Volume 21 Issue 10 October 2017
 
 
 
By Javed Jabbar

One way to treat the speech on 21st August 2017 by President Trump that ups the ante against Pakistan is to add it to the long list of falsehoods and half-truths which he produces at high frequency. The Washington Post has identified, as of 5th August 2017, over 1057 false or misleading statements in the first 200 days, and their repetitions by the American head of state. That is a new world record of ignominy. This appalling disregard for facts, combined with willful ignorance and bias pose new dangers for Pakistan.

By Dr. Talat Wizarat

US President Donald Trump’s electoral campaign was lively but it focused mainly on the issue of immigration and how to deal with the problem of illegal immigration. His vitriolic statements against Mexicans and other immigrants were seen as an attempt at racial profiling of people. The idea of building the wall on the Mexican border, although lacking in wisdom, also did not deter people from voting for him. Some foreign policy issues also figured in the debate though they were not the main focus of discussion. It seemed plausible that after election Trump would opt for a drawdown of US forces from Afghanistan.

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PRESIDENT & EDITOR IN CHIEF
Syed Jawaid Iqbal

MANAGING EDITOR
Zeba Jawaid

EDITOR
Javed Ansari

ASSISTANT EDITORS
Faizan Usmani
Khawaja Amer
Syeda Areeba Rasheed

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
S. G. Jilanee

CONTRIBUTORS
Sajjad Ahmad
Dr. Moonis Ahmar
Huzaima Bukhari
Muhammad Ali Ehsan
S. M. Hal
Dr. Ikramul Haq
Javed Jabbar
S.G. Jilanee
Dr. Raza Khan
Taha Kehar
Zainab Manzoor
K. A. Naqshbandi
S. Mubashir Noor
Dr. Talat Wizarat

GRAPHICS & LAYOUT
Kamran Ghulam Nabi
Haroon Rasheed
Riaz Masih

GENERAL MANAGER
MARKETING & SALES

Syed Ovais Akhtar

MARKETING MANAGER
Hira Sarwar

BRAND MANAGER
Muhammad Aamir

CIRCULATION & COORDINATOR
Aqam-ud-Din Khan



SouthAsia is published every month by Syed Jawaid Iqbal for and on behalf of JAWZ Communications (Pvt.) Ltd.

Views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily shared by the editors.

Published since 1977 as Thirdworld, the magazine was re-launched in 1997 as SouthAsia.




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By Khawaja Amer

US President Donald Trump’s threat to punish Pakistan followed by protest rallies and anti-American slogans is not at all shocking or surprising. Perhaps it was in the fitness of the emerging realities that the conference of Pakistan’s foreign envoys held in Islamabad ended with a new foreign policy narrative which would be finalised after input by the National Security Committee and the parliament.


Trump has enunciated his South Asia policy and has spoken against Pakistan in no uncertain terms. All this has created is something of a storm. For all intents and purposes, Pakistan finds itself in the proverbial lurch. After all, the country was a close ally of the United States and came to America’s aid whenever the superpower needed it. Right from the 1950s, Pakistan was supposed to be a country solidly placed in America’s camp. The Americans considered Pakistan a solid bulwark against the spread of communism. It was among the largest recipients of both military and civilian American aid. It was this aid that equipped the Pakistani armed forces with hardware, from guns to ships and planes. Then things changed. America did not help Pakistan in the 1971 war against India though it was an ally. The result was that India succeeded in breaking up Pakistan and the eastern wing of the country became Bangladesh while America simply looked on and its naval fleet parked in the Indian Ocean did not lift a finger.

However, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the late seventies, Pakistan served as a ‘frontline’ state against the spread of the Soviet Army towards the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. In the process, Pakistan helped mainly the United States, as well as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to support Afghanistan’s war effort against the mighty Soviet Union. Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, millions of Afghan nationals fled their home country and were settled in refugee camps in the neighbouring Pakistani provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then known as the Northwestern Province or NWFP) and Balochistan. But, like Iran, it did not succeed in restricting its Afghan refugee population to camps and soon these people started spreading into the border cities, such as Peshawar and Quetta, and merging into the local populations by virtue of the fact that they spoke the same language (Pashto) as spoken in the border area spanning the entire Pakistan-Afghanistan boundary belt.

They ventured into buying property and entering into local relationships, such as business ventures or marrying Pakistani women. At the same time, they brought with them the drug and Kalashnikov culture. This soon infiltrated into the Pakistani social fabric and became a menace for the government. Meanwhile, chiefly US assistance (such as Stinger missiles, guns and ammunition) enabled the Afghans to defeat the Soviets and drive them back into their own territory. It is another story though that the Afghans also termed as the ‘mujahedeen’ (warriors) claim the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan led to the crumbling of the Soviet Union and the huge superpower soon broke up into several separate countries – today’s Central Asian Republics.

Following the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Americans decided for themselves that these attacks had been planned by Osama bin Laden, then resident in Afghanistan and decided to invade the country, Again, Pakistan served as the best placed country to route the invasion into Afghanistan and this is how Pakistan became embroiled in the war waged by the US and NATO forces in this part of the world. The greatest upshot was terrorism, a menace from which Pakistan is suffering to this day, besides a huge dent in its economy and a death toll of over 70,000 army officers and men as well as the civilian population.

It appears all these sacrifices laid down by Pakistan are of no consequence to American President Donald Trump and his Administration and they still want Pakistan to ‘do more.‘ It is good that Pakistan has got the message and is rethinking its foreign policy in a way that its dependence on America will be greatly reduced. The Pakistan Army Chief has also said in no uncertain terms that Pakistan does not need American aid but confidence and that now the ‘world must do more.’

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Syed Jawaid Iqbal
Editor in Chief

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Monsoon Mayhem

Monsoon flooding in Karachi is currently the biggest problem of the people as it is affecting many parts of the city. Many underpasses were difficult to get to as they were completely submerged resulting in huge traffic jams and increasing difficulties. This is not the first time that Karachi has witnessed urban flooding as previously also this has happened five times. The city is receiving average rain of four months in just one month and Karachi is not at all prepared for the climate change. While it may take some years for us to know if monsoon patterns have changed for good, what is certain is that Karachi’s long-standing problem of almost-absent urban planning is the biggest reason for the mini-disaster we saw. If Karachi is left abandoned and the climate continues to change for the worst, the disasters will only get worse.

Ali Farrukh,
Karachi, Pakistan.


No Place for Rohingyas

Rohingyas are the stateless Indo-Aryan people from Rakhine State of Myanmar. They fled from the torture given to them in Myanmar in 2012 and since then have become nomads. After all the doors were shut, they came to India in large numbers thinking that they would be accepted there. But all their hopes vanished when the government of India said it would deport them. Although India has given shelter to many refugees in the past, but these immigrants are often susceptible to recruitment by terror groups posing grave security challenges. Previously as well, India has accepted many Rohingyas under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) but accepting an additional 40,000 refugees would be covering more than half of what is already allotted to the Rohingyas.

Karan Singh,
Lucknow, India.

 

No One Lasts Long

This is with reference to last month’s cover story on why no prime minister in Pakistan has completed his five year tenure since the country’s inception 70 years ago. This is a question that many people have asked themselves, but after the Panama case and Nawaz Sharif’s ouster, people are more reluctant in knowing the answer to the question. The country’s political scenario is nothing short of a political roller coaster ride. From assassinations to judicial hangings, to military coups and dictatorships, the country has seen and suffered it all. But still history keeps repeating itself and it seems that there will be no future for Pakistan if the prime ministers keep on indulging in corruption and later have to suffer the consequences.

Syed Mohib Akhtar,
Karachi, Pakistan.


Another Voice Silenced

The news of the murder of senior journalist-turned-activist Gauri Lankesh came as a shock. The woman was known to be a fierce critic of Hindu nationalist organisations in her state. Last year she was convicted of defamation for a piece accusing members of the Bharatiya Janata Party of theft as she was appealing against the decision. The Press Club of India along with many other people believed that the murder was linked to Lankesh’s work as some close colleagues revealed that she was receiving death threats. She was brutally murdered with seven gunshots, three of which hit her neck and chest, killing her instantly. Murders of journalists are not a new thing in a country where such cold blooded extremists reside. Journalists like M M Kalburgi, activist Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar were also gunned down by assailants. The impact of such murders would silence the people as well if no action is taken.

Shayna Saluja,
New Delhi, India.


A Positive Venture

Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and Hongshi-Shivam Cement Private Limited, a Nepal-China joint venture company had signed the Project Investment Agreement (PIA). The new project to set up a mega cement factory in Nepal, which is proof of the growing bond between both the countries. Providing high quality cement to meet the local demand of the market and improving the quality of cement production is the main aim of this project and both the countries are working hard at it. The big investment from China had sent a positive message in Nepal. The agreement is the first of its kind in a country now open for private sector investments and proves that Nepal has truly become an attractive investment destination for foreign investors.

Aadinath Chand,
Biratnagar, Nepal.

 
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