds were brutally killed and that families across India and the world, including here in the UK, are still without justice, does the Prime Minister agree with his Foreign Office diplomats that Modi was directly responsible? What more does the Foreign Office know about Modi’s involvement in that grave act of ethnic cleansing?”

Rishi brushed the question away: “The UK government’s position on that is clear and longstanding, and it has not changed. Of course, we do not tolerate persecution anywhere, but I am not sure that I agree at all with the characterisation that the Hon. Gentleman has put forward.”

Straw, who was the British foreign secretary under Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair from 2001 to 2006, was asked about the riots by the programme and replied: “I was very worried about it. I was taking a great deal of personal interest, because India is a really important country with whom we have relations. We had to handle it very carefully.” Straw was the Labour MP from 1979 to 2015 for Blackburn, which has a large Pakistani-origin population.

He said: “What we did was to establish an inquiry and have a team go to Gujarat and find out for themselves what had happened. And they produced a very thorough report.”

Straw added: “It was very shocking. These were very serious claims that chief minister Modi had played a pretty active part in pulling back the police and in tacitly encouraging the Hindu extremists.

“That was a particularly egregious example of political involvement, really to prevent the police from doing their job, which was to protect both communities, the Hindu and the Muslims. The options open to us were fairly limited. We were never going to break diplomatic relations with India. But it is obviously a stain on his reputation. There’s no way out of that.”

The BBC said: “The report, sent as a diplomatic cable and marked ‘restricted’, has never been published before.”

The programme highlighted lines from the report: “Extent of violence much greater than reported… widespread and systematic rape of Muslim women…. Violence, politically motivated.... Aim was to purge Muslims from Hindu areas. The systematic campaign of violence has all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing.”

The BBC said: “The report contained an extraordinary claim.”

This was: “Reliable contacts have told us Narendra Modi met senior police officers on the 27th of February and ordered them not to intervene in the rioting. Police contacts deny this meeting happened.

Riaz Haq said...

BBC - Riots a stain on Narendra Modi, says former British foreign secretary Jack Straw - Telegraph India

https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/riots-a-stain-on-narendra-modi-says-former-british-foreign-secretary-jack-straw/cid/1910953

“There were pretty credible reports he had specifically instructed the police not to intervene. The police contact who we talked to consistently denied that. So we did have conflicting reports on what his direct role had been. But we did feel it was clear there was a culture of impunity that created the environment for the violence to take place. That undoubtedly came from Modi.”

The BBC then interviewed a former senior British diplomat who was “one of the investigators. He is speaking publicly for the first time about what the British inquiry found. He’s asked to remain anonymous.”

He told the programme: “At least 2,000 people were murdered during the violence, the vast majority were Muslim. We described it as a pogrom, a deliberate and politically driven effort targeted at the Muslim community. The violence was widely reported to have been organised by an extremist Hindu nationalist group, the VHP, who have a relationship with the RSS.

“The VHP and its allies could not have inflicted so much damage without the climate of impunity created by the state government. Narendra Modi is directly responsible.” Modi has been given a clean chit by the Supreme Court of India.

The Telegraph asked the UK foreign office to see the full report.

Its existence was not denied but in response, the foreign office sent this newspaper a statement: “The violence in Gujarat in 2002 was tragic. It is a reminder of the need to continually work for respect and harmony between religious communities.

It is right that we remember the victims of the violence in Gujarat in 2002, and their families, and that we reaffirm our commitment to do all we can to foster inter-communal understanding and respect around the world.

“Where events involve British nationals, we naturally have an interest both in the provision of consular assistance and in trying to ascertain what happened through police and diplomacy.”

Three British nationals from Yorkshire — Imran and Shakil Dawood, and Mohammed Aswat — were killed by rioters when they crossed into Gujarat from a trip to the Taj. A survivor, who was 18 at the time, was interviewed for the programme.

The BBC set out what was covered in part one: “Narendra Modi is the leader of the world’s largest democracy, a man who has been elected twice as India’s Prime Minister and is widely seen as the most powerful politician of his generation. Seen by the West as an important bulwark against Chinese domination of Asia, he has been courted as a key ally by both the US and the UK.

“Yet Narendra Modi’s premiership has been dogged by persistent allegations about the attitude of his government towards India’s Muslim population. This series investigates the truth behind these allegations and examines Modi’s backstory to explore other questions about his politics when it comes to India’s largest religious minority.

“This episode tracks Narendra Modi’s first steps into politics, including and his association with the Right-wing Hindu organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, his rise through the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and his appointment as chief minister of the state of Gujarat, where his response to a series of riots in 2002 remains a source of controversy.”

It said of the sequel: “The second episode examines the track record of Narendra Modi’s government following his re-election in 2019.

“A series of controversial policies — the removal of Kashmir’s special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and a citizenship law that many said treated Muslims unfairly — has been accompanied by reports of violent attacks on Muslims by Hindus.

“Modi and his government reject any suggestion that their policies reflect any prejudice towards Muslims, but these policies have been repeatedly criticised by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International.


Wicked said...

US president mentioned Paksiatn on an issue. Does it mean that US and Paksiatn are hyphenated?

De-hyphenation doesn’t mean that a nations name can’t be uttered. It would be taken in context of things.



It is about not being linked with someone for all small and big things. That has happened now.

Riaz Haq said...

Wicked: "De-hyphenation doesn’t mean that a nations name can’t be uttered. It would be taken in context of things"

India has been running a long and massive campaign of spreading fake news targeting Pakistan.

https://www.riazhaq.com/2020/12/indias-firehose-of-falsehood-propaganda.html

India with its massive disinformation campaign against Pakistan, as recently revealed by EU Disinfo Lab, appears to be following what a US think tank RAND calls "Firehose of Falsehood" propaganda model. It has over 750 fake media outlets covering 119 countries. There are over 750 domain names, some in the name of dead people and others using stolen identities. Pakistani policymakers charged with countering the Indian propaganda should read the RAND report "Firehose of Falsehoods" for its 5 specific recommendations to the US government to effectively respond to the Russian disinformation campaign. In particular they should heed its key advice: "All other things being equal, messages received in greater volume and from more sources will be more persuasive.......Don't expect to counter Russia's firehose of falsehood with the squirt gun of truth. Instead, put raincoats on those at whom the firehose is aimed"



Scale and Duration of India's Campaign:



EU Disinfo Lab, an NGO that specializes in disinformation campaigns, has found that India is carrying out a massive 15-year-long disinformation campaign to hurt Pakistan. The key objective of the Indian campaign as reported in "Indian Chronicles" is as follows: "The creation of fake media in Brussels, Geneva and across the world and/or the repackaging and dissemination via ANI and obscure local media networks – at least in 97 countries – to multiply the repetition of online negative content about countries in conflict with India, in particular Pakistan". After the disclosure of India's anti-Pakistan propaganda campaign, Washington-based US analyst Michael Kugelman tweeted: "The scale and duration of the EU/UN-centered Indian disinformation campaign exposed by @DisinfoEU is staggering. Imagine how the world would be reacting if this were, say, a Russian or Chinese operation".

American Analyst Michael Kugelman's Tweet on Indian Disinformation Campaign


Firehose of Falsehood:

What Kugelman calls "Russian Operation" appears to be a reference to a US government-funded think tank RAND Corporation's report entitled "The Russian "Firehose of Falsehood" Propaganda Model". Here is an excerpt of the RAND report:



"Russian propaganda is produced in incredibly large volumes and is broadcast or otherwise distributed via a large number of channels. This propaganda includes text, video, audio, and still imagery propagated via the Internet, social media, satellite television, and traditional radio and television broadcasting. The producers and disseminators include a substantial force of paid Internet “trolls” who also often attack or undermine views or information that runs counter to Russian themes, doing so through online chat rooms, discussion forums, and comments sections on news and other websites".

Riaz Haq said...

Goyal Foil: Pakistan-Obsessed Indian-American at the White House

https://www.riazhaq.com/2017/01/goyal-foil-pakistan-obsessed-indian.html


When the Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer found himself being barraged with unpleasant US media questions at his first press briefing today, he called upon Pakistan-obsessed Indian-American Raghubir Goyal to ask a question.


Goyal has been at the White House for over a decade. In 2002, the Washington Post said that Goyal can always be relied upon to "ask about the perfidies of Pakistan". His coverage of Pakistan reflects the Indian media's malice toward Pakistan.

"The ability to change the subject is an important tool for the press secretary." George W.Bush's White House Press Secretary Joel Lockhart admits to using a foreign reporter as a foil. But his favorite foil was familiar to all: "If you're in a jam, go to Goyal," he says, according to Washington Post's Dana Milbank.


National Public Radio veteran news anchor Robert Siegel has described him as "editor, publisher, in fact, the entire editorial staff of the India Globe, which he describes as a very small circulation weekly that targets Indian communities in the United States".

Washington Post's Dana Milbank says Goyal, often described by reporters as the Goyal Foil "almost invariably asks about what sort of terrible thing Pakistan has done in the last 24 hours. So--and because of the obvious sound of his name he became the `Goyal Foil.'" Here's a full excerpt of what Milbank wrote in Washington Post about the "Goyal Foil":


"There's a whole bunch of foils in the White House press corps. There's characters from talk radio and all these specialty publications. Goyal is the most intriguing of them all, I guess you'd say, because he is very dedicated to getting a seat right up front at each and every event, and he almost invariably asks about what sort of terrible thing Pakistan has done in the last 24 hours. So--and because of the obvious sound of his name he became the `Goyal Foil.'"

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan doesn’t see a partner in #Indian #Modi: Hina Rabbani Khar.“I truly believe that if both countries have got statesmen at the same time and not leaders interested only in elections, there is no problem that cannot be solved” #Hindutva #Islamophobia https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-doesnt-see-a-partner-in-pm-modi-pakistan-minister-hina-rabbani-khar/article66409515.ece

Pakistan Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on January 19 said her country does not see a “partner” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi for working towards peace between the two countries, but it saw a partner in his predecessors Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Speaking at a session on South Asia in Davos at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, Ms. Khar, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said, “When I went to India as Foreign Minister, I had worked really hard to press for better cooperation and we were in a much better position at that time compared to the situation in 2023.”

Anonymous said...

"The Pakistan Air Force's Retired Air Vice Marshal Shahzad Chaudhry has recently penned an op-ed for The Express Tribune newspaper calling on his country to make peace with India."

Suggestions like these are early steps towards denuclearization. Baby steps were taken during and after Musharraf era. Shahzad Chaudhary is not the only person, Dr Hoodhboy is provocative for a long time. During current economic climate when discussion is happening regarding reduction of armed forces, denuclearisation will be achieved under the guise of India-Pakistan peace. Why would Pakistan need nukes if there is peace with India?

Sooner or later a big global war is coming, that’s why foreign lobbies are active to work against Pakistan’s best interests by utilizing their agents inside our country. After the American loss in Afghanistan, America is active non militarily, American puppets are deliberately causing havoc inside Pakistan while foreign enemies of Pakistan are taking advantage. Same phenomena can be seen in other parts of world.

Why exactly ordinary Pakistanis not coming to streets and taking over institutes by force? It is their country, they only come to streets when asked by Imran Khan. Current leadership wants ordinary people to behave well but does not behave well itself for welfare of people. Well paid PUPPETS.

Riaz Haq said...

BBC's Modi Documentary shows that there were two people with direct knowledge of Modi's orders for the police to not protect Muslims: Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya and IPS (Indian Police Service) officer Sanjiv Bhatt.

https://archive.org/details/narendra-modi-bbc-documentary

Excerpts of Frontline story on the BBC Modi Documentary:

https://frontline.thehindu.com/the-nation/new-bbc-documentary-puts-narendra-modi-back-in-the-dock/article66409146.ece

"Even though R.B. Sreekumar, head of police intelligence in Gujarat, and Sanjiv Bhatt, another police officer, had maintained that Modi indeed imposed the diktat, witnesses for the Chief Minister countered that neither Sreekumar nor Bhatt was present at the concerned meeting. In 2022, both were accused of fabrication. Bhatt is in any case serving a life sentence on another matter.

"The documentary has also recorded that Haren Pandya, a minister in the Gujarat government, testified to a Jesuit priest that Modi did issue the aforementioned orders. But his attendance at the meeting was also contradicted. The programme has BJP MP Subramanian Swamy giving his opinion on Pandya’s death to the BBC, calling it “tragic and suspicious”.

-------------

"My son's death was a planned, political murder...it must be reinvestigated."
—Vithal Pandya, father of the late Haren Pandya, former Gujarat revenue minister, to Outlook on November 7, 2007

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/a-murder-foretold/236059

------------------


The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case of forgery and fabrication of evidence in connection with the 2002 riots has arrested dismissed IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, making the third arrest after social activist Teesta Setalvad and former IPS officer R.B. Sreekumar.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sit-arrests-sanjiv-bhatt-in-gujarat-riots-forgery-case/article65632863.ece


--------

Newsmaker | RB Sreekumar, a decorated cop on the wrong side of Modi govt
Sreekumar, who became Gujarat DGP after retirement, wrote affidavits to the Nanavati Commission alleging govt agencies’ complicity in the 2002 riots. On Friday, the Supreme Court called into question his role in the accusations.

https://indianexpress.com/article/political-pulse/newsmaker-rb-sreekumar-a-decorated-cop-and-thorn-in-pm-modis-side-7991606/

Riaz Haq said...

Can't imagine Universe without cows; all problems on Earth will be solved if cow slaughter is prevented: Gujarat Court

https://www.barandbench.com/news/cant-imagine-universe-without-cows-all-problems-on-earth-will-be-solved-if-cow-slaughter-is-prevented-gujarat-court


While sentencing a man to life in prison for illegally transporting cattle, judge Samir Vyas said that unless cow slaughter is completely prohibited, "the saatvik climate change cannot have its effect."

A court in Tapi, Gujarat recently sentenced a youth to life imprisonment for illegally transporting cattle from Maharashtra, while noting that all of Earth's problems will be solved if cow slaughter is prevented.

In an order passed in November, Principal District Judge Samir Vinodchandra Vyas paid tribute to the importance of cows to the entire Universe.

"Cow is not only an animal but it is mother that is why it is given the name of mother. None is as grateful as a cow. A cow is the living planet of 68 crore holy places and 33 crore gods. The obligation of cow on the entire Universe defies description. The day when no drop of blood of cow drops on the earth all problems of earth will be solved and the well being of the earth will b established..."

The order, translated from Gujarati, goes on to lament the fact that all the talk surrounding cow protection has not been put into practice.

The judge was seized of a criminal case pertaining to one Mohammad Ameen, who was arrested on August 27, 2020 for illegally transporting over 16 cows and its progeny in a packed truck with no proper arrangements for the cattle to sit, eat or drink.

He was booked under relevant provisions of the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2017, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, Gujarat Control of Animal Transport Order, 1975 and the Gujarat Essential Commodities and Animal Control Act, 2015 as well as the Central Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2015.

Besides several lesser punishments, the judge sentenced him to life in prison and a fine of ₹5 lakh.

In his order, the judge called for the need to consider not only the religious aspects of a cow, but also its economic, social, scientific and health benefits. Mechanised abattoirs, the judge said, have come up for slaughter of cows and and they are being slaughtered. Therefore, there is 'great hazard for their life.'

"Non-vegetarian people consume meat and cow meat is also being used for the purpose. Cow products are very useful for human life. These products mean milk, curd, ghee, cow-dung and gaumutra," the order stated.

Tridev (Brahmha, Vishnu, Mahesh) is not separate from cows as it is said that they have emerged from Adigau Surabhi, the judge has said, adding that even religion is born from cow as it is in the form of Vrushabh and son of a cow is also called Vrushabh.

"In these circumstances the slaughter and transportation of cows is a matter of pain and sorrow. Science has proved that houses made of cow-dung are not affected by atomic radiation. Use of Gaumutra (cow urine) is a cure for many incurable diseases. Cow is the symbol of religion," the judge claimed.

While referring to various Shlokas, the court stated that 'if cows are kept unhappy then our wealth and property disappears'

"If we look at the present situation it would become clear that 75 per cent of the cow wealth has been lost or destroyed. Now only 25 per cent has remained. A time will come when people will forget to draw the picture of cows. A period of more than 70 years has elapsed since we got independence. Not only the cow slaughter has not stopped but it is reaching its climax," the judge opined.

"The problems that exist today are because of the increase of the irascibility and hot temper. The only reason for increase is the slaughter of cows. Till this is completely prohibited the saatvik climate change cannot have its effect," the court said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Will Not Collapse! The Hindutva Celebration Will Be Very Short-Lived!!

Hindustan Times Op Ed: "Despite the severity of the challenges, Pakistan is unlikely to collapse — largely because of its geostrategic importance. A bailout by IMF or friendly countries will happen"

https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/pakistans-economic-turmoil-may-take-a-toll-on-south-asia-in-2023-101674400219686.html

Riaz Haq said...

Analysis: Why a financially stable Pakistan is in US interest

https://www.dawn.com/news/1732787

IN recent weeks and months, the US has made no secret of the fact that it is closely monitoring developments in Pakistan, both on the security and economic fronts.

In the past three months, over a dozen statements have mentioned Pakistan specifically or in passing, and in each case, the tone and tenor reflects a level of concern seldom seen in the past.

The latest State Department statement hoped for economic stability in the country, while stressing that Washington was not only aware of Pakistan’s financial issues, but was also backing efforts to rebuild the national economy.

Asked if Washington shared the fear — which many in the country have been voicing — that Islamabad is close to economic collapse, a State Department spokesperson told Dawn the country needed to work with international financial institutions to strengthen its economy.

“To put Pakistan on a sustainable growth path and restore investor confidence, we encourage Pakistan to continue working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on implementing reforms, especially those which will improve Pakistan’s business environment,” the US official said.

“Doing so will make Pakistani business more competitive and will also help Pakistan attract high quality foreign investment.”

When a similar question was put to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, he told Dawn: “As long as we are willing to help ourselves”, others would continue to help Pakistan.

“We need to help them help us by taking necessary steps at home.”

The foreign minister noted that at a recent conference in Geneva, the international community had pledged to provide around half of the funds Pakistan needed for reconstruction after the 2022 floods. “Now, Pakistan needs to come up with the other 50 percent.”

The foreign minister also underscored the need to reach a “conclusion with the IMF” and follow up with French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres’ offer to renegotiate our debt.

To put things into perspective, the State Department official said, “Pakistan’s macroeconomic stability is a topic of conversation between the Pakistani and US governments, including the US Department of State and our counterparts, the Department of the Treasury, and the White House.”

Great power rivalry in South Asia

But why is Washington so preoccupied with Pakistan’s stability, economic and otherwise? Conventional wisdom suggests that the driving factor is our nuclear programme, and that the world cannot afford to see a nation with a nuclear arsenal teetering on the brink of oblivion. But this conventional wisdom only reveals the tip of the iceberg.

“Pakistan is the fifth largest country in the world and the second largest Muslim country – and that too with a large army and an extensive nuclear infrastructure,” says Hassan Abbas, distinguished professor of International Relations at the National Defense University, Washington DC.

“For anyone interested in global stability and maintenance of prevailing international order, economic collapse of Pakistan can be devastating. The US, as a major global power, is naturally concerned.

“Secondly, the US would not like to see Pakistan’s economy collapse while it is steered by a democratic government which is trying hard to normalise its relationship with the US,” he says.

He also makes a point about the great power rivalry in South Asia: “[It’s] nature is such that it is in the US interest to convey to Pakistan that it wants to stay engaged and cooperate where possible, so that Pakistan is not leaning too heavily in China’s direction.”

This view is echoed by John Ciorciari, who teaches at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He notes that donors such as China and Saudi Arabia may not include many explicit conditions to their aid, but implicit strings are always attached.

Riaz Haq said...

Saudi Arabia Eyes Boosting Investment in Pakistan to Over $10 Billion - Bloomberg

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-10/saudi-eyes-boosting-investment-in-pakistan-to-over-10-billion

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered exploring increasing the kingdom’s assistance and investments in Pakistan, a step toward furthering relief to the South Asian nation economy reeling from deadly floods.


The Saudi Fund for Development will conduct a study on increasing the deposit in Pakistan’s central bank to $5 billion from $3 billion earlier, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported Tuesday. It will also assess the plan to increase investments in Pakistan to $10 billion, according to the same report.

The kingdom’s fund provides soft loans and grants to developing countries as a means to bolster allies and cement new relationships. The statement comes a day after the Crown Prince met with Pakistan’s army chief General Syed Asim Munir to review ways to enhance bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation.

Pakistan’s 7.375% 2031 dollar bond was indicated 0.8 cents higher at 36.1 cents on the dollar, up by the most since the start of December. The South Asian nation’s 8.25% 2024 dollar bond was indicated up 0.8 cents at 54.2 cents on the dollar. The nation’s benchmark KSE-100 Index rose 0.8% at 2:34 p.m. local time

Pakistan’s economy was strapped for funds after a gridlock with the International Monetary Fund over tax targets delayed disbursal of loan installments. The situation was made worse by floods that inundated a third of the nation and cut its growth by half. Pakistan has relied on friendly nations to tide over the crisis. Earlier this week, the nation received commitments of more than $10 billion in assistance.

The nation’s foreign exchange reserves dropped to $5.6 billion — the lowest in almost nine years and enough to cover less than one month of imports. The deteriorating economic outlook triggered downgrades, forcing authorities to announce austerity measures to reduce energy bills and save dollars.

It’s a strong commitment from Saudi Arabia, but likely to be subject to resumption of the IMF program, said Tahir Abbas, head of research at Karachi-based Arif Habib Ltd. “The investment would be in setting up a refinery in Pakistan, for which the government needs to complete modalities including finalization of refinery policy.”



Saudi Arabia last month extended another loan of $3 billion at 4% to Pakistan for a year. The Saudi government will “continue to support Pakistan as much as we can,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said at a press conference last month.

Pakistan is also looking to seek extension of a $2.1 billion from China that is due in March. About 30% of Pakistan’s foreign debt is owed to China, including state-owned commercial banks.

Riaz Haq said...

China, which has offered a $9 billion bailout package to Pakistan, on Monday pledged more support for the cash-strapped nation, saying that it has done its "utmost" to stabilise the financial situation of its all-weather ally and will continue to do so.

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/we-will-not-let-you-down-xi-jingping-on-chinese-aid-for-pak-economy-3498505

Pakistan had been engaging with China and Saudi Arabia for financial support, including rolling over maturing loans as part of arrangements for about $35 billion in putouts against debt and liabilities during the current fiscal year.

Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday last said that Islamabad would be getting about $9 billion from China and $4 billion from Saudi as the government tries to steady the nation's weak economy.

Quoting Xi Jinping, Dar said the Chinese President in his meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during his recent visit to Beijing on November 3 had assured him, "don't worry, we will not let you down".

Replying to a query on his reactions to Dar's assertions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here, "China has done its utmost to help Pakistan stabilise its financial situation. We have been doing so, and we will continue to do so."

Zhao declined to comment on the current political crisis in Pakistan following the failed assassination attempt on former prime minister Imran Khan, saying, "China has noted relevant reports. We express our sympathies to Imran Khan and wish him a speedy recovery."

Khan, 70, suffered bullet injuries in the right leg when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets at him and others mounting on a container-mounted truck in the Wazirabad area of Pakistan's Punjab province where he was leading a long march against the Shehbaz-led government.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chairman underwent surgery for bullet injuries at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore and was discharged on Sunday.

Pakistan owes Paris Club countries a combined sum of around $10.7 billion. The Paris Club is a group of officials from major creditor nations whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan's total non-Paris Club bilateral debt currently stands at about USD 27 billion, of which Chinese debt is about $23 billion.

During Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz's visit to Beijing, the Chinese leadership promised to roll over $4 billion in sovereign loans, refinance $3.3 billion commercial bank loans and increase currency swaps by about $1.45 billion.

Sharif was among the first foreign leaders to visit China following the recently-concluded historic 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in which President Xi won an unprecedented third five-year term in power.

Riaz Haq said...

#Japan's #demographic crisis. More retirees, fewer workers. Japan has one of the lowest #birth rates in the world, with the Ministry of #Health predicting it will record fewer than 800,000 births in 2022 for the first time since records began in 1899. https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/23/asia/japan-kishida-birth-rate-population-intl-hnk


Japan’s prime minister issued a dire warning about the country’s population crisis on Monday, saying it was “on the brink of not being able to maintain social functions” due to the falling birth rate.

In a policy address to lawmakers, Fumio Kishida said it was a case of solving the issue “now or never,” and that it “simply cannot wait any longer.”

“In thinking of the sustainability and inclusiveness of our nation’s economy and society, we place child-rearing support as our most important policy,” the prime minister said.

Kishida added that he wants the government to double its spending on child-related programs, and that a new government agency would be set up in April to focus on the issue.

Japan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, with the Ministry of Health predicting it will record fewer than 800,000 births in 2022 for the first time since records began in 1899.

The country also has one of the highest life expectancies in the world; in 2020, nearly one in 1,500 people in Japan were age 100 or older, according to government data.

These trends have driven a growing demographic crisis, with a rapidly aging society, a shrinking workforce and not enough young people to fill the gaps in the stagnating economy.

Experts point to several factors behind the low birth rate. The country’s high cost of living, limited space and lack of child care support in cities make it difficult to raise children, meaning fewer couples are having kids. Urban couples are also often far from extended family who could help provide support.

Attitudes toward marriage and starting families have also shifted in recent years, with more couples putting off both during the pandemic.

Some point to the pessimism young people in Japan hold toward the future, many frustrated with work pressure and economic stagnation.

Japan’s economy has stalled since its asset bubble burst in the early 1990s. The country’s GDP growth slowed from 4.9% in 1990 to 0.3% in 2019, according to the World Bank. Meanwhile, the average real annual household income declined from 6.59 million yen ($50,600) in 1995 to 5.64 million yen ($43,300) in 2020, according to 2021 data from the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The government has launched various initiatives to address the population decline over the past few decades, including new policies to enhance child care services and improve housing facilities for families with children. Some rural towns have even begun paying couples who live there to have children.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's Ban on #BBC's #ModiDocumentary Backfires: It's now being screened across school campuses in India. “Frankly, the ban has been pretty stupid because it’s attracted far more attention to the documentary than would have been otherwise possible" https://time.com/6249393/the-modi-question-documentary-bbc-india-controversy/

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1618115760580341762?s=20&t=y6FHNVsWX-tQTc5bw7buMg

This is compounded by the fact that banning a documentary that was not otherwise popular in India has only invited more viewers, says Hartosh Singh Bal, the political editor of Indian magazine The Caravan, who also appears in the documentary as a commentator. “Frankly, the ban has been pretty stupid because it’s attracted far more attention to the documentary than would have been otherwise possible,” says Bal. He adds that it is now being screened across school campuses as “an act of resistance” among teenagers who previously viewed these events as a dated chapter in history.

Riaz Haq said...

#Godhra Fire Started By a Karsevak's Stove Inside the Train. The flames remained restricted to that area but the smoke the fire created spread to the rest of the carriage, causing deaths by asphyxiation. #modiDocumentary #Gujarat2002 #Modi #BJP
https://thewire.in/communalism/godhra-where-the-fall-of-indias-democracy-began


https://thewire.in/communalism/godhra-where-the-fall-of-indias-democracy-began

The cause of that fire was known and not in doubt: it had begun in the centre of the carriage, possibly when someone knocked over a lighted cooking stove on which food was being warmed or tea made.

The flames had remained restricted to that area but the smoke the fire created had spread to the rest of the carriage, through the gaps between the upper and lower berths, and along the underside of the ceiling. As in S-6, the majority of deaths had resulted from asphyxiation. This explanation gained credibility because the railways were not using flame-retardant materials in second-class compartments then. So even a lighted match could start a fire and create large volumes of toxic smoke. What is more, cooking or warming one’s own food on long train journeys was, and may still be, a common practice among orthodox Hindus.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Express Editorial: #India must not miss an opportunity to improve relations with #Pakistan at #SCO FM Meeting in #Goa. Multilateral settings are often viewed as opportunities for countries with problematic relations to find a way forward. #SouthAsia https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/sco-meet-india-must-not-miss-an-opportunity-to-improve-relations-with-pakistan-8404888/


A meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation that India will host in May is expected to bring together foreign ministers of the regional grouping, which includes China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Bilateral ties with Pakistan and China are at a new low. But multilateral settings are often viewed as opportunities for countries with problematic relations to find a way forward, as the famous Musharraf-Vajpayee handshake did for India and Pakistan at the Kathmandu SAARC summit 20 years ago. Equally, nothing may change, as seen from the “exchange of pleasantries” between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Indonesia last November.

The history of India-Pakistan attempts to find common bilateral ground during multilateral meetings gives a veritable tour of exotic settings, from Male to Sharm El-Sheikh to Thimphu, from New York to Ufa to Dushanbe. Many of these attempts, however, were stillborn. Former PM Manmohan Singh never recovered politically after his own party opposed his joint statement with Pakistan at Sharm El-Sheikh. Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif was excoriated at home for a joint statement with Modi at Ufa that made no mention of Kashmir. When the multilateral meeting is to be hosted by a country that is on one side of the rift, the first step is for the other side to accept the invitation. At times, the other side arrives hoping to be welcomed warmly but gets a chilly reception, as the then Pakistan foreign minister, Sartaj Aziz, found at the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar in December 2016, in a year that India had suffered Pathankot, Nagrota and Uri and hit back with the surgical strikes across the LoC. Whether or not Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto attends the May meeting is likely to be a point of interest.

That question assumes greater significance in light of Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif’s statement that his country had learnt its lessons from three wars with India and that he and PM Modi should meet and discuss all “burning issues”, even though it was hemmed in by the caveat on Kashmir. Moreover, Pakistan’s foreign minister has been intemperate in his rhetoric. And Deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said in Davos that she does “not see a partner currently in the Prime Minister of India to take this project [of peace-building] forward”. An election is upcoming in Pakistan, and having committed themselves to a position, both Bhutto and Khar would be mindful that their actions must match their words, while also considering how they might be received in Delhi. But despite this, if there is an opportunity for a thaw, India must not be the one to miss it.

Riaz Haq said...

India has invited Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to attend meetings of a key regional forum that also includes Russia and China.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2397403/india-invites-cj-fm-for-sco-meetings

India currently holds the presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which comprises Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian States. As president of the SCO, New Delhi is set to host a series of events, including a conference of the chief justices of member states, meeting of the foreign ministers and a summit in 2023.

The meeting of chief justices of the SCO is scheduled for March while the foreign ministers will meet in May.

Official sources confirmed to The Express Tribune on Monday that India shared the invitations with Pakistan for Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

It is, however, not clear whether the chief justice and the foreign minister will attend both the events or depute someone to represent Pakistan. Pakistan hasn’t yet responded to the Indian invite, according to sources.

Given the SCO is an important forum because of the presence of China and Russia, Pakistan is unlikely to stay out of the events.

Both Pakistan and India were accepted as full members of the influential organisation a few years back after they committed not to undermine the SCO work because of their bilateral disputes.

The meeting of the SCO foreign ministers is due to take place in Goa, a tourist destination in South India.

If the chief justice and the foreign minister travel to India for both the events, that would be seen as significant and would be first high-profile visits from Pakistan in many years.

The likely visit may not lead to any tangible outcome for the bilateral ties between the arch rivals, but will be considered as an ice-breaker.

India will also host the SCO summit meeting in June and is almost certain that Pakistan will be invited.

Nevertheless, the visits, if they take place, may lay the ground for some kind of engagement between the two countries. Soon after the SCO summit, India is set to host the One Day International Cricket World in October-November. The successful visits of Pakistani high-ups for the SCO summit will help Islamabad send men in green to the neighboring country for the world cup.

Relations between Pakistan and India have remained tense for many years now. There were some hopes of thaw in February 2021 when the two countries unexpectedly agreed to renew the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC).

New details recently surfaced claiming that in early 2021 Pakistan and India were discussing the possibility of a summit meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Has Lost Access to 26 Of 65 Patrol Points In Eastern #Ladakh to #China. This report was filed at last week's annual conference of the country's top police officers in #Delhi, attended by PM #Modi and #AmitShah. #Kashmir #Pakistan #Article370 https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-has-lost-presence-in-26-of-65-patrol-points-in-eastern-ladakh-report-3722533

India has lost access to 26 of 65 patrolling points in Eastern Ladakh, a report by a senior police officer in the union territory has said, in a worrying new disclosure amid the country's standoff with China at various flashpoints along their tottery 3,500-km frontier.
"Presently there are 65 PPs (Patrolling Points) starting from Karakoram pass to Chumur which are to be patrolled regularly by the ISFs (Indian Security Forces). Out of 65 PPs, our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP no. 5-17, 24-32, 37, due to restrictive or no patrolling by the ISFs," PD Nitya, the Superintendent of Police of Leh, Ladakh's main city, wrote according to the research paper accessed by NDTV.

The report was filed at last week's annual conference of the country's top police officers in Delhi, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

"Later on, China forces us to accept the fact that as such areas have not seen the presence of ISFs or civilians since long, the Chinese were present in these areas. This leads to a shift in the border under control of ISFs towards Indian side and a "buffer zone" is created in all such pockets which ultimately leads to loss of control over these areas by India. This tactic of PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) to grab land inch-by-inch is known as 'Salami slicing'," it said.

"PLA has taken advantage of the buffer areas in the de-escalation talks by placing their best of cameras on the highest peaks and monitoring the movement of our forces... they object our movement even in the buffer zone, claiming it to be 'their' area of operation and then further ask us to move back to create more 'buffer' areas," the officer wrote.

She said this Chinese strategy was seen in Galwan Valley, the site of a deadly clash in 2020 when 20 Indian troops and at least four Chinese soldiers died in hand-to-hand fighting.

Ms Nitya also said that marking areas as out of bounds and keeping them barren affects troop morale as well. "During an interaction with one senior officer whose unit is based right on forward area, he shared that, if by retreating 400 metres back, we can buy peace with PLA for 4 years, then it's worth it," the report said.

The government is yet to comment on the disclosure. Speaking to The Hindu newspaper, which first reported the police officer's research paper, a defence source countered its assertions, saying "there is no loss of territory due to disengagement in friction areas".

"Some areas have been restricted for patrolling for both sides pending diplomatic resolution of disputes. No pasture lands have been lost. In disengaged areas, we have as many cameras and technical means as the PLA and hence dominate the area as much, if not more," the newspaper quoted the source as saying.

They said the military was "encouraging and providing all facilities", in conjunction with the civilian administration, to allow locals and their cattle in grazing locations.

The report comes just over a month after India accused China of trying to "unilaterally change the status quo" on their de-facto border, known as the Line of Actual Control, when clashes left troops on both sides injured.

The December 9 incident in Arunachal Pradesh was seen as the most serious face-off since the Galwan Valley clash in 2020 which led to a sharp escalation in hostilities between the two countries. A series of military talks since then have led to a careful pullback of troops on both sides.

Riaz Haq said...

The (US DoD's China Military Power Report CMPR) ranks Pakistan as its “only all-weather strategic partner” while Russia is the only “comprehensive strategic partnership with coordination relations.” Pakistan is also one of the places that China has likely “considered a location for military logistics facilities.”

https://eurasiantimes.com/china-banks-on-pakistan-to-achieve-its-military-political-goals/

Pakistan’s relations with China are of a different pattern. The US and its allies in the Western world have always considered Pakistan very important to their strategic interests in the Asian Continent.

--------


China justifies its special relationship with Pakistan for more than one reason. China’s BRI is allied with Pakistan’s pipeline and port construction projects. China aims to reduce its dependence on transporting energy resources through vulnerable choke points like the Straits of Malacca.

The report recalls that suicide bombers attacked a workers’ bus on its way to a BRI infrastructure development project in Pakistan. Ten Chinese nationals were killed, and 26 others were injured.

The report does not mention anything about the bomber, but unofficial sources said they were active members of the Pakhtun National Movement.

Amusingly, the report says that China used the incident to “extend its ability to project military power to safeguard its overseas interests, including BRI, by developing closer regional and bilateral counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan.”

China’s double standards in dealing with the issue of counterterrorism will be understood without difficulty. This is why Pakistan has given a clean chit to China in the context of blatant violation of the human rights of Uyghurs of Xinjiang province while viciously maligning India by bringing in baseless charges of human violations in Kashmir.

As we see, one of the main reasons for the Baloch insurgency in Pakistan is the sell-out of Baloch resources to China, whose benefits fill the coffers of the Punjabi elite and landlords in the province of Punjab, Pakistan.

A significant part of the report deals with strategic defense cooperation between China and Pakistan. Beijing has helped Islamabad complete the in-orbit delivery of the Pakistan Remote-Sensing Satellite.

The report includes observation of joint military exercises between the two countries.

Rising Military Relations
In 2020-21 China participated in a joint naval exercise with Pakistan and supplied strike-capable Caihong and Wing Loong Unmanned Aircraft Systems to Pakistan. These are spy vehicles, and Pakistan has been using these against India in the border region of Jammu.

Pakistani drones are deployed to drop arms, ammunition, drugs and Indian currency, and anti-India propaganda literature.

In October 2018, it was announced that Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China would jointly produce 48 Wing Loong II UAVs for use by the Pakistan Air Force.

The Chengdu GJ-2, also known as Wing Loong 2, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group in the People’s Republic of China.

Intended for use as a surveillance, aerial reconnaissance, and precision strike platform, Chengdu unveiled the concept of Wing Loong II at the Aviation Expo China in Beijing in September 2015. Wing Loong II has long-range strike capability with a satellite link.

China supplied major naval vessels to its partners, particularly Pakistan, which purchased 8 Yuan class submarines for more than US $3 billion. Two years later, China sold four naval frigates to Pakistan.

Under the PLANMC — a supporter of PRC’s military diplomacy — Chinese forces have trained with Thai, Pakistani, Saudi Arabia, South African, and Djiboutian forces. Pakistan is also a member of the China-led Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization.


Riaz Haq said...

US DoD's China Military Power Report CMPR

https://eurasiantimes.com/china-banks-on-pakistan-to-achieve-its-military-political-goals/


Under the PLANMC — a supporter of PRC’s military diplomacy — Chinese forces have trained with Thai, Pakistani, Saudi Arabia, South African, and Djiboutian forces. Pakistan is also a member of the China-led Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization.

The report released in November follows the Pentagon’s release of the National Defense Strategy in October, which identified China as the “most consequential and systemic challenge” to US national security and a free and open international system.

Pakistan’s relations with China are of a different pattern. The US and its allies in the Western world have always considered Pakistan very important to their strategic interests in the Asian Continent.

China, too, has strategic interests in befriending Pakistan but for a different purpose: to challenge India’s growing economic and political power by creating a proxy to engage India.

While the western countries want to checkmate Russian designs southward, China intends to contain India because it finds a veritable political, economic and military threat in the rise of India in the Asian Continent.

Keeping the Kashmir pot boiling serves the interests of both power blocs.

It is also in their interests that Islamic religious sensitivity is sharpened among the people in the area lying at the underbelly of the Russian State. First, they experimented with the Basmachi (terrorist groups in Turkistan) in the second and third decades of the 20th century, which they met with reversals.

The failure of the Basmachi movement in Central Asia made the imperialists think seriously of an alternative region that could serve their objective of containment of Russia. This led to the theory of partition of India. This plan was subtly initiated and carried forward.

In this way, creating the State of Pakistan in the most sensitive geographical part of India became a reality in 1947.

Anti-Soviet and anti-Russia forces found a foothold strategically crucial for them. To maintain the foothold, they forged the political weapon of pan-Islamism.

Now we have the Basmachis in a new avatar of LeT, JeM, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Hizbul Mujahideen, Ansar Ghazavatul Hind, and a dozen of new versions of sub-continental terror groups directly or indirectly supported by the two contesting super-powers of the world.

Now Pakistan is under the patronage of China for all purposes. However, its elite still swears by the US.

Speaking at a recently held seminar in the US on Pak-America relations, Chinese foreign policy expert Yun Sun said that Pakistan’s relations with the US were a factor in China’s overall strategy for South Asia, but China has plenty of confidence that its relationship with Pakistan is going to continue regardless of the modality of US-Pakistan relations.”

Sun made a very interesting point by saying that China was also adjusting or recalibrating its policy and expectations toward reaching out to the US, especially regarding CEPC.

And from that recalibration, there’s almost a welcoming attitude in China that Pakistan should re-balance its external strategy. And there’s a welcoming attitude that Pakistan is reaching out to the United States again.”

KN Pandita (Padma Shri) is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies at Kashmir University. Views expressed here are of the author’s.

samir sardana said...

SHEZHAD CHOWDHRY IS A PAF VETERAN

HE SHOULD NOTE THE FOLLOWING

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/video/two-iaf-fighter-jets-crash-in-mp-morena-no-causalities-2327479-2023-01-28

CAN THESE HINDOO WEASELS POSE A THREAT TO PAKISTAN ?

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE CONFIDENCE OF THE ISLAMIC STATE ?

THE TRANSIENT WOES OF PAKISTAN ECONOMY ARE NOTHING COMPARED O THE STRUGGLES OF THE PROPHET

PAKISTAN WAS MADE AND PRC WAS LIBERATED ONLY TO DESTROY HINDOOSTHAN !

THIS IS THE TIME FOR PAKISTAN TO CUT COSTS AND BE FRUGAL.dindooohindoo

HINDOOSTHAN = PRIORI ENEMY OF PAKISTAN

EVERY SECOND THE CHAIWALA AND HIS VANAR SENA CONTEMPLATE THE DESTRUCTION OF PAKISTAN

HINDOOISM IS THE FAITH OF MOLOCH AND NIMROD - AND SUCH A NATION STATE HAS TO BE DESTROYED.

JIYE JIYE PAKISTAN !

Riaz Haq said...

69% Pakistanis feel that their children will have a better life than them in a global Gallup International survey in 64 countries

Figure in India is 43%

https://twitter.com/bilalgilani/status/1619768586276569088?s=20&t=AfVrdN1yfTuVjhOxMf22eQ



https://www.gallup-international.bg/en/46667/fsdfdsfs/


The most positive country among those surveyed is Nigeria (90% minus 6%) and the most negative is Slovenia a (14% minus 53%). Among the prominent countries where GIA could poll, expectations for their children’s future are highest in Nigeria is followed by Russia (52% minus 10%), Mexico (48% minus 30%), the USA (43% minus 31%) and India (43% minus 33%).

When combining the two questions, another perspective is added. For instance, Moldova shows a total of 86 (45% saying that their live is worse life than the one of their parents plus 41% expecting a worse life of today’s children), followed in this negative ranking by North Macedonia (82: 35% negative assessments plus 47% negative predictions), Afghanistan (81), Syria and Italy (78), etc.

Most of the countries are still positive on both questions, but if one looks for instance for countries with both above 50% positive answers, Nigeria stands out with 171 (81% positive for today plus 90% positive for tomorrow), followed by Kosovo (162), the United Arab Emirates (150), Ghana (141), Pakistan (134), etc.

Findings are proved, confirming that developing parts of the world share more hope. National and political peculiarities leave their footprint but in general is seems that the closer the war and troubles are, the worse are the answers on both issues – as expected.

---------

Every second citizen (51%) of the world believes that their life is better than that of their parents. The other half of the people asked is equally divided between those who assess a worse life (23%) and those who find it the same (23%). 3% could not answer. Satisfaction with the living standard is a key factor for people to believe that they have a better life than their parents. But in some rich regions like Europe this is not so valid.

Expectations for the life of today’s children are predominantly good as well but lower than the comparison of own life to the life of the previous generation – 44% are expecting a better life for today’s children in comparison to our lives, 28% expecting a worse life, 20% expecting about the same and 8% not responding. Aged people are less sure about the better future of the next generation. More money unsurprisingly seems to result in more confidence in the future on a personal level, but on a national level countries that experience or used to experience difficulties are the ones to believe stronger in better future for the next generation. Unsurprisingly again.

Riaz Haq said...

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI:
Despite the fact that the country is facing various economic challenges, including a looming default and spiraling inflation, surveys conducted by The Express Tribune in three major cities disclosed that even though the people were aware of the financial hardships, they just wanted to carry on living their lives normally.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2397409/pakistanis-weighed-down-by-inflation

“The prices have increased to a certain extent but that doesn’t mean that the people will stop eating,” Ali, who runs a burger stall in Islamabad, said.

“We are working as usual. The prices of fuel and electricity have witnessed an unusual hike and the government should do something about it,” he added.

Ali maintained that the rising prices had not significantly affected his business.

“My shop is packed with customers like before,” he claimed.

Shahnawaz Satti, a tandoor owner, said the increase in the prices of fuel and flour had no effect on his business as he jacked up the rates of his naans and rotis in accordance with that.

Adeel, a citizen, told The Express Tribune that the political instability in the country could lead the country towards defaulting on its external repayments.

He noted that all political stakeholders would have to sit together and chalk out a strategy to avert this situation.

“If the government concedes to all conditions imposed by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the price of petroleum products would exceed Rs400 per litre. This might not affect the rich but will choke the life out of the common people,” he observed.

The survey found that the people were not bothered by the threat of default, but they wanted their lives to continue as per their normal routine.

In Lahore, a city renowned for its festivities and liveliness, normalcy is slowly changing its pace as the economic crisis has made its presence known in every aspect of life.

While various segments of the city's residents still braving the deteriorating economic conditions during the tenure of the PTI government, its successor, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), failed to bring about the relief it promised when it assumed charge in April last year.

Ever since, matters have been gradually heading towards decay, and with no respite expected soon, there is a sense of disappointment lingering in the air.

Read ‘IMF, privatisation not a solution’

Lahore, which bristled with life, is now slowly becoming accustomed to lonely streets and closed markets at 10pm -- an hour relatively earlier by the city’s standards.

Recently, the authorities extended the time restrictions imposed on commercial markets, with the exception of pharmacies and other essential services, to save energy.

Pakistan, which already suffers from a serious energy crisis, is trying to make lifestyle adjustments to cut the fuel import bill as the country has run out of its dollar reserves to back its valuable imports.

On the surface of it, the decision to close markets early may appear to be an unwise one, but it is an extension of the “difficult measures” that the government says it has been taking to steer the country out of the economic crisis.

However, despite the incumbent government's tall claims, the situation is still unstable – the effects of which can be felt in everyday life in the city.

The Express Tribune spoke to people from various segments of the society to develop a clearer picture of how things really were.

The lowest segments of society have been hit the hardest by the economic crisis as they struggle to make ends meet, with the prices of essential items increasing faster than their income.

They complain about hefty utility bills despite low usage, unaffordable prices of essential commodities, lack of social protection and their struggle to maintain their income.

Those from various strata of the middle class echoed similar concerns as the economic crisis has made it significantly difficult for them to maintain their

Virginia Raines said...

At nearly 1.4 billion people, India lies behind only China in terms of total population; at its current growth rate, it is almost certain to become the world’s most populous country within the next couple of years. This means that, on a per-capita basis, India continues to languish at the lower end of the global rankings; according to the World Bank, GDP per head was a mere $2,277 in 2021. In contrast, China’s per-capita GDP was $12,556, and the UK’s a hefty $47,334.

India is still among the poorest countries in the world and remains formally classed as a low-middle-income economy. It is home to the world’s largest number of poor people, and, therefore, it continues to invite much-warranted criticism over the type of growth that has transpired—growth that has dramatically widened inequality and not done enough to engage the whole country.

Why India Is Experiencing An Alarming Rate Of Hunger
https://www.indiatimes.com/explainers/news/why-india-is-experiencing-an-alarming-rate-of-hunger-585248.html

State Capitalism? No, The Private Sector Was And Is The Main Driver of China's Economic Growth
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rainerzitelmann/2019/09/30/state-capitalism-no-the-private-sector-was-and-is-the-main-driver-of-chinas-economic-growth/

India must transform its micro, small, and medium enterprises
https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/southasiasource/india-must-transform-its-micro-small-and-medium-enterprises/

Democracy In Decline: How BJP Has Caused India's Fall From Freedom
https://brownpoliticalreview.org/2022/12/democracy-in-decline-how-bjp-has-caused-indias-fall-from-freedom/

India's Demotion To Electoral Autocracy Is Fair, Repeated Dismissal Of International Surveys Unhelpful, Global Ranking Expert Explains
https://article-14.com/post/india-s-demotion-to-electoral-autocracy-is-fair-repeated-dismissal-of-international-surveys-unhelpful-global-ranking-expert-explains--63bb7b1a54d7f

Best Countries to Live In 2023


https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/best-countries-to-live-in

Riaz Haq said...

#India is continuing on its path to majoritarian #chauvinism. Narendra #Modi will do everything to ensure a third term in office. #Hindutva #Fascism #Islamophobia #BJP
https://www.economist.com/the-world-ahead/2022/11/18/india-is-continuing-on-its-path-to-majoritarian-chauvinism

Varanasi, INDIA - MARCH 04: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets crowds of supporters during a roadshow in support of state elections on March 04, 2022 in Varanasi, India. India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, is holding state elections in seven phases, as the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Modi looks to defend its majority in its "cow belt" heartlands. The election is expected to be a barometer for the national political mood amid deepening sectarian divisions

Narendra modi had a better 2022 than most world leaders. India’s prime minister was projected to end the year as leader of the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with growth close to 7%, in spite of multiple global crises.

Russia’s war in Ukraine plunged Europe into an energy crisis and strained relations among Western allies. In India, by contrast, it facilitated the purchase of cheap Russian oil and lifted Mr Modi’s international standing. As Western countries jostled to gain India’s support, the prime minister succeeded in styling himself as an ostensibly neutral advocate of resolving the conflict peacefully, managing to scold Vladimir Putin while simultaneously resisting Western entreaties to join the anti-Russia coalition for good.

Riaz Haq said...

The Wire
@thewire_in

After S. Jaishankar said that India cannot pick a fight with China because the latter has a bigger economy, military veterans have accused the Narendra Modi government of having a "defeatist attitude" and "bowing down to a bully".

https://thewire.in/security/veterans-criticise-jaishankar-china


New Delhi: After external affairs minister S. Jaishankar said that India cannot pick a fight with China because the latter has a bigger economy, military veterans have accused the Narendra Modi government of having a “defeatist attitude” and “bowing down to a bully”.

In a podcast with ANI editor-in-chief Smita Prakash on Wednesday, Jaishankar said: “Look, they (China) are the bigger economy. What am I going to do? As a smaller economy, I am going to pick up a fight with the bigger economy? It is not a question of being reactionary, it’s a question of common sense….”

He added that India and China have an agreement not to bring large number of troops to the border, and asked if India should violate that agreement.

Former Navy chief Arun Prakash, a veteran of the 1971 war, tweeted: “If relative size of economies is seen as arbiter of int’l relations, how come nations like Cuba, N Korea & Iran thumb their noses at the USA or Vietnam at China? India, as a democracy, nuclear weapon state & significant economic & mil power must stand firm against hegemony.”



Major General Shail Jha (retired) tweeted: “Mr Jaishankar should know that its not India but China which is picking the fight.”



The veteran added: “Economy or no economy, if we bow down to a bully, we are abandoning our self-respect. Is it acceptable? What a shame. And the guy is being hailed as the greatest FM. It’s cowardice.”



Speaking to The Telegraph, a former lieutenant general said Jaishankar’s statement was “shocking” and was reminiscent of “unconditional surrender”.

“What happened to the so-called muscular nationalism that this government projects in election speeches? Modi’s self-declared muscular nationalism has now capitulated to Chinese aggression and bullying,” the veteran said.

Speaking about Chinese intrusions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the veteran told the newspaper that instead of “asking the Chinese troops to retreat”, the “New India under Modiji agreed to create buffer zones within Indian territories in eastern Ladakh as part of the disengagement agreement, thus ceding further territory to China



A retired colonel said Jaishankar’s “defeatist statement” spoke volumes about Modi’s China policy. “Where is Mr 56-inch Modi’s muscular nationalism when it comes to China?” the former colonel asked.

Riaz Haq said...

"India is Broken" writes Princeton Economist Ashoka Modi. Says #Indians, mostly illiterate and poor, hunger for freedom and prosperity but their politicians from #Nehru to #Modi have “betrayed the economic aspirations” of millions. #BJP https://www.wsj.com/articles/india-is-broken-review-the-difficult-future-for-a-giant-3f65612d?st=l40ilxogdhokc9y via @WSJBooks

Ashoka Mody, who was for many years a senior economist at the International Monetary Fund, is the sort of quietly efficient global technocrat who retires to a professorship at a prestigious school—in his case, Princeton. Yet he’s different from his faceless ilk of briefcase-bearers in one astonishing way: 13 years ago, an attempt was made on his life. The alleged assailant, thought to have been passed over for a job at the IMF by Mr. Mody, shot him in the jaw outside his house in Maryland.

He recovered with remarkable verve, his intellectual drive intact. Yet a mood of gloom and pessimism is unmistakable in “India Is Broken.” Today, 75 years after independence from Britain, Mr. Mody believes that India’s democracy and economy are in a state of profound malfunction. The book’s tale, he writes, “is one of continuous erosion of social norms and decay of political accountability.” You might add that it is also a tale of an audacious political experiment on the brink of failure.

India started its post-independence journey, says Mr. Mody, as “an improbable democracy” whose citizens, mostly illiterate and poor, hungered for freedom and prosperity. Generations of Indian politicians—from Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, to Narendra Modi, the present one—have “betrayed the economic aspirations” of millions. India’s democracy no longer protects fundamental rights and freedoms in a nation over which “a blanket of violence” has fallen. A belief in “equality, tolerance and shared progress” has disappeared. And the country’s collapse isn’t just political and economic; it’s also moral and spiritual.

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A notable weakness in Mr. Mody’s analysis is his denial that the economic policies of Nehru and his successors were socialist. He writes of Nehru’s “alleged socialist legacy” and adds that it is a “mistake to identify central planning or big government as socialism.” Socialism, he insists, “means the creation of equal opportunity for all,” which India’s policy makers weren’t doing. Ergo, India wasn’t socialist.

If these protestations are almost laughable, Mr. Mody’s solution also invites some derision. Hope for India, he says, lies in making it a “true democracy.” And how can that be done? “We must move to an equilibrium in which everyone expects others to be honest.” This “honest equilibrium,” he says, will promote enough trust for Indians to work together “in the long-haul tasks of creating public goods and advancing sustainable development” and awakening “civic consciousness.” Mr. Mody, it is clear, has a dream. It is na├»ve, and it is corny. India, alas, will continue to be “broken” for many years to come.

Riaz Haq said...

Is #India ready to take #China’s place in global #economy? That’s just wishful thinking. India’s modest economic size, challenging #investment environment and substandard #infrastructure are major deterrents to fruitful collaboration. #Modi #Hindutva https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3213475/india-ready-take-chinas-place-global-economy-thats-just-wishful-thinking


by Sameer Basha


India has been increasingly viewed as a natural ally to countries like Australia, which see it as an economic and military counterweight to China. They believe the best way for this to happen is through foreign direct investment into the country, to allow for a gradual transition of enterprises from China to India.
In its 2022 Investment Climate Statement on India, the US State Department called the country “a challenging place to do business” and highlighted its protectionist measures, increased tariffs and an inability to adjust from “Indian standards” to international standards.
The 2023 Index of Economic Freedom ranks India 131st in the world and 27th out of 39 economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The Indian government places equity limits on foreign capital in some sectors of the economy. In these sectors, according to the government’s circular of its FDI policy, beyond the cap imposed on foreign ownership, the entity must be “owned by/held with/in the hands of resident Indian citizens and Indian companies, owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens”.
In addition, ambiguities in the tax code have meant companies like Vodafone, Cairn Energy and GE Capital have found themselves in the cross hairs of tax authorities, putting into question India’s maturity as an FDI hub.
Such actions have seen India’s FDI inflows, as a share of the global total, fall from 3.4 per cent to 2.8 per cent between 2019 and 2021, whereas China’s share has have risen from 14.5 per cent to 20.3 per cent. In recent years, companies like Harley-Davidson and the Royal Bank of Scotland have either downsized or exited India, with German retailer Metro AG selling its operations after two decades in the country.
When one compares the relative size of their economies, China had a nominal gross domestic product of US$17.7 trillion in 2021, while India’s was US$3.2 trillion. India invests only 30 per cent of its GDP, compared with 50 per cent for China; and 20 per cent of its economy comes from manufacturing, as opposed to 30 per cent of China.
Investing in a domestic network of roads, airports, seaports and rail lines, as well as streamlining FDI regulations, allows China to move its products from factories to consumers efficiently, making it an attractive prospect for investment. That is not to mention the world-class infrastructure that has transformed the urban landscapes of both old and new cities within the country.
Despite India’s economic progress, poverty is still a defining feature in its sprawling metropolises. Former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan has also weighed in on the India-China competition, stating: “The argument that India will replace China is very premature as India is a much smaller economy as of now.”
Unfortunately, India is not currently in a place to deliver on the expectations placed on it by countries like Australia, which remain stuck in a geopolitical gambit with China. Simply banking on its large population is a fickle way of viewing the options amid a decoupling from China’s economy. India is still decades away from realising its true potential.
The two countries’ goals also differ. China is transforming itself into a technologically driven economy in order to exceed the potential of the US. In contrast, India is attempting to position itself as a market-driven economy utilising its large population as a manufacturing base to compete with China.