LISA JOURNAL ISSUE 30 APRIL – JUNE 2014 EDITORIAL
0 comments | by SAEED ISMAT
Unipolar to a Multipolar World
In the past decade the US tried to expand the circle of its international coalition around the world, even trying to make Russia an ally. However, the crisis in Syria and gaps between the US and Russia’s policies toward President Bashar al-Assad government reflected changes in the world order.
The western powers led by America had wilfully destroyed the ‘power balance’ of the bipolar world. \"The west believed it was entrusted by God to decide the fate of other peoples,\" Putin complained. They used pressure and coalitions to get what they wanted, and if they did not, they ignored the UN Security Council and used military force.
The recent Ukraine and Crimea crisis and Moscow’s rapid response to separating Crimea from Ukraine showed that the world order has begun evolving once again.
As the unilateral supremacy of the US has been rejected by the international community and Washington\'s inability to manage its regional and global crises was proven, it seems that the idea of a US unilateral leadership through creating international coalitions during the past decade is also unacceptable and some international entities, such as Russia, have revolted against it. From now on we must await reproduction of new orders with new coalitions and alignments in the world.
A multipolar system in which the international community does not accept the hegemony of a superpower and the so-called powers cannot play hegemonic role in international crisis.
LISA considers the most urgent problem in existence nowadays is forcing Zionists and Brahminists to observe International Laws and stop crimes against humanity.
Dealing with the Terrorists
The government of Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan is knee deep in the quagmire of negotiating a dialogue with the infamous Taliban terror organization TTP that has mercilessly slaughtered thousands of innocent Pakistani. Majority of people of Pakistan consider this an outright violation of the constitution of Pakistan and some even term it as the worst act of treason by a democratically elected government since these Talibans are Pakistani nationals and the government has no legal or moral authorities to give concessions or concede to the demands of the murderers. They have to be dealt with in accordance with the law of the country.
Unfortunately one cannot help noticing an unmistakable trend in the process of these one sided negotiation. At the moment, as the government prepares for the next round of talks with these criminals, the TTP is right on the top and the government is coming across as weak and uncertain. TTP has seemingly once again gained the upper hand in the negotiations process by the government agreeing to release of murderous prisoners TTP specifically demanded. The government of Pakistan must understand that on any occasion they came tough on Talibans they acquiesced. When the state stands firm and the government insists on certain minimal requirements for any further dialogue then such, pressure on the TTP works. But when the TTP is allowed to grab the initiative and shape the dialogue process, it becomes bolder and more outrageous in its demands. Right now, it appears as if the TTP is calling the shots. It is beyond belief that Nawaz Sharif government has even granted tacit permission to TTP to open and operate a website. Gul Bokhari has aptly remarked in The Nation “The people of this country will choose corruption and mis-governance over bedding fanatics and terrorists anytime.”
India –Pakistan Relations
The essence of normalization of relations requires open-mindedness and new rational stance - away from the tragic and violent history to imagine a new beginning for the best interests of the people, entrepreneurship and creativity of the new innovative generation of educated people to bridge the gaps and courageous initiatives by people of new ideas to solve problems which obsessed the two nations to make wars and not peace.
If India allows the people of Jammu and Kashmir to utilize their right of self –determination and to decide their own future, it will boost its stability and image as a democratic nation. Whether the people of Jammu and Kashmir join India or Pakistan or come up with their own solution, it should be their choice, not the continued occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.
Egoistic Pakistani politicians have used the Kashmir issue to mislead the nation without having the capacity or seriousness to deal with India. In truth, for more than forty years, all Pakistani rulers were the wrong people with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things against the national interests. They manufactured a self-centred culture of naïve thinking, complete disconnect with the prevalent realities of the world and imposed moral and intellectual curse over the nation. This political curse continued under Bhuttos, Yahya Khan, Zardari and Sharifs to make Pakistan vulnerable to disastrous social upheavals, loss of trade and commerce, unpaid IMF foreign debts and incapacitated political governance. To undo the scandalous curse, Pakistan needs people of new age, educated and intelligent to inspire the masses for change and new political visions for global harmony and peaceful relations.
Nawaz Sharif has demonstrated unflinching determination to improve the relations between the two historical antagonists. Many in Pakistan have even termed these as disgraceful since they are one sided and some go to the extent of describing these as surrender and total capitulation of Pakistan’s national interest. These critics demand reciprocity. LISA would recommend to the Pakistan’s Prime Minster that keeping in view Indian military superiority and resultantly Pakistan’s lowered nuclear threshold , he should launch an initiative to offer India:-
- Non interference in each other’s internal affairs including any proxy wars.
- A comprehensive framework of \'No War Pact’ be it punitive strikes, limited incursions, surgical strikes, limited wars or full scale war.
- Resolution of all outstanding disputes including Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and Water issues bilaterally within a period of three years failing that each party would have the right to seek international forums or third parties mediation.
- Trade, economic cooperation, mutual facilitations and harmony on other issues should follow but certainly not precede the above framework. However as the progress is made these measures could also be concurrent
Most Favoured Nation Status
It was not just the persuasive note by the World Bank, which asked Pakistan to give the MFN status to its neighbour since Nawaz Sharif had this agenda on top priorities. It was not the pressure from the security establishment in Pakistan that forced Nawaz Sharif to postpone as some would like us to believe. It is a fact that it is not Pakistan, but India, which is to be blamed for the delay in the normalisation of trade relations, for it persistently avoids undertaking measures for removing tariff and non-tariff barriers on imports of Pakistani goods.
India also failed to implement certain mutually agreed measures. The two sides had agreed to carry out some facilitation measures, such as agreements on visa, removal of trade grievances — including those related to certification, licensing, lab testing, and mutual recognition of standards — and customs cooperation. The presence of barriers was unacceptable to Pakistan’s industry, as it negated the objective of free trade. In the absence of a reciprocal Indian response, Islamabad was left with the only option: deferring the granting of the MFN status to India.
One may note that India’s stubborn attitude has not been much highlighted by the media in both countries. What was more highlighted was the fact that India had granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996, but the latter has so far failed to reciprocate. Regardless, this status has been more a formality, as Pakistan suffers from an unfavourable balance of trade with India. Unless the concerns of industries such as textiles, auto parts, pharmaceuticals and agriculture are satisfied, it is likely that the whole process would be put off for a longer period.
Progressive nations encourage politicians of vision and integrity to make headways in political standing but not so in filthy politics of Pakistan, political actors pretend and deceive masses with illusions of change when nothing really changes on the ground once they get into power. Politicians of Pakistan have persistently betrayed the trust and expectations of the masses. Despite this odd and evil-mongering, they still rule the country under one or another fraudulent context of democracy.
Defence and Development
1.6 Billion People of South Asia live in poverty. Studies reflect that 40% of world’s most poor live in South Asia. India leads in the poverty index standing at 30.3% (385 million people) while Pakistan has 20.2% (36 million) of its population classified as poor. It is a sad reality that the these countries spend billions of dollars on arms and ammunition, For instance, growth of the Indian economy has come at the cost of the “marginalisation of a vast section of society”, while “bad governance attacks the roots of democracy” in Pakistan. Overcoming these challenges is no easy task, yet the priorities of South Asia’s leaders seem to be on other matters. India the dominant power of South Asia has a monumental defence budget 2.24 trillion rupees ($36 billion) in 2014/15, Defence budget of Pakistan has been jacked up to Rs627.2 billion ($6.1 Billion) for the financial year 2014/2015 to fight militancy by the Taliban.
In such unstable times, security is no doubt essential, especially for stability. However, in Pakistan’s case internal security has become a much bigger problem than any external threat. In fact, if the internal situation were stable, it would automatically encourage growth and development. In South Asia, it is very much possible to reduce spending on external security and use these resources for improving the lot of the people. For this a shift in thinking is needed at the top particularly if India to provide the lead
Remembering Usman Khalid
Usman Khalid the founding father of London Institute of South Asia died on Monday 31stMarch 2014 after a prolonged illness in Windsor London, A great visionary has passed away. We shall not gaze upon his like again
He was a prolific writer and a great campaigner for Kashmiris, Dalits, Adivasis and all the oppressed people of the world, however, his primary focus was on South Asia. There was never a dull moment listening to him, even if you disagreed with him. He spoke his mind and spoke with confidence and conviction. His book ‘Authentic Voices’ published by the London Institute of South Asia is a remarkable piece of work that was dedicated to 250,000 Sikhs and 90,000 Kashmiri martyrs and many more who have been killed in all parts of India notably, Assam, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Usman Khalid was inspiring, principled, rebellious, and full of ideas and a diehard supporter of the oppressed and exploited. Above all he was a perfect gentleman. His extraordinary life has come to an end but his legacy will endure...
He shall surely be missed by his friends, family and the supporters of his visionary work for the oppressed and the marginalised in South Asia.
London Institute of South Asia has received well over two thousand e- mails and condolences messages from his admirers worldwide. We apologise for being unable to reply to each separately but we like to thank them all and assure them that we remain committed to carry forward his struggle