Wednesday, January 1, 2020

What this blog is about

(Jan 12, 2011): Adding matters of Indian and Pakistani history to this blog.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

PAKISTAN: A Sea of Forced Conversions Floods the country

The Asian Human Rights Commission reports that in Pakistan, "the attack on minorities and forced conversions are on a dramatic upswing resulting in mass exodus of minorities, particularly the Hindu community."

Sunday, June 21, 2015

What did Modi say in Bangladesh?

At an event at the Jinnah Institute, it was said that:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most recent statements against Pakistan in Bangladesh reflected New Delhi’s new provocative posturing.
What did PM NaMo say in Bangladesh?  From the published text of the remarks, not much.

1. Text of the PM’s statement to media in the Joint Press Briefing with Prime Minister of Bangladesh

Pakistan does not feature there.

2. Text of PM’s acceptance speech at the conferment of Bangladesh liberation war honour on Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The text is in Hindi.  But the video is there, Urdu speakers can understand most of it.  Certainly there is mention of the Bangladesh war of liberation; but there is no mention of whom it was fought against.

We now come to

3. Text of PM’s address at Bangabandhu Convention Centre This too is in Hindi.

"हम Asian countries आज भी दुनिया के कुछ देशों में महिला के प्रमुख के रूप में स्वीकार करने की मानसिकता कम है, ये भू-भाग दुनिया में ऐसा है कि जहां पर नारी को राष्ट्र का नेतृत्व करने का अवसर बार-बार मिला है। चाहे हिंदुस्तान हो, बांग्लादेश हो, पाकिस्तान हो, इंडोनेशिया हो, आयरलैंड हो। अब देखिए इस भू-भाग में श्रीलंका, ये विशेषता है हमारी लेकिन फिर भी हम कहीं और होते तो दुनिया में जय-जयकार होता लेकिन हम गरीब हैं, हम पिछड़े हैं, कोई हमारी ओर देखने को तैयार नहीं, हम सम्मान से, गर्व से खड़े हो कि दुनिया को दिखाने के लिए हमारे पास ये ताकत है, दुनिया को मानना पड़ेगा कि women empowerment में भी हम दुनिया से कम नहीं हैं।"

Here he is talking about women's empowerment and that Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, etc. have had women leading the nation.


This is the second mention:
और इतिहास देखिए 90 हजार जिन लोगों ने बांग्‍लादेश के नागरिकों पर जुल्‍म किया था, ऐसे 90 हजार सेना को आत्‍मसमर्पण के लिए भारत की सेना ने मजबूर किया था। आप कल्‍पना कर सकते हैं जो पाकिस्‍तान आए दिन हिंदुस्‍तान को परेशान करता रहता है, नाको दम ला देता है, terrorism को बढ़ावा की घटनाएं घटती रहती है। 90 हजार सैन्‍य उसके कब्‍जे में था, अगर विकृत मानसिकता होती तो पता नहीं निर्णय क्‍या करता। आज एक हवाई जहाज को कोई हाइजैक कर दे न, तो 25, 50, 100 Passenger के बदले में दुनिया भर की मांगे मनवा ले सकता है। भारत के पास 90 हजार सैनिक पाकिस्‍तान के कब्‍जे में थे, लेकिन यह हिंदुस्‍तान का चरित्र देखिए, हिंदुस्‍तान की सेना का चरित्र देखिए। हमने बांग्‍लादेश के विकास की चिंता की, बांग्‍लादेश के स्‍वाभिमान की चिंता की, बांग्‍लादेश की धरती का उपयोग हमने पाकिस्‍तान पर गोलियां चलाने के लिए नहीं किया। हमने बांग्‍लादेश के स्‍वाभिमान के लिए, मुक्ति यौद्धाओं के लिए लड़ाई लड़ी लेकिन उन 90 हजार का blackmail करके पाकिस्‍तान के खिलाफ लड़ने के लिए हमने बांग्‍लादेश की भूमि का उपयोग नहीं किया है। क्‍यों? हम चाहते थे कि बांग्‍लादेश बंगबंधू के नेतृत्‍व में आगे बढ़े, विकास की नई ऊंचाईयों को पार करे। यह हमारा सपना था और इसलिए हमने हमारे सपनों को चूर कर दिया। हमारी मुसीबतों को हमने दफना दिया। और हमने 90 हजार सैनिक वापस दे दिए, 90 हजार सैनिक वापस देने की एकमात्र घटना की ताकत इतनी है कि पूरे विश्व ने भारत की शांति के प्रति प्रतिबद्धता कितनी है, विश्व शांति के लिए प्रतिबद्धता कितनी है, इसको नापने के लिए ये एक घटना काफी है और भारत को permanent membership के लिए रास्ते खुल जाने चाहिए. लेकिन मुझे मालूम है गरीब देशों को, developing countries को, हम जैसे इस इलाके में दूर-सदूर पड़े हुए लोगों को मिल बैठकर के लड़ाईय़ां पड़ेंगी। विश्व के रंगमंच पर हम सबको एक ताकत बनकर के उभरना पड़ेगा, हमारी समस्याओं का समाधान करने के लिए हम अपने आप कंधे से कंधा मिलाकर के समस्याओं का समाधान कर सकते हें।



The key part is around minute 50.  My rough translation is:  NaMo talks about how the world does not pay attention to the poor countries of the world; about how the 70th anniversary of the United Nations is coming up; but how the United Nations has not kept up with the times. Despite contributing a million men to fight in World Wars I & II, despite contributions to peace-keeping forces today, despite every one in six of humanity being Indian, India does not have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. 

NaMo then goes further into India's credentials.  He talks about how Indians and Banglas fought together for the liberation of Bangladesh.  He says, India forced a surrender of an army of 90,000 of those who had committed crimes against Bangladeshis.  You can imagine, India had 90,000 captives of that Pakistan that has been annoying India  (परेशान - Google translation is "upset", "disturb", "perturb", "annoy" -  the English press used "nuisance"), harasses India (नाकों दम लाता है), incidents of terrorism keep occurring, if India had a perverted (विकृत)mentality, who knows what would have happened?  Today if someone hijacks an airplane, in return for 25-50-100 passengers, they bring all kinds of demands.  India had in custody 90,000 Pakistani soldiers, but witness the character of Hindustan, of Hindustan's army, we were concerned about Bangladesh's progress, about Bangladesh's self-respect, we did not use Bangla soil to wage war on Pakistan.  We fought for the freedom fighters of Bangladesh, not to capture 90,000 Pakistani soldiers and blackmail Pakistan.  Why, we wanted Bangladesh to develop, with the leadership of BangaBandhu (Sheikh Mujibur Rehman), to reach new heights, that was our dream, and so we put aside our own issues, put aside our own difficulties and sent the 90,000 soldiers back to Pakistan.   This one incident is enough for the world to see how dedicated India is to peace, to world peace; and a permanent seat for India in the Security Council should have opened up.  So, we poor countries, we developing countries, have to work together to solve our problems and to make an impact on the world stage.

 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Upper class Jihadis

Ayesha Siddiqa points out that upper-class jihadis in Pakistan is not a new trend:

The capture and confession of an IBA graduate to several acts of terrorism, including the Safoora chowk massacre and Sabeen Mahmud’s murder resulted in the publication of opinion pieces with most viewing these educated terrorists as heralding a new chapter in the history of terrorism in Pakistan. Notwithstanding that the confession reminded me of a joke about a Pakistani police constable forcing a donkey to confess to being Queen Elizabeth’s lost dog, I also realised that people don’t read, else how could they miss existing reports on radicalisation amongst the educated middle and upper-middle class? Reports were published and papers written that mentioned socioeconomically upscale jihadis. In a country like Pakistan, which rates very low in terms of book publication and reading, why am I not surprised to read such analyses?

The evidence of educated boys from the middle class randomly joining militancy is not a new phenomenon. It has happened before. For instance, the mastermind of the Parade Lane attack of 2009 was a student at the International Islamic University. One of the key people of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Islamabad is a student at the National Defense University. In 2012, an NED engineering graduate and leader of the Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba (IJT) was killed in a drone attack in North Waziristan. During Pervez Musharraf’s rule, a federal secretary’s son had also gone for jihad. Not to forget the two nuclear scientists who went to Afghanistan to meet Osama bin Laden.
One particular analysis suggested these educated boys denoted a new trend since they were not connected with any militant organisation but were driven towards terror for ideological reasons. The writer probably forgot that Omar Sheikh was connected with both al Qaeda and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). The son of a PAF air marshal, Faisal Shahzad also had links with militant groups. In case we forget, David Headley worked for and trained with the LeT in order to do his bit in the Mumbai attacks. Despite that, one particular opinion piece tried to suggest that the new educated terrorists were courtesy the Jundullah. The fact is that our urban centres, especially Karachi, have no dearth of jihadi propaganda and inspiration. Not too long ago, civil society activists remembering Salmaan Taseer were attacked by educated Barelvi militant youth.
 Ms. Siddiqa thinks the trend is only strengthening:

1.
 Various militant organisations, especially those considered state proxies, have deep links in professional colleges and universities in major urban centres. In Karachi in particular, the NED engineering university and the Dow Medical College, for example, were centres of jihadi attention for long. In any case, outfits like the JeM and the LeT progressively shifted their attention away from totally madrassa trained militants to the more educated types. These outfits are more organised and created sophisticated structures. For instance, the LeT has associations of medical doctors, engineers, farmers and even factory workers. Just couple of months ago, French author, Laurant Gayer, speaking at T2F, mentioned the ASWJ’s presence amongst labour unions in Karachi.
2. 
Increasingly, internal terror financing in Pakistan points in the direction of the extended middle class.
3. 
One of the issues at this juncture is that our nationalism and radicalism have begun to collate. There is very little resistance against militant outfits and their leadership as they appear on television, issue statements on social media or give interviews in the print media presenting themselves as defenders of the state and its religious ideology. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Creeping radicalization

Abbas Nasir, a former editor of Dawn, writes about the accused in the Safoora Goth Ismaili Shia massacre.  They are all from the well-off, well-educated segment of Pakistani society.

Radicalism in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world isn’t necessarily a function of deprivation and poverty alone.

Deprivation, poverty and outright ignorance are undoubtedly exploited heavily by those who brainwash young (mostly) men often into picking up arms and even agreeing to become suicide bombers.

But if you examine, for example, the profiles of the 9/11 hijackers whose mass murder led to victims in excess of 3,000 on a single day, it wouldn’t be difficult to reach the conclusion that want had nothing to do with what they did. They were fed on an ideology of hate and bought into it so totally.
That most of them belonged to far from poverty-stricken Saudi families and had the means to be getting an education or pilots’ licences at US institutions substantiate the suggestion that their radicalisation was engineered by manipulating an ideology rather than anything else.

Omar Saeed Shaikh, a Briton of Pakistani origin and a graduate of the reputed London School of Economics, is currently in prison awaiting execution for his involvement in the beheading of the US Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi.

Then there was Faisal Shahzad, the US-based son of a senior Pakistan Air Force officer, who was convicted of trying to explode a vehicle bomb during rush hour in Manhattan, New York and is currently serving a life sentence in the States.

There is a long list of apparently ‘normal’ (read recipients of a Western-style education) Pakistanis such as doctors, engineers, even some who reportedly worked on the country’s nuclear programme, having been seduced by a radical ideology.

There is no point listing these facts apart from underlining the challenge Pakistan is facing today.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Forbes on Axact

Forbes seems to have withdrawn the article mentioned here: (click on image)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015