Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

INDIA SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM US/PAK’S TALIBAN TRAP – By Ghulam Muhammed

May 8, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

 

INDIA SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM US/PAK’S TALIBAN TRAP

 

It is no secret that Taliban is the creation of the US and PAK-ISI. Still the US senator Richard Lugar, who is the co-author of the bill with Sen. John Kerry to extend a 15 billion dollar package for Pakistan, is either naïve or trying to fool American public by asking, the connection between ISI and Taliban. In the same press conference, attended by the visiting Presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan, a call was made for India to help out. If Indian authorities are alert and listening, they can easily make out that India is being dragged by both US and Pakistan in this never ending imbroglio to become a convenient scapegoat at later stage, on one pretext or other. Besides involving our forces into any such spurious exercise, India is bound to lose its global prestige with non-aligned people as well as Muslim world. With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a widely believed to be a US sympathiser, openly professing his love for Bush, there is an imminent danger, that he will bow to US pressure. There is only a 50/50 chance of Congress with Manmohan Singh coming to power after May 16 results. To take into account this phenomenon, the Congress government may rush in, as in the case of Quattrocchi, to give the US what it demands. Since Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi is supporting the UPA government from out side, it too will bear the responsibility of any hasty decision on entanglement in US-led AFPAK war that could have serious repercussion on India and its own integrity, security and social stability. People and political parties, therefore should be alert to see that no far-reaching irreversible commitment by this lame-duck administration is made, to the detriment of the coming generations.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

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Are Obama, Hillary Clinton, Gates, Petraeus and Holbrooke ready to face an international war crimes trial if AFPAK war leads to genocide?

May 6, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Are Obama, Hillary Clinton, Gates, Petraeus and Holbrooke ready to face an international war crime trial if AFPAK war leads to genocide?

 

Nobody doubts that the US/Nato has the firepower, especially, air fire power to destroy the entire 40 million population of Pakhtoonistan, populated in the area that straddles on both side of Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

The ‘enemy’ that the US —- not EU —- has identified is effectively the entire population of the area. No amount of drones or Pak armed efforts can subdue the rightful inspiration of the indigenous people of the area. The only alternative for the US to achieve its goal, however carefully defined by the present administration to fool its own people, in not the world at large, is to destroy the entire Pakhtoon people with a scorched to earth bombing spree.

Short of that solution, the US forces will be engaged in a prolonged operation in this area that will destroy the peace and potential prosperity of the region for decades to come. And if the gradual increment in US war aims finally leads to indiscriminate bombing of Pakistan, even Pakistani civilian casualties will be involved. That is a sure case of attempting the genocide of the people of the region.

In case of carnage on such a scale, US administration leaders from Obama down to Holbrooke should better be prepared for a war crime trial, either by their own courts or an international court. This is besides the anger of the Muslim world. Obama had repeatedly declared that Bush has done a blunder in getting involved in Iraq war and neglecting Afghanistan is the US war against terror. Now that he is in charge, he should get another set of analysts, other than the neo-con infested or rather impregnated thinkers that had taken the US to a path to disaster in the Bush years, in every meaning of the word. He has been given a rarest of rare opportunity to set the course to a more peaceful, more prosperous and equitable world. He should not lose this opportunity by being handicapped by Bush era foreign policy dead ends. It’s absurd to hope that either Zardari of Pak army, or even Indian army, if US has any such designs in future, to subdue the enraged people of Pakhtoon. History is on their side. They can be bought, but they cannot be fought. Unless, by invading Afghanistan and indulging in hot pursuit, the neo-con designated strategy is to take over the entire subcontinent in a neo-colonial upsurge, Obama should stick to diplomacy to solve the problem.

Let there be a regional conference of all neighbours, to propose peaceful means to pacify Pakhtoon and start building up the subcontinent in a larger economic zone, setting a invigorated pace to integration at all levels. The future of 2 billion people, a third of the world population is at stake. War or peace; the choice remains with Obama, as the buck stops at his Oval Office table.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

I don’t think we have reached the stage when Taliban will take over Pakistan : Rahimullah Yousufzai, the veteran who reports for the BBC from Peshawar

April 19, 2009

http://epaper.indianexpress.com/IE/IEH/2009/04/19/index.shtml

 

Obama orchestrating from the same old Bush music sheet – By Ghulam Muhammed

March 27, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama orchestrating from the same old Bush music sheet

The adage that the more things change, they remain the same, is holding true with the US. With lot of fanfare about Change and We Can Change, Obama ignited hope not only in his own nation, but all around the world. Bush warmongering had touched raw nerves all around the world. America and Bush were the most hated words in world vocabulary. However, Obama’s public address today over his plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan, have dampened the hope for any change for the better. Obama asked a question: why US was in Afghanistan? His own answer to that simple question was as convincing about the presence of Al Qaida in Afghanistan and Tribal areas of Pakistan as Bush allegation of WMD in Iraq. Bush was not able to fool the world over his simplistic harangue over Sadaam’s non existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Obama himself does not appear to be convinced of the Al Qaida menace, while enunciating his plan to tackle terrorism that ‘threatens’ US and its allied countries in the world. The whole warmongering rationale is pat and stale. When he says: “I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda.” This is like chasing a mirage.

Of course, there are radicals in the targeted area. But Obama fails to understand that the radicals are radicalized mainly over US presence in the Muslim world and this presence is imperialistic, imposed and apparently unending. The more Obama will introduce and activate foreign presence in this quagmire, the more he will sink, possibly never to ever come out.

Obama’s cosmetic improvement in his laid out plan, stresses the addition of more reconstructive focus on US efforts to help common people in the region enjoy better living condition, so that they would realise how benevolent and well-meaning US stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan is. However, the more visual part that affects the psyche of the Afpak people is America’s high-handed hunting of Al Qaida, that not only kills innocent people, but is highly damaging to their self-respect, their pride, their national sovereignty. The time lag between US aggression and any future development that the measly 1.5 billion per year as promised will bring to the civilians is so pronounced that prima facie, the whole US effort is a non-starter. Besides, US aggression is planned to sow seeds of civil war in the region. That has its own dynamics. The US is digging a new hole to fill up the old hole. This brings out the un-tenability of Obama’s new plan.  Obama must strive to pacify both countries first. The more stress is on peace, the more distant will be the days of war on much larger scale.

Obama can and should change both Afghanistan and Pakistan in a new Marshall Plan like grand strategy but it can only be successful, if its forces disappear from the visible horizon and both nation’s national pride is restored. America’s constant obsession to identify its adversaries in terms of Islam and radicalized Islamism is most counterproductive and must be checked in real-time. America must make peace with Islam and make it an ally in bringing peace to the region. Islam is here to stay, and the sooner Obama can convince his adviser to change their strategies that has been focused through neo-con influences on fighting Islam and Islamists, the sooner he will win the hearts and mind of the people of the region.

Obama must change his music sheet.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 


‘War On Terror’ – By Shoma Chaudhury – Tehelka Magazine, India

November 15, 2008

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main40.asp?filename=Ne221108coverstory.asp


From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 46, Dated Nov 22, 2008
CURRENT AFFAIRS  
cover story

‘War On Terror’

As religion becomes a fiery faultline, in an inspired move, a vast swathe of clerics seek to find the voice that reconciles rather than divides. SHOMA CHAUDHURY boards the peace train to test the mood. Photos by SHAILENDRA PANDEY

Cover Story
Mystic Men Clerics aboard the Sheikh-ul-Hind Express on the way to Hyderabad

MARSHAL EVERY stereo type of Muslims loudly proclaimed from public rallies, stereotypes drifting unquestioned in the wind, stereotypes snaking below joking asides even in liberal conversations. Muslims can’t be trusted. Muslims are pan-religionists. Muslims cheer for Pakistan. Muslims are bigots. Muslims have three wives. Muslims have too many children. Muslims are dirty. And the latest, all Muslims may not be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.

In post-Partition India, Muslims have increasingly receded from public view and dialogue as a community of thinking, flesh-and-blood, individual citizens. For the average non-Muslim, they are little more than a homogenous, vaguely threatening spectre. Swathes of skull cap and lungi smudged across ghetto towns of middle India. A community about which we have made up our minds and have no curiosity. The “These people…” of our parents’ conversations. The imaginative (and information) vacuum into which the communal Hindu Right has poured its poison.

These are the stereotypes that tremble beneath the humorous anxiety of one’s family. “What? You are going alone on a train with 2,000 Muslim clerics to Hyderabad? One woman amidst 2,000 Muslim men?”

On November 6, 2008, rising in a magnificent and hopeful gesture against the image that has come to imprison their community, 2,000 Muslim clerics set off on a train decorated with zebra-stripe flags and marigold strings from Deoband to Hyderabad. The Sheikh-Ul-Hind Express — a “peace train” carrying a promising message of national integration. Four thousand other clerics were to join them there from different corners of India – Gujarat, Assam, Manipur, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Bihar, Kerala and Maharashtra — to attend the 29th general body meeting of the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind at the Nizam College ground.

Cover Story
The brotherhood of man Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind clerics at Hyderabad

The train — a metaphorical masterstroke — is only a prop in a journey that began in Deoband in February this year, when the Darul Uloom, an old and influential madrassa, ironically often touted in the wind as the intellectual fountainhead for militant Islamic groups across Asia, issued a fatwa against terrorism. This fatwa — something of a historic first — was endorsed publicly a few months later in May at a huge anti-terror rally of almost three lakh Muslims at the Ramlila Ground in Delhi. Then too, clerics from every state, representatives of Shia and Sunni sects, and Muslim organisations like the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind, Nadwatul Ulema Lucknow, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, and the Muslim Personal Law Board were present. Each organisation the face of a vast hinterland of influence.

The significances are hard to miss. Sixteen years earlier, LK Advani’s rath yatra had ripped the country with pungent speeches and a call to hate. His chariot gave the ugliest face to existing faultlines. It released a narrative of exclusion that has brought the country to the brink. Now, rising from its bruised aftermath, here were people readying to sow it back. At a time when one has grown weary of hearing political and religious leaders talk a reckless language of reprisal and atavistic hate, here were these clerics — by all accounts the most conservative face of Islam in India — reaching for the higher ground, the redemptive note.

Perhaps, a potent new counter-narrative is starting to roll.

It is three in the afternoon. The Sheikhul- Hind Express has just chugged into Nizam-ud-din station. Hundreds of clerics in white kurtas and caps are waiting to get in. There is an air of palpable excitement, almost elation. The frisson of a collective welded together by a higher purpose. It might dissipate later as the group disperses to the individual struggle and dilemmas of life, but for now, it is unmistakable. For all the hustle to get in, the atmosphere in the train is marked by an ordered — almost astonishing — civility. Two thousand men, but a marked absence of male aggression. None of the bogeys suffer the slightest indiscipline.

The Sheikh-ul-Hind Express offers other revelations. In a sense, travelling on it is a journey into the belly of one’s own unsuspected prejudices. It is a reminder of how little one knows, how little one ventures into other cultures, and how easily such a blank slate can be usurped and written on.

As the train pulls out of the station, Maulana Kalimullah Khan, the founder of Hira Public School in Faizabad, a genteel man in amehendi beard, is detailed by the organisers to facilitate conversation between the indifferent Hindi of the journalist and the eloquent Urdu of the clerics. He proves to be an untiring bridge, with a smiling gift for irony.

CONVERSATIONS SWIRL through the train. Sixty years of India’s chequered history compacted into a bogey. There is animated talk of terror blasts, the arrests of Muslim youth, “appeasement”, reservations, equal opportunity, the Sachar Committee Report, discrimination, Muslim mistakes, the Hindu Right, Babri Masjid demolition, SIMI, the comparative merits of Hindu and Islamic societies, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Pakistan, Kashmir and the Koran’s position on women.

Cover Story
Peace tonic Muslim clerics decorate the Sheikh-ul-Hind Express at Nizam-ud-din station

(When conversation on that subject gets particularly heated, I say exasperatedly to my interlocutor, “what can one say if the Koran is the voice of Khuda who is male, and all the codes are written from a male point of view. All I can say for Hindus is that at least we have devis as goddesses, so the road is a little more open.” The maulanas listening in burst into laughter.)

Many of the conversations are more sombre. Maulana Kalimullah Khan describes the hostility he faced getting CBSE recognition for his school. Maulana Mahmood Madani, Rajya Sabha member, secretary of the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind, and a key figure behind the anti-terror initiative, talks of his humiliating attempt to start an CBSE affiliated boarding school for Muslim children in Dehradun. Given sanction at first to buy land by then Chief Minister ND Tiwari, he was later stopped from making the school by the government. The reason? They suspected he was going to start a madrassa and this would compromise the security of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) there! “And they say we are being appeased by political parties,” he laughs ruefully. “This is what happened with me, a Rajya Sabha member. You can imagine what happens with ordinary Muslims. There were 150 other institutions in the 12 kilometres that separated my land from the IMA, but only we were suspect. I told the education minister I did not need his permission to start madrassas. I could start them in Aruna–chal Pradesh on the China border sitting right here! They make such a bogey out of madrassas, but they won’t let us start any other schools either. There has been a systematic programme to keep Muslims out of the mainstream. What people don’t understand is that if such a large percentage of the population is ghettoised and kept backward, it is not just harmful for Muslims, it is harmful for the entire country,” says he.

“The communal forces accuse us of being terrorists and anti-national,” says Mohammad Rafeeque Khan, secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, a fatherly man, with a vein of kindly laughter running below his voice, “but Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse of the RSS. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Sikh bodyguards. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE. From the Supreme Court to district court — was there ever an injunction from the Bar Council that these perpetrators will not be defended? In fact, a lawyer as reputed as Ram Jethmalani fought the case for Indira Gandhi’s assassins. Yet now the Bar Council of Gorakhpur, Benaras, Faizabad and Lucknow have ordained that Muslims caught for the Sabarmati Express carnage or Sankat Mochan temple blast will not be defended. They are just suspects, their crime has not yet been proved. That’s one scenario. The other is that the VHP, BJP and RSS have said they will open their coffers to save Sadhvi Pragya Thakur. Why this discrimination? There are only two fair routes — either don’t give legal or financial assistance to anyone accused in this category of terror crime; or else give everybody due legal assistance and deem them worthy of reasonable doubt. For Rahul Raj’s death, Ram Vilas Paswan, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav — three men who never unite — came together to ask the Prime Minister for an investigation. But when there are other false encounters — and human rights groups and media outfits are themselves pointing in that direction — it becomes traitorous if Muslims ask for an investigation? How can these attitudes lead to progress? It can only lead to the country’s destruction. No matter how much we want the country to progress, until we unite hearts and realise that Hindus and Muslims feel the same pain, it will only slip into more anarchy.”

Other repudiations are made. Reeling out his ideological rants, in an interview to TEHELKA two weeks ago, Prakash Sharma, national convenor of the Bajrang Dal, had claimed that the Hindu Right fought Muslims because areas in which they were concentrated would lead to demands for new partitions. Maulana Rafeeque tackles this propaganda patiently: Uttarkhand. Chhattisgarh. Jharkhand. Greater Nagaland. Gorkhaland, Telengana. The LTTE’s demands. Assam’s ULFA demand. The Shiv Sena’s Marathi manoos campaign. Which of these separatist movements are led by Muslims? he asks quietly. For the space of one pulse beat that follows, the propaganda this embattled community has suffered comes home in its crushing enormity.

But through all of this, through all the vexed conversations, two things shine through. Gauged by some lenses, the genteel men on Sheikh-ul-Hind Express might seem suffocatingly conservative and unyielding on some issues: the inalienable correctness of Muslim Personal Law and a refusal to allow Muslim women to function out of purdah. But these are matters of culture to either be accepted or fought from within the community. There may also inevitably be an underlying sense of Islam’s superiority in terms of its sense of order, justice and decreed morality. But this is only a window into how a culture sees itself and what it holds dear. What shines through it all is an unveering loyalty to land and nation and a language of unequivocal respect, amiability and tolerance. Unlike the virulent rhetoric of the Hindu Right — the demonising of others, the insidious theory of “action and reaction” they use to justify their violence — the men on this peace train say no provocation, absolutely none, evokes a call for violent reprisal.

“Please do not mix these issues of justice or Muslim reservations or discrimination with our message against terror and plea for communal harmony,” Maulana Madani urges repeatedly on the plane back to Delhi from Hyderabad. “These are separate stories.”

“Even if our demands and needs are not met, we do not believe in spreading anarchy,” says Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind president Maulana Qari Usman. “We fight for our rights and will continue to do so as legitimate citizens of this country, but only by the rule, only within the framework of the Indian Constitution.”

This is a voice of the Indian Muslim that the average non-Muslim Indian has started to forget completely. A voice that the national media does not seek out and politicians don’t woo. A voice that has been completely smothered in the war of “action and reaction”, competitive word and deed, between belligerent Muslim radical and parasitic Hindu Right. In fact, it is a voice of moderation and sanity that Indian public life has begun to forfeit altogether.

THE PHILOSOPHY of the Jamiat- Ulema-I-Hind has much to do with the fashioning of this voice. The driving force behind the fatwa against terror, the rallies and now the peace train, the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind is one of the leading Muslim organisations in India, mainly comprising of clerics and scholars from the Deoband alumni. With ten million primary members, who in turn run schools and madrassas in every corner of India, the Jamiat wields considerable influence. It is a part of the dangerous amnesias that have beset India that very few non-Muslim Indians would know that the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind, set up in 1919, sent out a powerful call to all Indian Muslims to join the freedom struggle against the British. When talk of Partition arose, it resisted the idea of Pakistan ferociously. It passed a resolution declaring that the demand for a homeland on the basis of religion was against the tenets of Islam: the Koran emphatically disallowed it. It put all its strength instead on backing the foundation of India as a secular democracy, committed to tolerance and coexistence between Muslims and those of other faiths.

Much of this ethos is on display at the Jamiat’s general assembly on November 9, 2008. Around one lakh Muslims sit in orderly rows at the Nizam College grounds in Hyderabad. Cleric after cleric takes the mike and exhorts the audience to unity and a righteous life. Swami Swaroop– anand, the Shankaracharya of Dwarka peeth, has sent a message. Among other things, he says, there can be no war between Hindus and Muslims because Hindu scriptures prophesied the coming of the Prophet 5,000 years ago and so He is perhaps more dear to Hindus than even Muslims. The crowd erupts in a joyous Allah ho Akbar! Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speaks of peace between communities. Every now and then plangent solo-voiced taranas soar up to the sky:“Hum Musalman Bharat ke wafadar hain…” (We Muslims are loyal to India). The mood is both reconciliatory and assertive. Towards the end, in an electric moment, the entire congregation rises up, lifts a finger of witness, and takes an oath of allegiance to fight against terrorism.

Inevitably, there are critics who will dismiss this as the new-found piousness of a community on the backfoot. Even if one supposed for a moment that this is true, one ought to remember that under siege, there are two responses possible: one can either reach for the higher ground or for reactive anger and anarchy. Clearly, a redemptive resolution has been made towards the former — stronger for having been born out of internal debate and dissent. For those who are seeking meek submission and an acceptance of second – class citizenship, the Sheikh-Ul-Hind Express might have some unpleasant surprises. This is not a capitulation of legitimate demands; it is an azaan for peace and civil dialogue. In a moment of crisis, we can turn ourselves either into something shining or sullied. This appears a hopeful call to the first.

———————————————————————


From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 46, Dated Nov 22, 2008
CURRENT AFFAIRS  
interview

‘Ask us, hear our explanations, present our views’

SHOMA CHAUDHURY speaks to four influential clerics about their fatwa against terrorism and the problems that vex the Muslim community

As the peace train from Deoband to Hyderabad pulls out of the station, an ordered serenity descends on the bogey. A cleric hums a tarana; others kneel at the appointed hour for namaaz. In between, there are avid conversations about religion, terror, communalism and the idea of India. Speaking to TEHELKA at different moments Maulana Qari Usman, Maulana Mahmood Madani, Maulana Rafeeque Qasmi and Maulana Shaukat Ali offer a mosaic of insights into the community

Our Views
Maulana Mahmood Madani Rajya Sabha member, general secretary, Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind

What triggered the fatwa against terrorism earlier, and the peace train now? 
Maulana Mahmood Madani:
 There has been such intense stereotyping of Muslims by the West, and the communal forces and media in India, that it has affected not just non-Muslims but Muslims themselves. Jihad, jihad, jihad — the propaganda has slipped into people’s blood so much they have started thinking the Koran, the Prophet, and Islam are a source of terrorism, whose philosophy teaches nothing but to kill. Even ordinary Muslims have become confused — is this indeed jihad?

Our target audience, therefore, is both Muslims and India’s silent majority, who are still not 100 percent convinced that this community is what it is being made out to be. One way of fighting the propaganda was to keep highlighting the injustice and prejudice of the police and media. Many human rights groups, both Muslim and non- Muslim, are doing this. But the fact remains that terrorist incidents are also increasing and innocent lives are being lost. Don’t these victims and their families have rights too? This is why we have chosen the middle path. This peace train and the Hyderabad Resolution is just the beginning. We have to take this message to every city, district, village and mohalla.

Our biggest problem is that we have to fight on two fronts at the same time. On the one hand, we have to confront those non-Muslims who are not ready to listen or debate even reasonable issues related to Muslims. On the other, there are some Muslims who have either got misled, or are so fed up with the propaganda that they don’t want to speak out. They feel that to even oppose terrorism is to accept we are terrorists.

What impact do you think you will have on Muslim youth who are radicalised or just scared, angry and frustrated? Do your words as ulema have any meaning for them?
Maulana Rafeeque Qasmi: See, you are a follower of Hindu dharma. When this life is over, you don’t know where your soul will go. Whether you are a good man, thief, murderer or rapist, you have 84 lakh lives in which you can refashion yourself before you reach parlokh or swarglokh. In Islam, the idea is different. We tell our youth, if you harm an innocent you will have to answer to your Khuda when you die. So there is a big difference in the psychology. For a Muslim to do wilful wrong, he will have to think a million times because he is bound by his fear of Khuda in the afterlife. Hindu philosophy, of course, teaches one to be righteous, but a Hindu youth is not bound in the same way in sheer psychological terms. When Prophet Mohammad was driven out of Mecca and returned after eight years, he did not urge retaliation. I am not saying this has an invulnerable hold today, but it is a big religious deterrent. Narendra Modi sahib and Vajpayee sahib tout their action-reaction theory and excuse everything on the basis of that, but we tell our community, no matter what the provocation, the reaction has to be within the bounds of the Koran, Hadees and Indian Constitution. Your response to wrongs has to be to cleave to what is right. Yes, the Koran sanctions one to fight injustice, but killing innocents? Never. Under no circumstance. Religion is a strange thing, people can do anything to defend it but, by that logic, they will stop because their religion does not allow something. That is what makes our voice significant.

Our Views
Maulana Qari Usman President, Jamiat-Ulema- I-Hind

Maulana Qari Usman: Even if we don’t have immediate direct impact, we have made it clear to the community that anyone who commits an act of terrorism has stepped out of the boundary of the religion and community, and is no longer part of it. Having said that, I also want to say there have been many arrests but very little proof yet against Muslim youth accused of terror blasts. In fact, though the media reports every arrest, it often fails to report on all those who are acquitted, so this image of widespread guilt remains strongly in people’s minds.

Maulana Madani: There are definitely very grave wounds and a deep sense of victimisation. There is anger, desperation and utter hopelessness. We have to dispel all three, not just for the good of Muslims but the whole country. We need a holistic approach and the government, civil society and media have to jointly rectify this. How else can you confront this? You cannot turn such a big country into a police state. You need education, equal opportunity, employment and faith in non-discriminatory justice. We tell Muslims, particularly Muslim youth, you are stakeholders of this country, you are not here on sufferance. So yes, claim your rights with confidence, but remember that with rights come duties. The story of discrimination against Muslims in these 60 years is a long and bitter one. But we don’t want to open a complaint cell here, because our focus is on terrorism and communal harmony. We don’t want to mix those messages. They are separate stories. We are not saying give us justice or there will be terrorism; we are saying terrorism has no justification.

Is there talk of launching a new political party for Muslims?
Maulana Madani: Many among the ulema do feel the need for a new political party, but we opposed this now because we want to send an undiluted message of communal harmony and peace. Not just Muslims, every ordinary Indian is so fed up of politicians and political parties, we did not want people to feel this was yet another political drama in an election season. Secondly, while there may be need for a new political party, even if there were need for a specifically Muslim party, we will never agree to it. In fact, we will oppose it with all our strength. I believe, in this country, to do any work based only on Muslim identity is both against the interests of the nation and the interests of the community. It is a firm belief that whatever we do, we will do with like-minded non-Muslims, not alone. Muslims should not alienate themselves. We are stakeholders in this country, and there are enough non- Muslims who feel the same way about the country, so why shouldn’t we all come together to create a new political system? I am totally ready to back that in the future. Even in Hyderabad, when Barrister Owaiz talked of Muslim unity, I said, if you are talking about reading namaaz, then talk of Muslims only, but if you want to fight for any political or social issues, then let us make a common minimum programme with likeminded Indians.

Our Views
Maulana Shaukat Ali Treasurer, Jamiat-Ulema -I-Hind

Let me throw a laundry list of issues the Hindu Right uses to rouse emotions against Muslims: Bangladesh immigrants, Afzal Guru, allegiance to Pakistan, population, Partition, the Amarnath land transfer, reservations, SIMI’s belligerent rhetoric. To a lesser or greater degree, a lot of ordinary non-Muslims buy into the prejudices they create. 
Maulana Madani: (Laughs) Let’s see. As far as Bangladeshi immigrants go, no foreigners should be allowed to live illegally in this country.

Having said that, it should not be that you catch anyone wearing a lungi and beard and throw him out. There are fair processes. Set up a commission, summon people to show their documents, then deport them. As far as Afzal Guru goes, we believe anyone proved guilty should be punished according to the law of the land, but again, there are due processes and if this allows him a mercy petition, why should it be denied to him? Pakistan. (Laughs again) The Jamiat-ulema-i-Hind opposed Partition and the creation of Pakistan, not just on political grounds but on the ground of religion itself. It passed a resolution that demanding a homeland on the basis of religion was not allowed by Islam and went against the tenets of Islam and the Koran itself. As far as the Amarnath issue goes, the Jamiat had passed a resolution that Kashmir is an integral part of India, and we feel that while Muslim emotions should not be hurt in India, neither should Hindus’. We may not believe in idol worship, but we respect the faith of those who do. Transferring that land from the forest department to the Board did not hurt Muslim interests in any way. There was nothing to oppose. It was unnecessarily made into a political issue by all sides. As for population, it is madness to link this with religion. This is purely a social and economic issue. Conduct your own surveys, you will find that in a particular economic, social or educational bracket, Hindus and Muslims have the same number of children.

Our Views
Maulana Rafeeque Qasmi Secretary, Islamic Society, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Maulana Qasmi: You brought up SIMI. We have no argument with many issues they were raising but we urged them to approach this in a way that will not alienate others. We believe you have to win over people, not make divisions deeper. When they did not listen and their approach grew increasingly strident, we severed relations with them completely. Many of our concerns are similar, but they have had to face many hardships for their belligerence, and their issues have got lost in the mess.

Maulana Shaukat Ali:We are glad you are asking these questions that point to the poison that is spread across the country. Ask us, hear our explanations and present our views so that ordinary Indians understand we are not responsible for this growing divide.

It’s not our fault people don’t see each other as human beings but as Hindus and Muslims. Ask those who are engendering this — why are they bent on destroying Hindustan’s fabric? We still believe our blood is the same, so where has this poison come from? When people understand that, these questions about us will dry up.

In your understanding, why is the Hindu Right growing in strength? And what makes you keep faith with India?
Maulana Qasmi: It is not becoming stronger. In the past, when they were the Jan Sangh, they never adopted such extreme measures. No one could raise a finger against them. It is only when they formed the BJP and began to want power that they upped the ante. The person really responsible for setting our nation on this divisive, dangerous path is our Advaniji, his rath yatra and its particular mission to incite hatred and anger. That psychology has amplified and amplified till we are at this pass today, where army and dharma gurus have become part of a terror act and no one knows how to put a stop to it all. All this to secure Prime Ministership?

I don’t know how many souls have passed through India with this dream and ambition. But this country’s janta has not yet become so insane that anyone who pleases can become Prime Minister. In this country, when Ram was asked to leave, did he turn around and fight? No, he went peacefully into the jungle. That is why he is called Puroshattam Ram. Now, in his very name, in the name of this noble soul, this upright character, they are teaching people how to hate? No, this cannot last. Everything has a horizon, a natural limit, after which it recedes. Here, when politicians, media, even religious leaders have become corrupt, you can say things have reached their limit. Look at America. After two centuries of white hegemony, here comes Barack Obama. A historic moment, a time of change. Proof that everything has its limit — we just have to work towards it. India is 60 years old, our secular and democratic traditions run deep; they have taken root. They cannot be destroyed so easily.

 
From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 46, Dated Nov 22, 2008
 
 

August 18, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

 

IS THIS OUR INDIA?

 

 

http://www.countercurrents.org/khan131007.htm

 

RAW: An Instrument of Indian Imperialism

 

By Isha Khan

Countercurrents.org   13 October, 2007

 

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), created in 1968, has assumed a significant status in the formulation of India’s domestic and foreign policies, particularly the later. Working directly under the Prime Minister, it has over the years become an effective instrument of India’s national power. In consonance with Kautilya’s precepts, RAW’s espionage doctrine is based on the principle of waging a continuous series of battles of intrigues and secret wars.

 

RAW, ever since its creation, has always been a vital, though unobtrusive, actor in Indian policy-making apparatus. But it is the massive international dimensions of RAW operations that merit a closer examination. To the credit of this organization, it has in very short span of time mastered the art of spy warfare. Credit must go to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave it a changed and much more dynamic role. To suit her much publicized Indira Doctrine, (actually India Doctrine) Mrs. Gandhi specifically asked RAW to create a powerful organ within the organization which could undertake covert operations in neighboring countries. It is this capability that makes RAW a more fearsome agency than its superior KGB, CIA, MI-6, BND and the Mossad.

 

Its internal role is confined only in monitoring events having bearing on the external threat. RAW’s boss works directly under the Prime Minister. An Additional Secretary to the Government of India, under the Director RAW, is responsible for the Office of Special Operations (OSO), intelligence collected from different countries, internal security (under the Director General of Security), the electronic/technical section and general administration. The Additional Secretary as well as the Director General of Security is also under the Director of RAW. DG Security has two important sections: the Aviation Research Center (ARC) and the Special Services Bureau (SSB). The joint Director has specified desks with different regional divisions/areas (countries):

 

Area one. Pakistan: Area two, China and South East Asia: Area three, the Middle East and Africa: and Area four, other countries. Aviation Research Center (ARC) is responsible for interception, monitoring and jamming of target country’s communication systems. It has the most sophisticated electronic equipment and also a substantial number of aircraft equipped with state-of- the art eavesdropping devices. ARC was strengthened in mid-1987 by the addition of three new aircraft, the Gulf Stream-3. These aircraft can reportedly fly at an altitude of 52,000 ft and has an operating range of 5000 kms. ARC also controls a number of radar stations located close to India’s borders. Its aircraft also carry out oblique reconnaissance, along the border with Bangladesh, China, Nepal and Pakistan.

 

RAW having been given a virtual carte blanche to conduct destabilization operations in neighboring countries inimical to India had to seriously undertook restructuring of its organization accordingly. RAW was given a list of seven countries (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives) whom India considered its principal regional protagonists. It very soon systematically and brilliantly crafted covert operations in all these countries to coerce, destabilize and subvert them in consonance with the foreign policy objectives of the Indian Government.

 

RAW’s operations against the regional countries were conducted with great professional skill and expertise. Central to the operations was the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It used and targeted political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements within these states to foment subversion, terrorism and sabotage. Having thus created the conducive environments, RAW stage-managed future events in these countries in such a way that military intervention appears a natural concomitant of the events. In most cases, RAW’s hand remained hidden, but more often that not target countries soon began unearthing those “hidden hand”. A brief expose of RAW’s operations in neighboring countries would reveal the full expanse of its regional ambitions to suit India Doctrine (Open Secrets. India’s Intelligence Unveiled by M K Dhar. Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2005).

 

Bangladesh

 

Indian intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh since early 1960s. Its operatives were in touch with Sheikh Mujib for quite some time. Sheikh Mujib went to Agartala in 1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. As early as in 1968, RAW was given a green signal to begin mobilising all its resources for the impending surgical intervention in erstwhile East Pakistan. When in July 1971 General Manekshaw told Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the army would not be ready till December to intervene in Bangladesh, she quickly turned to RAW for help. RAW was ready. Its officers used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian military has sneaked deep into Bangladesh. The story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its creation and training is now well-known. RAW never concealed its Bangladesh operations.

 

Interested readers may have details in Asoka Raina’s Inside RAW: the story of India’s secret service published by Vikas Publishing House of New Delhi. The creation of Bangladesh was masterminded by RAW in complicity with KGB under the covert clauses of Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation (adopted as 25-year Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in 1972).

 

RAW retained a keen interest in Bangladesh even after its independence. Mr. Subramaniam Swamy, Janata Dal MP, a close associate of Morarji Desai said that Rameswar Nath Kao, former Chief of RAW, and Shankaran Nair upset about Sheikh Mujib’s assassination chalked a plot to kill General Ziaur Rahman. However, when Morarji Desai came into power in 1977 he was indignant at RAW’s role in Bangladesh and ordered operations in Bangladesh to be called off; but by then RAW had already gone too far. General Zia continued to be in power for quite some time but he was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power, though she denied her involvement in his assassination (Weekly Sunday, Calcutta, 18 September, 1988).

 

RAW was involved in training of Chakma tribals and Shanti Bahini who carry out subversive activities in Bangladesh. It has also unleashed a well-organized plan of psychological warfare, creation of polarisation among the armed forces, propaganda by false allegations of use of Bangladesh territory by ISI, creation of dissension’s among the political parties and religious sects, control of media, denial of river waters, and propping up a host of disputes in order to keep Bangladesh under a constant political and socio-economic pressure ( “ RAW and Bangladesh” by Mohammad Zainal Abedin, November 1995, RAW In Bangladesh: Portrait of an Aggressive Intelligence, written and published by Abu Rushd, Dhaka).

 

 

Sikkim and Bhutan

 

Sikkim was the easiest and most docile prey for RAW. Indira Gandhi annexed the Kingdom of Sikkim in mid-1970s, to be an integral part of India. The deposed King Chogyal Tenzig Wangehuck was closely followed by RAW’s agents until his death in 1992.

 

Bhutan, like Nepal and Sikkim, is a land-locked country, totally dependent on India. RAW has developed links with members of the royal family as well as top bureaucrats to implements its policies. It has cultivated its agents amongst Nepalese settlers and is in a position to create difficulties for the Government of Bhutan. In fact, the King of Bhutan has been reduced to the position of merely acquiescing into New Delhi’s decisions and go by its dictates in the international arena.

 

Sri Lanka

 

Post- independence Sri Lanka, inspite of having a multi-sectoral population was a peaceful country till 1971 and was following independent foreign policy. During 1971 Indo-Pakistan war despite of heavy pressure from India, Sri Lanka allowed Pakistan’s civil and military aircraft and ships to stage through its air and sea ports with unhindered re-fueling facilities. It also had permitted Israel to establish a nominal presence in its intelligence training set up. It permitted the installation of high powered transmitter by Voice of America (VOA) on its territory, which was resented by India.

 

It was because of these ‘irritants’ in the Indo-Sri Lanka relations that Mrs Indira Gandhi planned to bring Sri Lanka into the fold of the so-called Indira Doctrine (India Doctrine) Kao was told by Gandhi to repeat their Bangladesh success. RAW went looking for militants it could train to destabilize the regime. Camps were set up in Tamil Nadu and old RAW guerrillas’ trainers were dug out of retirement. RAW began arming the Tamil Tigers and training them at centers such as Gunda and Gorakhpur. As a sequel to this ploy, Sri Lanka was forced into Indian power-web when Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 was singed and Indian Peace-Keeping-Force (IPKF) landed in Sri Lanka.

 

The Ministry of External Affairs was also upset at RAW’s role in Sri Lanka as they felt that RAW was still continuing negotiations with the Tamil Tiger leader Parabhakran in contravention to the Indian government’s foreign policy. According to R Swaminathan, (former Special Secretary of RAW) it was this outfit which was used as the intermediary between Rajiv Gandhi and Tamil leader Parabhakaran. The former Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, J.N. Dixit even accused RAW of having given Rs. five Crore to the LTTE. At a later stage, RAW built up the EPRLF and ENDLF to fight against the LTTE which turned the situation in Sri Lanka highly volatile and uncertain later on.

 

Maldives

 

Under a well-orchestrated RAW plan, on November 30 1988 a 300 to 400-strong well trained force of mercenaries, armed with automatic weapons, initially said to be of unknown origin, infiltrated in boats and stormed the capital of Maldives. They resorted to indiscriminate shooting and took high-level government officials as hostages. At the Presidential Palace, the small contingent of loyal national guards offered stiff resistance, which enabled President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to shift to a safe place from where he issued urgent appeals for help from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Britain and the United States.

 

The Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi reacted promptly and about 1600 combat troops belonging to 50 Independent Para-Brigade in conjunction with Indian Naval units landed at Male under the code-name Operation Cactus. A number of IAF transport aircraft, escorted by fighters, were used for landing personnel, heavy equipment and supplies. Within hours of landing, the Indian troops flushed out the attackers form the streets and hideouts. Some of them surrendered to Indian troops, and many were captured by Indian Naval units while trying to escape along with their hostages in a Maldivian ship, Progress Light. Most of the 30 hostages including Ahmed Majtaba, Maldives Minister of Transport, were released. The Indian Government announced the success of the Operation Cactus and complimented the armed forces for a good job done.

 

The Indian Defense Minister while addressing IAF personnel at Bangalore claimed that the country’s prestige has gone high because of the peace-keeping role played by the Indian forces in Maldives. The International Community in general and the South Asian states in particular, however, viewed with suspicious the over-all concept and motives of the operation. The western media described it as a display of newly-acquired military muscle by India and its growing role as a regional police. Although the apparent identification of the two Maldivian nationals could be a sufficient reason, at its face value, to link it with the previous such attempts by the mercenaries, yet other converging factors, indicative of involvement of external hand, could hardly be ignored. Sailing of the mercenaries from Manar and Kankasanturai in Sri Lanka, which were in complete control of IPKF, and the timing and speed of the Indian intervention proved their involvement beyond any doubt.

 

Nepal

 

Ever since the partition of the sub-continent India has been openly meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs by contriving internal strife and conflicts through RAW to destabilize the successive legitimate governments and prop up puppet regimes which would be more amenable Indian machinations. Armed insurrections were sponsored and abetted by RAW and later requests for military assistance to control these were managed through pro-India leaders. India has been aiding and inciting the Nepalese dissidents to collaborate with the Nepali Congress. For this they were supplied arms whenever the King or the Nepalese Government appeared to be drifting away from the Indian dictates and impinging on Indian hegemonic designs in the region. In fact, under the garb of the so-called democratization measures, the Maoists were actively encouraged to collect arms to resort to open rebellion against the legitimate Nepalese governments. The contrived rebellions provided India an opportunity to intervene militarily in Nepal, ostensibly to control the insurrections which were masterminded by the RAW itself. It was an active replay of the Indian performance in Sri Lanka and Maldives a few years earlier. RAW is particularly aiding the people of the Indian-origin and has been providing them with arms and ammunition. RAW has also infiltrated the ethnic Nepali refugees who have been extradited by Bhutan and have taken refuge in the eastern Nepal. RAW can exploit its links with these refugees in either that are against the Indian interest. Besides the Nepalese economy is totally controlled by the Indian money lenders, financiers and business mafia ( RAW’s Machination In South Asia by Shastra Dutta Pant, Kathmandu, 2003).

 

Afghanistan

 

Since December 1979, throughout Afghan War, KGB, KHAD (WAD) (former Afghan intelligence outfit) and RAW stepped up their efforts to concentrate on influencing and covert exploitation of the tribes on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There was intimate co-ordination between the three intelligence agencies not only in Afghanistan but in destabilization of Pakistan through subversion and sabotage plan related to Afghan refugees and mujahideen, the tribal belt and inside Pakistan. They jointly organized spotting and recruitment of hostile tribesmen and their training in guerrilla warfare, infiltration, subversion, sabotage and establishment of saboteur force/terrorist organizations in the pro-Afghan tribes of Pakistan in order to carry out bomb explosions in Afghan refugee camps in NWFP and Baluchistan to threaten and pressurize them to return to Afghanistan. They also carried out bomb blasts in populated areas deep inside Pakistan to create panic and hatred in the minds of locals against Afghan refugee mujahideen for pressurizing Pakistan to change its policies on Afghanistan.

 

Pakistan

 

Pakistan’s size, strength and potential have always overawed the Indians. It, therefore, always considers her main opponent in her expansionist doctrine. India’s animosity towards Pakistan is psychologically and ideologically deep-rooted and unassailable. India’s war with Pakistan in 1965 over Kashmir and in 1971 which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh are just two examples.

 

Raw considers Sindh as Pakistan’s soft under-belly. It has, therefore, made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. RAW has enrolled and extensive network of agents and anti-government elements, and is convinced that with a little push restless Sindh will revolt. Taking fullest advantage of the agitation in Sindh in 1983 and the ethnic riots, which have continued till today, RAW has deeply penetrated and cultivated dissidents and secessionists, thereby creating hard-liners unlikely to allow peace to return to Sindh. Raw is also involved similarly in Balochistan.

 

RAW is also being blamed for confusing the ground situation is Kashmir so as to keep the world attention away from the gross human rights violations by India in India occupied Kashmir. ISI being almost 20 years older than RAW and having acquired much higher standard of efficiency in its functioning , has become the prime target of RAW’s designs, ISI is considered to be a stumbling block in RAW’s operations, and has, therefore, been made a target of all kinds of massive misinformation and propaganda campaign. The tirade against ISI continues unabated. The idea is to keep ISI on the defensive by fictionalising and alleging its hand is supporting Kashmiri Mujahideen and Sikhs in Punjab. RAW’S fixation against ISI has taken the shape of ISI-phobia, as in India everyone traces down the origin of all happenings and shortcomings to the ISI . Be it an abduction at Bangalore or a student’s kidnapping at Cochin, be it a bank robbery at Calcutta or a financial scandal in Bombay, be it a bomb blast at Bombay or Bangladesh, they find an ISI hand in it ( “RAW :GLOBAL AND REGIONAL AMBITIONS” Edited by Rashid Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Saleem, Published by Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Asia Printers, Islamabad, 2005).

 

RAW over the years has admirably fulfilled its tasks of destabilising target states through unbridled export of terrorism. The India Doctrine spelt out a difficult and onerous role for RAW. It goes to its credit that it has accomplished its assigned objectives due to the endemic weakness in the state apparatus of those nations and failure of their leaders.

 

http://www.countercurrents.org/khan131007.htm

 

 

June 15, 2008

 

Sunday, June 15, 2008

 

How MJ Akbar humours the Brahminical leadership over the small mercies of partition!

 

In his article: ‘How Pakistan insulates India from terror’, published in The Times of India’s Sunday Edition of today, June 15, 2008, author M. J. Akbar, bents over backward to convince India’s Brahmin leadership, that after all, given Pakistan’s existential dilemma with the more boisterous Muslim fundamentalists and extremists, India should count its blessings, that the partition, which was used by the Hindu establishment, against Indian Muslims, as their eternal sin, has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Pakistan has become a buffer state between India and the menace called Afghanistan/Pakhtunistan (the Taliban/Al Qaida country).

 

M. J. Akbar, however, correctly points out another blessing that the creation of Pakistan indirectly had gifted to India. British army, comprised of 50% Muslims, overwhelmingly the ‘martial race’ from the North, which, in undivided India would have been difficult to handle, if the Brahmins had mistreated Indian Muslims, as their record of last 60 years has anything to go by.

 

I would say, M. J, Akbar is rather hasty in his judgment. The menace from the north is yet to fully unfold and India cannot remain insulated from the storm, if and when it envelops Pakistan. Treatment of Indian Muslim should be taken up on its own merit, with due dispatch.

 

 

For Indian Muslims, another blessing of the sort should be evident. They will not have to fight a Brahminical or American war, as they are the neo-dhimmis in India, being kept out of the fighting forces.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

 

 

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/skins/TOI/navigator.asp?Daily=TOIM&login=default

 

 

How Pakistan insulates India from terror

 

By  M. J. Akbar

 

   A few days ago, the government of Pakistan abandoned a ceasefire pact with insurgents operating across the tribal Pakistan-Afghanistan border, reached by Pervez Musharraf but reasserted by his successors in power. On June 11, Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, said in Washington that any future terrorist attack on his country would probably originate in this region, known by its acronym, FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). This had become the most secure base of al-Qaida, he added, after the fall of the Taliban in Kabul.

 

   Why has al-Qaida become a cancerous bone in Pakistan’s throat, with the country neither able to digest it or spit it out? There is general agreement across different elements of the Pakistan establishment that swallowing this bone will infect the body politic beyond cure. But instead of surgery, there is a paralytic helplessness as al-Qaida and Taliban beliefs and prescriptions seep into street, village and towards the foot soldiers that form the core of any armed force.

 

   Both the army and newly elected democrats fumble when faced with a basic, if provocative, query: Why is Islamabad fighting America’s war against fellow Muslims? The overlap between Pakistan’s ‘national’ interest and the interests of the ‘Muslim Ummah’ has been further blurred in the northwest frontier by a shared ethnicity that has never recognized the Durand Line as a barrier between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

 

   Islamabad’s dilemma revives a question that raged on the sidelines of the Partition debate between 1940 and 1947: Could united India ever have a secure border on its northwest frontier? The Khyber Pass was the traditional “gate” to Delhi. Would the Muslims of the region, and their brethren in the united Indian Army, secure the gate or open it for any Muslim invaders? The British, it is commonly known, regretted the division of the British Indian Army much more than they regretted the partition of British India. Others were not so sure. Among them was Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the great Dalit hero who considered himself neither Hindu nor Muslim and was thus above the growing bitterness between the two.

 

   The Secretary of State for India revealed a trifle reluctantly, the ethnic composition of the British Indian Army in the House of Commons on July 8, 1943: Muslims were 34%, Hindus 50%, Sikhs 10% and the rest 6%. But these were wartime statistics, when emergency recruitment had altered the traditional balance, or imbalance. It was believed that the Muslim proportion of the peacetime British Indian Army, driven by the “martial races” theory and the belief that Frontier Muslims were superior soldiers, might be as high as 50%. There was no question that the army of a united India would retain a high percentage of Muslims, largely recruited from the frontier; political pressure from Muslims would ensure as much.

 

   Would Muslim soldiers be immune to the lure of pan-Islamism? The Muslim League had resolved that the Indian Army should not be used against Muslim powers, conflating Indian and pan-Islamic interests. It was also recalled that during the Khilafat movement (1919-1922), Muslims displayed potentially explosive angularities. Maulana Mohammad Ali had invited the Amir of Afghanistan to invade India and conquer Delhi with the help of an Indian uprising.

 

   Dr Ambedkar argued that India was better off divided, because it could not remain a secure state with such confused loyalties at its porous crown. A new ‘Hindustan’ army, created out of the resources of divided India, would be untroubled by dual loyalties. Given that Pakistan has few answers to the incessant diet of bombs and suicide missions, we need only to pause and consider the havoc that a strong Qaida-Taliban movement would have caused across the cities of the Indian subcontinent if it had not been substantially, though not completely, insulated by the Indo-Pak border. Imagine the nightmare of an undivided India.

 

   Indian Muslims, who consciously opted for their motherland, paid a heavy price: they were not to be fully trusted with the defence of India. No one doubted their patriotism in the 1962 conflict with China, but during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, they were picked up arbitrarily and detained without trial by the Congress government of Lal Bahadur Shastri. The heroism of Havildar Abdul Hamid was treated as an exception. This prejudice was a major reason for minimal Muslim presence in the Indian Army and police services.

 

   The Indian Muslim mind shifted from a pseudo-glorification of the idea of Pakistan in the 1940s to fear, resentment and uncertainty over the next two decades. Bangladesh was the turning point; it was clinching evidence that Pakistan was not a paradise for Muslims, but the preserve of a regional culture and mentality that was not ready to treat every Muslim as an equal. Indian Muslims abandoned, completely, any residual temptation for Pakistan. This is not just my effort to be politically correct. There is evidence: the complete lack of interest that Indian Muslims have displayed towards the Kashmiri insurrection has puzzled and frustrated the self-styled “pan-Islamic jihadi” organizations who expected Indian Muslim support in the effort to terrorize the Indian state and people.

 

   When Indian Muslims get angry, they do so for their own reasons, not for Pakistan’s. Muslims born in free India are not ready to be victimized for the mistakes of their fathers. This is an assertion of equality, part of the confidence gifted to them by the unique democratic values of the Indian Constitution.

 

   The violent Sikh upsurge of the 1980s reminded India that there was more than one potentially hazardous minority, and that the politics of indifference could not be sustained.

 

   The most heartening image of contemporary India, to me, are the slightly funny pictures of young Muslims puffing their chests to meet physical criterion during periodic recruitment drives for the Indian Army or paramilitary forces.

 

   I wish Indian politicians would appreciate that the politics of patronage is no substitute for the politics of indifference. Patronage is essentially demeaning, and serves only small Muslim cliques who enrich themselves at the cost of the community. The Indian Muslim wants to be treated as an equal. He is waiting for the establishment to appreciate the true nuances of the term.

 

 

US goes for the jugular in Pakistan: Times of India

April 15, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

 

Comments posted on Time of India Website article: US goes for the jugular in Pakistan

 

 

 

“There is a grave lesson for Indian leaders, who should not rejoice in their neighbour Pakistan’s plight but think about their own future with a rogue state as their supposedly strategic partner. India is bound to suffer the same fate, if it is not careful. It must rise above local petty politics of the communal colouring and think about the overall future of the subcontinent as an independent identity and not give in to US arm twisting. US nuclear deal was nothing but arm twisting in disguise. One way or other, US wants to subjugate India and make India its colony, to exploit its resources, its people and its prestige around the world. Indian leaders have a sacred duty to safeguard all three. India must launch a preemptive ‘Quite Asia’ movement against the US warmongers.

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

<ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com>

www.GhulamMuhammed.wordpress.com

 

——————————————————–

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/US_wants_access_to_Paks_N-assets/articleshow/2951475.cms#write

 

US goes for the jugular in Pakistan

 

15 Apr 2008, 0030 hrs IST

, Chidanand Rajghatta , TNN

 

 

WASHINGTON: Finally acknowledging that Pakistan represents a clear and present danger to American and world security

, the Bush administration is trying to get a stranglehold on the country’s nuclear weapons.

In the latest move, Washington has sought direct access to Pakistan’s Nuclear Command Authority by posting an officer at the US embassy in Islamabad to liaise with the body that controls the country’s nuclear weapons.

The demand, first reported in Pakistani newspapers Jang and News, comes even as US president George Bush

said in a TV interview on the weekend that a future 9/11 kind of attack would most likely emanate from Pakistan, not Afghanistan.

Bush and high-ranking US officials had previously glossed over Pakistan’s role as the hub

of world terror while targeting Iraq.

Most major terror attacks in the world have emanated from Pakistan, and not from the usual US suspects like Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The US administration’s attempts to get a stranglehold on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons show that Washington now appears to have come out in the open about a country that has long been described by many analysts as the most dangerous place on earth and the ground zero of world terror.

Ironically, the change in the American thinking comes even as Pakistan’s vibrant civil society has forced a course correction by jettisoning a US-backed militaristic government in favour of a more democratic dispensation.

Although Washington appears to harbour more doubts about the new democratic government than about the previous military junta it allied with, its efforts to get a handle on Pakistan’s security predates the gradual transfer of power.

The latest attempt to get a fix on Pakistan’s nuclear assets

is the 12th in a series of demands aimed at establishing greater US oversight on what many commentators see as a dangerously unstable country. Last month, Washington issued a set of 11 demands that shocked Pakistan’s security establishment, which described it as highly intrusive and untenable.

The demands included allowing US personnel to enter Pakistan on the basis of national identity (like driver’s licence) and forgoing visas; accepting US licences, including arms licences, in Pakistan; US personnel being allowed to bear arms and wear their uniforms in Pakistan; application

of US criminal jurisdiction on American personnel in Pakistan etc.

Pakistan’s defence ministry, the foreign office and the law ministry were reported to have rejected the demands outright.

Pakistan’s security mavens have gone ballistic over the US security bear hug.

“The first step in dealing rationally with our indigenous terrorist problem holistically and credibly is to create space between ourselves and the US. As the US adage goes: ‘There is no free lunch.’ For Pakistan, lunching with the US has become unacceptably costly,” wrote Shireen Mazari, who heads the Pakistan Institute of Strategic Studies.

While Mazari wants Islamabad to punish the US by denying it access to Afghanistan, other analysts point out that Pakistan will be toast within weeks without US financial and institutional support.

According to reports from Pakistan, the new request for an NCA liaison was made through verbal contact via an assistant secretary-level official.

Elizabeth Colton, the US embassy spokesperson in Islamabad, did not deny outright the story but told the Pakistani media: “We are in touch with all elements of the Pakistan government all the time. But we do not publish or discuss details of our diplomatic discussions and assignments.”

 

 

ADVANI’S DUPLICITOUS AGENDA

March 23, 2008

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/videopod/default.aspx?id=25404

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

ADVANI’S DUPLICITOUS AGENDA
 

While watching NDTV’s Walk and Talk programe’s Shekhar Gupta interviewing BJP’s newly proposed prime ministerial candidate, if and when BJP or NDA coalition is able to form next, or next to next central government, the hypocrisy of Advani’s own thought processes cannot be ignored, when he is trying to see that Pakistan, under President Musharraf, could and should become a secular state, given Musharraf’s early years spent in Turkey, the seat of Muslim Caliphate, that was very forcefully transformed into a non-religious and secular state by Mustafa Kamal Pasha and was the role model for President Musharraf, at least clearly mentioned by Musharraf on his inaugural speech, when he assumed power in Pakistan.

While Advani was on to secularize Pakistan through the medium of an unelected and army backed dictator, he never attempts to repudiate the fundamental fascist Hindutva ideology of BJP and Sangh Parivar, while projecting Ram Rajya, as their ideal for a multicultural, multi-religious pluralist country like his own country,India.

In fact, at this point of time, BJP’s RSS plank is fundamentally opposed to the very basics of Indian constitution and as such this political party cannot be allowed to participate in the elections.

A Supreme Court judgement, accepting Hindutva or Hindu plank as cultural rather than any religious identity, has given BJP the temporary opportunity to win elections on the basis on fomenting inter-religious strife and anti-Muslim hate propaganda.

That Supreme Court judgement was never contested. It is certainly open for review at Supreme Court, with a larger bench, in the light of more factual data that is now available, as to the true ideological and factual nature of BJP’s unconstitutional identity.

Each and every statement of the leadership of BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal form the data that is available for the Supreme Court to review and decide, if the Sangh Parivar confirms to the constitution of India and if should be allowed to take part in Indian elections.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

<ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com>

www.GhulamMuhammed.wordpress.com