Sunday, August 31, 2014

Genocide of Palestinians by Israel

United Nations and human right groups condemned the killing of hundreds of women and children by Israel during its recent offensive against Palestinians.

But no major report is published as a result of investigations into killings by Israel. The condemnation by these groups was empty rhetoric as usual. True believers of human rights are waiting for a proper report in to the atrocities by Israel.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Israel is committing crimes against humanity in Gaza

Israel has killed hundreds of women and children during its current attack on Gaza Strip. The West and its allies are showing no signs of mercy. Meanwhile, Israeli forces are committing crimes against humanity but the West is silent as usual.

The world’s conscious does not work when it comes to helping innocent Muslim civilians anywhere in the world. There is no hope that Israel will stop crimes against humanity in Palestine. Current situation due to Israeli crimes will help non-state actors to take matters in their own hands.

Its time that United Nation and other international bodies play their role to stop crimes against humanity by Israel.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Echo of Sykes Picot agreement

Former Prime Minister of UK, Tony Blair has absolved himself of any responsibility in recent Iraqi crisis. Blair said, “We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ caused this”.

The West is playing the old game which it planned while finalising Sykes Picot agreement in 1916. Its ally, Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has also supported the Kurdish independence.

The West should understand that the days of its hegemony are over. The people will decide their own fate all over the world including in the West.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Propaganda against Pakistan

The Western media gone into frenzy in reaction to a murder of a Pakistani woman outside a court in Lahore. First the Western media reported that a Pakistani woman was “bludgeoned” to death. Then it twisted the story that a Pakistani woman was “stoned” to death.

The Western media wants to propagate negative stories about Pakistan. This was a very sad incident but the purpose of the coverage of this story by the Western media is to spread propaganda against Pakistan.

More than 40 percent of female murders are committed by their family members in the USA according to Department of Justice. Around one-third of female murder victims ages 12 or older are killed by their partners.

Every 90 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in USA calculated from 2012 National Crime Victimization Survey, U.S. Department of Justice.

Over 22 million women have been raped in their lifetime in USA according to National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

This is the time for the Western media to start talking about crimes against females in the West as well

Monday, April 28, 2014

Nationalization in Disguise

Elderly people started forming long queues in front of the British bank Northern Rock to salvage their savings from the fifth largest lender in the fourth biggest economy of the world. It was a classical run on a bank which ended up in nationalization of Northern Rock.

The developed world funnelled thousands of billions of dollars to salvage its dwindling economies during the global financial crisis. It is still continuing the same policy in the name of quantitative easing. However, it wants developing countries like Pakistan to opt for privatization using the IMF and the World Bank as a cover.

The then shadow chancellor George Osborne said that the conservatives would oppose plans to nationalize Northern Rock. "After months of dither and delay we have ended up with this catastrophic decision," said Mr Osborne. "We now have the situation where the government will be making decisions on whether or not to foreclose on people's loans in a falling housing market," he added.  The conservatives decided to follow footsteps of their former leader Margaret Thatcher.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson who led a consortium to save beleaguered Northern Rock from bankruptcy also criticised the government's decision. He said, “We believe nationalization is not the right answer and that a commercial solution would have been the best way forward.”

American airlines and automobile companies also faced same fate like banks in Europe and USA. They also queued for bailout packages from their governments. In fact bailout plan in USA was nationalization in disguise. The American establishment called it bailout plan to avoid being branded the proponent of nationalization. Thousands of billions of dollars from public purse were handed over to Wall Street.

Actions of the private sector and governments made the job of central banks harder. The job of the central bank is not only to smoothen the boom bust cycles and keep the dragon of inflation under control but also to create employment. This is why during the global financial crisis the central banks around the world opted for the Keynesian model. The main argument behind this policy was to keep the unemployment levels down.

US President Barack Obama followed this policy after winning the election. Obama in his first post-vote news conference said, “my priority is going to be, how do we grow the economy? How do we create more jobs?” Any assistance should "help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States of America.” Obama also defended his auto bailout by saying that “We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt” during his bid for second term.

Emirates Airline became one of the most successful airlines of the world while American airlines and automobile companies from private sector were queuing for bailout packages to avoid bankruptcy. Emirates Airline is wholly owned by the government of Dubai. Successful operations of Emirates Airline have blunted the argument that public sector is inherently inefficient. This is the case with state owned Chinese enterprises as well.

Privatization has produced mixed results over decades. Opponents of privatization argue that services like health, education and transportation should be owned by the public sector. They cite the case of America’s health sector as a vivid example. Countries like Australia which provide universal health cover have lower per capita costs than USA. All Australian citizens receive free medical care provided by their government. However, USA does not provide this facility to its citizens.

USA has spent US$ 8,895 on health expenditure per capita. USA’s health expenditure as a percentage of GDP is the highest in world. However, a huge number of people in USA do not have access to adequate health services. Dr. David Blumenthal, president of Commonwealth Fund said, “the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, but what we get for these significant resources falls short in terms of access to care, affordability, and quality”.

A survey by Commonwealth Fund shows that almost 4 out of 10 adults are more likely to forgo medical care because they cannot afford it. They also face hardships when paying medical bills. They are also likely to face higher medical bills and have disputes with their insurers. This survey highlighted the need for health care reforms in USA to ensure people have access to health care, protect them from medical debt and simplify health insurance system.

Commonwealth Fund’s senior vice president Cathy Schoen said, “this study highlights pervasive gaps in U.S. health insurance that put families' health and budgets at risk … in fact, the U.S. is the only country in the study where having health insurance doesn't guarantee you access to health care or financial protection when you're sick."

More than 3 out of 10 adults in USA did not see a doctor, failed to buy medicines or went without recommended care because of they could not arrange money. On the other hand, 5 to 6 percent did this in the Netherlands and the U.K compared to 33 percent in USA according to the survey analysis of Commonwealth Fund.

Apart from inefficiencies of the health sector, the agricultural sector in the West and USA is also facing similar challenges. Farmers receive more than one billion dollars a day in shape of subsidies in developed countries.

“European cow receives $2.50 per day in government subsidies and the average Japanese cow receives $7.50 in subsidies, while 75 percent of people in Africa live on less than $2 per day”, the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Nicholas Stern pointed out this disgraceful policy of the industrialized world in 2002. Meanwhile, 1.22 billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day and 2.4 billion people lived on less than US $2 a day in 2010 according to the World Bank.

Political elites in Pakistan should have a meaningful debate to address the issue of privatization. This debate should be handled in the national interest of Pakistan. The main task for the political elites in Pakistan is to tackle the endemic corruption.

China, Dubai and Australia have shown how to run an effective public sector. On the other hand, success stories of the private sector are impossible to ignore. Pakistani political elites should focus on eradication of corruption rather than engaging in a philosophical discussion of merits and demerits of privatization and nationalization.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ban on cricket fans to fly Pakistani flags in Bangladesh

Authorities in Bangladesh were bamboozled by overwhelming support for Pakistani cricket team participating in T20 world Cup.

Recently, the ruling Awami League has cracked down on pro-Islamic parties including Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party. A leader of Jamaat-e-Islami was also executed by ruling party to show its hate for Jamaat.

However, nothing has changed the minds of anti-colonialist and pro-Islamic people in Bangladesh. They continued to support pro-Islamic parties. They also showed their love for people of Pakistan by supporting Pakistani cricket team.

As a result authorities imposed a ban on cricket fans to fly foreign flags in Bangladesh. This move was clearly designed to stop the support for Pakistan. It was widely condemned by sport lovers around the world. No matter what anti-Islam and anti-Pakistani forces try, Bangladeshi people will continue their support for Pakistan.

Friday, February 28, 2014

America’s Silk Road Conundrum

Americans invited a senior delegation of Taliban for talks in Texas to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan in December, 1997. Few years later the boat was rocked. The war on terror replaced commercial negotiations in the pursuit of profit from the rich energy reserves of the Caspian Sea.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s continuous refusal to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with USA has put another dent in America’s Silk Road strategy. Afghanistan suspended talks on the BSA last year after USA engaged in talks with Taliban. Silk Road strategy is a code name for the Great Game which was designed by colonial powers to rule and plunder the natural resources of Asia in the early 1800’s.

Pakistan is a major player in the Silk Road strategy. Pakistan which was already in the driving seat due to its strategic location has further strengthened its position. Pakistan is a major corridor for China, India, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. This corridor can benefit billions of people in these regions.

India relies on Pakistan to connect to Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe by road. Pakistan is also a major corridor for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Emerging global power, China can cut almost ten thousand kilometres to connect with the Middle East through Pakistan.

Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang during his last visit to Pakistan said, “Both sides are of the view that by connecting China’s development and Pakistan’s development, we can create a joint economic corridor linking the central and western parts of China and Pakistan.” China is already operating Pakistan’s strategic port of Gwadar which is close to an important oil-shipping lane called Strait of Hormuz. Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to accelerate the construction of economic corridor during their recent meeting in Beijing.

Pakistan is consolidating its position while USA is struggling to hold together its allies. Taliban opened an office in Qatar's capital Doha and put a plaque with an inscription of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and Taliban’s flag last year. This further infuriated Karzai who suspended talks over the BSA.

White House in a recent statement said, “President Obama told President Karzai that because he has demonstrated that it is unlikely that he will sign the BSA, the United States is moving forward with additional contingency planning.”

“Specifically, President Obama has asked the Pentagon to ensure that it has adequate plans in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014.”

Proposed American plan to pull its invading forces from Afghanistan is another setback in its pursuit of strategic goals of the Silk Road strategy. If it cannot persuade Karzai or his successor to sign the BSA then it will act as a final nail in America’s economic hegemony. Even if the BSA is signed, it will not achieve its’ goals. USA and its allies could not control Afghanistan with hundreds of thousands of their soldiers. How a few thousand American troops will play any role to achieve strategic goals of its Silk Road strategy?

Perhaps, Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was dreaming as a de-facto Indian Foreign Minister when she said, “let’s work together to create a new Silk Road … That means building more rail lines, highways, energy infrastructure, like the proposed pipeline to run from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan, through Pakistan into India” in Chennai, India on 20 July 2011.

Hillary Clinton further said that she “was pleased to see Afghanistan and Pakistan commit to implement fully their transit trade agreement…we want to see trade begin to move across that border, and then we want to see that trade expanded into Central Asia and India – two-way trade, multiple paths for trade.” Strengthening India and containing China are important goals of the Silk Road strategy.

British historian and Writer, William Dalrymple with his pro-Indian and Western stance has covered the Afghan issue in depth for the Brookings Institution. He believes that after America starts to end the longest war in its history, “Some Indian hawks, in the army and the Ministry of External Affairs, argue that by taking on a more robust and possibly even a military role in Afghanistan, India could fill the security vacuum left by the U.S. withdrawal, advance its regional interests, compete with their Chinese rivals for influence in Afghanistan, and thwart their Pakistani enemies at the same time.”

This sounds like a nightmare for Indians. USA, Russia and Briton with all of their military and economic might have failed to subjugate Afghanistan. How a country like India whose majority of population lives in absolute poverty can even think of invading Afghanistan? Which route they will take? May be through Pakistan?

These so called “hawks” have forgotten that Pakistan is a nuclear power. It is armed with tactical weapons which will destroy Indian army even before it moves from garrisons. This shows the quality of Dalrymple’s approach. It is absolutely absurd even to entertain such idea.

Dalrymple further says that, “a former Indian consul general in Kandahar privately admitted to me that he had met with Baluchi leaders at his consulate … he hinted to me that RAW personnel were present among the staff at the Kandahar and Jalalabad consulates.” Pakistan got proves of Indian involvement in Baluchistan and it has already warned India to stop such activities. Pakistan will be free from Afghanistan and it will be able to concentrate on India.

It is better for India to cooperate with Pakistan to improve lives of impoverished Indian population by using Pakistan’s economic corridor. However, this corridor will remain shut for India until it resolves the outstanding issue of Kashmir. It is also important for India to stop exploitation of Muslims and other minorities in India and follow its so called “secular” constitution.

Dalrymple also says that, “In June, 2010, much to the alarm of India—and the U.S.—Karzai decided to attempt negotiations with the Taliban. In preparation for this, Karzai removed his strongly pro-Indian and deeply anti-Pakistani security chief, Amrulla Saleh”

President Barack Obama’s former AfPak adviser, Bruce Riedel said, “Karzai’s decision to sack Saleh has worried me more than any other development, because it means that Karzai is already planning for a post-American Afghanistan.”  It seems that Afghanistan, Pakistan and China are getting ready for post-American Afghanistan.

Pakistan is waiting it out until the enemy forces are exhausted. It has also shown strategic patience. However, India as usual is playing a game of catch-up like it did after the downfall of Russia. India was an important ally of Russia. Now it is trying to build strategic relationship with another dwindling superpower called USA. Somehow India always ends up with losers.

Former CIA station chief in Pakistan, Milton Bearden who supported Afghan resistance against Russians from 1986 to 1989 has covered the demise of great powers in his article “Afghanistan, Graveyard of Empires”. The title tells the story of invader’s demise starting from Alexander the Great.

Indian “hawks” read the history even before you think of Afghanistan. Your current and former masters, America and Russia are licking their wounds inflicted by Afghans. The future of the Silk Road strategy relies on the course Pakistan takes. Remember! Pakistan is in the driving seat.